Friday, December 15, 2006

Pinup Priests!

A fellow blogger, albeit one who actually gets paid to do so, turned me on to the Calendario Romano something I can only call 12 months of pinup priests. Or as Miss Adventure termed it, it resembles a genre that rhymes with "May Born".

While Miss Adventure favors the month of March, I must say that July is quite attractive as well. And the pic of the priest and the pussycat...well, all I can say is "me-ow!".

The calendar is being hawked on ebay for $15.25 US. It's shipped from the UK, so get your order in now. And, it's a fundraiser! A portion of the sale ($1.86 US) goes to The Food Chain, a charity for Londoners living with HIV.

Not only will these make excellent New Year's gifts but also are a sure fire method to get you down on your knees and later, back into confession. "Bless me Father, for I have sinned. I'm guilty of impure thoughts...."

This calendar reminds me of Father What-a-Waste. Fr. Buddy Ceaser was a member of the Catholic music group The Dameans, who were based in New Orleans. I saw them perform several times at my North Louisiana church. He was quite sexy, with dark and mysterious eyes and thick black hair. Mmmmmm. I heard he later left the priesthood to marry his childhood sweetheart, who, rumor had it, had joined the convent when he entered seminary. As soon as he ditched the collar her wimple was history.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Holiday Whirl a Go Go

My holiday party merry go 'round is in full rotation. I kicked off December at a friend of a friend's company party, at which there was an open bar. Kids, you know what that spells for me: amorous flirtations & disaster. The amorous flirtations were harmless fun but I'm very much certain that quite a few bored married men went straight home and tried to convince their wives that swinging would be just the thing to spice up their bedroom life. As for disaster...luckily, no bones were broken (this time) in my tragic drunk walking accident after the party. Yep, I tripped over a cement parking bumper curb thingy. I landed on my elbow and have a nice huge scab that will require 6 months of vitamin E treatment to lessen scarring. I'm just happy no emergency rooms were involved.

Last weekend was the Maines-Marley Holiday Open House. Suffice it to say that we danced (some of us on table tops) to 80's music and drank enough booze and beer to rival a frat pledge hazing night. There were party attendees in their underwear, a very lovely "present" who looked ravishing as usual and Rocky Horror showed off his dance moves. The Miller-Reinhardt family made an appearance early on but left before the debauchery ensued so that my nephews could get to bed at a decent hour. We feasted on an array of my hors d' oeuvres and a full holiday meal whipped up by Darren. Ahhh, friends, food and festivity!

Tuesday was Oil Can Harry's staff Christmas party. Two words: open bar. This time, mindful of my healing elbow, I restrained myself and practiced safe drinking habits. Hydration in the form of water was promoted and shots were discouraged. The bar staff from Rain were nice enough to come over and fill in so all the Can employees could enjoy the night. OCH staff will return the favor when Rain has their party. Of course it was odd to be handed a drink by a bartender in a competitor bar's t-shirt, but the Can staff will wear their OCH shirts at Rain and call it even steven (and Josh, Blake, Andy and David). The gift exchange was entertaining, with most gifts appreciated but a few gags here and there. There's nothing like a Christmas piñata given to you with love...or at least with tongue firmly in cheek. And at the Can, it's usually your tongue in someone else's cheek.

Just when I thought I could get some much needed sleep, the next evening rolls around with not one but two events. I made a very, very brief appearance at the Austin Fit White Elephant party, mostly to drop off my gift in an effort to make velvet art a tradition in the annual exchange. I did manage to steal a bite or two of Chel's fish tacos and fetch her a Tito's vodka press before traipsing off to OCH for the second night in a row. The AF party was at Union Park, which took over the old Rocco's Grill on 6th St. next to Katz's (never Kloses), which took over Ninfa's, which took over...hmmm, don't remember what was there before Ninfa's. UP is a great bar and I highly recommend checking it out, even if they did run out of Tito's, a cardinal sin in my world.

At the Can, the Christmas Affair was just getting started. I wasn't ditching AF just for a customer appreciation party, I worked. Yes, that hot goddess in the red blouse carving up oh so delicate slices of roast beef and making miniature croissant sandwiches was me. I served up meatballs, kept the cheese plates attractively full, explained to every one with a perplexed look that yes, it was a ginormous pâté. And I solemnly promise I washed my hands before I touched your buns and balls.

The soiree was a successful fundraiser for Glenn Eaddy's annual toy drive for Project Transitions. The price of admission was one unwrapped toy that will be given to a child with HIV or affected by the disease. One lucky boy and girl will be thrilled to received the brand spankin' new bicycles and helmets, that's a certainty.

Just when the party was winding down and after the bar staff gathered on the dance floor to host the Christmas carol singalong , Chel and Frank showed up. They entertained me with tales of the AF gift exchange, in which the least desireable gift was a second hand dvd of Brokeback Mountain. (Apparently you can catch Gay just by touching the dvd). We hung out for a while and joked around with Sloppy Joe at the side bar. Margie has decided to replace me as her Chief Babe with Chel, who outranks me in chestiness. I didn't realize Mama was such a size queen, but hey, Chel has a great rack and mine...well, suffice it to say that I saw more men last night with bigger bitch tits than my small chi chis. And that's not counting the ones in drag.

Tonight I have dinner with the parents at their favorite restaurant, Cherry Creek Catfish Company. We're celebrating Mom's birthday and their anniversary, which was yesterday. Fun times and fried foods, what more can you ask for?

Friday night is my company Christmas party. Yes, open bar. I'm sure I'll have a memorable time to blog about, providing I can actually remember it. Saturday is a marathon of activity. I have a 2pm performance of The Nutcracker in which my stepdaughter M has the role of an angel. In Austin, like in many cities, it's a holiday tradition to hold performances of The Nutcracker. Ballet Austin makes our annual production unique by inviting movers and shakers of the community to play the role of Mother Ginger. This year's Mother Ginger will be our mayor, a local radio celebrity, a tv news anchor and more Austin personalities, a different person at each performance.

After the ballet I'll hightail it over to the Miller-Reinhardt Friends & Family Christmas Celebration and feast with the fam. We have our gift exchange, too. Ummm....still need to buy that present. From there I'll rock on up to North Austin to a graduation celebration for Danny's niece, Jennifer. She is an edooocated college grad, as of tomorrow. After Jennifer's shindig, I'll head South...not quite to my casa but instead to the Copa on Congress for my roomie's company holiday party. Thank God for taxi's, right? If I'm not under the influence I'll simply be too exhausted to drive. I'm tired just typing the itinerary.

And Sunday, you ask? Sunday, I sleep.

Ho, ho, ho.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

U.T. Nativity Features Joseph & "Gary"

You have to hand it to the Young Conservatives of Texas. They are not your average student political organization, content to hold voter registration drives and invite state politicos to speak at their meetings. These are the young guns who brought us "Border Security Ball Toss" a game in which participants gathered at Gregory plaza to attempt to toss a ball through a hole in the middle of a giant cut out of the United States.
Now they're showing their Christmas spirit via an ACLU-themed nativity scene on campus on Monday and Tuesday of this week. Protesting what the group says is the systematic removal of Christmas from the public domain is a nativity with Joseph and Gary, instead of Joseph and Mary. Because the organization believes the extremist views of the ACLU have a direct negative impact on religious freedom of expression, they also feature a terrorist shepherd and Nancy Pelosi as an angel with the Three Wise Men depicted as Lenin, Stalin and Marx. Pictures can be seen here.
While I think it is important to retain religious expression and the right to display holiday ornamentations related to your religious celebration of choice, I'm not so certain everyone would agree, especially conservatives. If this particular nativity scene had featured a completely pro-homosexual marriage and family angle, the ultra religious factions would be screaming like Lucifer himself had a family portrait on display.
What about a display commemorating the most important Muslim feast day, Eid al-Adha, which starts on December 31st? Can you ensure the decorations wouldn't be vandalized by some ignorant person who believes all Muslims must be evil terrorists?
If we are going to fight for freedom, we need to be able to uphold the rights of all Americans, not just the ones whose beliefs most closely match our own.

Friday, December 01, 2006

World AIDS Day 2006

Why take a moment to think about AIDS? Because 40 million people in the world are HIV positive. Please do what you can to stop the spread of AIDS. Educate others, speak out, wear a red ribbon, blog about it, practice safe sex, get tested regularly. Don't end up a statistic. Silence = Death.

Support World AIDS Day

In memory of David, Cam, Amy, Todd, Mark and countless others who have touched my life and my heart over the years. Your suffering has ended but you are not forgotten.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Murder by Microwave

Just when I think the world has become as cruel and disturbing as it can possibly be, something happens to prove my assumption to be incorrect. Today's horrific news is that a mother in Ohio has been charged with murdering her 3 1/2 week old baby girl. She microwaved her to death. It's the second recorded case of using a microwave to kill an infant.

Who would burn a baby to death in a microwave? You would have to be insane to place a child in an appliance used for cooking, don't you think? The mother, however, is clueless as to how her baby, Paris, died. China Arnold told reporters "They told me that someone had cooked her. I don't know why anyone would do that to her."

The cause of death for baby Paris is listed as homocide caused by hyperthermia due to thermal injury. The county coroner's office has sufficient scientific reason to believe the high body temperature fatality is related to microwave ovens.

Saturday, November 25, 2006


It's been a different holiday for me. My parents are visiting my siblings in Missouri and North Carolina and I'm staying at their house with our lab, Karma. This is the first holiday in many years that I haven't spent with Frank. He's at home in El Paso catching up on family gossip, playing with the babies and relaxing with his parents. Since I'm home alone, I've let Karma sleep inside every night. She'll be spoiled rotten by the time my parents come home.

