Just in case you were wondering.

I am an inquisitive person. I love to hear the story behind it all–the inner machinations that inspired whatever it is that currently has my fancy. I especially like to hear how people narrowed down career paths; selected business names; or decided which area of medicine or law to practice. Decisions of permanence enthrall me, even when they occur by happenstance.

My blog design doesn’t count as one of those life forming decisions, but my life did form the design. If you are inquisitive like I am, you might enjoy this entry detailing the ideas behind the design. At the very least, it should be an interesting read on a rainy Thursday evening. If you’re not into this sort of thing, well, there’s always CSI.

I was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina but soon immigrated to the US with my parents. I consider myself an American, but still value and hold fast to the traditions and customs of a country I left before I was old enough to understand its existence. The design reflects my fondness for this hearsay-culture; one I’ve mostly heard about and never experienced firsthand for more than a few weeks every decade. At times, I feel guilty for being so American; for so quickly abandoning parts of my original culture. Perhaps this is my way of saying, “I know where I am from, and I will take it where I am going.”

Buenos Aires translated to English means “fair winds” or “good air.” The national flag colors are, accordingly, a pale sky blue and white. So much for the mystery behind the color scheme of my blog.

This part really depends on the resolution of your monitor, but the white should appear rough like torn paper. This represents the texture of a city over 5 centuries old: still elegant and refined, if just a bit worn around the edges.

The font used in my banner is La Portenia by the Sudtipos font foundry based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The font comes in two variations: La Portenia de la Boca and La Portenia de La Recoleta. I used the former in my banner. “La Portenia” is a title reserved for a woman who resides in Buenos Aires. A city girl, if you will. La Boca and La Recoleta are barrios in Buenos Aires. La Boca is mainly an artist community with bright houses and streets not safe for tourists after dusk. This version of the font is looser, and the flourishes are larger.

La Recoleta is more refined. It is comprised of a predominately wealthy population and is home to one of the world’s finest cemeteries. I visited the cemetery as a disgruntled 13-year-old and even then, fully immersed in teen-ridden angst, I couldn’t help but marvel at its beauty. This is tighter version of the same font, and the flourishes are more restrained.

The colors. The texture. The font. Now you know my secret. My blog design pays homage to a shabby, loose, city girl from the wrong part of town. I kid, I kid.

Now that I went first and shared the inspiration behind my blog design, I’d love to hear how your past has inspired you.

Poor Baby

I’ll say one thing about Mikey: he’s a valiant little fellow. All through out the night, despite the 103 degree fever and nonstop vomiting, he held on to his role as family leader with tenacious dignity.

At 2:00 in the morning, when it looked like he was going to be sick again:

“No, daddy. No bowl. I’m am done with this fro-up. I don’t want it.”

At 3:30 in the morning, attempting to give him a suppository to bring down his fever (103!) since he couldn’t even keep down sips of water:

“No, mama. No medicine in my bottom. I don’t need it and I feel much better.”

At 4:30 in the morning, when Mikey decided he needed his space:

“Thank you Mama, but go sleep in your bed now.”

His refusal to relinquish his post as supreme ruler carried on through the day, as well.

At 1:30 in the afternoon, as a happy and vocal Nicholas discovered the nuances of a bucket:

“I’m not sick, mama. I can play with Nicholas.”

At 1:35 in the afternoon still laying on the couch, after I told him “no” and he realized maybe he didn’t feel so great after all:

“Nicholas, please be quiet. I need my rest.”

Even when sick he manages to make us chuckle. He still doesn’t realize that he missed his first ever Christmas Pageant today. The whole “no concept of time” thing really is coming in handy. I think I’ll respond as my friend, Kara, suggested if he asks about it:

“Your pageant is coming, Mikey! Only 12 more months!”

Turns out two other little girls in his class were up all night with the same thing, so as selfish as it sounds, at least I’m not Mikey isn’t the only one crushed about missing the performance.

Bah. The performance was probably lame, anyway. All that really matters is that he is healthy.

Sleeping it off.

No More French Fries

Mikey seems to have met a rogue plate of French fries. We went Christmas shopping and had lunch out without incident, but less than 6 hours later he either has the stomach flu or food poisoning. Can you get food poisoning from French fries? One slip cover, two pajamas, two sets of sheets, and three bowl cleans later and all we know for sure is that processed food doesn’t digest well.

Uh, oh. Make that three pajamas, three sets of sheets, and four bowl cleans later.

I’ll resume my posting schedule when things settle down. Literally and figuratively.

About Those Christmas Cards

I finished them last night, shortly after 2:00 am, and was at the post office today by 9:00 am ready to mail them and a Christmas present for The Mr.’s sister in Florida. Whew! Just under the wire. What can I say? That’s how I roll: fast and dangerous. “Take Chances” is my middle name.

Now, if you would care to step back into reality with me, I’d like to share something special that occurred while I was working on the previously mentioned Christmas cards. I started to really enjoy myself. As a creative writer, I had a blast thinking of different ways to incorporate the phrase “milk and cookies” in each of the Christmas cards.

“Hope your holidays are filled with all the good stuff–like milk and cookies.”

“Wishing you a warm holiday season filled with peace, joy, and plenty of milk and cookies.”

“We hope you Christmas is as sweet as milk and cookies with someone you love.”

And so on. (Of course, I also signed off with all our names)

I not only enjoyed myself immensely playing with words, I started to really pay attention to whom I was sending cards. Hand writing something personal in each card allowed me to take stock of how many insincere cards I send every year. There were a few people where I picked up my pen and thought, “So-and-so?! But he’s an ass and I hate his wife! Why the heck does he get a card?” At least 10 people were trimmed from the list, and it felt really good. If they didn’t inspire me to write, they didn’t get a card. I think this is a good rule to go by in the future, as well. I mean, really, why wouldn’t you want to surround yourself exclusively by people who inspire you? I found the whole process very cathartic, even though I was tired and it was the dead-ass of night.

I think somewhere along the way I forgot what Christmas cards are really about. It’s an opportunity to extend a warm wish to someone you care about during what is supposed to be one of the most benevolent times of the year. It’s not about the best card, or the best picture. In my zeal to have both, I lost the spirit of Christmas. I’m so glad I found it this year, even if it meant having to lose those cursed cards.

Favorite Moment

This one’s pretty easy.

Buh-bye, Color Resistant Gray Hair. You’ve been evicted.

My hair before (3 weeks after professionally applied, 100% gray coverage)

Color Resistant Gray

My hair today. Lightened ever so slightly. Highlights applied, but they didn’t take very well (stupid hair).

New Hair, New Plan

The plan (since my hair isn’t going to magically start accepting color anytime soon) is to gradually lighten my hair (via color and highlights) until I am a medium brown (level 6 for you pros out there). I am currently dark brown (level 3) and while going so light makes me nervous, I have a better chance of hiding the gray with light hair and therefore can hopefully get away with color appointments spread 5-6 weeks apart. Otherwise, according to the very fabulous Toni, I’ll have to color my hair every 2-3 weeks. Um, in that case, lighter it is!

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