I’ve been wrapped up in my Korean, San Marcos blanket (cobija Koreana), with my heater on, cuz dang it’s cold. I’m a desert, lizard, LA native, cold and I aren’t best of friends.
For those of you who do not know someone on the eastside, more than likely you have never seen a plush, faux-mink blanket from Korea called a San Marcos. These blankets come in the most garish colors and eye-hurting mural prints such as wolves, elephants, Statue of Liberty, cheetahs, Raiders logo, Elvis, Scarface, pandas, zebras stripes, American Flag, Tupac, y La Virgen to name some.Â One blanket can take up a whole closet when stored—but they are the warmest, snuggliest and cozy luxury on cold winter nights.
My compa Don Ignacio SMC, inspired me to write this post because he had some videos on hisÂ FacebookÂ page with old Rancheras/Corridos/Nortenas. While browsing through Â the videos and listening to others on YouTube I noticed a common theme of old paisa bars, they seemed always pop up in the older videos. Artists such as Vicente Fernandez and Los Tigeres del Norte and countless others always had scenes in old paisa bars. Most of these are classic movie clips they starred in from back in the 1970s and 1980s.
I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know John and his partner Kristy Lovich these last few years. Conversations over drinks, tamales, smoking outside in the cold or just holding it down on the street corner. Conversations about Xicano Hipsters, art and our favorite paletas and anything else that will come up. The conversations I enjoyed the most and took to heart are those of Johns experiences growing up in the Estrada courts, growing as an artist on and off the streets, being tossed aside by folks who said he was never brown enough to hang out with them and his experiences doing work as a graff writer back in the day. What makes John stand out a little more than everyone else who grew up in Boyle Heights and East L.A. to me is that he’s able to articulate himself with his art and poetry. Continue reading
Yes, yet again, 2 random minutes showcasing the mundaneness that is modern life, this time at the intersection of what and who cares. Circa December 14th around 5pm.
Cherish the moment.
The Magic Christmas Tree (1964)
My favorite Christmas movie and I’ve never even seen the whole thing! Filmed in La Verne and looking like it was made for $12 bucks, it’s absolutely creepy in the most mundane and sinister way. Most of it used to be up on Youtube but unfortunately, has since been removed. There is a weird slapstick chase scene at the end where the little boy, star of the film and probably the producer’s kid, has been granted wishes and drunk on power, causes mayhem and havoc in his small suburban town. Think old runaway cars, pies-in-the-face and mad dashes – La Verne must’ve been some place in the 1960s! There are also witches, giants and a sassy talking, tinsel Christmas tree that has “the voice of an irritated antiques dealer.”
I was introduced to this movie through this NPR segment a few years ago called The Best Merry Scary Christmas Movies by Mark Jordan Legan. Follow the highlighted link to listen to the hilarious piece. The bit about The Magic Christmas Tree starts at 4:16.
As of late, I’ve been getting some attention online because of an essay I wrote for Zocalo Public Square. I got published on Dec. 5/6 and since it went viral on facebook and twitter, I’ve been getting emails and messages from other undocumented individuals whose life mirrors mine and from supporters to keep up the good work and that they enjoyed reading the essay. I was also fortunate enough to have an old high school friend connect with me again after reading the article, that’s how far it got. Secretly though, I was kinda hoping that some of the xenophobes and nativist that troll blogs to leave negative comments would spit their vile, but no luck yet. But someone did leave this comment, which I think is the best one thus far because of what it means, “I am a white republican american citizen and after reading your article I do look at the situation differently. You have put a personal story to the DREAM ACT and made me reconsider my position.”
Why throw away money when you don’t have to? This here is my little contribution to helping you save maybe a dollar or two while you gather your ingredients for your tamalada, gleaned from my gathering of ingredients earlier today.
First up, Maiz blanco, base for your own nixtamal. For some stupid reason, my local Big Saver stopped carrying this item in the bulk bin, now they just have a few small bags at $1.99 a lb. Outrageous! I head over to El Mercadito where you can usually find everything at a good rate, but it turned out they were selling their maiz at $3 a lb! Now that is straight out gouging, knowing that people are going to be stopping by for their ingredients. Boo, Hiss! Chale, I ain’t having none of it. I drove down the block to El Super on Brooklyn and Lorena were the same maiz was being sold for $1.29 a lb. Now that’s a bit more reasonable.
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