Neither rain, nor sleet, nor torrential downpour can stop a birthday beach party. Especially when you have two demanding waiters waiting for you to blow out some candles, slam a shot of tequila, and may even expect you to dance on the table. To say nothing about the mention of a man jumping out of my cake.
If you know Mexico, you know it is unusual for it to have days of rain in November. Okay, even if it rains, it will be clear and sunny in an hour, and you won’t even notice it rained. Not so on November 11th, it rained buckets, and more buckets, even the streets were flowing clean water about ankle deep, and dark clouds enclosing the entire area. I still had hopes it would clear and a 1 o’clock party seemed possible. Around noon, I got a message from an invited friend and she told me, “I guess you know the cake has been delivered, and you have to come.” I messaged back, “I know, but I might have to swim.” At about 12:30, the rain and wind really kicked in, and I thought no one is that crazy to brave this weather for a party. I might not need a boat, but I will have to hike up my pants.
Not only did I make it there on time, but was amazed that all these wonderful people would come out for my birthday. I must have the best friends anyone could ask for, or at least the craziest friends. I do know the truth was; they couldn’t let Chuy and Jorge ( our fablous friends and waiters at Madera) down, as it was really their party. We laughed, drank, ate delicious cake, drank a bit more, and I received some wonderful gifts.
The best gift of all are these wonderful friends. So if you ever find yourself in a foreign country, and it’s your birthday, be prepared for the best birthday you may ever have.
Oh, the big cake with the man jumping out—He sent his apology that he had an accident along the way, cake crashed, and he was in the hospital with a beautiful nurse, and was so sorry he couldn’t make it.
Viva Mexico !
My new list of this weeks adult banned books, and ones I hope everyone will buy and enjoy. I’m sure many of you already own, or have read several as some are classics, but have been banned for one reason or another.
Beloved — Toni Morrison, 1987–sexual content
The Handmaid’s Tale — Margaret Atwood, 1985–anti religious
The Color Purple — Alice Walker, 1982–violent
The Lovely Bones — Alice Sebold, 2002–frightening
Lady Chatterley’s Lover — D.H. Lawrence, 1928–
Speak — Laurie Halse Anderson, 1999–glorifies drinking, cussing, premarital sex
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings — Maya Angelou, 1969–encourages deviant behavior
Read, Enjoy, and Cherish a good book!
Oh how I wish one of my books would hit the banned book category. I for one have and will read anything I’m told I shouldn’t read.
This years list of most read banned books is so laughable I had to share some of those that have been banned.
And Tango Makes Three by Justin Richardson–penguins of the same sex
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein–causing disobedience
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J. K. Rowling–too much black magic
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell–inappropriate for teens
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson–deals with death
The Diary of Anne Frank by Anne Frank–sexual content
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak–too scarey for children
Some of my favorite authors are on the banned list–like Hemingway, Vonnegut, John Green, Margaret Atwood, Harper Lee, to name a few. Today I bought three banned books that I haven’t read.
How do you feel about banning a book?
As many have already heard on Good Friday we here in Zihuatanejo had a 7.2 earthquake. However, there was minimum damage for one of that scale. It only left us with shattered nerves for a few days.
Because I am a true Mexican at heart, and live by mañana, it has led to a few problems with immigrations. This year I finally went to see about getting a permanent residence card. This led me to seeing a flag on their computer, and was told I needed to leave the country before my 180 days were up, or pay a very hefty fine. So I did. I spent a few days with my daughters and then returned to my apartment in Zihua. As I entered my building, I was greeted by a horrid smell, and the closer I got to my door I was turning green. The electricity in my apartment had been off for ten days. Any advice on how to remove rotten odors from a refrigerator will be appreciated. I have used ever cleaner known to man, and it still gags me when I open it. I have even gone so far as to burn incense inside it, soap and water, vinegar, baking soda by the box full, lemon juice, commercial cleaners strong enough to take ones breath away, and I am now using coffee grounds, and a hunk of charcoal.
