Wednesday, November 30, 2005

That Silence You Read. . .

. . . is the sound of typing on Day 30 of NaNoWriMo - Write a Novel In A Month project - and the whisper of my scrawling Millennium pen. Yee haw! Giddy up now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Everything's Retro, Square & Otherwise Opposed

"Be Kind," says my Fishing Guide to the Stars, Kramer Wetzel in Xenon, "And stay out of it." (Time to type.) Happy Birthday, Kramer!

I Am Quetzalcoatl. Who Are You?

You are Form 0, Phoenix: The Eternal.

"And The Phoenix's cycle had reached
zenith, so he consumed himself in fire. He
emerged from his own ashes, to be forever

Some examples of the Phoenix Form are Quetzalcoatl
(Aztec), Shiva (Indian), and Ra-Atum
The Phoenix is associated with the concept of life,
the number 0, and the element of fire.
His sign is the eclipsed sun.

As a member of Form 0, you are a determined
individual. You tend to keep your sense of
optomism, even through tough times and have a
positive outlook on most situations. You have
a way of looking at going through life as a
journey that you can constantly learn from.
Phoenixes are the best friends to have because
they cheer people up easily.

Which Mythological Form Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla
*This bit of diversion brought to me by La Chatelaine among poetic others. Hmmm, "optomism" - must be my post-post modernity.

Monday's "YZ Poetry Jam"

Y ~

Youth's yearly
Yell — yearning yesterday.

Z ~

Zoic zealot
Zoom's zone — Zounds!

"Unconscious Mutterings #147 On 11/28/05"

  1. Stuffed:: as a pickled pimento
  2. Armstrong:: loads a missile
  3. Bruise:: and awe
  4. Content:: to the trigger
  5. Musical:: chairs in the air, strike
  6. Assistance::  assured
  7. Scrambling:: unawares
  8. Battle:: in action
  9. Extended:: to the 222 billionth degree
  10. Discount:: no count,
    nor do we.

Unstuff your own turkey at La Luna Niña's house - every sunday.

'Why Do You Make Such A Big Deal About A Racist White Holiday, Anyway?'

My son wants to know. He knows his history. He should know mine. I just stopped, and looked at him. And then I told him.

"Every single Thanksgiving was horrible, the worst. Now, I'm in charge."

I have a poem in the new book, DRIVE, book two, BIRD AVE, entitled "California Plum" with a first line: "I suppose I was a derelict/ I was a derelict's kid." Every year she'd get drunk -- and cook -- and fling turkeys & anything else she could get her hands on. I think of it and I taste chocolate cake and onions, together, in the same batter. Funny, my first poetry guru, Bob (Hass) kept it hidden from the world until he was my age. "My Mother's Nipples", a poem thanks to a challenge by Sharon Olds at Squaw Valley. He had the same line, about the taste of chocolate cake & onions, and screaming on the street. I wrote poems about shattering bottles and staggers while in his workshop, 20 years old. He never said a word. Secret family.

Now, I'm in charge.

A door I still can't open, and if I do, not for long. "Shut the door, it's cold."

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Some Disco Drumsticks

for you to play c/o our good travelers to Isla at Bob's Board - - a little Thanksgiving Caberet!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

OK, I Resisted Long Enough

What Common Breed of Dog Are You?

brought to you by Quizilla
I was holding out for German Shepherd - until I realized there was no German Shepherd - if there were , it'd be me, or a Shepherd-Collie mix. Acually, I'm a Xolitzquintle, nearly extinct. You can find me in a Frida Kahlo painting. Guau.

More Isla Mujeres After Wilma Links

here at - includes various links & links to links - posted today

Friday, November 25, 2005



Flagpole, no
End of war.

Latest On Isla Mujeres - Wilma Recovery: Come On Down!

from today's El Universal:
Damage to cost insurers US1.6 bln
The tourism secretary said the region known as the Mexican Caribbean should be up and running by January.

Wire services
El Universal
November 25, 2005

Hurricane Wilma's damage in Mexico will cost insurers 17.4 billion pesos (US1.6 billion), making it the country's most expensive disaster, Tourism Minister Rodolfo Elizondo said.

The claims are from hotels, restaurants and shops based in Mexico's biggest beach resorts of Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres that were destroyed or damaged by Wilma a month ago. Only about 1.8 billion pesos of the claims have been paid to date, Elizondo said on Thursday at a news conference in Mexico City.

Elizondo will ask insurers to speed up the payments so that the region, known as the Mexican Caribbean, can be rebuilt in time for the height of the tourist season in January. The government will spend US10 million by the end of the year to advertise the region domestically and overseas and lure tourists back, he said.

"The priority is to ensure that we won't lose the next season," Elizondo said, minutes before a meeting with insurance executives. "We're putting pressure on them."

About 75 percent of hotels, bars, restaurants and shops in Cancun, Cozumel and Isla Mujeres will be operating by Dec. 15, which marks the start of the tourist season in Mexico, he said. Hotels in the region have about 35 percent of their rooms occupied now, said Gabriela Rodríguez, tourism secretary of Quintana Roo state, during the same conference.

The government will invite as many as five foreign companies next week to rebuild the beaches of Cancun, which had most of their sand washed away by Wilma, Elizondo said. The companies will have to suck the sand from the sea back to the shore, he said.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

"In History" - Last Poem In New Book, ESKELETONADA

The last poem in a new manuscript of poetry called ESKELETONADA is now up in the Café Café. The poem is called "In History."

I Just Finished My New Book of Poetry!

Eskeletonada. 63 pages. I wanted to do it in a weekend but this will have to do. I started it on Saturday night with a poem called "First Push." I guess the idea of writing a novel in a month gave me the go ahead to write a book of poetry in a week, if not a weekend. Thing is. I really like it. I'm going to be divvying them up to send out, unlike other new stuff I've just been publishing on the blog. Just in case, any po po mo publishers out there wanna give the individual poems a looksie? Just thought I'd ask. It's like looking for a new place, it doesn't hurt to ask around. The book, though, is already spoken for, at least in my poetic fantasies -- of which I am multitude.

Back to typing, then turkey. Pieces and peace to you all.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Yes I Know The Day - JFK

I was standing in line (fifth grade?) It was a long line I was at the end of because I was always late--was it lunch? Morning? I think it was recess before lunch because I seem to remember fiddling with my Magic Pocket, the hole in my red bomber style nylon jacket that went all the way into the back so that I would routinely pull out all numbers of absurd items from my pocket for the lunch ticket counter to take and hold while I piled up more, (the poor kids had lunch tickets) I think I was fishing around to line-up the choicest weird things to place when the news shot through like on a conga line, or a wave had I known what that was -- more like a conga line with all the knees buckling and hands to the face. "The President's been shot!" All the teachers letting the line go out of order, crying, even the dreaded lunch-ticket lady. The line stopped moving. Someone said something about a tv in the teacher's room. No one knew what to do. No one in charge but our own individual consciousness -- not the usual, the national con-science, as I think I began spelling it then.

Wicked white lunch ladies. Lines. Where's a good brussell sprout when you need one?

We went home. Our parents were going to need us. My mom saw it all on tv. Grandma, probably outside. My brother, too, from another school, I think, that's how I knew it was 5th grade. Everyone better at arithmetic (a word my computer no longer knows) than me, and me loving snakes and hiding my skinny snakey arms in a too-big jacket. I was beside myself with grammar and the power of a dictionary when in mortal combat with a real unseen enemy. I had ended trying to bite my constituents on the playground like a beaver. I was no longer my brother's slave, he'd gone on to guitars and freedom's train. I was watching the motorcade on tv in rerun, in rerun, in rerun, and it married in my mind with black horses. This is what I think of when I think of this day, a first thought: black horses.

I don't drive today because when I think of cars I think of black oil & when I think of black oil I think of motorcades & then I think of JFK & then I think: black horses -- someday soon, we will all be back to horses.

MemeMe MeMeMe

Bill Snodgrass actually does that. I started doing it in my old age, beginning in Washington for the debut reading. I can only do it in the most goofy way possible. Vowels and consonants in combinations in scales. That's what I heard before the lights went out: "MoMoMoMo-Moh shit!"

I stole this from a Sunni Sister I came across (Jetsam and Flotsam: what comes up in the surf) who's feeling dissed. I even stole some of her answers. Her words are in quotes. Some day soon, post novel-november, I'll update my links (I don't know how to roll, yo). ~ LDC
Meme of Me

"Salaam ‘Alaikum

Haven’t done one of these in a while. Found it on a Live Journal called New Number 6. Feel free to play along (please? No one ever copies the memes I post. I feel terribly dissed, yo)."

What is your occupation?: "Mother, wife, writer, troublemaker, timewaster, food taster, book reader, wannabe seeker of knowledge."

What are you listening to right now?: "the whir of the computer"

What was the last thing you ate? Popcorn.

How is the weather right now? "Cold and dry" Colorado sun out.

Have you ever dyed your hair? None of your walnut shells.

Do you wear contacts or glasses? nope -- but I have a hard time without sunglasses, burned out my eyes reading in the snow in my backyard first year I got to CO

Pets? rescued dog from Mexico & pound cat (rescued kitten)

Favorite month? the one I'm in.

Favorite food? the one I'm ettin'. *UPDATE: The one you're cookin'.

What was the last movie you watched? Crash

What do you do to vent anger? walk around in circles muttering to myself *UPDATE: I don't do anything and get ulcers.

Fall or spring? "Spring" !!!

