30 July 2007

Mercurial Blunders...?

I have to wonder if there is something in the stars...
In the last two days, I have received word from three people I never thought I would hear from again.
I'm not one to pine after an old lover, though I might, perhaps, wish for a repeat performance with the more memorable ones for purely self-indulgent, lascivious reasons. My flings last as long as they last— a night, a week or two, months— and I enjoy them until they simply run their course. With a couple of exceptions, they end amicably enough, in some cases making a transition into a friendship. I'm not one to get offended if a guy doesn't call or to wonder why...I'm usually one of those "out-of-sight, out-of-mind" kind of people myself, much to the dismay and concern of some longer term lovers.
These three, however...well, I admit I was starting to feel a little slighted. They are all out-of-towners, which naturally put an expiration date on our trysts, but all three of those interactions went beyond mere physicality. One is an old childhood friend, another a professional contact, and well, there's the Frenchman who was just...yummy.
The Frenchman was the first to contact me. I opened my email yesterday and read the subject line "french boy" with a mixture of indignation and amusement. How could I possibly be upset? Though he had some improbable excuse about the lack of internet access on the coast of Spain, where he has spent the last three weeks, I couldn't help but smile. As I read, I could hear his accent. His direct and pleading, "do you still like me?????????????", once I overcame my annoyance at the excessive use of question marks, I found très charmant. He is full of regrets— for not having made love to me sooner, for not having spent more time with me, for things having ended on what I thought was a rather comical note ( read Hide and Seek), but about which he felt bad. He implores me not to "go to Hollywood. Not yet", since he wants to see me in September when he returns to Portland.
When I told my neighbor about it yesterday, she said..."watch, wouldn't it be funny if the others suddenly pop up too?". Sure enough, today I had an email from my childhood friend, and a couple of texts from the other guy.
I guess whatever influence was interfering was suddenly lifted, whether it was celestial, energetic, or merely a matter of circumstance. It makes me wonder who else will suddenly resurface. I've witnessed this before, it's all part of that "cleaning house" thing. Fortunately there are very few people I would consider it unpleasant to encounter again.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

29 July 2007

Drumattica at The Hawthorne

With part of the Dahlia family in tow, I went to the Hawthorne Theater last night to see Jen play with Drumattica. Oh and yes, of course, to support another dear friend. Yeah, you, the handsome guy with the great hair...
Anyway, I took photos. Here is a sampling. Click on any of the images, or this link, to go to my flickr site and see the rest!







All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

25 July 2007

Cleaning House

As the time nears for me to leave for Los Angeles, I am filled with excitement and a little fear. I've never really been in L.A. I've been to Disneyland and I visited my now-deceased Aunt in Gardena a couple of times, but I don't think that really counts.

No matter how much trepidation I may have, I know I have to go. I know I have to go, the way I know I have to breathe. I get those subtle, and sometimes not so subtle, hints about how to proceed in life. Cosmic bread crumbs, my friend called them, leading me forward on my path.
I have thought about this trip with some reluctance. It is the film industry that is drawing me there and that very industry which I imagine to be populated with nothing but jaded people who will wonder who I know or what I can do for them. I bring nothing but myself, my Reiki and my camera, and have wondered if that will be enough to get me by successfully in that fast paced town.
I am well aware that my opinions have been influenced by the stereotypes presented in the media. When I think of that city, I think of aspiring actors and musicians waiting tables, models and screenwriters waiting to be discovered, waiting to pitch their story, trying to get ahead by any means necessary, selling their souls for the slightest bit of success.
I know there is more to it, but I have yet to feel out the soul of that place. I know it is steeped in traditions deeper than the latest Hollywood trends.
This is a great leap of faith for me. I have no fear that I will get caught up in the rat-race. I am having to place all of my trust in my abilities to draw, and be drawn, to the right people, those who are on a similar or complimentary path; the ones who will add new insights to my life or are meant to glean them from me.

