Thursday, May 29, 2008


Dear Ma Cousin-

Today is your birthday.  Your special day (not your wedding).  You get to do whatever you want.  But the price of having a birthday and being able to do whatever you want means that anyone else also has free license to do whatever they want to you for your birthday.  And that is exactly what I plan to do.  First I'd like to start with this:

(c) - Happy Birthday (Vagina) - I can't believe it was just __ years ago today that you squeezed your way out of your mother's vagina.
It cut off the inside of the card but it says: I can't believe it was just _ years ago today that you squeezed your way out of your mother's vagina.  (Insert 21).  Just another great card from Bald Guy Greetings that I was too cheap to actually buy for you - but it's exactly what I wanted to say without actually having to say it.  I also want to do a this is your life flashback!  But I figured that these senior pictures of yours say it all:
Don't worry, people are still wearing trucker hats
Look how studious you were...still are?
And yes, that glittery green eyeliner did make your eyes pop and reflect all at once.  No one blames you for that because you grew up in North Dakota.  
I think body glitter is still big there.  Its been a real treat to watch you grow up-ish here at college and I feel privileged that you love to copy my every move, so sweet.  Except now I can't totally be myself because you are always staring at me.  But I love you and I hope that your 21st birthday year is full of torrid love affairs, wide-brimmed straw hats and passport stamps.  Word.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Sweet, sweet Berber

I love flying.  I love the feeling of being inside a giant monster that can just shoot itself up in the air and stay there.  I love the final moments of anticipation as the plane starts to land and it seems that it is just hovering above the runway.  "It should have touched ground already, it should have touched" I always think in my head as the seconds before the wheels hit the ground seem to turn into minutes.  More than flying I love being in airports and people watching.  I hate buying water for $4 dollars but I love watching other people do it.  There are the business men in their crisp suits and tiny carry-ons, the moms in their cargo capri pants herding kids, girls in their sweat pants and old couples full of gold jewelry.  

But the past couple of times I've flown I've been more uninterested in the people around me and more interested in the different carpet patterns you find in airports.  There are some truly heinous (and by heinous I mean beautiful in an I would never put it in my own house kind of way, but I still respect it) carpet patterns out there right under our feet if we would just take the time to notice. 

Well I have taken the time to notice and document various carpet patterns seen in airports.  All are taken with the same pair of slip-ons that act as a control in this series so you have something to gauge the carpet against.

It's another one of those professions that you never think about like designing ice-skating or wrestling costumes, but somebody is designing these industrial carpets.  
And some of them are fantastic!!!
I'm sure that people around me were a little puzzled when I would stop in the middle of the floor, pull out my phone and take snapshots of the ground.  But they can't see what I see: geometric explosions of color and texture colliding in a symphony of berber cascading through the airport like the creek that used to run behind my friend Carrie's house.  The creek that had sheep bathing and pooping in it with water skeeters and probably leeches that we splashed around in regularly.  Hindsight tells me I was lucky to escape without losing a limb to some horrible flesh-eating disease from that canal.  But who cared anyways?  It was the 80's and you could play in dirty, disease ridden canals without consequence.  And you could also come up with geometric patterns that would rule the world for the next 30+ years and still be gracing the carpet we commute on.  I took a record 35 flights last summer over the period of 4 months (go ahead, I dare you to beat it) and hopefully I will take a couple less this summer but prepare yourselves for some more carpet art from across the country as I travel coast to coast.  Next up: Boca Raton, FL.  That is guaranteed sweet carpet.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Te extraño

Dear Cinco de Mayo-

It's been along time since I've seen you.  I remember the bbq's we used to have every year complete with Corona pinatas and sour Mexican candy.  The backyard would be full of people and the smell of grilled pineapple would permeate the air.  I put flowers in my hair and donned my favorite white Mexican dress with the bright embroidered flowers. 
 I was so sad last year when I couldn't be here with you so I made a huge dinner and my first ever tres leches cake and made my host family eat it with me in your memory.  I was so looking forward to spending some quality time with you this year but things got so busy and we both got caught up in other projects.  But I decided to try and make it work anyways.  I dug out my favorite Mexican dress and I convinced my parents and my sister to come with me to find you.  We tried two different restaurants before we were confident we'd find you at El Gallo Giro.  Sadly you were no where to be seen but we ate anyways.  I had cactus for the first time and it wasn't so bad!  I know you'd be proud.  I can't help but think that maybe if I had more people helping me look we could have found you.  But don't worry, next year I know that we will finally be reunited together like we were before.  I miss you.  

I can't wait to see you...

Besos, Laquina