Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
viernes, mayo 30, 2003

Office Shenanigans
A co-worker of mine who is Danish and was here on a special work visa for the past 18 months is having to return to our German office for about a year because of a new post 9-11 INS rule. Anyway, today is his last day so the office has treated him really well...

We had lunch at
Hooters' which was paid for by the company - including two pitchers of Shiner Bock (also ran into Kathy there). Afterwards a stripper appeared at our front door and gave the guy a show here in our conference room (can you believe the president's wife suggested this)!? What was funnier still is that we are on the ground floor and the conference room faces the sidewalk and interior hallway. With all of the blinds open (including some missing ones), we had quite a few looks from passersby as well as few on-lookers from the insurance agency across the hallway!! And don't worry, pictures of the stripper have already been sent to everyone in the office including the main director in our German office... yes, he has a sense of humor and will find it amusing!

And the party isn't over yet... there is a Happy Hour party planned for after work.

Like I've said before, I really enjoy the openness and "progressive" office environment of my work. It fits my personality although I realize not everyone would be comfortable here. :D

posted at 5/30/2003 03:34:00 p. m.

Another Photolog Update
Photo Friday I really pushed it but I got my Photo Friday picture posted at the very last minute for this past week's theme, "Overlooked". Here it is .

posted at 5/30/2003 10:36:00 a. m.

jueves, mayo 29, 2003

Blogging Buddies
Just had lunch at
Souper Salad with Kathy and Matt, my blogging buddies. My co-worker also came along and just thought we weird.

Now if only the next 3 hours would go by quickly...

posted at 5/29/2003 02:11:00 p. m.

miércoles, mayo 28, 2003

Warning! Girlie Post!!
Well, I finally did it. This weekend I broke down and bought cosmetics from a real cosmetics counter in actual department store.

If you know me personally, you know I am very low maintenance when it comes to my looks and I use minimal makeup. I also skimp and buy the
cheap stuff made for teenagers at Target. Well, lately, I haven't been happy with the look of my skin (more breakouts more often) and I figured it was probably because I was getting a little older and my skin was changing with me. The cheap make-up and cheap skin-cream probably wasn't helping my complexion either.

So Monday while I was out with Kenny we headed out to our brand-new Nordstrom's (Kenny wanted to check out some khaki's they carry exclusively) and went straight to the Clinique counter. I don't know why I drifted towards Clinique. I guess because they always market themselves as no-frills, basic, clean makeup and maybe because when my sister took me to have my "colors" done for the first time at the age of 16 it was at Clinique.

Anyway, thanks to Kenny who funded the shopping spree I came away with $100 worth of stuff including their wonderful 3-step skin care system which I hope will do the trick as well as some new powdered foundation and blush. In a few weeks I am going back to pick up their new gift package as well as makeup remover and lipstick (all prepaid again thanks to Kenny)!

...and although I know this post was of absolutely *no interest* to my male readers, maybe some of you girls out there will understand what I am talking about! Also, any of your girls have any positive/negative experiences with Clinique?

posted at 5/28/2003 08:56:00 a. m.

martes, mayo 27, 2003

Today's Meme
Tuesday This-or-That

1. Do you prefer silence or do you like background sound (music, TV, etc)? Depends on what I am doing.
2. Bathe/shower in morning or evening? Shower every night.
3. Sleeping in complete darkness, or with a nightlight on? I leave a light in the bathroom on so my husband can see where he is going when he goes to bed then complete darkness once he settles in.
4. Lay out clothes the night before, or just grab what's closest in the morning? Grab clothes in the morning.
5. Hang up/fold clothes neatly, or just toss them wherever? Generally toss them in the dirty hamper.
6. Work out at a gym, or at home on your own (or do you not bother with exercise)? Exercise? What the hell is exercise?
7. Talk on the phone, or via IM/e-mail? Depends on who it is.
8. Are you usually on time, or late? Hmm. Generally a few minutes late but not too bad.
9. Spendthrift or frugal? Depends on what I am spending money on.
10. Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: You work with someone who is not in the habit of bathing regularly. The smell seems to be getting worse and worse! Would you: 1. try to do something about it, or 2. try to grin and bear it? If you said 1, what would you do? I don't think I could say anything.

posted at 5/27/2003 08:17:00 a. m.

