Sunday, June 4, 2017

A Day at the County Court House

Want to hear how horrible people can be to each other? Go to your local county court house and get in line to speak to the volunteer lawyer. While in standing in line you first wait to have your number be called to speak to the lawyer's receptionist. The receptionist was a petite pretty woman, with a common first name and semi-common last name. Once she is attending to you, she asks what she can help you with, and then you tell her why you're there. As you stand in line in the room with about 20 to 25 other people or so, so you are able to hear everyone's stories.

The receptionist had a very warm personable attitude and would listen with sincerity and explain the necessary paperwork for each person, and either schedule an appointment for them with the lawyer or just suggest they come back the following week once they decided what legal action they wanted to take. Most of the people there were there for divorce paperwork. Mostly women, but few men also. The women would sigh and usually say, "I need divorce paperwork. I'm done with him."

But there were at least three instances where the people there had more serious issues to discuss with the lawyer. One elderly woman (I believe in her late 70s) who apparently lived across the street from the courthouse, had managed to make her way to courthouse using a walker. She sat there for the requisite hour or so before having number called. When called up, she explained to the receptionist that she had a tenant that refused to leave her house. She had apparently kicked this person out of her house weeks ago, but the woman continued to return, sneak into the house sleep and eat there, as if she had never been asked to leave. She ignored the elderly woman's pleads to leave her house. The receptionist listened but couldn't do much for her since the lawyer had been booked for the day. The elderly woman shuffled herself out of the room.

In between each of these there were of course the divorces.

There was a woman there who brought her daughter to translate and explain to the volunteer lawyer that she had been renting a place somewhere. Possibly an add-on to a house or a converted garage. She explained that the landlord for some reason started trying to kick them out. The woman didn't understand why this was, so the man told her they could stay if they paid an extra fifty dollars. Having done this. The man then threatened to kick them out again unless they paid an extra 70 dollars on top of that. Of course there wasn't contract, much to the benefit of the landlord, so the woman and her family were rightly stressed about this situation, given that the man was possibly trying to scam them for as much money as possible for tossing them out. So the woman came to ask the lawyer about possible protections she had or legal action she could take. Earlier, while in line, that woman had been talking to a friend of her family who apparently also rented a property to people, and he was having the opposite issue. He was dealing with tenants who didn't pay the rent on time or at all. So he was trying to figure out his rights as a landlord to toss them out. He actually had a contract. Oh the irony.


The other was the case of another elderly woman who came in too apparently get a restraining order against her 50+ year old son and accuse him of elderly abuse. She made no bones about telling the receptionist and practically the rest of the people in the waiting room that her son was a real piece of work. Her son, for some reason, beat her. She called him crazy and psychotic. She said she no longer considers him her son, and that she destroyed all the pictures she had of him. I in my life had never heard a mother talk about any of her children this way. But it was apparent that this man had seriously worn her down over the years, until she finally gave up seeing him as a son, and just viewed him as a piece of shit. And get this: her son was at one point the mayor of a neighboring town and was going to run for mayor again.


And then there was another sad case involving a mentally challenged girl who showed up with her father. The girl explained that her own mother had scammed her daughter out of money. The girl was receiving assistance, and she entrusted her mother, who then turned around started to steal her money. The enraged father stood at his daughter's side and added his own two cents on his former wife, emphasizing the fact the she had converted herself to Christianity and considered herself a woman of faith, yet did this erroneous thing to her own daughter.


Standing for hours on end listening to people tell their stories. With those four leaving me shaking my head at how we can all treat each other. Its one thing when strangers try to take advantage of other people, but it's a whole other level of depravity when sons treat their mothers that way or when mothers treat their mentally handicapped daughters that way.

All the while the pretty clerk lady listened partially distraught, partially in a caring and sympathetic manner.

