Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Haunting Spanish Lullaby

My mom always sung this to me as she rocked me in the wooden rocking chair she bought when I was born. She rocked me nightly, even when I was way too big and long for her arms or the rocking chair and this was one of the songs she sung to me:

El Escapulario

Nunca se supo quien fue su madre,
Porque la ingrata lo abandono
Una viejita lo vio en la calle
Y con carino lo recojio.
Tan solamente un escapulario
Lleva el chavelo por capital
Colgado al cuello como un sudario
Para librarlo de todo mal.
Y esperando la viejita A su nino ,
a su nino lo abrazo
Y besando sus manitas
Al oido le canto.

(coro) Quiero que mi escapulario
Nunca, nunca se aparte de ti,
Guardalo como un sudario
Que yo te entrego al morir.
Reza por mi , reza por mi toditos los dias
A la virgen del Rosario
solo te quizo en la vida
Solo te quizo en la vida
Quien te dio el escapulario.
Lalalolelolela Lalalola, lalola lalola lalola.

Pasado el tiempo fue un gran torero
Y una marqueza Le dio su amor.
Y al enterarse que era un plebeyo
Con gran desprecio lo abandono.
Y en una tarde en que el toreaba
En un descuido la vio el chaval
Y al descuidarse mientras miraba
Cayo en la arena de una corna.
Y un lamento de agonia
En la plaza, en la plaza se escucho
Y el chaval mientras moria
Escucho esta cancion.

(coro) Quiero que mi escapulario
Nunca, nunca se aparte de ti,
Guardalo como un sudario
Que yo te entrego al morir.
Reza por mi , reza por mi toditos los dias
A la virgen del Rosario
Solo te quizo en la vida
Solo te quizo en la vida
Quien te dio el escapulario.
Reza por mi reza toditos los dias a la virgen del Rosario
solo te quizo en la vida
solo te quizo en la vida quien te dio el escapulario.
Quien te dio el escapulario.
Fue la virgen del Rosario
Quien te dio el escapulario
Oye quiero quiero que mi scapular
Quien te dio el scapular
Que ven aca tu ahora Rosario
Quien te dio el escapulario
Fue la virgen fue la virgen del Rosario
Quien te dio el escapulario
Escapulario, escapulario, escapulario
Quien te dio el escapulario

Quien te dio
Quien te dio
Quien te dio escapulario
Nunca se supo quien fue su madre.

It always made me sad, but it's so beautiful.

You can hear a sampler here:
El Escapulario - Perfomed by Los Papines

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lust by Any Other Name

So it was another frigid, gray Monday here and I feel so very restless, not physically but spiritually. I want to write more, exercise more and just be overall happier but instead I feel trapped. I try to write and can't get my disk to open, or I'm too tired too exercise. I feel stuck in rut.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Rest in Peace, Viejito!

World's oldest person dies at 115
From the UK Telegraph:

The world's oldest person has died aged 115, just six weeks after inheriting the title.

Emiliano Mercado Del Toro died of natural causes today at his home in Isabela on the northern coast of Puerto Rico.

Mr Mercado del Toro had been having difficulty breathing but was conscious and alert shortly before his death, according to his grand-niece, Dolores Martinez. "He died like a little angel," she said.

Born in Puerto Rico when it was still a Spanish colony, Mr Mercado del Toro was drafted into the US Army in 1918 but was still training when the First World War ended. Later, he worked in the island's sugar cane fields. He married three times but never had children.

In his home town, he became a celebrity after he being recognised by the Guinness Book of World Records last month.

"We're all crying, but we knew this day would come," said Rosa Luciano, the town spokesman.

Mercado del Toro took over the title of world's oldest person following the death of Elizabeth "Lizzie" Bolden aged 116 in a nursing home in Tennessee. She had held the title for just over three months, according to Guinness World Records, after the death in August of Maria Esther de Capovilla of Ecuador, who was also 116.

The current title holder is now thought to be Emma Tillman, 114, who lives in Connecticut. Born to former slaves in North Carolina on Nov 22, 1892, Mrs Tillman became the world's oldest woman last week after the death of Julie Bertrand of Montreal, Canada, in her sleep aged 115.

Mrs Tillman, who once worked as a maid for Katharine Hepburn, has been widowed for 70 years and spent the past four living in a rehabilitation centre.

According to her carers, she takes no credit for her long life. "I think as she gets older, it gets a little less exciting only because reaching this age is something she feels she didn't really do herself - she says the good Lord did it," said Karen Chadderton, administrator of Riverside Health and Rehabilitation Centre, where Mrs Tillman lives.

