Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Magnitude Milestone

Everyone here keeps saying it's earthquake weather. Laymen like myself think thats ridiculus. Earthquakes arent weather related..Well today at 10:02 am while I was sitting at my glass dining room table surrounded by souring plate glass windows my entire house started shaking. Pictures fell off the wall and it sounded like a semi truck had crashed through the front gate. It only lasted a few seconds. So, now I believe in earthquake weather...and Im sleeping upstairs on the couch.

media muzzling

I was reading an interview with Jill Caroll, the "freelance" Islamophiliac writer who was kidnapped and held in Iraq for three months. Of course her ordeal will turn out to be the best thing that ever happened to her career. Nevermind the fact that her abject stupidity placed her in harms way, got her driver killed and gave the enemy a worldwide platform to distribute their insanity. For some reason journalists, even credential-less ones, gain notoriety when they come out on the back end of a kidnapping ordeal. "Jill Caroll: A survival story" will ineviditably be in hardback by the fall and she'll have a lifetime TV network movie option soon there after. She will make the talk show circuit and flaunt her emotional family on Larry King and the other late night talking heads. Maybe she'll think up a clever "reality" series.. Like planting hungry journalists in the Congo to interview gorillas or something as equally dangerous and ignorant. Anything to extend her 15 minues will do.

I've read her kidnapping account in the CS Monitor and it's poorly written, informationless and not of interest, like the rest of her work... if you can find it. She does some serious backpaddling too...trying to save her public soul from the damning comments she made towards America during her captivity. Of couse she was making those comments LONG before she spent time "against her will" in Iraq.

Lets stop celebertizing journalists. It's their job. If they get nabbed in the process, lets pray for their safe return but not glorify them into media god status and continually waste important news real estate on them for weeks to come.


Because of new stricter immigration laws that took effect this week, it has become imperative that Foreign nationals working in Costa Rica gain some sort of formal residency here or risk being taken into custody and deported to their country of origin. This has been happening here all over San Jose in various offices this week and has prompted my company to issue a residency “code red” policy that forces us to work from home until our residency paperwork is in process. We visited our immigration attorney today and learned the in’s and out’s of the entire process…and it seems pretty harmless. Birth certificates, Criminal records, Health Records must be obtained, authenticated by the US State Department and then approved by a Costa Rican consulate before being submitted formally here in San Jose. It’s difficult not to look past the Havana circa 1965 office that handles this process here in Costa Rica. While I was being fingerprinted today, I looked around at immigration records packed in liquor boxes stacked from floor to ceiling and watched secretaries use antiquated typewriters to document my vital info. Typewriters? After I left my prints behind, I was directed to go outside to a makeshift sink setup attached to the outside of the building to wash the ink off my hands. It was a real 21st Century operation.

Despite the Flintstone nature of this process so far, Im glad Im doing it. Id rather not sit in an immigration jail and involuntarily sat on a cargo plane full of rubber dogshit bound for Miami during thunderstorm season. I will, however, be living covert until Im no longer a “perpetual tourist” and can walk the streets proudly as an official resident of Costa Rica.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Poll Pressure

OK, OK, I give in.. Here it is..... thanks to Keliscious, I have now officially ended my one man stand against the email/blog polls. Here it is... Me , in 50 (sometimes pointless) questions or less.

1.How tall are you barefoot? 5’8”

2. Have you ever been cheated on? Only once, twas not pretty. I returned the favor ten fold.

3. Do you own a gun? I don’t need them , I have a Nicaraguan security guard with an automatic
weapon and a chip on his shoulder camped outside my door.

4. If you had a mental disorder, what would it be? I have one, I’m a compulsive vacuumer.

5. How many letters are in your crushes name? 11

6. What do you think of hot dogs? Do Bratwurst served on a toasted onion Kaiser bun with Sauerkraut and sweet/hot mustard count? If not, I’ll settle for a Nathans with chili, cheese and onions with a side of tater tots.

7. What’s your favorite Christmas song? Oh Holy Night

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Orange juice, champagne, and/or.

9. Do you do push-ups? Hell no.

10. Have you ever done ecstasy? Never.

11. Do you have a boyfriend? Yes.

9. Do you like the rain? Thankfully yes. It’s rainy season here now.

12. Do you own a knife? No.. but ill bust a bottle on the curb and cut a bitch if I have to.

13. What do you smell like? An italian meatball with garlic.

14. Do you have A.D.D. I’m the poster child for it.

15. Full initials? JDM

16. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment:
A. Cant believe I’m doing this stupid poll.
B. Wow, that shirtless boy cleaning my office window is hot.
C. I need to cut my fingernails bad.

17. Name the last 3 things you have bought.
A. Blindfold
B. Hooker
C. Cocaine

18. Name five drinks you regularly drink. Coke, Gin, Tonic, Water, OJ, Beer

19. What time did you wake up today? 8:45 snoozed until 9:15

20. Can you spell? Ufcorse I Kan.

21. Current worry? Upcoming trip to Europe next week given the current terrorist threat levels. I really don’t want to wrestle an Al Queda operative to the ground in first class.

22. Current hate? Nasty, old, cant-get-laid in the US straight men who travel to Costa Rica to pick up 12 year old prostitutes. I sat beside one on the flight back on Tuesday and heard all about how excited he was to finally get some young P……….. He oozed class.

