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Category Archives: Life

Starting afresh with a Tuesday treat in the shape of books. New section to review some of the literary pieces that am hands on.

For the opening of this section I give you two readings. The full review coming up next Tuesday.

1. “Girls to the front. The true story of the Riot Grrrl Revolution” Sara Marcus. Published by Harper Perennial.

From the first pages, the brutal honesty Marcus delivers makes you feel instantly like  you have found a long-lost friend from your high school years. She is reviewing the story lived by many of us,one way or another, as well as the feminist phenomena as well as popular subculture hit that was the Riot Grrrl movement. Cannot wait to finish it and give a proper full review.

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2. “Riot Grrrl. Revolution Girl Style Now!” Foreword by Beth Ditto of The Gossip, text by Julia Downes, Red Chidgey, Cazz Blase and Suzy Corrigan. Published by Black Dog Publishing.

I admit it, I went on a riot grrrl frenzy, could be the symptoms of nostalgia about the youth that is now fading. But, nevertheless, and being consequent with oneself this is a must read for anyone interested not just in the movement or feminism, but also D.I.Y culture and the power and drive to make a statement creatively. In the shape of a scrapbook of detailed info, with visuals raging all kinds of zines from that time back in the  90s. This comes across as an illustrated encyclopedia that I was fortunate enough to receive on my mailbox just today.

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Next Tuesday full review and new treats for your brains, your eyes and your genitalia.

Loads of love and riot grrrling.

xxx

L

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Accordingly to Huffington Post our New Year´s resolutions will fail due to the lack of energy, and this is common sense. It is all about discipline and consistency in the long run. And I am lacking both, but amazingly enough after two months travelling the US, and embracing Nature like a wild child, I do have massive storage of energy. Maybe the wise thing to do will be making DISCIPLINE and CONSISTENCY achieving, your main 2012 goals. But they are nonsense, unless there is a powerful reason behind them. But if we visualize it…we will actually get to the subconscious real goal…what a nice way to trick yourself.

i.e

I will have the discipline to go to the gym—-You go to the gym, and you get proper fit.

Cross out every day you beat procrastination on the calendar, for the sake of discipline. Day by day, instead visualizing your fab self on a bikini in Southern India. Easy.

I will have the consistency to go to German classes—-You learn German, and you make your life easier in Berlin.

Good ideas to find out how to achieve all these things…still, it´s all common sense in the end, but never the less we all need to be reminded. However I really enjoy reading Celes. She´s a star.

Also on these first weeks of flying back home to Berlin, hip Neukolln moving, and getting rid of jet lag thanks to Melatonin (kids don´t do sleeping pills they are bad, drugs, DRUGS) I have been thinking about personal financial planning and the things I will do this year. Also biz planning for my third enterprise so far, after a mild successful fashion label in the late 90s at the age of 18(where were all of you, fashion bloggers? where were you Tavi, probs not born ouch :-/ age again) and a graphic design studio. And I discovered the wonder and phenomenon that is Danielle la Porte (is there something in the BC air that breeds really special people…what is it with you?) please read all she has to say about money and biz and actually…read all of it.

I have also been thinking about the type of biz. I truly would like to embrace. I mean don´t get me wrong, I love being a tour guide is a lot of fun, and specially if I can make ludotours,meaning playful tours. But still is not my final call, it´s just a mean for the time being, that makes me really happy and allows me a lot of space to grow in many fields. Aside from the fact that am a nerd and love History, and German History, and pimping the nazis, has to give you loads of good karma. Right?

This is how my year is starting…very full throttle. I would like to work more, write more and read more. And why not, start  a different blog, my misspelled woah! is a treasure box, but it´s too static and random.

Loads of love and inspiration.

xxx

L

Ahhh it´s always so easy on paper.

The year of Bruce Lee…and I welcomed it in Seattle, where his and his son Brandon gravesite are to be found. On a more delightful and playful mood, here it is how the next year will be.

2012: What will happen.

JANUARY: Someone named Theresa will have my glasses on the 1st day of the year, I will get them back on the 2nd. Will watch The Godfather and think about moving to a lil village in Sicily. I will fly back to Berlin, instead, with no delays, and even if I get stuck in London I won´t be able to see Pec, because she will be working and BA will make me fly in the afternoon. Also I won´t be able to see Cruz as she would still be in Madrid. Will go to Henry Rollins gig with my mate Sam. Will join a Crossfit gym or start long distance running, altogether with Power Yoga and Chi Kung with my friend Pablo. And I will stick to it. Stalk the fancy people at Berlin fashion week. Specially heterosexual men.

