Monday, May 30, 2005

The Party

Everyone knows that the part of a wedding most people care about is the food and the free liquor (or maybe that's only me).

La Fea and I arrived at the reception out in Nassau country thanks to Fea's daddy who drove us. We arrived at the end of the cocktail hour ( an hour after the printed time). This time I cannot completely blame la fea. As the A train broke down and we had to walk to la Fea's house an extra 5 blocks and we were already running late because the mass ran late. Plus when we got to la Fea's house we morphed into stereotypical women unsure of what to wear. I had actually brought two dresses with me awaiting Fea's judgment on which looked best. Fea had no idea what she was going to wear and finally settled on some pants and a shirt that she hated and everyone else loved. Then la fea could only find one shoe. Once the show was found we were off. Fea painted her toenails in the car.

Once we arrived at the just appropriately tacky reception hall, we first entered the employee's entrance before finding the right place to enter.

We greeted everyone and were quickly led up to the reception area.
"What is your table number?" we were asked. We had been in such a rush that we hadn't bothered to check. We were then pulled off to the side, like we were party crashers until we could point our names out on the list. Thankfully we weren't seated with anyone we hated. We were seated with some of Bean's cousins.

We toasted, watched Bean cry during the dance with her dad and showed amazing restraint when the bar opened.

" I have boobs!!!" Bean called to us at one point pointing to her strapless dress. We gave her the thumbs up.

The food was actually fairly good. Thankfully there was a menu explaining what each item was, avoiding problems. But still some of Bean's family still managed to make Fea and I giggle in bitchy ways.
" I can only order one right?" I overheard one woman say.
When the food came, two people next to me didn't eat it. I snuck out for a smoke and Fea pulled me aside.
"They didn't eat the food because they took it to go," Fea told me and shook our heads.

There was no bouquet toss so we were spared from that.

We danced, mostly fea and I danced with each other. We even stood up during the first couple's dance to embarrass la Bean but she was so happy that she encouraged our crazy behavior.

The punk ass cute gringo who can't dance watched me the whole night.

We thought we would have to leave early because Fea's man, who was our ride back had to work the next day and was kind of making a big deal about the whole thing. In the end though we got to stay till the end, midnight on a Sunday.

the happy couple right now are tromping throughout Italy on a two week honeymoon.

When Bean returns all the girls, Bean, Joy, Fea and I will gather at an overpriced lounge in the lower east side, as usual, except one of us will have a ring on her finger.

Sunday, May 29, 2005

The Lamb of God Never Came or the Ceremony

Joy, whom I have never seen dressed up except in her mismatched legwarmers and other designs, looked absolutely beautiful coming down the aisle as Bean’s maid of honor. Fea and I, not sure about Bean’s taste, were pleased with the pink and white dresses she had chosen for her attendants. Joy even had makeup and her hair done all fancy.

Joy wasn’t stupid though. She looked straight ahead and Fea and I catcalled her from our pew. She pouted her lips indicating that she had heard us but she wasn’t going to give us any play.

Bean looked amazing. Classic. Her dress was strapless simple. Her hair pulled up and topped with a tiara and veil. Bean however wasn’t as wise as Joy and totally looked at Fea and I as we called to her in low whispers as she passed us. Bean tried to contain her giggles and ended up tripping, although not falling. Bean’s mother, who escorted her daughter down the aisle along with Bean’s father, shot me a nasty look.

The mass was all in Spanish and it was the long form mass, meaning it included the Eucharist. The priest officiating was related to Bean, and in fact had married her parents as well, which I thought was sweet. But it seemed like he hadn’t done a mass or wedding since then as the pauses between portions were two long and the pastor of the church on occasion had to point out where in the book the officiate had to read from next.

Now you would think that since he was a distant relative, he would get the name of the bride and groom right. I swear he called the bride Denise at one point and the grooms name was mispronounced the entire ceremony. (Note to Bean: this may be grounds for annulment later if things don’t work out).

The homily was too long and the priest asked us to pray for those married in the Christian Church (all other marriages apparently are cursed).

