Tag Archive | humor

Who Is Jack Frost?

I took my son to watch that new movie that just came out, “The Rise of the Guardians” (translated here into Spanish as “The Origin of the Guardians”). We had a thoroughly good time consuming buttery popcorn and doing the usual things that people do at movie theatres.

Frost

I thought that the movie was pretty clear. But when we came out, the first thing that my son commented about: did he remark about the amazing special effects? The heartwarming, happy-ending story? The lesson about how good can conquer evil and how joy is much more powerful than fear?

No.

He said: “Mami, what is frost and who is Jack Frost?”

Oh yes, sometimes I do tend to forget that we live in an almost tropical land and that he has never experienced the “joy” of having to fight through snow dunes higher than you are and getting locked up in the house because your door has frozen over.

I forget that he has never had a snowball fight, slipped on ice and broken his bones or admired the beautiful designs that frost can create on windows and tree branches.

And I forget that he has never seen frost.

Frost on Tree

The only frost that you will ever see in Malaga.

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Happy Giant Cockroach Hunting!

Here in deep southern Spain we’ve got some humungous gigantic cockroaches. Now, I’m not talking about the cute, adorable little garden variety type, you know, the kind that freaks out restaurant owners and sanitation control authorities.

No, I mean we’ve got ENORMOUS, TREMENDOUS, HUMUNGOUS cockroaches. The kind that only lives in hot places. The kind that even flies, in some lands (fortunately not in Spain!).

And it also just so happens that I’ve got MAJOR GIANT COCKROACH PHOBIA too.

And how major is major?

Well, let’s just say that I will NOT EVER go to see a therapist for this, because I’ve heard that the way they make you get over your phobias is by making you FACE them, little by little.

And there’s NO WAY that I will EVER face a giant cockroach. Not even in photos! (Which is why I will not be including a photograph of a giant cockroach with this post. Sorry, guys, you’ll just have to imagine what one might look like.) (You can take a photo of the most terrifying movie monster that you can think of, and perhaps that will give you an idea.)

So, you might be wondering, what do I do when one of these ogres manages to squeeze into our humble, normally giant-cockroach-free, one-bedroom-with-a-walk-in-closet-as-the-second-bedroom apartment in da inna big city?

Well, I do NOT go chasing it around with a shoe. Or with a spray can of cockroach killer (which doesn’t work anyways). I will not go chasing it around anywhere. Chances are, I will just disappear from the room where it happens to be.

Which doesn’t do much to get rid of it, however.

Usually, I send my son to go spying on it, and demand that he report the gigantic cockroach’s activities to me every five seconds or so, so that, you know, let’s say it gets it into its enormous head that it wants to, say, live in my shoe. Well, then I will know to avoid that shoe for the next month or so, in case it’s still there.

The other night there was a giant cockroach in our kitchen. My son described its wanderings as it meandered happily about the high windows of our tall kitchen, the ones that are right underneath the ceiling and, fortunately, far away from me!

Now, it just so happens that we have a hole in our kitchen wall, a small hole. I don’t know why it’s there, it was there when we got the apartment and I never filled it up, seeing as I need a handyman’s manual just to change a lightbulb, well, let’s just say that filling up holes in walls has never been my forte.

So, we have a hole in the wall. Perhaps the former owners thought it made a great chimney when they were cooking or something. At any rate, I never found much use for it, except maybe to catch a glimpse of the sky and therefore figure out what kind of weather we were having, since the windows themselves are glazed, so I can’t see out of them (and the neighbours can’t see in, either!).

Well, the other night, we were very, very fortunate, because the giant cockroach decided to waltz through the hole in the wall.

However, the relief didn’t last long, like maybe all of two seconds. Because apparently this specimen suffered from vertigo. It got one look of what was on the other side of the hole, and jumped back into our apartment.

I then therefore took up a pole, a very handy pole that I just happen to have lying around specifically for the purpose of pushing giant cockroaches out of windows with, and I pushed the giant cockroach out through the hole again.

However, that mean son of a…… (I won’t say the word here), I mean, that bugger, is sure one mean survivor. I actually saw him CLINGING ON to the edge of the hole as if his life depended on it (or perhaps it was a she, who knows, they all look the same to me), with gritted teeth and that determined look on its face that said to me: I’m going to survive no matter what and I MEAN BUSINESS!

