Friday, February 27, 2015

RPQ: Jealousy

It was Carrie Bradshaw who once said 'Sometimes there is nothing harder than being happy for somebody else, like extremely successful people who are 27'. And boy, was she right.

I've struggled with this several times. How is it that someone who is just out of school has a better job than I do? I've been out of school for 6 years, I have worked since before that and I've even studied some more, which supposedly is a good thing. 

Then again, I don't have to be happy for them, cause I don't know these people. The problem is when someone I should be happy for gets that job or gets engaged or has just bought a new house/car.

Personal and professional jealousy suck. You really want to be happy for your friends, and  you are, but it still gets to you, it gets to me anyway (please tell me I'm not alone here.) Deep down I can't help but wonder why them and not me. It just feels sometimes like some people have all the luck. My best friend and I have this ongoing thing when every time we hear good news from one of our friends we feel like the universe is playing favoritism.  

And then, I read somewhere that 'It is NOT a competition'. Life, that is. This was hard for me to come to terms with as I am and have always been a competitive person. I've busted my ass all my life to be the best that I can be at whatever it is that I do, and I like to think that I have succeeded. But this statement, could not be truer. We all do things at our own pace. What is good for others might not be good for me... And that is where Amy Poehler's quote comes in. It is one of the best things I have come across lately:

'Good for her! Not for me.' That is the motto women should constantly repeat over and over again. Good for her! Not for me.'

Instead of being jealous of what others are doing, buying, achieving, we need to think about what we are doing. We have to be thankful for what we have. We have to focus on ourselves. The only person I should compete with is me. It shouldn't be important to me what others are achieving, but what I am achieving. As long as I am happy with what I have, with what I am doing, that's all that matters. And if I am not, it is in my power to change that.

So next time I hear 'I'm getting married!', 'I got a raise!', 'I just booked a two month trip to Europe!', etcetera, etcetera, I'll be saying 'Congratulations' and being genuinely happy for them while I mentally recite 'Good for her. Not for me.'


* Image from here.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

24 Hours In The City

When a couple weeks ago my sisters came to visit, one of them stayed longer so that we both could go to Mexito City, each for her own business. I needed to pick an official document and my sister was going for an interview (more on that soon).

We arrived late afternoon and headed to our hostel. A and I had stayed there before and loved it. It is very well located in the midst of the City Center and within walking distanceof many transportation services and local attractions. Right after dropping our bags, we walked down Madero Avenue and headed to Bellas Artes. We had tacos al pastor for dinner at Salón Corona, right on Madero Avenue.

The next morning we headed to Altavista for Gaby's interview at Restaurante San Ángel Inn. After staying longer than I should have with her and her new aspiring cast member peeps, I went on to get my document, not far from there. By the time I got it and was heading back to meet up with Gaby, she was out of her interview.

We met at Starbucks right next door and after she told me how she nailed her interview, we went ahead and toured Diego Rivera's House and Study, right there in Altavista. It is definitely my favorite place in the city. It is the house where Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo lived after returning from a long stay in the US, a functionalist house designed by Mexican architect Juan O'Gorman.

Our trip finished with a meal at my favorite pizza place in the city. It is located in the border of Colonias Roma and Condesa, right around the block from where I used to live. We had bbq wings and a medium pizza, half Apolo ( chilorio + avocado ), half Ranchera ( beans + chorizo + tomato + avocado ). We also stopped at one of my favorite coffee places to get these almond rolls my mom really likes.

Back at the hostel, while Gaby picked up our bags I went up and got macaroons from the bakery*. Oh, yeah, and we headed up to the rooftop terrace where I took many photos of Gaby, none of which she was pleased with. 

It was 24 hours well spent.


* One of the greatest things of the hostel is that it's located within the most beautiful old building of the historic center, which also houses a boutique hotel, restaurants, cafes and designer shops, to name a few.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Man's Best Friend

This is the story of how a little pug puppy changed our lives forever.

My sister Gaby told me once how she had dreamed that she had a Pug and that his name was Camilo. I don't know why, but I mentioned this to A once. Time went by, can't really tell how much of it, but one day, A told me he had a friend from college who raised Pugs and that he wanted to surprise my sister with her dream pup, Camilo.

I was the one surprised because: 1. he remembered, and 2. he literally wanted to make Gaby's dream come true (I know, best brother in law EVER). Next thing we knew, he was asking my parents for permission to do so, as we both knew a puppy was a big responsibility and my parents had to be ok with it because well, Camilo would be living at their house.

At first, my dad was opposed to the idea because he didn't think my sister would take care of the puppy, and that he and my mom would be 'stuck' taking care of it and financially in charge. Nonetheless, they agreed, and the whole family waited until it was time for the new member of the family to be delivered.

