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“Forever never seems that long until you’re grown.” December 31, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard.
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The end of the year and the beginning of a new one makes me more emotional than a middle aged woman watching her first and only child go somewhere far, far away like college. And even though “time”, is just a human invention, a creation to make sure we have “control” and can track what has passed, what is here, and what the future holds… whether it’s something to look forward to or not. I really hate it, or should I say strongly dislike it, when people say things like, “2010 sucked, I can’t wait for the new year!” Though the new year seems like a fresh start, shaking up the etch-a-sketch to blank… it’s not. If anything, it’s a new page in your already crowded, doodled, messy notebook… at best. Though, nothing else can be erased or added to the previous pages… but that’s another issue altogether. These are just my opinions, and I know I can come across as a human that values my own opinion more than a pretty penny, they are merely my opinions… nothing more and nothing less. But what can I say, humans are strange… and I am far from an exception… so far I can barely see that boundary line. Year after year, day after day, hour after hour I learn something new about something, someone, somewhere and I store that in my brain if I like or dislike it, to create a reaction or action later on in life. And though I am still young and naive and I have a hell of a whole lot to learn about this humongous world (that in reality is just a speck of dust in our gargantuan universe) I feel like this year, but really, this episode of my life… I have learned so much. So much so, that it’s hard to know where to begin. And maybe if I sift back through this old love letter to myself, I can laugh about how stupid I was back then.  I can only hope that I grow enough to realize how stupid I was.

  1. I’ve learned that you don’t have to be rude to not take shit from people. Killing with kindness is a very difficult thing to do, but I’m trying to master this (by 2022 I should have this down pat).
  2. I’m in better agreement with myself. I am beginning to understand what my expectations will be and how the people in my life fit them. No one is perfect, but you learn what you love and what you don’t and deal with the things that you don’t like. How you deal with it, though, is entirely up to you… then that’s when you seek out number one. I hope that “dealing” with for certain people don’t mean doing anything illegal! Killing with kindness is not meant to be taken in a literal sense, and if you’ve seen Pushing Daisies… you just might know what I’m getting at!
  3. Success is much easier than failure. It is so hard to wake up and look in the mirror, disgusted with yourself, beating yourself up in your brain discussing and analyzing your issues. How can you defend yourself… from yourself? Patting yourself on the back, and moving forward is easier than failing and finding a way to move on and pick yourself back up again. Sure, you may be disgraced and ashamed… and as cliché as it may be, you need to learn to “dust yourself and try again”. Your mind will thank you for ending those loud arguments.

Resolutions are always weird. It’s important to have goals, but you don’t need to build them around a calendar year… calendars are something that can be bought in a freaking bookstore! Why would you base your life goals on something worth no more than ten bucks?! Change because you want your habits to become your lifestyle, not because it’s January 1st somewhere in the world.

Now that I’ve dabbled into a few reasons why I have a love/hate relationship with the end of the year, it’s important to know why I love it! I love the new year because it’s a worldwide celebration! And even though I kind of bashed on the concept of “time” earlier in my discussion, new year’s celebrations are kind of like the wave at a sports game! Everyone is a part of it, one time zone at a time! There are no religious, sexual, or racial boundaries when it comes to celebrating and bringing in a brand new year. And even though, at the end of the day… a new year, is just a new day… how cool is it to think that 80% of the world’s population is probably hungover at the exact same time? Or most importantly, thinking about the fact that this is probably the only global day where the most hugs and kisses are given out.

~  2  0  1  0   F  A  V  O  R  I  T  E  S  ~

The following are all the new discoveries I made this year. They have brought me a lot of joy and I think it’s important to share things that make you smile. Oh, laugh at me if you want… it’s not like I’ll know! There are a few guilty pleasures listed that I should be ashamed about… but I’m not (hint some of the top 40 hits are my bubblegum guilty pleasures, but why hide the fact that they made me turn the volume up?).

