Monthly Archives: November 2011

WE INTERRUPT OUR REGULARLY-SCHEDULED ‘TWILIGHT’ PROGRAMMING…

Don’t worry, I have two (two!) more Twilight posts planned for your reading painfulness, but I just couldn’t bear to write about that cultural phenomenon today. Instead, I’d like to regale you with a tale of Thanksgiving from long, long ago.

High-five if you’re amused by Thanksgiving clip art!

I don’t think I’ve mentioned on the blog that I am from Mexico. I’ve spent a lot of time living elsewhere, so I’ll clarify what I mean. I’ve spent part of my childhood, most of my summers, and all of my Christmases in Mexico. Most of my family lives there, and my hometown in Northern Mexico is my favorite place in the world. I never laugh harder than when I am there, which is a perfect barometer for favorite place-ness, wouldn’t you agree?

Though I come from a Mexican family, there are a few members (like me) who live in the States or have strong connections to the U.S. of A. So, thanks in part to that and in part to the Americanization Gringo-nization of Latin America, my family can aptly be described as transnational.

About a decade ago, I don’t know how or why, my family started celebrating Thanksgiving. As far as I know, mine is the only Mexican family living in Mexico that celebrates Thanksgiving, which I think is pretty cool, especially because there’s no pro-colonialism subtext at our celebrations.

One year, when I was about thirteen, I decided that in order to have a proper Thanksgiving feast, we HAD TO HAVE stuffing. I guess somebody I admired told me it was the best part of Thanksgiving or something. We’d never had stuffing at our turkey dinner, and nobody knew how to make it from scratch. I remembered the bright red ‘Stovetop Stuffing’ box from American grocery stores, though, so I asked one of my aunts to drive me to the grocery store to buy some.

The object of my dreams.

All of my family knew this endeavor was hopeless.

Nobody in Mexico eats stuffing. Most people don’t even know what it is.

Still, three cousins, one uncle, one aunt, and I all piled into a minivan and drove to the large grocery store nearby.

No luck.

We drove to the small grocery store that mostly stocks American imports.

No luck.

In total, we must have driven to seven grocery stores where our stuffing inquiries were met with blank stares.

When we returned, stuffing-less, I felt elated. (And not just because the expressions on the grocery stores’ employees faces as I described stuffing were priceless. You guys, stuffing is really gross in theory.)

Moral: Having a family that is willing to do something completely stupid just ‘cause they have your back (yo) totally trumps Stovetop Stuffing.

As I enter the holiday season, I am most grateful for my family. Expect more stories about them as I count down the days to Christmas—the day I’ll finally get to meet my first niece!!!

Family, I am bringing provisions!

Over & Out.

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The Twilight Zone

Last weekend I had the distinct honor of being invited to watch the first three Twilight movies. Well, technically, only my mom was invited. However, it was her first time out of the house since her surgery, so I accompanied her like the dutiful daughter I am can be.

As we ventured out into the dark windy night, I braced myself. Six hours of TV-viewing in one go is way too much for me. And, for now, let’s just say I have a complicated history with Twilight (I’ll elaborate later). Considering that I wouldn’t have spent my Saturday this way by choice, I decided to make a game of it. I would jot down my observations as I watched and then make a blog post (this one, right here!) of them. My mom’s friend couldn’t find her copy of the first movie, and I fell asleep five minutes into Eclipse, so I only saw the second movie. And now… Behold…

Super Scientific Observations of New Moon

!!!!!!!!!!!! SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT !!!!!!!!!!!

(You’ve been warned.)

1. Why isn’t she more excited about her digital camera?

2. Or seeing her friends?

3. Or kissing her boyfriend?

4. She’s definitely more excited about Jacob. Maybe this is why everyone seems to be on Team Jacob.

5. Look at her possessive boyfriend brooding while her Native American boytoy gives her a dreamcatcher. (Note to self: look up the specific history of the dreamcatcher. I hope it is at least from the Pacific Northwest.)

6. Says Edward, ‘Bella, you give me everything just by breathing.’ Says I, ‘BARF, BARF, BAAAAAAARF.’ Also, good thing because she doesn’t do much else.

7. Of course he knows Romeo & Juliet by heart… If I didn’t hate Twilight for being anti-feminist, I’d certainly hate it for being trite.

8. Bella is completely emotionless.

9. She has the most modest dress at her birthday party.

10. Why can’t she turn herself into a vampire? I mean, I get the logistics, but why does it have to be Edward who changes her? Okay, I get the metaphor (gross), but wouldn’t it be cool if she got changed by Alice? And they would play the song ‘Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves Now.’ Then Edward would be all, ‘This is way cooler than when I liked you just for breathing! I love that you are an independent individual!’ That movie would be so cool.