What was I doing at the court house you ask? Well wouldn't you like to know. Maybe I was there because one day while getting a haircut, my barber made a comment about the orange man in the white house, and one of his Anglo customers said, "he's making America great again," to which I responded by jumping out of my chair and shaving his eyebrows! To which he cried "assault by a Mexican criminal!"

Or maybe I was there just people watching.

I went to the courthouse the next day. My eyes lit up when I saw the pretty clerk lady with the common first name and not so common last name. Chatted with her a bit. Gave her a devil-may-care grin. And then left because I didn't want to become depressed hearing how we treat one another anymore.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Silo and the Impending Student Body

I read Warren Ellis and Adi Granov's Iron Man: Extremis (2005), and there was a scene that really stuck with me. First a brief summary: Tony Stark gets a call from a friend after a man, infected with a techno organic virus goes on a killing spree. Stark gets his ass handed to him, and then decides he needs to infect himself with the techno organic virus in order to be more connected to his armor and really technology in general.

There's a few other things of importance that can be mentioned, like that in an interview Ellis spoke about how he received a call from Marvel to pitch a story for Iron Man. He wrote back talking about Tony as a futurist. That tends to be an important theme in Ellis' work. He has been referred to as a futurist as well.

But anyhow this isn't a post about exploring all these great interesting themes that are touched upon in Extremis. But there was one scene that really stuck with me. It's in the first issue. Tony has an interview with a man who makes documentaries, John Pillinger. Pillinger goes through and questions Stark about his past as a developer of military weapons. Stark is forthright about all his dealings. Before you know it the interview is over, and Stark asks Pillinger, "Why am I a ghost of the twentieth century?" Pillinger responds: "Because your arms work of the nineties still haunts the poverty and war-stricken countries they were deployed in."

If you've read any of Ellis' work you'll find that a major theme for him is ghosts and haunted places. Not necessarily in the supernatural sense, but more so in relation to the hidden history of places, but as you can see from the above exchange between the characters he is also referring to past misdeeds or possibly even to the (after) effects of technology that we don't pay attention to. I came across something by Homi Bhabha as well, where he talked about ghosts, I believe more in reference to culture. Anyhow, I just found that interesting, and thought it was worth a mention.

But the other part of that scene that stuck with me long enough to necessitate that I write about it, was when, with all due respect, Stark tells Pillinger:
"Have you changed anything? You've been uncovering disturbing things all over the world for twenty years now. Have you changed anything? You've worked very hard. Most people have no idea of the kind of work you've done. Intellectuals, critics and activists follow your films, closely, but culturally you're almost invisible, Mr. Pillinger."
Pillinger responds that he doesn't know if he has actually made a change. But this is more about the truth found in Stark's words and I related it to Chicano/a Studies texts and scholarship. The fact that only intellectuals, critics, and activists watch this man's films, shows that yes he is culturally invisible, and this is very unfortunate, because he is stuck within a category only for people with "special interests." I heard or possibly read somewhere, Ellis write about "not getting stuck in the silo." That is to say, that he tried to read far and wide, not only things that were of interest to him, but he also tried to challenge himself to write different things.

Now in terms of Chicano/a Studies I began to think about the silo. In academia we have to be stuck in our silos, because we of course want to be able to specialize in the specific area and be able to lecture students about the subject we specialize in. But there are so many texts, films and documents that I believe only get shared from professors to students or which are researched by other scholars. Chicano/a Studies has a wealth of materials that should be read far and wide, not just when a person enrolls in a course. Nor is Chicano/a Studies only for Chican@s. I know, some people are thinking, "no shit Sherlock." Unfortunately, Chicano/a Studies texts, art and literature sometimes tend to seem like a special interest category. Of course this doesn't only apply to Chicano/a Studies. Also I understand that Chicano/a Studies was never really meant to be mainstream, it was more to establish the historical experiences and culture of Mexicans in the United States. But when I read something that has an impact on me like say, Occupied America, Sometimes There is No Other Side, Racial Fault Lines, Critical Race Theory, This Bridge Called my Back and Massacre of the Dreamers, I also wonder if anyone outside of Chicano/a Studies has read these works. Or if anyone else likes to read far and wide.

