Sunday, June 28, 2009

A Rainbow of Possibilities

I just came back form the Million Gay March in Dallas. The heat was incredible, around 105 degrees. As I marched, I thought of all those who marched for equal rights for the last 40 years. Four decades ago riots broke in Greenwich Village, New York after a gay bar was raided by the police. This has been identified as the starting point for the struggle for equality for Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual and transgendered people in the United States. The rainbow flag, symbol of the diversity in our community, was flying high and proud today. We are not celebrating our sexual identity or orientation. We celebrate the fact that we have chosen freedom over persecution, dignity over oppression and Love above all. May future generations never have to struggle and suffer in order to embrace who they really are, human beings, loving beings. I say Amen to that!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Suddenly This Summer.

Just came back from the library. I have been doing research on alternative career paths. To tell you the truth, it is actually a lot of fun. You must make a good assessment of your skills and your style of performing in the workplace. Is what they call a "holistic" assessment. The human mind is an amazing instrument. It can forget so easily. By thinking hard about all the tasks I have performed in my professional career and listing them I have made myself aware that I tend to forget how efficient and thorough I have been on my different jobs. Listing all my previous experiences and how I used my ability to analyze, synthesize, communicate made me feel better automatically. How could I have forgotten my ability to be tactful and diplomatic when explaining a difficult situation to my fellow co-workers.? How could I have forgotten about the time when I worked for two months successfully trying to sort out a contract dispute between photographers and a publishing company? I always felt I was handicapped because I have held more than 15 different jobs and because I speak English with a Spanish accent. These "handicaps" were hidden talents. On one hand I am highly adaptable to any job situation, on the other I have a unique bi-cultural perspective. How could I've been so blind?
I hope I can maintain the vision, the "I am a success" vision and not get sidetracked by dreadful comparisons to other people with different circumstances. Or sidetracked by the limiting impositions of my mind that expects to achieve, achieve and achieve without rhyme nor reason. Frustration should be seen as a pink flag ( we do not have red flags at the ranch) warning you to change your perspective in order to see the truth of the matter. In the meantime I breathe and do my homework.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Quietly, I cry

Damn Fear!!!! It has ruled my life, it has ruined my life, do not take me wrong, I am a courageous kind of guy. But fear, if I only understood you completely, if only I knew the antidote...It has been said time and time again that Love is the antidote.

Hail Love!!!! It has ruled my life, it has constructed my life, do not take me wrong, I am a courageous kind of guy. But Love, If I could only understood you completely, if only I knew how to make you appear in my life instantly....It has been said...

Mindful debates in times of financial desperation.

I want to scream, I am so frustrated. But I also want to sing and dance and laugh. And hug friends.

I am trembling with anxiety. I wish I could see my mother again. She died last year. I'll tell her all about my predicaments, my sorrows and my joys. Her loss is like a dagger through my heart. Yet, I believe in Love, in tenderness, in goodwill, in peace and in kindness. I do not have to understand everything, do I?

Pretzel, my dog, rushes up to me. In a swift move he jumps on my lap and starts licking up my teary cheeks.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

This is my mountain and I' m climbing it

Hot wind blowing from the south, the heat index is at 105 degrees Fahrenheit in the fair city of Dallas, Texas. Have you ever stuck your head in the oven to see if the roast is ready.?It is that hot but no roast at sight. I decided to made some fresh salmon with pink mashed potatoes (just add a small amount of beets until it takes the exact hue of pink you desire.) It's one of those times when you have 7 books you want to read and cannot make your mind which one to read first. It is one of those times when you change your mind every other second. I have too much time on my hands, I guess. Something I would..oops the dog is throwing up, I must go.

