Sunday, December 19, 2010
I must confess that despite the fact that 2010 was not the greatest year, I actually did all of the things I resolved to do. Which is pretty amazing and maybe there is some tructh to this "write things down" theory. Kudos to whomever thought it up.
Now, every year (every damn year) we all say the same thing "This year went by sooo fast." No it didn't. It was, always has been and always will be 365 days (okay, okay, except fot he leap year which is just an extra 24 hours that I use to catch up on my sleep).
So let's recap 2010 and see how fast this year really wasn't:
I was still working in January and we came back from spending Christmas and New Year's in Mexico. In February my brother went to Afghanistan. At the end of February and during March I stayed in LA to help out the fam, and thus ended up watching a lot of cable television. It was at this time that I developed a crush on Adam Richman from Man v. Food. Because he's a fat kid, just like me. And how great is it to travel the country and just eat? :-)
The end of March and most of April were kind of a blur and that's a good thing because judging from my previous posts during that time... they were not good times.
In May I traveled! Yep, highlight of the year was getting in my car and driving north. I hit San Fran, Portland, and Seattle. Good times all around!
June, July, August, September... basically the entire summer was ups and downs. Went back to Mexico, became a dual citizen (hooray for double taxes), had a series of bad things happen, lost 15 pounds, and came home.
October and November brought good prospects (financially at least). It turns out that, yes my life is unbalanced, but at least that gives me the privilege to find good work quickly. And so the circle of life continues, because we are back where we started last year. Literally, because I live in the same city and I work at the same company and nothing has changed.
Or has it?
Well, the answer to that question is... I am wiser. ALTHOUGH this newfound knowledge will probably not stop me from doing something completely stupid. Some mistakes you don't learn from the first time, or they're so good you're willing to fall flat on your face again.
1) Work hard and play hard. I said that I was back at my old job, which I'm seriously grateful for, but there's a twist involved and I'm going to have to prove myself. Of course with work comes cash and with cash comes fun. And I'm gonna have some fun this year.
2) Volunteer/Be Charitable. In the wise words of Cher (from Clueless, not the singer) "we should do something good for mankind or the planet for a couple of hours." Thus I will find time to volunteer.
3) Keep writing. Did I mention that I finish the certificate requirements next semester? Yeah baby! Three more classes and I get a piece of paper that says I'm at least qualified to write. If I write a little each week (so so so trying for that to be every day) then I might be qualified to be labeled as a good writer.
4) Travel. Is anyone surprised? 2011 is bringing quite a few travel prospects already. There is the open invitation I have to visit my peeps in Syracuse which will bring me one step closer to NYC. Then there's a wedding in Mexico being planned. I absolutely want to go to Comic-Con (it counts even if it's San Diego). And of course I must go to Harry Potter Land in Orlando, though this one seems like a slim chance I'm not ruling it out just yet.
5) Reverse the Curse! No, I'm not talking about the White Sox. I'm talking about the curse that has befallen the women in our family. The Curse of the Sipisapo :-o
Last year I did not make this one of my resolutions but obviously Fate is busy setting up the rest of the world and Cupid is so drunk that he manages to shoot his arrows JUST past me. So... (you read it here first) I am going to actively work to break the curse.
Let's see: work, play, volunteer, play... and hopefully play some more ;) Okay, so it looks like once again I've set myself up for a HUGE failure, which is just the way that I like it. What? I'm a Scorpio, that should say it all.
Bring on 2011!
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
But November, I am happy to report, has been a good month. If you think about it I've only been back for a couple of months so it will take sime time to recoup from whatever is ailing me. You see November is the month of my birth which means that the Sun and my star are probably well-aligned or something like that. I don't know. All I know about Scorpios is that we are passionate about everything (which probably explains the anxiety, if you think about it).
So thanks to my friends (No, really. I owe you guys some chocolate-chip cookies) and a lot of shopping, I've managed to at least put a name to my dilemma. I've been relatively calm these past four weeks.
First there was the Shakira concert (not exactly in November, but close enough), then my peeps came down from Prescott to hang out for my birthday and brave the late hours and freezing weather to catch the midnight show of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and eat mountains of sushi), and finally Thanksgiving which brought with it food and shopping.
I am happy to report that the nerves have easened up. Now, before you all start freaking out (all six of you faithful readers) I have to say that it is not as bad as what I've read or seen. If I fall over Tony Soprano-style then I should probably see a professional (Hooray for health insurance! Imagine if we all had it). But for now it will be calmness, a bit of yoga, and probably an attempt to be more sociable.
So far it looks like the goal that I've set out for myself in my 28th year is working. I did what I wanted to do and I spent a lot of money. And I totally felt better :)
Onward then towards 2011. I'll have a new job (sorta), new apartment (definitely), new... ??
Friday, November 5, 2010
So with that, I am enacting executive order number 123: The I don't give a f*** order.
My resolution for the next twelve months is plain and simple: I'm going to be selfish. I'm going to do what I want, when I want, and how I want.
Weren't you selfish before?
Um...no, but thanks for asking. Well, maybe I've always been a little selfish but I've always put others before myself. Well, you know what? That stops November 16th, at least for non-family members.
You seem a little upset.
That''s probably because I am! Don't get me wrong, I live a pretty privileged life and I have (knock on wood) my health. But that doesn't mean I don't have the right to be a little pissed especially since I've been a good person, I've followed all the rules, and was/is honest.
We are still going to have some good times. There will be travelling and I plan to spend an obscene amount of money. Some things are going to change for 2011, so hold on to your seats.
Friday, October 29, 2010
I had to drive my ass to Anaheim because La Loca is boycotting Arizona. Therefore I have the following:
Dear Governor Brewer,
I am sending this note along with a copy of two gas receipts for my recent trip to and from Anaheim, CA. I am requesting reimbursement in the total amount of $63.45 from you due to the fact that, had you not signed law SB1070 I would have walked from my place of work over to the Shakira concert instead of driving five hours each way. Thank you for your attention on this matter. Go Suns!
I've been wanting to attend a Shakira concert for years. Among the people I want to see in concert before I die (or worse, before they die) are Madonna, U2, Vicente Fernandez (who is playing in Los Angeles around my birthday if anyone wants to get me a kick-ass gift), and Eminem.
The day of the concert was, as always, stressful. Homework, e-mails, check-in at work, have lunch with bro, visit the new baby. Adding to this I forgot the shirt I was planning on wearing and the camera. I had to borrow a shirt but the camera was sad because now I have to depend on someone else to take a good picture of me (not easy). THEN we leave late. So late that the line of cars to find parking was all the way around the block. Because we are fat kids we decided to pay $20 instead of walking a long way.
It took us approximately 30 minutes to reach the two idiots manning the line, all so they could tell us that there was no more parking. Either we shell out another $10 for VIP or we save $10 and walk. I may be a fat kid, but I'm a cheap fat kid. So we walk. And walk. And walk. The parking was (no joke) on the other side of the freeway.
Thankfully, the concert had not started. In fact we arrived with time to spare.
From this moment on I don't want anybody to give me any bad news. In fact, I left the phone at the house. I spend all day willing the phone to ring, except for right now. I shelled out a pretty penny for this seat and damnit I'm gonna enjoy this! While I'm on this tiny subject can I just say how annoying it is to stand next to someone who is sitting down with a sour look on their face. The woman is doing a half-naked bellydance and the guy next to me acts like he's watching The English Patient (aka a boring movie). I'm pretty sure the only reason he finally got up was because he was tired of my big butt in his face.
Okay! The concert was awesome. First, because Shakira came out from the tunnel where we were standing. That's right, we got to see her from super-close. She was wearing this huge pink ensemble a la Lady Gaga and walked slowly from the tunnel to the stage, saying hello and stopping to greet her fans. Then, it's time to dance bitches! At least for most of us because my neighbor had to keep both hands on his lady's purse.
I think if I look at my iPod I can tell all of the songs that she sang. But I'm not going to do that. So just trust me that there were about 3 or 4 from every album except "Piez Descalzos" which is a great album :(
During the second set the music calmed down and we got a great rendition of Metallica's "Nothing Else Matters" acoustic-style. Plus, some Flamenco dancing that was pretty intense. My complaint, because I must have one, is the lack of Spanish spoken and sung. If there was a version of a song in English, then she sang it in English and all of her comments were in English.
It's not really fair but consider this: The other day a letter was sent to the Arizona Republic complaining about the ballots being in English and in Spanish. The writer asked why this was necessary if people should pass an English test to become citizens.
That's what you call the other side of the coin. In my opinion Shakira should have made a bigger effort to make her show more bilingual.
But back to singing and dancing.
We howled to the moon with She-Wolf, rocked out to Whenever, Wherever, and danced to Loca. The best part was during Ojos Asi (sung, surprisingly, in Spanish). She walked to the center of the stage and did a bellydance that left the crowd with their jaws hanging and some men with saliva on their chin. I'm going to go on the record and say that I suspect Shakira is double-jointed.
Now you might think that I perhaps envy her beauty, talent, and ridiculous ability to move her hips, but I don't. It's not about what Shakira can do and I can't, it's about what I can and she can't. Such as eat an avocado-bacon-cheeseburger with onion rings on the side; I'm also a good two inches taller so I can reach things she can't; and... let's be honest, I'm a better translator. Take note boys, take note.
