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efozzie 4.0


Thanksgiving… what a wonderful time of the year. This year i am taking 6 glorious days off and spending it with my family in Las Vegas.

And because I have so much time off from work and San Francisco, I’m working on a new efozzie site design and a blog overhaul. I’m attempting to convert from Blogger to Wordpress. Let me know what you think. ;)

Update your RSS feeds here. And you can visit the site at www.efozzie.com or www.efozzie.com/fun.

Sushi Changes


Sushi on 11/14/2007Does my sushi plate look different to you? Well it doesn't necessarily taste different to me or might not look out of the ordinary for you, but it's actually completely different. George-san, my resident sushi chef, the one who's been fixing my meals weekly for the last, oh, maybe two years, has left No Name Sushi!

Apparently there's some drama going on with the boss NOT paying her workers, and George-san hadn't been paid in a while. Undeniably, he was getting fed-up, and rightfully so. It just sucks because he added so much to the place, and the new chef doesn't look at friendly. I only hope my sushi-lady, Hiroko-san, doesn't leave. I may just be forced to find a new weekly regular restaurant spot.

This is so telling of what's going on in the world in general. Lots of changes happening. Does the sushi taste the same? Yes. Is it better than George-san's? Well, I suppose that's yet to be determined.

USC Homecoming 2007


Karla and I drove down to LA (and I drove back up with Amber) for USC's annual display of decadence and abundance known as Homecoming. It was a great little weekend trip with lots of driving, imbibing (not together OF COURSE), and catching up with friends, and here are some fun pics from the weekend.

Troy Campers

Little Bro, Big BroSinging DesperadoBerny, Karla, Rey, Yohan and AliaIMG_5189IMG_5240IMG_5238IMG_5205

Check out more here.

Sushi on Halloween


Sushi on Halloween 2007Karla and I had reunion sushi at No Name on Halloween night.

We situated ourselves next to the window, so that I could easily run outside with my big bag of candy if I saw any kids walk by. It kinda worked, but I also looked really strange when I ran out of the restaurant and yelled at families with "Hey, I have candy!!! Come back!" or a couple of times, "Hey, tengo dulces!" LOL

Good times.

Sushi on October 24, 2007


Sushi on October 24, 2007I had dinner with Leslie and her roommate Stephanie tonight. Good times.

Sushi on October 17, 2007


Sushi on October 17, 2007I know this isn't the best picture quality (it's from my camera phone), but I wanted to show the artistry and care that George-san, my sushi cafe, puts in the food that he makes me every Wednesday night.

Background: I eat at No Name Sushi every Wednesday (unless I'm out of town), and I literally order the same thing every time I am there. It's so routine, that Hiroko, the waitress, doesn't even take my order. She just puts my order in immediately when she sees me walk in, or if I am with people, she takes their orders and then automatically writes mine down.

Anyway, my usual order is a salmon don(buri) and 3-piece maguro sashimi. Each week for the past 3 months, George-san has been making my "usual" in different ways, so I think I'm going to take a picture of it each time, and post it up. This was tonight's dinner!

Inbox ZERO!


My work Outlook inbox is at zero... no emails... completely empty!

Woo hoo!!!

Husband material


Tonight someone described me as "husband material."

I don't quite know how to take that. On one had I don't want to be boxed into the stereotype of the guy who's great for a long-term relationship ONLY and that's it. And on the other hand, it's kind of nice to be thought of as someone's husband (although marriage isn't quite in the works just yet for me or this country).

I'll just relish in the kind thought for now.

Back to DC


I'm flying back to DC on Thursday... and guess what. This time I'm going there for fun!

Shock of all shocks, I know.

I'll be back on Monday after touring our nation's capitol for more than a day or two. And I'll get to see a host of fun people that I miss.

Racing to sleep


Do you ever feel like you're racing against the clock to get to bed?

