Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Longest Day Ever

That's what yesterday seemed like...the longest day ever.  But when I was thinking of the title for the blog, I remembered that the day I gave birth to both my boys seemed like that, too, although with very different, happy outcomes.

Let me start by saying I promise there's a point in here somewhere...bear with me.  Or is it bare with me?  

I am signed up for MSNBC texts, so whenever they feel something is "breaking news", they send me a text, regardless of the time.  Sometimes, it's totally worth it, like yesterday...sometimes, when some Olympian I've never heard of wins a gold for something I've never heard of.  At 2 in the morning.  

I turn the ringer to my phone off so I don't actually hear anything, but I am uber sensitive to light and when the screen lights up, believe it or not, that wakes me up.  So, at 2:21 am EST, I got the text about the 8.8 earthquake in Concepcion, Chile.  

Now, I don't know my geography in Florida, so knowing it anywhere else is really asking way too much.  Half asleep, I start googling from my phone where Concepcion is and it says something about the South and a border and maybe it was the midnight haze, but then I panicked because my grandma lives in Peru in the city that borders Chile and wow, please don't tell me that two families may be effected.  I should add that I think I'm getting J a globe for his birthday.  Ok, so back to reading - Concepcion is a crapload of kilometers away from Santiago, which, if I knew my metric conversions, which um, I don't, it would have or have not reassured me that everything is ok.  All this background work was done  because I was trying to determine if I should wake up my mom who is working in Puerto Rico and for sure had no idea what was going on.  All our family is there.  Everyone.  Hearing that an 8.8 mag earthquake hits where all your family lives is really bizarre, especially at 2:30 in the morning.  I finally called her.  It didn't matter much because my mom turned her phone completely off and there was no way of getting in touch with her anyway.  My mom really sucks for emergencies and is always completely unresponsive and inappropriate, so really it was probably for the best. 

Finally, I decided everyone was in a deep enough sleep that if I turned on the TV to see what was going on, no one would wake up.  I get to Channel 356 (MSNBC) and they're showing "Lock Up".  Switch over to the Weather Channel and they're talking about the wintry weather (sorry, wintry weather friends, but earthquake trumps snow).  Hmmm.... what's left?  Ugh.  Fox News has Glenn Beck on.  CNN?  Dammit what channel is CNN?  Part of my marriage vows surely consisted of not watching CNN...  

Of course, Anderson Cooper was ending and CNN was the *only* news network that had coverage.  Ummm, why did MSNBC find it ok to text me at 2:00 am only to not have any actual coverage? Grrrrr!  

I finally decided to try and go back to sleep, deciding there was nothing anyone would know other than it hit because it was still nighttime over there and more than likely, all power was out.  But I was shocked to find out that despite it being over 200 miles away from the epicenter, Santiago (the capitol) was hit pretty bad, too.  Unfortunately, that was where all my family lives.

Sleep was elusive.  At 6:30 am, I turned the news back on and this time, rewarded CNN with my viewership because they were the only ones covering immediately after, and was really impressed at the organization I saw.  Police were out, the President was in view, the citizens looked worried, shaken, but like survivors.  I love Chile.

It just so happens that my favorite aunt happens to be visiting Miami right now, so I called her and thankfully, she'd already heard from her two sons and everyone was ok.  I sent an email to my uncle, who unfortunately is not in Chile with his wife and kids, but is on assignment in The Congo.  He had, however, already heard from his daughter and apparently, they were all ok.  No power, no phone lines, but with internet and alive and well.  Yay!

We moved here when I was 4.  I've never ever lived in Chile and I've only visited once, although that trip is still very vivid in my memory.  I remember the ocean and the salt banks and the mountains and a beautiful hill with a statue of the Virgin Mary on top of it.  I remember the supermarket selling the best strawberry yogurt ever and the beautiful trees dripping with ripe, orange apricots.  I remember meeting my 95 year old great grandma and staying at this beautiful oceanfront home on a long and winding highway.  I remember feeling a small earthquake, or what they call "un temblor" -- a tremor -- during my cousin's birthday party in one of my families' backyard.  I remember drinking one of those delicious coca-colas that come in a small glass bottle at a time when "the New Coke" had taken over in the States and you just couldn't find real coca cola anymore.  I remember collecting antique keys and steel cast irons I later used as weights in remote little towns for my mom's collection. 

