100 things… updated

Cindylu and Her Birthday

I went through my 100 facts and realized some of the facts are no longer relevant or just plain false.

3. I don’t drink coffee.
As I write this, I’m sipping on an iced coffee. I haven’t developed a daily habit, but I enjoy coffee maybe once or twice a week. I blame a friend for making my first really delicious cup of coffee a few years ago. It changed my life. [Photo of my favorite teacup by Oso.]

6. I rarely drink soda.
A couple of years ago, I developed a taste for Diet Coke. It’s the caffeine and aspartame. Yummy.

8. I eat Altoids Tangerine Sours like candy.
I haven’t had these in a while.

11. My favorite types of apples are Golden Delicious #4120.
I’ve switched to organic Gala apples.

12. I have a complex about being too pale.
I get a lot of sun these days (yay, vitamin D) and haven’t worried about being pale in a while. I worry more about the funny tan lines I get when I’m out running. It’s hard to celebrate a spring of no pants when you have a tan line from your running pants mid-shin. Don’t worry, I wear sunblock.

15. I’ve seen Café Tacuba live 10 times.
Make that 13. I had pit tickets for their shows at the Greek Theater (August ’08) and Universal Amphitheater (June ’09), which was part of the 20:20 tour. I won tickets via The Scenestar for another show in November ’09 at the Fox Theater in Pomona. I haven’t seen them since. That needs to change.

20. I finished paying off my car in September [2007]. I thought that was cool.
I might have jinxed myself with that. The next fall, I was in a car accident. My car was totaled. I was fine save for some minor scars from my seat belt and airbag. I bought a new car with the insurance money and with it came a new car payment. I like my new-ish car, a Mazda 3, but I miss some key details from the Stratus (auto locking and unlocking doors!).

21. I still sleep in a twin bed (my room is kinda small).
I switched rooms in my apartment last year and moved in to the largest room. I also bought a new queen bed.

27. I’ve only said “I love you” once in a relationship.
Not true anymore either.

58. I’ve been in three car accidents. One involved a professional cheerleader and a red light. I didn’t cause that accident.
Make that four. See #20. I didn’t cause the accident in November ’08, but it was definitely the scariest and had me shaken up for a while. I’m still thankful I was one mile away from family’s home when it happened as they, and my cousin who is an LAPD officer, were on the scene in minutes.

64. I don’t cook.
This was probably one of the reasons I was overweight. I ate out too much. I learned to cook and I’m not so horrible at it. [Photo by Sean.]

69. I think I was most attractive when I was 22/23 years old.
I was cute then, but I’m pretty happy with my appearance in my late 20s, early 30s.

Camera Shootout

70. That was before I started getting a lot of canas (gray hair).
I don’t mind the canas so much anymore. They look like natural highlights, especially since it’s been 6 months since the last time I dyed my hair. [Photo by Sean.]

83. I made one of these lists a few years ago and posted it on the super-secret blog. A lot of the facts are no longer relevant.
It’s funny how quickly things change.

93. It’s impossible for me to lie to my roommate, Isa.
Still true, but Isa is no longer my roommate. I see her much less these days but we’re still close and she can still read me like few other people.

100. I generally feel weird when I don’t have a crush.
I don’t crush at all anymore. Nope. I’m betrothed and stuff.

Cultura, Familia

Old school

My grandma only compliments my looks when I wear an apron Sometime in the late 80s, Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni sold their Boyle Heights home. My family’s Hacienda Heights home became their default residence while they were in LA, away from their homes in Tijuana and El Cargadero, Zacatecas.

As one might expect, our three bedroom, 1.5 bathroom house felt crowded with eight people spanning three generations sharing the space. The physical aspect wasn’t ever that big of a deal except when the grandparents went to bed early on the living room sofa bed and we had to be quiet in the kitchen. No, what took more time to adjust to mom and Mamá Toni’s often clashing opinions on how the house should be run.

Mom has always had all four kids help out with chores both in and outside the house. I had to help in the kitchen more often than my brothers, and they had to rake the leaves of mow the lawn more often than I did. There were times when the roles would be mixed and Danny would be doing the laundry or ironing. And we all had to help trim la mora and clean up the huge mess (the mulberry tree in the front yard).

Mamá Toni was quick to express her disapproval of this set-up. She scolded Mom for letting Danny iron his own pants and called me and Lori lazy. Once when she saw dad washing dishes and helping mom clean up after dinner, she told mom she was embarrassed.

My grandma’s old school attitudes stressed out mom who saw talking back to one’s parents as taboo. Mom had to find a respectful way to tell her own mother that in her household it was okay for her husband to help wash dishes and her sons to wash their own dirty socks.

After living with my mom for 20+ years and nearing 90, Mamá Toni has calmed down a bit in her strict division of labor. After she got sick and was hospitalized in 2004, she even let Papá Chepe wash his own dishes after lunch. I was flabbergasted when I saw this as I’d never seen him even take his dish to the sink or warm up his own tortilla. I’ve seen him do this a few times since, and it’s still strange for me.

Every once in a while, Mamá Toni will still speak up when she sees something that conforms to her view of the way things should be. On Sunday most of the women in my family complimented me on my cute new dress. Mamá Toni said nothing about the dress and only complimented me when I put on my apron so I could make a green salad and protect my white dress.

