Wednesday, December 20, 2006

One day left......

in 24 hours or so I'll be landing in Chicago :O) SOOO excited! This will be the first Christmas season of family parties that Pat O'Brien & I have attended together. Last year, I came home and we went to Christmas Eve mass at the Holy Name Cathedral, and it was marvellous! But, on Christmas Day he flew to spend the holiday with his parents in Tuscon, and I went to Saginaw to be with my family.

Originally, Keith and I weren't planning on coming home in 2005 since we just left about a month prior to Christmas.....but after spending Thanksgiving solo we decided we wanted to come home because it just sucks spending holidays without your family. If you like your family anyway - which we do!

So this year, we'll be in Chi-town for a couple of days, then hit the road for about a week travelling between Indiana, the 'Naw and Clarkston to spend some QT with family and friends. I'm very much looking forward to it, even though it will be a lot of driving. Pat O'Brien gets kinda cranky when he has to spend a lot of time in the car.....I don't really mind it that much. Probably because I fall asleep right away if I'm not driving......

Tonight, I'm going to go get my birthday present from my parents - they gave me some cash to do with what I wish.......I chose a SPA treatment! they had a special here at a local hotel spa for $800 pesos - 3 hour treatment - one hour massage, one hour pedicure and one hour hydrating facial. I can't wait! Then I'll be all relaxed when I start packing :o) We leave tomorrow morning (we being Milo and I) around 5:30Am or so.....keep your fingers crossed that all goes smoothly!!

I'll be back sometime after the new year - so until then, I hope everyone has a fantastic and safe holiday, and a fabulous new year!!!!!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


I officially made my decision on my new job - I will be a cement salesmen.....well, its called "Market Manager" so it sounds a little fancier, but its pretty much sales. There was a time in my life where I said "No way no how, never ever ever ever ever will I do sales" but, there is a time and a place for everything, and I think this is the right opportunity for me to do it. The territory is Southern Wisconson and Northern Illinois, so it should be pretty fun, even though I'll have to deal with all those Packer Fans.

This also means that Pat O'Brien will be the Engineer for my region, so we'll be working together, sort of. Not necessarily on a daily basis - but it will be pretty cool I think :o) We'll be sharing a home office, so I think we'll need to make some investments in some organization stuff since we're cramped for space there anyway.

This also brings up an interesting subject - if some of you may recal Pat O'Brien interviewed for a position a few months ago (September, I think?).....well, that is the same position I just accepted. Incedentally, its not the first time both of us have interviewed for the same position. Back in 2002 we both interviewed for the Tech Service Engineer position in Chicago (he was moving from Atlanta, and I from Denver). He won out that time, so I guess it was just my turn to win.

Not like its a contest.....although we both are pretty competitive people, when it comes to games and sports and such. But in this situation, its not like we're all cut throat trying to viciousy climb the corporate ladder, destroying anything/one in our path. Luckily, we don't have that type of outlook on work. We just want the best situation for both of us. We have spent a lot of time talking about the subject, and there isn't any anger or fact, we're both looking forward to working together.

We make a very good team on so many levels, and I think its pretty incredible that we highly respect each other's position and knowledge. It comes in handy when we're stuck on presentations or letters - or when we just need to bitch........its comforting, in a way, I guess. Its kind of hard to explain. What I'm trying to say is that I think when a husband and wife do not respect each other's careers, or even just jobs, it can cause a lot of tension in a if one person thinks their job is somehow "more important" than the other person's......that goes for stay at home moms too - I think some husbands don't appreciate or respect all the work the moms do, and that leads to a lot of resentment down the road. I kind of got off on a tangent there.....but I'm happy and Pat's happy and we love and respect each other personally and professionally and that makes for one happy couple - and I think a very successful business relationship.

Heh - I guess I could have just said that a paragraph ago, eh?

The best part - we're going to have matching Jeep Grand Cherokee's! How adorable is that? I'll probably order a different color though, just so we don't get confused in the mornings and grab the wrong car :) That would be annoying!

Chicago Eating

My mom asked for some recomendations for a friend for eating and Chicago......since she's having email issues right now (as in - I can't email her at ALL! They keep on getting bounced back....grrrr) I figured I'd post it here so she can finally read the info:

Hey Mom

I'm not sure what she's looking for exactly.......I'm assuming restaurants in the downtown area.....Keep in mind most of these restaurants are pretty expensive ($150 for dinner for a couple, if you buy a bottle of wine). But they are TOP NOTCH - fantastic food, well worth the cash. I would recommend reservations.

Fogo de Chao is my all time favorite (that’s where we're going to eat our wedding dinner). For dinner, I think it’s like $70 a person, plus drinks and such, so it can get kinda pricey pretty quickly, but it’s well worth it! It’s a great dining experience, and they won't find anything like it in Michigan!

Another place on the higher end is McCormick & Shmicks - great seafood, and the absolute most heavenly apple pie crispy yummy goodness dessert I have EVER had! Pat likes Joe's Stone Crab better though. It’s a toss up.

The classic dinner in Chicago is a good hearty steak dinner. Wildfire, Gibson’s, Morton’s, and Sullivan's are all fantastic choices.

Some more reasonably priced places:
Lettuce Entertain you restaurants: it’s a kind of a chain of restaurants in the Chicago metro area - I've heard great things about almost all of them, and they are a bit more reasonably priced (but still more expensive than Chili’s or Applebee’s)
Osteria Via Stado is supposed to be one of the best Italian joints (ok, its not so reasonably priced…..but its part of this chain), but Maggianos is good too. I like Ben Pao too! Wildfire is one of this chain of restaurants too.

Fronterra Grill and Bandera are two classy gourmet Mexican food places. Fantastic! Pat loves the jalapeño cornbread at Bandera.,IL/Restaurants/Lunch/?businessID=51955

Tavern on Rush – I would go here at Lunch Time – they have VERY yummy salads, and its kind of a classy joint. Skip dinner though – it becomes too much of a “let me show you how small my penis is by how awesome and expensive my car is” kind of place.

Jake Melniks - bar type atmostphere, cheaper, but yummy :o) One of Pat’s favorites.

For breakfast or brunch, I HIGHLY recommend Tempo on the corner of Chestnut and State - it’s the place Pat lived right next store to. I LOVED that place! The only drawback – there usually is a line, especially on Sunday morning….and its cash only – but great prices!

Places to stay away from - Ditka's & Cheesecake Factory. Icky food – way overpriced.

If you want to see the entire city of Chicago way up high, you can always check out the Sears Tower, or try the Hancock Building instead. Go up to the top, but instead of paying to go to the observation deck, go up the next floor up to one of the bars and have a drink instead. It will cost the same….$9.00 to see the observation deck, and $9.00 for a drink - I'd rather have the drink, with less people a floor higher up, know what I mean??

I hope this helps a bit! If she has any questions, just give her my email - I’m sure Pat and I can answer them :o) I hope she has fun!

Monday, December 18, 2006


No, I'm not a renissance wierdo - I just like that word.

I accepted a job offer today - so I know what I'll be doing when move back to the US of A! Whooo HOOO! Bad news though - they put the Kaibosh on the more money thing though, despite my well thought "they can't say no" proof reasons. I was pretty miffed - but its not as if I'm underpaid right now.....I'll just have to seriously WOW them so I get like a million percent raise come March of 08!

And now........from Cute Overload..........Bert the pupp-a-roo. You have GOT (and I'm serious, I mean GOT) to read his short story of his socks BY CLICKING HERE. Comeon now, you know you wanna!

Ohhhhh - I just can't stop giggling when I see this! He's too flippin miserable/cute!!!!! I just want to snorgle him!!!!!

