This Blog Has Moved!

Hey peeps!

This blog has packed its boxes, turned in the keys, and moved out of its little starter apartment!  Don’t worry—Adventures in Tralaland is moving on up, definitely not out.

Come and check out the new blog digs at http://www.laurageorgina.com/

I won’t be posting on here anymore, so please update your bookmarks and Google readers (or just subscribe directly from the new site).

Come check it out and help me give this new spot a good housewarming.  I’ve already warned the neighbors, so we can party it up big-style…

Your Chica

The Lazy Sunday Taskmistress: Reporting for Duty

For once, you may find me all wordless–or rather, as wordless as I get.  You see, I’ve been tinkering away at something really big (hint:  it involves the blog!) and have spent way, way, WAY too much time attached to the trusty Toshiba over the last few days.  It’s totally zapped my powers of speech.  Unbelievable, I know.

Worry not, though:  I managed to live a little, too!

Here’s the abbreviated, almost-wordless take on the weekend:

Hunkered down for the heavy rain on Friday

Went out for a post-rain Friday night movie and snack of beer and potato wedges

Hoped against hope for disappearance of ominous clouds on Saturday

...Because I spent Saturday at the Caribbean 20-20 Cricket final

Cheered as Trinidad won third place and eliminated Jamaica

...And witnessed Guyana winning the final against Barbados at midnight, which set off a storming of the field by Guyana supporters

Ate a fittingly-late Sunday brunch chez my table--southwest scramble with avocado salsa and tex-mex cornbread

Performed the inevitable weevil check of the dry pasta before dinner--'tis the season for bugs

Dined on pasta with eggplant sauce, sauteed plantains, avocado slices for dinner

See?  I can be quiet sometimes… only sometimes.

The Lazy Sunday Taskmistress: Reporting for Duty

It’s so funny how you can do the exact same things in two different places.  The outings and errands remain the same, but the locale, obviously, is so very different.  What I mean is that this weekend could have happened in Buffalo, though I guess I wouldn’t have seen palm and coconut trees during it.

It was a very normal homey weekend, the kind I’d been really missing.

There was a fun visit to Bhagwansingh’s, our big homewares store (my Home Depot has a much cooler name, clearly!) for a rake, a shovel, a toilet seat, and a flashlight (no, I don’t plan on hitting someone over the head with a toilet seat then threatening them with a rake to make them dig a hole in my backyard by flashlight–but it is a good idea, in theory).  After which came a fun visit to the plant store in search of a Bajan cherry tree (which we did not find there):

There was a stop for some fast food, Trini-stylie–doubles, of the kind a girl watchful of her figure can enjoy and delectate once every blue moon if she has any intention of baring a six-pack at Carnival:

You ask for your doubles here...

And 2.5 seconds later you're eating this pile of chickpea goodness

There was the inevitable doubles-induced nap with baseball (and later, cricket) in the background, plus dinner and an outing to the movies (Toy Story 3), followed by the usual beer, though I sadly had to give the 3-D glasses back before I had the beer.

And, on Sunday, there was plant-purchasing and fruit and vegetable loading-up at the Sunday market, followed by brunch and plenty of quality online reading and online dress-stalking.  I need a dress for a party at ours in a few weeks and I have a wicked plan to pull a Scarlett O’Hara and make the dress out of some red curtains in a manner like so:

The Anthropologie Graphical Dress--be still my heart

After which we had a very lovely get-together for tea and chat in our neighbor’s garden, for which I wore an appropriately-themed flowery skirt:

Skirt by me (dress refashion), top by Old Navy, sandals from Target--very predictable, I know...

The only thing that could have improved my weekend?  Not having a knee twinge/ache.  I know full well that I may possibly have come from a nutty home Zumba session, but I’d rather believe it came from a nutty kitchen cleaning session.  I’d rather be allergic to cleaning than to Zumba.  I’m now off to apply ice and feel silly about it and hope that the Zumba gods aren’t punishing me for appropriating their thang.

Blip! Back on the Radar

This post should have really been called “Triumphant Return To Trinidad” or “In Which Your Girl Goes (To Her Other) Home.”

