I was in Mexico during the first week of February, accompanying Viv on a business trip to Manzanillo on the Pacific coast just south of Puerto Vallarta. With her employer footing the bill, the warm days and breezy evenings were permeated by that warm floaty feeling of having no use for one's wallet. Drinks were ordered at will, buffets were attacked in serial frontal assaults, and it seemed guacamole could arrive at any hour as a result of simple telepathy. The spa staff stood by, ready to rub upon our whims. The mini-bar was ripe for the pillaging. The whole experience was one giant big fat Yes.
I spent a large chunk of my time there with a camera in hand. The main attraction for me was Barra de Navidad, the town across the bay, which despite being a touristy locale remains a rich photographic subject. From the hotel dock I took a brief water taxi ride across the shallow waters to what is essentially a sand bar crammed with restaurants, houses, markets, hotels, and even a school. I wandered around for hours, just looking, sometimes alone, sometimes with Viv, and that agenda did wonders for re-adhering the pieces of my consciousness that get torn apart by my normal schedule of consistent interruptions.
I am in the middle of my darkroom work on the dozen or so rolls I took down there, so this entry will be brief, partly due to my focus on film but also partly due to the hectic schedule which is only now getting back to normal. My head is nowhere near ready for long spells of linear thought.
While we were gone, Amy stayed here with Viv's parents who'd flown down from the frigid lands of Northern Idaho to baby-sit. I think they had a good time despite being torn from their Republican brethren and sisteren who, even in February, are dancing nightly around the still smoldering portions of Clinton's effigy.
I enjoy my interaction with my in-laws. We each have respect for commitment. They know I'm not going to be drawn into their fold, and I certainly have no expectation of penetrating their point of view; an outlook enrobed in an alloy of Limbaugh and Reaganite is impervious to critical thinking. They attempted briefly to deprogram my wife, but she stood her ground. The final consensus seemed to be that we should all just be careful out there. And we will be.
Americanism can be a beautiful thing. But it isn't usually. To hear "Americanism" in a global framework connotes a sort of rude consumerism, a jingoistic disregard for other traditions and cultures, or a future filled with military conflict at the behest of clandestine corporate order. And now that the last election gave American Democracy the patina of a turd steaming in the Florida sunshine, freedom fighters the world over may have their sights set on models that are a little more local, a little more indigenous to the home folks, and they might be a little more reticent to shake Uncle Sammy's Glad Hand crammed with golden Sacajawea dollars.
Nah, probably not. What was I thinking? Americans totally rule! Yeah! XFL!
Anyway, I was going to say that I took the opportunity to overhaul the darkroom after the in-laws left. The carpet was cleaned, dust was removed from all nooks and crannies, papers and tools were organized, chemicals were refreshed, and the whole shmear has just now been put back together. So in a nutshell, I'm way behind. On making photographs, on writing, on domestic maintenance, everything's on back order.
I may have picked up a few new readers from among Viv's colleagues. While we were in Mexico there was the inevitable nasty rumor about this guy who keeps something like a journal online and some of the more tasteful inquirers managed to snag the URL, so to those of you new to this place, welcome, thank you, and I'm sorry, I'm usually more coherent than this. My head just hasn't been available lately. A few of you may be awaiting your pseudonymous appearance hereabouts. Don't hold your breath. I'm notoriously tardy with my updates. And it's better to be surprised. So get that lawyer off of the retainer, sit back and have another drink, and I'll take a poke at you when you least expect it.
"Make Yourself Comfortable" -- Sarah Vaughan -- SARAH VAUGHAN'S FINEST HOUR
"Money is the mother's milk of politics."
- Jesse Unruh