This week has been fantastically unpredictable.
On a whim I decided to take a short trip down to Albuquerque to meet up with some fabulous ladies in my life. We attended a storytelling event themed, “Missed Connections.” One speaker discussed his experience as a young doctor, and the way medical professionals may connect with a patient that eventually does not pull through. Another speaker dredged up a raunchy and genuinely hilarious love affair that began with the missed connections category on Craigslist. It was a format very similar to The Moth, a compilation of genuine stories that epitomize the human experience. Dive in here.
The night led to unparalleled raunchy discussions over a plethora of sushi and sake. A friend attempted to eat sushi rolls with a pair of chopsticks she had ripped in half. The waiter, clearly feeling sorry for the struggle before him brought over a new pair. At one point I shouted something about my vagina, but that’s neither here nor there. After the long journey home I found myself bellowing, “behave yourself seaweed salad!” at a brown to-go box as I took a sharp left into my neighborhood. I was reminded of the incredible potential of people to come together and be open and enjoyed when judgement is suspended.
A few days later, my husband, sister, and I traveled down to El Paso in an impromptu trip. We had an extra day in town so we decided to cross the border and enjoy ourselves in Juarez. Oh, how I love it there. Truly. Most people wince when I mention the name of the bustling border town. In the past, it has been synonymous with a cartel stronghold. A shift came after the people began forming militias and fighting back against the organization in their small neighborhood groups. My husband reminded me that Mexican people are revolutionaries. These are people who work long days in shit jobs and bear the burden of bad decisions made my years of corrupt government systems. More than that, though, they are people who love their country and culture. They love community and family, and they will risk their individual lives for the collective good. But I digress.
The real point of this adventure was for my sister to meet her musical idol (she did and cried openly exactly four times about how incredible it felt). It was also to see my husband’s family and introduce my sister to a new country.
Did I mention that I love Juarez? The marcados are lines with fresh fruit and vegetables. Picture the beautifully choreographed reds and greens of the produce isle and stretch those colors into street after street. Now introduce the laughter and conversations of bustling shoppers and the smiling wrinkled faces of the vendors sitting behind their lot. Dotting the brimming streets are small stands selling drinks in carved out pineapples and aquas frescas and the most mouth-watering popsicles. There is a hilarious mix of mariachi and American top 100 hits booming overhead as we duck into small shops. At El Kentucky, a bar just at the edge of a bridge that marks the seemingly arbitrary line between countries, and the alleged birthplace of the margarita, we sip drinks and listen to a street performing band nearby.
After, we wander into a large museum that chronicles the Mexican Revolution (there’s that word again). Just to oversimplify things, it was like the Civil War but rather than African Americans, Native Americans were fighting for equal rights. If you happen to be a history buff there is a great article that you can check out here.
Tonight, my friend is teaching blues dance at a local bar. “What is blues dance?” you ask. I have absolutely no idea but I know I love blues and dancing so I would imagine its going to be fabulous.
Some other things that have been on my mind:
George R.R. Martin (yes, the Game of Thrones mastermind himself) is a swell guy. Not only is he very nice even if you are an excited stranger and he is relaxing quietly somewhere (I would like to clarify here that I was not being fanatical but I may or may not have been in the company of someone who was unreasonably and publicly excited. I suppose there is no reason, other than my incredible sense of pride about not being a fangirl, to clarify. But, alas, I have done it anyway.) More importantly, though, than him being just generally nice: he has funded an art collective in Santa Fe that is doing some really incredible things. Right now, they are building a permanent installment that is entirely interactive. You basically go into a house and then try to find your way out through portholes and secret entrances! ARE YOU SERIOUS?! The House of Eternal Return is Meow Wolf‘s grand entrance into the Santa Fe art scene. They have done some really creative outrageous things in the past but this is a whole new ball game.
Martin also funded the reopening of the Jean Cocteau, which is just as offbeat and cool as its name suggests. We recently watched Pink Floyd’s The Wall there and the premier showing of Anomalisa during the Independent Film Festival.
Also, I have heard a lot of people eager to stop, “bringing race into everything.” To them I say, “nuh-uh.” I really like talking about race and cultural differences. This might be partly an obsession I have with learning new things. I’m essentially and twenty-something 3-year-old. Just this week I learned more about why Muslims eat certain animals and not others. There is a story unique to each animal that discusses their habits and histories that determines whether they are to be eaten and interacted with. Somehow I went this long without understanding why exactly pigs were off limits. I also love to challenge my ideas about what it means to occupy a category. In this article, Mara Tröger discusses blackness. Her series of photos challenges the idea of blackness, showing that, “black” people are not literally all black.
Is this a good time to mention that I am going to school to study philosophy and that I am actually thinking about things like this all of the time?
Coming soon! I tutorial on making clay beads. I have had a box of clay sitting by my door for about two weeks. Every time I pass it I sullenly look down at the finger I sliced open angrily washing dishes two weeks ago. I’M SO EXCITED