Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Lake Titicaca: Days 1 and 2

Warning: This post may be a little lengthy, considering I just had the BEST weekend of all time.

Without knowing anything or planning anything whatsoever, my friends Sunni, Rachel, Nicole, and I decided to head out to Puno (ie Lake Titicaca) for the weekend.

Day 1:

All of the buses to Puno leave from Cusco around 10 PM and get in around 4-5 AM, so we left Ollanta around 7:30 to get there on time. Since we were running a little late, we tracked down the only "taxi" driver we could find (sidenote: taxis are more like random men that happen to own cars.) Midway through the taxi ride, he asks if we would like to take a "short cut" through the valley. Seeing as we were running a little late, we agreed. Turns out this "short cut" is entirely composed of dirt roads in the middle of nowhere. For the first 30 minutes, we were all convinced he was taking us somewhere either to rob us or kill us since none of us had ever taken that route to Cusco.

Luckily, after a very turbulent ride, we survived and made our way to the Cusco bus station - which was absolutely packed. All of the buses were sold out except for one teensy local bus company, so we snagged the last few seats and waited for our 10 PM departure. After initially getting on the wrong bus, we re-checked out tickets only to find out that this bus did not leave at 10, it left at 11:30. For an hour and a half, we essentially ate our dinner of Doritos and drinkable yogurt and sang songs until we were delirious.

Oh, y'know, just taking a picture in front of the wrong bus.

When the bus finally pulled up, we realized that we did not have the bed seats, we had the regular upright seats located next to an entire group of loud Peruvian high school students. We had it pretty good though, considering that there were people on this bus without seats, just chillin in the aisle for 7 hours. One Peruvian woman actually fell asleep on Nicole's lap. Needless to say, we were very thankful when we finally arrived in Puno.

Day 2:

We arrive in Puno at 8 AM with nowhere to stay and no idea where we were. After walking around the plaza searching for food and/or lodging, we stumble upon a hole-in-the-wall hostel known as "Titikaka Backpackers." Antioneta, the owner of the hostel, may have been the nicest and sweetest person I have ever met. As soon as we got there, she made us breakfast, gave us a guidebook, and told us what to do to get a tour of the Titicaca islands. She even offered to wash our underwear for us, to which we politely declined.

After a nap that felt like an eternity, we hit the streets to find some food. Again, we stumbled upon a little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that was sooo cheap and sooo good. I believe my sandwich was 3 soles, which translates to less than a dollar - yesssss. We explored the city for a little while and spent wayyyy too much time booking our tour for the next 2 days.

Four terraces for four girls - let's take a picture!

After walking through the market in Puno, dodging men with loudspeakers trying to sell us mangos and papayas, we decided to get back to the hostel the fun way...

...Via bike taxi! We giggled like 5 year old girls the entire way back.

Before we knew it, it was time to eat again! The lady at the hostel recommended a fish place nearby, so we went to grab some trout and kingfish ceviche yummmm.

Did I mention that we all ordered the exact same thing?

They also had a spectacular dance show the entire time which I cannot even begin to describe. There were 4 dancers that performed about 10 dances, each from a different region from Peru and each in traditional costume. The finale with the condor costumes was absolutely amazing.

After scarfing down some cheesecake and peculiar Peruvian cocktails, we hit up another bar before heading to the CASINO. Yes, we found a casino in Peru. And guesss who won big money?? Yours truly! I didn't really understand the premise of the game and it is all in Spanish, but somehow I won 10 big ones (soles, that is).

We're smiling so much because a cute guy was also taking our picture from a second floor window.

Our tour the next day began at 6:45 AM, so we turned in for the night after the casino. Of course, Antioneta, the sweetest person of all time, had hot tea waiting for us when we got home.

To be continued...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Uneventful Events

Yesterday was the most exciting uneventful day I've had in Ollanta. Why, you may ask?

