Saturday, February 27, 2010

18 miles

You've heard that expression of walking a mile in someone's shoes, well walking 18 in one day is intense I tell ya what. To fill you in, I helped in organizing the California Trail of Dreams with the Korean Resource Center and their affiliate NAKASEC. Today I got up at 5:30 a.m. to get ready with some coffee and some pb and J sandwiches. I met up with my friend and we made our way to the event. As always, it's better to have someone there with you to kick it and make it fun. It was raining all night long and in the morning it didn't look that good either.

The rally went off great, but the rain scared off a lot of the walkers and people that were going to participate. We had a few great speakers from different communities that tied the issue of immigration to everything from students to house wives. We started off really well and there was no rain in sight. Boy did that change.

In between our first stop and the second stop, there was a lot of walking done. I'm beat from the walk and my feet are aching so I'm not gonna give a detailed report here folks. Your lucky I'm actually writing something rather than just posting the pics alone. Anywho, the first stop was at a Federal Immigration Building and it was good. Had speakers say a few things and we even talked to the walkers out in Florida to keep our spirits high. We made our way east of the river and during our walk from the beginning to stop number one, I was blasting some Led Zep getting everyone in the mood to march.

For the Boyle Heights and East L.A. part, I shared some info about the community and how culturally diverse it is because not everyone comes to my part of town. Everyone liked it and I was cracking jokes the whole time. We made it to Salazar Park and I shared with everyone how on Feb 28, tomorrow, it'll be 40 years that Chicano students walked in the rain, much like we did today, to protest the Vietnam war and equal education for all. That's no coincidence. We rested and munched on subway. Mmm.   

Walking back we encountered HEAVY rain and we all had to bundle up. But we pushed through and even though going back was harder because we were all tired and sore, we powered on through chanting and looking out for each other. I of course cracked more jokes to keep everyone on their toes and to keep everyone alive.

By the time we got to the final stop I wanted to faint on the floor and pass out. Everything from the waste down was aching. My feet hurt and I had trouble walking after stopping. We walked through rain and met some great people along the way, but it was all worth it. We all came together to pull this off and it went off magically. We all hurt, but it's an experience we all shared and we can say we walked 18 miles in the rain. It's all part of the movement to pass the DREAM Act and immigration reform. Decades from now, we'll all be getting together and talking about that one time we walked 18 miles in the rain. When we're all successful professionals in our fields and we're calling each other Dr. awesome or Dr. Kick Ass.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Legacy blogger

I've been writing for this for blog a few years now. All with the
intention of sharing my thoughts, experiences and because practice
makes perfect. So I write, write and write some moe' Yet, it never
fails to amaze me where my writing takes me. From joining the DREAM
Act movement to reporting and blogging on other sites. I'm always in
motion, always doing something you know. That's how I ended up sharing
my story once again today.

I was invited to present and participate in a brain storming session
with the USC School of Journalism, focusing on health. I'm too
exausted think of the proper title. In a nutshell, they're developing
a track to train professional journalist to incorpirate new media on
health issues. I for one am going full steam ahead with this not just
because I was helping, but because it's badly needed.

There's ton of things that I have noticed in barrios in terms of
health toward residents that it's straightout enviromental racism.
Communities living near freeways, lack of resources and healthy food,
industrial factories etc. Things that I grew up thinking was the norm,
when in fact it's shit that's causing serious and long term health
problems in the barrios. This training will help in knowing how to get
at these stories you know. So I'm psyched.

It was a great event and a lot of great peeps were there too doing
their thang in their own right, but for some the issue of making money
and having access to resources was the focus. Me, I just wanna write
and continue to grow. The best part however, for me anyways, is
getting props not only from peeps there, but from Felix Gutierrez. A
profe of journalism at USC and Chicano veterano from his days of
working with the magazine, La Raza.

