Hometown Heroes – Homey Awards!

Hey everyone!
I’ve been nominated for a Homey Award!

If you’d like to help me out, please send your vote to homey@wstw.com and say you’re voting for Evangelina’s song “Green Eyes” for Song of the Year!

You could also throw in your vote for me for female solo artist of the year if you’d like.. 😉

Thanks for all your support! Here’s the info for the contest..




First round voting is now open for the 7th Annual Homey Awards to celebrate achievements in local music in 2012.  To pick the nominees in the major categories, I need your help – you, the local music fans in the Delaware Valley.


The list of eligible songs, albums & EPs is below.

Please e-mail me at Homey@wstw.com with your picks in any/all of the major categories:


    * Album of the year

    * EP of the year

    * Song of the year

    * Band

    * Male solo artist

    * Female solo artist

    * New artist

    * Lead singer

    * Producer

    * Guitarist

    * Bass player

    * Drummer

    * Keyboardist

    * Live act

    * Rock song

    * R&B/hip hop song

    * Alternative song

    * Folk/Americana artist

    * Best collaboration

    * Music video

    * Best music venue

    * Best concert/event of the year


You can vote for up to five nominees in any/all categories (of course you don’t have to vote for the categories you’re not familiar with). Also, feel free to suggest other categories, because every year has its unique accomplishments.


After the top nominees are decided in each category, the final votes will go to the Homey Voting Panel, which is comprised of past Homey Award winners, members of the media and others within the local music scene.


Note: “Artist of the Year” will be decided by the Homey Panel, with that decision being based on a particular band/artist’s overall achievements and contributions to the local music community in 2012.


E-mail your nominations to homey@wstw.com by Saturday 2/2/13. One entry per person, please.

And make sure to specify the category or categories for which you’re voting for a particular artist, song, album, etc.


The final nominees will be announced on Hometown Heroes on Sunday, February 3, 2013.

The winners will be announced on the Homey awards show on Sunday, February 17, 2013


That moment when your muscles don’t ache but you kinda wish they did.

So life has been quite hectic for the last few months. Ever since I started getting back into music my Kung Fu training has been pushed to the back burner. I knew it was going to happen. I talked to my Sifu (teacher) about it and we both agreed that it was likely going to happen.. And there may even be a point where I may have to leave our school for good if that’s where this crazy musical road takes me, but I didn’t know what it would feel like.

I started training when I was a kid. My dad enrolled us when we were 8-9, an he would teach us himself as well. A lot of the exercises I do with Ethan are ones that he taught me back then. When my dad passed away a year later, the lessons stopped, but I still practiced what I could remember. Finally when I was 18 I could afford to enroll myself in classes.

It was all downhill from there 😉

Anyway, from 2001-2011 Kung fu took up the majority of my free time, and I was okay with that! I love it. It’s in my blood, it’s engrained in everything I do. But life started getting in the way. It’s hard to train consistently when you have nowhere and no time to do it.

So over the last few months things have gotten more and more hectic outside of Kung fu (side note: I don’t know why auto correct keeps making the k in Kung uppercase, but I’m tired of trying to fix it) and I’ve been training and teaching less and less until finally I began to wonder if maybe this is it. Maybe this is the end of my martial arts career? It’s been over ten years… I got my black sash. I got my Sifu title… Taught some really great students… Maybe this is it now? Maybe I’m going to be one of those people that looks at martial arts and goes “Oh yeah! I used to do that when I was younger. I even got my black sash. I used to teach it!”

That doesn’t sit well in my stomach. It leaves an awkward taste in my mouth. Like I just took a sip of expired soymilk to see if it’s good and it’s most definitely not.

So I have to say… I’m sore.

My legs are killing me. My back is tight. My arms are tired. My muscles are constantly begging to be massaged or stretched and all I can think of is “Damn I missed this feeling!”

I may not have Kung fu on the forefront of my life right now but I’m far from finished with it. I’ve got so much to learn and so much to teach. I still want to get in the ring and I there are still weapons I’ve yet to pick up!

