Monday, June 5, 2017

30 Odd Questions #Blogfest (via @DebbieDoglady)

I'm joining Debbie's and Emily's 30 Odd Questions blog hop! Responses in italics.




  1. What did you want to be when you were a kid? A writer. Yep. From the time when I was 8 and a short story I wrote won a school competition. But 'Nancy Drew' was a close second.
  2. Which “Friends” character do you relate to the most? Why?  Pffff... I was never really a big fan of Friends. Maybe because I never could relate to any of them? Jennifer Aniston always seemed too much of an airhead, too ditzy, too flighty. Monica seemed cool, but then she had this underlying OCD thing that seemed a tad disturbed to me. And the blond girl with the guitar... she was always so much fun. But... she never made sense. Sorry.
  3. Do you like your name? Why?  Ha — good question. Yes, I do like my name. For a large part of my life I didn't; too complicated, too unique, called too much attention to itself. Always had to be spelled, and even then there were mistakes... One of my school diplomas had to be redone because they misspelled my name. But, as time passed, I came to see my name as part, maybe more obvious than for most people, of what makes each of us individual and unique. And there's also the fact that my father invented it (so he claimed), and that made it extra special.
  4. Are you messy or neat? Messy. VERY messy.
  5. How tall are you? 1.73 m. According to this site, that's 5'8".
  6. How tall were you when you were 10? About... 1.65 m? Whatever that is in feet?
  7. What is your guilty pleasure? Just one? OK, then. Neil Gaiman novels. I just finished 'American Gods' for the third (or is it fourth?) time, and I'm a third of the way through Anansi boys — for the first time. 
  8. What are you saving money for right now? Save—? Error 404: The requested URL was not found on this server.
  9. How many Pringles can you eat at once? Not a Pringles fan.
  10. Tea or coffee? Coffee. 
  11. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Introvert. Though most people who know me would disagree. (I'm such an introvert that I keep my introvert nature secret :D)
  12. What will be your Halloween costume this year? Okay... I outgrew Halloween costumes a long, long time ago. I'll dress up for a Pimps & Whores party, or any other themed thing, but... nah, not Halloween.
  13. Sweet or salty? Salty, baby. All the way.
  14. Favourite social media? Facebook. But I'm trying to wean myself from it.
  15. Who is the last person you kissed? Kissed-kissed, as in lips and tongue and all? My partner, Cor. But if you mean just cheek-kiss-hello, then... someone at a friend's farewell get-together on Friday. 
  16. What is your favourite breakfast? Something real 'Murican, like eggs over easy with bacon and sausage and hash browns and dollar pancakes with lots and lots of butter and syrup.
  17. When is your birthday? 17 Feb 1973
  18. When did you start your blog? June 2011
  19. What is your opinion on the Kardashians? The who?
  20. How would you describe your style? My... dressing style? My writing style? My hair style? Unclear. I'll go with dress. Probably 'beach bum' describes it best: shorts, flip flops, t-shirt. That's it. For all occasions.
  21. What colour is your hair? Brown. With ever-multiplying, but very natural-looking, gray highlights :D
  22. What colour socks are you wearing? See above for 'beach bum' style definition.
  23. What is your dream job? Writing fiction.
  24. Dogs or cats? Both. I've never understood this 'I'm a cat/dog person' differentiation. To me, cats and dogs are like two sides of the same coin; they balance each other out perfectly. At the moment, though, I only have dogs. (But, given my rescue proclivities, that could change any moment.)
  25. What makes you weird? Pfffff... The list is probably endless. And, of course, it's all about what context you use for 'weird'. Here in Curaçao I'm weird at all sorts of levels: I'm a 'Latina', but I dress like a Dutchie; I speak perfect English but don't speak either Dutch or Papiamentu; I don't have children (and don't even like them)... In Mexico I'm weird because I chose a place no one has ever heard of to live. And because I speak Spanish funny after so long under the Venezuelan influence of Curaçao. And because I'm an only child (in Mexico? seriously weird). I'm weird everywhere because I left a great job, and the corresponding great salary, to write and rescue dogs. 
  26. Celebrity crush? Wow. Leonard Cohen. T.S. Eliot. Roger Waters, right now (have you listened to his new album? BLOWN. AWAY.) More shallowly, the guy that played Superman in the new movie—but with whom I fell in love for his role as Charles Brandon in 'The Tudors'.
  27. Opinion on cigarettes? YUM. Been a smoker since I was 13 (that's... 31 years). No, I wouldn't recommend taking up tobacco to anyone, given the health detriment, but... yeah, I love smoking.
  28. Do you want/have children? How many? Nah. Not my thing.
  29. Three favourite boy names? Michael. Santiago. Duncan.
  30. Three favourite girl names? Kiana. Alexandra. Inés.



