Saturday, February 28, 2009

a library: bit 1 biblioburro

I finished Alberto Manguel's The Library at Night. It is a very interesting take on libraries, the history of all libraries, even the 40 or more books on a shelf in your house, even, the stack you might have in a corner of a living room or hallway. One of my favorite sections in the book is the tribute to Columbia's donkey libraries. Not all communities are able to afford libraries like we are fortunate to have.

In 1990 the Colombian Ministry of Culture set up an organization of itinerant libraries that would take books to the farthest corners of the country. While library-buses had been in place since 1982 in the districts surrounding Bogota, the government deemed it important to reach the inhabitants of the more distant rural rural regions. For this purpose, large green carrier bags with capacious pockets, that could easily be folded into convenient packages, were devised to transport books on donkeys' backs up into the jungle and the sierra. The bags are unfolded and hung from a post or a tree, allowing the local population to browse and choose. Sometimes the librarian reads aloud to those who have not learned to read for themselves, occasionally a member of a family who has attended school reads to the others. 'That way,' explained one of the villagers in an interview, 'we can know what we don't know and pass it on to others.'

It is likely that libraries will carry on and survive, as long as we persist in lending words to the world that surrounds us, and storing them for future readers.

The hard-to-swallow part about the book--in learning from it--is that Nazis burned books and sometimes, Jewish people wailed out loud, stunting the high from the burn. Jewish people lost their lives---trying to save their books--from their libraries.

No one would ever try something like at Gad's Hill.

I learned more from this book, about my own feelings about books, about literature, about's easy because it's innate, for me, it's like walking...picking up a book and reading...but I think about those who are less inclined but-----want to, to read, to learn. And then...I remember the scene in Good Will Hunting (you know the one) doesn't have to be formal or accredited or expensive...or come from--within--a classroom.

It's free...all we need is found in a library.

i'm red as a tomato and it ain't because i'm blushing

If you want to know how sick my home state is just read a little bit. If you don't have the time or interest in reading, just watch the video. These kinds of Texans are the ones who are just shy of lynching.

the morbid side of Texans

Several hundred protest Obama stimulus program in Fort Worth

Republican officials are among several hundred showing their displeasure with recovery program


FORT WORTH — Chanting "No more pork!" and "No more bailouts!" a few hundred "tea party" protesters stood outside a west Fort Worth sports bar for hours Friday, cheering and waving signs at passing drivers to protest the Obama administration’s economic stimulus program.

"I bet there’s not a single person here today who wants to pay their neighbor’s mortgage," Tarrant County Republican Chairwoman Stephanie Klick said to yells and applause.

Klick was echoing a self-described rant last week by CNBC personality Rick Santelli against the Obama stimulus policy.

Friday’s protest outside Cowtown Sports Bar and Grill on Camp Bowie West was one of many reported nationwide including in San Diego, Atlanta and St. Louis.

Carrying a sign that read "News flash: There is no money," Mindy Wood of Fort Worth said the far left was using the economic crisis as an opportunity to stage a "Marxist revolution" within the federal government.

"I’ve been getting more and more frustrated as the days go by," Wood said.

Those interviewed approved of Gov. Rick Perry’s recent declaration that Texas might not accept all of the stimulus money designated for the state.

"This isn’t about Obama. This is about taxation," said Rick Ledoux, 50, of Fort Worth. "No one’s saying do nothing. That’s a straw man. We’re saying do the right thing."

Ledoux said tax cuts should be the main way to stimulate the economy. While acknowledging that the stimulus bill has already been signed into law, some said they hope Congress will push for changes.

Several people said a host of elected officials, Republicans and Democrats, have betrayed their constituents by supporting part or all of President Barack Obama’s stimulus proposals.

"I think we should throw everyone out of there who is for all this government spending," said Robert Paul of Benbrook, son of U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, a former presidential candidate.

Many of the signs targeted Obama’s fiscal policy with words such as "Hope + Change = Fear + Debt" and "Taxpayers revolt against Gimme-mania." Some took aim at the president himself, with slogans such as "Obama is a damn liar" and "Obama 'bin Lyin’."

Klick said signatures on petitions collected Friday will be sent to state and federal elected officials.

Participants predicted that the rally was just the first step in a movement to vigorously oppose Obama’s policies.

"We can’t allow this assault on the principles that make America great to succeed," former Arlington state Rep. Bill Zedler said.

