Wednesday, March 16, 2011


OMG Japan.  I cannot imagine what it must feel to go though such a traumatic experience and to be unable to be at peace even almost a week after it happened.  News of a possible nuclear catastrophe and the continuous aftershocks that continue to strike this area of the world, are sparking fear and a sense of uncertainty that would drive anyone mad out of their senses.

My nearest earthquake-related experience was almost four years ago, when the southern city of Pisco literally fell to pieces after it was hit by a 7.9 magnitude quake.  This was 230km. south of Lima, but GOD did we feel and GOD did it feel like it lasted forever (about 2:30 minutes).  Though I managed to stay quite calm and to calm those around me (I was with a friend at her shop and with her salesgirl) while it happened, I was traumatized for months, thinking it could happen again at any moment.

Like many animal lovers,  one of the things that worries me the most about tragedies like these, is the fate of most pets.  I have read that in Japan, most shelters will not allow people to come in with their animals and that they have been faced with the tough choice of leaving them behind in order to guarantee their own safety.

But within this tragic situation, there is hope.  People like Ashely Fruno, PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner, and Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata are taking care of those pets who have been abandoned amidst the mess of debris left by the quake and the tsunami that followed.

From PETA Asia-Pacific's blog, The Hot & Sour Scoop.
One of the first members of an international animal rights group to reach the disaster area, PETA Asia-Pacific senior campaigner Ashley Fruno has been in Japan with Isabella Gallaon-Aoki of Animal Friends Niigata since taking the first flight to Tokyo after the airport opened Saturday night. Ashley and Isabella are providing food, water, and care to animals abandoned when their guardians fled to evacuation centers, and are also providing food to animals whose guardians are having a hard time getting supplies of food because of long lines of hundreds of people waiting to get into stores. They've encountered many citizens who have stayed in their badly damaged homes for days because many evacuation centers are not allowing companion animals inside.
"The damage is absolutely horrific," Ashley says. "These dogs and cats need rescue for the sake of the anguished people who were forced to choose between seeking refuge in evacuation centers and taking their beloved animal companions with them."
Despite long waits at gas stations, Ashley and Isabella continue to visit the worst-affected areas in search of animals who need help, and their team remains in touch with the volunteer relief center, city office, and prefecture office, which plans to set up a temporary shelter for animals in the north of the city. Ashley is also talking to reporters and asking them to alert her if they spot animals in need.
Fortunately, there is a way WE can help too.  PETA's ANIMAL EMERGENCY FUND provides grants to organizations that do rescue work in situations like the one going on in Japan right now.  All you have to do is visit this link and make a donation.
To finish off, and in an attempt to make you click on the link above, here's the touching video of a dog who took care and would not leave his injured companion after they both survived the tsunami.  For your mind's sake, both have already been rescued (the thought of them being left alone tortured me for quite a while).

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My dearest friend Jorge posted a link to Kylie's wardrobe fitting on his Facebook wall.  He just flew back to Barcelona where he's been living for over five years and was lucky enough to score a ticket to her show.  The fitting features Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana trying out the different combinations of dresses, shoes and headpieces for Kylie's Aprhodite: Les Folies Tour.  The clothes look amazing of course, a lot of Grecian influence, and a lot of trademark Dolce & Gabbana details.

 What I liked about this link in particular was how it showed Kylie moving and practicing a few dance moves in the outfits to see if they would actually work onstage and on the road.  I must say I love Kylie, but she's not that much of a dancer really (though I was pleasantly surprised to see her move quite a lot when she came to Lima a couple of years ago), so I guess the clothes are pretty safe.  My friend Paloma once told me that there were a few wardrobe malfunctions when the same duo designed the clothes for Madonna's Girlie Show Tour, but of course, if she's dancing 99% of the time, they are BOUND to happen

Back when I was in design school, one of our first extracurricular projects was to co-design a wardrobe for a modern dance group from a local university.  Our head professor was in charge of the whole thing but we helped out and got to go to every show to make sure the dancers had the look we desired.  Unfortunately, not all of them had real "dancers' bodies", but we managed pretty well.  One of our main concerns was that they'd be able to move freely throughout the whole performance, and they did.  I remember we also styled their hair into twig-like shapes covered in gold spray paint.  Quite intoxicating.
So while I was pondering about the importance of wardrobe design in dance, I began thinking about that famous scene in Top Hat where Fred Astaire and Ginger Roger dance to Cheek To Cheek.

Any complaint regarding the excessive amount of marabou feathers used on her dress simply disappear once the couple begins to dance.  I don't really have mention the fact that they are both excellent dancers, but the use of feathers in her dress adds so much movement that it actually manages to enhance their talent.

 I love this song, I love Fred Astaire and this scene just makes me sigh.  Here it is, enjoy.