Oh, then we had a tropical storm carrying so much rain it was overflowing the streets. As soon as it quit raining, we had another good shaker that woke everyone at 2:00am. It was only a 6.4 so once again no damage other than shaking nerves. In the last four days there have been one hundred aftershocks recorded, but only a few felt.
Today, as I went to leave my apartment there was a swarm of bees. I mean a huge swarm, and it came down into the tree directly in front of my doorway. I found it quite fascinating as it happened so quickly. There were two big clumps with hundreds in the air. Now, a bit nervous because we have all heard of killer bees (what ever they are) I shut my door and gave them a few minutes to see what they would do next. When I looked back out one of the globs was gone, or moved up with the other, and the air was a still filled with bees and buzzing sound. There was no way I could leave my apartment with that many buzzing bees, so I yelled to my neighbor, and he said he’d call the firemen. Shortly thereafter a man with a bee hood came to check it out. There were also two young boys with him and they were screaming, and swatting their shirts as bees were getting angry from the smoke the bee-man was creating with his torch . I was watching all this action from a crack in my door. I don’t know which would have been funnier to see the boys swatting bees, or me on the floor peeking out a little crack. Bees are gone, where I do not know, but this mass slowly broke apart and left the smoky area for better air.
And that my friends is why I love my life here in Mexico. Perhaps it is the weekly adrenalin rush, but I am never bored.
Bees Come Down
A little over a year ago, I posted Shake Rattle and Roll. Well, earthquake season is once again upon us here is Zihuatanejo, Mexico, and we are still all shook-up.
On Good Friday, April 18th, at 9:30am I was having my first cup of coffee, and opening my computer to see what the world had been doing. As I rested my foot on the wall I felt a quick, small shutter, and thought oh, a little tremor. Two seconds later my floor felt like I was riding a surf-board, and the walls were bobbing and weaving. My overhead light was swing directly above my head, and then the electricity went out. Thankfully, it was a beautiful morning in sunny Mexico, and I had my doors open so I jumped into the door-frame (Well, that is what they used to advise during an earthquake) and there I stood like a zombie. I really wonder where my brain goes during a quake because I always have these great plans for the next one, but I never carry through with one on my list of great life-saving ideas. I always thought I’d grab my computer first thing, because I love it so much—but, I didn’t, and it was right in front of my nose. My passport, money, and a bottle of water were also ignored. In reality, it is almost impossible to do much of anything when the floor is moving and you are lucky to just stand. My thoughts were wow, this is a big one, and I hope it doesn’t get bigger. My plan was if it got worse I’d grab onto the tree directly in front of the door, and then swing down into our bare parking-lot where there were no electric wires nor tall building to fall on me. Well, in 30 seconds it was over, and I didn’t have to use my escape route. Thirty seconds had never seemed so long. I thought it must have lasted two or three minutes. This was the biggest earthquake I have ever experienced, and hope to not do a repeat of. This sucker registered 7.2 with the epicenter only a few kilometers away.
I guess 7.2 is a baby compared to the Good Friday Alaskan quake in 1964. That devastating monster registered 9.2 and lasted four minutes. It was the second largest quake ever recorded, and set off a tsunami that hit California and Oregon. We were lucky not to have to contend with a tsunami, but for a short period of time there was a warning, and police and navy were directing people away from the beach.
After my senses returned I noticed a lot of broken dishes and glass on the floor so I took a minute to clean it before I decided to join all my neighbors on the street. When I went to go down the stairs there were a dozen or so pigeons that stood frozen in place, and would not move. I quickly returned to my patio because birds and animals are much more alert to disaster than we are, and I felt that we may have more ahead of us. There were no birds in my trees, and my humming bird feeder went unused for two days while we had several after-shocks. The last couple of days we have had three or four new quakes from different areas, but still close-by. Today, the birds are back in my trees, and thankfully my hummingbird feeders need a refill.
I think the destruction was slight considering 7.2 in classified as a significant quake. A few hotels suffered cracks in their building, many streets were littered with roof-tiles, some windows were broken, and a few stores were closed due to damage. The largest grocery store had to close due to broken bottles and thousands of cans in their aisles. One of the newest building in the centro area crumbled, but the old ones survived. All in all, we’re in really good shape for the shape we’re in.
