My Bleu Heaven

so? international rules require any country to have a ‘functional’ postal service…so? does that mean that Guatemala isn’t a country? kind of…yep, the govt postal service, El Correo, is still not working…suggestion #2…have all the govt checks mailed to the recipients, Morales included…’betcha the problem would be solved in about a week, eh? kind of like the mess with getting new DPI cards….and I read that the ‘gov’t(sic)is outsourcing the replacement license plates, not done since 2004…hey, the prisons are overcrowded, why not have the inmates learn a new skill?

Mamma’s #2, with the outside metal sheets done/gone…will this mean an opening by Semana Santa? and sadly, the purple truck and the workers in the yellow jackets are gone, looks like they ran out of money…but, wait! there’s more! the usual muni crew seen with a couple of portable pressure washers, douching off the park…that won’t last long…the machines will be stolen, sold and it’ll be business as usual…..segue way…is Guatemala and the YouEss of A the only two countries with racist clowns as presidents?  does North Korea make the cut?

and yes, I’m going to take a little break from this hectic pace…it’s been fun

G.I.G.O

in

in other words the acronym for ‘garbage in, garbage out.’…’heard from a URS (usually reliable source)that the long gone Don Marco, aka Jeffry Lynn Cassman, is moving back to Guatemala, specifically around San Lucas and bringing at least 10 of his children (#13 on the way)…’gotta be a bus ride from hell, no?

ah, Christmas…the smell of freshly baked bread wafting from the ovens of San Martin (packed with customers)on 5th Avenida Sur…and the largest pile of firecracker debris further south, being bagged by the Nuestra Limpia Antigua crew…’thought their contract ($$)expired..whatever, they’re on the job…’notice the ‘its against the law to drink in public’ posters around the park? wtf? who enforces it? the Tourist Police? ‘up against the wall, beer boy?’

I’m still getting over the shock of Frank Mays passing….a hole ripped in the fabric of this town and so, what happens with Nim Pot, the Galleria de Arte or El Cerro de San Cristobal now?..that weekend I was preoccupied with getting  back to the hospital in TX, to have my transmission fluid topped off and a few pints low..how? why? dunno..I see where was El Sol (west of the park)has a new tenant…Cafe & (ampersand)..good..more coffee joints!

Will Mammas #2 ever open? 10 months later, etc…maybe the handicapped space in front refers to the work crew…Franklin Voorhees, of As Green as it Gets, back in town and the NGO is working again(good, one of my two favorites)…of well….enjoy the rest of the year..

Sticker Shock

so, I go by El Correo, the government(sic)post office…yeah, they’re open but not quite….’another 3 weeks, another contract, money from the government’….cha cha…’end up at Caniz, the private service on lower 4th avenida and…the price of an outgoing regular size envelope, not heavy? jumped from 27q to 65q!…yowza!$9 for a regular letter? yep..be prepared and bring extra $$

and yes, I missed two birthdays this week of some local beautiful women: Tanya Hughes and Evelyn Mundo….damn me…Evelyn, of the Exit Inn…and the Exit’s darts team is kicking ass! Artie, of the Londoner, is locking up the local music/ food scene…said that on Thanksgiving, he sold off some 25+ plates by 5:30 and it was oover…

music? Nelson’s back, playing at various spots, notably El Biblioteca on 1st sur….Sam Receta is back, from Canada and headed for the Yukon next year…Hogan’s gone(not a bad trade)

and? check out http://www.beckettmedia.com/rockngem for my latest article…whoopee! and yes, the prices for two books have dropped…Our Man in Antigua and Ponzi Bob/River of Scum are now $2.99…there’s some other specials  on the Amazon site, some free stuff to sort thru…they’re a bit behind the curve, so don’t worrry about it..Amazon/Kindle has me over the ‘barrel’…my local production costs are more than they charge…o boy..