What is on the floor of your closet? JAjajaja! Who know's? I can't see the floor. I think a roll of posters is down there from when I moved in. I once had a house intruder and the police came in the middle of the night to check to see if anyone was still hiding in my house. After opening a few doors, it was easy to see that there were no hiding places! They already thought my house had been rifled, but I assured them, no, everything looks "in its place."

Who is the friend you have had the longest? Who knows? Are they still my friends? I'm a hermit, although I prefer what Osa called me, "Hobbit."

What did you do last night? Typed up poems until I started falling asleep - I've been up trying to write a book of poetry in a weekend. (almost!)

Favorite smell? mangoes

Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers? What, me mad cow?

Favorite car? What? Me drive? I can't tell one from the other If I did it'd be a truck, '54 Chevy in primer red & a cherry engine (those things are built like tuna boats.) Otherwise, I once saw my dream car parked in my barrio with a for sale sign on it, $400, one of those Goofy Disneyland cars I forgot the name of, oh yeah, a Metropolitan (that even sounds like a car Goofy would drive: my auto-ego): turquoise & black with chrome accents and a white top (convertible?) in excellent condition, best part was the license plate: NOPRBLM.

Number of keys on your key ring? two - the house key is ringless so I'm always losing it

How many states have you lived in? three actual, multitudinous in being

How many places have you lived in? Sixteen, last five in '03.

How much cash do you have on you? $27 and heavy change, not enough to go to Harry Potter with refreshments and transportation (TIME!) nor to buy an xbox 360 mega or something.

What’s a word that rhymes with “TEST”? lest.

Favorite plant? corn (really, though I know it's corny))

Who is the 4th person on your missed call list on your cell phone? What, me celled? "Unavailable" - if you are "Unavailble" I'll never answer

What is your main ring tone on your cell phone? I'm human, that's cellular enough. "Cherish the Brain,' I think that's aa old pop song. My furnace guy had "ALL/ MY/ FRIENDS/ are the lowriders. . ." to a call he didn't answer, after checking, and some contemporary song (did I just type that?) about the office which he picked up immediately and was obviously another job. I thought that was cool. I liked how he showed me how to fix it myself without me asking, as if I was obviously someone who could fix it herself if she only had the time.

What shirt are you wearing? "A sweater" Mine's black, boat-neck, 3/4 sleeve -- oops, I've been writing a book in a weekend and I've had the same shirt on for 3 days, now that you mention it.

What do you “label” yourself? "Geek." Otherwise, "Chicana Poet" (duh)

Name the brand of your shoes you’re currently wearing? JAJAjajaja! Brand? Gray flannel bootie-type slippers (T's gift) with turquoise and purple (my colors!) madras print on the inside

Bright or Dark Room? BRIGHT BRIGHT BRIGHT My office is cold because of the windows & location. I get up early here because it's so BRIGHT. My livingroom, though, is dark dark dark. I f I cared about stuff like that I would have put in sconces on either side of the fireplace but i don't, I just learned that word, sconce, last summer. "Learn something everyday."

What do you think about the person who took this survey before you? I think I would like her a lot if i knew her. I like how she talk-writes in all the languages at once.

What were you doing at midnight last night? SLEEPING! [see above answer, re: last night]

What did your last text message you received on your cell phone say? "[snip] Ha ha ha ha." [see above answer, re: cell phones]

Do you ever click on “Pop Ups” or Banners? "No. I have enough computer trouble as it is." My pop is perpetually off. I'm on Blogger because it has fewer of that for a free service.

What’s a saying that you say a lot? See some other me-meme. Right now, I've been entertaining T with "See how they are?"

Who told you they loved you last? and meant it? T!

How Many Drugs Have You Done In The Past Three Days? "[snip] (caffeine)" Just one, gave in to the demon coffee this weekend [see above, re: last night]

How many rolls of film do you need to get developed? "About 15. I should just toss ‘em. They’ve moved to four different houses with me." (works for me)

Favorite age you have been so far? 50

Your worst enemy? I wouldn't want to call attention.

What is your current desktop picture? I barely know how to drive this thing, so it has the same blue swooshy mac background it came in. My old one had alternating underwater reef scenes that remind me of Isla. My favorite was one of bosom buddies, a leopard eel and a lamprey hanging in the same crib.

What was the last thing you said to someone? "Wassamatta snooky wooky?" I wish I'd said it. Okay, I'll say it to you know so I said it last. Otherwise, "Close the door, it's cold."

If you had to choose between a million bucks or to be able to change a major regret? "I’d choose a million dollars b/c the other, I’m sorry to say, to me is tainted with kufr. How can you change your qadr?" This answer interests me. I'll have to find out what this means. Works for me. Otherwise, I choose the probable over the impossible any day.
Shalom ~ LDC

"Halloween Trash"


Ornamental corn --
squirrel digs it, plants old seed,
new lawn -- end of fall.

Monday, November 21, 2005

"More Mash: Miss Oliver Meets the Poetry Man" More Red Meat From Lorna Dee

Monday's "VWX Poetry" Jam

V ~

Valley virtuous
Vital vine voting.

W ~

Wholeness waiting
Wrapping wondering where.

X ~

Xiphoid xerosis:
Xyster xerox xenogenesis!

"Unconscious Mutterings #146 On 11/21/05"

  1. Heads up:: honey cup
  2. Kicker :: always gets the goal
  3. Aggressive:: is as boredom does
  4. Getting ugly:: to a president
  5. To be continued:: in a wartime
  6. Twist::  the slit wrist, the
  7. Form:: we know -- confess
  8. On the road:: to Falluja
  9. Import:: the soul -- your
  10. Flowers:: or your life

Sow your own mindseed at Subliminal Luna Niña

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eskeletonada - A Book Redux

Yesterday I got an idea for a new book, working title, ESKELETONADA. Last night & early this morning I wrote 6 of the poems. Today, another 20 -- well, 19, should be twenty by the time I crash today, which should be soon. (I'm gettin' too old for this!) That would make the first two sections of the book with one more to go, a shorter one. I was so hoping to finish it over the weekend. I like the idea of writing this book in a weekend. On the other hand, I didn't take my kid to the opening night of Harry Potter. Me bad mommy. But ok, I plead an easy poverty. We didn't make someone richer today. I got 44 pages into a new book with 25 brand new poems to send out. And, salmon slabs for dinner, apple blueberry crumb cake for dessert. I'll stop now, read one of the last chapters of Harry Potter to my little guy (Harry loves Ginny) then type up what I have. I'm the Fastest Two-Finger typist In the West. Ha! Chow, over.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

'That Moldy Hairshirt' - 'Compost My Body'

Jaja! It's all true! Another silly scary test.


Excuse us, could you just put down that hammer for a minute and listen. You’re so busy getting things done you rarely take any time out just to relax. In fact, you’ve probably forgotten how to relax. That’s because you’re so anxious to prove that it’s possible to lead a good and moral life without religion that you have built a strict and forbidding creed all of your own.

You keep a compost heap, cycle to the bottle bank, invest in ethical schemes only and the list of countries you won’t buy from is longer than the washing line for your baby’s towelling nappies. You admire uncompromising self–sacrificers like Aung San Suu Kyi and Che Guevara, and would have liked the chance to be incarcerated for your principles like Diderot or Nelson Mandela.

You would never cheat on your partner, drink and drive, accept bribes or touch drugs. You never waste money though you give lots to charity. Living a good life? You’re a model to us all. But it wouldn’t hurt you to try a little happiness once in a while. Loosen up.

What kind of humanist are you? Click here to find out.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Isla Mujeres Manchones Reef - 'Mexican Divers Try To Fix Storm-Wracked Coral Reef' - Reuters

Mexican divers try to fix storm-wracked coral reef

18 Nov 2005 23:05:06 GMT
Source: Reuters

By Catherine Bremer

MANCHONES REEF, Mexico, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Mexican scuba divers are struggling in surging seas to repair one of the world's biggest coral reefs after it was badly damaged by Hurricane Wilma last month.

Buffeted by strong currents, it takes three divers to hold broken chunks of coral in place and tie them down with plastic straps that are tricky to fasten even above the surface.

After an hour of silent underwater work in Mexico's turquoise Caribbean waters, several pieces of the fragile coral gardens are back in place.

"We got some good work done but it's moving a lot down there; it makes it very difficult," said diver Monica Escarcega, panting as she surfaced from the Manchones coral reef off Isla Mujeres and clambered onto a waiting boat.

"There's still a lot of live coral down there which is great, but we have a lot more work to do, and this weather's not helping," said Luis Guerra, water pouring off his wetsuit as the dive boat lurched over a huge swell.

Weather in the area worsened on Friday as Tropical Storm Gamma brewed off the coast of Honduras on its way toward Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.

As well as battering luxury resorts and clawing away entire beaches in Cancun, Wilma damaged up to half of the spectacular coral reef chain that runs along Mexico's Caribbean coast, biologists say.

Mexico's reefs are part of the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef which runs for hundreds of miles (km) to Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, and is second only in size to Australia's Great Barrier Reef. It first won fame in a 1961 documentary by French filmmaker Jacques Cousteau shot off Mexico's Cozumel island.

The coral devastation not only hurts the marine ecosystem, but it is one more blow to Cancun's ravaged tourism sector, which normally sees boatloads of vacationers and diving enthusiasts heading out daily on snorkeling and scuba trips.


Three weeks after Wilma, the only dive boats out of Cancun carry 40 professional divers hired by the government to clear debris from the reef and repair the coral, hoping to speed up its agonizingly slow recovery time.

