Sunday, June 21, 2009

Man Day

In one gasp:

Yesterday I had a "Man Day" in which I worked out and sweat like a mo-fo, went to play Top Golf, BBQ-ed with friends, then drank and played poker in which I bluffed people and belched and cursed and peed standing up (not really), the end.

Favorite Dad Moments

1. The first favorite dad moment that comes to mind is when he explained the menstrual cycle to me. I was a budding "tween," and er, had a question, and my mom was out, so I went to the second adult in charge of the house with my question. I had already been briefed on what I was to expect in the coming years, but I didn't expect this change to come so early. And while my mom was out. And while my dad and brother were content in their boy-lands playing Nintendo in the other room.
I have to commend my dear father for explaining the mestrual cycle to me in such clinical terms. I remember standing in the hallway between the kitchen and dining room, which is probably where I ambushed the poor man with my question. Mary, our housekeeper at the time, who spoke English, was hanging around, wiping the counters ever so quietly as she listened in on this embarrassing scene of a little girl who may or may not have taken the first steps in becoming a woman.
My dad used all the scientific words: uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, "every 28 days." All Greek to me. There was no emotion in our little chat, either. So when my dad excused himself to go back to boy-land and play Nintendo with my six-year-old brother (who I'm sure he was relieved to think that he will never ask him period questions), I was left with Mary the housekeeper who had been stifling herself all this time, and gave me a big hug saying, "You're a woman now!" I was still processing the science lesson my dad had just given me, and hoping my mom would come home soon.
2. It was my 14th birthday, and as it happened every year, it fell on Spring Break, so I was never in school for my birthday. My dad, the serial car buyer that he is, had decided that today is the day we go to the Island (South Padre) and purchase this Winnebago he'd seen in the papers. I saw this as an opportunity to 1.) Perhaps convince my dad to take me to the beach and/or 2.) Get him to take me to the Dairy Queen in Port Isabel for a sundae or something. I didn't get my way, but I do remember having a surprisingly good time watching my dad negotiate the price of this Winnebago -- a magnificent, giant machine with blue interior and no power steering or A/C. I believe he got away with paying $650 for it. Kind of an anti-climactic story, but still a nice memory.
3. My grandmother died when I was about seven or eight years old. I was moderately unaffected by this event -- the only things that were on my mind at the time were that the whole family was coming into town and that I was so, so scared to go to the funeral. I was petrified that they were gonna make me look at the dead body.
Anyway, my dad was sitting at the dinner table, just kind of relaxing with a cigarette. Maybe he was waiting for a snack or something, I don't remember. Now that I think of it, he was probably waiting for nothing and reflecting because afterall, his mother had just died. But he flagged me down and said he wanted to explain something to me.
He took out a tall, empty glass and a saucer plate and said, "You know, Mom just died. ("Mom" is what we called that particular grandmother.) You know what happens when someone dies?" He took a drag from his cigarette and blew the smoke into the glass and turned it upside down onto the saucer plate.
He said, "The body quits working, but your soul is still there. It doesn't have a place to live anymore, so the soul leaves the body and finds a new home." Then he turned the glass full of smoke right side up and we watched the smoke slowly leave the glass. I don't remember if he said anything about God or heaven -- I think he let me come to my own conclusions about that.
4. I was in high school, and we lived in a house I fondly recall as the "Sunshine House" (because it was on Sunshine Road). It was late in the evening and my dad was going out the front door for some reason to take out the trash or something and I followed him out. I must have been in the middle of telling him something.
We continued the conversation outside for a minute or two. When it was done, he looked up and said, "Do you hear that?" It was a bird singing -- not chirping aimlessly, but truly singing. We thought it was strange because it was night time, and the song was so melodic and lonely that we just stood there for a few minutes and listened to this bird. He had this bemused look on his face the whole time, as if we'd just experienced something rare and beautiful. This might be my favorite dad moment.

