How long before we wake up from the paella coma?

I was determined that things would be different this year.

I would be ready to hit the beach the minute I stepped off the plane.

I would rub sun tan oil on my skin as I jumped over bodies which lay baking in the sun.

I would quickly claim my spot by ceremoniously plunging the stick of my beach umbrella into the sand.

I would pack my bathing suit and cover up in my backpack, ready to don the second I made it through my mother’s front door.

My spanking new Diesel sunglasses would also be at the ready–they’d assist me in seeing past the sun’s bright rays as I scanned the perimeter for any sign of Javier Bardem.

My hair would be wrapped in a bright scarf, bohemian style.

I would make Maya Angelou proud as I strutted from one end of the beach to the other, every inch the phenomenal woman–hips swaying, shoulders back, chest jutting forward.

But alas, such has not been the case.

Once again, I have succumbed to the lethargic state that assaults anyone who dares visit Spain in the summer.

As we speak, my bathing suit, wrap, sunglasses, and scarf, are still stuffed in my backpack.

The beach umbrella stands in a corner of the living room, snickering every time I walk past it and whisper, tomorrow.

And the only bodies I’ve jumped over are Olivia’s and Roxy’s.
Oh, and occasionally, my mother’s.

They too have fallen victims to the fatigue that results from the abominable heat and breakfasts’ composed of baskets of churros.

You would think that my desire to find Javier Bardem would motivate me to abandon the chaise lounge that rests comfortably on the terrace.

Sadly, not even the thought of pouncing on the hunky Spaniard has been successful in plucking me from the spot on the terrace where the breeze caresses my skin and keeps me from turning into a puddle of sweat.

The only times I am able to muster the energy to take a few steps is when I have to go to the bathroom.

I’m convinced that if I were a man, I’d be relieving myself regularly in a Coke bottle.

Yes, this heat is not for the faint of heart.

Fortunately, when faced with extreme circumstances, we enter self preservation mode and give in.

We go with the flow; we practice the art of “dolce far niente.”

And in the process, we discover that it feels good to hop off the hamster wheel; to hide our “to do” list under our beach towel.

I mentioned this to the Significant Other on the phone last night.

He replied, “I wouldn’t know. I can’t remember the last time I did nothing.”

“You should try it! It’s utterly liberating. Stop being a hamster and do like a sloth.”

“Have you considered the fact that if I get off the hamster wheel you won’t be able to do like a sloth?”

“On second thought, who says being a hamster is a bad thing? Pedal on, my brother!”


Moral to this story: Never praise the joys of being a sloth to a hamster.

And now, I must leave you, friends.

In just an hour, Roxy, Olivia, my mother, and I will enter a “paella” coma and we must prepare.

The terrace has to be cleared of all clutter.

A fresh towel has to be draped over the chair.

Orange wedges have to be added to the pitcher of sangria.

My mother has to grab her book and reading glasses.

I must locate my binoculars so as to continue playing, “Where’s Javier?”

A woman could get used to this life, folks.

Hugs to all of you from sunny Spain!

How are you spending your summer days?


Who’d rather give up sex than coffee?

I know I’ve mentioned to all of you how much I enjoy drinking coffee.

What I haven’t confessed to you, is my obsession of taking photos of coffee every time I’m served a cup.

This obsession is one of the Significant Other’s greatest peeves.

His biggest complaints is that by the time I drink the coffee, it’s stone cold.

My biggest complaint about his complaint, is that this shouldn’t bother him since he’s not the one drinking my coffee.

But I digress.

Some time ago, reader Sandy Bodeau wrote the following comment in my “about” page (the one titled The One and Only Me):

“I almost stormed out of your blog when you said that you’d give sex up for coffee (the nerve! LOL), but I really like your blog :-”

My reply to Sandy?

“Sandy, I’m most serious about the fact! There’s nothing, and I mean nothing, that would make me give up coffee! Not even sex! hee hee! Well, if it was sex with Javier Bardem, I might reconsider! :)”

So is sex with Javier Bardem the only thing that would make me give up coffee?

The jury’s still out…for the moment.

However, I do know that my relationship with coffee is a serious one.

If for any reason I don’t have time to ingest my early morning java, I quickly go into caffeine withdrawal; as in, my head starts pounding, I become lethargic, and my brain turns to mush.

Hence, I’ve come to accept that drinking coffee is a necessary addiction.

After all, how else can I be functional if not for my required two cups of early morning coffee?

However, drinking coffee is not just a survival strategy, it’s also a pleasurable activity.

I can’t think of anything cozier than wrapping my fingers around a coffee cup while I curl up in Marcelo, my favorite chair.

And drinking Italian espresso at my favorite coffee shop? Simply sublime.

To add to the enjoyment, is the beautiful way coffee is served; the beautiful cups, the little serving tray, and even the spoon, all inspire me capture a “coffee moment.”

I’ve become so accustomed to capturing shots of my coffee, that I find myself accomplishing this feat in less time that it takes the Significant Other to open his sugar packet.

As a result, he barely has time to say, “You’re not Cartier Bresson, so would you drink your coffee already?”

Well, I may not be Cartier Bresson, but I bet he didn’t have as much fun taking coffee photos as I do.

As for, would I give up coffee for sex with Javier?

I’ve made up my mind and my answer is:

Sorry my Spanish lover in another life. No can do. While passionate sex with you might be fleeting, my love affair with coffee will last till the day I croak.

If you’re a coffee drinker, what would you be willing to give up for coffee?

Who wants churros with their coffee?

The other day I tweeted that I’d renounced eating sugary carbs for the rest of the summer.

I lied.

I didn’t lie intentionally.

I tweeted that statement in good faith.

Good faith which exited the building the minute the waiter placed this plate of churros in front of us.

Churros-Long strips of fried dough coated with sugar

This leads me to conclude that my mom is evil.

She’s intent on sabotaging any shred of will power I have left.

“It’s ridiculous to swear off carbs while you’re in Spain. Stop being silly and set another goal,” she says.

Substitution has been one of my mother’s strategies for as long as I can remember.

I say, “I need to consume less sodium in my diet,” and she counters with “Salt is necessary. Chew some Gas X tablets and you won’t feel bloated.”

“We have to stop drinking Coke. It’s bad for us.”

“So is harsh sunlight, but I don’t see us moving into a cave any time soon.”

Yes, she’s a born saboteur.

That’s why I eyed her suspiciously when she ordered the churros.

“What? They’re not for you.”

Yeah, right.

The minute the hot, fried golden sticks made their way to our table, I was a goner.

And this saddens me.

It makes me doubt my resolve; my will to resist temptation.

“Mom, I’m not eating churros. I already told you that.”
“You’re not eating churros, no matter what the circumstances?”
“What do you mean?”
“I mean, if Javier Bardem were dressed in nothing but an apron and volunteered to finger feed those to you, you’d say no?”

My hesitation is all she needs to continue.

“In other words, Javier can feed you churros, but your mother can’t.”
“You’re not a sexy Spanish actor with bedroom eyes.”
“And Javier didn’t carry you in his belly for nine months, spend 23 hours in labor, and suffer through an episiotomy.”


Another one of my mother’s favorite strategies.

And today it works.

Besides, I can almost hear the churros whispering, “Bella…”

So I take a bite, promising myself that today’s the last day I’ll consume sugary carbs.

I think.

I hope.

I can always swim ten extra laps.

We’ll see.
Do you have a weakness for carbs?