This day in Chicano history: Oscar Zeta Acosta (1935)

April 8, infection 1935:
Oscar Zeta Acosta was born in El Paso, no rx Texas (also known as El Chuco)

“Oscar was a wild boy. He stomped on any terra he wandered into, vitamin and many people feared him….His birthday is not noted on any calendar, and his death was barely noticed….But the hole, that he left was a big one, and nobody even tried to sew it up. He was a player. He was Big. And when he roared into your driveway at night, you knew he was bringing music, whether you wanted it or not.”
– Hunter S. Thompson in the introduction of the reissues of Oscar Zeta Acosta’s The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo and The Revolt of the Cockroach People

Still lost on this Oscar guy?

Maybe this mini-bio from Gregg Barrios in the San Antonio Current will help:

Oscar Z. Acosta, born a Tejano in 1935 in El Chuco, grew up in California. He later became a lawyer and part of the Chicano cultural and civil-rights movimiento in the late 1960s. He ran as a Raza Unida candidate for sheriff of Los Angeles County in 1970. Despite a minuscule campaign budget, he came in second with more than 100,000 votes. His platform: Abolish the police department. [source]

Continue reading “This day in Chicano history: Oscar Zeta Acosta (1935)”

Every day is like (a Lenten) Friday

order on Flickr”>Chilaquiles by El Chavo

I gave up meat for Lent. I chose meat over sweets because the former seemed easier. I’m still eating fish, drugs seafood and eggs, visit this site so it’s basically like every day is a Lenten Friday.

I’ve never gone so long without eating poultry or red meat. It was a bit challenging initially. I wasn’t eating enough protein and was hungry all the time. Plus, I was still training for the marathon and I worried that the change in diet might negatively affect me. It didn’t.

After the first couple of weeks, I’ve adjusted to the new diet. I miss meat, but not too much. There have only been a couple of instances when I really wanted meat. One was when I was right in front of the taco stand at my family’s fundraiser. The tacos de pollo, al pastor and carne asada smelled so good. It didn’t help that I wasn’t interested in any of the meatless options. A second was after the marathon. I really wanted a cheeseburger but settled for a salmon burger.

I miss meat more out of convenience. When I cook, I usually make something with chicken or beef. If I don’t have time to pack anything for lunch, I typically make a turkey or ham sandwich, or I grab a Trader Joe’s microwavable meal. Those usually have chicken. I’ve tried TJ’s vegetarian microwavable meals and they’re either not satisfying or just taste bad.

The best part of this has been trying out new recipes and cooking some things I love but never make (e.g., tacos de papa). Over the weekend I made El Chavo’s veggie mole. I had this at his house last year and loved it despite not caring for tofu. I followed El Chavo’s directions to a tee and my veggie mole was delicious. Sean even had seconds. [Note: the chilaquiles, soyrizo with papas and beans up there were made by El Chavo too. Very delicious. He needs to post up a recipe for the salsa he used on the chilaquiles.]

If anything, I know that giving up meat for 40 days is much easier than giving up tortillas. I dreamt about tortillas three times then, but haven’t had any dreams about cheeseburgers or tacos de pollo asado… yet.

UCLA Tri 5000 recap

I had two goals for the half marathon.

1. Run all 13.1 miles. I’d run all my miles in training and wanted to stay consistent. The most I’d run during training was 11 miles. I hoped that I’d trained well and was prepared to run the entire course.

2. Finish in under 2:06 (about a 9:30 pace).

I didn’t doubt myself until two days before the race. I ran Friday morning. I was slow, approved tired and simply never found my stride. I tried telling myself that it was all mental and I was just nervous. My pep talk didn’t help. I cut my run short and went home feeling dejected. I hoped that I’d gotten my bad run out of the way just in time to have a good (or even great) run on Sunday morning.

