Adelante como Elefante...

2007 was a bitch for la Raza.
The ICE raids spilt familias and have gente living in fear.
Immigration is at the top of idiot politicos 'issues' and this of course affects us all.
The war, remember we are at war, is ignored in lieu of making sure people are guilted into paying a visit to the church of consumerism, the mall, and making large donations.

Despite all that, they can't stop us.
We can celebrate in the most humblest of situations.
We are healthier than everyone else, outliving others by at least 7-10yrs.
Our customs are changing the cultural landscape: The news on the 24th was about how for so many people, the 24th and NOT the 25th is Christmas.
Our magazines, TV channels, radio stations are blowing up as Madison Ave. scrambles to figure out how to market to us. What Spanish will be understood by most, Spanglish?
The other headline earlier in the month was about the massses recognizing La Virgen.
They can't stop us.

On New Year's Eve KCRW is having Pachucoville homeboy Raul Campos host "A Latin New Years Eve." Raul has myself, Little Louie Vega for an hour, DJs from the bands: Kinky, Pinker Tones, & Los Amigos Invisibles, DJ Santi and others lay down some serious mixing like only us mestizo mixers can from 9pm-1am. Tune in si puedes. KCRW.org will be archiving it as well. This Westside station recognizes! We are the future, despite all the hate and fear we create in small minds, we will run this place. Are you ready? Bring it!!!



My mom was born in Chavez Ravine, more specifically La Loma, even more specifically on the kitchen table. She was raised during the most racist era of U.S history, next to the colonial era, the 1950's. Her Mexican-ness was thus downplayed, so I grew up celebrating Christmas on the 25th while all my neighbors and friends celebrate on the 24th.

In my journey of de-colonization I have left Catholicism, western religions in whole and their adherent celebrations. Nonetheless I am surrounded by friends and neighbors celebrating these days. It is inescapable.

I could join in and have two days of this: party with friends and neighbors today the 24th and continue on into the 25th with my family, but I would feel like a hypocrite.

During my college years I would hermitized myself during these days, locking myself in my home, renting videos and chilling out in my head while everyone else did their traditions. See you on New Year's!

Now that I have my daughter, I participate in whatever she asks of me, either the 24th or the 25th. For a few years we would go to the Dorthy Chandler to see the Christmas Eve Holiday Show they put on every year. Last year we missed, so this year she doesn't want to go. I will honor my parents by taking my daughter to their dinner on the 25th.

I'm perplexed today. I can go to church with friends and see a real Mexican Navidad with a big Mexican family. I'm an only child, so more than three peeps is a bigger family to me. I can get with my pocho pals and go to DEEP's Pajama Party in Venice tonight. Or I can hunker down solo, go for I'm sure would be an amazing bike ride through empty streets and rent me some flicks.

I know I am blessed to have such great choices.

I hope you feel and appreciate your blessings not just at this time of year, its so cliche, but always.

Se me cuidan...


Channel Zero

From the minds of Esteban Zul, Lalo Alcaraz and bunch of other Aztlanese.

The Flour Wars

Can you spot me?


Eastside essentials

Eastside has:
-bu~elos, tamales and champurrado on street corners
-elotes, tacos, hot dogs w bacon, everyday, at anytime
-98cent stores, not just 99cents
-the majority of people are Mexican, Chicana/os or some generation of Raza immigrant
-banda music, techno, explicit rap, and KROQ 80's music blasting out of homes and cars
-we know what KROQ music is newbies
-backyard parties with DJs that play every type of music without being ironic or thinking it's kitsch
-strolling mariachis
-Virgen murals on most street corners, most with accompanying flowers and candles from the devout

What the Eastside DOES NOT HAVE, or need:
-fixed gear riders
-Pabst Blue Ribbon
-know how to spell kitsch
-overpriced Mexican food
-vintage stores
-chain smoking, depressed looking gringos
-juice bars


The Codes of Warriors and Thieves...

This long holiday break saw me renting four films that were all linked on a superficial level by the code of warriors and/or thieves.
"Letters of Iwo Jima"
"Ninja Scroll"
"The Transporter"
"The Wild Bunch"
Yes all very macho, violent, action filled, blood and guts. I watched alone so I chose what I wanted.
In all of them the characters were morally ambiguous. They all killed for various motivations, but they maintained a code of honor, integrity, and discipline which were shaped by a life of extreme violence and circumstances.
When speaking with a friend about these codes, and the often sexist and racist settings in which the stories took place, I asked if artistically should filmmakers sugar coat the past in fiction in order to present not so sexist, racist and stereotypical images. They responded immediately with" "Of course they should, it would make their audience much bigger and the main point of making movies is to entertain and make a lot of money." I was asking if it was artistically or morally correct to change history in a work of fiction for a greater good. Needless to say, said friend works for a major multinational media monster which often dishonors historical facts for a cheesy love story.
They presented the capitalist motto: Profits at any cost.
In the context of the the broader conversation the codes of warriors and thieves seem to be a better alternative than today's psychopathic capitalism.
The samurai, the soldiers, and the former members of military branches turned thieves and shady businessmen, were ruthless and brutal, but they had rules. Most of the rules were to protect themselves, but at the same time served as a stop to potentially greater violence, loss of life and money. There was a limit.
We need honor, integrity and discipline to come back into mode. These give us limits.
Right now we can look around and see that our leaders were never in any situation that helped shape their honor, integrity or discipline, so they act without restriction or any real remorse. Moral compasses are twisted so that, multi million dollar homes that were burned are visited for photo opportunities, but entire bays that are environmental catastrophes are treated as every day accidents. Overeating contests and $1,500 desserts get 5 minutes of media coverage, while drought conditions are ignored until it is time to institute water police, which contribute to the police state/union.
I gotta pull out my old Carlos Castaneda books and re-read the parts of being an impeccable warrior. I know I need to work on my honor, integrity and discipline, because I have not seen many examples of that in a long time... except in bloody morally ambiguous films.


fee, fi, fo, fum, how are U beating boredom...sleep?

Several friends have mentioned to me that they have no idea what to do with themselves this holiday break. I'm kind of in the same boat. I do got things to do it's just not what I really want to do or what I think I should be doing on a break like this.
My students are excited about not having to come to school, so am I, but when I ask them what are they going to do, many just say: SLEEP.
Isn't excessive sleep a sign of depression? I like sleeping. I also read that sleeping makes you live longer. Maybe if you are depressed and you sleep a lot, you work it out in your dreams, which equals less stress on the body which leads to longer life?
I had some crazy dreams lately. In two very different situations I would get pissed off and then blew up. I don't blow up in waking life like I did in my dreams/nightmares. In these dreams I threw chairs and table at windows, not to get out, but to destroy. I threw other objects at cars, buildings and an airplane in an anger that I have only felt in that dream.
The cause of the anger wasn't even that important, I missed a flight time, a bus left me, someone told me 'No.' There I was in dream landia blowing up. I scared myself and was tired when I woke up. Today a fellow commuter told me she had similarly angry dreams. In hers there were kitties with steel rods sticking out of their chest, so they couldn't runaway, so hey that should piss anyone off. I hope if I sleep alot this break I don't have those kinds of dreams.

I feel the need to pack up and get out of town after fulfilling familial obligations. I'm tired of hearing about this or that store opening at 4am and the sales I just NEED to be at. I also need to correct two virtual stacks of papers that are coming in tonight. Sure I can blow them off, head to Vegas, be in a stupor all weekend and then correct the papers hungover, but then I'd be more tired afterwards. I can be responsible, stay in town, correct papers during the day, go out at night. We'll see...


So far, so fast...

Life is at this speed that makes me feel like I can split into a bunch of pieces, and that would be a good thing since I got to be doing so many things.

-DoD was great. Q n I did go to the cemetary to see grandma and grandpa. Grandma I grew up with, Grandpa died in 1945, so all I knew was the stories I heard about him from my mom and grandma. We bought them cookies, laid out my yoga mat and ate tortas, as we cleaned their tombstones and laid flowers on them. I told her stories of how strong my grandma was bing able to lift old bathtubs and how amazing her beans were. An elder came by us o visit his wife who had passed 15 years ago. He talked to us about the saint on my grandparents tombs and told us he was the Santo Ni~a de la torcha (sp?), the patron saint of Zacatecas and of miners. My grandpa was a miner! And they were both from Zacatecas! I was impressed with him. He got on his cell phone and called one of his sons telling him "Don't forget to come to the cemetary today, es el dia del panteon, Mexican style." My daughter paid close attention to him despite not really understanding him.

