Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I gives thanks for my kittehs and puppits. And my sponge mop. And my lovely family, my awesome friends, my wonderful life in Costa Rica, and you, my dear readers. And Beto Cuevas. ;-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Christmas traditions in Costa Rica

The first year I came to Costa Rica, I thought it was strange to be walking around wearing skimpy clothes and sweating my bewbs off in boiling hot weather. I remember seeing a huge, blow-up snowman in front of a store in downtown Escazu, and thinking that was the funniest thing ever. Even though we didn't get snow where we lived in California, it was still cold during December. A warm Christmas was just... odd!

These days, though, I'm used to all of it. In fact, I don't even find summers that hot anymore; more like a nice warm. I would never go out of the house in shorts (and you'll rarely see Ticos doing that either), though I still wear tank tops often enough. If the temp falls below 70F, I'm freezing! Break out the sweaters and thermal underwear! So a warm Christmas is normal now, I guess.

As are the other traditions I thought odd when I first moved here. For example, in Costa Rica, traditionally presents are not brought by Santa, but by the baby Jesus. When I first heard this, I was like, what? Ok, that's just something I'd never heard of growing up in the U.S.! If anything, shouldn't we be giving him gifts? When we had our son, and neither esposo nor I being religious people, we wanted to avoid the whole baby Jesus thing, so we went with Santa. Nowadays, most little kids know about Santa, but quite a few families still do the baby Jesus thing. Speaking of baby Jesus, here in Costa Rica, he doesn't actually appear in the manger until Christmas Eve. That's right, if you put up a nativity scene, it's considered wrong to put Jesus in it before Christmas Eve. We don't do the nativity, either. But if you pass a nativity on the street or see one at someone's house before Christmas and wonder where the heck is Jesus, now you know.

There's a big Christmas festival every year in downtown San Jose called Festival de la Luz. I guess it's as close to a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade as we get here, though it's at night (thus the "la luz" part of it). We watch it on t.v.; fighting crowds downtown San Jose at night to see a parade isn't exactly my idea of a great time.

If you are part of a Tico family, it would be really unusual not to have Christmas tamales. Esposo's grandma used to make them with many of his aunts every year (and the woman also made fresh tortillas for her entire family, which consisted of 11 children and all of their children, every single day until she passed away). Now that grandma is gone, esposo's mother makes the tamales with her sisters. In fact, my suegra won 2nd place in a country-wide tamale contest a couple of years ago (and word around town was that she only lost due to political reasons -- ay yai yai, only in Costa Rica!). Now, I am partial to the Mexican-style tamales that are drier and wrapped in corn husks; here in Costa Rica, they are mushier and wrapped in banana leaves. Since esposo and son and I are all vegetarians, they make a special batch just for us without any kind of chicken broth or pork inside. By the time January rolls around, I'm so sick of eating tamales that I'm thrilled not to see them for another year! Oh, and if you aren't lucky enough to have a Tico family, you can buy ready-made tamales all over the place; AutoMercado has them year-round, and I saw that Spoon is also selling them. Just heat them up by boiling in a pot of water for 10-15 minutes, and you're good to go. Esposo has a recipe for tamales using yuca; if you're so inclined, here it is.

On a side note, esposo and I go back and forth on the correct usage of the word "tamale." I insist that the Anglicized version of tamal is tamale, so when you're speaking about them in English, you can say "tamale" without being incorrect. He says that the word is tamal no matter what language you're speaking, and tamale is always wrong. And some people hate the word Gringo, too, but I could care less. And don't even get him started on "American."

Thanksgiving dinner

If you happen to be in Costa Rica looking for a restaurant cooking up Thanksgiving dinner, your first stop should probably be this week's Tico Times. Most of the restaurants that are doing Thanksgiving are doing it very traditionally, so if you're sort of sick of that shtick, or if you're a vegetarian, esposo is cooking Thanksgiving dinner with his friends at their new cafe in Escazu, Oasis. (The friends have a new cafe, that is, not esposo!) Here are the particulars:

Thanksgiving Dinner @ Oasis Café with Chefs Marco González & Mario
Bello previously of Earthly Delights Café and El Silencio Lodge & Spa

Directions: From Vivero Exotica, 100N 225W, across the street from
Aparthotel Maria Alexandra, San Rafael de Escazú

Reservations suggested: 8835-8992 (English) or 8816-9387 (Spanish)

