Friday, July 29, 2005
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
It is HOT...I mean, I am sweating like bacon on a skillet....I have no air conditioning, I sleep on the top floor, and I can't sleep because I'm delirious....
In my feverish state I have decided to figure some things out. I have a "phone screen" tomorrow at 10am...in the beauracracy of corporate America they have to weed you out based on phone etiquette before they will even grant you an interview...so I diligently printed out a bunch of info to study for my screen so I will blow them away and they'll have no choice but to interview me...The job you say? Bilingual Marketing Specialist...this is my dream job. A 2 year rotational position where you are exposed to several different departments in the marketing field such as adverstising, digital media, corporate affairs, public relations, etc....As a bilingual/bicultural asset to my company, I need to find out how I can knock their socks off and they will sign my papers while wiping the the drool off their chins.
I also decided it was necessary to weigh myself at the end of the day right after dinner, further throwing myself into a hyperactive frenzy of perfectionism. I weigh 154 POUNDS. I am 5' 7" and I carry it well, but I am 28 years old!!!! There is absofrickin'lutely NO excuse to be so lethargic at this point in my life. My goal is to get down to 130 lbs., andI can do it it will just take some time and effort on my part.
I am about to say some things that may make me sound like a conceited heffer but here I go: I am a beautiful woman. I am an intelligent woman. I am a driven woman. I am also a woman who is NEVER satisfied. I will never be comfortable with my level of success because as soon as I achieve whatever goal I have set for myself, I look ahead to the next one. I don't think these are negative attributes, in fact I think it makes me a damned hot commodity. However...my greatest fear is that my successes in life will stop because of someone else's control over it. I have built this job up so much over the past 2 months (yes it's been almost that long since I applied) that I am ready to explode and there is absolutely nothing I want more in this world right now than to get this job.
When I applied for this job, my boss and some other nay-sayers at work were letting me know I "shouldn't get my hopes up" because it seems like "I'm looking for the perfect job". And? I am so SICK of "bottom feeders" as my best friend puts it. They are waiting for the green light, for the permission to move ahead because risks scare them to death. I tell you what: I make my own destiny. Yes, I could find out tomorrow I have cancer or my husband could leave me, but you know what? I still would make my own destiny. I had people tell me "it's really hard to get out of customer service and only the top 5-10% move up right away". If I'm not the top 5-10% of customer service, I'd LOVE to meet whoever is! I'm getting my MBA for crying out loud!!! That must mean there are people in customer service getting their doctorates or something...and how smart is THAT?
Coño I am so disillusioned with my job, but success could be right around the corner. If I weren't hallucinating I would say I could taste it...and it would be like sipping a cold key lime martini and a taking a drag of a Marlboro in my plush Italian leather chair as I look out on the city and say "I want what's coming to me" and my best friend would say "Oh yeah? And what's that?" and I would say "The world chica, and everything in it"......
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Your Summer Anthem is La Tortura by Shakira
Ay amor me duele tanto
Me duele tanto
Que te fueras sin decir a donde
Ay amor, fue una tortura perderte
Yeah, we don't know what it means either.
Well I do! It means Shakira is the hottest thing since deep-fried platanos, and I will never look, sing or dance like her, but I will die trying! Y eso, señores, me duele TANTO.... :)
Monday, July 25, 2005
I feel a new vibrance today. I feel a new sense of myself, a new understanding of my actions. I understand that my daily consumption of a grande caramel macchiato might not be in my best interest. I understand that if I don't get my ass on the stairstepper 4-5 times a week I will continue to have to buy bigger clothes and no-they didn't magically start sizing clothes smaller within the past 5 months. I understand I have to get my financial aid paperwork in (which I did today) and set up a fiancial aid appt. at the school. (I also did that today). I understand that I need to go home after work instead of kicking it with my friends, I understand that I am doing the right thing by using up all my vacation and sick time next month to visit my aging grandparents on their way out of this world. I understand that I am damn lucky to have the life I have, and I should refrain from complaining about things that are well within my control. I understand that I can do anything I put my mind to including (but not limited to) the following:
- Getting hired for the job of my (current) dreams, Bilingual Marketing Specialist
- Being a loving wife
- Having a finished home
- Being a 3.5-3.8 student when I start my MBA program in the fall
- Owning my own marketing business
- Being an approachable sister
- Being a respectful daughter
- Losing 20 lbs by Thanksgiving
- Having a house on the water
- Writing a great book (or 2 or 8!)
