Thursday, March 12, 2015

Be thankful this isn't where you live

I now present photographic evidence of the incredible forces needed to render my neighborhood without electricity.






























cock-up

A doomed team of men came around to change the advertising tarpaulin in the lot next door. In the old days it would have been mildly talented sign painters. This lot was not very talented and off to a bad start; there was quite a bit of arguing. Hotter heads prevailed and one of them was fired/quit on the spot. 

When they tried to continue on (repacking at this point, I suppose) a piece of the tattered old sign fell onto the power lines. Because it's a bright morning, the first thing I noticed was that the internet was down. Then I noted the lights not working. Then I went out to see...
The group of men claimed they had called the fire department, but did they? They took off quickly so we were in suspense until a truck arrived; followed soon after by folks who could actually fix the problem. The whole situation did not last very long, but there you see- any little thing and it's tacos by candle light.






Saturday, February 21, 2015

Mexico City - The Zona Maco expereince

{warming up before the race - tm}
My first trip to De Jefe - Mexico City happened this month. It was a business trip for my Human's gallery Luis de Jesus and I was there as an eager and helpful gallery intern/volunteer. There were a couple of free days to explore but for the majority of the time we were are the Banamex Center for the Zona Maco art fair. That event was an experience unto itself! apart from the actual staying in Mexico City.

Nubes as we all were, we discovered (after arriving there) that the center was, in part, a horse race track. Aaaaaand guess where I was on a Sunday afternoon! Fed up, at one point, with the endless flow of people gawking, giggling, and snubbing going on up stairs I went down and got a view of a short race- some quarter track action. With my camera it was impossible to take good shots.  Everything was happening on the far ends from where I was. As usual.

Much of the Mexico City crème de la ching showed up. This art (and design) fair is a thing in these parts, you know? So perhaps more than this being an art fair, it was a design fair, it was a fashion show. I got the feeling these people could not tell the difference between a BMW, a Nike shoe, a wooden cutting board, and larger than life hand drawn images on canvas. So this days long event was barely about fine art.
{unfurl the banners! -tm}
And lordy, had I forgotten what it was like to live in a peacock town! The fashion parade hit me rather hard. Just google Zona Maco and you will see the fashion pop up almost before the art. I was greatly amused to see the spectrum of creative attire and was able to over scratch my people watching itch.

During my time at the Luis de Jesus booth and out wandering the makeshift isles, I probably saw many famous people, but, I, the rube, the blessedly ignorant one, could not identify anyone save those I came to recognize in my art fair crash course. All I could tell, was that by the cut of people's cloth, just about the everyone who walked through that space was much better off than I, financially speaking. And they all acted like it. To keep my mind active, (because you start to go so brain dead that you actually start to enjoy the even the awful art around you) I had to invent new terms to call these already categorised chilangos.
In Mexico, the children of wealthy parents are called fresas (strawberries) and to me, all of these childish, summer weather morsels also are fresas no matter what age, but these people were on a whole other level. So I began to invent names with my bilingual brain. My favorite term was chingberry. And from there came the more elaborate chingberry toast crunch. (Forgive me if I don't elaborate on the ching element. It might be too much of a language lesson for you, my gentle readers.)

{one day booth set-up! -tm}
Food there was at this fair; overpriced as if you were at an airport. Our frugal group chose to bring snacks and sandwiches for there were not even discounts for the exhibitors. Only on the first day was there any free foods- for the most important and wealthiest people to sup. Over in the VIP section you could lounge in the sun with such classist snobs next to a taco truck whose fumes and smoke of grilling taco meats filled the whole fair space- every day. I wondered if the gallerists understood how their art work was taking on a layer of Mexican flavor that perhaps they may not want on their pieces.

The pieces. Art. Yes. There was actual art to see. My absolute favorite works (that weren't my Human's) were these dark paintings by Nebojsa Despotovic being shown by the Paula Alonso Gallery. I so very yes would have bought these. They aren't everyone's taste, I am aware, but I was in love with them. Every time I went passed that booth, I was sighing or approving with every side glance. I was happy to see they made a sale or two of this artist's work by the end of the fair. 
{Nebojsa Despotovic. Untitled 2012. Oil on cloth. 168x140 cm}


I had so many mixed emotions that I did not dare drink very much- though mixed tequila drinks were readily available. Alcohol can loosen the tongue and I did not know which emotion would present itself. Even sober I felt as though I could, given the moment, unload my contempt for all the insurmountable folly around me, and loudly. Id est- I would make a scene. Still, alcohol could have simply eased the sting of injustice... However, being in the position I felt I was in (lowly intern/volunteer), I didn't want to take the risk of embarrassing other people to the loss of business.

