motown, the cool dog with the cool color
ulanmaya at flickr

motown, the cool dog with the cool color
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

new york came, rampaging.
broadway approached, barking
the mad heavens roared down,
clouds enveloped me.
all was motion, darkness, the
ground rushing up.
mountains levelled themselves
and my feet, faithful dogs, brought me
home to you, my anchor, my light.

"sanctuary (for midori)," by luis francia
from the collection, "museum of absences"

so closes the first half of 2005. yay!

  i'm lovin it... not!
i feel so disgusting.

my options are limited coz it took me until just now to find lunch. so the only places open sell fast food. thus, what nearest neon sign beckons me but the golden arches yonder nary a block away.

10 minutes and three invites of, "can we help you?" later, i settled on a three-piece chicken select order. three strips of what i hope is chicken dipped in crispy batter made from reconstituted material only the gods of the lyric opera know.

it took them forever to cook the things. i grabbed the bag and trudged back to the office. all i could think of are the many unnameable things the doctor told the supersize guy about needing to stop eating mickey d's.

else he'll die.

"i'll never eat mcdonald's again! there's this experiment i saw on TV where they let fries from two delis and mcdonald's rot under some bell jars for a couple weeks. the deli fries grew the expected fungi but guess what happened to the mcdonald's fries," goaded my colleague.

i stayed quiet. hello? like i wanted to know?

"they stayed the same!" she laughed, throwing her arms up. she pinched a couple places on her sides. "i'm never eating those again coz they just deposit themselves in your body!"

i'm done with the chicken strips. ewwwwwwwwwww. the ranch dressing is NOT GOOD. not in this life, not in the next, not on someone else's life. why didn't i just risk the old spaghetti and meatballs?

there is only one way to remedy this.

not bulimia.
blogging. share the load!
  origin of love - hedwig and the angry inch
origin of love
by Hedwig And The Angry Inch
after the symposium

when the earth was still flat and the clouds made of fire
and the mountains stretched up to the sky, sometimes higher
folks roamed the earth like big rolling kegs
they had two sets of arms
they had two sets of legs
they had two faces peering out of one giant head
so they could watch all around them as they talked while they read
and they never knew nothing of love
it was before the origin of love
origin of love
the origin of love
origin of love
well there were three sexes then
one that looked like two men glued on back to back
they were the children of the sun
and similar in shape girth were the children of the earth
they looked like two girls rolled up in one
and the children of the moon was like a fork shoved on a spoon
they were part sun part earth part daughter part son
oh the origin of love
well the gods grew quite scared of our strength and defiance
and thor said i'm gonna kill them all with my hammer
like i killed the giants
but zeus said no
you'd better let me use my lightning like scissors
like i cut the legs off the whales
dinosaurs into lizards
then he grabbed up some bolts, he let out a laugh
said i'll split them right down the middle
gonna cut them right up in half
and then storm clouds gathered above into great balls of fire
and then fire shot down from the sky in bolts
like shining blades of a knife
and it ripped right through the flesh
of the children of the sun and the moon and the earth
and some indian god sewed the wound up to a hole
turned it 'round to our bellies to remind us the price we payed
and osiris, and the gods of the nile gathered up a big storm
to blow a hurricane
to scatter us away
a flood of wind and rain, a sea of tidal waves
to wash us all away
and if we don't behave they'll cut us down again
and we'll be hopping 'round on one foot
looking through one eye
the last time i saw you we had just split in two
he was looking at me, i was looking at you
you had a way so familiar i could not recognize
cause you had blood on your face
and i had blood in my eyes
but i swear by your expression
that the pain down in your soul was the same
as the one down in mine
that's the pain
that cuts a straight line down through the heart
we call it love
we wrapped our arms around each other
tried to shove ourselves back together
we were making love, making love
it was a cold dark evening such a long time ago
when by the mighty hand of jove
it was a sad story how we became lonely two-legged creatures
the story, the origin of love
that's the origin of love
oh yeah, the origin of love
the origin of love
the origin of love

and so today, the strange prof suggested, "what if people aren't splintered just in two, but in thousands of fragments - will they ever reify, join, crystallize, configure such that all parts are the same being again?"

i like that i learned a new word today: reify.

i don't like the suggestion that people are fragmented in several places, not just broken in two - that would be too much like the jewel shards inuyasha, kagome and their friends are looking for. there's two sets of love pairs there. any thinking person would think, "whatever. the shards went into a river. it's been seven years. they'll never get all of them. even inuyasha can't pick up powdered fragments."

kagome accidentally hits the jewel shard with her arrow and splinters it into several pieces. this then starts the whole series - they have to find all the shards to bring back the jewel.

ok wait. i lost my train of thought here. lemme rewind -

so if people are fragmented several ways, does that mean that they need all sorts of things and people and experiences and places to make them whole again?

won't that be a futile attempt?

and so... if you can't find everything that you need, does that mean that you have to be satisfied with what you can reach for, what you already have, what's immediately accessible, achieveable?

and so... does that mean that the world is full of people with holes?

if so... that's ok, then. because the world may be crashing all around us, but that's because they did it looking to fill those holes.

good night.
  and so we begin
i like how when your fingers get all twisted, and instead of spelling BEING, you type BEGIN.

