Tuesday, March 23. Can you believe that? I can’t, really. But today was a good day. There was some forward motion.
I did a FaceTime walkthrough of the condo, it closes Friday. I need to wire the money immediately – I should get the info and final total today. The agent also went by the house to be built site. They are ready to lay the foundation and have the permits. The house may be ready by the end of May, certainly in June if not. It will be nice to have those two items crossed off the “waiting to hear more” list. The condo closing is particularly welcome, we will turn around and list it immediately. As immediately as we can. But really quite shortly thereafter.
The condo looks just as they promised. Minus the furniture. We are happy with it. The view is even better than I thought (it’s a wrap-around corner balcony, quite large).
Oh, and vaccines. Cuernavaca is due to get vaccines, it’s scheduled and possible that it will be next Monday, March 29 that they begin. But they are not going to tell us until 24 hours prior, because people jump the queue and come from other areas and use up all the vaccines meant for the residents. They say that they will stop that, I hope they can. They could at least eliminate the worst of it by demanding a current utility bill. There are certainly enough gringos in Cuernavaca who jumped other lines, can hardly blame those who come here and take our vaccines. It’s kind of how Mexico works, and I guess if you’re going to live here, it’s how you survive. Everyone for themselves, even the gringos. All points for the book.
Without Getting Killed or Caught has its public online premiere today (it did screen at SXSW last week to rave reviews) at 6 pm. I’m looking forward to it. We’re having Everything but the Bagel chicken, steamed broccoli and homemade fries (with butter and malt vinegar). I love the Trader Joe seasoning on the chicken.
The movie was quite good. I don’t know that I need to ever see it again, but quite well put together.
I’m a lost soul again today (Wed. March 24). Did some Captivatist. Ah, just answered some condo questions and will be wiring funds soon and then waiting for follow-up calls. The condo is closing 🙂
Wire instructions sent, condo paperwork signed. It may not close until Monday but we’ve started. Already had an offer but we’re holding out for about 7% more. It’s not even listed yet, this is an advance offer and I gather another party is interested as well. So it may not have to go to market. In any event, we think everything will work out fine – there are limited supply and a hot market. Actually hotter than we thought.
And the house may indeed be ready on time, but more likely a couple of weeks late, which would take it to mid-June. Did I show you what it looks like? Decidedly not “us”. But extremely well dressed inside and out. I think I have shown you this before.
Sitters lined up for both dogs in the general time period. The house in Mexico stays for now. CW comes back first, likely. All assuming the old dog hasn’t died. And after about September, all bets are off. Not sure what will happen. CW may stay if Rosie is alive, and I’m thinking PJ comes back to the Island with me. I dunno. Maybe I start the winter here and take him back in the spring. All I know is I’ll be home for the late spring and summer, and likely well into the fall at least before needing to come back. But hell, I’ll be flexible. And by frigging 2022 my life should be sorted out again. Here’s hoping.
I *should* be doing Captivatist but I’m sick of tiny people / miniature worlds for the moment. But they are extremely cool.
I must have been getting desperate if I was stealing photos from Captivatist. I did finally post the Miniature Art story from above today. Some of it is very clever, I really do like it, a lot. Now I have to think of a new topic. Something nice and visual. And clever. Help.
But that’s not all I did yesterday (today is Saturday, March 27). We wired the funds for the condo close, and have an accepted offer already (short close on the sale – 2.5 weeks). That’s pretty good. The buyers were desperate because prices are going up so quickly and wanted to lock us in before we took it to market and got multiple offers. I suppose some others might have decided to go higher and go on MLS and wait. But we made 60% on our cash and I’m really happy with that (over 2 years and a bit so very close to 30% ROI per year). the buyers are happy, they bought it for their (older) kids. Those are good ROI numbers and I wish I’d bought two or three.
Anyway, for a second, back to the price. We made enough. We are happy. Let someone else get value out of the deal, too. Always leave money on the table and let the other guy feel good about buying. We probably could have held it for two weeks and driven the price up another $10K, but we don’t need any more profit. We got more than we expected. I’m sure some of you will think we’re crazy. But it’s not nice to be greedy. And, we don’t want to be part of the problem. We don’t look for ways to avoid taxes and we don’t want to squeeze every penny out of the other guys to give ourselves more. That’s what’s wrong with a lot of society today. And I cannot with any conscience complain about it at the top of my lungs unless I’m willing to change myself.
