“recoleta-cha-cha-cha” or “how many puns can viv make in one blog?”

So I dragged my corpse out of bed early one cold dead morning and hauled my bones to the Recoleta Cemetery. A grave feeling settled over me and dug right down to my skeleton. The death everywhere gave me a feeling of my own mortality and gripped my heart till it turned stone cold.

The extravagance scared the life out of me, it was like a cryptic plot to bury one’s feelings with stone, gold, flowers and boxes. It was quiet as a tomb ‘cept for the tourists laughing themselves to death over the various funny names they encountered. I thought their grim humor would soon decompose as I walked the ground, wishing my feet weren’t killing me. I almost died when the sight of (what I thought was) a living angel popped out of the ground through the crack in a tomb’s door, it had me sputtering and coffin‘ for sure. My life was rotting away in the heat and it was time to terminate my visit to the reaper’s playground. I followed the tourists to Evita’s grave, then said bye bye to the death museum.

24! BOOM… all time pun bog record?? Me thinks so.

In no way am I trying to make fun of the long passed, I just think puns are fun. Plus, Recoleta was ALL about not letting the dead be forgotten.. so why not remember them with some humor too?

Check out all the pictures here.

5am nightmare

It began with dinner with ****, I never see his face only the grafitti on the wall next to our table on my right, it is a bunch of small geometric shaped faces. In the background is the diner out of Nighthawks by Edward Hopper, **** is standing at the window.

A flash and I see all reds greens yellows blues and purples.

Then my bike is broken, a pink bike broken clean in half. My sister tells me that I am the one who broke it. I have a cut on my head, this is the first time I blacked out from drinking. She tells me the story in our poor apartment with gritty drug den walls and a mattress n the floor.

I am sleeping in the park outside, pillow under my head and the blanket from my childhood covering me. It was my favorite one, until I left it outside under my plum tree one day. It had the alphabet on it with mickey mouse and his friends.

A dark man walks up and takes my blanket, I let him have it and don’t put up a fight hoping he will go away. But he doesn’t and I can’t fight him (this happens in dreams a lot, I am literally unable to punch or kick people) Suddenly, after some light slaps I manage to hit him in the groin

I run

I hide under table, I ask a woman with red dyed hair to be quiet as I hide. There is lots of jewelry hanging under the flimsy gray cardtable.

The next day I look for the other half of my bike. A man with a gray hat, like in film noir, gives me a number saying he knows where it is, he also gives me one gold coin to make the phone call with.

Suddenly, someone takes me away.

tattered clothes

raped in car?

I am in a den of girls, 18 – 30 years old, all with battered faces and smeared doll makeup. All sitting on the floor. They assure me everything will be ok. The walls are gray, the carpet is old and gray. I am dirty, dirty, dirty and scared.

The man with the hat comes in, the girls crawl towards him, hands out to receive colored scarves. Most are gray, some are gold… only one is red. One girl gasps, “I’m gold today!?” she seems excited and thankful. Like when a dog is thankful when it’s master stops beating it.

I get the red scarf, it has sequins.

messy

torn

The girls fix me as I am broken tired dirty, one paints my toenails with a paintbrush, purple gray.

They go to the other rooms, as designated by their scarf colors, for rounds of god knows what.

There are many men, lost boys… newsies hats cheap suits, film noir.

I am the leader’s, no one knows which one he is.

I escape in the building, he dies near the elevator.

I run into an apt for help, I am in a kitchen with a family. I am wearing my torn black pajama pants and a sad thin grayish purple cloth hangs torn around my waist.

flashes

Some of the girls float away down a river inside a cave, there is a large jump over a waterfall. I am too scared to go (“It’s the only way!” they shout) but the girls who try, holding hands, die along with many others.

I wake up in the back of a movie theater where there are cartoons playing, felix the cat. I try to turn the show off so no one realizes my dream is actually the next cartoon.

I steal candy, can’t decide between gummy bears or chocolate.

My parents are at the theater, they want to get sushi and I don’t tell them what happened to me. I am ashamed.

It’s ****’s movie, and I might love him. The movie is Housesitter with Goldie Hawn and Steve Martin. I am inside the movie and talk with Steve Martin. It becomes dangerously windy outside the house in the movie. AN old man warns that if we don’t leave the house then we’ll die. We all leave to go to a shelter.

The movie turns grainy, then a crappy godzilla like clay creature catches a human in his mouth and flies away.

