Coachella Music and Arts Festival 2007

Rage Against the Machine was amazing. Wow. I wish I could adequately describe what it felt like to stand there in the warm desert air under a beautiful full moon, packed body to body with thousands of other sweaty Rage fans, desperate to hear the world's best band get back together and play.

I'll try my best.

When 10:20pm hit, my butterflies started kicking in. I did a good job of watching my fluid intake (so I wouldn't have to pee every two seconds and endure the crap holes--otherwise known as port 'o potties), staying away from the overpriced, greasy food (to avoid getting the shits and therefore avoiding the crap holes again). But I started feeling antsy and I couldn't just stand there and wait. I had to do something. My stepbro Paul and his lady Kristina decided to wade through the crowds and get closer to the stage. Since I thought I was muy chingona, I nudged Michael so we could follow them. I can hang, I can do this! As Michael and I started walking with Paul, I turned my head and said, "Ooohh, I want a Hagen-Daz!" and in a second, the crowd swallowed up my husband. In a panic, I called to Paul to hold on as I searched for Michael. I could not find him! I had a second to decide...turn back and look for Michael and possibly spend the rest of the night by myself without my phone (Michael had mine in his pocket) and no money (I spent my last few dollars on a freakin' shaved ice) and absolutely no memory of where we parked (Lot 3, by a big tractor, or was it a barn--either way it reeked of horse manure). In a panic, I stayed with Paul and Kristina. Paul was merciless as he made his way through the crowd. I asked to borrow his cell phone and as we walked, I tried to dial his phone in the darkness. Then, in a very surreal moment, I found myself falling down to the ground. Duuude, I'm falling! Turns out I tripped over one of the hundreds of bodies laying around the field, blissfully asleep after hours of being in the scorching desert sun.

"Oh, my bad, homie. Sorry!"

Poor guy. He got the full force of me falling on him, knees first. Ouch. Imagine waking up to that. Heh. Once we got to a point where it seemed there was a wall of non-moving sweaty bodies, I started to freak out. I could just imagine the chaos that would start the minute Rage stepped out onto the stage. When you are a female and in the pit, it sucks for you because, being shorter than the men, you are practically at arm-pit level and there is no fresh air at all. Just hot steamy, stifling air. I pulled Kristina and said,"Hey, I can't go any further!" "You big sissy!" she laughed at me and then I watched her get swallowed up by the crowd, too. I made my way safely back to where I prayed my brother and his pregnant wife were still sitting. They were. And Michael was there too. Whew. Michael and I tried to move up again, as close as we possibly could without the threat of being trampled. I could barely see the stage over all the dreadlocks and the tall, skinny pimpled youth. I'd say the drumkit looked about a half-inch big. Yeh, sucks for me. I consoled myelf with the assurance that I have seen them play countless times before, about ten feet in front of me. I just wanted to be there to hear them again, to experience it all. Bless those huge monitors because that is what saved the show for me. I kinda had a little panic moment when I realized just how many people were there (some 60,000 more for just Sunday's show alone). Then the stage got dark and on the monitor showed the guys walked up the ramp, with Zach at the tail end, jumping up and down. I lost it. I started screaming and jumping and basically looking like one of those crazy girls at a Beatles concert, tearing her hair and crying and carrying on. Well, not really like that but you get what I'm saying!

Boom, they started the set off with "Testify". The energy of the crowd, the reality that I was finally seeing Rage after eleven long years, seeing Zach's 'fro...it was just amazing. They played "Bombtrack", "Bullet in the Head", "Township Rebellion", "Bulls on Parade", "Renegades of Funk", "Calm Like a Bomb", "Sleep Now in the Fire", "Down Rodeo", "Guerrilla Radio", "People of the Sun", "Take the Power Back", "Know Your Enemy"--which I was eager to see if Maynard would come on stage and sing his part, but his didn't--"Wake Up" "Killing in the Name" and "Freedom". To hear an entire crowd of thousands chant, "HOW LONG? NOT LONG! BECAUSE WHAT YOU REAP IS WHAT YOU SOW!!" A couple of times I really thought people were just going to riot. I held tight, but then it passed. I felt sorry for the people up in front, in the pit. It looked like a field of wheat, with an occasional body popping up and then getting yanked down by security. Throughout the entire night I felt like I was going to puke because I was so damn excited. The sound was a little low at first and I could hear the deep house beats from the dome in the background, which distracted me. But after a couple of songs, they adjusted the sound and it was deafening, just how I like it.