One of the best things about Kung fu is that you never stop learning… I love it 🙂 It’s in me and I’ll never be done with it.

Here’s a video of me doing a combination of broadsword forms from like 5 years ago lol. I don’t have many videos on YouTube.. Enjoy!


Alright, alright. I don’t exactly know how to “unveil” this information…

So I’ll just come right out and say it.

I am going to be performing “The Dirty Glass” with Dropkick Murphys at the Electric Factory in Philadelphia on Saturday, March 9, 2013.

Yes. You read that right. In fact, go ahead and read it again. I’ll wait!





Singing with THEESE GUYS!?


So right now your reaction is one of two:



“….Who are the Dropkick Murphys?”

Well, first I will address the initial response….



Now I will respond to the second reaction:

The Dropkick Murphys are an Irish Punk band from Boston who is much much much loved by myself and many many others. They’re quite famous in the punk world and you can even hear some of their music on main stream air waves. Most recently their new Christmas song: “The Season’s Upon Us” was dubbed the best new Christmas song and I believe their most popular song is “Shipping up to Boston” which you can hear on the movie The Departed.  Often around St. Patty’s Day you’ll hear their version of “Finnegan’s Wake” among many many other songs.

More importantly, Dropkick is one of my all time favorite bands.  My friends and I have been listening to them since their first album “Do or Die” and many of their songs are like anthems to us. I know their music has helped me get through many a hard time and we’ve got many fond memories of going to their shows.

Every year my sister and I and a few friends go and see them live in Boston, or if we can’t make it up there, we catch them in Philly, and we’ve been lucky enough to meet the band on several occasions… not because of any special circumstances.. but just because they are just that cool. You can usually catch a band member or two hanging around the venue before or after the show, or if you’re in Boston, you can usually run into Ken Casey during St. Patty’s week at McGreevy’s Pub (which he co-owns) or go to a meet and greet with the band there for free.

In 2010 we went up to Boston for St. Patty’s week and ran into Mr. Casey at McGreevys.. The song “The Dirty Glass” came on the radio and I had it in my head to ask him if we could do a little sing along.  I could tell right away that he wasn’t expecting much.. I’m sure many a drunk gal has asked or forced their way into doing the same.. but after a few words he perked up and we finished the tune together right at the table and he says, “What’s your name?”

“Evangelina,” I told him.

“Well you can really sing! If we ever lose Stephanie you’re in!” and he told me to keep singing.  Well, I did. 🙂

I met him a few times afterwards and he always commented on my voice, which of course made me super happy, so last year when we were in Boston I asked him… “How does someone like me get to perform on stage with you guys?”

He told me to contact their tour manager and we’ll set it up for the next time they were in Philly.

So I did just that.. and I was told to contact them again once the Philly show was booked.

I was thinking that it would probably be sometime in the summer, since they usually hit Philly around June or July..

Well, June/July came and went and I saw no Philly shows booked.. I was starting to worry, honestly.  Finally in November I get an email: Dropkick Murphys tickets for March were going on sale soon!

My reaction was to have a mini-heart attack and freak out about “OMG what if this doesn’t happen?! What if it DOES happen?!”

So I emailed the manager again…


….more crickets…

I’m thinking this is a no go..

I tried again… just to see if maybe it went to spam?

I get a response saying the contact I had before was no longer with the company, but they forwarded my message along.  PHEW.. okay..

…….more crickets….

Early Dec., I get an email basically asking me to refresh their memory because they need to check with Ken Casey.

Not a great sign, right? So I’m definitely thinking “Aw man.. he forgot, this is so not gonna happen.” But I keep praying and keep my fingers crossed anyway.

Christmas comes and goes… New Years… no answer.. I’m praying now that I don’t feel disappointed about missing this opportunity with my favorite band.

Then this morning I get an email.. This is what it said.

