Work In Progress

October 31, 2011, 5:35 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This is Tina Turner, eye-shadow a little smudged, more than a little drunk, cornering you at a party. Sure at first you are like “Jesus Tina! I’m trying to have a good time here”. But once her man walks down the aisle with another girl—You Are There. Especially after he says “Tina darling, even though we are apart, I’m going to always reserve a spot in the corner of my heart”. WTF is UP with dudes who do this huh?  And then when Tina is really wailing, well all you can do is cry. And get her another drink. Cuz I mean really.


Guide to Guayaquil
June 13, 2011, 9:13 pm
Filed under: cooking, ecuador, review

My brother Remigio Nicolas sent me this when he moved back to the states a month or so ago. If you are in Guayaquil and need to eat look no further than this guide:

6 is the express route to downtown, the Consultorio and the Mercado Artesanal.
65 to and from the Terminal Terrestre. Don’t expect to take this home after dark. In that case, take any bus going to U. Laica, get off in front of the University, cross the street, and take 42.

All bus rides are $0.25

Esmeralda y Velez
What they have: Ceviches, arroces, fried mariscos, tortilla de camaron, sango
What’s good: Ceviches, arroces
Pro-tip: Ask for cilantro on your arroz, order at the register first.
Sitch: Restaurant

To the Right of the Music Store
Riobamba y Victor Manuel Rendon
Getting there: Bus 6
What they have: Encebollado, cazuela, bolos
What’s good: Bollos, cazuela
Pro-tip: Pay at the register first
Sitch: Hole in the wall

Choza de Jugo
Rafael Jimena y Junin
Getting there: Go to the street behind the Consultorio, there’s Rafael Jimena
What they have: Juice/Shakes (fruits depends on the season, you can always expect: naranjas, carrot, avocado, mora, naranjilla, strawberry), fruit salad, naranjada grilled cheese sandwiches (ham option)
What’s good: Ensalada de fruta, orange/carrot combo, mamey (without sugar)
Pro-tip: Other jugueros have mora/coco combo, only get an avocado shake in the sierra (they’re 10x in the sierra), be assertive
Sitch: Permanent hut

La Araña Marina
Luis Urdaneta y Rafael Jimena
Getting there: Further down the street from the Choza de Jugo
What they have: Encebollado (3 kinds), chifle
What’s good: Encebollado sencillo
Pro-tip: By 1PM they’ll be out of encebollado.
Sitch: Hole in the wall

Los Rios y Bolivia
Getting there: Bus 42 get off on Bolivia, walk west to Los Rios.
What they have: Sandwiches (pork, turkery, ham), fritada, bandejas with mote (pork, turkey, fritada)
What’s good: Sandwiches (pork, turkey)
Pro-tip: It’s worth trying their competitors: Sabrosito, Carchi y Colombia, nearby. Be assertive.
Sitch: Counter-service

In front of the Girl’s School
Piedrahita y Del Ejercito
Getting there: Bus 6
After school 2-3PM they sell churritos, hielo raspada and other goodies. Further down the same bus route in front of the cemetery they also sell churritos.
Pro-tip: No one calls them churritos anymore, they’re called gusanitos.
Sitch: Street vendors

Gobierno Zonal de Guayaquil (the big golden building with huge golden doors)
Francisco Orellana y Justino Cornejo
Getting there: Bus 42, 52, get off at Policentro, walk up Orellana toward Mall del Sol for 7 blocks or grab any bus going your way.
What’s good: Jugo de caña, motera, fritada, empanadas de verde, tortillas de verde, llapingacho
Sitch: Street vendors hovering a government building

Boyaca y Velez y Quito
Getting there: Bus 52, get off just before it turns onto , the place is in front of the IESS building
What they have: Bolones de verde with cuero or queso, coffee jugos, tostadas
What’s good: Bolones
Pro-tip: Next door they sell corviches, muchines, empanadas de verde, etc.

Las Ricas Hamburguesas de la Negrita Crucelina
Jose de Antepara entre 9 de Octubre y Primero de Mayo
Getting there: Bus 42, get off at 9 de Octubre, walk up 1 block.
What they have: Hamburguesas, soda
What’s good: It’s all they got
Pro-tip: This is not the best burger you’ve ever eaten. It’s just the best burger in Guayaquil. Only open Mon-Fri.

