Sunday, July 29, 2007

A Whole Other Bunch of Stuff I Don't Remember Well, A.K.A. Another Week in Morelia


...Virtually no memory of anything today. It was either this day or Tuesday that we went to a domestic violence shelter for women and their sons/daughters who had been in abusive relationships.


...Virtually no memory of anything today either, but...yeah.


We didn't go anywhere today because we were going over our assignments for the practicas, or days we were to be in the community learning more firsthand about the various sites we'd visited.


My group went to Casa Hogar de Buen Pastor, a children's home. But we didn't really, because nobody was there. Well, we went, but nobody was there, so we went to the domestic violence shelter where we helped by organizing some clothing and playing with the kids.


Two of the former Casa Hogar group went with the one person who had actaully signed up, to an old folks' home; I was one of those two. I don't mean to sound bitter or anything though, the old folks themselves of course are people too and were pretty nice. We talked with them for about a half an hour and then helped mass-prepare various enchilada-big-dinner related items. Note that when I say big dinner I mean the big meal of the day in Mexico, usually around 2-3 but I think perhaps a little earlier for these folks.

Later that day a bunch of our group went to Casa Esperanza to do a bit of hands-on manual labor. Casa Esperanza is another children's home, for girls who've been in difficult and dangerous situations. We leveled some dirt for about two and a half hours, then we dispersed to shower and whatnot. We reunited at the home of the family of a classmate, as we'd planned on going to Skye, or to Ego again Friday, because it was ladies' night at Ego.

We wound up going to Skye in a series of events that would take too long to explain. It was pretty bumpin', the grooves were pretty solid. As usual I left early but for the second time tied for first-person-going-home-from-club instead of taking first place. One thing that was kind of fun was that at least the Skye people got dolled up, so at least in my opinion we looked pretty awesome, but I was an idiot and didn't take a camera to capture how awesome.

Some other people went back to San Pancho, the place where we had a $10 cover which covered everything under $10 and most people got decently buzzed due to us having $5 each left by the time we'd ordered our food. However as said I was at Skye.

There's one other thing I want to share, but I prefer to wait till I get back to the states to share don't let me forget, okay, guys? Don't worry, I didn't do anything illegal.


Excursion to...dangit, I forgot the name of it already. But we were going to some ruins near a volcano. It was a freaking long walk. Not quite sure if it was worth it as my nose was incessantly runny and involuntarily letting snot drip. Not pleasant.

I elected not to go into town later, even though I missed out on seeing a church or something, because I was tired (I'd gotten on a writing spree Friday night on top of being home around 1:15 AM, so I got a little above two hours of sleep.)


Mini-excursions to a beautiful national park in the town I forgot the name of, as well as a waterfall area where we had to climb down a bunch of steps and then back up them. Someone in our group tried to count the steps as we descended, but she got interrupted.

Eventually I got back here (to Morelia of course, not the internet cafe.) And then I came to use the internet and type this up. I've got some shopping to do tomorrow as well as review for my paper-test for the culture class. Presentations on Wednesday will not be a problem. Then Thursday I fly back and get to see people from the States once more!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Odds and Ends

Welp, this post is basically odds and ends. Essentially it's me being bored...the stuff with actual stories is coming, as usual, on Sunday or if I'm especially tied up a couple of days late.


I'm making a list of things to do before I die. So far:

* One more season of soccer. I need to be somewhat in shape this year, so I'm thinking I'm going to go out for intramural next semester.
* Eat a Burgerville meal alone on a park bench. It's odd, and I'm pretty sure it's a basic concept I saw romanticized by the opening sequence to the old "Odd Couple" TV series, though I can't remember if the guy was eating his burger alone or not. At any rate, I'm going to do this one.
* Try cow tongue on purpose. I say on purpose because as some people know I once went to a more authentic Mexican place with my parents and accidentally got served the cow tongue instead of beef. My father ordered the cow tongue. Neither of us got the beef.
* Go clubbing in Portland. I want to see what it's like compared to where I've been in Mexico. Certain clubs will have to be avoided though, for various reasons.
* Stop being ashamed of my beliefs. As a Christian I sometimes find myself too afraid to offend someone to really speak my mind. This is more a lingering problem than a looming obstacle.
* Also, find a church I can live with and join it. I don't feel a Christian should drift between churches forever, which is sort of what I'm doing now.
* Dialogue with a Buddhist community. I want to do this because I want to be open to learning about other faiths and I feel this is an appropriate way to do it. I also want to learn more specifically about Buddhism because it seems to be a more naturally open/broad/accepting sort of faith. Note that I don't necessarily think all those terms in the theological sense are really that good, though I do with respect to people...Sometimes I hate nuance.
* Figure out what political party I belong with and why. I'm a Democrat right now but that's mostly if not completely family tradition. None of them really appeal to me much.
* See a non-American electronic music artist live. I'm an electronica fan. I'd love to see someone from Europe live or, heck, even someone from Mexico.

