Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Update, Nice Fam, Web Site, Parties

Hello. Long time no talk. It's been a long, long, lazy, lazy summer. But I'm out from hibernation and in Asuncion, armed with good internet and with so much to share of what's been happening. I'm supposed to be washing my clothes in the tub, but Waterworld is on in English. I know it's sad.

Carnaval. Feb 19th

Carnaval was last night. So many people have asked me why I wasn’t going to dance this year. I decided last year, in the middle of the parade, that I would not. I was dancing, and this guy called me over to take a photo. Then he grabbed me around the shoulder, pulled me in, and gave me a kiss on the cheek, pressing his Paraguayan-summer-sweating face onto mine while his friend snapped the shot. Well, I thought, this is not to be repeated.

This year, I watched the queen come dancing down the street. She was in high heels, a sequined bra, and something like a large belt over a thong. From behind, it just looked like her naked ass.
She stopped for a moment, dancing in place, and this part came in the music where you take it down, rolling your hips around and dropping as sexily as possible into a squat. Right as she was about to descend, a shot of foam came from the side, covering half her face and body. This looks just like when someone gets hit in the face with a pie on tv. But still, pie on face, she girated her bare ass and dropped it, like someone who couldn’t decide if she wanted to be a stripper or Lucille Balle.

Me, happy in the stands

I also had to show you this CLASSIC Paraguayan dance move. This is us dancing in the street after Carnaval. 'Bout to put out a knee!

About the fam...

My host mom, Ña. Conchena, is a nut. She's a nut and also she loves me, which is just great. The other day she, Sandra and Vanessa and I were walking, and she reached out and took my finger in her hand and just held it. Then she said, "Mbohapy che memby." (I have three daughters). Being so accepted and loved by her and the family feels like, after months in a social blizzard, being warmed in a blanket, placed by the fire and given hot chocolate with marshmellows.

Also, she just cracks me up. She is constantly exasperated by how much work she doesn’t around the house. I think she has lost the ability to sit still. Even at parties, she will be in the kitchen helping with the dishes.

She makes that Paraguayan face, the big frown with the shaken head, as if it’s all such a shame. "No dormi nada," she says, (I didn’t sleep at all.) She may have gotten up at 4:30 to iron or wash the ao po’i she makes. And these lazy kids? Where are they? she asks, then answers. Sleeping. “Chejukata!” (It’s going to kill me.)

Then she makes this frustrated sound like a clogged filter and says, “Ay Pauli!” The rant can continue in one of several ways. How messy the house is, how much work she still has to do, how much her leg is still bothering her. It’s funny how, when you’re desperate for any kind of social acceptance, what a pleasure it is when someone genuinely complains to you. I could listen all day.

If I did something bad, like leave dishes out back or buy the wrong kind of chicken, she says, “Roinupãta Pauli” (I’m going to beat you.) You have to be careful, because sometimes she is a hitter! When I make a joke and she laughs really hard, she punctuates it with those slaps on the back that hurt! She comes in my house and calls me Puerco de Paz, which rhymes with Cuerpo de Paz (Peace Corps) and kind of means Piggo of Peace.

When she passes me in the street sometimes with Sandra, she grabs Sandra’s arm and pulls her close, and they both look the other way with their noses up as if I’m the town outcast. Then we laugh and I say, "Moõ pehota?" (Where are you going?) They’re usually on their way to pick up the ao po’i shirts she had sewn so that she can pack them up for her weekly trips to Asuncion to drop them off to her clients.

She makes fun of how lazy I am. At those parties where she’s in the kitchen cleaning, she’ll say, “Please, Pauli, rest for a moment, you work too hard. Sit for a moment.”

But it’s the kind of joking that I know is rooted in love, so it doesn’t bother me. Because sometimes we’re just sitting there and she just puts her hand on my shoulder and leaves it there.

This is where you can usually find Conchena.

I´m making a web site!

So I´ve been trying to get the co-op some nice product shots, for our soon-to-come web site and it´s been tough. On the mannequin was lame, the flash was too bright, etc. So I googled some stuff and found out that I needed softboxes, those light box things you see in photo shoots on tv. I finagled some mils out of the co-op to buy lights, covered them in cardboard boxes, way ghetto-style, and this is what we got. I think it´s coming along nicely. (I´ll put up some shots of the studio later!)


Oscar helping me test the light.

Mariela assisting

Our professional studio

And Ta-Da!

Isn't she lovely?

Thirteen year old´s birthday

It was my host sister Vanessa´s 13th birthday recently, and we tore it up. I might have to say it was the most fun I had at a Paraguayan party. Oscar had a flashlight and was scanning the crowd for maker-outers. I showed them how I´d memorized the dance to Bad Romance. Good times.

Putting out the little food plates. Oh so important. One empanada, one sopa, one milanesa, one triangle sandwich.

Breakin´it downBad Romance Lady Gaga Style

That´s all for now!


Ken, Christie, Camille, Caroline said...

Okay, you mean to tell me that you did the photos for the catalog yourselves?! I am just absolutely IMPRESSED! The catalog was great already, but knowing that, man! And I love the shot of Oscar posing... ;)

sbo said...

Wonderful blog! I found it while searching on Yahoo News. Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never sbo
seem to get there! Many thanks.