Monday, December 15, 2008

Beach, Yoga, Spanish, Potty

I have no photo's to share this week. Just an up date. I feel like I am just getting my feet under me now enough to head into what I like to call phase three of moving to Mexico. I've gotten through all of the initial moving in and O has acclimated to school really nicely and is now happy as can be there, phew, I'm so glad. She's even now almost completely potty trained. I tried it a couple of other times but it just wasn't happenin'. This time it was nearly magic. She saw her princessa panties which I'd been holding out on letting her wear saying, "princessa panties are only for when you go potty in the potty". It kills me to hear myself sound like such a mom. But anyways one day she decided she wanted to wear them and play downstairs and I said, "ok but you if you have to go potty call me and I will come down and help you." Fully expecting a big pee mess but willing to giv'er a try, I leave O to play in her room. A few minutes later I hear her yelling. And would you belive it a full on pooh in the potty. This may be a TMI for many of you but in parent land this is a big deal! After that I was like, no diapers again. She knows whats up. It took a couple of days to get the pee under control and we've had accidents with both and I do feel like I've been more intimate with pooh and pee than I've ever really imagined through this process but it's a means to an end, I deal with it more now, so that I deal with it less later, and luckily I like the smell of Mexican cleaning products so it clean up ain't so bad either, I mean as far as cleaning up poop goes. So moving along that is not exactly phase three but it shows you where we are in our adjustment to life in Cabo, ready to take on a little more.

So along with potty training, I've decided I'm stable enough to take on some training of my own part of my phase three. I went out and got myself some Spanish lessons. Two days a week and a conversation club on Monday Night. I am really excited. I met the guy while trying to get my Acta Constitutiva translated for my Company and he does lessons too. At first he was telling me that he is trying to get 10 people together for the Spanish class because mostly the institute focuses on English to native spanish speakers but they are looking to expand. He told me I was the first this year to sign up and as soon and he gets 10 we can get started learning how to introduce ourselves and say where we are from...Ah yahhhhh that could take oh say and eternity. And, OK I thought I'd better clue him in on my Spanish history. I've never taken spanish...well that's not true, I did take a semester in 7th grade but I am pretty sure my friends and I made it our personal mission to tourture the teacher and try to send her into a totaly mental break down...we were not nice...I was a mean 7th grader. Mean. But, I promise not to be so mean to my new instructor who I explained that I only speak street spanish...like enough to get by on the mean streets, and tourist corridor and yacht harbor and cruise boat marketplace of Cabo. He was like, well show me whatcha got sista?!? And I get a stuttery and nervous and I was like tell me what to talk about? So I told him all about me and my business and my daughter and how old we both are and I could've ordered some taco's and asked for the check and we hit our limit. But I am definately beyond beginner but missing the basics. So we decided on private lessons an idea I am very happy with considering the last lessons I took were with the what I called "California Rejects" California kicked them out, the were so...not smart (and I am really working hard to be nice on that). I could not stand the pace of the class and only lasted one session before I ran away screaming and decided to take up SCUBA instead. Good choice I'd say. But now its time. So I'm getting private lessons on Wed and Thurs from 10:00 to 12:00 and still have the opportunity to practice, well all over and everywhere I go, but also in the conversation club. I'm really excited about this because, if there is one thing I really want out of this whole experience, is to be damned good at Spanish and O too. So she's got her school and I'm doin' mine. Plus if I am conducting business here I'm really an a-hole if I don't learn it and I miss out on a lot of important stuff. So there you have it. I'm back in school.

Also in this journey through Cabo and a whole different life that I am trying to establish here, I am realizing that my priorities are much different than at home. For instance staying warm and seeing sunshine...jK that's a lil' jibe because I know it like just rained there and then it froze and then you got a snowstorm....fun guys. Perhaps you might want to tear a page outta my book and join me. JKing kids but that is kind of where I'm going with this. I have always used all of my spare time and cash to spend with my friends. So at home at least one day a week is dedicated to super fun with my super duper friends. I knew that friends like mine are irreplaceable but I had sort of thought that I might still be going out on my big fancy dinner and cocktails but without "my peeps" here as my mom calls it, it looses much of it's appeal. Don't get me wrong. I still can get away from my house and do stuff it's just more along the lines of taco's and a beer which is like $6.00 as opposed to $60.00 for the night. I've also realized that it is really important for me to stay in balance and really try not to get overwhelmed. It is easy to do here with so much new going on, and my technical difficulities that I have deemed entirely "not fair", and full moon crack my face open antics. I've picked up the yoga again and have even dipped into the meditation. I really love it. I've always loved yoga and even before I knew what yoga was when I was in high school and had lots of pent up anxiety I would take time out at night to stretch and breath to Enya under my neon swirly light. It wasn't yoga exactly but it did the same thing, balance and focus. I'm sort of in the same state I was in highschool. Trying to figure out who I am, and how I fit in here. So I've been sort of doing my own self guided practice at home, from things that I have learned in videos and classes that I"ve taken. Katie and I brought a couple of Yoga Journels to help guide our yoga practice while we drove down the baja, which we totally never did an ounce of practice, like not even in our minds, nada. We were more about imbalance and starting the campsite on fire and haveing fun and driving really fast down highway 1. But, I'm glad now that I have them and they actually were what inspired the meditation portion. But I've been feeling like I could use more guidence and a little more push. So I took up yoga classes too. They're in Spanish so I think that should pair nicely with my other schooling don't you? I had my first Hatha a (form of yoga I am most familiar with) today. And let me tell you this girl kicked my bootiay. It was awesome! I think I made the right choice, though I was hoping for a little bit in the spiritural side of yoga, but even if there was some which I don't really think there is I wouldn't understand it anyways...yet, maybe in a month or two I will be speaking spiritual spanish. It's all good though because when I had visited the studio the week before to check it out, an older woman was working the juice bar and she was so nice when she saw that I returned she hugged me and introduced me to everybody! Like that's not reason enough. Plus she makes me the awesome green juice stuff that is supposed to be good for digestion. It's the only way I like my nopales in juice form. The only downside is that they are closing next week for 3 weeks for Christmas. But a lot of people are so I guess it's something to look forward to after the new year. Oh man my body is hurting already. Nice.

Also along the lines of chilly for you not so much for me. Now is my fave weather. Cooler nights but gorgeous days. Not so hot you can't do anything. This October when we got here was REALLY hot and now it is perfection. O and I went to Cerrito's beach again and it is my fave beach for her and I. The waves roll in really easy for her and there isn't a shore break so it makes playing in the water sooooooo much fun. It has changed a lot as I said before and some people don't like that about it but I like the changes they are classy. There is a little restaurant that has a Jazz singer in the afternoons on Sundays. The restaurant has food and beer, there wasn't that there before and dundadada!!!! a bathroom! yayyyy. This is our place and O is so cute because everytime we go to the beach she finds a friend, so now she kind of expects it. So on our way there she asked, "Mommy do you think I will make any friends there?" awwww, "I hope so." So not long after we arrive she finds a little boy. She loves boys that are just a little older than her, I think it's cuz her fave cousin Matt is a little bit older boy. So she set her sights on this little boy with a face white with sunscreen building a castle and got soooooo excited. She gathered all of her toys and brought them over to this sweet little boy happily playing himself. She stratiegiclly sets down all of her toys around him and says, "Oh yes! We are going to have so, so much fun!" And the little boy was like, "ummmm, ok" I guess he'd hadn't come a across a Klimmek girl before. We know our fun. I asked him if it was ok that she played with him and we was like, "I'd be ok for a little while I guess." They ended up playing for the rest of the day together and holding hands and omg so cute. I made friends with his nanny, Nina. His mom was there too but was less interested in playing with him, so Dirkson, Nina, (Dirksons friend, who was a little older and rowdier and looked like a Zboy and was Italian and wore a little purple speedo, but I can't remember his name), O and I played in the ocean and on the trampoline (the restaurant also has a trampoline so when the kids get cold in the ocean they can still go nuts on the trampoline). I have a feeling we may see Dirkson and his friend again as they all live in Todos Santos. Turns out Nina the nanny is also the mother's event planner and may be interested in using me for some of their smaller events which I would be totally up for AND she is looking to rent her house out, AND she grew up in Todos Santos, moved there with her mom when she was 10. We had a just a few things in common to talk about. I love our beach trips, Ophelia is such a great catylist to meeting people on the beach. I'm out going by Ophelia's got be topped by ten fold.

