7 Good Ideas That Proved to be Bad Choices This Week

1. Cooking a Romantic Dinner

Because then the power went out, the kitchen became hot as the devil’s inferno, and what was supposed to be a cute date night turned into my personal rendition of Paul Newman in the chaingang {you know…Cool Hand Luke? when he’s all sweaty? …get it…?}

2. La Fiesta de la Luna Llena {The Full Moon Party}

As the famous Gatsby declared, “a little party never hurt no body.” Except for he wasn’t thinking about parties on Wednesday nights. With hundreds of hippies. And fernet. And work the next day…

3. Terrace-Top Dining

So we have this terrace, and it’s beautiful. The roommates and I uncorked some wine, laid out plates and cutlery, and dined while overlooking the city’s rooftops. The next day however, I woke up with a million mosquito bites.

4. Shopping for Essential Oils

I’m enrolled in a massage therapy school beginning this March, so I figured I’d purchase some new oils to up my game. Well, while trying out the mint oil, I felt something in my eye, so I rubbed it. Yeaaaa. . . . I now know how Captain Hook felt with that eye patch.

5. Learning How To Download

I’ve now spent two full evenings after work watching my beloved Mindy Project that I never thought I’d be able to see again. What I should have been doing: going to the gym, eating dinner (not just peanut butter), or writing a blog post. Damn you, Mishka.

6.  Sweeping my Floor

Sweeping my floor quickly turned into mopping it as well, re-organizing my entire closet, re-matching all my socks to their rightful partners, and pulling the dust bunnies out of my backpack. It also resulted in me coming face-to-feelers with a cucaracha. And that was pretty terrifying.

7. Going to a Milonga

…in 38*celsius weather –aka 100 Farenheit. Again with the sweat.

How Sushi, Charades, & Sorority Girls Reminded Me How to LIVE

I’ve been prettyfreakinlucky in life. Ever since I got a hold of myself and got it together (well..that is to say, more together than before, but there’s always room for improvement), I’ve fallen into the right circles. Whether it’s been through job experiences, friends, internships, university, traveling, or otherwise, I’ve met the most interesting of folk that have motivated and inspired me.

For example, my friends from home (*insert teardrop and wave to Cali*). In an attempt to avoid subtle bragging, I’ll describe them as the most amazing people in this world (see –that wasn’t subtle at all!). As I keep up with their going-ons from hundreds/thousands/millions of miles away, I’m impressed by how much they do and how they do it. They created the best, most spontaneous memories of my uni days. Example. . . .

Max: “Hey, let’s go grab a beer downstairs.”

Me: “Umm..no? We have environmental law in an hour.”

Max: “Ya, and you barely pay attention anyways. At least it’ll be fun buzzed.”

Me: “What? I pay atte– I mean, I take note– I mean, dammit Max, FINE!”

**Max calls classmates, we meet up at 3rd & U, down beers, stumble to lecture, point and giggle at the hot TA, and answer way to many questions under the influence of liquid courage. Then afterwards, everyone dresses up in 70s outfits and we go to Funk Night to dance** 

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Yes, they taught me well. These babes showed me that life is meant for LIVING, and together we learned how. And I know the above example sounds trivial (cool. girl went to class drunk. what a bad student.) but it’s the simplest, most straight-forward example of what I’m trying to say, which is:

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TIME HERE.

And by HERE, I mean, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing.

On one of my last nights in college, seated with a group of my sorority’s newest freshmen and sophomores staring up at me, I choked on my words as I encouraged them to not waste one moment of their uni experience: to always choose going to Farmer’s Market with friends over writing an essay that’s due next week; to never watch TV alone when you could be watching with your roommates; to give up that internship/extracurricular/boy that makes you unhappy (even just 65% of the time) and takes away from what’s most important –time with the people that love you.

BECAUSE IN EVERYDAY LIFE, IN WHAT WE SOMETIMES THINK IS THE MUNDANE, LIES BEAUTY. AND IT’S YOUR JOB –NO ONE ELSE’S– TO FIND IT.

Always do MORE. Hell, I even have a tattoo to remind me that even when things suck, you can turn them around. If Plan A fails, hop right on the Plan B train {oooo that sounds bad…}.

