cactus, peru, hiking, flowers

The Cactus and Me

This cactus was grand

Bright green, blushing red

It burst forth from the sand

Prickles spewed from its head

So out popped my camera, a DSLR

I’d photograph this cactus, I’d make it a star


I was soon enthralled

This plant was so pretty

Then nature called

So I had to get busy

But when I squatted down to pee

My friend, the cactus, wasn’t nice to me…

The Jealousy Test

I was born in December, and it’s a cumpleaños I find stressful. The fact that people are gonna shout “HAPEE BURTHDAY!!!11” this week, wish me “MURRY CHRISSMAS” in two weeks and then just days later exclaim “HAPEE NEW YEARZ!” induces all kinds of anxiety.* There’s too much going on. Too many people expect too many smiles and too many heart-to-hearts and too much happiness and…

December is just toomanyfeels.

Christmas ignites a fierce longing for my hometown—the simplicity of the countryside, the beauty that is California, the comfort that is family. It’s an emotion that’s raw and all-consuming, but because ImnotmovingbackMOM, I don’t like to admit it. Christmas forces me to concede that home life isn’t all that bad and, WORSE, wonder if I’m missing out. So I bah humbug holiday movies and glare at the produce when our local grocery store blasts carols.

Hey, the best defense is a good offense.

Then there’s New Year’s Eve. Whoever invented New Year’s resolutions is right up on my mierda list with adult acne, expensive haircuts, and that dude who decided women should wear high heels. The end of another year means everyone reassesses their life choices, and introspection isn’t exactly easy without your favorite ice cream on hand. (Who can afford the calories? Resolution No. 1 is to eat healthier. BLARGH.)

I think my birthday is really what tips things over the edge. Like every person, ever, I’ve started to consider my own mortality. Plus, I recently found a gray hair. #nocomment

This year, in a brave attempt to stave off whatever emotional rollercoaster December has in store, I took the jealousy test. During the jealousy test you think about all the successful people you know. If you feel pangs of jealousy when you conjure up their achievements, you should consider making those your own goals. And, lord knows, I love setting goals. It makes me feel immensely better—a simple, yet effective way to get through the holidays. Eyes on the prize.

So I thought about my friends who have won awards for their hard work, and how amazing that must’ve felt and how talented they all are.

I considered the brilliant people I know at the WaPo, ProPublica and Scientific American and the important work they’re doing.

Then I let my mind wander, and a woman I’ve only chatted with two times randomly popped into my head. She’s barely 30 and has already been to 37 countries. Maldito, that’s amazing!! I want to be this woman.

If this were a BuzzFeed quiz, I’d hit “enter” and a sensational headline with way too many cat photos would pop up. If it were an actual test, I’d get it back with an A+ (’cause that’s how I roll). But since it’s a very light and non-scary form of contemplation, I can be excited. I can make lofty goals and then plan out my daysweeksmonths to meet my objectives.

That is, if I survive December.

*I guess most people I know are soused for these events.

That Time I Walked Home in a Sports Bra

Walking home in a sports bra probably wasn’t a good idea.

If it had been night and if I had been walking alone, it would’ve been a very bad idea. But it was noon on a highly trafficked thoroughfare so I figured *shrug.

In this order, the men of Lima bestowed upon me: 1 proposition, 2 whistles, 1 kissy noise, 3 honks. All in the timespan of about 10 minutes.

When I stepped out of the shower at the gym, I realized I’d forgotten my shirt. En serio? Ugh. And though I’ve squatted in forests and taken weekend hikes without bathing, the thought of getting back into that grimy shirt made my skin crawl.

Growing up, my aunt used to quip, “Horses sweat. Men perspire. Women glisten.” My sudoriferous glands beg to differ. After getting off a treadmill, I could wring out my T-shirt and provide water for the entire drought-stricken West Coast. I sweat like a Coke bottle at an August barbecue. Like a turkey on Thanksgiving. Like Chuck Norris on his way… wait a second, Chuck Norris has never sweated a day in his life. #nevermind

In other words, I’m a beast.

So no way in hell was I getting back into my dirty clothes. Thus, the probablywasntagood idea was born. I guess I should’ve expected the unwanted attention. I guess I’ve learned my lesson?

Or, here’s a thought, all the jerks out there could stop being such big pendejos and leave a dama alone. She forgot her shirt and just wants to walk home in a sports bra.