Saturday, February 25, 2012

Oh thank God, I'm done, I'm done.

Yes, dear friends, I quit. It's been a long time coming, but I finally hit my wall and made the decision to switch to a full-time stay-at-home doggie lover. My new job starts training in one week so I have plenty of time to listen to tortilla squeaks over the next seven days.

Carnaval is over. I had assumed it was going to be the Minnesota state fair in Mexico with the same population of gringos flooding the streets - this was, in fact, what had occurred to me on my first Carnaval night out over the prior weekend: I haven't seen this many pasty-looking people since I'd been to the Great Minnesota Get-Together. In any case I was determined to be appropriately annoyed and disdainful of the tourists and-thus-demonstrate-my-snobbish-superiority-as-a-local, but it turned out to be a lot of fun. On Tuesday night I canceled my night class and Mono, Juarez, and I headed down to the Palacio Municipal. Juarez played a rubber ducky fishing game and won an oversized fuzzy cigarette, with which he then made inappropriate jokes referring to dildos before graciously gifting it to some young innocent sipping his Coca-cola under a fair tent. The three of us continued on, bought our drinks, and began making our way down the chaos formerly known as the Malecón.

The Malecón is the road/sidewalk that you see in the picture above. It's the one area that cruise shippers see, and it's quite lovely and nice and has lots of bars and restaurants and souvenir shops and whatnot. On Tuesday night it was PACKED. As in every square inch. It has a divided two-direction road, and for several fun hours a continuous parade of floats made their way up and down. Lots of fun, not just waving douche-bags on a car, but salsa music and people getting there freak on aboard heavy machinery and beads and candy and whatnot. Mono, Juarez, and I were aiming for one chunk of friends, but we ran into another and spent the parade with them. This was the same group we spent Christmas with, so I re-bonded with the little girls and was invited in on all of their photo ops with sponge bob and the like, while their mothers posed next to overly-muscular men wearing speedos and high tops.

I saw a bunch of students and it made me kind of sad because I knew my demise at the school was imminently awaiting me. Also ashamed to realize they'ed seen me dancing, particularly since Mono and no one else in that friends chunk was dancing except me and the little girls. One of my students, Francisco, who's about 7-years-old I think, offered me beads and then kissed me on the cheek. Is that adorable or what? Never mind that earlier in the year I'd had to tape him to his chair so that he would just for gods sake hold still for two minutes. Ineffective, by the way, he ended up lying on his side, still in sitting position with the chair attached, but absolutely thrilled by the experience of it.

Anyway, as far as the work situation goes, I have my training on Thursday with the online company and I also sent out a resume for a job teaching primary at a school a bit outside of Moscow. I partly think this is just asking for misery and depression, but I have a secret longing to go and live in Russia
for a year and become and expert in Tolstoy and Dostoevsky and have a look at the mushroom headed cathedrals.

Now it's the end of the weekend which normally for me would mean lesson planning and being crabby in general (also happy hour at Jeanie's). But since my life has undergone a drastic transformation, I no longer have to work in the morning and can instead upon the good advice of my mother get entirely wasted and spend the following 24 hours in hangover hell while the rest of you poor bastards are busy being useful contributions to our greater global society. Manchas and I have other plans.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Slow start to the week with almost no one showing up to class due to Carnaval. It's supposed to be quite the occasion here in Coz, one in which you traditionally use up all your lard on hotcakes and commit of unsavory crimes of passion before going into hibernation throughout the course of Lent. On Cozumel so far it seems mostly to mean that even more tourists than usual are invading the Malecón in order to watch nightly parades and miscellaneous acts of debauchery.

Mine hasn't been nearly so wild. This weekend I went to a bar along the start of the parade route and had a few drinks + spicy cacahuates. The intention was then to go back home and pop open a bottle of wine, but while I was slaving away letting Manchas out to pee, Mono fell asleep. I then passive aggressively expressed my annoyance by sitting up another hour (10pm?) reading in the living room, until it became clear that since he was sleeping my efforts would be automatically rendered ineffective.

Until next time.

The plan is to go out tonight since it's the big hammy, motherlode, lunker-if-you-will. Fat Tuesday. Mardi Gras. I cancelled my 8pm class and tomorrow morning's at 8am, and am prepared for all chaos to ensue.

Yesterday I had my interview for Costa Rica. The woman I talked to was big-time stereotype but I'm not sure of what and anyway I'm sure she's nice on the inside. Rather negative about the job position though - she seemed to think it was hell on earth to spend your summer leading trips for spoiled North American adolescents. "Every group has that one kid who goes to boarding school and his parents ship him off to a foreign country for the summer and he's not in the least bit interested and he has a 'tude and hasn't successfully established the habit of deodorant." More or less she said that. Also leaders will want and deserve to drink excessively, but it's not allowed, and many group leaders stay after the programs end in order to travel alone - "really it's one of the only good things about this job."

