Friday, January 27, 2017

And She Writes

One Sister's Midnight Rant Worth Listening to:

Just turned off the replay of tonight’s Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous … no, I mean 60 minutes. I watched, admittedly transfixed, as our new con artist postured on his tacky and gauche, gilded setté, conning another one of the cons of our major networks.

Now, I’m a Celt. And that means I tell stories. I holler. I drink too much. I think too much. I talk to much. I get excited. I interrupt. I love and I heal and give with a fierceness and a loyalty that only my dog can surpass. It also means I will entertain a lot of discourse and political bantering and sectarian infighting on facebook. I will always be up for a good debate on just about any issue.

But, here is my shot across the bow.
On the subject of a filthy wall? NOPE! Come at me with anything to do with walls and that windy, militant, ig’nunt trash about roundups and deportations of millions of people and, discussion over. I will shut you down. Walls and mass deportations are pura NAZI. That’s right, I’m calling anyone calling for a wall or mass deportations a NAZI. If you count yourself among those who love me, those who love America, and your mind is on a wall or a roundup of millions of people at gunpoint, or the registration of certain members of certain faiths, you must have forgotten not only your history, but that I’m a disabled woman. We were the first victims of the Third Reich. I WILL not engage in a discourse that asks me to defend my right to exist. FFS, no human being is illegal!

Prey like a wolf or turn silently the other way –not sure which is more morally depraved at this point-- on the most vulnerable among us, and you’re culpable. Besides, in case you didn't know, children and poor people who walk your babies and change your elders' depends and pick and cook your food, and clean your houses and mow your lawns and study for medical school and law school and scientific and engineering breakthroughs that might cure your ass one day, and soldiers from these countless wars, are detained throughout this country in dog cages already! So, liberals gush away about President Obama, Deporter in Chief, and conservatives, gush away about the new bloke's immigration vision. History will not be kind to either of them. Or any of you traitors onboard with the policies of the Blackshirts and Brownshirts.

On fear: (don’t dismiss me as too privileged and
insulated from the consequences
of this election to meaningfully comment on fear
I’ve refrained up until now because, frankly, White
people have dominated the mic throughout this election cycle, and they’ve been fear-baiting the most. So, it felt courteous and
righteous to let others go first. And hopefully the first
thing people did as the results came in was comfort the ones
in their own midst before hitting social media.)

One thing I learned
when I was sick and
in the uncertain torrents
of a new cancer diagnosis, is
that fear, not cancer, is the enemy.
Lemme say that again ….
FEAR, not Trump, not even death,
FEAR is the enemy.
Fear has been the dominant currency of this election cycle.
We've all been terrorized by this broken system, some more than others. So, yeah, fear is legitimate at a time like this.
But ask anyone in remission or coming back from some other battlefield.
Prolonged anxiety, that goes
unaided and unanswered will bring everyone of us
to our knees faster than any tumor
or draconian policy, or blackboots, or goons
from the halls of power.

Had I rolled over and let myself
be paralyzed by fear and the shock of that diagnosis,
I would be dead. Let’s try earnestly to compartmentalize our fear
to short stints per day, and allocate the lion’s share
of our time and mental and emotional energy to taking
care of each other, starting with the most vulnerable, first.
I’m reaching out. I’m giving and receiving consolation.

Let’s get to gettin'. Organize. Resist. Rebuild this political apparatus and balance the power by the 2018 midterms.
We obviously have work to do!
Because, ain’t nobody comin’ to save us. WE are the heros and heroines in our own stories. Isn’t that the way it’s always been?
Please understand that only from my cold, dead
hands will they be dragging Rick or half my family
and friends and colleagues off.
I’m with you. For you. And I got you.
And, this is a big one…
Please, please, PLEASE don’t let it be
lost on us what the office of the
presidency, like any employment contract,
implies for the new guy:
We’re his boss.
He’s our apprentice.
Time to mentor the new help.
G'nite.
-Donna Davies
One of the young artists at Juvie. 
(Clay) "The Wall"

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Rumbo a España

Every now and then a unexpected jolt goes through your system. Last week, just when I was feeling a momentary lull, entertaining the thought that the political and social morass might be mostly a product of media and news wars, something I could turn of at my desk and on my phone, I opened my mailbox. And while standing in our little provincial street, I got a shock back to reality when this article tumbled out: Trump's First Exile- In Route to Spain. Now, not much comes to us by way of snail mail. It's a city, by all rights, the townsfolk will tell you, we even have a cathedral. But either way, with just 12,000. inhabitants you don't expect to get a front page article about another Californian, like yourself, who has jumped the big pond, not for love, but to become the first to emigrate away from what feels for her intolerable to come and live in Spain. You may agree with her decision to pack up and go. You may say, "Fine. If you don't like the USA, then get out!" Still, obviously, at least for me, the impact is beginning to hit very close to home.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Hasa el Último Hombre

Hasta el Último Hombre - Altamente recomendada.
Normalmente evito películas de guerra y su sangre y violencia como a la peste. Nunca me verás viendo Platoon, La Colina de la Hamburguesa (Hamburger Hill) y me costó mucho ver Salvar al Soldado Ryan. Pero, Hasta el Último Hombre, una historia verdadera de un pacifista que quería servir a su país y salvar vidas, realmente vale la pena.