- Having a couple kids one day without totally screwing them up
- Continue growing my cultural consulting opportunities
- Having the best blog in the "Todo Chueco" category! :)
I am thankful for life today, and I have God on my side to back that up.
Irini Pasi (Peace be with you)
Thursday, July 21, 2005
After a long political volley on my favorite author's blog yesterday about Bush, the war, and the lame-o stereotypes of both parties ( http://alisavaldesrodriguez.blogspot.com/2005/07/wall-street-urinal.html) I started thinking....
Here we are: educated, talented, bilingual, multicultural, sassy women who classify ourselves as being on completely different sides of the political fence, but are we really that different? I started this discussion with a friend a few weeks ago, that there are so many people that choose one side or the other, further solidifying the polarization in this country, but I think that we come from very similar places. We believe in equal human rights, have interests in several different cultures, champion the American Dream by encouraging and fostering safe but fair immigration policies, respect the men and women in the military regardless of our feelings about the war, (I mean the ones who actually respect them, not the ones who say so to escape anti-patriotic accusations) want our country to be a safe place free from threats of terrorism, paranoia, and meal-free flights. (I'm hungry in the air and peanuts just don't cut it!) What I believe is the primary difference between us is how to actually achieve those things. Some say war is a necessary evil, the lives lost on our side are a "patriotic sacrifice", lives lost on the other side are out of self defense only . Others say war is never justified, and lives lost on our side is a result of money hungry politicians using our men and women in uniform as pawns in an evil game, lives lost on the other side is borderline genocide.
I don't love war. I don't love death. I don't love discontent between nations, and I definitely don't want to be the one on the frontlines. However, other things I don't love include: totalitarian dictators, senseless slaughter of people regardless of their religion, national origin or political affiliation, terrorism, and ignorant do-gooders who think their benevolence overrides the evil in the world. This is where we are so close in ideology, but so far away from a solution. Each side claims they have the "real scoop" that the media is hiding. Conservatives think the media doesn't support it's troops and tries to expose them as murderous torturers who are capitalizing on opportunities to slaughter and humiliate the enemy. Liberals think the media is a right-wing machine that is hiding the real numbers that could swing the votes to the Left. A common number I've heard is "100,000 civilians" have been killed over there.
The thing is, I don't believe either of those extremist positions. If 100,000 civilians were killed in cold blood as an attempt to annihilate a race of people, I would have a serious problem with that. I also have a serious problem with all the Iraqis and Kuwaitis who have been murdered by Saddam Hussein. I have a serious problem with bombings happening everywhere and then the people who get bombed turning around and apologizing to their attackers for their country's sins. Refusing to believe that there is just pure evil in the world, and not just in the Republican party. I often think that people who are at extreme ends of the spectrum are extremely sheltered, privileged people who either believe that our country can do no wrong, or our country can do no right.
This is where I and others like me come in. What about a political party that really wanted to know the truth? What about a political party that truly searched for the answers and didn't just disagree with information because it conflicted with their ideologies? What about a political party that fought tirelessly for human rights but at the same time recognized that evildoers deserved punishment and not a justification for their actions by the "enlightened"? What about a political party that believed in fiscal responsibility, self-preservation, and provided necessary social services instead of playing into the pockets of lobbyists? (I haven't been impressed with the budget cuts in social service in my area of the country) What about a party that practiced what it believed in and not just knee-jerk reactions to the opposition? (I truly believe some people don't admit some of their beliefs in fear of siding with or being grouped with the opposition) What about a political party in which the very core of ideology was a love of this country and the pride in being American? (I feel the Left has gotten away from this, to say you love this country has come to mean you embrace greed, imperialism, and backwoods Klansmen) What about a political party that recognized wrongdoing but embraced the wonderful aspects of our government and freedoms? (And acknowledged that in order to preserve these freedoms, unsavory acts such as war and restricted liberties are sometimes necessary) What about a political party that got rid of abortion as a political platform? What about a party that strived to fulfill the American dream for immigrants and didn't group them into the "other" category? What about a party that truly examined our motivations for war instead of automatically praising or criticizing it? What about a political party that recognized that they don't speak for God all the time, (using religion as a political platform introduces an unnecessary and dangerous component that excludes some and elevates others to infallibility) but that religious freedom and the ability to openly express one's faith is a necessary and important right?
