Halloween, A Barometer of Health

Halloween, A Barometer of Health

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Back in the 70’s in certain neighborhoods in Michigan or apartment complexes, on Halloween children got into costumes and went door to door with little pumpkins or bags or even pillow cases to fit more candy.  People put up decorations and in big bowls handed out candy to every neighborhood child generally between 5-8 PM on Halloween.  In 2017, it appears that some neighborhoods are too dangerous for children to go door to door and it becomes a “barometer of health” for a community, is my community safe for children?  Back in the 70’s elementary school teachers at schools like Spartan Village Elementary prepared kids for Trick or Treating giving them directions to “check” all their candy or beware of apples or unpackaged goods that could be tampered with.  Some people loved the opportunity to give to local children and gave Halloween pencils.  Generally when candy ran out, people starting giving pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters to children and the average child came home with a little cash.  People hauled out those big jars of saved coins and some even wrapped pennies in cloth or plastics.  Children got home and spread out their candies, organizing selections and counting candy bars, checking for favorites and even engaging in a few swaps with siblings.  These are the kids with silver fillings in every tooth that hit the dentist when they drilled cavities.  Halloween was great!

Some parents get together with friends and make their children’s bags of candy entirely themselves without going door to door.  Some parents also hire a tailor to make their children’s costumes.  Buy a cake, make punch and play music and games.  Working professionals are finding solutions to make sure their kids have the best of times.  It’s also good to start planning Halloween two months in advance, so around August, some people start to plan Halloween. Some parents will organize 20 or so houses in their neighborhood for children to Trick or Treat at and place signs on all their doors. Some even drive around for Trick or Treating.

People with children may want to look for solutions for continuing the holiday and also problem solving within their community when people don’t seem to be safe with children.  One possible solution would be to have the police perform background checks and issue signage for front lawns and front doors to alert children that this household is a checked and safe household that wants to participate in the holiday.  It would be great if the police issued certified Halloween signs. Signs could also be posted like “sorry kids candy has run out.”   It’s interesting to see which neighborhoods are still able to maintain the holiday with ease and without crime that may be better places to raise children.

Some possible alternatives could be for businesses to develop their client base of the future and participate in handing out candies.  Another would be for shopping malls to be safe places for Halloween trick or treating.  Schools may have their own Halloween festivities that kick off the day.  Back in the 70’s kids were bobbing for apples, playing musical chairs, eating cupcakes and generally having spooktacular good times.

One solution I heard of were these pop up warehouses that feature haunted houses etc. and you pay a general admission and go around to stands collecting a variety of candy.  What Halloween ends up being is a holiday geared towards safety and how to have a good time, safely.

There are many ways to catch the fever at cider mills or on farms or on hay rides or planning parties or making a  bonfire, or even with an outdoor fireplace, singing songs or sewing costumes, or making quick breads or shopping for old and traditional Halloween candies or writing spooky stories or telling stories or making a goth writing group or wearing rainbow hair or wigs or black eyeliner, or maybe a trip to the cemetery to visit the dead.

It is up to each of us to use this opportunity to make our neighborhoods safer for children.  People may want to distribute photocopies to get it going in their neighborhood or schedule a neighborhood meeting or even consult the police.  It’s time to gear up for next year!  The City of Ann Arbor had a lot of festivities planned for the holiday and distributed an email that went around.  Things were planned in parks as well as setting official kick off times and closing times.  Halloween can be a fun way to engage in community building.

It may even be nice in student areas to promote some college trick or treating for older students who would love a big bag of diverse candy.  Don’t forget to wear your spirited colors like orange and black.

In other parts of the world Halloween may be holidays like Dia de los muertos or Day of the Dead in Mexico.  Halloween may also be a time of witch covens or paganism.   Search your local public library for books on Day of the Dead or interesting Halloween celebrations!  Halloween just passed but make a good plan for next year!!!

Don’t forget to stock up on oral care, preserve your teeth and make a trip to the dentist!! You may even want Prilosec for those belly aches?

 

 

 

Art and Design

Art & Design

By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Scenario 1

Traveling with a sewing machine and a tool box of art supplies and paints.  Extension cord from the house to sew outside.  Planning a “taller” pronounced “tie-yare,” or independent enterprise in an undeveloped pueblo.  Climbing in the mountains, getting floral dressed, walking in a dry river bed.

