Tuesday, January 31, 2006

last blog from 946 pacific

okay...we're heading out...thank you megan and kwesi...it's 10:05 pm...i have 1 hour and 55 minutes left...coolio...

next blog...oakland!!!!

The Mattress Fell Off

I am asking the computer to do a lot right now...play music, monitor any yahoo messenger messages, use a browser, and use a calculator. 9 Gigs of processing power and memory can handle but so much!

But last night was hilarity!

The sunset at was gorgeous. It bathed the entire street in a golden orange. The Bay looked like liquid gold...and I had a moment of peace when I introduced myself to new neighbor candace and her dog Apollo. Apollo is an intimidating chocolate pinscher type thing. He looks well pedigreed and was barking the entire time I was moving. in.

At 6 pm after doing a load to the new house and spilling brown rice all over my floor, I realized I needed help. I made panicked calls to Michael Paul, Kwesi, Michelle, Melissa, Diane, and Megan. I was like, um, I need help with this here move thing. I am at the garbage bag phase of moving...which I didn't want to do, but this is real right now.

My landlord said she had a tenant moving in on the first. Yes, this is why I am moving things now...I was a little irritated at this statement. If I thought I needed an extension, I would have asked for one.

So I call and ask for sleeping bags and hands. And the calvalry comes at about 7:30...first Michelle and Joe with Popeye's Chicken and I sheepishly ask for assistance shoving crap in bags and when we get the truck, assistance carrying it in. Well, they can stay for like 40 minutes...before Sandy will be gotten and I'm cool with that.

Spicy Popeye's, Biscuits, and Green Beans and Mashed Potatoes. I feel no judgement from Joe and Michelle, just understanding. That's awesome. I call Michael Paul though and he sounds annoyed just because the plan to pick him up has been confusing.

Okay...after a little nosh and chat I'm off to pick up Michael Paul and then off to Albany for the truck. I find Sandy's keys in Christine's house...all clean and neat and right on the dinner table...

Sandy could eat Jane for breakfast and have room left over inside of her. She's a big, new Toyota and sits HIGH off the ground. Michael Paul and I zoomed off in Sandy with the I Am Sam soundtrack in the cd player and we're debating whether I hit a raccoon on the way to the 80 from Cornell off Buchanan in Albany. I felt SUPER bad but saw no evidence of any animal...

Quick prayer to God apologizing for carelessly driving and continued on to the 80...
We arrived at the house and my room's chaos was translated to managable sacks and a clear path for the bed to come through. BIG YAY!

I can only imagine what Joe and Michelle found in my chaos, but I am thankful that they sorted through it. Melissa knocked at the door just as they were going out and to the bed we went!

First the sultan flat, then the mattress and then the cement blocks. The bed parts just fit in the bed with the corners shoved in. I figured at 40 mph, we'd be good.

So we pack things down and it's almost 9 and it's my goal to have people back by 10 pm because it's late.

Still no word from Kwesi.

We pile in the truck and head slowly to the tunnel and then onto the 580 from Lakeshore.

I am totally paranoid and am looking through the rearview mirror to confirm that I cannot see out of it. This indicates that I still have a bed.

We start the incline onto the 580, traffic is light and we're 2 miles away from the 35th avenue exit and home free.

One moment we're joining traffic and the next moment I can see out the back and exclaim,

Oh, sh!t! Where'd it go?

We can't see it immediately behind us and we're just passing the Park Street exit...we've gone like one exit????!?!?!

All of us kinda exclaim how are we going to get this thing...where did it go? What if it fell in the lanes? Do we have to call the police????

I pull off the next exit and return on 580. In my gut I am sorta laughing because I know this is life's way of reminding me that I am rushing...that I have 24 hours...that I have friends in the car...and that it's fine.

We pull off Lake Shore and turn under the freeway to repeat the last 7 minutes of driving.

Up the incline...no...not in the lane...not to the side...

The next exit comes up...and I wish I could draw it...

The mattress is perfectly poised in between the off ramp for Park and the freeway. It landed in safety where we could fit Sandy the truck and grab it safely and not have to risk our lives for a good night's sleep.

Hello? Stroke of luck?

That was hilarious. Too bad we have no camera...BUT we pause, enjoy the moment and take time to STUFF the corners DOWN so there will be no bouncing and I pull off the next exit to take the Macarthur to my house.

Along the way we see restaurants and so forth...

The parking is tight along my street, so I put on the hazards and we disembark like firemen and grab the bedding after releasing the tailgate.

The calvalry is GOOD. We place the cinderblocks and bed in about 10 minutes, chat a bit, laugh about the mattress incident and then I need to get Melissa back and Michael Paul back.

We have a good laugh along the way back home. I thank Melissa for the paella and ask Michael Paul if he doesn't mind returning Sandy with me to Albany.

I'm a little tired...and we switch Sandy for Jane. I return the keys to Christine, give her the 5 minute 7 minute adventure of the mattress and she laughs...I then remember Michael Paul is freezing outside. I hug and thank her and off to Jane we go.

He asks if I am in the mood for a movie.

I ponder...turning my brain off sounds good, but I am tired...I debate and then say, Sure...

But then he makes me PICK...keyripes. I know I want something brainless...and funny...I Heart Huckabees? Nah...Old School catches my eye.

I think...brainless, harmless...

And that's exactly what it is. Will Ferrell's bare @$$ is something I never need to see again, but that movie hit the spot. It was pretty hilarious, though anyone who's had the priviledge of Animal House, or even as Michael Paul pointed out Revenge of the Nerds...it didn't have the same bite, but there were some hilarious scenes.

Men recapturing brotherhood in a manufactured greek house. And their nemesis is the now dean, former person they bullied.

Heh. Backstory would have been fun, just to get a glimpse of the nostalgia these dudes claimed.

Vince Vahn during the wedding in the very beginning was hilarious and the really crappy wedding band made me laugh my @$$ off.

I'll be back. I'm making a first run to the new house! 1 of 3 for the day!

Monday, January 30, 2006

And now we move in panic mode, sorta

So I am in the zone today...moving crap, sorting crap, sorta...and realizing I can't move a bed by myself and 40% of my crap out of 100% is not enough progress...I need help.

I am ashamed to need help. Hell, I am ashamed that it's been a month and I still don't have stuff nicely sorted in boxes...so I invite Michael Paul, Michelle, Melissa, and Kwesi to come to my aid. It's 6:43 pm and I am on my way to pick up Michael Paul and the truck to move the bed.

Michelle is bringing Popeye's fried chicken, and Melissa is bringing over some other yumminess...I will have 10 hands to my 2. This means I will have 5 times more progress than I have right now.

THat will help me BIG TIME. I have mostly clothes and papers to shove into bags and get the hell over to Oakland. My room is about 25% smaller there, which means I have to use the attic space...which requires some lifting. Yay buddy.

Here we go...because Erika meets her deadlines, come hell or high water...and by golly I will be out by 11:59 pm on January 31st if I have to, but I will be out of my 'meda place on time, dagnabit!

Thanks to my Ego for relinquishing and thinking of asking for help.
Thanks to my friends for answering the call at the 8:30th hour. It'll make the 11th hour SO MUCH SMOOTHER!

Happy Birthday, San Francisco!

(Okay, know that I had a really fun post and hit the wrong button and lost all my clever links and images...I meant to click "Save as Draft" and instead hit "Publish Post" in my haste and this is the second attempt at this...)

According to KALW's daily Alamanac, today is the birthday of San Francisco! San Francisco, an Aquarian town...well, that explains a lot...

Apparently in 1770, according to Wikipedia, de Portola came through and saw a plot of land and said, "Hey! Yerba Buena!". There was no record of him smoking a bowl with his homies after declaring it so.

(I had a diatribe here of how Wikipedia is the free information to those how have access to the language, technology, and leisure time of tuning into the web. It was a tongue in cheek way of saying poor people can't contribute to the freedom of the internet if they don't have access. I was writing this because I heard a report indicating that half of the world's population has yet to make a PHONE CALL, let alone have a Myspace page...crazy, huh? It was an attempt at wicked irony that I thought I cleverly wrote and then...I miss clicked a button...but let's move on, shall we?)

Yerba Buena means "good herb". Secondhandedly I have witnessed that this town and its inhabitants...from Pacific Heights to the Bay View are all about their "good herb" and I suppose though the city is now known as San Francisco, it has kept true to its roots, so to speak.

Father Juniperro Serra had a hand in it, too...and if you take a look at the dude, he represents a good chunk of the San Francisco hipsters we see today...alternative lifestyle, white guy doing the best with the hair he has left and wearing the hoodie from the roadtrip he took down to Baja that one time... He's also sporting massive bling, reppin' Jesus hella hard.

Clearly the founders envisioned a town where Carnaval, the Folsom Street Fair, Pride, the Chinese New Year Parade, and anti-war protests would abound.

The US took over in the 1800s around the Gold Rush.

"Buh-bye Spaniards! We found gold and we want not to share with you! We're a new country and this spot is MIGHTY suh-weet!"
Consequently, I think they were also kicking the Spaniards off my people's island of Puerto Rico which is why we rock the baseball and not so much the soccer, which I think is a damn shame. Couldn't we retain our Euro-roots for a little of the foot action? It's such an awesome sport AND we maintain our own Olympic teams...I think it would be cool if we maintained our own World Cup team...but I digress...

Meanwhile, the Ohlones (who are forever commemorated by the mall we know as Emeryville -- their sacred burial mounds now serve as foundations for the Emeryville Market and Bay Street)
are given a footnote somewhere...where was that link I was looking for...?

Ah, yes, the Yelamu. (I think that's a beautiful name, by the way.)

Anyway...so I was riffing...

