Tuesday, December 18, 2007

what do you expect?

not much from me, if you actually read this. i haven't updated. life is busy. but i did want to say that with the approach of the new year, i have one more book to read toward my 25 ... and i'm in process of reading two with a few days off for the holiday during which i'll be roommate less and sorta bored, so finishing one of those book is pretty likely! and if not, i should at least get an A for effort.

my counterpart -- the much more motivated hugh gilmore who inspired this challenge -- is on his 98th book of the year, with the goal of reading 100. good luck to him!

happy holidays!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

a lil update

ok, it's been a while again, but i'm back for a bit.

on saturday, Mugshots held its first-ever charity run and it went swimmingly! we had about 30 runners and raised $650 for back on my feet, which was so exciting for me! it's not a huge dent in their goal to $50,000, but hey, it's something, and it was certainly lots of fun. more photos are avilable here.

also, i'm on book 22 in my goal of reading 25 by the end of the year. i've been slacking a bit because life is busy, but i'm working hard at it. the last one i read, ask the dust by john fante, was a suggested reading by hugh gilmore who writes for the local. i liked it -- it felt like i was reading the catcher in the rye of writers in their 20-somethings, but this guy, arturo bandini, was less crazy. it was good though. now i'm on naked lunch by william burroughs, a book that basically seems to be about drugs and being addicted and in a cloudy haze of that addiction. we'll see.... so far it seems better than the stupid million little pieces, which i didn't enjoy (granted,i only read the first few pages, but that is because i didn't want to go further). that selection is based on its mention in the perks of being a wallflower. i'll let you know how it goes :)

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

oh to fly away....

oh i've been given the traveling bug! now that i don't mind flying, i can't wait to escape again. i'm itching. i'm pawing. i'm yearning to fly away from here to .... somewhere. oh it would be lovely. it doesn't help, either, that i work with a guy who just up and left for new zealand and ireland on his own, and lived there for months on his own. i'm so jealous. he said there were girls traveling alone and i hate to be "this girl" but as a female can i up and do that on my own? (i think so *wink*)

anyways, i'm at least going to save up now for next summer's vacation. i want to fly away from here -- the destination yet undetermined. i hope to make it worth it though (whatever that means -- hmmm).

in the meantime, i might fantasize about flying away ... a girl an dream, but can she get the guts?

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

is reading twain cheating?

is reading mark twain's tom sawyer cheating in the 25 list of books? i don't think so ... not any more than a wrinkle in time i guess, plus i've never read tom sawyer, believe it or not. i was just talking about this with erin (photographer at the Local) today, because there are many classics i missed out on reading because of switching from catholic school to public and changing levels in school and whatnot. for example, i read lord of the flies and catcher in the rye on my own, and now tom sawyer. i missed out on 1984 -- which i've read -- and animal farm, which i purchased to read, today.

by the way, though i love borders book store, please seek out book sales. i just bought 12 books today for $3.50. can you believe that? i got classics such as hemingway and orwell, and the newer apparently very good memior naked. very excited to get to all of them, and they cost only a quarter or 50 cents. and better yet, some have that old musty book smell and others have notes in the margins or doodles on the front covers, likely done by a bored student in class. it just makes reading these pieces feel like not only are you learning and growing, but you are continuing something that already started -- sharing in the experience, even if that sharing was in the past.

read on, my friends.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

thoughts after the trip.....

i waited til after i returned home from vacation to write this about my trip ... it's a much different tone than the fun mentioned below....

jorge, our tour guide on the way to tulum, stands in front of about 30 vacationers on the bus. some passengers, in their white linen, super-star sunglasses and wide-brimmed straw hats doze while he speaks. others chat with their neighbors. others genuinely listen. but before he speaks about the mayan ruins we're about to visit, and before he shares the history of the mayans who are still very much a live today, jorge thanks us all. he thanks us for allowing he and his fellow mayans and mexicans to serve us on our vacation because our trips, our visiting the palace resorts, is sending his children to school and putting food on his and many other mayan families' tables.

