Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Palabras para Hoy - 30 enero 2007

I do not believe...I know. - Carl Jung

Today I searched for wisdom and this quote popped up. I liked it. Carl Jung offered a different view of psychology than Mr. Freud.

I first was introduced to him in high school, I believe my Senior year. And coupled with my Catholic lessons and upbringing, he kinda blew my mind.

Filled with mystery and not so much doom and gloom.

Believe, all. Believe.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Classic Reading

Today I found this in the library under the Dewey Decimal designation 641.5:

Cool, eh?

The Book is called Al Perriera Rapper's Delights African American Cooking with Soul.

R.I.P. Newt

This morning I woke up in Pleasant Hill before my alarm after finishing a whirlwind day of babies and hellos and good-byes at Megan's to catch up after a month of missing one another and drove home to make breakfast, change into sweats, and go to training by 6.

Okay, by 6:05. Our stride has improved in the last week. In the same half hour walk we've gone from covering less than a quarter of the Lake Merritt perimeter to almost the first quarter of the lake from the Cascade Stairs to the Henry J. Kaiser convention center. Within a few weeks we'll begin our jog/run regimen. So far my tunes keep me happy. A Samba house number kept me tracing patterns in the sidewalk this morning and giggling to myself like I was in kindergarten.

I was so juiced after this morning's brisk walk that I did laundry before 7 am and then went back home.

A few hours later after making a cumin-lemon grilled salmon arugula salad for lunch and taking a little nap and shower I walked to open the gate and noticed a flat, white-bellied carcass. My heart sank in the gorgeous Monday mid-morning sun.

My fear is that it is the newt from Saturday. How sad. Our relationship was so short.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

My Carport Neighbor This Morning

I crashed at Bonnie's last night after a rich dinner. This morning I awoke at 4:10 am and again at 6 and again at 7. I drove home because we train at 9. A lovely grey fog quilt covers everything in sight. Vision is about 50 feet. Very strange. I pulled into the carport and I found a little visitor just lying there.

Little visitor, what type of creature are you? You are so small in comparison to Jane, the biggish green Saturn. But what manner of creature are you?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Draw Blood, Get Adjusted


This morning I met up with the marathon group at 6:05 am. 5 minutes late. I knew if I drove the right way along Lake Merritt that I would catch them. I did.


I came over the bridge last night on time for my 6:30 acupuncturist appointment number 2. She asked me what had been going on since our last visit. I noted my headaches hadn't been as frequent and I haven't been craving carbs and sweets as much until this week. And I wanted to retool 7th grade so that it's a year of kinetic learning because they do not have a propensity for sitting down and focusing much on anything.

This time I lay on my back and she started tapping the needles, first at my feet. She continued up my lower legs, the fleshy part of my hands, and finished on the very top of my head.

I lay there under a blanket and thought about the nerve trees extending somewhere beneath my skin stimulated by these very thin needles. Very, very thin needles.

I tried to think of the impulses in relation to water: streams and tributaries. Were these needles acting like dams or locks distributing impulses elsewhere? Did I feel a pulsation? Did my left arm just jerk without my willing it? I fell asleep to the sound of the ocean and the white noise of traffic outside and far away somewhere.

She woke me and then I dressed and made my next appointment. This time I lost a little blood. My right hand had a little drop of deep, red blood from the needle. I licked it quickly and it was gone. That particular nerve still smarted this morning.

After my appointment I was RAVENOUS (as I had been all day. I noshed on organic cherry tomatoes, cranberry water, spicy lemonade, tamari crackers and organic peanut butter, quinoa and chicken and roasted bell peppers), and debated between the comfort of palak paneer or shredded tofu from Spices III. Spices III was closer and cheaper, so off I went to purchase my snackie.

Then off for home. It was still before 8 pm and I needed a wind down to wake in time for this morning's training session. I managed to call Mr. Mike and get an update on his house renovations and the kayak report from the past weekend. I then shared how happy I was to be reunited with Jane and the organic chocolate spread I discovered at 111 Minna's Strawberry and Bacon celebration from Saturday night. Always good to catch up with friends.

