Thursday, May 31, 2007
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
So I opened it all up. The instructions were of course cryptic. I'm not a pictorial learner so the lack of words drove me insane. And add to this three utterly fascinated children....it was nuts. Horacio and I started snapping at each other of course....this always happens we deal with putting things together. Oh, and the instructions put the bell on before the bike is completely finished. Yeah, the kids kept coming over and dinging the bell.
But the final result was pretty cool. And Piper loved it. She was annoying as hell trying to get everyone to push her around the house, and dinging that damn bell. Camille was a bit jealous but she's really ready for a two wheel bike. And Umberto was so thrilled by this contraception that he decided he wanted a bike for his birthday. I'm pretty excited as he's never been interested before. He's giddy about riding downtown with us as we walk the girls. Of course he'll have to practice more before he's there but it's great that he has a goal.
And we got our evening walk. It was a lot of fun. Umberto had a grand time pushing Piper. We walked to downtown Matthews to the library. We're going to try to do this every night.
"I complimented this police force in a letter some time ago, and felt like a guilty, degraded wretch when I was doing it, and now I am glad I got into the Station House, because it will teach me never to so far forget all moral principle as to compliment a police force again."-Letter to San Francisco Alta California, dated May 18, 1867. Letter to San Francisco Alta California, dated May 18, 1867; published June 23, 1867
Sunday, May 27, 2007
And how true that you can never go back to the past. Even if we could move back to Mexico right now, we do not want to raise the children in the D. F. Nor would it be the same with three instead of one. We would not likely be able to recapture those relaxing moment in cafes with our three little monsters. But I looked over those pictures, and realized how much I love Mexico, and how much I feel as if it is my real home. I am homesick for a place that is really not mine to call home.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
For Deleuze this marking, this territorialization as art, finds ultimate expression in birds. Their songs, their nests, their movements, their turnings of leaves on the ground. But as I sat, this morning, drinking my coffee on the patio, I watched dogs. There are a phenomenal amount of dogs in the apartment complex in which I live. Every morning and every evening (when I drink red wine as opposed to coffee), dogs, dogs, and more dogs prance around the green pissing on everything. I never stopped to think about their markings as art. What a concept. How can piss be art? Well, you could stick a crucifix in a vial of it...but the act of pissing? The act of dog pissing? Art? It is easy to see in the songs of birds, their movements, their nests, an act of art. Dog piss is not so easy.
And yet I think "If we can see art in dog piss, we can see art in property." Property that ultimate value in Marx encounters in Deleuze something of a higher value. Art is primary not property. And how can this be for a Marxist like Deleuze? He does this by transforming art as first, beyond human, and second, as expression. Property is thus not what belongs to humans but rather it is what belongs to actions of various sorts. As an act, as a becoming, property becomes expression as opposed to that which gives expression. And really, if we can see the art in a dog pissing to mark his place, then art becomes something much different than the paintings at the museum. Just as property ceases to be a belonging. It is not the signature that makes a subject. A signature never denotes ownership. A signature merely holds a place. This is what Deleuze claims for art And a dog pissing is all about the constant becoming of territory.
When you live in a small place filled with dogs, you can see how territory is always about marking and remarking. There is no ownership; no alpha dog to assert his authority. The dogs do not mix enough to sort out this hierarchy (although such a show down might be interesting). Instead, the dogs continually piss all over other dogs' marks. They mark their territory only to have to remark later in the day. There is a virtual grid on the green in front of my patio. A grid of dog piss that makes that green belong to no one dog but to all the dogs. It is a grid also overlaid with the scent of cats, the markings they make of their fur against the small trees. The mockingbirds constantly patrol, alert to invaders, ready to defend their piece of property. And human children, my own included, run about this piece of land, terrorizing and territorializaingwith their laughs, toys and dances. It is the ultimate communal property, and it is created through multiple acts of expression....emergences of art.
One last quote from Paul Park's A Princess of Roumania. In this novel, one of the main characters has become a dog. The following is a bit of narrative written from her dog mind."As she left the clearing and moved away through the thin woods, she felt she was pushing through a net, each cord of which was the circle of urine marks that each dog had drawn around the fire. Her instinct was to stop often, restrained by the net, but she pushed through. On the far side she filled her lungs with cleaner air, which was nevertheless scented with a myriad of small traces of animals and men. They seemed to draw glowing lines in front of her on the snow"(242).
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
Umberto actually dictated a journal to me! This is an exciting development as before, he really just played along with me. This time he was excited, and actually composed something interesting and lovely.
Translation: May14, 2007I had fun. Camille found a snake skin and it was cool. Daddy found a dead baby snake. We saw three turtles and we saw their faces poking out of the water.
He's become more interested in language in the last few weeks. And I'm trying to jump on that. In addition to getting him reading, I'm hoping to start both of us on learning Spanish.
In addition to word seeds, we also planted some plant seeds. Umberto choose the biggest seeds he could find: Monmouth Sunflowers and pumpkins. They sprouted in their Jiffy pots within a day, and quickly grew roots systems to the other Jiffy pots. We are now awaiting my friend's return from the beach so that we replant them in her garden. Next we have basil and cilantro which should be a bit more manageable. Umberto is now totally into plants. He fusses over the seedlings like they're babies. He also has a great knowledge of plants, and can rattle off lots of arcane facts. I see a greenhouse visit in our near future.
That's fine with us. Every morning
we glow and in the evening we glow again.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
I promised my throwing things story and it should make you feel much better about the mug. When I am pregnant, I am an unpleasant woman ( a mild understatement). Horacio and I got into a fight. I can't remember what about. Something totally ridiculous I'm sure. End result was that I started to sob, yelled, slammed the door shut, and when Horacio kept arguing with me, I hurled a lamp at the door. Amazingly the lamp didn't break but the bulb did. I cleaned it up, sobbing, while Umberto sat on the other side of the door crying as well. Later that month, he wrote a story in preschool. Luckily his teacher translated it wrong: "A lamp broke, and I cried." The story came illustrated. I was mortified when the teacher said "I'm not sure what he's talking about." I did not enlighten her.
