Friday, November 25, 2011

Student Comments of the Week 2.0

Hey Hey all,

  I have a few ideas going for a good update, just working out the kinks, but I wanted to share some student moments I had this week before they drift away into the sunset lol.

Background- As an assignment I have all of my students bring me a word that they looked up in the dictionary/google translate every time they come to my class, and then we'll talk about it. Well this was the first week I was enforcing it, and I guess some of the students misunderstood and hadn't looked up the word. So as my students were writing, one girl comes up and writes on the board two words.


So super teacher Cathy (lol) goes into the in depth explanation that a hoe is a garden tool (since I didn't know the exact word for it) and drew a picture of it on the board, and proceeded with hoeing was the verb of using the hoe in your garden, and just as we wrapped up I quickly added-

"Oh if you hear this in a song it probably doesn't mean the garden tool, they are probably saying that someone is (being) a puta"

And smoothly transitioned to crutches :)

Background- My 1st Year Bachillerato students (equivalent to Juniors in High School) were on the unit of music in their English books, so my activity for the week was a mixed CD with 21 songs. I told them there would be songs they liked, songs they didn't, songs they didn't know, and after each song they would tell me what they got out of the song. I put 1-21 on the board and the students were blindly choosing the next piece. Well No Scrubs by TLC came out as one of the songs.

Me- Has anyone heard this song before?
Class- No
Student- When did this song come out?
Me- 1998, 1999 ish
Student- We were born in 1997
(Dagger to my heart...I'm not that old! lol)

Anyway hope you all enjoyed it, new blog entry to come including Thanksgiving activities and my first trip to the doctor.

Hasta Luego!


Saturday, November 19, 2011

First the Worst, Second the Best

Hey Hey all,

   It has been a good couple of days. Poquito a poco getting used to what is life in Spain and the (mis)adventures that come along with it. 

The title of this blog comes from a few different things. The first, it comes from a saying that we used to say all the time in elementary school when it came to places (Zero the Hero, First-the worst, second-the best, third- the nerd...etc), and given the trivial things I've been dealing with at school (16 year old boys throwing around a tampon with red marker around my classroom)...I figured it works.

Yes, I played poker with William Hung
Second, (the best lol)- My roommates have created this poker tournament between their friends that is going to go on for a few months and have a grand prize at the end. Well last night was one of the games, and I ended up with second place! Yeah, I didn't take home the green, but it increases my standing for the final. For those of you who don't know, as far as poker goes, I'm kind of a big deal (jajaj just kidding) but really, I've been around poker my whole life, so along the way I've picked up a few things. I actually was the first female to place in the semester poker championship at CSUN.  So I this whole tournament thing is a good thing for me because I get to have some fun, while getting a chance to make some money, AND meeting more people here in Spain. 
     So last night, during the tournament Jaime, Natasha, and Matt (part of my auxiliar circle) came over to "observe" the game, but what really ended up happening is that they mingled with other friends of my roommates (since I was tied up with the game and all). And when it was all said and done, people were more excited that I made it to second place than the actual winner lol. 

At the Beginning of the Game
    Then Matt said something to me that really brightened my day, he told me "You look so happy, compared to before" And that brings me to the third reason for choosing this blog title... I really am a lot happier than I was a few weeks ago, as you can tell if you've been following my posts. So as I'm continuing to confirm day by day, I had to go through the first piso (the worst) to get to the second (the best). 

Another good note, one of the teachers at my school gave me the number to Legal Aid in Madrid, so I have an appointment to see a lawyer at the beginning of December to see what I can do to get my deposit back. So I'll Keep you all posted..

