Thoughts of a Chicana Feminist

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Question of the Day

Every single time ALICE radio asks a guest this question I bust out laughing. So I ask you, "If you were a sandwich, what would you be and what would be your side?"

I would be a whole-grain wheat bread vegetarian sandwich with avocado, tomato, and sprouts. On the side I'd have tapioca pudding.

What would you be?

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Blogger and Browsers

To all my non-technical friends,

There is a world beyond Microsoft Internet Explorer (I.E.) that I think you will enjoy. You should think about downloading FireFox and/or Opera. FireFox adheres to web standards so many websites display better. Opera has a tabbing system and other features that you've always needed, but never knew you wanted.

Right now, I have all three installed on my work and home computers. I prefer FireFox because most websites that adhere to web standards work brilliantly with it. I am also experimenting with Opera. It has a tendency to loop endlessly or take a while to load some pages - particularly dynamic sites. I'm not sure why, but the tabbing system is awesome.

A final note on FireFox - the person that leads Mozilla Foundation (the non-profit organization that develops FireFox) is a woman. Her name is Mitchell Baker. She has been successful in getting a bunch of developers from over the world to create a browser that competes with a mult-billion dollar company. It is pretty freakin' admirable.

Never Assume

There is a big lesson I've learned over the year's as an activist. It is to never assume I know what another person thinks or feels. It is arrogant to deny everyone's life experience is dramatically different even if only a 1 or 2 critical details. I can introduce them to new ideas, but it is up to them to decide what their value system is and how they are going to live it out.

There is a fine line between being an advocate and a bully; a leader and a tyrannt...something that the Bush hasn't figured out yet. They had a botched public relations stop at a Saudi Arabian university. (Saudi Women Have Message for U.S. Envoy) The Bush Administration assumed to much and it back-fired. We are arrogant in our ways to think the American way is the best way. While I am likely to disagree with many of their perspectives, I think this article is a great way to remind ourselves to always listen first and never assume we know best.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

This blog thing is addicting!

I sat on these blog addresses for months telling myself I'd try it out. I finally got to it and now it feels a bit addicting. Every random thought seems worthy of a blog entry.

A public space to barf thoughts without really care who reads it.

What is crazy is that year's from now graduate students in Communication Studies or some other social science is going to translate the phenomenon to us and make a ton of money for her expertise. Lucky!

Fun, huh?

a goofy photo of me

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Good friends are hard to come by, but somehow sneek up on me

In 1986, I started school at Davis Junior High School and when I was there I became friends with a girl named Reina. She had striking beauty - perfect hair, a beautiful smile, and an amazing personality. At the time I was a bit shocked that she was friends with me. I was quiet, nerdy, and in full-fledge adolescent awkwardness. Why would such a wonderful girl be friends with me?

At the time, I didn't ponder it so much. I chalked it up to luck. Years went by and we would see each other in classes, after school (She played basketball and ran track. I ran cross country and track.), share gossip and family dramas, and eventually graduate high school. Over the years we'd tell everyone who would listen that one day we'd run for the country's highest offices - President and Vice President....I think I claimed President and she claimed VP. Even then I was a bit ego driven.

Time passed and we did the things we planned and things we didn't - going to college, working wonderful and not-so-wonderful jobs, having children, and marrying. Come 2005 we still see each other from time to time (sometimes months and years pass, but it never seems to bother us), to catch up and support one another.

Tragedy and triumph bring us together from time to time. We sit, talk, eat while we we watch our children play. Who would have ever guessed? Not me, that is for sure.

The funny thing about friends is that I always find that they are hard to come by, but somehow they seem to sneek up on me. Good people find their ways into my life and I always feel lucky to know them and hope that I will be there when they need me.

Today I am sending out props to my sister-friends that have come to stand-by me: Reina, Tammy, Rina, Hoa, Ines, Gina, Phaedra, Carmelita and Marie. Thanks, ladies.

Monday, September 26, 2005

"[Fire] nourishes. But it also destroys if you don't respect it."

One of my favorite movies is Foxfire. It is based on the book Foxfire: Confessions of a Girl Gang by Joyce Carol Oates. Her official website used to be cool - personalized - but it looks like her publishing company took over at some point. Now it is a too corporate, glossy for my tastes.

Anyway, the book and movie are very different, but equally entertaining and powerful. I watched the movie first and then read the book, which of course is always a mistake. Books always give so much more depth to their characters and each event is always so much more dramatic. I actually had to read the book a second time because my head kept trying to insert images from the movie into it. Once I accepted them as different stories I appreciated them both.

My favorite movie scene is when Angelina Jolie's character "Legs" tatoos a flame on herself after she and the other girls narrowly escaped the police. She says, "[Fire] nourishes. But it also destroys if you don't respect it." Legs goes on to tatoo a flame on the other characters. You realize their connection/friendship to one another will last forever. It is pretty moving.

That scene also reminds me of one of my favorite pieces of the book. The girls go around town tagging whatever they can with "Foxfire will burn and burn." It is their way of claiming their territory in the man's world they live in. Even though I do not condone destruction of property in real-life (I've worked too hard and too long for what I have. I don't want someone going around ruining my stuff!), I totally love the idea of a group of girls claiming their place in the world and being completely unapologetic about it at the same time. Wasn't that what we learned from Virgina Woolf in A Room of One's Own?

I just had a birthday a few weeks ago and I've been seriously thinking about getting a tatoo of the Foxfire flame somewhere. Not because I am a fan of the book and movie, but because I feel my soulful flame is burning so strong right now I feel nourished for the first time in years. I never want to let the flame die down again. To tatoo or not to tatoo? That is the question.


"The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly." -- Corra Harris

I recently found this quote. It resonates with me because I think it is something I've always done, but have not always recognized. It is what makes me strong.... yes, I am strong.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chicana Feminists on the Web

It has been nice to see a growing presence of Chicana Feminism on the web. I give props to Susanna L. Gallardo who put up the first quality Chicana Feminist site on the web. Check
Her sister's new website is full of interesting links and information...and the name is fabulous! Check out