Category Archives: opinion

gadget

Hello! I would like to apologize for my recent absence—Jen and I were in Rio and did not think bringing our computers was such a wise idea. We did bring a camera though, and pictures will be shared in a timely manner, but I thought I would write about a more relevant topic at the moment considering I write this while in transit back to ABQ.

For as long as I can remember I have been absolutely terrified of flying. This has not stopped me from doing so, as I have never gone a year without getting on at the very minimum several planes, but it is a horrendous experience for all involved parties each time (most notably myself). When I was younger, I think we all had hopes for me to overcome this ridiculous phobia but I am in my 20’s now and have yet to grow out of this irrational fear of flight.

Post lift-off my control issues, coupled with my fear of heights, culminates into a pandemonium of terror that takes over my entire being. I never cease to transform from a somewhat coherent human being into a conspiracy theorist who dies a little inside every time the engine speed changes.

You think I am kidding, or exaggerating but for those of you that have flown with me you know that this is not the case.

Now, I refuse to let this debilitating fear control my life and have come up with some effective strategies to manage, and hopefully prevent any kind of psychotic Bridesmaid’s style meltdown. It has been mostly successful so far.

(I suspect this would be less funny in real life)

So, I shall share with you my secrets of the trade.

First: Upon liftoff I have to grab something. I dont care what it is, but it must be able to sustain massive amounts of pressure. This is most usually a hand, whether it be my mom’s, my own, or the stranger next to me.

Second: During aforementioned handholding, my eyes will be firmly shut with some SERIOUS deep breathing going on. Think going-through-labor breathing here people.

Third: The exact moment the okay is given for electronics my headphones are securely in my ears and my Natural White Sounds of the World: Thunderstorms, Rainfalls, Yadda, Yadda  weirdo tracks are playing on full blast. Someone once told me that my soundscape tracks sound like bacon sizzling (I used to listen to it when falling asleep) and I have never been able to listen to it the same since then. I don’t mean this in a negative way, quite the contrary actually..it is still very comforting, but now I just find myself hungry.

ALSO: The window shades remain shut from the moment I get on the plane, no exceptions. Not even for you, adorable Brazilian child, your tears of disappointment fail to move me!

OH AND: Get in seat: seatbelt on—if we are going down, then at least I will be strapped into the flaming metal contraption of death for good.

Fourth: After a half hour or so, I tend to adapt to my new environment (especially on oversea flights) and forget that I am even on a plane. I remain relatively normal (as normal as I get anyways) unless the plane moves in any way whatsoever..then I freak out again.

There are a few exceptions about times in which these strategies just outright fail. I have gone so far as to become entirely convinced that the flight crew was working in conjunction with the pilot to crash the plane and/or deliver us to the wrong place. I really wish I was kidding, but my dad can actually verify this (London debacle 2010). I blame Ryan Air for this though, with their insistence to keep the lights on and bombard you with ads over the loudspeaker the entire time while you remain trapped in your plastic and/or non reclining seats for two hours freaking out. Small planes too, they are just too small and I do not trust them one bit.

There are a few things that I DO enjoy about flying though—mainly the in flight snacks and meals.

I’m sure you are all s.h.o.c.k.e.d, but I am actually someone who throughly appreciates the complimentary meals on overnight flights. I just try to not think about what the original identity of the chicken and beef offered in the meals are and everything is great! I also happen to love pretzels and peanuts, so there is that especially because they come in handy little to-go pouches so you can save them for later which thrills the food hoarder inside of me.

I particularly enjoyed the flight snacks I encountered in Brazil: when you get on the plane you get a butter toffee candy (CANDY!) to hold you over until they dispense drinks. Heineken beer is available as one of their complimentary options, which is a nice change from the $7 Bud light (I would assume) on US airlines. And also, they offer the one soda that I actually do enjoy—Guarana. I will really miss this soda concoction featuring a Brazilian berry that provides natural energy. Their little snack boxes generally feature these little dehydrated toast squares, with jam and requeijao (kind of spreadable cheese-ish thing) that I can take or leave BUT they also give you some kind of little dessert like a wafer cookie! My inner 7 year-old rejoices every time. Plus you get to open a giant square package, which is so unexplainably satisfying even if you want nothing inside of it.

That about sums up my neurotic in flight demeanor.

