Friday, December 26, 2014

All the Candy You Should be Eating

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Musings on Italy and Beyond

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Raining non stop in Minnesota

The sun sets amongst a cold dreary day.  Between two rows of rooftops slightly below their edge lies a circle the size of a tree stump.  Its outlined with  holiday lights enveloping a house like a looking glass.  Rows and rows of lights that mesmerize you and  for a second you don't think about the fact that its too cold, because there is absolutely no snow on the ground and its the 23rd of December in Minnesota which is unbelievable and you sit outside for a second, for two seconds for three and the scene is all too familiar.  Yes- its a reminder from the holiday you spent in Britain.  This place can't be Minnesota, you think.

Dancing in the Winter

Take me Home

Feeling Green in Roseville

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Our Juicy Nukes and Crannies in Minneapolis

As I was travelling through south Minneapolis, I seen some fabulous businesses with even more bright colors than I ever thought possible.  
I was on my way to  drop off six bags of stuff from my house to Arc Value Village, a thrift store  There are hundreds of unique places to drop off used stuff and furniture items throughout Minnesota.  Those places include churches which will often go as far as picking up your old furniture.  craigslist  also allows you to post your used items online and you can leave the items near your garage and patrons with come and pick them up.  

Views as a Turbo-Body Pump Fashionista

View at Twin Lake in Robbinsdale, Minnesota

I was at the gym yesterday and I did a Body Pump class which is an aerobic strength training class.  It uses a platform, bar and weights.  We literally pumped it up to a song called What You Got by Colby O'Donis feat. Akon and another song called  Give Me love with LL Cool J feat. Seal. Our teacher challenged us to put more weights on our bars. I throught to myself I'll pass.... If I add any more weight to my bar so early in the game I'll probably wobble right over along with the bar.  

Today was even more work out with turbo class.  Turbo kick is a combination of cardio-kick boxing.  Basically jab punches, hook punches, upper cuts and shuffles.  The punching moves that can be done to the beat of the music, The song we kick-boxed to was quite invigorating, the hardest move of the body pump class was a move called burpee. The burpee is almost impossible as you get older but i have seen women as old as 50 do it.
I'm busy fighting off the calories lately from eating too many cookies some of which include ginger bread cookies, tea cakes, and lebkucken (german ginger cookies which are sold in a bag found at  

Friday, December 19, 2014

A Bit of Blog with my Tea

Tiny Notes from Expat Blogs

Anyway  blog writer is currently back in the States but her post Blimey-that took long enough gives you a good indication of what her return trip from India was like not to mention that she is from Ireland but has a British accent, awesome!

I like to pick blogs to read based on whether or not they have a picture of the expat's city that they're currently residing somewhere in the cover page.  No pic of city, no visit to blog.  Well that's not always the case but here's a pretty good blog with a picture of Shanghai, China  She has a post called Tiny Notes from Hanoi.  I'm always looking for attention grabber titles in people's posts and this is definitely one of them.  Isn't the name Hanoi for a city just awesome?  It reminds me of different cities and names of people that my parents used to come tell me about as a kid after their military stay in the Philippines.

Here is another great blog from Shanghai instead of we've now got a blog about hunting for cheese.  Hmmm sounds great.  Well this blog has plenty of pictures. Fanstastic! I especially like the color in the pictures and specifically one that shows the outdoor market toys for children to buy in China-way cool, who doesn't love toys by the way. 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Serial Podcast made me feel despondent

Snowmen and a tank?

If the above picture looks like a couple of snowmen with an elf sitting on top of a tank made out of a igloo than you, my friend, are right!  The ideas that people in Minneapolis have are so fantastic so innovative so creative.

