Soledad en masa

Archive for the ‘Personal’ Category

I’m a published author! Buy the book!

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I write to let you know that a story of mine was included in a book. I participated in journalist and author Sam Quinones‘ Tell Your True Tale workshop at the East Los Angeles Library over the past few months. Our nonfiction stories were collected and published in this book, which you can buy as a paperback or Kindle edition via Amazon.

The stories by seven first-time authors — of braceros, mariachis, bus riders and vets — are tremendous and reflect East Los Angeles and similar neighborhoods in a profound way. My story is a polished version of a story that first appeared in this site.

Tell Your True Tale aims to get new writers working on stories about their own lives, or the stories of those close to them. Stories that are true but read like fiction are the goal.

Please take a moment to check out the book, buy it in the form you prefer, and share it with others!

We’re planning an event in Los Angeles in the coming months. I’ll let you know about it..


Written by soledadenmasa

February 25, 2014 at 8:21 pm

2013 in review

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The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 24,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 9 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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December 31, 2013 at 7:58 pm

Posted in Personal

Mariachi & Cinco de Mayo

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This is my last post for LAist.

What It’s Like To Be A Mariachi Performer on Cinco de Mayo

In the grand U.S. tradition of co-opting ethnic pride as an excuse to get totally blotto, this weekend bars and dorm rooms across the United States have been celebrating the Mexican Army’s 1862 defeat of invading French imperial forces (nevermind Mexico’s subsequent defeat and status as French colony for three years). Drinko de Mayo, Gringo de Mayo, whatever you call it, is what Gustavo Arellano calls a “mestizo St. Patrick’s Day.” This weekend will be the only time of year mainstream U.S. will want to be Mexican, putting on fake bushy mustaches, wearing sombreros and listening to Antonio Aguilar lament about being away from his homeland.

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May 6, 2013 at 7:58 pm

To a drowning person

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“By far the great majority of the people who go through even the severest of depression survive it, and live ever afterward at least as happily as their unafflicted counterparts. Save for the awfulness of certain memories it leaves, acute depression inflicts few permanent wounds.”

“It is of great importance that those who are suffering a siege, perhaps for the first time, be told – be convinced, rather – that the illness will run its course and that they will pull through. A tough job, this; calling “Chin up!” from the safety of shore to a drowning person is tantamount to insult, but it has been shown over and over again that if the encouragement is dogged enough – and the support equally committed and passionate – the endangered one can nearly always be saved.”

“To most of those who have experienced it, the horror of depression is so overwhelming as to be quite beyond expression, hence the frustrated sense of inadequacy found in the work of even the greatest artists.”

“… if depression had no termination, then suicide would, indeed, be the only remedy. But one need not sound the false or inspirational note to stress the truth that depression is not the soul’s annihilation; men and women who have recovered from the disease – and they are countless – bear witness to what is probably its only saving grace: it is conquerable.”

All quotes from William Styron’s Darkness Visible: A Memoir of Madness.

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April 20, 2013 at 3:28 am

Posted in Personal

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Remembering Sal Castro

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I wrote a piece on Sal Castro’s death for LAist. Here’s a snippet:

Castro’s message was easily distilled into the message on the podium in the photo above: “No sean mensos (Don’t be idiots). Go to college and graduate!” I still have his business card from when I attended the CYLC eight years ago. On the back is the stronger version of his message: “No sean pendejos (Don’t be dumbasses). Go to college and graduate!”

Read the whole piece over at LAist.

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April 16, 2013 at 6:28 pm

Local Battery Recycler Poses Highest Cancer Risk In Southern California

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Local Battery Recycler Poses Highest Cancer Risk In Southern California

AQMD said Exide’s Vernon plant “posed a higher cancer risk to more people than any of more than 450 facilities the agency has regulated in Southern California in the last 25 years.”

Check out an article of mine at LAist on the Exide battery recycling plant in Vernon.

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April 9, 2013 at 9:55 pm

Posted in Personal

Does anyone read this site anymore?

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I have nothing to share with anyone. Nothing to talk about. No way to connect with others. I’m 23. What is my life supposed to look like right now? Am I supposed to meet people, be in relationships or dating people, or have friends? Go out and experience the world? Work and try to save the world with naïveté? I hide from everyone and everything because there’s nothing and no one for me out there.

Can I say I am living at all?

I find no reason to wake up and face the world every day. Maybe it’s time to settle my affairs and go away.

Written by soledadenmasa

March 30, 2013 at 6:00 am

Posted in Personal