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We are Familia FIG. We are a bi- lingual, blended family. Belalu was diagnosed at 9 months with hypochondroplasia.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Turkey Day in Kalamazoo

Juan, Mobi, and I drove to Kalamazoo, MI for Thanksgiving where many family members joined my aunt and uncle for the holiday. My parents and sister's trip actually did include planes, trains, and automobiles, but without any annoying pick-ups along the way. Lovely Ms. Jai came to have lunch with me on Wednesday, and it was great to see her. Here we are in front of the new Kalamazoo College library. Our Alma Mater finally renovated the library, only six years too late. I spent my requisite 10-hours a week work study job as a reference librarian at that library, but that's about it. I much preferred the 24-hour cafe down the street from campus for my study environment. But this building is gorgeous. I would have probably studied much more in the library if it had looked like this. Check out the reading room:

Leather sofas, velvet seats, little green reading lamps and two fireplaces! I'm a sucker for little green reading lamps- once I discovered the reading room at the Boston Public Library, I was in there every chance I had- mostly because of the lamps and the great cafe downstairs. (Are you sensing a theme yet? A+ studying for me always involves comfy surroundings and hot drinks :)

The long car ride afforded me some great knitting time, but I'm going to save that for another blog entry which will probably happen tonight or tomorrow. For now, I'm off to class *sigh* (just this week and next and then we're into finals!!). Hope everyone had a great holiday break, with lots of good food and company.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Weekend Update

I posted some pictures on my travel blog from our night in the Wisconsin Dells last weekend (See link to said blog on the right).

I bought my plane ticket to Spain over winter break, and I get to stop in Amsterdam for the day on my way over. It is one of my favorite cities, so I am very excited about that.

We had Nancy and Jeff over for a Spanish tapas dinner on Saturday and I finally got to do some real cooking, though Juan did half of it. The table was gorgeous, but we forgot to take a picture, so you'll just have to imagine it all: marinated olives, chorizo, jamon serrano, various cheeses, membrillo (quince paste), empanadas, bread with tomatoes (a Catalan specialty), tortilla de patatas (Spanish omelet), salad, garlic mushrooms, Terra chips (because we love them and would use any excuse to have them), stuffed eggs, patatas bravas, and roasted peppers. For dessert we had flan, of course, and washed it all down with some yummy wines. We then all danced it off at a ballroom dance event. It was our first one, and we were surprised at the variety of ages there- from high school to octogenarian. We learned tango and rumba and danced until my feet hurt too much.

Besides dancing, I also took Mobi for a two-hour walk and attended my Sunday yoga class, finally breaking completely the cycle of sedentary laziness and yucky food I've been plagued with for the past couple of weeks. Good thing Thanksgiving is coming up!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Hourglass Sweater

For the past couple of weeks, I have been working on the Hourglass Sweater from Last-Minute Knitted Gifts, a great resource for fun, fairly quick patterns. I have really been wanting a pullover sweater that can be worn with jeans, of three-season weight, not too fancy, but not too baggy, either- a weekend errands and coffee kind of sweater. I bought the yarn in Madrid last May, loving the tweedy texture and colors (a marine blue with various shades of other blues). It's Katia brand, mostly silk with some wool. I thought I would make Celtic, a zip cardigan from Rowan's latest magazine, but the gauge was way too off.

Than I found this pattern- it was exactly what I wanted, so I got to work. It's knit in the round on #7 needles and you start at the bottom and work up, attaching the sleeves as you go. I have the first one done and attached, and here is sleeve #2. The pattern called for #7 12" circ needles, but I couldn't find them that small, so I went with dpns. I just realized that I have been knitting the sleeve with #6s by mistake, but they don't look different, so I am not going to worry about it. Maybe I'm doing the body in sixes, too- hmmmm.... oh well. It looks like it's going to be fine, so no worries. If you look closely, you'll notice that there's a turning edge, so I'll sew that and have a nice even hem.

