Archive for the ‘Cuba’ Category

a posteriori, of course. I think I’m acquiring an appreciation for some Guatmalteca’s ‘assets’…some exceedingly tasty ladies in tight jeans strolling around 5th and the park and a lotta people headed for La Merced…parking lot jammed, bells ringing…is there a big wedding or a big bingo payout tonight? It could be worse, if one were in India at a Hindu wedding. They go on for days: the bridegroom usually rides on a white horse, dressed like a Rajah prince, jeweled turban, sword etc. Once I saw the bride arrive in a very fine late 40’s  white Buick convertible..on their wedding night the bride wears a red tikka spot on her forehead and when they’re finally alone, he gets to scratch off the red dot….and see if he’s won anything, like a liquor store or motel…I’ve watched one and that was enough…the wedding, not the ‘scratch-off.’ I’d take the Buick anytime.

what a town…how lucky we are to live here. A perfect pastel evening light, streets jammed with shiny SUV’s, all the churches lit up(and a few in the bars already lit up), tuk-tuks snarling like little lawnmovers, the chicken buses growling and snorting…Donde Monica, upper 4th, across from Bangalore Bobs? the scene of another party w/music…and loud/bad music…last night i thought I heard Ron Fortin’s sax playing there, after his early gig at Ocelot…

go Commies!

Elle reporting in from Havana…i gave her a few names/places…i love that place but everytime i go back i get depressed by the negative changes…probably how I’d feel going back to the States these days…*see above…we’re very lucky to live here…damn, that so-called ‘band’ across the street is bad…might have to shoot the drummer later..speaking of shooting, is that ad in the back of La Cuadra for real? i’ve emailed ’em, left voice mail…nada, zip, zilch,bagels.

next thursday at Cashbar…another going away party for Wendy F…….g Wever? this time, she says she’s going to Turkey for two years…yep, I’m goin’..to Cashbar, not Turkey…I can’t talk it worth a damn…why? I dunno..show up and ask her. What’s up with a certain hostel on 1st? or not up, to be more precise? battle fatigue? bottle fatigue? pace yourself, man…pace yourself…how do you think i lived this long? ah…the epiphany of the hot dogs!

as a genuine 60’s/70’s commune/live right kinda guy, we always disdained hot dogs…filled with by-products of an unknown origin,  and enough preservatives to kill a goat and so on..and then i remembered that my grandfather, who lived to be 99…he lived on a diet of baloney, TV dinners and bacon, chased with some decent bourbon. As a relative of the Hatfields, he also got chased outa that part of the country but that’s another story(which makes me a relative also)relatively speaking…where’s the bourbon?

jethro & ezra...kissin' cousins

 pass the hot dogs: i don’t get the little plastic condom-like wrappers but that’s Guate..picture this…our local mime, the short guy in white face and the aviator helmet? seen hunched over a computer at an internet store…tres strange,no? does he ever take off the makeup?

ah, the bummer drummer is at it…how many flare cartridges are left? thank god I’m half deaf in the left ear and that’s the way I’m facing now…hmm, a bonus..’never thought of it that way..

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no, not the speedy checkout line in the men’s room for 3 inches or shorter…my route of the night when the rains started up again and the cheapo 20 q chinese wonder-brella is only good for 15 openings before it self-destructs….or if the winds are more than 5 knots and it turns inside out…trivial thought…the venerable Monopoly game has four railroads: the Short Line, the Pennsylvania and the Reading…WTF is the 4th RR?

weird economic winds blowing thru this town: with the recent closure of Deliciosa, the Colonia deli on 7th ave, between 2nd calle/3rd calle is looking stronger(they’re smiling, it that’s a clue)…Epicure’s down to one location and …jeez, having a ‘senior moment’…the deli next to Pushkart…wtf? their shelves are still shrinking, content-wise. And yet, flying in the face of fate if not good sense, yet another restaurant opens on 7th ave..near the Colonia deli and named as if they have a clue: Leyonda Antigua…Antigua Legends…’give ’em a 30 day shot at it.

another casualty, and not good in my world…Da Vinci’s down to dos Claudias and the statuesque version doesn’t seem to be on the payroll anymore. And the beet goes on, now that she’s not on celery anymore, so lettuce change semaphores..why would one ‘joint’ that offer’s all the mojitos one can drink for 60q not sell any and a nearby ‘joint’ see 36 on a Monday?…weird winds of fate blowing thru, i tell ya..’talkin’ up Brendan B’s PayPal idea for local bars/eateries..point of sale, transfer the $$, take some change and more likely buy another round: the catch, according to one bar owner is that Guatemala is on some shit/black list for PayPal re deposits here…don’t know but I use PP, per BB the Buddha Bar at the Lake does, and so on..my PP # goes to a US bank, btw..if one could work out the logistics/kinks for the depository country, this could be a bonus round for some businesses here that cater to tourists.

