Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Good for me!

Yes, it is a pat on my own back but it is also an, "it's good for me moment." I finally went to the gym today. JW and I have been talking about it for three weeks now but we have been talking each other out of going instead of motivating each other but that has now changed. We used an Elliptical machine for half an hour and then used three different machines to work out our backs. JW is taking it easy on me since I have never done weights before. But I am already seeing improvements. This is the new me:

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Lemme 'xplain

"No there is too much, lemme sum up."
If you can name the movie that quote is from, you are a rock star.

Any who, I know there were probably a couple raised brows when all two of my loyal readers saw that I was working 8 to midnight yesterday. After all, I work at a University campus, what the heck was I doing working so late?

The union actually does this really cool late night program called Matador Nights. (We are the Matadors, just in case you didn't know). It is brand new this year. The idea is, we host these late night programs free to students with valid ID and they can bring one guest. We started with four this year, two at the main union and two at the satellite union.

Last night was Mardi Gras theme.
As a new Graduate Assistant, (Oh yeah, I still have to write about that promotion, don't I?) I figured that I should actually make it to the event this time. I have been joking that i was slowly building up to being involved: I knew about the first one(Halloween), I helped with set up for the second one (Winterfest) and was actually going to attend the third one. I guess with the fourth one, the only way to be more involved is to be on the planning committee. We shall see.

But I digress, with good reason as I will explain in a little bit. Last night I headed over early at 6:00 to help setup. It was so windy and cold last night that we ended up moving as much as possible indoors. Thank goodness I bundled up, I spent a good portion of the night outside handing out:

There is so much going on, I will try to list it all. There were free games at the Games Room, billiards, video games, poker. Next door at the Design factory, there was a spin the wheel and get free USU stuff wheel - T-shirts, pens, pencils, highlighters, key chains, posters. Outside these two places, we were asking for 'donations' for glow necklaces and bracelets for all proceeds to go to Katrina relief. We had a craft corner
(yes, we actually have piggy banks to paint) in the Pub, as well as a ministry group playing music (not a bad as it sounds) and a couple food stations: a drink bar (no alcohol), gator tacos (yes, real gator, farm raised) and jambalaya. Right outside the Pub was a caramel apple in a cup vendor.

There was a DJ in the Grand Salon for a 'masquerade ball' next to the Pub. At the Sol center, we had airbrush tattoos, face painting, first aid table for help and demos, a psychic for tarot cards and palm readings, and a Karaoke room. There was also cotton candy and corn on the cob right outside the Sol center. They at least had a little protection from the wind and it was well lit.

In the Northridge Center, there was 'speed meetings' hosted by one of the sororities on campus. I was never quite sure what that meant, I heard it being referred to as speed dating by our announcer/outside DJ sometimes and there was musical chairs and a hypnotist show later that night inside the main area. Right outside the Northridge center, the gals from some Delta Theta or what ever, were offering Mocktails ("Where's my mocktail?" - name that film - hint: Parker Posey is in it.) and there were fresh made mini donuts. Mmm, donuts....

We had an outdoor laser show, an outdoor stage for one of the campus' jazz bands (really good but I felt bad for the trumpet and sax player - so frio last night). We also had a stilt walker, juggler on a unicycle and a roaming theatre 'guild'(useless couple of wanna be theatre majors who didn't perform at all) outside. Our accapella singing group Acasola (on myspace) performed a couple different places and times. There was also a belly dancer who was suppose to be roaming around but it was so cold (do you notice I say that a lot?) we told her to go from building to building so she wouldn't freeze.

