Sunday, September 30, 2012


It's time for some Coldplay. This is one of my favorites. Seeing how it's not from one of their studio albums you've probably never heard it before. Until now, of course.

They seriously are super talented.

A bit late.

I'm a little ashamed it has taken me over a week to write this post.

On Friday, September 21st, my mom and Joe moved to Chile. I went to the airport with my uncle to pick them (and the cats) up. There is a place on the second floor where you can wait and watch the arrivals from international flights. As soon as I saw my mom I ran over to take a picture. From here, it still took about 20 minutes for them to get their luggage, pass through customs, and show the paperwork for the cats.

 Sorry, Joe. I didn't mean to cut off your face!


Finally they made it through and after many hugs I checked on the cats. Bacon was starving for attention (and food). Lucy, on the other hand, wouldn't even turn to face the camera. What a brat.

Once we arrived at their apartment, Bacon immediately went to find small places for him to sit in. He doesn't do this because he is scared, he just does it because he is weird.

Relaxing on the chair. Notice the size difference.

Lucy is Joe's cat. She NEVER lets me hold her. But she was so traumatized from the flight I think she got confused. She was further traumatized when some guys came to the apartment to deliver the bed. She actually started to crawl up on my shoulder to hide from them. Despite the claws, it was adorable.

Since their arrival, Bacon has caused quite a stir at the apartment complex. Mainly because my mom and Joe take him outside. On a leash. 

One of the best parts is coming home from work and not stressing over cooking dinner. Why? Because my mom cooks for me. Joe does the dishes. I just sit and look pretty.

My mom's first café helado (coffee with ice cream) and lúcuma cake!

I'm sure there will be many more dinners, café helados and lúcuma flavored treats in our future!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


There's an avocado tree next to my apartment (just out of reach, sadly). An avocado fell on top of the covered portion of the parking lot, making this bird quite happy. I didn't even know birds ate avocados.

Lucky bird.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Where You Go

Last week I watched a seriously fantastic movie called Salmon Fishing in the Yemen with Ewan McGregor and Emily Blunt. Go watch it. It's awesome.

As the credits began to roll at the end of the movie this song started playing. I stopped the movie and immediately looked up the song online. It's called Where You Go by the The Young Romans.

I can't find a music video for the song, so this will have to do.

Listen to it. And then go watch the movie.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Parque O'Higgins

Okay. So September 18th and 19th in Chile are called Fiestas Patrias or el Dieciocho (Spanish for 'eighteen'). The 18th marks the beginning of Chilean War of Independence (from Spain) and the 19th is el Día de las Glorias del Ejército which celebrates the military. Many people choose to celebrate the Fiestas Patrias by going to a fonda. And that is exactly what I did. Fondas are temporary venues, usually large tents (not the camping type) where Chilean food and drinks are served. Some are free and others have cover charges. Parque O'Higgins has some of the largest fondas in all of Chile. 

So today Josh, his friend Cristian, and I met at Parque O'Higgins to get our fonda on. Be prepared for a bombardment of pictures.

This was outside the park, by the metro. Already tons of people. Though of course, this photo doesn't do it justice.

Many children and their families gathered in the field to fly kites. Of course it was a bit overcast and you really can't see all the kites. 

It was a bit windy so some kites ended up in the kite grave yard.

Today there was a military parade celebrating the Armed Forces of Chile. There were an insane number of people trying to watch. Every time I was in a spot to see like a sliver of the parade, a parent would put their small child on their shoulders and completely block my view. I eventually gave up and just put my camera in the air and hoped for a decent shot.

 Some smart people climbed the nearby trees to get a better look.

This is what I was actually able to see during the parade. Oh, the joys of being 5 foot 3.

Okay, so this next guy was quite entertaining. He was visibly drunk and stumbling around all over the place. Then he fell. And decided just to chill out on the ground in between all these people. After break time was over, he got up and almost got into a fight with a group of people (he tried to take their soda).

Next came the airplanes. Those other specks in the sky are kites. 


After the planes and the parade we started to make our way into the park to find the fondas. But first we stumbled upon this little guy. I think the tassels really bring out the color in his eyes.

Everywhere you turned vendors were selling alcohol. There are a few popular Chilean drinks. The first is a terremoto (literally 'earthquake' in Spanish). A terremoto is on the list of things I don't ever want to try because I'm too damn picky. Anyway, a terremoto is made with wine and pineapple ice cream. Here's Cristian and his terremoto.

Other popular drinks are wine, pisco, and chicha. Chicha is a very (sickeningly) sweet wine. These vendors were selling wine from some incredibly large barrels.

Some people took drinking a little too far. This poor fellow obviously drank too much. He decided to stop and take a nap right in the middle of the main pathway. 

So up until now, based on my pictures, you really can't fathom how many people were celebrating today at Parque O'higgins. So here you go, in all its panic-attack inducing glory.

All those people sure do produce a whole lot of trash. I guess the organizers had the right intentions. 

However I think I saw about three trash cans. So people did this instead:

This next guy was just hanging out in the middle of everything. Not sure exactly what Jesus has to do with the independence of Chile, but whatever! Cristian gave him some coins to strike this pose.

