Not too many things left on the list

Things getting crossed off. Just the really big things left to do.

We are making progress, that’s for sure. Storage and moving our stuff, sorted. Vaccines, sorted. Other shit not so much but will be one day. We do have a rental for late July in YVR if we need it (if the borders are open). Dogs, we have a plan. Just no certainty. But for now, all we can do. And just watching the virus – around the world. And the Canada/US/Mexico border closure. Other than that, same old, same old.

But actually, this past year+ will never be the ‘same old, same old’, will it? FM.

I have more work to do. I don’t want more. But a favoured client wants another update on his book. So I’ll do this last one for him. I’m still finishing the hockey book, that’s why I hate books with pictures. Once the hockey book and the client updates are done, no more freelance work for a while. I have too much to do. That’s a good thing. 

Ahhhh, now it’s Sunday already. May 9, 2021. Who would have thought? Certainly not me a year ago. Sheesh. We thought we were on our way out of this pandemic by June 2020. It’s almost light. I hope so, it’s almost 7 am. It will be light by 5:30 on the Island by now. But so dark in the winter. Don’t think I’m not aware of the other side of the coin. 

Now it’s 7:28 am. First dog walk done. Light out. I’m turning over a new leaf. Not arguing with idiots on Facebook or Twitter. Blocking them without saying a word. And leaving the group, if that’s where their comment is. If it’s on the NYT or G&M pages, blocking them does the trick. I rarely read comments on FB new stories, if it’s of interest, I click on the link and go to the website.

Ok, all quiet. The second dog walk is done. He may get a third later, depending on his energy. Waiting for the Superama (grocery) order to be delivered. Then soak the produce and put stuff away. We got a (cheap) air fryer. If we like it, we can get a good one when we get home. And this one will be easy to give away. Probably not so easy to leave here as they don’t have much space in the kitchen. This is an okay place but things are all so crowded and uncoordinated. After five months, I am starting to want a bit more order – and my own stuff 🙂

It’s probably time to pull suitcases out of the basement and get them ready for the van. Even if the van doesn’t go for a while. If the borders aren’t open soon. Or at least sort out my clothes. Stuff I won’t wear up north. Stuff I will. If we keep this place until the end of the year (looking like that if Rosie ends up going to Canada) – I can certainly leave clothes here. I’ll take all my silver jewelry, Jesus I have a lot of it (eBay). But I’ll fly with that.  Sorting stuff out would make me feel good, I think. Maybe later today if this dog ever leaves me alone. He’s been very charming lately, but always at my heels. He’s so good without Rosie. Sigh. 

I finished my updates to the M2MB (Move to Mexico Bible) – all 33 cities, I updated the public/private hospitals and I updated a few other spots with more current info. Why not? The reason it sells every month is that it’s updated often. And boy, are the Americans ever coming. So says the facilitator, who had her best April yet (biggest numbers) in 10 years — and no Canadians yet because the borders are closed. They must be Republicans flocking to free-dumb. I’m sure many Canadian anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers will head down once they are able to drive. But it takes all types to make the world go ground. Best some of them hang in the same place at least.

Monday, May 10 – ordered what turned out to be good burgers from Uber-eats yesterday, then spent the night throwing up. I give up. Slowly, nothing is appealing to me, not sure how quick I’ll be to order again from a place I don’t know. Dumb to do in Mexico anyway. Chris tells a story about a woman they encountered when he was just a young guy passing through Mexico City with his parents. They encountered her at the Kresge’s lunch counter and she apparently told them it was the only place she would eat. They felt sorry for her. I think she was smart, LOL. I can’t tell you how many times I get diarrhea after eating out in Mexico. You really can’t trust the conditions most food is made in down here. Of course, at the better restaurants, it’s fine. Or even places like Sanborn’s (the Mexican Kresge’s). It’s the mom-and-pop joints that are dicey. And not even all of them. But none of the food is anything to write home about so it’s not really worth taking a chance.

