Bodega Bay Mark

Had I recognized the (707) phone number coming through the cell, I probably would have screened it anyway. When I listened to the voice mail, I just could not believe my ears. To add insult to a mind & body riddled with injury, my chess partner and surfer extraordinaire to the North, Bodega Bay Mark, was phoning to say he probably wouldn’t be able to make it to Puerto this year. The news left me reeling.

BBM and I had bought that golden ticket on Mexicana in July of 2010. Round trip from SFO was only going to be $475. Chump change, even to us grinders. By August 26, 2010, Mexicana had ceased operations all together. Every week I phoned the bankrupt airlines, and every week I got The Manana. When our departure date of January 8th 2011 came and went, that’s when Surf Mutt broke the news.

For a split half a day, I was convinced this was the straw that put the cap on the dagger. All indicator flags leading up to BBM’s voice mail were pointing me towards staying in NorCal this winter. One thing after another after another. Thankfully I was wise enough to call bullshit on any red flags that were testing my heart & soul. I knew perfectly well that the disposition of my health was the only flag that mattered.

The after-affects of a late summer hernia surgery had me physically sideways. Some would say I came back to play for The Rebels a bit too early, but the surgeon from Ghana had ok’d my return. When coach stripped The 10 off my back for the final, I had officially hit an athletic low. Regardless, The Rebels went 5-0 over the weekend and sent the Bullies from Castro Valley driving back O.T.H. with a 4-1 loss to stew over.

On Monday, December 14th, 2010, I couldn’t really even get out of bed. I was in real bad shape. Later that day, a close friend of mine stopped by and handed me a couple of Vicodin and suggested I see Dr. FeelGood ASAP. “Oh and Aaron, I heard about your lackluster performance over the weekend. There’s always a spot open for you on the Hot Sox. We’d love to have you back. Let me know before you head to Puerto.”

Seamstress for the Band

We played three sets of doubles and changed partners each time. Everybody won one set, while one special athlete won all three. OK so these characters are all a bit older, but damn serious about their tennis. I have this athletic trick I use on most folks that wrestle me into competitive athletics these days. Been doing it for years now. In a nutshell, I nonchalantly go about the sport at hand pretending that winning isn’t everything. And it isn’t. Or is it?

Brad and Dan drove away around 11am. They lead busy lives in Puerto Escondido. I don‘t lead anything, so I decided to stay. Rick offered up an outdoor shower, and asked if I was interested in some french toast. Music to my ears because this man was starving. I really shouldn’t say starving, but I was on fumes. One doesn’t typically need to eat as much food down here on a regular basis, yet every so often you run the tank empty because of that. There I was.

Rick is a cool guy and a good man. He’s 58 and a self professed Hermit. He looks and acts like a Jew from New York, yet he’s neither. He is from the back country of Northern BC. Safe to say he likes his space. Probably why he is a professional astronomer. Things finally just got too frigid for him in Northern Canada, and the tropics came calling. He bought himself a hectare and drove all his belongings down in a huge trailer. He hasn’t put a shirt on ever since.

I sat down at his piano and supposedly played music to his ears. He fell prey to my simple rhythms. I played Tiny Dancer, Georgia, Under Pressure, and my hip-hop version of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata. Among many others. He just couldn’t get over it. He then went on to play some guitar and tickled some real ivory of his own. A polished pro w/ both instruments. I knew right then and there that it would be hard for him to part with Old Blackie. My mind went upright.

At 3pm he invited me to stay the night. At 5pm I ran thru the thicket, stayed high and tight to the barbed wire fence, hopped over and around some big rocks and cactus, and found myself on the deserted playa. Nobody around. Not a thing. I took real caution in the ocean because that’s what smart humans do. The shore here is a bit rocky and the surf was quite powerful. I gathered about 15 unique Unicorn shells and brought them back to the house as a stupid gift.

