Wednesday, July 28, 2010

First Grade!

I received a telephone call this afternoon. My request to transfer to another school was accepted. Starting August 18, I will teach (drum roll, please):

FIRST GRADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

New school. New grade. Goodbye second grade....Hello, First grade!!!!!!!!!!!

These are not my future students. I just found this video on youtube. I will teach in the so called "bad side" of town. Most of my future students live on or below the poverty line (I chose that school for that reason). I have a difficult and exciting school year ahead. I'm happy. I feel like I'm going back to my  roots.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Some Songs Are Better When I Don't Understand The Language

I love this song because it fills my mind with an empty highway. Seaguls that have no place to go. A red dress with a bullet hole that hangs on a clothesline. I'm sure the song tells another story.

Now, I speak Spanish, but for the life of me I have a hard time understanding these women when they sing and I love it! Perhaps they're not even singing in Spanish and I'm showing my dumb fuck colors. I do pick up a word in Spanish here and there, but I lose the rest of the language. I think these women enjoy teasing my ears. Please pay attention to the lady’s “ay!” (one of the few words I do understand) at the beginning of the video because, I swear, each “ay!” tells a story that lasts 100 years in a dream.  In the middle of the video, the “doñas” sing and my  “I” gets lost in their songs. Depués las canciones llenan mis manos de almendras y mi casa se llena a olor de membrillo. I don’t understand the hand clapping, pero el  sonido despierta palabras muertas, palabras de sal….palabras de pan…palabras de caña....palabras de ti...

I like to think the next song is about a yellow bicycle I never had when I was 12 years old. This song is about the long white socks that reach just below my knees and about the short skirts that protected me from lust at 15. It tells a story about long hair parted in the middle and about the notebook where I wrote down that I was going  love you forever.

post edit:

I almost forgot Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. One time I rode in a taxi in San Francisco, California. The taxi driver didn't speak  English. I didn't speak Pakistani, but both of us spoke Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. In this video, he sings the famous Allah Hoo. I like to think this song is about what the philosopher, Wittgenstein said in his Tractus Logico- Philosophicus that Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent (By the way, I didn't undertand Tractus, it went over my head, but those words stayed with me). So light a candle or place some LSD on your tongue or do whatever you do and listen to this song with me.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Pow! Whack! Bam! Thud! Doink! Oof!

My computer caught an evil virus this morning. It happened while I drooled over some chisel's art work on Flickr. His profile had a website so doofus me clicked on it and mother flickr! I got a winner! A bunch of dreadful little windows kept popping on my computer screen.  Oh, rats! that's all I needed on my vacation. Little scary messages began to appear on the screen informing me that some virus was going to look up my credit card information. Gasp! I reached for my cel phone and I called my credit card company to tell them to put a block on all purchases. Then,  I did what any respectable dame would do in my case: I borrowed my husband laptop  to navigate the rest of the day on the internet and I waited.

When my husband came home, I told him the bad news about the virus, plus I added an extra sentence:  I swear I was not looking at any porno sites. My husband knows me too well, Mondays are not good days for youporn. Ahem. Anyway, he spent hours fighting the virus and in the end my husband won. He kicks ass! Of course, he will never brag about his amazing computer knowledge. 

So, V.. if you are reading this, you have a beautiful brain and an amazing heart. Thank you! 



te amo, Panchito Rogaciano Goodrollinthehay Zapata!

Monday, July 19, 2010


Many years ago I participated in a all-day Buddhist meditation retreat.  From 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. I had to meditate, walk, meditate, participate in dharma a discussion, eat in silence, walk, meditate, meditate, meditate, meditate,  and meditate. I had false expectations for that day. I really believed it was going to be peaceful and beautiful. I was wrong!

It was hell.

Prior to that day, I had studied Eastern Philosophy by taking some courses at my local college. I had read some books on meditation and Buddhism.  I even  participated in half hour meditation practice once a week at my local Buddhist Center.  I was ready for this day or at least I thought I was.

We started the day by meditating for 30 minutes. That was fine. Then, we walked mindfully. That was fine too. We meditated again. Still fine. We walked again.  Okay, still fine.  By the third meditation, my legs were cramping. My back was aching. I had a non stop parade of bullshit thoughts.  I constantly had to remind myself to bring my mind home. I had to remind myself to become an observant of my thoughts.

When lunch time came around, we were told to eat in silence. Since I'm not a very social person, as a matter of fact, I can't stand most people in the planet, I liked this idea very much. But something awful happened to me while I ate my vegetarian Vietnamese lunch in silence, I had a horrible craving for a diet Coke. My desire was not for any ordinary diet Coke in a can, no, I wanted a Double Big Gulp from 7- Eleven. Now,  I don't shop at 7- Eleven regularly, but that day I wanted a 64 ounce cup of cold Diet Coke. When lunch was over, the head Buddhist monk told the group to rest or to go for a quiet, mindful walk. I pretended to choose the walk, but when nobody was looking, I ran to my car and I drove around town searching for a  7- Eleven. Luckily, I found one not too far from the Buddhist center and I bought my Double Big Gulp! 