San Francisco has been a crazy place for me to experience. My little small town, suburban self has been blown away by the snaking of freeway that creates a necklace around an ENTIRE bay, the wealth and poverty that sit side by side, the blend of people who come together and eat and drink and create in the same space, the music, the art, the nature... I have come to appreciate the Bay. The friends I have come to know and love and celebrate with...man...this is the longest I have ever stayed put in a geographic region, now. The second-most stable place was Endicott, NY during my early years.

The two places couldn't be more different...either developmentally or geographically.

San Francisco, thank you for teaching me so much about the world. I have yet to travel outside of the North American continent, but if turning each corner to find a Thai Restaurant next to a German restaurant, next to a Pakistani restaurant, next to a Salvadorean restaurant is reality? Then let it be so!

Let me celebrate by taking in Machomer right before heading into the Taiwanese place. Let me take a two-hour busride to secure an amazing spot at Stern Grove and dance with 50 of my immediate friends and 10,000 others to the music of Khaled and the Funk Brothers.

San Francisco, you have been shaken, but not stirred.

Since I am moving I'm thinking about all this place has been to me...and am flashing back to all of our time together...

Here's my birthday card to you...Thank you Huy, Mary, Saran, Michelle, Joe, Ben, Michael Paul, Phil, Jill, Mona, Scott, Gary, Ronnie, Seana, Miller, Shawna, Amy, Fumi, Diane, Ameena, Houman, Emma, Austina, Doug, Jeff, Adrienne, Lauren, Ross, Robin, Christine, Chris, Burt, Denise, Frances, Maritza, Emily, Gabrielle, Omer, Karen, Anita, Sebastian, Julian, Lisa, Koichi, Jen, Meredith, Giovanny, Mitzi, Saran, Erin, Jason, Alyson, Mike, Jamie, Megan, Sarah, Melissa, Sean, Ana, Kaila, Bessie, Pia, Sara B, Michael, Marcello, Dave, Joe, Matthew, Mark, Kimani, Zeli, Diana, Dieyana, Solomon, Sabrina, John, Bret, Bill, BAVC, Destiny Arts Center, Streetside Stories, Oakland HEROES, GirlSource, Maitri, Project GO, the Stork Club, Pakwan, (that great Vietnamese place in Oakland with all the faux meat dishes), Stern Grove Festival, San Francisco Jazz Festival, el Rio, Nickie's (old school Tuesdays with Cheb), Rainbow Grocery, Burning Man, the Hearts all over San Francisco campaign, Yoshi's, Culinary Institute of America (St. Helena), il Fornaio (Corte Madera only), Frijtz, Luka's, Bittersweet, Highway 1, Stacey's, Masse's Bakery, Zachary's Pizza, Pennie's Cafe, Sofrito!, the Parkway Theater, The American River, Stinson and Ocean Beaches, Dimond Canyon, Mt. Tamalpais, ...okay, now I am jonesing for a sneufleueu party with all the music and trimmings and stuff...

I know I am missing people off the list...but this birthday reminds me that this community has been amazing. Awesome...

Happy Birthday, San Francisco.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

megan's helping me move

it's 8:30 and megan's helping me move...woo hoo...two car loads...big yah yeehaw!

racial profiling? thank goodness we're girls...

HEY! Gung Hoy Fat Choy!

(saturday night this was true)
i just got in from hanging out with ms. denise. she just got a new job and she and i haven't hung out in a bit, so she came over to the island (alameda) to hang. i'm clearly in a bell hooks/ e.e. cummings mood. i don't feel like pressing the shift key right now and i reserve the right to that.

it's been a rainy evening and i was wracking my brain on where to go. we ruled out mexican food and i threw out ideas since we decided against Capote (she's already seen it today) and i suggested the new zealander restaurant i've heard melissa rave about. a shepard's pie sounded perfect for a rainy evening. New Zealander Restaurant

we arrive at the restaurant - at the southeast corner of webster and central. it was formerly croll's and is a beautiful wooden, storefront with gorgeous windows and plenty of stained glass. the interior has beautiful molding and some gorgeous maori masks and a boat. the menu features some yumminess and i am thankful for the proliferation of lamb in this country.

let's see...summary?

- last day of retreat (members of our board and prospective board came and it was interesting to see the two cultures coming together...the whole haves/havenot thing in one room talking about power dynamics and oppression and just cracking the surface about these issues that can seem uncomfortable.)
- good mary ann discussion (i told her i did the second part of my homework and she seemed pleased and surprised. i guess she thought i would continue putting it off. i did have a weepy session about the whole self-love thing. doing my homework had much less to do with revealing this crush than it did with me facing my fear...letting go of the rope above the lagoon

- star wars disco theme on kfog brought me much joy and i left an email voicemail for mitzi and omer laughing about it

- i stopped by bittersweet to get a spicy hot chocolate for our board meeting. it was weak spicy and i am noticing lately i need to ask for extra spicy to get that lovely kick that i loved so much the first time i encountered the spicy hot chocolate. give me the spice! i asked for it! fire up my belly!

- phone fight w/mom about the mess i am
kay. the story behind this? the jeans i have are all gifts from people, hand-me-downs. and i have burned through them. i wear them til they are threadbare. and i was wearing a pair of jeans at the retreat that were at the cusp of not being useful anymore. because of this i wear a skirt over them and it's kinda brazilian, i suppose. during the meeting i felt rips just getting bigger. like the hulk of my thighs just ripped them open at the seams and the crotch wasn't there anymore. thank god for the skirt thing... so i got on the phone to return my mom's message and was laughing about that and she chided me, saying having ripped pants in front of my coworkers and board members was nothing to laugh at. it wasn't funny...and what would they think...and that just got me on the defensive...i KNOW it's not funny...it wasn't intentional and i wasn't offering a beaver shot to anyone (thus the skirt). and we just got to an empass and i had to end the conversation...magically my phone rebooted itself. i guess i channeled some carrie telekinesis or something.

- brief convo with wifey michelle about mother / daughters
i moved on to talking to michelle who's congestion sound better and she gave me perspective, yay.

- arrive home and call back kwesi. entertaining 2 hour convo about the black experience, what's in a name, my myspace blogging, planning out our next 3 dates, the east coast/west coast thing, black intellectuals, identity discussion (gender/ethnicity/race). good stuff. we're doing luka's on thursday...

- called o to have him check on kwesi
heh. so i wanted to leave a message for o to have male crew impression of kwesi, because family is important, you know? i expected him to be in festival mode and he actually answered the phone. more interesting musings in phoenix. it'll be interesting when sneufleueu takes over the town. i think he made observations that are true and have been true of my existance...that the bay area is unique in the united states where a bunch of 20/30/40 somethings can hang from many aspects of life...we're white, yellow, brown, black...we're natives and imports...we're professionals in social profit organizations and corporations...we cook...we love sports, arts, we are outdoorsy and pop culture oriented...benneton.

i have loved my circle of friends elsewhere as well...but i have never been so enriched by a circle of friends as i have been here...

so it was fun to hear about scottsdale dinner party and interesting family friends. i'm sure o will do it justice in his account and then denise came and i passed the phone along to change really quickly...

- called m to tell him i have a date
I left a message for mike just to let him know...tee hee, because he's like my sagg partner in crime and i feel the need to let him know these things. we go through parallel thought processes, and so sometimes we brainstorm on stuff =)

- procrastinating on packing
nuff said. am going SLOWLY

- cop in meda comes up to denise and i talking in the car checking what's the matter after careening around the corner
so after dinner denise and i are chatting in the car because my landlord's daughter is sleeping in the dining room...and she has less privacy than i have...no wall, just a screen. a french door sounds like the great wall in comparison and i didn't want to keep her awake with our chattiness.

a police car comes careening along chapin onto pacific in a WIDE turn. denise and i both note this and keep on our discussion about various movies, actors, npr reports (she's a pop culture maven) and then we notice that there's a light shining into her sideview mirrors.

i have noticed some young dudes hanging around occasionally...but nothing major. this is alameda, after all.

well dude comes walking up after putting on his lights and denise rolls down the window. "is there a problem officer?"

i think he was taken aback that there were two women in the car. he was checking in to see if we were okay...and we were like yea, we're just talking.

i got the gut feeling that being female was a good thing in this context. we were two black women in a car. i think if we were two black boys, we would have had a different story. and that feels so strange to feel that way. racial profiling? personal? yuck!

- discussion of movies, jobs, girl stuff, coming to realizations about boys...etc...
(see previous)

and now it's sunday morning...i have been on the phone with meryl, enjoying the sun streaming into my room and listening (halfway) to npr. i have 3 more boxes packed than i had yesterday but am still progressing slowly and i need to call solomon to figure out our schedule for the day...we're going to see machomer. this is my birthday present. i trumped seeing a symphonic thing, because we can always go to the symphony (michael tilson thomas is hot in that lovely, silver-haired, wire-rimmed glasses, dark eyes, intellectual way that i adore.), but we perhaps may never see macbeth performed as a one-man show impersonating all simpsons characters. this is a lovely thing. quirkiness.machomer

and i should move stuff. yeap, i should...this is me, sitting in a plastic cap as i condition my hair with olive oil thinking about this...and perhaps i should post and get back to packing...yeap...i should...


OH and i will be interviewing for the full circle fund technology fellowship tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!

may i break a leg and make a kick-ass impression. pa'lante!

