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Friday I’m In Love!

3 Jun

This post has nothing to do with the song with that name by The Cure ( By the way, a shout-out to my friend D who loves this band!)

Actually, this is not so much a blog post but rather my way of sharing my new addiction: African food.

I am having a torrid love affair with it, which does NOT help my desire to lose weight and get healthy.

This dish is from Egypt, but it looks surprisingly similar to my favorite Lebanese dish, which I used to have in Colombia all the time.

Since my little point-and-shoot had an unfortunate accident, I’m not carrying it around all the time now. So these had to be taken with my friend’s phone. Trust me, that phone cam doesn’t do this food any justice.

I may or may not have said “Mmm…beignets de pommes” à la Homer Simpson when I saw those sweet little puffs shown above.

Note: if you happen to live near Durham or Raleigh, NC, I highly recommend this place and this place.  You’re welcome.

The Chronicles of Hunger and Other Unimportant Things

18 Apr
For several weeks, I have been drinking my dinner. That’s right, drinking my dinner. You see, for three weeks now I’ve been taking this dieting supplement twice a day. The purpose of this obviously is to lose weight. Why else would people submit themselves to the torture of drinking their meals? The results have been rather positive.  I have lost about 8 pounds. But best of all, my pants feel loose! Now I have to confess, I have been cheating a little. It is so damn hard to diet on the weekends, especially when you go to a picnic and have food like this:
Now, I have been working out frequently. I have been running using the Galloway method. The pain on my shins has been awful since I started running regularly. But this afternoon when I went out for a jog, it was so hard I had to stop completely. And then the 0.25-mile walk back to my car was sheer torture! I am really bummed out about this because running is something I could really get used to doing for a long time. I have  been lying in bed, elevating my shins since I got back from running. I’ve been trying to figure out why my stupid shins hurt so badly. Maybe I’ve been overexercising. Maybe it has to do with the fact that yesterday I went hiking on a 4.9 mile trail! We didn’t intend to do the whole 4.9 miles. We just wanted to do half the trail, but by the time we felt we were ready to go back, we realized we had forgotten where we had parked the car. Dumb move indeed. So, after we finally found it, we had done the whole trail! And now, I am in so much freaking pain!
Also, I did not drink my dinner tonight. I decided that since I am injured ( I know that is no excuse, but whatever!) I needed to eat real food, but in a smaller portion. I made sauteed crab meat with mushrooms and asparagus,  some brown rice and half a whole wheat pita with hummus.
Who can say no to that? Anyways, I’d better stick to the shakes rigorously for the remainder of this week; I don’t think I will be doing much running for the rest of the week. 😦 However, I refuse to stop working out. I do not want to gain back the few pounds I’ve lost. So I will probably be doing yoga, dancing or any kind of cardio tomorrow! And if I am slacking off, someone please come over and kick my butt!
PS: I got accepted to Greensboro College! YAY! I guess this last piece of information does not fall under the unimportant category but who cares? I’m starting grad school in the summer!

Birthday Recap

23 Mar
Well, I am 27 now. It didn’t feel any different until I had to tell my age to my doctor yesterday. I almost said 26 and then I realized something: I am getting closer to the big 3-o! Damn.
As I did last year, I am doing a Birthday Picture Recap. Maybe it will become some kind of tradition or something.  Here we go:
Since the weeks previous to my birthday really, really sucked, I decided to make the most out of my birthday, and so I proclaimed the weekend of March 18th until March 20th The Official Weekend Of Me, a weekend dedicated to please no one but me.  So on Friday, I chose not to go to work but to take a group of students on a field trip to the NC Aquarium and that’s exactly what we did just because I said so! 
Who am I kidding? Nothing happens in this school system because I said so! The field trip was already planned and it just happily coincided with my b-day weekend. Anyways, after a whole day of touring high schoolers around amphibians and fish, I got home to get ready for a little Birthday Party. It was nothing fancy really. Just a few friends coming  over for some good wine and food. Here are a few images:
Me and A. I swear I hadn’t had any wine at this point , although I look positively drunk.
My friend made me this awesome Lemon Pound Cake with a Strawberry Glaze! Yum!
Me, blowing out my 27 candles after my friends sang Happy Birthday to me in five different languages! Awesome!
I initially thought that everyone was going to be gone by 10:30 PM or so. But N and I ended up going to bed at 2:30 AM, which wasn’t pleasant since I had to wake up early for a certain workshop. Hey, becoming smarter was also part of my master plan to have an awesome weekend.
So most of  Saturday was spent driving to a nearby town, attending  the seminar, running various errands and checking in at a hotel. Then Saturday night I went to this restaurant with a friend where I had one of the most delicious dinners of my whole life! And the coolest part? The waiters and waitresses sang Happy Birthday to me and gave me free dessert! I always thought that was the cheesiest thing ever, but I ended up really enjoying it.
I slept in on Sunday and after a yummy brunch, I went shopping (Gift Certificates FTW!) with my friend, which he kind of hated but whatever, since it was still The Official Weekend Of Me!  Then we went for a walk and took some pictures. Of me mostly.
After the walk, we went for dinner at an Indian restaurant and with a full tummy, it was time for me to drive back home. And thus The Official Weekend Of Me came to and end. I must say it has been one the best birthdays that I’ve had. So I guess this balances things out, huh, Universe?


