Monday, July 31, 2006

"Sorry, I forgot to call in payroll"

Yep. No explanation, just that.

I've been stretching my pennies (the last of which I put in my gas tank yesterday so my meter would read "Low Fuel") for the last 4 days. Manu Chau was paid for, but so were several other things. I put an emergency stash of $50 bucks to send to my North Carolina account, but that hasn't deposited yet (and it's been more than 2 weeks). So I've been a little stressed. I already cashed in the milk bottles and the yogurt containers.

It's a little frustrating when your organization forgets to call in payroll. If nothing else, we hope that working in the social benefit sector that people would be sensitive to one's financial needs. When you earn a percentage of what is considered low-income in an area, it's totally frustrating not to get one's paycheck on time.


At least I have beans and rice in the house...

The Weekend
Ay, Dios Mio. When did it start?

When I turned in my final paper near midnight on Thursday. Then I let out a little sigh and proceeded to record my comments for a meeting that was taking place on Friday that I couldn't attend because I was taking a class at the same time.

Well, the comments were never played. Grr.

But I had an amazing Art of Sound Design class that has me thinking, "Screw the save the world stuff, just listen and enhance sound for the rest of your life. You LOVE to, radio, voices, water, birds, sirens..."

We'll see.

Friday night I traversed to the Berkeley Greek Theater to see one of the best concerts of my life...Manu Chau...and opening were Monterrey's Kinky.
I had no idea Kinky were opening. I saw them 3 years ago at the Independent and they rocked. I was all over the place. I lost my proverbial S.

God. This is the kind of concert where I am mezmorized by the performers. The bass player of Kinky makes Les Claypool of Primus seem stiff. And if you've seen them live, you KNOW he's all over the place on stage.

The theater was about half-full for Kinky. The walls of the amphitheater were steep in pitch and seeing the classical architecture of the Greek seemed other-worldly. Columns lit by gels. The excitement resonated in the stone about me - from the crowd there to concerts past.

The DJ was playing excellent tunes, I got off the bus and called to my crew. I connected with my friend Erick briefly and then Joe found me and brought me to Michelle, Denise, Sebastian and Anita.

6 of us.

The music cut off at 7:29. Kinky came on stage promptly at 7:30...exploding into their first number and just rocking a 45 minute set.

Normally I take notes during a show, but I was up dancing and mezmorized by the bass player, the lead singer, and the accordionist bouncing all over the stage. I had heavy boots on, so I lightly bounced, moved my hips, and grooved.

I remember when I first heard their tune "Ejercisio". It was in Nevada City. I went up to visit my friend Mike for the first time and he introduced me to KVMR's "Omnium Gatherum" on Friday afternoons. It's a quirky, world-everything kinda show for 2 hours.

The weather was chilly. Fog engulfed the amphitheater, but the crowd was rockin' and our energy buzzed throughout the place.

During shows I tend to forget that other people are around me. I lock into the artist and I watch exactly what they're doing. The guitarist was playing a gorgeous old-style jazz body guitar. And all of them were all over the place. It was awesome.

They said their final good-bye, even though I wasn't ready for them to leave.

Harumph. I got off my high.

And the crowd felt it was blazing time. I noticed in the 15 minutes it took for them to get off stage and for Manu Chau to take the stage, a familiar scent began to cloud up the amphitheater. I even saw some people light up all around me. This convinces me that the whole drug war is bullshit. They're all over the 'hood nabbing people for little amounts of MJ and they're skipping all the suburban kids who are just carrying it to the shows.


The lights go down. The theater is full. The sun has set (what there was of it) and anticipation cloaks the crowd. We see the band off stage right and...

And one at a time, the band takes the stage. It's a build up to a musical orgasm that's about to last for 2.5 hours.
5 men on stage. The last one to come on is Manu himself, head wrapped in a flag? scarf? and he has his guitar and the show is a GO.

The ska-ification of all the track is AWESOME. We're dancing. People are yelling around me. I have long stopped yelling at concerts, because voice recovery is so difficult for me.

