Thursday, November 30, 2006

Things I Learned in Mexico

I guess you can say I am a bit of a tease, considering on my last post I talked about how I would be incognito for a few days, until my return to Vancouver.

However, how was I supposed to know that despite not being able to pick up any wireless while docked at the resort (except those I was unwilling to pay for, bien sur), I would be able to access three wireless networks while anchored offshore of La Cruz, which appears to have no inhabitants (not on the beach, anyway).

The availablity of wireless in remote areas (and the non-availability of it in touristy areas) is one of the things I have learned during my 16 days cruising the coast of Pacific Mexico. The rest?

1. Even though beer is thine enemy because of it's bloat and weight gaining properties, it is silly to try and abstain from having a Modelo Light when it's so frickin' hot out and water just won't do. And I love beer. I honestly and truly do.

2. Mexican men will give you the once over...many times (usually followed by hooting and hollering)...it doesn't matter if you are wearing a sack, no make-up, covered in sweat, etc. This is great if you have low-self esteem and annoying if you have some. Hell, it might be annoying to everyone, basically because it doesn't seem to matter what you look like, as long as your waist is smaller than your hips, your skin is pale and your hair is any other color but black.

3. Mexicans are very friendly. Even though my mother says its because I'm blonde and young, I've found men and women to be very warm and I know others say the same. They have a real sense of family and hospitality down here, which I think is lacking above the border (and yes, Canada is above the border too).

4. I am not a fan of extreme heat. Personally (and I know I will regret this tomorrow) I would rather be too cold than too hot. Too cold? You just turn up the heat and pile on more clothes. Too hot? You strip down to your skivvies....and then where do you go from there? Get naked? It's still damn hot.

5. There is a reason that any normal human being does not live with their parents.

6. You can be in the most tropical, idyllic paradise in the world, but all that really matters is the company you keep. Therefore, it doesn't matter how nice it is to laze under a palm tree and drink margaritas, if your parents are there with you, it can go to hell in a handbasket.

7. You can't choose your family. Sigh. So you better just accept them and make the most out of it.

8. Just because you are in Mexico doesn't mean you are going to get sick from the drinks, food, water etc. In fact, you may just have the opposite effect (eeek).

9. You can try tanning yourself for days but the day you get color is the day you are sweating around town and wearing a shirt that will leave the weirdest tan lines.

10. I miss my boyfriend more than I would care to admit. In fact, most of the time here I have been sad because he is not here with me and visa versa. And yes, the old single "independent" me would scoff at this and remark "look at you, you pathetic little female."

However, the coupled and happy me says, "You know what, it's OK to admit you miss someone more than you would like to. I'm sure if I had a man who wasn't as loving and compassionate as my man is, I wouldn't miss him so much. I think it's more than a fair trade." That has to be the biggest thing I have learned so far.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Update


Well, it looks like I´m gonna have to leave things for a while before I can continue any of my stories. We are pushing off at three this afternoon to spend my last nights here anchored ofshore of the town of La Cruz. Quite frankly, I am relieved since you wont believe the heat here. Seriously, I have been dousing myself with water from the outdoor shower every ten minutes in order to get some relief.

Yes, I know people back home in Vancouver are shivering their asses off in the unusual cold spell that has fallen on the city but I`ve never been a fan of extremes...whether it`s extreme cold at home or the extreme heat here.

Anyway, I will be incommunicado until I arrive back in Vancouver on Friday, so until then check out a post I made on my other blog. It kind of gives things away that I arrived at my destination safely, but I guess you already knew that.

Adios!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Survive the Savage Sea Part One

Is the name of one of my favourite books and not at all like the sea voyage we took from Cabo San Lucas to Puerto Vallarta. But it got your attention, didn't it?

Anyway, the boat set off at the ripe ol' hour of 3AM but being brought up on a boat I was used to the roar of the engine and the overall slantyness that the sails provide.

The day was pretty uneventful, as being on the open sea can be (or hopefully is). I have to say, that considering I have never sailed where you could never see the land, I took the isolation and disorientation quite well. I thought it would be a whole lot scarier but it wasn't. Instead it was kind of relaxing to stare out at the open ocean, wind rushing through your hair and the boat bouncing along happily.


Unfortunately I didn't see anything of high importance, though my parents saw dolphins and whales. We didn't see any ships either during the whole 40 hour journey although a lone cruiseship was spotted in the wee hours.

I did however see flying fish, squid (we found it on deck, must have jumped on board during the night)

a Sea Lion doing yoga amidst the waves...

And the now infamous Frigate Bird.

Yes, this bird swooped in off the open ocean, landed on the mast and didn't leave until the next morning. The bird story is so amusing in itself, that I must post about it and detail later. It turned my dad into Captain Ahab and we had our own merry version of Moby Dick.

Anyways, gotta cut the story short for now. I have to meet my mum at the beach and I'm already late. But I promise I'll continue this gentle story later (I know how you hate TBCs ;)

Monday, November 27, 2006

Back in Action


Sorta. Meaning, I am back and connected to the Internet. Wow. I can't believe it has been a week (almost) since my last post. But considering I have been on a boat, you can't blame me. Although, at one point while we rocking off the coast of Cabo, I was able to access the hotel across the bay's wireless. But that was a looong time ago...or so it seems.

Good God it is so hot. I am sitting in Nuevo Vallarta's wee Yacht Club sucking back a margarita I shouldn't be (I should be drinking water, damnit) and sweating buckets.

Ok, no, I don't want the snow that is apparently gracing the soggy city of Vancouver right now (Ha! Seriously though, I would rather snow than rain) but it is freakin like 35C (like 90 something for you Americans) and %100 humidity. Yuck, seriously.

Anyway, I have to back track a wee bit to almost a week ago and then, as the days go by, catch everyone up(and myself since I don't seem to know where I am or what day it is).

