Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Travel document.

The mothersheister has finally got her "travel document " in hand. As you can see here, it's her "certificate of identity" sent by courier from Kenya over the past few days. It was a time of many long waits at the Kenyan Embassy in Madrid, but the staff there were super nice and so helpful. We believe they have never dealt with such a thing before, and they tackled the challenge with gusto. We are hopeful that now the mothersheister will be able to get on the plane and back into the US on Tuesday when we fly back, between this piece of paper which is huge and cool looking, and her residency card. 

Now we are about to embark on an expedition to Galicia, in northwestern Spain. Bent just had her first driving in Spain experience with our gigantic 9 passenger monstrosity of a van/truck, and it went all right. We don't know what the internet situation will be in Tui, the tiny village on the border with Portugal where we will be staying, but hopefully we can keep yall updated. 

In the meantime of all this drama, we have had a lot of fun times with djs RadIUS and Choque y Fuga. Some highlights include going out dancing at a gay club with the longest drag show ever (but dj Ratita did win a song competition with prizes of a car and a free whisky), riding bikes around town, living in our "hut" aka a nice little hotel room right downtown, and more. Lots of drinking wine and beer and whisky as always and lots of good food as always. 

We leave you with another shot of the mothersheister and her document:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

This is our definition of suck:::Nuestra definicion de asco.

Dear readers-

Thanks for checking in and also commenting! Responses to comments are coming, they have been delayed by extraordinary circumstances. It's a long story but it involves thieves, late night Madrid, stupid police (duh), and the loss of two cameras, credit cards, euros, assorted other things and most importantly the Mothersheister's passport and therefor visa to be in Spain and to go to Morocco. This is a calamity of the highest proportion and we have spent the last 15 almost sleepless hours trying to resolve it but in the end there is only so much we can do. It had to happen on a Friday night, the day before we were scheduled to leave for Morocco, just hours after we bought bus tickets to the straits of Gibraltar b/c the bus was selling out of seats. So in addition to the actual items, the thieves also temporarily stole all our fun and joy in life, stole our trip to Morocco from us, stop about 150 euros/$200ish dollars for the fees to cancel the tickets, and much more that is not articulable.

Fortunately, a bright ray of sun did arrive about 5 hours after this tragedy struck - the infamous djs choque y fuga arrived in Madrid from DC and we were overjoyed to see them. They have brought great strength and support to all of us here already including dj RadIUS (who we are not able to post photos of his first day b/c they are almost all gone with the two stolen cameras. that of course is in addition to the stolen/lost camera of our second day here. and the stolen sweater and jacket of dj ana the night before. Ay Cabron!!!!)

We are now temporarily shacked up in a cute hotel downtown just of Plaza Puerta del Sol, one of the most important public squares in Madrid, to get some needed rest and regroup to make a new plan. 

We understand the social dynamics of theft, and have not been exempt from engaging in it in relatio to multinational corporations or for immediate need, but we would never take someone's wallet with their travel documents. Fine, take the money, but leave the damn passport. Of course such demands from the karma of the universe are met with silent betrayal. Especially considering the number of times we have gone out of our way to return IDs and such to people, or other stolen goods.

Perhaps Mothersheister will be interested in recounting the full details or some of them at a later date but now it is still a bit too raw, so we'll leave it at this. We will bring updates as soon as possible, and thanks again for reading and all your support, especially to djs robbins-sibouih. 

Stay tuned!! We leave you with a beautiful moment of happier days, climbing the mountains of Madrid


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Food: we like it

Although christmas eve dinner let a bit to be desired, we have had lots of delicious food in Madrid so far. And usually food comes along with drink, which any one familiar with gender fatigue knows, we love!! 

So this was at one of the best places we have been so far. It's called "El Tigre" - they had big glasses of wine and FREE tapas. That's what's up!!! And they were so tasty. S so tasty. Mothersheister and bent got a little bent at that bar, and loved the food. Going to bars and eating little bits (or lots) of food is pretty fun - it's totally not like bar food at most places in the US which is pretty cool, and there's a different selection at a lots of different places, but somethings that are almost always on the menu. Like papas con 3 quesos. We've had a couple different versions of that. Here is a picture of it, in the upper left hand side:

You also see in the foreground the wine, next to it was a tasty dish with peppers and tomatoes and ground beef that was spicy - rare for Spain! They said it was from somewhere in west African, maybe Ghana? Anyway, it was good. Behind that is "una canya" which is a short little glass of beer. To the left of the canya is olives and you can see their pits below the potatoes. They had good food at this place and we played cards afterwards - it's a bar owned by some of DJ "ana"'s friends and one of her exes served us which was very funny. But not awkward which is good.

