Sunday, February 22, 2009

What to bring when you move to Mexico

If you are planning to move to Mexico the most important thing you need to bring is your faith.

Faith in life, faith in love, faith in the universe to provide.

they just didn't make the cut

So you wonder… where are all the new blogs. I’ve done some blogs and journals. But definitely not as many as when I had internet or had my computer working well or rode the bus. Being alone REALLY helps my creativity. When I have my 2 ½ million dollar house, I am going to lock myself in my office, or well, I’ll have my Manny so I will go places alone sometimes.

Anyway, what have I written that I haven’t posted?

-one boring plog about… “Why do people want to be police?” But then I thought why do people want to be in the military… and well it just seems too controversial of a subject and ended up being… well.. boring. It’s a loaded questions or something.
-I’ve done like 5 blogs saying thank you to each of my former co-workers, one by one. But lose steam somewhere.
-One Post about the fact that I have started having baby fever again, and I have 3 children, AND I’M 38.
-One post about being back to my life swinging in the hammock and Enrique making the money I made after about 2 days after I quit. Enjoying my time with my kids and how I sense that we are moving soon and we are finally moving forward.
-One post all about our lives and an update of how things were going..

All of these did not make the cut. Sorry.

So that’s some of what I’ve been writing lately.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

It's all good in the hood


(photo not actually related to the story)

I get inspired all the time. I really wish I had the remote from the movie Click. If I did I know what would happen. I would observe something that inspires me, hit pause, write it down, and then hit play. And I know this would go on all day long, everyday would probably take 48 hours just to get through it.

Today at the park, I will leave out the part of my little sweetheart Jimi falling when trying to go down the pole that scared the beegeebees out of me. Right before that moment I stood in awe of what I saw.

Let me set the scene:

It was about dusk and I was in the middle of the park. Loud Mexican Salsa and dance music blasts across the entire park. You can see the park for about ¼ mile in each direction. The entire area is basically an open field.

On the North end there is a soccer field. The grass is brown and has garbage strewn here and there but the community doesn’t seem to notice or care. In the middle of this park with no name, (as far as I know) there is a play area that is more modern than most of the parks around my neighborhood. To the south is a very large basketball court. There is a big field light turned on above the basketball court that spreads light out across most of the park.

On the Soccer field a game just got over and the guys were congratulating each other and leaving, a few guys lingered and practiced their skill. Around the soccer field a few people were running or walking on the dirt path used as a make-shift track. On the playground there were around 30 children running around and playing. The weather was weird because it was a little bit windy and cloudy which is unusual for February here. On one side of the basketball court a few different people were playing basketball. On the other side of the basketball court about 50 or so Mexican ladies were a doing group exercise with an instructor. The exercise was in the style of what I think is referred to as Sexy dance and is quite entertaining to watch.

I looked at all of that and I sat there thinking “It’s all good in the hood.”

If I was in the US and I was going to set up this scene, I would only change a few things:

-The grass would be green and well cared for.
-There would be garbage receptacles all around and garbage would be in its place.
-The play area would have some type of cushion like rubber, or very thick bark dust so that children would hit the ground softy if they fall. (All this one had was worn down sand.)
-The music would have been hip-hop.
-I might add a pool too…. Just a thought.

If you like hip hop I have got to turn you onto an awesome song I got through Itunes free weekly download last fall. It’s called “The Stoop” by Little Jackie.

I miss my city. And when I think about it I have that ache in my chest and that longing inside me that sinks downward to my stomach and pulls my soul.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Hi Anonymous, thanks for the comment. I might talk to the person first and give a warning, but hey, who am I right?

On my blabbermouth post, I got this comment which I just read today, because I haven't been to the internet for a week. I was waiting till I got my check before I vented about work. I Got my check today.
Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "Blabbing my whole life to strangers":

I can't believe you talk about your private stuff while you're working... either
you have too much time or have no clue about client service... I bet you
those small pauses people make while listening to you are more about how the
hell to get you back on the original point, or whatever they were planning
on buying/asking/telling you...You're cute and nice but seen from a bizz
perspective, I'd fire you... nothing personal.

I guess I didn't really want to work there anyway. They didn't even really give you a reason to want to work there. They treat you like shit. So I kinda agree with you, I might have a talk with someone who was talking about too much personal stuff on the phone to customers. But at the same time, the customers liked me. I liked them. I decided if I was going to work there, and take their bitchy ass shit. Cause yeah, the managment there were bitchy. That I would make the best of things and so I did.

