January 29, 2007

Prepare The Wedding Sack

Many of you know this by now, but I wanted to announce that I got engaged a week or so ago! Pretty cool, eh?

Now, let’s get to the answers of the most frequently asked questions:

1- Yes, to Angela.

2- I’m not sure myself how I was able to get a girl like that, either.

3- Yes, I swear that she said yes…I’m not making this up. For more details on how this came about, read the previous post.

4- We don’t know when the wedding will be, but we’re aiming for July, possibly in the first week. It’ll be here in Costa Rica. Details will follow as soon as possible.

5- Sure, you can come.

6- Yes, you should get a passport.

7- I’ll be living here in Costa Rica for the foreseeable future. We’re fixing to build a house in Berlin and live happily ever after.

8- The title from this posting is a reference to the Borat movie.

9- Here’s a picture of the happy couple:

So, to all the people who have congratulated us, thanks very much! We’re both very excited that we found each other and that we’ll be able to spend the rest of our lives together!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

The "What´s Goin´ Down" episode of "That´s My Momma!"

On January 17th, I arrived back in Costa Rica after my cold-assed hiatus in Colorado. I was welcomed back by warm embraces and warm weather, and things were going great. A day or two after I got back, I went to Angela’s house in Berlin with the intention to propose to her. I was assured in my mind that she was the one for me, and that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, and I was confident that she’d say “yes” when I asked her to marry me. Still, I was a little nervous, partially due to the fact that I needed to ask for her parents’ permission and blessing. As a teacher, I’m used to public speaking, but I almost never do it in Spanish. Mainly, I just didn’t want to come off sounding like a Neanderthal Gringo to my future parents-in-law.
When I got to her house, though, I gained courage from a strange source: a can of paint. Rest assured, my dear reader, that I in fact did NOT do a bit of huffing before I proposed to my future bride; however, when I looked into Angela’s room, I noticed that she’d painted it a bright-ass, garish hue of neon green. It was a tone that was only one or two degrees of green away from the bright-ass, garish green that I had painted MY old room in Colorado recently. For some strange reason, that helped encourage me even more. With additional back-up from Angela, I went out to the porch to ask for her parent’s permission and blessing. They said yes, and that they’d be happy to welcome me into their humble family, and that two good people like Angela and myself deserved each other.
I went back inside, only to find that Angela was in the bathroom (apparently it took me a while to gain the courage to ask her parents, and one can only hold it so long). When she came out, her parents had by then come inside, and I guess they assumed that I’d already asked her, since we were standing together in the kitchen. In any case, after sweating bullets for about ten more minutes, I finally got a chance to be alone with her, and I asked her to marry me. She said yes, and we were both incredibly happy. We celebrated that night by going to the Carneval procession of the giant Fiesta week in Palmares, where we watched from the side of the road like newly-crowned royalty, being entertained by a parade of dancing groups, giant masked figurines, and a series of tricked-out Honda Civics with gull-wing doors and booming stereos.
The next day, we began to prepare for a visit from my mom, who arrived on the 20th. The evening my mom arrived, Angela and I went to pick her up at the airport with healthy dose of happy anticipation, a rented Nissan Sentra, and a colorful sign reading “Phylis Sitzman!” With all three of those elements in tow, we were assured a wonderful week of traveling and getting to know one another (And let us here give a special thanks to the car, which let us avoid riding on buses radiating the scent of diesel exhaust and old cheese). My mom got to meet Angela and Abuela, as well as many members of both of their families, and all of them treated her to a warm welcome and some wonderful food. I think that she had a great time, from what I can tell…and part of that may be due to the fact that—literally without exception—everyone that met my mom commented on how young she looked.
While she was here, we went to Berlin a few times, we drove to La Fortuna to spend two nights visiting the volcano and engaging in some good tourist fun, and we also went all around San Ramon seeing what there was to see. I was very happy to see that my mom and Angela got along splendidly, and that everything went off pretty much without a hitch. So, here are a few pictures that we took when my mom was here. Some were taken by her, and some by me:

Here´s one of Abuela, my mom, and me.

