Sunday, December 31, 2006
I drove down to where I thought the store was only to realize it was a different store and I had gotten it confused-- I do this sort of thing often. Since I was already in Fayetteville and I had my camera with me I took off to Mt. Sequoyah to get some pictures from up there. The sky was looking beautiful with still some gray clouds but with hints of golden where the sun wanted to reach for me. On my way there I took unfamiliar roads and enjoyed the ride. I knew they would take me where I wanted to go, because that was easy.... just go uphill and you'll get there. Besides, Fayetteville is a very small town. I couldn't possibly get lost, and if I did, all I had to do was turn into a road going downhill and I would eventually find a main street.
The drive was so calming. There's a clarity in the air after storms or long rainy days that seems so real and magical at the same time. It's been a mild winter so far, so I could lower my windows and I let some cold air come in the car. My hair got cold and it felt nice. It felt like it feels when I don't dry it well and put it up then at the end of the day when I put my hair down still smells... fresh. The cold air got to my lungs and reminded me of how good breathing feels, and how often I forget it.
When I finally got to Mt Sequoyah I got out of my car and started shooting pictures. I walked a little down the road and got in the retreat center I've been so many times for leadership things from school. I got a picture of the benches and the leaves on the floor and then I left because it felt like I was somehow interrupting something. Call me crazy, but it felt like all those benches were starring at me. So I turned back and left.
I got on my car and instead of taking my usual route back I went down on another unfamiliar road. I had already been thinking how nice the drive up there was and so I wanted to keep feeling good, leaving all things known on the side and seeing things differently. I ended up on a street that would take me to the main street to go back home. And just when I got close to the stop light I looked left and there was, in that corner, the store I had been looking for earlier that afternoon. At the end, those roads took me where I was going.
It was a good day. Even if right after I got all of the things in my list I left my keys inside the car. Happy new year!
Friday, December 29, 2006
On my exciting Friday night at home I wanted to continue on my door-mural project but somehow didn't get it together to work on it. I thought of the colors and what I wanted to do with newspaper... then I thought how that wasn't really a good idea so I thought of something else that I didn't get to do. I'll wake up early and work on it.
I'm missing the studio. I miss the solitude of it some nights and the smell of the paint. I miss the view from the window and the cold wind of Fall nights that refreshed my ideas. I miss the green chair in the studio, and the vibrant colors.
Acrylics feel so dead. So quick to dry.
I want to use my oil paints again. I'll look into getting a studio, probably after I graduate, because with all the tuition expenses and the other stuff I can't afford it, plus I wouldn't have much time to paint. But I want a little studio.
When I this picture I was painting "all roads lead to me"... I guess by the colors. I liked to paint at night better than during the day. And I like to use only liquin as medium besides mineral spirits. Lindsey oil and the other things I have are very nice, but there's something about liquin that makes it feel just right for me.
I'll paint tomorrow. I'll use up the little canvas I primed the other night and will do something nice. I also have to see if I get a new coffee maker tomorrow because I broke the old one. And it left a little scar too.... well, it's not a scar yet because it hasn't healed completely, but it'll sure leave a scar.
Thursday, December 28, 2006
And even when I consider myself blessed for having a job and being able to enjoy little economic freedom that very few can say they have back home in my San Salvador, my heart longs for freedom.
A dream of days full of art comes to me after each problem solved at work. The me who knows the reality of a life in the third-world tells me to be thankful, but the me who dreams of travels, art, and the passion that comes with little things in life tells me to run for my life. To run and just be myself.... wherever I'm standing.
And so I stand here, in front of a little snow globe with golden flakes, and moons, and stars, and musical notes dancing in the water.... and think of times I've been myself somewhere else. And I'm a stranger somewhere else, but that's so familiar to my soul that it almost feels like home.
The little snow globe has the Capitol Hill building inside.
I remember getting the souvenir in a corner of that city in the middle of a Saturday morning when the sun was quiet and the wind played with my hair. And I remember feeling home.
So the little snow globe helps me through the days in which I can't run free. And reminds me there will come times when I'll be home in a place where the wind will want to play with my hair.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Pau, happy birthday! Have some cake and a big cup of coffee in my name. Soon there will come the time when we'll be able to share special days like birthdays, christmas, new years and all that stuff.
Feliz Cumple, loca!
En la distancia pero cerca...
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Friday, December 22, 2006
I get off work at noon on Fridays, and since I'm on winter break from school I got to run some errands today and do stuff like any other normal citizen in the town I live in. Of course, that includes risking my life for a jar of olives.
NO KIDDING! I thought the store would be a little busy, but I never imagined I would be risking my life. Thank goodness my little list only had a jar of olives and about three other things, because that way I got away with not needing a shopping cart, which is the only reason I survived the shopping. I was doing the last minutes detail shopping for the Christmas eve dinner with my family. My mom and I will do all the cooking (actually, more my mom than I), but there were so many people and in such horrible mood that for a moment I considered giving up on my mission and have a simpler-tasting chicken for that dinner. I mean, people were pushing me with their carts! It was ridiculous! I went to the big store because I was getting an oil change for Berthito (my '88 Taurus) and so I just went to the grocery section to (I thought) just get the stuff I needed quickly.
I really don't think people even care about what Christmas is all about... it really has become this big commercial season full of no meaning. Just a reason to consume like there's no tomorrow. It's just so horrible. I don't think kids even learn that the reason people give presents is to imitate the offerings that were brought to Jesus when he was born.