Coral grows just a few millimeters (fraction of an inch) a year, so left to its own devices the reef would take decades to recover -- especially as clumsy snorkelers and passing ships often chip off bits of coral. Pollution is another threat.

"If we leave it to nature, the pressure of tourism and water contamination don't give the coral much chance," said Juan Carlos Huitron, who is in charge of the repair mission.

"We can't change the rate at which coral grows, but we can try and make sure more of it survives."

The scuba teams use various means to fix broken coral back in place, including metal rods inserted in holes drilled into rocks on the seabed and glue made from cement mixed with sand.

The cement can only be applied on calm days, otherwise most of it seeps away and dissolves before it can set.

"The reef is the ocean's most powerful ecosystem. A great quantity of flora and fauna depend on its health," said Alfredo Arellano, regional head of Conanp, the government body in charge of Mexico's protected natural areas.

As well as damaged reefs and shrunken beaches, biologists are worried about the damage Wilma did to local forests.

They estimate the area around Cancun lost some 1.98 million acres (800,000 hectares) of tropical forest in this season's storms and say the dead trees and brush are a serious fire hazard.

"There is a lot of dead wood and leaves about. It's a latent danger," said Mauricio Limon, who headed a visit last week by Mexico's environmental protection agency to assess local storm damage.

"Nature's capacity to recover from disasters is marvelous and the forests will grow back. But it's certain we will see forest fires next year."

AlertNet news is provided by Reuters

Transcription of Vicente Fox's Visit to Cozumel 10/28 & A Plea From LDC to Visit Isla Mujeres From Cancun

Click here for original Spanish version. The following was translated by Lorna Dee Cervantes. *Note: The first cruise arrived with approximately 2,500 out of 3,500 occupants and of those, eight people visited Isla Mujeres. Anyone with reservations to Cancun, the Mayan Riviera, or Cozumel, please consider spending your time on Isla Mujeres. They are ready to receive you and you will find it is like nowhere else on earth. Now, isn't that where you'd rather be? Lorna dice sí ~ LDC
President Fox Visited the Victims of Hurricane Wilma in Cozumel

Friday, 28 of October of 2005 Cozumel, Quintana Roo.

Visit that President Vicente Fox Quesada made to the Convention Center converted into a shelter.

- Intervention: Here the children have their activities, we have a support area of psychologists from the Centro de Integracion... to help us. The state DIF also sent to us, from the beginning, aid equipment with eight of their members, and with psychologists to coordinate. This is the area of the dormitory, inside we have the infirmary, the kitchen there. Here is the dormitory, we have it divided.

- President Vicente Fox: ... working.

- Intervention: Yes, they are helping us much in unloading, many..., bricklayers are supporting us and they were supporting us in the cleaning, Sir.

- President Vicente Fox: ... we are working from the outside, here they have nothing to do.

- Intervention: We only to sustain to the elder adults and the children.

In this area, there are conversations.

In this area we have our provisions. Most of the supplies that are arriving are in bulk, we have people helping us stock the dispenses [pantries].

Here's where we take it out and make the aid packets [pantries/dispenses], approximately 10 thousand dispenses were given out yesterday, the day before that 10 thousand dispenses, or we have given out some 22 thousand dispenses.

This it is the storing center, Sir President, where we hold the supplies to make the dispenses. In addition to the two warehouses, we have another one we are about to to fill.

Yes, at this moment they are stocking them and on this side we have a group of people who are taking them in little rows to finally load them on the truck.

Right now we also have this from the warehouse, we received some dispenses already packed, they were what we began with, that is what could arrive. This arrived yesterday by ship and it arrived to us well, That arrived yesterday by cruise ship where they lowered approximately 40 to 50 tons of relief aid; and today they are arriving also...

The Red Cross also is supporting us. Already they brought us these cots and bedding to distribute; nevertheless, originally this was going to be in the storage area, but it got to be too much. There is another storage area just for medicine, and this we received to be dispensed in our pharmacy, because we have an infirmary where any person who does not have anywhere else to go can come here to this shelter and go to the infirmary. We also have like a dining room, where volunteers come, like a hot food kitchen.

And as to the aid equipment, it was also distributed with the help of medical psychologists; the island [Cozumel] was divided into 5 regions, these regions are those that are outside and in each region there is an aid brigade made up that will include a representative of the Red Cross, of the municipal DIF, and a representative from the state DIF.

Here is where we take out the dispenses, we are accumulating them and they are brought out by the five trucks to help to distribute them.

It was divided into 15 regions, in each region mainly goes a representative of the municipal DIF, a representative of the state DIF and a representative of the city council, and they are invited as observers who go to the different parts -- they are invited as observers to come to the different parts -- the Red Cross, too, is particpating, or will be, they go away in a brigade house to house and they are going to mark with lacquer, with paint, the house that already was given aid.

The idea is to take four weeks, a dispense every week; it's probably going to be a month that the family goes by the supply, through the lack of store merchandise.

- President Vicente Fox: Good afternoon, good afternoon, good afternoon young, good afternoon. Good afternoon, if they allow us, we are going to give a brief message. I am going to request, indeed, that Felix, the governor give us some words us, afterwhich he'll be your servant. Good afternoon.

- Governor Felix González Canto: Thanks President. We are coming to look over a series of municipalities and communities all very affected.

The damage that this hurricane left in Quintana Roo is great, but we have the support of all, the support of the society, the support of the President of the Republic, Vicente Fox Quesada and have the certainty, that working united, the municipal president, Gustavo Ortega, the government of Quintana Roo, the government of the state and the Government of the Republic and with all you, Quintana Roo will continue forward, of that there remains no doubt. Thanks

- Intervention: (Inaudible)...

- President Vicente Fox: I take note, I take note of the themet of the INFONAVIT, for here walks the chief of a main directorate, is he's here opposite, in Cancún, and we're going to take care of that, we're going to take care of that.

Well, good afternoon, what pleasure to greet you all.

There is no doubt that Hurricane Wilma showed no mercy, indeed, with this beautiful Island of Cozumel.

But as powerful as the hurricane was, that powerful is the will of the people of Cozumel to forge ahead and we are going to come out ahead together and working.

I just made a brief journey and there there are many people working, that is the number one value at this moment, that we all put ourselves to work to reconstruct.

We are, on the one hand, verifying that the supply of food, medicines, clothing, that everything donated by the whole country arrives at its destination and that destination is you and your family.

And I find a well-organized activity continuing to support with the most elemental [needs] until we have again returned to normality.

But you, just as I, well know that this lovely, this wonderful island, lives largely on tourism and the visitors, for that reason the brevity of the time it takes tourism and the visitors to return is so important.

It is evident that we have a great task ahead, an enormous challenge and a challenge that already has a ceiling as they have already announced to us that the next cruises are going to return on a very near date, and it is indispensable that we are prepared to take care of those tourists and those visitors, it's indispensable who we put all the services, all the small businesses, the restaurants, everything what serves to take care of tourism up on it's feet.

Without a doubt, I find force and will to obtain this by November 14; here, we have two weeks, two weeks of hard work.

Now that the airport has returned [to service] I am going to reunite with the industralists, the retailers, micro and small businesses, and with its representatives; with them we are going to offer an ample and complete package that includes access to fast financing, that includes direct supports, that includes suspending the collection of taxes until everything is working normally, that includes a moratorium and a truce... states... the INFONAVIT, IMSS statements [accounts?], CFE statements.

We are going to open the distances enough so that you can go to recover little by little, and not... from you.

In the same manner, the governor has offered to make an equivalent program with the rights of taxes that have to do with the state government.

So the task is to contribute the essential, so we recover soon to regenerate the source of income.

We worked in the basic services, 24 hours a day for the potable water supply, for the electricity supply, and in this next weekend we are going to be working closely together to regularize the situation.

But in the same manner we say to all and to all of you, that we are going to have very clear and concrete programs of support for whomever in the world who is affected, whomever in the world who lost furnishings, who lost stove and refrigerator, who lost house furniture, we are going to accompany them to replace them and to recover them.

In the same manner, the affectations to the house; to deal with smaller damages, of more numerous damages to total loss, also we are going to be with you to fix that house, to repair that house, or to construct the new house, in that case.

In all this we are going to be the slope to support them, so that this subject doesn't worry me, we are going to support them to return to have their worthy house, to return to have their furniture and equipment.

In the same manner, income: I have asked to the industralists, the hotelkeepers, the lenders of tourism services that they do evict anybody, that there not be unemployment.

And it is therefore under that commitment which we are going to strongly support the industralists, but only under the condition that they do not fire anybody.

But in addition, in addition, they need much, they need many more arms to work, a need for the efforts of the women, a temporary work party must be authorized, by means of which they can be added to work to clean streets, to reconstruct, to help to put us on our feet and to be able to recover tourism.

As of this next week already we are going to announce, we are going to have a strong advertising campaign that the Mayan Riviera, Cozumel, Isla Mujeres, is on it's feet and ready to return to growing.

I leave an order, all to work, all to propel us because Cozumel will return to be as great as it was and much more so; because for that we are here, for that reason you are. We are going to work. Thanks.

- Gustavo Ortega Joaquin: Good afternoon to all.

I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity to thank the President of the Republic, Vicente Fox Quesada; to Mrs. Marta Sahagún, to the governor of the state and Mrs. Polly for all the overwhelming support that they have given Cozumel.

Because the strong support that we have received from the Armed Forces, like we have received also from the Federal Commission of Electricity, from the National Commission of Water and the Secretariat of Tourism, and from the PROFECO, from so many people who have come to assess from as far as from... from FONATUR, Cozumel will be put on its feet.