Happy Father's Day.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Dear Facebook Friends

Dear Facebook friends,

Please stop telling me you're hungry in your updates. Also, please stop with the laundry list of your laundry list. I don't care if you're at the gym, or if your baby made a cute face. I also don't care to hear about your happy hour which you are enjoying right at this moment because fuck, you are at happy hour and shouldn't be on your phone telling me about what you're doing because you should be doing what you're doing, and that's it. Cut it out. You are addicted to your phone and you should just stop. Now.

Also, don't tell me what you're having for dinner because I am jealous. I am jealous because my kitchen has been taken over by Nazis and I only eat half a cold hot dog, then throw it away because I am pissed off about the Nazis. They made the Holocaust and that's not right. Four nights in a row. That's the Holocaust.


Entertain me with some pithy quotes and/or snarky observations about the world. Please. Make something up. Tell me how much you hate babies and how you miss hand-drawn animated movies. Bring something up that makes me want to "wiki" it, like the Bolsheviks -- I still don't know what that is all about -- or how Pushkin affected your state of mind right now. RIGHT NOW. Or tell me a joke. But nothing political because as soon as I see the words, "Obama" or "Iran," or "North Korea," I get narcoleptic. So yeah, don't do that.

You have your instructions. Now, go!

Update: The Nazis just handed me a burger, which I so graciously accepted because I am hungry. All the time. Damn you, Operation Six Pack. I am an animal.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Heavens. Right when my dear LtFlux is coming out of his hiding, I am entering into one of my own. A small one, I think -- it may not even last the week.

It's the kind of hiding that is reminiscent of hidings of yesteryear. But this time, it's not melancholy or disgruntled in nature. It's more like annoyed and tired.

I'm annoyed at all the noise that seems to come from EVERYWHERE. And then when there is no noise, there's still that white noise -- I feel everyone else's noise. Is that weird? Don't answer that.

No knock on the people making noise around me -- except for annoying co-workers who insist on carrying out painfully detailed, inane conversations about what they had for dinner and what they're having for lunch and how cute this baby is, and "oh, I have to take this vitamin now and then I'm gonna go down the hall because I have to tee-tee..." Everyone else is cool. They can't help their noise. It's just me.

So that's annoying. What's also annoying is that I am tired. My brain is tired. I really want to take a few days off and enjoy this kind of day, or that kind of day, but I am paranoid that if I take a few days off, they'll realize that they don't really need me. That's stupid. But that's what's in my head right now.

I'm just whining now. The truth is that the nice people in my house right now are having a heated discussion about world events and all I want to do is hide on the computer and whine to the blogiverse. This hiding may only last one night.


As for the no hooch rule this week, I am breaking it tonight. Like I said before, I am moody. And Operation Six Pack is coming along. I'm stepping it up a bit, as the summer is right here, on top of us, staring us in the face, heaving its hot, salty breath on us saying, "" Take it as you will, but if I am going to be hot this summer, then I might as well be hot.

I'm seeing shades of muscle wanting to come out. It WANTS to. But I'm at that frustrating point where the body is responding to the diet and exercise, but the skin needs time to "readjust." I've been there before, back in the days of Operation Lose Weight! (yes, exclamation point) and I don't remember how long the skin takes to readjust, but it will happen. It will.

One of the joys of being young. Skin elasticity.

Listen to me, bargaining here. So, yes, No Hooch Rule is on hold tonight. As is my will power. But hear me now, folks -- three is the limit. OSP won't be affected. Much.


I'm kind of worried this week. Okay, the past couple of weeks. I know we can't always be "on" when it comes to an obssession, or passion, but I go through hills and valleys when it comes to music. For the past two weeks, I haven't been able to pick up the guitar with any conviction. I've gone through this before. A couple of months ago, I went to my genius guitar teacher (GGT) and told him that I think I've lost my music mojo. I hadn't been practicing then, the same as it is now.

Hills and valleys.


Hiding is over. I am going to finish a movie I started last night: LET THE RIGHT ONE IN.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Not Father's Day...

