rubibees: (queen)
As usual if I think too much about trying to catch up on my journaling I start to freeze up, so I'm just diving in.

Yesterday I stayed in the hotel room all day and finished a writing project. Its a chapter for a festschrift in honor of a woman who has contributed a lot to gender studies in Mesoamerica--she is someone I have had a love/hate relationship with as she is really temperamental. But I was invited, and decided to go...they want the chapters now to make into a book in time to present it to her in Mexico City in Dec. Felt like a lot of pressure to say something MEANINGFUL but then since I'm not really so invested in her I just had to get it done. So big push this past week to finish the conference paper which I gave on Thursday, and then the chapter which I finished yesterday. Whew. The writing in a hotel room thing works again. After I sent the file yday afternoon I met my friends who are here at the conf in the hotel bar for a drink...Matthew and Amara, they are lots of fun. I only know about 6 people at this conference so its nice, I can skip most things and just go to a few that I really want to see. Left the bar and had a great wander around the Quarter (we are in the Hotel Monteleone for the conference, since its a smaller one.) Beautiful place. Felt my spirit guides leading me here and there, and asking for a cigar (tobacco spirit is really tugging at me lately) and the next place I saw was a cigar shop with guys hand-rolling! I bought one and then Amara texted that I should join them at their super elite leaders of the conf dinner, which turned out to be just another group of 6 geeky historians having Italian food. It was nice and then we wandered to hear music in Frenchman's Alley since we were so close. Caught a great brass band in the club [livejournal.com profile] greenwapiti and I visited some time recently. I got to dance a bit (it was crowded) and again my spirits were happy.

I'm sure coming to New Orleans so soon after the seership retreat is all connected in some way...And I know there is a river connection, since this is one of my major river mojo places and the retreat was right next to the confluence of the Shenandoah and Potomac--we even went down to see their actual meeting point. Lots of river energy in my life in the last few years. I asked Oshun to make Herself known, so duh!

At noon a bunch of Mardi Gras Indians will be visiting the conf to talk about their work! With geeky historians in tow, squee!

My re-entry to Miami post retreat was mostly good--I felt balanced and maintained that balance, mostly. Every time I do some deep spiritual work it feels very balancing to my otherwise heavy emphasis on the life of the mind. Had three meetings one day which I have decided is one too many for anyone, especially me, post deanliness. So I promised myself I will try to decline that third meeting invite when it comes up. Saw Morgan for breakfast one morning which helped me stay balanced, and time with Cy was good, as always. On Monday after school he was smoking pot in his room and I told him that was not cool on a school day. Tues night he did the same thing, so Wed morning he was busted and given a bunch of chores to do, purchases postponed until he got a bit more on top of things. He always gets very embarrassed and sheepish, so its not a hard conversation, but it worries me. I brought a little seership to the situation and asked him if he could see that the spirit of the plant had a role in this experience too--its not just about his ability to do what he wants or not, the spirit of pot is calling him...he agreed although I'm not sure how much he really got it. In any case he didn't use again before I left but then of course, I left...hopefully all went well on thur night. He is cleared to smoke on the weekend if he wants, so I guess I will get a report when I get back. Sigh.

The other interesting news item from the week is that the Mexicans/INAH issued a press release about the 3 objects we returned to them. UM decided not to do the same, since we think 1 of them is a big fat fake, and well other legal issues are in play. Many of my colleagues have been posting on Fbk and writing the Lowe "informing" us the stela is a fake...so I have been writing them privately to say, yeah we know, but the Mexicans wanted it back. My Mexican friends are writing nice emails of thanks. But now the AP has run a story and so the University is preparing an official response, which has to go from media to the Lowe Director, to me, to the legal department...Mostly the colleagues I know well are being very cool when I contact them privately and say, hey, lets back up for a moment and let the Mexicans have a moment. Social media definitely changes the way this has all played out.
rubibees: (tacos)
So I love this place! Its like NYC but with friendly brown people and more surprises and amazing archaeology everywhere. When Morgan and I were walking to the Metro stop the other day we passed a small monument to the founding of Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. We walked right by the place where the freakin eagle ate the freakin snake and the guy had the vision and the dirty homeless Mexica became the glorious Aztecs...Morgan said, and I quote, "and this is why Mexico is awesome."

I have no idea where to start, so here are just some random highlights of five nights in el DF. I love the Metro, as I said on FBK, its clean, cheap (20 cents per ride), timely (I never had to wait more than a minute for a train), well marked, there are ladies and children only cars at rush hour, there are friendly police everywhere and friendly Mexicans who give you the seat when it become available. I've taken the Metro down to the UNAM campus a couple of days, which is way down south at the end of a metro line, and its been a really fine experience. Plus there is the station with the Aztec temple...and the quadriplegics on skateboards selling gum...and the guys selling jello with the sing-song, "gelatina, se alegria" (jello, it makes you happy) slogan. All for a very low price. And I love our hotel room--I've stayed here a few times, and most of you know I gave Morgan his choice of places, and he chose the cool hotel...where my parents stayed before I was born and a sneaky Aztec spirit attached itself to them to be reborn as me...well maybe. Its old and has no heat or a/c, but you dont really need either in DF, its always pleasant and about 75 degrees. We have a big window that opens onto the zocolo or main square of the city, a public space the size of at least 10 football fields or some other ginormous space...its one of the largest is latin america. And every day there is something new going on there--a rock climbing wall, or concerts, or a huge inflatable boy courtesy of Dannon...our room is noisy with the sounds of the traffic around the square and the Cathedral bells, but it has wireless internet and the never ending show of the Zocalo.

