Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Just because...

Because I was not 16 in 1971. Because when I listen to this song, I crave long straigt hair and a joint. Because when summer starts I want to pack up and go to Big Sur. Because V. is sleeping right now and I'm not sleepy. Because V. has to work too much. Because I stay home and fight the domestic blues.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I love my town's public library.

Housewife Blues

I don’t remember how to sit down and do nothing.

I fill my vacation days with 1950’s suburban housewife (bullshit) projects. Painting projects. Sewing projects. Cooking projects. Cleaning projects. Planting projects.

The goal was to learn patience by using my hands, to join the “handmade movement,” to consume less, to create more, to become more artsy, blah, blah, blah.

Thus far, I’m doing a lousy job. My sewing machine is kicking my ass. I have a love hate relationship with “The Beast.” All I wanted was to put two pieces of fabric together and The Beast didn’t let me. Fuck you, sewing machine! From now on, my cushion covers will be made in China!

Yesterday I was able to do nothing. Well, by nothing, I mean, I actually went back to bed after breakfast to read a John Cheever short story. If you’ve read The Country Husband, you know that’s probably not a good reading choice for the suburban housewife blues. If you haven’t read it, please, do take a walk on the dark side of Shady Hill. Mr. Cheever will have no mercy on your bourgeoisie ass.

To my horror, I’m turning into one of the characters in the story, Mrs. Wrightson, or worse, Mrs. Julia Weed.

Mr. Cheever writes:
Then old Mrs. Wrightson joined him on the platform and began to talk. “Well, I guess you must be surprised to see me here the third morning in a row,” she said, “but because of my window curtains I’m becoming a regular commuter. The curtains I bought on Monday I returned on Tuesday and the curtains I bought Tuesday I’m returning today……………Now I’m praying to high Heaven that the decorator will have them in the right length, because you know my house, you know my living room windows, and you know what a problem they present/ I don’t know what to do with them.”
“I know what to do with them.” Francis said.
“Paint them black on the inside, and shut up.”

I don’t remember how to sit down and do nothing.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Friday, June 25, 2010


1. Four years of early mornings.

2. Courage to drive from California to Madison, Wisconsin and from there to Vermont and  back home.

3. 1974.

4. The feeling my 17 year- old body used to get when it listened to Jethro Tull’s Aqualung.

5. The Van Morrison cassette I played over and over on my walkman when I was going to San Francisco for the first time. I had eight 20-dollar bills neatly folded in my shoe, a ham and cheese sandwich in a paper bag and songs that filled my heart with possibilities. Hark, now hear the sailors cry. Smell the sea and feel the sky.

6. All the unimportant little details of the night I met V. –even the ones under the chairs and tables.

7. The brown, hippie-looking mug Paul gave me. It made coffee taste like anthropology, history and religion. It was big enough for  Western civilization to fit in it  and I still had a little room for creamer.

8. My peasant skirt dreams.

9. The days, minutes, and seconds I wasted loving Mr. H. Philosophy didn't love me back.

10. The pink, ugly bed I once had because I floated on the Mississippi every night.

(if found please call)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

If I had a TV tonight....

And this is what I've missed (yeah, in my best Californian accent, i have to say: like, not having a tv, totally sucks, man!)

And then again, fuck TV! I can watch the following online (and you too--well, if you're into trains, hobos, the 1930's, wondering, hitchhiking, and just going somewhere)

Thank you PBS!

Oh, be patient it takes several seconds to see the "play" button.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Goodbye Children

The walls of my classroom were bare. The artwork was gone. The paragraphs about cheetahs were gone. The multiplication stories were also gone. My students and I sat down in the empty classroom to eat donuts. We drank cold milk. We laughed. We cheered. It was the last day of school.

Here are some of the memories they left with me:

John: His eyes have seen cocaine. He has seen Las Vegas, but not Disneyland. He has seen rifles. Chocolate ice cream is not part of his life.

Sebastian: On the first day of school, he said his father was black and his mother Mexican. His father was in prison for beating up his mother. “I’m not really that good,” he said.

Ruben: One day he came up to me and asked me if he could sing a song for me. He sang Sweet Child O’ Mine by Guns and Roses. He became rock and roll buddy.

Lisa: Her Math skills were below grade level, but she made her crayons sing on paper.

Jo: She had a difficult time making friends. One morning she went to recess with a folded photograph of a woman. When I asked her who the woman was, she said it was her mother. She missed her. The mother has been in and out prison for quite some time.

Cindy: The war in Iraq. The foreclosure crisis. But a big pink bow on her hair always made the world a little better.

Gary: He has a serious speech problems. His speech is unintelligible. The first weeks of school he often hid under his desk out of frustration. I had to learn how to listen to the voice in his heart.

Mary: "Ms. A., Jenny told me the color of my skin is ugly." (Mary is African American).

Karen: She didn’t want to be in my classroom at the beginning of the year. She cried continuously. She wanted to be in the cool teacher’s second grade class ( I think I have a reputation of being strict and making students work hard. I just don't settle for less than their potential). On the last day of school she gave me this card:

Post edit: Of course, the names of the children have been changed. I gotta protect the innocent and my job. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

To my husband: I'll miss you and I'll see you again on July 11

Moshki (when he was a kitten) wearing his soccer jersey. World Cup starts today.

Sunday, June 6, 2010


I am listening to this song because there’s no more arroz con leche in my cup.

I am listening to this song because all the paper airplanes I sent to Michoacán did not return.

I am listening to this song because I forgot the square root of 8, but not the word cempazuchitl.

I am listening to this song because even though Octavio Paz was an asshole, I still want to walk on his piedras mudas.

I am listening to this song because sometimes you want to return to Mexico and I only know how to live in the land of frozen vegetables.