Blog Archives

Spanish and English are equally American

As a Science Fair participant, my older son had to work on a project, (which, as many parents know, means we end up spending money.) This project was no different and soon enough my son told us he needed to print photos to make the display board look more interesting. Since our printer is horribly outdated, we headed to Wal-Mart’s photo center.

As we worked on one of the computers to upload and print the photos, our younger son played on another touch screen right next to us, clicking around to amuse himself. At one point he clicked on the language option and told me “Look! You can do it in Spanish!” — But the fact that there was a Spanish option available didn’t surprise me.

What surprised me was that above the English option was an American flag… And above the Spanish option was…

another American flag. Kind of symbolic don’t you think?

Cellphone Fotos #4

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. English translation in italics!

El título se explica por sí mismo. Chécalo!
The title is self-explanatory. Check it out!

Coca-cola en botellas de vidrio.
Coca-cola in glass bottles.

Un librito con las letras de Los Panchos en una librería de libros usados.
A booklet with lyrics of Los Panchos in a used bookstore.

Carlos y yo fuimos al mall, dejando nuestros hijos en la casa. Mi hijo mayor se quejó de que lo dejamos en casa, así que, saqué esta foto y la mandé a su celular con un texto diciendo: “Tuvimos que dejarte en casa porque tenemos una cita con este hombre. Pórtate bien.”

Carlos and I went to the mall, leaving the kids in the house. My older son complained that we left them home, so I took this photo and sent it to his cell phone with a text saying: “We had to leave you home because we have an appointment with this man. Behave.”

Hombres lavando las ventanas. (Latinos valientes, por supuesto!)
Men washing windows. (Brave Latinos, of course!)

Mi hijo menor con gorro de oso polar. Qué cute!
My younger son with a polar bear hat. How cute!

Related Links:

Cellphone Fotos
Cellphone Fotos #2
Cellphone Fotos #3

Link: What’s On Your Phone Tuesdays

Tech to Connect at Blogalicious

I don’t love having my photo taken even under the best circumstances. My mother has always told me I have a “cat who swallowed the canary” smile. I’ve accepted my smile for what it is, but I’m still selective about which images of myself go up online.

At Blogalicious, I had to let go of the urge to control every picture that was taken of me. Within the first hour of the conference, I noticed several people taking my photo which made me self-conscious. I attempted to straighten my posture as I sat at the table trying to figure out the Sprint tablet, (which I had been loaned as part of my sponsorship.) Of course, within a minute I would forget about my posture, relax, and then a flash would go off again. I kind of had to give up on caring about those photos.

Figuring out the Sprint HTC EVO View 4G tablet - (me on the far left)

Getting good at tweeting on the Sprint tablet.

Once I accepted that dozens of “unapproved” photos were floating around in cyberspace, it was actually kind of freeing and I stopped caring.

I'm not quite at the level of not caring as my friend Roxana, who loves to make faces to annoy the photographer, but I aspire to be. (left to right, me, Roxana, Maura.)

me (left), Ezzy (right)

(left to right) Roxana, Ana, me

Blogueras! (And yes, I changed out of stylish shoes in favor of chanclas.)

So far I haven’t loved all the photos taken of me, but it’s okay. It’s not the end of the world and I’m not perfect. I’m just happy that Sprint loaned the tablet to me so that I could capture happy memories with my friends. (I can say that calmly for now because I still haven’t discovered any of the photos of me dancing. They’re out there somewhere though.)

Anyway, I took plenty of my own photos of amigas with the Sprint tablet, once I got the hang of it, if you want to go check those out.

More importantly, f you want to take your own photos, there’s an opportunity for you to win a Motorola Photon 4G smartphone at a Twitter party I’m co-hosting! (The Motorola Photon 4G has an 8 megapixels camera, digital zoom, flash, auto focus and image editing tools, among other features.)

For the official invite to the Twitter party with date, time and other details, check out the Latina Bloggers Connect Facebook page. Hope to see you there!

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Sprint sponsored the Latina Bloggers Connect team at the Blogalicious conference and made a Sprint HTC EVO View 4G tablet available for my use on a loan basis. All opinions are my own.

