Rockefeller Center, watch out!!

Note: This entry contains video, to view the contents log on to ldatuga.blogspot.com

In an attempt to maintain a frugal lifestyle spurred by recession times, I said to myself: "This year I'm not going to decorate my apartment for Christmas, I want to stay within budget, and I will be gone for break before I know it...blablabla." Well, let me tell you, that for sure did not happen! It's so hard not to get caught up in all this Christmasy stuff, especially when one has to go to Target. It started out as an outing in quest for the basic necessities such as: toilet paper, Tide, fabric softener, you know, house stuff.
After I got what I came for, I said "why don't I swing by the Christmas section, just to look...can't hurt." Less than 5 minutes later my cart was filled with a 2 ft. fake spruce tree, garlands, lights, you name it. The moment I feared would one day come, "El Krihmah Espiri" finally hit me and this is what came out of it:
Note: Please have your speakers turned on for the video below:

El Encendido de la Navidad en Apt. 11

There's the 2 ft. spruce! And that crazy/tacky stuff all over the TV, it's left over garland decor.

I had a great time decorating!! Felt like Martha Stewart with a little bit of Bosque Magico in the mix. I'm guessing it was a good thing I had fun with my holiday decor because for the next two weeks It's going to be study central up in here.

Feliz Navidad!

Signing out, A very Christmasy LD



It's that time of year again my friends, a time to be grateful for all the good times, good people, good things, fun places and amazing technological advances that make our lives so awesome each and every day. Furthermore, its also time to be thankful for the not so good things that have challenged us at one point or another this year. But those are the good ones! From those we learn to keep moving on to bigger, better things.

Unfortunately, this year I won't be home to spend this beloved day with some of you, but in the spirit of the holiday's I thought I would share the top 20 things I am thankful for in 2009:

1) Never thought I would say this: La Caja China - makes looking forward to Thanksgiving Day so much fun! I mean the excitement my dad get's from knowing he's going to get to roast an insane amount of meat in there, and then watching how not-excited my mom gets when she finds the mess he left in the kitchen...it's just priceless. I can picture it now: "Mira el rebulu que dejo tu papa en la cocina....Laura!!! deja la computadora esa y apaga la pelicula que has visto 20 veces, ven a ayudarme!!" I am very grateful to be here in Athens, but I will definitely miss being home on Thursday.
Here are a few pics so you can get an idea of what I'm talking about:

Pop's celebrating his triumph after an entire day of burning charcoal and roasting birds

2) My family's sense of humor

3) Massachusetts, Florida, and all those other states that matter...for making Obama Prez!!!

4) The creators of "Modern Family"

5) Still being able to shoot in the 30's for nine holes, even though I don't hit the little white ball around nearly as much as I used to.

6) Advil (for when I finish playing those nine holes)

7) Being able to see Tiger and Phil standing side by side on a Sunday afternoon. One with Fedex Cup in hand and $10 million in his pocket, the other with the Tour Championship trophy, a chunk of change, and a great smile on his face.

8) Friends who send thank-you notes...not via e-mail, the handwritten kind

9) 100 calorie pack chocolate covered pretzels

10) Walgreens

11) Wine (for when the goin gets tough)

12) Funny students who text or stop in the middle of a busy intersection to let me know they "aced" the Spanish test we studied for the night before. Yes, the test where the tutor couldn't figure out the difference between preterite and imperfect.

13) Gchat conversations with my BFF

14) Professors who emphasize on racial integration in sports...over free agency, the draft system, collective bargaining and Monday night football.

15) Being able to text and share photos with my mom via mobile technology...Will 2010 be the year she gets e-mail???

16) MSNBC photojournalists who put their lives at risk to give me a sneak peak of the rest of the world

17) The PR OPEN (the day after it finished, I decided to quit my job)

18) New friends who have taken me under their wing and are in the process of teaching me all the rich history and traditions behind Georgia football

19) People who give back as much, if not more, than they put in

20) My peeps who have taken the time to read and comment on my blog...Grazie Amici!

With that said, stay safe and enjoy the four F's...Food, Family, Friends and Fiesta!! If you reside within the Continental United States, then I guess we could change the last "F" to football.

