lunes, enero 30, 2006


This is from Sunny, who still owes me 4 more

Three books I can read over and over:
- Imago by Octavia Butler
- The Fire’s Stone by Tanya Huff (fantasy about a swordsman, a thief and a wizard. and, um gay male romance)
- Prietita and the Ghost Woman by Gloria Anzaldúa

Three places I've lived:
- on Cecilia Street (twice: once in Cudahay and once in Bell Gardens)
- in a trailer park (“She made me the queen of her double-wide trailer”)
- at 7000+ feet

Three TV shows I love:
- The West Wing
- Clean Sweep
- Dark Angel

Three highly regarded and recommended TV shows that I've never watched a single minute of:
- The Sopranos
- Sex and the City
- Lost

Three places I've vacationed:
- New Mexico
- Mexico
- Spain

Three of my favorite dishes:
- savory bread pudding with spinach
- sweet potato hash (with an egg on top)
- L*s enchilada’s: red and rolled or mole verde!

Three sites I visit daily:
[hmm, this says “sites” rather than “blogs,“ so I’ll assume “not blogs”]
- the Oakland Tribune
- Amnesty International (um, not in that order!)

Three places I would rather be right now:
- Nowhere, actually. I’m right where I want to be.

Three bloggers I am tagging:
- Sonrisa Morena, because she was out of town the last time I tagged somebody
- brownfemipower
- nubian

sábado, enero 28, 2006

This Space Left Blank

Classes Start on Monday: I'm gearing up!

jueves, enero 26, 2006

La Claudia

CindyLu correctly identified Claudia Rodriguez as the model in Chuparosa by Alma Lopez (pictured below). Claudia's a great writer, and you can read one of her stories online at Blithe House Quarterly

miércoles, enero 25, 2006

Somewhere Else

Today I finished reading a book of poetry. somewhere else by Matthew Shenoda. He's a colleague of mind. [that's a typo, or maybe a freudian slip, so i'll leave it there] Sonia Sanchez, in her introduction to his book, quotes José Martí to describe Shenoda: "When there are many men without honor, there are always others who bear in themselves the honor of many men."

It's amazing reading this poetry. There are two sections, that are pretty dramatically different. In a gross oversimplification of the complexity, i would say that one is "homeland" and one is "diaspora." That's not really true, (since these both appear in both sections of the book, not to mention in the same poem) but it gives you an idea about the shift.

Shenoda speaks truth to power, which is what i expected, but not how I expected it.

La Alma!

I've received many compliments on my book cover: I'm lucky to have an artistic genius like Alma Lopez as a friend and colega.

Chuparosa, a signed serigraph by Alma Lopez, is currently being auctioned off on ebay, as a fundraiser for the Latina lesbian Tongues Magazine.

See more of Lopez's artwork on her website You can also find out more there about her fabulous video Boi Hair. She also has a new project on femmes!

martes, enero 24, 2006

We return now to our regularly scheduled Locura

In my otra persona, Tía Yona, I've been working on a collection of practical saints for xikan@s in the twenty-first century. Be warned that I read everything with a queer-centered lens, and have been inspired by other playful santeros, like Pat Mora, SaintsforSinners (who named San Sebastian the patron saint of body modification--all those piercings! and Saint Joan the patron of cross-dressers,...No, wait, maybe that was me), John Boswell, etc.

First, San Martín de Porres. Patron of hairdressers, mixed-race people, and vegetarians, and the homeless (human and animal). The image below is from the joint project by Anna Salinas and the Austin Latino Lesbian and Gay Organization, from their Lotería Jotería series. San Martin is often pictured with a broom, as his task at the monastery, was to sweep the doorways clean. I personally find you have to do a lot of reading against the grain with San Martín, since the Church's line has always been that he's an ideal role model: a Black man who knew his place. But Alex García Rivera has a cool book, St. Martín de Porres: The 'Little Stories' and the Semiotics of Culture, in which he shows how the little stories of humble San Martín offer a counter discourse to hierarchical church structure.

I wonder who would be the patron against the bird flu...

Oprah: I was really hoping you were gonna come on and say, it's past, it's all been blown out of proportion. That's not what you said. But I believe that knowledge is power.


