Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 29, 2008

I know, I hate me too

this blog has been relocated to THIS DOMAIN. Please update your bookmarks. Sorry! Seriously, I’ll buy you a cup of coffee next time we hang out to make it up to you.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 28, 2008

Okay

This sums up my general attitude of “well, it could always be worse.”

And this one is just funny (and for some reason, reminded me of Achmed).

Be sure to look at the other holiday cards.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 28, 2008

It’s Amazing

how when I have nothing to say, I can still write so much.

Dinner was good yesterday. It was a real Thanksgiving dinner. It was made better by drinks, free drinks at that, followed by a white Russian bigger than my head.

Oh wait, I guess I can’t write that much when I have nothing to say.

Happy F@#@%$ Holidays.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 27, 2008

Gratitude and All That

So yep, it’s Thanksgiving in the US today. Holidays are a bummer for me because when I was younger, there were holidays with family, big meals and trips to my grandparents house. Now I live outside the US, I can’t remember the last holiday I spent with a large part of my family (that included my kid) and the only meals I get are at restaurants because who wants to cook a Thanksgiving dinner for themselves – loser, party of one?

Last year a family member was in town, so that was nice but dinner was a hotel buffet so not traditional at all. Sure they had a turkey, but they also had a lot of shrimp, some head cheese and weird mayo salads. There was no stuffing and no cranberry. For xmas, there was no tree, no presents, no family of any kind. I think I sunbathed on the roof, played some video games, read a book and watched movies. So basically, just another day for me. Oh and I felt sorry for myself while I drove more metaphorical nails into the coffin of holiday cheer. This year at least I will be with family in the states.

Today I’m working – or I will be once I’ve finished this post. I will try very, very hard to distract myself from all of the fun projects I need/want to do, like updating my website, redesigning this blog and possibly moving it to its own domain (I know I said I wouldn’t move it again, I’ll redirect it this time, I swear), designing a new personal site that isn’t for my business… basically lots of web design and organization and updating things I’ve been neglecting.

Later I’ll meet some friends at a restaurant for dinner, a traditional thanksgiving dinner, well as traditional as one can get at a restaurant.

But as is a tradition with me, I must now list what I am grateful for:

  1. I am physically healthy.
  2. My insomnia, that has plagued me for years and years, suddenly vanished a month ago.
  3. I am no longer so stressed out that I have TMJ. No more clenching my jaw in my sleep.
  4. My little furry family.
  5. That I am spending xmas with my grandparents.
  6. My dad is still alive and has not succumbed to liver failure or cancer.
  7. My child is beautiful, intelligent and healthy.
  8. My siblings and my niece.
  9. I got the book!
  10. I’m able to support myself through writing and only writing.
  11. Because of where I live and what I do, I get to see some amazing places and do amazing things.
  12. My friends here who are supportive and sympathetic when I suffer from gringo rage (which will hopefully be less often once I get out of here for a few days).
  13. The family across the street who are so nice to me and Carolina, who does all the crap around here that I don’t.
  14. Achmed, for his near-daily company, the visits, the muling and all types of e-goodness.
  15. Dot, for being one of the few who remembers that I exist outside of the cold, gray world of PDX.
  16. My best friend, who I am going to see soon, for being my best friend since 1980. It will be 30 years in 2010!
  17. My landlord is awesome. I’m way grateful for that.
  18. I live in this place of incredible beauty and sometimes, a bit of magic.
  19. Any of you who read this and don’t fall into the above categories, for finding something interesting enough to keep reading.
  20. My clients, for entrusting their business with me.

There, I think 20 is a good number for today. I hope y’all have a super holiday!

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 26, 2008

Vampires

I’m exorcising my vampires this week. I find that I have to do a vampire purge every couple of years or so, they tend to sneak into my friend circles and linger there, draining the life out of everyone.

Mostly, for me, this means eliminating all non-reciprocal relationships.

The friends that always seem to have a favor to ask, or those that you willingly help out again and again and then the one time you need something from them, they are too busy.

The people you always suggest get-together times or things to do and they can never find time to hang out.

The ones YOU always have to call and email and never the other way around.

The people who can only return your calls when they are in the car, like you are some kind of human solitaire game.

Basically any relationship where you put in the lion’s share of effort and the other person does what’s “convenient” for them (as in they have no one else to go drinking with and bitch to after their break-up when they ignored you for six months for the new boyfriend). Consider it my early new year’s resolution.

Add any relationship with someone who makes you feel insignificant and unimportant. Or any relationship where the interactions repeatedly leave you feeling angry, disappointed or hurt. GOOD-BYE! Oh, like the person who is ALWAYS 30 minutes late, leaving you standing in the cold, sitting in restaurants alone or missing the movie, again because they are selfish, disorganized control freaks.