Thanks, Hector, for pronouncing Rita-Hey-You over and over…slow motion, watch my lips…duh..my ‘language chip aka genetic markers’ isn’t working..i’m off(but you suspected that)in the morning for Rita whatever and Take-a-Lick Abaj for several days…get down in the dirt of a Maya site, check out the nightlife of Rita*WTF…and thanks to Lori S of GuateMedicalTourism, for turning the night into an Antigua version of a TupperWare party…’whipped out little ziplok baggies of Canadian mojo weed, passed ’em around and…no, i haven’t ‘road-tested’ the contents yet, at least not so far…Matt B! comparing our experiences at the superb Hotel Nacional iin Havana and the Vista del Golfo bar where they whip up…no,  stir/crush, swirl the original mojitos..two drops of angostura bitters, lotta sugar, lotta mint..’spent many an afternoon/evening in that spot..or on the veranda, whiffing a Montecristo #1..cuppa cuban espresso, shota rum…’maybe hit the el Gato Tueto across the street, Dos Gardenias, El Aljibe for dinner…ah, Havana..christ..’been 3 years since the last….met up with a lady from Carmel named Nola Rocco…’did the show at the Tropicana…ah, Nola…we were never meant to be…too Hollywierd, wearing her ‘movie crew/ jacket’ to bars in Carmel..yeah, she’d just made a movie there but it’s Carmel, for gawd’s sake..my old pal, Myles, had the starring role…f…king ham, but we all knew that going in. We were in Injah together, btw…riding around in tuk-tuks, circa 1978…weird weed there..

‘since i’m on the road til friday or so, this will be the final final til i’m back…enjoy your week: and what was/is the 4th RR in Monopoly? dos Reilly’s doing a big crowd at 8 or so…good for Henrik…las palmas empty, same-o for Polio Campero/Taco Discontento…Chez C doing tables, DV empty…wierd traffic flow..and that tienda next to el gato negro? the only joint in town with my brand of honduran pall malls..not even bodegona..wtf? ah, relax, jake..it’s chinatown.

lastly if not leastly…leastly? i’d checked out tour agencies last week for the ‘run’…got some quotes and then thought..’why not give someone I know the business?’…3 days later and a quote double everyone else’s, i bailed and went to the pro’s…Voyageur on 6th ave sur, next to the DHL office…jeez, babe..if you’d thrown in the rental car, i’d paid for everything else..maybe..as long as ‘what happens in Rita-hell-yes stayed in Rita..


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Bill Harriss’ La Pena del Sol hosting a multi-weekend (more than one)Peruvian pipe/flute and whatever else musical fits…150q includes dinner…..six days (Fri/Sat/Sun) and nine bands… Crash Harriss on JB off to play golf(twice a week, no less)and admittedly ‘golf hussies’..there’s posters around town…Max of El Muro and John of El Cofre out early..Que Pasa has moved their offices to south 3rd avenida..an abbreviated stroll , since a lot of players were at Ocelot…Jason, ramping up…so to speak, for the opening of the burger palace known as Lava…Alex of Sobremesa and fiance…great sparkling ring!…Ximena of old El Muro and friend, talking about Cuba and just how fu….ked up it is..tell me..Alex B of F2 and wife…not going to Miami but thinking of El Salvador instead (and a much better choice) i’ll be glad to hook them up with John Kim for gourmet restuarants, shopping and golf..hell,might go myself…pop into Lips and observe the tasty Ashley…Nelson at Caffe Bourbon, singing/playing…DV? still the dusty stemware..pointed it out to Claudia #3…so what? well, some of us like a clean glass, that’s so what..yes they’ve moved but it was like this before..part of the charm? nope..Karla H is back at Creativo? MDC’s salon? cutting hair? maybe, maybe so..she and Nelson appear to be back together, and a good thing..a good couple..wish them the best…quiet night at Hector’s…same o same o at dos Reilly’s…hey, its wednesday…hump day…fine, hump you/something…el gato negro packed, as usual..dos palmas doing a decent crowd..as was polio campero…taco discontento empty…went by and had another look at Marcel’s bad motorscooter…yep…check the mufflers

I’m still trying to find out why ‘Hollister’ is such a brand/label/tag in Latin america, with no results…(motorcycle reference, see above)…july 7, 1947, the nor cal town was overrun with bikers, perhaps the first such…inspired the movie Wild Ones…Brando, Lee Marvin…ok, fine…above..no mufflers..

