Well, I think I am getting sick. Usually if I feel under the weather it's just allergies - no big deal. I don't feel really worn out, just irritated with a mild congestion and dry eyes. Last night though I could feel it was something else.
I felt fine during dinner and Scrabble - Hanna and Robert came over for the evening - but as I went to sleep, I realized I had a the beginnings of a sore throat. I woke up and it was still there this morning. Ack! I also feel worn down, different than my normal *I just need sleep* feeling. I guess I better make myself a pitcher of OJ for the weekend and check my stock of TheraFlu. I can't remember the last time I was sick...
(By the way, congratulations to Hanna, last night's Scrabble winner with 170 points! Yay!)
Hee, hee... a few anti-SUV links:
Changing the Climate
The SUV Info Link
I agree with a lot of their statements but do excuse small sport trucks and small to mid-size SUVs. The reality is, with kids and their car seats, I can see where the space may be needed in many families. Plus, many of the smaller SUV's actually do pretty good on their mileage and are more compact than they seem. Just my 2 cents worth since I hadn't posted anything else today!
I came across this banner ad recently and it really threw me for a loop!
Afghans in Iowa? What?
It took me a few seconds to finally realize what the banner was actually trying to sell me...
I recently joined a group discussion blog called The Back Porch... it looks like a great little place and I'm looking forward to the weekly discussion topics!
The Mazie Project was a huge success and Josh's touching update made me get teary-eyed. I am really glad I participated. It was a wonderful project!
I (fortunately) missed the boys' Friday night antics at Steak & Ale but I did scan in their Crayola creations that reflect the true debauchery that took place. Kenny's red-ass dinosaur started it and E.J.'s Trans-Sexual Rex topped it off. Boys, boys, boys. Poor Sherry! Sorry I wasn't there to help you deal with them!
Please keep my grandmother-in-law in your thoughts in the next few days. She is undergoing surgery at this moment and we all wish her a speedy recovery! Thank you.
UPDATE: She came out of surgery OK! Hope she feels better soon! Love you MaMa!
Ack! The weekend came… and went! I actually had a productive weekend that included laundry, tidying up around the apartment, a car wash and an oil change. It also included fun stuff like a night out with Hanna and her parents to see Stars on Ice, drinks with friends, dinner with friends in from out-of-town, Linda & Angie (I finally met Angie!), and volunteering for Orchestra X.
Unfortunately, Kenny left to West Texas Sunday morning. His grandmother is undergoing surgery today and he left yesterday to help around the house and help his grandfather. He won't be back till Friday. He’s being missed, especially by our dachshund, Ginger. She moped on the couch all Sunday and hardly touched her dinner. She should be doing better tonight though.
The time alone will be nice although I’m not used to it. I’ve rediscovered BBC America and am having fun watching the wonderfully wacky British humor (or is it humour)?! Hopefully I’ll actually get on the computer and update some sites as well as get some reading in (I need to finish this book by next week for the book club)... and I have a couple of dinner plans already made though… I’m such a social butterfly! *flutter, flutter*
Must get back to work so hasta luego!
Wow, what a productive day here at work! We get off at noon so I'm outta here and you want to know what I did at work today? I sent one fax and made one phone call to a customer. *Whew* What a day! Anyway, I'm outta here - I'll probably blog later from my house though!
I don't have anything interesting to say so you are stuck with yet another stupid test!
Find out what kind of driver you are!
Hmm - notes on the Blogger Pro demo presented recently. Now I will need to decide - is it worth $30?
You will marry JAMES BOND (most recently played by Pierce Brosnan) from the James Bond movies, live in many expensive penthouses filled with many girls and many martinis (shaken, not stirred), and spend your days driving explosive foreign cars and spying on villains with big egos and small brains.
What's YOUR M * A * S * H future?
(link thanks to Meimei)
I am so bored today. The manager out of the office so I don't even have to look busy, Hanna is out of town on business so I can't even bug her. Even the weather is crappy and warm outside...
Watching TV last night I was again tempted to buy this silly CD compilation, Pulse. I don't know - I think I would actually groove to it while driving around town! Maybe I'll order it when I get my $40 expense check from work.
This was a pathetic Wednesday night. I am finally going to bed after having a bowl of Mac & Cheese, a glass of milk and watching an episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Good night everyone...
Well, Kenny and I were just pre-qualified for a house loan so know we have a number to work with and can start looking more earnestly. Next we need to find a good realtor and make a list of what we both are looking for. Maybe we can even start driving around and looking at neighborhoods this weekend...
