No journal, no gold

Well Blog Land, I did not have the heart to NOT talk to my mother on Father’s Day – as it seemed she was having a hard time telling from one person to the next due to her already peaked anxiety of, you know – being brown and with an accent in this country. So, yes, we did speak but mostly at the table as we passed food to each other. However, I made sure she know I did not forget about my journal. She promises she doesn’t know where it is, but I know that promises don’t mean crappadoodledoo in this crazy family.

I politely sat beside her during Father’s Day breakfast, asked her to pass the yogurt and strawberries in a calming voice. Lucky for her my aunt’s boyfriend was there. He annoys me beyond all reason. He pretends to be an all knowing God-Man who is the epitome of class and karaoke competitions. My aunty loves him for some reason, and being that I am now thirty – I can’t simply sabotage a relationship based on weird vibes I get from people. No, no – that’s the eleven year old inside of me. Now, I just make sure I battle him on strictly Feminist issues, as they also pertain to my aunty’s role in his kitchen. She doesn’t mind, it makes her laugh actually. Thanks to him, my mom did not receive my anger to the fullest of its capacities that day. Thanks to the boyfriend, I only got to see my gramps for 1 hour on Father’s Day. What a d*ck.

Anyway, after my aunty left with my gramps and God-Man, my mother asked me if she had left her golden earrings at the house two weeks ago. I have not seen any golden earrings, but if I do — that will be my ransom.

“You want your gold? Give me back my Ireland journal, mother.”

She hates it when I call her mother. It always reminds her of the first part of the curse word. She nods nervously, and walks away to the living room where my stepfather sat alone. After Mexico lost, he has little interest for soccer.

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Rebellion, long overdue

Maybe I will become her someday. Maybe in 2027/8 I will enter my teenage child’s room and think — What the hell? I will read her diary!   Then I will shamelessly sit on their bed and read the passages of their most private thoughts for my entertainment. Maybe, just maybe I’ll be able to understand my mother that day. I will be in my forties and feel justified because i had birthed this creature, and their writing would somehow reveal things about myself. Maybe…

…OR MAYBE NOT!

Blog Land, earlier this week my little brother (who just turned sixteen) sent me a picture of a journal I purchased in Ireland in 2011. It was a journal to keep me on track with my novel, to write down my feelings about my weirdo roommates, to go into my deepest corners of my brain and ponder – logic vs. art and possibly even sex. And all those things that happen to a young woman when she is an older student stuck with a bunch of people who have just graduated from their nine-teens.

My journal, which I wrote in religiously when I was studying abroad was now in the hands of the most frustrating teenager in my life right now. Today while visiting my mother, I sat on the couch happy as a clam as I had forgotten the entire incident (thank you forgetful brain). My brother leaned over me and whispered in my ear, “So Lis, just to let you know. Mom found the journal. I caught her reading it out loud in the living room one morning. I tried to get it back. Then sat there and proceeded to read it for the next thirty minutes.”

Blog Land, my skin crawled from head to toe. I was in complete disgust with both my brother and mother, but (also) slightly impressed that my brain had somehow pushed the fact that my brother was in possession of the journal out, to make room for the huge plate of spaghetti I had just downed moments before.

Okay – so one thing you should know about me is that for most of my life, I was raised by my father. My mother and I have hardly had a real mother-daughter during my teenage years. Meaning, I was never rebellious with her, really. I was a pretty good kid because, well, I rarely saw her.

So there I was, trying to watch the Peru vs. Venezuela Copa America match and my brother tells me this. I face him and ask, “Where is it?” He doesn’t know. She took it away and accused him of being creepy — then in turn become creepy herself by reading my work.

Mom had just stepped out to the garage to say bye to family, I went out to meet her.

Me: You read my Ireland journal?

Mom: What? He’s making it up! I didn’t!! (In a Peruvian accent)

Me: Oh, really?

Mom: I couldn’t get through most of it anyway, you write like a three year old!

Me: A-HA! You did read it! You read it!! This is why I DON’T LIVE WITH YOU!!!!

I stormed back into the house like a rattled child and realized I was having a rebellious outburst. The pseudo-therapist living in my brain spoke to me: Your delayed rebellion is a direct outcome to the fact that your mother was absent during your teenage years. 