And there Fea and I were, Ready to kneel after the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world came to grant us peace (I actually remember all the parts of a Catholic mass despite years of trying to forget). Pero el cordero de Dios nunca llego. The Lamb of God never came to take away the sins or world; the priest just skipped a whole section of the mass. I said something under my breath to la Fea to the effect that we were all screwed and going to hell porque el cordero never came and we had to stifle what promised to be raucous laughter from out mouths.

For the actually ceremony, the bride and groom were hidden behind one of those church flags that say catchy slogans like “He Has Risen”. And we couldn’t hear a thing. The priest forgot the candle ceremony and they kind of just tacked it on at the end of the mass. The priest never presented the married couple nor did he say “you may kiss the bride”. Fea and I had worried about us crying at the wedding but to be honest we were so unclear as to what the hell was happening it was hard to be emotional about watching two of Bean’s fingers which was all I could see.
Bean and her now husband came to the center of the altar and gave each other a quick kiss on the mouth (Bean has always been really private and not prone to public displays of attention).

“Did you see me trip?” Bean asked us as she made her way down the aisle. We laughed in the affirmative.

Fea and I had to rush out of the church. The mass had started late and been too long and we hardly had any time to get back to la Fea’s to change into reception gear. We hurried to the back of the church where Bean and her hubby were greeting everyone. When Bean saw Fea and I she came forward, away from her husband, to give us what looked like a big hug and kiss.
“GET BACK NEXT TO YOUR HUSBAND!!!” The videographer yelled at Bean, ruining our emotional moment.
“Damn it’s like that” Fea and I commented before quickly congratulating the newlyweds and running out into the street where it was now raining heavily.

We changed out of our heels and back into our 99 cent chanclas and rushed to get to the la Fea’s for the next round.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Going to the Chapel

I just stuck my daughter in the shower, told her I would be blogging with my music turned all the way up so that if she needed me to wave in my face. This is what my entire summer will look like. Sigh.

Anyway so last Sunday morning, I woke up still sick but at least not disgustingly so. I was excited to dress up for the wedding. I knew exactly what I was wearing for the ceremony: this wonderful long black and white skirt with a huge sweep and tiny little sequins and a sheerish black tank and some killer shoes, too bad I couldn't afford a pedicure.

I had chosen two dresses to possibly wear to the reception. I would drag both of them plus an additional pair of shoes to la fea's where we were going to leave to the ceremony from. Of course I didn't actually walk in my fabulously high shoes, I wore my 99 cent Chinese slippers.

la Fea is notorious for being late, so I was kind of up her ass at her house to hurry it up because I hate being late and we had to take the extremely unreliable, especially on a Sunday, subway system.

We took two trains to the south side of Williamsburg which is still pretty hipster free, dominated instead by Latinos and Hasidic Jews. Of course as soon as we got off the subway we run into a hipster couple making out in the drizzle.

Before we could actually go to the church , which la Fea and Bean have attended since they were children, we had a fashion emergency. The hems of la Fea's pants had come undone. We went into two different Judio bodegas (I'm sure they don't call them bodegas) looking for safety pins that no one had. So in an act of supreme ghetto fabulosity la Fea took her tiny stud earrings and on the steps of the church used those to pin up her pants. We also changed out of our chanclas into our heels.

The church was super dark inside and painted in strange colors, like a mustard-y yellow up by the altar. The groom paced nervously and la Fea and I took a seat up close but not in the section decorated with ribbons since we knew that was for family.

We learned that the time of the ceremony was actually a half hour later than printed on the invitation, since well not to stereotype, but we Latinos are notoriously late.
Fea was irritated. I personally thought it was brilliant even though this was going make the time we had to go back to la Fea's house to change into party wear really tight.

So we sat. We sat behind Bean's co-workers, young attorney's like herself, and they had dates. This peeved Fea and I because they, who knew Bean for much less time than Fea and I had dates and we couldn't????? We vowed to call la Bean out on this at a later date.