I believe that the President of the Republic has been very clear, we need to all work so that the next cruises return, so that the source of employment returns; so that we prune, one more time, to get ahead and proud to have this tourist paradise.

We have already obtained the support of the cruise lines so that by the 14 of November we begin to operate.

We have a great task ahead, we have a big job to do because of the commitment so that they come is that Cozumel will be cleaned up, Cozumel will be on its feet.

Last night President Fox said to me; Gustavo, give me the list of the priorities that there are to do so that by the 14 of November they are ready and able to receive tourism.

Thanks, Mr. President, for all the support that is offered us.

Thanks, Mr. Governor, for all the support that you has given us.

And thanks, mainly to all you, to the people of Cozumel who have not surrendered and are standing, working.

Sir President: Wilma beat us up hard, but we are proudly Cozumeleños and go forward.

Thank you very much.
Last modification: Saturday, 29 of October of 2005 to the 15:55 by Jesus Olguín Sanchez. Related documents: Visit that President Fox to the Convention center made, qualified like alberge (RealVideo) related Enlaces: Official notice

PRESIDENCY OF the REPUBLIC • MEXICO 0,089036 RESERVED RIGHTS © 2005 System Internet of the Presidency

Thursday, November 17, 2005

What the Cat Dragged In: Our Fishing Guide to the Stars - When Everything Is Retro, Write!

This is just an test from my favorite astrologer, Kramer Wetzel at Click on first link for this week's quicktime video -- I don't know that it will work which is why it's a test. I love this guy; quite literally (it's in the stars: "Lovebirds!" and "You just love each other") and literarily. One could do worse than a Shakespeare spoutin', migas eatin', Silko swillin', shirt shuckin', opera lovin', fish buggin', chola huggin', hair mattin', Kinky votin', coffee connoisseurrin' bubba Texas dude like Kramer the professional astrologer. He's my closest friend I hardly know in that he advises my muse. [My Credo #4: Never underestimate the power of positive thinking. My Credo # 1: Never underestimate the power of the elements. My Credo # 2: Never underestimate the power of a word. Case ya get to thinking it's a matter of belief]

Here's this week's astroscope for all my Leonine friends, and note, you can subscribe to fresh weekly fresh-caught astrofish like this for less than a latte at phooey Starbucks. And more writin' bang for the buck. So, here, I'll loan you mine this week and suggest an astrocast for you for the new writing year.

"Leo: Next week just can't get here soon enough, huh? There's an air of expectancy, and I can't make next week -- and Sagittarius -- get here any faster. Would that I could, I would, just to be of service to the Leo contingent, the most important sign there is. Since I can't move time and space any faster, I can make a tiny suggestion, should your imminent and wonderful Leo self like to think about it, consider that one particular planet, okay, two planets because one planet won't stop a Leo, is getting in your way.

If it were just Saturn or just Mars, then this wouldn't be a focal point for trouble. But it's both planets and they're just not treating your regal self the way you like to be treated. Now, as I was twisting and advancing the planets on their proscribed courses, I noted that focus becomes a central theme -- in Leo -- the best fixed fire sign -- next week. There's a not-so-subtle line up that gives great clarity to the Leo encampment. That's good. It's next week. That's bad. In the meantime? I don't have a lot of suggestion other than rash action is certainly not called for."

Ok, here's how this works for me. Saturn is stalled in Leo, and has been retrograde in same before starting (SLOWLY) forward again -- for me, not a bad thing, since Día de la Independéncia good career stuff coming as Saturn is in my 10th house, the career & work & kudos, and it's a good thing in my chart. This is like 1976 all over for me, which is a good thing: July 4, 1976 the year I founded my press & mag, MANGO Publications & MANGO, a year I spent in Nuyorican Nirvana hanging at Miguel Algarin's house and at the foot of Montoya in Sacra, sitting on CCLM panels and sipping extra extra dry martinis with Stanley Kunitz (humming Billie on the subway: "Even Kunitz has had me to tea!/ And now I'm broken-hearted/ Can't get started with you") -- all good. So, what this week tells me is lay low by the fire (it's dang cold here now! I gave away all my money this month to Wilma so now we can't afford to fix the heater, going on a week now. T is going to find me writing gloves to type in my office/ studio, the coldest room in the house. I'm reading Ernesto Priego's blog of the cold in a coat and thinking of children in Mexico, thinking: "I can deal.") And write. I'll work on the novel. Not start anything new, like wars. Stay inside. Wait for next week, and the changing of the stars. Thanks, Kramer.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

"14 Ways To Kick a Dead One-Eyed Cat" - More Lorna Dee Meat For Your Poetics Stew

"Will you please sign my petition. . .?" Puppet Cat asks the Lone Poet Stranger at Lorna Dee's latest stew.

  • More certified LDC Red Meat here and here and several silli more here along with a hot link of your own to marinate. Comic On!
  • Belated Monday's Hay(na)ku "STU Poetry Jam"

    S ~

    Sensuous, simply
    Scintillating -- so sure!

    T ~

    Too trying?
    Top the tame.

    U ~

    Upon Ultimate
    Urns. Upright. Uptight.

    More abecedarian hay(na)ku Poetry Jams spread on this bread here.

    Truth Belongs to Those Who Can Tell It (Govt. Belongs to Those Who Lie, Evidently) White Phosphorus Used Against Civillians In Falluja!

    Caution: real pics of real people, video clip included -- follow links to today's breaking news on too few pages. Does anyone remember a 17 year old writer from Falluja last year? He was writing on a laptop with a dying battery from rooftop to burning rooftop. He and others TOLD of brilliant white flashes and horrible burns to people trapped in the city many were bent on "bombing back to the stone age" which is the cradle of civilization to some. Oh, the libraries! The artifacts! The scrolls and parchment! The broken tablets! So many uncounted unaccounted for bodies. The wee little skeleton fingers! And this is not torture? "Lest we forget." Somebody, please, hand me the Book of Jefferson and point me to a line I can stand in. One body. One vote. One blessed impeachment of representational democracy -- your chemical weapons at work. God bless chemistry and the American (sic) Right of Way. Awe-Men.

    Tuesday, November 15, 2005

    "Education is like a religion to the working class." Say It, Sister Schultz

    Lorna Dice ditto. It's like another essay I keep coming back to that never gets written -- as she says. And now it is: an essay I could have written, "Talking Trash, Talking Class: What's a Working Class Poetic, and Where Would I Find One?" by Kathy Lou Schultz. Thank you, Kathy Lou from Lorna Dee -- I couldn't have said it without you.

    [hey, there's a poetry position at sfs. . . *home*]

    This is where a silly man and a dorky dee converge. Radical women poets bent on liberation, queer poets, and all forms of bent from all ways one can hold a boot to your neck (& many in San Francisco) were the first to stamp out the nazi hardon of the Perfect Poem and the Ideal Image -- and look the Medusa of Language in the lip -- and live, for a time, to write about it.

    Thanks to Wood's Lot, that "Fitful Tracing of A Portal" where I keep all my birds for the gathering that is there.

    Tears for Vine Deloria, Jr.

    Vine passed sunday morning, November 13. Vine was the reason CU-Boulder seemed to me to be such a good idea so many years ago. Vine was one of two indigenous American philosophers writing in english that I could think of when I was studying such for my doctorate at UC Santa Cruz in History of Consciousness. I hope he is laughing as he journeys beyond the Zodiac -- We are listening.

    'What if I'm really a refugee from some American Siberia?' Wally Asks The Lone Strange Poet For An Answer At "Poetic Meat"

    ". . . Meets Wally Sue to the Showdown" or more poetics monkeyshines at monkeydyne where you can make your own dang comic; I like mine care of maximum meat from the Secret Files of Max Cannon. ('Cept I'll have to start dressing folk in drag as the only female character is a little girl. What fun is that?) "Takky Ho!" Y Tally, Ho! p.s. any resemblance to any meat living or dead is purely consequential.

    Join Jean & Tom & Barbara & throw your own slab on the pit - click here to tickle your own short ribs.

    Monday, November 14, 2005

    "Getting Out the Stickers" - More Meat From El Dee - 'I'm worried about my pub photo'

    Katie says to Johnny Lemonhead and it's the beginning of the end to "Getting Out the Stickers." Scroll down for more Red Meaty comments from Lorna Dee Cervantes and to do your own dang comic strip.

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Another Lorna Dee Red Meat Comic: "Before the Wake" - 'How can I get more women to comment on my intellectually alienating blog?'

    "Unconscious Mutterings #145 On 11/13/05"

    1. Mighty:: to a mouse
    2. Gotta find time to ....:: muse
    3. Statistic:: logistic
    4. Midnight:: twilight
    5. Thaw:: in awe
    6. Hips::  to grin
    7. Reader:: to a rim
    8. Related:: at last, print
    9. Brilliant:: and broiling with
    10. Posture:: Elan!
      Ole! Mouse.

    Get your own goat at Subliminal Luna Niña.

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    How's the Novel Going?

    I love what I'm writing and I'm having a lot of fun. I'm writing in longhand but I can only seem to write while sitting in front of my computer. Go figure. It could be worse. I could need a cigar. It takes me longer to count words than write them. I like the pen I'm using. It's waterproof in case I want to write in the bathtub. I don't. But I like the fact that I can. I like the way it flows and how black it is; it's all very permanent. It's in a purple journal I bought for the occasion for real cheap at Tuesday Morning. It lies flat by itself. It says "thoughts" in fancy scroll in a cut-out window. I like that it says "thoughts," very nondescript. I think no one knows that I'm writing a novel. But no one would ever see me anyway. Now, I have to go cook turkey burgers. I procrastinate more than I write. That's the way I write. I've been waiting 20 years for this month to write the novel. Erin Bertram asks: Does not writing make you cranky. No. Writing does. I think that's why I put it off until the wolf's hour.