{a neat packing job in 2 hours -tm }
{Zélika García, Zona Maco founder- Arturo Duque}
So I did my best to play the game of looking through them as though they were not there. Because the persons of real note were as such: the nanny of some famous creature's baby trailing behind it's entourage wearing a horrible, cliche, white nurse uniform pushing the baby carriage; the humble cleaning people who, for being employed by such wealthy people, did not even have nice looking, well-fitting uniforms. (ahemstingyrichfucksahem); the poor models forced to stand around all day in little dresses, spiked heels and smiles; the drunk walking around with a beer bottle stuck down the front of his pants who took off his shoe and had his buddy photograph it with a fire extinguisher- oh and his beer bottle too... his own contemporary art masterpiece... yes, this man was the king of Zona Maco; he won all of 'art fair' that day for me. I would have dismissed him as an odious troll, but no, he was a troll making a real point and that won some of my respect; booth attendants of emerging galleries who were all new to the fair, trapped in their booths, attempting to network, attempting to makes sales...
These people! The lower echelons. The normal echelons- -
The ones who could not afford to have professional art handlers pack up so they could run off to after parties.
Even with four of us, we were hard pressed to finish emptying our booth by the 10pm cut off. We were in a bit of an uproar for the main lights to be turned back on so we could finish dismantling everything that evening under enough light.
- -after all this time, after all these religions have been introduced into the world, they still do not get enough respect for the work that they do. For making that 1% look so good.

In one of my many strange moods during the long hours under artificial lighting, I thought as the 'grand dame' herself, Zelika, walked passed,
Oh, lady, it is by the 'fairness' of your looks (and not your hoarse voice) and mostly by the splendid curve of your ass that we are at Zona Maco today.

Then my thought turned even more wry,
But then it is not by these things that any of us are here at all?



Thursday, January 22, 2015

Sin El Niño Jesús

{no party?}
This year there was no Feast of the Three Kings party en la casa. Not really.
There was a cake; oh, certainly there was a rosca. The night before Jan 6th, Hugo and I picked one up, freshly made, from El Molino in Tijuana. The check out line went around the store. It was incredible to see an armed security guard at a bakery- as if a cake riot could break out any moment. As if we are in such desperate times... Hm... Well, once our rosca was selected and paid for, we ceremoniously walked it through the streets to the taxi stand. After the ride to Rosarito we left it safe and sound on the dining room table.
The next morning, I went off to Spanish class expecting to come home to a late afternoon gathering of family with cake and red wine, but when I got back almost half of the ring was already gone! I was disappointed; yeah, a bit annoyed at being left out. It was not proper. On the other hand, for better or worse, I did not cut a piece with a Jesus figurine inside it! For whatever that means...
(I am certainly not buying anyone tamales!)
I had wanted to believe that finding the figurine in the cake was however you interpreted it. They always claim that it is a good thing. It's supposed to just mean that you host a party; and that is taken as either a tedious obligation or another excuse to party with friends. I wanted to give a positive spin on things. I really did. But each time.. I swear, no good came of it. Ever. I have three figurines! Two from last year alone. And guess which year was the worst for me?
If I know anything from fairytales and such, I have a feeling that they always tell you (emphatically even) that it is good fortune to find the figures in the rosca because the reality is exactly the opposite. They use reverse logic so they don't even bring the evil upon themselves, by talking negatively about the finding of the figurine.
Maybe it is just  an evil for outlander gringas. I don't know, but this year has already been very different than the last and me not finding a figure seems more like good luck.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Well, here we are-


We find ourselves into the next Gregorian year. How is it for you so far? I feel a new energy around me these days. January, though Janus is looking both ways, has an actual seeming of freshness for me. Janus can look back all he wants, but I have turned my face from the recent past. Last year was a cursed time. I have very little to say about it that is pleasant. I did not even do a recounting of the events of the year, as so many like to do.  For me, it served no purpose to look back at myself in the throws of depression and anger. All I want to remember is being in Spain. That is a fine enough summation of all that was good in my 2014. 
Since, oh, about October I have been trying to bring myself to write a blog post worth the publishing. I have started several writing attempts then found myself distracted on all fronts and so unmoved by the writing that I do not bother posting.
I mean, I have had many little adventures to relate and I have been presented plenty of ire ridden material to work with, but no captivating words form. I have been taking Spanish class; I have been in protest marches; I was locked in the local gym with Hugo when they closed for the night while we were in the showers and we had to escape through the window (lamest parkour ever); i will be going to Mexico City for the first time at the end of the month; I have a performance coming up next month-
How to write about it all when you are 'ggrrrrrrrrrrrrrargh?' How to even post images when in that state? 
I have no answers.
So it's been quiet, while the endorphins from regular trips to the gym work their magic. 
Hugo and I were smart enough to start our New Years resolution at the end of last year. We got over the hump of creating a new routine and have started the year looking forward to better functioning bodies. Say what you will about gyms, but physically challenging yourself with simple machines does have its benefits. I can't believe I have gone on so long without working on balancing out my muscles.
Lest we forget- Staying active is great and lifting heaving things is also great too! 
I should add, Natural chemical highs aren't the cure for everything. Having a purpose and respected place in life is a big boost as well. I have had enough of reexploring ignominious invisibility. Being a ghost is for the dead who have no ambitions. 

I sincerely hope that 2015 brings a positive change of fortune to everyone out there who has been struggling with their own particular devils.
If you have already experienced changes for the better or what ever, leave a comment on this blog or Facebook. 