AMAN BATHEJA, 817-685-3932

Thursday, February 26, 2009

do it San Francisco style


When my little sister, Jessi, got married, everyone knew that it would be a class act and a wedding with *her* fingerprint. It would be the sincerest matrimony one could experience.

my little brother giving away my little sister

class act with a tat

the only way to do it is at the coit tower

the ruff-ruff ring bearers

job done

dj cutie pie




some more grooving

the camera guy after work

Nearly five years into our relationship, Gera and I have decided we will probably shotgun it like my Auntie, southern style, the living room, a back yard reception, in Spanish and English, and just...get it done.

But---if I could choose a wedding to copy, pick the city in which to wed, it would be my little sister's. The cute thing is....after 3 years, she's still in the honeymoon phase and J is still her fantasy.


My grandmother was a 'something else'--I finally understand why my mother never had a girl bestfriend. It's because my Big was always with men. Always. And when I look back at old pictures I see better that Big was never with a female, never with another lady at her side---I see the reasoning, but I wonder if that was, at times, lonely. And then I think I'm sure not...we had a family mostly of women---but she was always running away from her mother and her sister. It wasn't what they did to her with their eyes, but what they despised about her with their pasts.

Even though smoking is what claimed her young 61 year old life, I love that she her desires and likes [cough cough laugh laugh cough "these damn cancer sticks gone kill meh"]. And they did. Like my father (but the two are highly not alike), she always had a plastic 'glass' of beer in hand (he usually had liquor--the mellow drinker he was). She cussed, not as much as my great Auntie, her sister, but damn close. When she cussed, it was usually at the walls, late at night, sitting on the side of the bed in a run-down night gown, her dry cracked feet resting on the bed rail. Oh, but I've told that before, in a chapter.

The memories we cannot shake...and why would we ever want to?

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

from my center

students hard at work

This week has been hectic beyond hectic, but rewarding for my students, for me. I have seen everything this week from literature essays on "Sleepy Time Gal," "Kansas," "The Lottery," and so on to economics essays on the boom of Blockbuster.

students composing

It's the time in the semester where students have received their teacher's comments on their first papers. Most come in smiling while others come in for the first time with that "what happened?" countenance. The latter is usually the group that hoped they could make it through the first writing assignment without help. And to tell the truth, I admire this and was the same during undergraduate studies.

getting it together

One of our instructor's, an English composition 1 & 2 teacher--just nearing completion of her doctorate degree threw students for a loop this semester---the infamous Bloom's questions. Instead of the writing the mundane traditional essay: 3 literary elements = good thesis = 5 body paragraphs, she decided to do the right thing, have students write critical analysis a result, students are all over the place, buzzing around like little lost bees (bee scene not pictured) wondering what this means and what that means, how to determine literal meaning v. figurative meaning, life's application....but it seems I have spent the majority of my tutoring talking about plot summary v. analysis. The difference....but....regardless, I always take something away from these budding little heads and I'm sure I give them a whole lot back. They keep asking "why aren't you teaching our class?" I find this so endearing and encouraging.

Monday, February 23, 2009

the tacky-clever french

. . .

Talk about great capture. Here is another one of those photos taken from the book a patron slit, now discarded. By Robert Doisneau Un Regard Oblique 1948.

I love the tacky nature of the husband...and she thinks he is interested the more prominent art display. Wonder what it is?

Friday, February 20, 2009

almost back to again

Last night was a success although instead of strolling downtown, we more or less squeezed tight--together--and walked fast. We didn't last. The cold Texas winds are ferocious--especially at night. I feel somewhat powered up, but it's going to be a long road. My sister-in-law has moved in with us again. The best we can make of this is I will, again, start teaching her English.

The library today has been a nice twist in reality. I actually looked forward to returning to work. It's something scary about wallowing in grief for too long (even though its always there). There comes a great need to pull one's self out and get back to life, which continues to move on. Gera was saying that yesterday after we stopped at a traffic light: "It's like this...the cars keep going, the people keep moving, stores still open, people pump gas, nothing stops because someone has died."

I look forward to thinking about upcoming posts and what they will be like. I have some ideas, but none that have really stuck with me. For sure, they will not be sad or about death. We'll see what happens.

In the meantime, I am enjoying the beautiful artwork and words of everyone else. It's a great place to be.

belated tonight


Gera and I will celebrate a belated Valentine's Day. We're behind, but I look forward to playing....and catch up.

1. Dinner at Las Ranitas
2. Mariachis and Margaritas
3. A stroll downtown
4. A shared cup of Starbucks (a Grande Latte with extra foam)
5. New art exhibitions
6. Home
7. A movie
8. Bed, good love, and
9. A peaceful sleep (this part I hope for most)

Not necessarily in this order.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

death follows like one's own skin

I'm back....and...

