Archive for the ‘Shopping’ Category

a new record was set this week and one that’ll be hard to top…I wondered about the scabs/abrasions when i saw him in Bodegona yesterday, and still raving….the record? being 86’d eight times outa Lava/Ocelot in the same night (New Years)…the thumps/bruises were acquired ad hoc. This, of course, eclipses the previous record of six ejections(with thumping) and a more recent escorting from the premises of a lady we all know…what exactly is in those Kamikazies, anyway? yeah, it’s spelled wrong…I’m on Vicks 44 and tequila…lime juice for the vitamin C…even normally boisterous party animals were disgusted, which is some kinda sign.

at last, the ‘final final’ of the New Year’s Day blowoff….at 5pm or so the central park was encircled with firecrackers, strewn in patterns here and there…I bailed, since Ocelot was having ‘difficulties’ opening on time..but this morning when the usual 8 0’clock sweepers appeared, it took them 3 hours rather than the usual one hour…serious rubbish/trash/debris…no, not the habitues…the  firecracker remnants.

Chalk up a smart move for Hillbilly Tom…..left town and headed for his place on the river, by Gualan…a lot safer/saner as long as he doesn’t mess with the sow down below.

Marbel the Marvelous surfaced! new foto on FB and a sweet note to moi…I, frankly Scarlett, miss her…she dressed well and we laughed a lot, two commodities in short supply around here.



at last word, she’d gone to India, Nepal or ?…..you know? who was missing for New Year’s Eve here? think about these animals….Jason Lever and John Wilbur…did they ever meet each other?

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yeah, I know….I haven’t been out/around or even ‘on planet’ for a while…the stinkin’ cold had/has me in it’s grip…early to bed, early to rise and that’s good for bags under my eyes…

Caffe Bourbon, introducing a new concept! paying their musicians…and maybe their help/suppliers….the new owner is well-connected and even better, has deeper pockets..Nelson Lunding now playing there Fri/Saturday nights…maybe even PM, Moriah and Bobby Darling sometime?

whoa…three loads of cruise ship passengers in town yesterday…pale folks, baggy bermudas, cameras in place..welcome to Antigua, pilgrims…some bar/eaterie owners reporting a steep downside in December revenooo’s…blaming it on a change in the type of tourists this year…low enders missing, the $150 a night hotel room folks reporting no vacancies.

got chops? Bull aka James Santiago Durham is NOT giving up the import of pork products from Tecpan….the two 1/2 lb pork chops (unsmoked, thank you)are my fave….jameswdurham2@gmail.com will do the trick…

La Sala! taking over the downtown nightclub scene…Johnny’s Place in Monterrico doing an ‘end of the year’ bash…from the way i feel now, I’ll be lucky to be getting out of bed, much less getting ‘bashed’…bushed, maybe…bashed, not..

plans afoot for heading northwest and the outskirts of Hue Hue in a week or so…do some diggin’ around some old Spanish diggin’s…silver…find some specimens(no, not urine)shoot some photos, write it up and maybe get  paid a year later…and you thought this writing gig was lucrative? hah…no, make that a BIG hah…ok, fine…I’m surprised I got this far…in with the Old, out with the Ewe…

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yep…that’s the time tomorrow at O-Dark Thirty when the Sun dips to it’s lowest point…and hopefully comes back up for air…and light, cosmos, etc/cha cha cha…hey..think about how many false alarms have we heard about regarding the end of the world? Hale-Bopp Comet, that phony preacher in Oakland, etc etc…maybe the ‘Fiscal Cliff’ is just another attempt to scare the be-jesus out us?

Travel Menu totally slammed tonight…folks on the sidewalk, Allen running around, back and forth, schlepping plates….’never seen it so packed…yeah, even more of the ‘usual suspects’ there…and then some..

there was a lame fake Mayan ceremony in front of the Capitan’s Palace tonight….Maya-Lite…better than nothing, I s’pose…folks didn’t have to leave town, go up to El Cerro de la Cruz or…get too far from their hotel rooms…might have even been something on the History Channel in case…you know, room service is coming, dont’ wanna get dressed  up..


this might not load…copy/paste…wordpress is being wonky tonight…

ah…a mini-road trip with some of the Gang of Four…off to…(‘off’ describes it perfectly, btw) to Esquintla in search of the lost Wal-Mart…you know, the Wal-Mart that isn’t there but surfaces/appears once a year or when the moon is just right?…yeah..right…they left, they looked and they returned…unWal-Marted…is there some kind of information source to call and ask for this stuff?…hello? 

