Friday, July 27, 2007

San Diego Comic Con 2007 Update #1

Well, it's official: we've been here for two days now, and the whole Comic Con experience has been fun, extenuating and mind-boggling.

We took our late-afternoon flight on Tuesday 24th by Delta Airlines. I have to say the seats are freakishly small. I know I'm overweight, but I'm also small-sized, which makes me an average-sized individual, and I was feeling a bit too smug in their seats. Eze was definitely tight, and Pepe and Maricarmen had more than one trouble and pain over this detail, specially considering it was two 4-hour flights (both with delays, mind you).

At our arrival (at nearly midnight) we were ravenous. Delta Airlines didn't serve in-flight meals in any of our flights, so we had to tide our hunger over with the meager snacks they provided (plus the hideously bad coffee) and whatever snack we could chance across in between flights (which wasn't anything considerable because the time between connecting flights was pretty limited). We ordered for pizza delivery from the Days Inn hotel we are staying in, and while it seemed an awesome idea at the moment (everything tasted like a piece of mana), it proved to be not such a sound decision the next day (indigestion and heartburn ensued).

The stay at the Days Inn includes continental breakfast, but we found it to be less composed of fruit (which is the typical meal for which the term 'continental breakfast' has been coined) and more composed of assorted pastries.

Yesterday (Wednesday 25th) we visited the San Diego Zoo, to later on pre-register for the Comic Con and attend Preview Night (which was like opening a fun park to a huge herd of wild children). We've been juicing the most out of this visit and tomorrow and Saturday will be no exception. So bear with me and my lack of blogging. As we speak, a small pain has been creeping up onto my shoulder and I really need some sleep. So I'll have to leave it here, more as soon as I return to my blogging ways.

Thanks for reading!

Peace out!

Monday, July 23, 2007

The 1-Day Week

Well, it's almost Day Zero (in which my closest friends and I lift off to the Pacific zone), and I just had a pretty interesting weekend.

Eze and Pepe twisted the planned schedule for Saturday upside down, and we ended up handing in a pre-recorded program of Frecuencias Alternas in exchange for the freedom to spend the rest of the evening at Rebeca's and Tatiana's birthday. It was one of those huge, folkloric affairs, with two birthday cakes (more than enough to pass around twice and then serve in doggy bags for family and friends), confetti strewn all over the floor and a random mix of merengue, reggaetón and (gulp!) Gunther. We (Eze, Pepe, Maricarmen and I) spent most of the time sitting on a huge metal box perilously perched on the parking curb (and identified by graffiti as the "Skate Box"). We talked a lot, planned some more details of our upcoming trip, and had the kind of easy-going fun you only get to have with tried-and-true friends. We're the Clerks (see: Kevin Smith) generation, and we love it!

Sunday kicked off with rain and thunder, but we carried on with our plan anyway: to spend the afternoon with my Mom and brother. We picked them up and went to lunch at El Hipopótamo (a small, old Spanish-style restaurant, or tasca, as we like to call it 'cuz then we feel a bit more cosmopolitan when we go there). After a nice, thorough lunch (serrano ham was to be had, as well as milhojas, and that makes me very happy), we went to JC Penney in Plaza Carolina (so as to avoid Plaza las Américas, which gets hellishly crowded on weekends). I had spotted a few covetable items in the JC Penney shopper, and for the first time in a long while, I acted on the whim. Most of said covetable items were not so pretty up close, or were not available, but I got away from it all with a new pair of (gasp!) Mary Janes. How odd of me ¬_¬ ...

Later on we had dinner with Pepe at Dennys, and after another brief visit to Mom's (to help move a futon outside, where it will probably be carried off by someone desperate and very strong), we capped off the evening by watching Bridge to Terabithia. It was much better than I thought it would be and affected me more than I predicted. It's fully recommendable, but be prepared for the unexpected.

Oh! Eze also bought Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows for me, and I just started reading it. NO FUCKING SPOILERS, you read me!?

