tablesaw: Supervillain Frita Kahlo says, 'Dolor!' (Que Dolor!)
I thought that a number of people might want to hear about this story from the Mexican presidential race: Josefina Vásquez Mota is the current favorite to be the nominee of the National Action Party (PAN) for the 2012 election. The current PAN president, Felipe Calderon, is hugely unpopular, and the current favorite for the race on the whole Enrique Peña Nieto, the recently confirmed nominee of the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI).
Peña Nieto, facing criticism and ridicule after several recent public fumbles, was asked in a separate interview to name the price of a kilo of tortillas, a standard food base in homes across Mexico, rich or poor. The PRI candidate replied, "I am not the lady of the house," or literally in Spanish, "No soy la señora de la casa."

The phrase was interpreted to mean "housewife" among social-media users and commentators who criticized Peña Nieto for what some called an example of Mexican machismo.

On Tuesday, [one of the country's most prominent female journalists, Carmen Aristegui asked Vazquez Mota, a 50-year-old married mother of three daughters, "Are you a señora de la casa?"

"I am a woman, and as a woman I am a housewife, I am a government official, I've been twice a government secretary, I've been leader of a parliamentary group, I am an economist," Vazquez Mota said.

"And indeed, all of that along with being a housewife, a housewife who knows what happens every day at the dining table and in the kitchen," she went on. "And although we may not be there for many hours, as is my case—and I'm sure your case and many others of us—every night we return to that space of the kitchen, return to check the refrigerator and see if everything is ready or what needs to be bought the next day."

Vazquez Mota also suggested that she stops at markets between public events if anything is needed in her household. Directly addressing Peña Nieto's statements, she characterized them as "pejorative."

"Regarding a price of something, we are not obligated to know everything, but what does seem precarious for me is this disdain, this pejorative attitude toward being a housewife," she said. "We have millions, Carmen, millions, that go out to take care of their children all alone."
Daniel Hernandez, "Woman candidate in Mexico says she comes home to check the fridge"
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
I had my laptop throughout the workshop, so I was collecting the links as they came up. Most of them are from the speaker (Bruce Love), but others were from other people at the workshop or ones I located on my own while we were working. Here's my collection of links with descriptions of each.

Mesoamerican Society of CSULA: The hosts of the event, with announcements of future events.

Friends of the Maya: A group Love is associated with that teaches Maya hieroglyphs to modern Maya.

Mesoweb: A collection of Mesoamerican resources, including books.

Night Fire Films: Filmmakers of Breaking the Maya Code, a documentary about the history of Maya script decipherment.

Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI): Has various research including the Kerr photography collection of Maya ceramics

Maya Vase Database: A site run by FAMSI with the Kerr photographs.

K6997, K1837: Kerr photographs of ceramics shown in the workshop.

Peabody Museum Corpus of Hieroglyphic Inscriptions: Photographs and line drawings of stone inscriptions arranged by location.

Tonina Monument 69: One of the carvings that we worked on during the workshop.

Maya Decipherment: Mayanist David Stuart's blog on Maya script and updates to decipherment.

Online Dresden Codex: This link goes to a post on David Stuart's blog with a link to, and instructions for accessing, online photographs of the Dresden Codex on a German website. The Dresden Codex is the most significant and well-preserved Classical Maya codex.

Maya News Updates: Eric Boot's collection of news links related to the Maya.

Mesoamerica in Aztlan: Youtube channel of a student who made a minipresentation on Day 3, examining Mesoamerican cultures today.
tablesaw: Manny Calavera, from Grim Fandango (Grim Fandango)
This is the result of a few things.

One, I found a new blog, SciFi Latino, by typing in the same Google search that I do every few months, "SciFi Latino". Someone else was also frustrated by the unhelpful results, and has started a blog (and a Twitter account that's keeps updated with links).
The blog will review current television series, cancelled shows, movies, books and anything else that I consider genre-worthy and where we see a Latino participating in a significant capacity. He or she may be an actor, a director, a producer—I want to reach out and get to know as many as I can. SCIFI LATINO will cover English and Spanish language media from the U.S. and abroad.
And on the front page, there's a great collage of Latinos from scifi and fantasy media.

Two, I rewatched "Inca Mummy Girl" from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

Three, [ profile] whedonland hosted a picspam challenge.

And these three things made me think, "I should do a picspam of all the Latino/a characters that appeared on Buffy the Vampire Slayer." And thus:

Bienvenidos a la Boca del Infierno: Los Latinos de Buffy the Vampire Slayer

First, a word about methodology. To find Latinos, I read through the entire IMDB episode-cast list for Buffy. As a result, I based my list mostly on the names that got credited. When possible, I tried to get some corroboration on publicity pages or, at the very least, by seeing if the actors were credited with Latino roles elsewhere on IMDB. But Buffy's over ten years old, and not everyone kept acting since then. I may have missed a few, and it might turn out that some of the actors listed as Latino/as below actually aren't.

