April 30, 2007

Cut Me Off A Piece Of That Ass!

Before I begin this posting, let me just say that I was considering titling it "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Stupidity," a sort of reference to a Dave Eggers book which, though I’ve not actually read it and have no idea what it is about, still has a cool title. But I decided to go for the mild profanity this time. You'll see why in a few moments.
But first, I'd like to mention that this is my 100th posting on this blog, and for that reason, I knew that I had to make it a good one. That is why this is a really, really long story: for the 100th posting, I needed something that was not just good, but damn good. I think the fates realized that, too, because they conspired to make me do something last night that is at once bafflingly stupid, absolutely without foresight, and startlingly without logic. I realize that this story will make me seem quite dumb at best, and at worst too dim-witted to be allowed to mix safely with modern society. The story is also totally embarrassing. However, at Sitzblog, we aim to entertain, and despite the fact that I come off like an utter dipshit in this story, it’s still a pretty funny one that I feel ought to be told. Maybe it’s because I’m merely (once again!) misinterpreting the Foucauldian notion of the “Urge To Confession” that is supposedly inherent in all people, but for some reason I decided to tell this story. Allow me, please, to tell you what I did last night.
I believe that the trouble started early yesterday morning, when I was getting something out of a bag where I keep my toiletries, accoutrements, and other crap for use in the bathroom. In the bag, I noticed a little box of band-aids that I bought months ago. “Hmm,” I thought, “That sucks; I’ve not even used one of those stupid things yet.” I realize now that that cruel bitch Fate must have perked up her ears at my statement.
In any case, later yesterday, in the evening, I decided I needed a haircut, as it was starting to get rather shaggy around the ears.
I have the good fortune to possess a Remington or Norelco or something-or-other Brand beard trimmer, and it has saved me a great deal of money on haircuts in the past, especially since a poorly-trained monkey could cut my hair (although my simian ass has made a fair number of haircutting mistakes and missteps in the past). Anyhow, the trimmer had--notice the use of the past tense; that's called foreshadowing, son--a sliding guard with different numbers on it, so that you could set it to trim different parts of a beard to different lengths. I just extrapolated the system to work for the rest of my head: a 6 on the top, a 5 everywhere else, and a 3 for that shit at the bottom of the back of my neck that never seems to get cut quite right.
So, in order to save time and clean-up effort, I decided to stand in my shower while cutting my hair. That way, I could just pick up and flush the bulk of the trimmings down the toilet, and the rest would eventually just wash down the shower drain into the open gutters of Stunning San Ramón.
That was a good idea in general, but at one point, I was leaning over (naturally, so the hair wouldn’t fall onto my shoulders after being cut), and when I stood up, I slammed my head into the faucet. “Poop!” I yelled, or something fairly close to that. No major harm done, though, so I leaned over and continued cutting.
I continued my fairly uneventful haircut, and eventually brought my hair in line with something that might be reasonably acceptable, socially-speaking. When looking in the mirror, though, I noticed about three or four red, rash-like spots on my chest, each about the size of an Oreo cookie. These were not entirely unfamiliar to me, and they seemed to come around especially when there was hot or humid weather. I’ve never quite figured out what they are, but I decided last night that I ought to do something about them.
At this point, my reasoning begins to become questionable, and by the end of the story I’ve pretty much completely thrown logic out the window.
Basically, I decided to trim the hair on my chest. I wish I could say I was drunk when I was coming up with this plan, but alas, I wasn’t. Anyhow, I think my thought process was something like:
1. I don’t have health care, so I have to be like a vigilante doctor and take matters into my own hands.
2. I’ve got these clippers in my own hands. I can use them to make the hair shorter on my chest. That will make things cooler (after all, having a hairy chest is like wearing a fur coat under a T-shirt), plus, it’ll allow me more area to apply some sunscreen—the only lotion-y thing I had--which should clear that rash right up.
3. So, let’s set this baby to 3 and get cuttin’!
It seemed like a good idea, and indeed, I managed to trim my whole chest. At that point, I remembered that I had also seen two of the larger spots on my thighs, as well as some smaller little red dots that seem to be there pretty much all the time. I thought, “What the hell; I’ll trim the hair on my thighs, too. It can’t hurt, and I might finally be able to get rid of those fucking little red dots.”