Sunday, March 6, 2011


I have fallen for Adele.  I can't say I loved her from the beginning, the truth is I never actually gave her a chance up until a couple of days ago.  A friend on Facebook posted her video for Rolling In The Deep and I immediately loved the song (and the video as well).
I had become aware of her when her Chasing Pavements came out and especially when Anna Wintour took her under her wing, but I still was not amused.  Yesterday I downloaded a podcast from one of my favorite blogs, and in it I found Someone Like You and I have to say I have not stopped listening to it since.  
I searched for videos on youtube and found her UH-mazing performance from this year's Brit Awards (which I remember had been posted by another friend of mine on the exact day of the awards but I totally ignored it).  I couldn't hold back the tears.  I was even listening to it as I was sketching today, then I'd go back to watching the video, back to sketching, and so on.

 In a time where songs have very poor lyrical content and a very predictable pattern, one can only appreciate a talent like Adele's twice as much.  Not only are the words in Someone Like You something you can relate to immediately, but her voice and delivery manage to create a heart wrenching connection that gives you goosebumps and leaves you teary-eyed.  
Whoever designed her performance deserves a round of applause.  I love the simplicity of it.  It makes her talent even more obvious.  I mean, it could have gone cheesy with the wrong lighting effects or any other props, but this was just perfection.  LOVED the rain of metallic confetti at the end.  Adele will be turning 22 this year.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


My Peruvian ID expired (as well as my Uruguayan ID and passport), and so I feel like a character in a movie set in an Eastern European country during the Cold War, who, unable to speak the local language, is about to be detained by the police and then arrested.
Though I tried to fix my Uruguayan situation while I was vacationing in Punta del Este earlier this year, I wasn't able to for two reasons: 1. I took too long to start the whole renewal procedure (I was having too much fun) and 2. Uruguayan bureaucracy has not evolved, nor does it show any signs that it will any time soon (and their employees are apparently hell-sent).  Pretty much like the Miss Argentina character in Beetlejuice, remember her?


Anyway, I must plan a quick trip to Montevideo some time soon in order to get all of this solved.  You see, Uruguayan law has it that in order for me to renew my passport I FIRST have to renew my ID.  Why not renew my ID at the Consulate in Lima?  Because you simply can't.  This is something that MUST be done in the actual country.  I know, it's ridiculous.  I cried, I wailed, I had a tantrum.
"Why bother so much for an Uruguayan passport?" you might ask, like some of my Argentine friends sneered back in Punta.  Well, you see, there are a couple of reasons.  One is that I actually want a physical element that makes the link to my mother's country of birth official.  Two: there are benefits from having it, such as not needing a visa for the U.K., Italy, France,Spain and many other European countries.  And believe me, having lost my diplomatic passport privileges when I turned 25 (someone hand me a tissue please), it COMES. IN. HANDY.  I've never had to ask for a visa so I'm really unfamiliar with the whole process and I've heard it's usually an unpleasant experience. 

So, back to Peru.  I went to get my Peruvian ID renewed.  There was a huge line.  I left.  I decided I'd come back another  day, hopefully before the elections in April, ha!  I already had my picture taken though, and on my way back home, as I stared at it and placed it next to the one on my expired ID I thought to myself : GOD have I  AGED!  Not that I am not happy with the way I look now (I think I'm more comfortable with myself today than I was then), but I the signs of this certain "maturity", so as to call it, were undeniable.
In a very 1989-1999-The-Next-Best-Thing-mirror-scene kind of way, I found a blog's (thank you Matt Rettenmund) side-by-side comparison of a picture of Madonna at the Vanity Fair party on Sunday and another one of her at a book signing in 2000, where she actually looks younger TODAY.  I discussed the Madonna situation with a dear friend of mine from Buenos Aires and he said it was a case of "Benjamin Button", and that he too "suffered" from that syndrome.  He kept me laughing for a while when he sent me some ridiculously, terribly photoshopped pictures of himself to prove his point.  I then had to do my own side-by-side comparison and realized I do NOT have that condition.  Unfortunately.

DARK CIRCLES! 2011 vs. 2005

I had another nostalgic moment today that took me back to a bit earlier than 2005, precisely to 2003.  I had a wonderful cardio workout today to a song from that year.  It was on repeat for a while, and as I listened to it, it brought back many memories: parties at my favorite restaurant, a silver Beetle, a rooftop party, the friends I used to hang out with back then, those who STILL hang out with me now, a hat party, etc. etc.  I originally thought my picture had been taken in 2003 as well, so I thought "what a fortunate coincideeeeence...", but no, I was confused.  So, just for confusion's sake, let me post the song.  The End Starts Today (Tommi Sunshine Remix), by Bis .

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


 The Romantic in me has struck again after reading this morning's paper. The news of the people of Libya making progress on their way to democracy (hopefully) and overthrowing Gaddafi has sparked a certain excitement in me that immediately reminded me of the Romanian Revolution of 1989 and the end of a dictatorship that spanned over 20 years. I'm afraid Muamar Gaddafi's reluctance to give up his power will condemn him to a similar fate to that of Nicolae CeauČ™escu's.