Longevity runs in the family. One of Mrs Tillman's brothers lived to be 108, while one sister lived to 105 and two others lived to 102.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Fashionista Steps Out

So yesterday was supposedly the "most depressing day of the entire year' according to a study discussed here: and I was feeling down. I took matters into my own hands and went to a fashion show/party sponsored by and saw my friends.

Some of you might not realize but "Literanista" is a fusion of the words "literature" and "fashionista" because I am crazy about both clothes and books. Well, anyway on the 5th Avenue bus going home I spotted this dress in a window display:

And, I swear I would've gotten off the bus if it wasn't almost 10 at night. Today I checked the Jcrew website and of course the dress is completely sold out. But, on closer inspection of the dress, I realized that I have a dress just like this but with a different neckline. My dress is near identical!

The best part of it...I got it a thrift shop like 7 years ago for like $10. Ah, it feels good to always be ahead of the game!

Friday, January 19, 2007

In the Time of the Fists: Vargas Llosa Punched García Márquez 3 Decades ago

From Criticas Magazine:
End of Vargas Llosa and García Márquez Row Denied
By Aída Bardales

Literary agent, Carmen Balcells, denied that Peruvian writer Mario Vargas Llosa will write a prolog for the commemorative edition of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Cien años de soledad (One Hundred Years of Solitude). Balcells told Colombian newspaper El Tiempo that the special edition will include an excerpt from Historia de un deicidio (“History of a Deicide”), an essay Vargas Llosa wrote about the novel when the two were friends.

The misunderstanding came about after Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia reported that Vargas Llosa would write a prolog specifically for that edition. Various news agencies and media subsequently recounted the reports, including British newspaper the Guardian. A spokesperson for the Real Academia Española (RAE or Spanish Royal Academy) reportedly told the Guardian that “Both men are in agreement…” but no official confirmation was made. “This scandal is nothing more than the trivialization reporters commit when dealing with serious matters such as this one,” Balcells told El Tiempo.

The supposed prolog would have ended 30-years of hostility between the two Latin American writers. The two have shared an enmity since Vargas Llosa punched García Márquez at a cinema three decades ago. Neither author has divulged the reasons for their feud and both have only said it was based on personal matters. However, it is widely suspected it was triggered by differences in political views: García Márquez is a loyal friend of Fidel Castro while Vargas Llosa is an avid believer in democracy.

The special edition of García Márquez’s classic work will be published this March by RAE in conjunction with Spanish publisher Santillana and will be presented at the fourth Congreso Internacional de la Lengua (“International Conference of Language”), which will take place in Cartagena, Colombia, the Nobel laurete’s hometown.

The commemorative version of Cien años de soledad will be similar to the 2004 edition of El Quijote—published in celebration of its fourth centennial and presented at the third Congreso two years ago. It will include introductions by fellow “boom” writers—the one by Vargas Llosa, one by Mexican Carlos Fuentes, and one by Colombian Alvaro Mutis—complementary essays, and a glossary.

The centennial edition of El Quijote also included a prolog by Vargas Llosa and sold more than 2.5 million copies.

The Congreso Internacional de la Lengua is organized by RAE—the institution responsible for regulating the Spanish language—and by the Asociación de Academias de la Lengua Española (“Association of the Academies of the Spanish Language”). At this year’s conference, special tribute will be paid to García Márquez, who marks his 80th birthday this year, as well as the 25th anniversary since receiving the Nobel prize.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

My Soul Needs...

Just a few notes:

I saw Akeelah and the Bee the other night on DVD and discovered this wonderful quote, which I wanted to pass on to all of you:

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?

Actually, who are you NOT to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won't feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.

As we let our own Light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

Marianne Williamson (1952-)

How wonderful and inspiring is that?

On a sadder note, why do people think it is okay to beat their animals?

This is from Gothamist:

This past weekend, a Queens man was arrested for animal cruelty. Oswald Joudan faces up to a year in a prison and a $2,000 fine for a number of terrible things he did to his Chow Chow "Lumpy" (pictured). A neighbor called the ASPCA, which found the dog so badly beaten that its face is distorted. The dog was also starved to the point of being 30 pounds (!!) underweight and had a 14-inch collar on the its 17-inch neck that was so restricting that it was embedded in the flesh. The dog needed 100 stitches to close up the wound. The ASPCA will determine whether the dog, who has a "great disposition" and will be renamed, can be adopted, but in the meantime, you can call 212-876-7700 to find out.

And why do people think it's okay to joke about Senator Barack Obama's name (how assinine is it to call him "Osama")? Are you haters, and racists, um showing your true colors?

I'm excited about the possibilities of having either a woman or a Black man in office, it's been a long time coming! I hope it just doesn't divide and hurt the vote.
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