Thursday, December 08, 2011

Stubborn Americans.

You know how, when you're cold, some overly-cheery jerk always comes along to be like "oh, when I'm cold, I just imagine myself somewhere really warm and it makes me feel warmer."

Okay first off, HAS THAT EVER REALLY WORKED? Has that ever really, truly, made the feeling in your toes or the tip of your schnozz come back to you?
And secondly, if that magical warm place; with ponies that poop glitter, and Subway Sandwich Stations that still take stamps, and everyone gets a free yacht when they show up? If that place for you happens to be Mexico, you... should rethink your choices.

Actually, let's rewind that thought, because it's not all together fair of me to be all "oh boo-hoo it's so cold here" when less than a month ago I was having a conversation with Fiance about "Hmm, maybe we should consider turning off the Air Conditioning. Nahhh." I know that the majority of my readership is closer to Canada than me, and are therefore y'all are probably reading this while sitting less than 15 feet from a window which is displaying the metric ton of grey frozen slush-snow just outside your home and / or office. I've wanted to write this post for a week or so, but I know if I was reading about a gal with a palm tree in her backyard being cold while sitting in your shoes (or more likely this time of year - boots with da furrrrr), I would either punch my computer screen or you know, unsubscribe.

I can't go having that now.

But listen. Just hear me out. This is more an account of how pitifully smug and stubborn Fiance and I were going into this deal, so it's reasonable to believe I can be kind of funny about it. That's a decent reason to keep going here, right? I mean, what else are you gonna do right now? Answer that e-mail from your boss about the TPS reports? Actually write that term paper? It's not due for another few days, you've got a lot more facebooking and tumbling to do before you bother with finding credible sources. Sheesh. Get your priorities in a row here, yo.

Fiance and I were both born and raised in the midwest. To us, Mexico has always been a sunny vacation spot where you can escape during the winter months. Monterrey is no Cancun, but that's just largely because there isn't a beach. So when we were packing, we made sure to take the stuff we'd need to survive the oppressive HEAT: tank tops, bulk packages of deodorant, and the mini fridge we could keep stocked with soda so cold it's kinda slushy.

When our Mexican friends told us "Oh, it's gets cold here, especially a little higher up in the mountains." We smugly laughed at their silly use of the word "cold." Looking back, I should have maybe learned my lesson previously on this one... like a month ago.

Now, it's not *quite* cold enough to warrant wearing a jacket outside. We're still technically within the realm of sweatshirt outdoor weather. But renting a house here means you rent... you know, just the house. It doesn't come with the things one might expect when renting in the states. Our house came with a front door, and some sinks (oh, and an awesome tub). We had to procure a fridge, a washer and dryer, and more. We still don't have a microwave, and I'm actually kind of getting to a good spot with that. While in the midst of getting what we needed to make this house a home, we did note that it had A/C, but there was no method of heating the house.

A heater? Pfffffft, we need no such thing. We have lived in places where people plugged their cars in at night to keep them warm enough to simply START in the morning. We put tennis balls on those same cars' antennae to make sure the plow knew there was a car under all that snow and not to hit it. I even got a snow day when I was in College - not because there was too much snow, but because on a campus where NOTHING was further than 20 feet from anything else, the administration deemed it too cold outside for people to survive the walk to class. (Somehow we all managed the half a block trek to the bars though. I don't think they'll ever issue another snow day ever.) And now we're in sunny Mexico. The point? Give me a break, we'll never get cold enough here to need a heater.

Welp, it's cold enough. We need a heater. Here's the thing though - we've rather stubbornly committed to this idea of being the smug Americans who are too good for heaters. We don't want to admit defeat. We want to try and tough it out. So instead of being sensible people who purchase a small, but reliable space heater to get them through, here's what the last few days have looked like:

  • Wake up completely underneath the covers. Completely - like, head and face too. From inside my little heat burrito, debate how long I could be considered sane by friends and family, while still staying rolled up like that. Eventually, will remember that the dog will poop in the house if I don't get up. Cursing that whole "being an adult with responsibilities" spiel, get up and put on at least two layers of clothing. I have never been one to entertain the idea of being so fashionably forward as to own a pair of leggings. This will change very, very soon for no other reason than keeping heat next to my body. Also because I'm starting to think I'd be cute in them. I promise I won't ever wear them as pants.
  • Drink at least one pot of coffee. Not that this is so far outside the norm for me, but now it serves double duty in keeping my innards toasty. While I begin filling my daily caffeine intake requirements, Mac and I go back and forth like some kind of messed up ouroboros; him trying to warm his nose by stuffing it under my thigh, and me trying to warm my toes by stuffing them under his belly. We'll play this game until he gets fed up with the dance and goes back to bed. Under the covers, curled in the tiniest ball he can make.

the two most recent pictures of my dog.

  • And then, after cleaning enough of the house to keep me sane, I spend majority of the rest of the day underneath a blanket doing things that do not require me to move from underneath the blanket. This includes working on KpQuePasa (yay more blog posts than you can stand! Oh, and a working FAQ now! wooooo!), sketching, and making a super cool holiday craft that I would like to share a simple tutorial for. Scroll to the bottom of this post for that.

While I tinker with those items, I've started watching a lot of movies. Mexico... probably has copyright laws. I mean, it's likely. But they're not what you'd call enforced. To that effect, there are a lot of places online where you can be all "hmm, I feel like watching something completely for free." And Mexico's internet is all "dude, check this out, I know just what you need" as it opens up it's dirty trench coat to show you bootlegged versions of stuff that's still in theaters. I'd say it's not really that shady, but let's be real, I'm totally supporting piracy at this point. I have pretty good ethics I think, buuuuut I also really like to watch cartoons. Sorry Hollywood, I sold out for Kung Fu Panda 2. (Don't follow my example kids, Uncle Sam will straight up skadoosh you if you try that crap in the states.)