and the cursor keeps on blinking. wait. wait. wait.
  i'm an STD
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:27 PM): hi!
ulanmaya (9:37:32 PM): hey hey
ulanmaya (9:37:33 PM): how r u
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:38 PM): guess wut?
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:42 PM): u'r an STD!!!
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:46 PM): and so am i
ulanmaya (9:37:47 PM): huh??
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:48 PM): and u'r mom
ulanmaya (9:37:52 PM): excuse me!!!
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:54 PM): and my sisters
eJtAStiC85 (9:37:59 PM): and everybody we know r all STD's
ulanmaya (9:37:59 PM): u r in trouble, buddy
eJtAStiC85 (9:38:11 PM): i learned that in class today
ulanmaya (9:38:13 PM): everybody and their mamas
eJtAStiC85 (9:38:16 PM): yep
ulanmaya (9:38:22 PM): so what are std's?
eJtAStiC85 (9:38:42 PM): cuz pregnancy is clinically deemed a diseased state due to bodily homeostasis disruption
eJtAStiC85 (9:38:53 PM): cuz u'r hormones r outa whack and all
eJtAStiC85 (9:38:59 PM): and ur organs r pushed around
eJtAStiC85 (9:39:03 PM): all that jazz
ulanmaya (9:39:16 PM): you cannot be pregnant
ulanmaya (9:39:18 PM): and i am not
ulanmaya (9:39:22 PM): so i don't get it
ulanmaya (9:39:25 PM): r u ok?
ulanmaya (9:39:31 PM): u must be studying :-)
eJtAStiC85 (9:39:31 PM): but we were sexually transmited during conception
eJtAStiC85 (9:39:46 PM): no no... don't have it... we ARE it
ulanmaya (9:39:58 PM): eh?
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:01 PM): nevermind
ulanmaya (9:40:05 PM): AHAHAHAHA
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:08 PM): sigh
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:10 PM): too much studying
ulanmaya (9:40:13 PM): what does it stand for?
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:13 PM): too much studying
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:21 PM): STD?
ulanmaya (9:40:33 PM): STuDying
ulanmaya (9:40:36 PM): that must be it
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:41 PM): sexually transmitted disease... last time i checked
ulanmaya (9:40:43 PM): you're a stud
ulanmaya (9:40:44 PM): AHAHAHAHA
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:49 PM): ...
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:51 PM): riiiiiight
ulanmaya (9:40:52 PM): ohhhhhhh
ulanmaya (9:40:54 PM): i get it
ulanmaya (9:40:55 PM): ahahahahaha
eJtAStiC85 (9:40:58 PM): no u don't
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:02 PM): :-P
ulanmaya (9:41:03 PM): i'm not a disease, yanno
ulanmaya (9:41:06 PM): i'm an epidemic
ulanmaya (9:41:08 PM): woot!
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:10 PM): sigh
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:20 PM): u busy?
ulanmaya (9:41:26 PM): sorta
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:29 PM): k nevmind
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:42 PM): i'll just say hi then
eJtAStiC85 (9:41:43 PM): hi
ulanmaya (9:41:44 PM): who is robert sheets with the department of commerce and economic opportunity?
ulanmaya (9:41:52 PM): would that be illinois or u.s.?
ulanmaya (9:42:01 PM): how come you didn't specify that on the press release?
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:08 PM): wut press release?
ulanmaya (9:42:08 PM): bad bad PR people!!!
ulanmaya (9:42:17 PM): hi there
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:19 PM): r u sure u'r talking to the right person?
ulanmaya (9:42:28 PM): it doesn't matter anymore
ulanmaya (9:42:29 PM): nothing matters
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:35 PM): ...
ulanmaya (9:42:37 PM): i'm not an illness
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:39 PM): don't kill urself now
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:43 PM): hahahaha
eJtAStiC85 (9:42:49 PM): no u'r a disease
ulanmaya (9:42:56 PM): i'm an epidemic
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:00 PM): ok ok ok
ulanmaya (9:43:01 PM): i infect everyone
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:06 PM): i hope not
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:13 PM): that would make u a whore
ulanmaya (9:43:16 PM): ewww
ulanmaya (9:43:26 PM): i don't have much resources
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:28 PM): attttte
ulanmaya (9:43:32 PM): let's not go there
ulanmaya (9:43:35 PM): ahahahaha
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:38 PM): eeeeew
ulanmaya (9:43:44 PM): that should be aaaaate to you, buddy
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:46 PM): yucky
ulanmaya (9:43:51 PM): you're spelling it wrong
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:53 PM): hahaha
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:54 PM): fine
eJtAStiC85 (9:43:56 PM): aaaaaaaaaaaate
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:03 PM): depends whre u stress it tho
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:08 PM): sigh
ulanmaya (9:44:15 PM): i wonder how you say attttte
ulanmaya (9:44:16 PM): whatda
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:26 PM): tttttte
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:32 PM): iono
ulanmaya (9:44:34 PM): ...
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:40 PM): temporalis
eJtAStiC85 (9:44:44 PM): hehehe
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:01 PM): one of the muscles of mastication
ulanmaya (9:45:02 PM): temporary infection?
ulanmaya (9:45:15 PM): i'm not a cow!
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:16 PM): no it's a muscle in the side of u'r head that helps u chew
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:24 PM): ???
ulanmaya (9:45:26 PM): ohhh
ulanmaya (9:45:34 PM): cows chew = they masticate :-D
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:38 PM): and then there's the orbicular oris... and the pterygoids
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:42 PM): and buccinators
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:48 PM): and massaters
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:51 PM): we all masticate
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:54 PM): its called chewing
eJtAStiC85 (9:45:55 PM): geez
ulanmaya (9:46:19 PM): awww... it's ok. it'll get better soon. you'll see :-)
eJtAStiC85 (9:46:25 PM): ???
eJtAStiC85 (9:46:27 PM): huh
ulanmaya (9:46:37 PM): you're not talking straight anymore
ulanmaya (9:46:40 PM): you must be studying
ulanmaya (9:46:43 PM): it'll be over soon
eJtAStiC85 (9:46:47 PM): i guess
ulanmaya (9:46:51 PM): and then you'll want to be a student again
ulanmaya (9:46:53 PM): yay! :-)
eJtAStiC85 (9:47:02 PM): shrug
ulanmaya (9:47:40 PM): heeeeehehehe thanks for making me laugh, ej! :-)
eJtAStiC85 (9:48:22 PM): ok... if i call a girl... and she calls me back... and we both miss each other's calls... does that mean i'm supposed to call her back... or does that mean she's not interested?
ulanmaya (9:49:19 PM): AHAHAHAHA
ulanmaya (9:49:23 PM): i'm sorry to laugh
  creative waste
Just goofing off _ seriously
Editorial, Chicago Tribune, July 25

If you could only see us, pecking at the keyboard in an airless office, intently eyeing this glowing computer screen, you'd think, hey, that person is really working hard.

Nah. We're just goofing off.

You too?

Yeah, we know.

According to a new survey by America Online and Salary.com, the average worker admits to frittering away about two hours per eight-hour workday. Based on our own highly personal survey, we think that's a bit high, unless you count runs to Starbucks, which we don't, because after all, that's the only way we can stay alert enough to write really long sentences like this one to fill space in the dog days of summer and keep our editors happy.

The survey said that employees are wasting twice as much time as employers suspect, and that employers pay $759 billion a year for all this Web surfing, daydreaming and chitchatting at the water cooler. Missouri was tabbed as the worst (3.2 hours) and Indiana was a distant second (2.8 hours); Illinois didn't even crack the top 10. (New Missouri motto: the Show Me Where to Lie Down state.)

We can't actually endorse the idea that anyone goof off on company time. Besides, it doesn't seem like anyone's waiting for the Tribune's permission in this area.

