30 July 2009

MIS/IMS is ready to invade SF

MIS: mexican institute of sound.
IMS: instituto mexicano del sonido.

and i'm ready to see him. finallyfinallyfinally after missing him the last time he was here. he's playing two shows this weekend. one is at an art opening at yerba buena center for the arts, then the next one is at the make out room.

the twitterverse has peeps talking about flying into SF to see him, so i believe the crowd will be diverse...i also see him in sf weekly. he's busting out all over the place.

i love me a good art party, so i'm ready...i'm excited to dance, i'm excited to hear some fun music, i'm excited to see new crowds, i'm excited to see new outfits, new hairstyles, i'm excited to maybe meet new brown peeps, and who knows what else. we'll see.

here's a lil sample of his music taken from his english blog:



and here's a couple of videos of him just being super cute in general.



25 July 2009

life on the wiggle

last night i had to say goodbye to a friend's boyfriend. he's going far away on a jet plane, and i don't think he's ever coming back. very sad. and lady bee, we're here for you! moving on...

he's vegan, so i could eat everything at the potluck. such a rarity! and it was mexican and pretty yummy. after that we put an old chair in the bbq pit to keep warm in the cool misty evening. and then we all had fun hitting the corona bottle piñata late at night. dale, dale, dale...



so who is the first person i see when i step out of my apartment this evening and walk the three bike lengths to the wiggle? yup. aforementioned boyfriend. we both waved a big hai and smile and he pushed his pedals FAST and went away down the wiggle. i could never catch that homie on a bike lane. adios my bike riding amigo!

a block after i saw him, i saw one of the dudes from the 7-person bike ride...which we'll call the UK adam. then 3 blocks after that, i saw the steer-er/"driver" of the 7-person bike.

san francisco felt very small, yet very comfortable in that two minutes out of my apartment. and i couldn't stop smiling thinking of the fresh homemade banana bread i was about to devour.

then i ended up having to choose between pho and indian for dinner, both options that today i wish i didn't have to turn down. "tough" choices i know ;) since you must know, i chose indian and chick flicks (and i normally DESPISE chick flicks with a passssssion) with a chica instead of pho with los bros ess. but tomorrow i believe los bros and i are going to ride around in the misty muck that is SF lately, so there's room for everyone and everything.

and now i will try to sleep, but i make no promises. oh! and happy national tequila day!

20 July 2009

sunday streets: mission essstyle

inspired by the other meli, this post will be picture heavy. sunday streets was back for the last time this year in the mission district of san francisco.

panda shot on my way to the mission. riding on a mirror of shadows.

danzantes. calaca drum. feathers. "it's a not a sunday streets in the mission without aztec dancers," my boo said.

danzantes from bici's perspective.

punks on lowriders


father daughter team. they were only 1/2 of the family band they said.
she was shredding it up on the accordion. rad. one of my favorite things of the day.


you don't see this too often 'round these parts. lycra uniform showing mexican pride.

parkin' it up in a parking space. beach balls, BBQ, bubbles, beer.

duby and i (& 5 others) rode this 7 person bike from the mission to fisherman's wharf. fun!

nothing like spending a weekend outside to get the DD™ outta one's system! SF should have sunday streets every weekend! no? i'll take it once a month too. baby steps. thank goodness this town has plenty of parks...

18 July 2009

bff #2


tonight i volunteered again as a bike valet in order to see some bike film shorts at the bicycle film festival.

i like seeing film shorts in festivals for various reasons, but the two most simple ones are: 1., i have a short attention span and 2., i feel like one day soon i could make something on par with what i see.



today's shorts were impressive. well, most of them anyway. the shorts surveyed the cycling world's different subcultures ranging from bike polo in paris and london to commuting to bike touring to alice in wonderland inspired friendships to trips on LSD to bikes are good for the world and yourself stuff.