30 Days Hath

November, April and June…’don’t remember the 4th but its no big deal…this is Guatemala, after all. This is, however, on of my favorite times of the year….few tourists, crisp mornings, perfect days and good air quality (views)….and yes, Thanksgiving comes around next week…Thursday, if I recall. The Londoner is putting on a dinner, starting at 5pm for 59Q! helluva deal, altho pumpkin pie/whipped cr3eam  is extra ($)I’ll drag my limping  self to that one…nearby, I can walk in/out….and Hogan leaves that day, back to Oregon and whatever awaits him there (don’t ask, don’t tell).

What  is the meaning of blue curbs? I ‘get’ the red and the white curbs, but blue? (around the corner on 5th Ave, from Reilly’s Esquina and I see that work has resumed on the abruptly stopped installation/changes on the ATM cave outside of el Banco G&T Continental, across from the park…this time will official Muni/City approval…the cries of desecration of historical monuments died down, apparently…and according to one paper, the Nuestro Antigua Limpia project  runs outa $$$ December the first…if you’ve got $$ to spare, this is a great project…contact Phillip Wilson at EcoFiltro..por favor.

And an old familiar face in town for a few days…Dave Hoffman, almost unrecognizeable behind shoulder length hair…he’s gone now but not forgotten…and a very big tip of the panama to Lori Shea, of Guatemala Medical Travel, for arranging the emergency brain surgery for Peter Mc Garry..basically saved his life and his brain…whew!…and the Exit Inn dart team is kicking ass and taking names…recently mopped the floor with the gang from the Bulls Eye Tavern….and yes, I’m still limping,  scheduling a hip replacement for sometime next spring, time/place still under discussion..hey, it worked for Jackson!…so, tis the start of a beautiful weekend..I’m messing around with a start of a novel, something I’ve never done before…no $$ in it except an urge to tell some stories about Guatemala…

The Moon Was High

and so was I, metaphorically speaking…the three shots of Flor de Cana helped a bit but I think it was the setting: Mike Tallon’s 50th birthday party(and having survived some serious medical problems)ask me, I know about that, set in John Rexer’s fabulous house out in the woods of the Finca Azotea and people….people, ‘old’ Antigua and new, gringos and Chapins, a pig on the spit, a raft of liquor, food and conversations…

There was a mariachi band that played for a long time and every musician in town was there…Bobby Darling/Grace, Tom Graham, Mercedes, Nelson Lunding….basically an All-Star Line up of the best of Antigua these days. All that was missing might’ve been Hector Castro, but he’s been gone for a while and I miss his presence at the original Hector’s….he made that place work…and reflecting on the changes of upper 5th Avenida, with Sangre gone, and how the original Reilly’s would bounce off the Casbah across the street and that was Ground Zero for the nightlife of Antigua…a more genteel, less rowdy assortment of gentlemen drinkers that the current group of loaded louts to be found elsewhere these days…Bruce McCowan was probably there, in spirit and the only thing missing, to my way of thinking (sic) might’ve been some of the ‘girls’ from the nearby Diva’s 2.

 So, things change: I wonder how Tartines stays open: I’ve got it that Fusion is supported by the rest of the building and El Barrio hums along. Sobremesa by the strength of Alex’s many talents…yeah, times change. Nils of Fish/Azul 39 died and 6th Avenida/5th Calle has become the new center of gravity, bar and food-wise…1st Avenida continues to hum, anchored by Cafe No Se and the only vacancy is Juan Caravela, whose ‘for sale’ sign is so old that the sun has faded it. Yep, a night of memories and all good..Thank you, Mike Tallon, family and friends…it was classic.

 

Happy Veterans Day!

kiss one, if you can find one…Hogan and I are too old/decrepit but, hey, take a shot..

