Friday, December 31, 2010


It's time to deport 2010 into the past and welcome 2011 as it just illegally crossed the border. I have a stale sense of humor, I know. Anywho, what would an online journal be without writing something to recap the last year. And what a year I must say. It flew by before I knew it. I'll re-frame from ranting and going over everything that happened this year because even I don't wanna do that. But what I do know is that in my 26 years of life, this has been the best year for me. There will always be set backs and low points, but I can honestly look back into the year and say it was a very good year. I didn't even have to use my AK.

I'm beginning to enjoy the aging process. Noticing that I'm maturing as an individual and growing old with friends new and old. It's kinda hard to explain it right now, but in the back of my mind there is a feeling of comfort. A feeling that everything will be alright and everything is going to work out in the end. I probably won't be able to articulate that feeling until I get there. Still, I know that the next year will have it fair share of struggles and low points. Friends are moving on in their lives and leaving and I'll still be in L.A. doing what I always do in a different time and place. I'm looking forward to the continued growth and maturing that is developing within me.

Who or what 2011 will bring remains to be seen. Hell even I don't know where I'll be. But I do know that I'll still be here writing and sharing those experiences and thoughts. The DREAM Act fight is still gonna continue of course. Now more than ever, will all the noise we made, there will be more people stepping up and coming. The movement put people in check and asserted itself. We are here and we aren't going anywhere. Hell, it's gotten to the point that people know of it anywhere we go. We must be doing something right. So, with that being said, here's to another random year of random thoughts. Salud.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

One Hot Minute

It's been a hot minute since I've put words to my thoughts. Well, any words that I would wanna share with the internet anyway. Not much is going on that I need to put thoughts to words considering it's coming to the end of the year. I also noticed that I seem to be averaging a post a week, which is something very doable to keep myself sharing and creating a routine. Which probably explains why I'm writing something up on Christmas before I go mimis. If I don;t do it now, it'll never get done. Anywho, I've been on a bender since I wrapped up school and the Dream Act came to a vote. Making the time to spend times with friends and getting to know them better. The holidays bring out the blues in people and usually I would be included in that crowd. Not soo much this year really, which is a nice change.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Dream Act Didn't Pass

So chances are that if you're reading this, then you already know DREAM Act didn't get passed. So what's next? Good question. I'm not sure myself but I'll still be around and so will other people. Others are finally moving on because of personal reasons, which are understandable. At the same time, for every one person that wants to retire from activism, three more are taking their place. that's the kind of impact the movement made this year. It's been more visual, vocal and outspoken than ever before. You can't walk down the street now without someone having an opinion on DREAM, good or bad. The fact of the matter is the next generation knows they're not alone and that's there's an entire movement behind them now. Nothing is ever easy. So, while I'm not in the best of moods, I'll get by soon enough and the cycle will start all over again. Tis the way of life.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pre-umtive Jubilation

Not to be anti-social or anything, but when everyone else was cheering and hugging when the DREAM Act made it past the House of Reps., I was standing outside of the building staring at the crescent moon, palms trees, lake and people around me. The one's that were going about their normal day, because for them it was just another Wednesday. Still, I won't front. I'm not a bubbly person when it comes to moments of jubilation and joy. It's hard to be succinctly, but more or less it comes from the dysfunctional habits I've accumulated over the years. Being happy is still foreign to me, so when I'm around it, I act differently than others, simple as that. There's nothing wrong with being melancholy, because that's how I am really. I don't look at a glass as half empty or half full, I look at it as it would be pretty cool if I threw that glass outside the window because I like the sound of glass breaking.

Sunday, December 05, 2010

A blur

Waking up at 4:30 a.m. to be on television at 5 a.m.

Eating unhealthy, but delicious foods at all hours of the day

organizing different events to spread DREAM Act awareness. First L.A. DREAM Act Bike Ride.

Hanging out with the Mayor of L.A. and other peeps saying how the DREAM Act is good for business, education and all that good stuff.

Calling out city officials who wanna criminalize DREAM Act allies and supporters for holding it down for us. Making a bunch of noise and making sure people know we are here to stay.

The DREAM Act will come up for a vote no later than Wed. Dec.8. We will be working for one last push to make the DREAM a reality. Pass or not, life will go on. We will continue to work and continue to advocate for education not deportation.

Con Safos

Monday, November 22, 2010

A moments rest

In my life, I've come to associate normalcy with happiness. As jacked up as it is to say, in my life there, hasn't been a moment of unconditional bliss that I can recall. There was always something that was wrong and needed to be taken care of. Bills, food, jobs, being undoc etc. No matter how good things got, there was always something that seemed to ruin the moment. Even at an early age, I knew my family wasn't "normal" because how we lived and the things we had to do to survive, that much I knew. That's when I started associating "normalcy" with happiness and over the weekend I was finally able to make the connections in a way that made sense to me. An epiphany of sorts.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Living it up with the Dead

As the years keep adding up and the more I mature as an individual, I look forward to Dia de los Muertos with growing anticipation every year now. Maybe it's because of all the celebrations, shows and events going on through out the city, which there are plenty of, but for me, having one foot on both sides of life, I see things differently. I was born with a hole in my heart and was operated on when I was merely days/hours old. Can't remember which. I know I was born missing something and considering I was born with death at my side, plus having numerous near death experiences, death doesn't scare me like it does other folks. I embrace the day when it's my time to go and even though friends and loved ones have transitioned this year, there's a sense of ease and peace once as time goes on. An understanding of their lives and why we'll never forget them and continue to honor them.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Spokes & Words: South Central

A bit of explaining first. Three months ago I started organizing a bike ride called "Spokes & Words." Riding once a month to different parts of Los Angeles from East L.A. we share the road and words at various locations while having fun riding as a group. This week the group took a ride to South Central, specifically to the Watts Towers. Pretty ironic considering my last post was about how i hate South Central and here I am organizing a bike ride back there because bike groups don't ride to SC. In fact, anyone with common sense doesn't go into SC unless they have to. Why ? Because of the same stereo types that movies, music and people make about the hood. Some of it is true and the rest exagirated, but like I said, if you've live there then you know what's up and if you don't, then you'll just keep on being scared of ever gong there.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

South Central

View Larger Map

I hate South Central. I hated growing up there and now that I'm older, I have a better understanding and comprehension about things, it still hate it. If you've never lived them for an extended period of time, then you can't understand it. When you live in South Central, the majority of the time it's not because you have a choice, it's because that's what you can afford. Your options extremely limited and you have to make the best decision possible given the means you are provided with. If you aren't familiar with South Central for some reason, here's the Wiki version of it.