All right, so my American friend Jessie left on Monday (as did the Swedes) so it was a quiet last evening in the hotel before making it across the bay to the boat.

Below is a picture of my boat that Jesse took from the beach one day. Apparently, he took one of those waverunner/jetskis that eventually became my nemesis and went around the boat but no one was home. Probably on the shore looking for me. Or drinking tequila (He might have to consider going across the border to one of those Arizona alcohol rehab programs). Either one.

Anyhoo, my first official night over on the boat was the worst night EVER. There is, or was, a hurricane somewhere south and west of us, so the remnants of that was spewing towards us in the form of gigantic swells.

Now, if any of you even get remotely seasick, you would have been puking within minutes. These were HUGE swells coming in from the night, and sideways. Therefore, every couple of seconds or so you were thrown from the left and then the right. Back and forth, up and down. Oddly enough, you somewhat got used to the sounds of cupboards opening, frying pans flying out and becoming lethal weapons, books falling out, waves being washed on board and your whole world becoming slanted. Plus, whatever was going on in your insides. I don't know if it's good for your organs to get the benefits of a washing machine cycle but they do.

Anyway, next morning the waves calmed down a bit for us to go swimming.

Now, I would rather swim in the ocean than a pool. The ocean is always a bit more adventurous, while the pool is, well, boring. But the problem I have had with conquering the deep blue sea is the fact of SAND. Sand blows in your eyes, rides up your bum and in your suit (have you seen the waves here?) and leaves you with a sense of nitty gritty.

Not so when swimming off the boat. You get clear, warm water and refreshing waves that raise you up and down. The only real problem (as my poor mom found out) was being sucked under the boat as the waves came. But I managed to navigate that hurdle quite efficiently.

I have to say that despite the inconveniences of being offshore and the fact that the storm swells make sure you don't sleep a wink, nothing can be compared to swimming off the boat in water that is a tad* warmer than at home.

*OK well the warmest water at home that I have ever swam in was 17C, while in Cabo it's 25C.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Husband(s) for Rent


So I enquired about Renting a Husband and they gave me a bunch of Swedish men on a boat. How lucky am I?


Ah, just kidding. As you can see, my father was there too. I guess on vacation you just have a good knack for getting to know everyone around you. These guys sailed down from San Francisco like my father did and jetted off across to Mazatlan yesterday. It was funny to have a beer with all these boys since my dad is Norwegian (which means he can speak Swedish) and they all went off talking about who knows what (probably me...or boats).

Anyhoo, Blogger is being a pain and I was able to upload a lot more pictures on my other blog, so go check it out.

I'm afraid this will be my last post for a while since I will be sea-locked for some time. But I will report back as soon as we reach land in Puerto Vallarta. Providing, of course, that I don't (as some of you have suggested/hoped) end up being swept overboard and onto an island with a volleyball and a hairy Tom Hanks.

*****
On another note, my mom turns 60 on the 23rd (yeah, I have old parents). She can already tell she's getting closer to death cuz the other day when she was sitting by the pool, about 5 Vultures kept circling around her (I shit you not).

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Final Installment - Lost in Los Cabos

Ha, no, actually this isn't the final installment...in fact, I've got a lot more of Mexico to go. And knowing I'm going to be doing nightwatch in a few days on the open ocean voyage to Puerto Vallarta, I know that's gonna be an exciting tale to tell.

But anyway, this is final installment of my precarious adventures by myself in Cabo. So I will continue...

There I was on the bus, just starting to relax (and wonder why the hell my parents never came to meet me at the airport) when Jessie came on board.

As the bus roared off down the road, Jessie and I got to talking. Well, I should say, I got to talking, unloading on him about my woes and adventures of the day.

Feeling sorry for me (and generous) he split a six-pack of Corona with me (the bus pulled over to a roadside liquor store) ...only to realize that we didn't have a bottle opener. No matter, he had one built in to the bottom of his shoes.

Anyhoo, we got to talking and turns out we had a lot in common. An Alaskan boy going to the University of Reno (and taking, get this, Journalism), Jessie was flying down for a few days to meet his dad (who is in oil) on a boys fishing trip.

By the time the bus dropped me off at my hotel, we exchanged hotel numbers, thinking that since we are both here with our parents, we would probably want to go out and party in order to take a break from them.

Feeling buzzed on my three Coronitas, I waved goodbye to him and checked into my hotel, which ended up being a lot further out of town than I had originally thought.

At one point I asked the front desk girl if my mother was here (my parents were, or so I thought, well aware of what hotel I was staying in for my first few days in Cabo and my mum was in fact supposed to be staying in the room with me while my father was on the boat). The front desk girl didn't speak much English but when I mentioned the word "Mother," she started nodding, "Yes your Mother, I know."

I breathed a sigh of relief, thinking my parents were probably in my room at the moment.

So you can imagine my confusion when I burst into my room, only to find no one there at all.

I looked at the clock. It was 6 PM, hours after my flight had first arrived. Where the fuck was everyone?

Confused, I called my father's cell phone, his US cell phone and his Satellite phone. Nothing worked and no one answered.

Eventually, as the night wore on, I called Ross thinking that perhaps he had heard from my parents...I also missed him dearly (yes I'd been away from him for a day, but so sue me, I'm a sap and you try being cool when you are alone and poor in a foreign country).

Unfortunately, Ross hadn't heard from them either. So that's when I started to panick, despite him reassuring me that everything would be OK.

Then the phone cut out and I wasn't able to call out again. I have no idea why. Mexico befuddles me.

I fell asleep early, thinking that the only thing I could do was just wait for my parents to call. Since they knew what hotel I was in, how hard would it be to call me up and at least tell me what the hell is going on? I think it was at this part I shed a few tears...but hey, I was tired and completely frusterated.

