Thursday, September 29, 2005


I just finished writing a great long entry about my first two days in NYC and this program booted me out and deleted what I wrote!!!!

Sad NYC Story

I'm in New York City and I've had a great 2 days but today something really really sad happened. I was at a reception for a newspaper organization with other newspapers and ad agencies at a restaurant just a couple of blocks from the hotel. I was talking to one of my agency reps when all of a sudden we heard this terrible crash behind the bar. The bartender was on the floor!

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

First entry I need to do before anything else is to say that Rey's family is awesome! His uncle, aunt, and cousin were so awesome putting up with us for three days and nights. They gave us a bed, mattress or sofa, depending on what night, to sleep on. They fed us and they helped look after us. They were all together wonderful to us and we are deeply indebted to them.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Update on Our Evacuee Status

Just updating those of you who may live far away and are wondering how we're doing. We are fine and Houston got minimal damage. Our electricity is out, however. Our front door neighbor called today to tell us the house was fine but that the electricity is out. The tree in our front yard didn't fall on the house. My sisters are fine and they do have electricity. I'm sure they are glad now that they stayed home.

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

I'm Back and Still Waiting

It's late. I'm tired and actually more tired of waiting than anything else. I've been waiting all day. I've been waiting for the storm to hit and to see what happens to my house. My front door neighbor was going to stay and he took down our phone numbers to tell us if anything happens to the house but I forgot to take down his phone number to call after the storm. What I'll do is call my dad tomorrow after the storm passes over and I'll ask him to drive by the house.

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'm in San Antonio playing the waiting game. First of all let me tell you, it took us 15 hours to get here. We drove up the back roads all the way to Katy the first six hours. After they opened
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

Now Rita

This is nuts! I can't believe we are all getting ready for another hurricane and this time it's projected to hit Galveston which is only 45 minutes from us! The crazy part about it is that everyone is evacuating. I've never known of us evacuating for any hurricane and we've had our share come through here. The thing is that everyone is panicking because of what Katrina did. So far they are saying that this hurricane has gone to a Category 4 a lot earlier than Katrina did so it could be a 5 when it hits. Great!

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

I've been doing the same ol' same ol'. I didn't walk as much as I would have liked. I didn't write as much as I should have. So I was hard on myself as usual. What's new?

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

Astroworld is closing. I can't believe it! I told my husband and he couldn't believe it either. We both have so many great memories of this place growing up. We had memories of season passes, concerts (the Outfield in the rain), dancing at Videocity, meeting boys and girls, and riding Grease Lightning over and over again when there was no one in line. I remembered going there for perfect attendance in 8th grade when HISD had that agreement with Astroworld. I grew up with 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

Rey decided to go get barbacoa for breakfast so now I have to make it a point to walk today. I was going to any way but I can't miss it. I would go now but it's still too darn hot in Houston. It's funny because right at Labor Day I noticed the change in temperature in the morning but that's only early in the morning. By noon it's nice, hot and humid. So walking will have to wait until late this evening.

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!

Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday morning. I didn't get up early to write as planned. The baby woke me up with his crying so I got up, made a bottle, hit the start button on the coffee maker and turned on my laptop. I decided to work on my blog and it wasn't long before Miranda was up too and so was Rey and now they're watching cartoons in the living room.

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!

Reading is Addictive

(This entry was originally posted yesterday but I added to it this morning)

I can't think of anything else that's better to be addicted to. I LOVE TO READ!!! I have missed reading so much, especially since I had the baby. I just started reading again now that he's mobile. Of course I still need to keep an eye on him but I can let him play for the most part and I just check in on him.

I started off by reading Alisa Valdes Rodriguez's last book, "Playing with Boys" and then Amy Tan's "The Opposite of Fate" and I'm almost finished with that.

Now I've been reading the Star Wars trilogy and I am so addicted. It's probably mainly because it's such an easy read. It's written in a very simple language and the only parts that get tedious to read are the parts about spaceship battle. Other than that I love reading this book. It is such a great story! I just finished "The Empire Strikes Back" and I'm about to start on "Return of the Jedi." I literally can not put this book down! When I'm not reading it I'm thinking about it. Weird! I haven't felt this way about a book in a long time and the funny part about it is that I've read it before.

I can remember when my love for reading and for words began. First of all I was born into a house of readers. I come from a house of five girls and I'm the youngest. There's a nine year gap between me and the fourth sister so by the time I came around my sisters were pre-teens and teenagers. They were reading machines and they weren't really nerds either. They were pretty cool semi-popular girls with a lot of friends and they all loved to read. My mom and dad both love to read too. Of course my mother read the novels and my father reads the dictionary and encyclopedia. Two very different tastes in literature! Anyway, we all read.

Which reminds me of something a woman told me recently that I found both surprising and alarming because it made me realize how much parents do not read to their children. This lady I know asked me if I read a recent article in one of our magazines about teaching children. I told her I hadn't.