So there yo have it. The weekly up date. Sorry no pics. Christmas with the Schmucks (my step mothers maiden name, I'm not being mean) is coming up next week so there should be some fun news from that.

Love a&o

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Beach Buddy




Here are some pictures of O and a friend she made on the beach. Ella was her name and she was the same age as O and the perfect companion for an hour or two. We thought they could almost be twins. Same body shape, same hair color, different color eyes but the same amount of sassy and bossyness. They bossed eachother around for a good hour or two while I talked with Ella's mom. Both parents were originally from England but are now living in Cali. They've retained their accents and Ella even has a little bit of one even though she was born in the states. O quite liked the English accent and has taken to using it at will. She now also enjoys Charlie and Lola, the cutest ever cartoon and the kids on the show have English accents. It's extremely cute. So now she'll just slip into speaking "English". When we left eachother that day I had agreed to drive some girls into Cabo as they were being harrassed by some beach creeps who kept following them around. And as we were loading up, Ella's parents helped me carry all of my beach stuff and were amazed that I could carry all that by myself. "I have to otherwise we'd never go to the beach, and that is not an option." I've got a good beach system down and if O is cooperating and doesn't NEED to be carried and help a little it works out just fine. Going in is easier than comin' out cuz she's tired then and wants to be carried. But this time the two girls held hands the whole way out and were gleeful as could be. Until they realized that they were going to be seperated and the two start bawling their faces off. I get confused because suddenly my car is missing...wha' happened...oh just hidden behind a big white van...girls are you sure you still want a ride with me and the crying babe? I guess the screaming girls were less scary than the creepy dudes and they accepted the ride. I liked them little travelers from Eugene in for the week caught a cheap ticket and were staying at the Cabo INN for $30.00 a night. I always thought if I were to have come here on my own dime and stay like 15 years ago I would've stayed at the Cabo Inn. Anyhow thats all enjoy the cute pics.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Espiritu de Navidad




After ten pretty intense days of cooking for the Wench family, I decided that this weekend we were going to take it easy. I had made some plans to go out but canceled them to hang out with Ophelia to make cookies and decorate for Christmas. The transition into Christmas down here for me has been very difficult not because I am lonesome or missing my family and traditions, but because I keep forgetting that it is coming. I might be more nostalgic if I were at all aware that Christamas was in fact on the way, but its not cold here, there is no snow, no physical sign, no smell of pine. Ok well thats not exactly true Costco is selling Christmas tree's and when you walk past the tree cage you can smell them but I think of it as kind of a zoo for pine tree's they don't grow here, they don't live here they are just an imported attraction therefore the smell of pine just seems out of place and almost manufactured, like "fresh pine" scent car deoderizers, not fresh chilled scent of a good ole Minnesota Blue spruce. So the smell doesn't trigger thoughts of Christmas, its more just jarring, I sort of stumble in confusion on my exit from Costco and then I remember oh yah they're rehabliltating pines for christmas and once they are ready will release them into the wild...via car top. This is my reacation to all of Cabo's Christmas attempts at celebrating. The Santa decorations at Ophelias school are just confusing. To start, they had them up before Thankgiving. I mean everybody knows the rule No Christmas stuff before Thansgiving, but the day after, let loose, full on barage of Christmas cheer. But it is truely frowned upon to decorate or even play Christmas music any day before Thanksgiving. O's school had their stuff up a whole week before Thanksgiving. Thats practically still Halloween. And where's my Thanksgiving turkey and pilgrim stuff...oh thats right...they don't really do that here. Turkey is the Christmas meal, which by the way shocked me. Mexican restaurants here, the ones FAR away from the tourists are advertising Christmas Turkey dinner, say wha???? I would've thought Chili's Nogada or like a whole cabeza or something. Turkey just seems so gringo.

And at Ophelia's school thay have a sort of hobbit sized Santa really he doesn't even really look like Santa, more of a Kris Kringle meets Sam Gamgee if you ask me. In the middle of the school yard there is a large non-pinetree decorated with large sparkly ornaments, I quite like it and shall request to have one in my yard someday, with year-round ornaments which is completely acceptable since this is not infact a Christmas tree. Yards are decorated just like we do in Minnesota but again, it all seems so out of place. They decorate with snowmen and reigndeer. One arid yard in one of the barrios up by Betty's house actually donned a banner with a picture of Frosty that said, "Let it snow, Let it snow, let it snow", in english and just weird. Haha funny something left over from a yard sale. It just doesn't sink in. Aside from a little furrow of confusion Christmas ain't really happenin'.

I think though if there was more Mexican traditions then I could getting into it. I have to say I have been enjoying the Christmas music at the grocey store. All of our traditonal songs but in Spanish and I quite like that. Usually Christmas music starts to wear on me after a bit and here it feels like it is all new. I like to think of it as a mini little spanish lesson. And this evening as I was driving home I was noticing that they only light up the trunks of trees so it just looks like pillars of lights along the highway. Then I realized those aren't tree's they are cactuses. Well now, that's what I'm talkin' about, only the cactus was missing the tell tale cactus arm so they just looked like random pillars, but once I realize what they were, I liked them. Oh and they decorate their cars like reindeer or put wreaths on them. Now that is something I might even participate in. I think 68 might just be blitzen. And it's so slick they sell them on the busy side of the road. You don't even need to get out of your car they have a full selection for reindeer adornments sold right there at the green light that you just missed cuz someone was planning on decking out their haul (oh no I di'ent).

So I'm trying...REALLY hard to get into the spirit. Especially for my daughters sake. I don't want her say some day. "Oh I dunno, we used to celebrate Christmas, but that all changed once we moved to Mexico.
But I have to tell you, here is the other thing that I am contending. My rock, my main source of Mexican life info, My Betty is also a Jahova's Witness and as most of you know they don't celebrate Christmas. JW's don't celebrate much at all, I'm sure there is a very reasonable explaination for it for which I keep forgetting to ask due to the constant shock that she just doesn't participate in any of that. But here is the thing and I am "outting" her right now. She puts lights on her house! There I said it. Celebrater! Dec 25 is her Birthday though and she's using that as an excuse. She's in the closet though so I get no Mexican Christmas tradition insight from a closet Christmas lover.

So I thought to myself, we best be makin' our own. What do I love to do for Christmas, what are my favorite traditions. I grew up with split families. "My mom's side" and "My dad's side" I would switch off Christmas Eve and Christmas with one or the other. But then we began to grow new traditions that we liked so much that we couldn't ignore just because it wasn't my day with that family. Those events had to live on just on days other than Christmas Eve or Morn. Like Christmas with the Creagers, where we all draw names and for me this is my most important gift giving of the year. Everybody watches eachother open their one gift and we all have such strong personalities that the "just the right" gift is really important on this night. There is a sort of unspoken competition. More like a yogic compition, youare not compteting with others but with yourself to get the best gift for that person that you could possiably give. There is no price limit all is fair so long as not excessive like a car or large electronic device, which would be sort of frowned upon anyway because the goal here is creativity and pegging your person. For the most part we are all pretty easy. The only person who we all hated to draw his name was Mike. He was just so tough to buy for only because anything that he wanted he went out and got it. He always handled a pair of socks or a or funny hat with grace. It is for this same reason that we love to be on the receiving end with Mike drawing our name. He often procrastinated, had impeccable style and price was no object. If he drew you, you were getting something AWESOME most likely from Nordstroms or Brookstone or somewhere and it was always the perfect thing that you never in a million years would've gotten for yourself. It kind of became a thing to see who was the lucky one and what the lucky one got but really we all put a lot of thought into our gifts and for that it is really fun. But the real fun comes at the pre-gift giving dice game where the family gets ruthless stealing presents from each other and arguing about the rules and how long we should put the timer on for (usually it's based on how soon till dinner is ready). Here the object is to have the most tantilizingly wrapped gift so that yours is the most saught after. Again yogic compition all within youself, but the real compition is on the floor as you steal from you family member and talk smack across the pie tin holding the dice. I'm telling you this is good clean fun people and it is not to be missed. Ever since I can remember we have been doing this, this is the first year I am missing it since I lived in England.