David, soon to be the newest roommate in our house, invited me to his family's lunchtime celebration. I make it a rule to never show up empty handed, so in addition to the bottles of pinot noir and riesling I'd picked out, I made some munchies. I'd run across a super easy recipe for chili cheese bites in a cookbook. The bites are similar to cheese straws, only round, and are made with sharp cheddar and green chilies. After a few cocktails they became known as Nacho Balls. I am so junior high still.

My roommate Darren's parents arrived just before I did. There was a houseful of relatives and friends, and most of us headed straight for the alcoholic bevies. I was surprised at my reaction to seeing my roomie. I'd been away from home since the weekend and spotting him across the room made me realize how much I miss home. And our pug o'love, Harley. Not so much the cat. Jenny Craig has lost weight, though. The cat was the size of a small bathmat when I moved in.

Darren and I have a comfortable routine at home, one that is peaceful and easy, except of course at Hallowine, the Asian Invasion Persuasion Celebrazion (work with me, people) and a few other social events. Aside from our crazy social life, I had been craving stability and calmness at home. It would help if I'd finish unpacking. It's on the To Do list for this month...and the beginning of December. I've meandered off topic, though. The point is, I was thankful to see my roommate.

After plates full of food and too much wine, I headed home to make sweet potatoes before my next stop. Thanksgiving dinner was at Frederick & Jed's house, the first one with both kids. This time last year we didn't know yet that Nate had been born and was in a Georgetown foster home. I finished sobering up with more food and a huge glass of water and watched Nate smear mashed potatoes on his face in an attempt to get them in his mouth. I adore my nephews. Adrian is talking up a storm, an animated tiny wonder. Nate is still an incredibly happy baby.

I rounded out the holiday evening by meeting Margie at the Can for a drink. Or two. Or six. Yikes. Darren and David came by later and we had lots of laughs, mostly at each other's expense. I had a text from Travis, one of the barbacks, that he was enjoying Thanksgiving in Slovakia, in Central Europe. And you wonder why a straight man would work in a gay bar? It's profitable.

It was certainly a rum soaked evening, and I paid for it on Friday, when I woke up all headachey. I keep forgetting I'm not 22 anymore. I'm sure some of my imbibing was to chase off the demons that have been troubling me of late. I spent a little time with Rockett on Friday, shopping at Victoria's Secret. We both made purchases that lifted our spirits. What girl doesn't need pink low rise undies edged with claret colored lace and the words "Rosy Cheeks" silkscreened across the back?

The rest of the afternoon and evening I spent in quiet reflection. I read, watched a movie and communed with Karma, who mostly lay snoring on the living room floor. I thought about what I want to change in my life, what has already changed in my life and the adventures that are still to come. I mulled over my friendships and family and chosen families and how much I appreciate all of you. Alone in my parent's living room, dog at my feet, I was thankful.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Useless Info About Me

Ripped off of a myspace bulletin...

Name: Kay
Eye color: blue, unless I'm angry, then they turn grey
Shoe size: 7 1/2 usually
Height: 5' 3.25" Yes, adding that quarter inch means a lot to me
What are you wearing right now?: Old Navy 3/4 length sleeve broadcloth shirt with taupe, blue, green, mauve and lavendar stripes (sounds less attractive than it looks) and coordinating Old Navy pants that ummm...I think Frank bought for me.
Righty or lefty: Righty tighty, lefty loosey

Kind of pants: Old Navy jeans
Animal: dogs
Drink: prosecco or Coke Zero if I'm not drinking H2O
Month: July
Juice: Orange with pulp unless I'm drinking mimosas...then it's pulp free, baby.
Favorite cartoon: Love the old school stuff like Bugs Bunny when Elmer Fudd does the take off on Wagner's operas such as Die Walkürie and sings "Kill the wabbit".

Have You Ever:
Given anyone a bath? Yeppers
Bungee Jumped? No
Made yourself throw-up? Yes
Skinny dipped? Does anyone remember my summer of Hippie Hollow? Yes.
Loved someone so much it made you cry? Yes, damnit.
Played truth or dare: Uh, this is me we're talking about. Of course.
Been in a physical fight: Yes
Been on a plane: Yes
Came close to dying: No
Been in a hot tub: Yes
Fallen asleep in school: No
Fell asleep in the arms of a person you like: Yes
Made out with an ex: Sadly, yes.
Got caught passing a note in class: Yes, by my 4th grade English teacher.
Ran away: No, but I threatened to until I realized I didn't have any money to feed my dog...for some reason I didn't worry about food for myself.
Broken someone's heart: Yes
Cried when someone died: Yes
Fell off your chair: I've fallen off a bar stool in a dive on Bourbon Street.
Sat by the phone all night waiting for someone to call: Yes
Saved AIM conversations: No
Used someone: Yes
Been cheated on: Yes

What Is:
Last thing you ate:Pok-e-Jo's sliced brisket sandwich, potato casserole, pickles and sweet tea

Ever Had:
Chicken pox: Yes
Sore Throat:Yes
Stitches: Yes

Do You:
Believe in love at first sight: Not sure but I believe in lust at first glance!
Long distance relationships: Maybe
Like school: Not 100% of the time
Question yourself: Yes, who doesn't?
Who was the last person that called you?: Rockett
Who makes you smile the most: my friends
Who knows you the best? FAR, FSIII, DWG
Do you like filling these out: Sometimes it's entertaining
Do you wear contact lenses or glasses: Nope
Do you get along with your family? Yes

Few More Questions:
What did you do yesterday? Worked, did my Meals on Wheels run, helped out with my nephews for a few minutes before Heather arrived
What car/truck do you wish to have? Sport Ka!!
How many remote controls are in your house?: I don't know...maybe 3?
Are you double jointed? No, but it hasn't held me back.
When you last showered: This morning
Scary or Funny Movies: Both
Chocolate or Vanilla: Chocolate, preferably dark
Rootbeer or Dr.Pepper: Dr. Pepper
Summer or winter: Summer
Silver or Gold: Platinum!
Diamond or pearl: Diamonds
Sprite or 7up: Either
Coffee or tea: Coffee in the morning, tea in the afternoon
Phone or in person: in person

Today did you:
Buy something: Gasoline
Get sick: No
Talked to an ex: Nope
Miss someone: Yes

Last person who:
Slept in your bed? Besides me? My roommate's friend Brian.
Saw/heard you cry: One of my friends
Made you cry? I make myself cry.
Said "I Love You" to: Adrian
Ever been in a fight with your pet: No
Been to Canada: No
Been to Europe: No

Do you have a crush on someone right now: No
What book are you reading now: Just starting a new one by Benjamin Saenz, can't remember the title
Future kids names: Who knows?
Do you sleep with a stuffed animal: No
What's under your bed: Nothing
Favorite sports to watch: UFC on tv or in person OR basketball/football in person.
Favorite Locations: Austin and Yellowstone National Park are two...I have more.
Tattoos or piercings: Piercings, thinking about a tat
What are you most scared of right now? Not realizing my dreams.
Who do you really hate?: Hmmm...can't think of anyone.
Do you have a job? Yes
Have you ever liked someone you didn't have a chance with: Yes
Are you lonely right now? A little.
Song that's stuck in your head right now? "Feelin' Groovy"---don't ask.
Have you ever played strip poker: Yes
Have you ever gotten beat up? Yes
Have you ever been on radio/TV: Yes to both
Have you ever been in a mosh-pit: No
Ever liked someone, but thought they never noticed?: Yes

More Random
What color is your underwear right now? Forest green
What’s the first things you notice about the opposite sex? Smile
Your Favorite Food?: Tied between seafood & Tex Mex!
Ever get so drunk you don’t remember? Yes, sadly.
Are you too shy to ask someone out?: I don't know...maybe, maybe not.
Hugs or Kisses? /Both
Dogs or cats?: Allergic to most cats, so dogs. Nothing against cats.
Favorite Flower?: Stargazer lilies
Have you ever fired a gun? Yes, own several
How many pillows do you sleep with? 5, four regular sized and 1 tiny one.
Who are you missing right now: Several people. Ya'll know who you are, and why I miss you.

Model Dies of Complications From Anorexia

Brazilian fashion model Ana Carolina Reston died last week after an anorexia-related infection further ravaged her 5' 8" tall, 88lb body. The body so many had sought to photograph in luxurious clothing and promote to the world as an object of beauty. She was 21 years old. Her mother had pleaded with her daughter to eat more food.

Her death follows the one of Luisel Ramos of Uruguay. Ramos collapsed at a fashion show in Montevideo in August. Her official cause of death is listed as heart failure, but she had been subsisting for weeks on a diet described as "green leaves and diet Coke". She wasn't famous but had been told she would become a sensation if she'd only lose weight.
Women die every day because of their quest to live up to the unhealthy standards society places upon us. Girls are pressured into believing you can't be successful, loveable or happy unless you're wearing single digit clothing sizes. Eating disorders will continue to be a dangerous problem in society while we feature only gorgeous, thin actresses on television and in film. Every once in a while, you see an actress who looks like a real person, such as Chandra Wilson or Sara Ramirez (Drs. Bailey and Torres) on "Grey's Anatomy" but most of the time it is a size 2 to 4 beautiful woman playing the role.
It's time to teach our children what appropriate, healthy weights are and how being severely underweight is just as damaging as being obese.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Wind It Up

The most bizarre moment of my weekend happened while I was driving down Mopac listening to the radio. I heard Gwen Stefani's song "Wind It Up" for the first time. The first single from her newest album is interesting.

