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Friday, October 29, 2004

Dia de los Muertos Events in Port Isabel

Hi! I just got word of these events by email and they all sound muy muy chido! I suggest you all get yourselves to lovely Port Isabel and enjoy these special events!


"El Color de la Muerte: A Day of the Dead Celebration"
Saturday, October 30, 2004 from 3:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

A Collaborative Celebration between the Museums of Port Isabel,
the Laguna Madre Museum Foundation,
the International Museum of Art & Science of McAllen ,
The University of Texas-Pan American and the
Texas Commission for the Arts!
Please join us for a day of ancient traditions, art, history, dance, and storytelling
celebrating “Dia De Los Muertos” a Mexican custom of celebrating death through life.
“Candles, Cockscomb, and Marigolds” – It’s the “Day of the Dead”.
Can’t you just smell copal burning in the Mexican cemeteries?
Let’s take a peek at what the living are doing there!
Schedule of Events

3:00 p.m.

“Telling Our Stories Program” Day of the Dead in Oaxaca , Mexico . The Day of the Dead, as celebrated in Oaxaca , Mexico (located between Mexico City and Guatemala ), will be the topic of October's "Telling Our Stories". George Gause and his wife, Virginia Haynie Gause will make this festive celebration come alive through both slides and various artifacts associated with the Day of the Dead.
George & Virginia Haynie Gause have lived in the Valley since 1973. George is originally from New York and Virginia from Alabama . Both are librarians from The University of Texas-Pan American in Edinburg . He is Special Collections LIbrarian and she is Systems Librarian. Both have traveled extensively in Mexico . George enjoys collecting Mexican folk art and books related to this subject, while Virginia pursues photography. Treasures of the Gulf Museum , 317 E. Railroad. Free Admission.
4:00 p.m.
Tour of the Port Isabel Cemetery by George and Virginia Haynie Gause. A special tour of the historic Port Isabel Cemetery will take place in conjunction with the Day of the Dead where decorations found there, will be examined for artistic symbolism. Port Isabel City Cemetery .
5:00 p.m.
The Laguna Madre Art League will be creating Day of the Dead Altars in a Hands-on Workshop. Families are invited to create their own altars. Supplies and instructions are provided. Treasures of the Gulf Museum .
6:30 p.m.
“El Color de la Muerte” Altars and Art Display Reception will feature various Valley Artists original artwork and altars depicting Day of the Dead. Treasures of the Gulf Museum and Port Isabel Historical Museum. Music by the Joe and Rosie Perez of San Benito and a special choreographed dance by the Brazos Rio Grande School of Dance with artistic directorJesse Murguia. Special appearance by La Calavera Catrina (the skeleton of the fashionable lady) as portrayed by Carmen Zacarias, Director of the Brownville Historical Association. La Catrina is the creation of Jose Guadalupe Posada (1852-1913), a Mexican engraver known for his illustrations of newspapers during the times of dictator Porfirio Diaz. He originally created La Catrina for the popular song “La Cucaracha” but later used the image to parody overdressed Mexican ladies that had an obsession for everything French. And the La Maguacata Theatrical Troupe of Matamoras will be presenting a 30 minute play about "Day of the Dead" during the reception. Treasures of the Gulf Museum .
8:30 p.m.
Ghost Stories at Port Isabel Lighthouse. Come in costume and hear some of the scariest local ghost stories while enjoying frightful images projected on the side of the Port Isabel Lighthouse.

317 E. Railroad Ave. • Port Isabel , Texas 78578
956.943.7602 • Fax: 956.943-4346 •

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

When It Rains It Pours

There is great deal of things going on art and culture wise, so I wanted to inform you all before I get distracted and you may wonder, "Hey Mayra, isn't this blog about art? Where is freaking art??? What is this stuff about geeks and shrimp heads?" lol.
I am fully aware I didn't mention many recent events like The Latin Jazz Festival or the Padre Island Sand Castle Days...and that's no good because those were very awesome events that I regret passing up...but you know life happens. we go!

