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  12. <title>¡City Terrace Is Burning!</title>
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  15. <description>arsons and daughters fan the flames</description>
  16. <lastBuildDate>Sun, 05 Sep 2010 19:14:58 +0000</lastBuildDate>
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  22. <title>Rambling On My Mind: South American Edition: Medellín, Colombia: Rivals And Departures</title>
  23. <link></link>
  24. <comments></comments>
  25. <pubDate>Sun, 05 Sep 2010 19:14:58 +0000</pubDate>
  26. <dc:creator>cityterrace</dc:creator>
  27. <category><![CDATA[Uncategorized]]></category>
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  30. <description><![CDATA[busy day, always hectic when taking off. trader joe´s, bank, good-byes. mom always freaks out when i venture out. sis and nephew drop me off at union station to get the flyaway, 7$ to lax. great service, to airport in 30 minutes! too bad they spoiled me by having it at $3.50 when i first [...]]]></description>
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  32. <p>busy day, always hectic when taking off. trader joe´s, bank, good-byes. mom always freaks out when i venture out. sis and nephew drop me off at union station to get the <a href="">f<strong>lyawa</strong>y</a>, 7$ to lax. great service, to airport in 30 minutes! too bad they spoiled me by having it at $3.50 when i first used it.<br />
  33. at lax, check-in line was short and fast, but then colombia starts getting crazy on me. i had purchased a one-way to medellín and now spirit air is saying i have to buy a return ticket because they won&#8217;t let me in the country without it. shit, i planned to land there and do a slow tour and then decide when i&#8217;d return. now i have to throw down 400 $mack$ for a make-believe return. the agent promised i could cancel it before return date and get completely refunded by phone. still&#8230;<br />
  34. <span id="more-46"></span><br />
  35. i get to screen check-in and they hassle me cause my shaving cream is 4.5 oz and not 4. no shit. that got tossed. without my special aloe blend from pavillions, how will i maintain the smoovness of my cheeks?<br />
  36. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Shave" width="500" height="623" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14801" /></a><br />
  37. we board and all good. get to fort lauderdale at 8:00 a.m. we will have to wait two hours at gate for connecting flight. i begin to hear that colombian espanish, reminding me of my friend bernardita and her family in bogotá. in fact, a woman seated behind me says to her friend, “bueeeeeno, no quieres nada?” with this inflection colombian spanish seems to have. she went on: “cincueeeenta,” “fiiiijate, y son mios,” “hay maaaami…” passive aggressive? most waiting for flight to medellín are light-complected. kind of like me. behold a pale face.<br />
  38. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Lon Chaney" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14802" /></a><br />
  39. this woman sits near me and she got that infamous medellín look. black hair, perfect eyebrows, light brown skin. every head turns when she gets up. she looked like this:<br />
  40. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Colombian Woman" width="500" height="268" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14805" /></a><br />
  41. 3 hour flight to colombia was bumpy as all hell. had an empty seat by me. don´t believe pilot when s/he says, “prepare for landing.” it´s usually bullshit because you still have about 40 minutes to actually touch the ground. </p>
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  43. <p>we land and as we exit this woman asked me to help her with her two ton suitcase. don&#8217;t know how many bodies she had in there. i carry it down those crazy steps and go back up into the plane for my stuff. as we entered the actual airport, there were 3 flights of stairs and the old lady turns to me. i helped her. she thanks me profusely. i&#8217;m sweating. in the building, and i am not kidding, there was an escalator down to immigration and it was not working. fuck! &#8220;hay, perdon mi amor,&#8221; she said. i took her shit down the stupid stairs. the old bag thanked me. i got in line for passport check. did i tell you her suitcase was damn heavy?<br />
  44. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Earthquake" width="500" height="500" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14807" /></a><br />
  45. got through immigration fine. went to exchange some greenbacks, after some incredibly detailed directions from a janitor. changed $80 and got back about 1,500 pesos. i only changed eighty dollars because later i might get a better rate at a bank. now i&#8217;m in the city and i remember the last time i was here and i remember that ronnie james dio just passed. so much to hold, i begin to mouth:</p>
