Saturday, April 23, 2016

Damn, Dancy!

5.0 out of 5 stars Damn, Dancy!, April 23, 2016 By Mike D. Landfair

This review is from: For Your Damned Love (A Doc Hardesty Adventure) by Linton Robinson

“For Your Damned Love” is the story of Dancy, a beautiful, demanding woman from the States, whose husband comes to Mexico to make a high-level drug deal with Armando, a local drug-lord. While here, he makes a deal with Armando to kidnap Dancy, enjoy for eight months and kill her. Doc Hardesty, a semi-retired mercenary, is hired by Dancy’s father to find his daughter and bring her back. Doc succeeds, but not until Dancy has taken over Armando’s gang starting with a gripping erotic scene in a hidden jungle pool near Puerto Vallarta.

The scene of her kidnapping is unlike anything most of us could imagine. In the nude, she fights two brawlers with only a tennis racket and does some real damage before they make off with her.

Dancy is luscious, but so is the writing of Linton Robinson, for example:

Writing about Memo and his son Marco Tulio, trumpet players: the kid had perfect pitch and timing, a feather touch, and all the chops in the world. Memo was better yet, with a brash, slapdash slide off true pitch that was always perfect, always strong and male, always a sad sort of swagger. And he could use sour notes like a chef uses sour cream. The kid had a more delicate, classical style; a Spanish sound of flamenco bodegas. You could close your eyes and see the bulls tossing their horns. Together the two would slip behind the violins, then romp out front like a swirl of skirts and lassos. 

“You’ve done well with him, Memo.”

 “Me? I’ve just tried to stay out of his way. Sometimes he scares me. You know, he never cried as a baby, He was saving it up for a horn.”

 I believe “For Your Damned Love” is his eleventh novel. Robinson lives in Mexico close to the border. Next up for me is “Mary of Angels.”

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Celebrating One Year in San Miguel

April first, April Fools Day, marked the our one year anniversary of moving to San Miguel. We spent February of 2015 here, and signed a rental lease beginning April One. We flew home filled the Clampett Mobile with as much of our personal belongings as we could, put the rest in storage and drove 3,300 miles to San Miguel de Allende. Dave and Cheryl Leland loaned us their casita for a few days until we could take possession of Umaran #66. The Clampett mobile is a 2001 Mazda Tribute. It has battle scars, but it has only 87,000 miles and runs at 90 mph, hour after hour, across Texas with not a whimper or hesitation.

Because the owner of the Umaran house has the house up for sale, we wanted to make sure we had a house to live in should the new owner want us out, we signed a lease on a new place to live. This time we will be at Huertas #9 and our furniture arrived on March 23rd. This house has a big yard, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a huge kitchen with a Dutch door to the outside and a living room and dining room with ceilings over sixteen feet tall. We awake to the birds singing and Doves that seem to ask, "What, what's with you?" We have a gardner that comes twice a week to water, prune the bushes and mow the lawn. He is paid 100 pesos a month - $6! Huertas is on the east side of the Jardin and close to La Parada, where we love to dine, and Parque Juarez, a beautiful large park where Bev takes Tai Chi.

Looking back on the year what have we learned?

  • We learned that our decision to move here was the right one. We love the sunshine, the warmth of the people here, both Mexicans and expats, the violent thunderstorms and rain that fall in the June through August period that last an hour or so, the restaurants, the sunsets, and the walking.
  • We shake our head at the cost of living. Property taxes that are less than one tenth of what we were paying in Portland. Car insurance less than a quarter of Portland-$383 for a year. Dental care, a third or more of the states. I had a root canal and a new crown for about $500. Transportation by taxi 40 to 50 pesos. One hundred pesos is right now about $6. Bus transportation to the grocery store five pesos! Last night the Scherbers and the Landfairs dined at a new restaurant to us named Pork Belly. John and I had BBQed ribs and Kristine and Bev had chicken and Salmon. It not only looked delicious, but didn;t disappoint in the taste department. With tip the bill came to 1,300 pesos or about $76. The amount included a bottle of wine, lemonade and  one carrot cake.
  • A short forty-five minute drive to Celaya and we have Home Depot, Sams, and Costco. We may be in Mexico, but at Costco we can get HP printer ink for 145 pesos, sharp cheddar cheese, and the same great Costco hot dogs and strawberry sundae. However, if you love Cheetos, they are not available without bacon flavoring.
  • We learned that living on Umaran is a great location, close to the Jardin and my favorite ice cream store,  the barbershop, the chicken man, restaurants, the Saturday market where they have great cinnamon rolls, BUT it is noisy with motorcycles and cars and taxis. It reconfirmed to us that when you first move here, renting is our recommendation. It just takes a while to get a feel for the different Colonias.
  • We've learned that friends are easy to make here. Our friends are expats. They seem to be adventurous and eager to impart advice to make the transition easier. Every week I learn something new.
  • We've learned that this is not the U.S. You need to be flexible and accepting. Those who aren't like a river, have trouble here and tend to complain. Why can't these people,yada, yada, yada.
  • I learned that if you want to reinvent yourself, Mexico is the place. I want to be a writer, not just a freelance writer, but a teller of stories either as a novelist or a short story writer. I joined a writer's group. There are six of us. Each is trying to be a better craftsman and each of us trust the feedback we get about our weekly submissions. 

Do we miss the United States?

My first answer is no. Then I think of our friends, my family and Bev's family and we do miss them, but not much about the U.S. do we miss. Someone asked me, "Don't you miss the freedoms in the U.S.?" I thought does he think we don't have freedoms down here? I don't miss the feeling that the U.S. is a big target for all the loonies around the world. Someone said that envy is a big reason for the target on the U.S. I think it's also that the U.S. meddles in the affairs of every country on the planet. I don't miss the feeling of being a target.

There seems to be groups of expats. There are the expats involved in writing or painting or some form of creative arts. Then there are the golfers, the drinkers, the snowbirds who spend a month to six months here every year, the permanent residents divided into the renters and owners.Women seem to outnumber men about eight to one. They complain that all the good men are taken. 

Sometimes the little things get frustrating. If you get a parking ticket the police take your license plate. In order to get in back, you can;t just send a check, you must go into the police station. We made an appointment to have cable installed in the new house. They said they would be here after 12:00, but Monday was a holiday. So they came on Tuesday close to 5:30.

I find myself saying no entiendo, I don't understand, a lot to Mexicans. Try to explain to a Mexican woman who doesn't speak English that you are there to pick up the cable box and she's trying to explain you don't need one. You just reconfigure your TV. It's frustrating to be sitting in a dental chair hearing the dentist and assistant converse with no idea what they are saying. It's isolating. I learn a little each day, but I only catch a word or two. If I lived in another city with fewer expats, I would need to learn Spanish faster to lose that isolated feeling.

The common question we get when we've visited the U.S. is, "What do you do all day." We say the same things we did when we were living in the U.S. Except we are warm. We don't lay on the beach all day because we are six to eight hours away from the beach cities. For me I spend a lot of time writing, trolling the internet, emailing, and reading. We walk almost everywhere and that means one to two miles a day walking. For Bev that means three to five miles walking a day.