The Little Review (littlereview) wrote,
The Little Review

Poem for Friday and <a href

Day of the Refugios
Alberto Ríos

I was born in Nogales, Arizona,
On the border between
Mexico and the United States.

The places in between places
They are like little countries
Themselves, with their own holidays

Taken a little from everywhere.
My Fourth of July is from childhood,
Childhood itself a kind of country, too.

It's a place that's far from me now,
A place I'd like to visit again.
The Fourth of July takes me there.

In that childhood place and border place
The Fourth of July, like everything else,
It meant more than just one thing.

In the United States the Fourth of July
It was the United States.
In Mexico it was the día de los Refugios,

The saint's day of people named Refugio.
I come from a family of people with names,
Real names, not-afraid names, with colors

Like the fireworks: Refugio,
Margarito, Matilde, Alvaro, Consuelo,
Humberto, Olga, Celina, Gilberto.

Names that take a moment to say,
Names you have to practice.
These were the names of saints, serious ones,

And it was right to take a moment with them.
I guess that's what my family thought.
The connection to saints was strong:

Mu grandmother's name--here it comes--
Her name was Refugio,
And my great-grandmother's name was Refugio,

And my mother-in-law's name now,
It's another Refugio, Refugios everywhere,
Refugios and shrimp cocktails and sodas.

Fourth of July was a birthday party
For all the women in my family
Going way back, a party

For everything Mexico, where they came from,
For the other words and the green
Tinted glasses my great-grandmother wore.

These women were me,
What I was before me,
So that birthday fireworks in the evening,

All for them,
This seemed right.
In that way the fireworks were for me, too.

Still, we were in the United States now,
And the Fourth of July,
Well, it was the Fourth of July.

But just what that meant,
In this border place and time,
it was a matter of opinion in my family.


-250 on my Friends list and I just can't do anymore. If I missed something, I apologize profusely. I really felt the love yesterday -- thank you all so much!

Am curious: When you are in a very small fandom, and the closest thing to a BNF in that fandom whose fic you enjoy greatly and never fail to comment upon ignores your fic while pimping the fic of other people whose fic you don't find especially more wonderful than yours, is it silly to find this disenheartening? I stopped writing Space and M:I fandom a couple of years ago because having an audience of three people made me feel like it was a pathetic excercise -- and given much of the fic that was getting highly praised, I concluded that wow, the characters must have been more shallow than I noticed. *veg*

Now am playing in a corner of a fandom whose canon I don't know all that well, and I feel like it will be three years before I can write anything True Fans would want to read, at which point I'm not sure I'll see the characters at all the same way, nor feel compelled to write about them. It's not really feedback per se -- it's meeting people and the sense of community that I miss in situations like this. If I'm not good enough to play in the sandbox, I think I'd rather play in a sandbox with people I might really connect with, rather than play in my own separate sandbox with the same toys. On the other hand I presumptuously wrote movieverse LOTR when I KNEW I was screwing up details that would matter to bookverse fans and I've had a great experience in that fandom anyway...


1. How many and which of your fandoms do you own on DVD?
Heh. Sharpe and Space: 1999 are the only ones for which I own the full run. I have selected Star Trek (eight episodes of the original series, seventh season Deep Space Nine) and a smattering of Dawson's Creek which is not even an actual fandom, just a show I loved with unreasonable passion, but I have never felt compelled to own all of Trek even on VHS except for taped off TV at SLP. Now, I do own VR5 on VHS and would buy that on DVD, and there are many movies I own on DVD that you could not take away from me without prying them from my cold, dead fingers, like both the theatrical AND extended versions of the LOTR films.

2. If you had tapes, did you toss them when you got the DVDs?
Some yes, some no. Kids' movies we have generally kept to watch in the van on long trips. Tapes off TV we reused; professional tapes I've generally given to friends.

3. What are your favorite extras (commentary tracks, behind-the-scenes featurettes, bloopers, foreign language dub, interviews with cast, etc.)? Generally and specifically.
Commentary, featurettes, interviews, bloopers. The LOTR EEs set a gold standard as far as I'm concerned, though I would love a true blooper reel. POTC is one example of a recent movie that didn't impress me all that much as a film but which has a really wonderful DVD package, especially the historical features which my kids ate up.

4. What do you view first: the episodes, commentary, extras?
Always the original, no commentary. Need to remember my own impressions before getting those of others.

5. What fandoms on DVD do you not yet own or are not out yet?
Mission: Impossible, the Landau-Bain years. I'm waiting. Would contemplate La Femme Nikita and *hanging head* Dallas.

Friday Five

1. Do you enjoy the cold weather and snow for the holidays?

Yes. Wouldn't enjoy it all year but I love the changing seasons. My only complaint with winter has to do with the lack of evening light.

2. What is your ideal holiday celebration? How, where, with whom would you celebrate to make things perfect?
Given that my in-laws are not Jewish, I cannot have a single ideal holiday celebration; we celebrate Chanukah with my extended family and then generally celebrate Christmas with my husband's parents, in the generic American sense of tree, candles, classical carols on the stereo and traditional food (in their case Swedish). In an ideal world of course I'd have an enormous multidenominational party with everyone I know, including people I know online but have never met...

3. Do you do have any holiday traditions?
I practice a lot of Yule rituals along with the Chanukah traditions. My cousins have a Chanukah party every year with latkes etc. where we all take turns reading the story and the kids light the candles, almost a modified Passover/Shabbat. Christmas Eve with my in-laws generally involves opening presents from relatives and eating korv and farmer's cheese.

4. Do you do anything to help the needy?
Just donations. I really should bring food to people or something more direct.

5. What one gift would you like for yourself?
This is always a difficult question because my birthday and Chanukah are rarely more than a week apart, if not overlapping, so this is the one time of year I ever get presents and if I want anything big, I have to do it now. Two years ago I got my digital camera and last year I got my camcorder, and those were pretty much my only presents. This year I have a list of smaller things, mostly books and a couple of DVDs.


Meme that I believe originated with hackthis, and a fine idea:

I know very little about some of the people on my friends' list. Some people are real-life friends who I see frequently. Others I know relatively well: I read your fic, or we have something else in common and we chat occasionally. Some of you I hardly know at all. Perhaps you lurk, for whatever reason. But you friended me and I thank you.

But here's a thought: why not take this opportunity to tell me a little something about yourself. Any old thing at all. Just so the next time I see your name I can say: "Ah, there's so and so...she likes spinach."

I'd love it if every single person who friended me would do this. Yes, even you people who I know really well. Then post this in your own journal.

I've left this same tidbit in several journals now: I am perpetually ten minutes late for everything, except when I am so obsessed with getting somewhere on time that I get there 20 minutes early because I've reset my internal clock half an hour.


Gerbils for the morning: jommy made me a birthday picture with Aragorn, Boromir and hamster!Faramir, and aesc wrote new gerbilfic!

And liars_dance wrote me wonderful arafaraboro schmooporn. Go enjoy!

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