Sunday, September 11, 2011

Let's be humble... [9/11 Thoughts]

Living in Los Angeles, you pick up on the noise that this city makes. Traffic; cars honking at each other, drivers cursing each other out on the freeway. The sirens of police cars, firefighter trucks, and paramedics echoing in to your bedroom through the window. The bass of music thumping in the streets, at times giving the street a rhythm, like heartbeat. After 9/11 tragedy, I come to appreciate the music and sounds that make Los Angeles this city of noise, a precious thing.
On that Tuesday morning, I was not aware of what had happened in New York, but the quiet air foreshadowed it to be an awkward day. I waited outside my house for my aunt and my cousins to pick me up for school, it was really quiet, you can only hear the cars passing through on the 710 freeway. Around 7:00 am my aunt pulled up to the house and I jumped in, I looked at each one of their faces and they were all tuned in to the radio. “This is Big Boy in the morning, if your just tuning in, not a good day in the neighborhood yall’... New York City is under attack, a plane crashed through the North tower of the World Trade Center...”. At first I didn’t know what the World Trade Center was, I knew we had one in Los Angeles and the other in Long Beach, I didn’t understand why it was so important. My aunt changed the station, but each station was already broadcasting CNN.
There was traffic on the street on the way to school, there was an inexplicable silence. It was quiet enough to hear the engines of each car in the street, I could hear the brakes of each car when the light turned red, and this small sea of cars we’re all tuned in to the radio; listening. When we reach the school I noticed most of the other students were whispering to one another, quietly walking inside.
First period set the mood for that entire day, and the rest of the week; every class had the television on, each channel was broadcasting the attack. Nutrition and Lunch went the same way, people telling small jokes to ease off the mood, whispering to one another, “Who could off done this,’ ‘conspiracy theories’, Bush planned this,’ ‘the devil at work.’”  Second period came and we watched the second plane hit the South Tower of the World Trade Center, when the plane hit the building the classroom was quiet. I heard a few students step outside to the hallway to cry, the reporter that was on the scene was screaming “Oh My God! Oh My God! A plane just hit the South Tower! People are still evacuating!”. I stepped outside to go to the restroom, then I wandered around campus. Everything is quiet. The sky that was filled with the echoing of planes was slowly disappearing. I noticed a teacher walking out of the Science building franticly, I don’t remember who he was, I followed him to the faculty parking lot watched him from a distance, he got in his car. The man took off his glasses, put his head on the steering wheel and began to cry. I walked back to class, no one really noticed that I was gone for so long, everyone still tuned in to the television. A teacher walked in to speak with our teacher, she said “the Pentagon was hit”, later CNN confirmed it. 
After witnessing the attack and the collapse of the World Trade Center, my mind was exhausted I didn’t know what to think. By the time the bell rang to go home, I noticed the large amounts of cars waiting outside the school, parents eager to get their children home. My mom didn’t drive, so I walked. I went down Southern Ave, like I always do and I couldn’t help but notice the silence in the sky. Not a plane in sight nor a helicopter hovering over the city. As I reached South Gate Park I cut through it, and all I could hear is the whispering of the wind through the trees, no one in the playgrounds, no one on their daily jog, just the silence and the leaves. 
As I got closer to my house I noticed my mom outside waiting for me, this relief came upon her face when she saw me walking to her. My dad wasn’t home yet, he was in Tijuana helping out a cousin of his. As the sun kept setting and the sky got darker my mother began to worry, she had not heard of my dad. “He should have been here hours ago” she kept telling herself, then she grabbed her rosary and prayed to the Virgin de Guadalupe. My uncle came over after work, he talked to my mom and I over heard the conversation. “Meche, the freeways were empty, when I was driving down, I saw downtown and it gave me the chills, when the sun hit the buildings they looked like there were on fire. I'm just glad I got home...” It got late, and I couldn’t sleep, this ugly silence wasn’t letting any of us sleep. My mom was in the living room still praying. The phone rang my mom picked up, she exhaled he worries in one breath. My dad was on the other line, he said he was in Victorville and was on his way home. My dad said he watched the new in Tijuana and everyone was tuned in as well and he knew he had to get home. He was the last one to cross the border into San Diego, and everyone else had to wait for the Border to reopen again when everything was cleared. He came home late that night, my parents hugged each other and were overwhelmed with what went on today. 
Since the tragedy in 9/11, Patriotism was promoted everywhere “Never Forget” “United we Stand”, flags everywhere like it was Fourth of July. I didn’t feel very Patriotic, I was more confused. People were scared and in mourning. It saddens me more because of some “extreme patriots” attacked Mosques and anyone that looked Arabic, was this the sign of Patriotism? I was 15 years old when this happened and I couldn’t grasp of the heaviness of this tragedy. Now I look back it and I feel that eery chill of what could had happened, and what still could happened. Not being able to say I love you to the person you care about, or goodbye. 
Now that I am older, I understand what responsibility is and why only few carry it well. I Think about my parents, my siblings, my cousins, my aunts & uncles, grandparents, my friends and I get this ugly feeling when I think about death. Did I leave in good terms, when was the last time I spoke to this person, I wanted to tell her, if I had more time? Questioning myself; was I a good son, a good friend, a good brother? I look back at this now and I know I have time to set things right. I know I can’t make everyone happy, but its worth a try.
Think about the victims, what was going through their minds? They weren’t trying to live to see another day, they were trying to live to hug that person, kiss their family, hold their baby, thank their friends. 
I don’t believe that Patriotism is demonstrated of how much you care about this country. I believe that Patriotism is demonstrated on how humble you are to others, to respect and love one another, and appreciate those who protect our rights. People don’t die for this country, they die to keep the purity of freedom, your freedom. The Flag is important to us because freedom is what it represents, maybe not to others but some of us it still is. So be thankful, be humble. Peace.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

