Thursday, September 30, 2010

Greetings from Panama

Hola... I mean hello...actually I mean both,

To be honest I wish I could type this blog entry in Spanish. I'm enjoying the honeymoon that much. I attended my blog entry to be a rant about how unhappy I was that Bridal Trousseau did none of the alternations on-time and that I had to get my dress the day before the ceremony, but due to all the stuff that I needed to get done last minute, I never got to that entry. Right now, none of that matters.
Map of Panama

Today is my third day on the beautifully picturesque island of Panama. For the first couple of days Karim and I did nada. I needed to rest and recuperate. The day after the wedding I began to lose my voice and as I boarded the plane at Logan airport, I was as squeaky as Mickey Mouse, just not as cute. I'm proud to report that Mucinex, green tea, Ricola, and Allegra-D have helped me recover. I am at about 85 percent, I almost sound like my old self.

Karim and I visited the Panama Canal and got a personal tour of the city by Marta. She was really cool and bi-lingual, although you will find that most Panamanians who work in tourism are. I learned a lot about the canal and history of the city from her. She was a walking encyclopedia. I also made a point to share some facts about the U.S with her over a great Panamanian lunch.

Panama Canal 1914
 I should clear up a few things. The Coronado Golf and Beach Resort is actually 75 minutes from the hotel. The road signs aren't that great either, which is why it took us nearly three hours to find the place. It didn't help that we picked up our car rental on empty, luckily Karim and I found a gas station right outside of the airport. I will say this, even though many of the folks didn't speak English, they really did their best to assist us. Kindness to strangers is universal. 

The official inaugural voyage on the Panama Canal.
Tomorrow we plan to hang out at the resort, rest up and then hit another excursion. I believe we are going to their tropical rain forest to hike and zip-line through the trees. Can't wait!!!! By the way, Panama uses the U.S. currency, so another plus to vacationing here is that you don't have to worry about changing money, but there are tolls.

Stay tune for my honeymoon top-ten which will include photos from the trip, not stock shots from the net. Sorry but I forgot to bring a USB. Ciao!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Intolerance: My Emerging Issue

Hello all,

Today's entry isn't going to be about screenwriting or film making. I'm going to tackle a different subject today. Lately, I've been disturbed by the media coverage of the Islamic community center near Ground Zero. I know this may seem like old news, especially with the media now focused on pastor Terry Jones, who plans to burn Korans on the anniversary of 911. While these two stories are separate issues, I don't believe the fact that these events are happening a few weeks a part is an accident.

If you've checked out my facebook page, you know where I stand on the issue of the Islamic community center, but just in case you aren't on facebook, I support the building of the center. One of the reasons I support it is because it's for everyone, people of all religions will be welcomed and even those who atheist and agnostic. Opponents of the mosque have made the argument that this building disrespects the memories of those who have perished in the Twin Towers. It's been called insensitive and those on the right have jumped at the opportunity to make this issue political for their benefit. Here is some questions to the opponents of the center. What about the Muslims who also died in the attacks? Did you know that the Twin Towers had a mosque already in one of the buildings? What about the families of the Muslim victims on 911?

According to the polls, most Americans don't support the building of this center. I think that is a real shame. It's not just about the center, it is an issue of freedom of religion and civil rights. I feel like my country is at a very negative crossroads. The intolerance that is building in our nation is disturbing. The fact that politicians and right-wing pundits on Fox are capitalizing on intolerance. I wonder if this movement will spread like the wild fires in Colorado.

I'm going to switch gears again and tell you about a recent experience I had at the Clam Digger, a fried seafood restaurant that recently opened in my hometown. My mom and I decided to check it out because they were running special deals for the grand opening.

I was at the counter and had given the man my order. I think this man was the manager and maybe even the owner but I'm not sure. After I had given him my order he asked for my name. Now most people make assumptions about the spelling of my name and 9 out of 10 times those assumptions are wrong. I was getting ready to encounter one of those times. He proceeds to spell my name and after he gets to the second letter, I try to tell him he's wrong. I get ready to give him the correct spelling and then he tells me he will spell my name the way he wants to. I let it go. My mom comes up to see what's going on and then the guy tells me I have a wacky name. He must have figured that my mom was my mom and proceeded to ask her why she gave me a wacky name? I couldn't believe what had just happened. I could have made a scene, lord knows I had a few choice words, but I decided to let it go.

Obviously, I really haven't let it go. That's why I'm blogging about it. I guess names like Mary, Michael, John, Steve, Joanne, Beth, Nicole aren't wacky. I love my name and I'm glad my mother gave me this wacky name. It means, to ascend or to rise up in Hebrew and Arabic. I know I live in a diverse country, but diversity is not at the hearts and minds of all our fellow citizens. My incident at the Clam Digger is proof of that. The United States has come a long way, but we still have a long way to go in respecting people of different ethnicities, colors, religions, and sexual orientation. Intolerance is my emerging issue. I'm going to do my best fight it, because intolerance only breeds intolerance. Thanks for reading and I welcome your comments.