Henrik’s  latest, Central Park Pizza, opened last night….scores of people(free booze) and only a few faces that I recognized: Ponzi Bob, Reid, Ron Fortin and amazingly, John Wilbur in from Lanquin! long time no see, etc…as I said, regarding the pizza, its similar to one’s taste in women…they’re all different. The location,  on 2nd avenida and 6th calle might be a bit difficult but time will tell…

Our wandering troubador, Nelson Lunding is back, playing here/there and it’s Michael Tallon’s birthday (50) weekend..event some where tonight, John Rexer’s (Finca Azotea) tomorrow night and of course, the wind-up at Cafe No Se Sunday night…whew, whatta schedule!

and yes, the rains have stopped and I never had to/used my umbrella…another record for the books…and yes, I’m recovered/feeling much better after my emergency trip  to the Houston VA hospital a few weeks ago…cause of the stomach bleeding? taking an Alleve on an empty stomach in the morning…well, empty in the sense of two espressos/two cigarettes but I’ve learned to eat better..oatmeal with what I thought was rains but turned out to be prunes this morning…gotta fix that…have a great weekend: there’ll be music at the Londoner and pizza, where ever you go: its Antigua-stan!

Hollow Weenies

judging from the copious amounts of broken beer bottles in the streets this morning, it had to be an epic Halloween, even by Antigua standards…I was out early/in early, with a great pizza from La Viniera on 5th avenida sur…and they were inundated with trick or treaters…what a great selection of wine they have! staggering…

yeah, I’ve been gone for a week or so…emergency stuff at the VA hospital in Houston….gave me blood and stuff…I’ve been running down, the old two cups of espresso with two cigarettes for breakfast doesn’t suit me…fine…I’m better, ok? a tip of the panama to Nazi John, for suggesting a while back that I write up the 3 lousy field trips with the Captain and JR where we didn’t find anything as described…the article, in the December issue of RocknGem, will be published in December..who knew? the ongoing saga of the ‘novel’ will progress, now that I’m recovered from the latest..

and yes, the govt’ (sic)says that the the Antigua post office is open…I’ll try mailing christmas cards this week and see if they arrive in a month or so…this country!

Grace and Bobby Darling are back together…playing at the Londoner…gotta go see/hear them…the best music in town, to my taste, anyway. heard that there’s a new pizza place opening, on 7th ave, part of the La Taverna outfit…good..we need more pizza outlets, like we need more travel agencies and spanish schools…if they can beat Little Caesars for price, they might make it..otherwise..and thanks again, to all who sent me kind wishes vis a vis my recent medical problems…I’ve learned…and yes, I’ll start eating breakfast, lunch and dinner…onweird! to the election and thanksgiving…christ, what choices…

A Master Debater

I probably should have just watched Comedy Central or wished for re-runs of the Gong Show…is this the best we can do (apparently)…at least Arty Barnes of the Londoner has his thinking cap on, capitalizing on the ‘draw’ and advertising it…yeah, come on down, have a few drinks, etc…

major tips of the panama to Alex Ferrar(Sobremesa)for helping the crippled guy(the twisted body on crutches guy)across the street..and to Lori Shea, of Guatemala Medical Travel…she picked me up, made appointments with the best of the best, walked me thru every thing…whew! it doesn’t get any better, so if you ever/ever have any medical questions, get it on..5443-8780..

and yes, I missed Mike D’s ‘welcome back’ party at Ponzi Bob’s on Friday…Bob said something about cold dogs and hot beer or did I get that wrong?(as usual)as the late Walter Brennan once said, I (still)have a hitch in my gitalong.’ but I’m workin’ on it…’might have to do a ‘Jackson’ and the VA route..

ah, the words from our new Mayor, months ago…yeah, I’ll fix the water problem in Los Hatos(outside town, on the way to Earth Lodge)well guess what?they still don’t have water…o well…give ’em EcoFiltros…no, that requires water…how about a truck full of Gallo? or better yet, fill up that useless new fire truck(50000 gallons?)…wait…it can’t make it up the hill…damn, always something, eh?

and, sad to say, the Pancheri’s leave us tonight (NorCal) and Yves G, this weekend..can we draw straws to see who stays and who goes? I’ll submit my very  own list…not like the ‘A’ List’…this is my personal ‘O’ List…obnoxious, etc

 

Splatter or Spatter?