Last night, in the beautiful city of Buenos Aires, my roommates and I got way too excited over the sushi we called in for delivery to our PH (don’t ask me what “PH” stands for, I still don’t know. But “penthouse” has already been ruled out). We love sushi. Like, LOVE it. So after two hours of waiting, we were like “what the heck? where’s our grub” (or more appropriately: “che boludooooo, donde está mi maldito sushi?!”). So I called and had a pretty intense debacle with the lying manager over the phone as my roommates cheered me on. After I lost my sushi-fueled phone debate, we were forced to come to terms that the sushi wasn’t coming.

Then we were all bummed because we wanted sushi. So we decided to buy wine. Then we got locked out of our apartment because the lock broke. Then we were stranded on the street, money-less and wine-opener-less.

….And we were starving.

A full 3 hours later, we found ourselves ordering empanadas at a shop around the corner. We were hungry, cranky, and tired. Basically, we were just a bunch of b****es waiting to be fed.

De repente, my roomie Nadine grabbed me, pulled me in front of the fan, and positioned me to do the Titanic “I’m Flying” scene with her as our hair was blown back from the circulating air. We started giggling. It was the first tinkle of happiness sputtered in over 3 hours. Then I whispered “Pirates of the Carribean” in her ear, and we got into position to act out Jack Sparrow and Will Turner, thus beginning a game of charades between myself, Nadine, Gen, and Mishka for the next 15 or so minutes until our empanadas were ready. By the time “Dirty Dancing” came into play, we were a mess of giggles and weird body contortions (and almost a splattered Nadine, had Mishka not guessed the film before I Patrick Swayzed her above my head). We left the restaurant tired, but happy. Then chowed down on our empanadz and passed out.

This story is one of many similar experiences during my time traveling. The expats/backpackers/students I meet are traveling to have a good time. Ya you’re going to have bad times along with the good. Life ain’t made up of instagram/facebook-worthy moments. You’re gonna miss home, you’re gonna get dumped, you’re gonna be hospitalized –hell, maybe you’re gonna get fired! Just use it as motivation to move on to bigger and brighter things.

Now one last cliché to round out this post, and I’m leaving you with one of my favorites from Gandhi: “Everything you do in life will be insignificant, but it’s very important that you do it.” If Nadine didn’t giggle, I wouldn’t have either, and the night would have ended with us trudging home, still miserable. If I hadn’t gone to get beers with Max before class, I wouldn’t have paid so much attention to the cute TA, who hinted at key concepts for the final exam {which I ended up getting a B+ on thankyouverymuch}.

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Always choose to see the glass half full (shoot, I guess I lied about being done with clichés) and do little things (smile, give a compliment, spend time with your friends/parents) that will make you a contribution to the world, not just another carbon footprint.

…now go scrub your feet till theyre squeaky clean and eat something that will make you poop. Both insignificant. But both VERY good starts to a lifetime of happiness.

7 Things {I have no control over} That Will Happen on the Night of the Luna Llena

1. I will have nightmares.

I’ll dream I drown someone in kool-aid. I’ll dream my mom dies, and I’m forced to attend her funeral even though I can’t find my right shoulder, nor my left hand to wear to the ceremony. I’ll dream my brother drives me to McDonald’s, buys a Big Mac, and does a flip with the car with each bite he takes.

2. I will make a plethora of grammatical errors.

Causing co-workers and superiors to question my level of intelligence when I scribe “toad” instead of “towed” and “bowel” instead of “bowl.”

3. I will fall in love with you.

If you’re of male orientation, mildly attractive, and can incorporate my name into a rap, I will fall head over heels in love with you. And will blame you relentlessly when our young love is squandered.

4. I will eat peanut butter.

And if I don’t have a spoonful of it in my hand, I’ll walk around like The Grinch until I can devour a chunky, nutty spoonful of said product. Or it’s riquísimo cousin, Nutella.

5. You will get the urge to randomly facebook message me.

Seriously, I get the most random, unexpected facebook messages right before the full moon. And then –once the full moon has passed– they stop responding to me.

6. I will play & sing Enrique Iglesias’ music way past tolerable limits.

Unabashedly, I will repeat every single Enrique song I’ve downloaded in the history of my 22 years, until I’ve deprived both my and my roommate’s ears of all quality noise.

7. I will sweat.

My fan won’t keep me from perspiring. Coffee and mate will be expelled from my mug due to the fact I’ll think they’re causing my sweaty palms. But then I’ll begin to nod off one measly hour after waking. So I’ll chug some coffee, and be really annoyed when my stomach revolts against said consumption.

