Wednesday, June 24, 2009

DREAM Graduation after thoughts


More than anything, I was proud to be part of Dream Team LA and everyone that was part our our graduation and all the other graduations across the country. With some many people synchronized and united in the same cause, I know we raised a lot of attention because of the sheer coordination it took to have everyone on the same page.

Yet, there are thoughts and feelings in the back of my mind. I wish I could be as optimistic as other people, but the fact of the matter is I'm still in the same place. As much marching and calling we do, I'm still here, at work the next day because the reality of things is that I need to survive. I need to take care of my business in order to have the opportunity to be part of monumental events like the graduations.

I'm realizing this is one of the main reason I was such a loner in the past about things like this. How can we know the heights of joy without experiencing the depths of grief ? It's bitter sweet. We get our hopes up, knowing that today we may have influenced another person or politician into realizing that the DREAM Act is needed. We can only do soo much before it's out of hands and in the hands of the faiths.

I think that's the hardest part for someone of us. We are getting older everyday, our windows of opportunity are passing us by with every waking moment. Our lives on hold because of the challenges we have to over come. I'm starting to fear that for some of us, desperation will set in and lead them to make hard decisions. Decisions they never wanted to make but are doing because it's almost the end of the line.

I cringe at the idea of being 30 and still being undocumented. Still not able to have a regular job or any other of those things. Time is passing us by and I am thinking of what I need to do in order to make things happen. To go to places I didn't want to go to because I have faith in the government and politicians passing the DREAM Act. That faith is wearing out more and more everyday. Suddenly ideas I had about doing certain things for citizenship are looking like last resorts.

I hate having a job I can utilize my full potential. I hate that the world is moving and growing while I'm still in the same place I have been since I first got here. I begin to wonder if I was such a horrible human being, that I was born to suffer. To live my life this way because of past sins. Sometimes I don't even k ow what to think because it leads to the dark recesses of the mind. The ones we ignore and keep at bay. No matter how much we do, at the end of the day, we'll be where we were. In purgatory. Neither heaven or hell.

~ con safos ~

Monday, June 22, 2009

Dream Graduation @ L.A. City Hall

This is way last minute, but I've been caught up in helping organize and plan this event with Dream Team Los Angeles. If you are in the L.A. area come down to the graduation at 11:30 a.m. when it starts. It's in front of city hall so you can't miss it. There's going to be testimonials from students and key note speakers advocating for the DREAM Act and equal and higher education for everyone who wants. it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Too much thinking

The last few days for me have been good. I'm enjoying myself and the
company around me, the people I surround myself with and the ones I
look up to/admire. Yet, when I go back the house I'm currently living
in, it all disappears into nothingness. I was given advise, few months
back, but I'm still where I'm at and it's because it's my fault.

I tell myself that by sacraficing going to school all week and working
two days a week is the best solution right now. I tell myself that
living at my friends house, with his family and all the stuff that
comes along is worth my education. I still think/feel this way, but
the sacrfice is losing its value, convinience and appeal.

A while back I came to realize that not having my own place of zen,
other aspects of my everyday life suffered, along with the people
around me. It's happening again. I don't like being grouchy all the
time. I don't like being mad all the time. I don't like a lot of
things right now but it's the best I can do because I don't wanna work
where I work anymore.

I want to be able to get paid for my stories rather than just
publishing them on blogs and magazines. Frustration builds up over
time and it just ruins things in the end. Balance requires an even
exchange. If I want my own place I need to make more $$$$ If I want my
own space I need to make more $$$$ if I want my own place of zen
outside my subconscious, I need more $$$$ Money, I've learned to live
without it for soo long that no matter how much I detach myself from
it, I still need it to stay sane. I need $$$$ to live without it. $_$
~ con safos ~

Friday, June 12, 2009


I believe in balance. When there's too much of one thing it has to be
evened out so both sides are even. When an individual has balance in
there life, things are good, happy and positive all around. For me,
balance is something that aludes me because just when I think I have
it, I see other wise and stride to find real balance rather than
something superficial and temporary.

It's equivilant exchange. In order to gain, something of equal value
must be lost. A simple rule that can change lives drastically. At the
moment I'm questioning what balance I have in my life. I recieved a
letter in the mail letting me know how much $$ I would recieve for a
scholarship I got and blogged about. It's going to make things easier
at school.

So I question this kind fate bestowed unto me. Did I reaaly do
something to deserve it ? Why me and not someone who might really need
that $$ more than me ? Those are some of the questions I ask myself.
Am I worthy and deserving of this ? Just a few minutes ago someone
special someone said they don't want to hear me selling myself short
outside of jokes. Since I opened the letter I've been thinking about

For me it's the fact that I can do more and that I can do better than
what I'm currently doing that makes me doubt myself. When I stop and
think about what I did today besides my laundry and it's safe to say I
earned what I have. I proved that I'm worthy of being a scholarship
recipiant because other people see that in me, but I don't.

In my life, I have been acustomed to the negativity of others,
including my parents, that not thinking and even feeling that way is
strange and unnerving. A fish outta water for la k of a better term.
It's only now that I have better understanding of how things are and
what I do that I know better. I know that being proud of your work is
nothing to feel bad about, hide or keep away from everyone.

