Sunday, January 31, 2010

Baby sitting for sandwhiches

As weird as it, there are moments in which I miss being a baby sitter.
These are ONLY moments mind you. You see, back in 06-07 I worked at a
skateshop. The owner had a child and I became a friend of the family.
So much so that one she got older, they would ask me if to baby sit,
as a last resort. We had some good times I tell ya.

I would usually do it in the afternoon for a fee hours in between
someone else getting home from school or work. On days I did baby sat,
we would watch Dora theExplorer because she loved that show. She also
has a swing set in the back, so a lot of the time would be spent there
or on the front yard playing withthe dog. I did this to help out and
didn't expect money, so they would let me help myself to the fridge :)

I would make her quesadillas or half a sandwhich, a snack like cookies
and we would chill from there. One time she was coloring and I let her
doodle on my hand. I in turn wrote on her stomach, with washable
markers, "insert food here." We all got a laugh out of it, even though
it didn't come off for a few days because baby skin is WAY more
sensative than I knew.

I still see her when I walk the dogs and ask her how she's doing in
school now. I'm amazed at how much she's grown and how she is
changing. To go from an infant in diapers hugging me to telling me all
sorts of random things about how the dogs like her and what she
learned in school. Kids are something I yell ya what.

It's in those times baby sitting that I know that I'm holding off on
kids. Still, I can't wait when I do. To be able to teach them
everything I know. To help shape their minds, identity and over all
being. I can only imagine what they'll be like knowing that by the
time they go out on their own, I will have shared with them almost
everything I know. To take the best of me and improve on it. Truely,
that is the day that I look forward to in my life.

~ con safos ~

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Bill of Rights Graffiti on Av Cesar Chavez circa 1983

Before I was even born

Next time

I will fear no evil, for thou art with me P.S. 23 

~ That could have been me. I'm always walking on that corner, passing by on my way home. In Boyle Heights, like any other barrio that's the battle ground for L.A. gangs, it's every corner and every person. That's life around these parts. At any given moment, someone can rob you of your life and take you away from everyone else. That's life in the barrio.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dejavu circa 2004 - 2010

"If it wasn't for Heavy Metal, I would be a fucking punk."

"The only true currency in this bankrupt world is what you share with someone else when you're uncool."

Looking through pictures on my myspace page, yes I still have one, I realized and saw some of the changes I've made over the years. Everything from physical to mental and emotional. I'm proud to say that I've grown tremendously over the years and even though I don't stop to acknowledge that all the time, doing so once in a while helps put things in place. For me, it helps me reassure myself that I am where I need to be. That I'm doing what needs to be done in my life, like a feather floating in the wind, I let those forces beyond my understanding and comprehension guide my life and the people I meet. So, join me in looking back at the last few years in pictures and get to know me on a more personal level. Hopefully you'll see some of yourself there too and can relate to the progress I've made.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


loneliness + alienation + fear + despair + self-worth ÷ mockery ÷
condemnation ÷ misunderstanding x guilt x shame x failure x judgment
n=y where y=hope and n=folly, love=lies, life=death, self=dark side

~ con safos ~

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Trail of DREAMS

We are four students from Florida – Felipe Matos, Gaby Pacheco, Carlos Roa, and Juan Rodriguez – who were brought to the United States by our families when we were young. This is the only country we have known as home. We have the same hopes and dreams as other young people, and have worked hard to excel in school and contribute to our communities. But because of our immigration status, we’ve spent our childhoods in fear and hiding, unable to achieve our full potential. We walk in order to share our stories and to call on our leaders to fix the system that forces people like us into the shadows, stripping us of the opportunity to participate meaningfully in society.

My personal experiences and my thinking process are unique as any other individual out there. No two minds are the same, just like snow flakes, but they can share the same patterns and designs. I once wrote in a paper that I don't believe in marching, protest, hunger strikes etc. for the reasons they are done. Reaction. Whether it's to cause it or to act on it. I never saw their value and even in 2006 when Phantom L.A. came out of the shadows to march, even as my dad said to go with the family to go report on what was going on, I stayed home not wanting to participate. I don't regret my decision. My mind still hasn't changed, but through better understanding, learning and growing I can see that while I may not be one to take up arms and protest, it doesn't take away from those that do.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Unfinished work

"Something is happening in our world. The masses of people are rising up. And wherever they are assembled today, whether they are in Johannesburg, South Africa; Nairobi, Kenya; Accra, Ghana; New York City; Atlanta, Georgia; Jackson, Mississippi; or Memphis, Tennessee -- the cry is always the same: "We want to be free." MLK Jr.  

