Film Lust Quarantine Life

Party Girls

We’re going into a month-long curfew period, so today was a final hurrah. I’ve got to plan out a good creative strategy for the new period of social isolation or I’ll piss this golden time away.

Today I picked up my homegirl for a long overdue visit. We endured several hours waiting for her COVID test while standing in the mud with no bathroom. Making this health necessity tedious and uncomfortable does not encourage folks to get tested.

So we popped by Van’s Bakery in Westminster to chase the blues away. Got fruit tarts, a mango mousse and the cutest Yule log for a delightful Afternoon Tea Party. Vietnamese bakers are masters of French culinary techniques. Oh La La!

We capped it all off with an inter-generational screening of the 1990’s cult classic, PARTY GIRL.

PARTY GIRL is the story of a charming slacker trying to find her way in ephemeral mid-90’s New York. The film is an effervescent celebration of downtown art lofts, club kids, fabulous street fashion and BOOKS.

Since I’m an almost librarian, a bibliophile, and was living out this same narrative in downtown LA in the mid-90’s, PARTY GIRL will always hold a special place in my heart. Plus it’s a female-driven narrative, written & directed by Daisy von Scherler Mayer, starring Parker Posey, and featuring a fabulous multi-cultural cast!

Total FilmLust.

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 35

I’m excited to interview one of my cultural heroes!

El Vez: The original Tiger King

Dreamocracy in America‘s star-spangled guest is Robert Lopez! Known as El Vez (the Mexican Elvis) and co-founder of the legendary punk group The Zeros, Lopez joins us for a chat about his trailblazing work & his plans for the 2020 El Vez 4 Prez tour.

My partner Victor Payan knows Robert from growing up in San Diego. We can always count on an El Vez holiday show at the Casbah every Christmas, as that’s usually when Lopez visits his folks in the South Bay. He comes from a musical family too, with his relatives being Sheila E from Prince and the Revolution, Alejandro Escovedo and Pete Escovedo.

Sheila E – “The Glamorous Life”
Prince with Sheila E on drums

I love Robert’s El Vez persona for its intoxicating cross cultural mashups.

I live for hybrid culture.

My first meetup with Robert was at the Bowl of Beings after-party in the early 1990’s. I still have his autographed headshot from that night. Lopez has always been pure fire and an inspiration to behold.

Feel the magic for yourself tomorrow!

You can register on the Dreamocracy In America website.

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 29

It’s our big Zoom show day with Herbert Siguenza!

We had sketches, excerpts of his plays and visual poetry in our weekly installment of Dreamocracy In America.

Our special guest Herbert Siguenza!

Here’s the video:


Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 28

I still remember the first time I saw “Bowl of Beings” by Culture Clash at the LATC in the early ’90’s. It captured my imagination and knitted together an entire community.

My mentor Gronk did the set design, graffiti-inspired backdrops, a giant pizza slice that came down from the ceiling. Mister Ed, the cholo carpenter built out the wooden stage structures & details. Del Zamora and Chicano Secret Service starred in Culture Clash’s “Luchador Chicano.” My dear amiga Minerva Garcia co-starred in their “Chavez Ravine.” Past co-conspirator Lalo Alcaraz wrote for the Culture Clash TV show on Fox. At many levels, we’re all familia.

Culture Clash are masters at capturing our Latinx Icons. Their portrayals crack open stereotypes and sacred cows.

The members of Culture Clash, Herbert Siguenza, Richard Montoya, and Ric Salinas, have collectively impacted our collective experience of Latinx-Pop Culture & Theater like few others.

For all these reasons, it’s an honor to have Herbert Siguenza as our guest tomorrow on Dreamocracy In America.

Fun Fact: Herbert used to live in my old loft on Santa Fe & 7th after I moved into Gronk’s Pineapple Building on Spring Street. Richard Montoya lived on the ground floor of the Santa Fe building and used to host epic soirees.

We used to all be such a social little community in DTSA, all along 7th Street from Grand to Santa Fe. It’s hard to not pine for those days of dinner parties and open salons. Has life, as we’ve known it, ended?

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 27

I’m dreaming of a Gothic Garden. Black flowers only.

Our cloudy skies are seeding dreams of dark and velvety blossoms. My inner goth is pining for a pretty spot to brood.

The internet picked up on my dark desire and sent me this lovely Twitter thread on the topic of black flowers. What synchronicity!

I’ve recreated the thread here for our pleasure:

Black Persian Lilies

Black Wizard Lily

Onyx Odyssey Black Hellebore

Black Star Calla Lilies

Black Baccara Roses

Queen of the Night Tulip

Black Beauty Tulips

Raven Girl Iris

Black Iris

Black HollyHock

Black Burgundy Dahlias

Debonair Black Cherry Petunias

Black Velvet Petunias

Black Cherry Petunias

Black Cosmos that smell like Chocolate

Jack In The Pulpit

I’m OBSESSED with the idea of a Gothic Garden. My grandmother’s rose garden has mostly died off and left the perfect spot to cultivate these dark beauties.