  46. <p><em>oh no, here it comes again<br />
  47. can&#8217;t remember when we came so close to love before<br />
  48. hold on, good things never last<br />
  49. nothing&#8217;s in the past<br />
  50. it always seems to come again.<br />
  51. again and again. again and again&#8230;<br />
  52. blessed by the night, holy and bright<br />
  53. called by the toll of the bell.<br />
  54. bloodied angels fast descending<br />
  55. moving on a never-bending light.<br />
  56. phantom figures free forever<br />
  57. out of shadows, shining ever-bright.<br />
  58. Neon Knights! Neon Knights! All right!</em></p>
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  60. <p>looked for a taxi (colectivo) and agreed with 2 guys to pay 13,000 pesos each, bout 7 dolla. the one guy in the back with me got on his cell, argued with someone and said “mierda” 76 times, at least. the airport is outside the city (maybe 30 minutes), so it was a drive. little did i know that my hostel was in el poblado, where &#8220;clase high&#8221; reside. i didn&#8217;t mind. the pristine avenues of city terrace have prepped me for hanging with the bourgeoisie. can i also own the means of production?<br />
  61. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Clase High" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14810" /></a><br />
  62. we find <a href=""><strong>hostal tamarindo</strong></a> and an old lady lets me in. she and another go over my reservation, scan my passport and ask me to sign-in. they offer me a private room even though I reserved a dormitorio. the dormitorio aka a bed, is 18,000 pesos =  9 bucks. made my economics major choice and decided sleeping in a room with other visitors is worth saving some cash.<br />
  63. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Bunk Beds" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14811" /></a><br />
  64. ask the ladies a few questions and they are not very helpful. first one says, “eres complicado.” fuckin hey, asked you two questions!<br />
  65. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Nurse Ratchett" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14813" /></a><br />
  66. they point to a wall of flyers as a gesture of hospitality. nyet. bail to “my” room and lay out my stuff on “my” bed.<br />
  67. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="My Bed" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14814" /></a><br />
  68. i am a bottom, ahem, i mean i always take the bottom&#8230; bunk, so I can hear and see goings-on from ground level. i&#8217;m careful like that. paranoid? uh no. i haven&#8217;t traveled to many places but i have been in my share of hostels and not once has anyone taken any of my shit. not once! check out the hostel and nobody home so i leave and walk about el poblado and everything is fuckin closed! end up at this juice joint, la jugosa, which is on this main drag, Calle 10.<br />
  69. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="La Jugosa" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14815" /></a><br />
  70. i get a jugo de melon and homey says, “día festivo.” independence day foolio. see, when you don’t research, what could happen. i had no idea and nobody said shit on the taxi ride over or on the plane. who gives a damn, i&#8217;m in south america. again. walking about el poblado and hell, i know i rag on westwood, but no kidding if this place be lit up with boutiques and kawasaki jacket vendors. who knew i was in williamsburg or damned concord, mass. walk down calle 10, a serious decline (and incline, i find out later) and exito! is open, one of those walmart holes that mexico and i guess colombia, believe is something special: canned food, tires, diapers, toilet paper and dead meat all in a row, how middle-class. don&#8217;t worry, you belong.</p>
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  72. <p>but a starving fool, even a vegan one, can&#8217;t be too picky. in the food court is a japanese joint and no shit if the veggie yakisoba is on some shit, plus with a mango juice, burp! i head out and when i think i see a giant mercado (they are always near and dear to my heart/stomach), it is actually one of many bars, boutiques and clubs of parque lleras aka the zona rosa of el poblado, you know, the in spots. booze, booze and more booze. the names of the spots should give you an idea: mangos, tijuanas, and some other stupid names. there was even a hooters and a cafe juan valdez (in lieu of starbucks). bro, this area is, like, so bangin.<br />
  73. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Juan Valdez" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14816" /></a><br />
  74. it&#8217;s like a combo of old town pas, the glendale galleria and downtown claremont and there you go, oh and add some tia juana. hey i exxxagerate but bars, billiards and large television screens line this row. they trying to outdo cancún, pronounced as in &#8220;racoon&#8221;.<br />