The whole BAND is amazing. And I am watching him lead the crowd to a frenzy...talking about revolution and unity and governments...and then singing such favourites as "Me Gusta".

"Me Gusta" put me in a daze.

I haven't been to a show with someone as a years. There was a brief Regina Carter show in 2001, but the last person I went to a show with and held hands with was Tom Petty or INXS with Dave in college.

The lyrics to "Me Gusta" are super-sweet. He basically lists things that he likes and ends each verse with "Me gustas tu".

It's the kind of song that ignites the silly romantic in me. I became hyper-sensitive to all the couples in the crowd. Some were swaying together, hugging one another.

I thought that was super-cool.

I came back into the space, into my head, and despite some idiot crowding folks, dug the show. Watched them play, and felt the wall of power they gave off to the crowd.

There were stage divers, crowd surfers, and one guy who wasn't ready to commit to the dive. He sat on stage and did his little jig and then walked off. Crazy.

The security dudes sucked. People began pouring in from the sides. All of them affable. All of them wanted to share the spotlight and good vibes with Manu. Some took the mike, some joined the guitar. Most just danced and then dove off into the crowd.

It was good.

I guess what threw me off the most was that he continued to say "Good-night" and then proceeded to play another 30 minutes. 5 encores...he played just about everything in the repetoire that I wanted. I had taken my shoes off at this point and had claimed my space to dance and let go.

I needed a cigarette after that show.

Dios mio. Que RICO!

I woke up for my doctor's appointment, went home, and napped. A lot.
I also cleaned a little bit.

Went to the Palestinian festival, saw some dancing, beautiful men, and heard some awesome music. One of my students was my escort. She fed me...hella good.

Then I went to a Arlene's Engagement party.

Philipinos can PARTY. And, damn, there was AWESOME FOOD!!!!

I was about to burst....

got home about 11 pm (was bussing it), and began reading Winnie the Pooh en espanol. I fell asleep to Winnie rolling in mud to disguise himself as a raincloud from the bees.


Hello, everyone.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Paying for dance classes is SO out of the budget, this is why I need FREE. =)

Hiking, free.

Cool dance classes, as much as I love them, is not free. Or I could cut out food.

Right now I shop at Farmer's/Green Markets and after talking to the phone nurse about my family history, my blood work is illustrating my genetic disposition for anemia and high cholesterol. So I need see what I can do. I eat meat maybe 3/4 times a week. I eat a 40% raw diet of fruits and veggies. So I may need to get cholesterol-lowering drugs (boo!) which means I may need to cut out my mental health's all a balancing act, I suppose.

Meanwhile...Manu Chau with Kinky was AMAZING...AND today's violin lesson just gelled so well. My teacher and I played a simple duet and it sounded finger placements were just....oh felt awesome. YAY!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Blood Work?

Dude, I just got blood work lab tests back and my cholesterol is above 200. I'm like, WHAT?!?!?!

I try to eat green-ass, organic like, everything! So now I need to see what strategies I need to employ so my arteries aren't permanently blocked. Crap. I need to find cardio I can afford and stick with.

Anybody got suggestions? I like to walk and I LOVE to dance. I refuse to pay 100 bucks for special shoes, cause I ain't got it like that and I don't want to contribute to some fingerless child somewhere just because the Jordans be hot.

HELP! I gotta continue more yoga, too. OBVIOUSLY!


Art of Sound Design

So I am taking a class today at BAVCcalled the history of Sound Design with instructor Chris Willits. He was the teacher for my podcasting class as well. He rocks, super-knowledgable. We're discussing theories of sound design, history of it in the context of film and watching segments of classic films. Now I have the hankering to watch Apocolypse Now and 2001 and Blazing Saddles with more of an ear for how the sound was put together...and laugh at audio geek jokes arround diegetic and nondiegetic sound.

So now I have serious fantasies about forgetting about saving the world and just doing audio design and engineering for musicians, radio, and some film. I think that would just be FRIGGIN' awesome.

Then I could record for Tom Petty and David Bowie and Rachid Taha and be the happiest woman that ever did walk the Earth.


