Cybertoad's Blog - Spring is in the air!

Spring is in the air!
martes, diciembre 30, 2003

domingo, diciembre 28, 2003

Yes, yes, I'm alive.
Hi everyone! Hope you are enjoying your holiday time with friends and family. I know I am. It's been just me and Kenny and we've both been extremely lazy these last few days, staying up late and sleeping in late. Our Christmas was a pretty low-key event as well. We just had my Mother come over and Kenny prepared the meal so my Mother wouldn't have to. We had ham, green bean casserole, sweet potatoes, apple pie... the basics! It was all very yummy (and leftovers are still just as yummy)!

In the gift department
I made out like a bandit and received so many of the things I wanted off of my Amazon wish list!!! Kenny truly spoiled me! Along with a few other gifts from family and friends, here is a list:

My Mom - a gorgeous frog planter

My Sister - a trio of enameled art deco picture frames

Friends - a photography book and several music CDs from my Amazon wish list as well as an elegant glass oil lamp and a pretty dragonfly pin.

Kenny's Uncle - another photography book and the 3-DVD Miyazaki collection! He also sent both me and Kenny a dozen delicious gourmet chocolate covered strawberries!

Kenny - Several books (Inside Havana, Curiosa and Steve Martin's 2nd novella) and a music CD from my wish list, a game card for my Palm Zire, a pretty bag filled with goodies from Bath & Body Works, a nice Waterman pen, a frog for my wall, a gift certificate to Buchanan's Nursery, a head massager and last but not least, a new scanner!

As you can see, I was truly spoiled, especially by my husband. He is so good at buying gifts for me and he really outdid himself this year. I must say that he also got some gifts from me so he didn't fare too badly either!

The verdict is still out on the scanner - I want one with a photo feeder so I can scan a bunch of old family vacation photos in but we are struggling with this one. We've got a call in to technical support and hopefully some new hardware will make it work finally. He says if it doesn't then I return it and buy whatever I want at the store with the credit.

I don't have to return to work till the 5th so I will be hanging out around home this week. I have started a new project though. With Kenny's help, I bought all new furniture from IKEA for my office here at home (from this series in a light birch) and decided at the last moment to go ahead and paint my boring old white walls too! I bought the paint last night and started clearing out the room too. The wall with the window will be a nice warm maroon color and the other 3 walls will be a very pretty blue that complements the maroon. I hope to get a coat of paint up today. With any luck, I can get it all done and the furniture assembled and placed before the New Year's Eve party we are hosting Wednesday night.

Well, I've rambled enough here and now I need to get off my butt and finish clearing the room to get ready to paint. Of course, I'll take pictures once it's done!

Have a nice, relaxing Sunday...

posted at 12/28/2003 12:57:00 p. m.

jueves, diciembre 25, 2003

martes, diciembre 23, 2003

Bad day yesterday...
...but I am doing much better today! Had to deal with some personal issues that brought me down yesterday (hence, no posts) but things will be fine and the holiday mood is back!

All the shopping is done, although I am still waiting for Kenny's main gift (which I have been told will arrive on time). His 2nd larger gift is on backorder too but I expected that. Now all that is left is to wrap it all!!

Last night I also worked on Christmas cards - I know, I know, they won't arrive on time but better late than never! I got 54 completely done - stuffed, addressed and stamped. Kenny will drop those directly at the post office for me today. I have 14 more to finish today and I'll get them in by the 3:45 PM mail box deadline over here at work. That's almost 70 cards total! Whew!

Updated at 5:13 PM - I got off work early and I just had Kenny rush me to the post office by our house that has a 5:30 PM pickup!! They are all sent off! Finally!!!

In other news, we had a nice weekend. Here is my standard re-cap:

Friday night: We celebrated several occasions with the
Hunyadi's. It was their daughter Gelli's birthday and their son Brendon just received his 2nd belt in karate.

Saturday: I ran errands while Kenny took his first "cross-country" flight (defined as anything over 25 miles). They went to College Station. That evening we attended his company Christmas party at Space Center Houston and then made a late entrance at a friend's wedding reception.

