Archive | Life in the US RSS feed for this section

Sunday Evening Thoughts

1 Jun

Where has the time gone? I can’t believe it’s been over two months since the last time I sat down to write my random thoughts on the old online journal. Whatever, life got in the way.

A lot has been going on and I feel like I have failed to capture it. I don’t know if everyone goes through the same but I get this feeling that I don’t want those memorable moments in life to slip away too quickly. I want to somehow lock them in a capsule and preserve them forever. So I can go back and relive them as many times as I want to. Perhaps that is the reason why people take some many pictures and then share them on social networks. We want to make those fleeting moments more permanent somehow. It’s either that or just wanting to show off material possessions and/or good looks.

I decided to give the Blog Post-A-Day thing another try. Yes, once again. December was just too hectic and with too much travel for me to be able to carve time out of my day to write. I figured June was a better month since I only work for half of it.

Maybe I’ve already said this here, but a lot of times I really want to commit to writing more. When I was talking to my husband about my intention to write on the blog everyday (and actually do it) he asked why I felt the need to take something I liked to do every now and then and turn it into a chore. The simple answer to that is because I need the self-imposed discipline to get better at writing. Also, because I know I would love to eventually go back in time and read what was going on in my life during all of June 2014.

I will end this post here because it’s starting too sound too much like navel-gazing for my taste. Certainly, what I’ll write for the next 30 days will not always be too serious,and I know there will be days where I’ll cheat and just post too many pictures.

Sunset in our lovely little town

Sunset in our lovely little town


Tales From The Weekend

9 Dec

So yeah I didn’t blog over the weekend. Who cares? I decided I wasn’t going to fret during my two free days of the week over some silly self-imposed posting deadline. I think I’m going to skip posting on weekends. Also, today’s post is going to be a short one ( and I probably won’t have time to proofread either so, Self,  pardon my mechanical errors in advance) since it’s already 9:30 and I have a super early wake-up call tomorrow.

What did I do over the weekend? Let’s recap! I used to do weekend recaps when I first started blogging as a way to preserve memories of time spent with family and friends or places I visited. As I started grad school and my blogging almost diminished to non-existent, I completely forgot how amusing it can be to go back and re-read a recount of what you did on, say, Friday June 5th 2009.

Onwards with this past weekend’s adventures!

Friday was pretty busy. I pretty much ran from one school to another and didn’t have enough time to get everything done.. I don’t know why the last couple of days, it seems like there’s always something that needs to be done and I can barely keep up. After I got home from work, I had some tea, talked to my mom on Skype, showered and then got ready for our date night. We met with our friends I and JP for dinner in a town that is exactly halfway between our respective towns. I is from Brazil and brought me a present from there: a cool pair of Havaianas Sandals. Can’t wait to wear them next summer! Even though I had a lot of fun at dinner, I realized how much I miss our group of friends that used to get together often. It’s hard being so far away from your good friends.

Saturday night, we went over to my friend’s S to celebrate her b-day and Dia de Velitas (Little Candle Day). I’ll let Wikipedia explain what this holiday is about. How the night was in one word? A blast! I’ll let the pictures do the talking:






Sunday, on the other hand, wasn’t so great. I had the bright idea to go grocery shopping in the rainy, cold mess of a day we had yesterday. Bad move. The roads were wet and I had to drive slow. By the time I got back home, I was moody and tired and all I wanted to do was put on my PJs, watch a movie and veg out on the couch. I learned my lesson: if I can avoid it, I won’t ever go grocery shopping while it’s cold and rainy out.

That’s all for today. I’ll try to come back tomorrow with a few tales from past Candle Days.


On Life

25 Apr

On blogging

Yeah I know. Bad blogger, bad! Truth is when you can’t really muster enough energy to go to one gym class a week, chances are not you won’t write on your blog for a really, really long time. I’ve missed blogging. I really want to start doing it with regularity, and not just for the sake of saying “I have a blog”. I want to further develop my writing skills. Hey, I wrote almost 30,000 thousands words for my thesis. Writing a couple paragraphs once a week should be no problem, especially when those paragraphs don’t involve having to cite my sources or using academic language. And there have certainly been times since last December when I’ve really needed to let out my thoughts and emotions and the 140 characters from Twitter wouldn’t cut it. But then, I had a deadline to meet or there was laundry to do and blogging always was put on the back burner. Much like working out.

On Work

So I kind of have a new job.  It is in the same field, but I have new responsibilities, and I guess you can say I was “promoted”. I’m purposefully vague about work because I’m paranoid and don’t think that it’s wise to talk about the things that go on at work online. What I can say is that I’m really really happy with this new job; it was totally unexpected but very rewarding. It hasn’t been easy in some aspects, but I’m learning and I feel like I’m getting better at it every single day.