i think this was a genuine expression of appreciation, and i imagine it made some of that buses' passengers feel good on the inside, but all i kept wondering was whether jorge, and raul (who brought us drink after drink at the bar) and christina (who greeted us by name when we entered the restaurant) were ever waited on. did they ever kick back by the crystal blue water of the pool, have a cerveza and watch their children ply gleefully in the water? i don't think that happened for them, yet here they were greeting us happily (or seemingly so) each day, sharing with us and providing us something they were never able to obtain.

i took a few photos on our taxi ride back to the aeropuerto, but as you can imagine they didn't come out well, so hopefully i can explain the vast difference i witnessed in passing the beautiful resorts and small mexican towns.

as you can see in the photos below, the resorts of riveria maya are beautiful. the beaches are white, the water is teal, and the pools and resorts' grounds are so well manicured, you'd never be able to tell the difference between a florida resort and one in mexico. it have been in any resort town -- from Florida to Spain. it really just had the generic feel of being at a classy vacation destination. i feel i missed out a bit, not experiencing the real mexico.

but while i didn't experience it, i did witness it. driving between resorts, i saw one of two things. i saw either amazing archways of other resorts and the construction of another future amazing archway ... or i saw the real towns, where the residents lived while they weren't working at the resorts.

just outside the gates of a resort, the "forest" was unkept and wild. cement blocks, downed trees, cast-away stones and more were piled just outside the view of those visitors who choose only to focus on the resorts' large archways. it was easy to ignore the mess as you drove through those immense gates into a heavenly paradise.

but beyond that mess was more -- there were forest and trees, broken up by little towns of huts and occasionally larger, bustling towns with old, broken down bodegas and other shops that were interspersed with large chains including -- and i'm not even joking -- Office Depot and Sam's Club (with their signs in English!). small cars and bikes carried the residents to their destinations, and i saw many sitting in the back of pick up trucks -- i was shocked at the stereotype played out before my eyes.

we also drove past two or three military wagons with camo-uniformed soldiers carrying very large guns on their laps -- something you'd never see in america today, and something that shocked me but seemed the norm to the residents of these towns which the militia drove through.

the world outside the resorts -- the real mexico -- was entirely different from that of inside the resorts, and i felt myself wishing i could have a cerveza at the local bar rather than the "exotic" pool side. and it amazed me that the only way we could help these people is by vacationing in the extravagant resorts situated next to their run-down homes -- it reminded me of charities that host expensive galas to raise money for a good cause -- when the entire expense of the party could have been donated to the cause.

i understand that's life, but something about it just didn't seem right.....

Monday, September 3, 2007

adios mexico!

at the aeropuerto waiting for our flight ... caye is whining in my ear, which is lovely, and i had to check in my carry on because i brought tequila and wine in it and you aren't allowed liquids on the plane. sigh. but we went through security and bag check in muy rapido, so we have time to wait ... i might end up taking a nap, but then i might miss seeing the muchacho muy guapo that may be on the same flight as us. hmmmm.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Mexico: Sunday, Sept. 2 at Tulum

tulum, only 25 minutes from our resort, was definitely the best part of this trip. it's a mayan ruins that was built around 500-550 ad and lived in for about 1,000 years (according to our awesome tour guide, jorge). it was not only facsinating to see this walled in former mayan village (they REALLY protected themselves, with a coral reef out in the ocean we could see the waves breaking on -- apparently the second largest in the world right now! -- and zigzag trails with entrances that allowed one person to pass through into the town at a time ... it was fascinating!) but it was also beautiful beyond anything i've seen in a long time. the water and beach and the entire thing naturally looked liked what i would see in a screen svaer or postcard. i purposely did nothing to these in photoshop except make them small enough for internet so you could see what i saw. enjoy!!!!!

buildings of the old mayan town -- look at that lookout tower ... takes my breath still every time i see it.

these are all scenes from the cliff -- again, not allowed down on the beach (grrrrrrrr) but ... just look.

jude and i saw a living in the wild pelican flying by -- i was hoping he'd swoop down and fill his beak with water and potential fish, but we were not fortunate enough to see that. i was fortnate enough to grab this pic though. and we found TONS of lizards. one guy stared me down (and another bit dad!)

there was a large flea market, but we didn't go shopping there -- we hit a legit mayan market on the way home -- gina and i did, however, need to get a photo with this interesting looking fellow!