9 pm. About 30 minutes past bedtime.

3 am I shot up in bed, unable to sleep and echoing "Sexy Back" in my brain. Jesus.

So I picked up Persepolis sitting next to me. My boss lent me this graphic novel. It's a young woman's account of growing up in Tehran during the revolution. It's great. I ate it up in 3 nights of reading when I couldn't fall asleep.

Marjane Satrapi illustrates and writes in such an easy style and yet tackles really intense subject matter. Her accounts of underground youth culture despite the war is pretty hilarious. Reading about her take on boys mimicking Rod Stewart's hair and her rocking out to Iron Maiden and Kim Wilde was a ride back to to the past...

I was in 2nd grade when the revolution was going down. I was in Sr. Paul's 2nd grade class in Saint Anthony's of Padua Elementary School, Endicott, NY. I remember the grainy images on NBC while Tom Brokaw delivered the news. Men and women with sacks over their heads. The Ayotollah was mentioned. The American captives were mentioned. I had no idea what it was about. I had no idea Iran and Iraq were warring.

This book gives a frank account of what was going on on the inside.

Funny how history repeats itself.

It mirrors what seems to have happened in Afghanistan recently - theocratic regime peeling away the rights of people to practice or not practice their faiths. And how I am experiencing my own democracy over the last 6 or so years. Fear being used as motivation to control and to maintain my security.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Palabras para Hoy - martes 23 enero 2007

"You can learn many things from children. How much patience you have, for instance."
- Franklin P. Jones

Por ejemplo: porque encontre esta lista hoy en la biblioteca?

1) Nobel Prize Winner (Rigoberta Menchu)
2) Social Leader/Workers Rights Activist (Cesar Chavez)
3) Philathropic Leader/Baseball Player (Roberto Clemente)
4) Arse Activist (?) (Jennifer Lopez)
5) Social Leader/Artist (Frida Kahlo)
6) Hip Activist (?) (Shakira)

Es una lista hecho de los ninos hoy en escuela...

Sunday, January 21, 2007

quinoa - the new world wondergrain

i had rice issues for most of my life.

i loved to eat it, but i had so much difficulty making it myself.

i would overcook it and make it into an incredibly burnt smelling mush.

i would undercook it and make it into a crunchy paste.

this was perhaps 3 years ago.

as a substitute i found couscous in the mid-90s.

rice for ricely challenged. i loved it.

and i began using in where i would want rice to be.


of course i have found my rice niche, and have expanded into basmati, and jasmine, and bhutanese red...successfullly.

in the last few years i have read about this quinoa thing.

a grain native to where Peru is defined now.

quinoa, pronounced /KEEN wa/, (I used to pronounce it /kee NOH ah/),
is even COOLER than couscous because for those who can't do wheat, it's not a problem. there's tons of protein in it, and it's just as easy to cook.

so i took it on last week when i stopped by the TJ's. It was in a box an it said organic.

Hey, if it can't be fair trade, then I'll go for organic.

So these little round things are in this box.

What do I do with them?

What would I do with couscous?

Ah...well, I could boil it in ginger/chicken broth. Then I could use it as a side to a salad or combine it with a spicy salmon salad with coconut and cranberries...or make a fabulous quinoa and cheese with mozzerella and sundried tomatoes...which is what I did today.

Whoa. Try quinoa.

It's tasty. It's nutty. It has a little germ ring around it that makes it look like mini-Saturns once it's cooked!

kitchen - 2 hours later

She's BEAUTIFUL! (Or at least the countertop, stovetop, and sink are. Next to remove the boxes and sifting through those things.)

My thing is that I EXPLODE everything I need to sift through and then I get upset when it's overwhelming.

HELLO! Rewind...take ONE thing at a time. Compartmentalize so I don't add insult to injury and I am successful in completing one thing at a time...each time.

