Tuesday, September 25, 2012


I was finally awarded for this fall semester.

My tuition is paid in full. 

I have a job interview Wednesday.

Even if I can't go to Fall Retreat... and my gas light has been on since Saturday night, I am relieved because there's hope in every direction. Stop being blinded. 

Please pray for my interview, y'all. Please pray for my Bible study today. 

Monday, September 24, 2012


I owe money to the university...

I'm not even broke anymore.... I'm just in debt.

I hate money. I don't understand people's love for it. I hate it more than I hate the hopping fleas in my bed.

As much as I say I don't worry about being so broke... I do.

I skipped Reed's class for the third time because I was talking to the financial aid people. Hopefully he doesn't drop me.

I have tons of homework.

I need to work shop 2 autobiographies by 5:00 pm today.

I need to workshop 2 creative writing assignments by tomorrow.

I need to Read Jovita Gonzalez.

I need to Read Journalism and workshop "Shots."

Friday, September 21, 2012




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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Border Life

While my mom struggled to smother large pieces of aguacate into corn tortillas in the passenger seat of the truck, my dad ate the last duraznos he had taken from Abuela’s tree back at her ranch and my sister and I practiced our upcoming interrogation speech in the line at the Hidalgo International Bridge. Ever so often, a vehicle would abruptly shove itself right before us and my mom would say, “tiene prisa, tendra que ir a el bano.” Which translates in English, he’s in a hurry perhaps he needs to go to the restroom. We would laugh when the line of cars he was in would begin to move faster than items on the speedy checkout line at H-E-B. Dad would join that line and leave the poor dude behind – where the youngsters from Tamaulipas sold chicles and bags of chopped nopales and the older sun-toasted folk sold Crucifixes of a battered and bleeding Jesus who had ribs that resembled the mouth of a Saber-toothed cat’s fossil .

“American Citizen, Sir?” The Border Patrol Officer asked while my dad practically had his resident card plastered on the officer’s face. His head would then move to the passenger and not say a word to the woman on the seat who had her resident card in hand.

“Pare donte van?”

My dad would tell him that we were only visiting some family members in a small town in Tamaulipas and that we were headed to Edinburg.

The officer would peek-a-boo to the back window and ask us, “Where were you born?”

“Yes, churr,” I would reply in the ugliest accent called shame.

“He was born in McAllen, TX. Sir,” my sister would eloquently put it. “I was born in San Juan.”    

                Out of the two possible questions: “Where were you born” and “Are you an American Citizen” I wouldn’t ever answer them right because even though my parents would tell my sister Daniela to quiz me, I didn’t understand the foreign language my sister spoke. I didn’t know what it meant to be born in America. I didn’t know that the answer “McAllen” was relevant because it was on this side of the border. I didn’t understand why we always had to visit my Grandma, my tios and my cousins, why I couldn’t bring them to my house. Why couldn’t we all spend Christmas together? Why couldn’t Marina, Alberto and Adela come visit our grandma with us? Every time we visited grandma Cira, she would send her favorite granddaughter, Marina, flour tortillas. She and my tias would say, “dales un abrazo y un beso a los muchachos.”

My dad was a carpenter and plumber Monday through Friday. On the weekends, all of us went with him to the yardas. We mowed rich people’s lawns, vacuumed their driveways, fished out drowned cats from their pools and buried decaying tacuaches that lived in their attics. That’s how my family bonded. It was our only quality time with Dad. When we were home my parents still couldn’t educate us because they just didn’t have the resources to achieve that.

While my mom and sisters sharpened their look for church, I helped my madrina’s son, Luis, convince my madrina to let him come with us.

                “Pero no es de nuestra religion,” she said. He’s a Christian.

                I didn’t know what was up, if my Jesus was cooler than her Jesus or if her Jesus was angry at my Jesus or if she didn’t believe in Jesus at all. I just knew that I wanted my good pal to be as miserable as I was at my church because being with someone in a shitty place makes the place memorable and fun. Just like the summers I spent working in the fields with Apa. I hated it unless my sisters or my neighborhood friend Chino came along.

                “No, Luis Miguel,” she said in a stern voice. “No vas a ir!” 
                 Luis stomped the ground of the living room and marched to his room.

                When I went home, I remember asking my dad why Catholics hated Christians. He said that he was a Catholic and he was married to Christian woman and he didn’t hate her. He said that I was probably half Catholic because I was baptized when I was only two, he said, that is why my madrina was my madrina. He added that people are just scared of people who don’t believe the same things they believe and often shelter their kids.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Reflection Mondays

Let's Be Happy.

We need to stop being such grumps and Sit-Reflect... and do nothing but thank God for what He's done.

Today, in Destino, we talked about what "foundations" we've been building our walks on. Spritual food, spiritual exercise etc. well, what I noticed on my way home while listening to the ever so happy "Sing Sing Sing... grateful that you hear us when we shout your name..." by Tomlin, that in contrast to the song, a lot of us lack joy when we talk about our walk.

None of us seemed happy.
We all talked about how ugly we've been.

I'm going to be honest, I really don't think that; sure there's room for improvement but through God, my life isn't a complete mess.

I thought about what God would think... Think about it... How would you feel if we constantly gave to someone and they remained in a bitter state of mind?


I would feel pretty shitty.

Let's open our eyes and see God's work.
Stop denying it.

I neglected to give praise to God today.

He has definitely been working in my life and I need to share that.

Even though I will always need help, there is hope in His Son and my life as of late has His finger prints marked all over it.
Let's be grateful.

Romans 8:24 For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25 But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

1 Corinthians 1.28-31 "What the world thinks is worthless, useless, and nothing at all is what God has used to destroy what the world considers important. God did all this to keep anyone from bragging to him... So if you want to brag, do what the scriptures say and brag about the Lord."

Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. 6 He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.

Proverbs 10:28 The hope of the righteous brings joy, but the expectation of the wicked will perish.

Look at the full sermon of Hope from my church Logos.


I was in my room. Remembering that I had promised myself not to wear the black backpack again. The lakes of sweat had made me hate it. The breaking plastic and melted leather made it look miserable, in pain for coming back from retirement, forced to carry a limited edition twelve font family Bible, an Anthology that was even heavier than the Bible, a three inch binder, a literary comic book, a collection of short stories and my mom's lunch box. I tried carrying it in so many ways to avoid getting my back drenched but my arm was too sore to do the usual "one armer." I inhaled, closed my eyes and wore it like my school nurse, Mrs. Napkin, suggested when she checked our entire class for scoliosis in the sixth grade. I grabbed three lollipops from the counter and ran out the door.
"Ey, Ruben."
"Hi, uh, Eh... Em... Emma," I said. "Can you hold these?"
"Are they for me?"
"Yeah." I grabbed the gate with both hands and pushed it.
“Let me put the lock on it,” I said.
“Hurry, the bus is turning already.”
“Go, tell Frank to wait up, I’ll be there in a bit.”
Once I finished tying the two-foot chain around a fence pole and the gate I ran to the bus stop. Emma was behind all the other kids from our colonia, in a straight line ready to get into the shakiest bus of the school district. “Hopefully she sits by herself so I can sit with her,” I thought. She was the only girl whose hair I’d ever notice to have movement with the wind, the softest curls that smelled like sandia. I guess that’s one of the many reasons why I loved sitting with her on the bus.
As I climbed the three stairs onto the bus I heard Frank the bus driver say, "I usually just take off.”
"Well it’s really nice of you!" Emma added.
“Hey, thanks… Emma," I said.
"Hope this is the last time you run late. You need to be at the bus stop tomorrow morning or I am taking off."
          I skipped a row of seats from where she sat and glared at him through the long and triangular rear-view mirror. His mustache framed the bottom half of his face. His hypnotizing Oakley's framed the top half. I wondered what he stared at. Whatever it was, it wasn't the road because when we were on the bus, we practically drove on sidewalks. I imagined him staring at Emma, who had her head on the seat in front of hers. 

Friday, September 14, 2012

note to self

Don't pay for food outside of your house.
Even if you have money to spare.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

fall : rough schedule


Semester is going by so fast. Homework... Exams... Creative papers due...
I'm not stressed about any of it though. I realized I need to rearrange the way I spend my time though.

  • Homework Time consists of reading... writing... etc. Assigned readings
  • Writing Time will be done for fun! Tons of new project ideas I'm excited to work on! (will be up soon, hopefully)
  • Blogging Time... blogger... write about Everything that is going on... 
  • Reading Time: Read/Analyze/Critique Literature. done for fun... Garbage reading will be done during homework time. :o (did I just imply something?)

Mondays: Destino Ignite Day

8:45-10:30 am Survey Am Lit
10:30-2:00 pm Plan Journey
2:30-4:00 pm Contemporary Am. Fiction
4:00-6:30 pm Finish Planning / Homework / Set up
6:30-10:00 pm Ignite

Tuesdays: Journey / Community Group

8:00-10:35 am South Texas Literature
10:35-11:50 am Spec. Topics Creative Writing
12:00-1:00 pm Journey
1:10-2:30 pm Adv. Creative Writing 
2:30-4:00 pm Border Studies
4:00-7:00 pm Homework Time
7:00-9:00 pm Community Group

Wednesday: Homework Day

8:45-10:35 am Survey Am Lit
10:35-2:00 pm Homework
2:30-3:40 pm Contemporary Am. Fiction
3:45-4:05 pm Work on Graduate School applications
4:00-6:30 pm Write
6:30-10:00 pm FREE TIME!

Thursday: Men's Bible Study

8:00-10:30 am South Texas Literature
10:30-11:50 am Spec. Topics Creative Writing
12:00-1:00 pm Lunch / Outreach / IV Bible Study / Cosecha etc. 
1:10-2:30 pm Adv. Creative Writing 
2:30-4:00 pm Border Studies
4:00-7:00 pm Homework Time
7:00-9:00 pm Destino Bible Study

Friday: Event Day

7:30-8:00 am Destino Basketball
8:45-10:35 am Survey Am Lit
10:30-1:00 pm Blogging Time
1:00-7:00 pm Homework Time
7:00-10:00 pm Event

Saturday:  Destino Cakes Day

8:00-10:00 Destino Cakes
10:00-4:00 pm Reading Time
4:00-10:00 pm Social time (ahh)

Sunday:  Logos

8:00-12:00 pm Church
12:00-8:00 pm Family Time

Sunday, September 9, 2012

September 9, 2012

Romans 6:8
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Four Stalls

I gathered every one of my books, shoved them in my backpack. I grabbed my papers that need to be workshopped and hurdled my way through every student.

I pushed my way through the aluminum doors and stopped breathing. Four stalls to choose from at the COAS building at Pan Am. Should I go into the first one that had a quart of urine on the toilet seat, into the second one that had torn and stained paper that was smiling at me from the toilet seat, the third that had a fluorescent light right above it but was flooded with crap, or the fourth that was extra spacious and away from any other potential butt hole ready to aim fire but had the oldest toilet seat that was permanently brown?

Fourth one it was! I went in and began panting, trying to get some air from under my shirt.

I was sitting down now, cursing The Cinnamon Toasts I had for breakfast when brown sandals came into stall number three and intelligently flushed the toilet. The murky water was splashing on the ground, onto his toes. "Oh, shit." However, he still did a one-eighty and pulled his brown cargos down... to the floor!