LA summer

The Doors are LA.
Considered psychedelic, jazz, rock and blues, their lyrics and music have stood the test of time.
Last weekend while walking in Venice beach, I remembered the Doors and how Manzarek and Morrison met on that very beach. Morrison read "Moonlight Drive" and the rest is history. Morrison's poetry fits so nice in LA summer days...

"Beat It" - Mariachi Style



Mad World

Hearing this takes the edge off the heat. I hope it does the same for you.


mini movie reviews: District 9 & Inglorious Basterds

D9 shows the epitome of neo-colonialism and its different shades and possibilities. True racism, humans v non human, shows how bad humans can be to other races. Stylistically follows the "Cloverfield" verite flavor that many don't like, get or feel sick after watching. It works here for immediacy and tension.

IB is QTs play with languages and counter narratives. QT stages several high tension scenes with the usual brilliant camera work scanning great actors at play. It does just feel like it is all a game to all which only adds to our collective numbing in the face of violence. Beautiful, rich and satisfying. Like the strudel they eat in one scene, we need to wait for the cream, and QT delivers

Go see them my friend


game above (inside) my head

anoche me visito

no le llame

no la esperaba

no contaba

trono en mis oidos

la senti en mis huesos

veil of distance

static of emotions

polarities shifting

bodies and minds not inline

she never entered the house

the message didn't come through

en sue˜o estaba escondida

de tras de tanta accion

siempre viendo de cerca

ni un attempto de hablar

hay nueva vida alla

separar es duro

tanto good

so mal

lo good

was de otro nivel


Rick James - Ghetto Life

Rick James (February 1, 1948 – August 6, 2004)
It wouldn't be ass funky if Rick James had been here.


Summer pics in between the rest

Cal Tech Turtles

EOP picture day

Q bday

Art Walk LA

good party

Good people




She was born on a kitchen table there
she cried and laughed for the first time there
was hurt and comforted
bled and healed
walked and ran
jumped and skipped
fought and loved
She lived her first 14 years there

She told many stories of living in La Loma
many visits with her and without her
but never to the exact spot
where her house once sat

Today we took her remains up the road
along the ridge
through some bends
and onto where the house once sat

I poured out some for my father
I poured some for my aunt
Then my daughter and I walked down
Where the house once sat
We saw some old stairs under brush
The earth was soft and giving

We began shaking ashes out onto the ground
in circle over where the living room was
the kitchen
the bedrooms, we think

The grass was dry
The only life was this single flower facing West
towards where the sun sets
where the spirits leap off to
we knew it was there for her and us

Driving off I thought of death as hopefully being able to visit and be at anytime, any place you want. Being able to re-live, seeing what you did. I could think of no other joy for my mother than for her to be able to run in that Loma barefoot and free as she once was and will always be.

To all our relations...


It has been a week and four days since my mom passed to the other side.

I went to a sweat lodge the following day. It was perfect. Powerful. Healing. Clarifying. There were others there to say good bye to theirs who had also left that week. One man lost his 30 hour old child and days later his mother. The sweat leader said what we needed to say better than we could. We got to say our words too, but somehow we knew more was at work in there. Best of all I really felt my mother showed up, saw us, thanked us, heard me thank her, was met by our ancestors and they took her to the new lands. She left in good hands with good guides. Her perfume came into the lodge at one point. I will never forget that moment.

I have seen and felt how blessed I am to have the people I have in my life. Good people just showed up at my door, some waited for me to come home just to see how I was doing, share a drink, toast to all our dead and offer gifts. Other good people called and I heard in their voices true concern and corazon. They will forever be in my heart.

I must admit I never knew how to deal with the death of my friend's loved ones. I had never lost anyone in my family that was very close. I didn't know what to say, how they felt, or what to do. I'm sorry today for not knowing and not being able to reach out to some of my friends who lost someone. I didn't know what to do or say to them. Now I know, I think. I just hope I can be as good a friend as I have seen some of mine be to me.

I had to take some days off from work. Still haven't caught up in grading. Some of my students shared their experiences with loss and it really helped a lot. This group is very special.

Never do business with Groman Funeral home on Washington Blvd. on the corner of Norwood in Downtown LA. They suck. Long messy story. We just got my mother's ashes yesterday. A week and three days after they took her body.

