27 November 2006

ms. toad's wild ride

and has it ever been one! the past week has been filled every emotion i've known. right now, i'm sitting on the front porch, laptop perched upon bent knees, enjoying the glorious grey drizzly day that has come to pay me a visit. i do so love grey, drizzly days!

dear friends from d.c. came in for a visit and stayed with us for two days. they just left this morning. it was so nice to catch up. they have a wee one close to bebe's age and they had quite a time together! there was much talk and breaking of bread and laughter and staying up way too late - the stuff of which life is made of, in my humble opinion.

today calls for some randoms, however, as i'am sleepy sleepy.

*grandpa is faring well. he's been moved from ccu to another room and is eating real food now. i hear he's cranky. this is a good sign. :) i'll be headed his direction at some point this week, hopefully.

*the so-called mommy wars. mama's, CUT IT OUT ALREADY! i refuse to be at war with any mommy at any given time. count me out. if you must continue this "war", i don't want to hear anything about it. we need to support one another. we need to re-direct this infighting mentality/energy to something more worthy - such as addressing the root of the discontent - whatever it may be. we ALL have enough to think/worry about - whether we stay home, work, work at home, whatever. let's celebrate this journey with one another, eh? we truly do need one another. and just for the record, let it be known that i don't sit on the couch all day watching oprah and eating bon-bon's as i sip champagne.

*you about lost me today. over on anthony's blog, i read that friday's sales topped $8.96 billion. i felt a coronary aneurysm rupture coming on, but my will to live on out of spite kicked in. well, that, and bebe saying, "mommy! all done! EAT!" brought me back from the clutches of death. who would have fed bebe his snack had i kicked it?

*tooling around so much in my hometown as of late and seeing how things have changed has shocked me. where's the local video store? why does my high school look old? did my grade school shrink? i took bebe by my old house - it's yellow now, with a fancy wood fence and CENTRAL AIR CONDITIONING! NO WINDOW UNITS! didn't i just live there yesterday? oh, wait - that was 15 years ago. my friend's house up the street, the one i spent hundreds of hours at, only looks vaguely familiar. as did the whole neighborhood that i rode my bike around for hours everyday. strange, this aging thing... speaking of which...

*i'm stuck at 23 years of age. i don't know how. or why. in my head, this is the age i'am. and when i see other people my age that have aged, that i haven't seen in years, i think "what happened? you've changed!" it is only when i see another 23 year old that i realize that i'm 33. but then my myspace profile says i'm 34 when i log in. i know i have a tendency to never put my exact birthdate data in when i sign up for internet things - but am i even really 33? am i 34 and i forgot? this is all compounded by the picture i carry around in my head of most everyone i know. it doesn't ever really change, no matter how often i see them - it is a still of their face from one point in time. like - in my head, my mom is 30-ish. the people i went to high school with are all still 18. you can imagine my surprise when i run into anyone unexpectedly. if i've met you within the last 10 years, you're safe. though you may be getting stuck as we speak and i won't know it for 10 more years. the plot thickens. (and no, pam - i haven't smoked anything. :) )

*i've decided that our black lab/rottweiler mixed doggie - al - if he were a person, would be an obnoxious drunken frat boy. the kind that i would make stand at the bar for several minutes before i'd wait on him. 'nuff said.

* if i were an animal, conversely, i would be a koala bear.

*and speaking of greek organizations, your's truly is now a member of alpha sigma lambda - a national honor society for old geezers such as myself that finish their degrees "late in life." see? i can fool people into thinking i'm smart! i tricked a university this time! teeheeeheeeeee...

*when i'm asking bebe what he thinks we should have for lunch, sometimes i say, "would you like a poop sandwich?" because it cracks me up when he nods yes, very excitedly. i probably shouldn't have shared that, huh?
p/s -i've never really given him a poop sandwich.
p/p/s - and i never will.

* have you heard the newest dylan release yet? you should. it's delicious.

but seriously, folks

here be a couple of other tidbits that have made their way to me:
first, this clip of richard dawkins, author of the god delusion doing a q&a at a women's college in virginia after speaking. there are several questioners that came down from jerry falwell's "liberal arts christian" (huh? is that possible?) liberty university to speak to dawkins. they provide a lovely dose of comic relief. it's a long clip, 60+ minutes, but worth it. extremely interesting and funny at points, to boot.

my friend jessika has been sending me these communications about oaxaca, that are being sent to her. here is the latest one:

Updates from November 25, 2006

*these are preliminary reports, there is very little possibility for communication beyond the University Radio, so names and numbers are still coming in.

