A rundown of what my circle(s) of cyberspace have been up to:

lc and meGuillermo Parra, a Venezuelan-American poet whose book Caracas Notebook I highly recommend, has translated an interesting piece by Alberto Barrera Tyszka from last week’s El Nacional. Barrera Tyszka is, most recently, the co-author of Hugo Chavez, a biography. He was also, writes Juliana Boersner, the winner of the Premio Herralde de Novela 2006 for his novel, La Enfermedad. Juliana is pictured, along with other Caracas-based bloggers in this picture at the end of the table. Another blogger seated at that table is dear friend Luis Carlos who happened to remember the 5th anniversary of the attempted coup d’état of President Hugo Chávez with a quote by the very same Alberto Barrera Tyszka: “a country that divides its dead ceases to be a country.” That one line provokes some interesting responses in the comments section. Finally, a quote from Guillermo’s translation:

In Latin America, revolutions are also a non-traditional product for export. It is a matter of a charm that is as typical of us as pretentiousness or corn, mariachis or chocolate. We also have sentimental caudillos, necessary rebels, a class of heroes that can no longer be found anywhere else in the world. People that seem to have been taken out of a forgotten cinema epic. We are almost the planet’s retro TV channel. All those who still feel a nostalgia for history can come here.

Along with Luis Carlos, Alice, Georgia, and Mari, Melissa was in Miami with us a couple months ago. I learned that her taste in food is far superior to her sense of direction. I also learned this past week that her dogs are better fed than I am:

We are lucky to have two beautiful and healthy dogs as companions: Silky-Lu (a Weimaraner girl) and Hannibal the Cannibal (a Basset Hound boy). Since day one they entered this home they were fed raw food, including raw beef, chicken liver, chicken necks or wings, raw free range eggs with the shell, and an array of selected fresh veggies suggested by the Barf Diet and Weston A. Price Foundation nutrition guidelines.

hannibalAlthough I’m not interested in following any “Barf diet” guidelines, it’s already past noon here and all I’ve eaten in a Peet’s pumpkin ginger muffin. Which makes me very very hungry looking at Melissa’s Fiesta Cashew Mole with Grilled Chicken. Fortunately, Mari says she’s cooking tonight. 🙂

delphineSomeone else who’s hungry right now is my favorite bitch Delphine. An occasional overeater like Bill, they are both now on strict diets. Delphine is also one of my favorite bloggers and has, quite possibly, the best named blog on the planet. (Bill just pointed out that Delphine does not include Oso|Moreno|Abogado on her blogroll and is asking me to delete all mention of her until said link appears. Oh Bill, you really can be so catty sometimes.)

Delphine’s housemate has a pretty OK blog too. Georgia and I have such similar tastes in music, literature, and absurdity (if not absurdism) that I wasn’t one bit surprised to read that she too is an admirer of the works of Vonnegut and was saddened by his passing. I was also very happy to see her emphasize that Vonnegut was a spokesman for plain English. I always cringe at “jargonese”, corporate speak, and dead metaphors: “let’s put this on the back-burner until something comes down the pipes from management that can leverage some outside-the-box team building.” Puke. Vonnegut’s style of writing was as poetic as it was simplistic, something that is true of all my favorite authors.

neha Neha’s appreciation of Vonnegut was more of a surprise. (As was the fact that she studied French for seven years – though I don’t know exactly why either one is surprising.) I just added Clive James’ Cultural Amnesia to my wish list. But I have my doubts that James’ 876 page review of the 20th century can compare with Vonnegut’s Last Words for a Century. If only Vonnegut were 30-years-old again. If only he had a blog. Xolo, Paul F., and David Lee Wilson were clever enough to mark Vonnegut’s death with his three most famous words: So it goes.

marioEast Bay represent. My new Tuesday beer drinking buddy Cyrus Farivar/سیروس فریور/suh-ROOS FAR-ih-var/see-ROOS-eh fàr-ee-VÀR is exploring Seoul, Korea. His latest entry has a link to The Day Underwear, which actually calls this men’s underwear. (Cyrus, bring me back a pair of the pinks please.) Other members of the Tuesday Brew club include Mario Hernandez, who has also been blogging about underwear of sorts, and his lovely girlfriend Maryn. Other card-carrying members include Poff Daddy and his wife Ann, who does her very best to keep him in line. Though Poff Daddy does not participate in underwear blogging like the rest of us, he does post his favorite music. (I’m listening to Los Lobos right now.) Eventual plans for the Tuesday Night Brew Crew include Chorizo-filled Turkucken and homemade tamales.

revazI first met Mario back in San Diego via Revaz – the great connecter of the human race … or at least 20-something lovers of indie-rock. He’s back blogging … about … his love for indie rock. I hate to admit it, but 70% of my favorite music comes from Revaz’s recommendations. The National’s new album, Boxer, has been my constant accompaniment on my runs around Lake Merritt. And now I’m already weeks late downloading Wilco’s new album, Sky Blue Sky. How ever to keep up?

