31 March 2009

cat bites hurt

really long weekend. started out with critical mass on friday. then bday hula hoop party in the park. then walking around trying to find a good place to sit down and eat, then ending up at a taqueria. meeting up w/ the boo and watching him eat cause i thought he was gonna hang out with his pops.

then on sunday we went to santa cruz. we intended on going to the aquarium in monterey cause i've never been, but we started our day just way too late. so it was santa cruz, walking around on the boardwalk and the pier on a gorgeous picture perfect california day.

then i got home on monday after being out for a few days. apparently my whisper of a roommate went out of down for awhile because all i saw were rows of cat food, cat puke and a lonely kitty when i got home yesterday. oh yes, instead of TWO cats, there was just one. sigh. somehow fatty got out of the apartment. but she didn't go too far, a neighbor got a hold of her and was really nice. i believe i'll leave her some flowers and a nice note. i got distracted last night because fatty was moving away from me like she was gonna hide, and trying to coax a cat that doesn't want to get out of a space is NOT fun. so i grabbed her, and she bit me really hard. enough to make me bleed. ouch. she was going towards another kitty that our gracious neighbor was looking after and that cat was making a lot of noise. s/he sounded kind of like a person trying to sneeze. it was weird. and i guess my grabbing fatty at that moment was too much for her. she did relax after she bit me, and just let me take her away with only minimal meowing.

drah-mah. and meow meow was just skittish all night. so i plunked down on the couch even though i wanted to sleep in my bed. and the three of us chilled out and reunited. it was nice and quiet after the adventure.

oh, and on my way home i almost got hit by a motorcycle, but was totally his fault. it was far enough away that i was fine enough not to worry, but he almost fell off from trying to get around me. good! that's what he gets for trying to clip a car that was in front of me. he almost fell on fell street.

and on that note, it's just nice to be home. oh, and there was a minor earthquake yesterday. got me a lil nervous, but it wasn't so bad. but the little ones do get my nerves started though...

26 March 2009

tu y yo...

bailamos con mucho vivo...


Pilar Diaz from Lynn Currie on Vimeo.

wish i could have seen her in my hometown.

25 March 2009

this is what quiet sounds like

outside my window it's usually really loud. i live a block away from a popular bar in a well traveled neighborhood. i usually hear drunk people being loud & doing drunken things when i fall asleep.

now i'm the one that can't sleep. and it's quiet. quiet as i've ever heard the city. no sirens, no cars, no skateboards, no fucking mopeds, no dogs, no planes, no shouting, no talking, no bike bells. no crickets chirping like being homehome, but quiet as i'll get.

it's just stillness outside. rare, and beautiful.

but inside my head the cacophony of sounds, images, worries, upsetting-nesses (i like that made up word), regrets, happy-nesses, lethargy, excited energy, waiting, boredom are all twisting up and clattering around and around like a tornado swirling inside a restaurant supply store.

lately my dreams have been frighteningly vivid with a scary cast of characters. i don't want to fall asleep.

well, i just ate some of my words. outside, there's a skateboarder who can't sleep either. then someone talking loudly about a block away. a small plane overhead (?!). city life...

i just wish i could sleep right now. goodnight.

24 March 2009

there are no words

so you may have heard that there was an unfortunate tragedy in oakland this past weekend. a man pulled over for a routine traffic stop ended up killing four officers. the last one was taken off of life support today.

just as the oscar grant travesty was upsetting, so is this story.

and things are unfolding about the man who shot the officers. he may have raped at least 6 people in his neighborhood. one was 12 years old. i couldn't bring myself to read the full article. the info i did see was more than enough.

wow.

my question is...what can we learn from someone such as this person? someone who checks out of life with guns blazing, after leaving his mark with raping an underage girl? he seems to have left nothing but destruction and heartbreakingly sick stories for a community already fractured and far from healing. his legacy is so intense, there has to be a purpose...right? if not, then... well, i don't know.

it is mind boggling. it is making me sick to my stomach.

23 March 2009

what a wonderful world

ok, i lied. found two more things i wanted to share.

one is serious: even further behind the joneses... talk about cultural insensitivity....good god man. but a must read about the economic fallacy of "post racial" america.

two is seriously cute! cause you need a break from the serious:

up! trailer

speaking of national puppy day and dogs with collars to translate for them....here's the trailer i saw a few weeks ago at the beginning of watchmen...enjoy...and good night.

so...how's yr girl?

as i mentioned yesterday i was riding bikes around town with my boys, the ess bros. we rode past this one group of people, one chick and two dudes, all on bikes and all blond, saying goodbye to a friend on the sidewalk. the ess bros are also two brown people (albeit of a different part of the world), and i was like, "we just passed bizarro world!!" i guess if it was really bizarro world, it would have been two blond chicks and a dude........but i digress. and yah, it was funny.