-Later that night we were at DoD at SHG here are some pics:

-I've been re-working my thesis on DJ Culture of East L.A. because lately I've been having a lot of talks with different people on this subject of Chicano DJs, music, art, space and how we fit in the global DJ culture. When I have a good edited copy I'll pass it on to you if you ask.

-A couple of Saturdays ago I was quoted in Agustin Gurza's LA Times column commenting on my homeboy DJ Raul Campos or try copy and paste this:http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/la-et-culture20oct20,1,5852472.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

-It is almost the end of the semester and papers are piled up. I am confident in all my students, so its been good reading not just because they are bright, but because I gave them good ideas and fodder to fill their brains with before letting spew on the keyboard. I've had a great semester despite a rough beginning due to some health issues.

-Looking forward to two great rides this coming weekend:

I just hope my stack of papers is smaller by then.


Day of the Dead, burnout or ...

This year I'm feeling a lil burned out on the whole Day of the Dead thing.
This year I have also been witness to a couple of friends who lost family this year and all they went through including rosaries every Sunday, the few visits a week to the cemetary, the no parties- no drinking promises, the wearing of black clothes. This made grief, loss, and remembering the dead come into a new focus for me.

Last year I began to look DoD celebrations as mostly a day for local artists to sell stuff with calaveras. The year before a compa~era pulled out a 'Day of the Dead: In a Box' novelty gift she found online. It was designed by two non- Chicanas and all the pieces including tiny skulls, altar, serapes and such were made in China.

I was not raised with a lot death around me. The deaths in my family were not too close and my immediate family was never about all the rituals many other families do when death visits a loved one. We mourn, bury, miss, remember and then forget in a sense.

DoD was cool when I first started going to them at the beginning of the 1990's. I saw it as a big middle finger to Catholicism and the Western views of death. We Chicano/as were bringing up one of our ancient rituals to show everyone (including ourselves) just how complex and deep we are. I liked going to see the altars that some of the artists I read about and some that I knew would design with such detail and care.

When I finally saw what greiving and mourning looked like in a more real way, I began to question what these DoD were really about. Were they just another excuse for a party? Ain't nothing wrong with that, we need to come together and clebrate any chance we get. Were they just a chance for artists to make a lot of money selling kitschy art that wouldn't normally sell? Nothing wrong with that, artists need to make money. Yet I am feeling burned on it. I do think the soul of coming together to share, create, and grow together around an ancient system of beliefs is fading away and being replaced more with trinket collecting and sales.

I take my daughter EVERY year to DoD at SHG. This year will be no different. But this year we might just add a trip to the cemetary to see grandma before we go to SHG.


running out of '07

October, Halloween, corn mazes, searching for the right accesories for the best costume, making sure I got love for the best parties. Looking forward to getting back on the bike for the Midnight Ridazz Heavy Metal Ride this weekend, after what seemed like too long a break; Chumpy's b-day on the 19th in Fullerton; Hollywood Roosevelt and Sports Arena, maybe Sublevel.
Novemeber diving deep into the Chicana/o psychosis, socialization, and expressions in my 100 class; Day of the Dead's various locations, champurado and tamales on street corners in the A.M., cool Scorpio b-day parties, and Thankstaking food and hopefully a get away.
December's end of the semester, party after party, food and drinks, dang I gotta workout more.

They say '08 is going to be BIG.


DJ Culture pt. 1

I hosted my radio show's 15th anniversary this Sunday. 15 years of what I think is the best music mixed by the best DJs in the world. I need to vent.

I love DJing, DJs, talking about DJing, and all that DJs have done; shown us that beauty is in the mix. Most of the DJs that I have met over the years have been great people. All of them turn into hyper kids when we talk about music and DJing as only DJs with other DJs can talk.

My journey with DJing started in backyard parties in ELA. Later, I DJed halls, restaurants and banquet rooms. I eventually went into the warehouses, sports arenas, forests, beaches, and the Queen Mary! I dream about DJing more than anything else. I am addicted.

I wrote my Master's thesis on DJs of East L.A.

Can't wait to get home today and spin for an hour or so.

This coming weekend, also on the Queen Mary, DJs older than me, that inspired and taught me the tricks of DJing are doing their own party, celebrating their era of DJing. All respect, I know how they feel about it.

Once a DJ always a DJ. Anyone I have met who was once a DJ and quit it all together is one sad vato. Once you are hooked by the mix you need to do it every now and then to feel it, hear it, bump to it, and share it.

DJing is existential, when you are riding two records and they are totally synched on beat, key, and structure you are in a space that will only exist for that moment. When you are digging through the crate for the next record you are in space in the future, imagining what record will sound best with the one that is currently playing. You are predicting (or knowing) exactly how your dancefloor is going to react. You are in the moment and a little ahead of it, pushing it, raising the volume, moving a group into another space.

Today, with your I-pod, everyone can make their own playlist. Everyone is a DJ, to a degree. amen...


Horchata vs. Tamarindo, who drinks what?

The other day at La Parilla in BH, Y ordered her usual tamarindo and I my usual horchata.
As she left me to wash her hands I had an epiphany as I sneaked a sip of her drink. It was so sweet! Too sweet in fact.
In my head I flashbacked to all the times I have ordered horchata as other friends ordered tamarindo. As I ran in my head through all those moments I realized that my fellow US born pocho pals usually ordered horchata (or jaimaica) while my non- US born pals usually order tamarindo.
Is this true?

So please answer me this you Pachucoville cruisers: DO US born Chicano/as prefer Horchata to Tamarindo and non US born Chicanoa/s prefer Tamarindo to Horchata.

And why?


La Buena Vida...

Maybe it is the remaining shards of Catholic guilt that have me feeling a lil guilty for having it so good these days.
Then the other lil voice says "you manifested this, the universe provides."
Then the other lil voice says, "well you know, after the good comes the bad, enjoy it now."
And finally the last of my schizophrenia based vocies chimes in with "Only a person with lil imagination lives within their means, and homes you got an imagination!"

Its been one non stop party since last week.

Friday we wrapped up Summer Bridge with few tears but lots of love and hope. Had a beer with the other profs after we sent the kids home. Got hm, got the Q and dug into two days of Wii.
By Saturday I was almost pro level in tennis and boxing. Q wants to train more and then go toe to toe again.

Sunday I hosted a lil party on the Queen Mary for my radio show. Y and I got there about 1:30pm, got our room, met with the sound peeps, and Nina, one of our good friends and performers. Y and I ran off to pick up supplies for our room and a day's length of partying. Got back in time to drop my set and run the system for Nina. After that. Party time. I took most of my DJs down to the room, set them up and got them on the decks on time. Pics and vids at here, here
and there. Beautiful people, great music, all love for the radio show, great friends, absolutely dope! That night crashed in the room and was visited by various sounds, feelings and scares, that place is freaking haunted!!!
(We'll be having another party on 9/16 come out if you think you can handle)

Monday, I woke up stiff. My back was all messed up. Either way made it to the famous El Rodeo and then had day one of luxurious lounging. Picked up "Reno 911" and some Thai film that was long and dissapointing.

Tuesday: Ragin Waters. The hottest day of the week and I'm at a water park. What? Don't hate.

Wednesday: Pretty much chilled out with good peeps, and more good music all day, into the night, in different spaces.
It's called vacation.

Thursday: Glen Ivy Hot Springs for Y's b-day!!!! WOW. We took an ice chest full of great munchies. Met up with some great friends. Word of the day: MUD. ahhhh. Later came home to dig into more munchies and homie MP brought by the Baskin Robbins Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake.

Today: hey, I hope you are feeling it like I'm feeling it.

Yes shit is bad around the world, in the back yard even, but you need to appreciate the days with the great friends you are given.
Thanks! All love.


Summer Bridge '07

This is what has kept me from writing in my blog.

It is the Education Opportuniy Program Summer Bridge where we bring in 120 students who are first generation college studets, are members of an underepresented group or something like that.

I got a great group of 27 students. They all commute here everyday, some as far as Watts, getting up at 4 am in those cases to hop on buses & trains to get here by 8:30am. I've had very little absences and few tardies. This alone is impressive for students who had just been in high school hearing bells and dodging tardy cops.

