Thursday, December 24, 2009

It's been a while

I haven't written much lately. I suppose I can blame school for that, or my six-month-long coma, but why create excuses? I don't want to say I'm returning to blogging, just that it's nice to keep my writing honed. I mean, it's not like I haven't written. I've written for school, essays and such, but that doesn't stimulate my creative side. On the contrary, writing an essay is like traipsing sloppily through a math problem. It's all trial and error, and my good essays are those on which I got lucky.

So, an update for my friends: yes, I'm back in school. It'd been a long time, too long, and the reacclimation hurt more than jumping into an icy bath. I started fast and strong, but my efforts tapered with procrastination. I ended up reading approximately 30% of what was assigned and yet I somehow managed to pass my classes. I wrote a paper on Frankenstein and I hadn't read Frankenstein in almost ten years. I wrote papers on literary theorists without reading their work. I wrote a paper on how to perform CPR without knowing what CPR is. Cardiopulmonary reattachment, right? I got an A on that paper.

I got a much needed mental jolt at school. It was like jump-starting a dilapidated junker that was used to run moonshine and pick up street walkers.

I miss the days when I'd dribble metaphors in my sleep. Now I'm lucky if I can conjure a couple in a week. I hope to get that way again soon.

One thing's certain, though. A post like this would've taken me a long time to edit. It's like a poem, they're never done. Whitman worked on Leaves of Grass for decades. Frost, I think, felt the same way with his poems, short and sweet as they were. Eliot wrote The Wasteland over the course of several years. I guess it's not a good thing that I edit less. WHATEVS, I do what i want.

FRANK

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Ghetto Gourmet: Soup Edition

If you're like me, you like to eat. If you're even more like me, you're also broke, cheap and lazy.

I haven't spent an extended amount of time at home lately, so I haven't been going to the grocery to restock on food. That means when I do wind up spending even one night at my house, I'm usually home alone with very little food options except for the things left in the pantry and embarrassingly old leftovers in the fridge.

If you're really like me, your desperate MacGuyver-like culinary instincts will kick in and find a way to round up a motley lot of ingredients to create a palatable, yet ghetto meal for yourself. If you're smart enough (READ: Cheap), you can make yourself a tasty meal at home for less than a Del Taco meal!

This edition will cover making soup incorporating things you really need to use before they go bad.

Cup o' Noodles, Box o' Rice, Egg. The essential ingredient for this soup is your run-of-the-mill cup of instant noodles. To add some kind of nutritional value to this meal, I added one egg - the last one I had in my fridge. I also added 1/3 full small takeout box of rice in there because this was a box of rice that's been in my fridge for at least two weeks after I took it home from work a week after a board meeting we had (Like I said, embarrassingly old).

Chicken Broth and Sesame Oil Additional ingredients I'd strongly recommend but aren't required is soup broth and some sort of additional flavoring. I had an open container of chicken broth in the fridge that needed to be used, and I still had a bit of sesame oil to add to the mix. I would have added some soy sauce if I didn't have the chicken broth, but the powered soup flavoring and the chicken broth would have enough salt. If I had some Hot Cock (Sriracha) sauce, I could have added that, and opted out on the Tapatio or Tabasco sauces.

Start making your soup by filling your noodle cup with the advised amount of water and let it all sit in the cup for a minute or so and then pour the contents into a small saucepan (NOTE: I highly advise against substituting your broth for water. This mix is already pretty salty, you might as well dilute it, but maintaining taste).

Startchy-StartchTurn on the heat if you haven't already, then add your additional flavoring (I put about a teaspoon or so of sesame oil) and once the noodles were soft enough to yield, I added my rice. This rice was so old it almost was hard as uncooked rice, making me think it would take longer for the rice to soften than the noodles. Because I added so much rice into the mix, I eyeball added probably around 3 cups of chicken broth, or until it looked like the starch/soup ratio looked balanced to me.

How do you like your egg? I then added a dash of cayenne pepper into the mix, just to give it a little bite, and once the noodles and rice looked soft enough, I turned off the heat dropped the egg into the saucepan and gently stirred.




IT IS VERY HOT.
...and there you have it (I added the furikake topping for the looks, I didn't really like it in this soup).

Nomz away, and should you decide to make this yourself, share your experiences here.

CORAZON

Friday, August 7, 2009

Adventures in True Blue Love

Anyone who knows me knows that I have an undying love(/hate) for Los Angeles.

Anyone who's known me for the past few years knows that I've become a devoted Dodgers fan.

Growing up, I didn't have many people around me who I knew that loved baseball. I was raised in a house where basketball was the sport, and of course, the Lakers was our team (and still is). But as I stayed local for college and as I went out deeper into the many pockets of the Greater Los Angeles Area, I'd meet people who are Dodger fans. One former boss drove him and a few others to a game all the way from Hollwyood in his GEM car.

It was pretty much inevitable that I became a Dodgers fan, especially when I moved to Lincoln Heights, so close to the stadium where I could see the fireworks from our alley, befriending Dodgers fans and dated a pretty big baseball fan...being a bigger sports fan than I give myself credit for, the Dodgers made it very hard for me not to love them.

Of course, I am more than aware of the history of Elysian Park and Chavez Ravine and what happened to that small, tight-knit community that once lived there. For some, it’s the reason why they can’t support a team that did that to those people. As sad as I am that such a cultural gem of an area is no longer with us, I can’t blame this baseball club for what eventually happened to these people.

And then there’s this book I’m currently reading, Chavez Ravine: 1949 by photographer Don Normark, of the pictures he took of the people and sights of this world that soon ceased to be, and some of the surviving residents and their recollections of living there. These pictures represent a time gone by, of places and people that are no longer there or accessible, including the school that remains intact where it still stands, but is now completely buried beneath one of Dodger Stadium’s parking lots.

As tragic as the residents of that time had to leave their home and their community, the inevitable fact of the matter is that if it didn’t happen to them in 1949, much like every small and tight-knit community in this eternally progressing city, it was going to happen to them eventually. It just so happened that a bunch of Big Leaguers needed to find a new home at the time and the City had some land to sell at the time.

But as most of the people of Chavez Ravine dispersed to other areas of Los Angeles, another community emerged. A community of fans of this baseball team has become a part of this city and plays a part of bringing a fanbase and a different kind of community together.

I’ve had a very crazy week, which has regretfully kept me out of the loop on how my baseball team has been doing. I could kick myself for missing out on some amazing things happening, including my “boyfriend” Andre Ethier maintaining his Comeback Kid posterboy status with is walk-off homer at the bottom of the 9th last night, as well as Dodger Stadium usher William Gomez preventing Milwaukee Brewer’s Prince Fielder from getting into the Dodger locker room, preventing what could have ended the Dodgers’ successful and already drama-filled season.


Reading William Gomez’s story and his history with the team and the ballpark is just a reminder that “When a door closes, another one opens;” as unfortunate that the people of Elysian Park of old was forced out of their homes in such a manner, another community emerged from it - a community that helps, in part, to bring a little part of this metropolis of L.A. closer together, and create a history and legacy of its own, spanning well beyond the hills on which the stadium rests.

Want to be a part of Dodgertown, USA?
Be a fan on Facebook.
Follow them on Twitter.
There’s always their Official Site.

CORAZON

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Flying Lessons Learned

[It appears that my girlfriend's taken my writing spirit and written another blog entry. Fortunately, I have many other spirits in my spirit jar. Without further adoodoo:]

Lessons learned. Or rather, lessons updated/relearned/revisited/reminded of.

Also, "Why Delta is Better Than Other Airlines."

You know, I used to consider myself to be a bit self-absorbed until I saw how people react to a delayed flight. I am not the only one on this flight that has been delayed 3 hours, but I may be one of the only ones not throwing a fit. Seriously, you're not the only one who's pissed off your flight was delayed.

(But when it comes to my boyfriend not texting me back within 2.3 minutes of the original sent text, ohhh boy, watch out because all hell is about to break loose and someone's going to end up with something thrown at their head).

