Archive for 2008

A Whole Lotta Nothing & An Umbrella

Friday, December 26th, 2008

Boy are we lazy around here. I’m not sure if it’s a bad thing. But it sure is a thing to be reckoned with. My daughter is here, for Xmas, and we are having a very nice time. But we aren’t DOING anything. I mean we are walking the dogs, and cooking, and cheating when we play Trivial Pursuit, but besides that…we are just being really lazy.

I guess with her here I feel that trying to work would be rude, and likely frustrating, so I’m not even attempting any work. And she has no agenda. So it’s been easy to fall into not having any goals at all.

Christmas was nice and mellow here. I cooked much of the day. And we watched the movie Wall-E on DVD (cute). And we played our own special version of Trivial Pursuit where we don’t even bother to ask the useless pink questions that are always about some long-dead movie star neither of us can name and instead we hand-pick better questions about science, geography or history.

As far as loot went we all pretty much picked out our own gifts and then wrapped them for each other. So the actual Christmas gift-giving didn’t involve much surprise. But everyone was getting what they wanted, so it was satisfying.

The one gift I wanted which I didn’t get was a new patio table umbrella.

The old umbrella has a problem. Well, it has two problems. One of my cats, who shall remain nameless, decided to climb a ladder that was leaning against the house. And when she reached the top of the ladder she decided to jump onto the top of the patio umbrella. Well, that umbrella is 4 years old, so she went right through it and made a big hole in it.

But wait, there’s more. A few days after the cat jumped through my patio umbrella a second cat, who shall also remain nameless (only because I’m not sure which of the 8 it is), did the same thing AGAIN. So now the patio umbrella has 2 huge rips in it from cats falling through it.

The story is cute. But the umbrella really looks awful now. So I think we should either buy a whole new umbrella or replace the fabric on this one (its parts all work fine). But we haven’t gotten around to deciding which choice is better. So we do nothing.

I do hate that doing nothing thing. Though I am awfully good at it.

Tough Questions

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008

This is a cool meme because the questions change for each blogger. Read on and I hope you enjoy, and then partake, if you are so inclined…

For 7.5 million dollars, would you allow your spouse to be kidnapped and held prisoner for one year? No harm would come to him, but he would only have the basics – food, water and shelter. But at the end of the year, you’d both be millionaires.

No! Money doesn’t motivate me. Not that I wouldn’t mind having more of it. But it’s not worth my husband’s freedom. If my husband wanted to be kidnapped so he could have the money after a year, that would be his choice but I would never suggest he do it.

If you met someone who read your blog but didn’t know you personally, what would surprise them to know about you that they wouldn’t get from your blog?

Christ! This means I have to remember all the stuff I’ve said or have not said in my blog? Hmph! Well, I was a Dead Head, I went to a bunch of Grateful Dead concerts when I was in college. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that.

And my daughter points out that people who read my blog, but who do not know me, would be surprised that I am not often sarcastic in person, though I’m very often sarcastic on my blog. I suspect she’s right. I do notice that my dry, East Coast USA, sense of humor tends to come out in my writing a bit more than it comes out of my mouth.

If you could go back in time and change one event in your life, what would it be?

Tough one. Well, when I got divorced I didn’t change my name back to my maiden name. Then I remarried and took my husband’s name. So now to prove I’m the person on my birth certificate I have to show documentation for two marriages and a divorce. That’s a royal pain in the ass. I wish that I had changed my name to my maiden name between husbands, then I wouldn’t have to keep showing off my previous marriage and divorce.

This isn’t the kind of exciting change that the question seems to invite, but it’s what I would change.

What is your favorite pet rescue story? Which one (story) changed your heart the most?

Oh shit, I have to pick just one? Each time I’ve rescued a pet it’s been a big, huge, life-changing, heart-rending event. Well…one of the early rescues was Rudy the cat. We were working on renovating our house and my husband went off one day to the hardware store. When he got there he saw a badly injured kitten. The store owner said that the kitten had been hanging around, crying pitifully, for a couple of days. The owner had bought some cat food for it, but wouldn’t take it to the vet despite a huge open infected leg wound.