We hit tennis balls until sunset and then shared a beer with Mr. Gomez. Rick offered up a leftover Pork Chop with beautifully prepared carrots and potatoes. It was money. After dinner, we primed ourselves for some music collaboration. We followed that up by eating Tostitos and viewing an amazing documentary on Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. We ended the night by watching the 1969 US Open final(on grass at Forrest Hills mind you) between Rod Laver and Tony Roach.

I slept pretty well on the blow up air mattress, considering it didn’t hold a nick of air. I still managed some fitness work down at the playa early in the morning, as Rick played singles with a European guest named Paul. Paul had taken the 7am bus to Santa Elena for 14 pesos and then the 50 peso taxi from the highway. I took note that Paul showed up with an ice cold six pack. At 10am, I snagged a ride back to Puerto Escondido with some stud named Wild Bill.

I told Rick I’d be back sooner than later. He said anytime amigo.

Sun Kissed

I was raised in Orange County California. I was long gone by the time it became known as The OC. For the most part, the orange groves that dominated the area were long gone before I even left. That was 1985. I can’t imagine there being a single orange tree left in this concrete county. Four car garages, ten lane highways, and drive thru Gaps & Starbucks scour this oasis nowadays.

In the United Snakes, I’ve noticed that ‘From Concentrate’, and ‘Not From Concentrate’ orange juices have begun to taste the same. I will even go so near to say that the supposed high end OJ’s like Odwalla and Naked have all been coaxed into hiding truths and cutting tasty corners for profit and the like. It’s not fresh squeezed if it’s been sitting in plastic and/or glass for however long.

Truth be told, I can’t remember the last time I had a satisfying, mouth watering orange in the US. Dry and Mealy come to mind. All Peel, No Deal. Wherever I go, there they are. Bionically neon orange in color. Giant in size. Way too expensive. Crap to eat and probably bad for you in the end. Just an observation. Not the oranges I grew up on. Certainly not the oranges worth writing about.

The best orange juice in my town of Santa Cruz comes from Taqueria Vallarta of all places. It’s the best orange juice because you get 24oz of fresh squeezed juice for something like three bucks. I guess that’s a good deal. Maybe it ain’t. Regardless, some young Mexican fires up a stainless juicer and actually squeezes oranges into a cup. My cup. It takes like ten oranges to make the 24 ounces.

The canopied Nissan for this coastal colony sells 25 oranges for $1.60US. You can hear him on the loudspeaker a mile away. He wears a cowboy hat even though he is full blown indian. His oranges are more greenish/brown than they are orange. None of them are giant in size. None have stickers claiming organic. A film of dirt covers every single one. Each orange is earth temp. Pesticides.

I have been here a month and have cut into over 100 of this gentleman’s oranges. Every orange, and I mean every single one, is just a gusher of honest nectar. All equally as sweet despite how they may appear to my threatened eye. Cut in half, they are as orange as a setting sun. Three little oranges can make a 12 ounce glass no problemo. Same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

New Chapter

Quick post. Change of venue. Getting adjusted. Surf’s up.

On St. Valentines Day, 2010, I flew the coop. I left the wonderful confines of my treehouse, and moved into The Casa Agua Azul apartments just off the main beach at Zicatela. It was like déjà vu all over again. I was back in the exact room that I spent one month in last year. I love it here. The six-room apt. complex is owned by my friend Big Jim. Big Jim is legendary down here, and just the kind of guy you want on your side for all things Puerto.

So I’m back in Zicatela. It’s easier to just call it town though. Thing is, it’s not really town at all. It’s a horseshoe shaped “strip area” filled with restaurants, shops, cabanas, bungalows, palapas, cuartos, world travelers, and of course surfers. The real city or town of Puerto Escondido is more commonly referred to as Central. At least that’s what Big Jim calls it.

