Archive for April, 2007

FAIRY BUTCH – Cabaret/Show/Speed Dating

Posted in Culture, Events on April 27, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler


1) SATURDAY, APRIL 28TH: FAIRY BUTCH IS BACK! A Campy, Erotic Cabaret,
Dance Party & Speed Dating Shindig For Gals & Trannies of All Colors &
Dating: 8PM, Show: 10PM

Show.) THE RICKSHAW STOP, 155 Fell St. at Van Ness. 8 PM Start before

In Bed W/Fairy Butch.

FB Info Line: 415-FEY-8000



Posted in Culture, Events on April 26, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler







live in Berkeley at


Come join this great group, featuring master musicians from the bands of FELA KUTI, KING SUNNY ADE, and HUGH MASEKELA in a full night of fun and dancing for everyone!


Music & Dance Community Center

1317 San Pablo @ Gilman in Berkeley


Doors at 8:30 p.m. Dance Lesson at 9:00 p.m.

Showtime 9:45 p.m. Tickets: $15 general, $10 students

De la Canción Protesta a la Canción Propuesta! – A Night of Political Song

Posted in Culture, Events on April 18, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

De la Canción Protesta a la Canción Propuesta!

A Night of Political Song
A roundtable of song-sharing between song making giants celebrating political thought & activism with Holly Near, Linda Tillery, Lichi Fuentes, Tania Glenn, Jose Cuellar, Mamacoatl, & Tomas Montoya.

Friday April 27, 2007. $15 gen. – 8pm
At La Peña Cultural Center, 3105 Shattuck Ave. in Berkeley
Veteran singer and song-writer Holly Near will lead a roundtable of song-sharing between Bay Area song making giants celebrating political thought & activism. This evening offers a rare encounter with musicians from diverse artistic and social movements and generations.

Music To Cool Mi Head

Posted in Culture on April 17, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Skye’s Top YouTube Video Picks

Sister Carol – Roots Natty Congo

Aretha Franklin – R.E.S.P.E.C.T

Rachell Ferrell – Sista

Staple Singers – When Will We Be Paid

Toshi Reagon

Alicia Keys – How Come You Don’t Call Me Anymore?

Joan Armatrading – A Woman In Love

Joan Armastrading – Willow

Bette LaVette – Little Sparrow
Check out her version of Armatrading’s “Love and Affection” on her 2006 compact disk. Wicked!

Hugh Masekela

Al Jarreau and Miki Howard – Everybody Is A Star/Hey Jude Medley

Cassandra Wilson and David Murray – Prophet of Doom

Etta James and Dr. John – I’d Rather Go Blind

Pattie LaBelle and Joe Cocker – You Are So Beautiful

Seeing Red Over Civil Service Menstrual Forms (India)

Posted in Culture on April 15, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler


The highlight of my annual travel season is to trek to India in the late fall to experience its multiplicity of traditions and cultures. There are many things I adore about traveling in India and there are conditions and circumstances I find hard to accept.

Every once in a while like today when I read the attached BBC article, I am reminded of the institutionalized gender and sexual oppression women in India must endure—including non-Indian women.  The article is about the section of the civil service performance appraisal form that documents a woman’s menstrual cycle and maternity leave. The womenfolk are not having this muckary and foolishness. After vocal protests and an intervention by the prime minister, the section has been deleted.

During annual visa appointments at the Indian Consulate in San Francisco, I sometimes pass the time by reading the matrimonial legal notices on the bulletin boards. Essentially, these are declaration of a male claiming his possession.  I still haven’t quite figured out why these notices have to be posted in the consulate.  I think it has something to do with non-resident Indians (NRI), many of whom marry Indian citizens.

Another practice that gives me pause is the visa and passport applications requirement for female applicants to list their husband, father or damn near any other male relative on their applications.  I know from first hand experience that unaccompanied female travelers in India are looked upon with suspicion. One year when I planned to take an overnight train from New Delhi to Allahabad to visit a long-time friend, I had to be escorted to the train station and put on the train by her male cousin.

Too much.


Jai Maa. [Victory to the Divine Mother]

Excerpt from the article:

“I am completely shocked!” said Sharwari Gokhale, environment secretary in western Maharashtra state.

“I have absolutely no words to describe how I feel and I have no intention of telling them anything about my personal life. I am gob smacked.”

Dispatch #6: Daydreaming and Pondering History (Oporto, Portugal)

Posted in Dispatches on April 12, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

As I type this entry, I’m listening to the sweet duet of Rachelle Ferrell and Will Downing crooning “Nothing Has Ever Felt Like This Before”.  Sublime music, Spain, Portugal, verdant landscape and Brazilian style food all in one day.  Give thanks and praises to the Most High.

It’s been a dreamy type of day since rising early in Madrid and taking a pleasant 1-hour flight to Oporto.  There is something about Portugal’s landscape and waterways, including the magnificent Douro River, that resonates deep in my body.  It would be an understatement to say that Oporto is a historical city—one of the earliest houses built here was constructed in the first half of the 14th century.  Okay, that’s old by any standard.  Amongst the monuments, dilapidated houses, impossibly unstructured medieval streets, ornate churches, and open plazas, I get the sense that there are restless spirits here too.


This evening, I watched the sunset from my 10th floor hotel room. The Cementerio de Agramonte (19th century) with its Byzantine style frescoes and elaborate crypts occupied the view too. Earlier today it drew me in, called me to visit the cemetery grounds twice.

Last week, I described to a Portuguese woman who regularly travels to Oporto, a religious procession I’d observed near the cemetery on my first visit to this city. I told her how awestruck I was to follow the procession for part of the route before turning off onto a cobble street that led me to an even more eye-catching sight—Cementerio de Agramonte. Apparently the elaborate procession with musicians, altar boys, and decorated laity was in celebration of a Catholic saint. She laughed and replied, “No one does Catholicism like the Portuguese!” Well, that may be true but there is definitely some other religious, spiritual, and psychic churnings here too.

Dispatch #5: Conguitos…Say What?

Posted in Dispatches on April 10, 2007 by skyeviewtraveler

Greetings from Madrid, Spain.

The first stop this morning after dropping off my luggage at the hotel was to visit a food market to purchase bottled water. As is my custom when shopping in overseas food marts I browse the aisles for unusual food items or black themed food products for my kitchen collection at home. It didn’t take long for my eyes to glance down and see these thick red lips and brown body.


Conguitos, roasted peanuts covered in chocolate, have been on the market for over 40 years. Their mascot, the Conguito, is a familiar and endearing character.

Due to evolution and the changing times, our mascot has also evolved and slightly changed in order to adapt to the present day. When the “Conguito” was born in the sixties the mascot was perceived as a tiny character covered in chocolate and it has slowly evolved and been updated.

In the year 2000, white Conguitos were born, covered with delicious white chocolate and the mascot was adapted to the new family member.
–from Conguitos website

White Conguitos—is that the confectionary equivalent of a “wigger”? My bullshit detector registered mild suspicion upon reading the phrase “endearing character” to describe Conguitos. Uh, huh, some folks thought the television characters J.J. on Good Times and Mr. T. on the A Team were endearing characters.

I visited another food store and I saw a different version of the mascot without thick red lips. I did ponder why the different versions—my curiosity led me to check out the manufacturer web page. Did you take note of the 40-year history of this product? What comes to your mind when you read the mascot has slowly evolved and been updated since the 60’s? Is this similar to the evolution of Aunt Jemima, Uncle Ben, Rastus and Sambos Restaurants?


Before anyone starts calling me Conspiracy Sister I suggest a review of the images in the photo galleries to connect the dots.