Pizzeria Pucinella
Pareja Rolando entre Idrovo Rosales y Luis Mendoza (before the bridge)
Getting there: Bus 42, 52 get off at Policentro, walk to Orellana, take 63 or 89
What they have: Pizza (Neopolitan style), lasagna
What’s good: Margherita
Pro-tip: Bring some fresh basil with you to put on the Margherita

P. Icaza y Boyaca
What they have: Shawarma, yogurt, pan de yucca, kippe, etc.
Pro-tip: All the other shawarma’s got majorly cholofied, these guys maintained the sazón arabe. Shawarma’s only available on weekdays.

Topi Sushi
V. E. Estrada entre Guayacanes y Ficus (next to Riviera)
What they have: best sushi bargain
What’s good: the lunch special on weekdays
Pro-tip: Avoid anything on the menu that’s not sushi or the lunch special, don’t go at night.

Yu Hua
What they have: more Chinese Cantonese food.
What’s good: Rice noodles, pork buns, pork chaulafan, egg rolls
Pro-tip: Their wantan isn’t good.

Palacio Verde
What they have: This is the cholo chifa food.
What’s good: The wantan is better here
Pro-tip: the egg rolls are grossly greasy

Lo Nuestro, Sanduches Don Pepe, Palacio de Oro, Sion Lung, Riviera, Maria Bonita, Tijuana,

Mercado Artesanal
Aflredo Baquerizo y Loja
Getting there: Bus 6, 52, 112
What they got: Best place in Guayaquil for artesanías

La Bahía
Cristobal Colon y Pichincha
Getting there: Bus 52, right in front
What they got: Pirated everything
Pro-tip: around the vicinity of the Bahia they sell helado de paila (most often naranjilla and coco or mora and coco), motera, coco juice, if you’re lucky deep inside the maze you’ll find someone selling empanadas de viento. (LT note: OMG! “wind empanadas” are AMAZING and hard to find–worth trying to get to. Its a deep frying secret almost lost to the ages.)

Mercado Central
Clemente Ballen y Garaicoa
Getting there: Bus 54, get off on Clemente Ballen walk east to Garaicoa
What they got: Best selection of veggies, meats, herbs
Pro-tip: They sell secos and fritada at the stalls.

La Caraguay
Trujillo y Francisco Robles
Getting there: Metrovia main line south, get off at Mercado Caraguay, walk north to Trujillo, walk all the way east
What they got: The best and freshest seafood in town, giant tuna steaks, langostinos, etc.
Pro-tip: Food at the stalls: ceviche, encebollado, cangrejo, etc. Do not buy the pre-cooked conchas or shelled cangrejo to take home.



The Seven Stages of Grief in making a failed art project.
February 21, 2010, 9:02 pm
Filed under: Artists, creative process
  • Shock and Denial

    In which the artist suddenly realizes that his/her piece is not coming out the way s/he intended. At first the artist may deny that it matters much. There are other paintings to be made, other directions to be pursued. Shock will protect the artist from feeling too much at first.

    • Pain and Guilt

    The shock wears off and the artist will be forced to confront the reality and pain of his/her project not coming together. Typically this is when the artist turns to other substances or activities to numb this pain. Drugs, sex and alcohol are frequently abused.

    The artist also experiences immense guilt. Perhaps s/he should have researched the project more. Maybe s/he isn’t devoting as much time to the work as s/he should.

    • Anger and Bargaining

    The artist at this point will try to bargain with the work. Thoughts such as “if I just don’t sleep for the next week maybe it’ll work” or “If I just keep going it will totally work out in the end” or “All I need is another $100 in supplies and the work will come back to me.”

    Once it becomes clear that the bargaining will not work, the artist will turn to anger. The artists’ general worldview towards art, art criticism and the gallery system grows increasingly dim.

    • Depression Reflection, Loneliness

    It is at this time that the artist sadly reflects on everything that went wrong with the work. During this time, the artists friends and family will offer well-meaning but useless advice that the artist should “get back on track” or “maybe its time to become an accountant”.

    • The upward turn

    Things begin to look better. The artist might do things like, organize his or her studio. Read art theory books again. The artist is not making work but acknowledging that art-making was once an important part of his/her life.

    • Reconstruction and Working through

    The artist starts to work out how his/her work will continue without the failed project. Perhaps the glimmer of a new work is working around the corners of the brain. It is at this point that the artist may store or throw-out the remnants of the failed project.

