dia de los muertos…

courtesy of everywhereman.com

courtesy of everywhereman.com

Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays.!! As a child, I loved getting dressed up and going around the neighborhood collecting candy. Usually, I went with my siblings and cousins. At the end of the evening, we would pour out all the candy on the floor and negotiate candy exchanges.!! It was fantastic.! I would collect as many of my favorite candy bars as I could.!!

As an adult, I loved getting dressed up and going to costume parties with my friends.! I am always fascinated by people’s choices because I think it says volumes about them.!! Including the fact that for almost a decade, one of my brothers went as a pirate because he was too lazy or uninspired to come up with a new idea.! hahaha… Some of my favorite past Halloween costumes include a Starbucks barista, a 1920s flapper, and a witch.!! I’m still hoping to be little red riding hood one day 🙂 But I need someone to play the big, bad wolf.!! lol… Maybe next year.!

courtesy of deviantart.com

courtesy of deviantart.com

However, when I moved to Mexico, I became enamoured with the Mexican celebration of Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead. Despite, its rather gloomy sounding name, Dia de los Muertos is a joyful celebration.! Family members and friends gather with food and drink to remember, honor, and pray for their deceased loved ones. Basically, they invite the deceased back into their lives for an annual visit.

The holiday is celebrated October 31, November 1st, and November 2nd and is tied to the Christian traditions of All Hallow’s Eve, All Saint’s Day, and All Soul’s Day. However, it also has origins dating back to the Aztecs and their worship of the goddess Mictacacihuatl or the Lady of the Dead. Modern Catrina dolls symbolize the Lady of the Dead. Special foods beloved by the deceased, sugar skulls, and marigolds are placed on makeshift altars in homes and cemetaries to entice the spirits of the dead to return.!

catrina dolls courtesy of wikipedia.org

catrina dolls courtesy of wikipedia.org

Typically, October 31st, honors infants and children, and is called Dia de los Inocentes or the Day of Innocents. While, November 1st, honors adults and is referred to as Dia de los Muertos. I believe the reason this holiday struck a chord with me is because I have lost my mother and my brother. When my brother passed away 15 years ago, it was such a traumatic experience for my family.

In the beginning, we used to buy him presents for Christmas and his birthday and leave them at the cemetary. We would also bring him a slice of birthday cake. It’s not like we baked a whole cake for him. My brothers were twins so we were making one anyway. It was easy just to bring a piece to his gravesite too.

When we were much younger - me with glasses

my family when we were much younger – me with glasses

But I remember, upon seeing this grief and mourning activity from my family, my brother-in-law told us, “You and your family are very tangible mourners.” That comment always struck a chord with me because in my mind I could not understand another way to mourn. My brother had always been in my life, how could I now just stop celebrating who he was and what he meant to me.? I could not. Nor could I when my mother passed away six years later.

So, when I discovered that in Mexico there is actually a holiday that tangibly mourns, remembers, and honors their deceased – I felt like I had come home. I was actually living in a country that understood my grief and was not afraid of it. And not only that they understood, but they too called out to their loved ones. Even though I am no longer in Mexico, I will remember my family tomorrow. Tomorrow also happens to be my father’s birthday. So I will also be celebrating my dad tomorrow.! But I will remember to leave an extra piece of cake for my brother and my mom at the table 🙂

when we were whole

when we were whole

que milagro dos..!!

P. and me at Starbucks

P. and me at Starbucks

I had several errands to take care of during my visit to Mexico. Plus visiting with my friends was a huge priority 🙂 Last we spoke, P. and I had a great time at Zenzi drinking micheladas and catching up. The next morning we met at Starbucks for coffee (see photo above). We look extremely happy but most definitely like two women who had a few micheladas the night before.!! But oh what fun.!!

After coffee, P. and I spent most of the day meeting with attorneys. She was there to assist me in case I needed translation help. I know what you are thinking at this point – why in the world would you need an attorney Rose.?? Well, this time, it wasn’t for my immigration visa. It was for a wayward roommate. I promise to tell all in my blog post next week called – strange bedfellows.!! But for now, let’s just say, P. and I spent a whole day listening to one attorney after another talk about the ramifications of my case. Can you say me duele mi cabeza.!!

courtesy of condohotelsplayadelcarmen.com

courtesy of condohotelsplayadelcarmen.com

So the next day when I woke up, I decided a trip to Cozumel was in order to reground my center. Plus I wanted to see my good friend Bubba – you know him from the blog post o rico..!! However, the ferry schedule had changed since I was last in Playa so I had a whole hour and a half to kill before the ferry departed. Hmmmmm….so what’s a girl to do..??? Well get a massage of course.!!

