Flashback: Teddy Ruxpin

As a little girl growing up in the 1980's, I wanted my very own Teddy Ruxpin along with everyone else. But for some reason, my parents did not want to get me one. Maybe it was because I owned too many Barbie and Cabbage Patch dolls. Maybe it was because they were put off by a talking bear. I don't know.

What made Teddy Ruxpin so popular? Surely there were other talking dolls around back then. Maybe it was the fact that it was a teddy bear -- that iconic child's toy -- that could talk. I remember thinking as a kid that my toys had lives of their own that went on behind closed doors, when I wasn't there. Kind of like Toy Story.

While I can rationalize Teddy Ruxpin's popularity, one toy's popularity I cannot for the life of me figure out is the Furby. They always reminded me of gremlins for some reason, with those wide unblinking eyes. *shudder*

Here's an old Teddy Ruxpin commercial that I still remember:

What was your favorite toy as a child? Did you own your very own Teddy Ruxpin? Or were your parents anti-Teddy Ruxpin, too?


Happy Friday!

Happy Friday!

Today's blog post is going to be a little rushed, because Ricky and I will be spending the afternoon together, and I haven't even showered yet -- eeep! We don't have any major plans... Maybe get lunch at Five Guys (Have you tried their hot dogs? I think I like them better than their cheeseburgers! Blasphemy, I know.), followed up by dessert at Menchie's. And then maybe a trip to the bookstore.

There's just something so soothing to me about being in a bookstore. Especially Barnes & Noble, with their comfy couches that you can sink into with whatever book or magazine you're perusing.

Before I close, here are my answers to Lauren's fill in the blank for this week. Be sure to link back up to her post if you decide to play along, too!

1.  The last thing I do before going to sleep is  read at least a page from whatever book I happen to be reading at the moment.

2.  When I can't sleep I  read some more.

3.  The first thing I do when I wake up is  pee and wash my face.

4.  When I'm tired I  get whiny and hostile -- not a good combination .

5.  My dream bedroom would be   designed in shades of white and light blue, with a queen sized bed, goose down pillows, and a flat screen TV.

6.  If I could wake up anywhere tomorrow morning it would be  Paris, France.

7.  The longest sleep I've ever had was  the weekend I came back from Tokyo, Japan. I was sleep deprived and reeling from the time change. I think I slept about 24 hours that weekend.

8.  I sleep on my   right side, but somehow in the morning I always end up on my stomach. 

9.  When I sleep, I like to wear   long pants and long sleeved shirts -- I like to sleep with my room freezing cold, so I need to cover up.

10.  My bedtime is usually   between 11 and 12 during the school year, and then well after midnight during the summer .


Are you doing anything special this weekend? Whatever you do, I hope you have a great time. :-)


On the subject of dreams.

I have always been interested in psychology, even going so far as to major in it in college (I dropped it in exchange for English after I realized I would never ever pass Statistics). One of the things that has always interested me was the study of dreams and of the subconscious in general. I suppose this is why I loved Inception so much.

Unfortunately, I'm not that good at remembering my dreams. I'm a very deep sleeper (my claim to fame is having slept through almost all of Hurricane Andrew back in 1992). And when I wake up, I normally don't dawdle in bed, as psychologists recommend -- they say doing this helps you remember your dreams. But the dreams I can remember have all been wondrous and strange.

Recurring dream
Wikipedia, my old friend, describes a recurring dream as follows:

A recurring dream is a dream which is experienced repeatedly over a long period.
A person who experiences post-traumatic stress disorder may have recurring dreams about the traumatic event.
The subjects of recurring dreams vary, and they often include events or settings from the dreamers' own experiences. The following examples are common:
  • The sensation of falling
  • Flying
  • Being held down or otherwise unable to move (compare sleep paralysis)
  • Nakedness in a public place
  • Being held back in school or failing a test
  • Losing teeth or the ability to speak
  • Escaping or being caught in a tornado/storm
  • Drowning, or otherwise not being able to breathe
  • Finding lost items
  • Finding new rooms in one's house
Like any dream, recurring dreams have invited many interpretations.

