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Sunday, May 9th, 2004
9:29 pm - Moving
I'm moving in two senses:

1) I got an apartment downtown in Little Italy.

2) I'm going to livejournal.

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Wednesday, April 28th, 2004
4:26 pm - What is friendship, anyways?
The past year has been difficult for me. While most of my friends either moved away or continue to study full time, I have entered the workforce. So whenever I contact them to do something fun they can't because they have school obligations and scholarships to hold onto, or they're just plain broke. And though I should have felt fortunate to not have to go through school anymore--because I hate school--I insetad felt disappointed and ignored. At first it was a general rancor directed at the circumstances, but then I started to really get fed up with my friends. I mean, how could you deny yourself a social life for months at a time? Why is it always my obligation to track you down? I really started getting offended that they chose their studies over a few hours with me. Winter came and the alienation mounted. I began to realize that Boston is the problem. This city is full of students, that's to say, young people who come here for their own ambitions and to promote themselves at the nation's top educative institutions. I was one of them. There's no room for new friends, and there's no time for socializing, unless it's during a fifteen-minute study break. We have to be selfish to succeed here, we make some sacrifices to invest in our future ego, then we move on. Except for me, I stayed, and to top it off I moved to a remote part of town and I don't have a car. That's when I realized that the only solution is to get out of Boston, and get a driver's license.

As easy as that sounds, I really love my job here and am scared to leave it. What if I do scale the fence, get on the other side and find the same fridgid tundra? or something worse? So instead of dismissing friendship altogether, I've started to reevaluate my definition of it. At my recent party, I welcomed some people that I hadn't seen in a year, and we picked up right where we left off. So, What makes a friend? Why are they necessary? What does it mean to stay in touch?

current mood: pensive

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Sunday, April 25th, 2004
2:11 pm - Hoy te dedico mis mejores pregones
I have an idea for a short video that I'm just bursting to make but I have no camera :(

To continue with this theme of stifled creativity, I'm giving a dance class tommorow with no lesson plan or music. I'm thinking about just putting on some 3/4 time music and having them come up with their own moves that go to the beat. I'm supposed to choreograph a cumbia tejana number for an upcoming all-school assembly, but I've never choreographed before so I don't even know where to begin! If all else fails I can play samba tommorow. That's the only genre that gets them to stop gossiping about dances and boys and really concentrate on dancing.

I'm starting to figure out how to put my own pictures up. So here's my collarbone, everyone.

current mood: lazy
current music: Héctor Lavoe - El cantante

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Thursday, April 22nd, 2004
7:13 pm - For East Somerville...
Located between three highways and shadowed by factory smokestacks, East Somerville is an annex of rust, cement, noise and debris. It's in the street, the air, and the sky. The streets are carpeted with discarded containers, cars, food and people. Behind the station there is a car that is repeatedly vandalized by local youth. I have watched as it turned from used-car-lot worthy merchandise to resembling a graceless fallen beetle, the windshield a crater and its doors splayed open, overextended like broken wings. Last week all these unwanted things were joined with acid when a train tank carrying caustic chemicals started to leak. Homes were evacuated, men in spacesuits came in, and for a day the neighborhood aromas of laundrymats and Brazilian barbecue mingled with wafts of hydrochloric acid. I was there the next day when the station reopened. I went to pick up a Metro newspaper from the dispenser and was jolted when I saw that each one--and every Boston Herald and Boston Globe--was yesterday's paper left abandoned by the dwarf that sells and distributes them. Though many other commuters took the issue, I left it there, useless and ready to desintigrate.

Even the highway overpass next to the station is being thrown away. Its columns used to be wrapped in wire mesh to keep the falling chunks from pelting the cars that are daily parked below. Now there is nothing underneath as the arching concrete creature is being dismantled by ravenous machines with agile necks and strong jaws. Every morning I watch as another piece of sky is exposed to us station patrons. In the morning, a large drill perches on top of the highway and pecks at the surface to expose inch-thick metal fibers underneath. Workers with a fire hose spray water on the area to cool the friction and prevent sparks. When I return from work in the afternoon, a grazing machine compulsively picks out the wires from the concrete and adds them to a giant nest. Every day I wonder when the two monsters will settle down and make eggs. With the highway disappearing, maybe by the end of next month the sun will shine a little earlier on Sullivan Station.