An animated woman cathces her baby off of a swing, the sun comes out and they are smiling without any faces.

I am watching the movie again.

monday monday (da da, du dada)

first of all… my dreams have been absolutely NUTS since I’ve been here. In one, I was eating a shit load of candy with all of my comedy sportz friends. One of them, Reuben, and I were stacking purple candies and when I told him about it he busted this sweet rhyme:

MC Jellybean rockin the spot, with DJ Viv who keeps the chocolate hot. Were so damn sweet, we could give you diabetes but then we’d find a cure since we smart like Archimedes. So I wrote this part: “he’s got sweet lids an I got sour patch kids. I’ll take em home to bed and eat a lemonhead” I guess it’s a little dirty, but I mean… it’s no neck back pussy crack ridiculousness!

Anyway, I woke up on Monday and it was raining! Sigh, I wanted to go to la bomba de tiempo but I didn’t want to get all wet… plus it’s every Monday so no rush. No sun + homesick = unhappy viv, so I decided to get myself outta the house and out into BA. I took the bus to the Galerías Pacífico for a look into the fashion they’ve got going on here and to get some exercise by walking around. I would walk, look, eat dinner then return home to write and relax. I even updated my “novel ideas” (HYUCK) list.

I arrived at the mall without any problems thanks to my lucky compass, which points south here… super cool. It was exactly like any nice mall you’d find anywhere in the world except for two things…

1. Not only was there an amazing glass chandelier thing going on in the high domed ceiling in the center, there was an art installation directly below it that used the reflection of the glass on the painted dome ceiling to make for some very interesting visual art.

2. There were several galleries on the second floor!

Que suerte! Guess I’d get to see some cool shit anyway… I walked around looking at all the installations and was almost herded into a touristy looking tango show. On the way out of the mall I snapped some fashion photos from my ladies in the fashion game back in LA.

The report is thus: BA’s fashion is as mixed as it’s people. It takes from the cowboy culture, the country peasant, folk art influences and various cultural patterns that make up the city. There was lace and leather, beads and feathers, zips and snaps and riding hats, knits and shoes and flowers and booze lol. Yes, you can drink in the mall… pretty sweet.

After the mall I went to a hole in the wall place and had a small dinner and a beer for about $4USD… man I love it here. I began walking home despite the rain. I was getting pretty wet so I decided to look for a place to stop and get a drink. But instead, I crashed into a kiwi.

A nice New Zealander actually, haha. He was coming out of his hostel and we bumped into one another. He said hello, I asked if he spoke English, he asked what I as up to, I told him I was going to get a drink and he asked to join. I was so excited to have a friend to talk to. We walked around for a bit looking for this stupid bar that turned out to be closed… very wet we decided to to the next place we saw. A nice place, very quiet and bright. We had a bottle of wine and talked politics etc. it ended when he accidentally knocked his glass of wine onto me and my journal AND my guidebook. Ay dios! My guidebook is still totally wine stained. Luckily I was wearing a black sweater so it didn’t stain. He was really embarrassed, but then he paid so all was well. He’s lucky I’m a forgiving person… I’m just glad I didn’t spill wine on him, haha. We went to another bar and had another bottle of wine and talked until early in the morning.

I was supposed to meet him the next day to go to Recoletta cemetery but I slept through my alarm and was very hungover when I got up. I’m sad I didn’t meet up with him, but it was a bad day for picture taking anyway… wherever you are kiwi man. I wonder if you missed me that day. I hope you didn’t wait to long at the front gate for me, and I hope you think of me fondly. I deff think of you everytime I pull out my wine soaked guidebook.

Here are the pictures from the day.

major/minor fail sunday

Saturday wasn’t very exciting, I wrote some thoughts I had on feminism (feminism being an umbrella term which I’m currently using rather than going into details right now.)  But I’ll post those thoughts separately when I’ve fleshed them out a bit more.

