Tag Archives: photography

Out of the dark

DARKNESS IS the new black.

The leftist media has cited “darkness” repeatedly since the election of President Trump. The Washington Post, more leftist even than The New York Times, recently added “Democracy Dies in Darkness” to its online masthead.

The Post says it has nothing to do with Trump.

Yeah, right.

I don’t want to be associated with leftists and their dark obsessions in any form, so I am abandoning entirely the dark photos I’ve used here for avatars for a long time.

Gone is the black hat and the dark bebop cap in black & white photos. I am out of the cave. The new face to the world is this, which was taken about 12 years ago.

New

I am enjoying a churro* in the restaurant owned in downtown San Miguel de Allende by Mexican actress Margarita Gralia.

Old

While I added this photo to my comments avatar weeks ago, it was only today that I made it official by adding it to the Felipe Page up thataway.

This change has lifted a darkness from my spirit. I feel more upbeat, happier and fulfilled. Let’s leave the darkness to Democrats and other sourpusses.

Conservatives are happy, colorful people.

* * * *

* Churros sometimes are sold filled with something like chocolate. This is an abomination. Churros should always be eaten au naturel.

Mood piece

JUST CAME in from the morning walk around the plaza, and I’m in a good mood, which is the norm.

It’s common to see people in bad moods. You can see it on their faces. Some are young with their lives ahead of them while I am old and my life is mostly behind me.

No matter. I’m almost always in a good mood. Maybe because it’s too late to worry. That time has passed.

Coming in from my plaza walk, I poured a glass of green juice and sat on a rocker here on the veranda and looked around me. It was so nice I decided to share.

The camera was just inside the door, sitting on a table.

We haven’t had one hard freeze so far, which is rare. It could still happen. The peach tree would be shocked because it’s full of pink blooms, thinking it’s springtime.

You’d think that plants and weather would be better coordinated, that they’d have meetings or something.

I shot the video for you, my internet amigos. It’s both a mood piece and a brag piece. It illustrates what’s possible with a little planning, a modicum of money and courage.

As I type this, a couple of hours later, my child bride is downstairs frying chiles, the punch of which is wafting upstairs and almost bowling me over. That happens.

You sauté raw chiles, and you’ve got a fight on your hands.

She’ll dump them in the pot of beans that will accompany the roasted chicken on the menu for lunch.

Roasted chicken, beans and rice are good for the mood.

Night lights

light

WHEN WE built the Hacienda 14 years ago, we installed a motion-activated light out in the carport. When we drive in at night, it illuminates a nice section of the yard.

It goes out after three minutes.

Alas, that light only exists when we arrive from the street. When we walk out of the house toward the carport at night, there is total blackness on moonless evenings.

You can’t even see the sidewalk.

Now, after all these years of stumbling around in the dark out there, I hired an electrician who installed another motion-activated light just where you see it in the photo.

I am a slow learner. Perhaps a bit stupid.

Now, when we exit the downstairs veranda heading thataway, the light flicks on, and the path ahead is unmistakable.

¡Qué bueno!

There to the rear where you see a raised stone-and-concrete semicircle is where there was a humongous stand of banana trees. I had them removed two years ago.

Hanging on the wall is a big ceramic frog. That’s aloe vera to the left, and a towering nopal tree to the right with a big maguey in the nearer, right, foreground.

Looks a little spooky at night.

I’m really proud of the new light and wonder why the Devil I didn’t install it over a decade ago.

There’s another motion-activated light in the Garden Patio out back if you’re ever thinking of sneaking in here.

Adiós, December

centro

I READ RECENTLY that more people have heart attacks on Christmas Day than on any other day.

The holiday season is not welcomed by many folks. It throws them into a fit of depression. While it does not depress me, the entire month of December is my least favorite.

Christmas doesn’t interest me because I quit believing in Santa when I was 7 years old, and I’m not a Christian, so the religious aspect means nothing. I don’t think it means much to many people, but that’s another issue.