Part 2 — I Owe You One
As Evan starts to reminisce about his late night adventure, Ole and I smile at each other, we know this is going to be one of those good ones that only Evan can tell. He leans back and begins–About 10:00, last night, things were so slow that I was going to close early. Just as I went to turn off the lights and lockup, a fancy new pickup pulled up with two cowboys and a lovely lady. It seems these boys were from over around Wilsall, and were out for a little fun. They’d stopped in Livingston, and found this lovely lady to join their party. Evan is grinning like a little kid with an ice-cream cone, and giving us a big wink, to make sure we understood what the “lovely lady” was. Ole and I aren’t stupid. We know what sort of lady comes from Livingston with two wild cowboys.
Evan smiles and says. “I swear, this lovely lady wore more perfume than I can afford to buy my sweet wife. I think I can still smell her today. Lordy, she was something we all dream about on cold winter nights. Looking a little dazed he tells us of pouring everyone some strong shots, filling the puke-box with endless music, the lovely lady dancing, and everyone getting a little drunk. Then out came the cards, for a few of my slight-of-hand card-tricks. Soon I had them all at the poker table. I couldn’t believe it, but I was losing hand after hand, and the pots were getting bigger and bigger. Then I got a little lucky. One of the cowboys finally lost his bankroll and was out of the game. In a short time, the other one was down on his luck also.”
Evan gives us one of his out of the corner of his mouth laughs and tells us, “Now it is just me and the Livingston lady. I’m getting a little nervous after a couple of hours of winning a few hands, but barely staying even.” With a roar of laughter, he tells us, “Oh, my God that red dress was getting lower on the breasts with ever hand until I couldn’t think of cards! Finally, I took a break and went to get my glasses. You know I don’t wear those damn glasses cause they make me a little dizzy. That was my salvation! I couldn’t see her lovely breasts any longer, just some fuzzy flesh, and I could concentrate on the cards again. We spent the whole damned night back and forth, winning and losing. At the end, it was a draw between that Livingston lady and me.”
So sorry everyone, but yesterday my post of funny newspaper clippings went wacko. So today instead of going to the beach I’m going to try to entertain you for a few minutes with the beginning of my next book. Don’t get too excited as it has a long way to go, but those of you who follow me get a peek today.
The Two Dot Bar– No Place For Wimps
Hey Mister, whatcha all dressed-up for? Are ya on your way to a funeral or something? You must not be from around here dressed that God-durn fancy. You look like ya might be a little lost. Pull-up a stool and have a drink with us. I bet you read that sign out on the highway, Easy to Find, and Hard to Leave, and that is the full blown truth my friend. Once you step foot in the Two Dot bar you might never want to leave, even if ya make it out of here today I guarantee you’ll wanna come back. You got lucky finding the best little bar in Montana. Just sit on down, and enjoy your time here. You might even get lucky and hear a few good stories about this place you’ve wandered into.
This is where I start most days. It’s 10:00am, and the bar’s pretty empty this morning. But, if I sit on this stool all day as I usually do, I’ll see everyone from up Big Elk, a few from around Martinsdale, and maybe even someone from Harlo might stop by. The Harlo folks normally wait for Saturday night with the hope of some live music, a little dancing, or even a good fist-fight.
This morning it’s just old Ole, me, and Evan the owner and morning bartender. It doesn’t look like anyone got around to cleaning-up this morning, and it has its usual stink of beer and cigarettes. Evan’s a little slow this morning, and he sure doesn’t look as if he got much sleep last night, plus he still smells of the bar. Ole and I nod our heads, and agree that Evan must have had a long night with the cards. No doubt he came out a winner. Ole and I have seen him look this way many times. Usually there was some poor fool slumped over in the back booth lamenting his losses. The odds are if Evan was in a late-night poker game we would be in luck for a good story.
Come back again to find out if Evan is a winner or looser, and to see what goes on in the world famous Two Dot Bar.