Monday, July 7, 2014

Manchas protecting the house even
though the ghosts are inside.
There's a ghost in our apartment. For the first several days that we were here I'd keep feeling like someone was standing behind me and looking over my shoulder, and I'd think I'd see things in the many mirrors this apartment has, then look closer and there'd be nothing. One night when I was home alone one of the giant mirrors fell off the wall and then last night the guardian angel painting that I mentioned in the last post also fell off the wall. Ghost?

Mono has a haunting story about his aunt that I just had him retell me so I'd get it right. It's a true story and it goes like this.

Once upon a time Mono's aunt thought that her husband was cheating on her so she went to a shaman. If you watch "The Real Housewives of Atlanta," which you should, you may have seen these magic-medicine-people cast fertility spells on Kenya. So Mono's aunt went to the medicine woman and asked her if she could help her figure out if it was true and with whom he was cheating. Plot twist: he was cheating with the shaman. 

Again, this really happened.

The shaman mixed up a drink and told Mono's aunt that it would help her husband fall in love with her again. She drank it up and immediately felt dizzy. The shaman asked her if she'd had any visions and told her that the dizzy feelings might last for awhile.

Aunt went home and things started to happen. It started out with odd behaviors when the family would pray before meals and at night when the aunt would bless the kids before they went to sleep. During both of those times she'd get very agitated and go into a bit of a frenzy as Mono's grandma said the prayer. Then it started to get worse to the point where she jumped atop and crouched on the table, shoveling food into her mouth during the prayer.

Things ended with the cheating husband and the aunt moved back in to the family home, where Mono's dad and uncles still lived. They put her in a room and hung pictures of saints on the walls, which she destroyed. One time Mono's dad brought in a picture of the Virgin Mary, framed and with a glass front. Mono's aunt crushed it, her hands all bloody with the splinters. On Palm Sunday the family brought the palms and laid them under her bed. They didn't tell her they were there, but instead of getting into the bed she started rocking back and forth on the floor. Later they got her in the bed and she wouldn't lay flat, instead arching her back because she said the mattress was burning her. The other thing the family said is that when you looked at her she had tiny crosses in her eyes.

The family tried to do a couple of exorcisms with a priest from the area and then later from the state and finally they had to have one come in from Mexico City. I guess that did the job but Mono says even now around thirty years later something is off with her. She's very submissive and will zone out of her surroundings pretty frequently.

Well. Sweet dreams!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Just a quick little update. 

After arriving almost two weeks ago I've quickly reinstalled myself into life down here. On my first full day back we boarded the ferry and went to Playa del Carmen because Mono needed something for his bike. It was my first time over there and made Cozumel seem small and home-towney. I ended up buying my own bike, which I haven't fallen off of yet. There she is, the little baby. 

Then after another day or two I'd had about ENOUGH of Mono's apartment, so we spent Sunday biking around town and looking for a new place. We found it, and we've been here for a little over a week now. Below is the angel that looks down on me every night as I sleep. That green thing isome fruit that Mono stole from the his old landlord's tree when the guy told him he wasn't giving him back hisecurity deposit because the lightbulbs had burnt out. The green spikey thing is a plant of some sort that came with the apartment and hasn't died yet. Beneath all of those is Manchas hiding under a little hammock chair because right now the cable guy is drilling holes in our wall and it's hella loud.

That's about it. I'm sweating my balls off here because it's hovering around 100% humidity. Mono and I sometimes go into the duty free shops and try on perfume and cologne to get some air conditioning. The cable guy just set up his ladder and placed his foot on the top part of our open front door to leverage himself onto the roof; I really hope he knowwhat the hell he's doing. Mono and I have been watching lots of World Cup games and going on some bike rides and walks, but not too much else since I just spent way too much on that bike and we're trying to save our dollahz.

Oh my, the cable guy's coming back down, hold your breath he makes it.

The wild animals that I've seen so far include 1. daily lizard sightings in the apartment, 2. two cockroaches in the apartment, one already dead and one I killed with a toilet brush, 3. lots of dead crabs on the sidewalk on my morning walks to the north, 4. a dead tarantula on same walk, 5. an endangered species iguana that Mono tried to catch and accidentally killed and then felt bad about himself.

Also I've had two job interviews, both for teaching online English to students in Russia. They're not full time hours it looks like and they both said it's loseason for students, so we'll see what I get for classewith them. 

The cable guy istill alive in case you were wondering. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

I am thinking a little bit about writing in here once in awhile just because.

The Great Separation of 2013-2014 is winding down, with just a week and a half left in the school year. Somehow the time passed, the new school supplies turned into inch-long pencil nubs and notebooks full of poetic accounts of first graders flying airplanes to mexico where they meet godzilla and manchas and then eat tacos with chocolate cupcakes on the side after that they went to the zoo and a shark broke out and ate sra. m and then school was cancelled and all the kids went to wisconsin dells the end.

