In case you have been living under a rock and are unaware (NM residents that is)–yesterday marked the return to school, and with it my official justification for my slow descent into hermitage (I now declare this a word!).

As of today I have attended all of my classes. VERDICT: I adore every. single. thing I am taking! I am just so excited about the material that will be covered in each of them–much more contemporary literature than I have studied so far and very engaging professors.

I will likely be reading  every spare minute of my time considering I ordered over 27 books online two nights ago, such is the joy of being an English and Philosophy student, but I am honestly one hundred percent okay with that. I began Lolita yesterday afternoon and am already hooked, I can’t believe I had yet to read it actually, but am so glad that the opportunity has presented itself for me to do so now.

Let’s just say I anticipate many nights with snacks, wine, Maverick, and literature in my future. Oliver can come too.

With a new school year comes a fresh start according to fourth graders everywhere, and my horoscope. On that note, we have made a few upgrades within the household including a new snazzy red doormat, lamp placement, and bookshelf that I will kindly spare you pictures of.

You cannot escape a snapshot of the ever-exciting picture rearrangement, however, because it incorporates a B-E-A-U tiful artistic masterpiece that our lovely friend Morgan purchased for us at a silent art auction benefit we were volunteering at recently.

Can you spot it? Oh, actually the lighting is a tad off. Here you go..


I know what you are going to say: it is truly majestic.

There was also some spontaneous cement block purchasing, during a 9:30 pm Lowes trip that resulted in this beauty..

And that is what happens when I go in search of a house plant, despite the fact that the cement block aisle is clear across the entire store. I have no idea.

Fueled by cement block fume intoxication, a Target trip was  subsequently made where I acquired a totally necessary mirrored side table for 20 bucks

that was actually quite awesome ( it was originally 90 dollars). Also, note the cat treats underneath..classy.

Now that I have bombarded you with my breathtaking, phone furniture photos I will present the true gem of recent school finds…

THIS LUNCHBOX! I feel so complete inside, I just want to pack all my meals and take them places. Does anyone need to borrow a lunchbox?! Because you can’t. I need it to carry my hopes and dreams.

That about sums up our pre-school preparations as far as nesting goes. I very much like to get everything all cozy and ready for prime study time cuteness before school begins so that I can focus on more nerdy endeavors (and you probably naively think this is as nerdy as it gets..ha! so wrong).

Happy back-to-school fellow Lobos! ;)



(Alternate title: absurd amount of kitten pictures crammed into a finite online space)

Apologies for the recent absence..once again. I was resting, recovering, and rejuvenating post-Brazil in beautiful Castine, Maine.

Primarily, I did absolutely nothing aside from lay at the beach reading, lay out in the yard reading, and in bed reading. Not quality literature either, books that I checked out from the library and that shall not be mentioned by name in such a public manner. Some cheesy movies of the same nature were viewed as well, but the same non disclosure policy remains.

Nothing like some good old fashioned lobster eating, coffee consumption, and occasional jogs in horrific humidity to reset my body (i.e. limit alcohol consumption..Brazil might have permanently damaged my liver) and prepare myself for the beginning of school! Acquiring grandmother clothes never hurt anyone, either, but more on that on a later date. ;)

Now, the true purpose of this post is to announce the arrival of the newest member of Tessa and I’s domestic partnership!

If you have a Facebook (that you obviously must use to stalk me..I am clearly a highly interesting individual!) then this is not necessarily news to you. However, after having the little guy one week or so, a final name has been decided upon. We had a lax approach to naming him, we tried many different names over the course of the week before the winning one was selected (crossing fingers that he is not suffering from an extreme identity crisis).

So, it is my great pleasure to OFFICIALLY introduce…






Mr. Bigglesworth..



He is my cat soulmate, and has taught me that I do in fact have the potential to become a cat lady in the future. I completely see how human interaction is overrated when there is an adorable cat in the picture that will cuddle with you and watch Six Feet Under all day in bed and tell you secrets and lick your mouth and..okay that got a little weird.

That last disturbing bit is unfortunately very, very true but I absolutely DESPISE it. Licking is just altogether unpleasant, particularly when one is attempting to sleep. Other than that though, I maintain my initial position.

Despite the fact that we got Maverick to keep Oliver company in Stanley’s absence, he seems to be suffering from a severe case of only-child syndrome (which I am entirely empathetic of, myself) and is not such a fan of the newest addition. Hopefully he will warm up to the little guy soon and we can be a cute, happy feline-human family and send out Christmas cards of our sunburned faces from our vacation in the Bahamas.

I mean, how can he not eventually love this little face?! I paused my post writing to snap this picture, email it to myself, and then include it at the end. HOW IS HE SO CUTE?!

Shout out to Oliver (and Stan)–you were are just as adorable little ones! 


There are no words that could adequately convey all that was our trip to Rio, much less express the the fiascos that we encountered and the giggles that ensued (the hilarity of our situation was realized only post-catastrophy).

Let it suffice to say that our trip was consistantly punctuated by beverages–periodic espresso stops by day, acai by the beach, and alcoholic choices for the nighttime. The rest I leave up for your interpretation through the following pictures.


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 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?!


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!


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

What am I holding?


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. 


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


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?


Pedê …Pedophile

Bundudo…A person with a very large derriere

Puta merda…Holy shit


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.