Jun 30, 2009

It Was Surreal

While I was in NYC last week, I experienced along with millions of NYers an amazing cloud formation visible during the early night sky. After a brief thunderstorm, the sky displayed the most unusual clouds I've ever seen.

I learned today these clouds are called Mamatis. The clouds looked like peachy-colored cotton candy. I was walking with my sister-friend of over 20 years, and her 17 year old son. I'm grateful to have experienced this with them. I adore Joslyn and Marco. We decided, along with other NYers, to stop and take pictures of the sky. We had to pause and appreciate the spectacle.

All of NYC was veiled in a hue of orange light. It was so surreal. I felt as if I was in a dream. While I respect the science behind these rare cloud formations, I also felt it was divine intervention reminding us to stop and take in wonderment. Here are the pics from my cell phone camera.

Jun 28, 2009

Can You Go Home Again?

Some of my readers will gaaaag at this post. Out of curiosity I went to check in on Chris Crocker over on youtube. It looks like homegirl went back home. The parasites of Hollywood had their fill of her and she had her fill of them. From the background of this video it looks like she is back at grandma's house, after dealing with the wolves.

I think this video clip is cute. I laughed. I was also reminded of the Chris Crocker I enjoyed during the pre-leave-britney-alone days. This looks like Chris being thoughtful in what he posted, less angry, and able to rest his head in a bed without thinking about finding a new place to crash in the morning.

Life is a hairflip at times Chris. Keep on, keeping on.

Let Your Light Shine

Photo: Ingrid Taylar

It's the last Sunday in June, and the streets of NYC are going to be filled with people showing pride in being G, L, B or T. I love my fellow queer folks. Many of us have survived so much ugly in the world, and yet we move forward trying share something special with the world.

I remember going to my first pride parade in NYC when I was sixteen. I was in the closet and had just started hanging out on the piers on Christopher St. just a couple of months before the parade. When I saw this endless stream of marchers being out, loud and proud, I was stunned.

I was going through so much inner turmoil as I had just started the coming out process. To see this exhibit of pride gave me hope. I didn't feel alone and that I was the only of my kind. I was eager and opened to the experience and it gave me an awareness of my humanity and how I mattered in the world.

I spent the entire time watching the parade with tears in my eyes and a knot in my throat. The emotion I was feeling was huge yet intimate at the same time. I felt liberated yet knew I had a responsibility. I had to let my light shine and let love rule.

I pray that those along the parade route get the same message. It starts with love. I learned to love myself, love those around me, and build a life that focused on proving that love is stronger than hate.

Todd does a great blog on quotes and today he posted one from Quentin Crisp in honor of Gay Pride. I was inspired with this idea, and wanted to share a few.

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.
Dr. Seuss

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast. Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
Quentin Crisp

It's a helluva start, being able to recognize what makes you happy.
Lucille Ball

Jun 27, 2009

La Familia

I've been MIA and all over the place lately. Just adjusting to changes in schedule and switching from student to teacher mode. I'm teaching summer school this year. Last year I served in a more administrative role. But, this year it's me in front of the yungins and doing my teacher thang.

With that said, look at my handsome nephew and darling niece. Gabriel graduated this week from the High School of Environmental Studies. Hence, the green cap and gown. He did really well and earned a regents diploma, which in NYC, means he had to take a significant amount of state tests to show a level of competency in the core subjects of science, math and English. You go boy!

In his arms is his cousin, Miss Brianna. I introduced Brianna to you guys in a previous post. This little angel loves to laugh and smile, and her amazing mother tells me that while Brianna is high maintenance, that she is a very good baby.

So, this week I got to celebrate my nephew's graduation and meet Miss Brianna in person. Life is good.

Jun 24, 2009

Another One Bites The Dust

Vea Marco llorar. Vea Marco llora para Maria. Vea Marco llora porque él fue agarrado. Vea Marco llora acerca de la condición del partido Republicano.

Translation: See Mark weeping. See Mark weep for Maria. See Mark weep because he was caught. See Mark weep about the condition of the Republican party.

SIDE NOTE: Is there really anyone out there that thinks the Republican party is the party of family values and moral purity?

Jun 19, 2009

A Meow From An Unlikely Source

As I was hanging up my laundry on the clothesline today, I had a nice visit with a neighbor that comes into town for the summers. He or she landed about eight feet away and perched on the clotheslines, right next to the sheet I just hanged and took a shit.

I said to the little birdie, "Oh hell no, don't you dare." Then the bird made a sound that reminded me of Geronimo. It was like a meow. I mimicked the sound and the bird ruffled the feathers on its chest and head, and then cocked his head. We continued our encounter by taking turns making the meow sound. We both checked each other out. I was impressed and told the bird "You're beautiful, thank you for visiting me."

I then tapped the clothesline with my finger, and the cord swayed, the bird open his wings slightly, but stayed on for just a bit longer. He meowed again and then flew away.

Thank god for the Internet, I did my research and found out this little guy is called a Gray Catbird. They are known for mimicking sounds they hear around them, and use it to construct their songs. How cool is that. The meow sound is a very common call they use, and is called a mew. Click here to learn more. You can play an audio clip of the meow sound the bird makes.