Well, fortunately for me, I’m equally determined to live without giant cockroaches. Even if only to save my sanity. So, my son let out this bloodcurdling shriek which told me that the giant cockroach was COMING BACK IN! And I really pushed and rammed and shoved at it big time, like it was a mac truck or something. And the creepy little…… I mean gigantic…… bugger finally took a nose dive off of the hole and down to the pavement below.

I’m sure it survived its free fall, however, and probably just scuttled off underneath a car. These things could probably fall off of the Empire State Building and still come out looking as fresh as if they had just walked off of a merry-go-round.

But at least once again we can enjoy a giant-cockroach-free home.

And for anyone else out there who might possibly be unfortunate enough to be living in a land rife with giant cockroaches, and who also suffers from giant cockroach phobia like me, I do have this tip for you, which sometimes actually works for me:

In order to kill giant cockroaches effectively, painlessly (painlessly for YOU, that is, probably not so much for the cockroach), without ever having to get your hands dirty or come within more than five metres of that horrifying being, you can use…… ta-da: SPLASH COLOGNE.

Just get a very large, cheap bottle, the no-name kind will do nicely. The only thing that matters is that it contain alcohol, be squeezable (so no glass bottles there) and that you have a large quantity of it. I just aim the bottle at the cockroach and douse it with cologne. And THAT’S IT!

This, however, only works when the roach happens to be someplace that you don’t mind if it gets covered with cologne. So if it happens to be sniffing on your favourite books, for example, or lounging away on that pile of notes that are absolutely essential for you to pass your exams, it won’t work.

However, the corner of the room (as long as you don’t have a rug) is a perfectly good location to spritz that entity with cologne. After it has agonized itself to death, you can just sweep it up and dump it into the toilet. Your hands never have to even come near that thing that looks just as ghastly and horrifying to me in death as it does in life.

Yes, I won’t even come near a dead giant cockroach lying on the sidewalk. Something about it coming back to life and wanting vengeance, maybe?

Drooling bird

Well, just thought this animal was a bit more visually pleasing than a giant cockroach.

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Blog about Blogs and Blogging

The other day I was reading a few blogs. All the bloggers put up a new post every 2 or 3 days complete with photos. I don’t know how they do it. And in addition they all have time to put up links and comments about other blogs that they have read as well. How in the world do they ever have time to write so many posts, make so many photos and read so many blogs? In addition to working and taking care of families?

I wish I were able to post every 2 or 3 days. But to do that I’d have to dedicate every free minute to blogging. I don’t know how they do it! My congrats go out to them!

Maybe I just don’t have a very exciting life to go on about. For example, this could be a post about if I go out:

Today I went shopping with a friend. I went shopping with her because I wanted to spend some time with my friend, I mean, after all we are friends and people like being with their friends, right? But she spent the whole afternoon shopping. Now that is all fine and great but I hate shopping. Where is the fun in stalking from store to store the whole day long just looking at clothes? If you HAD to stalk from one thing to another the whole day long wouldn’t you prefer to go and look at cute and furry little animals or something instead?

Something like this, for example:

Hungry Crocodiles

Ooops, wrong pic!

Lemur

End of blog post.

So you can see not a very exciting blog post. And this is when I actually DO something and actually have something to say! A typical day, when I DON’T have anything to say, would probably go something like this:

Today I had to run to catch the bus in order not to arrive late at work. But then again, EVERY DAY I have to run to catch the bus in order not to arrive late at work. I worked the shift I was supposed to do, then I went home. When I got home my always hungry son started pestering me for food as usual so I had to whip something into the oven. Then since I was so tired I went to bed.

End of blog post.

I was reading some posts by people who comment a lot on the things that they buy. Boy they sure do buy a lot of things! I thought people who bought so many things were just an urban legend.

Well here is my blog post review of our latest acquisitions in our household:

Well a few weeks ago I went to the hyper-market (something similar here in Europe to a Wal-Mart in the States) and I bought some new pillow covers and bedsheets, because the old ones were full of holes.

Now bedsheets and pillowcases are not the most essential items in the world, but I guess they’re pretty important, because who wants to sleep with holes underneath their feet when they can sleep on new sheets?

So now I will proceed to review these sheets. I got them in some pretty exciting and vibrant colours, blue and fuchsia. I must admit, I am quite crazy about my new fuchsia-tinted pillow cover. It does actually kind of make me feel rather regal to be sleeping on a neon-coloured pillow and even more so when this pillow no longer has holes in it.

