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Isn’t it ironic?

Most people are obsessed with the notion of ‘being unique’. We look for ways to set ourselves apart from our peers, creating online personas via photos and shared media, letting the world know that we have our own personalities. The fact that everyone is doing this has led me to believe that even the weirdest of us has shared traits with a group of others, things that instead of setting us apart, draw us closer to belonging to a certain demographic. So I’ve set out to prove this point: I’m sharing here some of the most personal/offbeat/unheard-of details of my life. I’m pretty sure someone else has at least a similar story or two to share. 

1) The day I met my wife (the official term of endearment between my ex-roommate–and one of my closest friends– and I) I was wearing pajamas. Funnily enough, I started taking pictures of her that same day!

One of the first pictures I ever took of her. Can't find the very first, though.
One of the first pictures I ever took of her. Can’t find the very first, though.

2) Marriage is not a part of the plan I have mapped out for my life, but this was not always the case. I have been engaged twice in my life (coincidentally, both engagement rings turned out to be cheap pieces of tin). But I only made plans in the traditional sense for one. I was 16, and I wanted my wedding dress to be red and black, and I wanted to walk down the isle to the Imperial March. I wonder if any of his weddings (he’s had 2) turned out to be this awesome.

I also wanted this skull cap included in the design. Silly little me.
I also wanted this skull cap included in the design. Silly little me.

3) The worst falling out I’ve ever had was with my mother (we spent more than a year not speaking to each other). It was over the fact that she had read my diary, which I felt was a crass violation to my privacy. Five years later, I started keeping a public blog.

4) Back in 2004, I was ready to move out to North Carolina. Although truth was that I was running away from a very noxious relationship, I convinced myself and others that the actual reason was I had gotten fed up with the incestuous nature of the local social scene. Almost 10 years later, I’ve found that this incestuousness is what has made my social life so very fascinating.

5) The first cigarette I tried was a regular Winston. A single drag turned me off smoking for 4 years. I’ve never had a Winston cigarette since then.

6) I really like cold climates, but I cannot sleep in an air conditioned room. If I do, I wake up with a nasty case of allergies.

7) My first alcoholic drink was not beer. It was a sip of whiskey, and I was 4 years old. To this day, I hate the taste of whiskey.

The SECOND drink I had was this. Got hooked on alcohol right away.
The SECOND drink I had was this. Got hooked on alcohol right away.

8) The first time I celebrated Halloween, I decided to dress up as Darth Vader. I became thoroughly discouraged when I found out there was another kid in the party dressed up as a taller and much better executed Darth Vader. I went back home and switched the Darth Vader mask for a witch hat. I spent the rest of the night harassing the poor kid dressed as Darth Vader.

9) My parents built up my self confidence so well that I grew up with the conviction that I had been a great dancer and a great painter. Later on in life, I learned that I never had any rhythm and that my first art teacher complained to my parents because I had no talent. C’est la vie!

10) Even though my first doctor-and-patient game was with my (male) cousin, the first time I played husband-and-wife was with my (female) childhood friend. We were around 10 years old. I think we were both somewhat aware of what we were doing.

11) My brother started out his early adulthood in job as an interpreter. He’s got around 5 languages up his sleeve. I only have the two (English, Spanish) plus a smattering of French. My first career (for about 9 years) was as an IT professional, same thing I studied in college. He has a Bachelor degree in Philosphy and pretty much all the credits necessary for a minor in Modern Languages. In the last few months, I’m soon to finish my Masters degree in Translation and I have a job as a phone interpreter. He’s finally got a job he enjoys as an IT professional.



Little Notes #8: Next Few Weeks and What it Means

#1, next Monday is going to be, in some measure, surreal. Going back to 1995, the expectations, the nervousness.

#2, next two weeks, on the other hand, are going to be more real than I would like to deal with. Most people will not understand my reasons for the decision I’ve made. Some will come as far as to be annoyed. I even expect the random colleague to come across and demand answers and explanations, and I’m afraid I won’t have a generally satisfactory answer.

#3, Mother’s Day is drawing near, as well as my sister’s birthday, all of it during a moment in life in which money is going to be a precious commodity. I think the best I will be able to do will be to offer them homemade food. My sister has been clamoring for some cheesy potatoes (potatoes au gratin, if you wanna get more gourmand in the description), and my mom has asked in more than one occasion for my pasta carbonara. I think I will oblige (and will probably throw in some homemade dessert for good measure). It’s the best I can do.


