Tuesday, September 30, 2008

happy new year

Last night we went to our friend Jonathan's parents' house for Rosh Hashanah dinner. It was really huge and tasty and fun. We've had lots of wonderful family dinners with them in the past two years, but this time was the first time I felt like I could really understand most of the conversation, so it was even more fun. Except there was so much food that I was basically in a deep food coma for most of the night.
When the horseradish came out (to go with the gefilte fish) i said "como se llama? Rabino! rabino picante, mmm, me encanta!"(i thought i had said "what's the word for that? oh, horseradish! I love horseradish!") but everyone laughed and I didn't know why and they told me that I was saying "oh, spicy rabbi! I LOVE spicy rabbi!" because rabbi is rabino (rabino picante is spicy rabbi) and horseradish is rabano picante.

ha ha. spicy rabbi.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

bike ride to tigre!!

For at least a year and a half, Mike and Leandro and I have been talking about taking a bike-ride to Tigre some weekend. Tigre is my Coney Island in Buenos Aires, one of my favorite places in Argentina, a neighborhood/city north of the Capital Federal, a weekend amusement town on the muddy brown river delta that includes a zillion green, overgrown islands, lots of old victorian mansions, humble weekend cottages, boats of all kinds, an amusement park, a casino, a giant busy market, a grand old museum in a former gentleman's club, and a festive, nautical, fantasy-land air that ranges from dirty, creepy and dilapidated to expensive and fabulous.

So Saturday was the perfect hot spring day and we finally did it!! We guess that the ride was 25 or 30 miles one-way (mike's bike odometer broke after 15 miles), though that included some rambles and detours to see some sights along the way. It was definitely the longest bike-ride i have ever done! but it made me want to do more.

Leandro was an amazing tour-guide, and named all the neighborhoods and landmarks for us as we rode through, took us to see the giant towers at the riverside in Olivos, guided us through some busy traffic on the avenues and some beautiful shady lanes in the fancy neighborhoods. I definitely would've been terrified to do this ride on my own, but with Mike and Leandro i felt more or less invincible. I put sunscreen on my nose (and Mike's nose) but didn't put it on my back and shoulders, so by the time we got to Tigre I was not only sore and tired from riding but completely sunburned to a crisp and sick from sun-poisoning. oops. It was an awesome trip though, an amazing way to start the spring, a perfect day in the sunshine with friends. And how satisfying to finally go through with the plan! when we got to Tigre we dragged our tired butts to the riverside and had a fabulous picnic of stuffed olives and fancy cheeses on the lawn in front of the museum, until the guard came and kicked us off. Barbaro.

Afterwards we were too tired to ride back home so we took our bikes home on the bike train!

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debate-watching party / registering voters

Friday night i volunteered with Democrats Abroad Argentina... They hosted a debate-watching party at a bar in my neighborhood, and I got to help out at the voter-registration table. At this point most expats should hopefully have registered already, so we didn't have a lot of work to do, but we got to answer a few questions and hopefully some of the folks who still hadn't registered yet will be able to hurry up and squeeze in before the deadline!
The event turned out to be huge, like over 300 people attending! it was definitely the biggest group of *North* Americans I've ever seen inside of Argentina. There were two local news teams broadcasting live, lots of cameras snapping everywhere, and i heard there was someone there covering the event for The Huffington Post (here's the article).
I'm not generally attracted to "expat" gatherings, but I am getting totally excited/anxious about the upcoming elections and after getting myself registered and requesting my own absentee ballot, I still felt like I wanted to do more! and I'm glad I went, it was kinda amazing to be in a bar FULL of people who were all so excited about electing Obama. I'm generally pretty cynical about mainstream party politics and all the political charades in the US... but after the catastrophic 2000 and 2004 elections and the UNSPEAKABLY DREADFUL events resulting from George W. Bush's election and re-election as president (ie: war, tyranny, empire, failure of domestic infrastructure, economic collapse, the rest of the world really hates us now, etc etc etc), I feel like presidential elections actually can be very very important. And this one is. Living in Argentina makes me realize how meaningful it is just to elect a president that the rest of the world can tolerate, for starters. And it made me feel a little bit better to see that so many other expatriates are feeling the same.

