Friday, September 29, 2006

Fly Blood

Friday Review
Today was a stellar day at the work spot.

I decided not to let the tension get to me and get a clear sense of what needed to be done and water.

I scanned until 2:30 in the morning and let myself sleep until 8 am. I arrived at 10 after just allowing myself to vision the day.

I needed to shower and I need to survey my apartment. My insurance will be interviewing me about Jane tomorrow and my apartment looks like the whirlwind 2 weeks I have had. Yesterday I almost tore the whole place apart because my cellphone was gremlined. For the life of me I couldnt find it and I spent about 80 minutes looking for it.

After shaking out my comforter 10 times and nothing dropped from it, I said, F-it.

I got into the car and started to leave. Something tugged at my mind and I went back after parking Big Red (Fumi's loaner car to me) and went back into my apartment and shook it one last time.

The phone dropped to the floor, I thanked All and took off.


Fly Blood

The benefit of buying organic food definitely lies in the taste and in my Catholic mind a little less guilt about how the people who work to create the food are less prone to crazy chemicals. I think it leaves a little less of a footprint than corporate farms. To be honest, though, apparently most organic companies are owned by people like Kraft and Nestle, so they're just a niche of these large food conglomerates.

Oh well.

The downside of these organics is that they have an informal "use by" date. This is usually dependent upon the weather. Warmer weather usually means my parsley wilts pretty quickly or that the bananas brown immediately.

With this decay comes the dreaded fruit fly.

I loved fruit flies in high school. We bred them for biology and sorted them for wing shape and eye color and body shape. We carried tubes of them around with their blue food goop. They bred and larvaed and everything.

But as a food consumer and an apartment dweller, I find them to be annoying. They breed so quickly on produce scraps and they form clouds when they're disturbed.

They sit dormantly until I come into the kitchen and then suddenly they're in a tizzy. Swatting them is pretty fruitless. (Ha ha.) It's just not the right tool.

I am lucky, however.

The right tool(s) have created their little feeding place on my window.

Two rather largish spiders have made their home on my window about two weeks ago.
It's miraculous that they still live there. There was a time when I would take the broom, squish and scream. But we have a symbiotic relationship.

I noticed this last week when the fly cloud was diminished. Yes, I had taken the organics out, but I also noticed these "bits of dirt" on my window sill. I was puzzled.

I also noticed that some of these bits were sitting on what looked like some little splashes of orange-red salsa.

I hadn't eaten salsa, but I cleaned it up and wondered if perhaps it was some of the spicy lemonade. It does require cayenne and that's orange.

A few days later, I noticed less flies and while I was doing my morning dishes, I noticed more "dirt" and another "salsa pool". Hrm. As I thought and looked out the window, I looked up to the sill. One of my spiders was still sitting in her web, so I knew it wasn't too late. They go into their little cave about quarter of 8 when it gets too light out.

I also noticed that their web was dotted with bodies about the size of the "dirt". And then I had my epiphany:

"Ew!" and then "Cool!"

I have never seen fly blood so orange before. I have killed horse flies back east, but I never smooshed to the point of blood. It was usually "SMACK!" and then let the carcass drop. But this week I examined and noticed.

My two little spiders are my exterminators and they have just about cleared my apartment of the fruit fly cloud.

I need to wipe my window sill a little more often than I used to because that blood collects, but talk about your exterminators! And no funky cloud at all.

Happy Weekend, Everyone!

Internalizing Cinderella

I would like to thank this broadcast from the network I am biting off right now. I don't know HOW I got internet, but there's a little signal on the Airport card, so I am going to take advantage of it!

I was scanning at 8:45 this morning. We're doing pre-production for about 90 movies.

It's a little daunting with 4 little scanners.

I felt at my wits end when at noon I needed to prepare to teach in a classroom and felt like I made no dent on the scanning and I was nervous about recording students as well.

I was feeling a little overwhelmed.

Today I hunkered down and thought about what I can do...and that helped. A long discussion with my boss and coworker really helped. It didn't come from a place of fear and it didn't come from a place of came from a solution-seeking place and that's new for me in the workplace.

I'm used to having to cover issues with little bandages while things are hemmorhaging.

And that is no way to operate, especially when you're a technology program.

