I Moved To Oaxaca

Sunday, February 29, 2004

Hope everybody doesn't mind the random-note nature of my entries lately, because that's all I've got for today.

When I realized Greg hadn't ever seen Bowling For Columbine, I made plans to take him this weekend. And in the process of trying to figure out my geewhiz phone with features I can't use because 1) anyone I might call does not have a SMS-capable phone, or 2) Telcel, the local provider, does not in fact provide, I did discover that the browser works, and that I can check movie times. We saw Masacre this morning. I'm not surprised they changed the title -- how to explain to people what Bowling For Columbine means? There were only three people in the theater to watch it, and only two of us laughing. Which was two better than the last movie I saw, In America, here called Tierra de Sueño (Land of Dreams). I caught that one at Multimax, and walked into the theater 10 minutes early (I thought) but they'd already started the film. Damn, I thought, they got to America awfully quickly. Guess I didn't miss too much exposition. My watch was running on time, the theater was not; I realized I was watching the last ten minutes of the movie. Good thing it wasn't a surprise ending.

Earlier in the week, when we went over to Osvelia's to make decisions on whether we would indeed move in, and what furniture she might leave behind. She was there with her son and daughter-in-law, packing boxes, and Dawn, a woman from Canada she introduced as her friend. In the midst of our chatting we made plans to get together with Dawn after school on Saturday and show her around the city. Proved to be a typical Oaxaca encounter: Dawn said she'd come to Oaxaca on a lark (she'd been in Baja on a cob construction project), wandered into Osvelia's shop on a lark, got to chatting with Osvelia who promptly invited her to stay at her house. Maybe it's not Oaxaca, maybe it's just Osvelia!

Anyway, Dawn wanted to see the basilica dedicated to Our Lady of Solitude At The Foot Of The Cross, one of Oaxaca's three Marys, so we strolled down to see it. It's not an especially big church as Oaxacan churches go, but it's also old (late 17th century). We got an ice cream from the collection of vendors in front of the church -- I don't quite know what that's about -- then took a quick look through the church which, as typical, contained real live worshippers. Then we went into the little museum. At first it reminded me of an old lady's house -- a really religious old lady. Piles of seashells -- who knows? -- mannequins, old paintings, stained glass. But as we looked it got cooler. The designs in the big banners were made with milagros, those little metal amulets Catholics use to pray for things. And the stained glass triptych explained the story of Nuestra Señora de la Soledad, mostly: guys taking boxes of relics somewhere, one of the donkeys gets tired and lies down, they open the box it was carrying and find extra relics nobody packed, so instead of continuing on they stayed in Oaxaca and said okay, now Soledad Mary is your patron. And then we saw that what at first looked like a comic-book depiction of the miracles of Soledad Mary were in fact devotional plaques expressing people's thanks for divine intervention. The plaques at eye level, mostly on tin, were from the 19th century, and ranged from thanks about marriages, repaired homes, surgeries survived, repelling marauders -- we saw one from the early part of the 20th century that was a photo in thanks for surviving a truck accident. Higher up on the wall the plaques got harder to read, and while we couldn't make out any dates, the clothes people were wearing were really old-fashioned, and the interventions were for things like surviving pirates, shipwrecks, and earthquakes. Whoa! I expect some were from shortly after the church was built. We had lots of fun trying to decipher the words of thanks and reconstruct stories from the pictures.

After that, we wandered down to the zocalo, where I got a pineapple snow cone and, after chowing down, we went into the cathedral. We were experiencing church overload, so as an antidote we walked up Alcala to our favorite mariachi bar and had beers-n-botanas. They recognize us, and we always get the same guy as our waiter. But I think he's in challenge mode: last time it was pig-head tacos, this time I thought he said "fried chicken" and I'm sure he did, but I didn't catch the Spanish word for "gizzards." But they actually made pretty good tacos. And it was nice to show off our little corner of Oaxaca to somebody new.

Friday, February 27, 2004

Before I forget -- and as I have two classes tomorrow, for six hours of English-language fun, I do plan to do a lot of forgetting tomorrow afternoon and evening -- we are moving. Finally. Into the haunted duplex. The address is Los Libres 604, Col. Centro, Oaxaca, Oax. CP 68000 Mexico. We'll start moving in over the next two weeks, I think.

