Saturday, August 13, 2011

Friday Morning in the Summer.

There was all this screaming behind our home this morning.  Like a herd of children turned loose with a bowl of sugar cereal and some redpunch.   It dissipated into the morning stillness over the soccer fields behind our deck and a misty morning serenity slowly returned.   Except for one kid.   That kid was really having a great time enjoying its freedom.    Repeated intervals of screaming, whoops and hollers caused me to mosey out on the balcony to have a look.   Bubba the parrot slept out there last night.   Because of the great weather we had allowed the doors to remain open and the cats were roaming in and out at will during the evening hours while we slept.    The cats decided to follow me out.  I greeted Bubba and he answered me "Hello, Stick em up." The parrot spotted the kitten, "Stop it." he scolded the cat.   I sipped some coffee and directed my gaze toward the sounds.    

There is a church across the athletic fields, the Community Rec Center has an athletic field there too.   But that is not where this maniac kid was.   It was in the little park the community constructed.   They have swings and junk over there I think and that is where the kid was.   Now the one kid was in full stride Whooping and Screaming over and over and over.  Maybe it was a summer camp outing.   It is a beautiful day, a Friday and just perfect to let the little bastards blow off some steam and get their energy levels depleted a little.   This kid was still going strong.   Now and then one of the other kids screams would join this one noisy kid's voice but they were mostly quiet.    As I looked across the dry grass the small group of kids and two or three adults came into view under the trees in the  community area.   They seemed as if it was a summer school program or a church group, we have a LOT of that here, out to take in the scene and get a breath of fresh air.   The children were following one adult who was moving away from the forested area and getting closer to the open soccer fields.   Another adult was bringing up the rear and herding the reluctant children along when I saw The Hyper Kid.   THK was running concentric circles around the adult leading the group he darted in and out of the cluster of children as a comet orbiting a solar system.   This kid was on it.   

It became evident that the shouts that accompanied  THK were not attempts at harmony but actually protests and shrieks of dismay as he swooped in to harass any stragglers from the pack of kids.   THK was determined to attack one child per circuit as a rogue asteroid might do to communications satellites.   They were standing at the edge of the field when the lead adult grabbed THK.  He took him by the shoulders and rotated THK around to face the goal net far across the fields.   The adult pointed,  THK looked off into the distance and sighted the white support and the net it held.   The adult pointed, let go and THK took off running across the two adjacent soccer fields toward the farthest net.   The two adults cheered and they encouraged the other children to raise their voices too.   THK was streaking past the center line screaming the whole time "AAAAHHHHHHAAAAAHHHHHH".  He was past the first field in no time.   The group yelled for him to go faster.   He went faster.   THK was really flying now.   They yelled more.    I could hear them,   "Yay Hyper Kid!"   He reached the goal net but he didn't stop, THK circled the goal box at full speed and volume and came running back.   The cheering continued as lead adult moved to intercept THK before he got back to the group.   THK showed no signs of fatigue in the legs or vocal cords.   As he almost reached the assembled pack of humans, the lead adult, now twenty feet in front of the group of children,  huddled together for safety, started making a circular motion with his arm as if he were twirling a lasso.   THK knew exactly what to do.   He rounded the guy and headed off to the other end of the field again, still screaming and now waving both arms above his head and yelling like some kind of demented shaved monkey, shrieking in full gallop attacking a pile of bananas.   The other kids hopped and cheered as THK swerved from their direction.   

THK made another round trip between the goals.   He began to tire.  His arms drooped below his shoulders.   His shrieks became less frequent.   It almost seemed that his speed was slightly diminished.    The third trip began to have the desired effect.   Both adults were trying to spur THK to continue but he was definitely running out of fuel.   At the end of his fourth orbit THK flopped to the ground in front of the assembled group, arched his back and with one huge scream and a spasm of his arms and legs he lay spread eagle on the grass facing the sky.  The group, sensing the end, turned in unison and slowly moved away.

