The Power of the Bestie

People throw around the word “best friend” left and right, but what exactly defines a “ride or die homie”?   I know what it means for me.  Now that I’m getting older (there is proof of this because I recently purchased an under eye cream), I now understand the basic elements that make a great friend.  I’ve been in plenty of the classic type of friendships: the frenemies, the one-sided friendships, the “let’s hangout” but never do friends, the friend that will drop you the minute “man pleasure” is on the table.  So tons…

To the late night chats!  To the drunken messy nights! To the silence that is not awkward!  To the no judgement eating sessions! To call them out on their shit!  To telling them how they really look in that outfit…it’s all cuz we’re homies.

Me and my lady friend (the co-founder of The BBB) have gone through a lot, we don’t like to label anything but we’ve declared our bestie love…Even more so cuz I left the state and broke up our shared duplex family.  But proximity isn’t the only thing needed to be friends.

I have taken 4 famous BFFs to really articulate what it means to be a best friend…

1. Cory Mathews and Shawn Hunter (Boy Meets World)

These two have the classic element of “balance”.  Cory was a super anxious “good guy”, whereas Shawn was the kinda orphan “bad boy.”  He wore a flannel around the waist like a juvenile boss.  The best part of their friendship for me was that Cory always was family to Shawn.  Shawn later had hottie Matthew Lawrence, but still Cory and Shawn were hermanos.

2. Illana and Abby (Broad City)

I’m obsessed with this show.  If you know what’s good for you, you’ll find all the episodes and devour them.  Illana and Abby give a refreshing look at female friendships for folks in their 20’s.  Illana is a bit of the crazy impulsive one, whereas Abby is the more practical “responsible” one.  All in all they have each others back and really champion one another.  I think a hazardous thing in “friendships” is competitiveness.  Why is it so difficult to support one another??

3. Daria and Jane

What I love about this duo is their “keeping it real” delivery coated in large amounts of sarcasm.  This is the only language I’m really fluent in, not so much English and even less Spanish.  I feel that together their power only increases, I feel as though this is the same feeling folks get when Marb$ and I are in the same place at the same time.  Our power together delivers tons of bitch face and sassy comments when you say something stupid.

4. Liz Parker and Maria DeLuca (Roswell)

In the “courting” years, Marb$ and I discovered that we were the same 8th grade dorks that were obsessed with Roswell.  I should have known from that moment we were gonna be hetero life partners.  When I was a middle schooler, Liz and Maria were not only the epitome of besties, but they were fashion icons for the time (1999-ish)!  I want to rock a choker!!  But I’ll look like I’m dying. The element of their relationship I always loved was their need to always spill secrets to one another.  I mean they held the epic secret of ALIENS.  If you have a secret…isn’t it fun to tell your bestie? Especially boy drama.

Maria-DeLuca-maria-deluca-34048403-500-275

 

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What’s your DREAM?!

The older I get, the more I realize how much my “things I want” have changed.  When a person is younger you have these wide-eyed larger than life ideas that you think are so amazing and so attainable.

I thought I’d take a look at my WANTS as a 28 year old, as opposed to 18-ish

Career

18: I’m gonna have one by 23 and be making BANK!  Not sure what it is yet, but I’m gonna be a woman about town with such fucking class.  Drinking mojitos and shit.  Buyin what I want!

28: I’m going to school to be a Marriage and Family Therapist, a draining but solid career.  But right now I’m a grown adult-baby hybrid being supported by even more shitty loans…So career is “in progress.”

Me speaking to life:

Vacation style

18: Let’s rent a beach house and fill it with a billion people I semi-know and par-tee!  I’ve seen a lot of movies so this works out great!

28: Anywhere I can lounge by some sun and have some drinks in silence.  It’s gotta be cheap and preferably with one or 2 other people.  I need peace. Maybe an ice mask?!  I heard Palm Springs has a great senior citizen scene…

Romantic situation

18: A guy who is sensitive, but not too much of a push over.  A total artist but doesn’t even know it.  He is broody and complicated.  He reads but plays the guitar.  He goes to the gym but isn’t a gym rat.  He loves his mom.  He is 6’3″.  He has dark hair.  He is born between the months of August and December.  He can speak 3 languages, etc. Or just Pacey Witter.

28: All you need to have is a job that provides some sort of pay stub, a car, your own place, and a pulse.  And don’t be a liar.

A Friday night

18: A concert where I stand up the entire time, all for the love of music.  Surrounded by tons of people who love the same artists I do.  This is so CITY.