It might seem kind of morbid but I was bored on the bus one day. Number two is my favorite for humor so far. I know it's sort of a random list, sort of short, too. But I'm only 20 so I've got a bit more time to make and fulfill this list. Also, there's one or two things on there I don't really want to put on the internet, but I'd happily tell any of you my family people in person.


I'm also making a list of books to read. This is a complementary list to the first and falls under a more general life goal that's less specifically fulfilled, which is just to get more educated and read more stuff.

* The Cider House Rules. John Irving, apparently made a decent movie out of the book. I'll read it eventually.
* Los hijos de la luz (Children of the idea if it's orignally Spanish or not, but apparently the author was born in Madrid)
* Pilgrim's Progress. I'm not sure I'd feel complete as a Christian without reading it. Just kidding, but to a degree, speaking culturally, not really.
* The Harry Potter series. I read the first three. That'd leave me four more to go, assuming I don't care about remembering what the heck happened in the second and third books (I went back and re-read the first awhile back.)
* The Lord of the Rings trilogy. I'm not sure I'd feel complete as someone who's lived in my wing of Christie Hall without at least having a goal of reading this.
* The Truth (part of the Discworld series, one of the same guys who did Good Omens). If it's anything like Mort it should be really funny.
* Dune. One of those books people tell me to read.
* Godel, Escher, Bach. It'll make me feel smarter.
* Living Buddha, Living Christ. I started it and haven't finished. Should finish this.
* The Lovely Bones. People have piqued my interest.
* Where is that in the Bible? A Catholic scriptural apologetic.

Odds and Ends

Pedestrians have, like, no rights in Morelia. If I could disbelieve my friends' stories about drivers actively speeding up, seemingly to try and hit them, this might not disturb me so much. But in a lot of ways I actually think the US system is better for protection of people overall than Morelia's system of organized chaos and opportunistic everyone-on-their-feet-or-in-a-car-or-existing. Oh, and bicyclists are just as annoying and probably breaking the law if not moreso than in Portland. There's a certain morality to the order in the chaos, somewhere, but it seems there's a good amount of people who can't be trusted to have it.

Did I mention Mexico, systematically, sucks at recycling? I know a few exceptions, and I've said this before, I think, but I'm not going to try in a country that isn't willing to make the effort to make the process sane. On that note, if anyone can point me to a recycling center within Morelia and in reasonable distance of where I live, I'll give it a shot. 20 minutes' travel time or less.

I'm going to be glad when I'm back in a country that has root beer. I'm also going to be glad to have more than twentysomething of my "American" songs to listen to (quotations because a good few of them are from other countries) and not to have to be at an internet cafe to listen to them.

I'm really looking forward to next semester at UP. It's going to rock socially and academically is looking up too, as I actually have people to study things with this year. If I can actually manage those two things while keeping in shape and not worrying about girls, this will be my best semester yet. Okay, those things probably won't all happen, but I'll drop the second (academics) only when it prevents me from breathing, okay? I still think it could be my best semester ever.

I'd love to do a survey and find out how much of the world in some fashion or another subscribes to universal reconcilation. I just don't see that happening probabilistically, if the Bible is to be taken as any sort of good authority on the issue.

Oh yeah, I'm learning things. For instance, the verb marear means "to make sick" and the verb "ensangrentar" means "to cover with blood," and lastly the verb "sumir" means "to plunge someone into." You can thank Jorge Luis Borges and the story of his I'm on now, "The Circular Ruins," for those. I still have pretty much no idea what's going on in the story, but it's good for my vocabulary.

The End of the Odds and Ends

There's a few odds and ends for you. As promised there weren't really any anecdotes unless you count the two or three minor event-like things I mentioned. Anecdotes are coming later, as in Sunday, assuming they're any good.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Belanova and Other Odds and Ends this Last Week...Also, How Everything is a Blur

Everything's getting to be a freakin' blur these days. Seriously.


