Tuesday, September 30, 2008

a quick note on the economic crisis.

i just wonder, how could a corrupt capitalist and materialist and vain nation full of such greed, gluttony, constant splurging, indulgence, and consumerism last much longer, before just collapsing, and destroying itself?

Monday, September 29, 2008

in my dreams last night

2 and a half years ago

The air is cool at night, still, and even in the shadows during the day. But in the direct sunlight it is hot, and I sweat a little under my arms and where my backpack straps hang on my shoulders. My skin is starting to darken. I like it better when I am not so pasty. The sun on my face feels so good. I like pushing my hair completely off of my cheeks and forehead to expose my naked skin in the face of the sun. I love doing it in the middle of the day, on the mall, while I stand next to the cacti garden in the grass. The skies are always a perfect cyan-blue and just one or two clouds rest in the sky like stretched-out cotton balls. I close my eyes and throw my head back while I breathe in deeply. I stretch out my fingers. I can feel the summer rays warming the tiny brown freckles on my nose. Then a quiet, refreshing breeze picks up my delicate, white Mexican dress, hecho de mano, and blows my short, brown hair all over my face. Brown like my wooden desk, like my café eyes, like the tiny freckles on my nose. My bangs get caught in my eyelashes. And I smile, then peek at the sun.
I did that today, and thought: maybe Chris will walk by and say Hello to me. You did in my dreams last night. You found me in my dreams and hugged me. I looked into your eyes. Those eyes of yours, like kaleidoscopes, twisting between green, yellow, and brown. They are saucers full of fresh limes, lemons, and honey. And my dreams were so vivid last night, like they actually happened. I woke up missing you, and thinking about your eyes. This is how I started my day today.
So I stood there with my hands sprawled and face smiling into the sun waiting for you to tap me on the shoulder, waiting to hear a spoken Hello. And I thought: well maybe I will see him later because it’s Thursday and I think you have a class on Tuesdays and Thursdays at four like I do. Because sometimes I get to see you in the afternoon right up until class at four and you are always too far away from me to say Hello. I know that you see me, too. But you don’t stop and wait for me to catch up, you just keep walking, Chris, you keep walking away from me and pretend that you don’t see me even though I know you do. You walk away from me and won’t even say Hello. You won’t even acknowledge that I exist. And you just walk away and won’t even wait for me to catch up and I’m just left with more wanting, more silence. You won’t even say Hello. I just want to say Hello. Or a tap on the shoulder.
Last week you wore a green collared-shirt. I could see you buildings away. I always liked it when you wore green. It makes your irises look like fruitful marijuana buds.
But I guess a dream is just a dream, and something broken and left in the past just can't be restored in the future. Like an old building made into a museum. Just dead things there to look at, not to be alive anymore in real life.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


I remember,
when his hands held baseball bats,
when there were blisters from weight training,
and when his fingers squeezed mine.

those fingers are trapped, curled in.
Chipped, calloused pieces of skin
have formed rough elephant scales on the outer palm
where he grinds against the rubber of his wheelchair.

I wonder why
he just doesn’t wear gloves
and his tired eyes tell me
I won’t ever be able to understand this notion of pride.

love da pups

i just love it when the puppy sneaks off with one of my Brooklyn shoes in her mouth! it's just so cute, so funny... like "oh, this disgusting pizza shoe looks delicious! this shoe is mine!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