  • Movies: Tangled, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1, Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Easy A, Sunshine Cleaning, Zombieland, Eclipse, Adventureland, Being John Malkovich; Sorry, I didn’t get to watch 127 Hours, Black Swan, or The Social Network but they are most definitely on the list of things to see that I couldn’t afford!
  • Music: White Lies To Lose My Life (key tracks: The Price of Love, Farewell to the Fairground, Taxidermy), La Roux La Roux (key tracks: I’m Not Your Toy, Tigerlily, In For the Kill, Saviour), Rodrigo y Gabriela 11:11 (11:11, Hanuman, Chac Mool), Little People Mickey Mouse Operation (key track: Start Shootin’), A Perfect Circle Thirteenth Step (key tracks: Gravity, Noose, Weak and Powerless); Thievery Corporation “Beautiful Drug, Sweet Tides, and La Femme Parallel”, Peter Bjorn and John “The Chills”, Pogo “Go Out and Love Someone and Alohomora”, Shakira “Waka Waka and La Loca”, Rihanna “Only Girl”, Jade Smith “Whip My Hair”, Miguel featuring J. Cole “All I Want is You”, Far East Movement “Like a G6”, Lady Gaga “Alejandro”, Edward Maya and Vika Jigulina “Stereo Love”, Kaskade “4 am (Adam K & Soha Remix), Deadmau5 “Ghosts and Stuff and Faxing Berlin”, Kaskade and Deadmau5 “Move for Me”, La Roux “Bulletproof (Dave Aude’s Cherry Mix)”, La Roux “In For the Kill (Skream Remix)”
  • Television: CONAN, Modern Family, Californication, Pushing Daisies
  • Dreams: Three beaches with my small, Asian child, Hanging out with Conan O’Brien, and Sitting in Brandon Boyd’s apartment talking about his music.
  • Other fond moments: finally using Twitter, learning how to ride a bike (again, but better), learning how to knit, the birth of my little boy cousin Nelson Isaac, Myrtle Beach family vacation, my two favorite albums gifted to me by my favorite, most talented artist (for free), Vintage Volume finally played live (three times), seeing La Roux live, visiting the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum, the snowstorm happened this year… right? Okay so, that too. By the way, these are in no particular order, because obviously the birth of my little cousin holds a lot more weight in terms of importance and fond moments than having a Twitter account!

I truly hope that this new year will bring many blessings to everyone in the whole world. That may sound naive, but I’m talking about good health and happiness, not big yachts and Suisse bank accounts, although those are always more than welcome! Misery loves company, and it is hard to contain. So, if more people are happy with much to be thankful for, I think we all could spread a little more cheer. Little things like being polite, saying good morning, using your turn signal, or just saying those magic words, “please, thank you, you’re welcome, and I love you” can make all the difference in someone’s day. There have been times where I’ve just wanted to sit down and tell people to think about things differently and calm down… maybe it’s enough to wish that they will figure it out for themselves before it’s too late. Have a wonderful new year everyone!

 

P  E  A  C  E

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum December 4, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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I have a love for music that cannot be expressed into words. My boyfriend also shares this same love for music, but lucky for him he plays guitar and can play just about any other instrument he can get his talented hands on. So we both decided, what better way to spend our four year anniversary than going to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum?!

The best place Cleveland, Ohio has to offer.

When I told people we booked tickets on the Greyhound to Cleveland, Ohio everyone thought it was a joke or asked why in the world would we want to go to Cleveland of all places. A few people even tried to talk us out of going to Cleveland, describing how dangerous it is, reminding us to be safe, or suggesting a nice bed and breakfast getaway instead. We thought hopping on a bus to Cleveland was more our style. The bus ride up there was ridiculous and long but a good experience, but that’s a different story.

Posing with slightly large guitars.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum is amazing, point blank. There are seven levels jam (pun intended) packed with music memorabilia. Unfortunately, the museum only allows visitors to take pictures outside of the museum and inside the lobby since most of the memorabilia is on loan from the artists. I’m serious, they really enforce this rule – they yelled at a few visitors! That being said, this post will not have many pictures, but I will describe the excitement in what I saw as best as I can.

My favorite exhibits included:

Jimi Hendrix: his father donated so much to the museum, which was very selfless and very thoughtful on his part. There’s the old couch Jimi used to practice and lounge on. It’s split pea green with short wooden legs, a little tattered but in fairly good condition. I really wanted to dive in and lay on it, but that would’ve gotten me kicked out of the museum (not worth it). The threads he wore on stage were amazing, still in great condition with vibrant colors and wild patterns. They were a bigger size than I’d imagined since he was so skinny. The exhibit also included some childhood artwork. I thought the best part of the exhibit were his lyrics on paper. The paper is now old, thin, and frayed… but once was new, with fresh ideas from a genius musician. I envisioned him sitting on that split pea green couch, emptying his soul in a hurry to release the overflow of thoughts to capture them on paper. Thoughts captured to last for generations to come.