Dying cloth with coffees and teas and traveling one hour by bus to get dyes and bolts of fabric.  Getting a large car size amount of fabric delivered from a distributor in the city to make a large amount clothes.

Having dying parties with made up garments then hand painting them.  Memorizing songs, dancing with bells around the ankles (a musician).

Scenario 2

The “art house.”  Dying textiles on the balcony, making up braided hats, making up hand dyed clothes with a seamstress, then photographing people dressed in the clothing, and reserving sets around town.  Making drawings, large photo prints, postcards, which culminate in the full moon bazaar or events in tune with the full moon. Printing on the postcards the upcoming dates of the full moon. Collecting instruments, hiring models, drawing mostly self-portraits, a dress rack of clothes, shopping for fabrics in old jobbers, back drops and an obsession for color photography, making homemade lip balms while maintaining a corporate job in the stock market. Walking to work to stay in shape and playing castanet rhythms on the way.  Studying flamenco.

Scenario 3

Off to school of Art and Design. A collection of research photos.  A taste for photos with white borders.  Sketch books. Silk screen fabric prints for garments, silk screen paper prints for art. Silk screen fabric prints for art too.  Embellishment.  Fashion illustrations.  Making up garments, taking pictures.  Small mini drawings, making printed boxes to put things in, making shoes, making boots, printing techniques, visiting silks in the fabric district.  Collecting sole prints and deconstructing them into new combined textile patterns.

Scenario 4

A pedestal to draw still life’s or a variety of daily objects.  A stage to draw costumed models.  A stage for prosperous zeros.  Collecting and sampling the entire environment in drawings.  Nibs for the garden paintings.  A drawing board and horse in the house for portraiture.  The home office with 5 stations.

 

 

 

 

Up to Snuff #42: Mexican Poets

Up to Snuff #42: Mexican Poets

Octavio Paz

Juana Ines de la Cruz

Rosario Castellanos

Jaime Sabines

Jose Emilio Pacheco

Arturo Meza

Enrique Gonzalez

Alberto Blanco

Pita Amor

Amado Nervo

Bocofloja

Elvia Ardalani

Elsa Cross

Homero Aridjis

Alejandro Aura

Sandra Cisneros

Elena Garro

Esther Seligson

Ana Castillo

Carmen Alardin

Francisco Hinojosa

Joaquin Garrido

Jose Maria Pino Suarez

Renato Prada Oropeza

Nezahualco

Antonio Alatorre

Daniel Sada

Andres Henestrosa

Ignacio Ramirez

 

Zapatos de Hombre

Zapatos de Hombre

By Afua Osei-Bonsu

 

Zapatos de hombre

Calzoncillos gigantes

Lagrimas de poo poo

Dibujos de suelo

Sabores de exstasis

Sabor de la pee pee

Escondido en su mente

Corriendo en la bosque

Con telefono

Espalda de gazelle

Vagina brillante

Pelo al piso

Boca sangriendo

 

 

“The Local Markets” (Washtenaw County, Ann Arbor, Michigan)

The Local Markets

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
Kasoa Market
How hot is the Shito? Fire! Fire! Fire!
Sesame seeds, palm oil, bitter leaves, yucca, groundnut paste, eggplant puree, fu fu, gari, Valley Rice, yam, coconut milk, Bitter Lemon, Palm Wine, Ting, (need Star Beer, Ghanaian Guinness, Chamonix),
Wax Print, net washing clothes, Shea Butter, African Films, wooden spoons

Hua Xing Market
The fish that plays dead doesn’t get eaten.
The fish that plays dead is the one to eat, because they are the smartest.
The different speckled fish is there to clean the tank, not to eat.
Live sea bass, tilapia, frogs, and turtles,
Duck, pig hearts, dried plum, bamboo shoots, lemongrass, anise seed, rose black tea, Tie Guan Yin, Jasmine Tea, Thai Tea, condensed milk, Tea Break Snacks, fortune cookies, green tea late candies, lemon drops, oyster crackers
Rice flour, noodles, dumplings, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, chili paste, bok choy, Chinese Cabbage, long Green beans, Chinese Chives, bean sprouts, green papaya, jicama, sesame oil, soy sauce, rice, sake, Sapporo, tea cups, tea pots, round wooden butcher block cutting boards, knives, chef hats, grass mats
European Market
Poppy Seed Cake, yellow chocolate bars with little girls on them, St. Valentine and Nostalgia Teas