Making some money...
Listed on BlogShares

Wow! I made a stock split of my shares this weekend, just for the hell of it since I had *no idea* what it would do and my stock sky-rocketed from $1.37/share to a whopping $7.30/share. Woo-hoo! Hope that helped some of my shareholders as well...

posted at 5/27/2003 08:07:00 a. m.

domingo, mayo 25, 2003

jueves, mayo 22, 2003

More Keroppi & eBay fun!
Tonight I received my 2nd recent eBay buy, My
ten little Keroppi figurines. I am giving a couple of the uglier ones (the chef and the one with the mustache) away to a co-worker, bringing one of them to sit at my deak at work and happily displaying the rest in my office here at home!
Keroppi X 10

posted at 5/22/2003 09:46:00 p. m.

miércoles, mayo 21, 2003

I'm a mommy - again!!
last month when I told you my swordtail fish had babies? Well, that time I was only able to find three that survived being gobbled up overnight..

Tonight though, as I went to feed the fish for the evening, I found more babies!! This time I saw the tiny little boogers before they were forced to survive out in the open tank with the other hungry inhabitants overnight. As a result I found approximately 15 baby fish (give or take one or two - they are hard to count). Their 3 older brother/sisters are still in the net nursery that I keep suspended in the tank so I threw them all in there. With that many baby fish though I am going to have to buy a 10 gallon tank just for them! So anyone know of any fish birth control? (And no, no killing of the poor fish should be involved.)

posted at 5/21/2003 10:05:00 p. m.

I love Central Market!
A few
Pencam snapshots I took last night while buying a birthday cake for a co-worker at HEB Central Market (click on image for larger photo):

artichokes One of the wine aisles. chocolate truffles

posted at 5/21/2003 10:55:00 a. m.

martes, mayo 20, 2003

Where's my Caffè Mocha?
Thank goodness for
Starbucks and company sponsored coffee excursions to our local store. I need an energy boost!! Now if only those guys would hurry back!

posted at 5/20/2003 03:45:00 p. m.

Tuesday's Meme
This-or-That Tuesday:

1. Large or small family? Small.
2. Potato chips or pretzels? Chips.
3. House or apartment? House.
4. Zebras or giraffes? Giraffes.
5. Candles or potpourri? Candles.
6. Flowers or trees? Flowers.
7. Right or left-handed? Right-handed.
8. Model trains or dolls/stuffed animals? Legos!!
9. Comedy or drama? Comedy.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: The city of Boston has recently banned smoking in all restaurants and bars. Would you want to see such a law passed in your city/town/country, or not? No. Smokers aren't doing anything illegal for goodness sake! They have every right to have someplace where they can go! As long as there a few non-smoking establishments for me to go to, I'm happy.

posted at 5/20/2003 08:17:00 a. m.

lunes, mayo 19, 2003

New stuff for the house.
Just thought I would share a couple of new items I bought last week to spruce the house up...

From Lillian Vernon I bought this handy-dandy
wrought iron hose holder. I didn't feel like drilling holes in my brick or in my wood siding so this was perfect - decorative and portable too! Now my hose doesn't lay messily across the lawn anymore!

I also bought from the Potter Barn on-line catalog this beautiful new duvet cover for the master bedroom. Aren't the colors wonderful? I was getting a bit wary of the pastel tones I had selected so this really caught my eye. Now I have to go buy some more colorful sheets to match.

I am also working on a crafty home decorating project... I have a stand up floor mirror that was black. I have spray painted it white and will be hot-gluing on wire curly q's shaped that I shaped by hand and flattened marbles in colors to match the bedspread. It needs one more coat of paint before I can start gluing so give me another week before it's done! Hopefully I'll be done by this weekend and I'll post pictures then.

