Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Mi Amiga Lost Her Job Today

Mi amiga C_____*, the prettiest single mom in Dallas, lost her job today because one of her patrons thought she was too “gordita.” Of course, C_____ is “gordita” in the same sense that Kate Winslet and Monica Bellucci are “gordita” but that didn't keep her from losing her job.

I'm praying she finds another job real quick. She's already put in a few applications but...hey, we'll see...

* Not her real name.

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Monday, February 27, 2006

R.I.P. Octavia Butler

Author Octavia Butler passed away quite recently as well. She was the first African-American female to become a successful science fiction writer.

She will be missed.

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R.I.P. Darren McGavin

Actor Darren McGavin passed away this weekend. His most famous role was that of Carl Kolchak, investigative reporter and monster hunter, who first appeared in the popular made-for-TV movie, The Night Stalker. Later on, McGavin would play the same character in the TV series Kolchak: The Night Stalker, a show which would later inspire X-Files creator Chris Carter.

He will be missed.

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Thursday, February 23, 2006

El Sueño de Amor Produce Monstruos

'Nuff said.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Mitos de Amor (Myths of Love)

1. If I love him enough, he will quit drinking.

2. If I love him enough, he will quit using drugs.

3. If I love him enough, he will love me back.

4. If I love him enough, he won't beat me anymore. Or kill me.

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Monday, February 20, 2006

Everybody's Got a Hellbound Heart...

I can still smell the perfume of a woman I care for very much. Not the one I mentioned in an earlier post but a woman I got involved with in order to escape the memory of the first one. Bad mistake that.

Not that the woman in question isn't a good person. She is. It would be a lot easier for my sake to pretend she isn't but she is.

And yet...it's become obvious that she doesn't care for me as much as I care for her. And there is no way I can reasonably hope to change that.

I'll miss the good times I had with her, of course. But in the long run, it is better for both our sakes that I stop expecting feelings from her that she'll never deliver...

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Big D's Fine But It Ain't Home. Detroit's Home But It Ain't Mine No More

I'm feeling very nostalgic for my hometown of Detroit this week. Perhaps because of the recent drop in outdoor temperatures this past weekend. I left Detroit back in 1968 when my parents decided to move my siblings and me to Texas. For years, I dreamt of moving back there. And to this day, it is still a dream.

I'm probably one of the few people in America who still wax nostalgic for the Detroit of 1968. And yet I've learned a long time ago that I can never go back there. Even if I moved back to Michigan tomorrow, it would do me no good for the Detroit of my childhood no longer exists. Detroit has changed a lot since 1968 and not always for the better. When I last visited there in 1987, the stable lower-middle-class neighborhood where I once lived was now a slum. The house I had lived in back in 1968 was covered with graffiti and its windows were boarded up.

Perhaps it is better that I can't go back. That I am forced to make my peace with the present and reconcile myself to life here in Dallas. Dallas, after all, is where most of my best and most recent memories have taken place. It's the place where I first fell in love. The place where I first met a kindred spirit. It is a place that has taken up permanent occupation in my heart close to the spot where Detroit used to be.

I still miss Detroit. But if I ever moved back, I'd miss Dallas too.

And if I ever move to another city, there will come a day when I miss that city too...

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Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Imagine If You Will....An Entire Channel Devoted to The Best of One Nation...

As opposed as an entire channel -- like Univision and Telemundo -- devoted to the best of a continent and a half...

Yes, I have been watching way too ads for BBC America. And the funny part is I normally like British TV shows. In some cases like Dr. Who and The Avengers, I like them more than their American equivalents.

Go figure...

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All the Things That I Have Seen, Part II

Recommended:

1. Veronica Mars: The First Season.

Basically an updated version of Nancy Drew with a bit of Buffy The Vampire Slayer-type snarkiness. Not that that's a bad thing. In fact, this is the best TV show I've seen in a while. Of course, the show does deal with some subjects like incest, date rape and classism that poor Pamela Sue Martin never had to deal with. But it handles them with a lot more subtlety than you would expect from a simple TV show.

