Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities. We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back huge amounts of tequila, mezcal and Mexican beer every year. We love Mexican people—as we sure employ a lot of them. Despite our ridiculously hypocritical attitudes towards immigration, we demand that Mexicans cook a large percentage of the food we eat, grow the ingredients we need to make that food, clean our houses, mow our lawns, wash our dishes, look after our children. As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy—the restaurant business as we know it—in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers. Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are “stealing American jobs”. But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had ONE American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position—or even a job as prep cook. Mexicans do much of the work in this country that Americans, provably, simply won’t do.
We love Mexican drugs. Maybe not you personally, but “we”, as a nation, certainly consume titanic amounts of them—and go to extraordinary lengths and expense to acquire them. We love Mexican music, Mexican beaches, Mexican architecture, interior design, Mexican films.
So, why don’t we love Mexico?
We throw up our hands and shrug at what happens and what is happening just across the border. Maybe we are embarrassed. Mexico, after all, has always been there for us, to service our darkest needs and desires. Whether it’s dress up like fools and get pass-out drunk and sun burned on Spring break in Cancun, throw pesos at strippers in Tijuana, or get toasted on Mexican drugs, we are seldom on our best behavior in Mexico. They have seen many of us at our worst. They know our darkest desires.
In the service of our appetites, we spend billions and billions of dollars each year on Mexican drugs—while at the same time spending billions and billions more trying to prevent those drugs from reaching us. The effect on our society is everywhere to be seen. Whether it’s kids nodding off and overdosing in small town Vermont, gang violence in LA, burned out neighborhoods in Detroit— it’s there to see. What we don’t see, however, haven’t really noticed, and don’t seem to much care about, is the 80,000 dead—mostly innocent victims in Mexico, just in the past few years. 80,000 dead. 80,000 families who’ve been touched directly by the so-called “War On Drugs”.
Mexico. Our brother from another mother. A country, with whom, like it or not, we are inexorably, deeply involved, in a close but often uncomfortable embrace. Look at it. It’s beautiful. It has some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches on earth. Mountains, desert, jungle. Beautiful colonial architecture, a tragic, elegant, violent, ludicrous, heroic, lamentable, heartbreaking history. Mexican wine country rivals Tuscany for gorgeousness. Its archeological sites—the remnants of great empires, unrivaled anywhere. And as much as we think we know and love it, we have barely scratched the surface of what Mexican food really is. It is NOT melted cheese over a tortilla chip. It is not simple, or easy. It is not simply ‘bro food’ halftime. It is in fact, old— older even than the great cuisines of Europe and often deeply complex, refined, subtle, and sophisticated. A true mole sauce, for instance, can take DAYS to make, a balance of freshly (always fresh) ingredients, painstakingly prepared by hand. It could be, should be, one of the most exciting cuisines on the planet. If we paid attention. The old school cooks of Oaxaca make some of the more difficult to make and nuanced sauces in gastronomy. And some of the new generation, many of whom have trained in the kitchens of America and Europe have returned home to take Mexican food to new and thrilling new heights.
It’s a country I feel particularly attached to and grateful for. In nearly 30 years of cooking professionally, just about every time I walked into a new kitchen, it was a Mexican guy who looked after me, had my back, showed me what was what, was there—and on the case—when the cooks more like me, with backgrounds like mine—ran away to go skiing or surfing—or simply “flaked.” I have been fortunate to track where some of those cooks come from, to go back home with them. To small towns populated mostly by women—where in the evening, families gather at the town’s phone kiosk, waiting for calls from their husbands, sons and brothers who have left to work in our kitchens in the cities of the North. I have been fortunate enough to see where that affinity for cooking comes from, to experience moms and grandmothers preparing many delicious things, with pride and real love, passing that food made by hand, passed from their hands to mine.
In years of making television in Mexico, it’s one of the places we, as a crew, are happiest when the day’s work is over. We’ll gather round a street stall and order soft tacos with fresh, bright, delicious tasting salsas—drink cold Mexican beer, sip smoky mezcals, listen with moist eyes to sentimental songs from street musicians. We will look around and remark, for the hundredth time, what an extraordinary place this is.
