Tuesday, November 27, 2007
I am in California, and will be here in meetings until Thursday. On my way to campus this morning I saw beautiful fall leaves on the trees lining the streets. The morning was nice and crisp and the meeting has been very productive this morning. So I am in a good mood right now.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Fenómeno, by Remedios Varo
Lately my stress levels are off the charts. There is too much to do, too little time. We finally closed on the home improvement loan, but do not get a first payment until Wednesday. The contractor did order the wood and we will not be charged until then. We are nowhere near done with the packing, and we need to figure out where to get the money to rent a storage facility and possibly a U-Haul. We have next weekend to move everything out. And we have not figured out where are we all staying (including my parents) while they do the floors.
I leave for California today. The timing of this trip is so bad for my personal life. And it is not so great for my work life either. I also am in the middle of projects at work that I will have to work on while I am in meetings. I get back Thursday night and Friday in the morning I meet with our Senior VP to review the results of a project. It just sucks.
I also feel bad about leaving the girls. I had nightmares last night, about bad things happening to them, or to me. I haven't even left and already I can't wait to be back home. And that is what sucks the most. I do not travel much for work, and every trip is usually something highly anticipated, a rare treat to be savored. And unfortunately, the stress and hectic pace of work/home have robbed me of that enjoyment.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Did you "mis-spend" your youth? What kind of kid were you? Worrisome to your folks? Mature beyond your years? Wild? Shy? How did you spend you time? Out of curiosity, how many of you knew "what you wanted to be when you grew up" and accomplished it? How many times did you change your mind? Do you think your kid self would approve of you now?
I have an issue with the concept of mis-spent youth. What does that even mean? Are we supposed to be on a fast track to adulthood from the day we were born? Was my youth mis-spent because I was not taking part of myriad extra-curricular activities?
Our youth is a time of formation, of experimentation. It's a stage of life. The labels, the expectations, the timelines of youth are, just like those of adulthood, artificial constructs. There is not a recipe or template of how the perfect youth should be. Of course, there would probably be a consensus that a kid who breaks the law, gets mixed up in dangerous situations and/or ends up in juvie may be taking their life down the wrong path. But even instances like that can be learning experiences, and people can definitely rise above them.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
It's 6:30 AM. The turkey is out of the refrigerator to thaw for 1.5 hrs before putting it in the oven at 8:00 AM. It will cook 5 hours in an oven bag and be ready around 1:00 PM. Yesterday morning I seasoned the turkey and it has had close to 24 hours marinating so it can get that nice, garlicky, pork-like flavor I like. This is what I used for seasoning it:
1 small head of garlic, peeled and crushed with a mortar and pestle
sazón with coriander and annato
The turkey will be stuffed with meat. I browned a mix of ground sirloin, pork and sausage, threw in some sliced olives and cubed potatoes, seasoned it with sofrito and a touch of adobo.
My mother-in-law is making green bean casserole and mashed potatoes. She is also bringing pumpkin pie for dessert. Since Gabriel likes stuffing (yuck) I will be making some for him. I will also make my arroz con gandules, and a little bit of mashed cauliflower and steamed brocoli. I am trying to keep the portions small, but I am sure it will still be a ridiculous amount of food, and we will be eating through the weekend.
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
These days I don't use that e-mail address anymore, but every once in a while I log into my account to check the 2,500 or so spam messages I get every month. Here are two of my most recent messages. Does this crap work on anybody? Who replies to these messages?
1- Tremendous Sav-ings Generous Selections Pharmacology. Acquire a humungous reduction on your pillstrustworthy characters, uppermost quality.monumental variety, including Hard to find drugs No RX due.
2- Alert: can't keep up with horny women family. Lenghten yer pen1s up to 3 supplementary cm!!
