22 April 2011

Funnyquote Friday

Overheard at a Frigate Bay beach bar:

"It's Kurt; like Kurt Douglas."

Well, I had a bit of a surprise this morning: as it turns out, people do not work on Good Friday.  Cayon Street was virtually devoid of traffic, the NSTP office was closed as tight as a drumhead, and even the buses going into and leaving from town were mostly deserted.  I feel about the same way I did whenever I missed Daylight Savings Time in my college years (it happened twice).  But mostly I'm just surprised that I stumbled into a long weekend that I didn't even know I was looking forward to.

Part of 'making it' in a new and different place is figuring out the opportunity costs of acquiring the niceties of living that one comes to depend on.  For me, I require a handful of things to not go stir-crazy: exercise a few times a week, 3 meals a day, and internet access are three of the big ones.  And lately I've been meeting these needs by playing soccer on Thursdays, which is a free (albeit socially stressful) activity and doesn't impede on my budget.  Due to recent events, however, I'm electing to shift one more item from the "could go without" heap to the "must focus attentions on" queue: I want to improve my appearance by increasing upper body strength and muscular definition.

... I can, even now, hear you chuckling.  The truth is, even after I lost the initial 15 pounds after living with my host family for just one month, I'm down yet another 5 pounds from that.  Which is diving rapidly into the more uncertain regions of underweight-ness.  I've always been comfortable at 140 lbs., but dipping below that is probably unwise, especially for someone with previous vasovagal episodes.  So I've concluded I can head this off by increasing my caloric expenditure, forcing my body to demand more caloric intake.  And I'll accomplish this by joining the gym in town, just a short jaunt from my office, and visit in the mornings before work three days a week.  Naturally, this relieving the stress of one factor introduces new constraints on a second: my understanding is that the membership fee is around EC$75 per month, which is what I'm paying for internet service right now (before tax).  And since roughly 80-90% of my monthly budget goes towards groceries, if I decide to undertake this additional expense, the difference will be met almost entirely in my grocery spending.

I'm aware of the inherent contradiction here: work out more to eat more, but spend less on eating.  The truth is, I could afford to cut back on portions of my shopping list.  Some of my fellow PCVs here, especially the ones that have 18 months of service already, have pointed to my tendency to purchase Classico brand Vodka Sauce as an example of unwitting overspending.  My thinking is, "I'm eating spaghetti = I'm saving money." But their argument is, I'm paying EC$13.60 for a jar of premium spaghetti sauce, plus EC$10.72 on a carton of mushrooms, all in all about $25 before the spaghetti, for an amount that lasts about two meals.  The alternative, they say, would be to purchase the cheap Hunt's brand spaghetti sauce in a can, about three meals' worth, at EC$6.50.  Season it up however I want, of course, but at minimal expense.  And I must confess this makes a lot of sense, though is markedly less appealing to my sense of appetite.

The signs of Spring here, are, to the best of my knowledge, limited to the appreciable increase in exposure of birds and bird varieties.  I've already spotted two new nests in the last week, a half dozen fledgling Mourning Doves, and a hummingbird in the past week.  Apart from that, the air is slightly warmer in the day, slightly dryer, and slightly less breezy.  So basically showing the signs of a rapid push to summer weather, which will last all the way through to November – 6+ months of awesome!


  1. Hey Chris! Happy Easter!
    It's good to be home. I just saw this awesome clip, and I just want you to know that you have to do this at my wedding. http://wedinator.icanhascheezburger.com/2011/04/24/funny-wedding-videos-best-man-speech-dance-the-best-man-for-the-dance/
    That's a big link. It's pretty awesome.

  2. Let me help you. Just say, "Let me practice."