I wonder if her fans are as fond of Broadway musicals as Gwen? She sampled Fiddler on the Roof's "If I Were a Rich Man" in her "Rich Girl" song from her debut solo album. Her newest single samples another musical, this time Rodgers & Hammerstein favorite "The Sound of Music". Yes, Gwen yodels like the best Maria Von Trapp since Julie Andrews. "Wind It Up" samples "The Lonely Goatherd" song although her song lyrics seem to have little else in common with the R&H one, other than they both touch on communication between boys and girls and a reference to Stefani's clothing line, L.A.M.B.

Wanna see the video? Since I don't know how to embed in blogs, check it out here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hypocrites and Double Lives

The recent scandal involving Ted Haggard, the leader of the evangelical New Life Church in Colorado Springs is still news in my community. A lot of the discussion centers on the opinion that straight men cheating on their spouses are dogs no matter what gender they've chosen for their affair. The rest of it is evenly split between laughing over a hypocrite leading a double life who ignored the "hell hath no fury like a homo scorned" adage and the humorous fodder floating around the internet in the form of videos posted on google or youtube. One of my favorites is from a CBC Canada talk show and is titled "Meth and Man Ass". There's also a funny one on youtube that splices various pics of Haggard into a Village People video of, you guessed it, "Macho Man".

What was Haggard thinking? That he could have secret liasons with a gay man for years and still be the voice of Coloradoans against gay marriage? Ted, honey, you pissed off the wrong "massage therapist" which in the gay world isn't always but a lot of the time can be a euphemism for prostitute. And since Mike Jones (see pic here) has publicly declared his rent boy status, we can be sure the only massaging going on was strictly for a happy ending. And, jeez, you conducted the rendezvous for several years, which in the gay male world positively qualifies you as an old married couple. Now that is hypocrisy.

I think about his wife and five kids, who undoubtedly had to be angry and confused, but also completely humiliated that their high profile Christian leader of a husband and father engaged in activity they believe is sinful and evil and had the information splashed across the national news and internet. I feel badly for his 14,000 member congregation, especially those attending the CrossCurrent group.

CrossCurrent is an 8 week "Christ centered group" for adults looking for healing and direction in the areas of sexuality and relationships. They offer a "safe place" to deal with feelings of homosexuality. Gee, Ted, it might've been safer to explore your homocentric nature at one of the group meetings than in Mike's bedroom. I'm betting some Mo's have left your CrossCurrent group and aren't going to show up at a church service anytime soon.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Divorcing Celeb Couple in Town!

This weekend events that I missed out on due to my cold included a friend getting booted from a table at The Belmont so that Ryan Phillipe and a few friends could nab the spot. The hunky soon to be ex-Mr. Reese Witherspoon did buy a round for our obliging man about town, Brian. Phillipe made quite the scene at Kenichi recently, when he arranged for a curtain to be brought in and drawn around his table for privacy. He didn't want anyone to intrude on his make out session with Abbie Cornish, his co-star in the just wrapped film "Stop Loss". The two were celebrating the last day of filming with sushi and more. Reese was seen at Austin Java yesterday evening with an unidentified man and dog, eating a chicken sandwich and smiling at patrons who recognized her. Don't know why she'd be in the same town as her cheatin' man, unless she was simply bringing the children to visit their father.

Today's Bizarro News

I love the news. Here are some of my favorite stories today.

  1. Naked parolee arrested for concealed weapon. Not only did he have an electrical tape covered weapon in his rectum, but also he was lying on a tree stump, masturbating by a nature trail.
  2. A dead South Dakota woman won her race to become county commissioner and another dead Houston woman was re-elected to the Texas House of Representatives. What an ego blow to their live opponents!
  3. The tropical island paradise of Barbados is being overrun by ravenous giant snails, prompting a nocturnal snail hunt last weekend. The hunts will be ongoing for a few more weekends, with volunteers concentrating on the breeding grounds where the snails emerge at nightfall after a day spent underground. This is better than a made-for-tv-movie on the Sci Fi channel, folks.
  4. A 22 year old New Jersey woman is suing a Manhattan bar for injuries received in a "Shake-It-Like-Shakira" contest. She says she only had 2 drinks. Yeah, right.
  5. And today the Ukraine receives my vote for most unappealing chocolate treat. Salo, long a popular foodstuff, is now being dipped in chocolate for wider appeal. This is one "exotic food" that I promise you I won't be tasting.
  6. The chairman of the board of the Canadian Broadcast Company, Guy Fournier, voluntarily resigned amid uproar over controversial remarks he's made. It seems he believes that bestiality is okay in Lebanon, as long as the animal is a female. He also stated that in old age, a satisfying poo is more physically pleasurable and happens more often than an orgasm.
  7. Inmates in the Dallas County, Missouri jail are back in their newly painted cells. The redecoration features pink walls with blue teddy bear accents.
  8. An 8,000 calorie burger has hit the market in the U.S. Sold at Tempe, Arizona's Heart Attack Grill, the sandwich comes with a side of Flatliner Fries and either a soda or beer. And I thought the chocolate covered salo was a bad idea. It probably has less calories.
  9. In the U.K, a 2 year old toddler is mugged for his cell phone. Even more entertaining is that he was holding his father's phone after the dad bribed him with it in exchange for getting the boy to give up a chocolate candy.
  10. Doctors are amazed at the objects found concealed in the fold and crevices of a 500lb woman's body. Lost your remote control recently?

Monday, November 06, 2006


My quote of the day that has me thinking and re-thinking and struggling to stretch my mind past the limitations I've imposed upon myself.

"We will come to understand the part a difficult circumstance has played in our lives. Hindsight makes so much clear. The broken marriage, the lost job, the loneliness have all contributed to who we are becoming. The joy of the wisdom we are acquiring is that hindsight comes more quickly. We can, on occasion, begin to accept a difficult situation's contribution to our wholeness while caught in the turmoil."

~KAREN CASEY, Each Day a New Beginning

Now if only the part about "hindsight comes more quickly" were true for me...ah well, live and learn. That's what it's all about, I suppose.

FunFunFun Fest!

Yes, another music festival! But this time it will be cooler temps and hot music headlining at Waterloo Park on December 1st. The FunFunFun Fest features three stages: Punk, Indie and Austin Fusion VJ/DJ. You can catch Spoon, Circle Jerks, Riverboat Gamblers and Thomas Turner's Ghostland Observatory DJ Set. Tix are $20 and available online here. No pets or outside food & bevies allowed.

This one day event can be just the kickoff you need for a night of live music. Gates open at 1pm, music starts at 2pm and stops at 10pm, just in time for you to hit the Warehouse District or Red River for more, more, more. Or leave an hour early and catch Ziggy Marley at La Zona Rosa. And for those of you in my age bracket or a bit older, head straight for Antone's and sing along at the K-Tel Hit Machine and the Tosca Strings show at 10pm. K-Tel Hit Machine made their mark on the 2006 Austin Chronicle Best Of as the "best reason to pawn your karaoke machine".

Uncharacteristically Quiet

The headline says it all. From Friday at 4pm until this morning my car left the driveway only once, and only because I couldn't avoid it. I have been stuck down by the most passed around virus of all (get your mind out of the gutters), the common cold. Just how much snot can the human head hold? One website claims that on the peak day of a cold the amount produced is equal to half an ounce. I'm willing to wager that I've produced half an ounce in half an hour.

So wave your tissues at me in sympathy and pass me some chicken soup. I spent my weekend either in bed or on the couch, in jammies almost 100% of the time and watched more television than I've seen in years. Actually, if you added up the hours I spent watching t.v. this weekend it is probably about what I view in a month or more. Let's just say that yes, I did see Flava Flav reunited with Deelishus on the last episode of Flavor of Love Season 2. I just can't accept that there are women in this world who finds the Public Enemy rapper attractive. He's ghetto rank. And no, that isn't some new hipster phrase that means the opposite of what Webster says. I mean he is nothing but street disgusting. Any man who can father 6 children (a 7th is on the way) and not pay child support doesn't deserve any part of the good life.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Latina, Chicana, Mexicana-Americana...A Rosa By Any Other Name

Labels. We all use them. Our lives are defined by description: poor, rich, Republican, Democratic, married, single, Anglo, Latino. What if you don't look like who you are? Ever met a person who looked like one of the homeless kids on the Drag only to find out they're one of the wealthiest software designers in town?

My life has been a never ending assertion of my culture. I am a proud Latina who looks extremely caucasian. I have pale skin that burns easily in the sun, never tanning although I freckle. I have blue eyes and brown hair. I have my father's Anglo coloring and my mother's passion for our ethnicity.

At a family reunion over the weekend, I was struck by how different I look from my relatives. My mother and her siblings all look alike. I resemble them, but only when you carefully compare us. My mother has dark hair and eyes, and her skin is light brown, as are most of my relatives. I look like one of the in-laws, related by marriage. As I looked around at the many shades of brown faces, from lightly colored to a deep, nutty hue, I was very aware of my paleness. So I reminded myself of my heritage, my family connection and bond.

I am the great, great, great granddaughter of Pedro Rosales, who was born in Coahuila, Mexico but founded our family home in Campbellton, Texas. Thrice-great Grandpa, known by his nickname of Po Pira, was married twice, fathering 8 children who became the building blocks of our family. I looked at pictures of my ancestors who died long before I was born and saw in them the same faces of the elderly relatives around me. I looked at a picture of my great grandmother Porfiria and saw shades of my grandmother Dorotea as well as the resemblance to aunts and cousins.