In related news, we have also decided against the trip to London in March. It was a very difficult decision but we felt we just couldn't do it. We talked it over and a trip overseas would be the equivalent of a new fridge and a washer & dryer set so it just started to sound unfeasible. I'm a little sad but on the flip-side, I can also look forward to owning my own home this year! Yippee! I'll keep you posted on the house hunt!
As promised, I thought I would share with you guys a few of my pictures from Saturday. I basically went around with my digital camera and took shots in mostly black and white mode, but took a few in color as well. The cemetary I went too, Glenwood Cemetary, is historically significant due to many of the familiar names from Houston's history that can be found here, including Howard Hughes. It also extremely beautiful and peaceful - full of large, gorgeous oak trees, a few rolling hills and old, weathered headstones. Some of the headstones have very nice angel statues and I took pictures of a few of the best.
Once I got home, I then played with the images in PhotoShop and experimented since I really don't know PhotoShop that well. I was happy with the results and the one included here is my favorite. Check out the rest of my digital manipulations in the on-line album - I include the originals so you can compare before and after. I see a little bit of Andy Warhol's influence...
* Angel Watercolor
* Golden Angel
* Angel Triptych
* Rose-colored Angel
a community site where members are welcome to add their own
weird, bizarre, interesting news that may not always make the front-page.
...news from the Back Burner
Hi everyone! Had a good weekend that involved the Weiner Dog Nationals over at the Gulf Greyhound Park as well as a movie excursion to see Black Hawk Down.
Black Hawk Down – I won’t even get into the political and military discussions of the actual event but I will say as a movie that it was pretty good. It is in-you-face war and it isn’t pretty. It was moving, even if you gloss over the patriotic lines and it will make you wonder how humans can harbor such hate for each other. Don’t go in expecting a quick fix, happy ending guys. Be ready for an emotional, gut wrenching, bloody 2 hours.
Weinie Dogs! – This was entertaining! They had the informal dashchund races between the actual Greyhound races. The dachshunds were super-cute but easily distracted while the greyhounds were so fast that you can hardly even see them in this picture. Fun, even if I did lose a few bucks on the greyhounds (Robert won $46 though)!
Saturday I went out on my own since it was absolutely gorgeous day in Houston and took some pictures at a local historical cemetery. I’ll post more on this later including some pictures I took. Sunday was just lazy, lazy… went straight back home and napped after having brunch with Susan and her family. Spent the rest of the day watching the Joan Crawford classic Mildred Pierce, various episodes of Trading Spaces and catching up on the phone with my sister and a friend in California... I was soooooooo lazy, wasn't I?
This ran around my joke list this weekend but I thought it was blog worthy! Turn up the volume and take The Insanity Test!
Had a good time last night seeing friends... Started the evening at Cafe Perrier for an Alliance Française Happy Hour. I met some friends there and had a glass of wine bought for me by a very nice gentleman. Had a relaxing time just talking about our travels around Europe. Didn't get to speak any French but maybe next time...
Afterwards I met up yet another group of friends over at Brasil's for some coffee and drinks. Phil made an unexpected visit and we all had a good time talking and drinking. They actually had some good live music as well so it was a very pleasant experience. Spending time like this was what I needed after my day at work and it made me really appreciate how rich my life really is.
Finally got home a little after 11 PM where I promptly got on the computer and found my way into the Z-List chatroom. Met some of the Z-List regulars and stayed on for a little bit before calling it a night.
Now I’m back at work at looking forward to the weekend!!
Yay! I won a free car wash in a drawing offered by my office building's management company. Woo-hoo! (This is the 2nd time I've won it in the last year, I swear I'm not rigging it...)
Following the Blogstickers trend, check this out: "My other car is a weblog" (and there is a frog involved)!
(check out more images at pssst!)
Very interesting follow-up article on the 'rent-a-stalker' site that made the blog circuit a few weeks back. The internet is such an interesting world full of even more interesting pranksters... that's why I love it so.
I…am…sooooo frustrated right now with my managers. I got looked over yet again for a task that I was best suited for. I think it’s time to talk to someone…
* walks off fuming *
*sigh* I'm feeling better overall about some personal issues. I had a talk with my hubby and he helped sort some stuff out. Sometimes I start to over-think things and I get myself worked up over nothing.
In better news, we are actually starting to house hunt. It may still take us months to find the house we are happy with but that's OK... we're willing to be patient till we find what we want. I'm stressed and happy all at the same time though - happy to be looking but also stressed at all the things we need to be on the lookout for (past flooding history, structural soundness, neighborhood crime, appreciation values, school districts, area tax rates, etc., etc.). And that's not even covering the differences between what Kenny and want in a house... wish us luck!
