Thursday, July 31, 2008

repairs


repairs
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
That's what it says. Honest.

Posting by cameraphone from
Queen Anne in Seattle.

the des moines


the des moines
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Shot in Des Moines, WA
last night.

Posting by cameraphone
from Seattle just now.

got me a mies


got me a mies
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Waiting on my lunch date.
p.s. found wireless.
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

Posting by cameraphone
from 3rd & Marion
Seattle, WA

must. find. wireless.


must. find. wireless.
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Let's hope the third time's a charm.

Seattle Public Library
5th & Spring

Posting by cameraphone from
Seattle, WA

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the walk.



the walk.
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
This is the walk I took the afternoon I knew my Bompa was dying. Down the hill to the marina, and then down the long dock that juts out into the Puget Sound.

The afternoon his breathing grew brief and labored I walked here when I was past the point of breaking because didn't want him to hear my tears break through as I read him the day's paper.

Just out of view is Three Tree Point where my father grew up, where my grandparents built their house and raised their children.

Tonight the weather is mild and the sunset is lighting up the far peaks of Rainier; there's a breeze blowing over the fishermen who are dropping their lines in the water weighted by sinkers, plunging after elusive prey.

I came here to walk tonight after tucking my grandmother into bed, after my aunt and I helped her slip into her new nightie, a birthday present. After the cake was all eaten and the feast that my family prepared was consumed. After I stroked her forehead and her cheek and told her to rest and that I loved her and happy birthday and she lay so still, unanswering, that I thought either she's asleep or she's just tolerating my touch; I'm a stranger to her, she doesn't know me anymore. I came here to walk after I stood to go and she said goodbye, her eyes still closed, and then "thank you for those soft caresses."

I came here to walk because this is where these things are done.

the meeting.


the meeting.
Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
Meeting wrapped; colleagues ferried to the airport; rental cars exchanged (I'll be camping out on my own dime for the next few days -- working mostly, taking some vacation time, enjoying the weekend); Starbuck's goy bagel consumed; tea in progress; butterflies kicking up a good head of steam.

I'll sip down my tea over the next half hour, sign my birthday card to my grandmother and head over an hour early for her 89th birthday party.

I didn't tell her that I'm coming. Her Alzheimer's means that new information slips away from her almost as soon as its received, so had I called her to tell her chances were good that she would have forgotten by now or, had she remembered, it would have been in patchy little fragments of confusion that would lead her to visit and revisit the front desk of the assisted living facility where she lives, telling them that her granddaughter would be here today, and they would snicker and say no, tomorrow. And then say the same thing half an hour later when she returned to tell them again. Like she did the last time I visited.

She knew me then. I don't know if she'll know me now.

My grandmother is the storyteller of our family. She's our historian. Anywhere, always, threaded through conversation like laughter, she brings up fragments that she's told before, that we could recite line for line, but always when she tells it I want to hear it again. Even if it means I'm laughing before she ever nears the punchline, even if she never nears it because we've all dissolved into laughter just watching her get close.

I want to hear her tell a story again knowing we know it. Knowing we've all been there before, knowing it's these things we share -- these stories in common -- that mark us as family, as tribe, all the good and all the bad of what being family means.

I'm afraid instead she will be polite with me and approach me with reserve, the careful stepping that has to happen when you don't know folk well enough to tell them your stories, when you're still strangers to each other and uncertain as to how to behave.

I'm afraid that when I go now to meet my grandmother -- whose arms are my earliest memory, who used to squeeze me so tight that I couldn't breathe and I struggled to be free -- I fear that that this meeting with my grama will be her first one with me.

I fear that she won't know to hug me.

I'm afraid she's forgotten the stories.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

super 'shrooms



Six mycological solutions based on funghi, engineered to save the world. Brought to you by the mushrooms of the Pacific Northwest and mycologist Paul Stamets. (watch it)



Video: Paul Stamets Talks at Ted re 6 ways mushrooms can save the world »

baggage.

Blogger ate my post this morning. I swear to god I posted before 9AM Central via email from O'Hare International. But it has yet to materialize. That's what I get for posting straight to Blogger instead of passing it through Flickr.

So I'm gonna do this again, and I'm sure as soon as I do Blogger's gonna go ahead and choke up the original.