I decided to entertain myself. As a girl with middle-child syndrome, I’m rather good at this. Perhaps all these people grew up with a lot of siblings and just don't know how to entertain themselves. Doubtful. But I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

I decide to go sit at a bar by myself (which leads me up to where I am now). The lady next to me had some kind of voucher and her ticket said she was also on my flight. I asked her if they were giving them to everyone and she told me yes and to go get one. I go back to the gate and ask if I can have whatever they are giving out (please) and the woman laughs and says, "Okay. You'll take whatever we're giving out." At least she's in a good mood. I'd be screaming at the morons demanding earlier flights if I were her. She then asks if I'd like to move seats. She observes that I have a middle seat and I sigh because that’s the worst seat ever. Then she says, "oh, you don't need to move. The two people next to you moved, you now have the row to yourself. Would you still like to move?" I have all 3 seats to myself! That's only my favorite thing ever, aside from missing my flights and having to fly standby for the next one and then getting upgraded to first class. Now I can sleep on the flight.

Then, she tells me I have a $7 meal voucher (food is way more expensive than that, but that's nice of them). She also tells me that Delta is offering a $50 credit toward a future Delta flight. What?! I thank her and run off like a giddy schoolchild with my meal voucher and $50 credit.

Okay, as I'm claiming my prizes (I’m pretending they're prizes to get myself more excited so I don't get all pissy), this woman next to me is complaining, of course. She’s complaining that she has kids and a father and she's so inconvenienced and she's sorry for complaining but, she's inconvenienced. Bitch, you're not sorry for complaining, or you wouldn't do it in the first place. What the hell are you talking about. No one's sorry for complaining, that's the whole point of complaining.

What would you like this person to do? Put you on a magic carpet and fly you to your destination? Because we all don't have appointments and stuff to do tomorrow, right? You're the only one? I’m just as inconvenienced and I’m not bitching. I’m skipping around with my seven dollar meal ticket like a monkey with a banana.

I thought it was nice that Delta agents stayed so calm and helpful. And even offered any sort of compensation. Not many airlines do so much as apologize for delayed flights. So go sit down woman. There's clearly nothing anyone can do or we wouldn't all be sitting around waiting. What would these people like? They would have rather flown on an unsafe aircraft? I don't get it.

So the moral of today's story:

Do not complain. No one cares.
And you're annoying.


FRANK

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Oh. Hai.

Hello, potential readers of the Ad Adventurum.

If you actually try to read this blog, I am here to say that Frank and I haven't completely abandoned this blog...just yet.

Speaking for myself, I've been spending these hot, summer days out and about, going to the beach, getting eaten by waves, going to baseball and soccer games and hiking! Most of the time I'm on the computer is when I'm at work, and I'm not about to blog while on the metaphorical clock, and when I'm on my own computer, I've been working on pictures and other projects.

And don't worry, (I think) Frank and I are still friends. We're not citing artistic differences or anything, unless he's out there galavanting with the undead. Then we're going to have words. I'm happy to see some activity on his MyBrute account and heading to the beach every now and again, and one can only hope that there is some BBQing involved with him.

Do expect a few posts I've got brewing in the next few days, especially since I have some pressure from people knowing about the blog when I attended the first annual Blogger Prom a few weeks ago, and now I feel this little blog that could really should.

So stay tuned for hiking adventures and what caused two blisters on the roof of my mouth! And for Frank...I miss you.

CORAZON

Thursday, July 2, 2009

More Than Meets the Eye

Despite what people kept telling me and what reviewers kept saying again and again (even more to list) how TERRIBLE this movie is, I went to watch Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen last night.

Citizen Kane it's not. I did not expect to see anything near that, nor did I expect to see a cohesive plot (or one at all), well-written dialogue (both human and robot), OR even good acting (which I did; Rainn Wilson as the stuffy Princeton Astronomy professor and Shia Labeouf channeling an alien language while having an epileptic seizure is not an easy feat). What I did expect were explosions, gratuitous body shots and ROBOTS.

So if you like robots, explosions, and above all, AMERICA, you WILL like this movie.

Seriously, hating this movie is as good as hating the USA. Yes, that's even hating the USA with Obama as president. This world of transformers protecting the human race is a world with Obama as president, and as the Autobots team up with the US Army to protect our kind from rogue Decepticons around the world, our robot heroes masquerade as automobiles that come from the good ol' US of A. Their fearless leader, Optimus Prime, is a flame-accented semi that can't be made anywhere else, those waste of CGI production jive-speaking twins were Chevy Aveos, and despite my personal misgivings of changing his car, Bumblebee is no longer a VW Beetle but a Camaro in this Michael Bay franchise. All the same, because he's a sexy Camaro...a sexy AMERICAN MADE Camaro.

And what of these Decepticons? The opening scene set in Shanghai, China has the US Army and the US-car masked Autobots battle this Chinese machine Decepticon that is defeated pretty easily. Why? NOT a US-made machine! This creature was assisted by some Decepticon automobile, but it was a European-made AUDI, which was cut cleanly in half by what? An American-made car/Autobot.

And when The Fallen, this ancient bad guy Decepticon is once again ready to wreak havoc on our fleshy human-dominated world, Decepticons guised as machines around the world spring back to life, including a Volvo earth digger? Come on! Let's kick these robots in their balls! Because they have them! At least one of them has a pair, and he certainly got dinged in its metal 'gnads! YEAH! That's what the Decepticons get for killing Optimus Prime! USA! USA!

This movie is so USA that after Sam Witwicky's parents drop their son off to Princeton, an ivy league college, they head to Paris, France, only for Mr. Witwicky to dine at a French cafe drinking an All-American Budweiser as Mrs. Witwicky spits out her escargot dish.

I'm not going to glaze over the gaping plot holes. Sure, they're plot holes in a membrane-thin plot, but even the most patriotic can catch them. Because surprisingly enough, this movie DOES make you think. I was preoccupied marveling at how Megan Fox's character managed to keep her lips eternally bubblegum lip glossy pink and her mascara perfect and not smudgy even after traveling across the US by plane then being thrown around and teleported to Egypt, or how much work it took for her to keep her riding khakis scot-free after all the running around the desert and explosions bent on exploding her pretty face. More importantly, I kept wondering what went through John Turturro's head when he came out of his trailer every day while filming this movie and how much he had to prepare for his gratuitous butt shot. I was also waiting to one of Megan Fox's boob to pop out her very cute top, not because I necessarily wanted to see it, but because I thought it was a physical inevitability with all the running, jumping, sliding on the ground she was doing while running for her life...AND THE REST OF HUMANITY AND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM AS WE KNOW IT.

So there you go. Explosions that are even simplified by slow-moing the good parts of the explosions. Robots. Lots of robots. Robots fighting each other. Panty shots of nubile coeds, biker chicks and John Turturro. What more are you expecting? If you are expecting more, I have Delicatessen as my Netflix rental right now, but that's so un-American of you.

CORAZON

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Heartfelt Letter

[My loyal and clutch girlfriend saved me from writing today by writing a letter to a good friend. This is why I love her even though she claws frantically in her sleep.]

Dearest Alcohol,

First & foremost, let me tell you that I'm a huge fan. My friend, you always seem to be there when needed. The perfect post-work cocktail, a beer at the game, and you're even around during the holidays, hidden inside chocolates, warming us when we're stuck in the midst of endless family gatherings.

However, lately I've questioned your intentions. While I want to believe that you have my best interests at heart, I feel that your influence has led to some unfortunate consequences:

1. Phone calls: While I agree with you that communication is important, I question the suggestion that any conversation of substance or necessity take place after 2 a.m. Why would you make me call my friends when I know for a fact they do not want to hear from me during the day, let alone at night?

2. Eating: Now, you know I love a good meal, but why do you suggest that I eat a taco with chili sauce, along with a big Italian meatball sandwich and some stale chips (washed down with wine and topped off with a Kit Kat after! A few cheese curls & chili cheese fries?). I'm an eclectic eater, but I think you went too far this time.

3. Clumsiness: Unless you're subtly trying to tell me that I need to do more yoga to improve my balance, I see no need to hammer the issue home with frequent trips to the ground. It's completely unnecessary, and I’m tired of playing detective with the black and blue marks on my body in the mornings. Similarly, it should never take me more than 45 seconds to get the front door key into the lock.