Where's Waldo?

I wonder if he's the type that says to friends and tricks, "Oh, I know where everything is, I have a system."

Image courtesy of Lurid Digs

Jun 13, 2009

I Need My Rollercoaster Fix

Summertime is here, and I need the thrills and chills of a rollercoaster ride. My first rollercoaster was the Cyclone at Coney Island. Tthe sensation of flying through the air, and having the air sucked out of you, became instantly addictive. The faster and more twisted the ride, the better. Let me check my calendar!

BTW, Six Flags Amusement Parks filed for bankruptcy this week. Noooooo. They promise that normal park operations will not be affected. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Another POV on Anti-Choice

Artist: Barbara Kruger

So I got this response to my post "Use Your Words Wisely." I asked the author if I can share it on my blog, and I got the go ahead. So here it is:

Upon reading your article “Use Your Words Wisely,” I wanted to bring a particular point to your attention.

Your use of the term “anti-choice” is very misleading, and shows a significant misunderstanding of the term.

The term anti-choice by definition means “one who opposes ALL choices”, no matter what the topic of choice be. The opposition to abortion does not stem from the opposition of choices in general (as the term anti-choice would lead one to believe). Those who oppose abortion are against feticide and embryocide, thus making them anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, or anti-abortion. Just as someone who opposes the choice of a man to hit his wife is not anti-choice, but anti-domestic-violence, the correct label for a person who opposes abortion would be anti-abortion (or anti-feticide, anti-embryocide, etc.)

I would invite you to visit the website www.notantichoice.com to review and read more information on this subject and on the use of the term anti-choice.

Thank you,
Liz Wheeler

Here's my response:

At the end of the day if you want to make abortion illegal, restrict access to birth control methods, censor sexual education materials by creating abstinence-only programs, then you are trampling over the right for women and their partners to have "choice." These ideas that are at the core of many anti-choice movements ultimately eliminate significant options, thereby, providing a false form of "choice."

Furthermore, by keeping the discussion on women's reproductive rights centered solely on the option of abortion, you are ignoring complex public health and social issues and constructions that create dire situations for women and children. If one is truly pro-life they would look into issues of poverty, HIV/AIDS transmissions, and violence and oppression against women. Keep reading for some disturbing facts regarding these issues.

Moreover, I have a strong aversion to any laws that tell anyone what they can or cannot do with their own bodies. Keep your laws off my body and out of my bedroom. I am also aware that many people out there are fighting for the rights they feel are due to the embryos and fetuses within the womb. When life is conceived is a whole other discussion. Stay tuned for a post on that one.

Ultimately, where one stands on this issue is usually tethered to very personal feelings and experiences. I heard a good joke the other day from Joy Behar (don't ask people LOL). Joy said "A conservative is a former liberal that was mugged, and a liberal is a former conservative that has a lesbian daughter." Our views are often initially shaped by what we encounter on our life's journey. However, these views evolve by what we read, contemplation and practicing empathy.

I offer the following to assist all with thinking more about the issues affecting the lives of women, children, and how significant freedom of reproductive rights is for all of us, regardless of gender. I kept the facts focused on the U.S. If I gave you world-wide statistics, it would truly be depressing. So I am offering a book selection at the end of the post that gives voice to women around the world.

Source: Children's Defense Fund (This information is comprised from data collected as of November 2008.)

In the United States:
A child is born into poverty every 33 seconds.
A child is abused or neglected every 35 seconds.
A child is born uninsured every 39 seconds.
A child dies before his or her first birthday every 18 minutes.
A child or teen is killed by gunfire every 3 hours.

Child Poverty in The United States
Number of poor children (and percent poor) 13,324,000 (18.0%)
Number of children living in extreme poverty (and percent in extreme poverty) 5,768,000 (7.8%)
Number of adults and children receiving cash assistance from Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) 3,741,535

Child Health in The United States
Number of children without health insurance (and percent uninsured) 8.9 million (11.3%)

Early Childhood Development in The United States
Percent of children under age 6 with all parents in the labor force 61.7%

Education in The United States
Amount spent per pupil in the public schools $8,044
Percent of public school fourth graders reading below grade level 68%
Percent of public school fourth graders below grade level in math 61%

Child Welfare in The United States
Number of children who are victims of abuse and neglect 905,000
Number of children in foster care 508,446
Number of children adopted from foster care 50,941
Number of grandparents raising grandchildren 2,514,256

Youth at Risk in The United States
Number of juvenile arrests 1,268,950
Number of children and teens in juvenile residential facilities 92,854
Ratio of cost per prisoner to cost per public school pupil 2.8:1

For more than 15 years, the Center for Reproductive Rights has used the law to advance reproductive freedom as a fundamental human right. Click here for more information.