My family lived in South Central for a few years back and forth throughout the entire 90's. We were there for 3-4 years, then moved to Long Beach for 3 yrs. Came back and lived there for another 2 1/2 yrs before coming to East L.A. again. Over all, I wanna guess-timate a total of 7-8 years that we spent there. It's a big chunk of who I am as an individual because of the nature of life in SC. My experiences are not that different than others and I'm lucky to say that it was better than what was normally portrayed on tv or in movies. That doesn't mean I still saw and experienced things that pierce into my psyche and being.

Yesterday I just happened to be in SC again, visiting a friend to go to a party. Ironically, he lives mere blocks from where I use to live. Walking around the old neighborhood again brought back all those memories and reservations about the community. Not making eye contact, not taking out my phone, acting like I'm not scared because in reality, I still get nervous when I'm there. I can go on for days, but I digress. Just being back there again kinda made me feel good about being where I am, like a splash cold water on my face. I don't ever want to be in a position to have to move back again. I hate South Central.

Friday, October 22, 2010

LA Dreamers in New York Times

I know these beautiful ladies personally and I'm proud to call them sisters in the movement. The article focuses on them because women are leading this movement. They talk about the civil disobedience and the other things the movement did this year. Check it out. 

Many of these women are daughters of nannies, housekeepers, landscapers — a generation of immigrants who tended to keep a low profile. In contrast, their daughters have been schooled in a more vocal American culture. “We did what we were supposed to do,” Fabiola, an undocumented activist and a recent U.C.L.A. graduate who came to the United States from Mexico as a toddler, told me. “We are the cream of the crop. But because of something we had no choice in, our entire lives are on hold.” Living in the shadows, she said, is no longer acceptable.

“I just wanted to let you know I’m wearing my ‘I’m Undocumented’ shirt right now,” she wrote. “As I was putting it on, I remembered telling you about my fears when it comes to wearing this shirt, but I didn’t feel like that today. I feel like I am finally taking control of my identity. ”


I notice today something that I've been walking back and forth on, but never put my finger on it. This is something that is universal actually, a feeling of disconnect between yourself and your parents. For me, this disconnect becomes much more obvious and wider because I'm first generation everything. Every now and then, I'll talk to my mom about how things use to be back in Mexico. The memories we made there, actually having some sort of normal life there. Considering the way things were going when I was a kid, my mind gets the better of me in thinking what would have happened if we stayed and never left.

Today I kinda spaced out and saw this disconnect between my parents and me. While we share the unconditional love all families have, I feel so disconnected from them at times. I can explain and tell them what I do, but there are levels beyond explaining. My parents life went that way and mine is steadily going this way. Yet, I see that it's in that same disconnect that we are connected. I wouldn't be going where I'm going if it wasn't for them. No matter how big or small a role they played in that. Some of the biggest things in life happen with the falling of a simple leaf. The leaf that didn't fall too far off from the tree.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Dancing Days

There have been few times in my life in which the world and my problems didn't exist anymore. I don't think about not having a job, the struggles ahead of me etc. They all go away or more succinctly, they get danced away. I was never one for dancing because I was too self conscious and all that mumbo jumbo that comes with being a teenager/young adult. I can't remember the details of how I finally got over all that dumb stuff and let go. Dancing to rhythms because I have no clue on how to "properly" dance. And I ain't talking about club dancing, break dancing or anything like that, I'm talking about music from the heart. Cumbias, rancheras, corridos etc. This is the kind of music that flows through my essence. Whether I'm drinking or not, I dance my ass off till the cows come home.

Monday, October 11, 2010


It happens almost on a daily basis really. Every individual has their good and bad days. We all have our own issues within our lives. Everything from abuse at home, drug addiction, single parent house holds etc. So you take all that normal stuff and add being undocumented to all of that to spice things up. It gets pretty tricky. I won't get into details cause that'll take too long and I don't wanna give someone their thesis either. But I consider myself almost an unofficial expert on this because I live it. That and I'm still alive right ? Well, again, I won't go into details as to how to deal with this because it just doesn't seem right. Although I am very open about my life, this kind of information is too private, even for me.

P.S. For any haters out there who don't like immigrants like my self, suck it.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Frida kinda of life

Watching the Frida movie the other day reminded me about an art class in which we studied Fridas art and her life. I became very familiar with her works and who she was an individual. All the hardships she endured in her life both physical and emotional. Her romantic relationships with Diego and everything else in between that influenced her art work. Truely, she is one of the few people who have lived before me and I have found a connection on a personal level. My writing, much like her art, reflects what is going on in our lives because bottling it up inside won't do. With me, it's my poetry of course. While I'm not prolific, I am getting better at it. Practice makes perfect. I've also come to realize that while I choose to define my individuality through other peoples works, I can better define myself. While it may be a good analogy to describe to others, my life is my own. With so many people in the world, similarities are bound to come up.  

Monday, October 04, 2010

Restless Nights

I honestly don't know what ails me some days. For the last week or so I haven't been able to sleep right, and it's not just because of the heat wave in L.A. At night and in the early morning, my thoughts and mind seem to wonder into abysmal thinking. Not purposefully, it just goes that way. I think about everything that is wrong in my life and well, it just gets depressing. The horrible home life I have with my parents, school, my situation, friendships and other normal stuff that everyone goes through. I guess because I've never had someone to go to when feeling like this, for me, it just accumulates non-stop. I'm good at hiding it from everyone, but it still shows through in my demeanor, usually cause I'm quite. So, I think I'll shut up for a while.  