Camilo stole everyone's heart from the minute he was dropped off. He was only two months old at the time and really tiny. He had (and still has) the cutest face a pug can have. He has brought joy and laughter and infinite happiness to my childhood home and everybody adores him. He's the funniest little pup we could have hoped for and everyday I'm thankful for having him (even though I don't get to see him that much).

I think my parents love him the most. Camilo sleeps with them and wakes them up everyday around 6 am to be taken out. He naps all day long in my mom's lap and waits impatiently for my dad to get home so he'll go out once again. When my parents go away, he gets so sad he doesn't eat, and it's so spoiled, he'll only eat if he's fed by hand. On those nights, he stands at the foot of the bed looking at the door, as if waiting for them to come home.

My dad says Camilo has changed his life and has helped him stay fit and healthy because he's now working out every morning after taking him out. My mom is happier and feels less lonely as she's always with Camilo. And although he can be annoying at times (he's a biter), he's the funniest, sweetest, most adorable creature and we all love him very very much. He's also a kisser.

He's about to turn 2 years old next month, but he's still very much a pup. Watching him grow and become what he is today has been a fun ride. He's so smart and caring. Last weekend when my parents were visiting A and me in Puebla, Gaby was in charge of taking him out, but since she's more of a night owl than a morning person, instead of waking her up at 6 am, Camilo slept in with her until noon. He's just the best that way.

It had never ocurred to me to have a pet pug and now I can't imagine my life without Camilo. The hardest part about leaving home when I visit, is saying goodbye to him. Do you have a puppy/pet you also adore? Last Friday was #LoveYourPetDay (tag your photos on Instagram!) but just like all the other family loving related holidays, we should love our pets every day. We sure do!


Saturday, February 14, 2015

All Time Favorites: TV Couples

Since it is after all February, the month of LOVE and Friendship, I thought it would be fun to share my favorite TV couples of all times, in no particular order.

Cody Madison + Lani McKenzie / Baywatch (1997)
The 'veteran' lifeguard and the rookie. After Lani hurts herself during a rescue and blows her dancing audition, decides to quit Baywatch, but Cody tells her he doesn't want her to go (aww...). They are a normal couple who do normal stuff like going to the movies (which results in Cody almost losing a victim) and tries to do stuff 'as a couple', like tandem surfing. If sticking by someone's side when they lose their hearing is not love, I don't know what is (Cody, I love you). They weren't together long , as Lani wanted to pursuit a dancing career and moved to NYC after only one season (smart, independent woman).

Hamilton Flemming + Jake Pratt / Young Americans (2000)
Hamilton is the dean's son at Rawley Academy for boys where Jake also attends. He likes Jake and they hang out together until one day Jake kisses him. Naturally he freaks out but they talk it over and agree to stay friends... that is until Hamilton can't fight his feelings and kisses Jake in the boys bathroom at prom. He immediately starts freaking out, thinking they are gay, until Jake confesses he is actually a girl (who dresses herself as a boy to call her mother's attention). They become a couple and even go out on a date as boy and girl. When they are caught getting friendly by the school's bad boy, Jake decides she's leaving to keep Hamilton's reputation, but he asks her not to and says he doesn't care about that (aww...). They separate for the summer and as they are saying their goodbyes Hamilton asks her not to stop hugging him (heart melting as I type). I hate the people who canceled this series after only 8 episodes :(

Steve Sanders + Clare Arnold / Beverly Hills 90210 (1995)
Their relationship was definitely not love at first sight. Clare was originally crushing on Brandon (who in that show and IRL wasn't?), and got together with Steve after they discovered they had been romancing each other on the Internet. They weren't exactly the perfect couple. Clare often underestimated Steve, she being a nerd (she actually tutored him on math) and Steve being an underachiever party boy. Maybe that's why they worked, maybe that's why they didn't, but in the mean time, they fell in love and we saw a side of Steve we hadn't before. I loved their love-hate relationship and how they were more alike than Clare cared to admit. They dated on and off, and their relationship ended when Clare chose to move to France with her father after graduation.

Lucas Scott + Brooke Davis / One Tree Hill (2003)
For the record, I love Julian Baker and I love him and Brooke together, but Brookas? Seriously, that was the best couple (I don't care what all the Leyton fans say). Brooke brought out the fun side of an otherwise boring Lucas and he made Brooke want to be better. I believe for at least a little while, Lucas was in love with Brooke. Otherwise, he would not have said she was the person he wanted standing next to him when all his dreams came true (the first time, anyway). He  wouldn't have told her in front of everyone at the beach how HE was the guy for her. He wouldn't have written her love letters  and stood out in the pouring rain (obviously) telling her why he loved her. Of course, in the end, he loved Peyton more and thanks to that, Brooke got fame, fortune and true love in the end.