Sunday, December 17, 2006

I thought it was going to be a nice day!

It started out well - we made it to the airport with plenty o' time, and even saw this cute Bochito "haulin" a load of balloons. Exactly the reason why I carry my camera in my purse!

But, alas, that was our last minute of peace. Keith's plane was 4 hours late, he missed his connection in Detroit, so he and my little Thalia are there for the night, until the first plane out tomorrow morning.

I also had to cancel my original flight, because when I checked in to see if my cat carrier was accepted they told me there were absolutely positively NO animals allowed in the passenger cabin........even though when I booked the ticket it was OK. *sigh* Long story - but after much calling and running around and crying - here I am with a new flight on American Airlines, and a $580 cancelled AeroMexico ticket (yay! i get to use it sometime in the next year! lucky me!). The good news is that I get to come home early!

So, now, I shall sleep. I didn't get anything completed that I wanted to get done today, but at least my travel plans are confirmed, and both of my kitties are safe and warm.

Friday, December 15, 2006

I {HEART} getting money when I'm not suspecting it!!!

December is a great month. Its the month of my birthday, Christmas, the end of the year, peppermint mocha at Starbucks, snow - there are just so many things I love about it!

I just fell in love with it again! I got paid by Apasco today, and lets just say I'll be Ho Ho Hoing it all the way to DEBT FREENESS baby :o) Officially my first Debt free Christmas! This is just really flipping exciting! I got FOUR different bonuses this month -
  • Savings bonus. Apasco takes out dough every month, puts it in savings, then gives it back every six months plus interest
  • Apasco 8% matching bonus on that savings
  • Aguinaldo. This is Mexico Law. They have to give you a 50% of your monthly salary as a December bonus. Lucky for me, Apasco gives 150%!
  • Prima Vacacional. Another Mexican Law...You get it every year on your anniversary. its essentially a bonus of 80% of your daily salary for the amount of vacation you have. For example - if I get paid $100 a day, and have 10 days vacation - I would get a bonus of 80% of $1000 - $800! Not too shabby!

Now, all of this isn't just extra money. I'm essentially being paid the same total amount as I was the US, I'm just getting it at different times....but it seems like extra money because I've adjusted my spending habits to account for the reduced monthly salary I get. Not sure if any of this makes sense.........

The important thing is that I can pay off my bills, and get married Debt free, as in my original plan! Its just exciting to know I can do that!!!

I created a Slide Show! Check it out!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

View on Mexican Politics

I'm a firm supporter of the Steward / Colbert 2008 Presidential Campaign.....if nothing else from this coverage of the Mexican Presidential issue. Hilarious :)

Operation Purge Crap – Phase 1 complete

Lo and behold to thier Word – the Salvation Army (or rather, Ejercito de Salvation) was at my house shortly alter 1:00PM yesterday to pick up my crap. I was amazed! Taking into account Mexican Time I figured they wouldn't be there until a day later at the earliest. Color me happy and pleasantly suprised! It’s a little bit of a chore to get the receipt, they don’t just give you one right away. I have to fax a list of everything I sent, along with all my info, and they will send one back to me. Hopefully I’ll get it, but if not, it was all donated for a good cause anyway.

According to my very humble estimations and lists – I gave away about $2000 in schtuff. Quite a bit, eh? Amazing how it all adds up. It feels good to have it all gone – most of my clothing is officially gone through, and about 80% of my maid’s quarters is now cleared out. I still have the big daddy to wade through – my office. There is SOOOOOO much crap in there – its even getting hard to walk. Well, part of that is our laundry which we hang in there on chairs, doors and ladders to dry, but the other part is just pure crap. I have about just under a BILLION papers to go through and shred. Just the thought of it is daunting. I already went through files/bills from 1995-about 2002 earlier this year…..but I still have four years to go. It’s a huge pain in the ass, but I know I’ll feel cleansed after its all done. I don’t need to store things that I don’t even need, know what I mean??

Also on slate today – taking the Furry McFurrisons to the vet. I’m going to get their health certificates and update vaccinations and stuff so we can bring the kitties home next week! Thalia is going with Keith on Sunday, since she’s such a good traveler, albeit a bit noisy. Milo is coming with me on the following Friday, since he tends to be more of a barfer/shitter/peer when he travels, sometimes all at once. He just has never traveled well. I’ll be more prepared for accidents this time though…handy dandy napkins, baby wipes, and plastic bags for disposing. Last time I waited to give him his tranquilzer because I didn’t want to give it to him if I didn’t have to….he’s not getting any younger, and older cats sometimes have difficulties processing the medication. But it will just be less stressful on everyone if he’s all high, so I’m going to give it to him right away – before we even leave for the airport. It will be easier on me!

Year end.......

Thank you so very much for all the kind birthday wishes! It meant a lot to me :o) Each and every one!

INSANE! Its so hard to believe we've been here over a year :o) But, alas, we have, and we have zillions of photos to show for it. I know I've shared my scrapbook pages quite a bit....but I thought I would put together a 2006 Mexico Year In Review video for your viewing pleasure. Its about 6 minutes long or so, and can also be seen on YouTube.


Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Happy Birthday to me! At around 7:00AM on the morning of December 12, 1977, I was born unto this earth a naked child, helpless and unable to care for myself. Now, 29 years later, I am still naked in some senses (aren't we all naked underneath our clothes?), but I am no longer a helpless little child. I have been very fortunate to keep within my heart and soul a child-like wonder; an ability to to find joy in seemingly insignificant things and events; and an ability to love with all my heart. Now I am strong....and not only able to care for myself but also able to use my determination to chase my dreams, and achieve them - regardless of obstacles thrown, or grown, in my way.

For that - I am proud. Proud of myself now, proud of where I've come from and what I have accomplished - and oh so proud of where I am taking myself in the future. And that, my friends, is a very good place to be! Good job Karin!

Also important for me this day, is El Día de la Virgen de Guadalupe. Its kind of cool, because at Midnight, every church in the Republic (practically) sets off oodles of fireworks at midnight (as they are doing right now). That might not seem like a lot of noise, but when there is a church every couple blocks it adds up! I figured I would stay up at least that late, because I remember last year I was woken up by all the hullaballo anyway. I know the fireworks are for her, but I like to pretend they are for me too. After all, us having the same day and everything, I've always had a special connection to its OK if I take some credit, right?

Here's a quick morning prayer for this very special day:

Immaculate Heart of Mary, Heart of my Mother, Our Lady of Guadalupe, I unite to thy purity, thy sanctity, thy zeal and thy love, all my thoughts, words, acts, and sufferings this day, that there may be nothing in me that does not become through thee, a pleasure to Jesus, a gain to souls, and an act of reparation for the offenses against thy Heart.


Monday, December 11, 2006

Happy Monday!

:::::::::::::::BIRTHDAY SHOUT OUT:::::::::::::::

A shout out to Lori - an ol' college roomate/buddy who shares the birthday next to mine :o) She's in Seattle now, after a stint in Houston, finishing up her Doctorate in Neuro Psychology. One smart cookie, she is! She'll be finished soon - so best of luck to you girlie and have a great birthday!!!

:::::::::::::::WEEKEND ACTIVITIES:::::::::::::::

Saturday was our company's Holiday Party - complete with fantastic food, liberal libations and great music. And I even won a top prize - a 21" TV :) I haven't checked it out yet - I'm trying to see if I can score a camera instead....since Pat and I already have like, 20 TV's between the two of us. I'm sure if I can't score the camera, I'll put the TV to good use!

