Monday, July 28, 2008

How Long Has It Been???

Yep, it's been a long time since I've updated...well...a real update that is, and a lot has been going on!

Let's see...this group of Aggie girls hung out with me one evening at the beginning of the month. It was WONDERFUL!!

I also received a visit from a high school friend, Anna. We hadn't seen each other for FIVE years! She spent a weekend here and it was great catching up, showing her around the city, etc.

All the while I was working a 2 week long basketball camp. We had over 100 kids and a great time! One of the little girls was my "mini-mi." I didn't even notice it until one of the coaches pointed out that we look a lot alike, and I think he was right! She even makes funny faces in the camera like I'm known to do!

During the last week of the basketball camp, Julie came to visit!! Julie and I have known each other since we were 4 or 5, and have been best friends since middle school. We hadn't seen each other since January, and even then, only for an evening - before that we hadn't seen each other since October, and only for an evening, and before that it was August!! This is the longest we've gone since we were tiny tots without seeing each other!! It's been almost a year since we've had one-on-one time!! I missed my JuJuBee!!

Also, one of the moms from the basketball camp gave us free tickets to a bullfight, so Julie got to experience my very first bullfight with me! It's quite controversial here, and I'll be honest - it is pretty cruel to the animals. I'm not an animal rights activist, but I'm not out to get them either. So I'm ashamed to admit that I kind of enjoyed parts of it - but not the bloody part. It was a good cultural experience, but sad to watch the bulls die so slowly and painfully. I've decided that I prefer Texas rodeo. Bucking broncos, bull riding, calf tying...but no killing. Even if they do eat the meat, is it really necessary to watch it die so slowly and painfully??

On Thursday evening I'll be going to Amsterdam where I'll spend the night with a family and Friday morning I'll hop on a plane to Texas. My first meal: Abuelo's Mexican Embassy. Oh yes. I'm going to get one of those massive platters that has a little bit of everything on it. Don't worry - I won't eat it all, but when you've only got one shot at it, there's no way you can choose between avocado enchiladas, chile rellenos, or chicken enchiladas with sour cream sauce. Not when you won't have another chance for a good year or more.


I'll spend a few days with my family and then a few days in Houston before being a bridesmaid in Greg and Lissy's wedding. :)

And now I must do chores and run errands before evening comes!! Time is too short!


Saturday, July 26, 2008

More to Come Soon!

The past two weeks have been SUPER busy - we had a big basketball camp going on (100+ kids!), a friend from high school named Anna spent a weekend with me, and now Julie is here spending almost a week visiting, so between basketball camp in the mornings, meetings with the coaches/being a tour guide for them in the evenings, Anna and Julie, I've been a super busy girl. But starting Monday things should slow down...well...a little I'll post some pictures soon to update you on the happenings on this side of the Atlantic.

Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Please Don't Stop The Music

Friday evening while walking to meet somebody I turned onto a small street to immediately hear, "All by myseeeeeelf....don't wanna be.." from somebody's open apartment window.

Just now, somebody just pulled up to the intersection outside my apartment with their windows rolled down and their radio BLARING Smashmouth's "Hey now, you're a rockstar, get your game on, go play..."

Does anybody else find that really funny? Or is it just me?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Culprit Caught!

The past 9 months I've been living here, there's been a criminal on the loose.

Somebody in my building, causing havoc.

A rule-breaker.

Taking the lives of the residents of building number 13 into their own hands.

They say that 13 is an unlucky number.

I noticed it one day when I stepped into the elevator, many months ago. Something wasn't right. Something didn't smell right.

Surely it was just my imagination. My nose has been a bit confused due to the exorbitant amount of second hand smoke I breathe on a daily basis.

Maybe some excessive smoker left their stench lingering in the lift. Most people over the age of 11 in this country are chain smokers - it could be anybody.

But surely nobody would smoke in the elevator. Not with a sign saying "NO FUMAR" and a logo of a cigarette with the circle/slash that means "prohibited".

And yet, at least once a week, upon entering the elevator I was overwhelmed with the reek of tobacco.

It was a mystery left unsolved for nearly 9 months, until...

This evening the elevator reached floor zero just as I entered the building.

The door opened.

A wrinkly hand belonging to a wrinkly old woman with a raspy voice appeared with none other than a freshly lit Camel Joe.

I knew immediately that she was my culprit.

She's old, so she thinks rules don't apply to her.

She has a cigarette in her hand every time I see her.

She never takes the stairs (like I said, she's old).

The tobacco smell today was the same smell as all the other previous infractions - she probably has her favorite brand that she always smokes.

The culprit has been caught.

Now what am I going to do about?