I like these apartments for many reasons. The surf check and the sunset views from the 4th floor rooftop are $$$. The cable TV with 24/7 futbol and novellas is pretty cool to have. Love my Mexican tiled bathroom. This year I am blessed even more here because the street out front is completely torn up. Not good for Big Jim and business, but nice for me. This particular street, Calle Abojada Brisas, is one of only a small handful of ways into the Zicatela area. No road now = No cars, taxis, buses, riff raff or the like. Every day, except Sundays of course, only workers with picks and shovels and 2 Liter Cokes are up and down my street. How do I feel hopping barefoot over their freshly dug trenches while carrying either my soccer ball or surfboard? I will tell you later.

I got here at 3pm on Sunday. Oh how Sundays are special. Somebody should bottle the Sunday smell in Puerto Escondido and sell it as potpourri or cologne. Have I made myself clear?

Within an hour of being here, my two new girlfriends gave me a surprise visit. Freaking Adorable. 30 pesos later I had four chicken tacos w/ fresh avocado cilantro salsa, and three fried Banana Platano something or others. I asked if they could break a 200. They couldn’t even break a 50. This was going to be an exact change exchange. I ran downstairs to the Jugo palapa and luckily they were able to make change for me. I gave my girls a small tip. They smiled for the camera.

Lots and lots going on. Stay tuned…

Walk of Fame(Final Act)

Five kids swarmed on my ball. I didn’t even see where they came from. Honestly. They just appeared, and at first, it appeared like they were going to steal my ball. It became an instant frenzy, filled with juggling and dribbling exhibitions, diving goalie saves, shoving and tackling, the full circus. You name it, these five kids were doing it. And they were doing it with my ball. My ball.

I didn’t know what to think, so I didn’t say one word. Didn’t look any of them fuckers in the eye either. I paid them no attention whatsoever, and walked right into the ocean to cool off. I stayed in the water three minutes. Goals were being set up. Perhaps sides were being drawn. There was still an electric ball frenzy happening right on shore, and right in front of my eye. It was almost like they had never seen a soccer ball, which in the end, couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I came out of the sea and the fast talking began. The teasing too. Who knows exactly what they were saying. I could tell it was something like, “Who gets the old, bird legged, white man. It was obvious. Good stuff. Fair Play. They were obviously too young to know that they were adding gasoline to a fire. A fire that was about to spread. Duh.

This was to be no meet and greet pre-game warmup either. I wasn’t going to know any of their names, where they lived, or their exact ages. They had taken over like a swarm of bees. It was the weirdest thing that I had going at the moment. It was the only thing I had going at the moment. What would you have done? These are moments in life that won’t ever become dreams. You can’t dream this shit up.

So I whistled for the ball. They passed it to me. I picked it up and said, “Sorry fellas, Not today…Maybe tomorrow.” NOT!

I didn’t have to tell any of these kids to wait while I found a place for my wallet, or Ipod, or camera, or sunglasses, or any other Gringo accoutrement I might have been schlepping around. I was in trunks. I was tranquilo. I was present, and I was all in.

They kept laughing and being hyper. They were excited no doubt. Remember, 10 minutes prior, they were five kids on the beach without a ball. I brought the goods. Question is…Was I going to “bring the goods?” I kept having to say, Me tiene no cuidado in response to whatever they were asking. They were talking very fast. All of them at once. I figured they wanted my input about something, and like I said, I didn’t care.

Instantly it was on, and I had the two young kids. I knew that was coming. The three older boys made up the other team. I had all the older boys pegged at 16-17 years, mas o menos. The two younger kids were both 11 or 12. I’m sure they were all related in some form or fashion. Nobody had shirts on.

The field was 25 meters in length, and was on the first tier of medium tall sand. The goal posts were maybe five feet apart. They were sand volcanoes with sticks sticking up.

I’m of belief that ball skills in the tall sand take a lifetime of work to master. The older boys were considerably fancier with the ball than I was. But that’s all they were. Fancier. And due to their age, and in general, they had their way with the 12 year olds when push came to shove. They began the game off by just dominating us.

A HUGE part of beach soccer is 50/50 balls, and although my two teammates were just the kind of gritty kids I’d want on any of my sports team, I determined that they were only going to win about 15% of those 50/50’s. They just weren’t big enough yet. It became real clear, real quick, that I was going to have to rely on my strength and my condition, before any of my ball skills. Sort of a blessing actually. So that’s what I did.