Everything right now points to the fact that this will be a big turning point for me, in some way or another. I have mentioned before that these things are never subtle for me. This is no exception. I have been inadvertently tying up loose ends.
Old wounds, both physical and emotional, are resurfacing and I am having to work to heal them once and for all, whether I want to or not. I have been busy.
For a couple of weeks, I dreamt of my father, very vivid dreams. Every night I would experience his death anew, and again mourn his loss. For weeks I woke myself crying, as though trying to wring out every last drop, every tear, from that wound.
Old physical injuries are suddenly acting up again...my left ankle, sprained in a freak ninja-fighting incident, the numbness up my right leg from when I was attacked by a burglar, cramping from perhaps my greatest triumph to date...
I sound like a mess, don't I? The truth is I feel great, despite a little discomfort. From the perspective of a healer, all of these things that are happening, it's just a form of house-cleaning. I'm tidying up in preparation for whatever is next. It happens when people receive a Reiki attunement, or go through any other sort of initiation. Things get a little worse before they get better, unresolved issues resurface so that they can be resolved. It also tells me that whatever is coming next is big...this is just a review of sorts. The lessons learned in the past several years are the ones that will serve me in good stead as I face this new chapter.

Fortunately for me, I test well...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

23 July 2007

Ju speak espanish?

I was so excited as my friend and I drove to the adress on the flyer. Viva Colombia! Feliz Dia de la Independencia!
"Do you think that was it?" he asked as we passed the Imago Building.
"Yeah, there's a line...and they're wearing the hats!" I exclaimed excitedly.
He laughed at me. "The hats?"
"Yeah! The hats. The typical Colombian hats!..." He still chuckled but I couldn't see what was so funny. I'd know these hats anywhere.

Sombrero Vueltiao

We approached the door and my heart soared as I heard my Spanish being spoken, spoken with familiar, distinctive accents. I could hear somebody from Bogota, and another from the Caribbean Coastal region, yet another most likely from my own hometown of Medellin.
I greeted the door guy in Spanish and he replied in thickly accented English, saying he needed to look inside my camera bag. When he saw the serious artillery I was packing, he said to me, still in English, that I needed to get permission from the owner to have and use my camera inside.
I explained to him, in perfect Spanish that I'm a professional photographer but was just intending to photograph my friends and family.
"People will get mad if you take pictures of them inside. You have to get permission from the owner" he insisted in English.
I got the distinct impression he thought I was the white girl coming to make money off pictures of the Colombians partying or something. It never seemed to sink into his head that I was speaking to him in his own language. I thought maybe the guy was just an ass, but it was the same with the door girl. Everyone I spoke to in Spanish replied in Colombian-accented English and looked somewhat puzzled. As my friend and I walked up the stairs, I even heard the couple behind me say something about me in Spanish, which, while not terribly rude, was not something that they would have said within earshot had they assumed I understood.

There I was, in a roomful of my people, mi gente. The salsa was blaring and... I could not feel more out of place. Thankfully, my brother and his girlfriend were there. My brother's room-mates were there, too, much to my surprise. I thought it was sweet that these two boys, who are as white-bread as they come, would go so far out of their comfort zone to join Alex in celebrating a Colombian holiday. Or they were just there for the hot Colombian chicks....

I had hoped once I had some Aguardiente (the national drink of Colombia), I would feel better.


The OLCC decreed that was not to be. Wine and beer. That was it.
At least there was Colombian food. I peeked over to where the buffet was being set up. $8 a plate!
It had better be good...
I was feeling disheartened so far and not really in a dancing mood. My friend left soon thereafter. He gets bored pretty easily and had seen enough. I hung out and chatted with my brother and his friends and with the Leo Couple, who had arrived with another companion in tow.

One guy kept looking at me and finally approached, actually speaking in Spanish. It turns out I had met him at an Independence Day picnic about 7 years ago. He asked if I was there with my husband. I remembered then why we hadn't kept in touch. He couldn't seem to grasp back then why I, as a young woman, would want to live away from my parents seeing as I was neither a student nor married. When I had declared I had no intention of marriage he looked at me as though I'd spoken in Chinese or something.