We're still working on periods and proper capitalization.

What I have to look forward to in Mexico is unemployment, humidity up the wazoo and no air conditioning, an as yet unknown date in which Mono will leave for Texas for a month and a half, and the potential for cockroaches. BUT I'll be back in Mexico, back with Mono, and back with Manchas, who is currently being trained to run after Mono through the jungle or on the rocky beaches. This is what Mono is trying to teach her and I must say I do love it, I do, I do.

Monday, January 6, 2014

A little bit late but still in time to have a thought parade about 2013. I started disliking New Year's years ago because I'd look back at the year and think, that's it? What a lame year. I'm lame. Granted, this began I think maybe in middle school so perhaps I was being a bit hard on myself. It's hard to accomplish great things when you're 14 years old and only have 7 minutes of passing time with which to grab your books for next period, go to the bathroom, and facilitate world peace. The world is still at war but at least for my own part the past few years have been more enjoyable compared to age 14. 2013 wasn't my favorite, though.

This year Mono and I were at the same house we'd visited the last three years, although with different owners. It was a typical Mexican gathering, at least compared to the ones I've been to. The men were attempting to set up the grill, absolutely ineptly. I'm not sure what the problem was because of course I was seated along with the other women, tending to the children. One of the little girls had a squirt gun and I told her to go spray Mono in the butt, which she did, and then we were best friends. This house is also noteworthy for being the scene of a murder a couple years ago. A woman was cheating on her husband, and the husband, who was a cop, shot and killed her before doing the same to himself. He left a one-year-old baby.

FYI Mom and Dad, this is not at all typical in Cozumel and yes, I was safe.

Anyway, year in review. I wish 2013 a peaceful farewell and am not sad to see it go. Sorry, not sorry. Peace out.

I am hoping for really good things in 2014. I've been sending out my resume and doing lots of research on jobs in Korea. It is going to be a big change for me and Mono's going to be completely out of his element and hopefully that's a good thing. We were grocery shopping when I was down in Mexico and he said that he hoped they had flour tortillas there, and not corn tortillas. And I'm like, honey, guess again.

In other news, I saw the javelina again, and he's grown. Remember this cute thing? In the picture on the left? He's living on the base and he's big now, and has fangs. Also did you know that javelina's have a little hole on their back to spread their flava flave? I was petting it with a stick because the fangs, they kinda scare me, and I came across what appeared to be a nipple. But instead of shooting out milk it shoots out odor in order to identify itself to members of its herd. This poor thing doesn't have any herd members except for the cat that also lives on base.

And in keeping with the animal theme I got to babysit this little guy Eddie on his way home to the United States. A woman from Brainerd had seen his photo online six months ago, back when he was just the skinny, ring-wormed thing you see in the bottom left oval. I wanted to keep him for mahself but since Manchas will be making the trip herself in a couple months, I let the little lamb go.

 That's all. Happy 2014 full of success and happiness and enough flour tortillas to make up for the ones we won't be eating in Korea.

Friday, December 27, 2013

At a certain point I start to feel
silly making these kinds of announcements, but dooh da dooh, can you hear the trumpet call?

Mono found out yesterday that he can ask for extended leave from the military so that we can see if there's a better fit for us outside of Mexico. He still doesn't have a visa for the States yet, so that's out, but I can be his sugar mama if I get a job teaching English or Spanish elsewhere. He needs to study, since he doesn't have a Bachelor's degree, but if he can focus on that while I'm bringing home the bacon we should eventually maybe possibly be able to plan for a move to the U.S. one day.

In the meantime I have to look for jobs. No, I mean in the meantime I'm drinking my body weight in margaritas and then when I get back to Minnesota I'll be looking for jobs and sending my resume out to the universe and all its goodwill hint hint points for positivity.

I'm pretty excited about this, I have to say. I feel like my time traveling was cut short when I met Mono and although I obviously wouldn't change that, I'm tentatively thrilled about the idea of setting out on another adventure, this time together. I'm also nervous because it's a big move for both of us and now it's two people hanging on the teeter-totter instead of just one.

Yesterday Mono called the powers that be at work to find out if taking a leave was possible. One of the captains overheard him and called him into his office and they ended up talking about it for three or four hours. He advised Mono to leave for reasons of stability and money and family and everything. He told him a terrible story about when his kids were born which I won't repeat because I don't think I'm officially supposed to comment on those things, but oh my dear.

He also said "grab yourself by the balls and hold them tight, and when you think it's difficult, grab even tighter." Meaning man up and be brave. So I guess I'll be ball grabbing myself as well (or something) and see what else life has in store. Bring on 2014!

Monday, November 25, 2013

This is not for any of your viewing pleasure. This is an experiment for myself to see if I can make a reasonable list of things for which I'm thankful. Tis the season, right? Mostly I'm a grouch so I genuinely want to know if I can do this. Plus I've read somewhere or maybe heard it on Oprah, that it's good to do such a thing every once in awhile. Practice gratefulness and love life. 

