Sunday, January 31, 2010

Prop 8 Mania

I've been intending for some time to post a string of updates regarding the Prop 8 trial, which I've been following compulsively. The trial's noteworthy moments and significant breakthroughs have been so bountiful, that wrapping my head around any one recap quickly became impossible. That being said, I still haven't lost my predisposition with relaying this information. And last night, this article, which adequately outlines the highlights of the trial, was posted on the same blog I've been using to keep up to date.

And if you're more of an audio/visual person. Here's a press conference that followed the testimonial conclusion of the trial.


As mentioned in this video, both attorneys displayed absolute genius in the trial; although most people will argue that the real star of this case was David Boies. His calculated yet jaunty demeanor in the cross examinations really allowed the witnesses' (lack of) expertise shine. He impressed me so much, I had to buy this T-shirt:

Monday, January 25, 2010

Paella

Tonight I decided to prepare the Paella kit I purchased at World Market a couple weeks ago. I was hesitant, even though I really enjoyed this dish a few times when I previously lived in Barcelona. However, most rice-based meals just aren't the same when made from the box.



David had a meeting today to discuss the job he's (finally) acquired at BBVA. His new employers explained that he'll be going through two weeks of (paid) training before he begins work, and then continue to study for approximately two years, while working, in order to receive his €FPA. What is this? I was unclear myself.

€FPA is the largest and most respected professional licensing, standard setting and certification body for financial planners and financial advisors in Europe and was the first European financial standards association created for the express purpose of increasing professionalism in the European financial services sector.

This education will be covered by the bank, and will be very helpful in the future if he wants to seek related employment in and out of Spain. Way to go, honey!

With the future looking more certain, my fiancé decided to have the conversation with his parents about our plans for the impossibly distant near future. Those plans basically being that I will be living with David, in his parents' home, for 3–6 months while we get our shit together find me a job and save money until we can afford our own place.

Now, there have been implications made. And comments have even been made on their part about how I'm welcome there, since I was so accommodating to their son for the three months he was in America. But until today, they hadn't directly heard the words from him. The outcome was great! My main man did a great job explaining the situation and our rationale, and they agree that it's the best plan. Now hopefully soon, he'll leap the huge hurdle that is revealing our engagement to them. I mean, they are the last people in either of our social circles to know. I can imagine how difficult it would be to explain to one's parents that their soon to be long-term house guest whom they've never met will become their new son-in-law just a couple short weeks after introductions. But hey, baby steps! We'll get there! And I am so amazed and proud of the courage and devotion he's displayed by coming out to his family and preparing for my arrival in every way thinkable in just these past three months. I love you, nene!

So, after hearing about his eventful day, I got a bit nostalgic for my future home, and decided to make the paella. It wasn't as good as on Las Ramblas, but it did the job. If a few small tastes of my anticipated new homecoming are all these long months can provide, hey! I'll take it!


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Shit-tonne of FINALLY!

Yesterday was copious with the sensation of FINALLY!!!. My first day back to work after a long weekend at home in Michigan is always unbearable. The grasp on reality that being home temporarily affords me makes it even more difficult to tolerate the skewed priorities and bullshit games I'm exposed to at the office. Fortunately, this time I was interrupted by a providential phone call from my fiancé.

For the past, well, since the first of October when he left me stranded here, alone and cold went back to Spain, he's been attempting to get his first post-collegiate job. Countless interviews yielded no results, until now. His first "real" job will be working for the same bank for which he's been an on/off temporary teller for four years. The job even comes equipped with great hours and decent pay. I'm so proud of him! And so relieved for both of us! One of the most difficult of the significant challenges we'll have faced in this journey has been resolved, and it feels mighty good!

In other news, I've finally seen Le fabuleaux destin d'Amélie Poulain! I know this comes extremely late, in fact, almost nine years late. (That's a scary thought. I still haven't gotten comfortable with having adult-like memories that date back over a decade.) However, you must understand that I developed an aversion to this film before it was even released. This aversion was entirely due to the (quite literally) IN YOUR FACE marketing campaign launched in Mexico City, where I was living at the time. In addition to the numerous billboards scattered throughout the sprawling metropolis, every single bus stop featured one of these enormous posters:


I took the bus at least ten times a week, since I had to at least give the impression I was still going to school Monday through Friday. Imagine waiting for the bus with those penetrating eyes, scaled to the size of an average human's head, bearing down on you. It was traumatizing! I took to waiting near the bus stop until my ride arrived. Long after the posters were torn down and the superb reviews were in from both critics and friends alike, I still avoided Audrey Tautou like the plague. I know it's not fair to judge a book by its cover, but is it not justifiable to avoid a movie soley based on the pretense that its protagonist's gaze gives you the heebie-jeebies?

So, years later, I was introduced to one of my all-time favorite movies, L'auberge Espagnole.


In this movie, Audrey has a minor (albeit majorly annoying) role, and it showed me that despite Amélie's freaky marketing, she can be somewhat normal-looking. (I just noticed that this cover implies she's the star of the film, but I assure, there are at least seven roles more prominent than hers.) I decided maybe it was worth facing my fear, and low and behold, just three short years later, I've done it!

Oh. And it was worth it. That movie totally rocked! It boasted the quirky humor and subtle wit that few American films (save Matilda) possess. If you haven't seen this movie yet (which is doubtful, unless you're Shelly, who refuses to watch movies with subtitles-- don't get me started,) I highly suggest you get right on that!

