Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Even when she's not here, she's here

We're planning the sequel to last year's very successful AuthorFest. I sent out invitations to all the local authors for this year's event, which we'll have in early November, and gladsome acceptances have been coming in. Except for Ina.

She can't make it on the date we've set. She came in yesterday and gave me a list of alternate dates that the 30+ other folks could work around. I told her that the date was firm, and we can't try to reschedule everyone else just for her. She was undeterred. "How about if I send someone with a suitcase full of my books? That person could sell them for me. I'd sign them beforehand, of course," she reassured me. I said that would be fine. But she wasn't finished.

"Now did I tell you about that woman from Magdalena who wrote a memoir about her life in the convent? Maybe you should invite her, too." (I'm not sure how that would go over with Minty, who defines "local author" as someone who lives within a five-mile radius of the store.) "I know that she'd love to sell my books for me, because I bought one of hers and she signed it. Here, you can read it." She thrust it into my hands.

Barreling on, she said, "You're probably thinking that people would be confused about who's selling my books if the Magdalena author were here. Well, I thought it all out. I have a manikin of myself about this tall that can sit in the chair, and people will know it's me."

Ina and her doppelgänger: it's just too much to contemplate.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Indian Market 2010

Today we left at 6:00 a.m. to go to Santa Fe for Indian Market. It's not that we're passionate collectors who camp out in front of our favorite vendor's booth to get the piece that won Best in Show. It's that we want to get to Tia Sophia's when it opens for breakfast at 7:00.

After we finished our breakfast, the line to get in wasn't too long. Waiting isn't a pain if you have the newspaper with the lists of winners.

We visited some of our favorite vendors, including Tony Padilla, a Santa Clara sculptor with whom I used to work, and Randall Chitto, whose work Chuckbert collects (image taken with my cell phone).

The merchants on the Plaza said that the crowds were a little smaller this year. Looking south along Lincoln Avenue, I thought the crowds were pretty big.

We rested on the curb on West Palace Avenue and watched the passing scene.

The west side of the Palace of the Governors was a popular place to rest in the shade.

Of course, the big draw for us is finding the visitor dressed most excessively but without a shred of irony. Thus we can eliminate such get-ups as the T-shirts once sported by the staff at the Ore House: "Ya-tah-hey, ya-tah-ho! Eat that fry bread! Go, go, go!"

This woman was dressed festively.

Nothing says Indian Market better than hot pants, a massive belt, and "f--k me" shoes.

Does camera gear count as Indian Market raiment?

How about this breastplate bolo tie?

No special clothing, but her hair is big. The higher the hair, the closer to God.

Hat? Check. Jewelry? Check. Fringed bag? Check. Fiesta skirt? Check. Boots? Check!

A beribboned shirt and a concho belt that cost more than my car are always worth a look.

A cool and breezy look for an August morning.

Clamdiggers draw this ensemble together.

We didn't buy anything, but a barbecued-rib appetizer and a Margarita at Maria's completed a perfect day at Indian Market.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

How to listen to teh concert


Oh, hai. Im FLICKER! Today I show u how to listen to teh concert. First u must find a concert. Mommie Michele plays her guitar, so u haz found a concert.

For teh best view and acoustics, u must sit in teh balcony.

Oh, how pretty is teh music!

If u do not laik teh balcony, tehn u can sit in teh orchestra, right up front.

Do not sit in teh guitar case, even if u are clean from a bath. When teh audience sits in teh guitar case, my tummeh is rigid with disgust.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

I'm not a peasant, but I play one on TV

The Santa Fe Opera presented the world premiere of Life Is a Dream by Lewis Spratlan, and we're seeing it this Friday. To prepare myself and to revisit a play that I read as an undergraduate (but which I have absolutely no memory of), I bought a copy of Life Is a Dream (La vida es sueño) by Pedro Calderón de la Barca and translated by Gregary Racz.

Gregary Racz's translation of La vida es sueño is, as Racz explains in a note on his translation, "the first attempt to render the drama entirely in analogous meter and rhyme since 1853, when both Denis Florence MacCarthy and Edward FitzGerald, with varying degrees of success, contemporaneously produced full-length English language versions of the play." A reviewer of Racz's translation wrote, "With Calderón utilizing 'a variety of metrical and rhyming patterns,' Racz's attempt to mirror that in the English is particularly noteworthy. Obviously, a bilingual edition, with the Spanish text facing the English one, would be the ideal solution, but fortunately the Spanish text of the play can readily be found on the Internet, and Racz's version does effectively give a sense of the sound and feel of the original for those who want to focus solely on an English text."

Well, that's pretty cool! As I read, I noticed that most of the verse was iambic tetrameter.
What's life? A frenzied, blurry haze.
What's life? Not anything it seems.
A shadow. Fiction filling reams.
All we possess on earth means nil,
For life's a dream, think what you will,
And even all our dreams are dreams.
And as I kept reading, I thought, "Why is this making me nuts? The translation is acclaimed, and Racz seems to have captured the sound and feel of Spanish. Is it me?"

Then I answered my own question: "Yes, you peasant, it is indeed you. You keep thinking about a certain poem by Longfellow, which is also written in iambic tetrameter, and at the end of every speech in Life Is a Dream, you want to say, 'Excelsior!'"
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,