so the above title refers to the hip hop group handsome boy modeling school. it is the title of one of their albums. their other album is entitled: white people.

and that's what i really wanted to talk about today.

there was a group of us, three girls and two guys. everyone was white but me cause i live in fucking the whitest city in america sometimes. we were telling jokes. one girl decided to tell: a mexican pregnancy test joke. the other girl i see gets uncomfortable, and my only good friend in the group who was sitting next to the "joke teller," starts to lean in to her to say, oh hey, that girl over there isn't indian from south asia although she looks like it, she's really a texican from texas. or something equally fucking similar to that.

i should mention before that my "friend" was in trial today in oakland and he is going against a very famous company whose products i'm sure have touched your precious fingers. as in if you have ever felt the need to stick two or more things together you 99% most likely used their translucent plasticky thing that is not glue. anyway, this super corporation felt the need to dispatch (seemingly unnecessarily) three attorneys from disparate parts of the nation. one of whom is african american. this trial is in oakland. my first thought was, um, maybe this dude was actually was the best person for the job. of course it was implied that he was sent out for sympathy votes and i offered the opinion that ya know, just cause we're all minorities doesn't mean we're all rooting for each other. in fact, i could definitely see it going the other way where this succesful black man from the midwest is shown up in oakland defending a corporation. i mean, come on! we're not all fucking dense as you would like to believe.

continuing on to the rest of the evening:

she still insists on telling the joke because she heard it from a mexican guy from the gay bar down the street. oh, you know what? that doesn't make it ok for me or give you cultural sensitivity cred in my book. and honestly, a mexican gay boy doesn't really get a pass either being that he most likely will not be getting anyone pregnant.

i asked her to stop, she gives her culturual sensitivity credentials, i again ask her to stop, she again says the joke isn't bad.

at this point i'm thinking, honestly? how many times do i have to ask you to stop? isn't one enough and then we all move on? now it's awkward for not only me, but for everyone else.

i suggest/insist, how about you tell it when i'm not here? and then some outside party (an acquaintance) comes over and whispers loudly in my ear, "i'm with you," as he's leaving. i say "thank you," and things get even more super awkward at that time.

we all move on. and then there are lulls in the convo. the same girl decides to tell an abusive woman's joke, because we all saw her black eye and we all know about the restraining order she filed against that asshole. um, yeah, still not winning points in my book. if anything, you are still losing them...and fast. i don't care if you teach minority kids in the public school system here. if anything that fact makes me wonder a lot of things about you...

for the record, she tried to apologize, but i was still fuming, so i merely nodded at her. if you know me, you know that's one, saying a lot because i actually acknowledged her and two, my emotions are always clearly stamped on my face. my lips were tight, i barely looked at her and had my arms crossed.

i've actually calmed down a lot from that point in the evening about an hour to two ago. i guess after IMing a friend i'm doing better. and that friend happens to agree with me, but she may be biased cause she's brown and she's my friend. and yah, i still think i'm in the right.

so, moral of this evening: cultural insensitivity rules. we are all guilty of it, but damn, can you not drag things out when they were asked multiple times to be let go?! sheeeeeeuut.

and as i was fuming (chola style) while walking home, i saw about 10 people crossing the street in various directions on a quiet street on the top of a big hill. (aka not many people go up there, especially all at one time) i was the only brown one. man, gotta love this fucking city sometimes, huh? is that ironic in a hipster way or....

so, in honor of this post, i'm gonna leave you with not something negative, but rather the cutest picture i've seen all year so far.

in college i was friends with my former best friend (clearly) and we both liked dogs. so much that we would combine an ugly image and the cutest puppy together a lot. it turned into a thing where we would try to outgross one another.

one thing we would say was: that puppy is soooo cute i just want to eat its ear off! and yes, this was one of the mild ones. apparently our desire was instinctual.



mira....que cute!!!!! happy national puppy day!

22 March 2009

b-cycle

this weekend was great. riding around with the ess bros while the boo was out of town visiting his familia. it rained a lot on saturday, i got my glasses pretty wet and was more than a little nervous riding across divisadero with the limited vision, but it was fine.

the elder ess finished his beauty of a new bike. picked up the frame, cobbled it together w/ the younger ess directing the mechanics of it all. the hard stuff was done at box dog, then the rest at the turk apartment. i hadn't been there in awhile and to see the younger's makeshift bike stand was...AWESOME. i love diy stuff, and that one was so simple and functional, and...pleasing to the eye thanks to the orange bike tape used to not scratch/steady the bikes. and according to all those damn online personality tests, i'm many things (obviously), and according to the tests, i have an eye for function and beauty. of course the latter is subjective, but one really can't go wrong with simple lines. and that's what the stand was all about. i kept staring at it while they were busy finishing building the bike.