We sat behind this hot gringo who works with Bean who I had flirted with and made eyes with at a birthday dance and drink for Bean in the Lower East Side. He's tall dark and handsome, just how I like them. But he also was a punk.

At the party a year ago we kept smiling and making eyes at each other but he wouldn't make a move ( I know I could have made a move but I am old school and anyway like being chased). He even started dancing with another woman he worked with the whole time still eyeing me!!!!! Now when I say he started dancing, I mean he started moving in a way that resembled something like a seizure.

We waited and waited , avoiding turning around in the pew because we didn't want another girl we went to high school with to see us.

Then I saw the bridesmaids beginning to line up.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Pre- Wedding Jitters II or Not the Marrying Kind

Weddings depress me. When I am with someone I love, they make me wonder if I will ever get to spend an insane amount of cash for one day out of my life. Seriously though I wonder will anyone ever be that sure and say, "yeah Mala, I want to be with you until I die or you do, whichever comes first.".

When I told my prima that I was going to a wedding she asked me if I wanted to get married. Now apart from the whole patriarchal power play that the institution is, I had to answer yes. She looked at me shocked.
" I don't ever see you as getting married," she told me. I am considered too independent, too wild, too crazy for anyone man to settle down with me or vice versa. I was also considered the least likely candidate for motherhood, by the way.
"I just can't picture you waiting for your hubby with dinner on the table at 6 pm."
"Neither can I!" I told her.

People still have this idea that the only women worthy of marriage or even long term relationships are those that totally submit themselves to a Donna Reed type of life.
That just pisses me off. It promotes this fucked up idea of what a woman should be.

So weddings depress me because I feel like I'm never going to have one. I was hoping at this wedding to have el Cubano with me so at least I could fantasize about having a wedding.

la Fea and I actually discussed , quite a few times, if we were going to stand up for the bouquet toss and then if we did get up if we were actually going to make an effort to catch it. Did we want to play into that single woman desperation? Did we want to be among those, holding their breaths and knocking others over just to catch a bunch of flowers because of what it was supposed to signify? Did us sitting out the bouquet show that we had given up on the hope of marriage or that we were so above and beyond the silliness of it all? Would letting the flowers fall at our feet be an act of rebellion or just show that deep down we were afraid that maybe we weren't ever going to be on the other end of that flower toss?

In the end there was no flower toss. So all that hand wringing was for nothing.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Hey NYC Men!! Pat away, just don't squeeze

While I was reading Taino myths to a class of second graders , a Judge in the Big Apple basically paved the way to make ass patting legally ok.

Like it isn't bad enough that men on the subway push their cocks up in my ass claiming it's because the R train is so damn full, now they can pat the culo on the subway and even at work and its ok, as long as you don't squeeze, pinch, or grab.

Just in time for summer.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Pre-Wedding Jitters I

I was nervous about the wedding, and it wasn't even mine!!!
I had been hyping up the wedding to el Cubano as soon as we started dating again, hoping that he would fly in from LA to be my date.
This wasn't just any wedding you see. It was the wedding of the girls from my high school crew.

There are only four of us, who for almost 15 years now have known each other. We were the Latina girls in a small all girl Catholic high school on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. While most of our classmates resembled Gossip Girl in terms of income and lifestyle, we did not. So we banded together, sitting at the same table week after week and engaging in antics that made the nuns and faculty love and hate us at the same time.

The Bride, la Bean, was and still is a tiny Dominican girl. So tiny that I could always count on la Fea making more jokes about her lack of an ass and breasts than my own. Sometimes Bean's uniform kilt would get stolen , leaving her to be found in the hallway in just the boxer shorts we were all wearing beneath our uniforms. We played ceelo on the second floor landing of the townhouse turned school on East 68th Street.

la Fea, Bean, and Joy have known each other for what seems like forever, having attended the same day care in Williamsburg back when Williamsburg still had street cred. I met them later. Over the years however, even post high school graduation we have managed to hang out, usually somewhere in the lower east side and are always the loudest group of people wherever we are.