Today I got sane and feel like we made headway. I'm impatient and a perfectionist. So it's day 9 on the job and I feel like I should know everything and have all my systems down.

This is unrealistic. I know.

My ego doesn't know this.

Then I went to the film premier of my friend Sara's documentary; Illuminations. It's a look at black women's experiences in America. For three years I took part in sister circles that let me let my hair out about hair, skin, body image, being the only brown girl in very pale places. Participating in these circles gave me a forum for my black experience. My family gives me a place to be boricua, but the political experience of being black in America isn't addressed at home. It's met with the immigrant boot strap thing.

This isn't a good strategy when people perceive you as an American Black woman and you're ill-equipped to discuss Black politics or hair or culture or don't really do hip hop. Because it was imposed upon me, I have added to my person. My suburban Puerto Rican with a pass in a middle class white world was hyphenated to include the urban...the Black experience.
And so now I know a little bit about a A Tribe Called Quest, Malcolm X, and the Freedom Rides. I follow what Jesse Jackson and Colin Powell are up to and I know that Grey's Anatomy is penned by an African American woman.

My American-ness depends upon having an understaning of who I am from the inside out. And this evolution is amazing.

But I digress...

I braved coming over the bridge after my mind wandered to a friend who had a serious surgery today. I found parking and I stumbled to the theater in my heels, recapping my beautiful suit from Melissa and Sean's wedding.

Today I felt less confident in it.

I think that had to do with me getting prepared in a middle school faculty bathroom.

It also had to do with my hair being back in twists. And I didn't have the lip gloss. And I am wondering what to do about my car. I wasn't in the moment.

I got to the theater and I sat down next to my friend Kimmy, her son and her partner.

Sara introduced the film. And I saw myself and other women on the screen.

And I was blown away.

I have felt me growing bit by bit over the last 3 years, but I actually saw it on the screen.

I used to hide in my overalls and cover my body up.

I weighed a little bit more.

And I could see sadness as it weighed on my face. My voice sounded SO serious.

Not to say that I have ended my evolution, but it was amazing to see that on screen.

And then we all went out to dinner and I got a splotch on my suit.

Tim was kind enough to come to my rescue with fizzy water.

And I found myself awkward in my Girl clothes, despite all the compliments.

And Tim said, "That's enough with the negative comments."

He was right. I've been trying on the glass slipper and pushing it away for 3 years. I need to step in them with confidence and start walking. I can be lovely. I can be relevant. I can be excellent. And I am valuable.

And it's okay if I own that.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


Literally there is an attack on good people in the universe right now.

My car was stolen on Saturday, September 16th.

I found out one of the Project GO founders had a car stolen from him last Friday, Sept. 22.

And last night at the school where I am working, KIPP Bridge in West Oakland....a teacher was attacked and her car was stolen.

What the hell is going on in the world?

What is causing people to prey on other people?

How can I HELP you? I want you to know you have allies. I may not be able to fulfill your every need, but I can be supportive.

We cannot erode each other's humanity away. It takes away our dignity and ability to share joy.

Last night I was frustrated about needing to spend another $150 to rent a car for 4 days. My savings is now dwindled to about $300.

I took myself out after doing laundry and doing some scans for work.

I went to Luka's and ate a tuna carpaccio (which was AMAZING) and then Santero put on some samba and unlike last week when the music bounced off me without touching feet reconnected to my heart and I joined a woman who was already taken over by the music. My skirt limited my movements, but I danced. I felt the music. I had flahes of me driving Jane, the car that was stolen from me. I glowed from within and I moved my barefeet along the floor...gliding...punta, salsa, my version of samba, hula, bellydance, hip hop. These influences came through me and I danced. I danced some of the frustration away. My straightened hair began to sweat out.

I felt slightly cleansed.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Their Brains are Burning

Ladies and gentleman, I would like to make a shoutout to every middle schooler EVER.
I have been working in one of our public schools for the last 3 days and it is beyond HOT. There is not air conditioning. In the late afternoon it seems a little ridiculous to ask them to do any kind of learning, and yet they're here and in their desks.

I am SO excited about this new opportunity and the excitement that I see on not ONLY the students' faces, but also the teachers' faces.

ENGAGEMENT in learning should be EVERY students' right.

Wow. I AM one of the good guys!