Bilingual signs, accordions, botas picudas y más

I know that some people are totally against signs being put into any language other than English in the United States, but I think that most bilinguals would agree with me that it’s pretty awesome. It’s a learning opportunity, gente! Take advantage of it! Free mini-Spanish lessons in every aisle of K-Mart.

While I walked around admiring the new bilingual signs at our K-Mart, (which I love), I did catch a typo, though.

On some of the signs where they attempted to use the word “cuidado” (care), like this one for fabric care products – they had accidentally switched the “u” and “i” …Oops. I thought about letting management know but didn’t want to seem obnoxious, plus, what if it’s a nationwide typo? … I’ll send them an E-mail.

Other chévere things I spotted while out and about…

This accordion was at Goodwill – I wanted it, but I don’t have $200 and I don’t know how to play it, so that would be kind of pointless, unless I have a third kid, which I’m not going to do. (My oldest son plays trumpet and my younger son is learning to play violin. Carlos has a guitar he’s supposed to be learning to play… I’m trying to create my own personal mariachi group, but without a third child, I won’t be able to start a group to play me norteñas. Rayos.)

Anyway, a few weeks ago we went to eat lunch at a little local Mexican place which is kind of new. It’s not fancy and is privately owned. Its got the expected stereotypical Mexican decorations on the walls but the food is more authentic, there’s a TV that plays telenovelas that the women watch while they cook and the little kids of the employees run around freely in the dining room. It’s kind of nice and makes you feel like you’re eating at a friend’s house.

So while we were sitting there waiting for our food, some of the kids run by and go into the office to play. (They left the “office” door open and there’s actually a bed and a bunch of toys in there.) … While I was looking in that direction, I noticed the coat stand in the corner there. On top was one of the novelty sombreros, and hanging below that was one of the kids’ backpacks, (Washington Redskins themed.) … The symbolism, irony and clash of cultures existing there on that coat stand made me think.

This last photo is from just the other day. We were grocery shopping and while we were in the produce section, this group of Mexican guys walks past. Carlos was watching me so I looked down respectfully and didn’t flirt.

“Look!” Carlos whispered to me. Permission to look? Órale!
I looked up but was confused as to why Carlos wanted me to.
“The boots,” Carlos clarified, pointing with his chin.
“Oh! Botas picudas!”
“Okay, calm down,” Carlos said.

Apparently I had become too excited for his liking, I couldn’t take my eyes off the boots though.

“I wish I could take a photo,” I said wistfully.
Carlos examined an apple and ignored me.

I gauged Carlos’s mood carefully and decided to take a chance.
“Would it be weird if you asked one of them if I could take a photo of his boots?”

Carlos hesitated for a few seconds but before I knew it, he was leading me over to one of the guys who was putting tomatoes into a bag.

“Excuse me,” Carlos said in Spanish. “My wife likes your boots. Do you mind me asking where you got them?”

The guy seemed a little weirded out and kept looking at us funny. He looked over his shoulder, either looking for a hidden camera (or something worse), or perhaps trying to get his compañeros attention so they could come rescue him from the cuckoo Salvadoran guy and his gringa.

He told us where he bought them and that they cost him $300.

“They’re really nice,” Carlos lied, (because he hates botas picudas. He was only doing this for me.) “Do you think my wife could take a photo of your boots?”

The guy waited a second to see if Carlos was joking and then laughing nervously, nodded his head yes.

“Gracias! Son padrisimas!” I squealed with all the enthusiasm one might give to a movie star upon getting their autograph.

“Calm down,” Carlos reminded me.

“Okay,” I said, kissing him on the cheek. “Thanks, nene.”

I always say that he’s lucky to have me because I put up with his hot temper and celos … but I’m lucky to have someone who puts up with my locuras, too.

El Salvador – Random Fotos

Things have been hectic at casa López. The niños are back to school and both have music lessons twice a week. Carlos, besides his full time work, is also back to school in the evenings. As for me, you may have noticed, I haven’t been blogging as much – and believe me, it isn’t because I don’t want to. I have been so busy with various freelance projects that I haven’t had time. I just want you all to know that even though I haven’t responded in comments or gotten to visit all your Spanish Friday posts yet – that I love that you continue to come here and read and talk to me. Your support and friendship means more than I can say.