A few highlights:

The funny (aside from me falling on that poor guy): As soon as we pulled in, I had to pee. Cursing myself for not pulling into the Ralph's shopping center, I resolved to use the port 'o potty in the parking lot. Michael opened the door and surveyed the damage and then looked at me and said,"There is no way you will be able to walk in there without puking!" So we walked further down the parking lot where no one was around and Michael told me, "Pee right here, in between the cars." I said, "Are you crazy? I can't pee right here! Someone will see me." "No one is going to see you! Hurry up!" I think of that filthy port 'o potty and decide what the heck. I bent over and pulled my jeans down and planted my fat butt cheeks against a blue SUV covered in dust. Awwwwwww. Michael handed me my handy dandy butt wipe and I was good to go. As we walked away, I laughed at my butt print left on the car.Then I thought, Ew, I forgot to wipe the dust from my butt...oh well!

The cool: As we waited in line for a shaved ice (outrageously overpriced at $4--and it wasn't even all that), Michael spotted one of the t-shirts that he designed about eleven years ago. On the front, el Quinto Sol, and on the back Aztec Drumms Mexica Humms. It was old and tattered and it was covering a propane tank. I walked over to where these dudes where bbqing chicken and I asked, "Whose t-shirt is that?" When they pointed out the owner I asked him,"Hey, where did you get that t-shirt?" He said, "I bought it in the parking lot at a Rage show about ten years ago." I smiled and said, "That was in the parking lot of the Palladium--my husband designed it and he was slanging them while I was inside watching the concert that night! How cool is that!??!" That really made Michael's day, to see one of his designs still around. He still has the screen and plans to make more shirts just like it. The guy gave us his card and wanted to order more of them. Awesome.

The bizarre: I have never seen so many freaks in one place. I saw one girl in black panties and a black bra with fishnet stockings and giant, platform black patent leather boots. Dreadlocks everywhere. Half-naked people. Sweaty, sun-burned to a crisp people. People passed out everywhere, asleep with their mouths wide open in the middle of a grassy field. All the drunk people pretty much stayed in the beer garden. Reefer Madness!! There were huge outdoor sculptures and the people thought they were places to sit down and get high. I got a contact high from being around all that mary jane. But the blatant drug use was unpleasant, something I haven't experienced since I was in college. The constant smell of weed was upsetting my stomach even further. Lightweight, I know.

The ridiculous: We left Riverside about 3:00pm. We didn't walk into the turnstiles at Coachella until 6:45 pm. I missed The Roots. Suck. Then at the end of the night, it took us two and a half hours to get out of the parking lot.

The spooky: I found out today, after reading blogs and reviews, that all during Day 3 there was talk of a riot and breaking down the barricades after Rage finished their set. Oh holey crap. If I would have known that, I don't think I would have enjoyed myself as much as I did.

The humorous: By 2:45am we realized we were starving. Finally found food at Jack in the Crack just outside of Palm Springs. We laughed as we tried not to fall asleep while eating our .99 tacos (from the contact high) and asian chicken salad.