My husband came home from the store (without the kitten), and when he told me about the kitten he started to cry. He said he didn’t know what to do. I said I knew what to do. We took a cat carrier and went to get the kitten. We took him straight to a vet. The vet didn’t expect him to make it. But two operations later the kitten was on the mend.

We named him Rudy, after Rudolph Diesel, the inventor of the diesel engine, because he purred like a motor all the time. We still have Rudy and he still purrs often.

If you could go back in time and kill Hitler when he was a baby, would you do it?

This is the hard question for me. I do not believe in capital punishment and I’m not sure I could take another life even if my own was in jeopardy. But if I could knowingly prevent the Holocaust and its nearly 8 million murders I think I would feel obligated to do it. I’m sure it would come at a great personal cost to me, but if I could prevent those deaths I would.

Bonus question: If you choose to kill baby Hitler, how would you do it?

Painlessly. With lethal injection. The way my vet puts animals to sleep.

Fellow Bloggers
If you want to do this meme leave me a comment asking to be interviewed and I will send 5 questions for you to answer.

Then post your answers in your blog, include these directions and link back to the original post, which for me was Capricorn Cringe’s post 5+1 = blog fodder

The Rules
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

X-mas Spirit, Not Me

Monday, December 15th, 2008

My horrible neighbors have struck again. On December 1st they decorated every square inch of their front yard with Christmas kitsch. It’s bad over there. There are more plastic Santas that I can count. There are reindeer that pathetically move their heads up and down. There are seizure-inducing flashing lights hanging from every surface. There’s even a very fake-looking plastic nativity scene with a premature Baby Jesus in it.

But the worst thing is the X-mas musak. Somewhere over there is a 25¢ speaker that blares tinny, tacky, warble-ey Christmas carols from noon (when they wake up and turn it on) until 4 am (when they get home and turn it off) each and every day. I’m so sick of listening to X-mas muzak that I want to vomit. Can you tell I’m not in the Christmas spirit yet?

Maybe I need to sneak over there and destroy the muzak maker? That would go a long way towards putting me in the Christmas spirit, well, at least it would go a long way to making my perpetual headache go away.

Take Back the Day

Sunday, December 14th, 2008

Today we got suckered into a timeshare presentation. My husband tried to advert disaster by asking if this was “a timeshare presentation.” But he was told in no uncertain terms that it was not…and he believed them…and I believed him. So innocently, stupidly, we went, thinking that a “free breakfast and a tour of the Presidente beach club” might actually be a “free breakfast and a tour of the President beach club.” We are such suckers.

Eventually the presenter told us “it’s not timeshare, it’s a vacation club presentation.” But the sales tactics are exactly the same as timeshare sales. The drill is the same. And all the salespeople “used to work in timeshare.”

So what’s the difference between a Vacation Club and a Timeshare? Well, the difference I see is that a timeshare actually needs a deed because it’s actually (at least under U.S. law) a real estate transaction. But buying your way into a vacation club just means you are paying for the right to have “guaranteed discounts” at some hotel chain and that you get to carry some nice shiny membership card. Oh, and they send you a magazine every month. For $9000 USD. What a great deal.

If it’s a good thing for some people then that’s fine. For me, sitting through the presentation is a total waste of my life. I feel I was robbed of 3 hours of my time. Three hours are gone that won’t come back.

And I recently canceled a much cheaper subscription to National Geographic Magazine because the Mexican postal system could not be relied upon to actually deliver it, except in the rain. Can you imagine relying on the Mexican postal system to deliver a $9000 USD magazine subscription? They would probably wait until the middle of a hurricane to deliver it.

Anyway, I feel scummy, I feel like I have dirt on me that won’t come off. I want my day back. I want those 3 hours back. They can have their free breakfast back if they want…grin…just give me back my time.

Not Important and Not Urgent

Saturday, December 6th, 2008

Well, I’m baaack from the States. And I’m fighting with my ever-present urge to blow off all things important and focus on not important things.

