Sunday, December 31, 2006

Tic tic tic

This is the last blog of 2006 and so I decided to throw caution to the wind: I'm going to make it as long a post as I damn well please, throw in a curse word here and there, not pay attention to run-on sentences (or too many parenthesis) and ramble on about absolutely nothing until my fingers cramp. It's all in good fun.
There, you've been forewarned. Get the kids out of the room and let's get this baby started.

It's 2007 in some parts of the world already, only 6+ hours to go before it's our turn.
At this moment I should be all contemplative and sh** – you know, the typical things that have past, things to come– but the only thing I'm contemplating right now is when to take a nap, all the good stuff we'll be eating tonight, and the dust bunnies under the bookshelf.

Speaking of dust bunnies.
I often check a site that cracks me up. They review blogs, and most of the time tear them apart in such a way that when I need a good laugh I go visit them. Yesterday, as I was reading their reviews, they mentioned a blog that killed me. I swear I've never laughed so much. This woman either has a strange sense of humor or she needs some serious therapy.
Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against people that take pride in cleaning their house, hell I've even been called a maniac from time to time (no comments from the peanut gallery, especially you 'me'), but stating that you should "Clean canisters"? You've got to be kidding me. It's the 50's Good Housewife book all over! There goes years of women's rights kids, put your bras back on and don't forget the apron, the duster will be from now on your new accessory (and sex is only for procreating, really).
As I was reading it –with a handkerchief in one hand so as to wipe the drool caused by my jaw dropping and the tears of laughter, and a glass of wine in the other to try and numb the pain–, I kept hoping that somewhere, anywhere in there there would be a hint that all was a joke, but no. I had to stop after the coupon-clipping entry (I kid you not) as my stomach started to turn.
What the hell?? You have to see it, I'm sure you do not believe me. I will not be held responsible though for any harm that you might inflict yourself when you punch the screen.
(Señor N just told me that it wasn't nice to criticize a fellow blogger - I don't want to be called fellow anything with that type of mentality- but I guess I should *snort* respect others' perspectives, even if they set us back a few generations).

Okee, moving on.
N is starting to get the food ready for tonight's binging marathon and, AND, the chorizo is bad! It has mold on it, agh! there goes one of the tapas... oh well, we've got a few thousand more thing to munch on. HA.
Being the perfectionist that he is (he really is), last night he tried one of the dishes to see what needed to be tweaked for the big dinner a deux. The dish in question was the goat cheese clafouti.
I have to describe it because it was beyond amazing (at least for me, Mister Chef decided that indeed in needed tweaking). In a small individual baking dish he layered potatoes, goat cheese and pieces of smoked duck breast, topped with puff pastry. When it was done, he served it upside down (hence the "clafouti" part) so that the pastry was at the bottom... well... let me tell you: Holly cow! (OK, goat) u.n.b.e.l.i.e.v.a.b.l.e!
I on the other hand made my mousse, and I attempted to make tiny meringues to accompany it... I think they're burnt... how the hell do you miss meringues you say? leave it to me to accomplish such endeavor.

The cheeses (many many stinky - really stinky cheeses) are out, perfectly positioned, pretty to look at and definitely covering the smell of cigarettes. Not only good to eat, but useful too!
There's lamb, and loads of appetizers, you'd think the whole building is coming over, but nope, it's my man and I.

The downer tonight? I've got an acute case of stiff neck, I look like Quasimodo. And when you try to either kiss or simply look at your 6'4" husband from a stiff 5'2" frame, trust me, the effect is quite humorous. A sideway glance is all I can manage for now.

Winding down.
The hype of the holidays can be tiring, which is why I always look forward to Jan 1. First of all I have the day off, which feels like a mini vacation to rest from the previous year (and a day of fasting). And then there's that whole "new page, virgin territory..." blah blah blah thing.

And so on that note, I leave you all. My fingers aren't cramping yet and I still had more blabbering to do, but I'm starting to feel the vibe coming from the kitchen telling me to move my butt so that the table can be made pretty, and we can start calling the overseas folk that will be toasting within the hour.

Happy New Year people, hope the next one is as good one or better than the last.
Cheers!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Here we go again

Yup, this is about the contemplations of another yummy dinner.

I finally asked hubby what his plans were for New Year's eve dinner, not that I don't like surprises, but I'm curious (plus it's fun to write about our culinary adventures).
So, as you know there's seafood. We've got some gargantuan scallops wrapped in bacon on skewers. Tapas-like servings of shrimp with fresh pasta (God-only knows how he's going to manage to make tapas out of pasta...), goat cheese clafouti that sounds divine, chorizo (a recurring option don't you think? but this one is the real thing, plus we still have the Spanish bug going on), some lovely stinky cheeses, a salad, and chocolate mousse to wrap-it all up.
I'm only doing the mousse, so I came off easy.

The quiet, the smells of cooking, the music, hubby and I... now, what could be more perfect than that? OK so the crackling of fire in a fireplace and snow falling would make it ideal, but no such luck, so we'll be happy with what we've got.