Okay, before this gets more mushy than necessary, I will share some random photos from El Salvador to make up for the drastic decrease in posts. Listos? … Here we go.

This is the U.S. Embassy in El Salvador. It looks kind of like a really nice residential building. Where is the American flag? How would I find this place in an emergency?

I saw these weird trees at Metrocentro in the plaza outside Mister Donut. Anyone know what they are?

The trees have these long strands that hang down in bunches and they drop purple-ish berries of some sort. I asked the teenage son of Carlos’ friend what they are, thinking that as a native he would know. “I don’t know,” he said in Spanish, “but they stain your shoes.” … And so, until someone tells me otherwise, those are Manchazapatos trees.

This is probably the only Mexican restaurant I saw in El Salvador. I never did get to eat at this place, but the sign made me smile.

My younger son stopped short on a pasarela and pointed. “Take a picture! Look! That’s our name!” It’s no use explaining that “López” is the “Smith” of Latin America, so I took a photo. Then Carlos started with the lies. “That crane belongs to me. That’s my construction company,” he said, completely straight-faced.
“Nuh-uh, Daddy! Tell the truth!” our son said, with a hand on his hip.
“It’s true!” Carlos said, pretending to be indignant. “My company built this whole mall!”

Carlos always makes things like that up, so it’s no wonder the kids have turned into good liars too. A few weeks ago my younger son said a kid at school asked him if he was related to George Lopez.
“What did you say?” I asked.
He smirked. “I said, ‘yeah, he’s my uncle. Uncle George.’”

SIGH. Anyway… moving on.

Ruuuuuuuuuun!!! … There’s a pasarela right there, but these young people decided to risk their lives instead. This photo makes a good writing prompt though. There’s a story here, (feel free to make one up in comments!) … Also, not to make light of something serious, but the trio kind of remind me of that immigration sign along highways near the border here in the U.S.

Want more photos of Salvadorans living dangerously? Sure.

This guy is riding his bicycle while holding onto a bus. We followed behind for quite awhile and at one point the bus went so fast that the bicycle wheels started to wobble and the guy looked like he almost lost control for a second. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat when that happened. We had already seen one dead body along the side of the road, (the police were covering it up), and I really didn’t want to watch someone die to top things off.

While riding in the backseat of Carlos’s friend’s car one day, we pulled up behind these guys in the back of a truck. I wanted to take a photo but one of the guys was staring right at me. I voiced my frustration out loud and Carlos’s friend said, “Take his photo! He doesn’t care, he likes it!” … he took my camera and snapped the photo, and it looks like the guy even smiled for us. Maybe he did like it.

Lastly, up close and personal with El Salvador’s “chuchos aguacateros” – (street dogs.)

Each evening in El Salvador, I would hook my camera up to the computer and upload the photos from the day, just in case my camera got stolen. (That way I’d lose the camera, but not the photos.) Well, when that dog nose photo popped up on the screen, the boys and I laughed until we cried and until our sides hurt. Carlos was confused as to what was so funny, which made it even worse. I never thought this accidental canine close-up would be full of such happy memories.

El Salvador – Perros Aguacateros

If you’ve known me for any amount of time, you know that my interests can get very specific, and perhaps, a little peculiar. “Perros Aguacateros” or “Chuchos Aguacateros” (Salvadoran street dogs) are a good example of this.

When I first visited El Salvador in 1999, the street dogs were one of the things that caught my eye, and won my heart.

“Why didn’t you tell me you had stray dogs all over the place here?” I asked Carlos. He shrugged. It hadn’t occurred to him that this would be of any interest to me, and perhaps it would be like telling someone outside the United States that we have fire hydrants – it’s just something that’s there, that we really don’t find very interesting.

Coming from a place where seeing a dog running around on its own sends me looking for a leash to capture it so I can try to return it to its owner, the perros aguacateros of El Salvador fascinate me. I love dogs, and although I feel sad that these street dogs live without families and have to eat trash to survive, I love seeing them and photographing them, (even as locals laugh at me) – and to many people’s horror – I love petting them, too.

