Saturday, December 30, 2006

ugly glasses

i went to santa rosa to visit my family right before christmas. when I arrived, my mom pulled this picture out and said, "Look what I found!" My reaction was immediate and swift, "Mom, how could you have let me wear glasses so ugly?!" Check out those gigantic plastic circles on my face (and my fab 80s mullet).

Her reply, "It was the 80s, those were the only glasses available. Besides you should see what I had to wear when I was a teenager." In this picture my mom is about 13 and had just received a very special home perm from my grandmother. I love this picture. Those glasses, that dress, the hair, the nose (my brother, once he was able to breathe again after laughing so hard, asked, "did somebody punch you in the nose right before this picture was taken?").

Friday, December 15, 2006

some tancretos visit tucson

it's been a while since I updated this poor little blog. had a visit from my folks and aunt Peg and uncle Jim last month. I took Mom and Peg to Tohono Chul Park, where Peggy had a run-in with a jumping cholla cactus, while Dad and Jim went to watch Cal lose to the wildcats because Jim didn't wear his lucky clothes, or something like that. We all went to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum where we saw a raptor free-flight demonstration - owls and hawks and ravens and such flying around and buzzing the crowd. it was cool, but i don't have any pics - can you send me those, Dad? we ended up at Caruso's for a real eye-talian dinner that night, drank some wine and heckled some of the cute waiters and bussers (well, that was mostly Peggy).

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

together again

me, minnie and justin
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

i had a micro-reunion with Minnie and Justin in Vermont last weekend. Lindsey and I flew to DC, where Justin retrieved us from the airport. Friday, Lindsey set off to visit Suze and Nick in Anapolis, while Justin began our 12 hour drive to Vermont. We had a blast wandering around Burlington (visiting all possible dog parks), dancing at retronome, and laughing until we nearly peed ourselves. click the photo for more pictures from beautiful vermont.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

gossip on swan island with mika miko

last night the Gossip played at Plush in Tucson. We arrived just in time to be surprised by the first opening band, Swan Island, who grabbed my attention from the first old-school hard rock guitar riff to the last. I immediately got my hands on their debut CD and a button for my bag. Mika Miko were entertaining and energetic, and I was absolutely captivated by their drummer, Kate Hall. Finally, the Gossip came on and did not disappoint. I have been wanting to see them live since forever. the large undeniably danceable sound that trio can make with just one guitar, one drum set, and one voice is remarkable. and Beth Ditto is as hot in person as you would think. she came into the crowd and danced with Sallypants causing both of us to squeal like little girls. sorry, no pictures, i was too busy dancing to bother, but rusty wasn't - i got some from him. All three bands are on myspace, so go there if you are interested in hearing what they sound like:

Swan Island MySpace
Mika Miko Myspace
The Gossip MySpace

Leslie and the LYs

Leslie Hall, keeper of thyn gems, graced Tucson with a de-speachifying show last Thursday. Leslie and the Doctor performed all the hits, bestowed names on 5 local gem sweaters, and even showed up at Dougie's afterparty. I was seriously blown away by Leslie's energy, humour, faith in the gems and, especially, her dancing. Douglas and Logan were two of the lucky to be on stage with her and had the incredible honor of supporting Leslie as she flew through the air suspended from a two-by-four. It was magical. Behold Leslie and friends after the show. See all the pictures at flickr.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

brought to you by unions

we got out of town for a quick trip to Sedona and Wet Beaver Creek over the labor day weekend. the line of cars getting off the freeway and headed into Sedona was discouraging, but Sedona's beauty overwhelmed all that. after visiting with the Deeds household and Sheila, we headed off to the best swimming hole ever. nobody was there, the water was refreshing and cold, we swam and slept naked on the red rocks. i am refreshed. of course, i forgot the camera, but here is a picture from a previous trip to the wet beaver.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

drunken dressup

rollerskate sluts
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
last night, after getting kicked out of the best western pool for skinny dipping after hours, we played drunken dressup with rachel and gabriel. for more pics of our late night debauchery, check out my flickr set.

Monday, July 31, 2006

rain rain rain

it has been raining like crazy in tucson. our average temperatures are 15 degrees below normal - in the mid 80's - for this time of year, the cacti are fat and happy, and the desert actually looks green. it is awesome. one slight negative - part of our kitchen ceiling collapsed last night at 3 in the morning. the house we live in is nearly 100 years old and we received somewhere around 4 inches of rain this weekend. that is more than we have receieved all year. washes and roads are flooding. cholera creek is constantly running down 1st street and most of the downtown underpasses are closed due to flooding.

