Sunday, August 31, 2008


... are the best kinds of waves to swim in, it's true. The adrenaline rush is so tingly and you can actually get a good workout fighting against the waves and then riding them when you need a break.

Yes, I am still doing free things. I do already have a homeschoolers' annual pass to Great Explorations (a childrens museum), however it's in St. Pete and gas is not free. Heritage Village is nearby, though, and they really love it.

Oh, yeah, and last night we did watch Frida, and although the eyebrows have me freaked out, it was a really interesting film. And it was free.

But in all honesty, I am content content content... which is rare for me, right? I just feel so happy to have such great friends and family.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

singing along with the Beatles, because this isn't depressing at ALL>

I'm feeling sort of mellow, in a dark and mellow kind of way.

It's not that there aren't PLENTY of things to do on a rainy day. But the list of things to do shrinks dramatically when you require that they also be FUN and FREE. Because I am super broke and waiting for the Pell check (yes, again).

So while I'm waiting for the sun, I guess I'll listen to itunes, wash dishes, do my trig homework, and then go to the gym. I convinced my mom to go with me! I can't wait.

And the dead hamster's cage needs a cleaning, too. Wheee!

Actually, Helen and I have Frida checked out from the library right now...there's an idea for when she gets home from work later tonight. But, right now I'm just not very interested in it. Maybe because of the hype for a long weekend, you get left feeling disillusioned or cheated or something.

Don't people do cookouts in other parts of the country?

Oh! the rain!

[tell me to stop bitching! I was downtown at a WMNF jazz party just last night, and then hanging out with friends]

The other day, we were discussing whether or not we should go ahead and devour the storm supply in the pantry when Helen pointed out to me that we are "only into the G's and H's" as far as storms go.

So, consider for you listening pleasure, Octopus's Garden. It's on Abbey Road, but you knew that.

I'd like to be under the sea
In an octopus' garden in the shade
He'd let us in, knows where we've been
In his octopus' garden in the shade...

We would be warm below the storm
In our little hideaway beneath the waves
Resting our head on the sea bed
In an octopus' garden near a cave

Thursday, August 28, 2008

the end of an era (albeit, a brief one)

So, Cora and I just buried her hamster, Hammy.

We buried her with salt and some basil and rosemary sprigs from the front yard.

It should be noted that she was a "good hamster" and only bit Cora once, but then afterwards licked her, as if in apology for the bite.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

can it be as easy as that?


And all of a sudden, I am... diurnal?

I am actually going to bed in the night, and waking in the morning?

I actually have a day-time job? (was hired for the Math/Science office yesterday)

I even went to the gym this morning after I dropped Core off at school. In the MORNING.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

do I have anecdotes?


My chem lab partner is a well dressed, smart-mouthed, adorable asian kid. I'm guessing Cambodian. The (slightly) younger students all seem to stick out that way to me, though. You know, the ones I'm talking about, right?

Half of them have fresh faces, and futures in sororities and fraternities. My new lab partner is one of those boys ;-) The other half of the younger students tend to be the ones who come in to their morning math classes drunk or in pajamas (NO).

After chem lab, I had an interview for one of the student employment jobs (the math office one).

Ooh, and there were free sandwiches and water bottles on campus today, as a welcome back sort of thing. They even had whole wheat bread :-)

Also, Core had her first real school experience today, and I think it went well. She told me a few little things about her day, but not too much yet. I was really nervous because she "homeschooled" last year, which for us meant exploring history, art, science, and other cultures... I knew my child was not going to blow them away in the reading and writing dept.

Sorry, is that bad to say? Just being honest. She's lucky she can print her name and sound out words, and trust me, it was a laborious task to get her that far. And I worked with struggling kindergardeners and first graders last year and the year before, so I had some idea of what I was trying to accomplish, too.

But, I am very optimistic. I feel like being in a structured environment will definately propell her on the path towards real literacy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

THIS is what happens

...when you give me permission to daydream:

I zone out and spend the entire day reading, researching, writing, eating trail mix, and pondering the future.

If you know me, you know I always have a few projects for the future on my mind, and a few currently underway, too. And just thinking can take all day. I think THAT is why I'm so nocturnal sometimes. Because it takes all day to think and dream, and a lot of the night to do.

Curious about my newest ideas?