It was a fun night. We started letting guests in around 9:00 and we started clean up at 1:00. I got out to the entrance at one point and gave my previous boss a much needed bathroom break from clicking an entrance count (No WAY did we get an accurate count, there were two security lines with people checking IDs, wanding the guests and stamping hands). I stayed a little after he got back and helped hand out:

Food and drink were free but we asked everyone to turn in coins so we could do a count later and find out what the popular vendors were. We initially handed out 4 coins but told people they could always come back for more. In addition to the private security group we hired to watch and control all the entrance points to one main entrance and exit, we also had several Campus/LAPD officers there. The cops were cool, having worked these events before. I had the chance to chat with one of the cops while we were setting up the hypnotist show

(I was the point person - don't ask) and in addition to having a grand ol' time and being a real chatty Cathy, he shared that he rarely busts student for marijuana possession unless they have a ridiculous amount (intent to sell) because it is too much paperwork. He also told me that in 18 years on the job, he has never gotten in a fight with a smoker but he has with drinkers so he would rather deal with smokers any day. And no, in case you were wondering, I never saw any of the cops near the donut booth.

After all was said and done, I got home around 2:00 a.m. I had a really good time although I am sore from set up, all the walking and helping with clean up. I actually preferred walking around outside handing out beads to being point person for performing groups as I was warmly dressed, got to interact with a lot of people, wandered where ever I wanted to go, got to see everything and hear several of the performing groups. But hey, you volunteer and then go where they tell you they need the help.

Sorry for the really long post, I tried to break it up with as many photos as I could. There was a lot going on last night and I had a lot of fun. I only wished I had remembered my chap stick cuz ouch! this morning.

P.S. Answer to what movies I quoted in the comments section

Friday, February 23, 2007


Slept in, had mail in my inbox, spoke with Jess

Getting my taxes done today, working 8 p.m. to midnight, got a jury duty summons

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Thursday Silliness

Me if I were an M & M.

Make yourself at the offical M&M website.



Tuesday, February 20, 2007


So glad I got my car back! Had to get it worked on yesterday.

Rhetoric of Women Class in the afternoon. My group is studying Hillary for our group presentation.

Monday, February 19, 2007

This Week in Photos



P.S. I'm peeved at the fact Blogger forced me to create a google account. I have enough logins to stuff and can hardly remember them, why would I want to make new accounts anywhere. Grrrr...

Sunday, February 18, 2007


This morning, I was asked to write a letter of recommendation and boy, is that hard work. It took me three drafts to get a letter I thought was any good. It was also a shock to realize that I have known Meesh and Ms. B for 18 years now! Talk about a long friendship. At any rate, I needed a break before tackling my homework for the week and since I was listening to my iTunes on shuffle, here is a soundtrack of my life entry. Some if it is pretty funny. I hope that you all had a great weekend.

1. Opening Credits: Please Send Me Someone/George Michael

2. Waking Up: Carrion/Fiona Apple

3.First Day At School: Cruz/Christina Aguilera

4.Falling In Love: Harder to Breath/Maroon 5

5.Fight Song: Round Here/George Michael

6.Breaking Up: What’s This Life For/Creed

7.Prom: If You Have to Ask/Red Hot Chili Peppers

8.Life: Goodnight Song/Tears for Fears

9.Mental breakdown: Pale September/Fiona Apple

10.Driving: Red Hill Mining Town/ U2

11.Flashback: I’m Not That Girl/Idina Menzel

12.Getting back together: Mississippi/Train

13.Wedding: Privilege/Incubus

14.Birth of Child: Twist in my Sobriety/artist unknown

15.Final Battle: Migra/ Santana

16.Death Scene: So Hard/Pet Shop Boys

17.Funeral Song: Everybody’s Fool/Evanescence

18.End Credits: ob-la-di. ob-la-da/The Beatles

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

February 14

I have expressed my views about Valentine's Day before.

This year, I would be in class tonight but my professor kindly gave us a reading assignment so we would not have to be on campus tonight.

So I am still single and that does not bother me at all. I do have a couple things that I like to do for myself on Valentine's Day. First, I buy myself new windshield wiper blades for my car. Since you have to replace them once a year anyway, it's an easy date for me to remember.