This time when we went to El Salvador, I was really looking forward to seeing mis queridos aguacateros again, but they were fewer in numbers. I was told that the government has been making efforts to get them off the streets. It’s a good thing, (although I doubt they’re adopted out), and a sad thing too, because they’re such an integral part of the culture.

Carlos’s best friend and his son showed us around for most of our stay, and although they originally laughed at my obsession with the street dogs, they soon began pointing them out and trying to help me find them, “Tracy! Aguacatero!” … It was good therapy too, because we had to put our dog to sleep about a week before we left.

Here are my favorite shots I took of los perros aguacateros of El Salvador. (Photos of aguacateros from my 1999 trip HERE.)

Blogger vs. Blogger – Juan of Words vs. Latinaish

All siblings end up fighting eventually – even hermanos del alma. Today mi hermano Juan and I come to blows in the first Blogger vs. Blogger challenge.

Okay, there’s no real fight, but here’s the deal. Juan challenged me to take photos in different categories he chose. Today we’re both posting those photos and you, mi gente, will choose the winner in this friendly game. Check out my photos, leave a comment, and be sure to go check out and comment on Juan’s post, too.

Vamanos!

Silly Photo With Your Family

Honestly, we took sillier ones, but I like this one best. I set the timer on my camera and took this at the National Gallery of Art in D.C. in the modern art wing.

Favorite Local Dish in your Area

This was difficult. I didn’t get around to visiting my favorite pupusa place, La Frontera in Gaithersburg, Maryland but here is a different favorite dish at a local place that I would rank in my top 10.

This is “Casuela Mexicana” – Enough shrimp, steak, chicken and chorizo for four people, served with rice, beans, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, guacamole, sour cream and tortillas. Cost is $31.00 at Viva Mexico in Inwood, W.Virginia – 10 minutes from the Virginia border and 30 minutes from the Maryland border.

Favorite Outdoor spot for Brainstorming

The hammock in the backyard, (or “gringo tipper” as my parents call it since they fell out of it a few times.) We’ve gone through a few. One disintegrated, the other broke when the whole family piled into it. We’ll have to buy another one when we go to El Salvador later this month because I love going there to think, relax, nap, or get away from the yelling when Carlos and Suegra are arguing.

Favorite Nook of your House

This category was also difficult because my house is smaller than some apartments. It’s all one floor, no basement, no upstairs, not even an attic or garage. The house itself qualifies as a “nook”! The one spot I have is my “office” which is a corner of our bedroom I carved out for myself. Everyone respects this spot – no one touches it and even neat-freak Carlos doesn’t complain about the creative messes on my desk. It’s the only place that is totally mine.

Favorite Family Spot

We have a few places we like to go, but I think everyone’s favorite is the National Mall. We go to the museums a lot, even though we’ve seen them a million times, and sometimes we just walk around.

Best Kept Secret in your Area

Can you even tell what this is? It’s a pedestrian tunnel connecting the East and West wings of the National Gallery of Art museums. There’s a 200 foot long moving walkway and 41,000 LEDs. The tunnel is actually an art installation by Leo Villareal called “Multiverse.” I suspect that many people who have been to the museums “a million times” like we have don’t even know it’s down there, because I only recently discovered it myself. (You can see video of it in motion HERE.)

Most Random Item in your House

Okay, fair warning, this is kind of offensive… but then again, there are plenty of statues, both modern and ancient that are naked, so let’s pretend to be mature and intellectual for a moment…

Okay, not exactly Michelangelo’s David. Why do we even own this ugly ass keychain? … It belonged to Carlos’s father, so it’s kind of special to him. Thankfully Carlos keeps it in a drawer and doesn’t carry it around.

If the sky were falling, first thing you would grab after people

I don’t know about the sky falling, but if there was some reason we needed to evacuate, I’ve always said I would grab our photo albums.

Favorite Piece of Art in the House

This is from a children’s book called “El Canto de las Palomas” by Juan Felipe Herrera. The book was damaged so I recycled some of the beautiful illustrations by Elly Simmons into framed art.

