I just realized that I haven’t watched television since I’ve gotten here. I literally have not sat in front of a television for a month, and I don’t miss it at all. That would be impressive if I also cut out my internet usage, but I’m very much in a connected work and living environment. I’ll take the small battles where I can get them, and maybe this will save me a lot of money back in the states in not getting a cable package. It’s such a waste of money anyways, back in Boston we spent $100/month on cable and called our TV the “Bruins and Seahawks machine”, because we never watched anything else. Here’s what’s happening this week:
– Happy Independence Day, Americans. I haven’t been able to celebrate in the States for the last 3 years, having been on a plane to London, plane from Mexico, and now in the Dominican Republic. I celebrated here in the stormy and rainy conditions, sad I couldn’t be with my group of dwindling Boston-homed friends. However, the daily chef for our office made us gringos a special cake, which was red, white and blue, had a cheesecake middle layer surrounded by chocolate and vanilla regular cake layers. We reciprocated by butchering the national anthem, luckily not fu–orgetting any words or quitting, and nobody laughed.
– I had the opportunity to try a few more of my hosts’ foods. First up was this rice mixture with cod, cilantro, and some yellow seasoning. Next they made some wheat pilaf/tabbouleh salad with mint, minced meat, and other spices served cold, which is one of my favorite things I’ve had here. Also, homemade flan for dessert one night was another all-natural, healthy option I was able to partake in. I’m not even going to waste my time giving reviews anymore, I’m convinced anything made naturally or at home just comes out tasting excellent.
– In terms of cooking my own foods, I’m going to try to cut down on the rice intake. In addition to not holding its own taste load (is that dirty?), it’s probably a good idea healthwise. Cue the sad face: colon open parentheses. It doesn’t seem to have any ill effects as of yet, as my latest cooking experiment was a great success. Last night, I bought two pounds of chicken breast (~$5), and with a nice sharp knife, cut myself
a pound of sweet chicken tenders, which I marinated in blood
red cayenne pepper, olive oil, sazón, onion and garlic (finely chopped, of course). All of that rested on a bed of carrots and black beans and next to a nice jumo Presidente Light. It was delicious, nutritious, and pretty cheap. It definitely cost under $4 in ingredients and lasted for two meals. Whenever I bring lunch into the office, people are very surprised that I am able to cook (I don’t even say that I can cook, only that I do cook my own meals often). Apparently that’s not a common ability among young men here, and it can automatically generate a girlfriend. My tacaño (cheapskate) status is theoretically paying dividends.
– This Friday, the interns and I head up to Santiago to go to the Veinte y Seite Charcos de Demajuagua (27 Waterfalls) on Saturday. This is one of the few things that my friends specifically recommended before I came to La República, and I’m super excited for it. Hearsay is that the highest jump is 35 feet, and the second-highest requires hanging on by a rope on a tiny ledge until you get to a jumping spot. I’ve only been bridge jumping from about 45 feet on the Snoqualmie River, so doing it 27 times in one go is going to be a blast. The 5 Fingers are going to come in handy again, and I’ll probably write a little review about them later. My opinion is very much for sale, so if anyone from Vibram is reading this, take note.
– I read The Great Gatsby in the mountains (Parte III is coming soon), which ended up being a bit of a disservice to the mountains. I should have brought the book I’m reading now (The Stranger) or the one book I brought down from Boston (Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance). The Gatsby is extremely well written, and the physical and emotional description of scenes and people is worth painting, but it’s so damn bland. All involced in the story were insecure and acted like children, and even with the narrator’s arrogant stance of ‘non-judgment’, there was not one likeable character. The central character, Gatsby, was just a love-struck boy who couldn’t let go of the past – all while being in love with a vapid gold digger. I don’t understand why it’s required school reading. What is the significance of the green light at the other side of the lake? What do the billboard’s eyes mean and why are they important to the narration? Gatsby moved across from the green light so he could adequately stalk his married old fling that he dated for a couple months; and they mean God in almost an explicit sense that is even addressed in dialogue. Whatever, still worth reading so I can know what I’m talking about when some snob brings it up as a beacon of literature.
On the other end of the spectrum, Animorphs addressed the age-old juxtaposition of a plain black girl with no taste in fashion with her tall fashion-oriented best friend, and how they can best combat the alien slugs infiltrating the most secret place on Earth so the government had no recourse with their alien toilet when the inevitable invasion commenced. I am pretty positive that sentence has never been written before in the annals of human history, making me a pioneer.
The NFL lockout seems to be rea Update: Nobody who reads this cares about how excited I am for the lockout to end. So I’ll just tell you that it is raining and storming here again and it just thundered so loud right above my apartment that I almost lost bowel control. Almost.
Here’s something my buddy showed me that’s really funny and gives me faith in the American legal system. By the way, I’m not all torn up inside about the Casey Anthony case. One, it doesn’t affect me nor anyone else; and two the prosecution did not provide proof without a doubt how or even that she killed her daughter. Case closed bye bye Nancy Grace.
Listening: Naked, Talking Heads
Reading: The Stranger, Travesía
Dominicanismo: Qué chulo – ‘How cool’