A Lesson on Thanksgiving

A job well done should never go unappreciated.

Do you know that feeling of working hard at a paticular project or job and finish feeling less than accomplished because it seemed to have gone unnoticed or unappreciated? It can leave one so down and disappointed that the next task is one that is either approached with much hesitiation, lack of motivation, or perhaps not approached at all.

I have a stash of letters written to me from my students, and receieved a new stash today. I turn to these a lot when I feel down, or feel like all this work just isn't worth it. They give me the motivation I need to not become stagnant or jaded in my career. I understand the bitter teacher. I understand where a person gives up on investing so much into others because they have been burned time after time. I believe it, I understand it, but I don't want it...so I read these letters.

Then it got me to thinking. If we have moments where we feel like we're running on "E", without an end in sight, no one to encourage us or thank us - how then, does God feel? Who does more than He that created us? We have been given the breath of life, the opportunity to live, love, laugh and be in the presence of people we care for, doing the things we enjoy. He never sleeps. He is there, aware of you, your heart, your situation, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. He can't call in sick or take a mental health day. He doesn't ignore tasks, or give them to someone else to complete. He works. Even when we don't have a thing to do with Him, He works on our behalf.

Sounds like the hardest job in the world right? He doesn't do it for the pay either, He does it because He loves us. So how do you think He feels, when He doesn't receieve a note, or prayer, of encouragement? Days, weeks, years and decades go by without a sound from us. If He hears from us it sounds more like a grocery list then a word of thanksgiving.

"I need You to do this..."

"I need You to do that..."

"I really want You to fix this..."

"I know You will bless me with that..."

Not very thankful are we?

Take a moment today, no, take several moments today to be thankful, to glorify the One that never gives up on us.


Rodriguez | Light In The Attic Records

Check out this link: Rodriguez | Light In The Attic Records

This guy is insane. Love his music, love the story.

Light in The Attic Records is a record company that not only seeks out new, unique talent, but ventures back into the musical archives of our past and rediscover musicians and bands that may not have been as recognized as they should have been. In the 60's and 70's the music scene was overflowing with innovative sounds and talents. I'm sure it was easy for many great artists to go unnoticed because of the musical renassiance occuring around them. This record company has seeked out some great sounds from former singer/songwriters and I think the idea is golden, as well as the music.

So far (Sixto) Rodriguez is my favorite. I've had the pleasure of listing to many of the other acts on the label and plan on adding them to my always growing music library as well. The Cold Fact album is played over and over again on my commutes, and during my workday. He's sort of a Mexican Bob Dylan. He sings about love, honesty, politics, saying goodbye, and Janis Joplin. He has ventured back into traveling, touring, and sharing his talent with the world. I hope to catch his act the next time he rolls in through Texas.

Here are the lyrics to a favorite of mine, Like Janis. On the album the song title is incorrect, it states the title is Jane S Piddy (which is believed to have been a typo and should have read Janis Pity, go here for the full story on this oddity)

Like Janis

And you measure for wealth by the things you can hold
And you measure for love by the sweet things you're told
And you live in the past or a dream that you're in
And your selfishness is your cardinal sin

And you want to be held with highest regard
It delights you so much if he's trying so hard
And you try to conceal your ordinary way
With a smile or a shrug or some stolen cliché

But don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you
So why should you act so put out for me?

'Cos emotionally you're the same basic trip
And you know that I know of the times that you slip
So don't try to impress me, you're just pins and paint
And don't try to charm me with things that you ain't

And don't try to enchant me with your manner of dress
'Cos a monkey in silk is a monkey no less
So measure for measure reflect on my said
And when I won't see you then measure it dead

'Cos don't you understand, and don't you look about
I'm trying to take nothing from you
So why should you act so put out,
And sit there in wonder and doubt, for me?


It's Not Easy Being...Brown.