SUNDAY: I was still having trouble adjusting to the time difference and woke up at 4pm, whoops. Most of you who know me probably aren’t surprised that I woke up so late, however before I came here I had adjusted back to a normal sleeping schedule. I swear! So I grumbled, got up, took a shower, ate some food, played “how do I get you outta my room” with the cat for a few minutes and ventured into the emerging twilight to check out the San Telmo sunday market. I took the “subte” part of the way. The cool thing about the subway in Buenos Aires is that it’s the 3rd oldest system in the world, and the ONLY one with the original cars from 1913 still running on the track. I didn’t get a good picture (I didn’t want to scream tourist) but here’s one online. I got off and happened to walk down a street with some outstanding examples of the enchanting street art here in BA. Que suerte! This is the whole album, and here are two of my favorites:

absolutely gorgeous… and literally everywhere. The porteños have no qualms when it comes to where they’ll put their graff. Some monuments are respected and kept clean, but most aren’t. I was astonished at first and thought it was really disrespectful, but when you take a look back, even 7 years, into the history of Buenos Aires you see why it is such a beautiful thing in theory. Insubordinate would be a more appropriate word… each splash of paint across a monument represents a day of struggle. Their freedom of expression is more important than their past leaders, I get that now. However, I will say that obviously not all of the graff is poetic and metaphorical, some of it’s just trash; but there’s a dark and a light to everything.

I finally made it to San Telmo but, mal suerte… the market was closing up. But! As the sun set, tango dancers flooded the plaza dorrego.

Tough to get a pic in focus with the dim light, but there’s a video. This is what I wrote in my journal, “The plz filled with dancers of all backgrounds and levels of experience. It was the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. The tiny yet integral and intense steps, the small movements with huge volume and intention, the improvised rhythm with no rhyme… que preciosa.” I had a stupid grin plastered on my face the entire time I was shyly snapping photos.

I sighed and wished I had a tango partner but then straightened up and began looking for something much more realistic… a snack. All that walking had made me hungry. So I checked my guide and found a café close by. Bar el Federal was only a few blocks away so I headed there, but something stopped me.

A long forgotten string attached to my heart suddenly became taut and jerked me towards the closest collective primal expression of life. I could only describe it as soul. Which made me think, perhaps none of us have a soul… but there is one large soul that we are all connected to. Be it karma or soul or ideas or rhythm or ether… it connects us all together. You borrow from it and give back to it throughout your life and when you die, your energy feeds back into that large group in order to shoulder the burden of those who need to take when they cannot give. It’s the space between the space, the feeling that someone is looking at you and the reason you laugh. When you hear music like I heard… you can’t help but feel the need be part of the bigger collection. I was pulled to the sound out of some unconscious thirst… or maybe I’m just a curious Latina. Either way, with only the map of my heart, I found a street plugged with people dancing in praise of our collective soul. I couldn’t have left the sound even if I had wanted to. We danced, baby, abuelo, chica, wretch and tourist- there was no color age or nation, only the need to be. Once again, the pictures are kinda crap (plus I put my camera away after about a minute so I could raise my hands up to the moon) so here is a video.

Finally I was sated (soul-wise) and headed to snack town. I was REALLY hungry at this point. I sat down and wrote this in my journal, “I’m at a café called Bar el Federal, apparently it’s famous and I’ve yet to see a waiter. I guess they don’t come outside. ok I moved inside, I think it’s ok to sit wherever. The waitress just smiled! I’m in! …I think I just ordered a turkey sandwich… OMG I’m so hungry bring me some bread!!! The people here are mixed together in a way I’ve never seen before. It’s quite extraordinary. I cant tell the tourists from los porteños. The table next to me just got a shit load of food, I wished we lived in a world where it was acceptable for me to ask if I could possibly eat the rest of their bread or, better yet, that they would find a need to be as compassionate as we’re all supposed to be and fe give me their extra bread out of fear of being rude, that’s be nice. True communism I guess. A society in which you were punished or shunned socially if you aren’t crazy actively compassionate and conservative with your materialism (GIVE ME YOUR FUCKING BREAD!!) Why don’t I get some bread?! Perhaps it’s because she can assume from my outfit that I don’t like bread- or maybe this is some kind of secret ‘we don’t give bread to fatties’ thing. All I know is that I could be nommin’ some bread right now and am (w/o reason) offended by this outrageous secret bread law. To top it all off, the table next to me just got ANOTHER basket of bread and are stuffing their faces with it. QUE PASANDO AQUI!?!” …I stopped writing there because I got my sandwich. I was pretty hungry, lol.

So onto my next fail, trying to attend the celebration of the Chinese New Year in Buenos Aires’ small Chinatown. I took a cab because I couldn’t find the right bus and found myself at the end of a long day of festivities. I was upset and tired so I returned home, read some more of The Moon is a Harsh Mistress and slowly fell asleep in the orange glow of the street light outside my window.

For all the pictures from my day, please click here.