Sunday, November 27, 2005
I don't know why but I always always cry during that scene when Meg Ryan's character has to close the store and she stops at the door and remembers her mother and her twirling. I get so sentimental at that part. I also love the very end but I'm not going to say why in case you've never seen it.
That movie is so full of quotable lines. I love it when Meg Ryan tells Tom Hanks, "When someone says it's not personal all it means is that it's not personal to you."
Anyway, the laundry (at least the majority of it) has been done and I actually managed to fold it all and to put it up, all in the same 24 hour period. That has got to be a first! I'm a domestic goddess after all!
I'm also very proud to note that I made a lot of progress on Seth's baby book yesterday. I mean I got a lot done! So did my girlfriend who came over to work on her wedding album. I feel like such a nerd when I say I scrapbook and I don't know why. Scrapbooking and journaling around the photos is a lot like story telling.
Tomorrow is back to work and back to the usual. I am so ready for a change and I've only been doing this particular job for about 6 months. This is the last month of the year and I'm going to be expected to do a lot this last month to take us into next year. What joy!
Thursday, November 24, 2005
However I'm working on Seth's baby book. He turns 19 months this next week and I have barely made a dent in it. By his age Miranda's book was not only finished, I had added another pack of Creative Memories blank pages that I embellished with paper and stickers. What a difference a second child makes! Poor baby! So among the other 1 million things I have to do I need to finish this baby book. I know it won't get done before the end of the year but I at least want to make some progress.
Scrapbooking is actually a relaxing hobby and I'm doing something good for my kids. They'll have these baby books to look at when they grow up and eventually they can take it to their own home and share it with their families.
I just put Seth down with a bottle a few minutes ago and I heard the bottle hit the rails of the crib, meaning his finished, but I don't hear him. If he's taking a nap I'm going to put the baby book aside and I'm going to write for a little while. I need to review some of what I wrote last time. Yeah, I don't hear him so let me go take advantage of the quiet time. See how I'm never going to finish that baby book!
Wednesday, November 23, 2005
I recommend walking around naked in your living room
Swallow it down (what a jagged little pill)
It feels so good (swimming in your stomach)
Wait until the dust settles
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
I recommend biting off more then you can chew to anyone
I certainly do
I recommend sticking your foot in your mouth at any time
Throw it down (the caution blocks you from the wind)
Hold it up (to the rays)
You wait and see when the smoke clears
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
Wear it out (the way a three-year-old would do)
Melt it down (you're gonna have to eventually anyway)
The fire trucks are coming up around the bend
You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn
You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn
(Sometimes this is how I feel- LCR)
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
We had chosen Thursdays as my writing night but now that we changed congregations I have meeting on Thursdays. SO NOW my new writing night is TUESDAY, like tonight. So tonight I will either go upstairs and write alone while Rey stays keeps the kids downstairs or I may pack up my laptop and go to Starbucks or Kaveh Kanes to write. My new goal is to finish the novel no later than January in time for my reading.
I went to a couple of meetings at a trendy supermarket in the area and I didn't keep going back for a couple of reasons, but the main one was that I didn't like the leader. There is just something about her that I don't like. I can't put my finger on it and I don't want to be mean, but you know, sometimes we as people just don't like other people. Sometimes people just rub us the wrong way and there is something like that about this woman. She has one of those puckered faces and small mouths and she does a lot of the talking and the team members don't really talk, except to tell everyone how they lost weight that week.
Yesterday I had lunch with two of my girlfriends and I told them that I was going to try another meeting across the street from the deli where we were eating. I also like that it's next to Luby's and I love Luby's. I told them about the woman at the other meeting and that I hoped that the woman at this meeting was attractive. They cracked up when I said that but I explained that I didn't mean attractive in a sexual way, of course, but that I would be attracted to her as a person. I wanted to like her enough to enjoy being there and to return to the meetings.
Today was the day I met my new team leader. I was in and out of there so fast and she was running late, that I didn't even get her name. All I know is that I totally like her. She's in her late 40s, maybe. She may be in her early 50s and just looks really good but I'm not sure. She's a great speaker and just tells it like it is. I like that about her.
