Archive for September, 2006

Cricket

Picture being in a chaos of people, people with lifetimes of memories together, with old fights and recent joys to share. A mess of people, all with different personalities and communication styles and volumes. And you, my friend, are the outsider, the newcomer, the stranger.

Yes, I’m talking about a family reunion. My partner’s family has yearly reunions and they are large, and loud, and frankly they are terrifying. People are teasing and laughing and arguing with the easy comfort of family. People are rehashing old debates and grilling and getting drinks and discussing sleeping arrangements and plans. And, the outsider (me), who is an only child (me), from a small and dysfunctional (me) family, is watching, trying to sulk into a corner, terrified of the noise, and the intimacy and the chaos and the powerlessness of not having my bearings, or my place…
And what could be more comforting than a Cricket.

My first family camp was a truly intimidating experience. One of my happiest memories is sitting on the deck by the hot tub with a drink and taking to Cricket. We talked about nature and about bugs. She showed me her beautiful drawings of things like grasshoppers, ants, butterflies. I loved the comfort and peace of sitting there perusing her drawings and reading her comments in her small, even handwriting. I loved the quietness of sitting with her.

I can’t say I knew Cricket well. We weren’t geographically close enough to the family to go to a lot of things and I’m not a phone person… but I recognized in her a kindred spirit. I was spared the family history of disputes and painful memories. I got to enjoy her childlike enthusiasm and her open acceptance. She made me feel welcome in her life and she made me feel like family.

Cricket passed away in her sleep last week. We were both looking forward to seeing her during the holidays and feeling a bit guilty for being out of touch, not just with her, but with most of the family. I know I am going to miss her. I will miss giving her a big hug and talking about nature. And I will miss the welcome only she could give.

I know she is at peace now. And the world is sadder without her fragile wonder in it. Rest in peace.

Pizza Hut

Someday I am going to be one of those women who has time to get her nails done and doesn’t care that she can’t feel her fingertips (which was disturbing after a while the one time I had acrylics done) or that doing dishes or wringing a mop will fade or chip the color. It won’t matter that they are too long to type with.

I will be one of those women who has her hair done, which since my hair is below my waist is a significant investment of both time and money. I will be a woman who never walks out of the house without brushing my hair and meticulously ensuring it is just so. I will be one of those women who don’t need to have a friend’s gentle reminder ‘m’ija, pluck your eyebrows mamita, you are scaring me’

I will be one of those women who does not plan her wardrobe based on whether she has had time to shave her legs in the last month. Screw shaving, I’ll wax. I will have clean and ironed clothes. (don’t ask how, it will be so) I will match my purse and my shoes and my earrings and my toerings. Yeah and I’ll have french manicured toes and not a callus in sight (although have to say, I do have sexy feet). I’ll have matching underwear so that I can color coordinate with any outfit. And, I’ll have time for the gym and I’ll have time for meditation and yoga. And for long cellphone talks in public restaurants with my similarly coiffed girl-friends. In the meanwhile…

I sat at Pizza hut enjoying the lunch buffet (the salad was really good today! Yum!) and watching women. Yes, it’s something to do while your brain fizzles and short circuits. I don’t know if what I lack is time, dedication or money but I just don’t got it.

Ah well. There is something to be said for the aesthetics of an untamed Goddess Woman.

A lot to be said actually. 😉

It’s rainin’

When it rains, it pours.
Al que no le gusta el caldo, le dan tres tazas.
Eramos muchos y parió la abuela.

All applicable–and all a result of a conversation with my friend who is writing her Thesis on Proverbs. I am still feeling a bit lost but at least it’s a good lost. 🙂 Now I’m lost in my piles of work for my Thesis, for my class in Psycholinguistics, for the class I’m teaching (especially) and, theoretically, GRE studying!

I’m incredibly happy to be back and have the chance to finish my MA, but I don’t see the campus the same way anymore.

It used to be one of those places where I automatically belonged. Even when dealing with frustrating administrative crap, even when protesting unfair policies, even when closing down the gates during student strikes, I had a sense of belonging and entitlement. Now, I feel tentative. I feel transparent; ghost-like as I wander the halls. Some people who knew about my ordeal treat me like a ghost, welcome or otherwise. It might be good that I don’t feel comfortable at my school anymore. It’s just pushing me to finish and get out. It’s never been a school I’ve been happy with academically, but it’s always been comfortable. Perhaps now is the time to leave complacency behind and get ready for a new intellectual adventure.