Instead, it’s called “In Which Your Girl Learns A Valuable Lesson.”  Which should read “Don’t Be a Doodoohead and Get Travel Insurance, Cheapskate.”

As if my last few days in Buffalo hadn’t been busy, stressful, and emotional due to my usual attachment to the crazy family and some unexpected family issues we all had to deal with, I missed the TWO flights which would have gotten me home to Trinidad.

I arrived at the airport to hear of delays to my Jet Blue flight to JFK, from where I would be catching my onward connection to Trinidad.  I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to a mini-meltdown at the check-in desk, but I canned it and trusted in all my good accrued karma that the hour and a quarter I’d have between flights would be enough.   In fact, I left the big lipstick smooch my mom gave me as a farewell on my cheek because I thought it might be a lucky charm.

So I said goodbye to the fam, got to my gate, and waited.  And waited some more.  Until I was told the flight would not be making it in time.  I called Caribbean airlines to reschedule but didn’t confirm the flight right away because I needed to ensure Jet Blue could get me to JFK in time before I coughed up my hard-earned cash for the rebooking fee and the rest.

Then they announced that the original flight would be departing earlier than they had said–but still too late for me to get to my Caribbean Airlines flight (which had not yet been canceled).   So I got in line and said I would need to change my flight anyway and gave away my seat like a good Samaritan for the poor stand-by people.  Except that they gave my seat away and forgot to call to get my bags off the flight until a second before the flight took off, at which point I exploded in frustrated tears and begged them to please get my bags off the plane even if they didn’t rebook me that second, because no way was were my dresses and sneakers and my plastic Target plates disappearing into the vast bowels of JFK airport without me.

I was offered water and tissues and a shoulder pat or three by the wonderful lady at the counter, who understood my plight, and my bags were fetched and I was rebooked for free for my act of good Samaritanism.  I then called Caribbean Airlines and found out that they had also delayed and cancelled flights, and the next flight I could get to go home would be….. Friday.  AFTER paying for the rebooking and the whatever and the whatnot

So I did what I do when I get frustrated–I sobbed a bit, snotted more, and then got over it.  I rearranged my Caribbean Airlines flight  and rearranged my Jet Blue flight to get to JFK on Friday, this time with a generous seven hour layover. I might be cheap and stubborn, but I also learn things when they’re taught the hard way.  I’ll gladly suffer seven hours of layover purgatory to get on my damn plane to Trinidad.

I am now super calm and have stopped screaming “FML” at the telephone.  I’m going to take advantage of two great days at home with the family and all that entails and I’m going to be grateful once again (as if I weren’t grateful enough already) that I can work from anywhere there’s wifi and a computer.

And you bet I’ll be getting insurance for every single trip from now on.

Make me feel even better by commiserating and sharing your flight horror stories!  Have you ever missed a flight or had connection issues?  Do you fly the skies by the seat of your pants, or are you a travel insurance devotee?

PS–you don’t even want to see what I wore today.  It’s tainted by frustration and airport smell.  Don’t worry, though–I’ll dress up and make it up to you.

MIA Alert

Hey all…   I’ve been MIA these last few days in an effort to get as much family time in as possible and to deal with some family stuff before I head back to Trinidad on Tuesday.  Don’t worry–I’ll be back before you know it (or, like, on Wednesday).

Presenting…

My latest Hollaback Health post (on five reasons to think before you post) AND my very own Christmas in July!

Ladies and gentlemen, may I present you with a very badass Sony A230 DSLR?  It has buttons that I can’t figure out, a lens that makes crazy noises all on its own, and more settings than a girl like me deserves.  I’m more scared of holding it than I am of holding babies because babies are priceless and, well, this baby definitely has a price tag.

Now, before you go getting any ideas about me going nutso and buying equipment I don’t need (as it would appear), here’s the story.  This autumn, I will be taking a photography class.  I knew that I would probably need a fancier camera than what I had and figured I would borrow a camera from the program office–or so I was convinced by Mr. L.

Said Mr. L secretly went behind my back and found out all the necessary camera specs (and had me fully convinced that I would be using program equipment, which isn’t actually that easy to access) and kaboom!  One good afternoon a week or so ago, in he flounced carrying a delicate Fed-Exed box with the words “Refrigerate For Storage” all across it.