Below I posted information about the upcoming Anniversary Celebration on Friday October 29th at The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito. I suggest you all go check it out. All of the people I have met through the NMCAC have been awesome and very passionate about Valley culture and especially conjunto music...and also, my mom is going to be catering that event, so there will be good food too!

Another event I want to bring immediate attention to is an exhibition taking place at La Peña Gallery in Austin, Texas. It is called Capitol Selections and it will end this Friday on October 29th. It is a very special exhibition because it showcases the art of three art students from Lopez HS Fine Arts Academy in Brownsville. Here is a sample of an art piece that is in exhibition and which La Peña is using on their promotional postcards.

Impressive work isn't it? It looks better than some college level art I have seen.

Another event, which I have been helping with, is to take place on Nov. 11th in at Lopez High School Fine Arts Academy with the University of Texas at Austin College of Fine Arts. Professors from each department (Art, Music and Theatre & Dance) will be coming to give students workshops and a portfolio review. This will give many high school students who may have aspirations in the fine arts a glimpse into higher fine arts education and what expectations and experiences they will meet if they do pursue a career in the fine arts. As soon as I get a press release or see something in the news, I will post it to this blog.

I also want to give recognition to my friend Frank Diaz, who recently had a written piece published on the online magazine The Backword. His piece "A Weekend In The Valley", reflects on his observations and experiences of living life in the Valley. Frank is an awesome writer and his talent and right-on-target articulation is something that distinguishes his writing. Frank will always be welcomed to post at The Art of Brownsville. Congratulations Frank! :0)
Here are links to the posts he contributed to The Art of Brownsville:

Frank's Post #1, Frank's Post #2, Frank's Post #3, Frank's Post #4, Frank's Post #5, Frank's Post #6, Frank's Post #7, Frank's Post #8, Frank's Post #9, Frank's Post #10

I also recommend that you take a look at the online magazine The Backword. I have been in contact with their staff and they are very awesome people who wish to expand the writing spotlight on Texas to cover areas of the state that are underrepresented in the media..areas like The Rio Grande Valley. Like many people who wish to improve exposure for culture and the arts, they do their job on a voluntary basis during their free time. So please support this magazine simply by reading it and telling your friends about it.

Here is a link to an article called "Yo Quiero Brownsville!" Backword editor and founder Cesar Diaz (no relation to Frank Diaz) wrote. Keep an eye out for this guy, he's going to help change the face of Texas writing and he is perhaps one of the most suprising sources of Brownsville culture advocacy I have had the good luck of meeting (who ::gasp!:: is not in Brownsville).

There is a new exhibtion called "Carnaval de Fantasmas" coming up at TinSoupArtSpace in Brownsville. I was not able to get all the information but I wil put it up as soon as I get it and you can also keep updated at the Image Formula website.

Isn't it true?... the phrase "WHEN IT RAINS IT POURS".
The shower is just barely beginning in The Valley and I am most proud of the artistic storm that is beginning to brew! What an exciting time to be in the Rio Grande Valley! I am also sure there are so many other cultural events I didn't get to post. If you ever want to inform me of any arts and cultural events that are going on in the Rio Grande Valley or concerning Valley art and culture ( even if it's an art exhibition in India by an artist who was born in Los Fresnos), let me know! I will be glad to post it! You can email me at with the information. Articles, blogs and websites about Valley art, heritage and culture are also welcomed to be linked at The Art of Brownsville. Thanks folks for reading and remember to support the arts, you may not know it, but the arts are improving the quality of your life everyday. Here is an interesting report called The Creative Community you all should take a look at as well. Thanks folks for coming by The Art of Brownsville. Again, if you have any suggestions, do not hesitate to add comments or send an email my way.


