Monday, March 31, 2008

My new favorite

Small, iced, non-fat latte, with an extra shot of espresso, and one pump of coconut*.
You will not regret it.
*Maybe two pumps. It was a bit intense, but nothing a half packet of splenda couldn't fix.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Pediatricians' #1 Choice

So there are certain things that I’ve tried time and time again to incorporate into my life to make it better, but always fail to keep up. Such things would include any and all resolutions ever made (R.I.P. Peace Lily ’08, you only lived two weeks). Others are things to improve my overall health, like a weekend detox. I tried to drink this herbal tea for three days and it tasted ridiculous. It wasn’t even like fasting from everything, just incorporating the tea into my day. But it was like loose tea, and you were supposed to swallow all of these various leaves and stems and grit. Dis-gusting.

I’ve tried a few times to be a regular vitamin user. I think of all of the wonderful benefits of taking vitamins, like better skin and stronger nails and shinier hair…and whatever else are the perks of getting enough Biotin 40 and B2. But usually I only last a few days, and not because I forget to take them, but because 40 minutes after consumption my stomach is killing me. Worse than monthly cramps, worse than an excessively greasy meal. I’ve tried all sorts of vitamins and they all yield the same results.

And I know I’m not alone, because so many people have testified to experiencing the thing.

So I was telling a trainer at the gym about this, about why I just can’t take vitamins even though I should, and she just shook her head like she was about to let me off the hook but then said, “You should try Flintstones chewables.” End of convo.

So let me tell you, Sandy Borrego was never the mom to have the fully stocked first-aid kit in the house, or the instant roach spray, or even a band-aid much less gave me daily vitamins.* I can remember being about four years old and going over to the next door neighbor’s house and getting my daily fix of FC. Jessica’s mom always gave her one and I guess since I was with her she let me pop one too. And I loved them, and thought they were so cool.

So imagine the excitement my inner child was experiencing when I heard from an adult, a certified trainer, that I should purchase some Flinstones Chewables.

I’m sure there are other vitamins out on the market that are “better” for me, but my stomach hasn’t hurt at all since taking these. I’m sure there’s some sort of psychology term for fulfilling a childhood desire. Let me know.
Price: $15.99 for 150 tablets
*My mother's reaction to this would be "I'm soooooooooo sorry that we deprived you of vitamins and that I was such a horrible mother." She would say this sarcasitcally/slash would not be concerned now/or then of my desire to take daily vitamins.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

To all the secret writers, late-night painters, would-be singers, lapsed and scared artists of every stripe

"I know that life is busy and hard, and that there’s crushing pressure to just settle down and get a real job and khaki pants and a haircut. But don’t. Please don’t. Please keep believing that life can be better, brighter, broader, because of the art that you make."
An excerpt from "Needle and Thread", part of a collection of short stories in cold tangerines
Click to read "Needle and Thread" in its entirety
Available at Amazon $11.55
Available on audiobook at iTunes $8.95

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Things I do that I shouldn’t

-Stalk old boyfriends via the Internet
-Buy magazines religiously but rarely subscribe (I’m getting better)
-Avoid logging on to my online banking for days/weeks at a time
-Always go further than I said I would…on EBay
-Know that there are specific words that I cannot spell, but never take the time to learn them
-Invest in itunes, but not substantial stock
-Forget that I have health insurance and instead survive on over the counter meds for long periods of time
-Think it’s OK to not brush my teeth on weekend mornings if I’m not going to see anyone for a while, but then eventually go out in public and try to use a few Altoids to make up the diff.
-Try to counter my obsession with pop culture by listening to NPR
-Wait to change my oil until the oil light consistently stays on for a few days
-Have 20 too many unread leisure reading books but still consider myself an avid reader
-Blame bad behavior on the fact that I’m a Scorpio and such actions are inevitable

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Daily essentials

Here are a few things I swear by. I think in each category there is something I’m still trying to find. Help me out if you can. Leave your suggestion or even a link. Yes this is girly, I’ll post another essentials list later that will be less gender-exclusive :)

MATRIX Amplify Volumizing Shampoo/Conditioner

Help me! A luxurious feeling body wash (I don’t care if it’s $2 or $20)

Neutrogena Healthy Skin Enhancer

Laura Mercier Mineral Cheek Powder in Coral

Help me! Mascara and lipstick/gloss

Catwalk Root Boost

Help me! Fun hair clips & mega hold aerosol hairspray

Scent: Stella by Stella McCartney

Help me! Others? Nothing too sweet…

OPI It’s All Greek to Me

and Skinny Dip'n in Lake Michigan
Help me! The perfect red and the perfect neutral/pale pink

Tiffany & Co pearl stud earrings (thank you Carosa)
My mother’s fabulous emerald cut amethyst ring. I don’t have a picture but it sort of looks like this:

Jealous of my skillz?
Help me! An everyday necklace. Think the Carrie necklace from Sex and the City. I do want it in gold (as in gold plated)

