28 April 2009

ilegal en estyle

so the boo and i have been seeing really good movies lately. we've been going to the embarcadero instead of the metreon. that may be why ;)

both movies we saw, sugar and sin nombre, deal with the various methods that people choose in order to cross the border into the united states.

first up is sugar. here's the trailer.



this movie is about this one young man, nicknamed sugar, who gets recruited from the dominican republic to play in a minor league baseball team. he envisions going to "new your" to play for the yankees. he gets recruited to iowa. he lives with a baseball crazed elderly christian couple. the only person that speaks spanish and can kind of show him the ropes is a fellow player. this player ends up getting injured and then let go of the team. he is supposed to go back to the DR, but ends up going to new york and gives sugar his contact information.

all of a suddent sugar is alone in a world where he only knows how to order french toast at a diner, and he doesn't even like them. he knows the word for eggs, but not what kind of eggs he likes. his english is getting better, but that isn't saying much.

there's this one incredible scene where he and his team is out on the town after an away game. he walks away from whatever he was doing and through an arcade. the camera is behind him and the only thing that stays in focus is sugar's outline. the rest never ever comes into focus, and it's a beautiful, and disconcerting, metaphor of what sugar must be feeling living in america. it's a continuous shot and goes on for quite some time.

eventually the pressure of being a pitcher playing game after game catches up mentally with sugar and he makes a decision that he feels is best for him. he leaves the team and heads for new york. it is then we see how sugar really survives, rather than just being uncomfortable in a new setting. we see him with virtually nothing in nyc, but he knows the language, there are people there he can relate to, he can order food, dance to music, meet girls, everything that is like the DR, but in a big new city in the US. he even finds people to play ball with, like how he used to play, with no pressure. but these guys are all really really good, it's not just another neighborhood pickup game.

the boo told me he heard an interview with the filmmakers. apparently the people who made this movie saw these types of neighborhood games in the bronx. they are all former pro players from latin america who have stories ranging from retirement from the league, to getting injured out, to sugar's: just leaving for a chance of making a life in the U.S. they got inspired by all the ideas, and then made the movie.

sugar is one story i have heard about vaguely, as in caribbean ball players coming to america, but this story was a great magnifying glass to one facet of the the caribbean latin american experience. i lived in nyc for 8 yeras, and defintely felt the influence (since the result was missing my own home and missing what i used to eat for 18 years too, importing tortillas from texas for example) of their culture, but never really got the DR story. the PR/ nuyorican story is definitely different. as is the case for all of us. and in seeing the movie, i found myself fondly remembering the latin nyc experience.

which brings us to a story i'm definitely more familiar with. and that is the next movie, sin nombre. wow. brought to us by the lovely diego luna and gael garcia bernal. again. wow.

it is this generation's el norte. this time, MS13, aka the international gang, mala salvatrucha, has a large presence. shudders all around! scary. as if the whole experience wasn't scary enough. but man, this movie is GREAT. redemption, love, broken hearts, broken homes, homies, pissed off abuelitas, fatherless boys, trains, la migra, new jersey, texas, guatemala, honduras, chiapas, families, god, devils, and trust.

here's the trailer.



two families collide on a train after a dramatic event occurs which links them together forever. the first family was heading to meet the father's second familiy in america. the other was a family of one, after a price was put on his head.

as i'm, quite thankfully, not involved with any part of the gang life, i have no idea if the scenes with the gang are true to life or a cheesy depiction tailor-made for art house audiences. i remember thinking the leader's teeth seemed tooooo white and tooooo straight to depict what is really the ugly struggle of poverty, but eh, whatever. the rest of his face, covered in ink, was enough for me.

i don't even know what to say about this movie. i feel quite speechless actually. i just know i want to see it again. and possibly again. and i want other people to see it.

now i'll leave you with the inspiration for the blog post title...courtesy of the awesomness that is pilar diaz.

24 April 2009

friday friday

yes, it is friday. and last friday, the greatness that is the mexican institute of sound came to town. being that money's a lil tight en la casa of this tejana these days, so i didn't go, but...there's always the internet and my imagination!



see...fun!

so yeah. then my allergies today are driving me bananas. which is too bad, cause i wanna take a bike ride later tonight with the doobster. i believe i can, in the immortal words of tim gunn, make it work.

i also am looking forward to tomorrow's yerba buena's art gallery walk. best of all? it's free from 1pm-5! niiice.

23 April 2009

things i saw today...

(please note the following list is not a complete list of the things i spied today with my eyes.)

