Category Archives: Random thoughts



Lethologica is the psychological disorder in which you forget the words, key terms, names temporarily which you want to articulate.


The term Lethologica is derived from lēthē (forgetfulness) + λόγος (logos). In Greek mythology, Lethe was one of the rivers that streamed through the realm of Hades, from which the shades of the dead were forced to drink in order to forget their past lives on earth.

Lethologica, is said to be caused of many reasons like stress, physical fitness, social interaction and base memory capacity. The psychological disorder is also considered as a lifestyle disease. The above mentioned factors affect the temporal lobe which in turn causes the sporadic functioning of episodic and semantic memory capacities.

No treatment is available for Lethologica.

Recently, while working with a student in my office hours, I was asked what a word was in Spanish so that he could complete his activity. He first grabbed the dictionary and then said “Wait, you’re much easier”. Although I laughed and usually tell my students that I’m not a dictionary and they should use the real thing, the next thing that he said was what stopped me from my usual teacherly lectures on the importance of learning words by lexical context and dictionaries. He said “Well, I mean, if it were an English word I was looking for, I wouldn’t have asked. I’ve never seen you forget a Spanish word or, if so, take more that a couple of seconds to remember one, but in English…well… But hey, at least your English grammar is good!”

I cannot deny that I am the worst culprit of forgetting my English. I do this all of the time and it really drives me nuts and I assume everyone around me. Of course I forget my Spanish, and not nearly as much vocabulary as in English, but the funny thing is, I think I more often forget English words and  experience first hand the combative relationship between language and parole. The hardest part is when trying to recall a conversation or experience in one language and communicating it in the other. This is when my third language comes out… Spanglish. I will either throw in some Spanish words, or more often then not, change word order and sentence structure in a way that mimics Spanish.  Although, I will tell you, it is actually quite normal. You will quite often hear out of my mouth: “No, no, that doesn’t function (work)”, or “I will pass (give you something) this to you later”, or “It’s a very interesting… um, how do you say ‘temporada’ (season), in my life ?  For more information on this, take a look at this article on Second Language influence in First Language Attrition.

It fascinates me, really and it makes me want to study neurolinguistics, dissect the brain and figure out why this happens. Mostly, though, it just makes me feel like I an uneducated, inarticulate one-and-a-half-lingual person who can’t quite… can’t quite… what’s the word?

My juicing adventures


Last summer I was flipping through my Netflix streaming and came upon this interesting documentary called Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead. It’s all about this guy who was dying because his diet and lack of exercise was nearly killing him. He went on a crazy juice fast for a couple months and documented his weight loss and change of health. It was amazing to see what fruits and veggies did for his life! It got me researching juicing a bit because I’ve always suffered from digestive issues…

A year and a half ago I came down with mono and it totally kicked my food allergies into high gear! I found out that I’m extremely allergic to gluten. When I eat it, I get super tired, almost like I’m drugged, I get a headache, my stomach swells up to the point that it looks like I’m 6 months pregnant (I’m not joking) and my intestines bleed!!!! I’m so sensitive that I can’t even eat pre-shredded cheese (a lot of times it has a light covering of flour so that it doesn’t stick together in the package). Even if I don’t eat gluten my stomach issues are so bad that I throw up in the morning and have crazy heart burn.

Although I wasn’t looking into starting a complete juice diet to lose 50 pounds, the more I looked into it, the more I saw how much juicing was helping those with digestive issues. I bought a juicer and fell in love! No one can eat as many fruits and veggies as we’re supposed to, but if you juice it, you can! For example, this is my typical breakfast:

There is no way I could actually eat this every morning! But, I am sure to get my fill of fruits/veggies every day. And, what it’s done for my body is amazing!! It gives me energy, I don’t throw up in the morning, my skin is more clear and I feel so much better! I usually switch off every morning with either veggie juice or fruit smoothies. I’m eating vegetables that I usually wouldn’t eat very much like chard and kale and the stems of beets.