******

I woke up at 11 PM to the phone ringing. Breathlessly, I answered it.

"Hey, find your parents yet?"

It was Jessie, inviting me out with his dad and him. I declined, being half-asleep in bed and also lacking the funds to get into town. I was also getting angry. How is it that a guy from Alaska that I had just met a few hours ago was calling me to see if I was OK, and yet my parents were nowhere to be found.

******

The next morning came around. I lasted until about 1PM before I started to panick again. I was able to sneak down to the Breakfast Room to get a slice of toast and coffee, but other than that I was unwilling to leave my room in case they showed up or called. So, I was pretty much trapped in my hotel room with old magazines and nothing to do but worry and wait.

At 2 PM, Jessie called again, back from his fishing trip. He talked some sense into me and told me to come down to see his dad and him in town. They would pay for my taxi ride as well as lunch. I reluctantly agreed, not wanting anymore charity, but at least I could go to an internet cafe and see if someone had emailed me. I left a message with the front desk in case my parents came by or called (something along the lines of "I'm in town with friend. I have no money. Am hungry, need food. Will be back later.")

I got to town (which ended up being only a 3 min cab ride), thanked the taxi driver (who held my hand a little too, uh, long) and Jessie came out to pay for my cab.

Their hotel was the Siesta Suites, which was a nice, quaint little motel in the middle of town and near the marina. The dad bought me a beer and I made a beeline to the glories of all glories: An Internet Cafe.

There I updated my blog (ha, as you can see, my priorities are straight) and got an email from the boyfriend. Thank God, my parents had gotten in touch with him (apparentlty they did NOT know what hotel I was in, the satellite phone BARELY works and they wouldn't even BE in Cabo San Lucas until later that evening).

So after letting him know the name and number of my hotel (and Jessie's hotel in case we were hanging out in the bar), I felt like I could finally breathe. My parents hadn't forgotten about me, they were just unable to reach me.

I don't know about you, but nothing follows relief better than a gigantic margarita, dranken by the sea with gusto. Which is what I proceeded to do as I was treated to a nice meal of tortilla soup by Jessie's father and their friend Scotty.
The treating was continued as we went back to their hotel and drank more beer and tequila at the cute hotel bar. While Jessie's dad and Scotty were busy hacking up the million pounds of Tuna they caught earler that day, Jessie and I infiltrated the hotel owner's birthday party where we were treated to free appetizers (but not free drinks. Boo).

Which was just as well, considering I was not in any state of mind to keep drinking. Of course, I did keep drinking...went on to try some tasty but dangerous tequila shots at the Zoo bar and the Hard Rock Cafe. I think at one point I whipped out my credit card and insisted on buying shots for Jessie as well as all of the waiters there.

Anyway, it wasn't too long before I felt ill and just wanted to go back to the hotel, feeling that my parents were probably there and waiting for me.

The cab dropped me off and I stumbled haphazardly into my room, flicking on the lights. And once again, no one was there.

It was at this point that I lost it completely. All the stress, all the booze and all of my anxiety just melded into one and I started freaking right out and crying all over the place. Why hadn't they come yet? They said they would be here. Where are they? Why haven't they called? Why aren't there any messages? It was already 1 AM but not knowing what to do I rang up Ross. He didn't answer so I left a long, sobbing message on his machine which probably didn't make much sense.

Then I passed out.

*******

At 8 AM the next morning, the phone rang, waking me out of my stupor. It was Ross, and even though I barely remember talking to him in my drunk/comatose/hungover state, I knew he was saying soothing things like "don't worry" and "everything will be fine." I also think he told me that he had gotten in touch with my parents again and that the phone numbers I had given Ross over the email didn't work for them or him (until he googled the hotel). But I'm pretty sure he ended the conversation by saying something like "you'll see them today."

I didn't matter anyway. I just passed out again.

*******

At noon the door to my hotel room flung open and in came my Mother. I should have been happy and relieved to see her but not only was I a bit miffed at the whole ordeal that I had been put through over the last few days, I was suffering from the mother of all hangovers (what on earth was in those shots?)

Anyhoo, she explained her situation, which is a long one and which I will explain one day, but the short of it is that there was a lot of mixed signals, coupled with the fact that their phone never worked and that Mexican red tape slowed their trip down a few days. And of course, if you know my mom, or anyone's mom for that matter, she was freaking out about not finding me as much as I was freaking out about not finding her.

When she was done explaining and decided to head down to the pool, I passed out again. But this time my headache and vomityness was peppered with a sense of relief and knowing that, for now, everything was going to be all right.

*******

Later that evening, as I ate with gusto (yay, I have money now), I dragged my feet over to the boat, Norfinn, which is anchored off shore. Being in the wavy ocean isn't the best for a hangover, but I made it, even though as I was trying to get off the dingy and onto the boat a huge wave got sucked up between the two vessels and shot up my skirt, soaking me.

It was my first welcome to the boat life in Mexico.




Ahhh, made it on board at last

Continuing the To Be Continued (or Part Two)

As Scorpy has mentioned on the last post, TBC are a pain in the ass. Especially for the person who imposed the stupid TBC because, well what happens when they don't want to continue the story and wants to start writing about Mexican food (of which I have done on my other blog, btw).

Nonetheless for the sake of continuity, I will continue entertaining you with tales of my misfortune.

Let me set the scene. I am alone in the Los Cabos, Mexico, airport with no money to get to town, sitting around and hoping my parents will show up.

Which they don't.

After a while, a few of the white-clothed Mexican salespeople started to take pity on me. One young guy with cool shades told me that he would just give me money if they didn't show within the hour. I took that with a grain of salt as he kind of said it casually and in passing. Then another worker (Carlos) told me he would give me a ride to the hotel in a bit. He had a van with a hotel logo on it and a matching shirt so I assumed it would be OK.

