Thursday, February 25, 2010

Books, books, twitter, life.

Two bits of news:

I've joined Goodreads in an attempt to keep up with my reading for 2010. Since I was late in finishing Cannonball 1 I was unable to join Part 2, though it was half as many books in the same amount of time. It's alright though, as I preferred to not do another marathon read and take my time about reading and reviewing as I settle into life in Dallas. I really want to get back into reviewing, because I really love doing it, but I found that when I tried to go back to books I had read months ago I had an incredibly hard time trying to remember how I felt about them. Which is my own damn fault of course, I should have been reviewing as soon as I finished a book, but I got lazy and I got further and further behind. I think I'll try and review some of the 40-odd books I left unreviewed (you can see the list on the right hand of the blog down there) but I probably won't review them all.

What I would like to do is review books I'm reading now. One of the most wonderful things about moving to the States, I've found, is the availability of great books in English. I've told you before how Honduras had one bookstore chain that sold books in English, and their selection was greatly limited--just about everything there was by Stephanie Meyer (blight upon the world), Stephen King (read everything by him), and other bestselling dreck. So you can imagine my utter joy at walking into a gigantic bookstore here, drawing a deep breath and taking in that wonderful smell that bookstores have and realizing --HOLY CRAP I WANT TO BUY EVERYTHING HERE. AND I'm not limited by how many books I can fit into my suitcase! It's intoxicating, is what it is. I have an ever-growing list of books I want to read (based largely on recommendations by Pajibans), and knowing that I can actually find them here is exhilarating. I had to keep myself from spending more money than I could on our last trip to the B&N, and limited myself to two books: Rhett Butler's People (review coming up!) and The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (which I have yet to start). I started the year with my husband's (don't get me started on how weird it is to write that word) copy of the massive The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, and I'm almost done with that. After two months. I'm hopelessly stuck at Justinian. I know I should, and I know that I can finish it, but every time I pick it up it seems to weigh a hundred pounds and it just repels my brain. And I don't quite know why, because I was enjoying it immensely so far. I think it's just that I can only take so much rape and pillaging and family murders before I get tired of it, you know? Even I have limits.

So, I'll make myself review a book this weekend.

The other news is that I've finally, after much resistance and pain, joined Twitter. I hate myself for it, a little bit. But truth is that there's a) there's a buttload of people I want to follow and it's the easiest way to do so, b) I love wasting my time on shit like this, and it's not like I have anything else to do, and c) I love talking about myself. And limiting myself to 140 words might be a challenge. As you see, I'm nothing if not long-winded. So, add me if you'd like, the username is "figgidaboudit". Clever, eh?

In other news, life is pretty sweet right now. We've sent off my paperwork to the USCIS, telling them that yes I did marry before the 90 day deadline was up, and starting my process to get a Green Card. It's a looooooong process, taking at least a year, during which I can't travel outside of the US (so Christmas in Honduras is most likely out, which makes me pretty damn sad). But I can start looking for work, which is pretty wonderful. Lounging around has its high points, but I'm ready to become a useful member of American society. I really need to start looking into getting my teaching certificate, and figuring out what exactly I'd like to teach. I think I'll look into teaching younger kids, because I nearly died from Middle Schoolers two years ago. Granted, I'm sure teaching in the US will be a vastly different experience (hopefully much, much better) so it might not be so bad. But we'll see.

That's it for now. Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I return...with politics and a rant.

A little bit of a delayed post, regarding the political situation in Honduras. I've been mulling this whole thing over for a while, and finally found the words to express how I feel. Mostly, anyway.

So it's all come to the expected, pathetic end. What was called a great revolutionary step, a life-changer, has come to nothing but a few deals made between powerful politicians. Supporters on both sides have once again been conveniently forgotten and they will likewise forget, taking their cardboard signs and anger home to live life exactly as they have been living it these past 20 years.

Honduras has a new President, yet another in a long line of powerful, rich men who have been destroying the country for years. Another puppet full of empty promises and zero gumption. The first thing he did? Strike a deal with Zelaya that allowed the mustachioed wonder to leave the brazilian embassy completely unscathed, so he could go enjoy the wonders of the Dominican Republic and Mexico. All those promises made by the interim government about bringing Zelaya to justice for his past crimes? Oh, those will just be forgotten easily enough, and in a few years Zelaya will come back to his millions and his estates, not a single charge on his conscience.

And Zelaya's promises to the poor people who supported him throughout? As any promise made by a politician, it'll be forgotten easily enough. He was with them as long as he could use them. The second he realized the masses could do nothing for him and the rich guys could, he completely forgot his stance of resistance or death. And the poor suckers who wasted their sweat, blood and tears marching in his favor will be forgotten, because what power did they ever have but the imaginary strength Zelaya kept claiming they had, but only as long as it suited him?

In fact, I would be utterly unsurprised if, in a few years, after the Constitution is changed to allow for the re-election of Presidents (and it will happen), Zelaya comes back and is elected again. Honduras has a short memory.

They'll forget that Micheletti violated the constitution and kicked out a sitting leader. Whether he deserved it or not is not the question. And I will readily admit that early on I was completely on Micheletti's side, jumping at anyone who called it a coup d'etat, saying that Zelaya deserved it. I came to realized that I too had been duped into believing that the ends justify the means. I now feel like an idiot for believing that. I now firmly believe that both sides of this equation acted out of nothing but their own interests and that nothing in Honduras has changed for the better. It's just more of the same.

And the other side--Micheletti's supporters--are equally, if not more embarrassing and pathetic. The day before Pepe Lobo took office my facebook was flooded by my friends calling Micheletti a hero and a defender of democracy. I cringed and wanted to put my head in my hands. The fact that there are people who firmly believe that Micheletti was doing anything but acting out of his and his friends' own interests is completely baffling to me. They call him a hero, conveniently forgetting that this man was once the president of congress and a great friend of Mel Zelaya. They forget that he almost ruined his own home city by running a transportation monopoly. They forget he is just another of the powerful group that has run Honduras to the ground and kept it where it's been and will always be unless things change. They'll forget he lost an election because the public hated him. They've bought all his lies and his empty statements and it's frankly just embarrassing and enragingto see.

Do they really believe that Micheletti and his cronies would have done anything of what they did had there not been an election coming up? They knew *exactly* what they were doing: by taking out Zelaya when they did (why they hadn't tried to bring him to justice before will remain unanswered forever, because no one wants to look back to that), they knew that Zelaya would try to oppose the elections, and so they could stand behind the incredibly strong banner of DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS to support their stand. And it worked! They knew the international community would never try to stop the elections, and they knew that without International support, Zelaya would lose everything he had. And it worked. The elections happened (as far as I know they were the only legitimate thing in this whole circus) and now it's all over.

It just makes me sad. Sad and frustrated because no one learned anything from this fiasco, and Honduras will continue on the same path it's been for decades. It made us look bad and irrational, and nothing will ever come of it. I remember my mother telling me, way back in June when this first happened, that it would all end with the politicians striking deals with each other and completely tossing aside all their promises and their supporters. And look where we are now. Zelaya is gone from the country, his crimes forgotten, and Micheletti is being called a hero.

It's pathetic.