And speaking of being happy, I've decided that I will write more in '07. I will make it a point of writing one page a day and let it be what it wants to be —besides this blog I mean.
Just to get the fingers going, I started yesterday. The funny thing is that when I decide to write fiction I might base it on things that I know, but it really has nothing to do with me. What I'm writing so far seems quite gloomy, and yet I am not feeling down in the least.
Does that mean that words take a life of their own? Dunno, it's a fun experience though and since I enjoy doing it I'm going with it. What makes it special is precisely that, that I'm doing it for myself and not for others...

2 more days in '06. I'll fare it well then. In the meantime, I'm looking forward to a great evening with señor N.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

All's good?

I almost feel guilty to admit that I feel content today. I say almost because I can't quite pin-point the reason behind it.
Maybe because a brand new year is coming and it just feels as if it was virgin territory: You know that you can make anything of it since it hasn't been touched yet. It hasn't been molded or corrupted by bad mementos, it has no memories or experiences. For all you know it will be perfect, it'll be what you want it to be. And I guess that's the exciting part of it. Like a new notebook that you will start writing on with perfect handwriting, no erasures, white-outs or mistakes. Just blank, perfect pages that promise to be great.

I'm not one to enjoy the holiday season, and so having decided to stay home with hubby and snubbing all our friends has lifted a weight from my shoulders. We will have a delicious tête-à-tête accompanied with seafood (check, in the fridge), cheeses (to be purchased tomorrow), champagne for toast, wine for dinner and Calvados as digestif (all already present and ready to make their debut).
I know that it sounds slightly alcoholic, but the fact is that we've been frugal this year, and so this feels like a true treat.

Having traveled overseas three times this year could also be playing a part in this elation. It served as a base for things to come. Before, N and I would just contemplate inland trips, now the world is open to us. OK, granted, with the seldom visa annoyances and stressful moments, but still, we can travel and actually consider going to see people we haven't seen in over 10 years.
If you've never experienced this, you will think that we're making too much of it and it's not a big deal. It is. N hasn't seen his sister since 1995, I have little cousins that I have never laid eyes on, we both know of family members that were little ones when we last saw them and are now doing their masters or married or with children. It is a big deal.

As much as we are (often) happy to be far, when we realize how long it's been since we last saw our families, there's a void that becomes apparent and brings out a need to come closer. And I guess that's what this last trip reminded us of: far is fine, too far for too long becomes almost a burden.

2007 is looking promising, it's starting with N going to see his sister, us making plans to see those we haven't seen for ages, and foreseeing trips that if do not turn out to be perfect will be, at the very least, needed.

Now, if we could only hit the lotto all would be good ;)

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Back

Every time we go to Spain there's some issue with the airline.

The first time, in May, after suffering major delays in NY and missing our transfer in Madrid they lost our luggage - which we never got back-. Hubby is 6'4" so his cramping into the tiny spaces airlines offer as seats becomes a Houdini accomplishment, so this time I thought I would foresee the problem and reserved the emergency exit seats. I was told that they were available but that we had to sit separated by the aisle. No biggie if you've been together for over 8 years, biggie if the one next to you happens to be a talkative nut-job. N was not only folded in half (they gave us the wrong isle) but had a paranoiac companion, needless to say he was not a happy camper. I, on the other hand, kept thanking throughout the trip my lucky stars that I had quiet people next to me.
Besides that all went fine. On time and no luggage to worry about, so all was good.

Being with the family? Quite an experience. It was great to have 4 generations together for Christmas. My grandma seemed very happy, and ultimately that's what we were there for.
I just came back. Landed last night after a 17 hour trip and I'm pooped, so I won't go into more detail tonight. Suffice to say that I'm happy it all went as it did.
But it is great to be home, nothing like finding your turf, you know?

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

D-Day

Yeah, yeah and yeah!

I couldn't wait until 1:00 PM to find out if N's visa was ready so I called the Spanish consulate. A nerve-wracking 5 minutes later while they put me on hold: It's ready!!! they made us sweat it but it's there... phew!
So we're off. Now I have to pack (I couldn't bring myself to doing it before), and start running around the house like a chicken without a head... as usual.

Sayonara people, have a great holiday and I'll be back in a week.

Yeah!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

My pet-peeve

I hate Sundays. They're such a let down. It's now 12:50 AM and I keep looking at the clock thinking that I have to get up early tomorrow. Well not so much getting up early as staying in the office until God-knows what time since I'm (maybe) leaving Tuesday.

Agh, I wish I had one more carefree eve and do what I want to do... which is nothing really, but still my evening.

Anyway, in case you were wondering the quesadillas turned out pretty good and filling. Having tortillas, cheese and meat all in one package makes for one "hearty" meal on its own. I'm about to burst.
And I'm procrastinating. I'm trying to make this evening last as much as I can. I could say that if I'm exhausted tomorrow, I'll sleep better on the plane the day after. And If I don't leave, well, I'll just sleep in my comfy bed. But that would just be an excuse because regardless of how tired I am I never sleep during flights.