FEBRUARY: One month no smoke.Think to go back to fashion biz, and discard it. I will be working my ass off, for petty coins, it will be freezing and snow will break in. The Bright Tradeshow won´t send me the press pass, and I would tell their corporate asses to stay away from the true spirit of skateboarding and all boarding sports: FREEDOM you fools. I will be single yet again in St. Valentine´s day but getting lots of good sex.  I will tour with Pec, or at least I will be in London. I can write now…oh no hold it, that´s an illusion.

MARCH: Biz takes off. Like seriously. Find a nice, cheap apartment in Moabit or Treptower Park, because I can´t live with the NK hip anymore, and I need nature. Although I might reconsider it and stay close to my friends in da hood.  We will jump into Spring, the season most hated. I will be allergic starting next month and single. Will wish to go to Japan, to say goodbye to friend Aitana, but I will be working my ass off and poor. Fidel Castro dies. The end of an era. Tresca´s birthday.

APRIL:  I will be on B2 of Deutsch, and able to have a decent conversation. At least. Or talk nonsense with a nice accent. I will be making millions.And writing a lot. Will be almost fit, back to a normal 125 pounds and eating good. I might get a boyfriend, just for the sake of having a boyfriend. Wait no, I have no time. My mother´s birthday.

MAY: Go to London, to be amazed by this in case i can´t make it to ATP. Buy a rodie to run with friends Sam and Marta. Enjoy two days of sun for the first time since arrival. Get amazingly cured from allergy, and enjoy Spring. Ha. I will buy my ticket to India. Go somewhere to surf and chill.

JUNE: Will go to Ibiza to pay a quick visit to my parents and my dog, chill at the beach and smoke weed…NO wait…this is my 5th month no smoking…anything. Crack included. Will get my hair cut at my favourite hairstylist in San Antoni, a Scottish sexy man.Second time I will cut my hair in the year, probably last. On my way there, a  quick stop in Madrid to see friends, meet Tresca´s daughter, Molly than by then will be sleep trained and actually walking. She will probably hold a MBA in Business, as well.

JULY: We will have two days of summer, and everyone in Berlin will run to the lakes. Will go to the Berlin Fashion Week, and maybe bump into Angelica. I will get a smartphone, because it is about time. Will have lots of work and make lots of money. New twist in the occupying movement, now revolution is coming late fall, right before the World ends. We will have a Green November instead of a Red October.

AUGUST : Will work even more, write even more, and ride a whole lot more. Will go to my brother´s wedding in India, and celebrate my 32 years of age with friends and family in southern India. I will celebrate in Chennai my brother´s wedding, and will cry a lot, dance a lot and hug people a lot. Hang out with friends and family. Feel much love.

SEPTEMBER: Travel to Kerala, to stay in an ashram for a month. Get my first yoga teacher training. Write a lot.

OCTOBER: Meet up with my friend Rodrigo in Nepal, to trek the Himalayas. Will stay there for a while, and meet interesting people, in the amazing land. One week volunteer in Lhasa. Revolution is coming.

NOVEMBER: We are taking the streets, and there is a global change a conscious change. Will most likely move to Malaysia or India, on a new job position. Book publishing deal. Get married, because some say the end of the World is near. And I will rethink my position and actually get married.

DECEMBER: Will spend Christmas with my family for the first time in two years. …….

So that´s it. Read also this  post about how to face the New Year.

Loads of love and aspirations.

xxx

L

I agree with Nathan Badley about 2011 sucking and what´s the point of reviewing the year that past. But as an exercise to recover my own memory damaged by the use and abuse of certain substances and Gossip Girl (am guilty) I will review both 2011 and 2012.

2011: Things that happened:

JANUARY: Got a job as a tour guide in Berlin. It was so cold, that  the rush of speaking in front of 30 people crowds vanished, and some of my tourists got drunk on gluhwein, wich made it even easier. Became friends with Martin and he never taught me to play drums nor German, but he is my lil German bro.

FEBRUARY: It got even colder and I learnt any possible fact about the nazis. Also worked at the Berlin Film fest as a translator, in front this time, of 200 people crowds, go figure. Closed the bar where the closing party for the film fest took place and where I met Marta. At the ladies restroom line speaking fake Portuguese. Bright Tradeshow and Vane came with the Carhartt Team. Hooray.

MARCH: Saw Allan McGee at In-Edit film festival, and became friends with Sam.

