Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Seriously. It was awesome. Never had snowfall on Christmas before.
So, not to get all Hallmark-y on everyone, but I have to say I am sometimes amazed to the point of being overwhelmed by the generosity of my boyfriend's family. I know we've been dating for over two years now, but I still appreciate and love the fact that I am included in all of their family happenings. Not just there, taking part, but INCLUDED. They bought the most wonderful gifts, and I couldn't be more grateful.
Nick stole the show with his BIG BIG present. He bought me this. HOT HOT HOT HOT HOT. I can't even begin to tell you how hot this camera is. It's a digital SLR, so I can use my old lenses from the 35mm on it. HOT. He also gifted me with 4 Gigs of memory. HOT yet again.
Pre-Christmas was spent with part of my wonderful family. My little sister turned 9 right before Christmas, and we were able to drive out to see her for her birthday. It was really special, and Big Sis Kimmi baked a very special birthday cake with PINK!!!! frosting. We had such a nice time, and it was so great to see everyone after over a year since our last visit. My mother looks just AMAZING. She lost 60(!!!!) pounds, People! Mom and I are the same size. We could trade clothes, for Christ's sake!
So, yeah. My Christmas was really great.
In other news, I was laid off from my job today. Awesome, no? Rather glad for the moment that I wasn't in the office much last week, as the original plan was to break the news before Christmas. Seriously, no hard feelings though. I loved the company and appreciate the gentle way the news was delivered. I even got a ride home from my boss! And severance pay! And medical benefits for another month!
I guess if Karma's going to kick your ass for quitting a previous job without notice, this is the way to go.
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
The train had been down this track thousands of times before. The holiday runs usually were uneventful, but this morning was different. The giant tree dwarfing the train toppled as if in slow motion. It landed across the engine's path with a thundering crash and a flood washed out the track.
"Uh-oh, derail," cried the boy with railroad savvy inherited from his grandfather and great-grandfather, both roadmasters who started with the old Northern Pacific. The toy engine had jumped the track and its cars were tangled in the branches of the fallen Christmas tree. Only the coal car suffered damage, but the casualty count was high. The Sugar Plum Fairy lost a toe shoe, as well as her arms, which were still hanging on a tree branch elegantly posed in fourth position; the Mouse King's sword landed in a candy dish. A glass-blown cardinal was utterly crushed. Several more ornaments were scattered around the room. A couple of soaked gifts would have to be rewrapped.
The dog's post-traumatic sheepishness gave him away. Investigators deduced the culprit had caused the calamity as he once again barreled between presents to slake his thirst with Douglas fir-flavored water.
Crews arrived and remedied the derailment with a couple of towels, a vacuum, plastic wrap over the tree stand, a spousal argument about what constituted "straight" and a tube of Superglue. The engine was righted, and the cars recoupled. The Sugar Plum Fairy was restored to her frozen pirouette and the Mouse King regrasped his sword. Everything else, save the cardinal, was as good as new. Or so it seemed.
The worried young trainmaster pushed a button. The whistle sounded. "All aboard," the bearded plastic engineer with the red hat shouted, presumably as he stoked the engine. The train resumed its elliptical journey, skirting a stand of gift bags. Relieved, the boy pushed another button.
"Ho ho ho," the tiny Santa shouted from atop the chugging engine. "Merry Christmas!"
— Kate Riley
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
Thursday, December 13, 2007
Suddenly it all makes sense.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
T:why are you calling Direct Tv?
M:work. we just got two new receivers for the cafe downstairs, and I had to call to get them activated
M:seriously...like an hour on my cell phone with them
T:what takes so long to activate those things?
M:well, you have to call and give the card number and the serial numbers so they can be activated, and then they insist on walking you through the setup process on the screen...because they have to make sure you have an active signal at the end of it all...and you sit there for like 20 minutes before you find out the signal isn't working...
M:and then they say they will transfer you, but they hang up on you instead, but since there isn't any hold music, you sit there for ten minutes before you realize your phone is dead.
M:so you call back...and they try to take you through the same process of setting up, and then they ask you stupid questions that probably don't matter, like "where did you buy your receiver?"...
M:and then they tell you they're going to charge you nearly $200 to send a tech out
M:and then you slowly die on the inside.
M:I even got accused of "premature insertion" when I put the card in too early.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Please check it out! The next time you're looking for a good web designer, go here! Thank you Encrypted Key Technologies for building such a beautiful site!
Thursday, November 15, 2007
We’re making something new — exciting and new! — and next week I’m totally going to show you what it is. You cannot even wait.
This is how I feel right now. Exciting things to come...but even better? I'm totally going to show you what it is before next week!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Friday, October 19, 2007
Following is a user review for a cake recipe. The cake should be filled with a raspberry whipped cream, which calls for raspberry brandy:
"We didn't have the brandy and omitted that, the berry whipped cream just lacked flavor. I am not sure where I went wrong."