So, I continued to sit there, feeling a bit better about my situation although I was a bit uneasy at the same time. Then along came Irak (or Riko, as his friends call him). A genuine, nice-looking guy, Riko sat down next to me for about an hour. I told him my situation and he couldn't help but laugh (as I'm sure all of you have done). But he was also very concerned. I told him about the Carlos fellow offering me a ride...and from earlier on I could see that Carlos and Riko knew each other.

Riko shook his head, "You know, most of these guys are my friends but I wouldn't trust them to take you back to your hotel. When Carlos offers you a ride, he doesn't mean in his hotel shuttle with the other passengers, he means in his own car after work."

Ahh. That figured.

Riko and I continued to talk and I started to feel a bit better knowing that at least someone was looking out for me. That's not to say I would home with Riko either, cuz I do have some traveler's wits about me, but it was nice to just unload on him. Riko made a great companion because he spoke fluent English. In fact, he got his Bachelor of Business at the University of Berkley up in San Francisco. He was going to get a sweet job with UPS too who was also going to pay for his Masters degree. It was all lined up until Riko caught his best friend in bed with his Sicilian wife and all hell broke loose. Riko busted up the guy pretty badly (ah, the passion of the Mexicans) and had to go to court for it. I don't know what happened after that, if he got deported or not, but in the end he is back in Mexico and working on commision at the airport for a timeshare company, trying to lure tourists with a free breakfast at one of the fancy hotels.

Amazingly, Riko also speaks fluent Russian and is going to Russia next year for three months (he also is interested in Russian architecture). When asked if he plans on using his degree in Mexico instead of working at the airport, he told me he makes more money here. The opportunities in Mexico aren't so abundant, which explains why so many of them move to the States.

Finally, after about an hour, Riko looked at me and said, "I don't think they are coming."

I knew that already, but still, what the hell could I do but wait?

So Riko dissapeared for a bit and came back with a small envelope. Inside it was enough American money to get me on the bus and to the hotel.

I was overwhelmed at the generosity of this guy, who obviously doesn't make all that much money, who was just handing the money over to me. Now, normally I wouldn't accept it (or I would think there was some kind of catch) but this was no time to be polite. I just thanked him (over and over again) and told him I would be happy to take him out for dinner or lunch on my credit card.

He just waved me away, told me not worry about it and to just get on the bus.

Then Riko dissapeared and I never saw him again.

Of course, when I went to go buy the ticket they somehow had jacked up the price in the last hour so that what Riko had given me wasn't enough. But low and behold, the other dude with the cool shades swooped in at the last minute and plunked enough money down on the counter to make up the shortchange and thensome. Before I could even thank that guy, he was gone too, swallowed up in the sea of tourists who just arrived on another flight.

Overwhelmed with generosity, I finally made my way on the almost empty bus and started to finally relax.

Just before the bus took off though, one more person bordered. I looked up to see a nice-looking white guy get on board. By himself...which I thought was interesting because so far I was the only traveler I had seen that day traveling by themselves. Because, let's face it, who goes to Mexico alone? Anyway, the guy smiled at me (intrigued to see another lone traveler and a blonde to boot), sat across from me, and this is how I met Jessie, who would go on to be yet another saviour of mine.

Because, of course, the hard part wasn't over yet.

To be continued...mwahahahaha.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

It could only happen to me - Part One


I knew my trip was gonna be most interesting since it got off to kind of a weird start. At 4 AM, I had called a cab to take me from my apartment in Vancouver to the airport. As it was waiting downstairs, I lugged my suitcase out from my room and waited for the elevator. It normally doesn't take too long since I am only on the third floor, which was why I found it odd that minutes passed and it hadn't arrived. Instead, I could hear it opening and closing on each floor...both of the elevators were doing this. Now, if you have been to my place, you'll know that my elevators are fucked and that they tend to open up while it's in motion or perhaps it will stop between floors while you contemplate jumping down onto the floor below. Visions of the elevator scene in Speed will flash through your head.

Anyhoo, the elevator eventually did open on my floor. I pressed the button for the lobby and what does the blasted machine do? It takes me all the way up to the 10th floor. The door opens, no one is there, the door closes...and then proceeds to stop on every floor on the way down, for no apparent reason. By now I am panicking about missing my cab in my half-asleep state (you try getting up at 3:15 AM, it ain't easy).

So yeah. Not a good start.

I should also mention that I purposely left my debit card at home because I had to leave the money in my account for the mortgage to come out of. I also only had a tiny bit of Canadian cash and a few American dollars. I brought two visa cards with me, with enough money on them.

And I thought my parents were meeting me at the airport. Even though, we never discussed this. To be fair, the only times I had spoken to my parents were in short 5 minute intervals over the last few weeks because they only had a satellite phone. And, I'll get more into this later, satellite phones are useless pieces of crap. The last I talked to my parents was the day before I was leaving.

My mother said (in a crackly tone...the phone was crackly, not her)"When does your flight get in?"

I say "Hold on, let me check."

She says "crackle crackle crackle dial-tone."

I say "Aw shit her phone just died. Oh, well she'll call back."

And she never did. So, I was faced with a overall feeling of unease about how ill-planned this thing was. That my mother didn't know when my flight was coming in (though, I figured, they do have a satellite phone and could find out) and that my parents were sailing down to Cabo, which isn't as reliable, as say driving. But then again, as I have found out time and time again, Mexico itself isn't reliable.

If Mexico had a catchphrase it would be "Come to Mexico. The only rule is there are no rules!"

Yes, so anyway. I get on my flight, fly to Seattle, sleep in the airport for a few hours, spend my American and Canadian dollars and then get on the plane to Cabo San Lucas.

