Saturday, 27 June 2009

Alfred Hitchcock ain't got nuthin' on this.....

Yesterday morning I was riding my bicycle up on the north side of the island. I've got the Ipod on super loud, listening to some Linkin Park,rocking out, in the zone, doing the exercise thing.

As I'm riding, a garbage truck pulls out, and as they swung to turn, something icky fell out of the back of the truck and lands on the street.

This giant vulture swoops down and starts ripping into it,as I'm approaching. I see the icky giant bird and hook left. The bird, who is facing me, takes off inflight and dodges right.

We collide mid chest. I've got a wing in my face and I'm batting wildly at the damn thing while attempting to remain upright on the bike, all the whiie shreaking like a little girl. We're talking screams here, where it's just sounds, ACK, ACK, ACK, since I'm not even capable of forming a sentence.

I managed to remain upright while beating off the messenger of death, although I did susain a minor injury to my private parts as I jammed the handbars into my pubic bone.

It was one of the most repugnant things that has ever occured to me. Have you ever smelled those things! Aside frrom being literally butt ugly, they stink. Really badly.

You know as soon as I got the bicycle under contol I started looking around to see who actually saw that. The You Tube video is probably worth some serious cash.

I showered with bleach, and did some serious exfoliation.

I think this is a sign from God that exercise is bad for you.

Friday, 26 June 2009

The Video...again

Iknow that I posted this yesterday, but I just wanted to give kudos to the staff at Canal5, they did a super job with the video, and I'm really looking forward to the show. The first episode is this Thrusday from 7 to 8 pm. We'll have the videos on you tube too, in case you can't see it. This is a super opportunity for Cozumel and for "gringos" who live here. We've never had our own news venue here.

We're working on topics,for the show, what would you like to see?

Thursday, 25 June 2009

My first day of filming..

Yesterday was my day to shoot the promo video for my upcoming cable show. Luckily, I had the foresight to rope my friend Katie of Blu Bambu into my nefarious scheme. Katie spent over a hour doing my hair and make-up, and I have to admit it, I looked great. She used some voodoo magic,since I actually had an upper lip and more than 5 eyebrow hairs.

Anyhow, we arrive at the TV station, and the camera crew consists of one, very nice, very nervous 20 year old boy, who I later found out, had only worked there for a month, which probably explains why he was more nervous than I was.

The station manager had left instructions, that he wanted the shoot to be outside on the waterfront… July….in the sun… 1 pm. The one block walk, toting all the camera stuff, already started the sweat running down all of our faces.

Then, embarrassed camera man has to wire me for sound, which involves clipping a microphone to my chest, slipping the wire under my shirt and leading it out the back. Doesn’t sound too hard, does it? Well it is, if you refuse to touch me. Katie finally had to come and help him because he was bright red and flustered, and just sort of flapping his hands around in front of me uselessly.

We were forced to move further downtown, after the CB radios of the taxis interfered with the audio of the tape. This involved us walking about 3 blocks, in the sweltering unshaded sun; me leading, still wired for sound, Katie carrying the cable, and the camera guy taking up the slack.

After blotting off the rivulets of flesh colored sweat, and unpeeling the hair matted in my lip gloss, we’re ready to shoot. Camera guy asks me to remove my sunglasses. Um, blinding sun! People with corneal transplants are very photo sensitive! As a result, I have to close my eyes, until taping actually starts and rush through my speel as quickly as possible before my eyes get all squinty, like Morocco Mole.

I am now slimmingly positioned, sucking in the gut, shoulders firmly unpinned from my ears while wearing my “go to” photo face the second I open my eyes.

“Hi I’m Laura, join me this Thursday for Cozumel 4 You, a brand new program of news, events and island happenings all in English, right here on Channel 5 from 5 to 7 pm,”

“How’d I do?” I ask camera man

“I don’t know, I don’t speak English so I didn’t understand it,” he shugs, but helpfully adds “you didn’t stutter or slur or anything.”

Essentially I could have recited Mary Poppin’s Supercalafragjalistic and as long as I didn’t drool or fall over, it would have been ok in his book.
We shoot a few more, just in case, repeating the closed eye game, and we’re packing up, and camera boy DROPS the camera. On the STAIRS. Made of CEMENT.

We then got to wait around in the square (aka Wet Wendy’s Bar slipping something cold) while he checked to make sure “he had what he needed. “ (AKA: found someone who spoke English to see what I said on the tape, and also to check if the camera was still in working condition after the stair tumble)

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Why I love living here in Cozumel....

