The Anti-Dalai Lama Protests: Separating Fact From Fiction

Interesting and insightful article.

Tibetan Buddhism – Struggling With Diffi·Cult Issues

by Linda Ciardiello

For about the last 18 months the Dalai Lama has been under sustained public attack from a group of mostly white westerners calling themselves the International Shugden Community (ISC), for alleged human rights abuses, supression of religious freedom and for causing a schism in the Tibetan Buddhist community.

The executive leadership of the ISC consists entirely of senior members and teachers of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT), such as Nicholas Pitts, aka Kelsang Rabten, the National Spiritual Director of the New Kadampa Tradition (NKT-IKBU) for New Zealand and Australia, residing currently in Hong Kong, who recently wrote a piece for the Lanchester Review.

His article was rife with accusations and insults against the Dalai Lama and against anyone who disagrees with the ISC’s critical stance towards him, such as The Guardian, Geshe Tashi and the International Campaign for Tibet – that they are all…

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Under The Berkeley Skies-Day 41: Look up and Read the Signs.


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Hello my dears! I know it’s been a while, but life happens and I needed some time to live it. But here I am: alive, exhausted, excited, and a bit saddened by the recent news. In case you live under a rock or were nowhere near some form of technology today, the great comic Robin Williams passed away today in what seems like a suicide. I’m still having a hard time wrapping my head around this, it just seems unreal.

Robin Williams

July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014

Any suicide, whether of a famous person or a “normal” person like you and I, is extremely heart wrenching. During my life at CAL, midterms and finals were known as suicide watch. We would get emails from the counselors on campus letting us know of their existence and of their extended hours during these periods. We even had RRR week (Reading, Review, and Recitation), before Finals week. Here’s the Office of the Registrar’s official definition for RRR week: 

Reading, Review, and Recitation (RRR) Week is the week following the end of formal class instruction and preceding the tart of final exams and is intended for students to have free time to prepare for exams, to work on final papers and projects, and to participate in optional review sessions and meetings with instructors. RRR week is baed on the pedagogical principle that students benefit from the time devoted to synthesizing the course material learned over the course of the semester.”

We the students new this as: time to catch-up on reading, finish assignments, review, review, review. It was a godsend, as it alleviated some of the stress; nonetheless, it was still rough. During RRR week and finals week, I would sometimes only run on 20 mins of sleep a day, or a combined 10 hours of sleep between the two weeks. It was hell, but RRR week helped. However, even with this extra week and extended hours for the counselor’s on campus, there was always a suicide. I don’t recall many during midterms, but in the 2.5 years I was at CAL there was always a suicide during finals. Kids throwing themselves out of dorm windows, overdosing, or finding some other way to alleviate the pain. It was sad. What was worse, is that the mourning of the student was felt by many (he/she was one of us), but only for a short term of time. Unless we directly knew the person, we would discuss it and state how horrible it was, but then go back to our studies.

I know. Horrible. We didn’t mean to be this way, but we too were going through our own level of pressure.

The one thing that always goes through my mind when I hear of a suicide is “Damn. It was that bad? What could be this bad to make her/him believe this was the only way they could alleviate the pain?” Situations like these take me back, to when I too thought that would be the only way to make the pain go away. Yes, I’ve had thoughts and considered it the best and only solution for everyone. I thought about it at early age, was ready to do it, but something pulled me back. I had to go to therapy for a while after that, it helped. As a teen, went through it again, I was tired, I couldn’t handle the pressure of people wanting me to be someone else. The pressure of not being good enough for my sisters (who at the time were my legal guardians), of not fitting in, of just being sad. Again, something pulled me back.

However, this action was followed by another that lead me to the doctor’s visit with alcohol poisoning. I remember gagging because of how horrible the alcohol tasted; however, I knew if I drank enough of it I would forget, or if I’m lucky I might feel good. Nope. Worst feeling ever. Worse sensation ever. Worse pain ever. Most embarrassing and traumatizing experience ever. After this I was taken to therapy again, this time it helped, I was finally diagnosed. Luckily this time around, I didn’t have to get on meds, I just needed to be back with my family in the US.

However, 4-5 years later I was put on medication. Many people around me didn’t know I was on medication, they didn’t know that my doctor kept changing the dosage on me because I couldn’t sleep and nothing was working. The cure this time around, quitting my job. After two years of little to no sleep, the night I turned in my two weeks notice I slept like a baby. I immediately got off of my medications.

After that I realized that working out helped a lot, but I mean a lot. It kept me from going “dark”. That was my “I”m never going on meds” cure-working out. I promised myself I would never take medication ever-again. I was so committed to this promise that even 3 years after this, when I had a very bad health scare and was slowly falling back into depression I fought my doctors on it. I remember they kept saying: “This is a lot for you right now, we just want to make sure you don’t harm yourself” my response through the sobbing “I’m not going to kill myself, that’s the last thing on my mind, I want you to find out what the hell is wrong with me because I want to live.”  I was in the doctor’s office every week, sometimes twice a week, depending on how bad my physical symptoms got and each time they would try to give me those damn pills. Every time, I would fight with them and I would win.

My mother suffers from depression, towards the end of her life my grandmother did too. So, it’s no surprise that I suffer from it too. However, I have learned to be in tune with my body and mind. I can tell when the haze wants to try to roll in, this usually happens when I’m under stress, not exercising and not eating healthy. Thus, I go out for a run and stop eating junk. This usually helps, in those occasions when it doesn’t. I allow myself a “mental health day”, I don’t go to work or school, or anywhere. I just sit at home, relax, and do some soul searching. This usually involves, prayer, meditation, or sometimes a movie that will guarantee to make me cry. Sometimes all I need is a good cry. The next morning after my “mental health day” I typically feel better, refreshed and ready to make the changes necessary as to avoid going through that again.

I’ve had a few little meltdowns, but nothing that would ever make me want to hurt dance partymyself again, or nothing that couldn’t be handled by a run, chocolate, or a good old dance party with a friend (think Meredith and Christina). Yes, real people do that, it helps honey!

I know some people close to me, are finding out about this for the very first time. Others might think I’m completely nuts for posting something like this, but why? We all go through it in some shape or form. We need to stop making it so taboo, when we lift the negative connotation from it I strongly believe more people will be getting help. As it is, I read an article where it states that more people are seeking help, some use life coach’s, wellness coaches, psychologist, or even spiritual guidance through a practitioner. Whatever helps right? But this increase is stil a lot lower than the extremely high number of suicides per year, approximately 30,000 a year.

However, I think with Robin Williams, the case was different. He was a comedian, so everyone expected him to be happy, everyone expected him  to be “on” if you must. I’m no professional, but as someone that has battled with depression, I believe this is what made it harder for him to try to seek help. How is it that the one that makes us happy, is unhappy? No way. That is just not possible; unfortunately, it happens a lot.  When people tend to be the happy one, the strong one, the dependable one, it’s a lot harder to ask for help. We have titles to live up to, we can’t show signs of weakness.

