Saturday, September 17, 2005

Gone Fishing

For real.
I'm leaving the building now.
Yes, I really am.
Have you ever wanted to just get in the car and drive? If I get to a place with internet I'll update you on my exploits and adventures. If not, then I'll see ya when I see ya. (probably around Oct. 1)

Photo Friday - September 16 - Divine

Good Friday processional in Livinston Guatemala, at the mouth of the Rio Dulce River. The Livingston community is a amazing mix of Garifuna (African and Arawak Indian mix), Spanish and Mayan Indian. Shot with an old Olympus Comedia. For more photos click on this link.

Illustration Friday - September 16 - Escape

"Sunset on Lake Peten", Guatemala. This is also near the location of the current Survivor Series. This peice was bought by LaLancha, which is Francis Ford Coppola's Jungle Lodge on Lake Peten.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Blotter Report

I know you're all wondering how Freaky White Granny's eviction is going, and I intend to tell you... when its finished.
She's still here.
Big scandal.
I have a headache.
9:20 a.m.
Crackhead boyfriend: Miss Lady you be sorry, I mek you krawl outta here.
Me: Get you rass out of my store (didn't I tell someone else that this week?)
Bigness picks up the machette and chases him onto the street. (No customers in the store)
I don't think crakhead boyfriend expected to see Bignees OR the machette.
Bigness: Babes, better you report that to the po-leese.

9:21 a.m. I trek next door to the police station to report crackead boyfriend for "Threatening Words," make out the po-leese report and point out the fact (again) that there's a molotov cocktail sitting next to my house, which is now 4 drums of fuel (mek wha big boom).
9:30 Cabra (Corporal) says O.K. Miss Lady we tek keer ovit. Dis bwai, he noh bodder you again, if he do, we RIGHT here.
9:45 I hurry back to the store because Bigness is trying to serve coffee to customers (a fate worse than... )
3:30 p.m. All's Well Jezebel, but not over yet.

Stay tuned for the next episode. 6 p.m. is the deadline for her to turn in the keys. If she doesn't, its "No ACLU, No Jesse Jackson Time"
8:30 p.m. So anticlimatic, no fuss, no muss, keys turned in to Bigness, no Po-Leese, new padlock on the door.

so tomorrow...................

I'M GOIN' FISHIN for about 2 weeks.

I'm going to search for my sense of humour.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Monday, September 12, 2005

Yes, I'm here on a mission

My Mom's been alluding that I'm a missionary. I guess she can't explain why I'm Living in Paradise, and gave up working for the machine.
I say, yes, missionary position.
My parents keep waiting for me to get over my mid-life-crisis. They want me to get real hungry and come crawling back, broke, disallusioned, defeated.
I disappoint them.
They don't visit, (it would "validate" what I'm doing) even when I try and blackmail them into coming down by saying I'm not visiting this year, its too expensive. But every year I visit my parents. It reminds me why I moved away. They know I'm bluffing because I need to shop for clothing and unmentionables - in my size - because they don't carry my size in the land of Lilliput (Mexico) and there's NOTHING absolutely NOTHING for sale in Belize, unless its a peice of fabric to wrap around your ass and tuck on the side.
Every year I visit my children, its hard to leave. I wish I could be there more, and not have to deal with the day-to-day business of living in the Metro Detroit area, working, cars (essential) mortgage, credit cards, power lunches.
The only thing I miss about Detroit is my children and now grandchildren. Three grown up daughters, 3 granddaughters and 1 new grandson named Adam (because he's the first)
If I could, I would transplant them all here in my garden. But this is not their dream, its my dream.

8 More Days!

8 more days of the killer schedule, where I have to actually get up and go to work 7-11 a.m. and 4-9 p.m. Then its 4 weeks of holiday!!!!!
Then I'm back at it towards the end of October with Bigness making renovations to the store before we open for high season again in November.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

I'm being very quiet...

... because I don't want Freaky White Granny to know I'm home.

She's calling herself Hot & Spicy now, but its more like Olde Spice, with crusty edges. Hey, I don't begrudge her getting her groove on with a younger black unemployed homeless man.

Bigness made me write an eviction notice and tape it to her door.
In Belize, if you are not Belizean, you can just hand someone back their money and tell them to get the F off your property. No fuss, no muss, no ACLU, no Jesse Jackson.
The letter went something like this.

Dear Teacher Carol,
Bigness has decided that he does not want to rent to you anymore. He has estimated the upcoming electric bill and applied part of the rent you have paid towards it. Your last day occupying the apartment is Sept. 15, 2005.

I didn't waste energy writing the reasons, like, when you get home at 2 a.m. and have a screaming arguement with your crackhead boyfriend, it wakes me up and I can't get back to sleep and then I have to go serve coffee to unsuspecting tourists, AND BE NICE.