Dinner served from 3-9

$25 per person / $15 children 12 and under, taxes included

Drinks – Sparkling Cranberry Juice

Salad – Spinach Salad with Cashews, Cherry Tomatoes and Gouda, served
with Balsamic-Cranberry Dressing

Soup – Curried Cream of Calabaza Squash

Main course – Vegetarian Vegetable Pie or Pan-Grilled Tilapia Fillet /
Turkey with Macadamia-Sage Sauce

Sides – Roasted Garlic and Rosemary Tropical Mashed Tubers, Green Bean
Casserole with Fresh Mushroom Gravy

Dessert – Coconut Pumpkin Pie with Ice Cream

After-Dinner – Mulled Warm Apple Juice or Coffee

Do you know this artist?

Well, I'm having a harder time finding out anything about the artist who made this print than I thought I would. It looks to me like the signature says "J. Pasos M.," though I can't be 100% sure of that. Actually, I'm not even sure if the artist is from Costa Rica or not. The title of the piece is "Jaguar y la luna," which is also the title of a book by Nicaraguan author Pablo Antonio Cuadra. Maybe someone out there recognizes the style of work and name and could point me in the direction of more information about the artist who made this?

"Jaguar y la luna"

Closeup of artist's signature

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Saturday sale

Saturday was the Women's Club bazaar at Country Day School. Normally, I go crazy buying books, because it has traditionally been the best place to get books in English on the cheap. This year, not so much (though I still left with a box of 15 books for less than $10, most of those hardbacks). The kids' books were slim pickings, and I guess I've come to rely so much on sites like Bookmooch for my used books, that there just weren't many things I wanted. Is my love affair with the WCCR book sale over? Sigh. It might be, indeed, time to say goodbye. Or at least budget my affections and wallet a little more in the future.

I did pick up a couple of other things, including a really neat print by an artist I've never heard of in a rather ugly frame. Two of my friends had also passed by the print and thought about picking it up, but I figured for $5 and the cost of a new frame, you can't really go wrong. Plus the world needs more art in it. And I got a small jacket that doesn't fit because I went apeshit over the linen print fabric. I'm planning on taking it apart and making a scarf out of it.

The food court was great; several area restaurants bring samples of their yummy things for $1 or $2. We partook of the vegetarian dim sum and egg rolls from Don Wang, and eggplant caviar, hummus, and dolmas from the Casa del Moro (which we really have to try one of these nights). Son had some pizza, but threw in the towel on his second slice when his friend H. brought a big bowl of TCBY with all the toppings to share with him.

The kids played on the playground for a little while, until the guard kicked them out, because, you know, "those kids" might "ruin" the "new" playground equipment. Sheesh. Give me a freaking break. Ok, let's let them run wild in the auditorium around all the sale tables instead! Ooh, which reminds me, I finally bought some earrings to match a necklace I'd bought from Hazel a year and so ago. She makes the most amazing glass jewelery; if you ever saw her stuff, you'd know it was hers! Very distinct. It's my favorite necklace, and now I have earrings to match. Yay! And Hazel is so sweet; I had broken the clasp on my necklace, which she noticed immediately, making me take it off so she could fix it right there. (I actually had to go over to her house one day to get a replacement piece of glass for the first time I'd broken it -- lesson to me, never drop a glass necklace on a tile floor.) And I met a dog groomer who was really sweet. I'm going to take Madeline to her soon.

And I can't remember if I told you this particular story, but at the same place I bought my favorite necklace from Hazel, I also bought a handmade, extra-large coffee mug for esposo (who loves his morning, afternoon, and evening coffee). Someone broke the mug, and all that remained of it was a suspicious part of the handle I discovered hiding under the living room couch. We never did find out who broke the mug and threw it away without mentioning it, but I, at least, have my suspicions. Anyway. The mug-maker was there on Saturday; I saw him on the way out, but had spent all of my money by then. Poo.

And that's that until next year. I used to belong to the Women's Club, years ago, but between moving and having a child I didn't really have the time to travel to meetings. Still, many of the women there remember me, esposo, and our son. That sense of community is something I really need in my life, with or without the book sale.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

80s y Mas v 2.0

If you haven't seen 80s y Mas on VM Latino yet (Sunday nights from 8-10 p.m.), you should! It's so funny, it's almost ridiculous. For people of a certain age, we sit there and wonder, my God, did I really dress like that in the 80s? Did I really have big hair like that? Oh good Lord, what were we thinking!?! You, too, can feel like Beavis and Butthead (the watching-videos-and-making-stupid-comments part, not the going-around-town-doing-stupid-things part) in the privacy of your own living room.