On my way back from the store I got to think how much better would be if we would just stop having this type of commercial celebration for just one year. It seems like it is all just a bunch of things that we have to do, cards we have to send, things to buy, decorations, singing... all so mechanical. It all seems to just not be meaningful anymore. If we, as society, could just have one year as a break from all this and go back to the simple celebration... to the opportunity to just reflect on things and share with the family some free time. Some real time together. It would be refreshing for us, it would heal our hearts and minds. Because as it is now, it's damaging the society that has to go through all this.
Because the holidays are not for gift giving, not for big parties, not for decorating... they're for us to appreciate time. They're for us to take time and have an afternoon with the family and do whatever with them. It is for us to look to the side and give a big hug to that person who makes your life complete. Family and friends are the reason we should just rest and be thankful for. We get off from work to have time with the loved one, NOT to go spend hours in a crowed store looking for things.
I look back to my Christmas times in El Salvador, and realize we didn't get anything, but we spent time with family and enjoyed... and if someone ever gave me something, I can hardly remember now. But I remember so clearly how my sister, my cousin, and my aunt Sandra (All) got those rollers on and tried them at my grandparents house. I don't remember whose the rollers were, but we had so much fun using them (just one pair of them) with others... and specially when Sandra fell and laughed so hard she wet her pants (shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.... don't tell her I told you!).
That's what's all about. Love.
I just want some healing of soul for all those, who like me, are longing for some spiritual peace for this holidays. Bless you and your loved ones. And enjoy this Navidad.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
I updated the artwork gallery on my website last week. I realize I need to start making prints for myself. I'm selling these paintings that are meaningful to me. When I start a painting I never think of how much I'll sell it for, or what people would buy; it's always about something from my heart.
Many times I don't know how to explain a work. I worked a lot on that this past semester in my class... and well, the class is over and I'm still working on it.
I'm pretty happy with what I did on the class. I really need to get me a little studio to be able to keep painting with oils. I enjoy it so much, but it's so hard to work on them at home, especially with the mineral spirits and the media. We had so many safety precautions at the studio, that I just don't think it's good to have the studio at home.
Besides, I want to be somewhere near a community of artists. Maybe share the studio space or be in a complex where other people have studios.
I also have to do some research on mural painting. I'm doing a mini mural on my room door but I'm just using acrylics and nothing really fancy... I think I even used a sharpie, but I can't do that in case someone wants me to paint a mural. I have to get on the ball.
So far I've enjoyed the break very much.
Getting ready for a Feliz Navidad and already ready for all the holiday music to STOP. I don't like holiday music by default, but by the end of December it becomes unbearable.
Hmmmm, I'm hungry now.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
When she was telling me about it she said "And I'm not being judgmental, but that's WRONG." And so, I would like an update in case the meaning of the word judgmental has changed recently, because if so, I have to know what it means now.
Her actions were sad and reflected not only intolerance but disrespect. But her attitude was what most saddened me. The way she denigrated the couple was ignorant. It was over my head how she could get upset for a picture that only showed an act of appreciation and care. She talked about the fact that the couple was together as if it was some sort of crime. She couldn't even say "homosexuality" or anything like it. She would just say "IT is all over, and they (the media) have it all up in our faces."
It wasn't about the image of the kiss, but the fact that it was a same sex couple what was so disgusting to her.
But it's about respect. We don't have to understand or participate in others' lifestyle or culture, we just need to respect it. I tried to talk to her about that, but she ended up saying that she had the right to have and express her opinion.
So I guess I'll have to pray for her.
Monday, December 18, 2006
That's all far from possible at this point, except for one thing, I could see my brother. He's living in Dallas, TX and if everything goes right with his work and my car and all he could come here and spend Christmas with me. But if only one thing goes wrong he could spend Christmas alone down in Dallas.
I haven't seen him in 5 years, so I'm really hoping for this one... :')
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Two of these (the Italy ones) I'm putting up on my wall... the rest are going on my "travel box" where I have postcards, tickets, metro passes, etc...
I saved all the notes I wrote. I'll try to send them soon.
Sounds like your friends are pretty cool... even though they like tea. You know I'm more of a coffee girl.
SO... where are the pictures from that evening?
Say hi to Fiona too!
And I put some black and white shots of the same theme in my photo blog... THANK YOU RACHEL!!!!
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
The mysterious disappearance of some quesadillas for lunch raised questions and conversation in the office. And the excitement of the hour ended with an apology in an email I heard being typed.
There's 100% orange juice, Lysol disinfectant spray, and anti-bacterial deep cleansing hand gel on my desk along with the sandwich I made for my lunch.
I think I'm going home.
My head is starting to hurt and today is 12-12.... do you know what that means?! me neither. I think that number follows me. Just like questions... questions follow me. People ask me all sorts of things, as if I should know what I'll be doing after graduation. I don't even know what I'll be doing tomorrow. What if I die and God decides I'm not one of those special people who deserve to come back to life after being dead for a couple of hours like that guy, Salvador Molina, who fought as "Ernesto" for la guerrilla Salvadoreña and got shot like five times and then came back to life after eight hours of being dead? I mean, chances are I will stay dead after dying.
