It Is Hereby Resolved

I had been giving some thought about writing something like unto a Year in Review post. Then it occurred to me that the year I was going to review has already come and gone. I probably should have written that post a month ago…

Not only that, but anything of even passing interest that happened to us last year has already been documented in this blog. And everything else in the world has already been reported by other people. So, why bother?

There’s a couple of more reasons why I didn’t get around to doing it. One, it was the holiday season, and there were all those Hallmark Christmas movies to watch. We actually celebrated this Christmas. We had guests. We were busy going out to eat, sightseeing, shopping and showing them around, doing, you know, touristy stuff.

Two, I was actually busy doing guy stuff. I’ve been building things in my workshop. Everything I’ve built is storage related. I converted a coat closet in the hallway into a linen closet. I built a bunch of shelves in my workshop. I made a huge honker of a storage cabinet for the car port. I’m hardly a master craftsman, but the stuff I’ve built is solid and sturdy. It’ll last for years, unless the termites get to it.

I think there’s a law that states, The amount of stuff you have will automatically expand to fill the available storage space you have. We’re going to have to keep an eye on that. We have a lots of closets and shelves here. The last thing we need to do is collect more stuff.

I’ve also been working on maintenance projects around the house, and trying to keep up with our kit-tens. Mika has become very good at sneaking out onto the patio. She has the timing of a blitzing safety and hits the doorway just as I open it. Lea says she doesn’t have that problem with the kit-tens. They probably know better than to piss her off.

They’re also the reason I’ve had so many maintenance projects. I’ve had to repair all of the screens on the patio doors, and I’ve had to kit-ten proof a lots of stuff.

Kit-tens, like sand on the beach, get into everything! If they weren’t so cute and adorable, I’d trade them in on a herd of chickens and a chicken-herding dog. Mika and Mollie probably know I’m bluffing when I tell them that. They know Lea would never allow it.

Have you ever tried to get a kit-ten out of a chimney flue? Those were the first things I kit-ten proofed. We’re going to have to take a trip to Guadalajara soon to buy new lamps for our bedside tables in the master bedroom. Some heavy-ass lamps. Made out of boulders. And tree trunks. And sheet metal.

And I know the kit-tens aren’t malicious with the mischief they get into. They simply have an endless curiosity and way more energy and agility than anything that…domesticated…needs.

I believe our kit-tens have become the fulfillment of the curse my mother put on me, back when I was young and constantly getting in trouble. Wait until you grow up and have kids of your own. They’re going to be just…like…you! I thought I had outsmarted my mom, but it looks like she’s finally getting her revenge.

Some of you might say, Hey, wait a minute! Don’t you and Lea have kids? Lea has children. Gwen and Abigail. I have stepdaughters. They’ve rarely given me any headaches, and neither of them have ever gotten stuck in a chimney flue.

Additionally, there was golf. Well, something like unto golf…  My game hasn’t gotten any better. It probably hasn’t gotten any worse either, though I have developed an affinity for hitting trees of late. Especially on the fifteenth hole. The fairway is lined by a miniature forest of mature trees on both sides.

I think I’ve hit almost all of them the last three times I’ve been on the golf course. It’s possibly been a preview of what Hell will be like for me…

The final reason I decided not to write a retrospective on 2018 is probably the most compelling. I can’t remember what happened last week, let alone last January. That, more than anything else, convinced me to write about, well, anything else.

There were a few items of importance that happened last year that even I couldn’t forget. One of my work daughters, Nancy Rodriguez, got married. Nancy is an attractive, young latina from Yuma, AZ. Jake, her husband, is from Whitebread, WI. She has the most alabaster-sounding name in the history of Caucasianality.

Mrs. Holmberg.

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She probably looks like my second grade teacher and smells like cheese curds now. Ay chingao.

My other work daughter, Brea Brichta, got knocked up.

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That’s Brea and her husband, Charlie. My darling pseudo-daughters. I love and miss them both. I hope 2019 is kind to them.

* * * *

A lots of people make New Year’s resolutions. This is going to be the year they stop doing annoying stuff and start doing better stuff. You know, quit smoking. Start working out at the gym. Stop getting stuck in chimneys. Stuff like that.

I’ve never broken a New Year’s resolution, mainly because I’ve never made one. When I was a nurse, I was often asked if I wanted to go back to school and get my degree. I replied, “No, I have no desire to improve myself.”

My bosses usually didn’t see the humor in my response.

It’s not like I don’t have room for improvement. I doubt any of us look at ourselves and think we’re perfect. So, why don’t I make any New Year’s resolutions? Because I’d probably last about two weeks if I committed to making any lifestyle changes.

Historically, my life has changed, and then I adapt to it. I’ve made two conscious life changes that I can think of. I quit chewing my fingernails, and I quit drinking. Neither of those things happened on New Year’s Day.

