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Archive for April, 2009

Rockin’ out.

My brother Jesse and I are in Boulder, with a view of the Rockies, visiting our friend Galen and his wife, Beatriz.

Galen and I worked together in the Dominican Republic with Amigos de las Americas in 2006 and spent pretty much all day every day together for three months.  It was an incredibly easy, productive parternship, with a side of fart jokes and trips to the beach.  He lived in Colombia at the time, and after our project was over, Jesse (who had just been on a project in Costa Rica) joined Galen (they’d met in the training for AMIGOS) in Colombia for a couple of years. 

One of my biggest regrets is not making the trip to Colombia for Galen and Beatriz’s wedding (I was in grad school at the time and freaking out about money).  Jesse was their best man, and they both spoke so highly of Colombia and at the time had both really dug their heels in there.  I would have loved to see their lives there and have them show me around. And especially now that I see what a lovely, fun, perfect-for-Galen woman Beatriz is, I would have loved to witness their wedding.

Oh, well.  My reluctance to spend large amounts of money serves me well in most things and helps keep me debt-free (student loans aside), so I can’t beat myself up too much about it, but missing that wedding and regretting it so much is a lesson that sometimes, every now and then, it’s OK to drop a bunch of bones on something really special.

The weekend’s been perfect.  Beatriz and Galen were sick yesterday, so we took it easy, and today the weather’s bad, so we’re taking it easy again.  Galen drove us around the mountain areas, and the air was thick with fog, but we still spied ourselves an elk standing proudly at the side of the road, and behind him, dozens more.  And we found a big patch of snow at the end of a dirt road and threw snow balls at road signs.  And had a huge Nepalese buffet lunch.  And listened to bachata and Colombian music and Latin rock the whole ride.

It’s a kick to spend a weekend in Spanglish, too.  I’m as usual shy about speaking, but no one’s shy about speaking in front of me, and at least I get to hear it and reassure myself I haven’t forgotten much.  And Beatriz has only been here for nine months, but her English is incredible already.  It’s seriously impressive how much she’s picked up.  You’d think she’d been here at least two or three years!

Last night, before B and G felt too ill, we stopped by to hear a live salsa band and watch the dancers.  This reminds me: I want to take Latin dance lessons before I go meet Jesse in the DR on one of his work trips. I’m tired of shaking my head at dance requests from friends in Latin America. Or if someone does drag me out onto the floor, I’m tired of flopping around out there very clearly not knowing what I’m doing.

The most salient aspect of the weekend has been recognizing what My American Dream is.  Are you ready?  Here goes: I would like one day to live in a place where I can own a car and drive places and run multiple errands in an afternoon.  If I dream really big, I’d also like to have a yard (in which something furry and tailed can run around). 

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This just in.

Good news for you, readers!  On a sudden hunch, I searched my iPhone for a WordPress app, and lo and behold, there is one!  I’ve downloaded it, and now nothing stands in the way (aside from subway tunnels and their oh-so-old-fashioned refusal to supply me with Internet and cell phone access) of my posting to my blog All Day Long.

Though, really, I spend most of my day at a computer, so you’d think there’d already be nothing standing in my way.  You’d think!

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Today I had something called a colonoscopy.  Have you heard of it?  You might think it is a procedure reserved for old men (sorry, Dad), but it is also performed on young women who have lingering GI issues most likely due to a few summers in rural Latin America.

Let me tell you, I was nervous.  My dad knew it when I talked to him yesterday, and he told my mom to call me, and then she knew it, and then my brother came over while I was doing my prep, and he knew it.  And my nurse knew it this morning (even though I tried to deny it), as did my anesthesiologist, who assured me that nervousness would not increase the risk of complications, and I believed her, but I was still nervous.  Then she stuck a tube in my arm and said, “Are you ready?” and I said I was. She started to push in the syringe, describing to me what would happen as it was actually happening — I did feel the medicine go up my arm, I did taste it in my throat, I did get very woozy — and I said, “Oh, this is fast!” and then I woke up in another room with a Fig Newton in my lap.

My doctor said everything looked just fine, and I won’t go into more detail than that or scan in the photos he sent home with me, no matter how much you’d like to see them.  (Email me if you’d like a copy.)  So that’s good, and I had fun being knocked out, so that’s good, and the added benefit was a little mini-cleanse yesterday that left my tummy quite a bit flatter than it had been on Saturday.  I promptly took care of that, though, by stopping by Chipotle on my way home (even though I told Chris when he came to pick me up that I wasn’t hungry) and picking up not just a fajita burrito but chips and guacamole, too!

And we all know how much I love an excuse to get Chipotle.  So bring on the colonoscopies!

P.S. Thanks, Chris, for picking me up.  You are my knight in shining baseball cap!  And thanks to my boss who insisted I take the day off.  That was wise and awesome.

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Kiddin’ around.

I’m baby-sitting for Grainne and Lulu tonight. I used to watch them for 10 hours a week while I was in grad school, and they’re pretty fantastic girls, so it’s always a treat to get to see them again. Tonight I received many gifts from them, including some red lines drawn a piece of paper from Lulu (a rainbow?) and a banana that Grainne decorated with marker (she instructed me not to eat it).