Yay! Cirque du Soleil is finally in town and they've set up The Big Top! The show has been such a success here in Houston that extra shows have been added in respose to record advance ticket sales that "have surpassed all previous Cirque du Soleil North American tours over the past decade".
I've got my tickets for the February 3rd matinee and I can't wait!
My friends E.J. and Robert have gone to town creating their very own Burner Blogsticker collection!
Grab a few for your weblog or go to the original Blogstickers site!
OK. This is just kind of cool...
(links thanks to goluboy via evhead)
Yay! I have been buttonated thanks to Hoopty!
"Shave A Head for Kids Project"
Please check it out and make any donation you can.
I will be keeping a permanent link in the left-side column in order to help him out.
Damn... I had thought of this idea already a year or so ago but they really made it feasible - Super-Duper GPS Kid Tracker
(link thanks to Meta Filter)
Sorry, I'm link-happy today, much like Hanna...
My submission to Jeremy's Cityscape Project got posted today!
Want to add your own city? Check out the site and send in your cityscapes...
Wish a grandmother Happy Birthday!
I got Mazie her birthday card... have you? << The Mazie Project 2002 >>
Welcome back Chris! I missed your blog for the past few months...
Hanna took a picture of me last week while I was at my computer at home and digitized it... Here is what she likes to call Cybertoad's "Real" Corner.
(Yes, I know I sit funny and my posture ain't too great - I can't ever sit with both feet on the ground. Even at work, I always sit with one foot underneath me!)
Hope everyone had a good weekend - I did, although Sunday was a bit stressful.
Saturday was fun - Kenny and I spent the day together running errands and shopping. Confession time - Kenny loves to shop more than I do. I myself am not a big shopper. I only shop out of necessity (stuff for the house), when I need something specific (new black shoes for work), or when I have some money and even then I go with purpose in mind (ooh, what a cute top for this weekend)! Kenny, on the other hand, likes to wander malls, browsing and spending hours in there. I become the restless, grouchy wife. So, over our years together, we've learned to just go without each other. Our Saturdays are spent going our own way. He gets to wander, I get my stuff done.
Still, every once in a while, it's nice to go out together and we did so this Saturday. We went to Half Price Books where I actually got a whopping $15 for selling them some old used books then gorged ourselves on wonderfully yummy Freebird's burritos. Afterwards, we went to the bookstore where we bought new music (Shakira, David Garza, Alice Deejay, Afro-Celt Sound System) and new books. We also went to The Galleria and spent a little more money (not much). It was just a nice experience and we had a lot of fun.
Sunday wasn't too bad but I had to drive all the way down South to pick up my Mom (I live in North Houston) whose car is still broken. I won't relive my experiences but let's just say that she lives an area of Houston full of complete morons who have no manners or courtesy and who are also bad drivers. I was infuriated with people's behavior by the time I dropped her home and it took me an hour or so once I got home to cool off. Err...
Yeah, yeah - I know - my comments are down for the time-being. Sorry but Marcus over at BlogBack is doing some maintenance.
Once they are back up, please go ahead and leave me some comments - I love comments!!
Well, the Survivor Party was a success - by the way, Ethan won - and Kenny was a wonderful help who did most of the cooking - thanks Hon! It was also very nice to finally meet E.J.'s daughter, Gelli and of course to see his son Brendon again. Brendon and I played Tekken 3 on the PlayStation (I kicked butt as Nina) and Gelli admired my floaty pen collection.
The final group left around 12:30 AM but I still stayed up to 3 AM working on this redesign (graphics by Elegant Inspirations) . What do you think? A little less dreary than the black and dark red roses, a little more cheery, but still not too cutesy - a good fusion of my personality. Plus, Keroppi is my favorite Sanrio character, especially since I like frogs so much...
I am still tweaking fonts and font colors and may be rearranging some links but it's mostly set up!
I'm off to have lunch with a friend so I better run...
Move over geeks, we now have a Blogger Code!! Here is mine...
(thanks to zalary for the link)
Yay! I was so productive last night! I am having a Survivor: Africa Season Finale dinner tonight with a bunch of friends so I wanted to tidy up a bit and I was successful. I had been lazy the past few days but somehow got some energy (maybe it was that workout I did last night???) and got a bunch of stuff done including finally clearing off my desk and filing paperwork that is 3 months old (I can type unencumbered once again), doing 2 loads of laundry, putting a stack of photos I had laying around into actual albums, vacuuming all the pine tree needles leftover form the Christmas tree, and updating some stuff on my website. I even added a few new picture frames to the shelves since I got several for Christmas.
