Go forward in time to December 2002.
Reading a Spanish translation of Elias Canetti's essay Das Gewissen der Wort makes me want to pick up German again. The writer's responsibilities that he mentions apply equally well to programming or photography, I guess.
We picniced at the park today, and it was really pleasant. We took a sleeping bag to spread down on the not-really-wet grass and lie down on it. The menu was tortellini with cream, cheese, tarragon, parsley, and mushrooms, and tuna fish dumplings with lettuce/tomato salad. Then I read some more of Alejo Carpentier's La Consagración de la Primavera, which makes me feel like human garbage for two reasons: 1. I have been reading it since May; 2. My ignorance is overwhelming.
The bastards at the stationery/arts store by our house have started selling new books that were slightly damaged during storage. They are not as cheap as used books, but rather somewhat cheaper than new ones. So instead of just buying paper for our printer, we ended up with that, two canvases, a sketchbook, and three books: one by José Emilio Pacheco and two by Alejo Carpentier.
Got OpenOffice.org to automatically use the Evolution mail composer. This kicks ass usability- and prettiness-wise.
Had a nice phone conversation with Michael, who is always a bottomless source of wisdom.
Oralia made some fantastic frijoles charros and tunafish dumplings for lunch. Then we went to the park to relax for a bit; Oralia read some of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar while I read an uninteresting short story by Juan Carlos Onetti. Then some kids started playing soccer and as I was sitting down and leaning on a tree / goal post, I got hit with the ball a couple of times. It was funny.
On Friday we went to watch Frida. It is not a bad movie at all, but it is a bit shallow. It would have made me very happy to see this movie produced by Mexicans. I am not a big fan of Frida Kahlo's art, but her life is terribly interesting.
Yesterday we went to watch Le Placard, which is pretty funny. Afterwards we went to have some fondue. It was a good evening.
For lunch we had truly fantastic shrimp soup and baked fish with mushrooms. Shrimp soup *is* better when it has some potatoes and carrots in it; my grandmother serves it plain, just with some dried shrimp in it.
We seem to be eating a lot these days, but maybe it is just adequate amounts of really good food.
I'm looking for a good recording of Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. I want one that can show the whole dynamic range of the piece. The version my father lent me has beautiful brass, but dynamically it is rather flat. It must be hard to compress a huge soft-loud range into a CD.
Blizzard makes me blush. But I wouldn't move to Boston. It's geting cold enough around here already. Blizzard, if you move down to Mexico City you'll get good food and delayed movies :)
Upon arriving home yesterday night, there were fire trucks and police cars all around the corner. It seems that a microwave oven exploded in one of the apartments of the building next to ours and had set fire to the rest of the kitchen. Fortunately no other harm was done.
It is stupidly cold today. Very sunny, but it is *cold* if you get under the shade. So after lunch we went to the park near our apartment to get some sunlight while watching the birds. Oralia took my fountain pen and wrote me a haiku on a tree leaf... I wonder how to store it to keep it from breaking. There was a man walking around the park taking notes to himself on a tape recorder and wearing cool little purple headphones; perhaps he is a writer or something.
The two elderly brothers that lived next to our apartment moved away about a month ago and their apartment has been getting cleaned and fixed since then. For a few days now the whole building has smelt of paint thinner. It's not good to get you high; it just makes my head hurt.
Last Saturday was my brother's graduation party. All the to-be doctors from his group were at the Old Palace of Medicine, downtown; in the past it used to be the headquarters of the Holy Inquisition. It was a good evening, and Oralia looked absolutely beautiful in her dress. This is her and my mother:
Yesterday we went to watch Das Experiment in the evening. The movie is excellent. The audience was terrible, though — talking all the time, walking out and in, answering cell phones... We'll avoid going to the movies on weekends.
Oralia's pictures from San Miguel de Allende:
I was coughing up my lungs every now and then for the past few days, but now my cold seems to be getting better. It sucks to wake up in the middle of the night with your throat completely dry and your nostrils blocked. It makes me wish I could work from inside the shower.
Dave complains that I haven't updated the scoreboard; sorry about that.
Dave: you don't need more camera gear. You just need to shoot a lot with what you have — you have excellent pictures and the camera doesn't pick what to shoot; you do. If you must return the MF one, go get a used one for cheap — don't spend a fortune on it.
My mom recommended a good dentist to us and I had my first appointment yesterday. She is a quiet and friendly woman, very methodical, and she took X rays of me and tooth molds with that funny orange gooish paste.
This is the first time I've paid attention to how X rays are made. It's just like Man Ray's rayograms but with expensive equipment.
I have my next appointment on Wednesday next week, which is when the warfare will actually begin. Shudder.
We had a long weekend from Friday to Sunday because of the Day of the Dead holiday, and we took a trip to the town of San Miguel de Allende. It used to be a charming little town, and now it is a picturesque big town. It is chock-full of foreign tourists these days, especially retired people from the U.S., which makes it odd. The prices for accommodation are very reasonable, but the stores and street stands for craftsy products will try to rip you off. They seem to haul crafts in from elsewhere in Mexico, then jack the price up 5x or so, and then live the good life out of that. We took a bunch of pictures, which should be developed soon; I'll post the good ones during the next few days.
Oralia had to do a little research on mediaeval metallurgy for a school project, and it was pretty cool to re-discover that information. The extraction, purification, and metalworking processes were simple and easy to understand, and it is amazing that so much ad-hoc infrastructure got created around mining. Eventually it led to the Newcomen and Watt steam engines for pumping water out of mines, and eventually it all led to the industrial revolution.
We went to the Cirque du Soleil's Alegría show today. It's the first time we've seen them live, and it is totally fantastic.
Go backward in time to October 2002.Federico Mena-Quintero <email@example.com> Mon 2003/Jan/06 15:11:42 CST