Website for today's show


Oprah: If anyone thinks you're overspeaking: Swine Flu and SARS never really came to happen

MO: I don't know if this is going to happen with Bird Flu. We're now really re-discovering the 1918 virus with modern medicine in a way we never have. We have recreated the virus, through labwork, through exhuming bodies in Alaska. We don't know it will happen, but we do know a pandemic will happen. This will be an effort we will never waste.

Oprah: that's the good news. that's the hopeful news.

Oprah: Opening it up to audience questions

??: What will this do to our blood supply

MO: Important question. Elective surgeries will disappear. right now we keep a lot of people on ventilators. We'll be forced to make decisions whether to make those ventilators available to young people.

Oprah: We never imagined people dying in the street

MO: After Katrina, government put out a call for truckers. A lot came in support for that. Literally within hours, that had an effect on the food supply for the rest of the nation.

??: I manage a busy retail pharmacy. Sometimes we run out. When we run out of prozac, we replace it with paxil. What will we do if we run out of Tamiflu? There are no other options. Plus, I've noticed a lot more of the tamiflu is being dispensed to doctor's (for personal use) and their families. Is this fair?

MO: Discussion of the two influenza drugs no longer effective for ordinary flu. We don't want that to happen with Tamiflu. So we don't want people taking it right now. If there is an epidemic, I would think I want the health care workers to receive Tamiflu so they can be there for the rest of us


Oprah: What should we be doing right now?

Oprah: Explain what Tamiflu is and will it work?

MO: It's very effective with the (normal) flu, but doesn't work as well with the bird flu
The Bird Flu will affect your lungs, your liver, your kidney, your intestinal tract.
You will need it within hours of becoming infected, and prob'ly at higher doses.

Oprah: How can we hold the government accountable

MO: I have to give a lot of credit to the president. We have trouble believing in this: We're in the age of modern medicine. We're assuming that we'll have full access

Oprah: I'm not assuming a thing after today

Oprah: What are the symptoms?

MO: immune system goes into overdrive. The [something] storm

Who will be hardest hit?

MO: I can't imagine a more important priority than the bird flu
It's something that's going to happen. How bad it's gonna be we don't know.

Oprah: And we're not prepared for it?

Oprah: Who is most at risk?

MO: traditional flu we think oldest and youngest.
Those under 20 were particularly hard hit in 1918
55% of all pregnant women died during that epidemic

Emphasizing how dependent we are on the global economy

Oprah: Is this like New Orleans not shoring up the levees?

MO: Yes, but it's more like saying Portland, Oregon needs to worry about storms in the Gulf Coast

Oprah: the media is giving it the same press as any other news story. The same coverage as Brad & Angelina

Oprah: This is not science fiction

MO: What is going to allow business continuity?

This is not science fiction.

Even if bird flu does not do it: something else will

By Special Request: Live Blogging Oprah

Oprah: do you feel sort of like Noah?

MO: Noah had a way of pulling everyone into the boat.
What I want is to know that everyone is building a boat

MO: President asked for 7 billion dollars to jump start our vaccine program. It was met with a resounding thud.

Today's Oprah: Bird Flu

I'm watching Oprah. A Very Dear One is far away from the tv and asked me to blog it.

It started with a ten-minute "be afraid, be very afraid"

So far, the whole thing has been Dr. Michael Osterholm
Parallels to the 1918 influenza epidemic

flu pandemic will have
9-18 months duration
"lessons of new orleans"

during a pandemic, all communities will be in it at the same time.
(no help from neighboring states)
you will be largely on your own.

domingo, enero 22, 2006

Hi YoMo!

YoMo is trying to entice L* and I to join her and YoLo in Palm Springs for The Dinah Shore Weekend. How's that! She's sending us temptation for the new year.

All I know about The Dinah is what I saw on the L Word.

And that weekend is the same as a conference where I'm scheduled to present.

Now, I wonder what my new colleagues would think if I bagged on a conference to go to a tony lesbian bash?...That is tempting...Naughty, naughty YoMo!

Lessons you learn from watching the L-word

Don't expect the self-destructive one to have your back.

Keep the motor running in small towns. (duh!)

Motherhood makes you heterosexual. Especially femmes, 'cause they're already halfway there.

Bisexuals are crazy.

Latinas live for poufy dresses and big hair.


Blac(k)ademic has a fierce read of the L-word.