This is my dream...this is my hope that we accept that we will not always agree but our binding thread is the land we live upon, the air we breathe, and the freedoms we love and share.
The problem is choosing who to believe.
Monday, July 18, 2005
I have a friend. A beautiful, intelligent, witty, fit, responsible, homeowner, health insured, full-time employee, creative, bilingual, talented friend. She and I lived parallel lives upon our meeting almost 8 years ago. We both grew up eating organic food, were raised by single moms, (even thought mine married several times) were political activists from age 9, have always championed the underdog, and lived in Puerto Rico in subsequent years. We met in a Spanish linguistics class in 1998, and have been recounting our parallels ever since. Upon graduation from college, we both worked in social work with women, children, and the Latino community. I have grown to care about and truly love this friend...we talk everyday, update each other on all the stupid little details like how much we slept last night, what we're eating for breakfast, how far we got in the book we're reading...etc. It is this closeness we share that has gotten me through a lot of trying times, and I am very grateful to her for that. She and her son's father split up last summer when he chose his love for illegal herbs and distilled potatoes over his family. Since then, there have been so many times when I've seen HUGE red flags pop up with the guys she has dated, but she just sweeps it under the rug. After last summer, she has become increasingly closed emotionally, (for obvious reasons) but it has not deterred her from dating to fulfill her physical needs. At first I was all for it. I thought, "maybe it's possible to have a physical relationship and be in total control of your sex life without getting burned. As long as everyone agrees on the terms, go for it!" I was wrong.
Here's the problem: There is no such thing as meaningless sex. Regardless if you want it for physical quenching, emotional fulfillment, another notch on your belt, bragging rights, or control over your own body, it means something. I think the downfall for women comes when we try to live outside our makeup and pretend not to care anymore. When we try to be "hard" and act like each new meaningless sexual experience with men we would never marry or even consider for a long term relationship isn't a waste of our time. IT IS. Our time is precious, limited, and so much more valuable than we treat it sometimes. My friend spent all day yesterday pissed off because she got dumped by a guy she was dating who she would never marry or even love. It wasn't about her being sad; her pride was hurt. She spent all day angry about a guy she wasn't even with. She wanted to be the one to call the shots but he beat her to the punch and now she's mad. All because she underestimated her vulnerability...How do I shake her into reality to explain these things without her feeling like I'm judging her? She is worth too much to be left for a bottle, another woman, or an immature game she will never win.
Friday, July 15, 2005
As the FBI continues their investigation into the alleged "human rights violations" at Guantánamo Bay, I sat back and reflected on the below article in the NY Times...it's amazing how these prisoners are given such concern and empathy from our government, and how the NY Times is so quick to paint such a pitiful picture of these wretched souls...
"General Schmidt told the committee that his investigation could not substantiate some of the F.B.I. accusations. His report said that some of the practices that evoked criticism among the F.B.I. agents were approved interrogation techniques, like stripping detainees, forcing one to wear women's lingerie and wiping red ink on a detainee and telling him it was menstrual blood."
-If you ask me, I think the interrogators are doing them a favor. Imagine if they went out of this world feeling comfortable, they would have a serious jar into reality when they wake up in the fiery pits of hell. At least they are getting conditioned to where they're going next.
"The report also said investigators could not corroborate an incident recounted by an F.B.I. agent who said she saw a detainee shackled to the floor for hours, soiling himself and pulling out his hair. "
-I wonder how people on the planes that crashed into the WTC or the Pentagon felt right before they met their hellaciously crispy-fried demise...Seems like a small price to pay for all the people who lost someone that day.... All that concentrated pain from the millions of people who were directly affected by the terrorist attacks is now manifesting itself in a handful of scumbag terrorists and I shan't shed a single tear.
