Sunday, December 28, 2008

practicing my lists


I told you in
the me in meme that I do not like them. Especially, those screaming meme lists.

But my antipathy applies to the garden variety "to do" list, as well. Probably comes from a lifetime of living alone. The cautionary tales of bachelorhood are well-founded.

But it is time for me to start putting together my final lists for my move to Mexico now that I actually have some specific dates for this project. On 31 March, I will retire. On 1 May my living arrangements are available in Mexico. The dog (if he is still alive) will go with me, and I hope to have an FM3 before I arrive in Melaque.

Those are the basics. Now I need to start putting together the steps of getting from here (Salem) to there (Melaque). During the next week I am going to sift through my old posts and your comments to glean the most important points.

I already know the one item that is going to pop up: learn Spanish. Several times this year I promised to set aside time to study, but I have once again proven that I have the self-discipline of a 12-year old boy.

Mexico Bob, bless his blogging soul, has come to my rescue with a new language tool. On Friday he informed his readers that he had found a blog, Señor Jordan’s Spanish Video Blog, that uses YouTube videos to walk the most novice amongst us through the joy of Spanish. I say joy because Señor Jordan is one of the most exuberant language teachers I have ever encountered. In fact, he is one of those people who you would simply like to invite to a dinner conversation. In this case, to learn a new language.

This may be the tool that helps me to keep up my studies -- at least, to the point where I can start using what I have learned. My 60-year old memory does not hold on to vocabulary very well. At times, I feel like an aging actor playing his 3000th performance of Hamlet, who continually gets stuck on "To be or not ---." (As an aside, I saw that very thing happen to Carrol Channing in "Hello Dolly." She didn't forget the soliloquy from "Hamlet;" she forgot the lyrics to "Hello Dolly." I saw my future writ large.)

Give it a try! It is now on my list of things to do before I join the rest of you in Mexico.


Vanya said...

Hi Steve! Good luck on your lists. We used a large dry erase board in our kitchen for our to-do's and that worked great. About the FM3... When you go about putting together your materials (pictures, bank deposit statements, etc) double (or more) the copies of everything. While the FM3 will possibly help you get over the border easier you will still have to register your FM3 within 30 days of entry. We were told that we had to register in Guadalajara, but Manzanillo works too. We had our FM3's already but still had to return to the immigration office 3x to provide them with more (different)pictures, extra forms, proof of a place to live and a letter from the Municipal... There may have been more but you get the idea. They told me I was helping them put together thier file on me. So just get extra copies of everything up front, it might save you one of those trips. :-) Suerte!

Steve Cotton said...

Thanks, Vanya. I have learned that I will need to develop my patience. No matter how prepared I am, there will always be something more.

LadyBlue said...

Steve - do you have a scanner? If you scan your passport and anything else you are going to need copies of more than once (like, next year, the year after, etc) then you'll already have 'em.

Definitely, lists are the only way to go when you have all these details to pull together. But the fun is when you mark off an item!

I like Sr. Jordan, too -- I have him on my bookmark bar so I can work with him every day. I find I learn vocabulary best when I write something every day in Spanish. You could do your list in Spanish!

Theresa in Mèrida said...

Steve, remember no matter what just smile and nod. Compose blog posts with strike outs in your head as you wade through the bureaucracy, it is all you can do. Our fm3 was a piece of cake, but we did it in Sacramento, your experience, as always may vary.
A friend told me once, that you should always have a plan, even if it only serves to show you later how you deviated from your plan!

Steve Cotton said...

LadyBlue -- I have not asked about the new alias, but I will.

I do have a scanner. In fact, I have been collecting as many documents as I can to take south as both originals and digitals.

I never thought about the kinetic aspect of learning Spanish. I will give it a try. My problem has been simply remembering the things I actually know.

Steve Cotton said...

Theresa -- I really like the plan suggestion. My military background tells me than any plan starts failing the moment it is put in operation. Mexico will simply give me more proof of that. I like the "blogging in line" suggestion.

Anonymous said...

Don't bother bringing a bunch of copies. Scan your important docs then email them to yourself. You can access them from anywhere and print them if you have to.

glorv1 said...

Sounds like you are all set. You've got a plan. That's great.
On another note: I can't post on Theresa from Merida since she changed her posting site. Do you know how I can get around that. Her post site is different than this and this type has been the norm, the other is different. There are a number of sites with this type of comment section and Bob had it, but got rid of it because we couldn't post. Any suggestions?

Michael Dickson said...

There is one way, and one way only, to really learn Spanish down here: Avoid Gringos.

Take it to the bank.

Felíz año nuevo.

Cory said...

I love lists. It's a personality thing. The great thing is getting to cross items off as they are accomplished.

Thanks for the Senor Jordan suggestion. I am looking forward to studying/practicing my Spanish as well.

Steve Cotton said...

Anonymous -- I was thinking of loading everything on a flash drive, to have it handy for whenever the occasion arises.

Gloria -- I have no idea why the comments posting is problematic on Theresa's blog. Maybe she will have an answer for us here.

Michael -- In Melaque, I will probably be able to avoid gringos with ease. If I do not know Spanish, I will starve. And that is not going tp happen.

Cory -- And I think I know where that list gene came from. Let me know how Señor Jordan works for you.

Anonymous said...

It won't be long now. There is a webstite I really enjoy reading called "yucatan living" that I think you may enjoy also.


Glenn said...

There's a fun way to expand your Spanish vocabulary, and at the same time donate rice thru the UN World Food Program at Click thru the menu to Spanish--there's ten different language levels.

Steve Cotton said...

Glenn -- I should have thought of that one. I have great fun with the English version. Why not build vocabulary with the Spanish version?

Corrine -- Thanks. I'll take a look.

American Mommy in Mexico said...

Melaque - We ALOMST stopped there to camp Monday night. It is on my "list" to go back to for a weekend excursion!

Steve Cotton said...

AMM -- Too bad you will be heading north just as I am heading south. It would have been fun to have all four of you down to the house in may.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words & I hope the videos are helpful!

Steve Cotton said...

srjordan -- They are extremely helpful. I will need to keep some consistency in working my way through them.