Yesterday, I made the worst mistake ever with the free online movies. I decided to watch Marley and Me.

What kind of asshole (pardon) makes that movie?

For those unfamiliar (come on out from that rock!), Marley and Me is about a yellow lab named Marley and his owner, following their friendship from puppy-hood to... well, until the end of his unconditionally loving doggy days. Let's ask a better question: What kind of asshole watches that movie?

...this kind.

So after peeling myself off the couch and taking a hot shower, again for the heat, but also in this instance, to help clear my sinuses of the absolute snotpocalypse that occured at the end of the "Sad Doggy Movie," I plunked back down under the blanket on the couch. Where Mac and I discussed how, it was settled, he'd just have to be immortal (like Highlander!). Also where I tried and cheer myself up by watching as much stand up comedy as I could find on youtube. (And there's a lot, so that was good.)

I'm a stand up comedy nut. I always have been. In highschool there were Friday nights where I purposely stayed in to watch Friday Night Standup on Comedy Central. Even though they show the same 10 specials every Friday. My favorite commedians are all ridiculously cynical. Maria Bamford, Patton Oswalt (two links, couldn't choose one), Eddie Izzard, and Lewis Black have always made me laugh out loud even if I've heard the bit they're spouting a thousand times. Louis CK is my current favorite - he has honestly made me laugh so hard I peed a little. If you haven't heard his bit on 'everything's amazing and nobody's happy,' click here. (particularly if you work in College Administration, because his take on entitlement is perfect)

B-T-Dubs (for my older readers, that means By The Way), those links are all going to contain a pretty large amount of swears.

Who's your favorite comedian? I'm always happy to check out new sets.

Anyway, after listening to stand-up for more than 4 hours straight, I have come to the conclusion that I could totally be a stand up comic. Which would be a much more intimidating thing to put out there as a factual statement to the world if I was in a location where someone could actually challenge me to try it.

But really; I'm pretty sure, with that one time I went on a first date with a guy that cried TWICE, that time I burned a patch of my hair OFF OF MY HEAD (the google search for "burnt hair" is the blog's number one hit generator aside from the links I put out myself), and just about any time I interacted with a college student at 2am on some random Saturday morning during my time as an administrator, I could put together a decent 10 minute set.

Yep, I could totally do this... after I manage to convince myself to climb out of my blanket burrito and brave the cold, cold Mexican landscape otherwise known as... the living room.

Is this crazy? What would YOU do if you weren't too chicken? And how do you suggest I work up the nerve to actually do this?

Hey look, we've made it to that part of the blog where I deviate from the subject matter at hand and just start typing about random crap. Still taking suggestions on a more friendly sounding title for this section.

I started reading Harry Potter in Spanish. It's something I work on while I sit out n the garage with the SCoSP. (It's warm out there, right next to the dryer) It's a slow read, going through with a highlighter and a red pen for any words I need to look up, but I've managed to get through 20 pages in the last week or so, and I'm understanding it enough to enjoy it. Pretty awesome.
Zombie has convinced some of her friends that I'm not too horrible. And then I snap a photo and all but Z run off like I lit them on fire.

I made zucchini bread the other night. Because zucchini, now that I know how to say it in Spanish (calabacita) seems to be the only squash-like veggie that I can eat without horrific allergic consequences. It's Paula Deen's recipe, so be warned that it's not at all good for you. But it sure does taste good. How do I know that's not just me being proud of myself for baking? Well, Mac sure did seem to think it's delish:
do you SEE that bead of drool my dog has created over a vegetable based product? that may be a new record for him.

That aforementioned tutorial: Pomanders!
While not something specific to Christmas, this is a craft that I only ever remember doing with my mum during the holiday season. It's stupid easy (hence my ability to put together a 'tutorial' on it), and they smell amazing for weeks/months.

Here's what you're going to need:
  • Citrus fruits. (Oranges are traditional, but just because I had them laying around this year, I also tried lemons and limes. All worked well)
  • A bottle of WHOLE cloves, found in the spices section of your grocery store.
  • [not pictured] A sharp stick. (throughout this process I tried a skewer, a thumb tack, a corn on the cob holder, and a toothpick. Toothpicks seemed to work the easiest.)
Step one: poke some holes in your selected fruit, using your sharp stick of choice.
It can be in a pattern, or you can just fill the whole thing up with holes. there is really no wrong way to do this.

Step one ammended: if you have a cut on your thumb, PUT A BANDAID ON IT BEFORE YOU START POKING HOLES IN CITRUS FRUITS, or you will very shortly be horribly aware of the cut on your thumb.

Step two: Push the cloves one by one into the pre-made holes.

Step three: Profit. Or, put them on a nice platter in the middle of your dining room table. Enjoy.

Do you have a craft that seems to always pop up this time of year? Share!


Steve said...

KP - Aaron, Cathy & I love the blogs. Great to see and read.

We are sending out x-mas cards. Need your address. Please e-mail to us. See you soon.

Uncle Steve

Kp said...

Hi Steve & Co!

I'm flattered y'all are keeping up with us down here. :) I sent out an e-mail to the e-mail addresses that I have for you with my address, but my contact list is pretty old, so I'm not sure the message found it's way to the right spot. If not, here's my e-mail: (, or pops should have the address written down somewhere.

See you soon!