Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
viernes, agosto 29, 2003

new furniture
new la-z-boy chair & side table Well, it's in its new home... with a little side table from IKEA that I bought last night.

Isn't the color pretty? And everything matches so well (the color of the chair to the rug and the wood color of the legs, the table, my hardwoods and the rest of my living room furniture)!

And yes, it really is a recliner... see?

Funny story: As I walked up to IKEA last night, I approached the customer loading area in the front of the store. There are large yellow pillars and as I approached I read on one of the pillars:

"For your convenience,
wine is available."

Now I am thinking, "Wow! I know Europeans are very laid back about alcoholic consumption but this seems to be taking it a bit far!".

Upon closer inspection and as I compare the column with it's neighboring column, it dawns on me. There is "t" missing! LOL! I don't know, I sort of like the original idea... (and no, I didn't have a single camera on me or this would have been caught on digital film!!!)

posted at 8/29/2003 10:18:00 a. m.

jueves, agosto 28, 2003

miércoles, agosto 27, 2003

I'm stuffed...
I pho.

(He, he - just had it for lunch and will be having it for dinner tomorrow night with Hanna).

posted at 8/27/2003 01:51:00 p. m.

Happy Hump Day
Well, this week has been busy at work as we prepare for a huge trade show and it has been busy after work as well as I run errands in anticipation of a bridal shower I am hosting this weekend and as I get ready for our trip to London (Kenny and I have been shopaholics)!

I think because of the shower and because there will be a house guest in my home for a week I have also gotten some weird need to spruce things up around the house - I went to
Pottery Barn last night and bought some nicer shams and a pillow for our bed and I am anxiously awaiting a set of frames to hang six decorative tiles in my kitchen from this series that have sat in their boxes for the past month or so (the frames should arrive today). And guess what!? Our leather La-Z-Boy is set to arrive tomorrow (a month early)! Yay! That means I need to go IKEA this week as well and buy the end table for it. Don't worry, I'll take pictures of it when it arrives!

Speaking of IKEA, I read in today's newspaper that our IKEA here in Houston will be expanding to 300,000 sq. ft. next year! Woo-hoo! I can't wait to see the new store! If only I had more room in the house to decorate... I wouldn't mind being a totally IKEA house. Our living room, breakfast area and our two offices are already mostly IKEA.

Well, I need to get back to looking busy...

posted at 8/27/2003 09:13:00 a. m.

martes, agosto 26, 2003

Balloons everywhere!
Well, I did indeed make it to the
Ballunar Festival in Clear Lake after visiting Melanie and meeting her new baby girl, Kaitlyn who is a wonderfully relaxed, easy-going beautiful child! Kenny then met me down there with Robert, Oskar and Joe. We had an incredibly yummy lunch at Hooters' and headed over to NASA for some balloon watching. The festival itself wasn't as thrilling as I had hoped but a) I got some nice photos, b) the weather was nice and so was the company and c) I really am glad I went although I don't think I need to go again. Anyway, on to the pictures...

Click to see larger image.
Rest of the photo album is here.

Ballunar Festival 2003 Ballunar Festival 2003 Ballunar Festival 2003

Ballunar Festival 2003 Ballunar Festival 2003 Ballunar Festival 2003

Ballunar Festival 2003 Cow Balloon

"Balloon Glow"
Balloon Glow Balloon Glow Balloon Glow

posted at 8/26/2003 01:01:00 p. m.

lunes, agosto 25, 2003

viernes, agosto 22, 2003

jueves, agosto 21, 2003

Nursing a hangover...
Wow. Lesson learned. I need to remember to eat dinner before I hit the bars with the
H-Town Blogs group! Two margaritas, one tequila shot (thanks Michael), one rum and coke and an apple martini - all on an empty stomach - make for a hungover cybertoad this morning. Ugh.