it was also fascinating to see how quickly they put it together, what the parts were, how to take apart a bike and put it back together. whenever i had a question, they would show me what they did. it was building a fixed gear, so i don't know about all the derailleurs stuff, but seeing the rest come together was pretty great.

by the time the bike was done, there was only one thing missing. pedals. we were going to walk all our bikes to another bike store closer to their house, but less friendly than box dog. the minute we turned the corner, the wind whipped my hair and pollen flew in my mouth. there was a light rain starting to fall and the younger was basically all....hellllnaw we're not riding and this. i was joking and said, oh why not, as i tried to spit out the pollen. gross...

so we walked back, parked the bikes in the garage, then walked to the bike store. where, i might mention, they had the masi soulville i've salivated over. it was located behind a penny farthing, (i kid you not) so i couldn't really get a good look at it. we collectively salivated over the masi single speed commuter bike hanging from the ceiling. so much so we took their masi catalog and looked at that bike porn at the turk apt.

we all had a nice mellow night, hung out w/ their roommate, awesome chica, and her other awesome chiquita pequena friend. lately haven't been hanging out w/ too many awesome chicas (they have just been so-so chicas...sigh) so it's always nice to be in their company.

because it got too late, it was raining and i was practically asleep with my eyes open, i left my bike there. i went to get it this morning and then we all rode around today. the wind was still whipping, and damn, it was chilly too! but instead of our ride to the beach, we ended up going to the mission to see some murals. we also stopped at some bike stores just cause bike stores are fun, and the first mission described by the elder ess bro was still not complete. the damn top tube pad!!

went to a few bike stores stores, grabbed coffee/tea, looked at murals, saw a futbol game, then went to a greatgreatgreat bike store, pedal revolution. we were there for quite some time looking at things, new chains, wheels, tires, helmets, saddles, bells, squishy plastic animals that you could use a bell (i squeezed a blue whale. um, too cute!!). and yes. the elder got his top tube and felt good about helping "the cause." such a marked difference from the bike store that merely supplied the pedals...and some early van halen. i guess w/ that music, i can't totally fault them, but their bedside manner leaves much to be desired.

so now w/ the black IRO (a change from the red he initially ordered) armed with a bright green top tube pad, a red chain and blue plastic grips, he was ready to take his bike back to sac-town tonight. yay. mission complete and it's a great lil sweet ride. i only wish my legs were long enough to ride that beauty for myself.

when i came home today, i found this on a bike blog. i like it:


so all and all, it was a really nice and mellow weekend. thanks to the ess bros and our bikes and to the awesome chicas, good times and good laughs.

now i'm gonna meet up with the boo, we're going to cook dinner and drink some wine. what a great ending to a perfect weekend.

this calitexican is over and out with a big fat smile on her face...

21 March 2009

ay que mi cholita...

ugh. so the other day as i had spent a nice time at the anarchist bookfair and a great time with the ess bros, we had decided it was time to take a break. and at this break in the day, we decided to go home. so in doing this, we went to the middle of the crazy traffic artery of our fair city. in doing such, we actually dismounted our bikes to cross the busy street. there were three of us, intently focused on crossing legally at the moment the signal signified it was safe. so... the three of us were paying attention to the lights.

in the background i heard someone say, "can you please move your bike?" as i have lived in a city for, oh i dunno for about fucking 12 years, i've been used to people making their own fucking space if not enough room was supplied.

not following me? pleasssssssse. lemmme esplain....

little known fact about the calitexican: she was one stuck under a (white) hippie's (with dreads) armpit in a sardine-packed-subway in nyc about 12 years ago. no AC and for about 45 min. well, at least it seemed like it. from then on she realized it was a one for themselves atmosphere in her lovely city known as the n-y-c.

so, armed with this knowledge, nearly 1/2 as old as i am...i put this "can you move your bike?" nonsense in the back of my head. i dismissed her nonsensical inquisition because: 1) there were 3 of us on our bikes, 2) we were all off (aka dismounted from) our bikes, as in actually walking them across the street, 3) there was plenty of room to round the corner with another person, 4) the world does not revolve around the asker of the question.

and then when i, the lucky person not to acknowledge the bitch that asked, "can you please move your bike?" i was the lucky fucking recipient of her passive aggressiveness. she fucking bumped into the back tire of my lovely bici, both of whom she and i were just looking across the busy 4 lane street to cross. she and i were the equivalent of an owner and an obedient dog waiting to follow instructions. we had been at the bike store, at the beach and just ready to go home.

instead a passive aggressive bitch decided to fuck with my lovely BBBici (full name: beautiful blue bici).

