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You Bet Your Sweet Swizzle Stick
Apr 28th, 2011 by Les

Paul McCartney (The Beatles)  said: “I knew the words to 25 rock songs, so I got in the group.  Long Tall Sally and Tutti-Frutti, that got me in.  That was my audition.”

“Someone asked me why women don’t gamble as much as men do, and I gave the commonsensical reply we don’t make as much money.  That was a true and incomplete answer.  In fact, women’s total instinct for gambling is satisfied by marriage.”  Gloria Steinem (Cosmo)

Did we have our first Sisterhood of the Minx meeting, you ask.  Even if you don’t ask I’m afraid you will have to hear any who. You bet your sweet swizzle stick we did!  Auditions deemed unnecessary, we decided all know a Minx when we see her and there was no doubt the day was filled with Minxettes galore.

Nine brave souls traveled to the San Pedro Restaurant and Gallery in West Ajijic Mexico to become the charter members of the Sisterhood of the Minx.

The morning, as most mornings do in our little corner of Mexico, started out with air that was crisp with gentle breezes off Lake Chapala and sunshine that promised heat as the day continued.  The ladies of the Sisterhood arrived a tingle with anticipation.  Okay, a bit much you say.  We all found the place – a good start to any gathering in my book.

Nothing was in order as planned.  Minxettes circled the art collection adorning San Pedro’s walls as Daniel, our host and owner of the restaurant frantically began to tear down tables in the restaurant proper and put them back up in the courtyard.  Though we would have preferred the round tables we ended up with what seemed like a mile long table.

As women we have learned the truth will set you free, however it first must piss you off.  Since none of us were in “pissed off” mode, humor and camaraderie was the theme of the day and the long table was received with a shrug and adaptation – something women do without thought.  Later in the afternoon we moved, as one, into the restaurant proper and availed ourselves of a table in the round.

We began with sharing a little about ourselves with leaps of imagination and dreaming of what can be we, as one, embraced the excitement of possibilities.  Realizing for women bras, panties, bathing suits and other stereotypical gear are visual reminders of a commercial, idealized feminine image that real and diverse female bodies can’t possibly fit, and preferring to be accepted on our own terms, we stop being comparatives and become unique.  Each of these women are unique with fascinating stories of life and tales of adventure as well as humorous thoughts on just why they ended up in the beautiful Lake Chapala area.

Sharing opened the door to the realization each of us had been in positions where we had taken life one day at a time, and acknowledging that often several days attacked us at once, we connected and almost instantly knew we would “become” at these Minx “whatevers” a force to be reckoned with.

My advise to women’s clubs everywhere is to raise more hell and fewer dahlias.  With that thought in mind we decided while wild horses couldn’t drag a secret out of most women, women generally don’t have lunch with wild horses.  Consequently, it was agreed, what happens in Sisterhood whatevers stays in Sisterhood whatevers.  We are chomping at the bit, to continue the horse reference, to hear more of the short tails our current Minxettes shared that sultry afternoon, but time got away from us and we needed to travel home.

Betty Grable (American actress) said: “The practice of putting women on pedestals began to die out when it was discovered that they could give orders better from there.”  It was decided there will be no formal structure to the group, most of us having had enough of that in the “real world”.  Libby will handle communication among the group and I will lend whatever to the meetings.

Bearing in mind Dolly Parton’s claim she was the first women to burn her bra and it took the fire department four days to put it out, the Sisterhood of the Minx will move ever forward. There will be no bra burning as of now, as I’m not sure where the Ajijic Fire Department is housed.  There will be no time to look back.  Moving forward, with wit, charm, intelligence, wacky and wonderful ideas the Minxettes will charm their way into the hearts of all with whom they come in contact.  To the future and beyond!  Viva Mexico and watch out for the Sisterhood of the Minx!

Below are photographs David took on yet another walk through the Village of Ajijic.  Enjoy!

Monochromatic Stop and Go Lights
Apr 24th, 2011 by Les

“I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I’m not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant.”  Robert McCloskey

“Confusion is the welcome mat at the door of creativity.” Michael J. Gelb

If the look on my face is that of confusion, never fear it is merely the look I get when I am thinking.  It doesn’t happen often; thinking that is, so not to worry it will pass quickly.

I have been driving more lately.  Talk about confusion.  Being confused by what I think should be obvious (for instance a stop and go light) ultimately thinking it is obvious, and finding out obviously it isn’t obvious is the norm whence trundling through the streets of Ajijic and surrounding environs. 

If you commit to driving an automobile here in our little village or nearby villages you must be prepared for, well, anything.  Becoming one with the car (I kid you not) is imperative.  A sense of control is not going to overcome you as you become used to the fact there is no norm.  Norm, I truly do not believe, has ever been a part of the driving experience in Mexico.  I mean really, I absolutely refuse to drive in Guadalajara.  Talk about a mad house.

However, I’ve been walking the village and riding with David and others (who, I might add seem perilously close to maniacal once behind the wheel) I began to feel if not at ease with the thought of driving at least capable.  Famous last words.

Merely getting on to the carretera is a hoot.  It seems if I am, for instance, going to go toward Chapala the line of cars is so tight you could sneeze and end up in Jocotepec – which is the opposite direction.  People do wave you in – always a thoughtful gesture.  What one must be ever aware of is a wave can mean many things to many drivers.  A car may come up behind you, suddenly appear on your right without a turn signal indicating their desire to go either direction.  So now we have two cars together, my right turn signal is on, the car to my right does not have a signal indicating anything when suddenly another car appears on my left edging out into the small space the person who has waved has left on the carretera (highway).  That is when I smile because I don’t know what the hell is going on.