the festival opened with parasol, a visual delight minimal in story and dialogue. the visuals more than made up for the lack of story. it's a stop animation/motion work that took 2 years to complete. it was gorgeous. i don't want to describe too much of it, but to say that the minimal story that did take place were drawn on white paper parasols and involved bikes and in the end crushing a car that destroyed one bike. needless to say, the crowd erupted into cheers. and i was right there with them.

the next story involved a really cute interaction between two little girls. one girl was supposed to be in japan, but i immediately recognized the scenery as being the zen garden in the brooklyn botanical gardens (my favorite place to go after 9/11 i might add...but that's another story for another time). she's walking around with her adorable red bike. she finds signs (in english) saying to "go there" and "dig here." so she does and she ends up digging a very big hole.

meanwhile, back in brooklyn, a girl is timidly riding her bike. she looks unsteady and falls. she finds a mound of dirt on the ground next to a big hole. the girls have dug their way through the earth and the japanese girl goes to brooklyn where they strike up a friendship on bikes. the brooklyn girl gives the japanese girl her bike bell and she takes it back to japan with her. it was really a very cute story with really vivid colors, and again, minimal dialogue.

there was another stop animation/motion short. this one showed an artist reciting a poem about her bike, while simultaneously drawing and painting it in watercolor. kind of like bob dylan's flashcards, this went by stanza by stanza telling us why we should all ride bikes.

there were the bike polo shorts, one in paris that was pretty and the other in london that was brash. and that's all i have to say about them.

there was another (computer?) animation one where it was realllly trippy. i don't know how else to describe it. the opening shot looked like the walls looked like they were rippling in water. turns out, it was foreshadowing. it was called, "the bicycle trip," and it was an imagined scene returning home from work after the actual accidental ingestion of LSD by a chemist that "discovered" it. basically, here he rides his bike home and tripppppy stuff happens. and then some rat blows up into a balloon and pops at the end. that made me laugh.

there was a SF-centric piece telling the story that was more documentary style in nature. it followed a few bay area people who ride bikes. one was a college instructor, one was a bike messenger, another was an art framer and the last one was a financial analyst. they all talked about how they use their bike around town. the last guy rides his bike 3 days a week from burlingame to SF. for those of you not familiar with the bay area, there is a commuter train that he could take that would be about 30 minutes. so...yeah, he rides pretty far, but he says it clears his mind. they show him going on a highway and cutting across traffic. i "think" it's technically a bike lane, but i know i wouldn't want to be merging from the right hand shoulder cutting across 3 lanes to another highway. which we saw him do in the short. yikes!

oh yeah, and there was this fun bike race in LA that had a few rules. basically start on the east side and whoever gets to the beach first wins. 5 people in one group, one bike had to be a fixed gear, and they could use any means necessary...which meant one group went on the highway. i know that stuff is highly illegal, but man, it looks so cool and makes me wish there could be highways for bikes. that would be sooooo rad.

the last short was sort of all over the place. it was a road trip with two french dudes happily leaving paris for the suburbs. they are silly and one is riding a stolen velib bike. the other on a fixie. they have very strong personalities and come across, initially, as very immature 20 somethings. the story progresses and you find out that the fixie dude is carrying around an urn with his mother inside. whoa, the story turned very serious all of a sudden. at first i thought it was a movie, but i think it was an actual film documenting the story.

his mother wanted her ashes spread where she spent some time growing up. the townspeople recalled what she was like and mainly talked about her body and how naive she was. she also was described as a free spirit, and you can tell her son gets his wild ways from her. her son did not like how the townspeople talked about his mother at all, and wondered why she would want to be buried here with these silly people. his friend was like, she was drawn to this place for some reason, not the people, try not to let them bother you. you see the son pouring his mother's ashes out onto the lake, and then the urn (upon which he drew a happy face) into the lake as well. the story ends with pictures of the woman and she does look just like the fixie guy.



so yeah, i had to write this all down in a hurry when i got home because i didn't want to forget the ones that i liked and why i liked them. i may edit this post. i may not. i have a horrible memory lately, so i am hoping this will help me commit some of the movies to my long term memory.

