Friday, September 18, 2009

I'm finally here

This morning I woke up at 2 a.m. to the sound of rain falling against my window. In the darkness, it took me a couple of seconds to figure out where I was.

I'm in my new room. In Madrid.

I would be lying if I said I wasn't homesick and overwhelmed. I miss my family, friends and LA, not to mention the ability to check my email whenever I want (I'm at an internet cafe near my apartment).

Things have gone smoothly so far. My flight was horribly long but my flatmate and two of her friends picked me up at the airport, which was comforting. I can't imagine what I'd do without her. She has become my tour guide and friend.

It rained all day yesterday and it was FREEZING, well, at least for this California girl. Fortunately, the sun came out today and Madrid looks beautiful. I'm not sure why, but it reminds me a bit of Mexico. Everyone here is well-dressed but I guess that might be because this is Europe, after all.


I don´t have much access to the Internet so I´m going I-N-S-A-N-E. But once that´s sorted, I will post more often.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Adios, Los Angeles

If you're reading this, I'm probably thousands of feet above LA, en route to Madrid via Toronto. I'll let you know if there is any hand-holding.

See you on the other side of the Atlantic!

p.s. I really hope nothing happens to my luggage because my carry-on suitcase is filled entirely with shoes.

(photo via Like Neely O'Hara)

The hardest part

It's my last night in LA and I'm having trouble saying goodbye. My co-workers saw me off with a potluck on Friday and as much as I told myself to keep it together, I kept doing this whenever someone hugged me or so much as looked in my direction:

It was my first job and it was a great one. I never felt like an employee, but more like a college kid who was adopted by a fun (and at times, wacky) family. I'm going to miss talking with my boss about anything and his coffee mug filled with chocolate. I learned so much from my co-workers and I think it will be hard to find another workplace that is just as creative and nurturing. I was lucky.


I've been so busy packing and making sure I don't forget anything that I haven't had time to sit down and breathe. These last days have been a blur.

Nancy and Karol came over last night with a journal (which I'm not allowed to read until I'm in seat 24A) filled with goodbyes and remember whens, or so I was told. (I haven't peeked, you guys!)

Climbing over suitcases, with my hair up in a messy bun and wearing mismatching pajamas, I looked exactly like someone who's moving to another country in less than 48 hours. They didn't care. They just wanted to see me for five minutes.


We're finally a complete family again and I'm leaving. Gathered at the dinner table, I scan their faces, with my heart in my throat. I'm afraid of what I'll miss while I'm gone.

We practice Skyping from different rooms and make funny faces. I think, this will make it better. It will be fine.

But then it's time to hang up and I'm not so sure.

(photo via Melecwi)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Packing frenzy update

I'm in the middle of packing (where did all these clothes come from?!) but I wanted to let you know that I blogged for EuroCheapo about moving to Madrid. I still can't believe I'm doing this. It's so surreal.

I will be back as soon as I've decided which shoes to pack. Very tricky.

(photo via Unicornology)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A proper introduction

Allo there! If you're not a personal friend or family member I'm a) glad you're here, b) sorry about the recent whiny, freakouts and c) I will do my best to keep it together over here.

I'm not going to get all David Copperfield on you guys, but here are the basics:

1. I'm a writer. I've written for the LA Times and Los Angeles magazine. It's a crazy life that doesn't pay well but it keeps me sane and happy. For a long time, I wanted to be a nurse, but that plan was foiled as soon as I realized how squirmish I was around bodily fluids. And all that math in college! No gracias.

2. I'm addicted to Twitter and inspired by Tumblr. I spend too much money on concerts and books. But it could be worse.

3. Speaking of concerts, I saw Coldplay twice this year because I'm the biggest Coldplay fan on the planet. I plan on seeing them until Chris Martin can no longer jump around like a madman on account of a fractured hip.

4. As you can tell, I love cupcakes (or anything with the word "cake" as a suffix). I don't care much for beer. Red wine on the other hand... I hate onions. HAAAAAAATE. I CANNOT EMPHASIZE THIS ENOUGH. WHY ARE THEY IN EVERYTHING? Now cheese? Cheese should be in absolutely everything.

5. I'm half-Mexican and half-Salvadoran, although no one ever believes me. (Ask me about the Getty security guard story. It's a good one).

6. And why am I moving to Spain? Because "Live in another country" is on my List, you know that list of things to do before you die. And since my life is no longer divided into semesters, I could use a change of pace and scenery.

Any questions? Ask me anything! Unless you want to know what I'm wearing right now. You weirdo.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two Weeks Notice

Remember when I said I was worried about not worrying? Well my friends, there's no need to worry about that anymore! Because two days ago, while I was looking over my Gmail calendar, it happened. At my desk. At work. THE TIMING, LET ME TELL YA.

I was completely blindsided by a headache the size of Brazil and I felt dizzy. For a second I thought, It's the fires! The smoke! Yes, that's it! But then my limbs felt numb and I wanted to throw up.
(I didn't, but eww, let's move on, shall we?)

So what was it that finally triggered my delayed sense of panic? It was this little square of DOOM.

It looks so small and harmless, right? September 16 at 11:45 a.m., Leave for Madrid. FACT.

I knew it was there all along, but for a very long time, I would have to click several months ahead to even reach September.

September 16 and I were separated by many rows and columns of time, and I liked it that way.

But this week, all that changed. September 16 is less than two weeks away. My days in LA are numbered, and I'm happy and sad--happy that it's here and sad that I have to leave.

I already miss everyone.

(photo via Unicornology)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

This fire is out of control

Time Lapse Test: Station Fire from Eric Spiegelman on Vimeo.

Just in case you haven't heard the news, Los Angeles is burning again. I thought the last fire was pretty bad. But with the 105,000 acres burned, this is the largest fire in county history since 1897. There's no containment in sight for at least another two weeks.

Although I live 20 minutes away from the fire, it's still very scary. I was at a red light on Sunday afternoon as I watched a fire cloud mushroom up ahead. It was like driving towards an erupting volcano. There was ash and smoke everywhere. A giant hose dangled from a helicopter as it thundered towards the hills.

For more pictures of the fire cloud (or "pyrocumulus" if you want to get really fancy), LA Observed has some really stunning shots.

And of course, there's Death Cab for Cutie's "Grapevine Fires," a song inspired by the 2007 wildfires.

It's hard to think I'll be watching LA's next brush fire from afar.
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