$%@^&$^ Chile!!! Really??

Um… so I’m going to make this short and sweet but it would SEEM like our band (which for NOW will remain nameless until I’m ready to seriously f*&k with their reputation here in Chile) is turning out to be quite flaky.

G got this “dato” from many, many recommendations and even after booking this band himself for a work event. Great show! Responsible crew! They were even the first vendor to offer us a CONTRACT – unheard of here in Chile! Well now if they so choose to make the ever-so-incorrect decision of flaking on our wedding, this contract will be enforced to the Nth degree.

The jerks flaked on tonight’s meeting. This meeting was meant to discuss final song choices, confirmation of play lists, etc, etc. On top of that, this band was supposedly going to provide us with lighting as well as amplification and generator for the entire event. KIND OF MAJE THAT THEY FLAKED TONIGHT!!!

And the thing is, they flaked after weeks trying to get in touch with them. We finally do get in touch with them and hear an excuse of “oh we decided to get married too” … and then they don’t show when we schedule a meeting. WHO DOES THAT?? I’m so sick of NO ONE taking ANYTHING seriously here in Chile! Even when you offer to PAY THEM, they still don’t budge. Even when half their money is riding on just FOLLOWING THROUGH, they do as they please.

The concept of “I’m paying for good service, you better bring it” doesn’t apply here in Chile. NOT.AT.ALL. In fact, we have three weeks left until the wedding, and the vendor who provides the tent FOR THE DINNER, hasn’t responded with a price quote. HELLO!!! We want to pay you f*&kers … what does it take to get you interested in $$$?? PRAY TELL!!!!

Oh, don’t mind me. I’m an angry, disgruntled bride right now … further I can’t BELIEVE how lame Chilean customer service can be at times. What does it take, people?? What …does… it…take?

Pray tell.

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Fun with the scanner

I’ve had a day to myself today and besides going outside for some needed beautifying, gym and taking Obi out, I’ve been indoors all day. So of course that means playing with the scanner, right? Right.

I dug up some old pictures of me to document on the blog (for future generations – hee hee!) and spent the afternoon scanning them into my computer. What I noticed is that I started out really cute, then got awkward … then hit puberty and got MORE awkward … and then got a little chunky … then finished up where I am currently: the state of me.

Without further ado …

This is little Dre with my aunt. Yes the pic is B&W because it’s the 70s and we were in Chile. This is before I left to live in San Francisco.

From there, we hit up a few shots of when I was 3ish, the age I left Chile and arrived in the U.S.

This is me at a boat show, probably at the Cow Palace.

This is me at 3 yrs sporting a bikini…meditating I guess. I don’t really know what I’m doing but am too distracted to figure it out with the fact that I was EVER so flat chested! Also, no joke, I have the SAME legs now that I did then!

Then I was 4 …

After that – we jump to 6 ….

And my first grade school pic. Tell me you aren’t digging the corduroy jumper …

Then apparently my mom hacked my hair short for my 1st Communion when I was 7. The only time in my life I’ll ever wear a veil. Now I’m thinking I probably should have saved it.

Ok, so now I’m warning you that from here on out, things get a little ugly. Don’t feel bad if it becomes a bit hard to spot the cute girl that once was. I totally get it …

My 5th grade class picture … I was about 11 yrs old. Please continue to be my friend after this … I had no control over the hair, I promise! My eyebrows look pretty dope though, wouldn’t you say?

More awkwardness followed at 12, 13 and 14 … within those years I also got a perm which I COMBED OUT every day… so basically I had a triangle on my head. I omitted those pics on purpose as I have much dignity left in me. [Note: the acid washed jean jacket was my prized possession. It zipped up!]

Then I was 15…the age when I landed my first real boyfriend. Apparently the awkward stage didn’t help my love life as the second I was over it, someone wanted to date me.

From there it was a quick leap to HS graduation …

Until the last year of my teens …

Working my way through college and finally at the legal drinking age!…not that you can tell from this picture as I look 14 again! What can I say? I’ll take this opportunity to point out that this is the age I joined a sorority … and this particular picture was taken at the first sorority event I ever went to … see below at my graduation pic to note what 2 straight years of drinking does to the looks.