People dream with dark tunnels and the light at the end, but he didn't see that. He just saw life as it was in my broken El Salvador. And I, I dream with number 12s and with once again seeing the sunset in the Pacific, my toes playing with the sand on a beach of that country that saw me grow too fast.
My brother said he wishes he was 10 again. He says that was a good age for him. Sometimes life is about nostalgia. Just like this blog.
Monday, December 11, 2006
I've sneezed twice in the last 30 minutes... and a lot throughout the day.
I'm really tired and just want to get some rest. There's a couple of books I'm reading, short stories mostly... Ana Menendez and ZZ Packer. Though I really want to read Los Miserables by Victor Hugo during this break. Might not be enough time, for I am a slow reader in my second language, but I'll try.
I wanted to write something meaningful about my life, but I'm not that happy with some things... specially a B in painting 2. I really wished I knew how to make paintings that "feel like me," that's such subjective grading criteria.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
Besides my feelings about teaching styles or lack thereof, I've been good. I can say I did very well the past couple of weeks despite being some of the most difficult days in this academic semester. It's been intense. I've had some very emotional times on top of the academic responsibilities. I missed the damn ceremony for the class ring and it got me very angry. It was very important for me and I forgot all about it because my mind was full of lists of stuff I needed to do, of concepts I needed to memorize for exams, of names of graphic designers I like, and the ones I don't like too, of projects, family stuff, of to-dos for organizations, of not having a car because it had broken down, money stuff, the eye thing that was hurting me, and some more crap. I almost cried when I remember I had missed the ceremony because it was the last thing I needed to go wrong. Lame alumni association staff need to learn why reminders are a good thing. It's insignificant for many, but it was very important for me and it just shouldn't have gone wrong.
So with all, I decided to look at my Bible last night and I went to the book of Job because it's the book I like most. And after a few penciled-in notes I found an arrow pointing to "vuelve ahora en amistad con el y tendras paz; y por ello te vendra bien" (22:21 if you want to look it up in English). There are so many promises that are just written, so I told Him what I was feeling.
I'm better today. There's no point on saying anything more about things I can't change. And sorry, it looks like I broke my own no-cursing policy. I guess if after reading this you decide to not give me a position in your company or in a grad program it will be your lose and you'll probably end up with some sick person that has no bad days, or at least is telling you so. And it was your fault anyway, it was your choice to read this on the first place. (That was some P.D. hating on some ridiculous career development BS I've been bombarded with).
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
finish the drag and drop flash project write my artist statement turn in my PR project study for my history of graphic design final consumer behavior final study for my PR final finish my paintings: 2 figure paintings 1 big figure paintings 2 memory series small paintings 1 memory series big painting 1 final painting
Good bless the world. After I'm done with all these I'll post a wish list for this holiday season... it will surely include world peace ;)
Enough for the blog break. A hug from me, wherever you are.
last list edit: 12/07/06 at 10:43 pm
Friday, December 01, 2006
I've been studying and I took a bunch of pictures, so I hope this doesn't hurt me much when I got in this weekend to work on that project. Bless me, I have so much to study for and so many work hours to put on that flash project!
Here's a picture of my tropical feet freezing this morning when I went out to take pictures:
and then, there's me after I went and got a jacket and put shoes on:
and then, some words for my best friend whom I haven't seen in years:
Monday, November 27, 2006
finish the PR project finish the poster for typography do the letter press thingy on the poster
- finish the drag-and-drop typography assignment
study for the consumer behavior final
- write my artist statement for painting
study for history of graphic design test 4 prepare the presentation for the PR project start the Diversity Show planning
- finish 3 small paintings, 2 big ones
make the frame and stretch another big canvas
I don't see a lot of rest in my near future...
so how about you give me THIS for christmas?!
last update: sunday 12/03/06 evening
Sunday, November 26, 2006
I'm about to jump in the shower and then leave to so some homework on campus... and do some painting. Man, I have so many paintings here at home that I don't know where else to put them. I need to sell some. Any takers? They're not super cheap, but I'm not Van Gogh so they're not millions of dollars (yet!).
And well, as you can see, I changed my background photo. You like?
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Don't be fooled by its yellow skin... it was not yet done!!!! But I want to take the time to thank God for my family, my friends, and my life. I have had a great life. I have gone through some though times that have made me stronger and blessed. And I have been granted the friendship of many wonderful people. So thank you, God. And thanks for the food we'll be able to have tonight... even when the hen looks like she's talking to me :)
Bless those that need you most.
Tuesday, November 21, 2006
Those thoughts don't come to me often, that's why when they do I have to stop and pay attention. Working on the last series of paintings has helped me visit places I might never see again. Places in my life that were so important to me. And people who've help me be who I am today. In that last painting series I worked from memory with the intent of representing places in my life that define me. I did two paintings of my room, but the third one (the biggest canvas) is still blank.
Thanksgiving holiday will be packed of work and painting. And I am thankful for that.
Saturday, November 18, 2006
take some photos go see "Borat" with Sandra and Coco study for the exam on monday go to the studio for some painting
- work on the typography assignments (thought about them)
- send feedback to aauw (half way done)
- work on the PR project (not even thought about it)
Wednesday, November 15, 2006
It's wednesday already. This week has gone by fast. I have many many things to do, but I want to take a moment to get excited because John Mayer will come to town on February 1. I'm getting my ticket on Monday... oh, he's so great! Besides Johnny Depp, is just Mayer that could steal my heart in a second... and maybe prince William, but everyone else would have to work very hard. I'm no easy love.