When I was younger, I used to have a recurring dream in which I was on a bridge between two mountains in China. In the dream, I was always running away from something or someone -- I was never sure what. I was only sure of the racing of my heart, the fear pulsing in my veins. The dream always began in medias res, with me running, halfway across the bridge, sure I would never make it across. It always ended before I could make it across.

The dream was strange for many reasons. First, I was on a bridge in China, where I've never been. At the time I first began having the dream, I'd never even seen a mountain in person before. However, I was certain in my dream that I was in China. Second, I looked very different in my dream compared to how I look in "real life" -- although the dream was in 1st person (the way I normally dream), I could see my long blond hair flying past my face as I ran, and I was wearing an old fashioned dress with long skirts, something out of a period piece film from the late 1800s. The third and strangest thing about this dream was the fact that I kept dreaming it for years, first in elementary school, then into high school.

I've never had the dream again, but I still think of it from time to time, wondering about its meaning.

Memory as dream
Sometime in early college, I had a dream that wasn't a dream but more of a memory. Having that dream was like a heightened sense of deja vu. In the dream, I relived a moment from high school. And the moment went like this:

I used to sit outside the cafeteria during lunch with this ragtag bunch of wanna-be hippies. One day we were sitting in our usual spot, at a picnic table underneath a tree. One of the boys at the table, whom I shall recast as "James" for privacy's sake, was a boy both me and my best friend at the time both liked, though she liked him a bit more than me. As we were eating and talking about God knows what, a leaf suddenly fell from the tree and landed on my head. I reached up my hand to brush it away, but James stopped me, telling me to leave it like that. I lowered my hand, blushing like mad, and left the leaf alone. It fell down a couple of minutes later, of its own accord.

Why did I dream that memory? Was it a way of my psyche sorting out the issues I was having with that best friend at the time? I have no idea. But it was an interesting experience having that dream all the same.


Lucid dream
A lucid dream is basically when you are aware that you are dreaming. The one and only time I had a lucid dream resulted in a truly frightening experience for me -- sleep paralysis.

Let me set the scene -- This happened a few years ago. I was at Ricky's house, taking a nap in his bed. He was lying next to me sleeping and I was forced to lie on my back as there wasn't much space on his bed for me to curl up on my side, as I normally sleep. I fell into a light sleep and what felt like a short time after, I woke up again. I remember the room being much darker than it was when I first fell asleep, and how this surprised me. It hadn't felt like I'd been sleeping that long. I was still lying on my back, and I remember feeling an odd sensation in my chest, like there was something pressing down on it. A little panicked, I tried to get up, but I found that I couldn't. So then I became very panicked. I even started to worry that I'd been possessed (!). Really freaking out now, I tried calling out to Ricky, who was still asleep next to me. But I couldn't speak. I couldn't move. I couldn't do a thing other than freak out.

Thankfully, this strange paralysis did not last too long, maybe a minute or two, but that minute or two still felt interminable. After I regained use of my body, I woke Ricky up and told him of my bewildering experience. Later on, I researched the phenomenon and was relieved to find out it was more common than I'd thought. I even discovered that people who experience sleep paralysis can sometimes hallucinate and see apparitions (!!!). I'm so happy that didn't happen to me! I take care not to sleep on my back now, as they say this can often lead to the experience.

Dreaming in third person
I normally dream in first person, where I am the star of my dream, and I see things and experience things in my dreamworld from my own perspective. But sometimes I am able to dream in third person. And sometimes that third person figure is nothing like me at all.

A few weeks ago, I had a very strange dream in third person. I dreamed I was a blond girl (again) inside of a haunted house with some friends. We were ghost hunting, and in the dream, the ghosts were like your traditional poltergeists -- they could knock down things, make noises, but they couldn't be seen. One of the ghosts kept following me, and my friends teased me that the ghost liked me. But that wasn't the strangest part of the dream -- the strangest part of the dream was when the ghost put on a mask that allowed him to become flesh and blood, but which only worked for a short time.

In the dream, I fell in love with the ghost and tried to help him find a way to come back to life. I even visited his parents and discovered how he'd died -- he'd been hiking near a cliff by a waterfall, where he'd accidentally fallen to his death. The dream ended with no resolution, ending just as abruptly as it had begun.