When it became clear to me that there was more at stake for my two 12 y/o teammates than Peyton or Drew ever had to experience, I was ready to pinch myself. I had no choice but to put my stamp on this game in all the most experienced ways. They muscled off the 12 year olds, and I muscled over the teenagers. When my boys began to see me really digging in, they began to believe.

The games details would bore you to death. I’m not too clear about them anyway.(There’s been a 5.7 Mag earthquake here in Puerto Escondido since this game took place.) I just know that I muscled it. I dished it. I forced it. I high-fived it. I earned it. I inflicted myself on this three-aside like these boys hadn’t anticipated.

From the goal line,(what line?) in what turned out to be the final play of the game, when I crisply,(finally) dished the ball backwards to one of my oncoming 12 year olds, and he cleanly cracked it one touch for a nice goal, it marked a very magical moment in time. I gave the kid the index finger. He was ecstatic and in disbelief. I could totally tell. This kid might have just scored the best goal of his entire life, and it seemed like he scored it against just the right band of brothers. He turned to see if his squid fisherman father had seen it. He had.
The sun was setting. I was on the breakfast plate. Big fucking efforts. Soaked in sweat, I went in the ocean. I could have gone more, really truly, but they called the game. Hmmmmm. They set the ball down in the sand and made sure that I was aware of that. I said Gracias. They said Gracias. Had there been a scorekeeper, my guess is 12-10, them. I wasn’t keeping score.

With a freshly sprained big toe, I walked home barefoot. Glorious Stuff.

Come Visit Puerto Escondido.

Dog Days

This post is important. It’s a bit of a case study. The study of canines. It’s not in depth, and it’s not proven or patented. It’s just a study, and barely studied at that. It’s opinion based for sure. It’s a study that can easily grip the heart. I’ve been walking right among these creatures for a solid month now. Our four-legged furry friends sure do know how to bare all. Let me tell you.

I don’t get a chance to take many pictures of dogs in Puerto Escondido. I have found the best times for snapping dog pics are early morning dawn, and evenings around dusk. Unfortunately, I’m typically without camera at both those times. Of course between 11a and 5p, my best guess is that canines are hidden away napping in the shade somewhere, much like I am.

Regardless, mornings and evenings are when dog action is at its height, and I have got to tell you, camera or no camera, it’s infectious. It’s canine chess at its finest. You can feel the tactics. Tactics of survival, allegiance, and love. It’s downright amazing. It’s certainly not a game of make pretend.

Dogs in Puerto Escondido are ultimately very submissive. They aren’t savage in any way, shape or form. They shouldn’t be feared whatsoever. Ever. Not to be mistaken for showing them your fear.(if you’re fearful) Their bloodlines have been kicked and have had rocks thrown at them for canine centuries probably. In general, it’s in their blood to run for cover. Another reason it can make picture taking of them an impossibility.

Dogs can be everywhere you turn down here. To make matters super simple, I have put them into four basic categories:

1. Dog(s) that are confined to a property, either tethered, or free, but restricted by property fence, wall, barbed wire, rooftop, et al.

2. Street dogs that have a collar.

3. Street dogs that don’t.

4. Dogs that live at the dump.

*********

These dogs are in the minority. They could easily be the one, two, or the three dog(s) that have free roam on a shady property, and although they look thin, they’re definitely fed, and more than likely pretty loved up. If it’s the latter(3 dogs), well then they have each other don’t they?. If it’s an only child, it gets all the love and all the food scraps, knowing it is costing the family less to feed it. These dogs sleep outside by choice, in beds holes of cold dirt that didn’t cost $39.95 at Petsmart. They may or may not be wearing collars. They might bark a lot or a little. Depends.