She was talking about the holidays and all the food that is around and all the excuses that we make to just quit. She said that the holidays is a time when all the weight loss businesses lose a lot of business. People just take on that attitude that they are going to start again with the new year and enjoy the holidays. She asked a very good question. She asked why do people quit and one lady answered, "Because it's hard." To that she answered, "But isn't life hard? But we still do it. We still do what we have to do."
I thought about that and it reminded me of when the kids were babies. I remembered that completely exhausted feeling when they were small when I felt like I couldn't go on any more. But yet I did. I just did what I was supposed to do because I had no choice. That was all. Shouldn't my approach to weight loss be the same?
It was a great meeting and I came out feeling really motivated and ready to continue on my Weight Watchers quest.
Monday, November 21, 2005
In preparing for my NY trip I went back to a very old Oprah show I had saved on my DVR of Sarah Jessica Parker listing her favorite places in NYC. Here are some of her favorite places and some of the places I'm planning on visiting while I'm there.
1. Museum of Modern Art - it was closed 2 visits ago for remodeling and Rey and I just didn't have time to go there last time. We went to the Metropolitan Museum of Art instead.
2. Primeburger Restaurant and Coffee Shop
3. Chinatown- Shanghai Gardens Restaurant
4. Pearl River Mart- She showed the inside and it is full full full of bargains and where I'll buy all my presents to take home.
Speaking of favorite things. Who watched Oprah's Favorite Things show today? I absolutely fell in love with the Nikes Free 5.0 iDs. They are too beautiful!!!
Enough about totally superficial things. See my entry from earlier today for things that should really matter.
I'm sure you've all noticed by now that I can't make up my mind about a blog design. I was doing the pink for a couple of days but it was too pink for me. I need to figure out how to customize it.
Good night everyone everywhere! On to shower and pack the kids things for tomorrow.
First of all let me tell you, I've tried mentoring a couple of times before and I didn't have that great of an experience. The other two attempts were not fruitful. I ended up dropping out both times. This is my third try and this has been the best one.
I've met with my mentee three times now. We've talked about what she wants to do in life, about applying for college, and scholarships. I've mentioned before that she's in the school mariachi band and plays the gitarron. She's also in ROTC and recently I found out she helped establish an organization for immigrant children at her school. She herself is a Resident from Mexico.
My friend Jena, the great journalist, is going to visit her with me one day next month. I want her to meet Jena because I want her to meet someone who has pursued a career in Journalism. Her sister Angie, my other good friend, who volunteers for Nuestra Palabra and the radio show on KPFT, is going to organize a visit to the radio show. When I told my mentee all this she was so excited. I could tell it really made her day. She's interested in a career in journalism or broadcast.
I also printed out a bunch of scholarship information for her on communication scholarships and I think she was impressed that I took the time to do all of that. We talked about her scholarship applications and what she should list as her accomplishments. She has several ribbons from ROTC. I told her she should list every ribbon if it represents an accomplishment on her part. She didn't realize she could do that, since they aren't related to the major she's interested in. I explained to her that she still can list them because they are awards and they show excellence on her part. She was happy to hear that. I was just happy to be there and to give her advice. This has been my best mentoring experience yet!
I'm volunteering to mentor through Project Grad. Check it out. http://www.projectgrad.org/site/pp.asp?c=fuLTJeMUKrH&b=365959
Saturday, November 19, 2005
Friday, November 18, 2005
It's been a good year. I'm making progress, however slow, on my writing. I'm on track to get my novel finished this year so that I can pitch it to some agents next year. That's been the goal of this blog.. It's made me write. Hopefully it's also created an audience.
So to those of you who read, especially those of you who I don't know and who just happen upon my blog and are interested enough to stay and read, THANK YOU! Keep reading and I'll keep writing.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
I hope that all of you in Houston can make it out to hear me read! I'll be reading a part of my soon to be finished novel. I'm also going to submit another short story to the website very soon to keep me top of mind in the Houston Institute for Culture followers' minds.
