Becoming American

No secret I’ve never been all that Capital A-American. The US, like every other country is only as good as it treats the least among us…which puts us somewhere in the middle ranks I would say. I consider the flag a piece of cloth…although I do feel patriotic when hearing either Battle Hymn of the Republic or Simon and Garfunkel’s We’ve All Gone to Look for America.

In honor of election time however, in the last couple of weeks I’ve worked hard at becoming a Real American. When Hillary is declared the winner I want to celebrate my country, little slow on the draw but we finally come through…often. If the Shyster should win, next time I’m home in Minnesota I’ll be one of those border jumpers, right across the Rainy River or a soy bean field on the west end of the state. Here’s how I became a ‘Real American’:

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So #1, I acquired “a team.” I was just in Chicago and now I Am A Serious Cubs Fan.

#2. I went to church at 10am yesterday, Sunday. At least I’m pretty sure it was church. There were a bunch of books resembling hymnals and bibles piled around and a couple of stern old guys resembling prophets straight out of biblical times.

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#3. I ate pizza.

#4. I spent the afternoon with some ‘girls gone wild.

GO HILLARY!

 

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Friday Morning: A Minute of Weather

Gripe, complain, piss and moan…all I ever do about the endless Albuquerque sun. So we are supposed to have Weather (not WEATHER) today and tomorrow. However, as usual, it will only last a minute or seven. Any Albuquerque Weather deserves a photo or two don’t you think?

LEAVING HOME

ARRIVING AT WORK

VOTE…unless you’re a Trump supporter which I am pretty sure none of my FB Friends are…

Monday Morning

Work looks its best at 7 am.

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Bosch in the Booth

hieronymus_bosch_garden_of_earthly_delights_tryptich_centre_panel_-_detail_6-2THIS MORNING: Somehow Voting and going to the Guild to see Hieronymus Bosch: Touched by the Devil in the same day makes sense this year. While I don’t think any of the candidates have achieved angel or devil status I do believe Shyster Trump has loosed the devils of xenophobia, racism, sexism, and just plain old hatred not seen for awhile. As I view some of Bosch’s images in preparation for the film, it’s obvious he foresaw the Trump world of bad behavior and greed in some of his work…especially the Garden of Earthly Delights:

Hieronymus Bosch from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch from the Garden of Earthly Delights

Hieronymus Bosch and GREED

Hieronymus Bosch and GREED

Now I’m good to go vote. Just thought having scenes from Trumpland in my mind as I head for the polls would add the right amount of adrenaline to the process. Sorry for the repetition but, again, I had hoped my first vote for a female President of the United States would be more fun than it’s turning out to be. Not that I don’t find Hillary’s grit, intelligence, support for women, determination, and acknowledged older-woman pants-suit grandmotherhood inspiring, it’s just that specter of the “selfish little sleazeball” (thanks Elizabeth Warren for yet one more apt label) casts a pall over every election season activity.

20161026_104422AROUND NOON: Back from the polls. Tough decision…Giggle with Gary, Dumb with Donald OR vote for a Smart Woman. Let’s seeeeeee…?  Lots of people there. Tried to identify Trump supporters but some of them almost look like normal people so it’s tricky. Besides what could I do? Trip them, give them the evil eye, or chant ‘abracadabra…YOU WILL vote for Hillary.’

I have so much work-work to do next month I should be getting on with it…but it’s hard to focus—too much art and politics and late October sun. It should snow around election time and I probably should be doing something appropriately political. Like drinking.

 

Art

ADAM SMITH

ADAM SMITH

I support Hillary Clinton—absolutely. And at one time I was excited about finally electing a female president. However any excitement (the good kind) about Campaign 2016 is long gone. First of all there’s no longer the possibility of a presidential campaign inspiring interesting ideas and arguments  because Shyster Trump doesn’t know/believe/think/talk actual policy so Hillary is left arguing with the air, saying the same smart but rote stuff over and over. That’s no fun. Then the first female president thing…well at this stage of the Shyster Trump revealment I would vote for a mongoose over the ‘orange one’ so that bit of pleasure is gone too. But—Go Hillary—all you have to do is keep the world safe for continuing to be the world.

I did go to Clinton headquarters a few times but the olden days of non-stop calls and drop-ins for paraphernalia are long gone so unless one is calling supporters (paid my dues in that activity a long time ago) there’s really not much to do. It’s all cell phones and data entry and I have a feeling they’re not letting just anyone off the street (that would be me) get near the computers. Republicans and Russians are not to be trusted (only a few Russians fit this ‘Untrustworthy’ category but it appears to apply to all Republicans). I don’t mind the idea of being mistaken for Russian (I am, after all, 3% Russian) but please please please do not ever mistake me for a Republican.

