Today I was walking along Hernandez Macias and coming towards me, on the other side of the street was a walking piece of art.
This man is brilliant.
He has combined Art, an Artist’s name, Performance Art, a bedazzler and created something quite wonderful and unique.
I did wonder however, what he would do if his favorite artist had been Michangelo.
And I also wondered if he had a fascination with four letter word artists.
So I looked up Four Letter Artists. Haven’t a clue who any of these people are but my Dali friend, no doubt, has lots of T Shirt possibilities. I would,however, caution him on the last one.
Herb Aach (1923–1985)
Pacita Abad (1946–2004)
Josef Abel (1768–1818)
Bapu (born 1933)
Henry Lamb (1883–1960)
Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599–1641)
I was sitting in the Jardin when my girlfriend Sophie as a joke (she is zo zany) said she was going to draw angel wings on my hand.
The Pen, my liverspots, join the dot and voila (that is french) I had my inspiration for my new art theme.
Here I am in a town full of liverspots. They are a virtual canvas for me.
She got a bit upset because I was drawing on her hand and Sophie had to hold her down but we got a great picture.
I will be having an showing March 3, at 23 Recreo in the Art Spotte Gallery from 7:00 to 8:00. Please come
There are two reasons to put your hand up – well three
1. To ask a question
2. To answer a question
3. To get permission to go to the bathroom.
Now the question is “Do these rules, apply when you are an adult”. In my class the answer is no. We pee at will and ask unprompted, any question we have.
Today I began to wonder where my classmates get these questions? What makes them so curious. Then I looked about the classroom eight woman and three males and not a single man had ever asked a question.
It must be their brains that make then ask those questions.
See Male brain.. no verbal things.
Seems we are just sitting there thinking of sports and sex.
But look at women’s brains.
See how big the talking skills are.
I remember when I was in the lower levels being told to get into my Spanish Mind but I don’t see it on those diagrams.
No wonder I don’t have any questions.
You just add
To something and it becomes a store.
See Laundry and Lavanaderia. This is a bisexual sign.
So you know what you can get in this store
They sell perfume.
You have to know what Pollo means in Spanish.
I know Pollo Feliz was were you buy chickens and I know Felix is part of a Christmas greeting so Pollo must mean chicken.
Can you figure out what this store does?
What is a Lenca?
Why isn’t is a Lingeria? Why change a perfectly good word?
Oh well I did look in the window and figured it out.
I translated this as toileteria.
I went inside and was surprised to see plumbing fixtures I had never seen anywhere before.
Then I saw them wrapping up something up that came out of the plumbing fixtures and was shocked.
Who would buy that stuff? It looked like those things they wrap food in.
Not going to eat any more of those things.
My plate is quite full this year – doing art and mastering spanish but I think I need to fill it even fuller. On Saturday, I was invited along with 723 people to Anado McLauchlin‘s opening of the Chapel of Jimmy Ray outside of San Miguel.
I think I need to Become Anado McLauchlin but he scares me for several reasons. First he doesn’t wear a beret. In fact he looks more like an member of ZZ Top than an artist. I don’t think I could grow that much hair but I am going to try. Secondly he actually sells art. I know people in San Miguel who own his art and have shown it to me.
Then there is his art. It doesn’t look like art. I saw dolls, tiles, wine bottles, beads, fingers, hands, tiny doors in his art. He doesn’t seem to draw but I am sure he does if he calls himself an artist.
Let me give you an idea from this picture. This building is beside the Chapel of Jimmy Ray. Oh yes, it didn’t seem to be a church but a building full of Anado’s his art and another guy who had taken pictures of naked people in strange places
I saw a line up to climb the stairs into this structure. Of course I climbed the stairs and found a composting toilet – well two to be exact. I never knew an outhouse could be art. See why this man is so scary. Yesterday I bought some magic markers and had Gwen draw something on one of the toilets in my place and I signed it.
