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Showing posts from November, 2008

The Dog next door

The guy next door works at the base, and he has a big german shephard named Duke. I call him Dukie, and I admit it, I've been using my feminine wiles so that I can play with the dog, who never gets out of his little yard, maybe 400 sq. ft. The guy built a wire fence for him, so that Duke can see out, but since the guy's house is in the middle of the block and Duke's area is in the back, he rarely sees anybody, except in the morning when the high school kids pass by, but they don't notice him.

Duke rarely barks. He's very sweet, and when I go over to give him treats from the alley-side, he rolls over for a rubdown, and I do my best over the fence.

I live upstairs so I can see everything that goes on in the next yard, and this is not a good thing, because I worry about Dukie. I've noticed lots of things, for example, that the guy comes back at lunch, but doesn't even pay attention to Duke, check on his water or anything. One time he didn't return on …

Trying to give thanks/Dia de gracias 2008

I am trying. I am grateful, I really am. That I'm healthy even though my knees hurt and I miss running. I am trying to give thanks that I have such a bounty of quiet to write and think today, but hope my single friends can rejoice in the aloneness, the solitude that comes from divorces and family members dying and children growing up.

I love this weather, it was in the high sixties today, but I'm worried that it hasn't gotten cold at all and it's the end of November. I wonder if my friends recognize what living the suburbs means for the environment -- the cutting of trees and construction of highways and the gasoline it will take for them to get into the city. I am thankful for my 900 sq ft apartment, the windows and space I have, why is it we always want more, even me? Now I want to live in the country, now I want a bigger house, now I want an acre or two, now I want a vista of greenscape, and what will my dream cost to the environment or what if I just gave that…

Thanksgiving in the barrio in San Antonio

It's 57 degrees outside tonight. Hazy moon. I walked home from the HEB groceries. My neighborhood is perfectly quiet, people have cars here or they're watching TV at 10 pm. No one's out except someone walking a dog and the crazy lady only come out on weekends.

People were loading up at the HEB. Whipped cream. Cokes, Dr. Pepper, Big Red. Cases of beer. Sausage. Cheetos. Ham. It was packed, because the store is closed tomorrow.

Somehow I remember the dinner party last night where we talked about the original thirteen colonies, quick, can you name them?

Yes, Georgia was one of them.

The thirteen colonies question is one of the questions asked for the U.S. citizenship interview, along with the Pilgrim question.

My girlfriend said last night that in a roomful of Ph.D's, no one could name all the thirteen colonies.

I'm sorry, but Thanksgiving just doesn't seem real to me. i've been to Plymouth Rock, outside of Boston and to the Charles River on the 4th of J…

Jose made me a turkey sandwich at 10 pm, are you in college?

Jose is handsome, young, hard-working, and tonight he made me the best Subway sandwich with lots of jalapenos and spicy mustard, just the way I like it. It was almost 10 pm on this Monday night and I always wonder when I see these young people working so late...are you in school, mijito?

No, I'm not.

He smiles, cleaning the counter with ganas. He's got a system to do it just right, he tells the manager.

Did you vote?

No. I don't believe in it.

He keeps scrubbing.

It's all about money.

I give him my spiel about Obama and how there will be more opportunities for him to go to college. He smiles, keeps cleaning. Then I tell him how I did it, with loans and scholarships.

I have his attention now.

Latinos are 20% of the electoral vote in Texas, but we're not voting in high numbers, I tell him. Blacks are 19%, and they voted. That means you could get much more help with a college education if latinos voted more.

I tell him my family story, how I went to college, how my br…

Where to start? What my neighbor did to his wife

It happened a year ago. My neighbor Rachel knocked on my door during the holidays. She was scared because her husband, (I will call him Big Panza) twice as big as she is with a voice that booms instead of talks, wanted a divorce.

They have three boys and she had no place to go. Panza has been beating her up, why hadn't I see it? Rachel could barely walk, Panza had beaten her in her pelvic area. And she had bruises on her neck and chest too. Rachel was sexually abused as a child. She drinks, and she's bipolar, and with all the medication she takes, she moves slowly, like she's drunk, but she's not. She weighs maybe a hundred pounds and she says she fights back sometimes when Panza hits her.

Rachel's not a great housekeeper. She feeds my cats, and she's very tender with her boys. They love my cats too, especially Snowball and Floofie, and aren't the type of boys who break windows.

Panza broke her jaw ten years ago, and that's why Rachel is always …