Thursday, December 17, 2009

No Woman No Cry

Yesterday was the last day of my Creative Writing class. We brought our portfolios to turn in, brought snacks and drinks, and volunteered to share excerpts from our final work. The main part of my portfolio was a memoir "S.T.O.R.M." that I've been writing on and off for a couple of years now. It is about my family and the beginning of each family member's name is in the word STORM. For some reason, I was extremely nervous and my voice was shaky while I was sharing. Something about reading or speaking autobiographically makes things more nerve-racking. Anyhow, so when I got to the last story which was on the "M" or Mario for my dad, I got choked up and ran outside. I started crying and my heart was beating so fast. My teacher came out a few moments later to check on me and make sure I was okay. She said it was a very powerful image that I was describing and that she understood why I got chocked up. She offered to finish reading the paragraph to the rest of the class while I caught my breath. I waited for about ten minutes and went back inside. I was back to normal in no time and even volunteered to act out a play my classmate's had written. Looking at my new piece of almost finished work, I feel proud because I would have never gotten this far without the extra push of having to turn in it as an assignment. It was hard writing some of those sentences but quite therapeutic. I hope I can dedicate time next year to filling in more stories and then publish it as a book.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Time Is Ticking Away...


And the best holiday of the season has yet to pass! Christmas has and will always be my favorite holiday. It's even better than my birthday because everyone gets gifts--although, everyone gets gifts on my birthday because it's Valentine's Day but whatever. My creative writing class is ending which is a little sad but I was looking up other possible classes to take in the spring and the possibilities are endless? There's beginning photography, intermediate acting, tap, yoga on Saturday mornings, photojournalism, another creative writing class at another community college, intro to oil painting, etc. I just have to narrow it down and make sure it doesn't conflict with my work schedule. Oh yah and then there's Hawaii! Can't believe I'm going! Can't wait to go - but honestly, trying hard to stay focus on working out at least everyday before then. Why is it so hard to work out and take care of black hair? It's like - you get your hair did and it's all straight and nice and flowy and as soon as any iota of steam hits it...Poof! It looks like black cotton candy. But...and yes but...what I do is wrap my hair every night and workout in the morning while the weather is cool. It gets a little frizzy but since it's wrapped up, not as much. I touch it up for work and Voila! Now Hawaii is a different story. Wait and see what my hair will be like for Hawaii. Trust me - it's either braids or a weave or maybe I'll just cut it all off and roll Sinead O'Conner, Natalie Portman during V for Vendetta phase or Grace Jones style.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Phil-Anthropy



We arrived in Philadelphia yesterday afternoon and the weather was the opposite of what we anticipated. It was sunny, not too hot nor cold, and welcoming. We took a taxi to the hotel and I swear, not ten minutes passed before Brian's mom and dad walked in. Then the rest of the family walked into the lobby and it was at that moment, I realized I was on vacation. Hugs, kisses, smiles, laughter, stories about their 12 hour car ride from Michigan - then Brian's brother Jason, the groom and new sister Lauren, the bride, were all of sudden standing with us and it was absolutely great. It reminded me of Christmas when I was a little girl, where it began small at our house -- my brother's and I opened up presents in the living room-- and then we ended up at some family member's or close friend's house where every single person who was important was there somehow in the same place. Time stops and each moment is filled with conversation and stories bridging the gap between now and the last time you saw them. Memories decorate the lips and faces of everyone and you can never give or get too many hugs. You wish you had a huge lot of land with 10 houses where everyone you know and love could live there forever.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Class For Me

Creative Writing class is the class I've been looking for. I was taking two other classes but I had to drop them due to the havoc unleashed onto my schedule. However, I got lucky and have found a class I look forward to. It's engaging, challenging, fun and most importantly, welcoming. Every week during the second half, the teacher has us rearrange the desks into a circle and we read aloud work from students in the class, anonymously (the teacher removes the names) and discuss them and why they're great pieces. The teacher always has these cool ass activities like "write down a sentence of dialogue you over hear from anywhere" or "cut these sentences up and arrange them into a poem". I'm sold. At the end of the course, we have to turn in a portfolio and every week we have to turn in a piece of work -whether it's new, old or whatever and she gives it back with comments. Did I mention that I'm sold?...Yes, I am.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Why am I obsessed with pistol whipping? Not really, but kinda. I went to the gun range with Brian over Labor Day weekend and held, shot and loaded a gun for the first time in my life. As much as I thought I'd be prepare - watching Al Pacino and De Niro movies, or yelling during a horror film"Uh uh girl, forget his knife, where's your gun?", nothing prepared me for the fear that I felt immediately as I walked into the booth. For me, it was the finality - the thought that every person including me is holding one of the deadliest weapons known to man and I trust that all they'll do is aim for their target and there will be no accidents. Holding a gun didn't make me feel powerful - it made me extremely paranoid and hell bent on precision. Aiming at the target and trying to get the best shot imaginable. God forbid, if I'm ever put in a situation at least I'll have the knowledge to know how it works. Now back to pistol whipping - how come there's no range for that? Seriously, I was looking around for the pistol whipping section at the gun range and to my bitter disappointment thought Dang, I guess they didn't.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The Scale Has Spoken...