This thought interrupted my walking back to the living room. I shook it off. I had a goal and no pretend psychobabble was going to get in my way.

This means war.

I continued to the living room and walked into my brothers room. He was quickly behind me.

Me: Where is it?

Him: I don’t know, she took it from me!

I grabbed two of his favorite video games and disconnected a chord.

Me: Where IS IT? (I began to look through his drawers.)

Him: Why are you doing this?! (He blurted out nervously eyeing his discs.)

Me: This is what it feels like to invade someone’s privacy, but at least I have the decency to do it right in front of YOU!

After being able to get more information out of him, I returned his games one at a time as means to get out of his room — for he had eventually held me hostage due to his babies being in my grasps.

I tried to look for this journal in nooks and crannies to no avail. I go to my mother’s room, but no luck. My boyfriend yells from the living room, “Perú made a goal, you missed it!”

My blood boils.

My brother walks into the room, “Do you have my chord?”

Yes, I did. I had it stuffed in my pocket in case I had more questions. He called me sneaky and said it wasn’t fair that I was punishing him for mom’s creepiness.

Me: Listen to me right now, I have this to get information from you.

Him: It’s not fair.

Me: Lesson one: this is called ransom. (I held the chord up high.)

Him: Not fair…

Me: Like I said, it’s called ransom. I need you to deliver a message to Mother.

Him: Will I get my chord back?

Me: Yes.

Him: Okay, then…

Me: You tell her, that I am vowing not to speak to her until I get my Ireland journal back. She needs to present it to me at the Father’s Day Breakfast this Sunday. If she doesn’t have it with her, I will NOT talk to her the entire time. And I capable of this, she knows I am because she did part-raise me as a child. I know crazy.

Him: Oh man! Mom’s going to hate me …

Me: Not my problem. Will you deliver the message?

Him: Yes…

I handed him the chord.

Him (Continued): You’re so sneaky.

I walk out and watch the rest of the game. My brother goes to his room and continues to play his video games again. He always underestimates how incredibly bored I am, but I work from home – I have time to scheme!

I waited for him to be out of ear shot and started laughing. My boyfriend sat there and just stared at me. You want another teenager mom? You got one.

More on this journal story on Sunday.   Let’s see if she has the guts to deny me my literature. This rebellion, is long overdue.

#mysoapoperalife

Midnight Post 3 aka food for thought

You know that part in the book The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, written by the ever-fabulous Dr. Seuss, when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes? Well, it has happened. I have matured by three tiny levels tonight in a way I have never before. Okay, the truth is I’ve been on this “growing-up” kick for a while now, but tonight I feel like all the things I have been challenging through have been paying off. I would like to share some of these discoveries with you. Just know, that this is all based on my personal experiences. Everybody is different. But if it can help a few fellow artists out there, then good! So here’s the deal writers and artists alike:

1. Take your art seriously because if you don’t, nobody else will.

2. Be responsible. If you know events are coming up in just a few weeks – don’t be wimpy and do things the last minute. Prepare, prepare, prepare! Better to be over prepared then have things falling apart during your events. In fact, in the film industry (when I used to work in it) we had this saying, “Have a back-up for your back-up.” It’s no joke.

3. Don’t be a flake. Do not expect people to come to your music concerts, fundraisers, food events, screenings, readings when you do not invest into that person/community. Give more–take less, in the end it’s most rewarding. You develop as an artist, plus, the more things you go to — the more you get to network!   Get out of your comfort zone already.

4. Write your mom. It’s good karma. If you don’t have a mom, write someone dear to your heart who has seen you grow up and develop.

5. NEVER–and I mean NEVER FORGET TO SAY THANK YOU. To those who have helped you, supported you, stood by you, loved you while you were on your path to self-discovery as an artist. These are the people worth keeping around.

6. I’ve learned that the people I feel the most awkward/uncomfortable/defensive with — are the people I usually have the most in common with. Do not ignore yourself. Great work can come out of these awkward encounters sometimes.

7. It’s okay to have your downs, just as long as you appreciate them as much as your highs. I get very creative during my lows, so use that depressing time wisely peeps.

8. Remember that what you create, whether it is a piece of writing, a canvas full of paint, or a song — you are impacting some type of energy around you. This energy can be a single person. It can be a community. It can be the self. Be bold and brave, but know that there are always consequences to your creations.