The scary: Both Michael and I couldn't keep our eyes open at almost 4 am, when we pulled over before Cabazon to get some sleep. My brother calling me on my cell phone startled me awake. He said the drive was horrible and foggy. But he made it home. I got a little bit of adrenaline and decided to get behind the wheel. Big mistake. As soon as we entered the Badlands, fog came out of nowhere and I could barely see in front of the van. I slowed down to about 40 mph and that still seemed too fast to me. I punched Michael in his leg to wake him up so he could calm me down and coach me through the fog. "Ohhhhhh my Gooooooood." He said as he jolted awake. "Pull over! I will drive." But it was so foggy and so dark all around us that I couldn't tell if there was a turn off until it was right there and by that time it was too late to pull into it. There were lines of big rigs and cars pulling over. I finally decided to take a chance and pull over. I ended up about a hundred yards or so in front of the side of the mountain. I almost smashed right into it. Michael said, "I can't believe you just did that." I yelled, "You wanted me to pull over, right?" As we jumped off and switched seats, it was pitch black outside and freezing cold. Scared the crap out of me. As soon as Michael got behind the wheel, we exited the Badlands and the fog lifted. But I was so spooked I couldn't go back to sleep. The hardest stretch was driving down Central Ave. to our house. Wow. It was a struggle. Being so close to home yet being soooo sleepy. But we made it. My body hit the bed at 5:15 am. And today I got a glimple how alcoholic mothers function. I slept off and on as my kids made themselves sugar and cinnamon toast, watched Nacho Libre and cartoons and made themselves more sugar and cinnamon toast. They survived.

But mommy got to see Rage, so it was all worth it. I would have never endured Coachella if it wasn't for seeing Rage reunite. And now, we wait for August to come so we can go to Rock the Bells in San Bernardino. Yessssss.


Yeh what about that suckas!

Well, I'm off to Coachella. I couldn't sleep last night and today I have butterflies in my stomach! Wooohoooo. Hopefully I won't roast to death out there, I'll be able to hook up with my peeps and I won't have to beat up anyone. Just kidding. No, I'm really not. No. Wait. Yes, I am kidding! Heh.

Here's to hoping an old chick like me can last through the day going against outrageous traffic, overpriced water, the heat, smelly people, rude people and no toilet paper. I am arming myself with the essentials...sweatshirt, Vans, sunscreen, cash and butt wipes. Yep, can't forget the butt wipes.

I'll let you know how it turns out. It's RAGE, people!! Wow. I still can't believe it. Yeeeeehaaawwwwwwww.


I lost my Meat

Ahem. Yes, he ran away. My sister warned me about his midnight rendezvous, too! He is constantly getting out of her yard. His license and tags have saved his butt many times. By last Thursday he had ran away a total of three times (we only had him for two days at that point!). Chellie would take off with him, but her dumb butt would end up back in the yard, or chilling in front of the garage.


Apparently, the fact that he isn't neutered makes the wandering even worse. He is out trying to get his freak on. I can see him now...Meatball strolling down my street with his pimp hand strong, testicles swingin'....you know it's hard out here for a pimp.

I was freaking out, thinking duuuuude, why does this have to happen to me? I am soooo irresponsible! I had Meat in lockdown, in a runner in our backyard. But after hours and hours in there, I felt sorry for his dumb ass and let him out so he could frolic with Chellie. Then the ladies from my 777 group starting coming and I got distracted and realized I didn't put him back in the runner. Then the dumb ass took off.

So after several phone calls with my poor sister who was supposed to be on vacation (Jen: "I am sooooo over Meatball!"), it turns out someone found little Bernie Mac and was holding him for us. So we called and called the number they left. Then we found out it was the wrong number we were calling. Geez. So on Saturday afternoon, about twenty minutes before I was to leave to a birthday party in L.A. where I was clean and dressed up (a huge feat) and I had several clean and dressed up children (a HUGE HUGE feat), my sister calls me and asks me to go to the animal shelter and see if Meat was there. Arrrghhhh. I can see it now, walking through that stinky old place and then spending the rest of the day with the aroma of perro on me. Ugh.

I called up my brother and said pleeeeeease and he agreed to go and look for Meatball. Turns out he was there. Whew. And after they charged money for what seemed like everything including the freakin' air Meat breathed while in the shelter, the total came out to $150.

My bad.

Meatball is now staying with my brother, who said he would kill me if the dog got out again since our sister isn't due home for another couple of days. Summa-mabitch!