11. Edward and Bella make kissing look so painful. Plus, too many moan-y sounds, & she’s completely emotionless when she says she loves him.  You’re not fooling nobody, grrrrl.

12. She hates pictures of herself. Seriously???

13. Her clothes are dull.

14. Edward is so mean to her! Bella should stand up to him instead of being all mumbly when he says he doesn’t like her anymore and forbids her from running away from home. (Obviously, I agree that she shouldn’t run away from home, but it should be her decision.)

15. Edward and Bella talk to each other like strangers. And he’s definitely the authority figure.

16. So she tripped or fainted or something, and some old man rescues her. Our poor, helpless heroine…

17. Says Bella in a letter to the vamps, ‘You’ve disappeared. Like everything else. Now who can I talk to?’ I say, ‘Bella, try talking to a mental-health professional!’

18. I REALLY LIKE HER FRIEND JESSICA. WHY IS SHE SUCH A MINOR CHARACTER?! I say, ‘Jessica, I don’t get the fascination with zombies, either!’

19. Okay, just when she was starting to hang out with someone else an Edward-head hologram appears to warn her (read: distract her from fun with Jessica, who doesn’t suck as much as the rest of the characters!), & he’s just as bossy & condescending as the real Edward.

20. She’s rebelling against Edward. Because he’s like her dad. Because this movie is messed up.

21. So the only people she feels comfortable around are love-interests (or people related to her vampire boyfriend). Textbook codependency.

22. I may have missed something (because this movie is as boring as this blog entry), but why is her dad bragging to her about being a famous ladies’ man? Creepy. Also, Charlie, not all wimyn are the same. Maybe your unqualified generalizations are the reason you’re single! (That was kind of catty. I’m pretty sick of this movie. Sorry.)

23. RIDING A MOTORCYCLE WITHOUT A HELMET? AGAIN?

24. Edward holograms haunt her anytime she does something stupid.

25. Bella’s eyebrows are over-tweezed.

26. Jacob is like this alpha-male protector figure. Figures…

27. Isolation from friends. The hallmark of abusive relationships.

28. Bella says to Jacob, ‘You can’t break up with me. I mean, you’re my best friend.’ I add, ‘Oh wait, both things are true ’cause I don’t have any relationships aside from romantic ones!’

29. Enter the only Black vampire in the movie. I’m getting an evil vibe… Dicey territory, Twilight!

30. CGI animation is for the birds. Especially when they do the wind-blowing-through-fur thing. Too much!

31. Gratuitously shirtless Jacob in Bella’s bedroom. Totally get why people call this ‘abstinence porn.’ The relationships are based only on physical attraction and messed-up power dynamics.

32. Of course you’d run away with Jacob, Bella. You’d give up everything for any boy. Plus, you have no social life aside from your boyfriends, so it’s not like you’d be giving up much.

33. ‘You can’t run with vampires…’cause they’re fast.’ Maybe there’s some subtext I’m not getting, but combined with the totally-flat delivery, this dialogue is killing me.

34. This is the most boring movie ever.

35. Bella’s lonely. She could join a club, take a class, watch TV on the internet, see a licensed therapist (please!)…or she could jump off a cliff in hopes of seeing a hologram of her patronizing ex-boyfriend.

36. The choice is obvious.

37. Good thing her current boyfriend can come to the rescue!

38. Doesn’t this movie have any kind of soundtrack? The score is this repetitive twinkle string music that sucks.

39. The Romeo & Juliet supercontext is too much. Gotta admit, I wouldn’t mind it if they actually died.

40. What is it with dudes telling Bella to do things for her dad?

41. First decent outfit: Alice in the yellow Porsche.

42. Bella’s never excited! She’s not even excited about being in Italy.

43. Edward looks really weird shirtless. I don’t get why.

44. Worst Dakota Fanning role ever. I can’t even decide whether or not I like her outfit.

45. This movie is so slow. I’m bored.

46. Alice’s flippy hair makes me wish it were 2004. I would be all about that in 2004.

47. Says Edward, ‘Marry me, Bella.’ An imperative. How typical.

VERDICT: Still do not understand Twilight‘s popularity in the slightest.

Next time on sensitivityandgrace: My complicated history with Twilight.

Was that me on the news last night?

