Question of the week: Escribiendo

I’ve never been good at conclusions. I don’t really end things, viagra dosage they just fade or stop abruptly. It happens with papers and blog posts, information pills romantic relationships and friendships, viagra sale projects and goals.

I’m never satisfied with my endings. When it comes to a paper, the conclusion is just annoying, even though I know how important it is to tie things together in a cohesive conclusion. Ever since I learned about the basic essay, I always had the most difficulty with the closing paragraph. Red ink would surround the last five lines and I got lots of comments like “weak conclusion.” The papers I write now never feel complete. That’s probably because most of the time, I’m in such a rush to turn something in and forget about it, that the conclusion isn’t even an afterthought. I could revise and revise and revise… and the conclusion still would not feel like a real conclusion.

Oh, and let’s not even talk about starting. I always procrastinate.

La pregunta: What’s your achilles heal when it comes to writing? How do you deal with your weakness?

Si volviera comenzar, no tendría tiempo de reparar

Five things I’m looking forward to:

Los Lobos at the Santa Monica pier. It’s been a couple years since I’ve seen Los Lobos. I don’t think I’ll come away feeling as nostalgic as I did last time, case but I intend to enjoy it. Oh yeah, it’s free.

My birthday. I don’t usually look forward to my birthday, in fact I kinda dread it, but it’s different this year. I’ll have a small family BBQ and then go out dancing at one of my favorite clubs/lounges. The DJ is a friend, so I know he’ll play good stuff and not the crappy dance music you hear in other clubs.

The Dodgers having a winning September and making a run for the playoffs, actually getting in to the playoffs; baseball playoffs in general; UCLA football and tailgating for the first time ever at the Rose Bowl.

The start of the fall quarter. Weird, I know. Still, the sooner fall quarter starts and ends, the faster I make real progress toward getting the hell out of grad school. I’ll also get to know the incoming class of students in the program I help run and welcome back the sophomores.

Café Tacuba’s new album, Sino, which will be released on October 9th. To listen to the first single, “Volver a Comenzar,” check out this e-card (have your speakers on). Yes, that’s the same song I posted a while ago on YouTube from a Mexico City concert. The official website hasn’t been updated, and the splash page points to their MySpace page. My friend Hector sent me a link to Este Encanto where you can download the single. A new album means new tour, possibly in December. Hopefully when los Tacubos play LA again, I won’t be able to predict the setlist.

Chisme on a Monday evening

I think I’ve done this one before, erectile but Rio tagged me so I’ll do it again.

Rules of the game:
a) give eight random facts, buy information pills chisme or confessions and post to your blog
b) tag eight other people at the end of your piece (I’m ignoring this one)
c) that’s it.

The Cheese

1. I’ve only been to one Dodger game this season. I didn’t stay for the whole game because it was way too hot and I had to get to a wedding. My friend Gabby would probably say this makes me a bad fan.

2. I’m still in grad school even though I threaten to leave all the time. I’m done with my coursework and need to take my qualifiying (quals) exam in the fall. I’m scared about that. It’s not my ability I’m worried about, it’s my own motivation to sit for a three-day weekend and write three 10-page papers. Yikes. I even had a nightmare about quals earlier this summer.

3. Some of my best friends are named Victor. I’ve never met a guy named Victor who I didn’t instantly get along with. The thing that sucks is that my four favorite Victors no longer live in LA. Two recently moved to Texas and the other two are in the Bay Area.

4. I just got a new nickname. Flower. As in Flower the skunk from Bambi. I think I like it.

5. If there’s a fire in my apartment or in the building, I can be pretty certain I’ll get out safely. As I’ve been interrupted three times in the past 10 minutes by the smoke alarm. It keeps going off because my roommate burned bread in the oven. Oops. Oh well, at least we know the batteries in the smoke alarms are still good.

6. I used to have a very low tolerance for alcohol. My friends made up a rule: Cindylu gets two. Luckily, I’ve built up my tolerance over the years but I still have to limit how much I drink because I usually need to drive home.

7. As I walked in to Kerckhoff, the student government building, this afternoon I noticed that the photos of the student government officers and members of governing board for the student union and student media had been changed. The old members are now gone and in their place, just the names. Soon enough, the names will be accompanied with photos of all the students. It made me sad that I’m no longer up on that wall. I liked seeing my photo on that wall with the title External Vice President. I miss the travel and being in on all the University of California chisme. I even miss the conference calls and day-long meetings. I miss my stipend too.