Monday, October 15, 2007
Thursday, October 11, 2007
Monday, October 01, 2007
Mashed Root Vegetables with Horseradish Cream Sauce
Spiced Cranberries Made with Red Zinfandel
Double Layer Chocolate Cake with Raspberry Filling and Chocolate Whipped Cream Frosting
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Home at last….
Nick spoke with an attendant and was informed that there were several openings on a flight the next morning out of a nearby airport, Long Beach. He added our names to the standby list for that location, and we took the metro across town, through Compton! Stayed at a hotel for the night – it was so nice to have a bed to lay down on! Very Sleepy…..
After Breakfast we went over to Silvia’s house to work on the cast that Lalo would take of me. We decided to do an entire cast, waist up, rather than just the shoulders and head! We set the abdomen portion while I was laying down, and the rest would be taken while either standing or sitting. Between sections, I went downstairs to buy some jewelry from Adrianna’s dad. Yet another artist in the family, he makes beautiful bracelets and necklaces with molds out of various metals.
Unfortunately the rest of the day didn’t go quite as well. Possibly due to stress from the accident, or possibly due to a head injury, I had two incidents of passing out and convulsing. After the first, I just sat quietly and drank a bunch of water, but felt fine for the most part. The second one really did me in though – I was so very tired and out of it. We went back to the emergency room, where they kept me overnight for monitoring. They took a cat scan, which the neurologist said looked fine, and the next morning they took an EEG. There wasn’t a neurologist available at this point, so I was sent home to the states with the test results with instructions to follow up with a specialist at home.
After breakfast, we had to run a few errands in regard to the insurance situation with the car. Unfortunately this has been a very stressful situation for Wyatt and Adrianna, only made worse by the fact that everyone is either telling them something different from person to person, or the same person will change their story back and forth 3 times! Wyatt finally was able to reach Mazda, who they are still sending payments to, and was able to sort things out a bit more. Of course, that wasn’t very easy either, since Mazda only has an 800 number, which you can’t call from Mexico! So, Wyatt’s mother had to make a 3-way call with Wyatt and Mazda so that he could get some clarification. Of course, Mazda has never had to deal with a total loss of a car in Mexico. Awesome. In any case, it seems that things have reached a positive level on that front. For now.
As we were preparing to leave the house for our errands, we were all informed that the maid, Adelita was leaving for a few days for a family reunion.
Once we finished all that business, we went back to the hospital for follow up appointments. I actually felt absolutely fine by the time we got there, in regard to my neck and back, so the doctor told me that I only needed to wear my neck-brace if I felt tired. This is, of course, much better than the original plan of a strict 3-4 weeks! Every one seems to be doing great, and we all received good feedback, with instructions to follow up with a doctor in the states.
Finally, all of the errands were finished! We drove to Adrianna’s mother’s place, where everyone was busy making shrimp! At one point, every single sister and cousin was in the kitchen peeling shrimp. Unfortunately, by the time dinner was ready, my fever had spiked considerably, and I was pretty congested, so I wasn’t very comfortable. Plus, my lower back was in extreme pain – figures that it felt FINE at the hospital!!! I figured some food might help, but it turns out that the shrimp were “camarones diables”, not a very friendly recipe if you can’t handle spicy food! By the time I finished that, my stomach was in knots! I went upstairs to Sylvia’s room to lie down for awhile, and someone had given me some medication which is good for fever, congestion, etc. Once that kicked in, about 20 minutes later, I was feeling much better – the back rub from Nick helped a lot too, of course!
Once that disaster was over, things started to look up again. America and I went over to her place with Veronica and we made chocolate chip cookies for everyone! We used my recipe that I’ve had for over 10 years; I was really interested to see how it would turn out with the altitude and the ingredients! They actually turned out pretty well, considering I was trying to convert to ounces, and managed to totally mess up the amounts for both types of sugar! They were a bit flat, and pretty darn sweet! Everyone was pretty happy with them though. Once we had finished baking, we brought the finished cookies back to the waiting crowd at Sylvia’s house. Upon arrival, I was greeted with many smiling faces, all singing a Mexican happy birthday song! They even had number candles to put “27” on the cake, which Wyatt was kind enough to reverse, so apparently I am 72 years old today. ;> Of course, in Mexico there is a really great tradition that the birthday boy or girl has to take the first bite out of the whole cake without using their hands. Apparently this signifies the transition from young to old, in that it is a sort of “comparison” to when you are very small and you put your hands and face in the cake before anyone get’s a chance to cut it! So, being the adventurous girl that I am, I made sure that no one was behind me, then I leaned in for the bite. Adrianna, being the sneaky girl that she is, managed to get back behind me to push my face into the cake! Good times. ;>
After cake was served and thoroughly enjoyed (a 3 milk cake that is traditional in Mexico with a lemon frosting – delicious!), some of the girls were looking at the necklaces that Veronica had made and collected. In the midst of this, she handed me a beautiful beaded necklace that she had been wearing the other day, which she knew that I was admiring – a wonderful birthday gift, indeed!
