Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
viernes, octubre 31, 2003

Natural Transformations

Monarch Butterfly Life Cycle

(click for larger image)

P.S. Two butterflies have flown away, both emerged in perfect condition. I have three left.

posted at 10/31/2003 11:56:00 a. m.

jueves, octubre 30, 2003

Boston Re-Cap!!
OK - I uploaded all the pictures and *even* added captions for you guys - woo-hoo! Here's a summary (click on image for larger picture):

Boston Photo Album

Friday: Arrive without an issue around 3:30 PM. Check into our hotel, freshen up and head out for a nice on the MIT campus and along the river where we saw a beautiful sunset on the Charles River. Have dinner at Legal Sea Foods then take the T-train to the North End on a guide book recommendation. Have an after-dinner treat at Cafe Vittoria then walk around where we inadvertently come across the Old North Church where Paul Revere signaled that the British were invading back in 1775. Walk around some more and wind up in front of Faneuil Hall. Take the subway back home before we turn into pumpkins for the night.

Sunset on the Charles River self-portrait in the Public Garden

Saturday: Have breakfast at the hotel and head out to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Spent a few hours there then head over to Quincy Market and Faneuil Hall area, this time during the day so we can get some shopping in. Meet up with my college friends Kate and Paul, who live in the outskirts of Boston. We have a short dinner with them in order to head back to the hotel and get ready for the Eddie Izzard show. Once again head out, have an enjoyable time at the show (the 2nd half was funnier than the 1st). We are a bit hungry when we get out so we come across a Thai/sushi place and stop in for a night cap. Being adventurous and not that tired, we decide to walk all the way back to the hotel (about an hour's walk involving crossing the river). Make it back and get a good night's rest.

Sunday: Have brunch at The Blue Room and head over to the MIT Museum since we had enough time before our plane left at 3:30 PM. Get to the airport with plenty of time but the turbulent weather makes the already long flight even longer... we arrive home after 4 1/2 hours in the air (it's only 3 hours to get there due to the jet stream patterns) tired but happy.

Me & the 'T' Faneuil Hall

posted at 10/30/2003 09:42:00 a. m.

miércoles, octubre 29, 2003

lunes, octubre 27, 2003

sábado, octubre 25, 2003

viernes, octubre 24, 2003

jueves, octubre 23, 2003

I got my hoodie in the mail!
BloggerPro became free (all the features I paid for were made available to unpaid subscribers), they offered a free Blogger hoodie to the paid subscribers like me to try to make up for it. Mine finally came in the mail yesterday! Here I am modeling it...

"The Unablogger"

posted at 10/23/2003 08:54:00 a. m.

miércoles, octubre 22, 2003

What does someone without a job do all day??
I've been lazy in here (on the computer) but have been doing stuff around the house instead. Here is a quick update of the last 24 hours, if anyone cares:

-- Yesterday I had a wonderful lunch Downtown at the
Flying Saucer with a group of H-Town Bloggers. It was nice to meet some new faces. Thanks for organizing it Christine! Afterwards I walked a few blocks to Kaveh Kane's where I took some quiet time and had a mocha while reading a book. It was a nice relaxing afternoon.

-- The rest of the day I worked around the house and I even painted my toes a nice blue color and added sparkles! I also sent out five more resumes.

-- This morning I called and found out that the 2nd interview won't happen till October 31st due to schedule conflicts so it's just a waiting game now... argh. Oh well. I have no choice but to wait!

-- Then I headed out to lunch with some ex co-workers (yes, from the most recent job) and Kathy. Afterwards I dropped off a trunkload of recyclables and headed home where honestly, I can say I have been very unproductive. Oh well.

-- Tonight we are meeting EJ and Sherry and kids for dinner to celebrate Brendan's first karate belt. It will be nice to see them.

