Monthly Archives: February 2009

Hand-holding

I sat in the middle between Lori and Adrian. My brother tagged along simply for the post gym trip to Costco. Lori and I had business. She needed to start up her gym membership after letting it lapse recently and I needed to sign up. We gave our IDs to Philip so could start the process.

Adrian asked, “Can you put me down as a referrer so I get he next month free? What if you add me to Lori’s family plan. I want to pay less too.”

“No,” Philip said and explained that I couldn’t be counted as a referred because Lori was not technically new and I was being added to a pair/family plan. He was nice about it though, and joked with my siblings whom he both recognized as regulars at the gym.

A few days later I was alone and without my sibling to hold my hand through my first session at the gym. While I consider myself fairly independent and willing to do most things alone, I was intimidated by the gym and any workout that wasn’t simple jogging around the local high school track or swimming.

I called Lori for some advice.

“Um… I’m going to the gym. I don’t know what to do. Help!”
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Diamond Boy

“I’ve been in love before and it’s not that cheesy,” he said.

“You mean you never called any of your exes Schmoopie?” I nudged.

“Oh no,” he responded, feigning disgust that I’d even suggest such a thing. We turned back to Seinfeld and the infamous Soup Nazi episode.

***

A year after first meeting we’re still Schmoopie-like cheesy. Corny even. I make sure we’re alone or around strangers when I call him [insert corny nickname] or he calls me [insert corny nickname]. I know we’d get teased because I’m the type of person who teases those couples who call each other cutesy pet names and can’t seem to stop staring in to each other’s eyes (or worse, can’t stop with the PDAs).

***

We were sitting on the steps leading down to the river walk when I asked him, “why did you have to go and fall in love with me?”

“Whatever,” he scoffed. “Why’d you fall in love back?”

“Because of that smile. It’s so hard to resist that smile.”

The Diamond Boy (DB) nickname was Mooch’s suggestion due to the freestyle song Diamond Girl.

Taking Over

My original Valentine’s Day plan was to make DB, the boyfriend, brunch and then walk to the Kirk Douglas Theater in Downtown Culver City (DCC) for the matinee showing of Danny Hoch’s Taking Over. I’ve lived just a few minutes away from DCC since 2000 in Palms South Robertson*.

Walking over to the Kirk Douglas didn’t work out. I was wearing heels and a dress. More importantly, we were running a little late.

I had DB drop me off and park in one of the relatively new parking structures along Washington Boulevard. Even though I’ve lived here for 8+ years, I only recently started spending any significant time in DCC. Previously, there was nothing to do after 5 pm and a dearth of any other sorts of entertainment. That’s all slowly been changing. The Kirk Douglas Theater playbill describes the “revitalization” (aka gentrification) of DCC in recent years. In a small area you can find several architecture firms, art galleries, a couple of theaters, and several restaurants. On Tuesdays, local growers set up a farmer’s market. If you go during a weekend night, you’ll find the 5 or so blocks between the Trader Joe’s and Kirk Douglas Theater quite busy. Now, I regularly shop at Trader Joe’s, buy fruit and vegetables at the farmer’s market, watch movies at the Pacific Theater and eat at some of the restaurants. I’d never gone to a production at the Kirk Douglas until last week. Still, it’s hard to ignore the fact that the only reason I’m watching Danny Hoch in Culver City is due to the recent revitalization gentrification of the area.
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Todo cambia

I updated WordPress for the first time in over two years. Embarrassing, I know.

The one-click upgrade was simple. Everything worked okay, except for my custom made theme. I settled on a simple temporary theme. DB stitched together some photos from the Lotería photo shoot with my buddy Rio.

I’m not sure if I should try and repair the old theme or go for something new. What do you all think?

UC’s new eligibility policy (pay attention, freshmen)

The Regents of the University of California recently voted to change the eligibility policy. Some people hailed the change as a step in the positive direction while others criticized the decision.

My friend and fellow higher education nerd (er, scholar), Oiyan, breaks down the changes to be implemented for the fall 2012 class (or today’s freshmen):

  • By the end of your junior year, you need to be done with 11 of 15 college prep courses. Like I said before… get thee to your guidance counselor!
  • Just like before, you’ll have to maintain a weighted GPA of at least 3.0. So take lots of honors and AP courses!
  • Take the ACT writing test OR the SAT reasoning test. That’s right… no more SAT subject tests, unless you want to be a superstar and take some anyway. The UC will still look at them, and think, “Wow! Super Achiever! We’ll count these tests like we count AP test scores.”

(Emphasis mine)

Oiyan’s six part series is a candid and snarky conversation with Asian Americans (and conservative pundits) concerned about how the new eligibility policy could hurt their respective communities. So far, she’s posted parts one, two, three and four. I assume parts five and six will be posted soon.

Valentine’s Day Cards by Rio (new for ’09)

Yeah, yeah, yeah… I know Valentine’s Day sucks. We don’t need to designate a day to show love, it’s commercialized, etc. Despite these reasons, I still enjoy February 14th. I like silliness, candy and any excuse to wear one of the many red items in my closet. I also like that Valentine’s Day inspires artists and others seeking to find a creative way to show love and appreciations to their significant others and friends.

I especially love my friend Rio Yañez’s cards. (Really, I was super excited to get his email that he’d finish the 2009 set.) For the last few years he’s made a set of 6 or 7 one-sided Valentine’s cards similar to those you handed out in elementary school. His new cards feature LL Cool J, Public Enemy, Morrissey, Selena, Ugly Betty, and the Iraqi shoe thrower journalist. Oh, I can’t forget Frida. Rio makes a Frida card each year.

Rio makes these so his friends can distribute them. He writes:

What’s up to all my friends and lovers? El Rio’s Valentine’s Day Cards are back in the mix for 2009! This is the 3rd year of my cards that celebrate love and culture and I’m determined to keep the series going.

As always, please post these cards on the pages of your friends, enemies, shorties, sanchos, and booty calls. To see an archive of cards from years past CLICK HERE.

Enjoy!

February Project, Part 1

February 1: Lori trained last summer and fall to run the Pasadena half marathon. Unfortunately, she didn’t run that morning due to the fires and poor air quality. She made up for that by running the Huntington Beach half marathon. The parents, Adrian and I went to cheer her on, but missed her (and she missed us) at mile 4 and at the finish line on PCH. Sigh. Our “¡Sí se puede!” and “Lori rocks!” signs were appreciated, but not always correctly pronounced. I heard “sí me puedo,” “sí ses puedes,” “sí se puedo” and other aberrations. To be fair, lots of people were able to correctly pronounce the phrase.
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Cindy vs. Piñata (early 80s version)

I had no problem with piñatas as a kid. I was happy to swing a bat or a stick at one in hopes of getting some candy (if I was lucky and not trampled by my older, bigger cousins).

Exhibit 1: First birthday party, 1981

Exhibit 2: Danny’s 4th birthday party, 1982

Exhibit 3: Christmas Eve festivities, 1982

A twist on a common narrative

A long-time reader sent me the LA Times’ latest story on the plight of the undocumented immigrant (or as they say “illegal immigrant”) student at a four-year university.

Before I read the story, I thought it’d be just like many of the other mainstream media stories I’d read about undocumented students. These articles usually focus on the valedictorians and other high achievers. That doesn’t surprise me. It appeals to the many who buy into the meritocratic ideals underlying the myth of the American dream. If only you work hard enough, you can make it!

It’s rare to read a story about the undocumented student who is not at the top of her class, doesn’t have an inflated GPA due to dozens of honors and AP classes, and scored only okay on standardized admissions tests. Yet she does exist, and she deserves an opportunity at higher education too.
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