Thursday, June 24, 2010

Movin' on up!

So... I'm convinced. WordPress really is waaaaay better than blogger. And so we are moving. To: Same ol' blog, great new look.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

I wish I was a baker...

Someday I will do this. It may try my sanity, you may have to lock me up after it's finished, but someday I will do this. And this is how.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Master Baster

I cooked a chicken the other night. To be honest, this is the first time I have ever cooked an entire bird; generally I pass on the onus of bird-cookery to Dearest Husband or I just cook bits of bird (and there was that one time I incinerated an entire turkey in the barbeque, but we won't discuss that here). So you understand why I do not own a baster. I have never had need for baster, never wanted a baster, never even considered owning a baster.

Come to find out, in order to properly roast a chicken, you REALLY need a baster. Particularly when your roasting pan is merely chicken-sized and leaves no margin for spoonage. So mid chicken-cookery, I rushed down to the grocery store to purchase ... the baster. (Scott actually asked me to buy two basters: one for me and one for his brewing kit, but I declined. Luckily, the store only had one in stock. You be the girl who goes to the store to buy two turkey basters.)

You like to believe that the people who work at the grocery store don't look at your groceries. They just ring you up and send you on your way and don't recount later to their husbands or wives or thirteen cats the crazy dude that just came through that bought nothing but pork tenderloin, D-batteries, and Vaseline. They didn't notice the extra-thick condoms. They didn't see the Costco sized box of super-ultra-tidal flow tampons. But I've worked at the grocery store. And trust me, we remember. And we know that you bought that extra $150 worth of groceries to cover up the fact that you only came in for K-Y Jelly.

So I reach the check-out with that in mind - and turkey baster in hand - and I say to the cashier: "Gosh, I should have bought some K-Y so you don't think I just came here for the baster." And not a snigger, a chuckle, not even a twitch of the lip. Just a blank look and a "Have a nice evening, ma'am" without irony.

Stupid grocery store.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

El Avion

So I insisted that we go to this restaurant in Quepos. Probably every damn American tourist in Costa Rica insists that they go to this restaurant. It was cool.

The airplane is one that the Americans bought for the Sandinistas during the Iran-Contra affair. When Hapenfus went down in Nicaragua, this plane was abandoned at the San Jose airport. Now it's a restaurant.

Octopus garnish! Chicken Scott didn't eat it. (And for you, Mom: What you can't see in this picture is that right behind Scott [close enough that he could have reached around and popped him one in the nose] was Justin Long - the kid from Galaxy Quest. That's a hell of a thing.)

Show me your bazoobies!

Scott the photog.

The long shots

A drive-by near Puerto Jimenez. It's so green here.

Yeah, this was the view from our bedroom. It sucked, let me tell you.

I imagine that this is what Costa Rica will look like after the apocalypse. (Los Mogos sunset)

El Cemeterio de Quepos

We drove by this place about ten times before I finally got the guts to go and ask the heavily armed cemetery guard if I could take pictures. Scott said it was morbid, but I think it's fascinating. Maybe both are true.

A Short Lesson in Basic Taxonomy

Kingdom Animalia

Ugh, bats. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Benato! These little guys aren't afraid of anything - especially humans. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Peekaboo! (Dominical)

Can you find the bird in this picture? Hint: it's to the right. Good luck! (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Gavilan. I think. Our bird book was in Spanish and only had about half of the birds in it. It looks like ... a duck? (Carate)

Carpintero! (Hatillo)

Halcon. (Hatillo)

Un otro halcon. (Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Playa Matapalo)

These guys would cruise around the house all day long looking for rodents and frogs and small dogs. Typically there were about 10-15 in view. Very cool. (Hatillo)

I have no idea what these things are. Sort of an amalgamation of a badger, a raccoon, and a very large cat. When we were walking in Baru, these two came barreling down the trail towards us, veered into the woods about ten feet in front of us, then came cruising back out about a foot from my leg. I thought for a minute that they were going to eat me, but they just kept on running. Phew. (Baru)

Camouflage. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

This is called a Jesus Christ lizard because when it skitters out in front of you on the trail, you jump about ten feet in the air and yell, "Jesus Christ!" ...okay really, they're so fast they can run across the surface of the water for short distances. But the other applies, too. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Confused owl. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

This guy greeted us at the door in the morning, and came out in the evening to say good night. Had we picked him up, we probably would have died a quick but horrible death by poisoning. So sweet. (Hatillo)

This picture doesn't quite do the color of this bird (also not in my bird book) justice. The thing was so bright red it was hard to look at. (Hatillo)

We had two species of toucan hanging around the house - and this was the other one. Piquianaranjado, according to the book. (Hatillo)

Ruth? Ruth! Ba-by RUTH! (You won't know unless you lived in the 80's. And even then, the reference might be a bit obscure. But if you got it, I owe you a hug!) (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Tiny little bird, GREAT BIG NOISE. (Hatillo)

And, of course, the Swainson's. (Hatillo)

I'm very sad that these pictures didn't turn out better. Mama and baby white-face capuchin - which, incidentally, were the only species of monkey in Costa Rica to survive the yellow fever epidemic a few decades ago. There are gobs of them, but this is the family that lived by our house. (Hatillo)

Bird. (Hatillo)

Kingdom Arthropoda

This anthill was like something straight out of the last Indiana Jones movie. Hip high and ... shudder ... full of ants. (Baru)

This little bastard was in the door handle of our car. I grabbed him. I may or may not have screamed like a baby. (Quepos)

This guy shoots those little spikes out. They hurt. (Hatillo)

Got crabs? (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Zompapas, they're called, and they can strip an entire palm tree in a day. These guys have actually worn a five-inch wide path through the jungle. Very industrious. Scott thought perhaps we should hire them to work at the lumberyard. (Baru)

The Magnificent Owl butterfly. The other side of this guy's wings are bright blue - it doesn't look real. We chased him around for about a half an hour trying to get a good photo, but no luck. Maybe next time. (Baru Mariposaria)

This butterfly had a name, but I'll be damned if I can remember what it is. Pretty? (Baru Mariposaria)

Big spiders here. And they're fast. Scott opened the screen door to bring out a plate of pineapple one day, and by the time he went back to close it, a spider had spun a web between it and the window. I was so sick of bugs by the time we left Costa Rica. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Right freakin' on. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Kingdom Plantae

Coffee. There's green and red, and I think the red is not the kind that we drink. But the monkeys like it! (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Mangroves. (Refugio de Vida Silvestre de Playa Matapalo)

Parasites! (Dominical)

Pretty. (Dominical)

More pretty. (Dominical)

Jungle. It's, uh, green. (Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio)

Evil tree. This is called the Spiny Cedar. (Baru)

I thought this tree might get up an walk away before I had a chance to take its picture. (Dominical)

Rainforest, right? (Hatillo)

Ooooh. Aaaaah. (Baru)