So in addition to mentally erasing these people from my to-do list, I also unsubscribed from 14 blogs yesterday and 22 Twitter people.

I know I’m a hardliner. There’s only so much I can take before I’m just done. In some cases, it might take a few months; in others, 36 years.

Of course, I’m pissed off for other reasons too. Not the least of which is that two magazines have paid me with worthless paper checks this month amounting to $1000 in funds that I cannot access. It’s been a constant struggle trying to find a way to cash these checks or get paid in a meaningful way – and meanwhile, Alaska Air canceled a charge for my most recent ticket and then billed my account twice, overdrawing me by $300 (because I keep an exact amount of money in my account that will be used for each transaction I make). Another company used a telephone number for address verification so when I put in the wrong phone number, it declined my transaction and quadruple billed my account for four charges of $65.00. Does anyone know of a good, online global bank??? For crying out loud.

I’m at my wits end. Add this to the fact that in the afternoon there is some sort of serious surge in network traffic, making Skype almost unusable because of a huge delay between speaking and hearing. This means I have to spend money and hours of time calling these companies and being disconnected and calling back, and not being heard only to call back, or breaking up and being hung up on, just to try to sort out one of the issues. Yeah, I’m living the dream life people, but it’s not without it’s special challenges.

Did I mention I have four days until I need to turn in the book? FOUR days? I still have so, so, so much to do.

When I was at the last eco-resort, I was talking to the yogi who told me about this tribe down in the rainforests of Chile that do a healing ritual where you take this drug like peyote. “It basically stops you from thinking for four days,” he said. I’ve got to get me some of that because I would really, really like to not think for four days (obviously not THESE four days, but perhaps the four after).

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 25, 2008

Tough choices

Debating on whether I should try tunneling to the center of the earth to join the mole people or buy a pop-up camping trailer and become a nomadic trailer-dwelling jungle hermit. Thoughts?

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 24, 2008

Paranoia

Dinner last night was incredible. In fact, I’d call it the highlight of the stay so far. I’ve got a massage in one spa and a facial in the other spa in an hour, so I’m reserving judgement. The meal plan is mandatory when booking and the menu is set, no options. I am not complaining either because everything and I mean, dinnereverything was fantastic. It started with a house margarita which was good but followed by the better tropical cosmo (don’t ask, I have no idea – it was mangoey and fruity and delicious). Appetizer was a chicken sope (which is like a corn meal disk or really thick tortilla with tender spiced chicken on it), then a chicken dumpling soup that was like Mexican won-ton soup, and finally an incredible beef tenderloin on a pillow of deep fried mashed potatoes. Dessert was a lemon-berry parfait.

After dinner, I retired to my room to find the turn down service had been completed. The mosquito net was tucked in firmly and every area was lit with candles, including about a dozen in the bedroom/living room. I watched an episode of House on my computer and went to bed. Despite the comfortable bed, I wasn’t used to sleeping without the whirring of 100 fans, so I didn’t sleep that well. I got up several times for water which meant using the flashlight, putting on my flip flops (to avoid stepping on scorpions) and searching the room for critters. At some point, some creature died on the floor and a million ants came to feast. Fortunately they were gone by morning. Not so with the giant six-legged, battle scarred spider in the bathroom (which comes equipped with a can of RAID).

Achmed really didn’t enjoy the spiders on his visit, so I thought of him yesterday when our hiking guide pulled one out of its web to play with for us. Yikes.

morningA tray was delivered at 7:30 with coffee and a delightful cookie, then it was up for breakfast which was very fresh and delicious (and included many options). Now I’m just trying to work a little before the spa and then the water taxi back to the truck and on to the next hotel. I know, I know, I hate me too.

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 24, 2008

Wish You Were Here

Well, my trip did not start out as awesome as I had hoped. I got into a verbal kerfluffle with the panga captain that soured my mood from the get-go. The boat ride cheered me up a bit, especially since we came upon a large pod of wild dolphins. My slightly improved mood went a bit south when I realized that it was literally a 25 minute HIKE up a mountain to get to the resort. The bags went up on burro, while I huffed and puffed, and sweated, red-faced on death’s door step. Worse, the entire place is built on a hill which means everything is a hike – the spa, the pool, everything.

Still, it is a gorgeous place and perhaps if I had been forewarned and not had a nasty encounter with the captain, I would have been fine with the hike. See? It’s gorgeous.

pool_veranaThere is a lot of wildlife in the area too. As I lay by the pool, listening to STIFF on my iPod – which actually was kind of funny, if you have read the introduction as it is about lying around doing nothing on vacation or in turn, lying around and doing nothing as a corpse. This was amusing because I was lying around like a corpse on a louge chair by that pool.

