|My trashy beard, circa 2004|
October 31, 2010
October 29, 2010
October 27, 2010
Initial Thoughts After Listening to the Entire Catalog of The Gaslight Anthem on the Way to My Wednesday Class
Thought 2: These fellows sure sing a lot about old music, vintage automobiles, rivers, and women named Maria.
Thought 3: I must investigate this group further for a longer essay.
October 26, 2010
October 25, 2010
In any case, when I try to sign on now, it says that I need to confirm my identity. To do that, I need to receive or send an SMS. Well, I don't have a cell phone, but Angela does. So I tried to have them send an SMS code to her phone, but it didn't work. Then I even tried having them send a code to my mom's phone, and they sent the code, but they said that I'd tried to get a code too many times.
Then I tried to send a customer service request with a copy of my ID (according to Facebook's instructions, that's what you have to do if you don't have a mobile phone), but Facebook has no customer service, and it sent me back an email saying that my account wasn't blocked.
Aaarrrghhh, freaking idiots.
So basically, it would seem there's no way to solve this problem.
Matt: If you're reading this, send me an email if you want to keep chatting.
Lucy: Sorry about Scrabble. Guess we'll just have to play in real life.
Facebook: Kiss my ass.
October 24, 2010
I actually took this from the window of my car. I had stopped on the side of the road to eat a snow cone, and all of a sudden these big monkeys started jumping between two trees to cross the road, going right above my car. It was pretty cool, but I didn't want to stay too long, since I didn't have enough snow cone to share.
It's not very solid-looking, is it?
By the way, thanks for Paola and Juan for the oranges--they were tasty and made wonderful orange juice!
(Thanks for Marcia for being our hand model... one of the new "security" features in the new bills that the treasury is introducing is that if you fold them end to end, they'll make a flower).
I took this at a dinner for Lucy. Today was her last day at work, unfortunately (for us, at least!). She was a great mentor and we all learned a lot from her!
So, whew! That was a ton of pictures! Hopefully there was something in there that was interesting for you. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
October 23, 2010
October 22, 2010
Let's call it a day, 'cause it ain't getting better than that.
October 19, 2010
October 18, 2010
I thought I should get a picture of me with my passport, though, in case it gets lost along the way. It was a good passport, and over the last 10 years I used it so much that I had to get more pages put in (a service which used to be free, but apparently now they're charging $82 for). Let's hope the new one has a lot of pages, because I've still got itchy feet!
October 17, 2010
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!
October 16, 2010
Nevertheless, I was right back online today, hard at work researching Deloreans (because that's what the internet's for, pretty much). When you research Deloreans, you're bound to come across Back to the Future references. Among the many I found was this video for an Entertainment Weekly "cast reunion" that had Michael J. Fox, Lea Thompson, and the Delorean get together and reminisce:
I think that besides an obvious wave of nostalgia, my main thought was, "Holy crap, Lea Thompson has aged well!" I'd add something like, "I hope I look as good as her when I'm her age," but that'd be weird, mainly cause I'm a dude. And that'd take a lot of operations.
But still... Hmm...
October 14, 2010
If you're down with the Deutsch, here are the lyrics (it's got a surprisingly positive message):
"Steh auf, wenn du am Boden bist" - Die Toten Hosen
("Get up if you're on the ground")
Wenn du mit dir am Ende bist
und du einfach nicht weiter willst,
weil du dich nur noch fragst
warum und wozu und was dein Leben noch bringen soll
Halt durch, auch wenn du allein bist!
Halt durch, schmeiß jetzt nicht alles hin!
Halt durch, und irgendwann wirst du verstehen,
dass es jedem einmal so geht.
Und wenn ein Sturm dich in die Knie zwingt,
halt dein Gesicht einfach gegen den Wind.
Egal, wie dunkel die Wolken über dir sind,
sie werden irgendwann vorüberziehn.
Steh auf, wenn du am Boden bist!
Steh auf, auch wenn du unten liegst!
Steh auf, es wird schon irgendwie weitergehn!
Es ist schwer, seinen Weg nicht zu verliern,
und bei den Regeln und Gesetzen hier
ohne Verrat ein Leben zu führn,
das man selber noch respektiert
Auch wenn die Zeichen gerade alle gegen dich stehn
und niemand auf dich wetten will,
du brauchst hier keinem irgendeinen Beweis zu bringen,
es sei denn es ist für dich selbst!
Steh auf, wenn du am Boden bist!
Steh auf, auch wenn du unten liegst!
Steh auf, es wird schon irgendwie weitergehn!
Nur keine Panik, so schlimm wird es nicht!
Mehr als deinen Kopf reißt man dir nicht weg!
Komm und sieh nach vorn!
October 13, 2010
Sad Jesus Head Decals: 21
NON-SAD(!!) Jesus Head Decals: 3!
These "non-sad" decals can be best described as "Stoic Jesus Head," and it would seem they are new to the Jesus Head Decal scene, since I don't recall seeing them before. I would have taken a picture, but I was driving and everything.
In any case, fully 1 out of 7 Jesus Head Decals that I saw today didn't depict crying, bleeding, or a crown of thorns. Does that mean that people have stopped thinking, "Hmm, maybe there's something morbid about depicting my savior suffering the throes of his crucifixion and pasting it to the back of my big-rig truck"? It probably doesn't mean that, but it's an interesting trend that I'll be following in the weeks to come. As loyal readers of Sitzblog, you'll be the first to get the scoop!
- Steve Earle, "Devil's Right Hand"
"'Come on,' Mama said, 'There'll be days like this, there'll be days like this,' my mama said."
