Archive for March, 2007

QotD: Women Making History

March is National Women's History Month.  What women are making history today?

A women that I have the utmost respect and admiration for is Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah Winfrey's Biography (from oprah.com)

Through the power of media, Oprah Winfrey has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world. As supervising producer and host of the top-rated, award-winning The Oprah Winfrey Show, she has entertained, enlightened and uplifted millions of viewers for the past two decades. Her accomplishments as a global media leader and philanthropist have established her as one of the most respected and admired public figures today.

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Coolness: Condiment Silver Sleeves

Found these via notcot.  I think they are cool!  Theo Fennel has designed lids and sleeves for popular condiments.  There is even one for Hagen Daz and Red Bull.  These things will definitely glam up the dinner table!

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QotD: My Dream Room

In your ultimate dream house, what does your favorite room look like?

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Ramblins

  • I haven't posted since I returned from Barcelona, primarily because I spent most the days following my return sick with a cold.  It was probably due to the erratic weather here in Dallas – high 70's one day, 40's the next.  Coupled with the germ fest on the airplanes returning home.  Anyway, if there is a "better" time to get sick – it was after my vacation versus during, so although I felt like crap, I was happy that it didn't come while I was in Spain.
  • Work was HELL last week!  I have an account that is extremely high maintenance and is really getting on my nerves.  Adding to the fact I had a lot of follow-up because I was on vacation made for very long work days.  I have a love/hate relationship with my job – last week I really HATED it.
  • Been catching up on my Tivo'd shows.  One issue we are experiencing since the move is that because I purchased HD (High Definition) flat screen televisions, we upgraded our Direct TV to the HD (High Definition) package. Start/Sidenote ** if you have never watched a show in HD you are missing out!!!! The picture is fabulous!!! Seriously, I did not know TV could look so good. Down side is, not all programming is currently available in HD. However, there are quite a few that are.End/Sidenote **  The HD Tivo cost around $800 bucks!  It's crazy, seriously crazy.  Because of this, we have only one Tivo and it is on the regular TV in the office.  So, I can only watch my recorded shows in the office, which after spending all day/week in my office working I do not want to come in here on the weekend – you feel me?  Yes, I could put a regular Tivo on the flat screen TVs in the other rooms, but the quality won't be as good as it is on the regular TV.  Why? Because as I stated the flat screens are HD TVs and they are receiving an HD signal which, on the HD enabled stations you get the wonderful picture.  On the channels that are not HD the picture is not as great – actually worse in my opinion, than on a regular TV.  So, if I hook up a regular Tivo (non HD capable) to record shows – the non HD channels will look crappy anyway, and the HD channels would look crappy too because I'm using a non HD capable DVR.  Oh well, guess I will have to wait for the prices to drop on the HD DVRs…..
  • Spring is upon us in Dallas, tha Azelas are blooming, the Bradford Pear trees are covered in there beautiful white flowers and the pollen has covered my vehicle :)  My car looked lime green.  After a nice washing the car has been restored to it's normal color of white.  Of course, it starting sprinkling last night!
  • C and I visited the blue and yellow home furnishing uber mecca, also know as Ikea yesterday afternoon.  Went to purchase three TV benchs – one of the colors that I needed was out of stock, so I got one for the living room and one for T's room.  As always, came out with more than I intended on buying in the first place – Glasses, towels, knives, bar table with bar stools!  It's all cute though 🙂
  • Gearing up for my next vacation, this summer….. Belize!
  • Caught up on some movies this weekend….  I purchased a few DVDs for the flight to Barcelona, we only watched one, so "C" and I watched some of them this weekend:

  

Sucked!  This one was mainly for T because she likes Jon Heder of Napolean Dynamite fame.  It contained a lot of grody humor like booger eating and stuff.  T didn't even like this one.

Very good!! Great ending.  I like Jodi Foster a lot, however I didn't like her character in this movie.

Sandra Bullock looked GOOD in this movie!  Keanu needs to just stick with The Matrix.  I enjoyed the "look" of this movie, but the story was far fetched and confusing!

RV

Sucked! I thought this was going to really be funny.  Perdictable and lack luster.  It really wasn't funny.  I got so bored with it, I put on my earphones, fired up iTunes and started reading blogs.

  • Nuff said.

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Reflecting on Barcelona

We made it back last night after a 2 hour flight from Barcelona to London, and another 10 hours from London to Dallas!  Our bags took the scenic route as they got detoured through Chicago, long story – don't ask!  American Airlines delivered them this morning.

I MISS BARCELONA!!!  

Although there for only a short time, I am blessed to have had the experience.  I enjoyed spending the quality time with T, as she is becoming a young woman I'm hoping that this trip will be one of many that she can appreciate and reflect upon in her adult life.

I learned a lot about the people and culture of Spain, specifically Catalunyians and their pride in heritage and the preservation of individualism from the rest of Spain.  I was told that Spain is a very conservative country, more so than most other countries in Europe.  One of our tour guides told me that there are no black communities in Barcelona, and that other than from tourism – people in Barcelona have not had a lot of exposure to black folks.

I have traveled abroad quite a bit, and being an African American in the US I'm very conscious of racism, and pay particular attention as to how I am being received.  I have to say, I felt no form of discrimination during my vacation in Barcelona.  Even when visiting the small towns of Girona, Pals and Costa Brava which are far away from the big city of Barcelona – racism was not apparent. 