L* and I have just watched the first two episodes of season 3 (we saved 'em up so we could watch them together).

When I saw the opening credits, I thought there were gonna be more jotas on the show, but no, those Spanish names signified Carmen's familia.

Trying to figure out how fierce hip-hop Carmen has now turned into super-bombshell, always with her familia, passing as straight. (L* says she's bound to come out, though).

So we're watching the depiction of Carmen's mother and saying things like "we are such a loving-welcoming people." Though, apparently we're not that savvy, since the familia is supposedly clueless about Carmen's sexuality. (Again, Carmen's new blazing-femme makeover adds to the dissonance). In our own Latino families, everyone and her brother would already know that we, Carmen, Shane, and prob'ly that Luis, are all queer.

I sez to L*, "do families really introduce their lesbian daughters to men? or is that a trope?"

A trope, says she.

sábado, enero 21, 2006

Brainwashing or Style Gurus?

The TLC show What Not to Wear, is often entertaining and can open you up to whole new "looks."
And yet, it's also a form of brainwashing. (Not that I really believe in brainwashing).

Humiliation is central to the "re-making" of the subject: to see that others look upon her with disdain or mockery. A public screening of the "secret footage" that shows her blissfully unaware of how bad she looks.

Isolation is also important. The subject is taken away from her family and friends and from her familiar environment.

PanOpticon: To internalize the idea that she is always being looked at, always being judged, the subject is placed in a circular room with 360-degree mirrors.

Shopping Day One: The subject tries (and fails) to shop successfully for herself. She is demoralized by the process of picking clothes, trying them on in unflattering light, with little feedback. At the same time, she is again being filmed and judged by her "mentors."

Shopping Day Two: the "mentors" choose "appropriate" clothes for the subject, and convince her that she looks better now.

Again, I'm all in favor of people looking good and dressing well. And yes, I have learned about dressing in a style that is "age appropriate." (No more hello kitty for me! No mini-skirts after 35!)

But a couple of things continue to work me about this show.

1) If a woman is butch, they will make-her-over into a femme. It is possible to be butch and fashionable, and the gurus should be true to their "you, only better" mantra, instead of trying to make all women look like ladies. (there's often some internalized homofobia going on here, because obviously Clinton Kelly is a big skinny queen)

2) Everything about their process is skewed toward white people. Cutting black hair is an art and a craft, and it's not Nick Arrojo's specialty. I really hate it when they approach black hair as "problem" hair. (Yeah, it's a problem to you, mister, if you don't know how to cut/treat/style it!) Ditto with Carmody who does the white-girl makeup thing very well, but can't seem to move out of that comfort zone.

3) Mean spirit. It's all so mean-spirited. Like everything else about the current era.

[Aside: They put so much emphasis on fit, why don't they talk about how to get a bra that fits right, and or how to get a bra that does what you want it to do: provide voluptuousness, show a trim and sport front, go from workout to work environment)

All of this is in contrast to my favorite TLC show, CLEAN SWEEP, which is multicultural and queer-friendly. And provides a sort of counseling like environment, because, face it, sometimes people are verging on emotional disturbances when their homes are chaotic piles of stuff. They emphasize respect for the people with whom you share your life and your home, and commitment to them.

miércoles, enero 18, 2006

Amtrak: Westbound

It's good to be heading home. The train isn't as full as it was eastbound, so I have a full seat to myself.

This has been a wonderful time to spend with Doña LeOra and Don Fon.

I put the final stitches on the colcha embroidery I made of El Rincon mountain in Ledoux, NM.

Let me tell you the story of how that came about.

When L* and I were visiting in December of 2004, L* used the time to paint. She made her first retablo (de San Jose, whom Don Fon commented looked Chicano), and then started a portrait of me. She'd taken a bunch of fotos of me in my Frida costume, and photoshopped them to play with color, detail, and contrast, and then was using that as the model for a new painting. She'd outlined the face and features: the eyes were still blank, and Don Fon thought that she was painting a classical statue of Caesar. The painting is totally fabulous--maybe when i publish a book of creative writing I can use it as my author foto.

When we got back home, L* painted a retablo de San Francisco, which was a central part of our altar dedicated to santos and orishas, petitioning that we would be in the SF bay area.

