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Dear People Who Hate Us

Last night, I spent the evening laughing and talking with a group of women writers I'm proud to call friends. At the table, our conversation bounced around in English and Spanish about books and shows and general gossip. As we laughed, the music, a combination of cumbias and current pop Spanish hits, at times drowned us out, so we talked louder. We ate our nachos, enchiladas, and chimichanga. I felt safe. I got to forget just for a moment about the rest of the world. As soon as I got home, my phone overflowed with notification of the president's latest blunder. The warmth I had just felt faded just a little. The reality of the hatred many feel for people of color burst my bubble. I feel the weight of it on my body. I feel it chipping away at my usual hopeful demeanor.

I want to say,

'Dear People who Hate Us, 

What have we done to you? Where did you learn to hate so hard? What have I done to you? Do you even know my family has probably been here longer than yours? Do you kno…

No, I Didn't Mean Turns, I Meant Tiendas

I've been thinking a lot about being bilingual lately. In June, my sister-in-law visited, and at the beginning of the visit I tried to speak mostly Spanish, later it was more Spanglishy-English because I was tired. My brain got tired, and also, I'm going to be honest, I got lazy. For those of you reading this who are bilingual(ish), you know what I'm talking about. I'm grateful that my husband lets me be lazy. (Also, it's hard to talk to someone in a different language if you're used to speaking in another. Try it. It's weird.)

I have a friend who is Puerto Rican, and I while I envy the ease in with he seamlessly switches back and forth between the two, accent free, I doubt my discipline in practicing enough to get there. I want to. I really want to. I promise, but it's like going to the gym or eating better, everyone is always better in the beginning. 

Last week, my editor and friend in chief sent me a text with a translation project suggestion. I didn&#…

Tough

Nine days ago I went into my first ever surgery. While minor, I was still nervous, like peed six times before they gave me the good drugs nervous. Something about losing time with anesthesia really bothered me.

I'm home, mostly in my bed, for the last nine days. I'm lying. Today, I'm on my couch. The doctor told me the recovery for a tonsillectomy for an adult was rough. He definitely downplayed "rough." Last Thursday, four days after the surgery, I went back to his office convinced I'd developed an infection because my neck was so swollen my jaw line was almost gone, and the pain so bad it brought tears to my eyes. He told me I needed to be tough and this was normal. I cried in his office.

Tough.

I find this word interesting because for a large part of my life people around me have used this word to describe me. I'm not sure what makes someone tough. Because I often cry. In fact, I cry for almost each of my emotions. Happy cry, angry cry, sad cry, I do t…

Everything I Never Told You Bares All: A Book Review

I gave Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng four stars because it was really good. In fact, it was so good, it hurt. I don't know if I could read it again, though. I felt a lonely ache each time I read it, but I would encourage anyone to read this at least once. I didn't want to give it four stars. I wanted to give it less, because while I would devour the book in lengthy segments of time, it hurt to read it, so it took longer than usual to read. This is a testament to Ng's talent.

I loved the omniscient narrator who gave readers insight into each of the characters innermost thoughts without influencing in anyway. It hurt to read because all the characters were so silently raw and unwilling to speak when needed. There were several times that I wanted to shake any one of the characters, "Say something! Say what you mean!", but I had to remind myself they were not real. Ng made them real. She made the hurt real and while reading, I became almost like the young…

Review of Helen on 86th Street and Other Stories by Wendy Kaufman

This is an odd book. At first there doesn't seem to be any link between the short stories, but then a common thread starts to show in seams of the pages. The narrators are all women who want to be brave even in the most seedy of situations. They all want to "fake it till the make it". While some of the stories are stronger than others they all have small slaps of reality that linger with you after you've put the book down. Definitely worth a read.



For more book reviews check out my Goodreads 

From the Center of the Rounder

When I was a kid, and my grandma took me shopping downtown, I used to hide in the rounders filled with clothes Now, I know they're called rounders. Then they were just a giant circle of multi-colored fabrics I could sit in the center in and feel safe. It was always cooler in that shaded center. Less fluorescent. Less department store noise. When I looked up it's center and saw the tunnel of light, I had view of the outside, but inside I was safe. What is that? As children we liked to be surrounded by over stuffed pillows or rainbow quilted forts. I wonder if it's reminiscent of the last womb we felt safe in.

Today, when I got home from work, I sat on the floor outside my husband's closet saying hi to our dogs and telling him about my day while he sat at his desk. Behind me was a pile of dirty clothes, and although I knew they held his musky scent from the gym, I flopped back into the t-shirts and track shorts, jeans and colorful socks, and looked up into the row of han…

The Church of Rock and Roll

Last night, I saw Green Day live at the County Coliseum. It's the second time I've seen the band. The first time, was in the early 2000's when they toured with Blink-182, and I was too you to know all the small things really wasn't going to matter.

When we got there, the place was already packed and the super fan music-heads were sprinkled in with their newer fans who sported updated 2017 grunge wear. I pointed to D and laughed. Flannel and El Paso didn't work in 90's and climate change hasn't made it any friendlier.

I really didn't know what to expect from the band, though. When I tried to think back to that first concert, I didn't really remember it much. Now, I've gone to a fair amount of shows in my life, so they do start to run together, but I usually remember at least one thing, but with the 2002 show, well, I really couldn't, which in retrospect was maybe a good thing. I was going in with a clean slate.

Thirty minutes in, after the cr…

As the World Goes Crazy

As the world goes crazy, the essay I wrote for Entropy magazine swims in my head. The title, "All They See is Brown" is on repeat in my mind. And when I feel a panic bubble up through my chest from all the talks of Mexico and walls and anti-abortion marches and pipelines andandandand the title repeats.


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