-aproximately 1 million people protested in the streets of Oaxaca yesterday,

-La Jornada reports:

more than 140 injured, 20 of those shot with bullets, 3 of them journalists

100 detained

60 dissapeared

-APPO and Indymedia NYC (and other individuals in Oaxaca city) report:
3 dead : killed at the Faculty of Medicine by 6 (or 7) urban paramilitaries.

APPO supporters shot back in defense and a shoot-out took place for approximately 10 minutes There are reports that 3 more people might be killed and other sources have heard federal police officers boasting about how they had killed 13 people whose bodies would never be found.

Among the targets that were burned down by demonstrators yesterday were; the Benito Juarez Theatre, the Secretary of External Relations, the Superior Tribunal of Justice, a number of banks and hotels and dozens of cars and busses.

PRI radio stations have been provoking attacks by broadcasting the streets and neighborhoods where demonstrators ended up hiding out last night. They have been stressing attacks on foreigners in solidarity with APPO.

-University Radio reports that Ministerial Police (under the Attorney General) have been harassing the injured people inside the hospitals, and kidnapping from in the hospitals.

-some of the detained were transported to the airport and flown out of Oaxaca city

-widespread teargassing and brutality

-paramilitaries roaming the streets, military helicopters constantly overhead

-a full-out siege expected tonight, there is a universal call for people to build barricades and then go to the University encampment where they will probably be safer

CIPO Vancouver - Mexico is organizing international presence in two primary ways: personal accompaniment of those most in danger, and a high-profile 1 week delegation to Oaxaca January 3-10th. Alongside all the donations of finances and materials, human presence is very necessary in Oaxaca right now. Please see the attached GATO proposal document to see how you might assist in these efforts.

The following is a letter that was given to Vancouver filmmaker Claudia Medina, currently in Oaxaca, by the parents of a young man who was detained on Thursday Nov 23.

Today, Thursday, the 23rd of November, 2006 My name is Ricardo Osorio and I am being held in a blue coloured prison cell where it is very cold with a toilet with no water. My compañero is in a similar cell beside me. There are another six males below in the first floor, and we are in the top floor. Everything began when some friends and I were walking along the highway. A man carrying a large black gun pointed it at me and instinctually I began to run since he did not identify himself nor did he show me any warrant to arrest me . Then four other men, in plainclothes reached me and started beating me worse than an animal ( I was already on the ground) They hit me on the head, my body, torso and my whole body. They threw me into a mini van, white. My friend was above me, I was bleeding heavily from wounds over my right eye, my nose, my mouth. While they were beating us they covered our heads and they continued to threaten us. They took off our tennis shoes and shirts. I could feel them hitting me with chains on the shoulders and they hit us with rocks on our hand tendons and fingers. They kept hitting our heads and stomping on our feet and hands. Finally the van stopped and they continued hitting us. They covered us in alcohol and they told us that they were going to burn us, and that they were going to go after our families. They shot at us with their weapons and threw things at us. One of them said "why don't you let me finish him off", and they said they wanted a chance to target practice. They put their guns to our heads and you could hear the trigger being pulled, , they played a strike (political) song and told us to sing it while they hit us. Our heads were still covered. I was bleeding a lot and told them that I was in a lot of pain to which they replied that they didn't care and that I was going to remain crippled. They kept hitting us with chains and they kept shooting and they kept telling us that they were going to go to our houses and kill our families. It was now night time and very cold - they took us out of the van with our heads still covered and they took us to a doctor that I recognized. They kept on hitting us and then we vomited- they gave us false names , they took us the the specialist hospital and then I finally knew where I was. They attended to us and somebody gave them my real name and I was able to get in touch with my parents. Then they took me to the police station and now my parents know where I am . I only ask that you do not abandon me or my friend Pedro Cesar Conejo Ramos.

Hasta la VIctoria Siempre,

Ricardo Osorio Belanes

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