Finished college a little later than most, at 23, but did it anyway. Here it looks like my age caught up with me, tackled me and added a couple more years.

Here’s 23 post-college (i.e. not drinking every other day and actually getting some sleep. With my grandfather who passed away in 2005). If this doesn’t speak volumes about what drinking does to one’s youthful appearance, not sure what does.

Then I was 26 …

27 …

And finally jumping ahead to the big 3-0. It’s been 3 years since I celebrated my thirtieth and I’d like to think I look pretty much the same. Besides, those pics are already digital so it takes all the fun out of the post!

The moral of today’s post is this: one really does some lame-ass stuff when they’re home most of the day on Saturday…
Another morsel you could perhaps consider taking home after this post is this: awkward stages hit everyone. So do a 5-10 pound fluctuations.
Finally, drinking every day makes you look haggard.

To end this lovely scan-filled afternoon, I’d like to pop in a pic of my beloved from when he was 3 … just for sh*ts and giggles! :o) J’adore my little blondie!!

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The (pre)kid post

No, I’m not PG.

So while we’re on the subject of kids (from my mention on the previous blog post), I thought it would be a really good idea to officially document how I feel about the little earthlings now that I don’t actually have any.

This is kind of like a list I made back in the day on a regular piece of paper that I can no longer find … grrr … it basically listed bullet points of the different things I hoped to accomplished 1 month, 3 months, 1 year, 5 years, 10 years and 15 years from when I started the list. I was 25… so you can understand why I’m so annoyed I can’t find it! I’m almost at the 10-year point! I hope I’ve accomplished something!

Anyhoosers, my point is that I’d like to document how I feel about the idea of kids and my thoughts on having them or not having them. Someday in reading this entry, my daughter/son might hate me. If that’s the case, err… sorry kid. I can’t help that I have very extreme and sometimes conflicting views on procreating today in March 2010.

Here’s my first thought on the matter: once the kid is here, it’s here for good (barring any atrocious event that I don’t wish on anyone.) In general, the kid is here to stay. That means that FOREVER MORE you have to worry about this other living, breathing thing. I mean, if I have to work around my day in a way that has me home each time Obi needs to eat then I can’t imagine what it takes with a kid! I already feel constricted with Obi and it drives me insane!! Further, you never stop worrying about this being… so it’s like a lifetime of this WORRY you carry around with you. I remind you of my entries regarding G’s kids after the earthquake here in Chile … I mean G was worried sick even though he tried to play it off. For days on end and I wondered how he even functioned!! If that were me, I’d be freaking the F out!! I know myself and I do NOT handle freaking out well. I’m worst-case scenario woman in my head and if I had a kid to add to that equation, I could very well live a lifetime of hyperventilation due to stress. Yeah, that sounds fun.

Putting aside the “WORRY FOREVER” sign up sheet, here’s my second thought on the matter: pretty much you’re responsible for how adjusted or f-ed up the kid is going to be and if he/she grows up to be a contributing, happy person in society. I mean, how many people do you know that are so screwed up because of their parents? I definitely know a few and may count myself in that group every so often. What if you put your kid in too many activities after school in hopes of keeping him/her away from drugs, only to produce an overachiever perfectionist who is anorexic and much too hard on him/herself and deals by cutting his/her arm? Is that worse than drugs? Ack! And for that matter, what’s the right balance of activities? Teach them two languages, put them in a sport and in an art, teach them to meditate and do yoga, all the while taking them to a hill with lots of grass to run wild in, every other day of the week? Will my kid turn out ok then? Should I throw in some Tae-Kwon-Do too? Yeah, yeah, kids don’t come with manuals, blah blah. So then of course, more pressure on the parents!

My third thought on the matter is this: I really love Obi. I wouldn’t give him away at this point, sell him or try to pawn him off in any way, shape or form now that he’s part of our small family. However, I recognize that life before him was much easier and much more comfortable. I realize as well that if I knew then, what I know now, I don’t think I would have acquired him in the first place. Having a dog is a BIG DEAL, more than people think … so I can’t BEGIN TO IMAGINE the big deal that is a kid. Yet I take extremely good care of him, train him, love him, feed him and do all the basic necessities necessary, spoil him and cuddle him … but that doesn’t change the fact that I see him and think “Life was much easier and maybe better (still undecided) before.” Can you imagine if I feel this way with a human being who relies on me for survival and guidance? Hello, insta-bad parent – just add water!