She told me, "Oh you have to read it especially since your children are so young. I wish I had read it when mine were small and maybe I would have done things differently."

I was curious so I asked, "Like what?"

She went on to tell me how the article talked about the importance of reading to your children from the time they are babies. I tried not to look too shocked as I digested her words but I had to tell her that I do that already and that I have since Miranda was born.

Then I asked her an important question, "But do you and your husband like to read?" and she admitted to me that they don't. Well there you go!

I know that my love for words does not guarantee that my children will love to read too but at least I hope that by my reading to them now and by them seeing me read I'm inculcating a love for books.

It all started for me personally in elementary school when I learned to read in kindergarten and I started checking out books. I loved reading and my librarian recognized that love and encouraged it. I also remember when the Bookmobile started coming to our school and we were able to check out books from the Houston Public Library. That's where I discovered Nancy Drew and Beverly Cleary books. I didn't care that they were set in the 50's or 60's. They were still stories that a little girl could appreciate despite the time period.

I'm glad the kids are growing up and I can start reading again. I missed it! I'm looking forward to reading again. My next book is Amy Tan's "The Kitchen God's Wife."

Saturday, September 10, 2005

The Beach

One more thing. We went to the beach on Labor Day. I should have known the kids would take to it as if they'd done it their whole life. We live 45 min from Galveston and we have never taken Miranda in 4 years.

The hilarious part is Rey and I will have been together 10 years in January and this was the very first time we went to the beach. (okay walking on Miami beach in dress clothes when we were trying to connect to Madrid and we had a layover does not count.)

Rey and Miranda made a sand castle while I walked on the beach with Seth. Then we came back and Miranda and I got in the water while Rey and Seth played in the sand. Finally we all go in the water together and jumped waves. It was a lot of fun despite the nasty water and the dead fish on the beach close to where we were. YUCK! Galveston! At least now the kids will know the difference when we go to Jamaica, Cayman Islands and Cozumel on our cruise.

After we got out of the water we took a walk on the beach so we could dry off. Then it was McDonald's before we drove back home.

Cool Experience

I had a very cool experience yesterday. I volunteered to mentor a Reagan high school student through the Project Grad program. Yesterday I went to lunch at the school and I met my mentee for the first time.

I was sitting for a while at my table in the library and she hadn't shown up. I was starting to worry that I wasn't going to get a student assigned to me, that she wasn't going to show up and other thoughts. I wanted a really cool kid, someone who wasn't shy our mousy.

As I was thinking this a girl comes walking in and she looks like she's in a hurry. She also has a hint of a rebel look about her. She makes her way around the bookshelves and around other tables and I knew that it was her. She walked towards my table and I asked, "Rocio?" She nodded and sat next to me. I liked her almost immediately.

She's a senior and she plays the gitarron for the school's mariachi band. (VERY COOL! I love mariachi music.) She's originally from Guanajuato and has only lived in Houston four years but she still has a house there and she goes home to visit often. She's a little shy but not mousy at all. She looks like she's very outgoing and outspoken, once you get to know her. She also has an air about her that's older.

The program wants us to meet with our student once a month at a scheduled meeting in the library for lunch. I can meet with her more often if I want, weekly or every other week, during their study period. I'm going to try and make it a weekly thing on Fridays. One of the main things she needs help with is her English. She speaks it perfectly but she still lacks the confidence to speak it comfortably. I told her we'd only speak English since this is something she needs help on but I'm totally cool about speaking Spanish if we need to, depending on the subject.

I'm so excited to be embarking on this mentor mentee relationship! I think it's going to be very rewarding.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Checking In

"We write to taste life twice, in the moment, and in retrospection." -Anais Nin

Sorry I've been MIA. I tell you it's hard for me to do more than one thing at the same time. I've been exercising every single day and trying to eat right. Because of this I haven't had time to really clean, do laundry, or write. I haven't worked on my novel in forever!!

I'm at work right now. I just finished all my work for the day. I'm in San Antonio on sales calls on Monday so I've been trying to tie up everything. I still need to change my voice mail too.

I had a crazy short week at work this week too because Monday was a holiday and then Tuesday I was in Dallas for sales calls. I was visiting ad agencies there.

I forgot to write about my beach experience! We went to the beach on Monday for Labor Day! I'll write more about that later.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Procrastinator Is My Middle Name

Okay, so I'm a procrastinator. No, I'm a terrible procrastinator. I take forever to do simple things. I can't to multiple things in one day because one event seems to take up the whole day.

Like today, I have been so delinquent in getting the kids' passport photos taken. I wanted to get them passports before the cruise but now we're only 6 weeks away and we probably won't get our passports back in time. Mine is also expired. I can't believe it's been 11 years since I renewed the last time! Anyway, I haven't done that and the whole day flew by and I feel guilty.

My step-daughter decided to pay us a surprise visit from Louisiana. Her house got a few feet of water in it, miraculously her grandmother's bar and house weren't affected. So her mom is looking at renting an apartment while they work on her house and she still has a job at her mom's bar.