We always end up getting a little late to the party (I think Project Runway is on at 8), so you are spared a whole hour's worth of crappy videos. Instead, I bring you the evening's second hour, with the exception of the video the played at 9 (because neither esposo or myself recognized the video -- some very, very bad hair band; my son was sure the lead singer was a girl, even though we convinced him that men, too, could wear spandex pants, sparkly shirts, long hair, and dangling earrings. He was so not believing us, however. And the frontman to this band was, in my friend Alex's words, "a baboon" desperately in need of a body waxing). Our groovy host, Mauricio, was hanging out in a t-shirt shop all night, so we never did get the names of any of the bands/songs. We knew the rest of them anyway. How sad is that?

First up: Duran Duran's "Hungry Like the Wolf." Ok, sorry, I don't have many smart-ass comments for this one, as I liked both the band and the song! This video was definitely a romp through the bandmembers' Indiana Jones wet dreams -- finding the native girl, getting busy in some fetid pool, booty shots, drinking their sorrows away in the local bar. What's not to love?

Next: Styx and "Mr. Roboto." Remember the good old days when everyone was afraid of technology? Robots will take over the world! We're doomed! Run for your lives! And we were also sure everyone would be speaking Japanese. Well, neither of those things has happened (yet, Domo arigato!), so this just looks silly. As well as the techno-garb that passed for trendy clothes back in the 80s. This one falls under the "Good God, what the hell were we thinking?" category. Esposo was cracking up through the entire thing ("Secret, secret, keep it to yourself!"). (Side note: My friend Ray in California used to love Styx. Dude! Seriously?)

Then: Joe Jackson and "Steppin' Out." Holy crap, is this a cheesy video or what? Joe Jackson himself was not so bad (anyone remember "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" I loved that song!), but this video...a little too Pretty Woman, or maybe that one where Jennifer Lopez plays the maid who gets the rich guy? Maid in Manhattan? Yeah. And why, oh why, do I know these things? P.S. I am happy to report that esposo still has more hair than Joe Jackson.

Next up: Pat Benetar pretends she's a teenager in "Love is a Battlefield"! I was thinking that the "dance sequence" (if you can call it that) in this video was the inspiration for the living dead "dance sequence" in M.J.'s "Thriller," though I'm not actually sure which video came out first; it could just as easily be the other way around. See it, gape in wonder, vomit in the toilet, and come back for more!

You're gonna love this one! Soft Cell with "Tainted Love." Motion-capture technology in action! I'm sure there's some metaphor about ... something ... happening there, but I can't figure out for the life of me what it is. Is the singer head in the sky supposed to be God? I have to just admit here that I don't get it! Help.

Lionel Ritchie stalks a blind girl in "Hello"! Oh man, who thought this was a good idea? Even if you're not vibing the whole stalker thing, it is, at the very least, unethical for a college professor to screw a student. Ew about sums this one up. I like the song, though, especially David Cook's version.

Hang in there, kiddos! We're almost at the end. After the Lionel Ritchie creep out, here's one I really like. Dave Gahan is the King of the World in Depeche Mode's "Enjoy the Silence." Nothing to say here; I'm still a fan.

Whew! You made it! Pat yourself on the back, and go pour yourself a stiff drink (if you haven't already). Madonna closes us out with a couple of videos. First, some weird version of "Disco Inferno." All I can say is, I wish I could move like that on a pair of roller skates! Last, "La Isla Bonita." Both from her Confessions tour. Was she always this skinny? Or does the unitard (second video) just make her look kinda... I don't know... anorexic? I think if you pause the video at certain spots, you can count all of her ribs. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Ew.

Until next time...

In which I offer up proof...

