Sunday, August 31, 2008

Literary Band

In my quest to do things I'd never done before, I did something that I thought I'd never do: sing in a band! Skylight Bookstore put together a band called "Skylight Juice." SJ would make their command performance at the opening of "1814," an extension of the store.

I sang "background vocals." It was a kind title for a guy who stood in the back and mostly clapped along. Here's proof.

If you want to see more about the opening and more of Skylight Juice perform, click here.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Literary Convention

I don't know about you, but I cried when Mr. Obama accepted the nomination tonight. CRIED! There was so much hope in his speech, so much. When he mentioned proper treatment of gay and lesbians, I teared up. When he talked about the proper treatment of immigrants, I cupped my mouth to stifle a cry. (Ur, I was driving in my car and concerned that I would be pulled over for reckless crying)

His speech was so well written, so well delivered. I knew he was a good writer when I read his book, but this speech (and all the other writers who put in their two cents, I'm sure) was amaaaaaaaaaazing.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Literary Circumcision

Not everything I did in Mexico was vacation. I did have to write to earn my keep. Part of my going to the International AIDS Conference was to cover it for the Global Voice, the official publication of the conference, and to write something for IN Los Angeles Magazine.

I was given two hours to write an 800 word article. I was thrown into the manic buzz of the press room (see below). Journalists from all over the world frantically tried to get the jumbled words to flow into some cohesive article.

My story was on "Male Circumcision: To Cut or Not To Cut." I went to a panel discussion on circumcision and how it can reduce HIV infection. I wrote another article on the reduction of stigma and homophobia for IN Los Angeles.Here's a picture of me typing away.

Check out one of the articles that I wrote Here.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Literary Pyramids

I think inspiration is a wonderful thing. While in Mexico, I decided to visit pyramids in Teotihuacan. I did something that I think might have been the literary highlight of my year.

I took my handy-dandy camera and made this...

A British man took this photo of me. His family was quite impressed that I was working on my novel on a pyramid! Who can say that?

I must confess: I was quite proud of myself.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Literary Grace

Check out this essay by Grace Talusan here. It mentions the passing of Miss Philippines 1980 who was a finalist in the Miss Universe Pageant. I'd written about Miss Philippines in my solo show "Master of the (miss) Universe." What is a common theme in my show and the essay that Grace wrote was the need for familiar faces, especially on TV.
Um, I'm actually quite sad at hearing the news of the death of Miss Philippines Chat Silayan. She probably didn't know it, but she inspired Filipino kids in America like Grace and myself.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Literary Frida

I went to see Frida Kahlo's house. It just one of those things you must do in Mexico City. For me, there is no other Mexican icon like Frida. I didn't even bother with seeing the movie about her life because I felt that her presence could never be captured in a medium like film.
I couldn't show you pictures of the inside of the house. Photos were not allowed. So, here's the outsie landscape. The home was filled with books, pictures, furniture that belonged to Frida. It was a literal shrine to her life. I was most impressed with a letter that Poet Pablo Neruda wrote to Miss K.

Here I am, all angsted out at walking in the home where Frida and Deigo once made love.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Literary Mexico

I'd been in Mexico for a week now. And loving it. I can't believe that I'd never been here before. I first visited the Historic District. This museum is called Collegio de San Ildefonso. It's the place where Frida Kahlo first saw Diego Rivera painting. You can see the murals behind the columns.
This is a painting on the ceiling of San Ildefonso. It's of Cortes and La Malinche. She apparently became a mistress to Cortes and helped him conquer Mexico. She's seen to some as a traitor to her people.

With the conquering of Mexico, old Aztec temples were torn down and replaced by ornate churches like this one. The city recognizes this horrible deed and has windows outside of the cathedral showing the holy land under this holy land.