Archive for March, 2006

Reggaeton

And I almost forgot! I sent in my abstract for an anthology on Reggaeton today. It wasn’t the best abstract I’ve written but at least I’m giving it a shot. I’d love to get in but I’ll be okay if my paper isn’t accepted.

I hate writing abstracts! It doesn’t matter whether the paper is finished or not. I just hate writing abstracts.

The one thing I hate even MORE is writing my bio. I’ve been working on my CV and want to have it functional soon. Then I am going to write a standard submissions bio and have it reviewed by a committee and just have it so I don’t have to be rethinking how the hell to write the generic paragraph version of me each time I submit!

Anyhow, fingers crossed everyone!

I should hear back from FELAFACS soon as well. Eeek! I’m going to be a Very Busy Woman if all my projects get accepted. Good thing I love writing!

Reflecciones y agradecimientos desde el otro la’o

En mi ponencia del coloquio tuve la oportunidad de reflejar sobre mis experiencias como lesbiana dentro de la academia (y de los baños). Parte central de mi ejercicio fue recordar los viejos tiempos de nuestro grupito de Prisma (y el sin nombre antes de Prisma) y en particular, uno de los incidentes donde me detuvo la guardia universitaria por escribir con tiza en las aceras.

Dentro de la ponencia repartí tiza para que l@s participantes escribieran sus mensajes en las pizarras y al concluir que todo el mundo tuviera su cantito para escribir en las aceras afuera. Bueno, terminé mi intervención y me quedé hablando con gente, intercambiando direcciones de correo electrónico y lo demás.

Cuando iba bajando las escaleras miro a la acera y ví que estaban repletas de mensajes en tiza y bueno, ni tengo que decir que se me salieron las lágrimas. Y se me siguen saliendo.

Recuerdo cuán solitarios fueron los días en que formamos nuestro grupito y cuán desamparados nos sentíamos a veces. Ver a todo el mundo abajo con sus tizas me llenó de una manera indescriptible. La risa, los mensajes, la nena eléctrica con sus mensajes tan bonitos, jamás hubiese pensado que vería eso en el colegio, que pudiese yo ser parte de ese momento.

Parecerá tonto y ya la lluvia se lo borró, pero fue un regalo enorme que me dieron tod@s y no tengo ni como agradecerlo. Las palabras no me dan.

Lo agradezco de la única manera que conozco: siguiendo en la lucha, y continuando en el trabajo diario de hacer justicia y paz. Con o sin reconocimiento.

Pensaba en lo que decía Olga Orraca en su presentación: a veces nos preocupamos demasiado por ser los primeros y al hacerlo no reconocemos que a veces han pasado muchas cosas de lo que no nos hemos enterado o que no ha sido documentado. Y lo otro que dijo que tuvo mucha resonancia es que lo que se queda es el trabajo. Efectivamente. Más de lo que yo pensaba el trabajo que hicimos tuvo efectos, se quedó algo de la semillita que intentamos sembrar en aquellos tiempos.

Recuerdo en mis días de trabajadora social una de las lecciones aprendidas fue que la mayoría de las veces el cambio que se efectúa no se llega a ver. Era una de las cosas gratificantes de trabajar con niños y familias: en los niños los cambios se reflejan más rápido, particularmente dado el caso de que yo entraba en sus hogares regularmente. Me acordaba de eso en mi ponencia. Pensé que todo nuestro esfuerzo había sido olvidado. Saber que persiste algo, que seguimos en el recuerdo me anima mucho.

Este coloquio fue tremendo. Los varios paneles que pude asistir estuvieron buenísimos, el ambiente fue de discusión y de comunidad, hubo un balance de lo académico y lo real, y diversidad de perspectivas y temas. Agradezco mucho la oportunidad de asistir y participar de las actividades.

Fueron tan buenas las sesiones y tan valiosas para tant@s. Me quedé sin ver el documental “Elyibití” y me quedé con las ganas de otros talleres, particularmente el de “A soltarnos el moño” pero no soy amiga de las mañanas y llegué tras que tarde con el moño parao.

Y pues, me tuve que perder el show del martes porque soy responsable y disciplinada (Good little grad student, good grad student!).

En realidad la experiencia fue buenísima y ya he escuchado gente lamentándose de que no fueron. Se lo perdieron.

Gracias a tod@s l@s que tuvieron la visión y el coraje de ver las posibilidades y hacerlas realidad. Cuentan conmigo siempre.