Many, if not all New Year’s resolutions are health conscious decisions. I’ve rarely done anything to take care of myself, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Kind of by accident, Lea and I are both living a healthier life, without making a bunch of lifestyle changes.

The food is healthier here simply because it’s fresh, and not overly processed like it is in the States. We don’t go to the gym, but we stay active. Our stress levels are almost non-existent. Life is very good down here.

There just aren’t a lots of things that I feel I need to accomplish anymore. Back when I was gainfully employed, there were a few times when I wanted to win the Lottery, but I’m pretty sure that’s not something you can make a resolution to do. I probably have more money than I’ll need to live out the rest of my life comfortably, and if I get dead before Lea, she’ll be a Mexican multimillionaire.

But, don’t you want to live a long life? I have. That’s why I’m old. That’s how it works. I’m far more interested in quality than quantity.

It is hereby resolved that I’m not going to do anything to fuck up the near perfection of my life. The bottom line is If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Mexico

Hey, loyal reader. How’s it going? I hope all is well with you.

I’m a bit more focused of late, I think. It’s hard to tell with me, even for me. I’ve actually been busy for the last week, so I haven’t had as much time to idly ponder the vicissitudes of life. Or kumquats. I haven’t even been thinking about golf!

I played golf last Saturday with Todd and Phyllis, and I shot the best round of golf I’ve had in probably twenty years. So, I figure I just have to keep doing whatever it was I did on Saturday and in a couple of years I probably won’t suck at golf as much as I do now.

It may not sound like much of a plan, but that’s pretty elaborate for me.

Todd is my lovely supermodel wife’s boyfriend, and he’s back in town. I should probably qualify that statement. Todd and Lea have known each other since junior high. And as Lea pointed out, if I can have three wives, there’s no reason why she can’t have one boyfriend.

Todd and Lea have been good friends for something like unto forty-five years. They never dated each other, which might be one reason why they’re still very good friends. At any rate, Todd came down to visit us last year, and we all had a blast. I told him he was welcome back anytime.

Todd has been here for a week, and he’s staying for at least one more. Lea and Phyllis have a lots of fun things planned for Todd while he’s here. Todd and I are ready to jump into action whenever Lea or Phyllis tell us we’re going somewhere. In the meantime, we watch the NHL playoffs in the evening and talk about Guy Stuff.

It’s something I don’t get to do much of anymore, so that’s been a lots of fun.

Todd lives in Northern Idaho. He’s almost a Canadian, eh. The weather in the Lakeside area has been a welcome change for him from the everlasting winter of 2018. It was 28° in Idaho last Wednesday, the day he arrived. It was 82° here.

Todd has been smiling a lots for the last week.

He brought a lots of goodies from the States. Stuff for Lea. Stuff for Phyllis. And he brought me a Rocketfish Universal Wireless Rear Speaker Kit, which performs perfectly, and balance has been restored to the Force once more. My stereo actually sounds better than it did before.

And there’s one more thing Todd brought back to Mexico. Hummingbirds. We had thousands of hummingbirds at this time last year. My lovely supermodel wife loves hummingbirds. We were refilling two feeders three times a day. Lea thought she was going to spend all of our savings on sugar to feed her hummingbirds.

Then, one day last year, for no apparent reason, damn near all of the birds vanished. We were down to maybe four birds for several months, and my lovely supermodel wife was bummed to the max. But when Todd returned, so did the hummingbirds. We’ve had hundreds of them at our feeders for the last few days.

Todd isn’t the only one who has been smiling a lots of late.

* * * *

In 1975, James Taylor sang a song about Mexico. Maybe you remember it. I do. It was called Mexico. Imagine that. It got a lots of radio play back in the day. I played it on my new and improved stereo system the other day. Unlike Sweet Baby James, in 1975 I wasn’t thinking about Mexico. I wasn’t planning on ever moving here, or remotely contemplating even visiting the place. I don’t think I was even planning on doing either of those things as recently as 2015, and yet, here I am.

Someone at the golf course explained it this way, “Ajijic calls to certain people, and if you’re meant to be here, everything just falls into place for you.”

That was certainly the case for my lovely supermodel wife and I. The opposite appears to be equally true. We’ve met a few people whom Ajijic didn’t call, but decided to move here anyway. They hated it here and are leaving or have already left. Those people are the exception, not the rule. I almost wish Ajijic would stop talking to strangers, but she is a very friendly village…

Mexico is both more and less than what I originally thought it would be, not that I had much of an idea of what it would be like before we visited here the first time. It’s much more diverse than I imagined it would be in population, culture and landscape. It’s a melange of color, music and gastronomic delights. Mexico is like unto the Minnesota State Fair, except it’s like that everyday here.

The image I chose to illustrate this installment is an accurate depiction of the festival life here. Mexico can party with the best of them, and with a style and class that is truly second to none.

