A whopper…

Last night Jeff and I hunkered down to watch ‘Apocalypto’ – the flick about the Maya civilization. I came away from it thinking it was unspeakably gory (which I don’t really mind if it’s with purpose), and also that the Mayans were straight up savage and very very scary people. I am fortunate enough to know more about their civilization- that they were artists and philosophers, mathematicians and architects, they created a calendar and had a complex understanding of time and space- the list goes on and on. Also, they occasionally had human sacrifices that involved heart extraction and stuff… you know. Anyway, I couldn’t help but feel that I didn’t really get it. It was an action movie, that’s for sure, and well-made at that. However, I had to ask myself- what’s the point? The way they are portrayed in this movie is almost horrifying. You see some serious violence, slaves, and unspeakable cruelty throughout. All the while there is this main character, our hero, who is basically just fighting for his life the whole time- however it seems to me that the only reason he’s so glorified is because of the stark contrast between himself and the blatant savagery and blood lust that follows him. Oh, and he seemed to be a nice family and forest loving guy. I hardly ever think about a movie this much, and I’m not sorry that I saw it, but I think it was pretty obviously racist and ill-informed. I immediately did some research on it, and this is one of the best explanations for why I came to this conclusion:

While keeping some of the archaeological details accurate for “authenticity,” Gibson then jumbles together mass Aztec sacrifices with Maya rituals, as if they were the same. Certainly at the height of classic Maya civilization, the ruling classes made occasional human sacrifices to their gods, but nothing on the Holocaust-level scale that Gibson portrays in Apocalypto with fields of rotting, decapitated corpses that his hero, Jaguar Paw stumbles across as he attempts to escape his own execution in the city. With the advice of archaeologist Richard Hansen, Gibson seems to have researched anything the Maya might have done badly over a thousand year history and crammed it all into a few horrific days. How would the gringos look if we made a film that lumped together within one week the torture at the Abu Ghraib and Guatanamo prisons, the Tuskegee experiments, KKK lynchings, the battle at Wounded Knee, Japanese internment camps, the Trail of Tears, the Salem witch hunts, Texas death row executions, the Rodney King police beatings, the slaughter upon the Gettysburg battlefield, and the nuclear bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki – and made this look like a definitive statement on U.S. culture?” (written by Liza Grandia, a cultural anthropologist who has worked with Maya people since 1993 and speaks Q’echi’ Maya fluently)
Also check out this site, if you’re interested. Especially the Mesoamerican history section.

On a lighter note, I saw the movie Juno on Wednesday night. It was great! Go and see it, yes yes. I like watching prego movies. I wonder why…

My mom and dad and two sisters and bro-in-law and niece are all going to Mexico on Monday to visit Obeth’s family. I’m excited for his family to meet Tuula for the first time. I will miss them all a lot though, and I think I might be bored over new year’s. We’re going to a party, but it is inevitably one that I will leave far earlier than everyone else. I also just kinda don’t wanna spend more time talking about the baby and everything, and it seems like it’s all people wanna talk about if they don’t see me on a regular basis. This is understandable. I guess it just would have been fun this year to have my sisters around so that we could make loads of snacks (I have visions of baked brie, little egg rolls and dumplings, veggies and dips, etc.) and watch a couple of classic movies together. Good ol’ fashioned sober fun. Next year.

Christmas was good. It was by far the most exhausting one I’ve had yet, but that could have something to do with being 8 months pregnant. I really enjoyed the immediate family get-togethers, while the extended family ones left me feeling a little dry. I love them, but I was definitely tired by them. I also had lots of fun making everything for this year. We hardly bought anything except for supplies to make presents. I made ganache truffles, patchwork placemats for my mom and Gretchen, a patchwork pillow for Clara, a couple of pieces of stenciled art for my dad and one of Jeff’s cousins, apple butter, beer bread mixes (Jeff made a “lightly roasted double cream stout” just for the bread), we gave away some bottles of Pinot Grigio we made earlier this year, I made a delectable sour cream apple pie, and I made cranberry pistachio biscotti dipped in chocolate for extended family. Oh, and cranberry orange scones for my grandpa. I think perhaps this all contributed to my sleepiness over those days- or maybe the FIVE separate celebrations we went to. We have one last one tomorrow and then it’s over. YAY.

 

So yeah, in order, pillow, truffles, both kinds of placemats, stencil of Jeff’s cousins (original photo), and then Einstein.
 

