December 22, 2006

It's In The Upper 70's in Costa Rica Right Now...

Since the real purpose of a blog is to whine about what's going on in your life, I'll whine about the weather here. Here's a picture of my poor car being consumed by snow yesterday morning. But now it's out and the four wheel drive on the ol' Boobaru is kicking some ass. Unfortunately, the two wheel drive on all our neighbors' cars is kicking my ass, since I keep having to help dig out and push their cars to the main roads.
Whine whine whine. Oh well.
Stay inside and enjoy the weather from the comfort of your own home, if possible. And cancel the "mayday" from my previous posting--I got the tonic water and limes just fine.

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December 20, 2006


I'm stuck in a blizzard and may only have a minute or two of internet time. If you read this posting, please come over right away and bring either tonic water and limes, or Kahlua. I have plenty of vodka to share, and we can both reap the benefits while watching Friday The 13th or Day of the Dead (thanks for loaning them to me, Dustin and Sam...hope you're both safe from the cold and less bored than me). We can also play LEGO Star Wars!
I also have chips and some peanuts. It's a veritable party, and all that's missing is you!
Or, you can also call me. It's pretty boring here, and I was even thinking of doing something situps or something. Please save me from myself!

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December 19, 2006

Thank You Very Mooch

This posting is to publicly announce an ambitious project that I have embarked on that will change the way we perceive the world. For the whole month that I'm here in Colorado, it is my intention to not make a trip to the grocery store to buy food. That's it; let the game begin!
The night I arrived, as well as the first day here, I had enough leavings in the house from when I left in August, although they were of a canned and/or frozen variety. The next day was looking up, as my sister had a Christmas party in the evening. I "helped prepare and clean," which mainly meant I washed some cookie trays while eating random food-y objects. That also covered dinner, as well as breakfast the next morning. The afternoon meal was provided to me by my dear friends Dustin and Sam, who bought me a burrito as big as my upper arm, in exchange for helping them move. Yesterday was a mooch's dream, since I was able to get a free brunch by driving to Denver to eat with my grandma and relatives in the mountains. In the afternoon, I went to my friend Martha's house for the famous Pierogi Sunday, where (free) tasty Polish food ruled the day. Finally, today I still managed to live off the food I commandeered from my family's house, as well as part of a frozen pizza at Dustin and Sam's new house (thanks guys!)
So, please wish me the best of luck, and keep me in your thoughts and prayers as I embark on this historic mission.

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December 15, 2006

Back in the U.S.S.A.

So, I'm back in the US for a month or so to visit family and friends and enjoy the weather before I head back to the barren tundra of Costa Rica.
The trip here and everything was OK, save for a layover in Dallas, complete with a shitty and slow immigration process (but is there really another kind?). Dallas airport also gave me a few more reasons to dislike Texas, as if anyone really needed more. First of all, the pilot didn't blast the theme song from the 80s show "Dallas" when we were flying over the city, which would have helped its cause immensely. Secondly, the airport has a convoluted tram system. And finally, on said tram system, you have to hear innumerable disturbing conversations in Texas accents. I actually heard a lady say (and this is an exact quote): "After being pregnant for years and years on end, the only way that's coming off is with a scalpel and thousands of dollars." They stepped off the tram right after that, so one can only really speculate at what they were discussing, but let's just assume the worst.
Anyhow, so summarize, Texas can ram it, Colorado is still OK, and you should call me if you want to hang out while I'm here.

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December 7, 2006

Christmas Is In The Air?