Of course in doing so you open yourself up to getting an inflated ego
and all that good stuff, but with great people around you keeping you
in check, guiding you and supporting you, that path can be avoided.
It's only now with further understanding of how things are that
negative energy can be tossed aside because it's not wanted. It's hard
to be negative when you have possitive people around you.
~ con safos ~

Tuesday, June 09, 2009


Uncertainty causes a lot of problems for those who don't have
confidense in themselves. I go through it sometimes, but I learned
from it and grew because of it. Tonight I gave some thought to one of
the BIGGEST "what if" in my life. What if I was born here and I did
have legal residency ? A few years back I would have said something
that wouldn't make sense and I wouldn't be able to justify or argue.

What I knew then and what I know now are leaps apart. I think back and
realize how much things have changed for the better in my life in
certain aspects. So to answer the question, life is what you make it.
It's pointless to spend time and energy thinking about something that
didn't happen. A persons life is set out in front of them, whether
their life is to change the world or change the world of one person.

There are people that if I hadn't met, I wouldn't be where I'm at now.
It's because of them that I'm able to do what I do because they
instill and inspire the greatness
I'm capable of. What if I was a chick ? A goat ? What if I was like
everyone else and didn't give a rats ass about my community ?
Everything happens for a reason whether we have the capability to
understand it and comprehend it. Our lives are laid out for us by the
destinies because there's different paths to the same destinatio. We
just play it out. So trucha. You never know when you'll take a left
turn on easy street.
~ con safos ~

Saturday, June 06, 2009


Hmm... It's odd to have support from others for me. My family supports me, but they never showed it or made a big deal outta of it. They don't fully understand what I do here as a journalist, but I know they still support me intheir own way. So when I was at a dinner for the California Chican@ News Media Association tonight, I felt weird and not just because this was my first time wearing suit. Ever.

After having a drink, enjoying a great chicken dinner and dessert, the night got underway and amazing people were honored for their work chronicling Latinos and their struggles in mainstream media. From there scholarship winners were put on the spot light, me being one of them.

There were only four outta the seven recipients present and we got a standing ovation from everyone in the room. To have support like that, not just because they believe in me and gave me a scholarship, but because we're carrying on with the work they are doing. Writting about our communities and having more people of color in newsrooms. Our lives mirrow each other in that we continue on with the work the CCNMA Association started 29 years ago. With so much support, not just from them but from friends and family, I'll make them proud.
~ con safos ~

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Las Madres del Este

I have never felt the loss of a loved one. In my entire life I haven't lost any close to me that I can think of. Even if I have I still wouldn't know how to feel. What to say or what to do. So being at a funeral today for extended family was my first time ever going to one. I didn't think I would turn on the water works, but I did. Thinking about what little time I spent with her and what that meant to her.

Often times we would be sitting in front of her house, talking and catching up. She would tell me stories about her kids and their lives growing up. Everything she built, she built with her hands. She learned to make tortillas from her mom and she took that and turned it into a business. With taut she built her own home, bought propery and prospered when East LA was nothing but dirt roads.

I had tremendous respect for her because she was a true self made woman. She didn't care what her husband or anyone else said, specially when her kids were teased for being tortilleros. Hahahah she would tell them to be proud that thier tortilleros because they work for everything they have. Everything she did, she built with her hands and dedication. I admired that the most about her.

The same can be said for Ofelia Esparsa. Google her name and you'll know who she is. She raised nine kids while being a teacher and getting her teaching degree all at the sametime. Her artistic influence has been felt in East LA since the chicano movement back in the late 60's and early 70's.

She's know for her Dia de los Muertos alters and her work with Self Help Graphics. However, tonight she had her own solo exhibition and showed a side not many get to see. To see her paintings and sketches was a rare treat, even though she's been doing it all her life. Her children and grandchildren are just as talented and their keeping with tradition.

Both of these woman helped built East LA yet they never met. One is know by a whole city yet the other was just as influential but know within her family. Both established tremendous lives and raised kids that are giving back to the community. Their influence will never be forgotten because I won't forget them. Even though I may not have experienced loss, I know that death is only the begining.
~ con safos ~


The dictionary defines detoxification as the expulsion of poisons from
ones body. I couldn't have said it better myself. To recap, I went to
go see my friend who I haven't seen in a while. She works and goes to
school tambien and any time in between goes to her bf. So yeah we're
talking and I realize in the middle of what I've been doing how happy
I have been since leaving the school paper. Seriously. I've gone out,
participated in education summits and have been happier over all.

She tells me what she's up to and it's not the same anymore. It's not
like it was before because drama between friends changes things. It's
obvious she has made her choice and in that respect I made mine. I see
her life and where she's going and it's the opposite of where I'm
going. I wondered for a bit what that would mean. As we grow older and
wiser we start to realize things.

I'm realizing that some of the people I called friends aren't friends
anymore. I realize that it was easy to be friends with them because
they were there and nothing else. It makes me think because people are
fake. People talk and change their minds. People do a lot of things
and sometimes I'm glad that I dint have to deal with them. I have my
own crap to deal with and dealing with anothers isn't fun. I've been
giving it thought.

Do I go at it alone leaving behind fake people who don't bring
positive energy into my life or do I continue to stay in contact with
them ? Those dynamics are interesting to me. I see they're errors and
I learn from them. What constitutes a friend to begin with ? You can
be around someone all your life and not know that person. At the
sametime you can meet a stranger and feel as if you've known that
person all your life. One thing is for sure though. I let you know
what I'm about up front. I don't pretend to do anything. Some people
don't know anything else but being fake. Sucks for them.

~ con safos ~