 

  


Today is Maya’s birthday. Or at least, the date that we chose for her (we might be a day or two off, so whatever). She’s two! I love having this dog. She’s so precious to us. She’s been doing this really weird clingy thing with me though, on and off. I think she senses the hormonal changes and is responding to it all. It’s been strange though, not bad behavior, just different. Like our housemate and good friend, Doug, has been walking up and down the stairs from his apartment to the front porch for over two years, and only recently has Maya decided it’s necessary to bark at him through our front door. I mean, it’s just Doug! She also gets really clingy when I get up and do something besides just hanging around- especially change my clothes or put on a sweater. It’s like she senses I might be leaving or something and will literally be touching my side the whole time I’m changing and she’ll look at me anxiously and expectantly. I must admit, it’s sweet, but I don’t know how to respond to her because it’s almost like she’s asking me “Are you ok? What’s goin on? Everything cool mom?” My best strategy for dealing with this new stuff with her is to act like everything is totally normal. She can’t really be fooled, but I just talk to her calmly and try not to feed her anxiety- if that’s even what it is. Anyway, I love her lots and she’s really such a good dog. She’ll be great with the baby.

Here she is in some pictures that were passed on to us from her foster parents. She’s the lightest pup of the three sisters.
These pictures always kill me.
 

 
And then this was from a couple of days ago. She is decidedly the most cuddle-tastic and loungy dog I know.
Maybe that’s just because I live with her, but I like to think I’ve trained her to be snuggly to the core.


My midwife will be here any minute to feel my belly. See ya!

Gracie
Gracie

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Comments (18)

  1. see_anotherside

    Great to see such an update from you – you’ve been busy! I love all of the photos, yours are always worth a look. The things you made are beautiful. πŸ™‚ Oh, and of course I have to say happy birthday to the adorable Maya!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thanks! Nice to see you update as well! Every time I see your photos I get excited to start up 365 again! πŸ™‚

      Reply
      1. see_anotherside

        Yeah, I am updating less frequently these days. Somebody distracts me… and then when I do post, it’s mostly about him!

        So you’re going to give Project 365 another shot? That would be great. I basically started mine because of you and it was fun to see what we both came up with. πŸ™‚ People should post more pics on LJ. That’s what I think. Maybe it’s because I can be a nosy person but I just like seeing little bits of other people’s lives, what they see every day and the people they know, etc.

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          I feel exactly the same way! It’s so cool that you’ve stuck with it. I’m gonna start up again on the first of the year! Yay 365 buddies!

          Reply
  2. la_mapache

    I agree about the whole Gibson,’Apocalypto’ movie. You pretty much hit the nail on the head as to reasons why I refuse to watch it.

    OMG cutest dogs ever! I’m thinking about getting a bunny, even though we can’t have pets, I think I can sneak it in. hmmmm

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Oh so you haven’t seen it? I didn’t really know anything about it other than that it was about the Mayans, although I think if I did know more I still probably would’ve seen it… It’s not a bad action flick, I just think you have to pretend it’s completely made up and not based on an actual (and surviving) group of people.

      OOOH bunny! I love bunnies, especially with floppy ears. If you get one then you must post many pictures so I can swoon.

      Reply
  3. nashifeet

    omg cutest dog ever

    and i dont like dogs.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      YAY! My Maya and her sisters win the nashifeet-doesn’t-like-dogs-but-if-she-did-who-would-it-be? contest!!! We have been cramming all year. This is muy exciting. πŸ˜‰

      Reply
  4. kazzibee

    happy birfday to your bewdiful maya!

    it’s garyann’s birthday tomorrow!

    woohoo! bellies up all round!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      GARYANN!!!!! I love him! Belly up! Belly up!
      You must do a hefty post all about him. You must.

      Reply
      1. kazzibee

        i did it! but it’s not very hefty.

        garyann, however, is quite hefty!

        Reply
        1. Gracie (Post author)

          Ooh i’m excited. I’m going to see it right now…

          Reply
  5. pearlstreetdiva

    oh your crafts are sooo beautiful!

    and juno….kimya dawson has a bunch of songs in the movie and I <3 her. If you have never listened to her then go check out her myspace page. I will have Isiah make you a CD to send also, just LMK. SHE ROCKS!

    Squinched up your face and did a dance
    Shook a little terd out of the bottom of your pants
    I don’t see what anyone can see in anyone else…but you
    ~~the moldy peaches –> that is the band she used to be in

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Thank you!

      Ooh she’s great! I’m listening to her right now. I’m getting the feeling of the movie back. Yes send me send me!!!

      Reply
  6. purerandomness

    Happy birthday, Maya! What an adorable furball πŸ˜€

    Hope your midwife appointment went well!

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Yay! I will pass the message on in code (scratches under the collar work well).

      It did go well! I have lots of baby in my belly.

      Reply
  7. prophetsong

    You are so clever, those things are beautiful. Hope the midwife appointment went ok. Not long for you now until you meet your gorgeous baby πŸ™‚

    Juno gets released in February here and I’m really looking forward to seeing it.

    Reply
    1. Gracie (Post author)

      Aw thanks! It’s not long at all now… before I overwhelm you all with pictures of my little sprout! Mwahahahah!

      Yeah, that movie was just good. I bet you’ll like it.

      Reply

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