Darkness. Evil. Satanism. Anti-Christian. Halloween is a disgusting celebration and culmination of all of these concepts and anyone participating should be condemned immediately.
At least that’s what the protesters I came across last night would have you believe.
These sentiments are not new; every year at this time it’s common to hear these types of thoughts no matter where you are. Perhaps it’s a little more pronounced in Costa Rica, which identifies as being over 95 percent Catholic. But, even then, those that were represented in last night’s protest are definitely the minority.
Being a native English speaker makes life easy. It is the international language. It is the language of business. Hollywood produces the world’s most famous films almost exclusively in English. Ditto the music industry. It is the “other” language that the rest of the world must learn out of necessity. If you don’t want to deal with another language as a native English speaker, you don’t have to.
Being a native English speaker also makes you lazy.
Growing up in the English speaking part of Canada, you are forced to take French classes. What you are not forced to do is learn French. The curriculum is bad. The teachers are bad. The students don’t care and there’s really no effort made to ensure that they try to care. Even as immature adolescents we could pick-up on an education system simply going through the motions.
I don’t usually do this. I am a creature of habit and thus like doing things when I say I’ll do them. This is for a few reasons but mainly it’s about organization. Without previously setting aside time to do certain tasks I would let my overwhelmingly best quality to take over: procrastination.
Up until I got my first “real job” a few years ago – though most people still tell me I’ve never had a real job – procrastination was my best skill. I practiced it. I honed it. I got better at it every day. But since I’ve crossed that mythical and mysterious line into adulthood I’ve had to put my most practiced skill on the back burner and start honing my new best skill, though definitely not my favorite, of organization.
I like to know when I’m doing something and for others to know that it will be done by a certain time. Google Calendar has really helped me with this and I can attribute much of my organizational skills to that. If you don’t use Google Calendar, you really should. *This is not an advertisement for Google. But if Google is reading (whoever that is) I’m not not listening. *
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. For as long as I can remember it has been this way and even today I’m not entirely sure why. That is, I know why I like it; I’m just not sure why I rate it above other holidays that I am also fond of.
Christmas is great because everyone gets together who may not see each other on a regular basis. The food is rich and plentiful, the weather crisp and laughs abundant. With houses lit up, homes decorated and a general sense of calm, Christmas is an easy choice for favorite holiday.
Except it’s also very planned. Over organization and its structured nature, in addition to it being a big day on the calendar, are reasons why I think it’s not number one. Easter has become more of a vacation holiday than a celebratory one. New Year’s Eve is usually a letdown. St. Patrick’s Day, aside from not being a “real” holiday – despite what my opinionated Irish friends would tell you – is certainly fun, but cannot be taken seriously as a holiday preference.
Updating your resume should be a quarterly exercise. It’s a document that has remained relevant in society – and will likely remain that way – in spite of the booming nature of the innumerable social media options that now occupy our every waking second.
If you’re applying for a job you’re going to need a resume. A real sharp LinkedIn profile – while definitely impressive to bring up on the iPad at your high school reunion – just doesn’t cut it. This is not to suggest that social media isn’t important; it can certainly help in losing a potential position. It just won’t win you one.
It all comes back to the resume. Not having one still isn’t an option in terms of job applications.
I’m the eldest of two children; my younger brother is three years younger than me. Though the difference in years isn’t stark, the difference in experiences growing up certainly is.
Case in point can be seen with the ever infamous “hand-me-downs.” As the older sibling you’re always giving things away and as the younger sibling you’re always receiving them. The funny thing about hand-me-downs is that neither party is entirely pleased with the process.
The older sibling never really wants to completely relinquish that item they’ve grown attached to even though they know they have no more use for it. The younger sibling would prefer something new rather than worn. Being the elder in this scenario, I was always told when it was time to give that sweater to my brother; when it doesn’t fit anymore it’s time to move on. Seems fairly obvious.
Gregerson’s in town. He got in on Tuesday afternoon which meant that we were convening at by far his favorite place in Jacó that same evening: Los Amigos.
I have this feeling that Gregerson has been a long-term friend – mostly because I hear his name on an almost daily basis as I’m sure he does mine – but I’m not sure that he actually is.
We’ve only met in person once up until this visit. Granted, it was great and historic in terms of Toña consumption, but I don’t think that qualifies as an elevation to buddy status. We aren’t even Facebook friends; though he isn’t with anyone except his wife. We are connections on LinkedIn, so maybe that says something.
I’m used to buying plane tickets. When you live abroad, visits home at least once a year are usually requisite. This is doubly true in my case. I spent an entire twelve months in Costa Rica when I first arrived, almost to the day, before I went back home. After that, I’ve made the trip roughly every six months. Always at Christmas – as per mom’s orders – and then once to enjoy the (normally) gorgeous Ontario summers.
So when I sat down this week to buy yet another plane ticket, nothing felt weird about it – until Expedia kindly asked me to specify a return date. I didn’t have one. Err, I don’t have one.
I haven’t bought a one-way ticket since that first flight that brought me here to Costa Rica. As it dawned on me that I won’t be coming back this time, I unexpectedly felt many similar emotions and thoughts that first occurred to me on my last one-way adventure; feelings that I haven’t really felt in the last three years. That sense of an unknown entity. Not knowing what exactly the next step is or what it’s going to be like when you arrive at your destination.
My alarm has been set for 6AM for the past three weeks; it hasn’t gone off once. I suppose that’s what happens when you go to bed at 9 after falling asleep on the couch at 8:30. While never declaring myself as a morning person, many have identified me as such. I enjoy mornings. I find great pleasure in watching the sunrise, listening to the birds chirp and the roosters crow – if that’s in fact what you call what they do.
Three weeks ago this amazing splendor that nature provides did not shower me with the same sentiments. Rather, it filled me with feelings of discomfort, grogginess and a search for recollection of what time, that same morning, my head in fact did hit pillow.
When you wake up to a welcoming of assorted bottles and cans from the night before, a search for aspirin and reciprocal questions from your friends – à la The Hangover – about what had occurred exactly, the shining sun and robust roosters don’t give off the same sense of equilibrium.
Leaving is an ugly word. It lacks the sugar and the coat that is most often applied to major decisions or big announcements. If two people stop seeing each other, the term most used is ‘they broke-up’ rather than focusing on who did the breaking. Similarly if someone is relieved of their duties at their place of work, the common vernacular used is ‘let go’ rather than saying that person was fired.
Perhaps I lack tact. I’ve never been one to beat around that ominous bush in order to disguise or fudge meaning. I can say without equivocation that in certain instances it certainly would have been a better path to have taken.
Not in this case.