Happy turkey day!



To broil or not to broil...

Well my people, Betty Crocker-Diaz over here almost burned her kitchen down last night after a SUCCESSFUL attempt at broiling salmon. I was in a good mood yesterday, had some free time for a change so I thought "hey, why don't I cook something different." Went to Kroger, got a nice salmon filet and proceeded to figure out how I was going to cook the dead piece of fish.
I was talking to a good friend on the phone and she goes "you should broil it, I do it that way and it comes out nice and flaky". So I'm thinking "oka good idea", she cooks good, might as well follow her directions. The broiling option didn't work so well for me though. Ten minutes into the process my oven burst into flames. I'm talking about real flames, the kind that could've burnt my whole apartment down if not for my super girl scout background (troops 195, 402 and 149 respectively). I want to give a shout out to the organization that contributed to my firefighting skills...Here are some photos:

Laura Diaz in a GS uniform Circa 1993. Esa es Rosita la que me esta abrazando, por mas que lo niegue, ella tambien fue GS por muuuucho tiempo.
Hay senal??? Yes, that tall person on the right is me. dang I was (still am) tall for my age!
Go ahead, get a good laugh out of it. It's oka, even I laugh at this one.
Laura y Rosita, Circa 1993

Back to my original topic...I took the thinner half of the filet out because it was already cooked. I was waiting for the other part to cook when all of a sudden the fire started. Don't ask me how, but I stuck my heavy duty Kitchen Aid tongs in the fire pit of an oven, got the pan out and started wacking it with a towel. Before I knew it, it was over, no more fire! But then the aftermath came. The fire alarm went crazy and my apartment could've been confused for a the smoking room at the airport with the smoke cloud hanging out all over the place. Not to mention the stench! Gosh the place reaked of smoked..good thing for the febreeze/candle combo.

Fire alarm wouldn't shut up, so annoying!! I had to ventilate it with a folder to get it to stop. All this went on and nobody came to see what was happening. At least now I know I can't count on my neighbors! I'm sure I would have had some spectator action if this had happened in PR. Oh how I miss my fellow "noveleros". Here's a pic of the scene after the fire. It doesn't really justify the magnitude of the flames but it's better than nothing.
There are a few pieces of salmon around there. Those didn't survive. They got wacked by the towel.

I think that I found the cause of the fire...this burnt piece of aluminum foil was found crumbled at the bottom of the oven...crazy!!

In the end, everything worked out. I got to eat my dead fish with some veggies on the side. I was so nervous I ate the thing in like 2 minutes, didn't get to enjoy the flavor or anything. No heavy cooking in today's agenda. Maybe a sandwich...I need /miss Costco's microwaveable everything!
Signing out,
Betty Crocker-Diaz


Just the Two of Us: Part Deux

Directions: Esto es una continuación de Just the Two of Us…Part I. Le recomiendo que lean el blog anterior para que estén al día con el recuento.

Salimos del beauty luego de 3 horas y 15 minutos. Vi un steak & shake, vire en U. Tuve que parar a comprarme un jr. milkshake para aliviar el stress de operación si plancha/no plancha.

Mmm tasty…Después de hacer el desarreglo semanal me fui a J. Crew a ver si conseguía “corporate world” clothes. Hay varias presentaciones en agenda durante las próximas semanas y había que aliviar la escasez del couture apropiado. Entre y me fui derechita hacia el clearance rack. Mission accomplished once again, now I was off to “In the Heights”. Como no tenía planes para el viernes social (like I ever do), me decidí tirar aunque fuera sola. No podía dejar pasar la oportunidad.

FYI: Cuando estoy de camino recibo 2 llamadas y un txt de par de amigos de mi clase para ver si quería janguiar. Uhhggg, llevo meses esperando entrar en el “circle of trust” de esta gente y el día que me invitan no estoy. La Ley de Murphy.

Salí de los outlets, me monte otra vez en la guagua y arranque para ATL. A todo esto, mi pobre fondillo no había visto la luz del día. Entre el beauty y las vueltas llevaba como 6 horas sentada. Cuando llegue a downtown tuve tomar la decisión del parking. 1. estacionarme en el mismo del Fox Theater y pagar $20 o 2. pagar $5 y caminar 1 milla. Me fui con la opción maseta ($5) and let me tell you it was a bit scary walking down those streets. Llegue al teatro, me compre una copita de vino pa’ rápido y me senté (AGAIN) a esperar que comenzara.