I live in a country, state and town where black people have been all my life and I have felt racism more times than I care to remember.

As the saying goes……here is no place like home!  Spain made us feel very welcome, for that I will always be grateful!

Link to Barcelona Tabblo

 

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Barcelona: Retail Therapy….sorta

Current time in Barcelona 3:30 AM…

Well Mr. Sandman robbed T and I of most of the day, as we didn't get out until about 5:00 pm today.  I think yesterday's excursion did us both in.  We grabbed a quick dinner – nothing real extravagant, I had chicken with fries and a salad, T had a beef steak that came with fries and an egg (I thought that was different).  The favorite part of my meal was the sangria!!!! Boy was it good, so refreshing.

After dinner we headed down La Ramblas, and decided to detour off to one of the adjacent streets.  We discovered a slew of stores and an underground mall.  We picked up a few small items, however things here are incredibly expensive primarily due to the terrible exchange rate.  I've been really careful about what I purchase because of this.  I wanted to bring back a lot of stuff for folks back home, unfortunately there gift will be me!!! 

An interesting thing happened… on the way from the hotel a black man approached us saying he saw us yesterday afternoon and wondered where we were from.  He was a well dressed, clean cut man that spoke with an African accent.  I told him we were from the US.  He said I noticed you because, I don't see many black people here, and when I do it makes me really happy!  He went on to say, that he noticed how tall we are (I'm 5 '8, T is 5 '9 not that tall to me) and that his sisters are very tall – so we reminded him of them.  In chatting with him, he said that he was here visiting before returning to Ghana, but had lived in Barcelona for about 5 years or so.  He was extremely nice, we shook hands and went on our separate ways.

Ironically, after about five and a half hours we walked back to the hotel on the very crowed La Ramblas we ran into him (he told me his name – but of course I don't remember it) again! He greeted us like old friends saying that he "felt lonely" in his hotel so decided to get out.  I told him we were headed back, he looked disenchanted.  We chatted for a bit, and he reached out to shake my hand, I shook his hand and he said "you have a strong handshake!" I wondered **is that good or bad** As T and I walked away she said "mom, I think that guy likes you!   And, I got the impression he wanted to hang out or something"   I said "me too!"

On another note, I had read that Joan Miró who is a famous painter actually created part of the popular street La Ramblas and that many thousands people walk right over a Miró on the Ramblas every day and they don’t even know it!  That was my challenge to locate the Miro on this street. 

T and I have traveled up and down La Ramblas every day since we arrived in Barcelona.  The street is always crowed with people!  I looked down for it every chance I could to no avail.  Finally, yesterday morning we had to meet our guide for the Girona, Pals and Costa Brava excursion at Placa de Catalunya at 8:30 in the morning.  Since Placa de Catalunya connects to the southern end of La Ramblas I decided we would take the 15 min walk from the hotel. 

As we walked briskly down the center pedestrian walkway guess what we stumbled upon?  Yep, the Miro!!!

It is a large circular colored mosaic tiling.  It was actually partially covered with a sign, which kind of sucked.  It’s pretty cool though.  I found his signature on one tile close to the outer edge on the design. Of course I took photos of it, however I will include a picture that includes the complete design that I found on the web.  Tomorrow we head to London, then back to Dallas.

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Barcelona: Excursion to Girona, Pals and Costa Brava

Current time 10:04 PM

Another awesome day in Spain!!! The city is exciting, but I wanted to experience life outside the city.  I thought the tour of some of the coastal towns would be a nice getaway.  Girona is about 45 minutes from Barcelona, Pals, 15 minutes from Girona, and Costa Brava another 20 minutes from Pals.  We had a 8:30 pickup so it was an early morning start.  The tour lasted all day – wrapped up around 6:00 pm tonight. 

First stop was Girona…
Girona has survived many sieges in the course of its history – primarily because of its location on the coast. It is only about 30 minutes from France and back in the day was attacked quite often by them since it was the first city accessible in Spain.   Girona was founded in around 76 BC. It has been dominated by many different peoples, and as a result has a lot of architectural heritage. The Cathedral, founded in 1038 is on the site of a former Mosque. The river Onyar divides the city in two, separating the old town from the new town – each side has tons of stores for shopping.  The people were extremely friendly and seemed to welcome our presence!

Next stop Pals…

Pal is a small city that grew from a fortress. The name of the city comes from palus, the Latin word for marshlands, because it was once surrounded by them, although they have since dried out.  The city is very quaint and cozy – and to me had a medieval feel to it.  Not a lot people were in town when we visited.  The guide said most work in Girona or surrounding cities.  T and I took pictures by their front doors, of their lemon tress, posing on their steps – basically, any and everywhere.  And we had a funky good time doing it.

Last stop Costa Brava…
Definitely the best of the three!  The panoramic views of the Mediterranean Sea are out of this world!!! The place is just plain cute!!! Of course all the restaurants there serve primarily seafood – which is right up my alley :)  We ate the fresh catch for lunch.  The guy brought the fish out (don't remember the name) it was huge!!! it was baked in white wine, surrounded by potatoes, tomatoes and onions.  Super fresh and delicious!!!  After lunch T and I walked on the beach **sand hurts under your feet and between your toes**  she filled up a bottle with sand to bring home.

It was a very long day, but we enjoyed every minute of it!

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