Sunday, June 29, 2008

New type post

I'm going to try to mimic a bit of why my friends to and post things other than just reading books, so bare with me that this one will be a bit random.

Tuesday night, Isaiah and I decided to make dinner. We decided to make dinner on a gas grill my mom had got for me. As many of you know, I have a tiny apartment with barely a space to sit outside, but I figured, we can manage.
So while he was in the shower, I tried to put together the grill. For some reason, I thought it already came assembled, so a quick half hour dinner quickly turned into an hour. Usually, I pride myself as a manually capable person. I can put bookcases together, shelves, etc. But since we were so tired, I really had no patience. As Isaiah got out, I have him the "man" job of doing that, and I did the "woman" job of putting the food together for grilling. Really, we go back and forth, but as mentioned, I was too lazy to deal with it. He finally got it put together and off to grilling.

That's him checking the chicken, sausage and veggies.

Mmmmm food.

Afterward, we had our typical bottle of champagne and season two of How I Met your Mother. It's AWESOME!

The real reason I'm deciding do to more extensive posts is because, as I discovered this morning, I do NOT take enough pictures. Case in point: Yesterday, I decided to celebrate my 28th birthday with an evening/night of dinner and dancing. I got up early with Isaiah who had to be at work at 7:30am. I decided to also stay awake so I made breakfast, cleaned up a bit, then headed to the gym for my 9am work out. My trainer kicked my butt! I am still so sore. After that, I showered and rushed off to catch to Portland Street car. I easily could have taken a picture of my journey, for example, the children playing in the Pearl's fountain, but did I? No, I'm a "mental picture" kind of person. Well crap! So, I went to my appointment at 11am and my 11:30am, I was done and found myself in center of the Saturday Market. Great opportunity to take pictures, huh? You're right and I didn't. Strike #2. So I just walked around and admired the flowers, fresh produced and hand made necklaces that I wanted to purchase. Since I've been tight with the cash, I really think twice about buying things. So I went home, made lunch, watched an episode of HIMYM (sorry Isaiah) and took a nap. I knew I'd be up pretty late that night, so I thought I'd fit it in when I could.
Fast forward a few hours and I'm meeting up for dinner at La Calaca Comelona with Kelly and Zach, Isaiah and I. This is really where I wanted to document my night and what happened? I forgot! I forgot to take a picture of my FANTASTIC Enchiladas Morelianas, Zach's Mole with Blackberries and basically, all of it! Right now as I look through my camera of the, oh, 8 pictures I took last night, I'm disappointed in myself. Sometimes I have so much going on in my head and then I focus on one thing like "it's hot!", "we're late", "my feet hurt", that I forget to sit back and really take it all in.
After dinner, it was dance time. We headed to the Mambo Lounge and bumped into my parents who were just arriving. It was nice to see that they were there, they looked so cute all dressed up. Once we got it, there was Laura, and Liz with Matt and shortly there after, Kelly and Zach. Late that night Golda showed up as did my brother, which was a very nice surprise. So did I take any pictures? Yes! How many, um . . .8? WTF I only took like 3 real pictures. Arg I'm so mad at myself.

So anyway, here are a few snippettes of last nights dance. I think my mom actually took some of me dancing with my dad. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Sammy's House by Kristin Gore

After having had a kind of heavy last few days, and really a pretty graphic novel of the coming of age of a 13 year old child, I thought I'd head back to some comedy.

A few years back, I had first discovered Kristin Gore's book "Sammy's Hill". In the first chapter of the book, I was laughing hysterically . . . pretty much toward the end as well. So when I discovered that she had a follow-up book out on sale, I was ecstatic.

I bought the book at the local borders, ordered myself some stir fried and a vanilla martini at P.F. Chang's at Bridgeport and off I started reading. I was really excited only to discover: the character seemed neurotic to the point of annoyance. I read the first few pages disappointed. I wasn't sure if I was disappointed that it was similar to the first book, or that I had grown apart from the character. What I used to find endearing, I found annoying. What I used to hope for in the character, I now dreaded. I put my book down, disappointed and finished my meal. I hadn't touch that book since I bought it . . . 6 months ago.

So here I am, try number two. I started reading this last night and got tired and went to bed. Not a good sign, but I was slightly bored. I'm not very good at reading about politics (which both these books are about), but I won't give up. Try number 3 is on it's way . . .

And done: Final thoughts on "Towelhead"

I finished Towelhead a couple days ago. I must say, the reading went by pretty quickly and if I'd have had one full day to read it, I might have finished it.

All in all, I thought it was a very interesting book that I would recommend. It's definitely not as conventional as most "coming of age" books out there, but one worth the read.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Towelhead by Alicia Erian

No, I'm not using a derogatory term, it's the title of a book. And quite a good book I must add. I read a bit about this book before I started reading it and it says that it's loosely based on the author's life and as I read it, I find that hard to believe. Not because her characters are un-believable, but because I cannot fathom how a father and mother can treat their daughter with such emotional and physical cruelty.

