Monday, September 30, 2013

Cake is love

I spent too many hours at the office this weekend, but lucky for me I met my nieces (and their parents) and my parents at the Cheesecake Factory for dinner on Saturday night.  It's always nice to see the family, but it's especially nice to see my sweet little nieces...who are big fans of cheesecake.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Hooray for Daddy Bush


Love this!

I would forgive President Bush 43 for proposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage between one man and one woman only IF he'd witness a gay marriage like his father.  My husband and I are planning to fly to California and add the legal piece to our union soon...If 43 reads this blog, then he's welcome to come witness!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - Texas Republicans running for the top statewide offices unanimously oppose expanding protections based on sexual orientation.

An Associated Press survey shows that GOP candidates support the state's gay marriage ban and most say local ordinances that prohibit gay discrimination violate other people's freedom of religion. Some candidates also say gays, lesbians and the transgendered don't face significant discrimination.

The AP sent six questions to the Republican candidates for governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general.

The responses come as the gay rights debate has heated up. The Texas National Guard recently refused a Pentagon directive to process applications for military benefits for same-sex couples. The state's GOP heavyweights also waged an unsuccessful effort to block San Antonio from becoming the latest Texas city to pass a discrimination ordinance protecting gays.

Monday, September 23, 2013

God is Love?

I cannot forget the struggles of my fellow gay and lesbian people.

Although, my husband and I have the full support of our parents, siblings, and a super majority of our extended family members, we spent three lovely days in Mendoza with our fellow homo who has been disowned and disinherited by her mother.   It's painful for me to even imagine that level of rejection.

Her mother never worked outside the home (perhaps her world isn't that large) and she's a devoted Catholic.  One of the reasons her mother is using to justify the disowning her daughter is because "being gay is the devil's work".

While we were away, the Pope did give some words of love to the gay community, NYT: "Six months into his papacy, Pope Francis sent shock waves through the Roman Catholic church on Thursday with the publication of his remarks that the church had grown “obsessed” with abortion, gay marriage and contraception, and that he had chosen not to talk about those issues despite recriminations from critics. His surprising comments came in a lengthy interview in which he criticized the church for putting dogma before love, and for prioritizing moral doctrines over serving the poor and marginalized. He articulated his vision of an inclusive church, a “home for all” — which is a striking contrast with his predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, the doctrinal defender who envisioned a smaller, purer church."

Our friend feels certain (and is comforted by the fact that) if her father was still alive, he would love her unconditionally.  And I feel certain (and am comforted by the fact that) if god does exist, then he certainly loves all his children- not just the heterosexual ones.

These are some beautiful pictures from a colonial church we visited in Argentina.

Sunday, September 22, 2013


While waiting for our flight from Mendoza back to Buenos Aires we sat behind this affectionate couple.  They were not young and they were so affectionate; it was endearing.

We are back in the United States, and Monday morning we will both be back at work. Yikes! After two weeks of vacationing I had hopes we were independently wealthy and we didn't have to go back to work.  Reality strikes.

I have much more to say about our South American travels, and perhaps I'll load those post this week.

Like the couple in this photo, we're just two people in love traveling through the world together; this blog proves that right?  My husband and I are living life in all it's gloriousness- just like you.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Argentina Woman

A 99 pound Argentina woman worked me over good.

(I bet you didn't expect to read that sentence on this blog!)

Specifically, the Argentina woman was a legitimate massage therapist and she rubbed and poked and squeezed my back, shoulders, head, legs and feet.  At one point she was straddling me on the massage table trying to work out my lower back - using all 99 pounds.  At another point she was standing on the table bent over with her hands on my back.  I thought she was about to do a headstand on top of me.  She found a knot in my shoulder and she wouldn't stop until it was gone.  She thought my feet were cold and she rubbed them to sweaty life.

I've signed up for another massage, of course.  Hooray for Argentina Women!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Maria Antonieta

The food in Argentina is delicious!  My husband and I ate at Maria Antonieta in Mendoza and it was one of the best places we've eaten in this country.  Our dinner reservation was at 9:30PM, which is early for dinner in Argentina.  Most people were arriving for dinner at 11:00PM when we were walking out.

