Monday, June 26, 2006


We always think of a pilgrimage as the fact of GOING somewhere to have a spiritual experience.

But we forget that we have to come back. And I think it is in that process of coming back that you realize how much you won.

I woke up at 8.30, arranged and cleaned Laurent's apartment, took my shower, threw the garbage away, locked all the window shutters, put the keys in the envelope, turned all the lights off, locked the apartment and left the keys in the guardian's mail box.

It was raining. Pouring. I was 10 blocks away from the train station. And I could not believe that there were no taxis in the streets! I walked, as part of my pilgrimage, to the RER. I was wet and I changed my shirt in the station. But still, I was coming back. I was happy to realize how privileged I am. How can I not write about this. RER to Charles de Gaulle. 45 minutes. Then I had to take a bus to get to the terminal.

The AA clerk was very nice, I had no problemas at all. A woman next to him recommended going to Hippopotamus, a chain restaurant, for lunch. I told them that I met my friends for gay pride in front of the Hippo in Bastille. The clerk was all happy, and we ended up talking about gay pride, and how he had a fantastic time too. He told me that there were between 700 and 800 THOUSAND PEOPLE!!! WOW....

I went to the restaurant, ordered my appetizers, and when I was waiting for my main dish, I looked up and saw my friend Kata Quijano! In the restaurant! I stood up and yelled her name, we both screamed in the middle of the restaurant, and hugged. When I was ready to fly to Balto, after I was accused of being a terrorist in Miami, I saw my friend Alex Castillo at the cuban restaurant in the airport. Now that I am leaving Paris, I meet my friend Kata... She was my student at the Universidad de los Andes, in Bogota, a brilliant photographer and ballet dancer. She was picking up a friend that was coming from LA. I joined her table to finish my meal, power talked, gave her the phone number of Carlitos and Sandra, and ran to catch my plane.

I ran so much I hurt my leg. Uneventful flight, stupid cute movie with Queen Latifah - Last Holiday. Don't get me wrong, I love stupid movies, they're not stupid. Then XMen 2, I started reading Zamyatin's we. BTW, I really like Queen Latifah... I loved her in Chicago. She has a powerful voice.

Chicago. The plane was a little late, I had to take the tram and run again to go through immigration and customs. I thought about checking my email with my cell phone... I had 200 spam messages in my UMBC account. They took forever to be deleted. But it was worth checking my mail. I had a welcome email from Josh. WOW.... I read it and I cried while I was waiting in line to go through security. What a great man... I also cried when I was in the train to the airport in Paris.

The connecting flight was full, I spent my time reading Zamyatin - AMAZING - playing solitaire and a 2D space game on my Treo. Paul was waiting for me at the airport, it was nice to see him. He has a little dimple where the spider bit him. But he's fine. The trip helped me understand how important friends are, and Paul is a friend.

We got home really late, I did not call Josh because of this. I wanted to though... And Phil called me too. I unpacked, and talked for over an hour with Paul about the trip, moving, his paintings... And went to bed around 1am

I woke up at 7 this morning, which is OK, I do not feel the jet lag - YET

And I have been working on the photos in my site and on all these postings.

I'm home.


Gay pride started for me on June 21st, the fete de la musique in France. we went to the Marais, in front of the Cox, to an open air gay disco! Great music, beautiful people, lots of dancing. The streets were closed, and there we were having fun. It rained, so what! It was great.

Then on saturday the 24th I had a fantastic lunch with Nicolas, we closed our past and opened so many possibilities. We went to the basque restaurant in his scooter. great food, great wine, an incredible friend. And then after that I went to Bastille, the terminus of the GLBT Pride in Paris. It started at Montparnasse.

When I got out of the metro, I could not believe it. Thousands of people on the streets, techno music, the monument was alive with all the humans on it. What a rush of energy! What struck me the most was the age of everyone there. Tons of teenagers having an incredible time. Back in the 80's and 90's the pride parade was tainted by AIDS and the memory of all our friends that had died. Young people were dying. And this the proof that condoms work! We're stil lalive, and these kids will be alive. It's a celebration of life, friendship, maturity, experience. A celebration with a very strong message:


I ran into Carlitos and Vivien, this was my farewell party from Paris. And what a party. It was a bonding moment, I was not alone. I was surrounded by happy wonderful people. I had to leave around 8 pm, I did not want to, but I was invited to have dinner at Maria Emilia's place, and I did not want to miss it. The subway was full of people blowing pink whistles - that were distributed by Pink TV as a marketing strategy during the parade. I had never seen the trains so crowded. It was so much fun.

