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Posts Tagged ‘a year of driving dangerously’

dunno, one way or the other….been up early, writing the Chocolate Bob article…but there’s some changes in town…people looking at the Sangre space on upper 5th Avenida, where the signs (Sangre, Estrella, etc) haven’t been taken down or changed since ’08…in what was the Tacocontento space, also on 5th, across from Polio Compero, they’re putting in 4 electrical meters, assuming that a smaller couple of spaces is easier to rent then one big one..

Speaking of big ones, James the Mullen is back in town…wreaking havoc where ever he goes (but in a good way, ok?) guest bartending at the Exit Inn last night, after the o-so-serious dart game  ended (Spiros was observed practicing earlier)a and the site of Gin King’s penultimate birthday party..complete with a pinata..and also being the master/baiter of ceremonies at the Standup Comedy Night at the Snug…Sunday, 7pm…there WILL be laughter, one way or the other..see our local talent in action..

is Habibi’s bar for rent or sale? that semi-Arabic place on 4th Ave, up the street from Ocelot? next to the other jade store? how the hell can one block support 2 jade stores? and the other,Imperial Maya Jade, is already sucking(no traffic, no $$)…Petit San Malo, per Jackson, was moving from outer 4th calle to 6th calle…wrong, beer breath…5th calle, half a block south of the park, and yet..another Djinn store on that block? yep…

John Adams leaves next week, back to the Sierras…why? dunno..guess that he’s got stuff to bring here…ah, the merry-go-round of our temporary visitors…in/out/in out…no, don’t ‘got there.’

and a giant tip of the panama to Bob Chocolate, for the ‘tour’ yesterday…fascinating stuff..

and now, for the not-so-good news…Michael Tallon, our iconic gentleman/scholar/wordsmith, is in the hospital in New York…if you read his long letter on FB this week, you’ll understand. It was and is gut-wrenching and his valor and courage are high water marks for any of us. …stunning and shocking come to mine…nuff said…sent him your prayers, as I am doing…this isn’t a pretty picture.

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that big volcanic explosion of Fuego this morning? the ash/dust blew northwest and now the skies are a bit hazy…get out your masks!…Halloween, Masked Ball, whatever works.

Peter has left the partnership threesome of the Exit Inn…not sure what this means just yet but it puts a bit more of the burden on Spiros and Alabama Bob and yes, I was totally wrong (yet again)about the Le Mercadito becoming a ‘franchise outlet.’….you know, i think the  ‘wits’ in the park were playing with me.  Today, a fabulous three day, two night stay at Camp Motagua, with Ponzi Bob, Duane, the ‘Perfesser’ and Nazi John…and Frank as maitre ‘d…’should be good for some combat stories later this week.

Marbel the Marvelous has a great new idea! tickets for discounts on places all over town: Sobremesa, Chez Christophe, Mamma’s, Metiz and so on….for 50q you get 40 tickets…10% off in most places…use two tickets and the rest is paid for..descuentosantigua@gmail.com  and more merchants are signing up…Casa de Jade! there’s a discount!

and, thursday, a little excursion to Chocolate Bob’s factory….take some notes, shoot some photos..might try the video thing again, as I seem to be getting better at it..

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first of all, this is an unfounded rumor. The little Mercadito, next to the Expreso Condesa, where the back was full of the same-o same-o handicrafts: word is it’s gonna be either or KFC or an Applebee’s…with the recent invasion of a Wendy’s, a couple of doors away, WTF? is there some kind of design/license review in this town or does the mayor (outgoing) have any kind of say about this? if this is even half-way true, given the recent invasion of Dunkin’ Donuts and a Little Caesars down 4th Calle, this is fairly outrageous for the preservation of what remains of Antiguas’ cultural integrity…in Carmel, for example, where I once lived for ten years, you can’t even eat ice cream on the streets. I’m not suggesting that kind of Nazi thinking here but…

and yes, we’ve got the PNC, those lovable copies of SS storm troopers, standing on the corners in the mornings…as if they’re really ‘combating crime’ in this haven of tranquility,this tourist mecca..and why the Army troops ride with them is another mystery. ..the crime here occurs after dark, folks..and is focused on tourists/gringos..that’s where the money is, but why not do their patrols after dark and in the fringe areas of town? oops..Mr Logic just reared his ugly head again.

Speaking of logic, Caniz, that long-time private mail service that we pay extra for, for the extra service? they’ve decided to add a little to the pile: now there’s only outgoing mail on Tuesdays but on Thursdays they’re bringing in mail from the City…hmm,you ask? yeah, me too..why not go back to the outgoing mail service on that day also? the truck is here…throw in some mail, what the hell? why not? don’t ask, don’t tell/smell…

Biden’s in-country, bringing promises  of joy, strength and money, no doubt..will Guatemala ever see any of the $$? only if Portillo comes out of Zacapa and rearranges the constitution (done often here)…I like the guy: great hair, good clothes and a past that works well with the electorate here..so what if he wasted two Mexicans? that’s gotta count for something..so what if he stole a few million bucks here and there? he’s obviously a ‘go-to’ kinda guy..