i immediately snapped my head around to where she and her friend were and said, "just because i didn't hear doesn't mean you can bump into me and my bike BITCH!@#$!#@$@!"

if you knew the CT...i would NEVER talk to someone like that unless suuuuuuuper drunk (which as been known to happen, but not so much anymore...) or lobotomied. yeah, i'll tell ya for certain i was NEITHER, since i have two people to verify for me.

unless it's the chola.

so the chola came out, said the above, asked the boys if they heard that woman, and then kept giving her and her similarly entitled friend the "stink eye," mad doggin, el mal ojo...etc. you know what i'm talkin about...

and yes, i'll admit i "heard" her, but it didn't register she was talking to me until she so fucking rudely bumped into my bike. i apologize for the profanity, but it was really upsetting and there was no reason for it, so i guess that's how i remember the details?

so i "heard" that bitch ask someone to move their bike, but i didn't notice it cause we were all off our bikes, and MORE IMPORTANTLY, we weren't blocking any part of some big walkway.

and not to mention the fact that i thought of soon after the fact was what if i DID hear her request, but i didn't understand english? does that make it ok for her to forcibly run into a bike?

i don't think so.

and on the flip side, nor does it make it ok to bump into me because i DO understand english well enough to manipulate it into legalese and back into english.

i just assumed, poorly apparently, despite living in city dwellings for 12 years, that this bitch needed enough space so she could walk. and. um. there was plenty for you to walk, the ess bros agreeded after i said, "did y'all hear what the bitch said to me?!" and for them to tell me, "oh she's looking back at you..."

i am getting so upset thinking about it. i'll post this and edit it later if i see need fit. and yes. i hate that woman. she and her friend were entitled bitches. if i could only draw the space me and the ess bros had (3 peeps) and that bitch and her friend had...there was enough walking space for a fucking marching band to pass only for her to hit my back bike tire as if i was taking up some of her fucking precious breathing oxygen on earth.

ok, i'll stop. i should have a long time ago.

20 March 2009

17 March 2009

sabado gigante

so on saturday i helped out with the SF bike peeps and bike valet. i did this at the anarchist bookfair. let me tell you, the anarchists did not disappoint.

there was a rather rigorous shoving match between some college-ish age white maoists and anarchists. the (elderly i might add) anarchists threw out the maoists and, in the spirit of the day, set up shop on the green outside the building. they were across the sidewalk where we were. choice phrase heard during that fight: your stalinism really irritates me!!

so, we were just minding our business, talking about the fight, parking bikes, bike geeking out, drinking tea, when this hooded figure wearing an AK press hoodie walked past us with a 5 gallon bucket. didn't really think anything of it. the maoists had their t-shirts and lit(t)erature set out nicely on a table and on the grass below. the hoodie dude then proceeded to dump 5 gallons of water all over them and their stuff. he then threw the empty bucket on the table, quite dramatically, and it bounced off behind the maoists and rolled kinda unceremoniously on the grass. the hooded guy walked away, proudly, and with a smirk on his face.

the hooded dude was watching the first fight with a big smile on his face, but he was not involved. needless to say, after the water dumping, and a yelling at by another person, the maoists packed up and called it a day.

oh, and the older anarchist from the first fight came over to their wet table and rubbed more salt in the wound. he laughed, said he wasn't sorry they were soaking wet on this cold and windy day. he laughed again, then walked off.

this all happened before noon. i thought this stuff would happen, but not until later in the day once people started drinking. oh...no.

it was rather entertaining i must say. we were rather protected by the halo being shone upon us due to our parking bikes. kidding. but they did leave us alone.

so then i saw a few friends and met up w/ the ess bros. when i was done volunteering and after one bro had bought a EZLN poster, we rode off. we went to the beach again, took a break, then rode back.

the ride back was fun...ok, not really. the elder bro was riding his remodeled schwinn. that frame was a piece of poop cause the younger bro and i had to constantly keep waiting for him to catch up to us. his wheel kept coming off on the bumpy ride back from the beach. that ride is full of potholes and uphill. his poor lil bike couldn't take it anymore and just quit. we got it to work again, but we walked the rest of the crappy road. when the road was better, we gently tested it out and it seemed to work ok.

on a whim we went to a bike store. i know, you are shocked. but, at this point it was less than 30 minutes to closing time. he said he wanted to go to check out the top tube pads. ummhmm. i think he just likes shopping. anyway, we were there after it closed, cause he ended up checking out a frame. even i, the clueless person i am, know of IRO cause they make fixie/singlespeeds for women under 5 foot 3. i belong in that club.