Tommorrow is the last day of the program. Today was their final exam, pot luck and we watched "Idiocracy" by Mike Judge.

I will have them in the Fall semester which starts in about two weeks.

These 6 weeks were all warm up to being a college student. They just had one professor, all day in one room, one tutor per room, computer labs open just for them, they were fed every week after watching a film and discussing it, and sometimes they got more food on Wednesdays after pitching in $2 to learn about collective shopping. They basically had the campus to themselves. What happens to them after the first week of seeing the other 35,000 students will be the real test if their little community will keep together. I hope so.

They are all very bright and hopeful. They want to help each other succeed. I really hope they live this the next 4-6 yrs some may be here.



Many years ago, after I devoured most of Carlos Castaneda's books, went through the Tao Te Ching, various Buddhist writings, attempts at meditation, consumed various psychotropic gifts of the gods -among other safe and not so safe journey's to find the meaning of life, I still feel like a piece of pollen flying on the body of a bee, falling on a flower or two only to be swept up again on another journey.

At first I learned the path to Nirvana was a solo journey that required me to leave this world and all its trappings behind.
I also learned I needed to dream my way out of here by creating a dream double and learning to will myself into the various layers of reality.
These were both 'small vehicle' views of the purpose of life. Save your ass, leave the rest behind.

Next I learned I needed to share knowledge and experiences, connect and reflect, to be able to purify myself and the world of its problems in my miniscule way. I had to pick my piece of the rock and chip away at it. Eventually all of us who are chipping away would make a break through to the other side and help lead others to Nirvana.
This was the 'large vehicle' view of the purpose of life. Helping others will help you, for you are the others as much as you are you.

The answer of course is always somewhere in the middle.

It is never easy to find that middle ground.

My homeboy and fellow traveler, Eli Star, was a DJ who I admired for his spirituall grounding and mixing of dope ass tripped out music. I took him up to the mountains one time to share in a sacred sweat ceremony. As I have learned, the sweat makes us one, we return to the Earth womb, and we are all united. At the same time we are there to deal with our own demons and pains and let them out. Also we are there to give thanks and praise for all the gifts we have. Helping/celebrating each other through songs, the drums, 'ah hos' and medicine we helped/healed each other and ourselves. At the time I actually wasn't as clear about the purpose of the sweat as I am now. I couldn't have written the above back then. I took Eli up there because at the time he was about the small vehicle and I wanted to show him the big vehicle. We would argue about activism and aestheticism. I would say "We need to change the world." He would say "We need to leave the world." I hope we have come a long way from there.

I thought of him recently because times are looking like we need to really just save ourselves. In a head stand earlier, I was imagining lifting off. I thought about my dream practices and I heard another one of my secret master's voice, "Learn to move alone."

I am surrounded by good people. I love and cherish them. They are also looking for that door to the other side. I feel I need to practice with them whatever they feel good about practicing. At the same time I don't want to teach this, I don't know what I am really doing, so how can I teach? We can get caught up in ritual and forget the reasons we do what we do.

Awareness, questions, mental strectching is happening all around us. The middle road is getting clearer. Maybe a little ride in the big vehicle and a lil ride in the little vehicle will get us/me there.

Movie directorDavid Lynch has been promoting Transcendental Meditation. He even has a Myspace for it. I like what it says, but unfortunately all I have found ends with a big ole price tag. ?!?!? Anyone got the hook up?


Pedo, blog: four letter words

Is blogging robbing me of the time to be writing something more significant?

Before I went on my very brief summer vacation, my mentor, homeboy Harry G. told me "You need to publish at least two things before you come back to teaching. It is the only thing that really seperates you in your job searches." I have a couple of things out but not of any big big value. I always take his words to heart. I admire his writing and manipulation of language as he said many years ago, more or less: "To turn the english lanuage into shards of glass and weapons to use against them."

At the beginning of my break I got offered a book review for the "LA Times," but because I had exchanged some emails with the writer of the book I was supposed to review, I couldn't be ojective, so they retracted their offer.

I have sat at my computer and thought of deep things to write about. Nada came to me. As you can read I've thrown up some things on here. Argued on others blogs. But I have done nothing to seperate me in the job searches.

Harry G. has told me many stories of writers and artists who came into their own later in life. He also told me about Chicano time, not that we are always late to things, but that we do function at a different pace in life, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. We get married and have kids too young sometimes. Take a vacation and see the world too late in life. We find our muse or cause and blow it up, only to be perceived as that is all we have to say for the rest of our life. We don't find our real muse or cause until we can only use our last breaths to get it out.

Is blogging like the silent farts that no one knows about? Only a few make a stink for those near. Gee I'd hate to be remembered for that one, but fuck it.

Another homeboy, Ese Rudy! (only I can call him that!) said this in an interview with Harry G.

So this makes me keep thinking about what good thing should I be trying to leave behind. hmmm
Let me get off this machine and keep looking. Keep making some footprints.
I'll be back


The scariest film out now is...

"SICKO" by Micheal (you media sluts love to hate) Moore.

I've seen "Hostel" and other contemporary 'horror' movies, but none left me as scared as SICKO, because it is real and could happen to me or someone I care about.

It left me almost shaking in fear. I was also depressed. This is not to say you shouldn't go because it is scary and depressing, it means you have to go because you need to see it.

Sure we know our health care system is screwed up, but this documentary puts faces to the story and compares our system to England's, France's and Cuba's. It really lets you know that in this country, if you cannot afford health care you are totally at the mercy of your insurance company's whims (if you are insured). Our capitalistic system is immoral. Our current health care system, which is a reflection of our capitalist bent, is also immoral on the same grounds. This leads to my second must see film

This explains it all. Corporate mentality which functions as a psychopath does, has infected most of us and is leading us down an unsustatainable path to death.

Scary stuff. View with caution. Makes "Hostel" look tame.


Acid House

This week Doc Martin is bringing the creator of Acid House DJ Pierre to a warehouse somewhere in the city. They will be celebrating 20 years of Acid house.

In 1987 I heard my first Acid House at a party called "Sexpress" at a bar on 7th, just east of the LA River in Boyle Heights, the real Eastside. The DJ/promoter was DJ Adrian who had been a part of the Awesome Foursome DJ crew which included: Mark 'Danger,' Willie 'Guilty, & Danny 'Debonair.' From El Sereno house parties, to Hollywood established and floating parties like/at: Details, Red Zone, Florentine Gardens, Ukranian Hall and Rosie's these guys played out a lot in mid to late 80's. By 1987, Adrian was doing his own thing and focusing on the new House music coming from Chicago and New York.

At "Sexpress" you would walk into a dark room lit by black lights and televisions that were set upside down playing porn. The walls were covered in black plastic with day glo doodles and splattering all over. The beats were relentless, instrumental and mind blowing.

In the other room, the bar to be exact, Eddie Ayala, Johhny Vatos and John Avila of Oingo Boingo played East L.A. rock classics to give you a break from the new sonic experience that was Acid house.

Here is the link to a mix I made using some of the earliest Acid House I could find. It aired on my radio show. Here it is in it's entirety. Enjoy. PT Acid House mix

I don't usually think of promoting parties on here, but being that classic rocks stations and the print media are spending so much time on the 1967 Summer of Love, I think this is important to recognize our own cultural creations such as Rave culture which was bigger and still very much alive. In the UK their Summer of Love was in 1988, here in L.A. 1992 saw the crest of the large illegal raves. Today we have larger events at the Sports Arena, Orange show and other venues all based on those early models of raving.

I hope you come out and experience this music as it was meant to be experienced, in a warehouse, with great DJs, open minded music lovers and dancing like no one is watching.


Alignment & Form

I took my first yoga class at the Eagle Rock rec ctr. about 4.5 yrs. ago. I had really bad back problems and some friends told me they got rid of their back problems by doing Yoga.

The first time I did it was so hard to keep up. My body had never moved into some of those positions and the breathing was intense. At the end of it, when we went into meditation, I left my body. When I returned I was totally refreshed and hooked.