It hasn't been finalized yet but I may be reading at Nuestra Palabra again in May. More news about that to follow if and when that's finalized.
This is so good for me because it puts the pressure on me to write! Just wanted to share my news with all of you. I'm happy!!
On another note. If you are looking for an organization where you would like to volunteer CHECK out the Houston Institute for Culture! They are short on volunteers and they have so many interesting programs, like a camp for kids in Phoenix. That's just one of the many programs they organize so look into volunteering for a worthy cultural cause.
Nuestra Palabra is also always looking for volunteers, especially for the Latino Book and Family Festival in May.
1. Mariah Carey
2. Angelina Jolie
3. Drew Barrymore
4. Halle Berry
5. Fergie-from the Black Eyed Peas
The other night we were at dinner with friends and Rey mentioned that Fergie was on his Top 5 List. He also said that the Top 5 list is a list of rich famous women who he would leave me for if they asked.
I said, "Wait a minute! I didn't know you would leave me for these women! I don't have a Top 5 List."
So I felt compelled to make a Top 5 List myself. Only that when I went to write my list I couldn't think of anyone. Worse yet I kept thinking of White actors and I felt politically incorrect, being Hispanic and all. So I thought about it real hard and even did a search on Google for the Sexiest Men of 2004 and 2005 and I was reminded of what men I find really handsome. I came up with my list and e-mailed them to Rey's Blackberry.
1. Gabriel Garcia Bernal
2. Olivier Martinez
3. Johnny Depp
4. Keanu Reeves
5. Nicholas Gonzalez
Rey responded, "This can't be your Top 5 List. I don't know any of these people except Johnny Depp and Keanu Reeves."
"These are actors!"
"They aren't well known actors and the Top 5 List has to be made of famous actors who are rich and who you would leave me for."
This is my list so I can put whomever I want on it! He still doesn't agree but I'm very happy with my list. Now that I have my own list I feel a lot better! Yes, my husband and I have deep meaningful conversations! :)
Monday, November 14, 2005
Here is my revised book reading list.
1. Sex, Murder And A Double Latte by Kyra Davis
2. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
3. Border-Line Personalities : A New Generation of Latinas Dish on Sex, Sass, and Cultural Shifting
4. The Writing Life- A collection of essays by writers
I know these titles sound like a lot of sex, but they aren't really about sex sex. You know sex sells so they have to put it in titles. Those of you who know me are probably saying, "Now Loida..."
I would list Amy Tan's new book here but I haven't gotten it yet and I want to read her second book before I buy another book of hers because so far it's the only book of hers I haven't read. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0399153012/qid=1131949125/sr=2-1/ref=pd_bbs_b_2_1/002-3455028-8849613?v=glance&s=books
A note about Kyra Davis. I haven't read the book yet but it's gotten rave reviews. I sent her a note a few months ago and she sent me back the nicest note! She even read my short story on the Houston Institute for Culture website and sent me a very encouraging note telling me I should write a collection of short stories. That's a real person! http://www.kyradavis.com/ and http://kyradavisauthor.blogspot.com/.
Speaking of the Houston Institute for Culture. http://www.houstonculture.org/ They recently, well not so recently now, opened their doors to a physical office at 5555 Morningside Suite 204 right in the Village. I will be meeting with the director of this admirable organization soon and I hope to have some good news to report regarding another story being posted on their site and maybe more! Stay tuned!
Saturday, November 12, 2005
OK, enough about the schools but I have to say this. It was not my imagination. The ladies from that one particular school I went to did strike me as elitist and today in talking to a old schoolmate who has kids in elementary school she was telling me that the mothers from that school are that way. Interesting. I went to see my second choice school on Friday and it has now moved to my first choice. Not based on what that one girl told me today, but on other things too.
I have 4 more schools I want to see that I didn't get around to this last week. I need to call them so I can schedule a time when I can come in and tour. One is a technology school, the other communication, math & science and the last one is the one that is on my third choice for Vanguard.