    How about you?

    Book Review of DRIVE: The First Quartet in San Antonio Express-News

    What with the hurricane hitting right after my debut of DRIVE I wasn't able to post anything about it. Here's a review that appeared the week I arrived for my reading at Trinity University. I've got some great pics from Dr. Arturo Madrid of the after party with Elizabeth Martinez, Antonia Castaneda, Sandra Cisneros & others that I'll be scanning & posting soon. ~ LDC

    Book Review: Cervantes' poetry aims to link cultures [click link to go there]

    Web Posted: 10/16/2005 12:00 AM CDT

    Yvette Benavides
    Special to the Express-News

    Drive: The First Quartet

    By Lorna Dee Cervantes

    Wings Press, $24.95

    Some critics consider Lorna Dee Cervantes to be a confessional poet reminiscent of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

    Cervantes, however, puts a finer point on that designation. The fifth-generation Californian of Mexican and American Indian (Chumash) heritage calls herself a "bridge poet."

    "I'm not writing secrets or confessing sins, nor do I have a need to tell my business to the world," she said in an interview from her home in Boulder, Colo. "It's more taking on a persona."

    Confessional poets construct subjectivity in relation to gender, sexuality and social roles within political, social, literary and historical contexts. Cervantes believes that Chicanos and American Indians are outside those contexts.

    "Our history is not documented," she says. "Our stories are not told. Our historical stories — much less our individual stories — are not valued."

    Cervantes said she discovered early on in her career that telling her story helped her to address a wider audience.

    "I can go so far into myself that somehow I come out the other side into the universal," she says.

    Perhaps Cervantes most important work — her first poetry collection since 1991, titled "Drive: The First Quartet" — will be published by San Antonio's Wings Press in January. The mammoth 320-page volume is in fact five books in one. "Drive" contains five separate works with very different poetic strategies: "How Far's the War?" "BIRD AVE," "Play," "Letters to David" and "Hard Drive."

    "Drive" is generating a lot of buzz in the poetry community; the 50-year-old Cervantes gave a sneak preview of the work last week with a reading at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C.

    San Antonians can get a glimpse of the new collection Tuesday when Cervantes offers a reading at Trinity University.

    In April, a special limited edition of numbered, signed and specially bound books in handmade wooden boxes will be available through Wings Press. The special editions are in keeping with Cervantes' vision of the book and her desire to present each of the five books as an individual work.

    That kind of artistic freedom is what led Cervantes to choose Wings Press for this long-awaited publication.

    "Wings Press allowed me to design my own book and to see it through," says Cervantes.

    Perhaps it's payback. In 1976, Cervantes established Mango, a small press which published the first works of Sandra Cisneros, Alberto Rios and others.

    She began her career in the early 1970s and is known as the first female poet to be recognized during the Chicano Movimiento. Before long, she was winning mainstream prizes and fellowships, not just those limited to Latino literature. Her awards and honors include a Lila Wallace/Readers Digest Writer's Award, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship Grants for Poetry and the Pushcart Prize. In 1993, she was named Outstanding Chicana Scholar by the National Association of Chicano Scholars.

    "Cervantes helped to break down the reluctance of academe to study multicultural literature," notes Bryce Milligan, publisher of Wings Press. "This has been reflected by the fact that she is included in almost all of the relevant Norton anthologies, the mainstay of American college literature curriculum."

    Cervantes last book of poetry, "From the Cables of Genocide: Poems of Love and Hunger," was published in 1991. Even so, her work has appeared in no fewer than 200 anthologies and textbooks over the last 15 years.

    Cervantes has been deeply influenced by T.S. Eliot. Says Milligan, "Like many other poets of her age who grew up beneath the shadow of Eliot's 'Four Quartets,' she has had an inherent desire to respond to those great poems. Thus you can consider 'Drive' to be the first of Cervantes' own four quartets."

    "You might notice that each of Eliot's 'Quartets' is considered to have five distinct movements, so that accounts for the five separate works included in 'Drive.'"

    Cervantes says her poetry is about "bridging cultures, bridging languages and bridging class chasms which I think are deeper than even racial divisions."

    Ironically, Cervantes doesn't drive. It's her small way of giving back to the environment, she says.

    "But I love drive metaphors," she says. "I want readers to reflect on that word in their own lives."

    Paraphrasing her father, a visual artist who died last spring, Cervantes believes we should all "find that inner thing that drives us — whatever it is — and let out the clutch."

    And what drives Lorna Dee Cervantes? She responds instantly: "Love. That's a good engine."

    Lorna Dee Cervantes will read from the forthcoming "Drive: The First Quartet" at 7 p.m. Tuesday in Trinity University's Chapman Graduate Center Auditorium.

    "Drive" will be published by Wings Press Jan. 1, 2006. Advance copies may be purchased through Lorna Dee Cervantes' blog at

    Yvette Benavides in an English professor at Our Lady of the Lake University.

    Friday, November 11, 2005

    More Foto Hay(na)ku Poems of Isla Mujeres For Isla Relief

    (A make-your-own-darned-notecards fundraiser for Isla Relief)
    All poetry copyright by Lorna Dee Cervantes. All photos copyright by QuiltingToad (Katy Anderson).

    Next Dock


    Water + Sky
    Fallen Angels = Fallen!

    Working Wharf


    Working? Old
    Bouy? Don't know.


    Arrivals. All
    Shovel. None look.

    Isla Mujeres Dock 4


    Blue, fishermen
    Rest. Wharf, drunk!

    Isla Mujeres Street-Playa


    Red tricycle —
    No News! Luggage!


    Swept, Wilma
    Wept streets—Try-cycle!


    ¡Permíteme pasar!
    No me deja.


    Hands, hearts
    Make this Isla.


    "...Caballo vamo'
    p'al monte," Isleños!*

    * El Carretero by Guillermo Portabales - Buena Vista Social Club. Copyright 1997 World Circuit.


    Shirt, red
    Bike — will work.


    Shining streets
    Three days after.

    Red Banco


    Clear! Working,
    Cooking, caring.... Returning!



    Much sand!
    Snow! Simple will.

    Hidalgo Scene


    Not, Delfino.
    Flag not taken.

    Fish Shops


    Gold, fish!
    Captain's Platter — There!

    Isla Beach House


    ¡Ya techo!
    Tortas del aire.



    Hidalgo, worry-hipped
    Men assess: Palms!

    Open Shop Hidalgo


    Takes a
    Worried man. Hold.

    Gas Station


    De Islas!
    No se va.

    Las Palmas de Hidalgo


    Trabajo sin
    Reposo." Líbrarnos, Señor.

    * from El Carretero by Guillermo Portabales - Buena Vista Social Club. Copyright 1997 World Circuit.

    Trabajo Sól


    Rojo de
    Lloro. Sin llantos.

    Drain Clearers


    Matter water?
    We live here.



    Cumplir con...
    Mi penosa labor."*

    * El Carretero by Guillermo Portabales - Buena Vista Social Club. Copyright 1997 World Circuit.



    Hay camino.
    Descánsate. Hay sól.

    Pink Posada


    Willful lilies
    Stay here now.

    Ghost Club


    Howard! ¡Músico!
    No more dancing.

    Clashing Colors


    All lost.
    Time to repaint!



    Blown arch
    Heal my heart!



    Palmas, Amór.
    Espérame por favor.

    Playa Palapa


    Perfect. Few
    Drink. Be careful!

    Playa Sól


    Was here
    Lovingly — Find it!

    Playa Dos


    Wind takes
    The sea returns.

    Playa Ponder


    Walkway? Bench?
    Scene so sad!

    What's Left


    Starts. Stops.
    Stalls. Sudden tragedy.

    Rubble Surf


    Waiting waves.
    Willing wonder wandering.

    Playa Sole

    Playa Sole

    Fish cleaner,
    Plastic lounges -- Stacked!

    Sergio's Fish Bench


    A while.
    Wait for fish.



    Worry. There
    But for work.

    Isla Palms


    Trees, remain.
    No broke dreams.

    Wilma on Isla Mujeres, Oct. 22, 2005

    Medina & Matamoros

    Enters. Way
    Stays. Spirit lives!

    ~ Lorna Dee Cervantes

    October 27, 2005 - After Wilma
    Copyright 2005 by Lorna Dee Cervantes. Photo copyright 2005 by QuiltingToad for Katy Anderson. All photos taken Oct. 25, 2005. All Rights Reserved for Isla. ¡Ajúa! c/s

    Thursday, November 10, 2005

    DANG, You Go, Grrrl! Barbara Jane Reyes, Poeta en San Francisco en Nueva York For Award & Good Poem by Fatima Lim-Wilson

    Barbara Jane Reyes at the Academy Awards - jajajajajaja!! Is it just me or does anyone else find this absolutely hilarious? I can't tell you how much I laughed. I *know* these people. Plug in enchiladas and how colorful the clothes I'm wearing are and I'm there. This is just SO *so* so, ya know? So, so & so's so *so-so* -- so?! So *SO* & it's so so it's so. Órale, Oaktown! Up Town, Grrrl, Over & Out.