4. Furthermore: The hangovers have got to stop. This is getting ridiculous. I know a little penance for a night’s debauchery may be in order, but the 3 PM hangover immobility is completely unacceptable! My entire day is shot. I ask that, if the proper precautions are taken (water, vitamin B, bread products, aspirin) prior to going to sleep/passing out face down(!) on the kitchen floor with a bag of popcorn, the hangover should be minimal and in no way interfere with my daily activities.

Alcohol, I have enjoyed our friendship for some years now and would like to ensure that we remain on good terms. You've been the invoker of great stories, the provocation for much laughter, and the needed companion when I just don't know what to do with the extra money in my pockets.

In order to continue this friendship, I ask that you carefully review my grievances above and address them immediately. I expect an answer no later than Wednesday at 3 PM (pre-happy hour) on your possible solutions and hopefully we can continue this fruitful partnership.


Your Biggest Fan,

Eliana


FRANK

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Anatomy of a Migraine II

Last week, I talked a little bit about suffering from migraines, more specifically what usually happens to me when I suffer from one.

I've been given several tips on how to get rid of them aside from the quick and dirty powerful painkiller route, including a temporary respite from the pain by digging your finger a bit above your right eye socket and massaging the meaty part between your thumb and pointer finger. The advice that was practiced on me and managed to pass on to another seemed to be the best way around it.

When my boss came into our office, she found me with my head on my desk and looking all which ways of haggard. It didn't take long for her to put down her things and volunteer to give me a neck massage. "I'm an expert at this," she assured me.

And an expert she was. After remarking how astonished how such a pretty calm person can have so much tension in her neck and shoulders, she quickly went to work BRINGING THE PAIN. So I do have muscles so tense, they're almost firm as a bone, and with the force my boss was putting on my tense tissue I had moments thinking they'd just snap. It was a good pain, mostly, the pain you know that you'd benefit from later, but some of it was just plain PAIN.

"I think I need a break," I said to my boss a few times, after she laid her strong, slender fingers into my neck, and she agreed...I was working on a big project and reassured I needed to take it easy. Little did she know that I was subtly trying to tell her I needed to take a break from extreme tenderizing she was doing to my neck.

I finally asked her to stop, when I thought I couldn't take any more. After a little cool down, I realized I had some trouble keeping my head up; my neck was so wobbly. She managed to dissolve the tension from my neck and shoulders. Just to take some extra precautions, she also advised I do a headstand against our filing cabinet, which I did.

After all that, I still had a bit of pressure where the headache was, but within two hours, it was completely gone, and did not suffer from any of the post-migraine wooziness that usually comes along with it. My neck was a wee tender the next day (quite possibly because my skin was slightly bruised...!), but I felt great.

I was a new person. That little session was a testament I gotta make sure take better care of myself and that I need to exercise a bit more...stretch those neck muscles after holding my head up looking at a computer screen all the time.

I also wanted to pay this new knowledge forward, ready to assist those who may be suffering from what I had to. My opportunity didn't take long, as that Saturday my friend was our other friend's party completely down for the count and was about to drive herself home in such a terrible state. I quickly went to work on her, but showed a bit of mercy. Everyone could see the noticeable difference after a nice massage did for her - though I couldn't help the little lump of stressed muscles in her back which I'm sure caused a lot of the pain. I'm glad to know she got that looked at and I hope is feeling much better.

I'm sure there's supposed to be a lesson behind this, and I am now poised to lay on some awesome wisdom on you, so here I go:

Migraines suck. It's not easy to massage your own shoulders/neck, so hope that you know a no-mercy type of person to go to Tenderizing Town on your neck muscles to relieve that bad boy. You'll thank me later for it (Heck, I may help you myself).

CORAZON

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Less Writing, More Pictures

Man, it's tough coming up with witty writing. Instead, I'm just gonna post some cool pictures I found today.

Here is a picture from wiki of the beaches of Normandy 55 years ago:


Here is a picture from APOD of the moon rising over Turkey:


Here is a lolcat from lolcat thing:



FRANK

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Anatomy of a Migraine

[Writer's Note: There will be a part of this entry where I'll be talking about some TMI stuff people may not want to read about. Don't worry, I'll indicate when that part comes and goes. Just wait for my sign. <3cmr]


Those of you who have had a real migraine would agree: they're up there on one of the worst things ever, and know the difference between a migraine and "A really bad headache." Okay, they're not the really worst things ever, but unlike sore throats, sinusits, most, if not all forms of cancer and most debilitating diseases, I would wish a migraine on my worst enemy.

My getting migraines are usually few and far between. My first real migraine (aka not a really bad headache) was in July of 2007, since then, I've had at least one a year. Crazy enough, I've had two within a month's span, the last one being yesterday (Thursday).

I knew I was in denial when I felt the pressure on the right side of my head. "Maybe it's sinus pressure..." I thought to myself, as I showered with a runny nose.

I took some pain reliever in hopes it would go away by the time I was at work, but my ability to smell the most subtle things, like the dough I smelled as I drove by the donut place, or being able to pick out the different types of exhaust as I walked to my office, perhaps really smelling the dust of all the construction in my office should have tipped me off.

"Maybe I'm just hungry..." Still trying to convince myself, as I heated up a can of chicken noodle soup for myself and ate it with crackers and drank lots of water.

That's when the nausea set in.

**********TMI TMI STOP READING HERE TMI TMI**********


My head felt even worse, and now the stomach was doing all kind of horrible on me. I kept convincing myself, "Keep it down, keep it down." But my stomach said that it's time to let this sucker out! "No!" I kept telling myself, "It's nothing bad I ate, and throwing up will NOT make me feel better!" But just like a few weeks ago, I felt crappy enough that it was worth the try.

Just like a few weeks ago, though I had no one else in the office with me at the time, I hurriedly took the keys to the restroom area and made my way to the toilet.

And just like last time, even though I had something in my stomach, barely anything came out. I had my glasses off at the time, but when I was pretty much finished, I noticed the floaty bits of yellow on the surface of the water looked like an uncanny cartoon rendition of a tyrannosaurus rex. Even in my moment of suffering, I had to appreciate the absolute beauty in misery by witnessing it, and for that moment or two, I felt not that crappy.

I would have taken a picture of it if I didn't rush out of the office to vomit, and I very well couldn't have run back to my office to return with a camera at risk of it floating into something else or someone else coming in at that time and witness me return to a toilet stall with vomit in it with camera at hand. Maybe if people are absolutely curious, I may be able to recreate it to an approximate image stored in my memory.

Making Vomitsaurus Rex, as I expected, didn't make me feel better at all.

**********TMI TMI SECTION OVER TMI TMI**********


With the nausea a little better but still present, I was progressively getting worse and the pressure on the right side of my head became even more intense. I was so close to just closing the door to my office and sprawl out on the dirty, dirty floor and tried all my pressure point techniques.

I resorted to lay my arm out in front of me and place my head upon on it, allowing my forearm to smush my eyeballs into my head, creating a sort of pressure that relieved the pain from my head. After staying in that position for some time, I tried lifting my head to see if it was gone, but I should have known that as soon as I lifted my head to face my computer screen, the pain came roaring back and I was back in the same state, if not worse.

Just as I lifted my head from another head down, eye smush attempt, an office mate came in with a tuna salad concoction she made, inspired by one I did on my own, and as soon as she walked in, I could smell the tuna and spices she put in it. I had to refuse in the nicest way possible without tackling her to the ground as I wanted to bolt to the bathroom once again.

Tune in next week to see what happened when my boss came into the office to see me in this state...

CORAZON

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Steady Onward


It's time for another drunk post I think.

You know what's sad? Our knowledge being limited by our imagination.

You know why? Because our imaginations are feebly limited.

This idea is dandy for those who don't realize this, but imagine what unthinkable possibilities there are in the universe! It's impossible, but try because it's the only way to near conceiving such things.

Consider 10,000 years ago a nomad conjuring the thought of the thought of the thought of something as abstract as the internet. Sure, maybe a super genius through heavy meditation may conclude that it may be nice to have a massive depository of information accessible at an instant. And he may conclude that maybe, somehow, it'll be possible to share thoughts with others instantly. But how probable is that?