I followed that same teacher, Knekoh (pronounced Nico) to the abandoned Merchant's Bank on the corner of 4th and Main St. when she left the Eagle Rock ctr. I saw her go through her pregnancy doing amazing gravity defying positions. She taught up til the day before her son was born and she came back to teaching exactly one week after giving birth doing most all the same amazing positions. She is my hero. I would practive once or twice a week and saw my body change. I felt taller, stronger, more energy and no more back problems.

Eventually Knekoh opened up a proper studio across the street in the San Fernando building where she named it Yoga Circle Downtown. At times I have been dedicated to going two or three times a week and wow, I was unstoppable. My body wouldn't accept crap food. I was never sick or sore. Never tired or in dis-ease. This was about two years ago and I was seriously considering becoming a yoga teacher with Knekho as my master teacher.

I have visited other studios, except a Bikram, and none of them teach like Knekoh. Some are too loopy, some are too laid back, some are too into being perfect, some are just boring. Knekoh is a former dancer, she knows the power of a good physical workout, knows how to help you focus on a muscle, leaves you to explore your personal edge, helps you push yourself when she sees you are kicking back, she goes into the meditation and esoteric elements of yoga, but not to the point where you just want to sit and stare at your navel. You get a physical and meta-physical workout with her.

At other times I would get so busy with work and life that I would miss up to a month, only to return to once or twice a week. During these breaks I would practice at home on my own. I increased my time in a head stand to up to 5 minutes. Knekho told the class one time that Yogis lived so long because they spend so much time upside down. It reverses how the body works with gravity, opens up places and gives organs a chance to re-align, breathe and rest from sitting the same way. Makes sense to me! So I love being upside down.

This last break from serious yoga was about 6 months. I really felt it this past month. My back pains returned. I gained some weight. I am eating crap.

Today, I went back and Knekoh was there with open arms. It was so good. I did the beginner alignment and form class and I surprised myself that I was able to do things I thought I wasn't going to do. I feel great. I haven't gone out of my body since that first time, but other experiences and moments of clarity have presented themselves. I feel aligned. My muscles are tight and I know I will be sore in some places tommorow, but I will love it.



Eastside vs. eastside CHINGAZOS

Throughout bloglandia there has been an upsurge in the battle over what is considered Eastside spurred on by a new rag, which will remain nameless here. This rag claims to reflect the views of 'eastsiders' in neighborhoods such as Hollywood, Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park and Downtown LA.

One word that all the discussions like here, here, and here have pussy footed around is RACISM/WHITE SUPREMACY.

This re-imagining of LA is fueld by racism/white supremacy. Yes there are and have been Chicanos or hi-spanics also claiming Eastide on the westside of the river, but racism doesn't just come from white toward people of color, in its most insidious form racism/white supremacy manifests in the minds and actions of people of color who agree with the lies and views of reality from a white is always right perspective. Think: dye blonde hair & blue contact lenses on a person of color and feeling safe around white people as opposed to your own people of color.
Blonde Asian?

How is this racist? Well when did the term come up in these areas? When there was enough white people in these areas lower middle class sections to make them feel they had a community. Up until then they were just a few gringos in the middle of brown working class areas. They learned the language shopped in the 'marketas' and blended in. Yes, there have always been white people in the hills high above Echo Park & Silver Lake and Los Feliz is primiarily white, but those folks don't worry about stuff like this, they got theirs. It is the ones who are trying to make a buck by labeling their area into a demographic to sell and to sell to.

Funny how these folks from the rag don't include Thai Town, Little Armenia, Korea Town or Philipino Town in their view of Eastside. uh maybe because there is not enough white people in these areas? Just like the 'Westside' does that include Mar Vista, the brown and black areas of Culver City? What about Palms? NO. Not enough rich white people there.

These terms and attempts to change cultural, social, political and plain old LA history is what racists do.

What about the dang Nayarit bar in Echo Park? Oh yeah we agreed to call it the Echo.

Folks blame immigrants for coming here and not learning the language and culture, but they are only doing what they see others doing. They move into our areas, once they get enough of them in, they start changing names, opening shops that only cater to theirs and stop trying to learn the local vernacular.
So it is.

East of...
...where you use to live?
...where you wish you lived?
...what you know?
...where you are comfortable?
...where you always go to?
...where you feel safe?
...where you always find and take a date?


Another Supa Dupa LA weekend!

I'm on vacation and this past weekend was the epitome of a great LA weekend:

After a great accupuncture session in the valle, as I was driving down the 5 back to BH, Harry G. called me to be sure to pick up a copy of the latest "L.A. Weekly." It has a new feature article by Pachucoville's favorite Daniel Hernandez titled "The Art Outlaws of East L.A.". It is about Asco the art collective started by Harry Gamboa Jr., Gronk, Patsi Valdez and Willie Heron in the late 1960s. It is dope because it sheds a light on this super group of artists. Just the images alone show that these Chicanos with no art school credentials, from the streets of ELA were able to shake things up in ways many today are still trying to do. Looking at how hip they look and knowing how bad ass they are in their own way really made me happy that Chicano/as have Asco to look to for inspiration and angry that the "LA Weekly" ignores so many contemporary bad ass Chicano artists. Two weeks ago they had their annual "LA People" issue where they list people they think are cool or are 'doing something' for LA. Some folks were in there for truly doing something others for being a door guy, being born to rich parents and able to be weird on a trust fund, others because they surf! Anyway, I'll stick to positives. Read this article.

MIDNITE RIDAZZ!!!! Big Bike Dan put this ride together and called it The World's Slowest Race!
We started at House of Spirits in Echo Park, rode East back to BH and to the Mariachi Plaza where Big Bike Dan played some cumbias, boleros and other Spanish party music for the Ridazz to dance to. We then headed back over the river via 4th/3rd st. and back West on Temple to Hoover North, East on Sunset to Echo Park where the 'race' to be last was held. DOPE L.A. Style!

My homeboy RC1 had his B-day party in Malibu @ Moonshadows (yup where Mel Gibson got pedo and busted), so it was a ride and half. Very fun, though. Driving the long way through the valley and through Las Virgenes is what So. Cal driving beauty is all about. If you don't know, ask somebody. Moonshadows on the edge of the Pacific, with dope beats, great friends and pretty people, are the stuff "Entourage" scenes are written around. Lovely.

Grand Performances kicked off their season by shutting down Grand Ave. between 4th and 2nd streets and let Ozomatli headline a dope afternoon of LA style beats. WOW, can never go wrong with Ozo in the L.A. streets.
DEEP 'Where House Lives' was hosting Body & Soul from NYC.
Some background: Deep has been going on for about 9 or 10 yrs now in and around Hollywood. It has been at the Vanguard on Hollywood Blvd. for the last two years. Its resident DJ, founder, guru, rock star, is Marques Wyatt. He has kept Deep alive on Sunday nights by surrounding himself with great peeps and hosting house-landia's premiere DJs.
Body & Soul was a long running party in NYC that lasted about 10yrs and ended about 7 years ago.Today it tours around the world. Its DJs are Francois Kervorkian, Danny Krivit and Joe Joaquin Clausell. These three are all successful veteran DJs and producers who have spent most of their lives traveling the world because of their skills as DJs and their music.
I got there about 10:45 and the party was in full effect. Everyone associated with house music was there. One guy put his foot in his mouth when he said he felt like he was at the Winter Music Conference in Miami, because of the all the DJs and music heads. He was quickly reminded that we have parties like this in LA every weekend, not just during conference. Anyway. It was magical.

The music, the programming, the dancers, the energy, the trust in the DJs, the love of the dancefloor, all were hitting their ideal levels and kept over 400 people clapping and cheeringt until 4:15 pm when 'Lovely Day," the last song, ended. Most peeps I talked to today said they will go on record saying that this was the best event they have been to in a long time.

Next week at Deep, Louie Vega of Masters At Work and Elements of Life will DJ and celebrate his birthday. He makes sure he celebrates his b-day every year in LA at Deep, he knows.

Thanks Marques, Big Cee, Slick Dada, Augie, and everyone involved for keeping house music's home going strong.

Thanks LA for another supa dupa weekend.
I hope everyone has supa dupa dope times.

"Not everyone understands house music, it's a spiritual thing, a body thing, a soul thing." - Eddie Amador, House Music

*Thanks Yaneth for the heads up!


So Thankfull...