Bean is the first among us to get married ( I have the honor of being the first to be a mami). So this was a big fucking deal among us. Joy, not surprisingly was named the maid of honor. Surprisingly however, Fea and I were not entitled to bring dates with us to the wedding. This caused a little bit of pissyness and resentment on la Fea and my part but in the end we knew that dates or not we were not going to miss la Bean's wedding.

la Fea and I became each other's dates. So much so that we bought a card for the shower together from "one couple to another". Bean and Joy got the joke. Some of Bean's family thought we were disgusting at implying lesbianism.

Without being able to bring dates coupled with the fact that we don't drive left Fea and I wondering how the hell we were going to go to and return from the reception out in Nassau county. Thankfully we worked that out (more on how that worked out later).

We attended the bridal shower, enjoying less than wonderful food and ooohing and ahhing over gifts like a dish rack ( Oooooh a dish rack) and being complete bitches about people not knowing how to order food ( So many complicated words!!).

Some of the joy of the anticipation of the wedding was lost when fea and I learned we couldn't bring dates. Then when we went shopping for the shower gifts at our favorite big box store , we were further disillusioned by our friend's um different tastes in china patterns.

But one of the biggest source of pre-wedding jitters for me wasn't about losing a friend it was about the stuff weddings bring up in me.

More later.......

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Alive and Almost to Well

I am not dead my dear blog readers, although in the middle of last week I was pretty feeling close to it. At first I thought it was a very rare attack of allergies (I have never ever had allergies) but eventually it morphed into a full on cold that had me in bed for days with the exception having to take my daughter to and from school, popping food in the microwave for her and making sure she didn't scald herself in the shower. Nothing like a really bad cold to really make you curse single motherhood, for real!!! Wanna know how sick I was? I didn't smoke for days. Wow.

Then one of my girls from high school got married this past weekend so that had me running between Queens, Brooklyn, and Nassau County. I have many many funny stories to tell which I will.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Light Skinned privilege

A friend wrote me in a email that I shouldn't worry so much about race. It was implied that I shouldn't worry about it because I was light skinned. I should be happy. Be healthy. I know this friend thinks that because of my light skin that I am always shouting proclaiming my "Latinidad" to prove myself. That friend is partially right.

I could, if I really wanted to, not really think about skin color. I could pass just beneath that race radar. Change my last name , since that is always the dead giveaway.
I could be one of those Latino/Hispanic purists and point to my Spanish ancestry. In fact this is exactly what my dearly departed great aunt did one day. She pulled out books and traced my father's ancestors, her husband's ancestors, to one of the first Spanish conquistadors. This apparently was supposed to make me feel better about myself. It never did. It still doesn't.

My friend , in his email, made a quip about the movie Soul Man. Remember that 80's movie, where a white guy od's on tanning pills so he can get a scholarship? That movie implied that skin color was enough to get poc's scholarships. Funny thing was that when I , as a child, watched that movie I actually wondered if I could do that. Not the getting a scholarship part, but make myself look darker. I wouldn't have to choose then. It would be chosen for me. People wouldn't have to look twice at me and wonder.

I asked in another post if white people think about whiteness as much as I think of my non-whiteness. As a light skinned Rican I've always wondered if I could invoke that same privilege. Deep down I know I can't. Some say I can't pass. They say
something about me gives away the fact the African and Taino in me.

This awareness of otherness is not just a result of activist enlightenment as my own family has suggested. I've felt it for as long as I can remember feeling uncomfortable in my own skin because of my skin and what flows underneath its surface.

I think about race and skin color all the time because I have to.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Good Versus Great Mamis

I've been all about time and space lately. Well I've been contemplating the lack of it is really more like it. Lack of time and space to write. Lack of space for me as Nuyorican. Lack of time and space for me as a single mother because I'm a single mother. Lack of time and space to have sex. Lack of time and space to celebrate my birthday. Apparently however there is plenty of time and space in my life to whine!!!!

Now far be it for me to dare say a bad word about Dolores Huerta. Maybe it's my overwhelming guilt at not being better at balancing my life as an activist and a mother that made me feel bad when I read this article.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Questioning Color

I have been accused of focusing too much on race issues which led me to wonder, " Do White people think about whiteness as much as I think about my non-whiteness?"

