La Bloga's contributors are a mixed bunch--some olive oil, a little artesian water, 20-year-old brandy, or pura vainilla. We have different histories, talents, tendencies and takes on things. Consequently, we sometimes complement or rile, intertwine with or influence each other.
Manuel Ramos's posts sometimes move me to introspection, as he did with yesterday's last-of-2010 piece. Simply put, it prodded me to consider my take on similar things. However, readers tempted to counterpose the two posts would be better off comparing the utility of a jug of water to thirsty migrants crossing the Sonora Desert, to the utility of a bottle of Pedro Domeq at a charla of reunited, childhood friends. Entonces, with apologies to Ramos for plagiarizing his originality, aquí está mío:
Things I sort of know
All of us should be students and teachers. The thing is, some of us don't always know when to play which role.
The two roles are equally important. The thing is, America prioritizes the military over its students and is too ignorant to nurture the best in its teachers.
I appreciate people teaching me when I'm right or wrong. The thing is, some people don't know which stance they're coming from when they do it.
If I want something done, I have many choices to ensure it will happen. Thing is, I should ask the busiest person I know, myself, to get it done.
People with time on their hands are either: the over forty, the homeless, too many of the aged, the incarcerated poor and minorities, or veterans forgotten by our gov't warlords. Thing is, many more of us will join those ranks.
Sweat is one elixir of life. Working up a good sweat sometimes cures what ails. Thing is, good ways to get that perspiration going--play, physical labor, and sex--are economically exploited or denigrated in this society.
There are many different emotions from listening to great musicians. Thing is, I can't enjoy them all.
My spouse is the love of my life, which is what people mean when they say I'm lucky. Thing is, I rarely get romantic about it because I needed to be found, by her.
The optimum learning: young children playing with anything non-electronic. Thing is, the value of play is underrated, by most politicians and administrators controlling education.
My road has been too straight, never level and undeservedly safe. Thing is, my body couldn't divide itself at the forks I encountered.
I would still choose Obama. Thing is, he didn't want the changes we were voting for, except skin.
My favorite ritual involves beer, Presidente brandy and platicando con los amigos, which is not close to a "religious" experience. Thing is, it's heavenly.
My father (bien muerto) thought he could fix anything, handle any crisis--even the family divorcing him--with bullying. He was set in his ways. Thing is, now that he casts no shadow, I'm forgetting he knew anything.
Watching my father on his deathbed, as he reminded me he beat us only to make us tough, made me regret booking the flight. Thing is, he succeeded in regrettable ways.
My mother (83 años viva!) still has her tireless personality. I accept her more as a person rather than a symbol, since she enjoys life and finds fault like an abuela. I love my mother, even if mi amá outlives me.
The nights of "one too many" are not over for me because I can still enjoy good booze. Thing is, how many more times I will are finite.
Fear is America. I walk, write, and pay my bills simply because I want to. Thing is, my countrymen's "terrorists" and "choice" neuroses erode my civil rights to continue doing so.
Recently, I learned to live unemployed & without benefits, retackled my 25th-year home-projects, returned to learning to write from reading others, and tried improving my Spanish. My lengua thing vale madre. Thing is, what I'd really like to learn is sorcery.
230 years of wars (minus WW II) made the U.S.'s gov't and ruling class the most hated/feared in the world, despite "we the people" who fight/fought against that legacy. Thing is, the legacy's terminal.
I know the answers to big questions like God and existence, and art versus politics, and whether the Earth is "ours" or should be taken from us. Thing is, I won't get basic cable to support my views.
I'm haven't learned to listen well and may never learn to curtail my verbosity. In my head, I've had charlas and shared a case of Negra Modelos with Zapata, Gaiman, Marquez and Hendrix, sat up and jumped in, despite my two limitations. Thing is, I can't wait to do it again.
I'm so square I believe in words like unfair, wondrous and revolución. Thing is, many think such words can't apply to America.
I'm so old school, I line up humanity's great literature to share with six-year-olds. Thing is, I'm forced to do it by sneaking it into the standardized curriculum.
I'm a Chicano aspiring to become a more published writer. Thing is, the gentry's children frown at me for looking like the first, and I can't look for a serendipitous agent/editor.
I love labels. The ones that don't peal off the Negra Modelos, the Presidente bottle, and the ones shunned by Reagan, Cheney and the Bushes. Thing is, history's the best glue.
To all La Bloga readers and contributors:
create a happy, prosperous and healthy 2011, for all of us.
y ¡Feliz Año Nuevo!
Es todo, hoy,