Because we moved around so much, I really can't say I feel like I belong to any country.  It's so hard for me to understand the depth of love Ray's family has for a country they were forced to leave - country they associate so much with, yet push away with the same intensity.  I admiringly envy people like Valk and Jodi who are just so patriotic and PROUD to be Americans.   I'm proud, too, and I know I live in the best country in the world, but I'd be lying if I said I felt "American".  I am an immigrant and that fact never ever eludes me.  I was born in Peru, but I can't say I've ever felt particularly Peruvian.  I love the food and the Incas amaze me.  Whenever someone questions my breastfeeding practices as weird or even disgusting, I remind them half-jokingly that I am an Inca and that is what my people do.  I really probably am not at all Inca, but you get the point...I channel the country I need to channel when it works for me.   But not yesterday.  Or today.  I feel like I felt as I watched the Twin Towers crumble.  Sad, helpless and...dare I say it?  Yup, patriotic.  The fact of the matter is I'll always be from all over.  But I find a lot of happiness in realizing that my heart belongs to two wonderfully amazing countries, both full of people with great hearts and unparalleled resilience. And, thankfully, their flags are the same color so as not to confuse me too much. ;-)

Having only one cousin here, it's insane to me to know I have so many cousins in Chile.  There's one I've only met thru Facebook.  His name is Felipe and he's the total cool guy you want to be friends with in high school.  I have another who is in a rock band.  Actually, that's my second cousin in a rock band.  The other one lives here and now he's an investment banker, but man, in a past life...I remember seeing his records at the Virgin Music in Times Square.  I'm not starstruck often, but my cousins definitely make me proud. 

Anyway, all this happened by 9 am.  My mom still remained asleep and had no idea what was going on, despite everyone with a working phone calling her and letting her know.  She says she woke up to 12 messages and an ungodly amount of missed calls.  Duh.  On a side note, I could never be that oblivious.  I could never be that disconnected.  Especially not when my family is somewhere else.  That isn't a criticism of her- I actually think it's pretty amazing to just sleep-- I'm just saying I couldn't do it.

Really, I could go on and on and tell you that I spent the day shoveling shit, literally, and working on the yard and catching up on RHOC and checking in with family and I even had a date night at home with my husband where we ate ceviche and lomo saltado and watched Couples Retreat, but at the end of it all-- and really, it took forever and ever and ever-- all that mattered was my family was ok, and my three boys were here with me.  I can't ever describe the love I have for them, and I don't ever want to.  Part of what makes it so special and intense is that there are no words for it. 

P.S.  I just want to add that while my disdain for Fox News is for obvious reasons, I still did not expect them to ever give me a valid reason, outside of political differences, to loathe them.  Would you believe that when  Ray started switching channels (he'd had enough of CNN) at 8 am, every news network and most local channels were covering the earthquake except for Fox?  I get that demographically, South Americans vote blue, but I expected even YOU to have half a soul, Fox News.  Fuck you.  Fuck you bigtime. 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Crier, Crier...Pants on Fire

Valk just wrote a blog and in it she talked about crying.  It's all I could think about as I sat there in my study group, fighting back emotions to a) pummel the teacher in the throat and b) curl up in a ball and cry.  And cry and cry and cry.

I managed to just cry.  I tried to fight back the tears.  I tried pinching my thigh and biting my inner cheek really hard.  I tried deep breathing and really, anything that would NOT show that weakness, but alas, the tears started falling.  It's been 8 hours and my cheeks are still stained.  I have really salty tears.  

I don't mind crying.  I'm not even an excessive crier.  I bawl at movies (which is why I never watch any), Johnson & Johnson commercials and that's about it.  Oh, and of course, when I'm so angry I can envision blood splat on the wall.  Then I cry.   And then I cry some more because I am so damn mad at myself for crying.  It's so unprofessional.  And immature.  But there is no way I have found to control it.  And that's what happened today.