When everyone was starting to head out, I was invited up to watch another art project. Adrianna’s brother Lalo is quite the sculptor, apparently. I found out that he used to be very active in making the large statues that you see of angels and saints, mostly of a Catholic flair. He has also done some philanthropolic(sp?) work, and even did some forensic work! Apparently some very old bones were found, and some scientists were trying to re-create the facial features. They were able to create the markers to indicate muscle and tissue, and then passed the project off to Lalo to create the full sculpture. Fascinating, no? So…what I found upstairs was Lalo making a mold of one of the younger cousins! He wanted to make a fairy sculpture, and he asked to take a mold of her face and upper chest area, shoulders, etc. He wrapped her hair in saran wrap, then coated the areas to be molded with Vaseline, so that the dried cast wouldn’t stick to her skin. Then he went to work with the casting material. Lalo had gone to the drug store and bought the same material that they use to make casts in doctor’s offices for broken bones! It’s a gauze type material, with dried plaster powder coating, which he soaks in water, and layers on the skin, taking great care to ensure that it is perfectly smooth, without wrinkles or folds. The hard part is the eyes, nose and mouth, of course! He does leave holes for the nostrils, but everything else is completely covered with dried plaster when he is done! I can imagine that it is quite claustrophobic in there!
Apparently Lalo had asked for me to come watch, because he is interested in making a mold of me for an angel sculpture, and he wanted me to watch him work so that I knew what I was getting into before I agreed. It was so cool to watch him work and such a pleasant surprise to be asked to participate, that I had to say yes! I know that I can’t keep the sculpture, but I would love to have photos of the finished project. I’ve always wondered what I look like as an angel! ;> So, tomorrow I will go back to Silvia’s to have a mold made!
In the afternoon, relaxing at Veronica’s place, she was showing off some of the jewelry she has made. She makes necklaces with various beads in wood, glass, any material you can think of. She has some really amazing designs, so it was neat to see some of her handiwork. Knowing that I’m not much for shiny jewelry, just like herself, she gave me a really fantastic wooden bead necklace that she made some time ago. Now there’s no question that I have authentic jewelry from Mexico!
We spent the late afternoon and evening at Adrianna’s mother’s house, for a barbeque. They had several huge fish and some beef to prepare, but it all had to wait for the coals. The men had quite a hard time getting the coals started, and by the time things started to catch, a huge rain storm started! So, we moved the barbeque under cover and were finally able to cook the food.
By the time the food was ready, there was a 4 foot wide river in the streets, due to all of the rain!
After lunch, we all went to the cultural market. This is a market that is only open on Saturdays, so today was the only opportunity for us to go on this trip. This is the market that I mentioned a few days back, and it really was fantastic. There were drum circles and tons of great jewelry! Apparently it used to be strictly hippies that would frequent the market, but now it has become a mixture of hippies and punk-types.
At the market, I learned the amazing benefit of the process that Adrianna and I use to get a good price. I was looking at a pair of pretty fantastic earrings, and the vendor was telling me that they are made right here in Mexico. He said that he would give me a great deal of 50 pesos for them. They were pretty nice, but it seemed like a high price, considering some of the other deals I have gotten. So, I thanked him and moved on. I really wanted those earrings though! So, later I gave Adrianna some cash, and asked her to go back and see if she could get a good price. She came back with them, only having paid 30 pesos! Amazing. I did tell Wyatt later that it is very hard to get into the mindset that 5 dollars American is too expensive for a pair of earrings!
I also found a really great necklace for a certain mother of a certain boyfriend! They only had the pendant portion, but they offered to attach a chain to it for me. I expected a pre-made chain, but they sat there and made the chain, link by link, until I was happy with the length!
I’m lying in bed, watching a lightening storm – a regular, almost nightly, thing here during the summer. It’s strangely peaceful. Aside from the smell of the impending rain, nothing is familiar. The lightening comes in large flashes that fill the night sky and light up the silhouettes of the clouds, but only occasionally do I actually see a lightening rod. There’s no thunder – just the sound of the crickets and the occasional bark from Luca.
Today Adrianna’s dad came over with coconuts from his property, which he cut with a machete so that we could drink the water, then eat the meat inside. Once we had finished those, he made gorditas – corn dough which is fried, then covered with butter and cheese! In a bit we will have prawns – a day of eating!
This evening we drove over to Adrianna’s sister, America’s house. I completely lost it on the way over – so uncomfortable in the car that I started crying uncontrollably. I think it’s going to take some time getting used to being in a car again. I hope that things will improve a bit once I get home. I just can’t get the accident out of my head. I remember exactly what it felt like when the car made it’s first flip, and I remember vividly what it felt like when my head was hitting the window.
Of course, nothing that a beer can’t fix! Once I had calmed a bit, Nick and I joined the party and had a great time. Our Spanish has improved immensely since being here, so we were actually able to carry some broken but understandable conversations.