Once again thanks for reading!! Until Next time,

Ciao <3,

My Trophy from the CSUN tournament

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Little About Me

Hey Hey all,

So I recorded a new poem to go with my A Little About Me section of my blog. Check it out <3


Sunday, November 13, 2011

Your Bad Luck Is Impressive

Hey Hey all,

  So the title from this post comes from a new facebook friend, after I posted this blog post, and a status that read as follows:

"I would be the one to lock myself out of my apartment on only my second day here -_- better days shall come"

So yeah.. normally I clip my keys onto my purse, but I guess last Tuesday (after moving in on Monday) I was totally locked out of my apartment. So the first thing I do is buzz to get let in.
*BUZZ* answer... 
I think to myself- "Did I buzz the right apt?" 
"Yes of course I did. Well I'm 85 percent sure I did. No, I definitely hit the right button."
.....definitely no answer....
Next step, call only roommate phone number I have. 
*pull out phone*
Phone is out of saldo (curse you prepaid phones!!!)

I just put money on my phone and it says I'm out!!

Think fast, call the free number to add saldo from your phone...
...not the right number...try a different one that seems like it would be the one... nope not the right number..
Next walk over to my friend who lives across the street and buzz him, so I can add saldo online, and then call my roommate...LIFE SAVER
*Call roommate and apologize profusely for being such an idiot*
(The next day was a holiday in the center of Madrid so all of my roommates were all out de fiesta, except me because I work in a suburb, so no fiesta)
*Roommate comes on his motorcycle, gives me keys to run upstairs and then throw the keys back down to him through the balcony*
*Apologizing even more, and promising this will NEVER happen again*
He just smiles and says "No pasa nada", and heads back to his party.

It was this exchange that made me feel truly blessed to have found such a great place after the nightmare I was in.

More bad luck has followed my the last few days-

Friday, I flooded the kitchen (not that bad) because I forgot to close the inner basket of the washing machine.

Saturday, I went to go pick up something for my old roommate since she's not in Madrid anymore and on the way to the place there were a bunch of museums and beautiful buildings. So I took  out my camera about to shoot take a few pictures, and my battery was exhausted...all I could do was laugh.

So I guess I do have some pretty impressive bad luck...but I'm happy where I am right now. It was my first weekend "partying like a spaniard...ish" and now it's back to reality with lesson planning, cleaning, among other things...

As of right now my room isn't set up yet due to lack of funds and still in battle for my deposit, but as soon as I can I'll give y'all a new video tour of my place.

Thanks for reading!

Much Love,


Thursday, November 10, 2011


Hey Hey all,

   In the light that I've been writing a lot more lately, I decided to give my poetry blog a makeover. Feel free to check it out. Old thoughts, and new ones on the way...

Mini update--

Things have been good here on the living front, it's just the money front that is still at battle with las brujas. A more in-depth blog entry is soon to come when I have a few more things in order. Many thanks to those who have been very supportive, in comments and otherwise, I appreciate the love and hope that by reading my posts it helps you spot problems like this before they happen.

Much Love,


Monday, November 7, 2011

Random thought...

In light of all of the craziness that has been going on... I just have one random thought to share with you all, and I´m sure other auxiliares can attest to this...

Spanish keyboards get on my nerves!! 

lol It took me like 10 minutes to find the @ sign when I needed it -_-

That is all...

Much love & thanks for the love,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Battle Isn't Over

So today, I got in trouble for showing the place...since I don't live there I don't have the right to do it....If the people I send over say they're for me, and stay then they'll CALL ME about the money....

My body and mind are tired of fighting, but 420 euros out the window is so hard to just leave behind. I just need some time to be okay... in all senses of the word...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Reader Spotlight- November

This month's Reader Spotlight is up!

In case your new, Reader Spotlight is a section of my blog that gets updated once a month with the first commenter of the month, to build a little community among my blog. So check it out <3

The Nightmare before Hallween

     Today I cried twice, but before I tell you the trail of my tears, I need to start at the beginning. The beginning of a very windy roller coaster. Actually, as much as I allow you all to only see my life through rose colored glasses, the whole time I've been here has been full of so many ups and downs. I apologize in advance for the length of this post, just getting all the details out there for the peeps who really want to know what has been going on.