For the spirits around me
-that stay up to hear my whines
-help me fix things beyond my knowing
-offer assistance they often need
-tell me stories that make me feel better
-give me hope
-who get me out of trouble
-show that it can always get darker
-for supporting me despite not communicating for months
-that trust my actions, even if they know I will be hurt
-who are there to help me get back up
-distract me long enough to gain perspective
-that save me from myself
-give me words to use
-laugh at my jokes
-show me places I haven't been to
-are willing to go down with me
-fight along side of me
-who know we will always be
-can put up with my changes and still want to hang out
-deal with my contradictions
-have patience beyond mine
-remind to pray
-who teach me
-who are saints today
-who were devils like me
-who are still devils like me, occasionally
-can read my mind
-understand we are connected
-don't forget my favorites
-offer safety
-all the free passes
-for the free drinks
-get me to the front of the line
-give me music and beauty
-give me space to blow up
-help me put the pieces back together
-trade recipes with me
-know when I am growing and let me
-remind me who I am when I forget
-share moments of intimacy
-share moments of selfishness
-feed me when I can't feed myself
-offer warmth when I am cold
-play my games
-help me stretch
-work with me to be better
-ride with me through unknown paths
-meet me in dreams
-drive out of their way
-push me to be more
-forgive me
-excuse my excess
-believe I will have success
-call just to hear me
-remember me, when I forgot them
-are examples of what I can one day be
Thank you, you know who you are.


another Monday, but not so overloaded

The Mac is still sick, but getting worked on. I am very lucky to have such generous, wonderful friends that help me out. Thus haven't been able to write thoughtfully, unthoughtfully, or at all, so this will be a rant of what I've been doing as if you care, but if you do thanks!

Simpsons 400th Episode!!! I grew up on the Simpsons, addicted, thank you. Can't wait for the movie this July 27th, Q's b-day btw.

Season finales!!! Tonight: "Heroes" and "24", Wed. "LOST." Last Thurs. "Ugly Betty," so far so soapy.

"28 Weeks Later" was so much fun. If you haven't seen the first one "28 Days Later" you won't be confused watching the latest.

Joke Time!!!:
What did the Devil say when he heard that Jerry Fallwell had died?
(Jerry Fallwell, amoung his many other racist, hateful proclamations as the leader of the Moral Majority, which is the Christian Fundamentalist equivalent of the Taliban, said this after 9/11 "This attack is due to all the gays, feminists, abortionists and ACLU types.")
The Devil said: "Hey guys I got a great idea. Bring me my Jesus costume."

Bike Time:

YESTERDAY, Sunday: Rode my bike from Burbank to my house all along the LA River. Very dope, so nice. Did it in 2 hours at a crusing speed with stops along to the way to check out the murals, freeway and river.

Saturday I rode from BH to downtown, I know it is not far, but it was beautiful. The streets were empty, it was sundown, I got this pic from the bridge connecting the YMCA to the Bonevanture Hotel.

Last Friday I rode with a Pasadena based bike group that focuses on teaching beginners on the basics of riding in traffic. It was different (a lot shorter ride) and smaller than the groups I have rode with in the past. They had food and drinks which was very cool. Riding through Colorado and Fair Oaks was nothing like riding through any major street in Hollywood. In Hollywood people get excited and come out into the street to applaud you and cheer upon seeing a group of bikes show that we don't NEED cars. In Pasadena people looked annoyed? Or was it guilty that don't get it?



Monday mental overload...

Starting from Tony V's press conference about the May Day marches:
A) so dope to look at the TV screen and see all brown faces in suits, with some power, talking about making the LAPD pay and the only white guy there was the chief of police. It was Tony V., Fabian Nunez, Kevin De Leon, and Huizar? Hey sounds like a MAP party to me.
B) Gloria Molina is classic!
C) When Tony V. went over his whole speech in Spanish immediately after his english version, dope.
D) The talk was tough but no one said anything, ofcourse, if this was a plot by agitators. ? Too tough a question?

Later that night at First Fridays at the Natural History Museum, the band I AM ROBOT was jacketed as being Zapatista from a DJ who should know. Looking at this band, it is hard to imagine them in the jungles of Chiapas rocking out the EZLN. I know I am being superficial. They did have 'presence.'

Saturday :(
De la Hoya lost.
Is liking De la Hoya a lipmus test on Chicanidad? I know Chicanos who love him like the Dodgers or Raiders, win or lose. Then there are others who hate him for ... being De la Hoya.
It was a technical and strategy filled fight, which makes for a boring fight to watch. No one got whipped physically. Simply put two great fighters showed boxing can be an art.

My Mac is sick : (
I hope I can heal it. I need it these last two weeks of the semester. I need it period. This is heavy.


A Minority Report or, I can't believe I am seeing it this way...

I went to both May Day marches.

I was at the shut down of the MacArthur park rally and have a very different view on what happend.

I arrived just as the march was reaching 7th street. I rode my bike toward the head of the march and continued to ride to the end of the marchers, who were just east of Olympic and Vermont. It seemed to be bigger than the morning march on City Hall.

I rode back to MacArthur Park to meet up with friends. I parked my bike on the side with the lake in it and stood on the cement wall looking across the street to where the rally was taking place. I was approximately in the center of the park. The park is split in half by Wishire Blvd. This was approximately 4:30ish. Everything looked great from my 360 degree view of the park.

The march was flowing into the park at the Alvarado and Wishire entrance and was filling up the rally area. I could see that people were laying down, relaxing, or walking around and eating from all the food vendors. I could also look over to other side of the park which is 7th and Alvardo in the Southeast corner. I could see that the last of the marchers had passed the corner of 7th and Alvardo; because there were only police standing in that area now. I then saw about 15 people run towards the area between the 99cent Store and the Metro Station. I also saw police on bicycles roll into the same area coming from the opposite end.

I rode my bike over to see what was happening. The Danzantes were coming down the grass toward where I was now in front of the boathouse. I asked one of them what had happend. He replied "The cops want to clear the street and move people into the rally area. We are leaving. We are done." He didn't say this with any anger or resentment, simply the streets need to be cleared.

I could see his point. If the march was bigger and we needed to keep the streets closed to accomodate the numbers of people, fine keep the streets closed. BUT the number of people there would have easily and comfortably fit in the area where the rally was actually happening. SO ofcourse Alvarado, 7th, Wilshire and 6th streets need to be open, if possible. It is rush hour and these are major streets. It was possible to keep the marchers moving along the route, into the park and into the rally. Ofcourse it didn' turn out that way.

There was no sign of an organized security/peace keepers/harmony keepers/ whatever you want to call them - instructing people lingering in the street, to keep moving to the rally area.

I rode up to Alvarado where I could see people just standing in the street hanging out. They weren't marching. Just hanging out. I saw some people with lime green flourecent hats on telling people to move. Some did. I saw some friends and asked them to follow me back the rally. They did. I looked back and saw others telling the masses to move to the rally area.

Back at the rally area it was all good. I had my hot dog, an esquita (corn in a bowl), and an orange. Heard some cool music on the wack, sub par for the course sound system. The most interesting thing I saw was this large group of people following this guy with a microphone and a portable speaker. He would get the crowd riled up, chanting and cheering with his raps and play with words in Spanish. I saw him move people from the west side of Wilshire Blvd., where the police were keeping Wilshire at Park Place closed, all the way back to the east side of Wilshire and brought people into the rally area.
see the speaker just below the 4th window from rightThe US Titanic

There were moments when I would see groups of people run towards the same area by the Metro Station. I guess people wanted to keep hanging out, instead of coming into the rally. This was another example of the disunity this march of the multiple starting points and times. People couldn't decide if they were part of this May Day march that ended with a rally in the park or if they were going to take a stand and make a piece of asphalt as the line in the 'great revolution.'

This I understand.
The police want to open the streets to traffic, this is obvious.
-It is not a 'tactic,' 'conspiracy,' or 'training exercise.'
It is called rush hour on Alvarado.
The people here for the march can all fit in the park.
Here are some people that don't want to let the street to open. They want to scream and shout at the front line of the police as if any of those trained drones are even hearing them.

Yelling at the police is lame.
They are a military structured body that moves and acts in rehearsed responses at the command of their leader on the field.
They cannot do anything, in a situation such as this, unless they are told to.
Yelling at a cop, trying to reason with him/her, trying to engage their intellect, guilt, humanity is pointless.
They are following orders that trigger trained, rehearsed responses.