Today I nominated a bunch of my favorite blogs. I have never done so before, and I did not ask the bloggers if it was OK to nominate them. I hope they do not mind. I figured as a fan it was my prerrogative to celebrate the blogs I enjoy reading, so others can enjoy them too. Here are my nominees:
1- Momma Mia Mea Culpa
2- Greg's Brain
3- Just eat your cupcake
5- El Ñame
6- Legión Miope
Monday, November 19, 2007
Over the weekend, in the middle of the freakout I have been experiencing, I also got bitten by the bug that's infected so many bloggers. I started to wonder why am I doing this and whether there is any value in the exercise of keeping a blog, especially lately when all I have been doing is moping.
I am well aware that, unless you suffer from the same kind of impairment, reading about someone's rotten mood gets tired real soon. I know there are people who used to visit me often and have now moved on to more chemically balanced bloggers. And I do not blame them. Most people who do not suffer from mood disorders feel sorry for those of us who do. And they can only take so much before they either get impatient with the sad person who can't get out of their mood, or just lose interest. I know I have little patience for people who seem stuck in a rut, even though often I am in the same situation.
I have said it before and I will say it again: when I write about my mood I am not looking for pity; I don't want it and I don't think I am deserving of it. I worry sometimes that people may read the blog and think that I am a complete emotional wreck. And yes, sometimes I am a wreck. I get very sensible and get angry or cry for the slightest reason. But most of the time, even when I feel emotionally on edge, I behave like a normal person. I go to my job and perform all my duties. I take care of my family. In fact, sometimes I feel this curse gives my life depth, but that may just be something I tell myself to see the value in everything.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with QuizFarm.com
|You scored as Donald Duck|
Your alter ego is Donald Duck! Try as you might, you have a nasty temper that is hard to control. But you try hard to please, and you arn't one to go down without a fight.
Thursday, November 15, 2007
I need to start getting ready for this, at least mentally, and I am not there yet. I still have not fully comprehended what is in store for the next few weeks, but just writing about it now has made it more real. Holy crap, I better get cracking.
We are getting bamboo floors. I did not want to feel guilty about chopping down trees so I could have a pretty walking surface. At least bamboo grows back. Plus, it's cheaper than other kinds of wood, and I love myself a bargain. Supposedly bamboo is not most homebuyers' cup of tea, but I could care less. I don't plan to sell this house anytime soon, and by the time we move, if we do, it might be trendy.
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
This week's Three Word Wednesday words are:
First, let me start by encouraging you to check out Paisley's 3WW entry today. It was quite witty, naughty a total hoot. I can't top that, so I will do what I usually do (use the words as prompts to write whatever random thing pops into my head).
Icy: Prior to moving to Wisconsin in 1993, I had no experience of snow or of Winter cold. Sure, I had traveled to Orlando in late Winter/early Spring, and to NYC in the Fall, and both times I required jackets, scarfs, even gloves in one case. He he he, little did I know when I complained so much back then that there would come a time during my sojourn in Madison when I would experience a week of temperatures above 10F as warm times. Prior to moving to Wisconsin, I had no concept of driving on icy roads, and no cause for concern. During my year in Madison we did not have a car, so we did not have to experience firsthand the joys of driving on ice, but I saw plenty of cars slipping on my regular walks to the nearby supermarket.
Pause: I just took one of these, so I could record the girls. Isabel was playing by herself and singing. It was impossibly cute, and I stopped writing, grabbed my digital recorder and tried to capture her voice. I did not have luck, as once she saw me she stopped singing, but I did record the girls talking, sending greetings to my mom and being goofy. I tried uploading them to Putfile, but for some reason it's nor working well. I need to figure out how/where to post a WAVE audio file from my digital recorder.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Thanks, Meleah!!! If you have not visited Meleah's blog, Momma Mia, Mea Culpa, I suggest you pay her a visit. She is a great blogger.
This award was created by Mark at Me and My Drum, and it is for bloggers who make their blogs their own, stay with it, are interactive with their readers, and just plain have fun.
I am passing this award to:
Josie at Picking up Pieces (who is unrivaled when it comes to interacting with and caring for the bloggers in her circle)
Maria at Just Eat your Cupcake (one of the best blog writers around, period)
MPJ at A Room of Mama's Own (like Meleah, MPJ is one of my favorite bloggers)
Pen and the Sword at The Grass is Always Greener (because she is cool and a great writer too)
I love you all, girls!