As soon as they start getting busy in there with the spanky, I'm going to turn the TV to a church program REAL LOUD. Obviously torturing them with Enya did not work.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Killer Schedule

I'm so tired. (yawn)
I'm in coffee hell.
I layed off all my workers.
I'm so stupid.

Let's sing that chorus one more time.

I'm so tired. (yawn)
I'm in coffee hell.
I layed off all my workers.
I'm so stupid.

It doesn't rhyme, but it has a lively melody.
No, you can't dance to it.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Haul Yer Aaaazzz Biotch

I don't want to turn my blog into Tales From the Evil Waitress, but this story can't stay suppressed. It must live and breathe.

Nice Boyfriend comes in around 7 a.m. after a morning run on the beach and asks me for a latte for his still sleeping Snotty Girlfriend.

I say, sure, double or triple?
He says double, but I don't have any money on me, is it o.k. if I come back and pay later?
I say, sure, I close between 12 and 4.
I make the latte, he takes it, then comes back about 45 minutes later to pay, but hasn't got enough money, he brought 5 bzd and its 6. I say, no problem just drop a dollar off whenever you come by again.

I layed off the staff for September and October. They knew when we reopened in November that there would be on a 2 month layoff, because we're not supposed to be busy these next 2 months. Business has slowed down during this hurricane season, but its not as slow as I anticipated.

About 8:30 the cafe is packed with happy coffee drinkers and bagel eaters. Bigness has slunk away, which he does when I turn my back.

Snotty Girlfriend comes in and wants a word with me.
She wants to know where the rest of her latte went.
I draw a blank. Uhhhh Ummmm
I have no idea what she's talking about.

She. wants. to. KNOW. where. the. rest. of her. latte. is.
I ask her, what is the problem?
Do you see this? She says, shaking a 1/2 full 16 ounce foam cup. I haven't even touched it and where's the rest of it?
Do you want more steamed milk in your now cold deflated latte, I ask her?

Hmmph Snotty Girlfriend puts her hands on hips and says... AND I want to know how YOU come off charging these prices, STARBUCKS doesn't even charge these kinds of prices, she starts to raise here voice at me.

Warning, warning, warning, I'm getting irritated.
Be cool Lee.
She's just a hungover skinny ass. (from AmeriKa)
But I'm the owner, not a worker.
You are not allowed to treat me like dog shit.
I'm polite and always cheerful, to everyone, always.
I only bark at Bigness.
I don't deserve this.
I'm not even going to justisfy my prices, with are clearly posted on the menu, that I pay 20 bzd a lb. ($10 U.S.) wholesale for coffee and 9 bzd for a 1/2 gallon of fresh milk. Plus I have to get it here either on a boat or on a plane.

Let me explain something to you, I say, with a smile and in a kind voice. Your boyfriend came in real early, WITH NO MONEY, and I made him a Latte, which is espresso and foamy frothy steamed milk. Its 1/3 espresso 2/3 milk, and that's what he got, with no money, then he came back and didn't have enough money, so I let him slide, so actually you still owe me a dollar for that.

Snotty Girlfriend started to make this teeth sucking sound, and growel. I thought she might start foaming at the mouth. She reaches into her pocket book and slaps a coin down on the counter. I look at it and its a shilling (25 cents)

I say, that's a shilling, but would you like me to reheat this and add more steamed milk?
I have picked up the cup from where she had slammed it.

She raises her eyebrows at me and says... I don't have all day.

I had 1/2 turned around to start reheating it and stopped dead in my tracks.
Uh Oh, here it comes.
For one moment I was Supergirl.
I turned around (neatly pivoting with my superpowers), went to the cash drawer, picked up a 5 bzd note.
I said, without anger or raising my voice, You and Your Unhappy Self have to get out of my store. and I put the 5 bzd on the counter.
Snotty Girlfriend's mouth drops open, she snatches the 5 and the shilling and STOMPS her skinny azz out the door.

The only one who heard the discussion (ruckus) was the Sweet Guyanese Dive Master who comes in every morning for raspberry tea and blueberry cake who said: Dat lady, she was NOT right.

Thanks man, I said, that really pissed me off.

I felt shakey after that. I rehashed and reviewed the chain of events over and over in my head for the next few hours. I ruminate, I come from a long line of female ruminators. My mother is the Queen of Rumi Nation, which is located next to the land of Obsessive Thoughts. My Dad is from the country of IfIDon'tThinkAboutItItWontBotherMe.

I half expected Very Nice Boyfriend to come in and apologize for his girlfriend's behaviour, but he didn't.