Who are we kidding, I guess it is just my everyday personality, but in a really confined space. In the air. In a death machine.

Can we just develop teleportation abilities already?!

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lessons

First off–Charles has joined us this week on our little adventure!

Naturally he was welcomed with wine.

Alright, I hope everyone is ready for an authentic Brazilian presentation about the good ol’ US of A because that is what you are getting!

 

 

Excuse the glare!

giant

My dreams have come true. How is this, you might wonder. Well, let me explain through the use of pictures..

What am I holding?

AN AVOCADO!!

It the largest freaking giant avocado I have EVER seen, and that is just too awesome for words. It could seriously feed an entire family for a week, or me for one day. I only wish I could pack my bag full of these giant beasts, hoard them in my basement, and exist solely through the nourishment they provide (until I turn into an avocado myself, or my skin gains a green tint). However I fully recognize this is impossible for several major reasons including but not limited to:

  1. The U.S. would not allow me through customs with agricultural products
  2. Even if they did, the avocados would likely go bad on the trip or very soon after getting home
  3. Aside from these first two issues, the logistical situation of smash-age during transportation. I would not be entirely opposed to this though, because guacamole is my third favorite food. But still. It would be kind of gross.
  4. Nothing should ever, ever, ever be stored in our disgusting basement. Except possibly bodies..

On another note, we have been exposed to many, many pickup lines here in Porto Alegre (as Jen has said, my hair is like a “neon sign” that screams “I AM NOT BRAZILIAN COME HIT ON ME”) but none of them have been as quality as the following. These ones would be more successful if used on me, without question. 

speaking

It is my third official day in Brazil and I am proud to say that I have picked up four solid phrases (okay, more like words) in Portuguese! Considering I had  a foundation of essentially NOTHING with the language despite my initial grand plans of learning some prior to my departure (before I abandoned the effort because I was overwhelmed and unsure of where to begin) I am proud that I have picked up how to say the following:

Obrigada—Thank you

Tudo bem?—Things are well?

Tudo bom—Things are good

Oi!–Hi!

Now, this may seem totally unimpressive to you so I took the liberty of googling words and phrases that I hope to learn and use in conversations with the Brazillian population totally out of context. They seem to be very useful in day to day life..

AH I HAVE DECIDED IT SHALL BE A GAME! Okay, I will write the translation in white, so guess what the word/ phrase means and just highlight it to see the answer..ready?

GO!

Pedê …Pedophile

Bundudo…A person with a very large derriere

Puta merda…Holy shit

Bobo…Silly

Cara de melão!…Melon face!

Cabeça de vento…Scatterbrained

Descascar um abaci…literally: to peel a pineapple  meaning: to get stuff done

Tomar um cha de cadeira…literally: to take a chair and drink tea meaning: something taking so long, that you feel the ability to sit in a chair and have a cup of tea

Porque você não pode lava?…Why can’t you flush toilet paper?

Eu sou um Americano estúpido, eu não falo Português… I am a stupid American, I do not speak Portuguese

O que na terra eu estou comendo…What on earth am I eating?

Você vende jujubes?… Do you sell jelly beans?

Eu estou suando em bicas…I am sweating profusely

Privação do sono é divertido!…Sleep deprivation is fun!

Outra caipirinha, por favor!…Another caipirinha please!

Eu tenho sujeira dentro das minhas calças… I have dirt down my pants

I think I should create a booklet for travelers similar to myself, filled with this dynamic compilation of useful phrases (I really did say the dirt in my pants thing today). I will work on it, keep everyone updated! My first publication, without a doubt. 

;)

SIDENOTE: It also would have been helpful for me to know how to say, “Sorry for my weird toenail, I had surgery on it,” during our pedicures the other day..instead I said nothing and the lady was left to wonder how such a seemingly normal looking girl had a mutant toenail.

ignite

Happy Wednesday! I have all day to myself today and a million things I want to do, and I have yet to accomplish anything other than breakfast and online perusing. 90 something degree weather will do that to a girl, but I thought I would share some things that have struck my fancy recently..

“looking back over a lifetime, you see that love was the answer to everything.”

 Ray Bradbury.

  •  “the universe is so well balanced that the mere fact that you have a problem also serves as a sign that there is a solution.”

    Steve Maraboli

     Communal dining


    How I Met Your Mother

    All white decor, with colorful art


    “we do not need to go out and find love; rather, we need to be still and let love discover us.”