There was so much dancing and drinking – by the end of the night, 2.5 bottles of tequila were gone between about 10 people (3 beers was plenty for me!), and everyone was having a great time. Despite doctor’s orders, Adrianna and I couldn’t help joining in the dancing! I had to break out my belly dancing moves of course, and from that point on, no one would let me leave the dance floor! At one point I was off in my own little world, getting into the music, not realizing I was the only one dancing. When I stopped for a drink of water and some fresh air, everyone in the room broke into applause! I think I could fit in just fine here….
I’m convinced that the seatbelts were the only thing that saved us. We can’t say a damn thing for the 6 airbags that didn’t deploy! The frame of the car held up quite well, especially considering we were bouncing off of some pretty large boulders. The top of the car was dented and separated from the frame, but didn’t collapse, which is truly amazing. The rear and passenger side windows were all destroyed.
As the car was flying through the air in all directions, I had the good sense to put my hands up to brace myself on the ceiling, rather than the window. I also thought to keep my mouth shut, which might not seem like an important thing, but those who didn’t clamp it shut had the opportunity to experience the taste of glass. I remembered being very aware of what was going on and that the car was actually flipping – this realization gave me confidence that I was going to be okay, as long as the car didn’t explode. As soon as the car stopped, I immediately asked if everyone was okay, and received responses from each person. Someone, I think Adrianna, started whimpering. Being a strangely level-headed person when it comes to traumatic situations, I yelled at her that she was fine, that we were all fine.
Luckily there were plenty of other people on the road at the time, so a couple was there immediately to help us. Of course, with the car lying on its side, we had to coordinate our escape, but in the end, it worked out okay. When I got back to the street and looked back at the car, it was such a shock to see what we had all survived. I looked at Josh, Adrianna’s second cousin, who had blood all over his face. It turned out to be a very small scratch on his cheek which had run all over his face as the car was flipping. Wyatt seemed fine, but understandably upset, and Adrianna seemed alright, though quite shaken. Nick however, received the brunt of the injuries. His arm was completely thrashed in two places. We’ve come to the conclusion that he must have put his elbow through the window, since his cuts were so jagged in nature. His elbow had markings that resembled a shark bite in my mind, and his forearm was described later by a doctor as being “filleted”. Needless to say, he was bleeding all over the place – and the only form of water available was lime flavored. Awesome. As with Adrianna, I felt fine, other than a headache, which was a result of banging my head on the window several times.
When the paramedics arrived, they treated Nick and Josh and then informed Wyatt and Adrianna that they could take Nick to the hospital, but that would result in Wyatt going to jail until everything was sorted out and there was a trial. Apparently in Mexico, if the police see or find out about even a drop of blood at a car crash, the driver who is at fault goes to jail automatically. Even though Wyatt and Adrianna already knew this, I thought it was kind of the medic to let us know so that we could choose to go to the hospital on our own.
After the ambulance left, we had to wait for the police, and then the tow truck. We had to keep Nick’s wound, which was wrapped in gauze at this point, “under wraps” so to speak, so the police wouldn’t know about his injury. Poor Nick had to hang out in a sweatshirt that covered his arm for several hours in the Mexican heat.
Once the tow truck came and hauled the car out of the field, we were able to get our things. Please keep in mind, I’ve been out in the sun for several hours, while my sunscreen was in the trunk of the car that I couldn’t get to! I guess I’ll be crispy-fried for the rest of my vacation.
We all went to a private hospital to get checked out and to get stitches for Nick. I had xrays done, because my neck and back were starting to get sore. Survey says: Kim has extreme curvature in her lower back (read: badonkadonk), which, if untreated, will cause major issues later in life, if not already. The car accident aggravated this in my lower and upper back, so when I return to the states, I need to get extended treatment. The doctor even let me take my xrays home for this purpose. He also sent me off with this handy foam neck brace that I have to wear at all times except when I’m eating, sleeping our showering. I don’t have any fractures, but with my neck being so sore, I need to rest it as much as possible for 3-4 weeks. I also have muscle relaxers and a muscle cream that I can use during the day without worrying about drowsiness.
Adrianna gets to wear a neck brace too! I figure, with the car totaled, we’ll be flying home – maybe Adrianna and I can get better seats if we really play up the neck injuries!
Nick received his stitches, and they pulled a chunk of glass out from under his skin. He kept the glass, of course. Wyatt sustained zero injuries, but is a little sore in the neck. He was sent home with some Tylenol for soreness and the option of taking a neck brace. We’ll all be going back on Tuesday for follow up appointments before heading back home.
It’s so overwhelming to think about what happened today. I periodically go back to it, and I become very emotional. What if someone hadn’t been wearing a seatbelt? What if the car hadn’t been going as fast – would we have landed closer to where we veered off the road, which was a much larger drop? What if I hadn’t gotten off with simple aches and pains?
Moral of the story? Wear your goddamn seatbelt.
