Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Mom's Spanglish Lesson

My mother just got a Spanish dictionary, and has been practicing her Spanish. She called and left this voicemail tonight. You might want to listen to it first and try to figure out what she is saying, and then scroll down:








The towels are in the dryer. (The toallas are in the secadora.)

That is all. Lesson over.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Chavez-Watch: Armed and Dangerous

I know everybody's attention is on the U.S. election and debates, but let's not lose sight of this little tidbit:

Russia offers Chavez $1 billion for weapons


The Kremlin has decided to offer a $1 billion loan for arms purchases
to Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who is currently on a two-day
swing through Russia aimed at bolstering an already solid relationship
that has caused increasing discomfort in the West.

Link to Article

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I'm reviewing tons of parenting sites for a research project (I know, it's ironic that my work always revolves around children when I'm not going to have any).

Anyway, I found a great Dad Blog: MetroDad:


I recently realized that while the Peanut and I have been spending our afternoons farting on the dog, drawing funny pictures of the neighbors, and pretending to shop at Whole Foods so we can sample the free food, a lot of the other kids in the neighborhood are immersed in after-school activities like gymnastics, swim lessons, tae kwon do, or Super Soccer Stars. Really, I had no idea.

Fitness Check-in

The first week of the push-up challenge is done. I can now do over 10 push-ups in a row. Next week will be a little harder.

I've been consistently losing weight, although I don't have a scale to measure. My clothes are getting looser and looser, though. The Evo-fitness seems to be working. I have been lifting weights a couple of times a week (I wish I could do crossfit, but it doesn't exist here!), and eating a paleo-ish diet. No grains, no beans, little dairy. Just lean meat, fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils. I also have a mini-fast every few days- just eat dinner early and then not eat until about 2:00 the next day. Then I eat a little more later to make up for it.

It's pretty easy to eat this way here in Argentina, if you don't give in to the pizza and empanadas. The meat here is lean (beef is grass-fed), and it's easy to shop every couple of days for fresh fruits and vegetables. I eat very little processed or canned food.

Of course I'm not too strict about the diet- but I try to hit the 80% ratio. Things I've noticed;

  • I no longer have low blood sugar crashes. I get hungry if I don't eat, but it's a hunger that can be tolerated. No lightheadedness, or shakiness.
  • My energy level is generally higher, except the day after workouts, when I need extra sleep.
  • I have trouble digesting big starchy meals now. I no longer want to binge on bread or potatoes, because it just makes me feel bad.
  • Fasting (from 8:00PM to 2:00 Pm the next day) is no big deal- it seems to happen naturally anyway. When I'm not hungry, I don't eat much. When I'm hungry, I eat as much as it takes to satisfy me.
  • My alcohol tolerance is much lower (learned this the hard way)- two glasses of wine MAX. If it's a very long evening, maybe one more. That's it. Otherwise, I'm sick the next day. (This is probably a good thing.)
  • I've been losing fat without a lot of time spent exercising- I workout hard and fast. I walk through the city maybe once or twice a week to do errands, since I have no car.
So far so good.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Challenge

Having a hard time getting motivated to get in shape. Haven't been doing too bad, but because I'm so busy lately, I haven't been very consistent. Saw someone tweet this, and thought it is just the right trick: The 100 push-up challenge. A six week program to build yourself up to do 100 push-ups in a row. Let you know how it goes. Day 1 tomorrow. I know I can do about 8 push-ups in a row right now.

Friday, September 12, 2008

What is feminine?

The last time my hair cut, two porteñas came in when I was just about done, and complimented my haircut (a short bob with bangs.) They said how courageous I was for cutting it short. (And it's a bob- it's not that short.) Why not do the same? I asked. They were afraid it would look unfeminine.

This made me reflect on any differences the perception of femininity between Argentina and the United States. Here are some generalities:

Things considered feminine:

  • Long hair. Below the shoulders. Even the president has long hair.
  • Lots of make-up. Generally, a lot of made up faces here would be considered tacky in the U.S. (At least in the nature-loving areas of California I am used to. Maybe Argentines would fit right in in Dallas...)
  • Revealing shoulders. I see a lot of strapless tops, even on television hosts.
  • Big lips. This is usually considered feminine universally, but here, the plastic surgery is generally unnatural.
Things NOT considered feminine:

  • Sweating at the gym. Seriously, women chat and read magaznes while they are on the eliptical machines, and they lift weights less than five pounds.
  • Drinking. Women don't drink much- and if they do, it has to be a glass of wine or a fruity cocktail- no martinis or whiskey sours. Some of the younger ones drink beer.
Of course there are a myriad number of other differences about being a woman here: despite the fact that there is a woman in the presidential office, the roles women have in society are about thirty years behind the United States. But that is another post.

Think I'll go to the gym with my short haircut, no makeup, sweat a lot, and prove that it doesn't make me manly.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

In Memoriam

Can Kids do Boolean?

I think so. As long as the concepts are added one at a time, simply. Here is a five-minute tutorial I created about the difference between AND and OR in searching:


At the comisería....

Rob and I have started the process of getting our residency. Need a lot of paperwork gathered together. Apostilled birth certificates, yada yada. We have to get a letter of "good conduct" from the FBI, which requires sending in our fingerprints.

Fingerprints need to be taken by the local police station. So.....

We go to our comisería (the police "headquarters" for our barrio), and have to wait about an hour for the fingerprint person, because he is with smeone who has been detained (or so we are told).

Finally, we are taken through the parking lot, into a tiny back room, where four or five policemen are drinking mate and watching the Simpsons.

The officer takes some equipment out of an old cupboard, rolls ink onto a flat thingy, and has me ink my fingers up. He takes my fingerprints while glancing at the Simpsons to see what's going on and joking with the other officers. Same thing with Rob. Then I have to spend several minutes washing all the ink off my hands in a sink older than Moses.

Talk about OLD SCHOOL!

The last time I had a fingerprint done in the states (passport? driver's license?) I think it was digital. Definitely not int he digital age here. It's ink, paper, and who-do-you-know.