Panorama of San Bernardino

Monday, August 16, 2021


Yesterday afternoon, on a Sunday, I drove out to Boyle Heights in Los Angeles to start my own radio show. It was a program through the city's arts conservatory that I had applied for. 

The week before, I had went in to train on the boards. It was somewhat of a disaster, in the way that learning something completely new can be. 

I am by nature uncoordinated, and on that first try, I fumbled. I scripted it out, but everything moved too fast. Squinting at my script, words escaped me. 

Trying to coordinate the movements, and the "running" of the radio board, flustered me. Move this up, turn that down, turn mic on, then off. It was frigging hard. So hard. But also weirdly exhilarating and terrifying.

On that demo, I wasn't myself on air, with lots of vocalized pauses and no flow. Oh and the death knell for any broadcast, dead air. Then more dead air. Oh and I learned, the hard way, not to introduce a song unless I was sure that I could cue up the right song. 

To sum it all up, I belly flopped the demo. 

Yet still, the producer was encouraging especially about my theme of musical choices and the intersection with legal injustices. My vocal amplification was great. Along with articulation. Regarding the boards, he told me, "You'll suck till you don't. You'll get it. The boards, it's like a dance."

I thought of learning the tango with my husband Adrian and how I stepped on his feet and winced thinking of it. Dancing (unless it's pogo dancing) is not my forte.

Then, this Sunday on the show, something clicked. I relaxed. And I breathed. No script, and instead I just went with it and made notes through the show. Suddenly, I could say what I played and even wax on about a song choice or two. I even moved around the songs without incident and at the end, I was able to say why I chose the set I did. And illustrate the intersections with public defense. 

This was going to be okay. Let's do this.

Wednesday, August 4, 2021


This last Saturday, we saw X in Orange County. 

It was a show that words can't do justice. I screamed myself hoarse. Danced like a maniac. Jumping up and down fist pumping in the air to the beat. 

We were near the end of the row almost center about 12 rows back and I must admit, I went a little cuckoo. I was "that girl", but I didn't care. Adrian acted as my buffer and put up with me screaming lyrics into his ear. 

What got me there?  It was being at a concert, after all this time, for one of my favorite bands. It was seeing the Blasters rock it. And Los Lobos.

Most of all, it was X's performance. They were perfect in the most punk rock of ways. The set list was awesome with a couple of new songs from their latest, the great Alphabetland. And then everything from Los Angeles to New World to Because I Do to Breathless to We're Desperate, to White Girl. So many of these songs hit me in the gut. Instead of bowling over, I rolled over. Into the music. Wave after wave. I rode it. 

You see, I write with their music in my head and in my ears. Their lyrics are everything. Poetry really.

Yet as always, it was also the emotion of it all. It was hearing Exene sing "Come Back to Me" (remembering all those who passed during Covid) under the deepening night sky, her voice carrying over the rows into the breezy air. It was what felt like an entire eight thousand crowd sing the song "Los Angeles" in time together. Dancing to the beat.

It felt incredible. I was transported. 

We swayed. We stayed. We danced. We gave ourselves up to the night. And I lost myself in the music. 

We were desperate. And breathless always. True love. Truly.