  75. head south and wtf, there is this cool park, and it runs right by this jersey shore hotspot. i took a stroll and took some shots. see?<br />
  76. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Park 1" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14817" /></a><br />
  77. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Park 2" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14818" /></a><br />
  78. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Park 3" width="500" height="666" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14819" /></a><br />
  79. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Park 4" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14820" /></a><br />
  80. some soldiers give me the eye, these mofos be everywhere. i already told you bout my run-in with them in <a href="¡sounds-like-burning-were-going-back-how-far-back-way-back/#comments"><strong>another post</strong></a>. fuck em, keep doing my thing. i sit for a bit and relax.<br />
  81. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Park Sit and Relax" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14821" /></a><br />
  82. during all my walking i kept an eye out for a cyber cafe and a veg place, but nothing was open. but later, i did get a moment to laugh aloud. got back to hostel about 930 and a woman at the desk is way more hospitable than the 2 vultures who signed me in. she in fact, runs this spot. the cold ones from earlier were more like maids. who knew? not me. she breaks down so much for me re: streets, mercados, vegetarian spots, etc. but get this, they had a computer with internet right there by the desk! emailed sis and others. through the window, i noticed it started to drizzle. go upstairs and i&#8217;m rooming with 2 brasileños, a young couple. they seem alright. we say hi. i hit the head and head out to the roof top of this cozy hostel.<br />
  83. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Hammock" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14822" /></a><br />
  84. which is where i write this.<br />
  85. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Journal" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14823" /></a><br />
  86. good night.<br />
  87. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Good Night" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14824" /></a></p>
  88. <p><em>** it is fatal to know too much at the outset: boredom comes quickly to the traveler who knows his route as to the novelist who is overcertain of his plot. </em>(paul theroux)</p>
  89. <p>p.s. yes i know lucho barrios was born in callao, peru but i discovered his music in colombia several years ago. his voice and those incomparable musicians will always be part of my visits to south america. if there was an east america, i&#8217;d listen there too.</p>
  90. <p><strong>Rambling On My Mind: South American Edition</strong> <em>will detail my 40 day, 3 country visit of that continent. from the streets of medellín to the calm, cloudy skies of manizales to the inviting plazas of popoyán to the latitude-defying geography of quito to the muggy beaches and sultry songs of guayaquil to the sacred valleys of urubamba and the magic mountains of machu pikchu and waynapikchu. may i say, in the most &#8220;american&#8221; of accents, the trip was, like, omg, like, so amazing</em>. </p>
  91. ]]></content:encoded>
  92. <wfw:commentRss>;p=46</wfw:commentRss>
  93. <slash:comments>1</slash:comments>
  94. </item>
  95. <item>
  96. <title>Ramblin&#8217; On My Mind: I&#8217;m A Man. But YOU Can&#8217;t Call Me That</title>
  97. <link></link>
  98. <comments></comments>
  99. <pubDate>Wed, 24 Feb 2010 03:07:04 +0000</pubDate>
  100. <dc:creator>cityterrace</dc:creator>
  101. <category><![CDATA[Uncategorized]]></category>
  103. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  104. <description><![CDATA[I always like the story that the term “man” as a slang gesture of affection or recognition came into vogue through jazz musicians of the 1940’s. That Gillespie, Parker and Miles used the term to destroy the humiliating use of “boy” is a powerful demonstration. We’ll just make up our own shit. Better, let’s call [...]]]></description>
  105. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><object width="480" height="385"><param name="movie" value=";hl=en_US&#038;fs=1&#038;"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src=";hl=en_US&#038;fs=1&#038;" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="480" height="385"></embed></object></p>
  106. <p><strong>I always like the story that the term “man” as a slang gesture of affection or recognition came into vogue through jazz musicians of the 1940’s. That Gillespie, Parker and Miles used the term to destroy the humiliating use of “boy” is a powerful demonstration. We’ll just make up our own shit. Better, let’s call ourselves what we are.</p>
