martes, 30 de junio de 2009

A funk haze, denial, illness and the sweet "putita"

I spent almost the entire weekend with the same person, and it's freaking me out. I want to be a little stronger, I want to maintain my tendency to prefer independence. I don't want to ever utter the tonteria "why should I text first?" Is this what "Like, like" is? Now I understand why people both adore and abhor this electric bullshit. A cool bar, followed by a pizza/smoke/gaucamole/vodka supported game nite, followed by a "lost" viewing, followed by a cool curb-side post-yoga rendevouz defined my weekend with my new lesson. And I'm feeling good, and also a little out of control.

I also spent this weekend watching the fantastic final performances of the acting classes I've been following, earning a certificate and high school English-education book from a conference about using movies in ESL, watching the wonderful, haunting "La Mujer Sin Cabeza", cooking delicious asado meatiness with my roomie and correcting what felt like a ball-pit of midterms. And I'm still a little tired....but SUPER-EMOCIANADO to see my sister this weekend!!!

Illness refers to the fact that I've been SO TIRED it's worrying me. It also refers to the fact that my institute is closing a week early due to fear of swine flu.

Putita refers to the overwhelming haze of weirdness I've felt a few times this week, a weirdness colored by play ideas and yoga lectures. It's the title of a song by Babasonicos, an Argentinean band that's currently helping me from dipping too deep into "overwhelmed". So many ideas, so many projects, so little time and it all feels a little too dreamy. I'm feeling good, but I'm also missing Brazil. The tranquility. The seductive, smooth samba. The fruit. A warm breeze, and an indestructible smile. It was a beautiful week.

miércoles, 24 de junio de 2009

A sun, samba mystery fruit-filled week turned parcial grading muckiness

WHOOAAAAAAA!!! It's been practically a million years since I last wrote! SHEEEEIT! And I can't really even get into how heaven-like my trip to Brazil was, unfortunately, because I am currently grading (and feeling kind of uncomfortable about it) what feels like 100 gazILLION tests. Poop face!

Okay, maybe a little about Brazil. Essentially, I've fallen in love. From the first day I downed my inaugural caipirinha to my final samba-tastic hip bump, I had a smile stapled to my face. It was beautiful, friends, one of those paradise weeks that leaves a person secure that the down-turns in life eventually hit indescribable peaks. I know this sounds a little, digamos, too much. But one day when you visit me on the beach of my Brazil-stationed community theater/capoeira studio/independent movie theater/loft apartment, you will understand. Quickly, a list of reasons last week rocked:

1)Incredibly intelligent people determined to collaborate, celebrate and tan.

2)An seemingly undending plate of delicious pao de queso (a dream-realized creation of cheese and bread), and constant refills of fresh-squeezed guava juice

3)Brazilian pop and samba so smooth with tight melody and warm harmony that I couldn't stop dancing for five days

4) The beach. Pictures to come...

5)Quiet, peace, fantastic conversation, intense yoga and the ensuing body-tingles, singing along to "somewhere over the rainbow" on travel guitar, the unending service of delicious, grilled meats, dancing so jubilant it's like floating, being thrown into a game of capoeira, too many mystery fruits to name, and a constant sea of kind smiles.

6) PORTOGUESE IS SWEET! It sounds like a language cool, creative born-to-be genius kids made up to confuse their parents

7)The fantastic, theater-filled Buenos Aires trip that followed.

More details soon, but now I have to get back to grading and grading and grading and grading and grading and grading and grading. And I'm going to a folklore dance class tomorrow! Apologies for the short entry, but I promise to elaborate soon, and with photos! Hoping you're all well! Pray for all the brave Iranians demanding their due rights!

A quote to consider from my Fulbright pal Stephen: "Sugar is poison." HM.

jueves, 11 de junio de 2009


I will try to update, but it might be hard. SO, here's another photo for the meantime. This is me teaching a writing workshop!! WOOT!

I haven't forgetten you blog!!

This is much to tell, but because I will be leaving for the aiport in four hours, I will keep it brief for now. The past few weeks have been like a marathon. Intense, sweaty, exhausting, exhilarating, exciting, refreshing, and quick. The sun was out most of this week, and so was I, smiling most of the time.

Since we last spoke things got CRAZAY at work because my "Five Paragraph Essay" writing workshop was finally put into practice. aaaaaaand I think it worked!! Teachers always talk about the "click" moment, where there students finally internalize the point of a lecture. Shit is true, my friends. As my students and I suffered through analyzing the essay "The Hazards of Movie-going" (three. fucking. times.), I worried. There were WAY too many pauses, silences, and then bursts of me flying about the room like a hired birthday party entertainer. But at one point, the students lifted their eyebrows. They sighed. They sat forward. "AH, so you all the sentences relate to the SAME theme." YESSSSS!!!! This workshop has been beyond rewarding. And I even got to "Nine Lives" to frame our in-class essay brainstorming exercize. haha, I love making students watch Dakota Fanning and cry!!