Friday, October 01, 2010

Mexican memories

I was talking to a friend and I started reminiscing about my childhood in Mexico. Days of future past as I refer to them. In particular, the time I spent at my great grandmothers ranch. I don't know where it is, in what pueblo or region. I just know that we took a bus to get La Huacana, my uncle would pick us up in his cab and we'd be there in no time. I remember care free days of walking to milk a cow. Catching chickens to eat. Fresh tortillas made by hand on a clay furnace. Hills, dirt roads and loving faces for miles.

Part of me romanticizes these memories because they belong to a seven year old child. A child who knows nothing of social identity, retaining his native language, the concept of one group of people being better than another or of what it means to be a Mexican. Those three months were the best I ever had. I woke up with the sun and went to sleep with moon. Adventure was the daily ritual, wondering around the pueblo, swimming in the arroyo as my mom washed clothes on rocks up stream. Chasing pigs around the house and causing mischief every where I went.

It's ironic that I got a taste of eden before being cast out from it. Living in purgatory. Killing myself to live. Being undocumented through no fault or choice of my own. That pueblo that is in my mind and heart is no longer there. The warehouse with filled with corn as far as I could see is gone. The arroyo is dried up. The family and friends I had there are gone as well. All I have left are memories of days of future past. If I had a Mexico to go back to, I would, but the U.S. made it so that I can't. I can't return to what isn't there anymore, not to a memory.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October 1, 2010

Illustration by Julio Saldago

The following is from the official press release. Once again, undocumented students are making history by taking control of their lives and putting it all on the line. I am proud to say that not only are they my peers, but my heroes.

Students Arrested for their Dreams Now Could Face Deportation

TOMORROW Oct, 1, 2010: Rally and Press Conference
in Front of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, 500 Indiana Ave, NW, Wash, DC 2001. at 8AM

Washington, D.C. On October 1st, eight young American immigrants- among them aspiring social workers, professors, lawyers, and engineers- will walk into a courtroom to answer for having sacrificed everything to fight for their rights. For the first time in American history, undocumented immigrants will be representing themselves in a court of law after having intentionally risked their lives in this country.

Reyna Wences from Illinois, Dulce Matuz from Arizona, Myrna Orozco from Missouri, Tania Unzueta from Illinois, Erika Andiola from Arizona, Nicolas Gonzales from Illinois, Laura Lopez from California, and Isabel Castillo from Virginia are charged with unlawful entry based on a mass sit-in on Capitol Hill on July 20th. These eight DREAM-eligible youth sat in the offices of Senator John McCain and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking them to champion the DREAM Act as a stand-alone bill.

On September 21st, the Senate attempted to reach cloture on the Defense Authorization Bill with the intent of then attaching the DREAM Act as an amendment. However, debate over the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell dominated the debate in the Senate and they did not reach cloture, leaving the DREAM Act in limbo, and with it, the last hope for these eight young Americans.

Given the ineffectiveness of the Senate, they now face the prospect of being convicted and, pursuant to current law, imprisoned or deported, unless immediate congressional action is taken to pass the DREAM Act (Development, Relief, and Education of Alien Minors). Whether they are found guilty or innocent, ICE is within its jurisdiction to put these youth in deportation proceedings.

At least 70,000 undocumented immigrant youth graduate from high schools every year, and many of them struggle to attend institutes of higher education and the military. The DREAM Act will grant youth who traveled to the United States before the age of 16 a path to citizenship contingent on continuous presence in the country, good behavior, and the attainment of at least a two-year university degree or a two-year commitment to the armed forces.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Got one mind for the white folks to see

Me and my captain don't agree

But he don't know, he don't know my mind

When he see's me laughing, laughing to keep from crying

Got one mind for the white folks to see

Another for what I know is me

~William Laurence James

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blink of an eye

That's a good way of summing up everything that's been going on these last few weeks.The DREAM Act movement went from planning, to calling and getting an answer. The DREAM Act was up in the air earlier this week. If you're reading this chances are you know already. It didn't happen. At best it was a splash of cold water to our collective faces. To wake up from our trance and realize that there's still work to be done. The DREAM Act is going to pass this year. Whether we do it the hard way or the easy way. It looks like the hard way at this point, but it's nothing the movement can't handle.

That's one good thing about growing up in poor communities with high crime rates and dense minority residents. You can take anything and still keep going, and we will. Giving up is not in our nature as DREAM Act students and individuals, if it was we would have listened to everyone, gone back to Mexico and that would be the end of that. But it's also in my nature to do things that pisses people off because they told me to do it, rather than letting me do it own my own. Whatever happens pass or not, I'll still be here sharing. I'll still go on about my life and I'm sure there will still be some of you here reading and supporting and/or hating me and trying to put me down by writing mean, vindictive comments. If it's one thing I've learned, you can't expect to put out things like this without getting apposing views. 