Anyway... on Thursday night Maria had hosted a lovely voter-registration-training for volunteers at her house, and this is what I learned: At this point, any US citizens who haven't registered yet should go to this site:
and fill out the registration form, print it out, sign it and mail or fax it ASAP! many states require absentee voters to register before OCTOBER 6th! Also, for anyone who is ALREADY REGISTERED to vote in usa, there will be an event at the US embassy in Buenos Aires (4300 Av. Colombia in Palermo) on October 8th, from 9am - 12pm, where they will provide voting assistance, blank federal write-in ballots, and they will accept ballots to deliver to the USA via their special FedEx diplomatic mail delivery. This is handy because the Argentine mail service is notoriously unreliable and it's sad to think of any hard-won absentee ballot disappearing into the Argentine mail black hole and not getting delivered or counted. Even if you can't make it to the embassy event on Oct 8th, you can bring your absentee ballot or federal write-in ballot to the embassy and drop it off for diplomatic mail delivery any weekday 8:30 am to 12 noon or 2:30 to 4:30pm, go to window 15 at the embassy.
please save us all from McCain and Palin.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

bottled water is stupid

kinda gimmicky, but if i still lived in new york i would TOTALLY buy this. from their website: "Tap'dNY is a New York City bottled water company with a local twist and knack for honesty. We don't travel the world from Fiji to France seeking water or offer the usual bottled water gimmicks. We work with NYC’s public water system to source the world's best tasting tap water, purify it through reverse osmosis and bottle it locally, leaving out ludicrous transportation miles. We offer an honest and local alternative to thirsty New Yorkers, giving them a smarter choice: to drink their own (award winning) water."
the thing about new york is that no matter how much i hate paying $2 to buy a plastic bottle full of water, i sometimes have no choice because i'm walking around all day, it's hot, i'm dehydrated, and there's not exactly a water fountain on every corner. i try to carry around a nalgene bottle or something but sometimes it runs dry or gets left at home. so anyway, this company sells NYC tap water (which is supposed to be some of the best in the country) in a bottle. It makes a lot more sense to drink "local" water than to drink water shipped from france or maine. idunno how much it costs, but it better be cheaper than evian or poland spring.
on the same topic, Poland Springs company sucks water out of lots of towns around Maine, not just Poland Springs, and while they make gobs of money selling it around the world, not everyone in Maine is psyched about having their natural resources sucked out from under them and sold to profit corporate giant Nestle. defendingwaterinmaine.org

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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

i'm working on...

new card designs! updating my website! organizing my hard drive!
i don't have any freelance projects right now :/ which is something that i kinda always want - because i love having creative time to myself!! - but also scary because i need the paychecks, ya know. and i don't know when i'll have work again. freelance life is such a constant roller-coaster. anyway, this down-time is filling my mind with lots of fun project ideas. but for now, i'm trying to focus on Morris & Essex. I've made some sweet new card designs (see above!) and i am now updating my website with the new designs, and thinking about how I can sell more cards! publicity is the hardest part, but it's also probably the most important. of course, i'll post all the new stuff when it's ready to share.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008


went to see bill callahan (a/k/a smog) last night at niceto club. it was real good. he started out playing a whole string of favorite songs: river guard, our anniversary, blood red bird, i can't remember what else. i feel like the mother of the world. rock bottom riser.