when you fucked up.

So I work at an after-school program, I am in charge of the cooking club and teach middle school kids how to cook and not burn themselves. It was an ordinary day, the middle school girls act like rebels and run off to see some boy and forget what they signed up for. Well today this little 7th grade girl had to get her shit together.

I have a sixth-grade handicap student in my club, he is very insecure when he is not around his seventh-grade sister. Today his sister decides to leave her brother with her friend. Turns out her friend leaves her little brother alone, so he scrambles frantically to look for her. So I follow him, I stop him and ask him where is he going? "To look for my sister" he says sobbing in tears. His sister notices us looking for her so she decides to walk up to us and quickly looks for an excuse, "it's cuz my friend pulled me away and I had to leave him alone so I can go with her and her boyfriend" I tell her, "Bullshit, you know you're not supposed to be there, look at your brother and how scared he is, i cant afford him to be uncomfortable because it can hurt him, if that girl is really your friend then she should understand that you have priorities." So she put her head down and said nothing. "Your brother needs you right now, because he looks up to you." So she nodded her head, took her brother, and left with her ride.

As I was walking back to my lil' kitchen. I thought about how he must have felt, even though he knew where she was, he looked scared, worried, and afraid. I then thought about my younger brothers and sisters. I asked myself if I have always been the big brother they needed, as I looked back I wasn't. Thinking back now I was a selfish asshole, I thought of myself and rarely did I include them in anything.

About a few weekends ago, my cousins, brother and I come back from a party and we were drunk. Sobering up at my cousins house, my brother decides to vent "Joel, you're a fuck up, you're a dick, I need a fucking brother, you're worth shit to me, you're never there for me! I'm your fucking brother man! you fucked up!" When I heard his words I sobered up. He continued when I was in the third grade, I had a friend over who threw his piggy bank money all over the floor, he looked at me for help but I didn't do anything. He held that against me for that long and he has every right to. I didn't do shit about it. The day after he apologized, he didn't have to, I knew that I deserved it.

I don't have an excuse for the way i treated them, I was breaking him for money, for his stuff, Iwas the worst class older brother. Once realising this, I started to tear up. I'm not gonna lie assholes i fucking cried. I had this feeling that I killed something, it was their trust. "Get the f- Get out of the way!" I told the students surrounding me. I couldn't handle it, I love my brothers and sisters so much I can't believe I was doing that to them.

I know that I can't go back an expect them to forgive me, especially my brother.

So what now. What do we do when we know we fucked up? I have a trail of shit behind me that I tried cleaning up, but shit still stinks.

I know now, what I need to do, who I need to be, but i can't expect miracles. I can just pray for time.