Which of course had me thinking that the man had ordered me a turtle or a shipment of sausages. And of course I was in no way disappointed when nothing live or grillable was inside the box.

I wasn’t just surprised–I was totally flabbergasted.  I was also duly told that this would, in fact, be my Christmas present, and that it therefore might behoove me to take a picture of it and frame it so that it can be wrapped up and given to me on Christmas Day this year.  So, in addition to scouting all the possible future goodies I’ll want for the baby badass camera, I’ll be looking for a great picture frame.

I’ll also be spending plenty of time between now and the next millennium playing solo shutterbug and paparazzi, by turns:

Dress drying in the breeze

Laura the Grouch, ready for Kan Jam

Elmwood afternoon

Unidentified flower in my mom's garden

Beyond the obvious–which is that you’ll be seeing much better pictures round these parts–here is what this craziness means for you, just to show you that I love and appreciate each and every one of y’all:

Once classes get going in August, I will be posting weekly photography lessons.  Not only is it a good chance to throw around all the cool new things I’ll learn–such as what a diopter is, how to decide between shutter priority and aperture priority, and how to take a good night snap once and for all–it will be a great way for me to distill the most important bits and for you to have fun and go play with your cameras, DSLRs or not.

As for my long-loved staple, my sweet little standard point-and-shoot snappy camera,

It will definitely still be in heavy rotation.  Until I hire a security posse and someone can guarantee that all my surroundings will be covered in bubble wrap, the fancy camera defers to Not-So-Old Faithful and stays safely indoors.

Come to think of it, Faith and Hope might be great names for the duo of cameras past and present…  Naw.  I can’t say their names in Spanish.  And we all know I need to be able to address things in Spanish when my fuse is short–as it well might be if I can’ t figure out the timer settings and such.

In Which Feet Get Wet

No, not wet feet of the marriage kind… Or wait, is that cold feet?  It’s times like these that I’m reminded that I learned English when I was four.  Oh, and that I have very little memory.

Anyway, this weekend has been a flurry of awesome outdoorsy activity–which means this will be a bit of an “And then I did X” kind of post.

On Saturday morning, I woke up bright and early (for me, anyway) for a planned five-mile run… which turned into a 4.6 mile run when I looked at my watch and realized that it was 9:58 and I had two minutes to get home and watch the Argentina-Germany World Cup match.  It’s not every day that I will curtail a great run (much less a rare above-four-mile-run) for anything, but the waka waka fever has gotten into  me.  And sad it was, too, to see them lose so pitifully.  Thank goodness Spain is in or my life would seriously not be worth living.

After consoling myself from the Argentina loss (in no small part by gloating about the Spain win), a sisterly bike ride ensued, complete with swings and stories of wanting to vomit while on moving objects:

On Sunday, I slapped my legs into awareness and hit the road with Baby Bel and the Tall One for a day at Stonybrook State Park, with gorges on our minds:

The day was beyond perfect for the outing–had it been any cooler, the water would have been TOO cold, and had it been warmer we would have baked in our skin.  As it was, all the right factors aligned for an amazing dip in water:

Complete with people watching–I saw the absolute worst bikini (tiny American flag, ew) and tattoo (lettering directly above the bikini line, which was visibly peeking out of a very tiny bikini, double ew)–sandwich-munching, and plenty of lazing around by the picnic tables.  My feet very much enjoyed the dip in coldish waters and I very much enjoyed the entire road trip through Erie, Genesee, and Wyoming counties:

As things were, Sunday could not have gotten better.  But it did!  We had a great dinner from our delightful mamalicious, after which we all dashed out for fireworks on the University at Buffalo’s north campus.  I played paparazzi–good thing I was sitting or I would have definitely tripped on something or somebody:

As for today, the heat and ozone and tiredness conspired to give me a day off running.   I still snuck a sneaky bike ride in with the Tall One, which was great because it was so hot that no one was out on the streets and we could cycle as slowly and distractedly as we wanted, taking in the lovely park and houses along the way:

Tomorrow, it’s back to real life–work, errands, running, hemming of stuff (ew), and just a bit of World Cup action.  Oddly enough, I’m more than ready for it all.