Tuesday, March 31, 2009
This afternoon I was diligently editing my story in the comfortable new space and my eyes got heavy. I felt like a bobbing head doll. I was literally falling asleep at the desk and saw my concentration flutter like a dead leaf through the house in the hot breeze. Eventually I gave up and closed the file. I had no choice: I couldn't make a full sentence or hold a complete thought. I settled into a hammock with two fans blasting and completely zonked out. It would be three hours and nightfall before I could function again. And as I try to communicate this right now I would still rate my brain function below par.
This will be my third summer here. I'm no stranger to this heat. The way to beat the heat is to start all physical activities super early, allowing for a drooling nap or a good read....in a hammock...surrounded by fans, in the blazing hot afternoon. Tasks can be attempted again after sunset and some caffeine intake. Last week I dehydrated myself. How could I do that? I know I have to consume massive amounts of water and other liquids. Ok, so I had a few beers one night, but I thought for sure I drank enough beverages the following day to compensate. Once you have dehydrated yourself, it takes a few days to get right again. It is not a habit one wants to start.
I easily downed three liters of water a day the past two summers without giving it any thought. Over the winter months, however, water just wasn't appealing and I got sucked into the Cokes. They deliver cases of returnable bottles, which we all know contain the best tasting Coca Cola, and I succumbed to temptation. I limit the Cokes to 1 or 2 a day, and even so ONLY if I have been chugging back plenty of water, gatorade, lemonade, watermelon or other fresh juice, and/or iced tea.
I wondered if the swimming pool had anything to do with it. When the sun is high and heat is blasting, I get into the pool and move around. I take some sun with my exercise but also move into the shady half of the pool. Whoever put the roof over the pool was a genious. This is the first year the pool is heated. Now that the air temp is so high we probably don't need it, but even the water we pump into the pool is bordering on hot, so it is now heating itself. I like the warm water because it seems to change its texture into a thick silky velvety liquid. I can spend a long period of time in the pool when the water is just below body temperature. Then I am not thirsty, and yet I am refreshed. That can be dangerous.
There are a few hours every night when it cools down, but it calls for minimal sleepwear and a sheet instead of sweat shirts and the blanket we craved during our winter. Even regular t-shirts feel too hot and heavy in this heat. Mexico will spring ahead this weekend, and that will confuse the issue a little. I need to psyche myself up for the long summer in the steamy heat. It is extreme, but I have always preferred a tropical climate. The humidity makes my skin actually feel smooth and not like the wrinkled leathery mess it really is. Laundry is a bit of a hassle when we change our clothes a few times a day after sweating through them, but a dip in the pool, a cool shower and a generous sprinkling of talcum powder freshen us up so we can keep on going. I can work with all this if I just go with the Yucatecan flow. But I am going to have to trick myself into staying hydrated, and change my schedule so that I can pass out in the afternoon when necessary.
It was a great spring cleaning. I organized the cd's and put them on the shelves where the CD player is! Sounds simple, but I had the cd's in drawers across the room. I could never find what I was looking for because the cd's are not in their original jackets. Now they are labeled and handy.
Friday, March 27, 2009
The baseball stadium at the Parque de Kukulcán, home of LOS LEONES DE YUCATÁN.
Wednesday, March 25th was opening day for baseball....or beisbol....season here in México. Our team, the Leones de Yucatán played against the Tigres de Quintana Roo. It was an entertaining game. The Tigre opened the first inning with a run and the Leones followed with five runs! Off to a good start.
The last time I went to an inaugural baseball game was the LA Dodgers in 1979 (I think) where Fernando Valenzuela was the star, and thirty years later I watched his son, Fernando Valenzuela, open the season for the Leones in Mérida. Fernando hit a grand slam in the first inning, but slowed down considerably as the innings wore on. Hey, first time out for the season so I see it as a warm up game. We hope to have a strong season. We have some great players who last won the national championship in 2005. Wednesday The Tigres beat the Leones 10-8, but we put up a good fight.
The stadium reminded me of the days my brother Jay took me to see the Mudhens play in Toledo, Ohio. I don't remember the exact size, but it looked like a similar layout. Above the teams are being introduced. The Leones, whose colors are green, orange and white, on the left, and the Tigres on the right. We didn't catch any foul balls but we had great seats near the first base line.
A few differences I noted: They do not stop selling beer after the 7th inning. What if there are extra innings? A fan needs his beer. I noticed they were selling beer even after the game ended.
They have cheerleaders! For me that was a first at a baseball game. They didn't lead any cheers but they kept the male fans entertained during inning changes with their sexy salsa dances.
Although they have bat boys, they have ball girls. Good looking girls in short shorts and tight tops bounce out to the umpire with new balls every other pitch.
They eat different foods at Mexican ball games. Below is the kibi/piedra salesman. In his glass box he has the Lebanese treats ready to dress up with their repollo. Below him is the pepita, pistacchio and cacahuate (peanut) vendor. The vendors walk around with hot pizza in individual boxes, platters of fresh made tortas (sandwiches) on bolillos, tamales, corn on or off the cob with seasonings, candied apples of some sort, probably tamarind, air puffed chicharrones, cotton candy, frappuchinos, strawberries and cream, something that looked like Chinese stirfry but was actually Mexican nachos, home made potato chips and fried banana chips, candies, gum, cigarettes, etc. Also they walk around the stadium tossing out promotional items. This week I got a new pen and a handful of new cookies made by a local cookie producer. There was a lot going on, the atmosphere was light and happy, the spectators were good sports, and we had a lot of fun.
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Busmo at two weeks.
Six weeks old.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
July 9, 2008, one month birthday, first meal away from Mom.
The girls at two weeks.
She has Moka's face and supervisory qualities.
At two weeks.
At six weeks.
Lorenza was the first born of the now ten month old kittens. She was the smallest and now is the chunkiest. She has the job of licking a human awake when the commando is ready for breakfast. She is tender, sweet and delicate.
She likes ACTING! There was a spell when she pretended she couldn't get down from the tree she climbs, and made us rescue her a few times. But now she adventures over the wall and returns with no problem. She is a good hunter, preferring little lizards. She loves cookies, potato chips and chicharrones.
Baby Moka in early December, 2007, not long after she appeared at the front gate, sick, abandoned and frightened.
Things got better with time. January, 2008.
Moka is a year and a half old. She has the biggest bright blue eyes. She is beautiful. She is small, delicate, and has a tiny but persistent voice. She can be a bit hyper but she has an important post in the commando. She is Mom, Queen, Chief of Security, and Caregiver.
This is her seat in the desk drawer. It is not exclusively hers, as I write this Lorenza is sleeping in there.
Buster is 10 years old. He is big, healthy and handsome. Friendly but a little timid.
Mokito cuddles with Mom Moka for an afternoon nap.