I was starting to think I should have accepted my friend's offer for an early ride home. The buffet was brought out, and I saw a handsome lad serving himself a plate of food.
"Que estan sirviendo?" I asked, wondering if the food was worth it.
There was that puzzled look again, mixed with interest and maybe a little bit of embarrassment.
"Ah...hablas Espanol!?"
I told him I was Colombian and finally asked him why it was that nobody seemed to believe it. He told me I looked Eastern European...Czech. Or maybe a little bit Asian, which still puzzles me, though he's not the first one to guess that. The dark hair, dark eyes and fair skin...and the way I dress and carry myself, apparently, set me apart from my fellow Colombians. The clothes I understand, but as for the rest..
The region where I'm from had a large influx of Germans in the early part of the last century. There are plenty of very light-skinned blondes with blue or green eyes in that area. Eh...
We got back to my original question of the food. Plantain chips and chorizo (different from the Mexican style). Eight dollars for plantain chips?! No thanks.
I did end up chatting with the handsome boy for the rest of the evening. Latinos flirt so differently. It was refreshing. A latin man, at least one living in the States asks very pointed questions in order to figure out which category to put a girl in. Are you marriage material or only notch-in-the-bedpost material?
He went right to the heart of the matter...do I believe in God, am I romantic, what do I do? Oh, I read. Apparently Venezuelan women don't. They're bright, just not big readers. I ventured, jokingly, that Venezuelan women are some of the most beautiful women in the world...maybe they don't need to read.
He replied I had nothing to envy Venezuelan women.
Did I mention I like how Latin men flirt?
He also asked me my last name right off the bat. I've had friends here, close friends, for years and only by chance found out their last names, if at all. In Latin America it's a polite, subtle way of determining social status and family ties. As it's considered rude to speak of money, asking somebody's last name and inquiring about their father's profession is as almost good as looking at their checkbook. It's changing, of course, but you can still make some pretty accurate assumptions based on those two tidbits of information. In fact, I hadn't realized to what extent my last name gave me away until I met some of my neighbor's Colombian friends. One said "Oh, you're from Medellin. I knew as soon as I saw your last name on the call box at your apartment."

Anyway, having answered the young man's questions to his satisfaction, or at least having piqued his interest beyond the moment, he asked to see me the following evening. I was going to photograph an event, so he invited me out to lunch instead. A very direct, unmistakable "Yo te invito" ( I invite you). No figuring out if you split the check or offer to pay...
Maybe there is something to explore in dating Latin men. I usually avoid it, but my recent encounters with the non-citizens have made me reconsider. Those dreamy blue-green eyes, long dark curly lashes and golden skin of his could make any girl reconsider.
I am a bit conflicted. I think I'm too Americanized at this point to really date a recent Latin American transplant. I confuse them. With my background, education, class, and looks, I have all the makings of a good Latin wife, save for the fact that I have no intention of being one. I also have the appeal of the stereotypical "American Girl"...sexually liberated, or "easy", as they see it. They don't quite know what to do with me, or which category I fit.
Latinos tend to appreciate uniformity, conformity. Deviation from the accepted course of parents-school-career-husband-kids, any type of non-conformity in the way of lifestyle, baffles them a little. I think my family in Colombia is still holding out hopes that I'll abandon my "hippie" lifestyle (how they term any lifestyle but their own) and get back on track with a "real career" and a family of my own. Bless their dear, well-intentioned hearts!

The overall feeling I have coming away from that evening is one of unease. I do not feel wholly American (though I am applying for my citizenship soon), and somewhat shunned by my fellow Colombians.

While I ponder that one, I'll just practice my Latin flirting with the cute Venezuelan boy...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

22 July 2007

Whipping Nietzsche into Shape

Inspired by my last post about a public sexcapade with Volvo Guy, I thought I would write about the night he and I met. It seems worth recounting.

I had made the acquaintance of an ebullient half-Phillipina, half-German goddess in a gallery class at P.C.C. She was quite the scenester, and knew everyone. She knew all the bands, all the bouncers at all the clubs---which was a good thing because neither of us were yet 21.
On this particular night, she was feeling ambitious and ready to go out and party. And how were we to accomplish this?
With a practiced hand, she grabbed my I.D., a bottle of pearlescent white nail polish, white-out, and a fine-point pen and set to work. An hour later we boldly wandered into a N.W. dive where she knew the bartender.
"Before I get you anything, ladies, may I see your I.D's?"
The moment of truth.
With some trepidation I handed it over. He looked at it, stifled a snort, and handed it back to me, smiling.
I was so busted.
"What can I get you?"
Really? I thought to myself in disbelief. I placed my order, trying to sound casual.