Blue and Fuchsia Pillowcases

I’m afraid this item can’t really compare to a face cream, an eyeshadow palette with 120 shadows in it, some hair serums or something (anything) from Shiseido or Givenchy, however. Sigh!

Well I think in future posts I may start a series reviewing music and books that I like instead.

The latest book that I bought: Dans un Gant de Fer (or In An Iron Glove, if you prefer to read a translation into English, which I think is available on Amazon) by Claire Martin.

Use an iron fist within a soft velvet glove to raise your children. Harsh and cruel life of children in rural Québec a century ago, when the driving (sorry have to interrupt this interesting item with a quick and important news flash: More than ONE HUNDRED people have read the Privacy Policy! Breaking news!)(Oh, I didn’t even know that there was a Privacy Policy. Well, basically it states that if you write to me I will NOT use your e-mail to send you spam (got better things to do, like cook dinner for always hungry kids, if you’ve got kids you will know what I mean. And now back to the main item) slogan in the hidebound, repressive Catholic environment for child-rearing was: casse-leur les membres pour sauver leurs âmes. Break their limbs and you will save their souls!

Because used to be that it was considered very good practice to beat children at school in Canada.

By the time I went to school they didn’t follow that policy anymore (at least!). But they still believed in toughening Canadian kids up, because I guess they figured, if we were going to have to live in that sub-arctic clime all our lives, they might as well get us inured to it at an early age.

So they made us stand outside all the time. I mean, here in Spain, when it gets just a little chillier than usual, or there is a tiny drizzle with 4 scattered raindrops, they usher the kids urgently into the school.

So that really contrasts with Canada where they made us stay outside all the time (when we weren’t in class, I mean) even if it was 40 below or there was a blizzard! They sent one poor teacher out, always the same one, who always stood at the door and looked like she was about to die, dressed in layers and layers of fur! And she was dying with all that fur on. So what about the kids, who don’t wear fur coats?

(Not that I believe in fur coats, of course. I am as always

Against Animal Testing

and

Against Fur Coats

(All right, so the effect might have been a little bit more dramatic if I had used a pic of a cute and fluffy little baby animal, I guess, but I don’t happen to have any such photos. Unless you count the photos of my babies, that is. They’re sorta cute. And when they had baby hair, I guess you could say they were fluffy too.)

However the only thing that did for me was make me flee for warmer climes, like Spain. Because the thought of spending a whole lifetime in Siberia was just too depressing!

I also got The House of the Spirits, by Isabel Allende, but I already read it before, just that I left the book in Canada. It doesn’t matter if you read it in English or Spanish, the English translation is magnificent and superb and you are not missing any of the Spanish original if you read it in English. However it’s very long so if you have already read it before (like me) you might not make it through a second read. Especially if you have a job, always hungry and always sick kids, 2 blogs and a website.

What more can I blog about? Well I don’t have an eyeshadow palette with 120 colours, but I did get the original 88-colour palette that they sell at Coastal Scents, except in the Spanish version.

So I suppose one day I might take out that 88-colour palette and make a review of it. If I ever use it.

Because after I got the palette I got the job, and at this job I don’t wear make-up. The reason is because I don’t work with real people at the job, I work with virtual people on a webcam. And webcams really make you look weird.

The day I wore make-up I looked like a porcelain mannequin on the webcam. I looked like, when I started to talk, if you were looking at me on the webcam, you probably would’ve jumped out of your skin, because you probably thought I was a store mannequin. That is how I looked on the webcam the day I wore make-up. When I don’t wear make-up I look like a person. So I don’t wear make-up.

I can’t explain it. Webcams just make you look weird. They give you strange stains on the skin that you don’t really have in real life. They make everything look black and white and grey, no colours. They make me look like I am wearing very bright lipstick and I don’t wear lipstick. I don’t know, they just change everything from the way they look in real life, the colours, the shapes and sizes.