Contest Continues on Victory Memorial Parkway

A Competition on Victory Memorial Parkway

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Dancing Around the Trees

What did I tell you people... a few days after all the snow melted in Minnesota there would be snow two days later.  It's all good. I'm glad the tall trees give us some shelter. Although the ordinances for having trees in your yard is unbelievable.  I was talking to a neighborhood who said that she had to chop down her lovely fern recently because parts of it had died and she said she was so disappointed because she had moved to that home particularly because she liked the tree, and then she had to pay $2000.00 US to chop it down as well! Chopping down the tree is a chore- I should know because my childhood friend's father chops down trees for a living and let me tell you that the only thing fun about it is hoisting yourself up in the tree by rope and being able to gaze at the streets below.

End of the Year Dancin'

We're wrapping up our Zumba dance year at the YMCA and these were just some of my favorite songs that we danced too....

Wake me up When It's All Over
Ont top of the World
Summer in the City
Addicted to You
Let it Go
We're in the Money
Eye of the Tiger
Stay Gold
Boom Clap
Ani Estagea
Rumor has it
Do you believe in Magic
Can't Touch This

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Dancing with Penguins

Apparently even the penguins need ear muffs in this frigid environment.  No time to scope out Saint Paul Minnesota today, I'm afraid.  I am too busy shoveling snow and wiping off the car windshield.  That's fine though there is always something to look forward too and something to see.  The weather man said we got more cold in November than we did in all of December.  

Musings on Websites I follow

I'm taking some time to recognize some popular blogs that I frequently vist for inspiration and just because there great.
I enjoy travel blogs the most because I thought I would be traveling abroad and teaching in lands far and beyond but then I realized that I may or may not have the stomach to do such things (I've traveled- take my word for it).  So then I decided to focus on my everyday life in my blog writing.  I've changed the formatting of my blog added pictures, done some crazy features and now I'm settling in on the writings that I'm currently doing.  I've learned that its easier not to limit yourself in your blog writing. 

Here is a list of places I visit on google or blogs I recently found and like:     This literally has a list of more than a thousand blogs that a person can go to if they want to read about expats.  It has blogs from the most popular regions of the world, including the US which to me is not really expatriot lol.  This site has tons of great pictures and fantastic musings, you can't help but like and comment on the pictures in this blog   This site I came to like and added to my blog roll just because its about an expatriot who is in France and blogs about her experience. I also been to France so I love to read about the hidden jems in this blog.  Also there is more than 165 expatriot blogs on the above listed website listing France as the most common place to visit, or live (as an American) so I had to add it.

1952tang on google.  I follow this.  My dad's been to Vietnam and thought it would be a great place to learn more things about it

Monday, December 15, 2014

Dancing through the night with Snoopy and Friends

More lovely homes near South St. Paul

Considering London Flats and American Apartments

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Disney on Ice:Lets not forget the Green Soldiers from Toy Story 3

Its hard to believe that these Green Soldiers from Toy Story 3 have skates on while doing this performance. The Xcel Energy Disney on Ice performance was spectacular!

Disney on Ice Barbie and Ken

I absolutely loved this scene. Ken and Barbie's plastic hair is so flattering for their characters.

More Scenes of St. Paul

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A Piece of Cake in St. Paul

Disney on Ice at Xcel Energy

The Disney on Ice experience set off on time at 10am at Xcel Energy in downtown St. Paul Minnesota.    Literal sized cars from the movie Cars transcended themselves on the ice and followed one another skiting on the slippery ice as it would allow giving new meaning to the word fishtail. 

Following that scene was the The Little Mermaid.  Any young girl would be able to connect with this movie and songs like A Whole New World and Under the Sea as the dancing crab Sebastian (seen in the picture above) located himself at the four corners of the Xcel center's stage and motivated the audience to clap along to the song.

 Following that skating performance was the  Tinkerbell movie where characters like fawn, Silvermist, Iridessa, Rosetta, Fairy Mary, Terence, Clark, Bobbie, Queen Clarion and all of the other characters from the movie eagerly introduced themselves to the audience.  How they managed to get themselves on a platform shaped like a four foot chopped down tree trunk is beyond me. But their skates dug in the platform and they eagerly climbed and stood center stage waiting for the  song to introduce each of them.