OK, I'm back, the salmon is almost ready, I have yet to clean the rug with Pretzel's "return of food." But I must finish this brief post with a final thought, rather a quote from an unknown person, at least to me: If the mountain was smooth you couldn't climb it. So we all need friction, traction, good hiking boots, roughness and whole lotta faith if we going to get from here to there. I feel anxious, it is no use denying it. But I have chosen my path, up the mountain. I have never thought of myself conventional or even rational to tell the truth. But it is all about YOUR TRUTH, the one I discovered, the one that was revealed to me while I wandered through life. Yes, I live in the steep mountain. Sometimes I just get tired of the difficult climb, but the view from here is breathtaking, its majestic, glorious and full of Love.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Slippery Sleep

I have been sleeping all day long. I have a vivid imagination. So I have been fantasizing about living in a place where there is no unemployment and where people can earn their living by being creative and dynamic. Some people manage to live their dreams. I'm still trying to figure it out. The artist in me wants to come out permanently. But I keep pushing it back, afraid I will not be "good enough" to earn a living doing what I want. I'm being sincere. I wish I could resolve the paradoxical equation that is up in my mind. The world has always yelled "do what makes you happy" at me. The same world has also yelled "but you should choose a career that offers you stability and financial support." Today I feel I'm still 18 and trying to figure things out. But life is a funny business. It's complex and compromises must be made. Today I am oversleeping, not wanting to get up, I suppose. It's a temporary thing. My mind needs a little bit of rest and pampering. But I must get balance and structure back in my life soon. I would have never expected life was going to be like this when I was growing up. It seems to me that when I was younger I really thought life was something you earned as reward for your effort. I am little bit older now and I believe you are the creator of your life and as you create you are prone to make mistakes, have second thoughts and learn throughout the process. To nurture your wounded soul you need not to treat it as a little defenseless baby but as a human being that needs to filter out the negative and let the positive set in. I have been oversleeping today, like a little baby. It's time to call the architect within and get going with those blueprints.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Old Objects, New Life

Could anxiety be a trumpet sounding off for you to pay attention to the important and forget about unimportant details? Well I'm having a wind ensemble orchestra inside my head lately. It's just the Unemployment Jitterbug. This afternoon I watch a rerun of Antique Roadshow (PBS version) and got all inspired about finding more about all the little objet d'art I have collected inside my brain for the last 20+ years. I cannot possibly afford what I want. I do not even think if I had the money I would buy that many antiques. I am thrilled by the stories behind the objects. It's a little bit of an answer to the philosophical Ubi sunt? (Where are they?). Antiques are proof that the past existed, really existed and had function and aesthetics working together for the common good. An Émile Gallé vase, a Philadelphia highboy, a Hokusai woodblock print they all constitute a legacy of beauty or at least the search for beauty. I like simple elegance. It has nothing to do with status symbol. Elegance is a respite from the fast and furious pace of modernity. It is a streamlined marriage between function and form. Antiques remind me of this union. Quietly watching this show calm my anxieties because I am focusing on the ability of us human to create beauty and to present it as a higher accomplishment.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The League of Clueless Impulsive Superheroes

