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War Stories and Memories

Sometimes when I'm driving, mostly at night- towards the end of an eventful night... I recite the poem to myself. Funny how now it seems to be permanently engraved in my brain, yet at one point I was struggling to remember it.

I think it's beautiful. I cant lie, winning gave me the validation I partly needed to know that it was a cool poem. Deeper than that was realizing that I have a story to tell, and furthermore people could feel me and know where I'm coming from. I have always removed myself from situations to think about how this will add to the story of my life- maybe not on the spot, but definitely at some point. And more and more Im not dismissing the little, or big things, and Im beginning to fully accept them as part of my life story. Accepting the pretty and the ugly as a part of what has made me, me.

Its interesting to be at that point where not only do I analyze my decisions and put them into context, but I validate them enough to accept them as part of my story, my narrative and share it.

Thats such a big deal of why I love that poem so much, because it tells a real story and its mine. Every line, every reference goes to a specific night or image, or event. Its beautiful. Its beautiful to have a history, or herstory ;)

Sometimes it gets me though. I wonder if my need to collect or compile a narrative is part of my subconscious fear that I will not always be the person I am, and will need that good story to prove who I was. I dont know.

The sage show was bomb. I really want to hit up more open mic spots. I really love spoken word, it captivates me like nothing else and I feel like I shouldnt ignore it. Maybe something will come of it? Quien sabe.
  • Current Mood
    calm calm
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So I didn't get the job at Red Lobster due to my tattoos. Yeahhhh...kinda sucks, a lot. The manager was extremely nice about it though, she said it was nothing personal. Actually she said that her brother's a tattoo artist and a piercer, but that it's just company rules. Which I guess I can understand. She did offer me a hostess position but it's not really the money I'm looking for, not to mention my memories of hosting at American Cafe were NOT pleasant.

I applied at Hot Topic...hilarious, I know. This actually really sucks... what a reality check. Of course I knew that getting tattoos on my wrist was going to be a catalyst to certain things, but I also felt like and still do, wherever I end up for real working-like building a career, will be a place that is open to tattoos. I don't see myself working in an office setting or anything like that. It's just not me. So it's only a problem now when I need lame summer jobs. Grr...

Oh well fuck it, I'm gonna go see Sage tonight!
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(no subject)

So Sage Francis is coming to town the 30th AND the 31st, so I'm looking forward to that! It'll definitely be Natalie and I, and hopefully Lu and Brandon, though it is doubtful. I'm not sure which one we're going to yet, probably DC since it's closer, makes more sense. I've never been to this venue though, in fact I've never even heard of it. Hope it doesn't suck. Is it terrible that I'm trying to download his new album right now? My bad Sage, I'm broke. It sucks that the only show I've been to of his was one where the album he was promoting was one I hadn't heard yet, so I was hooked on his old shit, but not his new stuff. Now the same will happen I'm sure, because I only have like a day to listen to his new shit. But maybe he'll be cool and play some old shit.

I went in for my interview today and I think it went really well. Tomorrow I have to call at 11 to set up an interview with the general manager and then finally maybe I'll figure out if I have the job or not. I really just want to get some money, that's all. It sucks being broke and having bills and shit to pay off.

I've been going to bed really late lately. THe past two nights I went to sleep around 5, and for no reason in particular. Just watching shit or reading, looking for music, random shit that has no real importance. Once I started to think about how many socks I'm gonna have to take to Brazil, I decided I should just go to bed. But really I will have to take quite a few. 2 months worth...that's like half my fucking suite case. :(
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Summertime and the livin's easy...

Everything has been pretty chill since summer started. I'm not sure what really marked the beginning of summer for me, but it started.

I handed in my application at Red Lobster today and tomorrow I'm going back for an interview. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get the job, I just don't know if I'm going to be getting the money I want to be making. I decided against working at Fridays because my mom brought up a good point- that Fridays mainly attracts a younger crowd who are also cheap tippers. Red Lobster isn't as busy or big, but the food is more expensive, and from what I've seen just eating there people come in larger groups and are older. So hopefully I can make something. I'm thinking the days I don't work there I'm going to try and work at the restaurant. I'm sure it wont be that many hours, so hopefully they'll be cool with that.

Last night I picked up Lu and her boyfriend, Brandon at the airport. I was really nervous because I wasn't sure how we'd get along. It's her man, and I know she loves him to death so it's important we're cool. I don't know how it went really. He didn't say much, and he has sort of a reserved personality/cold... which is very opposite me, so I really don't know. Plus it was late, and really, there wasn't room for a lot of talking or getting to know eachother. We're getting dinner tonight and probably hanging out after that, so I'll see. Overall it's a kind of fucked up situation for several reasons. He seems like the type of person you really have to warm up to, or get to know, in order to see the real him- which is straight, I like people like that. Only problem is I don't have that time to get to know him. He's gonna be here till the end of the week I think, and after that he's off to Iraq for "8 months" which will be more like a year. So yeah even if we do hit it off really well within the next week, I wont see him for a really long time. It's a blower, but what can you do. At the very least I want us both to leave with good impressions of each other. I think that's all I can ask for in this situation.

