Project Dissertation

I moved to this fabulous city three years ago mainly to; be near an airport for travel, be able to not trade my stilletos for trainers, and to finish my doctoral studies in four years. Yes, that pretty much sums up my priorities at 30. So now I am ABD with nine months to go and San Francisco is no easy city to ignore. Although, I would argue that each experience that deters my academic writing is really just needed inspiration. Welcome and I hope you enjoy...

My Photo
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Bilingual, Bicultural, and Dual Citizen. J School B.A., M.A. in High Incidence Disabilities, & ABD in Education.

Friday, December 29, 2006

Happy Friday 2006

My best friend from 9th grade left me a voicemail today, wishing me a happy Friday, the last one of 2006 he noted. I hadn't really thought about this year as ending. It seems like everything is in healthy motion.

Earlier this week he announced his engagement to a wonderful woman. without a doubt he will be a loving husband and one day father. With his family and friends he has always acted in a caring and purposeful way. My friend is all grown up, a man of character and integrity.

My girls from the 9th grade are coming to the city to ring in the new year! Ten years ago we were celebrating in LA, or Las Vegas, maybe a houseparty. Theirs is the best kind of friendship, effortlessly picking up where we last left off. Conversation is always fluid and seamlessly changes from family, to friends, to hopes and dreams. Last year one of them had a beautiful wedding in Santa Barbara and from there another love has emerged.

Late bloomers, hopeless romantics, perfectionists, idealist: I am not sure exactly how else to define our bond beyond thoughtful friendship. What I do know is that they are a defining peer group and I am grateful that we are friends. They are the last of my LA singletons and redefining love and commitment while honoring new and old traditions.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Twelve Days til Christmas

A First Timers Guide to Christmas in the city...

Day 1: Go ahead attend a Christmas Party in a Victorian flat, mingle with new and old acquaintances, drink too much champagne and eat, it may just be finger food but that sure will help you in the morning.

Day 2: This is the time of year to try some of the top restaurants, as people come and go from the city and the chances of getting a reservation are better. Break the holiday rut with South Indian Food from DOSA in the Mission. Then make your way to Amnesia a dimly lit bar with a new Orleans feel, followed by the phoenix a good pub with a great jukebox and lively crowd, if the night is young enough the Elbow room along the same Valencia corridor offers billiards, a dance floor, a photo booth, and a drink I overheard- the surfer on acid (malibu rum, Jaeger, and redbull!).

Day 3: Shop on the Haight to avoid downtown congestion.

Day 4: Take those gifts to the Post office, if you have any hope of them arriving in time!

Day 5: Time to make reservations for the 24th, this year it will be North Beach for dinner and midnight mass. Another holiday cocktail, more new people.

Day 6: Secure your NYE tickets online. Take the train, shop and eat at the gourmet ghetto of the San Francisco Centre.

Day 7: Take the train down to the embarcadero and meet friends after work at One Market for Happy Hour, just a short walk to Hog Island oyster Company.

Day 8: Today is the day to get the grocery shopping done but first pick up the Best Buy gifts you ordered online for in store pick- no wait, no lines, great service. Then eat well literally, at Paulines Organic Pizza Kitchen. Insist your date sit through a really cheese holiday film...

Day 9: Pick up the folks from the airport and get some neighborhood sangria a la Cha Cha Cha.

Day 10: Take the folks downtown, show of your backyard union square is stunning this time of year. Later the cab ride to a memorable Christmas Eve in little Italy.

Day 11: Champagne brunch!

Day 12: Back to work not literally but there is a lot to do before the NYE dinner party...

Monday, December 25, 2006

Felices Fiestas

Cha Cha Cha
Twenty-one & Antigua
Brunch with a view
Complimentary Bubbly while shopping in Union Square
Joe Dimaggio's in North Beach
Midnight Mass in the Italian Cathedral
Mami's Cooking for the week!
Loading Papi's iPod
Love & Laughter
Time spent with the two most beautiful people in my world- priceless.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Winter Solstice

"We all come together when we need to," my aunt said. That is the truth. As a new generation emerges the lines begin to be redrawn. November was the first birthday and baptism of the first great grandson of my grandmother.

