Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I wish there were...

1. Apartment builidngs for boring, social lifeless, handworking DINKS, with kids, parties and noisy pets forbidden.

2. Adult-only, kid-forbidden, smoking-allowed restaurants.

3. Children-movie shows in their original language for adults only.

4. Sound-proof meditation cabins for claustrophobics.

5. Google-Sites practical crash-courses for dummies (like me).

6. A "How to Organize your Massive Demonstration in Mexico City" Manual for dummies (like me).

7. A mandatory electrical zapper for people who have bad manners and constatly use foul language, and kids who abuse their parents in public.

8. More people who visited and commented on my blog.

9. Clean, safe and free toilets in Mexico City.

10. Free best-seller distribution for reading maniacs (like me)

Friday, July 25, 2008

Why insomnia is bad for you

A couple of days ago a bad combination of too much coffee, afternoon napping and a demonically noisy toddler neighborg resulted in me lying perfectly awake in the dark at 1 am. I wasn't exactly worried, given the fact that I still have a few days of summer vacation to enjoy, but in my desperate effort to try to relax and get some sleep, my brain started to wander around, and instead of following the well-known routine of telling myself an original story, suddenly my father came up in my mind, which was probably due to the fact that I had been watching "The Six Million Dollar Man" on Cable TV, and I briefly recalled how I used to think that Lee Majors sort of looked like my daddy when he was younger.

The point is that I'm not used to thinking a lot about my father, since my parents separated for good around 14 years ago, and my dad decided to move on and form a new family, which was not difficult for me to deal with, given the fact that my psychology course and a couple of readings had luckily provided me with the necessary tools to survive such a difficult transition; I guess I just assumed that , since I was no longer part of the equation of his life, he should be eliminated from mine.

Unfortunately, my younger brother hasn't been that lucky, and he has been under a lot of emotional stress because he was innocent enough to believe that his father could still be interested in him, and invited him several times to his new home, with his new family. For many Americans this might not be that unusual, but for most Mexican people it is considered bad taste and politically incorrect at least. In my personal opinion, if my father had been genuinelly interested in his son, he would've arranged a private meeting, just to get acquainted with the adult he hadn't seen for around 5 years, but as things turned out, he was more interested on my brother's money. The last straw came when our own daddy told my brother that he regreted not selling our family's house many years ago when he had the chance, since my brother and yours trully were old enough (we were 17 and 16 in those days) "to survive on our own".

Believe it or not, when I was told this, I started laughing my head off. It was just unbelievable for me that a 54 year-old man could possibly regret something he wasn't even near to do for a bunch of kids that were not even conceived in the mind yet in those days. I found it extremely amusing, but my poor brother was about to burst with anger and dissapointment towards the old man.

And that sleepless night, I unwillingly started remembering that episode, and all the other moments when things went wrong with our dad, and how it has been radically different for my brother and me; how I had learned not to expect a great deal from him, and how my brother always kept looking for that "fatherly approval" that most men long for, and about that moment in life when you have to acknowledge the fact that mommy and daddy are not Superman and Wonderwoman (or Mighty Mom and Dyno Dad, if you like), but just a couple of guys with the right to make their own mistakes and how it is difficult for some people to assume that, before being our parents, mom and dad were individuals, kids or no kids in the way.

The really annoying part came when, after spending 3 hours grinding all these thoughts in my hyperactive brain, I reached the same conclusion I have lived under for the last 18 years: there's no point in wasting time holding onto the past, and my brother is stupid for letting these things still hurt him. It's hard, and it hurts when it happens, but when somebody, whoever that is, doesn't want you in your life, you must face it and go on. You still have yourself.

Sorry for boring you dead with all this babbling.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Trigger happy summer 2

Probably the secret to a good photo entry resides on posting just a couple at a time, but it is really tempting to upload almost everything I have ever captured digitally.

But I'll try to keep it simple and short.

My cat sleeps with her eyes open.

This I took with my celphone, from where I work. I call it "Swan-cloud".

And this is a "jacaranda", which gets purple flowers in the spring.
Hope you like them. I'll post more next time.

Music and Sun

After reading kyklops post on music, I decided to post these pictures related both to music and one of my personal obsessions.

I collect suns. That is, handcraft representations of the sun, which has always been extremely relevant in Ancient Mexican Culture. Here you have a sample of my collection.
I intend to cover the wall from ceiling to floor.
And regarding music, here is this one:
Hope you like it, and any contribution in the form of sun representations from other cultures, of any material, will be gladly welcome.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More Carrington's Sculptures, with Names.

"Music for the Deaf" ("Música para Sordos")

"Cannibal Table" ("Mesa Canibal")

"Albino Swine" ("Cerdo Albino")

Monday, July 14, 2008

Leonora Carrington at Reforma Avenue

"The Shadow of the Ahuehete" ("La Sombra del Ahuehete")

"All Seats Taken" ("Ya no hay lugar")

"GoatSnake" ("SerpienteChivo")

And my favorite, due to horrible fascination it inspires me, "Cuculati 1, 2 and 3", day and night shots.

Don't they look absolutely creepy? They give me goosebumps when I look at them every dawn on my way to work, but that is their most fascinating quality: you just can't stop looking at them.

The rest of my pictures will be uploaded as soon as I verify their titles.


