November 30, 2010



November 30th: My final Picture of the Day for this 365 project! Now, just try to tell me that the guy above doesn't look like the guy below:

Haha! Good times... Thanks again to everyone for checking out these Pictures of the Day this last year. I'm fully planning on beginning a whole new 365 project starting... right now. However, these last 10 days I've been really diligent about getting the pictures uploaded, but with the new project I'll probably go back to my old, lazy ways and upload 7 or 10 days at a time. In any case, I sure hope you keep following the project-- feel free to comment, too!

Thanks again for reading, and have a great day!

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

November 29, 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 364!


November 29th: This is a picture of a tree in the office. Our students attached leaves with notes saying the things they were thankful for. It's a few days after Thanksgiving, but we still celebrated today. Nobody really noticed that the day was off since Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Costa Rica anyhow (well, it was celebrated by us, but you get the point...).

So! Only one more Picture of the Day left in this 365 project! What will it be? Who knows! Even I don't know! So tune in tomorrow and find out!

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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Picture of the Day Countup: 363!


November 28th: Today we went to Zarcero with Lucy and Wilson's family. I took this picture to actually get the hills that were beyond these bushes, but I liked the look of this couple more, so I cropped the picture and made it Picture of the Day. Still, if you click on the picture you can scroll through other nice pictures I took today.

Thanks again to Lucy and Wilson for a lovely day, and thanks to you for reading. Have a great day!

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November 27, 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 361 and 362!

Last night I was busy baking lemon bars (really), so I didn't have a chance to post the Picture of the Day:

November 26th: Although some people around here don't know what butter is, some do. I've been baking a lot these days. Tonight it was lemon bars.

November 27th: A student was wearing this Lenin shirt today. Coincidentally, it looks like a pretty close approximation of me now that I'm nearing the end of Novembeard!

Anyhow, that's it for today! Only three more Pictures of the Day to go! Be sure to tune in, and thanks for reading!

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November 25, 2010

The Countup Continues Unabated! 359 and 360!

Sorry about that technical problem last night. In any case, here we go with two more pictures of the day... and after these, only 5 more to go!


November 24: The towel at the hotel for my Wednesday evening class. It was almost so nice that I didn't want to wash my face.


November 25: Since it was Thanksgiving, I made a pumpkin pie and ate some turkey deli meat for dinner. It was the least --and almost the most-- I could do. :(
Notice the semi-dirty plate. No, we don't live in squalor. Instead, this was my second piece, because besides being thankful, Thanksgiving's also about eating heroic amounts of pie.

Thanks for checking in! See you tomorrow!

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Does Not Compute

When I try to log on to my computer, it informs me:

"The User Profile Service failed the login. User profile cannot be loaded."

What an asshole!

To be continued...

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

November 23, 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 358!

November 23rd: Some little dolphin figurines that Angela put in a plant in our kitchen. The plant happened to look like seaweed, and the whole effect is pretty funny. Although it makes me wonder where Angela had little dolphin figurines hidden away this whole time. What other secrets does this woman have?

Thanks for reading! Have a good night, and be sure to keep tuning in for the countup!

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

November 22, 2010

Picture of the Day Countup: 357!


November 22, 2010: A frog that I found on the side of the wall in the garage this evening. I had to get a few pictures before I took it outside.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to tune in the for the rest of the 365 Countup!

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

November 21, 2010

Picture of the Day and Final 10 Countup!

First of all, thanks to everyone who's followed this 365 day, Picture of the Day project since I started December 1st of last year. It's been a lot of fun for me, and it's been rewarding to hear that some of you liked the pictures. Hopefully they've given you a window into this sometimes strange country. At the very least, I hope it was a nice way of killing a minute or so every day. Although if you actually did look at each picture for a minute, you'd have already invested 6 hours of your time since day 1. Think of all the better ways you could have spent that time!

I've only got 10 pictures left to go for this project, but I'm planning on continuing to take a picture a day for as long as I can. I thought it'd be more monumental to have a countdown for the last 10 pictures, but if I had a countdown, it'd seem like each picture was less and less significant. So, I decided to have a "Countup" instead! So, without further ado, I present you with...

Number 356!
November 21st: A few friends from work (Lidio, Kenia, and Adriana) stopped by this afternoon, and Berlin put on a beautiful sunset show for them. This is from our porch, looking at the Gulf of Nicoya. Pretty beautiful, I must admit.

Be sure to check in daily between tomorrow and November 30th to see the countup for numbers 357 through 365! Thanks again for reading and for your interest, and have a great day!