It's Martin Luther King's Jr birthday today, and I gotta share what's on my mind. You know this maaaannnnn. This past Sunday, I attended a town hall meeting titled, "Lincoln and King's Unfinished Work." The discussion, which featured Stedman Graham, Andy Anderson, Richard Dreyfuss, Assemblyman Warren T. Furutani, Congressmen Jesse Jackson Jr., Rev Eric Lee, Suzan-Lori Parks, Dr. Darline Robles, Gary Ross and Ronald C. White. Google any single one person and you'll see that this is a distinguished panel. I wasn't aware of who was going to be there so I was taken by surprise when everyone was introduced one by one. The focus of the discussion was on what freedom means today in current society and how it ties to the work laid out by both men in the past. Everyone gave their two cents, with tremendous in sight and addressing issues of how this is something that is instilled and conditioned with all of our lives. The social system and how it ranks different races and the values that it places on them. A lot of identity politics stuff. Nothing monumental or historic, but still a great discussion because I agreed with the majority of the statements they made, so I guess I'm making progress.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Ethnic social observations

I do a lot of people watching. I've had a knack for it since ever since I was a kid. Can't really explain why I do it because I just do it automatically. No matter where I may be, I see things and I analyze, make mental notes and laugh to myself about observances I make. I like to think that I may have a thing for sociology since I do it so often and through an academic lens, it would seem there is more to it than noticing simple mannerisms and social behavior. Everything a person does, conscious and sub say more about how they are than what they're words, case in point, actions speak louder than words.

Everyday I see something and on some days, depending on my mood and metal state, I write poetry or just make mental observations for future reference. Friday evening I paid my uncle-cousin a visit at his tailor shop. I say uncle-cousin because his dad is cousin-brother with my dad who married my mom, who's aunt was married to my dads cousin-brother, making their kids uncle-cousins. Yeah, I know. I bought some pants with money that I was going to initially use to buy a bike, so me being the short man that I am, had to the pants leg shortened to my height. His tailor shop is in the L.A. Fashion District. Initially I was going to write a post about my observations in the fashion district because it really is something special in terms of the dynamics and separate world that it is. I'll keep things to what I saw at his shop.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sending in paper work

Kinda ackward I know, but I'm doing this through my phone so eh. I had
to send in some additional paper work to CSUN so I can prove I'm AB
540 because apparently the school needs to make sure I meet the
requirements and not be some out of state person trying to pay less
for tuition. I had to sendin transcripts from high school to, along
with the affidavid. Good stuff. I take this as a sign that I'm in,
other wise why would they want all this paper work right ?

On a cunner note, I met some fellow bloggers over the weekend at a
community organizer training. It was soo cool to me you guys, you know
who you are :-P Like minds meeting online then in person. It's this
connection and sharing of life and thoughts that helps us get through
things sometimes you know. It was a great training and it's already
going to be put to use. Community organizers are something, like
president of the US.

~ con safos ~

Saturday, January 09, 2010

Of two paths

Innevitably, for some people, we have to chose between going left or
right. Red pill ? Blue pill ? Jedi or Sith ? Pie or cake ? The choice
to go in one direction rather than the other because the direction you
chose is the want you want for yourself. To be more specific, for me
anyway, I'm at the cross roads of having to make the choice of being a
man, making a living, being responsible, generally getting things
done. Or do I continue on this idealistic, semi-bohemian life that is
rich beyond any thing that can be bought or touched.

This of course isn't a problem for some because they've chosen careers
that do offer them successand the kind of life they want. For me
however, I'm torn. Through my writing, I have brought attention not
only to myself, but my neighborhood. I have met people I wouldn't have
met other wise. People who keep influincing my life for the better.
Passing on wisdom and experience toward me. Things that not everyone
is blessed to have, but at what cost ?

I am essentially stuck, never moving beyond the position I'm in
because I'm not persuing ventures that will bring in more income,
rather than just writing for fun or as a service to the community. Do
I live the life of a struggling and starving artist and fulfill my
deepest desires or do I swallow it down, get a job, a place, a car,
junk to fill te house and call it a day ? Of course there's other
paths out there to be found and explored, but for the time being, this
is what's in front of me.

Do I continue being a community reporter, writing about what I see,
events happening, issues affecting the community and such ? How
selfless can one be before they start to injure themselves ? I thought
about something today. In olden times, a persons word was worth a
million bucks. It's all they needed because if you didn't have your
word, if you lied and played, your name would be black listed. Labeled
as a man who cannot keep his word and cannot be trusted.

These days, a persons word is worth bullshit until they earn it over
the years. Gain respect and paid their dues. Reporters and their words
are no longer valued as they once were. It's easy to buy someone off
really. So what are my words worth in the online world ? In the real
world ? Words won't pay bills. The thanks I get from people for
writing about them or people for helping them discover something new
or old.

If you go one way, you can be a man and make a living and get shunned
from the people who helped you get there. Hmm quite the pickle. And
it's not over by a long shot. I just had to put some words down to
free space. Left or right ? Fuck it, I'll go straight.

~ con safos ~

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Translation frustration

For anyone that comes from a background of having to speak and write English as a second language, this is for you because translating for others is one of the most frustrating jobs we do. Seriously. Specially when it comes to family, mainly parents. "Puez pa que vas ala escuela si no puedes dicirme que dice en esta carta ?!" loosely translates into, "what's the point of you going to school if you can't tell me what it says on this letter ?!" I heard that so many times growing up that every time, to this very day I still get flash backs of moments like that and I get, let's see, how can I put this ? Agitated is a good word that isn't to brash. Rather than just going off on my past translating experiences, why don't I touch a little bit of everything that's both positive and negative on this particular issue.