And now, the pics and the spam. )

So we've looked at a total of 24 people.

1 is Spanish-American.
1 is Native American (playing a Latino).
1 is a Latino whose scene was cut.
21 are Latino/as who appeared onscreen.

Of those:
16 are men.
5 are women.
1 appeared in more than three episodes.
2 appeared in exactly three episodes.
18 appeared in only one episode.
13 appeared in only one scene.
2 were LA newscasters playing themselves.
12 were Sunnydale natives.

And what have we learned? Well, as many have noted, there aren't very many Latinos on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. On the other hand, there are more than I expected. And they are overwhelmingly male, which I wouldn't have expected, but which falls in line with a general perception that non-white groups default to male. Also, a number of the Latino/as are very light-skinned. Now I'm a mixed white Mexican myself, but it's another thing that contributes to the invisibility of Latino/as on the show. With Anglo names (or no names at all) and the overwhelming whiteness of the rest of the milieu, viewers are led to see these characters and actors as white (and also not Latino).

So it's mostly what I knew before, but with a bit more data and with lots of pretty pictures.
tablesaw: The Mexican Murder Rock from <cite>Warehouse 13</cite> (Mexican Murder Rock!)
Today was a day for doing things I haven't done in a while. At work, I did Monday through Saturday of this week's New York Times crossword. The times below represent both rustiness and the fact that I was distracted by watching first-season episodes of Angel on Hulu. I'd forgotten a lot about those shows, but it was fun to watch Christian Kane as a young associate.

When I got home, I wasn't sure what I was going to do with the house to myself. But I had "Girl in the War" (mp3) stuck in my head, and I fired up iTunes, and then I started listening to songs I hadn't heard in a while. A little Michael Penn, a little Elliott Smith, a little Harvey Danger, and pretty soon it was ninety minutes gone.

Then I did something new. I'm trying to see if I can actually make something of the Spanish I learned in high school, so I spent some time translating some of my favorite songs in Spanish, "Rara by Juana Molina and "Sueño con Serpientes" by Silvio Rodriguez.

I cleaned up a little, I had some food, I took out some trash, I wrote up a post. And of course, now I remember that I was supposed to find my bus pass before tomorrow morning.

Back to the search, I guess.

MonNYTX: 5; TueNYTX: 5; WedNYTX: 6:45; ThuNYTX: 48:45; FriNYTX: 27; SatNYTX: 26:30.
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I drank more beer while I was in Boston than I ever had in my life. Now, this isn't saying much. I'm not a big fan of beer, so I don't drink it. I much prefer the taste of a well-mixed cocktail. A Rum and Coke is usually pleasant, and there's nothing that can beat a Margarita mixed with good tequila and a whole lot of machismo. I know there's good beer out there, but since I don't drink often, there's really no point in going out and finding the few kinds that I like amid the amber waves of unappealing brew.

It's kind of like Country Music, in that way.

Anyway, the advantage of going to Boston was that there were lots of people who drank beer a lot and knew what was good. Chief among them was Beer Goddess Hathor who, in addition to giving tips on what to drink where, also brewed some fine beer herself. (She has a website [link removed 8/13/11; originally ""], though I have no idea where in there I'm supposed to look for a homepage.) And when all of the bars are closed, having personalized beer in a hotel room . . . but I'm getting ahead of myself.

The story behind the Pub Puzzle Crawl )

So, Monday evening. It was the first chance I got to see people NPLers, mostly locals. Since there were too many people to easily manage, some of them split off into a Ice Cream Puzzle Crawl through Boston. The puzzles, in this case, were provided on the fly by [ profile] tahnan and [ profile] thedan. Sadly, the Ice Cream Crawl had far fewer stops, since the participants got brainfreeze or something. The cool kids ([ profile] wesleyjenn, QED, Sprout, Sue++, Sir+, [ profile] joecab, [ profile] cazique, [ profile] heaneyland, Otherwise, D. Ness, ln sin t, Niff, Ucaoimhu, Artistry, [ profile] foggyb, Hathor, and I) went off and drank for seven hours.

I wish I could tell you more about the bars and the beers, but I can't, really. I know they were good, but since I don't have much experience with beer (for reasons detailed above), I couldn't really tell you why. I can't even recommend things because I was mostly echoing what other, more knowledgeable people were ordering. I can give you the itinerary [link removed; originally ""] of the crawl, since [ profile] foggyb has been kind enough to upload it. The itinerary also has most of the puzzles.

The puzzles were really well designed considering what they needed to do. They were simple and fun and rarely required too much thought. The KISS mentality showed up many places in this Con, to the benefit of all. Certainly, the NPL is not a group that will shy away from the obscure, the complex, the byzantine, or the difficult. But there's a lot more going on at a convention. There are things to see, people to talk to, games to play. You have to make sure that nothing gets to frustrating, or else solvers will start to wonder why you're wasting their time when they could be doing something else with someone else. (Also, of course, everything has to be solved without references.) In this case, the puzzles couldn't overstay their welcome, because people wanted to be able to drink and chat. Also, puzzles had to be specially coordinated so that they could be easily solved after drinking beer for several hours.