Given how fast our knowledge is accumulating, who knows with what we'll be astounded come thirty years. Look at the iPhone. LOOK AT IT. What would you have made of this ten years ago? Having access in your palm to more information than all of human civilization has had access to since the inception of cuneiform.

Can you imagine what people 10,000 years ago would think of the iPhone? (It's a good book.)

Now you see how feeble is our imagination.

PS Have you seen shows or read about those ridiculous assertions regarding life on other planets? Some scientists (I'm sure at producers' behest) have surmised at life on other planets. On massier planets, some say, all living creatures will be squat and eat helium-filled floating fish while hopping around on their one foot.

Remember the futurists of the sixties predicting cars zooming across the sky propelled by nuclear reactors with ten ton robots at the wheel? They're the same quacks trying to predict life on other planets today.


FRANK

Friday, June 5, 2009

IN CASE OF EMERGENCY

Dear Readers: You're going to have to bear with my semi-self-indulgent entries. I'm sure to get it out of my system soon. If not, you're just going to have to deal with it, won't you?

I got the opportunity to catch up with a friend during a long drive home this morning. This friend just finished her Masters program at UCLA (GO BRUINS!), and we were talking about all the graduation hoopla. In that conversation she asked if I could photograph her for her graduation photos. I was flattered and honored she asked me, and I excitedly accepted. She then told me that she's never taken graduation photos before, which I told her that wasn't such a big deal, and that my mom's insistence caused me to have two batches of awkward-looking graduation photos.

From there, the subject somehow got to my college graduation picture and my telling my friend that she has to promise me, should I ever go missing, she needs to make sure that the picture they use on the reports and what not is NOT my UCLA graduation photo.

No, I don't have a digital file of that image to share with you, and I'm glad. I'm not saying it's a bad picture...it's actually a fairly decent photograph, but I really don't like how I look there. My hair looks like a well-tamed helmet framing my face, and I put on a bit of makeup that looks fine but very...doll-like. It just isn't me.

I will take this opportunity to make you, my reader(s), to promise me by hook or by crook that any of my 2003 UCLA graduation photos are NEVER used should I wind up missing (Besides, that was six years ago to the month, so it's not the most accurate and up to date photograph).

For your convenience, I have picked out the photo I would wish to be used should I go missing:
Some may notice this is my current social networking profile picture (a few sites). This picture works on a few levels: It was taken at a time when I was feeling pretty sick, so I'm not looking my best, and I'm sure if I were to go missing, I may have fallen into some ditch or got lost in a cornfield and will look to some level of haggardry. The fact I'm in the picture with a purple mouse puppet conveys my general air of irreverence; you know I'm not quite myself if I wasn't.

Heck, let's be honest and if I were to be recovered from some sort of distress, I'm most likely going to look like this:

So look for that girl. There's a good chance I may be dirtier and smellier than in this video, so I warn you now.
(Sorry for subjecting you to that - I think you deserve to know the truth)

CORAZON

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

AGING! ADVENTURE!

For the five readers that actually bother following my entries, you may have noticed I've been kind of MIA on this blog. Most of that time was crazy times, part of that was crazy lazy times, and the other part was crazy in the fact that I was out there in the world, away from the computer and having real adventure!

I guess it all started when I started off my month house sitting for my friend, the same weekend I was going to help out with this really cool shopping event and help celebrate my friend's birthday by dragging him to a Dodgers game even though he didn't really want to. Then it was my sister's birthday and I went with her and Henjobin to celebrate her quarter century mark. The next day I was back in Orange County dressed the way I dressed an awkward prepubescent at a Yelp event, then kind of kicked of Birthday Week by eating a whole bunch of Korean BBQ, experimenting with making spicy chicken wings to BBQ, went to the beach, then to a Southern vampire party, then it was my actual birthday where I had a good breakfast in Long Beach and spent a few hours at Disney Californa Adventures before hauling back to LA to go to a Dodgers game against the Angels followed by fireworks! I did a few Memorial Day BBQ things, but I focused most of my energies to prepare for the 2009 Acura LA Bike Tour where I was going to ride 23 miles around LA at 5AM on Memorial Day.

And I have proof:
PROOF

I even made a video:


It never seemed I could sleep in thanks to too much on my mind and my roommate's cat going into heat for the first time, and just when I thought I could get to sleep in, my friend calls me up asking if I can take her to the ER because she cut her thumb open cutting a mango. That took me to taking her to her Dr. in Arcadia, then to Irvine to pick up a house key, then to LA to figure out how to get home since it was decided I was driving up to Monterey to overnight in a hostel, which was pretty damn cool. Then I took the Amtrak down from Monterey to Oxnard, which took an entire day, but was a pretty nice ride (nicer with bloody marys). I made it home in time to make it to my friend's birthday party, and man, I'm still around to tell the tale.

Needless to say, I ended my year 28 with a bang and 29 has been pretty crazy. Let's see how the rest of my 20's rounds out...

PS - I have do have photographic proof for all of these things (and I do not exaggerate) I've mentioned in this entry, but I can only upload so much at a time. KBBQ? Spicy wings? Baseball games? Disneyland? Yeah, I got it. If you return to this post, I very well will link to everything mentioned here, or you can just visit my Flickr.

CORAZON

Monday, June 1, 2009

My Recent Weight Gain

It’s hard to deny the fact that you’ve gained weight when your stomach, as one of my friends put it, “looks like a watermelon, you stupid fat fuck. Get your lard ass to the gym already, you fat tub of shit.” I laugh stuff like that off because what else can you do, right?

Funny friends aside, I have no problem with my recent weight gain. My girlfriend calls me her Healthy Boy because I don’t know why the fuck she thinks this is healthy. She rubs my belly and says, “I like it! It makes you look healthy.”

“Healthy like an E. Honda super human sumo wrestler?”

“Sure, whatever.”

I mean, she encourages me to exercise--very tactfully I should add by asking if I’d like to go hiking with her. “Why? I’m already healthy,” I laugh.

I wouldn’t mind being actual healthy and not 17th century baroque healthy though. Hell, I’m not even Rubenesque, I’m just oblong. You know what else is oblong? Earth. Earth is oblong. I’m as fat as a fucking planet. All the fat cells in my body are colluding against my aesthetic. My limbs are twigs flailing against a basketball.

Anyway, I wouldn’t mind being actual healthy. It’s nice being able to walk with your own legs. Rolling isn’t a flattering form of transportation.


FRANK

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bad Writing III

[Due to popular-enough request, here's part three of bad writing. Parts one and two.]

Apparently alcohol and anesthetic don’t mix. I woke from a coma three weeks later with the ultimate pain in my leg. The bullet had pulverized my femur and severed my femoral artery like a hot steak knife through a balloon. They reattached it with a piece of artery from a hoodlum who had been gunned down by police after shooting some drunk passed out in an alley minutes after I was admitted. My femur was replaced with titanium like Lieutenant Dan’s.

I couldn’t stop thinking of Forrest Gump, and how he persevered through so many injustices. Then I thought of Jenny, the slut with AIDS. You assume she had AIDS because she was so promiscuous. Then I wondered how Forrest didn’t get AIDS, and how his son didn’t have AIDS, then I considered the fact that maybe she didn’t have AIDS. If so, why was it so alluded? Was it cancer then?

These thoughts troubled me for days until my family visited. They filled my outpatient recovery room with warmth and joy like that experienced by a house filled with the scent of onion and garlic. They offered to pay for my stay at the hospital but I declined because they were poor.

The next morning the surgeon approached me and asked, “how’s the leg?”

“It’s not doing so great,” I told him.

“Well, I hope it gets better. Because I put you in a coma, I’m going to pay for your stay at the hospital.”

“That’s great,” I exclaimed.


FRANK

Monday, May 18, 2009

Explosive Diarrhea

I have 23 minutes to write an entry before my time is up. The more observant among you will notice that I’m referring to the time left before the day is over, but you are wrong. I have 23 minutes to disarm a bomb here at the library.

What am I doing at a library so late you ask? Well, it’s a good story, so grab some pop corn or nothing. I was researching Buddhism’s impact on the Mexican male’s dominance over females between the ages of 15-25 in the 1990s. I read most of Hooper’s A Brief History of Buddhism, Berringaring’s The Pervasiveness of Buddhism, and Palladorianos’s The Dissemination of Zen. Apparently, there was no influence.