The received wisdom is that Mexico will never change. That is hopelessly corrupt, from top to bottom. That it is useless to resist—to care, to hope for a happier future. But there are heroes out there who refuse to go along. On this episode of PARTS UNKNOWN, we meet a few of them. People who are standing up against overwhelming odds, demanding accountability, demanding change—at great, even horrifying personal cost.
This show is for them.
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This one was about decrepit, grungy subway tunnels with barely functioning trains, a girl with a heart of gold, Gothic architecture, parkour, stormy nights, and me as some wanted criminal evading guys with guns. My guess I was some vigilante for some group of Untouchables.
It was cool until the ending. It involved a broken heart and a noose. That bit was sort of a bummer.
Following Facebook’s IPO we declared a bubble burst and now we’re seeing that hit the start-up ecosystem as investor money becomes harder to find. ”The frothy bubble is over,” an analyst told The Wall Street Journal’s Pui Wing Tam and Amir Efrati. And that defrothing has happened in large part because of Facebook’s performance over the last three months. It’s not just the social network’s stock that has failed to boom in the months following its public offering, fledgling tech companies are now having a hard time raising money, as a result. Rather than just fork over the bucks to an up-and-coming app, investors have a new found curiosity in potential profitability and revenue. See: investors want to put money into companies that will bring mega riches. Before, users were enough to feed those fantasies. But Facebook’s wimpy stock has since crushed that dream, making it harder for these other social media start-ups to convince investors to buy in.
Read more. [Image: Reuters]
It was all about Illinois and Chicago and roadtripping and unemployment and road sides and a big truck and dangerous driving and waaaay too much freeway construction and debris. It featured an androgynous black haired girl(?) as the driver, a tall blonde guy in the back, and me riding shotgun.
All during a two hour nap where I should’ve stayed asleep. It was fun.
So I’ve been making these paper figures for myself for a while (they’re lining the walls of my studio), and I thought I’d make them available to everyone else. For free. Every Monday. Print the figures out yourself on your own printer, or you can take them to your local print shop (that’s what I do) for the best quality.
I figured I’d start with a set of figures from the BBC show SHERLOCK, given that if it weren’t for that marvelous show I probably wouldn’t be on tumblr in the first place.
I don’t usually do backgrounds for these, but this set comes with a Baker Street diorama, because come on, Baker Street.
Anyway, click here to download the print file. It’s a little shy of 27MB, which isn’t HUGE, but it’s probably better suited to a laptop or a desktop than a phone. If you want to get OTHER paper figure sets, just go to the paper figure page at CroganAdventures.com and pick out the set(s) you want (more of these will pop up each Monday, so check back each week or follow to see what’s new).
I want as many folks as possible who might enjoy these to see ‘em. So I’m doing a
Since this is the first of what’ll be lots and lots of these sets, I’m gonna make this contest a BIG one. THREE winners!
• First Prize: A professionally printed set of the Sherlock figures, a set of my Arthur Conan Doyle stories Sherlock Holmes figures, and AN ORIGINAL PAPER FIGURE OF YOUR CHOICE THAT I WILL DRAW JUST BECAUSE YOU WANT IT. Maybe you’ll want a portrait of yourself in a London constable outfit so that you can hang out in Baker Street with the others. Maybe you want red pants John. Maybe you want the hound. Maybe you want something entirely unrelated to Sherlock, like the janitor from Scrubs or Totoro. So long as I consider it within the bounds of good taste (I do make all ages comics, after all), it’s your call. You’ll get the digital file, a professionally printed copy, AND the original art. Usually I charge eighty bucks for one of these, so that’s a real steal!
• Second Prize: A professionally printed set of the Sherlock figures, a set of my Arthur Conan Doyle stories Sherlock Holmes figures
• Third Prize: A set of my Arthur Conan Doyle stories Sherlock Holmes figures
And, because it’s important to share, whomever the winners reblogged from will ALSO receive the same prize as their follower winner! (winners who reblog from themselves only get one prize, and there’s no additional prize if you reblog directly from me)
• likes aren’t eligible, ONLY reblogs.