27 Feb

That is one adjective that has been used to describe me so many times.  Almost anyone who knows me has referred to me as absent-minded. And the truth is, I am always doing stuff without thinking. The line “I’m sorry, it’s just that I am so absent-minded”  has always been my excuse for when I do stupid things. This time that line might not cut it.

That lame apology has always been my excuse for when I do things like going to work wearing slippers instead of proper shoes, or putting the remote in the fridge.  Those are the laughable things. But I’ve made other careless mistakes that are much more serious like, leaving the stove on when I leave the house in the morning or leaving a burning candle while I go out to the grocery store. And there was even one time when I ran a red light because I was on the phone and the person I was talking to was giving me directions and then out of the blue I just started driving, completely mindless of the cars that were about to cross in front of me and the potentially awful accident I could have caused. It took longer than a few seconds, several angry stares and much more horn honking and cursing directed towards me, for my mind to fully register what could have happened. And when I did finally see it, what did I do?  I pulled over in a Burger King parking lot and started bawling like a baby. And another time,  as I was driving to the mall, I drove by a frozen lake. It all looked so pretty, I just kept looking at it and almost hit the railing of a bridge and drove directly into the aforementioned frozen lake. Obviously, that time also I was talking to someone on the phone. You see, I have a problem. I never really learn from my mistakes. If I do learn, it is after I’ve made the same mistake at least ten times. What else can I say to excuse this flaw of mine, but “I’m sorry, I got distracted” or the overly used, “I’m just absent-minded”?  I am just plain dumb is more like it.

Yesterday, once again, I made one of those mistakes. I am just so angry at myself. So disappointed in myself.  This time, my distraction might cost me a lot more than I care to admit. This time, as usual, it happened because I got distracted. Because I was talking on the phone. Because I don’t know what I was thinking. Because honestly, I probably wasn’t thinking.

So I ask, Life? Why are you such a bitch to me? Why do you throw three crappy things at me for every half good thing you give me? Is this a bad luck streak? Is it going to be over soon? At least, before I’m thirty? Should I write a list like the guy from My Name is Earl? Gee, all I wanted was one happy, carefree birthday to make it even for the last three ones that have been miserable? Is that too much to ask? Really?

Good Thing/Bad Thing: An Update On My Life

16 Feb

Good Thing: I applied to College! I finally sent my application packet, including two awesome – if I say so myself- essays, a bunch of copies of personal documents, the usual application form and a check.

Bad Thing: Well, I had to write them a check, which seems like something I’ve been doing a lot lately.

Good Thing: I made 114 on the TOEFL test! Out of 120! I rock! I made a 28 on Speaking, Listening and Writing and I scored a perfect 30 on Reading. I knew all those books I read in high school during recess while my classmates simply hung out would pay off someday!

Bad Thing: Uh, I paid almost 200 dollars for that test. Not to mention, I had to get up at 4:30 AM the day of the test and then drive in the rain for an hour while it was still dark outside! And then when I was taking the test, the room was too freaking cold and I had to endure the world’s most awful cramps while I read about how they conducted business in Western Indonesia back in pre-colonial times. And yet, I managed to get right every single question on that reading test!  I am awesome!*

Good Thing: Bon Jovi is playing in North Carolina again! This month! In Raleigh! I had so much fun the last (and only) time I was in one of their concerts that I’m dying to go again!

