Thursday, August 23, 2007


I am combining 3 days worth of Mexico trip into one post. I went to UCSD so my Mexico was Tijuana, or as we call it TJ. And I would like to say that I got to know TJ pretty well in my tenure in SD, however, I didn't like to go there because it was sleezy and dirty and we students and tourists alike never really ventured outside of one area, Avenida Revolucion. During the day TJ sells touristy trinkets and at night it turns itself over to the nightclubs where students go to get shitfaced fast. Then ofcourse I knew your Spring break Mexico, the Cabo, Cozumels, Acapulco... but those are other posts for other days...
San Luis Border

So the prospect of discovering a new Mexico (no pun intended) was very exciting for me. The first day we crossed over into San Luis. San Luis felt like being in any other built up city except the signs were not in English. San Luis is a popular destination for people that cannot afford or do not want to pay the crazy prices that drugs companies charge in the States. There are pharmacies everywhere! You can get anything without having to present a prescription. The limit to bring back into the US is a 3 month supply. And ofcourse some drugs cause more suspicion than others-- narcotics like Xanax, are not going to go over well at the border crossing. I am happy that this option is available, but sad that it has to be. An example of a price difference, CRESTOR 1 month supply in the States cost approx $130 per month while in Mexico, $42. And with that the pharmacist was apologizing that it was so expensive. 200 amoxicillin cost $6, 1000 ibuprofren $3. This is all the same stuff. In fact, WHN told his doctor about it, and was telling him about it and his doctor whole heartedly supported it.

Another health care cute anecdote... my friend's two youngest brothers were born in Mexico. Their parents lived in Yuma but crossed the border to give birth. The youngest's birth cost 140 pesos.

Bringing them back over the border is weird. The first crossing at San Luis everyone in my party that had drugs were questioned by the same guard... ex. what is this for? DIABETES are you a diabetic? I wonder how many people get tripped up on that. She really pawed through my stuff and treated me like I was trying to pull something over on her. I was asked the last time I was in Mexico etc etc. Frankly, if it is not a popular narcotic drug which I am sure they have a list of, and you only have a 3 month supply, I don't feel you should be questioned too severely. A person's health condition is his/hers. A person bringing 3 mos is pretty innocuous. It seems a lot of trouble to protect the profits of the US pharmacuetical companies.

The border wall Mexico side- Dubya's handiwork (and also my breast... I really need to get Photoshop Elements!)
border wall

The American side:
Mexico border

While we were in the pharmacy, Tony the friendly pharmacist suggested we drive to Golfo De Santa Clara about an hour away for the freshest seafood. Going to the beach sounded really appealing. The following day we drove across the border (for San Luis we parked on the US side and walked over) after we stopped for Mexican car insurance.

The road between San Luis and Golfo De Santa Clara was a 2 lane road and it was sparse. Just desert. Except lots of litter.
Mexico road 2.jpg
Mexico road 4
Mexico road 3

When we got there it was pretty deserted. I don't know if it was because they were out of season, or people just don't go to Golfo De Santa Clara anymore.
golfo de santa clara 7
golfo de santa clara 4
golfo de santa clara 2

We had lunch in El Dolfin. I had a fabulous breaded fish (god I hope it wasn't their signature dish) And I was far enough in to
be able to practice my Spanish. Though I did notice that the Mexicans that understood English would just start speaking to me in English (San Luis) and the ones that didn't know English at all wouldn't even try to understand my Spanish (Golfo)
mexian lunch.jpg
At first glance, one thinks oh they ran out of room painting PARKING... but look at the bottom line.
golfo de santa clara 16

The locals were in the water despite the jelly fish, which were also dead on the sand and the sharks.
Mexico beach.jpg
(Yes, evidently is quite normal to deflate your tires and drive onto the sand)

golfo de santa clara 12

golfo de santa clara 11

golfo de santa clara 6
For $3 you can get a 6 bottle pack of Mexican beer packed in ice.

