New Friends

Vallarta Day 14

It occurred to me the other day that I forgot to mark my Mayan Calendar birthday of July 24th with a special meditation or ritual of some sort. Damnit! I guess I’ll be stuck in the same cycle I’ve been on … but who knows, maybe that’s where I’m supposed to be anyhow.

I’m up and out the door by 8:30. I decide to be a little bad and stop at Choco Banana to get the banana pancakes from Marcello. Fewer mosquitos, though more flies than Coco’s, but those cakes are so hard to pass up! Marcello is his normal charming self, making a production out of the simplest tasks in an effort to make you laugh. He is nice, but he tries too hard. I just want the damned pancakes, already, Marcello!

Next stop is Dee’s, as per usual, for coffee and blogging. And a piece of carrot cake – but not until it’s time to leave for the gym, as I think of it as my own personal kind of energy drink to pump me up prior to my workout. That counts, right?

Dee’s is its normal self. Before blogging I attend to emails, which are growing in frequency, as if anticipating my return. I had planned on easing back into normal life back at home, but I’ve already been booked up for full-time contract work beginning Monday morning at 8:30, after returning on Saturday evening. It’s a good feeling to be wanted, and feels nice to know I’ll have some income, but I hope the abrupt jolt back to working life goes smoothly.

Here I am whining about being on vacation for so long and returning to work …. poor me. My life is sooo hard, if you only knew!

Speaking of returning to normal life, I’ve sneaked a peak at some of the headlines. It seems Lindsay Lohan monopolized them for a short while with her trip to jail. Though now the big thing seems to be the GLBT community’s backlash over Corporation X’s campaign contributions to the organization supporting Tom Emmer in Minnesota. Emmer is anti-GLBT rights and the GLBT community has called attention to this. Some calling for a boycott, some want Corporation X to fund a pro-GLBT candidate as well.

I’m not sure what I feel. I have several friends who work for Corporation X. I’ve done work for Corporation X and always had a good experience with them. I enjoy shopping at their stores. I recognize that they do a lot for the local Minneapolis / St. Paul community – both in community giving, but also in fostering the local creative talent. And this is all on top of their sponsorship of the Twin Cities Pride celebration and public pro-GLBT stance and policies. In short, they’ve given back to the community they’ve grown up in, and always been kind to us GLBT folks.

That’s why this campaign contribution is so strange. Certainly it makes sense from one point of view – they are a big business. Big business generally supports republican candidates because of their fiscal stance and support of laws that benefit big business.

It makes me wonder – has Corporation X only been pro-GLBT because it’s good for business, too?

Why give $150k to this organization / candidate? They must have foreseen some bad press around ANY campaign contribution, but especially a contribution to a right-winger who’s anti-GLBT rights – the same community that Corporation X has invested so much into developing.

The bad press could result in a loss of sales far beyond $150k. Of course, the contribution may get the candidate elected, which may help to keep and create laws benefiting big business, in which case their contribution may pay off much more in the end.

Aside from the societal and business ethics arguments around corporate campaign contributions, I’d love to see a cost-to-benefit analysis of Corporation X’s recent campaign contribution from their own point of view. Weigh the possible loss of sales due to bad PR against the potential savings Emmer may provide via tax and law benefits, should he be elected. Is it really worth it for Corporation X to do this?

I really WANT to side with Corporation X on this, but this practice of corporate giving to right-wing candidates is troubling to me.

Back to blogging at Dee’s on the patio, enjoying my Americana. My sunburn from yesterday’s time at the beach is readily apparent to anyone here. Dee makes mention of it and brings out some fabulous product she promises will dial-back the burn and take away the pain. I apply it and she seems happy to have helped. The burn wasn’t super bad to begin with, but I think the cream actually helps. Some product from a company called Vichy Laboratories. I googled them and found their site, but wasn’t able to find the same product Dee had for sun burn.

My burn is much better today. I’m sure I’ll be back to stark-white by a week’s time, as my skin is prone to do.

Nothing much new at Acqua. There are a handful of people working out again, which is nice to see. The two Sunset Party Cruise boys are there again and give me head nods, to which I return. Aaron and David are their usual, happy selves. I’ve translated my usual greeting of more than one person – “Hey, Ladies!” to “Hola, Chicas” and they object, wanting to correct my Spanish. I inform them I know very well what I said, and they object under different circumstances – this time more forcefully, aghast I would call them Chicas. I just smile and continue around the corner to drop off my bag in the locker room.

My workout is good and I get 20 minutes in on the elliptical afterwards, as both of the bikes I usually use were occupied by the Sunset Party Cruise guys.

I walk home and take a shower and a siesta, waking in time to make it to the 5:00 NA meeting at the Alano club to be there for Carlos’ 90 days. He shares about his clean time and it’s so genuine and authentic – very refreshing and nice to hear a newcomer working a solid program and seeing the benefits of it.

The meeting gets out and some of the AA meeting attendees arrive a bit early – and that’s when the shit hits the fan! Apparently one of the guys in the NA meeting had been banned from the clubhouse for stealing. He was caught by the police and the Alano club said they wouldn’t press charges if he stayed away. Apparently they’ve been constantly trying to keep him out – he just keeps coming back. It’s a bit of a contentious issue because there’s really no way to “kick somebody out” of AA or NA, yet at the same time this guy steals people’s belongings.

I stay out of it, but there are some highly raised voices between some of the NAers and AAers. This issue seems to go back a ways, and I am guessing there have been other disagreements in the past as well.

I stay for the start of the AA meeting, but have to leave early to attend a dinner at my friend Garrett’s place. I met Garrett through Facebook a long time ago and we’ve been social networking pals since. I recently joined TripIt, a social network for travelers, and was notified that Garrett was also taking a trip to Vallarta that overlapped with mine for a couple of days. He’s here with a dozen or so friends renting a floor at one of the beachside hotels – complete with chef service for two meals a day!

Garrett invites me to join them for the chef’s dinner. Three courses, ending with fish tacos, and it was delicious! Their room has a large open terrace area where we eat, and a pool of its own – it’s all very fancy! I spend some time chatting with them and get to know a couple of them a bit. They’re all from Kansas City. At least one pair was a couple, but I believe the rest were just friends.

They are all getting ready to go out to the bars and I take my leave. Dinner neglected dessert, so I stop in at Cafe San Angel for a piece of cake and coffee before heading home for the night. I fall asleep reading my Mayan Calendar ebook.