Bad Thing: Unfortunately and due to the large amount of checks I’ve had to write this month, I can’t afford to attend the concert. Unless, a fairy godmother magically places tickets under my pillow! Or an anonymous good Samaritan sends me a couple of tickets in the mail! Or I win the Judge Judy/News-channel 12 Bon Jovi Concert Sweepstakes! Keep your fingers crossed for me.

Good Thing: I finally found a lawyer in Savannah and hopefully, my driver’s license would not be revoked.

Bad Thing: I probably should have written the Bad Thing first. Well, here’s the thing…

Back on January 2nd, I got a Stand-Up-For-Myself-And-Do-Whatever-The-Hell-I-Want attack and so, I decided to drive (at 12:30 AM) from Miami, FL back to North Carolina with a girl who was sleepy and a guy who was not feeling well in a car that was not mine. I knew that meant that I had to do a good chunk of the driving, but I didn’t care. By the time we were out of  Florida,  which took forever by the way, my friends were passed out in the backseat and I just couldn’t wait to go home. First of all, it was a Sunday and I had just arrived from Colombia and had to be at work first thing the next day. So I did what people normally do in this situation, I stepped on that accelerator like there was no tomorrow. And a cop pulled me over and gave me a speeding ticket. In NC, if you’re going 15 miles over the speed limit (like I was) your license is suspended for a year.  And that is the reason why I had to hire a lawyer to represent me in court so the speed limit is reduced and I can keep my driver’s license. But man, it took me so long to find a lawyer that worked in the county where I got the ticket and without charging me a thousand dollars to represent me. And only until last Friday, I was able to find one.

Ultimately, I’ve had as many Good Things as Bad Things happen to me in these past few weeks. So I guess that makes things even, right Karma?

*I really don’t think I am that awesome in case anyone thought I was serious.

Oh, Life, you suck bitch!

25 Aug

I know, I know. I am always complaining. I always come here either when something goes awfully wrong in my life or when I’m extremely excited and/or happy about something. But whatever.  I write for me.  It might be selfish, but this is my own personal way of complaining to the Universe for all the shit it throws at me.  I normally use Twitter for venting because  I know no one who follows me actually pays attention to the nonsense I write so I might as well tweet that I’m gay or that I’m pregnant and no one will notice. But sometimes, 140 characters is just not enough.

So instead of writing a recap of my awesome summer vacation (well, partly awesome because some pretty shitty stuff went on during it too) I am writing a list (how predictable!) of  all the unfortunate things that have befallen me lately:

* I was “swimming”  in the ocean at Clearwater Beach –  the most amazing beach I’d ever been to0- and a stupid wave knocked me over, an unexpected current dragged me in and almost made me drown.

* While I was underwater, all that salt water and sand got in my ear and gave me one of the worst ear infections I’ve ever had. Seriously, the pain was so bad I COULDN’T SLEEP. And my sleep is sacred! I sacrifice it for nothing or no one!

*I spent a little too much money while in Colombia more than I’d expected. And to say I’m broke now is an understatement.  And of course, I had to get sick and get a bunch of medicine as soon as I arrived to NC.

*My phone is broken and I can’t afford a new one right now.

*I lost my ATM card

*I lost my school ID card. And my Colombian ID. And some very important documents from work.

*A bank in Colombia which I obviously will not mention here is shamelessly stealing from me and they even dared to give me a bad credit report. The worst part is I can’t defend myself because I am  not there right now.

*I got sick on the first day of school.

*I got an email from my bank here today saying that I had an overdraft fee.

*I owe most of my paycheck already. And I won’t get paid until next Tuesday.

* My hair is frizzy, I have a rash on my arms and my nails are brittle.

*There’s nothing I can do to solve these problems right now so all I can do is breathe deeply and try to forget about it.

There. I feel a little better. That’s it for today. I need to go to sleep now so I can wake up early for school tomorrow. On second thought, maybe tomorrow or the day after that, I will write that recap of my summer vacation. But I warn you, there will be lists and lots of comparisons between Colombia and the US. Oh, and there will be complaining too.