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Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Blogger Break

Hey everyone (all 10 people who read this blog, lol)! I won't be blogging until next week because I will be working on some projects that I really need to dedicate many hours to, but here are some sites that I visit regularly that I do enjoy, so I hope you will enjoy them too. Yay!

Space Monkeys

Meanwhile, enjoy this picture of Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa as well, whose picture I have wanted to put up on this blog after I changed the design to this old western-style template.

Ciao Ciao and have a nice weekend!

Comment on TiVo

Yay! Someone posted a comment for my Adult Swim entry and I am going to answer their question.

Anonymous posted:
"What the hell is TEVO! I keep hearing TEVO TEVO.. but i dont know what it is.. Dont you remember we will in BRownsville texas and its like teh Rancho over here. We here about things the last minute."

My response:
Tevo...well first of all I spelled it wrong. It is in fact called TiVo. Here is a description of the TiVo service from their website: "TiVo works with any TV setup to automatically find and digitally record up to 140 hours of the programming you want--every episode of your favorite series, every Coppola movie, home improvement shows, Dora cartoons, whatever you choose--all while you're out living life. Plus, pause, rewind and slo-mo live TV"

Here is a funny fact about TiVo and that infamous wardrobe malfunction at the last Superbowl. This CNN web article reports that "TiVo said that particular halftime stunt was the most replayed moment not only of the Super Bowl but of all TV moments that the young company has ever measured."

If I could have TiVo I wouldn't want it to record Janet Jackson's boob. I have one too, nothing new. I just want to be able to watch my favorite shows when it would be convenient for me. And even though I recently discovered Adult Swim, I just can't stay up late like I used to. I know, I know, the question would be..."Ever heard of a VCR????"...yeah , yeah, but the point with TiVo is, that I would not have to be there to push the button. I can go to sleep, make art, do my paperwork, write letters, balance my checkbook, go see a movie...And anyways, if I could afford TiVo, I don't think I would get it...I only wrote "I need Tevo" out of exasperation because I was waiting for Inuyasha to start and I don't like having to fight to stay awake.

Anyways, I think I would only get TiVo if I was rich, because for me TV is not the be all of life. Even if I had a middle class salary, I think I would knock myself on the head before I wasted my money on a luxury that I could reasonably live without. For now, I will have to get over my favorite shows (minus Everwood) so I can wake up early and work my way up to affording stamps, movies 16, gas for my car and my college loans. Right now all I pay for is Internet (and that is at half-price because my mom loves me) because I do most of my work over the internet. I am a big google freak and I research everything for all my projects. I want to keep myself informed and I like to share information I think is cool, thus the creation of this blog.

So there you go. I hope this response will bring you to peace of mind and quench your TEVO TEVO nightmares. And yes, I am aware that I am in Brownsville or "the Rancho", so I will be more carefull to reference what I talk about on this blog, sometimes I do get ahead of myself. :0) It's all good!

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Go and store yourself some honey

Roadrunner is awesome!
When I am online...I feel like making va va VAROOM! noises. My little Mac is so happy that it can now live up to its potential. :::making giddy faces:::

So going back to what The Art of Brownsville is mostly for, I wanted to share with you all some links to some recent articles from The Herald about local visual artists. They have been doing an awesome job covering the arts within the community. My Kudos to The Herald, so here you go and do enjoy! Art is the stored honey of the human soul. (Don't quote me on that, I didn't make that up, some guy named Theodore Dreiser did. )

High School Art Students
Portrait of a Killer
Suitcase Art and Brownsville Gallery
Brownsville Artist displays at local eateries
Graffiti as a positive
Museum Director and Artist

Monday, September 27, 2004

The grim reality of things...

Okay. So today I came to a sad conclusion that was very disappointing. I was doing serious research online trying to find GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgendered) support groups/safeplaces in the Brownsville region and found nothing helpful....and before you all jump to any conclusions it was not for me...

So I found nothing. I mean in terms of counseling, education or peer support, NADA. Sure, I found gay dating sites, gay nightclub listings and the such, but let's say if someone wanted to find some non-intervention based support (by intervention based I mean like religous or ethical groups), they would not have it readily accessible. It really is sad. There is a whole community of individuals in this region who are not getting the information or help they need to learn how to care for themselves; not being able to find a positive support that won't bring them to the darker areas of society and life (that being prostitution, homelessness, STD's, abuse, drug addictions, depression, etc). No local group to seek support from if their rights have been violated or to protect their rights.

It's sad. How else can I describe it. I never even thought about this until I needed to find the information for someone. Scary the things you realize when the veil has been lifted.

I know it's the end of the month, but it ain't over yet... by request of popular demand (okay from my sister, but she is probably the only person who reads this blog, thus making her the popular demander) The Art of Brownsville wishes to recognize....