My fourth thought on the matter relates to G and the fact that he has two children from his previous marriage. The person I love already has kids and has experienced first hand all the joy, excitement and fear that goes along with having kids. In fact, he’s even more experienced in basic things like changing diapers and burping (not to mention all the other crap that I can’t even think of because I’m not a parent and have NO idea) than I might ever be! He’s been there, done that. When I go through the “Holy sh*t I’m a parent” freak out/realization, I’ll be alone. I’ll basically be going through all those sentiments solo and that kind of sucks. It’s not his fault of course. He adores his kids, rightfully so, and I adore him for being a good father to his kids.It makes him a better man and I wouldn’t have it any other way. But it does affect how I view becoming a parent, I’m not gonna lie. Any maybe it’s my own version of being screwed up by a parent, but I never had a father in my life and the man who IS my father, played favorites with my sister and me. Meaning, he ignored me my entire life and was present for my sister. So in my head I can’t imagine that G could love any other kid more than he loves his own right now. Call me crazy – I might be. But it’s how I feel at times and it’s stuff I think about.

Not all is tainted in such a negative light when it comes to kids, though. I’ve experienced first hand how much joy they bring to a parent’s life and to life in general. I’ve seen it with my mom and how happy I make HER. I’ve seen it with G and his kids and how absolutely happy they make him. I’ve seen it with my sister and my nephews and I’ve experienced it personally with family friends and their three daughters. Point being, I’m not stupid. I GET how having a kid is SO WORTH IT to some in many, many ways. The stress, the worry, the pressure – all of it is worth it and they’d do it all over again, time and time again. I get that and I totally respect that. After all, without parents who feel just that, where would we all be? And personally, I’ve never met anyone in my entire life that I’d want to have kids with more than G. He’s it – the King Bee – the creme de la creme – Mr. Right and I will look no more. That’s how I feel about him and so obviously having a family with him, IF I DISREGARD ALL FOUR POINTS ABOVE, seems like a no-brainer. It’s an immediate “duh! Of course!”

Ah, but that’s the catch, isn’t it? Putting aside all the insecurities, all the pre-conceived notions, all the ideas that your kid won’t be good enough. Shelving them and deciding to go on with your bad self. I’ll most likely have a kid or two, I’m not gonna lie. Yeah I’ll admit already that my life is easier without them … but with G by my side, can it really be that bad? I think not.

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State of frump being a pseudo housewife

I can’t imagine I’ll ever be wired to be a stay-at-home mom. I used to be pretty sure this was the case but since I’ve moved to Chile I’m 100% convinced. It’s confirmed now that the housewife role – and even pseudo housewife role I currently live – is for the birds.

Right now I say that I’m a pseudo housewife because I’m the one who stays home, while G leaves the house to go work. Granted, I work too, but since I work from home, I basically set my own schedule. Meaning if I want to work 8 am to 5 pm or 1 pm to 10 pm, it’s my call. I think that as long as my work gets done AND I’m easily accessible to those who need me, then I can basically do that. It’s a cool gig but it comes at a price as well. I’m the one who’s home … which means I’m the primary caretaker of Obi, our bulldog puppy. I’m the one who works with the trainer and makes sure our dog is forming into an acceptable and agreeable member of society. I’m also the one who does laundry … why? Again, I’m here. It doesn’t take much to just put a load in, come back to my computer, then put the load in the dryer and come back to the computer again. It’s either that or the clothes just piles up and up and up until the weekend (or evenings at some point.) Who wants that? I’m also the one who primarily cooks. Why? It’s really a last resort because I’m not familiar with take out places in Chile, besides sushi and going out to dinner every day is $$$ and bad for the waistline. And again, I’m the one who’s home. I’m here when the nana comes every Tuesday to clean – that’s sweet! Less cleaning for me. But I’m also the one who has to direct what needs to be done in the house. Why? Because I’m the one who’s home. And in all fairness it’s probably best that way since I’m the pickier of the two of us in regards to how I want my home to be/look/feel. In between nana visits, I’m also the one who cleans … mainly after myself and my dog, but still.