"In addition, one of the high-value detainees, Mohamed al-Kahtani, whom the military has said confessed that he was meant to be the 20th hijacker in the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, was led around on a leash and forced "to perform a series of dog tricks." The leashing of a detainee to humiliate him was another practice that became notorious after it was recorded in a photograph of abuses at Abu Ghraib."
-Well, maybe he'll think twice next time. Being a prisoner of war is not meant to be a friggin' vacation people. Our men and women have suffered horrendous torture and executions at the hands of our enemies, both now and in the past. This fool was all about participating in a mass-execution of innocent civilians, he is not a pious Bedouin searching for food in the desert. When will the Times stop romanticizing these jerks?
"General Schmidt had concluded that the special techniques used on Mr. Kahtani were not by themselves a problem. In addition to being segregated from other prisoners for nearly six months and interrogated for up to 20 hours a day, Mr. Kahtani was made to stand naked in front of female soldiers, forced to wear lingerie, forced to dance with a male interrogator and had his copy of a Koran squatted on by an interrogator."
-Sounds to me like the exact same thing is happening next door on the streets of Havana to 12 year old kids who sell themselves trying to get a buck to feed their families, but no one is talking about that, are they? No, we care about some low-life murderers more than we do the children of the world...absolutely priceless!
"General Schmidt had recommended that Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller, the commander of the Guantánamo prison in 2002 and 2003, be reprimanded for failing to exercise proper supervision over the Kahtani interrogation. But Gen. Bantz J. Craddock, the commander of the United States Southern Command, overruled that recommendation. "
-Who's this General Craddock fellow? I'd like to shake his hand, give him a booty bump... somethin'! Glad to see someone in the upper ranks of the military isn't a paper-pushin' tool.
For the full report click:
Thursday, July 14, 2005
Do you ever sit back and think about all the things that are bombarding you in life, falling around you like Molotov cocktails while you dodge them as they explode around your feet? It's times like those that make me want to light up and take a long, slow drag from a filtered tobacco product. I think I am a child of the 30s because in many ways I still find smoking very sexy. I never did it to be glamorous, I did it to be "hard" back in the day...Now, I just want to have the freedom to damage my body intermittently and feel like a half-starved model waiting for her turn on the runway as I take my last drag before showtime...
It's times like these that make me want to eat donuts, drink too much coffee, not exercise, and be a generally gluttonous wastoid. That is how I've been feeling for the past few months. I have a stairstepper at my house, time to sleep, opportunities to be healthy, and I shun every single one of them. I would rather have a Heineken before bed, read a sexy novel, write in my blog, or stay at my friend's house way too late talking about work, relationships, our neuroses, our potential dual-biography, and our identity complexes. I then get home close to bedtime so I don't cook dinner for my husband who works graveyard, I make a feeble attempt to redeem myself by calling him in a red wine laced voice asking him how he would like his tuna sandwich. Of course I get an attitude and a hang up because I didn't cook a hot meal. It's times like these where I want to give up all my self-control (what little I have left) and go buy a pack of Marlboro Lights. I quit smoking over a year ago, and even the couple years prior I only smoked a couple cigarrettes a month. Why does self-punishment feel so damn good sometimes? Why does adding cholesterol, tar, and alcohol to my body feel so right, but when I look at myself in the mirror and I feel my dough-girl arms I want to cry? I feel like wrapping my lips around a powdered raspberry jelly donut, letting the lukewarm jelly coat my teeth with sweet cavity promotion, the powder lightly dust the inner lining of my mouth....that is worth savoring. I haven't even eaten any donuts recently...that's just my favorite vice to fantasize about...I feel like I am trapped in a void of self-induced misery that I just keep perpetuating with my sick and twisted rationalization. When am I going to get with it? Geez....
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
In the midst of so much natural and human-inflicted destruction in the world in the past few days, I found it imperative to acknowledge the blessings that abound in my life for which I am so seldom grateful....