I tried to buy some Crypto today. They don’t make it easy. I think I’ll pass. There are fund-traded cryptos on the NYSE, not sure about the TSX. Easier to buy.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021. Day 424. And in 7 days – which will be the 15th day after our second shot, we will be as protected as we get until we require a booster. So that’s good. We’ll still mask. And I refuse to eat indoors (except in my own house). Period. And it’s the middle of goddamn May already. We know they will close the borders for at least another month (the order expires monthly, on the 21st).  I did sort out the kitchen cupboards/baskets yesterday, so it’s more orderly. Clothes are next to sort. Before the weekend. 

Talking to a friend this morning about how we all lie to ourselves and now I’m on a mission to figure out what lies I tell myself. I don’t think that many. I was thinking, “that I’ll be happier in Canada” – but I can’t say I tell myself that. I want to go back and I expect I’ll be more settled and feel calmer and safer. And of course, I’ll be happy to see everyone. I’ll be busier. I guess that adds up to happier. So maybe that’s not a lie but I haven’t positioned it as “I’ll be happier”. I’ll have all the things I miss. Interestingly, I don’t really think about being ‘happy’. I think about being busy and productive and around friends and about being safe, and warm and secure. Oh great, now I will have to define what ‘happy’ is to me. It’s not a word I use a lot. 

Dictionary (Miriam-Webster): Happy — “feeling or showing pleasure”. Uh oh. I don’t show shit. Ever. I never have. Poker face. I’ve written about that before. I figure it is because I was born Buddhist. I would *really* like a Christmas gift just fine as a child, say thank you, put it aside and move on to the next gift. And my poor mother always wanted me to get more excited. I read something about that recently that relates to Aspergers. I did always like solitude and books better than people, even as a kid, and then I transpose goddamn letters all the time when I’m reading words I’ve never heard spoken before, which is why I think Spanish is so hard. But I digress.

On the flip side, I also never got too devastated about things, except when Pierre, my dog, got run over by a car in front of me when I was 11. I don’t care to go back there at this moment. It was a horrible thing for a kid to go through, I had to carry him home while he died in my arms. But other things that kids would get upset about around me seemed inconsequential. 

I feel happy sometimes. But how can you be happy all the time? Ok, happy. It has to involve the entire picture, I think to be constant. Where you live, what the weather is like, who your friends are, having meaningful things to do all day, having new things to look forward to and doing nice things for people. I think it’s more to do with contentment, but not in a bad, ‘settle for’ way. In a “this is what I want” way and I am content to stay in this moment.

But then again I am Buddhist and all of life is suffering. I mean, it just is. Once you realize that, life gets a lot easier.

Ok, back to the lies I tell myself. I guess one of them is that drinking beer doesn’t hurt me. I truly don’t drink much – but I’ve been known to have three beers in one sitting, on occasion. Zooms, for example. But then I’ll go days without one. And some days, just have one with dinner. Still, I know that none of them are good for me, not even one.  The last time I drank too much was on December 21, I drank a whole bottle of champagne and felt like shit the next day. I won’t do that again for years but I also have no doubt it could happen again.  

Maybe I am lying when I tell myself I’m not old yet. I am 65. But that’s the new 55, right? I feel fine. I know I have wrinkles, a lot more than when I came here. When I start to feel old, I’ll admit that I’m old.  I’m sure it’s coming. But for now, I’m older. That’s more semantics than lying to myself. I  know how old I am. 

Maybe I’m lying to myself when I kind of blanket encourage myself — you know, the self-talk that says “it’s going to be fine, you’ll do a great job, don’t worry …” but is that lying to myself? Not really. 

Despite being a total optimist (sun in Sagittarius), I’m also a realist, I think. I don’t consider myself an overly ‘good’ person but I do consider myself someone who tries to be a good person. One day I’ll get there. 