I also use to think that you were suppose to get a new toothbrush every 6 months and I chose Valentine's day and my birthday since they are roughly 6 months apart and again, both easy dates to remember. Turns out that you are suppose to get a new toothbrush every three months instead. But my system still works because that means I need to remember to get new toothbrushes for Cinco de Mayo and before/around Thanksgiving. Rock on.

So I am a big ol' nerd, I think that has been made abundantly clear in this blog. Hey, everyone celebrates Valentine's Day in their own way. If you have a significant other, I hope that you get to spend at least some of your day with them today. And if you don't, Happy Valentine's Day from a friend.


Monday, February 12, 2007

A Quickie

I will try to post pictures and some writing soon but to keep you up to date,

Went to Disneyland with T3 for her B-day. So much fun, so tie-tie.

Sister in town, had big family brunch as she just had a B-day earlier in the week (34!)
Passed out on couch for an afternoon nap.
Watched TV until wee hours of the night (Saw Once Upon a Time in Mexico , I will have to write about that movie later)

Got up fairly early, spent time with fam
Chatted on the phone with Meesh
Spent the afternoon reading for classes
Excerpts from The Mechanical Bride
The Medium is the Message I didn't quite finish that one.
and other assorted delights.
Watched the beginning of the Grammys (not too exciting)
Watched Battlestar Galactica (yes, i am a nerd)

So I hit the ground running this week. Have to jump offline and address some Valentine day cards that I already know will arrive late. Aarrgh!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007


Okay, so I realized that a couple posts down, I wrote that I was keeping a journal for Comm & Ed and that I was excited about the class and thought it showed in my writing. And in the post previous to that, I complained about how awful the Comm & Ed class was. I'm having a little trouble keeping the Comm & Ed class seperate from my Rhetoric of Women class since they are both taught by the same professor.

That could get interesting this semester, huh?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Movies Movie Movie Movies...

While I should be cutting up squares of tissue paper for my class teaching assignment tomorrow (you gotta love Grad school) or better yet, getting started on the reading I need to complete for next week, I thought I would add a new post. Especially considering mi primo Jefferson linked to my page on a post about movies. Thought I would write a little something in case one of his peeps stopped by. If you did, welcome. Oh and 'hey' back, cuz.

I love movies and yes, living in Ventura with Los Angeles a hop, skip and a jump away does make it easier to catch more quality flicks. Not meaning to rub it in pero...

Of Best foreign film nominees (one of the categories I am trying to catch all of the films in), I have seen two of the films:

Water and Pan's Labyrinth.

The other three nominees, After the Wedding, Days of Glory, and The Lives of Others are neither showing in theatres or available for rent. Since a couple of them have release dates of 2007, it looks like they played the festival circuit for eligibility and no where else. Of those two films, I would pick Pan's Labyrinth as my winner. While Water is a powerful and gripping tale, it has slow pacing at the beginning and it takes a while to get into the swing of the film. I walked out of the theatre for Pan's amazed that day. Water, it took me a couple of days to feel the full effect of the movie. While that is also a sign of a good movie, Pan's Labyrinth is one I want to see again and soon. I thought the story was amazing.

I was suppose to try to catch the best actor and best actress nominee performances as well with another cousin but with the new school semester started up and the amount of work I have in my classes, I think that plan went out the window. I did get to see Penelope Cruz in Volver. Also an amazing film and I highly recommend it. I'm not sure I agree with the consensus that Pedro Almodovar writes great roles for women; they are meaty roles but I am still undecided if they are great roles. I think I will need to take a closer look at the film. Yet another movie to add to my collection when it is released.

And for Best Picture Nominees, I have seen The Queen and that's it so far. Good picture but...I felt it left something to be desired.

I am not stressing about seeing the other best picture nominees because AMC theatres is offering a special deal on February 24. For $30.00 selected AMC theatres are offering all five best picture nominees and unlimited refills on drinks and popcorn for the day. Select AMC theatres but it's about time! Mis amigos and I are considering going to this event as the closest theatre is in Burbank. Its only 20-25 minutes away so no biggie.