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Wednesday - Thank God for Talladega Nights

Oh my god.

Well, now I know that Newcastle is an evil, evil brew that makes me giddy as a wombat.
I know this because after my adventures in teaching and returning a rental car, only to see two cab drivers beat the crap out of each other I met my river sister and our friend Bret at the Parkway Theater for an evening of cinematic stupidity: Will Farrell's Talladega Nights.

Unlike Nacho Libre, this film humorously lampooned a certain segment of sport that I am vaguely familiar with. As a former resident of North Carolina, I am familiar with the NASCAR phenomenon.

When I worked for WRAL, the CBS Affiliate in Raleigh, I had to make graphics for sports and I remember having to put in the symbols for the Pontiacs, Chevys and Fords in table format. It was interesting.

If Al Gore is wondering the origin of The Inconvenient Truth, it could be the hundreds of thousands of fans admiring paper thin vehicles roar around and around and around.

I'm a speed junkie, and I know that NASCAR has grown in popularity. So I am doing a little mental math and thinking that CO2 might be rising in part due to the popularity of this gas-guzzling sport.

Talladega features some common stereotypes and some fun nontraditional casting. It's cool that the pit crew leader is the actor who played Kingpin. It's also cool to see the fools of a movie to be of the demographic of the majority in America. I laughed at a feast featuring a table filled with food that has led to the obesity of this nation. It was HILARIOUS to see a man bask in his own success beyond the ability to see anyone outside of himself. It was HILARIOUS to see his emotional breakdown in such a slapstick way.

I saw this and left the stress of orienting to my new job. I sat on the couch, letting my notes cover the coffee table and sipped Newcastle and ate a few slices of pizza.

Newcastle is a dark beer, a sweet beer. I have a terrible sweet tooth. When it was first offered to me, I denied it heartily, because I had to drive home. Then I aquiesed after having a slice of pizza and popcorn. I figured the carbohydrates would absorb any poison that would affect me.

I was wrong. Despite my eating a bowl of popcorn and 2 slices of 'za, I was a giggly mess by the end of the movie.

I was holding my need to use the rest room the last 15 minutes of the movie because I wanted to see it through. It was worth the wait, but I headed straight for the ladies' room at the end. My first beer run.

As I bounded down the steps, I was pleased to have enjoyed a silly comedy so much. When I returned to the lobby I asked my cohorts to accompany me to the coffee house. I was stalling so I could sober up. I knew I wasn't right to drive.

I had a pint of Newcastle total. Tops.

My dear river sister asked me if I would like her to drive me home. I pondered it. I wasn't yet straight from my cup of Numi mint tea. My slow brain response finally blurted, "Yes!" and I giggled. Both she and Bret were amused by my giddyness and verbalization of my sobriety state.

Bret would follow us to my house and she would then catch a ride with him.

So kind. So kind.

I chatted like a parrot in the car about the movie and work and about my car being stolen.

I kept sqwawking til we got to my house and she did a tremendous job parking the Mazda.

Hugs all around. They smiled at me.

I struggled with the key, but the lazy smile on my face figured out key IN lock and TURN!

I got in, slipped on my jammies and drank lots of water before I settled down for Mississippi River, a book that one of the classes I am working with is reading.

I settled down to the BBC's recount of the day's events.

I was going to bed...giggly, and dare I say: drunk.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

I'm Pissed

Dammit. This morning I woke up pissed that my car was stolen.

I know that's normal. I feel violated. I wonder if it would have made a difference to them if they knew who I was, the work I do, the passions I have...the hope that I have for all communities to prosper...

but for now I feel pissed because my tent was in Jane's trunk. So was my PFD for the river, and music that seems irreplacable and a pair of sandals Frances and Maritza gave me.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Volver a Verte

Volver a Verte por Oscar de Leon is on right now. This song is a classic cha-cha from one of the most amazing male voices in Latin music. It's one of my absolute favourite songs. With the right lead, it's a fun romp across the dance floor hitting each cha-cha-cha step with the right attitude and flair. You exchange the face of knowing and twirl, perhaps do the cha-cha chase and it's perfection.

Perfect song for the weekend.