Sooooo, I do have to work, so off I go and try to be a reasonable adult.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Keeping busy

The fact of having no classes left and the (hopefully) impending trip to spend Christmas with mom and grandma has me somewhat on the edge. And so this weekend I decided to stay put, empty my mind of all things that might turn my stomach into a knot, and play with the look of the blog...

What do you think??

For someone that has no idea about HTML, CSS, or all those letters that seem to make no sense, no too shabby if I may say so myself.
I had moments of amazing patience and others of utter frustration, but I've finally -sort of- accomplished most of what I wanted to do.

The trip? we'll know on Tuesday - about 4 hours before leaving- if we can go. It's a long story and since the weekend is not over I rather not go into it (the knots and all, you know?).

On the other hand some goods news: I went to see my mentor last week and we decided what classes I'll be taking next semester. One of them is with an eminence in the field. She was recommended to me by the head of the Bilingual Education department at Columbia University, hence the reason I applied to the Hunter program, and so I'm totally psyched! The course is Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching, which is a perfect fit for the class I just took... I love the course my studies are taking.
It'll be a difficult semester: Tuesdays 7:10PM to 8:50PM and Saturdays 9:30AM to 12:00PM, plus my regular work hours of 9:30 to 6:00ish (although I might adjust Tuesdays from 10:00 to 6:30). Busy busy busy, and as of this moment I can't wait, although I'm sure that by mid-semester I'll be posting some exhausted "I'm fed-up" kind of post.

That's about all for now. Hubby is calling me to help with the quesadillas he decided we will have for dinner, so I'm off to chop some onions ...

Saturday, December 09, 2006

After the euphoria...

Today I went to Hunter for the last time this semester to drop off my final paper.

There's always something a little sad about that last day. Although you know that you will be back (in my case, for many semesters to come), the fact that you know that most likely you will never again see the people you've shared breathing space with for 6 months, makes it a bit gloomy.
I know I know, we are all somewhat following the same career, and so we will eventually cross paths, but still, it's not the weekly thing you know?
I guess it's the habit of it all, the fact that after a semester you finally got to know the names that go with the faces and then one day puff! It all goes to dust.
Well OK, if a friendship is in the making, the weekly meeting should not make a difference. But the whole point is that it's in the "making", so no long-term connections have been made. You'll never know if those people that have sweated it with you during exams, presentations, and such could have eventually become friends. There just wasn't enough time.

And so I've become a bit cautious in forming any attachments. School? A semester goes by and it's all gone. Work? They either leave or are let go. Neighbors? They move out.
I guess that's why my best friends are those that I've had since childhood and adolescence. Those that shared with me the moments (besides the pimples) when time was not an issue and felt that the hours were eternal; When there was no end to be foreseen and our lives had no further ado than who was talking to whom.

Ahhh, if only to go back to those times... Oh well, another semester wrapped, another one to come soon enough. Nothing left to say but, cheers mate! I made it once again, let the next one be as good as the last. And the next, and the next one after that...

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Done, done and done!

I finished my final paper!! yeay!! Now you know why I've been MIA. The semester is over, I have survived yet another term, and I refuse to think of how many more I have coming because I'll crawl under the covers and refuse to come out... kiiiiding.
So I played hooky again today in order to finish the paper, and you know what? I don't feel an ounce of guilt. The paper is pretty good, I got to see hubby (and daylight) and I feel rested... Now that's a good day.
As far as I know the office didn't crumble and the pile of work will be waiting for me like it does every morning. So, I got to fully take advantage of my day.

In other news, there's a bit of a dark cloud hanging over our heads. Hubby and I are to spend Christmas with my mom and grandma, and because of bureaucracy it seems as though it could get somewhat spoiled.
The Spaniards have a strange perception of timing. They refuse to give you an appointment to drop off a visa applications more than 15 days prior to your departure, but yet cannot guarantee that you will get it on time. Can someone explain that one to me?
Well, we're off to the consulate tomorrow morning at 6 AM to stand on line, cross our fingers and light as many candles as possible so that N can get his visa before our December 19 flight... 2 weeks away...
N told me that if it doesn't happen for me to go anyway, and this is where I am completely torn apart.
It breaks my heart to spend the holidays without him, but I know that my mother and grandmother will have theirs broken if I don't go. BUT, if I go, there will be this morose feeling (because the three of us will be missing him) and so it will spoil any kind of celebration.
The whole thing is just messed up. I truly do not know what to do.
Let's hope that the Consulate people see the light and speed things up. Agh, the anxiety.

Figures, there's always something. Anyway, for tonight I will only think of having finished the semester with a great score, and let things be.

Will keep you posted.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Some thoughts

It's so easy to feel relaxed on a Friday evening, knowing that the whole weekend lies in front of you, while listening to some great jazz and drinking a glass of wine, with the wind blowing (it's pretty strong) as a background. It seems as though there are no worries in the world, and all is good.
It's these ephemeral moments that we must stick to in order to keep some kind of sanity.

I'm loving this evening, just a few hours before I'm in class learning about how we develop psychologically.
Hm mm, the peace...