Tuesday, January 31, 2006

La dama del silencio and other oddities.

It's been a long time since my last post because I've been busy moving into my new home in Phoenix. I still have quite a few boxes left to unpack; we had a minor panic attack this evening when my husband could not find the cocktail shaker to mix up some margaritas.

We've moved into what I would describe as a quiet, middle class neighborhood where the yards and cars are well-tended. I had to fight my old dumpster-diving impulses the other day as I was driving down the street and I spied a perfectly good birdcage and some miscellaneous furniture set out by the roadside for trash pickup. Like my mother, who was raised during the Great Depression, I come from a working class background and I hate to see anything useful get tossed away.

When we first considered buying a house in North Phoenix, I despaired at the stretches of dark road bounded by open desert that separated our neighborhood from the more developed areas to the south. Being from a big city, I was afraid of the unknown: what if I blew a tire on the road? What if someone was trying to break into the house and there was no one around to help? What if I needed some chili cheese fries at midnight? Now that we've been in our new home for a few days, I have to say that I've seldom had a better night's sleep. It's so quiet and peaceful at night that I can sleep soundly. And I've also found a new appreciation for the desert. The saguaro cactus set against the backdrop of the mountains in the distance is just beautiful and now I can see why people who live around here don't want that main highway to get all built up and spoil the desert landscape.

I'm slowly getting set up again on the internet. For a few weeks, I was having to use the public computers at the library to access my email. I just got this email from my cousin, Alicia, who lives in Mexico City:

"Hay un caso raro e interesante en esta ciudad: una asesina serial.
Sólo mataba viejitas que vivían solas. Ya la encontraron pero la mujer,
que se hace llamar "La dama del silencio", casi no habla, así que le han ido
sacando con tirabuzón lo que hizo; hasta ahora lleva reconocidos 12
homicidios, pero se supone que son más de sesenta. La mujer, además
de asesina, era luchadora ruda y también pertenecía a una secta que
adora a "la santa muerte" (es una secta terrorífica y bastante clandestina),
así que la vida de esta persona estaba dedicada a la violencia."

"There is a strange and interesting case in this city: a female serial killer. She only preyed upon elderly women who lived alone. They finally caught her but the woman, whom they have taken to calling "The Lady of Silence", almost did not speak...up til now they have charged her with 12 murders but they suspect that she may be responsible for more than 60. The woman, aside from being a killer, was a female wrestler "ruda" (the baddies) and also belonged to a sect that worshipped "Santa Muerta" (Saint Death) (a terrorific and very secret sect) wherein each member's life is dedicated to violence."

I suspect that my cousin may have slightly exaggerated the notoriety of the Santa Muerte cult. She could also have better information because she works closely with the major news agencies. I did a little Googling and found out that the killer was dubbed "Mataviejitas" (or little old lady killer) by the Mexican press and that police were originally looking for a transsexual male to female because of the unusual physical strength of the killer. This created quite a bit of controversy when the police decided to round up transsexuals in the search for the killer.

I wonder why my cousin thought to send this to me?

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Unpopular Culture - Diane Gamboa

My very first blog entry back in July 2004 was inspired by a friend of mine named Diane Gamboa. Diane is absolutely one of my favorite artists and one of my favorite people to hang out with, too.

Diane Gamboa in calavera makeup.

Diane's own photos and recollections of the East L.A. punk scene of the late seventies and early eighties are featured on the KCET website Rites of Passage. Be sure to check out the multimedia photo essay, entitled "Unpopular Culture," which can be seen here. It's filled with wonderful black and white images and features Diane's own voiceover narration as she takes you through the history of one of the most vibrant music/art scenes that blossomed once upon a time in ELA.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Happy New Year and List of Things I'll Miss

Thanks for all of the nice feedback regarding my relocation to Arizona. I'm enjoying living out in the desert and I'm slowly finding my way around the new neighborhood. I still haven't tracked down a good comic book store in the Phoenix area and unfortunately, I've developed an addiction to manga over the past few years, so if anyone has any tips on a good comic book store, please pass them along.

One of the comments on my last post was from Mr. Bali Hai, who offered to have a Ray's Mistake for me on his next trip to Tiki Ti. It is in that spirit that I've decided to list some of the hangouts and pastimes that I'll miss most when I leave L.A. (aside from the aforementioned Tiki Ti). Here they are, in no particular order:

1. The Vista Theatre in Silver Lake.
2. Mai Tais at Damon's in Glendale - The Best!
3. Shopping at St. Vincent de Paul thrift store in Cypress Park (?).
4. The Comics Factory in Pasadena.
5. The Orpheum Theatre downtown.
6. Paco's Tacos ensalada de nopales with fresh flour tortillas - Culver City.
7. Blue Hawaiis at Bahooka in Rosemead.
8. Dancing at Ballroom Blitz in Eagle Rock.
9. Vroman's bookstore in Pasadena.
10. Mr. T's in Highland Park.
11. Margaritas and mole enchiladas at La Fiesta Grande on Colorado (not the one in South Pasadena!) in Pasadena.
12. Zankou, throughout the greater L.A. area.
13. Dark Delicacies Bookstore in Burbank, the best place to find a gift for your goth friend's birthday!
14. Any drink mixed by Kim at The Parlour.
15. The India Restaurant buffet in Artesia, in the Ziba Beauty Complex.
16. Suehiro restaurant in Little Tokyo.
17. Shopping for odd stuff at Mitsuwa Marketplace.
18. Kinokuniya Bookstore in Little Tokyo where I buy the latest Kera!
19. Jumbo's Clown Room in Hollywood...need I say more?
20. Chili cheese fries from Tommy's after drinking all night.

Hey! It's pretty much all about food and booze!!!! What a surprise!!