This time...

This time I don't have to plan when to get over there

This time I don't have to go at all

Last time I made them come here, she barely made it, and hardly ate

Last time was the last time

This time nothing will be cooked by our hands

This time not planning anything

Dad and I will eat, less one

Dad and I will do something new

The next three months will be hard

Holiday, holiday, bday, bday

She won't call, hug, or say 'Que dios te bendiga'

This time I will miss my mom


Aztlan Underground:Sacred Circle Remix 2009

One of my all time favorite AUG tracks.
I consider it The Prayer of Los Xicanos
Perfect to reflect on this Thankstaking week

November pics n tales

After the DoD festivities and winding down a lil bit there was work and play to be had.

One last DoD event was the Tropico de Nopal annual fashion show. These two were my favorite not just because I know them but both had subtle political and personal statements within the intricacy of the fashion.

The following week was the monthly LA Art Walk. These were found at Crewest.

The opening of the Eastside Gold Line extension was reason for a good block party around Mariachi Plaza.

This past weekend I hit San Francisco with a fun crew of peeps. We got to Chinatown, Plump DJs @ Mighty, Ferry Building, Blue Bottle Coffee, Saulsalito, Jeno @ Mars Bar, The End Up, Lime, Lembic (sp?) in Haight, and back on planes, trains, and automobiles.

On Monday I went in to get my last wisdom teeth pulled. It was nasty. Dr. had to break one of them because it was weird.


Dia de los Muertos by Wendy Carillo

Chingona Chicana Wendy captures the beauty and poetry of DoD.

Mil Gracias


LA Day of Dead weekend...

I haven't done a weekend recap in a while and since I'm in a quiet but sharing mood here you go:

Thursday I went to my homie Rueben Mendoza's Contemporary Chicano Issues class at ELAC to participate in a discussion on Blogotitlan with Cindylu and Random Hero. The students were very cool and I think they like the idea of blogging and how we as Raza are making a mark in cyberlandia. We went to eat at Ordonez after and then I went home to do some quick emails.

Later I hit the streets to check out Brooklyn n Boyle's new installation about dead soldiers. I don't agree with celebrating dead soldiers. I know its to heal the families of those who went off to kill in the name of the USofA but I can't shake the feeling that it is glorifying war and supporting our killing machine. I let Abel know this when I got there. We get along that way. After this we all rolled over to Eastside Love.

It was $5 at the door and I was ready to turn around and walk to the bar next door for a drink, cause I ain't paying $5 for bar. To my surprise the generous Rueben Mendoza paid the entry fee for 5 of us. Gracias! Once inside the El Conjunto Los Pochos was hitting the stage. It perplexed me even more to hear these guys after a $5 cover charge because on any given morning or afternoon, heck even in the evening in Boyle Heights, if you are in a decent restaurant there is usually a strolling conjunto that plays the same songs that these guys on stage were doing, and in most cases with less off key notes. I asked one of my homies what was the difference between these guys and the conjuntos I've heard at Chispa de Oro and he quickly replied, "These guys are Pochos its harder for them to hit the notes and sing in Spanish, I guess." LOL

I bailed out of there at 12:25am in order to get home to watch "Star Trek: The Next Generation." It's on at 12:30 am on Ch. 5 in case any fellow Trekies didn't know.

Friday: I got up and did some laundry, ran some errands and then met V.V in Burbank to get on our way for a night in Valley. We met up with some homies at Claim Jumper for drinks. Yeah I know but we're in the Valley what else is there? Acapulco? El Torito? Flavor and funk is in short supply out there. Anyway, its about the company not about having a watering hole with style and good drinks. We had a good time and then we left to rendevous at Pierce College for the Corn Maze. I try do this every year, it's the little hillbilly in me I suppose. We had a blast running around scarrying each other and getting lost.

After this we went back to CSUN for MEChA's Day of the Dead party which is always great. This year was no exception. Lots of people, great bands including Very Be Careful and Quinto Sol, teatro from Las Ramonas and tasty food. One side trip on campus we did was to try and 'hear' the ghost of the Asian House. Apparently it is afraid of or doesn't like Mexicans because it didn't come out while we were there, but as soon as we left Mamma M called and said it made all kinds of noise. I wouldn't come into a room if I knew Mexicans were sitting in the dark waiting for me.

Later I got a ride back with Soul Rebel Miguel because he wanted to go on a taco hunt in NoHo. I had my doubts. After driving around and watching all the trucks shut down and drive down Vineland at 1:00 am we ended up at a stand somewhere on Vineland. It was ok. Nothing memorable.