Today is a day of chores. I have to file my receipts for my Flex Plan for insurance, figure the cost of new contacts so I can file that too. I have paperwork to do. I also need to spend a little bit of time tutoring Miranda with the new workbooks I just bought her. And finally, I have a lot of laundry to fold.
I know some of you may think that if I spent less time blogging I would have more time to work on my novel. Believe me, I've thought the same thing but it really isn't. I can blog with the TV on and Robots playing, the baby running around, Miranda coming to hang on me. Blogging is not really writing to me. Not serious writing at least and all this is totally written in first draft. Take care and have a great Saturday if that's when you're reading this.
And to my friends who tell me that this is the way they keep up with what's going on in my life, THANKS for reading!
Thursday, November 10, 2005
1. Nuestra Palabra- Latinos Having Their Say, who have been huge supporters of my writing career.
2. Latino USA- A great show that just moved over from KUHF recently to KPFT!
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
In this case it’s been different because I feel like it’s so much more than I expected. I figured, I’m going to get a tour of the school and what they do there and how they are different from other schools and that was pretty much it. Then from what I learned at the tour I would decide which schools I would put down as my choices. Instead I’ve learned in just the past 2 days that a lot of kids apply for Vanguard and only a third or less are accepted. Usually all the schools all fill up, so realistically we should apply for other Magnet programs that aren’t Vanguard.
Everyone wants to go to River Oaks Elementary. Not just because the name prestige. They are Vanguard and IB. The IB curriculum is integrated into the Vanguard program and the IB methods are taught in the non-IB classes as well. Which means that the whole school is good, not just Vanguard. I think they are the only IB elementary school in Houston. Pretty cool. I wasn’t planning on looking at that school but I was running late to work today and it’s close to my office so I figured I’d go there instead of traveling far.
I bumped into an old co-worker there and she was telling me that Harvard is Magnet. They have a Math and Science program. Since I don’t want to put all my eggs in one basket I’m going to apply for Magnet and I need to decide what schools have programs that interest me and are in good areas.
All this talk about applications and how they choose the students, and curriculum etc.. makes me feel like I’m going back into school. In some ways I am. I talked to my girl friend who is raising 5 kids. I think her eldest is in 6th grade and her youngest is 1.5 like mine. She has a lot of great experience in the whole school thing and we were laughing at the difference between us and our parents. Our parents didn’t know the first thing about magnet programs and when we got into Vanguard and Magnet in middle and high school we pretty much did everything on our own. They weren’t involved in our schools. She said sometimes she thinks that was better because it made us more independent and taught us discipline. Our kids are going to be accustomed to having us always do for them... There’s a lot of truth in that point.
But then I think of the kids when I went to Vanguard in 6th grade. I felt like I was so behind compared to the kids who came from Vanguard elementary schools and had parents who were very involved. They had a definite advantage over me and I had to work twice as hard to do as well as they did. I remember being in 6th grade and not knowing my continents or where the Tropic of Cancer or Capricorn were on the globe. I was embarassed that I hadn’t learned these basic things in elementary school. So no, I’m glad I’m going to keep on top of my kids and I’m going to give them an even better advantage than I had.
To start with I’m rethinking the things I said I was going to concentrate on. I need to start drilling Miranda every night until the test. I know she’s smart but I think these Open House meetings have made me nervous. I went over her alphabet and numbers tonight and she’s doing pretty good. I just need to work on having her learn to read short words in time for the test.
Moths are attracted to the warm inviting light of our kitchen window and the lizards know this. The kitchen window is small and right above the sink. There’s a light bulb right above it so the light attracts the moths. The lizards lurk around waiting for the moths to arrive. When I’m in the kitchen washing dishes (yeah right!), making the baby a bottle, or any of the various domestic tasks that you do in the kitchen, I can see the lizards light pink underbellys as they hang around on the outside of the window. Their little webbed fingers cling to the glass and I can actually see the tiny suction circles under their toes.
Sometimes there are only four lizards and sometimes there are up to six hanging around and when a moth arrives they all fight for it. The first one to strike and bring the moth to its mouth wins. There have been times when one lizard thinks he won and then another sneeks up and yanks the moth right out of the other’s mouth.