Bimbo is a popular cake like treat. I just like the idea of a slutty little teddy bear:
golfo de santa clara 5

On the way back we were stopped at a random Federale check point. Notice no pictures. This is because I was in the middle of a foreign country with 18 year olds with really big guns. Imagine a 2 lane desert road with a makeshift stop sign and road block. I think they chose the spot because there was a tree for shade. Federales have a reputation for being roguish or is the Mexican cops-- which group expects bribes and which ones are insulted by it? I am quickly trying to remember. We had to get out of the car while they poked around. I felt nervous even though we had done nothing. Though, I'll be honest with you, I did in my best Spanish ask one of the guys if I could take a picture of him. I figure what's the worse he could do. Don't say it... That didn't even enter my mind, but later when I was talking to the family in Yuma their answer was SHOOT YOU... and WHNs first response was the same. Look, I just wanted to practice my Spanish and really being shot over that didn't enter my mind and who knows I might have gotten a picture! (JavaJem would understand.) They let us go, don't worry I am not using my internet time to blog from Mexican prison. And crossing back over the boarder in the car, the border guard was really pleasant.

The last day we went to Algodones.

Algodones is closer to the touristy feel of TJ, but without the filth.

san luis.jpg


Algodones along with having many pharmacies, is known for dental work... (I would birth a baby in Mexico, but they aren't touching my chompers!)
san luis.jpg
(Unlike San Luis, Algodones is a bit more unabashedly going for tourists combining what they think people want liquor and pills.)
They also have many optomotrists. It was quite weird walking down the street with men saying HOLA SENORITA DO YOU NEED ANY DENTEEESTREEE? HOW ABOUT YOUR EYES??? They also had many shops where you could get knock offs of your favorite designer bags. We would have spent more time there except it was so freaking humid that day. We were pulled into one jewelry shop and were immediately served Coronas. Ofcourse being from Las Vegas, starting to drink at 9am is normal.

Crossing back into the US I had Ibuprofen and Imitrex (which I did have a perscription for on me.) I just said they were both for headaches and the gaurd said boy you get a lot of headaches. I replied yes, I'm married. With that, he let me back into the good ol' US.
I wish this picture could convey how hot and sticky it was!
Next time, Luke Skywalker's home planet!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Yuma Prison

I'm trying to remember all the Yuma facts I picked up. Yuma is one of the oldest towns in Arizona because it sits on the Colorado River which makes the land quite fertile. Yumans (haha I love that's what they are called) grow such crops as citrus, cotton and hybrids like caulicolli.

Yuma has a casino that sits on the California border. In fact, one building is in Arizona while the other is in California. Each state has its own gambling laws so in one half of the casino dice are used, but in the other half not allowed.

Near the casino, is the Yuma Prison which was a federal prison. Actually, the prisoners built the prison themselves. As much as I loathed walking around in 104 degree weather, I really got an appreciation for how miserable this clink was. And then to have to do hard labor in it. OI!
Yuma prison
Yuma prison cell
This cell slept 6. 3 tier bunk beds that are so closed together, I couldn't get a picture, but they could reach across and touch each other because in the joint that's what you need, a little tenderness.

I was interested in the prisoners. They had everyone from murderers to adulterers. I wonder if they divided them up; I doubt it. Could you imagine meeting your murderous cellmate and having to tell him you're in for loving too much?
Yuma prison prisoner 2

Yuma prisoner prison pooch
I am not sure if the prison wasn't as bad as I thought because they allowed pets, or this is one really REALLY naughty chihuahua.

They also cracked down on polygamy and there were Mormon prisoners.

They also had female prisoners. And though in every level of society women were treat unequally, in prison there was equality.
Yuma prison female prisoner 2
The fact that she ran off with jugglers seemed sexier to me... though I would imagine living with jugglers would get very old, very fast.

Yuma prison female prisoner 1
I don't know if you can read her blurb, but it said that she asked for fabric and made her own prison uniform in the style of the time!

They also had crafts!
Yuma prison crafts 3

Yuma prison crafts

Yuma prison crafts 2

Entrance to prison yard:
Yuma prison yard entrance

Cell blocks:
Yuma prison
Yuma prison

I like this picture because it reminds me of a Twilight Zone episode
Yuma prison twilight zone shot.

Watch tower. The cement structure below is the water tank. I was miserable going up the stairs, I can just imagine building them, and schlepping wood up and down them.
Yuma Prison tower

So there you have it. Where really bad and not so bad in the scheme of things went. Next time another place I went Mexico. OLE! Yes I am stretching this trip out. For everyone but one particular person who knows who she is the post is over. Unless ofcourse you are dying to get me a present, but have no idea what-- then feel free to keep reading.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?
A. I'm pretty easy. I'm not really into fun fur unless it's really soft posh fun fur and then maybe not that either.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
A. I mostly use my Denise's which have a case. I also have a great straight needle case made by SP9 and a circ needle case made by SP10.