1. gary fisher (the person, not the bike). perhaps a look-a-like, but i'm pretty sure it was him. and two blocks from my apartment. swooooon.

2. etched in a formerly wet concrete block of sidewalk: "david loves linda" i immediately wondered if this was still true.

3. a man pretending to leave his two cute white terriers in a park because they didn't stop playing when he wanted to leave. he walked away, verrrrry slowly. the kiddos went a lil nuts and found him "hiding" in the indention of a door. one of the doggies reached up with his front paws s/he was so excited to see him. in fact, they were so happy to see him...well, the whole scene was a little too precious for words. i actually stopped and turned around to watch it with a big fat smile on my face. cesar milan would have been proud at the person who was clearly the "pack leader."

4. a clear california sky.

5. IMs from my mom and it made me smile cause i miss her.

6. only two front baskets on bikes. whahuhwha?

7. this:

8. this:

9. and finally this:

and this, my friends, is why i have to take myself out on walks or on bici. i felt like i was going crazy being cooped up inside, and then i saw the green grass, gray concrete, blue sky, took in a deep breath and felt kinda human again.

22 April 2009

shiny happy people

getting red...

hellllo. people have been going nutty here in sf, and i am no exception. why? it's because of this "heat wave." when the temp gets about 70, people here take off their clothes, walk around, lay in the sun, etc. and then the redness sets in and ouch. but only it's been about in the 80s. and for some reason, when things get hot here in this city, they seem to be 10 degrees hotter than it is.

so i have been on the bici. going up to crissy fields twice, along the embarcadero and probably again today. i laid in parks across the city, cartwheels in soccer fields, watching fat kids push each other around, drank tecates with the boo outside. i got blisters on mis patas ("feet" for you non spanglish speakers), from wearing sandals that don't see much outside time. saw a ymca female presidio league basketball game.

and i haven't seen so many bare nalgas walking around in thongs since, well, since easter. so i guess it wasn't that long ago.

mira. que linda this city...






and just like that, tomorrow it's back to normal. back to the fog? i dunno. but it's been great while it lasted.

17 April 2009

sanctuary city


sanctuary city
Originally uploaded by melyshka
reblogging from flickr.

what do you think? is san francisco a sanctuary city for the rich? does the placement of this stencil become ironic in that it was taken on 18th street between valencia & mission (aka in the middle of creeping gentrification from valencia towards mission's not so invisible line through the neighborhood) or make it right on point?

what about the fact that SF was a "sanctuary city" for immigrants (regardless of status), which was apparently merely tolerated by city residents until the uproar over the tragic murder of a family of three in 2008?

does this stencil mean that the rich are provided a haven for city services during "in this economy?" or that the rich come here to wait the recession out? or something else entirely?

does it matter who put the stencil down in the first place at all if it sparks discussion? and if it's just discussion, is anything going to be done about it, whatever IT is, or do we just talk about it until we're blue in the face?

thursday count

yesterday's count while walking around...

total bikes: i have no idea, lost count after 50
bikes with baskets: 9
front baskets: 8
back baskets: 1
bike with usps mailroom plastic tote (which always clearly say not for sale on them) on a back rack: 1

ss/fixies with front baskets: 4
geared bikes with front baskets: 4

the count continues...

sadly, no scrabble game last night! one of the regulars was a bit late, but he had a good excuse. friend with dinner from high school. since they gave me a ride home (as i was sans bike), they realllly get a pass.

looking forward to the weekend! can't wait to spend this weekend on the bike outside. :)

15 April 2009

recovery time

i just may have mentioned on this here blog that i have been known to get really debbie downer. last night was no exception. i slept way more than i needed to, and i could sense the downerness enveloping me and dragging me down to a depth that doesn't need to be explored. so, i decided to get up and get out of the house.

i really wanted to hop on bici and ride, but the winds last night were in the 40 mph range. um, no thank you. oh, and in case you are not familiar with being a debbie downer ("DD"), DD makes you create great excuses in your head of why staying in bed all day is a good thing, or why not being on a bike in windy weather is good. although, today in retrospect, i would say not riding wasn't the worst idea.

i am glad in my DD state i was able to even just get out of my room, much less my apartment to walk around. in the days before i rode less than i do now, i would tell people i was like a dog and had to take myself out for walks, otherwise i would get cranky. i believe that was a leftover from my nyc days, cause walking is truly a way of life there. now i have to ride or else i get cranky.

