complete spanish pop fluff

I would say that this is my "song of the summer," but it's like the end of October.  Aren't I supposed to be listening to Iron & Wine while making tea and thinking about the way that life changes?

I say, no!  Shallow Spanish hits rule!  They remind me of hot Andalusian afternoons spent drinking red wine spritzers.

When we got back from Ecuador, Jenn and I were listing all the songs we heard a billion times on the trip (because that's what we do, make lists) and she mentioned that she was surprised that we didn't hear Danza Kaduro.

"Danza what?" I repeated, cocking my head to the side.

She pulled it up on her phone and we listened to it in my parents' kitchen...

And I was like, "Whoa, that is a HIT."

Turns out, its from like 2010.  I guess I've been out of the loop.

One thought about the video, though.  Dude, don't those girls look insanely BORED?  If I were on that yacht listening to a catchy-ass song with those guys I'd be rocking out so hard I'd barf!  You're already tan, girls, no need to lay out.  And you can sleep when the boat docks, because there are champagne bottles to pop and ass to shake.  I'd be doing belly flops into the Caribbean and daring people to motorboat me.  I'd be missing another tooth by the end of the day.  I'd have an emotional heart-to-heart with one of the singing guys and then steal his designer sunglasses then forget ALL ABOUT WHATEVER HE TOLD ME.  At around 4pm I'd sloppily eat all the sandwiches downstairs and pass out on the galley floor, drooling all over a beach towel.

Why doesn't anyone ever invite me out on their charter yacht?

In case you were wondering, the lyrics basically say,
Put your hand up
Move your hips
Do a half turn
Danza Kaduro!
Don't get tired yet
Because we just got started
Move your head around
Danza Kaduro!


oh great, now i'm into astrology

No, I don't really believe in astrology.  Just because I have a dream catcher doesn't mean I'm a total dipshit.

I do believe, however, that its pretty fun.

Do you ever notice that birthdays repeat for important people throughout your life?

example: May 23rd
-my dad
-roommate in my college dorm
-somewhat regrettable end of high school fling (did I just say fling?  Someone please send this blog to a recruiter at Cosmo Magazine)

So anyway, I have a few of those.  April 21, July 7, December 24.  If you were born on that date I think we are cosmically linked (to clarify - just kidding... in a way).

As far as the zodiac signs go, I'm pretty familiar with Taurus, Cancer, Leo (agh Leo! but I love you), Libra (me), and Scorpio (agh again for fuckn Scorpio!!).

I think hating Facebook but constantly logging on anyway is a common practice, so it was to my great surprise and delight while I was scrolling through my feed the other day that I clicked a link to something fairly awesome instead of something completely boring and forgettable.

Behold... The Worst Things About Each Zodiac Sign

Let's take a look at Libra, shall we?  I cackled with laughter at this.

You might be a sociopath! People like you because you’re a chameleon bending to their every wish, whim and expectation. A people pleaser to the end? Not even. A master manipulator studying your surroundings, a cold and calculating robot programmed to say the right thing at the right time to the right people. Perhaps the most obnoxious thing about you is that all the things that make you interesting are actually vapid, empty posturing designed to make you look cool. All style and no substance.

I was prepared to list them all and correspond them to the people I know, but then I realized that the only-in-jest shit-talking could turn unintentionally mean so... Read them yourselves.


I feel a bit weird

I feel like I've been over-sharing.  

I might crawl into a hole and just practice spanish for a while.  

I downloaded DuoLingo to my phone and am still in the beginning lessons where I'm translating stuff like, "She drinks milk," so I feel like a bonefide Spanish master with my lightening fast responses.  I've also downloaded BBC Mundo and try to read an article a day and look up the words I dont recognize.  Yesterday I learned the words for velvet, crimson, shillings (yes as in old timey British money), and embroidery.

It's funny because only in the world of Spanish lessons do people seem to drink so much milk.


dream trapper

Yeah, I hung up my new dreamcatcher in my hostal immediately, what?

Well, yes, I bought a dreamcatcher in South America.  I feel like one of those people.  I want to wear baggy patterned pants and burn some sage.  I think my dream catcher is friggin' gorgeous.

In Spanish, they are called :


which is directly translated to "dreams trapper".

Ok, I actually bought THREE.  The first two were kind of neon synthetic materials that I thought were pretty for my car or something, but then an hour later I saw the natural one pictured above and it all but said "Lindsey, I am the one for you, don't blow this opportunity."  It spoke to me, (almost) literally.

Now I feel that these are sort of chintzy.  Thoughts?
I'm not sure of this is actually really cool or of it's part of that whole 90's nostalgia thing that's happening amongst the "youth."  At the Otavalo indigenous market I also saw a lot of rocks/geodes/amethysts that reminded me of that Natural Wonders mall store and I realized that there was never a reason for those to go out of style because they are so beautiful.