My great grandmother cooked tortillas on her outdated wood burning stove and didn't speak any English. Never fluent in Spanish, I managed to communicate well enough with her. Her tiny home would be hot and airless, windows and doors open in the vain hope of catching a light breeze but still we'd gather in the kitchen waiting to be handed a warm tortilla, fresh off the comal.

Almost every trip to Campbellton also means a visit to El Campo Santo, the cemetary, to pay respects. The joke in Campbellton is that you can tell the Anglo portion of the graveyard from the Hispanic part by the absence of vividly colored artificial flowers and wreaths decorating the plots. The Anglo portion has few if any flowers, real or otherwise. It's the easiest to mow and edge around, says the caretakers. As it is in the cemetary, so it is in my life. My Anglo relatives are not nearly as colorful and vibrant as my Hispanic ones. The Anglo side has boasted some fairly eccentric and interesting members but the current generation is tame in comparison.

I embrace my Latina-ness in all areas of my life. My cooking reflects it, down to menudo in the winter or if a hangover cure is necessary. My every day conversation includes a sprinkling of Spanish words mixed in when there isn't an English one to convey my meaning. I have friends who will text message me in Spanish and another who engages me in bilingual conversation, scolding me when I speak almost solely in English. He reminds me that to be fluent I have to put forth effort. His family has ceased to speak English around me, only switching to it if I become completely puzzled, unable to follow the conversation by translating in my head. Even then, they'll question "No entiendas? Did you understand, Kay?", give a brief explanation in English and go right back to Spanish.

I may look different from your average Hispanic woman, but inside I am one of la raza. Latina, chicana, Mexicana-American...a Rosa by any other name would still carry the same sweet fragrance of family, of respect for heritage and a pride in knowing my roots. The strong women in my family have instilled in me the idea that I am in control of my destiny. When I voice dreams aloud, the strong men of my family don't ask "why?" they say "why not?". As a Latina friend of mine says, "We're Mexi-CANS, not Mexi-CAN'Ts!".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Recent Keyword Searches Leading to My Blog

I have a stat counter on my blog. Down on the right sidebar you'll see a link that says "These people are all about me" which will take you to analysis pages of people who happened upon my blog one way or another. One method is to google keywords, searches. I have interesting keyword searches. People who found my blog googled:
  • kevin ann massage therapist austin tx
  • tri-lobe balloon catheter
  • rekindle miracle whip
  • anthony's bar bq beeville
  • rocky horror zach scott
  • halloween gay bars el paso
  • tejano super car show 2005 finalist
  • miss maulie
  • fountain of sperm soft tab
  • rockett plates for bikes
  • pea fries artist
  • pedicab austin
  • fluent spanish
  • hincapie wings poster race to replace
  • jessica rabbit birthday myspace comment
  • cook backstrap
  • erotic wrestling holds

I don't know but I find "pea fries artist" quite titillating.

Jester: Dorm Life vs. Prison Life

I am not rich but I am wealthy in useless knowledge. For example, today I started daydreaming about two Jesters. Beauford H. Jester Center residence dormitory on the U.T. campus in Austin and Jester I, III and IV, Texas Department of Criminal Justice system prison facilities located in Richmond. No connection you say? Interestingly, folklore on campus includes the information that the architect responsible for the dorm also designed prisons.

Let's examine the two. Jester Center has a housing capacity of 2,987 students. Jester I, III and IV can hold a maximum of 2,004 offendors in the prison units, trusty camp and psychiatric treatment facility. I'm guessing that there are more employees for the prison than for the dorm, although I couldn't back that up with facts. Certainly the dorm employees won't be packing heat.

Jester Center has rules and policies, as does Jester prison. The residence handbook states "Failure to comply with the directions of a university official, including a residence hall staff member acting in an official capacity" will result in disciplinary action. Substitute "prison" for "university" and "warden" for "residence hall staff member" and there you have it.
Jester Center trivia notes that 1 million feet of pipe and 50,000 joints were used to install the fire sprinkler system. As Jester I is a substance abuse offender facility, I can safely imagine that many pipes and joints were used by its residents prior to incarceration.

Jester Center is part of a campus of higher learning and is home to the Learning Skills Center. Jester II has English as a Second Language classes as well as Alvin College academic and vocational programs, career and technical programs, substance abuse treatment programs and crisis management and psychiatric care for offenders suffering from chronic and acute mental health issues.

Jester Center is co-ed, while the other Jester has only male prisoners. I'm certain there has been sexual encounters in the dorm...and if the HBO series "Oz" is true to life then we know there are non-celibate inmates in the prison.

Hmmm...prison, school. School, prison. And I thought cubicle life was institutional. Join me next time for a lively discussion of America's death row versus Bolivia's Death Road. I'm sure all you adventure sport cycling fanatics won't want to miss that post!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Cap City Cyclists Celebrate 160 Miles!

I'm barely recovered from the long weekend dedicated to the Valero MS 150 Bike to the Beach. It was a fantastic weekend for the ride from San Antonio to Corpus Christi. We had decided to join Team Wells Fargo and enjoy the benefits of their roomy team tent, catering and massage therapists. The WF folks couldn't have been nicer. It was a good choice and an excellent pairing. I can't give you a recap from a rider's point of view but here's my official SAG Hag version of the weekend.

My cyclists left SA feeling strong and excited to be in the saddle. The volunteers and I headed out to Beeville for our campsite and team tent. You have to love a small town whose laundromat is named the Hogwash Laundry.

I have to admit that the weekend was very relaxing for me. After we unloaded luggage and blew up air mattresses, there wasn't much else to do but sit around, talking and drinking sodas and beer and tracking the riders progress based on their text messages from water stops along the route. Oh, we ate lunch. Anthony's BBQ is the place to eat in Beeville. Anthony came out to the campsite at Coastal Bend College and fired up his woodburning grill near our tent. His staff served up hamburgers and some of the best local all beef hot dogs I've ever eaten. Their macaroni & cheese had a hint of heat to it, probably with a pepper cheese, and it was delicious.

The cyclists didn't fare so well with lunch. One of the riders rolled into the lunch area and found the only sandwiches left were made with ham. She hadn't eaten red meat or pork in years, but starving after hours of riding will make the staunchest vegetarian look twice at a Big Mac. She ate the ham sandwich. Unfortunately, she delivered the ham back to this world 10 miles down the road. The text we received said "Just puked but feel better." She recovered enough to lead the pace line at a swift 20 mph toward the finish. Now that is a dedicated cyclist!

The team rode 98 miles the first day, so once the cheering was done and the photos snapped at the finish the first item of business was to hit the shower trucks. Clean and fed, the riders had massages and talked about the road. We heard about the Mercedes team with the bad attitude and no sense of biking etiquette...not the best advertisement for their corporate sponsor. The team pic at mile 75 promises to be a good one, with a large number of Wells Fargo cyclists. I passed out Aleve to just about everyone.

The second day started off cool and damp. We'd all gotten cold during the night and I was happy to stay snuggled in my sleeping bag until the wake up call went out over the loudspeakers at 5am. I would've been happier to stay warm and cuddled up for several more hours but since the WF volunteers had been moving around the tent since 4:30am I thought it would be poor form to stay abed. We waved the team off and packed up the tent, heading for Corpus Christi and the finish.

After dropping luggage off at the condo we rented for the night, we trekked from Padre Island to the finish line by the Texas State Aquarium. The team made an impressive entrance to the finish, riding side by side in their Cap City Cyclists jerseys. I was struck with a feeling of deep pride in all of them. They've worked hard, training for months to meet the challenge of riding 160 miles.

What do I do to show how much I appreciate people? The only thing I know how to do well: cook. The team had a pasta feast that night. I pan grilled shrimp marinated in an orange habañero sauce and tossed the seafood with asparagus before serving it over bowtie pasta garnished with goat cheese. I made a monster salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, avocado, red onion, mushrooms and shredded parmesan. Ironically, I burned the edges of the garlic parmesan bread but no one seemed to care. After dinner we ended up watching the full moon rise over the ocean before crashing early.

The next morning we enjoyed a breakfast appetizer of queso and chips with our coffee before making brunch. The team tucked into pancakes, hash browns, turkey bacon, pork bacon, my garden scramble (sauteed red onion, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, eggs) and a few strawberries that were leftover from our mimosas. We watched some very odd tv in the form of a Spanish channel show called "Hoy" who featured a man with an incredible body demonstrating yoga poses. He had a very large, ahem, "personality" that was well defined in his snug yoga pants. We laughed the entire time.

Highlights of the weekend aside from finish line crossings on both days include: Christine's ruffled pajamas bottoms, the choice of either C&W or heavy metal music on radio stations in the Beeville area, strangers handing over keys to their Luis Vuitton luggage-packed Infinity SUV's, much praise for Chamois Butt'R, Tony Ralf's flaming red mohawk and fluorescent yellow socks, the Holt tent's air conditioning, the lady who rented us a 3 bedroom 2 bath condo with only a contact name and cell phone number along with a request to place our payment on the table when we left, Kevin Ann's massage therapy, the red tide fish kills that ensured we did not enjoy the beach as much as we could've and of course the laughing, joking and camaraderie we shared. C3 rocks!

