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Once again, I'm riding the Jackson County Brevet century (100 miles near Atlanta, Georgia) to raise money for research and treatment of Aplastic Anemia and related blood disorders. These are pictures from when I did the ride two years ago with my son-in-law Tom McCaslin, who is a healthy survivor of AA. I feel as if this cause is one worthy of my work and makes me not ashamed to ask for contributions. Tom and I are at it again.
My Jackson County Brevet Page
George Hincapie on the Brevet! : )
So...Bicycling Magazine is hosting a contest: submit 100 words about your favorite ride (I take that quite loosely) and a photo. I submitted a couple weeks ago, and TODAY (two days before contest ends), I read that I can submit ONE entry EACH day! Holy buckets.
So here's today's entry:
Title: Ride with Me
Author: Ruthie Knox
May Contain Spoilers
In this fun, scorching-hot eBook original romance by Ruthie Knox, a cross-country bike adventure takes a detour into unexplored passion. As readers will discover, Ride with Me is not about the bike!
When Lexie Marshall places an ad for a cycling companion, she hopes to find someone friendly and fun to cross the TransAmerica Trail with. Instead, she gets Tom Geiger–a lean, sexy loner whose bad attitude threatens to spoil the adventure she’s spent years planning.
Roped into the cycling equivalent of a blind date by his sister, Tom doesn’t want to ride with a chatty, go-by-the-map kind of woman, and he certainly doesn’t want to want her. Too bad the sight of Lexie with a bike between her thighs really turns his crank.
Even Tom’s stubborn determination to keep Lexie at a distance can’t stop a kiss from leading to endless nights of hotter-than-hot sex. But when the wild ride ends, where will they go next?
I have mentioned before how much I loved the Loveswept imprint of category romances. I was tickled when Random House revived the line, with plans to re-release older titles, as well as introduce new stories to the line. Ride with Me is the first original book that I have read in the Loveswept line, and I found it very true to the older books that I read and loved. It’s sexy and funny and told with breezy prose. I ate this one up very quickly.
Lexie has dreamed of biking in the TransAm for as long as she can remember. The only problem? Her riding partner on the long trek from Oregon to Virginia had to back out because of an injury. Not looking forward to the long journey by herself, Lexie puts out a few ads for a riding partner. When Tom’s sister responds without his knowledge, she poses as Tom and makes plans for Lexie and her brother to ride together. Tom is furious with her when he finds out, but his sister guilts him into at least meeting Alex. Then Tom is furious to discover that Alex is actually Lexie. One thing he doesn’t need is a woman holding him back on the ride.
I was actually afraid that the story would bore me, because I have zero interest in biking. Now, if Lexie and Tom were going to ride horses across the country, you wouldn’t have been able to keep me away. After about two pages in, though, my fears were put to rest. I loved Tom right away. He is cranky and aloof, and still stinging after discovering that his wife was cheating on him, his social skills have become decidedly rusty. Lexie, on the other hand, is bubbly and vibrant and fun to be around. Everyone loves her, and she has the ability to engage complete strangers in conversations, quickly making friends with them. Lexie and Tom couldn’t be more different, and their different personalities clash for almost the entire book. They are both strong people, which is a good thing, because Tom can be downright awful. There were a few occasions that he had me so angry with him that I wished I could grab him by the scruAdd a Comment
Yesterday, my friend's dog peed on my living room carpet--quite out of character, but enough to push me over the edge: YES, I need to rip up the carpet NOW, and have a nice wooden floor--or at least a clean wooden floor--with rug(s) before Alec comes to visit and crawl around on it.
SCENE FROM THE MOVIE GIANT
Tino Villanueva (Curbstone Press, 1993)
It's been several years since I watched the classic movie Giant, whose cast included James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Sal Mineo, and Rock Hudson. The first time I saw it, I was a young boy, probably eight or nine. It was the middle of the 1950s and I was in the Rialto Theater on Main Street, in a small Colorado town. The Rialto was one of those movie palaces that used to occupy places of respect in almost every American town -- a gaudy, blinking marquee, deep red carpeting, elaborate wall fixtures, and thick curtains that majestically opened when the lights dimmed and the newsreel flickered on the screen.
I remember Saturday afternoon matinees with my buddies and an occasional midweek night out with my parents and younger brother for some special screening. The Rialto was where I first encountered American icons of comedy such as the Three Stooges and the Little Rascals, and red-blooded heroes like John Wayne and Burt Lancaster. It's also the place where I practiced my recently acquired reading skill. Sitting on a worn cushion and scraping my shoes on the sticky floor, I read all the credits as they rolled up the screen; I learned that the director was always last and when his name appeared, the flick was about to start.
But my experience with Giant was different. Going in, I thought it was only a love story but it had some attraction for me because of James Dean. Back then, and maybe for years afterwards, I deluded myself that I was something of a rebel, even at that young age, and so I was drawn to teenage outlaw myths created by the movies and other facets of mass culture in the immediate post-War years. In another movie I thought Sal Mineo was perfect when he sauntered down a nameless New York street hunched over in a shiny red jacket, smoking a cigarette and flashing a switchblade. I saw the first four Elvis Presley movies and every rock and roll melodrama that passed through the Rialto.
And so I checked out Giant, mainly to see what James Dean had been up to after his surly bulldozing of the decaying middle American landscape in Rebel Without a Cause. Of course, I didn't think of it that way when I was a kid -- he was cool, man, and that was enough.
But what I got from Giant was this amazingly complicated story about Texas -- quick money from oil, cowboy aristocracy clashing with political tensions created by a vanishing Old West; rich and poor whites mixing it up in their own private class war; and, eventually, Mexicans: people who looked like my grandparents, who were scattered throughout the film as so many props.
