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From the Archives: So You Think You Are a Starbucks Fan? Lessons Never Learned.

“Ready, Set, COFFEE…and GO!” seems to be the riddle of everyday life for most people. Why do we need coffee? Why do we like it so much? Why does it look good in pictures? Why can just one cup of coffee get 1M likes on instagram? Is it a god from the divine serenity of Mother Nature?

I started drinking coffee since…well let’s just say, I remember sitting in the front seat of my father’s truck…well, I always had preference and my brothers were always sent to the back because…well that’s the way it should be right? Running to the truck from the kitchen because time was always of the essence for school, my dad would start the engine, take a right turn out of the neighborhood, drive through exactly one stoplight to get to my destination–no, not school, duh, Starbucks! Everyday, from day one of Junior High until I could start driving years later–tall, white chocolate macchiato…my dad had the order memorized…shortly, thereafter, the order became tall, nonfat, soy, chai tea latte, dirty…then we could continue driving towards my non-priority stop–school. I drank my coffee black at home, but at Starbucks I ordered different because it was like going to buy a bottle of water…you pick the prettiest bottle, of course.

Just to set the tone, yes, I love coffee, no matter what.

So, once upon a time, my parents decided to take our yearly vacation trip…this year, Guatemala…absolutely fabulous, definitely recommend the adoring country, so just go, cool, thanks! Anyway, at that time of my life, I was in the years of having a bottomless stomach, so eating was an every two seconds thing, and if I did not get food, well…I would find my resources…like what I did in Guatemala.

As tourist, we went to their annual coffee festival in, as I have emphasized, the amazing country of Guatemala. The people are so divinely friendly, angelical to say the least, offering coffee almonds, coffee this, coffee that, practically any food with coffee…all free…all given like presents as I walk towards every stand to see the different beans and exhibitions laid out–like a queen, no…a princess. So I had a lot, and I even had many pure coffee beans just to taste, but I ate them like blueberries, just popping them in my mouth.

As I asked about 200 times when lunch was going to be, my family finally landed at a quaint restaurant near the festival. I obviously had my fabulous appetizer from the festival, but I was ready to eat hard core, now.

We sat down, I started pouring the bottled water into the glass, but I was spilling..my hands were shaking…I’m just looking around to see if anyone noticed but…naw…

I started feeling weird like if my heart was pumping twice as hard, but for some reason (and trust me it was not like the Grinch, where I became unsassy and sweet all of a sudden), I translated that into “maybe, I just need to pee?” So, I excused myself from the table and went to the bathroom…for about 30 min…my father knocks on the door: “umm, Laura? is everything ok? The food is ready, and…well, it’s been awhile. Are you sick?”

Sorry if this is TMI, but I was sitting on the toilet (it was a small bathroom like half the size of a walk-in closet at a studio apartment), with the toilet seat closed, fully clothed don’t worry, I was not doing anything because as it turned out I did not have to pee, I just felt numb around my legs. I tried standing up, and…I fell. I opened the bathroom door stumbling on my legs and my dad has the whole “are you drunk again face?” (which obviously not at my age). He could tell I was breathing strangely, just huffing and puffing like I had ran a marathon and won, of course. I stumbled on a nearby sofa in the waiting area of the restaurant with the help of my father.

Bam, I couldn’t move my legs at all at this point. I remember looking at them and punching them just to make sure I could feel pain, which I could, but I could not move them. I was more worried about that than the tour guide, who was trained as a nurse, unable to get a pulse because my heartbeat was going so fast.

The next best thing was to take a taxi to the nearest hospital because at that point I’m on the point of passing out and looking at stars in the corners of my eyes. As they picked me up and threw me in the back seat of the taxi (because an ambulance is just out of the question where we were located), we finally arrive to a clinic. They roll me in on a bed, and the nurses immediately poke my arm with an IV, which at that point my arms had zero sensation, so pretty much all I could do was blink. I went through two bags of IV fluids. The nurses told me I needed to pee to get out all the caffeine. That seemed simple enough, but wait…I can’t move…

So yes, they hand me the plastic bucket that forms to my fabulous rear, and I was expected to pee in front of them on the bed in the bucket without moving my legs for a better target…one of the weirdest experiences in my life.

Don’t fret, fifteen minutes later after a heart test with all the wires stuck to my chest to make sure my heart was not in danger of a future heart attack from the shock my heart had, I walked, no, I skipped out of the hospital ready to eat my meal that was clearly gone…yes, only 15 minutes…so I had to wait for breakfast, my favorite meal of the day.