So sue me.

p.s. It's boring, but it's all I've got, 'cause I'm TIRED. (but I'm also in Seattle as I write this so I'm HAPPY. and full of SALMON. and MOCHI ICE CREAM.)

(and COFFEE.)

to reprise:

Folks sometimes ask me about what kind of luggage I travel with -- this morning I wrote this up for a friend while camped out at O'Hare waiting to board and thought I would share it here.

Disclaimer: I've been told my luggage sucks by an authority on the subject for one reason alone -- none of the pieces described here comes with a lifetime guarantee. And it's true: they don't.




to: a curious friend
from: suttonhoo
re: my baggage

shots of the coach tote and kiva carry on attached. I strap my laptop onto the kiva in a little kelty carrier that I got cheap through the rei outlet. (it has a shoulder strap that I tuck away until I need it.)

got the kiva cheap too -- 100 bucks on clearance about 10 years ago. the bottom front is frayed where it flipped on me (it has rollers) when I was running to catch a train in philly and I dragged it on the wrong side for a little too long. other than that it's held up great. there's a little suiter inside that folds out -- I can usually get two suit coats in there, maybe two blouses and three pairs of pants before it strains. that's just the suiter: there's room for other stuff in the body.

this is the second kiva I've owned. the first was equally brilliant -- bought it for a sailing trip in thailand -- soft-sided, converted to a backpack, remarkably tiny on the outside and voluminous on the inside with cool hidden pockets that I'm pretty sure saved me from a hotel room theft when one of my traveling buddies had cash stolen from his. the bag was stolen in a smash & grab in wicker park here in chicago -- I was on my way to the airport. I still miss it.

the coach tote didn't come cheap, unfortunately. I bought it for a trip to paris about 5 years ago for around $300 (wow. it's been awhile. time to get back to paris.) and haven't regretted it. it goes with me to central america too -- remarkably understated for a fancy piece of luggage. & amazingly durable.

tucked inside my tote is my freitag messenger bag. I'm deeply in love with my freitag. you can see a pic of it on detritus in the sidebar on my dopplr widget -- I used it for my icon. have you seen these? they're made of recycled european truck tarpaulins, so each one has a unique pattern; the shoulder strap is the stuff they use for seatbelts and the bag is rimmed in recycled bicycle inner tubes. it doubles in size if I need it to -- just pull out the inner lining.

I usually travel with just my kiva, laptop and freitag (sometimes I'll sub a different purse or briefcase for the freitag depending on the company I'll be keeping), but this week I'll be away for five nights and am also packing my grama's b-day present so I brought the tote. this is everything: I didn't check a bag.

every rare while the tsa or a gate agent will give me a hard time about the laptop, and I'll snug it into my freitag or tote in a hurry. but usually they don't mind because the kiva's super skinny and the whole stack is no larger than a standard carry on. keeping it clipped like that makes it super easy to move through security and to pull it out to work on the plane.

sorry you asked? ;)

p.s. when I need more room I check a victorinox that I got on clearance (also from REI). I don't love it, so I can't rave about it, but it does have some nice details: converts to a backpack even though it's a roller bag, and the roller handle design is quite nice. never has as much room as I want it too, though, and it's just a smidge too big to carry on, which bugs me a little.

but it was cheap. and turns out it's pretty durable.

Monday, July 28, 2008



california stop
we've talked of this before.


superior donuts


The trick with a good stage play is to make the stage go away. It’s not an easy thing to do: it’s a hulking artifact, that stage, and even if you blow away the proscenium arch you still have creaking floorboards and awkwardly placed stage props and missed entrances and forgotten lines to remind you that oh yeah: We’re here in this dark room watching a bunch of folks pretend.

Filmmakers have more of a margin to get it right. Long hours in the editing room trimming out the awkward bits give them leeway to make the magic that much more magnificent, lets us ride those few flickering hours in a state of suspended disbelief without the disruptions that real-live pretenders can introduce when they’re really live, and -- when the movie’s really good -- make us want to go back and ride it again.

Steppenwolf’s production of Tracy LettsSuperior Donuts [1] gets remarkably close to absolute crystalline suspension.

