Showing posts from June, 2015

Silver Mines, Coca Plants and Spanish Colonial History at 13500 Feet

Potosi Bolivia is one of the highest cities in the world. At one time, it was one of the largest urban centers on the planet:

In 1545, the population of Potosí and its environs stood at around 3,000. Thirty-five years later, in 1580, the numbers had swelled to around 120,000, and by 1650 to around 160,000, making the remote mining center one of the largest urban concentrations in the world.

Crucial to the stupendous growth of Potosí and its mining economy was the introduction of the mercury amalgamation process in 1572.

-- Potosí (Silver Mines of Colonial Peru)

Because of the vast silver mines, from which millions of pesos worth of silver poured for decades under Spanish rule, its name is synonymous with riches. In Spanish there is still a saying, vale un Potosí, "to be worth a Potosí" (that is, "to be of a great value"). It is also synonymous with brutal work conditions and the extreme oppression of Spanish colonialism:
Native laborers were used to work on…


I am pretty philosophical. I have done all I can do. Now, either the road rises up to meet me or it doesn't. There isn't really more I can do.

I think my funds will hold out until about Tuesday. Worse case scenario is potentially five days of starvation. Ugh. Hopefully, it won't go there.

Slightly Calmer

I figure no one reads this crap, but in case anyone has been worried, I am sleeping better now and I am getting a smidgeon of paid work done. I still have limited Internet access and my tablet is, oh god, just really in terrible shape.

But I ran some numbers yesterday and, while I am still short of cash, things are looking less dire than they previously looked. If our daily expenses remain low and if my alimony hits on the 4th by some miracle instead of the 6th (it usually hits the 3rd, but that Friday is a banking holiday which means I might not have money until the following Monday), then it is possible that we will somehow come up with the money. Part of that short fall is being covered with the freelance work I have managed to resume doing the past two days, now that I am sleeping better, less stressed generally and so on.

I mean, I am still grumpy about the situation. It is always a drag to go hungry for a day or more. But I am not completely FREAKING OUT at this point. Things l…

Walked away

I walked away from the situation. Having done so, I feel less at risk of winding up raped. I have walked about nine hours and had maybe four hours sleep, so I am in no shape to do paid work. We might be able to work out at least a temporary situation in another part of this same city. I still do not know how we will eat through July fifth. I am on track to run out of funds in a few days.I am currently on my dying tablet where I have to guess where some of the keys are. So this will not be a long post. As soon as we can, I just want to go to a nearby park and nap. I feel so fried.

Between a rock and a hard place

I left San Diego County a bit over a month ago. I left the day after Mother's Day. It is now Father's Day. I am contemplating leaving the city I journeyed to. It seems to not be gelling and I have attracted the attention of a homeless man who probably hopes to sleep with me and is openly hostile to my sons, whom he likely sees as an obstacle to his goal.

On the journey here, the laptop and tablet both got wet. We finally tossed the laptop at some point. We were never able to get it to boot up again. The tablet has been functional in spite of damage to the screen. Today, the problems with the screen are dramatically worse. I fear I can probably no longer use it to make money or to blog or whatever.

The library here has restrictions on the use of public computers that I did not have in Carlsbad. That means with no tablet or computer of my own, my ability to develop my websites or do freelance work is severely limited. I am scared in a way I have not been in a long time. I feel p…


This is my brother Darryl and this is my other brother Darryl
-- Running gag on The Bob Newhart Show. My ex husband is a junior. On top of that, his father's father's first name was close enough to his that it uses the exact same diminutive as the informal or familiar version of the name. Naturally, this meant my ex spent his entire childhood being called by a nickname and his grandfather got called Poppy by everyone. To avoid confusion, only his father used the diminutive of their three first names.

My ex hated his childhood nickname. Thus, he was very strongly against naming any of his own children (his name) The Third or even giving them some portion of his name, other than his surname.
This was a detail we both agreed upon. My brother was given our father's first name as his middle name. As fate would have it, he ended up going by the same name as our father. When he got to be old enough to be receiving phone calls, this was a source of endless miscommunication and…