So parents, please give your kid his medicine in the summer too.   Even if it is Friday and even if it's the other parents weekend.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Welcome Desi

It has been an eventful time since we got home from Mexico.   Poor Siamese got sicker and sicker.   Sammy is gone now but we have a new member of our family.   Desi is the new Siamese King.   He is quite a handful.  He knows no bounds and we hope to keep it that way.   He is chewing on scattered papers, learning about how claws affect human skin and stacks of post-its as I try to type this. 
photo C.L.C.
photo C.L.C.

Desi may be a furry, cat, nudist.   So far this kitten has slipped off and  ditched two collars somewhere in the house.   We have no idea where they are and he isn't telling.   The missing collars coincided with his entry to the lower level where thousands of boxes, piles and storage bins attract the most surreptitious of instincts in a kitten.  Desi also has developed a propensity for cream cheese.   Just nuke a cinnamon bagel and he comes running.   The cat wants a schmear!   His affinity with cream cheese somehow also extends to yogurt.   He seems to prefer blueberry over strawberry.   The vet assured us that only about fifty percent of cats are truly lactose intolerant but, a fetid stench frequently emits from the vicinity of the base of his tail.   The bombays appear to be most prone to opening when Desi is just about to fall asleep, which he chooses to do on the nearest available lap.

Lucy has learned to deflect his frequent savage attacks.   Our nearly 20 pound Main Coon places her gigantic paw on his forehead as he tries to lever his two and a half pound body, claws extended, reach her.   These sparring matches appear comical because of the difference in size and slightly resemble the Stooges.  Woub Woub Woub, nyuk nyuk nyuk.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ah fair retail.

Goal Deluxe Sander Tree Beers

Won sap pun a tine dare washer ladle gull culled Goal Deluxe zoo leave din dissenter offer lodge forced widow mutter sander fodder.

Ones window ladle gull and/or pear rents swear aweigh, dare hop penned topaz buy tree beers -- ham other beer, ha dotty beer, inner ladle bay be beer.

Sea ingot dough row pin, bay be beer win tinfoil ode buys modern fodder. Dot repairs wondered true Goal Deluxe souse: day eight parch; day satin cheers; sand atlas day fellow slip into tree bids.

Wend Goal Deluxe inner mud rend fodder god hum, daze awe sun thin whirrs rung. 

"Sum bodice bin neat tender parch," sad Goal Deluxe, "an day aided awl! Handsome bodice bins it ten end dough's cheers!"

Gong Hindu turbid run, Goal Deluxe led otters cream: "Sum bodice bin slipping inner bids anthers till dare!"

Herring hearse cream, dot repair sleep tout ha bet innate Goal Deluxe sander pear rents sup.

Ream embark ids: Led slipping beers lye.

Can't read it? Drag the "?" to the the "*"

Goal Deluxe Sander Tree Beers
(Goldielocks and the Three Bears)

Won sap pun a tine dare washer ladle gull culled Goal Deluxe zoo leave din dissenter offer lodge forced widow mutter sander fodder.
(Once upon a time there was a little girl called Goldielocks who lived in the center of a large forest with her mother and father.)

Ones window ladle gull and/or pear rents swear aweigh, dare hop penned topaz buy tree beers -- ham other beer, ha dotty beer, inner ladle bay be beer.
(Once when the little girl and her parents were away, there happened to pass by three bears -- a mother bear, a daddy bear and a little baby bear.)

Sea ingot dough row pin, bay be beer win tinfoil ode buys modern fodder. Dot repairs wondered true Goal Deluxe souse: day eight parch; day satin cheers; sand atlas day fellow slip into tree bids.
(Seeing the door open, baby bear went in followed by his mother and father. The three bears wandered through Goldielock's house: they ate porridge, they sat in chairs, and at last they fell asleep into three beds.)

Wend Goal Deluxe inner mud rend fodder god hum, daze awe sun thin whirrs rung.
(When Goldielocks and her mother and father got home, they saw something was wrong.)