I can’t recall a single wrong note in the dialog of the play that we watched unspool yesterday afternoon, and the cast as a whole is so solid, so believable, so enjoyable to watch -- each conveying authentically that something that is born to them through family and place and in aggregate becomes this thin slice of the city that is Chicago -- the whole was so well done that I was sold on the story well-told.

There was only one awkward moment when the stage showed itself -- in a session of clumsily blocked fisticuffs that didn’t deliver the pow and bang and fury of a filmed spectacle (the addition of a few well-placed sound effects could smooth out the rough spots). And too there was the revelation at the beginning of Act II (once I consulted my program during the intermission) that the fellow playing the lead role so appealingly, and who seemed so familiar, was Michael McKean, aka Lenny from Laverne & Shirley and David St. Hubbins of This is Spinal Tap. But that displacement disappeared almost immediately, so completely does McKean occupy his role.

I was apprehensive going in. I was expecting a cranky play. The New York Times ran a piece on Letts last weekend in which he remarked on being angry when receiving his Tony -- a tangled mix of emotions that rolled out of a difficult year in which he lost his father, a member of the August cast, to lung cancer. This confirmed the read that I took last month when I asked Letts a question from the audience during his appearance at the Printers Row Book Fair -- asked him why he chose to write for the stage and not for film, when the attention that film receives, and the dollars that follow, are so much greater.

I had hoped to frame the question in a way that gave him a chance to speak to the strengths of theater -- what he thought set it apart as an experience from other dramatic arts -- but a storm was kicking up outside the tent and only part of my question made it to the podium. His reply was petulant and defensive and not at all illuminating, as if he assumed that I thought he was an idiot to write for the stage when he could be making it big in the movies -- and that he thought I was an idiot for asking it. I sat down chastened, unsatisfied, and not liking Tracy Letts all that much.

Superior Donuts, written in part before August: Osage County ever hit the stage, turned my heart in his direction again. I expect Mr. Letts is riding the tide of grief, something we all get to do, something that can make one decidedly cranky. Reasonably so.

If August and Donuts are any indication of how he will make his despair sing for us then, Mr. Letts, please take your time.

And godspeed.



p.s. Got a kick out of the fact that a line from the play has appeared here before at detritus. Consider the donut »

[1] as I post this the link to Steppenwolf is broken -- apologies -- hopefully they’ll get it fixed soon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

a thing as lovely

honest abe

Back in the garden, Gordon waved his right hand to show him various trees. Nobody quite knows why. Nor what he was saying. The crueller watchers had it down pat. 'That tree's going to vote for me ... that one's dithering.' That was possibly a little too cynical, because our Prime Minister did indeed seem to be genuinely, sunnily, smiling.

Twenty minutes later, Obama met David Cameron in the grounds of the Commons, and Cameron did the same. Waved his arms and showed him shrubs. Don't they have trees in Illinois?


Euan Ferguson comments on Barack Obama's visit to the UK in He came, he saw, he sprinkled us with stardust in today's Guardian.


Many thanks to Bobcatrock for the heads up.

crete remains

a found poem

Though I have visited
my mother’s island
many times

Crete remains
a tableau of longing:

The puffing chimneys
on the tiny stone houses
in my mother’s village

The farmers
riding donkeys
to orange groves

Found in Days of Wild Oregano and Goatherds

chilled chopped lamb chop salad

trussed for grooming


Just pulled together a salad from leftovers that was an amalgam of ideas from all over: julienned romain from the classic chopped salad; cold rice and sweet corn from a salade Niçoise that I had once in Amboise; a mint vinaigrette adopted from the New Basics cookbook; and a hard-boiled craving for meat on my greens.

It made me happier than I have a right to be, and I wanted to share.


chilled chopped lamb chop salad
serves 2 to 4, depending on your appetites

  • chilled grilled lamb chops, leftover from last night’s dinner with friends -- as many chops as you need to feed the hungry people at the table (I was working with 5. we bought way too many.) bet this would work with hot, freshly grilled lamb, too.

  • a vine ripened tomato, chopped

  • three stems of fresh mint, chopped

  • one head of romaine lettuce, julienned

  • 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

  • olive oil -- 1/2 cup for the vinaigrette; a splash for the rice

  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard

  • 1 cup arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen (or right off the cob, if you've got it)

  • salt & pepper


  • Cook the rice in rapidly boiling water, just like pasta. Toss in some salt and a little bit of olive oil. It should cook up in about 10 or 15 minutes -- sample periodically with a slotted spoon and when it’s *just* shy of al dente toss in the sweet corn.