Some bosses, however, view this idly spent time as potentially "creative waste," or time that may have a positive influence on the company's culture, according to Salary.com Senior Vice President Bill Coleman. Even if employees only chat around the coffeemaker, he says, that can benefit a company, if it boosts morale and helps them cooperate as a team.

Creative waste. That's an intriguing notion.

With all the consultants and life coaches swarming around to improve performance in all realms professional and personal, it's surprising that this has been overlooked. Americans need to get better at wasting time. Methods of wasting time probably haven't advanced much in decades or more. There's the idle gossip at the copy machine. Spacing-out at the desk while the boss isn't looking. The ubiquitous but stealthy personal phone calls made on company time.

But where's the inspired time-squandering? We propose that those who dribble away a little time at work think differently about how they do it. Perhaps one should consider that time to be an exceedingly brief sabbatical. In other words, don't just waste it mindlessly.

Maybe you could seek out a fellow employee who speaks a different language and try to learn a little. Take a brisk lap or two around the block with a co-worker. Write some haiku. You'll think of something.

Every good boss knows a little wasted time is built into every day. Most people need it to stay fresh, to keep the batteries charged. We get our best ideas when we're off ... well, not seated at our desk, shall we say. There, that was a nice little break, wasn't it? You can go back to work now.
  playing videoes in my head
i can't concentrate. i'm at work. i'm trying to finish this story about the ban on violent video games sold to kids around the state. but all i can think about is our trip to wisconsin this weekend. we're going to madison. personally, there's nothing particularly exciting about madison, except that they said the state capitol building there rivals the one in washington d.c. i guess i'm so just excited to get out of chicago once again. oh, the spoiled nature in us all. ahahahahaha!

sorry. when i get a chance, i'll write something real -
  hunipera and the night owl
my friend jj picked up her phone and chatted with me without being on the road herself. i asked her what's "hunipera" and why'd she use it for her email.

"i think it's tagalog for 'jennifer.' and when my mom yells at me she screams 'huniperaaa!' so i thought of using it for my email," she said.

i wondered at that logic. and then i laughed. it was beautiful but overcast that saturday morning while waiting for the 78 montrose bus. it looked about to rain. it was hot. the bus finally pulled up. the air conditioning was sooo good. i was on my way to meet a friend. treeshade, juniper or otherwise, would have been nice at that bus stop, and normally on a saturday a.m. i am asleep, but it was nice to be out with humans for once.
  london one more time
my friend hazel lives in london. if her mailing address said surrey or southwark, i would worry less. if she didn't say she took the underground almost everyday, this blog entry would have never materialized. but she lives in london, her address is london, she takes the tube everyday. she hasn't responded to four texts and a phone call in two days.

her cousin from minnesota says that she was supposed to be in italy this past week, but it isn't july 11 to 15 anymore. if i had never called him, he would have never known.

and he texted back an hour ago: no word yet, still trying. i emailed hazel earlier today. no response. her phone is off, a woman says, "the nextel customer you have called is unavailable. please try again later," in impeccable UK speech.

there are no people killed in yesterday's bombing, but it would be really nice to hear from hazel. she's called herself love since the past summer. i haven't even asked her why in the world she changed her name.
our usual cleaning lady has gone on vacation again, and in her stead is this frenzied replacement, temporary, with blonde hair you know isn't real. she wears her face heavily, the rouge too generous, like the blacks for her eyes and lashes and the peach of her cheeks. she smells like powder.

she takes my wastebasket and replaces it empty, with new plastic, but again out of place - a good six inches past under my desk. my desk is a corner of four, inserted diagonally, and i've intentionally moved drawers aside so my knees won't bump into any steel. there is much space for my wastebasket.

she leaves every wastebasket like that, six inches protuding under every desk, so when you climb on a desk and scan the office from five feet further up, all the wastebaskets peek from under the desks. like black minions under your beck and call.

of course the office never closes, and colleagues absent-mindedly kick their wastebaskets back into place, so the minions hide once again. and so you wonder about the original cleaning lady, her polish accent thick, her english poor, but her replacement of wastebaskets impeccable. the women won't say hi to you if you're busy on a project. i never notice their work until i see my wastebasket clean again, or misplaced again.

one day i lost my keycard and the original cleaning lady went up to me and, smiling, handed it to me. "i found," she said. "downstairs. i knew, 'my colleague,'" she said, pointing up. she said she found the keycard downstairs at the lobby and knew it belonged to a colleague of hers from the 25th floor. i wondered that if we were placed in different situations, like if i were assigned to ask her about work conditions in this building, if i would annoy her by my efforts to understand her on my own.

in another life, i would have no reason to greet them "hello" every time they emptied my wastebasket. i was taught to lay boundaries like that. pretty soon, i learned some boundaries are ridiculous. why shouldn't cleaners wear design on their faces - one's paid work doesn't always make the person.

a couple christmases ago, with plates wrapped in foil, they shared polish desserts of bread and jam. yum.
  don't wake the cards - charles simic
ulanmaya at flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

don't wake the cards
charles simic

since my chronic bad luck
vanished in my love's deck of cards,
i step around them softly,
i won't open the window on windy days.

i unpin her long black hair
and strip down her dress myself,
lest their flutter stir the dead air
and make the cards fly.

i tell her, don't even think
about picking up a broom
or dancing with your boobs flapping.
lie back in my arms

and watch the light fall
golden over us
in wordless silence.
don't wake the damn cards.

  it's supposed to be a joke.
ciso got four. sam, "six and proud," he said.

"PROUD?" lar cried. "Not with six correct scores, baby. I, on the other hand, know my Asian stereotypes and appropriately got 14 out of 18 right. Whether this is a byproduct of age or luck or true, unmitigated talent, only Chuck Norris can say."

sarah didn't even try. "What about FILIPINOS?? And Thais? Taiwanese? Indonesians? Laotians? Hello?!?! Glad to know we all boil down to 3 cultures!! PEACE!"

some jokes are just bad.

i got eight. average is seven. i am what my high school guidance counselor said i was: above average. yay!

take the test to see how well you do on asian stereotypes: all looks the same.
  the nominee
president bush nominated judge john g. roberts, a judge from new york. he chose someone who would make the least news. ahahahaha!!!
  new supreme decision-maker

there. i said it. i can go meddle other people's business again. yay!

president bush is scheduled to announce judge sandra day o'connor's replacement later today.
Dream Theatre Company, "SlowAnna."
The Side Studio
1520 W. Jarvis
Jarvis stop of the Red Line
Phone 773-474-9070
$15; $10 students
Closes July 30

a hella disturbing play, and giao said, "russian plays are even more violent and disturbing."

maybe it has something to do with communism and trying to run 12 time zones all at once. the writer, jeremy menekseoglu, whose background is russian, said he based it on a school he worked for while in florida.

absolutely disturbing to me because i know those schools exist. the students are victims of their illnesses and shortcomings to begin with, and then they're sent to this institution straight out of victorian asylum hell.

and then i thought of all the child abuse cases by priests at catholic schools here in the u.s., and my disquiet was complete.

