Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Why Humans Reproduce

We reproduce for several reasons. I think one of the main reasons is the joy that we receive in seeing our child grow into a creative thinking creature. I felt this last night and this morning. I fell asleep earlier than my daughter, with my son, and my daughter came and woke me up and showed me a poem that she had written. Even in my half asleep state I was able to read and appreciate the poem.

When I woke up this morning I read it again and I appreciated it all over again. I remembered that she had said that she was inspired by the little crocodile poem in Alice and Wonderland. First I went and read that poem to see what she was talking about.

`How doth the little crocodile
Improve his shining tail,
And pour the waters of the Nile
On every golden scale!

`How cheerfully he seems to grin,
How neatly spread his claws,
And welcome little fishes in
With gently smiling jaws!' - Lewis Carroll, Chapter 2 of Alice in Wonderland

My daughter's poem was entitled "The Green Baby Grasshopper." It is such a wonderful poem full of creative imagery. To add to it she added her own little illustration. She drew a little grasshopper in bed, with the covers drawn up, and a little dresser with a lamp on it.

This is why we reproduce. I love my daughter! I love my crazy, wonderful, loud, creative, intelligent children. With that thought I end my last post of the year. Four years after starting this blog!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

SEVEN Hours with FIVE Kids Ages 7 & Under

We spent the day with my cousin's wife and their 5 children. Their children were wonderful, it was my kids that drove me a little crazy! We went out in the ministry first, then lunch, and last two hours at the Children's Museum.

I would have a drink except that I need to go work out.

Speaking of a drink. I did not realize that the recipe for a Bloody Mary was this simple. I tried this last night and the only ingredient I was missing was the Tabasco. It was yummy none-the-less.

I found this recipe online at this great Bloody Mary website.

Here's the classic Bloody Mary recipe. Enjoy!

1 1/2 ounces (1 jigger) vodka
1/2 cup tomato juice
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Worcestershire sauce to taste
Tabasco to taste
1 celery stick for garnish
1 lemon wedge for garnish

Combine the vodka, the tomato juice, the lemon juice, the Worcestershire sauce, the Tabasco, 1 cup ice cubes, and salt and pepper to taste, shake the mixture well, and strain it into a tall glass filled with ice cubes. Garnish the Bloody Mary with the celery stick and the lemon wedge.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Three More Days Until Vacation

But who's counting? Me? Nah! Of course it's really only one more full day of work until vacation. Woo Hoo! I am so out of here. I can hardly wait! I hadn't gotten so excited because I don't think I had really thought about it much. But now as the days get closer I'm making plans and looking forward to not having to wake up early for work for a whole week.

The other thing I am starting now, before the crazy mad rush to the gym by half the city, is working out again. I have so fallen off the wagon it's not even funny. So today is my first day back and I am going to pummel this body into shape! I've lost 45 lbs but I sure need to do some reshaping and firming up. Watch out!

I'm getting excited about doing a few fun activities with the kids. I wrote about some of them on skirt!

Speaking of skirt! I will hopefully have something publishing on the local Houston page very soon! And I will definitely have a give-away on there of a great new book. Stay tuned!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Handbag Fetish

I think I am quickly developing a fetish for handbags as bad, if not worse, than my shoe fetish. Actually I really need some new black shoes and I have not bought any. True, I have been to at least two different stores to look at black shoes, but I haven't found anything I am really happy with.

Today I took the kids to buy nice dress shoes and I fell in love with a big giant bag. I want to wear it to work tomorrow, even though I really don't have anything to go with it. But really it's one of those purses that can go with anything so I shouldn't fret.

I can't believe we are at the end of another year. I'm on vacation the last couple of days of the month and the first couple of days of the year.

I have a busy weekend ahead of me with a two day assembly and I'm trying to be proactive by doing something each day in preparation. Today it was the shoes and tomorrow I'm buying groceries and making sure that our outfits are all ready to go. I think I know what everyone else is wearing, but I don't know what I'm wearing one of the days. Friday night I just need to make lunch for Saturday and I need to make sure we all go to bed at a decent hour.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Update on Weight Loss

I haven't reported on my weight loss in quite a while. I can probably say I'm 45 lbs less now. I'm technically down 44 lbs, but what's one pound? I can round up because I know I'll lose that one pound soon.

More exciting than the 44 lbs is that I am two-three sizes smaller on my top (depending on the cut of the top) and three sizes smaller on my bottom. My top is larger than my bottom. (Yeah, I think you all know why.)

My sister came by today and brought me a pair of pants from Ann Taylor that's four sizes smaller than my original size and they fit. Now I realize that Ann Taylor does major vanity sizing, so the pants are probably really larger, however, it was still very cool!

Now I can go into Ann Taylor and I can ask to see clothes in my new size! I'm so excited! I can't wait to go shopping for new clothes soon.

Friday I wore a new dress to work that's three sizes smaller. It's really snug on the top, but it fits really well around the hips. My co-worker was so glad to see me in something fitted because all my clothes are all so big on me.

So there you go. 45 lbs less as I near my one year anniversary with my lap band. Less than I expected, but way more than I would have ever done on my own. I know that for a fact.

So I'm grateful for where I'm at and I'm going to continue on for another 45 lbs in 2009. When I lose 45 more pounds I will be very very close to my ideal weight and the weight I was in 10th or 11th grade. That's my goal for 2009!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

It Snows in Houston!


Okay, not real real snow. Not snow like you Northerners get. Or you Danish. But it was SNOW for Houston. Enough snow to make a little snow man! Here is my husband putting the carrot nose on Mr. Snowy.
It was a fun evening of making a snowman and throwing snowballs at eachother.

It NEVER snows in Houston. I'm 38 and it snowed when I was 3, 13, and 4 years ago we had a little bit of ice, but not this much. We haven't had enough snow to make a snowman in 25 years! So yes, it was an event! There's another picture of the snowman completed at skirt!


Friday, December 05, 2008

Weird Stuff Happens to Me

I was talking to my girlfriend today and she asked me if I've ever been to a restaurant called Julia's downtown.

I thought about it for a second and then I asked, "Julia's Bistro?"

And she was like, "Yeah!"

"Yeah, that's the restaurant that I fell in front of!"

"What???!!"

"Yeah, I went flying past the window on my way down and all the people sitting inside saw me fall."

"There are big windows on the front! Oh Loida! You fell there!?"

"Yes, and the manager came out to see what was wrong with me and was all, 'that's the city's fault' about the big holes in the sidewalk right in front of their restaurant. Then I stood up and he realized I was going inside HIS restaurant so he was all apologetic and ran and got me stuff for my knees and bandages."

She was laughing so hard when she heard my story and I realized it was kind of funny. I went ahead in, found my co-worker and Tony Diaz from Nuestra Palabra, and conducted business as usual, after I bandaged up my knees of course.

Then today I was reading Gwen's blog and I was reading how she's thinking of eloping or just going to Italy and paying some homeless man to pose in pictures pretending to be a priest. It brought to mind an experience my husband and I had in Italy on our honeymoon.

We were walking along a busy street in Rome, looking for La Boca de la Verita, and we got stopped by an Italian man driving by, who pretended to be French and lost at first and then he tried to sell us some leather jackets. Somehow we ended up giving him something like $50 and we got a leather jacket we didn't even need. It was a very weird experience. It was too small for Rey to boot, so I took it home and gave it to my dad.

No, this was not a dream. It really did happen. Yeah, I think I have weird things happen to me.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Help Me Out Where I Need Faith

I was talking to a co-worker and she shared a scripture that she really appreciates. Her translation reads, "I believe, help me with my unbelief." I really liked that quote so I decided to see how the New World Translation writes it.

It reads, "I have faith. Help me out where I need faith." Mark 9:24

What a great scripture. I couldn't help but think that so many of us can relate to this. We all have faith but sometimes, because of our human inperfection, we lack a little faith. This scripture really spoke to me. It made me think about myself and where it is that I lack faith.

I just wanted to share this thought.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

My Crazy Son & Life

This past weekend my son was sicker than a dog but he still didn't lose his sense of humor. At one point (I have no idea how we even got here in the conversation) he put a book under my butt and said, "This is a big ol' plate alright!" He is hilarious.

I started my new novel as promised. It's another family saga.

I am totally craving something very strange. Ham hocks. I want to go to my favorite soul food restaurant, This Is It. I need to go on an evening that I can eat.

