Adios Jersey, Hola Cozumel!

Aug 29, 2007

Well, I'm outta here for the long weekend. We have a fun time planned, we're going to snorkel with the whale sharks and do some diving. Should be good fun. I'll post some photos here when I get home. I think I hear a margarita calling.... yup.

Kitty for Adoption

Aug 28, 2007

We're thinking about adopting this cat. I think he'd do nicely with Sandy.

Why would you ever want to live in Mexico?

Aug 27, 2007

Well, here's one reason.



And for all my friends in Jersey, I am originally from NORTH Carolina, not SOUTH!!! :)

Guantanamera Cringe

Aug 24, 2007

I'm the assistant organizer for a local Spanish language Meetup. We get together every now and then to practice speaking in Spanish, usually at a restaurant or coffee shop. Sometimes we will go see movies or concerts or whatever peaks our interest.

Last night I organized a dinner at a Cuban restaurant nearby. We were enjoying a lovely meal and happened to be the only gringos at the restaurant (it was in a particularly Cuban town in Jersey). There were two guys strolling around playing songs on a guitar and an accordion. When they got to our table, they asked what we would like them to play. I reached in my wallet and handed them some cash and asked them to play something happy. Just as I was settling in to listen, one of my fellow Meetup-ers asked them to play Guantanamera. All I could think was that we were listening to a Mexican song at a Cuban restaurant. Maybe it's elitist, but it just made me cringe. It's just that it feels so gringo.

So I suffered through it thinking, "My god, I am a stereotype." Oh well, I guess no harm done. I got over it, but it still makes me cringe just thinking about it... yes, we're the gringos that requested the only song in Spanish that gringos know aside from La Bamba. Ay Dios.

Cozumel Seems Ok

Aug 21, 2007

Well, according to an entry on ThisIsCozumel.com, it seems that Dean spared the island. He says they didn't even lose power! This is great news for us, as we're heading down there in a couple weeks.

**UPDATE**

So we received the email from Roberta saying that everything is fine in Coz. She said that a couple places in the road on the other side of the island got partially washed away, but the rest of the island was fine. She says there are reports of strong waves on the eastern side of the island, but since all the diving (more or less) is on the western side, everything is fine. They even had some tourists weather the storm in their hotel. So, it looks like we'll be in Mexico in a couple weeks after all!

Yet Another Reason to Stay in the US...

Aug 20, 2007



Well, we're not making good progress on pairing down our responsibilities here. See, Hans went diving this weekend and brought up a 10 lb. piece of brass off a wreck on the Jersey coast. It's not the soaking in muriatic acid to remove the crap that's grown on it while it was in sea water or the soaking it in fresh water, one month for every decade it was in the sea (six!), or the fact that while you're soaking it for six months you have to change the water every week that bothers me. No, this is all fine...

What I want to know is how do I explain this to the friendly border guards in Spanish as we're trying to enter their country? ;)

We also have two lobsters and no idea what to do with them. Unfortunately, they died on the way home, so they're in the freezer. I learned later that you should keep them cool, not on ice, and just have a towel soaked in sea water on top of them to keep them alive.

Anyone know any good lobster recipes? I get too grossed out to eat them the "just boil and eat them with butter" way. I need something that makes them look less insect-like. Hmmm... maybe we should just give them away.

Hurricane Dean and Our Beloved Mexico

Well, I suppose we're lucky that we haven't made it to Mexico yet. Hurricane Dean is heading towards Chetumal, which is south of where we would be in Playa del Carmen. I'm scheduled to go to Cozumel over Labor Day weekend, so we will be in the loop with the dive shop. Roberta has promised to send out an email with the state of things once the sun comes out again. I would imagine that as long as the hotel and dive shop are still standing we will be there. Even if the hurricane churns up the sand and messes with the reef, I think we'll all still be out to show Roberta and our favorite dive masters and shop people some love.

Here's a map of the storm's trajectory with a little mark showing where Playa del Carmen is.

Where Has August Gone?

Aug 17, 2007

Wow, this month really seems to be flying by! I haven't been that busy at work, which is pretty good, because I have a feeling it's going to get a little nutty this fall. Hans would like to move the Mexico move up. We decided that if we don't draw a line in the sand about a date and stick to it, there will always be another contract or family event or something that is worth staying here for. So as soon as his contact ends and he finishes up with support and what not for them, we're gonna leave this joint!