        So this post was about me finally moving into my apartment after a horrendous time piso hunting and a million doors slammed in my face. Needless to say that when I first got in here it seemed to be really great. The owner of the piso, Fina, is from Galicia, so she hired a lady from Chile, Carmen, and her son Alberto to man the fort while she's gone. When I first came into look at the apartment with my AArmy BFF Brittany, Carmen and Alberto said that Fina was hardly ever home. She would only be in the apartment maybe 1 day out of the month to collect the money, and then bounce. turns out that isn't the only piece of information wasn't the only half truth given during the quick check out the house then sign the contract encounter cause we know you're desperate encounter. 

You see, despite what this post, or what my blog may portray, I am a very non-complainer, non-confrontational person, as unhealthy as it may be...I'm just an avoider. So when all was said and done and I moved into the apt, which they said they would clean every week, when it wasn't prestine, I just kinda went with the flow. You know, scrub the shower quickly, jump in and jump out as quick as possible. The microwave and oven are disgusting? Well looks like cereal and sandwiches for me.... As Brittany reminded me when we came to look into the apartment, that we've lived in much worse living conditions...(cucarachas in PR) So I just went on dealing with it. 

Aside from cleanliness, there was the also lack of privacy. Remember when I said Carmen and Alberto said Fina wouldn't be there hardly at all? Well The month that I was there she was there all day everyday for about 2 weeks. Carmen and Fina themselves pop in whenever they like, supposedly coming to clean or fix things (which in turn would take an hour or so, but they are there like 5 hours just hanging out, and Alberto smokes).  Not only are they coming over, but all of their friends/relatives, at whatever hour they wish. So what do I do if I don't want to interact with people in my own house? Just stay in my room until the coast is clear, again I'm not one really to speak up if it's uncomfortable, so to avoid conflict...just deal with it....

So even though things weren't ideal I was getting by, going back and forth to work, sleeping, and checking out things in the city. Then 4 more people moved into the piso (my first thought-YAY FRIENDS!!) and this is where things really were looking up. 4 of us clicked really well. It was me, 2 guys from Mexico and a girl from a different part of Spain. We went out to different things, improv shows, dinner, a soccer game. So at that point in time I was really happy, what was seeming like a very solid group of friends with similar interests, and a good atmosphere at home...well that was only that week. 

The roommates started talking, and we were all sort of in agreement that the conditions in the apartment were pretty gross (despite having someone who "cleans" once a week).  So we compiled a list of things that we wanted to talk to Fina and Carmen about including, the cleaning, putting chairs at the table in the living room since we all have some kind of work/studying to do, and the chairs in our rooms (aka foot stools), our privacy...etc. 

Before we were able to have this meeting one of the Mexican guy roommates decided to leave because he was just fed up with the bedbug problem we had. (Yes bedbugs... :-/). The thing is the ladies wouldn't believe us there were any problems. When I told them I was getting bit, they said let me see. The thing was that my bites were not in places I felt comfortable disclosing to just anyone...especially creeper Chilean son. AND the principle was that if I was saying that I was bitten I shouldn't have to prove to them it's happening, I'm not just going to make up stuff for no reason...

Well these two ladies come out with their claws saying that we didn't have any right to do this, that they left everything clean for us and it is up to us to maintain it (which we were fine with if they gave it to us clean), that  the chairs didn't matter because you can't eat that the dinner table (yes, you read that right....) Then they started putting all of these other rules that we can't bring people over to our place, especially not for lunch since she pays the water and the gas (umm... no I pay 420 euro for a pay that with my money...) That if we bring someone to spend the night that it's 20 euro a night (yes you read that right again...) so for my sister, cousins, hermanas, or other auxiliar friends who are counting on me to have a place to stay for them, I can't really open my house to them graciously, I have to charge them 20 euro for this place which we can now call barely tolerable.) 