So I weighed myself today and after many days of being at a plateau...it started dropping again:) I reduced my calorie intake by 100 which was a little hard at first but not so hard once I got used to it. I guess the treadmill is my new best friend - oh and don't forget that trusty elliptical machine. I hate the gym but sometimes you have to buckle down and go when the air quality sucks. I haven't forgotten about my bike though - but these days are so unbearably hot not to mention the sky is "ashy" from the fires- I'd rather go when it's dark. I miss the unbridled grandeur that accompanies my rides and can't wait till Autumn descends with its colored leaves and windy afternoons. I still have a ways to go till I reach my goal but it's the small accomplishments that keep me motivated. In case you haven't noticed, Autumn is my favorite season. It has always been since I was a little girl. It's the time to start new things and a time to let old things go before the New Year comes. It's the smell of libraries, new books and new classes. New friends and old friends too. The smell of leaves, all shapes, sizes and colors and there's me jumping on them and stepping on the crunchy ones when I walk. It brings that new book you take to the park and read lying under a shaded elm with a blanket and a green apple. It's your mom making your favorite peanut butter and jelly sandwich or your kid's first day in kindergarten. It's releasing your new album or dressing up as a witch on Halloween. It's Thanksgiving with your family and friends or your obsessive Fantasy Football league. It's so many things in only a few months before the trees get bare and the birds fly away.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Bliss

This weekend was a blast. On Friday, I went to a goodbye party for a dear friend of mine and watched this movie I'd never heard of called, "The Midnight Meat Train" and let's just say it ain't beef they're talking about. On Saturday, I went to the beach with Brian, got some much needed relaxation and then watched "Halloween 2". Now why did do that? Seriously, why do I always say I don't watch scary movies and then turn around and see one? It really didn't affect me until I woke up in the middle of the night to a dark and silent house. I kept the tv on until 4am and it was all because my mind was vivid with images of Michael Myers...lmao. I think what scares me most is when it's a real person who is the killer. As soon as we got out of the movie I told Brian we should look into getting some form of protection. I figure if some crazy dude's coming for you and you have a shotgun, there's nothing to fear, right? Unless you're dealing with some supernatural being but I won't go into that. Anyhow, so on Sunday evening, I went to this stand-up comedy show that my good friend, Rosa, performed in and had soo much fun. She cracked me up and her skit touched upon some funny and interesting subjects. I think one of my favorite lines was when she said something like, "Yeah, so I'm in college getting my degree so I can become unemployed." I was dying! It really sucks that it's like that when you get out of college - and probably more so now than ever due to the recession. There were two other comics that I really enjoyed - this lady who sold funeral plots and a special guest comic who was a British black woman. They both had me in tears. After the show, we hung out at a bar and when I went home besides feeling a little lurky, I felt happy - the laughter, the good friends, the conversation and fun were the perfect touches to an already awesome set of three nights and two days.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

What's Important?


My brother asked me this the other day. What is the most important thing to me in life? It's weird because there is so much I desire to do. So many places I want to be and see. So many songs and performances...So many stories I want to write. But in reality, if I had to chose between those things and my family --there'd be no choice. After a couple of days of going through this in my head - thinking about if making cds, touring the world and being a best-selling author, winning awards - was truly what was important to me, I came to the conclusion that when I'm with my family- the feeling I have is just as great as performing on stage or acting in class. I'm not saying these things aren't fulfilling because they can be at times. It's just that this past Christmas was the best Christmas I've had in a long time - because I spent it with my family and we hadn't all been together for a long time. Seeing my mom and my brother at holidays and planning to meet up in exotic locales or even just Montana is how I'd like to spend my days. On that list of New Year's resolutions, I'll start with how much time I want to spend with them and everything else will follow. It's so weird because you have to keep jamming these thoughts into your head, especially when you're working hard at work or dwelling on how much money you don't have or where you're life is heading as you approach another decade. When my mind and heart are heavy, I have to slow down and remember that what I deem important will put everything else in focus. If I know that I get to be with my family next year, then I know I'll be able to do anything. They inspire me with hope and shower me with so much love.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Hectics