Manu Chau at the Greek tonight...WOOOOOOOOT!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Tom Petty and Time to Disco

Tom Petty did an awesome interview with Terry Gross this morning on Fresh Air. He spoke about his love of radio and I just melted hearing his nostalgia for the medium. He has a new album out and is hosting a show on XM radio now. I think that's totally cool and I would love to see him in concert again. Apparently he's been rockin' for 30 years.

DUDE! He's the Hamster of Rock and Roll in my eyes;I just think he's CLASSIC. And apparently has a Myspace. Sheesh! Some of the new album's tracks are on there, though.

Also, the Bollywood Classic(?) "It's Time to Disco" is just looping in my head. It's really annoying because I already have to wrap my head around some stupid crap right now...writing a final paper on Wheel of Fortune. I had to watch a half hour show and analyze it and the ads. I don't have a television, so I used the one in the office and the only channel with reception was KRON 7. It was 7:30, so I spent 30 minutes of my life (that I will NOT get back) watching Tuesday's "Teen Best Friend Week". By the way, out of 30 minutes of show slotted time, about 14 minutes were dedicated to ads. And the one ad for "Head On" made NO sense to me whatsoever. I have no idea what the product is. All the ad did was show a still of someone with what looked like a gluestick stuck to their head and the voice over repeating "Head On! Head On! Head On!" for about 7.5 seconds. They bought two spots during the show. Random.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Thievery Corporation Review (fr. 7/20)

Oh, and in addition to seeing Thievery Corporation, we did envelopes for our Love Line last week with the girls as part of graduation...and I really dug the envelope I created. About 15 minutes and I had these cool paint pens to work I worked with my initial first and then the ideas just whorled and swirled from there....

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Thursday, 7/20 - STRESS!

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Beginning of Israeli/Lebanese Conflict

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my incredible bride...

dj anjali out of portland IS SO DAMN RAW!

i miss her tracks, but now i have access to her blog. i feel blessed. this mistress on the turntables brings a bit of proverbial couth to the mix that is Stumptown. Fo' REAL, tho!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

a secret...

def leppard and journey are coming to the bay and i have never made out to "pour some sugar on me," which is a total fantasy i have had since the summer after my sophomore year in high school when i thought that was the GREATEST song...ever.

although i think it's been trumped by "armageddon it"

my first boyfriend dave used to make fun of me. i told him i loved def leppard and he said, "what? all 3 and a half of them?" i thought he was wrong for saying that, but he was my bass playing boyfriend, marching band boyfriend, karate boyfriend, lego always remember your first.

he's married, has kids, and we're still friends.

but i still have this thing with def leppard left unfulfilled...

weekend - now haikus

interviews went well
saturday was so hot
river rafting rocks

monday grantees made
full circle fund is great
the paper? not done

not a lot of sleep
i just finished it now, woo
now i go to work

second day for girls
a new class, a new vibe. yes!
let's teach them some skills!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

3:50 am

oh, yeah. just finished my assignment.

going home for 3 hours o' sleep! whoot!

JUMP Diversion for July 20th

Well, these folks seem hopeful. They have a cool website. I'll jump at 3:39 am my time. Heck, what else do I have better to do? I'm wired anyway.

You'll have to check in with me and see if you notice a difference in our Earth's orbit.

If you do, hey, I leapt to make it happen, man.

Peace in the Middle East

There's a lot of discussion going on about what's going on "over there". I've heard all kinds of folks whispering "World War III." Allah and God forbid.

My head about exploded when I heard about the firepower inspired supposedly by two kidnapped Israeli soldiers.

All of this destruction for two soldiers who volunteered to serve in an army? And governments retaliate on non-governmental organizations by targeting civilians? Does Spain do this with the Basques? Does the U.S. do this with the KKK?

C'mon, man. This killing crap just doesn't make sense. It was Mandela's birthday yesterday. Were they celebrating? The man spent a hell of a lot of his 88 years in jail and came out of it peaceful and became president. He didn't blow people up to forward his cause.