It always feels good to have everything where it should be. :D
The hampsters are back, bigger and better!
Be sure to check out the music video and new dance music Hampster Dance 2! Turn up the volume and get read to jam!
Thanks Kenny for the link... :D
This is just "priceless"...
Strippers get magnetic panties to cope with euro coins
I know poor Ev is struggling with the Blogger servers so this won’t post till later but no big deal… I just wanted to write a little bit about my Mom.
For those of you who know my Mom, you can understand what a character she is. She can be and often is loud, rude, and abrasive. But she is also kind and caring and worked really hard for her family and that is why I hope my Mom’s life makes a turn for the better this year. She deserves it. She has lived way too long in a numbing depression where, despite being relatively active, she is also very lonely. I won’t go into details – the story is too long – but I will say that because of her emotional state and personality type, her home is in utter disarray. I cannot describe it. Her house is just, simply put, filthy. My sister and I had come to the end of the rope figuring out ways to deal with her (we tried cajoling her, reprimanding her, pleasing with her, yelling at her) and none had worked but had managed to strain the family relationship among all 3 of us. We finally just let her be to see how far things would go.
Things are still pretty desperate but she had a breakthrough recently that came in the form of a very nice Cuban couple and their handyman friend. They have been so selfless and have been coming over several times a week, repairing, cleaning, painting, replacing... There is still soooooo much to do that their help hasn’t even scratched the surface but this is the 1st time friends of hers has actually followed through on their word and this has brought my mother some renewed faith in her friends and herself. Some more good news – through a few more friends’ connections, she found an extremely affordable replacement part for her car (it hasn’t worked in 2 weeks) and a mechanic who will let her pay in installments. Maybe all this goodwill is planning to stay around? I hope so, for my mother’s sake.
This is how I often feel on the Houston freeways as I zip along in my Civic EX... argh!
The Spanish are so locos (which is where I get my own craziness)!
"Defecating figurines are part of the holiday fun in Spain's Catalonia region"
Here are some examples of these caganers. I think the The 3 Wisemen is my favorite set.
(link thanks to MetaFilter).
In today's news, both happy and sad...
Sad news first...Wendy's Founder Dave Thomas Dies of Cancer
But in happier news, today is British physicist Stephen Hawking's 60th birthday, which is quite amazing since he was given only 3 months to live back in the mid-60's when he was 1st diagnosed with Lou Gehrig's Disease. Hawking's is famous for his Grand Unified Theory, or a "Theory of Everything."
Want to know more? Pick up his bestseller, A Brief History of Time.
Taking my cue from Edge's entry where he shares with us his rather, er, buoyant desktop, I thought I would share mine as well. Although mine don't show as much skin, they nonetheless reflect my colorful (and organized) personality...
The weekend was productive although relatively low-key (not a single alcoholic drink)! Friday night I drove my Mom around (her car isn’t working) and took her to the dentist. I then met up with the usual group of friends for some sushi and hibachi at Mikado’s. We were all pretty tired so we went our separate ways that night. Kenny and I rented movies and Robert stayed over and watched Evolution, a forgettable movie IMHO.
Saturday was a lazy, rainy day. Sherry came over and we talked and then joined up Robert and friend at Café Piquet where Sherry had Cuban food for the 1st time. Took a nap and ended up going to see Ocean’s 11, a very good heist movie with some beautiful leading men. Can we say yum?
Sunday joined friends again for a birthday brunch at World Café to celebrate CJ’s birthday. Afterwards went and recycled the Christmas tree (yep, all the holiday decorations are packed away again) and headed off to my mother’s to help sort through the old clothes and books I had left behind when I moved. Since she is trying to work on cleaning the house up, I felt I should do my share.
Unfortunately, her house is very dusty and moldy in spots so I ended up with a bad case of asthma and allergies after 5 hours there. I went home miserable - wheezing AND sneezing. Took a shower to clean up and watched the end of The Score with Kenny and Ginger, the dog.
The effect of the allergies still remains though and I decided to sleep in this morning to try to recover. They make me feel so exhausted and the extra sleep does me wonders. I didn’t get to work till noon but the headache is still present. And I need to go back to that house soon to finish organizing my crap… *sigh*
At least my ickiness is temporary - poor Kenny has some bug in his system so he was feeling very miserable last night. He intends to go home early today and see if he can sleep some of it off. I just hope he doesn’t send it my way! Hope you feel better soon honey!