Playlists – Intro and Part 1 of 9: A Cry From the Inside

Since the era of the mix-tape I’ve always been fascinated by playlists. I love making them, and I believe some insight can be gained to the way a person’s mind works by looking at his or her playlists. Since the invention of social websites and rings, I’ve encountered a few invitations to make up “The Soundtrack of Your Life” by determining which song fits this or that special event in your life. Later on, the web itself has spawned more than a few music-profile websites (see: Last.FM, Pandora Radio, eMusic) in which you make your own playlists by listening to the music you love, and in the process discover new things to like.

My listening habits have obviously changed from the time I taped songs off the radio (in an attempt to save a few bucks, ‘cuz it’s not easy for a 12-year-old to come by $15 to buy a cassette just for the one song she likes). In the process, my playlists have become more varied, motley if you will, and yet, I always come back to the basics, to the songs that were the soundtrack to my puberty, to my childhood even.

I want to share the playlists that have recently taken residence in my iPod (yeah, that creaking antiquity of an iPod Photo which no one has anymore). You might find some things as embarrassingly commonplace as a Thalía hit (because, come on, admit it! There was at least one time in your life in which you danced to Menudo in diaper-clad bliss. Or perhaps there was at least one marquesina party in which you enjoyed Richard Marx more than you’d care to admit….). Likewise there are things so obscure that they never left the household (like the enjoyable song blueprints my brother used to cook up with Fruity Loops).

My intention, however, is not to bedazzle anyone with my hipness or my musical knowledge. I know I possess neither of those things. But I do have an immense desire to finally share some of my feelings about the music I love without limiting myself to rigid formats, without having to wait for the inspiration to review the latest album by Björk (which I loved, by the way, but I rarely ever know how to express my reactions logically enough to call it a review).

So, without further ado, I introduce my Playlist series, in which I shall post almost every day one of my 9 playlists, including a heartfelt description and explanation of why I decided to put all that music together under one (very unapt) title.

A Cry From the Inside

This was actually one of the most whimsical playlists to make. It includes songs and pieces which to my ears sound as if they were truly heartfelt. It could be the quiver of a violin line, or the sound of a broken heart through a skillful voice, what places these pieces together is that they earnestly pluck the heartstrings.

Unfairly enough, this is the only playlist to feature Antony and the Johnsons. Such a beautiful voice should be given more chances to be heard. However, as with other artists and albums, I haven’t fully gotten to the groove of Mr. Johnson just yet.

“Why won’t you listen to me more, you bitch!?”

Artists prominently featured in this playlist are:

Deftones – Chino Moreno’s voice, though not exactly artful in the classical sense, has always managed to give me the shivers. So it has come to be that the music by his band is not only one of my favorites, but it also brings not-so-distant memories flooding back, feelings of misplaced hopefulness included.

Superaquello – This band, contrary to Antony, is repeated over and over throughout most playlists. It’s my favorite local band, and with good reason too. Eduardo and Patricia (the lead singers) can swing your mood around into “Play Time”, just as well as they can reach into your throat to squeeze those tears out. If you add to that mix the incredible talent of their fellow bandmates (Francis, Jorge and Pablo), you get an all around Cry-and-Dance Machine.

The Cranberries – My high school sweetheart introduced me to this band back in 1994. The Cranberries made up a huge chunk of the soundtrack to those memorable years. The transition into college included a compulsive obsession to look like Dolores O’Riordan, and songs like “Empty” and “Disappointed” accompanied resentful tears when I started a custom of fighting with Dad. Even later on, the album Bury the Hatchet was the background music to one of the most scarring moments in my life. Dolores’s voice is a fixed feature in my life.

Other artists worth mentioning in this playlist are Damien Rice, whose heartbreak anthem, “Cheers Darlin”, I adopted off the one that now sleeps by my side; Marianne Faithfull, with the crooner “Who Will Take My Dreams Away”, which was shared between two excellent movies I loved: The City of Lost Children and La Fille Sur Le Pont; Múm, which you will notice is a recurrent artist among my playlists; and likewise, Tori Amos.

Portishead - Portishead Damien Rice - O Patrick Wolf - Lycanthropy Antony and the Johnsons - Hope There's Someone
Marianne Faithfull - The City of Lost Children Sigur Rós - ( ) Múm - Summer Make Good Said the Shark - Always Prattling On About Wolves

Download A Cry From the Inside.doc


Little Notes #7: This must be my day!

#1, Found this on eBay, and although I’m not gonna bid on it (what for, really?), it was yet another nostalgia trip to renew my memory of this tin lunchbox.

Specially of the matching thermos, which never sealed completely and would always let some of the juice out onto my napkins, utensils, other thermos or even worse, onto my sandwich.

#2, I just learned that Guillermo del Toro is producing a film adaptation of one of my favorite comics: Death: The High Cost of Living, and he wants creator Neil Gaiman to direct! Awesome move! And I’m SO looking forward to it, it’s scary. They could also fuck it up so many ways :-(

All hail the Endless!