so elder bro justified getting the new frame by his schwinn's poor performance in a mere mile. no matter how crappy the road is, there is no reason for a bike to act like how his did. since his schwinn is nearly out of commission AND it was his first project bike, he can take most of the parts from it (which are nicer than the frame) and transfer it to the new beauty he's gonna be getting in a couple of weeks. wow...it's a really pretty frame.

we were at the bike store so long i ended up test riding a bike that cost more than my rent. but man, i could tell the difference right away from bici to this one. it was the equivalent to driving a responsive cadallac. it was heavy, sturdy, upright...all in all a workhorse. one day perhaps, but not last saturday.

then...as we were going home, the chola came out. she had been hidden for about a year or a year and a half. somewhere in that time frame. this time she was provoked, physically. and it only took a second to set her off.

lord oh lord, i wanted to rip that woman's head off. and i never advocate violence. the thought of retelling that story right now when i'm nice and mellow and about to go to bed doesn't seem like something i should do right now, so i'll save it for my next post. ooh, cliffhangers! i know you like them! :) hahahaha.

good night fellow mellow heads. some wild and crazy this st. paddy's day turned out to be! i had a crazy game of scrabble where i massacred my opponent. she's a geneticist though, so when she figures out the game, i'm sure i'll have a worthy opponent. until then, good night my preciouses.

10 March 2009

to be young, gifted and black

why is donny hathaway so effin awesome? i've been listening to him pretty much since saturday afternoon...

that song name is a good post title for discussing medicine for melancholy, but for some reason i don't feel like discussing it right now. it was a great film, very reminiscent of french new wave, gorgeous colors, great discussions, and a beautifully moving love letter to SF.

i guess i feel i can't do the movie proper justice right now. go and see it already. it's also coming out soon on dvd if you can't see it in a theater. a friend of mine is trying to recruit his awesome office full of incredibly inspiring legal heroes to go. i'll have to ask him if he was successful.

and, i'm happy to report that the audience on saturday night was not representative of SF. meaning of course that it was very diverse, and lots of couples of color. that was refreshing to see, and i drank it all in. the boo and i couldn't stop talking about the movie on our way home.

makes me want to see more french new wave. i have only tangentially dipped into that pool of creativity. i think the liberry would be a great place to start since i foresee that getting 'spensive at the video store. and i can use this as a reference.

speaking of inspiring people, the director, barry jenkins, really impressed me with his Q&A. he was a humble ball of articulate, knowledgeable artistry that can actually speak english. usually i find those people who are super creative have a hard time connecting to reality (see: bjork & matthew barney, erkah badu, m.i.a. for a few references). that has always irritated me about artists, but hey, if that is their chosen method of communication, who am i to say differently? i know i'm not the most articulate in person because i'm constantly editing myself, but if i had to speak how i think, we'd be there all day with all my commas, tangents and whatnot. but jenkins is no less of an artist as the aforementioned, a visonary who is as didactic yet less polarizing than spike lee. one who more than manages to get political discussions started without overt inyrface controversy. and to me, that is exactly THE kind of art that i enjoy unconditionally.

07 March 2009

medicine for melancholy

if there truly is one, i would love to know. in the meantime i'll go with biking, being in love and A-Ds. that triple threat does seem to be holding me above water this past year or so. well, that and the texican. she is always there...(hi mom!)

so tonight boo and i are going to an old favorite, place of our second date. more importantly, we're going to see medicine for melancholy after. there is going to be a Q&A by the director after the showing. nice.

haven't heard of it? here is the synopsis:

A love story of bikes and one-night stands told through two African-American twenty-somethings dealing with issues of class, identity, and the evolving conundrum of being a minority in rapidly gentrifying San Francisco—a city with the smallest proportional black population of any other major American city.




i first heard about this movie on the radio here in our lovely city by the yay. i mean bay.




scroll to 6:30 5:53 and listen to what he says. it's true, i agree. and my boo also accuses me of being overly concerned about race, but the SF thing really bothers me. and slowly, the boo has admitted it bothers him too. but he's from here and he gets defensive. anyway...

well...basically this movie seems to reflect a lot the things i simultaneously love and despise about this city. i love bikes, (white) indie music, i'm veggie, i make lil movies, i am a lil earthy, etc AND whatever. i really hate that i'm one of the few brown people in this city i've found doing these things. i've had many conversations with people i meet for the first time that wonder why i don't fit into this category or that category they have already set me in. the people with the accusatory tones have been both white and latino.

i'm not involved in the indie scene here by choice. and i miss it, but i would rather hang out where i'm accepted. in nyc i was, but i had more of a rainbow coalition along with me. not so much this time. i am finding a few more peeps little by little. and just because you like all of the same things, doesn't necessarily mean you will get along with them. or become friends and then hang out, something more than an acquaintance. so that just makes it that much harder.

