A couple of things... 12:21 p.m. 2003-12-03

Current Listening: Seeing A Large Cat by Elizabeth Peters
Current Reviewer:
Recipe of the Day: Ghormeh Sabzi, Makaroni, Cocada, Brigadeiros, Beijinho De Coco, Passionfruit Mousse, Pav Bhaji, Peruvian Chicken Soup (Recipes from my ESOL students

Advent Calendar of the Day
: Dec. 3 : Advent Calendars.com - this was one of my favorites. It is an illustrated story about a cat named Tate, who lives in France with his owner. This one won't let you "cheat" but looking at the next day's entry, but there are past calendars with complete stories to bide your time! I sent this one to my friends with children, as well as "cat people." it is in several different languages!

What to do? What to do? Yesterday, I was consumed with the advent calendars, and I will probably even send out e-mails directing friends to that particular entry so that they can enjoy the calendars. I don't know though - sometimes I think that I am the only person interested in these things... Since this is my personal blog, that is probably true. But, come on, who wouldn't be intrigued by all of those calendars, with their games and flash animation, etc? It's the perfect way to avoid work!!!!

Last night, I treated myself to sushi at RuSan's. Now, I love the Toyota Ya buffet as much as the next person, but their sushi selection is generally limited. I allowed my husband to accompany me, as long as he didn't gripe about my choice of restaurants. He had this big bowl of noodles with egg, shrimp, chicken and spinach. Unfortunately, it also had squash and zucchini, which he hates. Oh, well...

I had the usual. RuSan has single nigiri sushi for $1.00 to 2.50 a piece. Their bargain rolls are $1.00 to $1.50 for three slices. Please refer to the Sushi Dictionary to find out what they are: hamachi (yellowtail), hotategai (scallops), ikura (salmon roe), katsuo (bonito), maguro (tuna), saba (mackerel), sake (salmon), tai (snapper) - last night, for a change, I also had uni (sea urchin). Yum! I had for my rolls a California roll (imitation crab, cucumber, and avocado - sometimes I get ti rolled in tamago, or fish eggs) and a Rock and Roll (eel and avocado). One day, I will need to just order a whole bunch of things I haven't had before - I can't get into a sushi rut! ;-)

And, after I said last night that that would hold me until for a while, sushi-wise, I am already contemplating buffet-ing it tonight! My husband is going to choir practice, so I will be on my own... Either that, or I could go see a movie!

Or, I could go home, clean house, water my plants, walk my dog, pay my bills, take out the Christmas decorations and sort them, and fold all of my clothes...

Which would you rather do?

I am also exploring new avenues of creativity. I still would like to publish one more Cultural Diversity newsletter before the holidays. I will probably keep on with my original topic, which was to be on Middle Asia: India, Pakistan, Iran. This would be an appropriate lead in to the Reading Club I hope will actually take off in January. We will be reading Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind, which is set in the Cholistan Desert. I also hope to get the group together to dine at Vatica, a Gujarati restaurant not far from our school.

Alternatively, I was thinking of publishing an article for our school about the ins and outs of "cholo" style. My husband sent me an article from the New York Times called After Hip Hop, Cholo Style, which calls attention to the new Latino gangster trend from California that is influencing fashion. I would like to find typical elements of the Aztlan and Brown Pride t-shirts that are worn by our students, and deconstruct them for my fellow teachers. I may also do it as a Power Point presentation. I am not yet sure what purpose this would serve - I plan it as an exercise in cultural understanding - not to mock the shirts. I will also get with our school police officer and identify things that he should be contacted on if they are displayed on t-shirts.

I became interested in this topic last year, when I happened to have my students do a Daily Reading on the Confederacy. Suddenly, it clicked. I had begun to notice the Aztlan t-shirts, so I explained to my students the controversy that was being had over the Dixie Outfitters t-shirts that were being banned at many schools. If you are unaware of this conflict, here is an article about an incident in Richmond Hill, GA, concerning students being suspended for wearing them. We discussed, of course, the differences in meaning between the two - Dixie makes many people think about the repression of African-Americans (They see it as promoting the old slave regime), while Aztlan and Brown Pride are meant to promote pride in Mexican heritage. On the other hand, I once read an interesting treatise on the fictional Aztlan that decribed it as "Mexico in America" - as in, the Mexicans taking back the United States (one immigrant at a time...?) - and is linked to gang activity.

How do I segue? Talk about sychronicity. One of the other ideas I have had lately, creativity-wise, was to continue working on collages, and maybe to print out some transfers to make t-shirts. I have since discovered CafePress, which is an internet company that will allow you to upload images and market them on all manner of items - t-shirts, mousepads, baseball caps, etc. I even sent this along to my mother, who has some really nice things she has painted that would make great t-shirts! I have also looked for articles reviewing this service - so far, I have found two, one from an artist and one from a storyteller.

So, I was doing a search for Brown Pride t-shirts, and I stumbled on this website for Lokitos design wear. Go there and look at it. The t-shirts I was referring to earlier usually have clues or symbols that mean something to gangsters, such as an eight-ball or the drama masks or a Joker. These t-shirts are obviously designed by hardcore gangsters - the t-shirts have a big Sur 13 on the front, like a company logo! There are cute little hombres and chicas throwing gang signs on the back. Talk about a bold statement. I knew that Sur Trece (13) was big, but I didn't know it was now a clothing line!!!!

I know that I am not a Latina (although there have been some doubts among my family, given my love of vibrant colors and Mexican kitch...), but I wanted to inspire my students to design uplifting t-shirts that portray positive images of their culture. The Virgin of Guadelupe is awesome - great symbol! A gangster is not! I am toying with some collages along those lines.

So much to do, so little time!

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