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    Cielito Lindo

    De la Sierra Morena 
    cielito lindo, vienen bajando,
    Un par de ojitos negros,
    cielito lindo, de contrabando.

    Ese lunar que tienes,
    cielito lindo, junto a la boca,
    No se lo des a nadie,
    cielito lindo, que a mí me toca 

    Cielito Lindo has been sung to me all my life because I have a lunar junto a mi boca (dos!). Legend goes, my Tia Chaparra passed hers onto me when I was born and she gave newborn Cristina a kiss. Oti has the same lunar <3. 

    I have an obsession with madrugada serenades. This comes from a childhood that didn't allow kids to handle the remote control.  One day I'll be woken up by a man singing with mariachi on my front yard, actually I prefer a trio. If he's really brilliant, it'll be with Eva Ybarra on the accordion.  Note to self to start investing in effortless silk kimonos so I can peek out of the window looking extra fly. It's a shame I don't have two story house with a balcony, though. God, I hope Yoshimoto behaves himself. 

    Once upon a time my sister, Laura, learned this on on her guitar for me. All the way from South Korea!  I got a midnight phone call on my birthday and she sung it as she fumbled through strings. It was the sweetest gift I've ever received. Laura has always made the greatest effort to make me feel special, make me feel loved, make me feel supported. Even when we are at each other's throats, and that has been many a time, I've always known she is one of my greatest supporters and one of my greatest loves. 

    Today I'm wishing that Laura starts planning a trip home for the holidays, I want her HERE wrapped in a big red bow. I miss my sister so much, probably more than when she lived a million miles away. Funny enough, she's not all that far now and I miss her more than ever. Phone calls are easier, texts are frequent, and she is constantly helping me navigate this life-- but I can't wait til she's here and we're sitting on my porch talking about anything and everything. 
    Te hecho de menos, pecosita :( 

    Five Things (2)

    1. Friday I spent the entire day with a tiny baby human named Ezra. He is all of three months old and already tells me he loves me (with his eyes). Although he's mine, he technically belongs to one of my oldest and closest friends, Desi. I met her sixteen or seventeen years ago and since then she took a naive Cristina and exposed me to a world outside of my own- taking care of me like a little sister. Through Des I fell into a deeper love with music and dancing, with gay bars and dives (the old Bar America 4ever), with vintage shopping and knowing it's perfectly okay to dress up or not. Desi is my sister in all of the ways that matter. Y ahora, countless nights out later, road trips and vacations later, and concerts, and good cries, and a million and one inside jokes later-- she is a mom of two with a house and a family and a yard. We made it past the nights of taking tequila shots at a drive thru and dancing til our clothes were drenched to supporting each other and our new lives and fighting to stay connected. 

    2. Friday night I called Maria because I had no idea what to wear on Saturday and she is the only person in this world that makes me feel like it's okay to be irrational. She talks me through it, she navigates it with me, then she snaps me out of it. We settled on meeting up for pedicures at our favorite place. For some reason we are straight ridiculous during pedicure times. Our laughter and jokes are already out of control IRL, but we take it to another level there. These times of just us two (and our guy, George), and being able to relax, vent, confess-- they're my favorite. Believe me when I tell you that nobody understands me like Maria and although we don't see each other every day like before, she is still my #1 Amiga de la Vida (like my Guela used to say). After pedicures she came over and let me spill all of the feelings, let me be an insecure little mess, built me up again and reminded me of who I am. These moments, although sometimes scarce now, recharge me. 

    3. Saturday morning I went to my parent's house and they sent me home with a bag of limes, a bag of peaches, one pomegranate, and two barbacoa tacos. Everything but the barbacoa was grown in their yard <3. 

    4. Saturday night was finally Mujeres Mercado! We work on this baby for weeks and months on end and the day of we just hope and pray (and continue working!) that everything will be great. It was a humid day, but our mujeres didn't fail us. Everyone showed up on time and was ready to set up. There was a big gray cloud over the San Fernando Cathedral, and I just knew that it would go away-- and it did. I am so grateful for our growing community of women that uplift women, and to be honest- I am so proud of this thing that we're growing. My tia came to the market and came and told me I look really happy. I hear that a lot lately, and it's true. I've never known this kind of happiness but I welcome it and will do what I can to make it stay and make it grow. We're the last ones to break down, the last ones to leave Main Plaza, the last ones to load our cars-- but we make sure to connect and regroup. A long talk (and a lot of laughs) after a long day over some drinks and food. At the end of a crazy day/night we're still friends, Roger + Moni + tk + me. Without those first two, we couldn't make this happen. 

    5. Sunday has always been my favorite day of the week but this Sunday let me have it.  My day started at Awakening Spiritual Community where Rev Erika had me in tears thinking about perfection versus excellence. I carry her lessons with me and have found that they creep back in days after . We then booked it to Brick Market at the Blue Star where I set up for VeryThat. Roger and Moni stayed behind with our stuff (and had what they called "BroTime"), and tk and I booked it to meet a group of blogeras as organized by Melanie of Que Means What. The cherry on top of this already delicious sundae is that we got to meet Kathy Cano-Murrillo AKA the Crafty Chica!! I've followed Kathy online for years and I was totally geeing out at the idea of meeting her, but spending lunch with her? Sitting next to her and asking for her advice? Seeing how truly sweet and humble she is and how she freely shares what works for her?! It was a beautifully empowering end to an already fulfilling weekend!  