So let’s see here: I have a kid (kind of. It’s a puppy but it feels like a kid), and do all that’s involved with having said “kid,” I cook, I clean, I work, and I’m at home almost all day, everyday. And I have the new state of frumpiness to prove it! Honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that I’m about to start graduate school and I’m planning a wedding, I could very well be depressed.

Which has me wondering … will this be my constant state of being forever??

Obviously not…that’s just me freaking out with that last sentence. The mere fact that I’m going back to school will certainly snap me out of this state of semi-consciousness. I hope that it helps me be a contributing member of society as well. Nothing is worse than being stagnant and not moving forward.

It’s also hard to watch G go out and be the awesome baller that he is, while I am here at home. Maybe it’s a case of not giving myself enough credit for the job I do with the company I work for, or maybe it’s because he’s just in a different reality than me and I kind of envy that. Living here in Chile I’m feeling that it’s harder to grab the world by the balls like a man would. Maybe it’s because I don’t see many of these women around me on a day to day basis and the ones I can think of are gringas (yay! Represent!) I know this is just setting the stage for me to go out and become the youngest female VP for Chile’s #1 consumer products company (whatever that is) … but in the moment, I feel far from that.

If I were to add kids to this mix, I’d take a long walk off a short plank. I know I should feel a little more gung-ho about having kids but let me tell you, I’m not feeling the gung or the ho. But I’m 33 and time’s a tickin’ … and I think, well, I don’t NOT want kids … and I kinda do like the thought of kids …. so ….at some point in the next couple of years I”m going to have to walk down that road… but if it means staying at home with all of the above PLUS A KID … I can’t imagine I’ll be a happy camper.

Oh well… at least I’ll look the part. I’m already uber frumpy, with split ends, roots grown out about an inch, bad toenails, worse hand nails, bad, dry skin and a unibrow anyone would envy. My daily outfit is jeans, a t-shirt and flip flops. Oh, I do manage to put some make up on though, that’s a plus. Hmmmm, then I imagine that an offspring would result in me with no make up on my face and about 20 pounds overweight.

Sweet. Can’t wait.

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The thorn in my side regarding the wedding

In yesterday’s post I mentioned the two weddings I attended the last couple of weekends. As I raved before, both were fabulous and each unique in its own way. One of the major differences between the weddings was the ceremony itself: one was a “civil” ceremony and one was a religious, more spiritual ceremony.

To give a frame of reference, the civil ceremonies can somewhat be equated to the majority of ceremonies we attend in the States (or at least in California). Many times, a couple’s close friend receives special permission from the State/County/Gov’t Entity to marry the couple on that particular day. That’s how my friend Amanda did it with her husband, as well as my friend Corey. If not this exactly, definitely something similar. There’s also the option to have a government officiant marry the couple “with the power granted to [them] by the State of XYZ.” These ceremonies may seem cold and rigid but that’s because you most likely have no idea what a civil ceremony in Chile is like. At least in the States, the couple is encouraged to state their own vows, tell one another the reason they are so in love and so sure that he/she is the one for him/her. Mucho romantico! All the legal jargon is taken care of in the States alongside the romantic jargon that the couple deserves to share. Love it!

In Chile, the civil ceremony is, in two words, a nightmare. But the thing is, the couple has NO CHOICE. If you’re lucky – yes, LUCKY – you will get an officiant who will allow you to state short vows. But the majority of the time, the officiants are annoyed that they have to be there in the first place, could care less that the wedding day is UBER important for both people getting married, and basically acts like a prima donna who’s doing you a favor with his/her mere presence!

Our experience so far with the officiant has been less than stellar. In fact, when G first made the trek down to the city hall of the town where we’re getting married, the officiant straight up told him that no, she no longer did evening weddings because it interfered with her life and why didn’t we consider moving the wedding time to before 1 pm? I swear the b*tch said this. As if my wedding would EVER revolve around a grumpy old woman from the middle of BFE Chile! My reaction would have gotten us nowhere and thankfully I wasn’t there when she said this. My wonderful husband-to-be is a TOP NOTCH schmoozer and not only did he get this b*tch face to ok the 6 pm ceremony but also agreed to do it on site. Mad props to G!!