:::::::::::::::I'M FALLING APART!!!!!:::::::::::::::

I've been rather ill since Friday - Friday and Saturday I had the stomach ickies - yesterday was OK, but now I feel like hairy ass because I'm all congested and stuff. Its just no fun. I have, like, a negative immune system. I just want to be healthy for pete's sake! To top off this fun, I also have had this strange rash / pimple forest on my back for the past month or so, which is now accompanied by these little circular dry patches that, I'm sure, will quickly become oozing lesions. That, and a bruise which appeared in July on my right thigh and hasn't gone away since. Oh, and I have a numb spot on my left thigh that is very mysterious - that showed up about two weeks ago. I'm pretty sure its the beginning stages of lepracy. *sigh* where is a good dermatologist when you need one?

Oh one more malady - I think I have a cavity. Its on my bottom left side - and although it doesn't hurt like a MO FO when I drink cold stuff, it is kind of sensitive. I'll keep an eye on it, its bothered me for the past few days, but I'm hoping it just goes away with two extra daily brushings and flossing. I don't want to go to a Mexican Dentist. I'm afraid I'll come out with a gold grill or something like that! Actually, I'd be afraid to go to an Amercian Dentist at this point too. I mean, its great and all that I've taken care of my teeth and that I don't have any cavitites, but at the same time, 28 years and 364 days of cavity free living tends to build up the whole cavity repair catastrophe in your head. I've envisioned something just short of the animation of Frankenstein on my head.......not the kind of good vibe happy thoughts you want in your head right before you sit in the dentist chair.

:::::::::::::::REPATRIATION BUSINESS:::::::::::::::

Aside from that - I have to engage in some salary negotiation today.....give me good vibes that it all goes well! Apparently I am supposed to have the job offer from the other potiential job this week as well - which is good! I think I have made up my mind, but I have to see both offers before I am absolutely sure!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Tracking Traffic.....

A while ago I put code in my blog so I could track who was coming to visit and read.....its a pretty cool system, and after I installed it I was obsessed with checking my traffic stats. I can proudly say I've gone from approximately 8 visitors a day to over 14. WHOOO HOOO!

I've always been hesitant to mention it because it feels kind of "Big Brother" ish, you know? But what the heck - there are pretty much trackers on EVERY website you visit, so why should mine be any different?

The cool thing about it - besides the fact that you can see what city and country they are visiting from, how long they were reading, when they left, the IP address - is seeing how they arrived. I see if the readers arrived from a click on an email I sent, or from a link on a message board. I get a lot of random visits from people searching google. Some of the most recent searches.....

"Pilsbury Sock it to Me"
"Love Toe Socks"
"Porristas Big Ass Butt" <-- porrista is the spanish word for Cheerleader

There has also been a lot of searches for Christmas Music - from Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers to the Vince Guaraldi Trio. Pretty interesting actually. Recently I noticed I link from another Mexican website, so I went to visit. Apparently it is a listing of all the English blogs that are written from Mexico. Both Keith and I made the list - you can see it here --> BLOGS OF MEXICO Pretty cool how its all interconnected, eh?

::::::::::::::MUSICAL INTERLUDE::::::::::::::

So my brother Kyle has been working at his music from the second he learned how to play a guitar (maybe 14, 15 years old ish?). I've always enjoyed listening to his music, even if its not really "my style" per se. He recorded a CD with a friend, Jim Baker - but it was never released to due publication issues......

Jim moved from GRap to Chicago, and is working with another group (which apparently started back in Flint Town way back in the day) - more of a hip-hop rap jazz fusion sound - called The Massey Trio. They released an album called "The City of Ill" and you can purchase it on iTunes (sorry I don't have the link - iTunes is blocked from work. Dammitall anyway!)....or you can hear some samples on their myspace page or CDBaby - a review site for independant music. Kyle is featured on a couple songs, although not an official member of the group. I was just amazed and blown away by the track called "Lost Apostle". The other track he sings in is called "They Think They're Soliders". Check it out - Kyle is the one singing the vocals (not the rapper dude). The rest of the album is OK, (Like I said before, not really my gig) - but the Lost Apostle really caught my ear.

They are playing next Friday night, the 15th at THE NOTE in Chicago (Wicker Park area). If you have a sec check them out!

::::::::::::::SELF ESTEEM::::::::::::::

You know, for not having a lot to say today, I sure do have a lot to say!

I decided to run and experiment this week.....I was going to see if I could go every day this week with doing my hair, dressing not frumpy and wearing makeup. The truth is I never saw much benefit in getting all hussied up every day just to make yourself easier on the eyes of other people. I'm not big on doing things just for someone else, you know? But, when Pat O'Brien is around I find myself trying to be more presentable, just cuz it feels good, you know? Not like I need to impress him, but I guess I was just doing it unconciously (until I noticed it last weekend).

So I started my experiement Monday. Well, I didn't do it Monday because Pat O'Brien left super early and I was tired, but every other day I did. Now, I didn't get all hooered out or anything - just a couple swipes of eyeshadow, a scoshe of mascara & eyeliner, blush and some lip gloss. And you know what, I felt pretty good about myself all week. I looked nice, I got complements from random people....I think it was not just because I actually did look that good, I think it had to do with the attitude I was portraying. I smiled more, stood taller, etc etc. So my experiment showed me that 10 minutes of primping in the moring is actually good for the rest of the day. Hmmm....maybe it will become a habit.

Happy Friday!

First, a belated Happy Birthday to my Dear Ol' Dad, who just hit the big 50 yesterday! I promise I was a good daughter and called him, even sent him an eCard too :o) I hope you had a good day Dad!

I have nothing real exciting to blog about today. Oh, well, I recieved an offer for a job yesterday! That was kind of exciting - I have until the 18th to decide, so I think I'm going to wait until I get the other one to decide for sure......

I've got 95% of my Christmas shopping done. I have to head to the market to look for a couple more things......I really would like to find some cool Christmas Ornaments -but the only ones I can find are at Wal-Mart, and those really aren't that cool.

One of the things I bought - I can share here because its for my nephew, and I'm pretty sure he won't be reading this blog. Its a T-shirt, and just makes me laugh everytime I see it....

On tap for this weekend - the Apasco Holiday Party and probably heading out to El Centro de Metepec to drink.....hope everyone has a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

And now…….your moment of Scrap.

Its been a while since I’ve posted anything scrapalicious…….so here are some of my favorite recent layouts. I’ve been retro-scrapping lately. I recently discovered a plethora of older pics when I was cleaning up my disk on my computer… I thought I’d bust out a few of those

::::::::::::::::::::::ST MARYS GLACIER::::::::::::::::::::::
Template - Traci Reed Photo Collages; Paper, ribbon, cardboard - Julie Howard Kim Giarusso Urban Trash; Leaf, eyelet, brads - Jen Wilson; Circular Date Stamp - Jen Star; Drop Shadows - Traci Murphy; Font - Jailbird Jenna, My own handwriting created by September Myles

Journaling Reads: With our 4x4’s we would head up into the mountains for a day of romping around. This trip, we went with Priscilla and Mark to camp out near the Glacier - I believe it is still in Clear Creek County. It was a short drive, but it was fun - lots of beautiful vistas, a few nice rivers to traverse. I don't think Troy and I stayed that night - we probably drove home due to my anxiety issues - but it was fun while it lasted!

::::::::::::::::::::::CHRISTMAS 2002::::::::::::::::::::::
Template - Heather Heinzer; Kit - Shannon Lee - Victorian Christmas; Alpha - Courderoy Alpha - Shannon Lee; Fonts - Thirsty for Souls, Arial; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy

Journaling Reads: Christmas is always full of fun at our home. This year, we captured a few of our cousin’s kids enjoying the fun! Erik & Michael (Cindy & Tiny Castillo’s kids), Brianna & Zach (David Hernandez’s kids), and Zach & Cecilia (two of Gina & Jav Ruiz’s kids) were all caught in action. Also caught on film - Grandma Medel, Mom (behind Erik & Chino) as well as the Mayer family (Karin, Troy, Keith, Kyle, Karli, Chino & Samson)!

