Archive for May, 2011

Better place

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27, 2011 by Cristina

A man who played a huge part in my life just ended his own. My high school English/Theory of Knowledge teacher shaped our minds to be able to make better sense of this complicated world. I haven’t cried this hard since I don’t know when, and my grief took me a bit by surprise since I hadn’t seen him in over 10 years. It’s hard to cope with the idea that the wisest man I’ve ever known decided to die. Strangely, I’d just used Mr. Black as an example of the adult role model with the perfect life: a brilliant guy with a brand new baby and a wicked sense of humor. He smiled mostly with his eyes and probably kept his beard thick just to hide any loose grins because, you know, he had to maintain a tough attitude of “Think more critically, dammit!” He demanded succinctly brilliant 1500 word essays with 3-inch margins so that he’d have enough room to tell us how to be more succinct and brilliant. This is getting a bit prolix, so I’ll go blow my nose and say that it’s times like these I really wish there were something like heaven. Thanks to Mr. Black, I know better. He’s probably not in a better place, but certainly made this one so much more so.



Posted in Uncategorized on May 21, 2011 by Cristina

Woo-hoo! Over a year post-conception, I finally carry out a bad-ass idea and strike matches off my cowboy boots. Behold the fire I made:

I’ve been pilfering strike-anywhere matches from a local bar and saved enough to play with (as if I didn’t have the $2 to buy a box from the goddamn hardware store). I suppose in the name of being bad, using stolen matches is preferable. I ummm… also wanted to set a $20 bill on fire, but in light of my upcoming appointment with the immigration office, perhaps I shouldn’t do anything anti-America (not to mention that could buy thousands of matches).

Now, I need to find something more bad-ass than Seder candles and less illegal than money to light on fire.

Death and cuties

Posted in Uncategorized on May 20, 2011 by Cristina

Seen a lot of rodents the last couple of days and it’s been quite entertaining. While grading in a neighbor’s sunny yard, we notice the cat take a present into the house and my friend says, “GRETA NO! Cristina, you’re going to have to deal with this, I’m sorry.” Don’t be sorry, he was little and sweet (and Greta is the opposite of my lazy cat). Later that night, a bar patio featured NYC-sized rats scurrying about and a girl hyperventisquealing cracked my shit up. These things don’t freak me out much and I won’t retell the story of the messed up thing I did as a kid. Remembering those little-Cristina rat-antics, a friend sent me a video, reassuring me that I’m not alone [disclaimer: don’t watch this if you can’t handle cute girl handling cute, albeit deceased squirrel].

Too precious, my American reincarnation! Adorable death is what draws me to the work of Australian photographer Marian Drew. Still life with creatures stilled by death, here’s Penguin with Enamel Jug (2008):

They’re already dead, no reason not to have a little fun with them. If the rapture happens tomorrow, I’ll just go ahead and volunteer to clean up the animals (’cause you know my sinning ass will still be here).

Flirting FAIL

Posted in Uncategorized on May 15, 2011 by Cristina

Flirting is an artform at which I’ve achieved finger-painting skill. My crude responses to flirting are either ignorance or more often, total discomfort. To illustrate, on Thursday morning I was trying to be a normal person buying coffee but hot barista started talking to me, “Hey, were you at that Black Heart Procession show a few weeks ago?” me: “Uhhh, I don’t know what that is, but I go to a lot of shows.” In my head I’m thinking that sounds like some emo shit. Him: “I’m pretty sure I saw you, by yourself, at Dante’s?” No idea why, but this is when my face bursts into crimson to match my bloody eye and bolero, ugh. “Oh yeah, the J. Mascis show” and awkwardly mumble something about getting tickets on a whim and being too lame to stay for the main act. Blah blah blah, at this point, I just wanna sprint away with scalding coffee in hand. I’m pretty sure most of my flirting encounters go like this… watch and weep.
I wish I could keep it together and be cool. Most of my friends are über-smooth, controlling their skin color and talking in complete sentences and eye-fucking strangers with panache. In a rare moment of coolness, I casually winked at a friend last night (like, it looked good, I promise) and she just burst into laughter and said, “WHAAAT?! Did you just WIIINK at me?!?” Sigh. Attempted coolness thwarted. I could either come to terms with my amateurishness or simply start wearing masks in public.