Excursion to Juanzanito I think it was called, an island outside of Patzcuaro. Boatse were involved...of course, that makes sense. There will be yet another Patzcuaro excursion this coming Tuesday to see a traditional healer. Apparently on one of the traditional healer trips with a group of nursing students someone got cured of a curse but didn't believe it afterwards. I have no idea, but if so, it creates some interesting theological implications.


I forget what the hetts we did today, except that I did bug a friend to see if she could watch on Facebook when I changed my relationship status from undeclared to single (undeclared status doesn't show at all on your profile...) Basically, I wasn't declared as single before, and wasn't even declared as straight until a few months ago. But I heard a rumor that if people see you going single in their news-feed on Facebook, even if you weren't in a relationship before, it still shows up as a broken heart. I'm going to make you wait for the result of the experiment because it's only two sections down.


The same thing here, for the daytime.

I'm going to talk about Belanova, which is an electro-pop musical group that Christian, a guy who works at the Central Universitario de Michaocan, recommended to me. At the time of this writing I am digesting the track "Te Quedas O Te Vas" (You Stay or You Go) which has a freaking amazing bassline. As in, to Uncle Scott, if you're reading: I think you'll dig this track, and to everyone else: I think Uncle Scott, and possibly you, will dig this track. Technically Belanova is electro-pop, but this is definitely a disco-house track, in my opinion. So it's the the electronic music that the generation of my parents is probably most likely to enjoy. The only thing is I translated the lyrics and they're sort of depressing. As in, here's the first part in English:

I think that time will resolve this (calmly or indifferently, I think is the word)
Don't spend your life crying for yourself
The world will spin
With or without you it goes
I don't think you want to stay here and die

Which if not for the song's amazingly awesome funky bassline and fun fun fun strings and...frankly, the singer has an awesome voice, too...if not for all the great groove elements the song would be quite depressing.

Friday night I went to this place called the Re (um-lauts on the e) Bar which was having a three-DJ concert. Each DJ played some trance, with it getting progressively more energetic and less relaxation-style. It was all pretty good, though, with the exception of an overly abrasive synth here and there. The place also had good atmosphere.


Saturday morning I went to the school insanely early because we were leaving at seven in the morning to go to...dangit, now I've forgotten the name of the town! But miners were involved, as were key figures in Mexican independence. Apparently four of them were beheaded, and their heads hung in one of the museums we visited, for ten years!

But anyway, Saturday morning I went to the school insanely early and actually met the friend who helped me with my Facebook experiment. She told me the feed had indeed shown a broken heart, which made me insanely happy. That's got to be one of the funniest things ever. As a refresher, it's funny because it systematically assumed someone declaring their status as single is leaving a relationship, even when (as in my case) there's no relationship to leave.

Anyway, we did lots of other stuff. A couple of other museums (including one of more naturally "mummified" corpses, and another which was actually the house of Diego Riviera.) The corpses were cool but sort of frightening. Some of them had it seemed been buried alive and I think Dr. Gallegos confirmed this.

A bunch of us went to a restaurant in...Guanajuato, that was it! And we had a wonderful discussion about relationship problems. We'd had another variation of that discussion at a restaurant a few weeks before, San Pancho, and this one was just as fun. The basic argument of the discussion, I'll outline a bit later.

At a restaurant/bar we went to later that night we had another discussion which was related tangentially to the first. This is your warning to cover your little ones' eyes.

A few people were discussing sexual experiences that they had had on one side of me. I wasn't involved in that so much but I was involved in the closely related discussion right next to it. I had shared that I planned on saving myself for marriage and had used the bases analogy to do so. Basically I said I'd stay off third and fourth bases as those are the things I believe constitute sex, and I would probably avoid second as well (first is kissing...I hope you can fill in the blanks) because the farther you go the easier it is to go farther.

The discussion was actually quite humorous and we actually agreed there should be five bases to accomodate other, erm, acts that didn't really belong on any of the established bases. My absolute rule, for the record, remained to stay off third or higher and preferably (for your assurance, my family, that's just short of being an absolute rule) off of second. Christian also explained to some of us the Mexican slang that has gone into discussion of sex, which was funny.

Actually, I'm just going to say, it's a rule for me, it's where my standards are going to be set. Partly because I'm not comfortable with grey areas and partly because I'm especially not comfortable with grey areas that could compromise me morally.