Seeing the clear, azure waters and white sand beaches flanking the Baja got me feeling a little more excited and upbeat (it's hard to be excited when you are uneasy and sleep deprived).

I land at the Los Cabos airport. I made it through customs (you push a button and if it gives you a green light you walk through, if it gives you a red light, they search your bags. All completely random and luckily I did get the green light) and then walk out into the hot (um, try 89 degrees Farenheit), balmy air.

Not seeing my parents anywhere, I pull up my luggage and sit on it. I watch the families and young couples trying to negotiate rides into town. I watch the timeshare salespeople walk around and try and suck in unsuspecting tourists. I watch for anyone resembling my parents to show up.

I did this for about an hour. The Mexicans doing their timeshares were enquiring about what the hell I was doing sitting there. Finally I decided to fuck all this and get a cab into town. I at least knew that I had a hotel room and that my parents were probably there and didn't come to get me because they were unsure of when my flight arrived.

Apparently though you can't just get a cab but you have to book a shuttle bus or van through a ticket person in the airport. It cost 140 Pesos (or 14USD).

I plunk over my credit card to them. Nope, they don't take credit cards.

I try and explain I have no cash. They say there is an ATM in the departures terminal next door as well as a currency exchange. I remembered that in Europe I was able to extract cash from my Visa by using currency exchange, so I scoot on over there.

The woman behind the counter tells me that they don't accept credit cards. She points me to the ATM, the only one in the airport. Well, maybe I can get cash outta my visa this way.

Nope. ATM machine is broken.

"Hmmmm" I think to myself "I am fucked."

I head back over the ticket people and explain my situation. Apparently no taxi accepts credit cards here, only cash. If I don't have cash, I can't get into town.

So I pull up my suitcase, sit on it and stare at the road. Apparently, I can't get into town.

"Oh well," I think to myself while trying to hide my panic behind my sunglasses, "Maybe if I sit here long enough my parents will have to come and get me."

Great idea, only little did I know, my parents weren't even in Cabo San Luca yet. They were somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. And it's a big Ocean.

To be continued.....

******
I've been getting a lot of comment spam and it's getting to be such a pain in the ass to take care that I've switched it so you can't comment anonymously. I will see if this works. If it doesn't, I'm going to have to moderate my comments, at least until I have steady access to the internet. That way my comment section won't be overrun by ads for penis enlargers. So, please comment as usual and I'll approve it when I can. When I return home, I hope everything gets back to normal. Whatever "normal" is.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Mexico is ahead of its time


I enquired about this service, thinking if I rented a husband then maybe he could pay for my meals, help search for my missing parents and rub my feet at the end of a long day walking around town and scanning the ocean for my boat.

Sadly, they will not perform the service for free which completely cancels out my plan of coasting along with no money.

Unless I start up my own Wife for Rent company. I'll cook, clean and nag for you, then when you give me my weekly fees I'll run off with the money and spend it on clothes I don't need.

How do you say "Trouble" in Spanish?

Actually this is just a quick note to let you all know that I found my mom. Boy, it's a very long, funny and stupid story but since I don't have much time to tell it, I won't get into it today. But I promise you will laugh roll your eyes when I do.

Anyway, it's hot as hell, stuffy and the beers are two for one. I'm getting on that right now. But besides that I am no longer poor, hungry or alone. But I have a feeling the adventure is not over yet.

Adios for now!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Home Alone, the Mexican Version

Picture Home Alone.

Now instead of a USA suburb, imagine Mexico.

And instead of a home, imagine a hotel.

And instead of Kevin, imagine me.

I am in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, as you know.

My parents did not meet me at the airport, as you do not know.

I have been here for 24 hours and don´t know where they are.

I have no money, either, which makes things difficult.

I can´t even afford beer.

I am alone.

And my tummy hurts.

Boo.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Rain Rain, Go Away...or I will

First of all, I would like to reinstate that in my previous post, though I plan to move away from Vancouver by 2010 (if not before then...hey, if you know me, you know I can't stay in one place too long) my goal is not to move in order to have children.

I don't know if I even want children. I, quite frankly, don't like kids and they don't like me. We have an unspoken agreement and it works out great for the both of us. However, if I do change my mind (as some typical baby-hungry females out there have told me I will), I still think I would like to raise my kids somewhere other than here.

That said, how about this rain, huh? For those of you who aren't from Vancouver, you may have heard it rains a lot here. Well, it does and it's been raining so hard for the last few days, I'm pretty sure I saw someone building an ark. It's that bad. Not to mention cold, windy and dark. Brrrrrrr and everything. If only I could go someplace warm and nice like this:

Oh, that's right. I am. I'm catching a plane to Cabo San Lucas at 6:30 tomorrow morning.

Oh, I didn't tell you? Gee, must have slipped my mind. Anyway, I am flying down to Cabo tomorrow in the wee hours of the morning to meet my parents who are already down there...or somewhere near there.

See, some of you may recall that my dad left on his boat down to Mexico a couple months ago. Well, eventually my mother flew down and now I'm going to join them for some fun in the sun (and hopefully not recreate The Perfect Storm...unless Clooney is involved and I really don't think he will be).

I've been to Cabo before and I like it...though it's a bit on the commercial side. I've also been to Puerto Vallarta a few times too.

Well, luckily for me, this time I get to go to both places. Over the course of 16 days I will be flying down to Cabo San Lucas, sailing across the Sea of Cortez to Puerto Vallarta and flying up from there. See my glorious map --->

Anyway, I won't be blogging as much as usual considering I will be on a boat most of the time. But I will blog when I can and promise to keep reading all your blogs. After all, I'm gonna be with my parents for 16 days straight so I'm gonna need some kind of venting outlet. That, and I'll probably come down with a nasty case of Montezuma's Revenge. The plus side of that is that I'll drop of few pounds.

