23 April, 2012

Ensalada de Fruta Fresca


I am going to go out on a limb and hope that at least more than half of you, dear readers, know who the Wiggles are.  If you don’t, I’ll give you the safe dinner-party summary—the Wiggles are (were?) a group of fully-grown men (I repeat: fully-grown men, some about to turn 60) from Australia that had their own TV show and sang songs for children.  (If you do know who the Wiggles are, do we all agree that Murray –red Wiggle—was the most adorable?)

While not for me, I do remember sitting about one day with my sister and watching them sing a catchy song in Spanish about fresh fruit salad.  And I liked it.  So much, that I still remember the lyrics to this day, and when I titled this post, I squealed and looked up the video on YouTube.  It’s too much magic to handle.

My sister and I have been attempting lately to eat much healthier than we usually do (pizza, ice cream, bread, tortillas, tortillas, tortillas) to see what changes this brings about.  We’ve also been exercising quite a lot (I’ve found that it helps if you pretend you’re training to represent your district at the Hunger Games), hoping this will motivate us to actually do things during the summer.

But it makes me feel accomplished.  Like I’m weary for the right reasons.

22 April, 2012

When Flowers Bloom Even in the Springtime

In the good, lovely days where I still owned a VCR and my mother hadn’t thrown away all my VHS tapes, I owned a video called Barney’s 1 2 3 4 Seasons, which was a forty-five minute long movie about Barney teaching little kids all about the seasons, and what they looked like.  Unfortunately, Barney taught me to have high expectations for the weather.  Silly me, thinking climate should be constant.  In California, you can’t say “Bye bye, winter wardrobe, make way for my summer wardrobe!”  You don’t have separate wardrobes—both, combined, are your year-round wardrobes.

Last year, it rained the most during the summer and August than it had during November and December.  Last week, it was 70+ degrees all day, but this weekend has been pretty cloudy.  And I keep seeing pictures from blogs in New York with their cherry blossom trees and their pretty flowers and, well, I still haven’t seen nice flowers around here, so I thought I’d share my findings in case you haven’t caused spring fever either.

All pictures linked to their Flickrs!  Yay for credit!

This last picture’s from when I went to Legoland last year.

19 April, 2012

I Hate Sleeping Alone. Alone. Alone.


Monumental things have happened to me.  So big, so incredible, so life-changing, that I’ve had to put it off and make sure that I do it justice in a post on the internet.

I took my first walk around my neighborhood.  By myself.

I’m afraid that I’m not translating the importance of this event clearly, so I’ll elaborate—I, Jessica Sandoval, gathered important belongings, like water, music, my cellphone, house keys, and, admittedly, a Swiss army knife, told my mother I’d be back soon, and walked out of my door.  My knees were shaking and I could feel my heart beating in my ears, but I still somehow walked off my property and out of the cul-de-sac, towards the park a few streets down.

I still don’t quite think I’m emphasizing enough on what this means to me—this means that my parents, who, for as long as I can remember asking, have denied my countless petitions to be able to go get the mail at the end of our street, fearing that I might get jumped on my way back, decided that I was able to go for a walk on my own.  Sure, it was one o’clock in the afternoon and most people were off at work, but I still felt daring.  And accomplished—I suddenly felt like a woman, like a grown-up, like I could truly defeat anything in my way.

I mean, I was walking the streets of my neighborhood on my own.  Daredevil, rebel, dissident, serious business.

That day I wore a cardinal ribbon in my hair, a blue blouse, and shoes that reminded me of the seventies.  I also wore my Lolita glasses (which I kick myself repeatedly for not photographing), which landed me a smile and a head nod from one of my neighbors while they were sweeping their driveway.

It was strange that I decided to take a walk, too—that morning I had woken up and stayed in bed until ten o’clock, a personal record.  The laptop on my lap was burning a hole through the duvet.  I glanced at my nightstand and noticed the three dry, crusty, empty mugs that once had hot chocolate or coffee.  The house was silent.  I could feel the lazy cells building up inside me.

I whipped the covers off of me.

I didn’t take my camera because I didn’t want to weigh myself down with it, but I simply had to take this picture.  I sat by myself on the solitary bench I found when I discovered I love the suburbs.  I sprawled on it and started reading The Bell Jar.  Everything was quiet, and I could hear the quiet in the air.  The air was sticky and humid, but the soft breeze ruffled my shirt in a way that made me the sad kind of nostalgic.

