31 August 2005

Laissez les bon temps rouler...

The Big Easy. RIP . . .

Out here in SF, we are somewhat isolated from the truth - from what is actually happening. We see the escalating gas prices and complain to our co-workers.

This is what is happening:

1. Looting. Not just grocery stores, clothing stores and other dry goods stores. Huge walmarts have been completely emptied. Gun stores cleaned out. There is already violence amongst those still in New Orleans, but now there are gangs armed with AK-47s. People mugging, raping and using violence to get what everyone else is after: food, water, dry clothes, shoes. This is true desperation.

2. Flooding. Not just homes, businesses. But football stadiums are filled with water. Dirty, disease-ridden, waste-contaminated water. Jails are flooded out, the inmates taken to one section of the flooded out I-10, and placed between the floodwaters on one side and guards on the other.

3. Southern Louisiana is bayou and swamp country. Poisonous snakes and crocodiles can now swim the streets. My cousin, working for the Louisiana Department of Wildlife & Fisheries, has been sent to New Orleans with his boat to help round up these animals.

4. The weather: New Orleans at any time of year is humid 90-100%, and especially right now, HOT. There is no clean drinking water, no power, no shelter, to escape the heat and humidity.

5. Poverty rate. About 30% of New Orleans' population were leaving at or below poverty level. People who had verylittle or nothing to begin with, now have even less.

6. No mobility, no exit. People are trapped, many of them sick (diabetic, heart problems) and most dehydrated and without food. It's terribly hard to organize and physically difficult to navigate the flooded streets to actually reach the people that need to be rescued. There is a mandatory evacuation of New Orleans, but people don't know HOW to get out! It's impossible. They are DESPERATE to get out, but there is NO where to go and no means.

I could go on and on. People stranded, the losing battle of the police against the crime, the death toll, as yet to even be considered - there is just too much else to do. I do not mean for this to be a doomsday message. But this is the reality at this moment on the Gulf Coast.

I had some family members evacuate New Orleans before the storm hit. They are safe, and - PRAISE GOD - there is family in East Texas and Northern Louisiana to take care of them. But, they don't know if they'll ever get a chance to go home, or if that home even exists anymore.

Pray, people. Click here to help.

28 August 2005


Wow. I just returned from an amazing concert at the Shoreline Ampetheatre.

First of all, it was the perfect day - clear skies, warm and just a hint of breeze. I met my friend, JG, at Serramonte mall. He lives in Daly City, so we met and then drove one car (his) down to San Jose. Outside of salsa class, and the occasional club outing, I've not gotten to spend a lot of time with JG. We had a lot of fun -- lots of laughter, learing new vocab, musica and yes, dancing (and that was just in the car ride down! lol).

Concert lineup:
1. Chayanne. Latin pop/rock. AMAZING. This guy can move and sing like no one's business. He had so much energy, and was so fun to watch. Of course, all the women went crazy when he came on stage (boy is goooood lookin'). His music was fun, lively, with a ballad or two thrown in, for good measure. All encapsulated in a lithe, leather pants-clad, stage-commanding presence. A captivating peformer.

2. Alejandro Fernandez. Traditional Mariachi and then some. JG had made a point of telling me on the way down that Alejandro was probably going to be the most popular at the concert, due to the majority Mexican crowd. I thought the girls went wild for Chayanne.

I was mistaken.

The stage is set - 15 or so mariachi. Then, enter the singer. Alejandro has one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. Strong, clear, and so easy sounding from the top to bottom. I bet he can sing anything! He was (I would venture to say) the crowd favorite. I was surrounded by voices - everyone knew all the words to his whole set. It was actually frustrating for me, because I wanted to join in, too. The music was moving and very passionate. The energy he put off on stage was unbelievable. Women threw their underwear at him (no joke!).

3. Marc Anthony. Salsa. Those people out there that say Marc is riding on J Lo's fame? They're crazy. He is a frigtenly good performer, crowd-worker and musician. He had so much fun on stage, and we the audience had a lot of fun. Hot hot salsa, amazing back up musicians, and limitless energy made for an exciting show.

Everyone was on their feet for the whole concert. It was THAT good...I had a wonderful time!

Notable story: We got back to JG's truck after the concert, and were about to leave, when he realized he was practically out of gas! After waiting for the stop-and-go situation to clear for about an hour, we took off, and found a gas station JUST in the nick of time.

25 August 2005

Road trip pictures

Here are a couple pictures from my trip to Santa Fe a couple weeks ago. I was going to blog about the whole weekend, but decided instead to try posting the first ever photos on my blog!

