June 13, 2009

Why My Body Hurts These Days

Shocking Revelation From Sitzlandia: All this time, Ryan's "Smart Guy Glasses" were actually just plastic construction goggles with the sides broken off!

Recently I've been doing a lot of work on the house and the yard, in an attempt to make it beautiful or, failing that, at least remotely presentable.

Time clouds our memories, but I seem to recall a few years during high school when our family had an old, discarded water tank sitting in the middle of our garden, right next to an old bathtub. In the right setting, that could probably be considered artsy, but I don't think the right setting is "surrounded by weeds, and obviously waiting for a trash truck to come by one of these years."

Keeping that water heater and bathtub in mind, I've been trying to find some small projects to do around the house, as well as trying to gradually deal with the Crappy Casita. The main house was getting a few leaks, so I went up on the roof one day to try to cover the screws with some gummy pink crap that's still stuck to my arm hair days later. The hour-and-a-half repair job--of course--didn't actually work at all, but the view from our roof was INCREDIBLE! Now I feel like a royal dumbass since we only built a one-story house. I'm currently scheming to build a two-story "rancho," which would have a balcony as well as a small room on top, and the bottom level would be open with a barbeque. That's going to take a bit of scheming, especially when it comes to convincing Angela to allow any sort of builder or contractor back into our lives...

And the Crappy Casita is basically still a nightmare. Angela's sister Toni did us a huge favor and earned what we paid her many times over by signing up to clean the house one day, so at least it doesn't stink anymore. But there are still numerous problems, including the fact that much of the dirt we carted into the lot last year is now washing down the hill and trying to make its way into the crappy casita by one method or another. In the pictures here I'm trying to chisel out some concrete to eventually put in some sort of drainage ditch or ground gutter... something like that. In fact, I'm not entirely sure that the concrete object I have in mind for the job actually exists, but we'll see soon.

In any case, that's why I've not written much in the last month or so.

Chipping away at the concrete. It's a tedious task, but eventually I'll be able to sell the chunks as authentic pieces of the Berlin Wall... Hey, it's sort of true...

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

June 11, 2009

Finally: Pictures From Annie's Visit!

A week or two ago, our friend Annie visited us for a long weekend. Good times were had by all, and we gave her a whirlwind Coast Tasty experience. We spent a few days in the Limón province, which is on Costa Rica's Caribbean Coast.

Annie took quite a few pictures herself (you should be able to see them by following this link), but here are some pictures that I took to make you want to pay a visit of your own:

The lovely Angela jumping for joy that Annie is visiting us!

Angela with the "Gandhi look." I'd say, "It's a long story," but it's really not. We were basically just making fun of Gandhi.
Everyone does a few bad things here and there, right?

The sunset at Playa Negra, I believe. This beautiful beach just to the north of Cahuita is supposedly 13 km long. In an hour and a half there, we saw two other people.

Inside Cahuita National Park there are many beautiful beaches, as well.

Annie in the National Park.

Angela and I on the beach.

Annie drinking a pipa, which is basically a coconut with the top chopped off (with a machete, of course). Let the delicious--and supposedly contraceptive, although we all know that's just Costa Rican voodoo--coconut water flow!

Angela with her pipa.

Annie pilfering lemons from my brother-in-law's tree. We made a sort of "Poor Man's Mojito" by mixing chopped lemons, lemon juice, sugar, and cacique (the local cheap booze). It's a perfect accompaniment to a delicious "bread snack" and a DVD from season three of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia."

Annie, come back soon, and bring Matthew!

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

June 10, 2009

The "Be Careful What You Wish For" Edition

Waylon Smithers (From The Simpsons): "What's wrong with this country? Can't a man walk down the street without being offered a job?"

Recently I've identified with this quote. See, about a month ago I handed in my letter of resignation at my current job. It was just too far away, basically, and I was tired of spending around three hours a day in the car and never having any time to do anything outside of work.

So I'm currently nearing the end of my month-long "finishing work" period, as is required by law. I was casually looking for a job, but in the meantime I've been offered upwards of five jobs. They're admittedly part-time and smaller, but that's what I was looking for:
1. A former student of mine asked me to teach her German, since she's going to spend a year there starting in August. I took that job, and it's going really well. It's also nice to practice German again!
2. I bought a new car recently, and the lady who sold it to me asked if I could tutor her. That's still pending.
3. When a guy came to offer us internet in Berlín, he said if I was ever looking for a job, then I should call them since they were looking for good people.
4. The mother of the girl I teach German to asked me if I could teach English classes on Saturday mornings. That's probably a go, if I can get our scanner to work (to send copies of my diplomas, I guess).
5. I was offered a job today in Palmares teaching at an English language institute. It'd be only 3 or 4 days a week in the evenings. Sounds perfect!

So, all this excess of labor opportunities is good and all, but I was almost looking forward to unemployment: a good stretch of sitting on my ass, relaxing, reading, and periodically doing yardwork while ostensibly looking for a job. I guess all that may have to get put on hold for now.

But in the end, I may have time to write some more blog posts. Tomorrow our friends Dustin and Sam are arriving, though, and they'll be here for two weeks. We're really excited to have them, and I'll try to put up some pictures or stories at some point. In the meantime, hope you're all well!

(PS - The picture is of some beer bread I made. I couldn't find a good employment-related pic in my collection.)

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

June 3, 2009

A Bit More Rockin' To Tide You Over

Annie took this video on her camera when she visited us last week:

Needless to say, it's pretty impressive. More soon.

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