Wednesday, January 31, 2007

The Next Level of this Bloggy Thingy-Do (?)

I've been thinking about this for a while, and even now I'm not exactly sure how to communicate my thoughts about this matter.

This matter being, I'd like to make some money off this blog. The biggest thing I've got going against me, besides uber-competition from other bloggers with the same notion, is that I am utterly, UTTERLY clueless as to how to even do this. A lot of the blogs I read, mainly other mommy bloggers, have ads down the length of their entire blogs. Oh, those smart, enterprising moms! I want to be one of them!

Seriously, I have to admit I haven't done an extreme amount of research (yet); nor have I reached out to anyone who's got what I want (because I don't know any of them) to see what they did, how they did it, and if it's turned out to be a good move or not.

Still, I'm having these thoughts and am at least interest in researching this mainly as a way to help me get familiar with the world of freelancing and writing for a living and making money in ways I've never really known much about. And as I think about how I see my career evolving, I'm trying to really put down on paper the plan that I think will take me where I want to go.

Basically, the plan looks like this:

1. Write a lot
2. Make money

And these would be nice bonuses:

3. A schedule I get to create and manage (i.e., no office, no regular work hours)
4. Have time to enjoy my life

I'm trying to be realistic, though - this is a competitive market, I have no contacts, I might not make enough money, my writing might truly suck and no one will hire me anyway. So while I'm not (yet) hinging anything on this little writer's life dream of mine, I'm at least trying to learn more and take small steps.

Posted by Tere @ 1/31/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

I was Tagged

I normally reserve these thingies for my myspace blog (home of insignificant nonsense), but since I was tagged by a friend who just had her baby less than two hours ago, I figure I'll do it here, in her honor.

That makes no sense, but whatever.

This Moment: tired

Your Shoes: black boots

Craving: chocolate

The State of Your Home: disorganized, but almost complete

Annoyed By: so, so much

Noise In the Background: fingers typing on keyboard

Really Want To: sleep

Thinking about: all that is lacking

Smelling: popcorn

Favorite Product In Office Supply Aisle: notebooks

Don't Ever Want To: fail

Your Eye Color: brown

The Weather: cold

Have Never Tried: drugs

Think Everyone Should Try: Antella's key lime cake

Last Vacation Destination: NYC

The Last Thing You Had to Drink: water

Your Bad Habit: cursing

What You're Going To Do Now: whatever

I tried to keep it to one answer like I was supposed to, but you know, I'm not so good at keeping it short.

Posted by Tere @ 1/30/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, January 29, 2007

Veggies in a New House

So, seeing how we’re still reeling from the move that I’ve managed to turn into the drama of the century (and we're only in January!), the cooking was light this week. Also, this post is late due to a certain little monkey who was sick this weekend.

I managed to use what was left of the carrots and beets (ICK), as well as some green things that I just made a salad out of. My son had the broccoli, and that was pretty much it.

I still have a mountain of green beans - the funny thing is that I really like green beans (I have a kick-ass recipe I invented that makes them really spicy), but since I've basically not cooked, they're sitting there, waiting for me.

And while I didn't cook last week, I did this past weekend, so things are looking up as far as kitchen usage and my creativity coming back to me.

We got our last share on Saturday - will post about that this Friday.

Posted by Tere @ 1/29/2007   | | | links to this post

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Indigo Girls Concert: The Breath-Taking Details

My last post was done before I found out that one of my sisters and b-i-l were going to the concert, too. Now, it was my sisters who had introduced me to IG in the first place, but I really didn't know either one of them still liked them enough to attend a concert. Turns out I was wrong. My b-i-l, too is a fan, though he found their latest album particularly "not happy" - which is just how I like it!

So we met up just past the gate and hung out a bit while the opening act played. I wanted a t-shirt, but they only had size large. And then I saw it: A gray IG hoodie. OMG, had to have it, and have it I did. I love it.

Anyway, fast-forward to the concert itself. They did an acoustic set, no band, just them two playing a mix of new and old tunes. I have to say, they played all my favorites ("Dairy Queen", "Yield", "Become You", "Galileo"), with the exception of "Land of Canaan", "Fugitive" and a new one called "Dirt and Dead Ends". Still, I had been hoping for a full band. Many people prefer it when it's just them two, but I've seen them perform that way many more times than I have with a band. And with a band, the dynamic is different. Yes, it was incredibly awesome to see them jam out and sound amazing with just their voices and two guitars, but a band adds this oomph that takes it to another level.

And wouldn't you know it, they brought out 3/5 Human's band out for the encore, where they did two kick-ass versions of "Midnight Train to Georgia" and "Tether". I mean, AMAZING. It was almost a religious experience.

By the time the show was over, I felt so great. Well, great until we were back on the road, then exhaustion set in. [EDIT] This time around, there was no stalking loitering by the tour bus, since the exit from the stage area and bus were all located in a secure, gated area. I'm sure I could've figured something out, but besides needing to relieve my mom from babysitting, I was way too tired to bother.

And I have to say, concerts are definitely a whole different experience once you have kids. We left Max with a low-grade fever, and Ben spent the night checking the phone to see if my mom had called, while I kept silently praying that nothing happen. Meanwhile, we spent the entire time before IG came on discussing him and his overall awesomeness. That's how it's going to be for the rest of our lives, I suppose.

