Sunday, January 02, 2011

through a glass brightly

A number of my colleagues have already posted their favorite posts of 2010.  Traditionally, I do that before the year ends.  But I was busy buffing and polishing the new blog.

Choosing the "best" is always a problem.  There are posts I like better than others.  But it is always difficult to choose between one's children.  So, I will let my readers make the cut.

Seven posts were the most popular in 2010 by the number of comments.  It is a crude tool, but each of them had far more comments than any of my other posts during the year.

And they are a good mix -- two before I headed north in April.  Two while I was in Oregon.  Three after my return.  (I would probably have added some other of my own favorites.  But such are the cruelties of democracy.)

So, here is 2010 in reverse order of popularity.

1.  a beach kind of guy?  -- 30 November.  I was introduced to the concept of beach people and city people on my trip to Mérida with Islagringo.  The trip was one of the highlights of this year for me.  I was finally out and about in my new country.  It was a convenient writing exercise to compare the urbanity of Mérida with the rustic charms of Progreso.

2.  me and my moon shadow -- 21 December.  This month's total lunar eclipse was spectacular.  I would have missed most of it in Oregon.  Here the sky was unobstructed by lights and clouds.  It was a grand performance.  And quite a few of you passed along your own experiences.

3.  living on pesos -- 8 July.  I tackled the question I am asked more than other -- How much does it cost to live in Mexico?  My answer was: It depends.  Looking at the piece again, I am not very happy with it.  But it does get to the bottom line of the economic question.  Our comfort levels determine our costs of living.  I live quite comfortably -- and I pay a premium for that comfort.  It is possible to live on very little in Mexico.  My Mexican neighbors do it.  And it is certainly possible to live on far less than what it would cost me in Salem -- or Paris (where I would love to live).

4.  as if i never said good-bye -- 4 June.  For me, the best reason for living in Mexico is medical costs.  Low costs for high quality care.  When I was in Oregon, for my final bit of employment, I experienced just how impersonal medical care and customer service can be.  I laugh about this episode with the coumadin nurse.  Now.  And, yes, I know.  Impersonal service can happen anywhere.  Just try getting specifications on a mobile telephone anywhere near my small fishing village by the sea.  It isn't going to happen.  (There are the seeds of a blog post there.)

5.  swords and dragons -- perhaps -- 19 January.  I did a big buildup for this announcement.  Leaving the impression that I had some incredibly important news to pass on.  Well, it was big, but not of the connubial sort some of you expected.  I was simply announcing my six-month trip to Oregon to train my job successor.  But I did get to work in two quotes from The Princess Bride.

6.  one foot in the gravy -- 20 March.  This was the second most popular post.  And probably the biggest event of the year for me.  Breaking my right ankle while ziplining in Puerto Vallarta.  I am almost recovered now.  But my right leg is still not where it should be.  Well, it is on the right side of my body.  But it doesn't work like when I was twenty.  What does?

And the most popular post of the year?

7.  titleless in mexico -- 10 December.  I had been thinking about changing the title of this blog for over a year.  And I was not getting anywhere.  So, I enlisted the collective wisdom of my readers.  And you came through.  The wining title was not amongst the suggestions I received.  But the idea was.  It may not have been democracy in action.  But it was one of the most productive creativity meetings I have ever attended.

So, there it is.  The highlights of 2010.  And they pretty much sum up the high points.  My trip to the Yucatan.  My trip north.  My broken ankle.  And, of course, the blog.

Thank you for being part of that experience.  The year would not have been the same without all of you.


Andre said...

I just started reading your blog a few weeks ago.Much better then the Tomzap website to have a feeling of what is happening in the region.I have one question for you.Why do you call Melaque a small fishing village? How many people do you know that make there living from fishing? Feliz Año Nuevo!

Mic said...

"Through a glass brightly" suits you :-) Good Choice.

An important part of my new year will be following your posts. Looking forward to it.

Missed a few of the above...glad you brought them forward.

Steve Cotton said...

I am happy you have joined the rank of commenters. It is an illustrious group.

As for the fishing village label, I could point out that there are a lot of professional fishers in Melaque. That is where all those fish on the west end of the beach come from. When I lived on the beach, several of my neighbors were fishers. But, the truth is a bit more mundane. It is a shameless ripoff of Garrison Keillor's description of Lake Wobegon -- with a saline resolution.

Steve Cotton said...

I was surprised that my method ended up catching a good sample of the year's posts. I probably would have picked others as my favorites. But one result is probably as good as another. That may be why my view of elections is rather cynical.

Mexican Trailrunner said...

Always fun to read your blog, Steve. You are another 'papaya with my coffee' in the morning. Hope 2011 brings you up to the highlands for a visit and that you continue to write, write, write.
Have a healthy and happy new year!

Steve Cotton said...

It will be good to be back on the road. I just need to do a bit of research before I head out on my own.