Apr 29, 2010


Ok, so I am exaggerating and being inflammatory and biased. That’s the beauty of blogs; I don’t have to curve my opinions because it is MY blog. (It’s my party and I cry if I want to). It’s a shame really what is happening in Arizona; I had it in my head to visit every state in this country since I can’t travel outside yet and I thought since the U.S. is so big, varied and beautiful there is still plenty for me to see here without feeling bad that I can’t travel outside yet. So far I’ve been in Louisiana, New York, Massachusetts, Maryland, D.C., South Carolina, Rhode Island, Connecticut and of course Florida.

When the concealed weapon law passed in Arizona (allowed in bars and all that) I decided on the spot to forget about visiting the state. I don’t want to be in a place that allows such a lethal combination as guns and alcohol and now that I am one of those bothering spics they want to get rid of I decided, for my safety, to stay away from there. I fit, after all, the description of what they are trying to purge the state of. There goes my visit to the Grand Canyon!

I understand some of the reasoning behind people that are against illegal immigration. You cannot go to Law School for two years and not learn a little to see the two sides of every argument. I understand when “they” say that immigrants should learn English. I completely agree with that statement (but then again I speak it so it may be easy for me to say so), I think that since we decided to come to this country then we have to go native, as they say. We have to try to, not forget where we come from, but definitely try to embrace some of the things that this country offers. We should all make an effort to speak the language. This country offers free ESOL classes (I know because I took them) and they don’t ask you for papers to take ESOL classes why not make an effort and try to learn?

I understand that, what I don’t understand is the vitriol that comes from the people that hate us. It is a little scary to be honest, I have never been in the receiving end of such intense dislike. When I read the comments of users in the online news I feel…I don’t know how to explain it, it’s not fear, or maybe not just fear, but a combination of fear and confusion. Confusion because I don’t see myself as an usurper, I don’t see myself as a burden to this country, I don’t see myself depleting the coffers or using welfare or crowding the ER and leaving unpaid bills. I don’t see myself as an obstacle to progress. I’ve paid my taxes, I pay my bills, I work hard, I contribute and all that I’ve done with the government doing its best to kick me out.

I don’t think people here understand really what it means to be an immigrant. I think they think we want to feel unwanted or that we simply don’t care and that we come here like leeches to suck the U.S dry and take advantage. That is never the case. I think most of them forget where they come from since the U.S. Is first and foremost a country built BY immigrants starting with those first immigrants that came here aboard the Mayflower.

We come here because there is no future where we come from, because we want to work and make money, because we want a roof over our heads and food on our table. We come here because there is no other choice. Why else would we come to a place that doesn’t want us? To a place where we have to learn a new language and struggle through cultural differences? Why else would we leave everything we love and know behind if it wasn’t because we want to work for something better?

To those who say we steal their jobs, I ask, which job am I taking from you? and shouldn’t it behoove you to wonder why they prefer to hire me over you? What am I bringing to the table that you aren’t?

To those who say I’ve caused gang troubles. I am not even going to bother addressing that one, the big cities in the U.S. have always had gang problems and it’s not exclusively a problem caused by immigrants and I am the furthest thing from a homie as you can get.

To those who say I am living on welfare, I have never EVER in the 8 years I’ve been in this country received help from the government. I've worked for everything I have and own and no-fucking-body is going to come and tell me it was a handout.

To those who say we increase the crime rates in areas, all I can say is I don’t even jaywalk and have never broken a law in this country or any other.

What exactly is it that they dislike about me? They don’t know me, they don’t know what kind of person I am, what my goals and dreams are, if I am good or lazy, or hard working and bad. Do they dislike my skin color? Or is it my accent or maybe my customes? Or is it simply the fact that I am here breathing their air, regardless of the reasons, regardless of how hard I work? Is it easier for them to pile me up with a group of people instead of think of us as individuals? With different stories, different reasons, different backgrounds, different personalities, different needs? I guess is easier for them to think of us as a whole group of people instead of thinking of of each of us as a person.

Would it matter if I was blond? Would they even notice I am here if I was a redhead? Or black? Is it my stature and my brown skin that makes me unwanted? Are Irish immigrants in Arizona also unwanted? Canadians? Brittish? Or just the little brown ones? Just the ones of us that look like spics? What about Asians?
I can’t say how sad it was to read that news yesterday on the day of my 8th anniversary of coming to this country.