Being the slow reader that I am, it took me nearly sixteen hours to read through those books. By the end of the last book I realized that the library had closed.

“Ah, but the lights should have turned off! This story is a farce!”

Nay, good reader. Here’s the good part! The lights stayed on because the librarian was arming the bomb she left to explode the library! Weird, huh? Anyway, I realized this only because I heard the arming sequence. It sounded like a phone dialing, sort of, but louder and higher pitched and when she was done, I heard a computerized voice: “Arming sequence complete. Bomb has been activated.” I don’t know where she got the bomb.

“Uh, so why aren’t you trying to disarm the bomb?”

Hah, funny that you ask that. I tried, but I mean, it’s a bomb! Have you tried disarming a bomb? I have no idea what the hell to do! It’s a pack of explosives with an alarm clock counting down to midnight. What am I supposed to do?

I’m going to put it in the toilet. Yes, with the lid down. That’ll work, right? Alright, I’m doing it. Hold on. Okay, it’s in there. Okay, the library’s exploded. Well, this sucks. At least the Wi-Fi still works.


FRANK

Friday, May 15, 2009

Adventures in Bad Writing II

[Time for more bad writing! Here’s part one.]

The sun kissed my fresh bullet wound with a gentle warmth. I was awakened by the cold steel of a revolver to the back of my head as it struck me like a pile of bricks burying my hangover. I told him to take my wallet, it was all I had. He took it and then shot me in the leg.

There was bread in the air and it was the only thing that kept me going. I staggered to the bakery leaving a trail of blood across the floor like a river of red death. “I’ll like some bread please, sir,” I asked the gentleman behind the counter, built strong like a wolf and with the hands of a killer, a medieval knight perhaps, or a small bear.

“There’s no bread,” he said nonchalantly as though it weren’t a bakery. “This is a coffee shop,” he continued, “we don’t serve bread. Only coffee and pastries.”

“I’ll have a pastry then,” I said feeling faint. I’d lost a lot of blood and perhaps I was delirious, but I don’t think I was. It was a damned fine pastry, flaky like pie dough, chewy like a good pastry. There was strawberry jam inside, it reminded me of my leg. “Hey, gotta phone?” I asked the shopkeeper. “My leg’s busted.”

I took the phone and collapsed. I woke up in the hospital with a team of surgeons working on my leg. “What is this?” I asked them.

“He’s out,” said one surgeon.

“He’s out?” asked the anesthesiologist.

“Yes, he’s out. He’s conscious.”

“He’s out or he’s conscious?”

“He’s conscious.”

“Well, let’s put him back out.”

“Put him out? He is out. He needs to be unconscious.”

“What do you mean he’s out? He’s conscious.”

“That’s what I mean, he’s out. He’s out of the anesthesia.”

“Oh!” Said the anesthesiologist knocking me out again. Or in. I wasn’t quite sure then.


FRANK

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Holding Patterns

Do you sometimes wake up in the morning and realize your life is reminiscent of the classic Bill Murray comedy, Groundhog Day, but only a lot worse?

What makes it a lot worse is that you're not nearly as funny as Bill Murray, this indefinite starting over again isn't distilled in a 90-minute comedy, and instead is real life, which is often more tragic and time does not go back to 6:00am the previous day and instead rolls out to the next day, week and year ad nauseum, finding yourself older, possibly fatter and more bitter than before, and whatever consequences you've accrued the previous day IN FACT carries on with you moreso than just a memory.

It kind of stinks knowing full well of your real-life limitations of the situation of letting history repeat itself. Instead of dreading of hearing I've Got You Babe waking up, you still channel Cher, wondering if you can turn back time. Either way, you've got to accept the harsh truth and move on from there...but what is there to do? With time working against you, there's only a finite number of options to help you get out of such a pattern without the do-overs. Wing it? Go carpe diem and see if you organically fall out of it? Or once you're actually aware of such a bad habit, try to figure out what's causing this pattern to repeat and change things to prevent it from happening again? But how does one start in this process in the first place?!?









Answers: Maaaaaaaaybe...; TONS; YES?!?; Perhaps not.; Perhaps the best way to go.; You tell me...this is MY start in figuring all this out!


CORAZON

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Jerks

Oh sweet cheeses of the heavens, do I hate people sometimes.

I say this at a strangely ironic time when I've managed to surround myself and try to reconnect with the people I really care for and love, but no matter how hard one tries, the jerks seem to wiggle out of the woodwork like the wily roaches that they are. This is seriously a difficult entry to write right now, with my heart filled with happiness thinking of all the people I have in my life, but still. WTF JERKS?!?!?

I have to admit even though it's kind of embarrassing to say that UCLA tends to have a high output in the Jerk department. I went to UCLA, and I'm not going to say that I didn't get out of there a jerk, cause there are some who think I did.

For example, when I used to go around with my ex who went to illustrious UC Berkeley campus and was wearing some kind of Cal paraphernalia, at least ONE person would walk by saying "GO BEARS!" or ask if he knew what the final score was for the football game. I have never or have seen any other Bruin walk by someone with a UCLA this or that and say, "GOOO BRUINS!" (I haven't seen anything similar for 'SC, BTW). I used to make the excuse that there are just more of us Bruins down here in LA, and perhaps seeing a Cal fan down here is a treat. But they seem to do that up north as well, and I can guarantee a Bruin up north wouldn't be all a-giddy seeing a UCLA sweatshirt worn about town.

This past Saturday I was working at an event, taking money for peoples' admission. As I look up at the person I was helping, I realize that I've seen this gal before. Where is she from? How do I know her? I've worked with her before, or have the same friends. So I say, "You look familiar...!" Without looking up, she continues to fiddle with her change and retort, "Yeah, I look like a lot of people." While I reeled for a moment for such a snarky reply, I persisted and kept thinking, "Did you go to UCLA?" And she just affirmed my inquiry and walked away.

It's later that I remember her name and where I know her: She's a hometown friend of a good friend of mine second/third year and we went on many dinners and adventures together! And yes, she did finally get a look at me but did not bother to try to acknowledge an old connection.

Now I'm not writing this to say that all the jerks of the world are UCLA-raised, as there are very awesome people from UCLA who are jerk-free, and there are buckets of jerks who couldn't even go near UCLA.

Take, for example, the lady in the truck today. I'm trying to make a left turn at a light where I have a protected turn during rush hour when the cross traffic gets the red and there are two cars still trying to turn left into two full lanes of traffic, leaving them blocking the intersection. The last car was this lady in the truck, who all of a sudden is in the middle of the intersection when I'm supposed to be able to take my special left turn. And then she gets angry. AT ME. She throws her hands in the air in frustration and looks at me and shoots me some dirty looks and mouths something I can't understand. I'm just sitting in my car watching all of this, and thought, "Wait...am I angry right now? Am I psychically cussing her out? I don't think so..." and just realized she's getting mad at me for no reason at no fault to me. WHY?

Thankfully I have a small car and am able to maneuver past her big truck so I can make the left at the protection of her frustrated self blocking the opposing traffic. I didn't see if she happened to have UCLA plate frames or not. Would it surprise me? Not really.

CORAZON

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Justified Bumming

I am currently the Mayor Pro-Tempore of Box City.

I'm not lying. There's a large branding campaign going on there, and the name of the city is EVERYWHERE.

Okay. I'm house sitting for my friend who moved to a new place less than a week before she planned on going on a trip that took her across the ocean. She had thought of taking her babies (two boy cats) over to their old daddy's to sit, but it seemed the stress of putting them in a new house and then shuttled off to a different place for two weeks would have been too traumatic for them. Instead, they get to hang out with their cool aunt who still won't let them stay on the couch and sleep in bed with her which is kind of a mutually disappointing arrangement).

House sitting is always an interesting thing. It's almost like living that person's life for the duration of the time you're there, except you're trying to do your own thing, too. Last year, I had to house sit for my boss when her entire family was out of town. In a way it made things convenient, since I worked out of her home office, and I got a taste of what it would be like to work at home. It also showed me why it's probably better I don't work at home when trying to maintain a 9-5 job. When I was staying there, I also was responsible for walking their dog, but not being a dog owner myself, I wasn't entirely sure of the whole process of dog walking, particularly that dog. But I think I got things figured out.

