Category Archives: Life. Love. Laughs.

San Miguel de Allende Mexico: International Relations


Do you think it is odd that I’m African American, eating (really good) Sushi in a Mexican internet cafe, listening to European hip-hop? Yeah, me neither.

Things I may or may not have done this week:

[1] Treat a Mexican cab driver to a midnight hamburger and coke in Mexico City.

[2] Sing Karaoke. (Eurythmics, Robert Palmer and Gloria Gaynor).

[3] Go to dinner with a Mexican chic and 3 Japanese chics wherein there was no common language but we had a great conversation about prayers, customs and “sexual relations” (and ate off each other’s plates).

[4] Taught said Japanese chics how to play pool and then get soundly beat 3 times.

[5] Participated in my (all female) spanish class conversation wherein we discussed: men, men from other countries, mexican men, japanese men, american men, would you have kids without a husband, are all men the same around the world? did God make women the crazier sex because s/he knew we’d never deal with men if we weren’t slightly “off”. This ENTIRE conversation was in spanish and it was so funny we were in TEARS. TEARS I tell you. All I contributed: “Yo soy una hija de Dios” (I’m a daughter of God) said with a innocent look and my hands clasped in prayer.

[6] Told a French woman she had one of the most beautiful smiles I’ve ever seen.

[7] Told a German chic I was drinking “hater-ade” because of the fact that she was offered an job with a Mexican archaelogy group heading to a dig/exhibit in Cuba. The job offer came from a cute guy she met at a CLUB! I mean really, this stuff only happens in movies right?

[8] Was caught WAY off guard by a kiss from a (drunk) 26 year-old Mexican boy. This happened at Jazz Bar, wherein there is no Jazz played and barely a bar. The upside: he smelled GREAT, the downside: ewww!

[9] Danced until 2a.m. and had to tell the (10 years younger than me) guy that i.couldn’ I mean this guy was a damn dancing machine. I will admit that being African American and a GREAT dancer makes me popular at the dance spots in Mexico. I’ve actually had people APPLAUD my abilities (all of my friends and family stop laughing or i will issue an internet smackdown).

I’m doing my part to improve our international relations, don’t you think?

I’m off to my cooking class tomorrow! I had to travel to San Miguel de Allende after my last client call today to make it in time for our 10AM class (who in the world makes Tortillas de Pollo at damn 10 o’clock in the morning?) Pray I don’t burn anything down or catch anyone off guard with the cutlery.

Guanajuato Mexico: Nos Vemos*


You can plan a pretty picnic, but you can’t predict the weather.


I was chatting with another blogger/traveler about how every day traveling isn’t a paradise of party and sunshine. Sure a bad day traveling generally beats a good day at work, but traveling this way has its own thorns and trials.

You are all probably sick of pictures of these four but this is likely to be one of the last. I had my hardest goodbye to date on Monday when Mario and Andrea headed down to Queretaro to visit his uncle. From there she’ll head on to Puebla to hang out and celebrate Cinco de Mayo and continue south on her journey. Jorge left a few hours later heading for Morelia on a pilgrimage to take a look around his mother’s hometown. He will also head south in due time. Myrna is still here with me, but things aren’t the same. She is sad too, but she has the salve of her daily life and other friends to divert her attention. Her day-to-day life isn’t much changed whereas I feel like the sky is a little less blue and the fun a little less…well, fun.

I pondered why this goodbye left me feeling “off-kilter” and realized it was probably because I would have to do my homework and buy most of my own drinks from here on out. Seriously though, I think every now and then a group just gels in a way that is inarticulable. We looked after one another and it was nice caring about someone else for a change. When we went out I felt like I could let my guard down a little more than usual because Jorge and Mario had our backs. But mostly it was the companionship, the conversation and the comraderie. The bittersweet knowledge that it would end made our time together burn more intensely, the quiet moments and the crazy moments equally full and perfect. I’ve said hello and goodbye to literally dozens of people the last three months and this was one of the hardest but also one of the most perfect in terms of loving people (and being loved) where they are and when they are, with no other expectations. 

*We’ll be seing each other

Guanajuato Mexico: Oh What A Night…


Andrea, Daniel, Jorge and Mario. 3:30am Calle Juarez, GTO.

Despite previous attempts to “slow my roll” as we say in Virginia, I got caught up in the fever and went out with Jorge and Andrea last night.  Magnus has left us for points south to hang out with friends in Puerto Vallarta, but we have our eyes set on a new arrival: Max (30, TX), Photograper and Production Assistant extraoridnaire.