Kit - Shannon Lee Bubble Gum Girl; Crochet Lace - Shannon Lee Croched Lace #1; Frame - Shannon Lee Frame It Up; Word Art Tags - Jen Wilson; Staple - Lauren Bird; Drop Shadow Action - Traci Murphy; Warming Action - Holly McCaig; Font - Gigli

Journaling Reads: The children of my cousins are just way too adorable! Here are Cassie & Monique, as well as Cecelia & Ericka playing outside at Grandma Dora’s house. May 2002.

And, here are some of the more recent photos…..

::::::::::::::::::::::WAITING FOR THE RED LINE::::::::::::::::::::::
Kit - Shakespeare's Canvas by Marcie Reckinger; Torn Cardboard - Gina Cabrera; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy; Fonts - Susie's Hand, Edwardian Script

Journaling Reads:
Waiting for the Red Line Train,
Thorndale Stop, 2006 October 1

I love these photos of you Patrick. You look so contemplative, adorable with your hair sticking up in back, and incredibly sexy in that jersey - all some of my favorite parts of you, caught on a pretty much ordinary day. We were standing here waiting for the red line train so we could hit up BW3 and grub down on some wings and beer. It wasn't a particularly monumental trip, but it sticks out in my head - I guess sometimes the memories we make are unexpected, especially when we're doing nothing important at all.

::::::::::::::::::::::WARM BLANKET OF LOVE::::::::::::::::::::::
Papers, flourish, frame, tags - Jen Wilson Meaning 7; Alpha - Shannon Lee Corduroy, Tiff Brady Pin, Michelle Coleman Handstamp; Beads - Michelle Underwood; Font - Poesie Noire, Bosshole, Batik Regular

This is an entry for Jen Wilson's Meaning 7 Challenge. I chose to use the prompt "comfort", because that completely describes where I am right now in my relationship - even when we're out in the freezing cold, its still lovey dovey warm when he's around :)

Journaling Reads:

Being in Love.

Hiking in the Rocky Mountains.

Sitting outside in the cool mountain air, while sitting in a steaming hot tub, sipping cheap champagne and nibbling rocky mountain chocolate.

Hearing the sounds of the still earth around us.

Being at peace.

The trip we took was short, just a couple days before our meetings started, and it was such a fantastic decision. Really, anytime I am with you, Patrick, I am always secure, happy and comfortable. But this last trip was extra special. Thanks for going along with me and my crazy ideas, and thank you for wrapping my world in a blanket of security, and for letting me love you!

::::::::::::::::::::::IT IS::::::::::::::::::::::
Elements, Alpha - Jen Wilson Meaning 8; Papers - Jen Wilson Merry Days 6; Font – Decker; Drop Shadow Actions - Traci Murphy

Journaling Reads:
It is being good to each other

Try to restrain

the anger

the poison

the hurting each other knowingly

It is not taking each other for granted

Try to appreciate

the laughter

the love

the small things we do to show we care

It is growing together

Try to ensure

the respect

the dreams

the realization of a long and fruitful tomorrow

I love you

The most important thing

is you and I

working together

to make sure this is it!


In a good way. I have a lot of crap. Like TONS. I think when you buy a big house, all you do is fill up the space with a lot of poo. Stuff that doesn't matter. But somehow you develop an emotional attachment to it and can't let it all go.

Case in point: My home in Belleville with Troy was about 2500 square feet, with another 1000 or so in the basement. Chock full of crap. Good crap - but crap just the same. When we filed for divorce and I was moving to Mexico and all that jazz, we realized for the first time how insigificant all that crap was. We had a garage sale for a few weekends - sold about $1000 worth of stuff, plus another $2000 in fish tank stuff we had......then donated another $2000 worth of stuff to Goodwill.

Crap I tell you - just crap!

So Troy took his half and I took my half, and even after getting rid of **ALL THAT STUFF** I still had plenty to fill a 1200 sq ft condo down here. YIKES! Thats still alot of crap!!!! I've managed to purge a lot of it - but its just shoved in the Maid's quarters for now.

So, when I repatriate to Chicago in February, Pat O'Brien and I will be living together in a 900 sq ft condo......with both of our stuff. There is just no possible way it will all fit! We walked around my place on Sunday night just noting things that we will need in the condo, stuff we don't, stuff to give to family and stuff that can go in storage (because we probably will have a house someday - it will be hard to fit the 20 kids we will have into a small two bedroom condo). It was rather frightening - looking, AGAIN, after all the purging I've done, at ALL THE CRAP I HAVE!!!!!

I would rather give it all away, you know? Whats the sense in packing it all just to unpack it and give it away in the US? I've looked and asked repeatidly for an organization to donate too, but there isn't a presence here in Mexico like there is in the US. I couldn't find Goodwill, or Salvation Army. Really, I think there is more of a need for them here!

Last weekend, when Keith, Pat O'Brien and I went to the mall, there was a kids choir singing songs right along side a familiar sight - a Salvation Army collection kettle (no bell ringer though - just kiddos singing)! Except it was called Ejercito de Salvación....which is why I couldn't find it in the phone book or online! I donated a few pesos, and picked up a little paper next to it - which had a phone number and message saying they accept ALL KINDS OF DONATIONS!!!!! I was soooo excited! So I called yesterday and they said they do come and pick up any donations, and also give reciepts for taxes and such.


So, yesterday I started the Purge of All Purges! I did a lot of my clothes - but still need to hit the T shirts and exercise stuff. Then I'll work through the kitchen, and then the office area. I want to get all the tax break I possibly can, so I'm going to catalogue the stuff I already have separated in the Maids quarters. I'm planning on having this done by Sunday, so then I can call them to come by and pick up during the week.

I need to watch more epsiodes of "Clean Sweep" to get me motivated. I love that show!!!! And I know I will feel a lot lighter, and a lot more free, when I let go of all this stuff that is holding me down!

Monday, December 04, 2006

My Jammies :)

Here are pictures of my new jammies I got from Pat O'Brien!!!!!!


:::::::::::::::NEVER EVER EVER EVER EVER EVER AGAIN:::::::::::::::

It happened again – I blinked and my weekend was over. Pat O’Brien left Toluca this morning at 5:00 AM on the Caminante bus to Mexico City. I’m pretty sure I’m NEVER going to drive to Mexico City’s airport again. Ever. EVER EVER EVER EVER. Well, I actually think I have to take Keith there in two weeks because he’s taking one of the cats with him…..but aside from that – NEVER AGAIN.

Why, you ask? Well, Thursday night I decided it would be so much easier to pick up Pat at the airport instead of having him take the bus to Toluca. WRONG! Keith and I left our house at 6:30 – thinking that even with heavy traffic we’d arrive at 8:30PM – right when Pat was scheduled to arrive. NOPE. There was MEGA traffic – worse than I’ve EVER been in my life – and it took us 6 HOURS to get to the airport. Yeah, you heard me right – SIX FLIPPIN HOURS. The main artery to the airport was closed for reconstruction, and on top of that it was a three day weekend, so there were a shit ton of people trying to get the hell out of Dodge.

Normally, if there was such a hellacious delay, it wouldn’t be a problem in today’s communication friendly world. However, Pat’s cell doesn’t work in Mexico – and even if it did my cell was not functioning (I forgot to charge it because I’m a big giant dork brains). So, we were over 4 hours late to pick him up, and there was absolutely no way for us to get a hold of him and tell him.