SPOILER!!! the opening scene is screaming, a shot, then a principal running across the stage with gloved, bloody hands. it was the scene of putting someone inside the box. the box is just that - a box no bigger than your kitchen cupboard, maybe deeper, with blood and drawings and cords to hook up students with loud, bombastic music and flickering lights in tune with the sound. you get locked up in there for as long as the teachers' whim.

giao gave me the seat between two guys. he's so silly. of course, being seated so close to fellow audience you must at least say hi, and i did, but after that, i fell mute. i read the program instead. the close quarters didn't make me uncomfortable, though. and i couldn't really talk to giao because, as "seat helper," he was acting the part already. the actors play their parts as soon as you enter the theater.

the part i liked the best is the space - i looooooooove intimate venues. can't get enough of them. i {{{heart}}} cozy spaces. the open mics at sala cafe is a conference compared to the the side project's black box of a theater. the actors screamed and yelled and ran across just like any other stage, so you're forced to join them all because you sit so near them. when it's pitch black, it's pitch, save for the soundperson's unintrusive green study lamp on the small second floor to the left of the stage. it's an apartment building converted to stage space. soooooooooooo cool.

and giao sat me smack dab in the middle, in front of the space that divided the audience, the second row which is also the last, where no seat rested in front, where some actor can just reach out and grab me by the throat. purty neat. :pleased:

giao called just now, wanted to thank me for seeing his play yesterday. oh, how cute. ahahahaha.

but i still didn't write that freaky piece at some google groups last may. ann-oy-ing. :-(

chicago tribune: Humor tempers tough stories. `SlowAnna,' `Clay' try to find laughs. By Nina Metz.

chicago reader: The setting might be contemporary America, but the school known as "System 16" is a nightmare straight out of Victorian literature. By Mary Shen Barnidge.
  sometimes, i wish i could change my name
i have a fairly common first name in the western world. it usually doesn't get me in trouble, some have even said, "oh, pretty." but today, i found this mortifying piece that someone posted in a google group under my first name.

i'm worried, but i'll live. anyone who's met me in person will know that i couldn't have possibly written such a piece.

i'm disappointed, but i won't waste any more tears and shame on this issue - it's been months since the piece was posted online. i wouldn't know about it if i hadn't done a search. it might be aimed at someone else. i want to laugh, ahahaha, how flattering if that person wrote it thinking of me, but oh how silly.
  first book
and so because it is just so true, and so accurate, i want to post something writer bino realuyo e-mailed to a couple groups in thanks for their congratulations on his first poetry book:


there is this line in my new favorite movie (million dollar baby) i'd like to share:

"if there's magic in boxing, it's the magic of fighting battles beyond endurance, beyond cracked ribs, ruptured kidneys and detached retinas. it's the magic of risking everything for a dream that nobody sees but you.

many things we produce for the sake of the arts live in our minds and hearts for many, many years: the stories, the poems, the characters, the voices. there is also this dream of sharing them, in one form or another, a publication, a book, a reading. sometimes, they never see the light.

however, there is sweetness in knowing that our dream is ours and ours alone that's there's no one else there in the rooms of our creation but us.

for me, the passion will always be in the voyage. when my first book (my first!) embarks on your shores, please be rest assured it is everything my dreams are made of.

and i hope all of you keep dreaming, that these congratulatory notes and celebration don't become too overwhelming it is in the nakedness of our dreams that we produce art.

this dream that no one sees but you.

keep your eyes on the prize, not mine, YOURS.

make the dream happen.

thank you for your warm wishes.

  late notice from imelda

beyond the barrelman closing
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya_deux.

hey guys-

if you're not busy tomorrow (sunday) come check out the chinatown street fair. there's going to be a music stage at 23rd st. i'll be performing around 12:45.

sorry about the late warning. but if you're looking for something to do.....

hope everyone is having a great summer thus far,

...arroyo's appointed a few replacement cabinet already. despite all our dancing and singing and marching and writing, i think she'll stand her ground.

now... arroyo's supporters took to the same streets the protestors did.


arroyo, i heard, regularly meets with a prayer group. a friend of mine used to remark that the longer you are in prayer is parallel to how messed-up your life is - you have more to talk about because you have many messed-up things to straighten.

well, with the amount of praying arroyo does lately, she must now have gained the strength of a superhero. so now, gloria, save us. we are waiting. you are supposed to be president. please act it.

we are paying you up there. that's how you stay rich. please believe that God sent us you for a purpose. God won't be happy, otherwise. He just might strip you of the presidency.
  registering dissent
partly coz i just wanna start reading harry potter 6 already, partly in response to several blogs and emails and writings about it, partly coz i missed an info session about it, partly coz i managed to avoid all forms of protest all these years by default of supposedly working, but mostly coz i skipped myrene's suprise party for romeo last night coz i waited for HP6 at borders with my siblings, and, not getting back to the house until 2 a.m., experienced a very interesting and freaky night at the blue line train station involving people sitting on sputum coz they ignored everyone else who avoided that chair already... do not try that no matter the circumstances. riding the train on a saturday early morning, i mean.

registering dissent: the subtle service of glitz in protest

adams and wells

july 13's protest to call for the resignation of philippine president gloria macapagal-arroyo included music and dancing, much like a festival. business was very good for manila's financial district wednesday - and for part-time garbage haulers, who clocked in overtime to clean the mess the 40,000 left behind. they'll prolly be paid equitably.

i like mass gatherings. they're democracy in action. i'm a sucker for free speech in all forms. but you'll never find me walking the streets myself, and often just watching from the sides already makes me uncomfortable. watching is almost the same as supporting whatever cause, because you turn into a (an unwilling) monitor. it is exactly what most organizers wish you would do. so that's why i'd rather blog about it.

i wonder what the latest arroyo protest was like. i remembered my friends, how some of them hate most levels of public displays of affection, particularly demonstrations. mass political gatherings are confusing, their original purpose dissolving in the pagents and concerts and shimmering confetti.