I used to watch the news when I was very young. The footage on the air today could be the footage from Lebanon in the 80s as well. I feel like we haven't made much progress as a planet as far as conflict resolution goes and it's messing with me, big time. I mean, if I learned that conflict resolution couldn't include harming others and the majority of folks I know also learn this, then where does it leak into the system? I would like to think that our leaders would use greater temperance than less sophisticated members of society who want to settle things by taking it outside.

It's ridiculous. I feel like we're acting childish. And, yes, I know I am naive for these observations, but I am sick and tired of people doing stupid crap to show some bravado. The consequences reach beyond the egos of the involved parties. REAL PEOPLE get scared and hurt. And that is NOT COOL.

I've been scrambling for solutions. Perhaps this organization provides some?

Foundation for Middle East Peace

If nothing else, I can support on July 29th in San Francisco. One of my students is Christian Palestinian. She's brilliant and always checking in to say hello. here's a Jerusalem Middle-East Food Festival at 473 Euchalyptus Drive in San Francisco. The festival happens all weekend and features food, music and dancing.

Okay, so it's not world peace. It may not stave off the powder keg that is warming up at the meeting of Europe, Africa, and Asia. But a celebration has to count for something and stem the tide of this ridiculousness!


Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Raw Sauerkraut

I became a sucker at Rainbow grocery on Saturday evening.

I've become a fan of cabbage and have been reading about depression and skin and hypoglycemia and I have been noting my diet. I need more "good" bacteria in my diet and I don't always want to spoon from a jar of yogurt to get it.

So I looked about and saw a gorgeous jar of red kraut in a refrigerated case opposite the perishables behind glass doors. Cultured, organic, Raw Sauerkraut.

It's a beautiful glass jar that holds 16 oz. of sauerkraut. It will be a fine jar to reuse once I am done nibbling at it's sour contents. Shredded cabbage, carrots, beets, ginger and sea salt. The lovely colour is provided by the beets. Yum.

For lunch today I finally finished the poulty marinated in cinnamon and olive oil. The original recipe called for duck, but I found no duck, so I got free range chicken breast instead and let it marinate.

The scent of the marinade was to die for and cinnamon is very good to help pre-diabetics like me create more insulin and break down the sugar that I love so much -- be it from fruits, honey, bread, or good, old fashioned cane.

I pan fried it and then broiled it, adjusting for it being chicken. To accompany it, I created a simple spinach salad dressed with split seedless red grapes and mini-tomatoes (yellow and red) for some lovely colour. I wish I had raisins to sweeten it just a bit. I dressed it with a bit of sherry vinegar.

The little salad entree turned out just fine. I wish I had a way to infuse the cinnamon a bit more into the chicken, but it was tender and yummy.

I got the recipe from Food & Wine, and edition from what seems like eons ago.

The next recipe to try is an Asian Fusion scallop salad with nori and brown rice wine vinegar, ginger and some other yummies.

I'm looking for the perfect sofrito recipe because I think for my housewarming sometime in August (perhaps when papi comes?) I want to send people home with jars of sofrito. Vamos a ver!

Russell yay!

Because he is one of the MOST hilarious dudes on the planet...some info on Mr. Russell Peters.

Russell has added a bunch of live dates and continues to add more.
To the many Canadian fans that write, he is only doing a few dates in September; Brampton (no other GTA dates), Ottawa & Montreal. No more dates in Canada in 2006.
The rest of the time will see him in:
India - Sept. 23 - October 3
Singapore October 4 - 9
UK - October 10 - 19
LA - Nov. 4
NYC - Nov. 17
Australia & NZ - December 4 - 17, Sydney is already sold out both shows, we are trying to talk Russell into doing another show. If you live in one of the other Australian cities don't delay buying your tickets or you may miss out.