And there is still the house, and houses are even crazier (low supply, huge demand) than condos on the island. It could close as early as two months from now. I’m ready to rip all the money out of our TFSAs and buy pre-sales. This market has a couple of years left, I think (and so do the experts… or should I say, other experts LOL …)
Holy crap, I didn’t write much yet this week. I’ve been exchanging emails and long FB messenger conversations about things that I would normally write about, I’m kind of thought out. Don’t even want to eBay. I have been making test Boomer Bitches® t-shirts. I only have one sample right now, two more on the way with different sayings (Suffer No Fools, Give No F-cks) and colours (Red & Gray shirts, same font in white). And masks. Black on white.
I kinda like it. We’ll see how they sell once I complete the designs. We probably need a dozen styles to launch but can put the artwork on anything from face masks to aprons to t-shirts. I don’t think I’ll expand to glasses and mugs, at least not yet. But maybe I will. Why not, I suppose. I have the artwork so all it costs is time (print to order, like everything).
I’m writing The Move to Canada Bible. Very early stages. I have to find a partner. Someone who knows a lot and is respected in the field whose name I can use as a co-author. And who will check the accuracy of all my assertions? Why this book, you might ask? Because “How to move to Canada” is queried twice as much as “How to Move to Mexico”. My initial research tells me how complex this is, there are a lot of weird categories. One thing – if you’re a caregiver, you’re pretty golden as far as Canadian immigration is concerned. Good field to be in that way. Or an artist or writer with a body of work. Awards always help. I’ll start with the cities in the beginning, and it will follow the M2MB format. Same cover, but Canadian flag on the suitcase. I’ve ordered one book from Amazon, but it hasn’t been updated in two years and that was the most current one I could find.
This still has watermarks as I haven’t bought it yet but will maybe use this one. cropped. I wish that damn Ottawa tag wasn’t there.
Well, another old friend died. He’d been ill for some time and his wife was caring for him and of course, was with him when he died. It’s all so sad. I don’t even think he was quite 60 yet. If so, just 60. She is one of my very good friends – has been living in the US for some years. I hope she comes back to BC. She may. I am pretty sure she will sell the company. It must have been so hard for her. It’s too much to comprehend sometimes.
Many of my very old friends (20+ years) have names that start with J. Even the guys. Well, that one guy from Galveston who doesn’t talk to me anymore for one of two reasons: a) he’s dead b) he is still angry that I refused to invite a specific friend of his to be our houseguest in Mexico five years ago – a person who disliked me intently and made no bones about it.
I’m very sad for the way we parted (he just ghosted me) and I’ve attempted to contact him numerous times over the years with no reply. Maybe he is dead. I do hope not. He could be. But in any event, I digress. He was always in with the examples of how many of my long-time friends all have first names that start with the same letter.
I don’t have that many friends. On purpose. Ah, it’s probably nothing. I do have other letters in my hall of friendship. But I’ve always wondered why so many of that one letter. Maybe it was a generational trend.
Ok, that was a waste of typing fingers, no? A two-headed goat as my spousal editor would have said. You all understand that you are my therapist, right? At this point, I’m just writing to hear the sound of my own voice in my head, I think.
Sunday, March 28. Full moon in Libra. I’d tell you what that means but by next week it won’t matter. For me, it meant good news about the condo. So now only four things to settle: closing the house, getting vaccines, when is the movement of goods in storage to YVR and who wants this Christmas script?
We are updating Jack’s Knife now. That was the second book in the Sirius mysteries. We need a new cover. The graphics guy started one but it’s got a ways to go yet. And more accurately, we’re typing it in now. Edits to follow.