Monday, November 13, 2006
But well, I'm getting ready for the Talk it Out Diversity Forum. I hope people show up and not do me like yesterday that we had only 3 people in the Diversity Alliance team for Walk for CommUNITY. It was kinda disappointing, but it's a harsh reality so there's nothing much to do but keep working hard and smiling.
I'm also praying for a couple of people in my life. One is in Cuba working hard for his beliefs and vision and the other is going through a hard time after loosing her husband of years. They need some love and I can't be next to them to hug them, so Someone else has to do it for me.
The picture has nothing to do with anything... but I took it yesterday and I liked it.
Saturday, November 11, 2006
Oh, but no, please don't let us fall on that topic... let's enjoy the Razorbacks and their glory... It's sad to see where these people's priorities are.
But well, going back to what I wanted to show here today, following the video there's an article from the LA Times:
Two LAPD officers investigated in beating case
By Richard Winton, Times Staff Writer
3:34 PM PST, November 9, 2006
Two Los Angeles police officers were under investigation today for allegedly beating a man during a videotaped arrest in Hollywood that LAPD Chief William J. Bratton called "disturbing."
The video of the Aug. 11 incident, posted on the YouTube website, shows one of the officers holding down William Cardenas, 24, as the other officer places his knee on the man's throat and punches him in the face six times.
Cardenas, who is lying on his back, is heard yelling, "I can't breathe!"
He was arrested on suspicion of using violence or threats to prevent an officer from performing his duty and was charged with two counts of resisting arrest, said LAPD Lt. Paul Vernon.
Cardenas remains in custody.
The tape was photographed by an unnamed neighbor who gave it to B. Kwaku Duren, a lawyer who represents Cardenas.
Bratton cautioned that the videotape only reflected a part of the struggle with Officers Alexander Schlegel and Patrick Farrell, who is seen punching Cardenas.
"There is no denying that the video is disturbing," Bratton said. "But as to whether the actions of the officers were appropriate in light of what they were experiencing, and the totality of the circumstances, is what the investigation will determine."
Bratton said that Cardenas was not seriously hurt. "The guy got punched but that is not life-threatening."
The chief also pointed out that the incident showed that a federal oversight program of the department -- imposed under a consent decree -- was working. Even before the video became public, an investigation of the incident was underway based on the officers' report and interviews with witnesses, he said.
"All the steps of consent decree have been complied with," Bratton said. "That is the good side. There is no taking away the beating itself."
The incident began when the officers spotted Cardenas, a Gordon Street gang member wanted on a felony warrant for stolen goods, and he fled, police said. During the subsequent arrest, a struggle ensued and the officers reported that they used force to subdue the suspect.
After the arrest, witnesses told investigators that they saw the officers punch Cardenas in the upper torso, Bratton said.
During a preliminary hearing on Aug. 29, Cardenas' attorneys produced the beating video that was subsequently turned over to prosecutors and police, the chief said. The officers have since been assigned to desk duties while the investigation continues.
The district attorney's office is also reviewing Cardenas' case, said Jane Robison, a spokeswoman for the office.
"Policing is often not pretty," Bratton said. "Looking at a slice of [the video] makes it look less pretty, but my obligations is to wait until all the facts are in."
Permanent link to article.
Contact the writer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
As a christian, I am sadden by how the church treated Haggard, how he was ousted instead of showing him the mercy and grace that Jesus IS. Don't we preach that we have to follow his footsteps? BUT as a human and a feminist, I am glad to see that maybe Haggard will learn from experience that hate is not a good thing...
But well, with the Democratic win and with Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House, things couldn't look better at the moment (well, they could, but let's just enjoy this very moment). Maybe the U.S. troops will come back to the country soon.
I know Jacob has been smiling big since last night... :)
Monday, November 06, 2006
The day went by and the headache didn't go away. I took a lot of medicine just to keep me from getting sicker. But the pain never went away completely. And I got up this morning with a little pain, that was nothing really, compared to yesterday. So I went to class, and then to work, and then back to class. And right after that it came back. So I couldn't go paint because the fumes in the studio would have made it ten times worst.
And I got here, and I shouldn't be in front of this computer, but I wanted to write and upload a couple of photos.
I had a great time in Colorado. I didn't do very well with the altitude change, and I think that had a lot to do with the migraine, but I enjoyed the trip. It was hard, I even got a bloody nose (like when I was a kid), but I handled it well. Those years of practice served me well.
I saw the most magnificent mountain scenes you can imagine! I had only seen them in calendars or postcards and now I have them in my life as memories and photos. It's amazing, and I realize that I am privileged to see such wonders. I realize I am very blessed. I even saw a shooting star on Thursday night... I am very grateful.
And on the way back, I couldn't have asked for a better trip. I got a window seat and I got to see the sunset from above! It was so beautiful! I took about 100 pictures just from that little window, and I thought of so many stories and scenes of angels resting on top of the clouds played in my head a few times. The sun was amazing and the clouds got the form of an infinite cotton ocean.
I enjoyed my time. And later on (when the migraine is history) I will tell you about the conference, the art gallery walk, the nights out sledding, and my opinion on the Ted Haggard deal.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Life is but a breeze.