See you soooon!!……

Sierra Nevada Revisited

Snow on Sierra Nevada

Signs that you live in a tropical clime:

When in order to prepare for an excursion to a ski resort tomorrow the following events occur:

    • when no matter how hard you look you just CAN’T find any scarves, gloves, hats or mittens, even when you can swear that you kept a special drawer in your apartment JUST to keep strange garments like scarves, gloves, hats and mittens, but when you look in that drawer the only thing you find is an enormous square black cap with a large golden tassel that your son wore for his graduation, ie. his graduation from kindergarten, not his graduation from university, and also 2 Santa Claus caps (probably got them at some party)

View of Sierra Nevada

  • when your son needs to take a crash course to learn how to put on the gloves that his grandfather bought him specially for his trip to the snow, because he just CAN’T figure out how to get one finger inside each glove finger, the reason being that he has never worn gloves before in his life
  • when your kids have to wear rubber rain boots to go to the snow, because they have nothing else to wear

When we first moved here from Barcelona we did decide to keep the winter gear because we said, you never know when it will come in handy. Who knows maybe one year you will do just exactly what we’re going to do tomorrow and take an excursion to a ski resort.

Or maybe one year you just might decide to go on your Christmas vacations to New York City or England or Canada. But of course we never went skiing, and we never went to NYC, England or Canada on our winter holidays.

So the winter gear started disappearing, and getting stuffed further and further back, or moved out of the way. And in the end it all disappeared forever.

Well as you can see, last month we returned to Sierra Nevada.

Sierra Nevada Granada

For those members of the expedition who were expecting to see snow for the very first time in their lives (ie. my youngest son) the trip was quite clearly a disappointment.

For the rest of us (or rather, for me, who absolutely HATES the cold, the wind, the frost or anything that you won’t find in the tropics!), it was quite a splendorous revelation and a very relaxing outing.

Because we didn’t find any snow.

Shadows on the Mountains Sierra Nevada

Except, of course, the artificial variety, absolutely vital in a touristic ski resort that depends solely and entirely on the presence of snow.

So now, here we have yet another sign that we live comfortably ensconced in a tropical clime, here on the south coast of Spain. As we crossed over the mountains that separate our particular Shangri-La from the cold wild north, my sons exclaimed:

“How come there are no leaves on the trees, Mami?”

Because, of course, on the Costa del Sol, trees merrily conserve their leaves all year round, and these leaves remain green.

Green forever.

Bare Trees on Sierra Nevada

So that pretty much summed up the point in going to the bother of travelling to Sierra Nevada. Because we certainly didn’t do it for the snow.

As you can see, the mountaintops were as bare, as they say here, as a bald man’s pate.

Valley Sierra Nevada

I had been feeling quite distressed because, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we had been unable to dig up any winter gear. I was expecting to endow the African vendors up on the mountains with a small fortune investing in hats, scarves and mitts from them.

Corner of Pradollano Sierra Nevada Granada

Instead, the only thing I purchased was a set of sunglasses. Very fortuitous, as it just so happened that I had forgotten mine at home. However, the friendly African merchant was on the verge of setting up an ice cream stand, so so much for that.

Telephone Sierra Nevada

Now, we really don’t know what in the world this was! But it looked so forlorn there, as well as useless, my son tried to hang it up but it kept falling down again. So we gave up on it.

Pradollano Sierra Nevada Granada 2

Truth is, Pradollano is actually quite a lovely, quaint and Swiss-like village. Its only problem is that (from my point of view, of course) it’s too cold! Most of the time, that is.

Although perhaps not this year.

Pradollano Sierra Nevada Granada

In order to find a little bit of the powdery white stuff, we had to journey up to the ski slopes, where artificial snow machines kept the ground nicely padded.

Ski Slopes at Sierra Nevada
Skiing at Sierra Nevada

And my kids could finally throw a few snowballs.

Throwing Snowballs at Sierra Nevada

Down in the village, we roasted ourselves in the sun a bit. We engaged in my favourite activity, people-watching, and observed that most were wearing T-shirts rather than anoraks.

Footpath Sierra Nevada Granada

And we also noticed that any little vestige of snow that happy skiers proudly brought down with them from the slopes, promptly formed puddles on the ground without any further ado.

Blossoms on a Tree Sierra Nevada Granada

Now, do these flowers in bloom look like something you would expect to see at the beginning of January at a ski resort, or what?

Mountain Sierra Nevada

So, I fear that, unlike in our previous journey to the mountains of Sierra Nevada a few years back, my youngest son was unable to learn the delicate art of forming snow angels. He had no experience of slipping and sliding on wet and icy mounds or trying to learn to get his “snow feet” under him.

I guess all these experiences will just have to wait till another year.

Sierra Nevada Granada 2

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