The show ended with a shower of confetti and all of us singing that summer tune Waka Waka. At least it was the summer tune for the World Cup watchers, don't know what the rest of the world was doing.
We came out of the Honda Center feeling very content and apparently we were also hungry. I didn't notice it until the delicious smell of hot dogs wrapped in bacon (I wonder if Shakira can eat these? If she can't then add one more thing to the list). We got to one of the vendors and asked the price. Four dollars.
Okay, here's the thing. I thought the price was insane but almost a week later I realize that it's actually not a bad price. Consider that we were at an event, I had just shelled out $10 for parking and $25 for a souvenir. $4 was actually not that bad.
But wait! There's another lady selling hot dogs. Without asking for a price I requested a dog and handed over a $5 bill. I'd like to mention that my good luck began and ended with the concert, because this particular hot dog cost, not $4, but $5. Yep, I sure as hell felt like an idiot asking for my ONE DOLLAR change. Cuz I wasn't getting it, lol.
We headed home, feet sore, our ears pounding with the ghost of the songs we'd just heard, our cheeks hurting from smiling. It was a great night :)
Thursday, October 28, 2010
Ayer, mis primas y yo fuimos a ver a la artista Latina mas grande del mundo: nuestra amiguis la Shaquis (o sea Shakira para ustedes que no son del circulo de confianza).
Pero antes de que les cuente como nos fue, regresemonos un poco, porque Shakira sera la artista Latina mas grande del mundo pero este blog se trata de mi.
El dia del concierto todas nos despertamos con mucha anticipacion. Pero yo tambien traia cansancio y estres. Tenia muchisisisisima tarea que terminar, un e-mail importante que mandar, y, como siempre, tenia que tener un ojo abierto para los muchachos solteros. Despues de dos horas sentada en Starbucks fui a comer con mi hermano un burrito gigante a Chipotle :) Media dormida y con la barriga de tres meses de gestacion, nos regresamos a la casa pero como no habia nada en la tele me fui a visitar al nuevo miembro de la familia. El pequeno Jacob se desperto por aproximadamente diez minutos y decidio que no hay nada interesante en este nuevo mundo y se volvio a dormir. Nos fuimos a la casa a arreglarnos y fue cuando me di cuenta que la blusa que me iba a poner estaba a 300 millas de distancia.
Tambien se me olvido la camara y mi nueva chamarra :(
Pero al menos no se me olvido el boleto (Gracias a mi mama).
Como suele suceder en nuestra familia, ya ibamos tarde. Llegamos a la salida del freeway y vimos un anuncio que decia "Parking $5".
"Pero tenemos que caminar un chingo! Mejor pagamos los $20. Que al cabo entre todas no es mucho."
Pues vamonos. Duramos mas de media hora en una linea eterna de carros administrada por dos individuos que no conocen otra velocidad mas que la lentitud. Cuando por fin llegamos se nos informa que tenemos dos opciones: Pagar $10 mas y estacionarnos donde estamos o pagar $10 menos y caminar varias cuadras.
Decidimos caminar. Que tan lejos puede estar este otro estacionamiento?
Nos dijeron que encontraramos al muchacho con la lampara y cuando lo encontramos tuvimos que gritarle "Hey, where is the $10 parking!"
"Oh, take a left until you see another guy."
Pues toma tu "left". Tuvimos que pasar por debajo del freeway para encontrar al otro individuo.
La hora es 8:45! Una de dos: Shakira va a empezar el show tarde (cruzen los dedos) o ya nos perdimos una buena parte del show. Por suerte los conciertos nunca empiezan a la hora. Llegamos todavia con tiempo de sobra. Si, nos dolian los piezitos porque corrimos como media milla, pero llegamos a tiempo.
Y empieza el show. Primero, vimos a varios trabajadores salir justamente del tunel donde estaban nuestros asientos. Se juntaron las manos y un camarografo se puso en pose.
OMG Shakira va a salir de aqui!!!
Bajan las luces y sale del tunel vestida de rosa fosforesente cantando "Pienso en Ti". Mientras que llega al escenario saluda a su publico y hasta se para a que le tomen fotos y a dar la mano. Desde ese primer momento se creo una conexion entre la artista y su publico y no se solto. Hubo varios sets, desde el Rock, al Flamenco, al Club Mix (o pues lo que se llame cuando uno baila en los clubs), al baile Arabe, y finalmente el Waka Waka.
Mis partes favoritas fueron, primero, cuando se calmo el ritmo y se juntaron Shakira y sus musicos a tocar "Nothing Else Matters" de Metallica en forma acustica. Despues de eso se puso a bailar al son del tambor como esas culebras que se mueven al tono de la flauta. Mi unica queja (porque nadie es perfecto) es que cancion que tenia su version en Ingles fue cantada en Ingles. Incluyendo "Gitana" que es la cancion que considero personalmente mia (quien mas puede puede decir "aprovechame hoy que si llegue ayer me puedo ir manana"?). Mi teoria es que se hizo asi para los fans que no hablan nuestro bello idioma. Si estuviera viendo esto en Mexico o Colombia me imagino que todas las canciones serian en Espanol (o al menos espero que asi sea). Cualquiera que sea la razon, no entiendo ni papas cuando oigo las canciones en Ingles.
La segunda mejor parte del show, fue durante "Ojos Asi". Si se ponen a pensar esta es la cancion que cambio todo el ritmo de Shakira. La diferencia entre el album Donde Estan Los Ladrones y Laundry Service es que 1) se cambia el pelo de negro a guero y 2) hay mas baile y menos ropa. Pero en fin. Durante la cancion Shakira se pasa en medio del escenario y baila en ritmo arabe, ahora las culebras hipnotizadas somos nosotros. No creo que haiga habido alguien que no quedo con la boca abierta. Si en ese momento hubiera llegado el tan esperado Gran Terremoto de California, a todos nos hubiera costado un momento reaccionar. Cuando termino la cancion todos los hombres pensaron tristemente lo mismo: Mi novia no puede hacer eso. Y todas las mujeres pensaron tristemente: Yo no puedo hacer eso.
Pero yo pense alegremente: Yo no puedo hacer eso, pero si pudiera estaria hecha de puros huesos y, como dice mi mama, las gorditas estamos de moda ahorita.
El show culmino con todo mundo bailando el Waka Waka (en Ingles) y con confetti lloviendo del techo. Shakira nunca perdio la sonrisa ni la increible energia que carga. Hubiera querido oir mas de las viejas canciones de cuando traia el pelo negro y cargaba su guitarra (en vez de ciertas canciones), pero no se puede tener todo.
Al salir del show, como siempre, no faltan las personas con ingenio para sacar un dolar. Estaban los vendedores de camisetas que antes del show costaban $10 pero despues del show estaban a mitad de precio. Y tambien llegaron los vendedores de comida, especificamente de hot dogs. De esos que estan envueltos en tocino y tienen cebollita y jitomate dorado. Si, esos.
Pues nos llego el olor y nos fuimos directamente al vendedor mas cercano.
"Que?! Eso es un robo!"
Me fui a otro vendedor que tambien me dio el mismo precio y para esto ya mi estomago estaba pidiendo que le mandara algo de comida. Como dure mucho en decidirme el muchacho atendio a otros, entonces me di la vuelta y encontre a una mujer que apenas estaba llegando.
Me avento mi hot dog, le di un billete de $5, y siguio a atender a mi prima que tambien le pago con un billete de $5. Cuando volteo conmigo le pregunte "Y mi dolar?"
Y ella me contesto "Cuestan $5"
La leccion: Pregunten cuanto cuesta algo antes de pedirlo.
Nos fuimos bien contentas con nuestro hot dog de $5 y chupandonos los dedos porque parece que las servilletas tambien estaban en venta. Pero no le hace, terminamos la noche contentas, roncas de cantar, cansadas de bailar, y muertas de la risa.
Nota: Esta es la primera vez, y tal vez la ultima, que escribo un blog en Espanol. La razon numero uno por la que nunca lo he hecho es que es mas dificil para mi. A pesar de que este es mi primer idioma y lo hablo todos los dias, me cuesta trabajo sacar mis ideas. Desafortunadamente tengo que pensarlas en Ingles y despues traducirlas. Esto es porque la mayor parte de mis estudios han sido en Ingles, y aprendi a pensar en este idioma. Increible como funciona el cerebro humano. Creo que por eso no me gustan las canciones de Shakira cuando son en Ingles, porque no creo que es posible que las escriba con la misma emocion que en Espanol.
La otra razon es que no encuentro como poner la enye y no soporto que algo este mal escrito.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But talking to one person, one on one. Yeah, that chills my bones. What the hell am I supposed to say to a total stranger? "What do think of this weather?"
See speaking in public and interviews are easy because I already know my audience. I know what my future employer wants to hear from me, I know the attitude they're looking for. But a person that comes up to you let's say at the grocery store? I have no idea what they want to hear or why they're even approaching me.
This is what happens in my mind when someone says hello: "Oh God, what does this person want? Why are they talking to me?" That is followed quickly by "Do I want to talk to this person?" The answer is usually "no".
But let's say that the conversation is about more than the weather. Let's say that said person says "Want to get a cup of coffee?" (For those of you that haven't seen Sleepless in Seattle you should. The rule is you invite a person for a drink, not dinner because you could realize half-way through dinner that you want to run away very very quickly.)
