Friday, September 30, 2005


As if things were not stressful enough, someone tried to break into our apartment last Wednesday.

When I got home from work, I noticed that the hose on the side of our house was running. When I went to turn it off, I then noticed that the window above it was open and the screen was pushed up. A garden chair was placed over the shrub that was below it.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.

I ran around to the front and I went in the front door. The dogs were there and they were fine. That was when I let out my first sigh of relief. I looked around and everything seemed to be in place and nothing was missing. The stuff above the sink was also all in place. Second sigh of relief.

I inspected the screen and found two small slits just above the bottom. This is where the would-be home invader put his/her fingers through to move the slots to push the screen up.

My guess is that the dogs ran into the kitchen barking and scared the bastard away.

Good dogs!

Zeus can sound and look pretty viscious when he wants to. He has one scary snarl (actually he has more than one).

My feelings quickly turned from relief to anger. We have been robbed before and it just feels crappy. I don't care about things as much as it pisses me off that someone invaded our space.

I called Sara and told her about it. She was scared and creeped out by the incident. It did not help that I was supposed to fly to DC the next day.

Needless to say, I am still in Boston. I cancelled my trip. I sent the organizers the text I was going to present and someone there is going to read it for me. I felt bad, but I was not about to leave Sara here on her own. I know that the likelihood of something else happening is low. However, that feeling of vulnerability and violation takes a while to lift and until it does or at least begins to, I am going to stick around.

The extra time has given me a little time to unwind a bit and catch up with a few things that had been simmering on the back burner for a while.

There are so many thoughts running through my head right now - I do need some time to sort them out and I need to do it before they drive me nuts (or more nuts, as the case may be).

Tuesday, September 27, 2005


Things have been hectic (stressful) around here. Highligts include:

  1. Having a delivery truck hit my car - just a small gash on the front, but annoying nonetheless.
  2. Having to teach a class right after number 1.
  3. Having to prepare to go to DC on Thursday.
  4. Trying to find medical care.
  5. More accupuncture.
  6. Grading.
  7. Insurance paperwork - for almost every aspect of your life, including #1 and #4. Perhaps I could get #5 covered, but I just don't have the energy to find out right now.
  8. Job applications. Yes, deadlines are popping up. Again!

I need a vacation.

P.S. Thank you everyone for the birthday wishes. Those are VERY appreciated even though I still don't like my birthday. More on that at some other time.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

More Accupuncture

More Accupuncture

I had yet another accupuncture treatment today. I want to discuss it, but I need to finish writing my lecture for tomorrow, so it will have to wait.

Another topic that I want to write about but will have to put off is that yesterday was the 20th anniversary of the 1985 Mexico City earthquake. I was there and I still remember it clearly.

Thank you all for the expressions of sympathy for Y. I am sure that someway and somehow my friend and his family can feel the comfort of your collective embrace and positive thoughts.

Back later...

Saturday, September 17, 2005



Yesterday my mother called me to give me the news that my best friend from high school's step-daughter passed away. Here is the last entry from her CaringBridge page:
Friday, September 16, 2005.
Y was admitted this past sunday to hospice due to her respiratory distress and incoherence. Y has been fighting her cancer for almost 3 years and today at 2:05 am, she lost her battle to cancer. The staff at hospice made sure Y was well cared for and she was given the kindest of care while admitted. We are all very proud and will miss Y dearly. She was a real trooper and fought very hard to the very end. But alas, the progression of the disease was just too much for her in the end. Y went peacefully in her sleep. She did not suffer through her transition. She was well cared for and made comfortable. We could not have asked for anything more than that. Y is now at peace. We will miss her forever but she will still be in our hearts and in our prayers from now till eternity. We love you so much Y, you were truly one of a kind and your spirit will live on.

I remember Y running around my mom's yard playing with Zeus. She was a vivacious child always wearing a bright smile.

I know that death is part of life and it has been part of my experience of life (three grandparents, a cousin, and an uncle have passed on). However, I can't comprehend why a child suffered like this and had to pass on so soon. And I can't understand why my friend and his wife had to endure this. It just makes no sense.

So while I know we have all been hit up for donations for the victims of Katrina lately, I would still like to put in a request. If you happen to have an extra dime, please consider donating it to support research on cancer in children or to hospice care. You can do it in memory of Y.

May her spirit continue to live on in all of us.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Viva Mexico!

Viva Mexico!

Today is Mexican Independence Day. The party always start the night before with El Grito, a commemorative re-enactment of the event that began the fight for independence in 1810.

When I was young, we would stay up and watch it on tv. The next day there was a big military parade in the Zocalo - the main square of Mexico City - that was also on tv. The Mexican Air Force would fly its aeroplanes above the city. Most of these were clunky old prop planes that the US used in World War Two and then gave to Mexico. Nevertheless, when I heard their drone, I loved running outside and spotting them in the sky as they flew over our house.

