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...

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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, May 18, 2007

Brainy Pop

The winner of America's Next Top Model contest, is the self proclaimed Cha Cha Diva from Chicago, Jaslene. I was rooting for her the whole season. The impromptu Wednesday night dinner parties around the show gave me the forum to say, the Latina has to win. It was cycle 8 and the previous 7 winners had been black or white, there was no way that trend could continue. I was right.
I have been working on university syllabi this week, since I was offered two adjunct university gigs for the Fall. It is not an exciting task rather tedious, so I find myself in the living room with MTV3 on for company. They had a guest VJ contest and the winner was a Venice High student.

She was curvy and confident on air. Warm and comfortable expressing her bicultural attitude toward music- her influences and tastes a combination of growing up in LA and travelling to Mexico. I thought damn, I was born 10 years to early:I would have loved to be a guest VJ for MTV3. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.
I keep a copy of the Swell Girls Guide to the Good Life on my shelf. It has come in handy from LA to SF. I thought if the end of the year happy hour starts at 5pm, I can get there by 6pm to do the rounds before heading to my next destination at 7pm. The guide gives you pointers on how to pull off this social drive by, never fails. So, I pulled a variation of my favorite outfit on; stilettos, skinny jeans, cashmere sweater, leather bag and mini pea coat.

Far from punctual I arrived slightly after 6pm. Joined the queue to greet the guest of honor, shook hands with the professors and then excused myself. Thanked the organizers, chatted at the bar, and thanked them for the drink. Took my glass of wine back to the guest of honor, to visit then excuse myself before dinner.
Dropped off my car and arrived precisely as the bus was leaving. The next one arrived quickly and I was in the Mission. Headed to Casanova my friend unphased by the delay, then down the street for a bite to eat. The last stop was the Elbow Room. I started to feel the effects of a full day that started at 5:45am.

Before I left we had been invited to a brunch Sunday, a combination of Psych Phd's and creative types, should be interesting. I said goodnight and walked to the bus stop. The lcd display read 11:33, smiled as my ipod played Luna y Sol by Manu Chao and I hummed along...


Blogger El Editor said...

I must admit that you make even the most oridnary activities exciting.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

umm... can you define 'Cha Cha Diva?'

7:04 PM  
Blogger Lorena said...

el editor- gracias for making my brief commutes so much better :)

anonymous- i think the super model Jaslene can be a cha cha diva. the rest of us have to choose between being a cha cha or a diva :)

10:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what is a cha cha?

12:00 PM  
Blogger Lorena said...

querida/o anonymous- si no sabes que es una cha cha, no hay remedio :)

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a former SF'er who enjoys your blog for all the references. I am monolingual. All I could find about cha cha was that it is slang for woman's genital. I know it as a dance. What is a cha cha in the positive light? DO you know or are you just repeating what you heard Jalese say? Be the educator you are, here.

6:10 PM  
Blogger Pachuco 3000 said...

I don't know about Chicago's use of Cha Cha, or if SF even uses it, but in East L.A. Cha Cha refers to both the Chicana aesthetic and the early to mid 1980s era when disco, hi-n-r-g, freestyle, & funk spun by DJs ruled the land.
As an aesthetic cha chas have existed for a long time. Stereotypically in Carmen Miranda's and Rita Hayworth's hip, lips and hair. They hips and lips are full, lips in red lipstick, and hair that is impeccable and usually high or full. It is what non Latinas try for, but usually fail and look ridiculous for it. Cha Chas have a Chicana view of their beauty which is non conformist generally, but occasionally trendy. Yes, it is a contradiction, Chicana/os live and love contradiction, it is part of living in "Nepantla" or a 'middle state of mind' between cultures, worlds and in this case aesthetics. Cha Cha's emphasize their qualities whatever they maybe: big booty, big boobies, long eyelashes, wonderfull hair, full lips, cat eyes, long legs accentuated with usually red stilleto heels, and big hoop ear rings. If they got one of the above you better bet your eyes will be drawn to whatever they choose for you to focus on. Cha Chas have that kind of hypnotic power.
The Cha Cha era in ELA was when DJs and Cha Chas took over clubs, street parties and shaped underground music culture, not unlike the documented histories of house and techno in New York and Chicago. This era and its music in some circles today is called Cha Cha music because of their indeliable role in it. From the dancing styles that mixed vogueing, popping, locking, ballet, break, salsa, to the just as mixed up styles of music pitched up to alter the b.p.m.s and voices of the tracks. Both men and women in this era were called Cha Chas. They were majority Chicano/as and LOVED their DJs: Elektra, Prophecy, Poison and the music of: Sunbelt, Machine, Desire, JD Hall, & Stevie B. all usually one hit wonders.
To view the cha cha scenesters today, check out and study, follow their links and learn.
Maybe this all reached lil Jalese in Chi-town and lorena in the Valley.

7:36 PM  
Blogger Lorena said...

Gracias Pachuco, por las lindas palabras.

Anonymous there is your answer...

9:09 PM  

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