Notes

Notes · · Tucson

Christmas in October

Sooner than later all sorts of people will be up in arms about people saying Merry Christmas again. I think I'd settle for people just saying good morning to each other again.

Notes · · Tucson

Amanda Gris

What if the novel in you is one you yourself would never read? A beach novel, a blockbuster, a long, windy, character-driven literary drama that ends sadly? What if the one novel in you is the opposite of your idea of yourself?
― Alexander Chee, How to Write an Autobiographical Novel: Essays

Notes · · Tucson

Sometimes it’s harder to notice a place you think you know well

Sometimes it's harder to notice a place you think you know well; your eyes glide over it, seeing it but not seeing it at all. It's almost as if familiarity gives you a kind of temporary blindness. I had to force myself to look harder and try to see beyond the concept of library that was so latent in my brain. ― Susan Orlean, The Library Book

Notes · · Mexico City

In which Diego shaves me.

Diego shaves me in Roma

Diego shaves me.

Hiram took this photo of me getting a shave at the shop "Famous" near where we are staying in Mexico City’s Roma neighborhood. This is the first time I have gotten a shave at a barber shop. I don’t think the barber, Diego, believed I speak Spanish because we both had to repeat ourselves a lot. Or perhaps this being my first shave in Spanish, I was speaking Spanish but not the Spanish you use when getting a shave. Perhaps because I didn’t understand what he was asking me to do or perhaps because I continue to be haunted by the beautiful film Roma, when Diego put the chair down and told me to stretch out, I tried to put legs up like the film’s protagonist Cleo at her OB Gyn appointment. It was a good shave.

Notes · · Tucson

Arbitrary Stupid Goal

There are many things to enjoy and think about in Tamara Shopsin's Arbitrary Stupid Goal, a memoir of family and friendships and neighborhood characters and places in a not-so-long-ago New York City that sounds as if it mostly doesn't exist anymore or won't soon. I enjoyed it and perhaps you will too.

But I also want to say that something I especially liked about the copy I borrowed from the library was how whoever put the mylar jacket on it, played with the already cool duotone design to make it even more fun than it already was. Well done, Pima County.

Notes · · Hermosillo

They are called Mexican wedding shirts

I have been to two Mexican weddings in the past year. Both times I have agonized over what shirt to wear.

Last night my sister-in-law married her sweetheart in a cozy ceremony in the garden of a hotel in Hermosillo. As I was putting on a tie I had brought to wear with the white shirt and black slacks I had bought earlier in the week, Hiram asked if I didn't have another shirt.

"I'm afraid people will think you are a waiter."

So I lost the tie and wore the other shirt — the one with the tiny polka dots. 

On the way to the hotel, we passed a pair of missionaries dressed in exactly the same clothes I was going to wear originally.

Ho hum.

It's hot in the summer in Hermosillo and it's just as well I didn't wear the tie, which I had only retrieved in the first place from a box from the nineties in the closet because I felt guilty for not wearing a blazer I don't own.

At the wedding I took some photos because I can't not take photos. Later, looking at Hiram's brothers in the pictures I had a thought.

Light bulb.

What they are wearing is what English speakers call Mexican wedding shirts. They are for sale in many places in Tucson in many colors and styles, new and vintage, expensive and not.

The answer to my question of what shirt to wear was sewn into the shirt I could have worn. 

Family and friends at Zayra and Arturo's wedding

Family and friends at Zayra and Arturo's wedding

Notes · · Tucson

Lane 9

Ken, bowling
Golden Pin Lanes
Lane 9
Hiram, bowling

We were looking for something to do and Ken suggested bowling. I don't remember the last time I went bowling. I think this was maybe the fourth time ever. Golden Pin Lanes, the last non-chain bowling center in town will close sometime in the next year. We decided to go there. 

Notes · · Tucson

Monster Children, Issue 58

Monster Children, Issue 58

I love Monster Children because its images of surfing and skateboarding remind me of what it's like to be young; I love Monster Children because its writing reminds me it's okay to put into writing how annoying things can be; I love the Australia Issue of Monster Children because it reminds me that I'm not the only one annoyed by U.S. news.

The Australia Issue. A concept that started as one thing and ended up completely contrary to what I intended at the close, for better or worse. The initial idea came about in light of over a year of being completely assaulted on all fronts with nothing but news of the United States. Sick of nothing but the frumpy clown in the White House, we thought shining a light on our own country, warts and all, would offer brief respite if nothing else.

Alistair Klinkenberg: The Australia Issue, an Introduction