News Zone

My top news stories of the day:
  • Men delay medical care when there's a game on television.
  • A high school biology and earth science teacher is charged with B&E of a 100 year old grave and contributing to the delinquency of minors after photographing them holding human remains.
  • A toll free number for Ohio's Medicaid program refers callers to a phone sex company. Enraged seniors lobby Medicare for similar program. Just kidding on that last part, but wouldn't it be funny? Aging Baby Boomers clamoring for covered verbal porn.
  • Opepay antsway otay ingbray ackbay Atinlay Assmay: Ben takes church back five steps
  • And in a story that warms the heart of this grammar & spelling queen, a Michigan county will be shelling out $40k to correct ballots for the November elections. They left out an important letter in one word.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Kay Was Arrested...

One of the bulletins going around myspace is the "...was arrested for..." one. You google your name and the phrase "was arrested for" and see what pops up. Here, according to Google, are my legal woes:

1. Kay was arrested for statutory rape on February 26, 1997 after Steve discovered love letters.

2. Kay was arrested this morning after allegedly attacking a photographer outside a London nightclub.

3. Kay was arrested and charged with improper disposition of human remains.

4. Kay has been arrested for alleged domestic violence.

5. Kay was arrested on a charge of child rape. She insisted it was love.

6. Kay was arrested after police found a human hand in a jar of formaldehyde and six human skulls in her basement.

7. Kay, who twice has violated the National Football League's substance-abuse policy, was arrested in Aurora, Colorado.

8. Kay was arrested late Friday, two days after authorities said she skipped a court appearance.

9. Kay was arrested after revealing to fellow workers in the office that he practiced Falun Gong.

10. Kay was arrested for abandoning a child.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Rocky Horror Picture Show Storms the Stage at Zach Scott!

The campy, vampy Rocky Horror Picture Show struts its fishnet stockinged self across the stage at the Zach Scott Theater starting October 5th. The production, once named Best Musical in Austin, will run for slightly over a month. An acquaintance of mine is playing Rocky, so you know I'm buying a ticket. Besides knowing one of the cast, this musical is one of my favorites.

There is something so sexy about a man in a black lace teddy, fishnets and high heels. I never cared that Dr. Frank N. Furter was playing God and trying to create his perfect partner. I longed for someone to nickname me after a color or a country. I wanted to drip candle wax down a chained man's back!

The first time I saw RHPS was in college, during a time in my life when I was searching for my own sexual identity. To see bisexuality trumpeted across the silver screen was shocking, but in a good way. It was an over-the-top, silly and sassy musical with a fun plot ripping off both Mary Shelley and cheap Sci Fi movies. A light hearted frolic with a sinister edge (remember Eddie?) and a Time Warp dance. Watching the movie and sneaking glances at the theater patrons around me, gleefully into the audience participation, I had a refining moment. I finally felt at home with myself. After all, if the movie kept selling out night after night, then people really wouldn't fault me for my own proclivities, right?

As you can imagine, I learned the hard way that even though the movie was an instant cult classic, there would still be gay bashing incidents in my young adult years of the 80's and 90's. And a cheesy but fun movie with outlandish characters is no marker for the reality of life, but for that minute in time in the theater, when I held my girlfriend's hand in public for the very first time, it was glorious.

I can't promise angels trumpeting revelations in the sky, but won't you come see Rocky with me?

Eating Roaches in Illinois

Wanna skip the lines and be first on the rides at Six Flags Great America? All you have to do is eat a roach. To be more precise, eat a live two to three inch Madagascar hissing cockroach. The Gurnee, Illinois theme park starts offering this "cut in line" option in October. The upside is unlimited line jumping privileges for you and three of your friends. The downside is you still have to pony up the cost of admission. At least on Fear Factor you get a free trip and the possibility of prize money.

What is Going on With This Blog?

The large pic I posted for my celebrity look alike collage is wide, kicking the margins out of whack and moving my sidebar info way down the page. Dunno how to fix it any way except one...write more posts. I have my blog set to show 4 posts on the page and the rest in archives. Haven't written much in a while, I can definitely do a few posts in one day!

Things I Saw On the Way to Work This Morning

  1. Two angry looking mechanics waving at the traffic and holding an "Early Bird Special! Oil Change $19.99" sign at the Jiffy Lube on S. Lamar.
  2. A crunchy granola looking dude standing in the turn lane trying not to get hit by a car while he waited for a break in traffic so he could finish his dash across to Starbucks.
  3. A really, really attractive man riding a bicycle through the construction area covered walkway in front of the Paggi House area of Lamar.
  4. A group of women on the pedestrian bridge over Lamar by the Amtrak know, the part where you've crossed the river and the underpass has those stupid blue signs that are supposed to be art but look too industrial highway-ish to really make the claim? They had a huge pink banner that said "Code Pink Austin, Texas! End the War!!" and were alternately waving & flashing peace signs to the cars below. I looked online and Code Pink is an Austin based women's peace and social justice movement.
  5. A young blonde business woman click clack clicking up Sixth to her office. She had on a fabulous tan slim skirt and a man tailored striped shirt with sexy heels and I wondered if her office copy guys had running bets on who could get her drunk at happy hour and score.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Friday, September 08, 2006

UT vs. Ohio State & Celebrities...

It's U.T. vs. Ohio State weekend, the Big Game is upon us. A reason to celebrate, to bleed Burnt Orange and to generally have a great time whether we win or lose.

The celebs are in town to cheer on their fav football team. Visiting the Longhorn locker room was the Austin Holy Trinity: Lance, Matthew and Jake. Matthew is gearing up for a blockbuster movie role that requires out of control facial hair. He'll be playing the Brushy Creek Hairy Man in a soon to be released thriller. Or at least that is what I'm hoping, since he appears to have partially swallowed a pomeranian.

Ladies, when you're out tonight in the Warehouse District, give your love to Lance, your kisses to Jake and hand Matthew a Shick Quattro. Find 'em where they like to play: Six Lounge, Fabric, Spin, Foundation and of course, Vicci.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


I like to read Craigslist and see if I know anyone in the Missed Connections sections. Or if someone is looking for me, which never happens. I also like Postsecret, with the mailed in deep secrets anonymously out there for all in to read. I think they are brave, even with their identities safe. Today I came across a combo of CL & Postsecret in this Missed Connections confessional of a posting and the emotion of it made me pause and think about how love can go awry. Here it is:

In my life story, this is your chapter. - w4m

Reply to:
Date: 2006-09-01, 11:09PM CDT

Now its been three years. Four in May. And I was talking last night with her about the first night I met you– how I was bored, how I wandered back into that party on a fluke, how everything has changed since I made a decision to put my high heels back on and come back to you. You were short, and you had on a gold chain– none of this Polo shirts and madras golfing frat-boy gear that came later. I was not impressed, but luckily for you– I was drunk. So I kissed you. I. Kissed. You. Just like that. You drove me home that night, and after what happened between them in the backseat, I never expected to see you again. But we weren’t them....we were us, and you kept calling. You called until last March, when you just stopped. Because I was in love with you. Because you loved me, but you weren’t in love with me. Because you could see that it could never be less than the dizzy, lusting, drive 200 miles in the middle of the night, stutter over words because you think you might pass out kind of affair that it was. Not for me. Because when you surprised me at my door after 2 years overseas with an early flight home, I dropped 3 glass platters on the concrete threshold to my apartment. Then I sat down on the pavement, because I was not sure I could stand up. Because 3 months after we stopped speaking, in Europe, a stranger at a dinner table mentioned your highschool, and then mentioned your name, and I couldn’t explain to anyone why I was crying. Because it didn’t make sense, that someone who was my everything was really nothing at all. Not on facebook– Status: Single. Not to friends. But every night, every night, every night– we were. Because when we watched a movie together we never got past the opening credits. Because when I wore another man’s engagement ring, I let you twist it around, and hold my face and kiss me and remind me that WE had existed. Because for two years you called. Every night. Goodnight babe, I love you. Because we said I love you, and we meant it. Because you were always The One, and you always will be, and I never really had you at all.

no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

Monday, August 28, 2006

Cap City Cyclists: Crash, Cramps & Chaos!

The cycling team is training hard for the October 7th ride from San Antonio to Corpus. I thought we'd had our one and only scare a few weeks ago when Chel was muscled off Bee Caves Road by a big truck pulling an even bigger boat. She opted to crash into an orange construction barrel rather than let the boat boot her off-road, a wise choice that netted her six stitches but no broken bones. Unfortunately, my hopes were too high, as this weekend held another alarming ride event. After my time trial with Austin Fit, I jumped in my loaded up SAG Wagon and took off to find the team.

I've been tweaking my homemade Gatorage concoction, fondly called Purple Stuff or Purple Passion, depending upon which teammate is asking for some. The added potassium seems to be cutting out the cramping some of the cyclists were suffering from after a long ride. This weekend the Purple Stuff was more popular than Gatorade, which is fine with me as it's less expensive to make. The real bonus is less muscle cramps and better hydration. My mixture has less sugar than most sports drinks, so it's easier on the tummy and doesn't need diluting like Gatorade or Powerade. Coby swears by her E-Load too. Good stuff.

The chaos of the weekend ride was twofold. To start things off, I drove the SAG Wagon to the wrong location for the first water stop. Hang, Jason and Matt rode up at their halfway point for the 46 mile route they'd chosen. After topping off their water bottles with both beverages and H2O, eating some Fig Newtons, Gummi bears and tomatoes, they took off. I chatted on the phone with a friend before it hit me: I was in the wrong spot to meet the group who chose the 70 mile route! I hurriedly drove to the correct spot and met up with Coby, Frank, Gilbert and Mark. They ate & drank and laughed at my mistake.

