Not so posh, ni tan fresita

I have an ability to speak a posh standardized form of English when desired but not so much in Spanish.  I have more formal education in English, my Spanish while my first language is very informal, and rather unsophisticated in some circles.   My lack of poshness in Spanish or as we’d say ‘fresita’ has been noted while Felipe has visited the last few days.  Felipe a Colombian friend and I were once skyping and a Mexican friend (who had unlike me attended wealthy prep schools in Mexico) overheard our conversation and when it ended noted that Felipe spoke “muy culto, muy fino” (very cultured, very refined) and then asked how it was he tolerated my country-bumpkin way of speaking.  He wasn’t the last to make note of it and I do in fact speak like someone from the rural mountains of Mexico, or the non-standard/élite form of speaking.  It is odd how self-conscious I have been about the “poshness” of my Spanish, the last few days.  Felipe hasn’t made me feel this way, in fact he has complimented my way of speaking but I know that unlike with English, it is much more difficult for me to have levels of sophistication (for a lack of a better adjective) in Spanish.

elenamary y felipe

Christmas Shopping

If you are going to shop for gifts might as well get them from some lefty feminist awesome people who sell really cool stuff and so I give you two cool options, that are independently owned by people I can vouch are super good to the core.

1. Microcosm Publishing–an independent publisher of a lot of radical cool books, zines, stickers, shirts.  I will be purchasing multiple copies of Bikenomics on the economics of bicycles (impact and cost/benefit to society) to give as a gift.  The cool thing about Microcosm is they also have “Super Packs” between$15-$90 (most run about $20) you can get a goody bag full of media tailored to your interests, each bag has multiple books and/or films, and stickers.  For example Super Pack Comix includes multiple comic books and stickers for $20; Super Pack Gardening, includes 3 books and 3 zines for $20; Super Pack: A life of Adventure , four books on the adventures of wanderlusts also $20.  This is what is so wonderful, you just pick a theme related to the person you are shopping for or email them and they can help you tailor a them and wham bam an original and recipient tailored gift.

2.  Amorphia Apparel (or as I like to refer to it ‘Nerd Clothing’) .  I’ve given a lot of Amorphia Apparel shirts and magnets as gifts.  It is science-y, political, artful and sweet.  There are a lot of play on words and just awesomeness in the designs.


While my memory and vision (it was sometimes—for a lack of a better description blurry) are back the headaches almost seem worse since the concussion.  The doctor prescribed acupuncture and was rather reasonable about  it “Even if you aren’t sure if it is working at least it is making you lay there and do nothing but rest for an hour.”  Which is fair as it is very difficult me to comply with “resting”, although I have frustratingly not exercised in weeks now. =(  Despite having a push-pull competition in a month and a trail on hills 1/2 marathon next month as well.

Anyway, I went in a little nervous for the acupuncture and it was nice.  We started with me face down and put the needles in my neck and then I rested (fell asleep) for twenty minutes.  Took those needles out and then put needles in my feet, hands, neck, forehead, down the center and top part of my head, and my ears.  I squirmed a bit when he put the needle in my forehead between and just above my eyes.  Logically, I knew that I should tight my face or squirm but it is hard not to squirm when you know a needle is about to be stuck in your head.  I was cold in the room but my head felt warm and my ears flushed and it made me sleepy.  Not sure what was reacting to what, but I left sleepy and relaxed (despite the still persistent headache) so I look forward to my next appointment.


I usually don’t like to write about work.  Strange thing though as work and passions are intertwining.

Federico, Elena, Lalo

The Revolution is Coming

I got to meet Lalo Alcaraz one of my favorite pochos (I haven’t forgotten you Gustavo, Al, Daniel and Laura Luna P).  I got to help organize the first ever African-American Latino Comix Expo, SOL CON (here is a cool article about the why of SOL CON in the Washington Post), and as part of it Lalo Alcaraz was one of our 50 artists.  It was amazing, and I am not sure I even started to appreciate it until it ended.  I knew I was a fan girl (a term I learned this weekend) for Lalo but it was amazing to watch grown men drool over Jaime Hernandez.   Grown men, organizers of other comix expos just stared at poor Jaime.  I overheard a man, published multiple times himself and recognized in the field say “I just got to carry Jaime’s box. It wasn’t heavy or anything but I got to carry it.”    I desperately didn’t want to be that dorky so I actually avoided Lalo…although my concussion also had me out of many of the events. Truth is only comic book I’ve ever bought was Love and Rockets by Jaime Hernandez and his brothers Gilberto and Mario.  I bought it for two reasons the name ‘Hernandez’ and the inside seemed to be Mexican-American.  As a Xicana growing-up in Ohio I craved anything Mexican-American, anything that was like me.