These won't be in any particular order, but that doesn't mean that number 1 isn't in it's rightful place. I'm going to write them down as they come to me.

1.) I'm grateful there are no cockroaches in Minnesota. At least that I've seen and that's good enough.
2.) I'm grateful for Facebook. I mean that for real. Facebook chat is my primary means of communication with Mono.
3.) On that note, I'm grateful for Mono.
4.) I'm thankful that Cozumel isn't located in Siberia.
5.) I'm thankful that even on days when the kids are naughty little devils, I can call them little eggs or something else equally hilarious, and they'll smile and be cute and the battle for control will be lost and gone forever. ¡¡A huevo!!
6.) I'm grateful for my baby Manchas the cutest thing alive ever with cute teeth and cute manchas and cute toes that are painted to match mine when I'm in town and she's so cute oh yes what a cutie pie.
7.) I'm grateful that when Manchas had a tick growing out of her head it wasn't discovered until I was in Minnesota. 

Manchas had ticks. We sprayed the apartment but we (I) kept finding them on her (and me!! agh, dreadful!) and we (I) burned them then pulled them out of her hair. The reason I did it was that Mono was a clumsy fool the first time he tried. He used some kind of pliers which he'd heated up in the flame, then he smooshed the garrapata and pinched it in half, and also burned Manchas' skin where the tick had been.

Or so we thought. Manchas started to grow this scab, which I thought was scar tissue from the burn. It was irresistible and black and ugly and I picked at it with my fingernails because I thought it should come off, but also, hellooo, it was a scab and I couldn't help myself. I'd aways stop short when I got through the first layer and it started to bleed. 

Then when I came back to Minnesota.. this is innovation and it worked out for the best but let me tell you I don't approve of this approach. Mono took scissors - the same scissors we use to open up our boxes of milk - and snipped off the scab. I hope he washed them. Inside was that tick, alive and growing in the skin of poor Manchas' head.

I'm grateful I was gone because I googled pictures of 'tick burrowed in skin' and blechh.

8.) I'm grateful that when I go to Zumba and a Latin song comes on, I feel a little bit like home.
9.) I'm grateful that I'm slowly but surely making gains on paying off my student loans this year. 
10.) I'm grateful that my family lets me crash their pad even though I'm 26 mother-effer years old and really shouldn't be living at home now.
11.) I'm grateful I get to go visit Nicole in a few days.
12.) I'm grateful it's a short work week because I've been sleeping like zeero.
13.) I'm grateful for shipping within the U.S.A. and the pile of books I've been accumulating from Amazon.
14.) I'm grateful for a diversity of experiences and this year counts as one of them.
15.) I'm grateful for happy hour, although it's been some time since I've been to one of those guys.
16.) I'm grateful for Raid.
17.) I'm grateful for the sun, when it's warm, and if that doesn't work out then at least when it shines.
18.) I'm grateful that Felix has a fluffy head and he lets me snuggle it.
19.) I'm grateful I started back at the gym this past year. Besides a brief stint riding the bike, all I'd done in the past probably 6 years is go on walks, with few exceptions. I miss my long walks while I'm here but I can kind of twerk! Let me explain it to you this way. Imagine some dad (hi Dad!) thinking he dances well, and doing it enthusiastically. That's what I do except it's twerking version. I have to be in the groove though, I can't just twerk on a dime. I also can't do it if any complicated arm movements are thrown in because that just ruins my concentration. Basically, I can put my arms out stiff like I'm balancing on something, and I imagine I furrow my brow a little bit to keep focus, and then I twerk it girl, twerk it. 

After doing some research in the interest of finding a photo or video, I realize I have some room for improvement, though.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lying in bed, scented candle resting on my chest (unlit), pajamas on (okay, so they have been all day but I've showered and it's a Sunday so give me a break).

I'm trying to learn how to relax more. Not just distracting myself with the computer or a book or the pile of work I always need to get to, and not just being lazy, but relaxing. I'm not sure I'm very good at this but I'm making efforts. I ordered a book of poetry, for goodness sake. I've read like four poems in my life, and two of those were Dr. Seuss.

I spend a lot of time stressing out about next year's plan despite it being impossible to figure out right now. Perusing job boards, considering my options for different cities near Cozumel, calculating how much money I should make for student loans and while I'm at it a trip to Indonesia. I never, ever thought I'd be here right now. When things with my Saudi job kept getting delayed indefinitely, I remember saying to Mono for the first time that I might have to leave, but I didn't actually believe it would come to that. And then a feweeks later that's exactly what happened, and I was here about three and a half months before I got to go back for a visit. That time when we said goodbye we knew it was going to be the longest stretch. Six months! I mean, that's just too much. But nowe're down to 34 days as of today and the time is crawwwling because it's in my sights but not here and I'm just waiting for my life to go back to normal.

Deep inhalation of candle...still 34 days.