  107. <p>I read this comment from El Chavo and it jarred a few memories:</p>
  108. <p>BTW, I hate that fake bonding shit: I get some people in my work environment calling me ‘bro’ or even ‘brother,’ like I know them or something. It makes me want to punch them.</p>
  109. <p>Made me think how slang can be a funny thing. How that term “man” has come to bother the fuck out of me. Even in Havana, being called “mano” (short for brother) bothered me to no end, cause dudes just hawked shit at me continuously. Had to use all my spidey senses walking along el malecon. I have been called man thousands of times, it’s how we talk. But sometimes, I wanna stab a dude. Maybe, its just about context. This is what I mean:</p>
  110. <p>A while back for a job interview, I got to downtown, on Main I believe, I get up to the 8th floor and wait in the lobby with others. A young man and a young woman, clean cut, smile at me and we can all hear parts of the interview being conducted. It is oh so pleasant. She seems nervous and fidgets a bit. He reads a Newsweek. I don’t sweat that stuff. I get the job or I don’t. There are others. I once lived a whole year on an income of $700 a month pushing paper part-time for the California Attorney for Criminal Justice. Rent, car, gas, food all for 7 bills. This was about 10 yrs ago. Those were the days.</p>
  111. <p>Anyway, she goes in and it is all so formal.</p>
  112. <p>“Hello, how are you, uh… Jody?”</p>
  113. <p>Fine, how are you doing?</p>
  114. <p>Then the other guy goes in:</p>
  115. <p>“Good morning… Steve. Nice to meet you.”</p>
  116. <p>Good morning, sir.</p>
  117. <p>The guy in charge of the tutoring program is from Central America, I can tell by his accent and it is later confirmed during my interview.</p>
  118. <p>So, I get in. I’m in work attire, like the others, y know slack and dress shirt, the basics and I am greeted with…</p>
  119. <p>“Hey, man.”</p>
  120. <p>Just something about the way he said it. What the fuck? Maybe if we were waiting for the 30 on Floral and Marianna or putting gas in our rides. I don’t see it. I did see a slight snarl. I ain’t no master of etiquette but I thought this was a job interview?</strong><br />
  121. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="business-man" width="500" height="500" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-43" /></a><br />
  122. <strong>One time I was in Queretaro, I love it there. The locals are gettin bent because many chilangos are flooding the little historical city. Many are finding el D.F. too crazy but I find it more relaxing than L.A. Yup, I said it. Yes in Qro there are more fresas than in any shortcake I’ve eaten. But, I like it there.</p>
  123. <p>So I’m waiting to ask about a play at a local theater and there is this English-speaking family enquiring about the show. The guy in the information booth also speaks English. In a very formal manner.</p>
  124. <p>“Yes, sir. If you purchase five tickets, we can offer you 2 additional ones at no additional cost.”</p>
  125. <p>Wow, says the father. What a great deal.</p>
  126. <p>“Yes, sir. I believe you and your family will enjoy the play. Are you familiar with the playwright?…”</p>
  127. <p>And it went on for awhile, it was quite a performance. The family leaves and the guy sees me and says, “What’s up, man?”</p>
  128. <p>I look around just to verify he was talking to me. Sure I’m in t-shirt and jeans, but that family looked like they just woke up, rolled out of their sleeping bags and ran over here. I tense up and say, “No… (I stare at him for 3 seconds) …Man.”</p>
  129. <p>Oh, the play was good. My friend Natalie played this hooker, it was funny.</strong><br />
  130. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="playhouse" width="500" height="383" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-44" /></a><br />
  131. <strong>So, last week I’m at Fresh N Easy off of Main in Hellhambra. They have made some changes cuz some of their shit is cheaper. Wheat bread for a buck 20 or those cases of water for like 3 bills. I ask about the soy yoghurts. Same price as Trader Joe’s but here they have blueberry. Well, the containers read soy yoghurt but they don’t claim to be non-dairy or vegan, and many products do. Could soy yoghurt contain casienate or some shit from a cow’s intestinal lining?  I see a guy with a green shirt and apron. He is talking to a woman. I get near. Their conversation is loaded with proper pronunciation. I got no problem with that. Formal and professional. I could deal with that.</p>
  132. <p>“Well, ma’am, I would have to call our main office and ask for you.”</p>
  133. <p>Young man, you have been so gracious and patient in answering all my questions. You have a wonderful day.</p>
  134. <p>“Well, ma’am, we are here to provide you with excellent service.”</p>