?

it seems like its trying to rain or is that just a spate of rain? ah, who cares, unless you’re downstream or in a low-lying location..fortunately, for me, living in Antigua and at 5000 feet in altitude…so?

ever wonder about that oriental concept of location, known as ‘feng shui?’…if there ever were a cursed location in town, I offer to you the Wendy’s outlet…great physical location, across the street from the central park, a known brand…and yet a dark hole, without business..is it the entrance? long dark corridor…dunno but it sucks. I’ve been told that the Wendy’s franchise in Guatemala is under the greasy fingers of one Gustavo Alejos, he of the helicopter and the kickbacks from the medical/health system (and yes, he’s in jail, with the other half of the country)…’would you like fries with that?’

…whew..is the Londoner kicking butt with the music scene in town or what? almost every other night, a new or old act…menu changes and so on..Arty! don’t  burn out here..get that damned Michael Rayment to step up..

and so? what’s up/not up with the new Mayor, Susana? s’posed to be major changes, like cleaning up the late night scene, bars, making noises, cha cha..the only changes I see are more puddles of puke on the sidewalks, broken beer bottles and homeless people sleeping in doorways…if if hadnt been for Phil Wilson of Ecofiltro, the park wouldn’t have been redone…o, that’s right..there’s the new useless fire engine from Florida, too big and only good for trimming tree limbs in Joco…whoopee!

and I hate to say this but the long time American Legion library is still in boxes, 7 months later with no sign of a new location…is it over? and yes, I’m still limping but going into the F%#@! City for an MRI soon..my parts are wearing out, as you know..o well..I didn’t expect to live this long otherwise I wouldn’t have spent all the money(but I spent it wisely…good liquor/bad women) so..its the end of the weekend, mas or menos…go out and crank up the party, where ever it is..   one last thought or two…those poor African refugees..they get this far, on their way to the US…but they need better costumes/make-up, no? they kinda stand out, you know?

GIGO

as some of you might know, this refers to ‘Garbage In, Garbage Out’ which may well describe this site and/or my life…and yes, Independence Day, Guatemala style has almost passed…was there extra fervor this year?seemed like it, from my  perspective. And judging from the extra passel of exquisite City women, aka Capitalinas, it was a success.

September, as some of the bar/restaurant owners know, is usually a quiet month for biz…some of the exceptions, so far, appear to be the Londoner, El Barrio and Sobremesa.  We’ll see how the Exit Inn, newly injected with fervor (and $$) and the loss of Spiros, goes..Alabama Bob keeps on keepin’ on, with a new idea/twist every so often…gotta love his spirits(rum, etc)

and another another (or 2) only in antigua moments…the Amish kids, those with the long dresses/hair in a snood/bag? selling trinkets in/around the park…I know they’re not Mennenites…those were the inventors of Mennen, the deodorant stuff…got rich, moved to Miami…ok, minor drum roll…Bodegona, the local supermarket? selling big bags of potato chips, with  a
Guatemalan flag included…wtf? had they done this a week ago, it might’ve flown…and then, at the other end of the store, six packs of toilet paper, with a plastic cup attached..is there a theme here?

comings/goings…Jackson, of the new hip/new motorcycle..off to Cincy, says he’ll be back around Christmas…Der Hogan, in town unusualy early, leaves on Thanksgiving, with some strange plans for the winter..the Pancheri’s…leaving us for good, in October (medical stuff), headed for Nor Cal, which is where Piano Mike and Bobby D are hanging out now..it’ll be interesting to see how those East Coast guys react to th Left Coast…

and thanks to Stafford, who has been suggesting for a long time that I write a book…yeah, got the software and I’ve started…as I said to the ever delicious Maite Morjan this morning, all you need is a good title, a strong opening sentence and sex by page three..I asked, she declined..o, well..god, what a goddess!