My sister, the do-gooder

Lori: guess what, did I tell you I signed up for a marathon?

Me: really?

Lori: yeah, the Pasadena Marathon.

Me: huh? There’s a Pasadena Marathon?

Lori: it’s new.

Me: oh. So you’re gonna run a marathon? You’ll be the first Mosqueda since tío Johnny. Cool!

Lori: yeah, I’ve been wanting to do it since I saw the pictures of tío Johnny crossing the finish line in the LA Marathon years ago. He can’t run anymore, but I can.

Me: [sad face] I know.

Lori: I started training today, we just ran a little mile. The next Saturdays we’ll run more.

Me: when is it?

Lori: in November. Will you go and cheer for me on the route?

Me: of course! I’ll make a sign saying, “Run, GP! Run!”

Lori: yay!

Me: are you doing it on your own?

Lori: no, my friend and I signed up with the American Stroke Association. I have to fundraise.

Me: you should have no problem with that, you know lots of people. I’m sure all the people you bake cookies and cakes for owe you a buck or two.

Lori: I hope.

Me: I’m proud of you. You’re such a do-gooder. First you cut off your hair for sick kids, now this.

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Question of the week: Eeny, meeny, miny, mo

Grandma and Grandpa’s house didn’t have much in the way of entertainment for kids. There was never anything worth watching on a Sunday afternoon (this was before I found M*A*S*H* entertaining). There were no toys, no video games, and the only jigsaw puzzles Grandma owned were those really tough 500-piece puzzles.

Despite all this, I was never bored, especially when all my cousins were around. Tía Lupe and her five sons — all older than me — lived directly across the street. Tía Lucy and tía Mary also lived nearby. Together they could add nine kids to the mix. Tío Johnny lived further away, but he’d often visit on Sundays too. And of course, my siblings and I were down for games. We’d easily have a group of a dozen kids ready for a game. [Note: my dad’s younger siblings’ children were too young to play or not born yet.]

We played freeze tag and other variations on tag. When we tired, we’d sit on the broad porch and play war or old maid with a deck of cards (but hiding them from Grandpa who didn’t approve). My favorite game was Colored Eggs.

First we’d ask who was in an who was just a spectator. The spectator cousins — usually the younger ones — would be forced to sit up at the top of the porch out of the way of those in the game. Next, all cousins would put in a single foot to choose a Wolf via the “eeny, meeny, miny, mo” method.

Once the Wolf was chosen, the remaining players would take seats on the porch and silently choose a color for his/her egg. The Wolf would stand out in the middle of the front yard and eye his cousins on the porch steps suspiciously.

Wolf: knock, knock.
Kids (I think we were supposed to be chicks): what do you want?
Wolf: an egg!
Kids: what color?
Wolf: [chooses color] purple!
Kids: we don’t have that color!
Wolf: [chooses another color] sky blue!

At that moment, the cousin who chose sky blue would jump down the steps and begin running around the house in the counter clockwise direction as the Wolf gave chase to get his egg. The rest of us would get up to see from the edge of the porch was our cousin dodged plants, stray cats and parked cars in the driveway and tried to make it back to the porch safe. If the Wolf caught her, then she’d have to trade places and become the wolf. If not, the game would continue with the same Wolf. (Bea, if I have any of the details wrong, please correct me. My guess is your memory about this game would be more accurate.)

I hated being chased or being the Wolf as most of my other cousins were older and could run faster. It was still fun, even if I did end up scraping my knee or dirtying my dress.

La Pregunta: What was your favorite game as a kid?

I’m defining game as an indoor or outdoor competitive activity without any props that required electricity or batteries. The only energy you needed was the kind you get with a large group of kids.

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So, what’s new?

After we broke up and we’d still talk occasionally, my ex would begin conversations with my least favorite question, “so, what’s new?”

If I was in a bad mood, I’d respond, “I hate that question.” It was too general. Besides, he could just read my blog and find out.

But the truth is, I write less and less these days about “what’s new” in my life. Maybe I’ll change that, maybe I won’t. For now, here’s an update.

1. I’m quite happy these days.

2. Aside from the longer/hotter days and outdoor concerts, I don’t really feel like it’s summer. I’m working the same schedule as I did during the school year. And since I don’t take classes normally, the summer doesn’t bring much different.

3. I’m applying for a dissertation proposal writing boot camp. The six-week workshop begins in August. By the end of it I shold have a draft of my dissertation proposal. I reallyneed/want to get in this program. I need the discipline and structure so I can be done with school before I’m 30. That’s the plan.

4. I cut my hair on a whim last Wednesday. It’s shorter than I’ve ever had it. I told Ana, my stylist, that I was cutting it in mourning for the Lakers’ loss. We laughed. A Latina getting highlights next to me looked at me with wide eyes as Ana snipped away and my hair fell to the floor. It was one of those “damn girl, you have ovaries” looks.

5. My parents’ home in Hacienda Heights look like a tornado went through it. Our entire living room and kitchen has been stripped of tile and insulation. All that stands is the wood frame and wiring. It’s kind of hard to imagine it becoming the kitchen of my mom’s dreams.

6. I’ve already done a lot of my typical summer activities in the first official week of summer, but sadly I won’t be taking a trip to Guanajuato. Funds are low.

7. Last week at the LA Latino blogger meeting, P3000 asked (again) when I’d be writing Ojitos-like stories about the ex and filling in the rest of the story. I alluded to the relationship a few weeks ago. Each time, I always say something along the line of “no, I don’t want to go there” or “uh no, that’d make me look bad.” Well, not bad just human. But still, I part of me wants to tell the story. Maybe I’ll write those posts and keep them as unpublished drafts.

8. My back was bugging me last week so I went to a Chinese massage parlor in Hacienda Heights. It was my first time paying for a massage since I usually just bug my brothers for a massage, they’re pretty good. The place charged $15 for an hour massage (not including tip). I’d definitely do it again.

9. I’ve been listening to a lot of N*E*R*D’s latest album Seeing Sounds these days. I can’t get “Happy” or “You know what” out of my head. The whole album feels perfect for summer.

10. I recently read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and Drown by Junot Diaz. I was so into Oscar Wao that I ditched my cousin’s birthday luau to hide upstairs and read. If you’ve never read anything by Diaz, I’d suggest listening to him read from two of the short stories in Drown on This American Life.

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Concert buddy search revisited

No one (in LA) applied to be my concert buddy.

I’d be sad about it if (a) I was still looking for dates for the concerts I’ll be attending later this summer and (b) Sean had not submitted three mix cd’s over the span of a few months. Of course, Sean can’t be my concert buddy since he lives a few thousand miles away. I’m okay with that because whenever I find the padded envelopes in my mailbox after a long and/or crappy day, I know I’ll be treated to several great songs and a clever cover.

I’m set for most concerts this summer, but still can use a buddy for a few shows. List after the jump.
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