    • Acceptance.

    The artist has accepted that the project is not going to work out. Furthermore the artist is ready to make new work with the wisdom gained from the previous project.

    Things I have enjoyed reading on the internet today:
    July 2, 2009, 11:11 pm
    Filed under: Artists, fashion, review, trends’s article on the decay of plastic and its effect on arts preservation.
    A topic I find most interesting as there is a side of me that finds the obsession with preserving art to be perversely morbid.

    Cintra Wilson’s review of Solange Azagury-Partridge for the NYTimes Critical Shopper column.
    After I read this I went directly to the jewelers website and immediately lusted after the diamond beads. Absent of their usual tacky high-shine, the beads have a mysterious, unrecognizable murkiness. I would love to wear this ring and have no one know that it was actually a diamond.

    Milky Moon. Price Unknown although probably unforgivable.

    Milky Moon. Price unknown, although probably unforgivable.

    Also in the Times:
    Chandler Burr’s review of Menthe Fraîche (perfume) by Heeley
    I love Burr’s perfume reviews. His rare ability to translate scent into text always makes me want to run out to the perfume counter. Recently, Mr. Burr unwittingly pointed me to Guaiac by Red Flower, thus perhaps ending my many years search for the perfect citrus scent. I confess to paying $17.95 to order the teeniest, tiniest little sample vial on the internet. I love it. If I had the $186 to buy the full whopping 15ml bottle, I would.

    These reviews give me a sad case of Veuve Clicquot tastes on an Eau de Municipal budget.

    Alice and Kev
    This is an amazing Sims social experiment. In sum, UK game design student, Robin Burkinshaw created two homeless Sims and it is uncanny how their circumstances reflect real-life homelessness and abusive co-dependent relationships.

    One Piece Flow vs. Mass Production
    This is a great video that examines the efficacy of these two modes of production in manufacturing. Useful for anyone who needs to make or assemble a lot of one thing.

    How I Waste My Time
    June 8, 2009, 2:34 am
    Filed under: creative process, routines

    I am firm believer in time wasting as a creative booster. Making art takes time to muddle. Often our best ideas seem to spring forth when doing nothing in particular such as showering, waiting for the train, noodling on the internets when you should be writing for that new grant already. Once inspiration hits then there is never enough time of course. One could argue that it was because you wasted all that time before but I believe this is just the nature of things and I try to embrace it. I find it easier to make focused decisions on tight deadlines and mild exhaustion anyways. It’s a delicate balance.

    In an effort to see where my wasted time goes I have compiled this likely incomplete list of empty activities I do to waste time (ie free up my brain):

    1. Read blog comments. Oh man this is totally a ridiculous thing to do. It’s a terrible, terrible habit that no one should ever pick up.

    2. I love infomercials and have been known to watch QVC for extended periods of time. To be honest I find the language they use interesting in that it is strangely compelling yet containing no actual information.

    3. Window-shopping. I love the mall. I find its sanitized environment and repetition to be strangely soothing. I very rarely buy as I find everything to be kind of hideous and poorly made but I like seeing it all laid out.

    4. Read catalogues. Any catalogue. I have a window treatments catalogue on my desk right now. I am not remotely interested in window treatments but I will flip though it before recycling it.

    5. Doing other crafty projects. Sometimes working on other silly creative things helps fuel the Art (with a capital A)

    6. Celebrity gossip. I think my interest is reasonable. I also believe in participating in the culture. And if America is burning with interest in Brad/Angelina/Jen (although to be honest that whole debacle is really getting tedious already. Find some other non-existent love triangle already paparazzi!) I feel it is as important to know as Obama’s new justice pick.

    7. Terrible television. Watching Mad Men is a great way to spend your time. Watching marathons of the Its Me or The Dog is not.

    Reading Assignment!
    May 13, 2009, 12:57 am
    Filed under: creative process, review

    Three essays that I read at least once a year:

    The SCUM (Society for Cutting Up Men) Manifesto by Valerie Solanas: Oh come on its sort of so crazy its true. Or so crazy it’s kind of really funny.