And if that wasn't bad enough, we had a hole in the wall at our last apartment where I threw the cordless phone at the wall. I could go on but I'll cease to embarrass myself further.
Okay so ten things that make me happy:
1. The smell of Piper right out of the tub.
2. Camille's huge, crazy smile.
3. Umberto running around like a mad man with his light saber.
4. Horacio...most of the time.
5. Bic fine point pens preferably in black.
6. Rainy days with a good book.
7. the pool.
8. Outside cafes.
10. My Cuisinart.
Monday, May 14, 2007
Camille the dinosaur with the help of Piper's shoes.
Favorite Toy(s): Her hundreds of plastic dinosaurs
Favorite Music: None...it's all too loud
Favorite Movie: Land Before Time (1-12).
Favorite Quote: "Be careful of my human body."
And so Lawrence describes my house! My house is always bedlam though, rain or no rain. The children do not have one room which is theirs. They mark their territory with toys. The tub toy storage thing is in the living room. My room boasts various plastic dinosaurs and Little People farm animals as well as numerous board books. The dining room holds not just the dining room table but all of Umberto's home school material (textbooks, craft supplies, crayons, etc). Sometimes I feel like poor Ursula--hiding out in the bathroom. Yes the bathroom. For some reason I can close the door on the bathroom without hysterical sobbing (which is what happens when I go into my bedroom). Yes, they knock and stick little fingers but at least they don't sound like they're dying.
Having two children was rough. I mean, I felt a bit overwhelmed at first. But it worked out after a few weeks. Granted, Camille was just a dream of a baby. Really sweet and mellow. Umberto was a big boy. I used to go the pool alone with them all the time! Things were in control We could take naps together. Things could be quiet. Then we just had to go with three. My dentist when I was pregnant told me "Man, three will kill you." And he was right. I was calling my mom in tears within a week. And now my house is just crazed. Loud, messy, and chaotic. I clean, and they literally follow around me sprinkling toys like seeds. Yes, three definitely sent us over the edge. Once they outnumber the adults, things go down fast. Of course we wouldn't return any of them but we would like a night out once in awhile....
Sunday, May 13, 2007
Why I get like that I don't know. I really love theory, and it's not as if good fiction doesn't involve huge amounts of brain power. But I really just feel so deprived if I can't read fiction. Okay so some of it in all honesty is that most theory is just deathly dull to read. I mean, it's interesting to think about but the actually reading can often be tedious. Fiction does seem to coat these same ideas in beauty...much easier to swallow. Of course this does not apply to all fiction...Tom Jones ,for example ,was NOT a pleasure to read.
In other news beyond books, I got drunk Friday night with the "Mommies." I got drunk on FIVE beers. Is that just sad or what? And I was also hung over for the whole day. Gross. I volunteered to be our driver on the next night out. But it was fun to go out all dressed up. I looked like a plus size model but hey I was dressed up. We even got checked out a bit, and our waiter at the Thomas Street Tavern flirted with us (likely for a tip but we all appreciated it).
Currently reading: On Beauty by Zaddie Smith, a trilogy by Paul Park, and hopefully soon Ian Rankin's newest book and Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things. Any recommendations are welcomed and encouraged!
Since he told us that he wants to be a scientist (I can see his Tio Ivan nodding in solemn approval), we are focusing quite heavily on science this summer. Officially, I'm creating a unit on plants. We have pumpkin and sunflower seeds we're going to start in Jiffy pots, and then move to my friend's garden. Umberto will keep a science journal to record the growth stages. I also hope to do some investigation in the woods identifying plants, etc. Horacio is going to handle insects (another request). Unofficially we have a bunch of books on the human body. This new interest can be classified as a family interest. Camille will stand in the position shown in the anatomy books, and say "Look at my human body!" And Piper now walks about telling everyone where her brain is. Very silly stuff. I am considering taking at least Umberto to see Body Worlds, the Gunther Von Hagens exhibit with real human bodies. I find it totally disturbing yet strangely compelling. Umberto is a bit freaked but said that as long as they didn't move, he'd go. I do think it would be an awesome chance to see this exhibit. It certainly won't be shown anywhere else in the South.
In addition to all the science, we'll be starting on Mexican and U. S. history. I'm not sure of the how and what but I'll write more as we develop the curriculum. Basically we need to get a schedule going so that we don't' let things fall apart when school restarts for Horacio and I.
Current Interests: The Clever Cat, Bobba Fett, Dinosaurs, puppies, The Human Body, swimming.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Ah...when you need real answers turn to literature. How beautiful is this quote? Sometimes, I forget why I studied literature initially, and then I read something like this. Of course it's a bittersweet moment....a loss so to speak. Literature has become a balm for me. I look forward at the end of the spring semester to reading literature throughout the summer. I feel safe wrapped in those kind of words. Of course it is an odd safety. Literature with its rich words, and jeweled stories does not keep one safe from hurt, loss, but it opens those doors in such a gorgeous way.
So I'm reading The Rainbow, and right after I wrote my post about gaps, I find this quote. How fateful? I love how all of Lawrence's novel are so present. There is an immediacy to the events and to the characters. Those who live in the embrace of the past are dead to life. In order to be alive, really alive, one must be constantly in the now. And this idea that memories are but the regrets of the past. Why live in such a dead place? Lawrence asks this is each novel. Passion, life, and love destroy us but they destroy us in ways that make us more alive.