Last week in the midst of the Spurs-Mavs playoff series, a friendly debate took place on a cousin's facebook status regarding game two. There was a lot of banter back and forth amongst myself and several others. It was all in fun, then, I opened my big mouth. Granted, what I said wasn't meant to be taken offensively, and to my defense only one person (who wasn't even a part of the conversation) took it the wrong way. My comment regarded the high hispanic population the Spurs following contains. I've been a fan of the Mavs for sometime now, and have watched several of their games here in Dallas, and even in San Antonio. The fan make up difference is insane! Well, a comment was made in response of what I said to me, referring to me as a fool and I needed to shutup. In not so many words I was told a few things.

1) I need to look in the mirror. (because somehow I've forgotten my skin color?!)

2) I pretty much disappointed my grandparents who both came from Mexico. (Yeah, I'm college educated, happily married, successful, and a practicing Christian. I'm sure they're rolling in their graves)

3) I'm a bad teacher. (It seems she teaches her students everyone is equal - but later on she mentioned not only are the Spurs the best, but so are Mexicans. Hmm...we're ALL equal in her eyes?)

Now, I have several things I was feeling that could have replied that would've ended the conversation, and quite possibly the relationship, completely, but c'mon, it started with sports! Really? Not worth it so I simply sent a private message apologizing but of course defending my stance in the situation. No reply.

This entry isn't really about this confrontation but it stemmed something in me that I have had an issue with for as long as I can rememeber.

Many people would assume as a Mexican-American in the south I may have encountered some prejudice, and I have, but it's not what one would assume. (Hello, I'm in Texas, there's a lot of us here!) Sure, I was put in ESL in elementary without evening knowing but a handful of words in Spanish (that's a lawsuit nowadays!) but most of the discrimination I have felt came from my own kind.

"What, you don't know Spanish? What kind of Mexican are you?"

"She thinks she's a white girl."

"She must be Catholic, you're Catholic right?"

"Why don't you hang with your own?"

Since I was very young I had to deal with ingorant comments from other Hispanics questioning my authenticity. Abraham Quintanilla said it best in the movie Selena (yes, I went there) when he said
"We have to be more Mexican than the Mexicans and more American than the Americans, both at the same time! It's exhausting!"
It's so true. While there are Hispanics everywhere in Texas it seems like we have to prove our "Americaness" daily, even moreso with the huge immigration debate. I constanly wonder if when Americans see me if they wonder if I'm like the Mexican's they see on the news, jumping over a fence to just come work, not pay taxes, earn welfare benefits and free medicare whilst sending their American money back to Mexico. At the same time, I can't walk into a Mexican restaurant or market without receieving a dirty look or snide remark when they speak to me in Spanish and I reply in English. Gasp. How dare I?

So how Mexican am I? Let's look at some of the stereotypes and see how many I fit into. Here are just a few of many.

1) Mexican's only eat tacos, tortillas and beans.

* I eat those things, but only cook them every other week or so. I usually just put a steak on the grill or bake some chicken otherwise, but I know all the Mexican dives in the DFW area and West Texas)

2) Mexicans are lazy.

* I worked three jobs while in college. I've worked ever since and pride myself on my work ethic.

3) Mexican women stay at home and take care of their husband and family. Young Mexican women stay in their parent's home until they are married.

* I take care of my husband, I do. I serve him his food, refill his drink, and treat him like a king. I learned that from the model my parents showed me growing up. It's something I pride myself on. I moved out of my parent's home during my freshman year of college and lived on my own independently until I got married and became a servant :)

4) Mexicans have a ton of kids.

* I have over 20 aunts and uncles combined (not including their spouses) so yes, some Mexicans do have plenty of kids. I have none, but Octomom and Kate have close to 20 combined themselves.

5) The man runs the house and is jealous by nature.

* My husband runs certain aspects, but for the most part it is a democracy. He isn't an ounce jealous. Sometimes I wished he was.

6) Mexican's have chihuahuas.

* I have dachshunds. Does that make me German?

At the same token, those are just stereotypes non-Mexicans have placed on my unique predicament. By their standards and stereotypes I'm "okay" and not like "the others." But to fellow Mexican Americans I'm a disgrace because I'm not fluent in Spanish, I left my mother's home to have my own place which only scandalous women do and I'm not Catholic (you'd be surprised how much flack I've gotten for that!)