December was the loss of my cousins father, a man that was like a second father to me. The family barely started to prepare for the holidays when a great uncle fell ill. The cancer already to wide spread from his liver through his body he is being cared for by his eldest daughter and her family. It seems to be the winter in three different branches of my family, as we children learn to care for our own parents.

It is a subtle but plausible shift. We were raised with elders that were cared for and remained at home, never nursing homes. And now as death arrives we are choosing still to have the hospice and ailing at home. It is a loving process full of dignity and respect. We defy Western ways when needed.

The cousins I used to wrestle with, go to midnight mass with, go to the corner store with, and gorge on candy with, well it seems we are all grown up. My cousin is hosting her first Christmas. My aunt her first Christmas. Another cousin hosting her first Christmas with her ailing father. I too saw fit to host my parents in a new city.

At one time we all filled one home in Mexico on noche buena. All of us together, some of the best memories of my childhood. Although we are apart, the closeness remains. Home is where we are gathered. As we begin to give back to the family that provided us with the foundation for our adult lives, some of us get it, and are cautiously but thoughfully embracing family and tradition for another generation.

There are somethings only respect, effort, compassion, humility and love can build. When we were children we saw these things, when we grew up we made the effort to become them.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Cuatro Generaciones

Home is where we are.

Everyone converging from the interior of Mexico, Carolina, Michigan, Texas, Arizona, Northern, Southern, y Baja California.

Seamlessly slipping from Spanish to English, laughter to tears, quiet moments, the exchanging of photos, phone numbers and emails.

The women tending to the kitchen, home and heart. The men, lending quiet strength, setting up the tables and chairs, running the errands, and driving back and forth from the airport. All the children a collective responsibility as abuelitas, tios, tias and primos tend to the needs of the next generation. A lift into the treehouse, a soccer game, a gentle push on the tire and swing, arms to rest in when they grow tired but are not sent to bed.

Bonfires and red wine with my primos. Sleeping three to a bed. Watching MTV3's while doing our makeup, to hide the desvelada. Admiring but not commenting on que guapas se ven todas, the big sunglasses hiding tired eyes.

The mass, the trio, sharing countless meals, and toasting with tequila to the familias, past, present and future. Cuatro generaciones de amor, presente.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


I am so blessed.

There are no words to describe how much the beautiful sentiments from family and friends have meant, only a feeling.

I am humbled by the generosity of spirit and the lending of strength.

To be so loved makes my heart smile.


Monday, December 04, 2006

Su Mexico

18 de diciembre 1949 - 4 de diciembre 2006
Esposo, padre, suegro, abuelo, hijo, hermano, tio, compadre y padrino querido.
En paz descanse.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Cool December Sun

Unbelievable it is December. Although the sun shines brightly the mornings start at about 46 degrees. It took me three years but finally made peace with the cold: Read cashmere turtleneck, under a wool coat, and boots. Bueno pues, it just doesn't get this cold in LA.

Beautiful days make for cozy nights where you just want to stay in. That is good for my writing, that is growing impatient for approval. The process of the dissertation seems to get far worse before it gets better. Fortunately I have had a taste of the other side, know what I would like to do with the time I will regain when this process is over.

The moon is almost full and the week has been that much more interesting. Drinks with a new friend, a belly dancing class, long walks to the ocean, and the reaffirmation that as things end- new things are given the chance to grow.

Walking through my neighborhood last night saw newly lit trees in bay windows, wreaths on big wooden doors, and twinkling lights along the the banisters... The month is full of invitations, celebrations, and the melding of my past, present and future.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Mis Amigos

Estan Blog-andio...

Muy cool :)

Sale, vale, besitos...