On the other hand, when someone has a religious ceremony, it’s exactly as you see in the movies. The priest/pastor/rabbi/what-have-you marries you in a church/temple/again what-have-you, says spiritual things about the sanctity of marriage and marries the couple under God. Yes, the couple also has to do the civil part as mentioned above, but this is usually done the day before, either alone or with close family friends. The wedding itself, with party, reception and all is done via the Church because this is when Catholics consider themselves to be TRULY married.

Since I’m Catholic and so is G (along with about 98% of Chile) I’m going to refer to a Catholic ceremony from here on out. The couple who marries in the Church, marries after going through a series of “classes” to prepare for the sacrament of Marriage. For those who don’t know, the Catholic Church has Seven Holy Sacraments which are: Baptism, Confirmation, Holy Communion (also known as the Eucharist), Confession (also known as Penance or Reconciliation), Marriage, Holy Orders (becoming a person of God such as a Priest), and Anointing of the Sick (a rite done by an ordained priest or above). As a Catholic “ordinary” person, from the list above, I’ve gone through almost all the Sacraments I can achieve without being a “holy vessel” of God. Marriage is the final one since I’ve completed all of the above, as required, by the Catholic Church.

But I can’t receive/go through the Sacrament of Marriage.

The reason is simple and though I fully accept it, I can still state and write that it’s a thorn in my side. G was married before and was so via the Catholic Church. This means that he can NEVER again marry in the Catholic Church because he is already considered “married” in the eyes of God and also because, of course, the Catholic Church doesn’t believe in divorce. In fact, because Chile is a Catholic country, in 2004 Chile became one of the last countries in the world to grant married couples the right to divorce. 2004!!! I mean, that was like yesterday!!

Three things make me sad about not having a Catholic wedding: 1) the Priest actually blesses the couple and blesses the rings. God is thoroughly mentioned as being present in the union and further, APPROVING the union. 2) the fact that the Priest says something to the like of “What God has joined together, let no man separate,” tugs at the heart strings. Does that mean that God sees the previous marriage as real and ours as fake? 3) Though to some, maybe to many, this may seem ridiculous but I was raised Catholic. Though I am not as devout as perhaps I should be (I haven’t been to Mass in eons), I pray almost every night and thoroughly believe in God and the fundamental teachings of the Catholic faith (not all, but most).

And G knows that this is important to me and God love him, one of the times he was in the dinky little town where we’re getting married to take care of the civil business, he stopped by the Church to talk to the Priest to see if he would at the VERY LEAST bless our rings … and sadly, the Priest said no.

So what can I take away from all of the above?
First and foremost, I am in love and completely adore a wonderful man who also loves and adores me right back. I also believe that just because the bureaucracy of the Catholic Church won’t allow me to even have a Priest PRESENT at my wedding to say “God is with you,” doesn’t mean that God himself doesn’t look upon us with blessings and approval. I realize this just as much as I realize that I won’t be walking down the aisle with a long veil, approaching the altar to receive the Sacrament of Marriage. I can be bitter and wonder why the ex gets to have married him in a Church and I can’t but I’ve felt that before and it’s a useless feeling. Besides it never lasts long…one look, one moment with G and it doesn’t matter anymore. He’s with me now, he chose me and I chose him back.

The Priests don’t want to bless us but that’s ok — we’re already blessed. We feel it together, in our hearts, in our home and in every second of our story together.

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One month…and counting

It’s March 17th. And yeah, it’s St. Patrick’s Day too but it’s also officially one month until my wedding. When did THAT happen? You know, it’s totally cramping my anti-bride style to have this wedding sneak up on us the way it has.

Ah, but the one thing that has propelled me to whittle away at the planning is a friend’s wedding. Or actually two friend’s weddings.