Friday, September 17, 2010

Military recruitment through the DREAM Act

A lot of what's been going on, besides the DREAM Act getting attached to military defense bill, is that it is going to be the militaries tool for recruiting undocumented and Latino youth to die in an imperialist war for a country that doesn't want them or value them. That the DREAM Act will only serve to shed more Latino blood in the oil wars and because Latino youth aren't going to go to college. They would rather join the military than to get a two year degree at a community college. Well I have my opinions about this, like everyone else. Course, Suicidal Tendencies can articulate it better than I can. Suicidal Tendencies indeed. If the DREAM Act doesn't pass, I'll do the world a favor, I'll leave back to Mexico. Through a bus or a coffin.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Up Hill Battle

My life has at times, some more than others, like if I'm pushing a boulder up a hill. Or in the case of the picture I posted, an elderly man pushing a shopping cart full of bottles and cans up a hill, passing a cemetery, hoping that the cans collected will garner enough money for food and bills. Everyday is a struggle, that's the chip on my shoulder. I have different chips, depending on the day, month, year or decade. They all come back to the "I am not a legal resident" chip that has been on my shoulder since I was brought here. It's get's pretty old pretty fast and I've noticed that. From conversations to the way I act and go about my life.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Take Action on DREAM now

Senator Reid will be moving the DREAM Act to a vote via as an amendment to the Defense Authorization Bill.
What does this mean?
It means that the DREAM Act still needs 60 votes to pass.  We still need 60 senators to say yes when it comes time for the bill to be attached to the defense bill.
What can you do to help?
We need calls right now. We need to flood offices with calls in support of the DREAM Act.   Currently we are being beat by anti-immigrants  10 calls to 1.  That  means for every 1 call you make in support 10 people are calling against the DREAM Act.
Dial: 1-888-254-5087 if busy or not working call switchboard directly at 202-224-3121
Ask to speak with Sen. _____:
Ask for the following people and leave a message with their office.
Call-in Script for Republicans:
“Hi I am calling to ask that Senator _______ vote for the DREAM Act. This bill will allow for undocumented youth to fix their status by serving this country in the armed services in addition to allowing for them to return the investment our country has made in them. Please have the member support the dream act.”
Sen. Hatch of Utah
Sen. Bunning of Kentucky
Sen. Bennet of Utah
Sen. Gregg of New Hampshire
Sen. Bailey-Hutchison of Texas
Sen. McCain of Arizona
Sen. Voinovich of Ohio
Sen. Snowe of Maine
Sen. Brown of Massachusetts
Sen. Collins of Maine
Sen. LeMeiux of Florida
Sen. Brownback of Kansas
Call-in script for Democrats:
“Hi I am calling to ask that Senator _______ vote in favor of the DREAM Act. This bill will allow for thousands of undocumented youth to fix their status by getting a two year college degree or joining the military. This is an investment in our countries future. Support the DREAM Act.”
Sen. Hagan of North Carolina
Sen. Pryor of Arkansas
Sen. Landrieu of Louisiana
Sen. Conrad of North Dakota
Sen. Dorgan of North Dakota
Sen. Nelson of Florida
Sen. Baucus of Montana
Sen. Tester of Montana
Sen. Feinstein of California

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hypothetical conversations

What if, 'if's' and 'but's' were candy and nuts ? A life lesson I learned a millennium ago was that it's better to have a 'no' than a 'what if.' Meaning that I would rather have a question or query answered with a 'no', rather than spending the rest of my life wondering 'what if.' We all have to make decisions, some times we have time to think about them and some we must make in an instant. But failing to make a choice, while waiting for an answer to come to us is the worst thing we could possibly do. Thus I propose, what will happen when the DREAM Act passes or when it fails this year ?

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Machete star Danny Trejo

Machete Star Danny Trejo Mini-Doc by Estevan Oriol from SA Studios Global on Vimeo.

Peep this cool video of Danny Trejo talking about still living in East L.A. even though he's a movie star and coming full circle in his acting career and with the Machete movie. Also, I come out in this video heheheh at 51 seconds you can see me pose with him and thank him for taking the pic. He's the nicest man on the face of the earth. Go see Machete !!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Equivelant Exchange

When someone is down, we help them get back up. That is the balance of friendship and relationships. That balance becomes much more detailed and intricate over time as life isn't black and white. When I'm down, my friends help me up and for that I am eternally grateful. So much so, that I cannot possibly repay they back the exact value of their time, energy and love.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tour de DREAMS 2010

The Tour de DREAMS is a 540 mile bike tour from UC Berkley to UCLA all for the DREAM Act. This is the second year and more riders participated from last years. This ride was not only dedicated to all the DREAM Act students out there, but to Tam Tran and Cinthia Felix who passed away earlier this year. Tam participated in the first tour and her brother Lolly rode in her honor for this tour.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Speaking for ourselves ~ DREAM Act Town Hall

Last night here in Los Angelestitlan, Dream Team Los Angeles and the Orange County Dream Team organized a DREAM Act Town Hall discussion. And it was off the hook son, I tell ya what. You could cut the tension with a knife I tell ya. There were a few, "Ohh no you didn't just say what I think you just said?" and "ohhh snap" moments. There were also a few, "you're not my momma, you can't tell me what to do" moments that raised the temperature in the room, but all in the spirit of creating dialogue and discussion not only among ourselves within the DREAM Act movement, but within the community and individuals fighting the same fight on different levels.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Random Childhood Memory

I was between four and six years old when this happened. For some reason, this is one of those memories that's etched into my psyche. Why and how don't exist here because it's simple cause and affect. I took money that wasn't mine and I got the shit beat out of me for it. This happened in Mexico when we were living in the D.F. in some apartment complex and at the time, my aunt and my cousins were staying with us at the time, waiting to cross to the U.S.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Going where the work is

Some time last year I remember writing about my experience picking raspberries for a day in a farm/field in the mid-west. At the time, that's what my family was doing to make a living, so I joined them for a day because work is easier when you do it as a family. Well, my mom and sister left L.A. yesterday to go back to that farm/field to pick raspberries again for the summer. My mom hasn't worked much since she was arrested for being a tamal vendor, so she helps my father with his business endeavor.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Recap of stuff I've been up to

In no particular order of course. Man is time flying by these days. I realized I haven't posted anything on here so I'd figured I would fill y'all in. Well for I'm older. You would think that I would write some self loathing post about turning 26 and everything that comes with getting older, but eh. I spent my birthday at the DREAM Act Hunger Strike Camp in Westwood. Friends are fasting to pressure Feinstein to push the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill so it can be voted on. I was the night security last night and it was fun, till I got sleepy. I'll probably end up doing it again next week.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The DREAM hits Washington D.C.