A new kind of Christmas Club in Antigua? some merchants on 5th Ave norte reporting that they’ve been extorted or threatened with having their external signs stolen unless they pay protection…Ricardo of Tobacos y Vinos didn’t go along with the program and lost his sign…as if he needs one, but it’s the concept…now…what do the extorters(my word)do with the signs? burn ’em..return ’em for a deposit? set up an altar and pray to whom?

Reid Choate, the almost last missing ‘snow bird’ checked in…back on Jan the 8th…child support, Witness Protection Program…? character witness for John McAfee?

it’s been said that tomorrow’s end-of-the world thingy is really going to be a ‘Mayan Rapture’ event…a flash of light, they all disappear and then re-appear in a Pollo Compero near you, me, etc..at 05:11? PC isn’t open then….maybe McDonalds? nope, not even…

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nope…wrong again…I’d written that Metiz the Deli had folded…wrong again, scotch breath…they’ve moved to ‘central 4th Avenida’ across from Alex’ s Helados Exotica…

this is becoming somewhat of a ‘deli central’…Pan e Fantasia around the corner, Epicure a block and a half north…each of them good in their own fashion and for those of us who are walking, it’s an easy stretch to pop into one or….dunno..Metiz did have some xlnt cheesecake…the recently moved-out-of-Guatemala Miss Marbel bought one for her birthday…I got to sample it..the cheesecake.  I miss her, frankly…we laughed a lot.

and how cold was it last night/this morning? can you say ‘I saw my breath’…yeah…that cold…David Hofman of Ocelot, walking home at 4am in a semi-heavy shirt…freezing…


yeah…Chapter 1 of another insane road trip…Hillbilly Tom, Alabama Bob, the Perfesser and moi…I guess ‘lessons’ needed learning and they were..

Amazon/Kindle, fronting my dumb little travel guide…now in Canada, Japan and Brazil…hey, it’s $$$, ok?

long time reader, Norm Kwallek of Ohio in town for a few days…he invited me to go to Mixco Viejo for the Solstice ceremony…naw, it’s not the end of the world..it’s the cosmic odometer, rolling over to a new set of zeros.

Let’s see…who are we missing, amongst the ‘snowbirds?’…Reid and Ponzi Bob? Barb..?

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often flows into the River of No Return, which empties into the Sea of Dreams…some have commented on the style (sic) herein: it’s just me or another side…those who read my travel pieces or mineral/mining articles probably wonder also…so? there’s no money involved here, via hits/ads or anything else.

The seasons? what, here? I love the fact that something is flowering all the year…lately it’s the purple jacarandas and the poinsettias. From whence I used to live, winter meant no leaves and bare branches..spring sprung eventually, followed by the cycle of summer and the slow death of fall foliage.

Another ‘only in Antigua’ moment: the road improvements coming into town?…what was a 2 hour delay a few weeks ago is now three hours…and just in time for Christmas $hopping, eh? there’s two versions of lame blame but the fact is that ‘they’re’ now ripping up the newly laid cobblestone paving…a giant WTF?

another deli bites the dust…Metiz, 4th avenida, south of the Cathedral? called it a day and threw in the sponge cake…they were doomed per the location, even with the best cheesecake in town…’heard of a new gelato joint on 3rd calle, west of Antigua Tobacco, next to the Ivori Drugstone…Jessica’s Gelato, said to be better than….that place on 4th avenida…you tell me…and that rascal, Neil Craig? has another girlfriend that’s even better looking than the last…bastard..no, Mr Bastard…good for him, I say.

When is Braulio’s…the remnant of The Lounge, which was the remnant of Pangea, gonna close their door?

goodbye, old friend…’sad to see you go but it was time…after 6 or 7 years, a lot of traveling and some great adventures, it was time to part..from Cuba to Carmel, Costa Rica to Xela and you were always there for me…yeah, you got a bit bent outa shape but that’s because I sat on you the wrong way…my ol Motorola Raz’r went bye-bye today, to one of the yard crew here at the finca…gotta new ‘semi-smart’ phone…in the sense that I’m not activating any of the smart features…maybe later, when I figure out the manual (in espanol, of course)

the long awaited trip to Mixco Viejo is ‘on’ for this week…the 20th/21st for the end of the 13th Baktun…some are referring to it as the Mayan Rapture…a flash of light and suddenly every Pollo Compero outlet is filled with  hungry Mayans…we’ll know later this week, one way or the other…me? I hoping for Santa’s helper to make an appearance…McAfee? minus his girlfriend? probably trolling South Beach, right about now…his ’15 minutes of fame’ are up and thankfully so..