If you have any type of digestive issue or food allergy, I would highly recommend juicing. Of course, the best thing that we could do is eat whole, fresh fruits and vegetables because of the fiber like this article says. But go back to that picture above and tell me you could actually eat that for breakfast…

I usually juice at night for the next morning. They say that it’s not ideal because so many nutrients are lost during the sitting time. But, it’s a lot better than not juicing because I don’t have time in the morning (I am NOT a morning person!!). But, if you fill your container to the very top to prevent as much oxygen as possible from getting in and store it in a dark, cold place (refrigerator), then you still get most of the vitamins and minerals.

If you’re interesting in juicing, there are a couple of things you should know. One  is that there are many types of juicers out there that vary in price drastically. My suggestion is to not buy a juicer that costs less than 100 dollars. The cheap ones usually don’t juice as well and you waste food. But, you don’t need the crazy ones that cost more that 150/200 dollars. The brand I use is the Jack Lalanne  juicers. Did you know that this dude lived to be 96 years old!!!

En fin, juicing has changed my life in such a drastic way and I highly suggest looking into it! Please don’t stop eating and see it as a crazy fad-diet. Just think about all the fruits and vegetables you could be eating!!!


check the expiration date…


So, I’ve never really been afraid of germs. I don’t particularly like being dirty, but I’m not afraid of the bacteria party happening on my hands due to said dirt. I totally believe in the 5 second rule (well, sometimes it’s a LOT more than 5 seconds), I don’t wash my fruit before I eat it, I totally use the same coffee cup two days in a row (un-washed), I will share beverages with people I barely know and I don’t mind eating that piece of gum that fell in the bottom of my purse that now has its wrapper half-off and the part that’s sticking out has bottom-of-the-purse-fuzz all over it.

Bottom-of-purse gum

Honestly, I will eat anything. As long as it’s not warm when it’s not supposed to be or smells strange I’ll eat it. I have only eaten bad meat once. It was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever done and I couldn’t get the taste (or the memory the taste) out of my mouth for a week!!! I’ve taken a giant swig of rotten milk too but neither of these experiences has made me freak out about expiration dates. I, of course, check them in the store (okay, well sometimes) but once they are in my fridge I don’t bother. So, needless to say when I heard a conversation while sitting on my front porch by two passer-byers I started to think that yes, maybe I don’t check as often as I should but THIS was a little extreme. Let’s take a look at the conversation, shall we?

Guy 1: Dude, I always check the date. That reminds me… you’re never going to believe this…. I bought a jug of water the other          day.

Guy 2: Right.

Guy 1: And I checked the date… and it was EXPIRED.

Guy 2: Wait, what?

Guy 1: No, I’m not joking. It was dated for January 14th! I mean, I’m scared now. Can I drink it, or should I throw it away?

Now, I wouldn’t go and take a giant swig from water of an unknown source but I wouldn’t think twice about checking the date on a bottle of water I had just bought… I chuckled to myself and thought that these two were the most ridiculous people I’ve ever heard. But then… I realized… “Wait, I’m totally weird and ridiculous too!”  Why? Well, because I absolutely positively will never, ever, ever under any circumstances eat yogurt from an open container that hasn’t been in my house under my surveillance. And even then it gets tricky! My husband has to have his own container of yogurt because I don’t want to share it with him. I will buy the small containers (even though they cost more in the end) for me because as soon as I open the container I have to eat it then or never return to it again. It really, really grosses me out to open a container of yogurt and think about who’s eaten out of it and how long it’s been sitting there.

Why is it that I can eat pizza that has fallen on the ground outside of Safeco Field (see below) but I can’t eat out of the same yogurt container as my own husband?

This pizza fell on the ground and we ate it anyway (no, I’m not lying)

This is why: I’m just like the expired water guy in the end… I think we all have that one weird thing that totally freaks us out!

What’s yours?

i am a professional clown!


After reading a fellow Spanish teacher’s hilarious blog post about her attempts at engaging her students during a grammar lesson on the subjunctive mood in Spanish (for those who have studied/taught this monster you know how difficult it can be…), it reminded me of all of the shenanigans language teachers have to go through to get the point across in the target language! I have begun to think of myself, not as a Spanish language instructor, but as a professional clown!

I know that one may think that language instructing is a respectable position but in reality, it is a profession that requires you to humble yourself every day and not be afraid to make a fool out of yourself! And in reality, if you don’t do these things, you’re probably doing a bad job. First of all, in order to get things across in the target language, there are a lot of charades going on and you can really get a great workout in the process! Imagine me trying to convey the meaning of the word enferma. Now, if you don’t know what this word means, imagine me holding my stomach and head at the same time and making horrible moans in between hurling sounds and doubled over….