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last minute upchuck..no, updates..spelchuk, use or lose it…’ran into Steve wintershaw, our resident muralist…damned glad i picked up one of his early watercolors of the Santa Clara convent a few years ago…when? oops..a ‘senior moment/mental pause’..DV coming together o so very very well..and of course, the most xlnt Claudia…dos reillys shuttered with a note saying ‘back in 15 minutes’..per Karla (with nelson in Hector’s)the staff went to the beach to recoup from Semana Satan…bar/restaurant owners…there is a superb pianist outa job…Caffe Opera cut Adan loose…$$…for a guy who  makes great music outa an old/outa tune upright(hell, that could describe me)…gotta unused piano? remember, you can tune a piano but you can’t tuna fish…Ricard of T&V….no, not ‘that kind’…Tabacos y Vinos…TV to some people means transvestites…btw..eating at Hector’s…now that the crowds are gone, some of us can actually get a table..’passed the divine Ms E earlier, jogging away…’reminded me of how many people who have rented my present casita…Emma, Genessis, Peter Hodge and some Brit who was run out of town on suspicion of ‘date rape’…which per Karmen G, was Not true…she? in europe, doing presentations..Barb, getting her last Pollio Compero fix before leaving on Saturday…and yes it WAs Doris Duke and not Doris Day re the pub quiz ‘name that face’ quiz….’saw one of Pangea’s 22q flat bread pizzas, being scarfed up by O’Lot people..looked good to me..i confess that i left in the 4th quarter…figured out that crowded noisy bars aren’t ‘it’ for me any more..the bum left ear, the bum left bum(just kidding) it was very good being ‘unplugged’ for a week…kick the Facebook habit, let the emails do whatever they do…but, with a need to re-plug per uploads/biz..the monkey is comfortably riding on my back again..Robto de Oro and sis Barb leaving us on Saturday, headed back for the wilds of Chicago…and leaving with most xlnt news about the ongoing saga of Rio Suerte..Ed’s going/gone north for the Escalade…can you say ‘poosy magnet?’…borat nailed that one..been told that Alex of Sobremesa dished out 121 ice cream servings on saturday…damn…and gave Rita an engagement ring…Lava, Jason/shauns’ newest creation scheduled to start dishing out ‘gourmet burgers’…hook up with Peter the Hodge for the best meat in Gautemala…almost as good as Nicaraguan beef..


a photo from the past…thanks to ol pal/great friend jerry t of mill valley…post new years, havana..2000…i rented this house…too any adventures to disclose here..saandra…and her babalao/santeria dad..segue way…the american legion library next to jardin bavaria on 7th ave norte? signed up 7 new members in april…all about location, location and location..go by, give ’em a 100q for a year of incredible selections..30000+ books..passed ron fortin of sax last night…where’s he playing? karla h observed in the salon, cutting hair again…hard workin’ woman..el chaman, angie angies and where else? horse shoes? horse shoes in Guatemala? yep..at the salty beaver…peter had four real shoes and two stakes…we stuck ’em in the sand and lisa/i  inaugurated the sport…the guate’s playing volleyball didnt’ have a clue..i broke one shoe in half..woulda been a ringer..she said..yeah, we’ve heard that before..i did score a ‘leaner’ tho…don’t go there..no answers/clues on the reason for the L Ron Hubbard plaque in the park..and yes, we all survived yet another Semen Satan Week..never again…crowds lesser, except for Bad Friday and that was horrendous…the ‘girl’ from the city keeps calling, asking for a rendezvous…jeez..what part of ‘no’ don’t you understand? I ‘m trying to be good(this year) and so far…so good..see you around town tonight…some where, over the rainbow…oh..if the latest(3rd)installment of the BAC thing is of interest, go to www.guatemala-times.com and click on Bandits without Borders…