OK, I’m whining…allowing a Wendy’s on the Plaza was a rape of the cultural integrity of Antigua: I’m not against ‘fast foods’ as long as they’re down the block and out of sight…if and a big IF, a KFC or an Applebees goes in next door, its the beginning of the end of Antigua as something special, a cultural treasure or a UNESCO World Heritage place where we live…it’s bad enough with all the ice cream stores, bars, restaurants..not to mention travel agencies…I’m not…they gotta make a living..I don’t but I can see their place in the scheme of things.

Blender-Rama? daiquiries…just enough to make this possible nightmare fade for a while.+

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no, not a gay joke…just a reminder that Antigua is where the money is and for the youths from the surrounding villages, this is where to come to knock over, rob, steal and get away with it. Rumors of a well known hotel being the scene of taking unattended cash (idiots who left it that way)and a couple of ‘stand and deliver’ kinds of hold-ups..will the culprits get caught? hah! as with Guatemala’s abysmal closure rate on murders (5%)these guys will get away clean. If you knew enough to go file a denuncia on 7th ave norte, next to the AL library and then if you knew enough to go find the Ministerial Publico in the south part of town and then…well, don’t hold your breath..the PNC are a joke in black…well tailored black,yes..

so..the great Antigua replace-the old water pipes with new PVC project? another huge joke, unless you have a house or business on 5th calle, from the park to Santa Lucia..a week later, there’s a steady trickle of water down the street, leaks in every block and if it was planned (sic)as a way to reduce dust, its working…but no one else is..what’s next? prayers? whoever is in charge of this project ought to be shot, horsewhipped and run out of town..

and yes, another business moves to 6th calle…Le Petit St. Malo, the french joint on outer 4th calle…someone ought to point out (not me) that Malo means bad in espanol..
and yes, today means the start of the %$#@! processions, for the next 5 weeks…getcher autographed posted of Jesus(in case you forgot what he looks like)the white gloves and the purple gown..
yeah, I’m a bit septical..no, skeptical…I knows it means a lot to many people and $$$ to the merchants (prices triple for hotels)but having seen the movie, read the book, I know how it turns out. One might think that flagellation is the theme, with pain/suffering not far behind. Lift that barge, suck that incense..

and yes, some of the temp visitors have/are leaving…Mark’s left for Thailand, Hogan is outa here in a week and Hap, who just showed up unannounced, leaves in 2 or 3 weeks..Blodgett? April 15th, I’m told..if there was a way to speed that date up, count me in..Miss C outa here on the 17th..our temp visitors add a bit of color..no, wrong word..some I enjoy, some I avoid but then, being retired, I can be a grumpy old fart/curmudgeon any time I feel like it(and frequently do) and yes, the March edition of Our Man in Antigua is live on Amazon/Kindle…go to http://www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer and order a few hundred copies, ok?

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no, not the old black musician…I’m referring to the stretch of 5th calle, from the Palacio to Santa Lucia. Every recently buried block is leaking water and the dust is ferocious…but they are scooping up the left-over dirt. If this is a sample of their work, it’s gonna be a major bitch for the rest of the project…4 months? hah! I suspect that the project (sic)will be held off until after Semana Santa, since the processions have already started.
And the rest of the streets? someone got the bright idea to only close off half of the streets under repair..so? every shovel/pick and worker is committed to this..alas, poor Antigua…’don’t cry for me.’

Happy Birthdays to Joe Lada and Alabama Bob…you guys are catching up with me, age-wise.
So, where did the flock of pigeons in the central park go to? pollo de las calles for the processions?…they’re gone but the usual one or two birds in the trees continue to drop…droppings, on the usual crew on the benches..not much, mind you, but just enough to go…’ shit.’ yep, that’s what it is.

Luke playing on the new stage at Travel Menu tonight…7-9…I was gonna, etc, but the night on the finca is just too perfect to go to town.and I’m still mourning the passing of my mom last week…almost made it to 97…I figure I’m good for 5-7 years, at the rate that I’m abusing my body.
and thanks, Dr J and Richard, for suggesting that I soak my new Topsiders in water and wear ’em till they stretch a bit…it worked..

if you’re in the park at 8 and so, there’s a daily box of Dunkin’Donuts, courtesy of Hogan or Bill S….and after asking about the new Little Caesar’s pizza quality, the word is…so so, but very very cheap..the consensus of opinion is that Sunshine Grill and Maria’s Pizza Christophe are the winners…his for topping, hers for the crust..his doesn’t last thru the warm-up via microwave, her’s does.
Thanks, Casa del Conde, for absorbing more copies of ‘A Year of Driving Dangerously.’….next month, the first local printing of ‘Ponzi Bob and the River of Scum.’ if the sales on Amazon are any clue, this will do well here.