If you haven’t guessed the meaning of this word, well, it’s sick. Ok, words like:  jump, laugh, sing, dance, to shower, kick etc. can be pretty painless to act out but think about things like: war, falling down, being in a hurry, being in love, acting “cool”, cheapskate, important, during, while, leaving from the house vs. leaving the house to go somewhere (salir de vs. salir para) mangy, ragged, ugly, etc… These can be quite difficult!

You may ask yourself why I don’t just draw things on the board. Well, I do. But anyone who knows me is aware of my not so up to par stick-figure drawings and the confusion that can ensue because of them. The other day, while teaching reflexive verbs, I drew a stick woman washing dishes and a stick woman washing her hands. When I drew two dishes on the board which were two circles with smaller circles in the middle to create dimension and aesthetic effect the following conversation took place:

Student: “Um… No entiendo… what is that?”

Me: “platos”

Student: “Platos?… What are platos?

Me: I started pretending to eat off of a plate and then pointed to my drawing.

Student: “Oh… plates…. they kind of look like… well, you know… breasts.

Me: No, they are plates. Continuamos!  (quickly erasing the boob plates)

So you see, it’s not as easy to just draw things on the board! But somehow we get around things… My clownery has included: A fake love with Antonio Banderas (who shows up in homework, quizzes and grammar explanations), dressing up as Waldo to do a real life “Where’s Waldo” exercise to demonstrate: on top of, behind, below, above etc. (My colleague was an awesome Waldo costume that passes among us and is oh so fun!) Jumping up and down, falling to the ground, singing, dancing, running around the room like a chicken with my head cut off, purposely imposing on my students’ personal space to demonstrate the personal space of Spanish speakers, showing silly pictures of myself that students must describe and generally making an ass out of myself, all for the good of language pedagogy!

Of course, the fun doesn’t stop with me.  I strongly believe in the benefits of Total Physical Response for language learning and of course force my students to make asses out of themselves as well! So, we are one big happy clown family and learn a lot of Spanish too!

¡Muy bien, clase!

fear factor


Fear: a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil,pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feelingor condition of being afraid.

I think that what a person is afraid of can tell a lot about a person. Some people live their life according to their fears and others seem to throw caution to the wind. But we’re all afraid of something, right? I don’t think that I am a person who lets fear get in my way (most of the time) but it definitely will put a kink in my day if I don’t have the cojones to just stand up and do something when I’m afraid of the outcome.

I’ve actually always been one of those people who “like” to be scared. If my mom only knew the torture I put myself through as a child with all of those scary books and horror movies (all of these activities were hidden to her…) she would have put me in shock treatment therapy right away! I don’t know what my obsession was when I was little, but I LOVED the feeling of being scared. Now, this may actually show how good I had it as a kid for I was never in actual real danger. There was never anything I actually had to be afraid of so I looked for the “thrill” elsewhere.  My life was simple, fear free and pretty tranquil. I guess instead of running to drugs and alcohol to spice it up, I got my fixes from Steven King (my 3rd and 4th grade drug of choice was watching Pet Cemetery, IT and The Shining… not that 3rd and 4th graders are on drugs…).  I also was quite the daredevil. When I was 8 years old I jumped off of a 20 ft. diving platform at a water park. I also spent summers as a child jumping off the bridges at Cove Palisades.  I loved roller coasters and I always got sad when I was too young or short to go on the scary rides.  I also started a club with my friends modeled after the T.V. show “Are You Afraid of the Dark?”. We would climb into a clearing in some bushes near our house, place a flashlight (couldn’t start a campfire like we really wanted to) and told scary stories in the dark.  I loved ghost stories and always wanted a real encounter with one. When I got older and was able to drive, my cousin and I would go on ghost hunts regularly. We would research hauntings in the area and try and provoke some spirit to come out of the woods to scare us. I slowly grew out of my “evil spirit” and dare devil thrill seeking antics the older I got.