Oh yeah, I definitely listened (by proxy) to a ton of Andean flute music, too.

Okay, Ima go play with my rain stick now.

Also... hey, why not listen to some Enigma?


tiny ecuador poodle babies

This little guy was for sale at the Otavalo, Ecuador, market for $1.  Lots of people bring puppies to sell.

In Ecuador, there are stray dogs everywhere.  They are adorable and not mangy and look like they eat enough.  I have no idea how they stay clean and fed.  Lots of them are poodles.

We wanted to get a bag of dog food and feed as many as possible on an afternoon stroll, but sadly we were too busy stuffing our faces with corn, taking photos of each other, and shopping for souvenirs to take the time.  

We ended up feeding two dogs our leftover chicken and bread on two separate occasions.  At least there's that.


about 24 years ago

My aunt Susan, cousin Tandy, Grandma Cole, Uncle Dave, me, little brother Kevin.  At Disneyland.

I'm in a weird mood and wishing I could go back to that.

home improvement thoughts

I used to think I'd be really into fixing up my home to make it awesome.  Like all new flooring, unexpected paint colors, a cozy garden, slick cabinets, nice furniture, funky accents.  Little projects on weekends and stuff.

"I'd rather buy a $250,000 run down bungalow and fix it up than live in some cookie cutter place!" I have exclaimed many times.  "I would forage for mismatching wood planks for the floors and create a mosaic backsplash out of used tile!  I'd put plant native plants in the garden and become a landscape designer without any help from anyone!"

But somewhat ironically, because I now work in resi real estate, I feel less inclined to care what my home looks like.  I mean I'm all for arranging furniture in an ergonomic way and hanging cool stuff up on the walls and setting out a potted succulent or two, but everything that requires actual construction is either super expensive or looks like a cheap fix.  If I followed through with those DIY proclamations above, my house would in all certainty look really and truly shitty.

Here are some paradoxes that illustrate my misgivings:

If you rent, you are wasting money by doing any upgrades to your place.
If you own, construction will cost a ton and it will look dated in ten years anyway.

If you buy a cheap home and fix it up, it will suck up all of your time and money.  And what if you chose really ugly fixtures and regret it every time you look at them?
If you buy a move-in ready place that awes you as soon as you walk in, I guaranty you will over pay.

Your contractor will cry change order and you'll end up paying more and hating the whole process and feeling like there isn't one vendor in the world you can trust.
Doing It Yourself can prove to be just as expensive and will take a billion times longer.

I think we all have a certain obsession with making our living spaces appear just so.  We crave finding a great bargain and making DIY upgrades look easy while adding an eclectic yet universally appealing personal touch.

Maybe we should not care about all that and focus on actually living.

Let go of the perfectionism, save your money, and decorate with thrift store stuff.  Spend your time at home lounging and reading and cooking and spend your money on travel.

(Unless you're super rich.  Then you should go all out on having a sweet pad and invite me over.)

That said, here are my pretty Pinterest boards for decor-porn.  Ha!


chicago photos

During this two day trip to Chicago, we ate a lot and looked at buildings.  Here is photographic evidence...


This is a great place to start, eh?  A mid-afternoon snack of jamon serrano and foie gras accompanied by a pleasant red wine.  Isn't that all you want to be doing (now, ever, etc)?  The restaurant was called the Purple Pig (of course it was) and the servers wore plaid shirts and sported ironic tattoos.  I'm sure we could have ordered some kind of duck fat dish.

By the way, it was a Tuesday around 3pm and this place was poppin' off the heeze.  Chicagoans take their eating and drinking seriously. 

Here we are, wearing Ray Bans and embarking on an architectural boat tour.  To some, this sounds boring as hell, I know.  Some hard core real estate nerdery ensued.

These residential towers are named The Corn Cobs (not a nickname, a real name) because this is Illinois and everyone there is obsessed with corn.

This is a 90's building constructed in the style of... ah I don't remember now, but the point is that its reminiscent of some old school shit with a modern flair.  It was one of my faves.

James liked this one.  I think it looks like the MGM Grand in Vegas.

This is where the nerdery is, my friends.  I took a photo of this building because its the LARGEST COMMERCIAL BUILDING IN THE WORLD.  Are you awed?  Are you amazed?  Taken aback with curiosity?  Four million square feet, fools.  I whispered to James, "Do you think it has one property manager who also handles three other buildings?  Do you think that person has a part time assistant or do they spring for someone full time?  Do you think the roof leaks?"  These are the things we ponder when we discuss buildings.

So, don't you just love when there are clouds around sunset and it reflects off the ocean (oh yeah, its a lake I guess) and the water looks like rippled glass and you feel at peace with everything in your life?