For example, at a coffee shop once, I met an older man, who began a conversation with me, and then went on to briefly tell me about the history of the English language and then he started talking about Junipero Serra. This man didn't have an advanced degree, he had just read far and wide. He had not only read fiction, he read history books also.

With the information super highway at our fingertips I wonder how many people read far and wide? How many take the time to use the internet to learn. As much as I hate to say it, I wonder how many really use Wikipedia when not needing it for a research paper, but just to become more well-informed on a subject.

Sometimes I think that so many people would benefit or become enlightened by reading from the works found within Chicano/a Studies, but then I wonder how many actually would read any of it, without having to read from it? I think it's great that there's also people who enroll in courses just to learn about the culture, then there's those of the culture, who might think it's an "easy A," but nonetheless want to become more informed about their culture; but those are the people who for the moment have a special interest. I think we'll also begin to see an upward trend in which people are not interested in the subject, but will enroll in courses nonetheless to disavow what is being taught and learned, while expounding their own ideologies about white nationalism. This is of course not limited to white nationalists either, there are Mexican-American students who will admittedly enroll in classes because they disagree with what they think the intent of Chicano/a Studies is, and want to also disavow the history and subject matter, and flippantly call it bias.

About a year ago, at a job interview I was asked a question that caught me off guard. A person on the hiring committee asked me, "How would you handle a situation in which a student says something racist in your class?" I truly didn't know how to respond to that, mainly because I guess I never had that experience. I fumbled through a response where I would be diplomatic and ask to speak to the student after class. After the interview I wondered why this question was asked. Then I remembered that the Orange One was campaigning and there was a rise in white nationalist rhetoric and hate speech. I also thought it possible that the people on this hiring committee might have already experienced this, because they all taught under, "Ethnic Studies." Then I realized how naive I was, because although I was in California, it didn't mean that every single institution of higher learning was filled with students with a special interest in the subject. As it turns out I neglected the students who felt ignored due to the color of their white skin, and decided they wanted to share/impose their now intellectualized white nationalist narrative. Then recently I found out that, at the university I interviewed for, they had an incident involving a white nationalist, who was given an opportunity to speak in a classroom. I'm quite sure that man had already made some waves on the campus, and then I was even more sure, that that was why I was asked the question about how I would handle a situation with a student that might say something racist.

A quick side note, the villain in Ellis and Granov's story is a white nationalist who wants to take on the government and "make things right."

I apologize for how scattered my thoughts were in this post, but it has been a while since I've posted on here. That's why I jump from a comic book, to culture (briefly), the silo, and what Chicano/a Studies and Ethnic Studies courses will be facing in the future. I spent the last couple of years writing horrible academic things. I also spent time messaging with an Amazonian Mexicana from Arizona. Aside from that I spent too much time in my headspace and not enough time for myself and the outside world.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

The Cause

Last year while having a conversation over a couple of beers with my roommate he mentioned to me, that an old friend of his had just been released from prison and had gotten in touch with him. That friend contacted my roommate to harangue him about "the cause" he had left behind. You see, my roommate and his friend used to be a in gang together. What "cause," you might wonder.

Well, the farmworker and raza cause of course. You see the red gang has based some of their ideology and symbolism around the farmwoker and United Farm Workers struggle. Years ago, I remember walking past my brother's bedroom, and I saw the UFW flag on his wall. Although I wasn't super familiar with the interconnectedness between the red gang and the labor union, I knew a big reason it was on his wall wasn't because he necessarily sympathized with the farmworker struggle, was a union member/volunteer, let alone a farmworker, I knew he had the flag on his wall because it was red.

[Mexican American Red flag with Eagle]
United Farm Workers are not a gang.