But if you think this is going to be a promotional essay on why you should move here, it’s not. You shouldn’t move here. Don’t even come to visit. The roads are terrible. The weather sucks. Everyone speaks an incomprehensible language and they hate foreigners.

Stay wherever it is you are. You’re better off there.

* * * *

We’ve been showing Todd around the Lakeside area, going out to eat at some of the fine dining establishments. You know, actually getting out of the house. I’ve been posting a lots of pictures of the places we’ve visited and the restaurants we’ve patronized on my Facebook page. As a result, I’ve accidentally become a local Google Maps guide, and my photos have been viewed almost a quarter of a million times.

Yes. It’s true. I’m kind of a big deal. Kind of. Maybe.

Being virtually famous hasn’t changed me in the least. I’m still the same self-absorbed, superficially introspective mystic that I’ve always been. That’s because being virtually famous is essentially the same thing as not being famous at all. I don’t have crowds of adoring fans. I don’t have to wear a disguise if I decide to go into the village. I have yet to sign so much as even one autograph!

I should probably thank Social Media for making me the semi-legendary non-sensation that I’ve become, but why?

I’m sure I spend more time on Facebook than I need, but a few of my virtual friends are massively pregnant, and will probably deliver any day now. I wouldn’t normally describe a pregnant woman that way, but I don’t think any of them read my blog. Not on a regular basis anyhow. If I’m wrong, I’ll probably find out very soon…

One of my work daughters and all time favorite people just got married. Congratulations to Nancy and Jake. She was radiant on her wedding day. And that dress…  Holy mutha!

A couple of my friends and former co-workers are going to nursing school. They’ll make excellent nurses once they graduate. I’m happy for them.

I’m becoming less tolerant of the posts I’m willing to be exposed to on my FB page, and I’ve been making the really annoying people disappear. Too much drama. Too much use of the word nigga. I really can’t handle that shit. My generation grew up during the Civil Rights movement. It was a time when a whole lots of people were willing to risk their lives because they were sick and tired of being called that name. It was a traumatic time for my generation and the entire country.

It’s sad to say, but I don’t think some young people now are aware of that fact. And if they are, they don’t seem to care. I find that thought to be even more disturbing than my original disturbing thought.

Be that as it may, I haven’t had this many best friends that I’m never speaking to again since I was in grade school. Given the times we live in, I’m not sure if that’s weird or just the way things are now…

* * * *

For reasons that I will never understand, I’m still semi-popular with single, unemployed, seemingly clueless, attractive young ‘Christian’ women of high moral standards who want to have a deeply personal relationship with a married grandfather figure that they’ve never met before. I hear it’s because of the hat I’m wearing in my profile picture.

I’ve become convinced that all of these girls are actually the same person because their stories are all the same. Seriously. Their parents are dead. Their last boyfriend cheated on them, and they just quit their job because their boss was sexually harassing them.

I don’t believe in coincidences, so I’m pretty sure one person is behind all of this, and that person is really a thirty-eight year old guy named Stewart who lives in his parents’ basement in Dubuque. He probably doesn’t have anything better to do. After all, it’s Iowa.

I’m from Minnesota. When we don’t have anything better to do, we make fun of Iowa…

* * * *

Perhaps you’ve noticed this: Life is a series of routines that change somewhat from day to day, year to year, decade to decade. School routine. Work routine. Weekend routine. Marriage routine.

Like it or not, we are creatures of habit. We find comfort in familiarity. We might complain about the monotony of our daily rituals, but deep down inside we’re not dismayed by them. We tend to like our routines, most of the time. Some of the nurses I used to work with actually worshipped them. Those nurses tended to work on the Night Shift.

“How was your day?” My lovely supermodel wife and I had that conversation almost every day for almost thirty years. It’s something we rarely have to discuss anymore because we spend pretty much every day together, so there’s not a lots of mystery regarding what either one of us are doing at any given time. It’s a good thing that we still like each other.

I’m sure I’ve fallen into a daily routine even in retirement. Granted, it’s much less regimented than it was when I was working. And that was mostly because of work. Employers are so unreasonable sometimes. They hire you, and then they expect you to show up and do your job, like, every day!

Almost everything I do now is dependent on whether I want to do it or not. I’ve never been my own boss before, so I’m really liking this new approach to doing stuff or not. I’m married, so, technically, I may still not be my own boss. Spanish lessons and doctor appointments are just about the only things I  go to no matter how I feel about them.

I’m not sure if learning a new language is ever easy. I have never been a slow learner before, but I am when it comes to Spanish. I took three years of French in high school, and I’m not sure I would’ve been able to speak to a French person and be understood, even back then.

I’ve been living in Mexico for roughly a year and a half. I can speak about ten sentences in Spanish now, and I have a buttload of random Spanish words bouncing around inside of my head. I’m getting to the point where I’m forgetting words in two languages. I’m becoming Byelingual.