Work is going well. Better this month than last.

I don't have anything else better to say. Go check me out on skirt! later. Maybe I'll have something better to talk about over there.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

My Daughter, the Writer

Upon hearing that I was working on a new novel this morning my daughter promptly sat down to write her own book. Then my son started making art. I love them! They are so my children.

My sister called and asked what I was doing. I told her. "What happened to your first book?" she asked.

"I still have it but it's time for me to start a new one," I answer.

I guess people assume I will keep trying to get this one published before I move on to another project. But how many authors end up selling their second or third book first? A lot I'm sure. So that's what I'm doing. I'm moving on to Book #2.

I'll still revisit Book #1 and I may try sending it out too. I need to try some small presses. For now it's Book #2. It's actually a collaboration with my husband so it will be an interesting project.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Starting a New Novel

I am starting a new novel this weekend. Yes, that's what I said. I have been talking about this novel for a while and it's never going to get written with me just talking about it. I'm getting busy this weekend with my outline and character sketches. Wish me well!

I'm doing this while looking after my dad, because my sister went out of town, buying groceries, and buying the kids new shoes. I can do it!

My kids' long weekend is about to be up and they are going back to school on Monday. Poor kids! I guess since I worked Wednesday and today I didn't feel it as bad.

My cousins from Brownsville, Austin, LA, NYC and Houston all got together at my cousin's restaurant today. It was nice to see them all together at one time. It was nice for my father to get out and see all of them too.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Latest in My Life

Literary Mama

I submitted an essay in response to a great essay to Literary Mama as a writing prompt but alas I wasn't chosen. However if you want to read the one I submitted you can read it at skirt!

Beaver's


I've discovered a new restaurant that I really like. I just wish I could eat more to enjoy more things on the menu. I've only had a few things so far. I finally got back and tried the cocktails last night. Very yummy! Check out my reviews on skirt! There are two, the one about the restaurant and the one about the drinks.


Daddy

Dad is getting better but he wants to go home now. He isn't happy at my sister's house and he doesn't want to come stay with me either. My other sister told him point blank that he has no choice until he's better. He wasn't happy. Poor Daddy, but we can't risk him falling by himself at his house and not being able to call anyone to come help him.


Son

I forgot to blog about how the other morning he was about to brush his teeth and wash his face and he was holding a little Hot Wheels car in his hand. He looked around the sink at all the wet area and he couldn't figure out where to put his car. I was standing next to him in my bra and panties.


So he looks over at my boobs in his face and says, "Can I just put this right here?" pointing at my cleveage.


"Uh no," I answered and of course I cracked up. He's too much!


Daughter


Oh goodness! Paybacks are Heck! She is seven years old and she's already a big ol' Miss Know It All. I get very frustrated with her, especially when helping her with homework. It takes all that I have not to lose it with her and sometimes I do and I tell her I'm just not going to help her since she already knows all the answers. I know that sounds really immature of me, but I really need to find the patience to deal with someone just like me. LOL!


Me and Technology


Technology hates me. My sister's answering machine never answers for me when I call her house. I can call from different phones and that answering machine always knows it's me. I do not lie. It answers for everyone else, but not for me. It even answered for my husband when he called her back from his phone.


I accidentally put Caller Tunes on my cell phone and you would have thought for the past two days that I was in high school. First some awful song was playing and when I couldn't delete it I went ahead and chose a song that I liked at least, Pretty in Pink by the Psychedelic Furs. Caller Tunes is that feature that most phones have for callers who are calling in. Instead of hearing the traditional ring your callers will hear a song of your choice. I tried to delete it to no avail. I even went online and followed the instructions on TMobile. Finally I gave in and called them. The woman who answered had a great sense of humor. She thought it was hilarious. She removed it immediately for me.


So basically technology hates me. I'm going to finish cleaning my house now.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Latin Grammy After Party


Too bad you can't see this better. It was taken with my Blackberry. This is me at the Latin Grammy After Party. You can't see my dress. It's a black sleeveless dress with a short black sweater. That's a Hennesy bar behind me. And FYI Belvedere Vodka is gooood!

Gwendolyn Zepeda's in Latina Magazine!


Pick up the latest issue of Latina Magazine (December) and check out the essay written by Houston writer Gwendolyn Zepeda. (No relation that I know of. Zepeda is my mom's maiden name)

Gwen's essay is about her father and his ideas about women cooking. It is a very touching account about their differences and how she has dealt with it. I know I could relate to her story like many of us can.

So check it out. Pick up a copy next time you're in the grocery store. I got mine at Kroger. You can read a better review at skirt.com.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Lost Blackberry Pictures

OK This one wasn't lost. I tooks this picture of my dad in his hospital bed reading his Houston Chronicle. He has to have his daily fix. This was taken a few days before his surgery 2 1/2 weeks ago.

The historical Lowe's Theater in Jersey City. This is from my visit to NYC in October.

San Diego, CA. Right below the condo where my niece and nephew used to live.

A beautiful cloud that I saw right after getting my Blackberry. I took this picture while sitting at a light. It took my breath away.

The bald eagle at the Houston Zoo.

Me and Samuel Jackson 40 lbs ago. That's actually his wax twin at Madame Tussaid's in NYC. This one was taken by Rey with his Dash.



Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Shoegirl Bowl



My co-worker/girlfriend found this bowl! Can you believe it? It's holding my business cards on my desk now. I googled it and I found the artist and I ordered the print too.

My Kids & My Dad

Me: Where did we park? 12 or 13?
Daughter: You mean I2 or I3?
Me: NO! 12 or 13!
Daughter: Mommy! If that's J1 & J2 then that has to be I2 and I3!! (Parking Areas at my dad's hospital)
Me: Oh, yeah, you're right....
Darn! Why does she have to be so smart and analytical? She's only seven!

Daughter: You don't know what's going on in my head.
Son: I know what's in your head.
Daughter: What?
Son: A maniac!

OK. He's only four and he has great comedic timing. Not only are my kids smarter than me, they are also funnier.

My dad in referring to the guy who jumped him and beat him.
"He jumped on me like a lion running and pouncing on his prey!"
Even in these dark circumstances my father does not fail to provide the great imagery. He is too funny! I know! It was sad but at least my dad can be funny about it too. What else is there left to do?

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The Latest & Weird Stuff I Notice

Daddy
I have a lot going on. First my dad. He's getting better slowly but surely, but he sound so tired. It worries me a little. He's on the geriatric therapy floor now. If you know him please give him a call just to say hi. He loves that!

Latin Grammys
OK. My BIG News! I am going to be participating in the Latin Grammy events in this week in some way or another. The Latin Grammy Awards will be held in Houston on Thursday, November 13 if you didn't know. NO, I'm not going to the actual Latin Grammys, but I'm going to be doing something related to all the festivities. So I've joined Twitter finally. I'm not going to have an open profile on a regular basis, except for on the days that I'm Twittering at the Latin Grammy events.

Lap Band Included
One of my sisters was visiting from California last week and I told her that I'm an organ donor. I showed her my organ donor card. She was all, "I didn't know JWs could donate or take organs!" and I was all, "Ever since bloodless surgery baby!"

Then I told her, "Hey I should add a line to my card that says, Lap Band included." Yeah, it occurred to me that whoever gets my stomach should totally need a lap band so they can get some use out of it too. LOL! We had a good laugh over that one.

Tiger Parts not Included
Rey bought some Tiger Balm when he had back pain and the packaging actually has a line that says, "No tiger parts were used to make this product." No lie! I almost died of laughter.

There are weird things out there. You just have to keep your eyes open.

AFRICA IS One of the Seven Continents Last Time I Checked
As many of you know, I'm politically neutral and I haven't said much about this election. HOWEVER, I must comment on one of the latest leaks that came out after the election about Sarah Palin and how she didn't know that AFRICA was a continent and she kept referring to it as a country. TOO HILARIOUS!! How does this happen? How do people with such terrible educations and IQs (think Quayle's gaffes and George Bush Jr was a C student) rise to such high political power?

I'm just saying! I just have a thing for people who don't know their basic geography. Like the seven continents and stuff. That's pretty basic. Like right up there with where is the equator.

skirt! News
OK. I'm done venting crazy stuff to all of you. I'll have a book announcement over at skirt! magazine if you want to follow me there.

