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List of Thoughts I Am Too Lazy To Make Into A Real Post

1. My dad and I got to see Andrea Ledesma in Munich! She and Jörg took the two-hour train from Neumarkt and spent Sunday eating white sausage and seeing impressionist paintings and drinking German punch with us. I tell you this so that you will think we are classy and cultured, when really the opposite is true because my dad and I spent Monday night watching Friends in German. Really it was just me watching Friends with a German phrasebook in hand trying to see what the laughtrack was laughing at while my dad was Skyp(e?)ing with my mom. Other notes about the trip..

–  ABSURDLY expensive internet ($6 euro per hour. PER HOUR!)
– ABSURDLY amazing Michael Jackson altar randomly sitting there on a street. I mean there is some seriously heartfelt fandom going on in Munich. 

The king of Bavaria is no match for the king of pop. 
MJ = Just another part of Munich. 
Speaking of Michael Jackson, this video does a pretty good job of showing exactly what I look like 90% of the time I’m in the kitchen. 

2. The latest Modern Family episode confirmed yet again that Cameron Tucker and I are the exact same person. Exactly. It is mildly terrifying. Even though I’m sure that none of you are in the least bit interested by the freakish similarities between me and TV’s most loveable gay dad, I am taking notes to dedicate a whole post (with actual sentence structure) to this. The jist of it will probably be something along the lines of: Paulina Lopez and Cameron Tucker: Hypersensitive, passive aggressive, believe “the more you spend the more you save,” invest way too much meaning on random events and cry for hours when others do not remember dozens upon dozens of these tiny but meaningful moments, own too many shirts, have an unhealthy relationship with food, etc.  Stay tuned.

3.  Why yes, I did see The Muppet Movie in theatres. Twice. I wouldn’t want to see it a third time because everything about Walter makes me want to punch him in the face. Everything about Kermit makes me want to punch him in the face, too. It’s the same feeling I got from Mickey Mouse, or Tommy from the Rugrats/All Grown Up, or Little Foot from The Land Before Time. There’s something about these characters that makes me feel like I’m being conned.

4. I tried making a list of the top five worst Christmas songs, but all I could come up was Christmas with Weezer, the Christmas album my sister keeps playing around the house.

 I’m into celebrity Christmas albums as much as the next person, but whoever thought that a rock version of O Come All Ye Faithful and O Holy Night would be a good idea is doing the world a disservice.

5. I was going to write something about Herman Cain and Pokemon, but these guys say it best. Needless to say, I was crossing my fingers that he’d quote the ancient prophecy with the clever plot-twisting “ash” pun.


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Danke Schoen

If you are like me, you spent no less than an entire hour verifying that Wayne Newton, the person who sings “Danke Schoen” is actually a MAN. Just listen to that voice, that is not a man’s voice. Only it is. This is really similar to the way I was convinced for months/years that Adele and Duffy were black, only to find out I was very wrong. The moral of the story, I guess, is not to judge a singer by the very convincing qualities of their voice. The other point of the story is that I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned “Danke Schoen” at least five times in this blog, and I want this post to spend a little bit more than six words talking about what the song is about.

1. I’m thankful for the journals that have been piling up in my room since I was 6 that let me travel back in time and allow me to be simultaneously embarrassed and entertained. Sometimes, I feel good knowing that I’ve grown a lot since 5th grade. Most of the time, I just see that most things have stayed the same. Ten years ago, for instance, I STILL 1) never knew what date it was, 2) used too many exclamation points, 4) made everything into lists / bad poems, 5) wrote too much about food and TV, and 6) had terrible cursive. It would be a lot of fun to make this post into a list-poem for old times’ sake, but I’m already up past my bedtime and I don’t think I could come up with something meaningful for V that isn’t velcro (… Vinny Guadagnino?). Anyway, I’m thankful for my mom, who gave me my first journal (a bunch of colored index cards) and told me to write. 
2. This is sort of a cop-out because it’s an extension of number 1, but I’m thankful for National Novel Writing Month. A month ago, I told myself to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days, and that novel is officially finished as of Nov. 30, 2011. It’s a terrible novel that probably needs 30 months of editing, there are plot holes and continuity errors all over the place, random lists of Crayola colors and magical candles, and a couple of characters with no first name because I’d run out of good ones, but according to the creators of National Novel Writing Month, it’s a capital N Novel and I am so happy. I couldn’t have done this without the teachers who taught me what it meant to write and what it meant to love it, particularly Mrs. Barbara Bonday in 2nd grade, Dr. Rebecca Koelln in 10th grade and Prof. Greg Smith in my third year of college. And (duh) I’m thankful for a very patient and understanding husband who encouraged me the entire time, and was willing to put up with late dinners, leftovers and a lot of Basil’s pizza while I typed away. 
3. I can’t tell you enough how thankful I am for Christmas music, and that it’s finally socially accepable to listen to it all I want. ALL I WANT. (yes, Ernesto). Panino and I grew up listening to a “Frosty The Snowman” album that taught us Jolly Old Saint Nicholas and Up On the House and ten other essential songs. I love that there are entire radio stations dedicated to Christmas music, I love that there is a Christmas song for every occasion, I love that Celine Dion recorded O Holy Night, I love watching Love Actually just so I can sing along, I love that there are about 10 bajillion Christmas-related excuses to listen to Christmas music (baking cookies, decorating the tree, cooking a huge meal, washing the dishes after eating a huge meal, ice skating, Christmas Charaoke (or Kristmas Karaoke), wrapping presents, writing Christmas cards, all of it). MOST OF ALL, I am so thankful that two of my favorite singers have re-made one of my favorite songs. 