So, it's nearly 5PM, a bit over an hour to go before quitting time, and tomorrow we depart at 4:52PM. In 24 hours I'll most likely be strapped to a plane seat, looking out of the nearest window and bracing myself for the emotional orgasm liftoff always brings. I'll keep posting as much as our daily activities let me, and I'll definitely take as many pictures as I can.

I'm giddy! I can hardly wait!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Little Notes #6: Time Traveling with Bunnies

A month or so ago Eze introduced me to the Dr. Who series, starting with the 9th doctor (Christopher Eccleston). This introduction coincided with the season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica (another obsession Eze introduced me to), so I was thirsty for yet more sci-fi. Little by little, I realize I'm becoming a bigger geek than I thought myself capable of. However, the sheer and full realization of this came last night as I watched The Last Mimzy.

Think not so much in terms of storyline, but more in terms of reference. This is like putting together an old love of mine (Alice in Wonderland) and a newfound love (time traveling) linked together by an element I was called to awareness of by my brother (the Jabberwocky). The film becomes for me, then, a beautiful work of art and an enthralling sci-fi story.

So, suffice it to say (since I have no intention of spoiling the plot for anyone), I'd be incredibly happy to have an adventure traveling through time in the TARDIS along with Doctor Who #9 and Mimzy... I'd be incredibly happy and tickled pink ...

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Catching Up after the Switch

I started working at my new place on Monday. I was handed my laptop just yesterday, though. Seems like they weren't exactly 100% ready for me.

The hours are weird, it will take some getting used to. I've been working at offices for about 7 or 8 years now. My punch-in time has always been 8am or earlier. In most places I've been, it has been completely mandatory that I be there on time, down to the last company I worked for, in which 8:01am was one minute too late. In here, we work from 9am to 6pm, and it's almost like a suggestion. I've seen people come in at 10am or even 11am, and it's not a big deal. However, punch-out time is 6pm, and I don't see people leave much earlier than that. That will be the hardest thing to get used to, but it'll be alright.

The office is freakishly small, like a doctor's office. Right now, I'm sitting in the conference room, which also doubles as docking bay for the technicians (since techs don't get their own cubicles ... the office is freakishly small). This office is in a building that was apparently made for doctors' offices and clinics, and the footsteps of the people passing by in the hall make the floor tremble. It thunders through this space like it was made of construction paper. Other than that, the silence is a bit unnerving. These people are so different from one another, yet they all seem to convene on one thing: they like their peace and quiet.

These days have been odd, obviously. Being the new girl, not having the slightest clue of what to do, other than reading and re-reading the manual for the software I will be working with... and then again, sometimes getting the feeling of comfort that these people will most likely consider me family with astounding speed (since not only the office is freakishly small, but the staff is also not very big). I like it here, but I'm trying not to get too comfortable. My job's gonna be on the outside, at the client, and that's usually never a comfort zone. That's the reason I chose this: to get out from behind the desk and do something different... wake my mind up a bit.

So, on Tuesday we'll be on our way to San Diego (plane leaves at 4:52pm!), and after our return it will be work work work! I have a good feeling about this, though. I can do this, it should be good.

Different. But good.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

UGHS 1995


Class of 1995

And that's me, smack in the center, on a smoldering day in May. One of those rare days in which mom and dad got along just fine, even my aunt and grandma tagged along, and no one ended up fighting. I earned two medals: one for Highest College Board score (the College Board is a college entry test, somewhat like the SATs), and one for Health Class (now, that was a hoot!).

It was one of the longest graduation ceremonies I have been in (if not THE longest ... ever!). It took, from start to finish, about 5 hours, mostly because of the myriad of activities and speeches. The validectorian herself took up some space, half for the teachers to read her 9-page-long resume, and half for her to shoot down authority in one sweep. Suffice it to say that teachers weren't expecting that and they were sorely vexed. Everyone else laughed. And in retrospect, I should have been more like her, less contented with the paternalistic recognition handed me during those three high school years.