Here in front of us where two American gals in the back of a truck. Now American women don’t get in the back of a truck willingly unless something important requires them to. I just knew these gals were headed to Anado’s.
In fact when we got there Sophie (more about her in another post) asked them why they were in the back of a truck and they made some excuse about the front being full and good manners and guests but I know the real reason was that Anado asked them to.
See even the arch is Art and look at the line-up to see Anado’s art. That man is a genius.
Not only that there were lots of people dressed really weird. Now to say someone is dressed really weird in San Miguel is quite a stretch but these people were really weird. I watched Anado and he didn’t seem to notice. Not only did they dress weirdly, they were acting weird too. One girl in white lay on on the ground and writhed a bit.
And these ladies found it weird too as they took her picture.
I guess I have a long way to go to Becoming Anado McLauchlin. I have to grow my hair, find some little used dolls, marry a man, drink a lot of wine to get some wine bottles, move to the country, find weirder people. This is going to be a lot of work
I am having trouble paying attention in class. The teacher keeps speaking in tongues and I haven’t a clue what she is saying. My mind wanders and I wait for her religious experience to pass and for her to start speaking English again.
Today she had very long religious experience about Candalaria and Jesus so I started to look around the classroom at my classmates and noticed that everyone but me had a notebook. Not only that they were writing in the notebook.
I peeked over someone’s shoulder to see what they were writing and lo and behold it was foreign words. Not only can you speak in foreign tongues but you can also write in them.
I hadn’t expected that in addition to Spanish, there would be a religious component too. Then out of the blue she says in English (meaning the religious moment had passed) I am going to teach you
May God grant you …..
And that wasn’t enough, she made me make up sentences in English that start with May God grant you. All I could think of was a new car or maybe and end to that itch I have. I am beginning to suspect that this is not a Spanish class but a cult.
Well, I will have to see in the next class what new religious experience I will have to endure but in the meantime I am going to have to buy a notebook and figure out what to put in there in case she collects them and grades them.
Maybe I could get Gwen to draw few things in there. I am also going to google some saints and write their names in. The good thing is that the notebook will stop my mind from wandering so much. Perhaps I should make the notes before class. Lets see two eggs is dos hueovos, sel, pimentos….
Two years ago when I decided I wanted to become an artist, I made a shocking discovery when I went to buy art supplies – the owner of the store didn’t speak English.
I suddenly understood the truth behind the Tower of Babel and got very angry. I believed that everyone could speak English as some intuitive language but here facing me, was a store owner who didn’t understand a word I was saying. It was so strange as I knew so many people in San Miguel who can’t speak a word of Spanish yet manage to live here. The difference, I guess is that they aren’t painters like I am and out in the world getting material(s) for art. What choice did I have but to take Spanish lessons.
This journey has led me to today when I started Level 4 at Warren Hardy Spanish School. As always happens in San Miguel we all clapped to honor the fact we had finished three levels. I am learning that every achievement in San Miguel is greeted with applause as well it should be, particularly those who are learning Spanish. We are providing a needed service to Mexicans.
I am quite excited by the idea of becoming bisexual and dreaming in Spanish although the Three Levels I have traveled through have not left me with Spanish Dreams nor many Spanish words. But now that I am in Level Four I am the envy of all my uni-sexual friends. They think I can speak Spanish and I am not about to disabuse them of this.
I walk about with this book facing people and say
Oh I am taking Level Four call me Ricardo.
But my great excitement and fear was at the beginning of the course when Warren came in and said that we will learning the subjunctive which is about fantasy and what might never happen and politeness. When he said that I realize that for three weeks I will be Living in the Subjunctive which is quite similar to living in San Miguel. Nothing is very real but always so polite. Let’s have a little clap for that.
So stayed tuned as I become fully bisexual.
Every Gang member has a task once they buy their second home. Second homes are quite different than first homes because they must be named to distinguish them from first homes. Some call it by what it is e.g. the Cottage. I am going to The Cottage but the rules are different in foreign countries. The house name has to be in the language of the country where it resides and written on a little plaque, It is believed that having a foreign name provides protection from vandals as they think it is a local house and it sounds so multilingual.