While in the states I actually read an article from Oprah’s magazine, “O”, (previously I was an “O” magazine virgin). The article was about how manage your time effectively. Basically the idea was that you write down every single thing that you think you need to do and then you categorize each item by the following:

  • Important and Urgent
  • Important but Not Urgent
  • Not Important and Urgent
  • Not Important and Not Urgent

Apparently, from what the article said and from personal experience, most of us do those things that end up categorized as Important and Urgent as well as those things we would categorize as Not Important and Urgent.

So the lesson is to make your list and then throw out anything that you would categorize as Not Important, whether Urgent or Not Urgent.

Now this sounds all good and fine. But there’s a problem. And that problem is that I seem to be addicted to Not Important and Urgent. I should marry Not Important and Urgent. I get all hot and bothered by Not Important and Urgent.

I also have a strong affinity for Not Important and Not Urgent.

So I’m thinking I might need to start a support group. Anybody wanna join me in fighting my addiction to all things Not Important? We could meet and have coffee and spend half the meeting discussing local chisme (gossip) and finally get around to talking about the Not Important things we should NOT DO right about when it’s time to rush off to our next Not Important activity.

Come on, step right up!

OK, if you want to read the original article see here: Urgent! Urgent! (Or Is It?)

Well, I may not get anywhere with this Not Important thing, but at least I’m no longer an “O” magazine virgin. (I’ve still never seen a whole episode of her show though.)

Happy Turkey Day!

Wednesday, November 26th, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers and pals out there.

Many of you know that I’m in the US visiting my kiddo for the week. It’s been a great trip so far, mostly because I’m catching up with my daughter. But it’s also been great because of all the fun stuff we’ve been doing. We went to the Denver Art Museum and saw a terrific exhibit by German artist Daniel Richter. We went to Celestial Seasonings and had a factory tour. And we’ve been to numerous restaurants, all of which have better service than any average restaurant in Cancun…

My internet connection here is unstable, so I haven’t been working and have barely been checking email. But maybe this is good, it gets me to go out and have fun.

Anyway, enjoy Turkey Day if that’s something you partake in.

Cancun Losing Folk Art Museum

Tuesday, November 18th, 2008

Yesterday we took my visiting amiga americana to Cancun’s Museo de Arte Popular Mexicano (Mexican Folk Art Museum). And as usual we enjoyed it thoroughly. They continue to add to their large collection of Mexican arts and crafts, so each time we go there we see new pieces. And this time we listened to the audio tour, something we hadn’t done before, and it really added a lot to the experience.

But as we were leaving husbandito did his always-make-new-friends thing and started talking with one of the people who works in the museum. Well it turns out that the museum, surprise, surprise, has never made any money there (it’s in a bad location and is always empty). And so the owners, who also own Xcaret Eco-Park, have decided to move the museum to Xcaret sometime in the next couple of months, sometime in January according to the employee.

The good thing about this is that Xcaret is popular so people will FINALLY start seeing this great collection of Mexican arts and crafts! The bad thing is that this museum was basically the only place in Cancun to see a large collection of good quality arts and crafts. So I’m completely bummed out, but not surprised at all. I guess now I have yet another reason to go to Xcaret again.

If you are a Cancunense and you have not yet been to the Museo de Arte Popular Mexicano I highly recommend it, but you’d better get over there soon.

Maybe a Little Fun?

Tuesday, November 11th, 2008

One of my closest friends from back home is coming this week for a visit. It’s wonderful, and it will throw my normal work schedule out the window. I haven’t seen much of her in a few years so we will doubtless have lots of good talks. And she will be my excuse for going over to Isla Mujeres or maybe down to Playa del Carmen or Puerto Morelos or Tulum for a day. We might even, god forbid…could it be?…go to the beach! Maybe even more than once during her visit.

People who don’t live here often assume that folks who live here have a life of leisure, that we have one foot in the sand and our fingers wrapped around a margarita at all times. Well, when you live here you learn quickly that beaching it is a luxury (you also learn that tequila is for people who like hangovers). Some folks here manage to make it to the beach pretty often. But I’m not one of them. And I don’t care. I love beaches. But I also love not having skin cancer. And I love getting my work done. And beach days mean too much sun, and, for me at least, they usually mean getting basically nothing done. I guess being on the beach makes me tired, or stupid, or time flies while I’m there, or something.