So I'm good until the next tour. And I definitely can't wait till Max is old enough to join us.


Posted by Tere @ 1/27/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, January 26, 2007

Who's the Best Lesbian of All? I Am

Today I'm a lesbian. Why? Because I've got the Indigo Girls concert tonight, and I insist on being nothing less than a non-lesbian lesbian. There's no other way to enjoy the show.

So can I freak out now?


This is my sixth or seven show, my second one at the Pompano Beach Ampitheatre. It's a small venue, which I love. My favorite concert so far was the last one I went to, at the Gusman in 2004, because we ended up on some empty seats in the front row (I was so terrified as Ben dragged me down the aisle because I was sure that the concert police were going to catch us in the middle of our self-appointed upgrade, but no one seemed to care).

So far I've met Amy three times: the first time I only had two seconds to tell her I loved her (SUCH a dork); the second time we got the rocking picture you're about to see; and by the third time, I felt like a seasoned Indigo Girls stalker (and prettiest lesbian of the bunch), and was actually calming the other girls down and giving them tips on what to do. When I finally saw Amy, I think I invited her out for dinner and drinks.

But see, that's the awesome thing about the Indigo Girls: they're so cool with their fans. Amy always takes the time to take pictures and sign autographs (though I've yet to see Emily hanging out). They really seem like the kind of people I could just kick back with and have some good conversation and beer. They're smart, real, and laid-back. That's my take, anyway.

The girls (plus a few guys) who linger around tend to get competitive (I'll never forget this one show at the Carefree Theater in WPB where this one chic would. not. shut. up. about her damn guitar, on which she composed endless love songs, which she was holding out like a sacrificial offering, half-crying every two minutes that Emily JUST HAD TO sign it), but I can deal with that. I just want to get a picture, an autograph, and stand around.

Because I mean, really, it's only a matter of time before Amy really notices me and realizes that I'm her coolest fan and that she JUST HAS TO take me up on that dinner and drinks offer.

Don't we look cute together?


Posted by Tere @ 1/26/2007   | | | links to this post

Pffft - Contest, Schmontest

America's Most Photogenic Baby? Right here, people, right here:


Posted by Tere @ 1/26/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

YouTube Stupid

I am. YouTube stupid, I mean. I was IMing with a co-worker (SO embarrassing to chat with people you barely know and who don't at all know you and come off like a blazing idiot) about some (namely, all) aspects of YouTube that I just don't get. This was a work conversation, I swear (look, for real).

Anyway, having this conversation brought my dirty secret (one of millions!) to the surface: I was never on YouTube until I had to start using it for this job.

What kind of blogger am I?

The kind who didn't want to be overwhelmed by thousands upon thousands of videos of that cover every imaginable (and many not) things. I don't have time for that. I do, eventually, have to get work done and mind my child. And while some people can balance work, parenting and YouTube, I don't think I can. I'm not an addictive personality, but there are some things that I suspect I can get really addicted to if I even open the door. It happened with eBay (although thank goodness that wore off). And with coffee (from which I will never separate). And YouTube raises that suspicion in me. So I'm better off avoiding it.

The thing is, we got a snazzy new video camera, and while I can't figure out how to get the video from the little DVD to the computer or onto the Internets, if I figure it out, I may need to use YouTube outside of work. And what then?

I fear for my soul.

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Posted by Tere @ 1/24/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Details, Details

Now that I'm all refreshed and calm after my workout yesterday, I can give you the thrilling, minute details of the last few days. Yay.

First of all, the move. My mental trick on myself worked. I devoted so much time to pissing and moaning about how awful it was going to be, that when Saturday rolled around, I was done bitching and ready to get moving. Ultimately, I didn't do much actual physical moving, since most things were too heavy for me. But whatever I could pack or carry or push around, I did. Thank goodness my sister and b-i-l were there to help, or it would have never gotten done.

Ben was a total stress ball over the move, which, so not good for MY state of mind. I had resolved to approach the move rationally and methodically. He, not so much. We're still recovering from that.

I also ended up miserable because half my shit stayed behind in the old place, despite the 50 times I pointed the boxes out; and 3 of my drawers that contained a large amount of small things (jewelry, lipstick, hairpins, etc.) fell in the truck and are now a jumbled mess of crap that I can't even begin to sift through. Ah well, moving hazards, I suppose. I'm over it, just dreading the mess I have to fix.

The house is shaping up quite well. I wish I had blocks of time to just focus on it, but I don't see it happening that way. I was hoping to get a lot done last night, but after getting home from my first workout session and showering, I was dead on the floor. Still, I'm anxious to get everything organized. I've already managed to put a lot of stuff in the garage, and that alone makes me happy. Besides the fact that I have a lot of crap, period, I have a lot of things that I don't use often enough to have out in my house (like my craft boxes, gift wrapping stuff, all the beach gear), and having those neatly organized in the garage has done a lot to make me feel good.

So, let's hope I can get the rest of the house in shape in the next couple of weeks.