When I was almost finished reading The Bell Jar, two girls walked past the bench, pushing their bicycles up the hill.  They glanced at me and said “Hi!”  They were about thirteen.  I grinned and said “Hi!” back, and that I really liked their bikes (they had baskets on them, and baskets on bikes simply slay me).  They said thank you and continued to walk.  I heard one of them whisper “Did you see her heart glasses?  I want some.”

I got up from the bench and, with wobbly knees, made my way back to my home.

11 April, 2012

Last Night was my Favorite Night


I don’t know how to get rid of these feelings that I feel, these feelings that give me heavy boots, but I’ve made them part of my life goal, and once I find how to get rid of them, I plan to write a book about it and sell-out on Oprah.  One thing does help me feel better, though, and that is cleaning my room.  I acquire this feeling of entitlement, accomplishment, and self-righteousness after I finish stacking the last book on the side of my wiped-clean closet on the floor of my recently-vacuumed room.

On this new “super girl” high I had, I took the opportunity to get homework done.  “This is fantastic!” I thought.  “I can do anything good!  This homework is a piece of cake!  I am going to graduate, not a valedictorian, but pleased with myself because I tried my hardest, and also, my life was not high-school-movie-cliche sucky!  I am so happy right now!”

And I was.  My desk was clean and I set my things on my desk.  The sun was setting, so I opened up the window in front of my desk and listened to the children on my street play tag in the dark.  I’ve mentioned it about five times already, but I love the fact that these kids on my street are always playing outside.

The wind was blowing softly.  There was high-pitched laughter, but it was not shrilly.  I lit my first ever Yankee Candle (I suggest that, if you’re a Yankee virgin like I was, you should videotape your reaction—I regret not videotaping mine) and didn’t want to put it out later that night.  The wind blew the scent of Buttercream towards my face.  I tackled the pros and the cons of America’s Golden Age and the Civil Rights movement.  I wore a sweater that reminded me of a beach night with a boy I used to like.  (I know this sounds like the set-up to a plot twist where something terrible is creeping up, about to ruin my night, but I don’t need to warn you, nothing terrible occurred.)

There were a few times where I listened in on the kids playing outside.  They were telling jokes.  One of them said one of my favorite puns, which is “I forgot how to throw a boomerang…  then it came back to me.”  None of the other kids got it, but I cackled loudly and obnoxiously to let this kid know that there is a teenager in dark clothing listening in to children playing outside in the night.  And also, that joke never quite gets old.

I also have this habit of watching myself laugh.  After I laughed, I looked at myself in the mirror smiling.  Because of my braces, it has become impossible for me to smile without covering my mouth with my hand, but this time I grinned broadly at myself in the mirror and didn’t twist my face into that of disgust at my exposed gums and bulky orthodontia.

Last night was my favorite night.  I loved myself the way I felt I should.  I was unabashedly happy.  I had salted mango.  And I wrote in my journal again for the first time in two months.

Also, I’m growing fond of my smile again.

02 April, 2012

A Playlist –Making Life Decisions in the Bath

SUFJAN STEVENS | Futile Devices
THE XX | Fantasy
SHE & HIM | Don’t Look Back
AIR | High School Lover
APHEX TWIN | Avril 14th
JACK JOHNSON | Banana Pancakes
YANN TIERSEN | La Valse Des Vieux Os
THE BEATLES | I’m So Tired
THE SHINS | Sleeping Lessons
I’ve written on how to take a bath like you’re in a film, but I didn’t include the tunes that go along with having a peaceful time while taking a bath.  Bath time is pretty special time, and ever since the first time I heard Alana Dafonseca croon “Don’t Cry Baby” in the movie Aquamarine, while the titular mermaid eats ice cream and tries to get over her one true love, Raymond, I knew it in my heart that you’re meant to have music in the background to help you ease in to the magic wonders of a bath.

Of course,  when I think of a bath, many different “moods” come to mind.  If this were a movie, is this scene in the movie because the character is sad, or is this a happy scene, or is this an indie movie where an obligatory washed-out clip of someone in a bath is needed, or what?  Whichever the case, different music is used for each of these different scenes.  I tried to capture that in this hodgepodge of music.

Sticking to the “Don’t Cry Baby” theme, I added ballads and vocal-ranges-that-make-your-home-made-music-videos-cry-in-a-corner-type songs,  along with happy music that would fit for a bath in the morning, along with more sadder music, which would be perfect for staring at the bath faucet with wide, dead eyes, like a tarantula just walked up the drain and bit you in your derrière.

On my bath to-do list is to find out what those cool orange slices things Anne Hathaway put in her bath in Bride Wars.  That seems like a soothing bath. 

EDIT: My bad, it was LEMON SLICES.