May 27, 2008
May 25, 2008
So, hope everyone's doing well. I'll check in later this week!
May 15, 2008
In any case, I'll keep you updated and take a picture if it lays some eggs or does something interesting.
May 13, 2008
Yeison's a really nice guy and a great teacher, but that's not him in the picture above. That's actually the German actor Moritz Bleibtreu, acting in the movie "Im Juli." I just included that picture because I'm convinced that Yeison looks like Moritz, especially when he wears his glasses.
So far, however, the only one that I've been able to convince of this fact is myself.
Still, check out his blog. It's pretty.
The picture above is of a pregnant sand woman that Angela made while we were on the beach a few weeks ago (Note to Angela’s family: no, it’s not a sly way of announcing she’s pregnant, so you can put the champagne bottles away…). In fact, I have no idea why Angela sculpted that particular sand character, but I’m including a picture of it today because a few days ago it was Mother’s Day in the
In any case, on Sunday I called my mom (or, at least I called her and asked her to call me right back, since she’s got a sweeter calling card) to wish her a happy Mother’s Day, and let me say it again here in a public forum: Mom, Happy Mother’s Day! By now I guess it’s officially a belated Mother’s Day wish, but no matter. You’re still a great mom, and anyone in the world would be overjoyed to have you as a mother. Thanks for everything you’ve done for me and all the things you taught us kids…all the good stuff about Ryan Sitzman I owe to you and dad! (And don't worry, I'll take the heat for all the crappy parts.)
(pause for a moment to allow mom to get watery eyes, sniffle, etc.)
OK, we’re back. I did want to mention a few more things about maternity, though. Maybe it’s because
I also have been thinking about maternity because of the pregnant guy. I guess this was big news in the
Wow, what a disjointed post.
This story is too strange to not mention, at least in passing.
The house we live in currently is two doors down from the house we’re building, so it’s very convenient to monitor the progress of the construction. As we found out on Sunday evening, though, there are also disadvantages to being that close.
Around 8:30 P.M., there was a knock on our door. I set down my margarita to see who was there, and when I opened the door, before me stood one of the guys working on our house. I didn’t actually know his name, because he had just been hired last week, along with two other new guys. He was a rather big guy, a bit shorter than me, but a lot stronger-looking. He smelled like booze and was barefoot in the drizzling rain. So, I said hello, and asked what was going on. He asked me if he could call the contractor. I said sure, no problem, and I went to get the phone from the other room. When I came back, he was sitting on the porch step with his back turned to me, and he was sobbing.
I said, “Here’s the phone.” (This whole conversation was obviously in Spanish, so these aren’t necessarily exact quotes from either of us). The guy said that I should call the contractor, so I dialed the number and handed him the phone, but he didn’t want to take it. I hung up. He said I should sit down and talk to him because he was lonely. “Well, sure,” I said, and sat down, hoping this wouldn’t be one of those repetitive, three-hour Drunk Guy Sermons.
He told me many, many times that he was sad, and that the reason he was sad was because the other workers, who were staying in the same house with him in the back of our new lot, had tied him up. I asked what he meant by “tied him up,” and he said that he gotten too drunk and violent, so they tied his hands and feet, took his car keys and shoes, and put him in his car to sleep it off. Evidently, he’d managed to untie himself and had stumbled his way to our house because he didn’t know where else to go.
He kept grabbing my ankles and wrists to demonstrate how they tied him up, and lightly hitting my chest to demonstrate how much his coworkers’ actions “hurt his heart.” It was the weirdest conversation that I’ve had on that particular porch…so far, at least.
And all of this was going on during Smallville! Not even one of the episodes from season 1 and 2 that they show during weekdays; no, this was a Sunday episode from the “new” season, and it was already super confusing, not only because it was in badly-dubbed Spanish (“Was Lana in that car when it blew up?? And what the hell is happening with Chole and Luisa—did they switch lives?? WTF?!?”)
In any case, Angela called the contractor, and he said he’d head right up from Palmares. So after sitting and talking with me for about 10 minutes, this drunk guy who kept calling me Max--evidently he once knew an American named Max—decided that he was going to walk home to San Ramón, probably to avoid the contractor who would pass by on the other road in a matter of minutes. Obviously, that was just sweet, stupid drunk talk, but I also didn’t doubt that he’d try to actually walk downhill 15 kilometers in the rain…barefoot. So, I called in to Angela and asked her to bring my extra sandals, and I stalled the guy until a Smallville commercial break came along and Angela brought the sandals. He put them on, and despite our attempts to convince him to wait, that was the last we saw of him.
When the contractor arrived, he talked with the remaining guys in the house where the workers are staying, and he sorted things out a bit. Apparently, the guy had been drunk, and he had tried to fight the guy who runs the Berlín pulpería, which is kind of like a little drug store or general store, only much less convenient and with fewer items. It appears that our guy wanted to fight the pulpería owner because the guy wouldn’t let him buy alcohol on credit…and also because the pulpería doesn’t actually sell alcohol.* (*As an aside, the pulpería in question here is NOT the one run by my sister-in-law’s husband’s brother-in-law, but rather the pulpería run by the son of the guy who rides around Berlín on his fucking horse and shuts off the water every night…in other words, the drunk guy actually should have hit the pulpería owner so hard that his father would feel it, too. As an aside to an aside, every time I play “Six Degrees of Separation: Berlín Edition,” basically everyone around here turns out to be my “sister-in-law’s husband’s brother-in-law” or something similarly obscure. End aside.)
