May 3, Houston: The big one -- the Inprint reading -- occurs at the Alley Theatre on Monday, May 3. Do not miss it or you'll be sorry. I'm not kidding -- I'm going to say the craziest, most intellectual yet hilarious stuff I can think of, and I'll be sharing the stage with the ultra sexy Oscar Casares, too.
June 24, Houston: I'm one of the peeps scheduled to read at Poison Pen, at Houston's famous Poison Girl bar. Besides me, everyone there will be ultra, *super* sexy. Come see me and drink!
June 26, Washington, DC: I'll be reading at the American Library Association conference. Come on down.
My other blog: Go read my the Houston Chronicle parenting blog (or my ChronMomBlog, as I like to call it) and make sure my kids won't resent me more than other kids resent their own parents.
Buy my new novel, Lone Star Legend. Already did? Well, buy a few more for your friends, then. :)
Friday, April 27, 2007Linkelodeon
Two creative writing students record their observations of Alec Baldwin's Yale visit. "She grabs my neck and pulls me towards her. 'He's looking at me like this and them he says, what are you doing after this?'"
You'll either laugh at LOLcats, or else you won't and then I'll wonder what part of the brain we do not have in common. (And I'll know that you can't appreciate the fact that I has a flavor.) In case you need help, Anil Dash explains the living shit out of it.
Regarding this most sickeningly cute kitten montage, for the bottom left photo, my boyfriend has suggested the LOL-esque caption "I R modeling for plezzure."
I love to read about people's crappy gift experiences, even when they're for made-up holidays. I think "Administrative Professionals' Day" has taken the place of Valentine's Day as the date for the most disappointments.
It's hard to keep up with the TV shows these days, so my family and I usually avoid them, then rent and watch whole seasons via Netflix. (Your Source for Effed-Up and Mislabeled DVDs, I think is their motto.) So we're starting on Season 2 of Battlestar Galactica now, and I'm totally obsessed with it. And, if I'm obsessed with a show, that has to mean that somebody's obsessed enough to make some hot, sexy slashfic out of it. Right? 6:21 AM # (4) comments
Tuesday, April 24, 2007Questions on my Mind Lately
1. Why would a teacher tolerate bullying in his classroom?
2. If a divorced mother is "bat-shit insane," how does that justify a divorced father verbally abusing his own child?
3. Is it just my imagination, or do some men see children only as extensions of their own mothers, and not as human beings in their own right?
You know what I mean? We all know about men who obviously love their current wives' children, but act like their former wives' children don't exist. We all know about men who refuse to pay child support because they see it as funding their ex-wives' leisure. We've seen news stories in which men kill not only their ex-lovers, but also those lovers' children. And we've all seen nature shows on PBS in which animals purposely kill the children of other animals.
So what's up with that? Are some men closer to the animal world, in all its savage nobility, than the rest of us? Or are these just the same old human men we've seen forever, who were trained by other men to believe that women and children are less than human?
4. If I'm such a good person, why am I not teaching? So many messed-up human beings are teaching by default. I claim to actually care about children, so why don't I put my money where my mouth is?
5. If I go to my suburb's Chick-Fil-A on a Friday night, and I see blond jocks and cheerleaders make fun of the high-school students working the counter, what should I do? Should I say really loudly to my boyfriend, "What kind of losers spend their Friday nights making fun of people who have jobs?" Or does that only exacerbate the situation--make me the same kind of bully I despise? 6:24 AM # (14) comments
Monday, April 16, 2007dream post for Rose
I had nightmares all last night. First, a crazy person I know had swelled to eight feet in height and was trying to get at me through the chain-bolted door. The instruction manual said that, to make her go away, I had to throw my cat into another yard. I grabbed my cat and ran it out the patio door, threw it over the fence. She scaled the fence and stared at me through the chain links. "Why are you doing this?" she said. I sighed, because I knew it wasn't worth explaining, because cats don't understand superstitions.
Later, the psycho came in and made a magical talking worm start telling me about its depression. Boring!
Last night, I lived in my boss's house, which is nightmare enough. I couldn't stop working until a visiting client requested that I play golf. Okay. I got ready. First, I had to check on my boss's wife's baby. Then, oh my god, there were giant lizards in the courtyard. Red and gold. I ran to tell my boss and he did nothing. Then, the lizards were growing, became big and ornate like Chinese dragons. Hungry ones. Mean. There were children all around them, laughing and teasing obliviously. The boss's wife's baby was heavy on my hip, needed to be put down for a nap. Why was I the only one concerned? Why wasn't anyone helping?