And well, I'm now a full-fledged working out person. Yesterday was pretty great, actually, despite almost fainting and the burning pain in my chest. My trainer, Ana Maria, was great. She totally gets it. She could see when I was feeling like hell and had me stop and rest until she gave me the go-ahead. The exercises were challenging but fair, none of that pushing you to the ultimate edge shit. She said we'd get there soon enough. I liked that she was tough but fair and not at all yelling or doing that fake motivation thing. She also (obviously) gave me a list of food to eat, which is the hard part for me. I normally eat well, though I've been out of whack and not so healthy these last two months (between new job and move). Still, even in eating well, I don't always get enough fruits or veggies; or I keep healthy food around but don't eat enough variety. So, this part will be hard for me; it really, really will. Ana Maria told me I needed to stick to it at least a few weeks to get rid of toxins and purify my body, and afterwards I could slowly incorporate other foods and occasional treats.

I'm happy and excited to challenge myself in this way and about what the outcome will be after all this hard work and sacrifice gives me results. I have motivation and faith in myself like I've never had, and in many ways, it's due to my labor/childbirth experience and the way it made me see myself in a whole new way. Still, it's hard. It's a little scary. So, to keep myself inspired, I've taken some lyrics from the Indigo Girls song "Money Made You Mean" and have (incorrectly from the song's intent) applied them to myself and am repeating them as my mantra:

"Yeah it's just too hard, oh well, jump in.
Forget about the sharks and swim."

Still, I'd give anything for a Little Debbie Oatmeal Creme Pie right now....

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Posted by Tere @ 1/23/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, January 22, 2007

Well, I'm Alive

Or so it seems.... got the worst part of the move over with, but I'm left feeling tired and cranky. Actually, I'm in an awful mood, and it has nothing to do with the move. Whatever.

Moving on -- today is THE day. The day I start the journey to getting my body back and feeling, for the first time in ages, like an attractive woman again. I begin working out with a personal trainer today. DUN DUN DUUUN!!

I've thought a lot about why I feel so damn ugly and boring and blah, and while my first thoughts are about having had a baby and all that, it's deeper. I mean, I lost the weight quick (thanks to breastfeeding and lots of stroller pushing), and at one point was slimmer than I was before even getting pregnant. For me, there's something inherent to having a baby that has made me feel like my desirability factor has gone down to negative 300. Like, in theory, the fact that I'm a mother has now made me about as attractive and interesting and desired as a day-old hot dog. Maybe it was the fact that I dated way too many guys who were anti-kids, but now I'm convinced that anyone of the opposite sex, once they find out I have a kid, dismisses me as a human being who might at least be an interesting person to know. And perhaps that's such a minor thing in the great scheme of things, but it bugs me. I so hate how shit like that gets under my skin. I hate that I feel like I'm not worth much consideration unless I can pass for "attractive". I hate the emphasis that those closest to me put on such superficial bullshit and the way it affects my self-esteem. Maybe that's the gist of it then: lack of support where it matters most; feeling like nothing about me matters unless I look good first.

And I don't know - I see how my body's changed, and while it's really a question of just losing 5-10 lbs and getting toned, this body that I have now is not what I'm used to. And the fact that I'm unhappy with it makes me extra vulnerable and more susceptible to other people's manipulation, and I just don't like that. If I could look how I wanted to look (even if no one else likes, I just have to feel good about it), then I think my self-esteem would kick back up and I would be in a better position to stand up for myself and not take a lot of unnecessary shit I've been taking lately.

But well, today is a start. My best friend and I have committed to doing this, and I plan on sticking to it. I have an awful lot riding on this, and I won't be happy until I get what I want.

Posted by Tere @ 1/22/2007   | | | links to this post

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The Yard

Exhausted. Can't think. Can't move. Boxes everywhere.


I am so in love with my new backyard. Here she is. Various shots from different corners.

And the best part: my lovely mango tree.

Posted by Tere @ 1/21/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, January 19, 2007

Oh, Mother

I used my lunch break yesterday to run to Target (two Targets less than five minutes away from me! WHEEEEE! Also: dangerous) to buy some extra baby gates for the house. As I left the office, I was running in my head an IM chat I'd had earlier with a co-worker from Spain. He'd checked out my blog and commented on how cute my son is, and I had replied "I adore that child."

And I do. I adore Max with an intensity that totally freaks me out. It's so strong that I'd rather not dwell on it because it has the power to incapacitate me, and there's really just no time or space for me to be an emotional mess over all my fears and the intensity of my love for him. If I didn't stop and think every time I opened my mouth (and even though it's hard to believe, judging by what actually comes out of my mouth, I do stop and think), every word out of me would be about him and his sheer awesomeness. Sometimes, to counteract how emotionally vulnerable I feel about my son, I act way more indifferent and nonchalant than I really am.

But as I left the office for Target, I was thinking about how Max brings out all these feelings in me, how I feel so strongly for him and will kill anyone who hurts him; how on some days I worry about every single little hypothetical thing, which is really insane; how I'm still trying to find my way around this whole "mother" thing - and then the thought hit me: the problem is that I'm not a maternal person, and I wonder how that affects my ability to be a good mother.