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no…not Monterico…’talking about a long ago event…and the anniversary of this ill-starred screw-up is upon us. I’ve been there..11/12 years ago and seeing it, i wondered just who the hell signed off on this cluster-f…k? i’ve been in a retro-Cuba mode for a few weeks, reading the definitive versions of Che’s life/death and the debacle known as the Pig F…k…history is best read,i’ve discovered by looking back 20/30 years, at least in our times,when the ‘secret cables/documents’ have been declassified..the unstoppable juggernaut of Smegma Santa is upon us..or you,since I’m bailing for a few days..question? how many official recognized ‘saints’ are there? on one of my calendars, there’s a saint for every day..assuming that prayers, pleas and plaintive wails for grace are sent up/out or wherever, on a daily/hourly/global basis by a few million/billion petitioners, are those recipients of so much spiritual email somewhat buried? visualize Dionne Warwicks’ Psychic Hotline and multiple that by  a gazillion, except without Mastercard/Visa..ok..equal opportunity for the ‘other’ religions..today is Passover (which describes my romantic life) but try and plainly said, i have a problem with organized religion other than as a historical event, some where and some time..and not terribly relevant to these times..did god, lower case, have a problem with japan? is the cross of jesus somewhere fluttering around libya? nope..just cluster bombs..compliments of the genius’ at the pentagon..and how much does each ‘cluster’ cost? probably more than toilet seats/hammers..hookers/blow at the conventions..ok…take a deep breath..later, no on Adan at the Caffe Opera…yes on Da Vinci..paid the tab..Henrik of Dos Reillys in for dinner..the divine etc there…Lex and Flor(from next door)popping in to wish Luis the best..it’s great,btw..Edy of Pangea? has a killer concept…cheap (22q) pizza that’s flyin’ out the door…sold 15 to O’lots clients today…Neil’s back, in country and will be at the helm(or the kitchen) tuesday thru friday or so..thence away again..wtf? no one knows..Ignacio the Cuban playing Pangea tomorrow night..Brendan B honing up on quiz questions via a deck of Trivial Pursuit cards…this sunday’s easter/pub quiz should be amusing…will it be about…who knows? what was jesus’ middle name? answer…Jesus $%#@! Christ…ok…how ’bout the new Miss Guatemala?

right..jesus $%#@! christ!

  the only complaint…the graphics on the sash…can’t decide if it’s Antique Western or Nazi Script…nah…it’s Hells Angels Gothic..

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i ‘knew’ I shouda gone to the beach this weekend…’town fulla tourists, locals, natives and whoever/whatever else…yes, I know its a tourist town and the religious fests are upon us..too late..’forget to mention the new name for the ‘hamburger heaven’ that Shaun and Jason are doing…”Lava”…nope, can’t see any from the terrace and you’d better hope not, otherwise run like hell..they’re planning on awnings, some terrace heaters…spruce up the underutilized terrace…spruce? probably not..more like palm trees..maybe umbrellas if City Hall across the street and in direct view doesn’t complain…hell, invite Adolfo over for a cheeseburger..thanks, Carla for the perfect Stoli martini tonight…stirred, not shaken…dV finally able to break a 100q note for my bar tab from two nights ago…gotta love their attitude, as in WTF? maybe after they move, in a few weeks, the concept of profit/loss might rear its ugly head…Ixcot, those scoundrels, doing the 3rd largest dinner (8)since their opening…and cunningly blocking off access to Pangea…if they were language specialists, would they be cunning linguists? spent half a day re-writing an old Cuba/golf story…wondering if the Helms-Burton Act is retroactive, i.e, been there a few too many times but don’t tell…i don’t think there’s a reward.. does 13X count? yet another ATM pain in the wallet…Yo-Yo hit today…he may bail next week, back to the US of A, ahead of schedule..the lovely Lisa of O/Lot…leaving in ten days…damn..those of us who’ve lived in tourist spots we know that people come and go…sometimes you wish they’d leave earlier and sometimes you wish they’d stay…for her, the latter wish applies..all too sweet..Edy’s dad working Pangea..Bill the temp chef…Neil? last heard of in Spokane, dealing with family news and remarking about finding his latest ex-wife to be..damn, know that feeling only too well..’still trying to get over running into ‘her’ last weekend and i thought i was over all that crap…will i ever learn? hum along with me…’what kind of fool am I?’everyone’s somebody’s clown…yep..’been spayed..it is too late for the full monty and…maybe another martini…and I had such a great Tarot yesterday…kinda like asstrology…per my mum, mercury’s retrograde, so those of us who were/are…etc…screwed for the next month or in my case, unscrewed…i’d almost twist arms for a lemon..if only to peel the rind/skin for the martini…hector has some growing up north(i brought him seeds)and reportedly frank of nim pot has lemons growing…amazing what scarcity means..i’ll trade you a bag of …..for an ounce of ….re the excuses for not hiring Piano Mike and Moriah for the Costa Rica gigs..’the weddings(plural)were called off…humphfff..they’re playing Las Palmas next Tuesday night, around 8pm or so..Angie Angie has an art exhibit the next night…yep, gotta go if only for her smile..kinda like bringing apples to MDC…the smile…where are the ‘unindicted co-conspirators’?…John’s around,as is Duane…Emma? off in some secret love nest, no doubt..she’s been suspiciously too happy for the last month…cut that shit out..’makes  the rest of us look bad…well? ok..we suck…i suck..you? don’t tell…alas..Japan…expect the reincarnated Godzilla to emerge from the waves…and pissed..have a great weekend…go to the religious shrine of your choice and…pray that Donald Trump isn’t elected President..