Speaking of skirt! I will hopefully be doing more writing on the local page! That's another one of my latest news. How I will find the time, don't ask me? But I figure that if I'm already going to be doing something (like a Latin Grammy event) then I can write about it and if they need it for the local page they can use it.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

I Was Tortured Mercilessly This Week

Okay, all I did was go to the dentist, but I swear I felt like I was going to die after an hour and half of having my mouth open. At some points my dentist would prop my mouth open with some black rubber door jam.

I was talking smack recently to two of my sisters telling them I've never needed a crown. Right after that I went to the dentist and found out that I needed one. Yeah, great!

The same day I was scheduled to go in for the crown, or the temporary one until my real one comes in, I woke up feeling sick. I had to go by my doctor first for a quick check-up and a prescription. While I was there I got my flu shot.

When I picked up my daughter after school I told her I'd had two shots in one day. One in my arm and another one in my mouth. Wow! I forgot how much those hurt. And apparently I also forgot what it's like to have major dental work done.

The whole time the dentist was drilling I swear I was picturing him sawing my molar down. It wasn't a nice mental picture.

Then he would prop my mouth open with a rubber door jam. I am not lying! It was just like one of those door jams the cleaning people put down on the restroom door to prop it open while they are cleaning. Except this one fit into my teeth and held my mouth open.

I was told by the dentist and his assistant that I have very muscular cheeks and a strong tongue. I guess all that talking has given my face and tongue a good work out. At least one part of my body is fit! Ha!

I have a whole lot of other weird things to tell all of you, but I will have to save them for another day. I always have weird things to say, and some things are too weird to write on here, so if you know me personally remind me to tell you later.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

No Tiene Chiste!

One sister called my dad's room and talked to my other sister. The second sister told her that my dad had asked for a walker. My one sister asked if they had taught him how to use it. My dad's reply? "Es una walker. No tiene chiste! No mas caminas." (meaning, "There's nothing to it! You just walk.")

My father's attitude after this whole ordeal is that he has to get down to the business of getting better. He told the doctor today that he needs to start his therapy. He's very matter-of-fact about it. He had surgery on Monday!

The day after surgery my father was sitting up, eating, talking and reading the newspaper. The geriatric therapy doctor came by and said he did not expect for my father to be up and talking. He said most of his patients would still be asleep. Not my father. The doctor had just stopped by with three students to check in on my doctor but he was shocked at what he found.

They did stand him up once that first day, but they found his blood pressure was too low, so they made him go through some tests since he has a pace maker.

Two days after surgery they stood him up again and then later that same day he walked to the restroom while holding on to his wheelchair. Amazing! I know!

Thursday he walked around a little with his wheelchair.

Today, he walked even more and they brought him a walker. He told them that he needed to get his therapy started. He walked around today.

Tonight I went to visit him and he was sitting in his recliner with his leg propped up and talking. Ten minutes before I had to leave he decided he wanted to walk a little. He walked to the waiting room with his handy dandy walker and visited with my kids for a little while.

Like he said, "No tiene chiste!" I sure hope I have that attitude at his age.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Crazy Life & A Cocktail




I bought napkins with this Anne Taintor quote on them at one of my favorite little boutiques, Neal's Cheezy Co. on 7515 Main, #180. Let me tell you why I needed them.


Yesterday these things happened to me in this order.

I had to wake up really early to take both kids to school and make it to a sales meeting downtown. So I was prepared and I made my shake night before. All I had to do was blend it with ice the next morning. Instead,


  • I knocked over the blender and had shake all over my kitchen floor.

  • There was a dead mosquito in my coffee when my I walked to my truck.

  • My daughter realized she'd forgotten to put her skort on over her leggings when we were already exiting to my son's school. This would have made me late but thank goodness my sister doesn't work on Wednesdays so I dropped there there so she could take her to pick up her skort.

  • I received a call from my son's school and I had to go pick him up. I called the same sister to see if I could drop him there. I had a 12 p.m. appointment.

Yeah, my life is too exciting. I was exhausted by the time I finished work, made dinner, visited my dad, bought groceries and came home to put them all up and take a shower.


I was reminded of a book that colleague told me about. "Soy mujer, soy invencible ¡y estoy exhausta!" (I’m a Woman, I’m Invincible, and I’m Exhausted) I need to read this book.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Update on Daddy

I took this great picture of my dad reading The Houston Chronicle, while sitting in his hospital bed yesterday, but I haven't learned how to load photos from my phone on to my computer yet. Hopefully I can learn later so I can load it. It's such a cute picture. He is the die-hard Chronicle reader.

OK, here's the update. After about four hours of waiting today the doctor finally came out to tell us that the surgery was a success. He said that my father had pulled through really well and had minimal blood loss. Like not even enough to be a concern. He is so strong for 84!

I finally went to eat something because I was starving. We went back up and went in to see him in the recovery room. The doctor said that they would keep him in recovery anywhere from one to three hours, depending on the person. When we went to see him they told us that he would be going back to his room in a few minutes. He was only in recovery about one hour. That also gave us hope. They had him back in his room and he was pretty out of it while I was there.

After being there all day I left around 6:30 and another sister stayed. We are trying to figure out how we are going to juggle the next couple of days when they get him up to start walking on his new hip or new femoral head, which is the part I think they replaced. It is going to be a challenge but he is alive and well!

Blogging on the Run

This is the first time I try mobile blogging with my new crackberry curve. I tried it a long time ago with my old phone & I wasn't very successful. I'm trying again.

I'm in the waiting room of the Veteran's Hospital while my dad is in surgery. They said surgery would take a couple of hours or longer.

Despite his pain my father can find the energy to joke. He told a friend that he wasn't the boxer he thought he was. How my father can still have a sense of humor after what happened to him just amazes me.

So here I am waiting to hear how my dad"s surgery goes. They moved it from Friday to Monday and the poor guy had to suffer all weekend.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Some People are Deranged and Evil

Yesterday my sister calls me around 7:30 p.m. and tells me that a deputy called her to say that my dad was being taken to the hospital because a man had beat him. Those of you who have followed stories about my dad know that he's 84. No age is a good one to get your butt kicked severely, but 84 is an even worse age.

This is what happened according to my dad. He was early to his bible study so he asked his friend to drop him off at a little restaurant across the freeway. When he was ready for his meeting he started walking across and under an underpass. When he came up on the other side he was jumped from behind by a deranged man. The man pushed him to the ground and started to kick him all over. He beat him terribly. He punched him and slapped him repeatedly on the left side of the face and all over his body. By just a miracle he didn't kill my father.

My dad said that the man was yelling politician's names at him and he would pull away and scream things at the cars passing by and then would come back and he would beat my father some more. Somewhere in there my dad managed to stand up, but the man pushed him to the ground again and my dad hit his hip on the curb. He thinks he either broke his leg then or when the man was kicking him. He broke the top part of his femur bone that connects to his hip.

A couple of cars stopped and someone called the police. A sheriff's deputy was there pretty quickly and they got there in time to catch the guy and arrest him. Then the guy had the audacity to try to act like he hadn't done anything. The police didn't buy his story. I'm sure enough people had already called 911 and they had all the evidence and witnesses that they needed.

The ambulance took my dad to LBJ Hospital first because it was considered trauma. In addition to being 84, my dad also has a pace maker. That's where they did the cat scans and x-rays. He was at LBJ overnight and today they transferred him to the Veteran's Hospital, which was what my father preferred from the beginning. My father always goes to the Veteran's Hospital for everything so they have all of his records.

Now he's there and they did the x-rays again. He will most likely have surgery for hip replacement, or partial hip replacement, on Friday. The whole left side of his face and his head are purple. His left ear is huge and purple.

There you have it. Our first goal is to make sure that he's better, but my second goal is to find the police report on my dad's attack and to follow up on that. I want to make sure that we are pressing charges against that sick sick person so that he doesn't do the same thing to someone else. Some people are either deranged or very ill mentally. We need to make sure he's taken care of either way.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Random Thoughts

Do you know how when you travel out of the city you start to see signs telling you what restaurants are coming up? So you can say to your spouse, "Hey! There's a Whataburger coming up!" Well, wouldn't it be great if they had those inside the city for Starbucks? Like, "Next Exit Starbucks."

Today I was driving along 45 and I really had to pee. I remembered that there's a Starbucks on 45, but I couldn't remember if the exit was Tidwell or Parker. Interestingly enough the Starbucks sign does tell you which exit to take on each side of the sign, but by the time you see the sign you've already passed the exit. I exited early and drove along the feeder until I came to the Starbucks. The door was propped open but no one was inside and the lights were off, like it's closed.

