dia de los muertos 2

courtesy of beinglatino.us

courtesy of beinglatino.us

The following video beautifully exemplifies the meaning and celebration of Dia de Los Muertos or Day of the Dead.

It is a 2013 CGI Student Academy Award Gold Medal Winner Short Film HD: “Dia De Los Muertos” from Whoo Kazoo.!!

Enjoy.!!

dia de los muertos…

Since Halloween and Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead) are both just around the corner.! And since, this blog post has become the number one searched blog post in the last 2 weeks..!!! I thought it was a good time to revisit it. Enjoy.!!

howdoyousaytacoinspanish

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.!!…

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Dos Equis veintiocho

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

Feliz domingo.!! Happy Sunday.!! I hope everyone had a fabulous week.!! AND, is enjoying their weekend to the max.!! I’m sure the fabulous weather here in Chicago contributed to my having a great week at work 🙂 Plus, it’s making my weekend super amazing. The sky is blue, the air is crisp, and there is no precipitation to be found.! Luckily, I’ve also spent most of this weekend relaxing, talking to friends, dinner with my dad, and even cleaning my house which was filled with dust bunnies.!! gAsP.!!

tps 1 tps 2

Playa del Carmen is also feeling better after the week of rain and flash flooding from wannabe Hanna.! I’ve included two photos from yesterday that my lovely friend P. took. By the way, let’s all wish P. a happy birthday as today is her actual birth day.! P. provides my blog with such lovely photos since I’m not always in playa to take them.!! ¡Feliz cumpleaños P.! Espero pasala super bien tu dia.! Saludos.!!

patty

And speaking of storms, in this week’s Dos Equis’ commercial, the Most Interesting Man in the World and I have suffered a schism.!! El jefe talks about going dutch and “getting what you pay for.” Hmmmm….sounds a little sexist to me.! Don’t get me wrong, I like having doors held for me, getting flowers, and being the woman in a relationship. But what I’m averse too is someone thinking that because they bought me dinner, there’s some reward at the end of the night.! My lovely company should be reward enough 🙂 On that note, I’m gonna go have a coffee with one of my good friends.!! Enjoy the rest of your Sunday.!! Y salud.!!

did she or didn’t she.??

IMG_9238

Today was another beautiful day in para….no I mean Chicago.! Wait…. What.?? In fact, not only is it supposed to be in the seventies this weekend.! But the rest of October will be warm too.! I think the earth may have shifted on it’s axis.! The above photo was taken on my way to work as I passed Trump Tower.! Even the clouds were behaving 🙂

courtesy of facebook.com/novedadesdeQuintanaRoo

courtesy of facebook.com/novedadesdeQuintanaRoo

So what did paradise or Playa del Carmen look like.? Well…wet for starters. Tropical Storm Hanna never got her act together. In fact, she completely fizzled as she moved inland. But she didn’t leave with a whimper…more like she left with a wailing and a wringing of dirty, wet handkerchiefs.! Heavy rain was expected all over the Yucatán Peninsula including playa bringing anywhere from 5-10 inches of rain in most places.! And almost 15 inches in others; thereby, assuring the area of flash flooding.! I’ve included some photos of the flooding…

courtesy of sipse.com

courtesy of sipse.com

courtesy of sipse.com

courtesy of sipse.com

I’ve heard it’s going to stop raining sometime tonight. Which means, this weekend, playa will once again be a paradise and look this beautiful 🙂 So watch out Chicago.!

courtesy of facebook.com/novedadesdeQuintanaRoo

courtesy of facebook.com/novedadesdeQuintanaRoo

tropical depression nine

Pic-10222014-001

I took the above picture on my way to work today.!! The sky was so blue.!! That crisp, rich blue I so love.!!! The John Hancock Building with its rigid, uniform black made a vividly stark contrast to the enigmatic blue of the sky.! Very few clouds dotted the sky. And the air was refreshing. It almost made we want to skip, even though it was a little cold 🙂