Friday, April 29, 2011

The Block of Writers

For some time now I have this cloud over my head that makes me not really give a shit about much things. Even though the world has many ideas, inspirations, and events that people could write about, i choose... "eh". But yet again i started this blog to keep my lazy ass busy, and stop watching porn. So lets get the writing!
Okay... the "Royal Wedding" how lovely, the two young love birds happily wed and know they can rule all of England all hail the... What the fuck they don't have any power anymore!!! its kind of useless to have a kings and queens when people want representation in their government. Im being serious though, I think the late Princess Diane had more political influence than Prince Charles. All they do is walk around, wave their hands and pretty much do whatever the fuck they want. Lets see if the new Duke of Cambridge can give and or handle some actual delegations in his country's political policies, worldly affairs, and... soccer.
What's next on Joel's shit list of uncertain matters.
Yo the fuck is going on in Libya? I heard that Khadafi is out of his fucking mind! Population control on his own people? Whoa intense shit... but then gas prices went up along with food, so.... is it really about people or just so the rest of the nation can get some of that sweet black gold that everyone in this lost country can't live without. But i guess thats how the cookie crumbles in the clutches of Corporate Monsters but... who cares.
Now on Local news, the Los Angels Unified School District Police Department has to be replaced with local authorities! Im fucking serious, they are useless rent-a-cops that can give a shit less about a crime scene, arrive 4 hours late when called on, and apparently shoot themselves on the fucking chest. Look good people, there's a lot of good School Police Officers out there, and all they need to do is do their jobs. I'm not against school protection of its staff and students, but there comes a point where people are going to catch up on your shit, and eventually are going to fire your asses.
Well this has been fun blogging at work now time to clock out and hit the brewskies.

Peace to you all good People.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Check the Scenario: Family Loyalty (Latinos)

Check the Scenario: Family Loyalty (Latinos)

Remember when you were a kid, and you broke dad’s favorite tape, or you dropped mom’s mazetas (flower pots)? Remember how scared we would get? Trying to put the Dad’s favorite tape back together, or hide the mess you did before mom gets home and notices. Growing up, our misfortunes are more serious, your mom found the weed stash in your room, or got caught with boy/girlfriend in the room (having a conversation of course [hint* sarcasm]). Our parents would go off the meter, I mean passed the rules of parenting and turning into militia torture. Looking back now, we remember the experiences we had and how there were too funny you cant help but laugh, but now you’re an adult. Our parents figure that they beat the common sense in to us, they thought that “la chancla” (sandal) carried a power of knowledge so they aimed it at our heads. Even as adults we make mistakes; “why did I get that stupid loan?” “I shouldn’t have been drinking and driving... i stained the leather seats (sarcasm*)” “I should have known better.” Hey, even though we are adults we are still open to so much wonderful things we don’t care if its stupid or not you just want to try it out. Most of our generation lives in an age where we can’t always see eye to eye with the ones who raised us.

Check the Scenario

My father and I don’t always agree in the same subject. Its been a rough few months and bringing in the money hasn’t been so easy, applying everywhere and collecting unemployment is a bitch (none yet). One of the things he tells me to do is “hey, get a job as a buss boy” I understand why he said that. Working as a buss boy or waiter you gain a better work ethic, you meet and greet people, pick up on some tip, and maybe learn a thing or two on cooking or whatever. My thing was that... why? I was working as a transportation clerk, why would i aim low when i have the experience? “Men start from the bottom up” WTF? I did start from the bottom! I worked at Old Navy then USC to clean the Carl’s Jr kitchen and wash dishes! I know what work ethic means, i appreciate things just as you did, I may not have to support my whole family like you did growing up but it doesn’t make me less of a man on how hard i work. I didn’t come to this country hungry to feed my family, I was born here to learn from you and what it means to value, not to be judged. “Ah, eres pendejo (dumbass), you don’t know what its like to work” Fuck it maybe I don’t, but watching you break your back isn't something I envision myself doing. I may not know what i want to do with my life but, i know for a fact that isn’t it.

I know my dad means well, I honestly try so hard to understand him and for him to understand me. That’s where we get to the term of loyalty comes in. In some Latino families, your perspective on things affects on what they value; religion, music, politics, sex, even the work ethics. Sometimes your opinion on things changes your status in the family, and how loyal are you to them. “Why don’t you like rancheras?” “Why are dating that girl/boy she’s/he’s not Mexican (Latino)” “Why aren’t you doing things our way, why are you changing it.” All these questions lead to suspicion, then questions grow to labeling; “Oh, el que no les gustan las rancheras”, then at times they exclude you from things. Loyalty in the family is more than follow the rules, its following the exact same steps our parents took, because to them its normal and anything else is not. They decision we make will affect us, and it will affect them too. We can’t always hide our emotions and opinions, we are born to strive for what we feel is right. doing things behind our family’s back isn’t always the right thing to do, we’re not children hiding from the mistakes we did. We are human beings who have minds that keep molding on the experiences we have and the things we encounter. I really don’t have an answer on how to break the barrier between us and them. We can’t always expect that the pieces will fall back together. All i can truly say is try, to explain, to understand, to listen and figure out why they think the way they think. Honor your family, and most importantly honor yourself and be proud of who you are and where you come from.