Back in the day, La Raza was a publication in which Chicanos/as spread
knowledge about community issues much in the same way blogs do now.
I'm proud to say that I carry on that tradition in my writing and
having Gutierrez gimmy props for all the stuff I do, I know I'm slowly
but surely making my way. But the credit doesn't belong to me, I just
write. It's the people I write about that inspire me to do what I do
along with everyone in the barrio that always has kind words of
support for me and have shown me new ways of thinking. I'm nothing
without the support and help of everyone, so thanks everyone. I won't
let you down.

~ con safos ~

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

California Trail of DREAMS

Join us as we walk 18 miles in solidarity with the Trail of Dreams, a 1,500 mile journey from Florida to D.C. that 4 students began on January 1, 2010 for just and humane immigration reform and equal access to higher education.
On February 27th, students, parents, seniors and workers will come together and walk the CA “Trail of Dreams” to recognize that immigrants are key to rebuilding America’s economy.

Seoul Int’l Park (3250 San Marino St)
Federal INS Building/USCIS Office (300 N. Los Angeles St.)
Salazar Park (3864 Whittier Blvd.)
Northeastern Corner of Wilshire and Western (3775 Wilshire Blvd.)
Supporting Organizations: Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA), Dream Team Los Angeles, Joongang Broadcasting Corporation, The Korea Daily, Korean Resource Center, National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), UCLA IDEAS, UC Student Association
For more information contact HyunJoo Lee (English) at 323-937-3703, Junghee Lee (Korean) at 323-937-3718
This event is part of United We Dream’s Week of Action

Persistance of Time

There are days like today and yesterday in which I feel stupid and a
bit worthless. I spent 3 years of my life, after high school doing
nothing, while friends were getting their stuff done at various
colleges. Now they're either done or getting masters degrees and here
I am, at a jr. college transfering.

There's nothing wrong with that. We all make our way in due time. It's
just that frustration and a sense of hurry have been coming and going
through me. I wanna get to those classes were it's theory, discussion
and writting bad ass shit. Not sitting in class, having the teacher
explain something trivial, but because I need this class I gotta sit
there and deal with it.

Lé sigh. I also get feelings of uncertainty. The road is not only
getting longer, but harder. I know that just like everyone else,
there's dues I gotta pay inorder to get where I am going. A ton of
struggling and suffering. Testing of my will and commitment. The hard
part hasn't even started yet and I'm already complaining. But I'm
ready. I feel like I gotta catch up get stuff done. All in due time.

~ con safos ~

Monday, February 22, 2010

Of a grandfathers passing

My grand dad passed away this past Saturday. My dad didn't tell me, my
sister did. As he was starting his trek into Mictlan, the Elysian
Fields, Valhala, Heaven, nirvana or whatever you choose to believe, I
was out having a drink with friends. It's strange for me to be in
these kind of situations. I never met him or got a chance to know him.
I honestly thought that something would have happened by now and that
I'm my traveling back to my home country, I would get to meet him and
my grand mom.

No such luck. Death is the one thing everyone on earth has in common.
No one can escape it and yet we all come to terms with it in our own
personal way. For the majority of my life I have been detached of the
experience of death and through, I am able to understand it and accept
it, rather than trying to fight it.

Oddly enough, I don't know how to feel about this as well. From
hearing my dad talk about him, he wasn't great. He says that when he
was 7 years old, he ran away from home because his dad would beat him
regularly. Mere steps from deaths door. Working the fields and being
treated as a slave, rather than a son. Hearing that makes things hard
to understand and comprehend.

How can I be sad for someone that I never met and is family ? I don't
believe in mourning for someone that isn't gone, they're just not
here, on this plane anymore. No one ever dies. I remember hearing
Ofelia Esparza talking about the three deaths in our lives. The
physical, the spiritual and the worst death is to never be remembered
by anyone. To be completely gone from existance. For as long as their
memory and thoughts remain with others, no one is ever gone.