APRIL: I learnt everything there is to learn about street-art and graffiti, my love for Berlin kept growing as my knowledge of German language kept decreasing. Now it´s officially in the dumpsters. Also learnt lots about the World…THE WORLD, thanks to Wikileaks and could  hack some corporate sites full of shite. Then the Arab Spring raised. One year in Berlin anniversary, and went to my sis in law thesis defense on some cells or something, thank god it had pictures and 2D animations with plenty of colours. Saw my family and friends after almost one year. Also made this happen for my beautiful friend and even better artist Karla Marie, and thanks to my other beautiful friend and amazing artist Joanna. Scandinavia all the way.

MAY: Millions of people took the main square of Madrid, my hometown, and revolution spreaded following the Arab Spring with the Indignado movement, on 15M-15th of May. Never seen in the history of sold out Spain. We took Brandenburg Tor as well. Manuel came by surprise for a weekend.

JUNE: Still can´t write properly.

JUNE: We were hoping for summer to come, instead I got allergy and then rain. Had lots of fun with Tim, Sam, Jonny and other workmates and friends.

JULY:  Summer was here, meaning rain and cold. Romina and Victor came visit. And i loved it. Wished they live here with all their cats. Learnt all there is to learn about Prussia. Staches included. Epic Tour de France, with the Tour de France crew!. Went to Ibiza to visit my parents and my dog, and also relax. Yes, relax.

AUGUST: Vane and Coffee came and stayed for a month of fun and esvaismal. Good nights at Dilemma and remarkable birthday bash (GOD am aging, why didn´t you tell me anything? ) at Wowsville with friends. Half of my baking tools are still there. Maybe I will get it next year.

SEPTEMBER: Left Schoneberg and moved to Neukolln, mistake. My bike got stolen. Still can´t write. Bought my ticket to fly to the States. Pec came visit and we lived like rockstars, and we hanged out with the rockstars. Then I miss her endlessly, and wished she lived here with el grillo.

OCTOBER: My mother came visit, we finally had some summer weather. Mid october left for almost three months to travel the USA. Went to San Francisco, visited my friends in California. And finally made it to Big Sur. Not in the bucket anymore. Still didn´t manage to surf, and still can´t write. I embraced my hobo ways and saw the L.A. family after more than 10 years. I love California. I am California.

NOVEMBER: Bought a Greyhound pass, and greyhounded all of the U.S. south, from L.A to Phoenix, to El Paso, to San Antonio and then Austin. Probably one of my favourite places in USA. Went to Fun Fun Fun Fest, got drank, fought, defied the law and the law…didn´t see me. Then greyhounded all the way to Denver, and stayed in Boulder, hiked a little, never made it to the Rockies (although I saw them) just to leave the happy life behind yet again in another greyhound bus through Utah, icy Wyoming all the way to Boise, Idaho. Travelled through Idaho, up to Coeur d´Alene with Mr. Rat. Was amazed, and then we almost die in the snow. Got back to Seattle.

DECEMBER: I have lived in Seattle, not doing much. Went to a writing workshop and still don´t know how to write. But I allow myself to fail at it, also at losing weight,  and quitting smoking. Build up my own webpage to have a side tours project, a backup plan doing different tours  than the ones I normally do with a big company, also as a freelance. Bought a hybrid roadie for 40bucks. Didn´t join Occupy Seattle. Bought a pair of glasses after a year isolated in sight and speech, to lose them in ten days. Covered the whole city of Seattle with my face.

Basically it´s been the year of learning, revolution, determination, self-discovery, image and age crisis and that kind of  tedious crap. Sometimes sweet and dandy, sometimes a bit difficult. Ups and downs. Never dull, lacking of routine and discipline, overboard with colour.

GIGS:  no specific order: The Oh Sees (x2), Za!, the orchestra man that we ended up on stage with, Black Hearts Procession, Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah!, Public Enemy, Scratch Acid, Death before Dishonor, Chelsea Wolfe, Suede, Primal Scream, Russian Circles…and am forgetting some more that I can´t remember…so I guess I was either not my best self, or those bands were not their best selves.

MOUNTAINS: Flatirons, Rockies, Mt. Rainier. Seen them, just hiked the first ones.

NEXT 2012 POST ON…well 2012.

Loads of love and best wishes, please DON´T DRINK AND DRIVE.

xxx

L

UPDATE: This man seems really smart, so listen to him…THE WORLD IS NOT ENDING DEC 21st 2012.

I have been reading  lots of material on the subject on how polygamy is more beneficial for women than for men, and vice versa, the difficulties of monogamy, natural laws, the implicit monogamy of marriage, commitment and the failure to stick to it. I am far from done, yet, and I will write the conclusions I have reached from studies, articles and personal experience.