its beginniing to look a lot like Christmas

its beginniing to look a lot like Christmas

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Guatemala, where the strange is just another dose of the daily news and the weird is cannon fodder…no mudder, fodder…I published this last night and this morning in one local paper, the headline read that he’d already been deported, back to Belize…no other confirmation, anywhere…


so…? so what? who the hell knows?  or cares, you ask…in a conversation this morning with a local business man, i made a heavy side-bet that…if he (McAfee)were back in Belize (or not) that his phone is ringing with offers from Hollyweird to ‘do’ the story…c’mon…think about it…lawyers, guns,drugs, money, hookers and bizarre behavior? is this not a description of half of Congress, Oprah, Phil Spector and so on? my bet was that within six months we’re looking at a made for TV movie, shot on location…oops..wrong word/connotation…’filmed on location’…and the Belizean sleazoids will sign on as ‘consultants’…oh…who to play the staring role? that whacked out person, likewise ‘eccentric and unstable’…Tom Cruise…life, as usual, defeats the efforts of comedy, art and insanity..pick your actress..Demi Moore, Pam Anderson, Seka…obscure reference #2

yep..missed it again…the ol burning of the Devil…(set for 5pm)..every f$#@! year i think, you know…you really ought to go see it/shoot photos..but as I said earlier to Nicole…i’ve seen the Devil already, in so many times/places/hallucinations, that once more really isn’t going to make a helluva difference..Nixon, for example…LBJ…Tom DeLay…peyote, DMT, mescaline..cha cha cha…Jimmy Swaggert..no, I never really liked acid..

the streets were somewhat empty, somewhat full..5th ave, first block north of the park, doing fine…Casbah/Studio 35 looking good, early..Red’s dead, that new place, La Velada on 1st Calle, with the Spor Bar sign? closed…oops..not good..4th calle,the golden gulch? Sobremesa slammed, Neils’ Michos the same, Tartines? Francois, at the door, looking lonely…Fusion/Mammas? slow…DaVinci? two..yes, 2 tables!…the road/highway screw up at the entrance to town is likewise screwing up a lot of city folks who don’t want to deal with even more of a traffic problem..perfect for Christmas, eh? 

speaking of Christmas, i’ve decided what i want…a real stocking stuffer…Santa, you bastard…come thru for me  this year, goddammit..I’ve been good…and i can produce signed statements, if you want…

is she hot or what?

James aka Santiago/Bull Durham? looking 110% better! color, gaining weight and walking(gingerly aka slowly)…great news…and the ‘pork chop/rib connection? back on, again..briefly…place your orders pronto…jamesdurham2@gmail.com for next week (I’m in for chops)

is she hot?…yeah…if I can find a really really big stocking..’got the fireplace…and if Santa(you stingy bastard) comes thru…

the impending road trip to Take a Lick Abaj? not quite set in stone…more like set in Silly Putty but we’re talking about a time/place for leaving next Wednesday…progress, Antigua style.. 



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Gautemala, the haven of choice for folks on the run: Senor McAfee, late of Belize, something about dogs/poison/guns/murder/cha cha cha, seen in Rio Dulce yesterday and now in the City, ‘lawyered up’ with one of Guate’s ex Attorney Generals and scheduled for a press conference in the morning….it’ll probably go like this…”you know, it might look bad that I left town and came to Guatemala but this country has a reputation for fair play and justice.”…drum roll…from what was an estimated 100 million bucks a few years ago is now somewhere south of  4 mill…”Guatemala, The Best Justice That Money Can Buy” 

and yet another bit of ‘only in Antigua’ insanity…one of our long-haired gringo semi-permanent residents…you’ll see him scooting around town, sometimes with a leather jacket with fringes (Dennis Hopper style) recently returned from the States, apparently on a shopping trip…two large suitcases, one filled with rice and the other? Starbucks Guatemala Blend…uh, excuse me? importing that stuff to here? 

Looks like Lava is giving the “salsa night’ a twirl or two…why not? Micho’s day shift is getting their ‘americano desayuno’ together, a bit more each week…this week they’ve mastered buttering the toast. Hey…it’s a gringo thing, ok?

Angel of Djinn says her move across the street hasn’t impacted her business one way or the other..her tikka spot was just a bit off center this morning but how do you tell someone that?  it’s a caste mark, ok? bright red spots are #1 Brahmin…and on the wedding night the groom gets to scratch it off and see if he’s won anything, like a liquor store or motel…

Tom ‘Speedy’ Murphy feeling well enough to go to Wal Mart today…maybe he’ll be able to drive next week..the Perfesser can be the passenger side airbag and Plumb Bob and I can sit in back and not watch Tom pass everything in sight..

http://www.examiner.com/article/the-mystery-of-takalik-abaj-part-one  more in the series of last year..I suspect that there’ll be some stuff to add to next weeks’ adventure in paradise.


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