Went out to Multimax today to catch a flick. Still haven't figured out the crazy distribution schedule down here. This week's new movies:

In America
School of Rock
Open Range
Along Came Polly
Bowling For Columbine

And for the third week in a row, The Haunted Mansion on two screens!

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Miscellaneous bits and pieces:

Remember pogs? A children’s craze for about 30 seconds? It came to California from Hawaii, where kids played them for years before someone got big dollar signs in their head and tried exporting them to the mainland. I was in Hawaii in ’93 or '94 (as Wendy reminds me) and kept seeing hand-lettered signs for pogs, or ads for pogs in the paper, or pog giveaways advertised in the supermarket. My friend Wendy and I couldn’t figure it out and finally asked John, the manager of the most excellent Dolphin Bay Motel where we were staying. He reached into his desk drawer and pulled out a pair of round paper disks, about an inch and a half across, printed with the Dophin Bay logo, address, and phone number. He then explained that pogs, also known as milk caps, comes from pine-orange-guava juice, bottled by a local company and sealed with a paper-and-tin foil milk cap. Kids collected the milk caps and made a game with them, then local Hawaiian company started having milk caps printed as giveaway ads. So now I have a little stash of mostly Hawaiian pogs, though I do have a few milk caps from Strauss Family Dairy milk before they switched to plastic caps. And just this week at Berlitz, guess what the kids have been playing with on the patio? I haven’t seen a Yu-gi-oh card all week.

Early in January Greg bought a 2004 calendar from a kid in the street. Cute kid; we needed a calendar. It’s all in Spanish, big surprise, and the pictures are of notable Oaxaca-state churches. January featured the church in Tepospolula, which we happened to drive through on our Pueblo Viejo adventure. Saturday night I jokingly said we should visit each month’s featured church, then we decided, well, why not? So Sunday we drove off to Yanhuitlan to see their church. Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but our guidebook said the church, built in 1541, not only has a Santo Domingo with a thika-looking medallion on his forehead, but a painting of Jesus made up like a 16th century dandy. That's worth a 2-hour drive. Besides, the weather was nice, and Greg drove so I could hang my head out the window and gawk at the countryside (damn fine-looking hiking country). Well, the church is undergoing renovations -- its roof had been replaced with corrugated tin -- but it was pretty impressive, and pretty from the outside. I'd definitely go back to see the inside when the work's done. On the way back we drove through Yucuita looking for the archeological zone, but didn't see it and just drove back to Oaxaca.

On my way to the Internet café last week I saw a fluorescent-yellow safety tie in the gutter. A safety tie! I was too embarrassed at the thought of scooping up such an incredible bit of street score on the crowded corner, so I left it there. If it had been there later, when people weren't standing around, I would've gone for it, but somebody else beat me to it.

Last time I was in the Bay Area I got to experience the future of supermarkets: the self-check-out counter. Kludgy and sadly personnel-free, but still I suppose a marvel of modern hunting-gathering. Meanwhile, at the local Pitico grocery store where double-bagging groceries (or even having a choice between paper or plastic) is as far out as time-shares on the moon, the signs say they will accept checks, but I have never seen anyone actually try to use a check. Or a credit card (though they take them at Sorianas). And not only do the smaller stores not take credit cards, none of them have registers with any sort of mechanism for accepting ATM cards. Good thing 50 pesos goes a long way, ‘cause I hate carrying a lot of money in my wallet; always have. But the kicker, the Because It’s Mexico moment is when I (or Greg, usually they bag Greg on this) try to pay for, say $47 pesos worth of groceries with a $200 bill … and Pitico doesn’t have change. I’m not talking first thing in the morning; I know they don’t have that kind of change early in the day. I mean, in the afternoon when they’ve been open since 7am, the cashiers will not have $153 in change in their drawers.

Greg is still pining for sweet pickle relish, and kicking himself for only importing one jar, which didn't even last a month.