Here´s a picture of Ángela on one of the Hanging Bridges of Arenal, near La Fortuna. I went there with her and my mom for two nights to do some sightseeing and walking-around type of stuff. Ángela´s not so big on heights, though.

Here´s one in front of a cloud-covered Arenal Volcano in our garbage bag-y ponchos.

Abuela and my mom in front of a giant painted Oxcart.

Abuela and my mom in front of a giant leaf.

And--for no real good reason--here´s a picture of my family´s dog, The Other Dog, wearing a diaper for some reason. I have no idea what the story is behind this picture, but I came across it when I was getting pictures off of my mom´s memory card.

That´s it for this posting. Thanks for reading, and to my mom: thanks for coming for the visit!

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 12, 2007

Dispatch From Hoth

First of all, I'm wondering what the shit is going on with this weather. Seriously, though; what sort of place has daily HIGH temperatures of 9 degrees? This is farenheit we're talking about here, kids.
In any case, I'm in a pretty good mood right now, because I was in Denver trying to get paperwork sorted out in various administrative buildings all day long. Normally that's a sure-fire recipe for a terrible mood, but things went pretty well. Basically, I'm trying to get established as a permanent resident of Costa Rica, and that takes a ton of paperwork from the US, all of which needs to be notarized. Then the notarized papers need to be authenticated by the Secretary of State of Colorado. Then that authentication needs to be verified by the Costa Rican consulate. In any case, gathering these documents is a process that by most logical calculations should take around two months, and possibly one month if you're really lucky and really dilligent. I started yesterday around noon. I really hesitate to say this, but it actually seems that around 30 hours later, I may have gethered all the papers I needed and am ready to take them to the consulate. Wow, God must like me. God must REALLY like me. In fact, due to the nature and volume of my good fortune today, one must forgive me for wondering if God in fact has an actual crush on me.
Let me tell you, though, it took some major ass kissing across the board. I even told the lady answering the phones at the Costa Rican consulate that I'd make her a batch of cookies, and I called in to register an actual compliment for a guy working the window at the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (and talking to his boss sped up the document processing time from about 5 days to around 5 hours). Those are just two examples, but all day, I was on my best behavior, and people were rewarding me for it. At a place I went to get an investment record, the receptionist even gave me an office, a phone, a mug of coffee, and a parking space to use for as long as I needed it today. Wow. Denver, you stole my heart, you ol' charmer you.
To top it off, since I was downtown, I called my friend Julien again, and he invited me to a free lunch at his office. It was a lunch meeting, and the group was a branch of the Toastmasters, which from what I gather is a sort of public-speaking club. I got a free catered lunch, plus I even gave some short remarks to the group about the viability of the Smart car in light of its introduction to the American market. Seriously...you can't make this shit up.
So it was a pretty great day. It wasn't cheap, though. Each document cost a pantsload, and each document will eventually cost an additional 20 bucks at the consulate. Still, I feel like I'm in one of those credit card commercials:
-Parking Downtown: $2/hour
-Releasing a certificate of good standing with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation: $13.
-Authenticating a notary seal at the Secretary of State: $15/document
-Even possibly beating the odds and coming out ahead in a struggle to conform with the rules of multiple bureaucracies: priceless.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 11, 2007


A few people have mentioned that I've not posted too many pictures of my girlfriend Angela. So, here's a few of her and me:

I like this picture of her and me on her birthday. She looks happy to be with me.

This one was taken on a sort of plateau near her house, where there are a bunch of TV and radio towers. The towers are the only thing that most people know about the little area of Berlin.

In this picture Angela is trying to use wax to remove the hairs of a poisonous caterpillar that she accidently touched. It didn't really work, and she had a bad rash on her arm the next day, but for the time being, it made a nice picture.

This is a picture of me and her in her house. I'm the one with the crazy eyes.

The gratuitous kissy picture. I used to hate seeing other people's pictures like this, so now it's my turn to persecute others.