While L* was painting, Don Fon brought out a polaroid foto of where mi familia lived in Ledoux. I believe that Don Fon was born there, and that it is also the site of the "fire story" and the "altagracia story."

L* doesn't paint landscapes. It turns out Don Fon had also asked Doña LeOra to paint it, her landscapes are more imaginary and fantastic.

So I decided that I can't paint, but I can do things with yarn and thread, and so I would make the picture for him, and what's more, I would do it by teaching myself the colcha stitch, so that it would be holistic.

So I started in January. I thought I would get it finished right away, but it took a lot longer than I anticipated.

At one point I was going to depict the house where Don Fon was born. That didn't work. My adobe casita looked more like a log cabin, and the perspective was skewed, so I picked it out, stitch by stitch. Another time, I was going to depict the "altagracia story," where the little girl saves her brother's life.
the scale was all out of whack (the goat was gonna be as big as the mountain) and besides it was macabre and not what Don Fon had specifically requested. so i picked it out, stitch by stitch.

Then I decided I would finish it for Don Fon's birthday in May. or Father's Day in June. Or their anniversary in July. So, next thing I knew, Christmas was creeping up, and the only thing I knew I wanted to give Don Fon was this colcha that I still hadn't finished.

Plus I hated everything I'd done in the foreground and picked it out, stitch by stitch.

I delayed sending the christmas presents to the familia in the hopes that I would get Don Fon's present ready in time. Didn't make it. Brought it with me to Nuevo Mexico and HURRAY, it's done. I spent my first day walking from room to room looking at Doña LeOra's paintings to see what I could do about the foreground. Turned out I needed to ground the picture, instead of letting it just trail of wimpily. Plus, I learned that I can intersperse different colors to add texture and depth. and I can even embroider with a needle threaded with two or three different colors.

Don Fon loved it. I mean he loved it. He kissed it.

martes, enero 17, 2006

On the road, 9am.between Vaughn & pasturas. My dad & I see herds of goats & berrendo (pronghorn)

Amtrak, 3 pm. Lamy, NM. Bald tattooed guy has a lot 2 say.

jueves, enero 12, 2006

Roswell, NM (Day 3)

Scary, scary Christians in this town.

Me and my lovely mom went to a performance tonight by a wonderful pianist.

He spoke a little introduction to each piece, some of which were very educational.

It was delightful, really. I especially like that he finished with several pieces by Chopin, because, of course, I just finished Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse, and Chopin is all over that book. (and i don't really know anything about music, so it was great listening to this master pianist playing and thinking about Agnes, the little nun utterly corrupted.

There was an intermission and then the pianist played the organ and he and the singers did selections from Phantom of the Opera.

The singing was good, the organ was fabulous.

Except the auditorium was at the military academy, and the crowd was overwhelmingly (well nigh exclusively) Anglo, Christian, and Republican.

These are not, mind you, the ordinary, everyday Christians. The folks who are happy and secure in their faith and are perfectly happy to let you have your own whatever it might be or none at all. These are the ones who wear crucifixes and angel pins and meet in big churches to pray for the confirmation of scary Alito to the Supreme Court. And ask Have you Found Jesus. scary scary scary. In my head, of course, I am working on arguments, such as the fact that homofobia is no part of the good rabbi Jesus's teaching, and that, on the contrary, the texts referring to the disciple beloved by Christ would indicate a benevolent view toward same-sex relations. But outside my head, my mouth is dry, and my eyes are scanning from one to another and wondering if I can leap over the old lady's cane that's blocking the aisle to make my escape.

Yes, folks, there's a reason that I don't live in Roswell. In fact, during my absolute worst visit here twelve years ago, I was constantly either enraged or terrified by this very white conservative West Texas town in New Mexico territory.

(pinches gabachos stole our land and now they're praying for Alito. And singing along to the Music of the Night!)

Machete Poem

Enough about me: On to the machete.

Pomegranate Queen has this fierce machete poem

miércoles, enero 11, 2006

Roswell, New Mexico (Day 2)

The sunshine is so bright my eyeballs throb.

I went for a brief walk today. Mostly I'm trying to keep myself hydrated.

martes, enero 10, 2006

Roswell, New Mexico

I spotted a UFO as soon as we got into town. It was the new McDonalds, which has been made over into a spaceship.