On School

I’d never thought I’d say this,  but I am freaking done! I defended my thesis last Saturday and I think I did pretty well. Some of my professors recommended that I present my thesis at the TESOL conference and they all said I should really consider writing a textbook for English instruction based on my research project.  God willing, I’ll graduage May 11! Can’t wait! And the best part? My mom will be here to attend graduation with me!

On Facebook/Pinterest/Instagram and Such

I don’t know how many times I’ve said this, but I’m so over Facebook. Still, I can’ t bring myself to close my account for good. Facebook is like this huge circle of jerks that you hate to be a part of but can’t live without. Part of my reasoning is that I live so far from relatives and friends, FB is a good way to keep in touch without much effort. So what do I hate about FB? The same thing everyone probably hates: Grown-ass people taking way too many selfies with a duck face. Hey, I’m guilty of the selfies too, but as I approach my thirties I am less and less interested in that kind of stuff. Also, there’s the people who use FB as their confessional, or as if it were God’s direct line for requests. But the thing that kills me the most is the over-sharing.  The question I ask myself when I read most status updates is, who the heck cares? And don’t even get me started on people making certain type of announcements on Facebook before picking up the phone and calling the important people in their lives to let them know first.  It must be really awful to find out on Facebook that a close relative has died.

On Marriage

I have been married for almost four months. That time hardly seems like a milestone but I feel like it is an accomplishment. When friends and relatives asked me the oh-so-common question, “how’s married life?” I never know what to say. It’s not that I’m unhappy or anything. I think we’re still in the honeymoon stage, but we’re also in the trying-to-adapt-to-each other phase. It’s just that I never know quite well how to answer when people ask me how I feel about married life. If I say, “it’s awesome, all rainbows and unicorns!” it sounds like I’m bragging. And I would also be telling a lie because living with another person is hard. It would also be a lie to say that I’ve been miserable during this time. I guess an honest answer would be that there have been challenges like when we argue over doing the dishes or cleaning the house but it’s also been so sweet to share my life with someone I love. Sure he is a bit messy, but he’s also thoughtful and caring. He buys me flowers for no reason and makes me coffee first thing in the morning. I can see he appreciates me and does not take me for granted. Also? I’m no angel. I know it is not easy putting up with my moods. Living with Jason has made me realize how bossy I can be. I honestly had no idea I could be that bossy. Luckily, he calls me out on it when I’m being particularly annoying. And God knows I can be annoying. I feel like we complement each other very well even though we fight like most couples do and don’t always see eye to eye. So how do I convey this sentiment in one or two sentences without giving too many details about my personal life? I guess I should just tell people to mind their own business.

On Health-related Issues

As it turns out, I seem to have a heart condition. It sounds more serious that it really is. Mostly. It’s called a Bundle Branch Block and it’s like a defect in the electrical impulses of my heart. My doctor says I was probably born with it and I shouldn’t worry about it. For now, I’ve had to get a bunch of studies just to make sure everything is alright. I’ve had no symptoms other than a sharp pain on my chest a few weeks ago. My doctor thinks the pain was probably due to stress, but I seem to be healthy otherwise. I’ve been monitoring my blood pressure every day too since it tends to get a little high when I am under a lot of stress. I have to admit it kind of freaked me out a bit when doctor told me. Especially, the way they told me. I had gotten a EKG and had already left the doctor’s office. As I was walking in the parking lot back to my car, a nurse came to get me and said that the doctor needed to talk to me.  When I went back in, she was all like, “I need to inform you about something but please don’t be alarmed”. I was obviously alarmed after she said these words and cried like a baby once I got home. But then J and I Googled the issue and we found out people can live normal lives with that condition. I just need to be more mindful of my heart and be extra aware of my diet so I don’t worsen the problem.

2011 Wrap-Up

3 Jan
So technically, you’re supposed to do this before the end of the year, but I was too busy stuffing myself and doing nothing to get off my butt and sit in front of the computer to write this post. Anyways, I found this really cool idea on this blog  for a yearly recap which I loved because it appealed to the inquisitive part of my brain. I love questionnaires! So without further ado, here is my 2011 recap. Hopefully, I’ll start doing this every year.
1. What did you do in 2011 that you’d never done before? 

I can think of a few things: I started my Master’s program, went to Asheville, NC, shot a rifle, drove by myself for over 5 hours more than once, ran non-stop for 10 minutes ( I cannot do it anymore, ha!) and got a speeding ticket. I’m sure there are more first-time events, but that’s all I can think of right now.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Well, I technically didn’t make new year’s resolutions last year. Later on, I did make some but I didn’t make them public.I had a few important ones which I did keep: start school, lose weight (I briefly succeeded on this one until I started school and stopped working out) become more stable emotionally, and others which I failed at: floss every night, get more sleep, read 25 books, lose weight and keep it off, save money and call my extended family back home more.