Gawd. This is all so domestic, ain't it?? Tee, hee...

posted at 5/19/2003 02:20:00 p. m.

Wow! I am honored...
I was selected by
Lynn to be this week's Saturday Snapshots winner! The topic was coffee and you can see my entry over at my photolog. Thanks Lynn!! *beaming*

posted at 5/19/2003 09:35:00 a. m.

viernes, mayo 16, 2003

Finally, H-Town Blog Happy Hour Pictures
H-Town Blogs Happy Hour was this past Tuesday and here are the pictures, just a few days late (sorry):
one * two * three * four * five

Also, here is a list of the attendees:
Michael #1
Michael #2
Susan (from out-of-town)

We had a great time and really need to work on doing this is on a more regular basis... thanks to everyone who came out and joined the fun!

posted at 5/16/2003 12:15:00 p. m.

To be young again...
I know this is a silly but it was kind of neat to teach EJ & Sherry's 10 year old
Gelli a new game last night I made up on the spot. We looked for shapes in our movie popcorn, sort of like looking for shapes in clouds. She was extremely creative and together we found flowers, rabbits, dogs, birds, men with big noses - even an octopus! *giggle* I felt like a school girl all over again!

posted at 5/16/2003 09:19:00 a. m.

Went to the movies last night.
The Matrix Reloaded Nothing can beat the 1st one since we had never seen anything like it but
the second one ain't bad. Go check it out if for nothing else to see Trinity kick ass on a Ducati 996 wearing black patent leather high heel boots (here you can see the stuntwoman's page, Debbie Evans with the scenes I am talking about)...

posted at 5/16/2003 08:06:00 a. m.

jueves, mayo 15, 2003

Photolog update, again...
Photo Friday Wow. Two photolog updates in one week! Wow! Here is my entry for Theme Thursday.

posted at 5/15/2003 12:15:00 p. m.

This sucks.
Jeep Liberty was broken into last night while he was at his pool league. They smashed his driver's side window. Fortunately they only took a satchel he took to work (they probably thought it had a laptop) but all he had in there was some medication and odds and ends. Nothing important or valuable. They left everything else untouched!

He has to go through the ordeal of getting it fixed ASAP since he can't just leave it at work with the window gone so that is his task today. At least he learned a lesson - put your stuff away!! The Liberty doesn't really have a trunk but it has a privacy screen in the back. He needs to get in the habit of making the extra effort to throw his stuff back there instead of leaving it strewn either in the front or back seat where anyone can see.

My parents were real good about not leaving stuff in the car so I grew up with that habit. I generally don't take too much with me anyway and if I do have stuff I put it in the trunk whenever I go out for the evening. I also have a CD player with the detachable faceplate that I take off almost anytime I go out at night in my car or the daytime in areas I know are a bit riskier.

Despite the inconvenience and expense, it really shouldn't be too difficult to take care of and he was extremely fortunate in the fact that he a lot more valuable stuff in there that was left untouched. So... lesson learned!

posted at 5/15/2003 08:33:00 a. m.

miércoles, mayo 14, 2003

A new adoption!
Cybertoad adopted me! I'm MiMi! This is MiMi, my latest adopted critter from Meomi. Give her a warm welcome everyone!

Cybertoad adopted me! She joins my 1st adoption which still lacks a name. Hey, while I'm thinking of it - any suggestions on what to name this little one? I need something creative for such a unique looking kid! :D

UPDATE: The little fellow has now been named thanks to Robert & EJ. Say hello to Sprocket!

posted at 5/14/2003 08:30:00 a. m.

martes, mayo 13, 2003

Meeting up with some H-Town Bloggers...
I will hopefully be leaving work soon to join the
H-Town Bloggers for Happy Hour. Boy. I need a margarita about now so I'm really looking forward to it - plus I get to meet some new Houston bloggers!! I'll be sure to take pictures...

posted at 5/13/2003 05:37:00 p. m.