Yesterday it was oppressively hot. Just sitting outside, and losing three games of backgammon in a row to the Fab Husband, had made sweat run down my face and show through my shirt. So when Fab suggested the beach with the dogs I was all over it.
The beach in Cozumel with my family is my most favorite thing to do in this world. Hands down. I adore everything about it, literally from start to finish.

Starting a trip to the beach involves the application of sunscreen in the upstairs bathroom. Mar, our extremely intelligent black Lab, can Identify the smell of sunscreen, regardless of the brand, and begins barking excitedly from outside. Sol, our adorable, happy, “special needs” dog has no idea what’s going on, but takes her cues from Mar and starts barking and running in circles. And so it begins….
Meanwhile the Fab-man is packing a mini-cooler with a couple of beers, ice and some cozies. Frankly, I don’t know why we bother, it’s so hot that it’s impossible to keep them cold, so we wind up sharing one and passing it back and forth.
Then the dogs pile into the back of the VW Thing, stick their heads out the windows and commence smiling. Sol actually smiles so much that her cheeks flap in the wind. Mar, on the other hand, needs to see everything, and races from left window, to right window, to the pile of towels between our seats, facing forward, urging the car on.
I like to take my dogs to the north beaches up past the Country Club. First of all, it’s only about 10 minutes away from the house, and secondly, it gives Sol a chance to swim, since she’s our “special” girl, she won’t swim if there are large waves, like on the windward side of the island.
Sol adopted us shortly after Hurricane Roxanne. When I say, she adopted us, I mean that she literally started showing up outside our gate, in the exact place where another street dog I had taken care of used to wait for us. Sol is a yellow Lab, however, at the time I honestly thought she was beige, she was that dirty. Our vet now tells us that Solita was probably hit by a car, or kicked by a carriage horse (Fab’s theory, since she has a pathological hatred of horses) which never got treated properly, as a result Sol is gimpy. She’s very adjusted to it now, however, when she first came to us, she would fall over while peeing, and I have literally seen her get herself running so fast she has no control and crash into things, like parked cars. Anyhow, she’s the Gracie Allen of the dog world, and if her gimpy leg is happier without fighting big waves, to the North we go!

When we cross over from the paved road to the dirt path, the dogs get really excited. Mar starts whining, Sol starts barking. Fab and I just look at each other and smile. Their joy is that contagious. We pull the car to a stop, and Mar begins her Jack Russell imitation, hopping up and down, let me out! let me out! In spite of the fact that our car, does, in fact, have no windows and she can easily jump out on her own, however, Mar is our princess dog, and we can’t deny her a regal entrance.

Unfortunately I don’t have children, however, opening the door after a beach arrival is what I’m assuming it’s like to watch your kids race downstairs Christmas morning. They’re bounding up and down the beach. Mar is looking for a stick, for her never ending game of fetch, while Sol charges into the water, only to run back out and start all over again. The Fab-man and I are holding hands, walking down the beach, exchanging amused glances. This is one of the moments, when I love my husband best. One of those special snapshots that you mentally take out and look at when you’re far away or apart.

If it was up to Mar, the next hour and a half would be spent throwing a stick as far as you possibly can into the water. Not to brag here, but my black dog is an amazing swimmer. She has no fear of leaping into the giant waves on the windward side of the island. She times the waves, so she can actually surf back into shore. When the love of her life, her daddy, takes his surf board out, we have to physically restrain her from swimming all the way out to the surf zone, to stand on his board. The most amazing thing Mar does, in my opinion, is that she can actually dive for sunken objects. If you throw a stick that happens to sink, she can actually feel around with her paws, and when she’s located it, she’ll stick her head completely underwater, for a long period of time and come back with a stick, a rock, whatever.

Sol will swim but not as far, oftentimes turning around pretty quickly. She also tires quickly and has intelligently discovered that if she waits, until Mar returns to shore she can grab the stick and run off with it. Of course she looses interest in the stick 5 paces away, but the actual theft part is pretty interesting in her mind. I like to take Sol into the water, give her some dog massage on her bad leg and have her swim around; cozumel improvised aquatic therapy.

Eventually the dogs are tired, we’re out of beer, and it’s time to go home. If the ride is more than 10 minutes, they’re generally crashed out in the back seat. Sol has to first express her gratitude by licking your hand and lookking earnestly into your eyes. The whole car, in spite of being convertible and having no windows, smells like wet sandy dog, which is actually a nice smell. The Fabster and I are still holding hands, passing the last beer back and forth, and we’re both radiating contentment and satisfaction, as we drive slowly home.

This post is a little different, than my normal short, funny ( i think)ones. It was inspired by posts from Ms. Moon over at Bless Our Hearts. Cozumel is her favorite place to be, and I really enjoyed reading about it, and wanted to convey one of the things that I really love about being here, and choosing to make this my home.