John Lennon: this exhibit included a few outfits, especially Beatles attire, a lot of childhood artwork, he was born a creative powerhouse, some grade reports – academics wasn’t really his “gig”, and other random memorabilia. I wish I remembered more, I just remember being pretty mesmerized.

Elvis Presley: I have been obsessed with Elvis and his story since childhood. I think I’ve done at least three school reports on this musical man. Like Jimi’s exhibit, his exhibit was full of cool things I wouldn’t have imagined I’d be interested in like the budget for him and his crew during their tours or how he asked a woman he didn’t even know if she liked a car she was checking out and bought it for her on the spot.

The Rolling Stone Magazine Covers: I’ve never been too interested in the magazines, not for lack of love of writing and music, but recently their magazines have been going away from those two things for reasons unbeknown to me. But their covers have definitely made musical history for decades. And now that I think about it, I just love old magazines in general, so much so… that every time I’m in a thrift store I sift through whatever old magazines they have in the store and the older, the better! It’s almost like going back in time… almost.

The Hall of Fame Gallery is great, too. It’s basically the best soundtrack ever. You can check out the inductees here.

I really wish I could remember more about the museum itself, but places like these you definitely have to see and experience it for yourself! It’s really the only place in Ohio, beside Cedar Point, worth going to (unless you like the Cleveland Cavaliers or Browns). So the next time you’re in Ohio, and are bored to death (which you will be), go to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum! Two things to remember: don’t take the Greyhound up there and don’t eat the food at the museum (it’s overpriced and microwavable).

Yoko Status, Fits the Setting

Happy Travels!

Leticia’s Recent Favorites November 20, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard, Places, Things.
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Recently Oprah has done her Favorite Things episode. So I finally decided to my Favorites Thing post, but I’ve been thinking about it for awhile. Unfortunately for you I’m not giving anything away, I’m just going to talk about things I’ve discovered and enjoyed these past few weeks.

  • I have rediscovered Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Formula: This makes your skin feel like butter and makes you smell like a chocolate bar. And it’s very light too, I don’t smell like a bakery or a garden of flowers. And it’s cheap, under $4 at most places like Target or Wal-Mart.
  • Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Soap: I really hate to buy anything with harsh Sulfate detergents, and something in my mind feels like the more cocoa butter products I use the softer I will be… I’m working towards being a silky cloud.
  • Thai Square: I LOVE Thai food and if you have intelligent taste buds you do, too. I love the combination of flavors: sour, salty, sweet and spicy. Most people try Pad Thai first (noodles with eggs, scallions, peanuts, and a choice of meat) but there is SO much more to Thai food than that. This place is all about the food, a ‘hole-in-the-wall’ you could say. It’s not about design and overdressed tables and snooty waiters like other Americanized Thai food restaurants.
  • Rodrigo y Gabriela: Their album 11:11 is amazing. Two guitarists, all acoustics with some use of distortion. They are truly a talented pair, and it’s all about the music, there are no lyrics… so when you listen you can create your own poetry, your own thoughts and design the song for the moment you are living. Plus, they are fantastic live. If you don’t want to dish out $9.99 for the album, check them out on YouTube… and you can start off with my favorite song on the album.
  • V8 Fusion, now in cans! I always have this vision that I’m going to fill some of my water bottles with juice and I never do… mostly because I’m too lazy, and I don’t want to ruin perfectly good water bottles because I forgot to wash out all the juice. I’m not a filthy person, I’m just trying to avoid the inevitable. I’m kind of sad that they don’t come in my favorite flavors yet… but if you like Strawberry Banana (yuck) or Pomegranate Blueberry (good, but a little strong for me) you should go buy some. It’s much healthier than soda or fake fruit juices, and be sure to recycle the can when you’re done.
  • Modern Family: I saw advertisements for this show a few times on Hulu, but I kept putting it off. If I hadn’t put it off for so long… I would’ve been much happier long ago! This show reminds me a lot of Arrested Development, even down to the black and orange title. If you are a fan of comedy, dysfunctional families, and thoroughly enjoy references to weird things that happen in everyday life… you need to watch this. I’m not very good at catching a series at their scheduled time; I’m one of those Netflix/Hulu people that catch up with episodes later… but if you have the time watch this on ABC, Wednesdays at 9pm.