Anyway, the really awesome thing that happened was that one of the other guys at the table, who was in on my discussion, wished me good luck with saving myself for marriage. After a bit of discussion on that comment (I defended it; it's not like it'll be easy to do) he told me that seriously, he wished me good luck. I really appreciated what he had to say about that.

After that place, which had some pretty nice acoustic-guitar-ish music, we went to a club called the Capitolio which was pretty nice. It was sort of in-between Ego and Carlos and Charlie's in atmosphere and "nice-ness." I left way early, as did my roommate for the weekend. It was alright, but I preferred the other places. Maybe because more people went and there were, as such, more people I felt comfortable dancing with.

One other thing about Saturday: I read two chapters of the book of James in Spanish. It's Spanish Spanish, so it uses the vosotros (you plural) tense, instead of a contextual usage of third-person plural with a designated noun Ustedes, but it was qutie readable and knowing the book made it easier. Saturday night I took an opportunity after getting home way early (as usual) from the discoteque to walk around the hotel a bit and pray. I'm glad I did because I'm finally getting past some things that have been bugging me for ranges of weeks to months to a over a year now. I'm glad because it's looking like this could be a time of spiritual renewal for me which was one of the things I sort of wanted to do going into the experience of Morelia to begin with.

Also, I started reading Borges' Ficciones again. Enjoying it again. Restarted the story I was on, though.


Pretty much the biggest event was me sitting down to type this. I also had a fun religious discussion with a friend on the way back from Guanajuato.

Everything Else

That's pretty much it for this week. Everything's a blur because stuff's stopped going slowly and started going quickly. Can't wait to be back in the states.

Oh yeah, the romance debate (hoping for comments on this):

Can a man and a woman be very good friends (as in, just short of or best friends) without one person or the other having an attraction (not merely physical) to the other?

Can this sort of friendship even occur unless at some point there has been such an attraction on one or both sides?

Is it ethical for one party in such a friendship to maintain the friendship at its level if the other party is interested in the one romantically?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

One Long Week(end)

Well, here's the rundown of stuff. There's one thing that could be difficult for some of you, but rest assured it's nothing inherently wrong.


Dance class. The Merengue. Actually quite a fun dance. I'm observing however that lots of dances, however romantic, have some more sexualized elements. Not incredibly so, but somewhat, yes. However it was still a lot of fun. Not that I really remember any of it at all.


Got a call from the parents, which was good. I honestly have no memory of what the heck we studied in class that day.


We went to the old folks' home. The accommodations looked okay, but not absolutely wonderful. There was a guy who I think may have been a Priest or studying to be one who led worship for them, a couple of songs that we were there for.


We went to a DIF place for what I think were at-risk youths. DIF in Mexico, in my understanding, is sort of like Department of Human Services is in Oregon. At night we went to see the latest Harry Potter movie. Despite my being completely out of the loop on Harry Potter, I found it enjoyable.


We went to the beach. We were going to go to Señor Frog's (bar/disco/restaurant) because it was no-cover, but it turned out there was a $10 cover. So we stayed at the tavern we were at when we got the news (I will contend that "Beer Planet," the name of said tavern, is the best bar name ever.) Unsure at this point how I felt about drinking in Mexico I let it rest on the verity of a rumor that at the next hotel we were staying at there would be an open bar. I told two people about this.


We went to the beach again today. My wallet had an adventure! It went into the ocean mistakenly and came back short only 200 cash pesos (roughly $20USD.) All the cards, everything but those 200, all that is safe! …And the open bar rumor got confirmed.


I had my first drink Sunday. It was pretty light, as in I'm not even sure if I was really affected. For further explanation I feel I should quote the e-mail I sent Dad:

Honestly I wasn't ready. If it's possible I think I pressured myself too much to "fit in" and as a consequence I made a bad experience out of what should've been a positive rite of passage, if that makes any sense.

And I'd love to blame other people to. I'd love to say my parents put too much pressure on me not to drink or that my friends put too much pressure on me to drink. But the fact is by the time I actually did,

a) However intentional your pressure was, I'm the one who has to choose how much stock I put in it
b) My friends' pressure may have been quasi-intentional, but when I explain more of that to you (and I will) you'll know I really can't call it peer pressure, and a couple people made it explicitly clear shouldn't if I didn't want to

Which brings me to the bottom line, which is I really didn't want to, or at least not that badly. Whatever I might say about pressures one way or the other, I chose to be an idiot and do the opposite of what I wanted. So it's my bad. Following this, I'm probably just going to be on refrescos (edit: soft-drinks) for the remainder of the trip (never had the 2nd drink yesterday) and as such won't be drinking again till my 21st (but won't then if I discover I'm still not ready, because the psychological effect wasn't worth it.)