For the record, I love Rancheras.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

C.R.E.A.M. it really does

I’ve heard many of people say that money doesn’t play a role in creating a relationship. For those who don’t know C.R.E.A.M. is a Wu-Tang Clan song, it stands for Cash Rules Everything Around Me. I stand to believe that its true, you can’t get credit without having money first, you can’t live a life in this society without it, you can’t enjoy society to at its fullest if you don’t have enough of it, and women (at least for us guys) won’t turn the other way to look at you if you don’t show it.

Now, Im not saying that all women are money grubbing whores, that’s just stupid. Let me put women in a scenario were a guy; fairly groomed and dresses well to his capabilities asks you out. Mind you that this guy is polite, and treats you very well for the first time meeting you. You saw this same guy walk out of a bus (public transportation), and that is what he uses to get around town. But wait! there’s is a second guy who asks you out, but this guy is well dressed and groomed, is just as polite as guy #1, but you see this guy in come out of a car that he was driving. Well who would you choose, be honest.

Some of you might say “Well, guy one asked me first so him,” if you’re really diplomatic when it comes to who you will date, lucky guy. My assumption, (and experience) is that most women will go to guy #2. I have nothing against it a woman’s decision on who she wants to go out with, and I can’t blame them. A person with money, (wealth or enough of it) will more likely be successful when it comes to creating a relationship. Why you ask? Well for one it shows security, you’ll go out more, won’t eat at the usual restaurant all the time, and most likely you’ll have more fun.

Swag, does it work? Fuck yes it does. Especially when you find a person who is in the same situation as you and can enjoy the simple pleasures. Swag isn’t being funny, its knowing how to speak to a woman. Some men carry this trait, other’s have to work on it some more (me). Being funny (to some women works), but I will guarantee no matter how hard you make that girl laugh at the bar, she will still get closer to the guy buying the drinks.

Ladies, there is no game that men play to get women (well at least not one that I’ve played), its all about who attracts who. Money plays just as important for guys to girls. From my perspective, it looks pretty expensive to be a women. I mean seriously, shampoos, conditioners, other hair products, perfumes, make up, skin care products, clothing, gym membership (some, some are just blessed), other feminine products. How do i know these things you ask? My family is mostly made up of women, so yeah anyone can pick it up. Without all these things do you believe that a man will come up to you and ask “want to get a cup of coffee?” And if there is, lucky you and i wouldn’t go out with that guy.

Presentation is key, no shit. Swagger, it’s real. Laws of attraction, varies. Being funny isn’t enough. And I’ll I have to say is “I need to step up my game” But there is no game. just to get that clear.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Halfway Man

I heard somewhere that God punishes you when you loose faith in him. For sometime now i believed he was punishing me, for doubting him, for leaving his son on wood that soaked in his blood. I am loosing my hair, people don't show it but they take pity on me, I'm at that point where age really means nothing. It really doesn't. I lost interest in savoring the small victories, these little accomplishments don't feel willing, they feel expected. When the sun rises i face to the shadow, i don't know if its a feeling of shame or i can't feel it's warmth anymore. I feel more rage than compassion sometimes, you can imagine a guy cussing out the world inside his little "black" Honda. I'm gaining weight, or i just stop loosing it, instead of filling my heart with whats missing I'm filling it up with cholesterol. Yes, i doubt myself. Many times, i am encouraged then the reminder of my limitations kicks in. I am the halfway man. Halfway to the finish line is more like halfway from the beginning. i don't remember what it feels like to be tired. physically tired is different, mentally exhausted is what i look for. They say i have a mind of a thousand voices, I thought they meant i was hearing voices, but they told me to listen to the voice that sings to you. That voice hasn't performed in a long time, because i ignored, ignored its vocal energy that filled me. I can hear it faintly sometimes, but its just a reminder of what i lost. I'm looking for that song in my head, I'm looking for that warmth from the sun, I'm looking for that feeling that used to fill my heart as a child. I understand that as we grow, things change. Demands grow more than simple favors, and expectations are forced down every one's throat. God isn't punishing me, i did this to myself, there is no Hell, we give ourselves hell and a lot of other shit along with it too. I'm looking for those simple pleasures, I'm looking for adventure, love, different, appreciation, encouragement, feeling, faith and all that stuff that makes us smile in the morning. I think i see it, i think I'm halfway there.


trecherous son of immigrants, from ancestors of the hot blooded aztecs. Oh no, i fear for you fragile white man, your guards can't stop me, no law or organization, no man. i will die a hundred deaths, while you just one. You made me this way, this gangster, this drug dealer, this ignorant wetback, this uneducated greaser. but you forget. oh you forget so much. hate me now for that is all you can do. I am a roach, as like my other colored brothers and sisters, you can't kill a roach. you can't get rid of us. call me your names, add fuel to me. in your time in need, should i give you my hand or let you watch my shadow disappear. Watch me know as i grow.