Mayaguez Fine Arts Cinema

This week from March 27-29, Fine Arts in Mayagüez presents the
following film in their Western Plaza Theaters:

GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK

Call the theater for times: (787) 833-0315)

I will try to remember to post the movies weekly fyi.

This is an excellent movie well worth watching and supporting Fine Arts while you are at it. I’ll post more on it later.

I’m a genius!

So, my pet peeves about misused words have finally paid off and I have something to show for being anal! I’m a genius! I will be signing autographs at the cafeteria in exchange for ice cream every Tuesday.






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Link: The Commonly Confused Words Test written by shortredhead78 on Ok Cupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test


English Genius


You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 86% Expert!
You did so extremely well, even I
can’t find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don’t. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you’re not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog: http://shortredhead78.blogspot.com/.


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Thoughts on music

After enduring way too much Chicago (I know, one song is too much) on the jukebox yesterday at a bar, I got to thinking about how cool–and diverse–my friends’ musical interests are.

I’m still looking forward to hearing Titus’ band which I had to miss. There’s always Yauco! I never thought I’d be getting back into Metal but it does take me back. I’m not sure it’s going to be my new favorite music (that’s reggaetón ;))
but I appreciate his dedication to his craft and how seriously he takes his work as a musician. And I love hearing him coming down the hallways by the sounds of his music which is always blasting on his discman (hooray for techonology, no more walkman).

Then, of course there’s André with his Salsa, Latin Jazz, and Hip Hop, which I know enough about to appreciate his superiority. Since I don’t think he reads my blog I can say that without fearing any head-swelling will go on. 😛 I was also surprised at the drum circle by his enthusiasm and rhythm. Very cool!

Joe’s musical contribution to my life is dubious since it mostly consists of singing one line of an obscure (yet annoying) song over and over ad nauseum until I want to claw my ears off. And Dylan.

M’s enthusiasm for Roots is super cool. I love the Damian Marley CD she burned for me. I really like learning about this stuff! It actually fits in with my own preference for music with social messages.

And of course, there’s always the drum circles, the Stones and righteous jazz. And “sensuous music” and bellydancing. LOL nevermind.

I went to a workshop once on teaching peace and uses of music in the classroom. I was working in early education at the time but many of the concepts still apply. One of the presenter’s points was on how music immediately made a group out of individuals. Once everyone is involved in making the music, the individual is subsumed by the collective effort. This is certainly true of activities like drumming circles, chanting or choirs. But any group can be brought to that point. Of course, when you are dealing with adults (and not just early childhood educators, who are usually willing to be creative and/or silly) this is not easy to get to.

I wish we could begin our department meetings with some good Roots. I’d even do Dylan if Joe sang.

Reflections on a yellow tinted sky

Shooting through layers of growing
darkness settling
into blue
purple clouds black against
shrinking horizon
yellow inverting
sunset
ominous brightness from darkest despair
giving rise to honey tinted moon.

Thea Leticia

Social grace

My friend Joe and I were at a conference today.

We are both part of the coordinating team and were taking a break from setting up and sneaking out for a ciggie. I was bumming one and he was looking for a lighter. I had to make some conferencey phone calls so he was off on the fire starting mission.

As he was returning I saw a guy with a pack of cigarettes and asked him if I could borrow his lighter. He said “sure!”

Meanwhile, Joe comes up and says, “man I’m glad to see you!”
Guy: Oh yeah! It’s good to be back man!
Joe: Yeah, when did you get back?
Guy: Been back for a bit now man. Let me tell you, it was rough being in the front lines man! Saw a lot of action out there. Right in the middle of it.
Joe: Yeah, well it’s good that you made it okay.
Guy: I got a fat paycheck too.
Joe: That’s important, and you made it back…
Guy: Yeah, I know cause if I had all the money but was missing a leg that wouldn’t be that good.
Joe: I hear you.
Guy: We lost two in the company…
Joe and Thea: make appropriate sympathetic noises
Guy: All the guys I knew made it okay though. Let me tell you, you don’t want to mess with those homeboys
Joe: yeah that’s true
Guy: I’m just hoping to start back in school and all that y’know
Guy sees friend, hollers at friend and proceeds to chat with friend
Joe and Thea get up to go back inside
Joe: See ya man
Thea: Buh bye
Guy: yeah, good seeing ya

As we are walking down the hallway Joe looks behind us and turns to me and says:

“I was just glad to see him because he had a lighter. I have no idea who the fuck that dude was!!”

