Tuesday, September 27, 2011

This Is Your Library

   A few months back I had the idea  to direct message Lalo Alcaraz on Twitter about the possibility of getting him to appear at the library I worked for. I passed him the number of the person he would need to speak to about getting put on the performers list. I heard they paid well and thought it'd be equally beneficial to both Lalo and the library.
    I sat back and waited to hear from Lalo. He DMd me back saying that he'd set up a date to be apart of an event that would be held at Central Library. He offered to get me a couple tickets to the show. I thought that was both cool and funny considering I work for the library and could probably get them myself.
   So Sept. 22nd was coming up and I was getting really excited. I know I need to plan more outings with my family and I had high hopes for this event. After emailing back and forth with the library foundation I was told I would be "comped" one ticket. 1 ticket!?!? I had to hope Lalo had put my name on his VIP list. He had.
  The night arrived and we got to the library early. I was hoping to check out a couple of exhibits that were currently going on. "A Nation Emerges" is a very nice collection of photographs from the time of the Mexican Revolution.
    It was a great feeling walking through Central Library and greeting people I know. So they were all security guards? So what? I met the V.P. of the Library Foundation. She was so nice and I thought it was cool that she remembered who I was when I called her the following week. I think my wife and kids thought I was pretty important that night so that felt nice too. Or maybe it was the green VIP bracelet my wife and I got to wear for being on Lalo Alcaraz' list. I don't know but either wLaloay, I'm happy if they're happy.
@laloalcaraz was the first guest on the show and just by the way the host,Justin Veach, opens the show, I know we were in for a fun night. My wife and kids are laughing and suddenly I don't feel so bad about being out late on a school night. Lalo goes through a slide show of his work. One of the pieces he shows is "Migra Mouse". I always liked this one. The Mexican Restaurant, "Ciros" in Boyle Heights has had it taped next to their cash register for years so I'd see it a lot before I even knew who Lalo was. Now we see Lalo at one of his events and my kids say, "Hey look dad, your friend, Lalo." That's pretty cool and funny. I've been joking around with Lalo for about a year now on Twitter so they hear his name a lot.
@charlesphoenixs was another guest that was on the show. Everybody loved him. He was very funny and has a great personality. I think his segment was my wife's favorite part of the show. Maybe even her favorite part of the week. My kids liked him so much that Brianna just had to ask him a question after the show and they both took a picture with him.
    After the show everybody headed to the lounge to greet the "talent". We all chose a favorite Lalo Alcaraz poster and as soon as I buy frames, I'll hang them in my TV room/ Anthony's Cave. We got home close to midnight and the kids dozed off on the way there but we had a GREAT night. We all look forward to more.

P.S. I told you I called the Library Foundation's VP the next week. I suggested to her someone of whom I'm a big fan of on stage as well as off. You'll want to stay tuned for that post.

Group picture of all the guests.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ooh Child

     My mom used to dedicate a song to each of us kids either when we were born or when we were growing up. I was about 5 years old when I first remember her singing "our" song to me. It was Al Jarreau's "We're In This Love Together". If you know the song, you know how the next line goes. "We've got the kind that lasts forever." Man, I used to feel like I was on top of the world when it'd come on over the radio in her beige Volkswagen Type 3 and she'd sing those words to me. She'd look me in the eyes and start to sing and as I type this now, 27 years later, I smile, I shake my head and then fight the sadness that eventually comes over me.
     A lot has happened in the 27 years since and its WAY too much for one post. A lot has happened in the 5 years that her and I haven't seen or spoken to each other.
     All this brings me to the whole reason for this post.    
     I got in my car the other night and I turned it on with perfect timing. I usually have the worst timing in the world, so this was weird. Was it a sign?
    "Ooh Child" by The Five Stairsteps came over the airwaves and I was lucky enough to catch the very cool drum beat at the songs' opening. Now let me just say, just like Al Jarreau's song is important to me, this one is just as important. You see, I dedicated this song and would sing it to my mom when I was a kid and she was feeling down. We went through many hard times when I was growing up and she was always depressed so I thought this song was a good way to cheer her up because at the time, I might have been around 10 and there was little else I could do. Hearing this song brings back a lot of memories both good and bad and as I write this blog post, I'm a 32 year old man. I'm married to a very beautiful and very giving woman and we have two smart and amazingly talented kids.  We have a new house and a new car in the driveway. I have so much to be thankful for (maybe more than I deserve) and a lot to worry about. (if you want to see it that way)  
     The sense of achievement I feel thinking about things my wife and I have accomplished is bittersweet. It's been 5 years since I've seen or spoken to my mom and it saddens me not to be able to share this happiness with her but I know she knows how far I've come and I hope she puts her pride aside and can be proud of the man I've become.  Now, I'm not the perfect husband, father or perfect person for that matter but I continue to try.
     "Ooh child things are gonna get easier. Ooh child things'll get brighter." 
     These two lines really made me stop and think. Is it ironic? Did things really get easier but at the cost of not having her in my life and also are things easier for her without me or is this song still making the same promise it's always made?
I guess I'll continue to wait and see.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blogger vs. Blogger - @Chicano_Soul  vs. @La_Cabronisa

      When I was first asked to participate in Blogger vs. Blogger an Angel appeared to me. (please bear w/ me) The Angel said, *strums on a  harp* "Art, you know the purpose of your blog is to Reflect and Release. "You can't seriously think about competing with @La_Cabronisa to see whose blog is "better". *poof* *queue devil* "HA!! Of course you can!! When was the last time you shied away from friendly competition!?" Well, what can I say? He's very convincing. I'm still typing so I guess we can add 1 to the Devil's win column.
       So here I am. I'm going to try to tell you a little bit about myself and I'll be covering 10 different fun topics. Please pay no attention to how many of them include food. That was a total accident. I swear. I was set up. Well no, not really. I do hope you enjoy reading this post but if you don't, just remember: The devil made me do it. :) Thank you for your time.