organizers make protest events cool and glamorous because they want to have fun, too. they dedicate their lives to their movements that it melds with their identity and becomes a full-time job, on top of any full-time jobs they already hold down. they rarely have time to do anything fun. so, their protest organizing becomes fun time for them. it is always nice to be entertained.

the other, meatier, reason why protest events are always fun and glamorous is coz protest leaders want to bring in more people to their cause - and what better way than a party? in mass gatherings, music is easiest and most accessible, plus it's the best attention-getter. so that's why the chants are always catchy and the songs always heart-rendering and impossible to resist.

once you're hooked, organizers don't waste your time. they launch into why you're gathered here today. you can tell level of experience by listening - the veterans use a range of tools, from poetry to history to using as examples baon protestors packed to prepare for the day. this may not be the first gathering they've staged, but they hope that this time, it will spark lasting change - something like the 1886 haymarket riots here in chicago.

historians with the chicago historical society have a digital collection of the workers rallying for 8-hour work day, so they can have time for other things, like sleep in a bit longer or go to their kids' baseball games. police tried to disperse them by shooting into the crowd. it sparked a series of events that eventually lead to the present law of 8 hours a day at work, with a half-hour lunch and two breaks in between, and equitable overtime pay.

big gatherings remind everyone they rally for humanity be restored into their ranks - just wages, in the haymarket case, so they can have quality time for everything.

the problem with protests and mass movements is that they tug at the heartstrings, and sometimes, JUST at the heartstrings. and we the young people, who still remember what it was like to be hushed to the side by parents discussing Matters Of Great Importance, are suddenly shoved centerstage and we haven't a rat's beeehind's clue what the hell now to do.

so we yowl as loud as our lungs can before breaking, AYOKO NA, suko na ako, mamatay na kayong lahat diyang nasa gobyerno, mga nagsialisan para sa amerika, 'sang araw babalik kayo sa lupang ginawa ng blood, sweat, tears and blogging namin, kaya huwag kayong magrereklamo't wala kayong naitulong nung kailangan namin kayo dito.

and we yowl for as long as our lungs can take it, ARROYO, RESIGN, because it's what the others are yelling. so emotionally wrought, so confused and unused to stress and the immediate need to do something, we may follow the leader even though we don't know who the hell he or she is, and what he or she is really saying.

but they did say it was good to take to the streets, and e-mail and blog your heart out, because it is saying something, it is doing something, and all this is better than doing nothing. at least we were blessed with the space to "register our dissent," as one respondent to a recent blog wrote, and if we're not, we're blessed with the means to go find that space.

walking to the train station the night of sandra day o'connor's resignation, i entertained tiny worries: any day now, president bush will choose a 9th justice to interpret law for the country. o'connor always provided that swing vote that turned tables such as roe v. wade and whether to allow u.s. grade and high schools to display the ten commandments. i thought, how monumental.

i also thought, how many more monumental events had happend when i was little, it's only now gaining this much significance to me because i actually can vote now and the government will really chase me now should i refuse to pay taxes for more than three years straight.

in the philippines, friends are worried that their lives will go to waste because the country keeps on electing leaders of the same ilk. they challenge those who want to leave to go, and watch what they, those left behind, can do. leave, they said, you're entitled to choose the best for yourself. watch us rebuild this country from ashes.

here in chicago, friends are worried because their lives will go to waste if they don't do something to help out events in the homeland. some think it's intrinsic to their identity as filipinos to at least know what's going on in the homeland. thursday, some met at the hamlin house to discuss what to do and how to respond to this latest drama.

and there i was, thursday the day after the protest, thursday the day of the meeting, blogging during my breaks (working anyways because i'm at my desk), wondering at these latest events' drops in the buckets, here and there. in all honesty, arroyo's appointed a few replacement cabinet already. despite all our dancing and singing and marching and writing, i think she'll stand her ground.
  four hours and forty-five minutes to go!!!
whether you're a kid


or a kid at heart,

kid at heart

there's always a harry potter for everybody.

ahahahahaha ;-P
  witness - bino a. realuyo
The silence. The silence.
The silence covers everything.

Teresa de Jesus

In this town, everybody bends all morning,
to bury an acre of fear each hour, to feed
the ground with all the words they will not say.

Another man was found last week: caned
powdered, tied with grass.
She was there: crawling on mud, hiding

behind a rock and spires of grass,
and days later, hiding from the memory
of faces and voices: the foundered glint of a man

in the sun, the broken words, wound upon wound,
the thin blur of those around him, their laughter,
the whippings, their tight grasp of their whips-

Is to speak of this to finally forget?
To speak of it is to know that so much here
remain hidden - the silence, the air,

all inhaled, kept inside, food for fear.
At twilight, dogs begin to bark. Broken twigs,
bullets and shadows flee between trees.

Not again. She cups her mouth, hoping
that there is no spill of blood, parts of limbs
scratching soil. She firmly holds herself,

latches the door with wood, tight as teeth.
Night seeps through bullet holes on the walls,
sits with her while she listens, wilting, on the chair.

Cotabato, Philippines

realuyo's first poetry collection, "The Gods We Worship Live Next Door" won the 2005 agha shahid ali prize in poetry and will be released february 2006.
  java thriving
green tea blended creme frappuccino

yesterday, starbucks unveiled their latest exotic blend: green tea blended creme frappuccino, a concoction l'ordinaire in asia for years now.

today, at the open plaza of the riverside north building, they gave away starbucks coffee granules, sandwiches and pastries for free.

in the meantime, war mounts the world a presidential ousting, a supreme court resignation, at a time.

when the world finally crashes to bits, those left standing will be cockroaches, pigeons; superheroes and supervillians, fueled by churning espresso machines.
  protest pens
hi, everyone -

just forwarding a request for poems from noted manila-based writer, krip yuson. there is a popular move right now to oust yet another philippine president, the incumbent gloria macapagal-arroyo.

any support from interested parties would be welcome.

deadline for submissions is july 17, in time for the philippine state of the nation address on july 25.

thanks for your attention.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Krip Yuson
Date: Jul 12, 2005 8:16 AM
Subject: Fwd: Poetry Book on GMA

Dear Friends:

Poet and UP Associate Dean Joi Barrios and I are editing a rush-rush book of poems pushing for GMA's resignation. We need poems (English, Filipino, regional language with English or Filipino translation) for the anthology. Pls tell your friends and yours students about this book. Do write us a poem, too, if you wish. The deadline is this Sunday, July 17. We can't pay in cash but we will pay in copies.

