Rage Against the Machine @ The Hollywood Palladium

So if I haven't posted in a few days it's because I'm still walking around in a Rage Against the Machine-induced fog. I've been reading reviews, blogs, looking at pics, watching youtube videos...you name it, anything to relive that night.

The moon and stars aligned, and we were able to get tickets, even though alot of people I know that wanted to go didn't get them. Destiny!

The show was incredible. Hands down, best show I have ever seen them play. Best show I have ever seen. Period.

Usually when you buy tickets for a show, you have a good month or two to wait for it. Not this time. After we secured our tickets on Monday, it was onetwothreefour days and it was time to RAGE!!

Friday came with a quickness.

The last time I'd seen RATM play at this venue was in 1996. I was so excited. When I saw RATM at Coachella, they were about this big. Seriously, they were sooooo far away but I was just happy to hear them play after all those years. This time around, they were only a hundred feet or so away from us. And it was like old times and we were raising our fists in resist, bobbing our heads and dodging people's bodily fluids as they came out of the various mosh pits in the crowd.

The energy in that place was amazing. I had goosebumps . Everyone was just as excited to see them play as I was. I kept looking over at my siamese soul sistah and we both had that sh!t-eating grin, like, yeesssss we made it, sistah. We are here and we are seeing RAGE!! Weeeeeeeeeeee!

How many bands can perform music from over eighteen years ago and its still as relevant today as it was then?

The last time I heard them play, I told Michael that they seemed a bit more sedate. Maybe because they were older now and they've performed these songs over and over throughout the years, I mused. But it wasn't like that on Friday.


The decline and the four C's.

I was driving to the grocery store today and as I made my way down the block, two things screamed your neighborhood is in decline at me.

First, a crackhead/homeless man with two fat dreadlocks was strolling down the street like it was nobody's business. I usually see him pushing a cart, but today he was just strolling with his sunburned face, hospital scrubs and wild eyes.

Then about two blocks later, I saw a brown man carrying this giant contraption that carried about a bazillion bags of cotton candy. Let me add, I have never seen these two things in my hood before.

So I pondered.

When we first moved into our house, we were a hopelessly romantic couple about to go stir crazy because we lived in a trailer in a rural area with three little boys under the age of three and an 8 yo old who visited us every other weekend. We would spend our weekends driving around, looking at houses, imagining ourselves and our little boys playing out in the yard.

When we did find our house, it was situated on quiet street with lots of trees. This was before the rise and fall of the housing market in California, so I didn't have to barter my firstborn to buy it. It was an older home and I loved the charm of it, the wood floors, the closets that reminded me of my Nana's house and the pink tile in the bathroom straight out of the 50's.

Oh, to be young and naive again.


Gimme some of that Salma water, please.

I never used to think that I was swayed by fads and trends. But that went out the window with skinny jeans, leggings and gladiator sandals. Remember when I said I wouldn't be caught dead wearing any three of these items?

Well, bury me now cuz they're all in my closet today.

So I was reading the June issue of Instyle mag a few weeks ago. I bought it because Salma Hayek's on the cover and....I love me some Salma Hayek. I love her for several reasons...her accent, her curly hair, she can dance with snakes, her perfect breasteses and hellloooo, she played Frida.

When I read that she has been drinking O.N.E Coconut Water for years, way before it became trendy, I took a mental note and kept on reading. But then while I was at Trader Joe's the other day, I saw a carton of the stuff sitting on the shelf. Real live coconut juice, just the way Salma drinks it. But dang, Salma, are you really gonna make me spend $2.99 for a liter of coconut water?

I mean, will you guarantee that I will morph into a five foot two inch, 115 lb. Mexican/Lebanese woman with breasts that resemble perfect melons?

Can you? Huh?

I think not.

I bought a carton anyway, to test it out. If it tasted funky, I could just throw it in a smoothie. But it doesn't matter anyway. Thanks to my dear old husband--the one I just raved on and on about being married to for thirteen years and whatnot--when I went to fix myself a cool cup of coconut water over some ice cubes, I discovered about three drops left in the carton.