So Adios Amigos! And let me know if you want a postcard. I've included my email in my profile now so I can get harassed more than usual.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

For Sale in 2010

Yeah, well I'm jumping the gun a bit here but I've decided I'm going to put my apartment up for sale in 2010. Of course, I have to clear it with my father first since he owns half of it but I'm sure he'll agree. Or, he can just buy it off me! Yeah...

The thing is, I love my apartment. Especially after all the time I spent this weekend making it a chic and livable bachelorette. But I do think if I have to spend more than four years in this place, I will go nuts. That doesn't mean of course that I will actually be living here for the next four years, because hey anything can happen. In that case, I would rent it out and charge an obscene amount for it.

But I also think that the value of the property will peak around the time the Vancover Olympics are held. I'm not sure if selling just before the Olympics or just after is better, but either way I'm gonna make a nice profit. I hope anyway. Mind you, I live downtown and the area I live in will never go down in value since it is the most lusted for. Plus, there's the sea view from my windows and the pool on the roof. Which is rather pointless right now, considering it is filled up with cold rainwater, but shhhh.

The thing is though, when it comes down to it, I don't think I'll be living in Vancouver after 2010. Now, I've had a hard time making five year plans and such, so nothing is ever set in stone, but I just don't feel it. I love Vancouver with all my heart, and it will always be home, which is why I don't feel so bad about leaving it.

I've learned to appreciate it for what it is too, by living in other cities and comparing them. I've lived in Auckland, NZ for over a year, in Sydney, AU for 3 months and Kamloops, BC for 2 years. I've also lived in six different suburbs of Greater Vancouver over my lifetime, so I've seen all facets of it, as well. I know the city as well as anyone can and maybe that's why in 2010 it'll be time for me to leave. Start anew somewhere else, where everything is fresh and waiting.

Another thing is, I don't think I would want to raise my children in this city. Sure, I had happy memories here as a kid. But things just aren't like they used to be. I would want my kids to live in a more simple, safer and less vulgar place...if places like that actually exist.

Of course, that is if I have kids.

And if the kids will survive being raised by me as a mother (I have a feeling I would put Britney Spears to shame). And if I survive having kids (if I'm a bad mother, I can only imagine what terrors my children would be).

Where I'll go, I don't know. But considering my insatiable wanderlust and curiousity it'll probably be outside of Canada. Because if I'm not living in Vancouver (or Victoria, I suppose) I don't want to live anywhere else in this country. What can I say, I love the ocean.

Of course, the way my life works, all of this could change in a Vancouver minute. But since deciding my time here has a deadline, I've felt surprisingly more at peace. The possibilities are endless.

All right, I'm off to get my haircut. I can see how that is going to bode well with the "Heavy Rainfall Warning" that is warning us Vancouverites that an "intense rain system" is going to be moving into the city today and flooding the place (and yet another reason to move).

Monday, November 13, 2006

Don't leave me alone, I do crazy things!


Like make soup (see left).

Yup.

It was a slooooow weekend.

Originally it started out as a "Me"ekend. I planned to spend the weekend by myself, catching up on all the things I used to do when I would gladly spend a weekend on my own.

Of course, I reverted back to my old ways of spending too much time (and moolah)on Ebay. And I also woke up one morning and decided I hate my apartment.

Yes, a lot of financial damage was done. Apparently, for me, boredom = money.

I spent an obscene amount of it at this home goods store Homewerx that is just down the street from me. I always look at the store and think, looks funky, but thankfully I don't need any of that. That was, until I decided that my apartment sucks and needed a major overhaul. It's like I live in an IKEA showroom. I needed a few items to spice things up.

I spent over an hour in the store and charged an obscene amount to an empty credit card which I thought I had cut up but actually didn't. No willpower, what.so.ever.

The problem is that I kept seeing all these cool things I wanted to buy, and in my madness would have bought, but the fact is I live in a studio apartment. It's one room. I already have tons of furniture, art-work, photos that I would love to put all over the place but I can't, simply because there is no room for them.

Sigh. How cool would it be to have a house and be able to decorate every room...

Anyway, I went back home and spent a solid 6 hours just redoing everything. I organized from top to bottom, put everything I didn't like or need in storage and streamlined the look of the place.

Then Sunday came around and I decided I hated my curtains. I took them down. Now my place actually looks like one big room, whereas the curtains before kind of divided the bedroom and living room. I think they might be going back up tonight (I still hate them though).

Oh yes. And keeping with my domestic bacherlorette duties, I made veggie soup from scratch. I decided that I needed a day of detox and this diet friendly soup was the way to go. My mom used to make it (with cabbage) so I figured why can't I (ignoring the fact that I am a spaz in the kitchen...and the fact that it would be a perfect excuse to buy this adorable little apron from Homewerx).

I ended making a lot of soup. In fact, I made so much that I might just open up a soup kitchen in my apartment. That way, people get to try my tasty soup (I must say, I am impressed at my method of chucking a whole bunch of chopped veggies and spices in a broth and seeing what happens) and people can check out my snazzy place. Providing I know what to do with the curtains first.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Good in Bed?

It seems I've had this discussion a lot with my girlfriends lately and it turns out we all wonder the same thing...

What makes a woman good in bed?

This seems like an easy question, but for the life of us we couldn't exactly figure out what the answer was.

So we ask you men:

if a woman is open to doing absolutely anything (gotta try everything once) does that make her a riot in the sack? What if she'll do/try everything except one thing (like a threesome)...does that mean it's not enough? If a woman isn't open to everything, does that make her a bad lay? Is an open-mind crucial to blowing a man's mind?

How about if she tries stuff on you that you've never had done to you before (and you really like it)? What if you get to teach her new things (and she really likes it)?

Is it about being able to talk freely and honestly about what you expect from your sex-life and visa versa? Is it about making sex a vital and important part of your relationship? Or is it about making sex not such a big deal and just let it happen naturally?