Today is my godson Kyle's first birthday. They're having a big Elmo themed party for him tomorrow. In two weeks my sobrino William is having his first birthday. It's pretty amazing, but these two little guys are just on the verge of walking and they're both starting to get really cool. I take this as a sign that my clock is ticking... there was a time when I thought that only kids over 5 were cool, then it dropped to 3, then 2... now I think 1 year olds are cute? What's happening to me!?!

I did my first northeast wreck dive of the season last weekend. Yes, it is pretty lame to be making your seasonal debut in August, but I'm just not 100% sure that I really enjoy it. It seems like so much work for so little pay off. BUT, I did get to hang out on a boat on a beautiful day and I got to spend time with Anna, Michele and Hans. I also got to meet Michele's new man, Bill, who was a dear. I think everyone likes him and is glad that Michele is having fun.

Last night I made the trek into Manhattan to meet Hans for dinner. He had to come into town from Westchester to meet with his rebreather instructor, so we met up on the Upper East Side and had a nice, romantic dinner at a great Mexican restaurant and then went and walked on that park that is above the FDR, what ever it's name is. I hadn't looked at the East River in ages, being from the Hudson side of things, it's really got a current! It's evident just looking at it in the darkness, you can see the ripples the current causes on the surface. Anyway, it was lovely having a date with my hubby. After our date, he went back up to Westchester and I went home. I can't wait for this stinking project to end so he doesn't have to commute and stay up there!

What I've Been Up To

Aug 3, 2007

Not much. Well, I say that, but I've managed to keep my weekends full of fun stuff, so I guess that's not really true.

Last weekend we went to see Hans' mom before she left for major plastic surgery that she is getting in Colombia right now. So we had lunch with her and then hung out at her house for a little while (she's in Bogota right now and has had her surgery and everything is fine, she's just recovering a little before flying home). Then we met up with Jeff and Anna at the dive shop and went to dinner. I had met Hans at his mom's house and we had two cars in town, so after three glasses of wine I realized that I probably should leave my car in town and come get it the next day.

So, the next day I caught the train in and got my car and went to book club in Manhattan with Liza. We were discussing "A Thousand Splendid Suns," which was an awesome book, even if the ending seemed like it was editor mandated, as in "No, no, no, this book has to have a happy ending... go rewrite the last 100 pages." Anyway, now we're on to "Eat, Love, Pray."

After book club I came back to Jersey and met up with Anna, Cat and Jeff at Cat's place and we went to dinner at the Lighthorse Tavern. It was a really nice evening. Apparently I should have called Hans to see if he wanted to join us, but he had been diving with Jeff and had gone directly home, so we all assumed he was tired. Oops.

Then on Sunday I went horseback riding with Liza and her daughter, Anabell, and Anna. It was quite an experience! It's been years since I rode a horse... like maybe 15 years or more! My horse was named Panama, nice latin american connection! He was white with grey spots and he REALLY liked to keep his nose in the rear of the horse ahead of him... apparently that's called being a "crack addict." He did well and trotted occasionally to keep up. At one point I even went on a canter with him. That was cool.

So this week has been spent redesigning our company's website. It's not going to launch for a while because we have to go take photos all over the place. But it's starting to look nice. I also went to dinner with Charlene on Wednesday and ran into Anna, Michele and Lee sitting at the next table at the restaurant, which was sort of weird!

I hung out with Sheri last night while she had a security system installed in her house. She basically has On Star for her home now. It can tell if glass breaks or if any doors or windows are violated and it talks to her like the On Star people do. So she doesn't have to actually push any buttons or answer the phone.

Tomorrow we're having a BBQ for Mary and Caroline's b-day. You know, I realized lately that I have a lot of girlfriends and not that many guy friends. When I met my husband that was the reverse. I had like three girlfriends and the rest were all guys. I wonder when that changed and why. Well, all I know is I love my girlfriends and I'm so glad to have them in my life.

Whew, if you're still reading this then you must really like me, because that was a bunch of boring stuff about what I did this week. Wow. You're still reading. It's time for you to go do something more productive now, ok?