Now what? Here are a few pieces of advice:
- Ladies: Offer to pay. Men: Do not let the girl pay. There are exceptions to this rule but I've never much paid attention to them.
I'm kidding! Have a sense of humor. Both of you should offer to pay, only one of you should win and the "battle" shouldn't take half an hour.
- Never, ever, and I do mean ever talk about politics or religion. I'm serious people. The person sitting in front of you could be a totally nice and lovable human being. Do you really want to find out on your first cup of coffee that he/she thinks Obama is a foreign-born Muslim? No!
Disclaimer: Eventually, you will have to talk about these things. But don't do it when you are trying to make the first impression. Save it for later, when you realize that you can deal with certain differences. Because, if you think about it, politicians are temporary, love is forever.
- Do not start any sentence with "I hate". It just makes you seem like a negative person. Instead switch the words around and instead of saying "I hate the Lakers and Kobe Bryant" say "I would love for the Suns to beat the Lakers in the playoffs this year." See that?
- Don't lie! Because you WILL get caught and after you get caught the person you told the lie to will always remember that you lied. They may not even remember what you lied about, but you will be labeled a liar FOR-E-VER. Just tell the truth, always. FYI: We all live with our parents.
- Men: I don't care how much cleavage I'm showing, they don't talk. So eyes up.
- Ladies: Keep the cleavage to a minimum if you want someone to pay attention to what you're saying.
- Don't pick your nose. Don't scratch your private parts. Don't burp.
- Yes, you are allowed to eat.
- Yes, you are allowed to touch the other person. But just know that even the slightest grace means volumes, so plan accordingly.
- If all you can think of to talk about is Who Played Batman Better? then that's ok. (It was Keaton, btw).
- Before you start showing your really really weird/funny side make sure this person gets the joke. Otherwise they might think you have some kind of mental disability and that's why you keep yelling PENIS in between the conversation.
- If there is more than five seconds of silence then you are not interested in this person and they are not interested in you. Run away as fast as you can.
- Save the dirty talk for another night or for a more appropriate venue.
- The part where you say goodbye is the most awkward part of the entire evening (unless one of you actually yelled PENIS, and even then it's kind of a tie). But remember, it's not a business meeting, don't shake hands and say "We'll be in touch".
Once you get past the initial extremely scary, and possibly unnecessary social ritual then things should go smoothly.
Actually, things should go smoothly after the initial "Hello", but the trick is to get over our fears and say it back.
Monday, September 27, 2010
It was almost one year ago that the thought of moving to Puerto Vallarta entered my mind. I was tired, stressed, and unhappy. I looked back on the years when we lived in PV, they were happy times. Plus I still have family there. Family members who are perfectly content to live by the beach and enjoy a peaceful existence. So why not leave? Maybe what I needed was to return to my roots.
It took a while for me to get there. My initial plan was to go at the beginning of this year, but circumstances being what they were, I didn't get to PV until July.
It didn't work out.
From the moment I arrived I felt sick. It wasn't enough at first to deter me from staying. In fact, I came to Phoenix and went back to PV within a week. I wanted to make my life work over there. Partly because people told me I couldn't, partly because I wanted that life that my family members have. Sure, life is hard. But life is hard everywhere. It is my argument against the people who come here looking for "a better life," there is no such thing. Had we stayed in Mexico when I was younger I probably never would have left. I'd be there now, living a life that may or may not resemble the one that I currently have.
Would I have a high-paying job? It's likely. I am fluent in English and Spanish and I can learn to do anything very quickly.
Would I be married and have kids? I don't know. I believe those things are more related to fate/destiny, and if I don't have them here, I find it unlikely that I would have them there.
So if things aren't so different, why did I want to leave? Well, PV is the only "home" I have. I've moved every year of my life (except since I came to Phoenix) but that's where my grandmother lives, and my family. It's the place where my mother was born. It's the only place where I want to go to church. It's the place where I want my ashes scattered after I die. I have a direct link to the people who built that city. I can walk down the street and people will recognize me and wave.
So I picked up my things and went back. I fixed my papers so that I'd have no problems getting a job. But things weren't okay. The sweltering heat combined with the intense humidity made it hard for me to breathe each day. I lost my appetite and my strength. Part of it had to do with the schedule. Breakfast was at the lunch hour, lunch was at the dinner hour, and dinner was at the time I went to sleep. To top it off it rained EVERY SINGLE DAY. I'm talking thunderstorms here. Pounding rain, bright lightning, and crashing thunder. At first it was beautiful, it was peaceful. Then it became a headache. Nothing could be done during the rain. Sometimes not even watch television, because we disconnected everything from the walls.
All of this could have been bearable, after all Phoenix is no picnic during the summer. Just ride out the months and wait for fall.
Unless, you get sick.
Yes friends, I got sick. Not in a way that demanded emergency medical attention, but in the way that makes you say "enough is enough". First, I got Salmonella from handling a bad chicken (I believe it was a mild case, since I didn't get all of the symptoms). This led me to FREAK-OUT and spend more time on WebMD than anyone should. I was ready to leave the moment I was diagnosed but the doctor reassured me that I would be fine and that the American doctors would give me the same medicine that he was giving me. I don't know if that's true, but our family doctor down there is a very calm man who explains everything to you in a way that is relaxing. It took about a week to recover and once I did I hit the beach for some exercise. We planned a party for the Bicentennial celebration which I was really excited about. The plan was to prepare tostadas, eat, have some fun, and then go to the plaza (damn the bomb threats) and scream to the top of our lungs VIVA MEXICO!
Not so much.
The day of the Bicentennial both of my feet got bitten by a mysterious bug and as the day progressed, they swelled to the size of a grapefruit. BOTH OF THEM. Had it only been one I could have limped to the plaza, but noooo. I was so upset I didn't even watch the celebration on television. I sat pathetically on the sofa as everyone else went to the balcony to catch the fireworks, if I had been alone I would have crumbled to tears. Thanks to my doctor sister-in-law my hobbit feet returned to normal three days later. Just in time for my throat to get really sore and reduce my voice to a whisper.
Say it with me: Enough is enough.
Despite my grandmother's pleas, I hastily packed my things, bought a bus ticket, and came home.
It hurts to have left. I wanted to stay, I wanted to make it work. Those of you that know me and have heard or read of my little adventures know that I have tried to leave Phoenix many times, yet keep coming back. Some of those returns have been forced by powers beyond my control. Was this another sign? It might be. It also might be that I've changed. Perhaps five years in the same city have cemented themselves inside of me and made me unable to adjust to anything else. Puerto Vallarta hasn't changed. Sure, there are more condos, more people, and a handful of Starbucks but it hasn't changed. It is still the small town I spent part of my childhood in. Unfortunately, I don't think adulthood will have the same luck.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Five years ago, I moved to Arizona and worked, worked, worked. The hours were long and the stress was heavy on my shoulders, it was me and my future mid-forties self. Get up early, drink strong coffee, go to work, go back home, take a shower, eat some dinner, and go to sleep so we can do it all over again tomorrow. A couple of years ago Twenty-one showed up and was all "Hi, remember me? I need attention." I felt guilty. I never gave Twenty-one her due attention. I didn't show up on my birthday with my license in hand at the liquor store, I didn't party hard, I didn't skip classes due to a hangover (except the ONE time). I was so busy trying to get to graduation that I skipped a whole year of my life, probably a pivotal one. So when I got my second chance, I took it.
I quit my job. I left it where it belongs--in the future. Someday I will need to work more than forty hours a week and I will have a mortgage and car payments and who knows what else. For now it was me and Twenty-one (and, as I said, ocassionally Sixteen) taking road trips, living back with my mom, not worrying about a job. Not worrying about much. The future was in the future.
Welcome to the future.
It started sometime around the Spring. I began to feel tired a bit more easily. I was sleeping somewhere around six hours in a night, and that's not bad for Twenty-one, and more than enough for Sixteen, but a killer for Twenty-seven. I was wanting to get to sleep earlier and if I didn't get my full eight-hour dose then I'd be tired, cranky, and even dizzy. Then one day something funny, yet sad, happened: there I was watching late-night television with my cousin when I got hungry and went into the kitchen for some Pop-Tarts. I reached up to the cabinet and I got a spasm in my back.
No joke. I spent like a week moving around slowly and unable to lift heavy things. WTF? A back spasm?
For a brief moment after that I thought that I had regained the company of my younger selves. I went on my road trip and had a hell of a good time, and then I came back and helped with my grandmother's post-surgery needs. But once I stopped to take a breath it all came back to me. The epiphany was finally realized when I came to Vallarta. A twenty-four hour drive straight here, two weeks of ups and downs and late nights, a twenty-four hour drive back to Phoenix, and a thirty-hour bus drive back.
Holy shit! I thought I was never going to be able to stand.
The lack of sleep and a regular healthy meal (necessities for people of a certain age) had finally taken it's toll. To top it off, I come back to my apartment just before midnight, opened the door, and my feet splashed.
Yes. It had rained for three straight days and nights in the living room. You will understand how at one point I debated whether to mop up the floor at that moment or wait until morning, but my OCD won over my fatigue and hunger. I finished two hours and two buckets full of water later.