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drains into the river Nepenthe….and probably a good thing…’went by El Muro for the carry okie event…must’ve been scheduled for guatemalo time, cuz only Yo-Yo and the bartenderesses…is that a word?…were on-deck..TooTall, the wood-chopper/exotica…

all sizzle

 She reminds of Icelandic women…’ran into Pat Sweeney this morning, back from a weekend in Colombia…his son flies for Continental so PS has travel privileges up the wazoo (or even Bogota) i was reminded, when we spoke, of the Memorial Day Weekend in SF 5-6 years ago…I had no plans, reservations and anywhere would be traffic, coming and going…WTF? Icelandic Air had a special to Reykjavik…fine..as with Alaska the summer nights were a bit ‘extended’ which may explain how i met these Bulgarian ‘exotic dancers’ …russian mafia meat, on the circuit..but the best in town…fine, i do field research and get damn little thanks for my trouble..Lisa, one of the o-so-steamin’ crew at ocelot..packing up and leaving soon..Shaun and lost luggage reunited..how that 50 keys of heroin got past customs is a miracle of the first order (just kidding)if you’re ever landing at Havana’s main terminal,expect drug-sniffing Cocker Spaniels..kinda a weird sight, but..who’d be dumb enough to smuggle stuff in, when there’s enough already there to go around twice? no, not Cocker spaniels…speaking of dogs…finally got to see Monica behind the helm of Jungle Party tonight..in an exceedingly…uh…’nice’ red dress..Tiara(the dog part of this)is recovered from a recent illness..Adan the Cuban..don’t go to Caffe Opera if you suffer from pianist envy…this guy doesn’t tickle the keys…he pounds the shit outa them and improvises as he plays…por ejemplo, a straight broadway/classic piece and then interspersed(stuck in)with a variation using cuban moves/music/rhythms and then back again..damn good music..Camilla…great martini! Ixcot, those slippery folks..blockading the entrance to Pangea with tables, moving the menu stand…Henrik at the door…Marcel of ElCaz has a new painting, going up by the bar…he, in shades,with the beast of a blue Chevelle…ok, fine it’s a 6..the art is ‘singular’..JH and CD walked by, off to eat somewhere else..maybe Chef Pierre? I didn’t ask…she was particularly spectacular tonight or maybe it was Camilla’s toonie that spun my wheels..yes,went by DV and paid my tab..the incandescent Ms C there with family/daughter (no, the cops haven’t apprehended the culprit) maybe a reward? Hector’s packed, as was Luna Miel..Ricardo of Tabacos y Vinos doing a good night..o..that’s right…Yogn Fruz has a new outlet on 6th avenida, south of 4th calle..bigger,brighter…go, you cone heads..B5 and F2 doing steady dinners, as was/is La Fonda Calle real packed with tourists…Taco discontento, very..what would work there? hey! first three margaritas are free!…’briing me the enchilada, torpedo,tarpaulin and a senorita..god, i’d kill for some decent mex/tex food…guatemalo, for whatever reason, can’t produce a decent corn meal tortilla, the heart of many a dish..i’m not too thrilled with the flour versions, either..speaking of tortillas, when i walk by the shop up the street where they’re makin’ them..slap, slap and slap..sometimes i’m reminded of the sounds made by…let’s just say..o god..i’ve stepped in it again..sweaty bellys?…i’m sick but that’s no surprise or excuse..yes, i’m going to my room…go out and make whoopee..whoopee? o please..



America, the Great Satin...no,Satan..

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