In the meanwhile, you will find me (but only if you look real hard) locked up in a carrel in the library with my piles of books and notes and fears and hopes and dreams. I always belong alongside books. 🙂

My Teaching Blog

This Saturday I will start teaching English for International Students and I have started a new blog here just about teaching. I hope to be posting activities, lesson plans, and general observations as I go. I’m excited but also a bit overwhelmed. I’m sure I’ll be learning a lot this semester!

I will still be maintaining this blog, fear not! There’s just one more place to be dazzled by my insight. 😉

The Birds de Hitchcock

Mañana a las 7:00PM en el parque de los próceres se estará presentando la película The Birds del director británico Alfred Hitchcock. El evento será moderado por las dras Laura Bravo, y Lydia González. Es auspiciado por el departamento de Humanidades del RUM y es GRATIS.

Es un filme perfecto para ver en parque así es que dénse la vueltita!

Si quieren ver la información completa:

God of War

And before I forget, I had a chance yesterday to view the violent and sex laden game that my (30 year old) friend’s mom had refused to buy for him.

I had been told about the “off the hook” graphics, which were “on point.” The game is “tight.”

I was sugared up on low gi, low fat, low cal homemade cookies (which I mixed and he baked in a pot because the oven turned out not to work) and coffee, and video games where all I had to do was crash my car into shit (yeah, now that I can do!) when I was subjected to this god of war stuff.

I feel like my pacifist self should be folding extra cranes just to make amends for the graphic blood bath I witnessed. But here’s why I love my friend (whom I’ll refer to as A, for the sake of convenience of course):

A: Check this out, check this out. (playing)
Me: Wow, yeah you are very strong.
A: oh yeah!
Me: Oh nice blood. Very impressive you big strong man you.
A: I know.
Wait check this shit out, the graphics are sick.
Me: oh yeah. It’s raining in the background. (snoring)
A: Now peep this!
Me: Yeah, you killed him dead.
A: Now watch watch watch this!
Me: Mmmmm. Yeah. Wow.

I didn’t get to see the part that was really “banging” but I feel like I should call his mom and apologize for being an accomplice in his enjoyment of such an inappropriate game.

But I have 980 cranes to go.

I want to be just like Zuleyka Mommy!

I had promised myself I would not comment on Zuleyka’s reception. I had made a deliberate effort to remind myself not to go anywhere near television or newspapers. I don’t want to turn my blog into just another rant blog. But fate intervened. My mom invited us to have lunch with her and she made lamb. I can’t really say no to that. She happened to have the tv on while she was cooking so I got to see some of the footage and hear the insightful commentary.

One commentator went on at great length about how Zuleyka was a great example to all of us, coming from a family of limited means… she is a product of the public schools system and when we think about the “crisis de valores” going on we can take her as an example of perseverance and triumph, she accomplished all she’s accomplished coming from this background. Really. That’s the best public schools can produce. Beauty queens. Never mind intellectuals, artists (of the visual or written kind, not of the look pretty and wave variety), even the engineers, architects, teachers.

Then we see the crowds gathered to worship a skinny teenager in a gauzy dress. And the media is out en force. I mean every reporter is out there, pretending they care about a teenage beauty queen. Honestly.

The rhetoric was enough to make me want to vomit (and not out of solidarity with rumors of eating disorders). An example of what Puerto Rican women can accomplish. That’s a juicy sound bit. I can accomplish that. Accomplish WHAT? Can the average Puerto Rican woman honestly identify with this circus? I hope not, not if we want to keep a shard of dignity intact.

‘El orgullo de Puerto Rico’ is another good soundbite. Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with this young woman. I hope she is successful in her dream of being an actress. But I can think of a lot of other things I’d rather be proud of as a Puertorriqueña before Miss Universe even crosses my mind.

Hours of footage of her waving. Boy am I proud!

Fine Arts Mayagüez

La serie de cine Fine Arts en Mayagüez 
presenta en los cines de Caribbean Cinemas en Western Plaza, Mayagüez.
DE LUNES EL 4 DE SEPTIEMBRE A MIERCOLES EL 6 DE SEPTIEMBRE: 
FRIENDS WITH MONEY
Una película estadounidense sobre una sirvienta (Jennifer Aniston) y sus amigos ricos.
Las películas de  esta serie son las mismas presentadas en el cine Fine Arts en San Juan. Se presentan en Mayagüez las noches de lunes, martes y miércoles de cada semana. Llama a Western Plaza para el horario preciso: 833-0315.

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The Fine Arts movie series is playing in Mayagüez at the Caribbean Cinemas in the Western Plaza.

Monday September 4th to Wednesday September 6th:
Friends with Money
US movie about a maid (Jennifer Aniston) and her rich friends.

The movies in the series are the same ones shown in San Juan Fine Arts. They are shown on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings weekly. You can call the Western Plaza for specific times and details: 833-0315.