Sunday, June 21, 2009


Facebook has swallowed my soul. Thought you should know.


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Vacation epilogue

Not much sleep was had that last night, what with nervousness and early risings. The trip back was better in that the bus allowed for some shallow sleep, the only theing on the TV was Pirates 2, and there was little traffic in Ciudad de Mexico. the cab ride to the airport was quick, and boarding passes were easy to pick up - United had just one flight leaving that day. We were waiting for four long hours for the flight, but our gate was only announced about 45 minutes before takeoff - airport planning was atrocious like that. The filght home featured the stupidly fun Hairspray, which I really didn't want to like, but did anyway. The same L re-routes from the trip out were in effect in Chicago. Luggage really didn't get unpacked. The front plate got moved to the back, and comfort food was had at The Abbey Pub. Long, dream-filled sleep followed.

Some of the pics are posted here - more as time allows.

I'd like to say that there was some grand lesson from the trip, but I'd be hard pressed to say what it was. I had fun, and learned a bit about the world outside the US, and myself, and how other cultures function, and how they don't, and what's still the same about people there, and what's different. After all that, there's not much to say...



Friday, November 02, 2007

Lucky Day 13 - All Souls Day, Día de los Muertos

urf. groggy. need strong coffee. oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
clean up, early packing
walk down to Los Lagos
skeleton crew running the town - 75%+ shops closed, few cars & pedestrians
pics of Mictlantecuhtli, other altars
Mocha at scenic overlook in Gov. mansion park
¿dragonflies can swarm?
pic review, more packing, picture CD
wandering the city
D picked up charcoal & I make a confession
local gallery w/ DDM & modern art installations
chilés rellenos with beans & rice, chicken w/ mole, salad for lunch
e-ticket issues, info on cab arrangements
trip-long photo slideshow
more luggage futzing
trip to park from day 1, walked around for a bit
trainwreck TV, Tabasco
¡yay! San Juan lit - night pics - D tweaked a bit
DDM festivals on TV
Hawaiian pizza, beer, & blackberry brandy
ravens & laughter yoga
¿does anyone playing these festivals know how to tune a violin?
more packing - get me a shoehorn
early bed for early rise - bus leaves for Mexico City at 5 AM, and cabs come slow that early


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Day 12 - All Saint's Day, the start of festivities

weird dreams, D&E up early and talking, damn Quasimodo
somehow, clinging to my ankle constitutes sleeping
Strong coffee, french toast, eggs
out early for bus to Naolinco
met very tall redhead from Maryland
roller coaster
more great view, saw some birds of prey relatively close in
into town, search for cemetery
coco ice cream at cemetery gates
brightly painted monuments, some small rooms w/ electricity, very solemn feel, few pictures
walk around town, lunch of chicken enmoladas
went to Casa de Cultura, got photos of DDM calaca decorations
walked around, saw more decorations
starting to run out of steam, took bus back to Xalapa - more roller coaster
some rest time, some roof time
some incense is harder to burn than you'd think
pic review - those birds of prey were black vultures
I think I'll stay out of the living room for a while - more roof time
tamales, dead bread, fruit
as lots of places will be closed tomorrow, D picked up pizza for next couple of days
The news starts telling us about the flooding in Tabasco
bed soon
No, let me go back to sleep. Your insomnia, I does not wants it.


Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Day 11 - ¿Halloween?

up groggy, info for Police report in - gracias, Dana.
oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
Petricio interlude
inky errand
more altars at Los Lagos, very cool Mictlantecuhtli sculpture
found gallery on way home w/ hand-screened t-shirts - ¡qué bueno!
dropped in on Elvia at Roy's studio
tried calling Chicago Police from Roy's VOIP - too broken for police to understand
more success on landline at internet café - done all we can for the time being
mas chiles rellenos for lunch
saw a few trick-or-treaters over siesta
taxi to local mountain park - up the whole way
¿right? hm, maybe the other right
that's either a wasp or an ant - either way it's the biggest one I've ever seen
finally saw some squirrels
this country needs more pandas
birds on leashes & world accented Welshman
real live squirrel cuckoos
climbing on the tomb at the top means you are liable for any injury to yourself and are subject to prosecution - but it has the best view in the city
down the least scary stairs, taxi back
cookies & dead bread
more trainwreck TV
apparently, Romancing the Stone was had quite a few parts filmed in Veracruz - and the local stations love playing it
visit from Elvia - showing off the altar; soup, bean tortillas, dead bread, & cheese for dinner; lotería
washed hair in prep for early day tomorrow, time for bed