Another great place we got good food for cheap (7 euros for two sandwiches and a sangria!) was at the fleamarket on Sunday. We have been so lucky it's been nice weather, so it was great to enjoy these treats outside. Here is bent enjoying her "tosta con atun" and sangria! Yum!!

We were super excited to find at the fleamarket two copies of the record containing now one of our favorite songs which we heard on the radio one night: Eddy Grant's "Gimme Hope Jo'anna". So damn good:

Despite the aformentioned disaster that was Christmas eve dinner, we had some delicious treats from a famous cake shop for breakfast on xmas morn, along with mimosas and a delicious brunch including the coveted black beans that were carried from DC to Madrid!! 

And how can we talk about food in Spain without mentioning ham...

Buen Provecho!!!

Cochina Navidad!

We're stuffed and feliz this christmas day!  Drinking mimosas and recieving eye-popping regalos (presents)!  

We're off to the mountains.  But before we go on our travels, we wanted to share a bit of something to all of you potential migrants to Espana.  You may want to change your mind. Apparently, Spain has a new program encouraging immigrants to leave the country.  They are using billboards and other media to promote the program. Check out this ad. 

"If you are thinking of going home..."
--Voluntary Return Plan--

in smaller font underneath the yellow box is "tu eliges tu futuro"  or "you choose your own future"

Ummm, what the hell does that mean!  Yeah, We think that you can insouniate that your future in Spain is pretty grim if you don't choose to get the hell out!!!  


Monday, December 22, 2008

Verdad Esa!

querrida amigas,

Unfortunately, bent has come down with some bug that kept her in bed the whole day. But DJ "I love Edward Cullen",  DJ Ana, and I spent a beautiful evening together in the center of Madrid.  Before we get to that, let's just say that Mothershiester has had a difficult time getting up in the morning.  Late starts are part of this girl's game and she needs to snap out of it. But alas on the bright side of things, I'm quite relaxed despite starting the day at 1 p.m.  And there was alot of accomplished.  

1.  I went to the market with DJ Ana to get supplies for a delicious beef stew that she made. We had a very spanish lunch, not because of what we ate but how we ate it.  It was in 3 courses and we took it between 2 and 4 pm.  It's even part of the commercial culture of Spain.  Alot of shops close during those times so that the workers and owners or owners/workers can go and get their eat on.

2.  After the tasty meal, I went out on my own to the downtown center of Madrid.  Thankfully, DJ Ana gave me awesome directions for my first outing solo.  I took the Opera stop and walked along called de arenal where i felt like I was going to be engulfed in the crowds.  I wonder if it is this busy during the non-holiday season.  The area that i was walking through is basically closed to cars. You can walk around and do alot of window shopping or stopping in for vino o cafe at a bar.  

I bought a few things including these asombroso lps from this store called Killer's Discos.  You may recognize some of these folks from our website. I think they area all Spanish musicians from the 80s including Radio Futura, Nacha Pop, and Los Secretos. Don't quote me on that.

Don't you see the happiness in my eyes.

Very stoked for this one!

3.  I met up with DJ Ana, DJ "I love Edward Cullen", y DJ Ana's friends, DJ "Trapecio" y DJ "Cumpleanos" for Crepusculo aka Twilight. My new favorite move.  It was subtitled in spanish and not dubbed. Dubbing sometimes is not a good idea.  Okay, I like it alot more the second time. And I loved it the first time.   

Vale, tengo ir.  Pero take the time to comment. And pray that bent will pulvarize the bug para manana.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Putamierda = mothsheister's new spanish vocab word!

After every possible plane delay as well as waiting an hour for our luggage and then another hour to find out that it was lost, we officially arrived out of the airport into sunny Madrid Spain. One serious problem of the modern airline industry that we have observed: severe under staffing. We waited in line (with only 2 passengers in front of us) to check in at BWI for over an hour b/c fourof their staff ended their shift and they did not replace them. The rest of the staff were assigned to assist passenger's using the self serve kiosks (which we could not b/c of discriminatory immigration practices) - but WHY HAVE THE MACHINES? if you need ot have people staffing them anyway? There was literally a staff member who kept asking us in line "are you sure you can't use the machines" rather than actually staffing the ticket counter and helping us check in!!!!!! AGH!!! After intervention by fellow passengers and ourselves, we got the line moving and were able to make it to our flight, which was eventually delayed two hours anyway....