We used to think that dinner for two, with wine, for US$20 was cheap. Not now. Now, if dinner runs over 100 pesos I think, whoa, that was expensive. Because I can buy a bag of tamales for half that, or get two huge tlayudas with pork, and a couple of beers at the corner store for 100 pesos. And Saturday night I was thinking I might make a run for some of the best tlayudas in Oaxaca, but by 8pm I gave up and went looking for Tamale Lady. We like her mole and verde tamales the best, though she also sells frijol (bean), rajas (chili), and dulce (sweet), and occasionally amarilla (yellow mole) and tamales oaxaqueno – chicken in mole wrapped in banana leaves. A couple of weeks ago Greg got a couple of the amarilla ones and liked them so much he kept asking her when she’d have them again. Well, what do you know, Saturday she had both oaxaqueno and amarilla! And she made sure I knew that mi esposo particularly enjoyed tamales amarillas. So I bought two of them and four of the larger oaxaqueno. Six tamales, 50 pesos. 5 bucks. Fuckin’ good.

It's 86 degrees today.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I've been tweaking my hiking blog. The latest entry posted is a trip I took to Leviathan Cave in Nevada a couple years back. I found three trip reports about this destination: one from a guy on the trip I was on, another from a group of guys from Utah, and the third from Mr. UFO Research Center in Rachel himself. I think the three, read one after the other, are pretty funny, but that's just me. And no, it really doesn't have much to do with Oaxaca except I've been thinking ahead to being back on the AT, and since I still have 2 1/2 months before I get there I've been twiddling my thumbs by tinkering with my hiking gear and journals.

I feel like I'm in this funny place between being comfortable living in Oaxaca (which I am) but I still haven't found a way or will to integrate myself with people here. So not only do I feel lonely most of the time but I am getting pretty tired of not getting out as much as I'd like. Which, frankly, is every day, but I'm willing to compromise. But once a month is a crappy compromise, I say.

So why don't I get out more? I haven't found anybody to go out with and I'm usually uncomfortable going out alone (hey, baby!). Now, there's gotta be some 30- and 40-something women in this city somewhere who like to do active and/or outdoorsy things, but I think they're like "pet stores" in the local phone book: I assume they're in there somewhere, but they're not listed under anything logical like "pet" -- or cat, dog, animal, farmacia, veterinario, etc. And there's nothing under "amigo," either.

Maybe everyone's hiding under "k."

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Now I'm sure -- I don't like pig's-head tacos. Too gristly.

And in other culinary news ... there's a guy who sells breakfast tamales on the corner. Greg went the other day and saw a couple of people eating tortas, so he asked Tamale Guy, who said, yeah, I sell tortas too, what kind do you want? Greg says, uh, I'll take a mole torta please, so Tamale Guys grabs a mole tamal, strips off the corn husk, and plops it between two slices of bread. There ya go!

Greg said it was good.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

"Have you ever tried worm salt?"

Well, have you? Oh, don't worry -- they toast the worms first.

It's pretty good on sliced jicama.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Master and Commander -- sorry! El Capitan de Mar y Guerro. Have you seen it? Boy, I'm glad it was subtitled. Although when el capitan made a pun, the subtitler didn't even bother trying.

In other news, our box of self-mailed magazines arrived today. Whee! A slew of old New Yorkers and Smithsonians, a whole day before Magazine Day.

(Yeah, I'm killing time while Greg finishes up updating his class cards). Today after Greg's Spanish conversation practice with Paco and Maya, we stopped by Donut Lady's hatchback to see what she was selling today. Jackpot! Oaxaca tostadas (with the pickled vegetables in red sauce) and her breaded mystery cutlet for comida. I think it's pork, but it's hard to tell; I've seen high-school essays thicker than these cutlets, and that's after being breaded. But they're good, and they come with a bag of juice (today's was hibiscus), black beans, rice, tortillas, and guacamole. It was enough chow that I didn't feel compelled to get a donut.

Okay, he's done.

It's so ... quiet. Like I'm enveloped in a fog of inoperative e-mail. Hey! I am enveloped in a fog of inoperative e-mail!

And, just so you know I haven't succumbed to a bus:

Greg's birthday was on the 9th. We celebrated by teaching English and eating too much cake decorated with orange butter frosting flowers and green marischino cherries. Hey! My son-in-law Brian's birthday was the ninth, too. And my stepdaughter Alisha's is on the 11th. Happy Birthday, Feb Babies!

I know have Greg's 7:30am class, while he's got my old afternoon class. We'll see what kind of schedule March brings.

I have been trying to arrange for our little semana santa vacation on the coast this April. I haven't gotten very far without e-mail or a phone. So ... I went out and bought a phone, a little Panasonic GD-55. In deference to my manly half, I didn't get the pink one. If you want to call us on our little miracle of 21st century engineering, e-mail me for the number.