One of the many things I loved about living in Playa del Carmen was how inexpensive it was to get a massage. One hour massages range anywhere from $20 USD to $40 USD per hour.!! Yes, I typed that right and you read it correctly.!! In Chicago, a decent one hour massage will empty your wallet anywhere from $80 to $110.!! So, since I am kinda addicted to massages, you can see why I loved living in Playa 🙂 So that’s what I did – on the beach for one hour.!! Can we say glorious.?!! After that I was woozy in all the right places and relaxed everywhere else. Plus, more importantly, I was calmer.

sunrise over cozumel

sunrise over cozumel

After my amazing massage, I set off on the ferry to Cozumel. I love being on the water and in the water. Even being on the ferry surrounded by strangers gives me a feeling of peace. I usually read or daydream. However, there is just one problem with my way of thinking. Not everyone feels this way about being on the water. And the ferry to Cozumel happens to be one of the most harrowing sea journeys ever.!! Yes, you read that right.! Yes, I know it’s only a 45 minute trip. Yes, I know it’s between a barrier island and the mainland. But trust me when I say more vomit bags are given out on that trip than any other boat excursion I have endured.

I don’t know if it’s the type of ferry that is used that causes all the egregious rocking back and forth.?! I don’t know if it’s all the drinking that the tourists partake in that causes all the heaving.!? Or a combination of both, but there is much nausea experienced on that ferry ride. I learned quickly to sit on the main floor in the middle of the boat. It rocks the least for starters. And secondly, all the people who tend to vomit usually sit upstairs or outside. And while, I do not get motion sickness, I will puke at the sight, smell, or sound of others vomiting. It’s like yawning for me.!! So I need to be awaaaayy from all of that noise.!!

courtesy of tripadvisor.ca

courtesy of tripadvisor.ca

Needless, to say, the peace I long for on the ferry doesn’t last very long. Luckily for me, neither does the trip.!! My friend Bubba met me at the ferry terminal and we took a taxi to his old apartment. He had to meet the landlord to do a walk through, so I accompanied him on his errand. Then we went to my favorite place to eat on the island – Indio’s – and we had some dinner. Afterwards, we went to El Coffee Cozumel for pecan pie and coffee..!! Bubba’s lovely girlfriend met us there and we talked so much and laughed so much we kept interrupting each other – it was pretty funny.! And cool.!

Around 8:30pm, we made our way back to the ferry terminal because the last one leaves at 9pm. If you miss it, you are stuck on the island until the morning. I bid them both adios because I wasn’t sure when I would make it back to see them. Then I boarded the ferry for the journey back to Playa secretly hoping that the barfing would be down to a minimum.! Luckily, it was pretty peaceful on the nighttime sojourn back. In fact, I was in such a good and peaceful place when I debarked the ferry that I decided to walk down Quinta Avenida to my hotel room rather than grab a cab. It was a lovely way to end my evening. Que milagro tres to follow….

tecate take 29

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

courtesy of tecate.com.mx

Feliz el fin de semana..!! Happy weekend..!! I hope everyone had a fantastic week.!! Minus the cold weather, my week has been pretty good. I met a whole bunch of new co-workers this week and we were telling jokes almost instantaneously.!! I love when that happens.!! I also spent my day off hanging out with one of my very good friends and her 7 year old daughter.! That’s always a good time. Plus, our grapefruit martinis were delish.!! We both laughed so hard, we peed our pants.! Oops…too much information.!