Apparently there are several different types of Americans. There are the business travelers, the spring break Americans and the traveling Americans. I’ve been told that I am a traveling American (read: Hippie). The girls have been telling me about a market that is only open on Saturdays – they say I would like it because it has “Bob Marley style”. ;> I do think they have me all figured out though…whenever I am around, someone is showing me a chunky piece of jewelry or a fantastic pair of sandals – I think I might commission some of the girls to shop for me periodically after I have left!
Veronica and Braulio have a maid, which is a little strange getting used to. She cleans the entire house every day, and cooks breakfast for the guests and the 3 boys who live here. Once she has cooked, she brings your food to you in the dining room, then she will come out later and ask if you want more. If you say yes, (si, gracias), she’ll take your plate and bring it back piled high with more food, but if you say no (no mas, gracias), she’ll take your dishes into the kitchen for washing. I’ve probably received the best service of my life here! She is a sweet old lady who stands around 4 feet tall – She has to stand on her toes to reach the kitchen faucet! She makes the best scrambled eggs you have ever had, and serves them up with a big glass of milk. This morning she made chiliquiles, which is a mixture of tortillas and a red sauce. Of course, the meal was too spicy for me, but she was more than happy to make some scrambled eggs with ham instead. Everyone got a good laugh over that one –apparently she used ancho chiles, which are considered the least spicy!
I’m overwhelmed each day by how welcoming Adrianna’s family is. Every day Veronica wants to know if we slept well and if we need anything to make our stay more comfortable. Adrianna’s mother makes a large pot of postale, a pork and corn soup which you add onions, radishes, lettuce and lime to, and everyone comes over to eat – not at the same time, mind you. We eat around dinner time, and a short time later, a few more wander over…there are still people arriving well into the night. Time is not an issue – there is always a bowl and a chair for anyone who shows up.
We’ve gone to street taco stands twice now – something that Wyatt warned would cause considerable stomach issues which could only be helped with Immodium – and even then not by much. Despite the warnings, I want to take in as much of the culture as possible, and since there are taco stands on nearly every corner, even in the suburbs, we will eat tacos! Wyatt has had his share of issues as a result, but apparently not nearly so much as in the past – he wonders if they have made improvements to the sanitary conditions. Nick and I have not had any issues, however. This is quite the relief for me, as I’m sure you know…my stomach seems to be like a delicate effing flower much of the time! I have to say, I can certainly understand why Wyatt continues to cause himself suffering when he comes here!
We spent the afternoon at a place called Tlaquepaque. It’s a pretty touristy area, with lots of little gift shops. Obviously the prices can be pretty ridiculous – Wyatt says that some of the places that we went yesterday sell their merchandise to these people, who then mark up the prices and sell to tourists. Despite the price hikes, I did manage to find a pretty good deal – A bracelet which is exactly like one I have coveted online, but with different (better) stones, was $40 online, and I managed to get this one for 50 pesos (the equivalent of about $5 US.
After shopping for awhile, we went back to Adrianna’s father’s neighborhood, and enjoyed tamales from a street vendor! I had one chicken mole – the mole was so different – creamy! I also had a chicken and vegetable one, which strangely, tasted exactly like my chicken pot pie! I also had “”, which was interesting, but quite good. They cut the corn off of a cob into a cup, and then top it with this fresh cream which is the consistency of sour cream, but does not have the flavor. Finally, they top it off with some Mexican cheese and chili powder. Yum!
Found out today that only “bad” girls have tattoos. Adrianna’s mother apparently said that I am very pretty, but it’s too bad that I have a tattoo. However, she does love my hair. She asked what color my hair is naturally, and I told her purple and green. ;>
We went to a market today, and I was able to get most of the gifts that I wanted to take home. I also found a really fantastic handbag for myself – soft leather with a purple flower! Also, we went to the jewelry district, which is completely insane. It’s counter after counter of silver, gold and jewels in all shapes and sizes. It even goes underground in some spots! They post the market rate for a gram, so you know what you should expect to pay. When you find something that you want, they weigh it to find out how much to charge, which can change depending on the quantity – most places, if you spend at least 500 pesos (about $50 American dollars), they will go down by a peso or two per gram. I’ve learned the “routine” for buying things at the markets here: Find something you like, then discreetly tell Adrianna, who will be a short distance ahead or behind, and she will go back to the counter to find out how much, then go to other sellers to see if she can get a better price. Once she has found a good deal, she calls you over to make a decision. I had been told to do this initially, but without thinking I went crazy over a particular bracelet. When the girls told me how much it would cost, Adrianna told me that it was a ridiculous price, but by that time we could not get a better deal. Obviously the sales-people know they can get much more out of tourists – but really, even the overly high prices are excellent deals!
We traveled in the Mexican way to get downtown – cramming 8 people into a car that comfortably seats four! What an adventure that was! In addition to that, we experienced the terror of public transportation – I truly feel that I have an “authentic” experience here every day. ;>
Today was a day of relaxation. We drove over to Adrianna’s mother’s house and spent the rest of the afternoon enjoying not being in a car. I got some reading done, and we walked to a local market. I received quite a few stares due to my hair, I think. There are a lot of girls here who dye their hair blonde, but most are a honey color – not quite the platinum that I sport. Adrianna’s sisters say that by the time I leave, all the girls in Guadalajara will want short hair. ;>
Adrianna’s mother is very welcoming – she informed Nick and I that her house was ours, and that we shouldn’t ask before doing things there. Then she decided that we looked tired, and insisted that we take over her bed for a nap. I guess there’s no arguing with Mexican women!