This isn’t the most thorough of reviews lists… these are just a handful of recent favorites. Maybe I’ll make a products year in review, my favorite things for all of 2010. I can probably do this after I copy Mrs. Simmons’ best brownies in the universe (I dubbed them that name, because they truly are!) recipe and purchasing Pureology shampoo and conditioner. My tired, Saturday afternoon post is over now. Enjoy the leaves!

“Finally My Saviour is Here” November 12, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard, Things.
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There are few things I love better than live music. Unfortunately  I have zero talents for singing or playing any sort of instrument, but I do have ears that could listen for hours to any and all music (except Country, that’s where I draw the line).

I have been waiting to see La Roux since I first discovered her song, “Bulletproof” on a drive to work, a peppy Spring day, with the windows down and the radio up. Her voice and the sound was unlike a lot of other music on the pop scene these days, and fans of classic rock, glamorous 80s and other eccentric music desperately needed to be saved from the Lady Gaga’s infesting the radio. I know that sounds harsh, but it is what it is. I had been waiting to hear music that really tugged at my musical heart strings, because I’d practically exhausted all the tunes from the 50s-90s and I needed something new to make me happy and La Roux was and IS the perfect fit.

I can’t even put into words how much I adore her. She is beautiful. Her style is original and impeccable. Her personality, at least in interviews, seems genuine and quite hilarious. It’s borderline crazy how obsessed I am with her, so I’m not going to dig myself a hole and delve into it further. But hey, everyone has these healthy obsessions, right?

Needless to say, after I bought the album, loved every song, and listened to the album for two months straight (maybe longer, and I wouldn’t even click the FM/AM button) I was anxious to see her live! I heard she was scheduled to perform at 9:30 club, but the show had been cancelled, sold out and rescheduled… so when I saw she was going to be in Baltimore at Ram’s Head Live I bought them right away! The show ended up being cancelled as well, because she had been sick with bronchitis. So essentially, I had waited since June to see her, and finally saw her on Sunday, November 7th.

La Roux's Elly Jackson

Blurred La Roux

I took very few pictures because I was dancing/singing the entire time. Except when I stopped to record her cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb”, which is awesome. But again, it’s worth saying she is beautiful and very talented.

For those that aren’t into the whole neo 80s, synth pop deal, all of her songs are made with acoustic guitar and sounds just as brilliant. I cannot wait until she has an acoustic album. To me, music is more than just the actual sound, but the lyrics, and the feelings they bring. She awakens so much within me, and I will openly thank her here for that.

I drove 3 hours, back and forth, to see her live at a very nice, spacious venue – kudos to Ram’s Head. If you haven’t checked out her music, other than listening to “Bulletproof” radio over and over again, check her out on YouTube. I’ll be here, anxiously awaiting her next performance.

My Halloweekend 2010 November 1, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places, Things.
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Just when I thought my studies and lack of finances was going to be the end of me… an enchanting weekend saves my social life! On Wednesday night, my heroine clad with beautiful tattoos, Miss Margaret Cho posted a contest on Twitter for two free tickets and meet and greet passes for her show at Warner Theater! I had already gotten over the fact that I couldn’t afford the tickets, and since I’d seen her before in Richmond I knew I’d have to pass this time around. But when I saw the tweet, I knew it would be worth a shot (a blind shot, but a shot nonetheless). There is no strategy to luck, it’s all chance… and I’m the type of person that will fill out surveys for Target or Wal-Mart in hopes of winning $500 gift cards or buy a lottery ticket on a day I’m feeling ‘lucky’… but even though I participate I never actually win! It’s always disappointing. So when I saw my Twitter direct message ‘inbox’ with two new messages telling me that I won the contest I was ecstatic! I couldn’t even believe it. I was worried I would show up to the box office and they’d turn me away… but sure enough I get there and it took the lady a few minutes to find my tickets, but they were there and once they were in my hands nothing could take the smile off my cheesy, half-moon eyes face.