The month of February has been brutally charming. We lost our nephew to a brave battle with pnuemonia. We were there as he passed from this physical life to the spiritual one.

Israel. 27 years old.

In Mexican tradition (similar to my culture's very old past), there is a funeral service called the velorio which takes place in the house. For five days, sometimes less. The wake. We slept there the entire time.

This past Monday was our last day to say good bye.

I don't have enough to say, but the pictures speak better than I ever can.

playing candyland
the second room
his beloved enduring partner
his ever worried mom
isra and his uncle, gera

Israel Lopez 1981 - 2009 Descansa mijo tu espiritu esta feliz.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

missed connections...a good look back


I decided to post some of my favorite past posts. Also, this will give me time to be a better employee, focus on my students at the college and my patrons at the library. I do, of course become **HELLA GROUCHY** when my blog time is taken.

I hope you guys vote on which of these posts is most stellar (I feel that they all are). I'd would love to hear what you think and be candid in your comments--I won't accept anything of a lesser degree. My favorite, Crevices Make, is the one of my daughter, in black. I took this picture in the early 90s. We were on our way to church. I wrote the poem after the aftermath, when I was trying to gain an understanding of this kind of loss and how my body relates to something that gives life, something that is capable of producing a life subject to the inevitability of death. The poem was published, but this didn't have great meaning for me other than a great hope that someone could relate or understand my turmoil. After her loss, I literally wrote myself back to health. I had to.


Keep in mind many of these posts are full of cheer and have a big dose of happy-crazy!

I hope you enjoy them. Be back real soon...with some other, spontaneous, hopefully interesting stuff.

(ArtSpark, I don't know why...but your cat looking away from your audience inspired this post...a necessity, a hunger to remember.)

helen in dunbar

bed lessons bed built

from Eather's estate

what's on my dresser

gems in a library sombrero & folklore

letter and a cartoon from an artist

random quote sighting

i wasn't playing

a trend?

follow up things to do letters from a seamstress

living the rural what's a neighbor to do

from eather's estate

uneventful weekend

follow up things to do

remembering my two daddies

soy una pulga

sad songsters

for sale

she looks like everyone

magic and crab

the robe

dear and holidays

letting go or not

auntie quote auntie image

surrounded by artists

blueberries and churches

crevices make

in his head

rebellious women

taming wood

from ruffles to pink curlers

when i was blond



hair suicide

res novae

on home and auntie

Thursday, February 5, 2009 the new....semester


I'm not an artist, but there are artists one can use to express a 'circumstance'--okay work really shouldn't be labeled a 'circumstance'--but this time it is and this is what I've got. My play time is gone! I am literally drowning with students students students crowding my writing center...and it's not even February good, yet! But I love my job....sigghhh....

Will try to post something worthwhile when I find the time.

artwork from

Monday, February 2, 2009

did you know

Denis Roche, titled 22 fevrier, 1985

In 1983 Tennessee Williams chokes to death on a bottle cap that accidentally dropped into his mouth while he was using a nasal spray.

In 1850 Honore de Balzac dies of caffeine poisoning after regularly drinking about fifty cups of black coffee per day.

In 1963 Sylvia Plath gasses herself in her kitchen oven at the age of thirty.

In 1950 George Bernard Shaw falls out of the apple tree he was pruning at the age of ninety-four.

In 1156 Pietro Aretino, an Italian satirist, poet, and critic, laughs so hard at a scene in a play involving one of his sister that he falls off his chair, fatally striking his head on the floor.

Adolf Hitler, according to Soviet medical reports, he did indeed have only one ball. According to Eva Braun, Hitler's testicular damage was the result of "a boyhood mishap" with a wild alpine goat.

Joseph Stalin's left foot had webbed toes and his left arm was shorter than his right.

Lord Byron was born with a clubfoot, which he later attributed to his mother's tight corsets.

Napoleon had hemicryptorchidism--one undescended testicle.

Moses, a reluctant public speaker who described himself as "heavy of mouth," had a major speech impediment and probably suffered from a cleft lip and palate. In Exodus 6:12, Moses describes himself as having "uncircumcised lips."

Apotemnophobia--fear of amputees
Bolshephobia--fear of Bolsheviks
Bromidrosiphobia--for of body odor
Defecaloesiophobia--fear of painful bowel movements
Eurotophobia--fear of female genitalia
Geniophobia--fear of chins
Medomalacuphobia--fear of losing an erection
Papaphobia--fear of the pope
Peladophobia--fear of bald people
Taeniophobia--fear of tapeworms
Venustraphobia--fear of beautiful women
Zemmiphobia--fear of the great mole rat

5 People Who Died During Sex by Karl Shaw