Also, somehow Grainne got some poop on her quilt.  I was helping Lulu brush her teeth and Grainne called to me that something was on her bed.  I was worried it was going to be a bug, because then I’d have to pretend not to be scared of it.  It turned out to be a brown smear, which she probably left there because she didn’t wipe her butt well enough and then sat on the bed while she was changing into her pullup for the night.  Anyway, I played it off as no big deal even though it was quite obviously poop (I even gave it a little sniff to be sure), and I was doing so well to avoid any freakouts until Lulu looked at it, looked at me with a funny smile, shurgged her shoulders and said, “Maybe it’s poop?”

You probably had to be there, but it was adorable, mostly because Lulu is just about the most adorable human being on the planet.  Her being called Lulu (a nickname) doesn’t hurt.  Luckily, Grainne and Lulu both think anything to do with poop is hilarious, so instead of Grainne freaking out about sleeping under a quilt with poop on it, I was treated to a barrage of giggles and repeated “Maybe it’s poop?”s.

I worry about what I’ll do when I have kids.  I’ve always loved to tell stories about the kids I baby-sit (especially the kids I like),  and now I have a cat, and I talk about him all the time to anyone who will listen.  (I should blog about him more.  He’s so great!)  I feel sorry for my parents and brothers and close friends, because I anticipate they will hear about pretty much everything my human kids do and say.  Luckily, my kids will without a doubt do and say really interesting, amazing things.

On the kids theme, after the girls went to bed, I put on the Lifetime channel, which is my baby-sitting staple. I’ve just finished a Helen Hunt movie called Then She Found Me, about a woman desperate to have a baby, and it was really, really bad! Here are some reasons why:

  1. Helen Hunt.  Maybe she shouldn’t act in movies?  I loved “Mad About You,” and I don’t remember finding her hard to watch in that.  But while I liked “As Good as It Gets” well enough, I didn’t like HH in that movie or in any other movie I’ve seen her in.  Maybe she’s a bad actress and I was too young to notice when “Mad About You” was on?  I’m not really sure, but there’s definitely something about her nose and forehead and how skinny she is and the weird, halting way she speaks (which is always the same regardless of what character she’s playing).  She just looks and sounds really super anal and uptight, and I don’t like her.
  2. This movie was badly written, as so many movies are, but it’s worse here because I have to watch a bad actress deliver a bad script.  For example, this movie does that thing where a love affair is sped up without much explanation, and within a few days the couple’s ready to get married.  And I would probably want to marry Colin Firth within a few days of meeting him, too, but I refuse to believe that Colin Firth would ever want to marry Helen Hunt.
  3. This doesn’t bug me as much now because (spoiler alert!) HH’s character ends up adopting at the end of the movie, but I was getting so mad at her repeated refusal to consider adoption in her quest to become a mother.  Her refusal was based on the fact that she was adopted and thought her parents loved her less than they loved their biological son, as well as on her desire to have a child who’s  “really mine.”  This drove me nuts.  We all know I’m obsessed with adoption and think it’s pretty much the coolest way to have a kid, and I don’t like people badmouthing it!
  4. Oh, it’s just a stupid movie.  Don’t watch it.  The end.  Watch Sugar instead!

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Well, I’m glad I did not post a passive-aggressive note regarding the theft of my Lean Cuisine, because upon reflection, I’ve come to the conclusion that I almost certainly ate it for lunch last Thursday. I have vague memories of mixing up pasta and sauce in a black plastic tray.

I would have had to post another note retracting my passive aggression! It would have been so embarrassing! Being so quick to point fingers is very dangerous. Let this be a lesson to us all: Search first inside yourself before you go around blaming everyone else for what’s wrong in your life!

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Play ball?

I had a funny moment today, in which I was tipped off (subtly, mind you) about Tim Wakefield’s almost-no-hitter in the Boston-Oakland game, which was at the time still in progress. I knew enough not to call it by name, but I immediately emailed Chris to make sure he was paying attention (obviously he was) and IMed with some co-workers from my fantasy league. It was kind of exciting!

Does this mean I’m officially into baseball?

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Give me some Sugar!

Chris and I had date night tonight. We had fried catfish and smoky mac & cheese for dinner and then watched Sugar, a really lovely movie by the directors of Half Nelson about a young Dominican baseball recruit. It’s done in a very realistic style, barely any of the internal, minimal exposition. It’s a remarkably happy story, even though the happy ending you hope for at the start is not the one you get. It was all-around a fantastic film, even if you don’t like baseball or have a particular fondness for anything Dominican.

I like baseball enough (more and more every day that the Frisky Panthers compete in their fantasy league), and I’m definitely fond of things that remind me of the time I’ve spent in the Dominican Republic, so I was an especially happy camper tonight. The first half an hour takes place in the DR, and there are lots of Dominican phrases and words thrown around throughout the film, including “Esta heavy,” “vaina,” “Ya tu sabes” and other classics. There was also a bit of dialogue in Spanish that was not subtitled, which had the mostly Spanish-speaking audience in our theater in stitches for no reason other than that they knew the non-Spanish-speakers couldn’t understand it, and which I got to translate to Chris after the movie was over (because he hates it when I talk during the actual movie). All of this tickled me to no end.

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