Friday, January 27, 2006

freitag, leute!

und ist sehr gut!

good morning. i didn't get to write it last night but our day 1 of our retreat was pretty cool. i stayed on for dinner (cause god knows i didn't have food or funds) and watched hitch again, which is a really cute romantic comedy that makes me wonder..."huh? i wonder how many people's first dates include jet skiing to ellis island, a personal tour of the museum and the finding of one's ancestors in the registry?"

i would LOVE to surprise someone like that! hee hee.

anyway...so that was fun to comment on romance like that with a few women and then return home. once i was in phone range i got 2 messages...one from stephen morales, a long lost friend and we joke that we're cousins. i met him at a comedy sportz workshop 5 years ago and we connected on the east coast/morales thing. we're probably furthest thing from related...he could pass as a tall white irish guy and, well, i can't. =) totally awesome, though. stephen took me boarding for the second time in my life and i remember how wise he was...super intelligent man. was engineering equipment for internal / cardial medicinal use...he recently got his mba and shot me an email because i was in his outlook and he googled me to see what i was up to. random! cool to reconnect with folks.

anyway...he was on his way to europe and left me a message before the plane took off. good to hear his voice. funny how the brain can recognize things even after years of not being exposed to them. i guess he and i will catch up when he's back from across the atlantic.

the second message was from a sniffly wifey michelle. she's still under the weather...=( wah. but i called back and wondered if it was still too late for girl time, and it wasn't. superbien! super yay.

and i got some mediciney stuff for her and stopped by and over tea and cheesecake factory chocolatey cake we got to catch up. i got a little teary reviewing my lessons for the week...discovering that my facing my fears is all about me testing my courage. i need to open my mouth and test it a lot more than i am doing now and i am on the upswing in that. (yay!)

it was good. and the cats! whoa! the cats are huge!

her friend recently gave birth a little sooner than anticipated and we discussed the miracle of science to help low-weight babies. wow. supercool.


and her friend called to check in and i got a call from kwesi, so we split briefly to have our phone conversations.

kwesi is a brotherman from beantown new to the bay and we met at the new years bombazo.

at the bombazo discussed bay versus boston, the after school program he's involved in and capoiera. i'm organizing a film festival for youth (hopefully slated for this year!) and he's had experience doing that. SO...yeah, gotta connect and network?

over the last month as i've allowed my turmoil to dictate my life i haven't been able to connect, but last night we made tentative plans...he might be helping me move on sunday or we're going to kick it at luka's on thursday to discuss film fest and stuff. coolio.

last night we laughed over some of the silly racial things that sometimes brown people deal with...like the classification of skin color, the "what you mixed with?" phenomenon, what it means to be "black" and what it means to be puerto rican...
he had me in stitches and i dig the man is very much himself and always addresses me as "sis".

no one's ever called me, "sis" before. part of me wanted to be offended by it, but i'm really not. it's kinda cool.

tee hee.

landlord's daughter is speaking on the phone with her phone card company. making calls to mexico can be a challenge, i suppose.

i'm excited about day 2 of retreating! tonight we bowl! today we discuss our plan of attack for moving our organization forward.

erika is hungry and wants breakfast!


off to drive to alamo!

Thursday, January 26, 2006


Pues aqui estoy, feeling healthy, alive, energized.

I have to say that sometimes gender-specific time and space is necessary to be grounded.

I am honored to work in a woman's space, and more specifically a mostly women of color's space.

This allows me a space where I can put a voice to experiences I had but never had colleagues to share it with. It's a blessing and a curse because I am also called on my issues. I can't play the race card, nor should I.

Good times...

We created a space that was open and spoke to our visions for GirlSource and I felt really rejuvinated.

I just came back from girltime with a very snuffly Michelle Wong...over tea and cheesecake and with kitty cats we reconnected. She's one of the awesome Saggie 3. Yay.

Ah...but my landlord's daughter is trying to sleep and has no door...in the morning we shall continue...

Happy Friday to all!

I love me!

Hey, Man. It's Thursday!

Last night I spent a little more time at the office getting ready for our 3 day retreat and then went to Octavia Lounge to absorb the jazz jam. My friend Huy has recently taken on the upright bass and is getting really good. Really, really good.

I realize I left the office a little pessimistic and I was looking forward to getting some live music reverberating in my bones before taking the late bus home.

9:30 I walked in and that comfortable feeling of home came over me.

Octavia and Market has changed since they put in the direct onramp to the freeway.

The Lounge is a comfortable club with little tea lights at each table, an accent wall of that velvety red that I often associate with jazz and large art pieces on the walls.

On Wednesday nights local artists who want to jam spend their time taking turns on stage. A fishbowl is on a little table up front to tip the artists and there are fabulous drinks and fare to be enjoyed by the audience.

I love their bathroom.

It's just personal and well kept and the lemon verbena soap is complimented by a fabulously citrus scented lotion from the Body Shop. I feel like I've stepped into a human restroom experience and not a clinical, coded restroom as so many public venues seem to have.

The crowd is multi-generational, multi-cultural (somewhat), and I have to say that I love being among these jazz folks.

Jazz is as complex as some Euro-classical music has been touted to be. It is an American creation that is so unique and has so many voices. And I love that such a complex sound comes from smaller ensembles than a symphony.

There are chocolate and caramel overtones. There are always new nuances and spices being stirred into the jazz diaspora. It is constantly evolving and I am constantly learning from it.

Yet I feel very newbie about it. Jazz is not my first language. I am not ashamed of this.

When I sit and listen to a live performance I let the music enter me. I love the feeling in my chest when the horns or the bass starts soloing. It enters my chest and vibrates outward from there. It's pretty awesome.

So I left at 11:30 toward the bus and just had this buzz going on all over. I got on the phone with Megan and made some progress on examining my ego and just feeling good.

Mood colors all things. And I can see mood. And if I can see that, then I can get perspective.


Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Yo, Mac OS X Disk Utility? Work for Me?

Hi. I'm the director of technology at a non-profit organization, which basically means I get to teach myself a lot of stuff about networking and system maintenance and stuff.

I've learned how to build a network, configure machines to talk to the network, create user accounts on our server.

I give sys admins ALL kinds of props. I am learning as I go and I would like to poo-poo most user manuals.

Okay, so I am trying to create a disk image to make lab maintanence lickety-split EASY to maintain. And I am following the directions...and WTH?

AFP548 had some good advice until the terminal commands. Yeah...um...my computer doesn't have the directories listed on the instructions...grumble, grumble grumble.

I lost myself in some leftover Palak Paneer from the India Palace in Alameda today. I was also SUPER excited to finally update our organization website with more current biographies. We haven't had the software to do this for the past 2 years, nor have we had the personnel (our new office manager doesn't do web and I was kinda busy in the classroom and handling other business...). I am
excited.... (No, I did not design the website.)

So I've emailed our outside guy to ask this disk utility question. The Carbon Copy Cloner thing doesn't seem to be helpful...I was hoping that I could drag and drop what image I wanted to create and then burn. Is that too much to ask?

Any suggestions from the world outside?

East African Phresh Radio!

Wow! Itunes? I'd like to thank ya' for some of your radio stations...

Mtaa FM is out of East Africa (Nairobi, Kenya) and has a kick ass blend of Afropop and Hip-Hop.

Hell, while I'm at it...I always dig on the music of my childhood and beyond with
WJYC. It's totally Puerto Rican with animated flags and everything on the main page. Their music rocks and reminds me of my parents' and family's house parties growing up.

I also dig on France's Radio FG. Sometimes American rnb creeps in there, and I turn away...but some of the French, Spanish, and Arabic dance tracks just rock my world.

Tee Hee. Just thought I'd share.

Now if only I could get folks to read this damn thing...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

this is spinal tap

back in 1990 i met david andrew impellizzeri at a band party at 525 clarendon street in syracuse, ny. i hope he'll forgive me for sharing the story...but he just got some disappointing news and i was sitting on the stairs, talking with some marching band folks and i saw a figure throw open the front door, shoot up the stairs, turn a corner and slam a door.

now, i couldn't bare that all of these marching band folks were having a good time in this person's house and this person seemed none too happy. erika had to go find out what was up and went upstairs, gently knocked and asked what was wrong.

a voice through the door sounded muffled and refused the company at first, but then the door open and i spent the next few hours talking to dave. he was a cymbal player in the band, but had his own band -- the dartboard goalies, and he was a bass player. it was a cool human to human moment and we started dating soon after that.

i happened to crash in the living room that night because i didn't want to walk all the way back to sadler hall. i was on a cot cushion and the next morning woke to a face hovering over mine asking me if it was okay that he kissed me.

the first thing that came into my mind was that i hadn't brushed my teeth.

this was my first encounter with romance, this prince charming hovering over sleeping beauty thing. it was sweet, but a little scary to a 17 year old who never had a boyfriend.

i learned a lot of things from dave, namely that "big bottom" was not an insult, but a song with double-entendre; innuendo for the fat sound that is GOOD for a bass guitar to make.

it was hard to believe this coming from a man who's first compliment to me was that "I had great birthing hips." ah, dave.

dave introduced me to the music of spinal tap and all of the joys that come with knowing all of the little geeky music things and after seeing it i was so pleased to recognize SO many actors in cameo, little roles. in this 1984 flick we see the likes of:
(this is all from imdb)
Rob Reiner .... Marty DiBergi
Kimberly Stringer .... Heavy Metal Fan
Chazz Dominguez .... Heavy Metal Fan
Shari Hall .... Heavy Metal Fan
R.J. Parnell .... Mick Shrimpton
David Kaff .... Viv Savage
Tony Hendra .... Ian Faith
Michael McKean .... David St. Hubbins
Christopher Guest .... Nigel Tufnel
Harry Shearer .... Derek Smalls
Bruno Kirby .... Tommy Pischedda
Jean Cromie .... Ethereal Fan
Patrick Maher .... New York M.C.
Ed Begley Jr. .... John 'Stumpy' Pepys
Danny Kortchmar .... Ronnie Pudding
Fran Drescher .... Bobbi Flekman
Patrick Macnee .... Sir Denis Eton-Hogg (as Patrick MacNee)
Memo Vera .... Bartender
Julie Payne .... Mime Waitress
Dana Carvey .... Mime Waiter
Sandy Helberg .... Angelo DiMentibelio
Robin Menken .... Angelo's Associate (as Robin Mencken)
Zane Buzby .... Rolling Stone Reporter
Billy Crystal .... Morty the Mime
Jennifer Child .... Limo Groupie
J.J. Barry .... Rack Jobber
George McDaniel .... Southern Rock Promoter
Paul Benedict .... Tucker 'Smitty' Brown
Anne Churchill .... Reba
Howard Hesseman .... Terry Ladd
Paul Shortino .... Duke Fame
Cherie Darr .... Fame Groupie
Lara Cody .... Fame Groupie
Andrew J. Lederer .... Student Promoter
Russ Kunkel .... Eric 'Stumpy Joe' Childs
Diana Duncan .... 'Jamboree Bop' Dancer
Gina Marie Pitrello .... 'Jamboree Bop' Dancer
June Chadwick .... Jeanine Pettibone
Victory Tischler-Blue .... Cindy (as Vicki Blue)
Joyce Hyser .... Belinda
Gloria Gifford .... Airport Security Officer
Paul Shaffer .... Artie Fufkin
Archie Hahn .... Room Service Guy
Charles Levin .... Disc 'n' Dat Manager
Wonderful Smith .... Janitor
Anjelica Huston .... Polly Deutsch (also as Angelica Huston)
Chris Romano .... Little Druid
Daniel Rodgers .... Little Druid
Fred Willard .... Lt. Hookstratten
Fred Asparagus .... Joe 'Mama' Besser
Rodney Kemerer .... L.A. Party Guest
Robert Bauer .... Moke
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Paul Korda .... Rock star, LA party guest (uncredited)
Claudia Sloan .... Girlfriend (uncredited)
Brinke Stevens .... Girlfriend (uncredited)