Let´s bare in mind that monogamy was brought into light, as part of property rights, and private economics.  A contract accepted in the always concerned eyes of the state (according to its definition), for us to have certain obligations beyond emotional, spiritual…and then here we have Confucius words of wisdom:

Marriage is the union of two different surnames, in friendship and in love, in order to continue the posterity of the former sages, and to furnish those who shall preside at the sacrifices to heaven and earth, at those in the ancestral temple, and at those at the altars to the spirits of the land and grain.
Confucius, [3]

Amazingly, surprisingly…marriage, and exclusive monogamous relationship is in fact a tool invented in a male dominated system for it proves that marriage is more beneficial for men than for women. That said, and it being a contract of exclusiveness, and lifetime commitment to one, do not be foolish enough to overlook the nanoarticle where it says: but we still have the whorehouse. Bringing us back to the polygamy debate.

For starters I would read this NY Times article from 2005, am assuming written by two women, and this amazing article by Christie Church, where she writes the exact definition of what relationships ought to be. Pure logic:

These days, we’re both feminists. In feminism, we’ve found a language to describe the challenges inherent to being multifaceted, complex people in a society that reduces us to pink and blue, and we’ve found alternatives to buying into that society. Being heterosexual has afforded us many privileges, but it also has allowed us plenty of opportunities to challenge assumptions about what heterosexual marriage should be. This summer, I’ll be enrolling in full-time law school while Patrick takes over all of the household responsibilities. Eventually, Patrick would like to take some time off work to focus on writing. We’ve even discussed living apart for travel and internship opportunities.

Whatever we do, I’m confident that it won’t be motivated by the guilt that drove the early part of our relationship. While our marriage may not look like the ones we knew growing up, it works for us. We married a friend, but we got an ally.

I wouldn´t say that´s being feminist, I would say that is pure simple common sense. Back to the sex, which is the one thing that keeps the flaming argument hot and interesting. So the need of extramarital sex, the link between multiorgasm to multipartners, the length of a lifetime commitment if you think about it, it’s a known fact, there is that need, it exists, we cannot neglect it, it is a possibility as  Jay Michaelson states on his article inspired by the whole Tiger debacle.

On a personal note, I have never looked for sexual engagements outside my relations, never had an unoficial affair; BUT I did say, it´s a possibility and it´s there. I did ask for opinion (not permission) to have a sexual encounter outside the partnership with a former boyfriend. Obviously the answer was very heartbreaking, and one has to be above all things honest but yet, empathetic. So now, when I say that as a sexual being, there is more than a possibility of me having affairs outside the couple, I can see how women (the biggest defenders of monogamy) and men (the biggest defenders of polygamy) pass mentally judgements on me. Even those that ferociously defend open marriages. But, for men. Because let´s face it, this world is fucking sexist.Still.  And that just simply kills me. To admit the reality, to let in your mind a wide place for  that world of possibilities, is what keeps us mentally in track. If by marrying, starting a family, committing to a career, we neglect that world of possibilities (whether if it is a sexual affair or climbing the Everest) is not only dangerous but also counterproductive to man´s nature. And realistically, would you rather have a free individual as your life partner or an individual swimming in the whole protocol of roles, monogamous game?. Specially now in a transgender society… (I should do another poll)

So to the question, would you like to marry? the answer is YES. Now to the question would you marry? the answer is NO.

Find your terms, the ones  in which your life and your love life makes sense and feels right. That´s the key to it.

More to come.

Loads of love from every source. Love is all around you.

xxx

L

UPDATE: Grandparents know better.

While I listen to “Permission to speak” by Main Flow and 7L, I have to write about Kevin Coval “L Vis Lives”, new book 2011, that amazingly i grabbed on the go from Seattle Central Library. Here is an amazing article from a connoisseur and  Coval´s classmate Michael Volpe  you bet is worth a read.  And how i have been repeating mentally endlessly Amiri Baraka´s “Poetry is revolution”, and rhymes are rhymes, slam is slam, and how the words take off, in all their grace and power. And that´s to that.Always dismissed poetry, because I said it was easy. I walk poetry, I breathe poetry, I piss punk poetry a la Patti Smith. Easy. But then, I came to realize its true power, and remembered the happiness that Edinbrah (long live Scotland! ) and its wonderful Poetry Library, the Poetry Army and the biggest monument ever to be dedicated to a poet (Sir Walter Scott, famous for his novels, yet a poet as well) brought into my life. Well the statue, brought a spear up my foot, on a drunkard night of Goose whiskey and failed threesome with teenagers.

