Monday, April 30, 2007
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Saturday, April 28, 2007
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
Friday, April 20, 2007
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Monday, April 16, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
Friday, April 13, 2007
Thursday, April 12, 2007
I am extremely myopic. Blind as the proverbial bat, without my glasses. And yesterday, in the course of a single hour, I manged to break all three pairs.
The first pair fell on the floor and sprung its little screws. Of course, I couldn't find them without my glasses. So I put on the second pair, and the arm broke off. Then the frames of the third pair disobligingly snapped in half. So there you go. It was evening, and I decided that I couldn't cope. Bao didn't understand. I could see him thinking, What's the big deal? Why can't she just smell things, like I do? So I poured myself a Scotch and went to bed.
This morning, I scotch-taped the second pair of glasses to my face, and went in search of the eyeglass frame repairer. Usually, it takes a week for repairs. But there I was, a poor little old lady with lenses like coke bottles -- and no glasses. The nice man took pity upon me, and fixed one pair on the spot.
So I thought you'd enjoy the picture. It's from a painting by Gerome, an entry in a 1902 Parisian exhibition of advertising signs made by artists. Au petit chien -- optician. Get it? An oddly surrealist painting for Gerome, who actually urged the French President to cover his eyes rather than look at the Impressionist paintings at the 1900 Paris Worlds Fair, which he considered a national disgrace. I love the terrier's monocle. And the way the sign sort of looks back at you.
And guess what? A New York literary agent has agreed to represent my novel!
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Monday, April 09, 2007
Friday, April 06, 2007
It’s a dog’s life. Sunning, sleeping, eating.
And it’s all thanks to Al Capone. Back in the 1920’s, he and his gangster sidekicks used to fly down here from Southern Arizona in little bi-planes, so they could drink and gamble in peace. There was no Prohibition, here in Puerto Penasco. Actually, there wasn’t much of anything. There was the Old Port, of course. And a handful of fishing boats. Al Capone ended up building himself a house, which is now a hotel, Posada La Roca. But then they repealed Prohibition and the gangsters went home, and nothing else happened for decades. In 1941, the population was something less than 200.
Of course, people from Arizona kept coming. They camped out on the beach, and some of them built houses. But there was no infrastructure, no plan. There were barely even any paved roads. And it was Mexico, a foreign country. You needed a visa, you needed special car insurance. And buying land was complicated.
Less than a decade ago, everything changed. Real estate ownership was simplified, and made accessible to non-Mexicans. Most of the paperwork required of visitors was eliminated, although you still need Mexican car insurance. They paved the roads, and built the condos, and people came. In droves. They’re saying Puerto Penasco is the next Cancun. The State of Sonora is about to license its real estate agents, the first state in Mexico to do so. There’s even a Burger King.
You may have noticed that sometimes I call it Puerto Penasco, and sometimes I refer to it as Rocky Point. That’s because Mexicans call it Puerto Penasco, and gringos call it Rocky Point. Except for the people who call it Sandy Beach, which it certainly is.
The sun is shining, the tide is out and we're off to explore the reef!
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
We’re back in Mexico, at the Rocky Point condo.
Actually, Bao isn’t crazy about the beach. I think as far as he’s concerned, the Sea of Cortez is just a gigantic water-dish, inexplicably surrounded by kitty litter. And it moves. That’s what worries him. The water in your water-dish isn’t supposed to move, but this water does. So he sits uneasily on the sand and keeps his eye on it, ready to run if it looks as if it’s coming to get him.
He likes the pool area, though. He likes lying on the warm tiles in the sun, or if it gets too hot, underneath the deck-chair. And he likes interacting with people, especially children. They come up and ask if they can pet him and tell him how beautiful he is.
When I swim, he trots up and down along the edge of the pool following me. And he’s always very relieved when I get out of the water and sit down again. I suspect he thinks that the ocean might decide to come and get me, too.
His very favourite Rocky Point thing – and this is the biggest treat of all – is going out into the asphalt wasteland of the parking lot and checking out the little grassy islands where all the visiting dogs have peed. This is the high point of each morning and evening walk. Today we actually saw another little male dog, and Bao followed him doggedly (couldn’t resist that!) from island to island across the whole lot, taking careful aim and diligently peeing on every palm tree just exactly where the other dog just peed. What a super walk! It was almost as much fun as finding a dead lizard on the nature strip and rolling in it.
If you’re a dog, that is.
Personally, I prefer the beach.
Monday, April 02, 2007