No, I don't sell shoes. Come on in and read the reflections of a middle-aged Hispanic American writer and working-mom. I blog about my career, my children, co-parenting, my Peloton, my struggles with living healthy, education, inner-city living, cemeteries, and Houston. I hope to inspire people with my words, especially women, to show them that we all have challenges and struggles, in different ways. You can also follow me on Instagram @shoegirlcorner & Twitter @Shoegirl1970
Friday, December 30, 2005
Las Nuevas Tamaleras* No More
When things didn't go as planned I assumed that we weren't going to do the tamale thing after all. Turns out they still wanted to do it but I had already told our "teacher," my mother-in-law, that we weren't going to do it after all. Then she told me they had a party to go to Friday night and she had a cold and Rey was having knee surgery so it just didn't seem like a good idea any more.
Instead my other sister brought over her free turkey and she and San Diego sister are making turkey and stuffing. I laughed at the thought. I told my sisters that we pretended to be tamaleras and instead we ended up making a very American food. What a contrast! We can't deny or American selves.
What I Really Want to Say
Sometimes when I say I wish I could write full time for a living I fear that this will come back and bite me in the butt and hurt me professionally. I fear that anyone like my boss or a co-worker or colleague who happens upon my blog will think (or know) that I would rather be writing full time instead of working in Corporate America and then they either won't take me seriously at work or they won't hire me for a position.
The truth is that even if I publish my book and become very successful I will have to continue working for Corporate America for the stability and the insurance. That's just reality of the day and age we live in. I have two small children and can't afford to live without insurance.
Which reminds me of something else that is senseless. Now this I will say something about. We received a letter at work alerting us that our insurance would increase in 2006. Well not only is it increasing, it's going to DOUBLE! Yes double. And the best part about it is that those that make the least in the company will not receive such a large increase. Their increase will be very small in comparison. So in other words, the more money you make the more you have to pay for insurance.
Then when I ask Rey to tell me again how much is his company's insurance for full coverage for the 4 of us and he tells me it's still double the amount I'm paying with my increase. In other words, in 2005 I used to pay per month what Rey's insurance costs per week. Isn't that just INSANE?!
Well speaking of insurance some more, Rey had to have knee surgery today and he's going to be home for two weeks. I wish I could stay home that long! Seriously, he had some damage inside his knee and they straightened it out today and he should be good as new in a couple of weeks.
Sisters are getting pedicures and then they're coming over to cook a turkey and stuffing. Yum! Baby is napping so I'm going to write for a little bit.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
I'm Dragging to Work
I have two things to look forward to in the next few weeks. I have my reading in 3 1/2 weeks and I have my trip to NYC in 7 weeks. I need to start planning for the NY trip!
Monday, December 26, 2005
I've been up since 7:30 again, courtesy of my wonderful son. I took him upstairs to my writing room and turned on cartoons for him on the TV up there. I always forget I have a TV up there.
He watched TV and played for a while and let me write around 700 words. I pretty much finished the chapter I've been working on the last week and now I only have 2 chapters to finish. I already started those chapters so I don't need much more to finish them.
It feels good! I just can't believe that it takes me this long to get going and when I do make it a point to write diligently every day I love how it feels. That's when I wish I could write every day. I do write every day, just not necessarily my novel.
Short week this week. I work Tuesday and Wednesday then I'm off Thursday and Friday. I've decided to write the entire day on Thursday. I'm taking the kids to the sitter so I can work and I'm going to pretend for one day like I'm a writer who works at home.
I hope there aren't too many people at the movies today. I'm going to see The Family Stone at 1:45 with a friend Alice. My friend who also cleans my house.
Speaking of cleaning my house. She couldn't come last week because she had to have some outpatient work done so my house is a MESS! It's crazy. I haven't really had time to clean since I've been doing laundry too. Too crazy! How did our mothers do it? Oh yeah, they didn't work when their kids were this small. Yeah, right!
1,000+ Words Today
Plan is to try and have it finished by January and then I'll get started on the revising work while I shop for an agent. If any of you writers have a good one you'd like to recommend send me a separate e-mail to my shoegirl address.
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Up at the Crack of Dawn
I decided to go ahead and stay up. It was already 7 a.m. and I know myself. If I go lay down again I won't get up. I want to make it out in field service today. Yes, I do that too.
I put on a pot of coffee and went to the washroom to take out a load from the dryer and put in a load that washed last night. I also threw a small load into the washer. I hate sounding so domestic but I am so freakin' excited to have a washer again. Our washer gave us problems a while back and Rey ended up finding out what was really wrong with it. He ordered the parts he needed online and we have a washer again! YEAH!
How many of you listen to the Writer's Almanac on NPR? I love that show. You can also listen to it online. http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/. My favorite stories are the ones about the poor struggling writers who start writing for some totally practical reason and end up successful. Those are real Cinderella stories.
On to the day. It's already 7:35!