In the evening, the entire family came over to the house and we had a bit of a fiesta. Adrianna’s father used to be a vocal performer, and he showed off some of his skills for us. His friends came over and they performed mariachi music well into the night. There was dancing and singing and muchas cervecas! I couldn’t believe what an experience I was having – I truly felt that I was in Mexico at that point!
From Mazatlan we continued our drive toward Guadalajara. We stopped along the way at a small store on the side of the road to use the bathrooms and for Adrianna to call her sister with our location. We had homemade tamales which were pretty much amazing (“esta muy rico!”). Up until this point, I had been pretty lucky with the spice factor – for the most part, everything is exceptionally seasoned, but you add the chili sauce yourself. However, just as I was getting really into my tamales, I got a nice big bite with a big chunk of cerrano in it! Oy! Luckily Nick had gotten milk to go with his meal, which I was happy to help him drink!
Continuing our trek, we drove and drove and drove…and then I’m pretty sure we drove some more! Driving over the mountain pass west of Guadalajara, there was quite the traffic backup, due to only one of the two lanes being open in our direction. We passed through that delay still wondering what the problem was. Further along the pass, we slowed due to flares on the side of the road. The flares down here are much more impressive than in the states. They have actual flames! I’m not sure what they are exactly, but they sortof look like very small barbeques with flames shooting out the top! Of course, once we came around the corner where the accident was, we were all mesmerized by the flares, and almost didn’t see the semi truck turned over on its side! Thank you, Adrianna, for having such great reflexes!
We finally made it to Guadalajara around midnight. We had planned quite carefully to ensure we would not be driving at night, but there were several detours and an accident to slow us down considerably. I assumed that everyone would be asleep when we arrived, but I guess the rumors are true about the people of Mexico not sleeping! Adrianna’s sister Veronica and brother in-law Braulio greeted us at the door, and took us into the house, toward the back, I assume under the guise that it was much cooler outside. Once through the back door, we were attacked by Adrianna’s entire family (cousins, aunts, uncles, parents, nieces, nephews, siblings…) with shaving cream and balloons! Once the craziness had subsided, we all sat around the back yard and had cervesas, quesadillas and chips.
I didn’t sleep well that night due to the heat, being in a new place, and all the damn mosquitoes! In the states, they don’t really bother me, but here they are eating me alive! Luckily I have calamine lotion, and I wear long skirts, so I don’t itch too much and no one can see the bites!
We reached our record high temp in south Arizona at 105, and it probably stayed right around 100 through the state, but as soon as we crossed the border the thunder and lightening started, and we dropped to 75! It was very humid, but such a relief! While we were driving to the “Banjercito” to get our visas, the rain started. It freakin’ poured!!! There were kids on the streets selling cookies, and they held out for a while, but finally even they went running for cover!
That night we stayed at Ciudad Obregon; a short stop just for sleeping. Along the way there were cemeteries on the side of the road. They were so colorful – Rather than the basic headstones that we have in the states, they have small houses built. Wyatt expressed what I had been thinking, which was that many of these “houses” are nicer than the houses that the families live in. Along the way we drove through many small towns, as well as some areas that just consisted of a few houses. It was hard at times to see the conditions which the local people live. Many of the homes were just random materials stuck together with a very meager roof. I found myself thinking that despite the very warm weather, there are some pretty intense rain storms here; I can’t imagine some of those homes standing up to such weather! I also found myself becoming concerned about the conditions in which we would be living for the next 9 days! Adrianna had told us that her sister’s house was very nice, but if the things I had been seeing were any indication….
We drove through part of Oregon, Idaho and into Utah, before stopping at Salt Lake City to see the lake and take a lunch break. The lake was pretty disgusting – probably not a future destination. With the heat, it smelled like garbage – that, coupled with the fact that the lake has been drying up for sometime, made for a very quick stop!
We also stopped along the way to get breakfast at Ihop, where I learned the dangers of mispronunciation. In an effort to improve my Spanish before arriving in Mexico, I said to Wyatt and Adrianna “Quiero las salchichis”, when what I should have said was “Quiero las salchichas”. A single letter changes the whole world. I was trying to say that I wanted sausages, but what came out was that I wanted big boobs!
In the evening, we arrived to the Grand Canyon just on time to see the sunset! At just the perfect time, a double rainbow showed up over a large cliff that the sun was reflecting off of. The cliff was a really intense gold color, the sky was dark and the rainbows were so bright. This was quite possibly the most amazing thing that I have ever seen.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Today has been one of those days where everyone seems to look great. Someone has a nice pair of earrings, or a pretty skirt, or a fantastic tie. I'm hyper with the desire to compliment everyone.