Then there is the ever loved Adult Family Dinner, meaning no kids, not "dirty" family dinner. This is the night we choose some super awesome fancy place that none of us would get to eat at on our own. I am usually in charge of choosing. This is a job that I take very seriously. But it wasn't always mine. The tradition started at Gustinos a place in downtown MPLS where all the waitstaff were singers and they would pause service to sing some show tune or christmas carol and it was magic. We would do our christmas shopping at Gavidae Commons and then head up for the show and three hours of epic eating. Gustiono's closed down years ago and we haven't found another place with all of the classy singing but we have fun getting just a little acceptably sauced on cosmo's (well Kelly and I do) while Gramma sips on half a gin and tonic, Will tests out a White Russian and now all a toast of Prosecco to Mikey (a traditon I do belive will live on here in Mexico) and perhaps if we're at Inonni we'll do a little digestife of grappa and I'm talken the good stuff (that one won't live on in Mexico too fancy pants). We roll home after another night of epic eating and wonder how it is that we can enjoy 'us' so much when we just saw each other all the other day. Weird. Fun. Adult Family Dinner usually kicks off the holiday season for me.

The grand finale is usually the Girl Party. I can't even remember how long this has been happening. But this party is the rockenist. You take all of my faveorite ladies and when I mean all I mean people fly in for this one, or extend their ticket so as not to miss The Girl Party. You can pretty much be any girl who knows a girl who knows us and you are invited. It is open ended. We brilliantly decided to do a gift exchange in which you bring a gift that represents yourselfm that way anyone can particpate no need to pre plan, essental for this group of girls, if you wanna come you are in. We decided who gets the gifts dice game style. This is a little less good clean fun and can be very difficult to finish the game as the wine, cosmos's whisky and champange has been flowing and Anni's late with the appitizers and the only thing there was to eat was Barb's weird stinky cheese that was forcing everyone out of the kitchen and streight to the bar area kind of thing. And the chatting and catching up with people you haven't seen since last years girls party and sobbing about how much we love eachother and how this tradtion should never end, even when we are eighty. Then we all decide AGAIN that when we are old and rich one of us will buy a house or we all will and we will all live together like we did in college and take up smoking and whiskey if we haven't already or whatever other vices we choose, wear depends and hire a couple of hot nurses and a pool boy. ahhhh sigh, I wonder what sort of plans they'll make this year without me...and somewhere in there we might even open some presents. If we're all feeling good and sappy we might even throw a high low in there. Ladies I think we should this year... I send mine via email. I'll be your virtual guest.

And as I think about all of these events and all of my fave pieces of the holidays and believe me those are just a few highlights, there's the Hozzledazzle (as Quam calls it), Christmas morning eggbake and the December family birthday party and so much more. But as I look at it, all of these traditons are about the people and our history and have grown and morphed over time. There is not one thing that I can peg to start my own traditon here with Ophelia and I (oop except for eggbake we are doin' eggbake, I already found dry mustard so that shouldn't be a problem). So I'm making it up as I go along and I assume that is how they all get started anyhow. I had promise O a weekend of Christmas decorating and cookie making. We head over to the Cabo Walmart where I know they have decorations and assuming they might be a little more "Americany" and have cookie making stuff. The plan is chocolate chip cookies, which do not exist in Mexico, not real ones, not Gramma Marion, yellow nestle buttery gewy ones, and chocolate almond bark covered peanutbutter ritz sandwhiches (we should come up for a name for those cuz that is really long), which do not exist anywhere except in the Christopherson household and don't last long mind you. I am delusional with hope. I am thinkin' I have a lot of luck with the Chocolate chip cookies all I need are the chips and some baking soda and I've got the rest. I begin my quest and a very kind lady in a very large red apron that says, "ASK ME I SPEAK ENGLISH" pegs me as in need of assistance and gets three people to help us find Chocolate "Chispas"(cute). Ok not too hard even. How about baking soda???? Nope she knows it right off the bat. Not comin' in for another two hours. She shows me the blank space in the baking aisle and sure enough clear out of baking soda, they've got everything thing else but, even baking powder, but it is not the same thing. No alternative to baking soda. I give up on the Chocolate Chip cookies and bagged the idea of the almond bark ones as soon as a hit aisle 6 and new there was no way I was explaining Chocolate Almond Bark and getting what I wanted out of the deal so unless I saw them I was S.O.L. Here I've gone and done it again. Made a promise to my darling daughter that I cannot keep. Searching for an alternative I find the boxes. About 12 varities of pancakes, brownies and chocolate chip muffins. O chooses the chocolate chip muffin and I am lovin' that idea. All we need to do is get a muffin tin and we are done. A couple of bows and ribbons some lights and ornaments and we are outta there. This Walmart is the mexican version of a Super Walmart or at least I assume it is, I've never been to a Super Walmant. It's got everything from Chispas to car parts, I'm sure they've got muffin tins. A very nice lady took us to find them and guess what. They don't have muffin tins! Muffins not a huge hit in Mexcio, though I must say the very best muffin I have ever eaten is made right here in Cabo, maybe they are so good no one even attmepts to compete with the Cabo apple walnut muffin. I dunno something, no muffin tins, but they did have bread tins and that would work fine enough. My patience wearing thin we grab some decorating stuff and blow that joint, with a wing, a prayer and a pan! (Why do I keep doing that?) Felize Navidad we are INTO it. I don't have a christmas song in sight and I can't remember past the refrain how any of them go so we skip that part too. We don't have a tree, because I'm apparently boycotting the caged Christmas tree but more it's just that I'm cheap and lazy and don't want to deal with it. We decide to decorate the inside of the never-been-used-fireplace instead. The beauty of my three year old is that all this is so new that any thing I throw at her she's into, no preconcieved notions of silly christmas cookies and lame christmas trees. We're decorating the whole fireplace Yah! Now that's one chute Santa's not going to miss and who can resist a little christmas banana chocolate chip muffin bread thingy with a burnt top, because I can't control the heat on my oven. Yah! It's christmas and we are lovin' it!!! O helped mix and stir that girl loves to bake, I swear when she gets older we are going into business she does the bakin' and I do the cookin' for as much fun as we had together on this day I am so in for that venture! Check out her before and after burnt banana muffin bread thingy, it's...amazing. It's not your usual tradtion I'm making this #%@ up as I go along. But thanks to my daughter and a serious need for bonding we began a few of our own traditions. Who knows if we'll reinstate the burnt banana muffin bread thingy and firplace decorating next year but I will look back at this day fondly when remembering our first Christmas in Cabo.

Feliz Navidad everyone! Don't forget thank God everyday for your gift of friends and family and our traditions that unite us even when we're gone. Love to all. a&o





Friday, December 5, 2008

Starbucks so hot right now Starbucks...wait what???