feeding the pain

My mother, she’s told me how fat she was in high school. She didn’t go to prom, she didn’t go to homecoming. My Dad is the first (and last) man that she’s been with. Oh, she was fat.
She lost in all in college, all the weight, at least. She’s never gained it back. I’ve diagnosed her as chronically anorexic, and I think she binges in secret when no one else is home. Her weaknesses are dark chocolate and buttery biscuits. She prides herself on how little she eats—and the only time I make her proud is when I eat as little as her, too. I, on the other hand, pride myself on how I can eat as much as my Dad. Two plates of spaghetti, really Brooke? she’d yell at me during dinner, Your Father eats two plates of spaghetti! That was third grade, when I was a skinny little thing, a tom-boy.
But now we’re talking 17 years old.
“You’re going to school like that?” she said to me while she was lying in her bed, her body tangled in the rumpled blankets, watching the morning news. She was still in her night gown, her hair all a mess. Every day I tried to sneak past her double doors to go to school, to evade her. Usually I could make it, but Fridays were her day off.
I turned to her, angry on the outside, and started to speak, “Yes…”
She looked so small in her huge bed. A seething person, she was merely 5’3”, her beady dark eyes beaming on me. “Every day you go to school with your hair in a pony tail, jeans, and a t-shirt,” she snarled. “Are you wearing any make up? Do you appreciate anything I buy for you? That brand new mascara?” My mother smacked her hand against the mattress, her lower jaw hanging open revealing her jagged teeth.
I stood in s i l e n c e, my battle-cry against her, which would destroy her little by little as my high school years spun me upside down. I stared at her.
“Don’t you have any respect for yourself? Any dignity?” she barked. “Is this how I’ve raised you?”
Yes, I do have dignity. The words pounded against the inside of my skull, rhythmically and repeatedly, harder and harder. I stood in silence.
“Huh?” she shouted. “Answer me!”
“Can’t you even say good morning to me?” I snapped at her. “Jesus.” And I walked away. As I skipped steps down the stairs, I hooked my pointer fingers through the belt loops of my Lucky’s so my butt crack didn’t fall out. The pants were a size 7.
You can barely squeeze into those jeans, she spat at me last week, accusing me, eyeing my body up and down, shoulders to feet. Why don’t you wear shorts anymore? Huh? Why? Do they even fit you? The ones I just bought for you? Do they even fit? My mother, she was just worried. This is how I could hold my silence. I knew better; I knew that she was afraid, afraid that I would get fat like she was fat. She was projecting her own fears and insecurity onto me, the psychotherapist explained to me, and that I was not actually fat and that I did not actually disappoint her. They were her problems, not mine. But more importantly, my mother’s told me that, obesity runs in the family, and what you look like is important.
So, I’m not fat, I would tell myself, You know that, you eat healthy. Who was I trying to convince? I knew I was at a healthy weight, and I understood it, but I didn’t feel it. I didn’t feel not fat. I wondered, how could any mother in the world say things like that to her own daughter?


I pushed through the front door and dropped my backpack at the bottom of the stairs. “Hello?” I announced to the house. Anybody home? Only the little Shih-Tzu came sliding across the tile to greet me.
“Awesome,” I said aloud to myself. I headed straight for the kitchen. I gazed into the abundant pantry full of low fat, nonfat, fat free, low calorie, sugar free, and/or low sodium processed foods. It was early afternoon and the house was shining bright. The blinds were pulled on the windows and the sky was hot and clear.
My eyes squinted, searching. I wanted to eat something. I was not even hungry. But my mother was gone. Now was my only chance. I pushed aside some boxes of whole-grain crackers and Slimfast meal bars. And there was a brand new package of Double Stuffed Oreos.
My Dad liked to sneak in treats for my sister and me.
The plastic wrapping crumpled in my hands. I thought about how my mother and how I would never talk to her. It’s not that I didn’t want to talk to her, but what could I possibly say? She didn’t care about anything that was important to me. She couldn’t look past my clothes and the number on the scale. I mean HELLO, I thought to myself, I play Varsity Soccer for chrissake. I weigh 135 pounds! I am 5’7”!
I read the label. Double Stuffed Oreos, two cookies, 140 calories, 7 grams of fat. I had become a calorie counting machine. I ran upstairs to my room with the unopened package of Double Stuffed Oreos tucked under my arm. I locked the door, and sat onto my bed eating the Oreos one by one, alone, in silence. The chocolate cookie smooshed into the crevices of my molars and stuck in between my front teeth. The Double Stuffed cream splooged out of its sandwich against my cheeks. My tongue pushed the food around inside of my mouth, and as I swallowed, a strange satisfaction overcame me that was not nourishment. I looked down into the three rows of cookies and one row was entirely gone. I swallowed hard and thought, Oh shit, not again?
I slipped the tray of Oreos back into the plastic wrapping and tucked it into my pajama drawer. I flossed thoroughly, brushed my teeth twice, washed my face and hands to erase any evidence. I knew she’d be home soon.