"Sum bodice bin neat tender parch," sad Goal Deluxe, "an day aided awl! Handsome bodice bins it ten end doughs cheers!"
("Some body's been eating the porridge," said Goldielocks, and they ate it all! And somebody's been sitting in those chairs!")

Gong Hindu turbid run, Goal Deluxe led otters cream: "Sum bodice bin slipping inner bids anthers till dare!"
(Going into her bedroom, Godlielocks let out a scream: "Somebody's been sleeping in the beds and they're still there!")

Herring hearse cream, dot repair sleep tout ha bet innate Goal Deluxe sander pear rents sup.
(Hearing her scream, the three bears lept out of bed and ate Goldielocks and her parents up.)

Ream embark ids: Led slipping beers lye. 
(Remember kids: Let sleeping bears lie.)****

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Revenge of Kulkukan

We  were slightly  attacked  yesterday. Our aimless wandering led us deep into the Tulum Pueblo.   In retrospect it may not have been a good idea rubbernecking around in a bright red, shiny Ford "Party."   We were not that far from a major highway and several huge, new, modern developments in that area.  

There is a New Orleans looking cemetery back there. It is made of natural stone and cinder blocks and painted bright colors. At first it gave the appearance of an amusement park or some kind of morbid storybook land instead of a repose for the remains of the dearly departed.
We thought everything was cool and that the locals were totally used to gringos cruising their turf. That's when I suddenly understood exactly where we were. We were in the hood. I had an immediate comprehesion like the feeling the captain of the Titanic had when he first saw the Iceburg. We shouldn't be right here, right now.

As we passed by two little Mayan kids standing in front of a squalid hovel, one of the little bastards chucked a rock into the side of our car. He must have been trying to break a window but it hit the metal with quite a loud bang and put a little dent below the back door handle. I took off at a high rate of speed but P wanted to stay and fight. First, it would be almost impossible to catch an 11 year old kid in his own neighborhood and what are you gonna do even if you did? Besides all that, our vehicle would become a stationary target and they might be able to take better aim at the glass.

Yankis go home! The descendants of the noble, savage, Mayans are increasingly angry at having their butts kicked by successive invaders over the last 750 years and are starting to attempt a political comeback. The Olmec tried to make a go of a civilization, they were conquered brutally by the Mayans who eventually fell to the Aztecs through political attrition. The Spanish came here and destroyed the fragile Aztec coalition in about 6 months. Now the Americans and the Canadians are kicking the economic hell out of the Mexican natives by buying up all the beachfront property and making their own ancient town much too expensive for them to inhabit. They have launched a feeble attempt to organise and are now trying to fight back. They even had a hero. This guy is an aging Che Guevara, Malcolm X type who looks disturbingly like Kim Jong-il without the hair dye. He appeared at rallies incognito then suddenly dons a wrestling mask and starts inciting the crowd.  He has lightened up a lot in the last five years and rumor has it that the former revolutionary now  makes a pretty good living running special classes instructing maids how to create whimisical  towel animals in the new beachfront  resorts. 

Anyway, one of the little turds hit us with a rock.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Mexican Car do-over

The car deal at the Playa Ford dealer fell through. It wasn't our fault. We checked with the Mexicans who were with us. Nobody asked for a deposit, nobody wanted to go "Write it up" or anything like that. They sold it out from under P and she was Furious about it. Making P feel powerless is not a good idea.

Immediately after the debacle at Playa Ford L took us up to Cancun. We went to the auto dealer row. It was just like Playa, the only place with a Usado section was Ford. P found a little car she liked and negotiated a deal.