Yesterday my friend Jasmin and I went to Occupy Dallas to take part in the National Day of Action. On our way there, we heard that the camp had been raided. Instead of a Day of Action, we witnessed the psychological aftermath  of a raid that most news outlets—and even a Dallas city council member—deemed a waste of municipal resources and an excessive use of force.

The occupiers were forced to spend yesterday re-organizing and processing the night’s occurrence. Few people were there for the morning’s march, so Jasmin and I got to have many in-depth conversations. And (added bonus!), we knew eveeeeeeerybody who was on WFAA’s 10 o’clock Occupy Dallas news segment despite the fact that the image quality was really low. Yup, we recognized everything, including…

See that yellow sign, kind of center right?

Doesn’t it look exactly like this sign to you? Or doesn’t it look not exactly UNLIKE this sign to you?

Right?

Seventeen, again

For the past two weeks, I have been in Texas helping my mom recover from knee surgery. She’s doing great (hooray!), so I have some free time to tell you about My Life.

I haven’t experienced a  Texas autumn since 2006, and I must declare for all the worldwide web to hear that it is utterly perfect! I was seventeen the last time I felt this room-temperature breeze and gazed at these clear blue skies, so obviously I didn’t appreciate it in the slightest. But now? Now I could write an ode or even a sonnet to this glorious weather if only I weren’t too lazy to look up what makes an ode an ode and a sonnet a sonnet. Rhyme? Meter? ABABABABORING. In lieu of that, here is a kind of weird picture I took of myself yesterday in my backyard.

Maybe instead of a poem, I’ll write a navel-gazing B-movie entitled Sleeveless in November.

Aside from loving the weather, I’ve spent a lot of time reflecting on what it was like to be seventeen and how much I have grown up. Turns out, not that much!

FOR EXAMPLE:

  • In 2006, I loved food and thought cooking for people was such fun!
  •  In 2011, I feel the same way except now I use the Epicurious app (with its shopping list function that makes me giddy every time) instead of Post Punk Kitchen (I don’t think PPK has an app). Also, back then I used Sazón Goya with abandon. It was my secret ingredient! Now I know that it’s mostly MSG, so… (Sorry if I fed you anything back then. I promise I had no idea.)
  • In the fall of 2006 I read Nylon, and now I am reading the same issues of Nylon (October 2006 and November 2006) that I read back then because by some bizarre coincidence I found them in my room. Had not seen them since 2006 and they were just there. On my bookshelf. I mean, what are the chances? Would a cable news outlet be interested in covering this story, I wonder.
  • In 2006, I loved Sixties fashions.
  • In 2011, I love Sixties fashions. Only more. And the universe has rewarded this love with Pan Am and Mad Men episodes on my mother’s DVR.
  • In the fall of 2006, I was diligently working on my college applications.
  • In the fall of 2011, I should be diligently working on job applications.

See? Not so different.

Except now I consider my house to be less of a prison (ugh, curfews!)  and more a softly-lit suburban paradise.

And I can’t think of anything more fun than hanging out with my mom.

And I took inventory of my friends when reading my Senior Scrapbook (2006-2007) yesterday. Do you know how many of my closest friends from high school still live here? ZERO!

If you must know, the first two pages of my scrapbook were as follows:

1. A page dedicated to my favorite coffee shop (R.I.P.).

2. A page about this awful full-body allergic reaction I had. Complete with pictures of me in my disfigured state. (I don’t get it either…)

You should thank your lucky stars for the blurriness of the above picture.

The end.

For Issy (cuz I know you’re reading, grrrl!)

Dear Issy,

2 weeks ago, I met Devin’s
15 year-old cousin. She is approximately
4.2 times cooler than I could ever hope to be, and her bedroom is
500% more magnificent than the average outstandingly magnificent room.

The only rooms I have met on that level have all been yours, and though I know you don’t need interior decorating tips, I took pictures of her ‘fairy lights’ for you.

These are they.

A wider view (check that papier-mâché sun in the background!)

She even had them in your favorite color (or is blue only your favorite color for pen ink? I forget).

TUTORIAL:

1. Make origami boxes to fit over twinkle lightbulbs.

2. Put them over your existing twinkle lights.

3. Hang them up and feel proud.

4. Take pictures and send them to me.

Love you more than words,
kristy

P.S. I drew this picture of us today.

We'd make cute cephalopods.

P.P.S. I unwittingly drew it on a personality analysis webpage.

Your personality analysis based on this drawing: You think you are very intelligent. You are a needy person.

Readers, there you have it. An unbiased analysis. Get yours here. Also, ‘fairy lights’ is proper British nomenclature.