GOALS FOR 2002 (i.e. New Year's Resolutions)
I'm a few days late but here they are anyway, in no particular order:
* Lose weight by eating better and actually exercising.
* Learn how to create my own digital art, maybe even learn how to make my own web sets and templates.
* Host more dinner parties (in order to save money but still see friends - cheaper than restaurants and bars and cozier).
* Help Mom out with her house by helping to fix it up, clean it up and most importantly, maintain it.
* Work to make my job better for me (including getting there on time more often).
* Continue to stay open with my husband and keep our marriage strong.
I also have a few specific travel goals:
March - Visit London for a week and catch up with Paul & Erika.
October - Celebrate our 4 year wedding anniversary by returning to San Francisco for a week - catch up with friends in the area and make it to Napa Valley.
1st half of the year - Make it out to Florida to visit my nieces and my Grandmother.
These are simple and attainable and will hopefully get me out of the funk I've been in this last year. Wish me luck and if you know me personally, be sure to encourage me along the way - I will probably need it!
Well, I did it. I decided to support Blogger and give them the measly $12 they wanted in return for a more aesthetically pleasing and ad-free blog. Poor Ev runs this site all by himself and I think he offers a marvelous service for beginners like me, even if it hits some snags here and then and isn't perfect. It's the least I can do to support him and make sure Blogger doesn't become another dead dot.com...
Now I've got confirmation of one of my job-search fears:
Job sites produce few actual hires
On a more pleasant note, I had a wonderful reunion with my friend Dave this past Tuesday night. He and I knew each other back in high school and got back in touch during college. Upon graduation, we decided to travel together for about 3 weeks in Europe. In recent years though, I only get to see him once every 1-2 years because he has been traveling with a Christian ministry called Covenant Players. They use drama (both secular and non-secular) to spread positive messages to audiences around the world. He has been with them for about 3 years and he spent the last 2 on missions in South America. It was wonderful to see him again and we spent hours catching up - he told me about his adventures and his disappointments and his discoveries - he's really happy and already misses South America. I'm really proud of him! I also feel very fortunate that he finds the time to look me up. Dave, I wish you the best on your upcoming missions and look forward to our next meeting!
Sorry for the absence - I've noticed that I don't like to blog from home... I prefer to do it while I'm at work hence the lack of postings during this past 4-day weekend and on the regular weekends. Not to worry though, I'll catch you up on the fun!!
Spring rolls, ripped khakis & many drinks later...
The weekend started off good with the 1st unofficial H-Town Blogs social event that included E.J., Lawrence (Manz), Sherry and Hanna. Good Thai food was enjoyed, yummy coffee was slurped, various alcoholic libations were consumed (thanks Lawrence!) and the bad jokes didn't stop. Hanna's digital camera recorded the night nicely so I won't go into details here but let's say that by the end of the night, E.J. had literally exposed himself more than he had expected... Go read all about it and be sure not to miss out on the digital evidence!
Saturday was spent running errands and that evening we attended a friend's 30th surprise party. Daniel was happily surprised and we had a good time visiting with him and Pamela and cute little Nico! We were a bit tired though so we left early and watched a movie on video when we got home...
A day of rest...
Sort of. Sunday we stayed in bed late, watched another movie on video and then called up our friends C.J. and Susan for sushi. We also ended up going to see Lord of the Rings. Enjoyable but long... still, highly recommended!
New Year's and my infamous trashcan punch!
Well, New Year's this year was over at Sherry's and it was a nice success. My trashcan punch threw all the festive party goers an extra *punch* since it was made with a liter of Everclear, a liter of vodka, a bottle of champagne and a liter of rum (my husband's last minute addition). It was very, very yummy and therein was the problem. Before we knew it, most of us were happily drunk and silly antics ensued. Here are a few of the tamer pictures from that night...
* A happy husband (& laughing CJ.)
* Father and son (E.J. and Brendan)
* Cheesy smiles (Hanna & Lawrence)
* Cigar smoking (Robert, Kenny, Bailey & Irene)
* Hello! (E.J. and Sherry, the hostess)
* Very cute couple (Susan & C.J.)
* The aftermath
Yes, I did have a hangover the next day but I recuperated by drinking water, staying in bed and having a can of Campbell's chicken & stars for lunch. How did everyone else fare??
(If you were at the party and want to see the complete on-line photo album, please e-mail me and I'll send you the URL and password.)