As a white southern European, hip-hop came to me, as everything from the outside world of coolness (America, precisely the U.S.A)…late. It was late 80s and early 90s that we started rapping and dealing with yuppies infesting downtown Madrid.  I used to record on a tape a Rap Program aired on a somewhat mainstream radio (thank god) at a really odd hour on saturday nights, I used to cut it, to have all the Biggies, or Run DMCs, and the early Spanish rap. Which was more like a joke. And that was that.

Then it became a bit more popular, and on my Freshman year 1995, in the midst of grunge and indie, there was Ilia. A weird name, for a weird kid. She was sporting a Hornet´s basketball tee, a cap, and oh my, she was a rapper from a blue-collar borough in southern Madrid. Don´t get me wrong, we don´t have projects. So when this thug rap burst five years ago, we all laughed hard. We don´t own guns, there is drug dealing, prostitution and all…but hardly gun shootings, we don´t say the word hommies, bitches, nor projects. We say bloques, that´s what we say. And also, there where big acts already going on in Spain´s hip hop scene. Like really good ones. So La Chula, me la chupa. La chula can suck my left one.

So anyhow, after Ilia, I lost sight of rap and hip hop. And it wasn´t till my Junior year, that I moved to Los Angeles, CA. The same year Tupac got shot. In El Lay, I embraced Bauhaus thanks to my friend Patty, as gothic as death herself…but most importantly the already popular growing hip hop rap culture, of black America. The gang time, the thug time. Like real thug. There were the shootings between Bloods and Crips, and I was scared to the bone to drive on the 6th. One of my besties in West Covina HS, was a black kid with serious alcohol problems (yes, am a magnet for this types) coming from DT in some sort of program to help out kids from troubled hoods in central LA, he gave me a Tiger and Winnie the Pooh shitty watch he stole from someone, and some tunes, some real tunes. I will never forget it, I was the fucking odd exchange shy student. I was so out of place. And he was so nice to me, in his early drunkness.  Also the Color Guard girls, were my buddies, mainly because I did all their algebra homework, and those dancing, laughing girls were patio-friendly-hiya doin chica to me. So, in the end I managed, could be because am Spanish, and found my place among hispanics and black communities, even though the fight each other badly.

When I went back to Spain, it wasn´t till one of my besties started Physics that I met through her, one of my best friends ever. He started providing with the real shit, from jazz, tu nu soul, to hip hop, to rap, RnB, everything. He writes for Hip Hop Nation, has a tiny recording studio, and before I decided to move to Berlin, we came up with a duo “Gobierno”, i rap, he feeds me beats. I hope we actually do it, like seriously. We could make it happen.SOON. I need Gobierno.

Also my brother (whom am not speaking to, at this point, sadly) got badly into it, he is a good rapper, and knows shitloads about new Spanish rap. For realz.

Then my fav. boyfriend (a white English boy, beautiful face even more beautiful soul, that sounds black, when he MCs, or used to) was big into it, and we started talking music. And I loved it. And I love him. Great human being.

So this is the story of my hip hop rap and so-called black music in general, love affair. And outside affair from my usual guitar, hardcore punk upringing. A beautiful love story, indeed.

Now loving badly, Mr. Lif , MF Doom and Mos Def. Andthis video, hahaha…makes me laugh every single fucking time.

After “L-Vis, Lives!” can´t wait to grab a copy of Coval´s ” Everyday people”.

It´s like that, and that´s the way it is.

Loads of love and beats.

xxx

L

UPDATE by request: I am speaking to my brother and I love him very much. We sometimes argue, but we are family and friends. Peace out.

It is that time of the year, again. And how much do I love this festivity by the Swedes. Ever since I was a kid and my parents took me to the Luciafest at the Swedish School in Madrid. I like Sweden, and the Swedes. True date. Let´s celebrate the light and the day of this martyr Saint, here is the link to wikipedia to learn her story. And Swedish is a beautiful language. I will miss my dear Swedish friend Joanna, whom I went to church last year and cried our hearts out while drinking  that dreadful glühweinm and in case you wonder a Mass in Swedish and German, is hell on Earth. And I will also miss that gorgeous Swede I met at White Trash, while dancing with my love, dear, girlfriend Greta. I am not religious at all, but I like this whole chanting thing. Makes my heart happy.

Lots of love and light and of course LUCIA.

And to me, this is the beginning of Christmas . Oh my, do I love Christmas.

xxx

L

UPDATE: To celebrate, I will be going here tomorrow http://thecoppergate.com/. If you are near Ballard, or Seattle area, join me.