Thursday, July 24, 2008

Sport Fuerzas 10k en Costanera Sur

Last Sunday I went to this race to cheer on my friends and to celebrate "Friends Day". My friend Paula lowered her 10k time 3 minutes and ran a 43:28! We had a picnic after the race and in general had a great time. Check out the photos of the day...

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ride ‘m Cowboy!

Alright ladies and gentlemen, as the official reviewer in the Nonexistent Corporation of all English names for Argentine businesses, I’m back this week with a list of my favorite names.

(After receiving a couple of calls after last week’s entry congratulating me on my new position I have to mention here that this entire new position thing is a joke. There is no company – that’s why I called it the Nonexistent Company – and I really don’t have a position there. I just like writing about something I think is funny.)

Ok, now that that is out of the way, on to some of my favorite names….


This store sells women’s clothing. Do I really need to explain this one? Almost every woman loves chocolate. It can be sexy, rich, complex, and deep. What makes the name even more interesting is not only does it make an excellent gift, but it can be used as a bribe, and many other imaginative ways. Let’s just say…it’s a great way to please your woman. Smart name.


This is another store that sells women’s clothing. This is a great name. I think of the word “sweet”more as it is used as an exclamation, rather than to describe something, such as a cake. I like this name; it’s positive and full of excitement. It would be like having a store in the U. S. with the name “¡Buenísimo!” Don’t you just want to go in and check out all their “sweet” merchandise? I do!


This store sells clothing for women and for kids. I know that the word “Cheeky” has more of a negative meaning in English, but what I think of when I pass by this store are the big fat cheeks of kids when they are little. (This could be because there are always pictures of cute kids with fat cheeks in the windows of this store.) I think it is a cute name for a store that sells cute clothing. Cheeky – I like it!


This store mainly sells women’s shoes. All I have to say about this store is that I like anything that is at the top or that “tops” another! It’s like saying “the best”, but in a little more clever way.

Class Life

This store sells athletic apparel for women. This store has a definite fresh feel to it and the name “Class Life” reminds me of fresh-faced school kids. I often like the colors of clothing that they offer in this store as they are often cool winter tones.


This is one of my all-time favorites. This store sells men’s and women’s clothing. I like the name of this store because it makes me think of a rugged cowboy, dressed in Wrangler jeans, a button-down shirt, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat. And when I think about that rugged cowboy sitting on his horse, it makes me want to put a serious look on my face and yell “Ride ‘m cowboy!” How can you not like that?

These are just a few of my favorites. I’m interested to hear if any of you have favorite store names – let me hear them!

Te mando besos,


Saturday, July 19, 2008

Figueroa Alcorta

I took this photo one night when I was running back to my apartment.

Dulce de membrillo

This was my first time to try dulce de membrillo. Its a dense gelatin that is sweet and is made from the fruit of the quince tree. Delicious!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Red boots

What's in a name?

I’ve promoted myself in the Non-Existent Corporation to the official reviewer of English names for Argentine businesses.

I don’t have any experience, nor am I an expert, but I think I am going to excel in my new position. Yes, that’s right, Jennifer Albright, reviewer of Argentine businesses in English.

I’ve been looking around this city and pretty often I am shocked at the names of some businesses here.

Here are some examples…


This is one of my favorites. This store sells women’s clothing. Does anyone know what a tramp is? It’s a person who engages freely in promiscuous sex – and a terrible name for a woman’s clothing store! It would be like my opening a store in the US with the name “Facilona”. Sound good?


This is another one of my favorites. This store sell handbags, wallets, shoes and leather jackets. I don’t know if the people of Buenos Aires know this, but a prune is a dried plum that is eaten by old people in order to relieve their constipation. Prune…not a sexy name. Every time I pass by one of their stores, I can’t stop thinking about the idea of going to the bathroom.

Paw acesorios

This store is another store that sells handbags, but also every type of accessory. I can’t speak for you, but what comes to my mind when I think of the word “paw” are the feet of dogs, cats and bears. That’s cute and all, but I certainly do not what to think about a dog’s foot when I reach for my handbag. I haven’t bought anything at this store yet.

Lady First

This store sells women’s underwear. The only thing I have to say about this is that the phrase is “Ladies First”. It’s “ladies”, not “lady””. The first word is plural, not singular. Every time I pass by this store I think to myself that the person that chose this name must have learned English as their second language. No native speaker would choose this name.