I was so freaking out….crying and the like. I did not want to make him think we were kidnapped and dead in a ditch somewhere. It was an absolutely horrific feeling, and I apologized profusely throughout the weekend. We found him in the bus station lobby – where there are some pretty comfy chairs, phones and internet service. He was pretty happy that we were OK, but even happier, I think, that this was his last trip to Mexico. He isn’t really a big fan of this country – but thank the sweet lord he loves me to pieces and was a trooper and toughed it out the five trips he made down here. I’ll forever be grateful!

:::::::::::::::BACK SEAT PEEING:::::::::::::::

Does anyone know what its like to be in a car 6 hours when you’re only expecting to be in two? One thing I would have done differently – not drank the 24 oz green tea on the way there. I had to pee like a MoFo! I actually ended up trying to pee in a bottle at about hour 3, but didn’t have much luck. Guys are much better equipped for that sort of thing. I got half in the bottle, half on the tissues trying to protect the bottle, and another half all over the back seat and floor. Yeah, that’s right – I peed all over my car. It had to be done though – there was no other choice. There isn’t a McDonalds every three miles to stop at, you know? And you just don’t pull over in unknown parts of Mexico City. That’s how you end up car jacked and sliced up. No thanks – I’ll take peeing on my car any day.

:::::::::::::::WEEKEND ACTIVITIES:::::::::::::::

We didn’t really do much, as is our plan – we don’t want spend money nor do we want to shove 1000 things in three days. We spent a lot of time lounging around watching football – then headed to the mall a time or two to go eat and the like. We also stopped by Caliente so the boys could place a few bets – Pat won one out of three bets – and ended up about $10 in the hole – I don’t think Keith won anything.

Saturday night we rented a couple movies and downed a 24 pack of Noche Buena – a seasonal dark beer that is produced here. Its very yummy, and VERY potent. I think about a 5.9% alcohol content. Needless to say we were pretty silly that night. The evening ended when I was trying to read Pat a wordless picture book about a snowman – and he launched the snowman which went flying across the room and knocked over my cup of water I was trying to drink – all over me, the book, the snowman and the couch. I think I stormed up the stairs in fake disgust….but I couldn’t stay mad for long because the whole situation gave him a serious case of the giggles…..and its hard to be mad at someone when A) the situation was just ridiculous to begin with and didn’t warrant any anger and B) they are completely adorable in a fit of laughter.

:::::::::::::::BIRTHDAY FUN:::::::::::::::

I got my birthday present from Pat O’Brien! Two sets of awesome PJ’s and a matching pair of fuzzy slippers. It was pretty hilarious because we just talked about PJ’s on our last trip – he said there was NO way he would ever buy me flannel PJ’s because that means I’ll start to say “I’m all cuddled up and cozy warm and you can’t touch me because I’m covered in flannel!” – which I thought was just ridiculous. :o) Anyway, so I got one pair of blue flannel PJ’s covered in cute little penguins, and another silky satiny yummy sexy pair, black with red stripes.

It was just awesome because he didn’t even ask what I wanted, he just got them for me – and it is a perfect present. Thanks Babe! Really, I adore PJ’s – it all started when I worked at Victoria’s Secret….they had such cute sets there many moons ago! There isn’t a type of clothing I like more.


All in all, it was a very fun, relaxing weekend. And I also had a milestone – no tears at all when Pat O’Brien left! Not last night, not this morning when I dropped him off! I’m sure that has everything to do with the fact that I’ll see him in a little over two weeks for Christmas, and more so that we’ll be together for good in a little over 10 weeks. YIKES! That is not a long time! It will be here before I know it – which means I should probably get back to work 

Thursday, November 30, 2006


::::::::::::::::::PAT O’BRIEN UPDATE::::::::::::::::::

9 hours and counting! I even made myself up today so I’m all purdy and stuff  I can’t wait to see him!


Is it really November 30? Sheesh – that is just nutz! It’s like I keep blinking and MONTHS pass without me even being aware of it! Crazy I tell you CRAZY! This also means that we’re just about four months away from the Getting Hitched Day! I probably would be happier about it if we had a few more things lined up, but we have to wait until after the New Year to get a few things scheduled. That’s the bad thing about a wedding of 20 people, no one wants to schedule you cuz you’re not spending oooooodles of caish.


Yesterday was the Dirección de Clientes Especializados annual meeting – which went from 10AM until 7:45PM. I was soooo not happy. In general I was being a big pissy pants because I haven’t slept well, and then on top of that I just in general am not happy about having to work later than I have to, and BEING FORCED to go to dinner. Turned out to be a great time – we left at about 8PM for dinner and got back to the hotel at around 12:30PM. Then I drove home from there.

Dinner was for about 45 people at this old Hacienda just outside of Toluca towards Mexico. It was GORGEOUS I tell you! It’s hard for me to think that an entire family lived there – and that’s it! I guess it was extended family too, but sheesh, the pace was huge! Giant cathedral ceilings – fabulous wood steps and crazy decorative wood EVERYWHERE. Just breathtaking. And the food was very good. We had a carrot cake for desert that I would almost kill for again – it was quite possibly the best carrot cake I’ve ever had in my life!

It was also cool because it will probably be the last time I see a lot of those people before I leave. It was fun just chatting, and actually being able to participate (read: Dominate) a conversation. I think I dreaded those events because I would have to sit there quiet because I couldn’t follow or understand and wasn’t able to communicate. But now, I am! Which feels great! Also cool was telling everyone I was getting hitched – they were so happy for me, it was exciting – lots of toasts and advice and people trying to persuade me to have the wedding here at the CTC :D hahaha – just all around hilariousness.

::::::::::::::::::TRANSFER OF POWER::::::::::::::::::

Tomorrow we have the day off because it is the Presidential Inauguration – Felipe Calderon will officially take office and take the power from Vicente Fox. I hope the transfer of power goes smoothly and no one does anything retarded. For the most part I think people enjoy the long weekend and get out of Dodge…I’m just hoping that everything is calm so I can get to and from the airport OK. I would just have Pat take El Caminante (the bus service) but I don’t think I can stand to wait an extra two to three hours until I see him. It would just drive me crazy!!!

::::::::::::::::::CHRISTMAS FAVORITES::::::::::::::::::

Since I’m on a Christmas Music kick, I thought I’d list some of my all time favorite Albums……here there are in no particular order:

Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers: Once Upon A Christmas – Quite possibly one of my favorite Christmas albums ever! Every song just makes me want to cuddle up by the fire in a cabin in Gatlinburg, Tennessee and sip hot cocoa with a candy cane in it. I remember thinking as a kid that I thought they should be married because they were just too cute and sang so well together. I don’t think they ever were though. I think this also has lots of fuzzy warm memories attached to it because my mom always would play the LP at Christmas time, for as long as I can remember!

Bing Crosby: White Christmas – just an all around classic. The guy’s voice is amazing and tranquil and just full of tradition and spirit. Who else can get away with demanding Christmas as needing to be White, and also spending Christmas in Hawaii (Me’le Kalikimaka) on the same album? And I think his rendition of Jingle Bells (with the Andrews Sisters?) is top notch – one of my all time faves!

Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas – I LOVE THIS ALBUM! I think it was the first Christmas CD I bought myself. In general I think Mariah is awesome (albeit maybe a bit nutzo) and has an amazing set of pipes, and I love the style of these songs – kinda gospely, kinda ballady – but all over amazing. I remember one particular Christmas Tree Hunting trip where on the way home we were listening to the CD, and during one song we tried to count how many times “Jesus” was said (The song is Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child – very Gospel Revival-y). I think we made it to 200 and gave up….but it was kind of fun! Also attached to this album – memories of missing my long distance boyfriends deployed overseas or stationed across the country while bawling my eyeballs out to the song Miss you Most (At Christmas Time). Also probably my favorite O Holy Night rendition ever (*NSYNC’s acapella version is a close second. Don’t laugh – it’s pretty awesome!).

The Jackson 5: Christmas Album – this is another one of those albums my mom used to play. Love it! This contains favorites with a soulful twist, and Michael Jackson when he was cute, little and still black. It’s nearly impossible to be still while listening to this – and I can honestly say the only Christmas album where I’ve felt the urge to “break it down” – especially in the car. I’m pretty sure all the Mexican’s think I’m crazy!

Vince Guaraldi Trio: A Charlie Brown Christmas – not all the songs on this album are even classic Christmas songs, but I’ve watched the TV show practically every year I’ve been alive and its just one of those collections that are synonymous with the holiday season. And it’s fun and cheery – how can you not like it!?!

OK, I think I’ve killed enough time – still 8.5 hours left to go. I hope everyone has a great day, and I’ll post again on Monday!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

And that's the way it is

::::::::PAT O'BRIEN COUNTDOWN::::::::

Only two more sleeps until Pat O'Brien gets here! I don't think we'll be doing anything special. Toluca is in the semifinals on Sunday, so if we can get tickets, I think we'll go to that - because when in Rome, do as the Romans - and I'd like him to experience the thrill of Mexican Futból.....but other than that, no plans at all. I think we were so burned out by our trip in July where we crammed 2,000 into three days, that we're making up for it by not doing anything, which is totally cool with me. Besides, the December trip will be another non-relaxing one, with lots of holiday parties and visits and such. Don't get me wrong, I love being with family, its just that its draining, know what I mean????


I have so much work to do – really all i want to do is curl up under my desk and sleep. But, I shant, so I am just mustering up the will to attack it all. I’ve got a plan, and I know I will achieve it, it just may take me a few more cups of coffee.


Speaking of coffee – I don’t really like to drink it, and I don’t consider myself a coffee drinker. Really, it tastes OK, but I don’t like the way it makes my pee smell. TMI, I know, but everyone knows it does that. I just want to know how the Joe Heads can live with themselves smelling that every time they go to the bathroom for their entire lives.

Anyway, as I said, I don’t drink much coffee, but I have this week and last for some reason, and now I think I’m addicted. Its not really coffee, but sugar infused mocha cappuccino – gas station style. We’ve got a machine here in the office. I’m glad I dind’t find it before…….because then I might be a Joe Head. It doesn’t help that I am sooooooo stinking tired and need the pick me up, but coffee has got to be safer for your body than red bull, right? I plan on kicking the habit… soon as I start getting more sleep!

::::::::CHRISTMAS MUSIC::::::::

Ahhhh – I love Christmas music! And I got news yesterday that Troy burned me a DVD with all my music (including my 500+ song Christmas collection) and sent it to Pat O’Brien! WHooo HOO! That means I’ll have more holiday favorites to enjoy on Thursday! Playing right now….”Holy Shit its Christmas” by Red Peters. It’s a good song, you should check it out. It’s on shuffle right now, so if I’m lucky I’ll get one of the Jackson 5 songs next.

::::::::AND NOW, YOUR MOMENT OF ZEN::::::::

I will leave you with this… was posted on Yahoo as TV LAND LISTS “CATCHPHRASES” I’d have to say, I can appreciate them all, but the one that gave me chills when I read it was "Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics). Just made me all tingley incide. It makes me laugh how that phrase can be on the same list as “I’m Rick James, Bitch!”. So, whats your favorite??

In alphabetical order, TV Land's list:
_"Aaay" (Fonzie, "Happy Days")
_"And that's the way it is" (Walter Cronkite, "CBS Evening News")
_"Ask not what your country can do for you ..." (John F. Kennedy)
_"Baby, you're the greatest" (Jackie Gleason as Ralph Kramden, "The Honeymooners")
_"Bam!" (Emeril Lagasse, "Emeril Live")
_"Book 'em, Danno" (Steve McGarrett, "Hawaii Five-O")
_"Come on down!" (Johnny Olson, "The Price is Right")
_"Danger, Will Robinson" (Robot, "Lost in Space")
_"De plane! De plane!" (Tattoo, "Fantasy Island")
_"Denny Crane" (Denny Crane, "Boston Legal")
_"Do you believe in miracles?" (Al Michaels, 1980 Winter Olympics)
_"D'oh!" (Homer Simpson, "The Simpsons")
_"Don't make me angry ..." (David Banner, "The Incredible Hulk")
_"Dyn-o-mite" (J.J., "Good Times")
_"Elizabeth, I'm coming!" (Fred Sanford, "Sanford and Son")
_"Gee, Mrs. Cleaver ..." (Eddie Haskell, "Leave it to Beaver")
_"God'll get you for that" (Maude, "Maude")
_"Good grief" (Charlie Brown, "Peanuts" specials)
_"Good night, and good luck" (Edward R. Murrow, "See It Now")
_"Good night, John Boy" ("The Waltons")
_"Have you no sense of decency?" (Joseph Welch to Sen. McCarthy)
_"Heh heh" (Beavis and Butt-head, "Beavis and Butthead")
_"Here it is, your moment of Zen" (Jon Stewart, "The Daily Show")
_"Here's Johnny!" (Ed McMahon, "The Tonight Show")
_"Hey now!" (Hank Kingsley, "The Larry Sanders Show")
_"Hey hey hey!" (Dwayne Nelson, "What's Happening!!")
_"Hey hey hey!" (Fat Albert, "Fat Albert")
_"Holy (whatever), Batman!" (Robin, "Batman")
_"Holy crap!" (Frank Barone, "Everybody Loves Raymond")
_"Homey don't play that!" (Homey the Clown, "In Living Color")
_"How sweet it is!" (Jackie Gleason, "The Jackie Gleason Show")
_"How you doin'?" (Joey Tribbiani, "Friends")
_"I can't believe I ate the whole thing" (Alka Seltzer ad)
_"I know nothing!" (Sgt. Schultz, "Hogan's Heroes")
_"I love it when a plan comes together" (Hannibal, "The A-Team")
_"I want my MTV!" (MTV ad)
_"I'm Larry, this is my brother Darryl ..." (Larry, "Newhart")
_"I'm not a crook ..." (Richard Nixon)
_"I'm not a doctor, but I play one on TV" (Vicks Formula 44 ad)
_"I'm Rick James, bitch!" (Dave Chappelle as Rick James, "Chappelle's Show")
_"Is that your final answer?" (Regis Philbin, "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire")
_"It keeps going and going and going ..." (Energizer Batteries ad)
_"It takes a licking ..." (Timex ad)
_"Jane, you ignorant slut" (Dan Aykroyd to Jane Curtin, "Saturday Night Live")
_"Just one more thing ..." (Columbo, "Columbo")
_"Let's be careful out there" (Sgt. Esterhaus, "Hill Street Blues")
_"Let's get ready to rumble!" (Michael Buffer, various sports events)
_"Live long and prosper" (Spock, "Star Trek")
_"Makin' whoopie" (Bob Eubanks, "The Newlywed Game")
_"Mom always liked you best" (Tommy Smothers, "The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour")
_"Never assume ..." (Felix Unger, "The Odd Couple")
_"Nip it!" (Barney Fife, "The Andy Griffith Show")
_"No soup for you!" (The Soup Nazi, "Seinfeld")
_"Norm!" ("Cheers")
_"Now cut that out!" (Jack Benny, "The Jack Benny Program")
_"Oh, my God! They killed Kenny!" (Stan and Kyle, "South Park")
_"Oh, my nose!" (Marcia Brady, "The Brady Bunch")
_"One small step for man ..." (Neil Armstrong)
_"Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" (Grey Poupon ad)
_"Read my lips: No new taxes!" (George H.W. Bush)
_"Resistance is futile" (Picard as Borg, "Star Trek: The Next Generation")
_"Say good night, Gracie" (George Burns, "The Burns & Allen Show")
_"Schwing!" ( Mike Myers and Dana Carvey as Wayne and Garth, "Saturday Night Live")
_"Senator, you're no Jack Kennedy" (Lloyd Bentsen to Dan Quayle)
_"Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids" (Trix cereal ad)
_"Smile, you're on `Candid Camera'" ("Candid Camera")
_"Sock it to me" ("Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In")
_"Space, the final frontier ..." (Capt. Kirk, "Star Trek")
_"Stifle!" (Archie Bunker, "All in the Family")
_"Suit up!" (Barney Stinson, "How I Met Your Mother")
_"Tastes great! Less filling!" (Miller Lite beer ad)
_"Tell me what you don't like about yourself" (Dr. McNamara and Dr. Troy, "Nip/Tuck")
_"That's hot" (Paris Hilton, "The Simple Life")
_"The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat" (Jim McKay, "ABC's Wide World of Sports")
_"The tribe has spoken" (Jeff Probst, "Survivor")
_"The truth is out there" (Fox Mulder, "The X-Files")
_"This is the city ..." (Sgt. Joe Friday, "Dragnet")
_"Time to make the donuts" ("Dunkin' Donuts" ad)
_"Two thumbs up" (Siskel & Ebert, "Siskel & Ebert")
_"Up your nose with a rubber hose" (Vinnie Barbarino, "Welcome Back, Kotter")
_"We are two wild and crazy guys!" (Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd as Czech playboys, "Saturday Night Live")
_"Welcome to the O.C., bitch" (Luke, "The O.C.")
_"Well, isn't that special?" (Dana Carvey as the Church Lady, "Saturday Night Live")
_"We've got a really big show!" (Ed Sullivan, "The Ed Sullivan Show")
_"Whassup?" (Budweiser ad)
_"What you see is what you get!" (Geraldine, "The Flip Wilson Show")
_"Whatchoo talkin' 'bout, Willis?" (Arnold Drummond, "Diff'rent Strokes")
_"Where's the beef?" (Wendy's ad)
_"Who loves you, baby?" (Kojak, "Kojak")
_"Would you believe?" (Maxwell Smart, "Get Smart")
_"Yabba dabba do!" (Fred Flintstone, "The Flintstones")
_"Yada, yada, yada" ("Seinfeld")
_"Yeah, that's the ticket" (Jon Lovitz as the pathological liar, "Saturday Night Live")
_"You eeeediot!" (Ren, "Ren & Stimpy")
_"You look mahvelous!" ( Billy Crystal as Fernando, "Saturday Night Live")
_"You rang?" (Lurch, "The Addams Family")
_"You're fired!" (Donald Trump, "The Apprentice")
_"You've got spunk ..." (Lou Grant, "The Mary Taylor Moore Show")