After I get my Victory Garden producing, I’m going to start sourcing these exotic flowers. In the meantime, enjoy this fun little film about Gothic Ladies, old and new.

Sweet Goth kisses!

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 26

I’m craving berries.

Lockdown has not been a time of convenience. It seems reckless to pop out for every craving, so these dark delights just pile up on the wish list.

Right now my wish list includes:

Strawberries, Raspberries, Blueberries, Doritos, Pepperoni, Cesar Dressing, Ice Cream, Granola, Prosciutto, Kashi Cereal, Twinnings English Breakfast Tea, Swedish Ginger Cookies, Whipped Cream, Wasa Crisp Bread, Dark Chocolate Chips, Puff Pastry Dough and some Lambrusco.

These things aren’t essentials, but indulgence takes the edge off confinement. However, constant indulgence creates its own vicious cycle, so I’m going to balance all this out with some time in the garden.

After prepping some old wine crates as raised beds, I planted bare root strawberries today. They’re inexpensive compared to buying full size strawberry plants. Hopefully they are not too delicate. It’s been drizzling pretty steadily, so I’m gambling that these babies will thrive.

Garden bliss.

La madre tierra.

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 25

It’s a food foraging day.

This pandemic is making sourcing ingredients a challenge. Stepping up to fill the void are restaurants!

Even though yesterday’s cinnamon rolls used up an entire cup of sourdough discard, they also devoured our last envelope of yeast. So I was excited to find The Filling Station was selling two pound bags of active dry yeast PLUS 25 pound bags of flour!

This should keep me baking awhile…

Even our local Norms is offering groceries.

Besides the lack of yeast, eggs, milk and toilet paper have been in short supply. I’m sure y’all have seen the crazy videos of American shoppers in a feeding frenzy over these items.

We’ve been totally craving diner food so how could I resist?

Filled our fridge! We easily got 10 quality breakfasts out of this so it was a great deal. Norms seems determined to stay in business and is also offering other take home options.

Santa Ana’s Avila’s El Ranchito is also offering takeout. Their Facebook page is on fire with tasty Mexican options, even margaritas & Taco Tuesday so definately check ’em out.

Not to be left out is OC favorite, Villa Roma.

They are even offering groceries!

Can’t wait to savor this South American comfort food and explore other to-go options. The lockdown has devastated local restaurants so I’m down to support their efforts to stay afloat as much as possible.

Give your local spots some love!

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 24

It’s a Sourdough Easter Sunday! He is risen & it is risen!!

I have loads of sourdough discard and found a great cinnamon roll recipe to make with it. It’s on my Pinterest along with other yummy recipes.

This was my first time making these and the rolls were pure perfection. With all the cinnamon sugar already in the recipe, I didn’t top them off with frosting. That’s overkill.

It’s a beautiful treat for this special day.

Normally, Easter is spent in the park. A Tejano amigo, Robert B Gonzales, summed this annual ritual up perfectly in this hilarious animation. It’s so South Texas!

Happy Easter y’all!

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 23

The Border Arts Workshop keeps being a source of inspiration. Another member is gracing our vida with his knowledge.

Producer/Director Isaac Artenstein is lecturing to our Media Arts Santa Ana MILPA (Millennial Producers Academy) today.

Isaac is an award-winning producer who’s first feature film “Break of Dawn” was about Mexican-American radio trailblazer, Pedro J. Gonzalez. He went on to do a ton of documentaries, tv series, and the camp indie hit “A Day Without A Mexican.”

Isaac also used to run a legendary micro-cinema and cultural cafe, the Cafe Cinema in San Diego. They used to screen my art videos in the mid-90’s and it’s where I first met my husband, Victor Payan.

It’s fun to see how this friendship has come full circle. Payan and I have a media non-profit in Orange County and we’re presenting Isaac, our longtime production mentor to our students. Artenstein’s lecture will cover the Business and Art of Producing.

The full video of Isaac Artenstein’s presentation is below:

Quarantine Life

CA Lockdown – Day 22

Puro Pocha Power!

We had a fabulous and historic episode today on Dreamocracy In America with the infamous Border Brujo himself, Guillermo Gomez Peña, founder of La Pocha Nostra.

Almost as exciting as having Guillermo on the show, were all the folks who tuned in from around the globe. Six continents represented!

It was Marshall McLuhan‘s Global Village brought to life!

I’ll post the video below as soon as it’s edited.