I'll be gone for a couple of days. Not seeing this place will refresh my living. And my mami probably needs some time alone. I've been so busy that this little break is just what I need. I'll come back fully charged to keep painting, designing, memorizing dates and names, learning how to trick you into buying a toaster oven or a pair of jeans, etc.
I want the window seat tomorrow. I like that view.
Friday, October 27, 2006
I'm off to Breckenridge, Colorado for a couple of days after I survive some tests I have next week. I'm attending the National Association of Student Personnel Administrator's IV-West Regional Conference because I'm part of the association's undergraduate fellows program. It will be fun and I am looking forward to many things, from getting the window seat in the plane to enjoying the beauty of the mountains!!! If there's some skiing going on I'll give it a try, although I haven't heard of any Salvadorans being good at such activity. I will bring back many pictures, of course.
Exams: one down, two to go.
For my flight reading I ordered "In Cuba I was a German Shepperd" by Ana Menendez from amazon for a couple of dollars. I can't wait! =D
Thursday, October 26, 2006
Today we got to learn to take pictures and slides to document or work in painting. It was pretty neat.
You can see it here.
I'll go back to study for tomorrow's test.
Mmmmmm... and my nose tells me my coffee is ready!
Wednesday, October 25, 2006
I got a lot done today, so I'm very proud of myself... I have to, because there are some days when I'm not very proud because I don't get much accomplished. But today was a good day. In design I got to learn the basics of Flash, a program I'll use for one of my final assignments in my class. I always like it when el profesor takes time to teach us new things, and I know it's sounds stupid because in college you should learn new things everyday, but I just really enjoy when I'm taught things. I can always learn on my own, but to me, there's something wonderful about getting knowledge from someone else. So I enjoy it. I still love learning on my own and discovering new things on my own, don't get me wrong. But the thing is that I've gotten stuck with this one professor who's a terrible educator. I feel like I never get much of anything out of his class, and it's not personal, because he's a wonderful person... he's just not very good at the whole teaching thing.
Back to business. I have to graduate, so I need to keep working hard. By the way, I only need 7 more classes and the writing requirement and I'm DONE!
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
But all the painting is going very well despite the random shirt ruined after a late night painting session.
Next week will be wonderfully busy. It all starts this Friday with a consumer behavior exam. Then continues on Tuesday with not one, but two horribly difficult exams. I'm already preparing for it. Of course, painting never stops. Later next week I will be flying to Colorado for a conference. A promising trip full of responsibilities, learning, networking, taking in the newness of temporary home, picture taking, and some time to refresh.
I am looking forward to getting the window seat in the plane.
I have to go review what classes I need to take next semester because I have my advising tomorrow. This semester has almost evaporated in front of my very eyes. Sooner than I realize I will be sitting for 3 hours in the arena waiting for a white man to call my name and give me my precious degree.
Until then, I'll keep working hard and trying to focus. I will try not to daydream too much... like today. And I will try to spend time with my friends, like today, because soon we'll all go in different directions.
I hope to do many things after these days. I hope to travel a lot. I hope my eyes can see the beauties of Italy, and England, and Washington DC, and of my so longed for El Salvador.
Saturday, October 21, 2006
I'm in a mess. Really. I have to find a way to organize my room so that it can help me be more efficient. I have a whole mess in there, and the door is blocked by a square table -which used to be our dining table- because I want to get it in my room to use it as a work station... since I don't have a drawing table, this one will have to serve that purpose. But the table is too big and won't fit through the doorway, so I have to take it apart and then piece it back together inside my room. It's easy and I could do it if I had a drill, but I don't. So I've been living with the table blocking my doorway for the past week. Tomorrow my uncle will bring his tool box and help me out with that. I mean, right now, getting into my room is a whole ritual!
It's cold outside. Last wednesday the temperature dropped like 30 degrees in less than one hour. No kidding, I was going to go around taking pictures and when I got out of class I had to run to my car and get a sweater I keep there because it was freezing outside and I was only wearing a t-shirt. And I don't like the indoor heaters too much. That hot hair gives me headaches. This morning I woke up because I felt hot hair in my face and I had to go lower the thermostat and even go outside for some fresh air... that, of course, woke me up in a second. So I think I'll start doing that in the mornings-- going outside for fresh air.
And last night I did something good for me: I wanted to go to a design presentation that the Northwest Arkansas Art Director's Club put together. They hosted Mike and Robynne from Modern Dog. Of course I had plans of going, but my friends couldn't go with me. That's something that really gets under my skin, most of my friends are not up to going to art stuff with me and so I only have a couple of friends who go with me to these things; I'm actually 2 friends short because they moved to Las Vegas. So I called so many people and they were either out of town, or had plans already, or just didn't answer me... I found NO ONE to go with me. And I didn't want to go by myself because that would be weird, I would feel weird... but I did it, I got dressed and went and had a great time. The lecture was awesome and even though I didn't get one of the goodie bags they had for people who asked questions -because they didn't pick me for the question, not because I didn't have anything to ask- I got a lot out of it... including inspiration, of course.
Almost time to go for dinner. Almost time to go paint...
Oh, and I saw something funny the other day... CLICK
Thursday, October 19, 2006
All the terrifying details, all the evidence, the words of those who knew what had happened... it was all necessary for me.
And he got another chance, he got sentenced to only 25 years of which he might just do 17. He got to have hope that one day he will be part of society again. He got just that, when he should have gotten the life sentence. He didn't deserve a chance, because he didn't give April a change.