Anyway, my friend is coming. So I will be making an effort to have some fun around here. Instead of making my usual effort to get some work done around here. Who knows, it might be good for me to kick back and not work so much. Maybe.

The Caterpillar

Thursday, November 6th, 2008

So I’m running along in the Parque Kabah, which is finally no longer the Lago Kabah (lake) and is really, truly back to being a park. Though it does still have areas of standing water, aka mosquito nests. But I digress, which may be the point.

Any how. I’m running along. And there are all these butterflies. They are flying in pairs, swooping together and flitting around in dizzying circles that make you feel twisted inside just from trying to watch them.

And I’m thinking how lovely it is. The butterflies everywhere. Almost brushing up against my face. Almost hitting a tree. But never actually hitting anything. Just flitting and fluttering merrily.

As I’m running I’m realizing that, more than usual, there are tons of caterpillars in the path, worming their way along. So then I’m dancing along trying not to step on these caterpillars, these future butterflies, and I’m trying hard to be hit and graced by the present butterflies, but they never meet my challenge.

Then finally my running is over. And I’m stretching. I have one leg up on a hip-high bar. I’m wondering where my flexibility went. And I’m looking down at the foot holding me up, the only foot on the ground. Then a caterpillar comes out of nowhere, well, it comes from over there. And it is coming straight to my one foot on the ground. And it reaches my foot.

So I’m thinking the caterpillar is going to climb up my foot. Neat. But no. It goes under my shoe!? And then I can’t see it. And then I start getting nervous that I’m going to squish it if I shift my weight AT ALL! And I’m so in love with butterflies that I just don’t want to squish this caterpillar/future butterfly that is under my shoe.

It stays under there. And it stays. I’m worried I’ve already squished it. I consider how to shift my weight to the other leg, to the foot up on the bar. I’m sure I will squish my caterpillar if I bring down my other foot and put it on the ground.

So I’m starting to freak out. And I’m starting to talk to this caterpillar, out loud. “Have I killed you? Are you coming out from under my shoe?” And then triumphantly (for me), and rather nonchalantly (for it), the caterpillar comes out from under my shoe. It wiggles along. No harm done. Had a nice break in the shade. Off to greener pastures. See ya.

What a Beautiful Victory

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008

I’m so happy that Obama won the U.S. Presidential election. I’m happy because he won so decisively. I’m happy because he ran a clean campaign. I’m happy because there were no “October Surprises,” because he was properly vetted. I’m happy because he is a good man and I absolutely believe he will make good decisions for the country. But the thing that makes me happiest is how happy everyone else is.

My cell phone has been bursting with victory text messages from all my happy friends. All of the email lists I belong to are buzzing with we’re-so-happy-emails.

And the people I read on Twitter are positively giddy. One Twitter member that I follow changed his icon/photo from a caricature of himself with his own white skin to a caricature of himself with black skin.

And here are some Tweets from Twitter members I follow:

  • A Twitter member who was on a flight to Japan said this “On approach to Japan, a flight attendant announced Obama’s victory. There was a burst of applause from economy; in business class, silence.”
  • Is Michelle Obama not the most awesome First Lady-elect that ever awesomed?
  • There is cheering in the streets in my neighborhood.
  • Jesus H. Christ, Barack H. Obama. Coincidence? I THINK NOT.
  • Big giant exhale. Ahhhhhh
  • Wow!!! processing…never teared up at an election night result before. Exciting times.
  • Now to roll up our sleeves and dump Sarah as our Governess…stick a fork in here: she’s toast.
  • Tears of joy last night, wow! Loved Obama’s speech, I was sobbing.
  • Ike reigned at my birth, but JFK’s the first president I remember. Obama will be four-year-old Ava’s “first” president. That thrills me.
  • Something I’ll never forget: stepping off a plane to catch a snippet of McCain giving his concession speech. There is no sweeter welcome.

It’s so exciting, so gratifying to be part of this victory. I think Obama was right last night when he said “I will never forget who this victory truly belongs to. It belongs to you. It belongs to you.” He’s right, this victory is ours. We did this and we are damn proud of ourselves right now.

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