I also wanted to show you my new knitting basket that I got for the living room. My other one doesn't have a lid, so Mobi would get into it and it had to be moved upstairs. Since then, I have had yarn and needles strewn all over the coffee table and couch after a knitting/viewing session. I got this from a Ten Thousand Villages sale they had here at WSU. Isn't it nice? It was made by hand in Bangledesh.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Pelicula of the Week: Como agua para chocolate

This is an old favorite, but since Juan and I are both teaching magical realism this semester, we thought it would be great for them to see another example of that technique. It reminded me of college, watching this with the girls and swooning over Pedro. The acting is a bit overdone in parts, and the ending is the perfect example of completely failing to translate the beautiful concepts of a novel onto the big screen, but it's still a great love story.

Monday, November 13, 2006


I have to start by saying that apparently this is my 101 blog entry- yeah! I wish I had balloons and cake and streamers!!! (Or, I'd just settle for the cake ;)

On Thursday we headed to Chicago for the M/MLA conference (That's, Midwest Modern Language Association). I was so happy to get out of town, just to have a change of scene. Juan was presenting a paper on two Mexican poets. I heard some interesting papers at the conference and even ran into two old friends from college- Josh and Adela. She's from Spain and was my tutor back when I could barely put a sentence together in Spanish. Josh was an old roommate's boyfriend when we first arrived, but the two of them then ended up together, which was cool since that meant we also got to hang out in Caceres once or twice when I was on study abroad. They were also there for the conference, though we actually ran into each other on the street. She gave an interesting talk on Galdos and Desperate Housewives- (yes, there really was a connection there). It was great to see them and made me realize how small the academic world is- we'll probably meet again at another conference somewhere.

In Chicago I got to check out a LYS that was only a ten-minute walk from the hotel. Loopy Yarns was a saving grace for many reasons. First, due to its location in the Loop- the downtown section of Chicago where we were staying- I could easily walk there and not have to deal with the public transport system. Second, because when I decided to go it was downpouring outside but I did not know it because I had been in the hotel at the conference all day, and you know how they have no windows or other means for seeing the light of day. So, I took Mobi with me, thinking that she'd like the walk, and even when I realized it was pouring out, it wasn't too cold and she had her coat on, I took her anyway hoping they would take pity on her and let her in. We arrived soaking wet and frazzled from the dark, windy street of the run-down block. Opening the door of Loopy Yarns I felt like Dorothy discovering the Emerald City. It was a small but spacious shop brightly lit and full of women and fluffy, colorful yarns. Not only did the owner let Mobi come in, but she also held her while I picked out yarn for some Christmas gifts. Everyone oohed and ahhed over her, so of course she was in seventh doggie heaven, wiggling her little butt in that happy salsa dance she does. The third reason I loved Loopy Yarns this weekend is because I finally got the needles I needed to work on the sleeve of my unfinished sweater. (I'll have pictures-in-progess soon).

We stayed at the Palmer House Hilton, which is where we stayed last time we were in Chicago. This is a pic of its lobby, which has a beautiful decor. It's got a great location next to the Art Institute, Millenium Park, and Michigan Ave. It is pretty much the only hotel we've found downtown that allows dogs, so we were glad to see that that's where the conference was going to be. The people who worked there were so nice to Mobi and we couldn't get to the elevator without having ten people pet her and say how cute she was. (As if I needed to be told!)

All in all, I'd say it was a great little trip to the Windy city.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Finished sweater in Boston

When my parents went down to Boston a couple of weeks ago, my sister took a picture of my mom in her custom-made sweater. Meridith told me that they were down by Fanueil Hall, a very touristy area, and took the picture in front of a random restaurant. A bunch of tourists saw them and thought it was an important place for one reason or another, so as they were leaving, all these people lined up to get their picture in front of the "important landmark."

There's Hope for Us Yet

Go Democrats!