viernes, 4 de mayo de 2012

In which I relive a teenage dream

First, before I begin this post, I am deeply relieved apologetic for not having photos of my prom, they are shoved in some box in a closet in North Central Florida. Why would a 24-year-old sorta adult who had a particularly long awkward phase that may end any day now want to share pictures of her prom on the internet? Let me explain...

This weekend José and I are going to the wedding of his cousin, Almudena. It's a three-day-long open bar string of fancy dinners, brunches, and nuptuals that requires a minimum of two fancy dresses.

Back in February I went to look for one of the dresses. I had no idea what I was looking for, so I called in the expert: José's mom. Good thing I did because all of the dresses I found suitably formal were, in Spanish wedding taste, the equivalent of wearing flip flops to a funeral.

She pulled a few dresses for me to try on when I had a funny sense of horror deja vu. They were, not kidding, prom dresses.

She dissuaded me from the red one, saying it looked "too Spanish," and was pulling for a long green flowy gown when I had a peek at the price tag. I wouldn't say I ripped the dress off, but there was a fair bit of scrambling to get out of it.

They were not just prom dresses, but expensive prom dresses.

I got a good idea of what the style was and immediately poured a glass of wine fired up the Skype when I got home.

Luckily, my mom had the infinite closet space wisdom  to hold on to my prom dress. I tried to donate it at least three times to those charities that give dresses to girls who can't afford them, but my mom refused. She immediately agreed to mail the dress over, though it took a good bit of convincing that yes, I was actually going to wear my prom dress. In public. With José's family.

Fast forward a few months. The dress arrives. I can still crash diet fit into it, and it's still beautiful. Problem solved.

Now I just had to find an appropriate fascinator.

Figure 1. Eurowedding guest in full plumage.
See also
: Claire's worst nightmare.

Again, I was lost. Who do you call when you need to purchase a tiny hair accessory that looks like a bird slammed into the side of your head and stayed there for six-to-eight hours and four courses and don't want to look like a total idiot (fig. 1)? Is there a hotline for that? Again, called up Jose's mom to save the day.

Tonight starts the event. I might throw one heavily photoshopped picture up here later. Wish me luck!

viernes, 27 de abril de 2012


As a means of updating the internet world on my future activities - which I know you have been dying to hear about - I will be staying in Spain next year. I am going to get a Masters at the University of Málaga in education. There are two programs I am applying for: one dealing with innovation in education, and the other which is essentially a teaching certificate for people who already have university degrees.

Why am I staying? Let me count the ways...

I love my life here and am not about to give that up, not over my dead body.

I want to go back to school. I've been out for three years now and am ready to get back into it. I was burned out after University, between working, finishing two majors, internships, non-stop writing of articles, etc.etc. but now I feel like I'm ready to tackle a Masters.

It's cheap to get a Masters here. Even with the government threatening to up tuition by as much as 50 percent, the cost of a Masters here is a fraction of the cost of getting one in the US. If you are planning on staying in Europe, it's also a better choice as the degree is recognized throughout the EU, something not necessarily true with a US degree.

I am excited about a change in field. I finished University with a degree in journalism and Latin American Studies and nil job opportunities. Education is something I kind of actually am good at. Auxiliaring can be a string of never-ending frustrations, but an auxiliar is to a teacher as a babysitter is to a parent: none of the responsibility but also none of the joy that comes from a job well done. I think I will do well either in a classroom or in the Ministry of Education.

Unrelated photo of parental units in Conil de la Frontera, Cádiz.

Did I mention I'm pig-in-shit, cloud-9 happy here?

So that's it, dwindling readership. Please leave comments if you have any suggestions or comments about Masters in Spain, especially if you are American and have done one and can hold my hand through the bureaucracy.

viernes, 24 de febrero de 2012

Previously, on Where to?

When we last left our protagonist she was moving down the coast. Then, she apparently dropped off the face of the Earth for a month and a half?

Did she suffer a fall from her fifth floor apartment?

Tragic waterski accident?
Nope. Considering the Siberian cold front that swept through the continent recently, I wasn't touching the water with a 3.04800 meter pole.