Time's up.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

FYI, my domain name was due for renewal on the 5th, but I didn't set an alarm for that event ... I just renewed it, but it may take a day or so for my e-mail to come back online. D'oh!

It's kinda back online, but is far from operating in a coherent manner. Please, entertain me by sending e-mail to my wishfrog at lmi dot net address.

Friday, February 06, 2004

Sometimes -- well, often -- Greg and I will see something, turn to the other and say "Why? Because it's Mexico." Could be gaping holes in the sidewalk, goats on the tollroad, a pickup truck cambio named "Buks Boony" and decorated with a certain Warner Bros. creation, or one of Oaxaca's seemingly daily parades or fiestas. (When was the last time you saw Candlemas celebrated? Who even knows what Candlemas is?)

Last night was one of those Because It's Mexico moments; unfortunately, the moment, the very very long moment, was the workcrew busy on the street outside our apartment with jackhammer and generator and breaker bar and shovels, from 10pm until just before 5am this morning. Why, in God's name, are they working mids? Why? Because It's Mexico.

Sometime just after midnight, when we realized our busy bees were in it for the long haul, I told Greg to grab a pair of earplugs so he could get some rest before the alarm went off at 6am. Shortly after he settled back into bed, I began to worry that the workers might disrupt our electricity; it's happened several times before during street repairs (if you can call the results repairs), so in addition to tossing and turning to the mechanical sounds of the jackhammer I kept grabbing my glasses to take a look at the clock.

Ugh. And I thought the cat was bad.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

Now that the shock and surprise of picking up and moving to another country, as well as changing careers, is subsiding, life in the Courteau-Stafford household is falling into predictable routine. One of the routines is a nightly check to make sure the cat has plenty of food and water, as she's developed a habit of feeding at night along with the habit of issuing loud notifications when a bowl runs dry. And when I looked last night, both food and water bowls were full.

Today is Constitution Day, a holiday much like President's Day in the US -- celebrated only for the chance to sleep in and goof off for the day. And while Greg was able to quell his internal alarm clock long enough to sleep in until 7am, I got a different, and unfortunately somewhat habitual, wake-up call: Izzy darting back and forth across the bed in which I'm trying to sleep, screaming at me to wake up and save her from Greg, who is holding a loudly crepitating bag of catfood in one hand and trying to catch and remove Iz from the bedroom with the other.

Those who have personal knowledge of Izzy know just how brave an action that was! (thanks, Nick!)

So I believe I will be getting a second cup of coffee next door when they open.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Okay, this is a long one.

So yesterday it was the Pats and the Panthers, and while Greg and I really didn’t care to root for either team, we thought, you know, as Americans, that we should at least watch the Super Bowl.

We saw that Chester’s Bar had posted a hand-lettered sign advertising the fact that this pinnacle of American culture would be shown on their TV but even though it’s close to our apartment we were lukewarm on the idea of patronizing the skuzzy-looking Chester’s. Maybe we’d walk down to the zocalo and see if any of the bars there were showing the game on their big-screen TVs.

But we had another event on Sunday to plan around, too: the arrival in Oaxaca of Judy, a graduate of the punishing St. Giles CELTA course. After passing the class and expressing an interest in working in Mexico she’d been given our names by the staff. She and I had e-mailed a couple of times about local working conditions, and the city in general, and she’d decided to give it a try. Her last e-mail said she was scheduled to arrive Friday, have an orientation with her Spanish study class Saturday, free on Sunday. So we’d made arrangements to meet at her posada and play it by ear.

Greg and I strolled over to her posada in Jalatlaco – the colonia I would love to live in if anything ever opened up there, which it seems never happens – and sat down with her and her classmate Ida to chat and get acquainted. Judy lived in San Carlos, Calif., and was an HR director before getting dot-bombed and deciding to lead a life of adventure as an English teacher errant. As she explained it, her plan was to study Spanish for a month while sending out some resumes and seeing if she liked Oaxaca enough to stay. Her friend Ida is taking a break from her job as a marketer promoting the exciting world of professional teaching to the UK’s career undecided in order to study Spanish in beautiful Oaxaca before proceeding on a Central American-and-Carribean tour and eventually heading back to London.