Nathan Scott + Hailey James Scott / One Tree Hill (2003)
The jock and the nerdy girl, I honestly didn't believe this relationship would turn out the be the lasting one. But Hailey made Nathan a better guy, and although at first he was a jerk who started hanging out with her just to piss Lucas off, he ended up falling in love with her. That scene when he says to her how he wants to be a guy that is good enough to be seen with her... swoon. Hailey wanted to wait until she was married to have sex, and so they did, get married that is. It was a shocker and nobody thought it would last, but they proved all of us wrong. They went through thick and thin, being apart while she pursued her singing career dream and he did the basketball thing, finding balance while also raising a son. The thing about these two? They never gave up on each other, not even during the hardest of times. That is love. Always & forever.

Harry Goldenblatt + Charlotte York / Sex and the City (2006)
Yet another odd couple, Harry was originally Charlotte's divorce lawyer and she was repelled by him. He did not fit the standards Charlotte was looking for in a life partner, as he was chubby, short, bald and hairy and Charlotte wanted... well, the opposite. But he was also funny and kind and in love with her. They have sex and soon after she becomes emotionally attached, but knows they can't marry as she's not Jewish. So, she becomes Jewish. But then she screws up by stating that people wonder why such a girl like her would be with a guy like him. Harry is hurt and breaks up with her. Thankfully, they find their way back to each other at the synagogue's singles night, where she apologizes and he proposes. Happy ending! :)

Ross Geller + Rachel Green / Friends (1996)
We all knew from the beginning these two would end up together. Ross had been in love with Rachel since forever and I don't think that ever stopped. Why else would he have said her name at the altar while marrying another girl? Plus all the things he did through the years to show her how much he cared: stepping up to be her prom date after she was stood up (until that didn't happen), remembering about the broach that looked like her grandma's and getting that for her as a birthday present, letting her win at poker when she was broke? I mean, that's love. Neither of them were in other serious relationships throughout the series (Rachel and Joey? come on) and whenever they were, it spiked jealousy in the other person. No doubt these two are each other's lobster.

Seth Cohen + Summer Roberts / The O.C (2003)
Tale as old as time, the geek and the princess who would never dare to look at a 'loser'. It didn't matter to Seth the fact that he and Ana had so much in common, or that they got along great, or even that she was in love with him. For him, it had always been Summer, she was THE ONE. He had set his eyes on her since she read 'the mermaid poem' back in like the third grade. And although Summer was a little embarrassed to like Seth at first, she very much appreciated his grand gestures like standing up on top of a 'kissing cart' in the middle of a school fair thing on Valentine's day (non the less) and declaring her love for her. Being the awkward geek he was, Seth screwed up a lot, but always found a way to get back in to Summer's heart. They dated on and off, and after Summer decided to follow her dream as an environmentalist, they ended up getting married.

Derek Shepherd + Meredith Grey / Grey's Anatomy (2005)
Originally a one night stand, MerDer didn't know they would end up working together, let alone that Derek would be Meredith's boss at the hospital. After fighting her feelings for him, thinking no one would take her seriously for dating her boss, Meredith gives in and begins a relationship with Derek. That is until one night after their shift, Derek's wife Addison arrives at their workplace and so the infamous 'Pick me, chose me, love me' words are immortalized. She's had a tough life (being neglected by her famous mother and also surviving a bomb, a drowning, a gunman and a plane crash), but with Derek's help and love, she goes from 'dark and twisty' to 'bright and shiny'. And so after many, many years of fighting to have a relationship, MerDer 'marry' each other by writing their vows on a blue post-it. They are each other's person. Talk about a traditional couple.

Marshall Eriksen + Lily Aldrin / How I Met Your Mother (2005)
Although I sometimes find this couple too cheesy for my taste, I can't help but to adore them and even see a little of me & A in them (no, we don't have embarrasing pet names and A would never agree to a couple's costume). I love that they pause on arguments to have sex or eat lobster, and that they encourage each other to pursuit their dreams and support one another through hard times, putting their marriage first. Marshall is thoughtful, romantic and an idealistic, childlike dreamer, while Lily keeps him grounded within reason. They are best friends and lovers who have been together since college and (to Barney's disgust) they've only had sex with each other (aww..). Although they are a young couple, they feel more like an old married couple and are completely fine with that.

