Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part II)

[part one]

After a harrowing and treacherous journey to Mexico City, I awoke in my hotel bed with ambitions to go right the hell back to sleep. No rest for the wicked however as this very well may be my only free day in Mexico City to explore and get my museums per diem worth out of this work trip. The fast and loose plan was to get my ass up to the top of a pyramid come hell or high water (both of those are shitty options though).

But my mind and body were weary from the two days journey previous so the first order of business was to track down a cup of mud. Which I did in short order and with several attempts at explaining what a hammerhead is to a Spanish speaking barista. Once that was “solved” and I got some watery gloopy caffeine drink stuffs, I began to actually look at where I was.

My hotel was direct next to the Plaza del la Constitución which is a massive square surrounded by unbelievably beautiful buildings. In the center of the square was one of the most impressively large flags I’ve ever seen. I took this short video to give you the scenery and sounds so that we are both on the same page. The Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral provides the backdrop.

I kinda wish that video was a little longer, but you get the idea. It was at this moment when it all began to hit me. I was in Mexico City, one of the largest cities in the world.

With a new found energy, I rushed back to the hotel to meet my boss for a hugely sub-par complimentary breakfast. Hooray? We made a plan to contact the front desk and figure out the best way to get to Teotihuacan to see some pyramids. They saw us coming a mile away. Stupid gringos to be placed on a tour van for 10 hours and driven all over Mexico City visiting many glorious sights and even more glorious gift shops by a driver with greased palms and a sketchy motive. In hindsight, we should’ve just taken the bus. Continue reading “Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part II)”

Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part I)

 The weather was mild and the visibility was fair. The ancient Airbus A300 was sluggish and she listed slightly to the right when at full throttle. The stick was muddy too, like stirring a viscous porridge. The 3:30 AM sky offered no light save that of the flashing runway. It was then that my copilot’s heart failed from some form of poisoning.

The sweat formed on my brow as my white knuckled hands grasped the stick in hopes that I can bring this bird back to earth and survive to tell the tale. Fear not dear reader. For I will be your humble captain. It wouldn’t be the first time and wont be the last…

Continue reading “Mexico City: Mind Your Dirt Goes Abroad (Part I)”

I Am the Worst Person Ever!

Okay, I fully understand if you never want to talk to me ever again. The abusive neglect, the lack of phone calls and the general all around shabbiness of my behavior is inexcusable. Here it is three weeks since my last post and I come crawling back at 7:30 at night reeking of overtime and exhaustion only to write to you a paltry apology that has nothing to do with gardening or landscaping or sustainability. Nor does it have any neat-o photos or illustrations of puppies or cute chickens! How crass. How sad. This is all I can muster at the moment.

Pathetically couch-bound.
Pathetically couch-bound.

A sad little cellphone selfie using the light from my laptop and a meager 5% remaining battery power. One shoe off and an unhealthy dinner getting cold on the counter. Something involving potato wedges and a meat item of sorts. This is my life the last few weeks. Not keeping in touch with my good friends at Mind Your Dirt but eating shitty food long after the sun sets while the couch absorbs my sad tired form.

Why you may ask? Well, see that bronze disinterested lady up there in my feature image? Well, she (and her twin) represent 1/8th of the massive new project at the San Diego Museum of Art. To “free the art” from the confines off storage and bring it to the people of San Diego in all its glory.


There’s me holding the first “E” in FREE. See how excited I am? I’m the one guy in this photo that was most impacted by the project.

A fantastic plan when you are a fantastic person sitting around a boardroom table spit-balling fantastic ideas. But for the poor schlubbs like yours truly, a daunting undertaking to organize the logistics and build the mounts for ginormously massive bronze sculptures when you have zero time in an already INSANE schedule. That said, let’s do it!

My days have looked something like this…

You may feel a little pressure...
You may feel a little pressure…

Each object had it’s challenges, but the Zuniga also had some bad galvanic reaction. That’s when you use two different types of metals touching one another and then stick it outside for several years and they fuse together. Like permanently. Well, someone at some point thought that carbon steel and bronze would be a good idea. Nope. It wasn’t. So Zuniga needed me like the desert needs the rain.

I won’t bore you with the details, but lets just say the last few weeks, as well as the last few years, have been very taxing at the museum for me. But, I tend to thrive under pressure so I soldiered on and we are almost ready for next Thursdays big press preview and circle members opening! Almost.

All of that said, I am so exceedingly sorry to have not been more a part of your life! I have been working in the garden, but haven’t been reporting back to you. I am the worst person ever!

And I am sorry.

Um, wait a minute!! I DO have a cute puppy photo to post!!! My bestest of friends just got a new puppy and I took a photo of her. Hold on…I’ll go get it…

James behaving badly 010_My best friends New Puppy
BAM! Instant puppy photo.

HA! You thought that I couldn’t produce didn’t you? I’ll never completely let you down. Not all the way. Just a little.

What else has happened? Well there was a huge wind storm on Sunday night that jacked up most of my house and yard. Here’s me on the roof trying to fix everything…

James behaving badly 04_Roof Repair

And when I got to work the next morning, there were several downed trees…Two people were crushed by fell trees actually! Not these, but you get the idea of what 80 mph winds can do.

Balboa Park, San Diego California
Balboa Park, San Diego California

And then when I got home, I fell these mini trees…of broccoli.

James behaving badly 06_Fell Broccoli from the garden

And one of my friends that buys my extra eggs shared this photo with me of one of my backyard chicken eggs next to a store-bought egg.

James behaving badly 08_A side by side comparison of bacyard chicken eggs and store bought eggs

Let’s see, what else has happened? Oh, these amazing wildflowers are growing behind my museum. They give me great peace when my stress meter hits the roof.

James behaving badly 07_Wildflowers growing outside my museum

And lastly I will share this snapshot I took of one of the many garden guardians I have hidden throughout my yard. This one is called Juan Buddha. When South meets East, if you will.

James behaving badly 09_Juan Buddha one of my garden patron saints_South meets East
Juan Buddha

Nirvana without siesta is taxing at best.

Okay campers, that’s about all the steam I have left in me at the moment. I’m typing very poorly and there will be little to no spell-checking going on up in here tonight! Plus, those potato wedges really depreciate in value when the heat leaves them. AND Sasha needs belly rubs like crazy right now.

I DO have tons to share with you about my garden and stuff. Including root knot nematode battles so please bear with me. I’ll also be in Mexico City for work for a week and change this month. But I’m hoping to have time to write a bunch of stuff on the cargo plane…

Again, so sorry and I love you all with all of my being. that may be the sleep-dep talking…