In East Somerville you can't see the stars, and its streets have witnessed violence and tragedy afterhours. Yet the rapes, kidnappings and muggings don't deter parents from letting their kids ride their bikes until dinnertime. The only grass grows in the park, which is alive in the early evening with pick-up soccer games, tennis matches and baseball. English is broken in this neighborhood, and the players signal to each other in compromised Portuguese, Spanish, or Creole. To get your point across in this place you have to combine languages. I watch the soccer, eager to participate but understanding that this affair is always men only. The women and children are relegated to bike-riding and the playground on the corner.

Today I was walking home from work admiring all the idiosyncrasies of my neighborhood and how it has brought me to notice things I have ignored before. When I move out in six weeks I will miss this forgotten corner of the city, if only for a moment.

current mood: relaxed
current music: Mercedes Sosa - Gracias a la vida

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Tuesday, April 20th, 2004
5:43 pm - New York and Breathing
Every time I go to New York I see the city in a different light. This time was no exception. With it's millions of residents the city has a new face every time I return. The most memorable scene I took in this time was a man replacing the tire of a car at 2:00 am. A watched as he laboriously pumped the jack, lifting the car's posterior just a little higher each time. The passenger-side door was open, the seat filled with a couple making out ferociously. It looked as if the two scenarios had nothing to do with each other, yet they were linked to the same car. I was with my brother and his roommates, who passed without noticing like typical New Yorkers.

New York has changed my brother. He has curious new habits and tricks now. Like when he orders a martini he sprinkles the napkin with salt so the glass wont stick. He never cooks and always eats out, even though a cheap meal is considered to be a $7 sandwich and a $4 soft drink. It's as if he abandoned the idea of saving money. How is it even possible there? He told me this weekend that he's going to propose to his girlfriend in June. He got the ring the a way only New Yorkers can get one: by hiring an appraiser, buying good diamonds under sketchy conditions and getting the piece made from scratch.

While in the city I had a revelation, which was to get my grandmother a trip to Paris for Christmas. Since I'm now a working girl who is getting a generous tax refund and my grandma has been wanting to go there to find out about some dead composer, the idea couldn't be more perfect. I called home and tried the idea out with my aunt, who thought it sounded wonderful. Then I called my grandpa, whose response was "Wait until I die first." Of course, how thoughtless of me. My grandpa is sick, and although he is not bedridden, he is afraid to be left alone because he breathes like a drowning man. When we talk on the phone sometimes it's all I can do to listen to the words he's speaking and not the strained breaths that don't quite fill his lungs. Sometimes his breathing is louder than his words. It's easy to be thoughtless when I'm only home four weeks out of the year. Though this year I'll be home for six weeks.

current music: Gotan Project

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Thursday, April 15th, 2004
7:20 pm - This week's beauty
--waking up to tulips on my dresser and the smell of hyacinth in the kitchen
--a house full of people eating my food
--getting hugs from every one of those people
--noticing buds on a dogwood before anyone else does
--truly appreciating how much my grandparents love me
--planning a summer and certain that every day will be unforgettable
--a sleepless night spent smiling from the inside out
--sun at 6pm and the spontaneity that it permits
--a picture of a freed hostage in the newspaper, the expression on his face conveying the explosive joy of being alive
--getting in touch with friends after years and seeing how natural it can be
--sharing the love of samba with 13 year olds
--truly grasping what they all mean when they tell me I deserve to be treated better
--receiving a phone call from Nora Cortiñas, president of Las Madres de Plaza de Mayo and grandmother to all, and finding out that we'll see each other again in July
--sharing a laugh with a stranger
--finding my lost scarf, 2000 miles later and slung around the neck of a girl crossing the street in Central Square
--spending Easter Sunday with wet hair in a sundress, sharing Brazilian barbecue and a dvd with two friends who just met

current mood: loved
current music: Beth Carvalho - Água de Chuva no Mar

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Saturday, April 10th, 2004
9:56 am - Adeus!
Chora não vou ligar
Chegou a hora, vais me pagar
Pode chorar

É o teu castigo
Brigou comigo
Sem ter porque, eu
Vou festejar!
Vou festejar

O teu sofrer
Ó teu penar

Você pagou con traição
A quem sempre lhe deu a mão

current mood: sAmBiStA

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