Monday, June 26, 2006

sesame street rules!

Friday, May 12, 2006

tucson living

front porch
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
this is the front porch of our new house. i think it might be the best front porch i have ever laid in a hammock on.
more pictures

jesse's friend

jesse's friend
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we took a quick trip to sedona and the wet beaver creek last month.
more pictures

Friday, April 21, 2006

our house

i have been meaning to post a picture of our new house in tucson, but i haven't taken a picture of it yet. so... google maps to the rescue, here is a satelite view of the cutest house ever.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Not Them, They, We, But US

Not Them, They, We, But US
Originally uploaded by cobalt123.
marches all over the US yesterday protesting proposed bill HR4437, and showing the rest of the nation just who these "illegals" are. check out some of the pictures on flickr if your local newspaper coverage was as lacking as mine.

Saturday, March 25, 2006


the last few weeks i didn't have much time to upload photos to flickr, but i finally finished going through and uploading them today while sitting in a cafe in tucson.

check out pictures from acapulco, ixtapan de la sal, oaxaca, palenque, and isla mujeres.

trouble's beauty salon

after staying cooped up in trouble's house for a few days last week while it snowed and insisted on being really cold outside, we decided to have a girl's beauty day. we dug out the clippers and had some hair-cutting fun. both trouble and lindsey ended up with shaved heads. see more pics at flickr

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

isla mujeres

our last day...we rented a scooter to drive around the island, we met many new iguana amigos, we finally went snorkeling in the crystal blue and calm Caribbean Sea, and i found a new pair of my favorite bug-eyed sunglasses. lindsey got lots of water up her nose, her lips turned blue from the cold, and she locked the scooter keys in the storage compartment, but she had a fabulous day anyway.

EDIT: more pictures

Sunday, March 12, 2006


mayan ruins - temples, tombs, inscriptions, glyphs - in the hot and sweaty jungle. and more beautiful, crystal clear water, no swimming allowed.

EDIT: more pictures

Agua Azul

we didn't get a picture of the giant cascade, but this is where we swam all day - no flesh eating animals.

Agua Clara

we were unsure why you couldn't swim here. was it the current or flesh-eating animals in the water?


you can kind of see the waterfall behind lindsey's gigantic head. you can walk behind the waterfall and up to a cave with a river in the middle of it. amazing.


oaxaca is a place full of museums, galleries and moles (mo-lays). our favorite exhibit was alejandro santiago's 2501 Migrantes. we wish it was as big as the history museum.

EDIT: more pictures

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


from acapulco we went to Ixtapan de la Sal to visit Lindsey's amigo Pablo, and his family. en route, Lindsey came down with a nasty tropical something-or-other and when we finally made it to Pablo's, her fever was rip-roaring. it took about 5 or 6 days for her to recover (with enfermera incredible - Rocio - taking excellent care of her), but finally we were able to go see the Grutas de Cacahuamilpa, an enormous cave system. if I understood the guide correctly, the known cave is 6km long and 2km of it is developed for us unprepared tourists. We also got to swim in the bañito, a highly mineralized hot spring, play with 5 adorable kittens, and eat the most amazing chile rellenos ever. ¡Muchisimas gracias for todo a Pablo, Rocio, y Alejandra!

we have one week left and are on a whirlwind tour of southern Mexico, trying to make it to Cancun for our flight, but still see everything. we spent one night in Mexico City, are in Oaxaca for two nights and then on to San Cristobal las Casas on an overnight 12 hour bus ride tomorrow night.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

acapulco es muy gay

we finally made friends of the same religion. we found a beach full of homos! yippee! our new amigos - eduardo, gargamel, daniel & alfonso - are going to take us dancing at an antro (gay club) in the Pink Zone of Mexico City.