I took a picture of this girl - I couldn't help actually saying something to her about her great outfit. She also had a shirt under her denim jacket which was the same color green as her boots. On most people, this would look ridiculous, but girlfriend was rockin' her style! She might be a good candidate for Wardrobe Remix. (Thanks to mightygirl for the awesome link!)
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I have TONS to catch up on, and I'm having a bit of a hard time prioritizing. One of the things I'm working on is my travel log, which I sort of dropped on it's head and abandoned prior to coming home. I'm trying to recall the amazing things that happened while I was down there, and it's taking a lot of brain power and even more motivation.
In addition to all of the catching up I'm trying to do, Nick and I are moving in together on September 1st. We're both really excited, and we have a pretty fantastic place lined up, but it's just one more thing on my list of things. Things, things and more things....then even more things.
Never fear. Travel log and pictures to come. Soon. Or, in the next month. Promise. I hope.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
Leaving Seattle tonight at 9pm on a road trip to Mexico! Guadalajara, to be exact. We'll go East for awhile, then turn south into Idaho, Utah and Arizona before crossing the border into our destination country. Along the way we'll see SLC and The Grand Canyon. Ever seen the sunrise at the canyon? I hear it's amazing - pictures to come!
Our traveling companions include a skinny white guy who is fluent in Spanish, and his lovely wife, who is from Guadalajara. We'll be staying with her family, eating what I'm sure will be amazing Mexican food and drinking too-strong margaritas (on the rocks with salt, thank you very much). While we're there, we'll be attending a Quincenera for a family friend.
See you in 2 weeks!
Sunday, July 08, 2007
My 27th birthday is next week! For those of you interested, here is a list of things that I wouldn't mind having:
- A home cooked meal
- L'Occitane Dry Skin Hand Cream. I currently have a 1oz tube, which will run out very quickly.
- Burt's Bees Coconut Foot Creme. Yummy.
- Gift Cards! Here. Here. Here. Here.
- A gift card to the Pro Sports Club spa where my friend works as an esthetician.
- Please nothing for my kitchen - Nick will kill me if he hears one more complaint about how tiny my kitchen cupboards are.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Since I'm a bit of a minimalist, I bought the lightest color I could find. I thought it was going to be a bit too reminiscent of my Tinkerbell makeup kit days, but it was actually quite nice. Very subtle color with a hint of sparkle.
So Ladies, Go! Buy! Gloss!
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
- Salmon, topped with thin slices of lemon, grilled in foil
- Small red potatoes, halved, boiled just slightly, sauteed with lemon thyme and garlic
- Steamed asparagus topped with caramelized pancetta and shallots
What are YOU having for dinner?
Monday, June 18, 2007
Despite being pretty sore, it was a great trip!
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
The only true currency in this bankrupt world... is what you share with someone else when you're uncool.
Found an old friend on MySpace! Erin was my best friend in my younger years - Junior high through the first part of high school. A few months before my 16th birthday I moved to Seattle to live with my dad. Unfortunately this is not a great age to make a big move, because the tendency is definitely not to stay in touch with your good friends. Lucky for us, over 10 years later, we're back in touch!
In hindsight, Erin and I were probably the un-coolest people I knew at the time. I don't mean this to be down on myself, and certainly not Erin, but seriously...it was pretty bad. You should have seen the hair styles.
The great thing about our friendship is that I didn't realize we weren't cool when I was around Erin. When I was at school, I was very very aware of this fact, but when we were hanging out, we were just having fun, and trends, etc, didn't matter much.
Erin is getting married next week! I'm really excited to go to the wedding, and even more excited to see my old friend. I have to admit though, it's going to be a little bit strange. I remember planning our weddings when we were young. For some reason neither of us remember much about Erin's nuptials, but my wedding was going to be held at her house, my colors were going to be green and ivory, and I was planning to marry her brother.
She recently confided to me that her wedding colors are going to be green and ivory. I had it first, people - Don't you forget that.
I guess I could always go with purple and red....
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Ahem. Apparently Flickr is taking a bit of a vacation. Slightly inconvenient, but we'll be fine. Check back later for that link...or go to one of my older posts with an image and click on that to see my photos.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Nick and I were having a conversation recently about social security numbers and what the numbers mean. He was saying that the first 3 digits are based on geography - which I shot down, based on the fact that I was born in Oregon, and a mutual friend of ours, also born in Oregon, has a completely different set of first three digits. To settle this once and for all, I looked it up in Wikipedia, and found out that Nick was right. The first 3 digits of your "sosh" are based on geography. Wikipedia, being completely thorough and all, had an actual chart that went over each sequence of numbers and what state they originate from. Apparently my social security number was acquired in, are you ready for this?, KANSAS. Jeez.
I grew up in the midwest...this is not a surprise to me or anyone else I know. Or, it seems, to the guy at Macy's who sold me a mattress. (during the course of conversation, he says, "you're not originally from here, are you?" I get that a lot.) Regardless of the fact that the Kansas part is not a surprise, my social security number being from there is!