28: Alone in my room with Netflix, a burrito, and an entire family size wine…things are about to get scandalous and real.

 

Marb$ & $Cruz: San Francisco Edition

Last week, I visited Stefanie for her b-day celebrations! That’s right, celebrations, with an “s” at the end for the multiple times we did. We were making up for lost time! The last time we were separated this long was when she went to El Salvador. Girlfriend came back with fierce a Wesley Snipes tan in the beginning of January of 2013, but I digress.

Although I was there for her birthday, Stefanie was truly the hostess with the mostest. She had a jam-packed school schedule, and for the first few days, I followed her around like a lost puppy on the USF campus. Even waiting for her was way more fun than being at work and dealing with the rain! Portland, get it together, you weepy bitch. Nobody wants to deal with your rain and cold weather.

Below you will find my list of observations and shenanigans that we got ourselves into:

San Francisco has microclimatesI learned this while I eavesdropping on the bus like a creep.

The “Full House” house has been painted. 

Taken from Marb$ Facebook

This is a slap in the face to America. If you buy the “Full House” house, you owe it to the fans to preserve it. These people knew what they walked into when they forked over the money for this house. Painting this house is like committing domestic terrorism. How rude!

Booze is sold at your local corner market. Oregon will assist people with suicide, but they won’t sell liquor at a convenient store? I don’t understand.

Lots of beards, tattoos, and SF Giants hats on men. According to my calculations, I fell in love exactly 2,238 times.

Lots of beautiful men with basic looking women. Some guys were tens and these ladies were straight up penny pieces! Perhaps they suffer from extreme Stockholm Syndome! The girls with them wore UGG boots, too tight leggings, and an LV bag like it was 2005. It was all so tragic. I’m thinking about starting a charity where I can save all of these dudes.

San Francisco public restrooms do not believe in toilet seat covers. Living in a walkable city is great for your overall health. But more importantly, it serves as a way to build leg muscles for proper hovering. I’m too cute for scabies.

Saying your from Portland, Oregon is actually a good thing. 

Dolores Park. You are beautiful. Thank you for making me forget about the four months of my life as I watched the sunset. I plan on day drinking with you next time.

sunsetOverall, it was a wonderful six days. I did not want to leave. I caught up with Stefanie, ate tons of amazing food, and I enjoyed disconnecting from Portland. It was amazing! Until next time, San Pancho.

Things That Were Hard for me as a Brown Girl

My cultural identity is on a  constant Kinsey scale  continuum–some days I’m exclusively American, some days I’m exclusively Mexican (*Some of us, like my friend, who I’ll call “Tiffany News”, are not Mexican. Tiffany is Salvadoran*). One day, I’m all about listening to Selena, and the next day, I’ll say something super-white like, “hell yeah, I love 80’s music.” Truthfully, the whitest things that has ever crawled out of my mouth has been, “Yes, Frasier is funny.”  Culturally, I’m always DTF…Down To Fluctuate.

Although I am able to stand my ground as an adult, it was hard for me growing up. I’d try to pick up a hobby, or like certain music, and I’d be accused of being, “too white,” or “too Mexican.” There was no winning! Weird Brown girls that love Dawson’s Creek and Telenovelas get no love!

I’d like to also note that there was an underlying class issue here. My parents were poor, therefore, I was poor. I didn’t have access to many things because of this. For example, I get accused of being too white for being into yoga.  Yes, people practice yoga in Mexico, but of course just like yoga here in the United States, people with money can afford yoga classes. Yoga is a luxury. I just hear George Lopez white-voice saying, “OMG, LMAO, BFF…”

Venturing into unknown territory is extremely frightening. I would throw myself into things without knowing anyone who may have pioneered the way before me. Various questions run through my head like, “Am I going to look stupid if i fail miserably?” or “Do they see me and automatically think about how different I look?”

Below is a list of things I have forced myself to conquer, regardless of what anyone else thought– including myself:

Yoga

I’ve been practicing yoga sporadically since I was 18 years old, but it wasn’t until about a year ago that I decided to get a little more serious. Since I’m still a beginner, I had to self-talk myself into taking a class in the Pearl District. I was afraid of walking into a class full of ripped housewives that took yoga and pilates classes on their husbands’ dime. I remember standing in front of the yoga studio, taking a deep breath, and thinking, “You are privileged enough to do this for all the weird brown girls that can’t.” And I did it. It was like pulling a mental band-aid. Sure, I walked into a class full of hard-bodies that casually said, “Oh, I’m taking this class as a warm-up to my Ashtanga class after this,” but I was there to do my thing. Namaste, mija.