It’s quite entertaining to watch and it provides a great science lesson for the kids right outside our kitchen window. It can also act as a great lesson in life. The game the lizards play remind me of the politics of Corporate America!
We were with a group of women on the tour who had all their kids in the same private Pre-K in the same area. I couldn't help thinking that they all wanted their kids in Vanguard because they don't want to keep paying for private school. Ha ha! They were nice but a bit elitist.
Then you could argue why do I want my kids in Vanguard and I would say because I know that Miranda will always be ahead of the game and I don't want to slow her down in a non-gifted program. Of course, if she doesn't get in then that's what I have to do and live with it, but I don't think she'll have a problem.
The test is all verbal since she's only 4. The application is due in January and the test is in February! I remember thinking how far away that still was and now here we are. Amazing!
Today I visit my second choice and tomorrow I'm visiting the 3rd choice and that should be it. I haven't decided if I'm going to a 4th on Friday just to check one more out. I have to put down 3 choices on the application in case she makes it into Vanguard but doesn't make it into the specific school I want. Then they can send her to the second choice and so on. I just want her to go to a good school so any one of the top 3 choices is fine with me.
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Sunday, November 06, 2005
First job: First real regular daily job was selling advertising for my college paper when I was 18.
First screen name: cougargirl for a while for UH Cougars, until I decided on shoegirl
First self-purchased CD: I can’t even remember. It took me a long time to go from cassette tape to CD.
Vinyl Album: Madonna Borderline? Was that the actual name of the album?
First piercing/tattoo: My ears, age 8 with little gold balls.
First true love: I hate to sound sappy but it really was my husband. Everyone before that didn’t get me.
First enemy: In 5th grade this little girl who used to act like my friend suddenly turned on me and hated me.
LASTS Last big car ride: To San Antonio because we thought Hurricane Rita was coming this way. 15 hours in the car!
Last kiss: Last night, my husband.
Last library book checked out: A couple of years ago I checked out the Books on the Bayou book but now I can’t remember the title and I never had time to read it. I buy books.
Last movie seen: Vanity Fair. Just saw it last night and this morning. I love period pieces!
Last beverage drank: Diet A&W Cream soda
Last food consumed: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich
Last phone call: From my sister Becky.
Last CD played: Almodovar movie tunes.
Last annoyance: Too many to mention. That’s sad.
Last pop drank: Same as above.
Last ice cream eaten: Ben & Jerry’s
Last time scolded: My other sister making one of her comments as to what I should or shouldn’t do.
Last shirt worn: Last night I wore a simple white shirt with jeans.
I AM: full of thoughts
I WANT: to quit my day job to become a full time writer
I HAVE: two beautiful children
I WISH: I could get paid to make art.
I HATE: rudeness from others and lack of discipline on my part
I FEAR: failure
I HEAR: my children making noise all the time.
I SEARCH: for answers
I WONDER: if I will ever get anythign done.
I REGRET: not going to HSPVA for Creative Writing even though I was accepted into the program. What a dork!
I LOVE: my kids, my husband, my sisters, my dad, and my friends.
I ALWAYS: feel like I'm not doing enough
I AM NOT: good at playing the role in Corporate America.
I DANCE: like no one is watching
I SING: really terrible but I love to sing it any way.
I CRY: every time I see Beaches.
YES or NO: YOU KEEP A DIARY: Yes. I have paper journals going back twenty-one years. Now I only write randomly every couple of months.
YOU LIKE TO COOK: No. I would if it didn’t take so long.
YOU HAVE A SECRET YOU HAVE NOT SHARED WITH ANYONE: No, I’m not much of a secret keeper.
DO YOU...?HAVE A CRUSH: Of course I’m married and I have a girl crush on Sarah Jessica Parker.
WANT TO GET MARRIED: Did it done it. I’m here.
GET MOTION SICKNESS: I used to when I rode in cars and read but I don’t now and I didn’t get sea sick at all and that’s a type of motion sickness.
THINK YOU'RE A HEALTH FREAK: Absolutely not and I should be.