Photolog Update
Photo Friday I neglected my photolog for the past week but here is my latest entry for this week's Photo Friday.

posted at 5/13/2003 01:08:00 p. m.

Today's meme
Time for
This-or-That Tuesday:

1. Packrat or minimalist? Organized packrat.
2. Computer: desktop or laptop? Desktop.
3. Seashore or mountains? Combination? Like Northern California...
4. Carpeting or bare floors? Bare floors.
5. Drinking water: bottled or tap? Tap.
6. Shopping websites: eBay or Amazon? Both but Amazon more often.
7. Cute little kitties or big scary tigers? I'm allergic to cats!!!
8. Front door or back door? We use the garage door.
9. Lots of jewelry, or little/none? I own a lot of pieces but only wear one or two pieces at a time.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: At the last minute, you obtain tickets to an event you're dying to attend. However, you have to work that day! Do you ask the boss for the time off, or just call in sick? My boss is laid back enough, no reason to lie! I'd ask for the day off!

posted at 5/13/2003 08:16:00 a. m.

lunes, mayo 12, 2003

Why my Monday morning SUCKED!
As you can see in my last entry, my weekend was fine. This morning though started off horribly! Take a peek....

1) Set my alarm wrong this morning - set it 1 hour late so I woke up at 8 AM, the time I should have been at work.

2) Scramble to get dressed and out the door. Traffic still isn't flowing perfectly so I make it in to work around 8:45ish (even in perfect circumstances it takes me almost 30 minutes to get to work from home).

3) Go into the computer room to change out the daily back-up tapes - only to lock my keys into the room!

4) Phone guy comes to check the phone line numbers on a separate issue. He needs access to the computer room to check the phone lines. At this point I realize I've locked my keys into the room (see #3 above).

5) Well, this shouldn't be a problem because accounting uses the same key as the computer room. I go ask them for the key. Guess what? BOTH girls left their keys at home this morning! Ack!

6) Stop to think and decide to call building management who should have a master key. Hooray! They do!

7) Wait impatiently over 5 minutes with the poor phone guy still waiting. Finally the building engineer arrives and he is able to open door. Before he leaves I ask him to make a copy of the key so my boss can also have it.

This all happened before the clock even hit 9:30 AM!!!! I was scatter-brained and flustered most of the rest of the day but no other major incidents occured. At one point in the afternoon my boss was nice enough to come by my desk and tell me to breathe and just relax. I guess he noticed my flustered state! I at least learned a few things today and also saw that my boss is very forgiving and understanding. Yep. I'll be fine here - and it encourages me to work even harder!

Now I am off to bed - and ill be double-checking my alarm!

posted at 5/12/2003 11:32:00 p. m.

Sorry I have been MIA
As usual, life gets hectic as the weekend approaches. Don't have much time even now but here is my weekend update:

Friday: Survived the day at work although our DSL line had an intermittent signal causing pages to load slower than a dial-up and many times to even time out. Being the office manager I had to deal with the complaints.

Friday night: Had a pretty low-key but nice evening at
EJ & Sherry's. Kathy picked me up and we celebrated Amanda's 25th birthday with pizza and cake. When we found out she hadn't seen The Matrix yet (the original) so we forced her to watch it - which was great since a group of us is going to see the sequel on opening day this Thursday after work (I think EJ bought tickets last week).

Saturday: Woke up and went to work to meet the SBC DSL tech. They replaced a faulty DSL router. Afterwards picked up Kenny, went to lunch and did some shopping together.

Saturday night: Had dinner at our friends' Irene & Bailey's place. They are getting married on May 24th and Kenny will be performing their ceremony as well. We had a great steak and potato dinner, reviewed the ceremony details and played dominoes!

Sunday: Did some more shopping and then came home to do some house-cleaning. Kudos to Kenny who worked so hard on getting our shower clean (we had neglected it so much black stuff was showing up in the corners) - thanks Hon! While he was busy scrubbing and getting high on the fumes form the cleaning chemicals, I re-organized the cabinets under the sink and threw out a bunch of stuff.

