Monday, June 29, 2009


so for many days, this was my view
behind a video camera about 8hrs a day
a nice video camera though, so it was actually a lot of fun
I recorded sessions that took place at a conference
my company organizes yearly
some sessions were small, 10 to 25 persons in the room
but some other ones were in huge rooms!
like this one below... not sure of the count of participants
but i'd think at least a hundred...

and here some photos a co-worker captured
of me as a 'videographer'

i included this one with the reflection of the back
on the mirror, 'cause as July 03, i still had loooong hair
the photo is not so clear, but my hair covered
3/4 of my back... but July '03 came and...
i shopped it all off! heh heh so nice to have short hair again!
more on that on the next post...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

a furry laptop

About a month ago I decided to buy myself a Dell Laptop
I got a top of the line Studio Dell green laptop
4GB on RAM, wireless card, webcam included
the whole top works...
The laptop delivery got delayed and it never arrived
Right before it was about to get shipped to me
I got my car into service and had to pay $500 for new brakes
Plus it needs new tires (which I still haven’t bought)
Also the dentist told me that apart from the $2,000 my dental insurance covers
I have to spend another $1,200 from my pocket to get my teeth
To a less painful place

Glad that the damn Laptop was being so slowly delivered by Dell
I got a chance to cancel it before it arrived

Yet… I still badly need a new computer and I’d like it to be a laptop
So yesterday I found a good deal at Costco where I could afford
A new Toshiba laptop for only $399!
Happily I sent e-mails to my laptop advisers and started planning to get
This less flashy but more affordable laptop

Yesterday too, I left Herr Gato at the vet for a follow up
On his skin problems, the poor guy is still itching a lot
And pulling his fur out

After the vet’s verdict on herr Gatos’ skin problem
we decided to follow a set of tests to find a solution
For his recurring skin problems, and also Gato got a
well deserved bath from the groomers, the final sum for herr Gato’s
Expenses came to a total of $389
And here goes my laptop again! with only $10 more
I could've bought a Toshiba new laptop

But as my mother always thought me
Live beings go first! so I'm finding comfort on the furry cat
I thought to myself, well, instead of a Toshiba or Dell laptop
I got myself (eventually) a furry laptop
Herr Gato doesn’t really jump on my lap, not just yet!
But he might one day… in the meantime...
Instead of getting more every day into the World Wide Web
‘cause of my lack of good computer at home
I will have more time to chase the cats around
I guess...

And still have to pay bills for frau Kitty!
Damn if these alley cats have been expensive
But it is all worth it when I see them peacefully
and safe snoring on top of my stuff at home
Poor little creatures! they’ve capture my heart
And my wallet as well…

herr Gato soundly asleep with a sunbeam for a blanket
he peacefully rests oblivious of the high costs of hardware and veterinary care

Ps. for Al aka Ground Control:
I know what you are thinking!
God is punishing me for trying to buy a laptop
and not a MacBook Pro instead
and you know? that just might be the case...

Monday, June 15, 2009

doggy hell

must confess i am a fan of the family guy
not the classiest cartoons on TV
but they sure make me chuckle
w/silly stuff like their concept of 'doggy hell'

brian & stewie's dialogues are the best

Friday, June 12, 2009

los gatos' nemeses

Sherlock Holmes had Professor Moriarty
Batman has The Joker (amongst others)

and it seems like everyone has a nemesis
in this paradoxical life
my friends Los Gatos have their own nemeses too!

herr Gato's nemeses are two mean Blue Jays
I have seen these 2 blue jays taking swooping dives
at poor herr Gato, one of them actually hit him on the head!
Gato just went "meeooowww"
and look all disconcerted after the hit
after a second dive, the Gato decided to run into the house...