I've always wanted kids. Although my pregnancy was unexpected, I was so incredibly happy I almost fainted. I am happy to be a mother. I'm happy to play with Max, to teach him, to care for him - even if some days I'm so exhausted that I'm short on patience or perspective - inside, I still love it. I loved him before he was born, and meeting him was the single-most elating thing I've ever known.

BUT - I'm missing something. I was never interested in babies in general. I've never been someone who's felt or proclaimed "I love babies!". I didn't dream of babies. I've never encountered a baby and felt like taking over and making them my own for the duration of my visit with them, holding and entertaining them. I just don't have the interest or skills. I feel like I am not in any way maternal. Some women, they just have it. They know what to do, no matter what the situation. Or, they emanate this motherlyness, this warm vibe of comfort and understanding - and I want so badly to be like that, to have my own mother-goddess warmth and understanding that just radiates from me. But I don't. I so, so don't. Not even close.

And when it comes to my own child, precisely because sometimes I'm short on patience and because my worry-wart tendencies get the best of me, sometimes I'm my own worst enemy. I can't enjoy the moment. I'm lucky if I snap out of it just as the day is ending, but usually, it's almost too late to just dive in and enjoy it. I can't seem to have the necessary perspective and perception necessary to handle things well and feel good and like I didn't just miss yet another opportunity to be the kind of mom I want to be.

I hate that about myself. I hate that in my head I'm this kick-ass mom who's fun and creative - but in real life I'm struggling to pry Max off the dog crate and off the window sill (don't ask) and am praying with all my heart that he just settle down for 10 minutes with one book or one toy; or the weekend hits and I feel utterly clueless as to what to do to entertain him and keep him busy and happy; or I find the right activity and he's cranky and uncooperative and I feel like it's the end of the world. And it's like all these maternal instincts and skills that I should have elude me; and that all this love and fierceness I feel for Max is all well and good, but it doesn't seem to be propelling me in the right direction.

I'm hoping it's a question of time, that as more time passes I get better at this. Because for my kids to end up stuck with me as is - it'd be a crappy thing for us all.

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Posted by Tere @ 1/19/2007   | | | links to this post

This Veggie Post Does Not Include Any Actual Veggies, But IS Full of Excuses!

I'm a total veggie loser this week. I've been dreading this post all week long, knowing - every time I stood at my fridge, admiring all the green goodness, then promptly closing said fridge and running out of the kitchen - that there was going to be no wholesome cooking on my part.

This week's share of local veggies included carrots, beets, green beans, an Asian mix (like a salad mix), and something called "braising mix," which I swear I've never heard of and have avoided using it in part because I was a little scared of it. I meant to take a picture of it to show you (as well as the carrots, which are adorable and small), but I didn't get around to it. This braising mix is a jumble of green leafy things and what looks like daisies. Thanks to KH, I now know what to do with them, though, and I'm going to give it a shot tonight.

So, my many excuses why I flaked this week:

* I'm moving tomorrow, and my week has been consumed with packing.

* We kinda packed the kitchen up.

* So we've been eating cereal and bagels all week.

* I have a lot of stuff (move, money, move, work, move, money) swirling in my head, which only makes me want to curl up on the couch in the fetal position and watch E!

* My current kitchen has a way of sucking any culinary inspiration out of me, mainly because it's a crap-ass kitchen.

* Thank goodness the kitchen doesn't move with us.

* Because I'd be really pissed if it.

So, next week will include a lot of cooking, or else all the green things in my fridge are going to attack us. Stay tuned for Adventures in the New Kitchen with Veggies We Never Eat and are a Little Perplexed By.

Last week's adventure.

Rebecca's adventure.

Posted by Tere @ 1/19/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Getting Schooled by the Mail Carrier; or, Adventures in Moving!

I answered a phone call this morning at about 7:45 a.m. that totally made me feel like a little girl getting her ass handed to her. It was my new mail carrier. The one who thought I'd called "headquarters" to complain about her - which I swear I hadn't.

Here's what happened: I'm moving about seven houses down from my parents (insert infinite variety of commentary about that decision here). Since we've had the house for a month now, we did the address change a couple of weeks ago, and we also began to update our address with several places like the bank and stuff. Basically, we began to get mail before the forwarding thing kicked in.

So then I'm at my parents' house over the weekend, and my mom hands me some mail. This mail was addressed to my new house, but the mail carrier had crossed it out, put my parents' house number and delivered it there. I concluded that he/she didn't know that someone with the same last name was now living down the street and assumed it was sent to that address by mistake, and so decided to leave it with my parents.

So I decided to call the local post office to let them know what the situation was so that the mail carrier would leave mail at the new place. But the local office wouldn't answer the phone, so I called the main number. I explained everything to the lady who helped me and let her know that I just thought the mail carrier was thrown off by seeing the same last name at an address down the street, but that it was correct.

And then Dione called this morning.

To be fair, she was totally polite and professional, but I could tell she was annoyed. I basically explained what I just said here, and she told me she figured I was moving but that the house was vacant and she didn't want to leave mail in a vacant house, so she left it with my parents figuring it'd get to me. So I told her I really appreciated her thoughtfulness and that we'd be in on Saturday for good. And then she asked if we'd gotten any of the mail that's started to forward, and I said yes (and this was the confusing part: why was some mail getting to the house and others to my parents?). So she said she was starting to leave the forwarded mail there and blah, blah, blah.