Yeah...did YOU know Dana Carvey was in the film? I didn't THINK so! Knowing that Fred Willard has been working with these guys for YEARS...that would be 21 years (at least) makes me want to be part of comedy again. There has to be something magical about working with the same people to create fabulous sketch comedy that has become the stuff of legend.


So tonight I avoided a coworker's going away party because I am flat-broke and I am just feeling...well, crappola. Friggin demons coming into my head taking me down on my weak points...what I don't have, what I haven't achieved, what I am not, BLAH BLAH BLAH.

I called mami for some comfort and she told me I needed to get angry and scream, even YELL at these bastard demons and say I AM NOT GOING TO LET YOU RUIN MY LIFE! I AM WORTHWHILE! I AM BEAUTIFUL! I AM TALENTED! I AM INTELLIGENT! I AM CAPABLE! I AM STRONG!

She told me to yell these things at the top of my lungs in a park somewhere.

And my pessimistic brain said, "You can't do that."

And I wonder why. Is it the same reason why I held onto those leather boots way past their usefulness?
Is it the same reason why I am coaxing myself to let go of the rope and drop into the blue lagoon of possibility?

That kicked-in-the-stomach feeling is gone. So that means the bruise, however emotional, is healing. I'm cool. I strutted here from the busstop. It's 45 minutes until the date with myself and Spinal Tap. I am ALL about Derek Smalls. (He's the bass player we may know better as Harry Shearer.)

From my DeTox Yogi Tea Tag

Hmm. I think this is cool:

To learn, read.
To know, write.
To master, teach.

Words to live by.

10 reasons why i'm worth a damn

1) i'm here, ain't i?
2) i fill quotas
3) i really DO care
4) i love my mom
5) i make good conversation
6) i love spinal tap and the nightmare before christmas
7) i love music
8) i'm open
9) when i dance, i am beautiful. period.
10) the world needs a voice for justice

(god i feel like such a pathetic ass working her issues out on the internet. wtf?)

I did my homework, Mary Ann and My Response? F*ck Disney

I fall victim to the romantic notions of all the Disney films I've ever watched. Fairy tales form the base of my romantic expectations. If one has the right intentions, all will end well.

And that "end well" means you confess truth and it is responded to in kind.

Well, dash that.

I agree with all the Disney programming that all will end well. It ends as it should. And any other expectation is attachment and that causes hurt and pain because the damn ego is involved.

But in the last 5 months I have been charged with an assignment by my therapist to ask 2 of the toughest questions I have ever asked for fear of the answer: No.

Why am I afraid of "no?"

Well, professional mountain-builder that I am, I grow attached to outcomes.

I am being purposefully facetious.

Last night I decided that after 66 months of stewing that I needed to lance a very deep-seeded boil that began forming on August 14, 2000 with a simple right turn down a hallway. I mustered up the courage after years of locking away minor tremors of emotions and not so minor tremors of emotions. My resolution to these emotions was to seek distractions, of course. Why would I DIRECTLY communicate? That only makes sense.

Man, when you idealize people you tend to make yourself really small. I created such a pedestal that I vowed to myself I needed to be perfect before approaching this icon and professing my affection and devotion.

I was far from perfect, actually. But I was honest. And I have vowed to live my life more honestly this year.

And I spoke with the previous object of my affections in order to muster the courage. And after the conversation I called him back and cried a bit and proclaimed that the world didn't end. Nope. It didn't.

I don't have regret.

What I do know is that I need to continue along this path of courage in my life. I have spent a lot of my life living in shadows, wanting to be "perfection" before I could be in a place to be open to, well, to put it bluntly, love.

After 16 years, you would think that I'd be more on the road to getting it right, making the right choices, being right for myself and then being right for my partner. I have seen the man I moved here for move on and make his next great commitment of his life. I have in the meantime puttered around and have acquired a millieu of funny stories. I have even made some lovely friends. I am excellent at making lovely friends.

Reading bell hooks is helping me uncover some onion layers, to be sure. And to be heartbroken twice within two months can only strengthen the muscle that regulates bloodflow in the body. And I want to thank my friends for being honest and gentle.
I think it's a testament to the men they are and how they value me as a person. I'll be so bold as to say they care for me.

My irrational mind thinks it needs to completely shave my head, lose 50 lbs, buy some Proactiv, get a makeover and crawl into an artificial shell of "hotness" to move on. My rational mind is taking in this cramp in my stomach and trying to become friends with it. I cried last night and I'll probably be in mental land, thinking and reminding myself that I need not think. I'll replay the soundbite from my conversation last night, "Time to move forward."

In my conversations with Mary Ann I have recounted dreams. My fantasies have been that of a young woman, I suppose. It's irrational to wish to be the spouse of someone you can't fantasize about sexually, I suppose.

Almost 4 years ago I set about to excise this crush through World Cup encounters and ended up with an almost three year distraction from the crush. I've voiced the crush, and now need to excise it, NOT with a distraction but with an internal focus.

I am working on so much...self-love, owning my destiny and identity, viewing myself as a creation.

My artificial timelines of finding my mate by 33 and getting married by 35 are dashed. But I have to say that I don't feel any less lonely for a man I look to be my husband. As I spoke with my friend Mike last night I began to softly cry, "If you see my husband, will you tell him that I miss him terribly?" Tears slowly came down my face. I was so glad not to face anyone, but to be connected through this phone. Thank you, Mr. Bell.

I've often written to this imaginary husband figure in my journals, especially after breaking up with the man I moved to California for in the first place. My desire for romance is so strong that I write him letters and tell him what I am doing and wish him well and want to catch up on all the time I have missed with him.

Does this seem immature?

I am crying as I write this. A small part of me is relieved, but I am in mourning.

I thought I was in love. And I kept it a secret for fear of it being rejected. Living a life in honesty means having no fear of rejection. It'll free up mental time and space for me to focus on reality if I don't spend so much time conjuring up perfect time and place and space and scripts to confess...

The light of the morning has been turned on. Time to head to the bus stop.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Complicada - The Pretenders


I had NO idea Chrissy Hynde of the Pretenders sang in SPANISH!!!!! OH MY GOD! This only means I love her even more.
Chrissy Hynde has been a kick-ass woman of rock-n-roll ever since I can remember.

I was 7 years old, attending an IBM Family Day at the Endicott Country Club with the fam and a cover band sang "Brass in Pocket" by the Pretenders. Something about the attitude, the confidence in the song made it stick to my brain. And well...it's a good 26 years later and I still love The Pretenders and just heard Complicada off the Loose Screws album, released in 2002.

COOLNESS! Thanks Lastfm.com!

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Walk the Line

Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon in Walk The Line

Well, Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash, I am impressed with your lives. I am impressed with your connection and I am more impressed with your music after seeing this movie with Ms. Witherspoon and Mr. Phoenix portraying your life.

In keeping with La Bamba, we see an idealized version of the early days of music where anyone with gumption and some kind of zeal could grab the attention of a producer and be on their way to stardom with a little coaching.

Mr. Cash, you went through some of minor versions of hell and you were contemporaries with people who went through hell with you. Interesting to see you and Elvis Presley as contemporaries and to see you do stupid things that some thrill seekers do.

I wonder if it's the fate of all musical talent to try to expand themselves through pills, drugs or drink. We saw it with Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain. We've seen it in countless others, too.

I wonder if Tito Puente had a history of substance abuse? Or Celia Cruz. Does Rachid Taha have a known drug issue? What aboout Cyndi Lauper? Erykah Badu?

And, yeah, unpopular among the northern california crown, but I DO, in fact, count marijuana as a drug.


I appreciate that music's acoustical roots are portrayed in the film, that poor farmers are portrayed and that the tight bond of friendship is portrayed.

I would have liked to have seen more of June Carter-Cash balancing the mothering with the music business and her development as a songwriter and performer. She was the love interest, although she held her own. She took her sh!t, but her held her own.

From interviews on Fresh Air on NPR,, I have heard Terry Gross speak with both of these American artists and have been impressed. Since Donnie and Marie I've been a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll. I have loved Buck Owens picking his banjo on Hee Haw and I used to watch Dolly Parton during her variety show in the 70s as well. She was the woman who originally sang I Will Always Love You (before Whitney Houston sang it in that ridiculous film and I was fascinated that she would come onto the stage from a swing that dropped down from the ceiling. Very much like the Disney Country Bear Jamboree chick. For me it was magic.

Anyway, Cross the Line was a great movie for those music fans who like to see the story put down. I have yet to see Sid and Nancy, but I would imagine I would enjoy it, too. In case I don't get around to reading all the portrayals of how some of my signature artists came to be, including in their personhood, I'll continue to watch some of the films, and hopefully not be disappointed.

