Obama the Rockstar

Senator Barack Obama

“I feel like we’re at a rock concert,” Oiyan observed. Lisa and I nodded and looked ahead at the snaking line leading to a small lawn at Los Angeles Trade Tech College.

“Actually,” I noted, “it feels like we’re at an amusement park.”

I mean, who really goes to rock concerts at 8:30 in the morning?

But Oiyan was right, the town hall with Senator Obama was rather rock concert-ish.

For more photos and more on the town hall, click below.

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Question of the week: Swoon

I currently do not have a crush.

Anyone who has known me for more than a minute knows this is weird. Chispa noted after I posted my 100 facts that in the nearly 10 years we’ve known each other, she’s never known me not to have a crush. Well, that was because most of the time we’ve known in each other, I was actually meeting lots of eligible young men. These days, most of the guys I interact with are ethically off-limits (married fellow grad students, undergrads in the program I work with). I just don’t get out that much.

I love crushes. Well, not the aspects that suck. You know, getting nervous around him and trying to analyze all his mixed signals (which you later learned weren’t mixed, but you just made things more complicated).

I love the beginning of the crush. I miss realizing that I like him and maybe he likes me too. That feeling makes me giddy. I’ve even been known to swoon, just ask anyone who was around late last summer when I met my last crush. It’s a nice feeling and I miss it. I think I might even be addicted to that feeling (which makes a lot of sense if you listen to Radiolab’s This is Your Brain On Love episode from last August).

I think I got addicted to it after my first crush. I was in first grade. My crush, Juan, was in second grade. Yes, he was Mexican and short. No, he did not have a goatee. I don’t know any seven year old who can grown facial hair. I liked Juan enough to get self-conscious about my appearance. The bad aspects of crushes start early on! I worried that he wouldn’t like me because my mom made me wear my hair in two trenzas (braids). I thought the trenzas made me look like a baby — nevermind that at 6 years old I was still a baby.

I don’t remember why I stopped liking Juan, but 20 years later, I’m going to blame the demise of my crush on my older brother. Danny and Juan became really good friends. (In fact, they’re still good friends after 20+ years.) At six, I understood that siblings’ friends were off-limits, or at the very least weird. Naturally, I stopped liking Juan. Instead, I became friends with Juan and when I was 14 I asked him to be one of the chambelanes in my quinceañera. It’s been a while since I’ve seen Juan, but he’s since had a child and gotten married.

La Pregunta: Do you remember your first crush? Tell me about him/her.

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Cars and candidates

“Están registrados para votar?” I asked my grandparents over dinner on Sunday. They shook their heads, despite having become naturalized citizens about five years ago (I helped them study for the test!).

“You should register them,” my mom suggested.

“I can’t, at least not for the primary election,” I informed my mom. “But they can register for the next elections in June and November.”

Then my mom turned to me and asked me what she’s been asking me since I was 12, “who should I vote for?”

“Well, I’m going to pick my candidate like I chose my car,” I responded in between bites of chicken.

“On color?” she asked.

“Yup,” I said and smiled. The main reason I chose to buy a Dodge Stratus rather than a Neon was because of the color. (To make me seem less shallow, I chose the Stratus after a weekend of driving my brother’s Stratus.)

“Obama?”

“Yup…”

Okay, so it’s not that simple. I’m not choosing Obama simply because I want to vote for the black candidate. I’ve voted for black candidates before (hello, Assemblywoman Karen Bass and Rep. Diane Watson). What black/brown divide?

“Actually,” I confessed to my mom, “I’m still undecided. But I know who I’m not voting for.”

I didn’t make my decision until this afternoon when I read the news about John Edwards backing out of the race. Hopefully I’ll be able to articulate my choice after the townhall with Senator Obama tomorrow.

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Sixtyfive

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“I probably won’t get to celebrate too many of these types of Masses,” noted Padre Roberto at the beginning of the Mass. Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni had just walked down half of the aisle in the small Huntington Park church. The church was filled with their family, a mix of generations. Even the priest was family. Padre Roberto is their nephew and ahijado (godson).

He’s right. How many couples get to celebrate 65 years of marriage?

My grandparents (and all their family by extension) are blessed. And we know it.

The ceremony was lovely. Padre Roberto spoke about the metaphorical wine in one’s marriage and the need to keep it replenished. Then Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni renewed their vows with the blessings of their children.

Following the Mass, we headed to La Verne for the reception for tacos and dancing and lots of pictures.

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Star Sapphire Anniversary

On January 30, 1943, José Ureño and Antonia Saldivar got married.

In case you haven’t done the math, that was 65 years ago (minus a few days)!

My family is getting together today to celebrate the Star Sapphire or 65th anniversary (source). I hope it’s as memorable as the celebrations for the 50th (golden) and 60th (diamond) anniversaries.

50th Wedding Anniversary

For Papá Chepe and Mamá Toni’s 50th anniversary in 1993, the whole family got all dressed up as if we were part of wedding party. I don’t remember too much about the ceremony or the party except that Ernie (my cousin) and I read the first and second readings in Mass and there was a big party with a tamborazo and birria afterward.

The celebration for the 60th anniversary in 2003 was much smaller. We had a small Mass to celebrate the milestone at my family’s home and had the party there too. The family was much bigger by this point (about 80 people counting all the inlaws and great-grandkids).

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