Monday, November 12, 2007
• 7% of the 120 million U.S. adults who use the internet say they have created a blog or web-based diary. That represents more than 8 million people.
• 27% of internet users say they read blogs, a 58% jump from the 17% who told us they were blog readers in February. This means that by the end of 2004 32 million Americans were blog readers. Much of the attention to blogs focused on those that covered the recent political campaign and the media. And at least some of the overall growth in blog readership is attributable to political blogs. Some 9% of internet users said they read political blogs “frequently” or “sometimes” during the campaign.
• 5% of internet users say they use RSS aggregators or XML readers to get the news and other information delivered from blogs and content-rich Web sites as it is posted online. This is a first-time measurement from our surveys and is an indicator that this application is gaining an impressive foothold.
• The interactive features of many blogs are also catching on: 12% of internet users have posted comments or other material on blogs.
• At the same time, for all the excitement about blogs and the media coverage of them, blogs have not yet become recognized by a majority of internet users. Only 38% of all internet users know what a blog is. The rest are not sure what the term “blog” means.
Go pay a visit to Lesley's blog as well, if you are interested. Lesley is a fellow Sunday Scribblings/Three Word Wednesday writer, who hails from Fife, in the United Kingdom.
UPDATE: It turns out I have also been tagged today by Michelle for the 7 random things meme. I now feel that I should repost here my previous post in answer to this meme (from May 2007), for the benefit of my friends.
1- Never, never in a window seat- I am claustrophobic. I am not kidding about it. I really am. It's not a mild "cramped places inconvenience me" claustrophobia. It's a "put me in a window seat on a plane by accident and I will absolutely freak out" brand of phobia. When I was at the hospital I had to be heavily sedated before they did the HIDA testing, because it entailed me being stuck in the same position for over an hour, with a ginormous nuclear medicine testing machine hovering just inches above my body (too close to my head for comfort). And that was not going to happen if I was awake and in full possession of my senses. I mean, if I had to get an MRI I don't know what I would do.
2- I like to eat raw spaghetti. Need I say more?
3- I wear size 11 shoes.
4- Sometimes I have a hard time opening up to people. If you know me in person, you would not think it. In social situations I am generally pretty friendly, I like to engage people in conversation and make them feel welcome. But left to my own devices I tend to keep to myself. I have old friends who are pissed off at me because I never call, and new friends, especially from the mommie boards, who may not know how much I care about them for the same reason. It's not that I don't care. It's that I am spacey often. I had not even realized that Amanda P had a blog and she is not only an online friend but a real life one!
5- I have an unusual aversion to skirts, much to the chagrin of both my mother and my husband, who think I should just get over pants already and show off some leg once in a while.
6- I hate mayo with a passion. I can't even smell it. It makes me want to throw up. Nothing I eat can touch mayo or I will simply not eat it.
7- If I tweeze my eyebrows I start sneezing uncontrollably, which is why (among other things) I would much rather shave them.
Judging by the activity (or lack thereof) on my Google Reader list of blogs, there seems to be so many people hurting lately. Several bloggers I follow have expressed that they are taking a break or pondering shutting down their blogs. Is it a seasonal thing? I have read somewhere that the holiday season is a time of depression for many. Is it a blogging lifecycle trend, is it normal? Lots of people open blogs and never go beyond one post. Others keep going, but stop updating after a while. Still others are a flurry of activity and then disappear overnight. I wonder if there are any seasonal patters to this phenomenom. Is it constant throughout the year or do we get flare-ups at specific times of the year?
I would like to know more about trends in personal blogging, but I do not know if there is anything out there measuring non-professional blog trends. Does anybody know?
In the meantime, to all the bloggers I follow who are hurting, I hope things get better soon.
Friday, November 09, 2007
Your character met their love in a unique way. How?
Normally, the first time you go on a date you have your game face on. You are on your best behavior. You show yourself in the best possible light. You don't talk about politics and change the subject when religion is mentioned. In that first meeting, it is all about the niceties and physical attraction. There will be time later to determine if you two are a fit.