My dad isn't showing any signs of feeling bad or anything. It's truely
macab for me. That he's just acting like nothing happen, not even
telling me. It's his was of dealing with it I guess. None the less,
i'm not sad that my grand dad has passed on. He's still around and in
due time, we're going to have all the time in the universe to catch
where we couldn't here. I

know he's joining everyone else, those who are guiding and watching
over me and my family on this plane. I do what I do for them. One of
the first of the family to go beyond a field hand. I'm sure he's
already on his journey, riding the winds of destiny on the wings of a
monarch. Crossingover the rainbow with two gold coins, toll for
crossing the river sticks.

~ con safos ~

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


So I just spent the last few hours trying to figure out how the hell
to upload my storycorps interview on to my blog. Blogger isn't good at
that kind of stuff and since I don't have my own domain, yeah it ain't
gonna happen. But don't fret, you're not missing out on anything,
except hearing me talk and say ummm a bunch of times. And also
missusing the word "stigmata" as well. Plus I made it a point to go
since I missed out a year ago and they're in East LA.

After listening to it since I first went in for the interview, I
realized I may have mentioned a name here or there when I shouldn't
have. At the time I wasn't thinking about having respect for that
persons privacy or talking about them without names, but I did so none
the less. So, it works out that I can't and won't upload the audio.
Just knowing that eventually someone will hear ait nd that it's in the
library of congress for the rest time history is godf enough for me.

I had a blast doing it and I wanna thank my friend "straw hat" for not
only interviewing me and being a great friend, but for just being
there and helping in the movement. I know she does a lot and she has
enough work to do, but she still gives me rides every now and then and
listens to my beefs. Thanks :)

Allies and friends like that are rare in this world. As for why I
participated in storycorps, why not ? I tell my story everyday here or
in front of an audiance or a presentation. As activist, residents and
people, we need to share our stories with everyone. I don't know how
many other DREAM students storycorps may have recorded, but I'm
certainly not the first or the last. I will continue to put a face
behind this urgent issue/fight until things change for the better.

~ con safos ~

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Man Crush

Henry Rollings is the shit. I'm not ashamed to say I have a man-crush on him. He's a freaking musical genius and has grown tremendously from his Black Flag days. His songs and lyrics are on another level and watching him live is freaking insane. He's a bad ass muther fucker. Ohhh and hey, this is my 300th post. Sweet huh ? Stick around for the next 300 because you never know what I'll write about next or what's on my mind. Thanks for everyone who reads this blog and supports me in your own way. My growth and success over the years has been from my family and extended family. Gracias everyone.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


What does your mind seek ?
Where is your heart ?
If you give your heart to each and everything,
You lead it nowhere: you destroy your heart.
Can anything be found on earth ?


~ con safos ~

Ironic returns

I realized in class tonight how the circle of my life at ELAC is
coming to a close. I first started out taking evening classes and here
I am taking a class at night again. It's funny and sad because this is
a class I failed last semester, speech. Yeah I know, I know but it
happens. How can one learn with a bad teacher. Right ?

Anywho. This time around everything is a sinch and a sure thing. It's
all a matter of doing my busy work. Not feeling any stress or
headaches this time around. Just a lot of reading and focusing in my
geology class. I'm ready for the next level and this semester will
pass by fast. Stayed tuned. Same bat time, same bat channel.
~ con safos ~

Monday, February 08, 2010

Grinding the axe

First day of my last semester at ELAC. Packed classes. Idiotic
conversations over heard, obsene videos of underground fight clubs at
school for sale, meeting with another pro-immigrants rights group and
hearing that one of the DREAM activist got stopped flying back home.
It's been a long day.

I'm already reading stuff for class. I gotta write a few papers on the
side while planning for two events within the same week. Three
actually. My mind is a flutter. Here there and everywhere. Lots of
things happening all at once. With everything I'm doing, I still find
time to look to the wind and dwell on companionship.

~ con safos ~

Friday, February 05, 2010


To everyone who is part of my life right now. Familia, amigos,
maestros, compañeros and everyone else in between here, there and
waiting for me in the next life. My life is a composite created from
others. I may not be where I want to be, but at least I'm not where I
use to be.