End of e-mail quotation. For the record, I talked with one of the people beforehand that I`d made my stupid "promise" to and they basically said not to drink if I didn't want to. One other person also made that blatantly clear and I'm thankful to both of them for it. I'm sure the other "promised" person would've understood if I'd just said I wasn't ready and wanted to wait for the 21st. And while I'm not as sure here, I'm fairly certain the same would be true of the one person I actually felt at all pressured by—and even then it was probably just me overblowing things. I take responsibility because I chose to drink. And I'm feeling regret for it now because I wasn't ready and I'll never be able to redo it. And for the remainder of my time in Mexico I decided that I'm going to continue getting water and refrescos at the bars.

One last thing. I talked with my Dad and it's his understanding that I made no promise not to drink. But to the extent that I raised that expectation and then failed to follow through, I apologize.

Sunday night got better, though. We went to a place called Carlos and Charlie's, which is a sister business of Señor Frog's. The music was good and I really enjoyed the dancing, what there was of it. Also, there was a program "sexy man" contest. I didn't enter, but one of my classmates became the gringo from Michoacan and brought the house all the way down. As in, he completely annihilated the competition—the local competition. As in, if America had kicked butt in Iraq and continued to do so the way that he did on the stage, people wouldn't be complaining about our military situation there. (Let's just not get into the morality of the war to begin with.) That's a lie--they'd still be complaining--but not as many of them and not as much. I'll admit, I was pretty impressed. I'm not one for doing stripteases myself, though.

This club was considerably more, um, basic than Ego. Still dancing, though, and still fun. And the music was bumpin´! Actually, one of the guides on our trip, Christian, is also a fan of electronica. We're actually going to a bar this Friday to hear some local stuff. He also recommended some Mexican electronica I could check out. I'd say I'm going to miss having electronica be not the most ostracized form of music where I am, except taht I'm going back to Christie where, in my wing, it's quite popular.

Also, honestly, obviously not for alcohol but for the musical aspect, I'm going to miss being able to go to taverns.


We stayed at the hotel some after check-out. I went to the worst internet café in existence. The hourly price was roughly $8USD an hour. On the way home I encountered one of the better Morelia taxi drivers. Why was he better? Because instead of charging a full extra 30 pesos for an extra distance of about 20-30 blocks he only charged me 20. I was prepared to pay thirty, too.

I also ate some Domino´s Pizza for lunch on Monday. Bad for me, and heavily American, I know. But so good.


Return to the Casa Hogar de Buen Pastor, the home for girls who'd been in difficult situations. Got to sit and watch presentations; I didn't have to give any!

Sunday, July 08, 2007

More of the time in Morelia

Okay, here's another rundown, from Monday to today.

Monday: School as usual. Dance class at night. We "learned" the Merengue which means if we get another chance to go out dancing I might remember about 20 seconds' worth of it. The others might do better. Hopefully if I ever try dancing it with someone, they'll remember the same 20 seconds.

Tuesday: School as usual again. I didn't go to the arts and crafts class at night but we got together for someone's birthday to go to the park and play some soccer with the locals. That was a load of fun.

Wednesday: Field trip to a home for formerly massively impovershed and/or abused girls, some of whom have even apparently been in prostitution...They were all so young and full of life. It's kind of sad to think of any of them having been in those situations. In the evening most of us went on a short downtown tour, dinner with our trip's professor (who paid), and some of us went to a party that one person's host family threw, which was pretty cool.

Thursday: Field trip to the Red Cross. Soccer in the evening.

Friday: Went to a restaurant called San Pancho. Pretty nice place, and good food.

Saturday: The school trip was to Patzcuaro and then to Santa Clara. We bought some things. I got some OVEN MITTS for the family back in the USA.

Sunday: Pretty much just this session at the internet cafe for me, although some friends went to the zoo and were gonna watch the Mexico-Paraguay game.

Also, a friend told a story on the way back from Thursday's soccer about a game of would you rather that involved this question: "Would you rather roll around in a pile of dog crap or small fart for the rest of your life?"