Is it going to make a difference in my future what happens in Arizona? Who knows, maybe if the law isn’t considered unconstitutional then others might try to pass similar laws in other states and it would spread like a disease and it might eventually touch me.

I guess all we can do is wait and see.

Apr 13, 2010


I was reading in Yahoo! News today about a man called Albert Snyder. Mr. Snyder lost his son Matthew Snyder when he died on a Humvee accident in Iraq almost four years ago. Matt was 20 years old.

During his son's funeral the ever lovely Westboro Baptist Church showed up to protest against gays, and Jews and pretty much everybody else on God’s green earth with signs that read “God Hates America” “Thank God for Dead Soldiers” “You are going to Hell” “Semper Fags” and other enlightened messages like those.

Mr. Snyder can’t sleep, he can’t eat, he suffers from depression since his son’s death (which is understandable) and is battling diabetes. He is angry and hurt and humiliated and probably wishing his son’s funeral would’ve been a dignified event for him to say goodbye without having all that bad juju thrown his way.

Mr. Snyder decided to sue the Westboro Baptist Church and was granted 10.9 million dollars that were after reduced to 5 million by another judge and then another judge reversed the verdict and he is now ordered to pay roughly $17,000 to Westboro for the legal fees they incurred. It doesn't seem right, does it?

According to Westboro Baptist Church, America is condemned, doomed to hell and being punished by its acceptance of what they call in their website “fag lifestyle”. After taking a gander at the Westboro website (and feeling right after like I had to take a bath on bleach or holy water) I realized just how difficult the law is. The first amendment of the constitution of this country established freedom of speech, freedom of press, freedom of religion and freedom for people to peacefully assemble, etc.

The amendment is a beautiful thing; not only respects my ideas and opinions no matter how unpopular they might be but it also protects my rights to voice them.

Poor Mr. Snyder had to see hate first hand and at a moment of crippling vulnerability. No father should have to bury his son and it made his tragedy even worse to see people gleefully holding signs that celebrated his death and the death of all those other soldiers out there who have lost their life in this war.

Even though Mr. Snyder is now without his son and grieving, and even though my heart breaks at the thought of him seeing those signs, the law states freedom of speech for all. Is it moral for those people to be there and mock his pain? No, and I am sure there are special places in whatever hell those fuck-heads believe in for people just like them. It is right for them to feel the entitlement of invading such a private moment and ruin it with their hateful, putrid beliefs? No, it isn’t.

Is it legal? Yes, it is.

Freedom of speech is defined as the right to speak without censorship and/or limitation, the right to speak or otherwise communicate one’s opinion without fear of harm or prosecution. It applies to all individuals in this country, it covers all opinions, and it defends all ideas.

Those who read this blog know how passionately against religion I am and how passionately for gay rights I am. So it is with a heavy heart that I recognize that Mr. Snyder is going to lose that lawsuit against Westboro.

The law should protect all: sick, hateful, disgusting, crazy individuals too. Even when their moral compass is up their asses, even when their beliefs are repulsive, even when they don’t respect the most private of moments, even when they have no understanding of the meaning of compassion their opinions also have to be respected.

The fact is that the loathsome crew from Westboro peacefully assembled to spew their venom. Mr. Snyder actually didn’t even notice they were there but until later when he saw his son’s funeral on the news. The law should protect Westboro because vile and abhorrent as they are they didn’t break any laws.

My only consolation and I hope for Mr. Snyder’s too is that the legacy of Fred Phelps founder of Westboro Church (won’t do the Baptist a disservice by affiliating them with him) seems to be on his last legs. I don't know if he is healthy or not, but a body can’t hold that much hatred and venom and continue working properly. The man is 81 years old already! Even if his progeny were to continue his work he is the heart of the operation and without him I hope it will dwindle to nothing.

I found Pastor Jim Sommerville’s blog while researching for this post; Pastor Summerville had an encounter of sorts with darling Fred one time when he and his band of roaches went to Richmond Virginia to harass its Jewish community.

Pastor Sommerville is a more evolved creature than I am and he decided to pray for the soul of Fred (what soul?) and for him to find love and let go of the hatred that, to quote Pastor Jim “has made him its disciple”.

I don’t have it in me to wish for Fred’s salvation. I don’t have it in me to pray for his rotten soul. If I was the praying kind I would pray for Mr. Snyder’s battered soul and broken heart. I would pray for his family and the families of all those who Westboro has touched with its grimy paws.