1) It was Sean and Melissa's wedding and the Crew was back together, if even for a few short days. Sean and Melissa look amazing and so happy (they flew in from D.C.), Huy, Mary, Joe, Michelle, Denise, Omer (fresh from the 'nix after what seems like a nightmare in the airport), Austina, Doug, Solomon, Zia, Frances, Guido...who am I missing?

2) My car was stolen Saturday morning. I parked it at 1:30 in the morning and walked out at 9 am, and it was gone. Gone.
Wow. I took care of registration, insurance, etc. on FRIDAY, so after I got out of my deer-in-headlights mode, I got to the phone and made about 90 minutes of phone calls. Michelle helped by getting the police to come out to me (911 was busy.) and I kept to my focus: get errands done to attend wedding.

I got a rental car, my hair touched up, fitted for a tuxedo (which I ix-nayed after crossing the Bay Bridge) and ended up getting a cream suit that got serious compliments at the event. Who knew that a cream suit could inspire so much attention? My ego actually began to think I was pretty. I even walked in my heels with some confidence up a steep grade from the Orchard Hotel to the Mark Hopkins Hotel.

Calm down, girl.

The wedding was one of the best ones I have been to in my entire life. Fun, friends, and so relaxed. I arrived 90 minutes late, and was still invited to wine and dine...ay Dios mio.

My writing is a little disjointed because I also need to finish moving my stuff out of my old office, because I start at the new jobby job tomorrow morning.

Perhaps more details when I am inspired.

For now, I am basking in Maggie Mudd's ice cream, a successful romp shopping, getting hair did, and realizing how GOOD life is.


Friday, September 15, 2006


Halllllllllo, World!

Yes, I have started my new job!

Yes, I have run around like a chicken with my head cut off!

Yes, my hair is flippy Barbie cool.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

It's Tuesday and Stuff

So much more from the weekend to discuss, but it's Tuesday and I'm about to head to job number 2 for training and then back in job #1 to do some finishing up work.

This transition is a challenge...mentally, and I am beginning to feel...emotionally.

It's a gorgeous day.

I miss mami. 24 hours ago I had been back in California 3 hours and was putting finishing touches on a presentation that went successfully to my board. That felt great.

After work I hung out wiht mi hermana...Mitzi y su esposo Eduardo.

Oh my God, they are beautiful parents to be! I am so excited to have them here. I let my mouth run a little too much...but I am amazed that she's here...and I can go over and hang out with her...mi corazon.

I went from my blood in North Carolina to my spirit in California in less than 24 hours...perhaps I'm just settling in from that.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Home Pa' La Fiesta del Pueblo

Coming home to separated parents means you have twice the love.

I landed about 10:30 last night at RDU International and got my backpack in a jiffy.
The Airport security paranoia is EVERYWHERE. In Oakland there were hastily tacked up posters indicating a very ORANGE situation and that no liquids, toiletries, gels, etc., etc. were to be carried on.

Security took a few moments and I was through.

While I waited in Oakland, I unearthed reading materials from my new job in my bag and found at the very bottom not one, but TWO liquidy-gel-lotiony type things. I thought I had rid myself of them, and surely the X-Ray picked them up: Burt's Bees hand creme and foot creme.


I didn't draw attention to myself, and bought a charger for the iPod so I could get some tunes in and started reading about the Teaching for Understanding model. Excellent stuff that makes sense for instructors to include and amazing to me that Harvard made money to put such a tome together for the peops. But I suppose the things obvious to some of us are just outside of the scope of others.

Anywho...we got on the plane and I was industrious for the majority of the flight. Normally I nod off, but I was excited to see family and about my new job so I made an outline for a presentation to the board of my current organization, read through lesson plans for the teachers in my new job, and outlined my plan of attack to understand their needs and be up to speed.

I was excited we'd have a movie on the plane. I was underwhelmed that the film was Nacho Libre.

Nacho Libre was disappointing. The SOUNDTRACK is AWESOME, but the slow-latino stereotype thing is SO old. I've over the Speedy Gonzalez/Slowpoke Rodriguez diction of the Spanish language. The martyrdom, the poor Mexican orphans, the terrible/flavourless beans...I'm over it. There were some cute moments in the film. (I saw it at the Parkway a few months back.) But I basically plugged my headphones in so I could catch the soundtrack and continued with my reading.

All too quickly we arrived in Atlanta.