My breakfast the next day?

Fruit and of course, coffee 🙂

Here I am today, drinking my second cup of coffee by the way…

Lessons to not be learned:

  1. If you can’t feel your legs, then you’ll probably end up peeing in a bucket with an audience.
  2. I was about 100 pounds at the age of 13 or 14, so definitely take into consideration how much of anything you consume.
  3. Guatemalan coffee is still my preferred choice, and I still buy the whole beans, so I can grind them myself and leave my habitat rejuvenated…I guess it’s my version of yoga?

What’s your lesson not learned? 

**As for the picture, I had a weird time in my life when I had a fascination of circles, dots, or bubbles, explaining my outfit in the picture, and of course, I would be smiling, as my mom is crying in the corner. Furthermore, my whole room back at home had dots and circles on the walls, and by the way, my walls were lime green…yes, I was a freak…well, I still am as a 24 year old, I guess…but hey, YOU BE YOU :)**

 

From the Archives · Uncategorized

For the Love of our Phone

Recently, I heard on the radio a quite funny story about a girl who jumped onto the tracks of the New York City subway to retrieve her cell phone that she dropped in a clumsy moment…I thought to myself as I was stuck in traffic, how ridiculous and funny! Then I remembered, who am I to say ridiculous when I’ve done not one, but a million ridiculous moments with my beloved iphone.

The most recent tragedy of embarrassment, well not for me, but for my family, was at the airport in Vienna, Austria. I went to the ladies room before boarding the plane because God knows how horrendous it is to be in that tiny box called a toilet, bouncing up and down in the plane.

Anyway, I set down my tote, but of course, my phone is safely put away in the safest place, my hand. Sorry if this is TMI, but as I start flushing the toilet, my hip had bumped the corner of the toilet paper box and there goes my phone flying into the waves of the toilet.  I cannot believe how my first instinct was to just reach down to grab it, and as the flush was a strong force, I found myself fighting for my phone from being sucked into the toilet’s sucking pipes and roaring waves…dramatic, I know…and gross.

Because I was so smart, I thought to myself, yes!… I saved my phone. Of course, this bright young lady, myself, forgot that…well…water stabs electronic devices in the heart…and as my phone was literally swimming in a torment of toilet water, no amount of rice was going to heal this phone; yet, there I am rushing out of the stall and holding my sacred phone under the most modern hand dryer. I know all the German spoken amongst the women, watching me jump out from the stall and yelling at myself, were commentating about my amazing smartness.  I actually remember a little girl making eye contact at me for like ten seconds…awkward. I’m sure her mother told her “stay away from crazy people like her,” but again, I don’t speak German, so maybe she was commenting on my Antonio Melani wedges. **I’m sorry, America, for being a bad ambassador that day.**

As I’m walking out the bathroom, my brother is waiting right outside and simply asks, “now what happened?” Of course, that’s always the question when you’re right outside a women’s bathroom and hear “Crap! Oh my gosh! Why!?”

I so wanted to snapchat, text, and instagram stalk my friends before boarding…and I guess magic happened…because one year later…my phone was still working perfectly fine…

And, do not worry, I lysoled, cloroxed, and prayed all the germs and grossness were off my amazing phone.

Maybe, my iphone had some Nokia genes in it or something…

Or…as Joey on “Friends” puts it as Rosita, the chair, dies…if you are pure and you’re heart is set on something, miracles can happen…like my phone.

 

From the Archives · Uncategorized

From the Archives: Left Behind in Paris

**This post is in the perspectives of two people: David my little brother (Diva David) & the amazing me (Laura Andrea). Feel free to choose sides and, of course, as always….laugh**

Me (Laura Andrea): 

I was so excited, David was finally going to join me after my hard year of school in Madrid. Our plan was to stay in Madrid for a few days, then go adventure all of Europe! Sounds like the dream, right? Well…first stop Paris. Take note David has not been in Europe since he was little, so I was excited to catch him up on all my favorite things in Madrid and friends I made around Europe, who we were going to meet again. 

Ehh…I guess I gave David a first bad impression of my lifestyle in Europe from the past year because the first flight together to Paris was at 5 am, so obviously, having to get there a tad bit early, David had to bring his huge, luggage, big enough to be stopped and asked to pay 100 euros for his carry-on (shake my head). So that takes time…not to mention there was a huge gate change…literally, we had heads turning as people watch two people, us, sprinting across the airport, looking like zombies, of course, at 5 freaking in the morning. 