    How I SO wanted to be there. I knew it'd be BAD! But that bad ole hurricane, all that "WILLLLMMMAAAH!" karma got to my pocketbook & pantry -- I've been giving all I got to Isla Relief in one way or another, and we had to cancel NY. It was going to be my little present to myself, me & hubby on a last minute vacation package fly-by for Barbara Jane, & co., art shows, see friends, museums, Rosie's Fiddler - y not? But, NOoooo... I HATE HURRICANES!

    And, check out the poem she posts for all those who thought Tagalog poetry was just some Spanish words they didn't know. It's a beautiful poem by a poet I've just discovered. Thanks, Barbara, The Little Poeta That Could . . . en Nueva York también. YEEEOW!

    DVD of Isla Mujeres Videos As Fundraiser

    Click here for more info and check out the short sample clip - watch for El Varadero restaurant, that belongs to poet, Rafael Burgos Rios. I'm worried about the state of it as it was built up on the water out of wood. If anyone has info, please let me know. And, order a DVD of Isla for your fundraising party. Proceeds to this one go, so far, to La Gloria English School.

    Wednesday, November 09, 2005

    'Storm Ravaged Cancun Wants Tourists To Return' & More Great Fotos From Daniel Gautreau In Mexico

    Click here to see Daniel Gautreau's slideshow from Piña Palmera near Puerto Angel, an area previously "wiped out" by the "Acapulco hurricane" that hit this coastal town in Oaxaca -- a primarily indigenous population -- second in impoverishment to Quintana Roo's third. These fotos move me as I used to do this kind of work as a volunteer when I was very young; if I hadn't become a poet, almost by default, I would have worked in special education.

    Also, check out Daniel's Quicktime video of Isla Mujeres which also promotes my favorite family hotel on the island, The Francis Arlene: The Queen of Clean and Serene. And check out his other photos & projects at

    Tuesday, November 08, 2005

    Happy Birthday, Bonnie Raitt!! Thank the Goddesses For You - "Take me down . . ."

    Monday, November 07, 2005

    Totally Fantastic Fotos of Isla Mujeres During Wilma by Daniel Gautreau

    Many of these pics of damage -- and smiles -- in the colonias. These are incredible. Expect more of Lorna Dee Ce's Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku poems.

  • Also, go to and click on his Isla vacation movie featuring my favorite Isla hotel, Francis Arlene.

    Ain't It The Truth!

    theory slut
    You are a Theory Slut. The true elite of the
    postmodernists, you collect avant-garde
    Indonesian hiphop compilations and eat journal
    articles for breakfast. You positively live
    for theory. It really doesn't matter what
    kind, as long as the words are big and the
    paragraph breaks few and far between.

    What kind of postmodernist are you!?
    brought to you by Quizilla
    More procrastination from Fella Theory Slut & Margaret Cho lover, Emily. (what time is it now?) 'Avana Garde to the rescue!

    "ABC" & "DEF Poetry Jam" Continued: "GHI", "JKL" , "MNO" & Today's "PQR Poetry Jam"

    Before we were so rudely interrupted by Stan & Wilma, I was taking my mind off of things by doing an "ABC Hay(na)ku Mondays" series, which I forgot about along with '13 Sweet Things on Thursdays' -- so, here's some more, along with the past Hay(na)ku poems.
    Oct. 5

    A ~

    Able. Actually
    Anti-antagonistic -- artistically angled.

    B ~

    Before beefing.
    Barely Barreled. Broad.

    C ~

    Celebrating certain
    Contained catastrophes. Chased!

    Oct. 10 - "DEF Poetry Jam"

    D ~

    Decent. Dim-wit's
    Denial: Don't dare!

    E ~

    Elevated, entering
    Eminent embasssaries -- Elan!

    F ~

    Fellow, folly's
    Foil; Forget fortune!

    Oct. 17

    G ~

    Great Gatsby's
    Got good grace!

    H ~

    Hardy helpmate
    Hard-winning heavy hands.

    I ~

    Icarus, idly
    Inching in intuition.

    Oct. 24

    J ~

    Judicious, jamming
    Justice jinxes juries.

    K ~

    Kites, kitchen
    Kerosene keeps kidding.

    L ~

    Likes lovers
    Less -- limitless languor!

    Oct. 31

    M ~

    Mother, mightily
    Missed, more murmurs.

    N ~

    Nightmare, nights,
    Nothing noticing nexus.

    O ~

    Opulent oozing!
    Opaque, Open. Onward!

    TODAY - Nov. 7

    P ~

    Perchance: Power
    Politics paralyzes passion.

    Q ~

    Quixotic, quizzically
    Questioning -- quite queenly.

    R ~

    Rounder relishing
    Reliving retroactive remembrances.

    Ain't It The Truth! Ana On Ana & Ashbery Just For the Halibut

    Ana Castillo's talking to herself again, and you can listen in:

    "Me: Yeah, well, the “they” on this book tour [to New Orleans, Houston, Miami, etc.] included me so, it’s what we planned, which is what you have to do with small presses, work together to get the word out. As hard as it may be to believe--there’s no publicity team manning the epic poetry ship. The life of a famous Chicana writer ain’t as glamorous as people may imagine. Maybe the Chiclit first time novelists got a Sex and the City vibe going with their publishers on their tours but on the Emma Goldman circuit it’s economy class and racial profiling all the way. Pack your meds, let airport security know about the heart monitor, remember your drug store reading glasses and you’re pretty much all set." [click text to read more]

    And, this comforting thought from John Ashbery via Deborah at 32 Poems: " the first part of the article is about how Ashbery gets started with writing. "Getting started" takes most of the day. He allows interruptions such as phone calls -- and they can become part of the poem -- and he procrastinates until it's 4 or 5 pm and he realizes he has yet to start writing." [click this link, too]

    Jeez, just think, somewhere in the world some Xicanerati with some "Sex and the City vibe going" is up & working at 5 am. Hope it's you.

    HA! (what time is it?) (yesterday, instead of work on the novel, I -- get this -- baked spelt BREAD!! And made pizza & cinnamon rolls. What we won't do!) I'm sorry I'm missing taking down Ofelia's altar right now. Mea mala. Now, gotta get back to my "Butterfly". She's about to hear the newspapers land, one by one, on her benefactor's doorstep.

    'Rejoicing After Wilma the Worst!!!' 'Paying It Forward On the Riviera Maya'

    This was posted to the comments but I thought it worthwhile to post in its entirety here. This is from Brenda & Jorge Álvaro at Ajua's Restaurant in Playa del Carmen. (I love the part about the "Wild" Maya workers swimming to get to work.) Do come to visit Isla and spend a few days in Playa (the little beach that would) & Tulum (the tiny hub that could). And try Ajúa's: They serve CHAYA Maya! ¡Ajúa! ~ LDC

    Paradise Dreamer said...

    Rejoicing after Wilma the Worst!!!

    Playa Lovers!

    Well, the 48 hour wrath of Wilma could not dampen our Mayan spirit here in Playa del Carmen and the Riviera Maya. We are rejoicing and ready to share our incredible paradise with you and your friends -- as we always have.

    Ajua Maya, our restaurant, came through like a good luck charm and our Wild Fresh Mayans as well. If anything, they are more joyous than ever before after experiencing the rain and wind and rain and wind and rain and wind and rain and wind -- a true Mayan cleansing!!

    Playa del Carmen Mayan Cleansing and Rebirth

    Jorge, Alejandro, our entire Mayan staff and myself are so grateful for having the pleasure to share one of Mother Nature's great cleansing and to feel the spiritual energy of the rebirth.

    What a gift from the universe -- the beaches are wider and more beautiful; the cenotes and caves are cleansed; the sea is as beautiful as ever; the water supply has been replenished; the trees pruned and ready for a lush new presence; birds are chirping; the fish are running; and life is refreshing -- a true gift for all.

    We are rejoicing and will wish to share this with all of you -- so come to Playa as soon as you can, join the jubilance, and marvel in the awesome rejuvenating power of nature and its universe.


    The Wonderful Truth -- Hotels and More –

    go to – the official Riviera Maya website for the promotion of the Riviera Maya.

    The Riviera Maya (south of Cancun to Tulum) is up and running and ready for tourists. Flights schedules are resuming normalcy today. Yesterday we received tourists from Holland and Miami!

    Most hotels are up and running now, including those on the beachfront. We know this as a fact since our own Public Relations Director has gone and visited each and every one, talking with concierges and the reception staffs for the "real scoop".

    The smaller ones never really closed; the larger all inclusives as well. Some of the all inclusive and large hotels will be opening at 30-50% capacity for the next couple of weeks -- and guess what -- for this time of year that is their occupancy rate!

    By Thanksgiving, most will be open at 100% and you can guarantee by Christmas all will be.

    Blue Parrot had a celebration just a couple of days ago and is back on its party track once again -- and their rooms are up and running as well.

    Same for the restaurants and bars -- Ajua opened Sunday night and was the first to open in town just as Wilma meandered on out of our area; most others 1-2 days afterwards. Of course it was difficult for a couple of days and those days have past.

    Electricity, water, DSL service -- we have it all -- and remember that Ajua is a FREE wireless hotspot for all you diehard workers out their.

    HERE IS A GREAT STORY ABOUT AJUA MAYA's WILD FRESH MAYANS and their dedication and commitment to you and to all of us. Most of our waiters and our manager live in Cancun and the highway between Cancun and Playa del Carmen was impassable for several days due to flooding. Each one of them waded and swam through water up to their necks for about a mile or more to get to the other side. They then waited on the highway until they could get a ride to Playa and, once they arrived, worked to clean up and reopen Ajua!

