Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2010

Kiss My Mistletoe

I went with my husband to see Josefina's Lopez's latest play Kiss My Mistletoe at CASA 0101. It was as hilarious as it was outrageous. Kiss My Mistletoe pokes fun of issues women face during the holidays. The show was broken up into 12 skits that ranged in themes from nosy family members inquiring about why they aren't married yet, TSA pat downs, to food cravings during the holidays. The scenes were as bold and daring as Josefina herself. I was gasping "Oh my God!" and laughing to a point of tears when Josefina was getting patted down in a skit.


What I loved the most about this experience was the interaction between the audience (made up of mostly women) and the actors on stage. We were shocked and laughing so hard, the actors reacted to our loud roars. It made them chuckle and have to pause before they could continue with their lines. That moment, sitting there in the audience, reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, Cinema Paradiso.


In Cinema Para…

My Sacred Circle: A Writer's House

My sister and I met our Sacred Circle (writing group) at one of the writer's house in November. It was everything I imagined a writer's house to look like. I opened the gate of the white picket fence and entered  through a white trellis with colorful flowers dangling from the top. Large trees gave the front entry shade, while the colorful flowers and the water fountain added a retreat like feel to the house. Inside artwork hung all around the walls, cultural artwork that made evocative, unapologetic, sexual, sensual statements. And then there were the books, all over the office and throughout the house. I thought I had books. Not! There were more books than I think I'd ever have the time to read. After we shared appetizers, we sat around a large table and a few of them, but not me, shared their work. It was a completely different feel than being at a bookstore patio with the cold wind, a metal seats and table, and noisy nosey passer-bys. Here it was fitting that we were s…

Writing A Monologue

I'm working a monologue I've been piecing together that came out of an idea from Josefina's Writing Workshop. I have a very rough draft of 6 pages I need to mold into 3. I wrote paragraph by paragraph taking breaks in between. Writing a personal memoir or monologue is a lot more taxing than writing a review or feature piece. They say writing is a solitary job but so far I have come across many writers in my classes, online blog and writing communities, my sister, and my Sacred Writing Circle that it feel fills me, and I feel like I'm not alone but rather on a pilgrimage with them.

Song: Brandon Heath, "I'm Not Who I Was"

storysalon.com

I thought I'd share with you a site I heard about throughkpfk.org:Story Salon. Story Salon is a group of storytellers who get together every Wednesday at the Coffee Fix coffee house in Studio City to share their stories in an open mic experience. Thanks to the wonder of the Internet, you can listen to archived Podcasts through their website www.storysalon.com and at Story Salon YouTube Channel.

In their own words:  "STORY SALON began in a North Hollywood coffee house in 1996. The rules of the show are simple: Five to seven minutes of original material performed by the writer. This open policy, embracing a sort of ’free-range’ writing, results in one of the most eclectic hours of performance available."
Some of the events have a common theme. In the Fall Classic, the storytellers gathered to share their autumn tales. The stories have replaced my routine of listening to music while I’m getting dressed in the mornings. Listening to them is like sipping warm hot chocolate on a …

Go Your Own Way - Women Travel the World Solo

I'm devouring the book,Go Your Own Way. It’s a collection of travel essays by a very diverse group of women who travel abroad solo. The stories are as unique as the women and the places themselves. Julianne Balmain in Wolf Pleasures purposefully travels unaccompanied in New York City to follow her own whims in search of a perfect breakfast, while Holly Morris chases wild boars through the jungles of Borneo in Snake Eyes of Borneo.
Traveling abroad alone can be a dream or nightmare. Stephanie Elizondo Griest is reluctantly alone in Abandoned in Uzbekistan when her travel companion takes off and she has to wait for her visa to clear. But Alexia Brue breathes a sigh of relief when her clingy travel buddy decides to join their college friends on the Eurail in French Laundry.
Even though we are by ourselves, we are never really alone thanks to the kindness or insistence of strangers. In Resisting Florence, Lucy McCauley declines an invitation from a kind stranger to go and take a look …

Remembering Alaska

In August my family and I took an unforgettable cruise to Alaska. I took from that vacation several ideas for travel articles and have since written about my adventures in articles such as How to Avoid Overspending While on a Cruise.