Diana Martinez, 18, an undocumented student, was one of 12 arrested after refusing to leave their sit-in in the Hart Senate Office building.
An estimated 65,000 illegal immigrants graduate from U.S. high schools each year.
The Washington Post-Mark Abramson

"I'm not going to lie and say that I'm not afraid of someone coming in and trying to arrest me, but I can't let that fear take over my life," said Teodoro, 22, a student at the University of Massachusetts in Boston whose parents were deported back to Brazil a couple of years ago. "The only way of people finding out about my situation is to tell my story."

Washington Post article on everything that is currently going down in D.C. right now.  

Xikano Hipster

Well first off, here is loose definition for what a regular hipster is. Now, what the hell is a Xikano hipster ? Well look at this picture taken of me. Cool hat ? check. Handle bar mustache ? check. Cool artsy shirt ? check. Bad ass art show ? check. Drinking a tecate with tagging on it ? check. I've mentioned that I'm still unemployed and spending my time volunteering at a non-profit, but I have also been helping friends put together their shows.

The job issue is still very much pressing, but there's always room for the arts. It's what makes me live and one of my reasons for waking up in the morning. Since I've been able to be a part of it more so these last few weeks that ever before, becoming an art history major is in the works. Or at least a minor. While I'm not artist per say, I do love helping to curate and creating conversations with others. Seeing how I do this soo much and I have a unique fashion style, I've been joking for the last few months about being a Xikano Hipster. Mostly to make fun of that idea and to piss other people off cause they bee hatin' hipsters hahah. I like to have fun with it. Xikano Hipster, ironically Chicano.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

A month of unemployment

Truly, in my 25 years of life on this earth, I have had the most fun this past month. Seriously. Even I can't believe how I've been able to manage this long and going to all the parties, events and adventures I've been on. Drinking all night long, dancing till six in the morning and spending time with friends. I love it, but it will have to come to end soon enough.

AS it is, I spend my time volunteering at a non-profit. Weekends I sleep in and go to parties, art galleries, poetry nights, concerts and stuff like that. I end up going with friends and drinking because they bring the stuff. That's basically it really. In-between all this I still do DREAM Act work by talking to classes and outreaching at events. I also ride my bike a lot since that's free. The pressure to get a job still isn't there yet. School start in two months and I'm feeling really apathic about where I'm going right now.

Part of me just wants to jump off the LA River and end it all. I wanna quit school and leave everything behind. I wanna have the life I have right now. Going to a place that I look forward going to and doing great work. Being able to hang out with friends not worrying about going home early because I have work. Granted that there has been a lot going on because it's summer and friends are leaving for trips, which means going away parties. Part of me wishes this was my life already. Curating art shows, organizing for DREAM Act and community issues, writing and living a decent, honest life. That's what depresses me the most. That I still have to pay more dues to have that kind life. One day I guess. One day.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Hot dog wrapped in Bacon one the Fourth of July

Hot dog, hot dog with bacon

Hot dog, hot dog with bacon

two for five, two for five

Juice, water, soda

Juice, water, soda

The fire in the night sky lights my face in amazement

I can see beauty in destruction

I can smell and hear patriotism

Most importantly, I get a taste of what America is

A hot dog wrapped in bacon

I walk past the vendors and I see days of future past

Was it soo long ago that I was doing that ?

Raspados, fruit and hot dogs for sale on Cesar Chavez

I hear the moan and sigh of a 13 year old

Standing next to her mom as she tends to the grill

I see her little sister standing in front of a water cooler

Enunciating in perfect English, water, juice, soda

One dollar

The night is made into day once again with a continuous blast of red, white and blue

I see their faces and I see myself, my mother, father and sisters

Taking advantage of a situation and trying to make a dollar

They're seen and shooed away because their makeshift kitchens are hazards

The smell of hot dogs with bacon grilling in the open air is too powerful

I think about biting into one and I realize

The fourth of July to me is running scarred from the beach because there's a rumor going around that La Migra is around

It means blowing shit up with your friends down the street as my dad marinades carne asada with Budweiser

I look at the grill once again and see something I didn't notice

Those onions, peppers and jalapenos

They were hand picked by someone out in some field

That bun cooking, it was made by an immigrant working illegally in a factory in the Midwest

Just like the hot dog and the bacon wrapped around it

Now that's what I can a good old fashion American made hot dog

Que la Virgen bless these United States of America

You two faced son of a bitch

Saturday, June 26, 2010

I am AmeriKKKas Most Wanted

I have been a criminal for more than 18 years
I have spent my life on the run
Hidding in the shadows and staying on the down low
I have lied about my name
I have lied about being a US Citizen
Yet I have never pretended to be anyone but myself
Undocumented and Unafraid
Unafraid to stand up against the wrongs of society
Unafraid to protest in the streets of L.A.
Unafraid to live my life the way I want to
But it's all a superficial lie
I am afraid I will loose my friends
Afraid that their lives will be stolen from them
Afraid that evil will prevail against good
That the xenophobes, nativist and racist that scapegoat that them there illegal aliens on societies problems
We cannot and will not lose
How can we lose when we have truth and justice on our side ?
Continuing the same legacy of truth and justice started by those before us
Ignorant are those that blame Mexicans for the oil spill
For the polar ice caps melting
For taking their jobs washing dishes, baby sitting, mowing their lawns, cooking their food and washing their cars
I am AmeriKKKas most wanted
I am wanted for working and putting myself through school
I am wanted for getting a college education
I am wanted for not dropping out of high school and making something of myself
I am wanted for trying to improve my neighborhood and mentoring youth
I am wanted because I am not a drain on society
I am AmeriKKKas most wanted because I have a DREAM
That one day, we will be free at last

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Gone drinkin'

Growing up and seeing all the STUPID and IGNORANT things my father did because of his beer drinking, I never wanted to drink beer because I didn't want to become him. I still have vivid memories of him playing loud music at two in the morning, talking all sorts of nonsense with whoever he was drinking with at the time, buying food and spending money like it was nothing. The worst memories that part of me wish I could forget are those of the times he would get drunk and start fighting with my mom'z and beat on her. Him throwing up in the middle of the night and getting it all over the place, my mom having to clean it up. When he wouldn't be able to find or get to a bathroom and pee himself. When he would drive drunk because there was no one else who could drive us home. Those are the kinds of experiences I had growing up that made me decide that I never wanted to touch beer.