I think making resolutions is kind of inevitable. Some people make a big deal out of it, while others keep the resolutions to themselves. I, for one, plan to make my resolutions public this year, but I will make an effort to make more attainable goals so that I can stick to them and not just ditch them by the end of January. I will try to publish them here  as I recently discovered how awesome it is to go back and read something I wrote a year ago.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Some friends in Colombia did, but no one in my close circle of family or friends (that I recall).

4. Did anyone close to you die?

Again, some acquaintances and relatives of coworkers, but thankfully no one really close to me.

5. What countries did you visit?

None. Or only one if I count the fact that I spent the first 10 hours of 2011 in Colombia.

6. What would you like to have in 2012 that you lacked in 2011?

Oh, man. So many things. Consistency, discipline, self-control when it comes to spending. Money!

7. What dates from 2011 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
My birthday (March 19) is the first one that comes to mind. It was one of the best birthdays I’ve had. It would have been perfect if I had been able to be with my family as well. But it was pretty damn close to perfect. Other awesome dates: December 30 and 31. On the former, I spent a wonderful day in Asheville, North Carolina. I know it wasn’t an extraordinary adventure, but I was happy all day long. On the latter, ditto on the happiness and also it marked the end of a great year.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

I successfully started my Master’s. Also, I lost 15 pounds.

9. What was your biggest failure?

I gained those 15 pounds back. Ha! Also, I had never been so broke, but that is not entirely my fault.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Just a very persistent flu towards the end of the year.  Also, my migraines diminished a little this year.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Shoes (I’m not even kidding).  Also, my awesome new camera. 

12. Where did most of your money go?

School tuition, books, gas, lawyers, and other school related expenses. And shoes.  🙂

13. What did you get really excited about?

Starting grad school, openly announcing to my family and friends that I was in a serious relationship, turning 27 (it felt like a milestone birthday to me), living in a big city again, albeit for a short period of time.

14. What song will always remind you of 2011?

Adele’s Someone Like You

15. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder? Thinner or fatter?Richer or poorer?

Definitely happier, same weight as this time last year, and a tad poorer. 😦

16. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Exercising. Sleeping. Saving.

17. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Late-night snacking. Wine-drinking. Stressing.

18. How did you spend Christmas?

I spent Christmas’ Eve with my boyfriend’s family. Everyone was really nice and the food was amazing. Christmas Day was spent mostly watching movies and eating chocolate chip cookies. 

19. What was your favorite TV program?

Dexter! I can’t believe I have to wait 10 months to see what happens next. 

20. What were your favorite books of the year?

UltraMetabolism by Mark Hyman
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Lee Dugard
Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury

21. What was your favorite music from this year?

All of Adele’s 21 album, The Temper Trap’s Love Lost, Coldplay’s Charlie Brown and Paradise, Katy Perry’s Fireworks, and Glee’s version of Baby It’s Cold Outside.

22. What were your favorite films of the year?

This is hard to answer as I’ve become some sort of film snob. Most movies I watched were kind of meh. I really liked Water for Elephants, The Swedish version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo and its two sequels. My favorite would be Midnight in Paris. 

23. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 27. I had two birthday celebrations. I received great presents and had a memorable birthday dinner.

24. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

If I could have spent at least a week with my mom.

25. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2011?

Same as 201o. Nothing outlandish. Mostly neutral colors in the winter, bright ones in the summer. Lots of shoe variety!

26. What kept you sane?

Long phone calls to my mom. My boyfriend. My best friends.

27. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2011.

Life proved to me once again that everything does happen for a reason. Even the really bad things.

Weekend Recap

18 Oct
I should really be doing homework instead of writing this, but when I was asked why it was important to write what has been going on in my life as of late, the answer came to me immediately. I want to look back 10 years from now, read this and cherish the memory. Also, I want to see how much progress I will have made as a writer. 🙂 So here goes, this past weekend’s recap or “The Weekend When I Ate My Weight in Cake”.So this weekend was so…eventful. First off, I had to leave work early on Friday and drive to Selma for an hour. Once I got there, it was time to get dressed up for the big event. So I put on my favorite nude pumps and my make up and then we waited and waited and waited. Finally we got the call, and we drove to Smithfield, and then after a little bit of more waiting, this happened:

Yay! My friends are married! It was a sweet and short ceremony. My favorite moment was when my friend A said the word “forever” and the clerk said no one had ever said that word before. Aww.

Then it was cake time, so I ate cake slice #1. And this is my favorite picture of wedding cake eating ever:

We later drove to an Italian restaurant and had a great dinner followed by more wedding cake. That’s when I ate slice #2. Later that night, we went back to the newlyweds’ house and had some beers with more friends. At midnight, we sang happy birthday to J and ended up having drinks and talking until 3:00 AM.