Friday, November 24, 2006

OH, and I forgot...

After everyone left Keith and I were chillin before I headed up to bed, and we were watching an old Woody Woodpecker episode, circa 1964 ish. That shizzy is pretty hilarious.

Especially funny - the name of the villian - which I shall hereby use at every available opportunity.

The name?

Dirty McNasty.

Every time I say it out loud it just makes me laugh.

And a good time was had by all.....

Wow – my post was rather whiney yesterday, wasn’t it? Oh well – I’m back to normal now and in a rather joyous mood. Our dinner last night was a success – everyone seemed to enjoy the food – so much so that we don’t have much for leftovers….just a bit of mashed potatoes and some turkey. Oh, and lots of pies and cakes that people brought with them. It was pretty cool to be able to celebrate an American tradition with all our Mexican friends – they seemed genuinely excited to be able to experience it as well – everyone said it was a first for them! All in all, we had 12 people over, and managed to all fit at one long table (well, two tables put together). Conversation was good, beer and wine was a’flowing – and it was just a great night. Keith did a great job cooking – the food was delish. I was just happy to be able to entertain – I had forgotten how much I enjoyed it.

Oh, and just in case your wondering, I did not score any Pillsbury biscuits or croissants, but I did find some good little bread thingys at Wal-Mart, and they were rather tasty.

So, now it officially starts the Holiday season. Last year I was rather depressed, so I didn’t even listen much to Christmas music at all, but I am already all revved up for it this year. I’ve had Christmas music on at work and in the car, and hopefully I’ll get my tree all set up tonight as well. Christmas decorating always brings up another college memory for me:

1998 - 445 S. Fifth Avenue – I can’t remember if it was the weekend after Thanksgiving, or sometime later….but Danica and I bought one of those mini-barrels of Budweiser (no, not a pony keg, but the little cute tiny barrel – or big can if you will). We threw on Santa hats (or at least I did) decorated the house, and drank the whole stinkin thing! If I recall correctly we had a pretty good buzz going on there – and the house looked fantastic. It must have been the weekend after Thanksgiving because none of our other roommates were around…..I’ll have to look through my pics, because I think I took a couple…….

Not much for weekend plans in store – decorating and cleaning because Pat O’Brien will be here Thursday (YIPPIE!!!!). We may head to Puebla tomorrow morning for a Rugby Tournament….but that is yet to be officially determined. Hope everyone out there has a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving Part Deaux

I’ve been feeling relatively sorry for myself all day – as happens once and a while, but particularly when there is a family celebration that I am missing, or a holiday comes around. You’d think I’d be happy for the huge meal we are going to share with our friends, but instead I’m bitching and moaning how I can’t find stinkin Pilsbury biscuits to cook for dinner – cursing Mexico and cursing the fact that I can’t celebrate the way I would like and with whom I would like. God forbid an entire country and culture not bend backwards to provide Me with the kind of American Holiday I want……

Now that I have made an attempt to really think about what makes me so angry and upset about it all, it turns out that its a pretty selfish (and ridiculous) reason. Yes, its because I miss many people and want to be surrounded by people that I love. But I think another major contributing factor is that people are still having fun and celebrating and living just fine without me. I know its irrational and really normal people wouldn't think this way.....but it feels like "Eh, we don't need you around to live life and enjoy and have a good time - you're not THAT important". I guess thats the part that really makes me crabby. I just feel so lonely and left out, even though I'm here surrounded by family and quasi-family/friends.

Anyway, when I was browsing the web, looking for articles to read while I am procrastinating, and I came across this article: TROOPS ABROAD PROUD TO SERVE ON HOLIDAY

Shame on me for being so self centered.

I can find most of the foods that make my holiday special. I have a brother here to hug and friends to laugh and share with. I can say I will eat my meal without worrying about getting shot….heck, I even get to leave work a little bit early in order to help with some of the dinner preparations. There are many troops out there who won’t get to mark this holiday with anything special, who have to work around the clock, and yet they are still Thankful for their lives, and for the freedom they are protecting.

Maybe they bitch every once and a while too, but compared to me, I think they are entitled to it. Makes me feel pretty silly for my little pity party….and has definitely shined some ever so necessary perspective into my sheltered little life.

Feliz Día del Acción de Gracias

WOW – it feels like Thanksgiving here! Its FREEZING! And when I say freezing, I mean below 32°… least it was last night. YIKES! I’ve been sleeping with 5 blankets (plus my heating blankie) and the heater on most of the night, and I still wake up and its 56 degrees. ACK! No wonder why the kitties are trying to cuddle under the covers with me!