I felt uncomfortable watching this movie. I didn't like the way the Mexicans were treated in the film but somehow I thought that maybe it was the Mexicans' fault. Why were they in a movie anyway? Movies were for slapstick comedy, outer space monsters, the glory and bluster of John Wayne on the shores of Iwo Jima, and juvenile delinquents.
Texas poet Tino Villanueva has focused his own reactions to this movie and created an epic poem entitled Scene From the Movie Giant. In his marvelously written book he capsulizes a lifetime of provocations inspired by the movie. In particular, he deals with one scene where a trio of quiet, almost submissive Mexicans are subjected to blatant and violent racism.
Villanueva agonizingly chronicles his own attitudes about the crucial scene, which portrays the apparent victory of brute force and hatred over the humble Mexicans. Sarge, owner of a diner, refuses to serve a Mexican family. When cattleman Rick Benedict (Rock Hudson) objects, Sarge savagely beats him up. Villanueva stretches his images over the years and miles to Boston where, as a graduate student, he still grapples with the real meaning of the scene from the movie. As Villanueva writes, he constantly must turn back to the time when his offended small world was disrupted, unresolved. As is made clear in Villanueva's pages, his own resolution comes through the words he has chosen to present to the reader, so many years after he watched a movie in fear and awe. He has presented the truth as only a poet can understand it.
(this review first aired on Denver radio KUVO in 1995)
A BIT OF NEWS
How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Still Alive?
If you can't read the image, it's an announcement of a presentation of How Else Am I Supposed to Know I'm Still Alive, written by Evelina Fernández and starring the very talented and always entertaining Debra Gallegos and Yolanda Ortega on January 19 at 7:30 PM at the Troutman Theater at Aurora Central High School, 11700 E. 11th Avenue, Aurora, CO. $35 for adults, $10 for students and seniors. The performance benefits the Nuñez Foundation College Scholarship Program. We love these women and their enthusiastic performance art, and I know I'll see many of you at the play.
Nation of Immigrants
The Art Students League of Denver sent the following announcement about their upcoming exhibit, Nation of Immigrants, curated by Tony Ortega and Susan Sagara Bolton: "This exhibit brings together a wide range of media, styles, concerns, and sensibilities from artists whose inspiration is the immigration experience. Walking through the exhibit, you will experience the history each artist brings to their art and how culture and heritage resonate through their work." Participating artists include Polly Chang, Manuel Cordero, Carlos Frésquez, Ken Iwamasa, Clara Martínez, Emanuel Martínez, Sylvia Montero, Adriana Restrepo, George Rivera, Danny and Maruca Salazar, Carlos Santistevan, and several others. Exhibit opens January 4, 5:30 - 8:00 PM and runs through February 27. The Art Students League is at 200 Grant Street, Denver, 303-778-6990.
Dolores Huerta will be the keynote speaker at the Latina/o Advocacy Day event to be held February 24-25 at the Adams Mark Hotel in downtown Denver. Sponsored by the Latina Initiative and the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights, the event provides advocacy and lobby training on policy issues of concern to Latinas and Latinos in Colorado. For those who might not know, Dolores Huerta is a long-time human rights activist and a co-founder with César Chávez in starting the United Farm Workers in the 1960s. Info., send an email to: email@example.com. Image courtesy of favianna.com.
Sacramento Poetry Center
I'm passing on the following piece:
Another great night of poetry is coming up this Monday, January 7 at the Sacramento Poetry Center, 1719 25th Street, at 7:30 pm.
Starting off the new year will be Barbara Jane Reyes and Oscar Bermeo. It will be an exciting night of powerful poetry hosted by Arturo Mantecon. Don't miss it!
Barbara Jane Reyes was born in Manila, Philippines and raised in the SF Bay Area. She is the author of Gravities of Center (Arkipelago, 2003) and Poeta en San Francisco (Tinfish, 2005) which received the James Laughlin Award of the Academy of American Poets. Her other honors include an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Fellowship and numerous Pushcart Prize nominations. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Asian Pacific American Journal, Chain, New American Writing, North American Review, Notre Dame Review, among others. She lives with her husband, poet Oscar Bermeo, in Oakland.
Born in Ecuador and raised in the Bronx, Oscar Bermeo is a BRIO (Bronx Recognizes Its Own) award winning poet, educator & literary events coordinator. Oscar now makes his home in Oakland, where he is the poetry editor for Tea Party magazine and lives with his wife, poeta Barbara Jane Reyes.
Sacramento Poetry Center
1719 25th Street
916.451.5569 - www.sacramentopoetrycenter.org
Eric is madly dashing around the office, trying to get ready for a presentation he's giving in Mexico--or he would have posted this himself.
But he knew I was NOT madly dashing around the office. In fact, I'm here on an almost leisurely Friday morning before the three-day weekend. I biked the baby to school today, as we have been doing for the past 2 weeks now. It turns out, it's practically as fast as the car and it may not be saving a ton of gas...but I decided it saves me feeling like a nincompoop for driving the 3 miles twice a day. Plus the fresh air, a bit of exercise, some drama as I turn onto the main road with lots of cars. All good.
But I digress. Penn State took the results from The College Students Perceptions report and compared it with their latest FACAC results, as reported by E-Tech.
Penn State students regularly came out on top, above national averages revealed by the report. Now, there are a number of factors that could be in play here:
Great ride yesterday--"University of Okoboji Cycling Classic." Rode the 50-mile route around the lakes, and after the jammed-10-mile-an-hour start on a clogged bike trail, we broke into the open and flew along the roads and trails--gently rolling hills and curves. It rained for awhile, but still, the route was beautiful.