I salute Cindy Salgado for that!

Talking of Cindy, she'd be the one right next to me (I'm the oddly long-necked creature standing at the far right of the picture, squinting at the sunlight, and impressively not melting under the beret and the denim jacket). I can't for the life of me remember much of this road trip. The picture was taken at El Yunque, perhaps in one of the old stone watchtowers that dot the way to the top.

As much as I don't remember this particular trip, I do remember others, and the one time I fell asleep on the last seat of the bus. It was so hot, I was sweating out of my eyes. Either that, or I was sick ...

The picture doesn't say much. To be honest, I can't say what it is the person who took the picture trying to photograph. I don't even remember the decoration of the place. I do remember:
-the lighting (dim and located)
-Cindy's skirt (long, fringed, red suede, cowboy boots! argh!)
-staying in the same room with about 8 people (including Mayda's mom and her brother, which ensured some drama for the evening)
-popping out of the hotel for a bit (and suddenly finding myself ordering take-out breakfast from Burger King at 4 am)
-the rumors (including "a bathtub full of champagne/beer/bubbly alcohol", and "a threesome in said bathtub" etc etc etc)
-the intense scolding I got afterwards (for not calling the night before to let my parents know I had gotten there just fine)

To tell the truth, I consider my White Christmas 1994 to be in a truer spirit of what a prom should be like. (I didn't even stay at the prom anyway. Mom got sick, so we had to split.)

I don't recall who was the insane teacher that thought it would be somehow helpful for our progress in the English language to hold a fashion show. It gave way, however, for an annoying slew of more of these, complete with casting sessions and tearful rejection. Our own fashion show will probably pale in the collective memory of class 1995, thanks to the overblown production by another group, in which the highlight of the afternoon was one of the girls unabashedly walking down the makeshift catwalk in nothing but sheer black stocking, a camisole and a thong. I can still vividly remember the post-pubescent kids scrambling to get their $1 bills in first ...

BTW: Even if there is no picture of it, I do remember Mayda imitating Gloria Trevi at a talent show. She forced a kid out of his belt (he looked scared shitless) and poured some ... soda? water? over her wild hair. Shock value was starting to be IN way back in 1992!

I could be at this all day if I wanted. The memories pour in as soon as you open the mind's window to the slightest image.

I remember a Halloween party in which Cindy and I closed off the evening by howling at the moon (what WAS our trip, anyway?). I garnished the corners of my mouth with fake blood and all I got was a comparison to a ventriloquist's puppet (never place fake blood as if it were falling in straight lines down the corners of your mouth and then not accompany it with the fake fangs ... you WILL look like a puppet).

I remember Mayda's gray-colored contact lenses, the first I ever saw on someone my own age. I remember her having them on so often that I almost believed that was her natural color, even if I had met her first as a brown-eyed girl.

I remember the girls who shaved their heads, a pair of sisters, both donning faces so beautiful and faultless, that the lack of hair worked perfectly. I tried it later on in college. Pulled it off, but not as gracefully.

I remember Ana Pomales and her frequent change of hair color. She used to be a hair model for Wella, and it gave her the privilege of having edgy haircuts and flashy hair colors. She introduced me to the concept of glo-orange hair. Thank you!

(Plus she had a bicthin' sense of fashion, I always envied that a bit...)

Another one with an enviable sense of fashion: Yadira de Jesús. Always fashionably retro, without falling into the crowd. Always a bit of a forward thinker in that way ... And there were a few others, beautiful creatures, graceful creatures. Looking back, I guess I have never felt as good as I looked. I've always suffered the ugly duckling syndrome.

I remember my small, wine-red wool sweater, and how I wore it even if it was 90 degrees outside. I loved my red sweater. I loved my fake Doc Martens boots. I loved the one time I dared set myself on the spotlight by painting my whole face stark white, surrounded my eyes in black (like a raccoon) and stained my lips in red. I loved that next year, a few others did it too.