After contemplating this for some time, I don’t think I tell myself a lot of lies. I’m sure I must tell some but I haven’t identified them yet.  I know I’m going to die in the next 20 years or so (maybe 10, maybe tomorrow), I don’t have illusions about death and don’t lie to myself about that. I know I’d be healthier if I didn’t drink at all. Doesn’t stop me from having a beer. I know that buying shit on eBay gives me an adrenalin jolt. I don’t deny it, LOL.  There’s a Guy Clark song about this – a line in the chorus says “I was finally through fooling myself” but it does change (as the good songs do) in the end to “I guess I wasn’t through fooling myself”.  I will use that song to close with (Hanging Your Life on the Wall). There’s a KILLER line in there: “Well, you know, that old dog of mine, Caesar, he was my road manager. And he could tell time, and he could even drive a Volvo. But I probably never shoulda let him drive that day.” I had an old dog named Caesar.  He was my road manager for sure.  And I do love this song. Cheers me up, always. It has a good message. It’s at the end of this post.

Makes me kinda sad, though. Nostalgic sad. This recording, from Dublin Blues, was when he was at his best. You can hear it in his voice. And he sings it with Verlon (Thompson) – likely wrote it together but I haven’t looked. The two of them were a good act to catch on the circuit in the old days. He’s been dead coming on five years. May 17. Same day as Lulu (my sister). But she died years earlier. I don’t think I ever noticed the date before. He had the daemon, as they call it. That creative genius that can burn you out. But he survived longer than many others. Now Jerry Jeff gone, too. End of that era, that’s for sure.  JJW’s memorial is online (Zoom) in early June. I’m going 🙂 

Now it’s Wednesday, May 12. I must do something important today. Not sure what that would be though. But it’s my goal for today. Yesterday was a new moon and the start of the month of Saga Dawa, where karma is multiplied 100,000 times. Smack in the middle at the full moon (May 26), it’s multiplied a million times just for that day. So it’s really important to do good things and important, forward-moving things that help others. All month, until the new moon in June. Which is on the 10th, according to google. So be kind. It counts this month.

Friday, May 14. I think it’s looking like a labour day border opening unless they do a vaccination passport/certificate entry basis. But that’s ok, more time for Rosie to “pop her clogs” as my UK friend says. They expect in the next month or so they can get to 75% 1st dose, 20% fully dosed – meaning outdoor small group activities only, with 75% fully dosed by September so schools can open as well as indoor activities. That’s likely when the borders will open. Sigh. But hey. It’s what it is. The flights should come back and maybe even one to Vancouver direct once a week. We’ll see what kind of quarantine is in place through the summer – I may have to go up and come back. I’ll figure that out when we hear the next round of restrictions. The current ones are only in effect for 11 more days (May 21) but will be renewed. June 21, something could change slightly. I guess time will tell.

All the way to Tuesday, May 18. Oy. Someone else died here in the ‘social circle. Not being it in it, we didn’t know him other than by name. So there was another wake yesterday. He gave a speech at a charity event, then keeled over in front of everyone and died. There’s a lot of death this town. We’re old enough but the people here, in general, are much older, well, 10+ years but at our age, that’s a lot. Who knows if we’ll even be alive in 10 years. I like BC, where our friends seem to be our age and 10 years younger.

I think people die in this town. CW thinks I exaggerate since he’s lost a few colleagues lately (to Covid) – around the world). People he hasn’t seen in 40 years. I point out that we haven’t lost any of our social circle in Canada, or even in San Miguel. And the people here aren’t dying of Covid. A slightly younger friend did die, the spouse of the “J” friend in the USA. But people we know here (and we know VERY few) seem to die at a fair clip, a few a year (at least). I’ll be kind and put it up to age but I still think there is some environmental factor involved. Even if tangentially – air, water, food. Exacerbating factors. Who knows? Certainly not anyone here, they regulate nothing, they test nothing.

I know the air here is absolutely filthy. Witnessed by the soot and dust that sits in the bottom of my Ikea watering can outside after ONE day. it’s frightening to think we breathe that. People wax poetic about their healthy lifestyles in Mexico – but they are anything but healthy in reality. It’s all part of the myth, the “come to Mexico” con. There’s more fat and sugar in everything here. Much more.  And soooo much in the air. And if you don’t soak your fruit and vegetables in a sanitizing solution before cooking/eating, you can get very sick. I know I have parasites. Everyone in Mexico is supposed to take these anti-parasite medications twice a year – if you live here and eat here, you will have parasites, it’s a given. I’ve missed about a year’s worth. I need to take it again. I can feel them in my lower gut. Chris won’t take them – another reason I need to get him home. Plus, he doesn’t even wash vegetables, I can always tell by my bowel behaviour the next day. Ok, really. TMI. And I’d better get back to work. I do feel a change in the air, on the horizon. I have a song for that. Here it is.