Afterwards we made a grocery list and spent $200 re-stocking our pantry with food! As you can see from the size of the bill, we hadn't been shopping in a long time. I had been doing quick runs for stuff like milk and Hamburger Helper as needed but hadn't really taken the time to re-stock the essentials. We just kept eating out instead of going to the grocery store.

After putting away the groceries we started to watch a movie. Can I just say that although I like Jennifer Aniston, this movie sucked!? "The Good Girl" got decent reviews but I don't know why!! The so-called Texas accents was horribly wrong and contrived, the story-line was sooooooooo predictable. Plus, I am sick of how standard it has become in movies to cheat on your wife/husband because you supposedly fall in love with some perfect stranger - why don't they ever get a dang divorce before screwing someone - and have they ever heard of using protection?! Essentially, the main character (Aniston) made every wrong choice possible and it was infuriating to watch her. It was an insult to the institution of marriage and what vows mean within that institution, it was an insult to women and it was an insult to Texans (where the story was based).

OK. I'll calm down now. Well - I need to get back to work now but I'll try to post once more tonight. Have a good day!

posted at 5/12/2003 02:42:00 p. m.

jueves, mayo 08, 2003

Maybe this is why I've had dull headaches for the past week or so?
I kept hearing about the agricultural fires in Southern Mexico creating a haze over Houston and wreaking havoc with people's allergies on the
local public radio weather forecast but I hadn't been able to find an article on it yet! The Houston Chronicle finally put this story out and I finally have something to show Kenny, who was a bit doubtful of what I had been saying only because none of the weather forecasts he had heard or seen had said one iota about the fires..

The article: Mexico fires darken Texas' skies

posted at 5/08/2003 07:11:00 a. m.

miércoles, mayo 07, 2003

Crawfish & Oatmeal Cookies
Houston, as many of you know, is a huge oil industry city. Once a year it also plays host to one of the larger oil industry conferences,
OTC. During the week of the conference (which is this week) a lot of local companies throw shing-dings in the evening. Last night we attended a huge crawfish boil. Yummy! For a $15 donation to Chuck Norris' great cause, Kickstart, we had all you can eat and drink! I loaded up on about 3 pounds and enjoyed the conversation as I cracked open shell after shell. They were also cooked perfectly - not too spicy but flavorful nonetheless. (By the way, thanks for the invite Robert.)

Afterwards, Kenny and I came home - stuffed on crawfish - and plopped on the couch to watch our Tuesday shows, Gilmore Girls and Smallville (both are nearing the season finales so the story lines are better than usual).

During Smallville Kenny gets up and starts doing stuff in the kitchen. From my vantage point on the couch, I couldn't tell what he was doing and he refused to tell me. After a while yummy smells starting to come from the oven. A little while later I had freshly baked oatmeal cookies and a glass of chocolate milk in front of me. What a *sweet* surprise! Thanks honey!

And for those interested - Kenny is doing really well and has not smoked in the last week. Yay Kenny!!! One week down...

posted at 5/07/2003 10:36:00 a. m.

martes, mayo 06, 2003

Today's Meme
Better late than never... time for
This-or-That Tuesday :

1. TV or radio? Both.
2. On the radio: talk or music station? A little bit of both - news to and from work, music during the day and weekends.
3. Actual books or books-on-tape (or e-books)? Actual books.
4. Actual newspaper, or web version? Web version - it's free and doesn't waste paper/kill trees!
5. Wall Street Journal or National Enquirer? Neither.
6. TV channel such as CNN, or your local broadcast news? News channel (FOXNews)
7. A movie you've been looking forward to seeing gets bad reviews all around. See it anyway, or pass? Wait till the DVD comes out.
8. See movies when they first come out, or wait a few weeks for the lines at the theater to get shorter? Depends on how busy the social calendar is.
9. TV: cable, satellite dish, or just plain old antenna? Basic digital cable (no premium channels) combined with TiVo.
10. Thought-provoking question of the week: If you had to choose only one form of media to come into your home, which would you choose...print (newspapers, magazines) or electronic (TV, internet)? Why? Electronic. I hate wasting paper plus electronically I can go straight to what interests me instead of sifting through pages of ads and boring articles.

posted at 5/06/2003 03:17:00 p. m.