I have, however, come to realize that I hold onto some pretty real fears. Most of them are pretty silly but they scare the crap out of me! If I let these get the better of me, things can go down hill pretty fast. Below is a list of things that I am afraid of.

1. Spiders: Well, I actually have a strong fear of any creepy crawly if it is congregated in a group of other creepy crawlies.  You see, this all started when I was a child sitting on our swingset with my brother (now I’m sounding like my mother who has an childhood anecdote to explain all of her adult behaviors) who told me the earwigs we found on the swing set would crawl into my ears at night and eat my brain and lay eggs. I actually, to this day, am afraid of insects because I think that they are conspiring against me to attack! And don’t laugh, but I have experiences that tell me that they are capable of it and they are smarter than we think!!! Watch out for those little suckers if they are in groups… they’ll getcha!

2. Rejection (everyone has Daddy issues, right?)

3. Public Speaking: Yes, I know I’m a teacher and speak in front of over 90 students a term but that’s completely different! (I know my fellow teachers are nodding in agreement when they see this).

4. Death: I am not actually afraid of my own death, but rather the death of others that I love. This I think comes from some of those abandonment and rejection issues but it is one of those things that freaks me out! If someone I love is getting on a plane, the worst things go through my head.

5. Public Bathrooms: I actually wet myself in the 5th grade because I didn’t want to use the bathrooms at school. Yes, I have gotten over this enough to actually use them… That experience helped quite a bit! haha

Now, before you think I’m a crazy person, think about the things that you are afraid of. I’m willing to bet that a good chunk of them are irrational.  But I think that one thing we all fear is the unknown. What will our futures bring us? Am I making the right decision by taking this risk? Will things work out the way I plan them to? The thing is though, I think we should all be afraid of NOT taking those risks. Life has its way of working itself out in a nice way. I tend to not regret things because I know that whatever the outcome, I’ve learned something. Even if not so pleasant things come out of the risks that I take, I know that the experience of taking the risk far outweighs the negative outcomes.  I don’t want to sit around and think “what if”. That is one fear that I do want to influence my life. I want to go out on a limb and put myself out there. If I don’t, I run the risk of regretting not taking those leaps, of not risking comforts of the known. I don’t want to look back on my life and say I was too afraid to make changes.

I know that the changes that I’m planning for my life now are good. I know that even though they are scary that things will work out. If they don’t, I can always change things to make it better. But if I don’t go out on that limb, I risk the scary, scary life of boredom, complacency and mediocracy. World, here I come!!!

supernatural powers


I’ve been thinking about superhero powers lately… Yes, I know what you’re thinking. Just roll with me for a second!

My husband, Patrick, and I have just started streaming the T.V. show “Heroes” and quickly became huge fans! Yes, I know it was on a while ago but we never got into it until now.  The show is about these seemingly random strangers that find themselves blessed/cursed with super powers.  The onset of these powers can destroy the world but it’s up to the characters to use their powers for good and save the world (save the cheerleader, save the world… just had to throw that in). The characters on the show can fly, make fire, run with superspeed, heal, read people’s minds, put thoughts into people’s heads, time travel, steal other people’s powers, etc. Of course one power isn’t better than the other and the only thing that makes someone bad is their choice in using said power. So it got me “casually” thinking about what type of super power I would have. It wasn’t anything serious, just a thought…

Then, in the Spanish class that I’m teaching, we are talking about hypothetical situations in the present and asking things like: If you had a super power what would it be? Because of my recent streaming television adventures, I got excited about thinking on this. Of course I didn’t let my students know what a dork I am and just how much I enjoyed this particular hypotheticality.  I held in all of my newly forming thoughts on this particular topic and pretended to listen to them while really I was imagining my own powers…

So what would my power be? Well, I’m glad you asked.  At first, I just thought about what the best powers would be and what I would do with them. Honestly it was a really hard list to come up with but I will share with you my top three choices.

1. Touch of Gold: With this, I would be super rich and be able to travel wherever I wanted, whenever I wanted and still have the means to see my family often. I, of course, would donate a lot of money to special causes as well and make sure that everyone I love had what they needed.

2. Invisibility: With this power I would spy on people and find out when people are really telling the truth or not or find out if they are up to an evil plan. I could save the world by breaking up some pretty evil plans out there!