Then they came out with well, if you wanted to have your own rules, then you should have rented an entire apt for yourselves, but here you rented a room and that's all you have the right to govern over. So I told them, well if it's my room, and that's what I'm paying for If I want someone to come stay with me, IN MY ROOM, and sleep on the same bed, then that shouldn't be a problem. And they said no...that bed is too small for two people. And I said, well if that person and myself make the decision to sleep uncomfortably on that bed, then that is no concern of they retorted with fine,decide if you  to do that, they can't use the restroom or eat breakfast here because that uses water and gas (REALLY?!) On top of it all they wouldn't really let us chime in a word. Sonia (the Spanish roomie) was kind of the voice for us, even though we all agreed with what she was saying. The argument ended with them saying that the guys were coming to fumigate the place tomorrow so we couldn't be in the house between 11am-3pm

So the next day roomies and I decided we were moving out, and began piso hunting, which was a lot easier as a group then solo. We found a perfect spot, and we were ready to go. We were confident together we would be able to get our deposit back, and even if we had to sue. 

The next day which was the beginning of the long weekend here in Spain, my friend Marii from CSUN who is studying in Granada, came to Madrid, then we went to Leon together, and back to Madrid....Well with the atmosphere that my house was in I felt soo guilty having Marii stay in a hostel which would have been the same cost and wayy nicer than my place. I met up with after she got off of her bus ride, and hung out for a while (also dealing with her roomie being pickpocketed), and headed home to find my room had been sealed off due to fumigation...(remember they said only 11-3?) Well we went to talk to the landlady, Fina, to get our deposit back, and she said that she's never given a deposit back in her life (even though we know she gave it back to our first roomie who moved out), then she moved her story that we have to give her atleast a month to get the money together, when we accepted that and asked for it in writing she said she wouldn't that her word has value...THEN she came out with we'll only get our deposit back when we rent out our room to someone else...and when we asked for that in writing, no go either...then I asked her to undo my room since my computer was inside She said too bad, I would have to wait until tomorrow...

Well...the next day I had to go to Leon, without my own toothbrush, shampoo, deodorant, socks and shoes. All I had to take with my was the clothes I had started to back in my backpack to go and the going out flats I had on my feet. So I bought socks at the bus station and hoped for the best. Just as I expected I ended up with a bad blister from the shoes, which made my trying to enjoy my mini vacation very difficult. Luckily at the pharmacy they had some band-aids that made it better. 
Also during the trip I made a phone call to Sonia to check to see how things were going and it turns out that things made another turn for the worst, another drop. Her dad had called her to say that her grandpa was sick and that she had to return home, leaving the new apt we had already picked out and such for a loss, and we were still there with las brujas. 

So when I came back from Leon, Sonia left with her father and her deposit, and the battle still continues for me. In an effort to compromise I talked to Fina and told her I'd stay the month of November and that would be my deposit, so when I leave she doesn't have to give me anything, and that was no-go as well. Then she started to tell me that I can leave as I please but if I do she'll just go to the embassy to complain, because we can't just sign contracts and then not finish them. She called me an idiot to my face for "following the lead of that rebelious girl" who was only trying to take advantage of me and called us idiots in front of our faces. When I told her that's not what she said, she told me, well maybe it's because you're not from here, and you don't understand things so clearly, but I am from here and that's exactly what she said....

So we left it off as if I find someone to replace me then I get my money back, their deposit, is my deposit...even though it's hard for me to think to subject someone to these people....but as my friend Jessica said, you gotta be looking out for yourself and not for others all the time, cause there isn't someone looking out for you." So despite my conscience eating at me, I posted an online ad for the room. 