Well, I am thinking about turning my little cloth diaper enterprise into a non-profit to provide fleece diaper covers to third world orphanages. That shouldn't be too hard.

And I want to learn how to surf. We have a surfboard, and it just sits in the closet.

And I want to travel some more, too. LOL>

Friday, August 22, 2008

did I mention

I'm thinking about making another tattoo appointment... There is so much black and grey shading to work on, and I'm impatient that it's not DONE yet.

Look at this cool picture Not me, lol, just really good work.

Also, last night, I went to see Amy and her 7 week old baby, Avery, yesterday. And Laurie (Amy's older sister), and their parents. So, that was fun, and we ate some really delicious hummus there, at the gorgeous beach rental house.

Do you know I have known Amy since I was 11? No kidding.

And, today, I got to go to the courthouse to get something notarized, to SPC to buy textbooks, and finish submitting myself into the "pool" for various different student employment positions.

Here they are, in order of my preference:

Photo lab assistant.
That is basically a TA job where I'd get to set up/shut down the lab for Photo I students, and whatnot. Probably be allowed to develop my own film, plus I love labwork.

Fine Arts dept assistant.
This job listing says you must be willing to walk from building to building and do some light lifting. I love that. A job without physical activity is kind of boring, imo.

Mathmatics Office assistant.
Answering phones, taking exams to the scantrons, and doing my homework.

Clearwater SPC Library.
It would give me a chance to wear my glasses ;-) and, again, possibly time for homework, but the library is relaxing... too relaxing to work?

International Students office assistant.
A good chance to use some spanish? The position requires you to be bilingual. Con: requires one evening a week, and I don't wanna work evenings anymore! I am so tired of that.

So, now I am "kid-free" for the weekend, which for me means tonight for dinner I had sushi with enough wasabi on it to make me pound my fists on the livingroom floor until I could control myself.

Now, I'm getting ready to go out.

Tommorrow, I am going to see Amy and family again, for lunch etc.

You know, this whole no-kids-at-night-for-a-month thing is sort of relaxing. Especially after a whole month with nary a shower to myself, much less a bed, or going out. OK, I have to go finish getting ready; it's getting late!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I <3 Pance

Pronounced Pawn-say ;-)

It is an Ecoparque river, about 30 minutes by car from Cali. You can sun on boulders and rocks (we don't have rocks like that here in FL) and bathe in the icy cold current and cascades, all the while surrounded by hills and trees. The view of mountains to the north doesn't hurt, either.

Alejandra has pictures on her cell phone... When she sends them to me, I will show you. Pance rocks.

2 planes, 12 police dogs, and 1 pat-down later...

I made it home!

I can't even tell you how nice it is to settle back into my own space, with my own way of doing things.

Just so you know, things did get more difficult after the last time I posted here, but the stories are so crazy and sad, I don't think I'll even bother talking about it! At least not right now. I'm stuck on everything beautiful, right now.

we found a street party one night

...with traditional dancers

my son walking around a pool in Jamundi, Colombia

this is a mountain road in the morning

There is so much I could say, so many pictures, so many AWESOME memories and things to talk about that this is just to wrong format for the job.

Ok, I am going to go hang out with my roommate now.

Friday, August 8, 2008

maybe that was not fair

I shouldn´t sound so contrary, and I realize it. My aunt took us into her home, and has enjoyed my children in her home.

Her comments were (probably) not intended to be injurious, and I agree with her premise, if not with her method. I DO want to look hot. You are only young once, it´s true. And it won´t get any easier if I wait 15 years, will it? (I just HATED that she explained over HOW big I am, when I am actually sorta average)

Barb inspired me with a simple porridge several weeks ago, and I finally checked out Tosca Reno´s website. I joined their Eat Clean message board for new recipes and motivation. I love healthy food... no more junk, k? K

well, not too much junk, anyways.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

apparently I DO need to make myself scarcer

How do YOU handle it when someone tells you you are fat(ish)?

Well, in our culture (and I´m including you because I blindly assume you are American, haven´t slightest clue who reads this blog) it´s very personal, and rude to bring something like that up, unless you are inquiring after someone´s actual health and wellbeing, right?

I mean, I can bitch to my friends about my BMI, but unsolicited (negative) comments about my appearance... Ay!

We can assume it´s a cultural difference.

