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.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Like Magic

Quite the festive week. Started out with dinner at Limon in the Mission, fine Peruvian goodness with the most attentive staff! Made our way down the street to the Elbow Room, without a plan upstairs a Carnaval pre-party with Afrolicious, pure Brazilian and Samba fusion.

Headed to a Bridal Brunch, the Stanford PhD is set to wed later this summer in Seattle, WA. RSVPd to the wedding taking place in Turks and Caicos next Spring. Was overjoyed to receive the call that my dear friend was engaged...It is Weddings and the City season, although all three brides to be reside in the bay area, they opted for destination weddings.

Feeling strong and ready to take on another round of dissertation writing. The fitness commitment reached a lovely minus 8 on the scale! Sticking with the healthy lifestyle change and adding gardening in the organic community garden and tennis with a pro this season.

Heading to the ATL for a conference, to source more funding for my fellows and check out the Crunk scene :)


Friday, May 23, 2008

Friday Textation

Started out the long weekend with 106 text exchanges here are a few of my favorites :)

20:53 'or u can come earlier (8:30) and we can walk twin peaks first.' my friend on prepping for the first bridal event of the season

15:53 'Te quiero mucho yo tambien, happy friday' mi Papi chulo y querido

12:09 'Thank you for celebrating this with me! That means a lot' Bride to be, in response to the Turks and Caicos wedding RSVP

11:17 '...u r Xicana as Anna Castillo dreamed u: Traditional, creative, hard wrking, n smart enuf 2 not put up w bs n get bk 2 ur true self whn u want.' mi Chicano favorito

4:35 'ke pasa che todavia me odias?' como jode el boludito :)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Life of Lo

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Wednesday, May 14, 2008

LA Radio

Part 1 of last weekends trip was all work, sort of...

Landed in LAX, shuttle to rental car, drive along La Cienega Boulevard before arriving to our hotel on Sunset Boulevard.

Check in, freshen up drive through Laurel Canyon to the KPFK studio, years since I had been there. Interview with my two colleagues was fun and familiar to me- no jitters at all.

Took Cahuenga back to Hollywood Boulevard to show my colleague a few of the sights on that side of town. Made our way back to Sunset Boulevard. Drinks at Boa dinner at Asia de Cuba with an amazing view of LA. Passed on the Sky Bar- early morning to get ready, check out, get coffee and head over to the 10am seminar on the West side of town.

Today Wednesday May 14, 2008 short segment on the 6pm evening news, KPFK 90.7fm streaming live.

Then on the hour long show 'Politics or Pedagogy,' Saturday, May 31 at 1:00 PM which will also feature a call-in with a Family Law Judge.

Tune in...

*4:30pm update segment producer called- we will be on the Thursday May 15, KPFK evening news not today 5/14/08...
**Three is a charm segment producer called again- the news segement will finally air today! Friday May 16, 2008

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

A Good Day

I woke up an hour late for breakfast, and sent a text admitting I needed another hour. The sun was out and I tried to move along and get ready, stopping only to boil water for a yerba mate.

Made a mental list of all the errands I had to run, gathered my stuff, changed purses and surprisingly kept the first outfit I tried. Happy with the open toe flats, short graphic print dress, layered with a small sweater and scarf- sunglasses and out the door.

Maybe I was ten minutes late. He walked out with my two cds and three more of his own, asked if he should drive? I admitted on the way to breakfast, I did not like driving, he was surprised. Seriously I said, if I could have a driver I would.

Deciding where to go I reminded him of the Hayes Valley brunch spot that we skipped one Sunday because the line was out the door. Stacks, I think was the name and we made our way through the sunny streets, even found parking.

Inside Stacks 'comfortable food', I asked for a booth please and we got it. I loved the upscale coffee-shop and the kind server who said, no worries, there are four pages of choices. I knew instantly I was having a savory breakfast crepe, just had to decide which one. He went with some scramble that involved meat.