1. Leaving Santa Fe. The sky is amazing in New Mexico:

2. Just north of the CO/NM border lie the ruins of The Morley Church.

23 August 2005

Birthday:July 11, 1979
Birthplace:Denver, CO
Current Location:San Francisco, CA
Eye Color:Blue
Hair Color:"blond"
Right Handed or Left Handed:Right
Your Heritage:euro-mix
The Shoes You Wore Today:Black franco sarto flats - standard work shoe
Your Weakness:books, cd's & foreign men (ha! j/k-but not really..)
Your Fears:ET. tripping on stage.
Your Perfect Pizza:mushrooms, olives, pesto, feta & spinach
Goal You Would Like To Achieve This Year:sucessful audition season
Your Most Overused Phrase On an instant messenger:ack
Thoughts First Waking Up:"Scheisse! I'm running late already!"
Your Best Physical Feature:Eyes
Your Bedtime:Should be 11; on average, midnight
Your Most Missed Memory:time spent with my grandparents
Pepsi or Coke:Diet Vanilla Coke or Diet Wild Cherry Pepsi
MacDonalds or Burger King:neither
Single or Group Dates:depends on the guy...
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea:Lipton
Chocolate or Vanilla:chocolate
Cappuccino or Coffee:cappucino
Do you Smoke:NO
Do you Swear:i prefer foreign swear words
Do you Sing:OH yes.
Do you Shower Daily:Yes. But not necessarily wash my hair.
Have you Been in Love:yes
Do you want to go to College:Spent 7 years in institutions of higher learning
Do you want to get Married:yes
Do you belive in yourself:usually
Do you get Motion Sickness:only in centrifuge-like amusement rides
Do you think you are Attractive:sure
Are you a Health Freak:sometimes
Do you get along with your Parents:yes. they are great & weird
Do you like Thunderstorms:yes!
Do you play an Instrument:voice & piano. used to play trombone & handbells
In the past month have you Drank Alcohol:yes
In the past month have you Smoked:NO
In the past month have you been on Drugs:NO. Well, allergy meds
In the past month have you gone on a Date:yes
In the past month have you gone to a Mall:no
In the past month have you eaten a box of Oreos:no
In the past month have you eaten Sushi:yes. mmm. california rolls..
In the past month have you been on Stage:no...but gearing up for auditions this month
In the past month have you been Dumped:no
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping:no
In the past month have you Stolen Anything:no
Ever been Drunk:once (bourbon street...)
Ever been called a Tease:yes
Ever been Beaten up:only stage combat
Ever Shoplifted:no
How do you want to Die:peacefully & quickly
What do you want to be when you Grow Up:opera singer. performer. linguist. wife. all.
What country would you most like to Visit:somewhere latin. and I am in love with France.
In a Boy/Girl..
Favourite Eye Color:Dark
Favourite Hair Color:Dark
Short or Long Hair:just no buzz cuts or flat tops, please
Height:5'10" and up. (I'm tall, you know!)
Best Clothing Style:whatever makes you feel confident
Number of Drugs I have taken:prescription only
Number of CDs I own:too many to count
Number of Piercings:just ears. but eyebrow piercings are sexy
Number of Tattoos:i don't have any, but have not ruled them out
Number of things in my Past I Regret:not a lot


19 August 2005

Small World

This afternoon, after work, and before heading off to teach diction here, I had some time to kill. I went to the wonderfully italian Emporio Rulli on Union Square for some tea (I know! Of all things, I should've had the espresso, but I'm trying not to drink so much coffee!).

I sat outside, going over the nights' lesson, when two tourists asked to share my table. They were whispering in German, and I just couldn't resist. I asked "Woher kommen sie?" and they started and just couldn't believe that some random american addressed them in Deutsch. Turns out they were visiting from Bavaria, and were travelling around the Bay and yosemite. The man's English was much better than my German, and we had a funny conversation flowing between the two languages. They were nice folks.

Act II: post diction class. I'm walking down O'Farrell, and I pass a crepe shop. Having not eaten yet, and smelling the delicious scents wafting from the open door, I stop in. Turns out this is no imitation crepe place -- it's the real deal! I ask for a "crepe complete", and the girl behind the counter shoots me a double take, and asks me if I'm French. Anywho...we start talking en francais, and totally have this fun connection for the next 10 minutes. I will definately go back for another crepe, but also just to chat!

In more news...my recent trip to Santa Fe was great fun. I'll post more about that later. Now, it's bedtime.

(NB: AZ-I've been cleaning in my closet!!!)

04 August 2005

You know...

...that feeling you get when you're in the presence of someone and you just are yourself? Good side, bad side, stupid side, funny side, serious side, brain-fart side, etc etc? Someone who sees it all and still likes you (in spite of/because of) all of those things. That level of comfort with another human being is special, and I am blessed to have some relationships like that in my life.

This weekend, I had the chance to reconnect with someone very dear to me, whom I'd not seen in 5 years. It didn't feel like five years had gone by, but maybe only 6 months. I hadn't forgotten that rapport, but was a little stunned to have it back (in person) after so long.

Thank God for modern communication technology, as this friend lives in North Carolina, and *you know what?* 3,000 miles is a lot of distance!

(*that was just for you, AZ*)