Saturday, March 29, 2008

Stupid Tourist Tricks

Wow, what a crazy March it's been! I've seen three sets of visitors from the U.S., and I"ve happily turned into a tourist in my own back yard.
We're talking visits to the ruins at Mitla, Yagul, & Monte Alban (the latter at night by special arrangement!), country Mezcal factories, and of course the Silent Procession on good Friday in Oaxaca, mentioned in my last post. Wait, there's more, including visits to the "figuras de madura" (wooden animals) village of Arrazola, and the Rodolfo Morales museum in the town of Ocotlan.

We've also haunted plenty of great restaurants in Oaxaca, soaking up the local color & great food. My kids have been on a two week school break at the same time, so we've kicked back and soaked up the good vibes and good cheer. My birthday came in the middle of all this, and my friends Mats!? and Peri presented me with a GIANT CAKE from one of Oaxaca's finest bakeries, making it a memorable fifty one for this geezer boho.

It reminds me of something good that entrepreneurs often forget completely -- Vacations are good for you! I'm not quite the hard driving workaholic I was in my 20s, but I still forget to take time out. Thanks to all my great friends for the visits, (hugs & kisses to Carrie, Mats!?, Peri, Mikey and Marcia) forcing me to step out of my routine and have a ball.

During all of this, I've managed to pump out several jobs including a big order for a new client, so all remains covered in the world of this self employed Bohemian.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Who am I, and What am I Doing Here?

I'm sure almost nobody remembers the above line from the Vice Presidential debate before the '92 election, where Ross Perot's running mate, Admiral What's-his-face (with the ideal candidate helmet of white hair) uttered the once famous line. Fuck, that guy was a world class space cadet. What a fine moment of prime time it was. He sunk Perot's already slim chances with six seconds of perfect sound bite!

As for me, Who am I, and What am I doing here? Fuck if I know either! Right now, I'm listening to this.

And it is nicely ripping my face off, but actually I'm here to report on my self employed Bohemian activities for the recent stretch. This is what I've been doing: Nothing.

Okay, maybe not nothing. I've been paying enough attention to my screen printing business to keep the wheels churning. Me 'n my boys back in the states are making pretty prints for money, and all is well in the world of work.

The real news here in Oaxaca is that my Casa has been graced with a stream of lovable guests for the entire month of March. Fun has been had, ruins have been visited, mescal has been sampled. Well, more than sampled by certain guests!

Actually, for a few days the guests decamped to the Oaxacan coast long enough for me to sit down and write perhaps 150 pages worth of comics! It was my best sustained burst of comics writing in perhaps five years, the muse commandeered my psyche for the better part of a week and whispered a wonderful narrative in my ear--it was the best sort of writing for me, where I honestly just felt I was taking dictation from some disembodied source. Now I gotta sit down and draw the damn thing, but it will be a pleasure.
I'd certainly had the idea last fall & winter that I was gonna jump into the web comics biz--and I did, enough to get my feet wet. But I gotta say, I longed for the long narrative. It's my wife & it's my life (as Lou Reed once sang). Sometimes I try to forget, but I came to this mudball to draw comic books. Books! So here we go, fine with me.

Then what, the guests return, more visitors show up, and it is good! No lie, all the flow & traffic enhances the lives of my family and pumps up our energy. What the heck, the kids are on school vacation anyway.

So, it happens to be one of the biggest holidays of the year in Mexico, Semana Santa (Easter week). On Good Friday there is to be something called "the silent procession", a sort of parade acting out the stations of the cross.
Who knew these dudes would show up in this klansman/executioner regalia? Whoooo! Brings back the bad smells & bells of my childhood! Them crazy Catholics, they sure know how to hold a parade, let alone an inquisition, as per the above photos.