This my friends is when I say to you: you need to learn to read those signs of weakness. All over social media, everyone is posting how sad they are about Williams’ death, how depression sucks, and how “hey if you feel sad, down, or alone, call me I’m here for you!” Ummmmm, I’m no Einstein but I think you might be missing the point. I know that the good intention is there and these folks might actually mean it; however, it’s not that simple. When someone is feeling depressed, alone or sad, they don’t always feel comfortable reaching out. In some cases they might not even know how, in others they just don’t see the point. This is were we, the friends, the support system, need to start paying attention. You might need to be the one to approach that person, its a tough situation and uncomfortable for both parties, but so damn worth it.

A real conversation always contains an invitation. You are inviting another person to reveal himself or herself to you, to tell you who they are or what they want.” – David Whyte

So; although, I believe all of you out there posting “hey if you’re depressed text me, wall postcall me, or IM me” are sweethearts, I think you might be a bit gullible. We need to start looking up from our smartphones every once in a while to make sure those around us are okay. Stop texting, emailing, or posting on your friend’s wall, instead call or visit them, hang out with them.

Awww, the good old days when we use to have real direct conversations with people versus text conversations (btw, lol, smh, and whatever other shenanigan is out there), through our phone or computer screen. Real Convesations

Oh and start saying “I love you” more often, you have no idea how much clout those three little words carry. Don’t just assume people know you care, tell them you do. I for one say this to my friends and family members every chance I get, this way if I die tomorrow there will be no doubt in their hearts that they were loved by me.

Show more gratitude to one another, praise one another, uplift, care for one another and the simplest of them all: smile to one another.

Love you! 

PS: Dear reader, please note that I’m in no way watering down the terrible illness that is depression. Not only am I well aware that what works for me may not work for someone else, I’m also aware that what works for me today may not work for me tomorrow.


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 40: Update


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Good morning beautiful people,

This here is an early morning update, insight, and plea for the family that lost their beloved daughter Kiki this weekend. The family has decided to come out publicly and share their grief and some of the details of the accident, to help little Nick. The following campaign has been started by the family in the hopes of helping 8 year old Nickolas with his college education. As you can imagine that family will now have to deal with funeral and hospital bills; thus, saving is something that is out of the question. Furthermore, tapping in to your savings (if you had any) is something that they will have to do.

I understand that you might not know the family and or might have your own issues to deal with; however, as my grandmother use to always say “Hoy por ti manaña por mi” which translates to “today for you, tomorrow for me”. Which means, today someone needs your help, but tomorrow you might be the one in need. The amount doesn’t matter, just a little helps.

Remember the Universe has an amazing way of paying you back when you least expect it.

To find out more visit Caring for Nick:

Nick and his beloved momma Kiki

Nick and his beloved momma Kiki


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 40: Lost for words…


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Hhhhhiiii,  I have not been drinking any of the funny juice this evening, I’m just trying to sound like Ross Gellar from “Friends.”

Not sure what I’m talking about? Watch this really quick:

Because today is a Ross kind of day, for some reason or another this day dragged. I should have known it would have been a tough one from the 100 times I hit snooze this morning. I don’t know if it was the heat or just the “meh”. Not sure what “meh” is, it’s that nonchalant feeling you get about everything and anything, that “I’m conserving energy, so don’t expect me to think or move fast, and you best not make any sudden movements Nod and say yeseither” type of mood. Mixed in with “don’t ‘puck‘ with me”, dazzled with “I want to be anywhere but here” feeling. Sprinkled with “I want to take a nap for at least 5 or 6 hours” mode. You know what I mean right? For both or safety, I think you should just nod and say “yes!”

I refuse to think that Monday’s suck, there’s just no way a day of the week could suck that bad.  Could it?

Let’s just say that for the first time in a long time, I was the first one out of the office. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough, I didn’t say goodbye  to anyone. I was out!

Okay, I’m sorry I will have to change the tone. This just all seems trivial.

I was going to try to do a weekend mashup, but I can’t stop thinking of the news I received. A daughter of a family friend, passed away this weekend in a horrible motorcycle accident, leaving behind a 6-year-old son and a husband who is in critical condition. Out of respect to the family and honestly because I just can’t play the image in my head again, I will not post how it all happened, for it was pretty gruesome.

black ribbon

I wasn’t close to this young mother, I knew her from family get-togethers. But I’m close with her Aunt, Mom, and little sister, which is what breaks my heart to think of the pain they might be going through. When I was contacted with the news of what happened, it just stopped me in my tracks. I couldn’t believe it, my heart sunk, someone so young,I was utterly lost for words.

Since, I was informed of what happened, I have been thinking of how easy we are wiped out from this planet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not afraid of dying. But it just makes you question your notion of life.  Are you living the life you intended for yourself?  Are you happy? Do you have a happy life? If not, why? What’s stoping you from being truly happy? What goals have you achieved? Do you still have many more to go? What’s stoping you from achieving them?  Do you have a bucket list? Why? Why not go out and do those listed items today, in the present, and not tomorrow? As my grandmother use to say: “Tomorrow is never promised, today is your gift, live it as such” 

Do we live it as such though? Wasn’t I just complaining of how crappy this day was? I bet she (sorry out of respect to the family I don’t want to mention her name), would have wished to have a “crappy” day with her son.

Life. Ain’t it a hoot? You just never know how things are going to be or in what direction your next journey will take you. Will you live to be 50, 80, or 100? Only God knows, only the Universe knows what awaits you. I think our job is just to enjoy every second, minute, hour, day, year we have on this planet.

I use to be the type of person that saved items such as jewelry, perfumes, clothes, shoes, etc, only for special enjoy lifeoccasions. But a while ago, someone forwarded me an article written by a widow, whose wife had passed away from cancer. He was narrating how the hardest part of her passing was going through her items, all her “special occasion” items. He emphasized that every day he was with her was a special occasion, she was his special occasion, every day together was an occasion-to be happy. The moral of the story was that we should not wait for that “special occasion” or special event to come, we should make every day special. Simply because it is special, we get to see another day, spend time with our loved ones. We get to add another page to our story, if we are lucky enough it might be the start of a new chapter.

I’m not going to bullshit you and say that after reading the story I went hang-gliding, and climbed Mt. Everest. Nope, not even close. I did; however, make subtle changes. I do dress up, I wear my fancy perfumes, jewelry and even those special sexy undies we buy for our mate. This chick wants to be and feel sexy for herself.

I’m not going to lie there’s day’s I’m like Winnie the Pooh and other’s I’m like Eeyore, but lucky for me I snap out quick, if not I have a few Tigers in my circles that will.

Winnie the PoohWhat’s up with all the Winnie the Pooh references?

I’m not going to say something enlightening here folks, that’s just too much pressure and I’m pretty darn tired to come up with someone awe-inspiring. But I’ll leave you with this Moni-ism:

Don’t be stupid, don’t waste your time fighting, hating, or complaining about the crap you don’t have. Be grateful for the things you do have, be grateful for the blessing that is today because I don’t want to scare you or anything, but tomorrow is not guaranteed. So don’t let the last impression you leave on this earth be of acting a-fool

Not poetic enough? Fine, here’s a better one, by Earl Nightengale:

Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy NOW. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored

Love you beautiful people. 
May she rest in peace, and may her husband get better so he may remind their son of the amazing mother he had. 


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 39: Brazil you suck!