She drove in yesterday and she and her boyfriend and his brother have been here visiting with us. They're playing pool right now. Rey is doing laundry and I should be putting up clothes that I was allowing to stack up in my room. But instead I'm writing here. If I wasn't writing I'd be reading.

I just started reading the Star Wars Trilogy. The first one from the seventies and eighties, or parts IV, V, and VI in other words. I've read it before, after watching those three movies, but now after seeing parts I, II, and III I'm reading it with a totally different point of view.

Watching Part III brought all six parts together. I almost started crying when Padme is giving birth to the twins because of course I already knew what was going to happen. The funny thing is, we all know what's going to happen if we saw Parts IV, V, and IV, but yet we didn't know exactly how it happened. We don't know how Anakin becomes Darth Vader or what exactly happened to Luke and Leia's mother.

So reading Part I now, after seeing all six movies, I feel very different when I'm reading the part at the beginning when Darth Vader captures Princess Leia's ship. I feel different when Luke is looking at thehologramm of Leia and he says she's so beautiful. He feels a connection to her even then!

I also love reading books after watching a movie because I enjoy the book so much more and I can picture the characters more vividly. Whenever I really like a movie I often read the book too.

One more thing! I walked 5 days in a row this week!! I'm so proud of myself.

Andiamo! It's late, I need to finish up my chores and get the kids ready for bed. Good night!

Friday, September 02, 2005


I've had the yellow wrist band for a while now and I wear it now and then. And no, not because it's trendy. I wear it for several reasons. I love the words on it- "Live Strong." They make me think of my own life and I ask myself if I'm really living strong in my life. Sadly, I don't feel like I have been, health-wise. I feel that by leading an unhealthy life I'm not appreciating the life that God gave me.

So I've been wearing the wristband to remind myself that I have to live life to the fullest and I need to lose weight and take care of my body. I've decided not to take off the band until I lose 10 more pounds. It will serve as a daily reminder of this challenge I'm giving myself.

I think of my sister Hilda who died from cancer at the young age of 42. She was still so young and had so much to do in this life. Yet the cancer came regardless of who she was or what dreams she had. That's the way it usually happens with cancer.

When Hilda died I was 25, young and a little crazy still. Her death affected me deeply because it made me question my own life. I found out that I didn't want to work for Corporate America at such a young age in my life. I left my job and taught for a while and then worked at UH for the Student Publications department.

I loved that time in my life. I felt like I was really living and I will never regret those decisions. I loved teaching and I loved working with older students at the school paper.

I also started to write. I've been writing off an on since then and now at 35 I know that living strong will also mean doing what I really want in life. It's up to me to make that happen. It’s up to me to live life strong.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


My husband Rey finally got through to his ex wife today and found out that his daughter is alive and well. She couldn't talk very long but that's all he needed to hear.

Day 3 of walking and it kicked my butt good today. Both kids were asleep so I was pushing my 80 lb weight around on the hilly walk. The park where I walk has a lot of hills because it's alongside a bayou so I get quite a workout, especially if both kids are in the double stroller. I can literally feel the workout in my legs just walking and pushing. I can feel it in my back too.

Thank goodness for the double stroller too! Rey said I didn't need it and here I am still using it when Seth is 1 and Miranda is 4.

I'm going back to the park tomorrow because I promised a friend of mine that I'd meet her there. I hope she makes it. I like walking with friends but I also like walking alone. Like today with the kids asleep. It gives me a chance to think, plot, and clear my head.

All of this Hurricane Katrina news is so terribly sad. It's heartbreaking sad. I can't even stand to watch some of the news. Everything about it is sad. From how it could have been avoided, like so many disasters in this country, to how unprepared they were, to how slow they've been at getting people out of there. I wish we were millionaires so we could just fly wherever my step-daughter is and fly her out of there.

I'm almost finished reading Amy Tan's book, The Opposite of Faith. Although most of the book has been really good I'm finding the end really tedious to get through. I started thinking that maybe it was just this one chapter and I'm going to skip it and go on to the next. Reading the book made me want to read her second book, The Kitchen God's Wife, which I never read, so I ordered it from Amazon along with one of her children's books for the kids. It also made me want to see the movie again because Tan and her mother are extras in the movie. Too funny! I didn't know that the first time I saw it so now I need to see it again to see if I can catch it. My mom loved that movie.

Work is there. It's tolerable. I was talking to a mentor recently who I hadn't spoken to in a long time because we don't work together. I told her about my blog and she asked me if I ever wrote about work. I told her I don't, because for the most part I don't. I don't give y'all any details about the stuff I go through. She reminded me that a woman was recently fired from her company for blogging about work. Others have been fired for blogging at work too.

Isn't that too hilarious? I can understand those that are fired for blogging while they should be working but what if they blog during lunch? And what about having an opinion? Where has our freedom of speech gone? What is happening to the country? First they are taking away our freedom of speech, the press has lost their freedom, and next we'll lose other freedoms, like freedom of religion.