April 2024 Highlights

(Post 252 of 263)

I really don’t know where April went, but boy did it feel long!

About midway through the month, I finally replaced by nearly 5.5-year-old computer. It was just time, now that we were on the other side of the whole M chip storm. Windows and my work software were finally working on the new Macs and I wanted to be portable again. Buying the computer stretched my Spanish skills almost to their breaking point. My purchase was denied at the cash register, and I had to spend almost 1.5 hours on the phone with my bank to convince them that I was really and truly at the store and that this was not a fraudulent transaction! And I was only at the store because they kept denying me online purchases despite hours on the phone and promises that the transaction was no longer blocked! This was definitely not BBVA’s finest hour. The connection to the bank was very poor, I got disconnected at least once, and there were some impressive technological gymnastics to do to go between my bank app and the phone call. It was mortifying, but the authorization finally went through and I was able to make my purchase, and in 20 equal no-interest payments to boot. This let me get a computer with slightly better specs than I would have otherwise, and more quickly, since I was able to buy what was in stock that day instead of waiting for the model I’d chosen to be restocked.

My new computer was so easy to set up that I was working with it a day later. Of course, the Mac side just meant restoring from my last backup and walking away for a few hours. The Windows side had to be done manually, but since I only use one software, it wasn’t too bad, although I’m still getting rid of bloatware. The only thing that isn’t working is my brand-new printer, which is very frustrating, especially since it has printed a couple of pages, so it’s a case of it choosing not to print rather than not being able to print. I can’t believe it’s 2024 and printers haven’t improved. I miss my old dot matrix!

I was overdue for a day off, so I spent extra time at the mall, getting lunch and browsing the Gandhi bookstore. I really wanted some very pricy comprehensive Lebanese and Indian cookbooks, but reason held out and I brought home these very reasonably priced tomes instead.

Gals at a pop-up Ipanema sandal stand said they got the easiest sale of their lives when I came upon them. I loved my “dressy flip-flops” when I was in Europe — and still use them! — but I definitely was due for a refreshed pair. This is what they had for “chanclas de vestir” (don’t come at my Spanish if that isn’t exactly right because they perfectly understood what I was looking for!)  in my size, and the price was so much more reasonable than what I’d paid for my Ipanemas back in Canada in 2016!

I managed to finish early one night and decided to treat myself to one of my favourite restaurants, Miyabi. I’d never been on my own. The restaurant is really beautiful with an inside terrace that is also an outside terrace, and there is a river that runs through it with fish.

I started with their mixed tempura, which includes ginormous shrimp:

And then I had some octopus nigiri and a spicy tuna roll (NO CREAM CHEESE!!!). This is my go-to Miyabi order and it is always fresh and delicious. I also always have a Sapporo beer.

Near the end of the month, I went to a wine tasting and pairing event near my house. Like the gardening class, this was a very targeted ad by Instagram, which gets data from chats in Facebook Messenger as well as conversations through Gmail. Annoying, but I do need to get out of the house more and this gets me out of the house!

There was a brown husky at the event. Such a good boy, very friendly!

We literally painted with wine and coffee.

We were supposed to paint cacti. Inspired by the Mexican flag, I wanted to add an eagle and a snake…

I’m not much of a wine drinker, but all the wines of the night were to my taste! We started with a bubbly, then a rosé, then a couple of reds.

We got some nibbles. The honey drizzled into the hummus left me with mixed feelings, but, really, everything was delicious!

I was pretty pleased with most of my painting except for the eagle.

Said eagle looked more like a duck and was the highlight of the night.

I received some help to fix it!