Thursday, March 29, 2012

"La Dreamer" Poster Available for Purchase

Created by artist and poet Nico of "Los Poets del Norte," "La Dreamer" is a one-of-a-kind poster that shows and represents a different side of those of us in the Dream Act/Undocumented student movement. Not all of us are overachieving valedictorians, but that also doesn't mean we're not learnded folk either. Besides, who says cholos/as can't go to college?

The posters are 11 x 17 and full color. They're $20 a pop, plus $6 for shipping. If you wanna order more than one, shoot me an email and we can work something out. Otherwise, follow through with the pay pal tab and the poster will be mailed out to you.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

On Undocumented Love

If there's one thing I can never stop writing about, and talking about really, it is relationships. Whether they're friendships or romantic, I always enjoy conversations on the topic because only through conversation and in sharing with others can we move forward, grow and get over the experience if it's a negative one. That and I love chisme :) Anyway, for those of you who don't know, I've been double dipping over at the Huffington Post: Latino Voices Page. I submitted something when their 'dream activist' blogging serious started and then helped facilitate others to contribute on the post.

Anywho, I submitted a post on talking about being in a mixed status relationship, considering that being in a relationship with someone who is also undocumented helped me understand things from a different point of view, on many levels. The post is pretty self explanatory, but due to the editing process, in which the term 'ancho baby' was dropped in there, I'm going to share the unedited version I first submitted. Than you can read the other version and see the difference. And even then, I still have another version in which I get into a rant and more explicit details on my heart break. But that's neither here nor there.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Trailer for 'Limbo': Video Doc I'm in

For three months last year, I was walking around with a pretty fancy camera that would merit me getting jacked for, but never did, which I find to be amazing considering where I live and the places I frequent. Point is, I was part of a video project, along with two others, that was basically to documentent my everyday day life as someone who is undocumented. Said footage would get put together into a 20 min documentary and my dream of having a movie about my life is that much closer to becoming a reality. Psych, if I ever make a movie about my life, you can be sure a Will Farell like actor would be playing me. Although, I have gotten compared to being a Mexican Jack Black ala Nacho Libre.

Anyway, check out the trailer at the top and be on the lookout for the full-fledged doc coming out sometime in June. The sweetest part of this deal, besides video tapping my life for 3 months and getting some cash on the side for it, is that I might get to go to New York for the premiere of the doc. That would be the bestest thing to happen to me if I go to go to New York with the homie Nancy Table. Needless to say that I won't like the doc %100 percent because even though the footage is coming from 3 undoc individuals, it's still being filtered by someone else who is dramatizing things. And while I would put my money where my mouth is and make my own doc, I don't have time for that mess man. I'll stick to writing on here instead.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Vehemently Stagnate Repetition

Deaths. Since the beginning of the year, friends and family of friends have been transitioning from this world. Some have been fighting it and others have been leaving unexpectedly. The feelings of being lost at times like these, been powerless and only being able to offer your energy and heart to those going through these transitions seems insignificant, but really there's nothing we can do. We are all going to leave this world one day, nothing is forever and attachment only leads to inevitable sorrow.

I've never been close enough to anyone in my family or friends. I accepted long ago the futility of trying to hold on to what was never mine to begin with. Dia de los Muertos and it's traditions have facilitated some understanding of they way things are. Everyone will eventually leave, but the worst thing that can happen is that your loved ones will never remember you, but I guess being forgotten is everyone's greatest fear really. How can you exist if no one knows about you.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crashing the LA Marathon

The LA Marathon is the only time of year in which 26 miles of Los Angeles streets are closed off to traffic and unofficially open to city cyclist to ride. While I've been doing this ride the last couple of years, I started doing the ride when a friend invited me along, the marathon crash ride has blown up in park because of the Wolfpack Hustle. With more than 2,000 riders doing the ride today, all starting at 3 am, it was a sea of lights and bikes as far as the eyes can see.

Every year is different and without a doubt, this has been the biggest year, for both the crash ride and for the number of folks that I got to come along for the experience. Ironically, I think I've had a different bike for every ride as well, and when your doing 26 plus miles, it makes a huge difference. While there's soo much to say about what 2,000 cyclist riding their bikes at 4 am, rain or shine, the fact that the LAPD had to come in and escort riders like they do every month for critical mass, and the fact that the majority of riders were people of color, I think the ride itself says it all.