I wonder if a movie version of how the TV-manufactured Monkees came to be is in the works? I'd love for Johnny Depp to play The Monkees's Mike Nesmith. I always loved his green hat from the earlier days. And he was a brilliant songwriter and I loved the twang in his guitar-playin'. I'm just sayin'...He's kinda like the John Lennon of the group for me.

In other news... the Panthers bit it...BIG TIME. So it looks like a Steelers/Seahawks Superbowl matchup. What the hell happened to my little kitties? Dammit!

Into the Woods

Stinson BeachDuring my Sister Circle meeting with Sara, Natalye, Katie, and Jen I received a message from Christine and Sarah. It was late afternoon and the sun was beginning to dip. They had just walked the dogs in Berkeley and said they wanted to go camping tonight.


Okay, so here I am in the city creating a treasure map for 2006 filled with self-acceptance, success, and study...and in a few hours I would be traveling across the Richmond Bridge to Mount Tamalpais for an evening's sleep. Why not?

Christine and Sarah are among my river sisters. My closest river sisters.

I was delayed with filming for the Sister Circle and rushed to Alameda to shove my fuzzy full body jammies into a backpack, my purple plaid fleece, toothbrush/paste, and Dr. Hauska skin care pack and water.

Um, everything else I left up to chance. I had my hiking boots and I had a jacket. What else could I possibly need since they had sleeping bags and tents to go?

I was hesitant, but the idea of being on a mountain overlooking the ocean and bay and waking to the wind in the trees with a hint of brine from the Pacific was beyond tempting.

Yes, I had to say a resounding yes.

And so I drove to Christine's house.

I decompressed from my rushing as soon as I walked in the door. Christine was reading from her book to Sarah. They welcomed me with no reproach, but asked me how I was and if I needed anything.

I changed my proverbial diaper (read: tampon) and we gathered my things and we piled into Sarah's green jeep with Zen and Smudge in search of campground #`11. I wish I remembered the park name right about now.

We drove across the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge and I have to say that the Bay is just magical. Getting perspective and distance from the Bay Bridge to see is at as connecting span, versus a trafficky parking lot is lovely.

We careened along the 580 slope to Sir Francis Drake to 101 South and wove our way to Highway 1. Slowly. The night was absolutely clear. Orion was filled in, not just an outline of 3-starred belt and Sirius the dog, but filled in with flesh and stars. The canopy above was not muted by a deluge of light pollution. The blue canopy above was dotted with gorgeous stars.

Jesus, I felt human, so entirely human.

Christine trekked us up to our spots after we parked. Easy to find and overlooking a raveen. Blackbirds were in the trees mocking other birds and the breeze played with the branches of the pines overhead. The moon poked it's way out of some cloudcover.

Gorgeous. Absolutely gorgeous.

The slope winded me and I know that I was feeling a little weak from not having eaten a proper supper, but my belly was filled with Pennie's Carribean goodness thanks to Doug, T, Michelle, and Joe. I'd be fine.

Christine and I set up the tent and then went to brush our teeth and wash our faces.
The cold water was particularly invigorating. I don't know if it particularly cleaned my face, but I felt alive as the cold splashes reached my cheeks. I felt baptized into this calm, Marin place.

I had a sleeping bag, my jammies, a hat and jacket. I snuggled against my fleece blanket and my poor feet had thin socks. During most of the evening I had a conversation with myself in my brain about finding a comfortable spot, why I wasn't warm, why I wasn't sleeping in such a beautiful space, wondering how my friends and family were, praying to the creator for good things, wondering about moving...

There were a few moments where I felt consciousness slip, but it wasn't comfortable. THe breeze was noisy in my ears. The cries of the blackbirds roused me into this realm. I really wanted sleep and was regretting my potential mood for the morning. I didn't have my vitamins or supplements. I was a grumble bunny.

A few moments slipped into snoring.

And then a ray of sunlight hit my eye. And I heard Christine stir.

Damn, morning time.

I slowly opened my eyes and witnessed some gorgeous golden light poking through the trunks. These hashmarks along the landscape were sergeants, allowing the light to come through.

Brr...but somehow my brain shut off enough that my eyelids aren't heavy and I smile softly because the morning is just magic. The carpet of the wood is woven of soft pine needles and spongy earth. Birds continue their singing and the morning sun seems to be dancing westward among the trees. In the half hour it takes for me to rise and dress for the morning it has moved and I have caught whiff of a group of backpacker's breakfast...bacon. Oh, the lovely scent of bacon in the morning!

We convene and Sarah offers to read a poem for us...Blue. It is an assignment she and a friend challenged themselves to.

Blue is awash with imagery of the ocean and sky and eyes and emotion. I'm on a rollercoaster of melancholy and irony and nostalgia. Blue reminds me of a poem that I will come to write soon, I am certain.

Tents come down easily. The car is packed easily and in the midst it is decided we will wander along Stinson Beach.

Before we walk Sarah offers breakfast of sprouted rye bread, almond butter, and apples. All fill my tummy wonderfully. The rye bread is soft and pliable and filling. The almond butter is rich and adds to the bread's heartiness. This meal should keep me walking a little bit.

Stinson Beach is a glorious spread of land stretching up and down along the Northern California coastline. Young families, dogs, and some kites are there this morning. We walk and talk and share silence and observe houses on stilts and houses with wave walls. We marvel at a bird of prey gliding, hovering in the air, the curl of its wings perfect to detect any change of wind. It keeps itself aloft so intuitively I wonder what Disney magic keeps it there.

Why do I liken miracles of nature to Disney experiences? That seems so sad...

We wander and admittedly my tummy begins to beckon her nourishment. I begin to fantasize about lunch.

Sarah asks if we want to continue wandering or check out the next spot and both Christine and I are open...meaning we relinquish the decision to Sarah. Both Zen and Smudge have been playing along the surf and with other dogs for the length of the beach. We all pause a moment and decide to explore the next beach.

I have picked up 3 bits of ocean glass, worn translucent by the beating of sand against its surface, but not broken by the force of the ocean. I also pick up an oblong rock that has a hole worn through it. It is a pendant, a keepsake of this moment together among friends.

I have walked along this beach with Emma and we have talked about life and it has felt as familiar and wonderful and open and nonjudgemental.

I love this beach for that.

We walk back to the car. And we wander south along Highway 1 to a lookout point that has a path to a large boulder that is a perch overlooking the ocean. Sarah is called by it and we wander along the switchback of the path. The boulder is green with moss and wet with Pacific kisses and overlooks the panorama of the beach and the coast and is amazing. I am clumsy climbing up to it, but with Sarah's outstretched hand I clear the rock face and am surrounded by this amazing beauty and bathed in sunlight.

We climb down and around and toward the surf. The clay is loose and red and we slide along a narrow ridge to the beach and surf. I am drawn to the boulders at the water's edge encrusted with barnacles and black crabs that seem fearful of me. I must look huge and atrocious with bluejean legs and a purple and white plaid chest and head topped with yarn. What kind of creature do I look like to them?

I stand and stare in a space just behind the boulders staring at the sideways crawling and climbing of the crabs and time the moments between the crescendo of waves that splash over the boulders bringing Mother Ocean to my feet. I feel like a conductor. I feel like an explorer. I feel the sun on my face and feel like I am playing hooky from my responsibilities at home. And I AM playing hooky from my responsibilities at home.

We reconvene in a little cove of rocks, sit in the sun, listen to stories and make a plan for lunch.

It is good.

The journey uphill is always a challenge for me. My legs feel weak and I feel winded. The climb doesn't appear so rough, but I feel my weakness and it makes me feel bad. I am soon reminded when I stop to feel the pulse along my carotid artery that everyone gets winded. My river sister Christine gently reminds me of this.

God, I love being a space of nonjudgement.

We arrive at the summit, having looked back at ocean and thank her for her hospitality and drive south along Highway 1 to meet up with Highway 101 North, toward San Rafael. We look for lunch and find it at Il Fornaio. The Pittburgh-Denver game is on, It is the 3rd quarter and Pittsburgh is creaming the Colts...24-3. I was excited! I want a Panthers-Steelers Superbowl.

We are given amazing service, bread and breakfast. We chat and just savor the moment, the food...mmmm.

This is the sublimeness of spontaneous trips with friends. Full circle...24 hours from San Francisco making treasure maps to camping among the guardian trees above the ocean to suburban brunching.

And now the sun sets and I am off to do some room cleaning before enjoying Walk The Line at the Parkway this evening.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


There are piles of clothes on the floor. Random t-shirts from events and organizations that have not appeared on her back in ages. The screen is splitting vertically along the lines they have been folded...for eons it seems.

Yesterday on her errands and wanderings she found two donation boxes within two blocks of each other. She took these as a sign to let the purging begin.

Yes, her usual outlet for new outfits includes her friends and Goodwill. She is not ashamed to reuse; she finds couture to be a whirlwind of waste, for the most part. Of course she wants to have a fresh look, but under what circumstances? Her mind conjures up the conditions these "cute" and "must have" jeans, blouses, boots, sneakers, slippers, etc. are manufactured. And let's stress the word "manufactured" because she ASSUMES (and she's chiding herself for this, too) that the creators of these items of fashion are not offered the same income as the names...no, she thinks of people producing in pretty destitute conditions...

But she's trying to let go of the Atlas thing. She cannot save the entire world and it's narcissistic to think so. She is emphasizing being well-intentioned and mindful, but SELF-RELIANT. This does not mean suffering under martyrdom or hermitage. This means she reaches out as she needs.

In her discussion with Meryl last night she attempted to articulate her growth areas, the tender spots.

Meryl asked her several times if she listened...she struggled with answering this question. Upon reviewing email from the last two years to see her growth...she realized that there's a portion of her mind that clings on to the fear and excuse of "failure" intently. She's coaxing that portion to let go and drop into the deep, warm, blue waters of possibility.

