Notes · · Tucson

Eye Exam

If you are disappointed with the results of your eye exam, Hiram can take a photo of you with a mythical beast and remind you it could be worse.

Notes · · Hermosillo

The Herdsman and The Nun

Christmas Mass

Perhaps because I had mentioned how much I enjoyed Padre Jesus’ no-nonsense masses in the past, my mother-in-law this year took us to his 7:00 O’clock mass at San Esteban, the Goldilocks chapel—not too rich, not too poor. We arrived early enough to get seats in the middle of the room. The sermon in a nutshell: So much trouble is caused by people trying to be powerful. People say they want peace on earth and then they try to get it by being powerful and that never works. When everyone is trying to be powerful, there isn’t much peace. If you want peace, as God wants, it’s easy. Be humble and do your job. “The sheperds of the Christmas story weren’t trying to be powerful, they were tending their sheep. They were doing their job.”

Ho hum. It turned into “Do as you are told.” so quickly. Last year’s cold cow spit communion was easier to swallow. But there was singing and hand clapping (welcome because it muffles those bratty tambourines) and there was a nun in the pews, styled like a nun in an old movie or on a bottle of Mexican egg nog. We both looked a little out of place in this crowd of dark-haired and dressed-up worshippers. I was a tall gringo wearing a cheap blue sweater. She was the kind-faced older woman in a habit and a worn brown robe. I wanted to ask her for a photo, but I talked myself out of it, which I have been doing more often than not this year. Ho hum.

Notes · · San Cristóbal de Las Casas

Regálame Rambután

A wheelbarrow of rambután in the market

Wheelbarrows of rambutan in the municipal market of San Cristobal de Las Casas

Rambután for sale from the back of a car
Weighing rambután
Rambután opened to show the semi-sweet pulp

A handful

The fruit of the Rambutan tree is fuzzy, red, and about the size of a golf ball. It’s native to Malaysia, but recently it has become a valuable crop in southern Mexico and Central America. People in Chiapas crack open the husks and snack on the semi-sweet white pulp everywhere—on the street, in cars, and on the small buses that go from town-to-town.

Rambután meets the music of Barry White

Notes · · Tucson

Two Hits for the Price of One

Want to know which Pet Shop Boys song I like the most? All of them. All of them, all of them, all of them. All of them except “It’s a Sin”, which is like “Love Shack” if Pet Shop Boys were the B-52’s. Another thing in this world that flusters me because I cannot understand its popularity.

Notes · · Tucson

Watermelon, Watermelon

Watermelon, Watermelon

The next time you find yourself forgetting the words to the song you are lip synching in an important cabaret act, just mouth the words watermelon, watermelon over and over until you remember. Only other fakers will know the difference. Unless you are in a Spanish speaking place. Then you should probably substitute guayava for watermelon lest you be discovered.

Notes · · Tucson

Everyday is Christmas

Disappointed a monsoon did not happen in my parts this hot afternoon, I distract myself by meditating on what Sade's 1985 single The Sweetest Taboo might sound like if interpreted by trained collies.

Notes · · Puerto Peñasco

First Beach Day, 2015

Young man walking with fishing rod in surf

We thought we’d go to nearby beach Las Conchas for just a couple hours and then come home and get work done on weekend projects. The fresh ceviche tostadas and cold beer abided by our strict terms, but the sunburns took longer than expected and ultimately all we had time for when we got home was a nap.