Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
jueves, enero 31, 2002

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!)

posted at 1/31/2002 09:44:00 a. m.

miércoles, enero 30, 2002

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!

posted at 1/30/2002 04:13:00 p. m.

martes, enero 29, 2002

Osama's in Iowa??

Afghans in Iowa?

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...

posted at 1/29/2002 02:00:00 p. m.

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!

posted at 1/29/2002 01:56:00 p. m.

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!

posted at 1/29/2002 09:33:00 a. m.

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!

posted at 1/29/2002 12:08:00 a. m.

lunes, enero 28, 2002

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!

posted at 1/28/2002 12:15:00 p. m.

viernes, enero 25, 2002

jueves, enero 24, 2002

Hmm - notes on the
Blogger Pro demo presented recently. Now I will need to decide - is it worth $30?

posted at 1/24/2002 03:33:00 p. m.

M * A * S * H

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)

posted at 1/24/2002 11:39:00 a. m.

miércoles, enero 23, 2002

martes, enero 22, 2002

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

posted at 1/22/2002 11:20:00 a. m.

May I welcome everyone to the opening of Burner's M O N D O ,
a community site where members are welcome to add their own
weird, bizarre, interesting news that may not always make the front-page.

Burner's M O N D O from the Back Burner

posted at 1/22/2002 12:37:00 a. m.

lunes, enero 21, 2002

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?

posted at 1/21/2002 10:48:00 a. m.

viernes, enero 18, 2002

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!!

posted at 1/18/2002 10:21:00 a. m.

jueves, enero 17, 2002

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!)

posted at 1/17/2002 04:23:00 p. m.

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.

posted at 1/17/2002 12:08:00 p. m.

miércoles, enero 16, 2002

*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!

posted at 1/16/2002 03:33:00 p. m.

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!

posted at 1/16/2002 11:23:00 a. m.

martes, enero 15, 2002

Yay! I have been buttonated thanks to

As a * thank you * and because it is such a wonderful cause, I would like to promote Hoopty's
"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.

posted at 1/15/2002 11:10:00 a. m.

lunes, enero 14, 2002

Sorry, I'm link-happy today, much like

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...

posted at 1/14/2002 02:21:00 p. m.

Welcome back
Chris! I missed your blog for the past few months...

posted at 1/14/2002 12:02:00 p. m.

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!)

posted at 1/14/2002 11:31:00 a. m.

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...

posted at 1/14/2002 10:20:00 a. m.

sábado, enero 12, 2002

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!!

posted at 1/12/2002 12:51:00 a. m.

viernes, enero 11, 2002

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...

posted at 1/11/2002 12:39:00 p. m.

jueves, enero 10, 2002

Move over geeks, we now have a
Blogger Code!! Here is mine...
B4 d- t- k s u- f+ i o x- e+ l+ c--

What's yours?

(thanks to zalary for the link)

posted at 1/10/2002 04:50:00 p. m.

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

posted at 1/10/2002 11:01:00 a. m.

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

posted at 1/10/2002 01:34:00 a. m.

miércoles, enero 09, 2002

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.

posted at 1/09/2002 03:22:00 p. m.

This is how I often feel on the Houston freeways as I zip along in my Civic EX... argh!

posted at 1/09/2002 01:12:00 a. m.

martes, enero 08, 2002

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.

posted at 1/08/2002 09:36:00 a. m.

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...
* Work Desktop * Home Desktop *

posted at 1/08/2002 12:02:00 a. m.

lunes, enero 07, 2002

Weekend Update:
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!

posted at 1/07/2002 02:42:00 p. m.

viernes, enero 04, 2002

jueves, enero 03, 2002

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

posted at 1/03/2002 04:02:00 p. m.

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!

posted at 1/03/2002 10:25:00 a. m.

miércoles, enero 02, 2002

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!
Me, Hanna & LawrenceWell, 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.)

posted at 1/02/2002 10:24:00 a. m.

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