One of the most memorable things we did was zipline in Skagway, Alaska. I wrote a travel article about it on AC, Ziplining in Skagway, Alaska. I had been wanting to zipline with my husband and sons for some time and I'm glad we finally got a chance to do it.  
The guides were young men from Oregon who took the Alaskan Marine Highway System to spend an adventuresome summer in Alaska. One guide called Smiley seemed to have a smile that emanated from his bones. He looked so blissed out, it was hard to image he'd ever had a parking ticket, or gone through any sort of trauma, or disappointment in life. I expected to find that sort of happiness from a Buddhist Monk not some 18 year old. I made a mental note to encourage my boys to spend the summer in Alas…

Detained In The Desert

I went to see Josefina Lopez’s world premier play, “Detained In The Desert”. Josefina, known for her popular Real Women Have Curves, was vacationing in Arizona when SB 1070 was passed. She was unable to go to protest rallies held that night because of prior family commitments but Josefina had it in her heart to do something.  In the five years between 2003 and 2007, there was a 40 percent increase in crimes against Latinos. It’s no wonder considering the proliferation of “hate talk” that spews off the radio, TV, and internet and aims at infuriating the masses. In a climate saturated with negative propaganda, fear mongering, and increasing violence, what one would consider a random act of violence is in reality not so random after all. When we create a society that is so pitted against one another, our chance encounters become unavoidable collisions between unsuspecting individuals caught within the biome of the conflicted society in which we live. It’s like walking into a room with se…

Casa 0101 Writers' Workshop

I've been attending a Josefina Lopez's writing workshops on Tuesdays in Los Angeles with my sister. It is an unforgetable learning experience. Josefina opens herself up and shares her professional experiences with us so that we can learn and move ahead in our own writing ventures. She clearly wants us to succeed. The classes are three hours long but I'm immersed the whole time so it feels like only twenty minutes. Each class is only $10. The best part is how much real world experience we learn from her. We leave the workshop with a long drive home but excited and contemplating the possibilities. With Josefina it feels like anything is possible if you pursue it. I get home late, wrap my arms around my sleeping husband and fall asleep completely blissed out.

http://www.casa0101.org/

Eat, Pray, Love

I finally finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was a breathtakingly beautiful book. It reminded me of my own spiritual journey which I have been in for the last couple of years. Spiritual living is not a destination but a way of living. I recommend the book. I hope you are far along enough on your own spiritual journey to capture the depths of this book. I've heard the book gets mixed reviews. Some people just don't get it. Like Eckhart Tolle’s New Earth, you most likely have to have some higher-level of consciousness to grasp the message of the book, and it takes a while to get through the book because you want to stop and reflect. Elizabeth Gilbert takes you on a soul-searching journey with intimate details you would share only with a bestfriend.

My Sacred Circle

In the middle of school, soccer games, church, family parties... life, my sister and I still made the time to regroup with the women we met at the Memoir Writing Workshop a month ago. Although I liked them immediately and we said we'd meet again to start our own writing group, I wasn't sure if we would actually ever see them again because it wasn't the first time we had said we'd form a writing group, and then lose all communication with the group. And, this one was the furthest away. So when we got the email about the upcoming meet up, we were ecstatic and knew we had to go.

My sister and I once again set out on a 45+ minute commute to pursue our writing passions. Although I had seen my sister at a family party the week before, when we see each other to drive to a writing workshop it's very different. We catch up on what we are reading or writing, we talk about what our latest hopes and plans are. We'll give each other tips on things we've come across. And…

On Winning and Losing

Winning Our First Game of The Season We finally won our first game of the season in the 30 and over coed soccer league. I wouldn’t say that our victory was sweet because at the end of the game our team looked defeated. It was a frustrating win. We struggled against the team that was ranked the lowest in the league, and they even had fewer players out there than we did for the first half of the game. At one point, they were ahead by two goals. I thought for sure we lose yet another game. But then, one of the midfielders managed to score two consecutive goals; moments later, someone else on our team scored another. We won in the last few minutes of the game. Whereas I felt the team should be celebrating, they were mostly sitting quietly taking off their soccer shoes, exhausted by the heat, and frustrated by how long it took to turn the game around. That game was won by my teammates. As for myself, I still felt like I was drowning out there. If you have ever come close to drowning in a poo…

Went to Memoir-Writing Workshop

I went to a memoir-writing workshop recently. I don't want to be the girl who cries at the slightest thing but, in this case, I was. They asked the question: who told you, you can't write? We had to state our writing demons, and then write out the dialog between this inner critique and our retaliation to their remarks. Ultimately, it is only ourselves that can hold us back from our own dreams. But sometimes we've internalized the voices of others tell us that we can't.  I'd done this exercise before privately, in my own bed, in my own room, and in my own journal but never out loud. When we were done, we had to go around the table and read the dialog. I was picked the first to go. Before I could even let out a word, my throat choked up, my face turn red, and my eyes began to water. I read and cried. We all cried. I thought I had left all that hurt hidden away on paper somewhere, and there it was strangling me. I can't begin to describe that whole situation with …