Of course, I also went to the memorial service yesterday. Although, it was sad; it was also, a bittersweet occasion because I saw so many old friends I had not seen in years.! One of my friend’s aunts hadn’t changed at all in twenty years. Pretty amazing.! I think it’s always great to re-connect with old friends. They remind you of who you were, how far you have come, and really how so little has changed all at the same time. Plus a little plum wine here and a little moscato there makes the week go by so much easier.! Really, not a lush, somehow the glasses just ended up in my cute little hands 🙂

So as I catch you in the middle of your weekend, I bring you another Tecate installment.!! This one is called Tecate – por los que dicen que estan con sus amigos – estan con sus amigos or for those who say they are with their friends – are really with their friends.! hahaha… I guess I never understood women who were afraid to let their husbands/boyfriends go out where there were other women. I mean if you don’t have trust then what do you have..?? A whole lotta of nothing as far as I’m concerned. But in this commerical, our wife/girlfriend does feel jealous and insecure. And her novio finds an interesting way in which to make her feel relaxed about him drinking with his friends.!! Enjoy.!! See you next week.!! Y Salud.!!

estoy aqui, sin ti….

courtesy of tumblr.com

courtesy of tumblr.com

Once again, I find myself not writing about que milagro dos. I promise it’s coming, but it will have to wait until next week. Between my dislike of the cold and some very strong emotions, I find myself constantly thinking and daydreaming. Today, I went to a memorial service for my friend’s uncle who had passed away earlier in the week. As you can imagine, it was a somber event. It is never easy to lose someone you love. By accident, by design, or by choice. There are always scars – some deeper than others – some more visible – but scars nonetheless.

During the sermon, the pastor began to talk about love. And how we as humans do not love enough or our love comes with stipulations or we give our love to those who do not deserve it. And I began to cry. I cried for my friend’s uncle, I cried for those I have lost, and I cried for mi novio whom I said goodbye to in Mexico. Because I said goodbye, not I will see you later. At this stage in our lives, we are in different places, and we are unable to reconcile all of our differences. So unfortunately, we cannot be. I accept that news logically in my brain. I think I even know it in my heart. But I still cried today because I wonder did I do the right thing in the long run.

I leave you today with the poem I sent him when I left. And the song I played when I walked out. I hope that I am right that it is better to be alone then to be with a person who does not help you grow and fully become yourself. I hope that my decision will make sense to me one day. Until then….

love letter

How do I tell you that I love you? But that we cannot be.
How do I tell you that I can’t breathe without you? But I take in one more breath.
How do I tell you that you belong to me? But I turn around and set you free.
How do I tell you that you are my other half? But I cut the ties that bind us.

Please my love,
mi amor,
moje duso,
believe me when I tell you all those truths.
But believe me also when I act all those deeds.

Maybe one day, the words will mean more than the deeds.
Hopefully tomorrow. Ojala…

I”m Here, Without You

He belongs to her …
and she belongs to the past
and laughter, shouts and anger
these do not belong to nobody
those you the gift

Rain was falling on the balcony
And your smoking a cigarette on the couch
Your voice, calling me to the balcony to see rain
They were my hands from the strings to the paper
Also, your eyes from my face to the wall
Without faith, knowing that it has stopped raining
I’m here without you
Sunk in silence
I’m without you, here
Wishing you back with me
Let’s go to the balcony to see rain

He sees with tearful eyes
she looks but no longer remembers him for a photo
some old photos that have been worn
As the promises of eternal love that was lost over the years
she is tired and bored
he is looking at her and barely see anything
what it will love
or what she looks like smoke
why spend their lives inventing

I always swore that one day were not coming back
Together because there was nothing else to do
After the car jalabas until six
Rain keeps falling on the balcony
And you’re not with your cigarette on the couch
And me, trying to write this song

I’m here without you
Sunk in silence
I’m without you, here
Wishing you back with me
Let’s go to the balcony to see rain

I’m here without you
Sunk in silence
I’m without you, here
Wishing you back with me
Let’s go to the balcony to see rain

tengo frio..!!!

cancun sunrise

cancun sunrise

Ok I have to admit, I was supposed to publish my que milagro dos post today.! But I can’t.! I am too cold.! Tengo mucho frio aqui en Chicago.!! When I first returned to Chicago in February of this year, I expected it to be cold for a couple of months. It was cold until June. Then I expected a warm hot summer. But once again, no luck there either. It was one of the coolest summers on record.! Really.?! I don’t think I even saw a beach 😦

And then autumn came. And I was cool with that change of scenery not having experienced it for a little over two years. A small jacket here, a scarf there, and some hot, I mean cool, boots while enjoying leaves changing color and sipping on hot chocolate. Because really when you think about it, there is never a good reason to drink hot chocolate in 90 degree weather near the beach. I’m not kidding, not even in air conditioning – it just seems so out of place. As do the boots…

playa del carmen beach

playa del carmen beach

But then this week happened. There was a frost advisory on Saturday evening. Frost..?! It’s not even Halloween yet.! Then today, it’s supposed to snow.!! What do you mean it’s supposed to snow..??!! Did I mention, it’s not Halloween yet.?? Frost, snow, cold….these are foreign words to me. No comprendo.!! Yo quiero el sol, la playa, el calor….. I was fine until this week. After all, I was born and raised in Chicago. I have character.!!

