Thursday, December 31, 2009


Happy 2010! May everything you manifest come true!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Jogo De Dentro

Animation: Sir Moving Images
Angolieros: Totti Angola and Ilma van de Beek

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

birthday catharsis

As a kid, there is nothing worse than getting the all-in-one Happy Birthday/Merry Christmas present. Being born on December 23, it is inevitable. Every other kid I knew hit the jackpot twice a year. Not me. I never got to have a birthday party either; it was too close to Christmas, school was always out, and people were on vacation.  How I envied the kids who had birthdays in May or February. They got piñatas, pin the tale on the donkey, and musical chairs. I was lucky if anybody even remembered it was my birthday. During the holiday madness, there have been times when my best friend or even my parents forgot my birthday! With the exception of the obligatory first birthday party, which of course, I don’t remember, I did, however, have one birthday party. It was my 10th and I will never forget it.

I know don’t who helped my grandmother pick out presents for me, but she always bought me the fliest outfits for my birthday. One year, she got me this awesome purple number with green glittery swirls. It was a 2-piece outfit: short skirt with biker shorts and matching top. For my 10th birthday, she got me a skirt and vest combo complete with turtleneck. It was the coolest. This, of course, was my outfit of choice on my birthday--even if I wasn’t going anywhere or doing anything special. My hair was carefully styled with extra attention to detail: lots of mousse, lots of hairspray, and pumped up as high as I could get it.

There was nothing special planned for the day it seemed. My mom was going to drop me off at my grandmother’s as usual. We were on our way there when my mom decided to pick up some dry cleaning right up the street from my grandmother’s house. We were driving up Talbert in our little Nissan Sentra and all of a sudden out nowhere this kid on a bike pops out from behind a van and SMACK! His bike hits the fender and I see him fly over the windshield. Everything started moving in slow motion and I could hear the subsequent thumps of his body hitting the trunk and back bumper of the car. We stopped the car and I look at my mom as she’s about to get out of the car and I ask her, “Mom, Are you going to go to jail?” She looked at me blankly and didn’t answer.

She got out of the car first and I followed. The first thing I saw was his feet. He was face down, his feet were in that lifeless, pointed inward position you so often see when people get shot in the movies, only this was real life. His head was right next to the back right tire. His face was all bloodied up and the ground next to his mouth was a mixture of siliva and blood, still dripping. He wasn’t dead. He was moaning, “She hit me. She hit me.” I thought my mom going to jail for sure.

The police and paramedics arrived shortly. They were asking him questions as he lay there. He couldn’t remember what day it was, but he remembered that his name was Raymond. The police had all their investigation instruments out to figure out if my Mom was speeding and whose fault the accident really was. I watched nervously as they deliberated my mother’s innocence. The fact was we didn’t hit him. He hit us. He was making his paper route and riding on the sidewalk when he darted out into the street. We didn’t see him because there was a big van parked right there. The proof was in the fender where his bike hit our car. My mom was cleared. She wasn’t going to jail on my birthday after all.

We picked up my mother’s dry cleaning and headed for my grandmother’s house as planned. I was still pretty shaken at this point. As I’m walking up the steps to my grandmother’s house, I was replaying the traumatic events of my birthday so far. I was in a daze. Then I opened the door and, “SURPRISE!” It was a surprise birthday party and my whole family was there, and even some friends. I found myself in complete and utter shock. It took every bit of energy in my body to not break down into tears. My day had started out normal then all of sudden I’m seeing this kid all smashed up and I think my mother is going to be locked up behind bars forever--and now this! A surprise birthday party was the last thing I had expected to happen next. After so many years of uneventful party-less birthdays, I finally had got what I wanted. And boy, did the gods deliver.

I should have been ecstatic that day, but there lingered some sort of dark and guilty feeling. I hardly remember what the actual party was like. But I do remember so clearly that boy’s face. In celebration of my birthday this year, I thought I might share a memory with you. I’m glad that I’ve fished this particular memory out from the depths. I have not thought about that day since it happened. I suppose this can serve as some kind of birthday catharsis—leaving behind the bad birthdays and opening myself up to the more beauteous and peaceful birthdays to come…

Sunday, December 20, 2009

my christmas sentiments exactly....

old skool sade

my alarm went off at 5:30am. and soldier of love was playing...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Happy Birthday Nana

This is my Nana and Tata working out to "The Christian Spirit". My grandparents were a dynamic duo. Miss you, Nana. Happy Birthday!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Piece of Crap Camera!

toy camera made in Uganda with cow dung and broken glass.
(From Ugandan Giants via @theojemison)

Happy 92nd Birthday Mestre João Pequeño

(Photo: Brígida Rodrigues)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

don't mess with the classics

Will Smith's youngest kid will play "Dre" (as opposed to Daniel) in the remake of the "Karate Kid".