I was talking to my husband about this. It is almost the chicken and egg thing:

Slackers vs. the management undermining you and un empowering you

Which starts first? I can pretty confidently say I think that the management starts it first, but even if they don't, management always has an opportunity to turn the tide. Truth is you can empower anyone without shutting them down. You just have to know your stuff.
First off they want you to walk the dog. I'm like, "Shit the things I am lowering myself to do for a freaking job." I mean that sounds really snobby, but I was hired to do customer service, then I was being yelled at because I didn't want the dog to jump on me and scratch my arm when I picked uptheir poop. I was told I would be fired if I didn't walk the dog.

Also the way the work is set up is as if there is no way that you can take job-ownership of your work, the work is like working at McDonalds in a sense, you pass it on and pass it on and pass it on. I haven't worked at a job with that lack of job-ownership available since I was a teen at Burger king.

So then I kept being told to figure out questions by myself, but when I would figure it out for myself, I would get yelled at. I was getting yelled at for doing things right! Just any ole reason I was getting yelled at. I have worked in business for 17 years with progressive resposibility and sure I know you don't want your customer service agents getting all chatty, but that was what I had to do to deal with my life at the time. So yeah I quit last Monday.

But a few good things... k? When I started working there everyone was yelling fuck this, and fuck them and how stupid the customers were. It was a really negative atmosphere. So what I did was make it fun for me. People often called and wanted to know where we were, and then they wanted to know why I lived in Mexico. Sure I got a little bit too chatty, but that got me through the day as if I hadn't even worked at all.

The main thing is, I know I brought in alot of money for them. I upsold the product and made customers out of people who just called for information. Also, the atmosphere (other than the management being prone to bitch fests) was lighter. I joked with the girls, and actually I really miss them right now. It was really fun to work with them, especially Z, and jess and her mom. And Somehow they even started thinking about a strategy about customer service, AND I even heard some ideas of how to be more positive. Well, I never came right out and said how negative I thought it was, but by example, I think I did lighten them up a bit. For awhile anyway.

Now there is a lovely lady there who is really positive and nice, and her daughter works there too and I am hoping their positivity can keep everyone cheerful. Cause you know, pollyanna me really just wants everyone to be happy.

So back to your comment, if you fired me, I would believe that it was meant to be. So also if I worked somewhere that fired people for developing customer relationships, I wouldn't want to work there anyway.

Other comments, please know that I read everyones comments, if you want to interact with me you must email me at puertovallartagirl@gmail.com and eventually I WILL answer you. I just don't have internet at home right now.

Best wishes.
PuertoVallartaGirl



I was reaching out, because I am dying inside to get back to my home.

PSS, I was making in one day, what I used to make in 1 hour in the US.

Take it all off Baby!

Originally written February 4, 2009

Do you want to know how to tell a guy to do a strip in Spanish?

My dear good friend that I wish I had more opportunity to get to know told me this the other day. It is best if there is a group clapping and chanting this but it IS quite easy:

“Mucho ropa, mucho ropa, mucho ropa”

It is kind of like the take a bite part of the Mexican birthday party ie. “que le muerda, que le muerda, que le muerda” which ends up with the bite takers face in the cake. I think the Mucho ropa has a much better outcome!

Hasta.

Lying Bitch on the Floor

Originally written February 3, 2009

I can smell, feel, and see Portland. I now KNOW in my heart that we are going back in 3 months.

I’m on the bus on my way to work to quit my job. My ideals are too high to sacrifice them for a few dollars. My faith is too strong and I welcome the future with open arms.

Yesterday I had one of my blood pressure episodes and to sum it up I can confidently say that IF I had, had a heart attack or a stroke at work, the manager and owner of the company would have stepped over my body and as they walked by they would probably announce something like, “She better bring in a doctors note or she is outta here!”

The reason I say that is because yesterday, I could tell my blood pressure went up suddenly, I know my body. I felt confused and wasn’t able to communicate like normal. My back was hurting on my left side by my heart, and then my left arm went numb. I explained this to my Manager and she told me a few times, as if I was lying, that I better bring in a doctors note, and explained how short handed the staff was. The owner even said, “Aww you look fine, your talking fine, your not confused” and told me to sit down.

I said, “That’s what you think!” Since when can someone else tell you if you feel confused? I don’t think I have ever been treated as disrespectfully in an employment situation in my entire life.

Fuck that, seriously, FUCK THAT!

It’s called R-E-S-P-E-C-T. Just like the song.

Self sacrifice serves no one. And with my beliefs as strong as they are, I must walk the walk, that I talk. Abundance for all, just open your mind.