Argentina still has a siesta culture, and they shut down most everything from 2PM to 5PM.  The businesses reopen at 5PM until 9PM, which is why they eat dinner starting at 11:00PM.

We started dinner off with wonderful beat mixture and bread. We also had two incredible salads. Mine was a citrus salad with grapefruit and oranges and cheese tossed with a citrus vinaigrette and served over greens.  My husband had a grilled pear and cheese salad.  For our main dish my husband ordered steak.
With rosemary and olive oil roasted potatoes.
I had wild mushroom risotto with a side of meatballs.
 This is a meat and red wine country.  They eat a lot of meat and drink lots of red wine.  They also, surprisingly, have amazing pastries.

White Wine Shampoo

We're in Mendoza, Argentina it's the wine country, and yes our hotel has "white wine shampoo" in our shower.

Question: How many drunks have tried to drink this shampoo?

And why do I want to smell like white wine?  Is it a cover up?  Honey, it's 9 AM and you smell like wine?  Oh, it's the shampoo.  Okay.  Good.  I thought you were a drunk.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Roger Mantegani

In my solitary Argentina days I visited at least twelve art galleries, because I have a passion for art.  (If only I had the bank account to support my passion!)  When away from home I like to hunt for the local artists that catch my attention.  At Espacio Arroyo GalerĂ­a de Arte I discovered Roger Mantegani, and his works thrilled me the most by a factor of one hundred.  His skill at the hyperrealism is divine.  I'm lost in his works.  These photos do not capture the magic, but they remind me of what it felt like to see his work in person.
And the Gallery told me that Mantegani is gay and for this series he is only painting with his boyfriend as the model, which is why you start to see the same man in his works.  How romantic is that?  If I was an artist, then I'd only paint portraits with my husband too!!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Yaya and Papa Time

As you can see from this photo Dooley is dominating Yaya and Papa's house.  It makes traveling easier for us when we don't have to worry about the kids.  My husband's parents are taking care of both Trigger and Dooley while we're away.  My husband's mother sent us this photo with this update:

"Dooley just jumped onto the fireplace to get a pine cone. Then she jumped in [Papa's] chair and walked across the table to me. Now Trigger barked and she is gone! Inquisitive!"

Eva Peron

We're in Argentina- of course we visited the Evita museum.  I really only knew Eva Peron from Madonna's Evita film.   The museum was small; it was housed in former house.  My husband and I were in and out in less than 30 minutes.  The museum was like Eva Peron's life, it was brief and interesting.

My takeaway: Timing is everything.

Eva was 24 years old when she met a 48 year old Juan Peron.  They were only married for 7 years, since she died of cancer at at 33 (my current age).

Again, timing is everything.  In 1944, Eva met Juan.  They fell in love.  He won the presidency in 1946.  She won the hearts of a nation.  (She championed the rights of women and the working class.) He won re-election in 1951 and she died of cancer in 1952.  From meeting until death was 1944 to 1952.

It could not have happened at any other time.  A decade earlier and Eva was only 14 years old (she never would have met/married Juan).  A decade later and Eva would have been 34 years old (an age she did not live to see).  The timing of her life was astonishing.

It's a reminder to make most of the time you have.

One of the most interesting parts of the museum were her clothes.  These were some of my favorites...

 I really loved the blue dot suit and the black dress in the corner...
And I snapped the photo of the kitchen.  I have no idea how the kitchen related to Eva Peron, other than it is a kitchen from her time in office and is IN her museum, but look at that stove...
So here's to making the most of your day!


Thursday, September 12, 2013

Giddy Up

I should have been a cowboy.  No really.  I should have been a cowboy.  The hotel arranged for me to spend the day at a horse ranch outside of Buenos Aires.  The ranch sent Hector a non-English speaking man to pick me up.  He clearly was a local, because he drove in the local style: fast and without noticing the lines in the street, and without the ability to distinguish between red and yellow stop lights.  (My husband, earlier on our trip: They like to center their cars on the lines, don't they?  Yes, they don't drive between the street lines; they mostly drive on them so you can fit two cars per lane instead of one.)