So, I commenced to trim the hair on my thighs. I know, this is embarrassing, but remember: Dudes that swim shave their legs.
Anyhow, I had just begun trimming the hair, when all of a sudden the damn clippers fell out of my hand and landed on the shower floor. They bounced nicely, and a little piece of plastic flew out of the numbered trimmer attachment. That didn’t seem good, and indeed, things proved to be going pretty shitty pretty quickly: the little piece that had shot out had been the piece that allowed the numbered trimmer to function, and without the part, which was irreparably broken (and lost), the clippers didn’t work.
Not the end of the world, though: I still had a moustache trimmer attachment. God bless Remington or Norelco or whatever! The only problem with the moustache trimmer was that it didn’t have a variable length setting. No 3’s, 5’s, or 6’s here; just “very short.”
“Fuck it,” I thought, “I’ve come this far, so I might as well just trim it really short. And it still might work.”
So, as I continued trimming the hair, I noticed that the areas that were trimmed were looking fine, but the areas that weren’t trimmed were looking stranger by the second. My thighs were beginning to look sort of like an aerial view of rectangle-shaped swaths of the rainforest being lost to slash-and-burn agriculture.
I believe the thought, “Wow, this sucks!” officially passed through my mind at this point.
But, as bad as things can get, they can always get worse. When I had resigned myself to just buzzing the upper half of each of my legs, the clippers quickly begin to run out of battery power, and within 20 seconds they were stone dead.
Generally, those things usually take two hours or so to charge, and with my little side projects, my supposedly quick haircut had already escorted me past the 1 a.m. mark (and on a school night, at that!) Even though taking matters into my own hands--quite literally speaking--had thus far proven to be about the worst thing I could have done, I decided to stay the course and continue the trimming. I plugged in the trimmer, hoping to later get a charge long enough to give me at least another 20 seconds of power. In the meantime (lack of logic alert!), I decided I’d keep on keeping on by using a pair of scissors. Unfortunately, the only pair of scissors I have seem to have been designed for a Kindergartner or an elf, because they are very small (Kindergartner), they only have room for one finger in each hole (Kindergartner), and, as I was about to learn, they were really fucking sharp (elf).
A brief interjection: when I was very young, my grandparents once got some new white carpet in their living room. The only thing they said to me and my sister Diana was: “The carpet is new; make sure you don’t spill your Coke on it.” Of course, even though I’d never spilled a Coke in my young memory, sure enough, I spilled that Coke within about four minutes. In the same manner, last night, the only thing I could think was: “These scissors are sharp and unwieldy; make sure you don’t cut yourself with them.”
We all know where this is going. Within about one minute of trying to trim the hair on the back of my thigh, I heard a metallic click, as if a pair of scissors has just cut through something that gives a bit more resistance than a few pieces of hair.
But there was no pain. So I thought I was in the clear. But then, when I twisted around to look behind me, I saw it: I had managed to literally cut off a piece of my own ass! Granted, it wasn’t a big piece; only about the size of two Tic-Tacs (it’s hard to come up with a good universal mental image that describes this).
In any case, I found myself with the following predicaments:
1. My hair trimmer was still out of battery power;
2. It was about 1:30 in the morning;
3. I had two legs that looked as though an albino was wearing a pair of hooker boots made out of hair;
4. I had literally cut off a piece of my own body…and a piece of my ass, no less.
Things weren’t looking too good.
At this point, I went into panic, any-plan-will-do mode, and decided that I should just shave the damn legs with a razor and get to bed before I amputated something else. I figured that would be quick and easy, since the hair on my legs wasn’t nearly as thick or tough as the hair on my face. The Mach 3 should make short work of it.
If you’ve ever tried to shave a large area of 1-inch-long hair with a razor, you know damn well that I was wrong about that idea, too. I finally got to bed around 2:30.
So, speaking to you today, I have learned a few things:
1. You should leave well enough alone, and “bad” is still better than “worse”
2. For example, running with scissors is bad, but cutting your ass with them is worse.
3. You should always have a spare beard trimmer on hand if you’re a moron.
4. The feeling of a nicely shaved leg in a pair of light cotton slacks is, frankly, quite delightful.