17 July 2009

precious

so tonight i saw my homegirls (even though they do not know they are) from san antone, girl in a coma perform at bottom of the hill.

the first show i remember seeing at bottom of the hill was sleater kinney back in 2000 or even 1998. i really do think it was the dig me out album. anyway, that show sort of places me at how old i am, right?

so a couple of days ago, outside of the blonde redhead show while i was parking bikes w/ yehuda moon's look-a-like and the other bike valets, we got to chatting about how shows just aren't as important and urgent as they used to be back when we were in our late teens/early 20-somethings.

yah, so back to tonight. the first opening band for girl in a coma was angela chase. yah, i remember when my so called life was actually on tv, before dvds were readily available, and my cousin DLM and i would talk incessantly about that show. he actually still references it when i have something "serious" and "deep" to talk about, like my feelings and stuff. and he'll say, "oh are you talking about real teen issues?" like, um, yeah, i am. and lots of other sentences interspersed with lotsa commas and lotsa eye-rolling and lotsa pregnant pauses.

ok, again, back to tonight. so angela chase. the drummer, bless her heart (to co-opt a southern saying that i never say, but totally mean it and i kind of want to apologize for it, but kind of not), grabbed the mike after their set and said, "for all you elliott smith fans and girl in a coma fans out there, this is for you." that is paraphrased, but not so much cause i'm pretty sure that's what she said verbatim.

anyway. an important aside for anyone who does not know this calitexican personally. to say i'm HUGE elliott smith fan would be putting it mildly.

i totally remember when/where i was when i heard that elliott smith was dead. waaaay before that my friends and i used to drink at the bar that was his local in alphabet city because we were 18 and they didn't card (hi mom! & it was just a coincidence until we figured that out btw...).

i saw him twice at liberty lunch (which no longer exists in ATX--and where he whispered the last time there, softly, that he wanted LL to stay intact because he really liked playing there...) all the way to the knitting factory (nyc) to zona rosa (ATX) to steamboat (ATX) to tower records (by NYU) to town hall (nyc) and back to the knitting factory, to some random bar in the east village (lit lounge) for a secret show then to the bowery ballroom (nyc) and beyond... i'm 10000000% that is not an inclusive list, but you get the idea.

this was a time when going to see live shows was very important to me (see above). however, were he living today, i am sure i would have a similar story.

so, again, back to angela chase's drummer: she proceeded to grab an acoustic guitar and do a singer-songwriter cover of a GIAC song. um, i appreciate the effort, but BLESS her heart. it was...just...kind...of...precious.

and that's all i have to say about that.

the rest of the show was rad. there was a band, miss derringer, from LA that, oh my, the lead singer...she needs her own show or something. sooo cute with her little rockabilly self leading the rest of her band of boys. and of course my tejanas/texicans rocked the house so much i can't hear anything but ringing in my ears. and that brings me right back to my liberty lunch days over 1/2 my life ago. aww, how cute. :)

15 July 2009

eh....

yeah, it wasn't a good day. neither was most of yesterday. have been feeling a little debbie downer (DD) the past couple of days. then i realized a minute ago when i got home that today would have been my dad's birthday.

so yeah, there you go. happy birthday.

and now it's time to put this crappy day behind me. good riddance.

14 July 2009

BFF

can mean best friends forever, or bartering's fucking fun. or it could also mean bicycle film festival. which is what i mean today. :)

so tonight i parked bikes with the SFBC and as an added perk, got to see blonde redhead at a sold out show about 3 blocks from my apartment.



it was pretty rad, i'm a little tired from standing non stop for 5 hours, but i'll take it! there were not too many bikes to park considering we were at the bicycle film festival. there weren't any films tonight (that's for friday and saturday & yes, i'm working on friday), but it's all good. apparently blonde redhead are long time friends of the founder.

also, i parked bikes w/ this dude that looked like yehuda moon. i debated on whether or not i should tell him i thought that. i decided against it, but the similarities were pretty remarkable. :)

seen at the show: two arms in slings. hope they weren't bike related!! i also like how the crank is hidden in the pic above so it looks like the pedals form some weird hat extension. heehee.

