Friday, June 27, 2008

Troy, New York

Next stop on our journey was Troy, New York. we got a cheap flight from Detroit to Albany (via DC... changing my tally to 7 airports, 5 flights, and 2 train stations inside of 5 days!) we stayed with Andrew and Vickie at their famous house on 9th street in Troy. The house was large and exciting, as promised. It was totally a fixer-upper and Andrew and Vickie have been lovingly renovating it over the past year.

I have much nostalgia for the days when Andrew was my roommate in Brooklyn so it was great to be back in AndrewSpace, a mental and physical place filled with lots of bike parts and lots of action and fun and colors and ideas and good food. For instance, when we arrived, Andrew was putting the finishing touches on a back-yard shed which he had conceived and constructed entirely from scrap wood in the course of two days! without measuring anything. I helped out painting its doors bright red.

Then we made a bonfire in the fire-pit and roasted some vegetables and a lot of people came over for dinner in the Yarden, it was lots of fun!

We also went to visit The Sanctuary for Independent Media, an amazing media venue inside of an old church, a beautiful and inspiring space. And we met Andrew's friend Branda and her daughter Masha and their tiny amazing dog Rosefang and went out for a canoe trip on the Hudson River and Erie Canal and took a bike ride in the rain.
While in troy, we also ran into Jason Steven Murphy, a friend from high school who happens to be getting married this weekend! (congratulations!), and visited Cat Mazza and Jim Finn, who we'd met in Buenos Aires when Jim had a retrospective of his film work showing at the BAFICI Film Festival. Cat showed us her amazing knitting studio, filled with knitting projects by herself and other artists, a collection of knitting patterns and literature and a Brother bulky knitting machine, among other interesting objects. Cat told us about one of her current projects, Stitch for Senate, and gave us each a ball of yarn and a set of needles to participate in the project by knitting our very own helmet-liner for a US senator.
Also, on our second day in Troy, fellow former 708 Greene roommateAngie appeared just in time for the cook-out! It was just like old times. Angie is amazing.
It was sad to say good-bye to everyone and everything in Troy, but we had to head to Maine on Friday morning. We'd planned to take the greyhound bus but we were incredibly fortunate to get a ride to Boston with Cat and Jim, and another ride from Boston to Maine with Andrew and Vickie's roommate Sarah and her friend Brendan. Sarah is a musician and author who was really nice and interesting and great company for the ride. We stopped in Ipswitch for fried clams along the way.

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a synopsis in list form of my trip from buenos aires to chicago:

24 hours
4 airports
3 flights
1 dreadful cold
1 nyquil tablet (dusty, found under dresser while moving)
1 sudafed tablet
1 cafaspirina tablet (caffeine plus aspirin)
1 tarifol tablet (i'm not sure what that is but the guy at the kiosko in the airport gave it to me after a frustrating game of "what medicine do I need?" charades which ended with me shouting "tengo demasiado moco en mi cabeza!!!" (I HAVE TOO MUCH SNOT IN MY HEAD!") and the poor guy wincing and handing me a packet of Tarifol)

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back to the US of A.

it's time for our annual trip back to the northern hemisphere!! mike left first, and I followed a week later. my last week in Buenos Aires was totally crazy, as I had a HUUUGE screenprinting project to finish up before the trip, and I was still unpacking and cleaning and moving-into our new house (we had arranged for some nice folks to come stay in our apartment with the dog while we were out-of-town, so we wanted to get the apartment into decent, livable condition!), and then I got the worst head cold right before I left, so I ended up staying up until the wee hours the night before, finishing this work project and sniffling and sneezing and wheezing and then the morning before my flight i was running all over town trying to tie up loose ends and run errands and find cold medicine and i had about 12 minutes to pick out all my clothes for the trip and pack my bags. I did my classic rushed-packing-job resulting in way too much stuff and really heavy suitcases. Normally I don't like taking cold medicines (and thus don't have any in my house) but I was terrified that my head would actually explode during flight so I desperately swallowed as many decongestant-type pills as I could get my hands on. I flew out of Buenos Aires and had a layover in Santiago, Chile. Then flew from Santiago overnight to New York City. Then I had 5 hours to loiter inside of JFK airport before flying to Chicago. Mike met me at the airport in Chicago, about 24 hours after I'd stepped into the airport in BA! (i was SO happy to see him!!!). We spent the night in Chicago and then early in the morning we took Amtrak to Ann Arbor, Michigan, and arrived at Mike's dad's house just a few hours before the wedding.

Spent the next few days in suburbia, enjoying North American delicacies like pancakes and bacon and oatmeal cookies, and getting to know Michigan, Mike's hometown, and all of Mike's family, who were all very very sweet and generous and took great care of us!!

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Thursday, June 05, 2008


yesterday mike showed this to me: the beard cap. from

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"sos extranjera?"

life has been totally totally nuts lately. the greatest point of craziness was saturday, when we were simultaneously moving into our awesome new apartment, WHILE cooking thanksgiving dinner for twenty people. we made a morning run together, carrying boxes from Diaz Velez to Ravignani. Then I started baking the pies while Mike and Jonathan made another trip to pick up more boxes and stuff. I was rummaging through boxes digging for spoons and saucepans while basting the roasting chickens and whipping mashed potatoes all at the same time. Anyway, dinner was really delicious and fun (lots of friends brought tasty dishes too!). It was great to have our house totally filled with food and wine and friends on our very first day. now i'm getting ready for my trip to the USA, i'm leaving in less than two weeks and I have SO much work to finish before I go.

today I called a flete service to arrange a truck to carry the last of our boxes and big stuff over to our new apartment. after talking to the guy on the phone for a minute, he asked, "sos extranjera?" = "are you a foreigner?" which made me smile and laugh because he had to ask me!! like, we actually had a conversation in spanish on the phone for a full minute before he realized that I'm not from here and I talk funny.

Phone calls have been the scariest thing for me here, it's so hard for me to have a conversation in spanish over the phone and I used to be way too terrified to make any phone calls, which made life really complicated and difficult. During my first year here, whenever I did make a phone call, it was just a lot of shouting "what?" "can you please repeat that?" and feeling impotent and frustrated and i'd hang up the phone having no idea what just happened. In person I can rely on body language to tell me a lot, even if I don't understand a single word. Anyway, now it's really gotten much easier and these days I feel brave and optimistic whenever I pick up the phone.

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