- A beautiful and ancient faith
A God who loves me regardless of my multiple failures as a human being
- Parents who are such polar opposites that being in the middle almost makes me sane
- Being multicultural
- Being able to pass for just about any ethnicity
- Surviving my childhood
- My childhood being over
- A mother who writes songs and dances more than I do
- A father who gave me his stern Irish independence
- My 3 year-old nephew being in remission from a brain tumor
- My husband coming home to me alive and unscathed thus far
- Being able to accomplish every major goal I have put my mind, body and soul to
- Bartending experience
- Culinary skills
- A house too big for 2 people
- Long, dark, curly hair
- Full symmetrical lips
- A Sicilian nose
- Carrying my weight in my butt
- Soul, rhythm and candela
- My voice
Monday, July 11, 2005
Sunday, July 10, 2005
I feel the strength being yanked from my spirit....I talked to Yia Yia today and she revealed an inkling of weakness...a window to pain. Yia Yia is almost 84 and I have had anxiety about her leaving me since I was old enough to know what death was. No, she isn't gone but I feel her slipping away. I am her soulsake, the one in the family who has taken after her the most. The stubbornness, the independence, the "buzz off" attitude. Nothing and no one has been able to keep her down. She is the one I look up to, my strength, my example of what it means to be Greek, to be a Maniata....my strongest sense of culture lives in her and all I can hear is the Greek memorial song we sing in church "Aionia mneme...aionia mneme...." that song haunts me. I remember saving the recipe for kolliva just in case a Greek relative dies. I don't want it to be for Yia yia. I could kick myself for not living with her in college. I could have gone to UMass but instead I went to college in Portland. I could have lived with her and put my partying on hold for a few years...I could have learned Greek, gotten ahold of my culture, learned what it means to be a multigenerational family...but most of all just gotten closer to her. I could have built a bond, understood her history, been there to take care of her. I miss her. I long for the smell of mothballs, dust, and memories...just to be in her house right now to take care of her would alleviate this pain. I hate grieving before anything actually happens but I have to get it out. My strong, sensitive, tough-as-nails Yia Yia....you are my strength, my shape, and I am your shadow. I realized the drive and determination I have comes from her. She is a survivor, and if I do anything in my life I want her to know that her working in a factory for 50 years wasn't in vain...I will bring up our family name and let the world know that the women of Mani are carrying on our revolutionary spirit. If the Turks couldn't get to us I'll be damned if some chump in this country will. Here's to you Yia Yia: Sagapo....
Thursday, July 7, 2005
After working for almost 20 years in TV, comedy, film and theater, Colombian-born actor John Leguizamo is playing a Spanish-speaking character for the first time.
In "Cronicas," Leguizamo stars as a Miami-based TV tabloid reporter who faces ethical dilemmas when investigating a serial killer in a small Ecuadorean town.
It's a busy summer for Leguizamo, who's also co-starring in "George A. Romero's Land of the Dead" and "The Honeymooners." He'll also play a Mexican musician who tries his luck in Los Angeles in "Sueno," a film to be released in early 2006.
Leguizamo, 40, debuted in Broadway in 1998 with "Freak," which earned him two Tony nominations and an Emmy when HBO aired a special presentation of the one-man show. When returning to Broadway in 2001 when "Sexaholix." The show also received a Tony nomination.
Leguizamo, who started his acting career with a minor role in "Miami Vice" in 1986, talked recently in Spanish to The Associated Press about "Cronicas," Latin American cinema and his next stand-up comedy project.
AP: Why did you decide to work in "Cronicas"?
Leguizamo: I think there is now a strong movement of Latin cinema. A movement of movies made with few resources, stories with a lot of passion, a realism that is a little dirty. And I wanted to be part of it. It thrilled me to rediscover my roots. I was born in Bogota and I came here at the age of 3. When my parents talked to me in Spanish, I replied to them in English. And now I am paying for it.
AP: Was it hard for you to work only in Spanish?
Leguizamo: I had said many profanities in Spanish, but never a philosophical phrase, not even whole sentences. It was really hard. I had never acted in Spanish. I thought it would be easier because I am Latino. And it was really hard because [the character] is educated, and my Spanish has many grammar mistakes. I don't have vocabulary.
AP: Would you like to keep working in Spanish?
Leguizamo: Yes. But I need to find the right roles ... I have problems memorizing and improvising. I would like very much to stand out in Spanish-spoken movies and to work with that incredible talent in Latin America, which makes some things better than in the U.S.
AP: How do you think Hollywood treats Hispanic artists?
Leguizamo: When I was young, all the auditions I used to go to were for characters such as gangsters and drug dealers, or gardeners and servants. But things have changed a lot now ... What has not changed is that Hollywood has not found a way of telling our stories, about the Hispanics in the U.S. They don't know how to find them, how to nurture them.