Have you ever had a friend or loved one that you have had to appologize for their bad behaviour? In the past I have had friends and family members who have majorly embarrassed my with their crazy or demanding behaviour, in public or restaurants. I'm not going to make excuses for these people anymore. Crazy is just crazy and bad manners is just bad manners.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Contemplating the Meaning of Life

Having my question answered by Useless Advice From Useless Men was almost as exciting as winning on E-bay, especially since no one will ship to Belize.

Dear Useless Men,
I have a question for you. Why does everyone pretend that they don't blog nekked when we all know we do?

Dear Lee,
I don't know what you're talking about; while I don't have a blog of my own, getting suited up to use the internet is quite an ordeal. I imagine it to be somewhat like the ordeal astronauts must go through before walking on the moon or any other fictional object. I have, on my payroll, several apprentice Useless Men simply to help me get dressed to use the internet. They are not unlike the squires of old, fitting armor on their knight. First the boots, then the greaves, the torso, the pauldrons, the gloves, and finally the helmet until I am a fortified force of formidable ferocity.Actually, I don't do any of this.I just said it because, having browsed Am I Hot or Not, I am convinced that many of the internet users out there should and, most importantly, never take it off. Blogging naked is a horror I will for now relegate to the boundaries of a bleak and tragic future, the heralding of which I hope never comes. So keep your pants on!
Just Plain Useless

I got an equally funny answer from Denny Shane at Not So Normal News

And Finally... I Never Thought I'd See The End...
Dear Answerman: I have a question for you. Why does everyone pretend that they don't blog nekked when we all know we do?
Signed Caribbean Colors

Answerman: Dear CC, I know CC, I know... it's disgusting, I mean that they don't admit it. I think all naked bloggers should send me their pictures to prove they blog naked. And then I want to know if all naked bloggers have cameras hooked up to their computers. And then I want to know what time they're all on. And then I want to know where they go on cam while they are naked. And then I want to know what they do while on camera naked while blogging. Am I asking too many questions here? lol

Friday, September 02, 2005

Thursday, September 01, 2005

We ARE the Entertainment

As I've mentioned in previous posts, Bigness and I have a house 1/2 way between Belize City and Belmopan. We have 2 neighbors right now, a bagpipe-playing retired Englishman, who is always home, thank goodness, because he also doubles as the volunteer fire department when its dry season, putting out brush fires in the neighborhood. The other neighbor is a Belizean college professor and his family - Bigness calls him "The Teacher" - I never did catch his name, but if we go off and leave our outside lights on, he unscrews the bulbs for us so that they don't burn out. Mighty neighborly of him. I spoke to The Teacher one time in my midwest nasal twang, he had a pained look on his face and squinted his eyes the whole time, the body language that I translated to mean: "I know she's speaking English, but what EXACTLY are those words. He had the exact same look I get on my face when I'm talking to a spanish speaker.

We are out in the "Country". The little subdivision where we live is in an old abandoned orange grove. On our property we have 3 orange trees, 2 of them bear fruit. There is electricity, but no phone service - unless you have a fixed cell, no internet, no cable TV, no local TV either, unless you have a satellite dish. There is however, Love FM (local music and news station with their collection of 5 CDs, broadcasting in English). There is also Bigness and Big Ting (Me) for entertainment.

We don't have a lawn mower, that would make too much sense, we have a weedwhacker and a machette. Bigness goes out to the yard and gets all of his frustrations out chopping and whacking. (I hear a lot of the Fok word then) For today's entertainment, I'm stalking a moth on the front porch, and then I'm in the yard photographing weird plant-like things growing in the orange trees.

So, la-di-da-di-da, snap snap snap, me in my pink mumu and pink foam flip flops, crawling around on the porch. I wrongly assume that if I'm not looking at you, you're not looking at me. Then I'm in the side yard, more worried about stepping in a nest of fire ants than watching who's watching me. Bigness is washing the car beside the house, as he does every week. His favorite Spanish cowboy CD is blasting from the 300 watt stereo system, echoing off the empty houses. Tocame Mi Corozon Mi Corozon over and over again. He's bare chested, sweat rolling off him like a sprinkler, and touching up the latest scrape on the bumper with black spray paint. I glance across the street at The Teacher's house. The whole family is lined up sitting on their front porch, un-selfconsciously WATCHING US, all quiet, mom, dad, boy, and girl, like we are a big screen TV program, or the gorillas at the zoo. Or a sociology experiment. Oh, I think, maybe I should put some real clothes on. Too late, they've already seen me.

Somehow I always end up living in "The Noisey House" on the block.

Anyone have any idea what these pods are growing in the tree? Some kind of orchid? Something from Invasion of the Bodysnatchers? Do you think its a flower or a seed pod? This plant is sort of just stuck onto the orange tree and as far as I can see does not have any stem going into the ground.