…and then I’ll go get my peanut butter.

{happy full moon, errybody}1471783_10152129545098594_206786598_n

A Moveable Feast

If you haven’t figured it out by now, all I do in Buenos Aires is eat! Tuesday night, my future-personal-chef-when-I’m-rich-and-famous friend Chiara made an amazing cena for friends and her visiting mum. Below are the deliciioussss highlights {disclaimer: mouth may water}

3e3df5daf794c318d02479a75bb67f32 (1){Earnest Ernest}

DSC01996{very happy diners with the chef}

DSC01277{first things first . . . vino!}

DSC01280{all the love that goes into baking pan}

DSC01287{and carne. ooo yeaaa}

DSC01296{the beautiful meal}

DSC01272{the beautiful mum!}

DSC01293{tomato salad}

DSC01292{keepin it fresh & rico}

DSC01291{personal favorite: potato & squid salad}

DSC01320{post-meal mommy-daughter cuddles}

G I R L Y

My point in all of this is that the term “girly”, in the outdated sense, is over. In recent history it was taken hostage and twisted to mean “weak” or “vain” or “fussy” or “vapid”. “Feminine” was re-worked to be something visually pleasing, physically alluring or too delicate to function without masculine aid. Now we question these definitions: What’s stopping women from being flirtatious and smart at the same time? Why can’t they be outdoorsy and swear like a sailor but still feel beautiful? Or quiet and introverted? Or why not all of these things? If a woman chooses to wear sparkling rosy blush, how does that make her any less or any better than the woman next to her wearing no makeup at all?

You see, I’m no “girly girl” in the traditional, patriarchal sense. And neither are you. Because none of us are weak or fragile or petty or vain. We are complex. We are enigmas. We are tough, professional or soft-spoken; we are curved or thin, gamers or shoppers. We sport perfectly shiny shellac manicures or chipping blue polish that’s been chewed out of nervousness. We own a drawer full of cute, heart-print underwear right above the drawer containing that old beat-up AC/DC tee. We wear pink and green and orange and fluorescent yellow. We have ex-girlfriends and ex-boyfriends. We have gal pals galore or, perhaps, feel more comfortable hanging with the guys. Sometimes we like to be swept off of our feet and held like a porcelain doll. Sometimes we just need a punching bag and a pair of gloves.

A Friendsgiving For the Rest of Us

Preface: You’d be surprised how a person can ruin Thanksgiving. Or maybe I’m just miraculously gifted in doing so. Take the year I spent T-giving with a frozen turkey dinner and college essays. I had mistakenly told my mom I would be spending the holiday with my dad, and told my dad I was spending the day with my mom. I’m usually not too good at making plans, but even this err exceeded my normal incapacities. Since I ended up spending the day in an empty house, I decided to be productive por lo menos and took a crack at finishing my college essays {…at least that result worked out in my favor}.

But it’s not just me –apparently screwing up Turkey Day runs in the gene pool. One year, my mom made oatmeal cookies….with cooked oats. Apparently…{SUPPOSEDLY}….she didn’t realize you could add raw oats to cookie dough. And thus cooked them into a goopy porridge before adding them in to the batter. Thus producing even goopier, ungodly cookies. 

But enough with living in the past, let’s get to the delicious present……

A plus to me being thousands of miles away from home is that I am no longer able to screw up the good ol’ traditional Thanksgiving festivities. And since Thanksgiving doesn’t exist here, I decided I could re-create my own, and no matter HOW it turned out I’d be safe allright because this would be my personal re-invention of the holiday.

And thus, FRIENDSGIVING in Buenos Aires was born!!!! Didn’t receive your invite? Well thank goodness I’ve posted a copy below then! The more the merrier, so should your family happen to be prone to cranberry sauce-flinging fights or conversations loaded with jabs at your religion/political views/lack of a boyfriend {I, thank goodness, do not come from such a lineage}, book your ticket NOW so you’ll get here in time for supper.

FRIENDSGIVINGyo!

What’s on the menu, you ask? So far I’ve heard a turkey WILL be present {God bless Meredith}, along with a baked pasta dish from a South African, papas a la crema from our Argentinian, apple crisp from a lovely German, cheesy cauliflower from the Italian, etc. etc. etc. All except 3 are foreign to this “Thanksgiving” we speak of, so I’m excited to {kind of} show them what it’s all about.