Friday, December 23, 2005
A Parent Moment
My 4 year old told me she had "something" to show me and then closed the door to my Circa 1930 art deco wardrobe. She had decided to scratch all kinds of markings into the door of my wardrobe with a pen. I was mortified. All I could do was scream and point. Rey came running and he was equally shocked. When we asked her why she had done this she couldn't offer any reasonable explanation except for some crazy story about playing with her dollies.
I swear! I could not even believe this was happening to me. Later after she was punished and sent to bed early and later I went and laid down next to her. Whenever we discipline her she wants to know if we still love her. I told her that I love her but that I was very disappointed in what she had done. She told me innocently, "But I didn't do anything to the sides."
Yes thank goodness you didn't baby. At least it's only the door that we'll have to get redone. Isn't parenting fun!?
The next morning she's watching Noggin, or one of those kids' channels, and she's singing along to this song. She's singing it with such passion and well after the song ended on the television. I could tell she could relate to the words.
"We're not perfect, but we got what we got!" she sang at the top of her lungs as I strapped her into her booster seat in the SUV to go to the babysitter's.
"None of us are perfect. We all make mistakes," and I kiss her on the forehead before closing the door.
I called a woman I know who specializes in antiques and she asked me to call her back and she'll give me the names of about 3 or 4 people who specialize in re-finishing antiques. We got this piece for such a bargain and now we'll have to pay what we probably should have paid for it originally.
I Really Have Been Doing It
I wrote Monday morning, Tuesday during lunch and for a couple of hours in the evening, Wednesday I can't remember, Thursday I didn't write, and today I wrote for an hour.
Today you all would have been proud of me. I got off from work a couple of hours early and I had time to either get my hair trimmed or for a pedicure. I chose to do neither one and I wrote for an hour. I was very proud of my wise choice. That's the kind of self discipline I need to have.
I have more to say about a variety of other topics but I don't have much time tonight. I'm tired. Long week.
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Taking a Break
If you don't see me posting for a while don't stop checking in on me. I have promised myself not to blog each day until I've written something for my novel for that day. That's my new rule. So when you see a post from me you'll know that I wrote that day, at least for half an hour, if not more.
An advertising colleague, (can I call him that if he's more of a mogul?) who I know here locally is going to give me a wristband I heard he had. It says, "Hazlo Con Pasion."I heard about it when I was at the AHAA conference in NYC and I e-mailed him asking him about it yesterday. He wrote back today and said he's going to send me one.
Isn't that totally cool? I can't wait to receive it and to wear it because it talks about having passion. I want to live with passion or as Camus says, "Live to the point of tears."
So I'm going to be busy writing my novel for the next 4 weeks until my reading. Talk to y'all soon.
Monday, December 19, 2005
Books That Inspired Me as a Kid
All Beverly Cleary books and all Nancy Drew mysteries.
Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink, Trina Schart Hyman (Illustrator)
Lillan by Gunilla Brodde Norris
Queenie Peavy by Robert Burch
Blue Willow by Doris Gates
Strawberry Girl by Lois Lenski
Take Cover! It's going to storm today
"Did you just leave?"
"You scared me to death!"
"Well I heard the door chime and when I looked at the time and saw how late it was I didn't think it was you. Or I thought that maybe you forgot to set the alarm and someone had opened our garage door if it was unlocked."
"OK, be careful. I love you."
Then I went to use the restroom and I thought, "I'm wide awake. There's no reason why I shouldn't put on a pot of coffee and do some writing." So I did!
I wrote for an hour and now I need to get dressed for work and ready to go so I can get there 1/2 and hour early to leave early. I'm trying to work 8:30-5:30 on Mondays so I can make it to our book study at 6:30.
I'm trying to decide between 2 chapters for my reading next month. This is what I love about reading in public. It puts the fire under me to write and gets me up at ungodly hours like this one.
I noticed they don't give us the option to fix the time on here any more and the time runs an hour early I think, or is it an hour later? Whichever it is, it's almost 7 and I need to get dressed for work. Have a great day!
Saturday, December 17, 2005
Meme Taken from Gwen
Loda (my niece's pet name for me)
Lola Louise (long story also has to do with my niece)
Loida Casares Ruiz
-3 screen names I have:
cougargirl1970 (but I don’t use it any more)
-3 physical things I like about myself:
-3 physical things I dislike about myself:
my post-2-childbirths stomach (sorry Gwen I had to copy this one because it's so true)
some of the funky skin moles that grow
-3 parts of my heritage:
(which is a mixture of Spanish, Indian, and French already)
-3 of my everyday essentials:
my cell phone
-3 of my favorite musicians:
Martin Gore (Depeche Mode)
-3 of my favorite songs:
Pictures of You by the Cure
Somebody by Depeche Mode
You Learn by Alanis Morisette
-3 things that scare me:
losing my children
wasps and bees
-3 things I want in a relationship:
-3 lies I tell:
"No, I'm not hungry."
"I’m not mad.”