I read online that this behavior is common on Blue Jays
they are very territorial birds and while they are nesting
they will 'attack' dogs, cats, and even humans! who
would come close to their nests, this is called "mobbing"
makes a lot of sense...
I have a bird feeder outside my house
surely they are nesting now and therefore the mobbing at
poor herr Gato, curiously enough, I haven't seen them
attacking frau Kitty nor me

here one of the Blue Jays, the feeder was full of other birds before
he arrived (mourning doves, finches, etc.) he screamed at all
the other birds so they all left and now he eats alone, as he likes it

now Frau Kitty's nemesis is a much dangerous one!
is a BIG female cat, who lives next door,
she comes around my home very often,
I have seen her since I moved here, years before
los Gatos arrival to this area
she sort of socializes with herr Gato,
dependingm on both their moods
they play or chase each other but sometimes
they do fight too...
but it's not the same with frau Kitty! whenever this big female cat
sees frau Kitty, they both start hissing right away, and it takes only
a few seconds for the mean big cat to attack her!
frau Kitty tends to fight back when herr Gato attacks her of plays tough
but she runs away from this cat right away!!
she knows it's no game and she's terrified of her
and surely the mean big gata
wants to shred frau Kitty to very small pieces
I am pretty sure it is 'cause they are both females
and since the bigger female cat has lived for a while in this territory
well, she feels the threat of frau Kitty's presence
I worry many times when frau Kitty goes outside
'cause this 'gata' really hates her and she's at least twice the size
of Frau Kitty, but frau Kitty is much faster, younger, and agile,
so she knows how to runaway from her...

here frau Kitty's nemesis drinking water outside my house
this photo is through a screen door

los gatos don't like to be at my house that much
specially herr Gato, he is more of an outdoor cat
but when their nemeses are around, they feel safer
behind the screen door

interesting how even in nature, enemies exist
i surely have a very dull life, since I cannot think of
a nemesis for myself... maybe in the past I've had a couple
but I guess not too hateful, since I can't recall one

oh wait!
maybe this girl i went to school with
i was in about 4th grade, her name was Cecilia,
she used to bug me at school all the time
she was older than me for a couple of years
so she wasn't in my class but i'd see her
at the end of the school days while
we waited for our parents to pick us up
and on recesses sometimes
she had a sister in my class, Alma,
who was actually my friend and unlike her mean sister
a really nice girl
i used to wear a lot of turtle necks 'cause i always had
a sore throat...
Cecilia used to seat next to me and then pull
the turtle neck of my sweater
all over my face and sort of shocked me!
i was a very shy girl so pretty much did nothing
but to swallow my range and sometimes cry...
I think Cecilia was my very 1st enemy,
up to this day, I remember
the frustration and horror of seeing Cecilia coming to get me

apart from that mexican bully girl I cannot
recall another one enemy

i wonder if you friends reading
have a nemesis in your life?
a real 'archenemy'?
doesn't have to be a person but also
could be a situation you dread
or a food you won't taste?
any intimidating fears?
if so, i'd like to hear your story
we could have a common web-blog-therapy

Thursday, June 11, 2009

horror at the dentist / compassion

yesterday, June 10th i had an awful reminder of physical pain
not even the root canal experience was this bad
they had to cut my gum to take an impression
for the new coming bridge in my mouth

not sure why, but the anesthesia was not working right
the dentist would inject me and work in my mouth
for about 10 minutes when i started feeling pain again
then he would have to inject again...
instead of 2 injections of anesthesia
(the usual amount for this procedure)
i had to have 6 injections!!
the dentist said that probably 'cause i was so nervous
the anesthesia wasn't working properly
also, since i am asthmatic i cannot use regular anesthesia
and that could've been a factor too, he said...

by the end of the procedure (that took about 2 hours)
my lips were sore, so my throat
my nose full of water and dust, and crusty blood
and then the anesthesia had faded again

i haven't been in such a physical pain for a while now
this pain of a cut gum also is very different from a
migraine pain, i wouldn't recommend neither of them

and i am not sure why while i am at the dentist
i always think of the 1800's and before times
when nor anesthesia nor dentists existed
i always think, what if i were a 40 year old woman
living back in those times?
probably i'd be dead by now of tooth pain
or any other of my maladies
must've been awful!
no pain-killers, any sort of comfort
and then i always cry thinking of our
ancestors and all they've been through

also i thought yesterday, not sure why,
maybe because of my large dose of the pain
of Michelangelo Buonarroti and the fact
that he was long time dead
(i admire Bounarroti's work of course
but i not really that much 'into him'
so why my thoughts run to him? i don't know)
but i thought of him
and on how sad is that he's dead so he can't
see the herds of people who admire daily
his Sistine Chapel or his David
and then i felt this horrible empty feeling
that most be how you feel when you are dead...
i felt, why, if even a big guy like
Michelangelo can't be here to share his dose of glory,
then, why? all this existence of pain?
I felt bad for Michelangelo, for myself,
and our human race
i felt afraid of pain, and i felt afraid of death....

