June 29, 2009

All noteworthy

We were ready to test ourselves in the first tropical depression to pass. So then Michael Jackson, the King of Pop, died. He was the crossover artist of my childhood, that little imp five years younger than me who wowed the world with his musical prowess.
Because of news of the British Final Tour, there had been some discussion about Jacko with my friend, handyman, and beading consultant. Even in a country where paleness of color is fostered with umbrellas, covering babies until they look smothered, Michael Jackson's obsession with cirurgia plastico was seen as leading to his doom.
My purchases last week in Cancun included broccoli and white cheddar cheese. The idea was to stow the cheese for hurricanes and steam and freeze the broccoli, after using some in salads. Instead, we made broccoli relleno, wedges of cheese stuffed among the branches of the broccoli, dipped in eggwash and flour, and friend like a chile relleno. Topped with canned turkey gravy with added mushrooms. On the side, a pancake of more grated cheese mixed with the flour and eggwash and fried. Red salsa, Melinda, as an accent.
"Maybe it started with pain after the facial surgeries." Instantly King of Rock to King of Pop comparisons were made. No one really bought the vitaglio story. Ah ah. At the end of a weekend of reports, the reaction in the autopsy suite to all the scarring that could be seen without makeup.
But no, Deepak Chopra said it went further. Seeking and seeking. Oblivion it seemed. But somehow, it seems from preliminary reports, he left a healthy looking corpse.
During this tragic passing, I was still feeling ill and eating for two, or three. The doctor laughed about it last week. It's synthetic cortizone, a lot of the dreaded side effects are gone: The mood swings, temper, rounding of the face, water retention. They haven't dinged the appetite. Dr Yupit says any weight gain will go quickly.
So as CBS and CNN en Espanol dissected Michael Jackson's death, I was under the influence of weather and not doing much of consequence, except for eating like the King of Rock might have in a tropical depression.

June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett RIP

May they rest in peace. May I not have supernatural powers! Two days before David Carridine died, I was talking about him. Three days ago, in the same continuing conversation, I used Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in an elaborate sociological example, explaining to a Mexican fan what they meant north of the border.
Now both are dead and the Mexican is stunned. "We have to not let you talk about people any more," he said. Perhaps. Or I should talk about a few more people!
Like the ladron who took my bicycle, from the patio, around 4am or so. When I got up, it was missing. Since Mexican friend had to go get his motorcycle from the impound lot, I thought he was gone. He got up around noon when Carmen arrived and asked, "Where is the bicycle?" I thought you had it!
Carmen quickly named her top suspect. She went out and came back to announce he is already in jail for theft. This is the last English speaking Mexican who worked for Jim Morgan, one Carmen said not to allow on the property. He cases joints and then...well, maybe that's how El Grand Escape next to Casa Morgan came to be robbed with el muchacho being in carcel. Or maybe he's in for another burglary in the area.
Next suspect, one Bruno. My buddy went over there and Bruno is out of town, but his neighbor suggested where the bicycle could be found. We later gave the guy 200 pesos for a good lead.
In the meantime, a police cruiser drove by and we flagged it down, making a report. Soon buddy came back in the golf cart with the bike.
It was in the bright green house in Colonia Guadalupana, the squatters' village. The men smelled of booze and sweat, he said, as if they had not bathed in weeks. He was a cop in his 20s and he "cop slapped" the guy, upside the ears on each side and left him stunned.
When he returned, Carmen said a garden rake was missing, as were the two sweet peppers ready to pick. Off he went again!
As soon as they saw him coming, they ran! No rake. Oh well. So I talked to the girls about remembering to lock the padlock on the gate as they come and go. Yes, I know it feels safe and usually is. But nosy neighborhood watch is only so vigilant!
Buddy went to Centro on some other business and the cops weree watching my golf cart. No really, I have permission. You know I am doing work for her. Still, he felt like a suspect!
Then, being hot and tired, I opted not to go to Poc Na to see Sergio the guitar marvel play. My friend chaperoned them. Yeah, without curfew. I was finishing up some internet business at 3am and they weren't back yet. Today's Discover Scuba Day may not happen! But a chauffer's test will be taken at all costs!
Funny how life is. My bike was stolen the day the idols died. I will never forget that.

June 25, 2009

Did anyone mention it's hot?