My mother was a UFW volunteer and activist. Therefore she had amassed quite a collection of UFW memorabilia in the form of buttons and flags. When my brothers began to get caught up in the red gang ideology, they began wearing UFW buttons. They would talk about being down for "the cause," just not around me, because they knew I didn't play that bullshit. But my mother had heard them talking to friends and telling them how their mother had been down for "the cause." My mom was upset about this and explained to them, that she was never a chola, and the UFW had nothing to do with gangs. But my brothers in turn tried to explain the red gang's history and affiliation to the union, to which my mother just shook her head, as in, "Estan pendejos."

This is UFW memorabilia, NOT gang paraphernalia 
I personally did not know how the red gang had twisted the UFW mythology to accommodate their own agenda. Seeing the red union flag in the bedroom, I knew it had nothing to do with allegiance to the union. It was all about the colors. And I also understood that the red gang saw themselves as the Mexicanos in the northern California who were embattled with southern California Mexicanos. According to them they felt looked down upon because the Mexicanos from the south like LA, would look down upon them for working in agriculture. That was where my knowledge of the decades long "war" between raza began and ended.

I recently read, Blood in the Fields: Ten Years Inside California's Nuestra Familia Gang (2014) by Julia Reynolds. Through her book I learned how much the red gang tied their own ideology or more specifically agenda to the United Farm Workers and the labor movement since the gang's beginnings. It was more than just about the colors and the symbolism. It's not to say that the gang was a natural extension of the UFW and consisted of people who tried to steer toward the UFW's cause. Not at all. It was just something they sympathized with being that many of the young Mexican Americans in Salinas, actually were farm laborers. Later, the Mexican American laborers evolved from being a group of Mexican American laborer friends and into a gang, it became convenient to associate their cause with the UFW's symbolism and "raza" rhetoric when brainwashing other Xican@ youth. But really that's where the affiliation with "the cause" ended. Some of the men Reynolds interviewed in the book seemed conflicted, believing in "the cause" but not knowing where "the cause" for the raza began, and "the cause" for gang profiteering began, because that's how blurred the lines were. They were both one and the same. And who was the enemy? Well Mexican@s from southern California of course!

Some of the older men and men who had left the gang, interviewed by Reynolds, were able to disentangle the web of deception, and admitted that the true "cause" for the gang was basically making money through criminal activities. It had nothing to do with Cesar Chavez's ideology of non-violence. Again, the red gang's association with the UFW and raza speak, is just a convenient way to persuade Xican@ youth toward their "cause."

What is truly insane for me, is that growing up, the first thing I knew about Mexican agricultural laborers (besides my parents being farm laborers themselves), was the UFW and their struggle. I had friends in the red gang, but I had never heard or seen much about the UFW or anything else pertaining to labor struggles. It was mainly just about making sure that you wore your red t-shirt or belt to let it be known who you were affiliated with. But I noticed that with my brothers and their friends, they have grown up learning about the UFW through the gang. That is they learn about the gang first, and then through the gang they begin to learn about their historical roots and how they tie to the UFW and farmworker struggles. This is mind blowing, because there are generations of Xican@s learning about the UFW "cause" and using their symbols based on what they hear from the red gang. Blurred like a motherfucker.

Did you know Cesar Chavez was member of the red gang? Well not in that he got jumped in or that he is the founder of the red gang, but because he's a Xicano from northern California! We need to go and tell Rodolfo Acun~na to update the next edition of Occupied America to make sure he highlights Chavez's time as a norte~no!



Either Chavez is spinning in his grave or if he were alive and did not adhere to his own ideology of non-violence, he would probably be bitch slapping quite a few Xican@s down with "the cause."

I really have no words for the whole rationale. All that comes to mind when I have family who are trying to explain the red gang's ties (or "the cause") to the UFW is for me to say, "Estas mas pendejo, que baboso."