Favorite Pair of Shoes

Carlos should count his lucky stars he married a girl like me. Not only do I put up with his mother, but I don’t like fancy jewelery or expensive shoes. My favorite pair of shoes?

A cheap pair of black chanclas. I have several similar pairs but these are my new ones to wear to El Salvador so they’re my favorites right now.

Okay – ya estuvo! Leave a comment, let me know what you liked, and then visit Juan!

Win or Lose, a Day to Remember

I’ve now had two days to recover from the Copa Oro games we went to on Sunday, pero todavia estoy completamente rendida.

The night before, I couldn’t sleep, half from excitement and half from anxiety about the tickets. Following the wise advice of a friend, we arrived hours early at the stadium. (Gracias to Rudy, who we actually got to meet briefly at the game.)

We went straight to the “Will Call” window and I gave them my I.D. I watched them shuffle around and come up empty-handed. I watched them check and re-check. I knew this would happen. They apologized that they didn’t have tickets for me under my name. I called the number of the on-site manager that State Farm had given me in case I ran into problems – he assured me he had the tickets on him. When we met him in the parking lot where State Farm had set up, true to his word, he had the tickets. I resisted kissing him and instead let him tell me about some of the fun things they were doing there.

I talked with someone about the sOccket ball and she showed me how it worked. I also got to check out the State Farm iPhone app, Kick4ACause which allows you to donate electricity just by playing the game. [See video of me playing]

As Carlos and I decided what to do next, a mini-Salvadoran pride parade broke out. Of course we joined in.

The parade went around the parking lot making all kinds of noise. At one point we clashed with a group of panameños, but after dancing with them for awhile, the parade continued on, much to the bewilderment of gringos trying to tailgate in peace.

When gringos tried to interact with Salvadorans though, the Salvadoran response always made me smile. When gringos shouted “U.S.A.!” – the Salvadorans didn’t feel threatened – they joined them in chants for the red, white and blue. I wonder if this made an impression on anyone in that parking lot who had expected a different reaction – to realize that it’s possible to have enough love for the place of your birth, language or culture – but feel equally proud of the country you now live in.

After the mini-parade we sought shade and a late [very expensive] lunch inside the stadium. We found our seats and waited.

Salvadorans seemed amused by my "Guanaco Pitbull" shirt, but I didn't realize how confusing it would be for non-Salvadorans, who seemed to puzzle over what it meant.

While waiting, I observed a lot of Salvadorans who came prepared to not only cheer on El Salvador, but the United States as well. Many wore La Selecta T-shirts, but carried American flags. The “U.S.A.!” chant was alive and well in sections full of Salvadorans during the U.S. vs. Jamaica game.

The game itself was great, but the sky was so cloudy that I wasn’t able to access Twitter on my phone which was frustrating.

After the United States won, we were all full of happiness and hope for El Salvador.

Hearing the crowd sing the Himno Nacional de El Salvador made me tear up a little. To look around and know that all these Salvadorans were here together even though many, like Carlos, were far from their homeland… It’s difficult for me to put in words.

Being at the actual game instead of watching it on television is a unique experience. I’ve watched a lot of Salvadoran fútbol games on T.V. but never heard the crowd whistling in unison. Salvadorans have a unique way of whistling, (I wish I had caught it on video), but when you have thousands of people doing this, it sounds sort of like a forest full of parrots.

Speaking of whistling, at one point in the game, a Salvadoran player fell on top of a Panamanian player in a position that looked somewhat compromising. This got some funny responses from the crowd which I won’t repeat, but you definitely don’t get that on T.V. either.

As for the game – La Selecta missed a lot of opportunities on the field, but they did get this penalty shot which was very exciting.

Another highlight for me was seeing a guy run across the field with the Salvadoran flag. I know that’s frowned upon but it amused me, (and he was really fast. Maybe La Selecta should draft him?)

An unidentified man carries an El Salvador flag as he runs on the field during the second half of a CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Panama and El Salvador. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

(You can’t see on my video, but you can see in others that the Panamanian goalie threw the U.S. flag out of the goal. That’s what the booing was about at the end of the video.)