Ohh and in case anyone is wondering, I'm not drunk or depressed or
anything. I just wanted to say thanks for the sake of saying thanks.
It never hurts. Try it.

~ con safos ~

Thursday, February 04, 2010

2 báwrdərs

báwrdər a film by victoria delgadillo

Victoria | MySpace Video

I've never had personal experience with the U.S. Mexico border. In fact, when I was brought to my adoptive home, I was asleep, told to pretend to be my cousin and that my aunt and uncle were my parents. Next thing I know I wake up in Boyle Heights, walking up the stairs to my uncles house and sleeping in the race car my cousin called a bed. Fast forward to last year to the Cal State L.A. Rasquache film festival. I saw some great movies, but Victoria Delgadillos movie, "báwrdər" stuck out like a sore thumb to me. Flash forward to a few weeks ago and I find myself watching National Geographics "Border Wars." Two different sides of the same border.

In Lak Ech

In Lak'ech Ala K'in, which means I am another yourself (A modern day interpretation). It also means I am you, and you are me (A traditional Mayan interpretation). 

Comparison is such a natural reaction and habbit. Truely, since the day we are born, we are compared to our parents in terms of facial features, behavior is labeled as positive, negative or pertaining to a specific sex or to one's parents side of the family. You know ? There's no escaping it and in life, that is how most people measure their lives and success, through comparison. 

In my life it has always been an issue of never meeting the standereds everyone else sets and compares me to. From family and friends to my own personal notions. If ever we do something in this life is to compare and contrast and say this is good, but this is a little bit better. If you happen to be the first to do it, much like anything else in life others will look to your for a basis in which to make up their own mind. 

In my life, comparison has only lead to confusion and severe doubt. To know that friends who came through ELAC with me are done getting their B.A. degree and here I am, barely transfering. Most of my life, comparison has only served to make me feel inadiquate about my own achivements and the greatness that is in my life. 

Watching Bruce Lee movies or Star Wars (both of which I did tonight) always get me thinking on those philisophical levels. "To ignore the past is to jepordize the future." it's hard to describe at times because it's all situational. While at one moment I will feel the doubt and fear from looking to others accomplishments, I realize that they are on the road they need to be on and so am I.

I am greatful and thankful to know that I have accomplished great things in my life, in my own way. This doesn't take away from others or from myself. It simply means that things are switched you know. I have come to see comparison not as a guide follow or tool of measurement, but as a compass of sorts, that is leading you in the right direction, even though you still have to make the trail yourself. Yes that's it right there.

Everyone is different, circumstances are different and our goals and paths are different. Different but the same in the end. I don't compare myself to anyone, fictional characters maybe for instances of describing my life and views maybe, but not as roles models to adhere to. Even real people in my life, I look to them for support and guidance, rather than rely on them for instructions and details. 

I have been compared to many people and many characters. I either meet or fall short of those standereds set by them. Truely that's a bunch of bull shit. It takes more from a person to be steadfast with themselves than worrying about others. Some cope in different ways and in comparing myself to them, I know I'm going in the right direction because it's the one I picked for me, myself and I. "A true martial artist takes responsibility for all of their actions."    
~ con safos ~

Monday, February 01, 2010

Immigration reform town hall meeting

Luis Gutierrez, Judy Chu, Lucille Roybald and the LAPD chief were some
of the people there and said a little somethin' somethin'. In short
that's all that happened. Talk. All anyone did at this town hall was
get reactions from the people there by yelling or starting chants.
Nothing got done, but it's a baby step in getting people involved and
going on this campaign.

Whetherits calling reps and sending letters to elected officials, we
all start somewhere. I for one attended just to be a metiche and
because a friend was one of the speakers. He held it down for the
dream act of course, which I was holding a sign of on the second
flooryelling so everyone could see me. Good stuff. Like I said, too
much talkingnot enough doing.

~ con safos ~