3. How long have you been knitting? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
A. I have been knitting for 10 years. I am intermediate/advanced.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
A. No.

5. What's your favorite scent? (for candles, bath products etc.)
A. My favorite perfume is Fresh Index Apricot Fig (to give a concept); I love lavender, plumeria, I love this hand lotion I put on because it smells like cleaning fluid, so obviously my scent pallatte is not that refined. Go into the fall I will like warm curl up by the fire scents. I love the smell of coffee, but hate the taste.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
A. chocolate (but not together). As a vegetarian, I don't eat marshmellow or my beloved gummi bears. I also don't like tea.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
A. Yes I have a spinning wheel. I am a beginning level spinner, but I love spinning and fiber.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD).
A. I like alternative, jazz (not smooth jazz or the the kind I have to think about), big band, 80s. My favorite song this year is Read My Mind (Killers) My favorite song that irritates people is Hey There Delilah (Plain White Ts)

9. What's your favorite color? Or--do you have a color family/season/palette you prefer? Any colors you just can't stand?
A. It's fall so I am going into a green, claret, olive phase. These are actually the colors that look best on me. But I also like retro color combos.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
A. I've got all sorts of pets. It's like a petting zoo but without the cash intake.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
A. I wear scarfs to dress up outfits going out on The Strip. I feel like I am 30 years too old to wear mittens, but I do need to wear them and gloves. I have tiny little hands (the size of a 6th grader) that get cold very fast. Not really a poncho girl... but HATS... I LOVE HATS! I would wear a hat constantly if I could. I love hats.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
A. Anything that I can finish.

13. What are you knitting right now?
A. I'm not knitting, I am ripping right now. I did the Brea bag, but decided I wanted that yarn for something else.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
A. I love handmade stuff.

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
A. I use my Denises the most then Addi Turbos. I like speed baby. I dont knit for leisure, I knit for some nuerotic speed torture

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
A. Yes I have both.

17. How did you learn to knit?

18. How old is your oldest UFO?
A. See #17. Also I have granny squares I made when I was 8 or so (look at previous questionaires for that ugly little story) I am determined to finish the blanket next year..I just have to figure out how to make these 70s squares look posh and sophesticated yet honor the little 7 yr old, who, now that I think about it was posh and sophesticated then too. Unfortunately her grandmother wasn't and there is some ugly 70s yarn.

19. What is your favorite holiday?
A. Halloween! The air smells like fire and the wind is just crisp.. and daylight savings is ending. Oh and Christmas because I get gifts and my bday because I get gifts. I would love Arbor Day and Presidents Day if it involved a gift for me.

20. Is there anything that you collect?
A. Bulldog and ferret stuff, and tiki/ polenesian stuff, mermaids (evidently I have the taste of a 50 year old man)

21. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
A. I once saw this book 99 crochet flower motifs. You put them all together and voila you have a flower afghan. I meant to buy the booklet, but I was distracted and didnt.

22. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
A. Armenian knitting

23. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
A. I love to knit socks but it takes me forever to start a pair. I love it more when people knit them for me. I wear a US 8.

24. When is your birthday? (mm/dd)
A. 3/15. Same day as Fabio, Judd Hirsch, Eva Longoria, and the character Michael from The Office. Also it was when Caesar was off'd.

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Homespun boucle

Today at my local quilt shop's spin-a-long, we made boucle yarn. It takes three plies to do it. I am not sure what I would knit with it, but I should come up with something, because I LOVE TO SPIN IT!! It was so much fun. But enough of me rattling on, here are pics:
boucle getting spun

boucle 1st ply
First ply next to roving unspun roving in same color

boucle 2nd ply
Second ply

boucle 3rd ply
Third ply

finished boucle
Better or worse, finished boucle.

knitted boucle sample
Knitted boucle

As much as I would like to stay home and practice my boucle making skills, I am going to the Stray Cats and Pretenders show. Oh yeah and ZZ Top will be there, but I hope to be well plastered by the time they come on so hopefully it won't matter by then who is on stage. Ug ZZ Top.