So here we are, gridlock in Ajijic.  Engines are running, foot on the gas the car to my right turns left, I turn right and the car to my left shoots into the parking lot adjoining the street while the guy waving us on puts his head on the steering wheel.

I’ve made it to main street Ajijic.  Does a sense of relief envelop me when I hit the carretera?  You have got to be kidding.  Will Rogers said something like he represented the last of a vanishing breed, the pedestrian.  The fact that he was still here he owed to a keen eye and nimble pair of legs.  However, he knew they’d get him some day. 

Our village has many pedestrians – nationals and international alike, as well as horses, roosters, dogs, goats, etc.  Add to that the ever popular cobblestones (lovely to look at and an adventure in walking when one is upon them), stop and go lights without illumination (meaning the red light doesn’t work or the yellow light or the green light…or, for that matter… all three don’t work).  Then there are people turning down streets that have arrows (they are on the sides of buildings not on signs) showing two-way traffic when there isn’t enough room for one car and inevitably there is a car coming at you.  What happens next – you have cars going one way and cars backing into the cars going one way while the nimble footed pedestrians, animals and whatever dart hither and yon trying desperately to make it across the street while the un-illuminated light adds to the mass confusion.  Hysteria reigns supreme affecting not merely those of us enshrined in our mobile units but those out taking life in hand and attempting to cross the street.

I leave you with this thought: George Carlin said: “Have you ever noticed that anyone driving slower then you is an idiot, and anyone going faster then you is a maniac?”  In our village anyone driving at all has both tendencies and all must remember – stop and go lights are monochromatic in nature – meaning – no color and no illumination.  Enjoy the free –for –all and maintain a sense of humor for the people of Mexico have a welcome mat at the door encouraging us to drive creatively!  Viva Mexico!

Below are photographs David took on Good Friday in the Village of Ajijic:

Be Obscure Clearly
Apr 16th, 2011 by Les

Casey Stengel, American major league outfielder and manager, once said: “All right everyone, line up alphabetically according to your height.”

 From a recent article in the New York Times: “In his 2009 ‘Rolling Stone’ article, Matt Taibbi called Goldman Sachs a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.”  Say what you will about that description, but it does express a clear point of view. 

“Be obscure clearly.”  E.B. White, American Writer and Essayist

As you’ve all probably noticed my general all round conceptual view of life is not clear most things popping into my brain by an accident of extreme stupidity.   Consequently, what Casey Stengel said makes perfect sense to me and, not taking a political stand on what Mr. Taibbi said, I find the quote, while interestingly vivid, way too graphic. 

The very warm summer months are creeping into our little Mexican village.  Heck, all over Mexico.  I bumped into a friend the other day who is a Mexican national.  I asked if the temperature would continue to hover in the mid to high nineties for some time.  The response was an energetic nod of the head, wave of the hand and the words: “Va a llegar más y más caliente hasta junio ha terminado” – “it will get hotter and hotter until June is over”.

My first thought, I think I’ll thumb a ride on the Heart of Gold hoping it will blast off using the Infinite Improbability Drive and take me to cooler climes if not saner environs.  Here’s another case where a switch trips in my brain and brilliant thought boogies.  I’ve lived here long enough to know the shade is ALWAYS cool no matter how hot it gets.  There is not much air conditioning here as homes are built and situated on their lots, for the most part, allowing indirect light while keeping the house immensely cool even in the hottest of weather.

Pushing an obsidian strand of hair back into place (where did that color come from any way?), I conjure up options one might take to engender a cool feeling – not being hip – being thermally comfortable.  Not to appear pedantic however, query I must, how many of us run around in our skivvies?  Maybe more then I can wrap my mind around!  Granted, it may happen more in warmer climes – such as here.  Those of us from northern exposure zones would, the majority of the time, being wearing our woolies – our long woolies – no doubt about it. Here the least clothing one must wear the better.

I don’t know about you, one of my favorite scenes from the movies is a young Tom Cruise, in his underwear and pink dress shirt dancing to Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock and Roll”.  Be honest, how many of you haven’t tried to imitate that very scene!  

The other day, while shopping at Soriana’s (a wonderful store in Lake Chapala) they were celebrating a sale of something or other.  While I’m never quite sure what they are selling, no matter where you go….when there is a sale….there is music playing out of huge speakers so that you have no doubt something is on sale.  Accompanying this loud music are, quite often, pretty girls in micro tiny shorts and tops smiling up a storm.  I digress, any who we are traveling the aisles in Soriana’s when out of the blue comes “Old Time Rock and Roll”.  Picture this, a goodly number of natives and non-natives wiggling down the toilet paper aisle to the beat, adorned with humongous smiles and voices raised in…well I guess you couldn’t call it harmony but pretty darn close!

As the weather warms us, the fun loving smiles of most of the people we meet, no matter where they are from, brings a sense of joy to even the most cynical of hearts.  At that point, everything that is happening is obscurely clear,or should I say absurdly clear!  .  Viva Mexico!

Sisterhood of the Minx (aka Minxes of Mexico) will be celebrating – well just about anything – and having their charter meeting this coming Saturday,  April 23rd at Noon.  Please join us at San Pedro Restaurant and Gallery in West Ajijic.  Email me at les@boomerstomexico.com for directions.

 

If you’ve enjoyed David’s wonderful photography, please visit the BoomerstoMexico Photo Store at http://boomerstomexico.com/mexico-photos/ , to see more of the beauty of Ajijic Mexico in David’s photos. 

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