so in walking around, i decided to give myself a little goal to distract myself from being a DD. my lil' goal was inspired by my friend's bike, ethel. she probably used to be a 10-speed back in the day, but she was his first fixie conversion project. notice the front (6 pack getting?) basket. ever since seeing ethel with her new accessory, i have started noticing a lot of fixies with baskets. this is more in the mission where the boo, el macho, lives. i live in another neighborhood, but one where bikes are still very popular.

so my goal was to see how many fixies i could see that had baskets as i walked around my neighborhood: 1 (walking uphill on page. thanks god i'm not the only one, but then again i don't have a fixie, so what's my excuse?)

total:
number of bikes with baskets: 3
  • of those, number of bikes with back baskets: 1
number of bikes with front racks: 2
number of bikes total: approx 25

i think when i walk around from now on, i'll take some more notes. and the fixie basket riders tend to be males i've noticed. many of their bikes have histories similar to ethel's i would gather.

i like my new experiment. and i like that i don't have to tell the boo that i'm not checking out boys on bikes. but we've walked around enough that he knows i'm looking at bikes like teenage boys look at girls.

when i got home, i did still feel DD, but obviously not as much had i just spent all that time at home. i made a "mixtape" for a friend, punchy, who likes julieta venegas. we snuck in to see her at the warfield. ever since then he's been bugging me to share her music. and the new yeah yeah yeahs. the YYYs are growing up. you can tell. it's cute. i do like the album, and nice to know they are growing up from art star to zero. i love art star, but then again that was about 7 yrs ago? wow, am i dating myself...if i am that's ok. because my recovery time from DD was pretty good this time around. it's a new day.

14 April 2009

easter weekend

wow. what a weekend. it started out with the mission tour bike ride. meligrosa has a great recap complete with loads of pics. there were so many people, it kind of felt like a mini critical mass whenever we rode around. the dubster and i got a bite to eat after the tour, then i was off to find a bike part. went to 3 bike stores before i found what i needed. thanks box dog! you guys definitely rock.

then it was off to become a girl and meet the boo. we went to a restaurant along the embarcadero and had a great seat. very romantic. then we got a bottle of champagne and walked up to coit tower. that walk did wonders for my arse, so it's good for biking. especially in heels. oy vey!

the boo had to meet his family in the south yay, so i went to meet with my hastings boys crew. in case you are not from here, every year in dolores park on easter, there's a hunky jesus contest hosted by the sisters of perpetual indulgence. ay. dios. mio. i saw lots of assless chaps, lots of partially covered cheecks, and just a lot of people out, about and just being happy. it was a GORGEOUS day. not cold, not windy, just a perfect spring day.

one member of the crew, punchy, lives one block away from the park. and we had a sidewalk bbq. lots of foot traffic, tons of people watching. so we sat and drank. and drank and drank. and drank. ay. we managed to fit in a game of scrabble, of which i, with the help of the dubster my partner in scrabble winning, won. scrabble brings out the funny side of people. especially during challenges. oh, and also a game of speed. not methamphetamine, but rather a card game i played a lot growing up. that was fun and brought back memories.

after scrabble, duby made out with ruby.




ruby is the cutest dog ever! very friendly, and a good addition to the block.

ct is over and out. take care guys, after all, christ is risen! happy easter.

11 April 2009

birth days

today is my boo's, el macho, birthday. he's turning over another decade in the speedometer of life. needless to say, i'm a big fan of his, so i can't wait to hang out with him later and celebrate. we're going to a pretty restaurant along the embarcadero. he loves sitting by the water on birthdays, so this is certainly no exception. our first restaurant of choice was too cool for school, and said no thank you, we're already full on saturday, so we decided on this one. we are certainly not settling.

but first things first. a bike ride! this time, there's a theme. the sfbc is hosting a cultural bike ride of the mission. here's the description:

Where was the city's first amusement park located? What street did the railroad run down? Which park sits upon a disinterred Jewish Cemetery? These questions and so many more will be answered on the Mission's Secret History Bike Tour.


i don't know if they will talk about the best taco, or when the irish came to settle, but it'll be fun. outside my window it looks clear, i hear birds chirping, and only minimal cars. perhaps people are out of town to celebrate easter? hmm. either way today is looking like i won't have to use my AK. which is such a relief these days. it's just really heavy to put in my bike basket.

