Thursday, July 29, 2004

Support the Arts!

Back in my old neighborhood in San Francisco, a wonderful muralist named Juana Alicia is struggling with the love of neighborhood and the frustration of not getting paid by the city for her work.

Juana is, in my opinion, one of the best muralists around. Her style is so unique and full of life, drawing upon indigenous themes, social causes and calls to action.

Long story short: her latest project, La Llorona, is in a budget crisis. She is working without reimbursement as the city's bureaucracy plays hot potato with her budget.

Juana needs your support. Her work is medicine in the truest sense of the word. The images she paints bring healing to the community.

Go to Juana's website to learn more of her story and how you can support this amazing muralista.

Friday, July 23, 2004

In the News, Ideal Clients and Other Cool Dealios

First the News Part:

I recently gave a couple of interviews that will be hitting the newstands in September, one maybe in October and another one pending. 

When Latinos see the name "Comadre Coaching" they are instantly intrigued. I didn't decide on that name because I thought it would attract news attention, I just couldn't think of a better name to describe what I do for a living. A comadre is a trusted female friend, advisor, confidant. She'll tell you when your gut is sticking out, she'll champion you in your endeavors. A couple of journalists contacted me to learn more about what I do, how I weave Latino/Indigenous philosophy into my work, what types of women I work with, etc.  It was fun being interviewed because I've been practicing for a while. I talk to myself when I drive and why not give an interview!  (Must note this for a future Loca Ritual!) 

Look for me in the Orange County Register in September or October, Latino Future in September and catch an article I wrote for Cuerpo Magazine that should be coming out soon.

Ideal Clients
Last week at a networking event for eWomen Network, Lisa Cherney of Conscious Marketing presented on attracting your ideal clients. Who are they, how do they make you feel, do you feel energized by them?  I instantly thought of several clients I currently have, especially my Chispa Group. They are the coolest bunch of women ever assembled in one place and I give thanks and praise every day for them.

During Lisa's talk, she identified her ideal clients. People who "get" her, who resonate with what she calls "intuitive marketing", which is not as woo-woo as it sounds! It's all about attracting people who you love, who love you and who energize you.  So at the end of her presentation, she passed out song lyrics, popped in a CD and asked everyone to stand and sing along!  You should have seen the botox squirm! I was in the back so I could see everyone and it was split between  "what the hell, let's have fun" and "no way am I singing at a women's networking event!"  Well, I sang and had a blast. The waiters stood behind me and laughed and I just shrugged it all off. I called Lisa the next day to congratulate her on her boldness. By being herself, she probably eliminated the discomfort of trying to make less than ideal clients into ideal clients. I applaud her courage and love the idea that people who are in love with her style will contact her.  There are lots out there and I wish her continued success.

Other Dealios...
I'm starting a new coaching circle and I'm so very very excited about it. I'm still doing the page for it, but if you want a sneak peak go to

Instead of a Master Mind group (a collection of successful people who gather to continue their success) it's a Maestra Mind Group.

Sorry guys, chicas only.  It's going to be great. The first group will be for women who have owned a business for at least one year with a newbie group forming later this year.

Then there is the Craftypreneur Project, an effort to help funky crafters take their work to a larger scale, make a living off of it and put more vibrancy in this world with their awesome work. Three free conference calls will take place in September... zap me an email and I'll send you mas info.

peace out mi gente!



Friday, July 16, 2004

Throw Another Plum on the Barbie...

MMMMMMM yum. Big family bbq last night, at least what we in California call a bbq. A grill-fest for you true blue que-ers. Here's what we concocted:

Grilled salmon w/ plum and fig salsa
roasted tomatillo salsa
bearnaise sauce (yes, at a summer bbq- odd request from my dad)

My mom has a plum tree and she's not the canning/drying type of person so I decided to make a soy sauce marinade then serve sweet and hot salsa over it. Here are my recipes.

It's all about SWEET-SALTY-HOT-TANGY. nuff said.

Grilled Fruit Salsa:

8-10 Plums (I used black plums, the kind you make prunes out of, but any kind will work)
you could also use nectarines, peaches, or other stone fruit

1/3 c. finely chopped red onion

1-4 serrano or jalapenos chiles

salt to taste

sweetener of you choice (optional)

1. cut the plums in half and remove the pits.

2. Place the fruit skin side down on a medium hot grill. Put the chiles (serranos or jalapenos) on the grill and evenly blacken all sides. Leave plums on for about 10 minutes or until skin loosens.

3. Using tongs, remove fruit from grill and put aside. DIscard the skins.

4. Put charred chiles in a paper or plastic bag and let them sweat for about 15 min. After 15 minutes, rinse the skins off under the faucet. Don't do like i did and rub your eye or else you'll have this bizarre heat sensation going on that could be potentially harmful. So be forewarned and watch your fingies.

5. Chop the grilled fruit, finely chop the chiles and onion and put in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add salt to taste and maybe, just maybe a little sweetener if your fruit wasn't sweet enough. This could be a pinch of sugar or honey or stevia. Don't O.D. on the sweet or else you'll lose the focus of the salsa.