“Only through art can we get outside of ourselves and know another’s view of the universe which is not the same as ours and see landscapes which would otherwise have remained unknown to us like the landscape of the moon.” —Marcel Proust

NMCAC Anniversary

For Immediate Release:
October 25, 2004
For more information contact:
Cristina Balli
(956) 361-0110
Tejano Walk of Fame Honoree will commemorate Narciso Martinez Birthday
WHO:  Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
WHAT: 13th Birthday Celebration
WHEN:  October 29, 2004   7:00 PM
WHERE:  225 E. Stenger Street, San Benito, Texas
October 29th was the birthday of the late Don Narciso Martinez, "the father of Texas-Mexican Conjunto music," and marks the 13th anniversary of the Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center.  To commemorate the occasion, descendants of Narciso Martinez, NMCAC founders, board of directors, staff and volunteers will gather for a celebration that will include food, beverage, and plenty of conjunto music by Los Donnenos, Fruty Villareal, Los Patrulleros, Cande Aguilar and Juan Lugo.
Headlining the music presentations will be bajo sexto player and Tejano Walk of Fame Honoree Ramiro Cavazos of Los Donnenos.  Cavazos formed his duet with accordion player Mario Montez in Donna and recorded in the 1950s.  They were one of the first to infuse the regional Mexican music sound with vocal duets, which made them extremely popular on both sides of the border.  They toured extensively and filmed with noted Mexican comedian Lalo Gonzalez "El Piporro" throughout Mexico, the U.S. and even Cuba.  Montes died in 1994 and Cavazos keeps the tradition of musica regional alive in his music store in McAllen.  Cavazos was one of the last to record Narciso Martinez' music on his record label, R y N Music.  These two legends performed together for this recording, and Cavazos will be performing a tribute to Narciso Martinez the night after his induction into the Tejano Walk of Fame in Edinburg (October 28, 2004).
Also performing a tribute to Martinez will be Fructoso "Fruty" Villarreal, who credits Ramiro Cavazos as one of his greatest influences and recently recorded some tunes made popular by Narciso Martinez.  Los Patrulleros (Rigo Garza and Jose Moreno) of San Benito will also take the stage, as well as former accordionist for Elida y Avante and abstract artist Cande Aguilar and NMCAC accordion instructor Juan Lugo.
The 30 minute documentary "Los Del Valle: Narciso Martinez" will be presented at 7:00 PM, followed by a reception and music.  Admission is $5.00.  For more information call (956) 361-0110.

Cristina Balli
Director of Programming & Development
Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 471
225 Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
(956) 361-0110

Monday, October 25, 2004

Survey: What is the Valley to you?

So today, I began my new internship and I worked on implementing an artsreach program for high school art students. But as I began to accumulate a mission statement for the program, I realized I had a wealth of scholarly resources to research, just so I won't misrepresent anything or say somehting totally out of context in concern to intercultural study and Rio Grande Valley art and culture in particular...

But then I got to thinking...I can read all the scholarly material out there, but if I only know how people with PhD's view the Valley, then what do I really know??? I need to also know how people from the Valley view themselves and how people who are not from the Valley think or feel about this region.

So my question to you all is:

What is the Rio Grande Valley to you? What is the Valley about? What makes up the Valley?

I mean, these questions are basically the same, but however you wish to put it, I would like to know your reflections on The Rio Grande Valley.

In the name of well intentioned research, comment today! Oh, and it would be cool if you call could sign it or leave an alias too. Thanks folks and I do hope an awesome forum of reflections on Rio Grande Valley life can develop! So don't be shy and please contribute your comments/reflections. Thanks!

My Geek Potential Has Risen!

I have probably had the geekiest weekend EVER...You see, a lot of my time was dedicated to my computer...I love my computer..I love my little Mac...cuz you know, once you go Mac you don't go back!

So what I did was upgrade my OSX Jaguar to OSX Panther...grrrrr!!! And I am now breezing at even faster speeds and then I installed my Adobe Creative Suite (which I got before I obtained Panther, but Creative Suite will not run on anything lower than OSX.3)... and now I can actually use Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Go Live! and Acrobat on my comp and make websites (no more lame Netscape Composer), graphics and pamphlets and work on my photography (I have a wedding I am taking photos for on Nov. 20th! yay!)...