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Pictures of the Day, November 19 and 20, 2010

So, I've got Pictures of the Day from the last two days ready, and I'll post today's Picture of the Day in a few minutes, hopefully. Thanks for reading!

November 19th: A café in Palmares. Angela and I actually went out and did mildly social things this day, like drinking coffee in a café, purchasing things from a store, and eating a pizza!

November 20th: A Christmas tree at a gas station in Palmares. Here, they don't have Thanksgiving as a buffer (nor do they celebrate Halloween, for that matter), so people tend to get into the "spirit of the season" pretty early. It'd be fine for that if it weren't for the Christmas music, which is like my kryptonite. A month ago when I was in a department store in San Jose, they were already playing Christmas music over the loudspeakers.

So, that's it for the moment, but stay tuned for a countdown of the final 10 pictures in my first 365 project!

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November 19, 2010

Big Picture of the Day Catch-Up

We've got lots of pictures to look at, so let's get to it!

October 29th: A new lamp that Angela and I got on our trip to the embassy (not that the embassy sells lamps, but I suppose that if they did it WOULD have made our trip to San Jose less complicated).

October 30th: A picture of Angela as a little girl. The picture is at her parents' house.

October 31st: Ramon's niece Evelyn. I actually don't know her too well at all, but Ramon asked me to take a picture of her. I had thought of taking a picture of my own niece Yoselin or nephew Maikol for the picture of the day, but I never got a chance to get a picture of them together (Angela took one or two, but I didn't), and I didn't want to play favorites!

The picture is from First Communion celebrations in Berlin.

November 1st: It's been pretty boring here in Berlin of late. Lots of rain, not much to do.

Also, Chubby's a bit psycho. He used to knock over the clothes basket in the garage and sleep on our clothes, so we put a lid on it. So he started sleeping on the lid.

November 2nd: The headboard at the hotel where I teach my Wednesday class (this week I also went Tuesday).

November 3rd: Some (hopefully delicous!) sauerkraut I bought at a supermarket called Automercado in Tamarindo. It's a nice place to go to buy weird food staples like dark bread, sauerkraut, rotisserie chickens, bagels, and strange sauces. Basically, it's good when rice and beans just won't cut it anymore.

November 4th: Ironically (but luckily), just a few hours after our car passed its annual inspection, a taxi backed into it, breaking the mirror and denting the door. We were parked outside a liquor store where I had gone in to buy ice cream (really!) which, of course, melted (it takes a LONG time to fill out crash paperwork for the National Insurance Company).

November 5th: Word to the wise: don't buy a Microsoft wireless keyboard. This one was nice for a bit, but after less than a year the "E" and "L" stopped working (and after watching "Wheel of Fortune" at my grandparents' house, I know that those are two of the most vital letters to the English language!). Plus, after a month or two of not being used, it's starting to get a touch of mold. But that's Costa Rica's fault, not Microsoft's.

November 6th: I took about 30 of these pictures in Angela's parents' kitchen last night, but someone kept moving (until the last picture, when I gave up and told them to look at the camera and not move). So, candid shots are nice, but in this case, the posed one was the nicest one. From left, Cecila, Honorio, and Angela.

November 7th: We finally got a clock for our living room! And it's red.

November 8th: Lots and lots of little bottles on the bathtub ledge, and it's making me uneasy.

November 9th: Some shoes that I got the last time I went to Colorado. They reflect my deep and abiding love for Samba dancing and my commitment to indoor soccer. And they keep my feet from getting wet when I'm walking outside and it's raining, so they're ideal shoes in that sense.

November 10th: Honestly, I'm not a big fan of this picture but it's about the only one I have from this day. So I sepia-ed the hell out of it. It's just a field next to the "Costa Rica-Taiwan Friendship Bridge," where I usually stop to have a leak and stretch during my drive to my Wednesday class in Guanacaste.

November 11th: This is actually a lingiustic commentary. In Costa Rican Spanish, "night club" means "strip club" (as does "nigth club," as it's often misspelled). That's the type of information that can come in handy when you least expect it.

Anyhow, these are two signs from a strip club somewhere on the road between my house and my Wednesday evening class. It seems like a pretty classy place ("Ricuras" means "tasties," sort of).

November 12th: A raspberry from Chubby. Angela got a bit nuts and decided to dress up Boner with a necklace and even a bit of lipstick.

