Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sarah Rusch, Sexy History, and Shaving Cream

A Prologue:
I know I've been really out of touch with all you folks up north, and I'm sorry for that. There have been lots of ups and downs lately, which is exhausting in itself. I realize that there are so many people back home who love me and miss me (as I do them) and want to hear about things that are going on, but the days are so full of events and sights and emotions.... it's hard to find the energy to process thoughts which aren't in bullet-point/to-do list form, let alone sit down and put such scrambled egg snapshots into blog posts. I wanted to start out with this, because I'd prefer for you all back home to hear the stories right, when I have time to sit down and put them with pictures, opposed to tidbits tiredly clustered together because I have a few minutes to send an e-mail. Though it never feels like there's quite enough time to explain everything, I will try to do myself to keep y'all informed, so please keep checking in for new posts!

Moving on.... or moving backwards rather..... here's a bit from my past week:

Monday and Tuesday I had my Topics in Argentine History Class and let me just say it is a good thing my teacher is such a babe or I would not learn a THING. The little ignorant girl in me is always fighting to convince the rest of me that the world never actually existed before the 20th century, or that no such stories of the past can quite be trusted. Bartolome Mitre? Someone just made that name up..... fortunately, when I'm not dazing longingly into his eyes, the class can actually be kind of interesting. My Politics in Latin American History class, on the other hand, is absolutely horrible, in that it is taught not remotely in a linear manner, and basically consists of the teacher lecturing in front of a class of six drooling students for a three hour class every week.

After that class was fiiiiiiiiinally over on Tuesday afternoon, I went to talk to my boss about getting some time off for traveling and ACTUALLY GOT IT! I have to do more preparation (Spring Break is in a week!!!) but I'll try to keep y'all posted on the details. From there, I went to a paint store and bought some more art supplies (imagine a kid in a candy shop), bought some fresh produce from a street vendor, stopped by at a friend's house, and went back home. When I got home, I tried to figure out missing BAFWEEK (Buenos Aires Fashion Week). I knew it was going on but had very little information about it. At around 8 o'clock I boarded a bus to an address I had found, which led me to a mall in Palermo, apparently for buying tickets. The suckers were 150 pesos a day (35ish USD) and I had already missed most of it for that day and was working the rest of the week. Kind of a sucky situation. After a few minutes of eye-batting and foreigner cutesiness, however, the ticket-dude gave me a pair of tickets for free. I had about 15 minutes to get to the last runway show! I ran out of the place, grabbed a cab, and had JUST enough pesos to get to the show in time. Lots of lines and jaw-dropping later, I squeezed in a seat not far from the runway for a show by the designer, Sarkany. I had been to several fashion shows in Chicago and Minneapolis, but nothing to this scale. The energy was fantastic! It began with a countdown, kind of like New Year's Eve. The show will begin in 5 minutes..... The show will begin in 2 minutes .... the show will begin in 56 seconds..... rolled across a digital screen. The end finished with confetti falling from the ceiling.

Here are some of the photos I took from that evening:

This particular series involved a line of clothing with LED lights sewn in

I ended up walking out of the place dumb-smiling. Also, I talked to some people outside and had managed to score an extra ticket that someone didnt' need. I returned to my apartment at around 11 and made myself an elaborate dinner with the fresh veggies I got that day. Afterward, I had intended on meeting up with a friend, but fell asleep on the couch by 2.

Wednesday was rainy. I woke up at about 11am and waited on the front steps of my apartment with my Literature book (reading "Death and a Compass" by Jorge Luis Borges, if you were curious) waiting for Sarah Rusch to arrive by cab from the airport. It was a beautiful reunion. We celebrated by climbing up to the rooftop and hugging for extended periods of time. There was only a short amount of time we could do so, however, because I had to head off to my first day of volunteering in La Boca to help with a computer class. I ended up teaching someone the basics of Photoshop.... in Spanish. I never really expected to need to know how to say 'the clone tool' in Spanish. At 5 o'clock, I took a bus back to my apartment, changed for work, and left. I don't quite remember work that day.

Thursday, Sarah and I got choripan (delicious sausage in bready bun) for lunch, sat in the park until it started to rain, picked up some stuff from the laundromat, and then she walked me to class. After class, I rushed back home, changed for work, and ran off. It was surprisingly busy, since there was an LCD Soundsystem concert playing nearby that night. Sarah and Felicia came for dinner to visit me. Got out at around 3ish?