Now what to do to kill time before dinner? I've surfed a couple of job sites already but I've submitted my resume to anything interesting. Maybe I can start organizing the closet in my office or start filing some old papers? I've got to do something productive this afternoon!

posted at 10/22/2003 04:53:00 p. m.

martes, octubre 21, 2003

R.I.P. Reveille VI
My university's mascot is traditionally a beautiful collie that is always named
Reveille and is taken care of by the Corps of Cadets. She is officially the highest ranking "officer" in the Corps and she is always female. Today I read that the dog who was in service during my years at A&M was put to sleep after struggling with several illnesses. May she rest in peace... - Former Aggie mascot Reveille VI put to sleep

Also, here is a picture of Reveille VI with George W. Bush when he was the Texas governor.

posted at 10/21/2003 03:18:00 p. m.

lunes, octubre 20, 2003

Weekend goodness
I had a great weekend - it was relaxed and the weather was beautiful. Here's a re-cap:

Friday: I finally had time to head over to the pool hall and play a couple of games. Hanna also made an appearance and afterwards a large group of us (16 or so) headed to
Cafe Red Onion to meet our friend Mandy's Mom! Had a good dinner then stopped at Kelvin Arms for one more drink before we all called it a night.

Saturday: Without really planning it, the day had an Asian theme to it. I introduced Kenny to a favorite lunch spot, a hole-in-the-wall pho place on the outskirts of Downtown called Tau Bay (it's in the heart of Vietnam-town). He loved it and thinks it has the best pho he has tasted yet. :D Afterwards we went to the market across the way and stocked up on shrimp chips and cuttle-fish jerky (yum)... and, since we were across the street from Tropioca, I treated him to his first tapioca ball experience.

He then wanted to stop by a hobby/toy store to look for something in particular and after a quick call to information, I also asked of we could go to a Japanese market that was nearby which Angela had told me was where she buys her Pocky. It was a great little place and I stocked up on Pocky and Kenny found some smelt roe (the tiny orange fish eggs they often use in sushi rolls) that he had been looking for all over Houston!

We headed home where we were only able to stay an hour before heading back out to meet up with some good friends for dinner. She is Chinese and had invited us to dinner at Hong Kong Food Street in the heart of Houston's Chinatown. We let her order family style and we enjoyed everything! I especially liked the chrysanthemum tea.

Sunday: I woke up late in the morning and ran a couple of errands near the house and then spent the afternoon tidying up. I took a few breaks in front of the TV (it was Sunday, I didn't want to work too hard) and was able to finish my Guatemala scrapbook during one of those breaks. I also mopped the kitchen, cleared off the kitchen counters of junk mail and in general got the house in order. I even did three loads of laundry before the end of the night! That evening my Mom came by and we grilled some huge steaks in honor of her birthday which was yesterday. I think she had fun visiting and I am glad we could have her over.

Now I have a new list of errands to do - I'll post them in a separate entry so I can keep track of what I get done today!

And how was your weekend?

posted at 10/20/2003 10:27:00 a. m.

viernes, octubre 17, 2003

Interview today
Whenever I am unemployed I always send out a quick e-mail to friends just in case they know of any opportunities out there. This time around I had a couple of responses and one was from a fellow
H-Town Blogger, Angela.

There happens to be an opening in her department and I have an interview today at 11:30 AM. Wish me luck! This is my first "job" interview since the other two have only been interviews at agencies - you know, you meet a "counselor" and waste time on a bunch of aptitude tests. I am actually looking forward to it. I'll keep you posted if anything concrete comes out of it... TTFN (ta ta for now)!

Update: Interview went well and I am *very* interested in the position. I won't give details because I feel that jinxes things but you'll know if it works out. Please send your good vibes this way in the upcoming days in order to convince them that they really need me! Thanks!

posted at 10/17/2003 10:02:00 a. m.

jueves, octubre 16, 2003

The beauty of being unemployed...
Since I am actually at home during part of the day, I have been fortunate enough to be able to watch the monarch butterflies go through my flower garden (they are in their
fall migration). My butterfly weed plant is covered with monarch butterfly caterpillars and I am watching them grow fat and happy - one has even formed into a chrysalis already. The butterflies themselves are also coming to feed and I have been snapping away with my camera. Pictures below (click for larger image):

hungry monarch butterfly caterpillar hungry butterfly

hungry fat caterpillars

monarch butterfly monarch butterfly chrysalis

posted at 10/16/2003 09:48:00 a. m.

martes, octubre 14, 2003

Thanks for the love guys!
I am doing fine guys and all of your well wishes and lovely comments have really helped!