I thank god for this lesson and reminder.

Puerto Vallarta Girl

Soon to be, Portland Girl once again.
___________________________
If it is not too much of an inconvenience, please pray for the red tape in the law to get changed so that Enrique can get his visa approved. We called to change the visa appointment today, as instructed by Cuidad Juarez. It was set for February 3rd, but we didn’t have the finances to go, so it will be rescheduled for 2-3 months out. By then the house will be sold, we will have Maria’s visitors visa in place and we will all go to Portland together right before summer.

Also please pray for my blood pressure to regularize because it has been going from really low to really high and I need it stable for the sake of my heart.

Oh god please make it so. Thank you god.

Futuristic

livOriginally written February 1, 2009

My son once told me I don’t live in the real world, I live in the future. When he said it to me it was meant to tell me either that I am not realistic or that he was frustrated with my attitude.

I want to be someone who can enjoy the moment regardless of how beautiful the future is. The only problem is I really have to work at it. How do you balance the future and the present?

I always have something planned and some idea to pursue. It is when I do not that I feel empty. I love to visualize. And yes, sometimes it is more fun to be in my 2 ½ million dollar house dancing salsa with my husband (which as of yet we cannot do- cumbia si, salsa no) under the new chandelier. Instead some of the realities that have been thrown at me recently.

Regardless, I’m only human and realize all these cheery, and positive blogs probably drive some people nuts. So just to bring my public persona back to earth I will say this:

I bitch sometimes. I get cranky with my kids. Sometimes I take stuff personally when I could just blow it off. Sometimes I throw something away, as the saying “don’t throw away the baby with the bath water.” I see hot guys and I do notice them, even though I am happily married. I get obnoxious and irritate people and I don’t even care! I really don’t like doing the dishes. I often procrastinate easy important things, and prioritize other stupid things as way more important.

But you know what?

I do truly want everyone to be happy. To follow their hearts and pursue their dreams. I truly believe there is plenty of abundance for all of us. And I am thankful for the lessons that are thrown in my face.

That is all I have to say for this bus ride home.

His Song

Originally written on January 30, 2009

I woke up grumpy, probably because my baby Jimi has to wake in the middle of the night and come to our bed. Then for some reason he has to sleep next to me, on my side, and throw his arm across my face, or kick me in the back all night long. This makes me cranky, who would have thought?

So today an older man came on the bus to sing for his supper without a guitar. He must have been 70 or something. At first I felt myself cringe up like “Oh great!” then thought why am I being so negative.

Then I gazed out the window and looked at the distance and then his song came back to me from the back of the bus. I didn’t actually know what he sang, I knew it was pure and sweet and when he came back for an offering I gave him oe. He got off the bus and I can still hear his song in my head.

Words ring back to me in my head “Listen to your soul.” And his slow and soft melody plays on.

Our Generation?

Originally written on January 28, 2009

Yesterday at the Doctors office June grabbed a calendar off the counter and brought it home with us. It is one of those they give away for free because it is filled with advertisements. I hadn’t looked at it until now. It is pretty cool because it has photos from a certain location in Puerto Vallarta way back when and then current day photos. Some of the older photos go all the way back to 1923.

It is so strange growing older. It happens so fast and I’ve read that time doesn’t even really go in order.

When I was looking at the photos and I saw people on the streets in the past it became so apparent how illusive time is, as well as how every most generation feels the older generations were different than they are.

Now that I’ve hit the ripe old age of 38, a sort of in-between youth and being old. I know when I look at the people in the photos walking down the Malecon in 1923 or 1942 or 1960, they were the same as all of us.

Mexican or any nationality we are all thinking about our love, our families, our aspirations, and our dreams. We are/were faced with our daily challenges and the results of our mistakes. Forced to come to terms with growing up. Fighting the temptation to succumb to negativity.

One of my friends told me all he needs is someone to love, something to do, and something to hope for. And in a way that is true for all of us, at any age, and any time. What do you think?

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

booty

January 28, 2009 booty

Do you know what they have in Mexico?

Ok I’ll answer for you cause Your probably going to say, Mexicans, tortillas, mariachis, who knows. Well, it’s booty. That is the answer. And I am not meaning it in the sense of getting some.

More so than I used to see in Portland, or everywhere else I have ever traveled there are Mexican ladies with very large booties here in Puerto Vallarta. (is that how you would spell it?)

I of course notice this fact because mine is on the flat side and I have been known to even have booty envy from time to time.