Friday, 19 June 2009

Cozumel Surfing now up

Just to let all my peeps know that I've got the super rough draft of up and am working on finishing it now, so all of you who've been stalking the surf photos and googling "Nacho the surfer Cozumel" can check it out.

Aren't web stats great? It's so cool to have the IP address too!!

Stop over at Cozumel surfing and give it a give shout out!

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Snippets O mirth, or I don't have enough for a full blog post...

The intersection of Calle 10 with Av. 15 has always been high traffic, and, apparently the zipper heads in the Cozumel planning department have been dwelling on the issue. First the rocket scientists attempted to correct this issue by placing the largest stop sign I've seen in my life on 10th. Apparently, this sun-eclipsing sized sign didn't work, since a few days later they sent a road crew in, who worked diligently for about 3 days installing large, scrape the belly-offa-your-car speedbumps (topes) on 15th, effectively creating a 4 way stop.

Three days later the topes were completely removed and the holes patched. Island legend has it that the topes were supposed to be installed on 10, and no one was there to supervise. They did leave the signs announcing the topes, though. sigh.

The new neighbors, with the strip mine in their backyard, spent the first night in their new home. This morning, while the Fab-man was walking the dogs, he noticed the back seat all messed up on their rental VW Bug. Someone has stolen their car battery. Welcome to our neighborhood, we're really glad you're here! sigh.

It's rained for 3 or 4 straight days now, and directly in front of our house the street is blocked by a puddle of green stinky water, that, if expereince proves correct, will soon start breeding frogs. These frogs, asside from being large and disgusting party all night en masse and can literally keep us awake with the noise. sigh.

I think the weather has sucked out my motivation. sigh.

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

In which some home projects are clearly not DIY

We finally met the new neighbors, who bought the house to the north of us. After the Fab man made the initial contact, I went over to check out the house, and convince them that horns were, in fact, not growing out of my head, contrary to popular belief.

I was really curious to see this house since the prior owners were, well....a little unusual. We're on the tour, looking out at the backyard, and I said, "oh, is that an outdoor kitchen, what a great idea!" Turns out it's a bathroom for the swimming pool.

Let me tell you about the "swimming pool." The two children of the previous owners, ages 12 and 16, got the idea into their head that they really wanted a pool, so they decided to dig their own pool. Now, anyone who lives here knows that Cozumel is a limestone island, with about 2 feet of rocky, poor quality top soil. In fact, people I know who actually have completed (keyword) swimming pools have to hire people with pneumatic drills to bust up the rock to actually get more than ankle-deep.

So these whacky kids get this idea into their head, the parents indulge them, and where is their next stop? Our house. Yes, here. Why? Because they want to borrow our pick and shovel. Seriously, they were invested enough to attempt to dig their own pool, but didn't want to spring for the tools??

This went on for a least a week. Boy would arrive in the morning, borrow our tools, and attempt to dig to China, only to return our shovel at the end of the work day. Frankly, I was beyond amused. As the healthy-sized pool progressed, the inevitable happened, they hit rock, we didn't own a pneumatic drill they could borrow, and the project was abandoned.

Fast forward to the present day with the new owners. I'm looking out their backyard and it either looks like it's been strip-mined or been used for some sort of mass burial, unmarked grave, kinda deal.

So I'm explaining to the new neighbors, that, in fact, our pick and shovel are responsible for the destruction of their backyard, and they're looking at me in open-mouthed disbelief. See, they're new to the island, and have not yet learned the system of dispended-disbelief that we long-timers exist in, and, to be honest, they probably heard about the horns that grow out of my head already.

Thursday, 11 June 2009

I'm going to be on TV - meh

This is from my recent Cozumel 4 You newsletter:

Cozumel 4 You is going multi-media! Starting on Thursday June 25, Cozumel 4 You, hosted by Laura Wilkinson, will present a weekly, hour long, magazine style show, along with Canal 5! We’ve been collecting your comments and suggestions off of the chatboard and your emails, so we’ve got some great ideas! Canal 5 can be found on Channel 25 for those of you with Cable Mas, here on the island, and we’ll have a video link, on the chatboard for those of you who don’t have access.

Before you start patting me on the back (which is very nice, btw, keep it up!) and bask in my glory, keep in mind that I'm really, really freaked out about the whole thing.

First of all, I hate having my picture taken. Totally 100% loathing, white hot intensity of a thousand suns. Allow me to illustrate:

This is a photo of myself and two other (normal) women. See how they're relaxed and smiling in an attractive fashion? They're pleased to have their photo taken (maybe posted on my blog here, not so much, but..)