I’m gracious when people wish me Merry Christmas, but my heart’s not in it. Before I moved to Mexico, my favorite day of the year was January First because it’s as distant from the next Christmas season as you can get.

Alas, in Mexico the hysteria continues till January 6, which is Three Kings Day, and that’s when little Mexican kids get their presents, not on Christmas.

My attitude toward Christmas was always a source of much conflict with my second ex-wife who is as pro-Christmas as I am anti. December was painful in our home.

Today is January 1, 2017, a fresh year. I dropped my child bride off last night downtown so she could party almost to the crack of dawn with a mob of her unruly Mexican kin, something she did just a week ago for Christmas.

She’ll come home tomorrow nearly catatonic from lack of sleep while I’ll be fresh as the proverbial daisy.

A few hours prior to dropping her off, I was walking alone down the hill there in the photo. It’s one of our town’s best perspectives. A New Year’s gift to you.

Many thanks to those who give me feedback now and then. I appreciate it. May 2017 treat you well.

For those who stay mum, may 2017 treat you well too.

Any ole thing

john

BEACH DENIZEN and blogger buddy Steve Cotton recently wrote about the tendency of some Mexico expatriate bloggers to run out of material, letting their blogs lie dormant.

When this happens I think it reflects a lamentable lack of imagination and/or lack of a camera.

Just this morning, while resting on the throne in the upstairs bathroom, I noticed this scene, one I spot daily about that hour. But today it hit me that it’s a bathroom scene rarely seen above the Rio Bravo, so I photographed it.

The upstairs bathroom is colonial tile, floor to ceiling. We have two other spaces that are colonial tile, floor to ceiling.

That would be the downstairs bathroom, which is far larger than this one, and the spacious kitchen.

Making this photo black and white instead of color caused nothing to be lost because the colonial tile is black and white, which was my idea. It was a favorite accent I used when I painted art furniture in a previous life.

The mirror over the sink reflects what’s behind me as I shoot the photo. The light in the mirror is on the ceiling.

So if one runs out of good material to write about, just grab the camera and shoot any ole thing. It’s fun, and then you can blab about it down below … or wherever.

* * * *

To  Mexico City!

Switching gears now, tomorrow my child bride heads off to Mexico City for three nights with a nephew, age 13.

I had planned to go too, but at the last moment I changed my mind, plus they will have more fun without the old codger in tow. It will be the boy’s first visit to the capital.

They will ride the Turibus. They will visit Chapultepec Castle. And they will spend nights at the Casa González just off the spectacular Paseo de la Reforma.

I’ve been in Mexico City a million times. It’s a hassle to get there, and it’s a hassle getting around while you’re there.

It will be the first time in almost 15 years that my wife and I have been separated more than one night.

I’ll be like a bachelor again.

Night salads

SOMETIMES it’s good to show one’s human side.

Our evening meal is always a salad. I fix it myself. It’s served about 8 p.m., and we dine upstairs sitting in recliners watching Netflix, recovering from our ever-arduous days.

kit2While making the salads last night, my child bride snapped these two photos with her phone camera. The photos are not very sharp.

But neither am I.

It’s been quite nippy here in the evenings lately, and that’s why I am heavily clothed. We have no central heat. Or central air-conditioning either for that matter. No need.

kitThe flannel pants I am sporting were purchased in Costco, and are adorned with skulls and crossbones. The heavy hoodie was also a Costco buy.

That thing atop my head is an ancient and dreadfully misshapen watch cap. My child bride detests it.

But I never wear it out of the house, and I have a much newer version of the exact same model for social wear. The newer one looks quite smart, I think.

My normal preference for black-and-white photos has been cast aside for obvious reasons. We live in blazing color.

Embracing mortality

barrow

LONG BEFORE I even thought of moving to Mexico I was a fan of the Day of the Dead tradition.

A Catrina stood on my bathroom counter in Houston.

But that fascination played no role in my choice of a place to live. It was pure happenstance that I landed in one of Mexico’s major hot spots for the Day of the Dead.

Even more good luck has found me living within walking distance of a generally excellent cemetery to visit on the Big Night. Being within walking distance is important because the traffic here on this day is a nightmare.