Those are my usual Monday nights. After I get back from chorus rehearsal at about 10 to 10:30 pm, I get home, have dinner of some sort, while simultaneously checking my email. Sometimes I chat with people online, sometimes I chat with friends on the phone. And while I am doing that I am preparing my wardrobe, my lunch, and my gym bag for the next day. Usually I want to get all of this done so I can be in bed by 12 pm at the latest so that I can wake up at 7am to drive to the gym in the morning.

Does this happen every time? No, sometimes I just am too tired to even bother eating anything. Other times I don't wake up in the morning.

I just thought that it was incredibly funny that all through my youth I would try to stay up as late as possible, and now I just can't wait to get into my bed to sleep the night away. When did life become so busy that I can't sit down, relax, have a cup of hot chocolate, and write a blog post before I go to bed?

Well to that I say, not tonight. (As I sit here, writing, contemplating and sipping on a cup of hot chocolate).

Sad state of American eating


Grocery ShoppingI was at Safeway tonight buying a random assortment of groceries--garlic, onions, raisins, carrots, etc.--when I spotted this box of Corn Pops on the check stand belt ahead of me. It belonged to a family of three little Chinese girls and their dad, who was paying for the cereal with what looked like food stamps. Anyway that's besides the point. The more sad part of this little story is what it says on the box of Pops.

"Big Yellow Taste...Sweet Puffed Crunch!"

I'm sorry... But when the hell did "yellow" become a flavor? And if yellow is indeed a flavor, why oh why did Kellogg's claim it as the flavor of Pops? And why would anyone want to eat anything that is self-proclaimed yellow-tasting?

The end of Stu-pod


I was driving home from Folsom Street Fair today, and in my tired stoop, all I wanted to do was listen to Kanye's new jam, Stronger. I pulled my ipod, Stu-pod, out from my bag, plugged it in, and listened to said song.

A moment later when the next song was supposed to play, no audible noises came out. After resetting itself a couple of times, the file folder icon and exclamation point icon above popped up...


It's an end of an era.

I bought Stu when I got my car, and after resuscitating Stu once (I saved him from a dead battery), I think Stu is done for good. I can't imagine my world without music, and to think that only 4 years ago I was scoffing at ipods. Now it's so unthinkable to be without it. Luckily I still have my 2gig nano, but let's be real. It's only 2 gigs!

Perhaps it's time to buy an iPhone.

What makes me smile?


Lots of things make me smile, and I like lists, so here goes (in no particular order):
1. Kids laughing
2. Mangoes
3. Food that smells remarkably good
4. Cuddling
4. A clever, well-written passage in a really good book
5. Technology and gadgets
7. The combination of warm brownie and cold ice cream
8. Soft unexpected touches
9. Feeling warm sand on my feet
10. The smell of the salty ocean breeze

"You can't love too much one part of it."


Wheel by John Mayer

A Life of Service


Ever since my car accident in 2002, my life's goal has been pretty clear: to serve and better the lives of children and youth.

This has been kind of hard to explain to other people when they ask me, "Why? Why don't you just work in the private sector now, make lots of money, and then donate that money to some charity?"

How can you explain your passion? If I were as passionate about singing opera or coding software programs, would I need to explain myself over and over again for those?

I just read an article in Time magazine that helps to explain my drive to serve children and youth, and my hopeful vision to be able to do this on a wider scale in the near future.

Here's an excerpt and link to the article:

As the Constitutional Convention of 1787 came to a close, after three and a half months of deliberation, a lady asked Dr. Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic," replied the Doctor, "if you can keep it."

A republic, if you can keep it. The founders were not at all optimistic about the future of the Republic. There had been only a handful of other republics in all of human history, and most were small and far away. The founders' pessimism, though, came not from history but from their knowledge of human nature. A republic, to survive, needed not only the consent of the governed but also their active participation. It was not a machine that would go of itself; free societies do not stay free without the involvement of their citizens.

Today the two central acts of democratic citizenship are voting and paying taxes. That's basically it. The last time we demanded anything else from people was when the draft ended in 1973. And yes, there are libertarians who believe that government asks too much of us — and that the principal right in a democracy is the right to be left alone — but most everyone else bemoans the fact that only about half of us vote and don't do much more than send in our returns on April 15. The truth is, even the archetype of the model citizen is mostly a myth. Except for times of war and the colonial days, we haven't been all that energetic about keeping the Republic.

