Last week, I had to put down one of my pets, George (Georgie to me, Jorge to my wife or Georgito to Carlos).
At left is a photo of Georgie taken last year and before the health issues. That cat surely loved to sit outside on the terrace and enjoy the morning Costa Rica sun. Eyes closed and as close to being in heaven as he could get yet still be alive.
He was quite old…. fourteen plus… and had terrible and incurable kidney problems, common for old cats. In addition, he was nearly blind. I feel terribly guilty as I probably waited too long and caused him too much suffering. It was just too hard to let go.
If you wish… read on!
Unless you live on another planet, you no doubt have heard of Flash Mobs.
I, of course, DO live on another planet called Costa Rica, so forgive me please for not being totally current. I feel old and out of date. I never heard of them.
For my kindred unwashed, flash mobs are groups of artists, singers and dancers mostly, sometimes professionals and sometimes just regular ol’ folks, who want to sing or dance or do other stuff… in public. They do this as a surprise or as a gift to those around them and for no other reason than to spread some joy. All seem organized as they must be, but the effect is the same everywhere. Astonishment for the audience.
If this topic interests you… read on!
Oddly, one of the questions I get from readers asks me questions about my politics. Kinda nosey huh? They want to know if I follow the US political/economic scene, for whom am I going to vote… etc. Most of the time I do not answer as I believe that my blogs are supposed to be about Costa Rica and related topics and I guess my politics or personal views are not appropriate.
Lately, however, I see people who are just so unhappy living in the USA that their questions are not so much asking about my views as asking about if things will be better living here. Recently I wrote something about how I felt the USA was broken and needed repair. That was less a political statement than my observations from afar. Saying that, I guess if readers really want to know about life here, will it be better than living in the USA, will their life issues resolve themselves by moving here, maybe it is not a bad idea to address this.
So… if my personal opinions and politics are of interest, read on!
Like many of you, I have been watching closely the unfolding events surrounding the mysterious death of Anna Nicole, Ex Playboy Bunny, alleged (and successful if true) gold digger, and TV personality, whose estimated net worth is around half a billion dollars.
Of course, my thoughts are mostly with our daughter and heir to those big bucks, Dannielynn. Yes, that is not a misprint. OUR daughter.
Time to confess. I know this will come as a shock to my readers (all 12 of you), to my family and friends, but most of all to my dear wife. But I must now “come clean”. With the death of Anna, I am now released from my promise to keep mum about our brief time together and the love child we created on the white sand beaches of Costa Rica.
I feel I must now come forth and accept my paternal responsibility (AND of course my responsibility to handle the financial affairs of our child!).
OK… It’s a Sunday morning, and I am lying in the bed. Maria has headed off to the kitchen to make coffee and toast. I am sorta dozing a bit, then in flies ML, all excited.
In her hand, she is holding a cloth and it appears to be moving without assistance. In fact it is wiggling!
Costa Rica has been disputing Nicaragua’s refusal to allow Costa Rica police patrol boats to carry weapons on the San Juan river. I guess they are fearful that our staunch Fuerza Publica will cross the river and attack their country. I am not sure 1. who would really WANT Nicaragua, and 2. if our staunch Fuerza Publica could actually pull it off as they have a tough enough time dealing with pickpockets and petty crime in San Jose. The idea of our boys in blue actually facing an army (yes, Nicaragua has one), with REAL weapons might be mildly amusing as THAT battle might last no longer than 4 minutes, which thankfully is sufficient time to call George Bush. (more…)
en él encontré la comprensión
y el amor que siempre busqué,
hoy que bendices nuestro amor
me permita que sea la esposa a
que él desea
por poner en mi camino la mujer
ideal que siempre anhelé para
formar un hogar donde viene la
felicidad, el amor, y la tranquilidad.
I Don’t Get the 72 Virgins Thing.
There is a lot of terrorism news about suicide bombers these days which got me to thinking about this whole virgin thing.
It is my understanding that those who recruit and train the suicide bombers promise them 72 virgins when they enter heaven. I guess these are wifey type virgins, but I am unclear on this. I mean the term ‘slutty virgin’ sorta seems like an oxymoron.
I guess before I start… I’d sorta like to know what’s up with this virgin thing anyway? I mean yeah… maybe your ‘her first’, but most virgins suck in bed (maybe not literally) and need extensive training. Give me a hot 35 year old woman with some experience just about anytime… well maybe not NOW as ML would surely kill me… but we were discussing virgins, right?
So I sorta fancy that I know a bit about my adopted country.
Arrogant maybe, but not totally unfounded as I do a lot of writing and teaching here. I run a forum on Costa Rica In fact, I just completed a section on Costa Rica’s creepy crawlies for a huge new web site on Costa Rica… so I THOUGHT I had a grasp on this bug thing. Until tonight.
Charlie starts the stalking thing and pretty soon Georgie has caught the scent of something crawling around my desk (and thus my feet… my BARE feet).
Now in CR, this can be anything from a beetle or an ant to something a bit more sinister… like a scorpion or a centipede (i.e. the ones you do NOT want under your bare feet).
Knowing this, I take a peek! What I see calms me. It is only a cockroach (albeit a really BIG cockroach!). As any regular reader of Dave Berry can tell you, the further South you travel, the bigger and badder the bugs! (Nice alliteration huh???) Costa Rica sports some truly impressive cockroaches and many are measurable in inches. This little fellow was somewhat smaller than Tom Cruise, but still a healthy specimen. He smiled up at me, winked, then headed under the PC!