A couple of drinks and a couple of hours later, we made our way downtown to Satyricon.
"Egan!" my companion exclaimed excitedly as she saw the bouncer. "Egan, this is my friend Juliana!" she added as he motioned for our I.D.s.
She hugged him and pressed herself against him as he cast a cursory glance at the cards and waved us in.
My bubbly friend is one of those drunk bi-sexuals, as I would later find out. As in, she doesn't really like girls, but will make out with them if she's drunk. Over the course of the class, I'd developed a crush on her, and that night, with the help of several Bud Lights (because she was on a diet), she suddenly found me interesting as well. I was overjoyed. We started making out to the not-so-soothing sounds of The Jimmies.
Things were moving along smoothly. I had talked her into coming back to my place, and then...he showed up.
She introduced us. He was polite, but pretty much ignored me as he told her about his recently completed art-school project, which he wanted to show her. She thought it would be a fabulous idea to see it right then.
"What about me?" I asked, feeling slighted.
She cajoled me into coming along. Neither he nor I were too pleased with the arrangement, as we both seemed to have ideas for how the evening should end---with her. We were both somewhat placated by her vague insinuations of a threesome, and fell into step on either side of her. We threw each other the occasional glance, sizing each other up all the way to his place in Northwest.
Now things were getting interesting!
As soon as we arrived at his place, we headed to the bedroom. She mumbled something about how she didn't do threesomes, and promptly passed out on the bed.
There I was, with this stranger, who didn't really want me there in the first place, and my own plans for the night were in a shambles. I wandered around, taking stock of my surroundings.
It was one of those typical Northwest apartments. It had been a large home once, randomly partitioned into studios and one-bedroom apartments for rent. It was fairly tidy, with a couple of bass guitars in one corner...of course. And a couple of half-finished art projects in others...of course.
This stranger followed a few steps behind me as I wandered his apartment. We barely said a word to each other, save for the odd rueful comment about how we'd both been duped.
The bathroom held a beautiful, large claw-foot tub.
"I want to take a bath in that tub," I told him.
He looked at me uncertainly for a moment, then sprang into action. He quickly scrubbed and rinsed it, then ran a bath for us. I had a moment of uncertainty, myself, but figured it was a lovely tub, so why waste it?
I undressed and stepped in and he soon followed suit. We alternated between long moments of silence and idle chit-chat. What could I really have to say to the man who had muscled in on my date?
When the water and the conversation had cooled, we got out of the tub and I wandered his apartment again. I spotted a whip in a corner. Hmmm...possibilities. The night needn't be a complete waste.
It didn't take much to convince him to submit to a whipping. No, it didn't take much at all, though he admitted that he'd never experienced anything like it. I beat on him for a good hour before we were both so turned on, we progressed onto other games. The earlier awkwardness was forgotten, as we tumbled onto the bed next to our comatose friend. After a few hours of bedroom play, we heard birds chirping and other sounds that told us the world was stirring outside.
We made our way to the kitchen for a much needed glass of water. His kitchen faced the back of the building and opened onto a great balcony, which was overhung with branches from a nearby tree.
I was overjoyed at the sight and the possibilities the balcony offered, and stepped outside, ignoring my current state of undress. I felt him step up behind me. His hands reached up to cup my breasts and his lips made shiver-inducing nibbles on the back of my neck. I turned to face him and kiss him full on the lips. It was too perfect---the fresh air, the fairly public vantage point, a sexy stranger...
As he kissed his way down, I leaned my head back and I remember seeing a rainbow colored mobile hanging above my head before I got lost in the sensations of his kisses and his touch.