I heard that Starbucks had decided to close a bunch of locations in Houston and I think that may be one of them. Sad...

Now that I have this lap band I'm getting to know all the soups around town. The tortilla soup at Teotihuacan on Irvington at Cavalcade is to die for! Go at dinner time and they add chicken. At lunch it doesn't have chicken, but I'm sure it's just as good, just chicken-less. I had the tortilla soup at La Mexicana today and it was pretty good, but it was no Teotihuacan tortilla soup.

That's it for random thoughts. More later!

Friday, October 17, 2008

New York is Too Awesome

I love this city. Wednesday night I met my cousin for dinner and she remembered that her friend, author Stephanie Elizondo-Grist was having a reading that night. We finished dinner and went to catch the tail end of the reading. After that we went to the after party at a nearby restaurant. I also got to see another writer friend of my cousin's, Michelle Herrera Mulligan. Then I also bumped into an ex La Voz writer who was there too. It was quite a coincidence and indication of what a small world we are in. Especially the writer/media world.

Thursday was the conference and Friday was sales calls. Friday night was the MoMa. I love that place! See my skirt blog for more details.

Saturday we went to Jersey City and ran around New York. (we may consider staying at the Hyatt on the Hudson on the Jersey side next time- Very beautiful scenery!)

Sunday we went to Zabar's for coffee and then we left New York. I didn't want to leave. I wanted to stay forever, but I couldn't. I had to come back to my two little ones and my job and a promotion. Yeah, promotion! Crazy I know!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Things I learned in NY

  1. Always have my writer business cards with me (I ended up at a writer's reading and after- reading drinks with no cards.)
  2. Tongue eaten here, and not just by Mexicans
  3. Kasha potato
  4. Katz deli is old
  5. My Blackberry has a bunch of cool music Rey put in it, unbeknown to me.
  6. Path train to Jersey City
  7. Goes to Hoboken weekends
  8. MoMa has a lot of great art
  9. A lot of ipods and reading, But no one sways to the music
  10. The Jersey City Assembly Hall is the most beautiful
  11. The Hyatt in JC on the Hudson is beautiful and probably cheaper
  12. The Colgate Clock in JC is the largest in the U.S., but doesn't work
  13. I threw up at the clock
  14. St Paul's chapel next to the World Trade Center is pretty cool, but creepy according to Rey
  15. My cute Loeffler Randall shoes suck for walking
  16. I have bad ankles
  17. The train from NY to Newark does not come every 15 min-Plan on 20-30 min.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Drama of Going Out of Town

I have known for months that I was going out of town this week. Months. But inevitably I always end up running out of time right before I have to leave. Of course I didn't know that two family members of two different family friends were going to die and that I would have to go to their funerals. That took up a lot of time from my weekend too. But I take that back. I should have known that something would come up to make my preparations more challenging. That always happens.

Here is a list of all the things that I have to do to prepare for this trip:

Clean House (OK, realistically probably won't get done but should because my in-laws are staying at my house with the kids.)
Wash and fold all clothes
Organize all Uniforms for the week
Buy Groceries
Pack
Write out instructions for Yolanda (mother-in-law)
E-mails to Kids' Teachers
Note to daughter's After School
Note to son's After School
Do Budget
Call Electric Co.
Check Cable Bill
Buy leggings
Get son's hair cut

I've done seven of these and I delegated a couple of things. The clothes and the packing is the most time-consuming of them all. It is always like this when I travel for work. I can't just pack my stuff and take off. I have to prepare all of the kids' stuff and I have to leave instructions for them.

My in-laws have graciously accepted to come stay with the kids at our house. They'll be taking the kids to school each morning. What would we do without family?

So here I am. Thank goodness I cut and paste most of it from my To Do list. I have to run and finish my laundry and start my packing.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Be There or Be Square!

Who: Gwendolyn Zepeda
What: Gwendolyn Zepeda's Book Party for "Growing Up with Tamales."
When: Friday, October 3, 6 p.m.
Where: MECA, 1900 Kane Street, Houston, TX, 77007 (mapquest it baby!)
Why: Because this children's book is awesome and it's not just me saying that. My 7 year old daughter and 4 year old son think so too. Read my review on Amazon if you don't believe me, OK?
How: You get in your car, or on the bus, or you catch a ride with someone and you show up at MECA at 6 p.m. on Friday.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I (heart) New York

In exactly one week I will be putting the last touches on packing for New York. We leave next week on Wednesday morning. We arrive Wednesday afternoon and my conference starts on Thursday morning. I'm in a conference all day and then Friday I have sales calls. It will be a nice getaway.

Places I want to go this time (if time permits)

The Museum of Modern Art
A Salt & Battery Fish & Chips for dinner
New Jersey- Stanley Theater
Frick Collection
Guggenheim Museum
Agave for lunch

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Beautiful Girl & Boy




I love this picture of my daughter. My step-daughter took it at Club Libby Lu. She is such a cutie!

In all fairness to my son, here is one of him too. He is a beautiful boy!
I wrote a review of my cousin Sylvia's restaurant over at skirt! Check it out.
Why is motherhood such a crazy balancing act? Why is it so hard for me to do all the things that I'm supposed to do and more? I can barely get them bathed, fed, educated (my part), and entertained. I feel like it is so much sometimes. I've been feeling really overwhelmed lately. I need to stop and breathe. I need a trip to NYC!
I'm off to organize their school uniforms, socks, and shoes for the week. I also need to get my daughter to take a quick shower and to bed. AND I need to read to my son.

New Shoes


The kids and I went shoe shopping today. It reminded me so much of when I was a little girl and my mom used to take me to buy new shoes. I wouldn't want to take off the new shoes and my mom would put the old shoes in the shoe box so I could keep the new shoes on. That was what my kids did. They didn't want to take off their new Vans.
I couldn't find a picture of my son's Vans, but here's a copy of what my daughters' look like. Pretty much like this, maybe a slightly different color scheme.

I, on the other hand, found a gorgeous pair of Franco Sarto sandals for only $19.99! I went out to the outlet stores on 290 and Fairfield. There is super cute store there called the Brown Shoe Closet. SUPER cute shoes for really low prices! I can't wait to go back.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Artist and the Rope Jumper

Daughter: Mommy come to the kitchen and see what I'm doing.
Me: OK, what?
Daughter: Watch me jump rope!
Me: Can you jump with both your feet together?
Daughter: Yeah, but right now I'm jumping like this.
Me: Give me the rope. Let me show you.
Daughter: (looking at me dubiously) Uh... Ok
I jumping rope and then I hand it back to her and she's looking at me in shock.
Me: You didn't know I could jump rope?
Daughter: No. Ok.. but watch me, Ok?

Later I tell my husband.
"I'M shocked that you can jump rope."
Thanks a lot!

(can't remember how we got to this conversation)
Me: (holding up a small print of one of Diego Rivera's famous flower paintings)
Who do you think painted this?
Son: Diego Rivera
Me: Very good! Where else have you seen these flowers?
Son: (thinks but can't remember) Are they honeysuckles?
Me: No, but come here and see. (We walk to my bedroom together)
He sees the print of the nude with the calla lilies.
Son: Hey! Those are the same flowers!
Me: Yes, they are called calla lilies.
We walk around the house after this and he points at different prints.
Son: Who painted that?
Me: VanGogh
(he repeats the name)
Son: And that? (pointing at another one)
Me: Degas
(he repeats this name)
Then he goes and finds a notebook and a pen and he starts to draw.

Son: Look Mommy! I drew a stink bug and a lady bug. I'm an artist!

Daughter comes out of the kitchen and looks too.
Daughter: I think Brother is an artist and I'm a rope jumper.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Watch Out SJP/Carrie Bradshaw

Good news: Patricia Field has created a 50-piece collection based on the Sex and the City wardrobe. Bad news: You will have to buy it on the home shopping network or hsn.com.

Seriously though, how cool is that? But unfortunately I went to check it out and for some reason the clothes did not remind me of anything I ever saw Carrie or any of the girls wear. It looked kind of cheesy for some reason. Check it out and tell me what you think.

I need some cute black shoes for the Hispanic Chamber gala in a couple of weekends.