In my short life, I have found that everything is balanced. Therefore, after something really bad happens — I look forward to something really good happening. And when something really good happens, I TRY to make peace with the likelihood of something bad happening. Because good and bad are irrelevant. It’s all about how you take it into your being and your creations as a writer/artist/performer/ etc. etc. etc.

Just know that the bad is just like the good: fairies, fantasies, and farts. Everything is ephemeral.

Long live Art.

Writer’s Block

I’ve got a case of the writer’s block y’all. It’s really starting to freaking annoy me. I’ve started about five posts, stopped mid sentence, and said to myself, “This is SH*T!”     So today, Reader, I ran away from my temporary home (my mom’s house) and came to my favorite hole in the wall in Temple City: Boba Express. It’s a quaint boba/coffee shop next to an old fashioned barber shop on Las Tunas Drive. A fun escape from all that is…well, familiar. Also, a good forty five to fifty miles away from my mother’s place. I love my mom, but sometimes she…well, sometimes she wants grandchildren and since I am not able to provide her with such right now, she focuses on making me look pregnant by feeding me all types of delicious greasy Peruvian stuff. I ran away. Away I ran.

I’m here now, drinking a Coconut Milk Tea Boba and chilling in the shade. Every now and then a gentle breeze comes through the back door and caresses my face. It’s a nice feeling. A very nice feeling, especially because the San Fernando Valley feels like the surface of the sun today! Aren’t we supposed to be getting rain soon? Gah…

Anyways, back to the reason I am writing (my personal drama). I think I have writer’s block because I am genuinely concerned about my future with writing. I mean, what do you plan on doing with your life? Writing? What does that mean? What are you writing about? Blah blah! And then there’s my novel. Is it based on a character, or are you trying to write an anthem? It’s like I’m getting spooked out of my own creativity.

Mainly, the most haunting question looming in the corners of my brain is WILL I HAVE A CAREER IN WRITING? Will I? Sometimes I tell myself that as long as I keep writing, and as long as I work through the writers block — something good will come out of it.     I should just keep venting to this blog because at least in my head, I know there’s some crazy a$$ woman out there who is also obsessed with aliens and afraid of writing about what she loves.

But you know what Reader? I’ve been hard on myself. I think we writers can sometimes be too much. We want to take a big bite, and sometimes, we’re not ready for the big bite. I think right now I have to take smaller bites, chew comfortably until the right answers emerge in my mouth like fun little flavors in a chocolate bar. Flavors that will inevitably settle down to give me the right answers. My imagination runs away from me sometimes, and in my naivete I came here to day, to this boba place to escape. I thought, maybe if I run after it to Boba Express, me and my creativity might meet up. I’d be like, Hey Creativity, it’s been a while. Come have  seat with me! Then I would proceed to swallow my creativity in order to trap it inside of me always. She hasn’t shown up. No luck! However, I am enjoying this refreshing drink.

Sometimes, Reader, I forget to celebrate the small things in life. These small things are what make us who we ARE: weird a$$ people with awkward social skills to boot.

I mean, right now I have an audience of about one to four on a daily basis. Isn’t that enough? Why must I be such a selfish little Peruvian creeper? As long as I reach some, that should be enough, for now. The point is to connect with a reader, Reader. Am I right? Tell me if I’m wrong.

No you’re not wrong! (<–talking to myself again) Damn straight. We writers need to take pride in our small successes and work through the things that discourage us to continue our progress. Life sometimes can interrupt our flow: bills, rent, work, drama, rejections, relationships, alien abductions, etc. These things can chip away at our soul on a daily basis, but in the end — we have to do it. We have to write. I’ve had writer’s block for about five days now—and quite frankly, it’s gross. Like, I want to throw up at how much time my creativity has decided to be away from me. It’s probably because I bragged about working on the third chapter of my novel to someone a few days ago. I have instant karma like that—but whatever. I should celebrate the fact that at least I started five posts with five unfinished sentences the past five days. That’s how Hemingway did it anyways (or at least that was a rumor I heard). He would stop writing his pieces mid sentence, in order to have something to complete the next day.  That’s a good tactic. Now time to work through the block. Ugh, this is so painful.