But apparently, all that cold character has been beaten out of me. My body is craving heat.! All these layers of clothes seem to be suffocating me.!! I yearn to rip them off and walk barefoot on the sand with the salty air and the wind whispering across my bare legs – hola querida.! I want the ocean breeze to lazily and sensously tousle my tresses across my face. Not have the biting, freezing Chicago wind whip my head around like in the Exorcist and tie my hair in knots around my face. Hmmmph….. I think the only good attribute about this cold weather is the ability to snuggle… And on that note blog world, stay warm y buenas noches.

Tecate take 28

tumblr_lqliyfdjcm1qj6f9oo1_250[1]

The weekend is here.!! The weekend is here..!! El fin de semana está aquí.!! Sorry I am a little excited.! I have a three day weekend after working for two whole weeks.!! You gotta love the states for that alone.!! Unfortunately, I spent most of Friday sleeping or running errands. But I did manage to squeeze in a lunch date with a dear friend of mine. So, the day was not a total wash.

Today, Saturday, I am having dinner with a childhood friend I haven’t seen in a long time. There will be much sangria and chatter 🙂 And I hope to re-connect with some other friends this weekend as well before the dreaded work week begins. Though, honestly, I am not dreading it one bit.! Also, this weekend includes a full moon and a lunar eclipse, two of my favorite astronomical events..! Plus, it’s Sweetest Day here in the states as someone very nicely reminded me this morning 🙂

To start off this amazing weekend, I bring you the fourth installment of the Tecate Parents series or Tecate Papas Cuarto. Once again, our parents are trying to convince their son to only drink Tecate light beer. They claim the only thing other light beers are good for is watering the plants.!! jajaja.. I hope everyone enjoys their weekend.!! I hope there are no ‘bad’ light beers in your future.!! And don’t forget to look up at the night sky and enjoy the brilliance of the moon in all of her ethereal beauty.!! Salud..!!

que milagro.!!

traditional mayan headdress

street actor with traditional mayan headdress

As I mentioned yesterday, I was very excited to be back in Mexico.! Even if it was only for a short time, it was still totally worth it. I spent some time taking care of important errands which I will touch upon next week. Today’s post is about the friends I saw 🙂 I swear I never tired of hearing people exclaim – “Que milagro.!” – upon seeing me. I relished it even. It was a damn miracle that I had finally returned.!!

me and the guy with the mayan headdress

me and the guy with the mayan headdress

So Thursday eveing, I saw my friend C. and we strolled down Quinta Avenida for Caminarte. Friday afternoon, I had lunch with M. at Skinny Bikini Potatoes – amazing stuff. You can even get a surf and turf potato.! Best stuff ever. Later that day, I met up with my lovely friend P. who got me to take a photo with the actor above in the Mayan headdress.!! Why?? I have no clue except he was flirting with us and the photo seemed to be the only way to make him stop.! Or had we already had free tequila shots at that point.?! jajaja…

michelada

michelada

After the free tequila shots and photo op, P. and I found ourselves at Zenzi Beach Bar. It’s one of my favorite places for several reasons – it’s on the beach, it’s a good mix of locals, expats, and tourists. Plus, they have great micheladas.! As you can see from the photo above, that was the first order of business.! And the second…maybe the third too 🙂 P. and I spent a good deal of time catching up and laughing while we dug our toes into the soft, cool sand. I met P. when I worked at my last hotel and we too hit if off exceptionally well right away.!!