Then she goes "I was just surprised to see you called, because your parents are good people." WTF did she mean by that? That I'm not good people? That I shame my parents by calling the post office to clarify this matter? So I just told her that I didn't mean for my call to be taken as a complaint, that I was just wanted the local office to know that someone with the same last name as the couple seven houses down was in fact moving to that house and that mail could be left there. Then she (nicely) went off on how it was just a courtesy on her part because she didn't want to leave mail in a vacant house, that she knows my parents, that she'll leave packages at their house for me since my porch is locked (it's a gated porch), etc.

Basically, I got a nice, big guilt trip (which worked). She must be a mom.

And now I have to get her some nice gift for inadvertently coming off like an asshole, don't I?

Posted by Tere @ 1/17/2007   | | | links to this post

Update on Veggie Post

Rebecca gives us her take on the CSA trial share.

Posted by Tere @ 1/17/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Why Must You People Torture Me So???

This is exactly what I feared about having a blog: I am now obsessing over WHY ARE YOU PEOPLE NOT COMMENTING???

Am I not sufficiently entertaining? Can you not relate to ANYTHING I've written about lately? What? WHAT IS IT? What must I do to get some discussion going on this damned thing?

The frustrating part is that my stats indicate that I have a record number of readers. Great. I love you. I'm happy to see so many of you visit every day, or just about. So WTF?

I'm like freakin' Merlin trying to match my days with the highest numbers to the corresponding posts to see what seems to generate the most activity and then seeing if I can either regurgitate something similar or spin one thing off into another. I mean, I'm doing market research for you guys!

I can't make heads or tails of the numbers, though.... so I'll just keep writing about whatever the hell I want to. You all keep reading and leaving my comments section all sad and empty and alone, but just know that you're seriously killing me.

Posted by Tere @ 1/16/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, January 15, 2007

What I Learned This Weekend: I'm Too Old For This Shit

This weekend was full of lessons for me. Between picking out new living room furniture at Rooms To Go (they finally admitted our sofa was in fact a POS and agreed to replace it), going crazy with the move and working at a nightclub for a local rapper's birthday party, the weekend was ripe with things for me to learn. I'm a wiser woman now, and I share both my newly acquired wisdom and random weekend facts with you.

1. I can no longer deny the ugly truth: I am a procrastinator. I move in 5 days and have not packed 75% of my house. Well, like 40%, but it's the 40% of the house that contains the most crap.

2. Trips to Target needed to get everything we need: 3 so far.

3. Things we still forgot: 4, possibly 5. Most likely 6.

4. Number of times Ben told the RTG salesguy "yeah, but we've had such a bad experience with microfiber that I'm scared to go through this again, and on the other hand, leather might crack or fade" even though the guy had already explained that HE HAD NO MAGICAL GUARANTEES AND THE SAME WARRANTY APPLIED: eleventy billion

5. My nieces and nephew are turning into really cool big kids. I totally miss their baby years and relive some cute memory every time I see them, which makes my eldest niece look at me like I'm insane, but still. Great damn kids.

6. One of the best things about living in Miami (and my life) is Sunday morning breakfast out in my parents' covered terrace, with the family, a great breeze, moderate sun, fantastic food, and lots and lots of general lazying around the back yard afterwards.

7. Patio furniture is expensive. Too expensive for me to justify right now.

8. It never fails that when parents with kids of similar ages meet, the comparisons begin. There’s some comfort in knowing your kid’s not the only one who throws his food, bites and doesn’t yet master certain skills. Even if we hate to compare, we compare. It’s unavoidable.

9. My kid finally gives me a full night of sleep (as in, NO waking whatsoever), and instead of being grateful, Ben and I freak out and think the worst. So we check on him. And poke him. And wake his butt up. Only to retreat back to our room, hoping he didn’t notice us.

10. And finally: I’m too old for this shit. “This shit” being my spending my Sunday evening in a club full of 15-year-olds. I mean, I was yawning at 9:30 p.m. And when did I become so conservative? There were girls dressed there like full-on hookers. Seriously. Some were typical teenagers trying to be cute and girly, but others were in micro minis and crop tops that also exposed half their boobs. I’m not exaggerating. The worst part is that I just described a girl who was there with her mother. What do you think she looked like? That’s right, her pimp.

Overall, though, it was a fun thing – it was nice to get out and check this scene out for myself – a real departure from my regular life and even what my teen years were like. My first thought, though? I can see why this audience is a marketer’s dream. They wore better clothes than me, flashy jewelry and carried the latest gadgets. I didn’t stay the whole night (I was struggling to keep my eyes open by 10:30 p.m.), so I missed it when things really got fun, but well. I’m just too damn old to keep up with this kind of thing. Then again, this was a party for a young crowd, involving a genre of music that I don’t even listen to.

The best part, though, were all the moms and dads standing around, pressed up against the walls, huddled in corners. We hear too much of kids going to parties and doing crazy, stupid shit, and people always ask – where were their parents? So kudos to these parents for being there. I’m sure the kids were doing their best to avoid them and probably wanted to die whenever their parents approached them, but now that I’m on this side of the fence, I have to say: thank G-d there are still chaperonas to be had!