El Salvador was ready to win… and then Panama scored a goal in the last minute… at least they say they scored a goal. I’ve watched the replay two dozen times and can’t decide if it was good or not. If only there was video of it from the other side – pero ni modo, what’s done is done. There’s no use being bitter about it.

Okay…maybe a little.

Cover of El Diario de Hoy / Deportes

Here are some of my favorite photos I took during the game:

As you see, some guys had a banner that proclaimed Zelaya to be better than Chicharito. While I was there to support La Selecta with all my heart, I’m not so sure I agree. My Pitbull didn’t do much better. The game was full of excitement, tense moments, joy, disappointment – the poor Salvadorans around me went from elated to crushed over and over again. One guy often took his frustration out on the empty stadium seat in front of him. By the end of the game I was kind of surprised he hadn’t managed to rip it out as he repeatedly pounded on it screaming “P*TA! P*TA! P*TA! HIJUEP*TA!”

Carlos was calmer than that though I heard him say a few choice words under his breath after the final penalty shot shoot-out decided our fate.

Win or lose, it was an amazing experience. I know it was particularly special for Carlos. I asked him what it felt like being in the stadium surrounded by so many Salvadorans. He said it reminded him of home and the games he used to go to with his friends. The good thing about Salvadorans is that even though Carlos didn’t have his old friends with him, the guys seated around us were more than willing to fill-in for the day. I know Carlos to be a mostly quiet guy, but when he’s with other salvadoreños he opens up and is actually quite talkative. I love to see him uninhibited like that. [ Read Carlos's post about the day here.]

The game came to an end, but the brotherly love was far from over. On the way out of the stadium I was nearly crushed, (this panicked me for a minute but I knew Carlos would throw people left and right if I were in any danger.) … Then we missed the first Metro train because it was impossible to fit anymore people on it. We waited twenty more minutes for the pleasure of being crushed on the next train. Besides myself, I think there was only one other woman on the train – it was packed with young men wearing blue, and all of us, (myself included), were in serious need of some deodorant after a long day in the sun.

Despite the heat, lack of personal space, exhaustion and loss of the game, the group on the train remained in good spirits.

“Yo soy salvadoreño!” shouted one man still full of pride and warrior spirit, “Soy guerilla!”
A man from the other side of the train answered him back,
“Guerilla mi c*lo!”

(Don’t ask me to translate it to English. Somehow, it’s not as funny like that.)

Disclosure: I attended the Gold Cup games at the invitation of State Farm. All opinions are my own.

Crying in El Salvador

When we went to El Salvador in 1999, I was woefully under-prepared. With a trip to Europe and an afternoon in Tijuana under my belt, I thought I knew what to expect, but El Salvador threw me for a loop.

The weather was hot, I got sunburn and a urinary tract infection, the mosquitoes ate me alive, Suegra arranged for the baptism of my baby without permission, I had to sleep in a hammock, no one in the family had hot running water – (and that’s when the water wasn’t completely shut off), the baby had colic and cried almost non-stop, there were no seat belts so I thought we would all die in a car crash and I was starving because my gringo doctor scared me off eating most of the food saying I could get really sick.

After spending a sleepless night being eaten alive by mosquitoes and trying to hush my colicky baby, Suegra insists we have our son baptized. As you can see, I was crying.

It was unbearably hot and the baby was crying too. Even though I told the Tio not to, he began to strip off the baby’s clothes to cool him down.

More crying. (Carlos and the baby.)

The baby got to bathe in water warmed on the stove. I wasn’t so lucky.

Carlos enjoys a coconut and a break from all the crying.

On a pony… getting ready to cry.

And yet, ever since we left I’ve been saying that I want to go back — I guess I’ve always known that none of this was El Salvador’s fault – it was my fault because I wasn’t ready for it and I was being a spoiled American, (and come on, traveling with a baby can be hell even under the best circumstances.) I could see El Salvador’s beauty even through my tears. There was so much I loved, but I was so completely overwhelmed that I couldn’t take the time to experience it the way I wanted to. The only thing that has prevented another visit has been the expense – year after year, we just haven’t been able to afford it.

