Paradox Engine

My blood calls long distance

To the Philippines

 

Asian to some

Pacific Islander to others

It really depends

On the forms definition

 

My blood hearkens back to Spain

Through conquistadors mayhaps

 

Let’s not forget

The Irish or the English

The former gave me 19 freckles

And the latter a superiority complex

 

Spelled Tag-A-Log, pronounced Tuh-Gah-Lohg

I am deaf and mute in my mothers tongue

 

They hide their fear and pity

When immigrant Filipino parents hear this

Simply hoping,

Their children are not me

 

Bewildering my mother

To whom family are friends

 

I made friends, a second family,

From those I could relate.

Those who could later boast,

‘Oh yeah, I knew a Filipina’

 

I grew up with Toni Morrison

And her Bluest Eye

 

So to me, what is perplexing,

Is charming to others.

But I’ve never been told

To put on make-up.

 

I grew up in a Republican pocket

Of blue Massachusetts

 

Don’t get me wrong,

I’m an Atheist.

But when people rail

Against the rigidity and conformity of Catholicism

 

I frown and wonder,

Because my Catholic Christian Doctrine taught me

To strengthen my faith

By questioning it

 

However, when you ask me where I’m from,

You’ll never see this maelstrom.

 

But to answer honestly,

I am from confusion

And perserverence

Born from blood and triumph.

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Willow

 

willow

Willow by Julia Hoban

I want to like this book, I really should like this book, but it’s hard to.

Willow is a high school student who killed her parents in a car crash on a rainy night when her parents were too drunk to drive home from dinner. After the death of her parents she moves in with her older brother, David, his wife and child.

Feeling isolated, blaming herself and thinking David hates her for killing their parents Willow starts cutting herself to deal with life. She meets a boy, Guy, who finds out her secret and is determined to help her.

It’s actually a very sweet story, the characters are all slightly different from the typical high school depression story, the parents were anthropology professors, as is David. Willow works in the college library and this is where she meets Guy, who takes college classes while still in high school.

My problem with the book comes from the fact that Hoban writes as if she is (and maybe she is) a psychologist writing up a case study. The language isn’t very engaging, the curiosity to see how the story plays out, even though it’s pretty easy to see, is the main reason I read this book, that and I’m delving into the world YA. Hoban writes with only the literal sense of what words mean, and not the way words are actually used by people. Towards the end where Guy says he’s her lover I actually rolled my eyes. I was just glad I went to the library instead of paying for it.

It’s an easy, quick read, and if the YA troubled genre is one you’re in to, it is worth an afternoon.

Betrayed

The ability to reduce someone utterly with a look is not one easily forgotten.

She was driving down the street to his office thinking about dinner, about the weekend, his cousins wedding in a few months. She was going to be dropping off his new phone, he’d been getting by on just his work phone the past few days, she could’ve just kept it at home, but she knew he’d appreciate her bringing it in. While at a stop light she glanced out her window at the restaurant they’d had their first date at. Every time she came down this way she saw it and smiled. 

Not today. As she looked, she saw him outside the door with another woman. This woman was dressed in a skirt suit, and she could have pretended this was nothing if not for the kiss. Putting her eyes back on the road she continued to his office, leaving the phone, even chatting with his coworker for a few minutes before leaving.

Going home she made dinner as usual, and he made it in time for dinner, as usual. He thanked her for the phone which she accepted and replied to. It wasn’t until dinner when they were sitting across from each other, when he was looking at her over his wine glass, that she looked at him. Why? she asked with her eyes. Not even angry, she just needed to know.

He looked away, then back again, then down to his plate. He shifted in his seat and coughed uncomfortably before saying “I never thought you’d do that to me.”

Borders Files Chapter 11

To anyone who has been following this story, its no surprise Borders has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Theres tons of articles out there.

Theyre hoping to simply reorganize, but that includes closing 30% of their stores, which some articles say will only be the Borders Superstores.