She's not here, and that will never be OK.
But now, as Mr. Ira said, we have to keep living like we'll see her again. Even though we miss her smile right now.
And even when it's hard for me, I will talk about the trial and her death and her life to all those who didn't know her. And I will try to fix the damage the defense and the news did to her memory. Just like she would do it for me.
From The Traveler:
Justice is served
Sanders' 25-year sentence provides first step toward healing
Traveler Editorial Board
Issue date: 10/18/06
Brandon Sanders will serve 25 years in prison for murdering UA student April Love.
His defense was a rare one. Not only was it rare - it was disgusting and disrespectful to a young lady who had, and continues to have, a touching impact on an entire community.
The claims of sexual asphyxiation were uncalled for if they were only an attempt at a defense for Sanders' sinking case. Unable to defend herself because of her untimely death, Sanders - once again - took advantage of Love during the four-day trial. And as her family was forced to stand by silently in the courtroom, hearing of "kinky" sex that their daughter may or may not have ever had with the her former high school sweetheart, Sanders victimized other innocents - the family.
And, again, the Loves were defenseless.
Luckily for the Loves, the jury did not waver in their judgment. Pre-sentencing comments from Sanders' friends and family members provided for one last grasp at normalcy for the 21-year-old murderer from Nashville.
"Do what you think is right, but give him a chance," his first cousin, Letito Williams said.
Sanders will get another chance. He will get to live, find himself and see his family members, even if it is all while in prison.
Love never had a choice. She's gone forever.
For the Loves, any sense of normalcy that will rear its presence will still be tainted in the future. No amount of time will be able to heal the wounds of losing a daughter, a sister or a friend.
The big question, really, when looking at this case from both sides and offering fair treatment is, "What was going through the mind of Sanders throughout the trial, the deliberations and the final judgment?"
What has it been like to sit with this pit in his stomach, this immeasurable weight on his shoulders. And, if he did love Love, how could he live with himself after her death - whether it was accidental or not?
The gruesome details brought forth throughout the trial made students, friends, family and casual readers of newspapers draw back. Most of it, however, was necessary to flesh out the details and bring about a judgment.
Baring the facts is not sensationalism, it's reporting and, in a courtroom, the road to truth and justice.
An outpouring of love and admiration of Love's past and meaning to the UA community has flowed freely throughout this college town. With the sentence Monday, some students and friends were outraged - some were just glad the chapter was finally over.
But a new chapter will unfold in the coming days, weeks and months. The conviction will be appealed by Q. Byrum Hurst, Sanders' laywer.
Twenty-five years behind bars will never match what Love's absence means to her closest friends and family.
A hole in the UA's emotional core was partially healed Monday, but with pending appeals and the continuous absence of one of the UA's greatest people, the healing has just begun.
The cut is deep. The void is still present.
And a man who caused it all has faced justice in the first step toward healing.
Saturday, October 14, 2006
Wednesday, October 11, 2006
People walk faster when going to class.
The windows of my car stay up in the mornings.
Nights are longer, stars are bright.
The light of the sun finds its way through the morning clouds to touch our heads.
It's nice. Very nice.
Saturday, October 07, 2006
what can i say... this weekend is a busy one. tonight i have the gridiron show and i have to study for my PR exam on tuesday. there's a bunch of stuff i have to do for painting class and typography, also.
friday was not a very good day. i had to work hard at not getting angry. those people are just trash and they don't deserve my energy, but it was hard keeping myself together. i made it though, so a star for me! even at night, when i thought i was just going to relax in the open figure drawing class i almost blind myself when turning the page of my drawing pad. dang, my eye was watery and it hurt for a while after i hit it.
anyway. a picture for you:
Wednesday, October 04, 2006
Tuesday, October 03, 2006
o con el calor de los primeros rayos de luz en la mañana.
Con permiso de aquellos que quisieran ser nosotros pensamos en cada gesto,
cada palabra que nace en nuestro corazón.
Y nos preguntamos por qué no podemos ser perfectos.
Y nos preguntamos por qué nos cuesta tanto amar.
Y por qué gastamos tiempo en lo que no nos gusta.
Y por qué a veces las cosas salen mal.
Somos mejores de lo que pensamos,
pero debemos más de lo que llevamos cuenta
y a veces olvidamos decir graciasy decir adiós.
Y no mencionamos cuánto amamos a aquellos a quienes amamos,
olvidando como a veces nosotros necesitamos oírlo también.
Y a veces decidimos dejar al amor pasar frente nuestro como algo imposible,
aun sabiendo que puede ser nuestro.
A veces decidimos dejarlo ir por temor a ser heridos,
otras veces es descuido. Y todo termina en la misma conversación.
Todo nos dirige a la necesidad de amar y ser amados.
Y al ver al cielo podemos imaginar
que hay una estrellita que nos pertenece,
Y que nada nos robará este momento.
