Archive for the 'Misc' Category

How to draft yourself a Scuba buddy

I felt like since I got a beautiful ring, Shaun deserved some sort of engagement gift. What I settled on may turn out to be a bit of a “from: me, to: me”, kind of gift. I went with scuba certification for Shaun. I got certified in El Paso back when I first arrived at post and have been diving in Puerto Vallarta and Cancun since then. Both were amazing but I didn’t have a dive buddy which has been kind of lonely. I’ve meet some interesting people that way, since you always get paired up someone on the boat but I thought it would be more fun to have someone to dive with. The solution seemed totally obvious to me, I’d just draft my asthmatic fiance! Fortunately he is a very mild asthmatic. So, after doctors clearances and getting him outfitted with equipment and everything else he is now half way to being certified. When I did it we had our pool sessions split over two weeks. They decided to cram all 5 pool dives into one insanely long day. Shaun pretty much rolled in the door and fell asleep. On the bright side he seems to be enjoying it or at least is being a good sport about it. I’ll take it as a good sign that he’s added a few Scuba stops on home leave trip. We’re now going to be detouring to dive at some wreck sites. The grand plan is to take advantage of the fact that Spain is a short cheap flight from Morocco and the Canary Islands are a short cheap flight from Spain. Grand Canary here we come!

Lost in Translation

This menu only looks like it is in English, it is really a cleverly designed trap to lure the hapless English-speaking traveler into a false sense of security.

I was recounting to a friend that one of the most annoying things about life in Mexico is American restaurants that have been imported and only partially translated their menu. Meaning that the descriptions are in Spanish but the title of the dish is in English… or so you think! For example at Starbucks I always try to order “Helado Shaken Lemon Tea” which is how it it is listed on the menu and in the end I have to go back to “te negro con hielo, por favor.” The worst is Chili’s. The other night when I tried to order my turkey sandwich it took several tries. I should have said it in Spanish, but I was tired. Finally the girl on the phone said oh “the Smhack-ed Toorkee.” I think my response was something along the lines of “yes, that’s fine you can smack it around a bit first, just put it on a plate.” From now on, I think I will stick with translating the English into Spanish when I order, it seems a lot simpler than having my English translated in well.. something else entirely.

Traveling with Pets

Miss Zoey

Zoey hiding as usual

I had a request to write up a blog about traveling with pets so here is the little wisdom I’ve acquired over the last few months. Since I am at a border post I had the option of throwing the cats in the car with me. About a week before I left I took the cats to the vet and decided that since they couldn’t deal with a 20 minute ride to the vet, a cross country car ride wasn’t going to happen. Yes, I said cats. As a few of my colleagues have pointed out the name of my blog is technically inaccurate. Last March I went to the pet store to get a cat carrier for Belize for the trip down. I did get the carrier but they were having an adoption event for a local shelter, so it came out with a cat in it. Apparently though having 2 cats in the foreign service brands you as a bona fide  “crazy cat lady.” I suppose though since  “cat” is in the name of my blog title, that probably qualifies me as a crazy cat lady regardless of the number of cats I have. I jokingly call Zoey my shame kitty since she hasn’t appeared on my blog yet and she always hides when I have company, but she is a fabulous kitty (that’s her tail peaking out from under the couch).
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Snowpocalypse 2010

Inches of snow: 25.5
Total hours without power: 14
Total number of shoveling expeditions: 5
Number of cars pushed out of snow drifts: 3
Snow days thus far: 2.5
Number of power outages: 2

Things have been a little interesting around here lately. To say I am ready to

The cause of our multiple outages

go to Juarez is a bit of an understatement. Ship me anywhere warm! We’ve managed to lose power twice thanks to tree branches hanging over the power lines and catching on fire. One of my neighbors managed to catch this shot of the smoking power lines.   I’ve helped shove three cars out of snow drifts, spent countless hours digging out cars and sidewalks, and the best part is now we get to do it all again! Apparently we are getting another 10-20 inches tomorrow.

Roscoe the rooster is ready for more snow

On the bright side, the snow is gorgeous. My favorite shot I got of the snow mayhem was of our town mascot Roscoe the Rooster. Someone thoughtfully stuck a scarf on him to keep him warm. With the lack of Internet during the intermittent outages my roommates and I have resorted to things like conversation and board games! So aside from the cold it has been an enjoyable weekend. I’m just hoping that my flight to Guatemala on Saturday will still be able to get out. I’m ready to escape the cold for a bit.  I hope all my fellow DCites are surviving the Snowmageddon!