Second Block Edition: Tales from Miami Ad School Account Planning Bootcamp. Location: Minneapolis, MN.


Definitely my sweatiest Christmas yet. Although, Christmas Eve was full of pleasant breezes. Also my most sober Christmas since I started downing glasses of wine on the eve of Christ's birth. Estaba enferma.
But it's all in due time. I will return my mad self to the hot holidays of Buenos Aires. Meg arrives in a few days, and Maddie makes her big return tomorrow. So surely for New Years I'll be back in the game.

Do you ever have days where you just feel awesome? I mean like you're cool? Almost like a sassy superhero? Maybe it's because I made shorts out of my jeans today. genius move on my part. really. But I had to stop myself from cutting everything in my tiny collection of clothes. Everything just looked hot to me. Oh, this thing has sleeves. They have to go. It's toooo hot for sleeves. Jeans? Why do I have jeans? I knew better than to cut my hair. I don't care if I have to pull it back into a bun all summer. Even if it does make my head look smaller in proportion to my body.

Alright. Tomorrow is the attempt to make myself legal again. Stories to come. That is if I'm not kicked out of the country.




Tales of sweaty encounters

The signs are everywhere. It's getting hot in the city. We're all feeling it but should the homeless man sitting on the bench in Plaza de Mayo find it necessary to strip down exposing his sweaty sweaty balls for everyone to see? I didn't think so. What a treat that was.

It feels like a polluted sauna outside. Which is good when you're already late for a class and the elevator is taking forever, because you think, oh well, screw it, I'll just take the stairs. to the eighth floor. right. So I did. I took the stairs. After about the fourth floor is when I really started to regret the decision. Too late to turn back now, stupid. So by the time I got to the office I was breathing like I had just run a marathon and sweating like I was the actual sauna.

Between wearing sweat beads as jewelry and insect repellent as perfume this is going to be the sexiest summer of my life.

Christmas is just a couple days away. For most Argentines it's tomorrow. Most people celebrate at 12:00pm on Christmas Eve. Dinner, a game to exchange presents, and sometimes church are some of the normal activities for the evening. No one gets dressed up like Santa and stockings are not hung. I've seen one apartment decorated with twinkle lights, and it was probably a foreigner's apartment. It's not bad, but it just doesn't quite feel very "Christmasy." I suppose Christmas isn't Christmas unless Penny (my dog) is trying to eat the ornaments off the tree and Spencer (other dog) is barking at the oven all day trying to attack the ham. Of course my Mother's quiche. How I miss, thee. With no dogs trying to eat things that don't belong to them I suppose this Christmas will be less stress and more relaxing.

I think I may even go to Mass this Christmas.



fresh drip.

Let's start the week with a fresh cup of coffee and a smile.

Better attitude this week. Better Spanish, too.

Buenos Aires is changing me. But I still maintain my desire to be loved, just like everyone else in this world, and sometimes it isn't great at returning the favor. You just have to be patient because it's not the city you want to be loved by.

It's Christmastime.


stupid is as stupid does.

I spent the day watching Forest Gump and The English Patient. Para. Para. My body told me. So I taught one class and put myself back into bed. Oh, yeah I went out and bought OJ and tortellini. Must think healthy. Must not get sick.

Normally I choose not to write when I'm feeling a bit down. But I always have to put on the happy face for my students at work and I don't know the people here well enough to show them my cranky side. So hello blog and the three people that read it. I'm going to be a little downer tonight. You can take it.

In general I'm a bit restless with my job, or lack-there-of. My work week is down to 5 hours. With loads of freetime and your room is the size of a closet, it can get to you. I'm not exactly sure why I'm complaining. I have a few friends. Great roommates. I went out a few times this week. I started taking Spanish classes again. I'm generally content with everything in the city, except the Dengue (which is just fun to say. try it.) scares and bus pollution.

Everyone wants to blame the holidays, but I'm not so sure. It doesn't feel like Christmas. When you have to lay flat on your bed only in your underwear to avoid sweating profusely in your sleep, and your swatting mosquitoes and wearing OFF! as perfume it's hard to get into the spirit of St. Nick. So I don't blame the holidays for my current foul mood, I honestly forgot they were around.

I'm pretty sure I know where this unpleasant mood has stemmed from, but given that it's a bit personal and I'm already a dumb fool for not seeing it in the first place, I would rather not discuss it. Just be angry.

Last night I had a dream in Spanish. I was speaking in Spanish when someone came up to me and told me that I was saying things wrong. Grammar police in my dream? En serio?