We have thai take-out for dinner and watch some movies. I finally see Shall We Dance, with Richard Gere and Jennifer Lopez, and realize that it is the American remake of the Japanese film. Very different, of course, with JLo sultry and lots of bootie action. All the men are really perfect in this film. The ending is so Hollywood.

I talk to my sister on the phone. I hadn't told her I was coming to NM, because it's tax season and I know I won't be coming to her town. She tells me my nephew and his wife are due to have their baby the first week of February!

I hadn't realized it was so soon. NOW I know who I made that baby blanket for. glad i didn't end up giving it away to any of those boys on the train.

Amtrak: Gallup, NM

I went to sleep early, on L*'s advice. I've been texting her the whole trip, but have to cut back, because Tuesday is a teaching day.

The ipod battery is dead this morning, and I am so pokey that Jose, our snack bar attendant has already begun his break by the time I get moving. Instead, I continue on to the dining car, where I have a pretty good breakfast and several cups of coffee. They make their omelet like little packages, all wrapped up. I share a table with a LA Chicano relocating to New Mexico to be with his dad, and a Kansas rancher with a whole lotta twang. Of course I am tempted to ask him if he's seen Brokeback Mountain but of course I resist this impulse.

Even though I'm the last one to join the table and the last one to finish eating, I am the first to excuse myself from the table.

I take my craft bag with me to the observation car, where I am almost through with a beanie that I've been knitting for the little guy. He comes by and he tries it on. He says he doesn't really like the kind with the holes in them (open pattern--I shoulda made it bigger and used smaller needles), but the other guys he's with are very admiring. Instead he wants to know could I make him a wristband. I crochet it, because I'm faster at crochet, and the next thing I know, I'm making crochet for the whole crew. There's the little guy, whose name I think is Lxas but who's being called several nicknames involving short, since he's the youngest at 7. There's Xris and his younger brother a.k.a. Mini-Me, both moving to Michigan from Fresno. There's D-on, who has just been visiting with his moms and is now travelling back to DC. (he and his dad are seated right next to me in my assigned seat). I think I produce a total of five wristbands about 4 rows wide, and then make several chain bracelets. All the boys want to learn to crochet, but only Mini-Me picks it up. he makes his own chain bracelet. One of the boys wants to keep the unfinished hat. I talk to L* on my cell-phone, and our conversation includes a summary of "Cariboo Cafe" and when she says she loves me I do that "me too, you" thing that people do in public. She can hear the boys and how funny it all is. I tell her "they're traviesos" and they vehemently deny it. Immediately afterward i am called to account by the young posse who want to know who this "friend" is, if she also lives in Oakland, if I'm married, if I've ever been married, how come, don't I like boys, et cetera. I barely escape that one. A short while later, Mini-Me is telling me about an episode of South Park and how the boys don't like their teacher because he's g-a-y. Xris tells me they read the story "Cariboo Cafe" in school, but he's really playing, just repeating back everything I said to L* about the story (His brother calls him on this and he admits it). We also have an extensive discussion on La Llorona, and a short one on the Chupacabra. Mini-Me's mom comes and takes him back to his seat because he hasn't eaten any breakfast yet.

They finally point at that we're coming into Albuquerque, so I make quick back to my seat to finish packing back up, after doling out balls of yarn and one crochet hook, which they're supposed to share. They try to talk me out of the baby blanket I completed on yesterday's train trip, but I decide to hang onto it. As I'm leaving the train they're all out on the platform. Shortie gives me back one of my knitting needles and begs another ball of yarn, and Mini-Me asks if he can have his own crochet hook, since the other is not being shared. I give him my good G-hook and tell him to take care of it.

My lovely mom awaits me in the train station. The train is in quite a bit early. It's bright and nippy in Albuquerque. We load up and hit the road for Roswell.

lunes, enero 09, 2006

Amtrak: Somewhere in Arizona


According to my records, it took me 16 weeks to finish this book. It was too long for commuting, but perfect for long road trips.

I didn't like the book so much at first, because the Agnes I was introduced to was not who I imagined she would be when I read the book description. but by the end, my expectations were fully realized. And then some, of course. That Louise Erdrich: she can be quite the trickster when she wants to.

Still haven't spoken a word to the woman in the seat right next to me. Her stuff is definitely over on my side.