EDIT: more pictures

Sunday, February 26, 2006

tres gringas

tres gringas
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
ok. phoenix left us in mazunte and now we are in acapulco, mainly to see the clavadistas (cliff divers) and maybe have a few more days on the beach. lucky us its spring break! we´ve only run into one asshole so far, thank god. our plans have completely changed: we are now heading down into the yucatan before we fly home from cancun. tomorrow or the next day we plan to go to cuernavaca, then to ixtapan de la sal to visit lindsey´s friend pablo. we hope to visit merida, some cenotes, and some more beaches on the yucatan peninsula before we catch our flight on March 15.

a few overdue, and not-very-exciting pictures from antigua and lake atitlán


Originally uploaded by sparkypants.

playa mazunte

playa mazunte
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
this is where we´ve been for the past 5 days. it was heaven for a little while. after the hellish boarder crossing and a 12 hour bus ride we found ourselves some cheap cabañas and then went swimming. some of the waves kicked our asses, but a good pummeling was kind of what we needed. we took yet another guided tour and saw sea turtles. i saw the flipper of a whale, but he split before our tour guide could find him. we drank mezcal with scorpions in it and ate super fresh sea food. our last night here we splurged on a fancy cabaña where we got our own bathroom (the shower was actually separate from the toilet), balcony with a view, hammock and a gigantic bed with mosquito net. it was fabulous, considering we spent the next night in a bus station in puerto escondido (bad bus planning on our part). more pictures from mazunte

Saturday, February 18, 2006

on to Mexico

sorry for the lack of pictures, we have been on the move and have not had much time to sit down and upload them. we left León on wednesday and went to Lake Atitlán to find Phoenix (a friend from home). we spent only a few days at the lake, checking out San Pedro, San Marcos and Panajachel before we all decided we wanted to go to the beach in Mexico. we left the lake to spend one last night in Xela, where we finally found the gay bar (oh, excuse me, the open-minded bar) and danced with some guatemaltecan gay boys. they were a little reserved at first, but lindsey and phoenix had them bumpin and grindin in no time. we left Xela at 9 this morning and finally crossed the mexican border just before 3 pm, right before it closed. it was a hot, sweaty and confusing day. i don't quite know how to explain what all happened, but it all started with bad information in the lonely planet guidebook about the border crossing at Tecun Uman. The short version: after a long ride in a chicken bus from Xela we got hijacked by kids in pedi-cabs in the town of Tecun Uman, then helped out by a money-changer, walked a mile between the Guatemalen and Mexican immigration offices, got picked up by two nice guys in a semi who put us on the right mini-bus for Tapachula, where we were finally able to buy tickets on a first class bus to take us to the beach. hopefully we will relax then and i will be able to post some pictures and tell today's story more completely. if you want to know the more complete story, leave me a comment by clicking on the Comments link at the bottom of this entry.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

regresamos a Guatemala

the bus ride almost destroyed me, or rather, my back. two days on the bus and i couldn´t stand up straight or walk properly by the time we reached Guatemala City. instead of the 3 hour bouncy ride in an old school bus to Panajachel, we took the 1 hour bouncy ride to Antigua. there I immediately got into the first bed we found, sent Lindsey out for pain meds (you can go into any pharmacy and get what you need here) and laid on my back for 24 hours. it sucked. i am feeling better now and we are going to explore Antigua for a few days before going up to the lake. it is lovely here, with cobblestone streets, colorful colonial architecture and volcanoes surrounding the city. pictures coming soon.

Friday, February 10, 2006

adios nica

we leave at 6 am tomorrow for guatemala. we´ll be on the ticabus for 11 hours, then spending the night in San Salvador and ride it for another 6 hours on sunday. we hope to end up on Lake Atitlan in Panajachel, where we will immediately get drunk and pass out for 2 days.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

me and tera

me and tera
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we are back in Managua trying to figure out how to get to Guatemala. our choices are few and unappealing: an 11 hour bus ride to San Salvador, El Salvador, spend the night and 5 hours to Guatemala City; an 8 hour bus ride to Tegucigalpa, Honduras, spend the night and 6 hours to Guatemala City. i just want to go back to the beach and lie in a hammock for about 2 weeks.

león and las peñitas

student martyrs
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we went to león, a liberal college town where the sandinista revolution is proudly remembered and the FSLN are still supported. murals are everywhere commemorating important events and people. from there we went to the small town of las peñitas on the pacific coast where we spent two heavenly days sleeping in hammocks and looking for shells on the beach. click here to see more murals in león and pictures from paradise.