Maybe my lack of Yoga this week is making me feel this way. Also, I think the arrival of Meg will cheer me up.


Summer Love.

I use my hands a lot to talk. A lot. Argentines use their hands a lot to speak, but I'm on the verge of looking like I'm learning Sign Language, not Spanish. Sometimes it's rather distracting. Or it causes me to drop drinks all over the floor in public restaurants. or onto my clothing. or all over my desk. or onto innocent bystanders. Usually it leads to some sort of public embarrassment, mostly for those around me who aren't used to being around someone who seems to have the coordination of a three-year-old.

I've made some decisions.
One: I will pay the fee of 300 pesos to legalize myself as a tourist again so that I can travel to Chile, Boliva and Peru with Megan. We will be leaving for the south of Argentina around the 10th of next month, start with south and work our way up. I won't ever have this opportunity again and this is why I came here. To travel. To live life. And that's just what I'm going to do.

Two: I'm going to apply to Miami Ad School Account Planning Bootcamp for Summer 2010 in Minneapolis, MN. This is something I've been thinking about for over a year. And I'm ready to apply. The deadline is in April. I can't afford it. But sometimes when you want something, the other things will work themselves out.

I suppose there should be more decisions based on the illusion I gave above. But this is enough for now.

Since I don't have as much work these days I'm trying to keep myself busy. Not to worry there are so many things to do in this city to keep my mind occupied. I want to do/go something/somewhere new every week. Even if it's small and sounds silly. These are the ideas I get from watching Breakfast at Tiffany's. Sunday I started-off this new tradition by buying myself some ice cream and eating it on the streets. Tonight I'll take myself to the movies. Tomorrow the MALBA is free and there is an Andy Warhol exibit. So really it's like I'm dating myself. Except the dates don't end with us making out. We're taking it slow. No strings attached.

Christmas is about a week or so away. I still haven't bought any presents. Wait. I don't have to buy any. The songs all say it's starting to feel a lot like Christmas, but how do they know that? It doesn't to me. It feels like summer. It feels like summer love. Summer heat. Summer dresses. Summer joy. I'm starting my new traditions. My own summer christmas traditions.

I've got it.

Three: I'm really happy.



"cataratas" that means waterfalls in argentine

Apologies for the delay in posting. I'm back from Iguazu. Not that anyone reads this shit anyway. Guess I should start insulting people more.

Here's a little re-cap of the trip....starting with my 19 hour bus ride.

Dec. 3. 2009.

18:30 hrs: Anywhere else in the world being somewhere 30 minutes before departure is a normal assumption. But in South America? Mind as well have showed up a day early, by the look on the guy's face when I asked where the platform was.

18:40 hrs: Sandwiched on the bench between two Argentine women and a crazy homeless woman. Normally I don't make accusations. But I gotta call this one the way I see it. At least she wiped the seat off when she got up.

18:50 hrs: The two (non-crazy) women next to me started a conversation with me. They wanted to give me advice and tips on my trip. Kind Argentines. Always knowing whats best for others. They ended the conversation by telling me my Spanish was good. Maybe they were crazy after all.

19:00hrs. On the bus. Alone for the first few minutes. Then in storms six very loud obnoxious Argentine men. This is going to be good. At least I have a seat separate from the others. Damn it! why don't I have an iPod?!

19:30hrs: I start journaling and looking out the window. I'm amazing at the river views the city has to offer. How have I never noticed this before.

20:20hrs: Argentine men and these two random (non-Argentine) guys are getting restless. They start helping themselves to the coke and coffee. At least they offered me some. How kind.

21:15hrs: Dinner is served. Chicken and mashed potatoes. And some mystery sausage meat. Reminds me of the crap my brother buys from Sam's Club. I bet he would love this.

22:00hrs: After dinner everyone settles into the movie. While a fellow traveler starts up a conversation with me. Come to find out him and his friend are from Holland traveling around Argentina. I suppose a few hours of conversation with a stranger is better than an iPod. What do you know?

Dec. 4. 2009.

07:25hrs: Wake up to the motion of the bus stopping. Being thankful for the eye mask I'm wearing, I don't have to expose my precious eyes to sunlight quite yet.

07:30hrs: Spoke to soon. The group of Argentine men are sharing stories of their sueƱos. Well, maybe. It's too early to hear all this talking. Much less, in Spanish.

10:00hrs: Argentine men are gone. Just me and the two Dutch guys and two women in the back traveling with their son.