08 April 2009

ahh!!

sooooo pretty, what a buena vista indeed. (except for the decals...sorry guys, i'm not a fan of that sun...)

and here's a rivendell mixte from a great chica blog. i have to say it's gorgeous. just missing the double down tube...in my verrry humble opinion. nevertheless, it is truly envy inducing. i love the heart lugs! i also like the way the twine and the cork look together. and the tan colors matched with the honey brooks seat AND the bell, well, it's an aesthetic beauty. very feminine, and as one of the commenters said, it's almost too pretty to ride!

my love for the mixte endures. i'm glad to see more of them around with these new frames on the soma, rivendell, velo orange and masi versions. i'm not sure if there are more new frames being made, but that's for sure a good start. the masi is the most reasonable of the newer versions. but if a bike is your main mode of transport, the other ones are still cheaper than a car.

i think mixte are great city bikes for anyone, not just us shorties. you don't have to mount the horse (that's how i feel when i swing my leg behind the seat to mount a bike). it can be a true city workhorse (workbike?) when adorned with front and back baskets. and then the skirt wearing possibilities?! endless. for men or women, or for 1/2 dudes like me :)

06 April 2009

cascarones

haha, i almost forgot to share this guanabee post. i want some cascarones!! where are the other texicans/tejanos at? other than my cousin in petaluma, i'm not sure who else has made some this year. i do have some eggs i can make before next sunday...maybe i'll surprise the boo for his bday! i don't think he knows what they are. he's a different kind of brown than me.

this is how full feels

great. i don't mean stomach full, but heart full of friendship and love.

this weekend was great. gorgeous picture perfect blue california skies. i think i may have described how the blue skies in texas and the blue skies in california are different. if not, i often do to people i'm around if we are standing under a clear sky. in texas they are a lighter blue, kind of like this:

texas skies are a pretty pale blue which stretch as far as the eye can see

in califas, it looks more like a robin's egg blue, or like this:

california skies have a richness of their own which must be from its proximity to water and a hint of gray

it's actually pretty hard to choose the color of a norcal sky, but that was the best one i could think of before i got kinda overwhelmed with choices.

so, i rode to the tenderloin and celebrated cambodian new year with the peeps. there was a traditional blessing dance where she finshed by spreading the rose petals all over the rug. there was another traditional dance performed by 3 tweens. they were adorably embarassed. and then the traditional cambodian breakdancers came out from oakland and danced too. they were so hardcore they didn't even have cardboard, son. they actually danced on the rug below, to which i must give them mad props. ok, i'll stop. but really, they did dance on the asphalt, and it was H-O-T (temperature wise, not dancing wise).



then we walked to the yes valley. we decided to have a cupcake taste test:




then it was off to a bday party for lady b in the mission. i brought along a mini carrot cake from miette, the official fan favorite from our taste test. citizen cake was second, but out of the 5 cupcakes, they had the 2nd best one with the pineapple upside down cupcake. the winner was the gingerbread cupcake with cream cheese frosting (and a lil flower...que cute!)

she anointed each of the partygoers with a fabulous hello kitty sticker. each one was carefully chosen to reflect the personality of each guest:



lady b's main (and only) squeeze made some micheladas. or for those with accents like mine: "michelle aides." look at the red goodness being bestowed upon me. no, i hadn't had anything to drink yet either. and yes, mom, i only had one. but, i might have had more beer as the night progressed. a lady never speaks about such things. especially when she currently has no bangs.


michelada fotos taken by alfredo ramirez

then i went off in the middle of the party to collect the boo, grab a quick bite, and continue drinking the best micheladas ever (ok, that i've ever had). but my boo, in his last weekend of a particular decade, pulled a muscle in his butt while walking to dinner. no joke. he actually must have pulled it before, but it cramped up during dinner and continued to hurt him through palm sunday mass. then i guess our prayers worked cause it didn't hurt him the rest of the day. yes, we went to church. no, it didn't burn down when we walked in.

so i had to carry the boo, el macho, home. i was bearing quite a bit of his weight while we, or rather, I, stumbled upon this...quite possibly the best sign/flyer ever.


i have no idea who these barrio libre people are, but they seem to have a great sense of humor combined with a sense of respecting one's neighborhood. and that is all one can really want from one's community, no?

well, looks like the rain will once again be spreading it's glorious chilly cheer in my part of the world tomorrow. as such, the bike may be put away for a bit. oh, and i also cleaned up mixte, but i didn't take pics of it. i forgotted. i did get a lot of feedback from cleaning it out on the sidewalk though. i figured, when in the mission, do as they do. i can't imagine pulling that in my hood. boooooring! this is when i wish i had a back yard to do projects in. i miss my projects.

the CT hopes you all had a great weekend! and please, just a reminder. no pooping on the sidewalk!! thank you and good night.