Amtrak: Union Station. All Aboard.

The train is full and this young white woman and her man are kissing goodbye right next to my seat. Oh joy. She proceeds to take out that book on La virgen de Guadalupe called THE AZTEC GODDESS. She keeps flipping back and forth through it, so I think it must be for a class. (she does have a very nice morral with La Virgen on it, but her stuff is all spread at and crosses the invisible line into my space.) I speak not a word to her.

Amtrak: Union Station

I have a two hour layover in Los Angeles. I wish I'd checked more of my luggage, so that instead of lugging around all these bags, I could trot off to Olvera street for some mole burritos. Okay, that will be my plan for the return trip.

I feel like a country bumpkin in the big city, because two jovial men come up and ask me where I bought my coffee (actually a smoothie) and then the other says hey it looks like a piña colada (in a "hey, baby, let's go have a drink tone of voice") and then they ask me if I'm taking the train, and finally stroll off after patting me on the arm. I quickly check to reassure myself that I have my wallet and my train ticket. Whew, I do!

I meet an older couple who has recently moved to San Diego, from Belen, New Mexico. They're tired but very friendly, and in good spirits.

I meet a little guy, about seven, and his little sister, maybe four, and their mom. The little guy is wearing a t-shirt that's in memorium to someone 1967-2005. I believe the someone is his dad. I pay him a little attention and he just blossoms. He likes my crocheting and mentions that he likes those beanies.

His family is relocating to Pennsylvania. He's thrilled that we'll be on the same train and wants me to come sit with them, but it's assigned seating and I'm way at the other end of the car.

Amtrak: Wasco?

The lady in red is definitely M2F

Amtrak: Turlock

Cows, lemons, palms.

Amtrak: Fresno

"Stay at home mother"

She neither stays at home, nor mothers.
Today she has left the nanny behind for the train trip,
and inflicts her kids on every older she lady she meets.
And never stops talking.

I truly believe that in the future (provided this isn't the End of Times)
someone will diagnose the neuroses of our decade as
the way we talk about the abusive "rest cure" of the past.

I can't hear my audiobook over her big mouth.
So it's time for Jesus Christ, Superstar

Amtrak: Modesto?

Billboards recruiting for the military. A park devoted to retired military planes.

