Morning Routine

I need routine, to be active, to learn, and to be creative. These are my vaccines for depression. My morning routine goes something like this. The cat bats my nose, if that doesn’t work, she jumps on me. I pet the cat and talk to her, make the bed (she helps), feed the cat, do chores while the coffee is brewing, and take a cup up to the funky roof garden with the cat tagging behind. We soak up some sun. I flip through old Sunset Magazines.

Lately I’ve been wondering if it might not be time to settle down in a small town in the Southwest and have a garden, provided, of course, that I don’t die of the pandemic here in Mexico.

While I mull this over, the cat chases bugs.

Then we put on music (the cat likes Atomic Kitten) and run around the house. Sometimes I chase the cat, sometime she chases me. She is nearly a teenager. Her legs are impossibly long, but her body hasn’t caught up yet. She reminds me of a small shack on stilts in a Louisiana bayou.

Around and around we go. The cat tracks around corners, leaning into it like a biker. Yesterday, she spun out and ended up facing the opposite direction. She was clearly confused as to how I had disappeared without a trace. I clicked my tongue. She jumped straight up and executed one of those mid-air cork-screw turns cats and skaters do so well. I turned and ran.

Around and around.

When one of use throws in the flag, I go online while the cat goes back to sleep at the foot of the closet – her current favorite hidey hole. Clearly, sleeping most of the day does not cause depression in felines.

Afterward, there is no structure. It’s like that Chinese juggling act with plates on the top of bamboo poles; whatever plate is about to fall off gets a twirl. Occasionally, a plate comes crashing to the floor and breaks into pieces, making me cuss like a Marine while the cat looks on disapprovingly.

Headed To Europe and North Africa

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In Mexico City, leaving for Spain and North Africa tonight. Carrying a 70-200mm 1.8 telephoto lens, a 24 -120mm 1.4, a 35 mm 1.8, a 50mm 1.8, a speedlight, a reflector, and a tripod, plus a couple of t-shirts, two pairs of pants and boots. The hotel is in the center of the camera district – going to look for a meter and shoot-through softbox this morning.

Eight days of 4-hour sleep. I got everything done, though, including a class on lighting by Jose Luis Uribe (AWESOME) and two photoshoots. My survey is completed for my new client and we are now in test mode. Also, got two photos accepted in another show. Yeah, baby!

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.

NODA

I just called NODA to see about setting up a chapter in San Miguel, where I believe there is a need. I believe in being of service to the community where I live. I usually volunteer for a year. I am finishing up my volunteer commitment to the Photographic Gallery and I have an appointment to talk with the director of NODA. We will see what happens. There are a lot of creative people who have retired here. Many of them are single and far from their families. NODA would be useful here.

Why I Like Engineers

Bugs in the Code

I once wrote a personals ad in code. I was living Austin. Every programmer within a hundred miles must have responded, offering to rewrite my code and fix the bugs. The suggested patches were hilarious. I wrote one guy for quite a while, even though it was clear that we weren’t compatible, just because he was so witty. At one point, we even wrote each other jokes in binary code.

I like programmers, engineers, researchers and mathematicians because I know how they think. It is not true that right-brain people lack creativity. I know plenty who are also quite accomplished in visual and performing arts. For example, the other researcher with whom I shared an office played bass with a band that performed at the Broken Spoke and I know a programmer who is a kick-ass dancer.

I am not from Venus. I am a Mars chick. We have a problem, I am going to cuss like a Marine, yell “plot twist”, and then we are going to fix that shit because fixing shit is what I do. The obstacle IS the path. Obstacles are where life changes and all kinds of opportunities present themselves. For me, the solution has to produce better conditions than before the problem appeared: a better boyfriend, a better painting, a better place to live.

To survive is good, but thriving is elegant. If my last job hadn’t been so vile and odious, I wouldn’t have quit, and wouldn’t be living in one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico. If the place I was renting hadn’t gone up for sale, I wouldn’t be living in the historic center of San Miguel in a house with a swing in the bathroom.

So lean into the obstacles. Be like a kid on an Easter egg hunt; look for opportunities. Don’t just survive, thrive. Find the elegant solution.