Running at Night

I went for a run tonight. I started at 9:00 p.m. It was not my intent to start that late, but my son would not go to sleep. By the time he went to sleep and I got ready and loosened up, it was 9:00 p.m.

Running at night was different. I was able to focus on the bright moon tonight a bit. One interesting thing I heard as I ran past a small creek was hundreds of toad chirping “Ribet, Ribet”. It was quite loud actually and surprised me because I had run past there many times during the day and never heard a thing. It reminded me of a scene from Platoon where the soldiers are waiting in silence in the middle of the jungle and it is so loud with insect and animal noises.

I enjoyed running under the moonlight. It was different change of pace. However, I think I still prefer running early in the morning before the sun rises.

Focus for 2009

Seems like the New Year always brings people to make resolutions. I am no different. My resolution this year is to post to my blog more often than last year. 2008 was great in that my son was born in July. With the new baby came new responsibilities and new demands on my time. I thought it best for me to focus on my son and my wife. So I put blogging time on the back burner. Truth is, for the first 2 months after the baby was born I had no energy to blog or to do anything else for that matter. After that, I just decided to stay quiet and really enjoy these months with my  newborn son. After all, he will only be an infant once and when its gone, its gone.

Baby M is now 6 months old! and he is such a good baby. I am so proud of him and proud to be a Daddy! I feel ready to come back to the blog now having passed the 6-month milestone as a new dad. I have a new found energy, a new focus, and I feel more complete now.  Only time will tell what 2009 will bring. Hopefully new adventures in parenting, patience and lots of smiles from me and my baby.

Pensamientos en Enero del Dos Mil Nueve

First post of January 2009. Feliz Año Nuevo! Another year, 2009, is now here. Talking to my best friend on the telephone last night felt really good. Nothing like talking to an old friend even if it is about jack caca or the same retread topics over and over. I don’t get tired of it at all. It feels good to my soul. Gracias, hermano.

Lots of things to be thankful for as we close the door on 2008. Most of all for me was the birth of my son in July which has changed my life for the better, given it new meaning, and gave me a feeling that my life is more “complete” now. Don’t know how else to say it, but yes, it is more *complete*. Watching my little guy every day do the littlest things brings me great joy and a feeling of thankfulness at how great God is for blessing me with a child of my own. I think I have kissed my son more than a million times already.

So I wish to start off 2009 by sending my best friends some very positive vibrations and a big BEAR HUG to let you guys know that I love you and am thinking about you, and that I value your friendship. Lets hope and pray that 2009 is a good year for all of us, and that its brings us lots of happiness and peacefulness.

Cool Green VW Bus

I always wanted one of these. This goes on my Automobile Bucket List. A VW Bus. I saw this cool green VW Bus on the campus of Pomona College.  I am not even going to try to speculate on what kind of activities this Bus has seen.

Cool Green VW Bus

21 Choices at Night

I love the frozen yogurt at 21 Choices in Claremont. Its good stuff. This is 21 Choices at Night. The store sign is almost as big as the store. Love the S curves on the sign, too.

21 Choices at Night

Photo Series: Camarillo Library

The Camarillo Library is brand new, as in it just had its 1st birthday in March 2008. The old Camarillo library was old, dark and tiny. The new library is beautiful, huge, airy, well-lit, full of architectural details, and full of public art. Thats the way a good public building should be, but very few are.

The new library became an instant hit and community gathering place for many members of the community, inlcuding many children and families. The library also has a huge selection of books in Spanish, and a huge audio/visual section with tons of titles.  Taco Tip: the library is the cheapest and easiest way to expose yourself to new music or books, without purchasing the cd or book.

Mom2be and I went over to the new library on one of the very hot evenings last week. There is nothing better than enjoying good air-conditioning on hot day, especially when somebody else pays for it. Here is a short photo series of the new Camarillo Library.

