Sunday, March 29, 2009


I'M SOMEHOW GETTING INTERNET IN MY APARTMENT!!! No joke, this is seriously blessing my face off, this is the first time in over a year that I've been able to sit in my home, at my cute little desk, with a cup of homemade coffee and WORK, editing for my freelance job. This can only be an act of God, thank you so much, God!!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Here With Me

I'm back in my little French cafe, it seems to be good for writing as I'm certainly not getting any editing done.
As I came up the walk, I noticed that the cushions they'd bought last spring had gone from bright red to a faded poppy color. I knew where all the outlets were when I went inside and the server smiled at me with familiarity as she slid cups of coffee in front of a couple sitting near. Have I really lived here long enough for this? I hardly ever use my GPS to get around anymore, and I even gave directions to a stranger the other day.

I've lived here for well over a year now, and there are some other things that have lost some of their color and some things that retain their brilliance yet. I hardly ever visit the ocean anymore. After I came home from Christmas and flew over it on the way, I didn't feel the need to; I used to feel like if I didn't visit it it might recede and disappear altogether, so strange and wonderful it was to have it at my disposal on a day-to-day basis. Formalities at work have fallen by the wayside and I am more frank with my colleagues and they are more real with me too. I feel less guilty than I used to when staying indoors during a gorgeous day, having grown up with the mentality that a day of sun was a sin to waste.

Though I am far from the honeymoon stage, I am happy here. I don't mean to stay forever, but this place is good for me. I miss my people every day, not one goes by that I don't regret not having you here. Different days for different people: when I walk into Anthropologie (I like to think of it as a clothing museum due to the exorbitant prices) Leslie is by my side finding the pieces that are just on the wrong side of style and making jokes and eating popcorn with me whenever I watch an unusual film; when I'm curled up at home with a book and candlelight, Alison is across from me on the couch, our feet in each other's laps and we end up enthralled in conversation instead of our novels; Sarah is always with me whenever I'm near the ocean and thinking of her often results in my dropping a thank you note to God for whatever is good that day; Heather is there when I wrap myself in the music she's given me, her music is home to me; Laura's laugh echoes in my ears whenever I see something rediculous or offbeat and I can easily conjure her hug when I need it; when I hear Spanish, I pretend Jessica is there to help me figure out what we just heard--sometimes we make up our own translations; Peter, you are the smell of an orange to me; Gina, you sit invisible across from me whenever I dine alone at a restaurant or go out to coffee; Tiffany's words return to me when I lose clarity and usually bring me to prayer.

This list is by no means exhaustive, these are just the people on my mind at the moment. Thank you for your unwavering support and friendship despite the miles and the duration. You all make me a better woman and I'm so blessed to know you.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Defining Asinine (see Washington)

I'm not taking this quietly.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs quiets a reporter's lighthearted comment about earmarks during the daily briefing Tuesday at the White House.

I try really hard not to get political on my blog, but I about spit out my cornflakes when I heard this on the news this morning. Part of the $410B spending bill proposed by Obama includes $200,000 for tattoo removal services for a small Californian program. Removing a black and white tattoo can cost $50 per square inch, more if colored and large often requireing several treatments.

Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn said it best, "I would think under a personal-responsibility platform, if you were responsible for getting a tattoo put on you, you might ought to be responsible for getting it taken off, and I do not think our grandchildren ought to be paying for it."

I mean, seriously? You and I are paying for Joe-Dumbass to get his tattoo removed? Of all the earmarks that are ticking me off these days, this is the worst. I realize that to Washington, $200,000 isn't that much but I can tell you that a figure like that would make a world of difference to a family who's losing a house, a single mom whose food stamps aren't cutting it, or someone struggling just to afford his or her cancer treatment.

Now, it's true that this nun-founded, Hollywood-based clinic requires its clients (often former gang members trying to clean up their act and their skin—I've got no problem with that) to do about 48 hours of community service, but that's a hell of a killing for two full days of work, getting three free treatments. The program also helps other states.

This isn't how government spending should work, for example, I'm an overweight woman, so maybe I could petition that an earmark be added so the government could pay for my gym membership! It doesn't seem to matter that my choices made me this way, you guys wouldn't mind paying for me, would you? Oh wait, I'm not actually asking. You don't have a choice. That's how it works, right? Maybe I'll do a little community service to help pay for it.

I'd even consider softening up if we were taking about holocaust victims who had a tattoo forced on them or if I were a woman with a thyroid problem and had no control over my weight issues. This, however, is not the reality. These are cosmetic expeditures that are better undertaken by the individuals who had a choice and have a responsibility to help themselves if they want to see change.

I'm also thrilled to be a non-voluntary contributor, giving $1.9 million for the Pleasure Beach water-taxi service in Connecticut, $300,000 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of John Brown's raid on the arsenal at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park in West Virginia and $238,000 for the Polynesian Voyaging Society of Honolulu, which runs sea voyages in ancient-style sailing canoes.

Polynesian Voyaging Socieity of Honolulu. This has GOT to be a joke.

All this after Obama promised to avoid earmarking where possible. I support him as our presidential figure but I am sincerely hoping that his decision-making prowess improves before we all have to pay for more pet projects.

(Ben, it's not personal, it's politics.)

Facts and photos coming from

Thursday, March 5, 2009

No Puedo Suportarla!

I HAVE to return to Mexico, and soon!!! I had a dream about a reunion with my ISA girls (ISA is the organization through which I traveled abroad) and it was tear-filled and wonderful and I miss that life so much, three years later. Alison and Jess are the only ones who read this who can identify with the places I name but I hope everyone can appreciate how gorgeous these photos are that I found on the Web. (Alison, algun dia tenemos que viajar alla juntos, en serio. Debemos ir este verano/otono porque nuestra otra amiga no puede ir a CO con nosotros, entonces, propongo que nos vamos.)

I miss meeting in front of Teatro Juarez with our other gals, Jess and knowing that any night we could pick up a few guys on the steps to be our dates for a night of dancing. Capitolio was my favorite for dancing, Colorado was Jess' but the first night we danced in GTO was at Havana with the viejitos; I also remember that that's where Alissa stole the show dancing with Felipe while Amber downed the pina colada I bought (although she claimed to be lactose intolerant...more like cheap!). Do you remember how Elisha and the other gals loved WhyNot? We liked El Bar above ISA and pretty much anywhere that had salsa dancing.

I was and am still obsessed with Cafe Tal, their bitter hot chocolates are unsurpassed and their coffee was great too. I sat in there for hours drawing, thinking, was fabulous. That little pastry shop where Lisa always bought us pastries for dinner was nearby and we always had to resist buying yummies there on the way to school (except once we gave in...ONCE in five weeks! Not too bad). It was just past Jardin de Embajadores.

Jess, I can't believe I'm saying this but I really miss puffing up those hills with you, you slowed down for me and didn't tell me ever but I knew. Thanks for not leaving me behind; you know I would've gotten so lost.

Finally, I remember our totally unprepared hike to La Bufa, repelling down, having our leader drive off and leaving us miles above the city, and us collapsing at Cafe Sol and eating a ton of food and having beer. SUCH a great day.