Well apparently the protagonist of this book does.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Got Spanish???/Tienes Espanol????

If there are any bloggers out there who blog in Spanish let me know.
Also if you are a Latino blogger who identifies as male let me know too!!!! (and no it's not for a date!!!)

Aqui We No Blog en Espanish or the Curse of the Nuyorican

Yesterday I was interviewed for an article on Latino bloggers for a local newspaper.
I was asked if I ever blog in Spanish and why or why not? Deep down inside I've dreamt of blogging in Espanol. I've had fantasies about having a two column blog with one part in English and the other part in Spanish but the curse of the Nuyorican won't let me. As it is , it's only been within the past year that I've performed in Spanish. When I write, my poetry, a story, anything, it comes out in English first then it gets translated (usually with help from la Fea). It's not that my Spanish is horrible , it's that I am uncomfortable with it. I worry about my accent. When I first arrived in Chile people either thought I was a gringa by the way I spoke Spanish or they thought I was from the Caribbean. By the time I left Chile most people assumed I was from there. When I returned to New York everyone thought I was Chilean. Now when I speak Spanish most people think I'm from somewhere in South America. Unless I am performing in Spanish. I feel the words get stuck in my airway, ready to choke me. The same was when I did the interview in Spanish yesterday. The words danced around my tongue, refusing to sit still long enough for me to grasp them and force them through my lips.

I think a lot of it is a matter of practice. There was a time when I could be thrown in front of a television camera and roll my rrrrrrrrrs like no one's business for Spanish language news channels. The same went for Spanish language newspapers. I am sorely out of practice.

The curse of the Nuyorican however doesn't let my English off the hook. I will admit to having perfected my "white girl voice". It is the voice I used to answer the phones for three years at the investment banking firm I worked at. It is the voice I use when speaking to white people I don't know. My parents worked really hard to send me to schools to perfect it. But don't let the proper accentless English fool you. When I got up in front of my all girl Catholic school on the upper East Side of Manhattan to perform a Shakespeare monologue, I watched my mom shrink in her seat with every word that I projected onto East 68th Street. On the subway ride home she told me that I had never sounded so "spic" in my whole life. She didn't mean it in a nice way either. A white ex-boyfriend of mine is fascinated how I can be so articulate yet when I get angry a little Puerto Rican accent comes out along with a flood of curses and dichos in Spanish.

Articulate. That's what they say to me when they find out I'm Rican. They expect me to be grammatically challenged and stumble over my words. I have never ever heard someone say "she's so articulate" about a white person.

I feel like I can't win. Not with my identity. Not with the language I express that identity with. The curse of the Nuyorican.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Two of my favorite things

Two of my favorite things, sex and blogging have joined forces. I was invited and gracioulsy accepted becoming part of the Sexy Tomatoes blog, a female run sex positive blog.

So please check me and all the other sexy tomates out.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Blog Wishes

Monday, May 09, 2005

Down With the Mami Crew

Since I was accused of being an Amy Sohn wannabe, so what better time to refer to a recent Amy Sohn article on Mommy Cliques.

Ms. Sohn's columns appear weekly in New York Magazine, which is written for the rich and affluent of my beloved city. I admit to the magazine being one of my guilty pleasures since I was a small child.

For the last year I have found myself arriving later and later to pick up my daughter from school. Never so late that I actually miss her dismissal, but instead I have timed the walk from my apartment to the public school she attends so that I am there exactly as she walks out of the building. All this to avoid the pre-dismissal banter that goes on between parents. Caretakers other than parents, like babysitters (we don't call them nannies in my hood) and even grandparents are left out of the loop.
It's all about who is going to the playground. Who is going to the Parents' Association Meeting later, who volunteered for the book fair or the mom and pop sale or who can help keep time at the jog-a-thon. They are mostly white mothers. Married women who have husbands who work.

