Friday, May 26, 2006

On Point

Tonight I was listening to the rebroadcast of On Point on WBR the local NPR station. Today Tom Ashbrook talked to former soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan. The discussion was about the how soldiers are dealing with the loss of their fellow soldiers. They discuss deals with the militaries culture, how they view themselves, and their ideas on the war they are fighting.

It’s a perspective you never get to hear. The discussion is raw and emotional. If you haven’t had an opportunity to hear it you really owe it yourself and to them to give it a listen. There is a link below.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Player Gets Played

Yesterday night I was supposed to have a date, with a guy I had met online. We chatted a couple of times, exchanged phone numbers, and decided we would meet on Saturday night after I got out of work. I am a bit fuzzy on who was supposed to call who, at least that is the story I am sticking with.

After the last time we spoke on Friday I got a text message from another friend I hook up with from time to time. He wanted me to come down to his house after work for a romp, which he will never come right out and say, it’s always “Let’s Hang Out”. He was disappointed to find I had dinner plans that night. He suggested we “Hang Out” on Sunday. We would “Hang Out” in more then just the euphemistic sense.

When I got out of work in Saturday I waited for the call from my date. He didn’t call me. I didn’t call him. Instead of the date I spent the night cleaning my apartment to prepare for “Hanging Out”, washed the sheets cleaned the bathroom.

This morning I got up earlier then usual so I could get my errands done. At 10:30 I text messaged my friend to ask him when he was coming to my house. He didn’t answer. An hour later I saw him log on to AIM I IMed him to find out when I could expect him. He didn’t answer. At 1:30 I called him and left a message. He didn’t call me back.

Now it’s the end of the weekend I’ve had no date and didn’t get laid. I probably got what I deserve.

Monday, May 15, 2006

WIll the Rain Ever Stop?

It has been raining here for almost a week. When the rain started I was excited because it was suppressing the pollen and lessening the danger of fires. But it’s been raining so hard for so long we are having the worst flooding since the ‘30’s.

The area of the state I live in has been hit the hardest, followed by the area my office is located. The main square in Peabody (pee-bah-dee), the town next to mine, is under 4 feet of water. There have been evacuations all over northern Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Several major roads are closed because of flooding. My usual 40 min commute was extended to 2 hours this morning.

The worst may be yet to come. My office is across the street from the Merrimack River the biggest river north of Boston. The river is expected to crest at midnight. Many houses on the river in have been evacuated from Manchester, New Hampshire to Newburyport, MA. If the river does overflow it’s banks my office will only be accessible by rowboat.

I will be looking forward to the free day off.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Apple Never Falls Far From The Tree

Today I brought my mother her mother’s day gift. It was a lovely azalea planted in a glass box, which she will surly kill. She was very happy with the gift all the same.

We sat in the kitchen and chatted for a bit. Recently my parents moved back to the town we are from, they joined my grandmother’s parish. My mother told me they had been to mass on Saturday with the cotton heads and how communion on Saturday takes forever.

She went on to say how great it was for them to be in a new church where they new so many people. They had run into some old friends at mass.

“We saw the P’s yesterday too.”

“Really how are they?”

“Good, Good. Well you’d never recognize Jimmy he’s so old. Martha looks just the same. They were with their daughters. You’d never recognize them either. The older one has a couple of kids, married. They are both so thin and even pretty.”

“That’s good.”

“Well you remember how fat, hairy, and ugly they were.”

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Then Rains Came. And It Was Good.

Today is the first day in weeks I feel like myself. I didn’t wake up in with a mouth full of dry phlegm, I don’t have a sinus headache or body aches. It’s been raining for past day and a half. The rain filters the pollen out of the air giving all of us allergy sufferers a day of relief.

Now that I feel better I’d like to go do something outside, but I can’t ‘cause it’s raining.

Friday, May 05, 2006

'Cinco to drinko?' Not for me, amigo

'Cinco to drinko?' Not for me, amigo

By Marcela E. Garcia, Globe Correspondent April 30, 2006

Cinco de Mayo is here again. Even after almost six years in Boston, I'm still astonished to see excited packs of ''gringos" flock to bars to drink Corona and margaritas or plan elaborate fiestas complete with tequila, guacamole, and nachos con salsa on May 5. The partygoers wonder why I don't celebrate, too; after all, I'm Mexican.

It may surprise some to learn that Cinco de Mayo is not even a federal holiday in México. Banks and government offices are open. Restaurant menus remain the same. And companies don't splurge on ad campaigns named ''Cinco to Drinko" featuring talking piñatas.

Another misconception is that May 5 is our Independence Day. We actually observe that on Sept. 15. That's when our president goes out on a balcony at the Palacio Nacional before thousands.

Then he waves our flag and shouts ''¡Viva México!"

That's when I bring out the Corralejo (my choice of tequila; and no, we don't drink Patrón). .
Back to Cinco de Mayo: it commemorates La Batalla de Puebla (The Battle of Puebla), the 1862 rout of 8,000 French soldiers by a ragtag army of 4,000 Mexicans.

This was quite a big deal. An upstart nation defeating a heavily armed invasion force from one of the great powers of Europe.

Though the victory infused Mexicans with pride, the French triumphed a little more than a year later to set up a brief puppet government.

The symbolic value and spirit of the Puebla victory was resuscitated in the 1950s, as Chicanos (Mexican-Americans) in California and Texas began celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

Then, alas, beer companies and big advertising spending recognized the day's marketing potential. I know we Mexicans aren't alone bemoaning hijacked holidays: an Irish friend of mine says the same thing happened here to St. Patrick's Day.

However, as part of the rather small Mexican community in Massachusetts (approximately 50,000, according to the consulate in Boston), I feel the urge to set the record straight: there is much more to Cinco de Mayo --and my home country-- than Dos Equis and sombreros one day of the year.

Which is why I'll spend next Friday night just like any other day of the week: cooking with my two Mexican roommates in Brighton, watching the Univisión newscast, and talking on the phone with my mother and sisters about my week.

Marcela E. Garcia is a reporter for the Spanish-language weekly newspaper El Planeta, which circulates in the Boston area.