Thursday, November 6, 2014

Monday, October 27, 2014

Third Hand Reporting - Murder?

{sketch-while-wait}
On Friday, while Human and I were well into our nearly 3 hour wait on the border to cross into the US, cops came around to the lot that half-way surrounds the house to collect a dead body. In case you lost count, this is dead body number 2 this year found in the lot. Human's mother was at home watching all the cops swarm in and comb the grounds. She didn't know what was going on until they asked permission to look around the 'yard' for the object that killed the man they found- a knife. Or so they said. And she watched as they wheeled the body out.
The victim was a known vagrant who was often seen riding around Rosarito on a bike. I must have seen him dozens of times while walking around. They said he was stabbed to death in the lot during the dark hours- maybe 2 or 3 in the morning- If the dog trying to wake up Human's mom was an indicator of something going on outside at the particular time. None of us were disturbed by anything on that occasion otherwise. (Thank you sleepy herbs.)

I am still trying to figure out why parts of me seem to be getting softer with each death that happens around here. Why am I not becoming numb; desensitized like the boys at their video games?

Life is not safe outside the imperial American delusion
Out here, no one hears you when you whine
(to be read also read as threaten to sue)
And I keep testing myself in that outside place
I don't hide in a gated fortress with other gringos huddled around
I live where everyone has the chance to gawk at the girl(-boy)
("What the fuck is that supposed to be!")
I don't drive everywhere hidden high away in a shiny SUV
I walk the stinking streets and crumbling sidewalks
I dodge the drug addicts, bums, and leering gossip-men

I stand in the lines on the border where everyone bares
Their diabetic sores and missing limbs to you
Selling their wounds, selling their hard life and chicle, chicle
Where all the fried foods fill the air with an over bearing carnival smell
Music is played in an unraveled way, incongruous with the next busker

Then to have lunch on India Street
With maybe the stink of an open sewer somewhere in my clothes
I can't acclimate to all-organic, hypoallergenic sunshine glances and smiles
The crows come to pick from these carcasses so I will do the same
The dark birds, more my kin than human shapes of any social status at this point

There is a Fifth Ave to walk down in San Diego to the trolley line
And on the way down you can see into all the restaurants full of gentles
These well off gentles sit, well lit and wined, smiling around white teeth shaping
American words endlessly sucking and spilling like the hissing tidal flow not far off
Vacuous and happily one with the one that is the ego of self
You can flirt with all of them if you have a striking look, striking to their liking
A storm coming ashore to lean in on paper houses? wearing a velvet blazer, wine red?

On the blue line trolley appears a beautiful family, homeless
Young parents toting a pair of skate boards amongst their baggage
Black skinned, skinny and altogether handsome-like to be models, if only
Kindly-voiced Papi polite to know enough Spanish to
Sell large (but not large enough for some) Hershey's chocolate bars out of his pack
Something sweet to end the working week for mostly sleepy Mexicans
Bringing brand names back home with them like good slaves to the consumer system
A woman with knees to me clutching a KFC bag full of dinner bought her bar
Weary Mami with head held barely up by a manicured hand explained
To a curious man with a Little Caesar's pizza box on his lap
A story told like something familiar to my ears
Moving from motel to motel with a baby in a backpack
And a mannered toddler trailing talkatively cute
They are not shabby in their poverty 
As they simply cannot be if they are in San Diego
Trying for something better than what they have

Can my Walt Whitman love for any of them as they are me as we are one
Help any of this ruined reality?

Then come to a home supposedly mine to sit in death's lap
And serve the cause of art happening 3000 miles away
All stress and no glory

All is wonder
All is a joke
 
What have I to show for these tribulations in the desert?
These words?
Huh.






Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The old papers


Back before we were all bathed in glowy, glow of 
0110111101101110011001010111001100100000011000010110111001100100001000000111101001100101011100100110111101110011
we were bathed in mangled trees; lignocellulosic fibrous materialpaper. Hard copy. 
My parents sent me a box of personal history in the mail awhile back and I have been looking through it a little bit here and there. Scraps of stories, dream diaries, poem fragments: the work unfinished. Sorting through it all in itermittent burst of curiosity prevents me from breaking down into tears. Though, I just might as well. Some items I pick up and literally throw them down because they evoke such strong memory - feeling. I browse bits of paper that record my decent into madness in my hometown, my travels in the UK and the US, my uncomfortable history in NYC... paper that reminds me of how much struggle I have gone through- right to the present. To still struggling. Plain, embarrassing evidence that I have tried to create and live in a reality kinda skewed from the common baseline. Tried and have found very little success in it. I have bank records with all those little, unfeeling numbers to prove that much. The sum of my life in a pile of burnable paper - not even neatly leather bound.
Since falling in to the Web, I've been putting out doubly intangible thoughts. The world is saved from the clutter of marked up objects. But the clutter of thought? It is still a hanging lead fog. Servers hold the bytes instead of shoe boxes and scrapbooks somewhere in the world. The claw marks of effort are there... Wildly unnoticed, surrounded by 7 odd billion other claw marks...