This weekend I:

1. Thought it was Father's Day.
2. Went to a club, got free bottle service and danced The Cupid Shuffle.
3. Miss my brother and feel like a dweeb for missing him. He's on vacay in Austin and I am not jealous.
4. Yes I am.
5. Saw Mad Max for the first time and I want to see it again like now.
6. Showered every day. Rare for a weekend.
7. Had an awkward guitar lesson with a sub.

Okay, let's talk about this lesson. I've had a lot of music teachers in my day. I rate my current as the best teacher yet. Every week, I feel that he makes it his number one priority to target my weaknesses and work with me -- relentlessly -- to the point of exhaustion, all in the name of getting this or that point through to me.

I've always had this issue with teachers. They see potential in me and at first I perform well, but gradually work my way into a zone in which I get comfortable with putting forth minimal effort -- just enough to equally frustrate my teacher and keep me mildly interested. A word of advice, kids: Don't give 100% at first. Always start with 60-65% and work your way up. It takes control, but trust me, it works out better for everyone.

Anyway, I'm at the point right now that genius guitar teacher is working overtime to get through to me. He's pushing me, and while I appreciate the effort, the pressure's on me and me alone. I don't practice nearly as much as I should. In fact, I only practice the easy and fun stuff throughout the week -- specifically repertoire and sheet music/sightreading exercises. The hard stuff (for me) is the dang theory study. The chords. What makes this chord this and how to play it three, four, five different ways on the fretboard. It's daunting stuff, and frankly, a little boring to me. I want the instant gratification of learning a 1-4-5 chord progression, learn the lyrics, and BAM, I've got another song to add to my repertoire.

I know what he's doing. All this pushing is his evil, evil plot to make me finally learn my fretboard after six years of playing. And that's what makes him the genius guitar teacher. But I know his plan, and I am resisting it because I'm a lazy asshole like that.

Anyway, back to awkward lesson.

This new guy was pretty young, and I sensed he was kind of nervous. Must've been my super-sexy hangover cloud and runny makeup from the previous night's club dancing (see #2). I explained to him all the tricks genius guitar teacher was trying to employ to get me to (heh) LEARN, but to my disappointment, he didn't try to employ any of those tactics. It's not like I was disappointed that he didn't try to give me the same weekly beatings to which I have been so accustomed. It's that I was giving him the green light to be like his boss, genius guitar teacher, and in a weird way, try to give him some pointers as to how to brutally beat some theory into a student. Plus, I was hoping to get some new insight from a fresh perspective, and all I got was a nervous guitar dude who just wanted to jam and talk about bar chords.

Let me explain.

Bar chords are easy. If you can put your index finger down hard enough to hold down all the frets and make the same generic shape underneath, you've got all the tools for making a major, minor, dominant seventh and major seventh chord. I get that. That all lies within my "comfort zone" we've already talked about.

And the jamming. This was clearly his favorite part.

I was getting bored/annoyed at the bar chord talk, so I suggested we look at some repertoire. I know the melody of this particular piece (That's All), and I was having some fun challenging him to back me up on chords. I noticed he was one of those insecure musicians who was eager to impress me with his knowledge ("Your teacher is a jazz guy, but me, I'm a classical guy."), so I thought it would be fun to try to play together. Mostly because the fumbling around with bar chords was so awkward, I wanted to do something different, but also to see if he had the chops he was clearly so eager to show me.

Success. We fumbled a bit at first, but in the end, the song came out pretty well. It only took us 26 minutes to finally have fun.

Back to the list...

8. Operation Six Pack is coming along swimmingly. The hardest part is the diet. Damn you, weekends, with your pizza and hooch! All in moderation, I say, but still. Friday night was definitely a night of indulgence, so that's my designated one night this week -- the rest of the week is nothing but good stuff. Now how to define "good stuff"...

Despite these indulgences, I have noticed some improvements. I keep finding these new lines, which is tre exciting. I still have a lot of work left to do, but these new lines I'm finding are oh so encouraging. Nothing to do but move onward. Maybe one day I will allow myself to take an afternoon off and lounge by the pool, which is what I stare at when I am running, running, running. The treadmill strategically faces the pool at my apartment complex, and on the weekends the pool is full of happy, relaxed people who for the most part seem to have achieved that perfect balance between getting in a good workout and drinking beer all afternoon.