AP: What about Spanish-language movies such as "Cronicas"?
Leguizamo: These Latin American movies come here, because they are looking for these stories for the Latino audience in this country. They accept these stories from Latin America, which I really like, but they cannot find the stories about the Hispanics from here.
AP: Is there a major difference between U.S. Hispanic and Latin American audiences?
Leguizamo: We come from there and we have a lot from there. But what is different is that we face racism in this country, and many live in poor neighborhoods where the education is really bad. People [in Latin America] are super-educated and super-intellectual. They face obstacles, but not so many. It is a different experience. But that is the only difference.
AP: Do you think the Anglo audience may also enjoy "Cronicas"?
Leguizamo: Look at what happened with "Maria Full of Grace." It was in Spanish and it got an Oscar nomination. Americans also want to see these stories. When they are authentic, everybody wants to see them. (AP)
Wednesday, July 6, 2005
|Your Birthdate: October 21|
|Being born on the 21st day of the month (3 energy) is likely to add a good bit of vitality to your life.|
The energy of 3 allows you bounce back rapidly from setbacks, physical or mental.
There is a restlessness in your nature, but you seem to be able to portray an easygoing, "couldn't care less" attitude.
You have a natural ability to express yourself in public, and you always make a very good impression.
Good with words, you excel in writing, speaking, and possibly singing.
You are energetic and always a good conversationalist.
You have a keen imagination, but you tend to scatter your energies and become involved with too may superficial matters.
Your mind is practical and rational despite this tendency to jump about.
You are affectionate and loving, but very sensitive.
You are subject to rapid ups and downs.
Tuesday, July 5, 2005
Café negro....un sueldo? Interesante....I guess you can justify staying at home as long as you have instant coffee to look forward to! I mean, it's not like you can get shoddy coffee at work!
I am in a space right now where I am coming up on beginning a new chapter in my life: I will be starting my MBA this fall. This is truly a step in my education where I will be expected, upon obtaining this degree, to work for the rest of my life. Expected by who? By feminists, by the business world, by myself. I never wanted the stay at home lifestyle, and Lord knows I've done everything I could to avoid it...but this 3 day weekend gave me a chance to really cleanse my home, organize, install, etc. and you know what?I loved it! I thought, "I could get used to improving my home, I could be one of those really intellectual fulfilled women who stays home and creates busy work for herself reveling in her clean home, gourmet dinners, perfectly toned body, and well-read mind. I could have all the time in the world to improve my life and the lives of those around me. I could volunteer my time to homeless youth shelters, tutor kids with learning disabilities, teach Spanish to firemen, (my own little philanthropic fantasy) the possibilities are endless! But no...I would rather live a life of stress, deadlines, bad coffee, rush hour traffic, final exams, ulcer-prone white co-workers, and rejection after bloody rejection on the job front...It's what I live for! If I didn't punish myself during my Mt. Everest to success, what the hell would I have to talk about? Inner conflict builds character, adversity creates drive, and negativity only heightens my desire to flip off the naysayers....andI'll be damned if I don't do it with a phat rock on my finger. (Paid for by me of course!) Man....it really is independence day!
Friday, July 1, 2005
DiversityInc.com news briefs are purchased from The Associated Press or written by the staff of DiversityInc.com.
The House voted Thursday against permitting Cuban Americans to visit their families in Cuba more frequently and for retaining a trade embargo that has been in place since 1960.
The 211-208 vote reversed a trend in Congress in recent years toward relaxing some travel sanctions on Cuba. A similar vote last year to permit Cubans who have claimed asylum in the United States to visit the island more frequently than every three years produced a 225-174 tally to ease travel rules.
Congressional supporters of maintaining the U.S. government's tough regimen of trade and travel sanctions credit a redoubled lobbying and education effort for their success, as well as continued bad behavior by communist dictator Fidel Castro.
The votes Thursday came on a bill funding the Transportation and Treasury Departments for the budget year beginning Oct. 1. (AP)
*** I can't believe this....I would love to hear their justification for this. Do they think that anything is going to change because they are punishing Cuban nationals in the U.S.?