Damon Salvatore + Elena Gilbert / The Vampire Diaries (2011)
Stefan who? It was Damon who first met Elena, and then, don't even know why, sacrificed himself so that his brother could be happy... (did I get it right? CBB). But ultimately, Elena chose him. To quote T.S. 'He's so tall and handsome as hell, he's so bad but he does it so well', so what's not like LOVE about him? specially when he chooses not to be bad, for you? Specially when he's in bed with you and you ask what's with that face and he rolls his eyes saying he's happy (d y i n g...). I'm thinking I don't like Damon and Elena, just Damon, yes, definitely. 

Chuck Bass + Blair Waldorf / Gossip Girl (2007)
These are probably the only couple in my list who are two peas in a pod. Coming from the same world, and equally evil, self centered, spoiled and selfish, Chuck and Blair are meant for each other. He goes to Paris to get her macaroons! which I'm sure are available in NYC. He buys the present she wants from the jewelers on her 17th birthday. Who would have known Chuck Bass had a heart? Even though they go most of the series either without admitting how they feel or not being together over mommy/daddy issues, 'Chair' eventually put aside their crap and get together. One thing I did particularly  like about their relationship (twisted, I know) was the fact that they encouraged each other to be who they needed to be, before being together. 3 words, 8 letters.

Noticed how I didn't include Dawson's Creek couples? I hated those! I was never a fan of Pacey and Joey, and don't even get me started on Dawson and Joey. My fave couple was probably Jack and Jen and they weren't even a couple. Anyways, what's your favorite TV couple?


Friday, February 13, 2015

On Valentine's Day...

I am the kind of person who 'celebrates' everything (White T-shirt Day, Museum Selfie Day, Ice Cream for Breakfast Day and the list goes on. A teases me about this a lot), so naturally, Valentine's Day is at the top of my holiday list.

Although I've been in relationships before throughout my life, I have never celebrated VD in a romantic way, not because I didn't want to, but I guess it was not in the cards for me. My first VD with a boyfriend was spent at his house watching a slasher movie with my best friend as a third wheel. One time I got flowers on February 14th from my significant other and then never heard of him again. Another time, we had plans but I got stood up and ended up watching Mamma Mia! at home, ALONE. The closest to a decent VD was a couple years ago when I was in Puebla for work and got to eat lunch with A... and my mom. 

Even though A and I have been together for almost five years, we had never lived in the same place* until now, and because of that, we had not been able to celebrate this holiday. Not that A is the kind of person that would celebrate VD... he's the kind of person that believes love should be professed year round. But so should be the love for parents, grandparents, children, and we still 'celebrate' those holidays.

I guess how people feel about this holiday depends on their current relationship status, but what we have to keep in mind is that Valentine's Day celebrates love AND friendship. So, single? grab your gal pals! Like I said, I didn't always celebrate VD in a romantic way. I loved sending notes and roses to my girl friends via the school's secret cupid or prepping for our school's annual Valentines Day Festival where each group had to come up with an original song and choreography about friendship. We kept going back for years, even after we had graduated.

This year I was looking forward to food coloring everything possible, and eating lots of heart shaped stuff (Domino's pizza I'm looking at you), but I'll be OK with just eating chocolates (preferably in a heart shaped package). We are having pre-VD date night tonight, then VD lunch with friends tomorrow and enjoying the rest of the weekend with family visiting (escaping from Veracruz's Carnival). Do you celebrate VD? How are you celebrating?


*I moved in with A in Mexico City when I got back from Sheffield, but that just lasted a couple of months.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Sisters Weekend

A few weeks ago I wrote that my sisters and nieces were visiting us in Puebla for the long weekend. We hadn't been together in a looong time and had a blast touring and eating and plainly having fun.

They both arrived (separately) on saturday afternoon, so we took it pretty easy that night just taking them near by for dessert & dinner (in that order). We planned for breakfast / brunch / lunch for sunday at a recently discovered new favorite close to the city center, which we then visited despite the little ones' objections.

We walked the Barrio del artista, el Parián, Plazuela de los Sapos, the Zócalo and the Cathedral. Had a drink at the rooftop terrace of the Amparo Museum and took a lot of pictures in between. We couldn't visit the rooftop terrace of La Purificadora (another favorite) because they had an event, but thought we would just hit it next time they visit.

The Superbowl was the last thing in our minds, but we did get to see a bit of Katy Perry's performance and LOL at all the memes surrounding it. Probably the only Super Bowl thing about our weekend was our sunday night dinner: wings, onion rings, fries and beer (not for the kids).

My favorite part of the weekend was not photographed, but I guess that’s how it is. Playing board games with my favorite people in the world. And repeatedly listening to T.S. 'Blank Space'. And singing out loud Luis Miguel's greatest hits. And having Michelle take our pictures with funny faces and watch her turn those into the funniest christmas elfs video in history. Epic. Watching A play with Michelle early in the morning before the rest of the clan woke up, wasn’t so bad either. 


Katy Perry meme, from here.