I got out in the A Terminal and my flight was leaving from the B Terminal.
No worries. I took a little diversion to get gifts for my mom and aunts and headed to Terminal B. I found some beautiful scarves and shirts from Bijoux Terner that I was very happy with. Yay.

All the while I quick-stepped to Terminal B to make my flight 20 minutes later I heard the announcement from the woman warning us about the Orange Alert and that due to Security no liquids were to be taken on the airplane, all beverages were to be consumed and disposed of before getting on the airplane and that included ice cream.
Dude, Osama's got my ICE CREAM in check? How terrible is this war on Terrorism (how do you wage war on a noun?) that ice cream is on the suspect list?

And they still missed my lotion, which I did not discuss or take out or anything.

I got to my gate and noticed there were two Raleigh flights leaving. I asked, mine was across the way. The other was still at the gate, but the door was closed. It's flight was delayed by 25 minutes. Word among the dour people sitting for our flight was that a woman became hysterical on the plane and wanted to get off. Her bag could not be found and they grounded that sucker until passenger and bag were accounted for.

Perhaps she had ice cream stowed somewhere unholy.


I waited, entertained by my newly purchased art box for $10 which has paints, glue, crayons, markers, pastels, and rulers. I thought I bought the one with paper...oh well. I had a pad with me and proceeded to paint a desert scene because the paper was orange and it reminded me of sunset. I had read an article on the plane about the Albuquerque and I remembered the Sandia mountains.

In a few minutes I had a saguaro cactus in the middle and surrounded it by rocks and dry bushes. I drew some mesas in the background and a sun high to the west, leaving shadows leaning from all the items in the foreground. It was cartoony, but I liked it. As I filled in the colours, our Zone numbers were called.

Delta, and everyone else, is biting off the Southwest Cattle Call. And somehow it works. Me gusta.

Both flights were empty enough that people could stretch and switch seats. Excellent.
This plane also had screens on the back of each seat. This is my first plane with screens experience.

But you have to pay for access to the entertainment and that thing glows obnoxiously. What a waste of electricity, expecially when I couldn't plug in my iPod and charge it.

The "off" button wasn't working. A cheery screen kept popping back up with pleasant scenes and ads so I took masking tape from my backpack and a blank piece of paper and I taped up the screen.

Ah. Now I could enjoy the natural night outside unobstructed. I was hoping to see the now-just waning moon from that vantage point.

Time flew. I got more work done and then I saw the lights of the airport. Raleigh has grown. Trees have been toppled for tarmac and highway, but it's still beautiful to see from that perspective.

We landed and I called mami. Titi Ana answered the phone. I got giggly and asked them where they were. They just pulled up to the airport. I walked outside and there they were, Titi Ana was just stepping out of the car and I popped in the back, squeezing her hello and offering mami a besito.

The plan? I was to stay at dad's that night. OK!

So we drive to my dad's and we knock and my nephew is standing where a door once was. He exclaimed, "Titi Erika!" and threw his arms around my neck, squeezing me and I felt right at home. He's grown to be a 13 year old man-boy and his voice is changing. He looks great. Then I saw and squealed "Titi Goyi!" and ran over to her.
She's looking beyond fabulous and I just started ranting, asking questions about family. I chirped for about 10 minutes straight about new job and California, and poitics and environmental stuff.

Then I grabbed the wrists of the women and laid out the presents in the living room for all to see. Mami picked out a scarf, Titi Goyi picked out a blouse, and Titi Ana didn't find something she liked among the choices. I felt bad and she chided me in a loving way. I made a note to self to find something for Titi Ana.

We said good-byes, made a plan for the morning, and Mami and Titi Ana left. Tylor and I went upstairs, talked about school and life and we did some homework.

He made the most comfy chair in his bedroom from a laundry basket filled with freshly washed clothes and a pillow. From there we talked. We caught up. He has a LOVELY Camelback water pack, was making knots with my piece of climbing rope that I'm using as a jumprope and we just talked as if we held our last conversation in pause. He's an amazingly intelligent kid. He has his challenges, but he's totally great and I love him very much.

It felt like a sleepover. We played rock-paper-scissors to choose who got which bed (he has bunk beds) and we talked until I fell asleep -- about 1:30 in the morning.

It's good.