And then, my friend Angela convinced me to get Yahoo! Messenger. It was a bit of an ordeal at first..because I didn't want it...I can barely handle my AIM iChat...many can attest to that (hehehe)....but for my friend Angela I did it, because she is super cool and now we can communicate better between New York and we start chatting about cartoons and she introduced me to Invader Zim after I introduced her to Neurotically Yours. We laughed over this cartoon, but I fear it may be because we can

So now, I have 2 instant message programs so there goes another point towards my geekdom quota. And with my recent upgrades to RoadRunner, OSX Panther, Adobe Creative Suite, recent discussions about comics and cartoons and for plans to acquire a G5 desktop and AirPort within a year or so... (maybe a bit more than a year since I am poor and little moths fly out of my wallet)...and I also converted a non-believer to blogdom (welcome to the dark side Angela)..I believe I may have met my geekdom quota! I can very well turn in a full fledge geek...I will be fighting against all odds to keep morphing into this guy....

Hey, Screech was muy chido!

So yes, my geek potential has risen...or have I been one all along...???....if that is true...well then, GEEKS RULE!

Saturday, October 23, 2004

A Shrimp Without His Head...updated

I read this news in the Herald today and I had a good laugh. Local seafood restaurant Captain Bob's mascot, Mr. Shrimp's head has been stolen! It's a bit mean to laugh at this, especially at restaurant's loss, since we just closed ours...but I promise its not out of spite. I love going to Captain Bob's! They have good shrimp, and even though I may be allergic to shrimp, I still go! I like their seafood specials! So anyways, they would usually have Mr. Shrimp stand outside the restaurant with a stereo playing loud music trying to lure customers with silly dancing and waves. I tried to find a picture of Mr. Shrimp, but the following picture was the closest I could find.

So imagine, something like this guy, waving you down from a corner with a goofy dance. Some local teens must be having a real kick holding poor Mr. Shrimp's head hostage. I sure will miss seeing Mr. Shrimp when I pass by either restaurant and I hope who ever stole his head may feel guilty enough to atleast leave it at the restaurant's front door or something! $2,000 is a lot of money for replacing a shrimp's head and that for sure is no laughing matter. If not, well you suck loser shrimp head theives!

Monday, October 18, 2004

Saying Goodbye

I am going to post something that hits very close to home and heart.

My family's owned restaurant, Asi Es Mi Tierra (or better known just as "Mi Tierra"), will be closing its doors forever this Friday, October 22nd, 2004. My parents have ran our restaurant since 1983, and before that, they used to sell fruit, barbacoa, tortillas and potatoes from a stand on the very same property where the building my father built with his now hands now stands. Within half a year, the building will be demolished to make way for a parking lot that will belong to an office building my parents are investing in for their eventual retirement.

It is the most bittersweet feeling to know this and as the days inch closer to Friday, it is impossible to believe that we won't be there come Saturday or next Monday. My memories begin at this restaurant and I can't remember a time in my life when it wasn't in the picture. I remember when my parents used to run a tortilleria in the back where our kitchen is now located. I can remember being fascinated by the machinery of the tortilla making machines. I remember passing the worst of Hurricane Gilbert within its walls while trying to capture "Pee Wee's Big Top", getting really bad reception from our little televison set (but then there was a hurricane outside). I remember going there after school with my sister from our elementary to pick up our soft-drink and a bag of chips, then we would go home and watch cartoons.

I remember a time when there was rail switch yard located in the front before there was the federal courthouse. I remember when we used to get packed on holiday gift giveaways at the police station. I remember once a group of 30 Miss USA pageant contestants and friends came to eat after they were given a tour of the police station and it was just my aunt, my mom and I who held the fort down. I remember trying to explain the dishes to them and passing out dishes of the best rice and beans they would ever have.

I am going to miss the look on people's faces when they see how big our flour tortillas really are. I am going to miss our customer's faces of satisfaction after eating the most delicious plate of Mexican food they've had in a while or how "mama" used to make it. I am going to miss the customers. I am going to miss the sound my dad makes when he carefully does the dishes. I am going to miss my mom's yearly family pozole lunch for new years. I am going to miss the smell of tamales and buñuelos overcome the building duing the holiday season. I am going to miss watching the seasons go by from the glass doors.