... or at least in Cabo that is. Last night Betty, her client Al, and I went to the Starbucks opening. Even though Betty was feeling somewhat under the weather, she was SUPER excited for Stabucks to place its primero store in Cabo. I was more indifferent but intreagued as to what a Stabucks opening party might entail. I love a good opening party. Betty's friend is a part of a PR firm here in Cabo and that is how she got the invitation. Oh really...because even though I'm not all that interested in the Starbucks opening keep me posted on the invites cuz word has it Jean-Georges Vongerichten is opening a place soon at the Pamilla in Charlie Trotters old place...now thats a party I'd like to be invited too...good luck with that, but I did tell Betty if she sees that invite not to pass it up.

We met Al at the mall, He was sort of the same mind set and me, up for the interest and going because we were invited and any excuse to hang out with Betty is a good one. And a little curious to see if this was anything special. It was a Starbucks. A nice one with two levels and and upper outdoor patio with flat screen TV overlooking Squid Row. Nice way for all the AA'er to check out their old haunt and lement in the days of old while soberly sipping on their new addiction. Please don't take offense I worked in a coffee shop, I know how it works. Sort of along those lines but more like the exact opposite, Starbucks wasn't even selling coffee that night, they were just handing out samples, um, I'm familiar with the frappiccino and am not really interested in coffee cake for dinner, Al and I agreed that the bar next door was much more our style. We bellied up to the bar at an italian place where the hostess tried to hard, but still, it worked we were in for a margarita or two. And if you can belive it, I think this was my first margarita since I've gotten here. That's telling isn't it. I'm definately not doing much partying down here, just real life, plus I'm kind of picky about my margaritas. Even though Mexico is the home of the margarita, cabo is home to the tourist and often that can make for a crummy margarita. This was no different, a little too sour and a sticky sweet, but I had two. I think it was the honeymooning couple from Iowa who inspired me. The sweetest couple. I think I have a thing for honeymooners, I love them, they are so HAPPY and have stars in their eyes for eachother. I get goosebumps when they tell me they are just married. I didn't think I was such a sap but I'm met two honeymooners down here and I have the same reaction every time. Granted the first couple I met at the Giggling Marlin, the husband give me a lap dance during the show there, so maybe it's just a Pavlov's dog sort of association, ooo ooo, honeymooners, lap dance for me!!! But not this couple, they were so green, and innocent and lovely. I kind of immediately wanted to buy them shots and give them cigarettes. But I'm done doing that to people, partly because I'm broke and partly because I don't smoke anymore, but not because I don't want to. We just talked instead. She had never been out of the country before and had barely left Iowa. They were enthrawled with the fact that we all lived there. We first started speaking to them because they had mistaken Al for a doctor that they had shared a hot tub with the night previous at their hotel. They were a little embarassed when they found out they were mistaken. I broke they ice when I said, "Wow you must've thought he was a total pimp hanging out now with two totally different ladies than the night before!" Nice work Al! I just loved 'em. After two margarita's it was 8:30 and time for these party animals to head home. I did point them in the direction of the Giggling Marlin though...I knew they'd have a good time and that would wash a little bit of the innocence out of'em but just enough to be fun.

O's Amigo

Here are the pictures that Ellie sent of O and her bestfriend/boyfriend, the one who couldn't get her to love him, maybe because he's tryin' to cop-a-feel???? Hahahaha. Ellie laughed so hard at these pictures. It looks like their at a college party. They were so cute together. She still talks about him. Funny though she also mentioned her Children's Country day best friend Grant and some kid named George today. I think my kid is a little heart breaker. Enjoy!!!




Saturday, November 29, 2008

November in Retrospect



I don't know if it is possiable to squeeze the intire month of November into one post but I am going try. It has been requested that I edit and make the posts shorter. That is most likely not going to happen so I thought I might attempt chapters for this November and see if that works. Though a Chapter may break up a tyrannical rant in which case you might just have to deal. This is my only vent people so bear with me. My blog is my best friend here and it's been MIA for the entire month of November. So here goes.

Cerritos Beach
We all know how the month began which was marked by my most recent post at the beach with Betty's family. Well Betty and I enjoyed our day at the beach so much that we decided to make every Sunday beach day. So the next week we planned on Cerritos beach which is about half way to Todos Santos just past the "Art and Beer". I borrowed my mom's Suburban which hadn't quite made it to the storage unit yet to haul Ophelia, Betty, Beto and his two amigos Emilo and Juncas on up to the playa. I had three 13 year old boys in my car. Not a scenario I am used to, but they were super fun. I really do love teen agers espcially at the angsty ages between 13 and 15. Its just so entertaining...though I am pretty sure I might not be saying that when I have an angsty teen of my own, but from a distance I love to watch the awkward little train wrecks waiting to happen try to fumble their way to their identity. These boys were great fun and so enthusiastic. Beto practiced his English while giving me directions and I practiced my Spanish taking the directions verbatum. Good practice and we even made it to the beach. We had met Victor and his family, Anna his wife, Fabrizio and Danella his son and daughter who are just the sweetest kids. Fabrizio loves to give me the "hello kiss" and will do so numerous times in a row. It is really cute. Cerritos is a surf beach. I thought I had been there once before when my friend Lindy and I were here about 10 years ago and we met the guys on the beach who said that they would teach us how to surf and the best place was up near Todos Santos. So of course Lindy and I were all excited to learn and hang out with Surf dudes that we hop in their car don't tell anybody where we are going, haven't a clue where we are going, are only wearing our swimsuits, we might have towels and head up to what turned out to Cerritos to learn how to surf. Well when we get there the waves are like 13 feet tall and one of the guys is like you ready????? And I'm like, I may have gotten into your car, driven to God knows where with out telling anyone or decent clothes to wear but I'm not stupid!!! There is no way! I am getting in there. So instead we watched this guy surf while Lindy and I froze our buns off watching the sun set, on a deserted beach with the other surf dude. It was a pretty amazing adventure and we even made it home safe and sound. These were pretty nice guys in fact. I digress I know but as we are driving with Betty and the crew I am pretty excited to see if that is the beach that Lindy and I were at 10 years ago, I had always wanted to go back. And as we roll in I see that it is indeed the same place but the only way I would know it is the cliff on the northside, everything else is different. Development is on the way, a half built house is on top of the cliff that I had once stood a top to watch the sun sink into the pacific. The place is packed. Full of families and lots of surfers a little bar with live music has now arrived and in full swing, people are playing volleyball, tourism has made it to Cerrito's not for the worse or the better but just for the different. We arrive ready for the day. I am now saying that we come to the beach to eat. I brought just a few left overs for Tostadas so that we wouldn't starve and the others brought a feast. Sopa seco (which if you are paying attention is pasta), Torta's, beer and a mass of other things. Betty and Anna keep watch over the feast and feed the crew as we drop the sand out of our trousers and come if from the surf for a refuel. Cerritos is a play in the surf kind of beach and you've got surfers far out, boogie boarders closer in and babies playing in the little waves. Ophelia was in heaven. She even found some English speaking friends her age and played her heart out. Beto, Juncas, Emelio and I played football catch and Ophelia would tackle them and try to get the ball, the boys were awesome with her. I did about a 100 squats in the waves with my 32 pound weight, Ophelia, saving her from getting pounded. Which was so much fun but my buns made contact with an underwater stingy thing and we both had to race out of the water. Luckily O didn't get hit but I spent about an hour icing my butt trying to get the sting out, not bad less than a bee sting, but I'm sure the beach enjoyed watching as Betty inspected my left cheek to see what might have gotten me. I think I've already mentioned what a good friend. At Sundown we pile back into the car and head home. I am loving this new tradition.