courtesy of wunderground.com

courtesy of wunderground.com

In contrast, today in Playa del Carmen, it’s all stormy.!! Tropical Depression Nine is thinking about transforming into Tropical Storm Hanna.!!! So far, she (the storm) can’t seem to get her act together. If she continues to be poorly organized, then Playa just suffers through a few days of rain. However, if this cabrona gets her act together, then that means heavy winds, torrential rains, loss of power, no alcohol sales (yeah.! just when you need it the most.!) and possibly a few days off from work. Here’s hoping sunny skies return to Playa soon 🙂

courtesy of Facebook.com/PlayadelCarmen.RivieraMaya

courtesy of Facebook.com/PlayadelCarmen.RivieraMaya

Dos Equis veintisiete

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

I had the MOST amazing week and weekend.!! For starters, I returned to work at my former job.! Yay me 🙂 It was great to be back in the office; as well as, being back in the midst of the hustle and bustle of downtown Chicago.!! In the office, many people welcomed me back and greeted me warmly.!! It was wonderful.! My master’s degree being utilized once again gave me warm fuzzies 🙂

Also, one of my really good friends was in town from D.C. this weekend. So, it was a non-stop roller coaster ride of activity. We talked, we walked, we dined, we drank, we saw, and we conquered Chicago.!! The men in this town didn’t stand a chance.! jajaja…. It was nice to have my wing girl back in town. I can’t wait till she returns for good.! In this week’s Dos Equis’ commercial, the Most Interesting Man in the World talks about wingmen.! Apparently, el jefe doesn’t seem to need one.! But does that come as a surprise to anyone.?! No.! jajaja… Have a great week everyone.!! Enjoy.!! Y salud.!!

what do you mean I have to take a pregnancy test.?!?

courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

courtesy of huffingtonpost.com

As many of you know from reading my blog, I have been on the constant look out for my dream job since my return from Mexico.! It appears not only were there too many people looking for too little jobs, but most companies had a hard time comprehending why I went to Mexico.! Somehow my master’s degree in international non-profit work seemed to get ‘lost in translation’. Finally last spring, I found my dream job.! But alas, it was only short term contract work. So I was back to the drawing board this September and it was as painful as I remembered.

No one does in person applications anymore.! Everything is online.!! Which is convenient because you can always apply in your pj’s at any hour of the day while eating ice cream. But at the same time, most online applications are long, boring, and tedious.! Just like gas pumps and ATM’s, none of them are similar. In some, you have to download your resume; while, in still others, you have to list every single job you have had in long hand.!! Geesh.!! And of course, you somehow have to learn which key words to use on your resume so the online gate keeper will pick your resume.!! I think I stood a greater chance of winning the lottery.!!

courtesy of psdtemp.net

courtesy of psdtemp.net

In this day and age of online job applications, nothing works like good old fashioned networking. The dream job I was hired for in the spring was due to networking. I was recommended by fellow grad students. Even the job I started working at after the dream job ended was through a friend of a friend. And now, I was rehired by the same dream job company just in a different department.!! It’s been a year of highs and lows that’s for sure.

And I kept thinking, it wasn’t this hard in Mexico. And then I thought about it some more and decided “oh yes, it was.” Every job I had in Mexico, I was hired because a friend who already worked there recommended me.!! Every job.!! The only difference was, it was all done in person and not online. So there would be a flurry of phone calls, meetings over drinks, more phone calls, and then meetings at the actual job. And of course, let’s not forget the hassle of getting an immigration visa.!! Henceforth referred to as “the Spanish Inquisition” or “Run, La Migra is coming.!” I promise that is a blog post onto itself.!!