I fell in with this crowd when I decided to stop working outside the home and decided to dedicate my life to writing. Somewhere along the way I got sidetracked though. Somewhere along the way I ran for a position within the Parents' Association, and won. I became the unofficial English to Spanish translator at school meetings. I translated school notices into Spanish. I worked the book fair and the mom and pop sale. I became the editor of the parents' association newsletter. I was outspoken. I was the youngest mom in the crew and the fact that I has a thing for dying my hair pink and wearing fishnets to P.A. meetings added with the fact that I was a Latina single mom gave the crew some third world street cred. This is where it got interesting.

"You are so articulate" the assistant principal said to me one day at an event.
"Don't be like your mother, " the principal told my daughter, in front of me, another day that I arrived at an event with red red hair.

Suddenly there was a problem with the second graders, the grade my daughter was in. Children who were lovely first graders suddenly had turned into disruptive students who wouldn't do their homework. According the school administration they had tried talking to the parents. They had sent letters but the parents weren't listening. But it wasn't us. We were the good parents. We were the ones who didn't work and went to P.A. Meetings. It was the working parents and then someone said it,
"it's the immigrant parents"
"they don't value homework"

I probably should have stayed and fought them on their stupidity and I think I did for one more meeting but then I gave up.
That's when the dirty looks began at dismissal. Some people actually stopped talking to me, like literally they see me and turn away. I decided to focus on my work, my writing. I decided to make a life for myself outside the walls of the school and the other stay at homes and work at home looked at me like I was cheating on them.

I've found my own balance now. I still edit the Parents' Association's newsletter. I occasionally attend workshops and other events at the school. I help other parents who are marginalized from the system when asked. The holes? Well there are no holes. I write more. I do more things with my child. The mami crew is always recruiting more members and other mammas have taken my place.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Happy Mami Day!!!

From one bad mamita to a million others.

May you all have a restful, joyous day!!!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

MYLF- Mami You Like to Fuck

I first heard the term "MILF" from a lover of mine. He called me that in bed and I turned my head around, because yes I was in that position, and asked him what the hell was that?
"Mother I Like To Fuck" he told me. Then he began to list a number of online porn sites dedicated to MILF's.
I looked at these websites and didn't feel like I looked like any of the women. They all looked older than me. Where was the site for the young MILF's?

Rachel Kramer Bussel asked what was sex like for women post childbirth. Again, I had a hard time relating. Last week el Cubano asked me if sex was different after I had la MapucheRican. The only answer I could think of was , " The logistics are harder". And to be honest that's all I can think about. My pregnancy was the longest stretch of my life without sex since I lost my virginity at 16 (although this long distance thing is coming alarmingly close). There are two men who slept with me before I was pregnant and after I was pregnant. The only thing I can say, is that I enjoyed sex with them way more before I was pregnant than after.

But that may have more to do more with experience. I was only 19 when I got pregnant and didn't have a long roster of lovers up to that point. Most of my sexual experience was gained after having my daughter.

So yes the hardest and most different thing about post birth sex is the logistics. Some men are assholes when it comes to dates and booty calls. I do not have the luxury to sneak out in the middle of the night for a fuck. A date requires me making babysitting arrangements. I don't do many sleepovers because I have to take my daughter to school in the morning after packing her lunch and making breakfast. There is no father around to take her on overnights or weekend visits. I am it.

One el Cubano's biggest concerns about us living together is that, the lack or privacy and time for us. Already when we have been together he has struggled with it, with the waiting for la MapucheRican to be asleep or with is quickly locking ourselves in a room when she has been engrossed in play or a television show.
It's like , " Ok we have 20 minutes. GO!". And with that we have been interrupted with a knock on the door and a request for something to eat or drink (at least she knocks no?).

So for all those other mami's wrangling the logistics of making love, fucking, hooking up and arranging booty calls between play dates, pre school, and pediatrician appointments, Happy Mami Day

Friday, May 06, 2005

I Never Wanted to be a Princess and I Don't want No Prince

I recent study out of Great Britain claims that little girls who grow up reading fairy tales are more likely to be submissive relationships and think that love is all that is needed to make a partner change.