Semana de Luna llena (The week of the Full Moon)
On our way up to Cerritos I filled the tank of my mom's suburban, obviously we didn't use all of the gas from the 60 gallon tank of her black beast so I decided to give the ole 68 (my jeep) a rest and drive the big dog around. I really hate driving this car. Especially here in Cabo. Its too big, the mirrors are crap, I had just had an incident where the power steering failed while I was in the middle of a u-turn on the highway, which had been fixed but I still hold animosty towards it for almost killing us. But of course I've got gas in the tank and I'm too cheap to let it just sit there so I drive the bastard around. So one morning I wake up and I am just off. My whole body hurts, I've got the aches and shivers and I am feeling lousy. I gather myself up out of bed try to get O off to school and everything is a chore, I feel like I am looking through a hazy cloud and just want to go to bed. The plan is to drive O to school and come home and sleep until 2:00 when I have to pick her up again. I get her there, drop her off and of course as I'm backing up I hit a car parked behind me. The woman and I exchange numbers. I agree to not contact insurence and just pay her off. She complains that this is her bad week and I think "yah yah tell me about it, this week has started out crappy for me, I'm all alone, and now I feel like shit, I just hit your car and am sure to pay you a hefty sum to make it better, all the cliquey school moms just saw the gringa lady just smack into your car, I'm sure your life is really rough. Later that day she calls me and we agree to meet the next day in the parking lot of the CCC (grocery store) at
8:30. I'm still feeling shitty. Totally out of whack when I arrive to the CCC with $350.00 in cash, mind you I have no proof that this is indeed how much the damage cost to repair, I don't care lets just get it over with please so I can go back to bed and sleep off my flu. She arrives and I can see her husband in the car with a pair of crutches and I think, ohhh, well maybe she really is having a rough week or maybe it's just for affect. I bring out the cash apologize another thousand times, she explains her week was so shitty her husband got into an accident and her son was hit at school. Ok she might have me have one upped me in the shitty week division but she still has my $350.00. We make nice, after all she is the first parent I have met at school though under less than ideal circumstances I have got to suck it up feign compassion but really I want to do is get in my car and escape. As I do and in my unbalanced haste I open my car door right into my face and split open my left eye brow. While I'm stumbling around in the parking lot of the CCC trying to get my bearings as I've nearly knocked my self out, the people that I have just payed off see me and pull over. I am now bleeding all over the place and we parents, none of us has a tissue in sight. The woman runs into the CCC to find some, her husband is trying to help from the confines of his passenger seat and I am coming too and I start to cry. I now have tears, blood, mascara and snot running down my face. Trying unsuccessfully to keep it together, The husband who doesn't speak english but for some reason I understand completely, the blow to my head must've triggered some sort of underlying knowledge of Spanish first aid, he insists on putting honey onto my quarter inch open wound. Now I've added honey to the mess running down my face, still no tissue and I have hit my limit. The stress of the last two months comes crashing and I am exhausted and humiliated, I move into total melt down. I mumble so sort of I'm fine yes I can drive please leave me alone, I'm about to lose it goodbye. I turn my back and proceed to bawl my face off. The enormity of all that I have taken on in these past few months begins to swallow me up in a sea of self pitying tears. Who wins the shitty week competition now huh? Finally I've stopped bleeding, relize that a good cry had to happen at some point and now could not have been a better excuse and try to march on with my day. With the car door blow I seemed to have knocked the flu right out of me and decide instead of bed to find a little bit of compassion from friends. I head to the office. Looking like totally shit, with a massive headache setting in hoping Betty hasn't gone out to breakfast yet. She was there and her sister too (who now whenever she sees my tells me to cuidado, which means be careful, um yah thanks I know). We ice me up, take some ibprophen and attempt breakfast, because that is what we do. I am not really able to eat anything as the flu is still in me but I manage to suck down an entire chocolate banana milkshake, I tell Victor, "This is to take away the sad". He agrees its the perfect solution and points to his belly. I come to realize that this was a fucker of a week for many and not just me. Everyone on facebook was complaining and just begging for that week to be over. Then I find out my step mother had broken her ankle and needed surgury to fix it. What is going on???? Then I noticed or I think it was brought to my attention that a full moon was in affect. It must've been a strong one and all of our little human bodies just couldn't take it. I pay heed to this theory, I figure if our bodies are over 70% water and the moon effects the ocean so greatly I can only imagine it's effect on our water laden bodies. We haven't a chance. And we didn't, we were all screwed, at least I wasn't the only one. I am still hearing about the affects of that week, but the beauty is the week is over, my humiliation and self pity is gone and hey I met my first school parents. So I guess there's that.

Jen and Michael.
That same week some friends of friends that I had met quite a few times at parties and like a whole lot were coming into town. I had been soooooo excited to actually have some party people in town. When I had asked Gretch about them she informed me that the would totally go out with me. Good cuz thats what I needed a little blow off steam out on the town perhaps some dancing at Squid Row time. We planned to meet on Friday, the day after I split my face open. I was still kind of feeling shitty but I feel the best remedy for any illness is to ignore it and it will go away, sort of like a lame date, eventually it'll get the message your not interested. So I got pretty. Put on the "go out" outfit and went to pick them up at the Westin. Ahhh so nice to see some sweet Minnsotan blood. They were up for anything so we started at one of my fave places, Sangria's. Its a little whole in the wall belly up divey kind of place but the bar tender remembered me and she has really cute hair so you can see why I like it there...plus they have 2 beers 2 tequila shots for $6 or 3 beers for $3. Or something, we know I don't pay attention to that kind of thing. Who cares just give me beer and tequila. Thats what we had. Then Jen and Michael some how were persuaded to do the whole timeshare bit and got a bunch of perks out of the deal, including some dinner certificates. Sushi at "Art and Sushi" were one of our options, I like that place, it's got a fun atmosphere, and sits on the harbor. We went there. So fun to talk to them and get to know them, turns out they are not even Minnesota blood but from the East Coast and just both ended up in MN for work. The night was just beginning so I took them to another favorite haunt, The Nowhere Bar, where the dancing starts early and the people watching is second to none. The bartenders are the same ones who have been working there since I first was there at the ripe age of 19, I won't discuss how they've aged if they don't say anything about me. We got drinks watched the party around us, but illness much like bad dates don't always get the message so loud and clear and try as I may to ignore my overall feeling of shittyness, I just couldn't go on. Jen and Michael were ready for so much more. They were ready to see my next place, they actually asked where else I like to go and like that little depressed donkey on Winnie the Pooh, I was like, "oh I dunno, there is no other place really". A total lie but I just wanted to go to bed. LAME we all know that is not me. So I requested a cab said they didn't have to come home with me pointed out the Squid Row and said they should go. But they rode home with me instead. I felt bad. My firsts guest this year to show the town and I am not living up to my promises. The next day I call Jen and she tells me that we missed some famous skaters at Squid Row that night, she tells me their names and I can't place them. Skaters, Skaters, like figure skaters? or like hockey?. No! She says, "like skateboarder skaters" OMG, I'm kind of horrified, considering I used to be in love with anything kick flipping an olie and now my head goes straight towards the tripple soucow, WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!!???!! Home early, don't know the famous skaters I'm losing my edge. But Sunday came around. I was able to really eat for the first day in about a week and I was feeling the party in me. I called Jen to see if they were up for going out and they were. Yayyyy. I met her for a cocktail in the Westin "fancy" bar and waited for Michael to appear, who was taking some time and moving slow due to tummy trouble. He never made it, the chorrito got him and he was down for the count. Jen and I still were up for some fun. I suggested the Giggling Marlin, or maybe she did. I hadn't been there either since I was 19 but was feeling like it might be time to try it again. I was down for some good ole touristic fun. The GM did not dissappoint, they have a super fun show and I was chosen to have a dirty dance done by two old guys and the husband of a newly married couple that became friends with Jen on the beach and hooked up with us at the GM. Jen got a video of it and if I could I would put it here but I'm lacking that savvy. We even headed over to the Squid, but I was on a 1:00am curfew and had to bolt early, it's ok though there weren't any famous people there. I think on this night, back to myself, I totally would've known the skaters, I blame the other on a hazy brain of illness. I think I will refer to that bout as the Figure Skater Flu and leave it at that.