It's hot hot hot. I was back inside the house four hours after I left for Cancun. Saw Dr. Yupit is in Hospital Americano office. Reflexes normalized and my left eye is back to it's normal strength. I am to continue to the synthetic cortizone for two more weeks and come back to see him in a month.
Went to Costo and got depressed. There is big inflation here and it really shows up at Costco.
So I just got cheeses, tuna and office folders.
I did incredibly well at Walmart and Chedraui the previous day, even though yesterday was Chedraui's sale day. Walmart on Tuesday- Chedraui on Wednesday.
At any rate, I came home and followed doctor's orders, taking a siesta before taking the girls to el Huarache for supper. 25 peso quesadillas, the biggest quesadillas you've ever seen! And made with queso oaxco and any meat you choose. They have nice tradition Maya treatments of sopes, salbutes, etc. for 8 to 12 pesos.
A couple musicians stopped on there way to town. And Sergio, all around guitarist, drummer, singer is playing at PocNa tonight at 9. So...on with the resting up!
Carmen, head of housekeeping, is due in a little bit. Fantastico!

June 23, 2009

Making a list

One of the conference tables on the new Ultramar gave me a chance to think in ink.
I had a list of items needed from here and there. Three Big Box stores.
In the end, I only made Walmart and Chedraui and stopped for a couple tacos before coming home at 2pm. The joy is I am going to a two-weeks- after-discharge appointment with my neurologist, Dr. Jose Adres Yupit at Hospital Americano.
And then, after it's over, maybe a trip to Costco to pick up the rest of the list. Then I sun , splash in the pool and sleep! And Lora doggie dog will be getting a shampoo!

June 22, 2009

Creating fun

I had Monday breakfast at Casa Sirena with Steve and his family and everyone later wound up a Zama Beach Club.
Honeymooner Nina wanted to go on the zip line at Garrafon Park. After she heard the pricing, she decided to pretend Casa Sirena has a zip line!
This school principal can have fun anywhere! And it was nice seeing everyone at Zama Beach Club

June 21, 2009

Time of her life

Rose and her friend Meghan graduated from high school in suburban Seattle earlier this month. Lots of sun and sand for the first five days. And dancing at Faynes. Tomorrow, they start helping out at La Gloria English School.
In the meantime, salsa! Yeah, he could be her father. But he knows a few things.
No really, you can!
But, but, but I can't just didn't wash on the dance floor. Happy Summer of 2009 girls!

June 19, 2009

Is that a tourist? Where? No, that's a local.

Casa Rolandi, lunch at 2pm. Is that a tourist? Where? Down there. Nah...
How about over there? It might be a day tripper. Nope, she's got tortillas.
Ground Zero in the tourist slump. Isla Mujeres is in survival mode. As I ate lunch at Rolandi's, inside a group planning resources for tourism was meeting. At the same time, my companion and I counted 12 day trippers mostly not stopping to buy anything. Yes, we are in a tourism crisis!

June 18, 2009

Days on the edge

Edge is one of those four letter words on the edge. Me, I'm living on edges, some good, some bad. Life with an edge.
Showing a couple young women around the island yesterday had me out and about in weather that I should have avoided. It was a beatiful summer day, sunny and good and humid after the overnight rain they came in on. Me, hot from the cortizone and double dosing interferon.
I showed them high points and advised how to save money. They are traveler types with a commitment at La Gloria English School. Rosella tutored Mexicans in her school in suburban Seattle. Yes, they are continuing to celebrate commencement!
I deposited them at Garrafon de Castilla yesterday and returned to resume my recovery. I see Dr. Salas this afternoon, two days after the step down in cortizone dosage from the IV treatment I had at Galenia Hosital.
I had meant to devote a whole entry to the great treatment I got there. Most were at the hands of my one-on-one nurses. Olivia changed her smock after a shower, so I didn't recognize her at when she came to take blood at the end of her double shift.
I had her blood sucking ways and avoiding them in mind when I came back home and resumed reclining and eating potassium rich foods. I stayed there, on that blunt edge, through the day.
This morning is much like that too. I have eaten my high K foods. Now I will rest before going to lunch at Casa Rolandi, all the better to spot the doctor arriving in his office.
Then rest. And tonight, I'll show the girls some of the best music on Isla Mujeres, at Miguel's Moon Lite and then Faynes! Yeehaw. I love life on the edge.