Vaccines and we will make plans to make tracks. Oy. I am plowing ahead, even though I cannot see the staircase. I cannot see halfway up (or down) the staircase. I see this step. Then who knows? Ahhhhhh. This is not me. But I have no choice. Well, I could just sit here and I suppose that would be a choice but damned if I’m going to do that. There’s no time to waste, I heard her say … 🙂
Now Monday. Evening. Almost time to go watch some tv and get ready for bed. Days go so quickly. I didn’t do a lot today except all the dog stuff and bits and pieces of assorted projects and emails – nothing really accomplished per se but every day can’t be uber-productive. I guess. No vaccine news yet this week. I guess Mexico is just closing it down for Easter week. Like there’s not even a pandemic going on. One week, 90-year-olds are sleeping in the street to get a vaccine. The next week, everything is on hold for a party. A religious party. When they crucified someone. At least I have lots of good Easter jokes.
For example: Why Doesn’t Jesus Eat M&M’s? (Answer at bottom)
Tuesday, March 30. We have been here in this rental for four months. If we weren’t so close to having the vaccines here I’d say f-ck it and go home through Toronto since there are no direct flights. (Well, right now there are no flights but in May, Toronto will resume.) Double masked with a shield. It’s bad in BC and it’s worse in Mexico but at least they are closing things down in BC, they’re opening up here. And not vaccinating for Easter week, and they have opened up and will have large crowds mingling and attending church. The government in Mexico is highly incompetent.
Mexico now has the second-highest death toll in the world for Covid – 321,000 – 400,000+ souls dead as doornails. Buried on top of each other. While 90-year-olds are forced to sleep overnight on the sidewalk to be in line for a vaccine before they run out – because no one is monitoring who is coming from where and people are jumping the lines. Every man for himself is a clear indicator of a crumbling society. As is a government that allows it. I was saying to a friend that not telling people when and where they will get vaccines until 12 hours before and releasing it to the media (no phone calls, texts, whatsapps, nothing, after spending three days trying to, and finally being able to, register online). That government is saying to the people: We don’t trust you. We don’t trust you to follow laws and regulations and we know that you will cut in line. Okay, I know that no one really trusts the Mexican authorities. But the authorities don’t trust the people. That’s priceless. (And that’s sarcastic.)
I have to be careful in the new book that to point out that some people can be happy in Mexico. You just have to be willing to accept all of its horrors and learn to think like a Mexican to survive here. For some, that trade-off is worth it. For others, not so much.
I want people to have a bit more of an understanding of what Mexico can be like. Every single book I read about ex-pats in Mexico was all 100% cheery and sunny and positive. No one thinks about emergency surgery in another country in another language and what that feels like. No one thinks about friends’ husbands being kidnapped and murdered. No one thinks of subpar medical care that can cost your life. No one tells you that your cab driver may swerve to kill a street dog on purpose and there’s nothing you can do about it. Everyone who writes those “come to the land of mariachis and margaritas” books raves about the Mexican culture. No one talks about the underbelly. If I’d had this information, I either would have lowered my expectations, or not come at all. So I perceive a market need. And it will be another project. But first, The Move to Canada Bible.
And, actually moving back to Canada. Soon. We’re back to the problem of the things we are waiting for although the condo is off that list. The vaccines are most important now, and when the flights will resume to Canada from Mexico. We will go through Europe if we need to. We need to know WHEN we will get our vaccines to start making plans. We may know by Easter, which is when I plan to publish this. But we may not. (ED NOTE: nope.)
Thursday, April 1. No word on anything except I believe the buyers remove their conditions on the condo today. There aren’t many conditions – it’s a new condo so not a lot to go wrong. Yet. And I had an epiphany last night. We will not be able to be in Canada full time until Rosie dies and we just need to accept that. I guess I was busy trying to figure out how to get her home by ground or possibly even air, but we can only take one dog. Unless we take a private plane back and as noted, that’s for when the zombies start coming over the walls. At least the condo is bought, and after today’s conditions are removed, sold. So… for now. Get back up there (both of us) to get at least a line of credit, if not mortgage on the house. We’ll give it to the big property management company on the island. We will maybe be able to camp out there to sort through our stuff, but maybe just the older stuff. I know what’s in the new stuff and I don’t want to have to pack it again. Oy.