I remember sitting on the staircase to the mezzanine arguing with Axel about Ricardo Arjona. It should please him to learn that I saw the error of my ways: Axel, you were absolutely right. I remember sitting outside on a bench and asking Raul (a total stranger back then) to play a Metallica piece for me (jeez! wasn't I the forward one?).

I even remember that a rumor got around of me saying I would be the Antichrist's mother. A group of creeps came around to ask me about it ... I had to go back on my story, lest they should get any ideas to kill me because the believed me. I'm glad I did. There are lots of crazies around in high school already.

The gallery Nanette posted on her Facebook profile may not have many pictures of me, or of activities I might remember. But they are the key to opening up my own memories. A shame that I don't have the pictures to match. But today I've had quite the ride!

Thank you, Nanette!

Memories: a Preview

A classmate of mine apparently appointed herself from the beginning, back in 1991, to be the official historian for the rest of the class. The class reunion was celebrated on 2005 and I wasn't able to go, regrettably. It could have been fun.

However, she had gone through the painstaking process of scanning photograph after photograph and then posting them online, at Facebook. I've been going through Memory Lane since 8:00am today. I realize I was in very few pictures (I think I've never been keen on getting photographed). I realize weight gain is a common problem for most of us by the time we're hitting our 30s. I realize I might be getting old, the freshness of the teen years is gone. Does that mean my prime time is over? Or has it just begun?

Later on, I'll write more extendedly about the memories these pictures brought back ... should be a nice exercise for my mind.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Thinking With My Stomach #1: Antojito Paisa

Today has been a bit weird, basically because I have this unrelenting craving for bandeja paisa, specially (and inevitably, only) the one Alvaro makes in his own little restaurant in Caguas.

I am usually not very fond of the rice-and-beans staple most Puerto Ricans use for their daily diet. However, as soon as it is included in a bandeja paisa, it's all game. Then the ground beef, which is a total mystery as to how they make it. When you try it for the first time, it's like they're feeding you instant meat (all powdery, no juice). However, it becomes addictive right away. I guess it's the taste. There's a secret to this combo, though. All the meat juice is right in the pork rind: it's supposed to be crispy, fatty and juicy ... and BIG. Most of the times, they will also throw in some pork sausage as well. Clog your heart in one afternoon.

Then there's the slice of avocado, which I usually avoid since I used to love avocado, but it hasn't fully regained my trust since that one time it got along awfully with my stomach.

The rice is covered with a fried egg, sunny side up or easy over, which is a combo I wasn't interested in trying until I found my love for the bandeja paisa. And to top it all off, a wonderful arepa (please see Antioquian Arepa, although the one I've known since I was a child was the Arepa Paisa, covered in crumbled white cheese and butter... yummmmm!).

So give me a holler if you want to try this exquisite platter, I'll let you know how to get to Alvaro's (it's VERY easy!).

BTW: you cannot eat a bandeja paisa without chugging it down with some Colombiana soda.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Slow Goodbye

Today it feels much more official, today is the first day of the last week, today is the beginning of a long good-bye.

It was a nice "romance" while it lasted, and just the same, it's always a bittersweet deal when it's over.

Promises of Eternity

by The Magnetic Fields

What if the show couldn't go on
What if we all got jobs and got to bed before dawn
What if Old Joe had to retire
What if all the stage hands were let go or fired
That's just like what the world would be
If you fell out of love with me

I can't let this happen to you
Don't you let it happen to me
What would our friends and family say
If they could only see
If you let this happen to us
Don't think you'd be setting me free
Wasn't it you and I who made
Promises of eternity

What if the lights didn't go on
What if the velvet curtain had to be taken down
What if the clowns couldn't be clowns
And all those painted smiles gave in to plaintive frowns
What if no show ever happened again
No Seven, no 8 1/2, no Nine, and no "10"
All numbers and no mystery
No promise of eternity...