How did I feel the next morning?
Like I'd been hit by a brick truck. Dizzy, hungry, tired, and with every bone in my body in pain.
Had I my sixteen year-old self with me the recuperation process might have been a little quicker, but I'm sure she is off somewhere having a grand time and eating all of the crap that made us overweight but we didn't really give a shit about. Back then I could eat anything that was fried or dipped in sauce and wash it down with a soda.
No ma'am not anymore. Now it's fiber-rich cereals (goodbye Cap n' Crunch), fruits and vegetables (and not just any fruit or vegetable. No, each one has to be for SOMETHING), and lots and lots of water (goodbye tasty Coke). Ocassionally I will eat something that I know has no nutritional value whatsoever, but it has to be accompanied by a tiny pink pill so that my stomach doesn't explode.
I miss Mozzarella sticks :(
Two weeks later and Twenty-seven and I have gotten into a comfortable pattern. We wake up mid-morning, do a little stretching, and have some coffee with a wheat-bread. We walk everywhere and I must admit that Twenty-seven has some good things about her. For one thing she comes with a different look. I'm not kidding, this whole year I've changed more in my features than in any other year. It's like I'm maturing or something. For another, even though I tire more easily, I am more active. Walking is a big thing with Twenty-seven. We walk everywhere, and I want to do exercise (if I ever woke up early, I might just do it). Also, in the past two days I've cleaned more than I ever did in my entire life.
We have our arguments. The biggest being my solitude.
Sixteen could care less, she has her handful of trusting friends and her books and the creativity and imagination that make her believe that the world can be whatever she wants and she has all of the time in the world.
Twenty-one? Are you kidding? She thrives in solitude. Don't bother her. All she wants is to see the world. Anyone who wants to come along is welcome, and anyone who doesn't? Who cares. She's selfish, yes, but so is everybody else. There is no need for a co-pilot. Hell, there's very little need for friends. She's off to be something great, she's off to conquer the world.
Twenty-seven wants me grounded. Put the luggage away and stop running around. Maybe that's why I've been dizzy--the world stopped spinning so suddenly and I'm standing still. The future is not impending but it is visible, more than it ever was. I'm punished for my past decisions: walking away from my job, changing my career, spending my savings, retreating into isolation. I have to make goals and actively plan for the future. And in the meantime do that one thing that once, I felt I never needed and another time, I had no wish or desire to do: socialize. It's the lifeblood of Twenty-seven. She wants to meet people, she craves the noise of conversation in the same way that Sixteen craved a good book and a quiet corner. She fears the invisibility that is Twenty-one's super-power. She is afraid of the dark that engulfs her senses every night. There is this unprecedented need to have another human being validate her existance.
I miss my old friends. Their spirits visit me and we reminisce about the good times. They ask me to go back but I can't get the energy to do it. I feel drained, more mentally than physically. I hope that they won't disappear, that they will continue to visit me and that one day I will be able to go with them at least one more time on a great adventure. After all, I still need to get to New York City.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Here's a recap of the resolutions with updates:
1) Actually move to Puerto Vallarta - This blog is being from Puerto Vallarta (I arrived on July 4th) and my most important belongings are with me (i.e. My Buffy DVDs and my books). So just a couple more things to take care of and I will be living here, hopefully for a while :)
2) Spend more time with my family - Definitely think that I took care of this one. I spent most of first months of 2010 with my grandmother. She has great stories to tell and is full of knowledge. Since I wasn't working I also got to be with my other family members and now that I'm in Mexico I get to spend time with the rest.
3) Become a dual citizen - Set the process in motion this morning, I will keep you updated.
4) Finish the first draft of my book - I'm taking a class this summer where we are writing the beginning of our story, which is harder than I thought. So at least the beginning is getting under way.
5) Lose 20 pounds - Amazingly this is working with very little effort on my part. Me thinks that the body just decides to change all on its own and I have no say whatsoever. So far I believe I've lost about 7 pounds.
6) Travel - One week, three major American cities. I know I can do better, but this was a really good start.
As for that other thing, the one that is not a resolution, the one I'm leaving in the hands of Fate.... I tried to play a little tug of war right at the end. I stumbled. But you find your footing, take a deep breath, and keep going.
We'll see what's in store for the next half.
It was never my intention to go all the way to Seattle. I was supposed to get to Portland and then head straight home. But...someone told me Seattle was just a couple of hours away and why wouldn't I go? Two hours is nothing. So I got up early and drove and I don't regret it at all.
Seattle is beautiful, Seattle is clean, Seattle was sunny the day I was there (thank you God). I got there early and made my way to the one place I knew I had to see: The Space Needle. I parked my car a couple of blocks away (I only paid for four hours when I should have paid the whole day) and walked over, bought a ticket, and got in. As you go up there is a person telling you these little facts like: The Space Needle...I don't remember the rest because we were going very high quite fast and the guy next to me was really freaked. He kept telling his friend "this is a bad idea, man" and I was secretly agreeing with him. I hate heights.
After I descended (with my eyes closed), I took this train into downtown because I was told I should visit the farmers market. It took less than ten minutes and totally worth it. I saw the most amazing seafood I've ever seen, I wanted all those jumbo shrimp (not an oxymoron in Seattle), and crabs, and everything. I decided that this was the place to eat :)
I bought a cup of clam chowder (the best in the city) and holy crap it tasted like butta (that's "butter" with a Jersey accent). I mean this really was the most amazing clam chowder I've ever had in my life. I'm willing to drive back just for that (fat kid has her priorities). Wowzers.
Since I still had some time at the parking place and since the train took me back there, I went into the Rock 'n' Roll museum. The place is nice and you walk through the history of rock and roll, a bit small. The fun parts are making your own video, playing in front of an audience, and recording a demo. All things that make you feel like a rock star. I spent some time in a booth jamming (yes, jamming) on the drums (that's my new instrument btw). You can really let off some steam on those puppies.
Since I vaguely remembered what neighborhoods the machine had told me to visit, I went to the one I was sure I wouldn't get lost heading towards. It has a museum and an old water tower. From here you can see the whole city and everyone was out and about enjoying the sunshine. The houses around this area are friggin mansions, just gorgeous places to be around. I walked a little and took some pics. Saw a guy sitting on the grass naked as the day he came into the world just chillin out. He wasn't in the area where people could see him, and those of us that did just let him be. Maybe he was trying to get a tan, I don't know.
So after that I drove back to the freeway that would take me home but not before catching a glimpse at Seattle's Chinatown (not very impressive but the boba was awesome).
Until the next time. I love you Seattle!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Turns out Portland is a bit farther away than I thought so today I have to hustle. Unfortunately, this means that I can't take my detour along the coast of Oregon which I hear is just awesome. On the bright side, I have an excuse to come again.
Once you leave San Francisco the name of the highway changes to Redwood Highway and it's pretty self-explanatory, no? There are thousands of Redwoods hovering over you as you drive by. The road winds its way around them so as not to disturb them. At one point they are so close together and so high that they block out the afternoon sky. Never drive this highway at night. Last night I thought I'd drive a couple of hours more until I found myself in complete darkness on a winding road. I had no idea what was around me. Was I on a mountain? Was I still surrounded by vineyards? If I keep going will I be sucked into a time vortex and find myself in 1955? It was very scary. Plus, if you drive at night you'll miss the view. And it's a hell of a view.
The highway meets up with Route 199 which is very narrow and windy. Because I had to watch my speed I was now definitely cutting it close to Allende's lecture. Finally I caught Interstate 5 and it's full of Christmas trees! They're everywhere, you'd think Santa would live here instead of the North Pole. Plus it's crazy clean because they have a littering fine of up to $6,250. They don't fuck around to Oregonians. I don't think I can find a single bad thing to say about Oregon. Like not a one. I'm so going back.
I reach Portland with about an hour to spare and that is not good because I have no idea where the theater is. I pull into a 7-Eleven to buy a map but get something better: cops. They're in an unmarked car (?) but both very cute and very nice. Apparently I'm close, but we know that means nothing because I will still make it with a couple of minutes to spare. I will take a wrong turn and pass the place I'm supposed to be at twice without knowing and then find it by accident. And I do.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
Get your motor running…
Head out on the highway…
There's this tingling sensation in my blood.
Looking for adventure…
Yes! I think it's time for a road trip!
Born to be wiiiilllld!
Yes friends the opportunity has presented itself for me to, once again, get in my car and drive, drive, drive. I found out a couple of weeks ago that my favoritest writer in the world, Isabel Allende, is doing a book tour and she would be in Portland, Oregon on May 11th. "Portland isn't that far from LA, I could probably make it there and back in three days," I thought. Of course my plans never EVER work out which is why I bought the ticket on a whim and informed my family a mere two days prior that I was going to leave. The more random the better, we all remember what happened during The Great Phoenix Escape of 2008. Exactly, no more plans for me.
Well, no concrete plans. I still need a route of course. So looking at a map I decided to drive north on Highway 101 which starts here in Los Angeles and is known as the Hollywood Freeway and ends in Washington state in Port Angeles. Yes, that Port Angeles and yes, it takes you right through a once-unknown small town called Forks. Stop smiling now, I didn't go that way. I'm just giving you some info so you know. Actually, had I the time I might have been tempted to venture to Forks and take a picture with their sign, go to the hospital and see Dr. Cullen's parking spot, and go to the local café and order a "Jacob Blackberry Cobbler" (Am I the only one who thinks that sounds dirty? It reminds me of "pie-flavored balls"). But tempting as that great cultural event might have been, there just wasn't enough time. Also, the weather was warm and sunny so there wouldn't have been any vampires anyway.