Once outside of the city, the landscape changed.  The countryside is emerging from winter.  The trees have not fully leafed out.  I saw more poverty.  We shared the road with a mule and cart.  And I became a bit nervous when Hector turned from a rural road to a more rural road, which caused his car to rock back and forth as it moved forward.  (I hope I make it.) I relaxed a bit when we passed a vegetable farm, a pack of dogs, a large chicken egg farm, and then I was completely at ease again when we came to the horse ranch with its new construction,  a swimming pool and most importantly horses.

I was greeted by the owner, Adrian, and his associate, Miriam.  They spoke English and seemed happy I had arrived.  (It's always nice to be happily greeted.)  Although, I could see two horses already saddled up, at once they brought me inside to perform the intimate traditional Argentina mate tea ceremony  Adrian was leading the ceremony and he added crushed tea leaves, his secret ingredient (a teaspoon of instant coffee, shh don't tell) and sugar.
The gourd is passed clockwise, each person drinks it empty, and then passes it back to the leader.  Adrian would add more hot water to the tea leaves and sometimes he'd slip in more sugar before he passed it to the next person in the circle.  Since I was the guest, Adrian told me that the tea ritual would end when I passed the gourd back after drinking it down to the leader and said "thank you."  I let the gourd go around three times before I said thank you.  I wanted to ride the horses!  The tea ritual moved slowly and we had intimate conversations.  I told them about my husband, my life in the states, and my past experiences with horses.  They told me about how they both survived different health issues and they decided that they wanted to do something more rewarding for their job.  Adrian sold his house, sold his wife's car, quit his 20 year corporate job with a pension and went into the horse ranch business.  Separately Miriam resigned from her job with the Holland embassy and started to work for Adrian at the horse farm.  

Miriam and I went out riding for almost three hours.  I wanted to get better so she coached me the entire time.  (Keep your back straight, move your hips, squeeze your thighs, don't hold on to the saddle, find the rhythm of your horse...) We rode through part of a 24,000 acre park, which is next to their horse farm.  To prove that riding is all in your hips Miriam had me do drills where I would let go of the reins while in a canter.  The Argentine saddles do not include the horn like western saddles and Miriam had to break me of the habit of always looking to hold onto the saddle.  Miriam said I was a fast learner, and I was a natural on a horse! 

After our hours on the horse they brought me back inside for pastries and water and coffee.  Finally, Adrian drove me back to the city.  We talked about the challenges of living in an economy with high inflation.  He could not save any money unless it was in US dollars.   He had to take his pesos and go pay bills and buy oats and hay for the horses.  He told me that six months ago a bag of oats was 40 pesos and today that same bag of oats is 120 pesos.

The day was fascinating.

If you're in Argentina, then you need to go riding at Caballos a la par.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lemon Pie

At times this will be a solo vacation.  My husband is doing his important MBA things during the day, and we meet up for dinner and festivities at night.  Next week is our duo vacation.  There are other spouses in the group, but I'd rather be alone than with a group of solos, which doesn't make me sound like the friendliest person.  I just prefer my own adventures.

On Monday I went to lunch in a cafe across from a large park.  The park had trees that looked like this...
Strange and beautiful trees that grow thick and wide.  A tree designed for climbing.  Argentina is not in a hurry.  I sat in the cafe for many minutes waiting to get a menu and wondering how many children climbed the tree before they fenced it off.  

I was friendly with the 60-something waiter, who, like me, only spoke one language.  His was Spanish.  Mine was English flavored with bits of Spanish from growing up in Texas.  I was able to order nonetheless, and I ate a delicious beef tenderloin sandwich with cheese and tomatoes and lettuce and with sparkling water and a double espresso.  The coffee is delicious in this slow moving world.  After my relaxing lunch, the waiter insisted that I order the lemon pie for dessert.  He kept telling me in Spanish that it was the best.  I instantly felt connected to my mother, because she enjoys a good lemon pie.  She likes tart desserts, whereas I do not like lemon in my sweets.  Since I didn't know the Spanish words to politely decline the demands of my waiter, I ordered the lemon pie and another double espresso.  It would have tasted better if my mother was eating with me, but I emailed her the photo and told her this story. It was a solid lemon pie nontheless.  

I was most impressed with the meringue crown on the pie; as if the cook secretly added marshmallow cream to her mountainous meringue. I want to try that combination when I get back home.

So you see, I wasn't really on a solo vacation; my mother was with me and that lemon pie!


