Dead Reckoning

November 9 felt like the Day of the Dead, although the real Día de los Muertos had happened the week before. All I’ll say about Election Day is that since I had gone out to a neighboring village to be with my friend Michelle in case I needed moral support, the internet streaming was non-existent and we ended up listening to election coverage on Sirius radio in her parked car. I did need the moral support plus a whole lot of Snickers and some mezcal to make it through the night, but that’s another story for another time.

So through Election Day trauma and even though Mexican Revolution Day and American Thanksgiving have both come and gone, I never had gotten around to really processing this year’s Day of the Dead.

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Una Boda del Pueblo

Yanet and Manuel celebrated their first Valentines Day as a married couple last month, after seven years of dating. (Though here in Mexico, February 14 is the “Day of Friendship and Love,” softening the blow of what my friend Michelle calls “Singles Awareness Day” in el norte. But back to Yanet and Manuel, whose wedding must have surely been the highlight of the season in Teotitlán del Valle, just east of Oaxaca City.

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Newlyweds Manuel and Yanet, Teotitlán del Valle

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Holy Fireworks and a Singing Cowboy

At eight and with a personality as big as his voice, Mauricio is the next Mexico’s Got Talent. For now, he’s rocking a gig at his parents’ taco stand in Teotitlán del Valle, singing and dancing after he takes your order. It was all part of the magic at the town’s week-long holy festival that culminated in a jaw-dropping fireworks show on Sunday.

Mauricio el cantante

Mauricio el cantante

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Three Susans as Corn Goddesses

We three Susans always bought T-shirts and stuff with three women on them, but being corn goddesses trumps them all. Though honestly, these blocky-headed broads look as though the weavers were documenting a visitation from The Others, who came in peace bearing corn stalks. Wearing skirts, no less.

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A Day of the Dead to Die For

I didn’t wear my harem costume this year for Day of the Dead; that would have been 2009 when I was still feeling a little let out of school to be living in Mexico. But that three-week trip to Oaxaca for Día de los Muertos was a life-changer. I knew that if this place were this magic despite a missed flight, a grumpy traveling companion and a bout of the swine flu – it must really be special.

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