That's all for now. Now piss off.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Old list, renovated

Previously posted on another blog in another time (November 2004). Updates in red:

1. I’m a cat person.
2. But I just recently accepted dogs into my heart.
3. I need my parents more than I should.
4. I’m chronically late to everything.
5. I love music: jazz, cumbias, boleros, Cuban music, blues...
6. I play guitar.
7. I play the piano.
8. I sing my heart out every time I hear a song that touches me.
9. I can smell a phony a mile away.
10. I cuss, but I know it’s not ladylike. I cuss and I don't care that's it's not ladylike.
11. I didn’t try very hard in college.
12. I’ve never tried hard in my life. I started trying in 2006 or so.
13. My favorite place to be is on the front porch of my grandma’s house in Veracruz at 9 in the morning. Still is.
14. I have broken a couple of hearts and am sad to admit that.
15. I don’t drive standard.
16. I have split ends.
17. Imitation is my thing.
18. I understand that the world will always be fucked up.
19. I love the water.
20. Cloudy days depress me. Not anymore.
21. Sunny days inspire me.
22. I play at night.
23. I’m a magazine junkie. I'm an Internet junkie.
24. I love movies.
25. I hate liars.
26. I can be very passionate about things. No, not "can be" -- I AM very passionate about things.
27. My idea of fun is hanging out at the beach with my closest friends.
28. But I don’t do it enough.
29. I am self-critical.
30. I am anal about English grammar.
31. When I was 14, I wanted to be a model.
32. I am delusional.
33. I have two half sisters I wish I knew better.
34. I don’t reach out to people.
35. I love musicals – they convey a magical world in which everyone sings and lives happily ever after. Bah, they're overrated. Those bastards were all on blow.
36. I love seafood – I may suffer from high mercury levels.
37. 13 was a tough age for me.
38. So is 23. So were 25 and 26. 28 is pure sexual chocolate, though.
39. Spongebob Squarepants may just be the greatest show ever. Over it. But it will still hold a special place in my heart.
40. I haven’t had a nap since college. Ha! I nap at least twice a week.
41. Flip flops are my favorite shoes to wear. I've evolved. Vans is where it's at.
42. History fascinates me.
43. Most people annoy me.
44. Swallows are the most beautiful birds I’ve ever seen – acrobatic, blue and lively.
45. The thought of having children scares me. Still does.
46. I prefer e-mail to phone conversations.
47. I love fart jokes. Also, I love dick and sex jokes.
48. I am constantly looking for something better.
49. I will always be boy-crazy.
50. No matter how hard I try, I won’t ever understand physics. Yes, I can. I just don't care to.

Some things never change. But we can evolve over the course of 5 years. Just a little bit.

Here's an updated list. I won't make it to 100. Mostly because I hate you.

51. At 28, I think I finally have a clear path ahead of me. This might be a bit premature, but it might be better to say that I am more able now than ever to create an action plan and follow through. Even if that plan fails. Which makes shit more interesting in my opinion.
52. The older I get, the less I give a shit about the consequences of my actions or what I say. Not in the reckless way, but in the "fuck you, I do/say what I want" way. It's awesome.
53. This new "Me" list is getting complicated.
54. People are easy to talk to. Really easy.
55. High fiving kicks ass. I'm bringing high fiving back.
56. In addition to loving the eff out of seafood, I add sushi to that list. Holy hell, sushi is good.
57. I'm in a good mind space. Better than ever.
58. I have absolutely no problem being served. Whether in a restaurant or in my home, it is always preferable that you bring me that bowl of cereal or please...can you take my plate back to the kitchen since you're already up?
59. There is nothing wrong with beating a joke to death.
60. I hate politics talk.
61. I used to be really into photography, but I am bored of it at present.
62. I relieved that I'm not into photography anymore. Documenting everything you do is tiresome. Plus, it takes away from the experience.
63. I like going out for walks.
64. I really, really like cooking. Never thought I'd say that one.
65. Gossip is so wrong, but I love the shit out of it. Even if it gets you in trouble, it's totally worth it.
66. I'm okay with never growing up. It is totally fun to be infantile, delicately mixed with the ever-evolving joys of the natural wisdom that comes with age.
67. Wisdom is optional.
68. I used to wish for a writing job. Now I realize that I can do any old job and write whenever I want.
69. In the spirit of Point #69, I have to say this: Sex is good for you.
70. Speaking of sex, the sexiest body part(s) are the hands.
71. I was an English major and I hate to read books. Not a big surprise here. Books are boring, unless they are the Twilight series.