3. Time travel: Oh this sounds like the most fun.  Honestly, I don’t have too many regrets so I wouldn’t really go back to change anything. But, I would go to the future and use the information to win a bet or the lottery. I could also go to the past and tell everyone how messed up the futre is and if they only would change this one decision things wouldn’t have to end up a certain way.

Then, I got to thinking about all of the bad things that could come out of these.  If I had the touch of Gold then I would probably give everyone gold because I wouldn’t want anyone to go without.  And then, since everyone had all this access to gold it wouldn’t have any value anymore and we’d all be back to where we started. There is also the chance that I could be like Hurley in Lost and hate the fact that I had all of this money all of a sudden and see it as a curse instead of a blessing…

If I was invisible then I would probably turn rotten. I could do all of these things in private but call others out their secrets. I would have some sort of god complex and just be miserable to be around.  No one would ever trust me because they would think that I was spying on them all of the time…

If I time traveled I wouldn’t really learn from my mistakes.  The reason I don’t have many regrets in my life is because I know that everything that has happened has made me who I am today.  I would love to be able to go back in time and stop me from hurting people but then our relationships would be different because there wouldn’t have been any hard times to go through together…

I don’t think anyone would ever choose the right power for themselves. They  would come to us naturally and spring out of our existing personalities.  It just has to work that way. No one would ever choose the right power and they would end up ruining themselves and a whole lot more.  So then I decided to change the way I was thinking about this whole super power thing.  What would come out of me even if I chose it or not? I decided that I there must always be two possible powers for each person. One is the villain power that could emerge if someone is bad and the other is a good power that they only use to help people with. First I’ll talk about my villain power.

If I were a villain I think that I would have the ability to sew people’s mouths shut. I know how morbid that sounds but we’re talking about villains and personality flaws here, people. I think this would be my power because whenever anyone says something really mean to me, I get really angry and wish that I could do just that, sew their mouth shut!  This would be bad  because it’s actually pretty easy to hurt my feelings so their would be a lot of sewing. I’m pretty sure that everyone I know would have their mouths sewn shut and then I wouldn’t have anyone to talk to…

(this photo really creeps me out by the way)

My “good guy” power would be a very interesting one. I’ve thought long and hard about this one and I’ve decided that it would be the ability to take physical and emotional pain away from others.  First of all, let me remind you that I would never choose this power. It’s what I think would come from me naturally though.  I hate seeing other people in pain. It actually makes my body hurt. I’ve never met anyone who describes sympathy pain in the way that I do, or claim that they feel it as often as I.  If I see someone get hurt, I hurt. I can’t watch violent movies because it hurts me to watch it. Any time I see someone get hurt my stomach flips and I feel this weird pain. Sometimes it’s over my whole body and sometimes it’s concentrated.  I’ve compare it to the phantom feeling that is described by amputees. The limb isn’t there but your mind is telling you it is. That’s kind of what the pain is like. I know I’m not hurt and it doesn’t hurt in the same way that it would if my body actually was injured, rather I feel this hovering pain that’s there, but not there. Any time I see a violent movie or see someone get hurt, it physically affects me.  I also can feel emotional pain of people. A friend of mine lost her baby in the fall and for days I had this emptiness in my belly. I’ve never been pregnant and I don’t know what it feels like to have a life inside of me, but for a few days I felt empty inside; like something had been taken from my body.  Today, actually, I was walking down the hall at work and I saw this man sitting in a chair that looked so sad.  I’ve seen him before but he’s never caught my attention like he did today. This feeling of pure and deep sadness rushed into my body and it shocked me. So much that I actually teared up and rushed into my office. I can’t even describe the sadness that I felt when I walked by him. I wanted so much to say something to him but by the time I cleared my eyes and came back out he was gone.  It was so out of the blue and random.  I don’t know why I got so sad when I saw him but I just felt like he was so sad about something and I wanted to take it away from him.

So, That’s what my super power would be. I would be a pain catcher. (This sucks really because I actually have a really low pain tolerance). I would never choose that power, but the power has chosen me.

Now that you’ve let me show you what a dork I am, it’s your turn to tell me! What would your super power be? What about your personality would morph into a power? I want to know so if I ever have to save the world (or a cheerleader) I know who to call!