Ok, later Tuesday. Today, Justin (Trudeau) said they were in talks to reopen the borders and that 75% of Canadians had to have had the first dose before that would happen. Tam said, today also, that we could be there in a few weeks. They need to work out the gradual re-opening but it’s sounding good for later June or very early July. I almost feel like packing up right now, LOL. I’m going to have to start to think about the stuff that will go in the van. I’ll only take one suitcase on the plane and we have two big ones, each. The borders could open up inside of a month. I don’t really have my head around that yet. I have been feeling like we were in a never-ending hold pattern. But now, I think there’s an escape hatch.

Friday, May 21. Wow. Late, late spring. 434 days into the pandemic. And a lot of places seem to be coming out of it (but nothing is certain yet) and places going to the dark side now, like India. I must admit, I’m preoccupied with customs lists and forms for returning residents and flights and van insurance/permits blah blah blah. And giving stuff away. I have a whole liquor cupboard, a big one. Lots of unopened stuff.  Ok, I just sorted out *some* stuff. Did a bit of work and off to the shower.

Now it’s Monday May 24, a holiday in Canada (Victoria Day) and I’m scrambling to finish things. The hockey book is all but signed off. I need to set up an Amazon publishing account for the guy and I’m out of there just about. The other updated tome (now 790 pages) is going through its last 200-page edit/tightening event. I say event because I’m taking 250 word paragraphs down to 140 words. Throughout those 200 pages. It’s actually going quickly. Then, that goes to production and I’m left with a good retainer contract, Captivatist and the Move to Mexico Bible, which I just updated substantially and will upload to the publishing sites today (I hope). No scripts right now. I’ll get back to them.

No bites on our Christmas script 🙁 A dozen or so prodcos are nosing around on InkTip but no leads yet and it may all turn out to be for naught. But I have a few others up my sleeve when I get a block of clear time. I figure I need to be able to devote at least 4 hours daily to a project like that, until it’s written and I don’t have it in me with moving coming up. I’ve been making budgets, pardon my language but holy f-ck it’s expensive to move across two borders with two dogs Oh well, we sold the condo. That’s what that money is for – cash flow.

And moving, yes, we think it’s somewhat imminent. Hopefully, in just … hang on while I check … seven weeks! I’m eyeing July 10 as my flying date. We will know by June 20 (whether the border closure, expiring June 21 is renewed … and not, we can come home). Our house isn’t ready now, they say, until September. We have a rental from July 18- October 1 in Vancouver, near the kids but still a drive or short uber (10 minutes max, no bridges). We haven’t had to put a deposit down yet but I’m going to suggest it by June 1 to the owner. It’s a perfect spot for us for a couple/few months. And they aren’t easy to find.

The rental kitchen and there is lots of outdoor space

Ok, so not much in this post. I was thinking of just filing it, but then what would I write about. I guess there is news, in that we likely have a date when we will be coming home. So another uncertainty is gone but actually, it’s not certain yet. Just likely and if not then, very shortly after (unless all hell breaks loose again). I’ve really learned a lot of Zen. I must have. That last sentence doesn’t even distress me although there are multiple possible outcomes and no path to certainty yet. Maybe that was a lesson I really needed to learn, deep in my bones. Got it now, thanks, let’s move on.

I do feel a change. And today feels like a good day, too. I’ll let you know if it amounts to anything. Until next time:

Be safe, be informed, be kind. We’re not out of the woods but we are on our way. Everyone stay careful a bit longer.

And PS: That old dog, Caesar. He was my road manager. You have to listen to the song to understand.




  1. Lou Christen

    Bev: Reality
    Hang on tight!
    You’ll be alright
    If you live a lie
    You’ll be afraid to die
    Now that’s the truth
    You’ve lost your youth

    Love and hugs,
    Lou 5/24/21