“Que bonita te ves con tu pechera,” she said. [Translation: You look so pretty with your apron.]

The only time she ever compliments my looks is when I’m wearing an apron. I’m okay with that. The apron is pretty cool.

Boda, Hacienda Heights

A change in plans

Soon after Sean and I got engaged, we started checking out wedding sites and blogs. We did some initial planning. I wrote a just family guest list for my side. It was over 150 people. We didn’t have anything set just yet, but first on the list was to make an appointment to talk to one of the priests at St. John Vianney. I had no doubts that I wanted to get married at SJV. I daydreamed about it last August at my neighbor Jorge’s wedding to his high school sweetheart, Heather.

Heather and her father

I talked about having the wedding at SJV with my mom. We discussed Sean going through RCIA (he has to become Catholic first). She was really happy to hear a Catholic wedding was part of our plans.

Less than ten days later, SJV was burned down by an arsonist. After I processed the news and watched the video of the fire and viewed the photos, I immediately thought of the fall 2012 wedding I wanted. It’s not going to happen in the same church where I made my First Communion, celebrated my quinceañera, and was confirmed.

What it looks like now...

I cried when I saw the burnt doors on the LA Times photo gallery. “Those were the doors I was supposed to stand behind on my wedding day,” I thought. I’m not going to stand nervously in the narthex (foyer, sorta) with my arm hooked through my dad’s arm. He isn’t going to walk me down the aisle. I’m not going to kneel at the sanctuary in front of the altar and say my vows there in front of my family and friends. I’m not going to hear the pianist play Canon in D on the gorgeous pipe organ. My mom and Sean’s mom won’t light the candle in front of the lectern. I won’t take a bouquet to the statue of the Virgin Mary on the left side of the church. Sean and I won’t walk down the aisle together. And we won’t be greeted and congratulated by friends and family outside.

I felt somewhat selfish thinking all this, but couldn’t help it. I never envisioned what my wedding reception would look like except that it would be big and there would be a mariachi, those things were a given since I’m Mexican. But the ceremony? That was a different story.

And now it’s changed


Dodger Stadium survey results: Sneak peek

I received a total of 112 responses to the Dodger Stadium Atmosphere Survey. I’ve gone through and checked the summary of responses Google provides. The above chart comes from that summary. I’ve also read and compiled all the free responses to the questions on experiencing violence or harassment and additional thoughts on the subject. Almost all of the written responses are thoughtful and show that fans care about this issue. There was only one racist comment. I’ll post all of those to view in a later post.

I’ll post the summary as well as breakdowns of how different groups viewed the situation. For instance, did more men perceive a safer environment in the stadium than women?

Hacienda Heights

Odd moments in Mass

Spanish language children's choir at St John Vianney

I realized that I have very few digital photos of events in the church or even outside the church, but I have memories. Re-posted below is something I wrote for the old blog about some of the oddest moments I ever experienced at St. John Vianney. Two involved the founding pastor, Msgr. O’Callaghan (RIP), and all occurred during the average Sunday Mass. The photo above is from a Christmas concert with the Spanish language adult and children’s choir around 1988.

weirdness in church
04.19.05 // 9:58 p.m.

Growing up, I never missed Sunday Mass. Even if we were out of town or on vacation, my parents would find a Catholic church in the area and make us go. I saw a lot of interesting and weird things happen during Mass.

Once an altar boy named Eric whom I knew from catechism and high school got sick during the consecration of the host. This is one of those times during the Mass when the assembly (or congregation) is supposed to kneel. The altar servers kneel at uncomfortable kneelers on the wooden steps of the altar. Anyway, Eric stood up to go to the bathroom in the sacristy. He didn’t make it. All I saw was Eric’s breakfast fly out of his mouth in a stream that went remarkably far. Yeah, that was weird and kind of gross.

In another instance, Monsignor O’Callaghan snapped me out of my reverie when he mentioned my favorite band at the time, the Smashing Pumpkins. He railed against the lyrics “Emptiness is loneliness, and loneliness is cleanliness / And cleanliness is godliness, and God is empty just like me.” That was weird too.

The third weird occurrence involved Msgr. O once again. This was a few months after the child molestation scandal broke out in Boston. I guess there had been some debate about allowing gay men to be priests. I was really surprised that Msgr. O wasn’t at all opposed to the notion of a gay man serving God in this role because he was rather conservative. He didn’t mention anything at all either about the incorrect notion of gay men being more likely to molest children. In the middle of the homily a woman five rows from the lectern stood up and started loudly proclaiming that homosexuality was a sin. What made me even sadder and more disgusted was that her young son and daughter (about 8-12 years old) stood up and joined in her opposition to gays. I felt like I was in the twilight zone though, because Msgr. O didn’t back down from his position. Instead, he argued with her a little and then the woman left the church.

This was a Sunday Mass. There were plenty of families there. People clapped when she got up and left. Msgr. O asked people to quiet down. He asked the assembly to pray for this woman, and ask God to open her heart. I was with my mom, and later when we got in the car she broke her silence on the outburst, “You know, it’s really sad that people still think like that. You would think that these days they’d be more open minded.”

Needless to say, I was dumbfounded.

Going to Mass almost every Sunday for 24.5 years straight will give you some strange stories to tell. I’ll be back with the weirdest. It has to do with colonization, imperialism and the Church.