Yes there is going to plenty to miss and many memories to keep. We are going to be open until Friday, so if you wish to come and say goodbye we would like your visit.

We are located at:
1104 E. Jackson St., Brownsville, Texas
corner of Jackson and 7th across the police station
open 6:30 am - 2pm

We will be going into catering though so if you all want good food for your next catered event, consider us. Its almost a guarantee to make any event a big hit.

Authentic Mexican Food For All Occasions

Over 20 Years of Restaurant Experience
De Nuestra Cocina A Tu Mesa

The Up and Coming Hannaha Han

I suck because I forgot my friend's birthday and I suck big time for that. How many times can I fit suck into a sentence to even begin to redeem myself? I am so sorry Hannaha. Hannaha is one of my closest friends from college. We bonded as kindred spirits in the dizzying world of art school and she remembered my birthday this year...and I here I went forgeting I suck. suck.....suck. suck.

Where has my mind been? I don't know! I may be getting accelerated alzheimers or going into prolonged states of unconsciousness (which may explain that sleeping thing I do at night)...but whatever happened must have been pretty severe, cuz there is no plausible way I could forget such an awesome person's birthday.

But I did and I am so sorry. So in hopes of redeeming myself I want to share with you the awesome art of Hannaha Han.....the next Annie Leibovitz amongst us...but you know what she doesn't even need to be "the next Annie Leibovitz"...she is Hannaha Han and that is way more than good enough and her work will blow you away. So here we go....


Hannaha Han

So I speak for myself when I talk about Hannaha's art, because it can be one thing for her and another thing for you and any other person...but let me tell what it is to me...

When I look at Hannaha's work I am affronted by the automatic tone of her photography and of the awareness of self and of environment....I know it makes no sense....well here it goes...

When I see Hannaha's art, I am hit with a sense of solitude...not to say Hannaha is lonely...but the subject of her photograph is...the lonely toaster, the lonely candle, the lonely cooking pan...but the way she captures and delights in these lonely objects with such rich detail for color, lighting and compostiton makes them beautiful as is something that we would only notice if we were alone in a room with these objects..because if you think about it...if you were in a room full of people, you would never notice such everyday objects around is not until we are completely alone that we truly take notice of our environment...and to some people this is a very scary thought, to be alone...but when I see Hannaha's art, I see the solitude as a comfort, as a stable security and even an object of reverence. is something that we can all relate to and often fail to recognize in each other...we spend so much time trying to prove that we indeed are not lonely creatures...that we have things going on...have lives and somehow have it under control....but many times in life..we find ourselves our homes and everything outside that front door feels like its is hanging by a career, relationships, school, ect, ect...but when we come home we can take comfort in the little that we have really the candle,the stove, the cooking pot and the toaster...and by revering these simple objects...Hannaha has made those objects most brilliant and beautiful by relating them to the human experience...

So that is my own art analysis of Hannaha's photos above...I hope I didn't cause mass confusion or annoyance with my sentiment towards Hannaha's art or pull something like that guy with his camera and floating plastic bag in the movie "American Beauty" mocked below in a picture from the movie "Not Another Teen Movie"...with the beautiful weirdo

Yeah, pehaps I am just a beautiful weirdo and you may have already decided to not even read this far after the whole comparing human solitude to a toaster...hahaha...yes.....

I am going now....but if you like Hannaha's art let her can contact her via email at:

Friday, October 15, 2004

Salvador Dali

I heard that there is a new Salvador Dali exhibit in Matamoros at the Museo de Arte Contemporanéo de Tamaulipas. I was not able to find a link concerning the event but I know it's there and I heard the exhibition reception was this past week. The museum is located at:

Ave. Constitución y Quinta S/N. Col. Jardín, H. Matamoros, Tamaulipas

...which is behind the Best Western hotel about a few blocks away from either the Matamoros-Brownsville Bridge (El Puento Viejo) or the New Bridge (which still gets called El Puento Nuevo after being proceeded by Los Tomates Bridge, and looks older than the newly renovated puento viejo..hehe).