When Americans look around right now, they see a public-school system with 38% of fourth graders unable to read at a basic level; they see the cost of health insurance escalating as 47 million people go uninsured; they see a government that responded ineptly to a hurricane in New Orleans; and they see a war whose ends they do not completely value or understand.

But there is something else we are seeing in the land. Polls show that while confidence in our democracy and our government is near an all-time low, volunteerism and civic participation since the '70s are near all-time highs. Political scientists are perplexed about this. If confidence is so low, why would people bother volunteering? The explanation is pretty simple. People, especially young people, think the government and the public sphere are broken, but they feel they can personally make a difference through community service. After 9/11, Americans were hungry to be asked to do something, to make some kind of sacrifice, and what they mostly remember is being asked to go shopping. The reason private volunteerism is so high is precisely that confidence in our public institutions is so low. People see volunteering not as a form of public service but as an antidote for it.

That is not a recipe for keeping a republic.

Read more here.

Saturn is moving into Virgo


Apparently Saturn is moving into Virgo for the next couple of years. According to Alex, my resident astrologer/spiritual advisor, this means that people in general will be more nitpicky about things in their lives.

The following quotes were taken from www.astrologicallyspeaking.com:

Saturn is the planet of concentrated effort—no short cuts—and he will now be spending time in the practical earth sign of Virgo. Virgo excels at performing tasks until these become acquired skills and loves hard work. Virgo is also analytical, discerning and excels at organization, taking care of details and looking after others. Virgo is the sign we associate with service, the harvest and interestingly Vedic astrologers call Saturn the servant.

This is my sign and what Saturn moving into Virgo means for me:

Capricorn Dec. 21-Jan. 19

Your ruling planet known for its ability to structure, assign responsibility and doing things properly is moving into discerning, analytical and organized Virgo for the next couple of years beginning in September. The area for you is foreign travel, learning and distant places as well as in-laws, publishing and legal matters. This could see you moving to a distance, signing up for classes and naturally acquiring a new relative or few. What is it you desire in your life that would allow you to broaden your horizons. This is a wonderful time to choose changes with discernment of course.

It seems like some changes are in store for the next couple of years...

Little can be said about the secret rituals behind the training of a Rap Director... but I have some exclusive pictures from my two-week training back in June. If you remember, the training took me first to Baltimore, Maryland, then Virginia to Fredericksburg and then Williamsburg. I got to know nice other trainees extremely well (some would say too well), and more importantly, I got to know myself more.

I can easily attribute my recent success with BUILD's Boot Camps to this training as it has made me a better facilitator.

Anyway, here are some choice pictures from the action-packed, tiring, and life-changing two weeks of training.

Ashlee and Rey Rap Directing
Ashlee and I at Morgan State University (showing off our lipgloss... yes it's poppin!)

The Lovely Ladies of the Tentative Ten
The Lovely Ladies of the "Tentative" Ten (we have yet to have a real team name)

Back of the van with Daphne, Rey and Joell Middle of the car with Latoya and Mercedes
We drove around a lot in these big vans... That's Daphne, me and Joell in the back and Latoya and Mercedes in the middle.

Daphne, Oudete and Kristen at dinner Joell having fun on Walmart's pony

Rogelio's birthday dinner and dessert Mercedes being a model

Daphne... being exposed Happy Birthday Rogelio!
Daphne being exposed, and Rogelio's birthday surprise.

Having way too much fun with cupcakes on Rogelio's birthday
Having way too much fun with cupcakes on Rogelio's birthday

Is Joell licking Mercedes's face??? Ashlee cleaning up her cupcake-y mess
Cupcake madness!!!

Daphne after being attacked by a cupcake Post-Fountain Jump
Post-Fountain Jump

Fountain Jumping
Fountain Jumping Part 2. I know it's dark, but it's worth the squint to see us.

