I woke up this morning and I was 30

My good friend Juan Garza sent me this photo of my Dad and I in Los Angeles. I was 17 at the time of this photo and it seemed to put everything in perspective. I feel great right now and happy to be around my loved ones for my birthday. On Saturday I had the greatest birthday party of my life. Thanks to everyone who made it out to SomArts and gave me this incredible experience.

One of the biggest surprises of the night was receiving this portrait by my old friend Matt Lopez. I hadn’t seen Matt since my 21st birthday party.

My homegirl of homegirls Carina C. serenaded me in true Marilyn Monroe style. I was blushin’ and felt so special.

Last but not least, Maya Chinchilla and Cruz Grimaldo performed an original piece in my honor. I was so touched to be honored by such great artists and performers. Here are the Lyrics:

(sung to tune of Copacabana)
His name is Rio he’s post (post) Chicano
and when he walks into the room all the ladies stop and swoon
He likes purikura and Mariela
and on his way to be a star, you might catch him tending bar!
across a crowded floor, he’s so soft and hard-core
he’s about to take over the world…who could ask-for-more!

(Chorus)At the SOMArts! Somos bananas!
The hot spot past Mission on Brannan
at the SOMArts! Somos bananas!
(with Rio) Music and passion are always in fashion
At the SOMArts…. let’s all make love

He likes Godzilla, and his mamita
and he doesn’t get too sad making tortillas with his dad
ooo! quesadillas with ghetto Frida
on his way to turning 30, you might catch him getting dirty
with the pics he took and dearest comic books
Can he top his twenties?who cares? with his-good-looks?!

(Chorus)At the SOMArts! Somos bananas!
The hot spot past Mission on Brannan
at the SOMArts! Somos bananas!
(with Rio) Music and passion are always in fashion
At the SOMArts…. let’s all make love

My friends didn’t let me down when it came to the party’s Scott Pilgrim theme. Mariela fashioned a me as Scott Pilgrim piñata from a Go Diego Go one. We all had fun taking swings at it. Check out Anais chopping my face of like a Samurai.

Maya C. came dressed as Scott Pilgrim’s ex, Envy Adams.

Robynn brought two friends who came in costume. It was an awesome surprise to see two Ramonas and Maggie (mechanic era) from Love & Rockets.

Sarah G. came dressed as Sex Bob-Omb drummer Kim Pine!

Winnie came dressed as Knives Chau! Here she is holding my piñata face as a trophy.

There’s so many people I’d like to thank for making my party so special but I’d like to singles out 3. Carina helped plan and set up every level of the party. She helped arrange everything, performed, and stayed with me to 3:00 AM so we could clean up. I really want to thank and acknowledge the beautiful and amazing Yesenia. She was the camera operator who shot all of the video during the party and was great company. Thanks homegirl!

Lastly I want to thank my rock for being the love of my life. Without her none of this would have been possible. I met Mariela a few days after I had turned 20 and I’m so happy to be with her now into my 30’s. Love you baby!

Peace out,


Ps. Thanks Mom and Dad for doin’ it.


Scott Pilgrim Style Guide

As my birthday quickly approaches in January I am more determined than ever to have the greatest Scott Pilgrim themed birthday party OF ALL TIME. I was talking to Mariela and our homegirl Carina about it this weekend and got stuck trying to explain the aesthetics of Ramona Flowers, Scott Pilgrim’s Girlfriend. Originally I was going to send them a few of the following pictures but since I’m trying to get as many people dressed as Scott Pilgrim characters for the party I thought I’d post this as a handy inspirational guide to Scott Pilgrim costuming. First up: The one and only Ramona Flowers!

And here are some photos taken by Edgar Wright from the set of the Scott Pilgrim movie with Mary Elizabeth Winstead as Ramona Flowers.

Sadly there are not a whole lot of Kim Pine looks out there on the web. Since Mariela has cute-ass freckles I always thought she’d make an awesome Kim Pine.

And now some Kim Pine photos from the Scott Pilgrim movie with Alison Pill as Kim Pine.

And last but not least we have Knives Chau, the most dangerous tenderoni to ever walk the Earth. Sadly, there is also a lack of Knives looks out there was well. Here is what I could find.

Without further ado here is Ellen Wong as Knives Chau in the Scott Pilgrim Movie.



Rio Yañez’ Precious Little Life



NOTE: First things first, the two comic pages above are NOT original works by me. I have merely altered the amazing art and words of Bryan Lee O’Malley to fit my friends and I.

I’ve been thinking a lot about turning 30 these days. My 30th birthday is still a few months off but it’s a milestone that had been constantly on my mind. I’ve been talking with a lot of my friends about what it means to be 30 and wondering if there are any experiences I’d like to have in my 20’s while I still can.

With the support and wisdom of Mariela, I’ve really embraced turning 30 and am looking forward to it as a rebirth into a new and improved Rio. At the same time I have become completely obsessed with the Scott Pilgrim series of graphic novels. The books themselves are a pretty good embodiment of the spirit of my 20’s, especially my time at Calarts.

Mariela has been asking me what I’d like to do to celebrate my 30th birthday and I thought something Scott Pilgrim related would be amazing as a send-off to my 20’s. With that in mind I produced the two comic pages above (using the beginning of Scott Pilgrim vol. 5) as a kind of early invitation to my birthday party. For those of you keeping score that’s me as Scott Pilgrim, Ava as Ramona Flowers, Mariela as Kim Pine, Tokoztli as Joeseph, Bryan as Stephen Stills, Carina as Julie Powers, and Maya as an off-panel Hollie (I think).

My dreams of having the first Scott Pilgrim themed birthday invitation were dashed when I discovered this blog post and image below.


I thought to myself, “Well, at least I might have the very first Scott Pilgrim themed birthday party.” But one quick search of flickr and google for scott pilgrim birthday dashed my dreams a little bit further…

Behold! A gallery of Scott Pilgrim cakes!


http://www.flickr.com/photos/vwvwvwvvv/3347310029/Dang! Well, just as I am determined to be the best 30-year-old EVER and I am equally determined to have the greatest Scott Pilgrim themed birthday party OF ALL TIME.

Invites to come soon.



A Salute to Knives Chau

At the moment, Knives Chau is my favorite fictional character. I’ve been reading the Scott Pilgrim books (in reverse order) and I’m totally taken with the series. As much as I identify with Scott Pilgrim (and his task of beating up his girlfriend’s evil exes) I’ve got a special place in my heart for Scott’s jilted tenderoni Knives Chau.

Knives represents Scott’s one act of cold hearted cruelty, their relationship and Scott’s decisions are part of what makes the series of books somewhat realistic, complex, and very interesting. I’m convinced the series will become bibles of hipster masculinity and Scott Pilgrim will be the new hipster male ur-type.

In the upcoming Scott Pilgrim movie Knives is being played by Ellen Wong. Above and below are images from Director Edgar Wright’s Flickr page of Wong as Knives. I’m totally ready for this movie. Tenderoni ahoy! Mariela will probably kill me for saying this but Knives is at the top of my names list for future spawn. Knives Yañez has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

To see Ellen Wong in action as Knives Chau you can skip to the 1:52 mark on the video below.

You can make your own Cubeecraft Knives Chau toy by printing the image below and assembling it by following the instructions included.

Last but not least here is a free download of Knives Chau Luvs LCD by Blackball False, Truth! from their album I Prefer Hello. To download SAVE LINK AS.