  135. <p>Good Golly Miss Molly! Sounds like customer service for the phone company. I step up to ask my innocent “is this vegan?” question and I get greeted with…</p>
  136. <p>“Hey, man…”</p>
  137. <p>I breathed LOUDLY, stared at him and asked my question.</strong><br />
  138. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="stock-boy" width="500" height="751" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-45" /></a><br />
  139. <strong>Is that supposed to be some gesture of recognition? How can you recognize me when you don’t know me? Did I miss the invite to the bro-fest? 5 seconds ago you were Johnny Appleseed and now you Johnny Chingas? Spare me the bromance and tell me if the yoghurt has cow shit in it! I just had my fill.</p>
  140. <p>El Chavo, you want to punch em in the face? I wanna punch their gramma in the face and their kids. Wait, you gotta have balls to have kids, right? Man!</p>
  141. <p>It gets to me a bit, no? Some friends think I’m overreacting, but I don’t know, MAN.</strong></p>
  142. ]]></content:encoded>
  143. <wfw:commentRss>;p=42</wfw:commentRss>
  144. <slash:comments>2</slash:comments>
  145. </item>
  146. <item>
  147. <title>Lost In Translation: Put Your Hands Where I Can See Them!</title>
  148. <link></link>
  149. <comments></comments>
  150. <pubDate>Mon, 01 Feb 2010 19:13:50 +0000</pubDate>
  151. <dc:creator>cityterrace</dc:creator>
  152. <category><![CDATA[Lost In Translation]]></category>
  154. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  155. <description><![CDATA[Belvedere Park, East Los Angeles]]></description>
  156. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="Do Not Feed or Molest" width="500" height="666" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-40" /></a><br />
  157. <strong><em>Belvedere Park, East Los Angeles</em></strong></p>
  158. ]]></content:encoded>
  159. <wfw:commentRss>;p=39</wfw:commentRss>
  160. <slash:comments>1</slash:comments>
  161. </item>
  162. <item>
  163. <title>Tricks Are For Kids 101: Arsons and Daughters</title>
  164. <link></link>
  165. <comments></comments>
  166. <pubDate>Thu, 28 Jan 2010 22:46:12 +0000</pubDate>
  167. <dc:creator>cityterrace</dc:creator>
  168. <category><![CDATA[Tricks Are For Kids 101]]></category>
  170. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  171. <description><![CDATA[Dumb Interviewer: You’ve been in show business for awhile, so how old are you? Dana Carvey: I’m 33 but I read at a 35 year old level. So, the Miss had to leave prematurely due to a health situation. Old-school vet of some thirty years, most of ‘em at Rooselvelt. Could be seen as stoic [...]]]></description>
  172. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="kids01" width="500" height="566" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-15" /></a></p>
  173. <p><strong>Dumb Interviewer:</strong> You’ve been in show business for awhile, so how old are you?<br />
  174. <strong>Dana Carvey:</strong> I’m 33 but I read at a 35 year old level.</p>
  175. <p><strong>So, the Miss had to leave prematurely due to a health situation. Old-school vet of some thirty years, most of ‘em at Rooselvelt.</strong></strong></p>
  176. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="rhs" width="500" height="375" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-13" /></a><br />
  177. <span id="more-10"></span></p>
  178. <p><strong>Could be seen as stoic and in fact some students, mainly girls, described her as this curmudgeon. Most boys got along fine with her. Her stoicism, when broken with a gigantic smile, was funny. I never really got a grip on her background but believe she had some Eastern European blood (thinking Serbian), and her manner sometimes reminded me of Eastern European Olympic athletes.</strong></p>
  179. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="serbiacroatiakk2" width="500" height="330" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-16" /></a></p>
  180. <p><strong>Jim McKay would understand.</strong></p>
  181. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="MCKAY OBIT" width="350" height="520" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-17" /></a></p>
  182. <p><strong>During our conversations, she had many great stories and when I made her laugh with a recent classroom incident, her guffaws were part shock part jubilation. She once told me she taught in Cleveland way back in the day and one of the young teachers was raped in a classroom. Or how she promised a tearful mother that her son would not fail her class. Stuff like that, but it wasn’t always morbid, not at all.  I almost looked forward to our nutrition break exchanges. How as a teen she was all hotsy totsy over Brando or Dean or Quinn, man that shit was funny. I’d throw out the screen queens of my youth: Bernadette Peters or Tura Satana and Jayne Kennedy, she’d know ‘em all.</strong></p>