Possibility lies beneath the fear and excuse rope she dangles from. It's a swing rope above a calm lagoon. It's perfectly safe to let go and drop with a splash, rejuvinate in the water of possibility and swim! It's perfectly safe.

That part of her that clings fears the drop...fears the sudden shock of the water...fears her bathing trunks will slip off or her bikini top will come undone.
The less-fearing other part of her mind knows none of this truly matters. And she coaxes. Like falling out of the boat on the river, it's momentary. Even the "long swims" are momentary...your crew will come get you. Your crew will pluck you out of the water quickly and you will have an exciting story.

If she lets go of the rope, the cramping will subside. The deathgrip will release and blood will flow to her hands If she lets go of the rope she'll be in gravity's care and the downward action will actually be freedom. Freedom to act on her success. Freedom to act on her talents. Freedom to unleash her power and beauty and "success".


Friday, January 20, 2006

jesus is WAY cool!

King MissileThank you oh Ackthehack for reminding me of King Missile and all the enjoyment I got from the two tracks I was introduced to in my freshman dorm at Syracuse University, Sadler Hall. Man, oh MAN you brought back memories!

Thank all that is good for people who troll other's websites, ya know?

Today was sunny, scattered and just filled with news...like the school where I volunteered today is closing next year. Teachers and administrators seemed so dumbfounded about the decision...jesus...that has to suck...poor choice, if you ask my opinion, San Francisco Unified, but you didn't...

Traffic sucked, played with the 7th graders and encouraged them to draw for their movies...then off to the office to confirm the logo went through to a woman who's doing work on some kiosks for GirlSource...I want them to be informed and come from an empowering perspective and not a charity perspective...we'll see the final product...

I was going through old mail, because I'm a packrat and I wanted to see where I've been over the years...man I was in a SAD state last year...while reading a particularly poignant email from O I get a call from Phoenix (hello???? psychic knock!) saying the place is official....EXCELLENT, Mr. Omer! You have your very own pad...nicely done. Jesus, you're all grown up and official now!

After getting off the phone with the O, I dropped off thank you number 2 to Mr. John of One Economy. I get a sweet spot close to BAVC and walk up the stairs and PSYCHIC KNOCK! John is coming out, asking me where I'm going and I hand him my little thank you for spending time on Wednesday...sweetness...

I'm feeling good, but definitely late for my 12:30 meeting...I have to get gas and drive down to San Lorenzo...missed connection, but that's okay.

I drive back to the 'Meda in search of laundry detergent and some organic tampons
Hey man, my body deserves a chlorine-free product, you know? I cave and get some Organic/Freetrade Belgian Chocolate to feed my greed as well. And Seventh Generation bathroom tissue. Gotta buy for sustainability so my kids won't have to pay admission to see trees in amusement parks, you know?

I'm talking to Meryl about life. Meryl is my sage, sister, sense of laughter and insider in Boston. Me luffy luffs her. She's tough love on me sometimes, too...but me luffy luffs her.

I wander goodwill for new house stuff...nothing I can use...and I drive back home...

And start laundry while my landlord's daughter-now roomie is listening to Outkast in the house. Man, another tourist.

Can I just say that insipid white people are annoying me at the moment? Like come to people's cultures with humility and don't act all cerebral and expert about it. Jesus...it pisses me off! I sent an email to Michelle and Michael Paul about an email I received from my roommate...dios mio and that set me off. Do NOT declare anything the year of the salsa and don't try to dance with me while I am filming, fool! Why doesn't that make sense? KEY-RIST!

Alright...and while my clothes are swirling in lavender goodness, I chat with the Huy-meister who gives me a heads up he's performing at the Octavia lounge on Wednesday...coolness...and we shoot the breeze on jazz. Nice. Life is good.


Time to dry more clothes...



a$$ traffic

dude...traffic for 12.2 miles = almost 2 hours because there were no casual carpoolers to be found this morning...i showed up at the libary of luther burbank...and they were working...drawing for their movies...apparently after i shut off the school board meeting last night...the decision came down...luther burbank, one of the better middle schools i have worked in...is being repurposed...an academic community raised by budgeting and financing...and it's actually doing its job of educating kids...WTF? so we want all inner city kids to go to schools that look like prisons and limit their vision of their BIRTHRIGHT to be leaders with options...from plumbing to presidency?



MY @$$!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ben Storm Band in the Haystacks

Ben Storm

A Street is near former stomping grounds in Hayward. I lived at 343 Ocie Way in a house that got hectic. Within a week of me moving in my room was broken into and a tarot deck my mother gave me was stolen along with other random items. Strange.

Last night at the Bistro, the Ben Storm Band played a tight set. The Bistro fancies itself perhaps a pub/coffee house. It's not as cozy as The Pub in Albany, but it's a cute little spot. A fireplace might do it well.

After a crazy day of helping out Streetside with Tech Tales and popping in the office and having a GREAT talk with Mary Ann about how my trip with my parents went...and a lot of the healing and thoughts I had about that...I'll delve into that more...but I just felt lifted and had such a sense of confidence...shopped for hello gifts for Noelia and farewell gifts for Abigail...got back to the office and got some correspondence out regarding the No Child Left Behind statewide hearing I went to on Thursday night. It's amazing what we're trying to pass as education to our children.
Streetside Stories

Paltry, trashy and unengaging. Thank goodness for a few warrior students/educators/teachers/administrators/families who are fighting the good fight! Thank you!

I dropped off thank you number one to the gentleman I spoke with on Wednesday regarding Digital Inclusion and need to drop off thank you number two. Powerful meetings that inspire you are GOOD, VERY VERY GOOD!

Then off to pick up wifey and Michael Paul (the drummer of the Ben Storm Band) to get to Hayward. There were a few traffic glitches, but we got there in time for their set. I was listening to a San Francisco Board of Education meeting on KALW regarding a list of schools slated for closure or merger and the community was RATHER active during this meeting.

Civic life so intrigues me. Legislation intrigues me. This is how our world is created, non? There are rule-makers...and supposedly we are the rule-makers, since we elect them...it takes me back to my half-semester of government...my senior year in high school when my fellow classmates were flinging pencils at the back of my head because they thought it was could that they would spring off my hair. Idiots. These were the honors guys.

The evening was goreous. A beautiful half moon in the southeast followed us along highway 13 as we cruised along the the bottom of the Oakland Hills. The drive is just beautiiful. Jane caressed each curve and crest beautifully.

Ah, it's 7:36 and I have to get to the going. Streetside Stories continues making films at Luther Burbank Middle School. I have to print out some financial statements for my 12:30 meeting with Financial World Group and then possibly meet with Sara about her website, and need to cancel with Lara and Diane regarding Bittersweet today.

Brrrr....it's wintry, because the house has an overall chill to it. It's pressing on the skin, a gentle touch like a grandmother's thin hand, but present.

Happy Friday, all!

PS, today's pose - Pigeon Pose rocked!

Thursday, January 19, 2006


thursday...in the last 24 hours...

1) Dictionary Day with the Heroes Kids was AWESOME
2) Got some admin work stuff on the website. Yay.
3) Touched base about the retreat next week. Still unclear, but I feel good about starting the food thing.
4) Found out about a Tech Fellowship. YAY!!!!
5) Found out about One Economy opportunities. YAY!!!!
6) Had a great meeting with John and Ray. YAY!!!!
7) No Child Left Behind Meeting had AWESOME content and contacts, YAY!!!!
8) Hung out with wifey Michelle and ate pasteles. YAY!!!!
9) Happy Birthday dance for Joe, YAY!!!!
10) Catch up conference with O, YAY!!!!
11) THE CATS ARE HUGE!!!!!! YAY!!!!
12) Woke up at 5:30 so I could shower and Yoga before heading to Luther Burbank for volunteering with Tech Tales...and it's 7:12 and traffic sucks, so I gotta go.

Love me! Peace! Outtie!

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Wednesday Morning: Balance

Bombilla y copa para yerba mate
Mami gave me so many gifts when I went to visit her. It was her birthday, but I came home with 3 coats, a beautiful copa para yerba mate, a cd player, boots, gloves...I felt guilty. My luggage was so heavy yesterday and I had to borrow a bag from her to fit everything she gave!

Dios mio!

So this morning I will be volunteering at Franklin Elementary School with Oakland HEROES. We're doing Dictionary Day! It's a fun day because we get to play word games with the dictionary. Simple word games, but it's fun introducing the tool and all the possibilities that lie therein.

I loved the dictionary when I was younger. I still do. My father was getting his masters when I discovered his blue, marbly coloured dictionary. It has onion skin pages that have a beautiful crisp sound when you turn them. He still has it and I looked at it when I was home. I wrote "Property of Felix J. Padilla" in my neat, 4th grade cursive in the front cover.

I fascinated myself with all of the different entries and pictures and language and word origins.

This was before the World Book Encyclopedia captured my imagination, but the dictionary always, ALWAYS kept its worth. I could take it with me to the bathroom or in bed with me or in a hidden corner and get lost in it.

This morning I woke up with a little patch of that rash again. So it must be something in my house, specifically my room. I am washing my quilt as we speak to see if I can get rid of this thing. It's totally annoying.

Half Moon PoseThis morning's yoga was filled with balance poses...the half moon has one stand on one foot, stretch out one's arms so that one hand reaches the floor and the other reaches towards the ceiling. The other leg is outstretched...like you are a human plus sign. Another pose has one balance on one leg, the other stretched behind and your torso and arms stretch forward, opposite the leg behind like you are diving forward into your destiny.

I am more stable on my right leg than on my left. Not sure why.

