Tuesday, January 01, 2019

papering over my work

I am starting to feel like a Victorian recluse.

You know the type. The squire who has taken to his bed with what may prove to be his final illness.

In my case, there is no final illness. Just the need to block out time to prepare my history lecture for the first cultural awareness class on 10 January.

Last year, props, costumes, and script took me quite a bit longer than I had intended. Whenever I agree to these presentations, I always underestimate the preparation time.

I had hoped to outsmart myself this time. I have given three history lectures over the past few years, and I still have all of my research notes. I was simply going to re-work the material.

One of my favorite Anne Lamott quotes is: "If you want to make God laugh, tell her your plans." I could hear chuckling the moment I devised my shortcut.

And I know why. Since my lecture last year, I have run across several interesting historical tidbits that I want to include in this year's presentation. But that also means I need to do some supporting research. So much for shortcuts.

I am now on my third draft. Not surprisingly, I ran out of printer paper this morning.

When I first moved here, I bought paper the same way I did when I lived in Salem. By the case. From Costco. Here, that meant making a four-hour drive to Puerto Vallarta.

That soon stopped. I started buying my paper at Office Depot in Manzanillo -- in the days when I would drive to Manzanillo every week to pick up my mail.

Breaking shopping habits is hard. But I have changed this one. A few items are still hard to find locally. Paper has never been one. There are paper stores aplenty here in Barra de Navidad and Melaque. My favorite is about five blocks from my house.

It may cost a bit more than in Manzanillo (120 pesos -- or $6 (US) for a ream), but I far more enjoy the experience of chatting with the clerk about local doings. She always finds my Spanish to be confusingly amusing. And I get to ask about her family. My few extra pesos spent in her shop are certainly worth the relationship I get out of it.

If I keep using draft paper at the rate I currently am, I may need to visit her at least one more time before the curtain goes up on another of my takes on Mexican history. This presentation has piqued my interest on the shaft tomb culture of western Mexico. We will see where that interest leads.

For the next nine days, I have cleared my social calendar (something my Mexican friends find a bit annoying) to give me time to justify the slaughter of some trees.

On 11 January, I will re-emerge as a squire whose health has been fully recovered. I hope.

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