So, the other guys turned vigilante on our drunk buddy’s ass, and they tied him up and took his car keys, all of which was probably a good idea, all things told. The contractor arrived and told the new guys that this type of shit hadn’t happened in the six weeks before they arrived, and that he expected them to be gone by the time he arrived the next morning.
And in a fictional little town in Kansas, some alien thing took some of Clark Kent’s DNA, and the episode will be continued next week, when we’ll find out if Lana Lang really died, if Chole gave her live to save Luisa’s, and when we’ll hopefully not be interrupted by any more drunk shenanigans.
Unless it’s the type of shenanigans where people return your pair of backup sandals. Shit.
May 7, 2008
Just in time to send belated Valentine's Day cards, it appears that Angela and I may now have an address that actually works (by the way, Kathy, I got your card that you sent...it spent over a month at the post office here). In any case, our address in Berlín didn't seem to be working, and I felt guilty asking people to send letters to Abuela's address, so Angela and I bought a post office box.
Yeah, I didn't know they existed here, either. In fact, we'd called the post office many times and asked about the best way to get letters, but they never even mentioned the boxes. The other day, though, Abuela mentioned that they probably had them, and that we just had to be persistent. Sure enough, they do have them! And it's only 4 dollars a year after an initial fee of 20 dollars. They did make us copy our own key, but still, not too bad. Now, we'll have to see if it works.
In any case, if you want to write or physically send something to us, send it here:
Ryan Sitzman y Angela Jiménez
Apartado Postal 582-4250
San Ramón, Alajuela
The most important thing here is that number and the San Ramón, Alajuela part. Also, if you do send us something, make sure you tell me, as we can only get mail Monday-Friday from 8-5, and it's not like something we'll check every day or even every week, since it's about 15 kilometers from our house. So a heads-up would be nice.
So, now that you've been busy not calling, you can spend some time not writing to us, also!
May 4, 2008
It all started a month or two ago, when Angela and I went to the beach at Esterillos. We came back from the beach to the hotel, and I hung my swimming trunks on the second-floor balcony to dry in the sun. When I came back out a few hours later, they were gone. At first, I assumed they'd fallen downstairs, so I checked all over and even asked the hotel management. No dice. I still have no idea into which parallel universe (or Hyundai Elantra trunk) my old swimming trunks disappeared into, but they are gone. So, for the remainder of that trip, I just swam in some soccer shorts, and made a mental note to look for a new swimsuit when I got back to San Ramon.
Flash-forward a few months into the future. The future is now. I'm looking for a pair of boxer brief underwear, and I see a pair being modeled on a mannequin in a store window. I walk in and ask about them, and the lady in the store informs me that they're not actually underwear, but rather a swimming suit. "Curious," I say, and mention to Angela that in Germany most guys seemed to wear similar nut-crushers to the beaches. In any case, Angela also starts looking for a swimming suit, and to bide my time, I look at the guys' suits. The store lady says I can try them on "without commitment," so I think, "Ah, what the hell; why not? 82,000,000 Germans can't ALL be wrong."
As it turns out, 82,000,000 Germans certainly CAN be wrong, but that's another story altogether; when it comes to swimsuits, though, they were actually right! Sure, the suits leave very little to the imagination, but these little numbers are totally comfortable and are also easy to pack (...to pack in your suitcase, that is). The only drawback is that you probably have to wear "a cover-up" if you go into a restaurant or some classy place on the beach like Hooters, but that's no big deal.
So, I did it. I bought two of them. Sue me.
May 2, 2008
Yes, it's come to this.
So here is what I think: Bread is good, but Bread could be totally amazing with a bit of chutzpah (and a bigger amp, maybe). This is my challenge, then: All you music fans out there, get out your guitars, plug in your amps, grab your balls, and get to work. What I need is a completely re-done version of Bread’s greatest hits album “Anthology.” It doesn’t need to be as loud as Mötley Crüe or as edgy as Nine Inch Nails, but it needs to be powerful and have that certain, how you say, je ne
(This was written yesterday, as you can probably figure out)
Well, today is May 1st, and you know what that means. Um…what does that mean? Really? Labor Day? What the hell?
Yes, that’s right, here in
I think the sentiment of today was best summed up on Wednesday evening by my friend and coworker Luis. As an aside, Luis is wacky as hell, and although I could devote an entry or two to his exploits and eccentricities, I would really need an entire new blog to do him and his character justice. Suffice it to say that Luis: 1) Had a small part in “1492: Conquest of Paradise,” where he met Gerard Depardieu; 2) Has described himself both as “a parrot” and “a hummingbird”; 3) Claims he was resurrected because he played the part of Jesus in a passion play; and 4) Once went to the hospital because he fell asleep while driving… while driving a motorcycle. In any case, when I got on the bus from
Luis, my dear friend, that’s what it’s all about.