The book will be published before the July 25 State of the Nation Address of Mrs. Arroyo. The publisher is CONTEND (Coalition of Teachers for National Democracy).

Many thanks,

Danton Remoto
  the condition of fingernails
if only my sister's tall finger fingernail
fell off its fingertip bed
because of injury, i'd feel better
and less disturbed
that it fell off its fingertip bed
because she chewed it
and gnawed on it
and bit on it
until she ate its cuticles,
the last of it thinned,
cracked vertically in several places,

finally, one day,
she came up to us asking for band aid.

at least she actually yelped surprise
and showed us her frayed right middle finger.

we all watched
the fingernail curl
like waves over purple ocean
until it had had enough.

i think this was shortly after our mother first left for the u.s.

we are each gifted
with a pair of glassy orbs
each with its own lid
so we can shut them at will,
each with its own tear duct
so we can shine them on cue.
unfathomable depths tell nothing
about anything you want to learn
about everything about their owners,

it's in the nails: you'll see.
i used to paint mine
so i'd stop biting them.
it worked, except that now
i know what the color "clear" tastes like -

mangoes, indian, with red blush
otherwise unavailable except in the
tropical produce aisle.
  thermostat at work
ulanmaya at flickr
thermostat at work
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

it is extremely warm here right now at work. i haven't been so glad to leave the office in so long.

i'm wearing this H&M tank top and a sweater over it that would have been considered hefty in wintertime. colleagues and i constantly complained of the heat - or freezing cold - in this office since summer started, so finally the building got tired of our whining and set the thermostat to 72 and locked the things in place. now there's no way to control temperature, if like right now, it's so warm in here.

that might mean it's actually nice outside; that would make sense coz it rained sheets this afternoon. yay!!! ok bye.

  sundae on sunday
ulanmaya at flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

sometimes i actually hope i catch this strange summer cold that's been hopping around people around me, but never me.

my mother had it, now my sister has it. she asked for expectorant and honey-flavored halls candy yesterday.

yesterday as well, i shared a sundae with someone whose voice seemed sandpapered by half, little by little.

it belonged to one of two hosts at the hamlin house. "do you want something cold to drink?"

realizing what i'd just done, i removed the spoon out of my mouth slowly. chocolate and pineapple and whipped cream swirled on my tongue. i wondered at my frayed immune system because of asthma and allergies. i wondered how long before the summer virus'll kick in. if it must come, then it must.

i looked up to him as if i hadn't heard a thing. "no, thank you."

i just hope it won't interfere with the trips i want to make later this month and next! ;-P

  kali at the hamlin house
ulanmaya at flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

noir a quatre - the 4th being je, but we didn't know yet we'd be the fantastic eskrima four in black. ahahahaha -


Parokya ni Edgar

Wag ka nang magalala
Hinding, hindi ako inlab sayo
Bakit ba pakiramdam mo pa yata
Lahat kami ay naaakit mo

Miss, miss, pakitigil lang please
Ang iyong pagpapantasya
Hindi ka na nakakatuwa
Ipapagulpi na kita sa gwardyang may batuta
AAaaaa...yay yay yah.....

Hindi ko talaga ma-gets kung bakit ka ganyan
Ang feeling mo ay sabik sa iyo ang lahat nang kalalakihan
Sorry, pagpasensyahan mo na
Mali talaga ang iyong inaakala
Lahat kami ay nandidiri sa iyo
Ikaskas mo na sana ang mukha mo sa semento

Di kami na-tuturn on sa kutis mong kulay champurado
Di kami naaakit sa labi mong garabucho...
O please naman, pakitanggap mo na lang ang katotohanan
Na ganyan ka 'pinanganak
Wag ka nang magpapanggap na ikaw ay isang dalagang ubod ng ganda
Kahit na alam naman natin na ang karakas mo ay ubod ng sama

Siguro nga naman ay may mga mas pangit pa sayo
Pero at least hindi sila nagpapakyut katulad mo
Nakaka-bad-trip ka, nakakairita tuwing kita'y nakikita
Di ko alam ba't ang laki ng ulo mo
Magingat-ingat ka, baka ikaw ay sagasaan ko

Di kami na-tuturn on sa kutis mong kulay champurado
Di kami naaakit sa labi mong garabucho...
O please naman, pakitanggap mo na lang ang katotohanan
Na ganyan ka 'pinanganak
Wag ka nang magpapanggap na ikaw ay isang dalagang ubod ng ganda
Kahit na alam naman natin na ang karakas mo ay ubod ng sama

O please naman, pakitanggap mo na lang ang katotohanan
Na ganyan ka 'pinanganak
Wag ka nang magpapanggap na ikaw ay isang dalagang ubod ng ganda
Kahit na alam naman natin na ang karakas mo ay ubod ng sama
AAaaaa...yay yay.....
ulanmaya at flickr
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

arundhati roy is on FRIENDSTER. golly! i hope she approves my request to be her friend!

i don't normally yell "golly!" when it comes to curses, by the way. i yell, "goodness!"


  fitness this summer
this entry not for the faint of heart. *wink*
if you think i'm serious about that wink, you're crazy.

i'd just come back from surfing a friend's blog. i tried to remember where i left off of his blog, and i found it - it was written a june 24, an eternity ago in blogland. while it gave me an overdose of mirth caused by nonsense, i've come to realize:

holy cup i really need somewhere to exert my energies this summer.

it never occured to me that i could spend that enery exercising until a friend told me to take up kickboxing.

kickboxing?! you say. why kickboxing?

i dunno. he must have just seen million dollar baby, but since i'm this hapless girlie girl, he mentioned a girl-power type sport.

so now i'm curious. but i hella know that before i could even nudge that hanging sandbag thingy a centimeter in any direction, i need to get in damned shape. i'm tired of being called "cute."

kickboxing doesn't interest me, but dragon boat racing does. woot! i chose a sport all on my own. i can always fall back to biking if my foray into the esteemed chinese art fails.
  forward this blog entry
especially if you live in houston, new york city or chicago:

Pinoy: Kokoy Severino
Regarding: Kayumanggi Pinoy Rock Radio
Date: 07.12.05
----- Original Message -----

From: SEPOYKOY@aol.com
Subject: July 12 kayumanggi Pinoy rock radio in America on KPFT 90.1 FM

Greetings everyone!