-3 physical things about the opposite sex that appeal to me:
-3 of my hobbies:
Scrapbooking our family albums
-3 things I really want to do right now with a special someone:
walk around New York museums
walk around Paris museums
walk the streets of Greece
-3 careers I've considered:
-3 places I'd like to go on vacation:
Caribbean Islands (for real this time)
-3 kids names I like:(in addition to my 2 kids’ names)
-3 things I'd like to do before I die:
make sure my kids are well taken care of
publish a successful book
write a screenplay that is made into a successful movie
-3 ways I'm a stereotypical guy:
can’t admit I’m wrong in a fight
-3 ways I'm a stereotypical girl:
I love shoes and purses
I love to talk on the phone
I cry at sad and/or romantic movies
Friday, December 16, 2005
It's Official! I'm reading!
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
Cheap Fuel $1
It reminded me of an article I read not to long ago about how it's harder for poor Americans to lose weight because healthier food costs more and you can get fattening bad food for cheap. If you don't know what I mean take a walk by the organic food at the super market or go into HEB Central Market or Whole Foods.
Then I came across this article that debates that idea. http://www.earthsave.org/news/03summer/healthy_eating_cheap.htm. It points out that in a study some families saved money on food when they made healthier choices. My question is this. Were the families in the study under the poverty level or were they median household income families? I think that would affect the study, don't you? That's the funny thing about studies like this. They test these theories on a socioeconomic group or a sex that would be affected completely different from another one.
I also read this really sad article about this community near the Rio Grande Valley and I think it describes what is happening to our community especially in poverty stricken areas. This is so sad!
It makes me think of what I can do as a mother and how I can help Miranda make better choices when we eat out and especially by being an example. What can we all do?
Monday, December 12, 2005
Oscar Again and Walk the Line
We went to see Walk the Line on Saturday night. I LOVED IT! LOOOVVVEEED it! It is a great movie. It's such a wonderful love story. This is coming from someone who knew nothing about Johnny Cash or June Carter. Joaquin Phoenix does a wonderful job singing. I didn't know what to compare it to but I went on Amazon.com and I listened to Joaquin and Johnny Cash both singing the same song. I went between the 2 albums listening to the samples and I couldn't believe that Joaquin could make his voice sound so much like Johnny Cash.
Saturday, December 10, 2005
So now I'm sitting here enjoying my French toast with Miranda, drinking coffee and listening to my music. I feel inspired this morning but I have no time for inspiration. I'm going to the nail shop to get my feet done and maybe a little manicure too to make me feel good.
Something I learned a long time ago was that even if I'm not my ideal weight I should still take care of appearance. I feel like some women get so depressed by their weight that they let it all go. I saw some women like this on Oprah a couple of months ago. I noticed a pattern too. It seems to me that the women that get so depressed that they let themselves all go are the women who were really skinny at one point. Maybe it's because I was never really skinny that it makes it easier for me to deal with it and get on with the business of my life.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying I'm happy being less than my ideal weight, but if I'm not that ideal size I'm not going to lay down and cry and stop doing my make-up and buying great shoes!
I know make-up is a controversial subject for some people. I've heard different opinions about it, like make-up is superficial and that women that wear it are really insecure and they feel like they need it and aren't proud of their natural beauty. WHATEVER! That is not my opinion and this blog is strictly my opinion so if you don't agree stop reading now.
I LOVE MAKE UP! Maybe it comes from having an Avon lady as a mother my whole life, or should I say her whole life. She started selling makeup when I was 1 month old and she sold it until her death, 2 months before her 30 year anniversary. Or maybe it comes from having 4 older sisters who also appreciate make-up. Let's just say make-up was not taboo in our home, instead it was embraced and my father appreciated make-up too. We also had the kind of father who noticed when women didn't shave their underarms or legs.
I've always worn make-up, gotten facials, had my nails done, etc.. One day I was having lunch with a girlfriend and I mentioned my weight struggle to her. She looked at me really surprised and said, “I never thought your weight bothered you!”
I was like, “What?” and she told me that she seriously never thought that my weight bothered me. I think she also said that I carried it well and with confidence. I thought that was a really interesting perception of me. I know why she said that though. She said it because I still care about the rest of my appearance.
This is by no means a brag session. The point I’m trying to make is that “una mujer debe de tener una poca de dignidad,” and if you aren’t skinny don’t lay down and cry! You’ll never lose weight that way! Because what will happen then is that you will start to feel really funky and worse about yourself and you’ll eat more and won’t exercise and it’s a vicious cycle. I know!
Oprah talks about reinventing yourself and I believe that it starts with taking care of your appearance, wearing make-up, and taking care of you. When you start feeling better about yourself you’ll want to look better too. You’ll start the exercise and you’ll eat better. And you’ll do it for the right reasons too. I don’t want to lose weight for looks. I consider that an added bonus because I know I’ll look better when I do lose weight. I want to lose weight for health purposes, to live longer for my kids and shouldn’t that be the reason why we do things?
So now I’m off to get a manicure and pedicure. Rey and I are having a date night tonight. We have gotten away from doing that and it’s something we really need. We haven’t been alone since the NY trip in October. We really need to take at least one date a month and have one trip a year together, just the 2 of us. Tonight it’s dinner and a movie. We’re going to go see “Walk the Line.”