Today we are going up to where my mom grew up to spread her ashes. It's a small hike into shrubs and bushes. If you are reading this burn some sage or copal for us. I don't want to take any fire up there, too dangerous.


8/2/09 Thanks Mom, Goodbye

When I was a kid I would have dreams where I would come home and my parents were gone and new people lived in my house. I would be told that my parents had moved and forgot to tell me. Other times I would be told my mom had died and my dad was on one of his yearly trips to Mexico to take care of lands he holds there. I would wake up crying. A heaviness on my chest scared me because it would be sitting there making breathing n swallowing hard. I would get up and look for my mom.

Yesterday she barely spoke. The last thing I heard from her was telling my daughter "I love you too." We knew it would happen any day, but she had surprised us for so long. It would have been a week without eating on Monday. For an 80 yr old full of cancer that is impressive.

This morning I felt a shock in the middle of my chest. Seconds later my father called and said it was getting real bad. He hadn't slept all night, she was throwing up most of the night. She was losing her voice and sight. I jumped up and jumped in the shower. It's like a reflex to shower in the morning. Half asleep, sick, hungover, tired, I just end up in my shower. It heals me and readies me.

When I got out of the shower my father called and said she had left us. I went to tell Q who was still asleep. 13 yr olds need at least 12hrs of sleep and she really takes advantage of that when she stays with me ever since I told that little bit of science. I was dressed n ready to go. She decided to stay at my place, her great grandma and uncle live next door, she would be fine.

I have made the drive from the Eastside to my parents house thousands of times in every possible state of mind and sometimes out of my mind. It's very easy, the far right lane on that 5 to the 10 west takes me straight off the freeway at Los Angeles street. Two lights, left onto Main, to 28th and I'm home. This time the tears were like none before. I remembered those dreams of my childhood. This time I knew my mom wouldn't be there but my dad would and we would be starting a new way of life. He as a widower me as a son without a living mom. Is there a term for people like me?

I burned the sage I had rubbed on her the day before. The smoke filled the room and rose up as her soul did just minutes earlier. I imagined my grandma, her mom, was here to help her in the end. The smoke followed them up, or over, or on to wherever they are now, which is definitely better than here where they had both had rough final days.

We called hospice care, a funeral home and my cousin Lucy who had cared for mom like she was her mom. She is like my distant sister. My father called the comadre and people started arriving. I texted work and friends who had helped me. Told work I needed at least a day. Haven't taken any calls.

Everyone is gone now. They picked up her body. My dad is finally getting some sleep. He says he maybe got an hour in last night. I gotta wake him in two hours. He doesn't want to sleep more, he wants to sleep at night. Lucy is here, we are listening to the Platters that my mom would play for me when I was a kid.

The comadre wants to host a rosario at her house. Mom didn't want anything. No one to see her, no funeral, no services. Others have said services are for the living. I see that, but at the same time why pray for someone you know was good and went to a good place? I can see if the dead were jerks and needed people to pray/put in a good word to get them to a good place.

I'm writing to process. I tell my students if u can't say it, u can't write it. For me if I can't write it, I can't handle it. I've been told all week to stay strong. Can I be weak now?

Of course there is some relief in knowing my mom is no longer hating life. Good memories hurt to remember. Pictures bring those memories. The music playing reminds me of dancing with her. I couldn't dance with her no more in the end.

My dad's first words to me when I got here were "Ahora estamos solitos." He has ten brothers n sisters. I have none.
This is my life. I'm grateful for it. For the parents I had/have. Gracias por la vida y las vidas que crusan la mia. Ojala que tenemos mucho mas a~os. Healthy n happy.

Tomorrow my father and I will go to a sweat ceremony together for the first time. New life.


Of all the people you meet throughout your life, on the various paths you have walked, the good times n bad, passing strangers in the night, the long term pals, the short terms flings, those you call only on holidays, those u see only in the dark hot dancefloor, friends you rely on for gossip, comfort and laughs, people who knew u n remeber u only how they last saw u, work friends, people u used and those who used you, text friends, online friends, never seen them in person friends, one cup of coffee shared, people u know u can call anytime n they will be there, but u never call.
Who will u like to see on your last days?
Who can see u as skin and bones? In a diaper, unable to sit up alone. Can't speak more than a few words. Can't stay awake longer than 15 min at a time. Who would u let see u like this?