Okay I have to say something about the food, right now! Thank the gods I have a child who is also a foodie, and one of our main objectives has been to eat well. The night we arrived we went to Cafe Tacuba which is kinda touristy but also awesome. It was full of families on a Sunday evening and Morgan had mole while I had chile rellenos. Yesterday we had a our big splurge meal, and I spent about $75. on lunch for us at El Cardenal which is right around the corner from our hotel. Its in a beautiful colonial building with stained glass (featuring, wait for it--cardinals) and we took the elevator to the second floor. After ordering drinks the waiter brought us a molcajete filled with a quartered avocado, fresh farmers cheese and a cilantro/line/scallion sauce (with warm tortillas on the side) that was freakin amazing. I could have eaten just this for lunch. We ordered smoked trout tostadas as an app, they were intense and very filling, with a light layer of cream under the trout. Then Morgan has chilis en nogada, a seasonal dish served cold. Its a large poblano chili stuffed with ground beef and fruit (like peaches) covered in a walnut cream sauce and topped with pomegranate seeds. I had salmon meatballs in a chipotle sauce, mostly cause it sounded so incredibly weird. But it was delicious! Very intense and filling. A small side of stewed black beans and of course warm tortillas finished up the table. We are ourselves silly. We have also had great food at our morning hotel breakfast buffet (Morgan applauds mole for breakfast) and I ate yummy tacos and beer at Salon Corona tonight. Last night we were up in the posh part of town and had amazing food at an old hacienda turned into massive restaurant--a bit too full of businessmen speaking English, but the snapper with tomatoes and cilantro I had was perfect. Morgan, again, had mole. LOL

We have also been blessed with many friends--last night dinner was with good friends from Miami who live here now, folks we met because they have kids the same age as Morgan and Cy. And due to the power of Facebook, Morgan is still in regular communication with Dominique, even tho she moved here 4 years ago. Her mom and dad both work in the music industry and they were transferred here so Robbie could be Vice President of Colombia recordings for Mexico...a job he lost in jan due to budget cuts. His partner worked for Sony and now manages the mega band of the moment Zoe. Despite these uber cool jobs they are the most gentle down to earth folks, imagine the Irish Spring leprechaun if he grew up in Argentina and thats Robbie, Terri is a quiet long-suffering Mexican. Morgan spent the day with Domi today--their driver (not uncommon for wealthy Mexicans) picked him up at the hotel after I went to the conference then he and Domi sat in traffic for two hours to get to her fav sushi place on the north/posh side of town and later they hit a Starbucks and the movies. Teen life is remarkably globalized for the middle classes. We were also fortunate enough to have two friends give us a tour of the new exhibit on Moctezuma II at the Templo Mayor. Angel and Ximena both work there and have been excavating at the ruins of the main temple of the Aztec ceremonial precinct for the past many years and showed us the new treasures, like the coyote skeleton decorated with jade, gold, a spear point and olive shell beads or the 15 foot x 15 foot stone image of Tlatecutli, the earth goddess. She has curly red hair (like Ximena!), eagle claws and a human in her womb--absolutely fierce and outstanding. One of my students is here too, Julie, and she has been analyzing Aztec skeletons all week so its been lots of fun to catch up with her work and such. Plus all the other locals who recommended the restaurants and metro routes...definitely feeling lucky to know so many local huatches.

And finally, have I said how much I love my oldest son?!? He is an expert traveling companion--we both like to sleep in, compute, eat breakfast, walk a lot, take the Metro, eat great food, visit with friends over beers and mediocre hipster food, even take the bus to Puebla for a visit to the pyramids and a grasshopper with chili and lime snack. He is loving the contrast to the Mexico he knows so well, the pueblo Mexico of tricicletas and thatched roofs in Yucatan, and he is such a city boy that he doesn't mind the noise or the crowds or the traffic. Seems to thrive on it. Told me Cholula was beautiful but he could never go to college there (I have a friend at the UDLA) because it was just too small. They dont have a movie theatre, mom, he said. I love that he is speaking Spanish and taking it all in stride, growing up as a globalized piece of latin america, this isnt foreign to him but an extension of who he is. Maybe the Muslim world would be foreign, or Asia...but not this. All in all an excellent adventure. Plus going home will be so sweet and timely!!! Everyone should visit el DF!!

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