This is easily one of the most developed dreams I have ever had. I normally don't dream with that much detail. Dreaming it was like watching a very strange yet haunting (pun intended) movie.

Resuming/revisiting dreams
Have you ever been able to resume a dream? I don't mean having a recurring dream, like my strange dream in China -- I mean waking up from a dream and then going back to sleep and immediately resuming it. I have only been able to do that once in my life, and that happened last week. I dreamed I was in a building I've never been in before, and I kept walking from level to level, entering different rooms. I woke up with the dream fresh in my mind and willed myself back to sleep, hoping to resume the dream. I was able to do this twice, and every time I resumed the dream, I was in a different room in the same building. Nothing much happened in the dream, just me exploring this building. I can't remember any details, but I'm stoked I was able to resume it for the first time, and twice, too.

Have you ever revisited a particular place in a dream? Perhaps even seen the events of that same dream unfold, only this time as an outsider, a bystander? I've never been able to do that. My dreamworlds are almost always hazy, their interiors and exteriors undefined. I've never been able to revisit any of them. I want to try this. I've read that you can do this -- that you can even manipulate your dreams, pick up a book and read a page, or look at your watch and see the time. Sometimes what you see looks odd, as if it is a different language. How amazing that experience must be. I want to have that.

Have you ever had any of the dreams I described above? Share it with me in the comments!


Happiness is... {and a giveaway winner!}

Happiness is...

Going on drives with my boyf just because. Destination? Nowhere and everywhere.

Playing with my new palette from Urban Decay. It's called NAKED. And it is AWESOME.

Spur of the moment froyo runs to Menchie's.

English muffins with peanut butter (my new favorite thing).

Getting nice bloggy comments in my inbox. They really make me smile!

What's making you smile today?

And the winner of the My Lavaliere giveaway is lucky number...

And the person with the 17th comment was...

Congrats, g2! You'll be getting an email from very soon. Thank you to everyone who entered and stay tuned for the next giveaway!

P.S.) If you would like to sponsor the next giveaway, get in touch with me! I'm always looking for lovely shops to help put in the spotlight. :-)


You are fast asleep in my arms. [poem]

I had to give up writing poetry this summer while I was writing and researching for my thesis. On Sunday, I began writing creatively again. And it felt so good. Here is a poem I wrote inspired by the long nap the boyf took in my arms Saturday night.

You are fast asleep in my arms

You are fast asleep in my arms
And I am pinned under your weight
And there is an itch on my nose I can’t reach
But I don’t mind

As I lie there I contemplate
The perfect whorl of your ear
The freckles like constellations
Scattered across your shoulders

Later when you awaken you will regather yourself
And smile sheepishly as you don the armor
(Both physical and mental)
Of your clothes

But for now you are fast asleep in my arms
No longer anonymous
No longer unreachable
But known.


Do you write creatively, too? What inspires you?


Lolcat of the Week

funny pictures of cats with captions
see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Haha, my cat does the same thing. Have a great Monday, everyone! :-)


Week in Review

This past week was lazy but good. I went to see Inception with Ricky (it was amazing!). I played my new favorite video game, Dragon Quest IX. I got my hair and nails did at the salon -- yay for girl time. Ricky and I saw a few more Godzilla movies (he's on a big Godzilla kick right now).

The weekend was kind of blah. Friday we didn't do much because of Tropical Storm Bonnie, which wound up giving us nothing more than a few heavy storms. Nothing major. Saturday I spent some time researching lucid dreams, which I became interested in after watching Inception. Normally I am very bad at remembering my dreams, let alone recognizing when I'm in one. But this past week, I was able to resume a dream for the first time ever, which I've always wanted to do. I was able to resume the same dream twice in one night -- all I remember was being in a building, and how each time I resumed the dream, I entered a new room. It was weird, and I wish I could remember more, but it's too hazy. I think I will keep experimenting with this and maybe start keeping a journal by the bed to record what I can remember from my dreams, as psychologists recommend.

Today I want to go somewhere and have a drink with le boyf, just to get out of the house. Nowhere too crazy, maybe just a quiet bar where I can relax and sip on a glass of wine. Yes, that sounds like a plan.

Here are some of my posts from this past week in case you missed any:


Don't forget to enter my giveaway! I'll be announcing the winner on Wednesday.


