Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Break on through to the other side

Recently I've been going through my images and found this one. I shot it last summer while wandering around the Union Depot Entertainment District. It is a detail of what I call the Ghost Wall.

After seeing images of the Shiite masque that was destroyed today, I realized that this sad event took place in Baghdad. It was at that point that I thought I better find out how Salam Pax is doing these days. Originally, I (as did what seemed the entire world) used to read his blog, where is raed?, when I first started back to school.

I checked (thanks wikipedia) and found he is writing a newish blog here.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

1985 or so and a lyric that does not apply but says a lot


Curtie Bored
Originally uploaded by chacal la chaise.
somehow, i always new this song would never apply to me, curie, or her sister, the judge:

1985, ~ Bowling For Soup

Debbie just hit the wall
She never had it all
One Prozac a day
Husband's a CPA
Her dreams went out the door
When she turned twenty-four
Only been with one man
What happened to her plan

She was gonna be an actress
She was gonna be a star
She was gonna shake her ass
On the hood of Whitesnake's car
Her yellow SUV is now the enemy
Looks at her average life
And nothing has been alright since

[CHORUS:]
Bruce Springsteen, Madonna
Way before Nirvana
There was U2 and Blondie
And music still on MTV
Her two kids in high school
They tell her that she's uncool
'Cause she's still preoccupied
With 19, 19, 1985

She's seen all the classics
She knows every line
Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink
Even Saint Elmo's Fire
She rocked out to Wham
Not a big Limp Bizkit fan
Thought she'd get a hand
On a member of Duran Duran

Where's the mini-skirt made of snake skin
And who's the other guy that's singing in Van Halen
When did reality become T.V.
What ever happen to sitcoms, game shows

[CHORUS]

She hates time make it stop
When did Motley Crew become classic rock
And when did Ozzy become an actor
Please make this stop
Stop
And bring back...

Remains of the daycare...

Along the way on my walk to the Plaza, I passed the day care where we used to take The Judge and her sister, Curtie. Curtie only went during her middle school years after school, but originally, she attended original Esprit Day Care located on Atlas Street in northeast El Paso. The Judge started out as Esprit Day Care from 6 months.

For the owners of the daycare, the clientele of the daycare changed little-by-little over the years, especially after the big purge at EPNG. It was then that they felt it was time to “retire” and get out of the daycare business altogether while the getting was good.

As I passed the building, I was surprised to see the space was now an "indoor parking garage." In the entranceway, where the children used to play in a sandbox area with climbing equipment with enough room to ride a tricycle or two, there was now a garage door and an arm restricting entrance. Yet a person on foot can walk right in and see it all free.

The oddest bits left over were the ones I immediately remembered—a street scene on a wall looked out from where children used to drive their tricycle “cars” upon streets once paved with street and alleyway carpeting. Now there are concrete yellow stops for real cars, which for some reason were nowhere to be found.

Upon painted brick walls, remnants of classroom decorations remained: little pictures of animals pasted upon one wall, with a yellow arrow pointing the way back outside, another wall held cartoon lions and tigers and more yellow arrows. Other murals still perched upon the bright blue beams that had been originally salvaged by the day care's owners—a souvenir of a museum exhibit that had run its course over 15 years ago. The murals still looked as good as they did when they were first installed. In all, the combination made for a very surreal exhibit of a place where there are no children, parents, or teachers—no people, cars, or sounds.

Where once were children crying, yelling, laughing, playing, there is nothing but the sound of an aging building, turning into something else all over again.

Friday, February 10, 2006

A Walk Down Oregon to the Plaza

Wednesday was cabin fever day. Yes, I could sit at Jamocha's or the student union cafe, cramming for Latin after the class ended at 10:30. That meant I would then have until 4:30 to wait for my Aesthetics class with Dr. R. Now I know I should study, but if I did that, I would certainly crash during R’s lecture.

Instead, I decided I would walk to the Plaza, go to Jack's for lunch, and take the trolley (all of 25 cents) back up the hill to school. So I did and took several pictures of apartment buildings along Oregon Street on my way into downtown. It was a beautiful day and productive for I discovered what became of the daycare where my daughter’s went while I worked.

After lunch I waited for the no. 10 trolley and I spoke with an older woman who had dropped her cane at my feet. I handed the cane back to her and she began talking to me. She was short, round, white-haired and very cheerful. She wore a navy sweat suit and told how she got to El Paso.

She told me she had driven semi-trucks hauling volatile fuels for 33 years and after 3 heart attacks, the state of california revolked her trucker's driver license. Because of this (and other things, I'm sure,) her abusive husband pulled a gun on her one night.

After she calmed him down, she told him she was going to take a walk and get a cup of coffee. She did, but she also didn't return; she just kept going. She hitchhiked to El Paso and has been here since, which to me sounded like it had been at least 3 years. She doesn't drive now and either hitches or takes the bus. She said that she has taken about five or six computer classes at EPCC. When she said this to me she beamed with pride. She also said that on Sundays she hitches to one of the big truck terminals at the edge of town so she can attend the "trucker's service."

I don't care about whether or not she goes to church, but I do know that i'm glad I decided to take a walk downtown yesterday. Although I'm sure Dr. L would rather i stayed on campus and studied my Latin.

Later that day, I posted my pictures from the walk in a set on Flickr and I want to take more of the trolley ride; the no. 10 which goes all the way to the bridge, back to the plaza, then heads up the hill, through Sunset Heights, and finally enters campus at the Southern entrance. Not bad for 25 cents; 50 if i took the trolley both ways.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Poetry Secret

Here is an irreverent tidbit for today. Last night, friends en route from San Francisco, made it here to El Paso. Both are very creative and witty and both worked at the Harry Ransom Center (HRC) for many years. Indeed, if I could pick their brains from beginning to end I would end up with an Auntie Mame-like memoir about all the stories surrounding the decoding and organizing of ephemeral bits and pieces of many great and not so great writers.

After a great supper at the L & J, I told them I was in an editing course given by Dr. Brunk. I said we had to decipher one of Emily Dickinson's poems from an archived online facsimile and that we worked in groups and alone to do this.

One of our friends immediately brightened up and said what she was about to tell me would make me the hit of the class. Well, I can't make there today as The Judge is sick with an ear and sinus infection. In fact, we just got back from the doctor's office. So, I'll tell you the secret of Emily Dickinson's poetry:

Every poem can be sung to the tune from both Gilligan's Island and The Yellow Rose of Texas.

Believe it or not, it is true. I sang the first line of the following and cracked up while they all gleefully giggled at me. She then added that she used to tell HRC grad student worker bees about this phenomenon and then leave the room. A while later she would return to see the Dickinson Archive up on their screens.

The bee is not afraid of me.
I know the Butterfly.
The pretty people in the woods
Receive me cordially.

The Brooks laugh louder when I come
The Breezes madder play
Wherefore, mine eyes, thy silver mists
Wherefore, O summer's day?

Try it, it will make you laugh.

Lucille and the Royal

Sunday, November 4, was my mother-in-law Lucille’s birthday. She would have been 101. I say this because one of her proudest moments...