More than a decade later, everything has fallen into place so that we’re finally able to return, and the kids, (thankfully at an age that won’t require diaper changes or preparing bottles) – deserve to see where their father came from – a place which probably seems more make-believe than real to them at this point. El Salvador – as if Carlos and I invented a fairytale land of volcanoes, paletas, stray dogs, careening buses, pupusas, debris of war, the sound of green parrots flapping their wings, unexpected downpours which disappear as suddenly as they came.

And so, we re-new our passports with plans to travel sometime in August. We hope to bring back plenty of photos of us smiling, laughing, eating pupusas, climbing a volcano, riding the bus, and abandoning Suegra at a Tio’s house, lest she unexpectedly arrange my forced baptism.

___

Related Links:

The Pichichi
El Policía

Cellphone Fotos #3

Here is my week in cellphone fotos.

We went grocery shopping at Wally World as usual – but this caught me off guard. The toy aisle is right next to the fitness equipment aisle so I guess someone decided to be funny. It made me laugh, and quite frankly freaked me out a little, too. As I’ve mentioned before, dolls scare me.

Another day we ended up at Target. We went shoe shopping for the boys because all their old pairs are either out-grown or barely recognizable as footwear at this point.

Anyway, hanging from the ceiling at Target was a monster-size chancla. I said to my oldest son, “Imagine getting a chacletazo from THAT chancla!” … That inspired this photo:

On our shoe-shopping adventures, we ended up in the vicinity of a Petco, and our youngest son can not pass a pet store without asking to go and “just look.” (In case you need translating, “just look” means he is going to ask us to take home every animal in the store.)

I don’t need much convincing since I find the mice amusing with all their wheel-running and curious beady eyes – but this time I happened upon this ratoncito.

Is he not the most depressed ratoncito you’ve ever seen? Poor guy looks like he has the entire weight of the world on his furry little shoulders. (Don’t feel too sad. When I last checked on him before we left the store, he had gotten out of his food bowl in the corner and looked more cheerful. Mice don’t live long so they can’t afford to wallow in self pity for more than a few minutes. May we learn a lesson from the ratoncito!)

More shoe shopping took us to some outlets. While we were walking around, a car drove by and a guy yelled out to us, “I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!” before speeding off. It could have been a teenager being an ass, but I chose to take it as a random act of kindness. I’m thinking about doing this myself, (telling random people I love them, not being an ass, that is.)

At the outlets there are little kiddie rides here and there. The thing I love about my 9 year old is that he’s at that beautiful age where he’s aware of which things are now considered “childish” – but he’s still too fun-loving to care if he looks foolish.

He jumped right up on the carousel caballito and asked if we could insert some monedas. Unfortunately el cipote looks a little like the depressed ratoncito in that photo because the machine was already jammed with a stuck quarter. Carlos went to work to dislodge the coin but his fingers are kind of thick, so he wasn’t having much success. All of a sudden I had an idea. I pulled the gum out of my mouth, stuck it to the quarter and ta-da! We were 25 cents richer. I remembered a Sesame Street video from my childhood about retrieving a lost jack with a magnet – and that’s what inspired me. Thanks, Sesame Street!

For my last photo, I decided I wanted to show you all the “inspiration board” I have here at my desk because I want to encourage you to make one for yourself. The cork board itself costs less than $5, but you don’t even need one. You can just tack stuff to the wall – but put it somewhere you’ll see it often.

What do you put on your inspiration board? Anything that inspires you, reminds you of your goals/priorities, and makes you smile. I put a lot of quotes on mine, (including fortunes from Chinese take-out, but now that I’m eating healthier, I won’t be adding more to my collection.) … I also have a drawing from my youngest son that says he missed me, (he drew it while at school but it reminds me to spend time with the kids.) … As you can see, I also have photos of Chicharito and Espinoza Paz. Carlos objected to their inclusion. I told him that they inspire me but he doesn’t buy it. He said, “I’m going to make an inspiration board and put girls in bikinis on it.”

I told Carlos he’s being totally ridiculous. His comparison isn’t even valid – I mean, it isn’t like Espinoza and Chicharito are half-naked in the photos.

…(If anyone has photos of Espinoza or Chicharito half-naked though, you have my E-mail.)

Link: What’s On Your Phone Tuesdays

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