I would like to invite you to listen to the kayumanggi Pinoy rock radio in America special on the Music Beyond Borders show on KPFT 90.1 FM Pacifica Radio Houston, Texas USA Tuesday July 12 from 4 to 6 am Central US time. Click http://www.kpft.org/ to hear KPFT's simultaneous webcast. I will be spinning an all-Tagalog playlist of modern Filipino music by artists such as Juan de la Cruz Band, Asin, Joey Ayala, Bayang Barrios, Grace Nono, Mike Hanopol, Eraserheads, Rivermaya, Popong Landero, Ethnic Faces, Yano, Milk n Money, Kitchie Nadal, Color It Red, Barbie's Cradle, The Dawn, The Mongols, Velcro, Blue Ketchup, Brainwash, RodSun, the Presidents and Black Eyed Peas.

I will be talking to Joey Ayala in Manila live on the air via telephone from Houston, and Mexican poet Julio Marquina will be discussing and reciting his bilingual poetry as my special guest in the studio. Also on the agenda for the program is my kayumanggi Pinoy rock World Soccer Report.

Please do not hesitate to call in to the show. We would love to hear from you - 713-526-5736 (512-JAM-KPFT) or email me at sepoykoy@aol.com and I'll give you a shout-out. ulanmaya: hey! i remember this gig... you call, you greet the entire street, classroom, barkada, staff... you're not cool if you don't get a mention ahahaha

Peace and love,

For the benefit of everyone on the kayumanggi Pinoy rock email list in various places around the world, below is the global time schedule for the kayumanggi Pinoy rock radio in America special (source: www.timeanddate.com/worldclock). If the country or US state you are living in is not listed, please let me know.

Tuesday July 12 (except where indicated otherwise):
Philippines, Singapore: 5 to 7 pm
Thailand: 4 to 6 pm
Scotland: 10 am to 12 noon
Italy, Norway: 11 am to 1 pm
Australia: 7 to 9 pm
Washington DC, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, New York, New Jersey: 5 to 7 am
California, Arizona, Washington State: 2 to 4 am
Colorado: 3 to 5 am
Hawaii: 9 to 11 pm on Monday July 11
Texas, Illinois, Minnesota: 4 to 6 am


You are invited to join the World Music Collective and be a part of the rotation of radio programmers hosting Music Beyond Borders on KPFT 90.1 FM Houston, Monday through Thursday from 1 to 2 pm and Tuesdays from 4 to 6 am Houston time. We meet every Monday night at 8 at Taft Street Cafe, 2115 Taft St. just north of Fairview in the Montrose area of Houston, Texas. For more information, click http://www.musicbeyondborders.org/.


Rommel Eclarinal's latest film North of Ojinaga is screening at the 28th Asian American International Film Festival in New York City on July 21at 8:30 pm, in Rose Hall of The Asia Society, 725 Park Avenue at 70th St. in Manhattan. Like much of Rommel's work, Ojinaga is a deeply emotional film that faces and delivers realities about people struggling for identity, rights, survival and their vision of an ideal future. Shot on location in West Texas, two young immigrants in search of their dreams are smuggled across the US border from Mexico and abandoned in the vast unforgiving desert. Visually stunning and profound, Ojinaga has garnered critical praise at film festivals in Texas, California and New Mexico. For more information, click http://www.aaiff.org/ or email reclarinal@mail.utexas.edu.

Upcoming gig of kayumanggi Pinoy rock band: August 21 at Miller Outdoor Amphitheater, Houston, Texas USA, 3pm. More information about this show is forthcoming.


Kokoy's playlist of July 5:
To mark Philippine-American Friendship Day, I departed from my standard format of all-Tagalog and played a lineup of original English songs by Filipino artists to present the adaptation of American pop culture in Philippine society.

1) "Lady in White Satin" by Juan de la Cruz Band, from the album Up In Arms
2) “Glad You Are Here” by Joey Ayala, from the album Organik
3) “Life’s a Joke” by The Speaks, from the compilation Super Size Rock
4) “Eden” by Enda, from the e.p. Spacious
5) “I Will See” by Mike Hanopol, from the album Tribu Kemistri
6) “Cousin Arlene” by Diskarte Namin, from the album Diskarte Namin
7) “Cathleen’s Silhouette” by Rommel Eclarinal, from the soundtrack of the film North of Ojinaga
8) “Waiting for the Sun” by Velcro, from the album Ubod ng Lakas na Dikoryenteng Kombo
9) “Shiny Silver Jeepney” by Bobby Banduria, from the e.p. Shiny Silver Jeepney
10) “Hiroshima” by Cynthia Alexander, from the album Insomnia & Other Lullabyes

Mabuhay ang Pinoy rock!
Long live Pinoy rock!

Save The Date: 08.20.05
----- Original Message -----
From: je cacnio
Subject: Bamboo LIVE in Chicago

Save the date Aug 20, BAMBOO Live in Chicago at the Double Door in Wicker Park....


Email me or call me for tickets...


Ruckus Productions
773.592.1728 - Mobile
773-725-4797 - Work

Pintig Theater Group
-Community Outreach Director

events compiled by ed tumlos.
  mobile post
H! Thank u! Im fine nd safe. Praise god! Hope ur ok. Tc! Gb!

ok... this message might appear several times in this blog coz celly reception inside this building sucks and i tried to send it several times. so. don't think i've finally succumbed to that unobtainable place everyone normal goes to in sleepytime. ...
  talking about london
H! Thank u! Im fine nd safe. Praise god! Hope ur ok. Tc! Gb!
- backtext from hazel, 070705, 1:03 p.m. london.

ulanmaya (3:32:46 PM): hi, gilbert! how r u
ulanmaya (3:32:49 PM): r u busy?
gilbert (3:33:11 PM): sorta, but a little free, y?
ulanmaya (3:33:12 PM): were you one of those who was angry when the sfc conf was cancelled because of the sept. 11 attacks?
gilbert (3:33:49 PM): no not really
ulanmaya (3:34:16 PM): how come?
gilbert (3:35:49 PM): i understood the circumstances involving the situation
ulanmaya (3:36:42 PM): i see. ok thanks
gilbert (3:37:09 PM): that's it?
ulanmaya (3:37:56 PM): well, you were near the area, you saw the extent of damage on all sides - not just physically, but emotionally
ulanmaya (3:38:17 PM): some of those who wanted the conf to continue lived on the west coast or here in the middle states
gilbert (3:38:25 PM): yeah, I wasn't directly involved but I can see from the environment how bad it really was
ulanmaya (3:38:49 PM): r u still with the NYSE?
gilbert (3:38:53 PM): yes
ulanmaya (3:39:06 PM): did u guys close when london happened?
ulanmaya (3:39:15 PM): or slow trading?
gilbert (3:39:17 PM): nope, trading continued
gilbert (3:39:57 PM): even the london exchange continued trading
ulanmaya (3:41:53 PM): were you able to notice anything change there, at the nyse, in nyc in general, when the london attacks happened?
ulanmaya (3:42:00 PM): aside from heightened security?
ulanmaya (3:42:05 PM): and then i'll let you go ahahaha
gilbert (3:42:23 PM): heightened security for downtown manhattan was definitely there
gilbert (3:42:37 PM): that's pretty much all I noticed
ulanmaya (3:43:17 PM): thanks for taking time to talk to me ahaha - i was just curious
gilbert (3:43:29 PM): ok
i was supposed to be here TWO HOURS ago. there should have been time enough for me to explore o'hare airport, even. brush my teeth. change from my jeans. get me something cold to drink before my shift starts at work.

