Monday, November 25, 2013

This is not for any of your viewing pleasure. This is an experiment for myself to see if I can make a reasonable list of things for which I'm thankful. Tis the season, right? Mostly I'm a grouch so I genuinely want to know if I can do this. Plus I've read somewhere or maybe heard it on Oprah, that it's good to do such a thing every once in awhile. Practice gratefulness and love life. 

These won't be in any particular order, but that doesn't mean that number 1 isn't in it's rightful place. I'm going to write them down as they come to me.

1.) I'm grateful there are no cockroaches in Minnesota. At least that I've seen and that's good enough.
2.) I'm grateful for Facebook. I mean that for real. Facebook chat is my primary means of communication with Mono.
3.) On that note, I'm grateful for Mono.
4.) I'm thankful that Cozumel isn't located in Siberia.
5.) I'm thankful that even on days when the kids are naughty little devils, I can call them little eggs or something else equally hilarious, and they'll smile and be cute and the battle for control will be lost and gone forever. ¡¡A huevo!!
6.) I'm grateful for my baby Manchas the cutest thing alive ever with cute teeth and cute manchas and cute toes that are painted to match mine when I'm in town and she's so cute oh yes what a cutie pie.
7.) I'm grateful that when Manchas had a tick growing out of her head it wasn't discovered until I was in Minnesota. 

Manchas had ticks. We sprayed the apartment but we (I) kept finding them on her (and me!! agh, dreadful!) and we (I) burned them then pulled them out of her hair. The reason I did it was that Mono was a clumsy fool the first time he tried. He used some kind of pliers which he'd heated up in the flame, then he smooshed the garrapata and pinched it in half, and also burned Manchas' skin where the tick had been.

Or so we thought. Manchas started to grow this scab, which I thought was scar tissue from the burn. It was irresistible and black and ugly and I picked at it with my fingernails because I thought it should come off, but also, hellooo, it was a scab and I couldn't help myself. I'd aways stop short when I got through the first layer and it started to bleed. 

Then when I came back to Minnesota.. this is innovation and it worked out for the best but let me tell you I don't approve of this approach. Mono took scissors - the same scissors we use to open up our boxes of milk - and snipped off the scab. I hope he washed them. Inside was that tick, alive and growing in the skin of poor Manchas' head.

I'm grateful I was gone because I googled pictures of 'tick burrowed in skin' and blechh.

8.) I'm grateful that when I go to Zumba and a Latin song comes on, I feel a little bit like home.
9.) I'm grateful that I'm slowly but surely making gains on paying off my student loans this year. 
10.) I'm grateful that my family lets me crash their pad even though I'm 26 mother-effer years old and really shouldn't be living at home now.
11.) I'm grateful I get to go visit Nicole in a few days.
12.) I'm grateful it's a short work week because I've been sleeping like zeero.
13.) I'm grateful for shipping within the U.S.A. and the pile of books I've been accumulating from Amazon.
14.) I'm grateful for a diversity of experiences and this year counts as one of them.
15.) I'm grateful for happy hour, although it's been some time since I've been to one of those guys.
16.) I'm grateful for Raid.
17.) I'm grateful for the sun, when it's warm, and if that doesn't work out then at least when it shines.
18.) I'm grateful that Felix has a fluffy head and he lets me snuggle it.
19.) I'm grateful I started back at the gym this past year. Besides a brief stint riding the bike, all I'd done in the past probably 6 years is go on walks, with few exceptions. I miss my long walks while I'm here but I can kind of twerk! Let me explain it to you this way. Imagine some dad (hi Dad!) thinking he dances well, and doing it enthusiastically. That's what I do except it's twerking version. I have to be in the groove though, I can't just twerk on a dime. I also can't do it if any complicated arm movements are thrown in because that just ruins my concentration. Basically, I can put my arms out stiff like I'm balancing on something, and I imagine I furrow my brow a little bit to keep focus, and then I twerk it girl, twerk it. 

After doing some research in the interest of finding a photo or video, I realize I have some room for improvement, though.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Lying in bed, scented candle resting on my chest (unlit), pajamas on (okay, so they have been all day but I've showered and it's a Sunday so give me a break).

I'm trying to learn how to relax more. Not just distracting myself with the computer or a book or the pile of work I always need to get to, and not just being lazy, but relaxing. I'm not sure I'm very good at this but I'm making efforts. I ordered a book of poetry, for goodness sake. I've read like four poems in my life, and two of those were Dr. Seuss.

I spend a lot of time stressing out about next year's plan despite it being impossible to figure out right now. Perusing job boards, considering my options for different cities near Cozumel, calculating how much money I should make for student loans and while I'm at it a trip to Indonesia. I never, ever thought I'd be here right now. When things with my Saudi job kept getting delayed indefinitely, I remember saying to Mono for the first time that I might have to leave, but I didn't actually believe it would come to that. And then a feweeks later that's exactly what happened, and I was here about three and a half months before I got to go back for a visit. That time when we said goodbye we knew it was going to be the longest stretch. Six months! I mean, that's just too much. But nowe're down to 34 days as of today and the time is crawwwling because it's in my sights but not here and I'm just waiting for my life to go back to normal.

Deep inhalation of candle...still 34 days.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Today when my class was dancing to the ABCs a student raised his hand and told me he knows how to lap dance.

That's all.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Proudest moment of the week: (!!!)

One of the Paras at my school is from Oaxaca. On Tuesday she came into my room and said she had some questions about how I'd gotten my teaching license in order to work in a Minnesota public school. Teachers here have to be licensed by the state, however, in my case I have a Community Expert license since I've spent several years in Spanish-speaking countries and was granted temporary status as a Spanish immersion teacher. 

I danced like this in my head when
 she said she thought I was Mexicana.
I told her about my situation and, confused, she said, "But you're from Mexico, aren't you?"


You have no idea how happy this makes me (!!!) because hello, I don't look Mexican, and I obviously never said I was from there. Do you know what this means, people? It means she thought my Spanish sounded Mexican!!! 

It's not that I think Mexico has the best accent, but losing a non-native-speaker accent is not easy and not even something I was really striving for because I thought it was pretty much not achievable. I started learning Spanish too late in my life, and didn't have any kind of handle of it until I studied in Ecuador at age 22. And by handle I mean not much. I spoke English to my local friends down there and they spoke Spanish to me, so I really mainly had passive skills. And think about Arnold Schwarzenegger (why is his last name in the spell check dictionary and not marked as wrong?). He's still got an accent and he's been living here for the last 45 years! I Googled.

Toot toot. Tootin' my horn thank you very much.