The other night I asked my mom if she was still interested in buying a camcorder, because I remember before she really wanted to. I guess to film Brandon and Bryan. She said we can't really afford it, but later that night she asked me if it was for Brazil and was like well look through this catalog (a Dell one) and see if you find something cheap. Turns out they do have a cheap little cannon one that would be perfect. I really appreciated it. I don't know what I would do without my mom. She's the only one who supports me and what I want to do. She's always been there for me. I love her :)
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"Treat the record label like a slut, then rape that bitch"

They're wack, Ill Bill, Sabac all of them are WACK. I can't believe I ever went to his show thinking he was on a progressive tip. Whatever. I'm deleting all their albums from iTunes. For awhile now every time they come on in my car I'm like wtf? Why do I still listen to this crap?

Everyone please boycott Non Phixion and their affiliates. :) Thanks.
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Le Tigre says to read these books...

This is mostly a note to self type thing.

Sisterhood is Powerful Edited by Robin Morgan

Black Macho and the Myth of the Superwoman by Michelle Wallace

When and Where I Enter: The Impact of Black Women on Race and Sex in America by Paula Giddings

In Our Time:Memoir of a Revolution by Susan Brownmiller

What are we Fighting For? Sex, Race, Class and the Future of Feminism by Joanna Russ

A Taste of Power: A Black Woman's Story by Elaine Brown

This Bridge Called my Back: Writings by Radical Women of Color edited by Gloria Anzaldúa and Cherríe Moraga

Women, Race, and Class by Angela Davis

Daring to be Bad: Radical Feminism in America by Alice Echols

The Dialectic of Sex by Shulamith Firetone

The Second Sex by Simone De Beauvoir

Feminist Theory: From Margin to Center by bell hooks

Yours in Struggle: Three Feminist Perspectives on Anti-Semitism and Racism by Elly Bulkin, Minnie Bruce Pratt and Barbara Smith

Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches by Audre Lorde

Toward A Black Feminist Criticism by Barbara Smith

How to Suppress Women's Writing by Joanna Russ

Skin: Talking About Sex, Class & Literature by Dorothy Allison

Female Masculinity by Judith Halberstam

Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler

Technical Difficulties: African American Notes on the State of the Union by June Jordan

Sexy Bodies: The Strange Carnalities of Feminism by Elizabeth Grosz and Elspeth Probyn

Woman, Culture, and Society edited by Michelle Zimbalist Rosaldo and Louise Lamphere

An Archive of Feelings: Trauma Sexuality, and Lesbian Public Cultures by Ann Cvetkovich

Odd Girls and Twilight Lovers: A History of Lesbian Life in Twentieth-Century America by Lillian Faderman


SAT. APR. 28
John Legend

@ Merriweather Post Pavilion • Columbia, MD
w/ Corinne Bailey Rae
6pm Gates.

Saturday May 5th
, Psalm One, OneBeLo, Pro and Reg & guest TBA
Doors at 9pm/ Show at 10pm- ALL AGES

Thursday May 17

9:00 PM DOORS - ALL AGES (8 bucks)

Wednesday May 30th
Sage Francis
(with LIVE band)
Buck 65
Buddy Wakefield
Doors at 8pm/ Show at 9pm- ALL AGES

Sunday June 3, Monday June 4

Saturday June 9


Saturday June 23
Manu Chao Radio Bemba Sound System & Thievery Corporation Live!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Paz y Justicia

"Our word is our weapon"

It feels amazing to be rediscovering old talents, and taking them to a new level.

I found my camera, the one I swore was stolen- my bad. I'm most definitely taking photography next semester. Note to self: write down all the ideas that have been building up since the last semester of high school.

I briefly spoke to him about why I can't or probably wont be able to go to the Rock The Bells show, but never finished. It's straight though. I found happiness in knowing that for once I told someone about the cool ass shit we're doing, and believed in it. We're planning on going to Brasil this summer and interview women of different neighborhoods, primarily "ghettos" and talk about issues like domestic violence, rape, abuse, sexual assault, as they are all issues hushed in our culture (Latino America).

We love the movement, but we're tired of being marginalized in it. Simon's movies are amazing, and he does an incredible job of putting the camera not only in his hands but primarily in the hands of those at the center of the subject. But still we see that women are underrepresented. Even if they are given the camera, the internalized habit of not putting our issues or concerns first comes through.

The trip to Chicago was great. It gave me the energy, as these escapades often do, to keep going. We networked... and I don't know if this is good or bad, but I personally realized that while we will meet amazing people on the way, we will also begin to meet the assholes, the liars, the hypocrites- and surely make enemies. Though I really hesitate to use the word enemies because it involves having hatred for someone to the point where it bothers you, and consumes you. I guess I just mean I will definitely meet people who I will not call to stand by my side, who I will not rely on, and who I will not expect anything from.

I don't think that's a bad thing, I think that's accepting life.

This semester will be over soon. I have to get on point with many things. Papers, classes, studying. Tutoring will end for the summer soon. I'll begin working again, reading a lot, writing, taking pictures.... and then we'll leave to Brasil.