Not nearly as likely, but likely enough nonetheless, this type of dog could be tied up all day,(in some form of shade you’d hope) getting fed, but maybe not enough,.etc. No love = No life. The cruelty and negligence is most certainly out there, yet not nearly like it used to be down here in this Wild West of a Tropical Frontier. It’s simple math. Dog food costs money, and money down here there ain’t. Cute when they’re puppies. An unfortunate burden when they are dogs. Burden turns to neglect. Neglect puts them on the streets. If you’re gonna be on the streets, it’s best to get there at an early age.

If I were a dog, this is the group that I’d like to be in. Collar or rope or string around the neck means you are considerably more likely to get some kind of daily food and/or love from somewhere, PLUS you get to be free to involve yourself with whatever it is you want to in your neighborhood vicinity or beyond. You might even be plump and pampered.(1 in 20) These dogs, if they’re smart, and they are, will stay real close to the reliable food source, and make sure that it is known(immediately and over time) that it is OFF LIMITS to all creatures. These dogs get into a lot of trash. You might find all kinds of things in their stool. They are hopefully somewhere they feel comfortable within the overall pecking order of their kingdom. Comfortable in their own skin if you will. As they get older, they probably stay on premise or very close to it. In their prime, they are just dogs, FREE to BE, setting up their shop, playing tag, making friends, making enemies, looking for food and looking for love. Most of these dogs are battled and bruised both physically and emotionally. These dogs can have it real good down here so long as their necessities are being fairly met. These dogs keep to themselves, OR they run in big packs. Sort of depends on the overall home-life. Collared is Cool.

These dogs don’t have it so good. They don’t have it too bad either. My sample size study is what it is, and they are who they are. These dogs live on scraps. Many of them might get all they need. Most of them probably don’t. The dogs are littler than most others. Skinnier too. As they get older, if they make it to old, they try to align themselves with healthy dogs that do have collars, putting themselves in line or position to get fed by a human hand. Bleacher seats if you will. Many of these dogs have routes they go on. An easy target is the treehouse.

Papa Chango is religiously reliable for hearty scraps. Papa Chango told me early on to throw everything edible over the rail, but NEVER EVER let them see you do it. Let them think it’s falling out of the sky. Cooked or uncooked. Spoiled or not. Raw chicken skin. Rotten broccoli. It DONT matter. Toss it over. It will get eaten. If not by the dogs, the chickens. If not by the chickens, the ants.

There is one dog in particular. Pitch black, and pictured last in this post. This dog is slowly but surely adopting PC. Chango knows it tambien, and appears to be ok with it. This dog never barks. Never scratches. Never comes up the trap door. Never sits below the stairs. Never says a peep. This dog keeps its space and has a beautifully shy demeanor about it. This dog has no collar.

This very morning I saw it laying in the shade sort of across the street from the tree. It didn’t see me. I grabbed a semi-stale piece of baguette and tossed it high in the air so that it would land by the dog, and make a sound when it hit. Perfect toss. Blacky only needed to walk five feet to get it, so it did. The dog then looked up to the Gods for praise. Noted. The dog stood over the fist-sized piece of bread and looked around for about two minutes before softly sticking it in his mouth. It then slowly, almost cat like, slipped away into the bush to eat it. A far cry from BBQ chicken bones and/or its daily Eukenuba, but food nonetheless. It’ll be back come dinner. Fact.

Dogs that live at the dump are the bottom of the barrel. I’ve never seen the situation with my own eyes, I’m just taking PC at his word. PC says that if you really want to rescue a dog in Puerto, don’t pick one off the streets–those dogs are doing just fine. He says go to the dump. Those are the dogs that need to be saved. Bring a pound of cooked or uncooked hamburger meat, and have your pick of the litter. Bring that dog home with you and find out what real loyalty is. This dog, so long as it is alive on earth, will KILL for you.