Sunday: Stayed around the house and tidied up. Kenny went out to do some shopping (for me!) and then he went to play pool with a friend. I joined them for dinner that evening.

Today is just another day at work although we are hoping they let us leave early since they are doing some electrical work and the power will be shut off at some undetermined time this afternoon. The day should go by faster too because Angela and I have plans to meet some fellow H-Town Bloggers for lunch Downtown. It should be fun!

Well, I *do* have a couple of things to do here at work so I better be somewhat productive. Have a great day everyone!

posted at 12/23/2003 09:06:00 a. m.

viernes, diciembre 19, 2003

jueves, diciembre 18, 2003

My house guest is gone and my hubby comes home...
Well, my sister left this morning after a 3 day visit where she took care of some legal family issues. I hardly got to see her since I was working but we spent some time every evening over dinner. Last night was the most enjoyable as we met up at
Brasil's, had yummy capuccinos and ate a light dinner. We mostly re-hashed the "Mom" issues - our Mother has major personal and financial issues that we have struggled to deal with for the past 10 years and part of the reason my sister was in town - but we also tried to catch up with each other.

I also finally wrapped up the gifts for my nieces and sent them with her to save me a trip to the post office. All in all, I wish we had a chance to talk more about each other's lives and less about Mom but maybe we'll get a chance to do so early next year. I would like to go visit her in Florida for her birthday in late January and of course see my nieces (I can't remember the last time I saw them). I've already started to look at airfares...

In other news, Kenny flies home today from Atlanta. He left for a business trip Monday afternoon. Yes, he and my sister completely missed each other... oh well! I am looking forward to seeing him though!!

posted at 12/18/2003 09:47:00 a. m.

miércoles, diciembre 17, 2003

Cool, crisp days...
I haven't talked much about the weather lately but can I say how nice it's been? This year's fall/winter seems to be cooler than usual and it's a nice change because it actually keeps me in the holiday spirit and gives me a reason to keep the fire burning warmly at home. During the day it gets up to 65 F and we've had mostly blue skies but temperatures have been dipping into the mid-30's overnight. This morning I had to deal with frost on the windshield (I forget to move my car into the garage last night).

I take note of the weather more now since I essentially have a 5 minute "commute" from my office building to my car. I have to notice whether or not it might rain and these past few weeks I've really noticed the wind as it whips around the buildings, chilling me to the bone. Today I was smart though and wore my cozy felt hat so I was able to stay a little warmer.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I think one of the "perks" of working on a university campus is that you get a chance to walk around the campus, enjoying the squirrels, the blue skies and even the occasional rainstorm...something I miss from my own college days. To me, this is better than parking in a garage and never venturing outside the building except for lunch every now and then (and typically you stay in if it's stormy). Weather is just a phenomena that you deal with in that short walk to and from the parking lot (many of which are covered nowadays further isolating you from the elements). Maybe I'll be complaining when the summer returns but so far, I am enjoying my daily strolls around campus. What about you, do you feel the same way about the weather?

posted at 12/17/2003 03:18:00 p. m.

martes, diciembre 16, 2003

Birthday Bash
Fire! Fire!

The birthday party Saturday night was a huge success! We had over 30 guests and my Mother’s cooking was wonderful as always. She worked sooooo hard and it was very appreciated. She cooked a traditional Cuban meal with stuffed roast pork, lamb, fried yucca, plantain chips (OK – we cheated, those were store bought), rice and black beans. We hardly had any leftovers!

Despite the initial trouble with the margarita machine (the drinks wouldn’t freeze) which was fixed later, everyone says they had a great time. My husband Kenny was wonderful. He took care of everything and wouldn’t let me lift a figure! I was actually able to mingle and catch up with friends. It was great. And I can’t forget the piñata… Poor Keroppi got battered but he put up a fight. We really had to beat the crap out of him before any candy fell out!

<-- Click here for party pics!! -->

Elaine & Keroppi before the brutality. In terms of guests, I was happily surprised to see not one but two sets of old friends that made the drive all the way down from Dallas to see me! One was a girl I’ve know since she was six and I was nine (we lived down the street from each other and were play buddies). She came with her husband. The other couple were my best buds in high school (remember the couple that got married earlier this year and he was my first boyfriend)? To have these friends come down made me feel really special. Thanks guys!