Finding the right name takes time but in the meantime you can start plaquing by putting up this sign. Someone from the Translator Gang said it meant Welcome This House is Mine not Yours.
The next step until the special name is found, is choosing a sign with numbers on it. Many Gang members are shocked and pleased to see signs in English for sale in Mexico such as this one.
Looking for the right name takes time and care. In choosing a house find a name that sounds romantic in Spanish. The worst naming technique is to use your last name. It makes your house sound like a bar.
To avoid the last name ego thing, name your house after your favorite vegetable or fruit or bird. Another way is to think of a comfy word such as Nest. This method is good but the downside is that you end up with an English word that requires translation. Once translated, a trip made to Dolores Hidalgo to get the plaque made in Talavera pottery all that is needed is to nail it to your house and now your Casa now has a name that people can read.
But be very careful in choosing a translator. Foreigners find great delight in substituting swear words for common words and expressions when asked “How do you say?” Instead of translating “Please may I try on those pants” they will teach you “Please pull down your pants” and hope they are about when you try this expression. The owner of this house has yet to discover the downside of using someone wicked.
And not all words translate easily. Some naive lady in Ajijic can’t understand why local snicker when they walk by her house and don’t understand her love of making Calzones.
A foolproof way to find a house name is to use what is called a Spanish English Dictionary or in some cases an English Spanish Dictionary. These are sold in bookstores and translate English words into Spanish and Spanish words into English. They are used by school children. When you have your book turn to the section that has words you don’t understand and find one that speaks to you. What is amazing about these books is that you don’t need a translator as the meaning of the word in English will be right there. This method of house naming results in names you won’t see from the vegetable, fruit, bird, comfy method. But remember you at least look at the English word to see if it is appropriate. A security minded woman thought she had a good house name
Another rule of house naming is to never say the name of your house into English even if you know the name. Once you say the word in English then the spell will be gone and it will sound a bit silly. Telling people you live in the Nest House or the House of Birds or the House of Pomegranites or the Little House of Songbird. Oh yes Joe and I live in the House of Small Parrots or the following.
Most people won’t know you live in the House of Pancakes because they can’t speak Spanish or don’t own or know how to use a Spanish English Dictionary.
There is only one way to use your house name. At first Gang members try to work the name of their Casa into a conversation
Come visit me at Casa Viva
But people soon learn that using house names aren’t particularly helpful in giving directions. Imagine telling a taxi driver
Take me to Casa Agave.
The blank stare won’t be helped when you add
Oh it is by Casa Preciosa.
The most standard use of house names is to incorporate them into your Address and make it part of your personalized Stationary
Donna and Tom Burgess
Calle Norte 12
San Miguel de Allende, GTO
But the real reason for a house name is to use it when you rent your Casa. Imagine the delight your renter feels when they know they are renting Casa Bugamblia or Casa Latidah.
7 Bedroom suites, 6 kings, 1 with twins
$10,200 per week, $34,000 per month
Credit for the idea to Gina.
Edna and Ralph have already been given new names – Terry and Sharon.
Ralph/Terry is experiencing what is called Name Change Resistance.
Straight men have a difficult life in San Miguel. They never wanted to move there in the first place but retirement disorients straight men. Going from a somebody to a Retired Straight Man with no interests save Golf makes them most vulnerable.
Before they know it, their wives have arranged a vacation in San Miguel and within a few days of arriving the purchase of a new house. Vulnerable and in a fog they find soon themselves at a Naming Ceremony with a new Name.
Sharon has adapted very quickly to her new name.
She already has bought her straw hat, a piece of identifying jewelry and a new outfit and color coordinated them.
Ralph/Terry is resisting a straw hat, hiking pants, a leather back pack and a water bottle.
Here Sharon points out what Terry should look like.
There is going to be a fight as Terry is waking up.