Sushi

I was introduced to sushi in high school. My best friend at the time really enjoyed it and taught me how to eat with chopsticks. Of course because I was a newbie, I ate wasabi like it was candy and instantly regretted it. It was like eating 1,000 jalapeños at once.  I didn’t know what wasabi was, but now I know what to do when I want my sinuses cleared.

Red Lobster

Since we are on the subject of seafood, its only fitting that I incorporate the Red Lobster story. Stefanie  Tiffany and I were extremely broke after college, and were collecting money to leave her sister’s house.  One day, we decided to splurge on some makeup and a delicious meal. Neither of us had been to Red Lobster, or had lobster, so we decided to boldly go forth into the world of fancy seafood. Because we are both wound up like corkscrews, we both began to panic because we didn’t know to actually eat the lobster. My mind raced back to an episode I had watched of Queer for the Straight Guy; the one where the straight guy looked like a moron in front of his lady friend as he used pliers to eat lobster.  When we sat down to eat, we YouTubed “How to eat Lobster” on our phones. True story. Below, you will see a how to eat lobster, because I love you enough not to make a pendeja/o out of yourselves. I like how the guy in the video calls the lobster cracker, “ubiquitous.” He’s like, “Oh, this old thang? pfff no big deal. I ate lobster Gerber as a baby. I’m about this life.”

College/Advanced High School Courses

My only window into the world of college was the show Felicity. I was twelve years old, and I thought that everyone’s college experience must be universal. Everyone gets a job as a cool barista in between classes, right? Her biggest problem was switching from pre-med to art, and going back and forth between two guys (Team Ben), sign-me up! What I didn’t realize was that Felicity was a white girl with money. Felicity didn’t have a dad with a pick-up truck that helped her move into her dorm, and a passerby never called her a “country bumpkin” as she was moving her shit into her college apartment. Nope, that didn’t happen to her, but it happened to this girl.

Felicity had the luxury of looking like her classmates, and partaking in the collective cultural atmosphere. It is the loneliest feeling in the world when you notice you are the only person of color in your classroom. It’s like being dropped into the sea with only your floaties. Unfortunately, the journey to actually get into college was so daunting, my classes then intimidated me. I figured if it was so difficult to get in, the classes must be hard! Nope. Everyone’s kind of an idiot. I always had to self-talk myself in class sometimes before I realized: I am just as smart as everyone else, and I have a lot to contribute. By my fifth year (See, felicity didn’t even have a fifth year) I was not contributing my opinions in class, I was barking them. It was very DMX, not so much Felicity.

DMX

Traveling/Airplane Etiquette/Fancy Hotels

Stefanie and I will forever be the two old ladies that arrive way too early. We’re like the two old muppets, Statler and Waldorf. When we would travel in a big group, we’d be the ones on time before anyone else, with our purses on our lap like viejitas. Everything has to be perfect to avoid delays, missing flights, and looking like a total idiot. Our parents immigrating to the United States doesn’t count as “jetsetting,” or “globe trotting,” so we don’t know how to travel without having our butt cheeks clenched the whole time.

My favorite part of traveling with my friends is the reveal of the hotel. Its like we were all part of the Make a Wish Foundation and our dying dreams came true. Immediately, one girl will be taking in the view, another will be walking around with a plush white robe for no reason, and then there’s one girl who will ruin it with, “you guys, I have to go to the bathroom…”

As you can see, I dive in head first to these new experiences, sin miedo. I’ve had to adapt as best as I could.

Master That!

I bitched for so long that I wanted to leave Portland and start something fresh and new.  Since I didn’t win the lottery, nor did I meet a sugar (suga?  I can’t pull that off) daddy…I had to settle for grad school.  In a very UNLIKE me fashion, I only applied to one school.  I believe in back-up plans and safety because I need a bit of security when it comes to large life decisions.  I felt so passionately about one particular program that I couldn’t compromise myself any longer in life, therefore there went all my eggs in one basket.  So when I received my acceptance info, I had instant “shock tears” and immediately wanted to throw up, very much “me” and extremely adorable.

I’m outta here PORTLAND!

Now I am two months into a new city and graduate school.  I’m at about the mid-point of my first semester and now I can really assess my time thus far.  I only have my undergrad experience to pull from but since my memory is foggy at best, I don’t remember some parts of how to “do” school and the life that goes with it.  I remember some parallels here and there, but I’m pretty sure I received my undgrad degree by accident.  Tons of coffee fueled bullshitting episodes that turned into papers or presentations.  Since grad school is a brand new situation, I was nervous to actually study and do work.  Gotta change things up to be my age and take this seriously!  Shit got real son.