Friday, March 14, 2008

Do things slow


Ok, so my grandmother, Matilde, is now seventy years old and a few days. She is also just as out of control, vibrant, hilarious, dramatic, and loving as ever. She’s truly my role model. There are a few things I know I have already inherited from my grandmother:

Her brown skin: When I was little I came home crying because some boy at school called me brown. My mother matter-of-factly told me, “You are brown. You’re brown like your Nannie.” And that was that. I embraced my brown skin from then on. I’m half Spanish and half Mexican on both sides of my family, but I can tell you only my mother, and I have my Nan’s brown skin. Most of the rest of our family, including my mother’s sister and my father’s siblings, have pretty fair skin. My grandfather’s family consists of various shades of melanoma, my cousins being part African-American, Native American, and Caucasian. You know this makes me so happy. But I’m brown like my Nannie.

Her diamond tennis bracelet: On one of her anniversaries one year she showed me the tennis bracelet she made my grandfather buy for her. He of course thought it was too expensive, but she told him, “Roy! It’s not for me! It’s for Laura!” Yeah, she straight up used the “it’s for the grandchildren card” on him. Now the running joke is that it’ll be mine as long as she doesn’t lose it first. She’s infamous for losing everything: her glasses, keys, camera, cell phone, regular phone, and lots of jewelry.

Her love of all things shiny: I do not believe it is ever too early in the day to wear sequence. I am immediately drawn to anything shiny. My mother calls me a bird. Are birds attracted to shiny things? As soon as I see something with sparkles and smile, she immediately says, “You are such a bird.” My grandmother also loves anything shiny. When I go visit her during the day I am never surprised to see her in a beaded cardigan, a bright color, or simply a broach o’ bling. I bought this baby doll shirt form H&M last fall and from the shoulders to the neck was fully sequined. Here is a pic of it:

OK, so I totally wore this shirt to school one day, and when I stepped out into the hallway, which is fully lined with windows, the sun hit my shirt and there were sparkles EVERYWHERE! All over the walls, the ceiling, this old man that was just standing there. I was straight up a disco ball! And immediately I let a surprised “Woo!”, as if I had just received a present. It was the coolest thing ever.

Other things we have in common:
Her round face complete with pointy chin and overbite
Love of friends and family
Animal whisperer
Child whisperer
Ability to shop, shop, shop
Laughing at our own stories

Things I didn’t inherit:
The Spanish language
How to make and roll out perfect flour tortillas
Gardening skills

Anyway, when I was little my grandmother took care of my while my mom went to college and first starting teaching. Whenever I hurt myself or broke something my grandmother would always reprimand me by saying “Do things slow!” Sometimes she’d just say “Do things how?”, and I’d answer by saying “Slow.” There are lots of times when I still rush things: conversations, school work, driving. I often stop telling one story only to start another one, and seriously three days later will realize I never finished the first one. All I know is that I’m excited to one day reach the seventy mile marker and I want to know that I took my sweet time getting there, remembering all of the friends made along the way, the crazy clothes worn, the trips taken, and historic events that I watched play out. I’m antsy right now to be done with school again, but I need to soak up every reading, every testimony, every research project.

I need to do things slow.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Remedy for the cold

Abuelita Instant Hot Chocolate + flannel sheets + a good movie. A few of my recommendations:

Gone Baby Gone

Written by the same man who wrote Mystic River, this film continuously throws something new at you. Just when you thought you had it figured out along comes some more crazy. The characters are forced to make tough choices and live with the consequences. This is one movie that generates good conversation between viewers once it is over. As soon as it ends you have to ask the person next to you, "What would you have done?"


This is the other movie that provokes conversation. Let me give you a topic: Age of accountability. Talk amongst yourselves. Also, I love when "adult situation" scenes make you laugh out loud, even though you're in your mid-twenties...and watching this movie in a theater with strangers. His letter and the library scene? It's impossible to keep a straight face.

La Vie en Rose

A biography of French singer Edith Piaf. Think tragic life of Judy Garland: Paris Edition. The soundtrack is amazing and I immediately purchased a collection of Edith Piaf's hits. It also just goes to show that even fifty years ago celebrity allowed people to damage their body, personal life and reputation with drug use, and yet the industry and public still craved their talent.

Paris, Je T'aime

Another film set in Paris. Actually it's twenty short films created by twenty different directors. Producer Emmanuel Benbihy explains, "Each director has been given five minutes of freedom, and we, as producers, carry the responsibility of weaving a single narrative unit out of those twenty moments." Most are in French, but a few were filmed in English.

The Darjeeling Limited

I love all things Wes Anderson. I was waiting for this movie to come out and it did not disappoint me. If you aren't familiar with any of Wes' work you should also check out The Royal Tenenbaums. Wes is known for amazing soundtracks, great one-liners, and casting actors he's previously worked with in his other films (the Wilson brothers, Bill Murray, Kumar Pallana, Anjelica Huston). This may be my favorite Wes film to date.
Factoid #1: Most of the film takes place on a moving train.
Factoid #2: The luggage used is by Luis Vuitton, the costume design is Marc Jacobs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

I say to myself, "Self, why are you awake again?"