Happy Friday. Good Sabbath. Love thy Dog.

http://www.perrosenpuerto.com

Walk of Fame(Act 1 of 2)

This time was different. It was bound to be different because I didn’t bring either my sunglasses or Ipod. These are big decisions. Executive decisions. Swear to God! You’d be surprised. Decisions that change outcomes. You’d have to walk barefoot a mile in what would normally be my shoes, to know exactly what I am trying to mean. Here’s the scoop:

For a handful of reasons, I could have easily skipped this evening beach session. I was tired and feeling a bit buzzed tranquilo. I had only consumed two beers and three swags of homemade Tequila over the course of say a four hour period, but hadn’t eaten much all day. I had surfed small waves on the wrong board in the morning, and much of the afternoon was spent on The Colotepec River studying PC and his like minded acquaintance.

Pretty soon it became 5:30pm. Routine lately has had me booked at the beach, so it was time to run through my checklist. My first thought went to earplugs. Always earplugs. Don’t leave a tree without em’. Earplugs before shoes. Crazy concept for me and/or anybody for that matter.

I then categorized sunglasses and Ipod into their own category called (valuables), and decided against them both this particular time. Heavy Duty Decision Making! It’s nice having these two valuable items, but they, along with cameras and the like, don’t do well with the 5 S’s; Soot, Sand, Salt, Sea, Sweat. So without them, the pressure is off, and it’s sort of like your own personal invite to dirty yourself up.

Me: Do I bring the ball?

Myself: For what?

I: I don’t know

It didn’t make much sense to bring the ball , which is why I decided to bring it. Besides, it’s my best prop going these days.

The journey to the sand from the treehouse is about 500 meters. It’s hilly. Hillier on the way back obviously. Before getting to the sand, there is always something interesting or two to observe. It’s different every time too. Sounds. Smells. Faces. Dogs. Roosters. Taxis. Tortilla makers. Crying babies. Old Indian Men & Women. I try and make this part of the walk to the sand with some style and some purpose. I’m trying to make Gringo art. I’m trying to change lives in the present. I’m trying to be the ball. Noonan!

I carry the ball in my hand. I palm it from time to time when I have to. I spin it on various fingers when I have to. I clap it with my other hand and make various whistle chirps when I have to. I volley it out of my hand against a cement wall when I have to. I stop under a shade tree and stretch with it when I have to.

On this particular evening, about half way down the final grooved cement hill that empties out to the sand, I heard a soccer game going on. This was my first time hearing it, and coincidentally it happened to be my first time not wearing headphones. Go figure. Lesson noted.

I had seen the rocky dirt field from a hotel room I was checking out a few weeks back. The Senorita showing me the room said that games were held there every Saturday. I assumed they were full field, full squad games. I also assumed that everybody or most everybody wore shoes of some sort.

I didn’t even bother to have a look. For all I knew, there could have been nine of them looking for a tenth, and somebody had brought small netted goals. I put a 2% chance of that being true. More likely was that there were 40 of them playing 20 aside with all sorts of other side shows like breast feeding mothers, coke drinking, and coconut splitting.

I fought the urge to check it out, and simply stayed my course. I felt I was letting a potential life changing experience pass before me, but you can say that about any course of action, and you can say it til you’re blue in the face. It just wasn’t meant to be. Plus I had been hitting the bottle a bit.

When I got to the bottom of the hill, where the cement meets the beginning of beach sand, I did exactly what I had done every other time I got to this very point. With my left hand, I carefully tossed the ball up in the air, stared it down like the target it is, and kicked it with my right bare foot as far onto the beach as I could. The idea here is to hit it square, and hit it straight.

I hit this one solid. The ball had cleared the tall grass and was now perched up perfectly on a mound of sand. As I approached the ball, I again fixed on it hard. Prior to reaching the ball, I hadn’t looked up for about 20 steps. I had my head down so that I wouldn’t trip or step on a rock or a thorn, or god forbid a piece of cactus.

Because the ball was sitting up so nicely, I approached it with a sort of slow motion confidence. Like a Tropical Waltz. I cracked it hard with my left foot on what would have been the laces had I been wearing shoes. The crowd went wild.(just kidding) The ball made it 3/4 of the way across the sand, maybe 100 feet from going into the ocean. It came to a stop.