He will be on Jimmy Kimmel live (ABC) on Wednesday, August 2nd

On Saturday, August 26th his performance from San Francisco will be aired on Comedy Central at 11:00pm, but check listings for your area as it may be different

Monday, July 17, 2006

the best thing...ever

the last 72 hours, where the heck did THEY go?

i recovered from being up for 39 hours, enjoyed a fabulous breakfast at dottie's with bonnie and christine, took care of kitties, got homework done, helped sol detail his car, saw the colbert report with frances maritza, went MEGAgrocery shopping at Rainbow Grocery, drove up to the river and missed my trip, practiced my violin along the river, sweat like a mofo in 107 degree weather, ate vegetarian vietnamese, woke up late for class this morning, and the BEST part of erika's weekend...

found out from my dad he got the go-ahead to come on a plane and visit me the first weekend in august, so I will get to dance with my dad at stern grove and see the spanish harlem orchestra with him.

my heart skipped a beat when he told me! whee!
the craziness in the world offset by the river (my thoughts are with those who are surviving war and oppression at this time)

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Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Para Louie

powered by ODEOLast fall we lost Mimi. A woman who was always in my mother's corner while we were growing up. Mimi was boricua from the City and her daughters and my brother and sister and I grew up as family.

She made us pinatas for our birthdays...elaborate pinatas. She made a life-sized Big Bird for my sister's birthday one year.

Mimi braided our hair and let us play dressup in a chest filled with scraps and we did fabulous fashion shows.

Her living room and disco or salsa served as our music.

We were fierce.

I found out Mimi passed away last October after I returned from my Rogue River trip in Oregon.

Ironically the next to last day of our trip we had an eagle accompany us for about 3 miles. It flew from tree branch to tree branch, almost beckoning us to follow it. It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen, landing so gracefully among the boughs of the trees lining the riverbanks.

It led us to a beautiful camp spot, with plenty of trees, outcroppings for privacy, and shallow pools for bathing. There was plenty of firewood to be found as well.

When I returned and go the message that she died, I knew that eagle was connected to her. When I spoke with her eldest daughter, my cousin Taina, she said that her mom had a connection to birds like hawks and eagles.


This evening as I continue to procrastinate on my papers, my mother called after 11 pm her time.

She said that Louie was ill.

Damn, I thought to myself. We've been through this before.

Louie is Mimi's husband. Tall, amazing baritone voice that he used to sing with my father. They sang doo-wop sometimes when we used to visit each other's houses. They harmonized beautifully and talked about singing on the corners of New York City streets like this...and now they were in this suburban fantasy of Upstate New York with snow shovels and children and houses different from The City.

Louie was always affectionate, wise, filled with stories of music, and such a great father.

Mimi and Louie were my sister's official godparents, but they treated us all like godchildren. Always love and sleepovers and food and appreciation for our achievements and Christmases and Halloweens and Birthdays.

One Christmas my mother and mimi had a booth at a craft fair. They handmade beautiful pine cone wreaths. We collected pine cones in the summer and fall and in the winter, they decorated the front doors of countless neighbors.

Louie is ill.

I have no title for Louie. He's not just a Tio or a Papa or a Padrino. He's just always been a part.

Of course, I haven't seen him since my grandmother's funeral in 1999. I haven't been to upstate new york since 1995. A shame. This is a total shame.

Louie. Please take care of yourself. Know that I love you as a daughter who thanks you for letting me dance kimbamba and teaching me how. I miss Mimi so much and, selfishly, I am not ready to miss you.

Un abrazo a ti, y a Taina y Ayana. Te quiero muchisimo.

Siempre, tu Erika

I'm Procrastinating on my Papers

So here's the beginning of my review of the World Cup hotties...I'm procrastinating on some papers for this is not a comprehensive table of the winners and losers of the cup...but it's a start...

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

the full moon

man, i got on the bus last night and was crossing the bay bridge back to alameda and a beautiful, huge moon rose above me.
i was giggling with megan about the a on my second paper and how insane the weekend was and we were laughing about zidane's headbutt.

and this precious globe rose to the south, beginning huge and it climbed into the sky so gorgeously, gracefully...artemis lead her chariot away from the planet and wooed me with her divinity.

i got to my car and i got home and i was exhausted, unable to read, and hot, and settled into my bed covers, breathed a little as i heard the bbc's coverage of the kashmiri train attacks, the decision to apply the geneva convention to the guantanamo detainees, and decided to have a good night's sleep.

and i did.

audio from the bus and seeing the moon

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Monday, July 10, 2006

Okay...So I Think This Is HILARIOUS

Yep, I am an equal opportunity dater and apparently they've caught on...