Good news! My son starts school on Thursday. That gives me two days to ease him into school. Hopefully that will help transition him back into it and he won't have such a hard time going back. Especially since I don't think my daughter is going back the same day.

Monday, September 22, 2008

I'm Running Away!!!

I finally get to live out my Ashley Judd fantasy. The one from "Secrets of the Ya Ya Sisterhood" where she runs away in just a coat over her slip with a bottle of vodka. Only without the slip and coat...and in a plane..and yeah with my husband. But I am definitely taking the bottle of vodka. Or better yet, I'll buy it when I'm there along with a bottle of cranberry juice.

I'm going to one of my favorite places in the whole world in just two and a half weeks. YES! I'm going to NYC!!

I love that place. I'm going for a one day conference and for sales calls on the second day, but we're staying over the weekend too. I'm so excited! I get to see my lovely cousin (she's the editor, not any of these people featured) and I get to see the city that I love. I dream about actually affording to live there one day as a writer. A girl can dream, can't she?

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Enough with all the Hurricane Stuff


Remember this yellow dress? I posted a picture in it a while back and it didn't used to close all the way. I wore a white tank top under it that time. Now it does. So here's an update of my slow but sure progress. I'm still down almost 40 lbs. More like 38 lbs but I want to say officially 40 soon.
I do not mean that enough with the hurricane business in an insensitive way at all. I just mean that I feel like my life has been in some crazy limbo since this crazy hurricane blew through here last week. I think a big part of it is that the kids are out of school. It makes me feel off schedule. Thank goodness my sister and mother-in-law have been able to help me with the kids. My sister kept them one day and my mother-in-law kept them the other days.

Another reason that this hurricane was a huge inconvenience is that my son was having such a difficult time with school. The last couple of days he had just started getting used to it and now when he goes back we are going to have to start all over again. Back to square one with him.
Thank goodness my daughter is very self-motivated. I will have no problem at all with her. I wish my son was just like her but I know that's very unrealistic of me to even say. I love him with his own unique challenging personality traits. I have to! He's mine.
I have been so off schedule with two important things in my life lately. Exercise and writing. I have not been doing either one. So I've made a list of three projects I'm going to work on that are due in the next two months. One is due October 1, another October 31 and the other November 30. That way I've given myself some goals to work towards. I need to do it that way.
P.S. Fall really has arrived in Houston after the hurricane. The nights are in the 60s!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Hurricane Help

Hello to all. It has been a tough week here in Houston watching how devastated Galveston looks. It literally looks like a war zone. If you don't believe me go here and look at these pictures. These are Bolivar Penninsula, one of the areas of the island hit the hardest, but it will give you a good idea of what happened here last Saturday. Only one week ago lives were torn apart and homes were literally destroyed. There are still people in the Houston area without power. Some were flooded the day after the hurricane with all the rain that followed.

If you want to find out how you can help some of these victims of Hurricane Ike contact your local American Red Cross to see what you can do. They are doing a lot for the Houston and Galveston area right now.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

We're Fine!

Hello! We are alive and well. We rode out Hurricane Ike in central Houston and it was scaaary! Our power went out at 3 a.m. on Saturday but it was back by 7:30 p.m. We were some of the very fortunate few.

We are hurricane survivors! More later.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Hurricanes for Sale! Yummy Hurricanes!

Wouldn't it be cool if hurricanes were just a drink? Hey! We should have made hurricanes. I'm having cranberry juice and vodka and Rey is having Wellers and Coke. We're missing out! We should have gotten the grenadine, rum, pineapple juice and more orange juice.

So far we've only had a lot of wind. Some friends have lost power. Thank goodness not us! We're just hanging and waiting for the storm to hit! I thought that I read on chron.com something like 315,000 homes are without power. Wow! That's a lot. But when I went back to look for the story I couldn't find it. Hmmmm....

One sister stayed and has my father. My other sister also stayed and is at home with her son. I need to put the kids to bed so they can get some sleep in case we have to wake them up and skedaddle out of here in a hurry. You never know with all these pecan and pine trees around us.

I worked in the yard today, clearing junk from the small porch and taking all our lawn furniture into the garage. In the process I came across 2 of my husbands baseball hats cradled together and sitting on our wooden bench. I went over to pick them up because I wondered if he had forgotten them there and a wasp flew by. Then another one. I hightailed it then! I'm scared of wasps! I told my husband when he got home from work and turns out that they built a nest INSIDE his baseball cap. How weird is that??? Weird I know. I almost got stung in the least likely place I expected to find a wasp nest. I escaped!

We've been going out periodically with the kids to watch the wind, but now it's time to put them to bed. I sure hope it's not really crazy at 2 a.m. Good night to all!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's a Hurricane and a Picture of Me in the '60s


So yeah there's a hurricane coming our way and yet I am finding time to do stuff like this. Jenny, the Bloggess, did this on Good Mom/Bad Mom and I couldn't resist. It's so funny! You have to try it.
We decided to "hunker down." I can't help but laugh every time I use that expression. That's what we've been told to do if we're not in the evacuation area. We decided to ride out the storm, so let's hope our roof doesn't get ripped off. I just hope it's not as big of a deal as the media has been making it.
Tomorrow we're getting the house prepared for the storm and then we'll see what happens.
If you get bored go here and make a yearbook picture of yourself.


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My Super Cool Cousin

Check out this great article about my fabulous cousin, Sylvia Casares-Copeland, the owner of Sylvia's Enchilada Kitchen in Houston. The restaurant is on Westheimer, at Dairy Ashford. You must read Spanish to read the article, not to eat the enchiladas.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Chill Out Day

After a month of: 20 year class reunion, kids' party, our wedding anniversary, start of school, a tea party for my daughter, New Orleans evacuees, parent-teacher conference already and a series of unfortunate events, among those the SUV a/c breaking down and rotten meat, I just want to chill out today. I don't really want to do do anything. I just want to relax. I want to stay in my nightgown as long as possible and sip coffee. I don't want any deadlines. I don't want any pressure. I don't feel like answering the phone.

I just watched The Other Boleyn Girl. It was SOOOOO sad. Of course anyone who knows anything about history knows that it can't end happily, so it's not like I'm giving you a spoiler. I cried at the end and I really admired Mary Boleyn. I never knew anything about her before this movie. Whenever I watch a movie based on history and I know it's true it makes me cry more.

I'm going to see what else I can watch today and just CHILL OUT!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

I Love Houston in the Fall

(To the tune to “I Love Paris”)

I love Houston in the spring time
I love Houston in the fall
I [don’t] love Houston in the summer when it sizzles
I love Houston in the winter when it drizzles

But I especially love Houston in the fall. Today was the first day of fall for us. It’s funny, because Tuesday, exactly one day after Labor Day, I walked outside in the morning and I felt a difference in the air. I told my husband and he didn’t agree. He said he felt the same.

Last night we went to dinner with my step-daughter on her last night. She’s been an evacuee here from New Orleans. When we got home we felt the difference in the night air. It wasn’t as humid.

This morning I walked out and I felt an even bigger difference. There was a cool breeze! I was shocked! I can’t believe that as early as September 4 we are actually feeling the first coolness of fall. Is it actually here? I realize it may go away and then come back, but I’ll take whatever it’s willing to give us for now.

It's the feeling of football games, homecoming, and going to school. "Don't you love (New York) Houston in the fall? It makes me wanna buy school supplies. I would send you a bouquet of newly sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address." (From You’ve Got Mail)

Fall and spring are dangerous times for me. They are the times of year when I feel the most restless. They are the times when I am the most dangerous. I’ve made life altering decisions when the weather is cool and the days are beautiful. That’s good and not good. So let me strap myself down to something before I do something crazy.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

P.S. About that Thai Soup

And if you're not my good friend or sister then you need to go to BodegaPartyinaBox.org and you need to order the Bodega cookbook and you need to make the Thai soup recipe along with my recipe for pork in tomatillo sauce.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Thai Carrot Soup

Yummy! I finally tried one of the other recipes from the Bodega Cookbook. I tried the Thai Carrot Soup contributed by Ramona Padovano from dcfoodies.com.

My good blender broke in the middle of the process. It cracked down the side and sprayed soup at me. I had to move over to my older plastic pitcher blender, so the consistency isn't smooth like it should be. But the flavor is there and it is really good. If you are my good friend or sister come by and have a taste. It's a pretty big pot and it looks like I'm the only one who is going to eat it.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Every Princess Deserves a Tea Party!