The second water stop was a high traffic spot and difficult for the cyclists. Coby had problems clipping out and fell, bashing her left knee. Yes, the one that she had work done on earlier in the year after the skiing incident. We cleaned her up, refilled water bottles and the team hit the road. The temp was rising so I decided on another water spot about 15 miles further along the route. After arriving, scouting out a good spot and taking a bathroom break, I went a few more miles up the road to scope out conditions. Then the cell rang. Never a good sign when a teammate's calling when they're supposed to be on the road. It was Frank. "Where are you? Can you come back to Turnersville Road and pick me up?".

He sounded frightened and/or in pain, I couldn't tell. Whatever that quality was in his voice, it spurred me to action. I broke all kinds of laws getting back to the team. I spotted them when I topped the hill on a straight stretch of Turnersville: three people riding in a straight line and one weaving all over the road. I screeched to a stop, jumped out of the car and watched Frank go down in the grass. Coby stopped and fell right over, too. Mark, good surgeon that he is, gave report. Frank was overheated and needed cooling off, immediately. I opened up the Wagon, grabbed a 3 liter of water and dashed back to where Frank was sitting in the grass, wetting him down with water. He started shivering as if it was ice cold water instead of car temp cool. We got him up and into the car, a/c going full blast. He was shaking, but his heart rate was dropping. I handed him a water bottle of my Purple Stuff and instructed him to down it.

Checking on Coby, we cleaned up her knee again and commiserated over the nice scar she'll end up with after repeatedly scraping up the same spot. The guys loaded Frank's bike in the Wagon and the remaining riders set off, determined to finish this grueling ride. Frank was out of danger and hydration was working it's magic but my worry meter was still off the charts, especially when he revealed that his heartrate had gone up so high that his vision was affected. The temporarily high blood pressure resulted in a loss of vision drastic enough that he couldn't see to dial my phone number and just pressed redial in the hopes that I was the last call he'd made. Luckily for him, I was the last call. Frank waved off all suggestions of going to an ER for IV fluids and kicked back in the Wagon, giant water jug in his lap.

I stopped two more times but the team didn't need any supplies. The last stop was at the top of a hill on Thaxton, by Texas Disposal System's exotic wildlife ranch. I watched the riders grind their way up in the brutal heat. Gilbert was at the top, all smiles, Coby next, gritting her teeth and Mark as the caboose, muttering about hills at the end of a hard ride. Back at the finish, I passed out more Gatorade and Purple Stuff. The team was hot, sweaty and tired enough to decline cold beer (I drank one for them). None of us lingered at the parking lot as we were all anxious to get home to a cold shower and food.

After much discussion, it was decided that Frank would carb load three days in advance and up his normal 3-4 liters of water a day by at least a half liter or more extra. He also vowed to get more sleep. It's looking as if we'll have to start our long rides an hour earlier, to avoid as much of the heat as possible. Whatever it takes to have a peaceful ride, free from accidents of every variety!


I first heard about tantric massage and tantric sex on Oprah, when Sting revealed that he is an avid practicer of the tantric arts. A radio show this weekend mentioned it again and my curiosity was peaked. Just what is tantric sex besides supposed hours long orgasms? If you really do have hours and hours of fun do you need an intermission? I mean really, wouldn't you want a glass of water and a snack to keep your energy up? I found a website that seems to answer all those questions: Tantra. Read all about tantric practices and of course the retreats, seminars and workshops offered by Tantra.

Green Light This Video on Gay Adoptive Families

Most of you know that my nephews, Adie & Nate are in a two father household. I love my boys and can't imagine the Reinhardt-Miller home without toys and diapers and the pitter patter of both furry feet and little bitty human ones. When Frederick sent me the following email, I had to blog about it. Please read and follow the link to view the video. Too often homosexuals are seen as deviant freaks since television crews want the more attention grabbing fringe folks to up their ratings. I'd like nothing more than to show the world that a home with two daddies or two mommies is a loving, safe environment not unlike the traditional nuclear family.

From Freddy:
Susan Griffith, the woman who runs our "Dads Group" was recently interviewed by John Ireland for a documentary he filmed about gay adoptive families. He's submitted it to a project on the web that will get to actually make it to television if there is enough support for the video. Basically, the video has to be "green-light(ed)".

You can view the quick 8 minute video at You'll notice below the video there is a banner that says something like "green light this video". If you click on the link, you'll have to fill out a very quick registration page before your vote will count. You'll also have to go BACK to the video to click on the banner again to make your vote count.

I think it's extremely important to get a video of this nature shown on national television to put a face to the name "gay family". It will, perhaps, show people that our family is not that much different from their own. Any support your willing to give would be greatly appreciated.

Okay, folks. Please take a few moments to register, view and vote to green light this video!


Yes, I've been gone. Glad you noticed. August has been a whirlwind of activity. I've been moving to new digs, visiting with El Paso relatives, chasing the Cap City Cyclists around the countryside in my SAG Wagon and much, much more. I've been blogging like crazy on my Austin American Statesman site, Dancin' Down Congress Avenue and myspace. I must admit that I'm getting a little tired of blogging on myspace. There's tons of users and that usually means the server is slow to react when attempting to post. But hey, it's free.

I've missed my blogspot here and will be paying more attention to it this fall. Speaking of fall, I heard we have a cold front moving in this week. I'm a little tired of the 100+ degree weather, so anything that gets us down in the low to mid 90's would be terrific.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Toddfest 2006: Burlesque, 3 Bands & Fire in the Sky

I've barely recovered from this weekend's Toddfest 2006. What, you ask, is Toddfest? Why, it's an evening of raucous music, sultry vixens and fire spinning against the downtown night sky. It is the event of the summer, and it's invitation only.

After attending two of the last three Toddfests, I am hooked. Each year is better and bigger than the last, but after Saturday night's party, I have no idea how it can get any better. The bash took over the venue recently known as the Velvet Spade. The Spade has had a change in ownership and I believe the new name will be the Mohawk. Unusual choice for an owner who wants to attract more of the upscale live music loving crowd instead of the more financially challenged goth/punk contingent. Not that all goth & punk music lovers are poverty stricken, but there is a reason why most Red River clubs have cheap drinks and low cover charges.

The annual party is the brainchild of an Austin mover and shaker who wanted a unique way to celebrate her husband's birthday. She incorporated their love of live music with Keep Austin Weird-ness and Toddfest was born.

The Killer Crocs of Uganda kicked off the night, taking the stage as attendees streamed in, eager for entertainment and cold beverages. Sponsors sported huge buttons stating "I kick ass so buy me a beer", a thank you for their monetary contribution. The music was rockin' and the crowd was growing. With a guest list over 200, the door man was busy checking his clipboard and affixing wristbands.

During set changes, two fire spinners performed rooftop, much to the delight of all. There's nothing like dancing flames to rev up an already excited mass. And then Maulie Keebler stepped up to the stage. Miss Maulie is a burlesque dancer whose recent performances include appearances with the Red Light Burlesque troop. She is gorgeous, all redheaded sexiness and in seconds had all eyes glued to her. Her first set was a fun and sassy two song number that ended with her stripping down behind giant playing cards in a fan dance meets gambling kind of way. The debut of her pasties met with intense crowd approval.

The Humiliators were up next, with Toddfest's man of the night at the helm. Their tight sound and contagious energy captured all. Rockin' the house, the band threw out their brand of good ole rock & roll and we ate it up. Panties were tossed on stage, fans screaming and there was enough camera flashes to rival Hollywood papparazzi.

Another set change brought the fire spinners back to the roof and Maulie following. Her second act, featuring a giant champagne cup, captured the attention of people walking down the street. Who doesn't love a good dish of seduction, served up with a side of risqué naughtiness? Maulie had everyone, male and female, under her spell. Roaring with appreciation, the throng followed her every move, as she eventually ended up in the champagne cup and soaking herself along with the first several rows of spectators. An aggressive, uninvited onlooker had to be removed from the fence where he was attempting to gain enough of an entry to video Maulie. Instead, he met her intense (and handsome) bodyguard, in a very up close and personal kind of way.

Closing out the evening was Steamroller, an Austin favorite. Jamming until closing time, the band kept the beat going and the party mood elevated to the point that it was a shock to hear last call announced. No way the night could be over already! The crowd thinned, people slipped away after expressing thanks to the host and hostess, content with a full night of some of the best live entertainment you could ask for in a Saturday night. A rockin' great time!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Pimpin' Postsecret

One of the sites I visit religiously every week is Postsecret . If blogger wasn't giving me so many issues trying to post pictures, I'd put up one or two of my favorite mailed in secrets. Instead, I'll just encourage you to visit Postsecret and see if you can relate to any of the mailed in postcards.

Rolling Stones Update

Yes, Austin, the Stones are confirmed. Rumor has it the general admission concert will be capped at 50,000 and that the ticket price will be $90 give or take a few bucks. The crunchy granola crowd is already voicing concerns over damage to Zilker Park, since the concert will be on the heels of ACL Fest. So much for grass in the park, it'll be nothing but trampled down dirt until next summer. I haven't found out when tickets go on sale yet...anybody out there know?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I Can't Get No Satisfaction

Are they or aren't they? The rumor mill has been working overtime here in the Live Music Capital of the World. Those in the know say that The Rolling Stones are playing a concert on October 22nd at Zilker Park. It has to be true. I heard it at Toddfest.