And yes, I’m still interviewing ‘models’ for a video at the Freedom Beach Hotel, next month…got the camera figured out and I’m screwing with the software (so to speak).

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music! Nelson is playing multiple gigs..Panza Verde, Frank’s Place, Angie Angie’s…whew…Dr J and Piano Mike, an unlikely duo, at the Exit Inn tomorrow at 8pm…Alex’ latest creation/restaurant about to open in the rear of Nido Antigua.
and the mess they call 5th calle poniente(west)..workers working at 7pm, trying to finish the screw-up…Christophe says it’s been five weeks of hell and with the first of the big-time processions/with crowds beginning tonight…ah, Antigua..you really know how to screw things up. And no usual Friday night municipal band concert at the Palacio? why?…street under repair, that’s why..the Marimbas under City Hall had a crowd, some dancing.

changes? o where to start? the lower level bar at Casbah is gone…reverted to Djinn, one of the last shops..which means that Marvelous Marbel is out of a job, at least for now…heard that four bars have recently been raided/shut down for various infractions, with Las Vibras being one…the other three? dunno…unconfirmed info, as usual with A-Town..

and the traffic cops were actually directing traffic! as in working! the trail of cars leaving town was bummer to bummer..oops..bumper..
und zo..it’s a starry night, meaning a cold one..wrap up with someone, is my advice.
and tomorrow? the outflow of the latest public printing of Our Man in Antigua, hither, thither and yon..and it’s being included in the 2015 edition of the Moon/Guatemala Travel Guide (the best)..whoopee, I say..go to the Amazon site (they just sent me $$)at http://www.amazon.com/author/michaelsherer for the latest specials, some free.
so, it’s a choice between starting the fire or sending out for two fat women…eskimo stuff, you know…it’s the ‘fire’…cheaper/easier/less hassle and I figured out why there’s the occasional crease in my right knee…propped against the tuk-tuk frame to avoid the bumps…hah, he said…I came back in tuk-tuk #3, who is starting a hamburger business across the street from an existing hamburger place, Hamburguesa Gigante…neither will survive..the new Dunkin’ Donuts, across from Burger King on 3rd calle pon/west?…lines of people and they MIGHT make it..go out and make it a great weekend, somewhere, somehow..la vida es corte/life is short, we know.

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zo, 5th and 6th calles are ripped up..but..they finally figured out which side of the street for the new (2nd)trenches and now they’re laying pipe (PVC) and hooking up the water lines into the buildings along that street..using pressure gauges, even, to see if there’s any leaks..did the workers get paid for last month? must’ve been or else someone threatened someone else..zo? the processions start this month, and then thru March until the big Blow Off for Holy Holy Week the first week of April…let’s just say that this project is a bit behind schedule.
what’s with to 2 giant spotlights to the west part of town tonight? looked like a Bat Signal but didn’t hear any theme music or hear the rumble of the Bat Car…and yes, Fuego is still going off, unleashing more ash in the skies. My eyes gave up today, so I’m back to the hot compress routine and if you see me puffy…it’s not booze, its the dust.
supposedly, Copia Fiel will crank another 25 copies of Our Man in Antigua Friday…half are presold (yay)and if you’re interested, PM me and we’ll do a little deal..wholesale deal…got it?

yeah, Las Vibras is closed/gonzo..Glen Wilson bought out Brian Wilson of Century 21 and reports that business/sales/rentals is doing great…why does Antigua(Bodegona)import avocados from Mexico? isn’t Antigua famed as being Green Bellies, where avocados are king? why is Bodo’s sugar section and toilet paper section so huge? is there a connection? just asking, ok?
the most excellent Marbel and Flor of Dasha hanging at Dasha..Claudia of Da Vinci not in, as usual on a Tuesday (I checked)

Green Belly, the segway biz? they’re fading, rapidly…’never thought the idea would catch on….Chapins wouldn’t do it (scared)leaving tourists…not a chance in hell..sorry, but that’s how it went..not even Freddy’s/Simoon has a chance..tourists won’t/don’t, which leaves the backpackers/Christians…same..

and it’s a perfect night in A-town..stars out, temperature perfect..we are so lucking fucky to live here/never take it for granted…the Eastern US in frosted in..too bad, I say

Frank’s Place, on the hill? daily groups! who knew? not me..no fire for me tonight..saves some $$ but I like a fire at night…and yes, after a few screw-ups, I’ve got the video thing down..maybe Maite or Marbel will step up to be ‘models’ at the beach…stay tuned..this ain’t over.

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