Other guests included a small contingency of H-Town Bloggers: Kathy, Kimberly, Kymberlie, Angela, Matt and Mike (Christine was home sick and was missed).

Thanks to everyone who came out - I hadn't seen some of your lovely faces in ages and it really meant a lot to me that you made it out in the midst of the busy holiday season to celebrate with me! So, does this 30-thing involve acting more grown up? I hope not... :D

posted at 12/16/2003 12:37:00 p. m.

lunes, diciembre 15, 2003

viernes, diciembre 12, 2003

Celebrating a day early...
Wow! I am already receiving birthday wishes a day early! My 30th isn't till tomorrow but I have already received an e-greeting and both
Pamela and Hanna have wished me happy birthday on their blogs since all three of won't be able to celebrate with me in person tomorrow! :(

Thanks guys!!! What a nice surprise - that was very sweet of you!

(And I just noticed a pattern - all three of these friends I met at one company where we all worked at various times. I was the one who stayed the longest so I got to know all of them well.)

posted at 12/12/2003 02:40:00 p. m.

A cookie crumb
I found this link on
Christine's little side bar which she calls "Cookie Crumbs". Did you know that in North Carolina, a game of bingo can't last more than 5 hours? Don't want it to get too crazy! Read up on nine other silly laws:

Ludicrous Laws

posted at 12/12/2003 09:02:00 a. m.

jueves, diciembre 11, 2003

Getting a handle on things...
Last night I finally felt like I got a handle on things. As many of you know, I have been swamped with personal things to do and a couple of nights ago my poor husband saw how bad it had gotten when I started snapping and yelling at the dogs every time they barked. The look of exhaustion probably tipped him off as well. In response he has made an effort to help me by taking care of some of the tasks on my to-do list. Last night he invited Robert over and with his help we strung the lights on the tree and finally removed the pile of clothes and miscellaneous items that has been sitting in our lounge for the past 2 months that we have been intending to give to charity. Kenny also offered to take them to Goodwill for me today.

Because of their help I had time to do two loads of laundry and was able to finish decorating the tree. I also can't forget that before I even got home, I met my Mother after work and we bought most of the foodstuff she needs for the Cuban meal she is cooking for the party so that is taken care of (the guys unloaded my car for me). Mo mother, also seeing how tired I was getting, offered to go to the specialty store and buy the rest of items tomorrow so I don't have to.

So even thought the house is still a mess, it just all seems more manageable. Tonight I have no plans with anyone so I am going to do a final load of laundry, finish tidying up, clean out the small 3-gallon fish tank and maybe even wrap some of the presents I've already bought. Tomorrow I am skipping out on the Friday Gaggle fun and staying home to sweep, mop and dust since I won't have time to on Saturday. Mother will also be there, cooking in preparation for Saturday.

Well, I am really busy at work so I better go and don't worry, I'll take a picture of the tree tonight and post it!

posted at 12/11/2003 11:33:00 a. m.

A new *custom* graphic!
Since I was
asked to take down the customized graphic that was made for me, Robert graciously created a whole new one from scratch for me... he did not use anyone else's artwork and manipulate it!

I like this new one even better though! It has my favorite Sanrio character as well as my two dogs, Ginger and Heidi. Once again, thanks Robert!!

posted at 12/11/2003 09:36:00 a. m.

miércoles, diciembre 10, 2003

(late) Weekend Update
Wow! I have a very busy time these past few days! I am paying for it this week though as I am swamped in my personal life getting ready for my 30th birthday party this Saturday. There are about 30 friends coming and I will even have an overnight guest. I have soooo much to do before then though!!!! I need to go shopping for the food and drinks, clean the entire house (which will involve dusting, sweeping, mopping and cleaning bathrooms), getting laundry done, making a trip to Salvation Army to give a truckload of stuff away and last but not least getting the 8 ft. tree decorated (we bought it Sunday but it's still naked). I'm tired already thinking about it.

