Thursday, March 19, 2009

mmm, Chile

I've been busy lately. Really, I have been. And just to prove it I'm going to type in some links later on in this post so that you can click and see what I've been doing.

I went on Monday to the offices of ArtsMemphis where I was supposed to interview a woman in Chile, via telephone, and via translator, for a story in the ArtsMemphis magazine about an exhibit on human rights coming to the National Civil Rights Museum for Memphis in May.

This was daunting for several reasons: I've never worked with ArtsMemphis before and wanted to make a good impression; I was on a very tight deadline, about 24 hours, in fact; I was working through a translator, which means I had to have some questions prepared ahead of time; and the woman I was to be interviewing, Marcia Scantlebury Elizalde, is an actual journalist, something I only pretend to be.

The translator, Juan, was very nice and extremely helpful and let me know first thing that Senora Elizalde is not, in fact, the artist who created the exhibit, but the curator, doing away with almost all of my questions. Skype, though perfect on a test run, 15 minutes later would not connect with Chile for the real deal, so we had to go with an intercom call on a phone.

Once we were all on the phone and Juan was speaking his rapid-fire Spanish, I sat poised with my pencil over paper as though I should be taking notes, but really just paranoid that he was making fun of my hair to her. Juan asked Elizalde to please hold while he explained to me that, not only was she not the artist of the exhibit - or the curator - but that she has actually never seen the exhibit and is not particularly familiar with it.

So that was fun.

I found out later that the exhibit, Crowds in the Shadow, will eventually be housed in Chile's Museo de la Memoria, as a warehouse of the Pinochet-era atrocities, which Elizalde is in charge of putting together through a decree by Chile's president.

And the magazine story? Well, that's why I'm up at 12:25 a.m. I'm trying to put something together that's readable.

Being up this late, though, has given me the opportunity to see the clock and calendar move to a new day and with that a new "Because I Said So" column in The Commercial Appeal. I wrote it about eating dinner with the kids. Wrote it, of course, with tongue and pork chop in teeth.

I also wrote it not realizing that my story on the Hope & Healing Center's nutrition class for kids, Alphabet Appetite, was running the day before. And, on top of that, the piece I wrote about Mike Palazola and his produce company, M. Palazola Produce, ran in the business section as well.

So I'm quite the food writer all of a sudden with stories on dinner time, mini pizza cooking, produce and Chile.

Tomorrow will be a story on the Assisi Foundation's grant to the Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum in the Business section of The Commercial Appeal. It doesn't have anything to do with food, but I wrote it anyway.

So that's what I've been up to. And why I'm up late. I'll be back soon to talk about JP (finally) learning to ride a bike and why he's not allowed to leave the yard on that bike. And maybe I'll post some pictures.

But for now, goodnight and bon appetite!

The links!
Alphabet Appetite
Because I Said So
Mike Palazola