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Posted by Tere @ 1/15/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, January 12, 2007

Eating my Veggies Through Community Supported Agriculture

I've been trying to make an effort - basically since I hooked up with a gringo, who at the time we hooked up was a vegetarian, but after a few months with this Cubanita who's family gorges on pork on every special occasion, that was pretty much over - to eat more veggies. I did not grow up eating veggies. I mean, the veggies we Cubans eat - malanga, yuca, plantains, potatoes, boniato, etc. - turns out it's all starchy crap, and shouldn't be eaten in the amounts in which we eat them. The green, red, orange and yellow veggies - the ones that are good for you - those were around during my childhood, just not as the focus of our diets.

So basically, I've long been aware of my need to eat healthier, and if most veggies didn't taste like shit, I would've long been the kind of eater I want to be. As it is, I consider it a big deal that since I married Ben, I've developed a taste for and regularly eat tomatoes, corn, green beans and asparagus. Really, it was the accomplishment of the (last) century for me.

So when Rebecca from GreenerMIAMI contacted me about splitting a full share of locally grown veggies for the month of Janaury, courtesy of Redland Organics, I was all over that. It was the perfect thing: I would be in a position where I HAD TO eat my veggies (or be pissed at myself for wasting money), and I would get to support local agriculture.

What? You didn't know I was a total enviro-geek? Well, I'm not as much as I was as a teenager (when I spent my high school career as president of the environmental club), but I am in fact an environmentalist of sorts. I'm not where I'd like to be, but I definitely try to not be wasteful and use environmentally-friendly products and overall be conscious of my responsibility and obligation to be good to the Earth.

So this community supported agriculture thing is totally cool. We got our first set of veggies last Saturday, which included kale, chard and turnips. Which.... WTF. I couldn't have received a scarier bunch of veggies. Like, TOTAL TURN-OFF.

So the chard and kale are still in my fridge, but really just because it's been a crazy week and we only cooked once. The turnips I used to make a mash with carrots, potatoes and parsnips (which I'd never had before either, but the recipe called for them, so I should get extra points for going beyond my obligation). And you know, it was good. I pulled recipes for the other two and hope to use them between today and tomorrow, since the next shipment comes in tomorrow and I'm going to have a whole new set of veggies to deal with.

Overall, I'm excited about this. I don't know if I would commit to a full season of veggies ($580 for 20 weeks), but this one-month trial is a very cool thing.

More reports at the end of each week, as well as Rebecca's take, to come.

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Posted by Tere @ 1/12/2007   | | | links to this post

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Domesticity - It Just Keeps on Flowing

The other great part about my new house is the kitchen. In the great scheme of things, it's really just an old, regular-size kitchen. But to me - who can only see my new kitchen through the eyes of love - it is absolutely perfect. It will, no doubt, show me all its ugly defects soon enough, but for now, I love it for all that it is, and - more importantly - all that it's not.

It's not an apartment kitchen.

That's it right there.

Also, it's yellow. And the stove is a REAL stove, not one of those dreadful 20-inch pieces of shit that I've been cooking on since 2001. Or really, not cooking on, since I hate my current kitchen so much that I gave up cooking when Max was born. I've spent a year cooking no more than three times a week and having my family eat leftovers or take-out the rest of the week. And seriously? I love to cook. I really do. It's in my top three of things I love to do (along with reading and writing - I swear, I sound boring on paper but so am NOT in real life).

I miss cooking. I miss paging through my cook books and magazines, looking for something new to try. I miss planning a menu (though I don't do that often). And since I'm pretty desperate to have some kind of normalcy and quiet and peace in my life, being able to cook or bake if I want to - without having such little workspace that I can either have the mixing bowl on the counter OR the ingredients, but not both, without worrying if my pan is too big for the microscopic oven, and without being so crammed that to reach the blender I have to stumble through nine other appliances - well, it's a thought that makes my heart warm and content.

The kitchen is mine again.

Posted by Tere @ 1/11/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Will Someone Promise Me a Rose Garden?

I have two domestic skills I want to master. Not just learn, o.k.? MASTER. Be an expert in. Do them so well that people are awed by my super skills and I feel totally useful and accomplished.

Gardening and sewing. I aspire to be a master gardener and master sewer. Why? Because I now have a house, and people who live in houses do things like garden, sew, cook, and craft all manner of handy, ingenious little things. To be a house-dweller is to have domestic skills that transcend all the crap you did an apartment rat. I'm in a whole different league, and I have some catching up to do!

My new house has this huge yard that promises all kinds of gardening possibilities. A veggie garden in one corner. A section full of vibrant, gorgeous flowers in another. Really, the possibilities are endless. The thing is, all my previous attempts at gardening have all resulted in multitudes of dead flowers. I basically have no clue what I'm doing, considering that all I do is buy the plant, transplant it, and water it. Sometimes I leave them in the pot they came in. Either way, my water and love don't seem to be enough. They all die within a couple of months.