My jaw drops to the floor: “for real?”

Joe: “Yeah, I just thought it was cool he had a lighter, and then he just kept going on.”

I am not even embellishing this story (as Joe himself surely will when telling it). There are just moments in life that are too weird.

This is also one of the things that makes my friend so special. He had this whole conversation, and I was there, and I know Joe fairly well, and I couldn’t tell he wasn’t genuinely glad to see this guy back. I couldn’t tell he had no clue who this guy was. It might have been more honest to tell the guy that he was just happy for the lighter and move on, but Joe is just a friendly kind of guy in some ways.

Perhaps if I write enough nice things about him, he’ll even read my blog. 😉

Hungry Poem

My hunger
is hungry
for pizza and beer
while I nap
on a hot summer’s
beach
in July.

No, this is not my greatest but it’s my latest LOL I wrote this in class (teaching) as an example of the kind of anything goes writing I expected for an exercise. And it has grown on me since this afternoon. It has a certain haiku-esque quality to it.

Mah Jong Champion of El Brinco!

Mag and I went over to S+J’s house for a game of Mah Jong today. I debated for a while between homework/cleaning and mah jong but ultimately procrastination won. And so did I! I won two hands with all one suit plus winds and dragons. If you don’t know Mah Jong that means nothing to you, if you do, then you’ll realize that I had nearly 500 points. Woooo wooooo!
Now, I am procrastinating about homework by blogging about Mah Jong. Am I good or what??

Ode to Stretch Marks

Okay, so we all know that the media priviledges a certain image of women, mainly skinny and flawless. That’s bad enough. But I’m sick and fucking tired of reading about how stretch marks are ugly and evil and seeing all the pseudo articles and products meant to “minimize the appearance of ugly stretch marks.”

Stretch marks are a fact of life.

I have had them since I was about 12 because I grew busty then and voilá, stretch marks. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been fat/voluptuous/chubby/full bodied (pick one) in varying degrees my whole life. Most women who have been pregnant have them.

I have heard people exclaim about how stretch marks are “gross,” and no wonder when ads in magazines ranging from Cosmopolitan to Newsweek all talk about “unsightly” stretchmarks, “ugly” stretchmarks, and “undesirable” stretchmarks.

I was thinking about this because a friend of mine who is beautiful, inside and out remarked in passing about how she is self-conscious about her stretch marks. She’s had a kid, she’s lost and gained weight, she’s a normal woman. Why should she be made to feel ugly for what is normal?

I long for the day when instead of trying to get rid of stretch marks we learn to embrace them as part of what is womanly, powerful and even sexy.

Instead of seeing pictures of celebrities where a red pen highlights their stretchmarks as “flaws” we will see a new trend: skinny women who don’t have any natural stretch marks will be having a new special plastic surgery to create them.

Instead of the advice to cover up faint stretch marks with self tanning lotion to “minimize” their appearance, women will be applying body makeup to create them.

Hip huggers will be unacceptable unless seductive stretch marks are visible on the hips.

Women who get breast augmentation will ask for the extra stretch marks, to make them look sexy and real. Women who have breast reduction surgeries will make sure the skin isn’t unnecessarily smoothed out to “minimize” the natural attributes.

There will be a new fettish out there. People will be turned on by stretch marks. There will be websites devoted to stretch mark worshippers (are there any already? hmmmm… I’ve missed my niche if there are!). Men and women will live to make love to stretch marks. To rub yummy lotions into them to enhance their womanly appearance. To lick and love them for hours. Personal ads will provide measurements and estimated amount of stretch marks.

No longer will women have to hide their skin for fear of being ugly, for having a woman’s body.

No longer will women have to worry about them while pregnant. Of all the things to worry about when expecting a child, stretch marks shouldn’t even be making it on the radar, and WOULDN’T if weren’t for all the pressure to be perfect, and smooth and radiant.

My stretch marks are perfect and smooth and radiant. And I’m not buying any minimizing creams! In fact, I’m working on creating more stretch marks as I lose weight. So there!

They exemplify all that is me:
womanly
flexible
changing
adapting
voluptuous
powerful
elastic
growing

Our bodies were meant to grow, to shift, to hold, to move, to love, to stretch. We were not meant to be mere statues with smooth contours and flawless finish. We are beautiful in many colors, shapes, sizes and textures. Stretchmarks and all.

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