For those of you still looking for quick Turkey day fixes, I provide you with my easy-peasy but delicioussss dishes. Tomorrow I’ll be dishing out a traditional green bean casserole, a calabasa rice pilaf, and my famous {erhm..Toll House’s famous…} chocolate chip cookies.

Interesting fact: calabasa here refers to squash –not pumpkin– and so I’ll be making this calabasa rice pilaf with butternut squash, and not the usual Jack. In fact, pumpkins are a pretty rare site here! I saw a Jack-O-Lantern on my way home today, and tried to buy it off the produce grocer whose son had decorated it. I figured I could try my hand at making pumpkin pie. Well, the grocer eventually agreed to sell it…..but it’d cost me. Already holding an armful of groceries and feeling the ever-present hole in my pocket widening, I continued on my sad, pathetic, pumpkin-less way….

I found a great recipe on Smitten Kitchen for a green bean casserole that I could make partially ahead of time. Upon informing my friends they’d be eating my kind-of traditional attempt at Thanksgiving, they all immediately inquired about “this green bean casserole” cosita Americans are always eating on Turkey Day. So obviously, I had to make it. I figured it’d be easy…I had seen tons of Campbell’s soup ads before showing all you do is add cream of mushroom soup to canned grean beans, stir in some funion-looking thingies and BAM, there you have it! LADIES & GENTLEMEN,  I PRESENT THANKSGIVING!! Well…no such luck. None of these prepared things exist here. My friend suggested I purchase the fried onions they litter on top of panchos but I couldn’t find them in stores…and unless I wanted to find a hot dog stand and buy them off of the vendor {which I was not in the mood to do}, I’d have to make my own. Although I’ve only first started the process, and will assemble the finished product mañana, it’s lookin’ pretty darn rico.

DSC03003DSC03009{the ingredients}

DSC03017{Cooking the mushrooms & garlic –emitting one of the best smells in this world}

DSC03018{the finished mushroom cream sauce and cooked green beans}

DSC03021{add the two together and YUM!}

Tomorrow I’ll be making the fried onions and the calabasa rice pilaf.

Now onto the cookies. Remember the infamous chocolate chip cookies I made a few weeks ago? Ya, yeaaaa, that’s right…that time when Toll House lied to me…remember? Well I sure do. And with some minor adjustments to the recipe {refridgerating the dough before baking, less butter, and actually using baking powder —polvo para hornear– this time} the cookies have turned out magnificent! Now the trick will be to hide them from the roommates before the supper.

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That’s all the mouth-watering madness I have going on in la cocina de Raqui at the moment, but more to come tomorrow when there will be FOUR kooks in the kitchen to prep for the meal. The actual dinner will be taking place at a friend’s departamento in Palermo {she has a pool….so she wins}, and all in attendance will be bringing their own interpretation of a Thanksgiving dish to share.

I sincerely wish you the best this Thanksgiving –whether you nationally celebrate the holiday or not. I hope you each take a bit of time to reflect on all you have to be thankful for, and pray/chant/raindance {whatever it is you do} for those less fortunate.

So, happy November 28th everyone! I hope it’s a good one

Mi DIA de COMIDA {Buenos Aires Market}

Aaaah, las ferias de todas ferias. El sábado, los mejores “foodies” –una mezcla ecléctica de un chef, hippie, y amante de la comida {yo}– fueron avec plaisir a la mejor feria de Buenos Aires. Buenos Aires Market se realiza durante un fin de semana por mes, en parques diferentes por la ciudad. Este sábado, estuvo en Barrancas de Belgrano.

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DSC02887Hay más de sesenta productores, y un MONTÓN de productos..todos saludables! Hice mi compra de la semana. Que compré? {además de mucha cerveza…?} Mira las fotos para ver todo lo que hay y algunos de mis productores favoritos…

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Después, almorzamos en las mesas comunitarias del mercado. Hay muchos puestos de cada tipo de comida en el mundooooo! Raw food, macrobiótica, orgánica, vegana, brownies, licuados, chocolate, wraps, chocolate, wok, chocolate…chocolate…chocolate…..

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Cualquier feria que me da queso brulé es un amigo mio! Para ver más fotos y salivar un poquito más {y –supongo– a saber más información}, haz clic acá y ver su Facebook acá. Buen provecho!!