    Continue to boil briefly until both the rice and the corn are just right. Drain in a sieve and spray it down with cold water. (I used the spritzer from the sink, tossing the rice and corn in the sieve to make sure I got it all -- you could probably also submerge it quickly in cold water and then drain.) The goal is to cool the rice down to arrest the cooking.

    Drain off the last of the water and toss the corn and rice with a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper, and set it in the fridge to chill for a little while.

    Wash, spin and julienne the romaine leaves.

    Cube the leftover lamb chops. Give Charlie a few scraps. Listen to him purr.

    To make the vinaigrette: Whisk together the dijon and vinegar, then whisk in the olive oil. Add a pinch of sugar, pinch of salt and a sprinkling of fresh cracked pepper. Stir in the chopped mint and tomatoes.

    Toss the cubed lamb with the vinaigrette, then toss the lamb with the lettuce, saving a handful of lamb off to the side. You’ll use this to top off the salad.

    Divide the lettuce among salad plates. Spoon the cold rice on top of the lettuce, making a small mound in the center.

    Top with the remaining lamb and sprinkle with grated parmesan. A sharp soft goat cheese would be nice too.

    Eat it up, yum.

    a suttonhoo original

    a word about high fidelity

    Stopped by the Newberry Library's Book Fair this afternoon. Walked away with a stack of vinyl that included Nina Simone, Dave Brubeck & his Quartet, Leadbelly, Byrd, Maria Callas' Madwomen Arias, Harold Prince's direction of Sondheim's A Little Night Music, and a scattering of Brazillian, Kenyan, Appalachian, Hawaiian, Parisian and Spanish roots music.

    To mention just a few.

    At something less than a buck a piece.

    Now I just need to find that turntable.

    Saturday, July 26, 2008

    only.

    only.
    only.
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Somewhere between Niles and Skokie
    aka Chicagoland

    Posting by cameraphone

    we feel fine


    I took pictures of everybody’s hands because I think you can often tell a lot from somebody from how their hands look. [1]

    Jonathan Harris: The art of collecting stories, A Ted Talk


    About a month back I was contacted by the folks behind wefeelfine.org about using one of my images and a story clip in an upcoming book.

    We Feel Fine searches for and clips online stories and images to capture and visualize an emotional snapshot -- a stream of real time feelings. All the clippings share the words “I feel” in common.

    This morning I stumbled across Jonathan Harris, one of the minds behind We Feel Fine, on Ted, talking a little bit more about the project -- and about collecting stories »

    In the second half of his presentation he speaks about a marvelous project that he’s just wrapping up.

    [1] He’s not the only one.



    Update 28 Sept 09: Ah shoot. Just heard from the publisher that I got axed: "Our editors wanted a shorter book than we had originally anticipated. As a result, we were forced to remove many images that we would have otherwise loved to include. The editing process was incredibly difficult and after many months I am sorry to tell you that we were unable to find space for your image in the book. We are so appreciative of all of your help and hope that this news does not come as too much of a disappointment."

    Disappointed? Not all that much: I wasn't a big fan of the image they picked. And I'll still receive a copy of the book and an invite to the launch party. So there's that.

    one more for the road.


    Hillside, IL

    holga.

    PPT

    una coca por favor

    These are usually very smart people, and they are very good at PowerPoint presentations.

    But you shouldn't rely on them more than the people in your own company.

    Former Coca-Cola exec Donald R. Keough speaking about consultants in today's New York Times. He was interviewed about his new book: The Ten Commandments of Business Failure.

    Amen.

    (Full disclosure: I'm a consultant.)

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    rhymes with delicious

    rhymes with delicious
    Hibiscus
    Chiapas, MX

    Detroit Int'l


    Detroit Int'l
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Posting by cameraphone from Detroit Int'l
    where I was so busy texting that I (suspect)
    I just got on the wrong shuttlebus.

    goddammit.

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    the only magic I still believe in is love


    Near Barton Springs
    Originally uploaded by Pablo Agua
    My brother shot this.

