Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Coming up for air

Now that it's time to work on my syllabi for spring, I've suddenly decided to update my blog. It's been a busy fall of teaching (classes and private students, yay!) and taking care of business. Perhaps the reason I haven't been updating more frequently is that life has been relatively quiet lately. And that's probably a good thing, when you think about it.

I've put together a few photos to share what I've been up to since September.

The sauerkraut? After being a scary fermenting thing for several weeks, it actually turned out quite nicely. It's not kraut for the faint-hearted but it stands up very well to wurst with hot and spicy mustard, so it's probably exactly what I would've made if I'd felt like I had any control over the whole process.

In October we spent a weekend in Pittsburgh and visited the Phipps conservatory. Very nice. Although I don't have a picture of it, I liked the section on edible tropical plants the best. They had the usual suspects such as coffee, cacao, etc. but standing next to the strawberry guava tree was as close to what I imagine heaven to be like on a smell level.

Ferns are strange premordial things, aren't they?

In mid-November we traveled to Mexico City for the annual meeting of the Society for Ethnomusicology. The weather was lovely and has spoiled us for the winter.

Outside of Diego Riviera's studio/house, with Frida Kahlo's adjoining house. Imagining scenes from Barbara Kingsolver's Lacuna . Bill asked to see the tiny kitchen in Kahlo's house but it wasn't open for public viewing. The book was great but we both enjoyed it more having a first-hand sense of the world in which it took place.

We found the Museum of Popular Art just by chance but it was one of my favorite places. Can I have a skull bicycle too?

At Teotihuacan we worshiped the sun and moon. We tried raw agave juice and then later we sampled it in its more exciting forms--as pulque and mezcal. It's hard to communicate scale here, but these agave were about six feet tall.

The sky was amazing that day. This is one of my favorite photos from the trip and it was taken looking up from the platform halfway up the pyramid of the moon.

This last photo is from a history of Mexico depicted in different vignettes and different artistic media but all using skeletons. The macabre in me loves this.

Wishing you all an auspicious 2010.