• You can reblog as often as you like, but Tumblr only shows your most recent reblog, so you’ll only show up once. Sorry. Tumblr’s doing, not mine.
• You don’t have to follow me to win, but I’ll be doing contests like this fairly regularly and posting new figures along with occasional contest updates, so it might be an easy way to keep up.
• I’m lousy with numbers, so no spreadsheets or anything like that for me, because if I tried it I’d end up leaving people off. I’m going to use a random number generator (random.org) to pick a number. If that number happens to be a reblog, it wins! If it’s a like, I pick another random number, and repeat ‘til there’s a winner. I’ll do third place first, then second, then first.
• The winners will be chosen at 4am Eastern Time early on Saturday, September 29th. I’ll be helping to run the SCAD-Atlanta 24-hour comics event, so there will be plenty of witnesses on hand and we’ll make a big to-do about it. Obviously, no reblogs after 4am Eastern on September 29th will be eligible.
• If this reaches 5K notes, I’ll add another prize. Something fun.
As always, art collectors can find the originals on my original art page.
- How to do taxes
- What taxes are
- How to vote
- What political parties are
- How to write a resume/cover letter/anything related to getting a job
- How to write a check/balance a check book
- Anything to do with banking
- How to do loans for college
- How to jump start a car or other basic emergency things
- How to buy a car or house
I find this post to be a bit bullshit. Not all of it, just the message of it. It’s disconcerting.
While walking around Downtown Berkeley, a friend and I saw a group of kids playing Ultimate Frisbee half naked in the parking structure between Units 1 and 2.
It was by far, the best thing I’ve ever seen. Made my night. So college, but so brilliant.
These are absolutely ancient. Some I found in December 2011, some are just links I found rotting in my bookmarks. And others are things that have made the rounds on tumblr before. I don’t even know if some of these work but here you go; Maybe you’ll find them useful.
News, Articles, and Essays
- When To Show, When To Tell
- Everything You Wanted To Know About Comic Marketing
- NaNoWriMo Pep Talk by Neil Gaiman
- George Orwell’s Five Rules for Effective Writing
Tutorials and How-Tos
- The Lost Boyz: How I Study Animation
- Understanding Anatomy: Introduction - by IBelievePracticeMakesPerfect
Resources, Tools and References
- The Round Table: Photoshop brushes of the pros for free, skills still required
- Art by Papercut - Free ebook with references and guides
- Cinemosaic - Screenshots of movies noted for composition curated by Pixar’s Lou Romano [No longer updated]
- Simply Scripts - Script Bank for hundreds of screenplays
- DeGraeve Color Palette Generator - Derives color palette from photos
- Color Wheel Pro: Color Meaning
- Coolrus Color Picking - Adobe color wheel extension
Repairs prior to modifying:
- Repair the hole made from a screw holding the tremelo claw in.
- Sand down the inside to clean it up.
- Shield the main cavity with either copper or paint.
- Shield the pickguard around the pickups.
The mods I want to do:
- Convert it into a Fat Strat with a HSS configuration.
- Humbucker pickup and two more single coil pickups for the conversion.
- New pickguard.
- Heavier sustain block.
- Neck with smaller radius.
All for an instrument I don’t really know how to play.
- I really don’t want to do press for conventions anymore. It’s fun, but a different kind of fun.
- Also tiring.
- I’m actually very very sad I didn’t meet up with anyone I knew on the internet. The only person I did meet I didn’t remember. sed face.
- I got a massage on Day 3. Apparently, I am an incredibly concentrated mass of stress and tight muscles.
- Artist Alley artists gradually get more and more business-like as the con goes on. You want to talk to them, talk to them on Day 1.
- Industry panels are very very dry; spice it up if you can.
- Becoming a Fanimaid looks like it would be kinda fun. Shame I’m a dude.
- Not coming back for Day 4 because I won’t be able to do my job effectively. Probably the first time I want to skip out on the last day.
A kid from San Francisco who enjoys the hipster culture, nerdfighting, animation and cartoons, art, hometowns, martial arts, the ironic and hilarious, music, and photography.
Ask me anything