Thanksgiving Week.
Things just kept getting better after Sunday. I booked my first cooking job down here. I know. I had sworn to a couple of close friends who know me and my dramatic flair that I was never cooking professionally again. After I lopped of the tip of my right index finger two hours before my going away party, I was done, forever! Never again! Yah, well the finger healed, and the thought of bringing in some extra cash was extremely tempting since I don't forsee this little business venture that we have started, taking off until spring at the very least or more realiastically next winter. Cash right about now would be really nice. Really nice. So my mom had forwarded and email from some friends of my uncle Tom's who were coming in for the week. They were looking for a chef and a nanny. I could provide both. Alex my babysitter was up for the job and I thought cooking dinner for a famly of 8 sounded kind of fun. Especially if they were friends of Tom's. I made them dinner on their first night and they loved it so much they had me every night except for Tuesday and Sat that week. I worked my tail off made some really awsome meals. I reinvigorated my creativity and came up with lots of new menus and recipes and even found myself thinking damn I really am pretty good at this. This is my favorite way to cook. Creative for people who like to experiment. Easy. They had kids and let me bring Ophelia over while I was there. She and their four year old son were inseperable. They would invite me to eat with them and a few times I did. One time I think it was during Thanksgiving dinner, or maybe it was fish taco's the little boy, Christopher runs up to me and says, "I can't make her love me." Because he has the cutest way of talking, you know like a little kid, I couldn't understand him, and then I hear it and the whole table does. My heart just went out to him. Oh baby, I'm so sorry. I couldn't help my self. "Well kiddo thats just the way it is, you can't make anybody love you" I really have no good advice in the love category, I am not the expert. Then his dad pipes up. "Play hard to get!" and his mom says, "Yah that's how I got your dad!" We all start to laugh, that really is how it works, it's a cave man thing. Dinner doesn't taste as good unless you've hunted it down I guess. I loved this family though. I fit right in and it was one of the greatest jobs I've taken on. One of my favorite moments was when I was setting the table on one of the first days and the matriarch of the family, Clara, says to me, "Your english is so good. Did you live in the states ever?" Ummmmm, I reply, "I'm from Minnesota." It was too funny, I took it as a totally compliment to even be mistaken, though she would've known better had she heard my shoddy spanish. On my last day I walked on the beach with Ellie, wife of Tom's friend David, and we decided to go for a swim on just a whim in our underware (I'm telling you these were my kind of people) and while treading water we were chatting about the week. She apologized for her mothers lack of filter and that she will just say anything. There was another point in which her mother inquired about my lack of Thanksgiving plans and couldn't belive I'd have nothing else to do. I love it though. I'd rather people just ask rather than assume. Later I find out that her mother had thought that perhaps I was Mexican Aristocracy. We had a good laugh about that! Then I came up with the story Clara may have made up in her mind had she not asked. I was once an aristocrat from Mexico city, but then my family lost everything and I was an orphan and I had to set out to make my way in this cruel world. Landed in Cabo on a wing and a prayer, and that was how I came to be the cook. HA. So cute. I loved them all. And hey, one thing is sure, I have an aristocratic aire about me.... It was a great Thanksgiving week. I guess if I had to sum up November it came in like and Angry Lion and out like a happy well fed Lioness.

I will try to keep in touch. Life is just happening her now. A little more planely I am sure there will be stories but maybe less pictures. I will try to keep up with them both but they might just be a little more random. Like they are here for some reason they won't let me place or even see the pictures before the are published so if the don't make sense, sorry.

A few things I am looking forward to this month are.... Tonight I am going to the Starbucks opening...apparently thats a big deal around here. My Aunt and Uncle on my Stepmoms side are coming into town...we'll do some eating out at fishing, hoping to camp out at their place in Zacatitos for Christmas....And moving along with our Villas in Baja and hope to have the website up and running for you all to see and use!!!! Have a great Holiday!









Monday, November 3, 2008

Dia De La Playa





Yesterday was the real Dia de los Muertos. Betty and her family O and I spent the afternoon at the beach. We stayed until the sun went down and the moon came up. Claudia brought Sopa seco which if you recall is pasta, home made Macaroni and Cheese to be exact. They made me a mac and cheese tostada and O an mac and cheese sandwhich on Bimbo bread. Modelo Especial to wash it all down. I love an ice cold can of cheap beer on a hot day. It's like a Pabst or a Bud. Goes down fast and easy and so refreshing. O had jugo de manzana. O went in the Ocean no problem. This was the first time! She swam until her lips went blue, warmed up in the sun the sun then went back in. We swam till dusk then cuddled up under towels and waited for the rest to come while pointing out new stars and the sliver of a new moon. Now this was the best day we've had in Cabo so far by far. I thought I'd share that to counter act the other day. It's just real life here and that day on the beach makes it all better. Healed up a tattered phsyiquee (which I totally cannot spell but spent 2o minutes trying) and has me ready to tackle the week. whooofda. Here we go. Today I am going to attempt to hook up the propane. I just ran out. that should be interesting. Don't worry, I'm not doing it myself. I'm calling someone. Oh that's right I haven't told the white gas story yet.... I'm working on it.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Dia De La Super Suck

As most of you may know but some maybe not Halloween isn't the fall focus holiday here in Mexico, it is Dia De Los Muertos (DDLM) which is celebrated on Nov 2nd. Its not anything like an American Halloween but people lump them together because they happen around the same time of year and actually maybe have the same in roots but totally hold different tradition. I really don't know. From a distance both holidays share a similarity. Especially in that skeletons are focal point of both holidays. For Halloween they used to scare and join with the ghosts, goblins whipping up a witches brew to scary soundtracks in peoples front entry ways. In Mexico the skeleton in celebratory often dressed up in human clothes, doing everyday things such as playing the piano or eating cookies and usually smiling. When portrayed as such they call them Calaveritas. I love the idea of day of the dead. The Holiday celebrates those who have passed on this day, Nov 2nd, when it is believed that the vail between the living and the dead is the thinnest. Alters are built with the passed loved ones favorite things and many families head out to the grave yards to spend the night partying with the ones they've lost. Betty has informed me that this is a Catholic holiday and not a Mexican holiday, since she's not Catholic so she doesn't celebrate. I'm not Catholic either but I've always pieced together portions of different religions that I admire and make them my own. I like tradition and rituals (though I am so not ritualistic). I am neither Mexican nor Catholic but I shall celebrate anyway.

Halloween is also a great holiday we don't really honor anything. We just dress up, get drunk, make bad decisions and blame it on the fact that we were dressed up and it doesn't matter because it's Halloween. Not that I've done that... my mom reads this. But we do have a rule that is not just mine, "Do not go on a date with anyone you met on Halloween (or met while in costume, does not apply to just Halloween". Since most people subscribe to the mode of operendei above it is generally accepted that one you meet in costume is one to be left alone post celebration. I have broken this rule twice. Twice I have regretted it. But I digress.

Now-a-days Halloween is about the kids well at least for me it is (I'm sure there is still a handful messing about in the previous). I was so excited to actually have a kid that I could do Halloween stuff with. Her first Halloween she was 2 months old. I had a party for new parents who couldn't take their kids trick 'er treating but still wanted to be involved. The next year I have no idea what happened to be honest. So lets skip it. The year after that we came to Cabo on Halloween. We dressed O up like a princess and brought her on the plane, but that was about it. This year. Well This year I had no idea what was going to happen. Do we do Halloween or do we do 'er DDLM. Well I knew I wanted to do DDLM aa set up and alter for Mike that is for sure, even if it's just a picture a candle, a golf ball and a cookie. I know he would love that. I wanted to get him a steak from Ruth Christs but I don't have any money and I don't think he would approve of the frivolity. Plus I'm sure if he wants a steak he's figured out how to get one. This is a thought that counts kind of thing. I've been planning DDLM ever since last year when my cousin Ian called and told us what it is all about. Last year when were here we were clueless. It wasn't until after DDLM that we figured out what the alters were actually for, not just 'neat' they had a purpose. I actually remember last year when we found a pretty grand alter in San Jose with a Calaverita in a chair and an empty chair next to it. My mom sat in the chair and I took a picture. Later on it dawned on us that chair was probably left empty of the one who had passed. Oops another miss step in a list of many. But we're trying, we're learning, we're growing and sometimes we look like assholes while doing it. (It's becoming my personal pass time despite myself).