Monday, October 02, 2006
and so starts another week...
this weekend was so much fun. i did a little bit of everything, including going to church, which i had not done wholeheartedly in about... two years. it all started friday when, after watching pirates of the caribbean 2, i headed to bikes blues and bbq with some friends. i ate bbq ribs. they were delicious. it was pretty neat because i got on picture-taking mode-- which i hadn't been in quite some time. i also got to see a lot of bikers... most of them big, bearded, and leather-wearing dudes. and they just make me smile... i went back to dickson st. on saturday, then with a different set of friends, but good friends still. we had fun. i took another bunch of pictures and ate some more ribs. i really think the even should have the name changed to bikes booze and bbq... cause i just heard some blues at the place where we bought the food, other than that, the blues were not very present in the event. it was so much fun!
and now, looking back, it seems like i spent my whole weekend on dickson st. cause on sunday i went back there for church with Anna. it was a different deal from any other church i've ever been to. it was interesting... and for the first time ever in a church, i didn't feel underdressed. the sermon was not very in-depth in my opinion, but it was ok.
after church Anna and i went around dickson taking pictures for our typography class... that was a good time! Anna cracks me up, mainly, because she laughs at everything.
oh, i have a quiz today. so help me God.
Friday, September 29, 2006
...because, look at that hair... it's almost orange!!!
But could that Soft Black #30 Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Color Creme with Fruit Oil Concentrates really be the answer to all my hair-coloring problems?!
Let's try it. Don't forget to read the instructions... even though it's always the same deal. Make sure you have everything before starting...
... don't forget the little comb! You don't want to start looking for it in the middle of applying the color cream, cause then you would get EVERYTHING stained.
After the contents of the little thingy are gone, you have to wait 25 minutes if you are retouching, but 35 minutes if you've gone for more than 3 months without color or if you have any gray hair. You saw my black roots... I saw them too, so I left it for 45 minutes.
And then... enjoy! Can someone say "even color"?!
I love it! Now I might even blend in with the Bikes Blues & BBQ croud.
Thursday, September 28, 2006
All I have to say about that conversation today is that it doesn't really count when you're gas meter thingy doesn't work properly.
I need a new car.
Tuesday, September 26, 2006
And still, after all that, this week is a very busy one. I have some reading to do for tomorrow and I need to have my painting done by Thursday.
Plus, there some stuff going on at home that's not helping my emotional stability. I mean, last week was just very hard for me. I had to deal with a lot of things.
Anywayos (that's Spanish), I am taking some time for me and coloring my hair. I'm going back to my espresso dark self. I figure, I'll feel better with no black roots and red/orange hair.
Sunday, September 24, 2006
I better get back to studying... I was just doing the weekly typo entry on my blog.
Thursday, September 21, 2006
This date last year was your funeral. I guess that was our good-bye, or our until-the-next-smile; except I didn't get to see your smile that day. I just saw your picture, your coffin, many flowers, and your family. They were crying and that broke my heart. And I wanted to cry so much, but I couldn't-- I couldn't because there were all these people that also were crying and sad and I just know that I couldn't cry, that I needed to be strong for you and for me because you were strong for both of us many times.
It was the hardest thing to be there and think I wouldn't hug you again or see your face or hear your voice again. I couldn't stand that thought, I just wanted to sleep to see if when I woke back up I would realize it was all a horrible dream, and that really, I would see you the next day or so.
It was hard to see your mom cry, and to see your dad and his eyes so red from tears. And your sisters were so sad... I wanted to stop all that. I wanted to stop the pain.
That day, when we were driving back from Hope I saw the moon in the darkest night I have ever seen. It was so rare for the sky to be so dark when there was a full moon out. And that made me think of Heaven being sad too-- I wanted to reach for that moon to see if I could find you there, laughing... so happy and beautiful.
I thought about you and the moon. And I cried in the darkness of the back seat of the rental car that got me back to Fayetteville.
I wrote a poem about that night a few days later.
And now, a year later, I still cry when nobody can see me. Because I want all this to go away, and I want you to be alive and well, and happy like you always were. And I think of you so much.
We did a balloon release in your memory.... and it was all so sad and wrong, because one should not be doing a memorial for a young, intelligent woman that had so much more to live. I celebrate your life, but I miss you and I wish I could change all that happened. But Someone knows better.... or at least that is what I should believe.
April, I love you and miss you.
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
I'm tired, I woke up extra early today because I had to hit the hardware store at 7 am to get the plywood, and all the other stuff I need to make the canvas and the panels for painting class. I ran into my Tio Manuel while in there and so he's getting me the 2x4's I need. That was nice. My tio is scoring points big time with me... not that I keep points or anything, but I just wanted to say that he's been around a lot lately, and we've been talking a lot.
I got a call from Juanca, my bro, yesterday. It was a little bitter-sweet. There were some bad news that required some urgent actions from us-- and there were some good news too. And it was really nice to hear from him. He's working hard and trying to help out my dad in El Salvador. He's working a couple of jobs. His English is really good, too. From that, I called my dad this morning and we talked.
Oh, man. I'm tired-- it's hard to rest during the school semester because there are so many things going on at once. Tomorrow we have a balloon release in memory of April. I talked to her mom...
I need to go now, but before I log out, I need to share what I found on the student affairs website. If you go there and keep reloading the page I will eventually appear on the header of the page. http://studentaffairs.uark.edu
Saturday, September 16, 2006
I also saw Gigi and LaTrice. I hadn't seen LaTrice in awhile, so it was nice to see my chicas again. It was really neat, I saw many friends from around. I have to admit, though, I was a little scared for my life... I didn't know if the Cuban men from the band were gonna do something to me if they were to see the Che painting I was displaying inside the union.
More Latin Soul Night photos here.