Friday, December 09, 2005
BlackBerry and Girly Things
I loved my IPAQ but was never too crazy about my PalmOne. I just never took to the PalmOne much and I could never get synched right. Getting synched with my work computer is another crazy nightmare I don't even want to get into. It has been so difficult to get my IPAQ and/or PalmOne synched. I have high hopes for my BlackBerry.
When my PalmOne decided to start giving me problems and stopped synching to my work computer and then my phone broke, I decided it was time to combine the two. I hate carrying a phone and PDA to meetings. I went out and bought the new BlackBerry 7105. I LOVE IT!!! So far I can navigate through it pretty easily.
I love that I have Instant Messenger on it! That is too cool! So Sophie, you can IM me from Spain any time! Work may have firewalled our Yahoo Instant Messenger but now it's on my phone!
Monday the IT guy at work is going to install the software and is going to synch me to my work e-mail. I can wait!! Then we'll see if I still love my BlackBerry.
Of course I've had at least 2 people tell me they hope BlackBerry doesn't go out of business with all this lawsuit stuff. In answer to that I said, "It will all work out. Remember Two Pesos and Taco Cabana?" They were in a lawsuit because Taco Cabana said that Two Pesos had stolen their whole concept. TC won and all the Two Pesos became TCs. We didn't lose anything! What about HP buying Compaq? That worked out pretty well too. So I have faith that we'll be OK.
Today during lunch I did something really girly. I went to Bath & Body Works and I bought some more 'Grin and Bare It' body lotion. Great stuff! It has a wonderful lemony smell to it and it's not too creamy or wet. It dries right away. Also, I bought some body wash, mint lip gloss and the hand wash was on sale, 3 for $10. Then I went next door to the Children's Place to buy Seth a winter hat to match the super cute coat I bought him last week and I bought Miranda a sweatshirt and sweat pants.
OK I'm going to go take a bath with my new yummy smelling body wash now and I'll let y'all know how it smells.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
Texas Monthly December
Christmas in Brownsville
My father, who had grown up on a farm, used to talk about his family’s killing a pig for the tamales, but this was back in the twenties.
by Oscar Casares
“I did it Mommy!”
“Now you know how to put on panty hose. You’ll never forget this will you?”
“No, I’ll remember.”
She thinks I’m asking her if she’ll remember how to properly put on panty hose but what I’m really asking her is if she’ll ever forget the first day her mom showed her how to properly put on panty hose. She doesn’t realize she’s just crossed a little rite of passage for a little girl and her mom, even if these aren't really pantyhose, but only pink ballet tights.
She wants to start calling me “Mom.” “No!” I reply. I know she can call me whatever she wants and I know that inevitably I’ll become Mom but for now I love being Mami or Mommy.
“I don’t like Mom. I like Mami, like I used to call my mother.”
She looks puzzled but she doesn’t question me. She kisses me passionately on the cheek instead. My little passionate girl, so full of emotions and questions.
Sunday, December 04, 2005
The Cell Phone
That is such a horrible feeling. I would have used my cell phone at least a dozen times that day. I planned to call my husband as soon as I landed to tell him that I arrived, to call the agency reps I was planning to see, and to check my voice mail and to check into the office.
What is amazing is that thirteen years ago we wouldn't have used our cell phones as much as we do now. We had cell phones, the big bricks, but we didn't have calling plans like we do now that enable us to talk as much as we do. Which leads me to the next question we all ask ourselves periodically. How did we function without cell phones? We just did, didn't we and we knew no better, so we didn't miss them or need them.
I tried to figure out how I would get around making phone calls and I decided I could us the 1-800 number. I would get the secretary to transfer me in to Rey so I wouldn't have to call him long distance. The hilarious part was when I landed and found that 1-800 numbers don't work from pay phones and that the hotel house phones didn't dial 1-800 either because they didn't dial out. I ended up using the phone in the Business Center at the airport and at the hotel my generous friend from La Estrella (Ft Worth) let me borrow her phone.
I pictured my little cell phone, that I've dropped one to too many times, with its broken antenna and tape holding it in place, sitting all alone in my SUV ringing its little heart out. Travelers passing through the garage would pass by and would hear Mana's "Tu Eres Mi Religion" jingle on my phone and they'd peek in and would see it blinking its little light, all lonely and forlorn, in the front passenger seat. I wondered how many calls I'd have when I returned at 8 p.m.
Thursday, December 01, 2005
Late Night & Early Morning
I need to wake up at 4:30 a.m. and for those of you who are reading this and know me, please don't laugh so hard you'll fall out of your chair. I know I'm not a morning person, which is why I plan on going to sleep as soon as I get on the plane. I'm flying to Dallas at 7 a.m. for a newspaper conference. I'm really mainly going to meet with one of my agencies that's out of San Diego and I'm pretty sure one of my New York agency contacts will be there too but I didn't get a hold of her to find out.
