27 November 2006

Life in the Fast Lane

Stephen Crowley/The New York Times
Gloria Castillo, 22, works from 10:30 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. at a Burger King in West Dallas, earning $252 a week before taxes. She and her husband, who have two boys ages 7 and 8, work different shifts.

(click post title to view read article and view video on nytimes website)

From the car window, the whole fast-food experience is a numbing routine. Pull up. Order from the billboard. Idle. Pay. Drive away. Fast food has become a $120 billion motorized American experience.

But consider the life inside that window on Loop 12 in West Dallas. There is a woman with children and no health insurance, undereducated, a foot soldier in the army of the working poor. The fry cook sneezes on the meat patties. Cigarettes go half smoked. Cameras spy on the employees. Customers throw their fries and soft drinks sometimes because they think it’s funny.


22 November 2006

fyi: travel regulations

So, I am finally getting out of Ann Arbor for a little bit to visit some family :) I haven't gone anywhere in a while, so I wanted to be sure I was up to date on all the latest travel regulations. After hearing that they threw away this little girl's peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I had to go to the source. I don't know about you, but I always bring my own food, water, etc to the airport cause everything is way overpriced AND gross. It looks like I can still bring food, as long as none of it is liquid-like, but no water. I am already feeling parched!

Click the title link to see all prohibited/allowed items. I won't poke fun now, but some of them did make me laugh. Ok, I'll tell you one that did - the gel bra! hehe. Luckily, you are allowed to wear this through the security area.

Have a great weekend!


14 November 2006

immigration: these arguments incense me

How does this make any sense? (click title of post to read full article from USA today)

"City Council members (in a suburb of Dallas, Texas) unanimously approved fines for landlords who rent to illegal immigrants, making English the city's official language and allowing local authorities to screen suspects in police custody to check their immigration status."

English is used here as an indicator of legal citizenship status. How does that make any sense? I know a lot of people back home in Miami that speak very little, or poor English, and are fully legal citizens. Talk about politicizing and criminalizing language! Arguments like these really incense me, because they terrorize people. Then, the advocates wonder why people get angry and get into fights. Hello! I'm angry, and I don't even have to worry that anyone's going to come knocking on my door to see whether or not I speak English, and then use that against me in terms of immigration status.

Then, there's that part about landlords being fined for renting to illegal immigrants. Now, I understand, as a property owner, that it is my responsiblity to be sure that there is, like, no drug ring action happening in my condo, and that I get my rent check on time. But, how does a mere landlord gain the credentials and reponsibilities of an immigration officer? That is not my job, and it is not the job of any landlord in Texas (well, I guess now it is!). See, it just doesn't make any sense.

All of these policies come out of fear. Fear of what? Fear that their city is going to "become Hispanic." Well, they should've realized a long time ago that that city that they think is "theirs" doesn't really "belong" to anyone. It is not their job to "make it white." And, if they really want to see whose land it is, then it is definitely not historically theirs. Texas, before it belonged to the US, was most assuredly part of Mexico. And, before it was part of Mexico, it belonged to the indigenous people who lived there.

That's the end of my rant for today . . .


13 November 2006

the Bluest Eye: Detroit this weekend

The Bluest Eye is playing at Plowshares Theater through the end of this weekend. Don't worry about getting a bad seat because it's general admission! I just bought my tickets, and I am super excited to see this adaptation of Toni Morrison's book. Here the description from the theater's website:

Eleven year-old Pecola Breedlove has desired the love of her family and friends all her young life. Instead, she faces constant ridicule and abuse. Blaming her dark skin, Pecola prays for blue eyes - as blue as Shirley Temple's. Everyone adores little blue-eyed girls. Her prayers are granted in the most poignant way. The Bluest Eye is the heartrending story of a young black girl's tragic coming of age in 1941 Ohio. Toni Morrison’s poetic and piercingly relevant debut novel is brought to the stage with loving care by playwright Lydia R. Diamond.


07 November 2006

Shorts on the Beach (films, that is)


NYC makes gender a personal choice

Read the article linked above. NYC now makes it possible for transgendered people to "change" their legal gender with or without undergoing surgery. This has many interesting implications for the use of the words 'sex' and 'gender' in society, well in NY anyway, and how people perceive themselves v the way the world interprets them. But, what I am unclear of is, does this mean that there are still only two legal genders, male and female? What if a person rejects both of those categories?


06 November 2006

a poem to kick your butt to the polls!

a poem from Staceyann Chin on tomorrow's necessity . . . I have already sent in my absentee ballot, so you all go on and exercise that right.

Why the Fuck Should I Vote in 2006? (only a portion, go to her myspace to read the whole thing)
by Staceyann Chin (www.myspace.com/staceyannchin)

Less than twenty-four hours


before the mid-term elections

the weeks have tricked us

into days/the moment

descends and my fingers itch

for a poem

a great rage to inspire you

to rise you up

early or late tomorrow

to go vote

for Katrina

and the ill winds that flapped

incumbent at the throats of old women

who marched in Selma

for the children who will never know

the New Orleans into which they were born

for Alabama

and Georgia

for Tennessee


New York City and how this town

has become a place

only the wealthy can enjoy

vote against these small boxes we pay

entire months wages for

every month

I have to cut something else



snip away at the doors Black teenagers can walk through

pile all the Puerto Ricans on top of each other

call them Mexicans

because you don't know better

if your mother is Dominican

if your father is from Barbados

your older brother is still in Belize

grandfather is in Nigeria

if your maternal grandmother is Jamaican

if you have never seen the city where your people are from

white as a WASP and liberal

or independent

or you used to be republican

Go Vote