Friday, September 15, 2006
Thursday, September 14, 2006
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
But the point of my post is not to talk about the quiz, but to talk about my fellow graphic design students. Today was fun, I hadn't gotten one of those laughter crisis in a long time... We had been talking about so many things, including the quiz, Mac computers, iPods and the NEW generation of iPods (yeah, that's my life-- I get my new iPod video and in less than a week is all gone to hell because there are some new and better ones out). And well, most of the talking about the new Apple stuff was done by Anna. She said she knows so much about it (and it is A LOT that she knows) she has learned because she works at the computer store on campus, so she has to be up to date in all that.
After that, we went into the computer lab to star working on our projects. Anna sat next to me, and next to Anna sat Hamilton. From there, it all went downhill. We continued talking about our projects, facebook, the new facebook crap, etc. When suddenly (I might have spaced out for a moment because I don't recall how we started on this topic) Anna said she talks to herself when she's stressed; and so I gave her a look, an we-can-still-be-friends-even-though-you-do-that look. And after seeing my face she said "please get her away from me." To that, I tried not to react, but it was impossible. Anna explained "that's what you're thinking now about me now" and it started... I asked Anna if she had an imaginary friend, because I thought she had said that to herself. I started laughing because I wanted to say "I would get her away... but I can't see her." I couldn't even explain to Anna and Hamilton why exactly I was laughing so hard. I was almost crying.
They're so much fun. Now I'm off to watch Project Runway. I'll try, at least. My tv is giving up on me. The screen goes black after a couple of minutes of watching it, and to fix it you have to turn it off and then back on. Oh, well.
Also, my sis Barbie is 20 years old today. She's had a happy birthday :) My mom and I got her a tres leches cake.
Sunday, September 10, 2006
The moment I was told she was gone plays clearly in my head often. Specially when I'm around campus and I think of calling her on her cell phone or see something that reminds me of her, that's when that moment replays in my head. Those words. I want to erase those words when I was told she was gone. This loss wasn't natural, she was taken.
The fact she's gone is surreal. Her life has marked us, who love her, in ways that changed the course of so many of our actions and thoughts. She certainly did great here on Earth, but she had much more to do, so many more lives to impact, so much more to live. She raised standards wherever she went and challenged the norm. And she empowered many, she empowered me.
I hold the memories of good times and talks in my heart, but all the pictures and the stories will never be enough. She left a void that cannot be filled.
April, I miss you so much. I'll see you in heaven, amiga.
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Most of the ladies there are seniors and so I know they looked at me thinking I had to take on their roles not after they're gone but right now, I know they were relieved to see someone my age taking action in the fight for equity. But what I think they might not know is that they inspired me today. They are active in the community, working on what they think is right and noble, wanting to better this world for the generations that follow.
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Monday, September 04, 2006
Good thing I don't care about that sport, so I'm emotionally ok. I babysat for some friends that day, so I watched the game on TV. Well, I half-watched it, because most of the time I was reading or channel-surfing. I even got a little of Project Runway that night. Sunday, I went out with my mom. We wanted to go to a fair, but they had taken it down sometime before we decided that it'd be good to go for a minute, so we ended up in Barnes & Noble where she didn't let me buy anything. This is what she did: we went around, looked at postcards, she let me go around and scan some books and pick 3-4 that I wanted to buy, THEN she decided she wanted to leave and went to me and got the books from my hand and enumerated reasons why I didn't need/want any of those books. Until I ended up just with the postcards, and then I said "well, why buy only the postcards?" and put them down. She said "YAY! CONGRATULATIONS! THAT'S WHAT I LIKE! YOU DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING!" She was smiling a lot.
We took these pictures outside BN. She wanted to go into the pet store, but I didn't go in because it stunk. We went for dinner to Applebee's and then to my uncle's house. Then we all (too many relatives to mention everyone's name) went to the movies and saw World Trade Center. We got out at about midnight then went to the Waffle House for some... *suspense*... waffles.
Ay, la familia :)
Today we just had lunch together and then I went and dropped her off at work. We took her car to the shop because it's acting up. I have to go pick her up later on, so I just came to the studio and finished the paintings for tomorrow. I really like them! I have to read a lot, but I wanted to update the blog and search for an article online. I'm done with both.
Friday, September 01, 2006
Hanging out with friends,
events, planning, studying, lots of reading,
hugging, movies, laughs,
purple sunsets with orange souls,
car rides, cruising....
consumer behavior, and history,
waiting for books bought online,
gas, pictures, Mount Sequoyah,
graphic design history, weird looks, random meetings,
names forgotten, new names learned,
crossing out to-do's and writing new ones,
design this, type out that,
think of this, disregard, news paper addiction,
hallway talks, art shows,
postcards from Italy--
Tim's Pizza, Ajuas, and other unrelated types of food.
This week has been good,
has been long and short--
all in all, I've smiled.
It's almost been a year, April....
Sunday, August 27, 2006
Some people would call the studying, attending regular meetings, small talk, and the walks a routine. But I believe there's no such thing. There's no day like another day, not a moment is the same as one lived before. Adding the spice to life can be in little things like stopping for a colorful sunset, or taking the time to call a friend to say hello. It's about what you do with your moments.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
Today was the Real World 2006.
It was good. A bunch of students came.
Just 3 years ago I was a participant, one of the only two freshmen there.
Since then, the program has just gotten better.
Life has just gotten better.
I've been a leader for the program for the past 2 years.
One of the pictures from 2004 was in the welcome board.