20 things about me.

I read a most entertaining "About Me" post over on Jenny's darling blog yesterday, and decided to do my own version of it. So here are 20 random things about me you may not have known. They are in random order, just stream of consciousness...
  1. My hair is not straight, despite the fact that people always seem to think so and are surprised when I tell them it's "artificially straight" -- as in, I'm a slave to my blowdryer/straightening iron. It's not curly, either, but somewhere in between. Wavy, I guess.
  2. I am a seriously fast reader. When I have the time, I can read a book a day. 
  3. I am addicted to Starbucks. My boyfriend knows this and has learned to accept this.
  4. Until very recently, I used to be a chronic nail biter/tear-er. Biweekly manicures have cured me of this. (There's something about seeing your nails nicely done -- it makes you not want to mess them up. I recommend this to anyone who has the same problem I did!)
  5. My two least favorite pizza toppings IN THE WORLD are mushrooms and black olives. Of course, these just happen to be my boyf's favorite toppings. Of course.
  6. Come to think of it, I don't like mushrooms or olives on anything.
  7. Even though I live in such an international place, Miami, FL, I have been to more foreign countries (Spain, France, Panama, Japan) than to other states in my own country (California).
  8. I would like more than anything in the world to take a cross-country road trip. One of my friends and I are currently planning this for next year. I hope it happens.
  9. I have been teaching English for seven years -- three years in a K-8 school, and the last four at a high school. I hope to teach at the college level in the future.
  10. I met "the boyf" in high school -- he was in the grade above mine -- but we didn't really notice each other until college.
  11. The boyf and I were both English majors in college, which played a big role in our getting together. :)
  12. The smell of fish makes me gag.
  13. I love buying soundtracks and scores to movies. My current favorite is Hans Zimmer's score for Inception.
  14. I think I do my best writing at night.
  15. I'm a sweater. No, not the clothing garment, you silly, I mean I sweat easily. And it sucks. Thank God for deodorant!
  16. Ewan McGregor makes me swoon in any film he does. Yes, even Trainspotting, where he's all drugged-out looking. Yes, even the updated Star Wars movies, where he has a ponytail and a beard, alternately. Though my favorite film of his is Moulin Rouge!, because it proved he can both sing AND act divinely. That boy can do no wrong in my book.
  17. I think I have dyscalculia, which is like dysleixa, only with numbers. I mix numbers up all the time and simple math computations make my head spin.
  18. My parents are both Cuban, but farther back, it's a bit mixed -- my great grandfather on my father's side was French, and my great grandfather on my mother's side was from the Canary Islands, close to Morocco. People can never place me -- they always think I'm Asian!
  19.  I have a thing for makeup and handbags -- I can never get enough of either.
  20. I've never seen snow.
Yes, that is me.
    Tell me a random fact about yourself in the comments! :)


    Happy Friday!

    Happy Friday!

    It's funny -- as a teacher, I have the summers off, so it's always a bit of a surprise when Fridays roll around again. It's as if every day is Friday. But before you get too jealous, I have to report back to work on August 17. So don't hate on me too much. ;)

    Since I spent all of June working on the thesis, I wasn't able to really enjoy my freedom much, but now that I'm done, Ricky and I are planning a trip somewhere. We thought of Orlando, but we hit up the theme parks too often, plus it's unbearably hot in Florida right now. So no. Instead, we are thinking of maybe going to Washington, D.C. I've never been and I have always wanted to go. It shouldn't be a very expensive trip, as all the museums are free. And I have been dying to visit museums. We don't have enough of them here in South Florida, where clubbing is the main culture (*gag*).

    Wherever we go, I think I'll be happy just to get out of my hometown. That's what vacations are all about, right? I'm feeling especially cooped in today because of Tropical Storm Bonnie, who washed ashore last night and apparently plans to stay here all weekend. I see a lot of reading and movie-watching in my near future! And you know, I don't mind this all that much. :-)

    Are you doing anything cool/scary/awesome this weekend? I might get together with some friends (if Bonnie lets us, that is). Whatever you do, I hope you have a great weekend! :-)

    P.S.) Don't forget to enter my giveaway!


    This is an "Inception" post.