Dog-sitting Meat

Yes. We have gone over this topic before. And then again. It's been established that I am not good with pets. Nevertheless, my baby sister Jen asked me to dog-sit her little doggie Meatball while she went on a well-deserved vacation before her second daughter is born.

I guess she is a gamblin' kind of woman.

I just didn't have the heart to say no to her, since she is all swollen and pregnant and on her way to Hawaii as we speak. She said, come on Dee...all you have to do is give him water and food every day. I thought, hmmmm, she is not requiring me to take him out for walks, or play with him, or let him sleep inside the house...basically I just have to keep his sorry little ass alive. Those that know me know that its more of a challenge than one would think. But I am confident I will take care of him just fine. In fact, I have to be very cautious with this doggie and make sure he lives...cuz if something happens to him on my watch, it would just be too suspicious.

When my sister dropped him off and was getting ready to leave, she waved to Meatball and said, "'Bye Meat...try to stay alive!" Sooooo, that being said, I have a little unneutered French bulldog running around my yard lifting his leg and pissing on everything. When he isn't pissing on everything, he is humping it. It has been quite the opportunity for sex education, let me tell you.

"Why is he humping on Chellie, mama?"
"Why is he sniffing her butt, mama?"
"Why is he trying to get on her back, mama?"
"Why does his penis look like that, mama? It looks all red!" Lots of giggles and eeewwwwws with that one.


Meatball looks just like Bernie Mac. I'm still trying to figure out if that sounds racist or not, but seriously, he looks just like Bernie Mac. He has this flat little face and big ole bug eyes...and he's black. I'm telling you, he looks like Bernie Mac! I keep waiting for him to say, summa-mabitch! When he isn't looking straight out of The Original Kings of Comedy, he is tea-bagging everything. Yep, when a male dog hasn't been fixed yet, he still has his stuff intact. I never knew that...I mean, the thought just never occured to me. You don't see too many dogs with balls running around these days, unless they are playing fetch with one. Meat's small and has little tiny legs, so he gets tired easily. In order to cool off, he lays on his belly and splays out his hind legs, and lets the ole testicles chill, with a devil-may-care attitude. It's pretty disgusting. When Jen brought him over last week to get acquainted with Chellie and he unsuccessfully tried to hump her, it took him a good twenty minutes to recover. He laid there breathing like an old man with emphesyma. We could hear him all the way in the kitchen, breathing all crazy! When Jen takes him out for a walk, she usually ends up having to place him in the little carrier in the back of the stroller because he can't make the walk home. Heh.

Here is a little video of Meatball, spending some quality time with his stuffed animal. My poor dog Chellie, this is her homie for the entire week.


A Day at the Park

We took a much needed day off and decided to take the chil'rens to the California Citrus State Historic Park. Wow, who knew this cool park was practically right in my own backyard. Our orginial idea was to go to L.A. and visit one of the well-known museums there...but I thought about the drive, the expense, the traffic, the same old exhibits and I thought...ugh. Then I remembered a series Pastor Matt did last year where he visited the park and he encouraged us to commune with God in His creation. So we off we went. No plans, no phone call to see if it was open, just a quick trip to Trader Joe's for some juice boxes, chili mangoes, chinese crackers, water and little toasts with basil and tomato hummus.

The weather was clear, sunny and beautiful. It has been so long since we had time to just walk hand in hand with one another, listen to the wind, munch on snacks, run around and laugh. Here are a few black and white shots. The bottom two is the way Michael and I yell at the kids while we are in the car. Heh.

The color shots were taken by Noah, with the exception of the close up of me and Diego. He loves to be the family photographer. He does a good job, too! We bought him a digital camera for christmas but he was being such a nuisance with it that it had to be confiscated for a short time.

This last shot was of me showing the kids the rosemary plant that was growing all over the place. I told them how when they were babies I used ground rosemary on their umbilical cords to dry it up and help it fall off. There was alot of eww, but all in all, very educational!

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