and in the midst of all the pain
i was reminded of one of the human feelings
that make one feel worthy to be alive
a feeling i admire the most in humans
sadly there's not much of it going around anymore
people tend to think more of themselves
without asking about other's pain
we care about our own finances, our own pains,
maybe we care about our relatives or friends
but the global feeling of compassion for humanity
every day seems to be fade

but yesterday, this wonderful man, David, showed a
big deal of it towards me...

David, is my dentist's technician
a humble smiling Mexican man
he saw my tears of pain rolling down my cheeks
after the procedure, and he said,
you know what? this is just not fair
even if I was already holding on my hand a prescription
for vicodin and other anti-inflammatory drugs
he went to grab the dentist and asked him
to give me one more injection of anesthesia to numb
my gum for the amount of time it would take me
to go drive to the pharmacy, get the drugs
and they to take effect

David's attitude reminded me of myself
of my care towards the gatos i take care of
i have to go thru a daily amount of pain to take care of them
i am asthmatic and have a marked CAT allergy
still, i know there's nobody else to take care of them
specially of the allergic one, and if i send them to a shelter
they will be euthanized in about 3 days
my mom says i am an idiot for risking my health
but my argument is that i have the possibility
to go to a pharmacy, get allergy pills, and i even got
a set of opposable thumbs to open the pill's bottle
and what about them?
i feel as a human who happened to appear close to them
i have the responsibility of helping them!
we cannot just ignore creatures and pain
'cause they are inconvenient and they don't go
with our life-styles, sorry, but that for me is bull-shit...

human traits were not given to us for free!
but to help each other and other species as well
is the least we can do after having altered their natural
environment to adjust it to our own comfort
we owe animals and nature and whole deal of care!
so anyways...

David reminded me of what being a compassionate person is
David got out of his regular duties of just helping cleaning
during the surgery and assisting, moved by my tears
of course, after his words i cried even more!
moved by this man
who barely knows me and still gets moved
by a stranger in pain

lately, i've been thinking a lot about compassion then
even before this episode
and i've realized that sadly
compassion seems to be a characteristic rather feminine
men tend to be colder and more objective to pain
while women, we tend to melt when we see another human
or animal in distressed
men do care, i always get "I am sorry" and "Can I help"?
questions from my male friends
(not my best friend Perro, he's always there when I need him
but then again he's not to count on the bulk of people either)
and i know there are some really sensitive men out there too
but when it comes to pain and help
they seem to paralyze
they don't stand up and cure your wounds
as most women would do
i guess 'cause of the maternal instinct we have embedded
also 'cause our bodies tend to go through so much more pain
so it's for us easier to relate to it instead of running away

so wondering what this compassion feeling is all about
i went to the silliest but probably most logical place
to find a meaning, a dictionary ( of course):

  /kəmˈpæʃən/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [kuhm-pash-uhn] Show IPA
1. a feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering.

and also found this wonderful quote that confirms
some of my suspicions about 'womanly' feelings:

"Womanly ingenuity set to work by womanly compassion."

Macauly put my attitude towards the gatos in some wonderful
womanly quote... i ignore my own sickness in order to try to
alleviate these furry creatures' pain...

