Archives for posts with tag: Love and Rockets


As I’ve written about a lot before, I’m a mixed kid who grew up in a bicultural household. My mom moved to the U.S. from El Salvador as an adult. My dad’s grandparents were immigrants to the U.S. from Poland and Germany (so, generic white person). I grew up listening to my mom’s Latin pop (my dad’s not really a music guy) and eventually got into noisy alt rock as a teenager (my fave bands were Sonic Youth and Sleater Kinney, neither of which sound like merengue). But I didn’t discover Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez’ Love and Rockets, the early 1980s alternative comic series, until I was in my early twenties.

I loved the aesthetic of the series, the women-centric storylines, and the punked-out Chicano characters of especially Jaime’s stories. I don’t think there’s been anything quite like it, before or since. Los Bros Hernandez were on my favourite music podcast yesterday, NPR’s Alt.Latino, to talk about the music they grew up on and how it shaped their work. Here’s the link.

I don’t feel like writing book reports anymore, but I still want to keep track of the books I’ve read since my birthday. So, in order:

3.) Once Upon A Quinceañera: Coming of Age in the USA by Julia Alvarez. Excellent book on Latina identity in the U.S. and the sad sociological truths that exist alongside this lavish blow-out ball.

4.) Love and Rockets vol. 1: Music for Mechanics by Los Bros Hernandez. Brilliant book. Strong, punk rock Chicana leads.

5.) Love and Rockets vol. 2: Chelo’s Burden by Gilbert Hernandez. I prefer the Maggie and Hopey stories, but this was cool too.

6.) Love and Rockets vol. 3: Las Mujeres Perdidas by Los Bros Hernandez. Holy shit I’m in love.

7.) The Year of Magical Thinking by Joan Didion. I have nothing new to add to this conversation. Just read it.

8.) The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010, ed. Dave Eggers. Everything in this series is pitch-perfect.

Bea Arthur, the new blue bike I so excitedly posted about in April, was stolen from my porch two nights ago. I didn’t have it properly locked up because I’m naive and overly trusting (and didn’t think anyone would be so foolish as to steal a rusting vintage cruiser with one existing brake and a dangling, nonfunctional shifter). I suppose I have learned my lesson and am doing what any freshly-minted realist would do: keeping daily tabs on Craigslist and seething.

I moved to Toronto in the fall of 2004 with a 40-year-old Schwinn two-speed strapped to my parents’ rental minivan, the ride a relic from my grandmother’s wig wearin’ and child rearin’ middle years. “Toronto’s the bike theft capital of North America,” my dorm’s third-floor R.A. warned me as I struggled to manoeuvre  my clunky green cruiser into the elevator’s open mouth without dinging its fenders. I know now what she was thinking then, that my well-cared-for vintage pinup bike begged to be seized and resold to the first vain 19-year-old willing to cough up a hundred of her daddy’s dollars for the privilege. The bike was slow, had an unwieldy shifting mechanism and was unforgivingly heavy, but it sure was sexy to look at. I, however, was less concerned with humping a trophy bike than with the radical concept that my wheels should possess the ability to move at least a little faster than walking pace. So, the following summer, the green cruiser was returned to the  garage from whence it came and, in its place, my mother’s hideous early-’90s black Schwinn hybrid made the journey to Toronto. Not cool by any stretch of the imagination, but a more than adequate city bike whose theft-proof aesthetics eased my mind. Bea Arthur came into play only after my Paris-bound former roommate needed it gone, and I figured I’d be safe.

I figured incorrectly.

At least there will be bicycles for everyone else. Tonight is the launch party for Toronto’s BIXI bike share program, and I will be there with my Hopey Glass haircut and a pair of sore feet—because, let’s face it, cyclists don’t invest in walking shoes.