Enough about work but that's the reason I have to wake up so early and why I'm coming home so late tomorrow night.
Something interesting occurred recently. I jumped from 197 page views (which I assume means individual visitors to my site) to 262 in just a few days. It was weird. It made me wonder if I just had a huge jump in visitors or does blogger only update that information once a month or something. hmmm... If someone knows the answer please let me know.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
You've Got Mail
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
"You Learn" By Alanis Morisette
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
Writing Day Part 2
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.
Weight Watchers Part 2
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
I Love NY Part 2
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.
I Love My Mentee
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
Happy Anniversary to Me
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.
My Top Five
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
How The Kite Runner Ends
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
Another Note on Schools
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
One Last Thought
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
I'm Back in School
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!
I Can't Believe My Baby Is Going to School
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
Books on My Waiting List
1. Kite Runner
2. The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan
3. Sex, Murder And A Double Latte by Kyra Davis
4. The Writing Life
What are you reading?
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 Gone
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
Saturday is Slipping Away
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 Wish I Could Do Everything
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.
Monday, October 31, 2005
If you like folksy slow music you will love her. Her voice reminded me of Natalie Merchant a little, not her style, but her voice. Check her out! http://www.lorimckenna.com/ Her journal entries about her Oprah experience on her website are so cute! She's so honest about how every one of us would feel if we were on Oprah. I'm definitely getting her music. I especially loved her song, "Ruby Shoes." Gotta go to work now!!
Sunday, October 30, 2005
First Meme Ever: Timeline
25 years ago: It was 1980 and I was 10. I lived in Houston with my parents and it was the one year I didn’t live with any of my sisters. The youngest of my four older sisters had just moved out the year before and had gotten married. I was in 4th grade and I had an evil teacher that gave me a good reality check. Up until that point all my teachers had loved me and treated me like I was extremely smart. This teacher taught me that sometimes people don’t love you. I was attending elementary school in the ghetto because my parents didn’t know about Magnet programs. I didn’t discover Vanguard until 6th grade and it got me out of the schools I was zoned to and I got a much better education. I started writing short stories and comic strips with my best friend.
20 years ago: I was 15. I was semi-popular in the tenth grade at Waltrip High School. I was writing for the school paper and I was the Circulation Editor. I thought I was fat because I wasn’t a stick figure like some of the girls my age and I had boobs, which made a big difference in my shape. It was the year I was invited to my first young people party (by the most popular girl in my JW community) and it was big time! My mother took me shopping for my party outfit at Clothestime and I bought a short black skirt, a sleeveless white top with little black paislies, and a pink satin leopard print jacket! I wore these all with black patent leather pumps, flesh colored hose, and a string of pearls. My hair was in a bob! Weren't the 80s great?! I was writing short stories that I could never finish.
15 Years ago: I was 20. I was going to UH full time and working for the school paper selling advertising. (See, I’ve been doing this way too long!) I was an English minor and I loved my literature classes and wanted to take some creative writing classes. I thought I was way too busy with school to write. I wish I had all that time now!
10 Years ago: I was 25. I had been out of college for 2.5 years and I was partying way too hard. I had quit my job at the Chronicle and I was substitute teaching because I wanted to go into teaching. I spent a whole month is Spain that summer with my girlfriends and fell in love with that country even more. My sister died of complications from leukemia that August. I met my husband that October and bumped into him at Elvia’s and at two different parties in December. I didn’t know at the time that we would start dating that following January. I was trying to write and I wrote some but not as much as I wanted to.
5 years ago: I was 30, married 3 years, and my mother died that January from heart failure. I missed her terribly and now that I didn’t have a mother I felt the strong urge to be a mother. I longed for that relationship again. (my sister recently sent me an article that captures this feeling exactly) I started trying and I was pregnant with my eldest daughter Miranda by Summer. I was working at the Chronicle again. I’d gone back in 1998. I was selling Direct Marketing and I loved it! I wasn’t really writing because I was finishing up my Master’s at UH and I had to write my thesis.
3 years ago: I was 32. I had a one year old baby and I was now working as the Hispanic Projects Coordinator for the Chronicle. This was before the launch of La Vibra and before we bought La Voz so my job consisted more of being a specialist of Hispanic advertising for the rest of the ad division. I had received my Master’s the December prior but I walked that May. I started writing again and I started working on my novel full force and was invited to read at Nuestra Palabra and on their radio show.
1 year ago: I was 34. I was stilll working as the Hispanic Projects Coordinator but it was a whole different game now. I gave birth to my second and last child, my son Seth in April, launched La Vibra and came back from a 3 month maternity leave to start working on the possiblity of purchasing La Voz. I continued working on my novel on a very part time basis. Work as usual is always all-consuming.
This year: I am 35. I still work at the Chronicle, I still struggle to find time to write between work, meetings (religion), my children, my home. I love my job and I love my writing. I only wish I had more time for the writing. This is the year I will finish the first draft of my novel and will start on the revising and will start shopping for an agent. I’m going to “Iris Chang it!”