What immediately happened next will have to wait til manana. Hint: Brees and Manning had their big dance on Sunday Night in Miami. Mine came Super unexpectedly on Saturday night in Puerto Escondido…

Rebelmania

The email subject read Fuck Yes. The content was brief. The Rebels had finally been given the nod at Good Shepherd; A long standing soccer league in Santa Cruz CA comprised of good teams and stinky teams. There are thirty two teams in the league.

The good teams are typically those that have been playing with one another for many many years. Of course, family and job matters are standard obstacles for many players and team dynamics. Age and injury related matters can mess with success tambien. For the great most part, the best soccer players in the area are involved with The Good Shepherd league.

Here’s what’s going to happen. You heard it hear first. Whoever runs the league is going to rank The Rebels right in the middle. Maybe even the lower middle. Say 20th of the 32 teams. When the schedule comes out, we will play against teams that are ranked closest to us. Of course there will be a game or two against a top 10 team, as well as a game or two against a team ranked near the bottom.

LOL. This league is about to experience Rebelmania, and it might get ugly. The outcome of our 12 game season should chime in pretty close to perfect. Guarr-ans. We might play on our heels against a top team and get beat in a close one. Sure that might probably maybe happen. The real challenge for The Rebels in their coming out season is going to be how they handle themselves when they can win 15-0 but stylishly keep it close at 7-1. Proper.

As I’ve mentioned in prior writings, The 3B’s anchor a talented men’s roster that play cool and composed. Over the years, Biscuit has recruited top young players from many of the other teams. Young means 30. Young is good. Ask anyone. I can’t quite put my finger on why exactly The Rebels seem to always get it done. It’s a 3B thing. How’d it go honey? We won. How did The Rebels play today babe? We killed em. You going drinking after the victory Love? We are.

When the time is right, providing Bones plays his cards right and keeps his play high, there might be a 4th B in the making. For me, the news of our inclusion meant it was time to ramp up my preparation. Let me tell you….

A Show About Nothing

Hot topic: It’s been cloudy here. Nice for a change to me and probably everyone, yet it’s way not the norm this time of year. Something is definitely brewing. Indian Brew.

I woke up hungry. PC had taken his longboard surfing which made it a perfect time to slip out. I drank about 20 ounces of black coffee, grabbed my Ipod and camera, and headed out without anything to do. That’s not entirely true. I had one errand I wanted to run,(walk) but outside of that bit of responsibility, I was headed out to have a try at nothing. It was 7:30am. I went barefoot of course.

In Puerto Escondido, if you are in the shade, you’re as good as gold. If you’re in the sun, you better figure out how to get in the shade. A cloudy day in early February meant perfect temps without having to battle the sun. It sort of takes the pressure off your day. Can you dig it?

I went right to the waters edge and it was dead glass. Did some light stretching. I meandered down to main beach. Today, even the sneaker sets weren’t so sneaky. Playful. Gutless. Spooky quiet. I can’t say I have ever seen this place so G-rated. It was a perfect surf day for Joe First-Timer from Montreal or The Netherlands. I would have been out there too if my shoulder was right. Still plenty of fun waves to be had.

Ate breakfast right on the beach at Zicatela. It seemed quiet, but February usually is. It’s the same in the States I suppose. January steals the show, and leaves February high and dry. It’s probably why there are so many fewer days in February. Look no further than the spelling of the damn word..

Had a 20 minute chat en Espanol with Soco.(pronounced Soh-Koh) Had another 20 min chat in English with Lonnie. It was 10am. I then walked thru the “strip” on Zicatela, in and around The Marinero, crossed the Adoquin, climbed the concrete steps of the old church, and into town. I wanted new earphones for the Nano. The 900 Peso Sony Brand model that I just fucking bought at Circuit City in Santa Cruz California was already hosed. I replaced it with a 60 Peso($4.50) model. Both sets were probably made in the same factory.