This was so much fun to answer, and I'm very much looking forward to reading everyone else's responses. If you enjoyed reading this and would like to join the fun, check out the guidelines here and sign up in the linky list below. Feel free to hop over to the other participants and get to know them... Some really entertaining and creative responses that are sure to make you chuckle—and several cool blogs and bloggers that you might be missing out on.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Elections in Mexico this Sunday. Key Elections.

This coming Sunday, June 4th, there will be elections in Mexico. Not presidential; only three states will be voting for new governors (and a fourth will be electing some 200 mayors). But these elections — the results in one state in particular — will shape the future of Mexico, for at least the next decade.

Elections for mayor are happening in the state of Veracruz, and elections for governor in Nayarit, Coahuila, and the state of Mexico. Yes, we have a state called after the country; someone must've run out of naming ideas... No, not really. It's more like the country is named after the state—or, actually, the city. In brief, when the Spanish conquered this land they'd call La Nueva España (New Spain, stretching from Nicaragua all the way up to British Columbia), they divided it into reinos, which translates literally as 'kingdoms' but it's in practice more like provinces, and one of these provinces, because it included the Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan (now rather in ruins), was named xico. After independence from Spain came about and Mexico City was proclaimed the capital of this brand-new nation (1824), the city separated from the state into the Distrito Federal, DF for short (kind of like Washington, DC ). And so we ended up with both a city and a state (and a country) named México.

La Nueva España, circa 1821. At one point, the territory also included Cuba and the Philippines.
Back to the present. As I write (and as you read), the electoral process is going on in the state of México—and it promises to be one of the dirtiest ever. Which, if you know anything about Mexican elections, you know that's saying a lot. For as long as I can remember, and as long as my parents can remember, elections in México have always been 'arranged'. We all knew upfront who the new president would be, who the new governors, mayors, members of parliament, all of them, simply by virtue of the party they belonged to. The PRI held on to its dictatorship hand-me-down rule for 70 years by becoming masters of electoral fraud—and, of course, this resulted in a growing cynical defeatism in the population, which played right into their hands.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Jackie: Film Reviews from the Curaçao Film Festival #ciffr

It took me long enough, didn't it? Finally—finally—I'm here with the first review. Of the first film in our festival roster. (I could've started with my favorite and worked my way through to my least favorite, I guess, but—given the obvious time limitations in my blogging—it just seemed faster to go down the list in order. Plus, this way, you as the reader won't know in advance whether the review is a positive or negative one. Fine, there are no real negative reviews—except one—but there are a few four-stars-with-caveats.)

The film festival opened on Wednesday April 5 officially, but one week earlier, on March 29, they had a pre-screening of what the festival organizers expected to be one of the films in highest demand: Pablo Larraín's Jackie.




Monday, April 17, 2017

I am shameless... (And I apologize.)

So much for my new year's resolution to not let more than two weeks go by without posting... It's going on 3 months since my last post here, and more than that on the dog blog; it's a wonder I even remember how to. Shame on me.



Much has happened to blog about, and plenty of times I began composing drafts of posts... I just never got around to finishing them before things changed. Again. I got a job, which upended my 'carefully balanced' schedule of dog walks and writing and (at least the intention of) blogging. I've since quit said job (yeah, short-lived experiment; one learns more from mistakes than from success). Two of the four puppies we took in as fosters back in December are still not adopted, which means they're still here, and as part of our effort to make them more adoptable I've begun taking them to training (well, one of them, since that's all I can afford time- and money-wise). I'm still not done with the dog book, but over the last two weeks I made some serious progress. I hope to have that done and delivered to the publisher for another round of edits before the month is out.

The dog book cover, as designed by Everytime Press

Oh, and we had the film festival here in Curaçao two weeks ago, April 5th to 9th. Forty-seven absolutely extraordinary films (well, except one). Impossible to see them all, obviously, but we did manage, with careful logistics planning that included Cor taking off two whole days from work (and one extra one after the festival, just to rest up), to see fifteen of them. Sixteen, if you count the preview film, Jackie, which screened one week before the festival began (and again during the festival, but seeing it beforehand allowed us to fit in one more film over that busy weekend).

Our film-fest booty, courtesy of Cor (who, unlike me, remembers to take photos of these things for posterity):
tickets grouped and stapled by day, from Wed Apr 5th through Sunday Apr 9th.

And I desperately want to share those fifteen (fine, sixteen) films we saw. They were thought-provoking and gorgeous: their narrative styles, the cinematography, the diversity of stories and points of view, their timeliness and value in view of current events. So, as of this week, I'll start posting a review every few days here. No, I won't make the mistake of committing to a certain day of the week or even a fixed (-ish) schedule; we all know how well that's worked out for me in the past. But I do want to share them, for you film-lovers out there, of course, but also for me, as a sort of journal record of the impact these films had on me.

So... See you soon!
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