June 16, 2009

Profugas de la ley! BUSTED

With occupancy on the island hovering around 15 percent, there is mischief on the island. Last week there was an amusing criminal mischief act.
Two Hidalgo waiters got it into their heads to steal a golf cart and go for a joy ride.
These two were not the sharpest knives in the drawer: The golf cart was one used by the mayor's niece. So, Isla's police force vigorously pursued the duo, one an islander and another, a Portugese national, was known by one first name only but another first name appeared in the newspapers.
After chasing them all night, police apprehened the tonto criminals after they parked the golf cart and were caught on video camera walking away.
They had parked the golf cart one block from Ppe's and...were busted.
After being jailed for 36 hours, they negotiated a release that including fines and restitution. Pretty smart for real fools. They had to leave the island and were heard to say they were headed for Holbox.
As they were released, buddies heckled them. Fugitives from the law. Profugos de la ley. Convictos. Para carrita de golf! Profugo No. 4, Profugo No. 5! Encarcerados!
Quite a chuckle among bored waiters all over the island who have taken golf carts on joy rides during slow times in the past. But smarter. They never got busted.

June 14, 2009

Celebrate another age!

Yes any mention of age last night and I was simply a Quinceanera! A sweet 15...plus 40. Also in the house was a 40 year old, just a newborn baby. We shared cake with her and the spouse who brought her to Miguel's, with flowers and lots of love between them. Cake and tips to the band, Sons of the Devil. We will survived this downturn!
A friend bought roses...
There were other people there, but Tim and JoAnne were not letting an anniversary vacation pass without a lot of focus on each other. Of course, I hardly took any pictures. I do have one in my Tequila Sunrise sunglasses that I think will have to pass on posting.
My anonymous friend and Hector kept things moving. And Lora ate a whole can of beef Pedigree in mere seconds. Then she kicked back and grooved. People love that doggie dog!

We saw ChuChu jogging on our way, then he jogged by on his way to gig to say hi. About 20 people showed up for the Double Nickel. In Isla these days, that's a crowd.
JoAnne and Tim brought a couple beautiful Ukrainian wall hangings and ceramic pysankis to put in my Baltic room! Well, it was a nice way to mark a birthday and still be home early enough to please the doctors! Gracias a mi amigos!

June 10, 2009

Don Jose de Jesus Lima died in the early morning hours today.

I had written about his turn for the worse probably as he was dying. The family has my deepest condolences and respect for allowing him to die in the next best place to his home, the Rock House, at the Jose de Jesus Lima Centro de Salud downtown, where he was admitted Saturday, while I was being admitted under the care of his doctors into a Cancun hospital. Descansa en Paz.

A good bit better!

Ok, I'm home now for 36 hours from my all-inclusive three day, two night weekend at Galenia Hospital in Cancun. A bit edgy from the anti-inflammatory and cortizone IV treatments and tapers, I can't seem to get the best part to you: pictures on the ambience, the staff, the equipment, the great meals.
I promise to do better when I am better.
But, cutting to the quick: I got there an hour before my doctors - Salas from Isla and Yupik, a neurologist from Cancun. By the time they arrived, I had been x-rayed, scanned, an IV sunk into my arm and was being hydrated with potassium, B-12 and some electrolytes.
When the doctors got in, they looked at the films, found a crack in my pelvis, but even without the orthopedic surgeon, decided pegging it wouldn't be necessary. On with the IV's! Oh, BTW, Yupik lives in a subdivison with 20 other doctors and three North American retirees. Great confabs!
My response to the first bag of anti-inflammatories and cortizone confirmed Dr Yupik's diagnosis: An MS exacerbation. I entered the hospital not being able to move my left leg. In 12 hours, I was picking it up off the bed and applyting resistance to the doctor's pressure on it.
nnThe place is immaculate. The kitchen producing yummy dietetic meals. I was to be on high potassium, low sodium, low sugar meals. My first, a few hours after admission, was a fresh chicken broth with white meat and oodles of fresh vegatables like green beans screaming off the vine, a fresh salad, some fruit, a yogurt with more fruit. Really, the best hospital meal I have ever had.
More blood work in the evenying and a change of hospital jammies. Oh yes, they are the same here: No backs!
Many US insurance policies are accepted here, but I made a $3,000US desosit and settled for a $1,500 refund when I left.
Not bad at all when you consider the level of service. A one-t0-three maximum staff to patient ratio, private rooms, call buttons that are responded to and a bilingual staff, albeit relieved when hearing Spanish they can understand. It was a great weekend. And uhm, they do cosmentic surgery. Not me, but you out there. Inexpensive!
On Saturday, Salas and Yupik plan a day of fishing off isla. If they don't smell to fishy afterward, they may come to the birthday party Miguel is throwing for me at Moonlite. That would be some extra personal attention. Both docs would also be visiting Jose de Jesus Lima at the Centro de Salud. He took a turn for the worse but declined admission at Galenia, his family preferring he be at the health center that bears his name here on Isla.