Some ups from this years ride, again were getting more folks to come out and do the ride, specially with the networks that were built with the OC to LA Dream Ride, the fact that it didn't rain like it did last year and putting in some major mileage. It seems the older I'm getting, the more cycling I'm doing. I've already done two 30 plus mile rides within the same month. And while I don't have the best bike for these kind of rides, it does the job. Next up, Ciclavia in April.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Interpretations of My Life in Theater

I don't know if I'ved expressed this before or enough, but I love Theater. There's nothing like going to a great play/show and coming out of there being blown away by the caliber of the acting and story telling that goes into productions. And more often than not, I end up catching plays that have a Latino/a theme and/or delve into immigration or other topics that have folks look within themselves about how they live their lives.

This time around it was done through a lens of sardonic, but brutally honest, lens in the way only Culture Clash can do it. 'American Night: The Ballad of Juan José' is an amazing play that looks at immigration, racism and the treatment of folks in major historical events, that range from the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe, the internment of Japanese Americans in WW II and the civil rights movement. If you wanna read a full review, check it out here.

And like everyone else, I was entertained for those 90 mins. I laughed my ass off, nodded when I caught hidden meanings or recognized some historical facts, but as soon as the show was over, unlike everyone else watching the play, I find myself being reminded that I'm actually living the life that was just portrayed on stage. All that talk of racism, xenophobia and discrimination that was just filtered through comedy and acting is my reality and much like an enflamed zit, some days are better than others.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

When You're the Voice of the Voiceless

"You know how it feels to be the voice of a million people that can’t be heard? You know, it’s like we’re the voice of a million people from the same environment and same struggle we from, but just can’t be heard. They don’t have an outlet. Now, when you got that on your shoulders, everything that come oucha mouth gotta be jewels. Cause, it’s like, these people are watching you're every move, and you may broaden this shit and get a bigger audience, but you make sure your mentality stays direct. On the straight an arrow path cause a lot of people could be easily be lead in the wrong direction and hard to be lead in the right." 

~ Method Man 

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Going Around in Circles

In my short time on this world, I have realized many a thing. Fire is hot. Pain is not good. Happiness is subjective. Many of these realizations have come from watching the world from afar and being influenced by artist and writers who delve into these concepts and ideas in different mediums. Comic books, movies and tv are some of my favorite, a trifecta of sorts.

And needless to say that I gravitate toward specific popular characters as well because they're more credible than any one or anything else. I've made more life realizations and epiphanies from some of the most abstract places that most wouldn't think to look in. Point I'm trying to make here is that, once in a while I'll find myself in a sort of transition and delve into obscure thoughts.

Thinking about what was, is and will be and it just leads to more confusion at the end of the day. I mean, truly everything becomes one giant cycle and repetitious loop that goes unnoticed because we choose to ignore it or we're too busy. Hell, some people wouldn't even care if it, but from my point of view of things, it's just easier to laugh at them. The more one struggles the more one suffers, there truly is no escape from things.

I sometimes wonder how I make in on to the next day. How my mind and body find the strength to continue going on. All I feel like doing is just going to sleep and hoping I never wake up again. To just sleep everything away and rest. To not deal with anything and sleep. But that won't happen anytime soon, no matter how late I try sleeping in. In stead, it seems easier to just tune everything out and put the mute button on everything and everyone. But one can't escape this world, no matter how hard one tries.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

OC to LA Dream Ride Recap

Nothing short of amazing, the second annual Dream Ride was a major success. No one got hurt, everyone had a blast and we connected the biking, immigrants rights, undocumented student movements together with one single ride. All the planning and stress that I incurred on myself flew out the window the moment my alarm went off at 6 am that morning. It wasn't until I got home, take a much needed shower and got a good nights rest that I felt at relieved.

And while there's still more internal work going on in terms of debriefing with the organizing committee, sending out thanks yous to everyone that helped and getting feed back from riders in terms of improvements, it's all about said and done for now. All the work and support we got from everyone was evident. And given it was 90 plus degrees that day, our efforts paid off since no one got a heat stroke or got dehydrated during the ride. I however pushed myself too hard to the point that I had to walk for a few minutes when my right thigh starting cramping up.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Thoughts on the OC to LA Dream Ride

The OC to LA Dream Ride is gaining some traction in the media. How do I know this, cause we got the cover for the weekend edition of Hoy. And as I was writing this post and fixing the hyper link, I got distracted by reading two more articles about the ride. One on the spanish blog for Metro Los Angeles, El Pasajero and the other for the San Fernando Sun. Part of me is hella excited for the ride and the fact that we have 80 riders participating, which was around the same turn out last year.

The ride has def been a stress factor for me in having to take on the majority of the work load, since the folks who helped planned it last year couldn't do it since they're working full time. I, on the other hand, am unemployed, still. Anyway, planning the ride the second time around has been much more easier than it was the first time. But isn't it like that with anything?