The academic paper goes on to say that young girls of the current generation, exposed to television and movies are less likely to be as submissive than those who grew up solely on literature.

I was never a huge fairy tale type chica. If I had a favorite princess heroine it was the Disneyfied Sleeping Beauty, but not because a prince had to go through a forest, slay a dragon, and save her from an evil witch's spell with a kiss. Seeing my parents' dysfunctional relationship made it very clear that no man was ever going to save me. Hell if Daddy couldn't save my mom or me, no one was. I liked Sleeping Beauty because she danced around in the forest and sang and I wanted to sing. When acting out a scene from the movie with my stepsister, my stepsister fell from a chair and nearly lost her toenail. Fairy tales have never been the same.

I don't think the images in movies and television offer much more for girls. I mean sure there is Kim Possible and Totally Spies, chicas who save the world , but they are still expected to love shopping, cheerleading, and boys and they better look good when they are fighting that evil villain. By good I mean skinny and pretty and in coordinating fashion. The emphasis isn't on how smart these girls are, it's how they balance saving the world from evil while maintaining their expected role as pretty and popular girls.

La MapucheRican, my seven year old daughter, and I, are always at odds with the Fairy Tale thing. She is always clamoring for the latest Disney princess movie or asking for the princess themed accessories that are sold along with the films. I'm not likely to give in, trying instead to offer real life examples of strong women for her to look to for inspiration (i.e. Lolita Lebron).

I have found that in kid-lit , examples of independent girls are lacking but when I find them I give those to her. Suggestions of good books to push on her are always welcome.

The problem for me is also balancing the independent girl thing with the race thing. All my daughter's favorite cartoons are lean light skinned creatures, not looking a thing like her. A study needs to be done not just on the gender roles perpetuated in kiddy lit but race stereotypes as well.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Late Night Discoveries

I was up way too late last night researching/reading and writing an article about a certain serial killer. Which meant I had strange, disturbing dreams about said serial killer. I also realized that there is a photograph of this serial killer where he looks just like the man who wrote the Latina Nights/Dreams poem.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Scratch this off your list

For those of you scrambling to figure out what to get me for my birthday from the list I posted a few days ago, please scratch off the hair cut and dye job at a salon. My mother treated me and I chopped off a whopping 10 inches off my head. I donated my cut off hair for use by cancer patients. Although it kind of creeps me out, the idea of a wig made from my hair. Also I have no idea who would want my hair with all the colors that it is.

If you want to see just how much I cut off scroll down and look to the right side of your screen.

In lieu of a cut and dye job I am asking for a way to make my writing less smart. Well ok I am not asking for that but one of my clients did. I had to do a rewrite for an assignment I did in March because it was "too good". Hmm ok.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Censorship, at the Request of Another ( a recurring theme)

I very rarely delete posts from my blog. I am a writer (and with three deadlines I am really feeling like one). I am inspired by the people I meet and the things I do. My exhibitionist side wants to share this with the world , including the fascinating characters in my life that are way more interesting than anything I could make up.
Sometimes this has worked to my benefit, with my blog becoming a gateway for me to publish my work in other places and spaces. My blog is therapeutic for me as well. It is a place for me to dump all my feelings and then let them go...until they come back to haunt you.

I have been very radical in my willingness to write about personal matters, unashamed. This has not made some of the people in my life very happy however. My mother was scanadalized to read a poem about an abortion I had. El Cubano was pissed about my disclosure of his mental health issues (although I really think it was just painful to read how they affected me). There was a blog war that began because of a drunken kiss I gave an ex and a woman who made judgments about me without knowing me.

Today I received an unexpected phone call from a former lover of mine. It had been months since we last spoke. Apparently someone who knows him stumbled upon a blog entry of mine dating from a year ago through a google search. My former lover was offended, feeling that I betrayed a confidence and a friendship. He said that he didn't want to feel that he had to preface everything he said with a request not to write and publish about it. I find this interesting only because our contact has been so limited over the last year.

So with much annoyance, bordering on anger, I have deleted said entry from my blog.