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Hello lovelies,

I know, I know I skipped a day. I have a very good reason: my iphone died! No, I don’t post via my phone (hmm, I should try though), I was just pissed off. I’m the type of person that gets extremely frustrated when things don’t do what they are suppose to. I’m sure we all do, but I take it to the next level: I stop what I’m doing, research what the problem or error online, try it out, “still doesn’t work!”, get pissed, look at device, yell extremely colorful words at it, share my frustration on Facebook, look at it again, try to figure it out again, “still nothing? I’m done!”, toss it to the other side of the room. Wallow in my anger and frustration, until I angrily fall asleep. At this point I’m of no use to anyone, I’m the bitchiest person in the planet. I know I have some anger issues, I have to work on that. Another entry for my to do list.

Luckily for me and the rest of the world, we are back on track. My phone is working and everything is A-okay! However, now let me tell you what happened to me at the Apple store…maybe not. I was going to quickly tell you how the A-hole guy that was helping me totally left me waiting for him for 30 minutes and then walked out of the store. I know, Apple will be receiving a very angry letter from me, this is bullshit.

snapMy bad. I guess I did go there. Shit, since, I’m here let me tell you this: it was the 4th Street Apple Store in Berkeley. Boom. What?

Moving along to better things, what I really wanted to share with you was the following story:  I was sitting at the Apple store (the one in 4th Street, just in case you forgot which one), waiting for the A-hole “guy” to come back and check on my phone as he said he was going to. In the same little table as me a ‘genius’ was working with an older gentleman. I was already starting to get annoyed because I couldn’t find my “guy” anywhere on the floor. All of a sudden I realize the gentleman is speaking to me, I look his way and this happened:

Mr.: Excuse me can I ask you a personal question?
Me: Oh, sure (I brace myself)
Mr.: How does it feel to be so beautiful? 
Me: (I’m blushing and smiling) Oh, thank you. 
Mr.: No really, you are just gorgeous. 
Me: Thank you, thank you very much! loved it
Ego is beaming at this point, I must say I walked out of there with some extra sassiness. 

I’m not really sure how to make this transition, but here we go, off to Brazil.

brazil-14Why Brazil?

Easy, have you not seen all the crap that is going on down there? It’s just awful and extremely heartbreaking. With less than 6 days away things are extremely chaotic in that country. I’ve been seeing posts on my social media with pictures of kids and women crying, police beating up protestors, police dragging protestors leaving a blood trail behind. Videos have also hit the internet that depict the sounds and the heinous acts that the government is committing against its poor.

Let’s not kid ourselves, this is definitely against the poor. The government is forcing people off their lands to build f’n parking lots! Parking lots!? It’s just unbelievable, the government is insane thinking that investors are going to see this and think “Brazil? Oh yea they have their shit together let’s invest there!” In case you didn’t know this is why they are hosting the World Cup. The economy in the past 3-4 years has been affected drastically, their stock market is tanking, inflation has caused prices to soar. As if this was not enough, in 2013; which was when the protest actually started, the government decided to increase public transportation cost in Sāo Paulo. I should mention, that this came after a high tax increase.

The numbers speak for themselves:
Brazil has invested $11.3 billion in Cup-related infrastructure improvements, a third of which went into building or overhauling stadiums in a dozen host cities. It has been estimated that Brazil will spend $18 billion to host the 2016 Summer Olympics. 

As per Anthony Boadle’s article “World Cup leaves Brazil costly stadiums, poor public transport”:

Four arenas were built in cities that have only third-tier football teams and small chance of recovering the investment: Manaus, Natal, Cuiaba and the capital Brasilia, where the magnificent National Stadium cost 1.6 billion reais, more than double the original price tag. City auditors say Brazil’s most costly stadium still needs 300 million reais to finish the exteriors after the World Cup.

Insane right? If you’re disgusted by this can you imagine how the people of Brazil feel? These ridiculous costs are what ignited more than a million citizens across Brazil to take the streets. Brazilians protested political corruption, economic injustice, poor health care, meager schools, crappy mass transit, and a decaying infrastructure, and with every right, the insane costs to host the Wold Cup.

I mean seriously these billions could be spend on the citizens, on their REAL needs. It just does not make sense, it’s Beijing all over again.

People are getting killed, beaten, families are forced off their lands, and as per one recent article I came across orphaned street children are “disappearing” to make the streets look more aesthetically appealing to the tourists. Are you f’n kidding me?

You know what really gets my panties in a bunch; don’t get me wrong this just all pisses me off, but wait until I tell you this: The President, Dilma Vana Rousseff, was a socialist and was a member of a Marxist urban group that fought against the military dictatorship in the 1970’s. She was captured, jailed, and tortured in 1970-1972. I’ll give you a moment to pick your mouth up from the floor.

This same woman, who helped fund the Democratic Labour Party (PDT) in Rio Grande do Sul, is the very same one who is okay with all of this chaos. She’s okay with the violence and the cruelty that her voters (I’m assuming most of the considered middle to lower class voted her into office), are receiving at the hands of her government.

12 monkeys

This is my: “what type of democracy are you talking about lady?” look

She continues to defend this decision, in her eyes this stuff happens all the time “it’s part of democracy” what the hell? What type of Democracy is she serving?

Hmm, are you starting to get scared? Not sure if you should travel to Brazil, don’t be sweatheart, she’s got your back: “We fully guarantee people’s security,” she said. It’s apparent that it is her people’s security and livelihood that she does not care a flying ‘puck’ about.

WebWhat am I doing? I’m officially boycotting the World Cup! I look forward to the World Cup every four years, it is really the only soccer I ever watch. But with all of this tomfoolery you really think that my conscious will allow me to watch this? What type of humanitarian would I be? What type of human being would I be? Which is why it is so hard for me to understand that people are still traveling to Brazil, worst yet that the players are still going. In all honesty, they should boycott the cup. I mean, seriously people what about this are you confused about? This government is violating every single human right you can think of and it’s all for SOCCER! Give me an F’n break!

Thus, I say this from the bottom of my heart:

Brazil you suck, because of your insane need to hide the reality of your country to tourist and possible investors I will not be enjoying the World Cup this time around.

All I can say is that I hope that the 2018 cup doesn’t come with so much unrest because then I’ll just have to start watching Cricket matches. Update: Just realized these will be held in Russia! Cricket it is! 

See these sponsors, I will be boycotting them too.

See these sponsors? I will be boycotting them too.

Again, Brazil you really suck. I mean you suck big time!  I was looking forward to some soccer but now I look forward to hearing about the populace stampeding your streets demanding respect, healthcare, education, and a livelihood.

With this being said, I feel the need to explain something, I do support protest. As long as they are peaceful, I do not support violent protest, this means: I do not support the harming of any persons or property. I believe these acts take away from the message you are truly trying to get across. As the great Pele said in an interview in Mexico City:

Some of this money could have been invested in schools, in hospitals,” he said. “Brazil needs it. That’s clear. On that point, I agree (with the protests). But I lament what protesters are doing, which is breaking and burning everything. It’s money that we will have to spend again.

