martes, 25 de agosto de 2009

A little something, something

I am down on my knees, begging in full "11 o'clock number" voice for forgiveness for taking so long to update, but I've basically had the work week from my Fulbright proposal's dreams. Creating and presenting a workshop. Setting up plans to present a play in English. Successfully teaching a full week class practically ON MY OWN! I am on an adrenaline high... My body's not quite catching up. And moments of quiet still open ugly doors. But my work to live in the moment continues, and I'm more than motivated with potential projects.

And it's been incredibly sunny. And Project Runway is back. And I had a really intense dream last night about my dad set in a forest-retreat/secret drug warehouse. Now the ideas are just coming out randomly. Let me reconstruct and get back to you.

Want to feel all emotionally see-sawy like me? Try not to get tear-filled shivers while watching thisssss:

lunes, 17 de agosto de 2009

If I may: a moment with my brain

Although I've been handed at least a thousand gifts this week, my mind still can't help but wander into a lost place sometimes. Living in another country is hard, especially at a time when my heart is feeling so ready to push some roots into the ground and start a more permanent stem of growth. Not sure if this is the right thing to do, but I find a bit of comfort in frequent visits to You Tube. Here's one of my current favorites:


Sheeva and I were by no means alone in Tucuman. You may have heard something recently about the Fulbrighter invasion of 2009? My house. July. Don't worry, we survived.

It started the night before Independence Day: July 9th in these parts. The congress that resulted in the declaration of Argentine independence from Spain was held here in Tucuman, and at midnight the event is celebrated here with a march of gauchos on horses, the totally random

manifestation of a crowd-plowing marching band, and FIIIIIIIREWORKS!

The next day, with everything closed and everyone (or at least everyone I've met here) completely indifferent to the fact that the president was giving a speech in the nearby plaza, we celebrated with a Fulbright night of wild peanut-butter binging and giggles. Three Fulbrighters were traveling with siblings (koinkeedink!!), so we took oodles of adorable fotos together, and generally threw around kindness and happy smiles. We had so much fun that we all returned two days later to do it all again over the best pizza on earth. Oh, you didn't know? The best pizza on earth is officially manufactured here in my kitchen by my roommate Gustavo. Something I'd like to bring home from this night: The idea of cooking several small servings of food with large groups of people that are meant to be served one taste at a time over hours. Imagine a group of about 15 starving wine-guzzlers being served one slice of pizza per 15 minutes over the course of two hours, each slice with different flavor and delivered (and eaten) by hand. Thank you to everyone who shared this night.

Before heading out, our crew headed up the nearby mountain of San Javier, a brilliant experience slightly tinted early on by our decision to follow a steep trail that lead up directly up Up and UP for about four hours. The workout was fantastic, but the uncertainty of whether or not we were ever going to arrive, well, anywhere, left the group slightly insecure. Kat, our resident hiking expert, calmed us by recognizing that while we may not have had much water left, at least we have a flashlight and warcm clothes. The speech had a mixed effect. Ultimately, we chose to trek following nature's subtlest of signals: horse shit. Reasoning that horses could only follow a path that led, somewhat, to some type of flat surface, we used the trail of dookie to ultimately reach the top of the mountain. Look at Sheeva's face. Clearly worth it, right?

sábado, 15 de agosto de 2009


After a luxurious suite-bus ride (complete with champagne and bottom-of-the-barrel movies), we arrived in my host city, TuCUMANNN! After a delightful peanut butter and jelly picnic on my bedroom floor, I immediately put Sheeva to work helping me dictate a conversation class. She was rewarded for her hard work with a ride on a moto.

lunes, 10 de agosto de 2009


After an 18 hour smelly-bus ride, and what felt like 3000 years of waiting like a paparazzi outside an international airport terminal, I MET UP WITH MY DAZZLING SISTER SHEEVA!

We spent about 10 minutes standing zombie-like in a hostel, and then we were already out and on the town. Here we are in front of the Casa Rosada, home of the infamous Evita balcony (and consequently famous Madonna balcony). In front of the Casa is a plaza where still today mothers of the thousands that disappeared during the dicatatorship of the 1970s march to demand answers. During this "Dirty War" period, the military took over the government and hundreds of thousands disappeared under suspicion of supporting communism.