12 July 2009

lowrider lovin'

so it's yet another gorgeous sunday here in the mission district of sf...and i couldn't be happier.

when the boo and i first met, i told him of my love of all things homies. i believed i blogged about this. my boo has a love of making model cars. so we decided to collaborate and make some lowriders for my homies. we shelved this project for quite some time. last weekend i introduced him to ask a chola. then, we were talked about resuming the homies/lowrider project...and today that's what we set out to do.

we went far far away from our normal stomping grounds and got a '61 impala supersport 409 convertible and a '64 impala supersport. yes, we geeked out. and yes, we're both excited to see how they turn out.

for more inspiration we walked past precita eyes and checked out the shadow box exhibit in the window. even got a few more homies, series 11.

today was a good day. didn't have to use our AKs. ummhmm. and now we're listening to a lowrider compilation called "east LA lowrider soul." just cause we can. life is good.

09 July 2009

um, wtf ??!?

so in one of my multiple daily reviews of the website stats for this humble bloggy blog, i noticed that a horrible search phrase somehow lead someone to clicking onto this site: "[effin'] ugly chick at gay bar joke." obviously, substitute [effin'] for the real thing.

how ugly and shocking they found their way here with that piece of crap search. oh well, welcome to the internets right?

07 July 2009

minding the gender gap, take two

as i predicted, the women over at let's go ride a bike definitely got some comments on their prior blog post "covering the coverage" of the nytimes and other blogs. it even got picked up on a fav must-read-daily blog of mine: streetsblog.

in this 2nd post, they decided to take a real world approach by showing what real women have to say about their reasons for riding or not riding or speculating as such. guess who was quoted? yup, yours truly.

i'm glad this conversation is going on. sometimes it's purely logistical, sometimes it's a self-esteem issue, sometimes it is a gender issue stemming from the engineering of a bike at the top level down to the dude at the bike store. very good stuff here.

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Now playing: INXS - The One Thing
via FoxyTunes

Enrique Peñalosa Talk at the SF Public Library

One thing about getting back to reality is getting to hear pretty great talks about urban planning. Yes, I'm a nerd.



Today the SFBC, the SF Great Streets Project, the Institute for Transportation & Development Policy all helped to put on a talk by Enrique Peñalosa, the former mayor of Bogotá, Colombia. Under his administration, he became famous for expanding the ciclovia that so many cities have begun to adopt and are trying to emulate a portion of its success. He made sure to stress that it was not created under his term, however.

He was a great speaker with lots of ideas how to transform cities into great cities. The first thing one must want to do when deciding how to make this transformation, one must ask: what kind of city do we want? How do we want to live? Do we want to be like houston (urban sprawl)? Do we want to be like amsterdam?

He sees city urban development as a quality of life issue by stressing continually that a good city should have public spaces where the rich and the poor can get together in the same public pedestrian space in the heart of the city. This is, he believes, where true integration happens.

He also said that a good city is one where one wants to be outside the home. As he has traveled all over the world talking to different cultures, he said he notices the more humans seem to be the same. He narrowed down 4 things that people across the globe seem to need: to walk, to be social, to be around nature and to play (for the lack of a better term). So if you are not wanting to be in your home or apartment, but wanting to be outside to meet these conditions, then you live in a good city.

This portion certainly resonated with me in that I lived in nyc for 8 years and in the bay area for 5 years. Its not that I don't like relaxing at home, because I do, but I have mentioned time and time again on this lil' blog that I need to be outside for my sanity. I feel much better when I'm not confined to an apartment and can feel the wind blow through my hair and on my face. I'm better when I'm walking or biking around.

Another talking point he raised that I thought was interesting was the universal fear of cars. He said all across the world, children as young as 3 years old are conditioned to be scared of cars. And he said that it's shocking that we think it's normal for this to be a fact: 1. that cars exist, 2. that cars they kill 250, 000 children worldwide and 3. therefore we should be scared of them. I thought this point was rather poignant and fascinates me. The culture of fear seems to be universal, and we do nothing to sort of combat the problem. Do we always need to have an "us v. them" mentality?