Thanks, dear.

Guess my perfect five foot two, 115 lb. frame with perfect melons will have to just wait until I go back to Trader Joe's.


13 years strong.

This picture was taken of us while we were still friends, almost fifteen years ago.

I love the way he is looking at me.

We were at a graduation party. I had him in this safe "friend" category. Until this girl with a big butt motioned for him to join her on the dance floor.

Nothing like good old-fashioned competition to make you open your eyes and realize what you really want in this world.

I wanted him. Turns out he wanted me too.

And the girl with the big butt, she was just a diversion. But if I ever catch you on the the street, heifer, you better run. I can't chase you now, but my six chil'rens can run you down.


Totally kidding.

Not really.

From that day forward, our relationship changed. But at the time, I couldn't decipher the look he was giving me.

I can totally recognize it now.

And look at the smile on my face. I was all happy and excited. And toothy.

Today, it has been thirteen years. Thirteen years and alot of love, laughter, tears, triumph and self-discovery. I still can't think of anyone else I would rather be with on this journey. You know me. And yet, you still love me.

You bring out the best in me, dear. I can only pray I bring out the best in you.

Happy anniversary, my love.

Thirteen years strong.



Ten years.

That's a long time.

It's been ten years since Rage Against the Machine has performed in L.A. When I found out they were reuniting to benefit organizations protesting SB1070, well...I hyperventilated and died.

Seriously. I'm now totally dead.

My mind was a jumble of thoughts all converging on one: I must be at the Hollywood Palladium on July 23rd. I must be at the Hollywood Palladium on July 23rd. I must be...

You get the picture.

I called all my Rage heads. I knew I could count on my siamese soul sistah to say, clip coupons, have a yard sale, recycle cans, donate blood and viable eggs, peddle that booty on the street corner....we gots to be there.

I mean, seriously? Rage Against the Machine? In L.A? Playing in protest? Against a law that I do not support because it villainizes brown people, my people? Madness.

I can already feel the blistering heat of protest and RATM on my face.

Some of those that burn crosses...are the same that hold office.

Hoping tickets come my way through the universe.


Barefoot Contessa dreams.

When I grow up, I wanna be the Barefoot Contessa.

I mean, for reals.

Homegirl sits up in her light and airy house in the East Hamptons, thinking up yummy treats for her husband Jeffrey.

She snips the herbs from her garden, she always pops her collar on the ever present denim shirts, she rolls her own flaky pastry, and she makes her own chicken stock for crap's sake.

And she's raking in the dough hand over fist.

I suspect that she has nothing better to do than plan fabulous luncheons and dinner parties.

And....she is the ultimate fag hag.

Have you noticed that all the luncheons she plans involve her friend the floral arranger....the table-scape designer...the organic gardener....local fishmonger with the perfectly sculpted eyebrows and the silver fox who loves to pop in and devour all the tastiness Ina's got brewing in the kitchen?

And they are all fabulous. Just like the Barefoot Contessa herself.

Ina, darling, this food is wooonderful. Wow, the flavors are so bright. This roast chicken is to diiiiiie for. Awww, you spoil us, Ina!

And as long as Jeffrey gets some leftovers, he's fat and happy. And can you blame him? What a life to live!


Black Book Sessions

Sometimes we plan to go to events for weeks and other times, we just throw on some shoes and go. Yesterday was one of those times. Michael told me about this event being held by Famous Stars & Straps called, Black Book Sessions like, two hours before he planned for us to leave.

Famous is local (Ontario, CA), which is really cool, so for once we didn't have to drive alllllll the way into L.A. or allllll the way into the O.C.

They also had a kid's art contest. Solomon wanted to enter one of this paintings but he had a couple of creative breakdowns with tears. After we had to talk him through it-- with me, being the oh let me hold you, son and Michael being the get up, stop crying and keep painting, he finally sucked it up and decided to take a piece he was already painted earlier in the week. And so, we got to the event just when the deadline for artwork closed. Which really sucked because Sol's work, imho, was way more advanced than some of the other stuff in the 9--12 yrs. category. He was a little butt hurt once we were there, but we told him to be a good sport, and to try his best at the next event.