in truth it was my third or fourth? time seeing him. a few years ago i was in the height of my smog obsession and he came to play a few nights in new york and friend of a friend was working as like the tour manager or something and he put me on the list to get in free, so i went to the show three nights in a row, without getting tired of it at all, only an increasing illusion that bill callahan was really my imaginary boyfriend because we were hanging out together every night. by "hanging out" i mean he was playing beautiful sad songs for me and 200 other people. i think at the bowery ballroom show i saw nick nolte descending from the balcony. he looked like the walking dead. at the hoboken show, bill callahan asked "what do you want me to play for the encore?" and i shouted "held!" and he made a face and said "okay, really I don't want to hear what you want me to play. i am just going to play what I want" and he did not play held. maybe he hates that song. maybe everyone always asks for that one. it's my favorite. he didn't play it last night either. the weird thing at the show last night was that at various points during the show, three people fainted near me. they weren't hanging out together or anything. they happened like twenty minutes apart. creepy. each time everyone was very polite about making way while they were carried outside. drugs? bad ventilation? the shittiest thing about Niceto Club is that there is really no ventilation and everyone smokes like crazy. The best thing about Niceto Club is it's like four blocks from home.
anyway, i haven't listened to smog so much in the past year or two, though i still love him. so it made me think of moments from the past. sitting alone in the moldy basement at 206 skillman all day, making things out of paper and glue, and listening to the "supper" disc which Ben B had burned for me. Or drawing in my room at night when I lived upstate in Rosendale, hearing the sound of crickets and coyotes outside and listening to "knock knock."
it's music for quiet times.

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Sunday, September 07, 2008

random picture of the day

Saturday, September 06, 2008

some call me compulsive

it has recently come to my attention (again) that my passion for organizing things in rainbow order sometimes freaks people out. here I offer two examples of art that celebrates the chromatically obsessive urge.

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Friday, September 05, 2008

city of god

last night we watched city of god. brazilian movie based on a true story about a kid growing up in a favela in rio de janiero... it was really good. i had been wanting to watch it for years. it was really violent. but great...
speaking of brazil, i think we might take a trip there in november?!

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Wednesday, September 03, 2008

picture of the day

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

violent police state at RNC (again)

Video thumbnail. Click to play

Here's a video of Democracy Now producer Elizabeth Press and others describing how the police broke into several private homes in the Twin Cities. Police entered with guns drawn and handcuffed the journalists and searched their house and property for no apparent reason (other than intimidation).

and another video of Democracy Now host Amy Goodman being arrested for "interfering with a peace officer" yesterday when she attempted to ask police about the violent arrest of two Democracy Now journalists.

Amy Goodman discusses her arrest on Free Speech TV.

Eileen Clancy of iWitness Video on WNYC's Brian Lehrer show:

twin cities indymedia here

salon.com coverage here and here

coverage of these events is so far mysteriously absent from the New York Times.

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Monday, September 01, 2008

101, 31

i just noticed that i passed blog post #100! i think this is actually #101. although that count includes all the ones that i've started and never finished, or deleted. Anyway, wow! 100. So, a post about numbers. I really like numbers, mostly on an aesthetic basis. (The tickets pictured above are from an awesome website which I will probably have to discuss in a later post.) When I started this blog a few years ago i basically wanted to see if i could form a new habit and stick with it, and I'm sort of pleasantly surprised to look back and see that yes, I can. I always wished I kept a journal but never could do better than writing one page and then misplacing/forgetting about the journal. Really it's been the move to Argentina that has kept me attentive to the blog, as i a) have more time to waste and b) miss everyone back home and want to communicate. So, hooray for sporadically documenting my banal observations, and hooray for all three (or four?) of my readers, I love you!
Also on theme, I recently turned 31, so that is another number. In spanish you literally say "I completed 31" which I think is nice. I do feel that I'm older than I used to be, sometimes i feel wiser, sometimes i just feel that I am creeping closer to the grave. In general though, I am positive on getting older. I like it. I think that in the united states our culture is very youth-centric and squeamish about aging, especially in regards to women. I won't argue that youth culture isn't interesting, but I will say that growing up is underrated. And no, I am not going to buy any stupid beauty products to make me have less lines on my face, I am proud of them.

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