My initial hunch is that there seems to be a few more opportunities out there than last time and I am getting nibbles which is good. One of the agencies I contacted has some bilingual positions they think I might be interested in so she will be calling me this afternoon to talk about them. I'll keep you posted.

And no, I haven't really slowed down. When I do I start to think about and I start to tear up and get angry and frustrated so I must stay on the go, go, go! Kenny is being an amazingly wonderful husband as always and last night we talked and he gave me some job advice. Then we changed the subject, talked about his flying lessons, watched
The Two Towers (I hadn't seen it yet) and as I watched I finally finished a large scrapbook project.

This morning I got up and cleared off my desk so I can be more organized as I start this job search in earnest. I have lots of good leads but I need to update my resume at several on-line job sites. Now that I can finally see my keyboard once again I am ready to go but I will have to wait till I get back from my 1 PM appointment. Which, as I matter of fact, I need to go and get ready for...

Before I go, I wanted to share with you the cutest little e-card Kathy sent me this morning. Thanks!

posted at 10/14/2003 10:55:00 a. m.

lunes, octubre 13, 2003

Not wasting any time...
I am at home now and I pulled out my file from my job search earlier this year. Already contacted three of the agencies I worked with back then, sent all three my updated resume and am meeting with one of the counselors at 3 PM today to get re-acquainted.

I also have found several job listings at that I will be responding to tonight... Must run now and eat some leftover pizza, take a shower and get dressed to head out for my appointment.

Update 4 PM - Just got back from my appointment with an agency where they re-activated my file. I was happy to see that when I got home I had a message in response to a fourth resume I sent out right before I left. Kenny has been sending me tons of job listings and I responded to one he pointed out. It is of course through an agency but at least they want to meet me. I have an appointment at 1 PM tomorrow with them.

posted at 10/13/2003 01:40:00 p. m.

viernes, octubre 10, 2003

Me, jumpy & hyper? Nah... it's just the coffee talking...
Just had lunch at
Cafe Piquet with my mother and the waiter misheard me and gave me coffee anyway. Now I'll be wired on Cuban espresso for the rest of the afternoon... I can feel the affects already!

posted at 10/10/2003 01:52:00 p. m.

jueves, octubre 09, 2003

miércoles, octubre 08, 2003

Good friends, good food.
Last night
Robert hosted a delicious traditional Polish dinner he cooked from scratch. It involved pork (every dish had pork in some form or fashion) and it was all very tasty, even the soup he thought we wouldn't like. His roommate Joe grilled the pork perfectly too!

The good food was just half of it - the other half was the enjoyment of the company. It was a small group (7 total) and the conversation was good as always. Most everyone works together so they see each other every day but I hadn't seen these guys in a while since I hadn't joined the Friday Gaggle the past two weekends.

This Friday I will be around though and I've invited everyone over for movies. It will be nice to have a low-key weekend without the hassle of bar-hopping! I really am looking forward to it...

posted at 10/08/2003 10:45:00 a. m.

martes, octubre 07, 2003

I had a date last night!
Yep, last night I went out with quite a character... he was an interesting guy. An engineer, a pilot, a pool shark, a motorcycle rider... I think I'll go out with him again even though he's married! Fortunately, he is married to me. :D

A month ago Kenny bought me my own cue stick - it's gorgeous teal colored wood with a section at the base that has two balls floating around in blue oil (yes, a floaty cue stick to go along with my
floaty pen collection). In order to get a chance to use it I set up a monthly date to play pool with him every first Monday of the month - as many of you already know, Kenny is an avid pool player and plays in a weekly league so this is a good way to get to share his favorite hobby with him.

Last night was our first date so we headed out to our local pool hall. We played for over 2 hours and I actually sunk some good shots. It's amazing how a good cue stick will improve your accuracy! Kenny was also giving me some good pointers. It was nice to catch-up with Kenny without the distraction of the TV or the dogs or other friends. Plus, the pool hall on Monday night is pretty empty so it was nice - the waitress comes by more often and the place wasn't really smoky. It was actually a lot of fun. I don't dislike pool but I have figured out that I definitely prefer playing one-on-one with him vs. the Friday Gaggle, at least until I feel more confidant with my game. Dinner at the IHOP next door capped off the evening. I am looking forward to the next "date", maybe we could even thrown in another one before next month?

posted at 10/07/2003 09:40:00 a. m.

lunes, octubre 06, 2003

Dancing, vet, groomers, fish, laundry, fire and story-telling...
It's Monday and Kenny & I had a relatively stress-free, relaxing weekend. We got some stuff done but as always, never as much as we needed to do!