The table set up really pretty. Rey chose that bouquet. We used china that was given to us for our wedding by my late mother and Rey's late grandma.

The food. The recipes are from a Princess cookbook my daughter found at the library. On the left are the heart shaped raspberry sandwiches, made with raspberry preserves mixed with cream cheese with fresh raspberries on top. On the right are the butterfly shaped cucumber sandwiches. They have cherry tomato slices on top with a mint leaf in the center. (I actually was domestic and made the sandwiches!) Those are halves of egg rolls in between and in the middle of the two plates rolled up ham.


Here are the sugar cookies made by Rey and my mother-in-law. See the pretty pink homemade icing and sprinkles. Rey decorated them. That's "very berry" tea which is chamomile tea made with honey and poured on top of berries in the tea cup.

So school has started and my daughter wanted a "back to school" party. With all the activity prior to school starting it was going to be kind of hard to do that, so I convinced her to do it this weekend, especially since it's a holiday weekend. Little did I know what a week I was going to have.

This was a really nice way to finish a bad week and to remind me of what is really important in life- The look of happiness on my daughter's face when she has a princess tea party with all her girlfriends. Priceless.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Black Cloud With a Side of Rotten Meat

What the heck is up with the black cloud? WHY doesn't it go away? Didn't I kick it away metaphorically? Well it didn't budge. Apparently it's a stubborn black cloud.

I asked my husband the rhetorical question, "What ELSE can happen?" Of course not really meaning it.

Rotten meat happened. Yes, I said rotten meat. As in rotting brisket, bacon and what have you. All the meat that my mother-in-law had in the deep freezer that was in my garage. Either in became unplugged when my husband and daughter's boyfriend were replacing the hot water heater or it broke down.

When I got home today I went into the garage for something and I thought I smelled something foul. Well I was right. My husband got home right after and I told him my suspicions. He went out to the garage and when he came back his face said it all. The poor guy proceeded to go out there and clean up all the mess, including the blood that had leaked out on to our garage floor. It was not a pretty sight from what he described. I couldn't have gone out there or I would have been sick. As it is the smell that was drifting into the house was unbearable.

So don't ever ask what else can happen. The husband of a friend of mine asked the same question last week and she proceeded to trip on the strap of her gym bag, while crossing the street to the locker room at Memorial Park and she fell and twisted both her ankles and cut one of her feet.

And I AM NOT superstitious. It's just funny that things work out this way in my life these days.

P.S. My strep throat started to make a come-back today. I was bad and I haven't finished my antibiotics. I guess that will teach me. AND (drum roll please) the A/C for the SUV? Grand final bill? $1,700!!! Yeah, it's been my week for sure.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kick that Black Cloud

I have had a black black cloud hanging over my head for well over a week. The funny thing is that I didn't even realize that the black cloud was there until this week when MORE things happened to me and I realized how many bad things had already happened to me.

1. I was short changed a bunch of money (can't tell the whole story here)
2. I got strep throat on the week I was taking 2 vacation days.
3. Someone was unfairly rude to me and really pissed me off. (can't really tell the story here)
4. My hot water heater busted on Sunday, so I had to buy a new one and spent $400.
5. My A/C compressor in my SUV gave out on the way to work on Tuesday and I'm going to pay close to $1,000 to have it fixed.
6. I'm in a professional limbo situation.
7. I was publicly humiliated, but since it was so humiliating I can’t even tell you what it was.

SO, I've had a lot of unfortunate things happening to me this week. I have this crazy cloud over my head. Well today, after feeling sorry for myself for a while, I decided to kick that crazy black cloud out of the way. I'm kicking it out to infinity. I refuse to let that black cloud get me down.

Today I was faced with an important question. What would I do if I wasn't doing what I'm doing now? I think I would become a teacher with the goal of becoming an elementary school librarian. I would have the same schedule as the kids and then I would have summers off too. Then I would write during the summer. That's what I would do.

So there dark cloud. I have an alternate plan! You are not the boss of me!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

No More Dress Rehearsals

We went to my son's school on Friday and met his teacher. He wasn't especially talkative with her, but he did go find the apple with his name and he took it to the magnetic board. He responded to everything the teacher told him in Spanish, but in English. It will be interesting. Monday is the real thing. He seemed to like his classroom and his teacher. There's also a teaching assistant. I'm kind of nervous about Monday. We'll see how it goes.

No more dress rehearsals! We go live on Monday. Our summer is over. Back to the structured environment of school hours. My son will go in a little earlier than my daughter, so I'll drop him off first. Then I'll drive on to drop off my daughter. I'll be going in a lot earlier into work, however I'll also have to leave right at 5 in order to pick them both up.

I'm kind of excited about getting back on to a set schedule with both of them. I'll be driving a lot less now because my son's school is on the way to my daughter's school. Same thing in the evening when I pick them up. I can get back on to a gym schedule. At least 30 min of running on the treadmill and some stomach crunches.

OK. I'm just using my blog here to list out all the things I have to do! It's not supposed to be for that. But it's my blog so I guess that makes it OK.

Anniversary update. We went to Maggiano's and it was so totally delicious! We shared different plates and just had a wonderful meal. I was able to eat which made it even more delicious. Yummy! Eleven years come and gone!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm Full of Strep

I guess I'm officially not contagious any more because I've been taking my antibiotics for 48 hours now. I felt like a leper yesterday when I went out, before the mandated 48 hours, like I wasn't supposed to be out.

We went to my daughter's "ice cream social" where she met her 2nd grade teacher, a young, fresh faced optimistic looking woman. I hope she's as nice as she appeared on her first impression.

I woke up with a sore throat Monday and figured I had what Rey had. I hung in there all day at work because I had to release a section to the printer. But on Tuesday morning I woke up in unbearable pain. I decided to stay home that day. Well around noon the doctor's office called to say that Rey's strep test had come back positive. I told the nurse I too was sick and she asked me to go in that afternoon. The doctor took one day and said yes, I had it too. Lovely.

So I was out sick Tuesday, worked from home Wednesday, and I'm on vacation today and tomorrow. Today I didn't feel well, but I had promised the kids that I would take them somewhere before school starts next week. We went and spent money and a few hours at the Aquarium. I haven't been able to eat anything all day either. Good and bad. I'm hungry but when I try to eat I get sick and my appetite is instantly spoiled. Not good.

This Saturday is my eleven year wedding anniversary. I have been married ELEVEN years now and we've been together twelve and a half. Amazing.

So we're going to dinner with friends this Saturday. I don't have any idea what I'm going to wear. Isn't that the first thing women always say?

I'm still in shock that the summer is over and that school starts on Monday. I feel totally unprepared. My son is starting Pre-K and I feel like I haven't done enough to prepare him. I feel like even though I've bought the uniforms, back packs, and lunch kits, like I'm still missing something. Like I forgot something...

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Vodka, Kids and check me out on skirt.com

OK. Like I've run out of time. School starts in one week and my 11 year anniversary is NEXT Saturday, the 23rd. I haven't done my school shopping either.

Today at a friend's party I told some friends that the kids were a handful and that it wasn't anything a little bit of vodka couldn't take care of. They laughed hard and I was glad a friend who is a teacher could relate to my pain.

Then I told some other friends that I am the complete opposite of OCD. Like the COMPLETE opposite and it irritates me so much when people (aka my sister) want for me to be something I am not.

My life is way too busy to worry about mundane matters. I have a demanding job, two small children and a husband. On top of that I also have an extremely busy social life (by choice) and I am a writer. SO, where does that leave time for cleaning and being OCD? None at all. But the point is, that is my choice isn't it? It's my life not my sister's, mother's, friend's, cat's, or whoever.

OK, so that's my life. If you want to read more about it in a more "philosophical" way go to skirt.com and check out my blog for the day. Love y'all!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Lyrics of the Week

I love music. I love lyrics. I love words. So once a week I'm going to post some lyrics that I just love. Here is the first entry for "Lyrics of the Week." Feel free to share your favorites too!

Love is a temple
Love the higher law
You ask me to enter
But then you make me crawl
And I can't be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

Song: One by U2

Don't Listen to Me on the Radio

Never mind. They never seemed to fix the archives of the Nuestra Palabra show. You can go to the archives and try to access it, but the file still doesn't work.