“Happy New Year to you! So sorry for the delay. We haven’t really been doing stuff like this lately but you sure can sing your ass off and of course Ken remembers you so we’d love for you to perform Dirty Glass with us at one of the shows in Philly.”


hehe… I got the email while I was at work so I was trying desperately not to scream..

SO.. That’s it. That’s the big announcement.. and I’m going to stop typing because I was supposed to release this information 11 minutes ago.

For those of you that don’t know , this is the song I’ll be singing with them on stage at the Electric Factory!


Boston2010BoopCam 026Photo: Me and Ken Casey after singing Dirty Glass at McGreevy’s in 2010.

Things that cross my mind while sitting at a table at B&N.

So one of my favorite things to do when I’m alone (read: when Ethan’s at his dad’s and I have free time) is get a latte and grab a bunch of books I don’t have enough money to buy, and sit at a table and read the first few chapters of each.

I used to do this at Border’s Books & Music, but that place is closed now, and unfortunately I can’t bring a latte to the library.  Of course, I could go to the library and get a bunch of books and go home and drink coffee and read but there’s something about that feeling of being able to just get up and grab a couple more books that I have never heard of and sit back down and read a little more, then put them back and grab more.  B&N is okay. They have a LOT of books.. and the coffee is good.. but it’s so crowded that I find myself half paying attention to what I’m reading and half listening to the people around me.  I find myself commenting in my head on their conversations or giggling at whatever they’re discussing amongst themselves.  Or rolling my eyes, which I try not to do, but sometimes it just happens.

One of my awesome friends got me at gift card to B&N, so I came here today and used it to purchase a whole wheat bagel and a soy peppermint mocha latte and I’ve just finished flipping through the three books that I picked for my entertainment.

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Wisdom of the Native Americans by Kent Nerburn
Portrait of an Addict As a Young Man by Bill Clegg

Weird selection, right?  But I had no rhyme or reason for picking them, I just browsed and grabbed..

I knew I was going to feel like writing so I brought my netbook with me, but I couldn’t find an empty seat near an outlet, so while I ate my bagel I started the first few pages of the CS Lewis book.  I love CS Lewis!  I need to read more about him as a person, I think.

“During the course of its progress it was read chapter by chapter to his “Inklings” friends, J.R.R. Tolkien, Charles Williams and others.”  writes Walter Hooper.

Can you imagine…?  I mean, these were the friends that he let give his work a test run to see if it would make a good book… That’s like if I sent a 30 second clip of a new song to John Lennon and Paul McCartney just for some friendly feedback.  Not completely, though, because C.S. Lewis is a legend in his own right,  and I’m not.  Not yet anyway… Mwahahahaha.

Anyway, getting off track.. I think the Screwtape Letters is definitely something I’ll have to actually purchase and read in its entirety.  You should, too.

The Nerburn book made me feel warm and fuzzy.. and a little sad.  See, I’m one of those sentimentalists that believes that your family history.. where you “came from”.. really has great influences on who you are.  Even the things that you never knew.  For example, there are a lot of ways that I’m different than my mom.  There are habits that I have that she never taught me.  My dad died when I was nine, so there were a lot of things about him that I never knew.. and sometimes I’ll do things and my mom will say “Your dad used to do the SAME thing” and it will all make sense.

Speaking of Native Americans… there is a saying, “The blood remembers”.  I don’t remember where I first heard it, so I tried googling it and well, it’s said a LOT.. so I don’t know who said it first, but anyway.. I believe it. I believe there are experiences, emotions, etc that pass down from parent to child, and so on.  I believe that there is a reason why when I learned about Native Americans in my grade school classroom that I felt emotionally connected to the people we were reading about.

My dad used to give my brother and I mixed messages.  One day he’d tell us that we were white.  He’d say things like “You’re white. You should only hang out with white people and if anyone tries to tell you you’re Mexican or you’re Indian, tell them they’re wrong and that you’re white.”  …The next day he’d be all “You have to be proud of your Native American blood. You have to learn to speak Spanish.”  And he’d be teaching us Spanish and singing Native songs and teaching us dances.  Needless to say, to my childhood self it was quite confusing.  My mom says he used to boast about his father being a “Spaniard” and his mother being “Native American” while my brother would argue that they were Mexican.  I remember asking him one day when we were making dinner, chicken and rice, where he was from and he would just sing “Deep in the heart of Texas.”