What was also crazy about working in Mexico is that ‘isms’ of all types abound.!! Sexism, ageism, lookism (not sure if that’s an ‘ism’, but it exists.!). Everyone is required to put their photo on their resume.!! So, the HR manager or the owner of the company already knows what you look like before they call you.!! And trust me that works if you are a pretty (or handsome) twentysomething hottie, but not so much as you age or if you have never been a hottie.!! No one even gets to see your personality before you are summarily dismissed.!! Then, of course, there’s the age factor which you also have to list on your resume.! If not, they will ask.!! Awkward.!! Two of my really good friends in Mexico were beautiful women, but they were over 50 years of age. There were so many jobs, they were never even called in for an interview.!!

courtesy of forbes.com

courtesy of forbes.com

But I realized this is also sort of the norm here in the States nowadays with LinkedIn or Facebook. Many prospective employers will Google you to find out what you look like, what you do on Saturday nights, etc.!! So the U.S. is not really that dissimilar from Mexico. Yes, yes of course, we have laws against that sort of discrimination; but, you have to know about it in order to be able to go to court. And sometimes, getting another job is easier. Sometimes.

However, the one request which really floored me in Mexico was the pregnancy test.!! One of the hotels I worked for required that all female employees take a pregnancy test to see if they were pregnant.!! Every single Western woman I worked with at the hotel (U.S., England, France, Canada, Australia) balked at the request.! Of course, the RH (Recursos Humanos) Department pretty much told us – no test, no job. So of course we all went to the correct pharmacy on Juarez Avenida and took the test. All of us came back with negative results and were hired. That type of test would never fly in the U.S.!! In fact, you can’t even ask a woman if she’s expecting or really planning a family during a job interview.!! It just felt like a huge invasion of our privacy.!

The crazy thing is I still don’t know to this day what would have happened if any of us had come back with positive results.! Would we have been hired or not.!?! No one ever explained that part of the contract to us.! So whenever I think that looking for a job is difficult, I remind myself at least I don’t have to jump through the outdated hoops of Mexico.! And yes, I might have to explain to the interviewer why my master’s degree took me to Mexico.! But at least, I’m not being chosen because I’m cute – which I am 🙂 lol… Or because I’m under sixty – which I am. Or because I’m not with child.! Which at any time I could or could not be, but it’s really none of your business.! Here in the States, I’m being chosen because my qualifications fit the job criteria.! And my dream job which hired me back did just that.! How wonderful is that.!! Happy Friday everyone.!! Enjoy your weekend 🙂

the adventures of Ethel…

Ethel and my friend K.'s daughter

Ethel and my friend K.’s daughter

One of my favorite places to eat in Playa del Carmen is at Skinny Bikini Potatoes.!!! They have the best stuffed potatoes including ones topped with vegetables or chicken breasts or steak and even lobster.! They are delicious and economical.! Plus they have some of the best sauces to top off your stuffed potatoes – chipotle, cilantro, garlic, blue cheese, and habanero.!! And you guys know how I feel about sauces.!! Yummy.!!!

But the restaurant’s claim to fame is their almost 8 foot tall skinny bikini girl named Ethel.! Ethel sits outside the restaurant mostly enjoying the sun and trying to keep Lester the lobster from pulling down her bikini top.! jajaja… However, Ethel also sometimes decides to go hang out with the locals and tourists and disappears for days at a time. One time, she disappeared for 2 months.!! Only in playa.!! jajaja…. I’ve included some Facebooks posts from the last Ethel adventure.! Enjoy 😉

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

August 6, 2013 Facebook post:
Last night some one stole or borrowed the skinny girl for “A NIGHT ON THE TOWN” if any one has seen her at the beach or around playa del Carman please bring her back or call us. Reward offered.

Skinny Bikini Potatoes Facebook response:
YES WAY! Its the third time. first time the cleaning girl found her in a room she was in someones room at the Reina Roja hotel. second time she was having a drink at the outside bar with Mr Senor Frog himself..

Skinny Bikini Potatoes response:
And oh i forgot police brought her back for public indecency once (her bra fell off) on 5th ave,,

August 9, 2013 Facebook post:
whoever took Ethel please can you return her tonight!!

August 9, 2013 Facebook post:
No Ethel tomorrow we are replacing her with a live real mermaid.. You have been warned thief!

August 29, 2013 Facebook post:
We still can’t find our Skinny Girl. She went on a date and never came back!

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

October 31, 2013 Facebook post:
Ethel finally came home battered and beaten up perfect gift for Halloween.