This house sitting situation isn't quite as convenient as the aforementioned house sitting gig. Instead of having the advantage of sleeping at my workplace, I'm actually staying about 7 miles in the opposite direction from work, and against traffic. Since the place is still Box City, most of the house is still packed up, and I wonder if I can do simple tasks like cook something or watch TV (I can watch TV and access Internet, but the DVD player is still packed away somewhere.

Perhaps it's better I'm not equipped to cook on the brand new stove, as to not stink up the place of onions or even worse, burn the house down.

If there's any big challenge, it's the fact I'm sleeping in a new space. It's a bit unnerving for a bit, but it's just something to get used to. My host's concern for me was that this new house is right in front of a pretty big street in a pretty big city, but having grown up across the street doesn't bother me. What bothered me was when I wake up to a machine sighing...like a fan or a tape drive turning on and then falling asleep. Or ready to mince me into bits. I have yet to figure that out.

CORAZON

Friday, May 1, 2009

On Drinking

It’s impossible to recuperate from a night a ton-heavy drinking without drinking some more in the morning. It’s a necessary tenet by which I’ve lived for a few years now. I don’t understand why people suffer through nauseating and painful hangovers when they can drink their problems away.

On that note, I don’t understand why people don’t drink all their problems away. It’s easy enough: just drink. Presto, fucking solved.

Son failed his Algebra test? Scotch.

Can’t find your keys? Rum.

Wife cheating on you? Vodka.

Car accident? Tequila!

Conversely, why not celebrate every bit of happiness with a belt or two? I can always go for a drink after a day of laboring in construction, why not your wife? I’m sure it’ll hit the spot after forcing a nine pound gremlin through her vagina.

Hell, there’s no solid reason not to drink to pass the time. Why in the world would anyone sit around doing nothing, waiting for time to pass? It doesn’t make any sense. Whether you’re waiting at the airport between flights, waiting for the wine at church, or waiting to feel sleepy at night, just drink.

This is why it’s imperative that everyone have a flask. You never know when good or bad things or no things at all will befall you.


FRANK

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Be a Hero. Eat bacon.

There is a war going on. Man versus virus. Viruses are pure evil, their only goal being to wipe out all life on Earth. There’s no way we can win this war, at least not now. Our only hope is to cripple their advance, to clip their firepower. We must kill pigs. Hit the virus where it hurts. Oh, don’t feel for the pigs, they’re like virus tanks. You don’t feel bad for human tanks, do you? Shit, I might feel bad for a pink tank, but still—this is war.

You can’t get swine flu from bacon. You can get swine flu from pigs, but not bacon. I’m not saying we should all go out and cook ourselves some human bacon to curb the oncoming pandemic either. I’m just saying we should eat more bacon. Or we should have been eating a lot more bacon.

All these years I’ve been preaching about bacon’s supreme might and, to a certain extent, their deadly potential if fallen into the wrong hands. If only the world had listened. Instead of eating bacon, we were torturing foreigners, killing babies and skinning animals. And for what? Nothing.

I hate to say it, world, but I told you so. Now you have to deal with media inflation, fear, less travel, death, and a surge in face mask sales. The best part of this is that I’m fairly certain the price of bacon will drop, affording us the perfect time to initiate our delicious attack.

No, turkey bacon doesn’t count. First of all it’s not pork. Second, avian flu is so five years ago, and a devious trick. A perpetual Thanksgiving would have been the obvious strategy, but that would’ve brought upon an eternal nap. Humans are most susceptible when napping and every virus knows his.

Go now, eat bacon.


FRANK

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Environmental Conservative

A lot of people say that when you get old er have have more money, one becomes more of a fiscal conservative. I wouldn't want to speak too soon, but I can only foresee my becoming a fiscal conservative if I keep on making so little money, I'd be trying tooth and nail to keep it for myself. What I'm more concerned about is becoming one of those crazy environmentalists people love to loathe.

I jumped on this bandwagon pretty young, and I can remember making a giant earth that covered the entire back of my binder cover with puffy paint, and wrote an award-winning poem titled, "If I Could Give the World a Gift." I even typed it out (on a typewriter). I was amazed when I saw a family that recycled/reused/composted practically everything they used, and took an annual trip to the dump to throw away their one small shopping bag of actual trash. I wanted to be that family.

Since then, I've been somewhat mindful on being on Ed Begley Jr.'s team; being mindful not to waste too much, tried to recycle as much as possible, avoid anything with CFCs, and know my plastics.

Then I started noticing...things. I'd get a little irked when people would opt to trash recyclables instead of recycling them. I started to notice the collection of various styrofoam and plastic cups, bowls and bottles I used that I had full intention to use again and again and again. I started taking home plastic utensils and cups I used when eating out just so I can wash them and use them again.

Now I have my bamboo utensils in my purse, always at the ready, which I use at any chance I get - even at other peoples' places when they're going to use plastic utensils. A lot of the packaging, foil, toilet paper rolls I can get my hands on are saved so I can round them all up and donate to an art center so kids can use them for their art projects. I reuse a lot of containers myself, and avoid buying certain items sometimes because of unnecessary packaging.

I went to a friend's party not that long ago, and when I asked if I could bring anything, I was asked to bring water or hot dog buns. I refused to buy water. I didn't think it was cost-effective to buy bottled water that leeched chemicals bottled in containers that yes, could be recycled, but still used up a lot of energy and resources for its existence. Instead, I bought beer, which seemed like a better use of my money and resources.

There are oftentimes when I secretly cringe inside when there's a lot of preventable waste going on, and sometimes I curse mistakes I make when I'm out and about doing things. I love driving sometimes, but I drive much more efficiently now and rarely turn on the A/C unless I'm pretty much melting.

Along with my dream to own my own home, I dream to have a nice yard where I can set up a compost bin and have a nice garden of herbs and edible plants I can use in my cooking.

More than anything, I'm afraid when I become older and more senile when my Social Graces switch no longer works and I flip out on someone who doesn't recycle. Or when I have a meltdown when I realize how big a carbon footprint a dumb decision of mine has made. Although I like eating meat, I'm always a tinge sad whenever I do eat it some, and I can see myself having violent mood swings at the table while menopausal.

I maybe hope to be as good to the earth as I can, but at the same time, try to maintain a rational, functional, civilized person. There's a happy medium to all this, right?

CORAZON

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hustlin'...with Heart

I AM GOING TO ASK YOU FOR MONEY OR YOUR UNDYING SUPPORT (Money would be better).

This physically-induced asthmatic trained for six months in preparation for running 26.2 miles in New Orleans, Louisiana, a feat I did just six months before Hurricane Katrina hit (2005). It's not an easy task, but I ran over 500 miles, including doing a training run one early October morning along the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria, and running my fastest mile ever completely alone during my celebration run (a practice, but full 26.2) three weeks before running the real marathon.

I did this with the help of the AIDS Marathon Training Program, who pairs you up with people of your running pace (of which I was the second slowest pace), helps you train to to the distance, flies you and puts you up at your marathon destination in exchange for raising money for the program and their cause. I helped raise over $3,000 for AIDS Project Los Angeles, an awesome organization that provides comprehensive assistance for those living with HIV and AIDS.

Running a marathon is an experience I think everyone should do it if one's physically able. I didn't think I could, but I did, and I promised myself before I couldn't, I'd do it again. Once I did, I also promised myself that I'd run through another charity program so that my efforts will help benefit an organization I believe in.

I still haven't run that next marathon, and was almost going to do it this year, but I didn't wind up having the time to train for such a thing right now. Instead, I've signed myself up for a couple of not-as-physically-crazy events coming up.

THIS SATURDAY, I am walking a 5k in Fullterton at Orange County's Donate Life Run/Walk 5k/1k with some good friends as we walk with our good friend, Michael.