As I was saying, the route I chose was Highway 101 to San Francisco all the way up the coast of Oregon and then a small highway to Portland where I would catch Allende's program, get my book signed, and then take Interstate 5 South and be back in LA on Wednesday. Sounds simple, no?
We begin Monday very early in the morning and excitement running through my veins because today I get to go to San Francisco, a city I've wanted to visit since my young days plastered in front of the television and watching Full House. By the way, I found this out after I had purchased my ticket, Allende was also going to have a program in San Francisco (where she lives) which included a dinner. But spoiler alert I'm not regretting any of it.
I had my healthy breakfast of donuts and coffee very early and needless to say that fat kid was hungry as the morning went on but I was planning on arriving in SF early and I thought "I should go to Chinatown and eat Chinese food, I bet it's bomb there." I should travel with someone just so that they can contradict every plan I have, things will go smoother.
In the meantime I am driving with clear blue skies, my iPod blasting all kinds of randomness, the ocean on my left, and vineyards on my right. It's absolutely gorgeous. I stop in a little place called Morro Bay because the sign said that Hearst Castle was that way (it wasn't) and I walked along their town for a little while to stretch my legs. The people where very nice and the town was serene (and the bathrooms clean). I took a few pics and headed on my merry way and then…it took a while for me to get back on the highway. See what happened was that I had to get off and get on Pacific Coast Highway (US 1) to get to Morro Bay but on my way back I apparently took a different route and well I didn't get lost per se but it took longer for me to get back to where I was. On the bright side the views were incredible. The road winds through a forest full of trees, rivers, and creeks and vineyards. It was awesome.
Regret Number 1: With all of the views that I saw and the nature surrounding me the whole way I totally regret leaving my film camera in Mexico. BOTH OF THEM. I had my mom's digital camera with me and it takes good pictures but a) it puts the date on every picture and b) call me old-fashioned but nothing captures the beauty and light of Mother Nature like film. Digital cameras are great because you can see the picture you've taken but in the end they are just millions of pixels attempting to re-create reality, it's just not the same.
After a while I get back on the 101 and then reach San Francisco (yay!). Of course as soon as I reach the city things get crazy and I take a weird turn and then I'm in a random neighborhood and I can't see the Golden Gate Bridge or the city. Shit shit shit. To top it off I tried to follow my instinct and keep heading north and I ended up going around in a great big circle. By this time I'm lost and starving AND I had wanted to take the ferry to Alcatraz which stopped making trips at four. So I stop at Walgreens and buy a map and realize that I'm waaaay on the other side of town. Ok. So drive to downtown and I pass right by Chinatown like three times and can't find a place to park. By now I've given up Alcatraz, by now all I want is to eat and screw the city. There are people everywhere, in cars and on foot, the parking costs are extreme, and at one point a cop is driving behind me for like ten minutes making me even more nervous than I already am.
Finally I find a parking spot and I only have enough change to buy thirty minutes worth of time and it's downhill. So I say a little prayer that my car doesn't give up on me and fly downhill and rush to see as much as I can (actually I was rushing to get some food). Somewhere on the street there is this woman handing out coupons for dim sum and I tell her I want some Kung Pao Chicken. I think she says ok and we go inside where it's completely empty (never go in a restaurant where there aren't any people) and she writes down my order. As this is going on my stomach growls and I ask for a side of fried rice too because just Kung Pao Chicken isn't going to fill me up. She asks me some more questions and I just nod because I don't quite understand what's going on and then my total comes: $27.70.
Since the price of parking is ridiculous I briefly think that the food is also very expensive until I look at the ticket and see that she has charged me the same amount four times. Um…I just want one. I tell her as much but I don't think things are getting through to her and I'm signaling to the cook not to start anything. I mean maybe a few weeks ago I would've made a fat kid joke but I lost five pounds! No way am I going to eat that much food, I'm even a little offended. So she understands that it's just one order but they can't make it for one so I have to leave, and honestly I'm probably hungrier than when I went in. Turn the corner and there's a place that sells Chinese food a la mall food and I quickly order because by now the meter is running low. With food in my hand I trek back to my car.
Confession: I also have wanted to go to San Francisco so that I could go up a steep sidewalk and say: "Girl I been shaking my ass all the way up this hill". Except it's funnier if there's someone with you.
Afterwards I drive and try to capture as much of San Francisco as I can and after an hour or so with the random rain coming down I decide it's time to leave. In all honesty I didn't like San Francisco very much and I know I can't decide in a couple of hours if I like something but the first impression counts for a lot and I wasn't all that impressed. Did I mention that I found the Hispanic neighborhood? I did, it was all very sudden but it just goes to show that wherever I am I have no trouble finding my peeps. Because I'm so hungry and because it's called Taqueria Vallarta I jump in a quickly munch on some beef tongue tacos which left me quite disappointed, not unlike the city itself. Going towards the Golden Gate Bridge I get lost for another hour (how hard is it to miss the damn thing? Have I mentioned that I haven't actually eaten my food? It's just sitting in the car).
When I finally see the bridge and I'm pretty sure that I can't possibly make another wrong turn, the clouds open up and the sun shines down. It's beautiful you guys, absolutely beautiful. It's also huge and overwhelming. I can't even begin to understand how this thing was built. It is high above the water and just the materials are gigantic and it stretches high into the sky. I'm not gonna lie, I shed a little tear and I left the sense of disappointment behind.
Tomorrow: Will I actually get to eat my Chinese food?
Friday, May 7, 2010
And then...not so much. The only thing we proved is that there are A LOT of Hispanics in the United States. But by the next day things quieted down and every year when we are called again to march in the streets for immigration reform let's be honest we all have other things to do. And so the Bush administration did nothing and Mr. Obama is all "Wha?"
But then again why should they do anything? It's not like we're going to...march in the streets every single day? boycott public transportation? get arrested for civil disobedience?
True, several people have done what I've just mentioned though not thousands and definitely not the millions of people who are here legally and support immigration reform and not the other millions of people who are here ilegally and want a solution. What are we waiting for? The politicians in Washington? Just in case you weren't paying attention: They don't like each other over there! No way are they going to come up with a solution any time soon (in fact the President said they wouldn't). And even if they did, would that make everything better between the people. Are the people of Arizona going to say "oh, they're legal now everything's fine" (P.S. 50% of the people in the WHOLE COUNTRY support AZ's law). Like when the teacher says "say your sorry and shake hands" c'mon we all know we don't mean it. Because at the core this debate is about how we, as Hispanics, are perceived by everbody else and a federal law isn't going to change that. What we have a right and a responsibility to do is fight. Fight the misconceptions against our countries, our families, and ourselves.
To start, let's clear some things up:
1) We are not all Mexican. Below Mexico there are several other countries where millions of people live and they are not Mexican just because they crossed the border in Tijuana, Nogales, or El Paso. So stop calling everyone a Mexican and learn the countries.
Special opportunity: When the FIFA World Cup starts next month it will be easier to tell where someone is from because we will all be wearing different jerseys to support our teams.
2) We are not all brown. Yeah, not so much. Let's all crack open a history book and read again the story of when Hernan Cortez (from Spain) conquered the Aztec empire and many many Spaniards came over. Also, many Japanese people live in South America and Philipinos tend to have Spanish surnames. Hispanics come in all different colors, sizes (as in my case), and dialects (historia verdadera).
3) Yes we can speak English. Hint: if you can read this, you can read English and since I wrote it, it must mean I paid attention that day they taught the ABCs and the 123s at school.
Ok, since this is "fair and balanced" blogging let's turn to what the Hispanic community can do to help out:
1) Education, education, education. The "better life for our children" argument doesn't work if our children continue to get the worst grades and/or drop out of school. Of the kids that drop out of school Hispanics make up about 20% of that total.
2) Let's clean up. We all know when we are crossing neighborhoods, it's not like we have to go with a guide to tell us "here's where the Hispanics live and here's where the Whites live." And trust me, it's a big issue with people passing through and see junk cars, grafitti, ugly fences, shopping carts all over our grocery store parking lots, cash advance spots, and liquor stores. A big thing in this country is the impression others have of us, let's make a good impression.
3) Let's remember: El Pueblo Unido Jamas Sera Vencido. It's one thing for us to argue about who has the best soccer team but let's remember that here in the United States a long time ago we were all put under one category and despite our differences we have the power to use this as a strength. We have similar values, we speak a mother tongue that unifies us, and we are the largest minority. Imagine all of us working together for a common purpose.
As the great Mahatma Ghandi once said "Be the change you want to see in the world." I want to smile in the face of those who see me and think "stereotype, stereotype, stereotype" and prove them wrong at every single turn. And I believe if we all do it, this law doesn't have two feet to stand on and the kids in Washington will have to stop their bickering and pay attention because this country needs Hispanics, plain and simple.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ok, fine. Technically at that point Norwalk was the closest thing to a hometown as anything. After all, my aunt has lived in the same house for over thirty years and I had learned to walk in that house; the first phone number I learned was hers (still the same); and I graduated from Norwalk High School (funny story: my cousins all graduated from another school even though they lived in the same city, we were rivals).