Since I love to compare and contrast, I’ve organized some categories of school-life stuff.  What did this look like in Portland during undergrad time, as compared to grad time in San Francisco (sidebar: my mom likes to insert “Rice-A-Roni the San Francisco Treat” any chance she can when we chat on the phone).

STUDY SESSIONS

Undergraduate: I procrastinated most of the time, skipped class to do work for another class, and finally my “go to” system would be to drink a bucket of coffee and stay up all night to write a paper due the next day which I had 5 weeks to do.

Graduate: The amount of reading that is assigned is CRAZY.  It’s like reading the bible every week.  And since I’m choosing to be here in order to become a better human, I can’t fuck around, I’m old and I need to care.  So I outline my readings and assignments each week and schedule out reading/work times throughout the week so I’m not trying to cram everything the morning before class.

CLASS PARTICIPATION

Undergraduate: I think most of the time I hid in corners and never really spoke. I’ve always been super introverted so it was tough to talk a lot, but also I was always lost in a sea of people anyway.  Also, skipping class was way easier back in the day.  I’d go eat nachos instead.

Graduate: Since I’m in a cohort model of a program, professors know my name, I can’t hide.  It still is difficult for me to talk in front of people, but since I HAVE TO SHOW UP AND SPEAK in order to get points, I pepper in my amazing knowledge here and there.  I don’t want to over talk because those people are annoying, but I don’t want to be the unabomber kid in the corner.

THE FOOD

Undergraduate: I never went to the grocery store.  I have no idea how I kept myself alive.  I think Subway was my “kitchen.”  I ate a lot of random stuff around campus or at my sister’s house.  I did the classic Ramen, but then when I could HEAR my heartbeat from all that salt…I had to take a break.

Graduate: I made a conscious decision to change my lifestyle in a new city and also to keep my money in check because this city is EXPENSIVE…EXPENSIVE BUT FUN.  I try and go grocery shopping every week and buy essentials.  I’ve used pots and pans!  I’ve LOOKED UP recipes to feed myself.  Who am I?!  I chose to buy KALE.  WHAT?!?!  I do still eat Ramen here and there.  But did you know you can make this healthy-ish?!?!  Add lemon, cilantro, scallions, and some hot sauce—BOMB!

GETTING AROUND

Undergraduate: My time with my Ford Escort.  What a feisty little thing.  She was constantly pregnant with fast food wrappers.  I was a crazy lazy child and drove everywhere.  Plus, Portland rain makes no one want to stroll.

Graduate: My feet and public transportation everywhere I go!  My first week here I’m surprised I didn’t collapse.  The walking life is REAL.  And not only that, walking in this city can be like you’re scaling walls.  So my sweat mustache has been part of my “look” here.  So thank goodness it’s so progressive here.

LET’S PARTY!

Undergraduate: Drinking was part of the college experience!  I could drink Thursday through Sunday, drinking whatever was in front of my face. Let’s go to DA CLUB and even wear HEELS!   Hangovers were not that gnarly, I could still keep it going.  Then I could get back to business and do whatever work I needed to for school.

Graduate: Grabbing a drink post-class is a great stress reliever!   A few drinks and chatting about classes and life…SITTING DOWN.  Since I am still who I am, I love me a good binge session.  A nice bar, that’s my only criteria.  But I cannot go out on the weekends and do consecutive days of drinking.  I’ve had the worst hangovers while being here.  I blame this on age.  It hurts, I can’t hang and be a responsible student.  An entire day spent in bed hanging onto my pillow pet and drinking pedialyte is not cool for being grown.

There it is!  Let’s all pray to RuPaul or whatever you follow in the spiritual sense, and hope I get through this effing program and graduate!

I May Be Too Old To Go Out

When TLC sings, “Stick to the rivers and the lakes that you’re used to,” I feel that this is applicable to my social life. Simply put, I need to not think I’m a young bad bitch– I’m an old bad bitch that’s had her fun. I’m now used to sitting, drinking, talking, and judging other people. I’d rather sip wine and have a great conversation. The days of taking two hours to get ready while trying to flounce around in high heels are done, and I need to tattoo this on my forehead. Due to some shitty fucking life circumstances and my partner in desmadre gone, I’ve become the ultimate hermit. However, I did make an effort a couple of times to put on nice clothes, some lipstick, and pull myself together.