But it was a little rough once we saw the phat prizes for the winners.


Out of all my boys, Sol is the one who really loves graffiti. I see him really getting into it, working on sketches, painting pieces in the backyard, following Michael's every move, looking at graf magazines. I even had to buy him this special hand soap, to remove all the traces of paint from her fingernails.

As we were getting ready to leave, I took a good look at my son and his attire. Skateboard, gray skinnies, Vans, black tee, his wallet chain, airbrushed cap and his bandanna to cover his face like a bandit.

He is nine, people.


It sort of reminded me of the time I dropped off Michael at a Radiotron in L.A back in '95 or so. He wore a big brown hoodie, a backpack filled with cans, his black book, a big wooden staff and a full-on respirator mask.

I'm dead serious.

This is why I always call him a performance artist!

I wondered if I should ask Sol to change but I decided not to. This was a family-friendly event, his was expressing himself creatively and he is so darn cute. It's the dimple. It gets me everytime.

It was really cool to discover a picture of him was snapped on the FM$ STRS & STRPS website. Funny thing, too. I was taking his picture at the time, and we were trying to tell him his L.A was backwards. And he couldn't figure out how to position his hands.

So I told him to stick to throwin' up the "W" next time.


Wish I would have known about this event beforehand, I totally would have let ya'll know so you could've come out and enjoyed the mild July I.E. sunshine. Next time!

Very cool way to spend a Saturday afternoon. It was free too, which made it extra nice.

My two angels.

A quick throw up.
Sol, in front of his piece. Not one of my faves, but I'm glad to see him flexing his skills.

Some boys were jocking his artwork, and he was just standing there listening to them talk about it. Then he just went over and started talking to them. It was cute.

What I love about graff: the bright, vibrant colors.

The dragon won. Sol swore up and down the girl who painted it "got help". He was totally sipping on the Haterade! lol

Sol with Big Boy from Power 106.

It's always cool to see the youngsters wanting an o.g L.A. bomber tag on their black book.

Sol, with his backwards L.A. Remember, he has dyslexia! LOL
My boy.

O.G Abel was there.

X-PRES was baking in the sun. I felt sorry for the dude but his piece was proper!

I don't know who this artist was, but I liked the shot.

The black and white pieces were amazing.


The dark one.

When my sister was pregnant with my niece Stella, our mama longed for, "a dark one".

A dark-skinned baby, that is.

She's morenita herself so I guess she's been waiting for a grandchild that had brown skin like hers.

Even though Michael is half Mexican and half black, our babies came out somewhere in between. People always ask if they are Hawaiian. So she didn't get any dark ones from this direction. Sorry, mama.

Then my brother married Caucasian sister in law and well, you know how the story goes.

No dark ones there. And no blue eyes--what a rip-off.

Then my sister married a man who is half white and half black. Finally, some promise on the horizon. My first niece looks totally and completely Chicana, with her caramel skin and long black hair. Then my second niece, with her pale skin and almost nonexistent eyebrows...well, her nickname is Huera. Nuff said.

But with baybay #3 came the arrival of my mama's "dark one".


Happy Birthday, Frida

Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
--Frida Kahlo

Today is Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón's 103rd birthday.

I don't know what it is about Frida Kahlo, but I love her.

Ever since I was 18. I saw some pictures of her in a magazine once, and I was entranced by her style, her face. I didn't even know she was an artist until I investigated even further. Imagine my surprise and complete joy to discover she was a painter! And the wife of Diego Rivera. I was in awe.

I was transported to another time and place when I took a road trip to the MoMa in San Francisco in 2008 to see her paintings. It was like Frida was there. I was overcome with emotion. I sat for a very long time, watching the silent family footage on a flat screen. It played the same loop over and over, and I just wished I could hear her voice. The tears flowed down my cheeks.

An epiphany on friends.

The cold, hard fact is...I'm not a good friend. At least, that's what I've been told.