It's weird to think that it's December. For my whole life, when December rolled around, there was cold to roll in with it. Actually, in Colorado and Germany, the cold often began to roll in as early as September. If the weather in Colorado in December can be described as "shit," then the weather in Germany was more like "colder than shit." But here, there's not been snow since...ever, as far as I can tell. I asked all of my students if any of them had seen snow, and in each class, maybe 10% had seen snow in real life. And for some reason, most of them had seen it in New Jersey.
In any case, the weather here now is pretty warm and generally getting warmer and sunnier. And there are palm trees on the street, the leaves of which never fall off due to autumn arriving. I'm very concerned about heading back to Colorado next Wednesday, although I've been assured that the golbal warming is working and it's pretty toasty in Colorado right now.
Still, it's hard to find traces of Christmas if you don't know where to look. Especially since I've not heard the incessant and repetitive playing of Christmas carols so common in the fatherland.
I know, I hate Christmas music, so I must be a Grinch or a Scrooge or a Communist. Well, bite me, because most of the Christmas songs you hear at department stores suck. I especially loathe the "hip," "modern," or "rocking" Christmas music, such as traditional "favorites" like "Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree," "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer," and--especially--"Jingle Bell Rock." All those songs can come up to Grinch Mountain and kiss my ass.
God has been quite merciful indeed, then, by sparing me from those songs, but he has saved a special treat to punish all my life's sins so far: the song "Feliz Navidad." If you've ever heard me rant about music, you know that this is at the top of my list of most hated songs, and now that I've heard numerous renditions, remixes, and distortions of it while living in a Spanish-speaking country, I can really say with conviction that this is probably the worst and most annoying song ever written.
Just so you don't consider me a total asshole, though, let me say this: I am a bit of a traditionalist when it comes to my celebration of Christmas. I pretty much like all the traditional songs sang at Christmas Eve church services, where the songs are sang they way they were written, and not whispered out by Amy Grant, distorted by a 35-piece bell choir, or disgraced by Jingle Dogs (here let me apologize to many various members of my nuclear and extended families). I also really like how here many houses make a big deal out of putting up a nativity set in their front yard. Although there are still gaudy inflated Frosty The Snowman and Santa Claus knock-offs, one gets the feeling that here they actually DO remember the "reason for the season," as one so often hears in the U.S.
As a final note, let me say that I have always hated wind. I always associated it with negative things, like Wyoming, or a tree near our house that continually thumped the roof when it was windy at night. At least it did for most of my childhood until the family finally decided to cut it down. So when the "windy season" started here a few weeks ago, I was a bit annoyed about it. But two nights ago, I was talking to a taxi driver on the way back from Berlin, and I mentioned how I didn't mind cold weather, but I really hated wind. He said, "Oh, I really like wind." I asked him why and he replied, "Well, it reminds me of Christmas. They even call them the 'Winds of Christmas' here, and it helps you get into the spirit of the season." So, I guess my lesson for today is something like "When in Rome, there are different strokes for different folks." And now I don't hate wind quite as much.

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December 6, 2006

Another Ass-Related Posting

My brother Paul took this picture when we were in Switzerland this last summer. I always liked it and wanted to post it, so hopefully he won´t get pissed if I do.

I posted it cause a lot of streets smell like shit here. Not like European shit smells, but still kinda bad. It´s weird how sewers and trash smell different in different countries...
Anyhow, I´ve already plugged Paul´s blog, but it´s still good, and since I´m ripping off his picture, I figured I´d do it again:

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Give It Some Gas

Hi there,
I don't often post links to other websites, in case the address changes or the link doesn't work, but I'm hoping this one will. The title was "Flatulence forces emergency landing."
Weird shit.

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December 1, 2006

Some Berlin Pictures

Here are a few photos that I took when I went to Berlin last weekend to hang out at Ángela´s place. It was the first day that I´ve been there that didn´t involve fog and/or rain. Before, I had always joked that it was like going into some magical misty mountain kingdom, since every time I went up the mountain, I eventually was met with a wall of fog. But finally, after a few months, a clear day:

Here´s one of Ángela surveying her domain: mountains, far-off fog, and spiky plants.

If you ask anyone from San Ramón about Berlin, most haven´t been there, but most know about the radio and TV towers, since you can see them from the city. Here they are in all their glory.

Here´s some tree that I think is cool. Her niece´s boyfriend told me about three times what it was, but like many Spanish words, the name was lost almost immediately to my vacuous mind.

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