And I did.
Continue reading “UCLA Tri 5000 recap”

Passed on pranks

I’ve never been in to April Fools’ Day. I’m a really bad liar. My face always gives it away or I’ll start laughing. If I want to pull of a prank, phthisiatrician it has to be written. I pulled off a semi-convincing prank 6 years ago, malady but never did anything like that again. Pranks take creativity, capsule planning and time. I tend to procrastinate and this year was no different.

I was pretty busy on Friday with job1, job2, helping Sean move and then getting to a Dodger game in the evening. I thought of a couple joke posts, but didn’t have time to write anything until after the game. Afterward, I just posted to Twitter and Facebook.

My tweet: At the store at Dodger Stadium. Looking to buy a pink* cap. (This is my April Fools tweet.)

After the fireworks show, I posted this to FB:
Since I’ll be marrying Sean, I’ve decided to adopt his team. I’m now a Yankees fan. Goodbye Dodger blue, hello pinstripes.

I later updated my profile picture with the photo above, but I’m pretty sure no one was convinced.

As for the failed posts, I thought about announcing the creation of a new blog.

31 percent
A new blog focused on living a healthy lifestyle from a Chicana’s viewpoint. It’ll be called 31 Percent in reference to the percent of weight I lost. The new blog will be modeled on A Black Girl’s Guide to Weight Loss and feature posts on my own weight loss story (which I rarely wrote about as I went through it), exercise and workout ideas (with a focus on running, duh), daily meals with photos, recipes, and tips for staying motivated to reach your goals.

JaMexican Wedding
Sean and I will collaborate on a wedding planning blog. We’ve both begun poking around wedding planning blogs and planning sites. They’re not too helpful since the writers’ idea of a large wedding would probably only include my family. With the rise in intermarriage rates, we also thought we’d documented the trials and tribulations of trying to incorporate two cultural traditions, hence the name, a combination of Jamaican and Mexican.

Sean talked me out of JaMexican Wedding because he said some of my readers might want to read about this and would be disappointed to find out it was a joke. Then I’d feel compelled to write wedding planning posts. As for 31 Percent, I find keeping food diaries a chore (though helpful). Taking photos of every single meal would be worse.

I’m not a fan of pink athletic or workout gear, especially when it’s replacing a team’s actual colors. Actually, I’m not much of a fan of pink in general.

On writing the future of LA

Last Tuesday I was part of a panel on digital media and blogging at Loyola Marymount University’s annual LAy of the LAnd conference. The theme for this year was “The Wired City: Writing The Future of LA.” I joined Kevin Roderick of LA Observed and KCRW, anorexia Juan Devis the webmaster for KCET’s Departures, and Kyle DePinna an LMU senior and co-founder of an electronic music blog, Shifty Rhythms. We were introduced by Rubén Martínez, the organizer of the conference and a member of the faculty in the English department. The panel was moderated by Evelyn McDonnell, a new hire in the department. About 40-50 students attended the talk.

I arrived a few minutes before we were set to start and me the co-panelists and moderators. Although I’m familiar with Kevin’s work on LA Observed and his commentary on KCRW, I’d never met him in person. Likewise, I’d spoken to Juan Devis before, but it was my first time meeting him too. I’ve met many bloggers (and non-bloggers) before and it’s always a good experience. This was no different.

I was a little nervous for the panel as I didn’t really know what to expect and I didn’t want to sound like an idiot. Thankfully, it went well and I’m pretty sure I sounded competent thanks to Evelyn and Rubén who moderated the discussion. The moderators introduced each invited panelists. We then spoke for about 5 minutes about our blogs/sites and our roles in digital media. As Kevin mentioned in his recap, he was the self-appointed old guy who transitioned from old media to new media. He spoke about LA Observed’s early years and it’s growth. Juan spoke about telling the stories of communities through interactive web content. I focused on using personal blogs to tell stories. I read lots of personal blogs. The ones I enjoy most are written by strong writers who have interesting and funny stories to tell, even about mundane things. This doesn’t even have to be done with words all the time. Oftentimes, photos or music are prominent part of the story. Kyle finished off by discussing the role of music in blogs and how he uses his blog to promote local DJs.
Continue reading “On writing the future of LA”