same with bikes. i reeeeally like riding bikes and drinking beer. those two things seem to go together i've noticed. on this here blog i've talked about the tour de fat, bike commuting, critical mass, and other events i've seen as being a bike valet with the SFBC. i always notice i'm one of the few latinos, much less one of the few latinas.

this why i was thinking of moving to LA awhile back. i missed the latino art scene, i haven't found too much of one here. in austin and LA there are just more latinos, so there are more scenes for them to create and be a part of. my best buddy down in LA is like me in that sense too. we like indie stuff, art stuff, creating things, rock/pop en espanol, vegetarian cooking, drinking caffeine, list goes on. so when she and i found each other during school, we were stuck together like magnets. part of it was because we were the only two latinos that we knew in this city that were like us. (if one was white, that above list might not seem so "strange," right?) she was born here, went to college here, so if she knew of them, i'm sure we would have all hung out. instead it was just a mosaic of scenes that we stuck to, including doing our own thing, then she went to LA and found the very thing i wish was going on here. and when i go home, i see it everywhere i turn. creative brown people being happy. where are they here?

now people may say, but what about the east bay? i say that's great and all, but i have to bounce it straight back and say what about SF? really? we shouldn't have to move to find a community in the supposedly most progressive city in the U.S. as another buddy of mine says, this city is epitome of "progressive racism." and i would have to agree with him. it's the perfect phrase for this shit problem.

so i can't wait to see what the prototypical black hipster movie character thinks about all of this. as i've wandered throughout this city, i've seen more black hipsters than brown ones perched precariously on fixies at traffic lights, speeding past me in the bike lane, drinking beers at zeitgeist, drinking coffee, doing whatever it is hipsters do, but still the number leaves MUCH to be desired. i would imagine that scene shares a lot of my complaints.

i really can't wait to hear what the director has to say. but most importantly, i can't wait to see who is in the audience at the embarcadero. ;)

doggies

thanks to the generosity of a friend, i was able to see watchmen last night. they had previews for the new pixar movie, up.

i heart doggies. i haven't been able to have one for a few years, and i miss them and their silly and very cute ways. although i do love the kittehs that are around these parts just outside my door, i wish i had a dog to play with in the park.

in the previews for up, the pixar people managed, once again, to make me laugh very hard. in the movie i guess they somehow find a dog that has a collar that interprets dog thoughts into english. we later find out you can tune the dial for other languages.

i tried to find the trailer w/ the dog online to no avail. oh well. it'll come out soon i'm sure.

so in the doggie vein, i found this little diddy. she's a sleep runner...very cute. then she goes boom!

06 March 2009

attitudes & bikes

i read something recently that made me think about bike riding and personality. now i would say i'm a pessimistic person. my purpose in mentioning this is not to dissect why, but rather to say that i think it influences my bike riding style. this might be a seemingly simple hypothesis, but i've never really thought about it before. so...here we go!

the author of the article/blog post (not quite sure what to call it these days!) stated that when she got on her bike in the morning for work, she would transform into some sort of crazed asshole, obsessed with getting to work without stopping. that's interesting, because maybe she actually didn't transform (?), but rather just acted out how she merely saw the world at the time. i say that in past tense because she has changed to be a more cautious and respectful rider.

my riding style has also changed over the years, and i would say it reflects my ever evolving maturity in things good and bad. i would ride without a helmet without a thought, i would ignore traffic rules, etc. i would basically ride like a 20 year old would ride...until i got in an accident. it was bound to happen. it was both of our faults, and had i not (much like the rider in the article) turned myself and anita (my bike, RIP wherever she is...) to be parallel to the car, i would have gone over the hood going downhill at a good speed. instead, i turned on instinct and the driver ended up driving over my front wheel and fork while i was still on the bike. thankfully, that's all he ended up driving over.

i was shaken (not stirred) with this slow moving accident in a quiet, yet bustling, brooklyn neighborhood. it was quite dramatic, the cops came, people were shouting, the driver was scared and i was yelling and pissed at the world.

so i got my frankenbike anita back about a week later, refused to go to the hospital, but did end up going to the doctors a week later. i was a yoga person at the time, went twice a week with my significant other. i noticed i couldn't point my toe as well as before. turns out, the crankset somehow met my skin just under my left ankle. that is strange because that stuff is on the right side of the bike. i guess that's how crumpled i was. the gears cut into a ligament. fun times. i couldn't point my toe very far for about a year. it's fine now, but i do still have a scar. i also had a tennis ball sized elbow for awhile, i limped for a couple of days and i'm pretty sure my head went down hard.

i was scared to get back on the bike after that accident. i really was, even though i was pretty much ok. again, indicative of how i deal with things. but eventually i did, and there you go. i still would ride without a helmet.