Once in High School some girls, of African American decent and not lacking in that department, actually had a lengthy conversation about how Flat mine was.

Girls can be so mean.

That experience burned into my mind the intro to I like big butts and I cannot lie, “Oh my god, gross, her butt is so big” hence the words “I like big butts and I cannot lie.”

In Portland there are probably plenty of big booties. But the thing is that here in PV at least, the ladies are not afraid to display them with tight jeans. In fact they display them with pride.

(now whispering to you)

evidently there is some secret location where these large bottomed ladies buy their jeans

(back to normal)

I say that because me being a size 13 have quite a bit of difficulty finding clothes that fit me here in Puerto Vallarta, and most of these large booties everywhere probably need a larger size than 13 to fit into?

Well, the good thing is, now that I’m used to seeing this all the time, my bootie envy has subsided. I guess because there are so many ladies with large bottoms here and because it is not cherished as much as I am accustomed to back in Portland.

Well, I guess I’ve said all I have to say about that. Hasta La Vista!

PS, off the subject, I just noticed that the bus driver ‘s seat is a lawn chair welded in the place where the normal seat used to be. Hmmm. Maybe that isn’t off the subject. Maybe someone’s big ass broke it.

PSS, I may be in the market for a Brazilian augmentation to my glutei us maxim us when I get my 20 million dollars. But who knows, maybe flat asses will come in style.

Were you a wild teenager?






Originally written on January 27, 2009

Jessie at work asked me the other day if I’ve ever been in a mosh pit.

“Yeah”, I replied, “got in a fight with a chick at a Megadeth concert.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, but I think back then in the 80’s mosh pits were heavy metal/death metal.”

“Yea”, she said. “Mexicans will mosh to anything.”

Lately, perhaps because of my age a lot of my crazy youth stories are coming to the surface.

My best friend from 11 to 14 was Shelly. We were both cursed with being 11 and being well endowed in the chest area and at the same time new to being raised by a single parent.

So what do you do in that circumstance? Well of course you act out and run wild.

We initiated tons and tons of mischievous deeds. One of the funniest stories among famous ones such as beer runs, drinking 191, and starting random things on fire, is that we got our hands on a few cans of spray paint and decided to spray paint FTW, (Fuck the World) all over the neighborhood. So one day I was at home and I saw on the news a reporter standing at a bridge/freeway overpass where Shelly and I had painted an FTW on the sidewalk. They were reporting that gangs had moved into South East Portland. I about choked and acted like nothing at all. It was so hilarious that two big haired, leopard print and spandex clad teenager girls could make such a ruckus.

I was looking for a digital photo of me at that age and only found these at 13, 14 and 16. On the age 13 one notice how innocent I look, I was so far from it.

Proud survivor of the 80’s.

What is paradise?

Written January 27th

Today I took June and Jimi to the Doctor. June has had a cold and Jimi a fever. This morning I also got checked out to make sure my throat infection is gone. For the 3 of us to see the doctor, all the medicine, and a few extra things that I picked out it was going to be 320 pesos, at the current exchange rate that is about $23 US dollars. Right now I was thinking how funny it is that I balked at the price of one of the medicines being 130 pesos. Back in Portland, I would have thanked god 1000 times if it only cost that much for 3 people to see a doctor and for the prescriptions. I suppose it could be possible if we all had insurance.

Eerk. Screench. Put on the brakes!

Open Mic just started. Remember…. I write on the bus. Today’s selection is a Father and Son combination with acoustic guitars. They have harmonic voices and they are playing at an acceptable noise level vs. blasting my ear drums out. I think it is estilo Rancho, but I am not 100% sure. They face each other in the middle of the aisle and each lean onto a seat. The Father is in his 60’s, has a cowboy hat and a red button up shirt. The son is in a light blue polo shirt with dark stripes and is slightly chubby. Its pretty nice music. It would be easy to picture them playing at a Mexican Restaurant in the US.

Can you see my point yet…? Here I’ll pull it together for you. For some people inexpensive healthcare could be paradise. And I am certain that someday this son will remember how wonderful it used to be when he and his dad used to play guitar on the bus for extra money.

My version of paradise is sitting around a camp fire with my Dad and others drinking beer and listening to my Dad tell stories about his life.

Or

Running wild in the streets as a teenager, feeling invincible.

Or

Going on the day cruises here in Puerto Vallarta with Enrique and the kids.

My paradise can be a location, but more than anything it is who I am with and what we are doing.

Que sera sera. Living in the moment.

Hip hop hangover?