Monday, June 14, 2010


There seems to be some differences in the over all movement for immigrants rights. It basically comes down to individuals fighting for the passage of the DREAM Act as a stand alone bill and everyone else. Now, when I write everyone else, I mean all the major orgs that make their money organizing people to fight for immigration reform. Everything is reaching a boiling point and both sides are fighting with each other, playing some sort of blame game that isn't getting anything done. RIFA and other orgs are taking in money because they say they support the DREAM Act, which they do but almost only in name really. They haven't done anything or supported any of the actions and movement to get it as a stand alone bill.

Monday, June 07, 2010

It's coming

The dream is coming
coming to a television, computer and face near you
you keep ignoring the issue that immigration reform won't pass this year
year that has been filled with ups and downs
downs that seem to get deeper and deeper every time you fall
fall, spring, summer or winter we will not stop working to pass the dream act now
now that I have your attention, please direct it to the upper right hand corner of the room
room full of hopes and dreams
dreams that need to be realized before they fade away
away into the distance of the wind
wind that changes the path of destiny for those caught in it
it was soo long ago when we were brought into this country
country that has become our adoptive home
home is where the heart is here in L.A.
L.A. is where you learn to live and die
die before you see your full potential be fully utilized
utilized by a world that leeches off those who don't know better
better to live on your feet than die on your knees
knees that begin to buckle as the wight of the world starts to become too much
much adu about nothing because time is passing us by
by the way can you please sign this petition and make this call to help the cause
cause I said so mutha fucker
fucker that would rather see his brothers and sisters continue to suffer than admitting that they're wrong
wrong about trying to pass immigration reform and not the dream act
act that we will have to continue on with because we can't be ourselves all the time
time stands still when you are waiting for your dream to come true
true that we are only getting older and the youth that helped start the movement are turning into adults
adults that think they know what's best for the movement but they're just trying to get paid
paid to continue on with the cause because we all have kids and families to support
support from everyone is what's needed to make this happen
happen today and not tomorrow because they're might not be a better tomorrow
tomorrow is another day passed by that can't be taken back anymore
anymore longer and we are all going to be 30 year old dream act students still fighting for the cause
cause life isn't easy

Saturday, June 05, 2010

My privilege

Translated into English, that quote from Zapata reads, "I want to die a slave to principles, not to men." Easier said than done because it's easy to quote and idolize others. Would someone really prefer death more than being a slave to someone in whatever shape or form it manifest itself ? Suicidal talk isn't something to joke about or neglect, it's serious shit I tell ya what. I've babied that idea in my life, but running away from problems is never an answer to anything, unless that problem is LITERALLY chasing and to live you have to run. But I digress from my point in that I find myself in the position of immense privilege. As an undocumented student going to college, community events, parties, art shows, poetry readings, movies, volunteering and being an activist, I find myself to be privileged more than the people I am supposedly trying to help. The people in my "community."   

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


It's funny how things can change in the span of one year. Last year I came to the Immigrant Youth Empowerment Conference as a participant hoping to learn and connect with others. This year I was asked to be a workshop facilitator for immigrant identity. I didn't really know what to expect, even though I prepared for the workshop. More than 1,200 people singed up and more than 900 showed up, for sure. Parents, high school kids on field trips and other people who wanted to find out more and be involved in the movement. Most people come find out more information to help their students, family, friends or themselves.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Green card marriages

I've babied that thought over the years a few times. Both for logistical and personal reasons I don't think I could do it as a sham, but if it was real, then that's different. However, if I ever did go through with it, I would imagine it would be like all those movies about green card marriages, in which two people meet so one doesn't get deported, they lie to the government and their case manager, try to live with each other and eventually, fall in love by the end of the movie and live legally and happily ever after. Us immigrants get into the most kooky situations to stay in the U.S. No wonder they make movies about it.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

3 years later

When May rolls around, one thing that comes to mind is the job. I started working where I'm at right now on May 15 or 17 in 2007. I took it because I needed it and because I had no other choice really. I have seen things that at times have made me loose hope in my fellow human beings. I have seen the face of racism and ignorance. I have seen the problems of this country and taken their order. I write about these experiences and will forever hold on to them because I know the truth about people. I know how they really are and I will never forget that. I use it as fuel to push me through life so I will never become like that. I wrote a poem about during my lunch break.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Reporting with ganas

Do I look freaking awesome or what ? As a lover of art, I can't thank Ernesto Yerena for including me in his serious of works for his upcoming show in November called "Ganas 2020." Ernesto is an amazing visual artist, as you can see and is one of the most down people I know. He let's his work do the talking for him and is always there supporting the community with his art, presence and support. I consider it an honor to be able to know him and call him friend. I'm also ecstatic about what his future will bring both to his art and the community. Most of you recognize his work from the "We Are Human" campaign stickers and posters seen at marches. Thanks for making me look pretty damn good Ernesto. And for all the ladies out there, I'm single, bilingual and ready to mingle :)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Tam & Cinthya's memorial at UCLA/Civil Disobedience in AZ by 3 undoc students

On Saturday night, around 1 a.m. I woke up. I felt weird and thought it was time to go to work because I went in at 6:30 a.m. I looked out my window and saw a red sky. Then I remembered a line from the Lord of the Rings movie, "It's a red sunrise. Blood was shed this night." During the rest of the day, I attributed that wake up call as a prelude to my mom being arrested. It wasn't until I got home and checked twitter that I found out what happened to Tam and Cinthya. I realized that when I woke up, it was because I felt the disturbance in the force when the accident happened. When their lives transcended from this life into the next.