Yesterday: I was very lazy or depressed because I slept in really late. I cleaned up the living and dining rooms a little and watched some Oprah that I have recorded. Before I knew it it was time to start getting dressed for Rey’s childhood friends’ anniversary party. We drove out to Conroe for the party last night. I drank a little too much of our new tequila drink we discovered in Cozumel. I didn’t get drunk but it didn’t agree with my stomach. Yuck!
Today: Slept late again but this time because I woke up sick in the middle of the night. I googled a guy I met recently in the biz and I caught up on a couple of old favorite blogs, but I need to get with the program soon. I have my Sunday meeting at 4 and I need to bathe the kids before we go. I also need to clean my bedroom tonight before I go to bed or I’ll wake up for the week feeling overwhelmed by the messiness. I still haven’t fully unpacked from our vacation! Thank goodness my cleaning lady comes on Tuesday!
Tomorrow: Tomorrow I go back to work to my real job that pays the bills. I start my week all over again. Sometimes I feel like the weekdays are better for me because they give me more structure and a schedule. I went back to writing once a week because that morning thing just doesn’t work for me. I’m not a morning person! So since Wednesdays are Rey’s basketball night Thursdays are my writing night. Also, this week is Magnet Awareness week and the schools will have their Open House. We need to go check out a couple of elementary schools because Miranda starts Kindergarten next year and we want to apply for Vanguard. I’m a product of Vanguard and IB (but not until junior high and high school) and Rey went to Magnet in elementary schools for gymnastics so we are both believers in the Magnet program if we want to live inside the loop. In other words, busy week!
Saturday, October 29, 2005
Why are Schools Still Promoting Mediocrity?
I almost went through the roof! It took all that I had not to go off on that teacher. I just couldn't believe that there are still teachers and possibly counselors who are promoting mediocrity. It made me angry because I thought of my own counselor who didn't help me apply for any scholarships, except one small Hispanic one.
Don't get me wrong. Before you get angry with me thinking that I don't consider nursing a noble career. My sister was a nurse for twenty years before she passed away and I had a great respect for her. I believe that all service careers are wonderful careers if the person who pursues that career is passionate about it, because you have to be passionate to do a good job. Which is what I asked her. It took a bit to get her to admit that she's not passionate about nursing like she is about broadcast journalism. With that said I told her that that's what she needs to pursue, the career that excites her.
I want to introduce her to friends in journalism and broadcast careers who have achieved a lot in their careers. I need to try and undo the damage that her teacher has already done, making her believe that she shouldn't strive for an "unatainable"career. I told her that her success depends on her and her passion, not on what other people decide for her.
I hope that I helped her see this. Not until teachers stop promoting mediocrity will our children strive for more in life.
Back from Vacation
1. Don't go on a cruise during hurricane season
2. If you have children either
a. Wait until they are 3 years old and completely potty trained so they can go into the kids' club on the ship.
b. Or only take them on a cruise that caters to small children.
That's all I'll say for now.
When I got back I learned that a friend from school had died on Saturday. I wasn't close to her but I had a couple of friends that were close to her and I'd known her since middle school. I met her when I was 11 and she was 12 or 13. She was in 7th grade and I was in 6th grade with her sister. I decided to go to the funeral and I didn't expect for it to affect me the way it did. It was very sad. I couldn't remember being to the funeral of someone my age before.
Later I remembered a friend from high school who died right after graduating from college. Somehow this was a little different from even that experience. I was faced with my mortality. This woman was only 36 years old when she died. That's an incredible thing to imagine! It made me so sad... I still don't even know why she died. They did an autopsy. Seeing death in the face makes me question my own life all over again.
Saturday, October 15, 2005
The Kite Runner
It reminds me of a short story my sister read to me when I was a little girl of about 5 of a boy who was always sick and about his brother. One day the older brother and the little sick one were either running or doing something. The older brother didn't believe the little brother when he collapsed. The little brother died and the narrator describes the little coffin. That story impressed me so much and I cried so much that my mother actually got mad at my sister for reading it to me. The story haunted me. I often wonder what story that was and I always forget to ask my sister.
When I read this book I felt very similar. I felt some of the same pain and longing for the main character. I wanted to make him make a different decision. I wanted to change the story somehow but I couldn't. I can't that is. That moment in the novel is the whole point of the story. It's a haunting book.
This is the itinerary for the stop:
DUNN RIVER FALLS
FERN GULLY (RAIN FORREST)
SHAW PARK GARDENS
STOP IN ROUTE AT KINGDOM HALL
SHOPPING OCHO RIOS
It sounds like fun. Hope it is! You'll hear about it later. Back to packing and washing. We leave the house tomorrow at 11. We're going to Galveston and we want to take our time without rushing, we want the kids used to the boat and we sail at 5. Our cabin will be our home for the next week.