One of my favorite puzzles was one of the more complex ones: Boston Beer Works [link removed 8/13/11; originally ""]. It was an early puzzle, and one of the only ones where everyone dug in and did some pencil solving. What I enjoyed the most was that, although solvers were warned that the beer list incorporated into the puzzle was out of date, it still represented the menu very well. Pretty much everyone ordered their drinks off of the puzzle without really looking at the menus. I also sat near Cazique, QED, and the right shoulder of Sprout, triviaites all, who offered and solved variuos sports trivia questions.

At Bukowski's [link changed 8/13/11; originally ""], we settled in for the inevitable Pub Trivia [link removed 8/13/11; originally ""] game. The theme was "Dead Authors," since Bukowski's is the home of the Dead Authors' Club. (Although it wasn't explained then, I now know that some patrons of this bar undertake to sample every beer on the menu, though mercifully not on the same night. Those who succeed get mugs engraved with their names placed on the wall. And by "their names," I mean "the names of dead authors they choose.") I did predictably poorly, especially compared to some of the general knowledge hotshots. But still, I don't think the questions [link removed 8/13/11; originally ""] were balanced all that well. (I'll try to explain more about the balancing trivia, but it's a tough subject and I'll need a separate entry.) Anyway, the balance of the knowledge is definitely a nitpick in this situation. Everyone had fun, even when losing, which is much more important, and difficult to accomplish.

Also, while I was at Bukowski's, I recorded an Audblog. I'd say more about that, but I can't listen to it while I'm work.

The last puzzle I'll talk about is the one from Redbones. This is a fantastic puzzle, though you can't see it or solve it online. Go visit the redbones site, and you'll see lots of wonderful artwork. That original artwork is all over the downstairs barroom. It was the artwork that we were looking at back in January when we thought about a Pub Puzzle Crawl. And it was the artwork that made our last stop an Eyeball Benders-style extravaganza.

We got a huge pile of letters. Each letter seemed to have been cut out of the pictures along the walls. We had to locate, then put them in order according to their position around the room. It was great fun. This might seem a complex puzzle to deal with after seven hours of drinking, but I think that the lowering of the inhibitions helped us to take over the more-or-less empty room staring at pictures. Also, they had great dessert. And great meat. And good margaritas. (Wow, I didn't realize how out of it until I tried to remember it just now. At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if someone there told me that I said, "I love you man! You're like my brother! My puzzle brother! Mi hermano de crucigramas!")

At some point at Redbones, I got a picture of QED, Sprout, Toonhead! and somebody's hair. You can see the wacky Redbones artwork, along with the cute and very helpful bartender who decided to be a semi-waitress even though she didn't have to be. Also, at some point earlier, I got a picture of [ profile] wesleyjenn and [ profile] heaneyland, probably in a T station somewhere.

After all of this, those of us who remained were directed by Foggy Blotto to the best beer in Boston. By this time, many of our crew had ducked out to return to their homes or the hotel. Thus, when I snapped a picture, en route to our final destination, only [ profile] foggyb, QED, Ucaoimhu, Hathor, Artistry, and [ profile] joecab. Sprout was also there, though he cannot be seen in this picture. As we staggered toward the terminus, Hathor tried to scare us by saying that once we were there, we were going to have to solve a cryptic crossword by Ucaoimhu, known for his labyrinthine crosswords that involving learning Sanskrit [link changed 8/13/11;"] or decoding Cuneiform [link changed 8/13/11; originally ""].

Well, the best beer in Boston turned out to be at Hathor's house. But the crossword turned out to be no empty threat. We were provided with two beers that were brewed specifically for this convention. (There was a third prepared beer, but it had been part of an auction, and thus, we were not allowed to drink it.) The labels were designed by [ profile] joecab, and as you can see, Hathor's threat turned out not to be empty.

And, with no more puzzles, we just kept drinking without puzzles.

And really, who needs the puzzles? )

I recorded an Audblog after one of these beer sessions. As I mentioned above, I can't relisten to it right now. But I'm pretty sure I talked about Toonhead!, aka [ profile] joecab. I may even have mentioned a picture.

See, I was "cosolving" [ profile] thedan's cryptic with [ profile] joecab very late one evening / very early one morning. I don't know why I thought attempting this was a good idea at all. [ profile] foggyb was there, and I he may have had a hand in convincing me, since it would have been very amusing for him. We actually managed to do rather well, though all together, we found a completely and utterly wrong answer to the end game of the cryptic.

At a certain point, after the grid had been filled and [ profile] foggyb and I had started puzzling through the final steps, [ profile] joecab crawled around us on the bed, then fell down. He didn't get up again. After a while, we noticed.

We took this as a sign of two things: (1) we should probably get out of his room, (2) we should probably take a picture and post it on the Internet.

And here it is:
Man, this Toonhead! guy should learn to hold his liquor better )


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