& so glad to have met a compassionate man yesterday!
a quiet mexican nurse with a helping smile and hand

if you are in a position of helping someone today
maybe feeding a hungry bird some crumbs of bread
or rescue a spider from a trap
or share a Subway sandwich with a homeless guy
i say, go ahead! then you will feel like a human again

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

nico bibio copeland compiled by dj sandwich

back in 2005
while i was room-mating with my
friend Perro
he thought me how to "mix" records
vinyl LP's that is
and also CDs
then i became the DJ Sandwich...

he had a pretty neat set up
of 2 LP turntables and 2 CD turntables
connected to a mixer and all hooked
to his computer

so it was pretty easy to record digitally
from vinyl and create "mixes"
a couple of days ago I came across
the very short mix of 3 songs

the somewhat somber mood of these 3 pieces
except for the last track
seem to match these June's gloomy days

the sun is rather shy in San Diego these days

here the 3-song mix
remember this is a vinyl recording, from LPs
so you can hear some minor scratches on the LP of the Rumble Fish soundtrack by Copeland

some info on the songs
track 1
Nico - No One Is There
a cryptic somber song by controversial and beautiful
once vocalist of The Velvet Underground, Nico
taken from her second album
The Marble Index
here an review of no one is there

track 2
Bibio - won't know which track it was!
but it is from their album fi
an experimental musician from England
his music is much newer than Nico's
but somehow the feeling of this song
at least for my taste, seems to follow up
a bit of more info on Bibio

track 3
Stewart Copeland's - Brothers on Wheels
from his very first soundtrack
Rumble Fish
by the way, a superb film directed by Francis Ford Coppola
if you haven't seen it, rent it now!
filmed on sharp black & white
with some surprising color splashes
a classical ala greek American tragedy

Ps. the photo above is from Ocean Beach in 2005
in another June gloom, i used this photo
as the 'cover' for this mix on the internet radio
i used to post on my website before i had this blog

Saturday, June 06, 2009

luna llena y tetris

a full moon illuminated night
after a beautiful-blue-skied-
with-big-fluffy-white-clouds day
in San Diego
a blurry sort of bad photo
but that i think captures a bit of the dramatic
effect of this full moon with clouds

just waiting for a little witch to appear
from behind the branches of the tree
ridding her broom while cackling

and celebrating the 25 year of Tetris
i decided to play some online
hours later and with sore index and middle finger
i post this and go to zzz
here in case you want to loose yourself on the 80's too
free tetris

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

rain on the weekend is always better than a sunny Tuesday with an unexpected root canal

the weekend was gray and drizzling
for two days i didn't see the sunshine
and that's a lot to say for San Diego

yet, it was a good weekend
my cousin JC was visiting
so we went to a couple of my
favorite places around the city

we visited again my favorite used
bookstore in the Hillcrest area (my prior neighborhood)
Bluestocking Books

this photo above is from this weekend
and here an older sepia photo of this beloved place of mine
i remember e-mailing this photo to the store owner
and telling her to use it if she'd like to
i think is the same photo she included on her website!
i am flattered!

and then we had a hot plate of Phở
at my favorite Phở place in El Cajon Blvd.
Phở Hòa

I have eaten Phở in other places
but this is for far the BEST Phở not only
in town, but after reading many online reviews
apparently is even better than many Phở in
Saigon itself, oh well well
no wonder why my mother insists on going there
at least twice while she visits
(here a sunnier shot of the happy cow)

and so it was a good weekend
but a little of tooth pain started sinking in
so today i decided to visit the dentist
only to confirm that i have an infected canine
and below a bridge, so with no more time to waste
and in the same visit the dentist tells me
i must have a root canal, the sooner the better
so, just like that, without being 'mentally'
prepared, nor prepared in ANY way
after what i thought might be an almost preventive
visit to the dentist, i had a root canal
only a couple of hours ago
of course there's the magic of anesthetics
sadly i had only local anesthesia, so i was
rather aware of the procedure

and as i type, i feel it wearing off
leaving turn to a mild strange pain

ah i just hope the Advil works so i can sleep

i guess i'll rely on the good moments of
the weekend, the mild rain in the morning
my fingers caressing the books at Bluestocking books
and the wonderful fragrance of a hot plate of Phở at
Phở Hòa

i still have many visits to the dentist until
this procedure is done, but at least the worst part
is behind... i truly hope this was my last ever root canal

i know i know
what a boring post!
but if you live in San Diego
(hint hint mister Smorg)
you have now the tip of where to eat the best Phở in town
and where to find used (and new) books in a lovely atmosphere