Well it is time to move on, or at least keep moving. I need some little pampering; better, I need creative healing. I went down to Michael's and bought myself a sketchbook, a set of Staedtler's fine liner markers in assorted colors, color pencils and a black fine tip sharpie. Yes, I can be THAT wild and reckless. I then went to Barnes & Nobles, (I always call it Darns & Bubbles, for no exact reason) and bought two books. One is the quintessential job hunting bible What Color Is Your Parachute? 2009 by Richard N. Bolles. I have read this book about four times since the early 80's. It is the best ever. It is a translator of skills. Let me explain, the book helps you identify and label skills you didn't know you even had. it is a true and reliable job hunting compass. It is the original morph book. You can easily morph into many rewarding careers using the skills and experience you already have. The other book I bought was Juicy Pens Thirsty Paper by SARK. I have been a fan of this succulent San Francisco based Artist/Writer/Philosopher/Woman that run with the wolves or just rides on the cable cars genius. I love her as if I knew her. This is a must to have if you want to re-energize your creative juices. Let them flow, baby! So I am drawing, reading, drinking more coffee than usual, walking with Pretzel and eating fruit (I just bought the most delicious nectarines in Whole Foods on Lemmon Ave. They tingled with sweetness, it was an erotic experience)
Later last night I went to Starbucks and sat with my quadruple shot latte with 19 Splendas (Yes. I am exaggerating.) Pull out my magic markers and started doodling. It occurred to me to call myself the Shameless Doodler. We need superheroes these days. So I became one. I started doodling left and right, choosing colors like a demon possessed Pollock. People stared, I could not care less, I was on a mission to save the planet. Extravagant doodles and swirls started to appear on the blank pages. Green lines intersecting turquoise stars. Little pink suns with brown sunglasses. Strange looking castles and sketchy acanthus leaves.
Suddenly the door opened, it was a vision to behold. A middle aged woman came in holding an oversize uncompleted afghan. She was wearing a shirt that said Fearless in fluorescent green letters. She sat down at a table and started to knit. It was no other than the Fearless Knitter a most needed super hero. I am not making this up, I swear. The superheroes started manifesting themselves. Soon enough Caffeine Java Man was making the rounds offering us little sips of caffé macchiato. The League of Clueless Impulsive Heroes came to be.
Life has its ups and downs. It always has and always will. I have suffered from anxiety and depression most of my life. I have been told time and time again that I am TOO sensitive. I tell them- "No!- I am MORE sensitive" If we really take time to listen to our inner selves we can really understand that we are unique individuals. It is useless and painful to compare yourself to others. You will suffer excessively if you define yourself by others. I just took my frustration dealing with the loss of a potential good job and transformed it to something positive and creative. Energy is transferable. Hatred can become compassion, frustration can become creativity. You are using exactly the same energy. You choose.

A wish: I wish I can use my energy and talents in a creative and dynamic career that benefit people in wonderful and miraculous ways. This is my affirmation for today.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Yesterday I Had A Cow, Today The Cow Is Dead.

I'll be brief. I called this morning to explain my situation about taken the wrong test. I invested time and money these past 4 months trying to get into the Alternative Certification Program for the Dallas ISD. I have spent at least $300 dollars in application fees, test fees, and courses. I invested hours on writing essays in both English and Spanish, researching bilingual teaching, meeting several times for interviews with officials. I took two part-time jobs to be able to afford the gas and the fees. I was told this morning that not only my money will not be reimbursed, but that is useless to take the "right" test now because it would be too late for me to be included in the program. So I will not be admitted as a teacher for 09-10. Misinformation and unclear instructions cost me my future livelihood. As simple as pressing the "wrong" button in the computer when I registered for that test one month ago. It is as if they want to get rid of the good candidates, and damn it I am a good candidate fluent in three languages and well versed in history, art and literature. (Please mind my immodesty, but I need to get it out!) I just do not understand. Am I being to naive? Right now I do not know what I am going to do next. Of course, I must look for another job. I am sad, very sad and frustrated. We have become numbers with a long list of check lists trailing behind us, we are being approved or disapproved impersonally.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

31 flavors of ice SCREAM

Some people drink, others smoke, I eat ice cream or rather ice SCREAM. As frustrating days go I had a top ten day today. It is all about a test called the EC-4. It must be some kind of cynical joke to call a trick ridden general examination test for teachers in Texas an EC-anything. It was tough, specially when half-way during the examination I discovered, well it was more of a revelation, that I was taking the wrong test. Let me restate. I WAS TAKING THE WRONG TEST. You see I had take a EC-4 test, so I went on-line and registered for it after paying $125. Today I found out there are two different EC-4 tests. To make matter more confusing I was offered a Bilingual Teaching position pending the passing of the EC-4 test. So I registered for the Bilingual EC-4 test. I think it makes perfect sense, but it doesn't make any sense for them (the school district) because I was suppose to take the Generalist EC-4 test. Nobody told me that, I'm fuming, I will have to take a new test and pay $125 again for the right test. So I'm boiling mad and am eating lots and lots of ice SCREAM, French Vanilla with caramel syrup to be exact. Tomorrow I am calling the parties involved in this most confusing situation to see if I can get credit for the wrong-test-I-didn't-study-for that I took this afternoon. I-could-just-hyphenate-myself-to-death-tonight. But dear Scarlett said it best-"Tomorrow is another day."