  1. I learned how to wash my laundry by hand like a big girl. My 23 year old host sister had to show me all the different steps (believe me, there's more than you'd think). THREE HOURS later I finally finished my giant load of laundry, and I vowed to never complain about having to do laundry in the states again. Sidenote: I hung my laundry on the roof to dry. 15 minutes later, it started raining. It's been raining just frequent enough that my clothes cannot fully dry. I think somebody just wants me to smell.
  2. My host mom made RICE PILAF. I am NOT kidding. (For those of you that do not know, my mom's rice pilaf is my favorite food and I always force feed it to my family on the holidays.) She put lunch on the table and I looked at it speculatively, thinking "NOOO, it couldn't be...". I tried a bite and almost cried. I told my host mom that this is my favorite food - she was a little less enthused.
  3. I got a mirror "installed" in my room (ie nailed to the wall). I think my family finally started feeling sorry for me when they saw my poor excuse for make-up on the weekends.
Today I had an all-day training in community assessment - entirely in Spanish. I got most of it which was pretty awesome, although the information was a little different than what I expected. Lucky me, I get to go back and do the exact same thing tomorrow!

For my home visits, I've been working with Paulino a lot. He's a 52 year old stroke victim that has lost the use of his entire left side. Since I work with him 3 days a week, I thought he deserved a cute little cameo in my blog.

Just 2 peas in a pod, no biggie

This weekend a few of my friends are leaving Ollanta for good, so we're all going to Cusco for a fun night out (and perhaps a visit to the black market). If anybody wants a $10 copy of Photoshop, let me know! :-)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How to Trick Yourself Into the Best Shape of Your Life

Oh y'know, just me being athletic and stuff.

Step 1: Move to a remote Andean village at an altitude of 9,160 feet.

Step 2: Live there for a month, wheezing your way through light to moderate physical activity.

Step 3: Contract every stomach bug known to man so you have no choice but to avoid the high-fat, high-rice Peruvian diet.

Step 4: Go for "a run" that looks something like this:
Substep 1: Walk the entire way to a remote destination so that "the locals don't think you're weird." Keep in mind that you're really doing this to postpone running as long as possible.
Substep 2: Find the perfect little road/trail and start running.
Substep 3: 30 seconds later, stop running and start wheezing out of your mind.
Substep 4: Repeat above, with walking breaks of about 5 minutes in between, until you get to a really difficult hill.
Substep 5: Stop at said hill to "take in the view." Decide this is the perfect place to turn around.
Substep 6: Run all the way down the hill (with some flats in between) so you feel like an accomplished runner by the time you get all the way down.
Substep 7: Walk when you get back into town. You don't need any more awkward stares than you already get on a daily basis.

Step 5: Attempt to do the strength routine in the outdated issue of Glamour that you bought to read on the plane and haven't touched in a month. Decide that 1 set, instead of the recommended 3, is more than enough (especially with your squeaky floor on the 2nd floor, you don't want your downstairs neighbors thinking your seizing).

Step 6: Repeat for the remaining 6 weeks of your trip. (HAHAHHHAHAA)

Step 7: Move back to sea level and VOILA! you're in the best shape of your life!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Patacancha for the day

This week has been pretty low key. My trip to Patacancha, a weaving community about an hours drive away, was probably the highlight of the week.

This weekend the health program kicked off our first mobile clinic. About 8 of our staff members are currently riding horses between tiny communities in the Sacred Valley, delivering medical supplies and offering free doctor visits. I (thankfully) was only necessary for one day, where I helped feed the patients and dispensed fluoride treatments to the local schools and some of the visiting patients.

Unfortunately, due to the extremely high altitude (12,000 feet!) I wasn't feeling my best. The ride up and back down was probably the hardest thing I've had to do, as I had to convince myself that I wasn't going to vomit for about an hour. Even though we went by car, the "road" was extremely bumpy and felt like the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland.

Luckily, I survived. That night, I ended up in my bed at 6:30 PM watching movies before sleeping in until 11 AM the next day.

As a result, I've decided to have a relatively low key weekend lounging around in Ollanta. If I end up having any exciting adventures, you will be the first to know! :-)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Feliz Dia de los Muertos!

Hola everyone! As if we haven't had enough holidays recently, today is el Dia de los Muertos. I filled my day eating tamales (they have vegetarian ones here - amazing!), watching my family cook an entire pig, and doing my Spanish homework. I have never been so popular as when I was doing my Spanish homework - I literally had a crowd of people (maybe 5 or 6) standing over me wanting to know what I was learning.

