Sedona, AZ., Airport Mesa Vortex

I had heard how hippie and new agey Sedona, Arizona is. I never thought of going until the last year or so. Various people told me of vortexes, vibrating on rocks, new insights into their lives and just how beautiful it is. I had a trip penciled in for this summer, but no solid plans to go. Within two weeks several people had posted on my news feeds pictures and stories of Sedona. I had to go. Now.

I flew to Phoenix, got a rental, and drove to an Air BnB condo within in 4 days of deciding to go. Something was just pulling me, yelling at me to GO.

Upon arriving at Phoenix and getting my car, I wanted to stop in at Carolina's, a spot we ate at on one of our trips to Arizona with Rudy Acu~a and CSUN students. We had two trips to have our students collaborate with AZ students over battles with Mexican American Studies. Carolina's was closed on this Sunday. So I ended up at a Yelp top rated spot called La Santisima Gourmet Tacos. It was very good. I got the Sure~o burrito, cuz well, I am from So. Cal.

My drive to Sedona was uneventful. Desert and more desert, but it did make me consider driving next time. The desert gets you in the mood for the desert. Listening to the radio on scan, I settled on a trippy little station out of Prescott that was playing a mix of classic instrumentals and some standards. It was like muzak, regular songs and music I felt like I had heard as a kid that my mom played for me. After hitting one rise in the road the first sign of the red rocks emerged. It was breathtaking. Amid all the blanched land and foliage, this massive red rock shot up and across, saying welcome.

Got to my condo, which sits next to the Oak Creek Golf Course, and took a nap. Got up to go catch the sunset at Airport Mesa. Airport Mesa is a vortex and is a very weird place to have a small airport. I parked up, near the overview, and started my hike down to the "vortex." Parking at the lower parking, nearest the vortex, was full.

Like I said, I had heard about these vortexes amplifying emotions or your state of mind. I had heard one friend had cried and cried at one vortex. Her mother had passed and she went to Sedona for peace and release and the vortex helped. Another friend felt they were vibrating on a rock and felt their intuition had reached a new level of acuity. This Aiport Mesa vortex is written up as helping to balance or strengthen the masculine energies.  I was open to whatever it would offer me or not.

I felt good. Maybe it was the higher elevation; maybe the clean air; maybe the adrenaline of being on my first trip all alone; maybe the beauty of the landscape all around me; maybe the energy of the vortex.

After sunset, I went and had some Chinese food and watched the westside of Sedona shut down by 9pm. I walked around since I was so hyper. Found a market and got supplies to take back to the condo.
Back at the condo I researched yoga classes, tours, hiking trails and made a plan for the next day(s).


The Riff Raff Ride to San Marino July 5th

I have written about my bike riding in this blog.

I ride alone and with various groups.

One group The Eastside Bike Club based out of El Sereno and headed by Carlos Morales is organizing a ride to San Marino because apparently San Marino thinks its neighbors are sketchy or riff raff.

The story broke in the Pasadena Star News. San Marino residents were kind of upset about proposed bike lanes running through their barrio. They figured it would give more access to undesirables. This pissed off my homie Carlos Morales and so he organized the Riff Raff Ride. “I just found it kind of racist. I found it discriminatory that here we’re in the 21st century and people still think this way,” said Morales, 54. “Our bike rides … it crosses all ethnic barriers as well as financial barriers. We have people who are maybe homeless or students, and we have people who are professionals — they are entrepreneurs.”

San Marino, apparently trying to stay off the radar, had also began pulling back on their Farmer's Market because that also attracted outsiders that can't afford to live there. 

Dennis Romero at the L.A. Weekly posted this today. Good summary of the pedo.

I'm tripping on it all. I want to ride, but this Mercury Retrograde also has me thinking about that other bike ride that was coming from that god forsaken side of the river over to my beloved Boyle Heights.

Of course that bike ride was put together by parasitic real estate developers that want to come, show and take our homes so they can still make it to game night at Wolf and Crane, without the ludicrous downtown rents.

The Riff Raff Ride is to show San Marino "We have people who are maybe homeless or students, and we have people who are professionals — they are entrepreneurs." and this I don't get.

I want to ride to San Marino to tell them:
"You can't hide muthafrakers!!
You can't make 3rd Borders!!!
I can ride and kick it wherever the frack I want!!!"

I don't want to ride to say:
"Hey I'm just like you, I just don't have your amount of money, but I would like to.
Let me show how nice we are and how you should let us kick it with you fine folk."
NO. I really hope this is NOT the intention of this ride.

It is time we stopped trying to prove worthiness or acceptability and address xenophobia, racism, classism and white supremacy. Stop talking about how good enough WE are and start talking about how scared, stupid and fucked up the TYPE OF THINKING that assumes you can buy your way away from other humans you think are less than you.

Chris Rock says it best in this interview:

I will be at this ride Saturday July 5th at 8am. Check here for more details.  I hope to see you there.

Los Five de La Loma

Another family death whine.

La Loma 6/18/2014

The week leading up to Mother's Day I got a call from my cousin Lucy telling me that my uncle Kiko had passed away. He was the last of my uncles on my mom's side. My mom's only sister, my aunt Leli passed in October of 2013.

In the Estrada sibling tradition, starting with my mom, none had wanted any services. I wrote about my uncle Mike in this blog. His kids, never got a hold of me. Don't know if they had any services or not. When Leli passed in October, I didn't know about it until December or January. We are not a close family.

Lucy told me they wanted the military funeral for Kiko and that it would be in Riverside. "You know I don't drive that far, no way!" Lucy is at least 65 and refuses to drive "far." I asked her to text the number to Kiko's daughter who had contacted her, my cousin To~ia. Lucy don't text. Eventually, To~ia and I connected.

To~ia is a year older than me. Her, me and my uncle Mike's son Francis, make up the three youngest of the grand kids of my grandma Concepcion Estrada Contreras. Haven't spoke to Francis in over 25 years. Tonia in about 5-7years ?

To~ia told me my uncle Kiko passed well, surrounded by all his kids and grand kids. The services were yesterday June 4th. Turns out a lot of veterans are dying and they are doing 4-5 services a day at Arlington in Riverside. My uncle's Korean veteran generation is leaving.

My mom, tios and tia are now together with my grandma and grandpa in the next plane.

Kiko was the oldest and Leli was the youngest.
My mom, the second oldest, passed on first, then Mike.
My grandma, their mom, passed in '09.
Their Dad passed when they were kids.

My grandma never re-married, never took off her ring. They were asked to leave La Loma to make room for the projects that were never made, another victim of the red scare that thought public housing was Socialist and bad for America.

They found a large Victorian two story, with a large attic, just south of the 10 fwy off Main St. The southern edge of LA's heart, where I grew up. 

I went to the house I grew up in about three months ago. I got the last of my mom's ashes that my father and aunt had been holding onto. I put all the ashes together, and on Mother's Day, now knowing that Kiko had passed on too, I took those last ashes to be spread over the site of their beloved house on La Loma. I was hoping to see all of them there.

This is a photo of a photo that was in an album at my uncle Kiko's post funeral reception at his home, where I spent many days of my life at. It was good to connect with my cousins To~ia, Diane, Anita and Frank. We will see each other soon.

my young grandma
Grandma and Grandpa

family tree

mom, miguel, kiko, grandma