In light of this, it was truly surprising how things developed with your beloved. The first thing he did when you met in person was ask you about your native island. Tricky territory (pun intended), discussing Puerto Rican politics with a gringo, especially one that says the solution was making the island the 51st state. Why were you not in his face when he said that, Mrs. Independence, Mrs. It's a country not a state, goddammit? Why did you rationally present your point and try to understand his view, instead of blowing him off? Was it his smile when he was talking?
As if that wasn't enough, the two of you wound up telling each other the worst possible things to talk about on a first date. Abortions, suicide attempts, financial ruin. And instead of being grossed out, or put off by all the tragedy and the mess, you felt right at home. You had found the one person who would not judge you or find you weird. There was no need for masks, for elaborate dances of mating. It was instant recognition.
At the end of the night, you made out in the car, and then each one drove to your respective homes, as the next day was a workday. And you have been together ever since, putting the worst of the dysfunction behind you, and building a future together.
Thursday, November 08, 2007
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
Everybody is sleeping, but me. I sit and listen obsessively to the same song from this morning. At times it's only me and Ryan Adams' haunting melody.
You're gonna be the one that saves me
You're gonna be the one that saves me
You're gonna be the one that saves me
I am not writing my story tonight. I am caught up in the mood. There is nothing fabricated about this mood; this one is very real. I feel very lonely tonight. Invisible. Dislocated, like I have just been dropped from a plane into this strange place.
Where the hell am I? For a moment the house feels alien, cold. I long to go home, but I don't know where that is. Home is a place in my past, a place that is no longer.
I wipe away the tears and remind myself that I am home. My family is asleep in their bedrooms. I fight the urge to wake up Gabriel. I need some comfort, as I am truly crawling out of my skin right now. But he was exhausted, and he needs to get up early tomorrow. I'll just have to cry it out and get some sleep. Damn it! Why do I have to be so reasonable? Why do I have to be so emotional?
Sometimes I hate feeling everything so strongly. I have learned to keep this trait in check while I work and interact with the outside world, but once I am home it needs to be unleashed.
Well, my rambling is over. I am not looking for pity, please. I will be alright come tomorrow, I always am. I just wanted to chart my mood tonight.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Because I have a limited amount of time, and I am spending so much of it blogging or reading blogs, I have neglected some of the baby boards I was a part of through my second pregnancy and the birth of Isabel. I am not too happy about that, but I am able to keep in touch with some of them who keep blogs like me.
Will I still be here next year, writing about my second blog anniversary? I very much hope so. I have learned not to make categorical statements, because you never know where life takes you, but I very much intend to continue my blog. It has been an enriching first year.
Sunday, November 04, 2007
This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is "money."
I recently wrote about my happy place, for MPJ's group writing project. The Sunday Scribblings prompt got me thinking of my happy place again. I have decided that in my happy place money has a limited place, if it exists at all. I haven't figured out how to work that yet. My happy place is very retro in that there are lots of small agricultural cooperatives and artisans, and corporations still exist, but are also organized on a coop model. So there will be a lot of bartering going on.
Friday, November 02, 2007
Nanowrimo started yesterday. I was not a horse running off the gate at 12:01 AM on november 1st. I have my outline ready and will start writing tonight. I am not following the rules to the letter anyway, in that my aim is to write a collection of short stories, not a novel.
I don't know what's going to happen. Will I be done by the end of November? Will I have written enough words to comply with their established word count goal? I'm not sure. I have a very modest personal goal. Instead of a whole book, if by the end of November I have one of my stories ready, one story I am proud of, something good enough that I could actually see myself submitting it for publishing, then I will feel like I have accomplished something. It may sound too minimal when compared to the idea of cranking out a 50,000-word manuscript, but crafting a good story is no easy task. I would much rather take my time to to get down the right words, and give me a chance to edit and rewrite, than just keep on puking words on a page with my eye on the word counter.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Isabel, Gabe and I joined a group of our neighbors and went trick-or-treating with them.