Even though last night was Halloween and people actually celebrate it here, I decided to stay in. I had a veryyy eventful weekend with Ollantaytambo's anniversary celebrations. On Friday night, my friends and I walked into the plaza to discover a huge crowd of people surrounded by cases upon cases of beer for sale. There was a rotation of Peruvian bands on the giant stage, and I made it a personal goal to get on stage by the end of the festival. Welll guessss what...

Dancing with the lead singers! (yes, I made sure my friends had my camera before going on stage)

And believe it or not, it only took a few tries to get up there! Yes, the stage was guarded by a police officer, but I was able to overcome said obstacle by ruthlessly flirting with a guitar player from the dance floor below. Mission: Completed.

The next night we headed to the Blue Puppy (an overly touristy restaurant) for some veggie burgers and mojitos before once again checking out the plaza. This night was similar to the one prior, except that it was pouring rain. I couldn't think of another opportunity I've ever had to dance in the rain to a Peruvian band, so my friends and I went to town.


At least until we got sufficiently drenched and had to flee the scene.

The next day was the bull fight which was surprisingly different than any other bull fight I've seen. Unlike Spanish bull fights, Peruvians don't actually kill or hurt the bulls (other than frustrating and exhausting them). Plus, you have the added entertainment of the drunk Peruvian men jumping into the ring to give it a go (one of which was my friend Carlo, although he was one of the more successful ones). One said borracho (drunk) pissed the bullfighters off so much that the leader of the municipality (dressed in a clown suit, don't ask me why), got into a brawl with him. I think I can safely say that the humans were harmed more than the bulls themselves.

I forgot to mention that these "bulls" were incredibly tiny. This fool in the blue was trampled about 5 seconds after this picture was taken. He survived but his pride did not.

So, as you can see, after all that excitement I was less than ready to gear up for a Halloween bash. Hopefully I'll have a fairly tame week to recover from all of the excitement. Tomorrow the health program is going to Cusco for "family time" and on Thursday we head up to Patacancha for a Health Day. Patacancha is one of our weaving communities about an hour away from Ollanta. I'm told to prepare for rain, cold, or snow (!) so I think I'll be wearing pretty much everything I own.

Till next time!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Salt Flats and Rainbows

My friends and I have made it a tradition to try to go somewhere different every weekend. This past weekend, it was Salineras - the salt flats about 30 minutes away.

When you try to go somewhere in Peru, you never have an address or an exit to go by. You get word-of-mouth directions using random landmarks. This time our directions were as follows: "Head to Urubamba, but don't go all the way there. When you see the rainbow hostel, you're in the right place." Mind you, the Inca flag is a rainbow, and it's absolutely impossible to differentiate the real rainbow hostel from the imposters.

As we were Combi-ing along, we all started thinking that maybe we had gone too far. We were almost at Urubamba when somebody shouted "RAINBOW!" and all seven of us, in unison, yell "BAJA!" (Which is what you say to get the Combi to stop and let you off). Every Peruvian on that combi was either staring at us or laughing at us uncontrollably.

When we got off and realized that we were probably at the wrong rainbow hostel, we asked some random Quechua lady on the side of the road for directions. She told us we had to walk for a half an hour. Instead of doing thattt, we went the lazy route and hopped on a moto (basically a motorcycle with 3 wheels and barely enough room for 3 people) and headed to the actual rainbow hostel. Of course, when we got off the moto, we were incredibly gringo-ed by the driver, who charged us 2 soles per person when it really should have been 50 centimos. Lesson #234890: Always negotiate the price before hopping in your preferred method of transportation.


After wheezing my way to the top of the salt flats, we had an incredible view that seemed to go on and on and on. I'd say it was definitely worth the 2 soles.

Salineras! (Yes, that is all salt)

Later that night we had "family dinner" at the volunteer house, where my friends Sunni and Kate attempted (and succeeded) to make their own Pisco Sours. (Pisco + raw egg whites + a million limes + simple syrup + ice)

Sunni flaunting her new pisco-souresque purchases at the market

Sunday night we hit up The Albergue, the fanciest restaurant in town. Awamaki volunteers not only get a discount on their food, but they can also use the sauna for free afterwards. SO perfect.