tubin' on laguna de apopyo

Sunday, February 05, 2006

small world

i am hanging out with Tera in nicaragua right now! it is strange and wonderful. she is living in Managua and working for an organization that uses the massive popularity of tele-novelas here to create social change. we are in Granada getting ready to go to Laguna de Apoyo, a reportedly crystal clear lake in the crater of a volcano.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

salto waterfall

Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
salto waterfall, a long walk up a windy dirt road just 1 km out of estelí. it is beautiful and deep and lovely for swimming.

miraflor nature preserve

parasite in the tree
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
on Tuesday we went to Miraflor, a nature preserve near Estelí. it is also a conglomerate of agricultural coopertives, people live and farm there, mostly growing coffee. we stayed with a local family and toured a small part of the preserve with a guide who knew a lot about everything. he only spoke spanish, so I understood about 50-75% of what he said, but still learned a lot about the organisms in this area. miraflor has a lot of orchids, all of which grow as parasites on the trees. one of the cooperative´s projects it to teach young folks about the orchids and grow them sustainably for income. all crops and animals on the preserve are raised organically and in a sustainable manner. some other things we saw during our tour include the sangrito and matapalo trees, sanpopo ant colonies, and bromeliads. the sangrito tree is medicinal and when it is punctured it bleeds red sap that looks like human blood. when the sap is rubbed on skin it turns into a white paste that is good for cuts and insect bites. the matapalo tree eats other trees. when a seed germinates on another tree, it strangles and consumes that tree, creating a hollow space perfect for climbing. sanpopo ants are giant leaf cutter colonies, that eat the leaves and flowers of citrus trees. they create their own trails through the forest and large ant mounds. the farmers combat by blowing up their nests, which are full of an explosive gas created by the ants themselves (worse than a leigh riibe fart baby). bromeliads hang off many of the trees, but are not parasitic. they can grow up to a meter in 24 hours and are used to supplement the cattle feed, strengthen clay houses, and make soft beds. click lindsey's head to see more pictures from this amazing place.

still in estelí

mural in estelí
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we like estelí a lot. there is a lovely cafe called La Casita with a cactus garden and really good and fresh yuppie food. and we made friends with one of the birds living in our hotel, poquita burrita. tonight we are going to watch El León, La Bruja y El Ropero (The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe) dubbed in spanish at the cute little theatre. click the mural to meet poquita burrita.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

i heart nica

i heart nica
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
lindsey says, 'no me gusta honduras. it rained a lot. fleas bit us everywhere we stayed. i though people wanted to hurt me all the time. it was expensive to cross the borders. and the bus rides sucked.' we are in Estelí, Nicaragua, now and are liking it a lot. the town has a good feeling - people are friendly, the food is good, and our hostel has a cozy little courtyard with parrots. we are trying to get in touch with Tera for a visit, but we might stay here a few days to relax, visit a waterfall, and drink good coffee.

trip to punta sal

Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we took a tour to Punta Sal, a national park on the Caribbean coast of Honduras. the only way to get there is by boat and the tour offered the boat trip, snorkeling and hiking through monkey-infested jungles. unfortunately, our bad weather luck struck again. the boat trip took us through the perfect storm - white caps, torrential downpour and fairly large waves for our little motor boat. we arrived at a small cove completely drenched. our guide says, 'usually its all sunny and calm here and people are snorkeling over there and lying in the sun over there.' we were huddling in little huts to stay dry. we took a short walk through the rainy jungle, but even the monkeys were hiding from the rain. it was an exciting boat trip, but the best part was the traditional garifuna food we were served for lunch. click my excited little self to see more photos.

copan ruinas

floating face guy
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
the walk from the town of copan to the archeological site was lovely. there´s a coblestone pathway with a few stelae (maya statues) behind fences alnog the way. unfortunately the weather made for bad lighting so a lot of our pictures really suck. but the place is amazing. there´s huge trees- la ceiba trees, which have a story of their own- vines and all kinds of house plants. then you walk out into an open field. 'the great plaza' a huge space cleared and leveled by the maya and with a large pyramid in the center, surounded by about eleven stelae and altars. then there´s the hieroglyphic stairway. the longest enscription ever found in america (pre-columbus). and the ball court. then you go up to the secold level 'the acropolis' which is built upon older buildings. they have tunnels under the acropolis that you can tour, but we didn´t spend the money. it started pouring while we were there. just our luck. and the museum was closed for remodeling. a lot of the original scuptures have been moved indoors, and reproductions replace them outdoors. but walking around the ruins was like a giant outside museum anyways. click the floating face guy to see more pictures.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

we made it to Honduras

after a day and half and 5 different buses, we arrived in Copan Ruinas. our last night in Xela we had dinner at the school where we both recieved our diplomas and had to make a small speech in espanol. afterwards, went out to a local cantina called Roca Negra with a few other students and drank too much rum. this made the 8 or 9 hours we spent on buses yesterday extra-special. Copan is lovely, though: I am sweating and Lindsey is in heaven. the town is muy tranquilo and tomorrow we go to see the ruins.