But going back to my roommate who had moved on from gang life, and was now living far from Salinas; after he told me about the friend who had castigated him about forgetting "the cause," I asked him, "What was the cause? Terrorizing and killing your own people?" He looked dismayed and just said, "Yeah,"

Reynolds' book tells the history of the prison gang, Operation Black Widow, but also about those out on the street specifically focusing on Salinas, and Mando, a young man who killed a drug dealer, under the orders of a shot caller, who was working as an informant for the FBI. The informant gave the green light while under the FBI supervision, which takes Reynolds through some bureaucratic crap, where the FBI refuses to acknowledge that they allowed this to happen under their watch. You might be familiar with the case if you have watched the Gangland episode that focuses on the same subject. If you want to get the gist of the book, the Youtube video below is a documentary about the same topic. Reynolds wrote the documentary and released it through PBS in 2006.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

A Barbershop Chiste and Cuento

Over the years barbershops have provided a space for conversation. Where you can chat it up with your barber about local chisme or a place where at least the barbers know your name. I'm not the most conversant person, but whether here or in the Midwest I enjoyed sitting waiting my turn to get my haircut, while the barbers eithber joked with eachother or told stories to the customer they were giving a trasquilada to. Barbershops can be like the bar you frequent where the bartender remembers you whenever you come in, except they won't yell out "Norm!". I can't really complain about any of the barbers I've interacted with. Although I'm sure some might complain about their clients if they feel they didn't get a fair tip. 

I haven't had a steady barbershop in some time. Recently I started going to a local shop, and I was reminded that barbers have some great stories and jokes. When I first walked in to the shop, the barber, was working on an older man, just shooting the breeze. I sat down as the barber began to tell him a joke. The joke went along the the lines of, "There was this apartment building. And one day the devil is walking by and he decides he's going to set on fire. So he does. The building is burning up and there's people running out, and people dying in the fire. But there's one woman who is just sitting there. The devil looks and at her, like, 'What the hell.' So he walks up to this woman and he tells her, 'hey, can't you see the buidling is on fire? Aren't you afraid of being burned to death? Why don't you try to run out?' The woman looks at him, and says,'No I'm not afraid of burning to death. Do you want to know why?' The devil looks at her, and asks,'Why?' She replies, 'because I'm married to your brother.'"

Personally I had never heard that joke, so I thought it was great.

Not  long after, the barber had finished cutting the man's hair. It was my turn to sit in the chair. As I sat down another man walked in to get his haircut as well. He and the barber clearly knew eachother, and started chatting. Apparently the man, was currently on worker's comp due to an injury he had suffered at work. The injury was bad enough that the man is unable to do any of the physical work the man had done before, He is now talking with a lawyer, becuase he's afraid about being fired, since it sounded like he had mainly done hard labor most of his life. Anyhow the barber began to give his own account of an incident in which he suffered a workplace injury (before becoming a barber) and sought out compensation since he would no longer able to do the work he  had done for ~20 years. 

The barber talked about having to haggle with the company lawyer about a settlement. The company lawyer apparently offered him $5000.00 and said, "Five thousand dollars is a lot of money. With all that money you can go back to Mexico, buy yourself a taco stand and you can be set for life, because you'll have your own business." 

The barber, musta had the same perplexed look the devil had when the woman sat there as the building burned. 

The barber's response to the lawyer: "Sounds good. But I tell you what, I'll take the  deal only if you come with me to Mexico." 

The lawyer asked him why.

The barber told him, that if he thinks he can live off five thousand dollars, then he should be able to do the same if he thought it was such a great deal. The barber then told him he was a fucken asshole. Although as it turns out the barber is Salvadoran (alos possibly a U.S. citizen) and seemed a bit offended about being grouped as a certain type of Latino, just because he is brown. He said the lawyer was clearly upset about being called an asshole and kicked him out of the office. Things ended up working for the barber, he got a settlement and was able to get trained as a barber.

By this point the barber was finishing up my haircut. So I didn't get to hear any other stories or jokes. But a couple of things came to mind, like the oral tradition of passing down jokes, but even these things relating to racial or social issues. Encounters with the ignorant masses.

