February 17, 2007

Callejón del Beso

In honour of love...
Originally uploaded by stodmyk.
The Callejón del Beso is a funky little spot in Guanajuato, México that celebrates the eternal romance of... you guessed it... the kiss.

Here's the balcony where the myth played out. Apparently, a wealthy shopowner didn't like his daughter's boyfriend, so he forbade them seeing each other. The enterprising youth paid the neighbour for access to the balcony, which, as you can see, is within whispering distance of the wooee's bedroom.

The father came home as the two were holding hands, and, enraged, killed his daughter with a kitchen knife. The suitor was distraught but unable to do anything as the window was too small to get across to save the girl. As she slipped away, he kissed her hand to show his everlasting love -- and thereby named this narrow opening, "The Alleyway of the Kiss."

Locals, between offers to take your picture in the alley for $5, will also tell you that should you visit here, it's bad luck not to kiss your honeybunch on the third step. Why the third? Perhaps because the first two steps are worn out by too many American hiking shoes. What if you visit with a college buddy? Hey, what happens in México, stays in México.

February 8, 2007

Note to self

It's kinda funny that an evangelical Christian schoolmaster is named "Swindoll." I mean, really. Sometimes they make these things too easy.

February 6, 2007


While I'm not much, generally, on Christian fundamentalist dogma, occasionally these bible-toting jokers get something right. Case in point: I've been thumping the idea of perspective, of attitude, into my students for years. The Chancellor of the Dallas Theological Seminary, Charles Swindoll, in addition to his right-wing, capital R Republican views, actually happens to make sense when it comes to how we, as people, can utterly alter our lives through the adjustment of something firmly within our own control: attitude.

Italics and bolds below are mine, but the words are all Swindoll. (A shout out to Taby, the new teacher in the staff room, for passing this passage along.)

By Charles Swindoll

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude... I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it. And so it is with you... We are in charge of our Attitudes.

February 1, 2007

Marvel 1602

I just finished reading Neil Gaiman's post-Sandman endeavour, entitled Marvel 1602 due to the simple fact that he's taken the Marvel universe and plunked it firmly in the final year of Queen Elizabeth's reign. 1602, to be precise.

Well-written, and a fun spin on the whole Jack Kirby/Stan Lee character empire. Mutants are called Witchbreed, and are hunted by the Inquisition.

Strangely, the character I'm most into is Daredevil, all-too brooding and self-absorbed in his usual incarnation; here a blind minstrel with a penchant for one-liners.

A fun read, I must say, especially necessary for me right now, since most of the time these days I'm knee-deep in non-fiction Latin American history or fighting through intense Shakespearean analyses.

Oh, and did I mention the bitchin' scratchboard covers by Scott McKowen? They're, well, bitchin'.