Friday, January 20, 2006

leaving Xela

Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
we are leaving Xela tomorrow because lindsey needs some warm weather and ocean beaches before she cries again. we are heading to Copan Ruinas in Honduras first, then to the Caribbean coast.

Fuentes Georginas

la piscina
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
this morning we went to the warm springs at fuentes georginas. we took a truck from Zunil through vegetable farm covered hills and into the jungle. the swimming pool is built at the base of a cliff where the hot spring water emerges. it is just the right temperature. the fern and moss-covered walls were beautiful, but it smelled a bit like a fart. i found it incredibly stressfull lying around in warm waters with such a beautiful view.

Volcàn Santa Maria

on Saturday jan 14th, we hiked up the fucking volcano. it is just over 12 thousand feet high and the trail, if you can call it that, goes straight up. the view is supposed to be amazing, but we wouldn´t know that because about a third of the way up we entered the clouds and never came out. it was wet and cold and slippery and windy. this picture is the only one we took, as the clouds momentarily cleared over Xela on our way down. the one cool thing about the day was hiking up the volcano with about 100 mayans who were headed up to the peak to perform ceremonies. little old ladies in their plastic jelly sandals and men carrying goats on their backs were our constant companions as we slogged through the mud.

a Zunil con Nery

Nery and Lindsey
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
Nery was my spanish teacher and a cute old man. he was very sweet and a good teacher and always wanted to take us places. we went to Zunil on sunday the 15th to visit San Simon. San Simon is a non-catholic saint who is worshipped by locals. they go to his shrine to perform ceremonies and light candles. his shrine consists of a life-sized manaquin who looks vaguely like Michael Jackson - gold chains, scarves, sun glasses and gloves. he is fond of smoking Payaso cigarettes and drinking Venado rum. people light different colored candles to get different things (i.e. red=love, green=good crop). click the picture to see photos of the vegetable gardens of Zunil.

Las Cuevas de Juan Noj

Yesterday, on our last outing with Escuela Utatlàn, we went to visit the spirit of Juan Noj. He lives in a cave just outside Xela and is the spirit who can grant you lots and lots of money. Local come here to burn offerings and ask for success in business and lots of money. Marvin, the director of our school, told us that about a year ago the family that takes care of the cave discovered and rescued a child that had been left as an offering. I´m not sure if this is true or not, but we saw remnants of chickens, doves, and sheep at the cave altar. I didn´t go down in the cave, but Lindsey did. Click the picture to see more photos on flickr.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

las aguas amargas

volcan santa maria
Originally uploaded by sparkypants.
yesterday we went to las aguas amargas - this is the view from the hot spring-fed pool we were relaxing in (well, almost). it was a short bus ride from Xela to Zunil, then a short pick-up ride to the springs. the water is really hot! muy caliente. after swimming in the large pool for a while we went into the semi-private baths where it was too hot to get into the water. click this photo to see more pictures at flickr.

trip to Abaj Takalik

on saturday we took a trip to the archeological site called Abaj Takalik with Marvin, the director of our spanish school, and the other students. it was our first ride in a chicken bus - old american school buses converted and used for transportation all over Guatemala. i didn´t get any pictures of Abaj Takalik or the chicken bus, but there are a few pictures from the traffic jam we got caught in on the way back. there are many sections of road that just got washed away during hurricane stan, and quicky detours have been constructed to go around them. on the way back a semi and a tow truck towing a chicken bus got stuck on a narrow curve and traffic stopped for a good hour while it was all sorted out. the chicken bus is a really cheap way to travel, and they pack as many people as possible in them. you are lucky if you get to sit two persons to a seat. they are all painted bright greens and reds and blues and the music is blasting constantly. it was as interesting as, if not more than, Abaj Takalik. The archeological site that is available to the public is small because most of it is on private land, but is interesting in that it contains three types of monuments: Olmec, Mayan and a local type, the name of which I can´t remember.

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