Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Christmas box, Cat, Cumpleaños

I am taking a breather from writing vacation part 3 but never fear, it will be posted soon. In the meantime I wanted to do a quick write-up on 3 different notable events.

1) Christmas box

My family sent me a huge Christmas box. We're talking thirteen pounds worth of holiday cheer! It arrived while I was on vacation, and by 'arrived' I mean 'was sent to the post office across town for me to pick up because it was so insanely huge.' So last Tuesday my roommate and I (who also had a package waiting) trudged down to Retiro, ready to wait up to 3 hours first for them to call our number (they love to take numbers here), then for them to assign us a new number, then to wait in the sitting area straining to hear the 6 numbers being called in rapidfire Spanish. Imagine our delight when a mere 1.5 hours later we were on our way out the door, giant boxes in hand!

I then made plans with my family to do a video chat on Thursday afternoon. Wouldn't you know it, the internet went kaput an hour before the call and I scurried over to an obliging friend's house a few blocks away, computer and presents in tow, to steal his wifi. Of course, I had opened the box itself beforehand, only to discover the following unwrapped items:

  • A box of Cheezits (heaven but being hoarded until I finish the:)
  • Two pounds of homemade Chex Mix (No one makes Chex Mix like the Archers! After consuming about a quarter of it in one sitting, I have since allowed myself a medium-sized bowl every day)
  • All of the necessary ingredients (well, almost - not eggs or water, duh) for Malted Milk Ball cupcakes for my birthday (Anne that was so thoughtful and will be SO DELICIOUS)
  • Various other joys like candy canes, gum, wire-formed book marks, and so on
(The Archer secret: Cheeto puffs! They are crucial. I cut them in half so they last longer in the mix. We also like to put it in the freezer for 20 minutes before we eat it, yum.)

Ok so on Thursday I tied the obligatory ribbon in my hair (I don't know when I started it but every Christmas I tie ribbons from presents in my hair, this year I saved the ribbon from my official present which was the gorgeous, sleek video camera I so adore), started the video chat, and began ripping presents open only to find that it was a THEMED Christmas box! Seriously, whose family puts in so much thought as to create an entire theme just for you and ship it halfway across the world? Mine, and specifically my little sister who mastermined the whole thing.

The theme was Alice in Wonderland. You may or may not know that I hold a special place in my heart for this inquisitive and brave heroine (NOT the bratty Disney version of her). I dressed as her for Halloween and have read the book many times; it was actually the first book I read in Spanish in 2003.

Alice's gifts included:

  • A pendant of her consuming something suspiciously marked "drink me"
  • A charm bracelet filled with images of her in various scenes, plus little charms like a rabbit, a diaper pin, and a spoon, among others
  • A journal with her on the cover (ALL of these gifts are old-school illustrations and images, none of the Disney iconography, how well they know me)
  • A 1923 hardcover book in PERFECT CONDITION that smells like old book which I love and has all my favorite illustrations in it
As if that weren't enough, I also got:
  • A handheld Brookstone supercharged fan for this wretched humidity and heat
  • New headphones for Skype-ing
  • Specially imported Betty Boop bath products from Hong Kong (for my birthday)
  • The most delicous lip gloss ever and a Tide pen (again, how well they know me...)
  • MY VIDEO CAMERA! (A combined Christmas/birthday gift)

I was very moved by the whole thing and just wanted to publicly laud my incredible family for making Christmas a special event from so far away.

2) Cat

This will come as a giant shock to anyone who knows me and my non-affinity for cats, but two nights ago my roommate adopted a cat and since I'm the one who is home all day, I agreed to be part-owner until I leave. As long as I know a cat from his kittendom I generally like him better, and he's friendly and hilarious so so far so good.

We named him Fernet Trago Nacional (Fernet, National Drink) because Fernet (pronounced furnet with the T, not furnay) is black and so is he, and it seemed appropriate to give him an Argentina-inspired name.

He's super cute, very skinny with HUGE ears, and shockingly chill (for a kitten). Right now he is lounging on the couch next to me ripping newspaper to shreds. I anticipate that in about 2 minutes he will pass out on that pile. He also really loves ribbon and Christmas ornaments. We take him to the vet tomorrow so hopefully he only has the normal gamut of worms and needs vaccinations and nothing crazy.

You can read the full story on Amy's blog here.

3) Cumpleaños

Today is my birthday! I am 28. I don't feel old but like Christmas it does feel WEIRD to be here for some reason. Maybe because I've never had a hot birthday in my life, except for that one freak day in Philadelphia (2008 I think?) when it was 72 degrees and the Mummer's parade had been rescheduled for that day and we wandered around the city in short sleeves and bare legs saying, "This just isn't right."

I have a full day of work ahead of me (yes I should probably get started on that) and then dinner tonight with some friends at my favorite Peruvian restaurant called Inka Si Señor (who wouldn't love a place with a name like that??). Then on Saturday we're having a little party at our apartment. Amy has semi-willingly agreed to arm the cupcakes for Saturday, so hopefully tonight someone brings something with a candle in it!

Vacation Part 3 coming later this week, I promise.


Anonymous said...

Happy birthday!

Amy said...

"semi-willingingly" hahahaha...it's a lot of pressure!!! i can't HANDLE the pressure. plus one of us will probably be serving as the boludito's personal chew-toy, which might not mix so well with maltedmilkballcupcake-making. FELIZ CUMPLE!!!

Amy said...

and yes, i did mean to write "willingingly." so there.

AmberAnda said...

Your family is awesome- that package sounds epic! Happy happy feliz cumpleeee!!!!!

Momma Archer said...

We're so glad you enjoyed your Christmas box. It was fun watching you open it via Skype. But next year you must be home. We missed you:(

KeM said...

you should totally name him Fur net..hahaha...just reading your blog...definitely want to get to bariloche sooN!!! happy birthday!