Not Recommended:

1. Black Books: The First Season.

One would think that a show about an eccentric bookseller would be genuinely entertaining, but alas, no. The cast tries hard, but there seems to be no real backstory to any of the characters apart from what we learn in the first episode -- and that ain't much. It doesn't help that much of the show plays like a British imitation of Seinfeld. Bernard Black, the main character is a lot like Jerry. His assistant, Manny, is like a slightly more responsible version of George. And Fran, of course, is more than a little like Elaine. Normally, that might be a good thing but imitations this obvious aren't always that flattering.

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Monday, February 13, 2006

Pensamientos Acerca de Amor

A friend recently told me that we don't necessarily choose the people we love; we only choose what we do about that love. In other words, we shouldn't feel obliged to act like a schmuck just because we're in love with somebody. Life hands you quite enough opportunities to feel like a jerk; only a true jerk goes out of his or her way to make yet more such opportunities.

There's a person in my life for whom I care very much. However, my feelings for that person does not absolve me of my obligations to treat with respect other people for whom I have no such feelings. And I do not wish to be absolved of such obligations.

When you truly love somebody, you want what's best for that person. Even if what's best doesn't necessarily include you...

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Quote of the Week

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
--André Gide

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Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Lies, Lies, Lies, Lies, Yeah

I've been trying to resist the opportunity to comment on the recent James Frey scandal if for no other reason than (1) I haven't yet read his book A Million Little Pieces, and (2) I have no intention of reading it.

However, one can read only so many variations on the old “why make a big deal out of James Frey's lies when Bush lied worse?” line that has been going around the Internet before one feels compelled to say something. After all, I'm no Bush fan but I don't quite see what his lies have to do with Frey's. Granted, Frey's lies are by no means as terrible as the ones that provoked the current Iraqi War, but that doesn't mean that they're insignificant.

Any thought I might have had to the contrary was promptly banished by this op-ed piece I read by author Stephen King, who makes his case against Frey more eloquently than I can ever dream of doing.

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Monday, February 06, 2006

Quinceañera Wins at Sundance

A new film called Quinceañera won at the Sundance Film Festival. Oddly enough, few of the main film blogs out there have chosen to mention this.

Interesting.

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Bandidas Perdidas

According to a recent item in Hispanic Magazine, actress Salma Hayek and Penelope Cruz are supposed to be appearing in a new movie called Bandidas. However, the movie was supposed to be released in January and yet here we are in February with still no sign of Bandidas at the local movie theatres.

What happened? An ambush?

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Thursday, February 02, 2006

Quote of the Week

From Octavia Butler's essay “Positive Obsession,” originally published in a 1989 issue of Essence under the title “Birth of a Writer”:

But still I'm asked, what good is science fiction to Black people?

What good is any form of literature to Black people?

What good is science fiction's thinking about the present, the future, and the past?

What good is its tendency to warn or to consider alternative ways of thinking and doing? What good is its examination of the possible effects of science and technology, or social organization and political direction? At its best, science fiction stimulates imagination and creativity. It gets reader and writer off the beaten track, off the narrow, narrow footpath of what “everyone” is saying, doing, thinking -- whoever “everyone” happens to be this year.

And what good is all this to Black people?

My comment:

Of course, the point Ms. Butler makes about science fiction in this quote doesn't apply just to Black people.

One can very well make similar comments about the importance of science fiction to white people. Or Hispanics. Or Asians. Or gays. The list is endless.

I like to think that all humans -- and no doubt some day, all non-humans as well -- have something to learn from the science fiction genre.

Otherwise I wouldn't be so interested in it.

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R.I.P. Coretta Scott King

Coretta Scott King, widow of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., died Tuesday.

She will be missed.

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