This is all just to say my extremely modest monthly contribution and my vote will have to be the extent of my Clinton campaign involvement because I’m going back to art where there’s reason and color and hope and joy.

I am extremely lucky to be working in a place where people make art all day. Here are some close-ups from around the Center…and a small piece by Adam Smith I just purchased. See, you feel better already, don’t you?

ORLANDO NAJAR

ORLANDO NAJAR

DIANA TWISS

DIANA TWISS

Hillary

I’m spending a few mornings at Hillary/Michelle/Maggie Headquarters so I should try to write a rational post or two about how I’m feeling about this election…saving the rants for Facebook. First of all can I just say how very fine it is to have these three women—smart experienced serious articulate Liberal Women running for offices to which it is quite likely they will all be elected.

First up—HILLARY CLINTON FOR PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

I have many reasons for voting for Hillary but let me get the woman part out of the way right now. Yes, I want a woman president, but not just any woman you understand…imagine Sarah Palin anywhere near the oval office and the cold chills up and down my spine are equal to imaging Mr. Shyster in charge—of anything. But Hillary, well I’m okay with smart, experienced, serious articulate and slightly leftish. And yes, she is flawed and after all these perfect guys running the world that’s a little challenging but I think I can deal with it.

I would find electing the first woman president of the U.S. even more exciting if we weren’t so damn late to the  party in terms of women leaders. Over 70 other countries already have or have had female heads of state…for god’s sake even Pakistan was ahead of us…and India and South Korea and the Philippines and on and on. Never mind the Scandinavian countries which are pretty much in the lead on every front. Even Africa where the good old boys are about as firmly in place as in the U.S. has had to resort to women now and then; for example Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia, currently serving her second term and managing to bring some degree of stability to a country very nearly destroyed by the men on the scene lo those many years.

The Michelle mentioned above is Michelle Lujan Grisham, one of New Mexico’s three congressional representatives. I am ashamed to admit I’ve contributed neither time nor money to her campaigns—which must change since, from everything I do know, she is strong and she is right (meaning slightly left) on nearly every issue that’s important.

Maggie is Maggie Toulouse Oliver running for Secretary of State. I used to see her with her grandparents Jim and Charlotte Toulouse, Democratic Party stalwarts, when she was a kid. She came into the office last week—poised and polished and smart and ready to take on the world—or at least the state of New Mexico. Jim and Charlotte would be proud.

Here’s one of my theories about why we need way way more women in high office, besides the basic fairness of ‘equal representation.’ Intelligence and ability are probably pretty equally shared between the sexes but history has given women a break when it comes to temperament. Actually history and biology I suppose. Those cave women giving birth weren’t usually expected to go out and hack off the neighbors’ heads so the need to mark territories and victoriously exhibit dead-body trophies from just across the latest line in the sand didn’t get bred into female genes. Therefore we women aren’t as prone to the ‘mine’s bigger than yours’—referring to bloody sword-swinging hands or whatever the manly symbol might be for any given decade or century—syndrome which is probably responsible for half the world’s violence.

Sure sure, we believe the big conflicts are all about oil and religion and race and ethnicity and territory and yes on the surface they are… Still there’s a huge element of the boys and their toys challenging each other out there—in the name of course of one of those ‘bigger’ issues. Overall Women Will Be Less Apt to Engage in Those Competitions. I Think. We played with different toys!

I have other theories as well…equally unscientific and possibly irrational…but we’ll never know until an equal number of females are in positions to bomb or not to bomb will we?

There are so many other reasons to elect Hillary Clinton—her lifelong support of women’s issues among them. Maybe I’ll talk more about that in future posts. Everyone else in the world is—why not me?

Dance Alive and Well in New Mexico

Shift Dance has done it! Created an interesting, solid, successful dance festival. They’ve been smart enough to start small, include the local dance community and bring in artists from out of state who added diversity, polish and another perspective.

The opening night performances by Shift Dance founders and Albuquerque dance artists (choreographers Donna Jewell, Kelsey Paschich, Jacqueline Garcia and Lisa Nevada) represented contemporary dance with professionalism and imagination; the second night Allie Hankins offered up an absolutely delightful, sometimes sharp, sometimes very funny, dance-theater solo and tonight, the third night, it’s Jaxon Movement Arts with a beautiful contemporary ballet, looking all shiny and sophisticated.

I’ve enjoyed it tremendously…and I’m saying this as someone who has not attended an entire dance performance for exactly three years! So I guess I’ve proven addiction can be overcome…but why…?

Here are a few rather bad photos from the GOOD Jaxon Movement rehearsal just now.