This coming weekend is the Aniversario of Ollantaytambo. What does that mean, exactly? Parties every night (and most days) from this Thursday until Tuesday. Awamaki will even be marching in a parade on Saturday morning (including Yours Truly!) Looks like my next blog post will be muchhhh much more interesting.

P.S. Today is my 4 week mark in Ollanta! So glad I'm here :-)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Never wear leather boots in Cusco

El Foto del Dia - Mi familia!
From the left: Samira (age 8), Alex (age 15 mo.), Analy (age 15)

On Saturday I went to Cusco with some friends for the day. We indulged in our American favorites - sandwiches, ice cream, and nail polish remover. A few lessons I learned from the day:

  1. Never wear leather boots in Cusco (or any other large city for that matter) - I had little boys following me around all day offering to shine my shoes. It was one of those times that I really wish I knew how to say "My boots are not supposed to be shiny!" in Spanish. I'll come better equipped next time.
  2. NEVER sit on the aisle on the bus - We took a combi to Urubamba (a city about 30 minutes away) and then a bus to Cusco. What I didn't realize is that they sell tickets beyond the number of seats. That's right kids, the aisles are chock full of people, most of which don't smell very good. On our way back from Cusco, I spent about 2 hours staring at this man's beer belly which, actually was the best part of the trip. I spent the rest of the time smushed by large women's backsides and their hair grazing my face. I could think of nothing but the longggg, necessary shower I was going to take when I went home.
  3. Avoid the meat section in the market - I applaud Peru's use of the entire animal upon butchering, but do you really need to sell cow faces at the market?
Today I spent about 2 hours eating with my family, and had a few interesting experiences. We were listening to the radio at the table, and all of a sudden Justin Beiber's "Baby" came on. Everybody in my house started singing along, but kept asking me to translate his poetic words. Conversely, when a friend and I mentioned that Mick Jagger may be in town, they had NO idea who the Rolling Stones were. I had no idea that Beiber Fever was so widespread.

New adventures in food: Beer + Coca Cola. I gave them this weird look and then tried it - surprisingly delicious. Of course, I like the taste of plain ol' beer more, but for those that don't like hoppiness it provides a sweet little flavor.

This week I'll just be doing most of the same stuff - volunteering, going to meetings, etc. There's supposedly an online fundraiser on Wednesday morning where I will be begging my friends to donate (and drinking beer in the process), so if you feel like being cheap, I suggest that you avoid the internet at all costs. If you feel like NOT being a cheapskate, come share a little love and money with your favorite Awamaki volunteer :-)

Next weekend I may be going horseback riding (!!!) I don't think I've been since Girl Scout horse camp when I was like 10. Hopefully it comes back to me faster than my Spanish did (not)...

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Las Noticias

Here's a few new developments that have happened in the last few days:

  1. Turns out my adorable 18 month old "hermanita" is actually an hermanitO. Yes, Alex is in fact a boy and I've been calling him a girl for the past week. And yes, it took me that long of eavesdropping Spanish conversations to finally figure it out. I'm hoping my family just attributes the first couple weeks to my horrible Spanish skills.
  2. Yesterday I had to be snuck out of the side door of my house, through a store, and out onto the street. My host dad was talking to somebody outside but I still have no clue why they couldn't see me leaving...Am I an illegal immigrant?
  3. Today our bunny, Blanca, died :-( I don't really know why she died, but she was probably the least-white white bunny I've ever seen. Is it possible to die from being too dirty? (In that case, I should probably take a shower...)
  4. Yesterday I learned how to knit!! I bought HUGE knitting needles and really thin white yarn from the market, so it kinda looks like I'm making a doily rather than a scarf but I now know how to knit!! There's an Awamaki knitting club at the English pub on Wednesday nights, which is definitely a tradition I can get behind.
  5. Apparently a lot of Peruvian reality shows revolve around cutting girls' hair off. Yesterday I watched a show with my host-sisters where 3 girls were strapped down and had to answer math questions. If they got them wrong, they got 5 centimeters of hair cut off until they gave up or beat out the other 2 girls. The prize was a CHANCE for a trip to Cancun. I still don't really get it.
Weekend plans: Going to Cusco and attempting to do my own laundry. We'll see how this turns out...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Machu Picchu!!