    So I finally got around to watching Inception yesterday with le boyf, after several failed attempts. Even yesterday, fate seemed to be conspiring against us because there was heavy traffic on the way to the theater and we almost wound up missing the movie altogether. But happily, everything worked out, we were able to see Inception, and it has become my new favorite movie. It's definitely the best film of the summer, if not the entire year (and yeah, I know it's been a pretty bad year as movies go, but it's still that good).

    I liked Inception so much because it is a film that made me think. It really got under my skin, made me question everything about the movie -- in a good way -- and about movie-making, dreams, and life in general.

    I will be discussing a lot of those questions in this post, so it goes without saying that you shouldn't read this if you have not seen the film. If you don't mind spoilers and rambling movie discussions, continue reading after the jump!

    Click to continue reading...

    Giveaway!!! {My Lavaliere}

    I think we all know how much I love Etsy. My checking account certainly knows. I've been trying to be good and resist the Etsy temptation, but one store I can never resist is My Lavaliere. The talented Danielle sells vintage inspired jewelry and headbands that manage to be both elegant and quirky at once. Her pieces are truly unique. Here are some of my favorites from her shop:

    Amazing, right?! I own the headband and I always get compliments whenever I wear it. I was thrilled when Danielle agreed to sponsor my next giveaway, and believe me when I say that I envy whoever wins this one. ;)

    Here are the rules for my giveaway:

    1.) Choose one item $25 or less from My Lavaliere -- it can be anything, either a headband or a piece of jewelry, so long as it's $25 or less. Then leave a comment with the link to your chosen item and your e-mail address.
    (1st entry -- mandatory!)

    2.) Leave another comment if you are a follower of this blog. 
    (2nd entry -- bonus entry!)

    3.) Leave yet another comment if you tweet or blog about this giveaway (with link!). 
    (3rd entry -- bonus entry!)

    I will be selecting a winner at random next Tuesday, July 27th. Good luck! :-)


    10 Confessions [the love & marriage & baby carriage version]

    In high school I used to fall in love with boys I knew would never love me -- or like me very much, for that matter -- back. As a result I didn't have a boyfriend until the summer before I began college. I think it was my fear of commitment more than anything else that drove me to do this.

    I have a thing for younger guys -- all my boyfriends have been younger than me, including my current boyf, Ricky. He's six months younger, so I guess that doesn't make me that much of a cougar ... right?

    The boyf and I have a tradition when it comes to dates -- he pays one time, then I'll pay the next. (Though mind you, he insists on paying when it's a fancy restaurant or a special occasion or something.) I think it's important to be fair in all things when it comes to relationships, including finances.

     If my prospective husband wants to impress me (you taking notes, boyf?), the proposal shouldn't be too stagey-stagey -- no ring inside of a champagne glass, or God forbid, a Frosty. (I don't make these things up.) Something more natural would go a longer way to making me swoon.

    As much as I am all for mixed marriages -- mixed races, mixed beliefs, what-have-you -- I can't see myself marrying someone who doesn't share my background, my culture, and my language. Who knows, though -- if Ricky had been from Timbuktu, I probably would have still fallen in love with him!

    Even though I confess my faith hasn't been constant as a Catholic, I still want to get married in a church.

    I don't want a fancy frou frou wedding. I'd be perfectly happy with a small reception. Of course, being Latina means I have a family of 100+ people, which means my wedding reception will be huge no matter what. (Sigh.)

    As for the honeymoon, I don't see anything wrong with the traditional: relaxing on a deserted tropical island somewhere sounds perfectly fine to me.

    When I was a wee little girl, I used to dream that I'd be married by 21, and on my way to having the first of four kids (!) by 25. Now that I'm 31 with 0 marriage, 0  kids later, I find that I'm perfectly fine thankyouverymuch.

    With that being said, of course I want to get married and have kids. Someday. Although I'd be much happier with the 2.5 kids than the four. (Just saying.)


    Do you have any confessions you feel brave enough to share?

    *I will be placing the "confessions" feature on hiatus for now, until I come up with more themes -- not to mention confessions -- to share with you all. I hope you've enjoyed reading them! I've loved reading all the confessions you have shared with me in the comments.*


    Lolcat of the Week

    Bwahahahaha! That cat just looks evil, despite the ridiculous bunny ears. Too funny.