Anyway, aside from the giant iguana outside of my room there was this guy:

caterpillarThe book in my room mentioned scorpions. If you recall, my very first night in Mexico, I was stung by a scorpion twice in my bed at 3am, so color me paranoid. I’ve shaken everything in the whole room and before I go to bed and tuck in the mosquito netting tightly under the mattress, I will shake it all out again.

Cue Sheila E’s Glamorous Life…

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 23, 2008

The Morning After

Well, there I went bragging about my short rib only to find myself regretting its ingestion the next morning. I would imagine that it was the richness of the meat that did me in, but at 6am I suffered some serious consequences that left me wobbley-kneed and exhausted. Unfortuantely, I could not return to bed.

Instead I got up and put on some nice clothes for a meeting with a new potential client. After my meeting, it was back on the horse as I had breakfast at a restaurant that was on my list. After breakfast, it was another meeting and then lunch at yet another restaurant. Finally, exhausted and full to the brim, I returned home.

I couldn’t face another day of super mutants and I wasn’t in the mood to carjack people, so I decided to bust out a kinder, gentler game – Fable II. I never played the first one so while it was off to a slow start, it seems like it could be fun. I went to bed at 11 on a Saturday night because my life is extremely glamorous and exciting.

This morning, I am packing up my laptop case with my computer, two books, a little paperwork, a dress and two pairs of underwear for a little weekend jaunt. Expect disturbingly awesome photos to follow, of course.

In the meantime, please enjoy this picture of a cow butt taken from my stoop two mornings ago.

cow

Posted by: comfortjunkie | November 22, 2008

Meat Heaven

I did not want to go out tonight. I did not want to go out because I have meetings in the morning and another grueling day of writing ahead of me before I am picked up in a panga on Sunday and taken away for two days of absolute luxury in disgustingly luxorious hotels. Instead of going out drinking and carousing with my friends, I went to dinner alone in the marina.

I like the marina because I like boats. I like to look at the sailboats and yachts, the water glittering from the lights and I like to people watch. Before I decided on which restaurant to go to, I walked the length of the marina for exercise and to view the different menus.

One of the terrible things about where I live is that the horrible proliferation of timeshare salespeople makes one jaded and untrusting, even more so than before. Whenever someone talks to me, I instantly distrust them. I was never a very social or friendly person before I moved here and now I’m even more hostile. So as I was walking, a rotund man shouted at me, “excuse me miss, can I ask you a question?”

This stopped me for a moment (not literally of course, I kept walking, edging closer to the water and farther from the source of my discomfort). Again he asked, as I narrowed my eyes at him, “can I ask you a question?” I nodded.

“what’s it like being so beatiful?”

My response was instananeous. I snorted. I snorted a long, heaving snort of absolute disgust. That line cannot possibly work on people. If I thought he might have been geniune for even a moment, I would have graciously thanked him for the compliment but living here, I’ve heard it all. The obese black woman who dresses herself in hefty bags in downtown San Francisco would have gotten the same line. I felt like I needed to take a shower.

In the end, I settled for a very chi-chi restaurant that had the most tempting menu. I settled on the peach-pistachio green salad with champagne vinegarette and the boneless spare rib with polenta in a red wine reduction. The salad was okay – the best part was that it came stacked in a square tower and the server accidently toppled it prematurely and he apologized. The spare rib… well, that spare rib was something else. That was the kind of spare rib you take home to meet your parents. It was the kind of spare rib that would like cheat off your chem test. I ate the entire thing with a fork and I could have eaten it with a spoon, it was so succulent and tender.

So I sat at my table in the fishbowl restaurant, watching the people walk along the marina boardwalk. I admired the yachts and watched the fireworks from the pirate ship (yes, we have a real pirate ship and it sets off fireworks every single night) and in this beautiful restaurant with this amazing food and perhaps one or two stiff, stiff drinks, and I thought about what my mortal enemies were doing at that very moment. If you’ve ever seen the Grinch, you can probably picture the smile that crept across my face until I was a grinning idiot. Yes, my mortal enemies are all freezing their asses off in their drafty hovels while I dine on what could have been the spare rib of an angel in the pretty, pretty marina. I cannot express how much joy that gave me, seeing as I am a small and petty person, you can imagine a great deal of joy.

That is why, my darlings, this blog is called what it is.

I have some cow pictures for you that I will post tomorrow. Now I am going to kill super mutants with rocket launchers.

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