This week has been hectic but...balancing your life is an art and sometimes you have to be willing to accept that your actual "art" might suffer. However, I have learned that if you schedule creativity into your life, then you actually block time out for what you love to do. You might have writer's block but even if you write two lines, it's better than not writing anything at all. And if you can't think of anything, then you can always close your eyes and take a couple of deep breaths. I know I've been stressed out because I got a humongazoid cold sore on my already big lips, lol. It's gone down a lot and now my back hurts which is my indicator that I need to slow down, do some yoga and get back on my workout regimen which I've slacked off since last Tuesday. So tomorrow, it's on. I'm working out for six days a week and writing/music on Saturday and Sunday. Awww yeah!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Friday Night Music

On Friday night, my music collaborator and I (aka Brian lmao) got back into the studio. We recorded one of five tracks my old drummer, Kevin, is going to play on. There will be a total of twelve songs on this album. It was fun because even though I was a bit rusty playing the keyboard, I was having such a great time drinking my wine. Time seemed to stop and I forgot everything about that day and the past week that plagued me. After we recorded the piano part, we ran through a set with Brian on acoustic guitar and me on vocals. Boy were we rusty! But - and of course, there is a but - singing and playing again was like home. It is what we were and are supposed to be doing...where we belong. This week, we have another track to lay down. At the end of the month, we will record the drums with Kevin. It's quite exciting! The only thing I'm afraid of is not finishing. For me, this is a chance to not just record some songs, but to actually have an official CD with artwork, liner notes and songs mixed the way I want them to sound. It's untitled at the moment and will have a mixture of genres since Brian and I are influenced by the same and different types of music. On my end, there will be some piano-based songs, a few electronica-style ones and some surprises. Brian is awesome at composing songs on guitar that have complicated yet beautiful chords. We don't always agree on everything - don't get me wrong -it can be like Julia Child and Gordon Ramsey in the kitchen. But after we reach a happy medium and the song encompasses all the colors we have painted it with, I feel very much like the boy in The Alchemist, following my personal legend. When I hit the stage again, I'll be realizing it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday

I'm at work with Brian right now organizing my mail. He works at a photography studio in West LA. It's a great place because it's so big and right now, extremely peaceful. I'm debating on whether or not to get some Sushi Mac for lunch because my stomach's starting to rumble. We checked out this wine bar called Vino last night on Ventura Blvd. The place was small but the ambiance was great. They had two classical guitarists and nothing but wine around. The only disappointment was the food which was expensive and not plentiful. I ordered some mussels and they were so tiny! We ordered grilled shrimp and I swear we only got four pieces of shrimp. I was like, "Oh hell no!" I would definitely come back for the atmosphere and some wine but never appetizers!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Organics and Sprints











I started this morning out on a high because I looked outside the bathroom window and saw the trees in the front yard illuminated by the golden rays of morning. As I was putting moisterizer on my face, I decided to take a picture of it to show my latest endeavor of going organic. I had quite the scare reading about how many things are bad for the skin and since I was running out of moisterizer, I decided to find one that had natural ingredients. Luckily I found it at Target! It wasn't expensive and I know a certain someone I live with dabbles in it too. (I find this adorable actually!) So I got ready and packed my gym bag because I made the decision last night to add sprints to my workout to shake things up. Today was the first day and to be honest, I was quite disappointed at how slow I ran. Mind you the wind was blowing towards me and it was uphill so maybe a couple of factors contributed to this slowness but it motivated me to want to get better. I went to this place my friend, Adelia, introduced me to off of Reseda Blvd. I usually go there to watch the sunset because it overlooks the hills in the valley and it's a great place to get a piece of mind due to how quiet it is. You can't even hear traffic on Ventura Blvd. As I ran today I thought of how beautiful being in a place like this was and how much the gym shelters people from truly enjoying what the outside world has to offer. When you workout in the open air it's you versus the world. There's no waiting for a machine, no sweaty machines to wipe off and no distractions. It's just you in sneakers, a big hill, the sun, the sky, the clouds, the birds and lots of heart.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Sky Was Fire