A couple of years later on a very VERY hot afternoon and mostly by accident, I landed in Phoenix, AZ. Back then jobs were plentiful and the city was growing, it was easy.
Now we've lived in this city for years (definitely the most we've ever lived anywhere) and, dare I say it?, I think this might be home. All of you know that I've been trying to get out of Phoenix ever since that fateful afternoon but I think my inability to leave is as much fate as it is me, almost willingly, coming back every time.
I've been driving back and forth between Phoenix and Norwalk a lot during the last few months and I feel the pull of one stronger than the other. Consider these key points:
1.- My license is from Arizona. I present my license in California and people look at me suspiciously like "why are you here?"
2.- I can't check out any books at ANY library in the whole county of Los Angeles. Do you know how many libraries that is? A shitload, that's how many. And I'm barred from all of them because I "lost" a book almost ten years ago. BTW, this point is the one that hurts the most because I also can't use the wi-fi.
3.- "No reunion information is available" that's what is says in the school website. Not that I'm at all interested in going to the reunion but I'd sure as hell would like someone to remember that I once existed. Besides, looking at the yearbook I'd say that "single and unemployed" is probably not the worst thing at my high school.
4.- I don't know where anything in my aunt's kitchen is at and I basically use the same pan for everything. I also don't like their version of the Ranch Market and the layout of the Target is different (i.e. confusing) than mine.
5.- I need a map to navigate the freeways, there are at least three ways to get wherever it you are going in California. Holy shit! Now, I've gotten a whole lot better at the freeways and have gotten lost way less often than usual but I really miss just taking the streets.
So yes, I'm constantly trying to leave and find where the hell I belong and what I'm supposed to do but I think I've definitely realized something very very important:
I am from Phoenix, that's where my home is.
Sunday, March 28, 2010
HELLO GREAT VOID! HOW THE F(*& ARE YOU TODAY?!
I mean I understand, lots of other things have been going on in the world and, honestly, if something remotely interesting were going on in my life then I'd (you guessed it) blog about it. Therefore I'm not mad at anyone.
Because I have no readers to be mad at.
I sort of feel like Craig Ferguson, except famous people visit him. hmm...
Anyway, just to update so that I don't lose track of what's going on:
- I started my Film & Literature class and I'm truly excited because I love movies and reading and that class puts the two together. I also scored a brownie point from the professor for liking Maggie Gyllenhaal. There you go.
- I went to the park once to work out and once to lie on the grass while my nephew played. Progress.
- I'm almost 95% sure that I can predict when an earthquake is going to hit.
- I'm also pretty sure that I heard "someone" calling my name. By someone I mean a GHOST!
- I think I've driven the Los Angeles/Phoenix route so many times that I can drive it without actually having to think.
- In Season 8 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Twilight was unmasked and it's actually...wait for it...ANGEL! Oh how I love those two together.
- I think I'm losing my sarcasm which is the only reason to be grateful that no one is reading this because without my sarcasm then these posts are just plain depressing.
Well tomorrow is Monday and I always enjoy starting things on Monday, let's see if we can't pick ourselves up, brush our shoulder, and get going.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
To sum up, this is my week:
"There are days when solitude is a heady wine that intoxicates you with freedom, others when it is a bitter tonic, and still others when it is a poison that makes you beat your head against the wall."
-Colette, Freedom, 1908
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
This is why I don't have cable. I totally forgot but now I remember: It's because it kills your brain!
No seriously there isn't anything actually on that is worth watching but somehow I can manage to have the television on 24/7. In the mornings it's the only time that MTV and VH1 play any music videos so you have to take advantage of that. Whoever heard of a channel playing music videos ALL THE TIME? It's crazy, why would they do that when they have such other great things like Keeping Up With the Kardashians and 16 & Pregnant? and VH1 does such incredibly thought-provoking shows like Hottest Bodies of the 90's (Mark Wahlberg was No. 1). Then I watch like two hours of Cash Cab and The Sopranos and sometime in the afternoon I watch the Travel Channel which is not really the Travel Channel it's more like the Travel and Eat Channel (my fav is Man vs. Food). At night you don't know what to watch: A movie on AMC or TBS? More Food Network? or now my new obsession American Idol.
How the hell did I get roped into American Idol? Why do I now these people's names? argh!! I used to only watch the auditions because I like laughing at people but now I'm all rooting for Crystal like I give a damn. This show doesn't even create good artists except for the original idol Kelly Clarkson...
You see? Why do I care? And why did I look up when Jersey Shore starts up again?
My problem with all of this is that it's ridiculous stuff that's on television these days that create nothing but more idiots that say to themselves "I should think of something incredibly stupid and maybe I'll get my own tv show." Geez even the politicians seem to be on this bandwagon. How about we all educate ourselves? How about we create something that is worthy of creation and worthy of being put into our history books? How about you stop showing Lara Croft: Tombraider on AMC and then say that your logo is "Story Matters Here"? Nothing against Angelina Jolie but I would've picked about ANY OTHER ONE OF HER MOVIES. I'm just saying, live up to your motto.
So after this week (it's Oscar week) I'm going to follow the rule my mom tried to impose on us when we were kids: only two hours a day of television. That's it. I'm going to start exercising (yeah right), finish reading my book (which I already forgot the title of), and get some damn work done (not actual work of course, cuz I cut that shit out).
And speaking of the Oscars: I stand by my predictions in my previous post except for Best Picture. I want Inglourious Basterds to win but I don't think anything can stop the bomb dismantling team of The Hurt Locker so that's my pick.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
10.- There is nothing good on cable. The only good thing I watched this week was The Prom episode of Buffy The Vampire Slayer and I have all of the eps on DVD.
9.- I want to go to New York City for a million different reasons but the newest one is that I want to get picked up by the Cash Cab. (Yes, I saw that on cable).
8.- I can consume large amounts of sushi and be completely blissful for the rest of the day.
7.- John Lennon's first love was art not music and he was pretty good at it, we went to an exhibition of his work. He did pretty good in the music department too.
6.- Sometimes I want/need nothing more than a really great song to be playing on my iPod and no other sound in the world.
5.- I only know how to cook three things: French toast, Lasagna, and grilled chicken.
4.- I'm turning into my mother, except for the knowing how to cook part.
3.- When someone tells you you're beautiful you get embarrassed but also there is this part of you that feels warm and elated, if at least only briefly.
2.- I, and my cousin Alex, realized that some cute guys can be complete assholes and run away when your car is stalled and your battery needs a boost but along comes a nice-not-as-cute guy and offer his services for nothing in return but your thanks and he's the one you should like.
1.- I read my Cosmo horoscope and it turns out that I'm having sex on the 3rd of March! Holy #$%#$% I mean on the one hand: how exciting! something besides American Idol to look forward to; on the other hand: that's a lot of pressure to put on all of the Scorpios of the world. If we fail does that mean that we get demoted? That the other good horoscope predictions won't apply to us?
Sorry to say no Ellen Show, we couldn't make it but stay tuned because we will keep trying to go as many times as possible.
Monday, February 15, 2010
Because of a series of events, I traded places with my mom and got on a Greyhound bus from home to San Diego to say goodbye to my little brother (who is off to fight terrorists) and drive back with his truck full of
And I'm not trying to compare apples and oranges I'm just saying or rather asking: why?
Second of all: Did the seats get crampier or am I actually growing? Geez, can I get some room for my legs? Wait, this does feel like an airplane!
So the ride, like I said, wasn't all that bad except for the fact that I forgot my water bottle and none of the vending machines would take my $5 bill and no one would give me change. Then I had to use the restroom and of course we stop at the one place where the restroom is two quarters to get in. What is this Mexico? (Actually it was Calexico hehehe) So since we were pretty close to my destination I decided to wait :(
Here a nice lady sits next to me and she seems like she is eager to talk the three hours it's going to take us to get to San Diego. Unfortunately for her I just downloaded Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince into my iPod so she's very much out of luck for about two and a half hours.
Sidenote: Can someone please tell me why Malfoy spent the whole film getting those damn cabinets to work (and killed an innocent canary in the process) if there was going to be no climactic battle at the end? WTF Yates? Don't get me wrong, I love the movie but... I also would appreciate a trailer for the next film ASAP please, thanks.
So the lady next to me is pretty anxious to start talking and when the movie is over she proceeds to ask me a whole bunch of questions for the final half hour we have on our little trip. I arrive in San Diego hungry, thirsty, and wanting to pee. Of course my brother isn't there (he fell asleep), there is no food, and I can't use the restroom. Story of my life.
An old man approaches me and asks me if I speak Spanish. I take like thirty seconds wondering why on Earth he is asking me this question and what the repercussions could possibly be of me answering correctly when he looks at me again and says "are you ok?"
Yes and yes. Turns out the old man just wants me to dial his family's phone number for him on the public phones. He doesn't have enough change so I just dial from my cell and since we are both waiting to get picked up we sit down and he tells me the first part of his life's story. I start getting interested and ask him questions but then he tells me that he is deaf in one ear and partly deaf in the other. Therefore I just let him proceed and I am relegated to the role of pacient and attentive listener. I think one day I want to pull a Forrest Gump and just start telling all of my life to the first complete stranger I sit next to. I'm curious as to the reaction both mine and the stranger's and I'm curious to find out if this person will ever actually let me finish or if at one point they will interrupt me and I will end up being the listener again. hmmm..