As for sewing - I used to sew when I was a kid. I'd make clothes for my Barbies, as well as little pillows and purses that I'd make with quilt patches. I also know minor repair like sewing on buttons, taking pants/skirts in at the waist and repairing holes. Thing is, I only know how to sew by hand, and my skills have seriously diminished over the years (and I was never that good to begin with). And I've always loved to sew - it relaxes me, and the thought of creating something from a bunch of material is very tantalizing to me.

So, the problem with my attempts to garden and sew is this: I've never bothered to properly learn them. I just taken them on, without any proper research, without reading anything, without consulting a pro. But now that I really and truly want to master these things, I recognize the importance of proper education. I'm basically just so excited about my new house and all the endless domestic possibilities that I'm giddy at the thought of spending my mornings out in the yard, tending to my veggies, herbs and flowers, while my son adorably tries to help me; and my evenings sitting in my living room, deftly creating some cute little number for my son to wear, or a cute dress for myself to wear on a dinner date with my husband, while my son peacefully plays at my feet or is blessedly asleep in his room.

Holy crap, where did that all come from?

Posted by Tere @ 1/10/2007   | | | links to this post

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Official Blogs and Other Corporate Notes

Now that I'm in my third week at my new job, I thought I'd give you all an update. Because you've been at the edge of your seat over this, haven't you?

As with most new jobs, the first weeks have been a bit slow. In the last few days I've begun to find my groove, settling into projects, feeling comfortable enough to approach people with questions and requests and such. It's still a process. The company is young, we all wear different hats at times, there' a lot of stuff coming up, so you know, it's all about adjusting and being flexible. It's definitely a laid-back place, and overall, so far, so good.

Which brings me to my blog plug (hhhmmm, sounds like something Manola would know all about!). I've been working on the Official elHood Blog, and really, you should show your love and support by paying a visit. This is a temporary thing until our site revamp is completed, at which point all users will have cool blogging technology within As long as it being hosted externally, we've closed comments. I'm going to ask, though, as a personal favor, please, please, pretty please, for some linkage if you cover local music in Miami, or local events, or anything along that vein (or, if you want to link because you just can't get enough of me, that's welcome, too). She's still a bitty baby, and I promise to improve as I get the swing of things around here.

Really, I just want people to get a feel for the kind of company we are, and the kind of projects we're working on. We've got a lot of events and contests in the works; we're starting to do a lot of work with local musicians (as well as some international artists); and you know, it's kinda my job to get the word out and get everyone excited about us and convince you to join our community.

Kinda like a cult. But with a cooler soundtrack.

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Posted by Tere @ 1/09/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, January 08, 2007

An Increase in Productivity

I actually got some things done this weekend. For real. Crap was organized. Furniture was cleaned. Things were packed.

The key to my very productive weekend? Being alone. With Ben at work and Max happily spending time with his godparents, I had the house to myself. And the slacking - it was virtually non-existent.

I don't know how it is for everyone else, but I just can't get things done unless I'm alone, even prior to having a baby. If there are people around, I'm sure to be distracted. And if that person is Ben, forget about it! Our cleaning styles are just too different. Basically, I want to clean my way, and he wants to tell me my way sucks. And once we start that back-and-forth, nothing gets done.

It's true, I can be slow. If I have large piles of statements, mail and receipts to go through, I like to sit there and go through them. I want to be sure I keep what needs to be kept or what I want to keep, and toss the rest. But basically, once I have my skates on, I get shit done. I can get the entire house done between mid-morning and mid-afternoon. Unlike some people (BENJAMIN), who take that much time to do the kitchen and organize the living room, and then make a big stink because, oh my G-d, they, like, spent the WHOLE DAY cleaning.

The problem with housekeeping is that, besides my hating it with every ounce of my being, between my pregnancy and Max's first year (as well as that awful period when we lived in Kendall), Ben's forgotten that long ago, I would spend one whole day a week, usually Saturday, cleaning top to bottom. Except the dishes, because those, I just won't do.

But now, the truth is that I'm out of practice - I no longer have the energy to spend so many hours cleaning. Or rather, organizing. Cleaning itself - while I hate it, I'm programmed to do it (thanks, mom!). It's physically hard for me to do it, because I have a severe allergy to dust (SEVERE), as well as to chemical cleaners (which is why I try to stick to natural cleaning products, but sometimes, you really just need the Tilex or Lysol to get the work done), and these allergies have gotten progressively worse over the last few years. Still, I can get it done if I just have the time to do it without having to stop to deal with anything else.

Organizing, though, is a whole other matter. I can easily live with some messiness. I don't really care about it (although my childhood trained me to be a cleaning machine, it also made me loathe it to the point that I prefer some messiness). Ben, however, begs to differ. Whereas things have to get pretty messy for me to finally get sick of it and do something about it, Ben can only handle a little bit before he goes nuts. So while I'll get home one day and be like, "There's too much crap thrown around everywhere!!" and proceed to pick up, Ben will get home, throw his shit all over the place, and then freak over all the baby's toys littering the floor. Every freakin' day.

But well, I want peace in my home, and I want my hard-working husband to chill out when he's home, so I really and truly have resolved to be better about my messiness, and, more importantly to Ben, to do what I say I'm going to do in a timely manner. This weekend, while not as perfect as I would have liked, was a good start.