In Buenos Aires, Argentina football (soccer) is a religion.  On Sunday night, our first night in town we went to a soccer game.  It was 90 minutes of 60,000 fans chanting as one. It was spectacular to be in the chanting mass of humanity.  There weren't any luxury boxes or commercial breaks. For 90 minutes there weren't rich or poor we were all fans.  We were one.  The teams play two 45 minute halves with one 30 minute break.  And since passions run so high, security was extremely high.  Everyone was extensively patted down by police officers before entering the stadium.  The armed police officer felt up into my groining.  (Well, hello there officer...what a nice welcome.)  And the opposing team is caged in, for their protection, see the picture below.
The local Buenos Aires team won, they scored three goals in the second half.  It was a victorious night for us all.  I love this part of the world.  

Saturday, September 7, 2013

iPad full of Movies

My iPad is loaded with season one and season two of HBO's Game of Thrones.  I also have two movies loaded, The Last Starfighter, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.  I'm also taking a few books to read just in case the power goes out.


Because this afternoon I'm boarding a 10.5 hour flight to Argentina!  We're spending two weeks in Buenos Aires and Mendoza.  The first week is a trip with my husband's MBA class, and the second week is trip with my husband.  I cannot remember the last time my husband and I spent two full weeks together; I'm excited!

I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Aunt Kathy

While my husband was out of town last week my husband's aunt and my husband's mother stayed with me a couple of nights.  They wanted to be close to the hospital where my husband's uncle was getting his back drilled and stretched and repaired.

The dynamic between my husband's mother and her sister Kathy (my husband's aunt) is one that brings me much joy.  They are always laughing and singing and celebrating and enjoying each moment.

On the first night I offered to help Aunt Kathy unload her car.  She had a long day at the hospital, and I knew she needed a bed to rest her beautiful head.

Ten minutes into by "let me help you unload your car" offer I felt like a porter to a movie star circa 1920.  It was as if Aunt Kathy was boarding a ship to travel the Atlantic for her grand tour of Europe.  She was staying with us for a couple of nights and she had more luggage than Louis Vuitton.  I didn't say anything.  I just unloaded her car with wide eyes of amusement and sore biceps.  I didn't want to be rude.

However the next day, I made sure to send a few text messages to my husband's mother: "Did you see all the luggage your sister brought for two days?!"  My husband's mother shared the text with her sister and we had a big laugh.

For now, and ever more, Aunt Kathy will be known as "The Starlet," since she travels like one.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Open Letter

Dear Cole Haan,

I am not a fan of your new logo.



Monday, September 2, 2013

Sprinkles Ice Cream

Yes, my husband and I were part of the mass standing in line to purchase Sprinkles Ice Cream.  It was us with all the hipsters, the Highland Park families, and high school kids waiting our turn to purchase cake and ice cream.

The girl behind the counter was young, beautiful, and had amazing grey eyes.  She was working at Sprinkles Ice Cream, which means she must be smart too.  After all, she's getting paid to hand out cake and ice cream!  I wanted to order some of her eggs with our ice cream.  I would be proud to tell our future children how we picked our egg donor.  I didn't though.

In reality I ordered a Sprinkles Sundae (a scoop of ice cream in between a cupcake) with a strawberry cupcake and vanilla ice cream.  My husband ordered a Sprinkles Sundae with a vanilla cupcake and vanilla ice cream.  My smokey blue eyed egg donor regretted to inform me that she just sold out of strawberry cupcakes for the day.  I had stood in line for half an hour dreaming of my strawberry/vanilla sundae, but I didn't dream up a back up plan.  (Note the life lesson in that moment.)  What?  No more strawberry cupcakes?  I felt pressure to order quickly...the line was I just copied my husband's vanilla/vanilla order.  I'm quick wit and creative.  Clearly.

The Sprinkles Sundae was a treat.  My mother makes the best ice cream, and she knows how I like her to be heavy handed when she's pouring the vanilla into her batches of ice cream.  Sprinkles vanilla ice cream is a bit tame for my taste buds.  It's just a sweet cream with vanilla bean type of ice cream.

Of course, we will be back.  I want to try all the flavors of ice cream with my cupcake.  Sprinkles does make the best cupcakes.  Such deliciousness.

It was a fun outing.