Amtrak: Stockton

I've seen 2 goats & sheep & horses

domingo, enero 08, 2006

A Radical Women of Color Blog Carnival

~~~a call out for submissions~~~

Because Women of Color recognize that real world structural inequalities such as poverty, violence, imprisonment, and community neglect, have restricted our access to the resources the internet has to offer our communities,

Because Women of Color recognize that computer literacy is a right that has long been denied to our communities,

Because the internet has been used as a tool to further racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations of Women of Color,

Because Women of Color recognize that these racist, sexist, and anti-queer fantasies/representations have very real world consequences for our communities and us,

Because Women of Color demand that the resources the internet has to offer be available to our communities,

Because Women of Color demand that computer literacy be restructured as to include those of us who must learn the computer in restricted settings (libraries, prisons, institutions, etc)

Because Women of Color demand a powerful, healthy, intelligent and WHOLE representation of themselves on the internet,

the Radical Woman of Color Blog Carnival has been created!! More...

sábado, enero 07, 2006

Starship & Haiku, WOW

I've been reading my brains out lately, and want to send a big thank you out to W-M, for her recommendation of Starship & Haiku. I just started it.  I've been working my way through the journey that is Gerald Vizenor's Bearheart (and it is work!) and so "conventional" s/f is a total delight.

I'm finally looking at the question that has been brewing since 1984: How do you teach science fiction of a previous generation when their "future" is our past.  Maybe I need to follow Karen Tei Yamashita and come up with the appropriate equation Where the end of the world (E) can be predicted with absolute accuracy as the end of ten cycles of fifty-two years. E=520+T   The only problem being the correct identification of the beginning of the end (T).  

Do I subtract the copyright date of the book from the date of the fictional future to get x, and then add x to our current date (2006) to get a foreseeable future? Or do we just move on from the premise that the millenial war happened within the last ten years, changing life forever on our planet. 

1997 - 1981 = 16 years, so the millenial war will actually begin in 2022? 

Anyway, I'm lovin' this book. It's got everything: a giant sheet of fused glass, headhunters on the fiftieth floor of the Hilo Hilton, whales, and a broken moon.

Here's a taste: Hawaiian survivors and contemplate stowing away to Japan:

"You know, millions of people going to Japan every year, you know they have no plague there, they have cities, they have electricity, they have McDonalds, even, remember those?" (40)

Mobile Blogging

Ok, I just set up my cellphone so that I'll be able to blog during next week's Amtrak journey. Don't expect great things, since a cell is not conducive to long messages. Maybe it's time for me to work on minimalist poems. No pictures, though: Remember, camera cellphone got runover by a reindeer.

PostColonial Dream

In my dream last night, I had great insight into the Postcolonial. It was like beautiful chaotic science fiction sculpture.

Do you have a word for 2006?

I don't yet have a word for 2006, unless it is "rebuilding"--

But I've been noticing that other people are choosing particular words for a new year's resolution. Cracked Chancla's is Health, and she explains how the word for 2005 was Courage, which she totally showed! Calzonzillo's is Generous, and he has re-named his blog "The Year of Living Generously." I especially like that, given how mean-spirited the national identity is.

I fear the word for New Orleans may be Palimpsest, although, as Kirk v. The City of New Orleans shows, it won't be without a fight. See Katrina Roundup @ Hysterical Blackness

And the answer to Friday's Question..., of course, PMS

viernes, enero 06, 2006

What three letters best describe my day?

Well, it seemed like it started off well. I got our black-cherry cajita to the car dealership on time for her appointment (tune-up and smog-check), got a shuttle ride back home. L* and I had a plan: she would take BART to school. I would pick up the car. She would call me when she was done with her meeting and I would pick her up.

Only, where did I leave my cell phone?

We call it from L*s cell phone, but we don't hear it ringing.

Could I have dropped it in the car dealership's shuttle?

So I call them. They check all three shuttles, but no phone.

(I call it again, just in case it's really there and they need the audible stimulus to find it)

I go out to the street across from our house.

Sitting on the curb, i find the neatly placed remainder of my cell phone, now in two parts.

This blows my day.

I have to go get a new cell phone. L* and I walk to BART together. She goes South (East) and I go North (West). My plan is to buy the phone in Downtown Oakland, then call the dealership to check on my cajita Then go home, and when the cajita is ready, I can have the dealership come pick me up.

Even with the cheapest available model, it's still more than I wanna spend on a new cell phone. Oh well, at least now we have that extra charger we've been wanting.

Only...the phone wouldn't be operative for 3-4 hours. Ummm, and what about all my plans involving cell phones? I can't even text L* to tell her what's up.

After more of the same, I'm sitting in the dealership, waiting to pay to get my car (which has NOT been smog-checked), and the hitherto uncooperative cell phone springs into life and tells me I have a text message from Luz.

Cut to the chase: it all works out.

Next task: to program in cell phone numbers, none of which made it through the reincarnation. I'm going through my address book on my computer and seeing what a lousy job i've done keeping track of phone numbers. I'm also humming "Cell Phone Got Runover By a Reindeer" beneath my breath.

jueves, enero 05, 2006

San Francisco Public Library

