Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A tale of tech, winter and pantyhose for your arms.

I could start today by talking about two stupid electrical snafus I've had. There's the one where I unplugged the (functioning) washing machine to plug in my hair dryer (what!? it's cold) and now had to start the whole cycle again, because I don't know what it was up to, and I tried whispering, "pick up where you left off" like my precious MacBook does when three months after I started watching the nature DVD I was loaned (thanks Danilo!), I put it back in and the computer asks me if I'd like to start from there. Yes, please! No amount of whispering would help, for what it's worth. Very rinsed clothes, I'm going to have soon.

The second snafu involves an aha moment where I suddenly understand why Mac laptops come with that stupid magnetic cord that breaks and frays and costs $75 to replace (and takes two weeks to arrive if you don't give your mother very specific mailing instructions, and sometimes even if you do (love the mother unit, also live in a family were we make fun a little.)) Today I had my computer plugged into the external speakers, playing a little Julieta Venegas and the like while I did my five-songs cleaning routine. When ooooof! I snagged the the non-magnetic cord that connects to the speakers, and my computer fell from coffee table to floor in a sad little whumph. Shook a whole bunch of crap out of the keyboard and turned off. NOOOOOO. We're up and running again, but I'm thinking I just shouldn't touch anything else electric for the rest of the day.

Which brings me to the actual point. Cold. We have it. Winter took her time, but here she is, in full force, with grey skies, a low smog ceiling, spitty filthy rain and a precipitous temperature drop. Santiago is not so lovely in the winter. But! Sopaipillas pasadas! (I wrote about them here. I actually don't like them, but have come to understand that they are one of the truly great things about winter, and also when they put the open barbecue pan with legs (a brasero) under the table or let you grill vegetables on it, like we did at a recent day at the parcela (country house, kind of).

brasero con verduras

Or maybe the best thing about winter is that it's T's birthday, and she went all gringa on us and made these excellent cupcakes, also at the parcela, and I did not pose the picture, the backyardigans hat came from another guest who I'd guess bought them at one of those birthday stores, like cumpleaños ely. (what? you don't have special stores just for birthday products? philistines).

So... the cupcakes.

american birthday, chilean style!

But a close second (third? what am I up to here?) about great winter traditions has got to be the camiseta. If Pablo Neruda were alive today, and were female, certainly he'd have written an ode to them. In French it's a chemisette. In Rebecca (a faraway gringa who I'll get to see in Chicago later this northern summer)'s words, "They're like pantyhose for your arms." They're just that. Packed flat in a package that looks like it should hold heavy denier tights, it unfurls to hold a tiny one-size-fits-most long-sleeved shirt in any of a number of colors, sometimes with cute detailing on the sleeves or througout. This you wear as your first layer, and just like long underwear (but imminently less breathable), it keeps your torso toasty.

I recently introduced Still Life to camisetas, and yesterday at the gym when we were stretching on our matching shirtyshirts we waxed elaborate on what a lifesaver they are. And then we exchanged baked goods, because Sunday found us both playing "I'm baking, but I'm also heating up this frigid cuchitríl (hovel) that I call home." Which actually might trump the camiseta. But just barely. Mmmm, banana bread.

Having trouble picturing the camiseta? Go here. Having trouble picturing it being cold right now? I offer you my couch to spend a frigid night on. Bring your own camiseta.

11 comments:

Katie said...

We've got cold, and plenty of it...but camisetas? Nope. I want pantyhose for my arms too, but I'd settle for some of Still Life's banana bread. :)

gnostraeh said...

Pantyhose for your arms, huh? What a concept... Maybe in a few months "up" here...

Bystander said...

I have a drawer full of camisetas! Try some of the Monarch ones which are a bit heavier. You can even wear them over the really light ones. That and a hot chocolate and you are laughing!

Abby said...

I need to get me a camiseta.

Also another great thing about winter: the snow capped mountains today. Breathtaking.

Eileen said...

Katie, if you want I can send you one! I can't believe that fashion-superior Argentina is all sans-armpantyhose!

Gnostreah, you're all natural! would you really want arm pantyhose? I can bring you some if you like! I'll be in the N. hemisphere soon!

Bystander, I couldn't remember the second brand. I got a really thick one from Caffarena. I may have worn it for more than a day...

Abby, I highly recommend them, and Caffarena was having a 50% off sale on the fall collection (whatever, it's underwear, it doesn't really go out of style!), also the mountains were just the antidote to the "why do I live here" winter blahs today. Excellent!

stilllifeinbuenosaires said...

I have a big Buddha belly full of chocolate chip cookies. It's currently kept warm by a camiseta.

Katie said...

What does an average pair of arm pantyhose cost? And do they run? ;)

Eileen said...

shirt-weight arm pantyhose cost about 10,000 CLP, but they're on sale now for 5,000 CLP, and the thinner ones (more like tights) are usually 6,000 and now are 3,000 with about 570 pesos to the US dollar. The shipping would probably run you more than that though, it's pricey to send stuff from country to country. We could set up a trade. Whatcha got over there?

and how hilarious is this whole "arm pantyhose" thing? Rebecca would be so proud!

Katie said...

Hmm, they're pretty affordable. (How tempting!) Alas, I can't think of any cool garments that I could send your way. We have nice leather - do you need a little change purse or something of the sort?

Eileen said...

I mostly only do leather for shoes, but thanks for brainstorming! I did some research and saw that Caffarena sells stuff in Mendoza and BsAs, neither of which are close to you, durnit! I wonder if Stilllife will be close to you sometime and could drop some in the mail? Will have to check! And about the bananabread. :)

Katie said...

I get up to BsAs occasionally - in fact I'll be there next month to pick up my dad when he comes to visit me. I'll check out the Caffarena store while I'm there. At any rate, thanks for the tip. I never would have known about arm pantyhose otherwise. lol