After taking in a little history, we ducked into this "fine" cafe for Sheeva's first cafe con leche y medialunas, and for a touch at a little local culture. 50 points to anyone who can figure out why we took this picture and, therefore, why I look so creeped out!Hint: notice anything eerie about the background? group of ladies? dressed up? and alone? at tables by themselves? with waters?
We ran into random Fulbrighters with THEIR siblings!! Shout out to Christine! And we got caught in a creepy hail storm in La Boca (BA's colorful-isimo/dangerous when not on one of three designated touristy blocks), during which we found solace in a small tango club where our new best friend/tango dancuh! hooked us up with plans for Sheeva's first tango milonga. We were making friends everywhere we went!

domingo, 9 de agosto de 2009

It's 3AM

And I'm still awake because I decided to get all nostalgic and return to my college days of youtube binging! Today's obsession: So. You. Think. You. Can. Dance. LOVE IT!

Love it so much, in fact, that Sheeva and I decided to reenact some moves at the Salinas Grandes, a dried up lake, (FLIPPIN' CRAZY, RIGHT!!) outside of Jujuy, Argentina two weeks ago. Here we are!

Back to the July picture book in the morning, but for now I must report that I'm feeling very water color-y. It's definitely been a transition week, and the darks of this week's lingering chest cold (mixed with a splash of life-doubt) are now blending through the gray-blahs and into the brights. I must thank a weekend of theater (a Christmas-themed Cinderella and clown-set social commentary!), tango, "The L Word" in spanish, my Fulbright crew, dirty Skype with my grl Jaya and Sheeva Mostoufi for helping switch sides of the palate, especially because this bout of dark really had me falling deep. How to explain? Well, have you ever reached the point when you realize it's time to start sinking in roots? When you want people consistently feeding you good energy in life to physically be around you, consistently, and the people just passing through to go ahead and move on? I was there. I am there. And it's quite the lesson :)

In other news, word-of-the-day just taught me a new word to describe the last scrap of food after a meal: "ort"

miércoles, 5 de agosto de 2009

JULY PICTURE BOOK 3: The party just don't stop...holla

After my first full night sleep in weeks, I woke up on my birthday ass late, then met up with my theater history class to take in the local circus!

Turns out Argentine theater sunk in its roots through circus in the 19th century. Today, Argentina's circuses are still mostly family-run. Our guide was a trapeze-soarin' acrobat, who currently performs alongside her father, daughter, husband, both in-laws and pups.

I also treated myself to a delicious factura. How to describe the deliciousness of this sugar and cream-coated croissant-cousin? Let's just say I went to FOUR places to get one. Note: When in search of impossible-to-find-desserts on birthday, bring hot sexy-awesome friend with you to flirt waiter into buying them for you from a panaderia. Thanks Nicole!!

To close out the dreamy night, my pal Sheeva (yes, there is another Iranian Sheeva in the United States, and she just happens to now live in Tucuman, Argentina) and I whipped up some yummy Iranian treats for an intimate wine and dine. My current heart-holder Nicole (who made me a fucking CHEESECAKE!), primary school teacher-bestie Veronica, and the ever-special, sass-tastic Juancito were my honored guests. I've always marveled from a distance at long dinners, hoping that one day I could finally focus my attention on a moment long enough to stop fidgeting after my last bite and enjoy how beautifully food, good wine and brilliant people blend. How perfect that I finally learned to sit still until dessert ON MY BIRTHDAY. This four and a half hour dinner may have prevented me from blowing my bday on drunk-hazy club fun, but I think it was perfect.


After returning from my theater workshop, I was chained to my institute to grade multiple choice and short answer questions for a million years. But after, I fled to celebrate my birthday!!

First my amazing apartment-mate/first-rate chef Gustavo made me his infamously amazing pizza the night I turned 23!!

He and his gf Daniela were also celebrating their one-month anniversary. If we could all end up in a love this cool, I think the worldwide infinite smile could be possible. Love these guys.


Seeing as I seem to have lost all words for the past month, I will now use photos to help revive some of these memories.

July started at this cultural center in Simoca, a town an hour outside of Tucuman. (where I live, for those of you just joining us) The dude with the sexy beard and glasses is me, and next to me is my killer-awesome roommie Gustavo. Gustavo works with a psychologist in Simoca helping high school students focus their life goals and career aspirations. I wanted to help! So, I taught these cool kitties to make stage pictures, project their voices in a crowded room, and become comforable looking like a fool. I think they had fun, although it was a little hard getting folks to open up while several were handling their babies, others were coming in late or leaving early, and I stumbled through the entire thing in Spanish. Can't wait to go back!