    Have a great Monday, everyone! :-)


    Week in Review

    Last week was a strange week for me -- it was the first week all summer that I didn't have any thesis work to do. I'm still waiting for my thesis committee to finish reading the entire draft and let me know if I need to make any changes, and in the meantime, I've felt a little adrift. So it was strange to finally have time to relax and start enjoying my summer vacation.

    But just because it was a strange week doesn't mean I didn't have fun! I watched the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice -- which I absolutely adored. I began playing the addictive new DS game, Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies. Le boyf and I watched all the Godzilla movies we could lay our hands on -- they're so cheesy but fun. We drove up to Plantation to browse the comic book store TATE'S and to nom on some yummy barbecue at Smokey Bones. Oh, and we went to Menchie's for some frozen yogurt. A lot. I mean, a lot, a lot -- one day last week, I went twice. Not that I'm complaining or anything. (What can I say, I have a sweet tooth.) They had a new flavor I'd never tried before, red velvet. And it was amazing.

    We didn't get to see Inception yet, but we're planning to soon, maybe even today. I keep hearing how awesome it is. Feel free to gush about it in the comments -- but don't post any spoilers!

    Here are my posts from last week in case you missed any:


    Did you do anything amazing/crazy/fun/weird last week? Tell me about it!


    Happy Friday!

    Happy Friday!

    I'm trying my hardest to be happy today, because I woke up with a bad throat ache and generally in a bad mood. I once read, I forget where, that if you pretend to be happy long enough, the pretense eventually becomes a reality. So I'm forcing the smiles with all my might today!




    Eh, I'll get there eventually. At least my boyf is coming to pick me up soon, and I know he'll cheer me up no problem. Thank God for him!!!

    Before I close, here are my answers to this week's fill in the blank from Lauren. Make sure to link back to her if you want to play along!

    1.  A very nostalgic place that reminds me of being a kid is a toy store, any toy store, but especially Sanrio. It never fails to make me feel like a kid again.

    2.  If someone really wants to show me how much they love me they should do it in writing. Letters really have a way of tugging at my heartstrings .

    3.  Lately I've been wondering a lot about how my thesis defense is going to go, since I have no idea what to expect.

    4.  When it comes to saving money I am definitely a spender, not a saver! But I'm getting better.

    5.  I'd prefer   staying in    over    going out    any day! 

    6.  I wish I knew how to make  a cake. I'm helpless in the kitchen, but I'd really love to learn how to bake.

    7.  I'm just waiting for Ricky and me to plan our vacation already. I don't care where we go this summer, so long as we go somewhere.

    What are you doing this weekend? We might go see "Inception," but no big plans otherwise. Whatever you do, I hope you have a wonderful time! :-)


    Wishlist Wednesday ... on a Thursday

    These are things I'm craving at the moment. Some of them may not be exactly tangible, but they're on my wishlist all the same! If you want to post your own wishlist, make sure to link back to dinosaur toes! :-)

    drive-in movie
     I've never been and I really want to! Have you ever been to a drive-in movie?

     I've been craving them like CRAZY lately. I don't know why.

     And since we're on the subject of food -- I've been dying to take Ricky on a picnic. Maybe when all these afternoon rain storms stop happening, I will.

    concert tickets
     I'm bummed because U2 postponed their concert in June until June of next year, due to Bono's back injury. I love going to concerts in the summer! I just found out that one of my favorite bands, Interpol, will be coming to Miami in August, so hopefully I will get to see them...

    What are you wishing for today?


    "You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you."

    So I finally got around to watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice. I bought the special edition set at Costco around Christmas, but I never had the opportunity to watch it until yesterday.

    What did I think of it? I absolutely loved it. I loved it even more than the more recent one starring Keira Knightley. I think the stars from this 1995 version, Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, are Elizabeth and Darcy. They just are. And the fact that it was made into a six episode series just makes the adaptation that much more wonderful -- everything important from the book (as far as I could tell) made it to the screen. All of the characters were appropriately developed. And the sets! Oh my goodness, the locations, especially outdoors, were stunning.