All this while listening to Le Show

Vamos a Limpiar La Casa!

Hoy es el 21 de enero y levate esta manana y decidi a arreglar mi casa bien.

El viernes recogi el coche mio - Jane - y ella esta nuevecita! Se ve BONITA, pero todavia tengo que limpiar las cosas adrentro que dejaron los ladrones. Hay pantalones y bolsas y no que mas...

Asi eso me dio inspiracion limpiarme la casa MIA.

A ver...aqui estan unos photos de mi casa ahora...y SI, es un REBULO!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Oye...Mas Fotos del Fin de Semana

Wondering who those shadows were dancing in the video from a few days ago? Well, thank GOD Margarita (my mami's friend who drove 90 miles to celebrate mami's birthday) had a camera with a little more power than the Macbook I took with me on the dance floor!

I was so happy dancing...with Mami and even with a DANCE PARTNER (which I haven't done since...August when my dad visited to see The Spanish Harlem Orchestra at Stern Grove).

There's NOTHING like whirling around in salsa with a great lead. Nothing in the world. I enjoy going solo, moviendome como si fue nada, but it's another thing ENTIRELY to pair off with another person who interprets the music, plays with the rhythm and interprets the music beyond the "1-2-3 (and) 4-5-6" count. Ay! Me pone en el aire!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Llego la (Cactus de) Navidad!

Oh I just got home thanks to Christine! Almost missed my flight from Raleigh and ran to the gate in Phoenix. Didn't really sleep well on either flight and I notice that cold snap they were talking about is REAL. BRRRRR! I left 60+ degree weather for this? YIKES!

Anywho...I am unpacking and sniffing out what I left in the sink and came into my kitchen. The Christmas Cactus is beginning to BLOOM! She's GORGEOUS! The buds formed about 10 days ago and now...oh wow, she's brilliant! Not bad for a recovering orphan from the sidewalk in July!!!

Amanecer : 15 enero, 2007 - Raleigh, NC

Hoy empezo el dia muerta de cansansia. Regreso a Oakland hoy, pero primero ibamos al desayundo celebrando la vida y el trabajo de Martin Luther King, Jr.

Aqui estan unos momentos bonitos...de decirnos que la vida puede ser muy bonita, no?

Pensaba yo que no pudiera salir de cama, pero mi mama me levanto y me duchaba. No tenia ropa para llevar alli...y ella me regalo un traje muy bonito...gris con azul. Tiene una falda y un par de pantalones que puedo usar con el chaquete. Se ve bien profesional.

Estoy un poquito triste porque hoy regreso a Oakland a regresar a mi vida.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

We ALL Should Be Partying Like This When We're 60

I thank GOD for my boricua genes. Dude, my mom is amazing...volunteering for a million organizations, always has time for the community of people she's built around her and just an amazing beacon of love. If I can be 1/2 the woman she is...wow. I had no idea how much I really missed her til I landed.

Tonight we went to George's Garage in Durham after a decadent dinner at our friend Mary's house where she made mami a dinner of lobster, mussels, baked red potatoes, salad, mango salsa, steak...and trimmings. It was AMAZING.

I can't wait to put all the footage from the weekend together, but here's just a sample of how much we danced. I will be telling Apple they need to include a light on the video camera, but the silhouette is kinda nice...and the sound is NOT bad. I was actually dancing salsa with the computer in my hand next to her while she was dancing salsa. The song in the background is praising "Madre". Perfecto, no? (La cancion es de Azuquita, el Senor de la Salsa y estuvo en la pelicula Maria Full of Grace.)

I have to say the salsa scene in Durham is blowing my experience in the Bay Area AWAY. I heard NO reggaeton. Everyone was dressed well. NO drama. ALL excellent music and a mixed crowd of ages and dance experience. No one was left alone too long on the sidelines. THAT'S what I am talking about...classy, non-pretentious, friendly for all!

ASI gozamos! Y para siempre, ESPERO!

