And Then There Was Beer…

The flight from Guadalajara to Dallas was uneventful. The reception in Dallas by the U.S. Government bureaucracy was upsetting in the extreme. Customs and immigration, both of which have been recipients of obscenely enormous investments in recent years, demonstrated the extent to which massive investment dollars can be used to dramatically increase the cost and reduce the efficiency of processes. It seems to me the process of examining incoming travelers’ assertions and documents has been made much, much, much more expensive (through the use of technology) while having been made slower, less logical, and more annoying. I feel confident in saying the processes in place now, coupled with the expensive systems in their support, suggest graft and greed. Yes, I do tend to bitch and moan about stuff that merits bitching and moaning and loud complaints.

Once we were released from the clutches of the airport TSA types, we were delivered to our car, parked in a seedy motel parking lot for a week. From there, we took back roads for many, many miles to our motel for the night; a Best Western in the heart of Addison. The location was perfect, in that it is only blocks from Flying Saucer, where I have been working for seven years to drink 200 different beers, thereby earning a plate on the ceiling, memorialized with wording of my desire. That night, I had three more beers (numbers 196, 197, and 198), leaving only two more before I have my very own plate. My beers that night were: Firestone Walker Old Man Hattan; Real Ale Brewing Fresh Kicks Hazy IPA; and Bell’s Best Brown. The first, by far the most expensive, was my least favorite. My favorite was the Fresh Kicks. The following day, after a few morning errands, we hit the road toward home. We stopped at the Flying Saucer on Lake Ray Hubbard at lunch time, where I completed my beer journey: I drank a Bear Republic Further Thru the Haze and a Leinenkugels CanoePaddler (the latter the ONLY bottled beer of the 200).  I hope to return to Dallas sometime in the Spring or Summer for my long-awaited plate party. And I hope to be joined by a few friends; one or two who shared the drinking journey and a select few more who will, I hope, appreciate the experience.

The journey to and from Ajijic and our time spent in Ajijic and Dallas was impacted the effects some prescription drugs had/are having on my wife. Enough said; she braved the trip and my brief forays into beerland and I appreciate that.

Our time in Ajijic was delightful and I want to spend more time there. When I return, I think I may make the trip solo and stay for a month or two or three. I could use some solitary time to assess the experience. That may or may not happen; we shall see.

Our trip was to have included an additional several days in Dallas and a diversion to Fort Smith to visit friends but, thanks to prescription drugs, those planned add-ons were abandoned. I will not let too much time pass before we recapture those plans and experience them as they were intended provided, of course, medications do not interfere again. And, of course, I have yet to sufficiently address my damned cough. An upcoming visit with my primary care doctor may lead to another visit with a specialist who, if the Universe is my friend, will finally identify the cause of and find a solution for my cough.Time will tell, as it always does.

***

I plan to document our trip to Ajijic, but now’s not the time to do it. That will require more focus than I’m able to give the matter at the moment. Instead, I’ll mine my psyche for a few moments, hoping the walls and ceiling of the mine don’t collapse on me in the process.

Last night, I finished watching El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie. I started watching it while I was in Mexico, during a day when I felt rather poorly and when my wife and a few others fled Ajijic for the attractions of Tlaquepaque on the southern fringe of Guadalajara. I suspect I might have enjoyed it more, and understood it better, had I watched (again) the last episode of Breaking Bad before I began watching the movie. But I didn’t and I was therefore lost from the start. I just don’t remember television and movies with any detail, so a movie that starts with a scene that requires recollections of the closing moments of a television series that ended six years earlier is not a hit with me. At any rate, I watched the entire movie and was not entirely displeased with it. But I think I might watch it again, after watching the last episode of BB.

I envy the creators and writers of Breaking Bad. They were able to construct a compelling tale that incorporated an enormous volume of symbolic elements, carefully stitched into the story line in a way that makes symbolism fun! I am confident the writers engaged in lively conversations about how to include symbolism throughout the series. The way I see it, they did so without being blatantly obvious, yet in hindsight the symbolism is blatantly obvious! Great fun, I think. I’d like to have access to some creative writers who feed off other creative writers so that the sum of their efforts is greater than the individuals’ contributions. Wish. Wish. Wish. Why wish when you can wonder? I wonder?

***

I’m off the rails here. I have an enormous amount of “stuff” on my mind but I’m incapable of putting it down. So I’ll put away my keyboard, reheat my cold coffee, and read the news. That will jack up my blood pressure to unsafe levels, I’m sure.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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