Friday, December 31, 2010

Things I am pretty sure of ...

End of the year musings --
Manuel Ramos

> We are students and teachers, often at the same time.

> Being a student is more important than being a teacher.

> I don't appreciate people who think their role in life is to teach me what is right or wrong.

> If I want something done, I have two choices that will ensure it will happen: ask the busiest person I know to get it done, or do it myself.

> People with time on their hands are kidding themselves.

Sweat is the elixir of life. Working up a good sweat can usually cure what ails me. And think of the ways to get that perspiration going: exercise, physical labor, sex. All good.

> There is a difference between the emotion generated by listening to José Alfredo Jiménez lament la que se fue, and from listening to Emmylou Harris hold that perfect note backed-up by a melancholy steel guitar, but in the long run the difference does not matter.

> I am with the person who has turned out to be the great love of my life. I think that is what is meant when someone says they are blessed. I get all metaphysical about this because if left to me alone, I easily could have screwed it up.

> Happiness: watching my grandchildren play with their grandmother. The ability to play cannot be overrated and should not be underestimated.

> The road has not been straight or level or even safe; I am glad I didn't turn back.

> I would still choose Obama.

> My favorite ritual involves espresso, steamed milk and cinnamon. It's the closest I get to a religious experience.

> My father (82) can fix anything, build anything, handle any crisis with understated grace. He is stubborn and set in his ways. In his shadow, I am inept. I love my father.

> My mother (83) has developed a different personality. Or maybe I am finally seeing her as a person rather than a symbol. She can enjoy life like a child, and find fault like the great-grandmother she is. I love my mother.

Watching my father rehab from his stroke reminded me of the importance of balance in all things, not only for standing up.

> The nights of "one too many" are over for me but that doesn't mean I don't enjoy a good wine or scotch or dark beer. The best part is that I do mean "enjoy."

Fear is motivation. I run, write, and pay my bills out of fear. I don't know what I am afraid of, but so far it has worked.

> In the recent past I have taught myself how to juggle, taken up yoga, returned to running, and I tried to teach myself how to play the guitar. The guitar thing did not pan out. What I really would like to do is learn the accordion, conjunto style.

> Nine years of war have changed the U.S. in ways we cannot fully understand, yet. And the changes are not good.

> I want to ponder the big questions like God and existence and art versus politics and whether the world is flat or round. But I also won't get rid of my cable system's On Demand feature.

> I'm a listener, not a talker. If it were possible I'd arrange a conversation with Emiliano Zapata, Mark Twain, and John Coltrane, open a bottle of wine, sit back, and listen.

> I'm so square I use words like "square."

> I'm so old school, I line up for recess when I hear a bell ring.

> I am a Chicano writer.

> I hate labels.

To all La Bloga readers and contributors: have a happy, prosperous, and healthy 2011.
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!



msedano said...

igualmente. from pasadena to all of aztlán.


Mario Acevedo said...

Awesome. Thanks, Manuel. This was the best post of year-end blessings.

Anonymous said...

Lots of good stuff here, Ramos. Wishing you the same.

you gave me an idea...

kristel said...

Gracias for sharing these important thoughts. I would still vote for Obama too. (More of us need to stand up and say that.)

Daniel A. Olivas said...

Ah, yes, well said. With a few minor edits to fit my life, I am in agreement. Be well and happy new year!

Debra said...

Manuel, thanks for a great read!