Friday, January 12, 2007

Vamos a Raleigh

Esta manana despues de cenar con mis amigos <> (Michelle y Houman), Houman me llevo al aeropuerto de Oakland para tomar un vuelo a las 12:42 de la manana. Hombre! Tenia MUCHA sueno, y el vuelo salio tarde...epezamos nuestro vuelo a las 1 y pico.

No dormia mucho, habia demasiado ruido y los televisores me molestaban MUCHO aunque puso una frisa encima de mi cabeza.

No importa. Llegue a Tejas en el Aeropuerto de Jorge Bush y corria hasta el proximo vuelo que salia entre 20 minutos! Gracias a Dios que llegue a tiempo. Cuando estaba sentando en mi asiento, estuvo muy contenta, porque iba a ver a mi familia...mi mama entre unas horas...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Ok. Just a Little Pin Prick...

My first acupuncture appointment...(please ignore bra strap).

I went because I am aggressively attacking my health issues this year. It started with my teeth, then chiropracty, and now accupuncture, in addition to the regimens of health I am already starting.

The accupuncturist was very cool, answered all of my questions, and made me feel comfortable without me feeling like I was in kindergarten.

Just a few taps...and a little prick...and the needles went in about 1/8" - 1/4" into my dermis.

Right now I feel energized and am looking forward to the homework about lifestyle that she gave me.

In two weeks I'll go for a checkup.

I'd like to say THANK YOU to my employer for actually providing health care.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

My New (Techie Geek) Crush!

Apparently Mr. Dash is speaking in SF about Technology's role in Philanthropy at the end of the month. I missed my chance to grab a free seat...

Dashing...techie and thinking about the world...

Among other topics, he's talking about Digital Storytelling...my neighborhood of the career world...WOOT!

Sobre cuentos...

There have been great societies that did not use the wheel, but there have been no societies that did not tell stories. ~ Ursula Le Guin

I love sage words.

Tuesday, January 9, 2007

A Gimmick That Might Actually Work

I'm a veteran of online dating. Of course back in 94 it was all text based chatting.
The first man I met was a pediatric oncologist from Boston.

He was really sweet and we remained friends for quite a long time.

So fast forward to 2007. I'm shopping at one of my favourite grocery stores: Rainbow Grocery and happen to notice a funny postcard with the following dialog:

I said, "White Stripes"
He said, "Whitesnake"

The tagline? "Don't let this happen to you." And its an ad for a dating service...that matches you with your MUSICAL profile. Kinda clever, non?

Elvis Costello, here I come!

Arte - Para el 20 de enero

Recuerdos de los japonese americanos durante los 40 (siglo xx)...
Ver detalles aqui
Opening Reception
January 20, 2007
2 pm at Koret Auditorium
San Francisco Public Library
100 Larkin Street

Stolen Car, Chapter ????

Ah yes. Remember when my car was stolen in September?

And then it was found in October.

And then I was told it was under investigation in November and December.

And then I was asked if I knew the person who stole the car.

And then in mid-December they told me the investigation was done and the car would be repaired.

Well, this week's correspondence is telling me that I owe on the damage to the car.
And I paused and am upset because the damage to the car happened while it was stolen.
So I have been in a correspondence duel with my insurance claims investigator and the body shop which will hold (and charge me for) my car until this deductible situation is handled...

Meanwhile I am wondering if they plan on detailing my car, or if it will be returned to me food packages and clothing of others still in the car to remind me of the adventures Jane has been on since she was stolen on September 16, 2006.

Yep. This has been one well-spent 4 months of my life. I've gotten hair on my chest from learning how to navigate through these systems.

Palabras para Hoy - martes 9 enero 2007

Hoy es martes. El segun dia de la semana. Y las palabras de hoy son:

"Capital as such is not evil; it is its wrong use that is evil. Capital in some form or other will always be needed."