Friday, the sun had FINALLY come out. Sarah and I went out to Palermo with the specific mission to shop. After going to fashion week, though, it's hard to be impressive. All we bought was some delicious shwarma. Took a bus back home. Changed for work. FORTUNATELY that night I only worked from 6-9, until the other girl could get there. (A rarity!!!) Sarah and I scurried off to see the last runway show of BAF Week. It was less exciting. The clothing was less-inspired and the show was trying too hard to be modern, which came off more annoying than anything. Also, the models were scary mannequin-like. The designer was Trossman, I believe. Still, it was a good experience. Here are a few pictures from this one:

Sarah and I were supposed to meet with some other kids from the program but shitty phones and no meet-up arrangements makes for kind of an unreliable plan. Who woulda guessed? Either way, Sarah and I decided we'd enjoy ourselves the two of us. We went out to this cool graffitied bar in Palermo called "Post" with surprisingly cheap drinks for the neighborhood. At around 1 we go dancing at Crobar, get home at about 5:30.

Since I had miraculously gotten Saturday night off work, as well, the original plan was to get bus tickets to Gualeyguaychu to go to Carnaval, but, even waking up at 1pm the next day, we were pooped. Sarah and I got some food in San Telmo, did some perusing in La Plaza of artisan jewelry, sat in the sun for a bit, then went home and napped until about 10 or 11pm. I made dinner, we relaxed, then Sarah, Natasha (my roommate) and I decided to go to a smaller version of Carnaval that we heard about going on in San Telmo. It was plenty exiting for not having to leave the city. I'll post pictures soon, but to give a basic idea, it involved a lot of dancing, music, costumes, and shaving cream fights. At around 3ish, we walked home feeling silly and sticky. Though we had the intention of going home to bed, we somehow ended up in a heavy metal bar/club, in the basement, raging HARD with a bunch of long haired thrasher-dudes wearing Motorhead shirts in front of old 80s thrash-metal music videos playing on a proyecter on the wall. Everyone was howlin' like it was a live concert. (Sorry, there's really no way to describe that without a run-on sentence.)

Let me just tell you..... nothing feels better after a LONG week than having shaving cream fights and head-banging 'til you can't breath. We left just before dawn, feeling like we'd just come back from a day-spa. That night, I slept better than I've slept in a long time.

Today, Sunday, Sarah left to move into her homestay at about noon. I slept til about 2. Natasha til about 4. It was a lazy/homework/photo-editing/pizza delivery kind of day.

Well it's 3 in the morning, my teas almost gone, I'm getting mosquito bitten like crazy, and I really should get my beauty sleep before my history class tomorrow. Basically, ((two finger salute,)) I'm signin' off for the night.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Fashion and Floods

Por casualidad, discubri q esta semana es la de moda en Buenos Aires y hoy es el primer dia. Ya se donde queda y aunque no se puede entrar sin invitacion, quizas puedo esperar afuera de estar inspirada de la gente que entra y sale. Vamos a ver, supongo.

Oh, wait, that wasn't English...... let's try this again.

I randomly found out that is is fashion week here in Buenos Aires and today is the first day. Unfortunately, one cannot enter without an invitation, but I'm thinking I'll maybe try to head over there with my camera and see if I can take pictures of people going in and out of the place where the runway shows are being held. (Stay tuned with my fashion blog, si queres:

In other news, last Saturday night, Buenos Aires was under water for a few hours during an intense storm. When I left work at 4 in the morning, I found cars and buses all breaking down in the street.

At that point I decided the only thing to do was go back to the bar. Obviously. When I finally got home at 6, I went to bed, and didn't wake up until 8pm on Sunday night. (That's what working 35 hours in a week will do to ya, I suppose.) I was so pissed I had lost my only free day of the week to sleeping, so quick called Felicia and went out to see El Cisne Negro (The Black Swan) in Puerto Madero. (As if I wasn't enough in the twilight zone.) If any of you haven't yet seen this movie, SEE IT! SEE IT NOW! I was so freaking out/moved by that movie that I stayed up until 11am the next morning to start and complete a painting. At 11:30 I took a quick nap, until I was woken up an hour later by one of my roommates to remind me to get to class. I pulled myself together and went.