Who do you think you are?
Superman? SuperXicano? Whodini? A hypnotist?
Are you that one guy that is going to yell the
one phrase
that will snap that cop out of his blind faith and make him stop following orders?
Dang you must be really bad ass or completely full of yourself.

We have seen it time and again.
We have seen this over and over.
Clinically speaking, to keep repeating the same action, expecting a different outcome is a sign of dis-ease.

You don't listen to the cops, but you think they will listen to you.
You don't get the hell away from them, but you think you can stand there and they will let YOU go, not HIT or SHOOT YOU. You must be really bad ass or completely full of yourself.

At 6:15 I began hearing the pops of the rubber bullet guns going off, the sirens of more police cars coming from EVERY angle, and I heard the helicopter announce to clear the area. When I heard this it was time to go. I made my way to the west side of the park, over to the northside and rode due east down 6th toward Alvarado. People were scrambling, the stage had been cleared.

The people on the street who made up maybe 10% of the people there for the march had not gotten off the street at the request of the organizers, friends and obviously not the police. SO like always if we can't police ourselves who is going to do it and they are aren't going to be nice or polite about it? The cops.

WE have seen and done this time and again.

The police did overreact by hitting and dissprecting the media. That is the only issue here. The pseudo revolutionaries got wacked for not getting out of the way after being given an hour and half to get off the street and get into the rally area. But the media in any case should not have been touched. Also just because you got a camera that you use to post pics on Myspace, a blog and Youtube does not make you part of the media.

This abuse of the media is the big issue that needs to be addressed all the way up to the White House because what the LAPD did is the same as what our troops have been doing to reporters in our war zones. Reporters are being killed and treated with no consideration. This has to stop. This needs to be made into thee issue. Ofcourse the media itself will only look at LAPD and scratch their chin and say they did over-react. The LAPD will say they gave notice to move. End of story. The connection of how law enforcement and the military are treating reporters needs to be brought to light. The whines of people who didn't move when it was clear that they should, could and had a place to go and continue hanging out are the distraction with their calls to fire Bratton will just divert from the issue of the end of media access and protection to do their job.

SO there I said it.

Sorry if I am not in line with the activists on this, but we had no reason to be on the streets. We had a rally area with plenty of room and great food.


The marches shrank because of these reasons:

A) Lack of Spanish media endorsement

B) Fear of ICE in the wake of the recent raids

C) No immediate need for action, there is no specific bill in Congress to fight

D) Disorganization and disunity of the organizers and marches. Multiple starting points and times? por favor.


The Minutemen, not Anarchists, kept pushing the police to act.


basic common sense

Cops are not our friends at marches.
When you see them coming armed and ready you leave, unless you want to get beat.

When at home and you hear pops of guns, cars screeching, how many of us run to the window to see?
When in the streets and you see one gang about to face off with another gang do you stick around holding your kid or do you get the hell out of there?

So when at a march with the LAPD (gang #1) surroundig the place, helicopters making announcements, sirens coming from every direction why would you stick around?

Yes it is our land, I want to walk another day on it, not be buried under it for fighting a pointless unprepared fight.


Space the final frontier...

The California Science Center had the exhibit 'The Science of Star Wars.'
Sorry, today was the last day.
I think I've mentioned my love for Sci-fi in other posts. I'm not a big big fan, no full on costumes in my closet. I have just one TNG Federation shirt and a pair of Vulcan ears.

Sadly I didn't understand Star Trek until I was in community college. As a young adult at LACC seeing and speaking with Africans from Africa, multilingual Europeans, Asians from countries I had never heard of, and people of the Middle East (none of whom thought the same on any issue) I felt like everyday at school I was going where few Chicanos had boldly gone before. I would record Star Trek repeats on Ch. 13 at 11pm for as long as they aired them, and I finally could follow along the issues of race, peace, tolerance, hope, honor, determination, sacrifice, the prime directive, warp drive, light years, and how green alien women can be hot. Star Trek, even though the Raza characters were few and far between, was filled with a promise that we could all get along and could one day live without money, greed, need or racism, at least on Earth.

A few years ago there were a few docs on Star Trek fandom and how most of the peeps are super intelligent and have kick ass science jobs or creative jobs or are the nicest peeps and they credit Star Trek for giving them the dream. It made me proud to be a Trekkie and a sci-fi fan. I could never laugh at anyone for their following the concepts of Star Trek or of the Jedi, like I would never laugh at someone following Shaolin kung fu. Both are seeking to reach into the human and bring out the exceptional, the best within.

I hope my Q gets the sci-fi bug. I have her watch the videos and films from the Sci fi cannon with me and we talk about how the future might look with flying cars, transporters, space travel, new beings and how we need to be open and ready for this always. So today we went to see the connects between what Lucas dreamt of in the mid 1970's and how we have been trying to match it with hard science. We still have a long way to go on the science end, but what was still awesome was seeing young and old living in the openess of possibility and remembering old friends and heroes. Many had a sparkle in their eyes as they viewed a costume, a prop, a model of a spaceship, or a robot. I got choked up watching a 6ft tall goth boy with spiked purple hair stand between a Jedi, and a Stormtrooper for a pic. His cold, pale demeanor dissolved as he stood there nervously chuckling and he became that kid with big dreams of acceptance of difference who probably got picked on until he got to be 6ft tall. I overheard an Asian family looking at the interrogator droid from Episode IV. The young son said "I don't remember this." His mom quickly replied, "When they had Princess Lea captive, before Han Solo and Luke rescued her." The boy jumped slighty "I remember!" His mom was very cool at that moment for him and me.

Granted scientifically we probably do have all the nasty things that kill ready. We still need to work on the good stuff. But what Star Wars and Star Trek have done to many of us is more valuable than any gadget, it is the hope of a better future filled with infinite diversity, in infinite combinations, it is the love to explore further outward (while honoring the prime directive) and inward to find the Jedi in all of us.
May The Force Be With You!!!!
Live Long and Prosper.


Mexican American Princes

On the cover of last week's L.A. Weekly was Daniel Hernandez's feature story about Mexican American Princes.

I was perplexed about whether this was a tongue in cheek/satirical piece or not. Hernandez includes a 'who's who' in MAP land titled 'All Over The M.A.P.' A list that includes too many big & not so big name politicos (some whom we should be ashamed of), two pretty boy actors who haven't had a hit in years, two sportsmen, one reality show wannabe champ, one true champ, and an OC based writer.

One thing that irked me about the MAPs listed was that they all were the basic archtypes of a capitalist society. Working for some fame, power and bling, playing the game. Not really rocking the boat so much as rolling with the punches. I don't want to knock anyone's dream to accumulate and have material goods. I recognize many just want to lay low and get theirs, fine.

What I do want to offer is other examples of MAPs who aren't just seeking temporal gains, but are also speaking to our consciousness, identity, beauty, heart, soul, mind, intelligence, and wit. Men who aren't afraid to bring up the tough questions, our contradictions, our ancient past and that help us dream about nuestro futuro. Men who despite the brightness of the spotlight don't shrink in fear of saying the wrong thing, even if it is. I'm just saying there is more to life than politics, real estate and the 4th estate. Also, we shouldn't replace one gap toothed sombrero wearing stereotype with a new shinier stereotype of 'cold hispanic ambition.'

So here are my inductees for MAP-dom or as we call them here in Pachucoville, Bad Ass MuthaFunkas:

George Lopez. Who uses the term Chicano on national TV every week? Can sell out the Universal Amp like only him and Chente can? Talks about loving golf because he gets to hit something white with a club? and tells it like it is -like no other brother can? G. Lo cabrones.

Marcos Aguilar. Co-Director of Academia Semillas del Pueblo. He saved his school! Well he and the staff, parents, students, community, and anyone with a clue about what our Raza filled schools need. ASDP is now sueing KABC and one of their talk show pendejos for creating an unsafe learning environment at ASDP when he targeted them and called them future terrorists. Aguilar is a danzante who danced the whole march route from Olvera Street to LAUSD on Beaudry and 3rd. How many principals would dare (or could or would be allowed) to take off his shirt and dance bare chested for 2 miles? 'nuf said.

Lalo Alcaraz. Come on. Who are we kidding? This is thee OG muthafunka: LA CUCARACHA cabron! Can you say POCHO HOUR OF POWER? What about POCHO MAGAZINE? If not? I won't even ask you about CHICANO SECRET SERVICE.

