I Moved To Oaxaca

Sunday, November 23, 2003

Suchilquitongo photos now posted, and the error in the Cuilapan set fixed. Thanks for letting me know! Would you tell me if I had a piece of spinach in my teeth?

And ... here's Elliott! What a cutie.

I’m terribly excited knowing that in one short month I’ll be back in California. And it’s not that I don’t like living in Oaxaca; I do. This city continues to amaze and delight me. Last night we heard the sound of a brass band on our street, went outside and saw a parade marching down Av. Juarez and fireworks all night. Porque? Porque. But I love that. But I really, really miss being in what I still consider my home. And, I must say, the opportunity to take a long, hot shower and use all the soap I care to. This soft water is heinous.

Oh, and it'll be nice not to be the ethnic diversity for a couple of weeks.

This morning I finished the last of this week’s magazines. I always read People first, then move on to The Economist. For a magazine that doesn’t list authors or artists anywhere (I even did a cursory online check) and never misses a chance to tout bioengineered foodstuffs or explain yet again why the war on Iraq was a good thing for all concerned, I’ve come to enjoy it quite a bit. Not the least for its irreverent covers, captions, and heds. A few weeks ago they did a special report on the trade talks in Cancun and the cover illustration – the cover! – was a saguaro cactus in the shape of The Finger. This week they’ve got an article on the Microsoft anti-trust trials in the States and Europe with a picture of Bill Gates giving some talk somewhere, gesturing on some point like why it’s important to provide users with a prominently placed Windows Media Player. I think magazines are required by law to run a picture of Bill Gates with every Microsoft article, whether it’s about him or not. But what’s the caption on this particular picture? “Grrr.” Now if they’d just work on their often-weak closes to articles.

Like I said, though, now I’m out of magazines until Wednesday. Greg’s been plugging away on his “First Spanish Reader,” but I’ve been buying discounted Penguin Classics from the bookstore; I guess they don’t sell well. The first one, when I was sick, was “The Three Musketeers” – a book both Greg and I enjoyed tremendously. If you haven’t ever bothered to read it don’t be put off by its publication date or the roster of universally crappy Musketeer movies, their only good point being to give me a delicious image for Lady De Winter – then I moved on to Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” which is really a collection of short stories and essays on rural New York and England. I got it just before Halloween, read Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle first, then started working my way through the others. It took me awhile to get into it, but it was fun for me to read about old English Christmas customs, or about Tarry Town being way out in the country, about the character of Connecticut men such as Mr. Crane, or Prince Philip of the Wampanoags, since I’d been in that area for the first time just this summer. Hey, and did you know? Greg’s cousin Ned is a Wampanoag. Really. He's the guy that returned Metacomet's war club to the tribe. I'll try to find a better link.

Anyway, I came away from “Legends” admiring Irving’s style – besides, he was one of the first Americans to actually make a living as an author, impressive in any era – and dreaming of doing the same. Ha! When I went back to get another mind-broadener, the pickings seemed slim: Bronte, Dickens, philosophy. I don’t think reading about dark, Satanic mills is the best thing for me right now, so I picked the infinitely greener “Walden and Civil Disobedience.” Again, not the original title.

When I go back I want to dig “Hamlet’s Mill” out of storage. That should hold me a good long while.

Movies, now, that’s another story. The arthouse theater, El Pochote, shows a different movie every night, once at 6p and again at8p, but because of my school schedule I can only see them Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. And it’s not always something I want to see, even for only 5 pesos. This month I didn’t see hardly anything appealing on the schedule except for some historical films but we were busy the nights they played. The theater on the corner, Ariel (its twin, Geminis, is in Col. Reforma and was where we saw La Perla Negra with Johnny Depp), closed down. A crying shame, considering its prime location. It’s easy to run out to Gringolandia and catch a movie at Cinepolis, a really nice theater, only I have to plan in extra float time as the printed schedule, the schedule online, and the actual schedule listed at the theater don’t always agree. Like I mentioned previously, we saw “Once Upon A Time In Mexico,” lotsa fun, and I’d like to go back and see “Alien: The Director’s Cut” because I haven’t seen “Alien” since it came out the first time and I read not too long ago that Bilbo was the scientist on the ship.

The upshot is that I don’t see as many movies as I would like. I suppose if I looked into it I could see which movies are being distributed in Mexico concurrently with a U.S. release and which aren’t – because some movies do come out right away, some come out down here months after they’ve tanked back home, and some I have yet to see.


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