18 12 2008

If you haven’t heard the news yet, I will be leaving Long Beach…again andmoving back to the bay…again.  As 2008 begins to close out, I’ve also realized that there were some life altering moments this year. In late May, I graduated with my MA in Education from SFSU. My two year Bay Area plan had reached completion and I had decided to move back to LB to be closer to family and get rooted in my old stomping grounds. The landing was a harsh and bumpy one, partly cuz of poor planning, the economic meltdown, the state of urban education, and the unexpected happenings of being lower class residents of the ghetto. Right around the time I had moved my things to LB, I found out that my family was being forced to find a new apt. This happened due to the an incident with the neighbors downstairs and all the hood cats that were starting to come around. Another incident in the apt also resulted in some scuffle with social services threatening that they would remove my nephews and nieces from our household because of the poverty-ridden habitat we called “home”. My fam has grown to 10 members and we occupy a tiny 2 bedroom apt. Mix that with slumlord overseer, sub par housing conditions, a mother and sister who are “pack rats” and you have a stuffed up home and constant state of dysfunction.

Anyhow, my fam was able to find a more spacious 2 bd apt but this time in Paramount, northeast of LB, about 1o miles from its center. I found myself having to travel an extra 7 miles as opposed to just 3 miles or less to visit them but I’m glad they were able to leave some of the chaos of our old apt. My 3 nephews and 3 nieces have safe space to run around outside. There’s a washer and dryer hookup and my mom was able to plot out some land to plant her garden. 

I had moved back to live with the same roomate that I had lived with before I had originally left for the bay. He had kept the apt to himself for the 2 years that I was gone and I had pretty much come back to same apt but with a plasma screen, more decor, and more plants. It must be deja vu because here I am making the same move to the bay again after returning for about 5 months. And its been a hard and painful 5 months. I was unemployed for about 3 months with no unemployment check. When I finally got hired as a sub teacher with Torrance Unified, I only worked twice in a month. I also signed up for another private agency and only sub twice again. Then I got hired on with Bellflower Unified and this was the day the car accident happened. This is the incident that put me over the tipping point. Since being hired with Bellflower, I haven’t been able to accept jobs because I’ve been without my car for about 3 weeks. I could take the bus but you SoCal folx now that public trans out here is not the bizness and I would not want to risk getting to work late or get lost.

The message I took from this incident was that a divine force was sending me to the bay to handle some unfinished business. Maybe I had left prematurely. I also had some weird dreams with some of my bay area folx appearing in them. Then it started to become clearer and clearer. I was at the end of my rope money wise. I didn’t have a car to get to work. My community in LB was scattered. My family had moved another city over. My bay fam was growing and connecting me to job opps out there. After a handful of interviews, I now have a job secured with an elementary school after-school program in the city which I am set to start once the new year begins. snapshot-2008-12-18-15-51-08The homie from the POKER rides is the program coordinator and the other homies are also after school teachers. To top it all off, my nephew, who’s a senior in high school, is considering SFSU as a college option and wants to move in with me once fall comes around. Once again, the bay is welcoming me with open arms and a good job. Let me not forget, my partner who has shown tons of love and support during this difficult time in my life and is securing “home” for me. Thanks love!!! Thank you to my family who continues to support my decisions even though I may be further away from them!…and thank you LB to Bay family…WE MAKE HOME ERRRRRRRWHERE WE GO!!!


The Roots – Why (What’s Goin’ On?) (from The Tipping Point, 2004)

Joe Quarterman & Free Soul – (I’ve Got) So Much Trouble In My Mind (from the GSF 45) via Flea Market Funk


5 12 2008

So this is a very personal post. Only a few people really know about this incident. Funny how we are more open in virtual space than in real life but here goes anyway. I was involved in a car accident this past Tues Nov. 18. as I was headed to Bellflower Unified to fill out hiring papers for substitute teaching. The accident occurred as I was driving down the 710N at about 8:45am. I was in the furthest lane to the left (i.e. “the fast lane”). A car in the lane to the right of me tries to merge into my lane but doesn’t check his blind spot. I begin to slow down and honk but the guy keeps coming. In an effort to avoid getting hit, I brake and slighty veerleft as my car swerves swiping the center divider and spinning outta control. Basically I’m diagonally facing traffic.





To make matters worse, a CHP officer that coincidentally was driving pass the site of the accident turned out to be unhelpful. The only helpful thing he did was hold traffic back so I could pull of to the right shoulder of the freeway. He didn’t really give a fuck about the state of shock or trauma that I was experiencing one bit. I asked him if I needed to report the accident to DMV or anything else…His response, “Did you get a licensce plate? Nothing can really be done without that. All they can do is take down the report.” He also added that he wouldn’t be the one to do it because it wasn’t his jurisdiction. At this moment, I’m thinking…”What a worthless piece of shit you are officer” and “How the hell was I supposed to remember the plate when my car is hitting the center divider and spinning outta control!!! Also what he was inferring was the the best case scenerio was to just get hit and make sure the accident would occur so the other driver’s car couldn’t get away! R U SERIOUS!!??!?!

Well, now all i could do was take it up with my insurance company. I tried my best to shake off the shock/trauma I was feeling and proceeded to head out to Bellflower and fill out my hiring papers.

At the end of the day all I could be really thankful for is my safety. Material objects can be replaced but not an arm or a leg. And the friends and family that I talked to also echoed the same sentiment cuz things could always be worst..rite!?!?!

I’ve been reflecting and reflecting lately…To me, everything that occurs is a microcosm that reflects the condition of our society. I started to consider of the different “what ifs” that might have happened if the scenerio played out differently. What if this other driver would’ve hit me, how would the accident have turned out? Would I really walk away from it unharmed? What other cars might be affected? I also thought, what if this was a person. A life would be saved but would I be looked at as a selfless hero or would the public think I was some crazy driver and that it was my fault. I felt that I did the most natural and human thing I could have possibly done = avoid the accident. When you see someone going to hit you, you dodge…but the “law”, the insurance company, is trying to make me feel as if I did the wrong thing. To do the right thing in this society is to do the wrong thing. How backwards and primitive is that? I remember the words of a friend saying, “When you’re doing things that are right, just, and correct. A system that is wrong, unjust, and incorrect won’t allow for these things to happen”. The quote was said in response to the educational system but it can be applied to our society on a whole. All I can say is that my thoughts, my energy, and my strength goes out to all those who continue to suffer in silence as they do things that are right and just. Our struggles are not lost…we will truimph!!!