- Mohandas K. Gandhi

Gandhi era hombre de alma. Sus palabras nos inspiran, creo yo. Quien mas puede hacerme sentir bien sobre esta herramienta - dinero.

Lo malo no es en tener dinero. No. Lo malo es lo que hacemos con este dinero y como lo usamos para mejorar nuestra vida y las vidas del serhumano.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Nueva Vida - Cactus de Navidad

Traduce esta pagina! o
Translate this page using Google!

Tengo orgullo de mi cocina. Aunque ahora es un rebulo de trastes (dishes?) y otras cosas que estoy limpiando en este momento.

La semana pasada vi que unas de mis plantas estaba creciendo un flor rosado. No lo pudiera creer!

Encontre esta planta en el piso de mi apartamento...afuera, al frente de donde busco las cartas. Estaba alli, en el piso, tirado como basura.

Lo recogi y lo pusi en agua a ver si iba a crecer. Ahora son unas 7 meses despues y esta creciendo BONITISIMO en la ventana de mi cocina!

Mi amiga Megan me dijo que es un cactus de navidad! Que bonito!

Espero que con el sol que viene ahora y con agua que se pone muy bonita como en estas fotos.

Lo BIEN es que YO lo cogi, y que YO le daba amor y agua para que se creciera...a ahora ver que esta creciendo bien...

Friday, January 5, 2007

Haircut and an Attitude

Okay, so for those of you who wanted clear proof, here it is.
A haircut, in three pics...


Anoche fui a una cita con mi doctor y encontre una noche PRECIOSA. La luna estaba casi llena en un cielo azulito - color del mar oscuro. Y habia puntos de estrellas tambien.

La noche estaba FRI-ITA!

Entre una tienda, buscando un regalo para mi doctor y unos libros nuevos para leer.
Buscaba, pero no encontre algo que me interese...hasta que vi DOS libros en la seccion marcado <>. Habian dos biografias que me interesaba MUCHISIMA...sobre la vida de Celia Cruz, la dona de la Salsa, y la vida de Django Reinhardt, un genio de la guitarra y jazz de las 30s (siglo XX). Tenia que comprarlos! Soy loca leer de musicos!

Y para la doctora encontre un calendario sobre las maestras de vida. Ella es una maestra muy poderosa en mi vida y quiso darle algo para decirle las gracias.

Esta manana levante muy lentamente...pero vi que el cielo estaba azul clarito...azul como los huevos de pajaritos de la primavera. Empeze con mis ejercisios de <> y yoga.

Todavia estaba FRI-ITA, pero el dia esta bonito! Sol brillando, y la Luna todavia en el cielo, diciendo <> al Sol.

Que lindo puede ser las cosas sensillitas, no?

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Gracias, Jose Padilla

Until there was a terrorist named Jose Padilla, there seemed to be an language barrier with my last name.

Growing up I had a lot of folks think I was Italian until they encountered our family. Not really sure what made them change their minds.

The pronunciation outside of family ties was always /puh DILL uh/. There was always a polite apology for messing up the pronunciation since it was such an uncommon name. I thought this was a decent excuse until I made the connection with strangers in NYC when we visited relatives who pronounced our name without any issues whatsoever. And some of these people were even born Spanishly-challanged.

In High school I concocted a clever retort and asked if anyone ever ordered a /tore TILL uh/ at Taco Bell. Invariably my peers giggled as if that was the most stupid thing they ever heard. I thought the stupidest thing I ever heard was an excuse to botch my name and yet have an A+ aptitude to order the foodstuff.

Padilla and tortilla are not so far apart in pronunciation, you see.

Fast forward 12 years: June 14, 2002. The news is ablaze with a terrorist and the commentators are flopping in pronunciation like a ritalin-filled 5th grader during the afternoon cartoons. Within the same conversation the name is pronounced with a more Iberian flair and a more accessible Midwestern affect. It hurt most to hear Ray Suarez of the News Hour (Lehrer Report) go back and forth. That man should KNOW better.

