Saturday, September 11, 2010

Coffee Shop Nights and Days Full of Running

I've been busy in the best of ways. I've got a pretty decent amount of students now, though I could definitely take on a few more, especially after dropping one especially creepy student. I vaguely mentioned that episode in the last post, let's just say it was really unfortunate and I might start carrying mace.

I've also been working really hard to get Travelated ready. One night last week I had a coffee shop night in my house. How do you like my set up of a laptop, instant cappuccino and medialunas bought from the bakery on the way home? I realize I have never fully explained Travelated so I shall do so now. Obviously, it's a website focused on travel. Alex is the founder and does the web design as well as the advertiser relationships. Emily is the Editor, she writes original articles and also hunts out/edits traveler submissions. I am a Staff Writer and the Travel Advisor, which means I get to write a lot of articles and also serve as the the expert on traveling and living abroad. I also help out with advertiser stuff and will be getting into that more as the site grows. The hope is to get users to regularly visit the site and also sign up for our monthly newsletter, which will consist of travel deals (like coupon codes and discounts), travel blogs, helpful travel tips, etc. We also allow comments on all posts and traveler article submissions- so if you would like to write something for us please let me know!

I'm really proud of this site and excited about it. I know I always take on too much but this is something I really love doing. I hated working in Search Engine Marketing before because I hated how the company I worked for managed it and I also hated the company. However, I was always pretty good at my job. I'm pumped to be working with Alex again, who was always my best coworker at Announce Media and Emily is a really talented writer and knows how to get the site attention. The articles are fun to write, this part of my working life hardly feels like work. We're hoping to do a big push for publicity next month so I will be bothering all of you to help me out.

I also started working as a Personal Assistant. I actually enjoy it. I work for a woman named Janet, or really the entire Choi family, Janet, Doug and their 2 children Alyosha (3) and Soren (7). They're a Korean-American family living here, they speak Spanish but not completely fluently and they are also just busy, admittedly unorganized people. This week my tasks included researching deep freezers, portable air conditioners, Argentina business health insurance plans and Argentina vaccination abbreviations. This requires a lot of phone calls in Spanish and writing up reports that summarize everything I have found. I know that sounds really boring but it really forces me to use my Spanish in interesting ways. Did I know how to properly say "coverage for pre-existing conditions" before this week? I cannot say that I did. I also get to use my experience with kids because I write up detailed activities and make little educational play kits for Alyosha. I created a template that Janet loved, a completely bilingual set up, with materials needed, instructions and also a section explaining what educational or physical developmental benefit each activity has, so that both Janet and the day maid/nanny can understand the instructions and purpose. This job was made for me.

This weekend will be a pretty relaxed one and I am not the least bit upset about that. Last night I cooked myself a delicious meal, even after failing twice at the grocery store looking for ingredients. It was a rainy night so it felt perfect to stay in, watch a movie and work on new Travelated articles. I also had ice cream delivered. I love that I can order ice cream at midnight and it is at my door in 15 minutes. I also like that I caught the delivery guy practicing his dance moves outside my building. Today has been pretty active, but not in a stressful way. I slept for 9 hours, which is always glorious. I woke up, did 40 minutes of yoga then went for a 90 minute run. After showering and eating lunch I packed some lemonade and fruit and ventured back out with Padfoot. This might have been the most stressful part of my day thus far, as Padfoot has completely snapped since his arrival. He is no longer the trembling, nervous little puppy that hides from passing dogs. He is now in complete survival, aggressive mode. Any dog of any size is viewed as a deathly threat and must be barked and growled at incessantly. I can just imagine him thinking, surely the choking sensation of the collar means nothing, my master most certainly would want me to make a fool out of myself and embarrass her in the streets!
I managed to drag him to a bench a little off the main trail and he stayed calm for about 30 minutes, allowing me to get some reading done. Once he started barking at leaves blowing in the wind, I decided if was time to go home.

I had to trick him into looking at me to snap this photo. Don't let that face fool you, he is no innocent puppy. He is a barking, growling, self-choking mess.

I am now exhausted, so I will have a little coffee and snack break before going back to the grocery store so I can cook the dinner I had intended to cook yesterday. I'm also meeting up with Jorge and his dad tonight to go to a German Pub for a variety of beers and cheeses. Jorge's dad just popped in from Colombia today for a surprise visit so now I get to meet him. Should be fun!


  1. Did Padfoot have a traumatic experience while in quarantine???

  2. I don't know what happened to him. He never had to be in quarantine, just had to travel below the plane for about 9 hours. He was fine when I got him in the airport, but ever since we arrived his aggression towards other dogs has been crazy! He's fine with me in the apartment, probably because he is now allowed to sleep in my bed.

  3. He is just distrustful of Argentine dogs. That is a smart dog.