Friday, July 6, 2007

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium

This trailer was release on June 28th, and I hadn't seen it until now! How crazy is that! The best ones always get under my radar. This looks like it's gonna be equal parts cheesy, romantic, cute and wondrous. Plus we get Natalie Portman charming us again with her wide-eyed innocence and intensity (just like in Garden State).

... and just in time for turkey! (releases November 16th)

Perception of a Weekend: Before (Micro)

First things first - I did my own nails about one or two weeks ago, and the looked fantastic... for two days, that is, until the ol' nail polish chipped off. And that will happen, why not, I mean: i did only one coat, no top coat, no base coat. Can't be bothered with those details, but I realized having a fast-drying nail enamel helps making the process less painful (yes, beautifying myself is always painful).

I found this in my humble nail product box (which is really just an old, wobbly shoe box) in a nice, shimmery, cream-colored shade. Can't remember the name, but it was incredibly quick to dry (plus points) and it turned out to look gorgeous on my short-short nails (double plus points) But then mom showed me a Bettina shade that proved to be an inspiration (#168, I think ... did you know that the company that makes the Bettina nail polish we Puerto Rican girls buy for $1.99 a bottle in our local drugstores and supermarkets, has no presence in the internet!?!?!)

So, that would be my intentions today: buy Maybelline Express Nail Color in a shade called Racing Rubies (see pic above) and get some nice, dark red scratchers, very fast!

Tonight we have a small business get-together with one of the bands we sort-of manage (and by "we", I mean CarbonoMúsica), which means I will have to prove myself once again as ... The HouseWife!

That would mean (mainly) sweeping and mopping the house a bit (white tile is a bitch!), and cookin up some canapés...


I meant: grab a crate of beer and some chips and dip on the way home. ;-)

Tomorrow is supposed to be the second 1991 Sacred Heart School class pre-reunion, which would be sort of like a staff meeting to plan and talk about what needs to be done for the official reunion. I might go. I might not go. I still don't know, it all depends: Eze gets in to work (@ Border's) at 8PM. Frecuencias Alternas remains under Pepe's control, I might as well help him out.

And Sunday is still a blank, with a small hint of what could be done. BBQ, anyone?

... or maybe some cookies?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Little Notes #5: Obsessive Compulsions, a Sci-Fi crush (again), E-mail Forwards and Changes Afoot

Can one have a musical OCD? Or maybe like a piece so much you could listen to it all day long in a 24-hour-long loop? A month or two ago, Eze introduced me to a long-standing British sci-fi series called Dr. Who. I didn't realize I had become hooked in 2-ep's time until I heard the theme again yesterday, and my veins started to itch! Hahahaha!!!

It's a fucking catchy tune!

Which brings me to my latest crush ... goddamned British charm!

Cristopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor Who in the series, coincidentally the only season I've watched so far. And oh man, is he charming! **drool**

Okay! Rant over, next!

Dad sent me another of his usual forwards (sometimes the prove to be sappy, sometimes - however - it's worth it. This one started sappy, but I realized it talks to us, to women all around, openly and frankly. I'll share it here. Maybe it will help brighten someone else's day too. :-) (btw: sorry if you're an unlikely English-only speaker)

De un hombre... ¡a una buena amiga suya!
A todas mis amigas ...... ¿Han escuchado a alguna mujer preocuparse por haber subido unos kilos demás? En realidad.... a nosotros los hombres,no nos importa cuanto pesan.

1) Es fascinante TOCAR, ABRAZAR Y ACARICIAR el cuerpo de una mujer. PESARLA, no nos produce ningún efecto.

2) No tenemos la menor idea de lo que es una talla. Nuestra evaluación es VISUAL. Es decir, si tiene forma de guitarra, está buena. No nos importa cuanto mide en centímetros. Es una cuestión de proporción, no de medida.

