A Dispatch from Mexico Seetea (or, 10 Line Items for a McNugget Breakdown of Mexico)

-Mexican food is wonderful

-Cuernavaca is a magical place; especially if you’re a foreigner and purchased a huge villa with a botanical garden, next to your tennis court.  Although, the natives I met where very proud of the city regardless of villa size.  The weather; “Eternal Spring Stylz”.

-I traveled through the Sierra Madre's, wherein it reminded me of one of my favorite John Huston classics; THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE.  This was a real psychological comfort.  Later, I was told that what we drove through was the Sierra Madre del Sur, and that the one in the movie was the other range, know as Sierra Madre Oriental which was situated on the gulf side.  And yet still, another range north of the Sierre Madre del Sur exist’s, named the Sierra Madre Occidental.  So, count em, three Sierra Madre Mountain ranges in Mexico. Don’t ever forget it.

Mexico City - shot from ABC Hospital 

Mexico City - shot from ABC Hospital 

-The airport smelled like diarrhea from a newborn (this description was provided to me by an extremely competent Surgeon whom I was traveling with).  My report wasn't as specific, nor as nuanced.

-I stayed at an Airport Hotel one night out of scheduling necessity.  First time.  And certainly last time if I happen to visit Mexico City again.  See above for reason.

-Observed hundreds of open aired eateries throughout the city.  Like, maybe thousands.

-The majority of Mexicans I talked to believe that the drug cartel problem is mostly American propaganda.  It exits, but, "doesn't really affect regular Mexicans".

-Always take more ADVIL on trips then you think is necessary.

-A red eye flight, straight to a shoot is not as efficient as it sounds. But it is just as horrendous as it sounds. 

-Alaska Airlines has the youngest flight attendants I've found among the US airlines.  Does this have to do with union status (can I pose a question without the need to verify?)

In Paris, waiting for Godot. (10-26-12)

(originally written 10-26-12)

I've been out on assignment for the last week in Paris.  I've learned some things during this trip that’s dawned on me with more weight then the years previous.  Age does that, doesn't it.  Perspective is a fast track to the discovery of subjectivity in all human experience, and shit, the more of it, the better.  

Most of the things learned are of a personal nature.  I usually forget most of these insights once settled back into my norm, but still, its a good feeling and you can't take that away from me.

But, what I am most preoccupied with is the refinement of Parisians in aspects of society, compared to us Americans.  The dress code, the social habits, the little nuances.  We slobber over our apple pie, and they, with a fork in left hand, nibble at those little pastries with the delicacy of a surgeon.  Ironically, with all these refinements, Paris doesn't understand the concept of customer service.  And, this is NOT just my little opinion.  This is a known fact, like that of gravity, or the law of inertia (yes, i understand, we are past linear Newtonianism’s, but entertain me this one time).

Paris - shot from Hotel du Louvre

Paris - shot from Hotel du Louvre

And, most important, the thing that I'm taking away from this particular journey, is the same as any of those recent trips I've taken recently, where, by necessity and a little willpower, I turn off the data on my GODDAMN SMART PHONE.   A wonderful thing happens after you survive the initial shakes of withdrawal.  A simple lesson we all intuitively understand; Life is better lived, then wasted eyeing a little screen, scrolling endlessly in the sea of public opinion, whose constantly engrossed in sharing a few of those tidbits of information and ideas that comes to ones head, with few if any conscientious filters. Ah, the pedestrian, mundane and irrelevant thought of the second. It’s gross desire for declaration!  I'm through with these pocket sized opinions and observations for the time being.  I never wanted them to begin with (is this really true), but, psychology has me (we, us) lacking self-control, gripped unconsciously, deep in a Pavlovian headlock because of a few loopholes of mind.  

See, you might not know it, but if your updating your social media accounts 20 time a day, or logging in 20 times a day its probably a solidified, honest to goodness habit at this point.  Your a little dog salivating at the ringing of the bell, telling you its lunch time, whether your getting a real treat or a trick, doesn't matter. 

35 YEAR OLD MAN plays at IFF

Just got back from a short trip to SF to catch 35 YEAR OLD MAN screening at the 5th annual Iranian Film Festival.  I did miss my screening as usual, but catch the tail end of the program.   I meet Saeed Shafa, the festival director (he also runs a few other festivals), whom was a very cordial and nice man, from my brief estimation.  This has become a very literal update.  And, here is an obligatory picture from the Bay Area.

A nice picture, with a nice filter.

A nice picture, with a nice filter.