Mediterranean Market
Rose Water, Orange Blossom Water, mate, sage tea, Mamoul, lamb, fillet mignon, shish kebab, roasts, chicken breasts, halal meats (blessed),
Dried lemons and limes, dill, zatar, olive oil, tamarind sauce, tahini, grenadine molasses, olives, figs, coarse black pepper, spices, homemade pita, meat pies, kafta, bakery, chocolate croissant, babaganoush, humus, grape leaves, feta, rose water deserts, almond wedding cookies
filo, falafel, samosa, Zam Zam Water

Bangladesh Market
Mustard oil, spices

Whole Foods Market
Peanut oil, fresh baked breads, sushi bar, teapots

Bombay Market
Rose syrup, Jam E Shirin, chai masala tea, sag paneer, naan, good spicy frozen Indian,
fresh samosas, mangos, coconuts, basmati rice, spices, coriander chutney, dosa batter
Coconut Jasmine Oil, Almond Drops, Acacia Talcum, Vatika Shampoo, Chandrika Soap, ayurvedic products, Meswak Toothpaste, Babool Toothpaste
Incense, tapestries, instruments, pictures Kali and Ganesh, music, cookbooks
Trays, bowls & plates for Xi Xi

Hyundai Market
3 kinds of seaweed salad, fresh and dried mushroom, Bulgogi, sea salt, sticky rice
teapots, bowls, cookbooks, Korean Films, exfoliating cloth, little umbrellas

Meijer’s
Carmel Apples, No Bake Cookies, Windmills, German Chocolate Cakes, Carrot Cakes, Girl Scout Ice Cream, stroop waffle (Dutch cookies), Cracker Jack, popcorn, Hershey Bars, malted, coco powder, Starlight Mints, marmalade, maple syrup, baking needs, frozen pie shells,
Corona with lime, Shandy Leinenkugel, Squirt, carrot juice
Catfish, smoked salmon, Bacon selection, BBQ needs
Cilantro, dill, sage, mint, jicama, avocados, navel oranges, mandarin, large apple selection, papaya, Carrot juice, gherkins, Baked Beans, Fire Roasted Tomatoes, sweet potatoes, sun dried tomatoes, Zucchini, mélange greens, wheat grass, long green beans, sprouts, 8-10 lb. bags potatoes, Red Wine Vinegar, frozen spinach, coconut milk, whipping cream, molasses
Arm and Hammer Toothpaste, Aveeno Stress Body Wash, Sesame Body Oil, egg coloring kits,
Classic 70’s Music, Northern Toilet Paper, linen scented bleach, lined white paper and pens, tights, white underwear
roses, eucalyptus, spider plants

Trader Joes
Brie, crackers, yogurt, peanut butter cups, baklava tray, granola, nuts, Charles Shaw Merlot, chai tea, Irish Breakfast Tea, coconut shrimp, spinach pie, vitamin c body wash, eucalyptus, flowers
General Tao’s Chicken, Blueberry Scones, Dollar Pancakes, Cherries in Merlot, Columbian Instant Coffee

Copernicus Market (Polish Deli)
Herring Salad, cabbage rolls, 3 bean salad, cured meats and cheeses, fresh baked bread, sweet mustards, Pierogi, pickle salad, vegetable soup, mushroom soup, apple cake, poppy cake, rose petal jam, blackberry jam,
Chocolate covered cherries with brandy inside, candy, crackers, Warka, Mouton Cadet

Dos Hermanos
Mamey, elote, nopales, huazontle, aguacate, limon, flor de calabaza, tamal, tortilla selection, mole, salsa verde, queso fresco, guacamole, pozole, carnitas, barbacoa, tortas, diesmillo, carnes frescas
El Salvadoreno Crema, vanilla, canela (roasted cinnamon), carne asada, cerveza, flor de Jamaica,
marzipan, playeras, ojo de venado, piñata, La Virgin, chicken’s feet