That is what the artists offered this weekend to so many, and to each other, art and writing about things we could relate to—it was cathartic for many.  David Walker (by the way I feel like there are tons of people who are jealous I got to talk to this guy when he is totally awesome and down to earth and I had no clue who he is–still don’t I think) said it this way “I can say ‘it smelled like a hot comb going through hair’ and my audience will immediately know that smell.”  We crave understanding, belonging and seeing our self and that is what this weekend provided for me.  As well as an appreciation for comix that I hadn’t had before.  I am excited to read more, to ask for more comix zines from my friends. I am very appreciative for all that was shared with me this weekend. I am appreciative of the inspiration from people like Tim Fielder, and Raul Gonzalez III and watching them motivate high school students and providing legitimacy in the black brown nerd…not that I needed it but that I crave having it confirmed.  I like to say, you might be preaching to the choir but sometimes we like to know we aren’t singing a solo. I am appreciative that I got to organize this and work with John Jennings, Ricardo Padilla and my boss Federico Aldama…because of them I only know Black and Latino Comix.

SOL CON 2015

SOL CON 2015

For my health I skipped the after parties which still makes me sad. Also, because I was so busy during the event I missed out on a lot (including going by the bank to get cash) I missed out on Tim Fielder’s Matty’s Rocket (black super heroes ¡yes! ) I wanted to buy a couple and for a way under-priced $5, Mr. Fielder was doing drawings of fans.
I missed out on having a conversation with Raul Gonzalez III and thanking him for making exciting Xicano characters.  These are all things I have to look forward to next year.

Pancho Villa a TKO

Pancho Villa and I butted heads, and he knocked me out, quite literally.

Pancho Villa's big head

Pancho Villa’s big head

I had come home for lunch bent down to pet him and Pancho Villa overwhelmed with excitement lifted his head up into mine and *bang*.  I think I lost consciousness, I was definitely out of it and left home without lunch but with a headache.  Later that evening I would meet friends for an after work drink.  As I explained to the doctor later I am not sure how many drink(s) I had as I don’t remember very much at all.  I remember my head pounding and a friend walking home and that was about it.  The next day I felt awful. Worse than I have ever felt from drinking.  I messaged my friends I’d been out with “Do you feel this bad? No? Why do I feel this bad then?”  I was nauseous, head pounding, vision blurry, and I was sensitive to light.  I figured it would go away after awhile but it didn’t…and in some ways got worse.  I stopped exercising because I didn’t seem to have the balance and mental abilities for balancing.  I went to yoga and all I could muster was a standing tree…usually I can stand on one leg hold my other leg by my toes and rest…just wasn’t happening.  My memory was also shot, I’d walk into the bathroom and while in the bathroom forget that I needed to pee and I would turn around and walk back out.  Writing is a lot easier than reading.  I couldn’t read and remember what I read. Watching TV was the same, I’d start to watch an episode and would forget what had happened 5 minutes earlier.  It was worse at the end of the day. It was as if I’d used all my brain power in the first part of the day and was now out of fuel.
I had a big event for work and I pushed myself to get the event rolling otherwise I would have rested but at this stage I just couldn’t so I pushed on.
One of the sweetest things happened though because of this accident, an ex of mine, a doctor that specializes in neurological trauma stopped by to visit me.  He spoke (semi scolded) to me logically, using research to explain the importance of “brain rest”.  I really dislike listening to men I’ve been involved with but I dislike it even more when they use science and logic to counter my actions…because then I have to admit they are right. As such I did my best to rest the remainder of the event as frequently as the event permitted.  I have very much felt a difference and feel like I am on the road to recovery.

UD Tri 2015

Did a modified Sprint today, 0.5 mile swim, 20 mile bike, 3.5 mile run, at Caeser Creek in Dayton, Ohio that was a fundraiser for the University Of Dayton and was, I would say, at least 90% collegiate.

OSU Tri Club

OSU Tri Club

Generally in triathlons I come out middle of the road or higher for the swim portion.  Today, I think I came out in the bottom 10%. Those collegiate athletes sure are fast swimmers.

Onto the bike, generally my strongest leg.  Perhaps it would have been my strongest leg if I hadn’t felt so alone on the ride or if I hadn’t gotten lost.  In total I did a little over 25 miles…or in other words 25% more than everyone else.

By the time I got to the run, I was almost dead last.  The run is generally by far my weakest event but I think since I had already accepted this wasn’t going to be a strong race or a personal best, I allowed myself to enjoy the run and talked to people along the way.  All in all it was a pleasurable race with a great team.