Saturday: Very simple, Lili and I picked up the Noodles and hit Monster Massive, then Deeper Moods where Noodie Suli was spinning at 2 am. It was Noodie Lana's b-day earlier in the week so we were celebrating! HAPPY BIRTHDAY LANITA! All love to my girl. MM was crazy, thanks to Reza for getting me tix ahead of time we were able to get in with little drama. It was super packed and even though we hung out in VIP getting from one VIP to another was hellish. Sometimes the crowd would just move you in another direction. Total mob rule.

The shuttle for Deeper Moods was on Santa Fe and the space was on the Boyle Hts./Vernon border. Very cool. I had heard of this place for months, so glad I got to see it in full swing. Of course Suli rocked it. We crawled out of there at sun up.

Sunday: chill out. Good food at Hecho en Mexico, thanks to Gumby for posting it on FB. Gumby was still there when I got there and he sent over some michiladas and a bucket of beer. What a great and generous guy. Thanks homes always.

Monday: came to work and right back to Los. I made a stop at the site where we scattered my mom's ashes for a quiet moment. Got a quickie car wash, got some last minute stuff at Ozzie Dots and home to get ready for my MC gig at Self Help Graphics Day of the Dead. I had to be on site by 4 pm. I got there without my calvera makeup wearing my rented Mariachi suit. My goal was to be a vampiro mariachi this year. I got my bite marks on my neck but my calvera makeup didn't imply anything about me being vampire-ish.

Lalo Alcaraz was co-MCing with me so it was sure to be a great time.
The new location, full moon and thick spirit of Eastside DoD celebration made it all magical. The bands all impressed. The Camino de Calaca Coutoure was awesome! We had anyone who wanted to strut their calaca wear walk on stage after I read their description and dedication. The big hits were Lilifor's tribute to migrant workers that had here flossing huge angel wings made of fence and barbed wire. When I read her description at the end it said "Because we didn't cross the borders, the borders crossed us!" I used that opportunity to get the audience to cheer that and boy did they! Like five times I went "We didn't cross the borders!" and they would cheer back "The Borders crossed us!!!" louder and louder, it was beautiful.
Bunny Martha was also a hit in her ensemble called "The Death of Higher Education" the scariest of all the ensembles. People really reacted to it. Education, as all Raza knows, is the only way for us to change things for the better and one of the better ways to reach our highest potential.

By the end of the night my toes were killing me. I had to wear botines that were very pointed. I now understand what women go through for fashion's sake.

And that's how I did it this DoD weekend.

semester's horizon

One month and half to go til we break for the winter, ending the Fall semester.
Some students have left, some have fallen off and are trying to get back on, others are clueless, some are cruising through focused and determined. Pressure is building as term papers and final project deadlines are approaching fast.
With Thankstaking break being a week long break in many cases, students need to plan these final days with clarity in order to fulfill school, family and work needs.
I'm writing this in class as we do a peer review of an essay due this weekend. They are reading each others papers making notes on how to improve or what they liked about them. I've seen these students grow since this summer. Some really have blossomed and get it others are still dealing with the fog of teen needs like boyfriends and other commitments they believe right now are so important. One from this class is out taking care of their new born baby boy. She will have to do without peer reviews.
Some don't see the approaching end and will freak out on the last week wondering where did all the time they thought they had go. And so it is with life, no?


Dia de los Muertos

Today, three months ago, almost to the minute, my mom took her last breaths in this plain of reality. I have been grieving in my own way. I feel her with me, helping me make decisions and pushing me sometimes to step out of my comfort zones. Her voice in a whisper tells me its ok to just go for it.
I've been told that in the Lakota tradition the dead stick around retracing their life path, figuring out their new reality, while still being able to see this one and their loved ones. After a year of going between the worlds of the living and of the dead they move on and stay in the next world.
I guess this has stuck me and I don't feel the need to build an altar or be all DoD about my mom. She is with me still. I don't have to invite her to visit me.
Last night a friend let me watch her set up her altar in her house for her loved ones. I went home and made a small one for all those I know who are beyond our realm of senses.
In the middle of the night there were quite a few noises in my house. Bumps, creaks, steps and claps. I didn't get scared. They are welcome. All who come to help me reach my highest potential are welcome in my house. Those who lost their way and are not working with the light know they cannot enter my house. I can destroy them. I let all of them know this: be with the light, bring it, share it or go back to where you came and find it within.
I miss my mom. I have a long ride back to LA today, I take that alone time to reflect. I will remember, to never forget.
To all our relations.