23. Favorite place to be? My family’s beach house on the Outer Banks.

24. Least favorite place to be? In a long line.

25. Where would you want to go? African Safari

26. Do you own slippers? Um,, no.. Flops count though right?

25. Where do you think you’ll be in 10 years? Austin Texas

26. Do you burn or tan? Tan, never burn.

27.Yellow or Blue? Blue

28. Would you give up your current life to be a pirate? I did already, im an ass pirate. Arghhhhhh.

29. Last time your cell rang? Days, my battery is dead.

30. What songs do you sing in the shower? Today: ManEater- Nelly Furtado

31. What did you fear was going to get you at night as a child?

32. What do you have in your pocket right now? 15,000 colones and my driver’s license.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Larry Kings Alien profile.

34. Favorite bed sheets as a child? Star Wars sheets and curtains to match.

35.Worst injury you’ve ever had? Sliced my chin open when I was like 5, I still have the scar. It resembles the Nike swoosh. I should get an endorsement deal.

36. What is your GPA? HS 3.1 College 3.3

37. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2

38.Who is your loudest friend? KV

39. Who is your most silent friend? JP

40. Does someone have a crush on you? Yes. If I spoke Spanish I could expand on it.

41. Do you wish on stars? Not really.

42. Do you believe in magic? I believe in magical moments, not making The Statue of Liberty Disappear.

43. What song represents how you feel at the moment? Freebird

44. What song did you last hear? All I need is a Miracle- Mike and the Mechanics

45. What song do you want played at your funeral? The Halleluiah Chorus. Seriously.

46. What were you doing 12AM last night? Watching El Simpsons en Espanol.

47. What was the first thing you thought of when you woke up? How cute is my Boyfriend!!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Living by the gun...

Im quasi-concerend that my Columbian landlords, who live in one of the 4 houses in my "compund" here, have recently installed a comprehensive video surveilience system, razor wire and have employed 2 full time body guards who have guns strapped to their legs. This is on top of our regular security guard, Ramon, who im sure is just enjoying everyones company and his trusty Attack trained German Shepherd, Amigo. Between all that and the 22 year old vampirish Russian Mafioso who lives in his own version of Fort Knox 2 doors down , there seems to be a pretty good chance that Im going to witness someone get killed. It's just aother day in paradise people.

Geo Fun

While in the middle of a hellacious return trip to Costa Rica, I heard a report on Forbes Radio on the plane about Geo Caching. It's catching on... and for all the adverntureless folks out there..you should check out www.geocaching.com and see if there are any in you're area. All you need is a Geo Targeting device, a map and some time on your hands. Advertisers are starting to hide cars, cameras, watches and other delectable items and tempting folks to climb mountains to get them. Other people are burying boxes and asking people to find them and include an item or two. Whatever you find, it's got to be more fun than sitting at home on your couch....

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Quintessential Vegas Weekend.

I knew I was going to have a good time this past weekend. My friends are never a disappointment in that department. But I had no idea that the weekend would turn out as perfectly as it did. You hear and see (movies) about 4 guys invading Vegas for a “what happens here stays here” weekend. Limos, casinos, liquor, and all-nighters, well we managed packed them all in and then some.

After staggered arrivals, we all finally convened here at The Rio and kick started the weekend with some gambling and free drinks. Roulette was our weapon of choice and we played literally until the sun came up. Despite Casey’s bad luck ora, I ended up walking away with 1K. I never win anything, so I was beside myself about it. Despite our late nigh/early morning, I had to get up and work for a few hours while my compadres slept in and hit the pools.
We reconvened, snagged a limo, and headed for a dinner that topped all dinners at Michael Mina’s at Bellagio. We splurged on the tasting menu and wine parings. 4 Tuna Tar-Tar’s, lobster pot pies and Kobe Beef Fillet topped with foie Gras and a trio of delectable desserts later, we were all nursing full stomachs and champagne buzzes. We headed over the theatre and enjoyed 4th row center seats to the 10:30 showing of Cirque Du Soleil’s “O” courtesy of one of my media vendors. We all walked away amazed at the choreographed feats that sometimes defied logic, and further amazed that it was all performed in water. STRONGLY recommended for anyone who finds there selves in Vegas, you wont ever see anything else like it. Afterwards we cruised down Las Vegas Blvd like a twisted version of the Rat Pack in a stretched Hummer limo that was blaring booty-drop music at a bust-your-eardrum level. We pulled up in style at Gypsy and piled out for some drinks and co-mingling. The night ended at 8 ½ lounge where we enjoyed more drinks and convo on a sete under an Egyptian style sari. You couldn’t have dreamed that up.

Sunday was equally as amazing as we piled into a helicopter and spent 2 hours flying into and around the Grand Canyon. Breathtaking and nerve wracking, the trip produced some of the most incredible scenery I’ve ever seen. The sensation of flying in a helicopter is very different and took us all about 30 minutes to adjust to. I was sitting right next to the glass door and couldn’t stop thinking about what would happen if the door suddenly flew up and I dangled outside by my seat belt. Again, an experience of a lifetime that I would recommend to anyone before they die. After we landed, Kelly had to pack his things and head back to SFO, but not before we played one last round of roulette in tandem with ousted Van Halen lead man, Sammy Hagar here at the Rio. When does that ever happen?

I think the gods reached into their bag of tricks and perfectly choreographed the weekend for us all. While we all live pretty charmed existences, this weekend really kicked it up a notch. I totally appreciated the time I got to spend with Kelly, John and Casey. While we were able to enjoy some pretty amazing experiences here in Vegas, I walked away from the weekend realizing that I enjoyed my friends company even more. Whether it’s flying at 10,000 feet in a private helicopter or sitting in a motel room in Tulsa, we’d have just as much fun together. That’s when you know you’re friends are good people.

Grand Canyon By Air