Any who, I really have to move on to my craft stuff before the night ends, so ciao for now and happy movie watching to you.

Monday, February 05, 2007

The State of Things

I think that I have accidently become the

in my Monday night seminar.

I have also unexpectedly been craving

nonstop for several days now.


Sunday, February 04, 2007

First Assignment

For my Comm & Ed class, we are keeping a 'journal' in which we are to reflect on the readings for the class and record our reactions and thoughts. I think I did well on my first assignment and wanted to share it with you. This is not a journal as in a separate bound book like a diary. These are loose leaf entries that we turn in every week and the professor recommends that we keep in a three ring binder for future reference. She will accept handwritten work as long as it is legible, so as you all know, I am typing it on the computer. And since I am already typing it up...

The professor is starting us off with prompts but we are encouraged to expand on the prompts as we feel necessary. This is the class I am really excited about. I think that comes through in the writing. I hope that you are able to follow along without having read the work discussed.

ASSIGNMENT: Teaching to Transgress by bell hooks, read the Introduction, Chapters 1,2,3

1. bell hooks talks about her experiences in educational institutions and suggests a number of strategies with which she takes issue. Were your experiences similar or different from hers? How? Have you experienced "education as the practice of freedom?"

Our journal prompt asks us if our classroom experience was like the one that bell hooks describes. She talks briefly of her experience in the newly desegregated school and then moves on to her college experiences both as student and professor. My first thought of my own education experience was, ‘What diversity?’ The majority of my schooling took place in Simi Valley, a place most remarkable for its lack of diversity. As a Latina, I grew up with ‘white’ friends in predominantly white classrooms. Diversity was limited to lessons about how the pilgrims and the Native Americans (Indians) were great friends, how the California Mission System help civilize the West. All this was mere lip service to the idea that there was more than the predominant white culture for us to learn about. I cannot think of any professor who taught diversity in the classroom.

This lack of multicultural teaching continued into college. Part of the struggle for me came from my own lack of connection to my ethnic heritage. A main part of this disconnect took the form of my inability to speak Spanish. Language was and still is used as a cultural and ethnic divider. Three generations removed from Mexico, I was proud of my heritage but still remained in ignorance of what that meant in my every day life, of the history that created the cultural landscape that I live in. Today I have claimed my Chicana identity but not without struggle. It took me many years to realize that I was allowing myself to be defined by how others thought I should be. Just because I don’t speak Spanish doesn’t make me any less of a Chicana than someone who is fluently bilingual. I had learned through society that I should be speaking Spanish or else I could not claim that part of my identity.

I have seen tokenism take place in many of my classes. In classes where I spoke of an interest in feminist scholarship, suddenly I became the feminist scholar in the classroom, in a field that I felt I had no training in and did not consider myself an informed individual; I was suddenly called upon to be an expert. Yet when I was called upon, it was not uncommon for another classmate, on which this burden was not placed, would come up with resources and rhetoric far superior to my own and I would feel like a failure for being expected to be an expert in a field I had not trained in. I felt and often do still feel like a charlatan in my classes. I often feel like I have not had the training I need to speak with authority or even simply knowledge but instead have been faking my way through my education with personality and an overdeveloped ability to read others and give them what they want to hear.

bell hooks also speaks of the seminars she and a colleague put on to discuss how to create a multicultural and diverse classroom, to teach professors how to expand their curriculum. Recognizing the works of co-culture authors as part of the canon is an area in which I struggle and this passage really hit home, the words on the page highlighted an issue with which I have been struggling with lately. Is it diversity to point out an author’s race and ethnicity when discussing their work? I know that racism is alive and well in the world. An author’s experience with race and racism informs their work. Being called names and being treated as other affects the way we think, act and react. But at what point do we stop using our differences to define ourselves? To be ‘Other’ is to be defined against a norm, even if we chose to define ourselves in our own terms rather than allowing the dominant pedagogy to define us, are we still not ‘Other’? How is this cycle broken? I would love to have participated or even just observed these dialogues in the awareness sessions. I guess this issue of not ‘othering’ while breaking down the dominant ideology is what bell hooks is speaking of and what the point of a Communication and Education class is about. New dialogue has to start somewhere.