    Why Nerds are Unpopular by Paul Graham: Uh pretty much sums up my life, philosophy and general discontent with Education. I would re-type this essay and call it my own–that is how much I suspect Mr. Graham has plagiarized my secret thoughts. (Note that both Solanas and Graham would be in strange agreement re: the artificial boundaries of child/teen/adult hood)

    How to be Creative by Hugh McLeod: I read this when I am know I am starting to make too many excuses. Particularly excuses to spend too much money on art supplies. Although I think I really could use a power drill.

    Opening Up
    March 18, 2009, 1:09 am
    Filed under: Artists, creative process

    So while this blog is called Work in Progress and I do try to write about that concept, and the art process, I don’t often reveal my own nitty gritty feelings(!). As a super special treat I present to you some of my true life work in progress thoughts/excerpts from other more private journal entries. I deliberately messed up the time frame in these because I am that paranoid, but the overall theme of anxiety and self-loathing remains classic and timeless.

    A Sampling:

    Am I internalizing my oppression by feeling obligated to stick with a post-modern/conceptual art minimalism? I am so confused!!! I’m serious. I am totally confused.

    I am currently terrified of my studio. It’s very hard for me to want to do work. I keep blaming this on the fact that I don’t have embroidery software. Although I could suck it up and plot it out on graph paper or even figure something clever out in Illustrator.

    Snnrrg. In my anxiety I have eaten far too many cadbury mini eggs. Now I have a stomachache that reminds me of my childhood. My anxiety stems from my creative projects…

    The past week was spent hunched over my work table mostly on the computer finalizing digital images, on the interwebs trolling for quotes for the stuff I need made. Will this ever be over with? Its so boring to contact a million people over prices.

    So I just got kicked in my art ballz again. I am trying to just allow myself wallow and feel all depleted and imagine how terrible my committee would feel if I suddenly got brain cancer and all.

    The problem is that this project requires lots of computer time. And I am realizing the computer fucks me up. Mainly because of the dreaded internet. Oh my god its downright embarrassing how much time has been squandered reading tales of the service industry. In a way its like a drug addiction. I am evasive, moody, and lying about how much I spend online.

    In the meantime I am learning a lot more about coffee…

    In many ways approval does not really help me. But I hate feeling like a huge failure too. If I have a really shitty crit it can wreak havoc on my productivity for weeks. At this point I don’t have time to feel sorry for myself and just be a general pain in the ass artiste. Hopefully tomorrow I will be back in the swing of things. But tonight Izzie Stevens of Grey’s Anatomy is my pity party muse. Sadly I do not have her unexpected 8 million dollar inheritance check to keep me company. But I am very good and flopping about, eating a lot of butter and staring sadly into space.

    This is not good and now I am behind and feeling INSANE.

    I ran into a snag in my project that freaked me out enough to immediately strap on a sports bra, lace up some sneakers and go for a really inadvised run. I have not seriously worked out since August, and I have not gone on a run in the outdoors since high school…

    …horrific anxiety leading one to eat spoonfuls of sour cream out of the carton.

    Thank the good lord above Ugly Betty is not a re-run or clip show tonight.

    Its fantastic out and I feel like a totally new person. Hell I even feel better about my artwork.

    ARRRRG this week has NOT been awesome.

    I can tell that they used the wrong weight. They are using LIGHT ALTERNATIVE when I told them to use ALTERNATIVE. GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
    Seriously I am flipping out. I actually am wondering if I should let myself cry over this.

    I feel like this whole process has been nothing but lesson in murphey’s law…I just feel like everyday I wake up and there is something wrong I have to fix or cannot be fixed and I have to let it go.

    I feel burned out, exhausted out of ideas and depressed. And addicted to the internets.

    I am cranky. I should be doing work. But instead I am lounging about depressed, uninspired, reading Daniel Clowes comics.

    My projects are all in a dismal state of “in progress” which can also mean “you suck slacker”. I must pull myself together and finish something.

    The good news is, I am enjoying the direction my artwork is going.

    I thought I would have the time to think and really work on projects. But instead I feel so crazy busy and unthinking.

    I am in my studio. I hate coming into my studio after a long absence. It fills me with total dread and hopelessness.

    Week of hell. Eating comfort foods. Can of peas, quarter stick of butter lots of salt. But now I want chocolate. Broke into the Nestle tollhouse chips. Tempted to make cookie dough just for depressing and decadant consumption at 1am. Must resist and take shower and sleep. But raw cookie dough! waah!