Danke Schoen, Justin and Mariah, for saving Christmas.

       I spent this past Thanksgiving in El Paso with Ernesto, his parents and his sister, and it made me feel very lucky to be a part of their family. Naturally, I missed being at home, which reminded me of how lucky I am to have a family that I love enough to miss and that loves me enough to save me some cranberry mold leftovers for when I got back. I am indescribably thankful for Ernesto, who constantly rescues me from the towers that I build for myself.
     The past two months have had a pretty fair deal of challenges for me, for Ernesto, for my family, for our friends and for our neighbors, and throughout it all, I’ve felt so lucky to be surrounded by people with such an impressive capacity to love and to persevere. Wayne Newton sang, “Thank you for all the joy and pain,” and to that, I’d add that I’m thankful for all of the people in my life who have made the joy worth remembering and the pain worth enduring.

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Time Travel IV

You may think that just because this new year ends in an odd number, that it’s not worth celebrating. You wouldn’t tell someone “Happy Bir!” or “Merry Christm!” or “Yankees Su!” But that’s why this year is an excellent opportunity for people everywhere to swallow their pride and blow a paper horn when the ball drops at Times Square (Time Square? NPR or MPR?). This New Year will be a non-discriminatory holiday, regardless of the grossness that will follow after having to write twothousandniiiiiiiiiiiasdfjlaskjiiiiiiiine at the top of everything.

(deep breath)






How you could have celebrated: Gone to a fancypants party full of rich, skinny people eating olives. Pretended to be at one of Julie Cooper’s parties at the O.C. Spent the first 60 seconds of this brand new 365 page notebook trying not to choke while you eat grapes, drink cider, kiss your family and get hugged to death, simlutaneousy. Spent the next 59 minutes dancing with your brother and belting out Marc Anthony.


Go to Sofia Flynn’s house (auuggghlakdjsfldksj), where you spend 4 hours dancing and the rest of the time plotting some way to get your cousin and your friend’s brother to fall in love during La Macarena so that Paulina and Jess can be actual sisters and then it wouldn’t be so lame to pretend that they’re the Olsen Twins (dibs on Ashley).

There’s something else, too.
It’s tacky and unattractive.

Paulina’s Christmas 08 wasn’t Christmas until about 14 hours ago. The Christmas part of it, I mean. And it’s the kind of thing that you know won’t happen to you because it’ll happen to everyone else, or it seems to when you hear them get up on testimony sunday and it’s always the same same same same thing.

…But something this year just didn’t feel right. The house was all decorated, no one forgot to get or give a present. All of the classics were playing nonstop on the radio, the snow outside was beautiful. It looked like Christmas, but (look down, grab Kleenex) … but it just didn’t feel like Christmas. We weren’t remembering what this holiday was about. There wasn’t any spirit in any of us. (continue continue)

You hear it every year. If it’s not at church, it’s at a terrible Tim Allen movie or some episode on tv or really cheesy poems that don’t stick to their meter.

You get it though, right?

(here’s the kicker)

My dad got us three front row tickets to watch the Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis put on The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

and I hate

how much

I loved it.

Because it’s Naaaaaarnia, because it’s the only thing BJ and Ricky Benson have in common, because the lion=jesus omgz. Augh.

But there you go. My Christmas happened at 11 a.m. on December 31, 2008, the 365th day of the year. I’d rather admit that I had it for 2 hours at a cheesy musical and feel a little bit like a canned Hallmark card than lie about it to myself when people ask me how my Christmas was this year.

Let’s practice.

Paulina, how was your Christmas this year?

It was beautiful. It made me want to cry, clap, laugh and sing. It melted a rainbow into my eyes (I’m stealing) so that everything I saw would be beautiful, just for a while. It reminded me of what it means to have faith and what it means to believe in the most perfect, extraordinary kind of love. It was the best way possible to end the year.