Last weekend I went to Machu Picchu and it was absolutely gorgeous! Apparently this past weekend was one of the last weekends with good weather before the rainy season starts. There are several hikes in the area, so we started by exploring the ruins and then hiking to the sun gate and the Incan bridge. The sun gate is an hour and a half hike that only took us a half an hour and goes to the top of a mountain nearby. It is also the place where people who have been hiking on the Incan trail for 4 days see Machu Picchu for the first time, so there was lots of celebrating to be had there. I’ll try to post some pictures if I can.

When we took a lunch break, we decided to break the rules and eat on one of the terraces near the llamas (yes, there are llamas everywhere). Kate, one of the girls I was with, was very popular with a particular llama, mainly because of the banana she was eating. Since the llama was on the terrace below and definitely could not jump that high, she started taunting him with the banana. Turns out, llamas are smarter than you think, as he walked over to the lower part of the wall, jumped up, and headed straight for Kate. He didn’t leave, even with the luring of orange peels, for the entire time we were there.

Moral of the story: NEVER taunt a llama.

We headed back Sunday morning and I started feeling a little sick so I’ve just been taking it easy. I am SO glad I bought a ridiculous amount of pharmaceuticals (thanks, Mom!) because going to the pharmacy and asking for certain medications is really the last thing I want to do when I’m not feeling my best.

Today I have my first meeting with Awamaki and the health team. The health team meeting is at a bar (ironic) so I’m excited to see what’s in store. Miss you and love you all mucho!

Friday, September 30, 2011

The beginning of my Peruvian journey

Hola de Ollantaytambo, Peru! I arrived here on Tuesday but I didn’t write anything because I was absolutely miserable. I’m not going to sugarcoat it – the culture shock was substantial and the transition was hard. But today, finally, I had my first good day (free of any crying, except almost crying at the end of a really sad book which DOES NOT count)

There is SO much to tell but I know that prose can be boring, so I’ll try to keep it relatively limited.

Monday: I leave the U.S., in tears off and on since leaving my Mom at the security gate. After grabbing some drinks in LAX with a new German friend (you will come to see that I use that term loosely now, as a friend now qualifies as anybody I’ve talked to for more than 5 minutes) I boarded my 10 hour flight to Lima. No vegetarian meal option, so the 2 Argentines next to me offer their salads out of pity.

Tuesday: We land in Lima and I had a mini panic attack thinking that they lost my bag. In Peru, your bags don’t just transfer, you have to pick them up and re-check them for your next flight. I almost missed my flight to Cusco because I failed to realize that I was waiting by the gate for the 10:45 flight, not the 10:20 flight. So basically everybody saw me standing around for 30 minutes, then run to the gate when they said last call after I finally realized which was my real flight. Soy una gringa estupida, no?

I land in Cusco to blaring Peruvian music, a man dressed up like an Inca, and people shoving pens with little woven dolls in my face. I was pretty frightened, so I ran to meet my driver. We made the hour and a half journey to Ollanta, with my eyes wide in amazement as I was sure I was on a movie set. I went to the Awamaki office for about 2 seconds, and then I was showed to my homestay where I met most of mi familia nueva. The house consists of a courtyard of sorts, with a kitchen, bathroom, and living room (which I have yet to see) attached to it, and a set of stairs leading to all of the bedrooms. I forced myself to eat some fish soup, then rested before heading out to see my first patient – a man that had a stroke a year prior and has total paralysis on the left side of his body. I don’t know too much about him now, but I’m sure I’ll be working with him a lot in the future.

Wednesday: I don’t remember too much – just a tour of the city and a despidida (goodbye party) for one of the volunteers at night. I had my first pisco sour (THE drink of Peru, look it up) and it was pretty fabulous. I decided to spoil myself and order a salad and I was sure to savor the taste of fresh veggies. Only now am I thinking about the possibility of getting sick from the rinsed vegetables…dangit.