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Purse WIP Hell minor

I have no idea, but without being aware of it, I have been knitting purse after purse and nothing else. Detailed details can be found on Ravelry (nicknits). Suffice it to say, they are all WIPs. But good for me, all knit from stash (a big improvement for me.)

Brea bag:
brea bag
It's hard to tell in the pictures, but it's made with a variegated green yarn that I bought last year in Santa Fe. I need to finish the gusset, seam it, crab stitch the top, and sew a lining (haha) but instead of doing that, I moved onto Isabeau.

I am in lining hell. I am currently trying to sew in a plastic canvas linining. I didnt like the hippy dippy unstructured look, however, I am not loving the lining right now either... so it be hard to work on something that isn’t turning out the way I envisioned, so I started yet another bag.

no really coco
Yeah I got issues with this one too. This is originally a Magknits pattern. The stitch pattern I had a problem with one of the cables. A purl stitch kept popping up where I thought a knit stitch would look better, and the more I knit the ickier it seemed. I looked up a Barbara Walker stitch pattern and decided to go with that. This is going to be a small clutch. The original pattern has a chain, however, I don't see that happening either. But now I am thinking the yarn is way too bright orange. I was going to give it to my SIL who likes bright bold colors, but wow this is really bright and bold and metallic. Maybe too much.

So this is where I am knittingwise. None of them are exciting me, and what's worse, it's not like these are big knitting projects that I have to devote attention to for months or weeks or even days, yet I can't muster it.

I've decided to make Thursday travelogue days, so stay tuned for that where I will have more from fabulous Yuma, AZ


Friday, August 03, 2007

On The Road to Yuma

When I last left off, I was on my way to Yuma. I am back and to force me to be more regular of a poster as well as not feel guilty about inundated you with pictures, I am dividing the trip up into digestable chunks. So here we go....

Yuma is a bordertown with Mexico. In fact, many of Dubya's immigration speeches happen there. It's also on the border of California. It was crazy for me one minute in California the next in Arizona then California then Arizona then Mexico and around and around. Also Arizona doesn't follow daylight savings, but California does.

The drive there is literally through the middle of nowhere Nevada, California, and Arizona. Two lanes. One to get you there and the other to get you back. Miles and miles of desert. I know what you are thinking... surely there was a LYS to be had. Living out in the middle of nowhere you need to do something besides make meth. No. Literally "towns" were just an intersection. And not even intersetions with lights-- just stop signs.
Vidal Junction stop

However there were some interesting and enterprising businesses.
Vidal Junction Cafe
Vidal Junction Cafe
How many people call this place the Vidal Junction Cafe vs the Chicken place or the Big Chicken or Cluckers or insert chicken here. But this wasn't the only place in Vidal into BIG ASS animals:
Cool Stuff in Vidal

Cool Stuff in Vidal 2
Way Cool stuff!

Cool stuff in Vidal 4

Cool stuff in Vidal 5
Because ofcourse a dolphin needs to be in water!

bears humping in Vidal
I wonder if the proprietor poses the bears like this or the two teens in Vidal Junction with nothing better to do, constantly repose them.

There were also resorts nearby, and quite economical:
Resort life

And like all deserts, we found an oasis with grass and non cactus trees. This is the Colorado River.

Bridge to Yuma

We also passed this honey place, but decided to hit on the way back when there was light. More on this in a later post.
honey truck 3.jpg

We arrived in Yuma around 9pm and were greeted by the 9 cats and 1 dog that live at the family home. I barely like my cat. But little one eye... shit what was his name... Call him Blindey, he was quite the charmer. He was really the only cat the paid attention to me. But, it became weird attention. If I sat in a chair he would knead my shoulder then my breasts... it was really quite creepy and embarassing. As a guest, I was unsure what the protocal was. I didn't want to be mean to their crippled cat, yet letting him get to 2nd base with me without even buying me a drink and in front of everyone was not acceptable either.
one eye.jpg

But Larry was appropriately loveable.

Also while getting a drink out of the fridge, I noticed the chore chart for the 19 year old son.
Yes, everyone wonders what he is doing wearing, but not using one...

On that responsible note, I will break until next time - THE PRISON!

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