The two of us on Abuela's bench. You can't see it in this picture, but the bench is chained to the porch because her last one got stolen. It was even lifted over her metal barrier fence with spikeys at the top. I guess if you want a bench that badly, as far as I'm concerned you can have it.

We refer to this picture as "our movie poster." The movie will be called "Las Torres de Berlin." It'll be huge.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 10, 2007

Straight Up Ballin'

So the other night I went to a professional basketball game. As many of you know, for me, this is about as severe as beating up a cripple or eating a raw koala bear, in terms of things that are wrong and I would hope to never do. As with most sporting events, I just have real trouble justifying wasting hours of my time watching a bunch of overpaid diva bitches run around a field or court while I sit on my ass and get stupider and fatter. But the tickets were free, and I went with my friends Julien and Martha and this Polish guy named Woyzeck. It's hard for me to admit, but it was kind of a good time.
I met Julien at his work, which happens to be in the Qwest building, which I think is the tallest building in Colorado. We got to go up to his office, which is part of some company that does strip mining and other evil things (how odd is it that strip mining is so bad and strip dancing seems so right?). Still, I love skyscrapers, and I got to see a cool view. Then the three of us went to the Nuggets game, the tickets for which Julien had won from a company raffle. We even got free parking and Woyzeck bought me a beer.
I guess the Nuggets won, but I'm not sure how important that is, because I wasn't even sure if the teams are in pre-season or post-season or anything like that. And during most of the game, I just talked to Martha about all the hoochies mama in the audience. I think that professional basketball is one of the few sports (aside from foxy boxing) where many of the female audience members get all slutted up and floozied out before attending. So basically, while everyone else was watching the game, me and Martha were engaging in catty gossip and talking shit. Someone's gotta do it.
So, I'll still probably refer to basketball as "hypesketball" for quite some time, but it's not so bad as I imagined it, after all.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 6, 2007

Sky Gods and Blood Diamonds

Well, just when I thought there was no real hope for Leonardo DiCaprio, he goes and makes "Blood Diamond," a thoroughly good movie. Just when I was settling into hating him forever. Who knew that all it'd take would be a fake Zimbabwean accent (which, against ALL odds, didn't make me hate him even more)? Good work, guy, but you still look a bit like a shih-tzu with that facial hair, you tool.
Speaking of entertainment in general, I wanted to mention that Annie and I were wanting to form a band from the Scandinavian TAs in our office. We'd've called it "The Faded Sky Gods," in honor of a group of Scandinavian dieties we had to lecture about. Our first album would have been called "Bitch's Lucky Day," in honor of what an uninsured driver said to his sister once when she rear-ended him. Damn New Mexico. I guess none of us really played instruments, either. But hey, that's rock n' roll...

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook

January 4, 2007

The Curse of Matt Damon?

It's been a week or two since I've posted anything, and now that I do, it occurs to me that the titles of many of my posts end with a question mark.
In any case, I came here before you today to complain about three of Matt Damon's recent films. Now, I like Matt Damon, so don't believe me to be a hater. Quickly after "Good Will Hunting," it became clear that between Damon and Ben Affleck, Damon had most of the chops, and Affleck was a bit of a tool. And many of Damon's movies have been good, like the Jason Bourne ones. But I submit this to you:
1. "Syriana" was pretty crappy.
2. "The Departed" was pretty crappy.
3. "The Good Shepherd" was pretty crappy, too.
I seem to be the only one that holds these opinions, though. Which is odd, because I usually like pretty much any movie, just like I enjoy pretty much any music. So I was wondering why I didn't like any of these three darlings of the filmgoing society. The way I see it, "Syriana" tried to make an elaborate point but got caught up in its own convoluted story, "The Departed" relied way too much on cell phone technology and Leonardo DiCaprio to tell a story, and "The Good Shepherd" was just pretty boring. But then I realized that Matt Damon was the common link between these three movies, and I became quite concerned.
I suppose that we will all have to wait with nervous anticipation to see what he churns out next.
And I have no idea why I just wrote an entire post about Matt Damon.

365: Picture a Day Project    365 Leftovers    All My Pictures    Sitzbook