8. My favorite song to play on Guitar Hero II is “Let’s Talk More Rokk” by freezepop. However, as of yesterday “Sweet Child O’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses might creep to first place ’cause playing it allows me to do the cool Axl Rose dance.

I know, I know… that wasn’t all too juicy. I save the real chisme for the one-on-one communication.

Question of the week: Compliments

A long time ago — okay, oncology it was only 2001, but that feels like ages ago — I got my first weird compliment.

We were close together, so he had a good view of my face. All he could come up with at that moment was, “You have a really symmetrical nose.”

A few minutes later, he complimented my eyebrows too.

Weird, I know.

I like my nose, and I do think it’s symmetrical. In fact, I’m really happy I got my mom’s nose and not my dad’s. (Sorry, Dad.)

It’s been a while since I’ve received another one of those weird compliments. Boys are much more conventional these days. They note my cool beaded bracelets. Most compliment my smile and lips.

I received another weird compliment recently. Rather, it was just unexpected.

As I danced at my friend’s party, my dance partner looked at me and offered this one up: “You have really nice moles.”

Mis lunares? Really. Cool.

La pregunta: What’s the weirdest compliment you’ve received?

Born in East L.A.

Back when I was still contributing to Metroblogging LA I had an idea for a series on films based in LA where Latinos were the main characters. I made a long list and drafted posts. I even reached out to El Chavo! so we could tag team on posts for Metroblogging LA. He was down, abortion but I never followed up. A year after my initial idea, I’m finally getting around to the movies. Enjoy. Oh yeah, and feel free to add another movie to the list.

Born in East L.A. (1987)

Director: Cheech Marin

Starring: Cheech Marin, Paul Rodriguez, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Daniel Stern and Lupe Ontiveros

Neighborhood: East LA

Based on a true story: No. However, deportations of undocumented workers are a common occurrence in/around Los Angeles. During the Great Depression and then again in the 1950s, the US launched mass deportations of immigrant and US-born Chicanos. Present day, we have the story of mentally disabled Pedro Guzman who was wrongfully deported by ICE and was lost in Tijuana for three months (LA Weekly story on Guzman). So, it isn’t too far of a stretch to imagine that Rudy, a US-born Chicano, who barely knew Spanish could be mistaken as an undocumented worker and deported.

Edward James Olmos connection: Not directly. But there are several actors including Paul Rodriguez and Lupe Ontiveros who have worked on projects with Eddie Olmos such as American Family and Mi Familia.

Main themes: immigration, undocumented immigration, assimilation and reconnecting with one’s roots.

Memorable quotes:

Immigration officer: Where were you born?
Rudy: What?
Immigration officer: Read my lips, El Paco. Where were you born?
Rudy: I was born in East L.A., man.
Immigration officer: Sure, sure. If you were born in East L.A., then who’s the president of the United States?
Rudy: I-I don’t know, that guy, that guy who was on T.V., the guy in the cowboy hat… he used to be on “Death Valley Days”… uh, John Wayne!
Immigration officer: Get him out of here.

Rudy: The president of the United States is Ronald “dickhead” Reagan!

Feel free to add more quotes. It’s been a while since I’ve seen the movie!

Mil palabras: Fair warning

If you’ve been around long enough, medical you know what’s coming up.

The new pink, on Elvira Arellano

On the Okayplayer message board, seek the reaction over Elvira Arellano’s arrest was much different than my other online favorites. People like The Unapologetic Mexican and Daniel Hernandez have gloomy feeling posts and updates on the situation. MySpace bulletins included announcements about press conferences and protest rallies. They’re just words, drug but I can feel the anger from those guys and my other friends. I’m angry too.

My fellow blogger’s anger isn’t over Arellano defying deportation. Nope. It was about the manner in which she was arrested and quickly deported.

I didn’t expect this reaction on a message board I frequently read, Okayplayer. There, the reaction bordered on glee. One woman — who claimed to be liberal when it came to the whole immigration debate — called Arellano’s 8-year old son and anchor baby and was happy she had been deported. Others in the thread responded similarly. The only anger at Okayplayer came from comparison to Rosa Parks.

I’ll admit, many comparisons to Rosa Parks are flat out offensive and even comical (see Sarah Vowell’s essay on the topic, Rosa Parks C’est Moi in The Partly Cloudy Patriot). However, Arellano was doing something similar.