But this year? What were we going to do about Halloween. I brought her princess dress and princess shoes and crown all to be reused from the Princessa going away party. So who was she going to be was not the question. The question was, where are we going to go? Do they trick 'er treat here? This was our first holiday to tackle all by or lonesome. So when I found out there was going to be a big "Felize de Artistas" on Oct 31 for both Halloween/DDLM (they do that, bilingual/ bi cultural thing), you would think I would be relieved. And at first I think I was, or at least I was too consumed processing that she was going to be off last Friday of each month plus three weeks at Christmas and three weeks at Easter (holy shit that's a lot of time off, anybody wanna come hang out with my baby over the holidays?). Halloween just kind of snuck in there. And then I got a note. A four page note in Spanish (always I don't know why I keep reiterating that fact) with obvious specific instructions and a Calaverita cut out. Oh man, here it comes my first ever SCHOOL FUNCTION. Ok here is the truth, I am absolutely scared to death of parents. Its a phobia, an inexplicable fear. I also have a horrid fear of leeches but I once stepped into a nest of them when I was a kid and got like 25 baby bloodsuckers stuck to my foot, the thought still makes me shiver. That fear is totally valid. But the parent fear? Maybe it's the punk rock girl in me, down with the American machine!!!! Which I'm totally apart of and benefit daily from so whatever. I don't know. But what I do know is that from the moment O appeared on this earth and it became evident to me that I would have to educate her, and since I have no interest in homeschooling her it would most likely be at some sort of SCHOOL, and most likely that school would have FUNCTIONS. School Functions(SF's). The thought just makes my palms sweat. And here we are in Mexico and I've got to go the first one alone, which presents more than just the average American SF challenge. All of my SF instructions come in Spanish. By this time I am sort of getting the hang of how to handle the school note either ask Betty to translate, grab the ole Span/Eng dictionary and have a go, or hand the note over to the lady at the Papelaria (school stuff store) and have her walk me through it. These instructions however were special. They involved a costume. Oh shit. I'm going to have to make a costume aren't I? (I think I predicted this in an earlier blog). Ok we need to get something straight. I don't sew. Nor do I take pleasure in art projects. I am not crafty nor do I aspire to be. I don't want to buy a house and fix 'er up and I don't want to fashion a nifty outfit out of needle and thread. I make sauce, write stories and play in the water. The other stuff is not my jam. So when I see, or it is translated to me that Ophelia is to be a skeleton all dressed in black and "bones" may be sewn or glued to the black wear to make her look like a skeleton, I run right out and buy the first Skeleton costume I see. She is also supposed to have her face painted white and eyes black. Which for some reason I kept confusing white face, black eyes or black face white eyes? Never mind. It was upon purchasing the face paint that Ophelia announced that for Halloween she would like to be Ariel(the mermaid) and I need to buy her red hair and a tail. Oh no. This no good. Skeletons have neither tail nor red hair. They are not even pink which I think I could have spun into acceptability. But this? There is no way I'm getting this Skeleton dealie on her without a fight, no way. But there is no way I'm not doing it either. We are facing this function head on.

Costume is not the only element of the b-dreaded school function to contend with. Timing is also a factor. We are to arrive at the school at 6:30, judge all of the rooms and alters, which the parents have earlier in the day gotten together to build and decorate. I skipped that all together. I really did kind of want to do that so as to meet some of the parents that O goes to school with so that at the end of this debacle I feel like less of a lepper. But there was no way. I had actually come across some parents all convening after school. I knew they were talking about a plan for decoration. Normally in the states I would enter trepidatiously and ask "Are you guys talking about decorating the alters for DDML"? But not this time. This time I just walked by. Defeated by my own fear and lack of confidence in my Spanish. Which by the I am speaking rather well Ophelia's teacher told me so. It's the understanding I'm having trouble with. So I feigned ignorance and skipped it. Forgive me but I'm pretty sure at least 90% would do the same. Call me chicken. Bock. I was still planning on attending the event just that was a feat in and of its self.

O and I were truly having one of her worst days since we'd been here and really in the past year I could say. I'm sure my anxiety was rubbing off on her. From first bat of an eyelash we were off. She was up at the weirdo time of 4 am. And even when I brought her into bed with me the sun was rising at 5. We just switched to daylight savings time last Sunday but it's not even December and 5 just seems excessive to come up so early. Garumph. I'm tired and the vision of this day is long. Since I had decided not to go to the pre DDLM set up I was hell bent on getting O to sleep as much as she could so the night would go smoothly. Yep Nope. Not happening. The girl new it was Halloween and she was so excited to dress as Ariel. I did not ever tell her she was going to do this, I was skeleton all the way. We even decorated the Calaverita that was sent home like Ariel in hopes that I could show her how fun skeletons can be and squeezing her into that black and white doodad (no seashells. no tail. no red hair. I'm fucked) would be not horrible (fucked, I tell you). And I was. I don't know how we pissed away the longest day on the planet but we did, without a nap. Then somehow suddenly, I step out of the shower it's 5pm, black as night outside and O is sitting in a dark house in her princessa Pull Ups (in anticipation of the costume application). Ok I get why we change the clocks back to give us an extra hour of sun in the morning for all the farmers or something right? But this is too much really. Not even a hint of sun at 5. Stupid, but accepted. I apply the costume with a major fight and lots of bribing and pleading on my part. What the hell am I supposed to do in this situation. I straight up suck at this stuff. If only I can get her there and she can see all of her friends are skeletons she'll accept it. (Which goes against my very nature anyway. I'd rather she go against the grain, but question authority, all that crap, but not tonight, just not tonight). I'll get there a little early slap some face paint on her and all will be jolly. She'll see that it was all worth it and actually have some fun on Halloween. Then something happened and I truly cannot say what. But, it occurred to me that perhaps my cell phone did not have the right time on it. I don't really have another clock that I use but something triggered me to think that perhaps my phone does not have the correct time. I went to my computer and googled "Cabo Time" (I've actually used this multiple times just to check the time). It says 6:10. Oh no. Still in denial, they must have it wrong. I call Betty.
"Betty? Um hi it's Anni. I uhhh well um I think my clocks are messed up. Do you know what time it is?". She has held my hand through out this entire move and now I am calling to ask her what time it is??!! Pathetic.
"Yes Amiga of course. It's 6:10. I'm dropping Beto off right now. Are you on you your way??"
Panic. "YUP"
I run upstairs, put on mascara (I don't want to look like a total mess at my first SF, grab my keys, bag, face paint and kid, who is screaming that she doesn't want to go. Screaming. I get her in the car and realize, I didn't feed her. I turn the car on so she doesn't suffocate from heat, run back in the house, grab two granola bars and a mildly crusty tortilla from left over from lunch and hoof it back to the Suburban (which I'm driving cuz mine's in the shop, again), and proceed to drive responsibly into Cabo San Lucas (everybody catch that?). Ophelia is still crying and now yelling that she's got boogers that I cannot wipe because it's dark back there and she is too faraway to reach without turning around. So it had to wait until we got to the Pemex stoplight that seems to only work every now and again. It's been out 3 times since I've been here. This time it was working and I caught the red. Thank goodness I could wipe and give her a granola bar. We continue on to CSL usually my drive from home to school takes about 20mins max. But 6ish is quittin' time and I'm headed towards the barrio's and I am S.T.U.C.K. in Cabo traffic. Thankfully the crying has stopped and somehow the crazy, whiny awful kid is replaced with my lovely Ophelia. I think the granola bar must've helped. I gave her the tortilla to ensure her happy place. Now she's singing and talking to herself. Good. All I have to do is move this damned car. "Argggggggg". I say out loud as the guy in the white pick up next to me makes googly eyes at me and wants to be my car time lover. Arggggg. And then from the back I hear.
"Mommy??? Mommy?? Why did you just growl like a jaguar?"
OMG honey that is just what I needed. I mirror onto myself of what I must look like and sound like. Tension release. We'll get there when we do. Who cares if her face isn't painted. Shit I forgot she needed cascabels (bells for her wrists), calmite, calmite. You're not even that late just get there don't worry about the bells. And we did and as I roll in another car is right in front of me a full 15 minutes late. Duh. These things are programed for late parents (right? aren't they?), I mean it's not like a wedding which is the only non work related thing that I can think of that if you are not there by the time on the invite you are mud. We got there it was fine. All the kids in her class were skeletons two had their face painted and two didn't. So even that wasn't a big deal. I didn't even see if they had on their cascabels. We found her teacher, she has two O is attached to the English speaking one. I can't remember her name. I suck. She's great though. She takes really good care of O. I hand the babes off and go find a place amongst the parents. Who seem only a little scary. I search for Betty but she's no where to be found. Turns out Beto doesn't want her to go. He's 14. You know how it it is. I'm on my own. I find a place in the front row and not 4 seconds later the show starts with the, "prescholar" O's class. All four of them and O's teacher. Dressed in skelton costumes two with face painted and two without. Music starts and not one kid does anything. Nothing they all just stand on stage. O won't even drop the teachers hand. I guess they must've predicted this performance because the music lasted less 45 seconds and their portion of the show was over. I don't know what to think. I mean all of that fretting and freaking for a mere 45 seconds? But at least our part was done. I gathered up O and sat back to watch the show. It took a really long time for me to ease up and find some enjoyment out of the whole thing. I had known in the back of my head that once we got there and were settled I might actually enjoy myself. The truth is it took a really long time to get there. At one point we'd gone up to the top cafe area to get water. I set O at the table to drink hers and turn to watch the performance and she falls off her seat onto her head is is crying again and I'm feeling horrible. Still. Again. When is this experience not going to suck? Luckily at these functions they sell food. Ahhhh food. Healer of all things. We go get a donut and a piece of pizza. Better. O actually starts to catch a second wind with a little sugar and fat in her tummy. I'm even getting smiles out of her.