11:00hrs: Being conversation with the other Dutch guy. I really want to brush my teeth.

12:00hrs: Just me and the two Dutch guys now. Having good conversation. Attempting to watch the movie Frost Nixon on the screen, not really going so well. Then the Dutch guys (Nick and Mathieu) start cracking jokes about The U.S. government. Took them long enough.

12:15hrs: Mathieu makes friends with the French girl that's sitting upstairs on the bus.

13:00hrs: OK. are we there yet? I come back from the bathroom and the Dutch boys are doing flips across the seats. Later they start playing football in the aisles.

13:42hrs: ARRIVAL!!! Survival of first 19-hour bus ride!!! Plus I have three new friends.

Dec. 5. 2009.

Day one at the park: walking. wild animals almost eating our lunch. waterfalls. joking. (the Dutch guys come with jokes, apparently). a boat tour. being soaking. eating our lunch in our underwear while our clothes dry. Two Dutch guys, a French girl, and an American eating lunch on a rock in front of the waterfalls can get a little attention from passer-byers. But it really doesn't get much better than this view, dudes.

Lazy and cheap I fill my water bottle up tap water. Vamos a ver.

Sunburn as hell. shit. that's going to hurt tomorrow.

Dec. 6. 2009.

Day two at the park: I was right about the sunburn. Me and my new German friend, Michael, head for the park. Exploring for tucans on the nature trail. I even brought Fruit Loops to lure them in. No luck. But we did see some beautiful butterflies. And a lizard without a tail.

It's Nick's, the Dutch guy, birthday. All of us go out to dinner at the "fancy" restaurant in Iguazu. I say twinkle lights qualify for fancy in this town.

Dec. 7. 2009.

Say goodbye to my new Dutch friends as they head off for their next journey. Celia (the French girl) and I head off to the threesome point. Paraguay, Brasil and Argentine meet as one at the river. Neato. But's it's too damn hot for a walk like this today. Catch the bus back to town and eat some delicious pumpkin gnocchi at a local restaurant. delicious.

Time for 19-hour bus ride. take two.

I really regret drinking that tap water a few days ago. Why do I have to be so cheap sometimes. Gotta learn. Gotta learn. somehow.

Not nearly as interesting. Lots of sleep. But I did successfully watch Changling only with Spanish subtitles.

Dec. 8. 2009.

Back to the city. Did someone order pollution with a side of dirty men cat calling at me?

p.s. Still regretting drinking the Iguazu tap water. My poor intestines.

So that was my trip. In a nutshell. I'm back. And it's hot as hell here in the city. I'm writing on my bed with the lights off because I'm trying not to create anymore heat than possible. My dumb fan is just circulating the warm air back onto me. How do people live without air conditioners? I'll be shriveled by the end of February. But at least my laundry will dry faster now.

About 85 percent of my students stopped taking classes for the summer. This should be good. No work until March. How fun! I love being poor and unemployed. Actually, a student offered to hook me up with a job a friends hostel. He's Argentine, so we'll see.

Meg is coming at the end of the month. We're set to head for the South around the 11 of January. After my short weekend away in Iguazu I'm ready for some travel.

Now I just have to figure out what to do in spare time until then. I think searching for the best public swimming pool in the city is a clever use of my time. Or riding the subte and have endless summer subte love affairs (a simple task of briefly fantasizing about the stranger next to you on the metro given the thrill that you'll never see them again). Or hit up all the hostels looking for a second job. Seems like the most productive use of my time. Probably end up take the subte, instead. Or maybe some Spanish lessons?


Let's get down.

I walk out of my apartment hoping for that fresh morning breeze to accompany me like a cup of morning coffee, instead I get smacked with storm clouds of bus pollution. There goes a few more brain cells. Way to go public transit you've just done your part to continue global warming! (high five) And because I've traded being able to afford where I live with...well let's face it-- a neighborhood lacking the classiest of folks. Usually there are an abundant amount of teenage boys drinking liters of beer on the sidewalk--especially on the corner by the Chinese restaurant. This morning as I was stepping out, I had the pleasure of witnessing a large German Sheppard unloading his business on the sidewalk. Excuse me, would you like this morning's newspaper. No? Guess I'll go around.

I'm ready to spend so time away from the city for a little while. Meet fellow travelers. You never realize exactly how much you like a place until you leave it. So, let's test the waters Buenos Aires. Do I love you?

Let's go super cama on a 19 hour bus ride! (twice) Pictures and updates when I return.