Allllmost beach time.
Convicted of the murder of the construction workers on the building next door who cut the water pipeline to the building and left our protagonist carrying buckets of water up to her piso from the outside tap in order to flush the toilet and wash hands and face after a long day of child wrangling?

No, but I wish.

Actually, I've been right here. We've been putting together the apartment into a nice place to live. It's been an an uphill battle against copious amounts of dust (WHERE does it come from?!), furniture infested with bugs called polillas, (which I still am not quite sure what they are in English; moths? termites?), and approximately twenty garbage bags full of general crap that needed to be thrown out. Old knick-knacks, broken furniture, dust-infested curtains, sun-bleached patio chairs, etc. etc.

Luckily, the display of miniature collectable anchors from La Opinion de Malaga newspaper are still with us.

Our decor is nautical-chic.
They're kitschy and have grown on me.

While these two gems weren't thrown away, we decided that leaving them above the beds was not a great idea.

The caption reads "Mary, your serene and flawless
gaze gives me the courage to keep fighting." No joke.
Friend that never fails!
 But wait, there's more! We got the travel-sized versions as well.

You can see what we were up against. But, after all this work and a bajillion Ikea runs, we now have a comfortable place with tons of space and a study for me to blog from.

Come visit! I'll be on the patio in a bikini with a gin and tonic, contemplating Mary's serene gaze.

jueves, 12 de enero de 2012

Two steps to the east, one to the west

These last two years I've gotten very used to being publicly transported. Living in a northern neighborhood of Málaga and getting down the coast to Fuengirola and later up the mountain to Benalmádena pueblo, my mornings and afternoons were one bus ride after another.

This year, the gods smiled on me and gave me a school right in the heart of the city. A short ride on the city bus and there I am.

Obviously this would be too easy, so I'm moving. To Benalmádena.

No it's not that I miss the commuter trains or that I have a deep love for Chinese takeaway and permanent Northern European expats, but I do get to live with José in a nice apartment close to the beach.

View, photo by José
I'll miss my old apartment in Teatinos, but am excited to move in with José and to take this next step in our relationship.

And of course to be a frequent rider of the M110 bus again.

domingo, 11 de diciembre de 2011

Christmas is in the Air

Christmas is coming! Time for mantecados, turrones, tamales, mazapan, cookies, pies, polvorones, chocolates, roscos de vino, oh my...

Photo credit

Time to get back to the gym before that mountain of food arrives. This calls for some vigorous 80´s calesthenics!

Look at those pelvic thrusts!

lunes, 28 de noviembre de 2011

Juan y Medio

Andalucía is blessed with a gem of a local TV network: Canalsur.

It's now in HD. Because that's what it needed.

It is the go-to network for flamenco contests, knock-off Karlos Arguiñán cooking shows, and, the gem of it's programming in my wise judgment humble opinion, Juan y Medio.

Trust in the 'stache.
If this man doesn't inspire confidence, I don't know who would.

Juan y Medio hosts several programs, but the best, again in my sage wisdom personal opinion, is La Tarde Aquí y Ahora. On this program, Juan y Medio takes on the noble task of senior dating. Each program, JYM interviews a couple of senior citizens, all of whom are characters and super difficult to understand through the accent and age. These senior citizens are single, and ready to mingle.

JYM, who has a special touch with getting the elderly to open up, interviews the dating candidates and then prospective partners call in and can chat with the lucky man or lady in the hot seat.

This. Program. Is. So. Good.

Never will you see little old pueblo ladies making discreet references to sexual activity, or older men explicitly stating they want a woman who can cook, clean, and the Spanish equivalent of "no fatties."Or who may be unsure of just how many children they do have around.

If you have the chance, I in my total and complete knowledge of everything suggest you catch an episode.

While it is a hoot to watch the program, JYM serves a really crucial social function. Elderly people still have a lot to offer, a lot to live. Rather than sweeping them under the rug or treating them as burdens, there should be a way for them to participate actively in society. Maybe we should export JYM.

John and a Half, anyone?

I nominate Geraldo Rivera.

I mean he's already got the 'stache requirement covered.

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2011