Anyway, my weekend re-cap:

Friday afternoon: I had lunch with some fellow
H-Town Bloggers. Kymberly, Angela, Kathy and I all met up for lunch at Tropioca. We bought Vietnamese pork sandwiches next door and some bubble tea. We will have to try this again... the time went by too quickly.

Friday night: The girls I had lunch with came over to my house and we went and followed the Vietnamese theme and had pho for dinner. Afterwards we rented a movie and watched it from the comfort of the couch with the fire keeping us cozy.

Saturday afternoon: Had a dentist appointment (I was cavity free). Ooh. Exciting.

Elaine & Sara Saturday night: Went on a double-date with EJ & Sherry to go see the adorable and oh-so-talented Sara Hickman at The Mucky Duck. She's a wonderful singer with a bubbly, crazy personality that I love. She is also very approachable and she was more than happy to take a picture with me and sign the CD's I bought. To the right is a shot I took of the two of us after her performance.

Sunday: Hanna and her best friend Dennon picked me and we headed out to Montrose where I stopped by a craft market to meet another H-Town Blogger, Claire, who was selling her wares (lovely felt purses) then headed to Baba Yega's for brunch and hit Brasil's for an after-brunch cappuccino. Had a lovely, relaxing day!!

Now I *must* get back to work and you will notice that posting may be light in the upcoming days as well as commenting on your sites - don't despair, it's just that I am so busy and don't have time to compose any nice, coherent entries. :D

posted at 12/10/2003 10:18:00 a. m.

martes, diciembre 09, 2003

Thanks Boobka!
I just wanted to give a heads up to my best bud
Robert for customizing the holiday graphic to the left. The original was looking a little too much like Fran Drescher for his tastes so he made her look more like me (short black hair, glasses and better curves). For comparison, here is the original.

(FYI: He is also the one who customized my earlier PowerPuff graphic by adding me as the 4th girl...)

Update: The site where I got the original has asked me to take down Boobka's handiwork because they do not allow customization of artwork... argh!!! I have temporararily put the original back up until I can find something to replace her...

posted at 12/09/2003 09:48:00 a. m.

lunes, diciembre 08, 2003

viernes, diciembre 05, 2003

Grr... kids suck.
OK. Not all kids suck but the little brat who decided to throw a rock at my car is. What is it with kids these days? Is it just me or do they seem less fearless and more disrespectful?

I was just driving along, past a bunch of apartments where kids typically assemble to wait for the buses every school morning. I have never had an incident until today when I pass and I see a girl, 10-12 years old (probably early junior high or late elementary) raise her arm as if to throw something. I am shocked to see she is aiming at me and as I pass she follows through with the swing and I hear a *thunk* on the passenger side! What the??!!! That little sh*thead! I am so infuriated that I hit the brakes and consider turning around but I am already running late and what was I going to do? There were no adults around for me to report her to. The only satisfaction I got is that she watched me slow down and I hope she got a touch of fear in her heart when she saw those brake lights. It was all I could do not to flip her off...

I think I reacted so strongly was because I did nothing to this girl to make her need to throw a rock at me. She did it for the thrill and she got away with it scot-free, no consequences for her little misdeed. I know, kids will be kids but to throw rocks at a passing vehicle? That ain't funny. My sister actually had to get stitches when she was in college after some kids threw large rocks at her boyfriend's car as they drove along a street in Dallas. They actually managed to shatter the car window and the glass cut up my sister's face.

I won't even get into what I think of kids these days and how I think parents are largely to blame for the way they misbehave. Things have gone too far and we have become to sensitive to what is "politically correct". You know, sometimes a good old ass-whupping and a healthy fear of your parents can be a good thing... I know it kept me in line!

Anyway, I don't think any harm was done to my car (it was a small rock) but I forgot to look at that side of the car when I parked this morning. I'll try to remember to look at lunch.

posted at 12/05/2003 08:57:00 a. m.

jueves, diciembre 04, 2003

What a wonderful evening!
Last night Kenny went on our monthly date. Normally we would have gone to play pool but I changed things up and planned for us to go see a movie at the
local independent film theater. I had intended to use some gift passes I was given but had forgotten that last week I had entered to be selected for a free movie screening of a film I was really interested in after hearing an interview with the director on NPR.