Sunday, September 21, 2008


so last night was interesting at work. i am trained as a baker, i can do it all... toss the pizza dough high in the sky, spread sauce across the crust, sprinkle zee cheeze a la zee pizza, etc, AND i am trained on ovens (da ovs). we like to shorten words at my work... ovens = ovs, delivery = deliv, sandwich = sammie, pizza = piz (pronounced peets)... and i have a few special nicknames for things like garlic knots = naughty knots, dough ball = dough bally ball...
anyway, so, i'm trained as a baker but last night i was scheduled for COUNTER, meaning i am the customer service queen and i take orders all night from the customers (including their money), wipe down tables, refill red pepper shakers, and pour drinks or open beer bottles. that's about it.
early in the evening an elderly diabetic man, who struck up conversation with me about diabetes because i was wearing last year's JDRF (http://walk.jdrf.org/) tshirt. SO GET THIS, this man told me that he was diagnosed with TYPE 1 at the age of 40. this man has an identical twin brother, who was living on the opposite coast, and his identical twin brother was diangosed with type 1 at the SAME TIME he was!!!!!! that's just crazy.
then, there was the spunky outgoing and overly friendly woman with a new yorker accent, big dangly earring and long pink and green finger nails who just spent 15 years in south florida but has a hollywood area code. "you got a beautiful smile," she said lookin' straight at me after ordering her salad, chicken parm, and water in a bottle, please, sweetie. "whaddya do for fun honey?" she said to me. "uhm, i like outdoor stuff..." "...oh and there's plenty of that to do here! huh?" "...yeah." 45 minutes later after she finished her meal, she re-approached me at the register and leaned forward over the counter with a napkin in her hand. "my name is millie," she said, "and, i'm new in town. here's my number, we should hang out. hang out with me."
the night ended strangely, with a whiny dude trying to get me to give him free jalapenos and peppercinis on his cheese slices. i said, "those are toppings. it costs extra." "...what? seriously? two slices with two toppings for $7? what? seriously? that's a lot of money!" if he weren't so rude and annoying maybe i could try to sympathize with him a little. i like to "hook-up" customers where i can, with coupons they don't have, drinks they didnt pay for, etc. but he was getting on my nerves and trying to take advantage. "yes, a single cheese slice is 2.25. each topping is .60 per slice. do the math." oooh i wanted to kick him out. especially after he came back a SECOND time, ordered a THIRD slice with jalapenos, and when he got his slice he complained (lied) to the baker on ovens that he had ordered TWO slices, not ONE, and she looked over at me wondering if this was correct, and i said NO, HE ORDERED ONE. he said, "i wanted two." "...then come over here and pay for another." he left. and supposedly the girl on ovens said he tried taking another order that didnt belong to him.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a house of my own

"only a house as quiet as snow, a space for myself to go, clean as paper before the poem."

Friday, September 5, 2008


so, i added a second minor, called "women's studies." my major is "creative writing" with a focus in nonfiction, and my first minor is spanish. i would definitely be graduating with a bachelors from the UA in december 2008 had i not added my second minor.
but i mean, it really interests me. "women's studies." the ideas, the causes, the theories. i took a women's studies class for one of my general education requirements... under humanities, or something, and i was hooked.
my WS 305 Feminist Theories professor (a wonderfully intelligent gay man) said something the other day... i wish i could directly quote him, but, to the best of my memory, he said something like, "we have these ideas, these social constructions so deeply ingrained in our heads that we do not even realize they are there. we think they are natural, but it's no such thing. we created gender. we created gender roles. girls are not supposed to like pink. boys are not supposed to like blue. marriage is an institution. women do not belong to men. we are here to learn about these social constructions, to question gender roles, and to understand what we are capable of as human beings."
so far i've read some simone de beauvior and monique wittig. monique is a radical materialist feminist lesbian and simone de beauvior takes a stab at writing about woman. both are from a few decades ago... both women born in the first half of the twentieth century. now, i am in a heterosexual relationship, but it is not heteronormative. i just have to keep telling myself that when i am reading philosophies by women like beaviour and wittig. basically, in many aspects, beaviour says that women are "The Other" and are essentially owned by men: politically, economically, and socially. i cannot delve too deep into this without losing my mind, but what i am trying to say here is that, when i was reading her article, i felt like little bugs were crawling all over me, that i all of a sudden became helpless, and i just wanted to scream scream scream "GET THEM OFF OF ME!! NO MAN OWNS ME!!"
well, beauviour is intense. and makes her point. i admire her work and that she is able to write about woman in the way that she does and really makes herself clear. but geez... when i was reading it... i got sucked in... and i felt like my world was caving...
because, yes, luckily i am in a heterosexual relationship without it being heteronormative (the political, economic, social thing where the man owns the woman), but outside of my personal life, i was easily able to see where she was coming from on the grander scale. and i know that all women are not as lucky as i am to have found a gentle man.
so, whew, once i start questioning gender roles in my head, things just keep spinning and my thoughts run. run. run. i start to think, that i can really be whoever i want to be, but then, really Who Am I? and shit, i am not going to fucking let myself get trapped in that hole. i am honestly just about letting it be. don't think about it too much. i am a very intuitive person... ya know, go with what your heart tells you to. sure it's not that easy... but sometimes people think too much... and forget to feel.
anyway... starting this blog, i really wanted to talk about chicana women and the chicana identity. but yeah i got a little off track, kinda.