Want to  know something that’s extremely interesting? Mexico withdrew its bid for the 2018 and 2022 World Cups due to financial reasons. Couldn’t Brazil have done the same? The government should have had a ‘coming to Jesus talk’ and faced the facts: they don’t have what it takes to do something of this caliber. Apparently, that’s too much to ask for-obviously!

In short, today we learned that the Brazilian government and that ‘guy’ from the Apple Store suck-big time!


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 38: Voting, Rights, & Spaniards!


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Hi darlings,

So it seems I’m playing catch up with my posts, sorry about that. Hope it doesn’t throw you off; since, we all know its my world and you just live in it. All kidding aside, thanks for your patience.

First things first, did you people vote? I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that you did. For both of our Vote-2sakes. Look, it’s simple if you don’t vote you automatically lose your right to bitch. This is your time, this is when you get to say and do something about it, for many this is the ONLY time you ever do something. Harsh? I’m keeping it real babe, just keeping it real.

I understand the whole “the system is rigged man” argument to some degree, it baffles me how much power the electoral college has. Does Gore ring a bell? To this I say, fine don’t take part in the national elections, but do participate and take action on the local and state politics. There’s many initiatives that do not pass because many are withholding their vote. Do you not care who runs the school board? Who is the Governor? Who represents you in the City Council? These are all things you should know and should care about, because they do affect you.


For those of you that might not be able to vote due to “legal” status then do what many people I know do. Get a “documented” person to vote. It’s not cheating.  I know a few parents that cannot vote, but yet they are extremely involved politically. Thus, they make sure their “documented” kids are registered and they tell them what to vote on. Many people do this, it’s no joke. It’s funny how they’ll go the extra mile, but those of us that have this as a birthright could care less. It’s a damn shame!

Vote-1Voting is serious business my friend, don’t just brush it off as something you do every so often. It means something for many, including me. If one’s vote was not such a mighty sword then why are some jack ass’ trying to set restrictions on voting rights.

Please check out: 

Think about it: if our vote didn’t matter as much, then why would the darn G.O.P go to such lengths? I think theyVote-6 realized what a united front is capable of doing during Obama’s campaign, and are making sure there’s no repeat, especially if Hillary is going to run. For some reason or another I think the GOP fears her candidacy, I can’t pinpoint (yet) as to why, but I feel they do. Most definitely a conversation for another day.

Let’s not forget you have people dying for their right to vote, going up in arms for their right to a democracy. Did we forget what’s currently happening in Ukraine?  Be it as it may, I’m not saying our system is wonderful because we all know this shit needs fixing. Pardon my french ya’ll but it’s a hot topic! Democracy when done correctly can be amazing. We have yet to accomplish this, but I’ll take what we have versus what is going on in Russia-damn Putin!

Spain-4Furthermore, in case you missed it, the colonizers Spaniards are fighting for their right to be a democracy. After almost 40 years on the throne King Juan Carlos is abdicating and his son Prince Felipe de Borbon will succeed him. However, the people have taken to the streets in protest against the monarchy, they are tired of being ruled by a King. They are tired of not having a say in what happens in their country, they wish to be proclaimed a republic and leave the monarchy business in the past.

At least Prince Felipe is one of the good ones, the entire family with the exception of Felipe have been caught up in some type of nonsense. The King’s daughter and son-in-law are currently under investigation for corruption. She learned from the best though, it seems that in April 2012, in the middle of Spain’s financial crisis the King decided to go on a lavish elephant hunting trip in Botswana. Really? Elephant hunting? Jack ass!

I’m eager to see how this all plays out, will the people of Spain win or is all of this in vain? I hope democracy wins, the tides have changed, and Spain needs to catch up.

Here are some interesting reads on the topic: 

Moral of this rant: VOTE! Don’t be a d-bag, do your part. We already know you litter, make up for it by voting! 


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 36-38: Mashup!


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Note: This post was meant for Monday night, May 2nd.  Hello my dears, I know it’s been such a long time…not really but every now and then it’s nice to be a bit a dramatic. It’s been a week, but since you and I are deeply committed in this love affair, that week feels like forever-I know, I would miss me too. But here I am, since I missed so many days, this will be a Mashup…woohoo! mashupWe love those don’t we? However, this time around I’m going to just highlight a few things that stood out.

  • The Lake trip: We went to Del Valle Regional Park, it was awesome! The place was beautiful, I mean really beautiful. It ended up being a large group, we had quite a space full of Central Americans..oh and half a Mexican. Me, of course. Anyway there were Salvadorans, Hondurans (these were the majority), Guatemalans, and  Nicaraguans. I didn’t meet all of them, just the immediate group that I was with-the Hondurans. They were incredibly welcoming and so eager to please, they couldn’t get over the fact that I was a vegetarian. It was killing them; especially, the older ladies. It’s a cultural thing, so when they finally saw me eat something other than fruit, they all celebrated and said “Al fin come!” (“you finally eat!”). This time I’m not exaggerating, they literally jumped up and started clapping. Like I said, it’s a cultural thing.

BudlightThere was so much food and alcohol it was insane. I was good, I didn’t drink…well, okay toward the end of the afternoon I had a few drinks of an ice cold Bud Light. In my defense it was Bud Light, which is honestly just water; so, it shouldn’t be held against me.

The thing that caught me off guard was that none of the adults went into the lake, only the kids did. I went in there for a while, but after having all the kids think it was cool to splash water in my face, I walked out. The thing to do was apparently eat, drink, and just hang out. Ummm, yea that wasn’t happening. I was in the outdoors, we all know what happens when I’m in the outdoors: I want to run, hike, get dirty, explore all that mother nature has to offer. So I left on my own, I was going to do a boat tour of the lake. However, as I was making my way there I noticed that there was a trail ahead; so, off I went. It was beautiful, I have never hiked with flip flops before but there’s always a first time for everything. It’s apparently a 9.5 mile hike, I did about 3.5 or 4 miles. I was running out of water and I was worried that my ankle might not make it back in one piece, remember flip flops and no ankle brace.

As I made my way back, I noticed that a tour boat was about to take off. I ran over and asked what I had to do to get on, the guy sent me to buy a ticket and said he was going to hold the boat for me. Bought my ticket, which was only $5 by the way…not bad. I don’t remember our tour guys name, but he was cute and very friendly, I do remember Shasa though, she was a beautiful German Shepard that was getting socialized as part of her training to become an aquatic dog rescuer? Okay, don’t hold me to this title, but she was in training to become a life guard or um dog. It was so beautiful and peaceful. I will definitely be going back, it is only $6 and you get to stay there as long as you want, well eventually they’ll send your crotchety butt home. But before they do, you can go on a hike or bike ride, then go for a swim in the lake, rent a kayak, or peddle boat, or other type of boats. No food, don’t worry they sell some greasy burgers. Yay for you, not so much for me. I will definitely be going there again before the Summer is over.

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  • Somos Familia: Not sure if you all remember or if my crazy self even mentioned this, Somos Familia: “supports Latino families with children who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ*) and conducts education to create family and community acceptance. The group was started by two mothers to support other families with similar experiences.”  I have been asked to join their speakers bureau and share my story of growing up with a gay father figure. Why? Two reasons: 1) I’m not gay, I didn’t grow up to be gay as many people have the misconceptions that if you are raised by someone that identifies within the LGBTQ community you will be gay too. Oh no honey, that is not the case I love me my men!  2) To explain the importance of speaking about this as a family. I was never told my uncle was gay, I kind of just found out by walking in on him and his partner kissing. My mother thought I knew; thus, she didn’t feel the need to say anything. I was surprised, shocked, and freaked out. What did this mean? What did being gay mean? How would it affect me? Still to this day, my uncle has never talked to me about it.