Lo and behold my name was picked so we changed plans a bit and went to the preview of In America. *Wow* What an amazing story. A tear-jerker of a movie for sure - you saw many movie-goers eyes still red as we all left the theater, even a well-built, well dressed young man looked visibly affected! Now my eyes well up on occasion but this movie created a deeper emotion. Kenny and I were very impressed and would recommend it to anyone. We both agreed too that the casting was great (the two little girls steal the scenes)!

Afterwards Kenny and I headed over to Cafe Brasil's for a late dinner (Greek salad and a pint of pear cider for me, a club sandwich and coffee for him) and we just had a great time talking and laughing. It felt good. Everything felt good about the evening. The CD in my car stereo had me pumped as I sang out loud to it on the way to the coffee shop, there was no traffic on the road and the air was cool and crisp. My husband was in a great, funny mood, making me smile more than usual and things just felt right in the world for those few hours. It was a nice emotional high after having felt out of energy these last few weeks (maybe months?). I look forward to more of those and need to see how I can reproduce the feeling of the evening! :D

posted at 12/04/2003 09:43:00 a. m.

miércoles, diciembre 03, 2003

martes, diciembre 02, 2003

Things to do tonight
-- finish hanging up new sheer curtains in our bedroom
-- do a load or two of laundry - this will just have to wait
-- tidy up bar and kitchen counters *
-- put away clean dishes *
-- answer some
H-Town Blogs e-mail
-- add written descriptions to Boston scrapbook and finally finish it - this will wait till Thursday when I have the night to myself while Kenny is at pool league

* My wonderful husband did these two completely on his own (he didn't even know about this list)

posted at 12/02/2003 06:45:00 p. m.

Thanksgiving Recap (finally)
Sorry - I got a bit overwhelmed last night at home and Kenny forced me to sit down for a little bit! Here's a late holiday re-cap...

We headed over to Rockwall, Texas to spend Thanksgiving with Kenny's Mom, her husband, his half-brother and his family (wife + 2 nephews). Since we won't be spending Christmas together, his Mother likes to arrange an early Christmas. The tree was up and presents were exchanged and opened.

I absolutely loved what I got! His mother and her husband bought me some
beautiful lamp shades for my ceiling fan that I had pointed out to Kenny in a catalog several months ago. I was very surprised because I had forgotten about them and I did not know he had passed the information along to his Mother.

Even though the 4 shades were more than enough, she also gave me a light box that was on my Amazon wish list. It's what I needed to look through all my Dad's old negatives that I recently consolidated into one place. Some negatives are older than me and some are of photos I had not seen in a print format. I want to look through them, put them in negative sleeves, mark the content and then reprint some of my favorites (like ones I found of me in the hospital baby nursery as a newborn). The new light box will make this process much easier!!

Kenny did real well too - he got a game for his PC that he wanted as well as a couple of books (all from his Amazon wish list). The rest of the gifts were well received - the nephews seemed to really like the toys we got them and the adults seemed equally pleased with theirs! I think we did better at gift-giving than other years so it was a lot of fun.

Afterwards we stuffed ourselves on a wonderful dinner with all the essentials - fried turkey, sweet yams, green beans, fresh rolls and stuffing. Sat around and talked the rest of the evening and took a family portrait by the tree.

The rest of the pictures are here!

The trip was short-lived though since Kenny has work deadlines that are pressuring his team and he wanted to get back in town for the weekend. We left just a day after getting there, after having lunch with his Mother.

The rest of weekend I spent running errands and getting some personal shopping done. Nothing too exciting! That's about it...

posted at 12/02/2003 10:28:00 a. m.

lunes, diciembre 01, 2003

Too busy...
I've got the radio on to an 80's station and
Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire" is on... what a great song and what a great lesson in history...

Anyway, too busy at work to post holiday stuff but will hopefully when I get home!

posted at 12/01/2003 02:31:00 p. m.

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