Is it about taking the initiative and always instigating sex? Is it about being vocal (loud)? Is it about being vocal (telling him what you want)? Is it about being flexible (yoga classes that pay off)? Or is it about being flexible (compromising your wants and needs)?

Or does it just come down to enthusiasm?

The funny thing is, when I asked my friends what made a guy good in bed, I got a whole range of different answers, from "being open to sucking on my toes" to "being able to last more than 5 minutes" (she's easy to please) to "letting me go down on him more than he goes down on me" to "being in love with him."

So maybe it just boils down to personal tastes and preferences, for both men and women.

What floats your boat? Sometimes, it's just the other person wanting to know what makes your boat float.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Oh, for crying out loud

To the guy in the apartment building beside mine. Yes, you who stands (and is still standing) on your balcony with your guitar all day long, every day and "plays" annoying, homemade shite while occasionaly busting out the harmonica. Yes, you who should be at work right now but you aren't because you think "music" is your job, you who would be shown on the bad audition tape of American Idol, you who makes a sack full of wailing cats sound like Pavarotti, you who thinks my neighbourhood wants to listen to your singing pile of shit,

FOR GOD'S SAKE, SHUT THE HELL UP OR I'M GONNA STICK THAT GUITAR UP YOUR ASS!

From,

Your neighbour who is giving you the finger

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To the chick from China who sold me my Halloween costume,

It finally arrived today, a week after Halloween. It was nice of you to ship it off to me two weeks after you said you would. I would give you a bad rating on Ebay but I know you'll just do the same to me. So instead I am going to quitely rant about it on here and pray that someone accidently bombs your costume-manufacturing store.

From,

A woman with a plan

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

To myself,

Turn off your computer and get back to studying! And do the dishes while you're at it.

From,

Your own worst enemy

Betting on Beta Blogger?


I keep getting these little invitations to join Beta Blogger, as I'm sure all you other bloggers are getting too. Originally, it seemed like a new fad and a risk, but now they are promising that nothing else will change and instead you will find more options and other shiny new stuff.

But then in small print, it stipulates that once you go Beta you can never go back. That worries me. What if I hate it? What if it fucks up? What if I find it really annoying to use and long for the simple days of Normal Blogger, a medium in which I am finally starting to get the hang of.

Then a more terrifying thought entered my mind:

What the hell would I do, if one day, I woke up and my blog was gone? What if something goes wrong with Blogger, for whatever reason, and all of our blogs are erased? What if there is nothing left?

What would you do?

To me, my blog is like a giant, super-cool journal. It's a record of my life, of my thoughts, what I did, what I saw, plus a showcase for photographs and pictures. Not only that, but it's interactive which means that other people's thoughts and ideas are part of it as well. It's Organic, whole and all encompasing.

I couldn't think of anything worse than having it all go down the drain one day.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Old-School Idols: My Top 5 Screen Sirens

All righty, since I am in a nostalgic mood I thought I would post my Top 5 Classic Movie Godess List. This isn't actually about whom I think are fantastic actresses, but rather those Movie Stars whose beauty and energy is so compelling that you are drawn to them like moths to a lamp. Or a flame. Or a streetlight. Whichever.

They all also happen to be great actresses in their own right.


At #5, we have Ingrid Bergman. A star in her native Sweden before coming to the States, Ingrid was actually a fantastic actress and adept at choosing great movie roles (Casablanca, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and my personal favourite, Notorious, with the equally stunning Cary Grant). She came under a lot of heat, however, when she "shocked" America by leaving her Swedish husband for the Italian film director Roberto Rosselini (together they would have twins, one of whom is actress Isabella Rosselini). Ingrid had always played the virginal good-girl, so when she admitted to be an adulturess, the America public shunned her and they actually banned her from setting foot in the country for many years! Later Ingrid had her comeback with her Oscar-winning role in Anastasia.





At #4 we have none other than Grace Kelly. Grace Kelly, whose blue-blood looks really did come from blue-blood (her family were wealthy aristocrats, which would make her something of a socialite today),had a relatively short career. Though being the object of Hitchcock's lust and affection led to her top film roles in Dial M for Murder, To Catch A Theif, and my personal favourite, Rear Window, Grace left the film industry behind to marry the now-late Prince Ranier of Monaco.



Their marriage left us with silly royal subjects like Prince Albert, Princess Caroline and Princess Stephanie, although her grandchildren, Charlotte and Andrea are really hot. Especially Prince Andrea. Who wouldn't want to be his Princess?











At #3 we have the lovely Audrey Hepburn. I could go on and on about her. So I won't. There's not too much to say about her that people don't already know. She's Belgian, survived attacks by Nazis by hiding in her cellar for days and living on nothing but turnips and muddy water. She wanted to be a ballerina but turned to acting as she didn't have the right stuff for it (her ballerina's body remained the same though).
Speaking of which, she was the first real gamine actress, who flaunted her naturally tiny body (22 inch waist and all) in a time where curves were the rage (my times have changed) and was/is a fashion icon (where would capris and ballet flats be without her?). She did excellent movies, all of which are classics (Sabrina, Love in the Afternoon, Funny Face, and my favourite, Charade). She was also the original Angelina Jolie and started this whole celebrities going to Africa/India and campaigning to make a difference. In fact, she devoted the end of her life to Unicef and other charities. She had a big heart, a big smile and great talent. Everyone that knew her, loved her and we still love her till this day. Sigh. I did go on and on about her, didn't I? Oh, and check out what a knockout she was at age 60.