November 13th: A fiber-optic decoration that my in-laws have on their table. I think it's pretty cool, and in a picture it sort of looks like a firework seen from a distance.

November 14th: Arenal Volcano, on a rare clear day. We took a trip to Arenal Paraiso Hotel to celebrate Angela's birthday.

November 15th: Angela. Happy Birthday!

November 16th: Some Garfield slippers that Angela got for her birthday from Adriana.

November 17th: A cooler that my grandma gave me. A classic.

November 18th: From the beach at Pinilla.

So, that's it for now! There are only a few days left in this 365 project, so I'll have to start an official countdown in a day or two.

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

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

November 10, 2010

Oh. Holy. Crap.

I still really like my Wednesday class at the resort, but a disadvantage to working in the jungle became apparent tonight: snakes. The freaking jungle is just lousy with snakes, at least in my imagination. But tonight this paranoia became more real. As I was getting out my key card to open my hotel room door, I looked down and there was a big snake. And I'm not exaggerating, it was really three feet. 

When I saw it I said some choice --and surprisingly multilingual-- profanity and got the hell out of there. I found a student of mine, who called someone, who called someone else. I guess it was something they called a "tuboa" (I'm not completely positive, since I was quite far away from them when they told me) and they said it was similar to a boa, but quite poisonous.

In the end, I guess I'm happy about how I behaved, since as you may know, I have a near-crippling phobia of snakes. I think it came from mowing the lawn when I was a kid, when they'd always dart out at the last minute. I spent a good decade of my life having snake nightmares wherein I'm cutting the grass and almost run over a snake, and when I step back to avoid it, I almost step on another. Pretty soon the whole lawn is covered in snakes. 

Fortunately I've not had those dreams for a while but even now, when I see a picture of a snake in a magazine --I'd like to interject a hearty "Go to hell!" to the photographic editorial staff of National Geographic here-- I get a sort of weird cotton-in-the ear sensation, like when you get too close to a campfire and inhale smoke. But this time, I just backed away. I didn't roll into a ball and cry, and I didn't shit myself. But just barely.

So who knows, maybe I'm slowly overcoming the phobia. But I'm still keeping my machete close at hand, just in case.

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November 7, 2010

This Video Lit My Fire

Many thanks to Brad for showing me this awesome video:

Incidentally, this video shows basically what Angela and I did this weekend.

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November 2, 2010

Wow... Seriously, Wow!

As you may remember, I recently had to go to San Jose to renew my passport at the American Embassy. I was a bit skeptical because the United States certainly has its share of bureaucracy, and I assumed that if it were surrounded by Costa Rican bureaucracy, it might take me a few years to get a new passport.

However, after 9 days I got an email from the embassy informing me that my passport had arrived and that it was ready to be picked up. Excuse me? 9 (nine) days? Far away, in a foreign land? When it takes upwards of 6-8 weeks to do the same process in the US? Indeed, it was true. I got my new passport this morning:

As you can see, it's the newer "biometric" style of passport, which means that it has the RFID chip embedded in the cover. A more tangible result of the redesign, though, is that I was issued what my friend Annie called the "America: Fuck Yeah!" Passport. This picture above shows the page right above my picture, and it's not terribly subtle. In fact, each of the 52 pages has a different quotation from a "model" American, as well as a picture of some genuine Americana (for example, Mount Rushmore, Cowboys riding around on buffaloes, NASCAR, and lots and lots of freaking eagles).

Don't get me wrong; I consider myself proud of my country, but I do wonder if the sharply increased passport fee might have something to do with this redesign. Plus, this sort of ostentatiousness won't exactly smooth things over or impress the officials at foreign immigration booths. I don't apologize for my dislike of eagles, however. There's just something about them that strikes me as comical, and I crack up every time I see one. Maybe I just side with Ben Franklin in wishing our national bird were a turkey: at least that way we'd be able to be both thankful and patriotic every Thanksgiving.

In any case, all bitching, moaning, and joking aside, I was truly surprised at how fast, efficient, and even polite the staff at the San Jose embassy was (to me, at least, but I can't imagine non-U.S. citizens get such a warm welcome). It literally took about 4 minutes from the time we entered the embassy to the time I had my new passport in my hands. In fact, Angela had to wait longer in line for the women's bathroom. And to celebrate my heritage even more, on our way out of San Jose we stopped at the other American Embassy: Denny's! (Let it never be said that I don't know how to treat my lady right.)

I guess there's only one thing to say about all that: U.S.A.! U.S.A.! U.S.A.!

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