Consumed by the Deathly Hallows & Work


I've been super busy the last few weeks because of:

1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Good Lord! I finished reading the last installment of the Harry Potter books, and was so impressed by the artistically written action-packed sequences. This book is pretty close to being my favorite Harry Potter book (next to the Prisoner of Azkaban). And with that I was kind of sad to read the last few pages.

2. BUILD Business Boot Camps
I facilitated two at my site and supported two others (in Oakland and East Palo Alto). Basically I've been in "Boot Camp mode" for over three weeks.

Man. I am tired.

Good Lord. Kids are tiring!

But I would not trade it for anything, and this year, I had no "Boot Camp Breakdowns." If you remember from my posts from last year where I literally was sobbing on the drive home. This year's Boot Camps were so successful and reminded me of why I am doing the work that I am doing. The students come back in about a week and a half, and I can't wait!

Boston Trip


Did I mention that I went to Boston in May with four of my superstar students? Well here's some proof:

New Idea: Speakers Bureau


Me: hey i have a new idea
Me: i want to create a speakers bureau
Me: or like a club
Karla: cool, with who
Me: nonprofits and education-related people are always looking for good people to facilitate workshops or give some sort of speech
Me: but we are always so reticent because we don’t know who to trust, we don’t know what they'll say, etc, esp if we haven’t heard them before
Karla: ya, thats totally true
Me: professionals are so busy that they can only speak a couple times a year or so
Karla: so create one reliable vehicle for all
Me: but they WANT to be involved
Me: and want to give back
Karla: that’s very true
Me: but its hard for them to stay involved in a ... regular fashion
Me: Enter speakers bureau... kind of like a broker between excellent speakers/workshop facilitators and the orgs that need them
Karla: nice
Karla: how would you do quality control?
Me: professionals sign up like a club to be part of this bureau. the bureau makes sure they are quality by having the orgs who have them speak do evals of them, and by doing workshops/conferences/trainings on the subject, and they have to do a minimum # of engagements per year (like maybe 2)
Karla: that’s neat
Karla: I like the idea
Me: and with the built up reputation, orgs can sign up to get their needs filled and know that the ppl are quality
Karla: but I feel like you need some kind of quality control up front too
Me: yea maybe some sort of interview
Me: or video presentation
Me: like they have to submit a video
Karla: that’s cool
Me: man i am too full of the good ideas
Me: and it can be this kind of special exclusive thing that ppl can get into
Me: but it does good work
Me: and then ppl can network
Karla: ya, totally
Karla: you and the good ideas
Karla: lol
Me: cuz as ppl grow older, its harder for them to practice their thing
Me: unless they do it for a living

Who wants to help me set this up?

I fell and then I got up and laughed


Setup: It's the morning of one of the biggest events of the year for BUILD. This is a convo I had with Leslie about day 1 of Business Boot Camp...

Me (10:51:08 PM): this morning at 645 am
Me (10:51:11 PM): i slipped and fell
Me (10:51:20 PM): and completely hurt my right shoulder, elbow and wrist
Me (10:51:26 PM): its in a lot of pain
Me (10:51:32 PM): im tryin not to be a baby about it
Leslie (10:52:12 PM): oh no
Leslie (10:52:16 PM): slipped and fell during yoga?
Me (10:52:25 PM): um no. i was in the shower
Leslie (10:52:29 PM): oh no
Leslie (10:52:30 PM): dear
Me (10:52:31 PM): and i heard this BLARING loud music
Leslie (10:52:31 PM): how'd you do that
Leslie (10:52:33 PM): are you ok
Me (10:52:52 PM): ... and realized it was my alarm clock attached to my stereo and it was playing at CLUB sound level
Me (10:53:01 PM): (my roommate woke up and im SURE my neighbors were pissed)
Me (10:53:11 PM): . so i put on a towel quickly, and ran to turn it off.
Me (10:53:22 PM): i slipped on the hard wood floor. my legs flew up into the air and landed on my right side. it was not cute
Me (10:53:40 PM): but all i could do was laugh.
Me (10:53:41 PM): and wince.
Me (10:53:43 PM): and then laugh again
Leslie (10:53:54 PM): awe now i'm laughing
Me (10:53:56 PM): and then wince as i was driving and trying to pick up my tea cup at the same time
Leslie (10:54:08 PM): are you saying you were naked on your kitchen floor today
Me (10:54:25 PM): if u are clever and read between the lines
Me (10:54:35 PM): which u seem to be
Leslie (10:54:51 PM): :-)



It's days like today that make me love what I do.