One might mistake Erian for writing too simply, but it's just a rouse for how much she is really saying. Had I not been reading another book at the same time, I might have finished this in one day. With such simple phrases as, "I decided not to, it might make daddy get made" (loosely quoted, don't have the book in front of me), spoke volumes. The reader also forgets that the main character is a sexually curious 13 year old girl, who has a body of a 16 year old, but Erian never lets us forget.

The way I came across this book is by it's movie that is set to premier this year. "Towelhead" the movie, has now been changed to "Nothing is Private". It has a great cast of characters including Aaron Eckhart ("Eric Brokavich" and "Thank You For Not Smoking") and Toni Collette (from "The Sixth Sense" and "Little Miss Sunshine"). Honestly, I'm not quite sure how this movie is going play out. The subject matter and first couple chapters could make even the most liberal minded person squirm in their chairs, but a las, I'll finish the book before I give my final assessment and I'll keep track of how well received the movie becomes.

Look for the trailer at IMDB.

Monday, June 9, 2008

No title today

This weekend, I was reminded of the frailty of life. I had to attend two out of three wake/memorial/celebrations of life for a friend of my boyfriends. I had met him early on in our relationship, about 5 years ago. Nice guy he was, and Isaiah always remembered him as that person that *really* cared when he asked "how are you?"

I was not close friends with him, but that does not mean I can't feel the pain of loosing someone. It's unimaginable and hard to process. It was ironic too because our visit this weekend to Eugene was to meet his new 3 week old nephew. One life lost, one just about to begin. I'm not a mother, I was not Dave's best friend, but I can still feel it, the love, the loss, the emotion. I'm hugely sympathetic, but while his friends were all crying Saturday night at his ghost bike walk, I stayed strangely calm. It actually frightened me by how calm I was, I wondered, "what's wrong with me that I cannot shed a tear?" Maybe it's because I felt I had no right, over anyone else, to be sad. I didn't want to impose on their loss, their feelings. I didn't want to impose by being a stranger in their mits as I am only a friend's girlfriend. Perhaps its that fact that I wanted to be strong for my partner, perhaps I was a heartless wench and something really is wrong with me.

The next day, at Dave's parent's house, was another wake. This one was in huge contrast to the night before: it was warm, sunny, and filled with laughter as well as tears. In one room were pictures of Dave as I remembered him: the dude with dreads. Isaiah pointed out, he only had those for a short bit. That's how little I knew him. The next room was filled with his baby pictures: kindergarten, him and his brother, his mom holding him as a child . . . And I lost it. Something deep down inside ripped through and it hit me. This mother's son, father's son, someone's brother, someone's friend, is gone. I left the room and never returned. It took me a few minutes to compose myself in the bathroom as I didn't want anyone to see me as I am just an invisible stranger, an extension of my boyfriend. I blew my nose, dabbed my eyes, and returned to the wake but never to that room. Just the thought of it . . .

Life happens, life stops. Please, enjoy your life and be safe.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Portland, Oregon

My friend just wrote a blog about Portland on her "Ferry Diaries" (check it out) that made me nostalgic for the place I live.

I think it's hard for me to articulate how something or someone means to me when, as a child, I spoke very little of these things. I was a painfully shy child and grew up to be a quiet teenager. In college, I blossomed to be a reserved, yet out going adult with occasional bouts of shyness. But my shyness is more of a choice, than a personality trait like it used to be. With that said, however, since I didn't speak much, I could never quite express myself with words, spoken or unspoken. I express my love for others by showing. For some reason, telling someone you love them, was a joke. It was not to be said, but understood. I plan on eliminating that with my children. I want to tell them all the time and I don't want them to be embarrassed to tell anyone else, like I have, no matter how much I mean it.
Yes, I know I seem to be writing in circles or just avoiding the subject, but I love Portland. There is something about having been born and raised in the City of Roses that keeps me here. I show my love for her by staying and (hoping to) start a family. To promote her anyway I can. To show people it's beauty, all its cultural diversity. And of course, by culture, I mean it's Portland culture. It's different pockets like Hawthone, Belmont, 23rd, the Pearl, NoPo etc. Don't get me wrong, I'm not about to promote Portland as a gem of racial and ethnic diversity, because it's simply not . . . but it's trying. I remember when I was the only Mexican-American in my elementry school, the only one in our apartments. We only knew of one other Mexican-American family, and that was it. Now, the high school seem much more diverse. I see Mexican-Americans, African-Americans walking down the streets of my old neighborhood, where as when I was younger, were were all isolated to different parts of the city. Yes, I understand that there are pockets where many immigrants live, where the African-Americans area heavily condensed, Asian-Americans as well, etc. I hope that some day, our lovely City of Roses will truly diversify.
But in the meantime, I will not give up on her. She has welcomed me time and time again when I was mean to leave. She drew me back after I had almost given up and left. She said "I'll make you're childhood wishes come true" and they did. I live and work in NW. She has nurtured me and taught me to be strong.

I love you Portland.