Look at me. My shoulders are hiked up to my ears, I'm slouched over, creating a tent'like effect from the dress (I'm not THAT fat) and then there's the totally awkward, "I have to go to the bathroom" kinda stance thing going on.

I know you're thinking, "wow, what an unfortuate photo of my dear friend Laura." However, let me assure you. This is one of the better ones.

Friends and family have hundreds of photos of me with the same hiked shoulders and uncomfortable smile, throughout the years. I remember one particularily bad school photo (4 grade maybe) in which I am rocking the same pained expression in a Winne the Poo dress. That photo actually made relatives laugh out loud.

Photo Phobia runs in my family. My cousin is one of my dearest friends in the world. My husband used to wonder why I have not a single photo of her in the house, until she came to visit. Fab-man just doesn't get photo phobia and just started snapping away, my shoulders went up, and Cousin took on her "thousand yard stare" look. Seriously, she could intimidate the bartender in a biker bar with her photo-face, and that's if you're brave enough to take the photo!

Another reason why I'm freaked out about being on TV is my potty mouth. Those of you who know me, and continue to speak to me, know that I drop the F-bomb as an adjective. I enjoy expanding my vocabulary with words like "f*ck-tard" and things like "put your big girl panties on and get over it," drop out of my mouth with alarming frequency.

They originally wanted to do the show LIVE, however, I think I've convinced them otherwise. In short, to sum it all up, this is going to be a whole lot of 'company-behavior" mixed with a never ending photo.

In all seriousness, it's a super opportunity. Cozumel never has had a televised news in english program, and I'm super flattered to be in on the first one. What an asset to the community.

I'm really looking forward to it, since that which does not kill me makes me stronger. I've been watching Dr. Phil and Rachel Ray, to study their facial expressions and postures, and I'm working on my company behavior. This weekend I plan on spending alot of time around children.

Friday, 5 June 2009

Cozumel Surf

I've just started working on a webpage for my friend, Nacho, called cozumel surfing. Nacho, who is probably the most universally known and liked guy on the island has been surfing for years, and now wants to start teaching it.

He's really good with kids, and he just looks like a surfer. I don't have the page done yet (since I'm blogging...) but I wanted to post some of these for you. Here's Nacho, doing his surf god imitation. Kids stop him in the street all the time and call him Capt. Jack Sparrow.

And here he is showing off.

Here's the Fab Man getting his surf on! (Note the Guido arms!)

Lastly, I'm calling this one, Nacho and his surf bunnies. That's Malin from Sweden (right) and Katie (left), who owns the new salon in town.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

A photo says 1,000 palabras....

I'm fully convinced we've hit the dog days of summer, even though it's only June, and August is traditionally the hottest month. It's been super hot and humid, but no rain. I thought I'd do a photo essay of some of the recent events here.

First of all, look who's back. It's the Snoopymobile. For those of you who don't already know, this is the Fab-man's very cool island style car. Like a phoenix, Snoopymobile has been rebuilt from the ground up, yet again. It's a 1972 VW Thing (here in Mexico, it's called a Safari) This time it's been reincarnated white, since someone else on the island, also has a red Thing. It's been 11 months in the rebuilding, and the final details, like the brakes, should be done by the end of this week!! Hopefully in time for happy hour !
(it's at this week, fyi, 6- 9pm)

We also got the large screen on our sliding glass door repaired. Our "cat" (who is convinced he's the third dog) took it upon himself to create his own cat door, basically by head-butting the screen until the corner ripped. We knew it was time to get it fixed when a three-year old child could also walk through. We had the screen team in, and showed them what the cat had done, and showed them the damage, explaining that we wanted a cat door in the left corner. We were thrilled when they returned at the end of the day, with this elaborate set-up featuring a clear plastic cat door, until we installed it and realized that the cat door is now on the right corner, so unless the door is fully open, it's useless.

Lastly, I've been spending tons of time watering the garden. This jasmine bush, about a year ago, was the pride of my garden, and made the entire downstairs smell fantastic with constant flowers (Fabs actually once accused me of using an overpowering air freshener, when, in fact, it was the bush). That was before the ants, the white fly and the fungus arrived. My friend Rosalie hacked jasmine down to mere stalks back in April, in a last ditch effort to save the poor thing. Jasmine finally put out shoots and green leaves, which is apparently very appealing if you are a giant red ant. I watched helplessly one night as these horrible insects carried off entire leaves. The next morning, we painted the base of the plant white with chalk, like they do with all the palm trees downtown. It apparently works since the remaining 2/3 of the plant has yet to be carried off. Sometimes you just have to be happy for the little things, no?