Executive Leadership Circle 2007

I (along with Randy and Amber) facilitated our second annual training for the Executive Leadership Circle (ELC), which is basically the leaders of all of our students leaders. And I really feel like they understood the gravity and responsibility of being a leader and a role model. We spent the morning at Parnassus Investments, an SF company. A friend of mine from the Chorus hooked us up with a board room that overlooks SF Bay... you can see all the way from Alcatraz to the San Mateo Bridge. It was GORGEOUS. Right before we left the board room, I had the students line up against the window. I told them to look out to a point that they liked, and told them, "Take this moment in. Think 15 years from now... this can be the view from your office." And I really feel like they believed it, which makes me happy.

Here's another pic of the whole group, including Jim, who works at Parnassus standing next to me.
ELC at Parnassus

I love packing efficiently!


It's almost 1 am, and I am all packed for my Denver trip. And the best part about it is that I don't have to check any luggage in. Yippee!

Now I just have to figure out that whole shuttle issue...

Reunion with the ocean


I surfed Pacifica with Eric today. It was weird being there without Jed because that was our surf spot last summer when Jed was still living here. But I managed to surf without my surf mentor.

The conditions were actually quite nice. Beautifully sunny and clear day. Negligible winds. Comfortable waves.

One of my favorite things about surfing is that while I'm on the board, getting pommeled by the waves, I get a lot of time to think... about the next wave and life.

I discussed with Karla my surfism today:
kingisrey: ive been doing thinking too.. on the waves
Babeehug: What happened?
kingisrey: the waves kept on crashing and bashing into me
Babeehug: What was the conclusion?
kingisrey: conclusion was that waves will do that, no matter where u r
Babeehug: I wanted to go into the ocean so bad today
Babeehug: Yup
kingisrey: and its no one's fault. its just that that's what waves do,
Babeehug: They sure the hell do
kingisrey: and i chose to be there in the water, crashing right back at them
kingisrey: but i did that because i knew in order to achieve my goal, i would have to go through the waves
Babeehug: Ya
Babeehug: And you can't always stay in the white water
Babeehug: Eventually, you gotta go out in the greens
kingisrey: so its not h's fault that i am working on the weekends...
kingisrey: but because im going to denver and went to the east coast, which will help me get to those future goals... this is what i need to do.
Babeehug: Ya

Deep thoughts, catalyzed by the water. The summer at work is always a bit choppy, but I know I will get through the waves eventually.

Fat kid no more


Growing up as a fat kid, I always dreaded the mandatory physical education tests... You remember those don't you?

The obligatory mile run.
The awkward sit and attempt to reach your toes with that funky box measuring contraption.
The push-ups... oh those horrendous push-ups!
And of course the always distressing pull-ups.

As a reformed fat kid, I work ard to keep myself healthy and in shape. I eat well (overload on the antioxidants probably) and exercise regularly (my new favorite machine is the elliptical because I can work out AND read at the same time, which makes me feel fit AND smart!). And because of this, I've overcome the running, the stretching to touch my toes, and the push-ups. I can do those pretty easily. But that damn pull-up has been haunting me ever since fourth grade when I first climbed up to the bar and just hung there, like a lifeless monkey, unable to pull my own body weight up in front of the PE teacher and my classmates. Embarrassing much?

Until today, that is.

Call it a small victory, but it is a victory nonetheless. I did two pull-ups, with no assistance. And the funny thing was that I wasn't expecting them. I was just stretching on the bar and on the off-chance that I could do it, I tried, and then pulled myself up. And then tried again and did it again.

Small victory. I left the gym smiling tonight.



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