04 April 2009

stalk u

in the immortal words of los abandoned's "stalk u":

"i didn't, i didn't, i didn't mean to stalk u."



but sometimes the internets makes it so easy that it was actually accidental! no, really, it was. why would i look for that? i save that stuff for actual stalkers.

but whatever. i guess it happens, and someone last night gave me "permission" to look. so this morning i did. and i felt strange, my guts sort of twisted (ok, they really twisted), but very soon thereafter they returned to normal at the thoughts of my day and the people i'll be spending it with. i agree i am in a better place with them in my life. i am sure the same goes for you.

i'm glad to see you look happy. there's nothing else i wanted for you. it wasn't me, and you weren't for me either. but all i wanted was for us to be happy. and i am happier these days. took a looooong fucking time to get here, but i am here & i have no intention on going back to that really dark place i was in before. and i'll be complete in a few years i believe. i still have some stuff to get done.

and that is all i have to say about that.

just an aside as my newly acquired wound hurts, my bike fell and scraped my lower leg just above my foot. ouch. and i got another nick on my ankle from my pedals walking around. on the same leg. i just need to anoint my achilles tendon and then the left side of my ankle and i'll be done torturing that leg! wanna see? thought not...here it is anyway.



ok, now off to make asparagus omelettes con papas, celebrate cambodian new year, fixing front brakes on bikes (yikes...), followed by micheladas at mexican/puerto rican bday parties with the tooooona. yes! and i really should have done laundry last night. oops.

03 April 2009

bicycles is marketing genius!

so the boo came over to my place the other night. and we watched some cable tv. i remarked that there were a lot of bicycles in commercials lately. and he said he read somewhere that it is an actual marketing push.

i've seen an allergy commercial, a commercial for a hospital advising healthy living, a soda commercial, and the one we saw that i talked through. i don't remember what it was for, but it had green animated bikes.

this marketing push is interesting to me. i'll have more to say about it when i see a few more commercials. i promise.

02 April 2009

technology passes me by...

so a few years and a relationship ago, i was seeing an artist of sorts. i fell very hard for this person, and we spent nearly 90 days together in a row. during those 90 days we created a lot of things, mainly pictures, music, some food and lots of laughs. i wanted to make an animated gif from a series of hairstyle pics i took of him. and then i realized i didn't have the tools to make it.

i found a post discussing animated gifs as an art form for the masses and it triggered my memory of wanting to make the image i had in my head, but without access to the right tools. i find myself in a similar predicament in something else i want to create right now (although i'm very close to finishing it anyway). the post discussed the class issues raised in the myspace v. facebook faceoff. i found this all very interesting, even if i felt like a snob upon remembering which side of the war i'm on. you should read the post rather than having me co-opt his words, but i found him continuing a discussion that i thought about in college as an art history major and now again as a sometime artist without certain tools, but the ingenuity to make and create anyway.

so instead of creating animiated gifs, the ensuing heartbreaking end to those 90ish days resulted in my making videos. and i have a few ideas for new ones, but just need the tools to complete them. perhaps i will make shorter ones.

so in re-googling the animated gifs query, i found a free site then i made the gif i wanted to make during those 90 days. and hell no i'm not gonna keep it. i made what was in my head all those days ago. and now, ya, se acabo as they say. now i can move on and make a new gif now that i know where to look.

01 April 2009

book clubs

i'm in a varying amount of book clubs.

the first book we read and didn't discuss was white tiger. at first i wasn't sure if i'd like it, but i did. it seemed very appropriate to be reading it around the time slumdog millionaire came out. it was a pure coincidence, i assure you. and that's all i have to say about that. perhaps later i'll devote a post to discussing the book. no promises though.

next up for this particular book club is: the end of vandalism by tom drury. we all have the book courtesy of green apple books, home of the extinct species known as the independent bookstore. no excuses. we can do it team!

my other book club is a norcal/socal one. we're gonna read don quixote. i can't believe i've never read it, and neither can the other book club member. so we're gonna put a stop to it now!

with my other book club, it's also knitting club. we have yet to decide on a book, but i think this one will be exciting. just cause i like knitting and i haven't been in a knitting circle in a long time. i miss those things. i remember in brooklyn i joined a stitch & bitch circle that met in bars. the idea sounds like fun, but the lighting and the mental capacity both leave something to be desired during the happy hour hours. they were fun though! for those circles i would bring something super simple that didn't require too much brain power. although when i would get home, i would inspect my handiwork and always noticed that i dropped some stitches. then some repair work would inevitably ensue.

oh, and i'm also reading watchmen. it's good! perhaps i should suggest a graphic novel for the next book club installment ;)