Jorge bought Andrea and me Bacardi and Jugo de Pina (pineapple juice) which I think was part of a master plan to get us up and moving. We finally hit the town around 9:30pm and headed to WHY NOT? a bar on the other side of the Jardin Union. Everyone was chill but the music was totally out of control so the three of us decided to dance.right.then.and.there. Because hey, these people don’t know us! Our vibe must have been contagious (I think it was my “shopping cart” dance move) because a group of students came to chat us up and we were laughing, talking in 3 languages (Spanish, English and French) and suddenly invited to a private backroom party at Capitolo. I’m not really going to get into what went on there until the wee hours, but the music in the private room was so good that Jorge and I kept looking at each other like “are we really at a party in Mexico and they are playing _____?) Jorge is from California so he KINDA knows about good music.

I will not talk about:

1. Why Jorge thought it would be a good idea to put his sunglasses on someone’s grandma and dance with her in the zocalo. 

2. Why Jorge bought roses for EVERY woman in the back room. And a bunch for one in particular!

3. Where are Andrea’s hands in this picture?

4. Why these two (Daniel and Mariana) make me want to take Salsa dancing lessons.

5. Why Justin is probably NEVER going back to the US.

6. Why all of my single girlfriends should

7. What you get to do if your boyfriend is the bartender.

8. What kind of relationship you have to have with your friends to use this bathroom.

So, tell us about one of YOUR favorite night’s out on the town, either while on the move or while snug in the place you call home.

For Lu


Lu, peep it and weep baby! Per your request:
My custom-made, waterproof, padded, velcro-closing Nikon Coolpix case.



A Shout out

Actually, if you don’t count Bush, Mandrell or Streisand (whose parent’s were startlingly phonetic with the spelling), I only know four “Barbara’s”. One Barbara is a mentor, another a colleague and the last two are me and the woman I was named after. I usually just call her “Mom” but, whatever. My parents will never be renowned for their creativity (I’ll give you one guess who my brother is named after), but they have a bevy of other traits that make up for it. My mother is the typical familial matriarch. None of us were ever under the impression that we were living in a democracy. “Her way or the highway” wasn’t a playful turn of phrase, it was the eleventh commandment. Continue reading A Shout out

gifts and such

[1] i gave my nephew a “Learn to play the Harmonica” kit for Valentine’s day. That boy has been driving me crazy from sun up to sun down with that thing. Note to self: next time you give a kid a musical instrument, do it on your way OUT THE DOOR.

[2] i ended up at Wal-mart with a (very) platonic friend. The first two things this fool picks up (sans cart people) are condoms (with the warming lubricant he pointed out excitedly) and baby oil. He insisted that they were not to be used together, i however asked the employee hanging around the toiletry aisle if she could point him to the rubber sheets…freak. Continue reading gifts and such

Hoos Who?

I can’t even remember why I applied to UVA, aside from the fact that it was a large state school that sent me an application. Being fairly agreeable in nature, I obliged and applied to only two schools: UVA and Virginia Tech, our largest in-state rival. I am somewhat ashamed to admit that I had no idea of UVA’s stature in terms of national rankings, reputation for excellence etc. All I know is that I was admitted to both schools and UVA seduced me easily with the Spring Fling admitted student weekend and promises of late nights playing cards and eating dominos pizza. I imagined deep discussions about politics and race, surrounded by more black folks than I had ever shared a classroom with. We were fed and courted and entertained. Everywhere we went there were dozens and dozens of other black folks! And this taste of college life was over a weekend so there was no talk of classes, homework, alarm clocks or meetings…bah, whatever. I couldn’t be bothered with such details. Little did we know that this would be the best weekend of our young, black collegiate lives and that 80% of the black folks we saw that weekend…well, could you tell them we are STILL looking for them? Continue reading Hoos Who?

Highs and Low(e)s

Have you ever had one of those weekends where you are amazingly productive and get more stuff done than you did all week only to realize that none of the things that you accomplished were on your “to do” list? Yeah, me too.

1. This weekend started off pretty chill. Friday night I hung out with some friends and everyone was in one of those moods where you are happy to be around people but are into different activities. We were at K’s house and she was framing pictures, her roommate D was laying in the floor putting off working on her dissertation and I was researching stuff for my trip on the computer. We would occassionally say something to the other two basically to confirm that everyone was still awake and still cool with our low key arrangement. I went home and slept like a baby. Little did I know how much I should have savored that night’s rest.

Continue reading Highs and Low(e)s