I am going to pack the pasteles mami gave me for Michelle and I to eat tonight and my lunch. It's almost 9. Time to venture onto the bus and perhaps finish more of All About Love. I am almost done. Then on to The Satanic Verses, which I began at my mami's house and I have to say within the first 14 pages I am not sure what the controversy is about, nor am so sucked in that I need to find out, BUT since it's been with my mom for the last 20 or so years and it was the subject of so much controversy (Mr. Rushdie was in hiding for so long because of this thing), I figure it's time I'm in the know. =)

Guess what? I love me today!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Big, Fat Rain Drops

The India Palace in Alameda provides me much comfort.

I walked there in the rain after landing in my room and settling in. There were big, fat rain drops and as I walked to the restaurant with my backpack in tow I had an imaginary conversation with my friend Mike whom I've felt alienated from since he started dating his girlfriend Melanie. He and I have always had good conversations and I have missed just shooting the proverbial shit with him.

In my mind's auditorium I spoke with him of bell hook's All About Love and told him that what I missed of our friendship was our conversation. That when we were sort of, but never really expressed it consciously, "dating" that I felt that I needed to always put up a front of best foot forward and not allow myself to be human and that's what made us incompatible. We had a good dialog as I walked in the rain, fat drops running down from the crown of my head onto my face.

I arrived, wet with one of mami's new jackets on me and wanting Palak Paneer. I ordered it, Mulligatawny Soup, Naan, and biryani. I was craving Indian food especially after my parents expressed a disliking for it over the weekend. Not like Indian food?

How is that possible?

During dinner I continued to read bell and write in my journal, reflecting on it. (Imagine, I blog in two places and then write in my journal. I think a lot!). I receive a phone call from a 503 and I know it's Mike, but I answer politcly, "Good evening, you've reached Erika" and he says hello. I say I am eating dinner, but am able to return his call in 40 minutes and we agree to speak then.

Excellent. Honesty. It works. I do not drop things for people, I express my needs and take them into account when weighing choices. I do not act from desperation. I make considerations of the situation.

This seems so zen and healthy.

Imaginate eso, eh?

What other pearls of wisdom will this book help me uncover?

I like this feeling of an open heart. I am making a list of honesty conversations I will have...it started with my parents over the weekend and will continue through my friends and family. (Although now I know brastfeeding is not a conversation my parents want to have in a restaurant. Apparently it's a little too taboo for the daderator. I have to realize not everyone is as candid as I am and willing to just talk about any and everything.)



bell hooks - all about love
Whoa. Blogger is totally freaking out in Firefox today...so today we do Safari. No exciting customizing of text, but at least I can see the box where I am entering my thoughts. I love it when tech happens.

One of the most beautiful views I have ever witnessed has been from an airplane travelling across the continent.

There is something magical to the fact that one crosses the map of the United States, very much like the atlas I pored over in 2nd grade. The piedmont region of North Carolina becomes the Appalachians, the central planes...cut through with rivers and mountains...it's incredible.

I write this because as I crossed over the United States I found myself engaged in bell hook's All About Love and unraveling suspicions in my mind about the little bits of my Self and my upbringing that I haven't had vocabulary for. She makes a strong argument for dysfunction as a part of our lives that is almost considered "normal" because it is so rampant. I appreciate her arguing that a society rooted in democracy and justice needs to include love as one of its platforms. Coming from a loving place, (not meaning the pink and red nightmare that has replaced the tinsel and trees of Christmas), societies can be great.

I remember first encountering bell hooks in a feminism class at Syracuse University, Fall 2003. Reading her blew my mind. I was in a place where my brain was not absorbing much and I felt a little flat in my academia. I felt her hard to fathom and I thinK I have had a fear of her ever since. It's similar to my fear of Noam Chomsky. As much as I admire these celebrities of academia I felt that my 21 year old brain was incapable of absorbing their knowledge and as a 33 year old I still think that I am stuck in that fearful 21 year old's brain.

Today I broke out of it.

I have been meaning to conquer this text since it was lent to me by my friend Dieyana. I am constantly wondering about the nature of love in a million different contexts and thought it was the stuff of dreamers. When I speak of love I mean the savoring of every moment and connection and opportunity. It may include familial; it may include those solitary moments that are satisfactory; it may include those hilarious moments with friends, and it may include romance. But it is a global phenomenon and I ask a lot of questions about it. I know that I ask to help define it for myself and to see how my circle views it. It's rather intangible. It's hard to get juiced about a discussion about love because I think people are inclined to think that you mean that "sappy stuff".

This is apparently bell hook's experience as well.

I finished 3/4 of the book on the plane after not progressing through it much at all over the last 4 months.

Sometimes I suppose books offer you their time, And this is my time for this book. It's awesome to be intellectually engaged and not intimidated by the academics of feminism.

Much like the term "activist" I reserve using the term "feminist" because I know it bristles some skin. I like to be the diplomat.
But sometimes I don't want to be diplomatic...I want answers. I want to know what people think about things I think about.

So I ask.

I arrived at 4:07. And then I waited for the luggage to come off the carousel. The weather was grey. I listened to the 6 messages that awaited me and spoke with Shawna, left a message for Michelle and got information about the Dictionary Day in Oakland I am participating in tomorrow morning.

The world doesn't end when one doesn't go away. That's narcissistic, but nice to know.

I also called mami and papi to let them know I arrived okay and I also left a message for my brother hoping that next time we'd perhaps have the chance to hang out. It seemed that he was studying and without a car it is hard to get between Raleigh and Durham. I know I am angry with him and I have to work that out with some forgiveness.

Then I got on the AirTran and from there I got on the BART.

The time seemed to pass so slowly from the airport to the BART train. I rewinded in my mind from last Thursday when I was on the phone with the Delta folks to change the flight I was about to miss and how helpful they were...and all that has transpired between then and now.

I am thankful I went to visit my family. I know I have some things to work out. I also hope that we've grown as parents and daughter. I got a lot off my chest...the incidents of molestation, my worries about satisfying them as a daughter, my concerns for their health, my wondering of their expectations of me...family? kids?, my inquiries about family I had never known...

And I got stories about my father's side of the family...how his grandmother had a mean face and didn't really acknowledge his brothers and sisters...how the only kind person on his father's side was his father's brother...his Uncle Felix...how his father was university educated! I got to know more about mami's philosophy...where her optimism comes from...and how powerful she is in her community by just being present and active...and asking no accolade.

Wow. Insight. Stories.

This is what I wanted...

I came to know my parents as older people. I came to realize that time with them well spent was helping my mother apply medicine to an ear infection, laying on her knee and have her rub my back as I told her my worries. I learned that my father really did appreciate sitting and eating and watching Beloved. I learned that he appreciated me sewing his buttons on his suit jacket.

Oh, is that all? Is that all it takes? Some day-to-day interaction?

I know that I love production...big things...

But I was reminded again of the little things and how they express tenderness and love.

This weekend I learned that I love my parents very much...and they love me for the very human daughter that I am.

I let go of some of the anxiety that I am a shame or a disappointment to them.

And that's amazing.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast and thinking

Niagara Falls
This morning in Raleigh, NC I woke up in my mom's bed at 3 am. I had MAJOR cramps. I was having a weird dream with my mom, two women she volunteers with and O was visiting as well. (O what the heck were you doing visiting my mom? Especially since you were on your way to work?)

I got up, groggy, took some aspirin and curled up in the fetal position talking to my body and asking it to stop cramping.

Then I got to a philosophical and scientific place...why does the body cramp? What causes cramping? It's not like I have a wound and I don't feel like I am bruised...why don't I know the reason for this? I'm almost a 21 year veteran of this female phenomenon...

Then I get metaphysical with it...okay, Erika...imagine a green light surrounding you, and its healing qualities...you are breathing with the pain...breathing air in and breathing pain off...

I don't remember what part of my begging all that is in charge of creating to stave off the pain, but I nodded off...

and then the buzzer rang...5:30 am to make a 7 am prayer breakfast.

Mami and I both ran late and arrived at the breakfast at 8 am. And in typical mami style, we ran into a dozen people she works with in the community on the way in. Wild.

There was a huge cadre of faith-based, political and business leaders in the room. I hadn't been to an MLK celebrating since Syracuse at the Carrier Dome with Jen Lee in 1994. The morning sunrise was beautiful this morning and I stopped to think about Dr. King.

During the preachers' fiery speeches I took notes reflecting upon my time here. And my need to really address and take on forgiveness...

The key note speaker roused the crowd into "Hallelujahs" and "Amens", the likes of which I have seen in cinema and on television. At one point he evoked scripture from Leviticus and spoke to the crowd...wanting us to touch our right ear, our right thumb, and our right toe. He spoke of anointing us with blood and took us on a historical journey through pre-slavery Western Africa, the Euro-lead slave trade, the middle passage, American slavery and uprises against slavery, abolition, the Civil Rights movement...and spoke of the blood shed in each encounter and told us that each event was not enough blood...I was moved by this man's words and began weeping...

Each memory and historical moment he evoked painted an image in my mind and brought up the emotions of pain that each generation has felt to come to this day...to this day.

And I know that there is much work to be done, but I am so thankful to be part of a movement of people who care about how we co-exist with one another and believe in a world of peace and opportunity for all. I wept and I was ashamed to face my mother or the rest of the table. This was my private moment. This was my own redication to forgiveness and that includes me.

I forgive myself for being so hard on myself for not achieving my own arbitrary goals according to my arbitrary timeline.

I forgive my father for not understanding my needs as a latina woman-child to have equal access to knowledge to be an adult in this world.

I forgive my brother for not acknowledging my mom for the past year.

I forgive my family for not understanding what I considered my dire situation in California. I survived it and have grown from it.

I will continue to find areas of forgiveness...sweep it away and allow all the time and energy I have spent wondering "why" from things in the past and free the energy to move forward.

I have so much to discover about myself...about this world...about this life...

I am SO excited that after experiencing 4 days with my family that I have come to a place where I realize I love them and that my being so far from them does not constitute betrayal.

I needed to know that. I needed to know that my path is not errant or taking away from mi familia.

Wow. Deep stuff.