I think this medication I'm on (cabergoline) is making me have crazy dreams, because I have them every night, all night long.
recent common dream themes
1. I have to live with my boss, or at my workplace. (This means work takes up a lot of my time.)
2. I have two houses, one in the suburbs that I can afford, and a new one in the city that's beautiful but small and possibly unsafe. I wonder why I accidentally bought the city house, and if I can afford it. (This is related to my desires/fear regarding my day job v my writing career.)
3. I have to deal with kittens or cats. (Used to think this meant responsibilities, but now I think it means creative projects.)
4. I find out my house secretly has a lot of awesome rooms with antique furniture, and I'm excited, but then I find out my ex-husband lives with us and I have to put up with him if I want to explore the rooms. (Same meaning as Number 2, I'm sure.)
And that's all. That's all. No sex, no romance, no flying, no chase scenes. Just the same old worries about my work. And monsters. And babies, and kittens. Jesus Christ. That's why I'm a morning person: I wake up early to escape all that work and get myself some rest.
why I hate Tarot.com
I'm starting to suspect that Rick Levine, who writes the daily horoscopes for Google via Tarot.com, has a Capricorn acquaintance who he hates. A lot. Because I'm Capricorn, and my horoscope is always negative as hell. Even when it's good, it's bad. Old Rick finds a way to ruin it for me. Like: "Capricorn, today you will win the lottery and have sex with anyone you want, with no respite. But don't get too excited yet. Venus is in the Seventh House, which means you should probably look in the mirror and ask why someone who's as much of an asshole as you deserves anything good at all."
You know? I need to find another horoscope, that sounds as true but that's more diplomatic.
classic guilty pleasures
I discovered a new guilty pleasure. Well, I rediscovered a recurring one: Riding in my car alone, singing aloud to '70s rock songs. This is especially pleasurable now that I have a boyfriend who's a little younger than me, who therefore can't tolerate any music without synthesizers.
The other day, on my 1.25 hour commute home, I ran into a good string of singable classic dinosaurs. Led Zeppelin's "Going to California," which has nice octave-jumping lows and highs for me. Then Styx's "Renegade," which is cheesy as hell, but so awesome to wail along with. Then, one of my faves, Foreigner's "Feels Like the First Time."
After that, the DJ says, "And that was Foreigner, number 7 on Rolling Stone's Guilty Pleasures Band List."
And I'm like, "WTF??"
So this morning I tell my boyfriend about that, and I passionately declare that anyone who calls Foreigner a guilty pleasure is just a little bitch who's too afraid of the opinions of others. And my boyfriend says, "I bet Styx is on that list." And I say, "I like Styx," and he says, "I know."
And he says, "I bet Journey's on it, for sure." And I think about that and admit, "That would be a guilty pleasure."
And I brush my teeth, and I think some more, and then it hits me. "I hope Rush isn't on the list. I mean, I know it has to be. But I really love Rush."
My boyfriend nods. He knows. He's heard me sing "By-Tor & the Snow Dog." He didn't want to see that far into my soul, but he had to live through it, for love.
So, this morning, I call up the list. And, guess who's number one.
Damn you, Rolling Stone. Damn you with all the speed of the red barchetta that Geddy Lee's uncle gave him. 9:19 AM # (11) comments
Friday, April 13, 2007Racist Houston, Racist America
For a good long while now, it's been freaking me out that Houston's Craigslist Rants & Raves seem way, WAY more racist than those of other American cities. Also, our Houston Chronicle is littered with more racist/conservative/hateful commentary than other online papers I've read.
And I wonder why, and I come up with various theories (uh... Houston is a port town and more of a melting pot than other cities and therefore on the cutting edge of race-relationships exploration... uh...) but, in the end, it just makes me sad and ashamed, and I wonder if I should go live somewhere else.
Racism fascinates me, though. Maybe because I'm of mixed ethnicity and have seen a lot of it from alternate sides, it always has amused and interested me. I like to read honest, anonymous, insane racist commentary and use it to draw thumbnail pics of what's going on in the world.
Here is a recent, racist rant on Houston Craigslist that's stuck in my head lately. If you're too tired to click, I'll summarize and say that it's about a white person who is upset that Rucci's (a taqueria in a trendy neighborhood) is full of Mexican employees and patrons who don't give white people preferential treatment.