So for these last few days of the month learn about and/or practice Hispanic culture. For starters I have put up some of my personal saved links for you to visit concerning hispanic heritage or cultures. I may or may not agree with everything these sites have to say, but I belive that keeping oneself informed about what people are saying about or representing culture is important.

Latino Webblog
Carmen Lomas Garza
Are Chicanos the same as Mexicans?
A Short History of the Chicano People
Acculturation and Intercultural Identity in the Post-Modern World
Museums and Galleries in the Valley
La Frontera

Ok. I am going to bed now.

A mee mee. A mee mee. A moo mooooooo.

Buenas Noches!

Friday, September 24, 2004

Things are picking up!

Today I spent most of my time in San Benito at the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center preparing for some projects I have underway with the center. Pretty much I am going to be making some art lesson units based on their upcoming exhibition with Valley artists Phillip Field, Benjamin Varela and Jennifer Rodriquez. Then they wil be sold by the center. I also met with the director about pulling a Saturday art program for high school students and we are aiming for January. These are alll exciting prospects and I look forward to learning about and serving my community. (I know I sound like a cop at show and But for reals, I do.

There is a lot of work to get done and today I got my first tension headache since college and am still am dealing with it a bit. It's not so much the work that got me hurting but the not eating well and keeping myself hydrated. I used to get tension headaches in college all the time because I never ate well or drank water and had tons of stuff going on. But this whole summer my mom has kept me well nourished...(very close to gluttony when it comes to tortillas con chorizo)...and for the most part I have not had much going on besides family stuff, a straining job hunt that is still pulling me and occasional outings. But I guess today was the first time that my body freaked because I skipped lunch and pretty much ignored breakfast. Then my sister to me to CiCi's for dinner and I felt better, and then my mom gave my head a massage and healed me with a huevo just incase I had ojo. (For those of you who just went "huh?", healing people with an egg is a common folk medicinal technique used in Mexican-American culture for "ojo" or "evil eye".)

UT-Austin is also coming to give a College of Fine Arts Review Day at my alma mater (did I spell that right?) Lopez HS Fine Arts Academy. They are bringing professors from each department to give workshops for the students. As some of you may remember, I co-coordinated an ArtsReach program called Fronteras Cruzadas this past May through UT COFA. Late this summer, pretty much out of no where, they called me telling me that they wanted to come back to Brownsville. I think it is great and I am glad that I was able to help leave an impression of my city and of the students for them to want to come back and try to recruit specifically from Brownsville for UT COFA. So, for now I am just working as a liason for them, helping them make contacts in the community.

Oh yeah more good news too!


I am so excitied! SO SO SO Excited!

No more slow downloads. No more lost signals. No more being logged off! No more shitty (excuse my french) internet experience.

I had such a horrible experience trying to cancel my Compuserve account. (and no I will not hyperlink that horrid ISP, they don't deserve my valuable HTML time). The operator would not give up and at the end I felt so crappy and frustrated. And AOL is only like a notch better than Compuserve, which I am using right now and it does not let me use AIM and Explorer at the same time. (Something about overloading it's oh so sensitive optimized server with too many tasks).

So yes, DIAL UP Internet. I shall be rid of you soon! Oh so soon! And this is where I wish to send you.

Diap-up, may you burn in the flames of Hades long past any recollection of your bad ISP services. Hasta nunca mas!

Must stay awake

Dang you AdultSwim! Dang You!
Why must you be so good and so bad!? So fun to watch but so late at night!
Oh, Darn it to shucks!
Can you atleast put Inuyasha at 10:30??
So then maybe I can get up early and go jogging. :(


I need Tevo.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

No so nice Observations

The job market in Brownsville is definitely not one of the town's better attributes. With a lagging economy and small market, I could not say there is something for everyone here...and if there is, the opportunities are small and you have to deal with a competitive scene where compadrismo ( the "I pat your back you pat mine, it matters who you know" way) is a decisive influence. I for one don't like to speak so negatively about my town but for the most part it is true and these are things that need to be dealt with soon. Here are some things I have come to observe and conclude.

1. As our education retention rates grow (slowly albeit surely), Brownsville is going to need to develop an economy that can sustain an educated workforce. If Brownsville leaders are wanting to retain the brightest students coming out of their schools, then they need to support an economy that will give them career opportunities that they otherwise have to look for in larger cities.

