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Wednesday, December 29, 2004
In California today, after an amazing 11 days in Cabo San Lucas, with the requisite surprise that the world has been full of tragedy and disaster while I have been enjoying Lucullan delights down Baja way. Sunday, the day of the tsunami, I was enjoying my second deep-sea fishing trip with Jacques, John's brother-in-law, and idly musing about giant waves while being rocked to sleep on the glimmering Pacific. Later, poolside, Les and I chatted about tsunamis. Little did we know.
But still, not to take anything away from the 11 luxurious days with Leslie, John, Noah, Jordan, Jacques and Sandy in the beautiful Casa Angel. Noah, six years old, refuses to dive into the pool, but has no qualms about performing running bellyflops that make all the adults wince. I decided I'd better try at least one of them myself, since Noah was emerging unscathed slap after ear-splitting slap; bad idea, Janey. And oh, the homemade decorations! We worked daily on a number of crafts, with me sticking mostly to origami, but Les, Sandy and the kids making lovely ornaments and garlands of ribbons, shells, spray-painted macaroni and popsicle sticks. We all painted little scenes on "canvases" Les and Sandy had made from popsicle sticks. Noah painted a car, Leslie a mountain scene, Sandy a tropical scene with Santa flying off from having left presents under a palm tree, and me a Santa tanning in green fur-trimmed trunks with purple spots. Great, great fun.
To talk of all the great meals we conjured is to cause my mouth to water all over again. Freshly caught Sierra mackerel, beef tenderloin, turkey, quesadillas, crepes---all of the best-tasting, most savoury food possible. And all washed down with superb wines. What an unsullied bout of indulgence, and no one the worse for turista or even hangovers. Talk about your Mexican paradoxes: I was putting away enough tequila daily to preserve a couple of cadavers, but never once awoke with more than the mildest twinge.
The Cabo San Lucans were kind enough to let me practice my atrocious Spanish before gently switching to English, and I got in a bit more practice haggling. It was still easier to call Les over and have her insist on a lower price. The rule seems to be that the dealers start by asking at least 45% more than their merchandise is worth. Sometimes I'd stand my ground; other times I'd just think, well, what's five dollars here and there? Of course the dealers all see me coming, but they must get so tired of enormous gringas arguing over a buck or two on a silk-screened t-shirt.
Bottom line: Mexico is fast becoming my favourite destination. It was a great Christmas.
Off to the coast tomorrow to get in a few more days of luxuriating before New Year's and home. Once again, it SUCKS to be me. I've been missing the dumb little dog a lot, but then I remember that she is probably having a hell of a good time with Doc and Diesel on Jean's farm, and will have to be hog-tied before she'll consent to get in the van and come back home with me next week. Also I hope that old Martini isn't driving Fearless too, too crazy with the constant vocalizings. Did I bring enough tequila back home to be forgiven all trespasses? Only time will tell.
Thursday, December 16, 2004
Feliz freakin' Navidad, everyone. The last week has been hectic and crammed with a lot of detail. Salient details: 2nd van breakdown on highway outside Edmonton, meeting with the bariatric surgeon, bidding a temporary farewell to the rotten little dog, getting laden with incredible gifts, leaving (as usual) too many tasks to the last minute, shouting out Christmas carols with the old Carswellian crew, seeing the wonderful brothers for less than 10 minutes each, hair colour, foreign exchange, toenails scoured. I still haven't packed. So all is well. There are internet cafés in Cabo San Lucas, so I may post a few gloating entries. Or, depending on how many turkey quesadillas I eat, a few bloating entries. Cheers, ye bastards.
Friday, December 10, 2004
What a mad fool, to expect a Ford dealership to have an alternator for a Ford Windstar. I know they see me coming. I also know that the repairs they have done for me in the past have actually lasted. It's that annoying trade-off--it's the devil I know, but also the devil I trust. And the devil who does not stock Ford parts, but rather has them sent by courier from Edmonton. Well...maybe today SoccerMom will reign again.
They're back... Tomorrow afternoon the infamous Hell's Elves will be holding a carol session at the James Joyce pub. It's a fitting venue, since after a few pints, we tend to sound like we've set "Finnegan's Wake" to music. FalalalalaCraigJohnwhere'smypintyebastardsit'syourroundlalalala.
I thank God for Canada's Supreme Court. Yesterday's decision regarding gay marriage was courageous and inspiring. A note to the fair-minded rest of Canada: you'll be hearing a lot about how "Alberta" doesn't support gay marriage, but keep in mind that we're not all mouth-breathing reactionaries out here. Even if there are more than a few in the Legislature who just can't keep their damned mouths shut. They like to believe that they speak for all Albertans. They don't.
One week. Una semana. Must remember to get hat and sunscreen.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
I had such an excellent weekend [babysitting the wee Chief, hanging out with Fearless doing girly things like getting haircuts, and not-so-girly things like gobbling down a large bowl of Vietnamese Pho soup, then getting all polished up for the office Christmas party, which was quite fun, then, finally, finding new brogans that don't make me look like I'm wearing Herman Munster's hand-me-downs] that the fact that last night bit the big one hasn't bothered me a bit. To recap: in the current cold snap, after a feverishly busy workday, I went to pick up the rotten dog at daycare, only to have my beloved Soccer Mom van come over all dead in the parking lot. Threats and imprecations effected no cure. However, the cuteness of said rotten dog scored us a ride home from the daycare owner. Upon opening the door to my abode, I noticed that I could see my breath and soon discovered that El Condo Non Grande had turned into El Condo Muy Frio. Cause? The furnace had plotzed. Luckily, very luckily, my good neighbour Scott is an expert in the tiny, retarded condo furnace department, and he kindly came over with a couple of thermoregulating switches and a defib station and convinced the furnace to start working again.
As I said to Vinnie, this kind of lifely turbulence usually scuttles me for a couple of days, but this time I've managed to stay pragmatic about it. I'm even cheerful. It could have something to do with MEXICO in 9 days. MEXICO!
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
Well, I'll be go to hell. I've just won a complete spa package at The Marvel College, the site of last week's miracle pedicure. Hair style, facial, massage, body wrap (good luck), manicure and pedicure. Perhaps it is true that one cannot make pearly gates out of a mud fence. But the mud fence can still get wickedly pampered.