So, after David drained my pockets from money to pay for his carry-on and after having a mini-marathon to get to the correct gate, we finally, crash onto the crappiest seats on the crappiest plane, probably made my paper mache…at walmart…in the jungle. I don’t know. It just was the whole “what did we do?” thoughts that made David & I pass out because we didn’t care…we were exhausted. 

After we met our friend in Paris and had a wonderful day, we planned to go meet another friend at the Eiffel Tower the next day by the river and have lunch! Oui oui oui yay yay yay! I was used to the fast metro system from living in Madrid for quite some time, everyone pushing and shoving, everyone cramming in the metro as fast as superman…well the Paris metro was & probably still is very sketchy, dirty, and looked like “ok, this is where we die part of a really bad murder movie.”

I buy David and I our metro tickets to get into the metro and there it is…the metro happened to be there, perfect timing, and as it was later in the day, there were less stops. It would take another 10 minutes if we let this metro go. So I’m like “David come on! Open the gate!” After I get on the metro, the doors close and sigh of relief…We made it on. let’s go home. 

“Hey, David, can you give me some water”?

“David”?

I look around, where the heck is he? I just saw him. I look out the window of the metro train and see his face in shock….and the metro starts moving…we are both watching each other pass by…no phone, David does not know Paris, he is going to get shanked, raped, and murdered…what have I done?….

Why did he do this to me!? I am going to get zero inheritance money from my parents when they find out I killed him!


David:

Nah, Nah, Nah, Nah. Let me tell you guys, the year was 2013, and I had so much planned for the summer. My dad and sister had the genius idea of sending me to Spain to visit my sister for a couple of weeks where we would take on the European Union and travel like a couple of chump tourists. I was super excited and went with the mindset of getting to see some amazing cities and spend some quality time with my sister, since she decided to study a billion miles away….I don’t get it since you can literally take online classes from any part of the world, but you know what, I am supportive and we made some…uhhh… interesting memories.

So after traveling around a few parts in Spain, our next stop was to Paris! Ahhh yes, Paris sounds amazing, right? Well, Paris itself was not too fun since all that could go wrong went wrong!

The first sign of rough times began as soon as we got to the airport, and we were literary about 15 minutes from boarding the freaking plane when a flight attendant or minion from the worst airline, which is what Laura and I determined they actually were, was telling me I had to pay a hundred bucks in order to take my carry-on up on the plane, which was literary barely larger than my backpack. We had no time, it was 5am, and my sister has no patience when it comes to waiting up on me. And if you are thinking I had to pay that money…I cheerfully handed that money to the lady and said, “I hope you are happy” and walked off.

Getting to Paris, of course you have to check out the sites, go to some over priced stores, and have a Nutella filled crepe that is like the best food in the world without a doubt. At the end of the day, it was late and I was tired, Laura was tired, and we were just tired of looking at each other and having to “watch out” for each other. In my mind, I am her protector, yet in her little bodied mind, who could not fight off an average male, mentally, she believed she was my protector, which of course did not make sense to me…but you know, it does not matter to me since she constantly pushes my buttons on purpose in order to persuade me.

Anyways, we were getting ready to hop on a train, yet there are gates that will not allow you to enter without a ticket, which I had both of them since I like to think I am the responsible one. I pushed the first ticket through, which opens the doors, yet you have to wait for the ticket to come out of the other side before placing MY ticket in the machine to get it properly stamped; however, before I know it…. my sister is already on the train, the doors start to close, I sprint literary trying to prawn open the doors with my hands and she just waves at me….seriously?! like waves at me like, “oh sorry! Too slow and you suck David”. But since we had no cellphones, I had no idea what stop the train was going towards, I decided to take a leap of faith and hop on the next train…. obviously….I was angry. Here I am, staying organized, she doesn’t even take a look to see if I have gotten on the train until the doors closed.

I mean…who is really at fault here? Then I thought, “crap…. what am I going to tell my parents?” and there goes all my opportunities to travel alone.