My friend P. and me at Zenzi

My friend P. and me at Zenzi

P. too had gone home to Tampico for awhile. She had just returned to Playa maybe a month before my return visit, so the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. P. is also the one who helped me translate last week’s Tecate Papas commercial. She is an amazing women and a wonderful friend. P. was also very beneficial in assisting me with some of my errands that I had to take care of during my visit. My trip would not have been complete without seeing her.!!

tacos de pescado or fish tacos

tacos de pescado or fish tacos

Of course my evening was not complete without fish tacos..!! I forgot to take a picture of the salsas – please forgive me. I was so excited to be eating the tacos, I barely got a photo of that.!! As you can tell from the photo above with P., the tequilas and micheladas probably also did not enhance my memory skills.! jaja… Next week, I will tell you more about my trip to Playa del Carmen. As well as, discuss one of the main reasons for my return.! See you tomorrow for Tecate time.!!

bienvenida de nuevo..!!

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

Upon my arrival to Mexico, I called one of my most treasured friends, C., for dinner.! We initially met at the first hotel I worked at in Playa del Carmen. Even though, we went on to different jobs, that first meeting was so amazing – we became immediate friends and confidantes. C. is a former dancer who now spreads the joy of dance to younger generations. There were a few things on our to-do list together – talk..!! A lot..!! I also wanted to eat at El Fogon – I needed authentic Mexican food.! And finally, we took a stroll down Quinta Avenida. Ah it was good to be back 🙂

buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

One of my most treasured activities when I lived in Playa del Carmen was to walk along the famed Quinta Avenida. Though of course to me, its fame was a minor reason for the stroll. Usually, Quinta was my path to work or my means home, my sojourn to dinner, or a friend’s house. Always, there were salutations to be proclaimed to the endless parade of friends, colleagues, and acquaintances met along the avenue. And constantly, there was people watching – local, expat, tourist, and even the four-legged variety.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

For tourists, Quinta Avenida showcases all the best that Playa del Carmen has to offer. The fantastic restaurants, the high end stores, the kitschy tourist markets, souvenir shops, and bars are all on full display every night of the week. Quinta Avenida is only open to foot traffic and while you can walk and shop on it during the day, it gets pretty hot outside. Very few shops or restaurants have air conditioning along the route. Therefore, evening time is the perfect time to promenade the length of Quinta Avenida. Quinta Avenida or Fifth Avenue comes alive as the sun sets over the Caribbean!

courtesy of playarealtyexecutives.com

courtesy of playarealtyexecutives.com

And no night is lovelier to saunter down this amazing pedestrian boulevard than Thursday night. And it just so happened to be a Thursday when I arrived.!! Every Thursday evening, starting at 6pm, there is an open air art show in the middle of the avenue. Artists from all over the Riviera Maya, including Playa del Carmen, display their artwork and their talent on the chic avenue. The event is open to all local artists, both Mexican and foreign nationals, who reside in the area. The art show promotes twenty city blocks of amazing and beautiful art along Quinta, beginning at Avenida Constituyentes (18th) and ending at Calle 40.

courtesy of es.holarivieramaya.com

courtesy of es.holarivieramaya.com

Caminarte, as the art show is called, is a take on two Spanish words. Caminar means to walk in Spanish; while, arte means art. The two words combined together refer to an art walk! Caminarte was conceived and organized by the 5th Avenida Xaman Ha committee in 2009. Other collaborators include the local municipality, the Riviera Maya Fidecomiso, the 5th Avenue Neighborhood Association, local businesses, various hotel groups, and the Chamber of Commerce of Solidaridad.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

The purpose of the art show is to provide free exhibition space for painters, sculptors, photographers, performing artists, and musicians. The organizers also hope to increase global awareness and exposure around Playa del Carmen’s lively and talented artistic community; while, at the same time, creating a sense of community and belonging among the artists, the locals, and the expats. Caminarte is a marvelous and versatile display of their artwork. As well as, the art show fosters a spectacular and thriving social scene.

courtesy of buyplaya.com

courtesy of buyplaya.com

I always loved walking along Quinta on Thursday evenings! And my first night back was no exception.!! In fact, I made it a point to be out that night frequently because the atmosphere was always exciting and electric. People stopped to look at the artwork, talk to the artists, and talk to each other! My favorite spot was sitting outside in front of the Starbucks on Quinta and Calle 28. The artist who used the space in front of that Starbucks created the most beautiful female faces by painting with dots or pointillism. I always wanted to buy one and take it home with me!

courtesy of playarealestatemail.com

courtesy of playarealestatemail.com

That night was sheer bliss. Talking to C., walking along Quinta, and soaking in all the magic of Playa del Carmen while enjoying Caminarte. It was a magnificent way to be welcomed back to town..!! The next time you find yourself visiting Playa del Carmen or really anywhere along the Riviera Maya, I heartily endorse a leisurely walk along Quinta Avenida. Do all the amazing activities the area has on offer – excursions, ruins, the beach, cuisine, and beverages. But while you are here, please remember also to take some time to appreciate the work of the area’s brilliant and gifted artists!