If you get off at the Civic Center Bart station, go upstairs and cross the street, you'll be at the San Francisco Public Library, Main Branch.

It's so fabulous! I love it! It's beautiful. And they gave me a card even though I live in Oakland.

They had the books I wanted, and even really helpful people to find them (after I looked three times and failed).

I was able to find Vizenor's Bearheart, but failed at Starship & Haiku. Since I had mentioned it here on the blog, I did harbor the fear that one of my readers had beat me to it. But no, dear readers, I done you wrong. The guy at the the Page desk made two trips and found it for me.

Now I am rich in library books.

Reading James Welch and Sherman Alexie and Louis Owens has me thinking New Mexico thoughts and wanting to wear my jeans and boots. I really wanted to take my Leatherman with me today but finally decided against it. I need a belt so I can use my fabulous leather belt sheath. I wonder if I'm allowed to take my Leatherman on Amtrak? Prob'ly only in checked baggage.

An expedition to the city

Today I'm off to SF, for my first visit to the Public Library, Main Branch. Because they have the books I want. Gerald Vizenor's Bearheart, for one, and a book that the other geekgrrl on campus recommended, Starship & Haiku.

I love having access to the public libraries of Oakland and (now) San Francisco. They have all these books that my university library doesn't. And many copies, usually. The Dimond branch of the Oakland library has the Native American collection. The Cesar Chavez branch has the Chicano collection (it's a very sad little branch, though. Newer but poorer in books.)

I also plan a quick run up to campus to pick up my laptop and some letterhead. I want to bring my laptop home as a backup for L*'s which has been crashing.

I am also delighted to now have a current California Driver's License. I think I look like "a lady" in my picture, but L* says I look like Frida.

miércoles, enero 04, 2006

Library books are making me sneeze

I've started my second library book of the day, and it has me sneezing.

After years of being free from sinus infections, now that I'm back in California, my old friend is dropping in on my nose and saying "hey!"

I'm working on my s/f class, but I keep getting distracted. That is, I was distracted by Fools Crow and now I'm distracted by Bone Game. Bone Game is a novel I have put off reading for a long time. (9 or 10 or 11 years?) Shame on me, denying myself this way. Wickedly funny.

Sad to be reading it after Louis Owen's death. Because on the one hand, you're laughing with the main character, "you see what academia does to us?" and on the other hand, you look over to where Louis Owens isn't, and say yeah, I see.

Puffy dream

In Fools Crow the main character wears a capote made out of blackhorn [buffalo] robes.

capote |kəˈpōt| |kəˌpoʊt| |kəˌpəʊt|
noun. historical.a long cloak or coat with a hood, typically part of an army or company uniform.

I dreamt last night about a little boy who liked fluffy puffy things: clothes, stuffed animals, quilts.

He was a sweet an loving little boy. He was madly in love with an older male figure (his dad? his brother? his uncle?).

The guy hated that the little boy wasn't more tough, "hard."
Kept discouraging him from the puffy things, trying to ignore them on the one hand, disparaging them on the other.

The little boy was especially excited by his newest present: it was like a little puffy quilt that the boy could wear. a capote. He put on some plain pyjamas and ran off to to wake up his (uncle?) to show him his new puffy capote. The uncle complimented the boy on his plain pyjamas and ignored the capote, carrying the little boy off without his capote.

Now the little boy is like twelve, and he's no longer the sweet loving child, because all the softness has been stripped away from him. His uncle finally understands. The dream ends with the uncle bringing a puffy capote to wrap the boy in, to bring the softness back.

lunes, enero 02, 2006

Wedding Dream

I dreamt the other night that my sister staged her own fake wedding.

And I missed it!

She was marrying husband #1 and it was a big affair, and my parents were both misty, and I, of course, had scheduled things wrong and I wasn't able to stay for the whole thing. She was really going over the top with the wedding, and I saw husband #1 once--he seemed like the nineteen year-old he was twenty-five years ago.

So there I am, explaining to my sister that I'm going to have to leave before the ceremony because I mis-scheduled, but that I had still wanted to drop by. And she was in a great mood--not stressed out by any churlish spouses (as she frequently is in real life).

So I leave, and then later I'm at the airport when some other relatives come by and tell me that the whole thing was just a build-up but that she had never intended to get married. husband #1 wasn't even there, and my sister did some performance piece with the white dress and fake blood.

and my parents were very very mad at her, because she had played them.

And I woke up very unhappy with myself for having missed it, especially since--if I was at the airport at the same time as the relatives who had attended--I could just as well have stayed.

domingo, enero 01, 2006

Fools Crow

I just finished re-reading James Welch's novel Fools Crow. I first read it about ten years ago, and am sure I must have rushed through it. I remember having it explained to me. Now I'm struck again by its richness, as a text that teaches you how to read it.

And since I'm preparing for my science fiction class, I'm also thinking of Nalo Hopkinson:

It’s non-fiction 
and we are on the wrong side of the strange-looking ship that appears out of nowhere

A resolution for 2006: Speak truth to power

So many Americans who had felt pride in our country
now feel anguish and shame, for the current regime
of blood, wounds and fire.
I thought of the clean linens at your table,
the shining knives and the flames of the candles,
and I could not stomach it.

Sharon Olds, in an open letter to Laura Bush, declining the latter's invitation to present at the National Book Festival.

Thanks to Poetaxingon for the timely reminde