Extreme irony! I think all the shows may work except for this specific one that I'm on. Story of my life. This is exactly how I've been feeling all week. I need to take a chill pill.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Listen to me on the Radio

The archives are finally up from last Tuesday (technical difficulties). Tune into Tuesday's (8/5) Nuestra Palabra radio show on kpft.org and hear the whole broadcast. The archives are on a click down menu under programming.

I say hello near the beginning, but my interview falls in the last 15 min of the show. The interview is about The Bodega Cookbook. Check it out!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wasp 1, Me 0 (zero)

Monday night, late at night, I went out to the garage for something. I was in my nightgown and flip flops. There is a foyer between my back door and a door to the garage with open doorways and windows with slanted built in shutter-like wood. In other words, it’s an open area, open to creepy crawly things and flying things.

As I’m walking to the back door I see a big black wasp sitting on the corner of the window pane on my back door. I am terrified of bees and wasps.

I back tracked immediately and called out to my husband. Of course he couldn’t hear me in the living room, so I went into the back yard to the windows of the dining room and knocked and waved until I got his attention. He looked up and saw me and walked over to the kitchen.

“What?” he asked.

“There’s a wasp on the back door.”

He peeked out the door and looked at the wasp and then proceeded to slam the door. His idea was to make the wasp fly away, but when I saw the wasp fly I panicked. I thought it was coming towards me.

I turned and high-tailed it, only I didn’t get very far. So I guess it's not accurate to say I "high-tailed" it.

Instead I stumbled on my flip flops and almost fell. I stumbled three times, hitting myself each time hard and breaking my fall.

First I hit myself on the left shoulder, next I slammed and peeled the skin on my forearm on a wooden chair, and finally I smashed my fingers into the garage door. I was in so much pain and in the instant that all this happened; I didn’t even realize what exactly what had happened to me.

“What was that all about?!” my husband yelled out opening the door in concern. But he was also laughing really hard. (yeah, real concerned)

“Why did you do that to me?” I cried from the back yard.

“I was trying to make the wasp fly away!” he said.

“But it came right towards me!”

“It didn’t even get close to you,” he said.

“Well I thought it did.”

“What was that you were doing?” he asked.

“Falling!”

He was laughing so hard as he got the wasp spray and started to kill the wasp.

“I’m sorry you’re in pain, but I wish you could have seen yourself. You were so funny!”

“I’m going around to the front door!” I called out in pain.

Later my husband said to me, “You know, I think you would have been better off getting stung by that wasp. You caused yourself a lot more pain falling.”

Maybe he’s right. Maybe that wasp wasn’t even worth all that drama. It just kicked my butt.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

I Made Good Mom/Bad Mom Again!

My post about my man breasts made it on the "Good Mom/Bad Mom" Chronicle blog this week!

If you haven't been over to skirt! lately check out my blog there too. I'm the August Muse.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Good News of the Week

So far this week I've received two pieces of good news that I'll be writing about more later.

1. I will be the August Muse on Skirt.com. This means that my blog will be featured on the front page every day with a little note that identifies me as the "muse." Oh the pressure of writing something entertaining and/or informative every day or at least every other day. But oh the exhilaration!

2. I will be on the Nuestra Palabra radio show next Tuesday night on KPFT, 90/1, to promote The Bodega Cookbook. SO listen in!

That's all. Gotta run, but I will write more later.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Can You See My Man Breasts Through This Shirt?

There’s nothing like a four year old little boy to bring you back down to earth. I’ve lost around 30+ lbs in the last seven months, but obviously that is not enough weight. I still have a long way to go and I know this. But this past weekend I got another good reminder that I need to hit the gym harder.

My four year old son got inside the back of my nightgown and was looking up at my back. “Mommy!” he exclaimed, “You’ve got man breasts on your back!”

Lovely! I need to go throw up all my chips and salsa now and oh yeah, can I have one of those machines that Lucy had on "I Love Lucy?" The one she got inside of that got real hot and helped her lose weight. Do you think that will make my man breasts melt away? **Sigh!**

All right already! I'll go to Memorial Park tomorrow to walk off my man breasts.

Salmonella or Dirty Butts?

Poor Mexico! Now they are going and picking on them for one tainted jalapeño they found. First it was the poor tomato farmers who got the shaft and now it's the Mexican jalapeño growers. "Ya ni saben ni que!" as my mom would have said.

If you ask me I think it's just plain dirty hands. My mom told me something that was burned into my brain when I was a little girl.

"No te comas eso sin lavarlo primero! Los hombres que tocan las frutas y los vegetales se rascan la cola cochina y luego los tocan sin lavarse las manos."

Translation: "Don't eat that fruit (or vegetable) without washing it first. The men that handle them scratch their dirty butts and then they touch the fruit," she said.

I had this picture in my mind of all these men scratching their butts and then passing the fruits and vegetables. I tell you! It was burned into my brain. So I will NEVER eat anything without washing it first.

I was having this conversation with my awesome mother-in-law today and she totally agreed. She said that she always washes her fruits and vegetables, even with soap sometimes.

We came to the same conclusion. Someone somewhere didn't wash their hands and they passed on some nasty germs that caused salmonella poisoning.

Lesson? Wash all your fruits and vegetables really well before you eat them and beware of dirty butt hands.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Adventures at Club Libby Lu and Modeling Gig

A couple of weekend ago my husband Rey took his three kids out for a day with dad. His eldest daughter was visiting from New Orleans. I was so surprised when I called to see how things were going and he said that he'd taken my daughter (age 7) to a place called Club Libby Lu and that she was having her hair done. Shock!

My husband doesn't believe in her painting her fingernails or doing any of those things that little girls do that makes them grow up too fast. And frankly, I agree with him. I think little girls grow up way too fast today with the media, dolls that look like pouty teenagers, etc. But he thought that he would make an exception this once and I think he was really glad he did, to see the excitement on her face that I'm sure was priceless.

My step-daughter took some fabulous pictures of her, including a couple of close-ups of her face, but I'm reluctant to post them here because I still get nervous about posting pics of my kids very often.

My little girl has been on cloud nine lately with that adventure (she's begging me to go back) and then her unexpected day of fame. (more like a week) My co-worker handles a uniform store account and they needed some Hispanic models. She asked me if I was interested in having my daughter model some of the uniforms.

So I took my daughter in and she ended up modeling a blouse and a uniform dress. One of her photos was on the cover and the other was on the inside. I told a bunch of my friends about it and asked them to look out for the ad, but what was really cool was when friends who I didn't tell
saw her and recognized her. The ad was an insert in the newspaper to subscribers, in the mail in our shared mail program and directly mailed to some specific addresses. So people all over the city saw her. It dropped over two weeks so she was seen in some areas last week and then again the following week.

If You Were Looking for Me

If you come looking for me and don't find me go look for me here. I'm going to be blogging a little more on skirt! in the near future. Nothing definite yet, but I'll let y'all know when I know more too. Come by to visit me there!

And if you still haven't ordered a Bodega Cookbook, to support a great non-profit cause, and to make my wonderful recipe for pork in tomatillo sauce, you suck. OK, not really, you don't suck, but you don't love me and you don't love urban living. Go to the Bodega Cookbook website now and order your copy of this great cookbook! There are some wonderful recipes in there, besides mine, like Carrot Thai soup. YUM!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Order Your Bodega Party in a Box Today

Throw a tasting party for recipes from your neighborhood store! Here is how you can order your own Bodega Cookbook. Order one today! Best of all, you can try my recipe for Pork in Tomatillo sauce!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The Bodega Cookbook is Here!


The Bodega Cookbook Published by Neighbors Project.

Available for orders online this week.


It’s finally here! My copy of the Bodega Cookbook! It was so exciting to open up the package today and to see the bright colors of the cookbook. Kudos to the designer Summer Powell, who did an excellent job. A very cool detail was that they used one of my photos of the Matamoros Meat Market fridge in the cover design.


The recipe that I contributed is my mother’s family recipe for pork in tomatillo sauce. They also included a picture of my pot boiling the tomatillos on my stove top, next to my recipe. All my ingredients came from the Matamoros Meat Market on Irvington. (Also a great place for barbacoa on Saturday and Sunday morning.)


Along with the cookbook they sent eight invitations for a Bodega party, flags for decorations and a re-usable shopping bag. Very cool! You will be able to order the bodega party in a box starting this week, probably on Monday. I’ll post the link then.


The purpose of the Bodega Cookbook is the Neighborhood Project Organization’s way of “inspiring and training members of the urban generation to connect with their neighbors through projects that improve the neighborhood for everyone."