I would pray for Mr. Snyder to feel some consolation after the suit is over even when it probably won’t conclude as he hopes. If I were the praying kind those are the ones I would pray for, I wouldn’t waste a word on Fred.

Actually Fred can go to hell.

Apr 7, 2010


Dear Husband and I went to Saint Augustine from Wednesday until Easter Sunday to celebrate our one year anniversary; we made it there at midnight on Wednesday and passed out at the hotel soon after putting our clothes away and showering.

The weather was perfect, a balmy 72 to 73 degrees with a chilly breeze and not a cloud in the sky; it was almost as if the city had made itself pretty just for us. Oh the beauty of the Spanish moss, the towering oaks, the warming sun, the blooming flowers and the damn pollen that had my throat closing, my eyes running and me sneezing my brain out of my nose…sigh.

I love history…I may not love history the same way DH loves it but it doesn’t make my love any less real. My love of history is based on the romantic notion of all that has been sacrificed by those who came before us and the old rules, the old charm, the manners, the ridiculous customs, the restrictions, the fashion, the gentlemen and ladies, the quest for honor, the appreciation of duty above all and that crossed eyed (now considered silly) selflessness of those who went to battle eager to do what was right.

The city was founded in 1565 and it used to belong to the Spanish and the Catholic Church of course, which pretty much ravaged the area with its convert-or-die agenda that the church is famous for. No fuzzy, warm feelings for those back in the days Catholics who ruled with an iron fist and an eagerness to slit throats, hang or burn all in the name of Jesus. Matanzas Bay (or Matanzas River) which is neither a river nor a bay, but an inlet or estuary was called that charming name “Matanzas” meaning Slaughter or massacre because of all the French Huguenots or Protestants that were slaughtered by charming man that was Pedro Menendez de Aviles who held a mass (the first ever catholic mass in the U.S.) and then went off all filled with Christian passion and self-righteousness to kill a bunch of non Catholics and then slaughtered 300 more or so because of heresy. You gotta love the beautiful things done in the name of Christ.

We walked the streets in our trolley super corny in our red trains and hanging cameras and enjoyed the city with its old walls, the Castillo de San Marcos, the Flagler….everything and the old Victorian houses. I have an obsession with Victorian Houses, they make me sigh, shiver, crave, and long for hoop skirts, bonnets, parasols and horse drawn carriages. I have my computer filled with pictures of Victorian Houses from when I visited Connecticut, Maryland, and South Carolina, my short stint in Massachusetts and now from Saint Augustine. I think is ironic that I dislike Florida for its lack of history, for its newness, for its terracotta shingle roofs and the anal retentive landscape where every bush, flower and stone is separated with mathematical accuracy and yet Saint Augustine is THE oldest city in the United States.

I love being surrounded by history; it makes me feel…I don’t know... I can’t describe it, it’s a combination of the hibbie jibbies and wonder, wonder that I have walked the same cobblestone roads as someone did 200 years before, touched the same walls, maybe felt the same feelings. When we were at the Castillo de San Marcos we walked the barracks and saw in the wall the carvings of some soldier that had wanted to make his mark, he left his initials E.H. Hancock, December 1884. It makes one wonder, what happened to E.H. Hancock? What did he look like? Did he live much longer? Did he die in the fort? Did he perish of the yellow fever that later that century killed a third of the town’s population? Did he fall in love? Did he marry? Was he happy?
Old buildings, history, soldiers and the 1800s always make me feel melancholy. Don’t know why but that is always the case. At first I am always excited to see the places and once I’m there I feel a little sad for what was and is no longer. It’s weird but I miss those long dead strangers as if they were friends I haven’t seen in a while. This makes me believe even more in reincarnation! Well Saint Augustine was beautiful, it made me like a little more this crazy State of Florida that I have never been a fan of, it made me even more firm in my believe that the Catholic Church has always been fucked up and probably always will be.

As I take a look at the pictures of the houses, the old streets, the old city entrance that is still standing I can’t help but wonder architectonically speaking what kind of legacy are we leaving behind? The world is filled with beautiful buildings full of history, pain, blood and tears and what exactly have we built?

Don’t get me wrong, I like leaving in this age where I don’t need a chaperone to walk the streets and I won’t be burned as a witch if I don’t the like the church. I rather like this age where I won’t succumb to a fever but can simply pop an antibiotic and the fact that the streets are paved and not heaped with horseshit. Why then is it that it all seems so much more heroic, more romantic back then?