Manchas wants attention.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Ok darling face

Much ado in the last little bit and much that makes me happy. I've been ever so miserable at work and had determined that I was desperate for a change so I've been trolling online for job openings in Chicago or somewhere around here or there or what have you. On Monday I had an interview with a company based in Riyadh and am now the happy new hire set to begin teaching English online to Saudis next month.

Pretty excited about this and also a little curious because it will be my first time both as an online teacher and as a teacher of English to Arabic speakers. For that matter it will be my first time teaching non-Spanish-speakers. I'm expecting good things, though, and can already tell that my supervisor is a million times better than her current counterpart.

This Monday I have another interview for a job as a high school trip leader to Costa Rica. That would be for the summer and of course it too would be quite delish. I imagine I'd be put in the Spanish immersion program and would get a new shipment of tweens every couple weeks or so to dazzle with my expert conjugation of the verb gustar. I think it's a long shot but we'll see.

I'm also waiting to hear back on an application I sent out a couple weeks ago for a Fellowship beginning this fall in Athens. It would be teaching English and in turn I could enroll in any of the classes at the university and would have free Greek lessons as well. I've been practicing my Greek alphabet and almost know all my letters.

The trip planned to Michoacán is currently being arranged. I have to figure out first if I'll have internet access to teach, and because of the time change to the Middle East, my classes are 11pm to 3am, meaning no internet café.

Then there's also Carnaval starting tomorrow evening.

Life here is pretty quiet. Monday through Thursday focused on work, Friday I have the house to myself while the boys are at work, then usually happy hour in the evening. The rest of the weekend is some whatnot or the other but usually not too crazy. Last weekend was a friend's birthday and he had a big party complete with a surprise performance from a mariachi band. I tried the chile salsa and nearly died, then made the mistake of clawing at my eyes in pain and spreading chile poison into them. They say that if you put a napkin in your mouth it will take away the heat and normally that works for me but in this case I was a goner. It occurred to me bread + milk = relief, so I was rubbing my tongue with birthday cake and vowing never to do such a thing again, while the guys were doing the same minus the vows and replacing them with more bites of the chile. Now I know that I tried that shit but I think I can't be blamed because I didn't realize it was poisonous and anyway it looked good like nice innocent green pico de gallo or something. But why do they do this to themselves? I like spicy, but I don't understand why. Is this an evolutionary thing? Masochism? Do I think this is an interesting commentary to be included on the update of my life? No, I do not. And yet I wonder.

Manchas is doing quite nicely. Last week she became a woman and was bleeding all over the house from her bum-hole. Pee outings became traumatic when a neighborhood's worth of strays would follow us eagerly at a barely restrained distance of nose to ass. Manchas spent two evenings at the school with me this week and of course everyone adored her because she's the most precious thing on the planet. Right now she's chewing quite noisily on tortillas I gave her and I think more likely it's the accumulation of both tortilla one and two because I'm telling you, I'm not sure how that squeak is possible and I think at any given moment I should be prepared to give her the heimlich. Fortunately when you type "heimlich" into google to check your spelling (I spelled it right), heimlich for dogs is the fourth search term to pop up and now I know but anyway the tortillas have disappeared and she's done squeaking so I think we're in the clear.

Also I'm issuing an official denuncia on my old landlord because he's a terrible human being. You would not believe the dickbag. I waited two months-ish to get my deposit from him because he was in Mexico City. Finally he comes back and Mono comes with me to talk to him because I know he's going to be difficult. Yeah, he's a machismo asshole prick and was so rude to me but fluttered his eyelashes like a bunny rabbit to Mono. He says he's only going to pay me a fifth of what he owes me though, only I'll have to come back a different day for the cash. Mono goes back the different day because I'm going to murder this guy, and now he's reduced it 40% and also nope, don't have the money today. Mono goes back the NEXT day, sees Guillermo in the window, calls out good afternoon (he promised me he'd only keep up the polite act until the money was forked over and then he'd call him out like the bitch he is). Only Guillermo the buttmunch goes and hides in his house and refuses to come outside. So I'm doing the denuncia and also sending very very bad karma thoughts his way.

All in all I'm in a much better mood today because of the job change, Guillermo notwithstanding. It's getting hot hot hot again so earlier today I got to use the pool at our apartment for the first time, along with of course a book and a dog in the perfect combination of outdoorsy bliss. In a couple hours I'm going to Jeanie's for happy hour and best of all the medicine I've been using to get rid of the fungus growing on the top of my left foot seems at least to be mildly effective. I have to sweep up the bedroom later today because it's littered with confetti scatterings of the various items Manchas rescues from the garbage can and tears into a thousand splendid pieces. The cutester has a penchant for finding the most harrowing bits of somethings in the garbage, so the weekend plans as well include the procurement of a close-top trash can.

I guess that's really all I have for now but please pay close attention to the wrinkles on Manchas' forehead because they make my heart drip with honey-flavored adoration and love. <3