So how to I handle it? I laugh.

Yes, I like to make fun of myself. How boring would life be without laughter? I make jokes based on stereotypes, I play the "race card" to be funny quite often. I see nothing wrong with it, George Lopez does it. Do you not agree George Lopez is awesome?

I can be proud to be both. I am an American, with Mexican descent. I love taking the best qualities each culture has to offer and becoming almost a hybrid, super-person. I have to include my southern hospitality and the fact my region alone calls for inclusion of a completely different set of qualities as well.

I love the American go-getter attitude; take initiative, be all you can be. Combine that with the hardworking mentality my Mexican heritage has instilled in me, keeps me a succesful and productive person. I love my independence my husband and I gained when we moved away from our home town, not very common in my family or Mexican culture, but we return for every holiday and them some. We wouldn't miss those opportunities for the world. Family is always first, love them or not. I love to shake my hips to some merengue, salsa and tejano but I love when my husband (attempts) to spin me during a country two-step (I kind of have two left feet, thus the word attempt, very un-Mexican of me I know) I believe in equal rights for all races and that the battle against discrimination should never stop, but I also feel we need to protect our borders and improve our immigration policies.

Sometimes I feel like I have two choices, A or B. Be American, or be Mexican. Mexican-American doesn't even seem like a choice sometimes. In the end what it comes down to is me just being me. I can pretend to be more "Mexican" than I really am, then I'm just a fake. I choose choice D, none of the above. I choose authenticity. I choose to be me, whatever that is, but I shall embrace it. We all have flaws, but me being American or Mexican are not some of them.

*These photos were taken on two seperate occasions and locations, San Antonio and Tye, Texas.


Insight from the Avett Brothers, and I

There’s a darkness upon me that’s flooded in light// In the fine print they tell me what’s wrong and what’s right// and it comes in black and it comes in white// And I’m frightened by those that don’t see it.

These lyrics ring so true - I don't understand how the human mind and conscience works. Black is black, white is white - you're either one or the other. I want people to get what they see from me. I don't want to give a false impression of who I really am as a person. That can come off as blunt, rude, or stuck up -but I'd rather be those things in the eyes of people who don't really know the content of my character, then fake. I use to go along with the small talk, but I don't know if it's age or with enlightened dissernment but I won't anymore. I will not waste my time on those that just want to bring people down, or continually try to lift themselves up to a role of superiority. People that don't value family, spiritual and carnal - don't deserve time in my days any longer. People that know what's wrong and right, those that know the truth and ignore it are far worse then those that live in oblivion and I, for one, rather walk away.
This is just something that's been on my mind for sometime now and today it was just intensified. I'm confident that I'm on to something here, I feel better about my relationships, they feel more genuine then a lot I see around me. I feel like i've isolated myself in many aspects but it's been a good opportunity to concentrate on personal growth. I'm happy with my life, and those I choose to share it with. I'm still a work in progress but even if it's not always pretty, right now, my goal is to be genuine.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Bad Day

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


Hello There

Do you know that feeling you get when you know someone has been trying to get a hold of you, whether it be a facebook message, call or text, and you haven't responded, but then you run into them somewhere? It's awkward. Before a "hello" can even come out you're telling them a million reasons why it was so impossible to get back to them for this, that or the other but you obviously have time to update your facebook status while getting an iced coffee at Starbucks or wherever you're at when you run into them (because you know the "run-ins" never happen at the emergency room or a funeral for a family member, they happen in a leisure place while you're doing something obviously less important than holding onto the ties of a friendship)

Now combine that with the shame you get after making out with your best friends significant other (I've never done that - trust me, but you get the picture.)

That's how I feel when I blog for the first time in months. I feel compelled to get a worthy excuse out. It makes it even harder when I've done this before and have come up with a slew of reasons why I've been absent, only to do it again.

I'm a repeat offender.

So yeah, I'm not doing it this time. I'm not telling where I've been, what I've been doing. I'm not even promising to blog again ever. So there.