I arrived in Chile last July and my friends Emily and Sarah were both engaged and planning their March 2010 nuptials. In the beginning they were just two girls, nice girls, I had met who were planning on getting married. Cool, I could relate. Then as the months passed and we hung out more and more, their wedding and my wedding were always a focal point of discussion. “What does your dress look like?” “Did you find a hair and make up person?” “What was the name of that videographer you found?” “Oh – I got your invite! I love it!” Other friends here even planned co-bachelorette parties for the three of us, which was all kinds of a good time. As my life began to take shape here, so did my friendship with them and as such, the wedding planning paralleled and weaved in and out of our everyday encounters. So when I was there to actually WITNESS their marriage and see everything they had worked hard on planning (in terms of the actual event) it meant a lot more to me than I had previously imagined.

And both Emily and Sarah, were stunning brides.

I have to say, the good thing about being the last of the three to get married is that I have had two weddings to learn from and to get ideas from. In fact, just from attending Sarah and Pipe’s wedding, G and I completely shifted around the actual setting of where dinner was going to originally be held. All three of us are using the same photographer and hair/make up guy and based on what I’ve seen with Emily and Sarah – me likey!!! And it also confirmed for me all the beliefs I had about brides: it’s our day to shine, to be happy, to be nervous, to be pampered and to feel like the center of the universe next to our husbands.

So that’s my wedding wrap up on those I’ve attended in the last two weeks (yes, do the math… back to back wedding weekends!) Two very enthusiastic thumbs up! Fine holiday fun!

And I’m left looking around asking “Ok, who’s next? Where am I off to now?”

Oh. It’s me. :o)

All righty then let’s bullet point the list of accomplishments thus far:

– we have a theme (It’s a surprise for now but will blog about it post event.)
– we’ve sent about 95% of the invites
– we’ve registered for gifts at Falabella
– I’ve had one dress fitting, will have the second one in the coming week
– have bouquets
– have shoes and jewelry
– tasted our food choices and reserved the cake (yum and yum!)
– figured out our table names/descriptions
– have sent the “guest book” to be made (not the traditional guest book, mind you)
– have my hair accessories
– had first meeting with our fab-u day-of coordinator (the good news is that she’s organized and totally gets our style! The bad news, she’s more organized than we are! But that’s good too!)
– oh and picked out the music for the main ‘events’ of the wedding

Absolute need-to-do’s:
– confirm the tent size, price and layout
– confirm the music with Band/DJ
– confirm random shiz-nat which are far too many to write here but just know that we have exactly one month to get all our ducks in a row and right now it feels like these dumb ducks aren’t ducks but rather, wriggly little pigs that are running away from us. In other words, chaotic.

Oh but who cares?
We’re almost there!!
And let me tell you – it will ROCK!

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Five more minutes & a blog post later

When I lived in the U.S. and used to wonder when and if I’d get married, I worried that the majority of my family wouldn’t be able to make it to the iconic event (iconic in my life, that is.) After all, I’m by NO MEANS from a wealthy family and most of my relatives are lower-middle class who can thankfully afford to live their everyday lives but who unfortunately can’t afford to live beyond that. Meaning, had I lived in the States, they most likely would not have been able to attend my wedding there.

Now that I’m in Chile, I’m seeing another side of this coin materialize. I’m going to get married without ANY of my good friends present. I’m serious. Zero. I’m talking college friends, post-college friends, best friend, family friends who are like blood relatives and those who have known me (and vice) versa since I arrived in the U.S. back in 1980 when I was 3 years old. Not one of them will be present on April 17th when I finally get married to the awesome guy I get to love forever more.

In short, I’m sad.

I’m not saying this in a “woe-is-me” fashion but in a very matter-of-fact kind of way. It saddens me that my closest friends won’t be here and that I can’t share this wonderful day with them. And while I’m not the first bride who isn’t going to have everyone she cares about present (hello – I’ve had to miss many weddings of people I consider myself very close to), I do think (perhaps incorrectly) that most brides have at least SOME of their friends present, if they can’t have them all. In my case, NONE of my U.S. friends will be there. So I’m here writing about it, as I drink a glass of vino, and in about five more minutes, I’ll move on from this sad realization and carry on with all that’s good about my wedding and life. That’s all I’m giving myself, people. This blog entry and five more minutes to feel sad about it.