But it was worth it because the infamous Jish was visiting Houston so of course we had to show him a good time! There was a great turnout at The Crazy Horse Cantina Downtown and then those that were left had a nightcap over at nearby Sambuca's. There was even an excursion out to see "the red button" afterwards (if you ever visit Houston, ask me about it and I'll show you what this all about).

Needless to say, I did not get home till past 2 AM and this morning I am *not* a happy camper. I'll live though - but only if my appetite returns soon... LOL!

Here is the photographic evidence of the evening's fun.

Oh, and before I forget I'd like send out some linkey-love to those who came to the festivities:

Christine (thanks for sending out the invite)
Matt (thanks for sharing the secret of the "red button" with us)
Sydney (and friend Liz)

Can't wait till the next one guys!

posted at 8/21/2003 11:47:00 a. m.

miércoles, agosto 20, 2003

martes, agosto 19, 2003

Late Weekend Update
OK, finally, the weekend update...

Friday: Met part of the Friday Gaggle for dinner and then we all headed our separate ways. I think all of us just went home. I know Kenny and I did because we were tired...

Saturday: My old college roommate Michelle came into town to hang out with us and celebrate her 30th birthday. She arrived right before lunch.

We were going to take her to
Josephine's but it is closed for lunch on the weekends (the web information on another site was wrong) so we decided to finally check out the Downtown Aquarium that recently opened. We had a wonderful experience, the food was better than I had anticipated and the place was beautiful. We had some yummy cocktails and an even yummier dessert, all with a great view of the huge aquarium in the middle of the restaurant. Afterwards Kenny treated us to the "shark voyage" train ride where we saw some beautiful sharks.

After lunch we headed over to The Galleria where we shopped till we dropped. Kenny and I helped the economy tremendously as we spent some moolah buying stuff for our trip to London in 3 weeks. I successfully found a dress for the wedding that will pack easily and looks great (and I got it on sale from $59 down to $15) while Kenny bought a pair of shoes and a new suitcase.

Tired from shopping, we went home and stayed in for the evening. Kenny cooked dinner and they (Michelle and Kenny) watched Adaptation. I fell asleep halfway through the movie.

Sunday: We took Michelle to lunch at The Black Lab, hit a few more stores (I finally found some comfortable shoes for the trip), spent some more money and headed back to the house around 4:30 PM since Kenny and I needed to get ready to meet Kathy and Tom for dinner before The Blue Man Group show.

Sunday night: Headed out to dinner with Kathy and Tom and then to the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion to see the Blue Man Group Complex Tour. Mike and Christine were also able to join us (Kathy's sister had to cancel because she was sick). It was hot and muggy and the threatening rain clouds, thunder and lightening heightened the mood but we were spared from the rain and the concert turned out to be great! Kenny was a little impatient at first since we had to listen to over an hour of opening music but once the group hit the stage he really began to enjoy himself. Thanks Kathy for getting the tickets for us!!

Now I am swamped at work as I help get ready for a huge conference coming up next month and try to touch base with my boss who just returned from 2 weeks of vacation and is heading back out the door to visit our ofice in Germany for a week. These 2 1/2 days are going to be busy until he leaves again so I must run. It's lunchtime anyway! Bye...

posted at 8/19/2003 11:53:00 a. m.

lunes, agosto 18, 2003

viernes, agosto 15, 2003

Even I was affected by the NE blackout...
I noticed my on-line photos were not coming up all last night and now
I know why - Fotki is based in New York City.

Hope everyone up there is getting their power turned back on soon so they can get out of the summer heat!

posted at 8/15/2003 09:07:00 a. m.

jueves, agosto 14, 2003

More Miami observations...
OK, a few more thoughts on my trip to Miami...

• In general, Miami drivers suck. They are rude, cut in front of you and then drive and turn slowly! It actually makes me appreciate Houston drivers – scary, isn’t it?

• Related to this, don’t ask for directions. They won’t know either. LOL.