So, after doing some chores in the morning, we had the Honda in the carport by noon, and did not drive outside again.

Around 5 we took a walk to the neighborhood plaza for the heck of it, and we sat on a steel bench. I shot the photo above of the man toting flowers to the nearby cemetery.

I then pointed the camera in the other direction. As you can see, we had the plaza to ourselves because all of our neighbors were decorating graves in the cemetery.

plaza

We’ve visited that cemetery most years on the night in question, and the experience has been variable. Sometimes it rains, making a muck of things.

Some years, TV news crews have showed up with bright lights. One year, the municipality installed a huge spotlight on a high pole at the entrance, spoiling the atmosphere.

That’s gone now.

But when it’s just right, it’s spectacular, a very moving and incredibly beautiful experience.

Last night was one of those nights.

We headed out just after 7 because night had fallen. We walked the two blocks to the plaza, which we crossed diagonally. We continued two more blocks.

We crossed over the highway via a pedestrian walkway and looked down at the bumper-to-bumper traffic of clueless visitors heading elsewhere. Just a short walk farther was our huge neighborhood burial ground.

I did not take a photo because thousands of other people have already done it for me. Here is one.

As always, my child bride had built an altar in our living room. I photographed that later with my Fujifilm camera with no flash and with the living room lights off.

We have lots of deceased on my wife’s side due to the large family and unexpected deaths. Her mother died at 31. Two brothers were murdered in unrelated incidents.

(Note to my daughter: Your paternal grandmother and great-grandparents rest among the altar crowd. It’s a pity you’ve never come to visit. You’d love it.)

altar

The old woman

oldlady

THERE IS A handful of folks I spot downtown whom I want to photograph. I just need the proper moment.

This old woman was one of them, and she provided the moment on Saturday as she ambled in my direction.

Amble is her top speed. The other is sitting on a stoop.

Another was this old fellow. I photographed him about a year ago. He has since died. Still on my to-do list are a man who makes and sells bows and arrows — he has a great face — and a couple of lovers I call Los Tiburones, the sharks.

Recently, the bow-and-arrow man walked by my sidewalk table where I was enjoying a café Americano negro, so I asked if he would pose for a shot. I offered 10 pesos.

He said he’d prefer doing it when he was carrying one of his long bows, not the relatively short one he was toting on that day. I said okay. I’ll just snap him when he’s not looking. Like my sister-in-law, he sports the nose of an Aztec king.

Los Tiburones are a young couple who’ve been an item since high school. They are now in their early 20s. I’ve been eyeing them for years. The girl is incredibly beautiful and rail thin. Her guy is good-looking too, but in a normal way.

I call them the sharks because they are ever in motion, making them difficult to photograph. Normally, I spot them as they sweep by me, going in the other direction.

The girl’s long hair is sometimes streaked with blue or pink, and she smokes, which is not what a skinny girl should do.

Just sit on a plaza bench, you two, just for a few moments, will you? I’ve never seen Los Tiburones smiling either, but real sharks seem dead serious too.

One day I’ll show you what they look like. Also the bow-and-arrow man with the Aztec nose.

The woman in the photo above is a street vendor. I don’t recall what she sells. She is remarkably nice.

She is so old and feeble, she can hardly walk. Sad.

* * * *

(As always, Felipe’s Fabulous Fotos can be found here.)

Dos vistas, again

new-image

I CALL MY wife a child bride, but hereabouts some people take the phrase more to heart and actually do it.

Walking around the main plaza the other day, I couldn’t help but notice this young mama for two reasons. One, her youth, and two, she was decked out like a banana.

The age of consent in Mexico varies by state, and can be as low as 12. In the State of Nayarit, it’s set at puberty.

Between 12 or puberty and 16, 17 or even 18, you’ve entered a nebulous zone, depending on individual states.

The entire matter appears to be legally muddy or, as Wikipedia phrases it, complex.

It was her attire that made just a black-and-white photo unfair. I wanted both views, and here they are.

color