Sunday, September 16, 2007

Herpfest! Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show and Sale

This is a picture of me romancing a monitor last weekend at the herpfest. It was fun, but I left feeling deeply dissatisfied.

I was so excited about the event, that I actually wrote this:

"The Tucson Reptile & Amphibian Show and Sale is coming up in just two weeks! I am so excited that I'm actually posting about something coming up as opposed to after the fact. I mean, that's foresight.

I was in a class in The Writer's Studio with Mark Wolfson a few months ago when he wrote this awesome short story about a snake. It was the first piece of fiction that Sonoran Herpetologist ever published. Congrats, Mark!"

Okay so, I still love Mark. He's such a nice guy. But Mark, you have to hear this:

The venue chosen for this event was way too small. We need a bigger space! Everyone was packed in there so tight that I left before I was ready to because I was just feeling too damn claustrophobic.

Now, if the event was stressful for me, what about the animals? I've never seen so many snakes and turtles in Tupperware before. And what about the the tortoises who were in the Rubbermaid storage so small for them that their heads and legs were pushed up under their shells the whole time; like the alligator we all enjoyed petting but who must have been freaking out, unable to bite our heads off due to the electrical tape around his snout; like the freedom-loving lizard who pushed the lid right off the cream cheese container he was imprisoned in before my very eyes. I should have fended off the vendors while he made a run for it.

The thing is, when I added all this stuff up, all the things that made me uncomfortable at the herpfest, I realized why it all bugged me. It seemed that, although there is obviously real love and dedication for reptiles there, the bottom line is definitely $$$. And it felt like some vendors love their animals in the same way that farmers love their cattle.

I would have been much more satisfied if there had been a stronger educational push at the event. Even the Phoenix Herpetological Society van didn't bother to post more detailed information about their critters. How old was that albino python? What part of the world are they originally from? What does he eat? What does he weigh? Could he really have me for dinner?

I guess I could have stuck around for Bill Love's talk on "Beyond Photographing Reptiles: Strategically Placed Snakes and Naked Latinas", but as a feminist Latina that just didn't appeal to me. (No, that wasn't really the name of his presentation, but from his posters I judge it could've been.)

So I walked away not knowing the difference between a lizard and a gecko, why bearded dragons are so popular, what kind of monitor I had just made out with, or why our Reeve's turtle, Fred, can't get a girlfriend. There could have been at least some more posters or labels or speakers. Tucson's Reptile and Amphibian show could have been thrilling (they even sell beer!) but alas, I felt let down.

Footnote: Why do so many weird people go to the herpfest? (I use the term "weird" with all due respect.) It was like that the week previous at the Tucson Alternative Energy Expo, too. Andrew's answer: "Pets on the fringes = pet owners on the fringes. Alternative energy = alternative lifestyles." That seems too predictable to me, but whatever...

A Cabin in Pinetop

Picture yourself sitting here, having your morning coffee outside comfortably in an alpine forest...

Last weekend I really wanted to get out of the heat, at least just for 24 hrs. So we dropped some cash and took our selves (including Frida, pictured above) to Pinetop for little hikes, grilling out, reading in a hammock and roasting marshmallows by the fire to the sound of mournful coyotes. It was just what I needed.

I found an add for the "cabin" on craigslist. Some cabin! The place is huge. It actually sleeps nine people in beds. Then it has room for more in sleeping bags, etc. We're itching to get our friends out there. It would be a great place to do Thanksgiving.

The cabin does back the national forest, but it's also in a subdivision, so it's not as far away from civilization as I would have liked. There are neighbors, but mostly it's more private quiet and spacious than what I'm used to, which is immensely refreshing...I just would like to have a chance to come down a long, dirt road to find a cabin that's really on it's own. (If you know of one let me know, 'cause I'd pay good money for that!)

This cabin has all the amenities, which is convenient but not rustic. (I think that for hanging out with friends, convenient is better, but if it were just Andrew and I again I'd opt for rustic.) It's nice because you don't have to pack much: the cabin includes all appliances, furnishings, dishes, silverware, towels, etc.

The other thing that gives this place special charm is that it's custom decorated. The details are nice, but also weird, because it feels a little like a staging. (For example, there are framed pictures of children in the master bedroom, and you almost expect them to be somebody's grandkids, but they are obviously just the pictures that came with the frames.) I really like those quirky details.

So, the drive is at least four hours there and four back from central Tucson, but it's gorgeous almost the whole way. The drive really seems shorter because it's so lovely.

If this sounds like heaven, contact Irene by clicking on this link to her craigslist post. Tell her Eva sent you. The lower, fall rate has kicked in now, but there is also a cleaning fee and a refundable deposit that aren't mentioned in the add, so make sure you talk to her about that first.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Tucson Querido Photo Exhibit This Month

Nine framed photographs, (most of which have appeared on this blog), are on exhibit at Espresso Art this month.

Support your local blogger/poor grad student by ordering prints for $25 or framed prints (in the most sophisticated, Swedish modern frames from Ikea) for $50.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

The U of A Experiment - Vote Condi in 08

No, I didn't personally take this pic of Condi. As a work of the U.S. federal government, the image is in the public domain per 17 U.S.C. § 101 and § 105.

Below is a copy of a poem I found in Modern Languages:


Condaleeza Rice I want to marry you

because you are agreeable
to vegetarians, carnivores, and vegans,
like potatoes.

Also like a potato, you are brown on the outside,
and cold white and hard on the inside.

I know you would never fuck up the laundry,
because you are an expert at segregating
the colors from the whites.

You like your Starbucks like you like your men:
Foamy milk with no coffee,
extra light and white.

If we have problems with the neighbors,
I can send you to delegate,
because you learned a thing or two from your uncle Tom,
who was also a master of listening to the problems of white men.

Condaleezza Rice if you were on the slave block,
I would buy you.....
And that is the most fucked up shit I've ever said,
but to Condi,
that shit is just dirty talk.

Vote Condi in 08,
The Experiment (

Saturday, September 01, 2007

My Friend Copernicia

This is my dear friend Copernicia. Well, that's not her real name, but anyway. She lives in Paraguay and I haven't seen her for a year. She's making money with a site called Spymac which is basically a multi-level marketing plan based on uploading original content. Because it actually pays out, it's quickly becoming wildly popular in Paraguay, which I think is cool because I like Paraguayan content. There isn't that much of it online.

So here's a cyber toast in support of Copernicia. She is a great friend, an excellent photographer and a sexy subject to photograph! Check out her content to see for yourself.