     John O’Donohue (Anam Cara)

    “with a plan, you only get the best you can imagine. i’d always hoped for something better than that.”

    Chuck Palahniuk

 

 


I want to eat this:

 

 

 

 

 

Drink this:

 

 

 

 

Read these..:

 

 

 

 

…here:

 

 


  • And I want to make a bookshelf out of wine crates:

    “In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety.”

     Abraham Maslow


    This kiddo is just cute:


And I just thought these were funny:


 


wrap

Tessa and I have in recent months fostered a love for Satellite’s rabbit wraps. Though it always is incredibly difficult to justify paying $5.50 for some vegetables encased in a tortilla, we have faithfully forked over the money for the better part of the spring semester while complaining about it the entire time.
I have more than a slight hunch that they infuse the dressing with some crack-like substance because no matter how many times I tell myself that I refuse to pay for another one, my will power is absolutely diminished by the time lunch time rolls around and I find myself 9 dollars poorer (after mandatory additional coffee and tip) and once again ashamed that I paid such extravagant prices for something I could so easily make.
So, seeing as it is now summer and time is more readily available. I am no longer constrained to prioritizing convenience over all else–and therefore my first culinary mission was deemed to be the replication of this particular wrap.
The first step was to look up the ingredients used in the wrap, located on the Satellite website.
Next, necessary modifications were determined–lemon dressing to replace the pomegranate, omission of sesame seeds, and apples instead of jicama. Mainly, these modifications occurred due to the availability of products at Trader Joe’s. Post TJ’s frolicking session (which is usually a bi-weekly event at the very minimum) I had all the ingredients.
Finally, Operation Reconstruction officially commenced.

RABBIT WRAP:

Prep work:

Massage the kale with the juice of two lemons and 2 TBSP of olive oil, set aside.
Chop half of one apple, half of one roasted red pepper, and a handful of (pre) shredded carrots

Assembly:

Smear hummus on a tortilla
Layer kale on tortilla
then your chopped ingredients
don’t forget the artichoke hearts!
roll up and enjoy!
little bit of advice: buy tortillas large enough to hold all of your ingredients!
but if you fail to do so, as i did, you have no choice but to get another tortilla and eat it quesadilla style (which, actually, is quite awesome and some might say preferable from the start!)
put any leftover vegetables into Tupperware for future rabbit wrap assemblage ;)
The best part of all, is that the ingredients used to make numerous rabbit wraps all added together come out to be as much as a single lunch at Satellite so not only can you easily customize your own wrap but it is freaking cheap too (leaving you more money for wine, of course! I have priorities..).
edited to add: YIKES! need to use spell check for future posts hahah or just simply re-read what I write

switch

I am feeling the itch to switch up my room—only three months in! I blame it on constantly looking at apartment therapy, I warn you it is a dangerous habit!

I have a low bed so I want to make a headboard and make my room not so cluttered. I have piles everywhere! and yellow, and national geographics, and frames, and it is just so freaking busy. I think a bedroom should be more peaceful and serence to counteract the stress that I induce upon myself everyday.

I have a mild obsession with scouring various sites–apartment therapydesign sponge and desire to inspire— and compulsively saving pictures on my computer. I don’t ever do anything more than simply drool over the photos, so it is not really helpful to my life at all.

Yet I continue to do it.

The thing is, I feel like alot of the things I like are absolutely do-able if I decided to invest the time and energy into it. So, and this may just be the coffee talking here, but I am fully motivated to make my room a more peaceful environment.

In other news, I am the proud owner of a spanking brand new french presssssss. It is green, giant, and I love it.


mmmmmmalright


This past month in a nutshell.

Books read: Winter’s Tale, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Little Bee

Boxes of wine consumed (in household, not indivdually): innumerable

Money spent at Trader Joes: $60

Games of apples to apples played: seven..ish

Sunburns: yep

 

Things I’ve found

Man the Fuck Up--http://www.mtfu.org/

Soup!--http://lisasfoods.com/2010/11/29/start-a-weekly-soup-night/

What I need!–http://www.etsy.com/listing/62194108/keep-calm-and-drink-coffee-13×19-poster

Favorite Swedish cafe (where we would hang out if we lived in stockholm, no doubt)http://cafestring.com/