I’ve never seen pictures of my grandmother.  I remember a portrait of a handsome man, but I’m not sure if he was my father when he was young (side note: my father was 60 when I was born) or my grandfather, but I’m pretty sure it was my dad in his WW2 army uniform. I remember he showed us a picture of himself and his brother, though I don’t remember if said brother was younger or older, and he told us that both of his parents died when he was a kid and he and his brother would shine shoes to make money.  He never mentioned any other siblings or family members aside from their dog, who I’m not sure really existed.

I don’t know how much of his stories were true or how much were false…

I have other siblings from his side.  Three older, older brothers who have families of their own, but I don’t know them well.  I’ve reached out to them in the past for answers and have gotten no reply (yet?).. So anyway… All of that to say: I don’t know who my grandparents were and I really wish I did.

Apparently I was named after my dad’s grandmother. I can only assume that was his father’s mother, because if his mother was Native: Evangelina is not a Native name.

I tried Ancestry.org only to come up with nada. Nothing. I get as far as finding my father’s SSN and enlistment record, but absolutely no information on his parents.. and guess what? There are a LOT… A LOT A LOT A LOT of Guajardo’s in Texas. Some from Spain, some from Mexico. None of them in direct relation (according to Ancestry.org) to my grandfather

So.. as I’m reading through these little snippets of Indian wisdom, I feel.. mixed emotions. I feel like I can relate to them… and I feel a longing to find out more about who my ancestors were and what they were like in hopes that I would find more of myself within them… because the familiarity of some of these words just makes me feel like I’m missing something very important.  In a way, I feel like it’s my duty to my ancestors to learn about who I am so that I can pass it down to my son.  The Indian Nation is falling apart.  There is so much pain and suffering among the Native Americans that are trying to preserve their way of life and so much hurt and betrayal in the hearts of many that there is a feeling of needing to heal and evolve without losing the beauty of the culture. If my father was telling the truth, my grandmother was full blooded Pueblo Indian… and I don’t even know what tribe. I want to know and I want to learn and I want to be whole.

I could go on and on about my father and how weird he was and my theories of how I think he got that way, but there’s still one more book I haven’t talked about.

Another sidenote: Kent Nerburn has written some amazing books about Natives. Check him out.

So this last book I was hesitant to pick up. Clegg’s book about being an addict.

For those of you that don’t know, my brother passed away in 2009.  He was an addict. So the name of this book kind of tugged me toward it because if there is one thing I’ve never understood, and I’m sure many others who have lost people to addiction have never understood, it’s why. WHY?  What could possibly be so great about heroin?  What on EARTH would drag you away from the love of your life and your children? And your family? What makes someone want to put those drugs into their system?  Was there such great pain in his life that the only thing that could fix it was to destroy his life completely?

So I thought let me pick up this book and check it out, maybe it’ll have some insight.. except I only got through a few paragraphs before I became frustrated and angry and started to just skip through the whole thing to try and search for some clues as to why.  There probably is some part of the book where the author talks about what drove him to drugs in the first place, or what caused him to relapse, but I couldn’t get past the parts where he talked about how he was destroying his life and the only thing he could think about was when he could get his next hit.  And he was on crack, not heroin, so I wasn’t sure if the feeling he was searching for was the same as what my brother would have been… Maybe I’ll venture back down that path in the future.. but I don’t think I have the emotional patience for this book right now.  I do applaud the author for writing about it though.  I applaud any recovering addict who puts themselves out there in hopes of helping others survive.

Okay, I’ve been here for a few hours now and I’ve got things to do, so I hope my rambling blog was at least a LITTLE entertaining.  If not, at least I had fun writing it!