  The stage effects of the performance were unbelievable.  Tinker bell was hoisted fifty feet in the air so that that she could fly and spread her famous pixie dust on the audience below.  Fairy Godmothers in big  dresses were hoisted above as well.  While skaters below did their typical routines triple axels, toe loop jumps, triple loops, lots of camel spins where skaters' legs extended in beautiful arabesques.  The fairy costumes of these skaters fit perfectly with  what a natural figure skater would wear, although some of the skaters were as fortunate to have easily moving costumes like Ursella in Little Mermaid or Slinky from Toy Story who needed a  skater in front and back to function his moving slinky body

Friday, December 12, 2014

Strolling Through St. Paul, Minnesota

Some Homes I viewed on my way through beautiful St. Paul, near Shelby Street.  This is like a miniture versian of the Iran palace.

Taking the snow in Minnesota to the Ice with the movie Frozen

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Zumba in Minnesota

When I'm not doing my writing, I'm at the gym doin my zumba.  Minnesota has countless gyms that cater to those who want to do fitness on the go.  Choose your time.  Mine is usually 9am not to early and not too late in the morning.  Although you can get a class as early as 5am, although those are usually work out classes that cater to lifting weights or work out in chair classes, yoga, etc.   Zumba is fast paced and usually combines mexican and hip hop music so its right up my alley.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Story #2, A story of Zombies: Five scares in December

The Zombies' quickened movements allow suspense in their dance. Their legs constantly fidget and move rapidly.  A scream
shrieks out at one point of the song and the sound is so loud that some of the audience screams in enjoyment matching the screamer's pitch.

There isn't for a moment a single dancer getting out of character, some of the looks on the dancers faces are so intense that they frighten the audience, their red lips reminiscent of blood of human they recently devoured.  A dancer bangs her head down, she's the obvious leader of the pack in an all-white tattered zombie dress. She dances in front of them.  The dancers are in four lines and each line slowly descends to the floor.  The front row is down first
till the very last row.  Each of the rows are crawling on the ground, and their newest captured human
emerges from a huddle that the dancers created to show that she's transitioned into a zombie herself.  Her first walks in front of the dancers show that she is staggering like a toddler taking its first steps.

Friday, December 5, 2014, A Podcast Writers are Loving

I'm listening to serial podcast. at and I'm on episode 10.  I'm enthralled with the series but more importantly this episode and how the journalist described Christina Guteriz as some who flew across the office, yelling orders, intimidating people right and left.  She was the defense lawyer in Adnan's murder conviction case and she just sounds like no one I never knew.  Especially when you hear her voice in the proceedings, it sounds like a cross between Fran from the Nanny and Joan Rivers.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Story #3 Derrick and his Tundra Theater in November

Man, it must be hard to work in a coffee shop.  All of that running around to please customers.  No sense of artistic development.  That’s why I got to dance, he thought.  It’s for me and it’s for all my dancers.  Without dancing, I’d be like a pretzel    siting and wandering when it’s my time to shine. time for coffee.  Derrick got up to look around at the shop.  He picked up a bag of espresso beans and tossed in his other hand.  Then one of his songs played on the mic. 
He nodded at the manger showing his appreciation of hip hop music in the shop instead of the typical elevator music that permeated.  He did a few two steps to the card tree, picking up some of the cards.  .
The afternoon began settling in.  Everyone has their agenda and from Derrick’s vantage point he can gaze in on all of their rehearsals. steal.  The tundra-like theater allows each of the dance rooms to be sections off like cubicles allowing the casual observer from above to be able to observe like a vulture peering out at it prey.  This is the greatest vantage point, derrick thinks, he feels as if he’s a conductor and his dancers are his marionettes. 