For me it's upsetting. I don't want to claim Mr. Padilla, but it IS a matter of principal. If you can order the dish at Taco Bell, you can respect a person's name.

Thank you, Mr. Dirty-Bomb guy. Thank you for starting the dialog.

Today I heard it right, at least more consistently.


Today, dear world, I did my first hard drive swap. It was a little tedious, but definitely worth the smile on my students' face when I told her that her hard work was not lost!

The Apple Care gentleman was really supportive. I had walked through the steps to reset the PRAM, Power Manager, and a number of other troubleshooting methods to get the Macbooks going, but to no avail.

He then suggested the brain transfer, and I obliged because I wanted to go in and see some of the guts of these lovely machines....

Y ahora...voy a Ashkenaz en Berkeley oir la musica de Algeria!

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Palabras para Hoy - martes 2 enero 2007

"When people are in your presence do they feel healed or hurt?" Author Unknown

Hoy es martes. El segun dia de la semana. Creo que es buen dia por pensar en palabras.
Asi te mando estas en ingles.

Pues, ya sabes que palabras cambien nuestras pensamientos. Como vives?
Para tu mismo? Para tu familia? Para tu pareja? Para tu perro?

Este vida es tan corta, y posiblemente mas porque serhumanos estan cambiando nuestra tierra y clima.

Posiblemente en el ano 2007 tu puedes pensar en tu mismo y quizas tus vecinos en el mundo.

(Quizas que mejora el espanol mio este ano escribiendolo!)

Monday, January 1, 2007

Para ti, Aguinaldos de Navidad

Las Navidades y el fin del ano son tiempo, tradicionalmente, para la familia. Desde cuando era nina recuerdo este tiempo llena de familia, musica, comida, y claro, de baile..

Nosotros cantamos parrandas y trullas a las puertas de amigos y familia hasta la madrugada de la manana. Creo que es la costumbre de la gente de las montanas que amenecen tan temprano trabajando en sus fincas.

Aqui les pongo unas palabras de aguinaldos que cantan mi familia.

Felicidades en este ano 2007 a TODOS. Que PAZ, AMOR, ALEGRIA, JUSTICIA y BOMBA reinen en este bendigo ano 2007!



Alegre vengo de la montaña
de mi cabaña que alegre está
y a mis amigos les traigo flores
de las mejores de mi rosal.
Y a mis amigos les traigo flores
de las mejores de mi rosal.

Ya siento el alma inquieta de gozo
y de alborozo puro y sin par
por la jornada más borinqueña
y más risueña, la Navidad.


Cantemos todos con alborozo,
llenos de gozo, llenos de amor,
y conservemos en el presente
siempre latente la tradición.


Cuanto me alegro de haber nacido
en este nido en este edén
porque estas fiestas que adoro tanto
son el encanto de Borinquen.


Con tamboriles, güiro y maracas
la serenata alegre está,
deseo a todos por despedida
años de vida y prosperidad.
Si me dan pasteles

Si me dan pasteles,
dénmelos calientes,
que pasteles fríos empachan la gente Si me dan arroz
no me den cuchara,
que mamá me dijo
que se lo llevara.

Esta casa tiene
las puertas de acero
y el que vive en ella
es un caballero.
Dios guarde esta casa
y guarde la familia
y que los Santos Reyes
también les bendigan.


Saludos, Saludos

Saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar

Alegres venimos
para saludar;
alegres venimos
para saludar
a las amistades
de este santo hogar
a las amistades
de este santo hogar

Saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar

Saludos a todos queremos brindar,
Saludos a todos, queremos brindar,
con nuestra presencia un bello cantar
con nuestra presencia
y un bello cantar.

Saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar

Ahora nos marchamos para otro lugar,
ahora nos marchamos para otro lugar,
llevando alegría con nuestro cantar
llevando alegría con nuestro cantar.

Saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
saludo, saludo
vengo a saludar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar
a lo isabelino
bonito cantar