Yesterday I went for a bike ride at around 7:45pm. I ate dinner before - Brian cooked the best salmon he's ever made. I was only going to eat half, ride my bike and then eat the other half afterwards, but my tastebuds had a different idea. After I savoured the meal, I grabbed my bicycle, water bottle, ab thing (it has velcro and helps you sweat more while protecting your lower back), biking gloves (yes, I'm nerdy like that) and unfortunately, a waste bag (which Brian calls a fannypack) but it's only because the zipper on my bicycle bag is broken at the moment and I need a place for my phone and keys. I ride at Lake Balboa, which is about two blocks away from where I live in Van Nuys. It's cool because I park in the dirt where everyone is either getting ready to walk, jog, run, rollerblade or bike also. So once I got there, I stretched a little and I was off. I had my ipod playing and really wasn't focusing on anything else except increasing my speed. There's a bunch of trees that you pass and a huge open field on the right where people fly toy airplanes and helicopters. I looked up to gaze at everything around me, because this awesome song came on that reminded me of the '90s, Fourth of July by Soundgarden and when I saw the sky, it was on fire! It was so beautiful, I was so happy. It was red, orange, and yellow. It reminded me of driving through New Mexico during sunset against the red rocks. After I turned the corner, I pulled over and took these two photos: one of my bike and then of the sky. My phone doesn't do it justice but I think you get the idea. I was so compelled to take the photo and stand there taking in the magnificence. I texted Brian, like I always do when there's a beautiful sky and then continued on my bike ride. On my second time around, my playlist wasn't motivating me as much I wanted so I skipped to the next song and then the next one until finally a song by Radiohead came on called Airbag. It's the first song on OK Computer, which some consider their best album but I honestly love all of their work. This CD just happens to remind me of a certain time in my life when I was discovering new music and expanding my ear. When I got home, I finished watching Ghostbusters and after a half an hour or so passed the hell out! I slept like a baby last night.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Disregard Last Post


So I tried to send a post from my phone but it turned out looking more like Webdings or whatever that font is that only has shapes. It was a test but I guess I'll have to figure out exactly how it works. I did in my blog text, however, include a bathroom tip of the day: If the bathroom's clean and there are seat covers...Don't Squat. Not everyone enjoys waterworks.

Saturday Night Ride

I usually go for my daily bike ride just as the sun begins to set. The weather is perfect at this time in the San Fernando Valley because it is neither too hot nor too cold. On this past Saturday, however, the daredevil in me decided that instead of not going at all, I went just as the light had almost disappeared from the sky altogether. Halfway during my ride, it was completely dark and I relished this moment. I felt like my 10 year-old self again riding around the neighborhood pretending to be a high-profile detective searching for clues. My headlight lit the path and occasionally I passed another biker or a jogger and peddled harder just so I could be alone again. My eyes were fixed yet moving. My legs drew circles and the wheels followed. All I could think about was how close to nature I was and how I must remember to be a kid again at least for an hour each day.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Spark


After an exhausting yet somehow introspective weekend, I plunged into this week with a new microscope. Being blue for awhile now, I regained focus on what's important to me...why I am truly blessed, what matters most...Love. Above being accepted by my peers and colleagues, above success, above constant affirmations in school, work and any other institution, love is the only element that makes everything else inconsequential. The love from another human being, whether it be your boyfriend or husband, girlfriend or wife, mom, dad, brother, sister or friend is the protective coating around you. It sheathes you and inspires you to simply just live, smile, laugh and rejoice each and every day. 'Tis not that I'd forgotten this...but only neglected it and let the world in its catastrophic paralysis, problems, issues and negativity dominate the front row for a second. I remembered how there are some things I cannot change in life and a whole bunch of other things I can't control. What I can do however is love--truly love with all of my heart and soul - and everything that is will be.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Headache

My head hurts extremely badly and it really sucks because as much as I don't want to take an Excedrin, it seems like that may be the only thing to make it subside. But alas! There is cabernet...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Goodbye Work - Hello 405 Freeway

I am leaving work in five minutes and I dread the 405 freeway. It creates such a bad state of mind because of how congested it is anytime of any day. Sometimes I laugh at how ridiculous Saturday afternoons are when I think I'm going to have a day off from traffic and as soon as I make that turn onto the freeway I see cars lined up and hear honking. People drive crazily and I swear when I gaze at the people in the cars around me, everyone has that same look of disappointment on their faces. Motorcyclists zoom in and out of lanes and I must admit I envy their dare-devilism. I can see myself now...black hair under a black helmet in a Trinity-like outfit from the Matrix, weaving in and out of cars with a truck driver's recklessness. Do you see me? Yeah, I'm that chick on the bike passing you by while you sit in traffic. Dodge this.

My First Post

Today is my first post on here and it feels promising. It feels like the beginning of a new chapter of yet another branch of my expression. I have another blog on MySpace but this feels different because I don't have to worry about keeping up with my photos, a bulletin, friends, etc. Also, the advertising distractions which somehow always lure me in no matter how much time I don't have when checking my inbox. I haven't chosen what my primary focus will be on this blog but I will soon as I have many projects going on and in the making. I'm currently trying to tone up for New Year's in Hawaii, writing some novels and working on an album. Perhaps I can write about all three!