**Afterthoughts by Laura Andrea: So…..Yeah…laugh a little more, cherish your relationships because you may lose them on trains, metros, or any other kind of transportation…**

Peace and love,

Laura Andrea

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From the Archives

Captain Morgan’s Wife

**From the Archives: 2010**

I opened my eyes, took a deep breathe, felt peaceful, and watched seagulls loud, screeching, flying about, and as I am a little bit disoriented, I could not decide for the life of me if the half-destroyed, ancient fort to my left was operating or people just liked to go inside for a good game of hide-and-seek, or just to mess with the cannons overlooking the big expanse of beautiful, reflective water.

It was nice to feel the ocean breeze and the humidity pumping up my hair at least three inches taller and curlier.

I just did not understand. I was so confused. I kept seeing pirates walking around, all females, though. Where are the male pirates? Jack Sparrow? I have read about pirates and…how they kill, seen movies about pirates…and how they kill, and… now, I am seeing female pirates and wonder, maybe they are like complete opposite–very sweet?

So, one of the girl pirates confronted me, wearing a red-striped shirt, with a black corset, black pants, tall boots, and of course, the item that holds all pirateshipness (yes, I made up that word) together, the epic pirate hat. Her hat had a feather, it was quite nice.

She asked me a question, and I was still in a gaze. So she asked me in English again, then Spanish. And then, I was like “oh, ya, ya, ya, ummm I’m ok!”

She had a gorgeous smile and to-kill-for bronze skin, She was so sweet and gestures over another female pirate. I overheard her saying “Hi, I’m Captain Morgan’s wife” to a few people about 5 meters away before coming my way. Then again, she gestured to another female pirate–who apparently was also Captain Morgan’s wife!

So, I was guessing the pirate who woke me up had to be one of Captain Morgan’s wives, as well? I was just thinking “whatever” let me enjoy the sun…

Then, that’s when I remembered I did not just wash up on this beach by myself…

Where were my brothers?

Why would they leave me?

I literally haven’t left the same spot for…like..an hour! ugh, and of course…no phone reception in Panama.

Two tips of advice:

  1. Don’t fall asleep on a random bench in Panama because you will be awakened by Captain Morgan’s wife…and…your family will leave you.
  2. Traveling with me can be extremely dangerous or extremely adventurous…you pick.

Photo: Panama 2010, having my food stolen by this adorable monkey…

From the Archives

From the Archives: Spain’s Victim

Again note: I understand & apologize for the poor writing, grammar, and punctuation skills.–*written in the past, unedited, from my journals, put in public for thoughts & laughter.” 

February 21, 2013

So I guess I’m totally zoned out because the teacher is speaking Spanish & I’m writing in English…or I have discovered something fantastic haha…I can “speak/listen/think” in both languages simultaneously! Ya, I know, talent right? hehe.

I’m in “AntropologĂ­a del Diseño” & it’s 3 hrs long…I wake up at 7:30 & dreeeaaadddd going. It takes me 1 hour to get to school to make it on time at 9 am. And ya, I arrive dead.

I don’t know what’s going on. I sometimes just want to laugh. The teacher, Luis Mayo, asks questions (interacts with the students) to every student in the class; he goes down the roll. And yesterday he calls my name & haha asks me about something & he sees the look on my face & asks if I knew what “even the word was” & shook my head..not a word, & I was saved by someone else answering…I was like wow haha; everyone else give like Nobel Peace Price/Newton answers, and I…just shake my head like a retard. Well whatever, story of my life…

The professor is just asking away, going down the list & I’m just dreading the second he calls “Andrea Fraga”…talking aloud something about a crib & beds?

9:42…2 more hours…sometimes I forget I’m in Madrid.

Ok, good he called “Beatriz” not me. woo.

AAaaaa…Alejandro! wooh! not Andrea! that was close.

This is actually really helping, bring my journal to this class. It’s weird how the brain works–it’s incredible…ok…Leticia! wooh! wow, I like live in constant fear in this class–that he’ll call my name. haha

really?! 10:02! ohhhh myyyy gosshhh…I am LITERALLY DYING!!!

it’s ok Laura, keep writing. it will help.

Afterthought now in 2017:

Wow, talk about dramatic. This entry was the first week of school in Madrid. Obviously, a little culture shock in a social aspect and nervous. I had visited Spain before, years and years ago as a child, but as a tourist…now I’m living the life of a Spanish student.

I encourage you to write your thoughts down, even as boring as mine. I promise the stories get better. 

Photo: taken after class weeks later in the teacher’s office waiting to explain our bad grade on the first test…