Their memorial was a celebration of the lives they lived, the activist they are and the friends they touched on their journey of life. Everyone got to know both of them just like their closest friends know them and will forever remember them. I know I did. It was hard to see everyone feel soo much pain from their leaving, but it was a joyful kind of pain. They were in that room today supporting and comforting everyone.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


When I contemplate about life when it happens or I find myself at a cross roads, I look to my patron saint, Peter Parker aka Spider-man. I think to my self,  what would Spider-man do ? For as long as I can remember, I have always used humor to sort of diffuse a situation. I once almost broke my ankle, and after they got the dirt bike off of me, I joked that my wipe outs aren't as funny when they hurt. Everyone got a good laugh. Yet, when I got a text from my sister saying that my mom was arrested by police, I couldn't find anything funny to say. I just froze and thought to my self, no. This isn't happening. This only happens to other people. Other families. Not mine. Not my mom.

One lesson I've learned in life is that you stand by your decisions. If you decide to do something, you take everything that comes along with that decision. The good and the bad. My mom knows what she does. She knows that in Los Angeles it's illegal to sell food without a proper permit. She's never had run in with police because she wasn't a normal street vendor that was mobile. She sells tamales in front of a path way where we use to live a few years ago. Before her our aunt sold there because she lived there before we got there and she herself sold tamales at another local popular spot at night. She was doing it since the early 90s, for mare than 20 years.

Metal legend Ronni James Dio R.I.P

He's been fighting stomach cancer the last few years. This is a huge loss in the metal community. Dio was a trail blazer and was known for his power house vocals. Dio took metal back to a medieval era, with swords, dragons, magic and operatic story telling and vocals. He's best known for associating the metal horns with metal music, back when he was with Heaven and Hell. Music is a huge and vital part in my life. I live and breath musically for Heavy Metal. I learned alot from listening to this music and will always have tremendous respect and admiration for it. It's a huge loss, but that is life, and I think Dio knew that more than anyone. Now, he's probably signing vocals and fronting the greatest band in the universe with dimebag, hendrix, Pual Bonum, Jim Morison and all the other greats that have transitioned to the next life. One day I'll be front row to see the greatest concert of all time.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The worst day of my life: my mom gets arrested and DREAM family passes on

“Las Tres Muertes,” the three deaths. Ofelia Esparza says that in life we all go through three stages of death: the day we die, the day we are buried and the day we are forgotten. She said that the worst death a person could go through is dying and not being remembered for who they were and how they lived." 

I think today might possibly be the worst day I have ever faced in my entire life time. And I'm not being dramatic. Earlier in the day, my mom was arrested by local police because she sells tamales. She's a street vendor. She and my aunt have established their spot and tamales for the last two decades. People know them and love them, that's why they've been able to sell for more than 20 years. Even when my mom moved away for two years, people would ask me about her and joked that they missed her tamales. When she finally did return to her spot, everyone came back, as if she was never gone.

At the same time, I got home after work today only to find out through twitter and facebook that Tam Tran and Cinthya Felix have made the transition into the next life. I wanted to believe that it was another Tam, not the one I knew. But as I kept reading more and more it started to sink in that it was her. The Tam that inspired me to do the work I do for the DREAM Act. The same Tam that I first heard about doing all these amazing things with all the other UCLA IDEAS folks way back in the day. They inspired me to continue on and fight. I met Tam a few times, I told her about my blog and she said she would check it out. I was star struck the first time I met her. I was like, "It's Tam !!." It's a sick joke that they died in a car accident.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Moving The "Movement" Forward

Breaking up with someone is an experience that everyone has experienced one way or another. When two individuals connect on deeper, more profound levels, trusting each other and sharing their feelings, deeply rooted connections are made. Those connections became like nerves in some relationships. If they're fragmented or cut, the pain is unbearable for both parties. That's what I saw today, nerves, roots and connections that have been severely fragmented by time and miss-communication, opened up again and sanitized and prepared so they can be closed, and so they can finally heal.

The "movement" here in California has been around way before I was even out of high school. By "movement," I mean the fight for immigrants rights and all the different shapes and forms it has taken over the years. For you see, the current "movement" I'm a part of, the DREAM Act and immigration reform, started in 2001 when AB 540 was introduced and passed in 2002, along with the first version the DREAM Act. I have had the pleasure and honor in meeting and talking to people who have been with the "movement" since those days. They fought to get that work done and they were there when it was all said and done. They have put in work and helped pave the way for the DREAM movement.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Ethnic Studies banned in AZ

I saw this clip of AC 360 over at Immigration talk with a Mexican American. Great blog, check it out. Sigh, I really don't know what to say anymore about what is going on in AZ. Part of me understands that there is a problem in AZ and that people are fed up about it. Nothing has happened, so they've taken it upon themselves to fix those problems. The problem with that is that some of these people shouldn't be the ones making these calls. It's like all of a sudden, people in AZ are calling out anything that isn't "American" or promotes the ideals of "America." Those ideals and values of course being changed and reworded to promote whatever change they're trying to make so they can say they have the values of America in mind when enacting these laws.

One of the main arguments that Tom Horn uses is that "Raza" studies does nothing but teach kids that they are oppressed and to feel like shit, more or less. He also mentions that once kids take these classes, they become problematic because in classes they are taught to be proud of their race. His argument, more or less, is that school systems shouldn't teach ethnic studies because it doesn't promote unity within the educational system. While his points maybe some what true and not complete BS pulled out of a hat, if regular school curriculum incorporated the history taught in these ethnic studies classes, then they wouldn't be needed right ?

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Your name is Toby

I believe it was Mr. Steve-O from Jackass that once said that even though the stunts he does do hurt, he can't imagine the what kind of pain and damage other people do to their souls going to a job they hate and/or can't stand. Ditto. As I made my way to my job this morning I couldn't stop thinking about what I did all week. Going to school, meetings, planning events etc. To cheer myself up, I saw Iron Man 2 at midnight and the next day I saw the play, "A Bengal Tiger in the Baghdad Zoo." An amazing play that I highly recommend to any that is in L.A. or will be in a city that will be playing it near them. I can't say enough about how amazing it was.