The fact of the matter is that none of my friends are purposely NOT attending my wedding. There is so much that comes into play when a friend chooses to get married outside city limits. First, it’s time. Their time is as valuable as mine and of course coming to Chile automatically means at least 4-5 days of their time that they have to peace out from their lives. They might have a whole lot going on that just doesn’t allow for that kind of check out from their every day. I completely get that. Then there’s the earthquake. If there was anyone who was remotely considering coming down, the earthquake and all they hear about it on tv surely deterred them from acting on travel down to Chile. Finally, the all-encompassing issue about money. We all get that. I get that completely! One of my close family friends got married in Scotland and I wanted to cry when I couldn’t attend!! Why? Money of course! A ticket to Scotland, hotel in Scotland, food and other miscellaneous outings would have put my cost for that wedding upwards of US$2,000. At that point in my life, I just couldn’t do it even though there was nothing I wanted more than to see this person get married.

Cognitively I completely understand all of the above. Further, I’ve been on that end before and have lamented not being able to attend a couple of very important weddings. Logistically I TOTALLY get the reasons why travel to Chile is short of impossible at this point in time. In fact, it used to be that I was going to get married over Thanksgiving holiday this year. Then G and I decided “Why wait?” I know for sure that the change from November to April threw a good handful of people off. People who might have otherwise attended.

But I’m still sad (for the remainder of this blog entry plus five more minutes.)

For a second I even thought about doing a type of “reception” or “party” in the States in June when I’ll be there for work. But then I thought “Why?” My wedding is in April and that’s when I’m going to celebrate it. Yes, I’m sad that people who are very important to me can’t attend, but that’s just how the cookie crumbles. I’m not going to do one thing after another just because they can’t come down here. My wedding is April 17th 2010 – that’s how it will stay.

Alas – life goes on. And my life, in light of recent events here in Chile, gives me little reason to complain. I’m fortunate through and through. I’ve met great people here and I’m happy to know they will be there when I get married. After all, my life is here now and they get to embark on that new part of my life WITH me. I’ll be happy to look around and see their faces – I really, really will be. And my family will be there, not all of them, but the ones who matter most to me, will absolutely be there. How awesome is that?? Two of the three family members I have who still live in the U.S. will be traveling down to be with me – how can I complain?

It’s all good in the hood. I’m just a wee bit sad to think of my special friends who won’t be here … but starting now, that sadness is fleeting … five more minutes and it’s gone.

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Big Pictures – Extent of Earthquake

My cousin had this link on his Facebook page and for some reason looking at these images just really made me realize THAT MUCH MORE the extent of this earthquake. There are images from Santiago that I had no idea existed … areas where the earthquake really did do damage.

And once again, all I can do is thank God for how lucky we are … the Santiago pics are things I haven’t seen around me at all. Thankfully where we live, this is not what we see when we step out the door.


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Deviation (from the chaos) post

Just a quick post not related to the EQ and the stress it’s causing (to say the least) both here at home and in the country, I thought I’d share some pics of Obi’s life with us … he’s too cute for color tv!! (though I myself will call myself out in that he drives me nuts, puppies can be a pain in the behind and the allergies I have to him have me at wit’s end.) Other than that, j’adore our bulldog.

Obi coming home

Obi’s first car ride

First night at home with us

Little nugget

Sleeping …

Hanging out with me…

Little paws …

In his toy basket …(trying to get his toys, he found himself inside)

Looking oh-so-cute on the pillow my mom made for him

We got some great pictures yesterday afternoon of Obi running around the grass in our building’s backyard … so great because he runs sideways, like a crab! I’ll post at some point. For now, just thought I’d lighten up the blog posting … note that at this very second, I’m having a “my dog annoys me” moment so I need to hurry up and post this!!!

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The Aftermath

We decided to go to Jumbo (one of the major grocery store chains in Chile) today and it was a madhouse … literally the lines extended farther than I had EVER seen them… note below:

In his usual strategic/baller manner, G had the great idea to wait in the “15 items or less” line while I weaved around each aisle gathering items we might need for the next few days. We gathered 30 items and each paid separately. We beat the system! Boo-yah!!
But seriously, the grocery store was a NIGHTMARE mess. I think it’s insane that we’re all over-reacting (and I include myself… why else did I head to Jumbo today along with five billion other peeps?) The fact of the matter is that at least here in Santiago, where damage was minimal, life will most likely be ‘back to normal’ by Wednesday, if not sooner. Yet there we were, with half of Santiago, buying groceries as if the world was about to end. If that were the case (and we realize it’s not, thank God) then I shouldn’t be buying ice cream … considering I only had a 30 item quota, you can see my priorities … enough said.