Like unto my golf game, I figure the whole Spanish thing will fall into place if I don’t try to force it. Everything clicks at it’s appointed time. And if Ajijic called me here, it did so for a reason.

Perhaps someday that reason will be revealed. Hopefully, not in Spanish…  If someone comes up to me and starts rattling off a torrent of Spanish, and that happens more often than I like, I still get that Deer in the Headlights look in my eyes. But now I can tell them, in perfect Spanish, that I have no idea what the hell they’re talking about, which is probably kind of confusing to the person talking to me, now that I think about it.

Oh well, we’re at least on the same level then.

For good or for ill, I’m in Mexico for the long haul. I’m planning on leaving here the day after I die. And even then, I might hang around for awhile. There’s a huge City of the Dead in Mexico. The only downside I can see is you have to got dead to live there. Other than that, it looks like a nice place. I could live there, I think.

Unless you have to be able to speak more than ten sentences of Spanish in order to be admitted…

I hope I don’t have to discover the admission criteria anytime too soon. I’m kind of loving it here right now.

Fine Dining

Back before I became a nurse, and a married guy, my idea of fine dining was anything my mom cooked. Well, there was Prom. I went to three Proms, and I took my dates to really nice restaurants.

I doubt many high school kids read my blog, but you’re an young man in high school, and you’re planning on going to the Prom, don’t take your date to Denny’s® if you want to get laid. You’re not even going to cop a feel if that’s the best you can do.

My lovely supermodel wife would introduce me to the concept of fine dining, and fashion, and style, and taste. It’s safe to say I wouldn’t be anywhere near as suave and sophisticated as I’ve become if not for her. Provided I’ve actually become either one of those things. It’s hard to tell with me.

I’m not sure when my education in the Culinary Arts began, but I remember it as the first time we went to Morton’s of Chicago.

If you’ve never been to Morton’s, start saving some cash now, and make a reservation. You’ll probably need both, especially the cash. Fine dining doesn’t have to be expensive, but it’s rarely cheap, so keep that in mind.

Most fine dining establishments have a dress code, though that’s changing. But I would recommend getting dressed up. It should be a special experience, and you’ll want to dress accordingly.

Morton’s has an à la carte menu. It’s a French term meaning, ordered by separate items. I thought it meant from the cart because a very attractive young woman came to our table with a cart that had a lots of food on it, and that’s how we ordered our meal.

On her cart was an amazing array of steaks and vegetables, and the largest lobster I had ever seen. The very attractive young woman would pick up an attractive steak wrapped in clear plastic, and describe it in glowing terms.

It was the first time I had seen a presentation like it, and I was enthralled. The very attractive young woman was wearing a very stylish low cut black mini dress, and she had really big…eyes. I loved watching her bend over to pick up the next very attractive steak and describe it.

And I loved watching her catch the lobster.

Little Known Fact About Live Losbsters in an à la Carte Menu Presentation: lobsters can’t be trained to sit and stay, like a dog. The very attractive young woman explained that the lobsters were usually semi-frozen because a cold lobster tends to not try to run away, but she had been displaying steaks and stuff for awhile, and this lobster was pretty thawed out. All he wanted to do was get back to the nearest ocean.

So, the very attractive young woman with the really big eyes would hold up a very attractive steak and describe it in glowing terms, then reach for the lobster and put it back on a silver tray before it jumped off of the cart and scurried under the nearest table.

It was so darlingpreshadorbs, and I wouldn’t know that term even existed until I met my darling work daughters about twenty years later.

The very attractive young woman was able to complete her descriptions of the very attractive steaks, and keep the lobster from escaping by bending over a lots and placing the runaway lobster back on the silver tray.

I was actually praying the lobster would escape because I would’ve loved to have seen the very attractive young woman crawl on the floor trying to catch the lobster in that slinky, skintight mini dress she was wearing. I probably would’ve started throwing money at her, which my lovely supermodel wife told me would’ve been incredibly inappropriate.

And then the very attractive young woman showed us the vegetables we could order as side dishes.

“This is our baked potato. It’s from Idaho, of course.” she said, holding up a potato about the size of a fucking football.

“There’s no way I could eat that.” I replied, and ordered the broccoli. When my meal was served, I got two heads of broccoli. Clearly, conservation of resources isn’t a big priority at places like Morton’s.

I have dined at a lots of really exceptional restaurants over the years. The food is usually to die for, and the service is almost always beyond compare. I’m sure it was also expensive as hell. It’s called fine dining for a reason.

I’ve had better meals than the one I had at Morton’s. I’ve even had better steaks, which is my idea of Nature’s perfect food. But our experience at Morton’s is at the top of my list of great dining experiences.

I absolutely loved that presentation with the runaway lobster. And I still wish he had gotten away.