You should all go check out the amazing paintings of this surrealist painter that streched (literally and figuratively) the visual and iconic components of our conscience into the poetry of dreams...yeah, that's my romanticized defintion of surrealism but if you want more info on surrealism click here.

Persistence of Memory by Salvador Dali (1931)

I know this is his most famous piece and I don't think it will be at the Matamoros exhibition because it is currently housed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, but you all should go and check out the show in Matamoros. Considered by the mainstream art world to be one of the heavyweight contributors to modern art in the 20th century, it would be an interesting exhibition to go see.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Art Dream Inspires

My past few week and a half have been kinda draining. So today I worked on some things and I went to bed early because I was exhausted and all I dreamed about was art, isn't it funny? Not like a powerpoint slideshow of art kinda dream, but where I see the images and I just kinda go with it. Like I am inside the painting and its like a different world I am experiencing. So what images did I see? Well, I am horrible with remembering dreams, but I definitely remember seeing so much. It was like going to an awesome exhibition and being overwhelmed visually it hurts your heart because you are so completely moved. But the last place where I actually felt so dizzy with art was in The Houston Museum of Fine Art Impressionist Exhibition like 2 years ago (I spent about 1 hours in one room). I mean, I have felt great going to local galleries and museums in Dallas, Austin and in the Valley, but this dream just reminded me of those dizzy experiences. The best "dizzy" experience I had was art The Uffizi in Florence. I remember I spent about 3 hours there and there was so much to see, but when I found out I missed out on the section with the Venetian Renessaince I ran back up back this 5 flight circular staircase (apparently 15th century Italians didn't believe in elevators, hehe). You see, I had missed out on Titian and he is my absolute favorite artist, so when I got there and I spent another 2 hours there alone since my group had moved on to lunch. I didn't care, Titian over lunch would be my choice anyday. So yeah, after this dream I realized that I need to get back into my art and devote more time to the things I am passionate about. So here is hoping to better weeks ahead.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

NMCAC "El Second Weensdee"

The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
"El Second Weensdee"
an oral history series on conjunto music
October 13, 2004 - 7:00 PM
featured guest -  Cecilia Balli,
award-winning journalist,
who will present work on regional Mexican music
and accordion king Ramon Ayala
at the San Benito Community Building
210 E. Heywood St. (behind NMCAC)
$3.00 admission at the door

a reception co-sponsored by
the San Benito Chamber of Commerce,
Grand Marnier, Jose Cuervo
and Texas Monthly
will follow at NMCAC
(956) 361-0110

Cristina Balli
Director of Programming & Development
Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center
P.O. Box 471
225 Stenger Street
San Benito, Texas 78586
(956) 361-0110

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Feliz Feliz Cumpleanos deseamos para ti...!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY goes out to my big sis Angie and my bestest friend. We have come a long way as sisters and I want you to know that I cherish and love you very much. And I promise no flowers! Even though my present could very well possibly suck big time, here is the gift I wish I could give you.... Nice, pretty, comfy non-old lady looking shoes over $35! hahaha. Here is a picture of what I would give you.

But until that time when I can get you shoes that totally rock, enjoy your birthday with lots of love and happiness from your family and friends! The things that we pretend that matter when we are poor. hehehe