Once my brother woke up and remembered that I was in a bus station in downtown he picked me up and as a peace offering took me to Chilis :)
The next morning I drove to McDonald's to get us breakfast. I was so craving a McGriddle and, of course, my coffee when I get there and order.
Me: Two number 6 please.
McD's worker: Two angus burgers?
Me: No, I want breakfast.
McD's worker: We're not serving breakfast anymore.
Me: It's not even 10:30!
McD's worker: We stop serving breakfast at 10:00
Who in their right mind wants an effing angus burger at 10:30 a.m.? WTF? By this time I'm panicking because my cerebral vortex just heard that we are not having breakfast or coffee and I'm hyperventilating. My brother sends me on a wild goose chase for a Starbucks and I almost cry when I can't find it and it's almost noon. I beg him to take me to get some coffee as soon as is humanly possible or I might, I don't know, go into shock or something.
Me: Didn't you read my blog?
See? I'm always the listener.
Ok ok, Valentine's Day. In the sad sad sad fact that is my life, I am, once again, single on Valentine's Day BUT at least I'm not alone because so are my cousins. We make plans to go to the movies and watch Valentine's Day and then do something else and try to forget the fact that we are not going to receive flowers or kisses (chocolate and/or real) today.
What happens when we make plans? You make an ass out of you and me. Or something like that.
First of all, Valentine's Day was the day my bro and I said goodbye and it was in the wee hours of the day, when the weather is very cold and no one has opened their doors and there is no chance of me finding a cup of coffee. We said our goodbyes I got in his truck and turned the key...uh oh. Yes, that sound means that the battery has died.
I must've been a cruel cruel person in my past life.
Fortunately a nice and kind of nice-looking guy asks me if I have jumper cables (I don't) and then enlists the help of others to give the battery a little wake up call. I thank them all and we each go on our merry ways. Now, I've told this story to a couple of people and apparently the whole thing was some sort of sign that God or Fate was sending me and I was supposed to break my leg in front of this guy (or maybe it was faint?) and he'd help me and we would fall madly in love etc. etc. babies in a carriage. I just want to make it very clear that I was in my best form that morning and neither he nor any of the other guys that helped me was interested. I made sure. So there, no miracles on Valentine's Day.
But on the bright side I got to eat my McGriddle!
The afternoon transpired with no major events except that one of my cousins got a dinner invite and jumped the Singles Ship without a life-preserver and swam like a dolphin to Couplesland. So now it's down from five to four. I drive my aunt and grandma to Riverside (at least a 40 minute drive) to visit family, eat some delicious pozole, and have some cake. Since we have the movie and other as-yet-to-be-made plans, my cuz and I leave in her car to go home and regroup. At this point Fendi calls to say she's too busy with homework and can't make it. Since I picked up another cousin from the party we are still a party of four. We plan on going bowling after the movie and thus Saraii jumps ship too because she has to work early in the morning. It's now Alex, Ana and me and it's beginning to look a little sad here, I'm not gonna lie.
And then the phone rings. Apparently I have my aunt's car keys. Yep, she's forty minutes away and I have her car keys. Please, please, no applause. At least it's a laugh, no? Thank God everyone else on the planet was getting their romance on and we didn't hit any traffic. We peddaled Alex's car (which doesn't go over 65 mph) back to Riverside.
Once our stomachs stopped hurting from the laughter we realized that Valentine's Day had come and gone and we didn't do anything. But then we saw that there was a midnight showing of Valentine's Day and the three of us decided to go see it. At three in the morning it was just us coming home but at least we could say there was an "us"; that we have someone who will drive us to faraway places and laugh with us at our stupidity; we have someone who will let us borrow something to sleep in and let us crash on their couch; we have someone to share the memories with.
Next week: Ellen!
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Now let me pause and tell you a little bit about my self: My name is Susana and I am a coffee addict. I'm not Gilmore Girls addicted (oh, how I miss them) but close enough. According to my mom, my grandfather used to drink a huge cup of coffee along with a box of cookies every night. My parents used to get up every morning and the first thing they did was turn on the coffee pot. Every Sunday we read the newspaper and drink coffee. Everyone in my family drinks coffee. Everyone I used to work with drinks coffee. So why quit if everyone else is doing it? Well, because a) I hate that I'm addicted to something (not exactly healthy) and b) coffee is bad for my sensitive tummy.
Unpause. On top of this new crazy idea I also had the delusion that I would go hiking at least three times this week, just for starters.
Yeah, not so much. Sunday we had to meet my brother's advisor and half-way through the meeting I began to feel nauseous. My siblings and I walked a few blocks from there to Burger King and (I must've been sick) nothing on the menu looked appetizin. I didn't want anything! Even though I am one of those people that prefers BK fries to McD's fries. We walked back and I was so dizzy I fell onto the bed and fell asleep. Monday morning I thought nothing of the day before (again, stupidly) and didn't have my coffee even though I wanted it. I wanted it very badly. It just doesn't feel like a day has started until I've had my coffee. It was on this afternoon that a small pain began on the left side of my forehead. I've quit coffee before (usually for Lent) so I was prepared for this to happen but nausea was overpowering.
Tuesday I spent all day in bed and started to feel very warm, this is unusual because I'm cold even in the Summer. I made my way downstairs to the living room and put a brave face on for my family but then I couldn't get upstairs again and slept on the couch, pathetically hugging the pillows.
Wednesday the pain in my forehead grew to the size of a football. This was probably the worst day of all. My body was shaking, I was sweating, the rooms were all turning round and round, and I had lost my appetite for good. I spent the day on the couch. My mom came home that afternoon for lunch and FINALLY asked what was wrong (really? am I that lazy that it takes three days to realize I'm not well?). I gave her my symptoms and prayed that as always she had a remedy. She goes upstairs to her room and hands me a dark-red pill. I'm a little scared.
Me: "What is it?"
Mom: "Just take it"
Me: "You're supposed to offer me a blue pill too"
Mom: "I don't have any blue pills"
Me: "Then I have no choice?!"
Mom: "What difference does it make what color the pills are?"
Me: "A big difference"
Mom: "I have to go back to work. You want the pill or not?"
Me: "I'm a little scared"
Mom: "I don't have time for this! If you want to feel better take the pill"
And so I did, and it worked. Well, it worked for only a few hours. It only masked the pain in my head, I could still feel the football growing, throbbing, behind the veil, ready to attack. That night I fell asleep (or rather, I tossed and turned) on the couch again. By the morning of Thursday I couldn't take it anymore. The pain was so unbearable that I thought of pulling out a tooth or cutting off a finger just so that maybe I could feel something else. I knew there was something else wrong with me but I also knew that my caffeine withdrawal was adding to the shittiness I felt. So I rolled off the couch, crawled to the kitchen, propped myself up to the counter and prepared a pot of coffee. I waited with my mouth dry and my hands shaking for the last drop to fall and then I quickly poured myself a cup. I dropped some milk and threw in some sugar and swallowed that sucker down like I was in the hot desert and it was a cool glass of water. Within seconds--SECONDS--the football-sized pain in my head shrunk to a tiny pea. It was miraculous.
Of course once you complete one task another one is waiting right around the corner. Suddenly, I was famished. Turns out I hadn't eaten in a couple of days (but hey! I lost like two pounds!) and now I was dizzy from having laid down on one side of my head for such a long time. So it took another day for me to get completely better. Methinks that I had the flu or I was trying to fight off the flu during this week and that's what created the double-punch of this week.
Now because I'm trying to be all cheery and positive let's see if I can find a silver lining in all this.
I watched a really good PBS special about national parks and monuments :)
I did lose those two pounds which means that I'm on track for my resolution
My arm feels better (it was hurting from carrying some boxes)
I didn't have to call in sick to work four days because I don't have a job
Well there you go. Next week it's that "holiday" that I'm going to try and be non-negative about (there's no way I'm going to be POSITIVE about it, not when everyone else is getting some).
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
It turns out that I'm getting better at this too because out of fifty nominees that I guessed I got 41 correct. For you Math geeks that's a percentage of 82% or for you grade-minded peeps a B :)
So now that we have the definitive list, here are my preliminary guesses.
What? I don't have a job and I can't go hiking because it's going to rain, I hurt my arm, AND I'm being a girl this week :( What else am I supposed to do? Also, the Oscars are pretty predictable by now because all of the awards have been handed out. What they should do is move the Oscars to November. That'll be a surprise.
Best Original Screenplay: Quentin Tarantino for Inglorious Basterds. You have to love QT for writing great, funny dialogue and still blow shit up. Sucks that (500) Days of Summer wasn't nominated because I really liked that movie and it seems that I was probably the only person that saw it because I can't even rent it at one of those Red Box kiosks :(
Best Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner for Up In The Air. It was a good movie and since they got a HUGE amount of good reviews but they aren't going to win the bigger prizes I think this is their category.
Best Animated Feature: Up. So for some reason I thought that there were only three nominees in this category but it doesn't really matter because Up is going to win. It's the cutest. Best Line: "Squirrel!"