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

April 29, 2007

I'm Housin'

As I mentioned in an earlier posting, I am now living in an under-furnished apartment so that when Angela and I get married, we'll have some place to stay that's not...well, with her parents.
Anyhow, we're also fixing to build a house, but it's a long process. Especially because it's a process that's in Spanish. Even though my Spanish is getting to be pretty good, it's hard not to be confused when looking at housing plans, especially when someone's rattling off a flurry of a foreign language when you're looking at them.
Plus, the architect's office is actually just a corner of a local clothing store in Palmares. It kind of reminds me of Lionel Hutz, the lawyer on The Simpson's who had an office at the mall ("I Can't Believe It's A Law Firm!").
Anyhow, the house designer does good work, and things are kind of moving along. Sooner or later, we'll break ground, and sooner or later, we'll have a house. You can come visit then, if you want.

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

Two Random Thoughts

Random Thought 1: A peanut that looks kind of nasty usually is.
Random Thought 2: Imagine the most awesome thing ever. Now, imagine something even more awesome than that! That second thing you just imagined is a clothes dryer. I know, it's amazing that I was able to read your mind, but it's true: the clothes dryer is the awesomest thing out there! They say you don't know what you've got till it's gone, but the real saying should be:
"You don't know what you've got till it's gone and all your clothes get stretched to hell and back and your recently-purchased small-sized shirts hang three inches below where your large shirts did just months ago, and then you buy a dryer and they shrink back to normal size...THEN you know what you've got, because it was gone and now you've got it again."
But that might be harder to fit on a mug.
Anyhow, I don't care if my wifriend--a translation of "espovia," a mixture of the Spanish words for wife, "esposa," and girlfriend, "novia," which is what I've started to call Angela in this period between our two weddings--anyhow, I don't care if my wifriend thinks I'm a bit of a dumbass. My new dryer is probably the best purchase I've ever made.

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


Yesterday I was in Palmares, waiting in an interminable ATM line, when a guy walked by. He was a pretty macho, muscular type of guy, but he was walking holding his little daughter's hand, so he might have been a family guy, too. In any case, it was his T-shirt that caught my attention. It was black with white writing on the front, and it said, "What's the next best thing to being naked?"
"Ooh!" I thought, "A bit of wit, and in English, too!"
I waited as he walked by, and when I read the back of his shirt, it said:
"Jockey (TM): The no panty line promise."
Good stuff.
It reminded me of when I was in a Biology lab years ago in college. One of my lab partners was this Japanese girl, and one day she started cracking up out of nowhere. She was looking at the T-Shirt with some Japanese writing that this one guy (who was kinda the class clown/dumbass) was wearing. He asked her what she was laughing at, and she informed him that his T-shirt said, "I am stupid American."

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

April 18, 2007

Keepin' On Keepin' On

So things have been going pretty well here, but they´ve also been kinda busy. As you may know, I went to Colorado for a week at the start of April to visit my family, and to avoid deportation from Costa Rica. It was a good time, but the old C-O actually had the gall to snow on me! Which just helped reinforce my decision to stay in Costa Rica.
For the people I got to see in Colorado, it was good to see you! For those who didn´t come to my little get-together on the Friday before I left, fear not: I have already found some friends to replace you. Granted, they are cheaply made foreign bootleg knock-offs, since this is the third(ish) world.
When I got back to Costa Rica, I also moved into an apartment. Angela and I were thinking about what we would do when we get married and moved in together in July. Basically, there wasn´t anywhere that we could move into together, since I had just a single room at Abuela's, and there was no damn way I was going to spend the beginning of my married life together in a small bedroom in Angela's parents' house (as much as I like them). So, when Abuela heard about an apartment nearby that was available (as well as nice, safe, and cheap), we jumped on the opportunity, since things like that don´t come along too often.
For now, it´s just me living alone in the two bedroom apartment, and it´s really echo-y since it's all in tile and I don´t have...anything, really. Apparently the apartments here don´t even come with appliances, so we´re kinda collecting them one by one (just like Pokémon!). I now have a (largely empty) fridge and a stove that I use to heat water for tea. Thank God I brought my coffeemaker! We´ve also acquired a mattress, but not a bed to put it on, so there is a kind of cool, Trainspotting-esque quality when looking at a bare room with only a mattress on the floor.
Tomorrow, I am possibly going to look at a TV that my taxi driver Mario is selling (or it might be his brother-in-law that´s selling it...and the TV may be a stereo). All of the situation with the Mario transaction is pretty confusing, since he talks so fucking fast. I´ve already discussed the matter with him three times on the phone, but still have no idea what in the hell he´s saying each time. If he picks me up in his taxi tomorrow and takes me to a dock on the coast to look at a used Laserdisc player, I wouldn´t be the least bit surprised.
Anyhow, like I said, I´m living alone there for the next few months, so who really cares if my home looks like a minimalist art exhibit? I do feel sad leaving Abuela, though, since she was always so great and sweet. Her quiet tear-jerker scene when I left the house will surely net her Oscar gold this year, too. But still, I only leave three blocks away, so I´ve visited her most every day so far, if only to see a happy face and hear some clearly-spoken Spanish.
So that´s what I´ve been up to lately.
You can send cards, money, or furniture to:
Ryan Sitzman
300 m al este de la entrada de Tres Marias Dos,
Apartamento 2.
San Ramón, Alajuela
Costa Rica
At least I think that might work. Who really knows? I´m kinda making it up as I go along, so I´m curious myself...

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