She was a young woman from Michoacán. She was openly defying this nation’s laws that she considered unjust and unfair. Her defiance of these laws was dangerous. Crossing the border is not easy and we know that being held in one of the ICE detention centers can be hazardous — even deadly — to your health. She’s part of a large movement considered by many as this nation’s newest Civil Rights Movement and is president of the organization La Familia Latina Unida and her right to take sanctuary in a church was supported by prominent national civil rights organizations like National Council of La Raza and League of United Latin American Citizens. Oh yeah, and she’s a Christian.

And the differences? Well, Arellano was not an American citizen or a permanent resident. She lived in a church in Chicago and was arrested in Los Angeles, cities with sizable populations of immigrants and Mexicans. Both cities are also more liberal when it comes to immigration policy which is much different than Montgomery, Alabama. Oh yeah, and she’s not black.

Is the law Arellano’s defying unjust? I say yes, but you all know where I stand on the immigration debate.

Dynes resigns, the Compact stays

On Monday, remedy my friend IM’ed me with the news about University of California president Robert Dynes’ resignation. She asked, cheap “what should I write in my statement?”

My response: good riddance.

The newspaper articles seem to say this, obesity but in a nicer tone. They focus on Dynes’ role in the executive pay scandal, but don’t talk much about how Dynes did little to address the increasing diversity crisis at UC’s most competitive campuses and how fees (what everyone else calls tuition) rose rapidly during his tenure. Dynes also signed a Compact with newly elected Governor Arnold Scwarzanegger to ease the serious funding issues. One of the main criticisms about the Compact was that Dynes sold out the students by committing to annual fee increases and left out other key decision-makers, like faculty and the board of regents. You know, that whole shared governance thing?

I wrote a short paper for my first year exams on the Compact and how it could threaten California’s Master Plan for Higher Education written in 1960. I’ve included a few paragraphs from the paper after the jump. They’re related to one of my favorite topics: increasing tuition and financial aid. Sorry if it doesn’t flow, I just copied and pasted the aspects related to fee increases, financial aid and fundraising.

Continue reading “Dynes resigns, the Compact stays”

Question of the week: Cara de fuchi

I miss my roommate, nurse Isa. She’s been gone for over a month in South America. She won’t be back until beginning of September. Isabel is one of two roommates. The other roommate, plague Adja, buy didn’t take any long vacations this summer. However, Adja doesn’t know me like Isa knows me. Isa can read my face without much trouble. She can tell when I’m lying or not telling the full truth. Those faces are a little harder to detect than the face on the right. That’s my cara de fuchi. It’s the face I make when something smells bad, either literally or figuratively.

I’ve been making the cara de fuchi a lot lately. The slumping Dodgers (6.5 games out of first place in the NL West!) get the cara de fuchi. So does Congress for not doing anything regarding immigration reform except approving the border wall. I also give the cara de fuchi to the person in front of me who reclines all the way on a plane and the driver who cuts me off on the freeway and makes me slow down a lot.

I figure the cara de fuchi is a lot nicer than yelling obscenities.

La pregunta: What do you give the cara de fuchi to?

Five days is never enough

On the way to Cozumel, this we landed first in Mexico City and then changed planes to arrive at our (almost) final destination. I joked to my dad, ask that I wanted to leave the airport, hepatitis take a taxi to the bus station and buy a ticket to Salamanca. He looked at me like I was weird. Why would I want to go to Salamanca, a pretty average city in Guanajuato when I could go to paradise?

Simple: family. I miss them.

Salamanca has become my “happy place” since I visited on my own three years ago for the first time in about 15 years. I was overwhelmed with the kindness and hospitality of my family out there. I ate great food and visited beautiful cities. Thankfully, I was there long enough to get to know all my family out there and I left with a melancholy feeling. I was happy to return to my parents, siblings and home. I was happy for the time I spent out there, but I was truly sad that I had to be separated by a border and hundreds of miles from such great people. Prior to my trip, I’d never given any serious thought to how immigration splits up families. I was lucky enough to grow up close by to my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. However, I felt truly sad when I realized that my dad didn’t have that opportunity and was separated from his family.

Now I go back every chance I get. I went in December 2005 for my cousin Teresa’s wedding. I was only there for two days. I returned in August 2006 for my cousin Beatriz’s quinceañera. The trip came in the middle of a rough summer.

I had not planned to return to Salamanca this summer. The trip to Cozumel was pretty expensive and my work schedule only allows me to be away 5 days tops. But then my parents decided to go to be padrinos for a quinceañera. That was all the motivation I needed to ditch work for a few days and buy another plane ticket.

Five days wasn’t enough last year, and it definitely was not enough this time around. At least I didn’t forget my big memory card and got plenty of photos.

Short photo essay after the jump. Continue reading “Five days is never enough”