Lady Stork – New York

This is a shoe store for women. Ok, I’m going to explain something here. When kids are young and their parents don’t want to have “the talk” with them, the common explanation for where babies come from is that a stork brings them. Stork is the word “cigüeña”. Anyway, a stork does not sound attractive…not even close! What makes it even funnier is that the brand has the words “New York”under the name (check out the photo) as if the store started there and this is one of their other locations.

Stork Man – New York

This is the sister store to Lady Stork, but the shoes are obviously for men. Every time I pass by one of these stores I am completely dumbfounded. I can’t comment on this one, it’s that bad.

XL Extra Large

This store sells handbags. I’m not sure if the person that chose this name understands this, but, in general, women do not want to be associated with anything that is XL. Do you understand what I’m trying to say here? Full-size…really big…XL…I think not!

There you have it. I have some others that are a part of my favorites also, but I’m not going to bore you with them.

In order to be fair, I’m going to write an entry about the names that I do like. Check back soon to see some of my favorites.

Te mando besos,


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The #15 bus stop near Scalabrini Ortiz and Honduras

What I see every day after my Spanish class while I'm waiting for the bus.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

How I Learned to Ski in Pinamar

I just got back from running the Merrell Adventure Race in Pinamar, Argentina. The course was 27 kilometers of running along the beach, through woods, up and over some gigantic hills (and I mean gigantic), and along a golf course. I’m just going to go ahead and tell you right now – it was awesome.

I am still in shock that I even ran this race for a couple of reasons. One, it was one of the hardest races I’ve ever ran – ever – and I’ve been a runner for about 15 years. I would go as far as to call it extremely challenging. Not only does it have the above mentioned gigantic hills, but 95% is run over sand. At the same time, it was also one of the prettiest race courses I’ve ever seen. I’m talking breathtaking…absolutely gorgeous…like something you would see in a movie.

Let me tell you all about it.

I arrived in Pinamar a little after 12 on Saturday, the day before the race, just in time to meet up with some friends for lunch and then head over to the Merrell Race expo to pick up our timing chips. After getting everything we needed, and checking out all the cool stuff they had, we headed back to the house we had rented to get some rest before going out to dinner.

That night about 10 people from our group ate at a local restaurant. As I was listening to everyone who had run the race before talk about their experiences, I started getting a little nervous. I realized that I felt extremely under prepared. I never train on hills – really, never – and I knew that I was in store for some pretty killer hills the next day. Also, I felt like I didn’t know very much about the course. After taking with a couple of my running friends and scribbling some race strategy ideas on a piece of paper, I thankfully started to feel a little better.

The morning of the race came and we headed to the race area ahead of time in order to eat breakfast. A little later, more members of our group came and we all warmed up together and headed over to the starting line.

I hadn’t run in about 5 days, so when the race finally started, I felt this sense of relief, like the thing I had been waiting for was finally here. I don’t know if any of you can relate to this, but it was a great feeling.

The first part of the race was about 5k along the beach. This was when I first starting noticing how pretty the course was. As I was running, I looked ahead to see the sun in front of me. In a long line, snaked up against the edge of the water in order to find better footing, I could see the outlines of all the runners that were running ahead of me, everyone with their red t-shirts on. When the water would rush in, the runners of that section of the line would quickly move away from the water (sometimes by jumping) in order to not get their feet wet. It was really a sight from a movie – beautiful.

The next part was through some woods. Again, it was just gorgeous. The footing was a little better here, but in general, we were still running in sand.

The next part of the race, I think I will remember for the rest of my life. We ran up some gigantic sandy-covered hills – Do I need to say it again? gigantic - so much so that for a few of them I had to stop and walk up them.

I remember one in particular, that I wouldn’t actually call a hill, I would call it a steep incline on the front side, and on the back side it was more like a cliff. The “cliff-side” was so steep that you couldn’t run down it. I think I probably looked like a cartoon character when I saw this side of the hill because I think my eyes popped out of my head in disbelief. After saying a couple of swear words, I had this brilliant idea. I kind of did this interesting thing where I would jump forward and then ski down the sandy cliff with my running shoes acting as skis. Amazing! This part was really an adventure that I will never forget.

During the next part we entered the woods again. I was a little worried that I was going to roll my ankle because I was so interested in looking around. At the end of this section, there was a couple cheering on the runners who had brought out some speakers and was blasting some music. I was really thankful for them, because I was feeling really tired at this point. I gave them a couple of pumps of my fist in the air and yelled “¡Gracias!” with a big smile and continued on to the next section that was along a golf course.