That, by the way, was while we sat on the smallest plane ever (photo to come). Mothersheister did remarkably well considering the small size of the plane and her deep seeded fear of flying - maybe she will overcome it completely some day? The next plane could have fit at least three of our first planes into it, yet it did not even have individual TV screens on the backs of the seats for our veiwing pleasure! Not that Fred Claus is viewing pleasure but still... The Morning screening of Mama Mia on the other hand was excellent and Mothersheister had a great time dancing and singing while bent and dj "i'm in love with edward cullen" slept fitfully.

The lovely eye-coverings provided by Delta were very helpful in the sleep department.

Unfortunately, by traveling on December 17 we missed the commemoration of International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers. Check out what we missed at the big march in DC :(

Once we landed we thought all was clear as we wizzed through customs (we all had to go throught "the rest" column as opposed to "spanish and EU" line) and we eagerly made our way to the baggage claim. Our enthusiasm was trampled as we watched bag after bag pass us on the conveyor belt, some as many as twenty times in repetition. Yet our bags were nowhere to be found. An hour later they said no more bags were coming from JFK, so we headed over to the baggage info line, which once again was understaffed. We probably smelled and looked like characters from the last scene of Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise.

During yet anotherinterminable wait, we were pleasantly surprised by our host dj ana who had somehow made it past the security guards into the secure area of the airport to find us because she had been waiting so long for us. While we were overjoyed to see her, it does not bode well for security at Madrid's Barajas airport. When we finally were able to speak with the one person assigned to answer our questions, she told us our bags had not arrived but that they would be delivered when they did. Damn!!!!

Undaunted, we headed into the city and hung with dj ana's mom/dj "i love edward cullen"s grandma. we had a sumptuous meal of cake cut into stars assembled into a christmas tree-like stack and dribbled with flat whip cream... This was followed by our first Spanish shopping mall experience where we witnessed a phenomenon that bent thinks is very European - groups of old people sitting on benches. Like dozens, not tlaking, just staring off into space. Creepy. Mission accomplished at H&M (which we must say the Spanish version of this store does not reflect well on the country) we headed out to Estremera, the far nether reaches of "Comunidad Madrid" - basically it's the country side but they call it Madrid, trying to fool people for some reason that is a mystery to us non-Spaniards. This would be like calling a small town in Shenandoah Valley part of DC.

But it's beautiful here in Estremera, very picturesque, although FREEZING! We ate an afternoon meal of paella and wine on the sidewalk outside our new home, exchanging pleasantries with old men and Romanian immigrant youth. The white washed stucco walls and the dusty streets, as well as the desert like landscape, had us imagining ourselves as part of the Three Amigos, a comedy classic.

Yes, we know it's set in Mexico, but whatevs. And no, our lives do not revolve around movie references, we just happen to make a lot when we are strangers in a strange land!

We're off to more adventures. Stay tuned!!

Monday, December 8, 2008


This Saturday December 6 saw the unveiling of the force that is known as "Open Studio" which genderfatigue resident mothersheister has been moving forward since the beginning. She exhibited her much anticipated "Ode to Shirley Chisholm", the product of open studio:

Open studio is a really brilliant really simple idea: create space for people to create. Particularly but not only art and other creative endeavors - like watercolors, sculpture, drawing, collage, and more. Open studio is about creation and that also means silk-screening and sewing and djing. We had all those things and more on display Saturday night, as bunches of folks passed through the newly reopened Sheesha Palace Cafe.

There was wine and snacks galore and lots of new faces - and who could forget the excellent performance/art piece by Marcia on the trombone. Off the hook!

One beautiful thing about the night was that so many people could take away their creations, including mix cd sleeve collages and incredible new clothing created by silk-screening beautiful images of phenomenal females onto shirts, hoodies, and more.

Keep your eye out for future Open Studio events and the final Open Studio of the year will be next Sunday, Dec 14th.

Viva Open Studio!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Help out $pread Magazine

Sorry for the lack of posts lately - more to come soon we promise!!!

In the meantime here are two great mini videos that the fine folks at $pread Magazine have created - please give them money so they can keep up their amazing work!

Also don't forget OPEN STUDIO this Saturday from 5pm on! It will be great times!