Some time later, we went back inside, as much for privacy, as to make sure that our friend was still breathing. With daylight now streaming through the windows, I noticed details that had escaped me before. I saw books. I always look at the books.
Oooh, Nietzsche, prominently displayed. Not far from this tome, an icon depicting Apollo and The Muses and another depicting Dionysus flanked the entrance to his room. I put two and two...and two, together. I made a reference to The Birth of Tragedy, thinking how great it was to meet somebody who was well-read.
He responded with a blank look.
"You know...Apollonian principles, Dionysian...Nietzsche...no...?" his look of bewilderment made me self-conscious.
"I just assumed..." I said lamely. "I saw your book...and the icons...and..."
"Oh...uh...well I borrowed the book...I haven't got around to really reading it yet..." he admitted sheepishly.
To a twenty-year-old who took everything much too seriously, particularly literature, this was an admission worthy of the utmost derision and scorn. I was offended to the very core of my easily-offended being.
I decided at that moment that he was unworthy of any more of my time and quickly dressed and prepared to leave. I made my stealthy escape while he went into the bedroom to wake our sleeping beauty.
I had made it several blocks on my walk of shame when I saw an old volvo pull up alongside me.
"Juli!...why'd you take off? Why don't you get in the car and he'll give us a ride home?" my girl friend coaxed.
He leaned over her and added "Come on! Let me take you out to breakfast and I'll then I'll give you guys a ride home!"
"No. I'm fine. I'll take the bus" I insisted, still walking. he continued driving slowly down the street, keeping pace with me, both of them trying to convince me to get in the car. I relented, more from embarrassment at the spectacle we were causing than anything else. After a tensely quiet breakfast at The Stepping Stone, they dropped me off at home.

A little over a year later, I was at a bar with some friends and ended up, quite by chance, sitting next to Volvo Guy. He kept sneaking sideways glances, so I finally turned to him and greeted him by name.
The look of recognition in his eyes was unmistakable, but he continued the game.
"Oh, yeah...uhm...you're...uh...Juliana...right?" He even pronounced it correctly.
"You know perfectly well who I am," I replied archly.
"Yeah, I know...but..you know..."
"Trying to play it cool?" I finished for him.
"Well...yeah. I mean, you were so weird after that time we hung out..."
We chatted for a bit and had a good laugh about it all. We had exchanged numbers by the end of the night.
The next time we went out, we ended up back at his place again. The sex had been really good, so...why not?. As we lay, basking in the post-coital bliss, chatting, he mentioned he was a bit disappointed.
"Well, last time, you just beat the crap out of me all night. I just expected you to be...well, bitchier...like last time. It was kind of cool. You're really nice, though. I like this too, I just...didn't expect it." he admitted.

That was the beginning an affair that lasted several years. We never really dated, just became friends and had the occasional tryst. I never did "beat the crap out of him" again, though.
I lost track of him about five years ago. He fell in love with another foreigner and traveled to the other side of the globe to try to win her love and the respect of her father. It was all very tragic and romantic. The last I heard he was living on one of the sail boats he renovated for a living, and was planning to sail around for the next several years.
Although most of our encounters were pretty memorable, my fondest memory is of that first encounter. I did manage to get past my youthful indignation.
Whenever I think of him I remember the sounds of dawn. I remember the birds chirping and the slight spring breeze that shook the still-bare branches of the tree and twirled those rainbow colored shapes that hung outside his kitchen. He seemed to cherish that memory too. He would often tell me the one iconic image he had of me, was of looking up at me and seeing my nipples, pert and pink, my head tilted back, and then looking just past me and seeing the buds just beginning to sprout on the branches of that tree rising above me.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

19 July 2007

Deck the Halls...

The proposed subject for today's SBT (Sex Blog Thursday) was "In flagrante delicto" or "caught in the act".

I began wracking my brain...there were two incidents that came to mind. The first hearkens back to simpler, more innocent times.

