Monday, November 29, 2004

His spirit lives

So, I caught the end of the 20/20 episode on Matthew Shepard's murder. The muderers are now saying that it was not a hate crime, and that his being gay had nothing to do with them killing him. WTF?

As much as Matthew Shepard's spirit has done for our community-his tragedy turned into an educational commemoration. Kids and adults alike learned of his story and its message that hatred is wrong. Now, these murderers want to take that away too?

First of all, the story they now say sounds just as homophobic. They said that Matthew Shepard gave them drugs and then wanted sex in return. Myth #1 among homophobics: gay people are attracted to every person of the same sex-so watch out they are after you! This whole, he wanted sex thing just sounds a little far fetched to me, but I know I wasn't there. Then they said when Matthew Shepard touched one of their legs, they attacked him. (But it was because of the drugs, not anything to do with his being gay!) Rule #1 among homophobics: if any one of them touches you, kick their ass!

Second, they said that they made up the whole story about killing him because he was gay and hit on them because they thought it would be a good defense. In other words, they thought it would be more acceptable to kill a gay man because he was gay, then to kill him for money/drugs. Homophobia, again!

I think at this point it doesn't matter. I'm sure there are thousands of gays and lesbians out there who are victims/survivors of hatred. It's not like Matthew Shepard was the first person in history to be murdered based on his sexuality.

What matters is this: his story became a nationwide story to teach others about hatred. The details can be manipulated all they want, because unfortunately, the only people that know what happened are well, uh murderers. They can say all they want, it doesn't matter. He wasn't the first nor the last. They murdered his body, but they can't murder his spirit too.

Matthew Shepard, you will always live on in my heart, because I know your story speaks for thousands of others.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Rollin' with the homies

This one's for Friday. Roller derby is seen as a feminist movement now, with after all the sexy women being strong and passionate at the same time. Did you ever decide on a name, friday? How about belleza? Or amante? Or S.A.B. (strong and beautiful) wait, maybe that sounds too much like a deodorant commercial.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

It's a Cereal Bar!

Oh, it's genius, why didn't I think of this! It's a place that serves cereal all day, with toppings, or hot cereals, cereal parfaits, cereal bars. Wow, I hope this catches on. I (like many people I'm sure) have always eaten cereal at all times of the day. But I don't like the chinese take-out style boxes they have at Cereality. I think they should have bowls! And different sizes! Imagine being able to buy a huge bowl of cereal-ohh and eat it with a big spoon. I think they should have bowls that are reusable with sayings like "Cereal Killer" on them. And if customers bring them back for more cereal, give them a small discount for 1.) not being wasteful and 2.) saving the company money on buying these disposable things.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Robot Cockroaches

Wait, don't step on that one! Scientists in Switzerland are making robot cockroaches that will mimic the behaviors of real cockroaches in order to hopefully get the real cockroaches to follow them to a trap. Cockroaches really, really gross me out. I remember I could barely read Kafka's The Metamorphosis because I was so horrified of the descriptions (really, I often had to close the book and stop out of pure fright and disgust, then try tackling it later). Yuck! Anyway, if you read the article on the robot roaches, notice how near the bottom it talks about how possibly in the future robot chickens will be made to increase their movement:

Other applications are also envisaged for the computer programmes developed
under the Leurre project. Guy Theraulaz, the director of research at the CRCA,
says that it may be possible to build chicken-like robots that will be used to
stimulate poultry.
“A lot of chickens don’t move at all and die as a result.
They need to be encouraged to run around. Robots could do that.”

But wait a minute, here in America, isn't it that chickens don't move because they can't move in these modern factory farms! They are trapped in cages, crowded, of course they don't move-they physically can't! Ah, one more reason to encourage these factory farms to give them room to move. And perhaps a reason they will listen to: hey farmers, don't buy robot chickens, it would be so much cheaper to have ample room for your chickens and allow them to move around.

Well, I'm still learning about what goes on in factory farms. Perhaps someone else has something to share on this.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Mix it up!

November 16 is Mix it up at lunch day! This is a day for kids in school to eat lunch at a different table and meet different people from different backgrounds. Do you remember lunch period, back in the day? Let me just say that I remember being a sophomore and at my lunch table my friends were Indian, Greek, White, Philipino, and my long-time crush was African-American, who would occasionally come over from his table, or I would go to his. And I remember looking around and my table was one of the few with a mix of ethnic backgrounds. Yes, I remember this voluntary segregation as I call it (I even wrote a whole paper on this concept in college and how to improve it!) Anyway, if you know anyone who is a teen, inform them of this day. Granted, every day should be a mix it up day, but this is a good start, verdad?

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Friday Night Lights

I loved this movie! If you haven't seen it yet, go see it! I don't want to ruin it and give away the whole movie. But the characters were great, and the way it depicted small town Texas football was very realistic. Any of you reading this who happen to not live in Texas, yes the movie is based on a real team and of course, a real book.
Funny how we left the movie, and all over the parking lots were trucks with "Go Panthers!" or whatever team name for the various high school football teams in the area. Wait, didn't we just leave that movie, oh but this is Texas.
I liked all of the characters, but I really liked the coach. He was smart enough to know that winning isn't everything and contrary to the town's beliefs, it is just a game after all. It's important to have a character be in touch with reality because otherwise the movie would have just made me mad and yelling at the screen: "it's just a game! get a life!" But that wasn't the case. Great movie, go see it!