These next pictures make the vegetarian side of me cry just a little bit. Chileans really love their meat. If the stalls weren't selling alcohol they were selling meat. And lots of it. 

Choripán is super popular. Its name is a portmanteau of its ingredients: grilled chorizo and pan (bread).  Everywhere you looked they were selling choripanes. Other popular options were anticuchos (grilled beef kebabs), something that looked like chicken, and empanadas.

This stall was one we saw on our way out. They were selling something called sándwich de potito. Want to know what one of the main ingredients is? Intestines. It looked almost as horrible as it sounds.

As everyone was starting to get hungry we looked for a place to eat. I think we tried to get into four fondas before we finally found this one. The others were either out of food (seriously!) or there were no tables. 

Here's Josh, me and Cristian getting our fill of empanadas and anticuchos (I passed on those). 

There is a saying here in Chile: Los viejos querían pasar agosto. It has to do with the weather. And old people. August is a weird month, as it's the end of winter and the start of spring. So you get that strange inconsistent weather that causes many people to get sick. So the old folks want August to pass without getting some life-threatening cold (or something like that, I don't really remember how my coworker explained it). 

So anyway, there was a point to that. I saw this little cartoon floating around on Facebook.

You should know that vacas are cows, Septiembre is September (you probably could have figured that one out yourselves) and seeing how Fiestas Patrias are in September lots of cows get eaten. 

 Poor cows.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


Oh, poor neglected blog. I've been on vacation for over a week now. And I'm being very floja (lazy).

Today is the start of Fiestas Patrias in Chile. It's a two-day long celebration commemorating the independence of Chile. More on that later. But here's the Google doodle just for the fun of it.

Quick shout out to my niece, Charley. Today is her first birthday. Here's my favorite picture of her. This was taken back in January when she was around four months old.

This picture always makes me smile.

And finally, Bacon. My mom sent me this picture today. My baby, Bacon will be arriving in Chile in three days! My mom and Joe will be coming with him, of course. And Lucy, too (that's another cat).

As he will soon become a Chilean cat, I feel it's only appropriate to change his name from Bacon to Tocino. (That's Spanish for 'Bacon'.)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Breath of Life

Who doesn't like Florence + the Machine? I mean come on. Her voice is insane. I first heard Breath of Life in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman. After listening to it on repeat for like an hour I was so surprised how perfect the lyrics fit in the movie. Later I found out that the song was actually written for the movie. I guess that explains it.

The movie wasn't terrible, but I wish it wasn't featured so prominently in the music video.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Something Good This Way Comes

Today I went to the California Cantina with Júlia and my American friend, Josh. California Cantina is a super gringo friendly restaurant/bar in the Providencia neighborhood. It is also one of the few places (if not the only one) that was airing the NFL games today. And being such a huge football fan I was just dying to go watch some of the games. (Sarcasm doesn't really transfer so well here.) All I know about football I learned from Coach Taylor and the Dillon Panthers on Friday Night Lights.

As Josh was explaining some things about football, it became clear to me that the only thing I could contribute to the conversation was who these football players are dating. Because that, I know.

As the day went on, the place became a bit more crowded. I have never seen so many Americans in one place since I've been here. It was pretty awesome. Based on the jerseys they were wearing, most people there were either Packers or Dolphins fans.

I'd like to blame my squinty eyes on the three pitchers of beer we drank, but sadly this photo was taken quite early in the afternoon.

Anyway, since it's Music Video Sunday I thought I'd post a song I first heard on Friday Night Lights. This is Jakob Dylan singing Something Good This Way Comes.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

New Tattoo!

One of my students recently became fascinated with my tattoo. (It's a sketch by Picasso in case you were wondering.)
This was taken the same day I got it. Three years ago or so.

She liked it so much she drew a matching one on her own arm. Except hers was a chicken.

The next day she asked if she could give me a tattoo on my other wrist. Sure. Why, not? It's no secret to my students that I love all things Harry Potter. So naturally, she chose to draw Harry's face on my arm.

The funny thing was that it took almost a week to fade entirely. I think that's the universe's way of telling me to get a Harry Potter tattoo.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Falling of the Rain

I grew up listening to Billy Joel (thanks, Mom). Cold Spring Harbor is definitely my favorite album. By anyone. Ever.

I was listening to Falling of the Rain off the aforementioned album yesterday and then this happened.

There's no video for the song, but you can listen to it here. Mr. Joel is like a god on the piano. Especially in this song.


Saturday, September 1, 2012

Another Countdown Begins

It's finally September!

This is all the stands between me and vacation:

4 and a half days of work, which includes:
  • 3 days of class
  • 1 spelling bee
  • 1 school-wide Chilean Independence Day celebration (a bit early since the actual independence day is during vacation)
  • 7 hours of parent-teacher conferences spread out over a day and a half
And then I'm free! For two whole weeks. During which time I get to prepare for the arrival of my mom and Joe who will be here in less than three weeks. So basically I need to buy my mom a lot of wine.

September is going to be awesome.