This post touches my heart because it reveals what's going on a lot lately around these parts. That is: Racist white people are afraid, because the Latino population is growing so quickly. Racist white people know that they're the minority here, now, and they don't want to be treated the way they've always treated non-whites.
I mean, that's a dynamic that's been happening in America for a long time, anyway, but now I see the very specific, anti-Mexican manifestation of it here in my hometown. It's pathetic, but kind of amusing, too. Especially in the case of that post. My friends and I don't go to Rucci's anymore because, last time we were there, some stupid-ass white people tried to start a fight with us. There were ten of us and three of them--one guy and two blondes with implants--and the reason for the argument was very stupid. The blondes kept parading around our table in their skimpy outfits, and one of the women at our table made a disparaging remark about them, so the two blondes went to their male friend and demanded that he defend their honor. And the lone guy walked up to our table and randomly picked the lightest-skinned of our men to start shit with, and our light-skinned friend didn't know what the issue was, but he was willing to beat this guy's ass just for the fun of it. And some of us tried to reason with the guy and send him back to his blondes, but he was hell-bent on impressing them by getting his ass beat, I guess. And the (Mexican) security guards eventually came over and made everybody chill.
And it was funny, and pathetic, and we often reminisce about it and wonder if the guy ever got any sex for his foolish trouble. But, at the same time, we don't go to Rucci's anymore because, obviously, trashy people eat there. Trashy white people who start fights, over nothing but the hope of rutting with each other at 2 AM.
I guess it's probably difficult to go from being the majority culture to the minority one. Well, I know it is, because I'm expected to go back and forth between cultures all the time. When in Rome, you do as Romans, and sometimes conflicts arise. It gets stressful.
But that's the thing, isn't it? You do as the Romans if you want to go to Rome, don't you? You don't walk into Rome wearing your "Grecian and Proud!" t-shirt and screaming rants about how non-Grecian these effing Romans are. Unless, of course, you're stupid.
Yes, I know, racist white people: You didn't ask to go to Rome. Your city is becoming Rome all around you, without your permission. I know, I know. Hush, little babies. You might have to move away. Or, you might have to learn to get along with Romans. Poor racist white people, I know it's hard.
So, anyway--from the specific to the general, now:
Don Imus deserves to get fired. You know why? Not because he exercised his right to racist free speech. No. He needed to get fired because he's behind the times. His show is no longer entertaining to the masses. It's outdated, old-fashioned, not funny anymore.
You know why no one says wop or dago or spic on the radio anymore? Because it's boring. It's lame.
You know why ads got pulled from Don's show? Because there's nothing interesting about a racist old white men. It's old. It's stale. Move on.
And you can complain all you want that Dave Chappelle gets away with it, or that non-Mexican Mexican-disparager Carlos Mencia gets away with it. And you're right, they do. But I promise you that when they get stale, they won't be able to sell ads anymore, and then we'll all move on to the next big (offensive, stupid, lowest-common-denominator-serving) thing.
If you want to succeed, you have to sell to the masses, even when they aren't the same color as you. That's how it works in America. That's how you live in Rome. 9:28 AM # (30) comments
Monday, April 09, 2007Don't hate me because I'm busy.
I'm writing a lot of stuff for upcoming readings, and for money. Tomorrow night I'll be on KPFT, on the Nuestra Palabra radio show, so check that out if you miss me.
Then next week is the big MFA show. A lot of people I know in real life have been emailing me, saying, "I'm so sorry - I swear to God on the Bible that I have a good excuse for missing your show..."
But it's okay. Seriously, I never expect real-life friends to show up for my stuff, especially not on weeknights.
But, if you're a Mexican woman that I know, and you find out later that I read a piece about you, don't whine to me that you missed it. And don't expect me to read it again for you. Because I won't. You get one shot. That's it.
If you're not a Mexican woman, carry on as before.
I said all week that I would write this weekend, on Good Friday Night and then on Good Saturday. And, of course, I didn't. But then, on Easter Sunday, as my boyfriend drove us both to Austin to pick up my kids from their dad's house, I wrote like crazy. I wrote three pieces, longhand, in a pink plaid notebook. And I was glad, and I felt lucky to have a boyfriend who likes to drive. Or who doesn't trust my fast, aggressive driving, and therefore chauffeurs me around for his own peace of mind. Whichever. The outcome's the same. I got a lot of writing down, and I'm grateful.
Labels: writing8:17 AM # (2) comments