...that I am not quite as fat as I think I am. We still haven't unpacked all of our boxes, and we have no working washing machine, so between washing clothes in the sink (about one load a day of that nonsense is all I can handle) and trying to find something to wear in one of the many boxes, I don't have all that many clean clothes right now. I was digging through a box of esposo's clothes this morning looking for some jeans I could steal borrow, and came across an old softball jersey I had in sixth grade. I looked and it, wondering why my mother would send a shirt so big when my son won't be able to fit into it for at least eight years or so. Then I realized that I have some shirts that are smaller than it is, so maybe I should try it on. And voila! It fits! Ok, it fits a bit tightly, especially in the chest area (I guess 6th graders don't generally come with big mom boobs), but with the right pair of jeans it could work. Only thing is that it's bright (as in neon) orange. I'm really liking it, though. And especially the fact that I can still fit into it after all these years.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Fun with addresses

Because here in Costa Rica, we don't really have any. Well we do, if you consider "go north from X building about 200 meters, then west another 100 meters, and down to the big tree, turn around and touch your toes, do the hokey pokey, etc. etc." I don't really consider those addresses though, more like terrible directions.

And after eight years here, I still haven't quite gotten the hang of it. Today, I was e-mailing someone about a friend's new cafe and its location in Escazu. I said it was 100 north and 125 west of a certain plant nursery. The person e-mailed me back to ask if I didn't mean to say south, because if you went north, you'd be going into the mountains. I asked esposo, and he said, no, north is correct. South would be in the directions of the mountains. She wrote back again, still confused about where the hell I was talking about, thinking that north was in the direction of Hipermas/Wal-Mart. So at this point I really wasn't sure, and esposo and I looked it up on Google Earth. Sure enough, even though the satellite of love pictures weren't taken recently and there was no Hipermas/Wal-Mart on the picture, you could tell the main road into San Rafael de Escazu, and the way of the cafe was, indeed, north. Rather, north-ish. But let's say north, because you don't tell people to go northwest. Looking at Google Earth also made us realize that we should have said 225 west, not 125 (a city block is about 100 meters long here, so you figure about two and a quarter blocks are 225 meters). I wrote her back again to say yes, it was indeed north, but change that 125 to 225.

Sigh. This all would be so much easier if I could have said the cafe was at 127 Oak Street. Or something.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Beto Cuevas rocks The City

Most of you probably know that I went to see Beto Cuevas on Wednesday night, because I couldn't keep my mouth shut about it since I heard he was finally coming down here. So herein lies my rather unorthodox "review" of the show. I tend to go off on a tangent, as in, Ooh, shiny things! or, Ooh, man nipples! If you want to know more about the actual music, read this. Otherwise, I offer you my take on things.

First off: We had never been to The City club, they have no phone number listed, and we weren't sure if there was any parking close by. So for those who want to know for future reference, it's right behind the Pricesmart in Zapote. There are lots of guachis "watching" cars parked on the street, and one parking garage close to the venue. We got there before 8 (show started at 9), and the parking lot was already full. I do not fully trust guachis, especially with Margot, so instead we drove over to San Pedro, parked in a guarded lot there, and took a cab to The City (which is only a few minutes away really). Getting a cab afterwards was a little more difficult than we'd thought it would be, and we ended up waiting for one near Multiplaza Oeste for 20 minutes or so. However, in the future, I'd either get there a little earlier and use the lot near the club, or do the same thing and park in San Pedro again.

Opening "act": You really have to wonder, as I'm sure many in the audience did, who in hell's bells booked this guy. It was one man doing like four karaoke songs and one of his own. Weird. Not good. If any promoters out there are reading this, I have some suggestions for great local bands for next time. When you are paying $60 a ticket, you expect to see at least one decent opening act, and this definitely wasn't it.

The main event: I wore a little black dress over sheer black pants with my strappy beaded black heels. Oh wait, you wanted to hear about Beto? :-) He wore a jacket and black gloves and those The Fly sunglasses, none of which lasted very long in that hot club with no air conditioning. I think the first song was Miedo Escenico, then Are You Sorry, then some other stuff, all of it really great. I cannot believe the man is older than me; he pretty much didn't stop moving the entire 2-hour show, except to remove himself from stage briefly to change clothes and also during one acoustic song. Plus, he's really hot! What can I say. (The women in the audience went crazy, in particular one woman in front of me who kept screaming "Rico!" throughout the evening. I wanted to slap her in the back of the head by the end of the night, believe me.) He did quite a few La Ley songs -- and I really wish I hadn't waited so long to write this review, otherwise I might recall what they all were -- Cielo Market, Aqui, Dia Cero, El Duelo and Mentira were a few of them. He was totally messing with the crowd's head at the start of Mentira (which begins "Mentira, mi vida..."); "Me...da mucho calor aqui, no?" ha ha ha. If you have not yet downloaded from the internet picked up a copy of Beto's new CD, I highly recommend it (of course I do!). (You can hear clips of the songs here.) I am pretty sure he played most, if not all, of those songs. It was a great two hours of music that even esposo reluctantly had to admit he enjoyed. The band was good too; they totally rocked some of the slower songs live. And the bass player had not only my guitar, but a Pastor Oviedo afro Latino to die for. (Digalo así!) Overall it was rockin', and great, and definitely in my top five best live shows ever (that list includes, for reference, Fugazi's last show in San Francisco, Rancid at some little club in Oakland, the Deftones in Sacramento, and Joe Strummer in Portland). It was worth waiting three years for the new CD, and worth me waiting seven years to see Beto live. Well worth it. I'm already looking forward to the next time he makes his way to Costa Rica, which hopefully will not be another three years from now. If he happens to hit your town, go, is all I can say.

