Monday, October 30, 2006

No Pumpkin Left Unturned, No Ancestor Forgotten

Being bilingual and bicultural is double the fun, and nothing shows that more than Halloween and Day of the Dead.

From a decorating and shopping point of view, it could be overwhelming but I will share with you how I deal with it because this year it's a little different. My daughter Citlalli is now into aesthetics and is conscious of the fact that other houses on the block are decorated like Halloween. So I went all out at her request to make our house more in the holiday spirit: made a trip to the 99 Cent Store and Big Lots(!) for some low budget, no muss no fuss decor.

Brainwashing happens on the consumer level, I am convinced. From scary skulls to overly sexy costumes to evil witches, the message for Halloween is lost on me but obviously resonating w/ others. I opted for happy pumpkins, and non-menacing characters. I'm down on all the witch and scary bat stuff- after all, bats are pollinators and eat mosquitos, and witches were the medicine women of their people. Those are not evil traits.

Day of the Dead is such a different type of holiday. Besides having a more spiritual element, it doesn't go out of its way to scare the be-juju out of you. The goal is to heal your fear of death, not make you wake up sweating for fear of the grim reaper chopping off your head.

I assemble an altar each year to honor my past loved ones. Just found a deck of cards, so that and a racing form will be perfect for my dad. My grandmother gets honored with her photos and old Mexican jewelry of hers that she left me. My stepdaughter's baby (who didn't make it past 2 months) has a place by my grandmother (she loved babies). We put my husband's father and grandfather there, his Aunt Rosie, and the baby shoes of a child we lost in miscarriage many years ago.

The joy and laughter of Day of the Dead balance the fear and mischief of Halloween. Having them next to each other is an interesting study in contrasts, allowing us to enjoy them both to whatever extent we choose.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Something to Declare

So I have now wrapped up 3 back to back trips and am really glad to NOT be in an airplane, conference room, or foreign bed. It turns out that I am a high maintenance person masquerading as a laid back comadre, as my restless sleep, motion sickness, and unending tiredness point out.

In my last post I alluded to my seasick tendencies while on the Carnival Paradise with my comadre Crafty Chica. What I didn't mention was that a quote from the movie Snatch kept coming up in my head:

"Anything to declare?"
"Yeah, don't go to England."

Except my version says "Yeah, don't go on cruises!"

But there's a happy ending and yet another plug for non-traditional medicines.

2 weeks after the cruise, I was a guest at Kelly O'Neil's UpLevel Intensive. This was a spectacular business building seminar (which she is repeating in February and you ought not miss). However I felt like crap the first couple of days, still feeling like I was bobbing on the SS Paradise. I met a wonderful chiropractor there who was interested in my situation, and she suggested a little neck adjustment.

As much as I love chiros, I still haven't gotten comfortable with the idea of someone's hands clutching my neck, but Kim had this great distraction technique to get me to relax and BOOM-CRACKA-LACKA she tweaked me so good it sounded like firecrackers going off.

Dizziness and queasiness: gone.

High five to Dr. Kim and her miracle technique.

When you're a solopreneur, your health can make or break your business. I made a decision to really focus on my wellness. November and December are going to be light months for me, no big new pushes (none that I'm instigating, anyhow).

Oh, and staying on dry land is a major component of my new wellness regimen.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Will Cruise for Crafts

Well I'm officially Fresh off the Boat!

That would be the Crafty Chica Creativity Cruise, a lovely 4 days bobbing at sea on a large cruise vessel, The Carnival Paradise.

Kathy Cano Murillo (Crafty Chica) is perhaps the most positive, upbeat person I have ever met. She is so sincere, so funny, and LOVES to spread the gospel of glitter throughout the world. Her husband Patrick is awesome too, they are one of those great couples that makes you believe in the power of love.

So where are the pics? Still in my camera. I'll post them soon.

Accompanying me on the cruise were my mom (she's my sidekick!) and my tia Auntie Tallo. (Say "Tie-oh"). Used to be Chayo, but through the miracles of Spanglish she became Tallo.

OK, I will never go on a cruise again, simply because I get motion sickness and spent half of Sunday wishing the world would stop bobbing. But for Kathy, I'd do it. She was great and treated us all as if we were her special guests. My mom and aunt had a blast too. We made shrines and cards and jewelry... with lots of Frida, Virgen de Guadalupe and glitter.

My daughter enjoyed the kid activities and made a great amiguita in Pilar, her new fave 4 year old pal.

I came home to find my web connection AND telephone out of service and the phone company says it may be til Thursday. Yikes! so I'm working from my cell phone and blasting this blog out from the public library. Yay for internet Hot Spots!

My head and stomach still feel like they're on the ocean, but let's hope that subsides soon. Am I a wimp traveler? Hope not because there is one more trip to the Bay Area in a week.

If you have any cruise stories to share, please comment away. I had many insights on cruise indulgence culture that I'll share at a later date, but all in all it was a very interesting experience.