Zack De La Rocha. Sunday at Coachella on 4/29 is going to have more brown and proud people than that festival has ever seen. His free concert last year in support of the South Central Farm helped launch media coverage of that battle which subsequently inspired many toward working in community gardens for health and sustainability. His support of the EZLN in the mid 1990s helped forge in a new strand into Chicanismo. And his band's music and videos are bad ass.

Culture Clash! Where would we be without Culture Clash? I mean the MAP article kicked off with a bad ass quote from Richard Montoya's award winning show "Water & Power" then left them out of the list! Here in Pachucoville C.C. gets props for everything they have done siempre! Teatro, carpa, stage, TV, video, Big Top Loco! (I 'member homes) and all the chingon plays, books and verbage.
We will forever know that yes, we are "confused and full of rage."

You know here in Pachucoville we gotta have some DJs a.k.a our digital shamen:

Raul Campos is the only on air Latino left at KCRW. His Monday - Friday 10-midnight show "Nocturna" has been fullfilling night time musical cravings for nearly 7 years. The show has won serveral distinctions from artists groups, magazines and the music industry for helping to break new music and artists. He also can be found in dark underground clubs spinning the latest.

David Delano can be heard practically every night of the week spinning in a club from Hollywood to City of Industry, Long Beach to Glendale. He draws a young hip Latino crowd that shake their best and finest to his beats and that is just his night job. During the day he helps his family business as Vice President of La Gloria tortillas. Now you don't get any more Prince than that ese.

Overall I appreciate the effort to frame a Chicano male experience. We need to do it. We need new images and icons of Raza men. We need to show more of our diversity in thought and actions, jobs and dreams. If we don't start doing it, who will?


(P-3000, Sandra De La Loza, Gronk, Marisela Norte & Dr. Ramon Garcia. Photo by Alejandro Rodriguez)

What a great week we have and what a great way to kick off the week than running into Gronk and Marisela Norte in the hallway at CSUN.

We have several artists working in our department: Harry Gamboa Jr., Yereina Cervantes, Maria Elena Fernandez, Sandra de la Loza, Dr. Toni Orozco Garcia, Fermin Herrera, his son Xocoyoltzin (sp?), and Veto Ruiz to name a few.

Tonight: Maria Elena performs her "Confessions of Cha Cha Feminist" at 7:30
Thurs: Sesshue Foster is coming to talk about his bad ass book "Atomic Aztek" at 4:20


What a week...(embargoed)

The hip hop summit.
The Virginia Tech massacre.

Both rooted in reaction to and born of racism, and classism in a society that incorrectly values purity and monoculture.

Hip hop use to be about the voice of the poor, ghetto residents and how they make do, have a good time, dream of self determination; the nation couldn't hold them back.

Today hip hop reflects a rich white man's existance who drive Bentley's, have pool parties with prostitutes, use all kinds of illegal drugs, are not afraid of resorting to violence and act like they are above the law. Hip hop is now rich white people's music and Black is slowly becoming the new white.

A smart (smart enough to get into Virginia Tech) student, with some obvious anger management issues, saw through the rhetoric of this country and took out his frustration on rich white, privledged people. I am sorry for their families loss.

Now imagine if we had 32 people get shot, killed, blown up or tortured every day for 5 years. How traumatized would we be then? How many convocations would we have?

In Iraq every day this happens.

Iraqi land and oil, become rich white guys land and oil.
People are shot and killed by a military led by mental illness.


Saturday w/ Q

I was up puttering around the house, heating canela tea, wondering what to make for breakfast. My Q was still asleep when her greatgrandma called to invite us over for hashbrowns, eggs and bacon.

After a great meal, showers and a few rounds on the PS2 we headed out with no particular destination.

Filled up the tank and thought for moment that we should be taking public transit, but we did have to end up in Burbank to drop of PT sometime.

Heading west on Sunset, south on Glendale, west again on Beverly, I was thinking the Beverly Center for some people watching. Q was telling me about her Spring Break camping trip with grandparents and cousins. I told her about the latest break up. She mentioned that she was getting hungry, she barely touched her hashbrowns, so when we hit Fairfax it was over to Damianos for a slice of peperoni pizza.

Across the street I saw an old face of an all too brief minor celeb in the house music scene. He was now panhandling out front of Canter's. He was homeless back when he recorded his seminal track. The track got him into all the clubs and made him friends with all the DJs and promoters who were in the know. He seemed happy to be always happy in those days. He would always tell me about the DJs we had on PT and how he liked the deep stuff over the trance. Sightings of him in the clubs diminished, but his visits to record stores to talk to peeps, who talked to me let me know he was still out and about looking for another producer to capture his voice. He is a very nice guy. We went over to talk to him and see how he was doing. He was glad that later that night we would have some deep house on the show for him to groove to. We gave him some money to eat with and continued our journey.

Over at the Beverly Center it seemed like Christmas time with all the traffic and chaos. Seems NOBODY walks into the Beverly Center. My Q mentioned how weird the architecture of the BC is. 'It goes all over the place, and no place at all. Parking this way and that, but boring at the same time." Getting on the elevator was an exercise in squeezing in, but once inside the place was fine. "Where did everybody go?" We went to the new HnM and thought that the clothes looked nice, but cheaply made. I'll take my chances at Marshalls. Walked in to Godvia to get my Q her Easter chocolate, since I didn't see her the week before. I get her one great chocolate versus a ton of cheap chocolate. She wanted a chocolate covered strawberry, fine. The associate on duty offered us a Godiva scratcher to see if we would win anything. We did! 'A free chocolate.' She looked a little dissapointed, but then got nice with us, after I said "You didn't think we would win." She then gave us another one. 'Buy one get one free.'

We sat in the ultra modern seats and couches they have throughout the mall and ate our goodies: one chocolate covered strawberry for Q and one dark chocolate bar with dark ganache inside for me. The people walking around the BC were so United Nations. Africans from Ethipoia and Senegal, whose accents I learned so well back at LACC. Asians, Europeans, and Latinos, from every country, and of course a smidgen of tourists all getting along in the sacred confines of the Church of American capitalism: the mall. Passing the Ferrari store Q asked "Why would they have a Ferrari store where they don't even sell Ferraris?" I said some people need just a label to feel better about themselves. We then decided to leave.

Getting out of the BC was worse than getting in. I'm sure this was by design. We stood and watched as three elevators filled with people opend their doors and forbade anyone getting in, even the super fine 6ft tall model with legs for miles. I decided we need to go up to get down. We hopped on the next one going up, then rode back down. When the doors opened on our starting floor, I looked out to see the super model girl laughing at her predicament. She had been waiting there before we got there. She saw me laughing at her, and then she ran off looking embarassed and upset at the same time. Sometimes you gotta go up to get down.

North on La Cienega to Santa Monica I pointed out Norms, Barney's Beanery and then Gardens of Taxco, all places I've taken Q but she might not remember. North on Crescent Hts. to Sunset, La Brea to Hollywood, to Highland, the energy level was on high in this heart of LA as street performers, tourists, bachelorette parties crawling out of oversized Hummer limos, mixed with Latino workers, cops, kids in pocket rockets, and residents, like us, who drove/strolled through and soaked it up.

Through the Cahuenga pass we made plans for the Hollywood Bowl and John Anson Ford. Hitting Barham we enter another region of LA, where the traffic thinned out, the people thicken slighty (compared to the BC), and things slow down: Burbank.

Back home to Boyle Hts. for homemade burritos and watching George Lopez and LOST on tape from the last two weeks, we settled in for the night.

Sometimes we stay in all day in our pajamas. Other days we go to events where history, art and culture collide. A museum here, an aquarium there, a movie, a hike, trip to the mall. All of them are a little sweeter with my Q.


Music Theory #1

Controversial Theory Number 1.

The era of hierarchy is closing and Rave culture helps to prove it.

This theory began as a discussion about live music and DJs. It also began with looking at a dollar bill and hearing “Sacred Circle” by Aztlan Underground many, many times.

The pyramid on the dollar represents our society. Up until now we have functioned under a hierarchal paradigm where there are a few leaders at the top and the masses on the
bottom. Our religions/politics/homes are shaped this way: Christ, Buddah, Muhammed, kings, presidents, heads of household. One/few at the top, the rest follow.