The crowd was... interesting, to say the least. You can't bring cameras in, but everyone has a cell phone, and most of them take video, so as soon as Beto walked on stage it was all cell phone cameras straight ahead. Pretty funny. Esposo had warned me about the women in the crowd screaming and going nuts ahead of time. Every time Rico Girl screamed, I rolled my eyes and the guy standing next to me laughed. I guess women are still screaming for Barry Manilow and throwing their underoos on stage at him, so why not Beto Cuevas, who's about a million times better looking? Personally, though, I would never do such a thing. I try to keep it together, even when I am only a few feet away from an exceptionally beautiful human being doing a one-man wet t-shirt contest. So it was not me who screamed when Beto removed his shirt for the last couple of songs (was Dia Cero one of them? I think so) and there were [cue angelic chorus] a lovely set of man nipples directly in front of me. No, no, really, that wasn't me screaming. Wow, is it hot in here, or is it just me? Two words for you: Fucking. Delicious.


Ok, so The City was a great place for a show. It actually reminded me of a club we used to frequent in Santa Cruz called the Catalyst, with one large space and balconies on either side. We got there just before the opening "act" and ended up about 6 people from the front of the stage. It really couldn't have been much better (ok, maybe an actual opening act would have helped). Here is the one half-decent crappy video from all the crappy videos I took with my cell phone, and if I find any more, I'll post them. Though I can't figure out why, considering the many people taking videos with their phones, there aren't more on YouTube. I can't believe they all came out as crappy as mine. See how close we were to the stage? Awesome, right? Warning: You might want to turn down the volume before you play this. Sorry. It's not that great a phone.

It was so quiet in San Jose that we made it all the way from Zapote to Santa Ana in about 15 minutes. We stopped off at Living in Via Lindora for drinks (what's up with the velvet ropes? in Costa Rica? come on now!), and of course esposo knew someone who worked there (actually I knew him also, that never happens!). We had a couple of Grey Goose martinis and esposo, of all people, made a toast to Beto. I added, "...and his nipples!" Definitely the best night out I've ever had in my eight years in Costa Rica!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dream jobs

You probably thought I was going to write about the election results, didn't you? Ok, ok: I'm extremely happy that Obama won the presidency, thrilled that CA Prop. 2 passed, and quite disappointed that it looks like CA Prop. 8 is going to pass as well. Why religious beliefs should be allowed to dictate civil policy and deny civil rights I will never understand. Here in Costa Rica, where Catholicism is the official religion, I can understand it. But not in California.

Anyway. I was talking to a friend tonight about working. Perhaps both of us are feeling a little mid-life... not crisis, exactly, but maybe questioning is a better word. As in, What am I doing with my life? Her husband has a possible job opportunity in the music business. Without even knowing what the job is, I told her it sounded fantastic. It wouldn't matter to me if someone in the music biz -- small label, major label, radio station, whatever -- wanted to hire me as their secretary, I would totally do it. Because I just love music. The best "job" I think I ever had was being a DJ on a public radio station, unpaid. I did it for five years -- the longest-running late-night show in the station's history! -- because I loved it so much. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

In fact, esposo interviewed for a job yesterday, and told me afterwards that the company is going to have a full-time DJ. My immediate reaction was, did they hire someone already? Because I'd totally want to do that. But they already had.