Well, which would you rather?

Sunday, July 01, 2007

¡Estoy en Mexico!

So here´s the rundown of what has happened:

Day 1: Took two planes--to Houston and then to Morelia. We arrived at the Centro Universitario de Michoacan, and met our host families. The guy who picked me up did so in a Taxi and was my host brother Abraham. I´m enjoying my host family. There´s been lots of good food. Not all what you´d call "traditional" but people and places rarely live up to stereotypes. My host family''s all awesome, though. My host mom cooks good food and I'm able to practice my Spanish a lot during meals with her and my host dad. With Abraham it's usually Spanglish of a mostly-English variety, but I often take the intiative and speak Spanish anyway.

Day 2: We have our orientation at the school and I begin to be scared of my class on Mexican Health Systems and social work. The class is a combination of actual service experience / site visits and various lectures in Spanish designed to kill me. We had a walking tour with one of the women who runs the school.

We went to the mass at the Cathedral at 6pm, too. That was pretty awesome. I feel the need to let people know that we carried the tradition of holding hands during the Our Father down to the Mexican mass where it does not belong. I'm not mad about this; at the time and in retrospect I found/find it rather comical. I also thought crossing my arms would indicate "soy un protestante, no communion para mi" but no. My classmates reminded me that this might have been because in Mexico Catholic communion is directly to the mouth, and so the symbol is to put one's two fingers (as in a closed peace sign) over one's mouth. I actually did attempt to explain to the priest (bishop or archbishop, we think, actually) that "era un protestante" (the wrong tense, for those who don't know Spanish.) This left me not knowing whether to be more embarassed that I'd had to turn down a Bishop's communion or that I'd used the wrong verb tense to explain it.

Day 3 (Thursday, so you know): First class on the history and culture of Mexico, specifically Michoacan. I'm thinking this will actually be the easier of the two. The professor is easier to understand than either the main or guest speakers in the other class (in fairness I think she may be American.) This was the day I think I'd shifted out of what-did-I-get-myself-into mode...of course that day was also the day I shifted right back in again.

Day 4: Classes. I felt better about them on this day. At night we went to a restaurant called the Cafe Santa Fe, where a live band was playing. That was pretty cool. This was actually a semi-official outing. If you're ever in Morelia, and at the Cafe Santa Fe, the fajitas are pretty freakin' good. Stay away from the lemonade. I think the "drinks" drinks were alright, from what my friends were saying.

Day 5: We went to the waterpark yesterday. I slid down a slide that if you know me is big for me. I got massive sunburn, too. I'll make sure I get a picture of some of that. At night (this was one of the less-official outings) we went to a discoteqa (club). I didn't drink, but I think pretty much everyone else did. It was still fun though, and after awhile I loosened up a bit and began to enjoy myself. Also, lots of house music. So I declare that the DJs had better taste than those at my high school dances. Also, EGO (the discoteqa) had an awesome view of Morelia at night, what with all the city lights and everything.

Also, before we went to the waterpark, I had a fun theological discussion with some classmates about Catholics praying to saints. I sided in defense of the practice, for the record. One of my classmates, one of those who was involved in the debate, is a very strongly Protestant Christian. He's pretty much awesome just like the rest of them.

Day 6: By Morelia standards I slept in--till 10:00! Pancakes for breakfast, a little reading, too much TV (mostly subtitled Without a Trace with a little bit of dubbed cartoonage.)

I'm not entirely sure I actually want to be here for the next five weeks, honestly. But I'm having a good enough time and I think it'll get better once I get more comfortable around my classmates and get a little more social--mind, parental units, that I'll be doing so without sacrificing my homework. But I'm happy for the opporunity to--and looking forward to--getting to know the pretty awesome group of people who I'm here studying with.

If I can find the time and an internet cafe that lets me I'm going to break out the MegaZeux sometime. Probably not for a couple of weeks, though.

Also, books read: this last week I read Mort. It's about a kid named Mort who becomes Death's apprentice. Before I left I finished Good Omens, which contains some pretty interesting notions. For anyone in my family reading it, don't expect your theology to be taken seriously. Do expect to laugh. Many times.

Now I'm reading Borges' Ficciones and am enjoying it, when I can understand it. I found out the lady who took us on our walking tour reads Borges. She told me it's pretty difficult reading even if you're a native speaker, which was good to know, because I'm pretty sure I wouldn't understand Borges in Spanish or in English.