    Which makes me love discovering it on Flickr even more.

    Kin for sure.


    ride with me
    ride with me.


    lucy & desi


    When it's the last room in town it's not worth kicking over the twin bed thing.

    And besides: it had a great view »

    Mexico City, Mexico

    p.s. see the photo notes at flickr »

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    there will be cake

    cakes

    Well that explains why he didn't come to visit.

    What my Grama said when my aunt explained that her husband, my Bompa, had died sometime back.

    Explained that we were all there to see him off, that the service was lovely and that his family -- his children, his grandchildren, and she, his wife -- had linked arms to sing him home in the quiet over the grave, after everyone else had gone.

    Going to see Grama next week. Some small miracle places me at a business meeting in Seattle on her birthday.

    Just got off the phone with my aunt: we were making party plans.

    speaking of ik'

    Vientos: Right on (literally: winds)

    Vientos huracanados: Excellent (hurricane winds)

    Vientos huracanados aztecas: Completely superb (Aztec hurricane winds)


    Some of my favorite chilango, or Mexican slang, found in the Moon Handbook to Mexico City -- which yes, I realize throws the authenticity of whether or not it's really chilango into question.

    Runner up to the vientos series is ¿que hongo? a homophonic play on ¿que onda? or "what's up?" (see: Beck) which actually means "what mushroom?" -- but given the prevalence of the little objects known affectionately as "hongo" that dot Mayan sites (but are actually stumpy little penii) -- I'm willing to conjecture that ¿que hongo? might be more accurately translated as "how's it hanging?"


    yep. it is.


    But maybe I'm just over thinking things.

    Ik'

    I'k

    This is a window at the Mayan site of Palenque. It's also an Ik', a glyph that means wind, but really something closer to the Chinese concept of Chi.

    There's more spirit in it; more life force; more vital energy.

    These windows are scattered all through the palace at Palenque. They also appear in the ruins at Piedras Negras, and other sites in the Mayan world.

    Pakal, Palenque's heavy hitter, was buried in a jade mask that had an Ik' between his lips.

    I've written a little bit about the Ik' before »

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    a plane wants to fly.


    Overheard.

    Ann Arbor, MI
    holga.

    banned in the U.K.


    Or pulled, rather, by the company that made it »

    And, I'm guessing, probably never even played in the U.S. of A.

    (Forgive me: I've been away. Just now catching up on the WTFs.)

    curious correlate

    When you have one correlation, you raise an eyebrow. But when you have more than 20 correlations pointing in the same direction, you start building a strong case for causality.


    David Stuckler, a research associate at Cambridge University, speaking of a recent study that draws a strong correlation between "the rapid rise in tuberculosis cases in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union ... with the receipt of loans from the International Monetary Fund" in Rise in TB Is Linked to Loans From I.M.F. in this morning's New York Times.

    The piece continues: "Critics of the fund have suggested that its financial requirements lead governments to reduce spending on health care to qualify for loans. This, the authors say, helps explain the connection."

    these bones

    Palenque Tower and Temple


    There’s a lot you should know about Palenque, a Mayan site on the Northern edge of the Chiapas highlands, but I’m probably not the one to tell you.

    glyphs


    Heavy hitters [1] have written books and papers and shared research about the place known to the classic Mayan as B’aakal, or Bone: about its art, its architecture, its friendly terms with Tikal, its antagonistic relations with Calakmul, Tonina and Piedras Negras.

    At minimum you should know about K’inich Janaab’ Pakal and his cinnabar saturated jade strewn burial in the heart of the plaza. About how he was found at the bottom of a smooth bending stairway of ochre colored stone 22 meters deep in the Temple of the Inscriptions, barricaded by rubble from the world and connected only by a psychoduct through which his descendants could play telephone with their ancestor. About the marvelous greenstone mosaic that masked his face in death; about the jade sphere that his corpse clutched in his left hand; the jade cube that he clutched in his right.

    pakal's mask

    pakal's cubepakal's sphere


    About the marvelous inscription on the lid of his sarcophagus in which he’s resurrected from the underworld, Xibalba (which is wonderfully delicious to say out loud: she-BALL-bah), as a rapturous maize god; about his ancestors who line the sides of the monumental coffin (so tightly pinched into that small tomb that I asked a friend, who knows something about these things, “they carved it in situ? but how? the detail is so fine.” and he suggested that perhaps, instead, the massive temple was built around the stone container only after it had been carved.) who each bear a headdress that aligns them with an important crop -- cacoa (chocolate), nance, guayaba, chicozapote, mamey, and aguacate (avocado) -- crops that are passed from one generation to the next through inheritance. Like kingship. [2] Each gorgeous line etched to tell the story, to assert that I, Pakal, belong here. This was my job to do and I did it magnificently. And baby: I've *still* got your back. I'm an *ancestor* now.