The point of no return, it's arrived.

  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
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Novelist Kurt Vonnegut dies at 84

NEW YORK (AP) -- Kurt Vonnegut, the satirical novelist who captured the absurdity of war and questioned the advances of science in darkly humorous works such as "Slaughterhouse-Five" and "Cat's Cradle," died Wednesday. He was 84.

Vonnegut, who often marveled that he had lived so long despite his lifelong smoking habit, had suffered brain injuries after a fall at his Manhattan home weeks ago, said his wife, photographer Jill Krementz.

The author of at least 19 novels, many of them best-sellers, as well as dozens of short stories, essays and plays, Vonnegut relished the role of a social critic. He lectured regularly, exhorting audiences to think for themselves and delighting in barbed commentary against the institutions he felt were dehumanizing people.

"I will say anything to be funny, often in the most horrible situations," Vonnegut, whose watery, heavy-lidded eyes and unruly hair made him seem to be in existential pain, once told a gathering of psychiatrists.

A self-described religious skeptic and freethinking humanist, Vonnegut used protagonists such as Billy Pilgrim and Eliot Rosewater as transparent vehicles for his points of view. He also filled his novels with satirical commentary and even drawings that were only loosely connected to the plot. In "Slaughterhouse-Five," he drew a headstone with the epitaph: "Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

But much in his life was traumatic, and left him in pain.
A meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five

Despite his commercial success, Vonnegut battled depression throughout his life, and in 1984, he attempted suicide with pills and alcohol, joking later about how he botched the job.

His mother had succeeded in killing herself just before he left for Germany during World War II, where he was quickly taken prisoner during the Battle of the Bulge. He was being held in Dresden when Allied bombs created a firestorm that killed an estimated 135,000 people in the city.

"The firebombing of Dresden explains absolutely nothing about why I write what I write and am what I am," Vonnegut wrote in "Fates Worse Than Death," his 1991 autobiography of sorts.

But he spent 23 years struggling to write about the ordeal, which he survived by huddling with other POWs inside an underground meat locker labeled slaughterhouse-five.

The novel, in which Pvt. Pilgrim is transported from Dresden by time-traveling aliens from the planet Tralfamadore, was published at the height of the Vietnam War, and solidified his reputation as an iconoclast.

"He was sort of like nobody else," said Gore Vidal, who noted that he, Vonnegut and Norman Mailer were among the last writers around who served in World War II.

"He was imaginative; our generation of writers didn't go in for imagination very much. Literary realism was the general style. Those of us who came out of the war in the 1940s made sort of the official American prose, and it was often a bit on the dull side. Kurt was never dull."
A novelist -- and car salesman

Vonnegut was born on Nov. 11, 1922, in Indianapolis, a "fourth-generation German-American religious skeptic Freethinker," and studied chemistry at Cornell University before joining the Army.

When he returned, he reported for Chicago's City News Bureau, then did public relations for General Electric, a job he loathed. He wrote his first novel, "Player Piano," in 1951, followed by "The Sirens of Titan," "Canary in a Cat House" and "Mother Night," making ends meet by selling Saabs on Cape Cod.

Critics ignored him at first, then denigrated his deliberately bizarre stories and disjointed plots as haphazardly written science fiction. But his novels became cult classics, especially "Cat's Cradle" in 1963, in which scientists create "ice-nine," a crystal that turns water solid and destroys the earth.

Many of his novels were best-sellers. Some also were banned and burned for suspected obscenity. Vonnegut took on censorship as an active member of the PEN writers' aid group and the American Civil Liberties Union. The American Humanist Association, which promotes individual freedom, rational thought and scientific skepticism, made him its honorary president.

His characters tended to be miserable anti-heroes with little control over their fate. Pilgrim was an ungainly, lonely goof. The hero of "God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater" was a sniveling, obese volunteer fireman.

Vonnegut said the villains in his books were never individuals, but culture, society and history, which he said were making a mess of the planet.

"We probably could have saved ourselves, but we were too damned lazy to try very hard ... and too damn cheap," he once suggested carving into a wall on the Grand Canyon, as a message for flying-saucer creatures.

He retired from novel writing in his later years but continued to publish short articles. He had a best-seller in 2005 with "A Man Without a Country," a collection of his nonfiction, including jabs at the Bush administration ("upper-crust C-students who know no history or geography") and the uncertain future of the planet.

He called the book's success "a nice glass of champagne at the end of a life."

Vonnegut, who had homes in Manhattan and the Hamptons in New York, adopted his sister's three young children after she died. He also had three children of his own with his first wife, Ann Cox, and later adopted a daughter, Lily, with his second wife, the noted photographer Krementz.

Vonnegut once said that of all the ways to die, he'd prefer to go out in an airplane crash on the peak of Mount Kilimanjaro. He often joked about the difficulties of old age.

"When Hemingway killed himself he put a period at the end of his life; old age is more like a semicolon," Vonnegut told The Associated Press in 2005.

"My father, like Hemingway, was a gun nut and was very unhappy late in life. But he was proud of not committing suicide. And I'll do the same, so as not to set a bad example for my children."