    I have a thing for period pieces, and with Pride and Prejudice being one of my favorite books, I had high expectations prior to watching this series. I'm happy to say they were met and then some.

    Here were some of my favorite quotes:

    "I am no longer astonished at you knowing only six accomplished women, Mr. Darcy, I rather wonder at your knowing any." - Elizabeth

    "An unhappy alternative lies before you. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr. Collins, and I will never see you again if you do." - Mr. Bennet 

    "I am determined that nothing but the deepest love could ever induce me into matrimony." - Elizabeth

    "In vain have I struggled, it will not do. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you." - Darcy 

    Are you a fan of Pride and Prejudice, too? Which adaptation is your favorite?


    10 Confessions [the books version]

    I always take a book to bed with me. I can't fall asleep without at least reading a page.

    I haven't read some of the "classics" such as Gulliver's Travels or Animal Farm. Even though I'm an English teacher. Even though I have a bachelor's degree in English Literature. (And soon will have a master's degree in English, too. Wheeeee!!! ... Ahem, sorry.) 

    Twilight is my guilty pleasure. I honestly lost count of how many times I've reread it!

    One of my pet peeves about teaching is hearing my students actually show off about the fact that they've never read an entire book. This makes me fear for the future of America...

    Many of my favorite books were first picked up because I saw the film adaptation... first.

    I thought it was a good idea that I picked my favorite book, The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje, as the focus of my master's thesis. However, it only made me resent the book initially, in the early stages of my thesis work. Now that the thesis has been written (huzzah!), I'm happy to say I'm back to loving the book again.

    I've never read an entire novel by Stephen King. I'm too much of a chicken!

    One of my favorite things about the hostessing job I had at the airport was the amount of downtime I spent reading books at the counter. I think I read a book a week on average.

    I can't read a book without dogearing it.

    My absolute favorite author in the world is Patrica Veryan. Her books are a mix of Regency and Georgian romance, and I used to repeatedly check them out of my local library before finally hunting them down for cheap/used on Amazon. I love her books so much, I own all of the copies I can buy in the U.S. (And best of all, they're not "bodice-rippers," but adventures with actual plot and minimal "adult themes!")

    Bonus confession: I wish I lived in this room. 

    Do you have any confessions you feel brave enough to share?


    Lolcat of the Week

    I found this video on YouTube and thought it was hilarious. That cat is insanely fast!


    Week in Review

    This was a very good week for me. Even though I stayed up till an ungodly hour more than one night working on the last chapter of my thesis. Even though I felt like tearing out my hair just trying to make sense of my university's thesis manual. Even though it was so hot I thought my bones were going to melt. It was a good week because I got a lot of work done. It was a good week because I had friends with more experience (and patience!) than me help me figure out the thesis manual. And it was a good week because I officially finished my thesis (very) early this morning at 5:00 AM. All 66 pages of it. :-D

    Other good things that happened this week:
    • I saw "Eclipse" for the second time in the theater and liked it even better than the first time.
    • I bought a wonderful goose down pillow at K-Mart to replace one of my crap-flat pillows. And now that annoying crick in my neck is gone and I'm sleeping like a baby again. 
    • I went to the salon and got my hair and nails "did." Sometimes, you just need it -- both physically and psychologically!
    • My boyfriend proved for the 9,839,145th time what an amazing boyfriend he is by taking me on Starbucks runs, giving me back rubs, and just hugging me when I needed it most this week -- without my even having to ask for it.
    Today I plan on watching the final match of the world cup to root for my team, Spain. Plus I'm excited about the return of "True Blood" tonight after a week-long hiatus. (Anyone else in withdrawal?!) I also need to fill out some forms for graduation, as I'm meeting with some of my thesis committee members tomorrow to start preparing for graduation. It's crazy to even write that down -- a month ago, I wasn't that optimistic about finishing my thesis, let alone thinking about planning for graduation. And now my thesis is done. The hard part is over.

    A few of my readers have told me lately that they, too, had difficulty finishing their master's degree. Let my experience prove that you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it. It has taken me double the amount of time I thought it would, because I was too busy with work, had writer's block, was intimidated -- enter the x, y, z reason of your choice. But the point is that I did it and I will graduate in the Fall, which proves the old maxim true once and for all: "Better late than never!"