This is ending.

Collectives, boards, committees are now becoming the more common way to make things happen. The EZLN emphasizes that Marcos in not the leader, only the spokesman. Bush does not lead so much as follow the orders of his cabal of corporate donors. Corporations have taken out much of the power of CEOs and placed it in Executive boards. And DJs have made going out for a night a participatory event, not a spectator event.

People who want to go and see a band perform want to be entertained, like at home, quite passively. Watch the skills, see the faces of the voices and musicians you heard on the way to the venue. Maybe a fist in the air, a sway, a whistle, an applause of course. But that is all you really HAVE to do.

I was at a band show and saw people doing three things: holding their partner, swaying to one or two songs, or hands in pockets or at the side waiting for the cue to applaud. Even if the music was danceable, people were too concerned with what the singer might do rather than to just feel the music and dance. It is not like the singer was going to do a head-stand or light anything on fire. They were just singing.

The time between songs seemed to me to last forever. I thirsted for a beat, a rhythm, a melody to wrap myself in. I don’t want to hear you love me from some singer I don’t know or care about. I want to hear some frickin music! Shut up and play already!

People who have been exposed to the good and healthy version of Rave culture know that they are a part of creating the vibe for the party as much as the entertainment/DJ. You dress up to dance, maybe to look hot, to sweat, to move, to mingle, to meet new people and to basically feed the DJ back as much as he or she is feeding you. Sure there are some rooms where a lot of people are staring at the DJ, but overall, people are there to dance their butts offs. To participate.

Rave took the emphasis of going to be entertained and made everyone a part of the party. “In this illegal party, we might all get busted. We are in this together.” Rave is not about celebrating the DJs/entertainment, so much as celebrating life, freedom and expression. Not many people are comfortable in their own bodies to be able to close their eyes in a sea of people and dance like no one is watching.

Some people, get it, some people don’t.

This new era of participation, of engagement, is the new era that some call the 6th Sun, or the Age of Aquarius. Either way it is about raising one’s consciousness / knowledge to be able to then contribute to the whole. OR it is raising your self-esteem and endurance to dance the night away. It has to start somewhere, somehow.

The paradigm has shifted, is shifting, we all need to step it up. Have something to bring to the table. Have something to contribute to the party. BRING IT. Be in it, not just watching.

The end of the pyramid is happening. The re-entering of the Sacred Circle is calling. What are you bringing to the circle? Start by supporting your local DJs. Bring back the ideals of P.L.U.R: Peace, Love, Unity & Respect. Dance like no one is watching. Be in dancing shape at the least America! Join an idea. Critical Mass bike rides are a great alternative.

Critical Mass is an idea. No leaders. No set routes. Just meet on the day and ride in a group, let the mass lead.

Learn to be in community with others for something. We don’t have to know EVERYTHING about the person next to us, just that right now, at this moment we are in PLUR. Is this getting too hippy for you? It is for me. Blast away.


Emotional Reflux

The other day I learned how/why my parents got married. It was not good. Equal parts: grand ma’s misunderstanding, brother’s exaggeration and a whole mess of complacency on both the future ma and pa.

I never have seen them hug and kiss. Nor look at each other with desire or pride. Never heard one compliment the other. Never seen a random act of kind love. Never have seen a couple in love.

Except on TV and films and there is so much drama there, you know.

“I wanted to run away. If there was some family to go to, I would have. I didn’t love him, I just liked him. I kind of felt sad for him. Always talking about his hometown and how he missed it.”

Drama, but no love.

I admire resiliency, strength, conviction, faith, endurance, consistency, dependability, responsibility, loyalty, self-sacrifice, and positivity.

I’ve seen that.

I’ve also seen: fear, jealousy, greed, selfishness, non-communication, aggression, passive aggression, resignment, insecurity, absence, stagnation, complacency, loss of hope, pettiness, and stubbornness.

So it is, por vida.

Friends have said we can change or act in the opposite of what we have seen or learned. But what do we do with the teachers? Do we continue to witness and absorb? Do we alter the relationship? How much?

Over many fights, disconnects, re-connects and drama, I now recognize some of my bad habits and have not acted when they come around and want me to scratch the itch. That is different. How long and how many mistakes must I make before I recognize all my bad habits and begin to not do them any more? I often feel like Heathcliff who thought he did everything he could, everything he should, but time, place, and old scars get in the way. Will I be like Heathcliff waiting on the moors since hindsight is usually 20/20.

One friend just told me to “Stop and do not get involved with anyone, anymore, ever again.”

That would be different.




SENT BOX: Is it 'happy Friday?' Or Good Friday, or both?

INBOX: Well it is good Friday until noon. Now that jesus has died it is happy martini friday : )

Endings & Beginnings & endings & beginnings

Everything that has a beginning, has an end.
Everything that has a beginning has an end?
Everything that ends starts a new.
Everything that ends starts a new?

Old axiom(s) that never ceases to confuse. To give hope. To sting a little.

Nothing has a beginning nor an end.
Nothing has a beginning nor an end?

What if Janis Joplin was right and it is just the same old shit?
Unless we are able to relinquish our will there is a little relief in that.

Ending is liberating, relief, growth, breath, clear (hopefully), painfull, shocking, awakening, scary, uncomfortable, etc...
Beginning is too, so are they the same thing?

Open to possibility
Is this an illusion? Is it all laid out for us already? Is there any choices? Or is there only left, right and back each with pre-determined paths? Even the choice of direction may be hardwired into us so it only seems like a choice but we seem to always make the same choice, so how is that a choice?


(It is Good Friday, lots of Catholics are fasting, attending mass, and feeling guilty over Jesus' persecution by the Jewish/Roman government. I remember when I was much younger, still faithful to the church and feeling so guilty over havng sex with my girlfriend on Good Friday, right after we got home from church. Lately, I often fast on Fridays for meditative, health and cleansing reasons. Today I feel like going in the opposite direction and indulging in everything. Is this a new direction or simply responding to an old cycle that emerges in me every so often? Am I just rebelling still against a church I left so many years ago? Or am I 'in tune' with my needs? Let's go have some carne!)




Spring break update

P-3000 y La Red-y
Thursday: Rode to Olvera to roll with Semillas, caught Teatro Campechana, headed out a lil after 1pm, lots of support, green t-shirts of hope everywhere. Great rally, took over the street, rode back to BH about 3:30 to meet ma'. Eat at overpriced Pasadena eatery, end up watching equally pretty but vancant film, good talk time with ma'. Home to relax and put aloe vera on. Got word on charter approval later that night. A-ho!

Friday: got Q, ate bad, came hm., chilled out, got out to Critical Mass, rode west, south, west again, north, east, rest at Pan Pacific Pk, down to Hollywood Blvd., and flew down Western from Franklin, loved it.

Vega, Mendoza, Orozco y Gamboa

Saturday: Gamboa's shoot is great time. Old friends and new. All have some form of degree from a university, 25 Chicana/os, dressed in black, on Lake, gathering at Borders, over to Trader Joes, load up a cart, eat on the terrance, walk to Winchell's looking like am unplanned procession, sit at tables as Gamboa directs us. DOPE.
Aterciopelados was Arteciopelados. A skilled live act. A later blog on music and me will explain my ambiguity. Great time overall.
La Virgen de Guadalupe, Pachuco 3000 y Cyber-Fabi

Q climbing high
Sunday: Picinic with the Noodle Family at Griffith park: delicious food, cards, soccer, catch, people watching, magic, clowns, hiking, monkey in the middle, saw a party with a full on copper pot making chicharones. Love the Noodles. No DEEP. Sleep. The Sun can burn me out.

Johnny Blaze & P-3000
Monday: CSUN, $, bank, get Johnnies Blaze & Vegas in Montebello, over to El Rodeo in Pico for the buffett, tacos de ojo like only in the Eastside, looking like a painting came to life, unreal. Munch down on the Birria! Back to BH to drop and pick some stuff, to Elysian park for a lil hike, back through Antigua to get some cafe, in Montebello Boom Boom Studios in time for 15min into the first half of the finals. I mix a mix solo, then 2x2 with J Blaze.

Tuesday: Home here writing to space & to you. Later today need to visit Bob's on Whittier and cut down the virtual stack of essays awaiting.