Our hosts made a delicious breakfast for us, and soon afterwards packed up their stuff to go on their honeymoon! We stayed at their house for the rest of the day while I did my homework. I honestly did a half-assed job because I was so eager to drive to Fayetteville for another celebration. It was also D’s birthday.

Finally at 5:30, we left the house and stopped at the mall for a last minute birthday purchase. Then we got to Fayetteville and it was time for more partying! I hung out with my bestie S* and her hubby who had had a little too much to drink but was just as fun to hang out with anyway. Then, the girls and I sneaked out and went to get a surprise birthday cake for the boys. I drove S’s minivan to Harris Teeter, and I felt like a mom. Hehehe. After we sang Happy Birthday,  I ate cake slice #3, followed by chicken soup and a beer.  Sounds weird, but it was a good combination.

After the party, I drove back to Selma at 4 AM. I didn’t crash or fall asleep. Yay! The next day I woke up at 1 PM. I kept remembering the fact that I still had to do more homework, but I was too tired to deal with it. So we just lazed around on the couch for an hour, then showered, then lazed around some more until we finally ate brunch at 3:00 PM. We had Peruvian food. Yum.

Guess what I had for dessert then? That’s right, cake slice # 4.

After that, it was over. I was so sad to say goodbye to J, but he had a long drive ahead of him. Then I went grocery shopping with A and afterwards, I hit the road too.

And now I am home again, with too much homework and not a single bit of desire to do it.

Oh well. At least, I have good memories from the weekend.

* I love you and your jokes in which you compare an herbed goat cheese log to a bar of soap full of pubic hairs. Gross, but funny.

10 Things I Want To Get Off My Chest

10 Oct

1) I am not as smart as I thought I was.

2) I can’t give up carbs. Ever. I guess I will have extra junk in my trunk forever!

3) I regret with every fiber of my being having made the decision to take Language and Culture. Never again, Dr. H!

4) I will have to move in the next 4 weeks or so and I am dreading the packing. I have already cried about it, and I haven’t even started.

5) As much as I want to deny it, I am dying to be a mom. But I would be terrified if I were pregnant. Stupid biological clock.

6) I want to keep on running because it makes me feel hardcore and bad ass, but I don’t think I’m built to be a runner. I will keep trying, though.

7) I enjoy watching movies about teenagers and high school. Ha! I’m still 15 I guess.

8 ) I like Lady Gaga and  Katy Perry, but I won’t admit it. I’m also going through a Euro-dance phase listening to Snap, Robin S., La Bouche and The Real McCoy!

9) I’m more broke now that I have ever been in my whole life! But hey, I’m surviving the urges to shop with my credit card.

10) It feels so good to be in love again.

I Survived The Hurricane (But Not My Laziness)

28 Aug

As everyone else in the world knows, Hurricane Irene hit the coast of North Carolina (where I currently reside) pretty hard. The hurricane left a path of  destruction: a few people were killed, massive flooding, collapsed piers, fallen trees and thousands of homes with no power, no water, and (gasp) no internet!

I live 65 miles away from the coast, which is still pretty close considering the size of Ms. Irene. However, I have to say that I was pretty lucky. My town was not evacuated, but still we were told to expect power outages and mild flooding. So, we took precautions and stocked up on canned foods, water, candles, batteries and made sure our phones and laptops were fully charged. The rain started at approximately 1 PM on Friday, which was sooner than expected. The gusty winds began on Friday at around 8 PM and from then on, they got stronger and stronger. Surprisingly, my nerves were still not fraught by then. For a person who freaks out at the sight of a firefly, I am proud to report that I kept my cool at all times. Well, mostly. I mean, it is certainly disturbing to look out your window and see huge limbs of trees lying on the ground and to be woken up by the wind violently shaking your windows. The power kept going on and off all night. So much so, that we unplugged valuable appliances. Things continued like this well into Saturday afternoon. It was scary at times, and we lost a lot of shingles from our roof and even part of the outside wall of the back of the house, which caused the water to come in through the attic. Late on Saturday afternoon, when the rain and wind were gone, we went outside and I could not believe my eyes. Lots of fallen trees in my street and no one had power, except us and a few other neighbors. I guess we had a guardian angel looking after us.  Unfortunately, for those with a morbid sense of curiosity, I didn’t take any pictures of the damage around my neighborhood mostly because I’m lazy. On second thought, entirely because I am lazy.

And now it’s bright and sunny out and I am sitting here on my bed with my laptop on top of my lap (so that’s why it’s called laptop, huh?) writing this post when I’m supposed to be doing a school assignment or preparing lesson plans for school, or grading a pre-test, which are all chores I should have done on Saturday in the first place. Oh, well. I still have tomorrow. Oh, didn’t you know? I have no school tomorrow since half the county is flooded and still without power.  That means another day to procrastinate and one more day of work in the last week before summer vacation.

Everyone have a great post-hurricane week! I’m going to go procrastinate some more now.