I’ve also been asked to speak on creating a safe space: we have a loved one in our family whom we believe might be gay or bisexual. But we are not sure; honestly, it is not our place to even question. Consequently, we have decided as a family to let it be, and allow that individual to be or not be whatever they want to be. Either way it doesn’t matter, because there’s love there, and our love for this individual is not based on their sexuality. We don’t talk about it or ask them questions about their identity, we know who they are, their sexual preference bears no weight on the love and support we have for this individual.   Moral of the story is, I met with the coordinator of the organization and I mentioned that I really wanted to start getting involved. I only did the training a while back but haven’t really had the opportunity to dive in. This Friday will be my big break, not sure what I’ll be doing though. I really just want to shadow someone, and see what happens. No two meetings are the same, as all workshops have different themes; moreover, this is no light topic, reactions might not always be positive. But in addition to this, I was also asked to help with the communications aspect of it. I agreed, but told them once school started my schedule might vary and I probably wouldn’t be able to help them as much. But I’m really looking forward to working with this group, one of the founders is a good friend of mine, I actually call her my Bay Area Momma.

  • Fillmore and House! Well many of you knew I had a second job, or what I called the “Fun Job”, well that my friends has come to an end. My time at the “fun job” or the Fillmore as the venue is called, ended as of last Thursday. I had to work Hugh Laurie’s  show first though, I mean it’s F’n HOUSE ya’ll! Funny how my last night turned out to be a long one. But it was all worth it because before I left the building the Universe decided to put me, Hugh, and his sexy accent in the same space. He looked at me, smiled and said “Hi, how are you?” I holding everything I had inside of me not to ask him for a picture, replied with a polite “I’m good thank you!” We all know I secretly wanted to run up to him, hug him, and say: “House I love you, next to Yang and Meredith you are my favorite doctor! Now smile, you sexy-skinny Brit! Cheese!” But no, that’s all I got…wait, he did hold the door open for me. Hey that’s better than what happened when I met Burt Reynolds. I almost killed Burt, all I wanted was a picture with Hugh.

However, what I’ve learned is that one never leaves the Fillmore. I’m working there next Sunday, some rapper guy’s show. I told them I could be on call for when they needed people, but I just can’t be on a schedule. School is starting shortly too, so I was going to quit anyway, I just did it now instead of August.

  • Summer Plans: enjoy lifeI’ve decided that on my time off; hence, this is one of the reasons I left the Fillmore. I want to explore Northern California more, at least the Bay Area. I’ve been living here for four years come this August (primero Dios), and I still don’t know many areas of the Bay. Shit, I haven’t even been to Tilden and that’s close by apparently, so I’ve heard…I know, I suck.

I’m determined to get out there, I’ve already written down some spots and calendared some events.  I want my summer to be about: exploring, loving, living, arts, creativity, earth, and soul. They may just be random words to you, but they are all connected for me. I want to dive in, breathe and experience it all and see what happens. You will bear witness to this, as I will of course chronicle every adventure and every crazy shenanigan I do. Maybe some of my readers might even recommend some must see places or experiences, or better yet you might even join me. Which would be awesome, as long as you are not a creeper, pervert, or nut job. Hey we are all special in our ways, but some are just a bit scarier than others.  I’ll be posting a list of the places I will be attending in the next few days.   I’m really excited about this.  Last Summer found me broken hearted and shit it decided to make it a bit worse. It was one ofscared the hardest summer’s of my life, but here I am a year later. Still standing and raising hell! So this year it’s all about fun and life, no tears, darkness or sadness…unless I’m crying due to laughing too hard or crying because we are all out of wine.

  • Maya Angelou: Unless you were living under a rock last week, we all know that our dear Maya passed away. I must say her passing, really affected me. It’s not as if I knew her, or ever met her. I knew her the same way many of you might have known her: through her work; which, is why I was really surprised by how strongly it affected me. I know, it might sound or be weird, but here’s the thing: when someone of Maya’s capacity passes you cannot help but be affected. Why? Because it puts your life in perspMayaective, at least it did for me. It made me think about my life, am I really doing something to uplift humanity or am I just taking up space? Will I ever be as great as she was? Will I ever get to be the humanitarian that she was? It just makes you think about your place in this world, what is your mark in this world? What legacy will you leave behind?

Yuri was a proud and respected ally of the Black Panthers!

Needless, to say that I thought she was immortal. I never thought she aged; nonetheless, would ever pass. To my reprieve her words will in fact be immortal; however, that relief is minute compared to the great worry that is felt when one realizes that the great teachers and heroes/sheroes of our time are shuffling off the mortal portal.   Speaking of which we lost Yuri Kochiyama on Sunday night, amazing political activist  who fought strongly for social justice after her family was shipped off to an internment  camp during WWII. She was the one that cradled Malcolm X’s head when he was shot and killed. She pushed for Asians to join the Black and Brown struggle, stating that at the end of the day we are one in the same in this racist society.

I share with you my favorite moment and poem of Maya Angelou, if you watch it you’ll know why:

  • #16 Reddick

    #16 Reddick

    Josh Reddick, yea my new crush. I’m not really an A’s fan, but I’m a Reddick fan. He showed up at Martin Luther King, Jr Park for a baseball field dedication. The Foundation in partnership with other organizations and corporations were able to work on the baseball field in Richmond. The kids loved it, he definitely made their Summer.  He did a Q & A with the kids and even played with them. He didn’t; however, which is my only complaint about the guy did a photo-op. Some of the kids would have loved to have taken a picture with him. Shit, who am I kidding I would’ve gotten on that gravy train too, but it wasn’t boarding, he just left. Not cool guy, not cool.  But the guy is cute, he’s 27…that’s not that much of an age difference, is he single I wonder? Is he into larger than life Latinas? Don’t worry folks I’m not a stalker, that requires too much energy and time; furthermore, gas is too expensive.

But Josh, if you happen to be reading this call me? Wait, the guy doesn’t have my number, okay email me or twitter, wait tweet, ugh, who am I kidding…moving on.

  • Her Voice of Courage: I went to this amazing benefit art show on Saturday night. Proceeds from “Her Voice of Courage” benefited Pacific Links Foundation (PALS)’s to honor the bravery of human trafficking survivors in Vietnam. Sounds powerful doesn’t it? It was my dears, it was. I cried, I laughed, meditated, breathed, sang, and danced. It made me take a deep long look within. I heard stories of survivors, and people shared intimate moments of their life that called for courage. It was amazing. It was intoxicating, invigorating, and at the same time, purifying.