OK… so I start “the search”. Those of you who think large cockroaches move noticeably slower than the tiny ones we had in Chicago might be interested to know that Costa Rica Grandes move about as fast as a good sized linebacker, so he was nowhere to be found.
I returned to work… until I felt a “tickling” on my arm. Oh shit….
Well I am considerable larger than most linebackers, but I assure you I moved my butt a whole lot quicker than Butkus ever dreamed.
There was my little buddy… looking up at me… his little feelers waiving around frantically, and I swear he winked again!
So… after changing my underwear, I returned to my desk and HE WAS STILL THERE! I am not sure, but I believe he may have found something edible in my keyboard.
He seemed unafraid, and (I don’t know why), I decided to watch him before I killed him. (Why does that sound so bad in print?).
So he moseyed around the keyboard for a while, then strolled up the monitor, back down, moved to the edge of the desk, headed down (art least until he caught site of the book in my hand), then back toward the relative safety of the keyboard (somehow KNOWING I was not going to use the book whilst he was on the keyboard!)
I then did a dumb thing… though as with most dumb things I do, it didn’t seem dumb at the time. I lowered my face down to get reeeeal good looksy at this guy (girl?). It was then it happened.
The damn thing FLEW into my face, then headed off the toward the kitchen.
I fell on my butt. ML came running over and asked if I was OK. I asked her “¿Sabes que estas cucarachas pueden volar?? or in English: Did you know these *%$^%&* cockroaches can fly??
Laughing, she said “Por supuesto!” “Of course”, and she returned to her book knowing her champion was injured only in his male pride (but I am sure she is now considerably less assured of her champion’s ability to protect her if needs be).
I set off after the BUG who laid me low and who was now caught between two cats and a palm.
This time, I took no chances and stomped his little lights out much to THE DOG’S delight as she stopped by for a quick snack of cucaracha al piso.
So, dear reader, you know know what I know (but YOU know it from the safety of your home).
“These goddamned cockroaches can fly!”
My girlfriend is a most thoughtful person.
She is also caring, warm, sexy, beautiful, and generous.
She is also really hard to train. She resists this, preferring her way at all times. Many times this is good thing as I often do or say really dumb stuff, and she is always there to fix that. Other times, it is most annoying.
For instance, let’s discuss what I call the pizza incident last night.
This occurred when we (read SHE) invited a few family members over to decorate the Christmas tree. In Costa Rica, when you are involved with a (Costa Rican) woman, your involvement extends to her family as well. Actually, I like this!.
As this is a good Catholic country, this “extension of family” translates into roughly 732 family members who show up (announced or not) for all functions.
“Function” is broadly defined as just about anything that is not done in the bed with the lights off or in the bathroom involving the toilet. I say this as tooth brushing can be an acceptable event (as can be flossing). The act of taking out the garbage qualifies as an event. In reality though, that event seldom attracts more than a half dozen or so persons. Decorating a tree is certainly higher up on the function list.
A tree decorating event, which really IS a function as defined in the US Culture of Acceptable Events & Functions, vol 3, may easily draw 90 folks who thoughtlessly expect to be fed and given something to drink.
Something to drink means something with alcohol.
I have mixed feelings on this.
When I lived in the US, only the closest family members arrived to decorate the tree. We ate a few cookies. Drank some eggnog, decorated a bit. Drank some more nog. Listened to the carols and drank some nog. Sang some carols. Downed some more nog. It was a fine time.
So last night, we decorated our tree. I do not have a body count, but the expression “shitpot fulla people” may give you an idea of how many arrived. There was merriment and fun. Music and dancing….and PIZZA. A LOT of pizza.
Remember the olde expression “Many hands make light work”? The tree was decorated in perhaps 6 minutes. Now… the tree looked great… until the lights were turned on. We had a problem.
When I was a young person, I was taught early to hang the lights first, test them to be sure they were distributed properly, THEN add the rest of the stuff.
Well, apparently, it is done differently here. Everything is done at once. However, when the lights were turned on, there were roughly 392 lights in the top third of the tree and perhaps 9 to cover the middle and the bottom.
As you may imagine, this gave the tree a somewhat unbalanced look. With the lights off though, it looks first rate!
My suggestion that we un-decorate the tree and re-do the lights brought forth a veritable blast of laughter, so the tree remained as it was.
An amazing amount of pizza and beverages were consumed and finally her family went back to their homes. Happily, there was left over pizza! I went to my bed dreaming of the next morning when I could rush to the kitchen to eat COLD pizza preferable washed down with Coca Cola (Diet is OK) to sorta cut through the grease if you catch my drift. Certainly cold pizza is an item very high on the list of “the foods of the Gods”.
I am never clear if eating cold pizza is a guy thing. I certainly know of no man in my life who ever warmed up pizza before consuming. IN fact, many of the women in my life enjoyed cold pizza the next day…
Sadly, my dream was to be dashed.
I made grave error. On my way the kitchen this morning, I stopped to check my email. The next thing I know, my wonderful sweetie is bringing me WARMED UP PIZZA and COFFEE. Oh the pain!
I have discussed the fact that many Americans LIKE cold food and will happily munch away on leftovers fresh from the fridge. She cannot fathom this! In fact, when first I mentioned this, her reaction was akin to mentioning I had a penchant for cooking and eating small children. She was horrified and told me eating cold food could kill me. She believes this! Argh.
But I have aged and know the value of a wonderful near-perfect relationship. I ate the pizza and washed it down with coffee. I also promised to get my ass outta bed earlier when there was cold pizza awaiting. One must adjust to life in the tropics….