Today's paper has an article on the rumor, with a quote from a city planner saying it takes 2 months to prepare for a concert of that size and at this point in time no one has contacted him to discuss it. Hmmmm. Tell that to the Stones, then. When I checked their website for the 10th time this morning a concert date for Austin had magically appeared. Of course it listed no other info, including ticket price.

Heard it at Toddfest, confirmed it on the internet, it must be true. The Stones are making an Austin appearance. Hell, they should. If they're willing to play Halifax, Nova Scotia, El Paso and Missoula, Montana they should at least visit the home of SXSW and ACL Fest.

The Stones' website says that the ticket prices for the North American dates of the A Bigger Bang tour will be lower by 10-15% and some markets will feature student pricing as well. Hmmm...I wonder how that will affect Austin, where they'll play in a seatless open air field by Town Lake. It's a BYOB (blanket being the key "b" here) venue. Perhaps we'll see prices under $100 for this event. Sure it's still pricey, but it costs a lot to exhume Keith Richards from his tomb and make sure he's reanimated by showtime. Seriously, did you get a good look at him at the Superbowl? That was one rockin' corpse.

Will I go? If the tix aren't too unreasonable, yes. Just to say I did. I doubt the Stones will play many of their songs that I love--which would be the entire Tattoo You album--but they're certain to throw in "Beast of Burden" and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction". Will you be there?

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Cap City Cyclists

Our brand spankin' new cycling team is off and running, err, spinning. I don't quite remember how or why we thought we should form a team to bike the Valero MS 150 but we did and there's no stopping us now!

Team rides have already started, individual training is going strong and the "please, please, please sponsor us" letters are starting to show up in the mailbox of every business associate any of us have had the pleasure of working with/drinking with/running with and/or biking with...hell, we can add sleeping with/eating with/taking incriminating photos with to the list as well. Pretty much anyone we can claim even a remote relationship or alliance to can and will be hit up to fund the budget. And then we'll ask companies we don't know for money, too. There's got to be someone out there that wants to see a start up team of misfit riders do something big like this, right? And it is for a good cause, with the Lone Star Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society reaping the rewards.

I'm worried, as usual. I want our riders to have a terrific experience and have as many creature comforts as possible. I'll rest easier knowing we have money in the bank account to pay for our team tent, cots, tables, chairs, food, beverages, jerseys & tee shirts, etc etc etc.

I don't own a road bike, so I'm in charge of the details. I'm recruiting SAG Hags and planning, planning, planning. The overnight camp is Beeville, which does not appear to have an abundance of restaurants that cater. I'm hoping to get the go ahead from the Valero folks to bring a grill. I can grill beef, turkey and veggie burgers or possibly fajitas for the riders as they arrive, hungry, hot and tired. In the morning I can use it to make breakfast tacos. I don't want our team to wait until the food provided by the event is served. I'm hoping for the best with our budget, which seems impossibly large. And we simply have to order jerseys by August or run a risk of not being ready in time. I found one online source, Jeksports, that offers lower cost semi-custom jerseys for teams of 4 or more entered into any MS 150.

Meanwhile, the team is becoming a cohesive unit, despite having beginner riders alongside experienced ones. We're forging ahead, believing we can do this and do it well. We're just not going to believe we can't, and that means we'll make it on sheer stubborness and will power alone, if nothing else.

"The person who gets the farthest is generally the one who is willing to do and dare. The sure-thing boat never gets far from shore."
~Dale Carnegie~

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

The Real World

I saw in the news today that a Real World cast member from the current season was arrested for biting her boyfriend. She bit him repeatedly, because she was angry when he wouldn't let her in his house. Ummm, yeah. I wouldn't let her in, either.

I remember when the Real World was less a voyeuristic "who's hooking up with which cast mate" reality blurred by fine editing show and more of one that actually had drama beyond binge drinking. I guess my one and only love affair with the Real World would be season 3 with Pedro, Judd, Pam, Puck and Rachel. I was so enamored with Pedro that when he died in 1994 I was truly saddened, knowing the world lost a passionate voice in the fight against AIDS.

I was sickly fascinated with Puck, the way one is engrossed completely by a television show about massive tumors or how everyone slows down to look for blood on the road at the site of a bad car accident. Puck was disgusting and self-serving, never apologetic and always looking out for his own best interests. I hated him but couldn't stop watching. I felt the same way about Rachel, who had obvious chemistry with Puck.

Judd and Pam were my other favorites. When the season was over, the friendship between Judd and Pedro stayed strong, as did the one with Pam. By the time Judd published his memoir "Pedro & Me: Friendship, Loss and What I Learned" he also realized that his friendship with Pam was much more than a passing fancy. Who can't love it that a Real Worlder makes one of his housemates his life partner? Add to it that Judd's graphic novel & cartoon animation career is in full bloom, as is Pam's medical career. Wowsa. And here I am, blogging from my clerk job. Now that's irony. Oh, not to belittle my job. I'm a litigation assistant, which basically means I'm a well-paid clerk.

Who do you miss from the Real World?

Monday, July 03, 2006

Hincapie Happiness

A few more pics for you to enjoy.

Fickle Following for Tour de France

Where's the hype? Where's the excitement? Where's the support, Austin? Lance retires and we turn our backs on the Tour--is that how it goes? There's been relatively little TDF talk around town so I'm sending a shout out to all my girlfriends and gayfriends. The American Hottie, George Hincapie, took the yellow jersey for the first time in his career yesterday. C'mon, Austin! Let's get Hincapie Happy. The man is gorgeous and American. What could be more fun than pissing off the cycling world one more time by cheering yet another Yank to victory?

In other TDF news, officials announced they'll no longer give out giant green cardboard hands to fans during the final stages of flat rides. Norwegian Thor Hushorvd crashed yesterday during the finish sprint when his shoulder brushed against a fan's giant hand. News reports say his "bloody gash" was stitched up at the hospital. I'd feel awful if my gigantic cheering gear caused a cyclist to crash and burn. Perhaps the tour officials need to rethink the use of cardboard crowd giveaways completely, not just in the final stages.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

My Problem With Erectile Dysfunction

Apparently, I can't get it up. At least that's what the bombardment of emails yesterday and today have informed me. Some samples of what I've been receiving:

  • For your wife's last b-day you gave her a vibrator because of your hopeless Erectile Dysfunction. By taking our new Soft Cialis Tabs you are bound to give her the best sex ever instead of miserable "battery dick".
  • You always wanted to use your penis as a billiards cue. With our new Soft Cialis Tabs you can even have sex with your ex.
  • Do you want to do something useful in your life? Advice your friend Soft Cialis Tabs for the best erection.

I'm wondering...what model did I buy my wife? When did I grow a penis? And which of my friends is actually suffering from erectile dysfunction? Would a man really want to use his penis as a pool cue?

I've learned that "even if you have no erection problems, Soft Cialis will help you to make BETTER SEX MORE OFTEN and to bring unimaginable pleasure to her." Hmmm...I'd like to have sex, especially better sex and more often. But my imagination is pretty doggone active. I don't know if I could handle pleasure that is beyond my imagination. At least not without bruising and possibly a sprain or two. I kinda thought my future sex partner(s) would be male but I guess I shouldn't be so picky. After all, beggars can't be choosers.

I hope that the valid commercials for Soft Cialis Tabs have a more successful ad campaign. I tried googling it, but here's what came up (no pun intended):

  • Do you want to see the fountain of sperm? Try our new Soft Cialis.
  • You think you need a crane to lift your dick? Soft Cialis is the way to do it.
  • Soft Cialis Tabs is the new impotence drug that everyone is talking about.
  • You can drive or mix alcohol drinks with Cialis.

One website announced in large, bold font that you can get rock hard in 20 minutes and that it is the only 4 day erection. Yikes. And you guys thought it was embarrassing in junior high when you'd get up in class to write something on the chalkboard and suddenly realize you had wood. Can you imagine if it lasted 4 days? What if you popped a Soft Cialis before a date but she bails at the last minute? That's a 4 day reminder that you didn't even get to first base.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oldies, Schmoldies

I'm listening to a radio station that bills itself as a friendly local station that's owned by some guy named Bob who remembers all kinds of stuff about Austin: the long gone Aquafest, when Cedar Park was really out of town, and when the women walking down S. Congress were actually trying to make rent get the picture. It's actually a clever marketing campaign for a national radio chain, but hey, they play all kinds of music so who cares?

Anyway, in the past hour I've heard Cheap Trick's "I Want You to Want Me", Elton John's "Don't Go Breaking My Heart" and Foreignor's "Cold as Ice". All older songs but still good ones. What other radio station would play these and then follow it with Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World"?

I'm loving the oldies today as I sing along with Huey Lewis' "Heart & Soul".

Happy Summer Solstice Birthday, Frank!

Today is Midsummer, the day of Frank's birthday. He's a solstice baby. The moon during this time period is called a "honey moon" from the honeyed mead traditionally drunk after pagan wedding celebrations held on this day. Well, there won't be any honeyed mead served at his celebratory dinner tonight, but I'm sure a few of us will toast him with some type of alcoholic bevie.

The summer solstice is traditionally a time to savor the accomplishments of the hard work done during the last season. It's a time for entertainment and pleasure, a little overindulgance and gratification. It's a celebration of light and fire and a time to concentrate on cleansing and renewal while enjoying love and growth. What a delightful day to be born on!

Have a very happy birthday, Frank.

"A posse ad esse"

Friday, June 16, 2006

Revisiting Brokeback

A while back, one of my myspace friends, Richard, posted a comment about Brokeback Mountain that prompted me to think about the movie. I was familiar with Annie Proulx, having read "The Shipping News", a novel written before her short story of two cowboys fighting for and against their attraction. Anxious to see the story on the big screen, I went with a group of friends to an opening night performance.

