Working Together: Gears

Gears

This is the third Gallery submission.

Gears

By itself, a gear is useless.  To be powerful, a gear must be paired with another gear.  Kipling said “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.”  It is the same with a gear.  Some people think a gear is a “cog” that is relatively useless, but every mechanic knows better – Throw a gear and the whole thing comes to a halt.

Bob Dylan wrote a song that tells us everybody has to serve somebody and reminds us that whom we serve is important, too.  We all are parts of a larger whole that is more powerful than the sum of its parts.  Each of us has purpose and value.  Together, gears symbolize cooperation and progress.  The people I love best dive into work.  They are not divas nor parlor generals nor Monday-morning quarterbacks. They suit up and show up.  They are in the arena with their sleeves rolled up, straining and pulling like oxen to move things along.  They don’t complain or boast.  They are reliable.  You can count on them.

 

Engranajes

Por sí mismo un engranaje es inútil. Para ser poderoso, un engranaje debe emparejarse con otro

engranaje. Kipling dijo: "La fuerza de la manada es el lobo, y la fuerza del lobo es la manada". Es lo mismo con un engranaje. Algunas personas piensan que un engranaje es una cosa relativamente inútil, pero todos los mecánicos saben que cualquier máquina es solamente tan buena como sus partes…

 

Bob Dylan escribió una canción que dice que todos tenemos que servir a alguien y nos recuerda que a quién servimos también es importante. Cada uno de nosotros tiene un propósito y un valor. Juntos, los engranajes simbolizan la cooperación y el progreso. Las personas que más me gustan se sumergen en el trabajo. No son divas ni generales de salón. Están en el ruedo arremangados y tirando como burros para mover las cosas. No se quejan ni se jactan. Son confiables. Puedes contar con ellos.

Dance Like the Wind

This is the second of five submissions I made to the Gallery for the upcoming exhibition.

The backstory follows, in both English and Spanish.

tango feet

Dance Like the Wind

Like a painter, she drew filigrees of ochos in her red shoes. “Close your eyes and dance with me,” he commanded. She obeyed, surrendering to his desire.  With her eyes shut, she listened to his body with her body. Something moved in the space between them.  Then, in a breathtaking flurry of steps, they crossed the floor, swept by music like surfers on a wave.

This is the passion of tango.

 

Bailar Como El Viento

Como una pintora, ella dibujaba filigranas con sus zapatos rojos. “Cierra tus ojos y baila

conmigo.” Le ordenó él. Ella obedeció, rindiéndose a su deseo. Con los ojos cerrados,

oyó el lenguaje de sus dos cuerpos. Algo se movió en el espacio entre ellos. Luego, en

una asombrosa ráfaga de pasos, cruzaron el piso barridos por la música como surfistas

en una ola.

 

Esta es la pasión del tango.

La Clase Media en Los Estados Unidos y Mexico

Image result for Mexico US

La gran mayoría en los Estados Unidos se considera como “clase media.”  La Oficina del Censo de los Estados Unidos colocó la clase media de los hogares ganando de $ 35,000 a $ 100,000.  La clase media de México se define como hogares con ingreos entre $300,000 y $900,000 pesos al año ($15,000 to $45,000 US), segun Euromonitor.

Hoy en día, en los Estado Unidos, la clase media representa alredador del 52 por ciento de la población total.  En México, 39 por ciento de la población es de clase media. La clase media está creciendo en México y disminuyendo en los Estados Unidos. Según un nuevo informe del Banco Mundial, de 2003 a 2009, 17 por ciento de la población de México se unió a la clase y la desigualdad de ingresos en México ha disminuido. 

En contraste, Desde 1971 hasta 2011, la proporción de adultos en la clase media se redujo en 10 puntos porcentuales y la desigualdad de ingresos en México has crecido. 



Embrace Like a Lover

I submitted five images for a exhibition. Here is the backstore for the first photo, which I wrote both in Spanish and in English.

