Yearly Archives: 2007

My favorite photos of 2007 you probably haven’t seen

Tulum
Tulúm, Quintana Roo, México

I lagged on the Miércoles de Mil Palabras this year mainly because I didn’t have a camera for the first half of the year. Most of the pictures I took then were taken with Ralph’s camera. I think I used it more than he did. By June, I bought a camera for the family trip to Cozumel. I don’t take as many pictures as I used to (studying for quals isn’t all that exciting), but I do have some.

I chose the photos based on the following considerations: story told, amusing factor (as nebulous as Flickr’s “interesting” factor), and composition.

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Question of the week: O-S-C-A-R

sLast week, I learned the first name of an anonymous blogger (AB). I later told AB that his/her government name came as a surprise to me because all the [insert AB’s government name here] were all quiet and a little weird. AB definitely is not quiet and not too weird.

The exchange got me thinking about names and how names fit. A few days later, I had a conversation with some fellow bloggers (hi Laura and Diego) about the name Oscar. And this brings me to the question of the week.

This really is a QOTW considering I’ve been asking pretty much everyone I come across, including the kid taking tickets on Christmas Day at the movie theater. Laura was the only person to respond in a way that didn’t fit my hypothesis.

La Pregunta: Have you ever met a white* man (or boy) named Oscar?

*By white I don’t mean European. I mean white American.

Pocho Night of Power


Chicano satirists don’t need fancy signs

On Friday, I met up with the Puro Pedo Magazine staff for dinner in Alhambra. We had Hawaiian food and a brown buffalo (i.e., white elephant) gift exchange. Later, we drove south to Montebello for the Pocho Night of Power hosted by the same guys who do the Pocho Hour of Power show every Friday afternoon on KPFK.

It was a fitting event for the Puro Pedo staff considering the work of some of the Pocho Hour of Power guys, like Lalo Alcaraz and Esteban Zul, inspired our take a satire. We passed around copies of new and old versions of the magazine while checking out the bands and vendors.

More photos after the jump.
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One last nativity scene

I wanted to post the photo below with the other nacimiento scenes, but I had to wait until I went home and found it on the family computer. The photos is from a posada some time in the mid ’80s (I’m guessing ’86) held at my house. The kids are Danny, me, Ernie (cousin), Eric (cousin) and Cristina (friend of the family). It’s never made sense to me why Cristina, who is supposed to be Mary, is standing and I’m sitting. I also don’t know what happened to the third wise man, Joseph or baby Jesus.

Hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and didn’t eat too many tamales.

Nativity scenes

It’s not Christmas in a Mexican household without a nacimiento (nativity scene). Even in my un-festive apartment, we have a tiny nacimiento. The wood-carved nacimiento above is the only indicator — save for a few Christmas cards lying around — that it’s Christmas season.

I find it somewhat ironic that my place is so un-festive considering I’m the daughter of people who go all out for Christmas. The tree and lights go up right after Thanksgiving and our nacimiento (combined with a Santa’s Village, how’s that for acculturation?) have always been a source of pride for my family. We even have decorations in the bathrooms!

Still, I think my favorite Christmas decoration is the nacimiento. I love how every family does it a little differently. Check out some more nacimientos from Zacatecas, Guanajuato, Hacienda Heights and Chicago.

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State of affairs

You know what’s ironic?

A few weeks ago, I was trying to compose a text message to a friend about feeling rejected. When I wrote rejected using the T9 predictive text, the first word to come up was selected.

2007 has definitely not been my year for being selected. Instead, I keep getting rejected. I’ve taken lots of L’s (losses) this year. Take a look:

  1. January: submitted conference proposal, it was rejected (repeat two more times in August and November!).
  2. April: boyfriend breaks up with me. I try to plead my case a few weeks later in May. He still says it’s best if we’re not together.
  3. May: apply for the legislative liaison position with the Graduate Students Association. Get passed up for someone with more experience. Ah, politics.
  4. November: X, the guy I’d been dating for a couple months, gets bored/disinterested/whatever with me and we stop dating.
  5. November: take qualifying exam. Doesn’t go so well. Have to retake one of three questions.

I’m hopeful 2008 will be better and that I’ll find “someone who cares about the world as much as I do” or just get some serious work done toward graduating.

A little gift: State of Affairs by Los Abandoned [right click, save as]… sigh. They broke up too.

Mil palabras: Towel Bride?

Day two in Cozumel.

We didn’t do much this day. The group split up in two as the guys rested from partying late into the night. My parents, Lori and I went into town for brunch. The parents went off to rent a scooter and Lori and I wandered around the malecón and checked out some of the shops. Later, I met up with the guys to watch the Mexico vs. US soccer match. It was sad. It’s one thing to see Mexico lose on TV in your LA apartment, but it’s worse when you’re in a bar with a bunch of other Mexicans and the only white folks in the bar don’t even care about soccer. Mexico lost. Ugh.

We returned to our room to find this odd little towel creature. I think it’s a bride based on the veil-like shape above the head and flowers. The guys were upset that they didn’t have any towel creatures in their room.

Later that evening, we went swimming and snorkeling. We also had a family meeting to set the agenda for the rest of the week.

Question of the week: Paying for College

I’ve got financial aid on the mind. I think this is a side effect of writing a paper on financial aid policy shifts in the last 25 years. Or it might be because I recently checked my BAR account and saw that I owed almost $3,000 for winter quarter fees. Yikes. It’s a good thing I have a research assistant position which pays my fees.

For grad school, I’ve paid my fees, rent and other education expenses through a combination of fellowships, research assistantships (covers my fees/tuition), work (up to 30 hours a week), student leadership stipend (e.g., vice president of external affairs stipend) and loans to help make ends meet. I don’t mind working because my work helps me polish my research skills and the cool students I work with help keep me sane. I’m not a starving graduate student, but I’m not rich either.

Undergrad was a different story. I’ll get to that later.

La Pregunta: But what about you? How did you pay your way through college? If you’re still in college, who is bankrolling your education?

Mil palabras: La Guadalupana

One of my good friends at school inspired this haiku last year:

Hardly religious
Wears Guadalupe pendant
Hangs near corazón

My friend was born on the 12th of December, the day Mexicanos and Guadalupanos of all nationalities celebrate La Virgen de Guadalupe and commemorate her apparition to Juan Diego. A non-religious Chicano wearing a Guadalupe pendant shouldn’t surprise any fellow devotee. I think we all see the Virgen Morena in slightly different ways.

I struggle to explain what she means to me, especially when other writers have done it so much better (see Goddess of the Americas).

Above all, La Virgen de Guadalupe makes me feel at home and closer to my family. She’s all over my parent’s home. She has her makeshift cerro de Tepeyac in the front yard and greets visitors to the house as they enter the front door. She reminds me of my faith and calms me down in those tough times.

Previously: La Virgen Morena (links to blogging.la posts I wrote on La Virgen de Guadalupe’s ubiquitousness, history and manifestation in modern-day art).