BUT noooooooooo -

the united airlines express aircraft from columbus, ohio to chicago "broke down," according to the ticket taker at columbus, so they had to cancel a noon flight and bump everyone else to the first flight that would get them out of columbus, competitors included. they'd send them out on united first, of course, if they could. so the next first united flight out of columbus won't be happening until 1:30 p.m.

which isn't so bad, coz that ideally would still get me into chicago by 1:30-ish, given the time difference. of course, i didn't anticipate unhappy flight attendants staying their intent to strike, and happy camper-passengers just happy to be on the next flight out, and rain.

normally i love rain. i wished it happened in chicago, tho. coz illinois is under a severe drought. farmers would welcome it. i understand it can't be helped as central ohio's been under 80s and 90s watch lately. but if it happened in chicago, and my flight was cancelled because of crazy rain that won't stop playing with planes in the sky, then there was something at least to prove to my colleagues at work why my flight needed to be cancelled.

and so, it turns out that it is lovely beautiful overcast, but NOT RAINING in chicago, and trafficky at best. at that. IT IS TRAFFICKY! traffic from the northside around kimball avenue till way past downtown. i should know this, i was told to take the train, but i still insist on cabbing to most things.

so there is yet another reason to be one hour late from work: traffic. i dropped $40 big ones on the lap of the taxi driver, who seemed deaf. i have a soft voice, that's why. but he's still deaf.

and so what do i do after stashing my suitcase and my messenger and packages inside the winter coat closet? check with work. yes, walgreen pharmacists are out on strike. a lincoln park zoo gorilla is having his own drama ish. and some gradstudent wants AP copy from last week.

and i log onto xanga coz there isn't space for this kinna ish right now, right here in the office, so my keys run 10,000 leagues a second while everyone else around me marvels at how busy we've suddenly become given that there are less than 10 staff watching the entire illinois and the third largest city in the u.s. - when you think of it, i'm hella lucky in that aspect.

i haven't even had a chance to think about how columbus, sweet and accomodating, charmingly tested my patience many times.
  elusive justice
A gracious _ and elusive _ justice
Chicago Tribune, editorial, July 2

It is always a wistful moment when a pioneer rides off into the sunset, and so it is with Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to sit on the U.S. Supreme Court. "For an old ranching girl, you turned out pretty good," President Bush told O'Connor in a phone conversation Friday as she announced her retirement from the high court after 24 years.

For some, the 75-year-old O'Connor, who roped steers growing up in the Arizona scrubland on her father's Lazy B cattle ranch, leaves a legacy of independence and pragmatism that transcends the groundbreaking symbolism of her 1981 appointment by Ronald Reagan.

But she could also be maddeningly elusive. She would have been an effective moderate Republican in Congress _ she served in the Arizona legislature. She knew how to reach consensus. But it was often difficult to find a legal philosophy guiding her decisions on the court. She frustrated many on the right who wanted her to fit into the strict constructionist mold of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

How would a case come out? "It will be 4 to 4, and the outcome will depend on what Sandra Day O'Connor had for breakfast." No one seems to remember who said that first, but it was the safest prediction for the outcome of a decision during her tenure.

She was the only justice in recent years to have held elective office, and the experience of having to compromise to get things done helped mold her independent streak.

On a court increasingly polarized along ideological lines, she often staked out the middle ground. She was the swing vote in a large number of 5-4 decisions, usually a conservative advocate of state's rights, but one who sometimes sided with liberals on sensitive matters, from reinforcing the Americans With Disabilities Act to allowing legislative boundaries to be drawn to protect the voting rights of minorities.

That rendered her the wild card on the court _ but it also magnified her power. O'Connor was on the majority end of the 5-4 decision to effectively hand the disputed 2000 presidential election to Bush. In 1992, she was the tiebreaker in a decision that upheld the right to an abortion. In 1989, she authored a decision that struck down a minority set-aside program for construction projects, but in 2003 backed the right of universities in some circumstances to use affirmative action programs.

As Douglas Laycock, a professor of constitutional law at the University of Texas, said, O'Connor's opinions often turned on narrow facts at a time when others on the court stressed grand principles. In the 1980s, she voted on opposite sides in two cases involving the propriety of nativity scenes on public property. She thought one OK because it also included candy canes and Santa Clauses, but the other violated the separation of church and state because it lacked any such secular garnishments.

O'Connor has acknowledged the pressure of being the first woman on the court. "I've always said it's fine to be the first, but you don't want to be the last," she told the Tribune in 2003. "I was acutely aware of the negative consequences if I arrived here and did a poor job."

She served as a poised, gracious and ethical member of the court.

But, though Bush may have flattered an old ranching girl as she rode off, chances are he will look for a more philosophically consistent justice to succeed her.
  arc over the chicago river
ulanmaya at flickr
chicago river fountain
Originally uploaded by ulanmaya.

one of the things i want to do this holiday weekend is upload pix, ahaha. i'm bummed right now coz my friend les is leaving on sunday, and my other friend andy has already left for philly. andy is just visiting philly, and les is visiting from dallas; she is leaving sunday morning. i could have gone to either philly or columbus tonight, but nooooo... i hadta work. i know it's better than being unemployed, and i know i am being spoiled. rotten. but it doesn't make this night any shorter. and yes, i am trying to remember not to wallow because three-day weekends are usually busy with parties. but i don't want those things to take up all my time. anyways - there is les to bid goodbye to saturday (most likely on the phone coz she lives with relatives in mokena), and homework to critique that includes movies, and hello, the taste closes on the 4th. so - anyways -


welcome, and thank you for boarding the ulanmaya transit express. tickets, please. mind the gap as you depart. have a pleasant experience.

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gromit is curious

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