Dad seems okay, but I think he's cross that I interjected about Tylor's assignments to him. We should be at La Fiesta right now, but he's napping, which is code for: I'm tired and don't want to be social because this is how I protest.

No matter. He moped a little when he was in California, too...and we were whirling like a storm by the time Spanish Harlem Orchestra came.

Mas horita!

Thursday, September 7, 2006

Well, I'm Embarassed...

Never rush to send an email.


I'm sending a flurry of emails before I head out of town for two days and then come back to the two-gig transitional week and, well, I just gaffed professionally.

I am part of an organization that is allowing me the opportunity to develop my project management skills and expand my professional network and become more informed about philanthropy.

This is an AWESOME opportunity for me and I am really excited to have it.

One of my colleagues in the organization is a friend of mine I have come to know in various professional capacities over the past year. He and I are close and I am never conservative in showing it. I never withhold the hug, for example, and we make jokes and so forth.

Well, I did a reply-all to an email this evening with that familiar personality in the email. I addressed him as "love" in that familiar, yet affectionate way that I do in person. However it's now been published for our entire professional circle to see and perhaps mock and take note of -- forever. I can't edit/undo.

Now...we are not partners, potential partners, or anything at all nuanced in romance.

But I feel STUPID for not checking the reply-to addresses. I have written him an apology for the email PDA, but what's the protocol for apologizing to the circle for responding in such a cavalier manner? I was being careless because I was in haste.

And now I can't take it back.

Hrm...learning moment.

My pet peeve is that I despise lack of professionalism and this gaff ranks highly against that threshhold of professional sin.

I suppose things could be worse: I could have expressed total disdain and have it displayed for all of my professional familiars to see.


I'm tired and need to go home.


Mama, I'm Going Home

Ay, Dios Mio!

It's been a week of holding and dancing tongues.

I've watched fame, created an amazing Moroccan stew, and shared in a berry pie in Megan's garden paradise.

I've woken to fog, run out of gas, and been assisted by good samaritains.

I've filled my brain with wonderful, new knowledge, and sucked in air when I shared news of leaving my current work after 4 years and moving to the next challenge. When the tears just burst forward during a staff meeting, I did NOT know how to react.

Tomorrow I fly home after breakfast at the Blackberry Bistro with Christine and will see my parents and nephew and aunts in a mini family reunion for la fiesta del pueblo in Raleigh, NC. This weekend I will be infused with family and food and a sense of who this boricua is and where she comes from.

A ver. I will be dancing and laughing with my family. I will see Raleigh's amazing beauty. I will fly over the expanse of this country -- what an amazing privilege that is.

Change is feeling fantastic.

I want to continue drenching myself in it, feeling it feed into my pores and expanding my sense of ADVENTURE and possibility!

Tonight as I drove to my doctor's appointment on Shattuck I ran out of gas on Shattuck. Good samaritains came to my aid and helped me push my car down Addison to a safe spot. Dana and Alexis were the two folks who came to my aid. She's a sound engineer and he's in a band and was on his way to an interview. They watched Jane while I walked to Mary Ann's new office to coordinate a rescue plan.

I invited them to dinner and I do hope they take me up on it. They were good peops.
In a world where suspicion reigns, I felt like my angels rushed in, because I was circling the block too many times looking for a spot to get to my appointment on time.

Thank ALL for AAA, and a gas station being nearby.

I need dinner. I need to go home and pack. I need to make sure there are no liquids that will be confiscated from my carry on luggage.


Wednesday, September 6, 2006

I'm Lazy, I'm Only Working Two Jobs...

There was a time when I was juggling 4 and struggling.

Right now I am juggling two and enjoying the balance of the hemispheres. The time is a challenge, but the fulfillment of doing both gigs is rockin'.

I am in major headache mode at the moment.

I also noticed this weekend that I am not a fan of how my thighs collide. I know my weight differential over the last 3 weeks has increased by 5 - 7 lbs. Some of the clothes I was feeling really cute in are fitting a little bit more tightly. Phooey.

I know this means that my monthly is coming, but it's kinda messing with my plans to try on clothes this weekend for Melissa and Sean's wedding. So I am lemonade drinking again. Spicy lemonade: it's good for you.