Mendy and I at Margaret Cho's Show

All of Friday, the day of the show, I could barely focus on anything. I felt like I was going on a first date, struggling to pick out the right outfit and accessories without looking like I tried too hard, figuring out the right things to say so that I wouldn’t just spaz out the moment I saw her, and just counting down the hours until I was actually seated in the theater. I decided to just make a card for her and write down exactly how I felt about her and expressed my gratitude for being able to meet her because I knew I would forget half the things I wanted to say in person (which I did!) along with one of my favorite books.

OMG, I'm standing next to the one and only Margaret Cho!

Just as I thought, I did freak out a little bit… I couldn’t believe she was right there and I was so nervous. I asked her if I could have a hug, I told her “I love you” and graciously thanked her for having us, gave her my gift, stuttered over my explanation a little bit, and bothered her for an autograph… all in what felt like a matter of seconds. But she was very, very sweet about it… very humble and soft spoken, a different side of her stand up persona. I really wanted to just ditch the place and take her to eat some Korean BBQ in Annandale, but alas the meet and greet came to a close, and we were politely sent on our way. I was on a natural high for the rest of the night.

Margaret Cho's Tour Bus

Saturday, the Halloween night for adults, was the cherry on top to a great Friday. I’ll keep this one short in sweet, because Halloween is really just about dressing up, people watching, and a few (or a lot) of drinks in between. I went to Georgetown, and checking out all the different costumes was very interesting, especially behind all my face paint.

La Calavera Leticia

La Calavera means skull in Spanish. I’ve always been fascinated by Mexican Day of the Dead art. This face paint was inspired by La Calavera Catrina (an elegant skeleton woman with formal clothing and intricate face paint). I spent under $14 for my “costume”. I bought a black and white skirt at the thrift store for $3.99, lace gloves and some face paint makeup for under $10. Unfortunately, the face makeup pretty much failed me… what do you expect for makeup under $10? So I ended up just using the white face cream, waiting for this to dry took up the most time. I tried using the face paint sticks to draw on myself, but that does NOT work for those of you who want to try painting your face one day. I ended up using black eyeliner and black eyeshadow for the outlines, red lipstick for the rose on my chin, and all other colors were colored in with powder eye shadow. Eye shadow really came in handy, because powder “sets” the cream makeup and prevents the color from fading/melting. Surprisingly, the makeup stayed put the entire night, even after hours of drinking and dancing. I really enjoyed drawing on my face, it was sort of an out of body experience and it made me feel like a kid again! But taking all that makeup off at 4:30 in the morning was a real pain, it was so thick and cake-y by the end of the night it took about ten minutes to wash off the stuff really well… but it was worth totally worth it.

Old Rag Mountain October 21, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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I have no sense of direction, yet my friend who doesn’t even drive is like a walking compass. I didn’t even print out or look up directions to find this place in the Shenandoah mountains, I just trusted in her and we went. Well, we got lost for over 30 minutes in Manassas of all places. But fast forward to three hours later, an hour past estimated time arrival, and there we are in the Old Rag Mountain parking lot. How exciting, our adventure is about to begin!

Big and Beautiful Cabin on the Drive Up

This website, or the “brown website” as we liked to call it warned us that this hike was challenging. We were ready for the long hike… we ended up exhausted on the “short” hike. The entire way up is at a steep incline, so the only resting period you get is when you’re sitting on a log eating the apple or other non-perishable snack you brought with you. And since we aren’t exactly your everyday Olympian athletes we took nice, long breaks. We brought along plenty of water, but be prepared to sweat it all out of your system because it’s a serious hike. Each time we made it to the clearing I was sure it was the top… but each time we were far from it. Finally we made it to the kind of top, where the trails end and the granite rock begins but I was too chicken to go on the granite. I didn’t have confidence in my shoes, or myself, to climb the rocks. And though I am ashamed to admit it, I’m able to accept it because I do want to reach the top the next time around because we were SO close. So we reach the kind of top, but not quite and eat and take in the breathtaking views (lots of green and a few homes). To our pleasant surprise there were three mountain dogs up there, too! We wondered how they managed to climb the whole way up because one of them looked really old, but I guess he still had it in him and they didn’t look half as tired as I was.

Not Even Close to the Top, but We're Pretty High Up

The views were amazing, the hike up was fun but challenging, and just taking in nature’s beauty was a great experience in itself. On the walk down we were just tired and hungry for real food. We keep walking, we keep walking, we keep walking… feeling closer to the end but it never is. But then finally we get to the bottom, then we get to the car and stretch and then drive off back home… but not before stopping at Chipotle! The best Chipotle of my life.