This made me laugh...

I'm waiting for my other ethnic online dating invitations.

I wonder what the Boricua dating site will look like? It may not be the Feng Shui of dating, but perhaps it'll be "chevere" or "sabrosura"?

Tee hee.

Eight Days a Week

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I Can Be Yoko Ono


This weekend was weepy, creative, reflective, inspiring, tiring, escapist,
nutritious, and hot.

There were winners and losers, and the feeling of being lost.

There were cram sessions, pounding headaches, platanos, pancakes, and bling.

There were phone father left a message "I just called to say I love you" that was a tender rendition of Mr. Wonder's song. That started water works on Friday morning.

I got to do some web work with friend Sara and figured out how to put a pay pal button on a web site, which felt cool. Went to work to help some students catch up on makeup stuff, and that felt okay. I edited a video to summarize the visioning exercises we've been doing as an organization since February, and I went home after a tearful discussion with Megan having completed a 3 minute video and feeling totally drained. It was 10:30 at night. Thank God I chose to drive in.

Saturday I woke up with a headache and stared at the ceiling until 8:30 am. Then I knew I'd be late to my appointment with Mary Ann and called to apologize that I was having trouble motivating...

And I cried for the 40 minutes I had in her office. It started with not being served in the restaurant last week and then erupted to not having a two year old or being in the place to have one.

We talked that out. I'm making steps toward the stability I feel I need in order to even consider partnership, marriage, or motherhood.

And I am impatient, but even I had to recognize my progress.

I left looking for something to numb me.

The Germany Portugal game would do just that.

But since I was Verge-of-Tears girl, I nixed going to the Goethe Institute and embarassing myself to the tune of $3, crappy parking, and crying in front of people I knew. I hid under the anonymity of Alameda. I went to Speissekammer, ordered some Rotkraut, and watched the game. I hadn't seen Portugal play yet, but heard their brawl against Netherlands. I wanted to know who these brutes were.

Well, among them was Ronaldo. He was adorable. And had some beautiful footwork during the game. That took me in.

As well as Kahn's goalkeeping. He's not the wall, nor the sibling to David Hasselhof that Lehmann is, but he's a damn good goalkeep.

At the end of the game I went to my car and I drove home. I spoke with Meryl in Boston who reminded me that if I didn't like something in my life, I should change it.

I looked at my house.

It needed rearranging. I've been living sorta out of boxes and bad piles for 3 months now.

First I went to my kitchen (the clean haven of my home) and made a cabbage salad inspired by a recipe my mami showed me over Christmas. It's RIDICULOUSLY simple:

Mami's Ensalada de Repollo (Cabbage Salad)
- a head of lettuce (i had a smallish one)
- olive oild
- fennel seeds

Okay, so mami just slices up the cabbage until it's lovely little strips of cabbage.
Then she slathers it a little bit with olive oil. Then she sprinkles fennel seeds for flavor and tosses. If you're in a snacky mood then and there, eat. Else chill and serve later. I added flax seeds for extra Omega-3s and nuttiness.

This salad is super easy, tasty, and refreshing giving stupid heat in my apartment.

While I cooked I received a call from Denise, who served as another therapist for the day. For 90 minutes she reminded me that I was a human being and the tension lessoned on my heart and head. Why would she spend 90 minutes of her precious life talking to me if I didn't have some redeeming qualities? My mind decided to believe her.

After chatting with Ms. Denise I heated up some leftover mole from Huarache last week and pita to dip in. And some grapes and nourished myself. I also made a smoothie of over-ripe bananas, fig (as sweetener), raspberries, and yogurt.

I sat down at my table crowded with nicknacks and along with a glass of Elderflower soda (A NEW FIND AND A REFRESHINGLY YUMMY FIND!), I filled my tummy. This lessened the crankiness of the head and the tautness of the headache.

