Tuesday, November 25, 2008

thanks for:

the hard wind and rain that finally blew into town on All Souls Day, ripping through all the corrugated plastic campaign signs on the roadsides, throwing them into the streets and passing cars

the nopal cactus that the Palmerin family has been lovingly cultivating for us

eight years with my lady, for how well she cuts my hair, and how she tells me when I’m full of crap

the local Wal*Mart, for showing at least a simulacrum of conscience and foresight, now selling some reusable shopping bags, sweatshop t-shirts with trees printed on them, a Bill Nye “eco-logical” paper recycling kit, and for having recently painted the store façade a more fitting desert-storm tan

Obama – Biden

car passed inspection

the disgruntled employee of the Holliday Inn in Henderson NV, who, having caught wind of her immanent firing, stuck it to her bosses by booking my family with the super-discounted employee rate. so punk rock

my little girl, her developing talent of honking people’s noses, her excitement with ants, and how she broke into this last time the congregation sang “All Creatures of our God and King”

cheap rent on a warm duplex in November

acorn squash and black beans

Friday, November 21, 2008

how the animals get to the zoo: a book report

so yeah, lately I’ve been putting together school applications again –round 2- and figured it was a good time to brush up a little on colonial, postcolonial theory and so on. wanting to start somewhere easy, I went to Ash’s library where I found this nice slim volume from 1964. with the possible exception of Jimmy Buffet’s “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” I doubt colonialism has ever found a more succinct treatment. alright, have a look; I’ll get back to work.

some. related. posts.
this just in: Derek sent me some pages from a pretty ballistic little children's book which you can see over here - Do you know what I'm going to do next saturday? Well, sir...let me tell you!
I'm sure you'll agree it's a preferable alternative to renewing the elementary school library's subscription to Soldier of Fortune for next year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

the moustache as civil disobedience, public nuisance and token of perfect smugness

this is my cousin Malcom (left) in a picture taken a couple weeks ago during a trip through Munich. my uncle and his family are living and working in Lugano, Switzerland and they periodically send us updates on their adventures, including photos. like a blog.

it was so good to get this in my email the other day, for several reasons. I had actually gotten up early just that morning to make 5 gallons of hot chocolate, and then schlepped it sloshing into work in a huge cooler. hot chocolate should never be a hassle but somehow this was.

also, behind a figleaf of reduced state education budget, they've started firing people here too. lots of people. since we work off of a grant that I write every year, our little outfit should be OK, but it still sucks to watch this happen to so many other people I like and respect, many of whom have been here 20+ years. I don't know if people are organizing yet but there’s quite a bit of fallout still to come.

and aside from this, things have been pretty hectic. would you believe that I just allowed my Saturday to be spent giving a presentation to a boardroom full of people (yes, their Saturdays too!) on a 9 volume set of white 3-ring binders called USOE Standards for Adult ESOL? 4 hours of driving for a 5 hour meeting, to which I contributed just 1 hour. yeah, I know!

so anyway, I'm now wearing a moustache. thanks, Malcom, for helping me regain my bearings here. we'll see how long it lasts.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

3 calaveras*

poor Joe Biden, died this afternoon in the middle
of an ice cream cone. he was halfway through
the thing and smiling so simply.
CNN seemed determined he finish it
with all America watching. and the cameras
still rolled, the text crawler still scrolled
something about Acorn. he clutched
his chest, then the railing. the NASDAQ
leaped so slightly, the Dow impassive.

what a mess on main street
somewhere in the pro-America
lower forty-eight, Sarah Palin
gunned down by a helicopter-full
of timber wolves? her glasses,
nicked discreatly from the scene
by a passerby, fetched a handsome
sum on eBay.

yesterday morning at dawn
local celebrity, millionaire,
zealot, village idiot
Superdell Schanze flew
his motorized hang glider
into a beautiful cirque of granite,
lone peak, like one of Kerouac's
roman candles, mad to be saved
mad to be governor, mad
to be loved, and famous and armed.

*"The calavera (skull) is a typical Mexican satirical style of poetry. It originated between the 15th and 18th centuries, but grew in popularity at the dawn of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. The calavera poem is typically associated with Day of the Dead, and it became a journalistic genre at the end of the 19th century during the regime of Portfirio Diaz. The fliers that circulated during those times included angry verses against the dictator Diaz, and his cabinet members. Throughout Mexico, calaveras were also dedicated to working class people, always with a hint of sarcasm and humor at the inevitability of death. Today, calaveras can be written about anyone."
a little more info here.

hey! write your own and post it here, please.
(I mean once you've already gone and voted, that is.)

Sunday, November 02, 2008

dia de los mUErtOs (2) - el muerto quiere camote

these photos are from a few years ago, mostly:
prints by José Guadalupe Posada from Aguascalientes
Diego Rivera's Alameda mural featuring an apparition of la Catrinarelics and ruins in Mexico City (zócalo and anthropology museum)
and the Rafael Coronel museum (masks) in Zacatecas