I basically got the idea for this blog one day when I realized that I wanted to share with people one of my favorite parts of my day. Believe it or not, it’s when I first wake up. I have the great benefit of waking up most mornings to the smell of freshly brewed coffee. Two of my roommates are habitual morning coffee drinkers. I’m not sure if they drink their coffee together or if they take turns getting up and brewing it—I’m usually still asleep while the whole production is going on. All I know is that somewhere between my alarm going off and hearing people and the dog move up and down the hall this subtle whiff of coffee enters my nose and then fills my whole room. I love it.

I’m very particular to smells. I know most people say they are. I feel as though I acquired my extra-sensitive nose from my mother, who will sometimes interrupt whatever my brother and I are telling her and say, “Ew, your little breath stinks, go take some medicine.” She’s serious about the medicine. She says that she knows when we’re getting sick because our breath starts to stink and then points us in the direction of the Benadryl or Robitussin, two very different medications that are used interchangeably at our house. I was sick for more than a week after taking the suggested Benadryl before I finally read the bottle and realized I had none of the symptoms listed that it could aid.

Now, I absolutely hate waking up to the smell of breakfast. Eggs, breakfasts meats, pancakes—as soon as I get a whiff of those I bury my head under the covers and stay there until I’m convinced that I have no more oxygen left and may soon pass out. Then I’m forced to breathe in the air outside my blankets, which at first is cold and crisp and about two seconds later makes me wish I would have just suffocated instead. I have never been a hot breakfast sort of person. I only began regularly eating breakfast a few years ago as an adult. My parents have always been Saturday morning breakfast people, so generally I woke up grumpy every Saturday morning. It wasn’t bad enough that I woke up to those greasy smells, but my father without fail always made the situation worse by opening the door and allowing even more of the stench to invade my room to ask if I wanted anything to eat. He still does this when I visit. I promise you I have never once answered him with “Yes, thanks for letting me know.”

As much as I love waking up to the smell of coffee I usually don’t wake up and make myself a cup. I have one of those coffee machines that has a timer and when I lived by myself I would sometimes fill it with water and coffee grinds and set it before I went to bed. It’s now the community coffee pot so I can’t really do that, not that I desire to drink coffee every morning. I would much rather its fragrance greet me each morning I wake up.

My dad bought me a trio of coffees from Angel Food Ministries as a Christmas gift. Each package has a bible verse and an angel on it, and I know that one of them is named “Holy Ground.” That one sort of tasted disgusting, but the one I’m drinking now with John 3:16 on it is amazing. I’m born again each time I brew it. On the mornings that I do chose to brew my 1 ½ cups of coffee I usually hope to have something delicious like this on hand. This leads me to the promo portion of my entry: My favorite coffee blends.

Illy Medium Roast (Best for French press)

Godiva Crème Brule
Angel Food Ministries Brazilian Amizade

HEB Texas Pecan (not the decaf, but that’s the pic I found)

Monday, March 3, 2008

I hate journaling

I do. I always have. I’ve always wanted to be a person who journals, but it’s just not me. Which if you know me shouldn’t really be a surprise. Friends, do I come across as the type of person who has to journal to help me collect my thoughts or sort out what I’m feeling? No. If you know me you know I just throw it out there to the universe, audibly, and sort it out that way.

I have tried numerous times to buy a beautiful journal to help me want to write in it. If you know me this shouldn’t surprise you, as I can always find an excuse to buy something new/rare/beautiful and mostly unnecessary. I recently bought a Polaroid Mio camera on EBay because I thought it was going to be cute and tiny. What sealed the deal was that it wasn’t being made anymore. This camera would be a collector’s item. I even had to order the film from Hong Kong because that’s the only place that uses a compatible film. To my disappointment, the camera was much bigger than I had expected, but regardless I am not the owner of a Mio and five packages of film shipped from Hong Kong. I also bought a blue guitar on EBay once. Don’t be jealous of my purchases.

One of my resolutions this year was to journal 52 times, once a week. I even bought this fill in the blank journal that asks questions like “the weather today is” and “in the news” and “Today I’m feeling.” Yes, a fill in the blank journal is lame, but I figured it would make things interesting and I secretly love filling out surveys (side note: I enjoy copying a survey someone posted on MySpace into a word document, filling it out, then deleting it). I think I’ve used that journal three times.

So why am I going to attempt to blog? What can I say, I’m trendy.

That, and from time to time I hope to share random info with you that I find entertaining. Even if you don’t find it entertaining I will feel as if I’ve done my part of inflicting random, probably useless, info on you. I love making people share in my knowledge. I was an only child for fourteen years.

Coming soon..