Given my shitty life circumstances I mentioned, my brain decided to purchase a one-way ticket to a mineshaft.  I have been the proverbial wet blanket; the sad clown smoking and talking about his “bitch of an ex-wife” in front of the kids at a birthday party. When I am in these places in life, alcohol and I are like Bobby and Whitney (RIP, girl). I also grow  a “DO NOT PRESS/SELF DESTRUCT” button that somehow gets pressed anyway.  At one recent outing, someone decided it would be a great idea to load me up with free vodka. Free. Vodka. Superman would also consider free vodka comparable to kryptonite. Anywho, I said and did some dumb shit to some random strangers. And just like that, the bouncer shooed me away like a stray cat. At this point, I feel I may need a face transplant before I can go back.

The second time I went out, I was lured out with the promise of a free drink by my gal pal (see how “free” is a theme?) I got semi-fancy, wore some heels, and was armed with the desire to go with the flow. I walked into the venue and felt like I was an alien that crash-landed on earth. Naturally, I drank to make that feeling go away, but not to the point where I made an idiot out of myself. In non-chronological order, here is a list of things that happened that night that re-affirmed I was a senior citizen:

  • My friend was doing the Roger Rabbit dance in the middle of the dance floor and kept saying, “Bitch, we’re getting Taco Bell after this.” When you care more about getting food afterward over talking to cute guys, that means you’re old.
  • Cute guys were all 23 and under.
  • If you go into the middle of the dance floor, someone always has intense “fresh-cut onions” body-odor. Always. Portland doesn’t believe in deodorant.
  • Someone ALWAYS farts. The heat created by people dancing doesn’t help this situation.
  • I saw a really well-dressed guy at the bar, and just as I was like, “Oh hey boo,” he began to twerk on another guy. My gaydar is mal-functioning.

There is a plus side to this situation. I drank and didn’t pop-off, so that’s great news! I’m not a complete Amanda Bynes mess! I’m just going to own loving wine and chillin:

Bye Portland, I’ll miss you…

Portland OR and I broke up.  After 9 years together we just didn’t “feel” each other anymore.  Coming from a small town to Portland when I was 18 was the one of the best decisions I ever made.  I found myself as a young adult and really learned life on my own.  After so much time though, I felt as though I got all I could out of the place.

downtown-portland-and

The next adventure in life has always been grad school, so since I am not getting any YOUNGER, I knew time was ticking.  I still have no ties to hold me down, I still have the opportunity in life to pick up and bounce, to figure out  this new phase of life.  So where am I going?!?!!?

San Francisco…you win.

sf

I’m going into grad school in SF and couldn’t be more excited but nervous as hell.  I don’t really know many down there, so I’m really going step out of my comfort zone and go all in.

Living in Portland I had my share of  “hates” but as I make this transition , I shall share little bits of my life in Portland I’ll miss…

Driving

I feel the most at peace when driving around.  Not only do I have full control (of the car that is), but I have an opportunity to listen to my music at an obnoxious volume and cut people off to feel good about myself.  Plus, I knew ALL the routes and parking  situations in most areas like a boss.  My parallel parking skills were off da hook.  INSERT ALL THE BRAGS HERE

My “home”

This particular “crib” was my first post-college, single lady pad.  It was unique and carried a lot of memories.  That place saw a lot…positive, negative, regrets, celebrations, barf, etc.  Just the neighborhood, it had character.  Front stoop sitting and drinking…the best.  Packing that bitch up was a truly emotional and sad experience.

Holiday time

Portland is beautiful, peaceful and lit up with lights left and right during the holiday months.  The days/nights that it doesn’t rain, the coldness mixed with a hot drink (hot chocolate or hot toddy, your choice) just feels perfect and picturesque.

The regular drinking spots and getting beyond schwilly

These evolved over the years, but a staple here and there that stayed true.  It’s nice having a regular joint, you know what you’re getting into and you know what you’re drinking and who might be there.  This can also serve as all negatives too, but now that I think about it…having comfort like that is nice.  By the end of my days in Portland, I just watched people like a hawk in the corner with all the judgements but got hella twisted.  My ride or die homies right there to save my life.  Building up friendships like that are tough…

Portland Summer Nights

Some of the most beautiful times have been had on Portland summer nights.  There is something in the air when the night time feels warm that makes Portlanders just go crazy.  I appreciate that.  Shenanigans ensue!

That’s all I can really think about right now.  I think more time away I shall revisit this post and will have much more to add.  Or I can make a new post that is more like “Portland sucks and I will never want her again, SF is the baddest bitch and I mean baddest as in she’s better.”

To my family and friends in my Oregon home…Imma miss you so much!!!!