He mentioned a good city has wide sidewalks and little parking. In the next sentence he remarked that shopping malls are an indicator of how well or not well a city is functioning. He believes that one reason people like malls is that people like to walk (see above). They like to walk here because there are wide "sidewalks" with no cars; where people can sort of roam freely without fear of vehicles. He actually said that malls are a symptom of a "sick" city. A healthy city, one manages to do their shopping without driving to their destination, but rather they take a form of public transportation. Midtown manhattan (and the rest of nyc for that matter) comes to mind for this person. Austin, does not.

Speaking of austin and houston and (below) helotes, he mentioned the irony of the suburbs. People developed them because they wanted a safe place for their kids to grow up, away from the cars in the city. But the irony of the suburbs is that just lead to horrible other engineering problems for the city center that they surround which leads to a whole host of other problems, both health and traffic.

In texas where my family lives, there is crazy urban sprawl. Notice he used houston as a bad example earlier in the talk. It always completely surprises me that my cousin who visits here wants to go to the mall as part of her destination. I think it's a completely generic waste of time when you are in another city in another part of the country. Here you can find great parks, there's an OCEAN, there's any number of things that are not inside the mall. If you are in one mall, you might as well be in another since they all look the same-ish, and it doesn't really matter where you are. I know I have the nyc and sf plus a few years on her to have figured this out, but I also really like being outside. See, the redundancy is starting to click in the city in that I want and in the city in which I want to live.

Then the talk led naturally to the political hot topic of the day: parking. he joked that in no constitution he's ever reviewed across the world does it ever say there is a right to park. and he's right, it's totally an entitlement issue for those who have cars (and presumably more money) than those who do not. He said it was such a political hot topic for him, he nearly got impeached for taking away parking spaces.

He then started talking about the infrastructure changes he made in Bogotá, such as developing ciclorrutas, a 25 mile pedestrian and bike route linking the poor (& formerly illegal shantytowns) neighborhoods to the richer parts of this city of 7 million inhabitants. or BRTs, which I know are controversial in the bike blogosphere.

He also talked about the stress of starting the infrastructure early in the booming developing countries of India and China because then changes later start to become tricky, and that's where SF is in the process.

He concluded that a great city is on where a kid can travel safely everywhere...by bike.

He was fascinating to listen to, and I really could have listened to him all night. One thing I found interesting in the standing room only auditorium is that he was not preaching to the choir. During the Q&A session (someone was very anti-BRT, and I'm not so much) and listening to the elderly woman behind me talk to a fellow bike lover, it was very apparent that there is still a far way to go, but we all have the collective goal of making our city the best city possible for us in which to live. How we get there will be verrrrry interesting.

06 July 2009

back to life...

back to reality.

um, no firecrackers. we didn't see any on the way, then we realized last year we were a county up from mendocino, so whatevs. :) soon! must be soon!

was a great weekend. we had wine in a hot tub when we got there. it felt so decadent. the food was great, the parade was fun. i will post pics after i find my camera to computer connector thingy. it's in this here room somewhere. or maybe at the boo's place. we needed to get his pics from spain on to his computer.

and a BIG oops happened. we accidentally took the DVDs we rented from the place with us. um. yeah. so have to send those back asap. eek! i mean i like tommy boy, fight club and the old fashioned oceans 12, but not THAT much... ;)

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Now playing: Bomba Estereo - Fuego
via FoxyTunes

03 July 2009

more san antone lovin'

mama texican sent me this article about girl in a coma from her austin headquarters.