Una entrada que ha hecho Enrique.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

El Gato Maragato



La leyenda del gato maragato

Todo empieza "bajo la protección de una mágica y vetusta encina en el pueblo maragato de Castrillo de los Polvazares," que está cerca de Astorga y a donde hemos ido con mucha frecuencia, haciéndolo muy nuestro. Así, esta historia me resulta entrañable, especialmente al conocer los rincones de las calles y casas del lugar.

Y si has tenido la gran fortuna de vivir en León, conocer a su gente, su habla y sus costumbres, este relato infantil te va a encantar. Vas a sentir muy profundo los olores a jara y tomillo y los sonidos de los grillos. Mercedes no ha dejado de lado ningún detalle.

Esta leyenda trata de una familia arriera, cuando hace muchos años los hombres salían largas temporadas del pueblo con su mercancía y la llevaban a otras partes y a la vuelta traían cosas de otros sitios. Castrillo de los Polvazares era un pueblo de arrieros, comerciantes que dependían de sus burros y mulas. Era un lugar acostumbrado a la ida y a la vuelta de la gente, por lo que los ladrones que en este caso aparecen, se aprovechan de un arriero cuando éste no está en casa.
Te preguntas, ¿qué tiene eso que ver con un gato? Y, ¿cómo es que un gato puede ser tan maragato hasta decir que lo vemos entre las constelaciones? Pero, para eso, tendrás que leer esta leyenda.

Seguro que te gustará tanto como a mí. Y si no fuera poco, termina la leyenda con unas actividades para divertirse; una sopa de letras, un crucigrama y más información sobre la Maragatería y sus habitantes. Es el regalo ideal para deleitar a ese niño especial en tu vida en estas navidades o en cualquier otro momento.





Everything begins "under the protection of a magical and ancient oak in the Maragata village called Castrillo de los Polvazares." Because Castrillo is near Astorga, we have visited frequently and I remember the streets, houses, nooks and crannies as I read, making this children's story especially endearing.

And, if you have had the great fortune to live in Leon at some time in your life, to get to know its people, its way of talking and its customs, this legend will enchant you. You will feel an immediate connection to the smells, the rockrose and thyme and be able to imagine the sounds of crickets. Mercedes hasn't left out a single detail.

The legend deals with an muleteer family, when many years ago the men would leave their villages with their merchandise, take it to other places, and on the return bring things back home to sell. Castrillo de los Polvazares was a village of such muleteers, merchants who depended on their donkeys and mules. It was a place accustomed to the going and the returning of many people, a reason why there were also thieves, such as the ones that appear in this story and try to take advantage of one muleteer's family when he isn't at home.

You wonder, what does any of that have to do with a cat? And how is it that a cat can be so "Maragato" as to say that we see it among the constellations? But, to find out that you will have to read this story for yourself!

I'm sure you'll like it as much as I do. And, as if it weren't enough, the legend ends with some fun activities; a word search, crossword puzzle and additional information about the Maragatería and its inhabitants. It's the ideal gift with which to delight that special child in your life this Christmas or at another special time.


El relato está ilustrado con unas acuarelas preciosas por la artista e ilustradora, Eva del Riego Villazala, cuyos pinceles mágicos pusieron caras e imágenes a La leyenda del gato maragato.

This tale is illustrated wit beautiful watercolours by the artist and illustrator, Eva del Riego Villazala, whose magic paintbrushes put faces and images to The legend of the Maragato Cat.


La autora, Mercedes G. Rojo, nació en Astorga, y dice que su infancia transcurrió entre la ciudad y las tierras maragatas de Castrillo de los Polvazares donde a menudo su imaginación se desbordaba creando historias y personajes que luego pasaron a formar parte de sus relatos y poemas.

The author, Mercedes G. Rojo, was born in Astorga, and says that her childhood was spent between the city (of Astorga) and the Maragata lands, such as Castrillo de los Polvazares, where her imagination overflowed creating stories and characters that form a part of her tales and poems.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Unlike Leaves


"Mientras a nuestro alrededor la naturaleza se desnuda y caen las hojas, la fiesta de todos los santos nos invita a mirar a lo alto; nos recuerda que no estamos destinados a marchitarnos en tierra para siempre, como las hojas."


"While nature is stripping itself and its leaves fall, the festival of All Saints' Day invites us to look up; it reminds us that we are not destined to whither on earth forever, like leaves."

My Saint on All Saints Day

Sunday, October 30, 2016

El Silencio

Distance doesn't separate people . . .
Silence does.


No es la distancia que separa a las personas. . . 
sino el silencio.
Jeff Hood