I got a few hits for it, and one guy came to see it was really interested and said he was moving in. This was on Wednesday, and I had to work on Thursday, so I told him to come on Friday and they'll make his contract, and he can move in then.... On Thursday night I was freaking out because all of the hostels I was looking at were all full, but again Jess to the rescue and I found the place that I am currently pouring out my mini novela. Friday Morning I get a text message from the guy saying if it was fine if he moved in at 3 pm, I told him that was perfect, and I got to work moving ALL my stuff to the hostel, and after 3 trips I did it. 3pm I was at the place waiting for the guy, gave him a call (no answer), 4pm, another call and a text (no response), 530, & 7pm, no response either.

   So back to round one, putting up the ad again and getting it filled. Now the thing is I have to find another apt, and another deposit, and just like how I said in a previous post....I wish my problems were Mo' Money. So that's when I called my mom today to tell her I'd most likely need to borrow more money from her. That's when the first tears started, I know we're not in the best shape and my lack of judgement and falling for a crappy illusion of a place has effected other people. Throughout all of this turmoil I hadn't cried, but today I couldn't stop the tears they just came out of me like a broken levee. 
I had to pull myself together, and call the places I'd found online, and start the vicious piso hunting process all over again. Much like i expected, half of the people either didn't answer or didn't take down the ad when they rented it. I found one that was right across the street from my first auxiliar friend I made, right around the corner from a metro stop, and a few stops closer to work. After making some calls, I finally got through and made an appointment to see the place its a 5bedroom 2 bath rented by people my age who 4 friends who found a better deal with 5 rooms. They kind of interviewed me to see if they wanted me to live with them, and said they'd be calling me back if I got it....well... I DID!! Tears of joy came out flowing from me as things slowly get back into place.

So after all the turmoil, there is a mini breath of fresh air, I'm still battling for my deposit, but like my tia told me, it's another life lesson to but in my backpack for life. Hopefully now I can stop being so worried and actually start enjoying this life I've been given.

If you've made it this far along with me, THANK YOU. I wanted to share these things with you all sooner, but I also don't want to worry my loves that are so far away either. 

Leave the love <3


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

La Angelita

Hey Hey Everyone,

   I know I've been fairly light on the updates with all of the juicy details of life in Spain, but things have been going down, and once all is well in the world I'll let it all out lol.

I wanted to do a quick post since it is a new month, meaning a new READER SPOTLIGHT. If you don't know what that's where the first comment of the month gets featured in the READER SPOTLIGHT section of my blog up there to the right ;)

Anyway...back to my mini post. I wanted to share the kind of funny experience I had on Halloween... Mari and I just came back from Leon (another post on that trip to come as well...) and we decided to meet up in Sol then figure out what was going on from there. Unfortunately, she was running late which meant I was waiting for here in the Plaza for like half an hour. (Sidenote sorry Ms.Beyonce that things didn't work out, I'll explain later and we'll have a real blogger meet up next time <3 )

The funny thing about Spain in Halloween is that instead of just dressing up, everyone sort of takes the scary version of everything. So as I was waiting I saw about a million zombies, devils, grim reapers...etc. Well I, Miss Cathy, decided to be an Angel this year...(so fitting I know ;) ) So I stuck out like a sore thumb...the funny part was that since I was apparently so unique people were taking pictures of me as if I was some famous monument or something, and asking to take pictures with me lol. I don't know on how many people's fb I'm going to end up on jajaja.

The other pretty funny part about all of this is that since I stuck out, I was kind of a target for all of the scary being in their own fun to jump out and scare me. The trouble is that ever since I was younger I've been a big scaredy-cat, super jumpy. And my lovely evil cousins would love to take advantage of that and scare me all the time. So I developed a defense mechanism that would automatically smack them when they scared me. Well apparently my body hasn't forgotten about it so when people in the street did it, I the first guy I hit in the stomach, the 2nd group of ladies I almost hit in the face but was able to stop myself, and the third guy got hit in the gut i just couldn't help it...SELF DEFENSE!!

Well there's my mini-(well maybe not so mini) update. Leave the love. I love and miss you all.

<3 Cathy
AKA- La Angelita-