This Writer on Writing

Pouring out your brains and heart, your thoughts and feelings onto a white sheet of paper. Baring your soul. It’s like creating a piece of art. It has to be a great work of art and then putting a price on it. Presumably so you can eat. It’s not cathartic. It’s painful. Selling your soul to the devil I suppose. Piece by piece. Or is it something else. Sharing your love of the word? Sharing the ‘obvious’. Pieces of the obvious.  Is it purging of your soul and is that not a good thing? Is not writing a great work like having a tremendous orgasm and feeling incredibly content and satisfied afterwards.

Picking what to write about is not at all unlike deciding what to paint or what to sculpt.  You need it to pique your interest. To capture your soul. Fascinate to the point of wanting to expound your particular wisdom about it. Like impressionist painting. Your particular slant on a scene.

My problem seems to be attention span. I find that a story line doesn’t seem to capture my ‘fascination’ for all that long so it falls by the way side.  So maybe short stories are the way to go. Or just blogs or just articles.

Mexican Medical

I’ve partaken in the Mexican medical system a number of times. In short, it’s been awesome. Given that I come from Canada where healthcare is predominantly free, I find paying a bit of a shocker, but I’ve gotten used to it pretty quick. Healthcare in Mexico has 2 tiers, public and private. IMSS is the public system, has been around a long time and Mexicans(like so many other things, I’m finding out) are ahead of us. The private system is generally paid out of pocket and then claimed from your health insurance provider. The prices are very reasonable for the stellar service that you get. Here’s my scenario. I’m comparing the Canadian and Mexican system. Just before coming south to Puerto Vallarta (PV) I had a physical with my GP, of many years, in Ontario. He spent a grand total of 10 minutes with me. He ordered blood work, took my blood pressure, told me he was going to put me on blood pressure medication and I was out the door. He wanted follow up blood work a month later. A month later, I’m in PV. To find a physician in Mexico you are best to have an English speaking broker. We have a marvellous one named Pam. She was a nurse, has been down here for years and knows the system very well. You tell her what your problem is and she sets you up with a good physician. I wanted a ‘physical’. Here it’s called a ‘man’s checkup’. I don’t think I waited a week for an appointment to go to the lab and have a very comprehensive array of tests done before I had an appointment with the physician. I had to poop and pee in a cup, they took blood, took chest x-rays, a very comprehensive ultrasound of my entire abdomen including prostate, bladder, liver, and heart. I also had an EKG. Don’t think I forgot anything. A few days later I saw the doctor. He spent close to an hour going over everything with me. They found 3 important (but not life threatening) things that my Ontario physician missed. He put me on the table and went over my entire body. I’ll be referred to 3 different specialists to delve deeper into the things that they found. I felt really good about this whole process and felt really angry at the Canadian system. This checkup by the way cost me $300 CDN (4600 pesos). I felt cheated by the amount of tax dollars I spend on a really crappy healthcare system with no choice to get anything better in Canada. I suspect it would end up as outrageously expensive as the US system if it were privatised but it just doesn’t work as it stands right now.

Hola México

We’ve travelled throughout the warmer south, escaping the frigid cold of Canada’s winters for about 10 years now. Starting in St Maarten and doing a few other islands as well. Then Panama and finally Mexico which is our favourite. We tried both the gulf coast and the pacific coast of Mexico, and found we liked the pacific and specifically Puerto Vallarta the most. We didn’t do the typical ‘all inclusive’s’ on all these trips. Actually, I’ve never been to an ‘all inclusive’. We’ve always just found a good hotel, a room, an apartment and had a great time finding our way. That was half the fun. We both enjoy finding out about other cultures. Yes it’s a bit scary but we’ve never been hurt, don’t have any regrets and always found it to be a richer experience than our compatriots in the compounds.

We progressed from 1 week trips to our present 4 month trip. It can’t really be called a trip any more. We ‘live’ here for part of the year. We are both fortunate in that we can work remotely. All we require is a good cell signal and good internet. Both seem to be easily available down here. We were close to the centre of Puerto Vallarta, where all the action is, but found it to be too much action for our old bones. We need our sleep and all the parties that ran at full volume until 4 a.m. were over the top. We are about 20 minutes outside the ‘action’ zone now so it’s not much of a bus or taxi ride and we can get our sleep. We’re also a short walk to the beach and go for walks on the beach almost daily which is as great as it sounds. Next winter we’ll be down here for 5 months and miss pretty well all the unpleasantness of the Canadian winter.

We’ve used the healthcare down here quite a bit and find it to be leaps and bounds better than the Canadian system. More on that in another blog post.


Pretty odd really, but actually makes sense now that it’s the computer age.  Geeks rule.  Sure ‘alpha males’ still get laid more but in a weird twist of nature, Geeks are gaining ground and becoming…well getting better at getting laid.  The ‘alpha males’ are working for the Geeks most certainly.  Really the ‘Alpha Geeks’ are where it’s at.


I saw paintings by Carmen Chami for the first time in Guadalajara in 2015 at a beautiful gallery where I was looking at the art of José Clemente Orozco murals.  They affected me and I starred at them for quite some time but couldn’t figure out why they affected me but they did.  It wasn’t until later that I really noticed her work as being remarkable.  I want to be able to do colour and shadow and light on a surface like she does.

Salt of the Earth

Mud. Mud made into something remarkable. Something useful. It feels good in the hand when it’s well crafted but have you ever played with mud…clay?  It’s cathartic.  You touch the earth.  Then it’s fired until it vitrify’s.  If it’s glazed it’s a glass casing of many colours. Endless possibilities.

Claro Clarinet

It squawks and squeaks but then I get those clear chilling notes that are the throaty erotic sounds of a well played clarinet.  That’s what’s in my head anyway. My sounds aren’t well played yet but I hear hints of that sound that I love. I see musicians playing a song I know and visualise playing that quick time on my clarinet. I know it’s a staid, pokey band instrument but not if you’ve seen some street corner jazz clarinet musicians make that thing come alive.