Santiago Caicedo

Santiago, a very close friend of Carlitos was presenting his final project for his diploma on 3D and 2D animation. Very surprising, excellent work. A real actress - very talented girl - in an incredible fractal 3D world, a runaway girl trying to capture a turtle. The logical process, with infinite possibilities, was turned into a TRON like environment resulting from the fibonucci sequence. It was all shot and rendered in HD. Beautiful, I was very proud of seeing his work.


So after finishing the shooting of the video on thursday, we went back to Carlitos and Vivien's place, near the metro Chateau Rouge, little Africa...

Well, Ghana won the soccer match against the USA. Everybody was in the streets celebrating, with flags, wine and music. It was great.

Then we went to Shangrila, a tibetan restaurant. Delicious, but we were kind of exhausted

And this is a painting from a series of angels in honor of the kids who died last year in a hotel fire in Paris.

Patty in Paris

After countless hours of discussion, I finally decided that Patty needed to remain Patty. I wanted to change her name to Ronda S. Tormented in honor of the tormented soul of Ronda Storms. But no, Patty remained Patty. She's the modern Anita Bryant, but worse... But like Anita, she will fall into oblivion. Nothing can exist in time when it comes from intolerance, ignorance and hate.

So Patty E. Patetik resurrected for a day in Paris as a performer in an experimental video written and directed by my friend Carlitos.

It was quite an experience, a lot of disturbing moments in the streets of Paris, with the stench of homophobia being stronger than the usual smells of the city, especially in the summer. It was a bit of a shock, I did not expect Paris to be so reactionary. In Colombia people laugh, there, they look at you with a lot of hate, the one who look at you like that.

But Patty was FABULOUS and overcame with class and humour every challenge.

Catlitos was fantastic, and Valerie was really cool. You should have seen us moving all our stuff all over the place in the park and the streets... The video should be ready soon.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Mace & Irene

Mace is almost my sister, she had her baby Irene almost two weeks ago. Another niece :o) We called Mace's mother - Gloria who's in Colombia and has not met the baby yet - and she did cry when when she heard the baby crying. Mace is glowing, tired, sleepless, but shining. The baby too.

Maria Emilia

Well... talking about revivals, I had lunch with my friend Maria Emilia, who is actually one of my mom's best friends. She just visited her not too long ago. She was like a big sister for me, we used to play tennis together. Brilliant woman, biologist and completely free spirited. She can make anyone smile. I had - again - steak tartare, then we went shopping for little presents around Pigale, the Moulin Rouge.


We had a great picnic in the park, overviewing Les Invalides, Napoleon's tomb. Another revival... Laurent, Jose, Nico and Claudia. I have known Claudia for over thirty years. She is as gorgeous and classy as always.

Nico announced he wants to move to Santiago de Chile with his wife in the northern fall. He lived there for seven years and thinks that people in France, specially in Paris are not happy. He wants to go South. GREAT. It's going to be a very different life. The Lycee Francais Louis Pasteur diaspora... all over the world.

Jose told me this morning that this revival process is cleansing my chakras and my karmas. I'm sure of it. I am also sure that my liver is not very happy after all the wine and food I have been drinking and eating...

Patty, Tati, Barbes and Al Jazeera

After lunch I met Carlitos. We went shopping. We went to Barbes, arab and african stores all over the place. And the prices! My goodness! Tati was like a really cheap Wal Mart. What a cultural experience. I got a tshirt for the gym that says Sexy Boy :o) We needed to get the make up and stalkings for Patty. We're shooting a video tomorrow, the resurrection of Patty in Paris. I'm still debating whether Patty should still be called Patty, or resurrect under a different name. Patty's cycle might be over. We shall see. By the way, I'm watching Al Jazeera Kids on French TV as I'm typing this... I did not know Al Jazeera had a kids network.... I don't understand a word of what they're saying. I just switched to a Turkish music channel... We have watched a lot of mexican soap operas too with Laurent. We love them. The diversity of the TV channels is huge... It's Europe. And knowing that you pay 30 Euros per month for cable, high speed internet access and free local and international calls, is incredible. I don't know if there is anything like that in the US.