At my job, I think a lot. I think about the people I see there, my co-workers and things I have to do. Today I spent the entire day taking peoples orders and scrubbing floors. I also contemplate there a lot because of all the contradictions I see within myself, within others and the world around me. As I was riding my bike home, I saw the guys that drive around in a truck cleaning the trash cans on side walks. One of the guys finds a pair of women's panties, smells them and then wears them on his head, laughing with his co-worker. I laugh out loud and they notice. Funny stuff.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010


"I don't think I deserve the scholarship more than anyone else, in fact they probably need it more than I do."
~ What I said at an interview for a scholarship Last week.

"Sometimes I don't even bother applying to some scholarships because I've already talked to a bunch of other people that are applying for it. Plus, I already have one for the fall, and I don't wanna be greedy because the pool of scholarships undoc students can apply for is extremely limited."
~ What I said to someone last night.

There are some days man when you get kicked down when you are already down to begin with you know. It's like, alright this happened, it's cool you know. Just forget about it, you have other stuff to take care of. That's what happened when I went to a workshop today about a scholarship that  I would apply for, if I qualified for financial aid or could prove how broke I really am. Just a month ago I got assed out from another scholarship worth a few thousand bucks because of the same reason. Then I get home and get a letter that says that I didn't get another scholarship that I thought I had in the bag. Guess that's what I get for being cocky about it huh ? 

Way to fuck with me there universe. That's a good one. If anything, my bank is going to charge me that $35 overdraft fee for that $1.54 I went over this weekend. Wouldn't that be awesome huh ? Yet, my problems are nothing compared to those of others. I just like to think and feel that it only rains on me. After all, this is why I created this writing space in the first space. At this point, whatever opportunity presents itself for me to become legal, I'm taking it. I need not concern myself with pride for trying to get the DREAM Act pass anymore and see in all the way through. Fuck that man. How can I help others when I can't help myself ?  

Sunday, May 02, 2010

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night

What if you had the power to do more ? If you could stop the suffering of countless others with a single sacrifice of yourself, would you take it ? Could you ? Do you think you're that strong enough to do it ? Could you handle everything that would come before and after ? The mixing of fear and anticipation combined with excitement and compassion. Could you carry a mountain of DREAMs ? These thoughts have crossed my mind before, on several occasions actually. This sense of superhero-ism that I romanticize because that's the kind of world I live in.

A world in which the people in my life never inspired me to take action the way comic books and fictional characters do. I live my life through superhero analogies. It's how I break down and understand the world around me. Which is why I was never one for religion. Over time I have come to understand and accept that there are forces beyond my understanding guiding and protecting not only me and my family, but the people around me as well. I have tried to search for those higher powers that go under different names by different people, but it lead me to understand that my life, the way I live it and the way it is guided falls more under the Buddhism tree.I live my life by their teachings, whether I knew it or not and I'm more receptive and understanding through it.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

I hate Mexicans

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you ~ Friedrich Nietzsch

There are days in which I hate my own people. Seriously, today was one of those days in which I see the argument other people make against Mexicans and immigrants. I won't go into the details because it's that's not the important part. This isn't the first time I had thoughts like this. I have them almost on a daily basis really, specially in my own community. I write this because when I walk down the street or ride my bike, I see what's wrong with the picture I'm looking at. A homeless man, decaying and gushing out juices from over swollen legs on the corner, next to a high traffic bus stop. His scent bring tears to my eyes and makes me gag at the same time. Gang bangers that would take your life for the few bucks in your pocket, tagging, letting you know this is their territory. People who will never go beyond the capacity of working a dead end job, having kids and contributing to the Latino/a population.

I think about that and more, but at the same time I think about what I'm doing, what my friends are doing and what others are doing, all in the name of helping those people I just stereotyped before. I think about the workshops I've done, sahring knowledge about what it's like to be undoc, passing out flyeres to help people know their rights and a number to call in case something happens to them. Protesting, organizing and planning to help people that make feel like an elitist, shit talking, prejudice ass hole who focuses on the what a few people do, instead of what the over all picture looks like. 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Community Organizing

Redunkulous. I have to make up words  to describe the training Dream Team Los Angeles just put together. It was off the hook I tell ya what. All the hard work and planning paid off and the youth that attended our training rocked it. I'm serious. They showed the kind of potential that makes you wonder what they will do later on in their lives once they finish school and make their way into the world.

Truely, it's bitter sweet that there is another generation of youth taking up the cause of fighting for undocumented students, parents and immigrants. You think this would have been a problem that would have been addressed long ago, but even when the DREAM Act passes, work will still need to be done in different forms and the need to help youth come into their own, learn to organize and create change in their communities.

I had the opportunity today to help 8 individuals learn to foster and harness their latent potential by showing them techniques on how to organize, just as my fellow Dream Team L.A. colleagues did with their kids. We helped them find common ground with complete strangers, how to work as a team and how to come together to make things happen for the better, using their own personal talents and drive to make it all happen. Never in my life have I had the honor pass on knowledge and strength to others in all my life. The best part of it all was that I did it all by being me. I took the instructions, made them my own, cracked jokes, gave examples and helped them put all the pieces of the puzzle together. It's like some warm fuzzy feeling inside my tummy, that or I'm just hungry again.

There's no doubt that even though I wish I was somewhere else in my life, this is where I need to be. I work with some of the most amazing individuals who give of themselves to make this happen. They balance their lives and add organizing for undoc youth to their scales. We all have our reasons, but like the training we taught today, we all have a common goal, a shared story and a driving passion that can never be snuffed. Just like the superheroes I love to read about, I'm surrounded and work with people that put them to shame. People that will be influential in the near future, sharing with another generation of kids their experiences, tribulations and the work they do. Life goes around in circles like that.