Thursday: I get up early to meet 3 other Awamaki volunteers to help with the Fluoride campaign. This involved traveling to some of the elementary schools in nearby villages, which resulted in my first combi ride. A combi is essentially a van stuffed to the brim with people. I believe there were 14 “seats” on this combi, and 22 passengers. I had the pleasure of having to be one of the standing passengers, and believe me, it’s not the most comfortable of situations.

When we arrived at a school in Urubamba (a nearby village), we went door-to-door at the elementary school giving them fluoride paste to brush their teeth with since dental health is more than an issue here. (Side note – a volunteer and I were hit on by a drunk old Peruvian man that didn’t say a single thing to me except about my teeth. I’m pretty sure he may have had 3 still intact). The kids were really excited, except for those that forgot their toothbrushes – they had to use some makeshift toothbrushes Awamaki made. Read: cotton on a popsicle stick. Yum yum!

After getting back, I offered to help one of the education volunteers put posters up around “the city”, which really turned in the city and all surrounding villages. After walking around for an hour and a half, completely sunburned and covered in glue (made with flour and water – highly effective!) she relieved me of my duties and I retired to my home.

Besides eating and sleeping, I also took mi hermanita Samira to a festival that the schools were putting on at the Plaza de Armas, the center of town. All the little kids were SO adorable in their traditional attire and performing Peruvian dances. Afterwards, I FINALLY gave mi familia their gifts from the US and they seemed…interested. Luckily, the 18 year old LOVED her Thomas the train toy and it allowed me to redeem myself.

A little bit about my family before I depart:

Mi Madre, Ruth: She’s very sweet and very accommodating. I still think she’s a little wary of me since I make her cooking life a little more difficult, but she’s still very friendly.

Mi Padre, Valentin: So friendly and funny. He taught me how to speak in Quetchua (the other language here) but I completely forgot everything. He is very patient with me and my broken Spanish and always offers me food and mate (ie anything hot to drink)

Mi Hermanita, Alex: 18 months old and absolutely adorable, although she gets a little testy at times. At first she was afraid of me but now she’s intrigued. I have figured out how to get her to smile when she’s crying by just making odd faces at her.

Mi otra Hermanita, Samira: 8 years old and my new bff. Since Alex can’t talk, she is the most on my level when it comes to speaking Spanish. She loves to show me how to do things and laughs at me when I say things wrong, but she’s adorable and a total chatterbox.

Mi OTRA Hermanita, Annalis: She’s 15 and I’m probably butchering her name. She goes to school pretty late so I don’t really get to see her much, but she’s very gracious and sweet every time I’ve interacted with her.

The other 2 kids (thankfully) go to college in Lima so I have yet to meet them. Right now Tia Rosa from Lima is visiting for the week and I reallyyy like her. She’s already tried to set me up with her sons (not necessarily connected to why I like her).

This morning I had my first home visit with Alex, and 12 year old boy with Cerebal Palsy. I'll write about him later I'm sure as I've definitely exceeded my "keeping it short" amount.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Healthy-Choices High

Have you ever noticed how uplifting it can be to reject nasty junk foods for healthier options? I'm not talking legitimate cravings - those are always meant to be fulfilled. I'm talking about those times when all you want to do is stuff your face until you feel like the Goodyear blimp and then some.

Today I found myself in the Trader Joe's sugar aisle looking for something sweet to devour. I didn't know what I wanted, all I knew is that I wanted something (hint #1 that this is not a legit craving). Here are some of the babies that caught my eye: (WARNING: Food Porn ahead!)

I literally walked up and down that aisle at least 5 times, taking me at least 10 minutes. I went down the produce aisle once, and this is what I ended up leaving with:

Healthy eating for the win!

Unlike the other chocolate-covered options above, I could eat as many of these as I wanted without an upset stomach, food hangover, or guilty conscience. The high that I've gotten from my inflated health-conscious ego is so much better than any sugar high ever could have been. Take that, refined sugars!

What is a healthy eating option that always puts you over the moon? Or is it just me?

What did you do this weekend? Tell me all about it!

Random Fact #21: Other than a few highlights, I have never died my hair. I think I just have a fear of 1) it turning an unnatural shade or 2) horrendous roots showing in like 3 days.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Angry Man Songs

When I'm feeling a little girl power-y (spice up your life), I like to listen to what I refer to as Angry Man Songs aka AMS (bears no relation to PMS). What's an AMS, you ask? It's an auditory ass-kicking by strong, badass women to the scumbags that have done them wrong.