Proof that I was There!

The drive up and the hike up is definitely worth it and I would definitely recommend it. Next time I go, I’m going full force all the way to the top. If you go, you should go all the way up because if you don’t you will regret it. I endured the walk of shame the whole way down the mountain, sorry Dizzle!

Proof that Dizzle was There, Too!

Pet Peeves October 15, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Haphazard.
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Why do they call it a pet peeve anyways? Pets generally make people happy. And I don’t know what a peeve is on its own… but together they create this phrase that so many people know about. So instead of doing extensive research on where this word came about I just entrusted the job to Wikipedia and brought it here for you. This will be a short blog, and I’m writing it because I am peeved that I can’t fall asleep but I’ve already studied all the finance problems my brain can handle within a 24-hour period. I’ll be sure to add to this, because I have a long list of peeves… but these are those that have happened most recently.

  1. Women who don’t flush the toilet and/or leave their pee, or even worse, all over the toilet. Seriously? If you’re old enough to use a toilet on your own without holding mommy’s hand than you are old enough to know that a public restroom is not your home and you need to respect the fact that there will be people using the bathroom after you and janitors have feelings, too.
  2. Women who don’t wash their hands after using the restroom. Again, “ladies” you’re not at home. If you want to be gross and disgusting in the privacy of your own home and leave a trail of disease behind you go ahead. But please wash your hands while you’re out in public. I hate the feeling of knowing a woman just left the loo and thinking about what she’s going to hold/touch next… could it be the fruit I pick out at the grocery store, or the doorknob I turn to enter a classroom, or the book I check out at the library? Actually it’s very likely it will be all those things and more… do you really need to make the world a filthier place? It takes roughly 30 seconds, tough it out! You don’t need to haul your water in a bucket from miles away or collect pigs fat and oatmeal to make your own soap… all the modern day necessities are there for you! Who knew? I guess if you’re one of those that don’t wash your hands you didn’t notice.
  3. Please note that I’m only picking on the ladies because I am a female and I use only the woman’s restroom. I don’t want to imagine but I can imagine how much filthier dudes can be but ignorance is bliss so I’m moving on.
  4. People who cut me off. People who cut me off without using their signal light. I hate you, that’s it.
  5. Superstars, or rather people who think they are superstars. I thought today’s world was all about equality and justice and not talking about yourself all day long. If you deserve it and you want to give yourself a pat on the back, great or treat yourself to some new whatever thing you’ve been wanting, woo hoo. Share it with someone, that actually cares, and move on. You’re not better than me or anyone else I know, you just have a dozen more ways to express yourself in. Note that I am talking about “superstars” that are the talkative, judgmental types. The ones that feel like their opinions are the fruit of the earth’s divine creation. So please don’t be offended if you like to congratulate yourself once in awhile, I enjoy giving credit where credit is due and I will share my happiness with you. Unless you get annoying and turn into a superstar… then I won’t.
  6. People that reek. Alright, this might be a sensitive subject for some people… maybe it’s against their religious/cultural beliefs to use artificial things like deodorant or take a shower… but seriously, do you not recognize your own stench?! Please take all the necessary precautions to not smell so badly around my nostrils! If you’re going to work up a sweat, use deodorant, be sure to shower after your workout, bring a change of clothes, bring perfume/body spray, use scented lotions, and baby powder all the sweaty spots! Anything to hold in the smell. This is not something that you can just go up and suggest to someone, so I’m putting this on my peeves list to let it be known.
  7. I know so many people agree with this next one, be quiet when you’re in the library. I know we’re not in the 1950s where we have Miss Librarian with her thick, black rimmed glasses and top notch bun in her hair shushing us to silence every time we make a peep, but jeez… is it too much to ask to keep your conversation outside of the library? Especially at Mason, there are SO many places to converse… the many coffee shops, the cafeteria, outside, etc. Why do you need to talk about what you’re going to do this weekend while I’m in the library trying to concentrate? Everyone is burning negative comments about you in their heads, so be quiet or step out, please and thank you.
  8. Speaking of people who talk… loudly. To all those people who speak into their cell phones like it’s a megaphone, I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this… but it’s annoying and obnoxious. Especially the ones that I’m helping at work, and you pick up the phone in a huff and I have to find out some weird, personal thing about you because you didn’t want to call someone back or at least excuse yourself and step out to speak in relative private. Maybe these people just like to announce their business to the world because it makes them feel somewhat important, but I beg to differ. Just lower your voice a bit, good grief.
  9. This one is a very recent pet peeve. Commercials on YouTube, and I’m not talking about VEVO! Even though VEVO is just as lame. My boyfriend suggested we boycott YouTube, but he watches YouTube like it’s his part-time job, so I doubt he will follow through. And besides, it’s still free… it’s one of those pet peeves that I’m going to have to put up with, hmph.
  10. My mother (insert evil laugh here).