In my hometown my old barbers had seen military action in Vietnam and Korea. They recounted bits of this to me. Other times it was baudy jokes. Either way barbershops have been great places for cuentos and chistes.


Sunday, November 8, 2015

The Barrio Abides

Abelardo wrote an interesting essay about the barrio. I interpreted his essay as being about space. This is possibly because my background is mainly in literature, and we tend to read into texts and apply a whole bunch of "-isms." It's been some time since I read that essay, but it's in Here Lies Lalo.

But Abelardo's essay is just a way for me to segue into this post about the barrio and what an interesting and sad place it can be. Interesting in that it tends to right the wrongs committed against the people who live in it. Sad because sometimes those who live in it suffer unjust punishment, and they go without any comeuppance.

For example, in my hometown, the barrio rectified a situation. A young man associating himeself with a gang came into my barrio, running his mouth about a rival. The young man who was in my barrio running his mouth got shot. He survived and apparently told the police who shot him. The police arrest the suspect. The young man who surived the gunshot kept coming back into my neighborhood. You would think after running your mouth in rival territory you would think twice about coming back to run your mouth. Apparently the huevos on this young man were huge, or he just couldn't stay out of our neighborhood for whatever reason. I think he had family there which gave him another reason to keep coming back. Regardless, he made no bones about flaunting his gang affilitaion. One other time he came back and he was with a friend, looking at  some cars that were up for sale. These cars usually get parked at a corner, across the street from a local market. As he was there looking at the cars a few guys from the neighborhood and rival gang walked up on him, and assaulted him. As far as I know he managed to walk away from the assault. I'm not sure if the other young men were friends of the person he accused of having shot him or if they just saw a guy who they recall running his mouth and decided in typical gang fashion to rectify the situation. Anyhow, barrio karma caught up with him, and the end result was that he was assaulted. I don't know if he still comes to the neighborhood, but if he still does after that, it's no longer about huevos, it's about gran pendejismo.

Another example is of a cop driving through a neighborhood in Salinas. If you weren't in the know, last year a couple of cops killed a Mexicano with hedge clippers. According to the officers involved the man was being "erratic." When they told him to put down the hedge clippers he kept walking away from them, and they blew him away. They claimed self-defense. Gun versus hedge clippers. Why they didn't try to use a taser first, I don't know. Trigger happy? A working class Mexican life means nothing? I don't know. This has been endemic of Salinas PD and Monterey County Sheriffs for some time though. And they have gotten away with it for many years. Anyhow, this time around the people of Salinas didn't stand for it they protested and as usual the police department responded in riot gear, dogs, and shotguns, threatening to shoot people as they pushed them back. I have a friend whose mother still lives in neighbhorhood in Salinas. He recounted how an officer in a cop car was patrolling their street, when suddenly his cruiser started getting pelted with objects. The officer was scared as fuck according to my friend. The barrio was apparently still upset about the unjust killing of the man with hedge clippers, and a couple of others who had been gunned down, before him. The barrio didn't let this go. The cop survived the encounter with the barrio, but it came to show the barrio doesn't forget.

And the barrio is cruel to its own. As I heard about a man pushing a cart selling paletas, but was threatened by some adolesecents. The man ran away, and the young men took some of their spoils, by taking a bunch of the paletas for themselves. I don't know if a police report was ever filed or if the man got to keep his job as a paletero after the incident. Or if maybe he started protecting himself by carrying a weapon with him. What happened to him is fucked up, it shouldn't have happened and it just shouldn't happen.

I get nostalgic about the barrio. But then I shake my head at it for some of the mamadas that happen to it's own residents. It protects, it gives, but it also takes.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Halloween Is Over

I've been having a difficult time of  late, when it comes to coming up with blog topics. Maybe it would be easier if this were a topical blog. Like about sports, maybe specifically football. Or ranting and raving specifically about politics. I dunno.