Tecate take 27

blue tecate light

Welcome to the weekend.!! Bienvenido al fin de semana.!! So I have completed my first full week of grown-up, get dressed up, and drive to a ‘real’ job in the states.!! Whew.! It has been some time, as for the last few months I have been working out of my house writing and consulting. And prior to that I worked in Mexico.! But I met a great group of people at work this week and we have been having fun.! Which, of course, is an important part of work – enjoying the company of your co-workers. However, I am still writing and consulting.!! So trying to put all those puzzle pieces together and in the right place and time has been a little discomfiting. But hopefully, I will have it figured out by next week.!

In the meantime, to bring you into your weekend in full Tecate style, I bring back our lovely Mexican parents from a few weeks ago.!! In this third installment, they are still upset that their son is drinking watered down light beer.!! And they plead with him to drink Tecate light because at least it tastes like beer.!! The father even complains that he is being ridiculed in town and being called the waterboy’s father. A reference to soccer which apparently the son doesn’t like either.!! jajaja..

Ah the joys of parent-child relationships.!!! I have included the script in Spanish and English. The commercial was a little difficult for me to follow, so I thought I would help the rest of you out with a translation 🙂 One final note, the mother keeps using the expression “que mala onda” which basically translates to what a bummer or what a bad thing. I kept it in the Spanish throughout because it is one of those expressions that does not translate exactly into the English usage as well.

I also want to thank my lovely friend P. for helping me with the translation.! Gracias amiga querida.! Enjoy your weekend.!!! Y salud a todos.!!

-la sra. – Dile algo!
-el sr. – Pues ya le dije, ya deja de tomar esas light beer, ya ni la amuelas hijo! Saben a pura aguita, sabes lo que me dicen ahora en la calle? Mira ahí va el papa del aguador!
– la sra. – Que mala onda.
– el sr. – Mira! Aguador? Aguador de que? Si a ti ni te gusta el futbol!
– la sra. – Me cae que que mala onda!
– el sr. – Hijo, si no viste mi mensaje anterior, te lo repito, toma tecate light, esa si sabe a cerveza!
Tecate light, por los que quieren mas!

– la sra. – Tell him something.
– el sr. – Since, I already told him. Stop drinking those light beers, you just screw it son! They taste like water!! Can you believe how they call me at street? Look there is the waterboy’s father!
– la sra. – Que mala onda!
– el sr. – Look! The waterboy? Which waterboy, if you dont even like soccer game!
– la sra. – Me cae, que mala onda!
– el sr. – Son, if you didn’t see my last message, I tell you again, drink tecate light, it tastes like beer indeed!
Tecate light for those who really want more!

are your squirrels squeaking?

As you all know, I started a new job this week.! Which is great 🙂 But I have been a little overwhelmed working and blogging. I will have that sorted out soon. In the meantime, I wanted to share one of my first blogs with you in case you missed it. Later on this evening, I will have a new Tecate commercial for you.! Our lovely Mexican parents return for more Tecate fun.!! Until tonight…Enjoy.!

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

Son sus ardillas chirridos??

I have always been fascinated with languages! All of them! I even had a small stint in grammar school with sign language. Communicating with others in a variety of languages and methods was exciting to me. Plays on words and alternate meanings made language so much more alive!

However, it wasn’t always this way. My first language is Croatian and I did not learn English until kindergarten. Needless to say that was a taxing experience. So much so, that I managed to forget the first 5 years of my existence. But, I rebounded quite nicely according to my mom. And after three months, I was running around the house singing – “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream” – to anyone who would listen.

This fascination also extended to clichés and idioms. I once had a boyfriend who accused me of using too many…

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