2. We need to dare to think creatively, to strategize cohesively and to act differently than our larger city counterparts. So far, the Rio Grande Valley has been seen as the lower end of a spectrum. Lowest test scores, lowest income rates, lowest poverty rates, lowest employment rates, lowest retention rates, highest debt rates, lowest insurance rates...the list can go on. Many say this is the result of the region's culture other's say the result of institutional racism. Some say compadrismo and corrupt politics and others say it's due to our proximity to Mexico and large immigrant population....I say blah to all of that! I say if our city is faltering to meet nationwide standards then it is our own fault. It is our own fault because we don't dare to think outside the box of "their standards". For example, if we have low test scores, then why don't we set our standard to surpass the standards of those tests. Why are we retarding the education of our students to meet minimum test scores, to settle fears of institutional pressure, when we can have them surpass those standards instead? I am sorry but teaching students how to pass a test is not an education. IT IS NOT. By applying pressure on educators to have students pass a test, you are only decreasing the quality of education. Instead, lets give students the VERY BEST education they can have. Let's stop treating the Spanish langauge like a handicap and use it as a positive attribute in classrooms. Let's have students learn about Roman and Greek mythology as well as Azetc and Mayan. Let's have our students master Alegbra and construcutive thinking skills for High School. Let's expect MORE from our students, Let's expect more from their parents. Let's give CONFIDENCE back to our students. So when it comes time to taking an exam, we do not have to worry about meeting "their" standards.

3. So far, it seems like Brownsville is following a suburban city development plan , which is very exciting indeed because it has given us many more family oriented venues and more shopping complexes. But we also have wrose traffic and more corporate franchises in the city that are very dependent on macro markets. If the market at large goes bad, so does the suburban economy, which is happening in Brownsville now. I am not saying hey, suburbs suck and lets get rid of McDonalds. What I am saying is that let's not neglect other facets of our city. Let's also give opportunities for small businesses to develop and prosper, for the butcher, baker and candle-stick maker, from yoga teachers, enviormental activists, comic book enthusiasts, to antique collectors. What we need is an economy that can offer a place for everyone.

3. Let's go back to our roots and communities and restore our decaying downtown, fix our pot-holed streets and change our focus to what is needed on hand before we move forward and leave the rest to the dust. Let's not make North Brownsville like a mini-Manhattan and leave Southmost, Buena Vida or West Brownsville to be the Bronx, Brooklyn and Harlem.

4. We need to change our actions. We need to support the better development of Brownsville by not just pointing fingers at politicians. What Brownsville needs is better civic engagement from its residents and we need to invest in the quality of life projects like the arts, community sports, and education as much as we do for eating out, movies and shopping excursions. We also need to learn respect for others, ourselves and our city. We need to be a nicer city. I am tired of the bitter feeling of not having it better that lingers in the city. Get over it. If you want something better in Brownsville, make it hapen. Don't complain and keep your manners. That is something I have seen less of...good manners.

So yes, I have just blurbed our a whole technicality of ideas and opinions, very close to ranting. Hey, if there weren't things I didn't like about my town, I wouldn't love it. I'll write nicer things next time..I promise.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

Two new art outreach projects under my belt...
I won't elaborate for now...
don't want to jinx anything...

But for sure here is some stuff I am ready to talk about.

I am poor. I am an artist. I am not starving..expect maybe for some Austin Kerby Lane gueso (hmmm...) but I am close to not being able to go to the movies 16 atleast once a week (as Brownsville tradition goes for most people here)..Discount Movies 10 will be my new got to movie home.

So if anyone needs an artist or wants to buy some art cheap...I am your go to artist!

Oh and I also want to be a cobbler's apprentice! I want to learn how to fix shoes, atleast until I can go and learn how to make them in Italy. Then my friend Susan and I will go on to conquer the shoes and accesssories (or as we like to call it shoe and purse) world and give Louis Vuitton and Manolo Blahnik a run for their stilletos.

I also have a lot of stuff to catch up on...but the self loathing, feeling sorry for yourself, recent college graduate who can't find a job, seen every episode of Lizzie McGuire lifestyle has caught up with me. I recently had an interview but it went bad when I went into a coughing fit mid-interview. I have been sick for about two weeks now and have had 5 shots (big ol' Mexican needle ones with oil based liquids! Major Freaking Ouch!), yet no final clearance from sporadic coughing fits. My mom will be closing the family business pretty soon too. A bittersweetness lingers through out our days. So here is my plan:

1. Stop making I have done so in the paragraph above
2. If I cannot find a job by the end of this month, apply for the Teaching Sequence at UT-Brownsville
3. Help my mom out as much as possible to make the transition from business owner to real estate investor
4. Have a garage sale! YAY! That means finally clearing out the den of my piles and boxes of college stuff
5. Jog in the mornings...I can't afford a gym membership yet and traffic sucks. I think I can jog within the time it would take me to get to the gym and back driving in Brownsville
6. Work on my projects..that I will not elaborate on...
7. Work on my art, try to exhibit and sell it
8. Finish up paperwork and correspodence
9. Give our dog Curly a much needed bath and haircut
10. Clean my cat Leo's litterbox
11. Clean my room
12. Mow the lawn
13. Clean my car
14. Cook dinner more often and perfect my mother's fidello
15. Write a story or column
16. Become a cobbler's apprentice

15 steps to my goal being a better life...
Ah! Why does the better life require so many steps...let's face it I think our pets have it made.
without an ounce of work, they have acquired lives with no credible conscience to burden them in air conditioned homes, free meals and water, lots of attention and get don't have to clean up their own bowel movements. Now that is living.