Day 10 - Many Plans

¿who let Quasimodo near the church?
Peeps went yang
dye boxes lie
french toast
pics of altars at Governor's Mansion
walk up to D & E's favorite park
stop at shops relocated from another park - all the bootleg CDs, DVDs, & games you could ever want
Los Tecajetes park - lots of pics
walk up to Casa de Mamá restaurant - not open yet
walked to Xalapa Theater, found ice cream
lunch at CDM - steak w/ cuitlacoche sauce - it's delicious - OMG, it's corn smut - but it's delicious - but it's CORN SMUT
flan & crepes for dessert
altars at Governor's Mansion are done, more pics
checked on t-shirts at shop - ¿punk shirts? no dice
pic review
wakey headachey
breaking news - ¡someone in Chicago is an ass! filing a police report from Mexico should be fun
to local casino (it's not what you think) for a concert
to local park for a DDM play - audience had to shift locations for scene changes
back to apartment for tamales & rest
sleep calling
wrong number - up until 2


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Day 9 - Calm Before the Storm

slept late, up to D futzing w/ pics some more
oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
¿Batman poops up?
clean up, out to cemetery
cemetery open, lots of good pics - geckoes, cherub taken out at the ankles, some Jesi having tea
got a cream-colored shirt
bakery from a different neighborhood
looked at cemetery pics
out for shrimp cocktails, spicy beer
Omega-3, purple hair, and chain wallets
trainwreck TV, pasteles y café
trip to Governor's mansion to see people building altars
stopped by Roy's studio on way home
dyeing of hair, during which we discover the porous nature of the walls that are not tiled
chicken & cheese empenadas
lotería, imitations, accents


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Weekend Update

Day 7
up early - no noises, can't fall back asleep ... I seem to be dehydrated. ¿Where's the headache?
talking politics w/ D
Pam creeps out of bed
french toast
heading out for bus tickets DDM chocolates
heading out for bus tickets
Ticketbus ... Ticketbus ... Ticketbus ... Ticketbus ... Ticketbus ...
going through local artisan & clothes shops
tea at Chinese store w/ Iris
rest at apartment
chilés rellenos with beans & rice for lunch
minus air mattress may make a difference
more pasteles, eating some chocolates
the peep stirs
off to a DDM play by the lake park
bad movies en español
fall back here tonight

Day 8
wind & roosters - getting up without a clock means daylight savings doesn't really do much for you
birdspotting, almost rain
wakey Pam
clean up, cloudy roof pics
bacon, eggs, & toast
to market to pick up fruit & flowers
to Los Lagos for artisan faire
got skull candle & Sante Muerte statue
walked around the lakes, saw ubercool playgrounds
building the DDM altar
rotissarie chicken, salad, bread for lunch
finishing touches, pictures
extra flowers to Esperanza w/ Petricio interlude
more roof pics
showed off altar to Canadian neighbor
leftover pasteles, spiked coffee
E cleans up more
lotería card review, playing
more futzing w/ the altar
watching world series (¿will Red Sox clinch?)
chicken soup & bean tortilla interlude
candle photos & tweaking
Colorado kept it interesting, but Boston was on their game


Saturday, October 27, 2007

Day 6

rooster - zzz. band - zzz. bells - ok, enough already.
slow morning - clean up, oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
we are here:
View Larger Map
walk down to the Coatepec bus stop again - saw café festival by Goveror's office (got to pet Fiona again), will stop by later
saw fresh coconut salesman by bus stop, will stop by later
more in-drive entertainment, much better this time
went to shops that I saw on ride out before, but nothing comes of it
more stray dogs in Coatepec market than most others - and most of them are by the chicken counter
found a folk artist for DDM decorations in market - also found out that D had lost his money
quick run back to bus stop, but bus is gone
Pam & I picked up some DDM stuff, waited for fellow traveler John to arrive
bought a few things at market, headed to local park - ¡very busy!
John bought us lunch (vege lasagna) and we found out that a Telenovela was taping in the area - thus the crowds in the park
fresh local ice cream, went back to bus stop
found our old bus - ¡and D's wallet!
trip back, where the Tiplets of Bellville are discussed
fresco cocos
picked up t-shirt for Pam at café festival
rest at apartment
stealth mosquitoes with vanishing bites
Waiting for Elvia, D gets impatient
they arrive, ratones son ricos
to dinner at La Cosona - steak sandwiches w/ pitchers of sangeria, a different kind of coffee cake
band & dancers, 9 to midnight - ¡me encanta!
Elvia knows all the words
baile para amor de baile
D brought up for a dance - with two cramped legs
Elvia cabs, we hoof home
bright stars, brighter moon
blog & crash