Then I looked at my space and decided...I need to rearrange.

I took down a bookshelf that I was experimenting with as a faux-wall and moved it into the mudroom that is in the entrance of the apartment and stacked shoes on the lower shelves. I folded casual clothes and some odd boxes on it as well. That opened up my living room so I could do yoga again and I moved some of the piles into more sortable piles.

That felt okay.

I decided to nap on my floor, read more of my text book and take notes for Monday's quiz and sometime fell asleep listening to the BBC's account of the 3rd Place game and the Russian airliner that fell out of the sky killing 120 and seriously injuring 60. It was filled with kids. That made me sad.

Sunday. I wake up...and...I'm wondering...hey! I don't feel soooooo crappy.

I have 2 plantains that are getting black and Huy is having brunch for the final game...and Michelle and Denise and Joe are going to be there...and I have $6 for gas and toll. I think I can go and be human.

And I fried the plantains, the smell filled my kitchen and I loved the sweet smell of the maduros in my kitchen. I heated up soup for myself and enjoyed some of the salad.

I wrestled with my hair and put on the surrogate glasses that I have been using since losing my lens. They're not the right prescription, and they give me headaches, but at least I can not drive blindly with them on. Besides, they have snap on shades and that would protect me in case I had any ocular leakage going on.

The morning was marvelous. I drove, I had to refind my way to Huy's and had a little anxiety attack when I dialed and the signal was busy. I just heard Shakira sing, the game was about to start! My phone didn't receive reception...the spiral...I avoided the spiral by walking a little to get reception and calling and asking to be let in.

Disaster avoided...I was on my way to the Final World Cup game...

Friday, July 7, 2006

to get me through, i have to remember the following...

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1) this is the only july 8 & 9th weekend in 2006 that will ever be
2) mary ann, 9 am
3) copious amounts of futbol, begining with germany/portugal on sat
4) and the french/italian final showdown on sunday
5) i have a paper to write, 2 chapters of my text to read, and a quarter of a novel to finish by monday
6) my next essay assignment is on the film alien autopsy
7) friends call
8) i love my family
9) my hair won't perpetually be a tangle
10) this american life is great radio
11) there are stars up in the sky and they're pretty
12) for now i don't ALSO have to worry about how the hell i am going to take care of a two year old

Ludovic, Thank You for Smoking

I have a penchant for meeting voices and emails and sometimes when the world is into synchronicity, then I get to meet the people behind the communication.

Last night I got to meet my new neighbor Ludovic, friend of Mitzi, and apparently in the know of all the cool people...he knows Diana...and he's a transplanted New Yorker in the Bay.

It's nice to be a disgruntled East Coaster with someone who understands.

He's going to make a sophisticated lady out of me, yet. You've heard of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy?

Yes, sometimes Erika needs some help. And a city boy should be able to help me find the more sophisticated self. It's nice to be goofy and cute, but in the long run? Since I am not on the road to Hollywood, and I would like to be a powerful voice for shaping our future, I need to rival the power of women like Ms. Rice.

I introduced Ludovic to the Parkway last night. We saw Thank You for Smoking, which I enjoyed for its sheer clever.

The guy from the tobacco company was not so disdainful. The Senator from Vermont was not so laudable.

And in the end, I felt all sides were portrayed as human.

I'm trying to remember where I saw the blue-eyed kid before. His eyes are piercing and a little creepy.

I didn't dig the usual plot of divorced parents, dad is the "poor single dude" who has such a "harsh single life" and the wife looks homely, but has a new husband. The dad is at odds with the new husband and the child is the pawn between the parents. I thought that was lame.

I did love Rob Lowe as the morally ambiguous a-hole, the team of WOD who were just doing their jobs, and the journalist who just was wonderfully evil.

Wednesday, July 5, 2006

Remember me and Gavvy?

Remember me swooning in May?

Yes...I am the brown lady closer to Gavin Newsom, and YES, my arm is around his waist. This is me working against the digital divide all grown-up like...