I have a nice, raging headache at the moment. It's centered about my temples and may have something to do with my limited eating today. I had orange juice, tea, and a bagel with lox (that cost me like $6.50!), but nothing that filled me. Harumph.

Most of the weekend I spent contemplating my self, my new role, and how lovely of a companion a dog can be.

The weekend was willed with fog, which was a symbol in my book of the Goddess' presence. I finished By the River Piedra I Sat and Wept and Pippi in the South Seas this weekend.

There was sun, too, and me slipping down a hill of hay chasing after Maile. Then I was struck with a gorgeous purple flower. It was rich with red and pink and deep in its color. I plucked one and put it in my hair. The breeze brushed past my cheek and all was well in the world.

Sunday I woke with Maile, climbed up Park Blvd. to find a laudrymat and had breakfast that was okay. I finished Pippi while finishing my fruit and blushed in my long skirt and tank top when entering the laudrymat. A handsome man stood there. He was the color of a rich milk chocolate bar, had a baseball hat on, was tall, and had intelligence in his brown eyes. He was casually dressed on his laundry day, too, and I didn't want to get too close to him, as The Police were singing on KFOX when I walked in.

There is that discomfort that exists with brown people who are of a certain ilk. Because we spend so much time fending off stereotypes, we don't try to connect like velcro. It's already assumed we're somehow connected.

That happened to me on Friday night when I saw David Alan Grier. And though I would not have minded an opportunity to chat with my laundry gent, I didn't dare and finished filling out HR forms for my new gig. I engrossed myself in my work.

And by the time I noticed my loads of laundry were done...he had walked away with his folded bundle.

C'est la vie.

C'est la vie.

But the sunset later that day, while Bonnie (who had come home) and I were walking Maile, was filling.

After that we treated ourselves to Breads of India in Washington Square in downtown Oakland.


Saturday, September 2, 2006


My sister came in on Thursday night for the National Hispanic Bar Association conference in San Francisco.

She met my car with an eye-growl of disapproval and I've been tense ever since.

This is a woman who slapped me when I first held her as an infant. Our relationship has been a tenuous tolerance of one another ever since. At best we allow each other our space. At our worst we've antagnonized each other with our specialties. She's been more physical with her disapproval of me. I've taken a more psychological approach, for the most part. The worst thing I did to show my frustration with being terrorized was hang her prized Cabbage Patch Doll and attach a suicide note to it that read, "Good-bye, Mommy."

She stopped messing with me for a little bit after that. I was in high school. We had moved to Boca Raton, FL and our parents had separated for the first time not too long beforehand.

It was a tense time to be had by all.

I've also had my only two fist fights because of my sister. One in defense of her because a cousin called her fat and the other in defense of myself because she lied about hocking my high school class ring. I went off on her like Ralphie goes off on the bully in A Christmas Story. She went after me with hangers and threw things at me. I kept marching forward, like Carrie through the Prom and I didn't stop until a piece of furniture fell on top of her. I snapped out of my rage and since then she's kept it cool.

That was like 14 years ago now.

I'm a very mild David Banner, but please don't make me become The Hulk. I've done it once and I've sworn never to do it again.

Anyway, my sister doesn't approve of how I dress or not clean my car, and she has disdain for my "environmental" ways. She's getting married in a couple of years and I asked if she was going to get a "Cruelty-free" diamond for the engagement ring. She said, "No. I want a nice ring...we're all a slave to something."

True. But if you can get a beautiful ring that people didn't have to mine in ridiculous conditions, wouldn't it be all the greater symbol of love?

That's just my take on it. When I meet my partner and we've made the decision to formalize our relationship through engagement, he sure as hell better NOT present the symbol of our love as a diamond. I'll drop him then and there. I may punch him. I may drop him down a mine shaft and suggest he crawl out on his own.

Such is my disdain of a diamond industry where the people who mine these precious things live in tatters and those who sell these precious things after they've been polished and cut can choose their comforts.

I'm hoping he and I invest in land instead where we might build a house or something. Heck, plant trees in each other's honor. An engagement tree actually sounds pretty cool.


To treat myself after dinner with my sister and her friend who giggled at our typical sister antagonism of each other, I went to see David Alan Grier last night at Cobb's Comedy Club. It was pretty cheap and he was awesome. On the night before the Bay Bridge closed, it was so great to laugh so hard.