Feeling My Pulse

I have found that blogging is a good way for me to feel my own pulse. I read through my past posts, and it puts me at a time and place in my life. There are so many moments I find blog-worthy. Ironically, I find it hardest to write about things I enjoyed the most. I wanted to write a great review to a play that I saw, or a trip that I took, but I was paralyzed on how to begin. I remember the advice from writing books I’ve read tell me to begin, and I do. I’m currently sitting on a collection of drafts that I’m waiting for a wave of inspiration to roll through me so I can finish them off one evening with a glass of red wine.
Actually, it’s more like I’m waiting for this fatigue to finish wearing off so that when I do write, it can be pretty and clever, instead of tired and spent like I’ve been feeling. I was having one of those weeks were if I was a smoker in remission, I would have picked up a cigarette and had a long drawn out puff that would have shattered my months or even years of…

Soccer Season

My husband and I signed up for a local, 30 and over, co-ed soccer league that plays on Sunday evenings. We started our own team of soccer misfits, which consisted of soccer newbies, coach potatoes, and former recreational soccer stars. Most of the team had never met until literally minutes before our first game, and some of our key players weren’t able to make it. On the way to the game, my husband warned me that this new league would be harder than the scrimmages I’d played. I couldn’t see how. I was pretty confident in my ability to defend, and I thought, maybe he's just never really seen me play. The Kung Fu Panda in me wants to win the Championships this season, so I was very hopeful.

We ended up losing 0 to 12+. We played against one of the better teams that have been playing for 2 years. Individually, they weren't that fast, but they knew how to play as a team. They kicked the ball long and high, and took shots from afar, which made it feel more like a volleyball game. …

Lessons From A Sunday Morning Run

I started running with my boys on Sunday mornings at a forestry wilderness park. My husband has been running for years, and I was starting to join him more regularly, so we decided to take the boys out with us to see how they would do. I was hoping they wouldn't slow me down too much to get a good run in. To my surprise, Tony, my seven-year old youngest son, was a lot faster than I imagined. He's got a natural running stride that is light and quick. He ran along side me the whole way, practically running underneath my armpit. Every now and then I get reminded about just how much they have grown up. This was one of them. Running with my sons was a proud moment for me. We passed up bicyclist and hikers who were impressed they could venture out on this rugged six-mile trail at such a young age. I was most content because I knew what an awesome experience this was for all of us to be able to get up on a Sunday morning and run as a family. 

The run was a lot tougher for me though. I…

Museum of Sex

On our trip to NYC back in May, my husband and I stopped by the Museum of Sex. We obviously had an interesting time then and afterwards, when we went back to our hotel room. It's definitely not a must do if you are visiting NYC, but if your hotel is a few blocks and you have the downtime--this is something to do.
The first floor exhibit, Action ’Sex And The Moving Image’, had a written narration that chronicled how sex and sexual images have impacted our visual mediums-TV, advertising, the big screen, and the Internet. Along each placard, there was a large or small screen that displayed a video referenced in the narration. In all honesty, my husband read through all the history, I had a hard time concentrating because of the images. I tried reading, but I was just too distracted to make sense of the words. So, I pretended to read just like I did when I was 4. I didn't want to look like the pervert that only looks at the pictures. There was a large flat screen laid out horizont…

Vacation Closure New York City

I didn't finish the post and have since lost a lot of the detailed memories of the trip. But hey at least I see a sketch of what I remember.

I meant to blog a lot earlier about my wonderful trip to NYC but I couldn't find the words. There were so many different elements to my trip. Finally, I had to break it up into sections.

Love, Loss, and What I Wore
Love, Loss, and What I Wore is an Off Broadway Show I saw in NYC at the Westside Theatre.on May of 2010. A great show takes you on a wonderful journey, an unforgettable one takes you on a journey and brings your own truths again and again.

http://www.lovelossonstage.com/

Empire States Building


Double Decker Bus

Central Park

Brooklyn


Sex N City Tour / Sex N City Movie


Wrote First Short Story About My Life

I wrote the first of a series of short stories about my life this morning. I did it freestyle by hand lying on my bed, while the kids were asleep, and my husband was out running. In this relaxed state, I can hear the words flow out of me and I capture them on paper. The next round is to type it up and edit it. And then share it with others to undergo a series of revisions, revisions, revisions.

I'll decide what to do with them once I have them all or mostly completed. I'm leaning towards self publishing to a book which I could design myself, or posting them on my blog if I get desperate. I'm writing my life in different chapters the way I see it, or saw it at the time, and my reconciliation of the events that happened. I've been haunted by these stories for years if not most of my adult life. It's like they want to be written  and they show up all the time clouding my head while I'm cooking, driving, breathing. So far, I've written these stories mostly in m…

Ted.com -- Ideas Worth Sharing

I like listen to Ted.com (Ideas Worth Spreading)  presentations while doing laundry. It has inspiring presentations on just about any subject. It's a great way to learn something new everyday. This talk by Ken Robinson stresses the importance of creativity.