  183. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="bernadettepeters-300x250" width="500" height="416" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-19" /></a><br />
  184. <a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="jaynekennedy-240x300-1" width="500" height="574" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-20" /></a></p>
  185. <p><strong>I found these playful tits for tat (no pun intended) very sincere in such a hopelessly caustic environment, like high school. The Miss was cut from the old cloth, but she is a good woman, who just seemed tired of all the bullshit. Plus she had a very serious condition. Shit, she did three decades, I didn’t even do one-sixth of that. So I subbed for her and here is a slice of my month-long stay in her stead. Well, here are two incidents that come to mind.</p>
  186. <p>I am never late to class, always place my energy in the room first. Showing up late with a line of teens waiting for you as the bell rings is just stupid. You have to show them you at least give enough of a shit to be there on time.  Plus, when you are early, you get to greet them one at a time, and the students vibe off your calm demeanor. “Good morning, Mister” is music to my ears.  Anyways, I had the Miss’s plans and they were very simple. Finish <em>To Kill a Mockingbird</em> with her 10th grade class and <em>A Raisin in the Sun</em> with her four 11th grade classes. Sounds good.</strong></p>
  187. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="a-raisin-in-the-sun-175x300" width="250" height="428" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-21" /></a><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="tkam-187x300" width="250" height="401" class="alignright size-full wp-image-22" /></a></p>
  188. <p><strong>So on day one, I introd myself all day,  laid down the rules (there really aren’t very many) and  said I was fair but don’t take no crap. Said, if you had drama with the Miss, she ain’t here, if you did well, keep it up, if you need extra help, hit me up, if you can’t shut up, don’t show up, if you care about your grades, ante up (some giggled), etc. I had just finished a long-term subbing assignment at a charter school where the classes were 100 minutes long  so returning to Roosevelt’s hour sessions was a relief. Told the sophomores there was no way we were going to finish TKAM before the end but we’d get to the famous trial scene and then we’d watch the classic movie.<br />
  189. Enrique raised his hand, “Hey Mister, the Miss liked those old movies, is this one in color?”<br />
  190. “Yes, it’s in color, two of ‘em, black and white.”<br />
  191. Daniel says, “The Miss said we were gonna watch ‘The Outsiders.’”<br />
  192. “Well, she ain’t here.  Anyway, just look around the room. We are the outsiders.” Silence. Off to a grand start.</p>
  193. <p><strong>So on Wednesday in one of the junior classes, this kid walks in late, sees me and mumbles, “What the?” when everyone is in pleasant silent reading mode.  On Monday and Tuesday, I had noticed that Manuel and Enrique were on the rowdy side. I  talked to them one on one and promised them that their grades could still be salvaged. I stare at this new kid and he sits down. No backpack, no book, nothing. He sits and takes a look around, everyone quietly reading.  As expected, he slaps his friend’s arm and whispers, “What the fuck?” and motions at the others. His buddy motions to me, quickly finishes his description and returns to his book, <em>Wallbangin’</em>. The new kid’s eyes are intense and plotting.  They say, “duh, we have a sub but everyone is quiet. What the fuck? This shit don’t make sense. Shit!” Before his head explodes, I quietly go up to him and relieve him of further agony.</strong></p>
  194. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="fight" width="500" height="330" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-33" /></a></p>
  195. <p><strong>I Lean in close and whisper to him, “Can you read?”<br />
  196. He dirty loooks me and mutters, “Yeah.”<br />
  197. “Then read the board…”<br />
  198. The agenda read:<br />
  199. 1. Silent Reading 2. Read Act II of <em>A Raisin In The Sun</em> as a group<br />
  200. 3. Discussion/Questions<br />
  201. I continue, “…Right now, we’re doing the first one. You see it? It says si-lent read-ing (I spoke slow-ly, one ass-hole to a-nother). If you can’t do the reading part, do the silent part.”<br />
  202. He mutters something and I let it go, but he immediately interrupts his friend again and some look at me. I again slowly walk back over to him. He sighs loudly. I sigh loudly. I whisper.<br />
  203. “Listen, why don’t you go somewhere else since you aren’t going to be helpful.”<br />
  204. “I ain’t going nowhere,” he says looking at the floor.<br />
  205. I walk to the front of the class, lean against the front desk and interrupt those who are reading quietly. There are 41 eyes looking at me (one kid had a patch).</strong></p>