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Trigger happy summer

I had promised kyklops to try to share some of the things my city has. Right now, there is a public exhibit of some of Leonora Carrington's sculptures down at Paseo de la Reforma Avenue, so I went down and took some pictures. They are a little shaky and the format is not great for two reasons: we (that is, my husband and yours truly) had escape the storm that was about to pour down on us, and I haven't been able to acquire the additional memory card my camera requires to store better resolution. It has been a bloody duel between quantity vs. quality. Here they go.

This one is titled "Manta-butterfly" ("Mariposa Mantarraya").

This one is "The Dream of Fire" ("El sueño del Fuego"), back and front.

This one is "The Mother of Wolves" ("La Madre de los Lobos").

My favorite, the creepiest ones, will be saved for another post. Hope you enjoy them.

So, kyklops, finally I found out how to upload images and link text (yupii!!) Establishing a linked photo gallery comes next.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Oh, beautiful Summer...

One of the reasons why I was so desperate to go back to a school calendar was the chance to have time (one the new luxuries of the 21th century) to fool around and do "nothing". Spending time on my personal projects has always represented the topmost pleasure a person as crazy as me may experience.

This week I decided to take for free. So far, I have been able to:

1. Read 5 books in a row: Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman, Shogun by James Clavell, Lena's Secret by Michael Ende, Crocodile-skin Shoes by Alfonso Suarez Romero, The Name of Cuautla by Antonio Malpica and The Man Who Was Thursday, by Gilbert Keith Chesterton, which I found even stranger than Mirrormask, but pretty fun as well.

2. Improve my Japanese Anime singing by repeating ad infinitum the fonetic lyrics to "Kon'ya Wa Hurricane" from Bubblegum Crisis, "Zankoku na Tenshi no TE-ZE", from Neon Genesis Evangelion, "Tenshi no Yubikiri" from Karekano, "Coppelia's Casket" from Noir, "Voices" from Macross Plus, and the intro and ending songs from Totoro. My neighbors have already placed a complaint to the building manager.

3. Clean and organize my tool box, collecting and placing every single nail and screw in neat plastic bags clasified by size. Locking the box became a must after my husband took a 5 minute look afterwards.

4. Catch up with my blogging, which was abandoned for more than a month. Thank God you people out there are still alive.

5. Devote a daily half-hour to breaking a sweat trying to beat my husband's records at Wii-Fit. So far, the monster is still winning in 50% of the exercises. Grrr!!

6. Sleep 8 hours in a row, having the craziest nightmares everynight and realising how stressed out I've been for the last 6 months. I even dreamed I was married to one of my students! Yuck!

7. Eat every single yummy treat I have been able to think about, from a breaded chicken breast torta with Oaxacan cheese to whole wheat cupcakes. Obviously, my nutritionist has filed an official objection.

9. Nail 5 more sun sculptures to my collection on my living room's wall, just to discover I did it in an unartistical disposition. I left them that way, though, to cover previous nail holes.

Next week will be devoted to pending paperwork (sigh) and a couple of personal projects, like clearing up the storeroom, but I definitely needed some time on my own to rememeber the joy of being out of an office during daylight.

By the way, do you remember my whinning due to the lack of summer cherries last season? I've been able to munch over a kilo this season!! Not all at once, of course, but they are going to be the death of me! ja,ja.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A king's ransom... for teachers.

Uff! It's been more than a whole month since I last sat down to exercise my creative skills by blogging, but if you had been in my shoes, you wouldn't have found the time either.

The last month was mostly spent preparing my yearly plan for the next school period, checking that every single item provided by the school was returned as close as the original state as possible, and dealing with angry parents who didn't understand why their lovely children flunked the school year and now have to take an extraordinary exam. My private LAAAAAAAAAAAME prize to the stupidest phrase of the year went to a father who stated that "you are so demotivating to the kids". If he only knew how demotivating his lazy kid was to me... (sigh).

But there was an extremely positive side to all this, and it was just the merry perspective of a whole month ahead without any responsibilities, but the amount of stuff these kids left behind in the abandoned, empty classrooms (which happened to look kind of happy, I'd say).

Among the huge amount of partialy used notebooks with only around 20 written pages each, the complete geometry sets which only lacked the compasses and a couple of just-a-bit-battered Swiss Army and Swiss Gear backpacks, there were around 14 or 15 novels and short stories students were not interested in keeping, although we teachers are.

From "Mirrormask" to "The Catcher in the Rye", which I had been trying to get for years, around 9 or 10 assorted books were carefully and tenderly placed in my rucksack, unable to wait for the moment they would join my humble 926-book library. And after finishing "Crocodile Shoes", which I found particularly amusing, I keep wondering what separates me from a generation that discards these expensive books as others discard used tissues. This is one of those peculiar things that make me feel absolutely detached from the rest of human race... well, of Mexican People. I have only found 3 other aliens... I mean, people, who read as avidly and hungrily as me. Understanding that modern kids perceive reading these carefully selected pieces as a punishment, and that they will barely come, not to appreciate them, but to fully understand them, makes me worried and proud at the same time.

So, after 6 months of hell unleashed, there was finally a pay back: all these wonderful books I was allowed to select, read, reread and nurture for years to come. A king's ransom in books, indeed.