Oh, and as it turned out, we’d sort of inadvertently met Ida and Judy the day before: as Greg and I left our Internet café to scrounge up some dinner, we saw a young student of mine (who did a double-take on seeing my tattoos), and maybe a dozen school kids posing around a woman while another woman took their picture in front of Santo Domingo. At first we thought it was a tour group stopping for a Kodak moment, but as soon as the picture was snapped the kids took off and left the woman we assumed was their teacher/guide. Then we thought, oh! the kids just wanted their picture taken with a black woman, a rarity around here. I’m sure you’re following this, but the curiosity-sparking woman and the picture-taker turned out to be Ida and Judy.

About 11:30 we decided to take a stroll downtown so we could show Judy and Ida where to get Oaxacan chocolate, which they’d been unable to find on their explorations Saturday. We set off under a beautiful blue Oaxaca sky, stopped by the apartment briefly to drop off the two jars of Patak’s Indian spice paste that Judy so kindly brought from the Bay Area, then headed toward Santo Domingo. Ida was due to meet a friend at Santo Domingo for church services, but we had a bit of time to kill so we stopped in at El Viejo Shaman to chat with Osvelia. Osvelia was chatting with a guy, and as people milled and swirled around, Greg ended up talking to the guy, Tony, while Osvelia told Judy, Ida, and I about her son and his friend cleaning their house.* After a few minutes of conversation, a very excited Greg bursts out with, “Are you ready to go?” Huh, what? Where? He and Tony have been talking, and have made plans for a day trip. Right now. I look at Judy and Ida. Well, Ida says, I’m going to church in a couple of minutes so don’t worry about me. Judy, who’s been half listening to what the guys were up to, says, Sounds good. Well, okay then.

So who is this guy and what is this road trip? Tony, introduced as a friend of Osvelia’s, turns out to be a guy from Oregon whom Osvelia met Saturday, when he turned up and her shop and stayed to chat for several hours. Tony is in town with his friend Ron, a guy who he knows from back home. Ron works in Oaxaca as an archeologist, and has spent enough time in Mexico that he’s completely on Mexican time. As a result, Tony, who does not seem like an uptight guy by any means, has been left at loose ends for most of the three weeks he’s been in town, waiting for Ron to show up and do stuff with him, but mostly getting irritated when Ron does his disappearing act. Usually, Tony explains, Ron has had Tony shuttle him to a site north of the city which Ron is getting ready to excavate. Ron has blown off their appointment yet again, so Tony’s got nothing to do but has a desire to get out of the city, so Tony agrees to take us to this site, and Greg offers Little Jumbo as conveyance.

So us ladies scoot over to the roast chicken shop to score some lunches – plus, I feel like I should show Ida and Judy at least one good-to-know local establishment today, since that was kinda the original plan – we buy some bottled water, grab hats and cameras and off we go. I’m driving and Tony’s navigating as he’s been there before. An hour up the toll-road toward Puebla, then another 45 minutes or so on a secondary road heading toward Huajuapan, then a local road to Teposcolula. We pull up by what to me looks like a Lutheran or Methodist church, circa 1975, and park. Tony shows us a little footpath going up a hill, and off we go.

As Tony explained on the drive up, in addition to being incredibly flaky, Ron is this old guy who’s been working on Oaxaca Valley archeological sites for about 40 years. This particular site, Pueblo Viejo, is his next project, due to start in a couple of weeks. It’s a completely unrestored, pre-Classical-to-post-Classical site. It covers about two square miles of hilltop, and appears to contain a ballcourt, pyramids, and perhaps a tomb under what Ron and Co. have been calling “the church.”

The hill was covered in what I’m taking to thinking of as typical, mixed-up Oaxacan vegetation: willows and ferns right intermingled with tanoak-looking shrubs, salvias, and cacti. At the top the path paralleled a low stone wall; beyond that the rock-strewn hilltop stretched away. We took a branching path toward the high point, through the rock-strewn area. Very quickly we saw not just rocks (parts of fallen walls and pre-Columbian buildings) but potsherds, flaked tools, and metates. All over. Everwhere. As we walked through the site, our eyes started picking out not just potsherds, but painted and incised shards, some of the pieces quite big. Tony pointed out the remains of original walls and floors, something that could be a tomb partially blocked with a big stone disk, and deep holes Tony called storage areas. There was no one but us around.