Embrace Like a Lover

The Embrace is the soul of tango. Connection between a pair of dancers is fragile, not automatic. This is why dancers take the first few bars of the music to connect before moving.  The woman settles, enfolded in the man’s arms, as they create an island in the music that flows around them.  Then, like a baby in a cradle, he rocks her gently. She waits to see where he will lead her, slipping off her control as she might a dress.  Only when the pair have merged, will they slip into the stream of music. 

Abrazar Como Un Amante

El abrazo es el alma del tango. La conexión entre un par de bailarines es frágil, no automática. Es por esto que los bailarines toman los primeros compases de la música para conectarse antes de moverse. La mujer se relaja, envuelta en los brazos del hombre, mientras crean una isla en la música que fluye a su

alrededor. Entonces, como un bebé en una cuna, él la mece suavemente. Ella espera para ver adónde la llevará, saliéndose de control como de un vestido. Sólo cuando la pareja se haya fusionado se deslizarán en el flujo de la música.

30-Day Photo Challenge. Day 30: Agenda

0-day Challenge. Day 30: Agenda. Got a lot of stuff done in the past two weeks. Danced this morning, then worked at the Gallery with Athalia to teach her WIX and to build a new website for Business Research Solutions. Agreed to do a presentation on Women Photographers for the Gallery. Need to use the credit for the trip to Madrid I canceled last summer due to the unexpected move. Travel must be completed by April 22. I’m thinking Rabat. Anybody got any suggestions?

Agenda

2019 Goals

I begin my year in February because during the holidays there is never enough time to do a good job reviewing performance for the past year and setting objectives for the next year. I work with a coach, someone who is a friend for whom I have a great deal of respect, and who will play an active role in the process. Last year, Mark Walther was my coach; this year Joe Broussard is working with me. Thank you both for your support and invaluable feedback.

HEALTH

Two sets of goals: weight and stress. I have had a damn weight goal on my list for three years and never managed to do it. In Atomic Habits, James Clear writes about the importance of systems, which are what you do to achieve the goal. “Focus on the system, and the goal will take care of itself,” he writes. So here is my system for losing 15 pounds. Let’s see if it works.
­
Drink three big glasses of water daily.
­Design four 30-day challenges focusing on nutrition.
Track progress
Use a food journal.
Weigh and measure every Monday
­Gym three times a week. Focus on burning calories.
­Dance three-four times a week.
­Walk 30 minutes a day.
­
­The second set of goals focus on Managing Stress
­
30-day meditation challenge
­ Reduce community service commitments.
Take one do-nothing day off every other week.
­ Eliminate or manage negative relationships.
­ Add more opportunities for laughter and humor.

COMMUNITY/FAMILY/SERVICE TO OTHERS

Reduce service commitments for the next six months.
Build friendships who are positive and rewarding.
­Do a driving trip to visit friends and family in the US.
­30-day challenge: no gossip. (In progres

FINANCE & BUSINESS

Evaluate my net worth. (Done)
Meet with wealth advisor.
Rebalance portfolio
Create a budget and track progress
Two to three no-buy days per week.
Generate cash: sell what I don’t need.
Build another website for my business, BRS
Create and implement a marketing plan for BRS

INTELLECTUAL GROWTH

Spanish

­ Track time spent mastering Spanish
­ Spend 15 hours a week speaking/reading/listening/writing
­ Take at least four classes at UNAM
Continue participation in the Spanish Book Club
­ Read four books
­ Write and deliver two presentations in Spanish
­ Take classes on other subjects, taught in Spanish
­ Make friends with Mexicans.
­ Travel to a Spanish speaking country

French
­Read four novels

CREATIVITY

Photography. Become completely familiar with both cameras.
Thoroughly understand exposure, ISO, aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and the exposure triangle. Gain experience shooting in low-light, using speed lights, and studio lighting. Gain experience shooting motion. Become an intermediate user of Photoshop. Exhibit and sell. Begin to learn to print.