I think I should stop at five pet peeves before I give off this massive, cynical vibe to the four, give or take, people that might actual be reading this. But know this, I have many more pet peeves. But also know this, for as many pet peeves that I have… I have about a dozen more things that interest me. I still have a very childlike view of the world, and I’m not sure yet if that’s working for or against me as I soon approach “reality”. Oh, and sorry for the lack of pictures… I’m not sure what I would take pictures of other than my disgruntled face with these various issues in the background. And I apologize for the boring, no originality title… maybe I’ll change it, or maybe I won’t.

Sunday Strolling in Eastern Market, DC October 13, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Places.
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There are few things I love better than beautiful weather, flea markets, and good food. I actually love a lot of things, but that’s beside the point. Because I barely get a weekend off, I decided to really make it count and I wanted to do as much as possible! I haven’t been to Eastern Market in a few years, since before the fire. You can read more about that here.

 

Humans Browsing Vintage Movie Posters

 

I just love the atmosphere there. I enjoy being able to shop and browse outdoors instead of in a stuffy, overcrowded mall. The market is lined with merchants selling random things from leather satchels to stereoviews (I really, really wanted one)! There are so many awesome, kitschy random collectibles and items available… it’s a flea market/thrift shoppers daydream! I craved practically everything there but I decided to look, take my time, and thought I’d just come back with more cash and a more detailed idea of what I wanted rather than purchasing aimlessly.

 

An Artist and his Paintings

 

They’ve also got an outdoors farmer’s market filled with everything you’d expect to find at a farmer’s market: fresh fruits, vegetables, and baked goods. I didn’t buy anything because I was already stuffed to the rafters from eating at the place seen down below, Banana Cafe.

 

Banana Cafe & Piano Bar

 

My boyfriend and I dropped into this place accidentally. After being on the metro for the past 40 minutes we really had to pee and we were starving so practically anything seemed appealing. We walked a few blocks passing Subway (trite), a grill (ooh, that sounds good… oh wait, it’s an Indian grill. I love food, but Indian food isn’t my favorite but that story is for another time), and a seafood bar (awesome! We walk in and the hostess tells us it’s passed brunch so they only serve six items that don’t look appealing, ugh). We were getting exhausted and even more desperate for food. Even Popeye’s started to look good… just kidding, never. Then I saw this bright yellow place… Latin American food, yay! As stated earlier, the place is named Banana Cafe & Piano Bar. But they don’t serve only banana foods (I loathe bananas) and now that I think about it, I didn’t see any pianos but I also wasn’t paying attention and we ate outdoors, anyway. There were many appetizing options available, but I decided on the Cuban Chicken Steak because I haven’t had Cuban food in years, literally six since going to Gloria Estefan’s Bongos Cuban Cafe in Miami, Florida (that place is delicious by the way). They brought up chips and salsa to start, which made our stomachs so happy because like I said a hundred times over, we were hungry!

 

Chips & Salsa (We Crushed These)

 

The chips were thick and had a true corn flavor in every bite, which is hard to find these days. The salsa was pretty good too, definitely not the best I’ve had because it could have used a little more heat but the consistency was good and it was very fresh. Our food came out pretty quickly, brownie points for Banana Cafe. My Cuban Chicken Steak (smothered in onions, mmm…) was huge! The presentation was really nice, but the flavor is most important and it lived up to my expectations, but didn’t exceed them. I had to take it home, so I had to carry the box the entire time we were walking around Eastern Market which made me wish I had just settled for a shrimp quesadilla.