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Day 5 - Serendipity Strikes

¿Why in God's Name is a marching band up before 7?
I'll have my coffee REALLY strong
songs about fruit and chickens
french toast, clean up
trip to the local fruit market, got some snot fruit
dropped off produce, walked up to (different) bus station for trip to Naolinco, brought camera
vain search for paletes (local popsicles)
this is a really cool roller coaster
can't swing a dead cat without hitting a shoe store
small hike, amazing panoramic view, conversational locals - told of local parade
longoneza w/ dublados and salsa, horchata
hit leather shops, local DDM shop closed for siesta
waiting for Godot's parade ... ¿or not?
following the fireworks
I haz parade now, thnks.
Raul loves talking to gringos - muchos 'no entiendes'
Raul makes a connection - points out Lino Mora Rivera, legendary mask maker that D & E have been seeking for months
We get to see the workshop, buy from the artist
walk back to square, ¡DDM shop is open!
roller coaster, part 2
we find our paletes - this is getting weird
time for rest, tamales, & blog
pic review, and serendipity of weather becomes clear
bed calling


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Vacation, Day 4

up to bells, roosters, & light
leftover dead bread, oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
longish walk to bus stop, browsed shops
bus to Coatepec, in-drive entertainment (was it the bumps or was he supposed to sound like that), smells form coffee factory
shopping - coffee cream liquor, coffee jewelry, coffee
bouncy bus back, during which we discover we need to make a second trip
día de los muertos paper, but no t-shirts yet
stopped at studio w/ Elvia for a bit (¡guayabas from Bernice!), went to restaurant for lunch
muchos enchiladas & esponjadas
at Chinese store, we find Mexican skirt (made in India)
dropped off stuff, went all the way up to cemetery to take pics - qué lástima, not open
roof dog, meet balcony chicken
met fellow travellers on way down
dropped off camera, went to other shops looking for t-shirts - día de los muertos decorations spontaneously appearing
made arrangements for t-shirts
many crowds around Xalapa Cathedral for San Rafael
went down to the lake, were escorted around the park by a local stray
browsed shops & agora gallery, picked up bread & rats on the way back
¿parade? missed it by that much
pics of the moon
Bernice's fruit makes puckerjuice
¡yes we have empenadas!
Muffin, are you done blogging yet?
apparently, 'alzar' translates as 'to moose'
early night in
the something something... ¿the pampinola parade?


Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Vacation, part 1 - days 0 to 3

The Mexico trip, in outline form. Some lines have better back stories than others - feel free to ask.

Day 0 - travel day
woke at 6: 30, out door at 7ish
breakfast at DD, missed bus
walked to Montrose, missed train
train stopped due to track maintainance at Jefferson Park, shuttle to Harlem
Harlem to airport, security surly
arrived at gate at 9ish - Pam reminded me of Rent check - went back to security to drop off
apparently, The Cure is playing 3 nights in Mexico City, and we look like we're going
flight from 10 to 2, bad movies, many form errors
¡Bienvenidos a Mexico!
immigration easy, green at customs
D & E just outside, taxi easy, but got gringo price for taxi back to bus stop
Pam has headache from flight, some caffeine to ease
5-6 hours on bus - pretty, but tiring - bad traffic, bad movies, headache got worse, driver on first trip to Xalapa
¿pay toilets in Xalapa bus stop?
Ibuprofen is hard to find in Mexico
D & E have a pretty apartment, very nice roof garden, neighbor's roof dog
Four Cheese Pizza, Modelo Negro, Pam's headache a bit better
fog rolls in, ready for bed

Day 1 - travel hangover
Woke to roosters - will have to get used to that
headache all gone after sleep
cleaned up, had eggs, bacon & toast
looked at local flora, fauna & mountains from rooftop
walked around Xalapa, saw flower faire by Governor's office (sauces bought), artisan alley, kids {tradicional} dancing at local park
rotisserie chicken for lunch
steamed tamales for light dinner
met Esperanza y Ruben & Petricio (cute dog)
agonized over Indians loss, watched PoA en Español
Ready for bed
tossey turney

Day 2 - the adventures begin
woke to birds & roosters, slow start
oatmeal w/ platinos & cinnamon
going to Xico w/ Roy - picked up a few supplies on way
waited outside for a bit, took pics
met Elvia, Roy shortly thereafter, Lourdes & Fiona (dog) shortly after that
on way to Xico, stopped at café on fruit/coffee farm
tour of farm - everything is edible, Fiona is thirsty
best. coffee. ever.
to falls at Xico - many pics, nervous peeps on bridges, two baptisms at falls, killed camera batteries
¿where does that road go?
stumble upon local carnival in Xico - unbelievable hospitality, best. molé. ever., parade, ¡Fiona pulls!, local town plaza.
restaurant by river - dog is thirsty again, Roy tells jokes, much trout, fog, fried bananas/plantains.
humid drive back - Fiona is restless, parking is silly
silly ponchos
¿time to blog?
picture review in 3 4 7 too many acts
¿sleepeez? too mas wind