I hate feeling censored.  I hate feeling confined.  I hate rules.  I hate being talked down to.  And I hate threats.  Really, if you want to piss me off and evoke emotion you've never ever ever seen in me before, do any one of those things.  I know we live in a world of rules.  I'm ok with that.  I'm ok with that because I am a good person and am guided by my moral compass and because my moral compass is a very reliable measuring tool, I rarely do things that require extreme rule breaking.  I mean, I don't get all hot and bothered about making more than one copy of an article when I'm only allowed to have one, but you get me. It's because of my moral compass that rules bother me so much.    Because at the end of the day, I don't really give a fuck what the rule says if it offends my sense of justice, my sense of good, my morality and my ethics.  Really, I do not give a fuck.  And you can try all you want to threaten and censor and guess what? I still don't give a fuck.  And please, don't think that me not giving a fuck somehow means I don't know the rules.   On the contrary, I know them so well that I have figured out that they are for stupid people and that offends me even more.  In a past life, I can promise you I was one hell of an attorney and while you were busy citing the rule, I already found my loophole and can argue with you til you are blue in the face about why I am right and you are wrong.  And I will.  I do beat dead horses.  All the fucking time. 

The problem is when I get to the point where all I see is red, I have no problem cutting off my arm to save a finger.  And that sucks.  Because I don't need to be all self-sabotaging.  I mean, it's bad enough you saw me cry and are probably thinking it's because you hurt me in some way, and God does it bother me when anyone thinks that.  When I'm hurt and sad, I strap my big girl boots on and actually say, "you know, I'm hurt and sad, how can we get past this?".  But when I'm angry.... whoa nelly!

Amy wrote about PMDD and while I still don't know what the last D stands for (deranged? delusional? delectable? delicious?), I'm pretty sure something's going on.  I say every month I'm going to track my period, but I never do.  It does seem like I have 2 weeks out of the month where I am unbearable.  Two whole weeks.  My poor husband and children.   And my poor other personalities.  Ugh.  So I bought this supplement called "Mood Balance", but I'm a little scared to take it.  I also noticed today that I'm a nervous eater.  I don't know when that happened, but all I could do in that study group was stuff shit in my mouth.  That's a new habit I must have picked up in the last few years.  Fun. 

Ray took me to eat sushi today.  He was the highlight of my week.  We had $30 to spend, which is HILARIOUS because Ray and I both think we're heirs of the Rockafellers and are almost incapable of budgeting, especially at dinner.  But we did.  We got out our phone calculators and tabulated to the last dime.  I loved it.  Of course, the sushi place we go to has this special roll they make for us which is just deeeeeeeee-vine so we ordered more.  And then with more, I had to order another drink and more ginger dressing.  Ray just had me peeing.   I can't remember when we've laughed so hard.  It was awesome.  What was more awesome is that he did this because tonight he's going to watch MMA at his best friend's and tomorrow he's going to play golf so he really made an effort to carve out some time for us knowing we wouldn't have a lot of it this weekend.  That was the best part.  Effort goes a long way. 

I've had a good week.  I hope you did, too.  And here's the take away message:  Make your own rules.  Live with the light of your heart guiding you and make your own rules.   Once a rebel, always a rebel...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

I want to be a snowboarder

I really do. I used to want to be a figure skater, but not anymore. Now I just want to snowboard.

Realizations like this make me remember that as girly girl as I may want to be, the Gemini in me-- and all its masculinity -- will never let that happen. Yup. I want to be a snowboarder. Never mind my inability to balance or the fact that I'm geographically challenged.

I used to pride myself in my need... my insatiable desire to reinvent myself in the blink of an eye. But now I'm older and the things I never thought would seep in have. Fear. Fear and responsibility. It's not that easy or practical or very admirable to drop everything you know and go on a whimsical limb because it'll make you feel good when you're 34 and a mother of 2. Nope, not very admirable at all.

As boring as it is, I really have spent the last 5 years reinventing myself. Old friends must look at me and think, "Wow!  How'd that happen?".  I'm a wife and a mom and I finally have a career and I sometimes remember that I can't pig out at my favorite sushi spot because I have diapers to buy.  I no longer have a Friday Night Drinking Fund, even if I do still keep my kids' college fund money in a Chivas Regal bottle.   I remember that slamming doors and walking out and disappearing for days on end isn't cute or tough or adventurous anymore. Hmmm, but snowboarding is. Yeah, I really want to be a snowboarder.

It's hard to go from being a One Man Show to answering to someone. It's hard to think about someone's needs above yours all the time. It's even harder when you have to multiply that by 3.  Hard doesn't mean I'd rather be doing something else.  Hard doesn't mean I'm not where I want to be every day. 