Monday, September 13, 2004

Two exciting events are coming to the Rio Grande Valley pretty soon:


The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center presents:

13th Annual
Narciso Martinez Conjunto Festival
September 17, 18 & 19, 2004

225 E. Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas

Enjoy three days of live Texas-Mexico
conjunto music, dancing, food and beverage.
Admission is $1.00 each day,
children under 12 free.

Friday 7:00 PM
Conjunto Heritage Taller
Bene Medina y su Conjunto
Nick Villarreal y su Conjunto

Saturday 5:00 PM
Ramiro Cavazos y Los Donnenos
Amadeo Flores
Conjunto Atzlan
Joel Guzman & the Mexican Roots Trio
Oscar Hernandez & the TUFF Band

Sunday 4:00 PM
Los Fantasmas del Valle
Gilberto Perez y Sus Compadres
Los Angeles del Sur
Los Dos Gilbertos
Ruben Vela y su Conjunto

(956) 361-0110

Schedule is subject to change.


CineSol Film Festival

"The CineSol Latin Film Festival is an event that showcases the very best in Latino American Film and Video creation. The traveling Festival literally makes its way throughout South Texas spanning two weeks, celebrating and awarding achievement in the art of filmmaking. The Cinesol Latin Film Festival is dedicated to furthering the art, craft and business of writers and filmmakers and recognizing their artistic contributions in the Latino community. Cinesol supports the work of aspiring and established filmmakers by enhancing public awareness to their artistic endeavors and by encouraging dynamic and long-lasting community alliances.

CineSol made its historic debut in September 1993 in celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month. It provided the Texas Border Region with its first film festival ever, including cultural art events in the Mexican cities of Matamoros. Reynosa and Tamaulipas. CineSol has traveled throughout the region, bringing the Latino voice and vision through film and video directly to their prospective communities.

This year's premiere weekend will be held in McAllen, Texas. In the weeks to follow, the festival will travel to Harlingen, Texas and will culminate in Brownsville, Texas. There will be screenings at area theatres, museums, libraries, universities, and social service organizations as part of its Community Outreach component. "

borrowed from the cinesol website

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Appropriation At Its Best

A breath of fresh air and a dose of humor, even it is weird:

Away from the gruesome news of bad politics, terrorism, war and court cases that have been given more attention than needed, there has been reports of an actual killing of a Chupacabra ( the infamous "goat-sucker") by a rancher in Elmendorf, Texas, a small town southeast of San Antonio. Here is a webpage that has the best coverage I have been able to find.

Brownsville has it fair share of stories of the paranormal, from a haunted university to UFO sightings, oddly slain cattle, a giant flying dinosaur, duendes (little green men), brujas (witches), lechusas (large white owls), you name it...someone has some paranormal story to tell and claim to be true. Call it rural or urban myths, people in Brownsville love to tell stories (or as we call "cuentos") and it is perhaps the strongest hertiage and cultural resource that has sustained assimilation. The stories live on and in most people's hearts are true. If you have someone from Brownsville in your presence, you will have a story or three to keep you all chilled or thrilled. And for the most part with my experience with people from my town, we like to talk about it, even if we go to bed a bit scared at night, even if you've heard the cuento for the 12th time.

So about this Chupacabra report, is it the real dog-gone truth? Perhaps it is. I say why not? If there are thousands of species of animals that have yet to be discovered in the Amazon Rainforest, then why not one in our very own backyard? Looking at the pictures, it is easy to see how one can exagerate the description to resemble an alien from Mars, reminiscent to me of the disney cartoon Stich of "Lilo and Stich". (I would not be suprised if Disney cartoonists used the Chupacabra sketches to design a cuddlier alien like Sitch.) It is a wide known fact that under shock or fear, one tends to exagerrate the physical description of something or someone they saw, a fact that investigators always bring to mind when interviewing witnesses or when trying to come up with a visual profile or sketch. See for yourselves.

Here is the picture of the animal killed by the rancher in Elmendorf:

From a paranormal resource, here is an earlier artist's rendition based on witness reports:

Here is a picture of 'Stich", from "Lilo and Stich":

So there you go folks. You can take this news of the weird as however you wish. Just keep the stories going.

Art by Rosendo Sandoval - Title:"La que bailo con el diablo " contact:

Art by Rosendo Sandoval - Title:"La que bailo con el diablo " contact:

Historic Brownsville Museum