Archive for April, 2007|Monthly archive page

bullfight again

this post is going to take me forever to write.
like, for instance, that first line took me about five minutes to get over. then I started listening very intently to what Rod Stewart and “you wear it well” had to say. and if you aren’t reading between the lines on that statement there, I’m not even going to acknowledge it.

so. the bullfight went down this weekend. and it went down hard.
to illustrate:

this bull actually won the fight. seriously. I’m sure they shotgunned his ass afterward, but the matadors couldn’t kill him. after this, no one else would get in with him, and it was driven out of the ring. word.

when this happened, I was working on getting some Peanut M&Ms. looked up at the last minute. good eye!

this asshole goes by la Pana.

these three are photos professionally shot by the guy at work. he sold them to the AP, and the Mexicali paper had him (the second one) on huge sports front spread, even over their own guy. they are reprinted here without his permission, so I guess this is copyright infringement. sorry. his name is Todd Krainin.

and these next three, these are from me.

our view.

what I look like if you want to see directly into the soulless pits that are my nostrils.

Greg, thinking of something funny to say. he just got hired on at a job in Houston. go Greg, go.

anyway, this one was a lot more chaotic. and expensive. cost me ten bucks to get in. but it was warmer. sat on the sun side. every view is a decent view, even way up where we were. la Pana, the old man, was apparently hot shit in the bullfighting world back in his younger days; now, he’s a name you pay to see. like if Scotty Pippen were going to be signing autographs at a sporting goods store at the mall? I’d go. also: I say Pip just cause it could happen. I could see someone like Jalen Rose pulling that shit.

anyway, the event ended when a drunk asshole fell six or seven rows into my back. well, not really. I saw him coming, and kind of slowed him down/stopped him, but either way, it coincided with the last bull being killed, and it seemed poetic in a very poorly-developed-metaphor sort of way. when I caught him, this guy – rich, charro type, his wife and daughters were wearing cowboy boots and lots of jewelry – was bleeding from his head and had a very shocked look on his face. the stairs are out to get you, and when you factor in the cheap beer he probably drank and a traditionally Mexican lack of safety precautions (no handrails), they’ll burn your ass up if you don’t watch yourself.
so people swarmed, and someone was yelling in Spanish what I would assume was “don’t move him,” cause his head was twisted up something awful, and the paramedics showed up. he kicked over my beer, but I decided to let it slide and slipped away. here’s to hoping it was only a concussion, old man.

so, to recap: saw a bullfight. saw a couple of matadors get lit up. saw a bull win. caught a tumbling man. took some weak pictures. anything else?


the border

so a couple of weeks ago, a border patrol agent shot a 20-year-old Mexican armed with a rock.
the kid had been part of a smuggling group. they basically cut holes in the fence and run people across, into the city. sometimes it’s as simple as that. and when BP shows up and starts grabbing people, the smugglers will often throw rocks from far away, at their cars and at the agents themselves, in order to distract them. so that everyone may be able to get away. it doesn’t really work.
anyway, the agent shot this kid with an M-4 assault rifle, in the chest, and the guy died. his name was Ramiro Gamez Acosta. there was a big stink about it; the agent went on mandatory administrative leave, and all of these things are investigated by the Federal BI, but as of right now he’s back at work. and nothing probably would have come of it. and nothing will, even after this, but now security camera footage of the shooting has been leaked online by someone from within Customs and Border Protection. fuck! so much for Homeland Security!
the camera is pulled way back, and the incident occurs on the edge of the screen. the camera doesn’t even notice for a second and continues panning away, but then it snaps to and pulls right back onto it. then the enhanced, slo-mo version plays out. and it almost looks like Acosta is gonna throw the rock at the agent’s SUV or someone else, but there’s no one else there. so either he has a really big windup, or the agent overreacted. or both. I mean, fuck, man, you could have shot him in the leg.

also: I was reading an advertisement online for a job in Illinois, near Rockford. this is how it begins:
Yes, that’s right. Sauk Valley Newspapers is seeking a daytime news copy editor.

yes, that’s right. it’s finally happenened.

I think San Felipe is Saint Philip in English, but all of my Spanish comes from the Taco Bell menu. so seriously, who knows

went to San Felipe this weekend. I’m just a little sunburned. that warm feeling you have after sitting in the sun for an afternoon? that’s it.
it’s like, what, two hours from here? on the Sea of Cortez; a town of 30 or 40 thousand. I was told it was going to be a spring break scene, but it’s definitely more of a local destination; like where middle-class Mexicans go on it was like the Jersey shore, only everything is in Spanish and you can drink beer just about anywhere you want. which is an interesting novelty; it’s more interesting to think that the cops have plenty of shit to worry about other than public intoxication. there was a checkpoint in the desert about half hour outside of town. federal soldiers. sandbags, body armor, what looked like M-16s. you’re a long way from El Centro.

it’s pretty cheap, all in all. our room was $90 for an evening, which you’d think would be pretty expensive for Mexico. but it wasn’t, considering the location and the view. literally on the beach. balcony that overlooks the waterfront strip. that was a constant source of entertainment; kicking your feet up, turning up the television so you can hear the dub of “XXX: State of the Union.” watching people buy bootleg DVDs from six-year-olds wearing backpacks bigger than the rest of their bodies.

and now, the explanatory pictures.

“XXX: State of the Union” in spanish. I wasn’t kidding.

I probably could have slept all weekend, but I humored Gregory and went out to a couple of bars with him. I crashed out early from a club – the kind of place that I’ve only ever walked into in Mexico, for some reason – and left him. it’s not that I’m a bummer. I just don’t like clubs. bass-heavy music. usually full of beer and secondhand smoke, like last night. it doesn’t exactly make you feel well. either way, it was only three blocks away, and he was dancing with some girl. I went home, sat on the balcony and watched the locals cruise, flushed the beer out of my system with a huge bottle of water and crashed out.

so yes. I’d recommend a Baja beach town to anyone in the area. it’s like California without personal safety rules (no seatbelts or crash helmets required). or like the Jersey shore. just in Spanish, with lots of beer.

looking for work

I was told by the Fort Wayne paper that I should arrange to come in for a test and interview next time I’m in the Fort Wayne area. I’ve never been to Fort Wayne, but I’d imagine The Fort Wayne Area can’t be that far from Valparaiso. so next time.
I also saw that the Post-Tribune reposted a vacancy for a page designer. I thought that was pretty stone cold, and was about to send an anonymous, threatening e-mail to show my discontent, but decided against it. I read the new advertisement, and the contact info is for another managing editor. so I applied again, thinking halfway I might be lucky and halfway out of spite.
I heard back. I’m supposed to call out there tomorrow.
well, god damn.