We caught up easily, shared, asked, answered and then he said, where to first? I am your chauffeur for the day. I smiled. On the way to the car he said he never knew I did not prefer to drive.

I rambled off all the places I needed to go and we made our way through the city. The transit office for my residential parking permit, office store for certificates for work, a department store for a return I had to make.

In the department store I showed him where the men's stuff was and said I just need to look at a few things. He laughed, and agreed. I picked out some shoes I was interested in, and when I returned admired his one selection. Mentioned to him, cuando te queria tried to pick something out for you. 'Oh, ya no me quieres?' No, you know I like things on my time-line. Then he really started laughing and I joined him.

We looked for a few more things and I said wow- you have amazingly bad taste in handbags. I couldn't tell if he had bad taste or was just being annoying. He didn't mind shopping with me and that is something I did not know about him. It reminded me of Aguascalientes, where you see the men and women accompanying each other shopping, when I was there my male cousin even joined me, until I sent him away to the men's section.

I thought to ask if he had any errands he needed to run, and it was just one. Some adapter for audio, I stayed in the car checking and responding to email. We each had one errand to go and agreed to to check out the ocean after.

I picked out some juices and we continued to listen to the stack of cd's, Loteria Beats that I had turned him onto and his Blues Motel that I loved instantly because they reminded me of the Rolling Stones in Spanish.

We made it to the ocean, the water was choppy too windy to stay out side. So we had to take it in from the car. I continued to return emails as they came through and he returned calls he had missed. When we had recharged a bit in the sun we made our way back.

I had to pack for my trip and he was meeting friends for a show at Cafe Du Nord. Did I want to go? He asked, and I promptly replied no. We traded cd's his Manicato for my Loteria Beats...

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Wednesday, May 07, 2008

El Presente

Con el mundo
como va se nos acaba todo ay yaya ya yayy
la tempestad y la calma casi son la misma cosa
ay yaya ya yaay
Julieta Venegas


Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Tacos de Papa

Since Thursday evening when I ate late night Mexican food with the Tico after the Manicato show, I have been craving a taco de papa.

I didn't have any plans to celebrate the the battle of Puebla, but as the day went on, I had a nagging craving. I looked in the pantry and fridge to see if I could satisfy my craving.

I found some Peruvian beans that I sorted, rinsed and placed in water to boil. I had just put them on the stove when my Mom called...when I hung up the phone I remembered the frijoles de la olla and the water was almost gone! Ugh, I swear I had already perfected this dish, but not today. I added more water a big no-no and hoped they survived.

In the fridge I found some cilantro, tomatoes, onion and limon, I thought no problem I will make a pico de gallo and add it to a Calvillo cheese quesadilla- perfect.

Fortunately my friend called and I told her, 'I am craving something Mexican!' We walked down the hill without a plan and found the 43 bus waiting for us. We headed to the Marina.

Crossed the street to La Barca and she said uh-oh, this land/water craft was decorated with all the Mexican brands in front of La Barca. As we approached the restaurant people were streaming onto the sidewalk. I looked at her, realizing neither of us really had this in mind.

Walked up to the entrance to have a young door person say it was the exit today. Walked back to the bar entrance to show our id's. I smiled and asked if they were serving food. "Yes are you here for dinner?" Taco de papa craving since Thursday I told him. "Thank you for knowing they are on my menu." They are not really but they always make them for me. He smiled. "Let me walk you over to the hostess." We went back to the current exit past the young door guy and the crowds to the hostesses. Thank you, "You are welcome, nice to see you again."

I whispered to my friend- he's the owner. Our name on the list an opening at the bar, we took in the after work crowd that had already been there for four hours. It was funny to watch, everyone was really nice.

Helped myself to some beer cozies sitting on the counter either for my dad or Burning Man, figured out Cazadores Tequila was underwriting the entire bar promotion and when I turned the bartender was reaching over my head to place a festive necklace on me.