    Five things.

    1. Today has been VERY productive!  After a few weeks of being creatively stumped and unable to produce like I usually do, it feels like I finally broke through. It's been a frustrating little while, because although I know I have shows and I have to stay on my social media game (ew, did I just say that?), I've had a crazy ass block. Today was different! I've been working on and off on Mujeres Mercado, making tiles and other cositas for VeryThat, and getting some laundry and cleaning done in between. Yes, I spent the entire day at home; yes, that means I have been in my underwear getting these things done, and yes-- this is my job! 

    2. I was thinking about where I was this time last year. Looking for shows to supplement my income, living mostly off my savings, and still unsure about what the future held. This is right around the time where things started coming together for me. For those like me, you know that this is when things get a little crazy- am I ready? I better be! I realize I can no longer remember off the top of my head what events I have coming up, the little teal calendar I carry around has become my lifeline and the next few months are already bananas. THIS MAKES ME HAPPY. 

    3. On Tuesday (the 16th) some of us from Mujeres Mercado made our way to Pleasanton for a Diez y Seis event sponsored by their Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There were 7 of us set up and although it wasn't as busy as some shows are, it was a really nice time to connect with each other. As artists, as locals-never-lived-anywhere-else's and as new-to-SAers. We all sat and had dinner together, learned things about each other than't don't really come up during busy shows. How do we find time to do this when we're not gigging? I would love to figure that out because that time spent together was something I didn't know I needed. 

    4. Hitting "add friend" was nerve wrecking twice in the last month. I reconnected with two friends that once meant the world to me. I never thought I'd be the one to make the move, it never crossed my mind that we could one day be okay-- but there it was. Confirmation that things can be moved on from and forgiveness can be real. Maybe we'll never be as close as we were in that era, but knowing they're out there in this big and scary world without me knowing they're okay became too much. I am so grateful they each reached out and seemed genuinely happy to reconnect. 

    5. So many things have happened in the last few months and I was reminded of a meeting I was so nervous for earlier this Summer. I remembered my mom's motivational text (verbatim cause she's cute like that), "Tu eres chingona y todo the va a salir como tu quieres te apoyo 100 por ciento i love you." 

    Dis/connection

    I got my first smartphone something like 7 years ago, right around the time when I met my the second man I ever said 'I love you' to. There's something there that I haven't quite tapped into, but that's when I became dis/connected. Since then I haven't had more than half a day without my little friend constantly at my side- the first thing I check in the morning, the last thing I check at night.  <-- and to be real, throughout the night at times too.

    I have booked it to Target with a quickness when my charge cord gives out (and they ALWAYS give out) with my phone is at a measly 3%. The moment when I'm back in my car, tearing through the package, and finally plugging in brings a relief I can't explain. 32gb is no longer enough for me.  It's my bank, my camera, my calendar, my address book, my notebook, my lifeline.
    Yes--  I'm the girl that tunes into Apple Keynote live streams and then quickly checks when her upgrade is available. Now I use it for business too, updating my blogs and checking in on el feisbook and Instagram. The little magic #chingching that Etsy sends when I get an order still gives me the chills! What? My mom liked my pic?! #quecute


    Quite shamefully, I am the friend that can't sit through dinner without checking in on my magic little partner every few minutes, often at the annoyance of whomever I'm with at the time. When I meet those like me, those that aren't offended at my texting mid conversation- I feel at home and am free to check my phone freely at the table, instead of trying to hide it on top of my lap or in my purse.

    Since fully launching VeryThat & nurturing the baby that is Mujeres Mercado, this codependency has been taken to a whole new level. Emails and orders and Facebook Page notes flood my everyday and, honestly, sometimes it's all too much. I spent some needed time away from home a few times in the last couple months, and those stretches without service were a surprising gift. Yes, my ayPhone was still clutched in my hand or close by, but I enjoyed the music, the scenery, my company. Those emails and messages and notifications were forced to wait and inadvertently, I was forced to breathe.

    Now, don't get me wrong. I will still be the girl that asks for your WIFI password, I'll still teach you to optimize that battery life, I will most definitely ask if I can plug my phone in at your house, and I will always want the latest and greatest iGadget. Slowly but surely, though, I'm getting to the point where I can maybe leave it in my purse while I hang out with my best friend or mom. I'll take those selfies and then put it in my purse for as long as I can (but never with the ringer off, don't be crazy). I'll be Apple #rideordie4ever, pero these days, with so much less time, I appreciate those snippets of time where it's just my thoughts and me, my homies and me, my mami and me.

    365 Days ago

    May 31st 2014 will mark my very own freedom anniversary. A year ago on this day I walked out of work for the very last time. I'd been with KCI for nearly 9 years when I made the decision to give self-employment a chance. 
    I'd like to say I've never looked back. This would be the part of the movie where the newly independent and financially secure woman smiles to herself and basks in the light of her chic and airy living room with an oversized mug filled with tea. I'm here to say that it doesn't always work like that! I have looked back several times wondering if leaving the security of a 401k, full benefits, and a weekly paycheck was the dumbest thing I could have done!

    The last year has been a struggle, lots of mistakes and lessons learned, lots of heartache and a few overdue bills. But here I am now. I have survived my first year and am so appreciative of both the highs and lows. 


    Welcome to VeryThat, I hope you find things that make you reminisce, laugh, and maybe even bask in the sunlight while you smile to yourself.