Monday, September 1, 2008


Mike dropped me off at work the other day and as we drove into the parking lot we exchanged glances...
"What's that on the roof?!" I blurted out as I lean against the car window, my neck bending awkwardly with my cheek smooshed against the glass, my eyes squinting into the sky.
"I don't know, maybe for solar panels?" Mike hypothesized. His educated guess did make sense with the way these metal rods sort of angled off the roof, shot out into the sky, the framing for what could be solar panels.
"No..." I replied, only thinking that such a thing would be too much to hope for. SOLAR PANELS?!?!
Mike shrugged his shoulders and scrunched his face.
"Yeah... I will let you know," I said.
I strolled into Brooklyn Pizza Company: located on the alternative, off-beat 4th Avenue ( http://www.fourthavenue.org/ ) consisting of Mom and Pop shops dedicated to local artists, local farmers, local beers and fair trade. Brooklyn Pizza Company was started by a man named Tony who at the time was in his late twenties. He is now thirty-something, nearing forty. Tony graduated from the University in Wisconsin, and during his undergraduate years he studied abroad for two semesters in Italy. When I told him I was studying abroad in Hungary he was very happy for me, and gave me my job back right when I returned. He volunteered for Teach for America for 4 years, working two years in the Bronx and two years in Houston. Then he came to Tucson where he had a short-lived career as a middle school Social Studies teacher to gave it all up to start his own pizza place. Every year he travels back to Italy to visit family as well as Long Island, NY to visit family. Brooklyn prides itself on the quality of food at fair prices... We (I say "we" because I feel as though Brooklyn is a restaurant but also a family... I love my co-workers and I respect my boss, the owner...) anyway, so, We also hang up art around the restaurant from local artists as well as our own artists at Brooklyn. It's all for sale. We also welcome the homeless in for ice water and bathroom use (as long as this privelege is not abused), and sometimes we give them pizza. Anyway, Brooklyn is awesome, I've had lots of interesting experiences there. The food business is always exciting.
So, I strolled into Brooklyn and clocked in, still wondering what these metal rods on the roof were. Tony is a very liberally-minded man, always talks with me about politics and always asks me my opinion on current issues. Last year he specially ordered an energy-efficient toilet that does not flush for his house to test out for the restaurant. We haven't gotten one yet, but I am sure we will soon.
Tony always greets each employee individually at the shift change. He also says Goodbye to each employee individually when they clock out from their shift, or when HE is leaving the restaurant in the evening. The managers close up each night.
So, Tony greeted me after I clocked in. Instantly I asked, "So what's that on the roof?"
"It's for solar panels," he responded while checking the schedule.
"Seriously?!" I exclaimed, smiling wider than I expected.
"Yeah!" he responded, making eye contact.
"Oh my gosh that's amazing! Wow! When are they going in?"
"Tuesday and Wednesday (September 2 and 3, 2008)."
I was so shocked and excited at the idea of Brooklyn Pizza Company being powered by Solar Energy that I sent out a mass text releasing the information to at least 15 people. As I topped pizzas on the line next to Tony while he tossed out the dough in the beginning of my shift, I just could not stop thinking about the solar panels. My more predominant thought was: How is the community going to react? What kind of message is this going to send? What will people think?
I am still simply amazed at this initiative by my boss. It's about time, really, that businesses start running their companies more efficiently. And, to show that Brooklyn is right next to other buildings, other businesses, surrounded by neighborhoods, and the building itself Brooklyn is in is kinda old... that... well... this kinda energy efficient stuff IS possible... that you don't need a brand new fancy building in a secluded area to be powered by the sun... to get "off the map/grid"... Now, I do not know how much this is costing Tony initially, but I imagine that the long-term fiscal benefits are worthwhile not to mention the actual environmental benefits and political statements. SO, this supposedly starts taking place tomorrow, and Tony isn't sure what time the guys are coming to install them, but I am going to call my work, and be there with my camera...
I MEAN COME ON!!!!!!! THIS IS SUPER EXCITING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It should make state-wide news!!!!!!! I mean, it's a Pizza Place!!!!!! But really, now... more than ever, Brooklyn is MORE than a pizza place..... This is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!
I am so excited on the community response. My first assignment for my Senior Non-Fiction Writing Workshop is this kind of journalistic piece... and this is what I am going to write on... maybe I will submit it to the Daily Wildcat... or the Tucson Weekly... or the Arizona Republic... If that's okay with Tony, of course. What's even more cool about the whole thing is that Tony is not doing this for the attention. He is a true environmentalist taking a chance... progressing forward, and taking action. I really admire him for that. He's not spending his profits on a new, huge car or something else wasteful like many "rich" people do... but on solar energy. AND, actually, he JUST recently purchased a Smart Car and drives it around with the little Brooklyn logo on the car doors.
Yeah, I'm really excited. I will post my Writing Workshop assignment when I'm finished with it and I will upload photos.