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My kid brother had a baby!

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Or rather, his wife did. It’s small (hand-held) and stuff.


My uncle passed away…

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

My uncle Roger passed away today, he was not in good health after years of abusing his body but I wasn’t expecting it. RIP Roger….

Engagement rings and wedding rings. Things I knew nothing about.

Monday, November 12th, 2007

A recent bout of curiosity disabused me of my ignorance of there being both a wedding and engagement ring. I hate rings (and wearing any jewelry) and I thought it was just one effin’ ring I would have to come to terms with and yeah I never thought about it being odd to ask for the engagement ring back to re-present at the wedding owing largely to the fact that as a male member of the species I rarely thought about weddings at all. I thought it was all just one ring for the whole marriage thing.

From what I can tell, all women have known all about this since they were teenagers. I got the full run-down from my soon-to-be fiancĂ© (is there a term for that?) together with an amused roll of the eyes. Now I am just wondering if it would be a transgression of some tacit female protocol to request a really big aquarium for myself instead of one of my rings. Hell, I may as well ask…

Didn’t go over too well says the significantly less amused roll of the eyes.

RIP Alvin

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I met Alvin playing poker, back when I was doing it for a living. I was playing late at night in the Horseshoe Casino in San Jose, Costa Rica and he came in to play. He isn’t the kind of guy you’d forget. He looked like a Samurai and he played very aggressively. He’d raise every un-raised pot and was good enough at post-flop play to almost break even most nights. Ultimately, it wasn’t profitable play and he knew it. But it was fun. And that was the point. He played for fun and made any table interesting. We loved his action and the action he’d generate and he was a pleasant and fun guy to hang out with around the poker scene.

We weren’t close friends but we’d sometimes go out to eat or hang out before, after or in between the poker sessions. I haven’t been much of a partier since moving in with my girlfriend and he always said we should hang out more and since I knew he was pretty bored in town with only gambling as entertainment in most of his free hours I always promised that we’d go party some time.

He lived close to me and a few times I gave him a ride to his house after the games. I can’t say I had the honor to call him a good friend but I liked the guy. He had a child-like earnestness about him. Everything you said he’d think about very hard and say what he thought, whether he thought you were right or wrong yet he was never argumentative. He just seemed to think very hard on everything.

Anyway, last weekend I heard some foreigner was murdered in Escazu, where I used to live and my friends jokingly asked if it was me or one of my friends. It was a pretty shocking crime, as 3 people were found stabbed by kitchen knives.

For some reason when I heard the description of the scene I thought of Alvin as roughly fitting the description. You don’t really expect such fleeting fears to be true but I spoke to a mutual friend and he asked me if I’d heard about Alvin. “It was him?” I asked. When I found out my girlfriend looked up the news online and warned me that it was pretty graphic. And it was, the photos of him aren’t easy to forget.

The newspapers didn’t know anything but didn’t hesitate to speculate that it was a fight over the woman who was also found stabbed and dead. But later the newspapers reported that Alvin had seemed to indicate that the man and woman with Alvin had intended to rob him in broken Spanish as he was dying. Whatever the case is, I’ll likely never know why Alvin died and it seems so very weird.

It’s been bothering me more than I thought. I’ve been less patient and a bit more stressed. I guess I won’t be able to keep my promise to Alvin to go party with him sometime, but he’d understand. He was a good guy.