P was now determined to have a car. She was on the phone to the states. Credit union, credit card company and some other places. Armed with information, L and K we returned to Cancun on Monday. They had saved the car for us and had even moved it toward the back of the lot away from the street. Now we are pretty used to Mexico but the rate of the sale was maddening! Okay P decided to use a card rather than use an electronic transfer. Good thing. As soon as they had taken the card to the cajero, returned to have P sign the form, schlepped the signed form back to the Cajero (who may have been safely sequestered in a bunker deep in the rabbit warren of offices and storerooms), they came back with an official receipt. That was when they informed us that P could not legally licence the car! P's ears got red, L started talking at a very high rate of speed and the three ladies were all waving their arms and pointing at the paper. They somehow reached a "legal" solution about how to transfer the ownership of the car to P. That solution involves her getting an FM3 visa! That solved, we asked for "la placas papel" or a "permito temporado" so we could drive home. Not quite yet. We had to come back at 5:00 just to get a receipt! So here we were in Cancun, around 11:30am with 5 hours to kill. Had she used a wire transfer it could have taken up to a week.

Bring on the Hotel Zone. We decided to go get some lunch. Where to go? Margaritaville of course. We had our cheeseburgers in paradise and a $5 milk shake (Pulp Fiction and Jimmy Buffett are strange combination but, It's Mexico) it was too early after eating to return to Ford so Costco was our next stop.  P was shopping, L put on her glamorus sunglasses, found a couch display and took a nap.  K and I enjoyed racing office chairs that somebody had thoughtfully left in the isle.

By some miracle the papers were ready when we returned to the dealer and they are, may, possibly, perhaps, maybe, going to deliver it, with placas, insurance and tenencia (that may or may not mean tax sticker) to the condo on Thursday.  The sales lady has a FaceBook page with photos.   No kidding.

The contrast to buying a car, or any business transaction, in Mexico to a similar one in the states is just astounding. It is almost as if they are designed to make it difficult to spend large amounts of money. 61 people have to sign, initial and stamp lots of forms and carbon (actual carbon paper) copies.

So today the locksmith (another story) is coming by, the maid will be here and the FM3 professional form wrangler is coming with the realtor. I am going to work on my tan by the pool until they all get here.
This is more like it!!! Happy day!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Mexican Car

Wednesday was a terribly humbling experience. We are trying to buy a car. The dealers at Chevy, Nissan, Honda, Toyota, Dodge, and VW do not even sell used cars here. They only sell new. P was employed by a major international auto manufacturer so she has some experience in the business and we could easily get a new one. But for a new car to sit unused 7 months of the year would be extravagant and beyond our means. We are looking for usado or semi-nuevo. So we made the rounds with a chartered taxista acting as our guide and translator. Nobody here sells used cars? The Dodge guys talked so fast and with a different type of syntax that I didn't understand one, single, word, of what they were saying. Not one word mind you. Maybe I need some Spanish lessons!!! Only the Ford dealer has a used car lot. The Sales Lady there is a real stereotype. She was wearing way too much makeup. Her tight jeans and 5" platform sandals totally accentuated her ample J-Low, ba-donk-a-donk. To counterbalance the rearward thrust of that derriere she had shoved her boobies way up under her throat and each button across her bosom strained against the pressure. Even with glasses on I avoided getting directly in front of her. If one of those buttons gave way a fellow could easily lose an eye. She did the entire car salesman act. She winked at me and at our Taxi pilot/guide while grinning broadly to display teeth whitened by a home bleaching kit. She made sure she bent way over to write on her desk and show us her two outstanding features as well as those of the several cars that she had to sell. She even allowed P to examine her computer screen. That was it. P somehow picked out a nice little car just by looking at a 6 page list of numbers on a screen.

We needed to check out some of the used car lots in the edjio (hood) too. So we pressed on with our intrepid taxista. Out away from the tourist area we went. These cars were very used and very expensive! It seems they were the kind of dealers who have the Buy Here, Pay Here kind of car lots. The cars were way overpriced and they were terrible. Pat was a little interested in a vintage VW Bug. I got her away from it by saying that a snake was in it.

Back to the Ford store, Hootchie Mama offered to have two cars sent down from Cancun. The one car Pat really liked the look of (inventory numbers) arrived quickly. It is actually very nice. They were servicing it yesterday. We have an appointment to test drive it Saturday at 11am. Pat is working out the intricacies of a wire transfer of fundage!
When we returned for our test drive appointment they had sold the car!  P is now on a mission!