Day 3 - the best laid plans

wind made for crap sleep, up to wind + D & E talking (way too early - 7:30ish) about the lack of water
no water pressure - some vertical pipes broken on roof, only a trickle of water
the oddly swollen hand
no shower, french toast & eggs for breakfast
changed money, went to Museo Artropologico - ¡No luz!
went through anyway, good natural light for most exhibits, fun gift shop - replica stamp & día de los muertos lotería cards
came back to apartment for lunch, water comes back on shortly thereafter
chilés rellenos for lunch - this is a pain that is going to linger
looking for día de los muertos t-shirts, other clothes
wind stops & sun comes out all at once
"You break it, you bought it"
stripes & burned discs
Vampire Hunter D & muchos zapatos
the parade that wasn't
ballet rest at last
dead bread
¿novelas with luchadors?
the empanadas that weren't
leftover chicken w/ day 1 sauces FTW
plumbers be bangin'
time for clean
Petricio interlude
time to blog


Friday, June 22, 2007

what's your spiritual drive?

scored as Idealist, Idealism centers around the belief that we are
moving towards something greater. An odd mix of evolutionist and
spiritualist, you see the divine within ourselves, waiting to emerge over
time. Many religious traditions express how the divine spirit lost its
identity, thus creating our world of turmoil, but in time it will find
itself and all things will again become one.



Cultural Creative














What is Your World

created with

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Blame the Great White Buddha

Which God or Goddess are you like?
Your Result: The Christian God

You are the Holy Lord. You are the shepherd and those that follow you are your lambs. You are kind and patient, but when need be, you are vile and creul. You are often asked for advise or wisdom, and you willingly give it. Congratulations!! You are God!!

Goddess Bast



Goddess Sekhemet

God Zeus

You are your own God or Goddess


Which God or Goddess are you like?
Make Your Own Quiz

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Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Blame Heather

A layer cake from rsncrntz:

Spell your name with bands/artists:
M - Metallica
I - Inertia
C - Cash, Johnny
H - Hatebreed
A - Amos, Tori
E - Eco-Hed
L - Lords of Acid

-- Name: Mike
-- Birth date: February 1
-- Nickname: the wife makes up new pet names almost weekly
-- Current Location: Chicago
-- Eye Color: blue
-- Hair Color: light brown/dirty blonde
-- Righty or Lefty: Righty

-- The shoes you wore today: beat-up black leather work shoes
-- Your perfect pizza: Giordano's pan pizza with onion, green pepper, sausage, and pepperoni

-- Your best physical feature: My legs
-- Your bedtime: Between 12-2
-- Most missed memory: summer camp

-- Pepsi or Coke: the occasional Pepsi
-- McDonald's or Burger King: more King than is healthy
-- Adidas or Nike: New Balance
-- Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: whatever they have that's unsweetened
-- Chocolate or Vanilla: chocolate. Dark.
-- Cappuccino or coffee: coffee, cream, no sugar.

-- Smoke: Not my vice.
-- Curse: yes, please.
-- Sing: frequently & out of tune
-- Do you think you've been in love: yep.
-- Want to get married: yes, even before I did.
-- Get motion sickness: do excited butterflies about roller coasters count?
-- Think you're a health freak: not nearly as much as I should be
-- Get along with your parents: well enough.
-- Play an instrument: It's been years since the piano lessons

In the past month...
-- Drank alcohol: yes
-- Smoked: no
-- Done a drug: does Advil count?
-- Gone to the mall: Hot Topic gift certificates are fun.
-- Kissed someone: yes
-- Eaten an entire box of Oreos: no
-- Eaten Sushi: not this past moth
-- Been on stage: no
-- Gone skating: no
-- Made homemade cookies: no
-- Stolen anything: not in years

Have you ever...
-- Played a game that required removal of clothing: yes
--If so, was it mixed company: yes
-- Been called a tease: probably
-- Been beaten up: wasn't Junior High fun?

-- Age you hope to be married: I'm officially too old for this meme.
--#of Children: 2-3

In the opposite sex:
-- Best eye color? Blue-green
-- Short hair or long hair?: long
-- Romantic or Playful?: yes

-- Number of people I could trust with my life: somewhere between 3 and 8
-- Number of cds you own: hundreds
-- Number of tattoos: zero
-- Number of Piercings: zero