- Dusty Springfield, "Mama Said"
"My mama said, 'Pa and me, we give you room and bread.'"
- ABBA, "My Mama Said"
"The brightest flame burns quickest."
- Metallica, "Mama Said"
"And my mama said, 'Don't ride that crazy horse.'"
- Lenny Kravitz, "Always on the Run"
"Knock you out."
- LL Cool J, "Mama Said Knock You Out"
October 12, 2010
I also tried to make some layered brownies that my mom and/or sister usually make around Christmas time:
October 11, 2010
See, my first exposure to the author was when Christa gave me a copy of The Alchemist when I graduated. I read it quickly and liked it a lot, but since I'd not really heard of the author otherwise, I assumed he might have been a bit of a one-hit wonder. Although when I came here to Costa Rica, I started to notice his books in a lot of places--and that's saying quite a lot, since one hardly ever notices books here in the first place!
Then, when I was teaching high school here, I assigned my students to read a novel of their choosing in English. Many of them chose books by Coelho, which naturally made me suspicious. But it also made me skeptical, since they told me they were actually enjoying the books; if these students--who had professed to me that they hated to read, and who told me they'd never read a whole book in their lives, let alone an English book--if THEY liked Coelho that much, then he must really be quite bad.
But I've begun to realize that he is a talented writer, and he seems to connect with his readers somehow. Maybe it's simply the clarity of what he's trying to express. Each book seems to take a larger theme and break it down nicely, using protagonists that the common reader can identify with. At the same time, though, it's frustrating to read his books at times, in the same way looking at some modern art is frustrating: you're always tempted to say, "But that's so simple, even I could do it!" But I guess that's the beauty of it: I didn't do it; Paulo Coelho did it, and he keeps doing it.
This book is the third part of a trilogy, preceded by Veronika Decides to Die and On the Banks of the River Piedra I Sat and Wept (I'm pretty sure that's what they're called... I actually read the second one in Spanish/Swedish, and I'm not sure what it's called in English). My favorite Coelho book is actually Veronika, but this one is also quite good.
As with the other two books in the series, it deals with a week in the life of a certain person. In Demon, it looks at Chantal Prym, a girl in a one-horse village, who meets a traveler from abroad. The traveler makes Chantal his messenger, and his message is "about choice": he has come to see if the world is essentially evil or good. To find out, he offers the village 10 gold bars if they'll commit a crime by murdering an innocent person. It's a fairly simple premise, but there are enough twists and thoughtful moments to keep you engaged (especially if you read the book while exercising on a stationary bike, which naturally lowers your brain's demands, anyhow).
By reading this, I've also once again confirmed that I quite enjoy reading contemporary literature in translation. Maybe it's the actual translation process, but the writing seems to shed a lot of the superfluous linguistic flare and get right to the core of what the author was trying to say... or maybe I'm just stupid. I don't know. But I do know that Stephen King is one of my favorite authors... in German. I also enjoyed Stig Larsson's book in German, and while Nick Hornby is obviously much better in English, if you've gotta read something in Swedish, then you should definitely check out High Fidelity.
The only thing that bothers me about reading novels in Spanish is the punctuation used for thoughts and dialogue. Sometimes it's a simple dash (-) preceding the words a person speaks (and mysteriously, to me at least, is the second dash that precedes the period at the end of some, but not all, of these "quotes"). Then, they have double arrows (>>), but depending on the book, it seems that these are used to sometimes indicate thoughts or continued dialogue by the same person. Finally, this book also used "normal" quotation marks ("), but they seemed to only be used when an angel or demon was talking... or maybe thinking. In any case, it's weird.
Speaking of quotes, here is my favorite quote from the book:
"Para dominar a un hombre, basta con meterle miedo en el cuerpo."
What's the point? If you see any books by Coelho, then go for it! You'll like it, or your money back!*
*Assuming Paulo Coelho would return your money if you didn't like his book.
October 10, 2010
October 9, 2010
October 8, 2010
Does anyone who lives in Costa Rica know if there's a phone or a plan that could do the following things:
-Get internet reception through 3G or whatever that's called
-Block text messages
-Turn off incoming calls
-Work in the U.S.
-A camera would be nice, too.
Maybe what I need is one of those Palm Pilots or whatever from a decade ago! Anyhow, if you know about this, maybe you can give me some advice...
(Image from http://www.groove-quantize.com/grooveblog/?p=236)
October 7, 2010
Here are the official results:
Sad Jesus Head Decals:
-Trip in: 36*
-Trip back: 23
Round-trip total: 59*
October 6, 2010
October 5, 2010
The thing is, it only keeps your stats for a year and then it resets them. That's supposed to happen on October 8th or so, so the map may look blank when you read this. As of now, though, it looks something like this:
According to the stats, in the last year I've had 3,147 visitors from the U.S. and 534 from Costa Rica. Fair enough. But 292 from India? I don't even know anyone in India! I also enjoy scrolling down that list and checking out the "one hit wonder" countries, like Iran, Montenegro, and the Faroe Islands.
In any case, it's food for thought. If you're ever checking out this page, have a click on the map on the left (and while you're at it, feel free to do a Google search in the box a bit higher or check out any of the ads). Especially feel free to check out the site if you're somewhere in the global boondocks, so I can get a cool dot from a place like Antarctica or Chad.
October 4, 2010
We usually buy our eggs from our neighbor, which I guess makes them "farm fresh." Nice.
In fact, the other day I saw a three-story cactus in downtown Palmares!
I don't read Chinese, but I hope this sign says, "Thanks for nothing!"
So, if this is your towel, sorry, I took it.