  206. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="speech" width="500" height="350" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-34" /></a></p>
  207. <p><strong>“We have a situation here. Mr. Luis, I guess is his name… I don’t know him and he doesn’t know me, but you know me and I like this class and I am gonna make sure everyone has a chance of passing this class and no one is going to get in your way… now if he doesn’t leave this room… well, I am not going to waste my time writing him a note because I dont give a shit where he goes, but if I pick up that phone and Randall or Russell (security), both I know very well, if they come and pick you up off that chair… I promise you, we will all laugh our asses off. It’s your call.”<br />
  208. The kid gets up and leaves. Everyday I throw him out  before the bell even rings because of his profanity.<br />
  209. Some girls in the front add, “Mister, the Miss hated him. She always threw him out. He bugs.”<br />
  210. On the last day he showed up, I get him at the door.<br />
  211. “I heard the Miss always threw you out and had you sit outside…”<br />
  212. “But she’s not here,” he smirks.<br />
  213. “But I am. So respect the class and take a seat or hit the road.”<br />
  214. “You’re a motherfuckin’ asshole,” he said as he walked away from the classroom. “I didn’t even do nothing,” he confided to the floor.<br />
  215. I walked to the front of the class, took a swig of my carrot juice and wrote the agenda on the board. I never saw him again.</strong></p>
  216. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="carrotpinejuice" width="500" height="476" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-35" /></a></p>
  217. <p><strong>On Thursday, I’m telling a junior class, “I looked over your grades. And surprise surprise, 10 D’s? What the hell!? No wonder this school sucks. That’s embarrassing. Proud Latino/as, or whatever you’re calling yourselves this week,  my ass.”<br />
  218. I tell ‘em I used to be a terrible student, I lie to ‘em, like a good teacher would. I insult them a little more.<br />
  219. “If you really cared about your parents, you’d show some self-respect.”<br />
  220. The bell rings.  As everyone is leaving Laura steps to me.<br />
  221. “I respect what you were saying. I think it’s true, all our parents want is for us to do well in school. Some of us are just lazy. But saying this school sucks, that wasn’t nice. Still, I wish we had you for a longer time.”<br />
  222. Her friend Monica jumps in, “Yeah Mister, you’re cool. Well, you care, you know. It’s cool to have you here. At least we’ll see you around next year too, right?”<br />
  223. At RHS, it’s ok to be a little rough on ‘em. How’s that any different than from what they’re used to? They both shake my hand before they leave. Monica turns before she exits, “I want to be Beneatha tomorrow, ok?” Thanking me and showing interest in the play we are reading, come on. (Beneatha is the daughter in a family struggling in a Southside Chicago ghetto in the classroom text, Lorraine Hansberry’s <em>Raisin in the Sun</em>) Two of the nicest kids I have ever met.<br />
  224. The next day, during my conference period, I bump into Monica at the counseling office and she’s crying.</strong></p>
  225. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="girl_crying" width="500" height="595" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-36" /></a></p>
  226. <p><strong>“Monica, what’s the deal?”<br />
  227. “Ah, it’s nothing Mister, just my mom wants me to drop out, y’know, like I don’t have a future.”<br />
  228. “Why does she want that? How old are you?”<br />
  229. “17. But she wants me to drop out and get a stupid job so I can be useless like her. Just cause my dad is an alcoholic, why do I have to leave? Man, Mister, you don’t even know all the stuff I have to take, just to get this far.”<br />
  230. Through tears and sighs, Monica describes all the drama about abuse and alcohol and social workers.<br />
  231. “I don’t even have papers.”</strong></p>
  232. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="teacherhelp" width="500" height="356" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-37" /></a></p>
  233. <p><strong>“Listen, can you keep her off of you for one more year? Then as an adult, you can bail and do whatever you like.”<br />
  234. “I don’t know Mister. Remember when you said that you didn’t go to college for the degree but just to get away, that’s what I want. I just want to get away from my family.”<br />
  235. “Yeah, I know. Well, I’ll be your teacher for a month so we can talk more later. Now, what are you doing here?”<br />
  236. “Well, after what you said about the grades and all, I just wanted to check how far behind I am, but my counselor, I don’t know, he doesn’t listen to me.”<br />