    Here are some of my posts from earlier this week in case you missed any:

    Are you watching the world cup finals today? Who are you rooting for? Let me know in the comments!


    These are a few of my (current) favorite things...

    I didn't get to write a favorites post for June, as I was busy with my thesis, so you can consider this list my favorite things for June/July. :-)

    I have been addicted to the iPhone game Farm Frenzy 2 since the minute I first played it. It's the silliest game in the world, I swear -- the only purpose of the game is to farm: collect eggs, milk, ham, etc., and make sure to keep growing/watering the grass, otherwise your faithful flock of farm animals will die. And when they die, it's pathetically sad. Like I'm upset-sad. (Told you it was the silliest game in the world!) It's not unlike some other games I like on the Nintendo DS, Harvest Moon, but the fact that I can play it on my iPhone makes it a double win. If you are looking for a game that will help you kill time while you're waiting in line at the bank or grocery store, or if you harbor the secret desire to be a farmer, this is the game for you. You can actually try it out for free here.

    I first heard about Argan Oil thanks to Lauren from the little things we do. I was curious to try it because she said it helped make her hair "pretty and shiny and a bit less curly and more wavy." All pluses in my book! If you don't know what Argan Oil is, it's like the Moroccan Oil that's all the rage now, only much, much cheaper. In fact, I bought it at Sally Beauty Supply for under nine dollars. And although the bottle was smaller than expected when I first spied in the store, I could tell after the first use that this is the type of product that will last me a long time, because a little really does go a long way. As Lauren said, it made my hair pretty and shiny and ultimately more manageable. The humidity in Miami this time of year can wreak havoc on my hair, but thanks to this little oil, I don't have to look like a hot mess. And here's a bonus about this product -- it makes your hair smell divine, like a cross between musk and incense. Love.

    I first read Hush, Hush some months back on the recommendation of some of my bloggy friends from Bewitched Bookworms. It was during a week in which I was bedridden with the stomach flu from hell. I was miserable and in need of a good distraction, so I picked up this book and did not put it down for hours. I read it in one sitting and it was so good, it actually distracted me from my discomfort. Rereading it now has made me remember how much I love this book. It has something akin to the addictive quality of Twilight (which I read in one night), and although the male lead Patch is no Edward Cullen, he's still a provocative and alluring character in his own right. All I will say about the book is that it makes you question your belief of the hereafter, and whether such a thing as angels -- good and bad -- could actually exist. It's got love, horror, comedy, everything you basically want from a good book. And best of all, one of my favorite blogs, Super Secret Twilight Blog, is hosting a book discussion on hush, hush in a couple weeks, so make sure you pick it up in time to begin reading (or re-reading!) with us.


    Eclipse was my favorite book in the Twilight series, so I had very high expectations going into the theater to see the film. To my surprise (and utter joy), it exceeded my expectations. It developed the characters appropriately, included all of my favorite scenes from the novel, and it was truly the best film in the series. Sure, I was sad that the previous actress for Victoria, Rachelle Lefevre was replaced, but her replacement, Bryce Dallas Howard, did such a great job as Victoria that it made the transition very smooth. And all of the core actors -- Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner especially -- have really improved as actors, because they gave their best performances of the series in this film. My only complaint is I wish the screenplay wasn't so faithful to the book. Some lines that really resonated with me as a reader on the page wound up sounding clunky and awkward on the screen. Otherwise, it was a fun, romantic, and exciting film, one that even the boyf somewhat enjoyed (which is saying something!).

    I think summer was made for bright nails, especially in Miami. My tropical city gets even more tropical during the balmy months. The temperature gets higher, the hemlines get shorter, and everyone seems to smile more. Bright colors are to my nails what double chocolate frappes are to my tummy -- a much needed pick-me-up when the sticky humidity has me feeling like collapsing indoors and doing absolutely nothing. I always seem to move quicker and move my hands more when I have bright polish on. It's like it reinvigorates me. The past few times I've gone to the salon, I've gone with bright pinks and reds (see here and here). This week, I went with a more sedate pink just to vary it up, but I'm flirting with the idea of doing a baby blue or lilac next time.

    (All pictures in this post were found on we heart it.)

    What are your favorites this month?