• Cuban food is good… I had
arroz con pollo (homemade by Petra), a palomilla steak, pastelitos de carne and empanadas and my favorite Cuban sandwich, a media noche. All gulped down with yummy Materva! Oh, and don’t forget the café cubano (essentially pre-sweetened espresso)

• Damn, it was hot and muggy. I think it felt worse than Houston because most places don’t have A/C systems as good as here (in Houston).

• Cuban people are *loud*. We don’t shout but the volume of our voices gets louder and louder as we try to get a word in edgewise.

• Laughter is good. Cracking up over dinner with family is better, especially if you laugh loud enough to scare the tables around you.

• Old age can affect people so many different ways. I am scared of how it will affect me because it seems that there is no way to control it.

• Pouring over old family photographs late at night is a great way to learn more about your history and get the stories behind it.

For more stories, just ask me next time you see me... I'll even break out the photos. :D

posted at 8/14/2003 09:04:00 a. m.

miércoles, agosto 13, 2003

Miami Weekend Summary
flying to Miami
Hi everyone! Sorry I didn't get in here any sooner but I had a busy day at work yesterday and I just couldn't find enough time to type up my thoughts on the weekend. When I did get home I then went to see a friend who had her baby 2 weeks ago. I didn't get home from that visit till 10:30 PM and I just avoided the computer the rest of the night.

Anyway, here is a my weekend update...

Despite the horrors I had heard about airport security and the long lines, I had no trouble at all at the Houston and Miami airports. I took my sandals off, had one bag inspected but overall, I felt the personnel was friendly, professionally and relatively efficient despite the long lines. Even Continental's check-in was efficient despite the passenger line starting to head out the elevator doors. A Continental employee was directing passengers and we were checked in fast and easy. Once I landed in Miami I quickly found my sister, found my bag and picked up the rental car.

The rest of the weekend was spent driving between our family friend's house where we were staying, my half-brother's place and the nursing home where my grandmother was currently staying. As I've said in the past, this trip was not a vacation but more a time to check in on my 88 year old "Abuela" as well as to help sort some of her stuff since she was recently moved to a 24-hour care nursing home.

My sister, Abuela, me and my half-brother.
my sister, Abuela, me and my half-brother

Abuela was very disoriented and it was hard to leave her behind but I felt that the nursing staff was very good and that they are taking good care of her. The facilities were clean and as pleasant as one can hope for in a nursing home and the facilities have a beautiful garden where we spent one afternoon.

While we weren't with Abuela, we were driving the Miami streets (more on Miami drivers in a separate post), catching up with family friends, eating delicious Cuban food (that's all I had all weekend) or going through pictures from my grandparent's earlier years and my father's childhood. I will try to scan some of the better photographs that I was able to keep that date from early 1940-50's Habana, Cuba.

I guess I was pleasantly surprised with how much more positive the trip was than I had anticipated. My Spanish flowed easily (and my Cuban accent got stronger) , the laughter was constant and the company was outstanding. Between me, my sister, my half-brother Gerardito and my grandmother's niece Petra (who we stayed with), a wonderful closeness became apparant and a natural easiness with each other made the harsh reality of my grandmother's ill state seem a little less harsh since we were all a gathered there out of our love for her. I only wish Abuela could have seen this more but she really wasn't all there mentally.

It all came to an end a bit sooner than I would have wished but I had to come home so I could continue to pay the bills. I hope that we all see each other more often than we have in the past. If only I could convince Gerardito to follow through on his promise and come down to Texas for a visit...

More quick thoughts on the weekend later today...

The rest of the photo album is here.

Gerardito - if you are reading this - dejame unos saludos en la seccion de "comments" abajo de este parafo...

posted at 8/13/2003 08:27:00 a. m.

domingo, agosto 10, 2003

viernes, agosto 08, 2003

I'm running out of time!
Well folks, my list is getting smaller but last night I didn't get
everything done. Main reason was that I decided to join Kenny & Robert after aerobics on a bike ride in Memorial Park despite the 100 F showing on the thermometers around town. Yes, after 45 minutes of class, I continued this unusual athletic streak and rode 7 1/2 miles, about 3 of those on a wooded trail. It actually (insert gasp of disbelief here) felt good to huff and puff a bit more than usual even if I seemed rather miserable afterwards at dinner.