My dear homie from Monterrey back in the day, Dr. Cereal came to California, saw a killer whale, and didn’t bother to visit me. My hope is that Monterrey isn’t getting so cool as to keep him there. (There are rumors that he and his lady are headed stateside.)

Greg and Antonia need to invite me to their next “brown bag” lunch.

Brenda (who also had her heavy Smashing Pumpkins phase) is on her way to Spain, which I believe means she won’t be seeing Cafe Tacuba? Speaking of good ol’ “Cafeta” as she calls ’em, John Bracken wondered aloud over email whether or not Cafe Tacuba is the greatest band since the Beatles. I won’t argue with that. When Mari and I saw Lila Downs a few weeks ago at the Fillmore, I kept thinking what an incredible show Lila Downs and Cafe Tacuba could put on together. (Not like I’m complaining – Bobby McFerrin came out for the encore.) John has a great post on Chicago’s new public transportation project that also ties in Chile’s controversial TranSantiago project and my favorite internet phenomenon, Delfin. I had been meaning to write a post with some thoughts about blogging, municipal politics, and public transportation based on John’s post, Mari’s recent presentation to the Oil Independent Oakland Task Force and Rosario’s excellent reporting about TranSantiago on Global Voices. Sadly, I don’t think that’s going to happen.

But, there is a chance of some first-hand reporting on Chicago’s public transportation woes (and weather woes) from Cindylu who is there now. I hope she’s gonna visit the Chi-town bloggers so they see not all California bloggers are like HP. Speaking of HP, here is some wild shit. Y’all know how he likes to meet girls on a certain website that rhymes with ‘high case’ right? So, he’s in NYC on one of his adventures and his new “friend” says she wants to drop into Trader Joes.

revaz

we get in the shortest line and get directed right to the cashier where Revaz works. I look at him and think he looks just like the guy from Flickr, Oso’s homie. Then I look at his badge and its his name, I ask him if he recognizes me, it takes him a few seconds and he makes the connection. Small world.

What HP doesn’t say – and the reason Revaz is looking to his left – is that the store manager walked over to HP and told him to stop taking so many pictures and squealing so loud. Who woulda guessed? Anyway, keep working on the American Sign Language little man. (Oh, and hey look, here’s something you’ve never seen before: HP with his arm around a tall white dude … just kidding ‘mano … you know I miss you boo.)

davoMr. Red (two more months before the wedding!!) has got a great remix of Snow White. Davo (AKA “El Machete”), after way too long a break, is back and in style. Alejandro, after some great blogging from Germany and then NYC, is back in LA and in a few hours will be hanging out with “some Indie Hip-Hop legends and world class art” at the Getty Center – go tell him whatup. Speaking of getting back from Europe, Chris and Anna are also in that group. I’m hoping for some more photos of one of my favorite cities, Barcelona, soon.

rolandogCongratulations to Rolandog who is now a sales representative for Reichhold and on his way to Atlacomulco (try saying that five times in a row) for training. This is the first picture I’ve seen of David, Karen’s son, in months. I can’t believe how much he’s grown. It was through Karen that I first met Elenita who really needs to burn a t-shirt. (hug) I’m digging Eliz’s Vox. (Does that sound wrong?)

I really wish I were down in San Diego this weekend to check out Nathan’s Crayola Monologues, which is playing at Balboa Park’s MOPA theater. I used to check out a lot of classic and indie movies at MOPA – it’s a great place. If you’re in SD, you should definitely cruise by. Nathan also shot some great photos of Laura Silver, who lives in an “energy-efficient straw bale house in San Diego’s East County and runs her household on electricity from solar panels, supplemented by a small generator in the back yard.” I’m reminded of Chris Nelson’s post “Dealing with a not-so-distant risk” and Cyrus’ post “Walden Pond, Fifth Avenue style.”

That’ll have to be it for now, I’m hungry.

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