Payasadas

Sotomayor finally confirmed

After several weeks of preparation, Judge Sonia Sotomayor was finally confirmed in the Catholic Church.

During the weeks and months leading up to the confirmation, Sotomayor met with confirmation teachers at St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. to review the Catholic Catechism. She studied such cases as David v. Goliath, Jonah v. Whale and, the civil suit, Jesus Christ v. Judas Iscariot.

Sotomayor’s confirmation classes did not transpire without controversy. When studying a passage in the bible about the trial of Jesus Christ, Sotomayor remarked that she would have judged him differently. She added, “I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a Roman male who hasn’t lived that life.”

Conservative Catholics criticized Sotomayor’s credentials and temperament. Thomas Sanderson, a spokesman for the Knights of Columbus, argued that Sotomayor should not be confirmed. He added, “She may have gone to a Catholic high school, but she’s hardly Catholic. She got divorced, she attends Mass only on Christmas and Easter, she does not tithe, and we do not know her views on abortion or gay marriage.”

Nevertheless, Sotomayor was still confirmed. During the confirmation Mass, Bishop Patrick O’Callaghan (R-VA) asked Sotomayor several difficult questions about her faith such as “do you believe in God, the Creator?” and “do you believe in the Holy Ghost and in the Catholic Church?” Dressed in her own judge robe, Sotomayor showed no emotion as she responded “I believe” to each question. When asked if she renounced Satan and all his scandal in the world, she quickly responded positively.

Following the affirmation of her faith, Sotomayor — who chose Maria as her saint name in honor of her Latina roots — was blessed with chrism (a holy oil) by Bishop O’Callaghan. After she was blessed, her sponsor, Vice President Joe Biden, whispered an unknown comment in her ear.

Celina Baez, Sotomayor’s mother wiped away tears as she praised her daughter’s accomplishments, “I never thought I’d see this day. She’s an example to all Latinas. Her father, Juan, would be so proud. May he rest in peace.”

The Sotomayor and Biden family celebration the confirmation with a dinner of lechón asado con arroz y gandules.

Article written for Puro Pedo Magazine

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Cambios

Six months

If you’ve looked at my weekly photo posts, you’ll notice that there are quite a few grainy MacBook Photobooth self portraits. I wasn’t being narcissistic just for the sake of it. Instead, I was tracking the changes in my face as I lose weight*.

The photos are a nice companion of the other signs of my progress: the line graph charting my weight loss from week to week; the bags of clothes I’ve removed from my closet and given to Mamá Toni to take to Tijuana; the new clothes I’ve had to buy; my endurance and strength increasing; skin clearing up as I put healthier food in my body; and unexpected cravings (e.g., my mom’s oatmeal, calabaza).

I’m not quite at my goal yet, so the photos below are not representing before and after. It’s more like before, current and in-between. As you’ll see, they’re all focusing on my face, I’ll get around to full-length photos later.

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Cultura, Familia

Your roots are showing… on your earlobes


Su historia cuenta, por ejemplo, que el mar la trajo a México y que luego echó raíces en Jerez, Zacatecas, convirtiendo esta ciudad en el tradicional hogar de la arracada mexicana.
La arracada, historia de una joya migrante

I had my ears pierced as a baby. Mom bought me diamond studs. I lost those. She bought another pair. I lost those too. She then opted for pearls. Yes, I lost those too.

Eventually, at Mamá Toni’s insistence, I got a pair of arracadas jerezanas. Mamá Toni, constantly traveling from LA back to her home El Cargadero (near the city of Jerez, Zacatecas) saw it fitting that I would don the typical earrings. She brought back a pair from one of her trips so that I could continue the tradition.

I’m wearing the arracadas as a two year old during Mamá Toni and Papá Chepe’s 40th anniversary party in 1983. They’re small and hard to see, half-hidden by my hair.

But they’re there. The earrings are a constant. I’m wearing them as a paje in my aunt’s wedding, in a frilly red dress in front of the Christmas tree, in my baseball uniform at the park, and in a family photo on mother’s day.

In later photos, the earrings are missing. I didn’t lose them unlike the studs I had as a baby. Instead, the earrings were stored in my mom’s jewelry box. They’re still there, along with Lori’s arracadas.

***

As a little girl, I was clueless about the significance of the arracadas I wore constantly. I didn’t know that my mom and her sisters also wore them as girls. I didn’t know that they were as much of a signifier of Jerezano/Zacatecano roots as decals on a truck, belts, or handkerchiefs featuring your homestate’s name like a logo.

I didn’t even know the design was specific to Jerez, Zacatecas until I saw my mom ask a random woman about her earrings. I was a high school senior and had just been admitted to UCLA. My mom took me to the campus for an event for newly admitted Latino students. While mingling, she noticed a woman wearing arracadas and insisted on asking her.

“Perdón, vi sus arracadas, y le tenía que preguntar. ¿Es usted de Jerez, Zacatecas?”

The woman’s face lit up as she nodded yes. The woman’s daughter and I stood by as our mother’s discussed which small rancho they were from in the municipio de Jerez.

***

A few years ago, I took a trip to Jerez, Zacatecas. On my visit, I made a trip to Joyería García to purchase two pairs of silver arracadas, one for me and one for a friend from Guadalajara (she’d seen the earrings on her fiancee’s grandmother and wanted a pair).

I don’t wear the arracadas constantly like I did as a girl. I need more variety these days. But when I do wear them, I invariably am asked by women who notice such things, “are you from Zacatecas?” as they touch their own lobes.

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Familia, Randomness

On girl pants (and leggings)

I spent most of the weekend with Lori. We were abandoned by the rest of the family for the holiday weekend (except the grandparents and Danny, but they always do their own thing). On Saturday, her boyfriend came over and grilled some chicken for dinner. The next day, Lori and I went shopping, swimming and then drove over to the Hollywood Bowl for the Death Cab for Cutie, Tegan and Sara and the New Pornographers concert.

On the way to the show, we talked about leggings.

“I like them because I can wear a long blouse or something over them during my ‘fat days’,” Lori said. “And you can still look dressed up enough for a night at the club.”

I nodded. “I just wear them under short skirts.”

“Exactly, they’re supposed to be worn under something, not as pants. Women at the gym do that. You can totally see their chonis. They make it worse too by wearing something white, at least wear black.”

I laughed and agreed that women should ask a friend or family member to do a simple check for the opacity of their leggings.

“You should put out a notice on your blog,” she said.

“I’ll do that.”

We parked at Hollywood and Highland and started the half mile walk up the hill to the Hollywood Bowl. We followed several other concertgoers and kept up our fashion commentary.

I pointed at the couple up ahead, “I think I know what happened. They were probably getting ready for the show and he told her, ‘babe, I don’t have anything to wear tonight.’ I’m pretty sure she offered him her pants.”

“I don’t understand why guys wear such tight pants. They’re not even that comfortable. And this is coming from someone who wears tight pants and doesn’t have the same issue as guys.”

“Yeah, it’s too hot for summer. Denim doesn’t let you breathe.”

“At least they’ll save money on birth control in the long run.”

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