I was telling my friend that my dream jobs would be anything in the music industry, and anything in magazine publishing. I would love, you might be surprised to know, to work at a fasion mag like Vogue or Elle or something. Again, hire me as a secretary, I wouldn't care! Along with five years as a DJ, I have another five years as a magazine editor. Granted, it was a magazine with rather small circulation numbers, but I think that should translate into a decent position somewhere in magazine publishing. It was another job I loved, and the pay totally sucked, but I did it because 1) I was bored at the time and needed something to do, and 2) editing a magazine is really a dream come true.

Right now, I am courting the idea of getting a job in Costa Rica whose title does not include "Mommy." It doesn't have to be a full-time job; in fact, part-time would be more up my alley, so that I could continue to do freelance writing jobs that come around. So if anyone out there reading this needs a magazine editor, DJ, or something else that sounds fun and interesting, call me. Along with a majority of U.S. voters, I am due for a change. (You see? I did get around to writing about the election after all.)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Here we go.

We have lived in this new house for all of three days. Apparently, since we moved in, the guy across and down the street has been complaining to anyone and everyone who will listen about our dogs. Finally, esposo tried this afternoon to be nice, say hello, and the first words out of this asshole's mouth were, What's up with all those dogs? Esposo said, I don't know, what's up with them? Asshole: They're too loud, they bark all day and night. They absolutely do not bark all day and night; the first night, it's true, they did bark a bit, but they were getting used to the new neighborhood. Last night they didn't bark at all. I was really impressed with them. For nine dogs, that's a feat, I think. Yet the jackass had to bitch anyway. They do bark when another dog walks by (what dog wouldn't).

Anyway. He pisses me off. I really, really hope he says something to me one of these days, because I'll probably tell him to fuck right off. We are paying good money to live here, and that includes our dogs. This isn't his personal neighborhood, and there are no regulations as far as I know on the number of dogs one can have. Of course, this jerk is a Gringo; I've never heard a Costa Rican complain about their neighbors. I guess that is one thing that differentiates us from them (though I guess I'm becoming more like them [Costa Ricans] than us [Americans] these days): the "live and let live" attitude. Yep, it can be pretty darn noisy here, with dogs barking, horns beeping, loud music at all hours of the day and night. If you think you're not going to appreciate that, you probably will want to buy yourself a big piece of land away from anyone else, because the fact is that it's just noisier here in general.

Ugh. Maybe he is just one of those people who need something to complain about. He told esposo that our dogs were waking up their baby. And? Baby better get used to noise, is all I have to say. I had a baby here, and if you don't totally and completely shelter them in a padded room, they'll just get used to it and sleep through anything. Personally, I'd rather have a baby who slept through anything than one that wakes up every time you drop a pin.

Eh, fuck it. I just had to get that out of my system.

Whew. Glad that's over.

We're here. We made it into our new house, and in my new car it only took two trips to Grecia and back to bring all the animals here (9 dogs and 4 cats). Everyone but Phoebe seems to love the new house (actually I'm not even quite sure where Phoebe is; she's relentlessly pursued by Kiki Monster every time she dares come out to explore). I love the new house. Right now I am looking at my big backyard from a wall of windows, listening to birds sing at almost 7:30 in the morning. Life is nice.

Then I come around to remembering how many boxes I still have to unpack. And that I have no idea where my underwear are, so I had to buy some at Pricesmart last night. We're having some friends over tonight for an election night party (as good an excuse as any to drink wine with your friends, I'd say), and though the house is a disaster, what with unpacked boxes all over the place, I don't think anyone will mind too much.

And tomorrow night I'm going to see Beto Cuevas (*swoons*)! I have no idea where the club is or where the heck I'm going to park my car, but hopefully that will all get worked out before we leave. If anyone knows where Club The City is, I'd be ever so grateful for your help! (I do know, at least, that it's in Zapote.)

Also? I blew out my knee a few days ago by getting lost in another friend's neighborhood while trick-or-treating with son and his friends and my friends and wandering for a couple of hours around trying to find our friend's house. Do you think if I went to the show on crutches I'd get some kind of special treatment? At least maybe a chair? Because for some strange reason, a pair of crutches was left here in the storage room (along with a ton of other random and useless crap).

And now I'm going to enjoy some coffee on the porch and take in this beautiful day. Before I get back to unpacking.

To my friends in the U.S.: I know I don't need to tell you to vote. So I won't. To my friends in California: Yes on 2 and No on 8!