Friday, November 26, 2010

El Vocho Kickstarter Campaign

I'm doing a Kickstarter fundraiser to help offset printing and shipping costs for my El Vocho book. You can check out the project by clicking through the icon posted below. Basically, the book is available for a $15.00 pledge, and you can go hog wild and pledge more for other cool stuff like T-shirts, acrylic paintings and the like.
There's a video in there too, with me coming on like one of them NPR geeks, begging for cash. This is publishing in the cyber age, I guess!

Here's a link to the El Vocho Kickstarter page.

Monday, November 08, 2010

Mexico Painting

Painted this fall for my old friend George MacDonald. Acrylic, about 39" x 56".

Sunday, November 07, 2010

My Weekend Read: 99 Problems

Been reading 99 Problems: A Book About Running and Writing by Ben Tanzer over the weekend. Ben is the author of a couple novels and a stack of short stories. 99 Problems, available online, is comprised of ten essays on the subjects of running and writing. Tanzer describes the setting and experience of runs in ten different places. He ruminates on the cathartic benefits of the running life, but duly notes his sense of mission and compulsive focus on getting his run in. Once the endorphins kick in, the author moves onto his other obsession: His career as a writer. Ideas come to him, and problems solve themselves as he ticks off the miles.

I can relate to this book, both as a creative person, and as a fellow runner. I'm the target audience here! Plus, Ben and I have the same high school PR in the 880 yard run of 2:01, knocking on the door of the two minute barrier, always a worthy goal for a high school kid.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

More Dia De Muertos 2010

Here's a few more photos taken over the past weekend in Oaxaca. The previous post has some description of the festivities.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Dia De Muertos 2010

Having lived in Oaxaca for more than three years, I'm starting to get a handle on Dia De Muertos.
It all starts with slightly officious, yet gratifyingly down to earth celebrations at schools and places like the Biblioteca Infantil, the Children's Library, where we saw a kid's movie workshop project that my son acted in, and a tight brass band playing Oaxacan classics and some smooth, upbeat jazz.

By October 31, it was on to the Panteon Xoxochitlan for the annual parade of revelers through the graveyard, with an outstanding selection of artisan wares available outside, and best of all, street food from well stocked puestos.
We had mushroom embanadas, adorned with everything from squash flowers to quesillo. Super fresh, piping hot with insanely great hot salsa and tomatillo salsa, your choice. Um, the graveyard is interesting too.

After these few years, I've come to understand that November 1 is the night to indulge in Comparsas, a combo costume parade, neighborhood outdoor movable feast, dance party and more with brass bands. Think Fellini movie come to life, and your getting close.

My family was invited to the Comparsa in Nazareno Etla, a town about ten miles northwest of Oaxaca. These folks organize the best Comparsa I've been too, with residents setting up a route that winds through town, stopping here and there for music, food and revelry. The costumes, amazing. There are groups of 3 to 10 people in the same superb home made costumes who have clearly been working and thinking all year about it. They surely have little costume clubs! Lots of the macabre, but really anything goes. Peacock boys to Wild Man warriors in feathered head dresses and gold body paint, you name it. Of course, lots of attempts at being sexy, some successful, some outlandish and hilarious.

Just got back from a visit to the Panteon San Felipe on the last night of the holiday. A warm, intimate scene of families camping at the gravesites of their loved ones, adorned with orange marigolds and red Flores de Muertos. Candles, picnics and mezcal in abundance, with roving musicians. Folks inviting their dear departed to come and sit with them for the night, it's that simple, and that deep just the same.

Here's just a few pics. I'll try to remember to post more!