Not the end of the world, not even a big deal, at all...but really strange to find out you were wrong all along, despite how small the findings.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
It's a queen sized quilted plush top. Not only is this the most comfortable bed EVER, but I also got the hottest deal on the planet. Seriously...this deal nearly rocked my face off. I went to many places last weekend, including Macy's, which was having a sale. The salesman showed me a few sets that were waaaaay out of my price range, and then after I set him straight, several in my price range. The final set he showed me was a floor model that they had on clearance because the model had been discontinued. The original price was $1709. The final price, the price that I paid for this mattress set, I'm not even kidding here, was $499.50.
Wanna come over and look at it?
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Friday, May 04, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
Nick: Good morning sleepy face! I love you! Don't forget to get up!
Me: I'm already on the bus!
Nick: Whoa! Who are you???
Me: I'm "Get To Work On Time Girl". My superpower is fastest shower west of the Mississippi.
Tuesday, May 01, 2007
Happy May Day, everyone!
Sunday, April 29, 2007
My good friend "Purple" Kim (or Kim2) has gotten me back into beading. Back story: I was really into making bead jewelry when I was like, 15. Not a great age to be acquiring new interests, because that's the same age that you get bored easily and generally drop your hobbies, even if you're really good at them. Ever seen my collection of sketches from that same age? Case in point.
Kim gets together with other people who do a variety of crafty things on a regular basis, and they take over a conference room at her office for a few hours. Most of the girls who show up are beaders - some of which make a side or even primary income on their amazing creations.
I try to make it out every once in awhile, because this is the best way to see everyone. I don't bead - haven't since I was 15. However, this last visit left me nostalgic. I had a hair appointment that afternoon, and there happens to be a bead shop right around the corner from my salon. I went. I bought beads. Doesn't seem so bad right? Things have changed a bit since I was 15. There are new, highly necessary things to own! Tweezers are no longer an acceptible tool of the trade! It's no longer out of the question to spend $100 on beading supplies!
It gets worse, Kids. Yes yes.
This afternoon I was creating something interesting with my $100 worth of impulse buys, when Nick and I decided to barbeque for dinner. Nick is out of charcoal, so we're planning a trip to the store. Suddenly I have one of those unfortunate "bright" ideas.
Me: Hey Honey, how would you feel about going to Capitol Hill to do our shopping?
Nick: (Does not live near Capitol Hill) Um, why?
Me: 'Cuz there's a bead store there.
Me: I don't have the right stuff for what I'm working on!!!
This necklace is going to be so hot.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
1. I'm really enjoying my job, but I'd like to expand my skills in accounting. If I bought some books and took online bookkeeping/accounting courses, would the company give a partial reimbursement?
2. What about HTML???
3. Gawd that incense is strong; Can we move it to another room???
4. I don't know how I ever survived without email and a cell phone. And EVITE.
5. I know it's late, and I should go to bed, but this Mozart is ROCKING MY FACE OFF. BOO-YAH.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Dood. Jury Duty. Yesss. Seriously - I've always wanted to get this notice. I hear people complain about jury duty, but usually it's about how they sat in a room for 2 days only to be sent home with $20. The company that I work for will still pay me, so the cash isn't an issue (extra latte funds - woot!). The 2 days in a room might be an issue, unless they'll let me bring my laptop to brush up on my Mah Jong. I will admit, I would be a bit miffed if I got sent home after the second day, however. Everyone always talks about what tactics they use to get out of having to serve...I plan to do just the opposite. I want to be a part of a trial - I think it would be really interesting!
Anyone have a good jury duty story???? Spill it.
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
Thursday, March 22, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Friday, February 16, 2007
You say it's your birthday
It's my birthday too--yeah (but not really!)
They say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party
Yes we're going to a party party.
I would like you to dance--Birthday
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance-Birthday
I would like you to dance--Birthday
I would like you to dance--Birthday
Take a cha-cha-cha-chance-Birthday
I would like you to dance--Birthday
You say it's your birthday
Well it's my birthday too--yeah (but not really)
You say it's your birthday
We're gonna have a good time
I'm glad it's your birthday
Happy birthday to you.
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I'm learning one of the benefits of my new job - My boss actually cares about the safety of her employees! Thus, snow days all around! This is extremely appreciated, since I live at the highest point in Seattle (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Point%2C_Seattle%2C_Washington). The buses are stuck at the bottom of the hill (even with chains), cab service is booked through the afternoon, and I don't have a sled.
The weather forecast originally stated that we would have snow until about 7am, which would then turn to rain. The snow finally stopped dumping around 9am, and there hasn't been a drop of rain. "Not to worry", says the lady on the television. "The rain will start at any time." Still no rain at 1130am. I've since gone to weather.com, and found that the forecast has changed from rain to "wintery mix". Bartender, serve me up a vodka with a splash of wintery mix, on the rocks.