then i got in a little accident that was completely my fault because i was drunk. we rode our bikes to the bar, and left at last call. i ran into a parked car because someone behind me pointed something out to me. i turned my head back, kept going forward. boom, i fell down. my bike crumpled on top of my face. i ended up with a unicorn bump on my forehead, a bump on the left side of my head, and a gross cut on the upper right side of my nose. i still have that nose scar and (i think in the healing process i developed a calcification or something) a small little raised bump just underneath. i had to go to school like that and faced endless teasing. law school is the new high school? more like the new 2nd grade.

those were the two memorable accidents. there have been others, but nothing that really affected my attitudes on biking.

so you know what i do now when i get on my bike? i just hope to get to my destination in one piece. i don't care about going fast, because i'm worried i can't stop in time. i try not to ride in the rain because from my days a long time ago driving in the rain, made me notice that the streets are littered with people who just don't take minor differences into consideration, or their cars aren't tuned, etc, so more accidents tend to happen.

and in my pessimism in not completely trusting other bikers/drivers to look out for me, i have slowed down considerably. i still hop on with a "me/us versus them" mentality, but it's not a malicious feeling. it's more of one that makes me want to be an advocate. i ride with the mindset that i'm invisible. i ride slowly. i slow down at stop signs, and if there are no cars, i will go through them without stopping. otherwise, i stop and use hand signals, etc. i do the same with traffic lights, although i rarely go through them unless it's late at night and i'm positive there are no cars around in the opposite direction.

i'm clearly not a perfect being. not claiming to be at all. i'm an asshole at crosswalks because of right turning cars. those cars are the ones that tend not to see bikes, so i make sure they see me. sorry to the pedestrians, but i've only had a couple of them that have expressed any sort of verbal disapproval. pdx and some other cities have solved that problem by giving bike lanes a bike box. don't block the box! :)

i use my helmet about 50% of the time when it's not work related. when i commute, i use it 100% of the time. i see both sides of the bike debate because i don't go fast, i like to feel the wind in my hair and i don't really feel more protected with one. but i still wear one...just in case. and thankfully i haven't had an accident since the drunken episode i've described above. well, i did fall on the muni tracks, but if you ride a bike in this city, i'm sure you have done the same.

oh yeah, and i don't ride drunk anymore. i'd much rather walk bici if i have her when i'm am. i believed i've previously talked about that one time i still fell while the boo was walking her and she got hurt. um, yeeeaaah. oops. thank you.

and in riding cautiously, i've noticed i'm happier. i feel pleasant-ish, i don't have any more chola moments (yet...i can't promise this wont rear its ugly head), i check out other bikes, check out what people are wearing. it's basically my time for me to stop and smell the roses. and, i love being on my bike so much, the thought of spending more time on it is not a chore, but rather it's a gift.

so in reading her article-post thingy i noticed that she implied most bikers want to ride non-stop in some sort of need for speed. that's news to me. i always thought stopping was part of the game of life on the road in a city, not a mere annoyance with which one must grudgingly tolerate. if one wants to ride non stop for a long time, go on a long ass bike ride on highway one. i hear it's gorgeous.

so she met someone which showed her the smelling-the-flowers side of bike riding. stopping at lights, waving to asshole drivers, etc. and then she learned that by being positive, she got more respect from drivers, including the notorious assholio MUNI drivers. exactly. leading by a positive example is much more effective than being an asshole under the guise of...well, honestly i hate to bunch them in with advocacy. so being an asshole for the sake of being an asshole i guess. like those i've said i've seen on commutes and in critical mass.

so i'm glad she calmed down, i'm glad she's getting a positive response to others. there will always be irresponsible drivers and people on bikes. but by being the best bike rider we can be, our lead will hopefully become contagious and begin to free us from this crazy oil addiction we have.

ok, i'm getting off my soapbox now. back to work.

05 March 2009

the stars at night

are big and bright...deep in the heart of califas...

tis only too true my friends. as i was walking home on a rather dark street, i wondered why since there were plenty of light posts. i looked down at the sidewalk and noticed how wide the sidewalks were on both sides of the street. enough to widen the street to make a bike lane. then i looked back up the hill i just walked down and wasn't sure if that would be too good an idea...

then i looked up. and usually this time of year the skies are cotton-y cloudy. today i saw the moon and the stars. so gorgeous, and so rare in a city. i should know. i only have that mouth gaping sky experience either on a rare night in a city or in texas driving at night between cities. 

i've been noticing that my knees are hurting again. i think i might try raising my seatpost just a tad. i think my knee crunches a bit too much when i'm riding. i hope that's all it is! i went around to some bike stores to see if i could strike up a conversation about knee pain...and i did. that's what two of them suggested. will give it a try this weekend since i hear the skies are going to remain clear and free of cotton. 