November 13, 2013 Facebook post:
Ethel (if you did not know her name) lost her arm to a flesh eating transvestite recently, but we still love her. After all she has the best Che Che’s in all of playa.. ask the lobster who’s name is Lester

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

courtesy of facebook.com/skinnybikinipotatoes

Dos Equis veintiséis

courtesy of dosequis.com

courtesy of dosequis.com

Feliz domingo.!! Happy Sunday.!! Hello everyone and welcome to the weekend 🙂 I have to say this has been an intense week for me.!! But in a good way.!! After I started working that new job I had gotten 2 weeks ago, my dream job called me a few days ago and offered me a position at their company.!!!! Yay me.!!! I start this week 🙂 Super excited…and relieved. And while I am grateful for that job because it helped me pay the bills, it wasn’t my passion. So onward…

Which is also the way I feel about all the men who have been flirting with me too.! It’s been nice to be appreciated. It reminded me that I am cute and funny and witty. But, there is nothing like the passion and love you feel for one person and they feel for you. Nothing. Which brings us to this weekend’s Dos Equis’ commerical. The Most Interesting Man in the World believes that “most women would not consider speed a virtue.” jajaja… And once again, I find myself agreeing with him.!! Could it be possible that I have turned into the most interesting woman in the world.?!? Nah…just kidding.! Enjoy.!! Y salud.!!

street of dreams…

5a Ave hacia Ave Constituyentes

5a Ave hacia Ave Constituyentes

I love Quinta Avenida or 5th Avenue in Playa del Carmen.!! It’s one of my favorite streets.!! So many shops, so many restaurants, and people watching to the max 🙂 The above photo is a balcony view of Quinta Avenida and Constituyentes. It marks the halfway point between “old” 5th Avenue and “new” 5th Avenue. Please note the Olmec stone head and fountain in the center of the intersection.

Quinta Alegria courtesy of everythingplayadelcarmen.com

Quinta Alegria courtesy of everythingplayadelcarmen.com

Recently, they opened a new shopping plaza at Quinta Avenida entre Constituyentes or 5th Avenue and Constitution.! It’s called Quinta Alegria or Happy Fifth. It’s a three story plaza featuring a Sanborns department store. It was under construction when I lived there, but has recently opened up and it looks beautiful.!! I can’t wait to visit 🙂

5a Ave desde arriba hacia Ave Juárez

5a Ave desde arriba hacia Ave Juárez

Fifth Avenue technically begins at Juarez. Juarez is considered 1st Street even though all the streets after it are even numbers. The majority of bus routes begin on Juarez. One of the main taxi stands can also be located at Juarez and Quinta. As well as, the ADO bus station which services the Cancun airport, tourist sites, and other cities in Mexico. Two blocks from the same corner is the entrance to the Cozumel ferry. Juarez also contains a plethora of Mexican stores that cater to locals; while, Quinta is more focused on tourists.

Calle 12 y Ave 10 (parte trasera de la Plaza)

Calle 12 y Ave 10 (parte trasera de la Plaza)

The picture above is the back of Quinta Alegria at the corner of 10th Avenida and Calle 12. 10th Avenida is a little quieter than 5th Avenue. When I was in a hurry to get home and wanted to avoid tourists and/or didn’t have time to converse with locals, I would take this street home. Unlike Quinta, it is not a pedestrian street, so you have to navigate cars and bicycles. But I still felt like it was a quicker walk. 10th Avenue also has some nice restaurants like Sushi Ken, Como Como, and Don Sirloin just to name a few.!

Calle 12 y 5a Ave

Calle 12 y 5a Ave

Finally, Quinta Avenida and Calle 12 is on the world famous 5th Avenue, but somehow manages to be a quiet haven among the chaos. It’s near a hotel and some residences, but it’s claim to fame for me is the beautiful trees that dot the middle of the street. At night, flickering lights hanging from the trees illuminate the walkway. Calle 12 is also sometimes called Calle Corazon or Heart Street. It’s very beautiful and very romantic 🙂

Calle Corazon courtesy of  playa.info

Calle Corazon courtesy of playa.info