Friday, October 14, 2005
Vacation's All I Ever Wanted
"Why?" you may ask. Well, for starters I haven't had a whole week off from work in about 2 years. Even then, I didn't go out of town. In fact, I haven't been out of the country in FIVE years! That is a record for me. Ever since I started traveling abroad at 23 I have been going somewhere every year or every other year. It's the wanderlust in me! I love Houston but I love to travel. Maybe it's because I was born and raised here and lived here my entire life that I enjoy visiting other places.
So tomorrow I start my vacation and get my things ready, pack, last minute shopping for a couple of items, prescriptions filled, pedicure, etc... I am so excited!!
I am also very grateful for what I have, for my health, for my family, especially for my children. I’m grateful that I can take vacations like this one. I recently had a tragic death in my family and there was the man in New York. Those kind of incidents really make me question my life again and make me ask myself if I am really happy in life. I want to do what I want to do in life. I want to live out my dreams. This is just a means to an end, a bridge to my future..
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Where Does Time Go?
This morning I was greeted by Miranda around 5:30, I don't even know what time it was for sure. Then she came to me a few minutes later, in the Hello Kitty pajamas I bought her at Target last night, wanting to get into bed with me and Seth. (She fell asleep on the way home last night so she must have put the pajamas on when she woke up.) As soon as she got settled into the bed Seth popped up and laughed with her. That was it. I was up and it was around 5:50. By the time I got the cartoons turned on for her and went to make my coffee I was shocked to see it was 6:30!! Where did the time go?
This is another reason why I can't write in the morning. I've been so bad about that. And by bad I mean that I don't think it's ever going to happen. Ever since I started trying that approach a couple of months ago my book has been at a stand still. Every day I set the alarm for 5:50 and every day I wake up at 7:30 to slide into work at 9:15. Then I end up beating myself up about it. It's very frustrating.
The funny thing is that the very few times when I have gotten up really early it's just like today, the time flies! I don't feel like I have enough time to write. What I've decided to do is to take one evening a week, like Rey does basketball, to write. This morning would have been perfect if the children were asleep. Ha! If it weren't for the children I wouldn't be up at all.
New York is an inspiration to write. There is something so intoxicating about that city. I don't know what spell it weaves but it grabs people and pulls them in. Well not all people, but people like me and Rey. I told Rey that New York alone can be an inspiration to write my book so that I can have an excuse to go back.
It's 7:01 now and all I want to do is crawl back into bed and I can't. I'll go get my coffee instead.
Tuesday, October 11, 2005
Sorry! I've Missed You Too
My weeks have been so hectic since Hurricane Rita. We came back on a Sunday and had to leave to NYC the following Wednesday. I came home and had one week of funeral activity and now I only have one week to get ready for the cruise. I never even had a chance to blog about my NY trip and all the other fun things Rey and I did. So those stories will have to wait for another day over coffee.
Great news! My very good childhood friend Vicki had her baby. A beautiful baby boy! He was born Friday. A big boy! 9 lbs, 4 oz (like my Miranda), 20 1/2 inches long.
Another nice thing that came from my NY trip was my new friendship with my cousin. She lives in NYC and has been there for 7 years. We had a really good visit when I was there. She took me to a super trendy place for lunch and we saw SUSAN SARANDON!! I was so excited to see someone when I least expected it and someone I like as much as I like her. The same cousin came and stayed with us for the weekend after the funeral and we got to know each other even better.
More news later about cruise adventures!
Thursday, September 29, 2005
Sad NYC Story
He was an older man, a real typical New Yorker, who had looked at me impatiently while I tried to decide what to order to drink. One of the other agency reps said that she asked him for a diet coke and he dropped the glass and fell to the floor really hard. She thought that somehow it was her fault but we assured here that it probably wasn't. It sounds like he either had a heart attack or an epilepsy attack of some sort and fell down.
What struck me the most was how everyone panicked and not one of us knew CPR! Not one of us! It made me feel so shameful! I took it in high school 20 years ago and there's not telling how I could hurt him rather than help him. I felt so helpless there wishing I could help him in some way. It made me think again of how fragile our lives are and how we can be gone in just a minute.
The ambulance got there right away but at one point someone said he wasn't breathing. I don't know if that was true. I heard his head was bleeding and he threw up, probably from a concussion.
The evening reception for our event is at a club nearby but I don't feel like going right away. I want to rest for a little bit and then get dressed and to go at my leisure. I feel weird rushing there right after what I just witnessed
Family is Awesome
Saturday, September 24, 2005
Update on Our Evacuee Status
Glad to hear we didn't do too bad. I am worried about when we'll get hooked up again because I need to go to NYC for business on Wednesday. I just hope we get everything hooked up in the next couple of days because the kids are staying with the sitter and then with my mother in law at our house Friday-Sunday. Which reminds me, I need to call the baby sitter. She was going to stay and ride it out too.
We're trying to decide when to go home. The officials are trying to get us all to stay because the highways are already gridlocked with people trying to get home. Rey was looking at what back highways we can take to get there faster.