This has really been a peculiar week. Hopefully this coming week will be better. For one, SARAH RUSCH COMES THIS WEDNESDAY! Also, somebody pick some frozen four-leaf clovers for me, because with luck I'll be able to get off work this Saturday and go to Carnaval in Gualeyguaychu, Argentina.

Peace out, I'm off to history class.

PS: Happy Birthday, Papa Art!!!! I wish you many many more to come!!!!!!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Sneak Peek Photo from the Misticos music video
You can listen to their song "Revolver" here.


Street performers at the San Telmo Fair

5:15 seems as good a time as any to do a new blog post, no?
After some recent medical annoyances, I've called attention to the fact that I need to take better care of myself. As such, this weekend has been veeerrry relaxed. My roommates are even out of town which means lots of listening to music and dancing and cooking in my underwear.
Oh, and painting too. I spent about 3 hours last night working on this accordion player's hand. Still haven't quite got it.
Getting adjusted in living in a hotel/apartment downtown Buenos Aires with other English speakers has been a tough transition, definitely, but it's really convenient to be a five minute speed walk from class. Oh, did I mention I go to class this semester on the third floor of a mall? And our meal plan basically consists of food-court coupons? And Hulk Hogan is one of my professors? Okay that last part not so much, but still. Weird. Almost as weird as looking at pictures on facebook of snowstorms back home after just coming from barrel-rolling down a hill at the park. Or getting a massage on a professional chair by a man named Sergio in the street during the San Telmo fair.
Can you hear that? That's the opening music of twilight zone....
Okay going to bed now.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Chau Cabellito, hello hotplate

In this past month, I moved out of my old place in Cabellito and into a hotel/student housing in microcentro, started my new semester, met a whole slew of new people, and am continuing work. However, considering it is nearly 7 in the morning and I worked about 9 hours this past night, I am rather tired, so I'm going to do more of the talking with photos and slide in a couple of details....

A few guys takin' an afternoon break (from work and from the heat) in Cabellito

This was from a very quickly-done, impromptu photoshoot I did of Heather in the garden of
"El Museo de Arte Hispanico"
or something like that...
(I don't quite have the energy to look it up)
Unfortunately, my redheaded muse is leaving this Friday to return to the states,
so I'm gonna try to squeeze one last shoot in today.
She's got HUNDREDS of vintage dresses which is just bucket-of-drool inducing on it's own....

Work has been kinda slow lately with so many of the locals off on vacaciones.
On the bright side, that leaves me plenty of time to drink on the job and obnoxiously take photos of the employees. Below is a photo of Marco doin' his thang....

This past Sunday I went with the Fundacion Ortega y Gasset (my new program) group to the Sunday San Telmo fair, which I always love, and find perpetually endearing to see the faces of people seeing it for the first time. It reminds of this one night I was in my apartment in Cabellito and I put "Kiss" by Prince on
and it was the first time that they had heard it....
to witness someone's mind being blown...
yeah, it's kinda like that.

On Tuesday night, I went out for my friend Silvia's last night in Buenos Aires before returning to Italy. We went to La Catedral in Almagro for tango dancing. It was the first time I had ever gone tango dancing outside of a classroom setting, and it was wonderful. La Catedral is this beautiful space con un ambiento muy antiguo. There are high ceilings, hard-wood floors, and the walls are covered in art. I ended up dancing until about 4 in the morning, when my feet gave in from my vicious tango shoes. Here are a couple of my favorite photos from that night...

Life is exhausting. In a good way. But exhausting, nonetheless.

Sunday I went to San Telmo, then cooked a big elaborate meal for the roomies.
Monday I had class all day, took a quick nap, and went out to La Puerta Roja Bar that night until about 5:30.
Tuesday, which was my 6 month anniversario with Buenos Aires,
I had class, dinner, quick nap, then went out tango dancing til around 4ish.
Wednesday, yesterday, I got to sleep in a bit, went to class at El Museo de Bellas Artes, went out for some food, got ready for work, then worked until about 3ish.
Today, I've got a boatload of tramites, a photoshoot, and more work,
then Friday I have a fieldtrip, followed by
etc. etc. etc.

.... in case you wanted to know a complete play-by-play of my life, which- garsh- who wouldn't want to know?

OK kids, I think it's time to throw in la toalla for the night.

-Paz, amor, y empanadas-