Dance Dance three days a week or more. Explore new forms of dance.

Cuisine
Study with Chef Jahnke. Learn 20 new dishes/recipes.

30-Day Photo Challenge. Day 29: Gears


Yesterday, I took my first day off in a long, long time. I wandered around town with my camera, enjoying the sunshine. It was wonderful. I shot for hours, read a book in a cafe, went to Aurora art complex. Came home, made soup and sang. Listened to Dexter Gordon. Read. Meditated. Slept like a baby.

RECAP

recap

Since I have had several people ask how I did on my goals for 2018, I am posting this recap.

Several unexpected events occurred last year. I had two break-ins at my previous location in Colonia Allende. One thief fled; the other stole my Nikon 750 and an expensive lens. A pick-pocket stole my tablet from my backback while I was photographing a parade. (My bad. Never carry a backpack in a crowd scene.) Then, with little notice, the owner of the house I was renting decided to sell. My new place had to be furnished and renovated. Renovations took a little over three months. In December, I got the flu. It took me three weeks to get over it.

However, I did achieve most of goals I set.

BODY. I went to the gym regularly until I moved in September, danced six days a week for most of the year, and walked an hour a day until I moved to the center of town. I had a physical, an eye exam and my teeth checked. I did not accomplish my weight goal.

MIND. I took several advanced Spanish classes at UNAM, joined a Spanish book club, completed four novels and a stack of business publications, and made several new Mexican friends. I read several French novels and one German short story. I paid for an online chess class taught by Kasparov, but have not yet had time to take it.

SPIRIT. I meditated at least once a day for several months, but my meditation practice ground to a halt while I was moving and renovating. Instead, I switched to listening to Unitarian and Buddhist podcasts while I unpacked boxes and worked on the house.

SERVICE TO COMMUNITY, FRIENDS AND FAMILY. In 2018, I supported the Photographic Gallery with over 200 hours of service, rebranding the organization, building and maintaining the website, developing many dozens of promotional pieces, and setting up a system for managing PR. I assisted my family when my son had his second child and my sister lost her husband in the middle of a move. I pitched in when friends became ill, needed medicine, or had to have a roof repaired. With my friend Mark, we made loans through KIVA to individuals in other countries. I did receive feedback from some social acquaintances that I was not attentive enough to their needs and did not respond quickly enough to their emails and phone calls.

CREATIVITY. I completed four mixed media pieces and a painting, had one article published, and posted over 100 entries in my blog. I studied with a chef, learned new cooking techniques, and made dozens of new recipes. After the robbery, I replaced my Nikon, bought a safe, put it in there, and did not photograph anything for many months because I was afraid something would happen to my new camera. To conquer my fear and get back in the saddle, I started a 30-day challenge to take at least one photo a day. I am currently on day 27. This year, I began printing my work, submitted work to show, exhibited, sold work, and published photos in a book.

But the most creative thing I did this year was to design the living environment where I now live. I renovated the garage to install a dance studio with floor-to-ceiling mirrors and a sound system, hung a swing in my shower, and built a commercial kitchen with a four-rack commercial stove. This is the best place I have ever lived. I flow from one creative space after another.

BUSINESS AND FINANCE. Moving, furnishing and renovating represented a financial setback. (I had almost nothing when I moved in, not even sheets.)   However, I did manage to pay off my credit card every month while I was bleeding money.  I didn’t get much else done, though. With regards to Business Research Solutions, I gained a client and (probably) lost a client. I did not update my facebook page or refresh the corporate website.  Those items are still on the to-do list.  I just calculated my net worth.  Rebalancing my portfolio is next.

30-Day Challenges Work!

Two 30-day challenges: Photography (Day 28) and No Gossip (Day 11). To answer questions I have received: I am doing it for myself, not for a prize. This image is of a sarong I was given when I taught in Kenya. It says “Gossiping destroys villages.” Thirty-day challenges work!

sarong