Last time I saw Michael was the day before he left for vacation, then a week on-site for work, before at the age of 34, suffered from a massive heart attack. He fought the most excellent fight, and the next time I saw him, he was doing excellent cooking me a pork ragu with a brand new heart. Seven months later, he's ripe and ready to walk this 5k already raising over $1,000 for the California Organ & Tissue Donor Registry. In these seven months, he's already rock climbed and has the OK to go mountain biking once again, and can already do more pull ups than I can do...ever.

To read more about Michael's story, you can visit his blog.
Please donate and support Michael for this event by going to his support page.

When I arrived at the doorstep at the house of the woman who became my boss, the first thing she said to me was, "You ran a marathon. We do it as a fundraiser!" I knew I was getting into something good. My work, Great Leap, is a multicultural performance company that's been around for 31 years, and when I found out what soon became my place of employment, I knew I found my cause for my next marathon.

Only, I didn't make the time for the rigorous training program I'd have to do in order to run 26.2 miles on Memorial Day, Monday, May 26th for this year's L.A. Marathon. Instead, I've put in the elbow grease to fix the 1971 Schwinn Collegiate I got for free so it can take me through the 20-mile course through Los Angeles for the L.A. Bike Tour.

I may not be in the optimal shape, and my 5-gear cruiser may not be the ideal bike for some of those inclines, but I believe in the performance company I work for, and I also believe in helping myself make sure I get another paycheck.

You want to help Los Angeles-based, multicultural programming and help me put food on my table? Donate by going to Great Leap's site by donating! You can either write a check (Comment for instructions), go to our website, or donate on your smart phone (or computer) through GeoGive!

CORAZON

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Mighty Epiphany

It’s hard finally admitting this, but writing isn’t my first passion. I have my passions itemized, and writing didn’t even make the top ten. As a matter of fact, after years of writing, I can comfortably say that I hate it. I hate writing. I fucking hate it. I only started writing because friends said I was good. I’m doomed to a life of banality doing something I loathe, doomed to days upon days filled with enough tedium to pack a library with math books. There will be nothing more than thinking and writing and killing myself slowly, agonizing over my waning creativity.

My real passion has always been history. It felt good to write that. It’s the first thing I’ve written in a year that’s brought me. I want to be on the front lines deciphering the past through marks on a wall or by analyzing the position of a body in a grave.

If it weren’t for my tricking myself into becoming a writer, I’d be in central Mexico proving that the Aztecs were wiped out first by hegemony, then by culture, and then by the conquistadors. Instead I’ll spend the next fifty years of my life waiting to write a book and doling out non sequitur like a quadriplegic shitting his pants in a restaurant: helpless and ashamed.


Just kidding.


FRANK

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sick at Work

Hi. It's me again, and I'm still alive but feeling pretty crummy at work.

Even though I am feeling better, I run a terrible risk of making myself even sicker by going to work. Why? For some strange reason, my office can actually double as a meat locker...it's so cold ALL THE TIME.

Take this picture for example:

That's me in February, and even though I'm dressed like this for the outside, I keep it on for the inside and ADD the fingerless gloves so I can actually type without digits freezing off. So yes, those are mismatched fingerless gloves I'm wearing, with a cashmere scarf, a corduroy peacoat, and a warm and wooly sweater underneath. I don't remember, but I'm sure I was wearing a thermal beneath that sweater.

Although it's not AS cold as it was then, it's still cold, and I'm sick, which means I'm prepared to freeze myself to death or become cryogenically frozen. I may not have such a big issue with the latter, but I'm not as imaginative as Walt Disney or as mediocreally humorous as Fry in Futurama, so I'll spare the future from myself by going when it's naturally acceptable.


This is what I look like today:

It's me again, with my GIANT cup o' tea, wearing my warm, weatherproof coat and a hood over my head, which is also covered with a wool hat.

Peeling off a layer, I look like this:

This is me with just the hoodie and hood pulled down, still wearing the hat.

Peeling off one more layer:

I've got my snug-fitting Snoopy shirt and a 3/4-sleeve thermal. I like keeping Snoopy close to my heart - he keeps me warm.

And no, I'm not peeling off any more layers, sickos (wait...I'm the sicko, you're the pervo).

It wasn't too long after shooting that last shot that I quickly put the layers back on, because I was getting COLD.

I also have our office radiator on and it's at my feet, trying to keep me warm.

If I don't see any noticeable progress by the end of the week, I'm giving up this fight.

Yes, I am a wimp.


CORAZON

Monday, April 13, 2009

That's Sick.

Almost four years ago, I got progressively sick on a trip from Mountain View, CA back down to LA, and didn't shake the bug until the middle of June.

I do not blame whatever germ that I picked up while up there, I blame my fatalistic mentality and denial of microbiology.

For some reason, I had it in my head that I no longer wanted to deny myself from the signs my body was telling me and refused to take any medicine to suppress my cough, or take some antihistamine to pretend I was congested. I was convinced that I shouldn't succumb to some dumb little organism that is attacking me en masse and that my body was just going to right myself if my body was ready to do combat the bug.

I spent those seven weeks going around as if I was in some perpetual haze, walking around as if I was perpetually going through an outer body experience.

I'm pretty sure that probably had walking pneumonia for part of that time, and by week 5.5, I realized the meds I said I didn't need were actually useful to my getting better: The cough suppressant wasn't there to stop me from expectorating the mucus in my throat; it was there to prevent me from fatiguing me from extended coughing fits. The acetaminophen gave me a bit of energy when it kept the fever at bay.

Now when (that) I'm sick, I don't go and OD on all the cold meds, I try to see if I can try to use more natural methods to help me feel better before I go for the heavy hitters (the drugs). As soon as I got home, I drank some water, made myself some chicken noodle soup with egg and lots of cayenne pepper, did a few rounds with the neti pot, and as soon as I post this blog entry, I'm going to do a bit of research and pass out for the very early day I have ahead of me.

Being sick sucks. Germs are millions of little bastards possessing my body and I am ready to fight. WATCH OUT!

CORAZON

Friday, April 10, 2009

a slice of frank!

I read for the first time in months yesterday. It was a short story by Hemingway, "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber." Among the highlights was his description of a lion’s slow death, “. . . he turned his heavy head and swung away toward the cover of the trees as he heard a cracking crash and felt the slam of a .30-06 220-grain bullet that bit his flank and ripped in sudden hot scalding nausea through his stomach.” This is how it feels to have anxiety.

When I was seven and eight I played T-ball and I would cry and tremble with anxiety before every game, and throw up before most games. This continued through junior high and high school. I was unable to brush my teeth some days because opening my mouth would make me vomit. I’d get sharp cramps in my intestines as though I were digesting a glass vial filled with poison that’d exploded. It was purely psychosomatic as whenever I sat on a toilet the pain would fade instantly. There was great relief and guilt on days I feigned illness.

This was compounded by my not discovering I was lactose intolerant until I was 20. I’d have cereal in the morning and my face would be purple with pain by fifth period and I’d too scared to ask to use the restroom.

My anxiety manifests itself in other ways. I enter catatonic states in public, especially around my family. I don’t talk to anyone. I feel like Boo Radley: uncomfortable, awkward, and much too aware of myself like if my skin is tightening against my organs. Liken it to test anxiety when you study for hours only to forget vital facts when trying to answer questions. When meeting strangers or speaking to authoritative figures I literally forget how to hold a conversation. My muscles tense, I lacrimate, and any information I’d acquired about the person dissipates. I end up kicking myself in the ass afterward when what I wanted to say comes flooding back.

I eventually became conditioned to avoid social situations, or confrontations with authoritative figures, like a child learns not to touch an iron. I cringe irrationally at the thought of social mishaps, even those so small that they are innocuous to others. A limp handshake, a misspoken word, a minor stutter all stay with me for months and, when involuntarily conjured, make me feel like that lion that was shot through the stomach.

FRANK

Monday, April 6, 2009

I Like Sportz

Almost a year ago, my friend who was out of town for grad school was planning on coming home for a bit and we tried to plan to hang out, and wanted to know when I was free. I told her something along these lines:

"Well, tonight (Monday) I'm going to Hooters with Natilie to watch the Dodger game and eat hot wings, then tomorrow I'm going TO a Dodgers game, I think we can hang out Wednesday, but I was thinking about going to visit my family since I haven't seen them in a while and I can watch the Lakers game there, Thursday I made plans with another friend and Friday is the next Lakers game."