Posted by Tere @ 1/08/2007   | | | links to this post

Friday, January 05, 2007

Because There's Always Room for Baby Pics

As if this toddler of mine were still a baby! Ha! Ah well, to me he is, and I can't call him anything but "baby." So, picture time!

Max eats a pickle!

Max is silly!

Max sits in his own chair!

Max watches TV all cute!

Max got in the suitcase all by himself!

Max loves to imitate his cousin!

Ugh, enough! exclamation! points! So, Noche Buena. There's Max all cute in his hipster outfit:

And the pig being destroyed:

But apparently, we're fancy people. Caviar was on the menu this year. I still don't know why.

Whenever we put Max in his crib - for naps or for the night - we always hear a bunch of strange noises coming through the monitor. We finally decided to check it out, and all I can say is, wow, must've been one hell of a party.

Posted by Tere @ 1/05/2007   | | | links to this post

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Fine, All Right, I Resolve!

I have a thing against New Year's resolutions... I don't know, they're so clichéd, so destined to fail from the outset because of the pressure they carry. But well, James asked, so I'll do it.

  • I want to be in better shape. I don't need to lose weight, I just need to firm up. So, I start personal training next week (before you think I can actually afford a personal trainer - this is a perk of my new job. They pay for it.)
  • I would like to be better organized. I think I'm not as a big a packrat as I used to be, but I'm messy. So, I'll put my clothes away as I take them off, I won't let mail accumulate, and I'll be good about constantly going through magazines, paperwork, etc., and either filing it away or tossing it out.
  • I'm seriously committing to knocking out our remaining debt and saving money at the same time. Despite the considerable setback this move is causing, I'm committed to increasing our savings and eliminating what's left.
  • My writing. Why hasn't it made me rich and famous yet? I'm kidding (no, I'm not). I want to make my living as a writer - whether that's steady freelance for a bunch of places, or writing fascinating memoirs about my life, or finding that magical patron who will support me as I churn out book after book of poems. So, I'm going to make an effort to either land some freelance gigs or write for no money but considerable exposure, or something like that. Also, within this resolution, I just want to be a better writer, so I'm open and willing to learn. So, teach me.
  • I'm just going to be a better person. In my case, that means being more patient, more trusting (hard! so hard!), and less temperamental.
I know, completely unoriginal. Bite me.

Well, there goes #5. We'll see how the rest go throughout the year.

Posted by Tere @ 1/04/2007   | | | links to this post

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Words! My Child Says WORDS!

This is amazing. Max speaks. Out of nowhere, he's dropping words and doing little things to show he understands words - and it's killing me. I mean, killing me in a good way. I can't get over it. These last two weeks, he's just opened his mouth and the words are spilling out at a rate that's impossible to keep up with.

He's had "mami" and "dada/daddy" down for some time now, as well as "papi" (my dad), "mami" (my mom), poppy (Ben's dad), nannie (Ben's step-mom) and Mimi. If you asked him, "where's Zoe?" he'd look at the dog and smile. Oh, and of course, "no," which he's been yelling for a couple of months now. But that was pretty much it.

And then.

Something happened. And the result is a vocabulary that in two weeks has expanded to include:

O-EEE (Zoe, who has officially become "Max's dog," because her transgressions are easier to accept if we assume she's his dog. Also, he now wakes up every morning and calls her. Considering that he used to wake up calling MY name, I'm a little shattered over it.)
Baby (and he points at himself)
Tete (pacifier, which he didn't use at all until two weeks ago, too, and now he's accepting it to go to sleep or chill out if he gets fussy)
Pete (his uncle)
Pipi (as he yanks it)
Mas (more)
Gracias (thanks)
'Gua (for agua, water)

Also, when he sees anything having to do with Santa Claus, he goes "ho ho ho;" when you ask him "Como hace el gallo?" (what does the rooster do?), he goes "oh oh oh," in a poor (but totally cute!) imitation; and when you ask the same of the "vaca" (cow), he goes "moooooo." The best one, though, is that when you scold him, he shakes his finger at you and goes "no, no, no, no!"

Please. I'm dying of an adorableness overload. I know kids are sponges, but now it's really evident, and it's amazing. Freaky, too. Max has always been a babbler, constantly talking in gibberish, but now there are words. Actual words. I can't handle this. I mean, what's next? Sentences? Complete thoughts? Doesn't he realize his mother can't handle all these steps towards independence? It's all happening way too fast.

Posted by Tere @ 1/03/2007   | | | links to this post

Monday, January 01, 2007

Are You Feeling Fat?

I've spent ALL day in front of the TV with my mom, watching a marathon of TLC's "Moving Up," and I can say - with absolute authority - that the fat-fighting marketing machine is ON. Every other commercial was for either Nutri System, Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, Bally's Fitness and various brands of order-by-mail exercise equipment.

Seriously, I'm dizzy. All these places are counting on people feeling like fat, lazy slobs or on everyone's predictable habit of vowing to lose weight and get in shape.

The good news is, everyone's got an incredible offer! Huge savings! Sign up now! Now, piggies!!

I say this like I myself won't be starting my new health regime this week. I don't ever make a resolution of it, but the desire to shape up is there. So I'm gonna try, and we'll see how it goes.

Posted by Tere @ 1/01/2007   | | | links to this post