Saturday, October 09, 2004

Good Will's Wisdom

I saw the last 20 minutes of the 2nd Presidential debate and I was quite satisfied with the results. I won't say whom I am going to vote for because I am a moderate independent and I don't want to give the impression that I support one party over the other. Sometimes I wish political parties didn't exist. Partisan politics just brings a dualistic perspective to government (one way or the other, good or evil, black or white, up or down, right or left...), and I think it just adds murk to true governing for the people (sometimes its governing for the party) and funnels our perspective of the world rather than help us understand it better. Did you know that the first president of the United States, George Washington warned and discouraged against partisan politics? But did the first delegates listen? noooooo. But you know, political parties are such an embedded presence in modern democracy that I don't think the partisan system will topple. I think it suits us to have a partisan political system. American culture is very much dualistic due to America’s initial founding as a Christian nation, which teaches overcoming evil in our lives to achieve a better good. That perspective would be incredibly difficult to change and I for one wouldn’t want it to because even it may keep us ignorant sometimes, it will keep us idealistic and hopeful all of the time. American Idealism (mostly based on egalitarian philosophy) is what makes the US great because it allows one to hope and try to pursue a better life, no matter what your station may be or may have been. Idealism is what allowed Martin Luther King Jr. to believe in his dream and endeavor to make our nation a place where children of all backgrounds could play on the same streets and be in the same classroom without retribution. If he didn’t hold to his ideals in tough times boy would our times be tougher now.

But if you really want to know whom I’m voting for, read the following quote from the film "Good Will Hunting" and you can pretty much decipher which candidate my vote is going to. I love this quote.

* So Will (Matt Damon) is answering Sean's (his shrink played by Robin Williams) question about why he didn't take a job with the National Security Agency, offered to him because of his super, genius mathematical miracles…

"Will : Why shouldn't I work for the N.S.A.? That's a tough one, but I'll give it a shot. Say I'm working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. So I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I'm real happy with myself, 'cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never had a problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin', "Send in the marines to secure the area" 'cause they don't give a shit. It won't be their kid over there, gettin' shot. Just like it wasn't them when their number was called, 'cause they were pullin' a tour in the National Guard. It'll be some guy from Southie takin' shrapnel in the ass. And he comes home to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, 'cause he'll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile my buddy from Southie realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used the skirmish to scare up oil prices so they could turn a quick buck. A cute little ancillary benefit for them but it ain't helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And naturally they're takin' their sweet time bringin' the oil back, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain't too long 'til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy's out of work and he can't afford to drive, so he's got to walk to the job interviews, which sucks 'cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin' him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he's starvin' 'cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue plate special they're servin' is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what do I think? I'm holdin' out for somethin' better. Why not just shoot my buddy, take his job and give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president."

So yeah, bureaucracy is a bitch that politicians play like a hand. Isn’t it amazing how complicated humanity has made life over the span of our evolution? I mean, when anthropologists study our civilization thousands of years from now it is going to be cluttered with cabinets of paper work, mostly bills and maxed out credit reports. Sometimes, its more than I wish to handle, and perhaps it just maybe my first bitter taste of the world, but why does it have to be freaking complicated?…so I’ve decided that maybe Will in Good Will Hunting had a good idea going in the following quote:

“Sean : So what do you really want to do?
Will : I wanna be a shepherd.
Sean : Really.
Will : I wanna move up to Nashua, get a nice little spread, get some sheep and tend to them.
Sean : Maybe you should go do that.”

Of course what happens next is that Robin Williams stops the therapy session and kicks Will out of his office. But hey you know, these days shepherd doesn’t seem so bad. Hey Jesus was a shepherd, compassionate and egalitarian (after rising on the 3rd day he first appeared to a woman, Mary Magdelene, but do women get credit for this, noooo) and managed to change the world by moving their hearts and spirit. A simple shepherd/carpenter changed the world…geez…but it seems like these days nothing can be simple. So yeah, a nice little spread in Nashua doesn’t sound that bad at all.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Cinesol and Art

Okay. So I've strayed....but like I promised I got some more juicy art info for you all! Also, I recently attended the screening of a movie called Puños Rosas at the CineSol Film Festival. It was all filmed in Brownsville and Matamoros so it was pretty interesting to see. I mean I haven't seen a movie with Brownsville since those old Mexican Pedrito Fernandez films with Lucerito or something...haha. The movie was good but quite violent. The Q&A afterwards was good feeling but could have credited better questions from its audience. There were questions like "In the film, was the guy gay?" and some lady also thanked the filmmakers for not putting in "inappropriate material" in the film (she kept saying that over and over... so I was thinking, "lady just say! sexual material, sexo, sexual innuendo, love-making, making whoppee, something but please stop saying "inappropriate material" as to keep my head from blowing up...ah!). So she thanked them because she was worried about bringing her small children to see the movie (it was very violent), but the violence she didn't mind because that was okay for them to see. I was glad that the filmmakers stated afterward that the movie was indeed not for children, and it isn' is good film and has a good story, but its violent and carries an implied plot that replies much on the assumption of its audience and for one you need to know Spanish to understand most of what's going on so even if there was no violence, it's not a film for children.