My first impressions were a mixed bag of sadness and an urge to declare that the act of loving someone of the same gender is to be embraced, not shunned. I also mulled over the scenes where the characters each allow their intense emotions to spill out. The scene where Ennis is crying after walking away from Jack comes to mind, as does the reunion between the two years later. Although I can debate that two closeted men would engage in such heated kissing within mere seconds after seeing each other after some 4 years, it was unarguably an impassioned, all-consuming moment.

I remember when I had those kinds of feelings. I can remember being so wild about someone that even being around her made me nervous and jittery enough to feel queasy, giving new meaning to the word 'lovesick'. I can recall a boyfriend who elicited fierce feelings of desire and longing that were almost animalistic in nature. I have confused love with lust and craved someone so deeply that I believed I was in love. I've ridden the highs of ardor and I've spiraled down to hit the rocky bottom of the lows of rejection as well.

The odd part is that these raging emotions are almost completely confined to my late teens and my twenties. Not that I'm claiming that I haven't felt incredibly deep emotions as a more mature adult---God knows I have. But my deepest, truest and most ardent feelings were not the hormonally charged roller coaster of my younger years. They've tempered like steel into a woman owned essence of love.

Which leads me to examine the leading ladies in the film. Alma & Lureen, wife to Ennis and Jack, respectively. I didn't feel sorry for the wives even though they married the men they loved but didn't get the life they expected. It was obvious that Lureen, the spoiled rich girl, was unhappy that Jack spent his vacations visiting Ennis. Whether or not she had discovered his predilection for men, it was obvious did not respect her husband. And Alma, who early on accidentally sees the men kissing, grabbing and groping like horny teens, spends the rest of her marriage embittered but silent.

Years after her divorce and re-marriage, Alma brings up the subject of Jack to Ennis and reveals to him that she knew they didn't actually go fishing on their trips. A mean confrontation ensues in which Ennis is a grade A ugly jerk. While most would wonder what was the point in bringing up the subject after many years, I thought it most telling. Alma, despite her unhappiness with Ennis' inability to keep a steady paycheck and his passion for Jack, still loved him. Pure and simple. She had divorced Ennis and accepted the attention of another man whom she saw as a kind friend. And she settled. She wanted a husband, a lover, a friend. A father to her children. But she settled, exchanging a deep love for solid devotion.

So now, months after seeing the movie, I not only empathize with the bond between the men, but also understand the love of their wives. Now I realize that the phone call between Lureen and Ennis had deeper meaning than a newly widowed woman being intentionally tactless with her husband's lover. I think she finally had some comprehension, some insight into their relationship, and as a final act of love gave Ennis more information than a wife would give her late husband's fishing buddy.

Love is a strange, strange thing.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Medically Necessary Surgery vs. Genital Mutilation

I was reading a CNN article about an 8 year old boy who has suffered from frequent penile inflammation for the past year. The divorced parents are in court, fighting over whether or not he should be circumsized as treatment for the problem.

The father who put his foot down at birth and stipulated that his son would stay uncut claims the surgery is unnecessary and alleges it could cause physical and psychological harm. The mother has faith in her son's doctor, who believes the surgery would alleviate the problem. She states that her son can't wear anything but loose clothing such as pajamas while enduring the pain.

Apparently there are also allegations of anti-semitism, with the mother claiming the father views circumcision as a Jewish practice and that his son "is not a Jew". The father denies any bias but interestingly, his attorney questioned if the mother's new husband is circumsized. She is married to a Jewish man.

I can't say I've given a lot of thought to the argument that circumcision is genital mutilation, but I can agree it isn't medically necessary. It's certainly a cosmetic choice. However, if my child was in pain and it was a reasonable treatment option I'd do it. Wouldn't any of us pretty much do anything for our child if it meant a pain free existence?

Monday, June 12, 2006

Myspace in the News Again

I read today that a teenager from Michigan lied to her parents so that they would obtain a passport for her. She disappeared on Monday but turned up Wednesday when she hopped a flight from New York to Tel Aviv. The soon-to-be 17 year old was attempting to reach Jericho, to meet a 25 year old man she met on myspace. The FBI arranged for Jordanian officials to speak to the girl on her layover and they convinced her it was in her best interests to return home.

The parents were shocked, stating their child was a straight A student who had never been problematic before. Apparently, it's myspace's fault.

WTH, people? Why does America insist on blaming myspace? Not to say that there aren't pedophiles out there who prey on kids through myspace and the rest of the internet, but when a teen coerces her parents into a passport it stands to follow that she knew what she was doing. She did a lot of planning in order to travel some 600 miles to NYC. She saved a ton of babysitting money to purchase a ticket for an international flight. And you know when the officials in Jordan were putting on the pressure to go back home, her first thought was probably "my parents are gonna ground me for the summer!" or something along those lines.

This event is the 2006 equivalent of sneaking out of the house after curfew so you and your friends can go to a kegger at some guy's house who's a friend of your friend's cousin's girlfriend's brother. So what if you're underage? So what if you have no idea who the people throwing the party are or even if they're sane or decent? You did it because you were a teenager and it was a party and the thrill of not getting caught was a cheap and easy high. In the end, you were still responsible for your actions and paid the price if your parents found out. This Michigan teen needs to own up that it was her decision to skip the country. Stop playing the blame game and accept the consequences of your actions.

Please, no hate mail. I realize that there are adults who seek out impressionable children expressly to entrust them, set up their relationship and eventually rope them in. They are sick and disgusting perverts.

The Main Event

What's a girl to do on a Saturday night in Austin, Texas? Well, lots. But if you're me you'd jump at the opportunity to see a sassy redhead make a pole dancin' audience beg for more. Yes, Maulie Keebler was headlining at Expose' after the Hopkins vs. Tarver boxing match.

Maulie, who started out the evening in her Jessica Rabbit form fitting red dress, paid tribute to boxing with a sexy silver bikini under a silky red cape. She strutted her stuff, boxing gloves on, whipping the crowd into a frenzy. As always, the woman can work a pole upside down, right side up, side ways, every ways. And her final dance act involved two very large bottles of water. Yes, Maulie got wet and at the end, so did her audience. Using her thighs to jet propel streams of water, Maulie soaked the front row and ended her set to cheers and applause.

I brought home a gorgeous black and white photo of Maulie which she so sweetly autographed for me. In the photo, which can be seen at her website, Maulie is nude but delicately concealed by a feathered fan. Delicious!

Maulie has a busy schedule this summer but will be performing at Toddfest 2006 in July. It will be one spankin' hot party.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Viva La Raza!

I watched the ALMA Awards the other night. The show, sponsored by the National Counsel of La Raza, presents awards for outstanding achievement in the entertainment industry as well as honoring those celebrities whose career and lives have had a positive impact upon the Latino image.

The commercials during the awards show were geared toward a Latino audience, no big surprise. I did find one ad for Mexicans And Americans Thinking Together (MATT) very interesting. The spot featured a Latina with traditional features: olive toned skin, dark hair, dark eyes, curvy figure and an Anglo with fair skin and lighter hair. Speaking in Spanish and English, the actors talked about how alike they are and promoted bicultural unification. The traditional appearing Latina spoke English while the white/caucasian man spoke Spanish.

During the show, the cameras panned the audience and while the majority of skintones were shades of mocha, several notable güeros were present as well. Clifton Collins, Jr. received an award for his role in Capote. Alexis Bledel, who plays on The Gilmore Girls, attended in support of her The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants co-star America Ferrera’s nomination. I didn’t see Ramón Gerardo Antonio Estévez (Martin Sheen) but I’m sure he was there in spirit.

The show was very much a pep rally for being Latino, a celebration of successful Latinos. I drank it in like fine champagne. I’m very proud of my Mexican-American background and very defensive about my appearance. Most of my friends have heard me say “I’m not white” more than a few times. It’s not that I’m ashamed of being half Anglo. It’s just that I identify more with my Latino roots than with the white side of my family. It’s who I am. And I dislike it when people assume I am 100% anglo instead of Mexicana. Maybe I’m not puro Mexicana, but I am puro TexMex. Simply, soy Latina. Or chicana or Hispanic or whatever you want to call it. Frank says “reverse coconut” since I’m so rabid about my ethnicity.

I eat beans with breakfast and if salsa or chile is available, it’s going on top of whatever I’m eating. I had piñatas at birthday parties growing up, even though my mother had to bring them from Texas to our town in Louisiana. I prefer an empanada to a doughnut. My mom made homemade flour tortillas at least once a week, every week until I was in college. I burned the tips of my fingers flipping them on the hot comal. I make menudo at home because I like it, not because I have a hangover. I enjoy celebrating Dia de los Muertos, Las Mañanitas and Cinco de Mayo. I love large, happy, loud family get togethers with lots of children running around, more food than we could possibly eat, and a beaming matriarch/patriarch overseeing it all. I value the sense of family, the tie that binds us all together. I embrace our heritage and commitment to our culture.

My one regret is that I’m not fluent in Spanish. Because my father speaks only English, we did not grow up terribly bilingual. Yes, I can squeak by when necessary, and I do understand more than I can speak back, but it’s not enough. I have procrastinated for years in taking lessons, hoping to pick up the language from friends and family. The time has come to admit that I need a structured teaching environment. And to further my pride by being able to converse, write and read well in what was my first language, but turned out to be my least proficient one.

I wonder, is everyone as proud of their mixed heritage as I am?