thinking of the 4th and firecrackers and san antonio makes me think of my grandpa. he instilled in me and all the 203985 cousins i have a great love of lighting firecrackers in the barrio. one year he got my cousins, L (who just turned 20...man i feel old), her sister tater d, DLM and yours truly outside when it turned dark. patrol cars were out, but we didn't care. so L was 2 yrs old, still a shaky walker as i recall. tater d and i wanted to light sparklers all along the sidewalk to make it look like a fashion runway. i just remember trying to get it all lit so that L could walk down, sparkler in hand. it didn't quite work, but it was fun to try.

another time we got those kind of firecrackers that you are supposed to put in the ground and they let out a different color up in the air a few seconds after another one. well, this being the breeding ground of the más macho que tu cabrón, i learned that you hold it in your hand and then turn it with your arm outstreched in the air. one of the ones that shot out ended up hitting the street lamp and set it out. i got a lot of pats on the back from my male cousins who were loving every minute of it.

and yet another time my two cousins DLM and RM were into smoke bombs that year. my grandparents had this lil fountain for the birds. the water in there was still, full of leaves and probably a lot of other unmentionable grossness. they thought it would be really funny to set off the smoke bombs in the fountain. GROOOOOSSSSS. it was pretty gnarly and gnasty and other things that "start" with "gn."

and on that note...happy long weekend everyone (in the US)! the boo and i are on our way to mendocino. why? to light firecrackers! can't wait.

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Now playing: Shakira - Estoy Aquí
via FoxyTunes

02 July 2009

my cards are on the table

says the calitexican.

sometimes you meet people and you really click. and people around you know that you click. this phenomenon is universally known as "chemistry." this has happened in my life a few times, both romantic and non romantic. when you are in the room with this person, everyone knows that it's just you and that person and you guys are blahblahblaaaaaahing all over the place.

and in that vein, i'm going to dedicate amy winehouse's love is a losing game to this sentiment. take from it what you will, but, as i mentioned above, i think it can relate to all sorts of relationships, not just romantic in nature.


For you I was a flame

Love is a losing game
Five story fire as you came
Love is a losing game

One I wish I never played
Oh what a mess we made
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game

Played out by the band
Love is a losing hand
More than I could stand
Love is a losing hand

Self professed, profound
Till the chips were down
Know you're a gambling man
Love is a losing hand

Though I'm rather blind
Love is a fate resigned
Memories mar my mind
Love is a fate resigned

Over futile odds
And laughed at by the gods
And now the final frame
Love is a losing game


contained in this post: one of the top 10 lines of a stanza ever: memories mar my mind. i, the calitexican, absolutely adore alliteration. oh yes i do.

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Now playing: Amy Winehouse - Love Is A Losing Game
via FoxyTunes

atx shout out from the yay

thanks to meligrosa over at bikes and the city. thanks so much for including me in yr atx shout out! she got the spider house, where i've had many a girl talk and maybe a pick up or two........, town lake's hike and bike trail where we went jogging for our high school gym class just cause it was across the street, and amy's ice cream....

i have manymanymany good memories from amy's. not from that one on soco, cause its super new to me, but from others, like the one on guadalupe street that is no longer there. my dad and i used to go to that one because it was across the street from where i used to get my haircut. one time we went and the guys behind the counter were in a playful mood. my dad wasn't usually into such things unless he was a part of the joke, so he was very suspicious of them when they were like, "hold on sir, we'll be right back." they then both run outside with my mexican vanilla with chopped strawberries. one of them stopped at the light on our side of the street, the other ran across the street with the plastic bowl. the one on our side of the street then proceeded to fling my vanilla/strawberry mix across the street from those metal ice cream chopper thingys. the other dude caught it in the bowl. looked like they had done it before too. then they both ran back inside and behind the counter all huffing and puffing. everyone in the place erupted into laughter and applause. even my dad, el mas serio of the serious. how could you not? that was certainly a memorable time at amys.

en-e-waze....

we have a lot of shows/choes to catch soon mujer. lessss do it! i haven't been to a show in ages. :)

ps: sorry mitchells, amy's will beat you any day of the week and twice on sundays. ummhmm, thasss right, i said it.

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Now playing: Nortec Collective - Brown Bike
via FoxyTunes