So, by the time I got home it was almost 10 PM. I wasn't able to pack the birthday gifts I needed to take to the post office today so those will have to wait till I get back. I also didn't have time to do all of my laundry so I only washed the light load. Tonight I'll finish with the darks.

I did finally finish my 26 Things project. I'll post the link shortly... Finishing that particular page though suck up some time as I had to bring in Kenny to troubleshoot some upload issues so before I knew it, it was 1 AM and I hadn't even touched the bridal shower invites. I quickly stuffed the envelopes and went to bed. I'll address them today, buy stamps at lunchtime and put them in this afternoon's mail.

OK, I've got work to do and people to see so later!

posted at 8/08/2003 08:37:00 a. m.

jueves, agosto 07, 2003

Per Boobka's request...
Boobka seems to want pictures and since I haven't finished my 26 Things page yet (I promise Shirley, it will be up tomorrow - I am halfway done), here are a couple to tide him over...

Remember the poster I got Kenny for his birthday?
Here it is framed and hanging in his office...
kenny's birthday present

Robert (aka Boobka) & me taking a break
from riding during my 26 Things photo shoot Downtown...
boobka and me

If the ones I took on the vessel turn out any good, I'll post those tomorrow as well.

There, are you happy Robert?

posted at 8/07/2003 01:43:00 p. m.

miércoles, agosto 06, 2003

Where am I going to find the time??
I am having to type up a schedule so I can manage my very limited time this week. I leave early Saturday morning for Miami (my flight leaves at 7:40 AM) and I still need to do laundry, pack, tie up loose ends at work (I'll be out Monday) as well as buy and send out a few birthday gifts that have to be mailed before I leave. The biggest project of all though is printing, stuffing, addressing and mailing 30 last minute invites for a bridal shower I am helping to host. *whew* I'm getting tired just thinking of it!

Ok, here's my schedule. I'll post it here so I can refer to it and cross out items as I complete them...

-- Lunch Wednesday: Buy stationery for bridal shower invites.
(I found a design that matches the bride's personality perfectly.)

-- Wed-Thurs.: Print invites.
(And they look super cute!)

-- Wednesday right after work: Stop at Target for some birthday gifts and general house stuff.

-- Wednesday evening: Meet my friend Daniel for a
free movie screening. This means I probably won't get home until almost 11 PM.
(The movie was good and I was able to get home by 10 PM!)

-- Thursday: I will be out part of the day down at the Houston port taking publicity pictures of one of our vessels loading at the dock.
(Had fun despite the heat, took some good shots I think, will be going out again tomorrow morning...)

-- Thursday night: Go to aerobics, start packing, do laundry, address bridal shower invites.
(Didn't get everything done! :( I *did* ride over 7 miles on my bike after aerobics though, 3 miles of which were on a wooded trail. I also was only able to stuff the envelopes and finish one load of laundry.)

-- Friday: Go back out to the docks to take a few more pictures of our vessel loading, wrap things up at work in anticipation of being out Monday.
(Damn, it was hot again!)

-- Friday lunch: Mail bridal shower invites and birthday packages.
(Had no time to do this!)

-- Friday night: Go to my hair appointment, go home, finish final load of laundry, finish packing, get to bed early.
(I also finally finsihed the bridal shower invites and gave them to Kenny to mail for me Saturday morning.)

-- Saturday morning: Be at airport between 6-6:30 AM.
(Made it on board with no major hassles!)

Alright - time to start on the list! It's lunchtime!

posted at 8/06/2003 10:49:00 a. m.

martes, agosto 05, 2003

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