Little Notes #3: Moving Days & Cruel Summers

Summer’s here (to my brother’s chagrin, he’s convinced that summer is jinxed for him), and there are plans around, waiting for the right time, the right moment. There’s, for example, a group trip in the plans (for which I will furnish more details later). Closer still is our moving day. The date has been set for June 16th. Thankfully we don’t own all that much shit, and we’re basically moving our room only, so it should be a pretty simple (or at least short) affair. There have also been talks of going to the beach, going kayaking, a few summer-y things to offset our shut-in natural habits (Eze’s and mine). In short, summer promises to be interesting at least.

Moving Day is at Hand (Diana & Eze Edition)

There are a few things I’ve been meaning to do as soon as we move. It’s not so much that I can’t do them at our current living space, most of them I can, but I never felt comfortable doing them. Besides, living out of a darkened room (in which only the distant, indirect rays of sun alighted dimly through the half-closed window shades) is at best a glum way to lead a Sunday afternoon.

Things I mean to do as soon as we set new camp in our own apartment:

1) Retake Yoga – it’s been more than a year since I last did yoga. I’m sorely missing it… literally. I can feel my bones misaligned (one of the main reasons why I love yoga so much: there are some positions in which my back cracks, and that feels SO good!)

2) Give myself a pedicure and a manicure – my limbs need some TLC. They’re dry, cracked and flaky. A nice Sunday afternoon spent soaking hand and feet in soapy water is just what I need.

3) Spend a Saturday morning with a huge coffee mug and a piece of warm bread with margarine in front of my laptop surfing the net, in nothing but my underwear… in the dining room ^_^ windows open to the morning breeze! YAY!

4) Take my sewing machine to be fixed. We’ll have space for it now. Maybe I’ll finally learn some sewing basics through hands-on experience. If you run into me in a misshapen dress, you’ll know it’s under way.

I probably have many more plans in my subconscious to carry out as soon as I finally feel “at home” somewhere. And I’ll probably blog about them too … or not.

It’s a Cruel Summer

It’s been years since I last went to the beach. I don’t mean the occasional, full-dressed visit in which you stand at the water’s edge and just breathe the salty breeze in, and talk about how pretty the water looks; or you just munch on a greasy fritter while contemplating pork’s immortality (“contemplando la inmortalidad del marrano” is one of my favorite pastimes). I’m talking about the all-out, bikini-clad, sunscreen-stinking, sand-in-your-underwear, insecure-in-your-cellulite kind of visit. I haven’t bathed in seawater since I got together with Eze. July 24, 2004 was the last day I went (to Playa Ballena, with Jorge Juan, to be exact). I spent all day thinking about the first kiss Eze gave me (the night before, while nursing a bad case of “drunk Diana”). A smile was permanently pasted on my face for the rest of the day. Maybe I would have dedicated a few more minutes to the water and the sand and the sun, had I known “being with Eze” would mean “you will never step toe on the beach again, missy!”. ^_^ (I’m just kidding! I like teasing him that way)

We have a friend who’s keen into internal tourism. He likes to spend weekends visiting places most Puerto Ricans take for granted. And he’s been inviting us for a long time to join him in his trips. He’s been wanting to go rappelling, something which Eze and I could marginally do given that the ropes don’t break under the stress of our weight. Another thing our friend has suggested is kayaking at the bioluminescent bay in Fajardo. That’s a night trip, that’s what Eze calls a “boring” trip (mainly ‘cuz he can’t swim)… that’s what I call “an offer I can’t refuse”. This is one thing I hope to be doing sometime this summer.

The other thing our friend has been insisting on is a trip to the beach. This vexes me a bit: my body is nowhere near “beach-ready”. And I know I’ll hear my friend’s voice protesting because basically that would be product of one of my complexes. But let’s talk truth here: my thighs are host to a valley of cellulite. Cellulite has invaded and conquered my thighs. And as much as I can hide and conceal this fact in my everyday clothes, that would be a no-can-do in a swimsuit or bikini. Which would leave me with two options:

1) Terrorize women and small children (plus gross out all those whose eyes are not tolerant of alternate realities to those sold by beer commercials)

2) Dress up in the boricua bestial makeshift beach-going attire par excellence: lycra biker shorts and a huge t-shirt. Which would make me incredibly ridiculous and would probably set a few individuals my way to ask for “el caldero de arroz con pollo” (the cauldron with rice and chicken).

I think I’ll opt for #1 if we ever get to go to the beach again. At least people will recoil in horror and get away from me (i.e. leave me alone), instead of the other way around. ^_^

Take-off in July

(More information later on) 😉