At this point, I didn’t know what place I was in, I was guessing about 4th, but it was hard to tell because there were some mixed teams of men and women that made it a little confusing. During this section of the race we were running on grass and I started to think about making up some ground to catch some of the women runners that were ahead of me.

As we entered the next section, along a road (finally over pavement!), I knew that we were almost finished and the very last part was along the beach, so I decided to kick it up a notch. Within a couple of minutes I spotted a couple of females, so I started running faster to catch them. I have a lot of speed, so I knew I could do it, but I was really tired and I was breathing really heavily. I must of sounded like a crazy person because a couple of runners looked back to see where in the world the noise was coming from. (-:

As we finished the last part on the pavement and rounded our way to the beach I caught one female and then as I was running along the final leg of the beach I caught another.

I was so glad to see the finish line, I almost started crying. I, thankfully, did not, as that would have been pretty embarrassing to be blubbering as I ran it in. (I hate crying in public. I have a really ugly face when I cry.)

I finished with a time of 2:27:34 in second place overall for females.

As I sit here, eating chocolate, resting (I didn’t run today), and writing this, I think about what I am most proud of. It’s really not my time, or the place I finished, because I always try to run my own race, to challenge myself.

What I am most proud of is that I feel like I conquered the beast – the beast of the Merrell Adventure Race in Pinamar. To be more specific, I conquered those gigantic sandy-covered hills that I was in awe of when I saw them. Not only that, but I was able to finish the race after running them (or skiing them!). I know this might sound a little strange, but I feel like my self-esteem is a little higher after being able to do something so difficult. This usually doesn’t happen to me after a race.

I’ve always called myself more of a road runner and not a cross-country runner, but this race was truly spectacular and something I will never forget.


And as I think about it a little more…

I might just start...

planning my training for next year’s race!

If you’re interested, check out my pics from the weekend.


Photos of Merrell Adventure Race 2008

Friday, July 4, 2008

I'd like you to meet my new friend.....

His name is Lunes and he's my friend Paula's cat. I like the way he has his paws folded over in the second photo. I took that pic just seconds before he hissed at me.....I think he had had enough of me and my putting my camera in his face.

What I see through front door of my Spanish teacher's apartment

I like this photo because it is really strange for me to see this. He lives in a type of property that is called Propiedad Horizontal or horizontal property. There is a common front door (or in his case 2 doors - one made of wood and the other of glass) and behind this there is a long (and narrow) hallway. In the back there are three other doors to three individual apartments. Very interesting.

This Sunday....Merrell Adventure Race 2008

This is the race I'm going to run this weekend. I'm leaving on Saturday morning, at the crack of dawn, and I'm returning on Sunday, after the race. It's 27 kilometers of fun where you run along the beach, over some pretty steep hills, through polo fields and some woods. I'm not sure what's all in store for me, but I'm keeping my mind open! I promise a full report next week...of course with lots of pics.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In a cafe

It's called Tea Connection and, of course, you can order many different types of teas there. They also serve little things to cookies, and cakes and little sandwiches. I went there for the first time with a friend the other day.

The front door of the restaurant Siga la Vaca

I'll bet you can guess you can eat a lot of beef there!
This is an "all-you-can-eat" restaurant. I tried morcilla (blood sausage) there for the first time. (hey, I wanted to take advantage of the all-you-can-eat part!) and I was surprised at how much I liked it!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I've been thinking.....

If I were president I would try to be a pretty good president so that after my presidency a prestigious library would be built for me and it would have my name in really big letters in front of the building.

Damn those kids that smoke and throw their cigarettes in front of my name!

If were a kid I would try to be pretty good in school so that everyone would think “How intelligent is this kid!”, “How’d you get so sharp?!” and they would go back to their houses and would read the latest book by a famous author because they are so jealous.

Damn those bookmarks that fall from my books so that I can’t find my last page!

If I were a writer, I would write enormous fantasy books with dwarfs and lost rings so that all the kids of the world would read my books and I would have a billion dollars.

Damn those taxes that I have to pay!

If I were a dollar bill I would try to look old so that people would use me and I could travel the world and see how the people of the world live.

Damn those fat people that put me in their pockets and sit on me!

If I were a personal trainer I would have the best looking body in the world so that my clients would think that I am the best personal trainer in the world so that they would tell all their friends and then afterwards I would have more clients.

Damn those cookies that always call my name when I pass by them!