I made a QuickTime movie of the better pictures I took of the site; click here to download it, and here to play it over the Internet if you have broadband.

We had to cut short our exploration as it was getting late and I really don’t like being on the roads after dark. Even so, we were out past sundown, but most of the night driving was on the toll-road. On the way back Tony mentioned that he was supposed to meet another friend of Ron’s to see some jaguar masks the guy carves. Their meeting place was Kyoto’s, one of the very, very few Japanese restaurants in town. We couldn’t resist, and Tony seemed amenable, so we invited ourselves along to dinner. It’s just down Reforma from our old place at Luis and Rosa’s, but still, we’d never noticed it before. It was completely empty except for the four of us and Angelo, the owner/sushi chef.

I’m having a hard time putting into words how strange it was to read a sushi menu in Spanish. I have spent a lot of time pooh-poohing the Asian offerings in Oaxaca, but Tony assured us this was good. He said Angelo trained three years in Japan as a sushi chef. Well, okay then. We are six hours from the ocean, but I didn’t say that to Tony. Who wants to eat with a wet blanket?

California rolls, Philly rolls, tekka maki, cucumber rolls, too – pretty basic stuff, seemingly heavy on the mayonnaise and cream cheese, plus teriyaki, udon, and tempura. And, inexplicably, chow mein and chop suey. Ah, and also some Oaxaca-style rolls. We ordered some vegetable and shrimp tempura – Tempura Mix, which we all for some reason pronounced local-style, “tempura meex” – a Tampico roll, a Cronchy roll, and a Frito maki. I can’t tell you what was in the Tampico roll other than mayonnaise and jalapenos – the Tampico Roll Especial came with a light dusting of orange roe – and the Cronchy roll had some crunchy things stuck to the outside of the rice. I don’t think they were chicharrones, but I can’t be sure. Frito maki, a specialty of the house, had (I think) some salmon in the cream cheese inside the rice and was battered and fried. Sorry, no corn chips involved in the preparation.

I think if I ever go again – a big if, considering the price – I’ll stick to the sushi. Remember the fiberglass-like batter on frozen fish sticks? The batter on our tempura meex was about the same. Oh! And in the Bay Area at least I’m used to a big, fat dollop of wasabi and pickled ginger, but at Kyoto’s it looked like a pigeon turd next to a pink, glistening half-eaten throat lozenge. Guess that stuff’s hard to come by down here.

I don’t want you to come away from this blog with a bad impression of our dinner. We had a great time giggling over the rolls, sipping some excellent Oaxacan sake (home-brew mescal poured into an empty sake bottle), and telling funny stories. And all the result of a couple of chance meetings. I love it when life works out that way.

*Okay. As you may or may not know, Oaxaca city is old – founded in the mid-16th century by the Spanish, but inhabited by Zapotecs and Mixtecs for thousands of years before Cortez. The oldest cob of domesticated corn was found in Oaxaca valley, and Monte Alban might be the oldest city in North America. Just so you know. And, like a lot of areas with a long history of habitation, a lot of ghosts hang around. So last Sunday when we went to Osvelia’s for chicken dinner, one of her sons was there, and we were all hanging out, having dinner and chatting and generally just kicking back enjoying the company and the day. We met Marcos, Osvelia’s husband, through our old friend Timothy, the editor of Shaman’s Drum magazine and Greg’s medicine teacher. So it’s really no surprise that Osvelia’s brother and this son practice shamanism; in particular, cleaning houses that have ghost problems. Which, because this is an old, old place, happens a lot. So her son, whose name we could never quite catch, regaled us with stories of weird cleanings, then Osvelia said the duplex where she lives, which sits on an old streambed, has some ghostly action going on – their neighbors with the dog nobody likes won’t use one of their rooms because somebody’s still in it – but nothing major, just stuff like lights turning on and off, the washing machine starting on its own, the bed wiggling like someone’s sitting down on it. No big.

Well, Saturday afternoon we'd ran into Lluvia, Osvelia’s 19-year-old daughter, on her way to the store and she said the ghosts had kept her up until 5am, messing with her, so Osvelia said, that’s it, and called her son to come on over. Saturday her son and a cohort of his did a big cleaning (which Tony got to sit in on, as it turns out) to make them go away. And maybe you believe in ghosts and maybe you don't but either way it sure is handy to know people who can clean ghosts out of a house.