That's all you get for now. Stay tuned for the rest of the 100.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009


A wee update. In a list!

- Operation Six-Pack is underway. And by that, I mean I will have a six pack this summer. Of beer. Not. Honestly, I don't know what I'm doing -- I mean, at age 17 I worked out twice a day five days a week and never achieved the elusive six-pack, but dammit, it's worth a go 11 years later, no?

It's unrealistic to think I'm actually going to work out twice a day every day, but I think I'm going to have to do the inevitable and cut out my beloved junk food during OSP. That and beer. That pretty much sums up everything beautiful in life. Oh yeah, and exercise, exercise, exercise.

Dear Pizza, #8 meal from Whataburger, Jack in the Box Egg Rolls and Jalapeño Poppers and Beer,

I love you but we're through. This has to be a clean break, so I won't go into how much you've added to my life with your awesomeness. Don't look at me like that. We had a good run, but I'll always think of you fondly. Well, eventually. For now, I must think of you as disgusting. Like turds. No, worse than turds. Like baby turds that are all yellow and smell like milk. Yeah. Get out of my life. You disgust me. Go now. Shoo.

(But bear in mind, that I fully expect you to take me back should I decide to return. Got it?)


The D.

P.S. Please return my Bjork CD.

- Matt is in love with Natalie Portman. He is watching The Professional. Again. 'tsokay. I'm not jealous.

- Wait, back up. He just paused the DVD to watch Conan on The Tonight Show. I think he's reading my mind. Not like I was jealous or anything. Pshhhhhh.

- So it occurs to me that I've had this blog for four years and I've never explained my choice of name, Deconstructionist Diaries. I don't really feel like going into it in great detail, but to sum it up, it's because I was an English major and my favorite approach to literary criticism was deconstruction.

- I am full of shit.

- But only about 76% of the time.

- I have some very credible sources who have all come to that same calculation. 76%.

- So some interesting things have happened as of late. For one, we are now an economical statistic. Yes, ladies and gents, this awesome recession has not spared this household in that Matt has been laid off from his job, which was totally dumb and stupid and who needed that job anyway, right? RIGHT? Bah, I hate you, recession, but at least my house is now clean all the time, and he has time to fulfill his life-long dream: becoming a dog party planner. You heard me.

- Just kidding, Matt hates dogs.

- Another interesting thing. I played open mic night at this deliciously divey dive of dives last Monday. Where did this come from, you ask? My crotch. No really, I would've been terrified three months ago, but I'm afraid this music thing has become kind of an obssession. It's an unstoppable force, this music. The thing is, my brother, the guitar wunderkind, asked me if I wanted to go and it just sounded like a good idea. Kind of like when you're hanging out, having a good time, and someone passes you that 5th beer, and even though you have to drive home, you take it because eeeeeyyyyy, you're having a good time anyway and one more beer won't do much harm, right? Well, it's kind of like that. Except, ew GROSS, I hate beer.

In short, we rocked it, it was fun, and I totally want to do it again. Un.Stoppable.

- I am going through a phase in which I am convinced EVERYONE is on blow. Fuck the swine flu, if I see you sniffling, you don't have a cold, you are on coke, you dirty bastard.

- When Mando and I worked at the college newspaper together (the second time around), he gave me a certificate labeling me as "La Accuser," which I accepted graciously, with all the poise and humility of the queen of England. And then that rat bastard stole my red pen. I KNOW he did.

The end. BTW, Conan's current guest is on coke. Don't believe me? Watch it. Do it now.