So today after taking some aspirin for the crampies and needing to work through the anger and the frustration with my dad...and having to survive the Crabtree Valley Mall, I am in my father's house...for the first time in 4 days. My parents are watching a special on Niagara Falls on the Travel Channel. And I feel at peace.

Rock on.

I am SURE I'll have tons to reflect upon tomorrow. I think I need to go dancing.

Yo, Sol? What's your schedule tomorrow night, dude?

Friday, January 13, 2006

Friday the 13th, Raleigh, Mami and Joe Bob Comedian at Charlie Goodnights

THank you Wake County Public Libaries for the hour and 3 minutes to check in with my stuffy stuff.

I am firing off a letter for Ms. Kimberly Acevedo to get her a scholarship to go to college because she's amazing. Go KIM!

I also would like to offer an account of life in the last 24 hours.

After sleepover I mis-slept a good 4 hours. This means I didn't wake until 5:30 am and that made me late for starting travel toward SFO to catch my 8:30 am Delta flight to Atlanta, GA connecting to Raleigh, NC after a plane change.

I rose, I packed, I showered and I skipped yoga and dragged my luggage (thank GOD for wheels) to the 51 Busstop at Motzart and Santa Clara. This was about 7 am, the fog was just beginning to break and there was a slight, chilly nip in the air.

My eyelids definitely had that burning sensation and the rash or whatever it is now on my face (POISON OAK? STRESS???) was definitely the first thing on my mind. Grr. Although now it would seem that I am an expert in all things related to skin ailments...hee hee.

Anywho...the bus came, was full, and I dragged my luggage toward the side doors. 15 minutes later I transferred to a BART at the 12th street station and began counting down the minutes. No way would I get to the airport by 8 am. Once I hit the surface on BART, I called Delta to change my flight.

The Delta folks were among the NICEST customer service folks I have ever encountered. 2 from India and two stateside...I was offered quick service, notified that it would cost a paltry $25 to change my flight to the 10 am and all was good.

Sure, my call dropped twice when I tried to finalize the reservation change and of course the battery was running out...but in the end all was well...and I got to rest AND my original flight was delayed for mechanical issues anyway...

Thanks to the gentleman at the counter at SFO I got on a flight to Atlanta with NO issues. Yay.

This allowed me time for breakfast and I was treated to some dim sum at the Fung Lum restaurant at SFO in Terminal 1.

I wanted something light and opted for spinach with garlic AND AND AND a lovely concotion called a shrimp banana roll that featured in a crispy rice wonton wrapper shrimp stuffed with sauteed banana. It's not a usual combination, but I have to say that the combo was FABULOUS...wow. With hot sauce? Stupendous! Along with my banana and tea, a lovely way to begin the morning. The sun was out and warming my face and I thought of seeing my family. It had been over a year.

Okay...gotta finish the recommendation letter...

the rest of the outline that happened goes like this:

1) Woke up on the flight with a 4 inch drool line which was none too cute
2) The country looks GORGEOUS from so far up
3) flying is magical
4) arrived in Atlanta and it was HOT! apparently we're having a heatwave and I feel dorky for wearing the wool jacket to "dress up my look"
5) Landed and treated the face for the inflamation before seeing the rents
6) Found the rents at baggage, my mom almost didn't recognize me...I think it's her vision. She looks great =) Dad showed up about 2 minutes later, as per usual. He told me I looked good. Both parents said I looked good, that my siblings look like thay have gained weight. I'll take the compliment.
7) We're supposed to meet my friend at the comedy club Charley Goodnight's...we arrive, we don't find her and the most ignorant, Joe-Bob redneck comedian is telling jokes about rednecks and mexicans. He's racist, sexist, a homophobe, and just not funny at all. He made some interesting statements about immigrants saving their money to invest in businesses, but I was so soured by his delivery that I was turned off. The only saving grace this man had was about a tornado in Rock Hill, SC (interesting town, BTW) that swooped up granny that while she whirled around in the twister he suggested he put a number on her ass because she was more fun to watch than NASCAR. it turned my smirk into a minor grimace. He was a dork.
8) Got to mami's house (tonight I'll stay at dad's house) and dad looked sad that I was staying, but she cooked arroz con gandules for me and some repollo (cabbage) salad with balsamic vinegar and anise seed...yum, BTW! and a thin steak. SO good to eat my mami's food! AYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAAYY!
9) She has a hard time getting to sleep, so we talked and she watched tv and I started falling asleep and got into the bed...SNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOZE....
10) It's mami's Bday and I am taking her out for a massage and pedicure! Tomorrow DANCING! WOO!
11) FABULOUS breakfast here at the cameron village Cafe Carolina and Bakery for 4 bucks...with a sweet potato biscuit...YUMS!

Mas Horita!

Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm going home.

In 7 hours my flight leaves San Francisco Airport for Raleigh, NC.

It's been over a year since I have seen my family. In the last year there have been two major reunion things that I have missed. My father's house has been broken into, his pipes have broken, my mother has been volunteering with upteen-million things, my nephew has been in and out of trouble and finally sent to an outdoor education program to help him focus and socialize better. My brother stopped talking to me, my nephew stopped talking to me. My brother started talking to me. My sister started talking to me. Mami got recommendations for more specialists and is juggling costs with "need" to go to so many doctors.

I miss my parents. I felt it very much during the Christmas holidays.


It's almost 2 am and I am going to nap for 2 hours before packing and leaving for the bus to catch the BART to get to the airport.

In the last 48 hours I have mistakenly arrived at Enola Maxwell Middle School in Portero Hill of San Francisco to volunteer with Streetside Stories. I stayed for the hour session where they were working on stories and specifically setting elements. What I have loved about working with Streetside Stories in the last year has been the curriculum that they use to engage the students to write. Accidentally I walked into a classroom where the students were writing their biographies. And I stayed because I didn't know where I was supposed to be volunteering and I got to experience another program. It ended up being fine.

I began reorganizing the files for GirlHealth by downloading ALL of the files and placing them in their respective categories. It's a lot of work and slow-going on the poor Emac. This semester will be an excellent semester to organize and document. I'm excited about that.

This morning I got into the car and looked for carpoolers in the rain...I must've just missed a bus, because there were no San Francisco bound commuters to be found, so at 7:30 I headed into the tunnel and checked the traffic conditions on 511.org.
There were "4 incidents". I allow 30 minutes for each incident. My 14 mile drive took me almost 2 hours and 15 minutes to complete. I arrived at Burbank Middle School off MacClaren Park in San Francisco at 9:40 am. I couldn't believe it. I did, however, find the classroom, helped jumpstart some students with some ideas and remet my colleagues. Yay, right place. Right time. Next week I'll have it down pat.

Meanwhile, I twisted another 1/3 of my scalp between the Broadway exit where I entered I-80 and the toll plaza before crossing the Bay Bridge. I also listened to a health show en espanol on the am station and am proud to say I understood most of el show de Dr. Lisa...

Today was administrative stuff, reviewing our candidates stuff, (oh crap, I need to finish Kim's letter of recommendation), more GirlHealth stuff, and I spent some time in Rainbow Grocery researching skin stuff to get rid of the rash from my face. (It's not itchy, so I think that I am allergic to something...and I think that may be something the dogs brought in since they are spending more time in the house.) Man! I am becoming rather sensitive!

The rain stopped by early afternoon, the sun peeked through the clouds, and I have to say that the sunset was pretty darn spectacular. Out of the western window of our office, overlooking San Francisco's twin peaks, I noticed from the corner of my eye spectacular purples and peaches. I called to my coworkers to bring them in and we were treated to rippled cloud formations that resembled a phoenix flying westward and the fading sunset was it's brilliant tail. It was stunning and absolutely beautiful.

I left the office at 8 pm and drove to Houman's for sleepover. We had a psychic orange memo! Both Michelle and I wore orange pants and Houman wore an orange shirt! For appetizers? Assorted cheese, olives, bread, hummous, pomelo/apple/avacado salad, persian nut snacks. For dinner: bachelor chicken with an onion rue and sauteed spinach with garlic. Nummy nums, to be sure.

Then Napoleon Dynamite, since Michelle hadn't seen and I hadn't seen it in a bit. What a brilliant piece of cinema. Brilliant.
And I've decided to have a troupe from the crew recreate the dance at my wedding...so Austin Powers, 40 Year Old Virgin, and Napoleon Dynamite will be well represented on such occasion. Tee-Hee.

Colbert Report followed with much "truthiness" and then we were sucked into South Park, even though we were tired. Michelle made Godiva Chai, which has a nice, rich flavour to it. South Park featured the desire to lose in little league tournaments because the kids found it boring and the parents took it too seriously. Pretty damn funny, actually.

Sleepover began a few years back during the beginning of the second Gulf War or during one of the horrific elections. I don't remember. Michelle, Houman, and I get together to watch movies, talk, cook, laugh, and just be ourselves. It's awesome.
When adults can just allow themselves to exist, it's beyond a good thing. We've done sleepover despite relationship status. It's our tradition, our bonding time. Occasionally we have invited guests to come and share, but it's a lovely trio. It's something I cherish very much as a subset of my Bay Area family.

I'm going to land tomorrow night in my parent's company. On Friday I will scope out Chapel Hill and Duke University regarding their public policy programs and see if they are viable options for me. We'll see. Part of me feels I need to be open to relocation.

In the meantime I created a semester schedule inspired by a coworker's printing out her schedule and really started thinking about how I spend my time. I included an hour of blogging 4 days a week, because I find that accurate. It's a way to reflect and I hope to create a tool to slay each demon one-by-one. Or, less violently, invite the demons to coexist in harmony with me, instead of squelching them only to have them explode in my face (sometimes literally.)

Last blog for 5 days, unless I stop by a libary, but I figure I'll have tons of stuff to do, and my family love to absorb and to offer...a year of catchup time is a lot. Vamos a ver! A mis padres, senor!