My general formula for wellbeing is to work out, feel great, and eat what I want, within reason (I drink beer, eat dessert, etc... in balance with really healthy stuff). I broke the habit of stress eating last year. I picked it back up at my grandma´s house two weeks ago, right around the same time my grandma said I should get lipo.

So, anyways, my sexy Barbie-doll aunt, yes, the mother of two sporty teenage boys, who doesn´t eat much because she has special pills to combat hunger is watching me very closely, breakfast and lunch (no dinner, or alcohol, served in this house).

What is this; fat camp? sigh.
I want my gym. I want my hamster. I want a mixed drink, and bad.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Forgot to tell you...

I picked my classes for the fall.

It´s going to be wonderfully crazy =)

I have Chem II plus Chem II lab, Trig, American history, & Art History II. And I´m going back to tutoring America Reads, if possible.
Plus my own kids, work, and the gym, hahahahahahah.

It´s all part of my ´Make Myself Scarce´ plan. Supply and demand, baby.

what we´ve been doing

I took the kiddos to see Wall E last night. It made me tear up, and we had some really interesting discussions about it. Since there isn´t much speaking in the movie at all, I don´t think the kids missed anything due to the language barrier. Besides, they are now accustomed to watching cartoons in spanish, anyways.

They still don´t speak much at all. Other than the basics; hola, ciao, buenos dias, buenas noches, chocolate.

I like taking them out by myself. I can pretend to be a local when no one is acting like a tour guide. Of course, when people actually take me for a local and I have no clue, my ruse is up, lol.

We´ve done lot of things... storytime at the library, El Museo De Oro (Gold Museum), la Merced (Cali´s oldest church), the Cali Zoo, the nice malls. My first week here, I also went to an outdoor market (without them, @ abuela´s request), and that was really really cool. They should have been there.

There is a circus in town right now, but you know how I feel about circus´s... I´m more interested in joining the PETA protesters and buying an arepa outside the circus than I am in going to see the show.

For today, I am thinking about heading to La Galleria again, where you can find traditional stuff. We still need to go to San Antonio (another historic distric) and to La Parque de la CaƱe (Park of the Sugar Cane... it´s a water park with slides and everything), and I want to see the sugar cane processing museum, but I have no idea where it is.

Monday, August 4, 2008

the weekend... and today, too

We headed out to my Tia Lyda´s house, on the southern side of Cali, on Saturday for a breath of fresh air.

Sure, she´s a little high strung too, but since she lives with her two teenage sons, a yellow dog (Quido!!!), and her live in maid, Docia, there is less tension when a stray hair falls off someones head, lol. And I cannot even tell you how unlike my normal everyday life it is to come downstairs in the morning and see coffee waiting for me (and the way I like it, too), hot chocolate for the kids, and arepas... all ready to be thankfully devoured.

Today, Docia even helped me to get lunch stains out of Con´s nicest white Guayabera shirt. I must have looked out of my leauge and lost because the spot was awful. Left to my own devices, I know the shirt would have ended up practically useless, but she made that shirt come out like brand new.

And there´s a sweet pool in this condo complex, and a sauna and play area, too. Lots of sun, too.

In direct, beautiful, timely contrast to this life of (middle class) luxury, the kids and I took a nice long walk today, past this gated condo complex, and the other complexes just like it, past the neighborhood bakery (which we found on our first walk in this area). We found a little playground surrounded by a tall chain link fence and topped with a dollop of barbed wire. There were holes cut in the fence for some reason, and the gates were wide open. A man slept on a bench with a rag on his head.

The kids and I enjoyed the (somewhat broken) merry-go-rounds and swings, but discovered that old fashioned see-saws are all but useless unless you are the EXACT same weight as your playmate. I decided it was time for Cora to do some of her school work in her fun BrainQuest workbook, and right around that time, a woman and her four kids appeared. I let Cora go run around with the kids, but one of those four children spied the workbook.

They ended up surrounding me, asking for translations for things they knew, and testing their English prounounciation on us. The oldest boy (8 yo) lovingly stroked the pages, remarking over and over agian ¨Tan lindo, tan lindo...¨ (how pretty, how pretty).

The boy ended up taking out a piece of paper and copying english words out of the book, to study later. His mother told me she hopes he ends up with a real career, because he´s very interested in school. Their father rode by, as he worked, attempting to sell ice cream from a bicycle (only about 40 american cents for a sundae in a cup), and all the children waved.