No permitian camaras asi que me escondi en una esquina para tomarme esta foto con mi copita de vino de $7.50 (it was soo worth it).

Los que estábamos en la sección “nosebleed” tuvimos suerte que el teatro no estaba full. Tan pronto apagaron las luces un grupo selecto, sin mencionar nacionalidad, (yours truly included) cayo en los asientos de $100.

En fin, el musical estuvo buenísimo, "a must see”. Tiene de todo, happy/sad...me reí en cantidad y tengo nuevas ideas para el beauty de “Mecedes y Portia Latrina”.

De regreso al carro, cogí un taxi, no iba a caminar sola por ahi ni loca. Y si te estas preguntando, SI me salió más barato con todo y taxi.

All in all, it turned out to be a pretty fun day after all. Hanging out by myself wasn't that bad. I mean, I would've rather had any of you present...but hey, such is life in the usa.

Keep it real my people. Miss you!! Until next time.


Just the Two of Us...Part I

Directions: If you are reading this in your email, go to the link: http://ldatuga.blogspot.com/, watch the video clip and then begin reading.

Sobrevivimos (mi cabello y yo) el momento más esperado de la semana: Dominican Hair Salon by Massiel. Ustedes saben muy bien lo mucho que sufro por el bienestar de mi pelo cuando salgo de PR. Esta vaina no es fácil! Pero gracias a los químicos mágicos y a la experiencia de Fifa (la jefa de Dominican Hair Salon), el manejo de mi cabello va a ser un poco más cómodo.

Sin embargo, el proceso fue (y siempre ha sido) arduo. Llegue al lugar después del medio día y estuve hasta las 3 pm!! Las chicas del clan me observaron un ratito pero no tardaron mucho en acercarse para iniciar conversación.

Fifa: Me toca el brazo y pregunta “You espeak espaneesh?”
Laura: “uhum” (a todo esto yo estaba leyendo de lo mas tranquilita)
Fifa: “Y tu ere’ hispana?”
Laura: “uhum”
Fifa: “Claro, yo sabía, si con esa carita.”
Laura: Smiles. But what she’s really thinking is, “WTF? lady, leave me alone”

Ahí termino nuestra conversación y Levi comenzó con el texturizado. El ambiente estaba de lo más relax y por supuesto tenían a la Dra. Nancy y su famoso show “Quien Tiene la Razón” a todo volumen. De momento Levi sale y dice “Si no e’ novela lo que ponen en la tele, e’ bochinche!” y ahí rompieron a discutir el caso de la Dra. Nancy. Par de horas después, llego la hora del blower y a Levi (my favorite) le llego una clienta, por lo tanto, me pasaron a la silla de Fifa.

Fifa: “Como te gusta que te quede?”

Laura: “Straight. Chino. Lacio. Sin volumen”

Fifa: jajaja oka

Laura: “Blower primero y después plancha.”

Fifa: (Con un tonito medio bitchy) “Oh pero la plancha no se puede pasar después del relaxer.”
Laura: (Casi me da un ataque) “Porque no?? El proceso es standard para este tratamiento, claro que se puede pasar la plancha.”
Fifa: “Es que la plancha maltrata mucho lo cabello. Este es tu color natural?”
Laura: Si
Fifa: "No está feo, pero se ve maltratado. Eso es por la plancha."
Laura: gives her a fake “surprised” look. (pero en realidad estoy pensando: WTF doña!! No chaves mas, yo se que tengo el pelo pajoso, déjame tranquila y pásame la plancha esa que tienes ahí!!!)

En resumidas cuentas, me tomo un rato convencerla y salí con la oreja izquierda achicharrada (creo que fue de maldad) pero la misión fue cumplida. Pelo planchado, texturizado, lacio, chino at last!!! A la verdad que fue una experiencia única. Me resolvieron, pero no se si vuelva, como extraño a Rolando Montes!