I like to have unscheduled time during the weekends because I get to see my boys come up with all sorts of interesting ways to have fun and entertain themselves. They know already that when they tell me they are bored my usual response will be "Oh good! You're so lucky! That means we haven't over-scheduled ourselves. Now you get to decide what you want to do with your time." And, if they keep moping around the house, I tell them I could find ways to keep them busy by giving them some work to do. So I have seen them jump on boogie boards and slide down the stairs, I've seen spontaneous out burst of battles with swords, and all sorts of running around the house in costumes or not, jars of ants, praying manti…

Peeling Back The Layers

Sometimes when we hurt it leaves layers of scars much like an onion. When we decide to forgive and really feel it in our hearts, it's as refreshing as a new haircut. Then one day, we come across a part of the scar that is still there. We wonder why it's still there-then we realize this time we have to forgive ourselves for being so stupid or naive. In really deep scars, there's the incident itself. The layer of being angry about why things have to happen in the first place and a longing for a justification of some sort. That layer too must go, if we are to heal.

I do a visualization technique which helps me peel back the layers. I just find that sometimes when I get too busy for an extended period of time, things start to build up-the annoyances, disappointments, and frustrations. When I'm relaxed and centered, I can let things go pretty easily. But, when I've been running on near empty for too long, depleting my own natural resourcefulness, I need to refuel. I …

The Versatile Blogger Award

I received my first blog award from fellow blogger and new friend, Catherine Winn of The Writing Room. It comes with the following five rules.


1. Thank those who loved me enough to bestow this gift. --Done
2. Share seven things about myself. --See below 
3. Bestow this honour onto 15 newly discovered or followed bloggers – in no particular order – who are fantastic in some way. --I'll do 5
4. Drop by and let my fifteen new friends know I love them.
5. Any rule may be modified by any recipient for any reason. --I reduced it to 5


2. Seven things about myself:
* I'm the middle child (well of 6)
* My favorite mixed alcoholic drink is Midori Sour (It's a green lemony/sour drink)
* I work part time to spend more time with my kids
* Favorite wine is Lambrusco (sweet well-priced red wine)
* I have a phobia of fire 
* Favorite fruit: Watermelon (It's always good, refreshing and I don't get tired of it)
* Would I rather be a photographer or model? That's easy... photographer of cours…

Back2TheGrind

It's been a month exactly since I last posted. Ideally, I would be updating my blog weekly with the progress I've been making. I'm just about finished with a pressing project that was suddenly do at work. Nothing like a little work stress to derail me of my best intentions. With the added stress and web programming at work, the last thing I wanted was to come home and be on the computer again. So, I took my kids to the park in the evenings, came back from a trip to NYC, watched outstanding world soccer games, went to a Wild Womyn Writers Workshop, and an Open Mic Night at Back2TheGrind in downtown Riverside. 
Monday Night Open Mic @ Back2TheGrind It was my first time reading some of my poetry in front of such a large group. There must have been at least 50 people. We filled the basement of the coffee house. I'd been wanting to go for weeks just to check it out, but things kept coming up. Finally, I dragged a close friend along and we drove past our city limits leaving ou…

Soccer Mom

We just ended our fourth season of soccer for our boys. This time it ended in victory with our three boys winning the Championship games in their age divisions. Did I mention my husband was the headcoach for two of the teams, and assisted for the other? We've spent the last few months running in and out of the house as early as 7am on Saturdays to enjoy a full day of three soccer games. Our three boys have natural sweeper defense instincts. They hang in the back and then boot the ball back to the other side of the field when the opposing offenders try to score. They play for a small new community league where we know the other boys in the league because they've played in our son's team seasons ago. We can't help to feel happy for some of those boys who score against our team. We know their story and what it means to them. For the Championship games I made cupcakes to celebrate. Homemade cupcakes and there were no warnings from a National Headquarter office warning us…
I came out to the balcony to write. I felt like being a little creative and working on a project. Outside I can feel the breeze and hear the waterfall and birds chirping. The wind rustles the tall palm tree branches and they make a nice soothing symphony.

I've debated what to do with these small pockets of time I come across. They come more often now. I'm not working on a book or movie. I blog, I read, I post slideshows of my pictures. I have time for small projects like that. I like writing feature pieces on places or events that inspire me as a way of sharing with the world something I found and would recommend.

I'm kind of working on moving towards that next step of actually being published in a magazine or as part of a collection of poems or short stories. [There I said it.] I'm just putting it out there in the universe. I thought I would have had to ramble another paragraph or so before I finally came out to say it. You hear all these wonderful stories of things ju…