CURRENT HAIR COLOR: Dark brown
EYE COLOR: Dark Brown
FAVORITE NUMBER: 6 because it’s a 9 when upside down.
COLOR: Cobalt blue.
MONTH: October, because that’s when it starts getting cold.
SONG(S): I have a million favorite songs but I really like You Learn by Alanis Morisette.
DRINK: Alcoholic- Margaritas and sweet red wine like Lambrusco.
Another weekend, another week, another month, another year. Today Miranda heard me talking about getting older and she asked me in a perplexed tone, "Mommy! You're getting old?" Sadly my answer was that yes I'd be getting older as she grows up. Where is the time going? She's already four! Seth is 1.5. I'm 35 going on 36 in 3 months. Rey is barely going to turn 35 a week from this Wednesday.
The weekend was very uneventful. I didn't do anything at all these 2 days except clean up around the house, watch movies, and I went out to dinner. Yet the weekend has just gone by again.
On one good note I have taken stock of my life, yet again, and I've decided that instead of feeling overwhelmed with all the things I want to do I'm going to really concentrate on 2 big things and one minor thing.
1. I'm going to join WeightWatchers again because I fell off the wagon after losing 11 lbs but I'm very proud to say that at least I didn't gain those 11 lbs back. Now I’m ready to go back and to lose another 15.
2. I’m going to concentrate on finishing my book by December 31st. That’s my goal date.
These are the things in my life that keep me up at night so I must address them. If I can do these 2 things all the other things will just fall into place. I’ll feel better about myself, I’ll be healthier, I’ll have more energy, so I’ll do more etc.. At least that’s how it’s supposed to work out, right?
My sister in San Diego went to this Hispanic woman conference this past Friday and she had so many good things to say about it. I wish I could have gone too. I’m going to look into this organization. http://www.nhli.org/ If they have a conference in Houston I would love to attend. She said the speakers were incredible and inspirational. Sounds like my kind of conference but sadly I didn't get to attend.
Saturday, November 05, 2005
Anyway, the day is passing me by and I don't want to feel like another Saturday came and went and I didn't get anything done. I need to do at least half of our laundry. The kids are running out of clothes!
I was fantasizing earlier and thinking about how sadly money is both the root of all evil (depending on how you spend it) and the answer to so many dreams. Isn't that hilarious how that can be??
I was thinking of what my fantasy would be if I had enough money to pull this off and I bet many of you women will agree with me on these.
Enough money to:
1. Have a personal assistant/cleaning lady who not only cleans up after you and your family but finds ways to keep you organized and everything in its place in your house. I'd even say someone I could pay to come in 3 times per week all day just to clean and keep me organized. How much do you think that would cost?
2. To have a pedicure every 2 weeks or less as needed.
3. To have a massage every 2 weeks.
4. To have a facial once a month or more if needed.
5. Someone to come in once a week to cook 5 meals for the week and freeze them and put them in your fridge so you can have dinner ready to just defrost and cook every week night of the week.
6. A personal trainer who works out with you 4 times per week and calls you and makes you go even when you don't want to.
7. To travel to one really cool place once a year.
Any other ideas of what would make you happy? Please share your ideas!
Thursday, November 03, 2005
I bumped into an old college friend at that friend’s funeral last week and she told me, like she’s told me before, that she doesn’t know how I do it- between working full time, the children and trying to write a book. The truth is that I don’t do it all. I struggle just like every body else does to do what I can. I don’t get all the things I need to get done, but when I start beating up on myself I remind myself of how much I do get done. It’s the only way to keep my sanity. I am my worse critic. I’m the hardest on myself. I never feel like I’ve done enough and I always think I could have done better.
Like today for example. It’s Thursday and it’s my writing day. I just started this writing day thing last Thursday, right? Well today, on only the second Thursday, the kids were sick so my husband kept them all day. We misunderstood each other and I told the sitter he was keeping them all day but in fact he wanted to drop them off after taking them to the doctor. Since he kept them all day I felt obligated to come home right away. So I came home and watched Oprah and made dinner, but I didn’t walk and I didn’t write. See how I don’t do what I want to do.