I used to be.

Back when I didn't have a husband or any of the chil'rens, and my life consisted of myself, school, studying, clothes, shoes, parties, nightclubs, a job I could care less about, and bong rips.

My friends were high on my list of priorities. I was consistent with birthdays, gifts, girls night out, shopping excursions, chatting on the phone for hours about nothing and everything. We would even watch TV together, while on the phone. I'd laugh, she'd laugh, we'd laugh together about something funny Ross and Rachel did. When my friends were going through a rough patch in their lives, I was there, commiserating and comforting as needed. And vice versa.

That's what friends are for, right?

But that was then and this is now. I just can't seem to be that kind of friend now. Now there is this nonstop, demanding pull of my full attention coming from all angles...husband, children, church, extended family, homeschooling, home business, teaching, my art, writing, maintaining a home, ministry and friends. I divvy up what I can of myself and at the end of the day, hope there is a little of me left over.


"See the pretty fireworks? Be careful they might kill you."

One thing you will never catch me doing on the 4th of July is this: lighting firecrackers.

Uh-uh nope, not me.

Not even a harmless little sparkler.

I think this may have to do with my fear of being electrocuted/explosions/fire/sudden death, etc. All of those things scare me sooo it makes sense that the whole issue of fireworks would be null and void as well.

Good thing too, because fireworks are illegal where I live.

Yeh, living in a valley where, in the middle of the summer, everything is dry enough to be considered kindling, it kind of makes sense.

That doesn't stop people from buying them in other counties and lighting them around the neighborhood like complete jackasses.

When I was a kid and we were with my Dad, we always headed out to East L.A. to spend the 4th with his side of the family. Fireworks were perfectly legal there. We would head out to the many fireworks stands and he would load up like a little kid on Christmas morning. Then, as the sun went down, all the brown people sat out in their driveway to watch the excitement.

I discovered right away that I was so not the adventurous type. I would watch the fireworks from the safety of my Nana's porch, or half crouched behind a parked car. I mean, those fireworks didn't mess around. Some of them jumped all over the street.


I can smell you from here. Seriously.

I have been cursed with a wolf's nose.

No, it doesn't look like a wolf's nose. But for some strange reason, I seem to possess the wolf-like ability to smell everything. So Michael's been calling it my wolf nose for years now.

It all started during my pregnancies. Whenever I was with child, my nose picked up on every single scent known to man--this really weird heightened sense of smell. And with each pregnancy--and there were lots--it just kept getting stronger and stronger. And just so you know, that is never a good thing. It's not like I was smelling the neighbor's roses...or the jasmine hanging off the fence...or the In-n-Out by the freeway.

Oh, no no no.

I could smell a person's oily skin. Unwashed hair. Motor oil on their clothes. Cigarette smoke. A garlicky meal. A dirty butt. That metallic smell when someone has been handling coins. Stale perfume. Sweat. A person who hasn't visited a dentist in a few years.

I mean, it wasn't pleasant by any means.

The worse was walking into a carniceria. Caucasian peeps: that's where they sell meat. For whatever reason, a carniceria doesn't smell the same as a Ralph's, Trader Joe's or Vons. It's funky.

On top of all the bodily smells, I could detect blood, fish, rotting vegetables and meat. Tripe. Stinky cheese. It was dis-gus-ting. I would have to stick my nose into my shirt and breathe my own fumes. Or cover my nose with my hair like a old Mexican lady vampire with a cape. Anything to mask all the natural odors in my environment.

Nowadays, the wolf nose has relaxed a little. A little. I can walk into a carniceria and not want to puke. But it comes in handy when I need to detect something. Like when there is something funky in the laundry. When someone hasn't washed their hair with shampoo even though they promise me they did. A potato that's gone awry in the pantry. A pair of underwear on the floor that may or may not be clean.



You can get with this...

Love, love loooooove this commercial, even though my siamese soul sistah drives a toaster. But really....Black Sheep? Its all 1991 goodness. Roughneck hamsters with swagger, rockin' some Tim boots?

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