  237. I tell her to wipe her face and give me a second. I go in and talk to one of my counselor friends and ask her to help one of my students.<br />
  238. Ms. Diaz says, “Tell her to come early tomorrow morning and I’ll go over her credits – what she’s missing, what she needs. Ok?”<br />
  239. I return to the seating area. Monica looks up. I take her outside.<br />
  240. “What time do you get here in the morning?”<br />
  241. “Like 7:15. Why?”<br />
  242. “Get here tomorrow at 6:45 and ask for Ms. Diaz, all right? She’s going to help you, ok?<br />
  243. “Thanks Mister. I really appreciate it.”<br />
  244. “I know you do. See you tomorrow Beneatha.”<br />
  245. Like nearly every man, woman and child in the barrio, Monica laughs through her tears.</strong></p>
  246. <p><a href=""><img src="" alt="" title="f-chazsuerte" width="500" height="343" class="alignnone size-full wp-image-38" /></a></p>
  247. ]]></content:encoded>
  248. <wfw:commentRss>;p=10</wfw:commentRss>
  249. <slash:comments>1</slash:comments>
  250. </item>
  251. <item>
  252. <title>Of Course It&#8217;s Impossible. That&#8217;s Why We Do It</title>
  253. <link></link>
  254. <comments></comments>
  255. <pubDate>Mon, 18 Jan 2010 07:58:08 +0000</pubDate>
  256. <dc:creator>admin</dc:creator>
  257. <category><![CDATA[Sounds Like Burning]]></category>
  259. <guid isPermaLink="false"></guid>
  260. <description><![CDATA[Harry Blackstone Jr. was the first magician I ever saw. Sure, it was on television, but it seemed so real to me. Magic always has. He had so much style. He was the master of ceremonies, but he was just a conduit. Maybe I exaggerate his modesty because today&#8217;s popular magicians seem so arrogant and [...]]]></description>
  261. <content:encoded><![CDATA[<p><object classid="clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000" width="530" height="340" codebase=",0,40,0"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always" /><param name="src" value=";hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" /><param name="allowfullscreen" value="true" /><embed type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="530" height="340" src=";hl=en_US&amp;fs=1&amp;" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object></p>
  262. <p><strong>Harry Blackstone Jr. was the first magician I ever saw. Sure, it was on television, but it seemed so real to me. Magic always has. He had so much style. He was the master of ceremonies, but he was just a conduit. Maybe I exaggerate his modesty because today&#8217;s popular magicians seem so arrogant and lacking in personality. Sleeveless and svelte, so easily ignored.</p>
  263. <p>Harry Blackstone Jr. was the real deal. Plus, he had that funny, protypical television voice. To my ears, he wasn&#8217;t just old, he was old school. Just listen to him. You hear that playful, diabolical laugh:</p>
  264. <p><em>&#8220;There. And now that you&#8217;ve seen it, my dear. Now that you&#8217;ve all looked at it carefully, may I show you&#8230; a miracle? (snaps fingers) Ha Ha Ha Ha. She says, &#8216;that&#8217;s impossible&#8217;. Of course, it&#8217;s impossible. That&#8217;s why we do it. Ha Ha Ha Ha.&#8221;</em> Behold!</p>
  265. <p>Magic. My departed grandmother&#8217;s drunken, toofless grin. My little cousins laughing. The five times I&#8217;ve been in love. The first time I heard John Bonham&#8217;s bass pedal. Eating tamales under the Guanajuato night sky, etc. All those events leave me in a quandary. That childish suspension of belief need not end in a dolt hood. I like shit that can&#8217;t be explained. It doesn&#8217;t have to be! It&#8217;s all an illusion anyway, yes?</p>
  266. <p><em>&#8220;Nothing I do can&#8217;t be done by a 10-year-old&#8230; with 15 years of practice.&#8221;</em>   (Harry Blackstone Jr.)</p>
  267. <p>Disclaimer: If, after watching this video, you think, &#8220;Oh, I know how he did it. Let me explain&#8230;&#8221; put the mic/keyboard down and back the fuck up. This ain&#8217;t karaoke. And this ain&#8217;t club jenna. Wax on Wax off somewhere else, please. We don&#8217;t care. We don&#8217;t want to know. But, if you dare share your ignoble insecurity with us, we pray that a gazillion pneumatic lesions terrorize your nether regions. Alakazam!</strong></p>
  268. <p><strong>**¡Sounds Like Burning is about psychos, angels and psychotic angels. Who else deserves mention?</p>
  269. <p>Bill Hicks condensed the first law of all the Arts: Play From Your Fucking Heart!</p>
  270. <p>The performances to be aired here are rigodamnediculous. The biblical scholar Bon Scott once commanded: Let There Be Light. And There Was Light.</p>
  271. <p>Can one make the unknown known? Tune in and Trip out.</strong></p>
  272. ]]></content:encoded>
  273. <wfw:commentRss>;p=3</wfw:commentRss>
  274. <slash:comments>0</slash:comments>
  275. </item>
  276. </channel>
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