This cookbook inspires urban dwellers to go out and shop in their neighborhood stores. So support the cause. Order a cookbook and cook up something using ingredients from your corner store. Also, The Bodega Party in a Box funds the Food & Liquor project, which helps get more fresh produce into local corner and liquor stores.

I'll be doing some things to promote the cookbook in the community, including speaking about it on the Nuestra Palabra radio show on KPFT. I'll let y'all know when that happens.

How exciting! My first contribution to a published book!! Yay!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Updated Badge & Crazy Nightmare

I updated the link on the Good Mom/Bad Mom badge to the right of my blog because I've once again been featured on the Good Mom/Bad Mom Chronicle Blog by Jenny, the Bloggess. She highlighted my blog entry about using the tissue toilet seat covers to blot an oily face. Awesome!

Okay, how crazy am I? Last night I had a crazy nightmare that I got kidnapped by a couple pretending to be EMTs and they somehow talked me into getting into their ambulance. They whisked me off and then the woman started poking at my belly. She said she was going to steal my lap band! These psychos had kidnapped me to kill me and take my lap band.

I told her, "But you're already skinny!"

"I know! But I want to be skinnier!" she answered.

She warned me not to resist or try to escape or I was going to be covered in hot painful blisters.

When I tried to open the door to jump out she pulled out a hot poker and burned my arm! It was a crazy dream.

Finally they got me to a locker room turned operation room and were planning to take out my lap band, but I tried to outsmart them to give Rey, my husband, enough time to come and rescue me. That's all I remember or I woke up. Crazy? Probably.

When I told Rey about it this morning he said, "That's all?"

He said it sounded more like a comedy than a nightmare.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

I'm Not Dead!


That's kind of a morbid headline, especially since I just went by the cemetery to check on my mom and sister's tombstones today. Weird, huh??

Anyway, I have been totally here just SO BUSY with work and life and everything else in between. We had our district convention in Cypress last weekend and we were super busy.
Here's a photo Rey took of me smiling too big. You can even see my back molars. Or as one of my sisters has said to me, "my crazy smile." You be the judge. Do I look a little batty?

My step-daughter is also visiting from New Orleans/Metairie so we've been trying to do some stuff with her. Wednesday we took her downtown to see Discovery Green, then we took her to Cabo for dinner.

While we were at Discovery Green we saw a really interesting exercise class going on. The guy was playing some Indian sounding music so we started to sway to the music. But the best part was watching my two crazy kids just dance to the music, like no one was watching. It was great to see how un-shy (is that a word?) and uninhibited they are. They rock!

So there we all were dancing around to the music on the sidewalk as people passed us by. Me, my step-daughter, and both the little ones. There was a whole group of people coming from the Microsoft convention and cutting through the park. We heard all these different languages being spoken as they walked by. And the people would smile at us as we danced around. I loved it and I was so proud of my kids in that moment. I wanted to hold that moment and save the feeling in a bottle.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Enough Said!


By: Anne Taintor

This is what will be on my next business card holder, just a different design. I have to go to bed now. I have to wake up early. I'm having a meeting with the sales team tomorrow.

I'm The Opposite of Green, Whatever That Is

I bought these great Get Green grocery bags to use for shopping and I always forget to use them. I'm not very "green." One day I'll remember to take my bags with me.

Today I went grocery shopping and forgot them again. On top of that I got in the wrong line. I was distracted by the kids and I kept trying to think of what I was forgetting. I'm halfway through my groceries when the cashier informs me that I'm in the Express lane. How in the heck did that happen? I never do that! I was so embarrassed! I'm sure the people behind me in line were all talking about me and stuff.

Then to really make things even better my daughter goes and picks up the groceries of the woman behind me.

"Hey! Why are you buying this?" she asked holding up some random grocery item that I knew wasn't mine.

"Uh, that's not ours," I said.

"Those are my groceries," said the skinny lady in line behind us on the cell phone.

My daughter put down the items embarassed and I probably embarassed her more. I'm a terrible mom too. And I'm not green either.

OK. My Blackberry is giving me issues. I'm thinking I may I need a new one. What do y'all think of the Curve?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Dear Beauty Editor

Dear Beauty Editor:

Today I made a very important discovery. Why spend $6 on a pack of oil blotting tissues when tissue toilet seat covers work just as well?

You can just as well use the toilet tissue covers in the restroom to blot your oily face. Better yet, you can pop out that center circle, place the toilet cover on the seat, sit down, and blot your face while you do your business. How's that for multi-tasking? Genius!

That was my beauty secret of the day and I'm sharing it with all of you. Enjoy!

Sincerely,
ShoeGirl

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dogged By My Own Son

Yesterday I go to pick up my son and he's asleep. My daughter informs me that he has a big scratch on his face. My sitter tells me that he went into the pantry, without permission of course, to look for a box of animal crackers. The box fell out and scratched him all along his nose.

Last night I told him something about the big scratch. Something like, "You had to go get and get that big scratch before the party. It probably won't even clear up by Saturday."

And he answers, without missing a beat, "Yeah, well your pimple isn't going to clear up." (I wish I could remember his exact words!)

FOUR YEARS OLD!! Can you imagine! Dogged by my own son. I can only imagine what he's going to dish out when he's a teenager.

I've never been very good at comebacks. I always got dogged as a pre-teen and teenager and I never felt like I had quite the best come back.

What do you say to the kid in middle school who tells you on the bus, "Your butt is like theeeese!" as he runs his hand along the flat wall of the bus?

My response was usually to crack up. It was my natural reaction. It was freakin' hilarious! I was being honest. But I must admit that there was one part of me that wished I had come up with a better come back. A funny one and not necessarily a mean one.

I reacted the same way with my son. How can you reprimand such a great sense of humor? If I reacted like my parents would have 30 years ago I could endanger affecting a future comic in a negative way.

OK, we broke down. We got "Rock Band." I know, we're geeks! My daughter is belting out, "Say it ain't so," as I type this.

Crazy stuff going on at work, but I can't tell y'all about it. I just took my harassment training and blogging was actually touched upon. Yeah! Seriously! Gotta love Corporate America! And I do! Yes I do! Where else would I be collecting such fine writing material? Just kidding!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Bath Time Conversations

Son: I want to take a bubble bath!!
Me: OK. Let me wash the tub.
Son: I want for Sissy to take a bath with me.
Me: No, let Sissy take a bath later. You take a bath first.
Son: NO! I want to take a bubble bath with her!
Me: Y'all are getting too big to take a bath together.
Son: Why? Our big butts won't fit in the tub?
Me: Sigh! Never mind. OK. Ask your sister if she wants to take a bath with you.

Later...
Daughter: Yay! Let's take a bath with Mr. Bubble!
Me: Ooh! You're in trouble with Mr. Bubble!
Daughter: Ha ha! (she's heard my joke before)
Son: (all concerned) Why???
Me: It's just a rhyme.
Son: OH!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

You've Got Mail

I just googled my own blog and I saw that I wrote about You've Got Mail back in 2005, almost three years ago. I love watching this movie because: 1) It reminds me of how much I love New York and 2) It reminds me why I want to write.

New York is also a character in this movie. It is portrayed in this movie a lot like it is in Sex in the City, before the Sex in the City New York craze. In fact, the show Sex in the City debuted in June of 1998 and You've Got Mail was released in December of 1998. That was way before all the New York craze that the Sex show created. Now if you go to New York they even have Sex and the City tours.

I doubt they have You've Got Mail tours, but if you go on the Warner Bros. website you can walk through the Upper West Side and see the different spots that are featured in the movie. I walked around the area a couple of years ago when I first went to NYC.

Which reminds me, I'm going again in October for work and then hopefully for a long weekend. I can't wait! I love NY! I am one of those people that honestly believes that she could live there. I don't think it's completely ridiculous. I had a girlfriend from the Houston suburb area who went to visit when she was around 21 and she moved there. She lived there over 10 years. She ended up marrying a guy from there and then ironically they moved back here.

So yes I believe I could live there happily. At least for a while. New York, sigh!

The movie also reminds me of why I want to be a writer. I admire Nora and Delia Ephron so much for their writing and how their work makes people feel. Between the two of them, together and separately, they've written many of my favorites, like You've Got Mail, The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Sleepless in Seattle, and When Harry Met Sally. New York and writing. They just go hand in hand!