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I will admit that as I sat there, for a brief moment I felt weak. I felt that I had in fact no courage, that I was fearful; therefore weak. But my dear and courageous friend Kathleen, quickly snapped me out. She reminded me of things I had taken on, things I had accomplished, and most importantly, things I had left behind. All of these things require some sense of courage, I had it, I was fearful but I still continued on. I realized that comparing my life to those whose stories I was so openly honoring, was not doing me justice and was in reality doing a disservice to all the lessons learned, tears shed, sacrifices made, and most of all to those moments of bliss that come when one has faced one’s fear. I realized that courage might not wear the same gown to every single occasion but it shows up when you need it the most and in the most astonishing of ways.

This event was a perfect tie in to all that has unraveled in the last week in my life. If you notice there’s a commonality in all of those “highlights”. They all involve self-reflection, and self-contemplation. Okay, maybe not the Reddick one, that’s just…well, the guy is yummy looking. Anyway in all seriousness, I did a lot of thinking about me last week. Where am I in life? Am I really happy, am I doing what really makes me happy? Am I surrounded by the right people, am I surrounded by people that make me happy? Am I surrounded by people that see the real me and accept me as I am, do I see the real them? Am I okay with what I see? Am I okay with what they might see?  I have some answers, but for the ones I don’t, I know the  Universe will get back to me. Some answers were easy to come by, other’s weren’t, some were even painful. But that’s just part of being human, as long as I don’t dwell on the bad too damn much I’m okay. Let’s see what unravels, I’m sure it will be an interesting ride.

Well, my dears I think I ranted enough…to think these are just highlights.  Love you long time, and hasta mañana my dears. Don’t do nothing I wouldn’t do, but if you do let me know what you did. Sharing is caring!


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 35: Well, I guess not.


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Note: Hello my beautiful people, this is a delayed post, this is a post for Friday, May 23, 2014. Sorry for the delay but here it is. 

Happy Friday folks!

I’m not expecting to get many hits this weekend, on account of how it’s the long weekend and all, and most of you party people are already out and about doing your thing. While I,as the good girl that I am, sit here, in my pajamas, drinking some hot chamomile tea , as she types away to the beautiful sounds of Johann Pachelbel and his “Canon And Gigue in D major” plays in the background. What a thrilling life I do lead! I’m a wild one! I know it may sound pretty lame, but honestly it’s pretty relaxing. To be honest with you at this point I’m not really sure who I’m trying to convince about my lame Friday night. Am I trying to convince you or myself at this point? Meh!

On the real, I’m really tired. Yesterday, and even this morning I had something totally different planned for today. My evening was going to look something like this:  Run after work, do some core work as soon as I got home, jump in the shower. Now this is where it gets tricky. At this point I was going to decide if I was ballsy enough to make the drive out to San Jose on my own. My friend Tiffany, tagged me in an Instagram post for Seeing Things Gallery in San Jose, they are having a Morrissey Group Show today. See in case I failed to mention this earlier, I love Morrissey. I mean I really, really do love his music. It’s a tie between Elvis and Morrissey for me, can you say swoon!

Hmmm, I’m really not as bad as some folks. I’ve met a few fans that have tattooed something Morrissey related or the hooligan himself tattooed on some body part. Hey, to each it’s own, but not my thing. I actually recently went to San Jose to see…well…Morrissey. It had been two years since I last saw him, and I was hoping for the same experience. Nope, didn’t happen. Those that know him, know he’s “special” which I really don’t mind. I love his music and you have to be “special” to come up with some of those lyrics. But this time around he was off, totally different energy from the last time I saw him. He wasn’t really engaging with the audience, he would turn around and face his drummer during the guitar solo’s, and most importantly he didn’t do a wardrobe change or worse yet he didn’t take off his shirt like he did in San Diego. It was great to hear him sing the music, but it wasn’t a great show. I’m being honest here. I’m sure he getting bum rushed off  stage mid encore didn’t help any either, but you could have done better Morrissey. I still love you, but I know you could have done better.


Okay back to my plans, so I was either going to go to San Jose or check out Jose Antonio Vargas’ film “Documented.”  I was going to do something, I was going to take myself out on a date. Well, at about 3 pm it just all went down hill. For some reason or another I just started feeling really tired, I could barely keep my eyes open. My thermos was dry and I was too lazy to brew a pot.

As if feeling extremely sleepy was not bad enough, I had to finish a project I was working on to make sure the communications piece went out early Tuesday morning as people are logging in to their computers after boozing it up this weekend. Not judging, I speak from experience.

By 5:30 I knew running was not going to happen, but I wanted to make sure I was doing the right thing, so I dialed a friend. I text Theresa and asked her as my workout buddy what she thought I should do, she replied with “Go home, eat, sleep” I replied with “I love you!” Since, I’m a good girl that always does what she’s told, that’s exactly what I did.

Left the office after 6 pm, and got home in 20 minutes! God no! We all know that when we are in a hurry to get home because we have a full bladder or are on the verge of a meltdown on account of how extremely exhausted you are, the Universe likes to mess with you. It took me over an hour to get home, I was on the freeway for about 20 minutes before I got off and took the streets. Yup, an hour on the streets; needless, to say that I even took some side streets as to avoid the main roads. By the time I got home I was cranky, hungry, sleepy, and my bladder was about to burst. Going anywhere was definitely out of the question.

Which I’m okay with, since I have to wake up early tomorrow. I have to be at my friends house at 9 am! Damn, I was hoping to sleep in some, but I guess we are going to wake the lake up and help it get ready for its visitors. It’s moments like these I really do wish I could sleep in a car, but I can’t. For some twisted reason I can’t sleep in any mode of transportation. Sucks big time!  I totally envy those of you that can just hop in a car and clonk out. My mother is one of those, as soon as I start driving, her head starts assimilating those little dog bobble heads that people put on the dashboards, I mean, this lady can just knock out for hours. Jealous.

But I’m sure I’ll rest up at the lake, maybe take a nap there or something. Really looking forward to it. My friend is really excited I’m going, she asked me again today if I was really going. She even asked what I wanted to drink: beer, wine, liquor, I was able to say “no thank you, not drinking” I got to go until June 10th. I’m sure I can hang. I know I can.

So the plan for tomorrow, is get up insanely early try to get a run in before I go. I have to make up today’s miss. I’m not 100% committed to this idea, but I’m going to try. It will help my legs look better, what? Come on you know guys do a few reps before they go out to make sure their ‘guns’ look good. I’m doing the same.

Not that much happening today, sorry for the lame post.


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 34: Plans, Plans, and Pedicures!


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Hello sexy people, I must say I’m pretty darn tired today. Hope your day was better and for those that went out celebrating Thirsty Thursday, hope you had one for me! Still doing the no drinking thing. So far so good, best part, I haven’t had the need to hide any bodies. I think I’m going to be able to do this. Ha!

Today was a good day, I spoiled myself a little. I abide by the philosophy of “there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself to something special every now and then,”  so today was

Summer time!

Summer time!

now. It wasn’t planned but it somehow happened. When I went out on my run  this afternoon, and as I looked on to the incline in front of me, I realized I had to make an important decision: Should I do laundry or get a pedicure after my run. I know, a hard one. But I did what any overworked woman would do: I got’s my toes did.  I even went for a nice Summer color for both my toes and hands, which is something new to me. I usually just do the basics, red for hands or earth tones and tips for toes. But this time I I went crazy.