I think it's the everlooming things already on my mind and a multitude of others that have not permitted me to think about different things to write about. Or maybe it's that I've been becoming one of the binge watching masses. How many hours of a tv show does one need to watch in order to be considered a binge watcher?


But at least this gives me an excuse to go to a coffee shop, sip a hot caffeinated drink, and wade through my thoughts.

Halloween is over though. Unfortunately. I think I just realized that October  is my favorite time of the year. Maybe moreso when I was in the Midwest, as I have lamented the changing colors off the leaves, in the past. But it's also the horror films. It's the mood. Which will probably bring me back to something on religion and the day at some point. Or maybe now that I'm out in California, I'll say November or December are my favorite months of the year, depending on the amount of rain or how cold it gets. I used to dread California winters. People tend to underestimate the winter weather in California, believing that the entire state is in a consistent stage off sunniness.

Not in the town I grew up. We had a heater in our home. But my parents never turned it on, to save money. Those cold mornings were biting. Turn on the hose and the water wouldn't run, because it had frozen in the  pipes. Or it would take a while to come out the other end of the hose, but before it did, froze chards of water would shoot out first. The Midwest was cold. No doubt. Freezing, even, literally. But when my California hometown winters whipped you in the face, it would sting. In the Midwest I didn't feel winds like that.

I enjoyed the rain and the grey gloomy weather. Reading a book in that weather makes me nostalgic for being a teenager, being in my bedroom reading comic books on my bed. Sure if you had to to go to school and got drenched it sucked. But being indoors and just listening to the rain prattle away, as I followed the adverntures of four would-be Superman subsitutes, as the orginal had died about a year before, and this storyline would lead to the eventual return of the original, is something I miss. I've been accused of writing runo-on sentences often. That was one of them. Anyhow this was long before I drank coffee regularly, which would add to the coziness and comfort.

I could  maybe shift to writing about the freakshow that is current run for president. Especially on the Rebpublican side. The dicho my mom used, "Que haiga un loco y no dos," comes to mind.

Or I can write about another cop getting caught on video being abusive. None of my former cop friends have tried to engage me in a debate about any of this. Their brothers in blue are making my case for me. Go figure.

But anyway, Halloween is over.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

I Didn't Know This Would Be An Emoticon/Emoji Post Until I Started Writing

I've been at a loss for words since I've been back in California. I'm not sure what it was about being out in the Midwest that inspired me to write more often, other than my own zeal to explore my interest in free writting through blog format. Well that, an my laptop still has a line of static running through it. It must have to do with ever looming deadlines and feeling a level of stress that only comes with being a graduate student in academia. Our futures aren't really set. I've met some great professors I thought were tenured, but somehow only ended up stuck with full time contracts. Renewed every few years. One professor received recognition for being an outstanding educator, yet nowhere near the job security only afforded to the current few in academia. I guess this is where that whole you have to love teaching thing comes in.

Let me abrutly change topics. I've been told that lately I speak in emoji or emoticons. 😕 Which tends to be true. I had not really noticed until it was pointed out to me. As I tend to do, I began to think about why I did this. Overanalyzed. Well for starters, I became a first time smartphone owner over the summer. So there's that. Now I have more emoticons at my disposal as opposed to having to create them manually. You remember how to do those things right? Remember? -> :) (-_-) :(

Part of this is a fault of the smartphone. So many different symbols and images to express my thoughts and feelings. There's even a poop 💩 emoji and what I imagine to be a passing gas 💨 emoji! But as I soon found out, some of these emoticons might look different depending on the type of cellphone software (ios vs android). My cellphone is an android device. But as I type this, I'm using an ios device though. So maybe it's best to just keep typing out my emoticons manually. Let me do this to myself (-_-).

Anyhow just a short a short disorganized over (psycho)analysis of my use of emoticons/emojis. Probably because I didn't have much else to write about. There I go over analyzing again.

Mexican Emojis image from: