Saturday, May 29, 2010

Assorted Tasks

I've had a few assorted tasks hanging on, and I finally got them done (whew!).

- updated my brownie recipe post! Many thanks to Eleonora for correcting my Spanish!

- got my kitchen gas refilled. I have 2 canisters, so I never have to worry about running out of gas part-way through a meal (or cookies! what a disaster that would be!). *But!* I waited so long to refill my primary, that my back-up tank was threatening to die. So much for "the system." Always before, I had lugged the empty canister to the grocery store, and taxied back with a full one. Sometimes the grocery story didn't have one, so I had to return. Ugh. This time (!!) I tried calling Tropigas directly - they have a home delivery service that is *excellent!* Wish I'd known about it earlier... Basically, any time between 7am and 7pm, Monday through Saturday, you can call 800-876-7442. They will take your address and phone number, ask what size tank, tell you the price (same as in the stores), ask what denomination of cash you will pay with (so they can bring the right change), and show up *soon!* My guy came within the hour!

- talked to a guy about building a kitchen island. Our neighbor is replacing her tile (noisy, ugh), and her contractor is good. So, we'll see what he can do - he's pretty busy though, so I don't expect he'll be able to do anything for a while.

- inquired about a housekeeper. Hopefully, we'll talk to her on Tuesday, and have a clean house forever more :-s.

- checked up on my permanent residency. No-go; need to call back next week. sigh.

- got art supplies! After scoping out Lehman's on Tuesday, I went back after my trial run to Sabana Sur, and got **stuff!**

Trial Run

I start my new French class Monday (yeah, Memorial Day - gasp! Not a holiday here...). My new class is 3 days per week, for 3 hours each day. AND it is all the way on the other side of town! Shades of work in the Bay Area - it will take me about an hour to get there. I am quite sure that I will have a few bouts of "cranky" before it is over.

Yesterday, I made a trial run of the trip:
- 7:55 left my house, walked to the Escalante bus stop. Waited. Waited some more. Discussed w/ my fellow waiter how long a wait it was. Waited some more.
- 8:15 got on the bus! Driver drove like he was late (he was. very.).
- 8:30 bus is at the downtown San Jose terminus. Walked back 1/2 block to the Sabana Cementerio bus.
- 8:33 Sabana Cementerio bus left (with me on it, of course). Noticed that the next Escalante bus was already at the terminus.
- 8:54 SC bus is at Yamuni stop in Sabana West. Walked back 1/2 block, and South 2 1/2 blocks. Made sure to not walk fast, since I'm measuring "normal."
- 9:01 walked into the Alliance Française in Sabana Sur. If I had had class, I would have been a touch late.

The very lovely Amalia gave me a tour and explained where the class information would be posted on Monday. This branch of the Alliance Française is a bit different than the one downtown. It has 3 floors of classrooms (~8), a gathering place w/ tables, and a snack machine. But there is no coffee (ack!), no cafeteria, and no library. Why do I feel another cranky session coming on?


I had a week and a half off between French classes - what to do, what to do...

First and foremost, I *relaxed!* Then I made a list. Then I ignored the list. Except the "relax" part.

I did do a few things here and there - saw the dentist, kept my "French Story-hour" with Ann-Marie on Skype, and went to the Feria.

On Monday, Rick and I ventured into downtown San Jose for lunch. I wanted to see if my grades had been posted, and we wanted to pick up some tickets in advance for Tuesday's Mediodia concert. Well, no grades yet, so I couldn't sign up for the next class, but we got pretty good seats for the concert! I usually go about half an hour before the concert, and get nose-bleed seats (still definitely worth it)!

Tuesday was a big day for relaxing :-). Our friend Linda was checking out the bus system from her house near Grecia into San Jose, so I met her on the West side of town. Her bus took much less time than expected, and mine took much more - so she waited quite a while :-(. But, then we toured San Jose by bus - Sabana Cementerio bus from Sabana park to the Caja, then walked from the National Theatre to Lehman's. We spend a nice chunk of time browsing through the art supplies - got all excited by the glass staining paint, water color choices, art paper... Had time to notice that the first floor has a *lot* of books. Saw that there was a very decent selection of staples, paper, drawing tools, and other school and computer supplies. We left Lehman's just in time to make it back to our seats at the National Theatre. We met Rick there, the lights dimmed, and the jazz music burst forth! Afterwards, we decided to have lunch at a soda near the Alliance Française. It's a good one - convenient, good food, and a good deal (lunch is half the price of the place next to the Jade museum) - hard to find downtown...

After lunch, I checked again for my grades - they are posted! and I PASSED! So, I immediately signed up for the next session :-).

We spent the rest of the afternoon back at our place having an early cafecito. Then Linda and I headed back to the Alajuela bus terminal, stopping for peanut butter on the way. After all kinds of discussions about which bus is good for what destination, I zoned on the wrong bus - ended up 4 blocks in the wrong direction!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

I Have a Dentist!

People who know me know that I have a near-phobia-level fear of dentistry. There are huge chunks of my life - years long - that have been dentist-free, and NOT because I have great teeth...

Well, I had a great dentist in California, but since we began our slow move to Costa Rica, I have only been a couple of times - and those were more in the first couple of years. So, it took losing a filling here to make a call, and find a new dentist. I was very lucky - Rick had already been to this guy, and he had kept his eye out for whether he would work for me too. I called about a week ago for an appointment, and since I had no pain, and also had school finals coming up, I was happy to wait a bit to see the dentist :-|.

Today, I walked (yes, walked! he's very close.) to the dentist. I spent about 15 minutes filling out new-patient forms, then an entire hour with the hygienist. She was very careful around the lost filling site, and watched for my signs indicating pain or a need to spit. She used both the electric cleaning thing (a symptom of my phobia, I guess - I can't remember what it's called), and manual scraping. Got a thorough cleaning and polish, followed by a fluoride treatment.

Then Dr. Jimenez came in and introduced himself. He listened to my fears (thankfully by now I know exactly what scares me, and what I need from a dentist to alleviate those fears). He explained exactly what he would do. He asked about any problems, did the exam, and gave me the choice of returning for the filling or doing it right then. I opted for the latter - do it while you have the courage, right?

Throughout the entire procedure, he did exactly what I needed, and explained as he went. He even avoided using the word "shot" (fear #1)! I got a triple-level of numbing - a topical, then a "dot" (eyes closed, so I don't know exactly what that entailed), then the final "numbing" (aka the afore-un-mentioned shot). I got x-rays in between the two final stages - and managed to dribble on the bib ;-S.

Between the first two numbing stages, he polished the edge off another filling that had a small chip. He was very careful to explain that I wouldn't feel any pain, and was surprised that the drill wasn't one of my fears. Something like 85% of people fear the drill and/or the sound of the drill.

On top of the hour of cleaning, I spent another hour with my new dentist. I am so happy to finally get back on a dental schedule! I told him - and I meant it - that he is the third dentist in my entire life that I trust. I know exactly who I will go to if I have a tooth problem!