Originally written January 26, 2009

Feeling moody god knows why. Out of 3700 songs I’m getting pure sad songs. As I left my house to catch the bus today, my kids were crying and watching me walk away and of course the sad songs came on the IPOD.

You know what…? I seriously despise PMS.

But, I love hip hop it can switch my mood so fast.

I had been listening to rock and soft rock and that left me flat.

Country made me miss my children more.

Akon’s lonely did tweak me a bit, but then “Holla at my dogs” made me stabilize a little.

And then I had the funniest thought, when some tourists got on the bus, I thought “Fuck those elegant tourist bitches!” and then I thought “Where did that come from?”

I guess hearing all that “bitches and hoes” etc. actually does have an effect on me. Who would have thought?

Those dirty words.. Mental illness



Originally written October 27, 2007 updated February 3, 2009

My mom is 63. She has spent the last 30+ years in and out of mental hospitals and I really feel for her.

Once...... she was a promising child, beautiful and talented, a ballet student, graceful and elegant. At 18 she was a model for a local department store. In High School she was popular and pretty, naturally blond, and thin and beautiful.

And then somewhere along the line she became depressed and then manic. Everyone who could have told me exactly what started it all has passed away, so I will never know exactly what it was.

And now she is alone in a State Hospital. I fear that what is actually wrong with her, at this point, is years of experimental treatments and not fully tested anti-psychotic medications.

I've struggled with those dirty words my entire life. And now thanks to my husband they don't scare me anymore.

Mental Illness.

I'm not Mentally Ill. But as her daughter I do have a story. My story started when I was 4 years old.

When I originally wrote this my daughter was 4 years old, and I was glad that her biggest challenge in life was immersion in Kinder.

Because when I was 4 years old I remember being with my mother driving around the dark, in a 1960 Chrysler with read interior, in a foreign city, only 15 miles or so from my home. “The Gambler” was playing on the radio. I remember my mother saying she was lost and I felt her anxiety and upset.

I remember a blur of lights and within hours, ending up in a place that was beautiful and rich. I spent one week as a foster child when I was four years old... because my Mom got lost in Vancouver, Washington and had a nervous breakdown. The police wouldn’t let my Father, who was divorced from my Mother, come pick me up because of something to do with custody issues and state-lines.

In the foster home I remember white frilly dresses, going bowling, a cushy bunk-bed and a game room.

The next thing I remember about my Mom’s mental illness was years later when my Father explained to me what had happened. He said he was desperately trying to get me back, but because of red tape, it took an entire week and hundreds of dollars to get me back.

Later on he ended up spending thousands of dollars to get custody... and still in the end, they gave custody to my mother. Which is how things went in the 70’s.

At around age 5 my parents got back together for “the purpose of the children” I remember several years of my mom sleeping constantly and then one day when I was 10 or 11 I came home from school, to find my mother crouched down in the dining room area.

She had taken out all of my childhood pictures from each year of school, and lined them up in a row, when I came into the room I asked her, "Mom, what are you doing?"

She didn't say a word.... she was just focusing on the pictures. Finally she pointed to my Kindergarten picture and said accusingly “This is where my Heather was... and then this is where you came in, WHAT DID YOU DO WITH MY DAUGHTER, WHO ARE YOU?"

I said to her, very upset, "What are you talking about Mom, I love you..."

She said, "I don't love you! I don't even know who you are!"

And then with a struggle my father and I took her to the Portland Adventist Hospital. And shortly later we moved, and then we moved again, and then we moved again.

I think we tried to move away from it, and the humility and embarrassment of it all...

My poor Mom was institutionalized for a very long time and I remember some verty scary visits to see her at the State Hospital.

And then years later.... she was better and my Mom and Dad somehow got back together again.

Enrique has taught me to deal with my Mothers mental illness straight-on. And I love him for that. He is not embarrassed, he is loving and sweet. She has been very ill the entire time since Enrique and I have been together. And while I was in Portland I did my best to always be there for her.

But no matter what we do, she always ends up in the same place. A terrifying place inside her own mind. She lives in a land where everyone is trying to get her. In a nightmare where she can't wake up and no one can save her.

After 30 years of being on probably hundreds of different medications she just can't get better anymore.

I love her and even though I pray for her to get better, I have had to accept that there is nothing I can do to save her.

God love her. The sweet, gentle, beautiful person she is. I hope to go back to Portland soon and be able to take her to do the things she loves once again. Going out to eat, and shopping, and buying her presents. Having her come over for birthday parties and school concerts. I love you Mom, and thank you Enrique for teaching me how to accept those dirty words Mental Illness.