I always wondered, though, why the Independence Day parade in Mexico was a military one, while the one's I had been in the US for 4th of July were parades with floats and fire engines.

In any case, I am happy my fellow country people rose up to kick those pesky Spanish out of our country 195 years ago.

In that spirit, I want to point out that Elena Mary is running for a seat on the Institute of Mexicans in the Exterior (a bad name that occurs when things are translated directly). She has been a longtime advocate of us Mexicans and Mexican-Americans abroad. She would appreciate your support in her campaign. Visit her site and show her your support (and while you are there ask her how you can help her campaign).

I hope this institute can give a voice to the many people who for a long time have not been able to be represented in the governmental bodies of either the home country or that one in which they live. I also hope it does not become just another bureaucratic swamp. With someone like EM as part of it, that would be highly unlikely.

Suerte EM!

Tuesday, September 13, 2005


Today was round 3 of my accupuncture treatment.

It was, by far, the most intense treatment so far. For the first two treatments I was on my back and the needles were placed on my front side. This time I was on my stomach and the needles were places on my back, hands, feet, and head.

Some of the needles almost burned as they went in. The practicioner said that my body was responding to the needles a lot. And, yes, I did feel like something was going on.

Once all the needles are in, you sit and wait for 45 minutes or so. I fell asleep during this time, but it really wasn't sleep. It was more of a meditative state. I lost all track of my thoughts (something that is very difficult for me to do - my mind is usually always racing) and even of where I was. I would drift back into and then again out of consciousness. It was a pleasant experience, except for the needle in my left wrist started to itch and burn a little. Also, the remaining mucus in my sinuses started to pool and create pressure that led to a sinus headache.
When the needles came out, I was rather groggy. And when I left, I felt rather tired, but a bit euphoric. After an intense work out or perhaps a little like after sex. My back has become a little sore this evening, again a little like being sore after working out, only it is not the muscles nor the skin that is sore. It is hard to describe.

I am curious to see how I feel tomorrow and over the next few days.


Monday, September 12, 2005


It has been a while...

Yes, I have not been writing much lately. I have been lurking, however, so don't let your guard down.

After a nice weekend away I returned to the chaos of the first week of school, preparing for a busy semester (which includes two conferences and the beginning of yet another job search adventure), and eventually a cold to close out the summer.

Coping with all of this led to a depletion of energy that prevented me from writing anything down - at least here.

We are now into the second week of the semester and things are not settling down. If anything, the chaos is picking up. I seem to be dealing with it in a more capable fashion.

I don't know if this has anything to do with my increased coping abilities, but I had my second accupunture appointment at the end of last week. I did get over the cold in a much quicker pace than I usually do. I am still agnostic on the whole matter. The accupuncturist also taped two small magnets on two spots where I tend to carry tension. I was fairly skeptical as to whether this would do anything, but low and behold the tension is gone from those spots (or greatly reduced). Of course I have other spots that are now tight further down on my back. I don't know if the tension spots migrated there or whether they were there all along and I just did not notice them before.

I go back tomorrow for the third session. This time I get the needles in my back. I am going to ask for more magnets, though.

The course seems to be going well. The students seemed pretty excited about it after the first meeting - a few who had not registered were asking to be let in. Always a good sign. Today's class I felt did not go as well. I lectured a lot - there are a lot of theoretical issues that I needed to cover before we move on. I felt scattered and not focused. Hopefully that will improve.

I have been ignoring/avoiding the Gulf Coast situation and the Supreme Court issue. I find it all to aggravating and frustrating to deal with right now. I do have a Tulane student in my class who will be at this university for the semester (maybe the year). So in a small way I am doing my part. Other than that, there is little I can do to change the situation, so I should avoid letting it get to me.

In the good news department, the US made it to the World Cup (soccer) and so did Mexico. So there is something to be happy about.

One last thing - today is my mother's birthday. She does not read this, nor does she know that it exists, but I want to send her good wishes nonetheless. Today she turns 60.

Sara asked me if she would be freaked out since it seems to be one of those "big" years. My mother is a breast cancer survivor and a school shooting survivor. I think after scares like that those, little freaks you out. Certainly not a birthday.

I am off to call her to wish her a great day...

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Busy Weekend

We're back from our little get away.

We had a nice time (I will write about it later), but now it is back to work time. Tomorrow is my first class. First days are always difficult - both as a student and as a teacher. Nonetheless, I need to be I am off to prepare.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

We're off to Maine for a wedding.

Back on Monday. Have a good weekend!

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Thoughts on New Orleans

As I gape at the images from the Gulf Coast, especially the chaos and anarchy that is consuming New Orleans, I keep thinking that we need to send the National Guard and the military there to impose order.

Then I remember they are all busy doing that in Iraq.

The National Guard is supposed to be our resource for a rainy day when things don't go well in our country. The rainy day has come and gone, but we have squandered our resources and our safety net. Those responsible, however, will not be held accountable - unfortunately.

More thoughts later.