Good update of what is happening locally at www.chron.com
I'm Back and Still Waiting
Rey woke up around 7:30 with Seth then I woke up around 8:30 and he went back to sleep for a little while. I hung out all day with the kids, took them outside to play on the swings, checked work e-mail and voice mail and then took a nap for a while with Seth. Rey washed clothes and went to his job. (their home office is in San Antonio) I woke up and folded clothes. We had dinner and then watched Beauty Shop. That was pretty much my day and I didn't leave the house all day. That and watching the Weather Channel.
I'm tired. Did I already say that? I want this storm to be over so I can find out what happened to my house and then I can start on the long drive home. I want to get started back on Sunday morning in case it takes all day to get back. Except Rey just told me he has a great alternate route that's going to get us home a lot faster.
I just hope my house is fine and both my sisters' homes are fine. They decided to stay. I'm sure they're going to be fine and I know our house will be just fine too.
Friday, September 23, 2005
The Waiting Game
I-10 East to go West it improved the traffic tremendously. But all in all it took us 15 hrs. More later.
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
I hate thinking that everyone is over-reacting and then if something happens I wasn't prepared. It's such a catch 22. What do you do in a case like this? We have a second story where we could go if it flooded but Rey is worried that the old tree in our front yard will come crashing down on our house. So reluctantly we're going to San Antonio for the weekend. I don't want to go but... we have two small children. I'm packing all my favorite clothes and all our photo albums. I can't take everything so we can only take the most important things. My laptop will be up front with me. My novel is in there!
Funny how when pressed to think of what you need to take with you all you can think of is your kids, clothes, photos, and any really important things like your computers. I can't take anything else with me. I can't take my furniture, my dishes, or anything else material. Doesn't that put life in perspective?
Then there's the preparation to come back! We'll have to bring plenty of drinking water back with us in case we can't drink the water. And a lamp and candles in case we don't have electricity!
What really really sucks is that Rey and I are supposed to leave to New York on Wednesday. I was using this weekend to pack and prepare. I'll just have to wash today and tomorrow and pack for NY too. I just thought of something else! I hope my mother-in-law can still stay with the kids considering she's taking off today, tomorrow, and Friday. YIKES! This hurricane is a huge inconvenience!
Monday, September 19, 2005
Not Up to Much
The only thing that keeps me going this week is the thought of going to New York next week. I leave on Wednesday and I come back on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to this trip. I'm also excited about going on our cruise in exactly 4 weeks. Life is good. I shouldn't complain.
I keep seeing this girl at work that is so skinny. I've commented about it to her before but today I couldn't help myself and I had to ask her how she did it. Atkins. I thought no one did Atkins any more. WOW! She told me she lost 60 lbs over about a year. She looks fantastic!
I may be up to a lot more if this crazy new hurricane Rita decides to hit Galveston and come through Houston. How crazy is that?? First Katrina and now a new hurricane is going to hit "somewhere between New Orleans and Brownsville." Where is that? I can't think of any other place except Houston.
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Six Flags Astroworld
When I was 24 and I decided to leave the Chronicle my friend recruited me to work for Astroworld in the PR department. It was an interesing part-time gig. I answered the phone to listen to complaints from irrate guests, I translated the press releases to Spanish and sent them to the Spanish TV and radio stations and I learned how to pitch to the Spanish media. I called newspapers in Mexico City and Monterrey to invite them to the media launch of the Mayan Mindbender. I actually got reps from one newspaper from each paper to come. It was great experience! But of course they paid crap and I wanted to go into teaching. It was a great stopping place though. One of the most fun things I did was go into the park with my friend after work and we rode the Batman Returns, holding our skirts (because we were wearing work clothes) between our knees. How fun!
I started asking other people what memories they also had. They did have some. I'll write more about those later. I'm running out of time. I'm going to meet one of my best friends for dinner. We're celebrating 20 years since we met.
Sunday, September 11, 2005
Sunday Barbacoa and Football
I also forgot that today is the first day of the football season. Texan football to be exact. I used to like some sports before I got married. Basketball specifically but you know what they say, "too much of a good thing."
Ask my husband and he'll tell you I just pretended to like sports and beer to hook him. I'm so sure! Okay now it's for real. I have to go do laundry before the day is gone forever!
Seth is running around reeking havoc. He just pulled a stick out of the trash that I took away from his yesterday and he poked me with it. Then he went and stuck Rey with it and Rey took it away. Before that he found the umbrella my mother-in-law forgot here yesterday and he went and dipped it in the toilet because I forgot the restroom door open! Ay a yay!!!
Well on a good note the house is relatively clean. As clean as it's gonna get, at least until Alice comes to clean on Wednesday. The only thing left to do is laundry and that's such a pain in the butt! I need to get my butt up to do it in a few minutes so that's done before we go to our Sunday meeting. I need to wash the outfit I want to wear tomorrow for my San Antonio sales calls.
So here I go. Another week another dollar. My father-in-law asked me yesterday how many chapters do I have left so far on my book. I told him same as last time he asked me. He said he's going to start calling me at 5:30 a.m. to wake me up so I can write. I told him to tell me when he calls me, "The longer it takes you to write this book, the longer you will have to work for Corporate America!" Ha ha!