    Temple of the Inscriptions


    You should know that the tourist traffic down the stairwell since it was excavated by Alberto Ruz Lhuillier in 1952, that the heat and breath and humidity of curious souls, threatened to destroy the treasure, and most folks can only see it now in a poorly rendered reproduction in the site museum at Palenque, or a little bit better reproduction at the Museo Nacional in Mexico City, where too the original jade mask is kept, along with the sphere and the cube and a cache of other precious grave goods.

    You might be interested to know that one late night in a rainy December I had a chance to descend the ochre steps and peek into the tomb, and its an experience I’ll never forget. But that I didn’t this time: our host no longer working at Palenque, after a falling out with INAH.

    Palenque Tower


    You should know too about the beautiful pieces that are still being excavated, some in just the last five years or so: About the jaw dropping details of the thrones from Temples 19 and 21, the figures so individualized, so finely incised, you can almost hear their conversation.

    stumpy @ the palenque museo


    You should know that in 1973 Merle Greene Robertson, who made magnificent rubbings of the stuccos and bas-relief of Palenque and other sites (preserving many of them before they were diminished by the ash of a nearby volcanic eruption and the relentless worry of acid rain) started the Mesa Redonda, or Palenque Roundtable, in the living room of her home on the street that is now named (and misspelled) in her honor.


    How scholars and regular folks with an interest in Mayan glyphs got together to try to crack what they were all about; to uncover the stories; started telling them again. How Linda Schele was there, and her passion for that place sparked a strange and wonderful populist movement that lends a curious slant to Mayan scholarship today -- academics and independent scholars and hobbyists all working through ancient glyphic texts, with variable results, but all working, and adding their decipherings to the pile.

    courtyard of the captives


    And maybe its peevish of me to mention that ten years after its founding, and ten Roundtables into it, INAH took over the Mesa Redonda and restarted the count back at one, because that’s how INAH does things.

    under construction


    It might too be of interest to learn that Merle Greene celebrated her 95th birthday at this year’s Roundtable; that our trip was timed to coincide with the conclusion of the festivities so that our host, Nick, could share a few margaritas with the birthday girl.

    And for those who have been reading detritus for awhile it might matter to know that the last day of our visit at the historic site we lit a candle in the Cathedral to commemorate the second of anniversary of the night that Kathryn died in Palenque, too young, but in a place she knew as home. In a place she dearly loved.

    salvation under wraps



    [1] A few heavy hitters worth looking at:
    Chronicle of the Maya Kings and Queens: Deciphering the Dynasties of the Ancient Maya, Simon Martin and Nikolai Grube

    Maya Cosmos, David Freidel, Linda Schele, and Joy Parker

    The Inscriptions from Temple XIX at Palenque, David Stuart

    Living with the Ancestors: Kin and Kingship in Ancient Maya Society, Patricia A. Mcanany

    [2] Living with the Ancestors, p 43

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    my inheritance


    There are objects that make a house a home: My daddy’s Martin guitar made ours.

    When it stood in the corner of the living room, quiet and waiting for my dad to pick it up and make it sing, I would stretch out long on the shag rug before it and study its shiny spruce and rosewood skin, its mahogany neck, its mother of pearl beauty marks. I’d peer into the well that was its voice box and inhale the rich wood smell; I’d pluck the keys and feel the whole thing vibrate itself alive.

    My dad gave me a few lessons when I asked him once, but I inherited my Bompa’s tiny hands and they never seemed long enough to stretch across the strings. I was too impatient to believe I could every come up with calluses tough enough to stop the sharp pain that shot through my fingertips when I tried to pin down the metal strings across the frets and try try try to make it sing for me.