Anyone who wants up to date facts can go here, its a site Borders has put up completely about their Chapter 11 process.

As they are trying to keep open all coupons and gift cards are redeemable, you can still buy gift cards (except at stores that will be closing) and they will continue to email coupons through their membership program.

I can’t yet find a list of stores that will be closing, but those stores and customers are going to be notified. I don’t know if the one by me will close since it is not a superstore, it is in a good shopping location, but it is still a suburb and may not get the volume other stores receive.

I’m also a little annoyed with myself because I forgot to use my 40% off coupon this past weekend, but oh well. I still have 35.06 to use in gift cards.

Update:

You can get a list of closing stores here, just click on Borders Reorg. Store Closure List.

Borders Bankrupt?

There’s a lot of articles out right now about Borders and its quite possible file for bankruptcy.

It is too bad if/when it happens, besides the Barnes & Noble 15 minutes from me, the only other bookstore I know of is an Aunt Annies used bookstore with rather slim pickings.

Though, I have to admit, when they first opened I always wondered how they could afford all their discounts. Even without being a member they have buy 1 get 1 half off tables, a standing manga deal of buy 4 get 1 free, which if you’re just getting into a long standing series is a damn good deal.

My other loss is the Seattle’s Best coffee. I don’t really like coffee that much, I go to Dunkin Donuts for coffee no lie maybe 3-5 times a year, and I even more rarely brew my own, I just don’t drink it. Seattle’s Best was the only cafe I liked, by usual is a raspberry mocha kiss, and I usually get 1 or 2 a month, quite rare for me since there have been weeks where I’m at Borders almost every day.

I hope they stay open, but I don’t think I’ll hold my breath. But as soon as I hear confirmation they’re closing, I’ll book it to o use my remaining $35.06 in gift cards, down from $110 at xmas.  It might have been a waste to spend $20 in gift cards for the membership, but with the free shipping and 10% off I may have recouped about half of that anyway.

Another option is being an online vendor, but with Amazon its probably not feasible either.

And the Winners Are…

On Monday the American Library Association, ALA, announced it’s Children’s Book Winners for a slew of awards including the Caldecott and Newbery.

As a kid of course I noticed the award stickers, I mean they were bright and shiny and pretty, but I didn’t really know what they meant or what they were for really. I would read anything, whether or not someone said they were good. And even now when I do get a book for a young cousin I usually first think of the books I read and really liked as a kid, and go from there. I do still like to look at kids and young adult (YA)books, kids books are just fun for the illustrations, I still pick some up. And there are some YA books which are just very good reading.

But with the shear number of books, aaward winners and lists are a great way to find good books easy, and just get to know more authors you may have otherwise (literally) overlooked.

 

 

Comics

I was never really into comics growing up. This was for a few reasons, I didn’t know anyone who was into comics, there wasn’t a comic book store near me  so there was zero exposure, and I wasn’t  all that big into superheroes or mutants.

With things like V for Vendetta and Watchmen, I did read those graphic novels. V for Vendetta after the fact since I didn’t know, and Watchmen cause I had heard it was complex and I borrowed it from a friend before the movie came out.

So like a lot of people I just didn’t really know what comic culture is about. But I found this one that really has me hooked, it’s called Scarlet by Brian Bendis and Alex Maleev, rather well known in the comic industry.

It’s a really intense story about a girl whose boyfriend is killed by a cop, finds that the corruption goes pretty high up and she wants to stop it. It sounds pretty cliche, but that’s fine with me. Bendis’ writing is great and the artwork by Maleev is amazing.

From the beginning Scarlet breaks the fourth wall, and it sucks you in, and the artwork is right where it should be, it’s realistic but with color distortion you feel a little out of sorts and off balance from the rest of the world. Its like Alice in Wonderland and realizing the world really isn’t what you thought it was.

It’s a bi-monthly comic that only just started this past summer. It’s put out by Icon Comics a division of Marvel.