Here is a book recommendation for those interested:

Patriarchy and Accumulation On A World Scale: Women in the International Division of Labour by Maria Mies

I offer it with a heads-up that it is very academic and packed with ideas. But, be patient with it, and take it in small doses. This book uncovers the systematic oppression of women from soup to nuts. Amazon.com offers this description of the book:

"This now classic book traces the social origins of the sexual division of labor. It gives a history of the related processes of colonization and "housewifization" and extends this analysis to the contemporary new international division of labor and the role that women have to play as the cheapest producers and consumers. First published in 1986, it was hailed as a major paradigm shift for feminist theory. Eleven years on, Maria Mies' theory of capitalist patriarchy has become even more relevant; this new edition includes a substantial new introduction in which she both applies her theory to the new globalized world and answers her critics."

Let's look at the world around us and work together to address these problems, so that the babies that are born into this world have a fair chance at life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Jun 10, 2009

Use Your Words Wisely

Artist: Barbara Kruger

Good people, I have a recommendation. I feel strongly that we should stop using the term anti-abortion, when discussing issues regarding women's reproductive rights. Since the murder of Dr. Tiller, I've been reading articles that focus on the issue of abortion. I've come across a term which I believe can be powerful in reshaping the dialogue about women's reproduction rights.

I say let's replace anti-abortion with ANTI-CHOICE. Here is why:

- By using the term anti-abortion we keep the focus only on the option of a women terminating a pregnancy. This is a disservice to the personal process a women engages in when deciding what to do about an unplanned or unwanted pregnancy.

- She has many other options to consider. For example, a women may choose to discuss with her partner and or family ways to bring that pregnancy to term, and welcome an infant into a loving and stable home.

- A women may also consider giving birth to the child and placing him or her up for adoption.

- She may also consider raising that child on her own with the support of family and friends.

The bottom line is giving birth to a child has significant impact on a women's own personal health, and will alter her life, along with her partner and family in significant ways. We're talking at least an 18 year commitment to nurturing another being.

So in keeping with the ideals and virtues of America's love of liberty, choice is so American. We apply choice and free-will to so many other aspects of our lives. Why does it have to stop when it comes to our own bodies?

So, if you find yourself in a conversation with someone that is anti-choice when it comes to women's reproductive rights, look at them with pity and say, "That is so un-American."

Then if they throw in chapter and verse from the bible, simply say, "Our founding fathers believed in the separation of church and state, how un-American of you."

If they persist then say, "Hey, if your movement is so pro-life, why do your members kill so many people that provide safe and legal medical procedures for terminating a pregnancy, which enable women to have control over their own bodies? How can you be pro-life when it comes to the womb, but then okay with the death penalty and committing murder."

Then the final kick in the teeth is to say, "Hey, this planet is experiencing major problems because of pollution, war, overpopulation and corruption, what is your church or you for that matter, doing about that?"

Now, be careful, these right-wingnuts are getting violent. So be ready to put that hair up in a tight bun, remove your earrings, thrown some vaseline on your face, and have at it. It seems to me that these days conservatives are loving to take the route of violence. So, suit up people, because it is on!

Jun 8, 2009

I Love Raul, But Tony Doesn't

When is Raul Esparza going to get his Tony!? I've seen Raul in Taboo, Cabaret and perform at Bryant Park; he is amazing. His voice is divine, his stage presence is magnetic. I just don't get it. Is he to become the Susan Lucci of the Tonys?

He has totally paid his dues. He's a true workhorse of a performer. I bet every Broadway producer and theatre company has that papi chulo on speed dial. Life is not fair sometimes.

A side note, Bret Micheals performing at the Tonys was just plain ewwwww.

Jun 7, 2009

Minding Other People's Business...Again

The woman with the hat and Colgate smile gave birth to another Bobby Brown offspring. Why would anyone want to have one of Bobby Brown's kids? Why would Bobby Brown himself want to have another kid?

I wonder if Bobby works with that dumb ass script about "spreading your seed" and measuring his manliness by how many babies he can create with a night of pumping and dumping. Sorry for the crewdness, but I think that's how Bobby feels about the act.

I wonder if she thought this was her last chance to make a baby, and since she is managing Bobby, she can also put him on baby's daddy lockdown, and not have to worry about being fired. BTW, that baby's daddy lockdown strategy NEVER works!

You know what at the end of the day, people can be real twisted and have a warped sense of reality. Oh and I'm sure this moronic behavior seems genius when you add booze and drugs into the mix.

Click here for the absurdity.

Jun 5, 2009

Werking It!

Hey good people, so the grades from my 18 credits-semester have come in and here are the results:

Global Women's Issues (Intensive Writing): A
Integrated Mathematics and Science for Elementary Education: A-
Ethnography (Intensive Writing): A+
Classroom Management Techniques
in Educational Settings: A+
Language Arts for Exceptional Individuals: B
Collaboration in the Schools: A

Term GPA: 3.78

A big thank you to the family, friends and fellow students that supported me through a very challenging semester.

Jun 1, 2009

I Guess MTV Didn't Like Eminem's New Video

Hey Miss Kitty, instead of reading about it, let's watch the video again, and again, and again. Eminem gets a face full of man-ass. Hardcore thugged out men like him don't like that sort of thing. Poor baby, he had to ask his bodyguards to remove the man-ass from his face, and Bruno's head from inbetween his legs.