In the primary school, I fell in love with the fourth grade. It was instantaneous love. One of them jumped on my back just as another passed me a note that said "Te Quiero, Michaela," and this all happened while I was slaving (birthday entertainer once again) to remind of them how to ask someone's age. (They learned this about a month ago)

This week the primary school teacher Veronica and I got even closer as she took me out to the abandoned roads by Mount San Javier for my first driving lesson. She was TOTALLY patient, and never freaked out when I stalled the car...several times. Have you ever met someone who is so wonderful, so beautiful, so kind, and so unjustly placed amidst the spectrum of life's problems. I learned that Veronica is dealing with a lot at home, and I can't think of how to solve all that she's dealing with. I hope that being an ally will be enough.

I went to a shit-ton of theater this week too. WOOT! One started in the backyward of a house, then moved to the outside balcony and finally concluded in the theater's performance space. I can't begin to explain what it was about clearly, but the craziness that ensued in those 2 hours left me feeling even more excited about Argentinean theater. It's so body-focused, fearless, strong and intimidating. I love it! The play was developed over the past three years by a theater group that is mostly made up of students. The director, one of the best actors I have probably ever seen in my life, blew my mind again the next night when he starred in another ensemble-written piece about three transvestite nurses. I want to be a part of this kind of art-making. Anyone with me? The last genius thing I saw didn't even take place at a theater. The audience (only 20 allowed) met at a theater, but were then driven to a house outside of the center. There, a play analyzing daily habits, momentary conflict and momentary banality, and the complexity of seemingly common personalities proceeded to confuse, mesmerize and excite me. And the acting was da bombbbb. (it's been too long since I've used this phrase)

So the theater and the work have been great, as was the week-long seminar I took this week about theater under the dictatorship of Uruguay (although i didn't love having a professor that claimed I couldn't understand the plays because I don't know the context...pretencious), but the most exciting thing about this week was probably the continuous pushes that fate kept sending to me towards a few new people in my life. Yes friends, this was the week that my life turned into an episode of Grey's Anatomy, and I really don't feel like I pushed any of it. It's weird. I would see a person I found interesting, and then that person just kept appearing, in random places. This happened TWICE this WEEK! Along my daily routine, I would encounter the same person over and over, I would have an amazing connection with them, and blah blah blah (I'll tell you later). Has this ever happened to you? I'm not sure exactly what to do with all of this excitement sent from the forces above, the forces around, and the forces between people. It's a little confusing, but I'm choosing to just be grateful to finally receive a little push. It's been a smily couple of weeks, let's just put it that way.

domingo, 7 de junio de 2009


This is a picture of me with the infamous black glacier in Bariloche!!! The other is a picture of me with some of my students from the primary school. I was paranoid that the picture wasn't taking :) AND FINALLY, my acting buds and I pull out our tuff, rugged climbing faces at the nearby mountain. Mountains, woot woot!

martes, 2 de junio de 2009

Revelation of the day: I'm a winker!

I can't even begin to count the amount of times I winked today. After a joke. After something lame happened. When a bug flew past me. Am I becoming more friendly, more of tool? Who knows.

But I do know that I am PROUD of myself for finally making myself wake up before 11am today...when I didn't even have to be anywhere!!! In order to brutally put to death (like, with a stake, and chainsaw) my pattern of "vago" behavior, I forced myself out the door today at 9:45am. I wandered into the center and signed for a conference next week that will discuss theater has a form of resistance during Argentina's most recent dictatorship. (I KNOW!!! It's like the Fulbright fairies sent this workshop from South American research grant heaven) Of course they didn't have the definitive hours and locations for the workshop, which starts a week from yesterday, but they PROMISE to get back to me. I'll head back over there on Friday ;)

I then hit up the fotocopiadora, rushed home, blew my roommates' minds by showing them how well cucumbers and yogurt go together, and then spent the rest of the afternoon studying for Theater history class....which was pointless. We talked for all of one of the three hours, and then ended class early. AH! Still getting used to that.

After class, I headed to the fancy shmanzy downtown theater San Martin to watch students from my institute GRADUATE! I know, you are imagining something really boring. And at points, you'd be right. (They took THREE breaks, in 90 MINUTES!!!) But at OTHER points, the following lovelinesses happened: 1) The students entered while "We are the champions" played over the sound system. 2) Two singers entertained us with Spanish translations of Toni Braxton's "Unbreak My Heart", Frank Sinatra's "My Way", and the delightful closer "New York, New York."3)Students received their diplomas while various Enya tunes accompanied. 4) Once again, just after the Argentinean anthem, the event's them was f'ing "WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS!!!" I thought it was funny.

Post-graduation, I headed back to theater school to watch a rehearsal of my pal Alejandro's directing project. Innnnnnntense. The theater here is so strong, forceful, physical. It's confouding me a bit, which is a good thing.

Hope this was o menos?