After the performances we go to check out her class room. This was when I actually found the event worth attending. I got to see all of the Calaveritas that were decorated. We actually found another Ariel Calaverita and this one was wayyyy better than ours. O even claimed it her own rejected ours. Really I don't blame her. This one was pretty darn cool. She had me take pictures of all of the Calaveritas that she liked. Now she was really getting into it and so was I. I got to see her class room. Meet her classmates and parents. It was nice to put the names with the face. Right away we saw Stebastian who always says goodbye to Ophelia and she usually ignores him. I have to say that this is the most beautiful boy I think that I have ever seen. And I love him because he is so nice to Ophelia. We also met Ricardo who Ophelia refers to as goggle. When we came to say hi he turned away and hid he face. The teacher informed me that they fight a lot. Ahhhhh, this must be the naughty brown boy "Goggle". Then Hannia who is the only other girl in the class. I don't know much about her yet.

We somehow got all the kids together and their teachers for a picture which I was so happy about. In the picture that I am posting here O is yelling at me not to take the picture. For some reason she hates it. Its ok if everyone else does it just not me. She can be such an ornery little bugger. And I took out the red eye for everyone but Ricardo, with is painted face and costume, I thought it had a stronger effect. That is my passive aggressive action against the boy who's not nice to my kid. Ha take that you naughty little brown boy who's not nice to my kid.

Finally I'd had my fill of parents and decorations and all and found an acceptable time to make our departure. I left a little sad, a little let down, mourning my beloved Halloween holiday in which at home I know how it works. My kid gets to dress up in the costume of her choice. She trick er treats in a perfect little neighborhood and then we go home and had out candy ourselves and see all of the other cutie patuties that come around. Butcha know what? We had an experience and isn't that what this is all about. I knew there would be some growing pains in moving to Cabo. This was just the first of many. That is the point we're growing. And next year when we do this I will know how it works and my Spanish will be better and I will have had more time with the ferocious parents and they won't seem so scary and Ophelia and Ricardo might not even hate each other and even if so there is still Stabatsian the most beautiful boy on the planet. We'll get it we really will. I cannot expect perfection on the first round especially with something so big. This will not be my last post in which you find me down, but everyday is a new day and we get to try again. And that my friends is just what we'll do.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A day in the life of a Choyera



A lot of people have been asking what my average day is like in Cabo. I gave my friend Emma the low down here is a copy. Because I am too lazy to write it twice, I copied it with a few additions.

As for my days well. this is a question everyone has been asking so I should blog it but I am pretty sure nobody wants to hear it. But it kinda goes like this.
O crawls into bed with me around 5ish, if I'm lucky. Sometimes earlier, she's all messed up on her timing. Just getting used to the change from Minnesota time and then we just went to day light savings. We Get up around 6 that is if I convince her to just lay and not bounce around, that usually involves rubbing her belly. I get O to school by 7:30 - 7:45. Then a lot of times we've been meeting at the car place, or as we call it Cristobal's (that's the mechanic) because we've all been having car trouble my mom, betty and I. We've been the car shop like 20 times. In fact I was just there today. This is a routine I am ready to be done with for the sake of my morning and for my budget. I discovered yesterday that if I bring my suit with me to drop off O I can stop off at the beach on my way home and go for a swim. I've got the whole beach to myself. I figure I can do this, get my excersize in and still be anywhere by 9 (which is going to be my office hours when we get that up and running 9-2). Then sometimes, actually a whole lot like 3 times a week I have breakfast with Betty and Victor. This is fun, I try to practice Spanish, learn all my slang and submerge myself. They are starting to have most of the breakfast in Spanish now and not translating as much and I'm doing my best to keep up. Until I get started on my Spanish lessons this is really helping me along. I am becoming more and more confident and try to hold whole conversations in Espangol and not just talk about stuff that pertains to me. We're getting there. Betty and I do some work like look at all the homes she manages so that I can write them up or she has to translate stuff for me or I go home and do stuff or go back to swim and the beach like I did today because there wasn't enough time in between things to make it worth coming home so I swam and hung out at Santa Maria again, came home changed picked up O now she's sleeping. She is soooo exhausted after school. Lots to take in. The picture is of when I asked O if she wanted to go to bed and she said no. So I put her down so she could go play and when I came back from emptying the car there she was passed out on the floor. When she gets up we go swimming in our pool, have some dinner, do her homework (which tonight is decorating a skeleton for Dia de los Muertos - we're going to decorate it Ariel the mermaid style. Then bed for her. I write something either my blog or the house write-ups and then go to bed myself. I don't have a TV so it's a lot of writing and Facebooking, man is that a time sucker. Usually I'm in bed by 9:30 or 10:00 I too am exhausted by the end of the day. Sooo much to take in our little brains are tired by the end. And that's sort of how the average day goes. So far for this week anyway. Tuesday we have our weekly business meeting... I almost consider this going out social time. It's the only time I do something in the evening. I haven't gone out, out yet, I am really focusing on stabilizing and really being there for O. School's hard enough she needs her momma around. So there ya go.

I had heard that someone had asked if I was trying to make people jealous. And the answer is oh hell yes. But, its all true and your all welcome to visit, and I want to make you jealous because I miss you and didn't even know it was time of year to carve a pumpkin until I saw Nicole's pictures on Facebook. So I guess we've all got our things. You get fall. I get to go swimming in the ocean everyday. The thing is fall turns into winter and I still get to go swimming in the ocean everyday. :o) Besos a todos!