#2 is Rita Hayworth. Gorgeous, transcendent, "Fairy Tale Pretty" Rita Hayworth was born Margarita Carmen Dolores Cansino. Margarita was nothing at all like the Rita we know nowadays. In fact, Rita Hayworth was completely engineered by the Hollywood Studio System. Grooming her to be a big star, Columbia Pictures did the following to the pretty, cherubic Spanish (yes, Rita Hayworth is actually a Latino, see above right): They dyed her hair from black to red, they lightened the skin on her face, they gave her a new nose, a new chin, and most painful of all, they removed about two inches of her hairline to raise her forehead. And this was all done by many torturous sessions of electrolysis (I can only imagine how painful that would have been back in the late 30's.)

But this was how Rita was born. She went onto become a great power player for Columbia and was in the wonderful Gilda, where she plays a real trampy bitch. But oh, she was a gorgeous trampy bitch. Later, she married tubby genious, Orson Welles, whom later put her in his movie The Lady From Shanghai, in which he cut off her hair and dyed it blonde. Her fans were appalled at the change and the marriage didn't last long. Rita went on to marry Prince Ali Khan, but that too, like most limelight marriages, didn't go for too long either.

I don't know what it is about Rita. But she just totally floats my boat.

















And of course my #1 is many people's number one: Marilyn Monroe. She doesn't need an introduction, other than me saying she was as smart as a whip (not stupid), was a great actress (see Bus Stop), and was horribly insecure (see all men she's slept with and drug problems). She, like Rita Hayworth, was also engineered. She was given a new nose, a new chin, a new jaw, and rumoured breast implants. But regardless of what was done to her, Marilyn was still Norma Jean Baker, who as you can see in these photos, was a gorgeous girl indeed. For a partly-fictional account of her life read Joyce Carol Oates book Blonde. It will keep you hooked.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Old-School Movie Idols: Gregory Peck

I watched the remake of The Omen last night. I knew it was going to be shit because most remakes are shit. I mean if it ain't broke, don't fix it. The new Omen lacked characters you cared about, tension and any real thrills. It was dull as dishwater. Maybe it would have been OK, had I not been a fan of the original but still.

Oh and the biggest thing. Liev Schreiber is no Gregory Peck.

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm sure Mr. Schreiber is wonderful in whatever else films he's been in. But again, he is no Gregory Peck.


Bad Omen


Good Omen


Gregory Peck is one of my favourite actors of all time, and nothing short of the most handsome man on Earth. Not only is he a fantastic actor, a great humanitarian and one of the most personable celebrities of all time but...well, just look at him! That voice, those eyebrows, those lips, that hair, that tall, swimmer's physique.


Hmmm, I'm getting carried away here. Anyway, what also made Greg so great was the fact that I like/love pretty much every movie he's been in.



When first starting out, he was in the rare role of a geniune asshole in the 40's Western Duel in the Sun, as his character went around blowing up trains, being sully and raping his cousin (as slutty as she was).







He was also in Spellbound with the luminous Ingrid Bergman, and what I consider to be one of Hitchcock's most underrated films. He plays a "doctor" with amnesia, who may or may not be a criminal. Bergman plays a Freud-esque shrink who wants to get to the bottom of it, and of course, falls into twisted love with him (but who wouldn't). The film is most notable for the bizarre Salvador Dali designed dream sequence.






Of course, there was Roman Holiday, one of my favourite movies of all time, in which Peck is joined by Audrey Hepburn as they traipse around Rome for a day. Sigh. It's a sweet, funny and sad look at love and the duties we all face in life, the paths which we all must walk down. And that ending gets me everytime (and is great alternative to the usual, cheesey Hollywood Rom Coms).






He was also in a few notable war films, as he suited playing the strong, silent type, the one who reluctantly saves the day at the end. My favourites are two WW2 films: Twelve O'Clock High (see below) in which he plays an Air Force Commander trying to whip his crew into shape as they take part in dangerous, but crucial, daylight arial bombing over Germany.


And The Guns of Navarone. I've probably seen this film about 5 times and I never get tired of it. Set in Greece, Peck is part of a team (with the wonderful David Niven and Anthony Quinn) whose purpose is to destroy one of Germany's big guns on the island of Navarone, so that British war ships won't be bombed while trying to navigate the Mediterranean. If you love action or war films, you will not be dissapointed, even in this day and age.

Peck also stared in Moby Dick, Cape Fear (still better than the remake) and of course, To Kill a Mockingbird, which won him his Oscar.

His most underrated film is On The Beach, which teams him up with lovely Ava Gardner again (they were in Hemmingway's Snows of Kilimanjaro together). This is a film that not many have seen but I reccommend you drop what you are doing and go rent it now. This is a film that sends shivers down your spine, gives you nightmares for days and makes you realize that life as we know it can end any minute, beyond our control. It makes you want to live your life to the fullest and pass a copy of the film onto George W. Bush, Tony Blair, Stephen Harper, Kim Jong and every other world leader. It is a film that will leave you feeling full of dread but you owe it to yourself to watch it anyway.




Much later on, Peck was in the controversially brilliant The Boys From Brazil. What was this 1978 film about? Well, the cloning of Hitler. "(The boys from Brazil) are young boys all bred from genetic skin grafts taken from the body of Adolf Hitler during the war years. In Paraguay, in the '70s, one of Hitler's most feared accomplices, Josef Menegele (Peck), has been toiling away in a jungle laboratory trying to breed young Hitler clones." Once again, Peck took a departure from Handsome leading man, to play a twisted and insane villain.

Sadly, Greg Peck made less films as he got older (though was in the remakes of Cape Fear and Moby Dick), even though he was quite a good-looking man for his age (despite his shock of white hair and black-as-coal eyebrows) and was in good health.

Gregory Peck died in June of 2003, one of few surviving Hollywood legends. Sigh. And now it's slightly disturbing that I am in love with a dead man.

Next up on my Favourite Old-School Movie Idols: Jimmy Stewart. What's not to love?