Spring 2012 starts with an homage to love, labor, family, and Mattel

There’s a first for everything and this spring’s first is a personal essay published in Doveglion Press. “Barbie’s Gotta Work” is about love, labor, and ironing underwear for golf fanatics in east county San Diego.

Here’s an excerpt:

Barbie’s Gotta Work
By Rashaan Alexis Meneses

Under the most surprising contexts, I’m constantly reminded of the efforts my parents and grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins have contributed for the sake of our family. In 1930, my maternal grandfather arrived from Limisawa, a small island in the Gulf of Leyte where Magellan landed and held the first Filipino mass. With nothing but a pail of adobo in his hand and in serious need of a warm coat, no sea breeze or monsoon could have prepared him for the San Francisco chill that greeted him in his new home. Before arriving, he had raised and supported his brothers and sisters by managing their small family farm in the Phillippines. With my grandmother working at his side as well in the States, my grandfather juggled three jobs while raising his children.

Born in California, my paternal grandmother shuttled across the Central Valley following the harvests as many Mexican migrant families do. She doesn’t count her adolescent days picking tomatoes and prunes as official jobs because every kid in her family and in the surrounding neighborhoods worked the fields. For my grandma, hop-picking was the perfect excuse to get out of the house and meet the young, military-rated 4F men who committed backbreaking labor on the hopyards…

Read the entire piece here.

Image from Jemboy’s World

“Tropical Island Fun with Barbie and Miko” January 26, 2009

The Barbie Travel Agent Set was a surprise gift from Santa who, ironically, had designs to usher and initiate me into Third Wave Feminism:

Image from The Henry Ford Museum, “Happy 50th Birthday, Barbie!” March 2009

From The Salon: “Agora” Film Review

Rachel Weisz stars as Greek astronomer Hypatia in "Agora."

Originally released last year with limited U.S. screenings, audiences best take advantage of this next go-round because Agora is worth every second. Directed by Alejandro Amenábar, his vision of Alexandria is a sumptuous yet often gory feast. Starting at 391 AD, the film circles around three focal points, the perpetual religious warfare of the time, the disintegration of the Roman Empire, and the assumed life’s work and teachings of philosopher and mathematician Hypatia, played by Rachel Weisz, who is stunning in her Hellenic garb, draped in pure Grecian white or clothed in rich purples and vibrant fuschias. The only comparable marvel to rival her is the city of Alexandria and its great Library, envisioned with grandeur and filled with a light and beauty that matches Weisz.

Hypatia, a historical figure, was Greek, which might excuse Ms. Weisz’s conspicuously pale skin as she plays fair maiden amidst her significantly darker Egyptian and Mediterranean counterparts. Daughter of Theon, a prefect of Alexandria, Hypatia is brilliant in math, philosophy, and astronomy though none of her original writings survive. Other philosophers and scientists pay tribute, in their texts, to her contributions, which include the charting of the celestial bodies and the invention of the hydrometer. She lived in the Roman outpost of Alexandria, and Carl Sagan, a modern day champion of her, once argued, without sufficient substantiation, that Hypatia might have been the Ancient Library of Alexandria‘s last librarian. Agora‘s filmmakers took this speculation and ran with it, creating an opulent setting for one very luminescent individual.

Read entire post at Ruelle Electrique.