    But my daddy could make it sing. Still can. His music is my first music, his voice is in the lullaby I still hum (Hush little baby don’t say a word / Papa’s gonna buy you a mocking bird...), and while his memory of being able to hold the whole of me in the palm of his hand when he returned late from playing the clubs and I was small and fussing and he paced and sang me to sleep is something I only know from his telling me -- even still I feel the deep safety of being held and swayed whenever he picks up his guitar and plays.

    holga
    Music Shop
    Geneva, IL

    p.s. The Making of a Martin, courtesy of the New York Times »

    bolsa de mareo


    Mexicana Airlines
    spot color on vinyl
    with sticky peel tape affixiant
    and palimpsest
    11 1/2" x 4 1/2"
    click.com.mx

    zona rosa


    cine latino
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Having a chance to hang in the Zona Rosa was one of the best things about getting booted from our original hotel in Mexico City. On the first night we landed in a corner of the "Pink Zone" -- an area that the guide book described as "formerly Bohemian, now gaytown" -- which made me wonder what sort of subtlety distinguishes "bohemian" from "gay".

    Alive with galleries, gay bars, bookstores, openly affectionate same sex couples, and a shop called "Condomania", it reminded me of my old Capitol Hill neighborhood in Seattle. Lovely.

    And way more gay than Saugatuck.

    Museo Nacional de Antropología



    Decided to forgo uploading the dozens of shots that I took in the Museo Nacional de Antropología in Mexico City over five hours, and instead upload just a handful.

    But five hours: yeah. It really is that big. It really is that amazing. And the restaurant buffet, on the lower level with an open patio and chattering squirrels running about, isn't bad either -- especially when you need to fortify just so that you can finish wandering through the collections. (Recommend passing on the flan, however.)

    Sunday, July 20, 2008

    cabeza colossal


    aka Big Head.

    Olmec. These guys were kicking around before the Maya came to town.

    Can't really tell from the pic, but this guy's head is about 9 feet high.

    Museo Nacional de Antropología
    Mexico City, MX

    the gulf


    At least I think it's the Gulf of Mexico. The pilot wasn't all that generous with information.

    Shot inbound to Mexico City a little over a week ago. Photos de ruinas y rainforest coming soon.

    Saturday, July 19, 2008

    checking out


    checking out
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    The Hotel Majestic
    Mexico City, MX

    roots


    roots
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Graffiti
    Mexico City, MX

    Restoring some lost cameraphone posts that got lost in a device crash during the week I was away in Mexico.

    room with a view


    room with a view
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    So: We arrived in Mexico City only to discover that the hotel we booked into a few months back (an old Benedictine Monastery we had stayed at once before) was under wraps -- undergoing rennovations -- and NOT receiving visitors.

    Thanks for the heads up, Expedia!

    After some scrambling, and thanks to the generous good care of our cabbie, we finally found a couple of rooms. Two, because the city was booked so tight that no one hotel had a single room available for the weekend.

    This was the second of the two, overlooking the Zocalo, where Montezuma and Cortes first said hello, and where each morning and every evening 13 soldiers wrassled this big ass flag up and down the flag pole -- accompanied by a full military processional.

    No complaints. Didn't mind watching the dawn break over the Zocalo from the warmth of my bed, either.

    (Restoring some lost cameraphone posts that got lost in a device crash.)

    lady from oaxaca


    lady from oaxaca
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Contemporary art from each of the featured regions peppered the Anthropology Museum's cultural collection. This beauty introduced the Oaxaca wing.

    It was like so much of the art we encountered in Mexico City: Exquisite. Ubiquitous. Humane.

    transfer at tacuba


    transfer at tacuba
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Metro transfer en route to the Anthropology Museum.

    Super impressed with the Mexico City Metro. Even more impressed with the Museo. Wow.

    Restoring some lost cameraphone posts that got lost in a device crash.

    teresa


    teresa
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Movie theater, red light district Mexico City

    Restoring some lost cameraphone posts that got lost in a device crash

    .mx

    .mx
    .mx
    Originally uploaded by suttonhoo
    Taxi stand
    Benito Juarez Int'l
    Mexico City

    Restoring some lost cameraphone
    posts that got lost in a device crash.
    Just now home.
    Related Posts with Thumbnails