Buy shares in yours truly!!
Listed on BlogShares My share price is dropping! Ack!

If you wanna help me out, buy some of the remaining 575 775 shares now while the price is a low $1.32. Please? Pretty please? Pretty please with sugar on top? (Thanks guys!)

posted at 5/06/2003 10:30:00 a. m.

lunes, mayo 05, 2003

Weekend Update
Well, no weddings or baby showers this past weekend - just time for us finally. Without further adieu, here is the regularly scheduled “Cybertoad Weekend Update”…

Friday: Night out the regular "Friday Gaggle" - fourteen of us met up for dinner (sushi) and drinks in Downtown Houston. I took out a German girl who will be in our office for 6 months training. Unfortunately, the service at the restaurant was horribly slow and the bars were pretty dead. That’s OK. It seems that we all had a good time.

Saturday: Woke up early to go to
Buchanan’s Native Plants and listened to a lecture on butterfly gardening. Ran into a friend there, bought $70 worth of plants and checked out her new house just down the street. Afterwards drove around and photographed a few more murals for my Houston Mural Project I am beginning.

Saturday night: EJ, Sherry, the kids, Robert and Oskar came over for movies and pizza. I fell asleep with Gelli in our bed watching Shrek while the adults watched some scary movie in the living room.

Sunday: I had slept so well the day before that I got up early and got myself muddy and planted all my new plants. Afterwards I headed out to drop Heidi off at the groomer’s and to attend a birthday brunch at Mi Luna celebrating my friend Daniel’s birthday.

Came home to do a few more errands including some more work around the garden and picking up Heidi (before and after) before finally plopping down in front of the TV for the rest of the evening!

Nothing too exciting - although some of the butterfly weed I bought had several monarch butterfly caterpillars and unhatched eggs on the leaves. I'm having fun watching them eat and grow fat!

posted at 5/05/2003 01:50:00 p. m.

viernes, mayo 02, 2003

jueves, mayo 01, 2003

A couple more pictures...
Well, I chopped my hair off last night. Yep. I was getting bored with my chin-length bob. I couldn't (or wouldn't ) do anything with it except stick a headband on to keep the hair out of my face and I didn't feel as sexy or snazzy anymore. I was actually feeling rather plain and fuddy-duddy... so off with the hair!

Below are the results (here is a picture of
the back)... the actual styling was done at the salon. I don't know if I'll be able to recreate the poofed look in the back but I am going to try to this weekend when I go out. For the everyday look it's just some off-centered bangs and combed down in the back.

Ironically, now with less hair I feel like I can actually do more with it! I can muss it up and sort of spike it, I can slick it down, I can leave it conservative or poof it up. I can even add cute little decorated clips and hair pins. OK. Now I'm rambling! Sorry!

(Click on picture for bigger image.)
Smile! Looking cute and snazzy!

posted at 5/01/2003 04:11:00 p. m.

Why I love my husband Reason #523
me & my hubby! Yesterday afternoon I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers - all a bright, cheery yellow - delivered here at work... for no reason other than to tell me to have a wonderful day! No, he isn't in trouble and it wasn't any obscure anniversary date. It was just a "love ya, thinking of ya" bouquet! It sure put a smile on my face. (I brought the camera to work today to take pictures and I will post them later tonight when I get home...)

Other good deeds he has done lately: Cooked dinner for the last few weeks for us, helped me clean up the kitchen, took BOTH dogs to the vet earlier this week before going to work, conducted a beautiful ceremony at Sherry and EJ's wedding, was super cute and extra sweet to me this weekend.

Additionally - he is making another sincere attempt to quit smoking and I am extremely proud of him. It is so difficult and he'll get a bit cranky at times but I think he can do it!!! Wish him luck!

posted at 5/01/2003 08:17:00 a. m.

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