Whew!  What a fun and overwhelming process this is!  I began with Illustrator and Photoshop but soon was shown the open source light, and now will be working with Inkscape (www.inkscape.org) and The Gnulmage Manipulation Program (http://www.gimp.org/).  Folks, we don´t have to pay corporate conglomerates for the software we want and need to make our art!  These two programs are free and have been developed in an open source model, meaning anyone who knows how to work with them can help, change, improve, comment, update, critique, etc.  It´s the democratic, decentralized version of the software we´re taught is the only option to do this type of work.  Check it out!

I haven´t dug deep into it yet.  Here´s my first photo editing project, the before and after.  

Food, Glorious Food!

December 15, 2009

It´s about time I shared some of the amazing food I´ve been eating here in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

A few tidbits:

6 Dec

I just passed through Todos Santos last week and had probably the best chile relleno ever.  Didn´t stay long enough to try anything else, it´s quite a pricey little village.

I´ve tried some incredible food here in la Paz, none of it in restaurants.  Octopus tostadas are high on the list, as are the incredible tamales the lady outside the Aramburo grocery store on Madero makes, both the rajas (poblano chiles) y queso and the elote (sweet corn).  I´ve gone back to her multiple times.  12p for a great tamale.  I hear they´re even better in Oaxaca…

14 Dec

I´m still in Baja, it´s been a month now.  This place is wonderful, I´m finding.  And, I´m finally in the midst of enough amistades with Mexican folks that I´m eating the real, delicious food of this country.  For example, last night I was at a mini-posada and at our little plastic table we shared homemade ponche (Christmas mulled cider with starfruit, anis and tequila), triga de pollo (tender shredded chicken with onions and tomatoes) and nuelos (deep fried tortillas with a cinnamon sugar glaze.  Wow.  And, lately, I´ve had my first pozole, the green variety made with pepitas, which is from the state of Guerrero, where my friend´s family is from.  Also, this was unique because instead of the usual shredded pork, we had shredded home-smoked tuna on top.  so delicious!

I developed this matrix of funders while I was working as a grantor for the Seattle Dept of Neighborhoods.  Maybe it´ll help you find the foundation that´s just drooling for your fantastic project…  It´ll probably be most relevant for folks in the Seattle/King County area.


here are some notes from whilst I was in the midst of reverse culture shock -from San Francisco to Cabo San Lucas:

9 November, 2009

The tiredness from many nights of brief sleep has manifested as a general trembling in the body and a flatness, a sort of opacity in the spirit.  My relocation is not fully felt yet.  I am, however, aware at least enough to be mourning the loss of deep love I had been swimming in for the last week in the Bay.  This is not that place.  Here, disappointment and fear are arising.  All the while, I’m trying to remember fun! as an integral part of life, and not making ultimatums for myself or fear-centered decisions.  Maybe I’ll go hanggliding, maybe I’ll get drunk, even.  Hoo, that seems to be the reason for being for every person who comes here.  As Matthias mentioned “mushroom tourism” (which I will follow up on with him), this is a place of booze tourism.  There is a resignation, a desperation, a pitifulness (?) in that, though.  Nothing creative about turning to alcohol.  But, I have a choice about isolating or connecting, and all the tools at my disposal to do either one.  At the moment, I’m here in the hotel room at Pueblo Bonito Rose, which I’d thought was going to be a house on the beach but is, in fact, a room in an enormous resort complex filled with impatient, overweight Americans.  It’s still a choice, and I found myself – this computer is great! – getting mischieviously entrepreneurial ideas as I observed that fact: so the want to charge you 15$ an hour to use their computers, huh?  Well, I”ve got one right here and I”ll only charge you 10.  I already had one customer ready to go.  I could make that work, if I wanted to.  What am I here for?  That’s the dominant question on the first day of the last few movements, certainly in San Francisco.  But, wow, there was an unbelievably strong reason for that trip – that series of trips, to be more accurate.  I’m awestruck at what was shared with me in the last ten days in terms of medicine, energy, space, attention and love.  

Gotta call Ticabus tomorrow and reserve my ticket to San Jose!  Not too bad, those tasks plus yoga is my entire docket for tomorrow.  Karla and I dragged ourselves to the grocery store this afternoon, avoiding all sorts of enticing bars and restaurants and can probably feed ourselves well for the week from what we bought for 50 bucks today.  Well done!

10 November 2009

The ladies have arrived.  I’m setting with the sun, feeling no pressure to rush out and consume this place designed for one-week attention spans.  No, I’m not “missing out” but I am opting out.  A lot.  I have faith that I’ll find people to connect with honestly here, but just not yet.  Karla and I spent a while walking along the beach, sidestepping vendors, drunks on ski-doos and offers of cheap water taxi rides to Lovers Beach.  I found myself proud of my proactive no, gracias and finger-wagging that comes so naturally now.  This is not exciting to me, but maybe I’m just tired, maybe just jaded, but mostly disappointed.  I’m letting the reality of this place (“this place” I keep saying, interesting, like I’m avoiding admitting where I am even to myself) sink in only a little at a time. Today, Karla and I ended up wandering through the mall, which still holds a little appeal for me because what they sell there is in my latin-american mindset very hard to come by, like my temptation to buy paper and scissors and cans of tofu as soon as I see them, leftovers from the isolation of Pachamama.  Soon to be back in that…

No to Versed!

Good friend told me her post-breast-reduction-surgery horror story about being secretly anaesthetized with Versed, which is like Valium except it’s also an amnesic (so if you wake up during surgery you don’t remember doing it).  But, it’s not a selective amnesic, and as a result some people have lost entire engineering careers into that anesthetically-induced black hole.

Yes to Group Health!

According to a friend in the industry, Group Health Co-op is a truly excellent health care option for Seattle-area folks.  She only paid a $30 co-pay for a $7,000 surgery.  Amazing.  And, they’ve implemented the Toyota lean model in such a way as to actually reduce costs AND improve patient satisfaction.  Efficient and better, and in her personal experience, the employees are actually happy in a sincere way.  Thumbs up to this local co-op!  I’m just hoping there’s a similarly awesome local entity in the Bay Area/Marin County, my next home.  Maybe Kaiser Permanente?  They’ve undertaken studies in conjunction with Group Health, we’ll see.

Travelling from Cabo to “the mainland”

Asked the concierge folks today about ferries to the mainland.  Apparently, I can take the bus from here to main bus terminal, those leave every 10 minutes and say “Lomas del Sol”(8p) and from there a bus to La Paz, which leave every hour on the hour ($10).  From La Paz, a ferry to Mazatlan, where Linda, the kindly lady concierge is from.  From there, get somehow to Chiapas, Temechula specifically, then catch the TicaBus all the way to Liberia, Costa Rica.  It only takes 3 days!  A little closer to Pachamama every day.  But, I’m in no rush.

fotos de Baja, Mexico

December 6, 2009

look under the Mexico! heading and you´ll find a bunch more from the last month.