The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Friday, February 28, 2014

Just waitin' for the bus...

More protests and blockades today, so there was no need to even try getting into the city.  People are just walkin' and waitin'.
 And watchin'

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Another day, another protest

One of the things that I love about Oaxaca is that people are politically aware and involved.  Have a grievance?  Protest!  Let someone know!  Often this comes in forms that can drive one crazy, like shutdowns and blockades, but hey, change ain't gonna come if you don't challenge the status quo.  And the status quo is so firmly entrenched and so bureaucratic that after a while people get quite frustrated and pissed off.  So they vent... and take to the streetsm
Lots of times the gripes and concerns are legit, like getting water or electricity or security issues or land disputes.  Sometimes they are political or economy-related, but you have to have a scorecard to know all the players and well, I don't.  I can't keep up. 
Yesterday, the city was in chaos because of blockades by the normalistas, more teachers stuff.  Today, it was this group from San Juan Ozolotepec, in the Mixe region of the Sierra Sur.  
They were not at all happy with the current administration of their village and wanted change now.  I am not sure if they wanted complete automy like other villages, but it sure sounded that way. 

Whatever, they want new elections immediately and "fuera las sucias manos del PRI de nuestro municipo" and "respeto a la dignidad y los usos y costumbres de los pueblos indigenas!"
As long as you are translating, you can translate this if you don't know the phrase... just think Samuel Jackson....  they are pissed.
And resolute.
One person's protest is another person's business opportunity.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Good to be back

I have a little ladder propped up against the wall that I climb to get water over to the side lot and to simply look at the plants.  I knew I was back when I climbed up early this morning and heard a hummingbird beating its wings about four inches from my ear as it savored the bottle brush tree.  Fantastic!  My senses are more in tune when I return.  I hear, smell, see, feel, and taste with renewed sensitivity.  To smell chocolate wafting from somewhere or to hear the dogs calling back and forth during the night, all so different and welcome.  And siestas....
And I see things anew.  I mean, why not?  Even the streets look amazing.
And how about your variegated ficus benjamina in the pot over there?  Check out this beauty.  Now, that is that how they are supposed to look?  Wow!
Of course, some things don't change.
This is just one of the current battles being fought and those battles are legion.
But really it just the simple sights that warmly welcome me back.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Aaahhhhhhh....... agua

It is so weird to go from the freezing cold, the snow, ice and slush of New England, where they are having a particularly tough winter, to Oaxaca, which is unusually hot, in the 90's, and such dryness.  Luckily, just before I left I ran into a campesino, who said he would water all my plants while I was away and he did an amazing job.  The plants look great and my cistern is almost dry.  It lasted quite awhile since it has not rained in at least four months and it is rain-fed during the rainy season.  So I got to buy my first pipa ever.  I always had a well before and living down here makes one very, very, water conscious.  Pipas are big water tank trucks and they are an everyday sight here.  It is just that I never needed one before and today....
You can see how dry things look.  I can't describe how it feels to go from being almost out of water to a full cistern, but it is almost a giddy relief.  I think this will last until the rain come..... not the giddieness, the water, silly.

As soon as the pipa left, the gas guys drove by, so I am now totally all set for a couple of months in that respect as well.  Ahhhhhhhh...

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Get me out of here....

and I am so ready to return to these sights.
 Can you hear me now?
 Mechanical marionettes on Valentines day?  Damn! I missed it.
 Ahhhhh..... mañana.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

There's ice and then there's ice....

In just a few days I will be shoveling this ice (into my mouth)
but for now this is the kind of ice I am dealing with. 
Obviously it is quite beautiful, but c'mon....
It is a bit out of control
¡¡¡¡Ya basta!!!  It has been an intense winter thus far and it ain't over.  I am happy to have gotten a taste of it, but really, it is enough already.

Hoop dreams

In Oaxaca, I drive around with a basketball in the car most of the time just looking for a free court.  And one of my absolute favorite things to do when I am in El Norte is to shoot hoops in the back yard.  Just a dream this time...

Monday, February 17, 2014

Butter, butter, who's got the butter?

Why does butter taste so much better in Oaxaca?
The butter here seems almost tasteless.  Is it some added flavoring, different processing, different cows?  The Oaxacan butter tastes like... butter.
And don't get me going on the taste, or lack thereof, of chicken here. 


Remember this monster from last week?
Well, this is a monster as well.  64 gig. 
When I think back to the evolution of memory and storage  and its cost.... uh, it makes me believe in evolution.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Shirt Shots

Oh, to be in T-shirt weather.  But here I am in another snow storm.... and sister blogger, spixl, is snowbound somewhere between SF and NY.  Oh well, just a few more days.... 
back in the land of Zapata
 Swim at your own risk.
Who knows... I searched for "adiction excellence"and got nuttin'
 Must be an old shirt.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Really? No, Really???

Radical juxtaposition - my new band's name?  No.
I believe I was just here....
and here....
and today it's this
and this
The Buddha says, "No biggie."
The Buddha says, "Mmphhhh.."