 

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Dance Festivals…Alive and Well in Albuquerque

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TWO OF SHIFT DANCE FOUNDERS, kELSEY PASCHICH AND JACQUELINE GARCIA. LISA NEVADA THE THIRD SHIFT CREATOR WASN’T AVAILABLE FOR THIS PARTICULAR PHOTO OP.

Well Done Shift Dance. What a treat your Shift Dance Festival offered for the dance aficionados among us. We Albuquerqueans are privy to so little contemporary dance in our corner of the wild west making this event …well…an EVENT. The Festival opened last night (Thursday) and runs through Saturday night at the North Fourth Art Center and it is a professional presentation of the first order. The whole production, at least what we’ve seen so far, is polished; the PR is obviously good, attested to by a full house last night; the programs looked slick; and, best of all, the four dances were strong in themselves and complimented each other perfectly. The mood of the evening’s work ranged from somber to sexy and the dancers showed off the considerable talent available on the local scene.

I am not a dance critic and besides would never be able to critique these dance friends impartially. We all have our favorite pieces of art of whatever genre but the important thing about the Festival is that it’s a chance to see enough dance to even have favorites. I’m looking forward to the rest of the week. Good Luck Shift Dance.

The Curtain Goes Up and Dancers Appear

 

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You may have noticed that I’ve paid slight attention to dance since 2013 when Global DanceFest was put to bed. After focusing on contemporary dance much of the time for 25 years or so I was so through—not however because I no longer loved my dancer friends or the art itself. I just couldn’t prostrate myself to one more grantor or worry about one more half full house or have one more person tell me how much they appreciated the brilliant dance I was bringing to Albuquerque when they’d only been to one performance in the past year! There. Promise. That was my One Long Whining sentence. (Trump is going to make more people ashamed of whining—as the disreputable master of the act—than all of our mothers ever managed to do with their stern admonishments against the nasty practice.)

Enough about me—except for the part about how I’m regaining some interest in and pleasure from Dance. This is about dance—or about how the next few posts will be about dance. The Shift Dance Festival is about to happen—the curtain is going up tonight at the North Fourth Art Center. I’ll write more about the artists and the work later but for now it feels good just to say I’m excited about the next three nights of dance.

Shift Dance is a company of young dancers who have banded together to bring some excitement back to the Albuquerque dance scene—which right now does not exist at the local level and certainly we are invisible at the national and international level. So Shift wants to fix this sad situation. Great Good Luck to Them.

Here are a few photos from a couple of nights ago when Allie Hankins from Portland was rehearsing; I watched for awhile and am happy to report that she is a most fascinating performer…I say fascinating especially because she made me curious, wanting to know what was coming just around the next moves, the next words, the next shift… And that’s all I ask of artists really…just please make me curious. Allie is performing Friday night, so be sure and come to that if you’re here in New Mexico, and definitely come tonight and Saturday night as well…IT’S ALL GOOD.

 

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TODAYSSS………..

Just can’t do that daily thing can I? Making goals I pretty much know I cannot attain keeps me forever a failure…in which case I try harder, right? Or just eat more doughnuts and drink more wine. Here are the highlights of the week so far:

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Sunday Pork chops at Steve’s, brilliant sunset on way home (to which my smart phone camera doesn’t do justice but it’s better than a photo of a pork chip), and last but most certainly not least… I. Finished. The. Good. Wife. Done. Seven seasons in under one year.

What an ending. Harsh. Whatever happened to happy music and waltzing into the arms of your great love? Instead Alicia starts down a long drab hall, slumped and rumpled, but as she walks her stiff upper lip persona comes to the fore, she straightens up, shoulders back, pulls her suit into place and you just know her lips are pressed tightly together, eyes flinty, stray wisp of hair whisked off the forehead…yeah, you just know she’ll be okay though always deep-down sad. Will really really really is dead dead dead, the investigator’s disappeared, but Alicia’s still got Peter to whip into shape, and Eli has her running for high office, and she needs to slide the firm out from under Diane’s pissed-off nose. So Just Do It, Hil….I mean Alicia.’

Maybe when Hillary is feeling down…is saying to herself, ‘Screw it, who needs this grief,’ she calls Julianna and says, ‘Okay tell me again how this all ends.’

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Monday.  Work.

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Tuesday. Womaned the front desk at Hillary Campaign Headquarter this morning. Almost everything’s on line now so there’s none of the bustle of olden times…ample bumper stickers, yard signs and free t-shirts are also a thing of the past. It’s all happening on social media except for a few elders like us down here manning a desk, calling a voter, who remember how gloriously hectic and crazy these last weeks could be.

I did not watch the debate because Sensible battling Sleaze cannot be a pretty picture but I was most happy the Hillary’s calm smart amused demeanor apparently carried the day.

 

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