Absolutely nothing. In case you're weren't sure, she's quite old. I figure, if she wants to smoke on the elevator, she's earned it simply by living this long. That and the fact she kind of scares me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Do You Iron Your Sheets?

I'm taking a poll:

Do you iron your sheets?

A) For your bed
B) For the guest bed
C) For your kid's beds (if you have kids)

I never have ironed my sheets, but today as I was making the bed for a guest who arrives tomorrow I thought to myself: "this would look so much prettier if the sheets were ironed." *

I see ironing sheets as a waste of time. You're just going to get in the bed and sleep, and I wiggle around a lot, so they'll just get wrinkled again. So what's the point? To look good for a few hours?

But then I thought that maybe it would be nice to put the effort into making the sheets look nice. After all, now that I'm on my own, I'm having to learn how to be a "home-maker" and a hostess, even if the home I'm making is just for myself. I'm trying to learn how to be a proper female (not that men can't iron as well! don't get me wrong!) so that one day when I am a wife and mother I don't have to learn it all from scratch.

So what about you? Do you iron your sheets?


*It's hot and I don't have AC so I'm not bothering to put a blanket on top, thus the sheets are all there is to it.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

She-Males and a Rock Star

Last night I went out with two friends, just to get a drink and a pincho de tortilla, and afterwards we decided to have a little walk, since it was only 11:30 and the night was still young (on here is so weird sometimes).

We came across a concert/party thing in the middle of a small plaza. I had seen them setting up earlier in the day but had no idea what it was for, and now, around midnight, the plaza was full of people jumping up and down to Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", even though most of the people there had no idea what the words meant (not that we native English speakers have the slightest clue either). I tried to translate for Rosi but I didn't know the verb for "to entertain," which is kind of a key word in the chorus so I had to give up (it turns out to be "entretener." I should have known it would be that easy). Besides, you can't really understand much of what he's saying anyway other than "here we are now, entertain us, I feel stupid and contagious."

I just looked up the lyrics to the song. Does anybody have any clue what he's talking about? I think he must have been high when he wrote that. That's what my dad always said when I would ask him about what some song they played on KLUV meant. He would say something like, "it doesn't mean anything; those hippies were high when they wrote that." That's what he said about "American Pie." That Don McLean got high and all sentimental and wrote that song. But I'm digressing.

So the three of us decided to hang out there for a while and enjoy the music. We found a little spot at the back of the crowd near some people of questionable genders* and bounced along to the music. One she-male in particular put his/her hand on my back very gently in the polite kind of way that you do when you need to squeeze by somebody in a crowd. But it wasn't necessary to touch me to squeeze by, because we were at the back of the crowd and there was plenty of space. Personally I think it was because he/she saw me looking at him/her with curiosity, because, like Heather, this was the first real live she-male I'd ever seen up close (besides just passing them on the street) and I was asking myself medical questions in my head and became unaware that I was staring. And when he/she saw me staring, I smiled a bit (to be polite of course, because while I may not agree with his/her choices he/she was still created in the image of God and God has filled me with only love for people that years ago I would have tried to avoid) and then politely turned back to my friends. So I think the hand on my back was his/her way of saying to me, "I saw you staring, and it's okay sweetie." At least that's what I'm going to believe. And I'm quite sure that he/she would have called me sweetie, at least if he/she spoke English.

Then suddenly Rosi got really fired up about something.

"See that redheaded woman over there?"

I'm looking around. I don't see any redheads per se, but there is a woman with long, very orange hair within an arm's reach of me.

"You mean the one right here in the black dress?"

"Yeah. That's Alaska!"

"Alaska?" I knew a girl in T-Camp that everybody called Alaska, but that was because she was actually from Alaska.

Well it turns out that this Alaska lady is a super-famous rock star here. She was of the first punk-rock musicians here in the 70's and 80's. So then they started playing her songs, and EVERYBODY was singing along at the top of their lungs, except for me, Amir (also a foreigner and therefore clueless like myself), and Alaska herself. I stood there and stared at her for a bit. She's a very interesting looking lady. And she has a surprisingly deep voice. I wonder what it must be like to be surrounded by people all singing along to the song that you wrote 20 years ago when most of these people were just kids.

Later in life Alaska changed to techno, and I must say that while the punk-rock songs I heard were quite good, the techno is...techno.

There I was, standing right next to a rock star, but as far as I knew, she could have been just another she-male and I would have never known the difference.

Later a slightly crazy lady of about 60 years with a long black wig, a tight mini-skirt and fish net tights asked us why we were laughing at her (however I'm quite sure we weren't laughing at the time) and then started to hit on Amir.

And that was the end of our lovely evening.

*It turns out that this is gay pride week, culminating in a big parade on Saturday. It's very likely that this little concert was a gay-pride event.