cultivating & crashing

an organic collection of notes, observations, and thoughts


These past few days I’ve realized that I have passively considered myself marginalized for most of my life. When I lived at home, I was non-white (according to US standards), in an abusive home situation, low income, came from an uneducated family, I took care of younger siblings. As a student, I was struggling like mad to get over these things and also to make ends meet to be able to keep studying. I had been depressed and struggled emotional, and was unemployed and unable to provide for myself.

Suddenly, I find myself graduating and emerging into the real world with a new job and a new life. I realize I am now educated, not a visible minority, gainfully employed, emotionally stable, living with  supportive and loving partner, no messy family situation, taking care of only myself. I feel that I’ve left a vulnerable status and been accepted to a non-vulnerable status. It’s a strange transition, but a welcome one. I always knew I had a great deal of privilege relative to the rest of the world, but it was never such that it provided me enough stability to feel better off. Today, being better off is very palpable.

With this new phase of privilege comes greater responsibility to use it for good, and to help bring up those who are not here yet.


Last night we had a terrorist attack in Quebec City on a mosque, just a few days after Trump’s Muslim ban. Five people are dead and six are seriously injured after a shooting. And today it strikes me that I finally understand what terrorism feels like. I was living half an hour away from the Pentagon when September 11 happened, but I watched the events and observed the mourning in others the same way I did when it happened in Ankara or in Nice. This had nothing to do with me, those were not my people. Today, I am thinking of the acquaintances, roommates, and friends that woke up to the news that people like them had been killed for being who they are. These are my friends, my people, that have been attacked, and it is horrifying.

El año viejo

No me arrepiento

No me arrepiento de este amor
Aunque me cueste el corazón
Amar es un milagro y yo te ame
Como nunca jamas lo imagine
Tiendo arrancarme de tu piel
De tu mirada, de tu ser
Yo siento que la vida se nos va
Y que el día de hoy no vuelve mas
Después de cerrar la puerta
Nuestra cama espera abierta
La locura apasionada del amor
Y entre un te quiero y te quiero
Vamos remontando al cielo
Y no puedo arrepentirme de este amor

Dutch oven FTW

Hace mucho tiempo que no uso el horno holandés que tenemos para más que pan. Miguelito siempre está angustiado por la falta de carne en casa, así que nos hicimos un guiso de res. Quedó espectacular.

aceite vegetal
1 kg carne para guisar en cubos (~3cm)
2 cebollas medianas en cubos
1 yuca mediana en trozos
2 zanahorias en cubos
750 g porotos negros cocidos
2 jalapeños en rodajas
4 cucharaditas comino
4 hojas de laurel
2 L caldo de carne
2 cucharadas de sal
1 cucharada de pimienta

Precalentar el horno a 350F/175C. Calentar un poco de aceite vegetal en el horno holandés en fuego a máximo. Introducir los cubos de carne, ir dando vuelta para que se sellen por todas partes. Mientras tanto, saltar las verduras (cebolla, yuca, zanahoria) en una sartén con un poco de aceite a fuego alto. Cuando la carne esté sellada y las verduras hayan tomado un poco de color, añadir las verduras y el resto de los ingredientes a el horno holandés. Hornear por dos horas.


Went to a concert last night at le Cabaret Lion d’Or last night where I saw some fantastic music of wildly different styles in Spanish, French, Creole, Korean, Inuktitut, and English.

I was blown away by each of the groups. I loved the beautiful singing and hybrid mariachi-rock music of Mariachi Ghost. Stella Gonis killed us with her voice, rhythm, and dancing. Coreyah is what I strongly suspect the Gogol Bordello of Korea and just plain COOL. The Jerry Cans were an infectious mix of traditional Canadian music sung in Inuktitut, accompanied with throat singing. And to finish off, Betty Bonifassi (whom I recognized from her vocals on DJ Champion’s Chill ’em all) sang her take on chain gang songs collected in 1950s US South by Alan Lomax.

The Mariachi Ghost (Mexico, Winnipeg)
Stella Gonis (Martinique)
Coreyah (Corea)
The Jerry Cans (Iqualuit)
Betty Bonifassi (Montreal’s own)

I have now decided to update my unrealistic of reading one book from every country in the world to instead listening to music from every country in the world. The books can maybe be a lifetime goal. Now I will have a good use for Every Noise at Once! Stay tuned for an upcoming listening party.

Native peoples in Canada

I’ve been reading and learning about Native peoples in Canada in the past two months. I think it was Sarah’s lending me Children of the Broken Treaty that started it. Here are things I’m finding:

Montreal is on Haudenosaunee and Mohawk territory

Maps that show territories and languages

Wampum Chronicles

Hochelaga Rock

CBC series 8th Fire

Maps from Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada



I just spent a little while with my family. I was constantly surrounded by family members, much of the time many of us piled on top of each other or congregating together on the same bed or couch. All around lovely.

Things I touched in those two weeks:

1 mouse (dead)
1 bee (subcutaneously)
1 exhaust pipe (ouch)
2 stink bugs
2 big dogs
3 beds
9 humans with whom I share DNA

And two things I loved from how Clelia speaks:
“ogni modo”

Paredes pintadas


Mole (de frasco)

un frasco de mole Doña María
3 tomates medianos maduros, o cantidad equivalente de passata
2 tabletas de chocolate Abuelita (180g)
500 mL caldo de pollo
3 cucharadas manteca de maní
2 cucharadas azúcar
4 cucharadas pasta de chile ancho (harissa mexicano)

Licuar todos los ingredientes hasta que se haga una pasta homogénea. Calendar a fuego medio por unos minutos.