He's such a tall and handsome man. I can't stand it...Why did I have to have fly-away 'fro on that day?

Man...I gotta score me some PRODUCT!


Last weekend, when my glasses had 2 lenses. Our guide is Arren. HILARIOUS dude and an AWESOME boater from FOR. The rapid is Hospital Bar (I think.)

So, obviously my futbol picks are trashed.


For the last few days I've been futbol-ing, outdoor cooking, boating, mourning the loss of my left lens from my glasses, recovering from massive bruising (I fell out of the boat at a rapid we like to call "Troublemaker"-- I ordered a picture that is classic and should have it within a couple of weeks), indoor cooking, doing laundry, enjoying the Alameda 4th of July Parade, adventures with Bonnie including being denied service at the Alameda Sushi House,and getting that ICK feeling of knowing exactly why, enjoying a FINE lunch at Huarache Azteca, and finding the new Farmer Joe's grocery store with Bonnie, and writing an essay analyzing the role of the mulatto character Sara Jane in the movie Imitation of Life and setting up the "what if" scenario for the character, as in "what if" she understood her identity as a latina might? Where blend is legitimate and you don't have to choose either/or?

I woke up with a bit of a cold on Saturday morning and didn't leave my house until 8 am. I thougt I might make a 10:30 launch time, but no deal. I did hear the England-Portugal game and caught some of the Brazil-France game as we bought things for the Project GO Guide Training Graduation party. I couldn't believe either win. I couldn't believe how clueless Brazil looked in comparison to France on that field.

I was charged with making a camp kitchen go to feed 50 - we purchased tri-tip, salmon, tofu, corn, potatoes, salad, watermelon, cheesecake...and with the help of volunteers we had a GRAND FEAST.

After 10 days of river guide training, one needs a feast. During the ceremony I got teary-eyed. I went through training 2 years ago and it pushed me in ways I had never been pushed before. It confronted me dead-on with my demons. And it began pushing me through them. 2 years later they seem more manageable. I still have them. And I still don't have guide confidence, but I feel like a monster in the boat with my paddle in hand. I'm focused and am watching what the guide does, making connections in my brain, and I love reaching over a wave and pulling my paddle through. That's awesome.

I marveled at the broadcast of Discovery launching into the air. I love space travel. Always have, always will. I think our space programs are a promising way humans use technology.

Then they switched stations to Wimbledon. Two very blonde women were hurling the ball at each other with weird banshee screams. I don't get tennis at all. I failed at it HORRIBLY as a kide when my parents took me for lessons at the community park in Endicott.

On to THE game...

Yesterday's game was insane. I LOVED it. I was at Speissekammer in Alameda, amidst a very German crowd. I was rooting for Italy as underdogs. Lots of German cursing at the missed goal attempts and lots of German leering at the Italian selling of and denial of fouls. And in the end, the Italians were victors. They KNEW better than to go down to penalty kicks with Lehmann in the goal. That man is HUGE.

The crowd was dumb founded as our little contingency of Kimani and crew and I cheered on Italy's victory. Jesus...will it be France or Portugal today? I haven't a clue.

Friday I cooked for the week, including a tamarind/coconut fish dish, carrot/grape salad, and a spinach/rice/egg soup. I loved that my kitchen smelled SOOOOOOOOOOO good.

Last night I kinda took a bad turn. I was falling asleep writing my paper with chai on the burner. Man, does scalded milk and spices STINK. I slept with the door cocked open to let the air circulate. And this morning still had the scent of burned bay leaf, clove, cinnamon, cardamom, pepper, anise, and whatever else I threw in there hanging in the air.

I wrote my paper til 2 am and was pretty pleased to bring in citations from Ed Morales' Spanglish. We'll see my grade on it.

Today I have some gnarly purple bruises along the trunk of my body on the left side from where the t-grip whacked into me as I fell out of the boat. I'm dressed UBER-casual in jeans and my Kinky hoodie and sneakers. My hair is behind a kerchief.

It is the 5th of July. I have entered the 3rd month of living on my own.