For me, the difficulty of it all fails in comparison to its lack of luster.   For a commitment phobe like me, there's nothing scintillating about commitment -- to myself or others.

I've never been into sports. I'm not a gambler.  Never been a cheater.  Am not impressed by rollercoasters.  I never got into drugs.  I don't even like scary movies. But in my own bizarre and very real way, I am an adrenalin junkie.

You know, this was just about me wanting to be a snowboarder. But then I saw Bob Costas and I figure, if he can get on TV with that really bad dye job and carry on with a straight face, I can surely find a way to continue my necessary reinvention while cultivating a purposeful, sparkly and scary one.

I'm pretty sure I can learn how to snowboard, regardless of fear and responsibility.  Geography has never been my strong suit anyway.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

There are a whole host of things I should be doing

but instead, I'm sitting here, blogging.  Wednesdays are my day off and I have reclaimed them.  I should have spent the morning reading on the anatomy of the breast, but I didn't.  I should have then done laundry or cleaned the house or done anything other than this, but I didn't.  I curled in bed, covers up to my ears, and watched The Bachelor!!  Wooo hoooo!  

The bad thing is I have no idea when I'm going to get that chapter on anatomy in. :-/

My kids have really been taking me to some serious highs and lows lately.  I have this notebook where I write in anytime they say anything really funny and I haven't written in it in such a long time.  I think I felt guilty that it was mostly about Jonathan, but you know, he's at that age where he's just hilarious.  I think he's even funnier than he's supposed to be because he's learning how to speak the Englishes so he totally messes things up sometimes.  In a completely amazing way.  

Bry is just the silent type.  He's probably the funnier of the two because he's more of a jokester than a smooth criminal.  Jonathan is just such a romantic.

Bry has been doing amazing this week!  Three days in a row with no crying when I drop him off.  I am so hoping that phase is over.  He has yet to let Ray take him to school, which supersucks for me because that means I am really, really late to work on Mondays and Fridays, but I'm confident we're making progress.  Now he just wants to bounce on my head all night long.  Fun times.  

Last night, I was herding them into the bedroom for bedtime when I realized their toys were *everywhere* so I got mad and told Jonathan to start picking up his toys right away.  As much as Jonathan is the sweetest thing on Earth, he has such a fucking 'tude, man!  He talks back for everything and gets super snippy... man, sometimes I fantasize about smacking that sassiness right out of him!  But mostly, I enjoy the shit out of it because I know he'll need character and he'll need strength and ultimately, those two needs will breed respect.  Or at least I hope.

Anyway, he starts huffing and puffing and slamming toys where they belong, not at all happy and then he says, "I'm NEVER gonna get MARRIED!!!!!!!!!!" and I make the mistake no mother should make and ask why and he puts his hands on his hips and looks me square in the eye and says, "BECAUSE OF YOUR ATTITUDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  Of course, he did this in front of Ray.  As if I need my husband feeling all high and mighty!  But, holy shit, was that hilarious!!  How many moms can say they've effectively deterred their 4 year olds from a life of marriage, huh, huh? Oh, yeah!  

Monday, February 1, 2010

I'm Moving

my Bachelor blog.  I don't even know how I got started doing a Bachelor blog...actually, that's not true.  I do know.  I miss my friends, man.  First, there was the constant contact of myspace groups, then we moved to another forum, and then facebook...  all of which I have left.  And I miss my friends.  I miss the stuff girls talk about when they don't want to talk about their kids.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I have my local friends who I see and spend time with, but never without something else drawing my attention away.  We're either at the park, trying to enjoy each other while we keep an eye on our (and other people's) children, or we're at work trying to shoot the shit before someone important sees us.  This other group of friends, while distant, was different.  Our meeting place was here...this computer...and we knew that if there was another distraction (like a 2 year old pulling on my arm right now yelling boobie!!), no one had to know about it unless we decided to discuss.  It wasn't necessarily pulling at us and from each other.

So yeah, that's how I got the Bachelor blog started.

I've moved.  You can now find it at  If anyone knows how to transfer blogs over to another, please let me know.  I want to move the Bachelor blogs from here over there.

xoxo.  See you guys tomorrow! :)