In one fell swoop, this close friend found out how much I'm into sports.

If I can equivilate my zeal for sports to anything, I can say I like it and admit to liking it as much as I like Star Wars. I'm not fanatic for either one of them, but get on either topics, and I can carry a pretty healthy conversation on them.

...and it's not like I'm trying to puff out my chest and show off I'm a girl who likes sports, in fact, it can be really tiring, especially this time of year.

Today is Opening Day for Major League Baseball, and in particular, opening day for my baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers (Who won against the Padres tonight! WOO!!!). Freeway rivals The Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim played against the Oakland A's tonight and won (BOO), and I have a more vested interest in the A's now that Nomar Garciaparra is now on the team (I don't care if he's Mr. Glass).

Tonight was also the NCAA Championships, where Michigan State lost to UNC, which made me sad. I'm glad I'm not too into NCAA otherwise I'd go crazy around this time of year with a month of craziness I managed to catch the end of the Lakers-Clippers game last night and witness how the Clips managed to get past a 20 point deficit to almost take the game into overtime had Baron Davis made that last 3-point attempt in their cute, classic Clippers away uniform (Yay Clips being in LA for 25 years this season!).

I was lucky to catch the tail end of that game while having dinner after making the long haul to Anaheim to watch the Ducks play against the San Jose Sharks with tickets I won. NHL season is wrapping up right now as well, and I'm glad I'm not as into it as I am the NBA and MLB, because with the playoffs for the former and the season starting for the latter, I would have way too difficult a time trying to follow everything I'd want to. Oh, there's also the UEFA Champions League in its Quarter finals in Rome across the pond. The world-class football club I got to see when I was in Germany is in it: Bayern M√ľnchen, only since they play games in Europe time, games happen in the morning around here, which is a bummer.

Oh, there is what we call soccer over in these parts happening too, and I'm almost afraid to get into that.

Good thing I don't follow competitive cheer and golf.



CORAZON

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Adventures in Fail.

I was duped for an April Fool's prank: Fake Holiday FAIL
I'm running late for an event tonight: Punctuality FAIL
My friend to be my date flaked out on me: Friendship FAIL
My basketball team is losing right now: Lakers FAIL
I'd watch, but the digital converter I have works just as well as if I didn't have it: Technology FAIL
This isn't a real entry: BLOGGING FAIL


I quit.

BONUS: These pants are too long for my short legs: GENETICS AND FASHION FAIL

CORAZON

Monday, March 30, 2009

Acceptable PDA

Tenets of acceptable behavior for couples in public.

1. No touching. Exception: the occasional back-hand brush while walking side by side. The following rule should prevent this.

2. A three foot distance should be maintained at all times. Exceptions: none.

3. Eye contact should be exercised only when responding to a question. Exceptions: mating rituals.

4. Hugs should be transferred via third party.

5. Kissing is allowed when it is certain nobody is looking. God is always looking.

6. No fornication. This includes, but is not limited to: cock sucking, twat rubbing, tit juggling, humping, ass ramming, horse fucking, 69, fisting, double penetration, and coprophilia. Exceptions: situational.

7. No laughing.


FRANK

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Fueled by Validation

Everybody needs validation. Some claim it’s not necessary, that their lives are fulfilling and satisfying. These people are liars. They are liars and evil for making us who use validation as fuel feel bad. I mean, what point is there in writing if nobody’s commenting? How do I know I have any readers other than my friends?

Do I need to provide points of interest? Did you know that any unsolicited merchandise you receive is yours to keep? If a company sends you merchandise without your permission, and expects you to return the item if you aren’t satisfied, they’re idiots.

I got the Wall Street Journal every day for three months before the bastards realized I wasn’t going to pay for it. The worst part is that these trial period assholes prey on naivete. I received several “bills” and “late notices” demanding that I pay for something I never requested. Others, my parents for example, would’ve been duped.

Was that sufficient? Do I have to post something controversial? A dissenting opinion perhaps? No, I already expressed my disdain for voting, a disdain I do not condone as it defeats the purpose of my argument.

Maybe some gossip? I don’t know any gossip.

Leave a comment. Chumps.


FRANK

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ode to Joy

"You better not blog this." -Joy

As I wrote in my last blog entry, I usually have a short list of topics I feel like writing at one time, and when I just arrived home, ready to write one particular entry, I saw that my friend called, who happened upon two tickets to the Finals of the World Baseball Classic. Drive bys and home intrusions aside, I do like where I live because it's thisclose to Dodger Stadium, and working Downtown makes me the most likely candidate in situations like these.

There was no doubt I was going. But I wanted to find someone to use that extra ticket to come along with me. All else fails, I would have gone alone, but I was certain I'd find someone to go with me.

That proved to be an EPIC FAIL. Those who wanted to go either lived too far away, was too stinky, had to work, etc. Other friends either didn't love me enough, was too lazy, had an actual life and were doing other things, or plain ignored my existence. I finally went to my list of friends who don't even like sports, but had the time and possibly were in the general vicinity to be able to go.

One of them was too far away, and the other one was my friend Joy.

Despite her general dislike for all things sports, I was banking on her adventurous spirit and sometimes sense of spontaneity to get her to say yes...that and the hope she was NOT at home in Long Beach. I caught her right when she was in her car to head back that way, and was presented with a really hard sell.

She later told me when I called her to ask her to a baseball game, she thought, "She must be high or something to ask me to go to a baseball game!" But I really was. I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity to attend a world-class sporting event that's in my backyard, and I was hoping to find someone with whom to enjoy it. I told her that this event was kind of like the World Series for the MLB (Though I didn't say MLB since that means nothing to her), but an actual WORLD championship since other countries actually played against each other. It just so happened she was watching TV and realized the game is what she was watching, and decided to go with me. HOORAY!

We eventually made it from our street parking spot to the reserve level, left field in an area with a lot of Japan fans behind me and a small group of Korea fans in our immediate vicinity. Joy was quietly for Japan, and I was partial to Korea since Japan defeated USA. If anything, it was amazing to be in such a spirited crowd, waving flags and those things I call "budda-buddas," those inflatable noodles that make hollow noises, and she was having a blast, especially when we loaded up on Dodger dogs and nachos.

The game was intense, and the crowd was feeding off that energy and the Korean and Japan pop blasting from the PA system. When Korea made the amazing bottom of the ninth play to tie up the game, I was F-R-E-A-K-I-N-G O-U-T and though I was screaming and gave Joy two spirited arm squeezes of excitement, I was aware of my good friend's lower constitution and contained myself lest I break off her arm Wookiee-style.

In the end, her team won, but we both agreed it didn't matter who won, it was a fun game. On the long walk back to the car, Joy first expressed how nice it was to have this nice walk, but told me that it was my excitement and enthusiasm that I exuded on the phone with her that sold her on the idea of going to an event she otherwise couldn't care less about, and got to witness excitement ten times more than my excitement once we were in the stadium.

So here's to my friend Joy, the person least likely to go to a baseball game, but evoked the spirit of adventure to have an amazing time.

CORAZON

Friday, March 20, 2009

I Shaved My Head

It’s haircut time!

My plan was to hide my face and remain anonymous like this phony:



I’ve grown my beard out to 1.5 inches, and I don’t have the patience to keep it going. My hair reaches the bridge of my nose and I look like a fucking hippy. I’ll never be able to hide my face, not successfully at least. I’ll never hear, “who is that mysterious and also very sexy man staring at my breasts?”

You know it’s bad when your flunky girlfriend disobeys a direct order to remain yes-mannish and insists you get a haircut against your wishes. How dare she talk, her hair is at least a dozen times longer than mine. She can lasso hippos with her mane. I saw a midget repelling off her back not long ago, and she didn’t notice because his weight was negligible against the weight of her hair. She’s a loon, how dare she suggest I get a haircut!

I’m off now, I’ll report with more sullen tripe when I return.

I’ve returned an hour later with no hair. I shaved only half my beard as the trimmer gave out halfway through. The left side of my face looks like an animal, the right side looks like dirt. I wish I had a camera. I’m bald with half a beard.

FRANK