I had told myself I wasn’t going to get Gel anymore but it’s addicting. Okay, not really but when you have tiny hands you fall in love with anything that makes your hands look grown-up and feminine. Gel does do a number on my nails, but regular polish does not make it through the night. Weird I know but its me, I’ve come to expect weird.

Okay, why am I bringing up a mani and pedi outing? I mean I have before, but this time there’s a reason. It was amazing! No, let’s try that again A-mazing! I was totally blissed out when I left that place. Yes, blissed out! They did some major massaging on my legs and feet, after a run you know this felt like heaven; however, that’s not the best part. Ladies, you know when you get a manicure, they’ll do a hand massage and if you’re lucky their include your forearm? But this went beyond that. She did my entire arm, including my shoulders and neck area. Yes, I pretty much received a massage at the nail place. It felt so darn good, it made me realize that I’m long overdue for a full body massage. I will be adding that to my calendar very soon. If in the East Bay check out Versailles Nail Spa, highly recommended! Tell them I sent you, they’ll have no clue who I am but you’ll get the ball rolling on my celebrity status.

That mini massage was just what I needed, because I was about to go (lawd I cringe just to think about it) bathing suit shopping (enter doomsday music here). I was invited to the lake by a friend (I don’t know which one, it’s somewhere by Livermore- I think) with her family and a group of friends. At first I wasn’t sure about going, because I only know her and her son, and he’s 2 so he doesn’t really count. Not saying that in a bad way, but at 2 kids would rather hug a cactus than sit and hang out with an adult they’ve seen once or twice in their short life. But I decided I would go, it’s the long weekend why stay in?

Moving on, I decided I needed to get a new bathing suit. The one I had is extremely old and well pretty much falling apart. By old I mean, I bought it when I was still living in El Salvador. I was about 16 or 17. I know, I know, but unlike the movie I have a hard time letting go. I still can’t believe I took it with me to Costa Rica; furthermore, surprised nobody made fun of me. The intention was to buy one, but I took a look in the swimwear department and saw a bunch of two pieces and I kept it moving. Yup, that’s how I roll!

My old bathing suit, hanging tough in beautiful Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

My old bathing suit, hanging tough in beautiful Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica.

This time I was prepared, I convinced or begged Theresa to go with me. I think I was so desperate that at one point in our text conversation I tried to bribe her with candy. I needed her there for moral support; particularly, I needed her there to help me pick one out. Like I said it had been over a decade the last one I bought was plain, a purple, one piece Speedo. But now as Theresa put it “I’m a grown up” for those of you that don’t understand this concept it pretty much means: I need something more “piña coladas at the pool bar” and less “floties and rubber duckies”. I am happy to say that after taking 9 pieces of swimwear to the fitting room, I am extremely happy with my final decision. It says “screw piña colada’s I’m a martini kind of girl” but since, I’m not the ‘sit and look pretty’ kind of girl, it will hold up nicely when I get in the water. Plus, it kindda goes with my rockabilly style.

These are one of the 2 shorts I own. Cascadas, El Salvador.

These are one of the 2 shorts I own. Cascadas, El Salvador.

Oh and I also bought me some jean shorts. This is big too. I don’t really wear shorts, I wear dresses but for some reason I think my legs are not suitable for shorts. But with Theresa’s support I bought me a pair, they are shorter than bermuda which is usually what I wear (usually is an exaggeration because I really don’t wear them, I only have 2 anyway), but they didn’t look too terrible. I got my outfit for the lake. I totally forgot the tanning lotion but I’ll be looking flawless as a burn to a crisp.

So, in yesterday’s post I mentioned that I was discussing my travel plans. I think I’ve made you suffer long enough, I’ll go into more detail. However, at this point I don’t have much, it is still in the planning stages. Actually, those of you that have been following my blog since I began with UTBS know that I was thinking of going to Europe at the end of the year, well my dears “thinking about it” has now evolved to “definitely going.”

We will be heading out at the end of the year, after the end of our school semester. I will of course be traveling with my traveling buddy-Ms. Sandra. She and I have gone everywhere together: Road trip to Seattle and NYC for example. We travel well together, she knows I’m like a baby and have to eat every three hours and I get hissy if I don’t have my caffeine. I know she does not do mornings, so when we are up extremely early I have to limit my word count-in this case less is better. So far we are thinking of going to England, France, Italy, Spain, and maybe Ireland.

I know amazeballs, right? It cost a lot of money to get out there, so we are planning on making it worth it. We’ve agreed to make a list of the places we want to visit, then we will narrow it down to the must see places. So far this is my list:

England: London

Nicholas who?

Nicholas who?


  • Globe theater-I’m an English major (so is she, so she’s cool with this), I feel I will be doing my major a disservice if I don’t watch at least one Shakespeare play. Plus I love Shakespeare, I mean the guy was a total genius! 
  • Art Museum- I love museums, they are a must see for whenever I travel. 
  • Highclere Castle-what? this is the castle were they film one of my favorite shows “Downton Abbey” 
  • I would love to do a Jane Austin tour, they have these. I’ve checked. 
  • Liverpool-this is for sure making the list, Sandra’s a hardcore Beatles Fan. I’m okay with this I like them too, not as much as her, but it’s the F’n Beatles! Plus, I’m more than likely making her go to Graceland with me. 

France: Paris

  • Eiffel Tower-definitely on the list.
  • James Morrison’s grave-I’m sure she will be okay with this, I made her go with me to check out Bruce Lee’s when we went to Seattle. You know we went to Hendricks’ too. 
  • Paris Disney-definitely on the list. No secret I love Disneyland; thus, this is a must. 
  • Art museum

Italy: not sure yet, it’s looking like Rome. 

  • Museums, ohhhh this would be heaven…if I can’t get any other museum in any of the other countries, it is a MUST in Rome. This is the birthplace of Baroque art, which is my favorite type of art. 
  • The Vatican-hey I was raised Catholic, I’m curious
  • The Domes: The Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica

    It's a must

    It’s a must

  • Piazzale Garibaldi 
  • Trevi Fountain 
  • We must ride a Vespa. Not sure why but when I think of Rome, I think Vespa. 

Spain: Not sure if we are going to Madrid or Barcelona. 

Ireland: Dublin

  • Guinness Storehouse-this is a must!
  • Trinity College- that’s Oscar Wilde’s stomping ground. 
  • St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Christ Church. If I only get one, I will choose St. Patricks. Jonathan Swift was chancellor here, plus this is where Handel’s “Messiah” was first performed in the late 1700’s. If that’s not enticing enough, the Knights of St. Patricks started here, f’n Knights! These were the nights that protected the church, not a King, but the Church, so you know they were ruthless (depends what history book you choose to believe). But knights just do it for me, just as Samurais. 

Again, these spots are the places I would love to visit. We are going for 2 or 3 weeks so we don’t have a lot of time and will most likely not see it all. But something is better than nothing, know what I’m sayin’?

I so can’t wait, delicious pastries, cheese’s and wine! We cannot forget the wine. We have come to one agreement: NO DIETS ON THIS TRIP! As I told her: “I will not eat meat, but I will eat wheat!” The lesser of two evils.