1. It might not be healthy but it sure is good!: I just had to post a picture of  some chicken tamales I usually grab on the way to work. I'm getting a transfer at work soon and I can honestly say the person I'll miss the most is the local Tamalera. Maybe I can get her a transfer too.
P.S. Luna Bars if you're reading this, "Tamales de pollo con chile verde" <--new flavor? Call me. ;)

2. Mi Familia: I chose to share a picture that was taken of my family at my wive's cousin's Quinceañera. My son, Anthony, was dancing so much he could barely keep his bow tie on. My wife, Anna, and daughter, Brianna, are as beautiful as ever. Both my kids came out in the Quinceanera. Luckily for everybody there they weren't paired up as partners. They love each other very much but they still are brother & sister.

3. My refrigerator's running: I wish my kids drank as much milk as I did when I was a kid. (Look in my fridge and a lot of times you'd think *It was lactose intolerant) If they drank as much as I used to, *I could complain that we needed a buy a cow or threaten them with powdered milk. To this day I still have no idea how my Grandma knew it was me holding the fridge's door handle? Everytime!! Weird. Was it wired to an alarm that led to her room? As soon as I cracked it open, "Who's there!?!?" Maybe I drank so much milk as a kid because we were always out and you always want what you can't have.*shrugs* These days "Almond Breeze" is a MUST in my fridge.

4. "Popo can't catch me!": I was planning on posting a picture of the silliest  set of wheels I could find.That was until my wife and I traded in our '07 Sentra this past weekend for *RIP Rod Roddy *... "A NEW CAR!!!" We live 60 miles from our jobs and kid's school so we needed a car with a fresh start (read: blank odometer). I called my dad that evening and could hear the pride in his voice. My family and I have been blessed. I'm thinking of changing my name to William De Vaughn because I'll always Be Thankful For What I've Got.

5. Qué Lindo!: My wife says I'm full of myself so I let her choose the picture I would submit. She declined so this is what I chose. My baby picture!! You can't go wrong with a baby pic, right? Please stop laughing. I can hear you. Interestingly enough, when my parents bought this picture package at Sears, they had no choice but to order the 8 x 10s. My ears wouldn't fit in their wallets. :( Also,  I had more hair on my head in that pic than in the next.

6. Pose for the camera: It took me a while to think of a silly pose. I was in the bathroom (where,I might add I do all my best thinking) when all of a sudden it hit me! No, not how to build the Flux Capacitor, but where the silliest poses come from. The bathroom!! I don't have a MySpace or 4 baby daddies but I do have a camera phone and a bathroom so I'm set.
P.S. I like to give an honorable mention to the pose every Chicana was doing in the 90's where she leaned to one side with both hands placed on one knee. That pose came in a close second.

7. My Guilty Pleasure: My guilty pleasure is definitely my cell phone. I'm on it too damn much. I started "playing" on Twitter and it just got out of hand. It was always, "Just one more tweet". I really need to put it down and pay attention to what's going on around me. My son is almost as tall as I am now. Having said that, if you're on Twitter, follow me @Chicano_Soul.What??  I'm just kidding. Don't follow me. I'm boring.
Just for the record. There are no penguins on my screensaver. Thank you. :)

8. Qué siga la fiesta!: If there's one thing I CAN NOT do without at a family party, it's got to be FLAN. Yes you read that right. Believe me I love listening/dancing to great music and I look forward to catching up with family but man oh man, just point me to the flan. Normally you'd look for the flan at the dessert table but not with my wife's family. Her grandma and her grandma's sisters must arrive with the Flan in their purses because after it's all gone they suddenly have space in those purses to hide the table's center pieces they steal on the way out. :)

9. Where is Art?: As embarrassing as it is I'm going to keep it real (and brief). I asked my wife, "Where's the first place you and the kids look for me when you can't find me around the house?" Well, she gave me one of those long "Are you serious!?" stares and said, "In the bathroom.Where else?". So I guess the rule of thumb in my house is, "If you hear the fan, the bathroom's where I am"

10.It's mine and I'll keep it if I want it: Man this topic was tough. I couldn't think of any one thing that was in the house that my whole family hated but I loved. The only thing I could think of was the scarf in this picture. It's a scarf from my alma mater, Roosevelt High School. My wife and I tease each other about the schools we went to. She went to an uppity rich school in Burbank,CA. and well I didn't. Never the less, I still have and will always have Rough Rider Pride. :)
P.S. Yes she did make fun of the poor snowman for wearing the scarf. I forgot to give him a mouth. Poor guy couldn't defend himself. :(

Well, there you have it. That's my submission for Blogger vs. Blogger. If you're still here, I want to thank you for reading it. I hope it made you laugh and cry and laugh some more. 

PLEASE check out  my competition, @La_Cabronisa's blog here--> La Cabrona. (you know just to be fair)(but you don't have to. ) :)  

The Official Blogger vs Blogger Challenge on LATISM is a unique and creative way of promoting blogger content through the Latinos In Social Media network, in partnership with Juan Of Words. Challenge participants are assigned a customized list of competing categories based on their individual blogs and online personalities, and their resulting posts are promoted via LATISM's social media networks. If you'd like to be featured in a future edition of The Official Blogger vs Blogger Challenge on LATISM, email juanofwords@gmail.com

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