After lunch we continued with the meditation routine, well, except for that constant need to pee. Around 3:00 p.m. I was hating life. The non stop parade of bullshit thoughts continued, but this time, the thoughts became quite stupid. For example, I remember contemplating this thought: Why did I stop being a Catholic? Catholics don't have sit for hours and endure mid thoracic pain. They don't have to sit and watch the brain produce a never ending flow of shitty thoughts. At 4:00 p.m. I hated everybody in the room, including myself. Why are we sitting here, pretending we are at peace? Hahaha people who think that Buddhism is peaceful should experience this meditation hell! How did we arrive at this silly romantic idea of Buddhism? We silly Westerners only see the surface of Buddhism. We are suckers! Around 5:00 p.m. I was having  a Pink Floyd moment: Okay, if there is no self, who is producing these thoughts? Who is watching this parade of thoughts? (panic!),

When meditation was over, I told my friend I wasn't feeling that well. He actually had a  peaceful look on his face. He told me that his first meditation retreat was hell too. He said,  "All these inner  garbage comes up." My friend went on to tell me that on a week-long meditation retreat, he was able to deal with the garbage and move on to the next step (there's another step? fuck!)

On my drive home all I wanted to do was cry and I did. I sobbed non stop all the way home. At times, I wanted to get out of the car and run and scream and cry until my body completely dissolved.

This past Friday, I told V. that on my next summer vacation, I wanted to go away for just a week. Not only for my sanity, but for his too. V has to deal with the "nice Trying" and the "grouchy Trying." I told him I wanted to go to a place far away from people and civilization. I want to be alone for a week and meditate, read, walk, and dig my hands in soil that is not located in a pot.  Where is this place? I don't know, but I know it's not Club Med.  I made it clear that if I went alone, he had the right to take a one week vacation alone too. He asked if I was sure I wanted this. He knows me too well. He knows that I get nervous easily and if he decides to take a long bicycle journey, I can't bitch and moan about safety and the road.

When I started this post, I originally wanted to write about the photograph below. I saw this photo in the Los Angeles Times. I took a pen and wrote a dialogue. It sounded funny this morning and I wanted to share it with you, but as I write this tonight, I ask myself: Why did I write this?

It has been a joke in my family that I dislike pregnant women, especially, first time mothers. I'm intolerant of their bullshit halos they carry above their heads, as if  pregnancy has never occurred to anybody else but them. I can't stand it when they rub their bellies in public and their angelic faces scream: look at me!  I'm so cute! When V and I were in New York, we rode the elevator at the Whitney Museum. There was a pregnant young girl riding with us. She try to pull the cute pregnant act on me and I just gave her this "fuck you, I'm not impressed with your pregnancy! Are you aware of the environmental consequences your child will bring to this planet? and how your ego's ignorance will most likely damage this kid forever? " look. My malice made her so uncomfortable, she ran out of the elevator as soon as the door opened.

My vacation has been overall pleasant. But all those hours at home alone is slowly releasing my inner garbage just like that meditation retreat.

I'm sorry.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Roll Man from Cheryl Dunn


I read a post by Jimena. It left me with this question: Do I have a talent for living?

This is my fourth week on vacation. I’m enjoying it now. I no longer feel I’m chocking on freedom. My life has a routine, a rhythm. Many years ago I used to think having a routine was bad. Boring. Robotic. These days I welcome it. Perhaps I have no talent for living. I look forward being kissed by my husband every morning before he leaves for work. I always mumble something irrational and go back to sleep for another hour. Then, I get up, brush my teeth, clean the cat box, make the bed, play the same old game with Moshki where he hides under the sheets and I pretend I don’t know his whereabouts, start a load of laundry, listen to Democracy Now while I make breakfast…

Not much talent needed to live this way.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Things i shouldn't do on vacation

i should not waste time drawing on chalkboard wall.

i should not waste time taking pictures of my sleeping cat. oh, walker evans would NOT approve (moshki, you bastard! i just changed the sheets!)

i should not waste time going to antique shops and buying photos of unwanted and forgotten people.

i should not waste time reblogging pictures on tumblr.

i should not waste time reading.

i should not waste time/money buying a cheap camera for $7.95  at the thrift store 'cause i don't know how to use it.

i should not waste time staring at these two housewives. oh,
 i know they're up to no good.

i should not waste time taking a photograph of kierkegaard. come on, L! enough! you have laundry to do.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Hill Street

I grew up in ugly, run-down apartments that were located in streets with beautiful names like Paradise, Butterfly, Hill, and Eliza.

In 1977, the year I lived on Hill Street, I began to shed most of my Spanish. I let phrases and words dripped out my mouth. I dropped them on the ground, not to dispose of them, but like Hensel and Gretel, I needed them to track my way back home....perhaps one day.

Amapolas de octubre



El molino a las 6 de la mañana

I was 11 years old. My brain was becoming intoxicated with the sweetness of American English. I held on tight to all the Spanish I could, I really did, but English was my new playground. American English was a girl with a mini skirt. The floral swimming cap with a chin strap I wanted to have. It was a red popsicle in my mouth. It was the  news of a young girl’s attempted suicide. It was white tennis shoes. Always white tennis shoes.