The biggest issue we have right now is G’s kids. They are in the “campo” which is basically a rural area, type of farm-ish zone, where his ex wife’s family has a house there. Normally this is a great place for his kids to spend their weekends, as this place has animals, a pool, nature, fields to run wild, etc. AKA a kid’s dream.
But after yesterday morning’s events, the fact that they are in the middle of nowhere means that cell phone reception and electricity are likely to come back in full effect daaaaaaaaaays from now. As a parent, this is stressing G out like NO OTHER. And I don’t blame him. He spoke with his kids this morning and learned that they had slept int the car with their mom because the family home was unstable (at least one wall had come down in the mostly adobe built house.) Now he can’t get through to them at all. Since there’s no power there, the most likely scenario is that his ex’s cell phone died … and even though he knows they are safe after the EQ and that their mom and family members are with them, that doesn’t mean it allows G to worry less about them. Let’s think about this: his kids have no running water, no electricity, no way to get out of where they are due to road closures … and they’re sleeping in a car. He’s sure that food isn’t an issue since they’re basically on a working farm, but as a parent, after a major natural disaster, he’s not going to rest until he literally SEES that his kids are ok. If he hasn’t heard from or about them by tomorrow evening, most likely he’ll grab his car and try to reach them once again. (Note my previous post to learn about his first attempt to reach them).

G has been watching the news NON-STOP since the EQ. Literally nonstop. At first it really, really annoyed me. After all, we were SO FORTUNATE to not have any major catastrophe happen here in Santiago where we live – why on Earth was he listening to one major catastrophe after another on tv (all near the epicenter zone)? Then he set me straight: he’s the equivalent of a VP here and many, many people throughout Chile report to him…yet there are handful of people – of those, some who live right where the epicenter occurred – which he hasn’t heard from yet. Are they ok? Do they have homes? Are their loved ones accounted for? He watches the news to see what’s the latest in each region of Chile. Further, he watches for the simple fact that he hopes to hear that the roads are clear … that way he can either reach his children or their mother can decide to drive back to Santiago. Needless to say, I am now keeping my mouth shut about the 24-hour news reports in the house…

Finally, my thoughts post-traumatic earthquake are these:

1) I f-ing hate the aftershocks. 11 floors up and believe me they feel like new earthquakes ALL OVER again. Not fun.

2) The emergency response in Chile is inspiring… though I’m concerned that not once did I hear about a tsunami warning for the Juan Fernandez Islands here in Chile …yet they were devastated by a tsunami and about 20 people are missing.

3) Looting and delinquency is prevalent in the southern regions (7th and 8th) because these poor people have no food, no water, no electricity and thus far, no help has arrived. A curfew is in effect from 9 pm to 6 am in the city of Concepcion in order to halt the said looting and vandalism. In Santiago – at least in the comuna of Providencia where we live – things are very quiet and very “normal.” Our visit to the grocery store was chaotic in terms of masses, but surprisingly orderly.

4) I’m tired and have lost all sense of normalcy. Until G’s kids are back in Santiago and he’s secure in their well-being; until we see advanced efforts in restoring basic infrastructure and necessities to the 7th and 8th regions of Chile; until the aftershocks cease and we all remember what it’s like to just live in peace at home –> I’m not going to rest well.

In Santiago – in Providencia specifically (as that’s all I can speak to since this is where we live) – we are SO FORTUNATE. I see no major structural damages when I walk outside and I see no one in a panic about missing family members or missing necessities. Yeah the grocery store was a mess, but it was an ORDERLY mess, if that makes sense. Everything we needed was THERE and there was no panic about that.

I wish this same tranquility to everyone who has been displaced and has felt immense misfortune and tragedy by yesterday’s early morning events. After such an event, nothing calms the nerves more than NORMALCY. I wish I could say to all of them “come to my home, I’ll take care of you” but of course that’s not possible. So in place of that, I just hope that G’s kids make it back to Santiago safely and that we can once again welcome them into our home this coming weekend …

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