Girl With Floral Headband

Also, last night I went to some art galleries — there were three of them open all in the same block on Colima. Not sure if that’s normal for Thursdays, as I don’t get out much. This was at Fifty24MX doing an exhibit with Detroit’s 1xRUN group.

It was my favorite piece at the exhibit, by Erik Mark Sandberg. I thought about buying it because I am going to a baby shower tomorrow, but I don’t know if it’s going to be a boy or a girl.



san francisco twerking trio

My friend Enrique posted this online with the comment, “Sometimes I feel like I’ve read too much theory to enjoy things. This is complicated, but if you have any critical faculties whatsoever, you may want to just turn them off and just enjoy. Or, if you’re a performance studies scholar, here’s your next conference paper. You’re welcome.”

My critical faculties applied to this video make me recognize that twerking is an underanalyzed area of pop culture. Booty dancing in general makes a lot of people uncomfortable, meaning it is inherently interesting and socially charged, yet because of that we don’t talk about it. Maybe we should examine why that is the case and see what insight we can gain by discussing it.


I miss the USA!


One of the things I have thought about extensively, observing my native land the US for four years from here in Mexico, is that the US&A could really benefit from thinking twice before we try to justify things by pointing out that they’re legal. That excuse increasingly does not work for me.


A few weeks ago I visited an old friend in Ottawa. He gave me this gift (as well as a bunch of Tivoed RuPaul and poutine), which I will always carry with me.

a) If you don’t this music, maybe you can place its context vaguely anyway, but it’s a style of drum n bass (and the below track, jungle) mostly known for coming from UK nightclubs in the mid-90s through the early naughts, especially when it has an MC like this does. Both my friend and I (still) listen to this kind of music.

b) The music has been superimposed over real footage of churchgoers, presumably from the southern US.

c) The churchgoers dance a lot like the people who dance to the this music in nightclubs. When drum n bass and jungle DJs came to perform in nightclubs in the southern (okay midatlantic) US, I personally also danced like this.

They come from Baptazia, a site apparently started by people in the UK who realized that US Baptists freaking out can look like dnb heads freaking out.

I’ve always thought it was interesting, too, that punk rock kids also did similar freak out dances. Some were known ocassionally to show up at drum n bass events and try to out-freakout the ravers.

17-year-old cat

My mom just wrote to say she’s euthanizing our family’s 17-year-old cat tomorrow. Because she’s skin and bones, not interested in food, and has crud in her eye. To quote. i.e., The cat is old.

The not interested in food thing happened a year and a half ago when our other cat died, but she got her appetite back eventually. I suspect this is happening again because a baby cat showed up at the house, and Madeline (the 17-year-old) has gotten depressed again.

So this is my parents’ solution now… NOT de acuerdo! I respect that this is my parents’ decision, not mine (although, if you want to hear my argument for it being the cat’s decision…). However, I do not respect this choice.

Madeline used to be a plump lil dumpling, but then our other cat Otto died and she stopped eating for a month. I didn’t recognize her when my sister sent me this picture.

from the book i’m reading

Speak, Memory is Vladimir Nabokov’s autobiography. In college I knew several people who were big Nabokov fans, and they always recommended this and Pale Fire. I couldn’t get into either of them, was too into flitting around and acting like a teenage boy I think.

I picked up Speak, Memory again a few months ago, and wow, I definitely get it now. And Nabokov certainly does have an extraordinary memory. When I was reading it on a plane to Chicago, the guy next to me was not the “chat with the person next to you on a long flight” type– a history professor at Notre Dame, it turned out– but he felt the need to observe that I was reading an excellent book. Nabokov is just so freaking refined. Forget about his physical ability to recall details; that clearly is a result of his respect for them. He comes off as quietly compassionate.

He’s just been describing hunting butterflies in the woods alone on a July day “around 1910, I suppose,” as a kid. How many logs were stacked up in the clearing, flying past the strewn white clothes of the bathing girls on the shore, what plants and what plants and what plants were around, what birds were tweeting, how the light was, how the rare butterfly skimmed in flight.

He seals the thought by giving not so much the scene itself, but rather the vividness of the memory, a sort of Bird Girl attribution. It’s wiser than Stephen Dedalus’s epiphany on visual beauty, though; Nabokov is not such a young man here:

I confess I do not believe in time. I like to fold my magic carpet, after use, in such a way as to superimpose one part of the pattern upon another. Let visitors trip. And the highest enjoyment of timelessness– in a landscape selected at random– is when I stand among rare butterflies and their food plants. This is ecstasy, and behind the ecstacy is something else, which is hard to explain. It is like a momentary vacuum into which rushes all that I love. A sense of oneness with sun and stone. A thrill of gratitude to whom it may concern– to the contrapuntal genius of human fate or to tender ghosts humoring a lucky mortal.



2 more votes! aunt sarah’s grapefruit story

A friend from college followed up on my civic-responsibility/bees-in-bonnets saga to ask about what the real results ended up being for the Amelia County, Virginia polling during the 2012 presidential elections. The results on the State Board of Elections site are still unofficial. I did notice that the number for Amelia has changed, though… by exactly two votes. The 2012 result (linked below), now reads 2,490 instead of 2,488. I take this to mean that someone at the State Board (sort of) took my point about how bad it looks to have duplicate counts two elections in a row.

2008 results for Amelia:

(Updated) 2012 results for Amelia:


This reminds me of once when I was in college; I went to an Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House with a couple of friends late at night. We hadn’t been drinking or anything, just out late and hungry. I tell this story a lot, so sorry if you have heard it.

I ordered a half a grapefruit, but when the waitress brings it to me it’s cut lengthwise instead of cross-wise. I search her face to see if she knows whether this is incorrect. Not for reasons of protocol, but for practicality. She shows no sign of acknowledgement. So I am forced to just dive in with, “Ehmm… look, I know this might sound weird, but… the grapefruit is cut wrong.” She looks at me like I’m a total jerk. “No, seriously, sorry, but. It’s supposed to be cut horizontally, not vertically.” (I had to stop myself from saying it’s supposed to be cut ‘at the equator.’) “Like, it’s way easier to eat with a spoon that way…you can’t… you can’t really do that when it’s cut…” [giving up]

She picks up my somewhat lopsided, longitudinally cut grapefruit and takes it back to the kitchen. When she comes back, she’s carrying: the other half.

That was my cue to shut up and go hungry. I could have just cut it into wedges at the table with a pancake knife and eaten it that way. I didn’t really want to take any chances, though, about what else besides being cut wrong might have happened to the fruit back in the kitchen.

In this case, regarding my voting office and the State Board, my cue to hush will mainly be the fact that the State Board of Elections actually called me (explaining what I had correctly interpreted from their bureaucrat code-switching). That was good of them. But yes, it does also occur to me that like this year’s ballot, my future absentee ballots will have my name written on them.