We decided to revisit a Russian restaurant that we went to the last time we were in Chicago.  There are a few reasons we like this place.  1) There aren't many (any?) eastern Euro eateries in LA, so we gotta take advantage 2) they have delightful flights of vodka and 3) it feels like they just don't make 'em like this anymore with the formal dress code (which as you can see we did not adhere to) and Dynasty decor.  It's one of those places where the server pulls the whole table out for you so that you can sit in your booth with ease.

 If you order vodka, they bring you this sumptuous little plate of black bread and chopped pickles.  When you take a drink, you're supposed to take a bite.  I wholeheartedly agree with this practice.  I also now want a pickle.


We walked to the John Hancock building for a breakfast of beer.  This is a pretty cool building too, albeit a bit threatening and ominous.  The columns are on the outside (pictured above, diagonals) which is not normal but it's smart because it frees up the interior space while adding a little unexpected pop-o-design on an otherwise plain exterior.

That's what Chicago looks like.  Did you know it was a real city, because it is.  The first time I was here as an adult I was surprised to see a legit skyline.  This may sound naive, but I think too much time in LA will render one amazed at any random cluster of high rises.

Drinking at 10am is a true pleasure.  Drinking Chi Town Pale Ale in Chicago is also nice.

That lake is huge, eh?

After staring out the window for a good amount of time, we walked over to The Loop to eat peirogies for lunch. We got nine dumplings (I believe three each potato/cheese, mushroom, and beef) sprinkled with bacon bits and served with a side of sour cream.  We also ordered a second plate of polish sausages with sauerkraut and potatoes.

I pestered James into renting cruisers.  I feel like, while I don't want to be the pestering type, I also really love riding bikes and so that prevailed.  During his protest, James told me that he had never learned to ride a bike, and I actually believed him, kinda.  I was like, Oh man, we've never rode bikes together during all these years, have we?  And maybe this is the reason why he's always been so strangely anti-bike, because he doesn't know how and is embarrassed?  And I feel really bad for him, but honestly who the hell doesn't know how to ride a bike?  That's sort of pathetic.  But then he told me that yes of course he knows how and let's just rent one and oh yeah we rented beach cruisers in Bocas del Toro, Panama, two years ago and I apparently forgot all about it.  It is confirmed that my fiance knows how to ride a bike.  That was a relief.  

So we rode around the beach for a couple hours.   It was cool. 

Dinner.  Even though the above is a somewhat shoddy photo of the whiskey menu, can't you tell what the restaurant was like?  It was dimly lit, tastefully decorated, served delicious steak, and had us both feeling fairly drunk and like we were about to die from meat poisoning (this is a good thing in our world).

The next morning we left for Peoria.  Ta dah.


stuff i collect

As a self-proclaimed minimalist, I try not to be too attached to objects.  However, I do collect some stuff.

I've got Mexican blankets, Bolivian tapestries, Dominican scarves.  I throw them over my furniture and constantly rearrange.  My walls are a clean Swiss Coffee flat, but my colorful prints liven things up.  Did I just say "liven things up" in reference to home decor?  Maybe I should work for Martha Stewart.  Maybe I should collect stupid little pillows for a "pop-o-color" too.

Yo, this has to be the best item to collect EVAR.  Takes up no space, cheap, available everywhere you travel.  I have really 80's beach shots with high waist bikini-wearing floozies, artsy Euro drawings, architecture-porn, weird animals, classic paintings from museum gift shops.  And you know how if you think about a trip like ten years ago and realize you don't even remember the name of the city you visited?  It's on the postcard mu'fuggaaaah!

You want to know what to do with postcards?
1. Randomly send them to people with a nice note (I should do this more often)
2. Put some pretty art ones on the refrigerator
3. Frame them, alone or in a group collage
4. Keep them in a small box in your closet
5. If you have a physical tangible photo album (because this was written pre-2003, surprise!) put the postcards in with your vacation photos

Tales of wild nights in exotic locales
Ole Aunt Loobie's got some doozies, kids!

Glass jars
Whats the difference between a glass jar and a "mason" jar?  This may sound like the start of a horribly unfunny pinterest-based joke, but it's not.  I really want to know.  I don't think of mine so much as mason jars, but as like, empty pickle jars.

I also have a small box for maps.  AAA sends me maps.  Doctors Without Borders kindly sends me world maps a couple times a year (sadly, I do not donate).  Hotels sometimes give out free city maps.  Sometimes you find a regional map in a random Nat Geo back issue.  I stole a Los Angeles South Bay / Long Beach map right from James' glove compartment just yesterday, because I really doubt he needs that (now I am writing in present day when Apple Maps exists).

I feel like this blog holds a collection of lists.  "I feel like" - why is that something I say now?  It's not a feeling, its a fact that can easily be proven.  Anyhoo, I'm running out of lists to make.  I need suggestions.