Our table was ready and my friend got her free shot from the bartender when she closed the tab, then because I was still working on my margarita and she had finished hers, the server brought her one also. My friend prefers to say he brought it to her because she was hot- okay, agreed!

We laughed at how unexpectedly fun the night had turned out. Didn't know where to catch the bus back, realizing we have only taken it in one direction hailed a cab easily...happy, full and giddy.

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Monday, May 05, 2008

Urban Legend

When I first moved to the city and worked in the Mission, I started to hear about the Tamale Lady.

A colleague and member of The Extra Action Marching Band played me the song they had written for her.

Over the years I would ask what kind of tamales, thinking the non latinos probably didn't know the difference between the Mexican corn husked goodness and some of the other varieties.

I had never seen the Tamale Lady or one of her tamales. I had almost forgotten she existed.

Last night my friend and I were at Casanova, not wanting to head to Dub Mission too early. Over our four-dollar drinks the entertainment began.

Met some local surfers that asked if we were local. Then started in on how not local the girls next to us were. Only because they had been rude did the conversation come up that they were bridge and tunnel. The guys said- Danville, who lives in Danville? Right? I totally agreed.

Everyone was having a good time, it was obvious the levels of sobriety varied, but we had just started our night.

Then I heard some one talking about tamales. I turned to see a woman walking away. I asked the guy standing near me is that The Tamale Lady?! Yeah, get her for me please!

I turned in my bar stool and said hi! English then Spanish I asked her are you the famous Tamale Lady? Si, I told her how long I had been wanting to meet her, did she have veggie tamales? I settles on rajas con queso. She asked if I wanted some salsa and I said only if it was not spicy- then she said here you better just eat it with out.

It was cool to meet her and the tamal was delicious. My friend said, I didn't know I liked tamales. The guys next to me asked me how my drunk tamal was, I looked at him puzzled and he explained she is the patron saint of the Mission drunks.

At Dub, I ran into my neighbor and told him about my tamal experience. He said he has had them at Zeitgeist after a day of drinking. I told him I had never seen her and thought the gringos wouldn't really know a good tamal if they had one. He is from Michoacan, and he said no- they really are good. Agreed, yum...

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Sunday, May 04, 2008

Weekend ChaCha

Week six of the fitness plan and down six pounds. So far soo good and feeling strong. Welcome the needed energy as life has been an equal frenzy of; work, socializing, fitness, and networking.

Celebrated May day in the Mission with new and familiar friends enjoying the sounds of Manicato. Being at their show reminds me of Ozomatli ten years ago playing the local East LA Chicano circuit. Definitely think Manicato is a band to watch.

To transition from work to social mode, I have been taking my sweet time to get ready. Makes me laugh when I realize I channel my inner ChaCha with big hair, makeup, and just the right outfit. Danced the entire night away with a Tico that could lead, if I hadn't already worked out I would have welcomed the two hours of dancing. The next day my toes hurt and I slept in.

Started the weekend with dirty martinis and late night dinner. A good time networking with a new media network that I really respect. A more formal office meeting to follow, but enjoyed the informal introduction my friend coordinated at my favorite local eatery Alembic.

Next morning was a full Saturday with the most amazing urban educators at the last pedagogical seminar of the semester. From that came requests for a radio interview when I am in so cal this week, a conference presentations in the fall, and thoughts of following through with the fellowship application which would make me bi-costal for the next year.

The evening was a night out with my international friends, the night kept going and I landed in a heated discussion about Penelope Cruz fame, it was funny but I assured them that she was famous long before she dated the other Cruise...either way car doors were opened, drinks purchased, chivalrous group that managed to keep me out for yet another late night.

When the alarm went off for brunch I figured I could quickly rush to get ready then enjoy my coffee, knowing my Peruvian amigas are about as timely as I am. Needless to say they had not stayed out as late as me the night before. We caught up over mimosas and came back to my place for a cafecito.

Call came through and heading out to hear some dub...