Those are cascarones. I’ve shown you those before – eggshells filled with confetti. Usually for busting over peoples’ heads the last day before Lent but we do them on Easter. This photo isn’t mine. This is the second Easter of no kids and eggs – you know, Covid.
Friday April 2. Well, last night, I found another house (I get notices when new listings in Nanaimo hit MLS). We wanted it badly. It’s quirky, eccentric and with a view that really was nice. I was scheming and had pretty much figured it out BUT it’s a strata (townhouse) and no rentals allowed. So we can’t. Because we can’t live in it right away. Plus, first I should sell the blue house. But first they should build it. You see how I can get ahead of myself, LOL?
Very open space with huge vaulted ceilings, about 20′ in the living area. Three spectacular decks, all lakeside, south facing. Oy. But no rentals is a deal killer. I can only show you one photo (above) because my house heart is hurt. I want it. Sigh. Good location, too. On Long Lake, walking distance to shopping and to the ocean and beaches. It would rent quickly. But, no point in crying over spilled milk.
Speaking of spilled milk, did you see the 12 Shoes for 12 Lovers at Captivatist? So clever (and this one is called “Cry Baby”. It’s actually a shoe. “Almost crown-like, this shoe tells the story of Alexandra, who came in on the rebound and cried for her former lover the entire time.”
Saturday already. April 3. Finally, Mexico catches up with the time change overnight tonight. And this is day 386. I see many more days in our future of semi-isolating. At least until 4 weeks after shot one, when we expect to be north of 80% protected, if the stats hold true. And we will need boosters and new shots every year until there is vaccine parity around the world. The good part is, the USA has almost vaccinated all their citizens and now they can help other countries which they actually need to do to help themselves in the long run. This vaccine nationalism has been hard to swallow (the EU does it too, with respect to their Brexit friend). Mixing vaccines and politics is wrong. It’s fucked, to be more precise. Until we understand that this is a global problem, it will not be over. But I digress. Somewhat.
PJ is an asshole. I have been giving him Kong balls to shut him up but he gets obsessive and destroys them. I think we need more exercise. Maybe more in the afternoon. We go for a long walk in the morning with the trainer and he’s tired enough when he gets home. But he may need a bit more. He’s crying now because I won’t give him another kong ball. But it’s not good to let a bull terrier run too far down the obsessive road.
And after ignoring him, he goes away. He is such an adolescent dog but he should be getting calmer, he’s almost four. Not a lot of garden for him here, but enough. More than Junior had in Mexico City and he was fine.
The future we see after the 2nd shot (if possible) is off to Canada to close the blue house, get financed, sort out the old stuff (leave the newly shipped load packed), leave the house with the property managers to rent and come back here until Rosie dies or something else substantial changes. And go to YVR directly from here, then. I just realized something. The last time I was out of the country was late November 2019. So that was also the last time I had a bath. Neither the big house with the pool nor this house with three full (and one half) bathrooms has a bathtub. Sometimes, I just want a bath. Not at this exact moment but quite a few times over the last 386 days.
I still have to put the bitches 21-24 ‘best of’ minutes together. It’s getting closer. I need to do the Bo tapes and a couple of others. I will get on that this week. Post-Easter Sunday.
Finally. Sunday. Happy Easter. As soon as this damn holiday is over, Mexico can get back to administering vaccines. Just about every gringo I know here, and many I don’t, have gone to other communities and obtained a vaccine that was meant for someone else. Except three of us, all Canadians.
But I do excuse the ones with pre-existing conditions, who should have been vaccinated first (this country is truly f-cked).
And I know damn well if they run out of vaccines on us, because people are coming from other towns and neighbourhoods to get their second shot (yup, the vaccine thieves are ruthless), we will be told by other gringos that this is our own fault, we should have gone somewhere else when we had the chance. Like they did. And they’re probably right. You can’t survive in Mexico unless you adopt the Mexican social code of every man for himself. Thanks, but no thanks. We’ll go home. Where the pandemic has sprouted community fridges, full of healthy food for those who have none. And no one steals the fridge.
Answer to: Why Doesn’t Jesus eat M&Ms? They fall through the holes in his hands.
Here’s your song for today. A good Canadian band. Stay safe, stay informed, stay kind.