Also, I've been meaning to post something about the ongoing Proposition 8 trial, which I've been relentlessly following via Twitter and prop8trialtracker.com, but my comments on that topic are, as of yet, too numerous and too unorganized. I do intend to get around to it this weekend, however, so, as Scar would tell you, be prepared!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

And Therefore Forgiven.

So I was headed home from the office the other day. I'm waiting at a stop sign for a break in traffic. The roads are finally clear now, so I veer forward at the first decent albeit tight opportunity. Then, the mofo, who's just passed the intersection, halts. He U-Turns slowly, forcing me, already halfway through the intersection with traffic oncoming, to wait for his slow ass to maneuver his euro-chic hatchback into the road onto which I'm continuing.

Adequate obscenities expressed, I continue to follow the suspect driver, who thankfully, decides to take a left. Just when I'm about to pass him or her, the obviously drunk incompetent moron changes his or her mind and cuts me off.

I continue to follow, not allowing an appropriate distance between our cars, as he or she is apparently one of those bipolar motorists who in five seconds flat will switch from driving 20 mph over the speed limit to the pace of a bicyclist. And then I notice the following sticker on his or her car:



And all is justifiably forgiven. :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

Scenes From the Movie of My Life: Changing Seasons Montage

INT. PETER'S BEDROOM

Peter stares hopelessly at the iChat window before him. David's eyes reveal their own sense of hopelessness, suggesting he's accepted the lost cause that is cheering up his fiance this time around. Despite his total lack of confidence in this matter, he persists:

DAVID
Babe, we've come so far. You have to stay strong. Now, only less than half a year...

PETER
HALF a...
(Squealing)
YEAR.

DAVID
I know, babe.
(Snickers)
I was trying to make it sound better than it was. I guess I failed.

PETER
(Seemingly disregarding the previous comment)
I just feel like...
(breaks into a sob)
time isn't passing at all.

CUT TO:

EXT. Indistinct Eixample Street in Barcelona. As David walks down the sidewalk, he zips up a light-weight jacket and fastens the scarf he's wearing snugly around his neck, acknowledging a new and seemingly unexpected nip in the air.

CUT TO:

EXT. All too familiar Midwestern blizzard scene outside Peter's apartment. Peter angrily beats on his 1999 Dodge Stratus' windshield with an ice scraper/brush combo in a desperate, yet half-hearted attempt to remove the many layers of ice and snow.

CLOSE - SHOT - PETER

Tears form in his eyes, laden with frustration and sadness. He resigns, entering his decade-old, heatless car.

PETER
(Dramatically, Sobbing, yet again)
Ehhheeeehhhhhaaaaaaeeeeee. Waaahhhhhhaaaaaaaah.

Yeah. So that pretty much sums up how I feel about my side of this situation.

Side Note: Inflatable, Christmas lawn decorations should be BANNED. At the very least, after January fifth. Please. Two months of that tasteless, mind-boggling bullshit is enough! No?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Titular Explanation

Te he!

I realised today that I failed to explain the title of this blog. I must admit I'm a fan of names that are thought-provoking and somewhat obscure. The line that prompted my title hails from a fantastic romantic comedy (and one of Brittany Murphy's best works), Love and Other Disasters.

There's a scene in this delightful chick flick in which Jacks (Brittany Murphy) is trying to boost her best friend's (Matthew Rhys—who's character is coincidentally named Peter) ego. The dialogue goes—oh screw it, enjoy this clip!

video

So, I harnessed all the power of my wit and changed "giant" to its Spanish counterpart, which has given us... *drumroll* Gigante in Waiting!


My faithful readers, (read: David, Megan, Shelly and Katie, as you are the only ones as of yet to be reading this blog) may have noticed my snazzy banner. It features the spires of an enormous, ongoing construction project in Barcelona: La Sagrada Familia. It didn't occur to me as I was creating it that it was, in fact, a good symbol for the message behind my title. This magnificent work, designed by Antoni Gaudí, was started in 1882, but won't be completed until the late 2020s. So I suppose you could say that it, too, is a "giant in waiting".

Here's a photo I took of what would definitely fall into my personal seven wonders of the world.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Welcome!


So, I've been somewhat agonizing over how to start this-here-new blog of mine. Long introductions aren't really my style, and in thinking about what to write, I began to think about why I am writing. So without further ado: The top 5 reasons why I've decided to start this blog!

  1. In the coming months, I will be preparing for and embarking on a permanent move overseas, (re)acclimating to my new country of residence, and marrying this beautiful man. Now, I'm under the impression that such significant life changes require documentation. I was once disciplined enough to keep a steady journal. Later in life, I took to frequent vlogging on YouTube, but I got over it. (Perhaps the compulsion to make myself "presentable" prior to recording was a contributing factor.) A new decade calls for a new medium for self-expression. No pretenses. No rules. When I have something on my mind, time permitting, I'll share.
  2. My life sometimes yields adventurous and/or amusing stories that I enjoy relaying to others. (See here.)
  3. I intend to pursue writing someday, like, for real and stuff. (See how good I am at it?) So I suppose I should start practicing in some form or another.
  4. Seeing my friend and roommate, Megan, launch her own blog and really start honing her mad blogging skills has made me sort of want my own new fancy toy to play with. Plus, after discovering this lady, resistance was futile. She's all shades of awesome.
  5. It just feels more productive than rewatching countless episodes of Buffy.
So, please enjoy yourselves, visit frequently and don't forget to comment!