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

The Dog Fighter

"What did I get into?" was what I kept thinking as I trudged my way through this book. No, not because the writing was bad. It was great! And that's precisely why it was difficult to finish.

Let me back up, this book is the story of a young man in Mexico who becomes a dog fighter. As a young boy, his grandfather told him stories of fighters and told him that he had fighting in his blood-that he was born to be a fighter.

So he (the main character has no name and is known as simply "the dog fighter") grows up a very large, strong man who fights dogs for a living.

A warning to fellow dog-lovers: there is a lot of animal abuse in this book. And the descriptions that are so finely crafted by Bojanowski made me cringe and then hug my dog as if telling him "I would never let anyone hurt you!" As a boy he tortures animals, and in the fighting ring, he kills dogs. But of course, he doesn't just kill, Bojanowski writes so descriptive that the reader can hear every bone break, every cry the dog makes, and see the dogs cower in fear until their last breath. It's enough to give one nightmares.

But in the middle of the book he finally realizes how (insert word here: inhumane, horrible, etc.) that it is and the voice of his grandfather no longer makes him want to fight and kill.

Like I said, the writing itself was very good, but it was just hard to keep reading such horrifying acts. If I were to come across another book by Bojanowski (this was his first) I might read it if it doesn't deal with killing animals. I don't think I could make it through another one.

Okay, and I did have a small problem with the cover picture. The book took place in Mexico-all the characters were Mexican. Why did the cover show a picture of a white boy with freckles and a few Mexican kids blurred in the background? I just didn't get that.

Monday, November 08, 2004

If you can't join em, beat it!

So, I've been seriously thinking about going back to school. I've gotten to the point where I've become disgusted with the profession I chose and want to go somewhere else.

What to do? Where to go? I've been thinking about my passions and interests. I've been volunteering off and on since I was a teenager. I'm a huge advocate for equal rights. I love helping people. Hmmm....could social work be the right field for me? I was checking out the profession, and 1.) in 2002 the social work field had about twice as many jobs as librarians 2.) The pay is really not bad ( I remember thinking as a teenager that I would like to be a social worker but couldn''t live on $18,000 a year. Turns out the salary is much more reasonable. Who gave me that figure back then? Geez, I could have saved myself lots of time and heartache going for those two other degrees!) and 3.) It sounds great-directly helping people. What could be more rewarding than that?!!

But then again I think 1.) what a waste of those other degrees I worked for! 2.) I can't afford to go for more school! (Okay, maybe I could, I would just have to cut back on other things) and 3.) I fear that I might end up in the same situation as I am in now!

I tried becoming a librarian, thinking I would be helping people by providing them access to information. Turns out, 6+ months after I got the master's degree and almost a year since I've been seeking work, they don't want me! Who knows why, I'm tired of trying to figure it out. (You know that old stereotype of the old lady librarian? They will deny it, but it is SO true. Young people like me just aren't getting the jobs. )

But what if I do decide to go back to school, and then my hopes are let down again! Is it worth taking the chance again!??

I suppose I could go (part-time of course, so it would take a while) and think of it as a very long-term goal. That way I'm not rushing myself, can keep my current position, and then know that in several years I could have more job opportunities. That's it, more opportunities!

I've been looking for scholarships for financial assistance. Maybe I should write to Oprah and tell her my situation...

I liked it so much better when I was a kid thinking about what I want to be when I grew up. I never knew the reality of working hard towards a goal and being turned down. I was always taught that "anything is possible with hard work." Unfortunately, other factors get in the way.

What do you think, should I go back to school? If I decide to it will probably be summer 05 at the earliest. We shall see...

Friday, November 05, 2004

Those crazy Texans...

Was this really necessary, I mean really!!??? How hard is it to see that these actions are a direct attack on a specific group of people!? Oh, I'm sad to say this is probably only the beginning.

People on the outside looking in can see the ridiculous notions around here, when will some people here wake up!?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

It's a sad, sad thing when a politician wins based on his oppression of others. I heard so many people today who were Bush supporters say they voted for him because he is anti gay marriage and anti abortion. "Moral" issues seemed to play a big role in this election. How is it seen as moral to deny loving couples the right to marry? And why are gays so hated anyway with religion as a defense? What about people who get divorced, isn't that a sin? Or someone whose spouse dies and then remarries, doesn't the bible say that is cheating? Or premarital sex, should we outlaw that too because the bible says it is wrong? Wait, judging others, is that not against the teachings of the bible? Oh, but I'm missing one important thing: this is not a country just full of Christians! We do have diversity here, but who cares about those others I suppose?

I'm honestly scared. So many people are just followers. Bush's only defense against Kerry was that he called Kerry a "flip flopper" and inconsistent. Now so many people have been saying that Kerry doesn't know what to think, blah, blah and that they know where Bush stands on the issues. And some people seriously believed the ridiculous accusations like Kerry would take away everyone's bible? It seems like so many people aren't really paying attention to what's going on.

I feel like we're moving back in time instead of moving forward. I have so much more to say, but I've written enough already.

These things are so addicting

I'm back!
You'll have to excuse the generic template. I'll personalize it and change it up eventually. Woo-hoo, now I can say whatever I want! And just so you know, I recovered my old blog. Still debating whether I should put it back up or not. I love blogger, they are so great, I looked elsewhere but no one else even compared. Plus, they have great customer support who will go through the trouble of recovering an old deleted blog. Anyway, yeah, I'm back. More later.