I bought a fruit cup. Jicama on the bottom. Papaya in the middle. Pineapple on top. 10 pesos. I walked back the same way I came. I asked the young family from Toronto if they would watch my valuables while I went swimming in the ocean. They did. I did. 84 degrees. I walked back up to Hwy 200 and hopped a Collectivo for the one mile ride back to Brisas Zicatela. That’s the official name of the area in Puerto Escondido where I am hanging.(pun) There was an old Indian lady on my Collectivo. We never made true eye contact. Her feet looked like they were 200 years old. She only looked 100. Precious moment for this 42 year old.

Back at the tree, it was quiet. So quiet I took another record nap and woke up at 4pm. I didn’t have to wait until early evening to do some ball work on the beach because it was still cloudy. It was on!

El Neen Yo

I agreed to eat most of my dinners with PC. He’s a good cook, and I’m burning calories. Maybe agreed isn’t the right word, but had I not agreed, there is no way of knowing how his mannerisms around the treehouse would have manifested. Besides all the additional treehouse sounds he is capable of making, I reckon his feelings would have been hurt too. That part I still do not understand. Nevermind! It’s a complex affair. He’s a complex specie.

PC wanted to make food shopping day something we did together. I knew better. I’d rather just hand over the Pesos and let him take care of that. It was a minimum four stop affair for sure. Five or Six, depending on how many banks you had to stop at before you found one that has money to dispense. Plus he needed to drop off his laundry. I didn’t want any part of it.

PC doesn’t like going out in public. He doesn’t mind it, but he doesn’t like it. Fact of the matter is, he’s actually just not good at it. He’d probably argue that point, but that’s what he does…he argues. Actually, it’s more barking than it is arguing. I am slowly beginning to understand why. It’s because he’s angry. He’s angry at the system, and the human beings that blissfully operate within it. You know that word game called like Seven Degrees to Kevin Bacon. With PC, it’s like Three Degrees to the Central Bank. If I said the word “HackySack”, or “Papaya”, PC would be able to get to Central Bank in like one move. It can be annoying or hilarious, depending on the time of day.

I told him I couldn’t go with him because I was meeting someone. Besides, this would give me the opportunity to covertly station myself in his path, and snap those “in public” closeups the board members were requesting. I have grown to love the beast, I really have, but this was business, and there comes a time when sometimes a little white lie is the best situational medicine. Did I just say that?

Main beach at Zicatela was still empty. Puerto Escondido is feeling the recessional pinch. It was roughly 9:30am. The surf was small. I had my camera. It was a somewhat cloudy day, which is rare this time of year. This winter, El Nino seems to be the answer to any of the Pacific Ocean oddities. I saw Bodega Bay Mark, and told him I’d be back later for that game of chess I promised I would play. I was looking forward to it actually. It was to be my first game since my arrival.

I got the closeup photos I needed of PC, and was sure I wasn’t spotted. I knew he’d be on a mission. First it was The Mercado for our fresh vegetables and filet mignon. He’d then hit his Coffee Roaster for several kilos ground to medium. I knew he’d then head down to Super Che for dead chicken, and a few other everyday items. His final stop would be Super 69 for all the International Items like Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Ragu Sauce, Jasmine Rice, Albacore Tuna, Skippy Peanut Butter etc..

Chess was just right. Mark is perfectly beatable, but not easily beatable by any stretch. Big difference. He likes to move quickly. I love when my opponent does that. The last couple games, I noticed him leaving his finger on each piece an extra five seconds or so. That should turn to ten seconds by the end of this week. I’m back baby!

Construction is set to stop around the treehouse for a couple of weeks. PC will have plenty of free time to catch up on all his reading. Although I have a new found bounce to my step, my right shoulder is completely yanked from the tennis serving motion. I should get that right within a few days. Good timing for a yanked shoulder because the surf around here this whole week has been quite tame. El Nino!

And speaking of a new found bounce to my step; On Wednesday morning February 3, 2010, I fell in love. I’m off the market.:( Without making any mention of my desire to know her age, she took her index finger and made the number 8 followed by the number 2 in the soft soot. True stories. My new shorty is 82.