Friday night: I skipped out on the Gaggle events and instead joined up with Janneke (trainee from our German office) and her friends. Her 6-month training period ends this week so she invited us to go out as a farewell. I ended up going to a night-club I would have typically never gone to and actually danced a few hours. It felt good to dance!

Saturday: Busy morning! I woke up early and took
Heidi to the groomers and Ginger to the vet (she's been having a skin allergy that makes her feel extremely itchy). While I was gone our gas logs were installed. They look so nice! Here's a before and after picture of the fireplace. Here is another view (the green color is a result of some crystals we added).

Afterwards errands were run, naps were taken and a load of laundry was done. Before I knew it though I had to get ready to head out to Fray Day where I was meeting Kathy and where Matt would be telling a story (which went great by the way). I was pleasantly surprised by the story telling (I didn't know what to expect) and Robert did a great job of organizing the event. Afterwards Kathy, Matt and friends and me headed across the street to IHOP for a late dinner. We had a lot of laughs and I had a great time just chatting, even if those kids were over 10 years younger than me (even still in high school as seniors)! They were wonderful intelligent personalities and it was nice to meet some members of the younger generation that gave me hope that they aren't all clueless. :D At midnight we sang Kathy Happy Birthday (Sunday was her 29th) and then we headed home.

Sunday: Another relatively lazy day. Kenny & I had lunch at Chili's and I had the oil changed in my Honda Civic (I can't believe it hit 90,000 miles last month - I bought it brand new six years ago with only 7 miles on the speedometer) and we returned home to continue sitting on the couch.

I eventually got up though because my fish tanks have been looking dismal. I scrubbed the 30 gallon tank clean and made a partial water change (boy, that filter had major algae buildup). I also scrubbed the 3 gallon tank (where I am still keeping the baby swordtail fish), changed the water and cleaned the gravel. In between cleaning tanks I made a run to the fish store where I took advantage of coupon I had and came home with some new tetras. During all this, I transferred six of the larger swordtail "teenagers" from the 3 gallon to the 30 gallon tank. By the end of the night, both the teenagers and new tetras looked like they were adjusting well and the rest of the fish just looked happy to have fresh water!

Finally finishing up around 7 PM, I sat down to watch Trading Spaces $100,000 episode. My productivity streak continued afterwards as also finished a second load of laundry, washed the sheets and managed to put all my clothes away before heading to bed. I guess that nap helped me keep going!!

posted at 10/06/2003 04:01:00 p. m.

viernes, octubre 03, 2003

It’s another beautiful day here in Houston – turquoise blue cloudless skies, light breezes, low humidity, a high of 80F – and it’s FRIDAY! Yay!

What makes it even nicer is the office lunch my boss is having catered by a great little restaurant called
Prego (he knows the owner personally). We will be having Caesar salad, crab cakes, snapper with shrimp and penne pasta with a tomato sauce. Dessert will be home-made Italian cream cake and beverages will include two different wines, Heineken and Corona. Everything will be brought in including the tablecloths, wine glasses and silverware.

The occasion is to thanks us all for our efforts before and during the huge conference we had last week in New Orleans as well as to send off our German trainee who after 6 months in our office is returning home (before she heads to our Argentina office for more training). It should all be very yummy and I am trying hard to stave off my hunger! 12:30 PM can't come soon enough!

posted at 10/03/2003 11:26:00 a. m.

jueves, octubre 02, 2003

Shirl is evil!
No thanks to
Shirl, I have discovered another time waster!! Go waste some of your own time playing RSVP. Go on, it's the end of the week, your boss will hopefully not notice... :D

posted at 10/02/2003 08:47:00 a. m.

miércoles, octubre 01, 2003

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