June 4, 2009

New house band this weekend!

I've only seen Miguel's Moonlite new house band once, but they are hot! They'll be playing this weekend. An impending lack of customers the other night had them succumbing to a cougar chick, who got them all drunk, except for a guitar player, who wouldn't play alone when we stopped by.
So, we've been doing the music thing on Hidalgo, with Javier, Miguel and Chucho.
Miguel's Moonlite house band is called Sons of the Devil and they have a fresh new sound, even with the oldies. Will report back if I don't have femur surgery on Saturday!

June 3, 2009

Really, La Vida Loca!

I've been having a great time with Chuck renting an apartment. He is a former coworker, still employed at my old newspaper.
He gives me the chance to talk the way reporters talk. Yada yada yada.
Chuck is also a drummer, so I have enjoyed more night life this week than in the previous year! He jammed with Chucho at Fayne's, then last night, with Javier and Allen, Sergio and a couple other guitar players. Another guy took some time on the bongos. A woman got up and sang in a bluesy, throaty voice.
I have been hobbling, trying to keep up. A week ago Wednesday, I was clipped by the automatic glass door at Europa, an import store in Cancun. I got huge bruises on each hip. Now, the left hip is sensitive and the ankle is swollen. Dr Salas is sending me to American Hospital in Cancun to rule out a femur crack and have it pinned, actually screwed, if it is cracked. That's a three day hospitalization and physical therapy to adjust.
Meanwhile, Chuck's Spanish is improving. He knows hombra! And gladly gives me a shoulder as we walk down steps. Much sturdier than the cane. So today, we chill at Playa Norte, since he's not been there yet. And I make arrangements to the xray and possible surgery. Which means we say our goodbyes today, just in case. Hasta luego! No, I'm not Livin' la Vida Floja. It is La Vida Loca!

June 1, 2009

Worked hard for the money

We took Cristian out his last two nights on the Island, since he was all work and no play while here. He worked all sorts of jobs for his previous employer on the island, allegedly for tips, but he never saw more than 100 pesos a day. And I always tipped 100 pesos a day for poolside and dinner service. So he came with here his father Joshua, a longtime bad boy on the island, who for the last year has been free of most of his bad habits and collecting plastic bottles for Rishi Sowa's Spiral Island project.
Carmen recognized that hard work in Josh and worked with Cristian, teaching him what he already loved: botany. Ok, gardening.
Together they trimmed and propagated. They further scaped the roof, and he and his dad painted and swabbed the deck, cleaned the pool. Whatever I could think of that would pay for a plane ticket back to Mexico City and the two hour bus ride home, where his high school proficiency exam waited. Even though he had not attended for six months, he had an 8.7 out of 9 average...and Saturday morning, he passed his exam!
He will probably to to UNAM, whose Pumas set the La Gloria neighborhood on fire last night! Soccer championship!
All that was in the air Thursday night at Miguel's. Soccer pregames stuff was turned off the big screens to make way for the new band, which if I understood You Tube, I would show you!
They call themselves Sons of the Devil. They play classic rock, a lot of Aerosmith as I recall. But I was talking a lot with a member's cousin. Gregorio! The classic-voiced mariachi.
The kids rock! They have the same drum kit as Chuck has in Ohio and he vows to play the drums with them. Seems when I was asleep thinking he and Josh would go, Chuck and Josh also slept. Chuck scubaed the Cave of the Sleeping Sharks and another site with Enrique's Unique Dives yesterday morning, then ate Texas baby back ribs at Soggy Peso with me and a mixed island and tourist crowd.
Me, the heavy lifting of the fork just wore me out! Hmmm....and added to Chuck's blissful fatigue!
He's up and at 'em again this morning. We will lunch at Zamas!