6. Let this lovely concoction sit at least one hour before serving.

Serve over salmon, pork, chicken or whatever your little heart desires. Makes about 2 cups of salsa.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Scrabble With the Folks

I'm enjoying a week up in the Bay Area with my family. My itinerary includes lots of time hanging out with the family, running Citlalli around the backyard and spending evenings with my parents, Tom and Bunny.

Last night we played Scrabble after dinner- my mom was jonesing for a Scrabble game and felt excited to have a new partner. I'm not a big game player and lack that vicious competitive edge... well at least I thought I did!

The game started with me, flopping "bent" onto the board for 12 points. Whoopee.

My mom and dad kept the excitement going with such stellar words as "ant", "is", "am", and "bed". Not a big night for vocabulary building.

I don't know how, but I started getting a few triple word scores, and raked in 26 points for "zits", hitting double word score.

Mid-game score:
Nancy : 102
Bunny : 71
Tom: 70

"That darn Nancy, she's gonna smear us, Tom."

"Not quite yet", pipes in my dad as he settles his tiles onto the board.

"There ya' go", he pronounces, "KED".

"That is not a word Tom", protests Bunny. "I challenge it."

"Bunny, of course it's a word. 'KED'. What do you mean you've never heard 'ked'?"

She casts a doubtful glance my way. Oh no, now I have to get dragged into it.

"Nancy, have you ever heard of the word 'ked'?"

"Well, I know Ked shoes..."

"NO proper nouns, Tom! " slams Bunny.

As enjoyable as the exchange was, I really didn't want to sit and wait hours for my dad to find a new word so I voted that we allow "ked" and get on with it. Bunny rejected my obvious siding with my dad- "Nancy, he cheats! Don't let him get away with it!", but I wasn't really advocating, I just wanted to keep playing!

The game continued with my try at cheating by adding an "r" to "cage".

"Cager? That's not a word", Bunny says as she thumbs through her Official Scrabble Dictionary. "If it's not in this dictionary then it doesn't exist".

I justify: "A cager is someone who puts other people in a cage. Like a jailer puts someone in jail. I think it works."

Tom perks up. "Cager is a perfectly acceptable word, Bunny. Let her have it and put your word down."

So we went on and on like this, my score a good 30 points ahead of the folks. We were nearing the end of the game and I had to resort to adding an "s" to some words for lack of any other options.

Then it suddenly materialized on my little tile tray. I had an "x" worth 8 points, "v", "c", some real good ones. Enough vowels, an opening on the board- I had a killer word.

"OK", I warned, "I apologize but I'm about to smear you both and all I can say is thank you for investing in my education. Look at this as a compliment to your hard work and ..."

"Just put the word down!", they moaned.

"C-o-n-v-e-x. Convex- like a covex lens. Let's see, that's a triple letter score on the 'x', a double word score... That will be 57 points please."

They howled, they moaned, they felt the pain of defeat. I handled my victory with graciousness and
dignity. With hardly any tiles left in our hands, we ended the game with a jumble of letters making up definitions as we went along.

Tom invented "hajarped", modifying the existing "ajar".

Bunny daringly put the "q" she'd been holding onto and made up a bizarre word.

So it ended with lots of laughing and here I am, the next morning, looking at the score pad and marveling at that line under my name with the number 57 on it.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Quotes from Chairman Paco

Paco is my dreadlocked Chicano/Yaqui/Sober/Rasta/Radical husband who has a penchant for boiling down life's complexities into streetwise, edgy phrases.

Elusive as he is, I don't have any photos of him to offer. But I do have a couple of gems that only could come from Paco.

On going to see an artsy, foreign film:
"I don't want to see some movie about a kid in Norway tryin' to fly a kite."

On the misbehaviors of my twin 8 year old cousins, little demons with slickly combed hair and preppie sweaters:
"Who invited the Menendez Brothers?"
(remember Lyle and Eric?)

graffiti left on one of my inspirational, visioning post-it notes:
My words: What is it I want?
Scraggly graffiti added: "Chocolate cookies!! And a little respect..."

More will be revealed...

Thursday, July 01, 2004

More Musings On Mullets

I sent out a link to this mullet thing to family and friends and left a long message on my friend Suzanne's answering machine asking for specific definitions of "mullet", as perhaps I was confusing what I did w/ something else. Maybe I gave a "Jennifer" or a new century shag.

Suzanne straightened me out. Here is her response:

hi - got your message last night - and yes, a mullet, by definition is
short on top and long in the back. a bi-level, two-tiered hairdoo,
business in the front party in the back...

i believe the mullet was dignified and maybe even cool in the
post-punk, new wave music movement of the 80's when Bowie and Mel Gibson sported
the doo.
But all mullet-dignity plunged and staleness crept in when mulletites
michael bolton and billie ray cyrus came late to the party .

according to my book, "the mullet - hairstyle of the gods" by mark
larson and barney hoskyns, the mullet has been around for centuries.

"Will the Mullet ever disappear?" the authors ask themselves
"The short answer is, not as long as people have hair and ears." they
answer themselves.

Suzanne McKaig is a multi-faceted writer, product developer and dream documentarian. Her upcoming line of dream inspired pillow cases will be on the Bettyware label.