meanwhile i've been coveting more mixte bikes on craigslist. a girl can only dream, right?

critical times

critical seems to be the word of the day.

i'm keeping track of strauss v. horton. online and on tv. the online site is crashing, so that means good things in terms of interest. however, on tv, there are commercials. grr. i'm missing shannon minter, one of my legal heroes. however, i think the hearing will be available later on in the day, so i'll be ok in seeing him uninterrupted.

last time i was there live, this time i am in the comfort of the boo's home, watching and if i were a nail biter, i would be biting my nails. eek! this is history making and i hope to be able to tell my offspring that we were not living in a state of bigotry. part of the reason why i'm home, is that i have no idea how passionate the crowds will get, and from the looks of things, it seems to be getting more crowded, i don't like mob mentality and instability is in the air. (actually i mean that figuratively but also literally, it could pour rain, even though they say it wont....the skies are gray in the mission, the one place where it's always sunny.)

man, justice kennard is a tough broad. love her and her halting way of speaking. you should be careful if she is talking to you like that cause she's about to stab big bloody holes into whatever argument you just said. no matter how long you have crafted an anticipated answer, she's gonna think of something that makes you want to drool and hide under the covers out of embarrassment. i don't agree with her most of the time, but...i do admire her intellectual ability, even if i don't agree with her technique. she keeps people on their toes. 

04 March 2009

new music!

well, new to me at least. seems like she's been around for awhile.

so i was surfing around yesterday while it was hailing (!!) outside, reading about how awesome south by southwest is gonna be. yeah, yeah, as if we didn't know. (yeah, i'm a lil jealous i can't be there!)

so i was reading about the latin music showcases i'm gonna miss out on, and i came across natalia lafourcade. ahh! i can't wait to get her music and listen to it. i'm on a mission today to find out such things.

she's from the mutherlandia...DF to be exact. here's her video for her new single, azul. and...there's a cute yellow bici with a banana seat in the video. see if you find it. :)



i also read that david garza has a new album coming out. elle will be happy about that...whenever she comes back to the states that is. :) the last time we saw him play at the continental club he yelled at us for not dancing. sorry dahveed, just wasn't into dancing that night. but there were plenty of other fly honeys there that were more than happy to oblige.

ok, am off to attend to bidness. please keep your fingers crossed my computer is NOT out of commission. that would be a tragedy from which i would never be able to escape. ok, not quite true, but not quite far from the truth too...and, i'm also gonna pick up one of those tv converters. my coupon came in while i was too busy to see straight. now that i'm not as busy, i finally have the time to partake in this forced conversion thanks to the government coupon. socialism rules. jk...or am i?

stay dry! my bici already misses being outside. she'll have to wait a little bit longer.

01 March 2009

two masses

both within three days...

and both religious and massive in a sense...

first mass:
on ash wednesday, the day after this calitexican turned over another number on the odometer of life, she attended mass. i have done this pretty much the whole time i've been a calitexican... it's comforting, i like the bilingual mass, and i'm looking for something anyway.

when i got to mass, i noticed they had these little black lenten books. they are for daily meditation on the daily gospel. i figured i could take 6 minutes a day and read it, contemplate, learn, etc. this calitexican hasn't quite gotten into the habit of taking the lenten gospel around with me, but i think i'm getting the hang of it now.

second mass:
and then two fridays ago, a friend of mine asked me if i would do critical mass. considering i looooove riding my bike, i am a little surprised i've never participated in it before! i have heard about it since i was about 1/2 the age i am now, buuuuut, just never have. was in texas and then in nyc....and we all heard about nyc and how they don't like critical massers.

in fact, i've actually gone out of my way not to associate with critical mass before in this city. but.... as i'm always looking for new people to ride with, duby's new to the city, we have friend crushes on each other, so i figured, "hey, why the hell not?"

so we went. and immediately we were befriended by a fellow blogger on a tandem. i can't remember who i was talking about tandems with, but i do believe it was more than one person. anyway, it was a perfect talking point cause i was really interested in it. it looked like a bunch of fun. i think i need to rent one with the boo...just to get him off his arse and onto a bike with me!

and it was a bunch of fun. it was better than i thought, and furthermore, i would do it again. going through the broadway tunnel without cars was reason enough for me to try it again. even though i was doing a lot of footpedaling. i felt at times i was on a skateboard. kinda like the actual skateboarder who did critical mass with us. as far as i know, i do believe critical mass is for all forms of "alternative" transporation, so that was pretty cool to ride around with him.

i haven't been too good with the lent. i'm an imperfecting being, just trying to find my way. i think i'll be fine.