miércoles, octubre 24, 2007

Midterm #1

Whew, L* was a harsh taskmaster with me today, but she got me to finish all of my midterm grading for class A. Class B takes their exams tomorrow, so it was really important I get rid of the old ones.

A bizarre development. Nxi the cat has had several accidents today, both times in my study, and both events in close vicinity to the stack of midterm exams (blue books, actually).

Not all that close, gracias a las diosas. I don't even want to picture having to grade and return fouled exams!)

Well, I'm due for a bubble bath and a masque after all that hard work.


lunes, octubre 22, 2007

A Matrix of Animalitos

If you look at the wireless networks in our neighborhood, you'll see ours, plus one called solyluna and one called roosterandpig, and one with the rather uninspired name of Wireless###.

As we drove past a mural in the Mission on Saturday, I looked at the animals painted there and realized that "rooster and pig" must refer to the Chinese zodiac signs of that particular couple. Then we started talking about our signs, Rat and Snake, although I had to confirm the snake on google when I got home. But I was pretty sure.

And when we were at the El Dia de los Muertos celebration at the Oakland museum, they were doing prayers to the four directions. And then I went to Xoloitscuintle's web page and he had the aztec calendar there, so I had to go look up both of our birthdays. And, we both have the Tochtli the rabbit in our birthdays,

Tochtli, the Killer Rabbit

which is so cute with its fangs. and i remember how my sister and I used to always express our fears of "killer rabbits" in rural new mexico. (this was before monty python).

So I was thinking of tattoos again and wondering if there were aztecan or mayan rats or mice or snakes that would look cool. Snakes for sure. But so far I'm getting distracted because there are actual species (genus?) of animals, the Aztec Mouse (Peromyscus aztecus) and the Mayan mouse (Peromyscus mayensis).

So if you know of a cool aztec rat or mouse, let us know.
The Snake is waiting!

Aztec/Mixtec Double-headed Serpent, 15th-16th century

sábado, octubre 20, 2007

The War on Los Días de los Muertos

Posada's Catrina

Okay, ignore that Right-wing drivel about the War on Christmas. We have a serious problema going on at craft stores across the country. At least the mainstream ones: Michael's Crafts, Joann Etc, Beverly Fabric.

(I won't even start with Hobby Lobby. Which I usually refer to as "Hobby Lobby which is closed on Sunday so that their employees may worship with their families" Several people to whom I have said this respond with "Lots of places are closed on Sunday. That doesn't make them überChristian." Ah, but Hobby Lobby has a sign by the front door, specifically saying "We are closed on Sunday so that our Employees may Worship with their Families." I always want to go after that sign with a sharpie and write in "even the Jews." But you know that's a big lie: I'm sure the employee application has a question about worshipping with your family on Sunday.)

Okay, but back to my point: La Guerra contra los Días de los Muertos.

Admittedly, it is already the middle of October, which means fifty percent of the floor space at these craft stores is devoted to...yes, Christmas.

Now, L* and I have been enjoying The Crafty Chica's Collection. Now you know Crafty Chica rocks for los Días de los Muertos. One of the great pieces she has in there is this fabulous little shrine with Calaveras. She says to buy a "dollhouse cabinet" from a craft store. Between us, L* and I have been to all three of the big craft stores in the area, and no luck on the dollhouse cabinets. Nor were there any wooden boxes that would work for shadow boxes or shrines. That's a little suspicious, don't you think?

Here's what's more suspicious: no marigolds. There's a lot of fake flowers to be found and Michaels crafts, and at this time of the year, many yellows, golds, oranges, and reds. Chrysanthemums, sunflowers, black-eyed susans. No marigolds though. That's odd, isn't it? this is really the season for marigolds. But no, none.

Nor are there any skulls or skeletons to be found. Mummies, ghosts, jack-o-lanterns, tombstones, black cats, witches, cobwebs, yes. all of those. but calaveras, no.

I'm beginning to sense a conspiracy! It's like they're going out of their way to make it impossible to build a traditional altar. Okay, so if there's no marigolds, we can always make them out of crepe paper and florist wire and tape. Except, hmmmm, no crepe paper. Yeah, something's rotten in the state of craftilandia!

No molds for sugar skulls (and I totally want to try filling them with plaster of paris and seeing how they come out.). And you can find those everywhere online and at Oakland's El Corazon del Pueblo (support your local arts stores and panaderías!) But not at any of these crafty lady stores. Which have an obscene amount of wedding swag.

In fact, I'm sensing a whole heteronormative narrative here: bridal-to-baby. I would suspect an anti-queer agenda. If it weren't for all the feather boas. And glitter. And rhinestones. And spangles. And Christopher Lowell.

Crafty Chica has good directions for papier-mache skulls, by the way. That's on our list.

Anyway, I think we need to launch a soldadera campaign to reclaim the days of the dead. It's not just about white kids parading through the Mission! It's not just about hipsters and art galleries. It's about serious rasquachi home-made altares.

Soldadera Calavera

(You think I'm exaggerating, but some cemeteries are now coming out with reglas for what you can put on a grave--no food, no tin can containers, et cetera. Clearly targeting fabulous people-of-color ceremonies)

Note: This is my 400th posting to this blog!

miércoles, octubre 03, 2007

Happy Birthday!

Today is my L*'s Birthday!

martes, octubre 02, 2007

I'm In

Official NaNoWriMo 2007 Participant

Okay, I'm gonna do it.

I only wish I had structured an Ethnic Writers class around it this year. Just imagine! We could spend all of September and October reading and outlining, November writing our asses off and December celebrating (and editing--but december is short!)

Oooh, and then I could do a spring class which would have the pre-requisite of the Nanowrimo 50,000 word novel, and we could workshop it all semester long.

A girl can dream, can't she?