Here are my Top 10 Angry Man Songs and the HOT ladies (and gentleman) that sing them (in no particular order):
  1. Christina Perri - Jar of Hearts

  2. Aly and AJ - Division (and pretty much anything on their album Insomniatic)

  3. Destiny's Child - Survivor (duh)

  4. Rihanna - Breakin' Dishes

  5. Reba McEntire - Turn On the Radio

  6. Blu Cantrell - Hit 'Em Upstyle (6th grade, anyone?)

  7. Cee Lo Green - Fuck You (Woman or man, you just gotta dig this song. Oh, and click on the link, you'll love it!)

  8. Alanis Morissette - You Oughta Know

  9. Christina Aguilera - Fighter

  10. Lily Allen - Smile (PRICELESS music video)


What are your Angry Man Songs? I want links, people!

How's your weekend goin'?

Friday, August 12, 2011

Getting Out of a Funk

My friend Sarah is like my little pocket-sized Buddha. She helped me through a really tough breakup and is always there for me when I am an obnoxious emotional wreck.

True love.

A few days ago, I was feeling a little down in the dumps about some extra pounds I've tacked on recently. I tend to gain weight when I'm feeling isolated or lonely, so whenever this happens I know that something bigger is goin' on.

Even bigger than this lil' fella.

When I mentioned this to my mini Buddha, she was able to give me some fabby-fab advice that I am now going to share with all of you.

Instead of wasting your time with activities that make you feel worse, fill it with activities that make you feel better.

So simple but so effing genius! For me, this means that I need to stop shoveling food into my mouth while watching mind-numbing HGTV and start actually taking care of myself. The more I eat and the more I sit, the worse about myself I feel and the more weight I gain.

So what's a girl to do when she wants to spoil herself but has nooo money to speak of? Get creative!

Lies! If you were broke, how would you afford such stupid hats?
  1. Give yourself a mani/pedi. I did this last night before a date with the boyf and it made me feel 1000 times more put together. It may look like a 3 year old painted my nails with his non-dominant hand, but I figure that nobody can tell as long as they are at least 10 feet away from me.

  2. Go consignment shopping. I LOVE consignment stores more than most department stores. The more old-ladyish, the better. Why? Because most older women don't give a rats patootie about brands. Thus, the good stuff is super cheap, super cute, and always available. I picked up BCBG and Michael Kors stuff for next to nothing on a regular basis.

    BCBG shirt: $2. Personalized chair not included.

  3. Shave your legs. If you're not a slob and do this on a regular basis, good for you. In my book, shaving my legs is just a pain in the ass. There are so many steps involved and I always find a way to logic my way out of it for at least a good week and a half ("Nobody will see them anyways..."). I've noticed, however, that whenever I do shave my legs 1) my wardrobe options double and 2) I feel just slightly less manly, which is always a good thing.

  4. Work out like a BOSS. Wear a work out-fit that screams "I'm a serious athlete" (No Pitts Family Reunion 1998 T-shirts today!) Sweat up a storm to the point that people avoid the cardio machines on either side of you. Look up a new strength routine online and pretend like you totally made it up yourself. If you want to feel really special, maybe even walk with your arms away from your sides (Y'know, since your biceps are SO big they can't even fit next to your body).

  5. They don't call me Bear Cub for nothin'


What do you do when you're feeling down on yourself?? What picks you up like nobody's business?

Did you have any nicknames when you were a kid?
Nobody ever called me Bear Cub. I have no idea how it ended up on the shirt. My fam did call me "Missy Miss" for a while but I really can't tell ya where that came from.

Random Fact #20/Frat House Tip: Whenever there are no paper towels left, I just wipe my hands on the bottom of my jeans. The idea behind this is that nobody checks out your ankles (but everybodyyy checks out your bootaytay, right ladies??)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Prepare To Be Overwhelmed

I just found this little buddy that outlines when and what to eat before and after a workout. Does anybody out there follow a regimen like this? It sounds like wayyy too much work to me...

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