    We are all eternally grateful for their spirit, their love and compassion, and their positive energy to see us and our staff through a most difficult couple of days to the rebirth on the other side.

    On November 1st through the 2nd, we will celebrate the Mayan and Aztec festival -- the Day of the Dead -- a festival to remember your ancestors and to party with them in this life. We will do the same with life, energy, gratefulness and of course Tequila, Tamales, Day of the Dead bread, flowers and stories of those who have gone through this path before us.

    We hope you will share this day and these experiences with us through your thoughts and your prayers.

    Brenda Alfaro -- loving every moment of the journey.

    Government Unity and Cooperation

    -- rarely a phrase you actually see these days. If there is one story to actually tell it is the incredible work and cooperation we experienced with the local, state and federal government here in Mexico -- and the federal government is a political arch rival of the local and state governments here -- and all worked well.

    They federal government had relief and repair workers staged and ready to enter the moment Wilma finalllllllly left. Within 24 hours electricity and water were restored to the center part of Playa del Carmen. Food and water came in and was distributed 3-4 times a day in the local neighborhoods in town. Free lamina to replace roofs was provided by the local governments to all who came -- and many did.

    Within 48 hours the cleanup commenced of all the weak and rotten tree limbs and plants, buildings, palapas, and structures that flew around and that work has just about finished in all neighborhoods.

    We, as a people here, heard no apologies by government officials nor the blame game -- since they all worked together in an organized, efficient, and cooperative team.

    Sam's Club opened it doors to everyone - member or not. Prices stayed the same. Gasoline was available during the storm and was replenished within 24 hours of Wilma's departure.

    The tourists were taken care of by their hotels with safe accommodations and hot food. The ones that suffered the most were those who never left those hotels after Wilma's departure and, of course, those in Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Cozumel where Wilma hit with all her fury for 48 hours. Those who ventured out found a town up and running with wonderful people ready to serve and share life with them again.

    What can you do to help?

    The most important is to please go on the chat rooms and message boards and relay this message to them.

    Forward this email to all you know -- get the real news out.


    Brenda and Jorge Alfaro
    Ajua Maya Restaurant and Ajua Weddings

    "Paying if Forward on the Riviera Maya"

    "Unconscious Mutterings #144 On 11/7/05"

    1. Deeper and deeper:: into a sunken livingroom. I
    2. Can’t help .... :: it, help logos,
    3. Devil’s advocate:: the ultimate schmear.
    4. Superpower:: etc..
    5. Threatening:: nomenclature
    6. Played:: out on the Big Divide. You decide:
    7. War:: or a piece of the action,
    8. Violate:: and sudden.
    9. Invest:: in the future of a planet.
    10. Choke:: on the receipt.

    Be your own boss, get your own mind at the Subliminal Luna Niña.

    Sunday, November 06, 2005

    Good News From My Publisher Regarding DRIVE: The First Quartet

    . . . yesterday -- But, the secret of my happiness (and I'm a very happy person despite numerous tragedies) has always been that I forget most good news until it actually happens. That said, I just have to say that Bryce called twice, saying that DRIVE had made it past the second editorial committee of the NY Times for a review in December; and, that Poets & Writers has commissioned a 2,500 word profile with a deadline of Dec. 2, which means, the two might come out at the same time -- and, I may even be P&W's cover girl in December! (The book comes out, officially, Jan. 1, 2006. But you can order a signed, personalized copy to be delivered TODAY with all shipping & handling paid, for a mere $25! Drive is five separate books in one handsome hard-bound first edition of 320 pages & you can get an early copy just for being LD's Blog Buddy and taking advantage of this generous pre-season offer. Go to this link to an earlier post for more info or click on my Amazon pay button at the bottom of the sidebar for a quick & secure pay page. You can also try going to and sending payment to me at from there. Please send me an email with name for personalized inscription & mailing info. Also, if you wish, include a note and say "I'M BUYING THIS BOOK FOR ISLA" and I will send your $25 dollars to Isla for Direct Isla Relief minus shipping & handling unless you send an extra $5 to cover it.) YEA! Release date: 12:01 a.m., January 1, 2006. YEA! Party at LD's house New Year's!!! Now, back to the novel.

    'Mexico Scrambles To Repair, Re-Open Its Coastal Resorts' - Nov. 6 Vt. Times Argus

    * Please note that this article erroneously states that Playa Norte was stripped of its beach -- NOT TRUE! Just scroll down to fotos and links to more photos of Post-Wilma Playa Norte & Playa Sol -- all with Cancun's sand. ~ LDC

    Mexico scrambles to repair, re-open its coastal resorts

    November 6, 2005 © 2005 Times Argus

    By SUSAN FERRISS Cox News Service

    CANCUN, Mexico – Hurricane Wilma, Mexico's most expensive natural disaster ever, has insurance agents and desperate hotel chains scurrying to survey and repair widespread damage in one of the world's most profitable tourism destinations.

    Wilma claimed miraculously few human lives in Mexico. But the economic impact couldn't be greater as this part of the country struggles to recover from the massive storm.

    The estimated cost of repairing Cancun and other Caribbean resorts is reaching into the billions of dollars.

    The state of Quintana Roo, where Cancun sits, accounts for 38 percent of the country's tourism revenue. The hit from Wilma prompted Goldman Sachs to lower its estimate for 2005 economic growth in Mexico, from 2.8 percent to 2.5 percent.

    Officials say that about 80 percent of the hotels in Cancun suffered some damage, robbing the local economy of about $15 million a day. The city's more than 750,000 residents all depend directly or indirectly on tourism.

    "I speak English. I have an education. And now I'm in the same shape as the poorest here," said a devastated Lyssette Casarin, 35, whose workplace, Cancun's popular Lorenzillo's restaurant, was reduced to floating rubble by the storm.

    The damage assessment from Wilma was under way even before airlines could get all of tens of thousands of foreign tourists stranded here on flights out of Cancun.

    Thousands languished here into the weekend, a week after Wilma struck, standing in long lines to get boarding passes, running out of money, sometimes shelling out thousands of extra credit-card dollars to airlines and angry that departure information was so hard to obtain.

    President Vicente Fox set Dec. 15 – the start of the lucrative winter tourist season – as an ambitious target for getting 80 percent of rooms on the famed Cancun hotel strip restored and ready for visitors.

    But a key attraction for U.S. and other tourists is missing – Wilma washed much of the sandy beach away.

    The government wants to quickly push ahead with a Herculean project to dredge sand and deposit it where waves now wash up against some hotel property foundations. Already in the planning stages before Wilma struck, the beach restoration is certain now to cost much more than the $200 million that the government had budgeted.

    Restoration of some hotel rooms is already under way and bulldozers were busy clearing debris. Some tour operators were already planning to fly in tourists to the lesser-damaged resorts of the Maya Riviera as early as next week.

    Fox toured the disaster zone by helicopter Friday and heard shouts for water and food relief from flood victims on Holbox Island off the Yucatan Peninsula.

    "Zero bureaucracy," Fox said, and he promised a "quick solution" to the crisis.

    Running water remains scarce in many of the poorer areas and sewage-soaked streets are covered with lime to prevent the spread of disease.

    Fox has made two trips here in less than a week and apologized to the poor for delays in help.

    "The authorities are focused on the hotel zone. Of course, we all live from that so we agree with doing that. But we urgently need water and electricity here. It's always the big guys first, then the little ones. It's like that in all the countries in the world," said Ivonne Rosado, 41, who – until Wilma – was a maid in a beauty shop at the Ritz-Carlton hotel.

    Rosado surveyed a sopping heap of sofas, mattresses and ruined appliances outside her cinderblock home in the working-class Las Culebras barrio, which was engulfed by more than five feet of water during a fierce night of the hurricane. The maid and other occupants made a desperate swim to safety through the darkness to get to a home on higher ground down their street.

    Fox is offering emergency federal reconstruction funds and pressuring banks to postpone debt collection. The government is also allowing hotels to forgo tax payments and postpone paying employee government social security benefits in exchange for the hotels doing the best they can to keep workers on payroll.

    "Many of those who work here in the hotels live by tips. They make about $5 a day in wages," said Edgar Gonzalez, 30, a reception manager at the Royal Solaris Cancun.

    No tourist or resident deaths were reported in Cancun or the nearby islands of Cozumel and Isla Mujeres. Three Mexicans in other parts of the Yucatan peninsula died from burns in incidents related to the storm.

    In downtown Cancun, at an intersection where Delta Air Lines set up card tables to issue boarding passes, Atlanta architect John Eisenlau, 42, stood with scores of other tourists grimly trying to get on an emergency flight.

    "I'd give it a year at best" before most of the strip is ready for guests, he said. "You want to analyze this building by building before letting anyone in."

    A guest at the Royal Mayan Hotel, Eisenlau said he and others in his shelter had to go out ins the eye of the storm and after to find syringes and other medicines for people with diabetes and help doctors figure out dosages for elderly people who didn't have medical information at hand.

    Stranded tourists, as many as an estimated 35,000 to 40,000, mostly praised Mexican hotel workers for protecting them and feeding them during the hurricane, although sanitation became horrible in many shelters and some people became ill.

    Complaints about airlines and the U.S. government response were plentiful.

    "It's just unreal. We were let down," said Valley, Ala., resident Richard Tharpe, 48, who used his cellular phone to call the State Department, the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City and senators to describe the dire conditions.

    "Our country didn't pull through for us," said Tamara Spencer of Albany, N.Y., who was packed into a theater serving as a shelter for days.

    U.S. officials said they did their best under trying circumstances.