Best Director: Kathryn Bigelow - The Hurt Locker. For several reasons: to flaunt it in Cameron's face, because she's a good director, and because no woman has ever won this award and it's about damn time. My second pick would be Quentin Tarantino because no one does foreplay, er I mean anticipation, like QT.
Best Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious. This is probably the most sure category on anyone's list. Mo'Nique is going to win and she will give a good speech. But can I just say how excited I am for Maggie and Anna (probably not as excited as they are, but still). I hope The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn is still filming. If I was Anna Kendrick I'd show up on set and say "Happy New Year bitches, I just got invited to Cinderella's ball. Applesauce!"
Julianne Moore didn't get nominated, instead Penelope Cruz did and since she's my homie it's all good. I'd rather Cruz get nominated than Jennifer "I should've been nominated for El Cantante" Lopez
But never one to let me down I would like to acknowledge La Lopez as Razzie nominee for Worst Actress of the Decade!
Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz - Inglorious Basterds. Eh, I don't really have much to say.
Best Actress: Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side. She has the momentum behind her and if she keeps it up then her Oscar is guaranteed. That's how the Best Actress award is, it's politics more than anything. Sandra has a good career behind her and now this is her best performance in that career, we've come a long way from Speed *sniff*. And because she's that awesome (?) Sandra Bullock could become the first person to ever win an Oscar and a Razzie in the same year. She's up for Worst Actress for All About Steve.
Best Actor: Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart. Wouldn't it be great if the person giving out the award says "...and the Oscar goes to: The Dude" hehehe
Now on to more important matters. Jeremy Renner isn't married *clears throat*
My congratulations to you for your really good acting in a really good movie.
I think I've been watching too many Jane Austen movies.
Best Movie: Inglorious Basterds. Ok so if you give me the option of only The Hurt Locker and Avatar I'll go for The Hurt Locker but the more I think about all of the five major films (which I've seen) the more I liked Inglorious Basterds. It was fun, well-written, good acting all around, great directing, and it has a good ending which so few movies have. Take the whole package and my pick is Inglorious Basterds. Now, that's what I want but what will happen...I don't know yet but what I do know is that you don't need 10 films being nominated this year. The five would have been:
The Hurt Locker
Up In The Air
We'll see on March 7th
Saturday, January 30, 2010
That's right, February means Oscars Oscars Academy Awards :) Tuesday the nominations are announced. There are only a few reasons to wake up at 5:30 a.m. as is tradition, I am going to post my predictions for the top categories. Everyone is welcome to post their own predictions and/or yell at me.
Here we go:
Best Original Screenplay
(500) Days of Summer - Scott Neustatder & Michael H. Weber
The Hurt Locker - Mark Boal
Inglorious Basterds - Quentin Tarantino
A Serious Man - Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
Up - Bob Peterson & Pete Docter
No I'm not going to put in James Cameron because Avatar is just like Dances With Wolves therefore not really "original".
Best Adapted Screenplay
An Education - Nick Hornby
District 9 - Neill Blonkamp & Terri Tatchell
Julie & Julia - Nora Ephron
Precious - Geoffrey Fletcher
Up In The Air - Jason Reitman & Sheldon Turner
Best Animated Feature
The Fantastic Mr. Fox
Katherine Bigelow - The Hurt Locker
James Cameron - Avatar
Lee Daniels - Precious
Jason Reitman - Up In The Air
Quentin Tarantino - Inglorious Basterds
I don't see anyone sneaking in because the category has been pretty much set for a few months now BUT the Coen brothers could take Jason Reitman's place which I don't think they will because mroe people saw Up In The Air than A Simple Man.
Best Supporting Actress
Vera Farmiga - Up In The Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal - Crazy Heart
Anna Kendrick - Up In The Air
Mo'Nique - Precious
Julianne Moore - A Single Man
Since Mo'Nique is going to win the award the voters should reward all of the other good performances of the year and Anna Kendrick was very good in Up In The Air and she's the ray of sunshine in the dark, gloomy Twilight franchise. Same about Vera Farmiga (except for the Twilight reference) and she deserved to be nominated for The Departed. Julianne Moore can get nominated for reading the phone book. The last entry was a little hard but I went with Maggie since she's a) awesome; b) a great actress; and c) probably getting more attention now that her co-star is winning awards.
Best Supporting Actor
Matt Damon - Invictus
Woody Harrelson - The Messenger
Alfred Molina - An Education
Stanley Tucci - The Lovely Bones
Christopher Waltz - Inglorious Basterds
Same thing with this category as with the actresses. Christopher Waltz is going to take the award home everyone else is just filling the slots.
Emily Blunt - The Young Victoria
Sandra Bullock - The Blind Side
Carey Mulligan - An Education
Gabourey Sidibe - Precious
Meryl Streep - Julie & Julia
The one I'm iffy about is Emily Blunt, although she's a really good actress. If not her then her highness Helen Mirren will take her spot.
Jeff Bridges - Crazy Heart
George Clooney - Up In The Air
Colin Firth - A Single Man
Morgan Freeman - Invictus
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
I didn't see Invictus but Morgan Freeman is a great actor so probably a good bet for an Oscar nod. Also, being directed by Clint Eastwood doesn't hurt either.
(500) Days of Summer
The Hurt Locker
A Single Man
Up In The Air
This year there are ten films that can be nominated and I don't like it. Some years we need more than five but others...not so much. Up might not get nominated since it will almost very likely take home the Best Animated Feature award. In that case, my vote goes for District 9. Almost wish I didn't have to put Avatar here, but I guess you can't ignore that much money.
We'll see the results on Tuesday.
Monday, January 25, 2010
Not really. Er..rather, not exactly.
I've been working still but this week starts the end of the end of my corporate career. Which also means the end of my income but eh, you can't win em all. Started writing a weekly series here which will at the very least keep the writing going and hopefully get me practicing and the mind working and the hamster running in its little wheel. Besides that is a whole lot of nothing.
I went to California to visit my family, specifically grandma, and to attend my cousin's quinceñera (you should all know what that is) which I only stayed for an hour because being the perfect, dependable sister that I am I drove my brother to the airport. You would think that this once-in-a-lifetime act of kindness would at least get me a date with one of the hundreds of single Marines he knows, but NO. Story of my life.
Saturday we stayed up til God-knows-what-hour watching the Critics Choice Awards mostly because I love awards shows and partly because there was nothing on at that hour. The best part was Sandra Bullock and Meryl Streep sharing the prize for Best Actress (YouTube it).
Anyway, not having checked the weather report at all, Sunday I organized a little excursion to Manhattan Beach where I thought we'd spend the day. Everyone was up for it and then it pours rain. I still bought some new sunglasses though (and believe me that was the three-day highlight of my trip). We went back home and since it was raining we decided to gorge on deliciously greasy french fries covered in equally greasy chili and topped off with melted cheese.
Oh yes, one of my resolutions is to lose weight but I have months until New Year's come around again. No worries. A small portion of chili-cheese fries isn't going to kill anybody. Now a small portion of chili-cheese fries and an avocado bacon cheeseburger with a Coke...that can give you some serious heartburn ;)
That day we watched...I can't really say which movie we watched because I might self-incriminate myself but let's just say that George Clooney is hot and that girl from Twilight is a way better actress than Kristen Stewart. I used to defend Kristen Stewart because of the combination of liking Panic Room and hating Robert Pattinson but seriously Kristen YOU'RE KIND OF A DOWNER. I know it must suck to be in love with a perfect vampire and all but you do get the guy and he loves you. Do you think you could throw us a smile every once in a while?
You know what? If it's that deppressing finding the love of you life I want to stay single.
After the movie it was still raining so we switched on the Golden Globes where at that very moment my lobster Leonardo DiCaprio was saying something probably great about Martin Scorsese except all I heard were birds twittering and violins playing and my heart pounding. Did you guys know he donated a million dollars to Haiti relief? It just makes him perfecter :)
At some point during the broadcast, I kid you not, we got a craving for ice cream. The options were Cold Stone or the Chinese Food/Donuts/Ice Cream place. Either way I was to wear a cowboy hat to the establishment to prove that I was "down like James Brown." We opted for the Chinese ice cream and then went back to watch the remainder of the Golden Globes and boy are you guys lucky I already bitched about Avatar for a whole week because this could've turned out to be a very long blog.
The next day. Monday. Martin Luther Kind Day. It was pouring rain. Again. Apparently this was one of three storms that were moving towards SoCal. I decided that waiting was going to prove futile (that means completely ineffective) and my sister and I ventured forth.
It took eight hours to get home. It was like driving through the very pit of hell. I kept expecting winged creatures to come out of nowhere and take us away and drop us into the pit of darkness. Don't know any prayers? Learn some just in case you have to endure times like these.
So it's been raining and cold but at least it's better than suffocatingly hot so I will not complain.
This week I start my Bum Week or hopefully my Wake Up Every Day and Stretch and Eat a Healthy Breakfast Week but I wouldn't hold my breath. Grammys also, don't forget to go to Target and get your 3-D glasses so you can enjoy the Michael Jackson tribute properly. You should also rent Whip It! cuz it's a good movie and it comes out this week and it has Ellen Page and was directed by Drew Barrymore :)