I was in high school. I was still a virgin and in no hurry to give it up, but I could make out for hours. My make-out buddy of the month was a young lad named Sherman. He was pretty much in keeping with pattern---the loner weirdo musician. I would always see him sitting by himself around campus, wearing circular shades and strumming his guitar, his hood pulled low to hide his face. I don't really recall the nature of our meeting but I do remember the epic make-out sessions, and the 4 hour long phone calls where I would listen to him playing guitar and singing for me.
Sherman was a senior and a teacher's aide. I was a sophomore and...well, not terribly concerned with structured academics. I would skip classes and we would meet while he was supposed to be in the library "studying".
Our favorite spot was a hallway that ran between the back of the gym and the shop classrooms. It was usually deserted. One crisp December morning, we were at our usual spot. He leaned his back against the wall as I reached up to kiss him. Those were the rapturous kisses of youth, a dichotomy of innocence and lust that can transport you beyond dingy hallways and the smell of motor oil and sweat from the nearby auto shop and gym. So transported were we, that we failed to hear the approaching tromping of dozens of feet and the sound of voices raised in song.
Every year during the holidays, the school choir would make rounds through the school singing Christmas carols. In the midst of a passionate kiss, the double doors near us burst open and a couple of dozen carolers spilled into that seldom trod hallway, merrily chirping "Deck the Halls". They hardly missed a beat as every single one of them turned to leer at us with prurient glee. I just buried my head in his chest in embarrassment.
Needless to say, teachers were informed, and the incident greatly curtailed our relationship. He lived "way out" in North Myrtle and neither of us drove, so school was the only place we could really spend time together.
Years later, when I had moved to Portland, I would still receive the occasional phone call from him. It was always around 3 a.m. He had joined the military and had, presumably, gone on to better things, but apparently still remembered our time together.

"Your mom is so cool," he would slur into the phone, "She always recognizes me when I call"
"That's because you're the only drunk asshole who calls her at three in the morning asking for my new number..." I would point out.
Still, we would reminisce for a bit. His drunken nostalgia would bring back fond memories...until the angry part of the drunk would set in.
"You were a whore!" he would scream into the phone."You were fucking all those guys in your parents' basement, weren't you?"
Any protests to the contrary were futile and I would usually end up hanging up on him and unplugging my phone...until the next month when a phone call would awaken my sweet mum at 3 a.m....

The second occasion was several years, and a few misadventures later. I had a gentleman friend who restored old Volvo's in his spare time. It was a beautiful summer afternoon, and we hopped in the Volvo and headed out to the nude beach on Sauvie Island. We almost wrecked getting there. I was wearing a skirt and one of his hands, and most of his attention, were focused on what was underneath it.
I led him to a nearby beach I knew, past the more well-known, crowded beaches. We were alone and all worked up from the drive there. We grabbed a blanket and I led him into a small stand of trees for cover. We got completely lost in each other. He always did enjoy looking up at me while we were having sex. I sat astride him, grinding down on him until...I heard the sound of tires on gravel. I looked up.
In our fervor we had neglected to see the nearby private roadway. The trees lent us cover on three sides, but became rather sparse toward said road. An S.U.V had pulled up, and though I could not see the faces of the occupants, I could tell that they were all looking at us. What to do?
I smiled and rode on like a champ. And my proud mount? He never missed a stroke!
The vehicle continued on after about a minute.
A few months later I saw a story on the local news that they were once again trying to shut down the nude beaches there. The neighbors had complained about all the naked people and the shenanigans that ensued, practically on their lawns.
It brought a fond smile to my face.

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

18 July 2007

Do I get a kick-back?

I have written at length how important scent is to me, particularly when it comes to attraction. My friends and readers are by now familiar with my particular weakness for Calvin Klein's Obsession for Men. Yes, it's passe and kind of cheesy, but it always takes me back to those first stirrings of sexuality from my early teens. It elicits similar feelings of uncontrolled teen-aged lust.
Imagine my amusement and surprise when, on several recent occasions I have been spending time with different male friends or lovers, only to have that moment of recognition.
"Are you wearing Obsession?" I'll ask with consternation or interest, depending on the nature of the friendship.
Some reply sheepishly, some boldly.
"Of course. I wore it for you!"
I got a funny image of a sudden upsurge of sales in the Portland market, Obsession for Men suddenly topping the list as the favored fragrance for males ages 23-53. What I'm wondering is if I can capitalize on this. I'll contact the Calvin Klein franchise and claim my status as a one-woman marketing campaign for a flagging product. "The Infamous CoatChek Girl says: Buy Obsession, you know you want to..."

Alright, so I've had a lot of time on my hands. Can you blame a girl for day-dreaming?

