Tuesday, November 30, 2010

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 Alaska when they become young adults.

There were many Unforgettable Moments at Sea Aboard the Alaskan Sapphire Princess. One of them was when my boys and fellow passengers played with the wind at the front of the ship. Another was swimming on the pool as the ship sailed. The ships motion made swimming in the pool feel like I was in the ocean.

I followed my curiosity into Dolly's House, the home of Ketchikan's most famous Madam and came out with more questions than when I went in.

When I go through the process of jotting down notes, writing a rough draft, and making corrections, I re-live the experience and enjoy it for a second time. And then whenever I get new comments from readers, I get to enjoy it again and again knowing that my adventures and stories live on.

Friday, November 19, 2010

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 several automatic baseball pitchers going off and getting hit. How is that random? Out of both a need and desire to make things different, Josefina wrote and co-produced “Detained In The Desert”. .

"Detained In The Desert" is a timely thought provoking play that follows the lives of two people at opposite ends of the SB 1070 law. Sandi (Elizabeth Frances) is a brown skin American citizen who defiantly refuses to show her identification when questioned by an Arizona Police Officer, Ken Beavers (Mark Burham) after he discovered her making out in a car pulled over to  the side of the road somewhere near the border. The irony is that she is with her Canadian blond haired boyfriend who doesn’t have a Visa and is never questioned. The other was Lou Becker (Carey Fox) , a radio disc jockey for KRZT 1070 in Arizona who was spreading hate talk through his well known radio talk show. Their lives collide after a series of seemingly coincidental incidents.

The theatre, Casa 0101, is small, dark, and intimate. It has a personal feel to it you don't get from a large auditorium. The casting and the actors are unforgettable, and the play settings are simple yet effective. You don't want to miss “Detained In The Desert” last weekend performance.

Detained In The Desert
October 1 - November, 21 2010
Fridays @ Saturday @ 8pm,
Sundays @ 5pm

Casa 0101 Theater

2009 East First Street
Los Angeles, CA 90033
(323) 263 7684

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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.