Aminatou Haider on 29th day of Hunger Strike

No War, But Peace
From: Africa Blog via
It takes a rare form of courage to conduct a hunger strike in full public view.
Aminatou Haidar's self-imposed ordeal in protest at her treatment by the Moroccan authorities is taking place at the bus station on the edge of Lanzarote's main airport.
She's been surviving over the last 30 days on sips of sugared water and the media spotlight around her is growing ever brighter. Satellite trucks, cameras and correspondents record her every movement. Aminatou is weakening rapidly and now has to be taken in a wheelchair to use the public lavatories on the site.
Shielding her eyes from the glare of the Spanish sun and the pursuing pack of press, she is prepared to endure the daily humiliation because each day now it is becoming harder for political leaders to ignore what is happening in the disputed territory of the Western Sahara, just one hundred kilometres away from the shores of the Canary Islands, and that bastion of human rights, the European Union.
(read more)
part 2 here.
(video via directed by Carlos Gonzales, photo via)

Monday, December 14, 2009


There's no better time to justify war than when you're accepting the Nobel PEACE prize. Nobody summed it up better last week than Harry Shearer, actor/satirist/author/multi-media art/radio host of Le Show. Enjoy!
(image via)

Muppets Do Bohemian Rhapsody

Happy Monday!
I can't wait for the new Muppet Movie to come out...
Click here for some spoilers.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Amazing Elephant Birth

Warning: this is a graphic video of an elephant birth. If you can get past the corny world music and the repeated slow motion of the actual birth, this video is incredible. Elephants' gestation period is something close to two years, so this elephant mama had a lot invested in her little one. I'm glad the humans let her do her thing.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Saturday on a Budget

I'm all about FREE entertainment for the family. This Saturday we visited the Central Library where they have story time and a puppet show for the kiddies. We left with all kinds of goodies. Books on tape for the kid and DVDs for the rainy weekend. Total cost:$1.00 for parking. ($3.75 for library late fees. oops!)

(For more info on the Central Library's Children's Events click here.)

Friday, December 11, 2009

What I Won't Be Buying for Christmas: Kitty Wigs

Yes, Kitty Wigs. You too can own one for your favorite furry feline for only $50. Better yet, get the book to go with it.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

operation small axe

This is for LA folks who want to familiarize themselves with the murder of Oscar Grant by BART police, the climate of police brutality in the streets of Oakland, and the targeting of journalist JR Valrey. This trial will be held here in LA. School yourselves because this will be big.
Operation Small Axe
Saturday, Dec. 12 6:30pm
Kaos Network
4343 Leimert Blvd.
For more info, check out the trailer.

Me in the Roda

Always being behind the camera, I never get any pictures of myself in the roda. Thanks Minna! Meeting Mestre João Grande was nothing short of amazing. It was a privilege to be a part of this workshop and to play in Mestre's roda.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

bad apple

there's not much you can do with an apple that's rotten in the core.
there's so much you can learn from a bad apple.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

fela on broadway!

jay-z, will smith, and jada: you put your money to good use this time.

Sade's New Single

The long awaited....

"Sesame Street Got It Right on Race"

"Sesame Street Got It Right On Race" by Loam Aseron
From: Color Lines

"As a child, Sesame Street was the perfect universe, populated by whimsical and colorful characters, filled with music, where adults were the mortar and not the bricks. Who wouldn't want parents like the adults on Sesame Street? They would swoop down and offer words of wisdom and some guidance, but mostly they trusted us as kids. Gordon's presence is even more important in that context—not only was he a central character, but also he was a parental figure, a positive representation of a man of color parenting children of all ethnicities, something that's sorely missing from today’s children’s shows.
(Read the full article here.)

A funky rendition of Sesame Street I found on a recent dig. Enjoy!

Sesame Street
Disneyland Records

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Mestre João Grande

Workshop with Mestre João Grande
Chuco's Justice Center
Hosted by: Ngolo Arts

Friday, December 4, 2009

my tweet cloud

apparently i love mornings.
that was fun. you try.


Dear Santa

Dear Santa,
I have been very good this year. luv-j9

Leica x Hermes limited edition M7

Thursday, December 3, 2009

wonder wisdom

"Everybody needs a change,
A chance to check out the new,

But you're the only one to see

The changes you take yourself through"

~Stevie Wonder

just do it.

(via twitter @dinoignacio)

hypnotic brass ensemble

every now and again baby girl gives me a pass to go out and enjoy myself. i was front and center at this amazing performance. hypnotic brass did right by their name cuz i was under a spell. love to mochilla for always bringin' the top shelf.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Mestre João Grande in LA!

Mestre João Grande touched down in LA today. I am so excited to meet and train Capoeira Angola with this legendary master. I had a dream once that I was at his academy in New York and couldn't even manage a decent ginga in his presence! Can't wait for Saturday!


"I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank. "- Barack Obama, October 27, 2007

He also said this:
"We will kill bin Laden. We will crush al-Qaeda, that has to be our biggest national security priority.”- Barack Obama, Oct 8, 2008

We should not be so suprised...

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

io antics and the power of yes

these are some of io's favorite things to say:
"go away!
"leave me alone!"

and my personal favorite:
"just grow up!"
then she runs into the room and slams the door. this is her satsuki (totoro) manifestation of anger.

i think that "no" was actually her first word. up until this week, the word "yes" was not even a part of her vocabulary. in heated moments when i can self-regulate--or in other words,stop myself from wringing her neck--i can't help but be fascinated at how vehemently opposed she is to compliance. i can tell she has such a difficult time being at the losing end of a power struggle. when she feels powerless, you will see her tense up, shake, and then erupt with a guttural scream. it ain't a pretty sight. thank goodness for all these non-violent parenting classes! they have taught me how to avoid power struggles all together. i mean, if you think about it no one likes to be the loser at a tug-of-war. so i guess i can't be that mad her. i am ecstatic that she has finally decided to add "yes" to her repertoire--not because she is more obedient, but because we are both learning to put our guards down and grow together.