As I may have mentioned a few times, I now live in Berlín. No, I've not given up on Costa Rica and gone back to the Tschermans; instead, I just moved to a community that was evidently founded by Germans a few centuries ago. Angela and I moved into a house that her brother bought with the money he got from us when we bought a piece of land he had (follow that?). In any case, we're right in the midst of her family, and our house is within shouting distance of her sister Antonieta's house. Things are good in Berlin, especially since her family has let up a bit and stopped coming by daily to bring food and help clean the house. I personally felt rather positive about that part, but Angela was feeling suffocated. I suppose that might have also been a result of living at home for 27 years, living apart from her family a month, and then moving right back "home" again. Go figure. Anyhow, the house is kind of old, and it was effectively abandoned for 5 years. But her brother Ronald was awesome about getting it repaired and cleaned up, which for me fueled many fantasies about leaving those whining students at school and joining in on the fixer-upper bonanza. Still, I had to work at my regular job and couldn't help Ronald much, unfortunately. But the house looks great, and it's feeling more comfortable every day. I've never known what it felt like to have a place to call my own, where I could put a nail wherever I damn well felt like, without worrying about a landlord's wrath when I moved out. It feels "cool." So, we're Angela and I are now enjoying the beautiful views of the Gulf of Nicoya (still very far away), and enjoying doing married things, like cooking and killing cockroaches together. Life's pretty good. Anyhow, I was going to include some photos of the inside of the house, but it's really not too interesting, I guess. In any case, the most interesting part is what I've come to call the Torture/Crucifix Room. Tacked onto the back of the house, apparently as an afterthought, is a fifth bedroom. Ronald (and the interior decorator) must have forgotten that room, because it looks like it was kind of thrown together at the last minute, and when we moved in, the only object to speak of in the room was a damaged crucifix. Also, despite the electrical lines, the room doesn't have any electricity. And the only entrance is from the outside. So, we couldn't really use it for living quarters, so now we just hang the laundry in there if we don't want to put in the dryer and if it's raining. Still, take a look at the room, and tell me you don't agree it totally looks like you could torture someone in there:
Detail of the room, with non-functioning light socket (or possibly it only works when plugged into a victim tied with dingy handkerchiefs to a wire mattress spring).
Extra exposed electrical lines, next to a defunct outlet. For the torturer who wants to break the monotony and take the pain outside on nice days.
The room's eponymous battered crucifix, which can be used to remind the victim that you are punishing him because of his imagined transgressions against God and the Kingdom of Heaven; can also double as a blunt object.
Last weekend Angela and I had our first visitors in our new place in Berlin (pictures of which I will post soon...including pictures of the creepy Crucifix/Torture Room). The visitors were Tessa and her boyfriend Peter. I know Tessa because she is the youngest daughter in a lovely family from Hannover, Germany, that I and many of my friends and relatives have mooched off of for many years. Peter is her boyfriend. They were both very nice, and it was really fun to have some guests. We mainly hung out in Berlin, checking out the coffee fields and relaxing, but we also had some time for a few machete hijinks. Anyhow, here are some pictures. Most of them Tessa took, but the ones that she's in I took:
I gotta hand it to Tessa, because this picture totally rocks. I'm going to rip off the idea and pass it off as my own right away. Anyhow, this is (obviously) the toilet paper roll in our bathroom in Berlin. The room really is that green.
This was taken outside of LasMusas, an outdoor pool. I think it's cool that Peter, Angela, and I all look like we were photoshopped in from different pictures. Especially since I look like twice the size of them. It's called trick photography, kids.
Peter and Tessa eating some blackberries that a local Crazy Guy in Berlin scaled a hill to pick.
Peter didn't take my special Machete Safety Training Program. Fortunately, asses can be surgically reattached.
Tessa preparing to take vengeance and cause a severed ass of her own.
Here's a good picture of Honorio, my father-in-law (hmm, that seems strange to say it), that Tessa took.
The next time your kitchen sink or any other type of plumbing stops up, you COULD pour in some sissy treatment like Drain-O, OR, you could pour in this!: That's right! Desatorador Para Tuberias! It'll desator your tuberia before you can say, "Damn!" It's the only drain-unclogging product that tells you right on the bottle that it will "violently heat water." As you don the rubber gloves and pour the liquid down the drain, you can hear the trademark hissing sound and you can watch the smoke rising from the water...that's how you know it's working! Bet you didn't think water could burn, did you?? Well, with Desatorador Para Tuberias, now it can! It'll get your sink water back to flowing so quickly, you'll wish it would clog up again just so you could use it again to watch the smoke fly! Here's a black and white picture (because black and white is sexier) of Desatorador Para Tuberias in its natural habitat:
(You can also see the burn marks to the right of the drain...a sure sign of a successful product!)
49. The Hobbit - J. R. R. Tolkien
48. Pygmy - Chuck Palahniuk
47. I Suck At Girls - Justin Halpern
46. Demian - Hermann Hesse
45. Casino Royale - Ian Fleming
44. The Seventeen Traditions - Ralph Nader
43. We Are All Weird - Seth Godin
42. SuperFreakonomics - Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
41. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
40. Freakonomics - Steven Levitt & Stephen Dubner
39. Around the World in 80 Days - Michael Palin
38. Evolving in Monkey Town - Rachel Held Evans
37. Ready Player One - Ernest Cline
36. Peter and the Starcatchers - Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson
35. The Force is Middling in This One - Robert Kroese
34. The Big Short - Michael Lewis
33. Riding The Iron Rooster: By Train Through China - Paul Theroux
32. Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk - David Sedaris
31. The Dirty Parts of the Bible - Sam Torode
30. Earth (The Book) - Daily Show with Jon Stewart
29. Moneyball - Michael Lewis
28. The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
27. Lamb - Christopher Moore
26. Breakfast At Tiffany's - Truman Capote
25. I Am America (And So Can You!) - Stephen Colbert
24. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
23. Fast Food Nation - Eric Schlosser
22. The Yiddish Policemen's Union - Michael Chabon
21. How To Sharpen Pencils - David Rees
20. Water For Elephants - Sara Gruen
18. W.A.R. - Mick Wall
17. Thunderstruck - Erik Larson
16. Narcissus and Goldmund - Hermann Hesse
15. A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson
14. The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger
13. Bicycle Diaries - David Byrne
12. Animal Farm - George Orwell
11. Life on the Mississippi - Mark Twain
10. 2666 - Roberto Bolaño
9. The Omnivore's Dilemma - Michael Pollan
8. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
7. Tokio Blues: Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami
6. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
5. Self-Reliance - Ralph Waldo Emerson
4. The Old Patagonian Express - Paul Theroux
3. China Survival Guide - Larry and Qin Herzberg
2. Jesus Wants to Save Christians - Rob Bell & Don Golden
1. Quicksand - Nella Larsen