I don’t know that I have experienced education as freedom from dominant pedagogy and as a lesson in multiculturalism but I have experienced education as the personal freedom. I have experienced classes that helped with my freedom of self and which has allowed me to see myself as more that I previously believed myself to be. I have read and been exposed to great thinkers and I believe that I have absorbed some of that teaching and it has made me a better person. I am quicker to spot injustice, racism, classism, sexism and heterosexism than before, now what remains is for me to learn how to affectively and actively change these systems rather than simply identify them. That would be the second reason for taking a class in Communication and Education.

Saturday, February 03, 2007


I've decided to keep my list of movies I've seen recently to those during the current month. If that starts getting rediculous after a while, I will probably start posting the last five movies I have been to.

And oh yes, I am doing the oscar challenge again this year, just getting a headstart instead of doing all five best picture nominees in one week.

Of the best Picture nominees, I have seen:
The Queen

Best Foreign film nominees:
Pan's Labyrinth
(I highly recommend both, Water can be rented)

I have to go, later.

Friday, February 02, 2007

ZZZzzzZZzz, Class Three

So, in case you couldn’t tell from the title of my post, I did not enjoy Communication and Education. It kind of makes me sad because this is the same professor I have for my Tuesday night class and wow, I am really not excited about this class. I was trying to figure out what the difference was and here is what I came up with.

I was fortunate to run into a classmate that I had class with last semester and it turns out that she was in the class that night. Plus, one of my fellow grads from Monday night’s class was in this class too, so it was not that I didn’t have people I knew in this class. I think that it was the tone of the class that rubs me the wrong way. When the professor came in, Dr B. (Ironically, the other professor I have this semester would be Dr A. – so I have Dr A. and Dr B. with out making that up but I digress) had us move into a circle.

Which I guess is okay since there are only 15 or 16 of us in the class and it is set up as a seminar. But then she put on some crappy elevator music – no, that’s insulting elevator music – while the rest of the class was coming in.

Then, she kept asking these open ended questions about why we are taking this class and why we as a society require schooling through 12 grade. Then, she gives us a prompt that starts with, “When I was in school…” She gives us a little time to write and then has us pair off and tell the person next to use our tale, finishing it verbally if we didn’t have time to finish writing it. That was okay. But then she has us go around the entire circle and tell our stories and it turns into this string of, “this teacher changes my life or affected me in this way."


I think that I am not paying over $500.00 (Well, paying theoretically at least) a class for some sappy hippy circle jerk. Maybe a little harsh but come on! Yes, I have had teachers who have touched my life or taught me more than what is covered in the classroom. And we are suppose to be studying not only technique but also critical pedagogy. I guess I am not up for sitting around and playing, “isn’t teaching a noble and under recognized profession and aren’t we saints for wanting to be teachers ourselves.” And although I feel like I have to qualify everything I say, it is not that I don’t believe our teachers are important and that they are undervalued in American society. They are. I believe that teachers should be treated and paid like rock stars. Although I am sure they would appreciate it if the paparazzi left them alone.

I’m not interested in sitting around and feeling the issues around teaching, I want to learn about then and get active, figure out how the system works, what my role in it will be and how to navigate it.

(sigh) I don’t know. This was just the first class. I really, really hope that it gets better though. And oh yeah, I haven’t talked about the syllabi. I have some crappy, time consuming projects for this class. Let me just say that we have to teach a craft or activity to the class. I have chosen to go next week and make the woven heart basket that I learned to make years ago out of Cricket Magazine. It takes two colors of paper, scissors, stapler and a little patience. I can set up everything this weekend, I just don’t know where I will find 16 pairs of scissors. I hope that next week I might be able to borrow then from work. We do have a craft night. Oh yeah, you have to love college.