    U.S. Embassy spokeswoman Judith Bryan accompanied U.S. consular officials from Mexico City who had to plow through a deeply flooded highway with the help of Mexican marines after spending a night by the side of the road.

    "It took us 24 hours to get here and that was part of the problem," she said.

    U.S. officials faced the daunting task of helping far more U.S. citizens than any other country, she said. When the storm hit, there were an estimated 12,000 Americans in 180 locations in the Cancun area and another 5,000 to 7,000 down the coast.

    As the Atlantic region faces the possibility of more monster hurricanes in the future after a tough season, Wilma has left Mexico – and other vulnerable regions of Latin America – with valuable lessons on the need to improve plans for evacuation and recovery.

    Hurricane Stan only weeks ago claimed thousands of lives in Central America in landslides that buried villages and flooding.

    This weekend, a new storm named Beta was bearing down on Colombia and Nicaragua.

    Former Austin, Texas, resident Adair Crow, 46, rode out the storm on the upper floor of his home in a working-class area of Cancun, where he runs a now damaged photography and graphics studio.

    Helping his dejected neighbors pile up their ruined belongings in huge heaps on the street, he said, "People have so much money invested here that Mexico is not going to let it die. I think the market is going to have to change because we don't have a beach."

    He added: "People come here for the beach, the booze and the babes."

    © 2005 Times Argus

    Saturday, November 05, 2005

    Going to Cancun? ISLA MUJERES IS OPEN! And Like No Place Else On Earth - New Pics of Isla Relief - Send $$ Now - Help Wilma Survivors

    And, take a vacation. New photos of Isla Relief are posted here at by Chris Lane, web-master of Click this link to see your direct relief at work. And, if you can't come soon and often, then send the price of your ticket by going to and send any amount at all to rebecca@artandphilanthropy. I know these women and know they work directly with the local & indigenous population, and know they are well respected on the island. 100% of your money goes directly to direct relief goods. Please help.

    Isla Mujeres and the entire Yucatan peninsula will show the world the TRUE FACE OF MEXICO.

    Scroll down for links to IM message boards and websites where you can get up-to-date information on how you can plan your vacations now. And, please exercise patience - the recovery has been nothing short of phenomenal, but resources are stretched and infrastructure still heavily damaged throughout the Yucatan, Cancun in particular upon which Isla Mujeres depends. Please visit this season. Hotels, shops, and restaurants are open; the beach is remarkable. The natives, friendly as always. Just come on down. Now. Or, less hardy, after December 1st. But the more visitors the island receives now the better. Come take Thanksgiving with an original gifting culture. Discover America today.

    * UPDATE: Good links and the most fantastic maps of the entire region can be found here at Laura the MapChick & her husband's site, Can-Do Maps at (click link to go directly to hurricane info & links site. Thanks, Can-Do Maps!

    Ha! I Finally Started the Freakin' Novel

    I like it.

    It's not too late to sign up now for the Procrastinator's Ball for writers: write your own darned novel in a month.
    National Novel Writing Month Participant Register now -

    Friday, November 04, 2005

    Felicidades a Claribel Alegria! The Neustadt Award!

    (time to go work on the novel)

    Thursday, November 03, 2005

    Isla Mujeres: Good Info from HeatandSun Sue - 11/3/05 - And A Personal Note

    This from Bob in Iowa's Board, at If you're like me, an Islaholic, it's worth registering as a "member of the board" for up-to-date & eyewitness reports of the remarkable restoration & recovery of the island after Hurricane Wilma. There is still a crisis, however, for the poorest families on the island, many of whom are well out of the tourist loop and vision, and whom have lost everything they own, including their little houses often made of cardboard, tarpaper & tin. And, of course, a crisis for most spread out across the Yucatan Peninsula decimated by a run of hurricane hits this past year.

    Please visit as soon and as often as you can. Take CASH! And expensive but light medicines such as diabetes kits & oscillococcinum, an extremely effective FLU medicine and preventative. It's homeopathic and good for children with no harmful side-effects. I'm taking it right now in order to avoid the very bad flu my son, and now, hubby, just caught. My son's a lot better because of it. I once brought some to Isla, along with some homeopathic cold and cough medicine during the season, and it was much appreciated. It's expensive, but worth it -- considering days or weeks off work, at $7 per one-day dose pack of 3 small vials of sugar pills. You can find it at whole food stores & sometimes in the big chain supermarkets in the "natural foods" section.

    THANKS BOB IN IOWA!! Glad you're safe, Sue. Your happy aluxes were holding onto your house so it wouldn't blow away. Next time you think of it, set them out some honey. ;-)

    Also, go to or simply and click on message board for same, and to follow Isla Relief efforts going on right now. You can still donate to Isla Relief via, hurricane relief effort by Rebecca Lane & Molly Fisher who are distributing aid there now -- and hopefully, tracking down Rafael Burgos Rios & family, along with other locals for me so I might send them some aid directly -- by going to and sending money to as a little goes a long way in paradise, and 100% of your funds goes directly to direct relief.

    More links to Isla Mujeres boards & relief efforts to follow. Please help NOW. Hold a hurricane relief fundraiser today. It's easy to hold a "Poor Dinner For A Rich Cause" and serve beans and rice, tortillas, and maybe a little fish (they are eating dried fish & canned tuna) or chicken, and charge $20+ per plate to be donated to Isla Relief and/or the Mexican Hurricane relief effort of your choice; maybe play playa music compilations and have a slideshow or put out photo albums of Isla. (I'll be inviting poets & musicians.) If you do, please feel free to print up blank notecards of my Isla Relief Foto Hay(na)ku Poems as invitations or momentos for your guests' donations. There's lots more on my Flickr site, just go to and search for tag: lornadice. You can also just do an image search on my name, it should bring the site right up. Click on comments below pictures for the poems to place below the pictures on whatever photocard software you're using. Include copyright info & -- then, consider yourself a member of the Tourists in Support of Isla Mujeres Cooperative or whatevertheheck you want to call yourself, which by the way, is the very definition of "Xicanisma". And, if you're like me, you spent a lot of money last month for Hurricane Katrina & Rita Relief here in the US. That, too, is Xicanisma.

    If you cancel your vacation plans to Cancun or elsewhere on the "Mexican Riviera" send the price of your tickets. If you don't intend to cancel -- COME ON DOWN TO ISLA MUJERES!! They have Cancun's sand and much more heart. After Nov. 15th is a good time for the most hearty & adventurous as well as for we old timers. Please come in December. And bring the gang & family for spring break. (Please note, Cancun airport information changes daily. There are tourists coming there now.) And, if you come, help out. Bring stuff. Send packages to yourself to distribute via US or Canadian mail by way of General Delivery. Bring cash AND send yourself some more cash via Western Union Moneygram -- so as not to deplete the ATMs for the locals. Just a few ideas. And my own personal opinion.

    And, mea culpa, one and all, for breaking copyright on these news articles. But I will continue to do so as a public service, with links and acknowledgement, until I and others are less frantic with worry regarding many close friends in the hurricane ravaged area, and on Isla Mujeres, in particular. After I have made contact with my friends, and am less insane, I will continue to respect sane copyright law. Until then, here's another. Expect more. And, stay away from the flu, Dear Reader.

    Bob in Iowa
    Joined: 11 Aug 2005
    Posts: 494
    Location: Here and There

    Posted: Thu Nov 03, 2005 10:12 am    Post subject: Good info from HeatandSun

    The status of things on the island are changing daily, and this information is a couple of days old, but I thought that I would post this in the Public Forum so that more people could read.

    This is an extract from an excellent post from a thread in the members only Message Board, in which HeatandSun had replied to Marianne in NYC's questions about the state of the island.


    1. If Ultramar ferries are running and what hours? If there is still martial law requiring everyone off the streets by 7 pm, would I be able to get to Isla if my plane lands at 4:40 pm?

    Ultramar and old ferries are both running - the hours are not quite normal but still regular - not sure what time they stop in the evening though. With your arrival time I would think you will have plenty of time to get to Isla before 7 pm, and even if it's after, if you have a good reason to be on the street it won't be a problem (as explained to me by locals). The 7 pm curfew is more relaxed each day as people resume their lives and work.

    2. Are the Ado and Riveria buses running?

    I know the Ado bus was running from the airport yesterday - seems the last one was at 3 pm though.

    3. Is entry to Isla restricted to those living there or having a business?

    There are tourists there now.

    4. Is there any electricity in the downtown area? How about running water for showers and toilet flushing? I don't care if it is hot or cold water.

    Electricity is restored in town and I believe water is restored throughout as well.

    5. SuperExpress and Mirtita open with food on the shelves? Are prices inflated because of scarcity?

    Both are open, both have plenty of dry food on the shelves - you won't find fresh meat or much selection of veggies yet. Prices are the same as always.

    6. Which small, inexpensive hotels downtown are open for business?

    I guess this list will grow daily as the cleanup continues and service is restored. Many businesses are taking this opportunity to do some house-cleaning.

    7. Safety-wise, any more petty crime than usual?

    Probably not a problem in town.

    8. Any fear of water-borne diseases from all the flooding?

    You always have to think of this possibility when there is standing flood water, mosquitoes, and trash. In town there is not a problem with standing water and the streets are quite clean.

    I SO want to go to Isla and Playa Del Carmen is the definite second choice but maybe that is wishful thinking?

    You probably will need to make this call yourself, as each of us has different expectations and needs. Your dollars will be appreciated wherever you decide to go. Keep in mind my responses above are based on what I knew as of early yesterday (Monday) morning - the situation improves daily.
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