Little Girl running outside the library

Blue Vase and fountain at the entrance to the Camarillo Library. I love the Azulejos in the fountain and througout the library. I believe the Mexicans “borrowed” the tiles from the Spanish, who borrowed them from the Moors (Arabs). The blending of cultures, and the “borrowing” of ideas, has been going on for thousands of years.

Detail of the door to the Children’s Area. I love the hand-carved wood detail of the navigational compass–signifying the literary journey to come by entering through the door, and the iron work–the arrow hinge and the circle door handle.

 

The Children’s Area of the library, framed by columns of Giant books, and the centerpiece storytelling area is a sunken pirate ship. Captain Hook and Neptune grace the walls (more pictures to come later). The wood barrels on the floor remind me of those old cartoons where the cartoon character is carrying a barrel away and the barrel leaks gunpowder through a hole in the barrel on the floor leaving a gunpowder trail. You know what happens next. At that instance, Bugs Bunny or Yosemite Sam comes and takes a match to the trail of gunpowder and Boom! Here, the wood barrels are put to better use as children’s seats.

That’s it for now.

1984: Eighth Grade Musical Journey

I love music because it creates an emotional landscape in your mind. You hear a certain song and you are instantly transported back to a certain time and place, or a period of your life. Most of the time they are sweet memories of good times gone by.

For me, the year was 1984. From September 1983 through June 1984, I was in the Eighth Grade. Damn, 1984 was a great year for music! MTV was only a couple of years old, although it didn’t matter much to us because we couldn’t afford Cable TV. However, we had regular tv and Richard Blade hosted an afternoon video show. I remember hearing these songs on the radio, or playing them over and over on a small record player that I had in the room that I shared with my older brother.

How Soon Is Now by The Smiths

This song was in heavy rotation on KROQ for many years, beginning in 1984. In fact, this song and the Smiths would serve me well during my high school years, too. I never owned this song on record or cd until much later. We were so short on money that my dad would have killed me if he found out that I spent my money on buying a music record. I love the sound that Johnny Marr produces with his guitar on this song, its very unique and “elasticy”. Morrissey wailing “I am human and I need to be loved!” is unforgettable. It was a perfect chorus for a young Chicano boy whose mind and body was in transition from boy to man, discovering love and girls for the first time, and trying to find his place in the world.

You shut your mouth
how can you say
I go about things the wrong way
I am human and I need to be loved
just like everybody else does

Will the Wolf Survive? by Los Lobos

Surprisingly, the only station that played this song on the radio in Los Angeles was KROQ. It was not in heavy rotation, but they were kind of progressive in their programming and it used to get played every now and then. Of course, when this song would come on the radio, I would blast it in my room. Straight up Rock N Roll by Chicanos. I always thought that David Hidalgo’s voice sounded very similar to Steve Winwood with that high pitch. I liked Los Lobos even more when I saw a poster of them in the music store and I found out that they looked like me! Chicano.

Standing in the pouring rain
All alone in a world that’s changed
Running scared, now forced to hide
In a land where he once stood with pride
But he’ll find his way by the morning light

Hot for Teacher by Van Halen

At the risk of sounding sexist, this was a great, great song and even greater video, especially for 13 year old boy with raging hormones. Mind you, this was a time before the internet, where Catholic School boys had to sneak a peek at dirty magazines to see and learn about the female form. Thank God for Hughes Markets and their magazine rack (that’s a whole other story)! Anyway, this song has a great drum solo and the video speaks for itself, even after all these years.

I think of all the education that I missed.
But then my homework was never quite like this.
Got it bad, got it bad, got it bad,
Im hot for teacher.
I got it bad, so bad,
Im hot for teacher.

Hold Me Now by the Thompson Twins

This was a great song, with a really great simple and unforgettable chorus. This is one of those songs that every time it came on the radio, I sang along with it. Its easy for the listener to understand all the lyrics and the song has an easy, slowish pace. Best of all, the song has a great chorus. Can you tell I needed to be held during these years?

Hold me now, warm my heart
stay with me, let loving start (let loving start)