3) El prototipo IDEAL del cuerpo de una mujer, ... son las modelos de almanaques de gomería. Curvilíneas, pulposas, femeninas... esa clase de cuerpo que de un solo golpe de vista uno identifica sin duda alguna y en una fracción de segundo: MUJER. Las flaquitas que desfilan en las pasarelas, siguen la tendencia diseñada por modistos, que dicho sea de paso, son TODOS GAYS, y odian a las mujeres y compiten con ellas. Sus modas, son lisa y llanamente, agresiones al cuerpo que odian.

4) No hay belleza más irresistible en la mujer que la FEMINIDAD Y LA DULZURA. La elegancia y el buen trato.

5) El maquillaje se inventó para que las mujeres lo usen. Úsenlo. PARA ANDAR CON LA CARA LAVADA ESTAMOS NOSOTROS.

6) Es una ley de la naturaleza que todo aquel que se casa con una modelo flacucha, anoréxica, bulímica y nerviosa al poco tiempo esta aburrido de ella

7) Entendámoslo de una vez: traten de gustarle A SU PAREJA, no a lo que opinan sus amigas, nunca van a tener una referencia objetiva de cuan lindas son, de mujer a mujer. Ninguna mujer va reconocer JAMAS delante de un tipo que otra mujer está linda.

8) Las jovencitas son lindas...pero las de 35 para arriba, SON LA EXPRESION PLENA DE LA BELLEZA FEMENINA.

9) El cuerpo CAMBIA. Crece. No pueden pensar sin estar sicóticas, que les puede entrar el mismo vestido que cuando tenían 18 años. Además, a una mujer de 35, 45 o 55 que le entre la ropa de cuando tenía 18, o tiene problemas de desarrollo, o se está auto-destruyendo.

10) Nos gustan las mujeres que saben manejar su vida con equilibrio y saben manejar su natural tendencia a la culpa. O sea: la que cuando hay que comer, come con ganas (la dieta, vendrá en septiembre, no antes); cuando hay que hacer dieta, hace dieta con ganas (no se sabotea ni sufre); cuando hay que comprar algo que le gusta, lo compra (no piensa en que le está quitando algo a sus hijos, sino que sabe que ella lo vale y por eso lo adquiere) cuando hay que ahorrar, ahorra (y no sufre pensando en lo que se priva, porque lo hace por algo).

11) Algunas líneas en la cara, algunos puntos de sutura en el vientre, algunas marcas de estrías, NO LES QUITAN SU BELLEZA. Son heridas de guerra ,testimonios de que han hecho algo con sus vidas, no han estado años en formol ni en un spa. Han VIVIDO. El cuerpo de la mujer es la prueba de que Dios existe. Es el sagrado recinto donde nos gestaron a todos los hombres, donde nos alimentaron, nos acunaron y que nosotros sin querer, arruinamos llenándolas de estrías, de cesáreas y demás cosas que tuvieron que ocurrir para que estemos vivos. Cuídenlo.

Cuídense. Quiéranse. La belleza es todo eso. Todo junto. Si la vida te da limones... ..entonces... HAZ LIMONADA!!!!! seamos felices.

And, to end this blog note in a dramatic fashion: today, I quit. :-)


Monday, July 2, 2007

What's Happening in my Kitchen

Yesterday it was iced cupcakes & brownies. Had a lot of fun cooking it up with Tattiana and Chichi. Made a mess out of the whole house, mainly because we also received a visit from Pepe and his girl, but more importantly because the kitchen is so small, its activities bleed into the rest of the house.

The cupcakes ended up looking like a green, white, aqua and purple mess of icing, but I was told they were delish. The brownies ... well ... they came out REALLY fudgy. :-D I'm hoping to try that again... with a more solid (i.e. darker) chocolate.

Today's menu:
potatoes au gratin
churrasco (complete with chimichurri
fried amarillitos

More fried amarillitos, 'cuz GAWD! mom gave me one too many plantains :-\