 

Cuban Chicken Steak

 

The waiters were friendly enough, the service was good, the food came out warm and fairly quick. Overall, on a rating between great, good, okay, and bad… I’d give this place a ‘good‘. That being said, I’m still looking for a great Cuban restaurant in the area, so if anyone out there knows of a good place in the DC Metropolitan area, let me know!

Here are a few more pictures I sneaked while strolling around the vendors. I say sneak, because I didn’t want them to think I was taking pictures with the intention of stealing their cool ideas. I really just took pictures for visual notes of what I may want to buy when I come back! Or you, the reader, can just print these pictures and purchase them for me because Christmas will be here soon!

 

Cool Hats for Warm Heads: I Love Hats

 

 

Scrabble Jewelry: Why Didn't I Come Up with This?

 

 

Bright Brocade Jackets

 

 

Hello Future Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So If you’re looking for something different to do in DC, make your next stop Eastern Market! Just make sure to empty your bladder first.

Shopping for Professional Attire Experience October 3, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Things.
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To the left are my professional attire rejects: pencil skirts, straight leg pants, wide leg pants, and uncomfortable button downs. Don’t worry, I neatly hanged all of my rejects when I was finished. I’ve worked in a department store, so I know what a pain it is to pick up and put back piles, and piles, and piles, AND PILES of clothes… that is another not so fun experience.

I feel so out of place in a suit. I’ve always been a jeans and hoodie kind of girl, but we all know that’s unacceptable in the workplace. So trying to find a suit that made me feel like a million bucks without spending a million bucks (vast exaggeration, I know) was a daunting task.

I had planned on going to all the discount department stores like Marshall’s, TJ Maxx, Ross, Loehmann’s and Nordstrom Rack… but even thinking about all those places made me exhausted. If I had been looking for fun clothes and home goods, I would be excited… but I wasn’t. So, I went straight to Macy’s. Unlucky for me I only need something at Macy’s when I don’t have a coupon and with no sales going on. Anyways, I found an amazing Calvin Klein suit that really put me in the career woman spirit, but I don’t have the career woman budget. So I opted for my fifth find, a nice Style & Co. blazer and dress and I have to be honest, my favorite part about the blazer and the dress are – they have front pockets! I cannot stress enough how much fake pockets bother me. I want, actually need, a pocket to put my hands in, to hold my Chapstick, or an extra pen. I’m actually pretty happy that I found a dress because now I don’t have to waste, er spend, extra time and money trying to look for button down shirts!

To the right is my winner but I’m definitely not going to wear it with my walking flip flops. Which brings me to another uncomfortable subject, high heels. I have these really comfortable Mary Jane Soft Walks, but I can already feel the nerd factor creeping up on me just thinking about this outfit. I chose this life path, so I need to dress the part and until I’m on top of the game, pocketing a hefty business woman’s salary I’ll have to settle for mediocre professional attire. It also makes me wonder if I’m getting old, or growing up, because I did think some two-piece suits were cute and they weren’t from the bathing suit section.

This suit needs to last me awhile because I plan on wearing it to every interview I get until I find a “real job”. I just hope all of the interviewers don’t find out my secret, but if they found my blog from LinkedIn and are currently reading this… then the cat’s out of the bag! I’m a broke, college student looking for a job, what more do they expect?

Anyways, now I’ve got the suit and the nerdy but very comfortable shoes (I might wear killer heels if it looks too nerdy). All I need is a nice, black leather purse to hold my cheap binder carrying my notes and resumes. This will be easy to find but not easy to pay for.

My question of the day is: do any college students actually enjoy shopping for professional attire?

Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai Latte. September 27, 2010

Posted by Leticia Rojas in Things.
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This is the best chai I’ve ever had in my life! I’ve tried quite a few, so I know what I’m talking about. This beats Starbucks by a long shot. Those “baristas” don’t make their hot or iced chai lattes with any love… more like, too much ice and too much milk. And those chai tea bags may be more authentic or healthier… but if I’m going to have a chai latte I’m going to go full force with it. Trader Joe’s Spicy Chai latte is the best, because if you follow the instructions to a tee (pun intended) it will be the perfect blend of sweet, spicy, and creamy. I hate coffee, so this is my favorite pick me up… often with a side of Stacy’s Plain Pita chips and Sabra’s Supremely Spicy hummus.