Wednesday, September 30, 2009

from the "up to speed" dept.

Lest you think I'm on some sort of extended holiday, let me reassure you that my nose is firmly planted to the grindstone. Here's the headlines:

A documentary project I am involved with is being pitched Thursday (Oct 1) to a panel of commissioning editors at the Vancouver International Film Fest. Read more about the Storyville session here. Ours is the 5th from the top. With luck our project will receive some development money to flesh out the story even more. It would mean work for me, and likely keep me in Canada for a while.

I'm also waiting to hear if I might be returning to Canada to do some work for the CBC. One of the gigs I'm interested in is in Halifax. I certainly wouldn't mind returning to the East Coast for a spell.

Things are getting interesting in San Pedro. There has been a new focus on bars and restaurants that stay open past 11. There's a lot of rumor and speculation as to what exactly is going on and why. However, groups of evangelical vigilantes are now visiting bars and restaurants to enforce a closing time of 11pm. Apparently this is a new national mandate, but there is no confirmation of this. Local business owners are worried -- as are many people living here. It almost seems like an US vs. THEM mentality. And that's not good for anyone.

There is no question that San Pedro could use a little cleaning up. Groups of faux-hippies congregate around the main entertainment area (the Vortex) selling crappy hand-made jewelery and drugs. Plus many dress in a manner that is completely disrespectful of the local population.

No one is quite sure how this will all play out. Some think that the clean-up effort will die a natural death in a few weeks. Others see it as the death of San Pedro and are planning to hit the road, in search of a new tropical paradise. And, honestly, a lot of the accusations coming from the evangelicals are very hypocritical.

"Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone."

But let's not get into a long diatribe about religion.

I had some friends from Saskatchewan visit San Pedro on their honeymoon. I worked with Shawn and Nichole in Ghana and it was nice to see them again. They stayed at my big house for about a week. It was a treat to have normal conversations about new things! Plus, they brought me the new issue of Vanity Fair. Aaah...

There will be changes in my housing situation soon. Two of the Americans I'm house-sitting for return Oct 13. They've assured me that I can hang here until my planned return to Canada on December 2. They've also told me I'm more than welcome back in January.

The neighbour's little annoying demon-dog that plagued my life these past few months seems to have disappeared (knock on wood). He would bark and bark and bark -- making it so that I would never sit out on the patio or enjoy much of my time in the house. I often had to wear earplugs and crank up my music to block his piercing yaps. But no more. For nearly a week and a half there has been nothing but silence from his rooftop perch.

Of course, there are always trade offs. And yappy was no exception. At the very same time as he disappeared, construction began on a new house next door. And this isn't like housebuilding in Canada. Everything is manual labour. And when you live on the side of a volcano, there are lots of big rocks that have to be removed or broken down for use as building materials. That's done by hand. So, from 6:30am until 4pm a small army of men hammer away, breaking massive boulders into smaller pieces. Tink. Tink. Tink...

But I'll take the tink, tink, tink sounds of rock breaking over demon-dog's yipping any day.

Lastly: I discovered a little photo essay on Lake Atitlan. It was published two years ago on The Atlantic website. While it is a little out of date, it gives a good overview of San Pedro and San Marcos. Check it out: HERE.

Anyway... that's where things stand on this last day of September. Hard to believe that the year is winding down so quickly.

More to come.


Friday, September 18, 2009

from the "bird brain" dept.

The latest gift from the internets? A Fox News New York anchor dropping the F-bomb -- live on the air. Watch the reaction of his co-anchor...


Wednesday, September 02, 2009

from the "fade to black" dept.

What does the death of local television look like? Well... see for yourself.

Here are the final minutes of Red Deer's CHCA-TV (aka CKRD and RDTV). Simple and sad.

Meantime, in Victoria, CHEK-TV struggles to stay on the air.