Speaking of dreamy, those of you who didn't catch Auditory Sculpture's set at Aquariva last night, missed out on a real treat. Check his profile for details. He'll be doing a weekly there, at least throughout the summer. It's a really swanky spot, once you can find it. The drinks are great, the food delicious, the staff looks pretty yummy too, and they serve cotton candy! And of course, there's the music...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

12 July 2007

Epicurian musings

Isabel Allende, one of my favorite writers, published a book called "Aphrodite". It's a half cook-book, half historical and anthropological study of the way food and sex are so often inextricably intertwined. Many of the most popular aphrodisiacs through the ages have involved foods of one form or another---from oysters to any number of phallic fruits and vegetables, to dishes including a lover's own "essence" as one of the secret ingredients. Do you know the origin of those hot-cross buns so popular at Easter? You'd be surprised at the naughty origin of that pious pastry.
Food metaphors abound in literature through the ages.
And why not?
As a devoted epicure I can certainly relate--- to Allende and to the many other writers who would compare the sweetness of a lover's kiss to honey, or ther such culinary comparisons. I enjoy a good meal much the same as I enjoy a good romp. I savor every taste, revel in every scent, every texture.
As for combining the two…Cooking for a lover, or better yet, with a lover can be the ultimate in foreplay. I have, on more than one occasion, prepared a lovingly cooked meal for a significant other in lieu of speaking my feelings outright. It's the "Like Water for Chocolate" phenomenon. I firmly believe the intent of the cook can be transferred into the food being prepared.
Likewise, the lovers that have had the most significant impact on me tend to be the ones who either cooked for, or shared memorable meals with me. I have even come to associate particular foods or flavors with them. There was one who would prepare the best Garden Burgers for me with lots of garlic, particularly when he knew I'd be spending time with an old boyfriend. Another conjures memories of honey-garlic-lemon dressing, yet another will forever be associated with an unfortunate Tofurkey incident.
Then there was the first and last time when I actually experienced the two together. Food during sex.
A blindfold, chocolate sauce, all manner of fruit, all the makings of a sexy, romantic evening---until the horrible yeast infection kicked in a day or so later. That is the memory I carried away from the experience. That, and the mess I had to clean up later.
My guideline these days is, if you have to lay down a tarp, you've gone too far…

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

11 July 2007

This way --->

"What are you doing to stay cool?" she asked me on the phone.
"Moving as little as possible" I replied.

The heat doesn't bother me too much really. I grew up in the tropics; 95º all year 'round, 100% humidity. No, the heat is not too bad, even on the third floor.
I had been feeling a little down though, introspective. I was thinking about the date. I could very well have been going into labor right about now, had I made different choices. Instead, I began my day with phone calls from movie directors and producers, discussing my photo work and a possible month-long stint in L.A. shooting film stills. Much less painful, I'm certain.
It was a nice little reminder from the universe that I'm on the right track. Those signs are never subtle for me. On the rare occasion that I do begin to question any decisions I have made, I am invariably presented with some token---a phone call, a job offer, some new opportunity--- something that reminds me that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be.
Several seers, tarot readers and healers have all agreed on one thing regarding me. They all said I have an awareness beyond that of many people, an ability to see details and bigger picture, the interconnectedness and the causality of events I witness and experience. One of them went further, saying that though gifted with this awareness, I "didn't get the instruction manual". I have an inherent understanding of some things and no idea how to apply them. I'm learning though. Thankfully I am able to differentiate between experiences that will further me, and mere obstacles. I have learned that when I stray from where I'm supposed to be, I encounter nothing but obstacles, but when I go with my instincts, things just fall into place.
Like I said, introspective...

All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved

05 July 2007

Kaya at the Park

I really dislike fireworks...When you come from a country where the proper response to loud booming sounds is ducking for cover, pyrotechnic displays can be rather disquieting. I have sat in my apartment all day, listening to my neighbors become progressively louder and more enebriated...and stupid.
They started the night with little fireworks on the sidewalk and later moved out into the middle of the street, presumably after a few more beers. I'm just hoping they don't light themselves, or the surrounding structures, on fire.

As I often do when feeling troubled, I spent some time at my computer editing a few images I recently shot. My friend Kaya and I spent the afternoon at the park on Monday. I brought my camera along and she was kind enough to let me snap a few shots.

Click on any of the images to go to my flickr site to see the rest of the set.





All Content Copyright 2007, Juliana Tobón. All Rights Reserved