Who am I kidding? The masks would only allow me to say weirder things.

¡Ay eye ay!

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11, 2011 by Cristina

A wise friend told me yesterday that I’m burning the candle at both ends. It’s true, last week was terribly busy and ended in an unproductive and painful hangover day. It was about two years ago that I did a social experiment that taught me to seize the day, but it seems that I need to seize the reigns instead. No one’s calendar should look like this unless they have a personal assistant or copious amounts of amphetamines. I have neither and want both. 
That damn double-ended candle burns quickly, spills wax everywhere and it apparently got in my eye. Too much fun/work/burning looks disgusting:

This is not how life should be (I don’t think), which is why menorahs work the way they do. By the time I figured this out, it was too late to clear this week’s calendar; so, new social experiment: from Mon-Sun of next week, I will make zero plans. Friends who know I can’t say NO, please help me with this intervention by not asking me to do anything. If this fails, I may cry bloody tears and that would stain your shirt and I don’t have the time to even do my own laundry. ¡Ay!

Not fit for TV

Posted in Uncategorized on May 8, 2011 by Cristina

For the past few years, Hairdoll and I have been talking about trying out for the Amazing Race because we’re so rad at traveling together. Unfortunately, there have been some obstacles. After eating a burrito the size of a huge burrito, I checked my messages and received this: “Laser, I need your number. I’m watching the amazing race and have comments! Like we need to be super cute physically because sometimes we just wear sports bras :0”  Ummm, problem #1. I’m pretty sure I’m smart enough to figure out how to photoshop the dimples off my ass and onto my face, but if I show up in person looking the way that I do instead of like that purple bikini hotness behind me, the producers will be dismayed. 

I doubt that I can start looking foxy in a sports bra with my current level of sportiness nearing zero. Let’s imagine they feel sorry for us and wanna give a break to the pear shaped women out there… problem #2 is that we can’t even put together an audition video. Previous filming attempts have resulted in terrible gabbing & cinematography:

or us having so much fun giggling and farting, that it comes out completely unintelligible (and likely annoying) for viewers:

Living in different cities doesn’t give us many opportunities to put together a quality video, so our upcoming NYC meeting will need to be fruitful. Problem #3 is that I’m a travel liability until I figure out how to stop missing flights. Need to work on bringing more skills to this team besides luck, balance and language skills for countries where English is common.
Our biggest strength as a team is probably a happy-go-luckiness that could melt the hearts of competitors and market vendors around the world. This, we’ve mastered after 10 years of practice:

Wish us luck overcoming these hotness, videography and traveling shortcomings! If we win a million dollars, you’re invited to a party. I promise it’ll be giggle-full and fart-free!

Baby breakthrough

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2011 by Cristina

I never thought this would happen, but YEEEEFUCKINEEEEYYY, my biggest fear, public speaking, has finally diminished to just nuisance level! If you’ve ever talked to me prior to an intelligence briefing or teaching, you know I’m a wreck. It’s hard to stand in front of all those beady, judging eyes. I’m mortified knowing that people are listening to me, especially if they might have difficult questions like “Who funded this terrorist group?” or “¿Cómo se dice ‘wrench‘ en español?” Stuttering, blushing and fusing/inventing word are the worst symptoms. Stuff like good+great=groot and saying ‘indulgents‘ instead of ‘insurgents‘… yeah, I’ve blurted out these things then turned alarming shades of red. If you ever witness this, I beg you not to exclaim “Whoa, you’re turning red! Dude, look at her! hahaha!” Yes, the heat of my raging capillaries tipped me off; your play-by-play commentary only makes me wanna do this: 

After an impromptu presentation in Spanish that didn’t make me feel like vomiting, I felt a mini-breakthrough! It seems that I’ve broken the psychological death grip my audiences held on me. Come to think of it, the students probably understand 80% max of what I’m saying and those Air Force people were just trying to be dicks. The only group with a legit reason to sweat for was a bunch of middle-schoolers in the South Bronx. 

They truly know what’s up and can smell fear down 10 trash-ridden city blocks. For this (and countless other reasons) I respect my sister to the max, knowing that she stood in front of them every day for two years. She’s stronger than me and I feel proud to now be a baby step closer to exterminating the maniacal butterflies that have been residing in my stomach until now.