Okay so the art info here you go!

There is a new art exhibtion at The Narciso Martinez Cultural Arts Center in San Benito entitled Telling Our Story: Dichos and Life in South Texas. The show includes Rio Grande Valley artists Philip Field, Jennifer Rodriquez and Benjamin Varela and I was very, very impressed with their work. I wish to could describe it all right now, but their styles and concepts are different from one another's but also run on this parallel theme of defining and celebrating cultural identity, that I would need to take half an hour to give their art any minimal justice and I need to go get ready for all I can say is go, you won't regret it. I really recommend that you go to the see the exhibtion and if you need any information about the center's open hours call (956) 361-0110.

A new gallery has opened in downtown Brownsville called tinSoupArtspace. I was finally able to find it after being mislead to think it was in the Alonso Building or somewhere on St. Charles St., which I was terribly wrong. So I finally just drove around one day after work and saw this red warehouse on St. Frances and I was like, a red warehouse in Brownsville?? Yup, there is artists there, haha! So anyways, the space also houses a graphic design business called Image-Formulaand it's all ran by two brothers who studied art as well. Pretty cool. Right now they have a show up by Valley artist Cande Aquilar, who does these great big giant abstract collages that are incredibly fun to look at. (*fun may not seem like a very appropriate term for art, but for me its fun to look at art and his art is especially fun.) So go check it out!
Here is their contact info: 903 e. St. Francis, Brownsville, Texas 78520, ph: 956.574.0888
Click Here for an article the was in The Herald about the gallery as well.

So go check it and support Valley art!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Angela! Start Spreading the News...

Good luck in New York Angela! I hope you get to read this at The New York City Library or at home in Queens, but either way best of luck to you and make the very best of being at the center of the universe. I am rooting for you here in Texas. Go Angela!

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Please Register to Vote!

Hi. I know I said I was going to be on break, but I just wanted to make a plea to anyone who does not plan to vote to go and register for the upcoming November election. It is so important that you register. Even if you are undecided about whom you wish to vote for or uninformed about current political affairs, atleast register, it wouldn't hurt to atleast register. You still have a whole month ahead to inform yourself and make a decision about which candidiates best suit your vote. The upcoming registration deadline in Texas will be this Monday, October 4th so you still have time! For other states' registration deadlines, to download an application (they must be postmarked by the deadline date) or more information about registration nation-wide visit this site Rock the Vote.

I know that many people are not found of politics and may not want to get involved, but that is an unacceptable reason to not vote. Your vote is your right and by voting you preserve your right to decide what kind of country you live in and thus what kind of life you will live. Right now, so many people in Afghanistan have registered to vote by the millions because they wish to preserve their freedom to choose what kind of country they want to live in. In a democracy your freedom is a right but to a new democracy like Afghanistan they also know it is a privilege that once not long ago was not available to them.

Perhaps that is what our country lacks...a respect and appreciation for our right to vote as a privilege that is free and that does not discriminate. Do you know how many millions of people in the world do not have that kind of privilege? Wake up America, we are living in a world where can no longer turn a blind eye. The Afghanis know this and many are dying to preserve their new freedom and amazingly millions have already registered despite persistant threat and danger. Then why do they do this? Because for the first time in a long time they can finally take a stand for the things they believe in, for the kind of country they hope to create and to not allow anyone to take their freedom from them again. Read this article here and you will see what I am talking about. You may not have guns shooting at you or long tracks of mountain terrain to travel in your way to keep you from registering like the Afghanis, but even then they did it by the millions. The only obstacle you have is apathy, so get over it and go register, go and preserve your right and privilege to vote!

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