We are also planning a road trip to Vegas in August, not a road trip you say? It is when it will take you 10 freaking hours to get there instead of 3 or 4, which is how long it would take when we lived in LA. But I’m looking forward to it, making sure we take the scenic route, going through Yosemite Park, not Bakersfield. Sorry, for those of you that are from Bakersfield, but…you know…yea, I’m sorry you live in Bakersfield. I tried but nothing came-sorry.

Want to know the crazy thing? We are thinking of going to Japan in December of 2015. I tell you we like to travel. El Salvador is also on my radar for next year, so I might have more than one big trip.

Exciting! I can’t wait! I think this will be a perfect way to end my first graduate semester. I’ll fill you in on how we are planning on doing this, on a starving student budget tomorrow.

Sidenote: Theresa informed me that we missed the June registration for Crossfit, so the next one is July. Sad, I know…but I’m still doing my thing and we are both committed to starting Crossfit so it will happen. Maybe we will have to find another gym or something. I don’t know but Crossfit is happening. 

I know most of you will go out tomorrow (Friday night), remember alcohol makes everyone look sexy. So drink up, and remember to grab your undies as you do the walk of shame on your way out!

Stay sexy!


Under the Berkeley Skies-Day 33: Crossfit my POV


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Sorry I’m late posting this, but I got caught up planning and talking about some future travel plans. You’ll just have to read Day 34 to find out more on that. mhuahahahaha (this is my version of an evil laugh). 

Hello my beautiful people,

How was your Wednesday? Mine was pretty chill. It actually felt like a long day, it did drag a bit towards the end. But I’m sick so that might have a lot to do with it.

As you may recall from yesterday’s post, I’m thinking or wait scratch that my friend Theresa and I are going to start doing the Crossfit thingcrosfit-scary. Not sure why but every time I think of Crossfit, I keep imagining a buff girl. I know she’s just in my head, but she does scare me a little.

Anyway, so she read my post and answered a few of my doubts. She also sent me an article “What to expect at your first Crossfit Workout”  Hmmm, I’ll tell you what I expect:

Them: Muscle, groaning, pecks bigger than my boobs, high fives, and a lot of “oh yea’s” and “killed it”.  Muscle, crossfit-scary2muscle, and more muscle! 

Me: Tears, hate, pain, and possibly even some projectile vomit. My poor wobbly bits will be shaking as they are asked to “lift” and I have no choice but to “lift” because I don’t want to look like a weakling. I imaging all the Crossfitters standing there looking at the new recruits, laughing and cracking jokes at how ‘we’re not fit to do Crossfit’ Some might even be taking bets as to who will stick around the longest. I could hear them now “ Her, with the pomp, first one out” Yes, they are looking at me. I don’t care because I’m secretly thinking “Wtf? He wants me to do what with the what now? A pull up? Has he seen what I have to  pull up? Ummm, maybe I should turn around and say ‘you expect to pull this up?’ Do they not know that I’m here to work on my upper body strength? what if I do one and call it day? Would that be embarrassing? One is one! One is a big deal for me…ugh, why couldn’t we just do Zumba like normal people? Theresa did say she was open to Yoga, maybe…wait now they want me to do what? Oh hell no, they are out of their ever-lovin’ mind! Damn! They are looking at me, I guess they really want me to do it, hmmm, could I fake a seizure? No. It could really happen and then what? What about…? Oh, yay good for you Theresa you did it. Twat! Why are we friends again? “Friends”, now that was a funny bunch, I think Ross would be the one guy to try Crossfit. No, Monica she was the competitive one. LOL! Remember that episode when they signed up at the gym? Wait, what? Now what? Oh, yea…this! Fine, I’ll do it biatches!” 

And scene.

Well, if he's there...

Well, if he’s there…

It might seem like a combination of “GI Jane”,”Fight Club”, and Freaks and Geeks”, but this is what I imagine. I’m probably being slight bit unrealistic, but I’m being honest with how intimidated I am by this Crossfit thing. But that does not mean I’m not up for the challenge. The fact that it intimidates me makes me want to try it even more, actually because it intimidates me I have to try it.

Plus, I know me. I know my competitive side will kick in and it will help me push through.  Furthermore, I know I will become addictive once I start seeing results. I always do.

So this is what I learned from this article:

  1. They are not going to kill us immediately. That is if we have the proper trainers. They will teach us the fundamentals and mechanics first, then we will work on intensity. But this doesn’t mean we won’t be working hard, which makes sense. You are always sore after you try some kind of new workout, you are working on parts of your body you probably didn’t know existed. At least that’s the case for me.
  2. There is 9 fundamental movements in this Crossfit jazz: “..these moves are: air squat (without the bar), front squat, overhead squat, shoulder press, push press, push jerk, deadlift, sumo deadlift high pull and medicine ball clean.”  Apparently all these movements are rooted in everyday life.” HP article. Hmmm, I’m going to have to check them out. When I was hardcore I did shoulder and push press’, so I think I’m good. By ‘I think I’m good’ I mean: I won’t be scared shitless when they ask me to do it. Not that I’m a pro and I’ll be pressing 100 pounds on my first try.
  3. A good coach and good gym are extremely important. Or should I say ‘box’. Apparently, that’s what they (crossfiters) call the gym. Apparently, it’s four walls (duh) with no fancy showers or flat screens (darn). Just sweat, tears, machines, and muscles.
  4. The workouts are referred to as ‘WODs’ as per the HP article: “CrossFit workouts vary by day, and as such they are called the WOD, or workout of the day. Some gyms create their own. Others use the daily routine posted on” Hmm, so does that mean I could workout at home if I have to? I don’t think I would; since, I wouldn’t want my downstairs neighbors thinking their roof is going to cave in from all the jumping. But I think it’s good to know.
  5. This is the most important thing: Anyone can do Crossfit, but Crossfit isn’t for everyone.

    I'll get back to you on this one

    I’ll get back to you on this one

So, I think I’m ready. I’m still not sure when we will start; however, I’m thinking, we will be enrolled by June.

Trying to avoid this

Trying to avoid this

Is it weird that I’m actually starting to train for Crossfit? I just want to build up my endurance levels. I’m not going crazy and trying to liftboulders or anything, I’m just pushing myself a little more when I’m out running. Well, I did today. Plus, I’m doing a few reps with my 15 pounders, but nothing major. I know its nothing compared to what they do their, but I don’t want my body to be like “what the hell girl?” Yes folks, my body is pretty darn sassy, I have no clue where it gets it from-go figure!

Side note: I’ve been asked if I still juice, I do. I’ve just changed a few of the ingredients a bit. Every morning except for Sunday ( I allow myself a good yummy breakfast preferably with pancakes.) I start my day with a juice. If I find myself with no fruits or veggies (rare but it does happen), I start my day with some yummy coconut milk and wheat free oatmeal. I no longer drink Soy milk, I like Coconut milk better (unsweetened, of course), plus, it has way more protein than soy.

This weeks juicing ingredients:  

  • 8 oz. organic unsweetened pineapple juice
  • 2 celery stalks (organic) 
  • 4 baby carrots (organic) 
  • 1 cup mix of kale and baby spinach (both organic)
  • 2 scoops of True Vitality plant protein shake (Vanilla flavored)

Keep up the sexiness!