Story # 4 Derrick Starts a Duel

Derrick in preparing for the acting duel takes a fake sword and begins to show the dancers the duel, the whole time, derrick has a look of scorn and utter hatred for his opponent, some dancers play out the fake sword hits with a taping of a cymbal? Like salsa dancing, Matching each sound.
Two dancers walk out as if they are going to start a conflict, they have determination casted looks on their face, their hair is short and their check bones sharp.Steal.  The dance goes on as derrick goes up the stairs matching his opponents every strike with a strke in returns, he lands on the ground and flips over in pinwheeling on the floor in amazement that he took a wound to his chest.

Story #6 Derrick and the Mirror

"The mirror is in front of you so you can see yourself and so you what you look like and work on yourself.   Hip hop is picture perfect, so if someone does it wrong, you can tell."
 He stands at the coffee table.(use in another scene)The dancers are constantly bobbing their heads; constant music fills their heads in time. 
You can fall over and do the ugliest face in football, but in hip hop if you do a pirouette with your tongue out, you will be on the front page of   (a dancer’s magazine or star tribune.)
Michael is able to lift his body, he has an incredible, and he is mesmerizing especially for a male able to do what he does. He talks about how he has been given chances, chances unlike many other turfers.   

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Story #7 Smatterings from a man's conversation with a stranger

Smatterings from a man's conversation with a stranger

My grandma's got Alzheimer’s.
She died of malnutrition.
She's got demensia, memory loss.

She used to come over all the time.
Grandpa lived at 1037 Duluth.
With grandma
She was a west-sider.
She went to Coral Lebanese Deli.
"Emily's" was a Furniture place.

Was she a big woman?  (The man across the aisle finally asks)

No-She was thin and beautiful.
She lived at the test nursing home.
I feel sorry for her.
She would be 94.
Almost 100.
The president would give her. . .

Is she dead?

No, she's still living.
Her sister Pauline was gay.
She died in terminal.  With Aides.
She said gay life was terminal.
She wanted to be a woman.
Darlene was her sister.
Angie died of stomach cancer.
Linda Compman
Was a friend of my mother's/Father's-
She said I don't want to talk about Obama
Her name is Ale.

(The man across from the stranger changes the topic and starts talking about a bakery.)

Was it a Danish pastry shop?
I love Danish pastry.
They had a fire.
He knew everything in Arthur's store.
My father used to send me to run errands.
My brother went up north.

(The man across the aisle brings up the bakery shop again and the stranger asks a question about it)

Did she make homemade pudding?


Yeah....  I know a person who makes good pancakes.
I know a woman in Virginia who doesn't like eggs.
Do you like eggs?

What?  (Says the stranger, surprised at the question)

Do you like whoppers?


Are you a vegetarian?

Are you okay? (The stranger finally asks)

Liza Minnelli.
I should have asked her for her autograph.
Liza Minnelli's daughter.
She married five times.
She was great.
Judy Garland.
I like that record
Felt sorry.   I would have helped her.
She was only 47 when she died.
I think it was an accident.
Do you think Judy Garland committed suicide?


Ye . . . She died on June 23, 1969.
I was only four years old.
I seen the Wizard of Oz.
It was at the Orpheum.

Frank Morgan was a scarecrow
West Fields was supposed to be a wizard
He was an alcoholic


Frank Morgan.
I like the part when she falls asleep.
The first scenes were in black and white.

(The man gets up to make his way to the door)

Are you going downtown?
I gotta go downtown
The metro is closed on Saturday
My transfer expired
No transportation.
My buss pass expired.

(The stranger switches the conversation to the topic of weather)
Yes, it’s supposed to be snow showers today.
I'm going to the store on Wednesday
I like milk
I take out the recycling on Wednesday.
It's not hard.
I don't like to work much.  I'm sorta lazy.

I think we know that. (Says the stranger)

Grandma was on welfare.
How much does it cost for people with disabilities to get on the bus?

I don't know.

How much does it cost for the elderly?

Seventy-five cents.

Does it really?
How much does it cost for kids?

Ask your kids.
Look at that beautiful coat.
I'm just having a coffee.
I'm on a diet.
I'm broke.
I like Burger King.
I don't live very far from here.

(The stranger walked out of Burger King sm


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