It reminds me of when I was in college, and Eunice and I were trying to be frugal after our first electric bill of the winter. Baseboard heaters with giant windows don’t allow for energy savings, let me tell ya. Anyway, we had the great idea that we wouldn’t turn on the heat until we could see our breath. I remember us inside the apartment studying with full winter gear - gloves, scarves and hats on……I don’t think that lasted too long. Once we told our parents what we were doing they graciously offered to help pay the heating bill. I think they were concerned that we might die from pneumonia. Although it was awful at the time, looking back on it now it makes me chuckle. Ahhh – the good ol’ days!

We’ve got all the goods for a nice dinner tonight – about 12 peeps or so will be coming. I was bummed because I couldn’t make my mom’s famous Strawberry Pretzel Dessert. Apparently Pretzels aren’t big sellers here, because we couldn’t find any. Weird, eh?

Well, I hope everyone has a fantastic Thanksgiving Day / weekend. It feels weird to be working on this day, but I can still be thankful, right?

I’m thankful for:
Pat O’Brien
My Family – and the family I will officially aquire in a few months
My true friends who have stuck by me through thick and thin
My new friends who are my Mexican Family
My brother who has kept me more or less sane this past year
My fluffy fuzzy warm and oh so cute kitties
Food on my table and a roof over my head
My feeble Spanish skilz
The Internet, which has kept me connected to the people I love while I’ve been so far away

With all the trials and tribulations, ups and downs, and all over general craziness I’ve faced over the past year, its not the crappy stuff I recall - but rather the love and support I’ve received – and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Hugs and Love to you all!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Yeah, I know.

I’ve been MIA. Just lots of things going on and not much desire to write much. You know, my typical “return to Mexico” feelings.

::::::::::::GOODBYE BO::::::::::::

A couple things, first, and belated I know, is a farewell to Bo. A cyber buddy made this layout, and I really wanted to share with everyone. You can visit her blog at

It was a bummer losing that game on Saturday, but what can you do. We went to Caliente with a few friends to watch it – intense, but just bumming’ just the same.

::::::::::::WEEKEND FUN::::::::::::

Monday was Revolution Day here, so we didn’t have to work, which is always cool.
So Sunday we headed to Valle de Bravo to visit our friend Ofo & Juan – Ofo’s family has a fantabulous condo, smack dab next to this beautiful waterfall. I didn’t want to go at first, because I had about a million things to do, but I thought it would be a good chance for me to actually get away and relax a little bit – so we did, and I’m glad we did. It was just kinda fun to drink, cook and laugh with friends. We left early in the morning on Monday to get back so I could take care of things, but it was a relaxing day nonetheless.


The interviews I had while in the US went very well – I have been offered an informal position, but am kind of waiting on the other one so I can compare jobs and take the best overall offer. I think I’d be happy in either position, and I know that I could succeed and have potential to move up in the company, it all kind of depends on the big picture – salary, benefits, 401K, etc. Since you silly peeps in the US don’t work Thursday & Friday, I’ll have to wait until next week to get those details.

Also relayed to me was the potential of me coming back earlier than I expected. I was planning on Mid Feburary, but it looks like some people maybe wanting me back in January. That is going to increase my workload significantly, but I think I can probably swing it if I keep pretty busy at work, come in on weekends, and stay until 10:00PM each night. No problem man. Easy breezy lemon squeezy.

::::::::::::PINCHE CARRO ISSUES::::::::::::

I love my little car. But its such a PITA when I don’t have it. I dropped it off last night at the Taller (mechanic shop) for a new brake job. Hopefully it will be done sometime today so I can use it tomorrow. Oh yeah, and just so you know, the sound of metal scrapping across metal on your brakes is never a good sound. And to me, its like nails on chalkboards. And I always feel like that means the brakes are going to give out at any second. Not a good thing to be thinking about as your going 85mph down a mountain.

So, because of my car issues I have to car pool to Mexico City today, and probably take a bus back. Ick. I’m so not loving public transportation. I’d rather be alone in my car. Anyway, hopefully its done today, so Keith can pick it up and I can have it for tomorrow morning.

Speaking of tomorrow….

::::::::::::HAPPY TURKEY DAY::::::::::::

Keith and I picked up a bird Monday afternoon (no, not a live one, it’s dead and frozen just like in the US), and will be hosting a small Thanksgiving dinner at our home. I feel kind of bad making Keith stay home and cook all day, but I have to go to this stinking class all week and I won’t be home until late. I think I may leave a few hours early though – to beat traffic in DF and to try to make it home before all the turkey is gone!

Anyway, everyone have a fun and safe and stuffed Thanksgiving – and make sure to be thankful for all the blessings you have in your life! I know I’ll be counting the kagillion that I have :)

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Halloweenie Pictures

Here's some pics of our pumpkins, house and our kickin' costumes. Sherrif Keith, and crazy mouse Karin.


I really love Halloween. I miss being able to go all out, you know? But, I did put on my cool Halloween toe socks on today. I love toe socks. Some people think that they are bothersome because it’s weird to have something in between your toes. I think that it’s like a little hug for each one of my tootsies. I love my feet :)!

You can catch a glimpes in that pic of the other socks I was torn between wearing today. They are also Halloween toe socks, but multi colored with green bats with googly pompom eyes and candy corn. Each toe is a different color. It was a tough choice :)

I also wore a little “costume” to work today. It was a grey mouse mask with glittery pink ears, grey mittens and a little grey tail with a cute pink bow on it. Everyone seemed to get a kick out of it, so my mission was accomplished. I had to take it off though – it’s hard to type with mittens on!

Keith and I carved pumpkins on Sunday afternoon. It was kinda nice but weird. I’m used to the pumpkin guts and everything being freezing cold from being outside. We had our gourds outside on the porch, and they were all, well, warm and gushy. It was very strange. Something I would have never even thought of had we not lived here – I guess that would be normal for a pumpkin out in the warm sunshine.

Keith said he hadn’t carved a pumpkin in years :) My pumpkin is way cute – but I guess so is Keith’s. I’ll post pics later…..I think we’re the only people in our neighborhood with real carved pumpkins! There are a couple of houses with plastic or metal ones though. And there are also lots of homes decorated. Tonight our privada is having a trick-or-treat thing around 6 or so – I’m going to leave work early so I can give out candy. Then after will be a little party, but I’m not sure if I’m going to that yet. I don’t really want to blow my healthy eating streak and I will be all by my lonesome….we’ll see how brave I am when the time comes.

If I don’t go, I’m going to start packing tonight for my trip. I’ll be gone two whole weeks! YIKES! Nov 2 – 9 will be in Denver for the Fall ACI Convention, then Chicago for *HOPEFULLY* a couple interviews, then maybe to St. Louis to help Pat setup some concrete tests. I come home on the 14th. Hard to believe it has been a year already, isn’t it? Anyway, if I’m out of the country when my work visa expires I get a 30 day grace period to renew it…..our legal department in Mexico City said that’s the best way to go. So I happily obliged!

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::ACI Chicas:::::::::::::::::::::::::
Here are a couple of photos that the ACI people took of us last Thursday at our meeting. I’ve never seen Orange and Black look so good! In the first pic, I’m in the middle, Veronica on my right with the black neck thingy on, and the intern, Angelica, is on my left – we bought matching shirts from Suburbia on accident! The second one features me and Angelica rockin' the registration table.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::: WEIGHT LOSS UPDATE:::::::::::::::::::::::::
I weighed in for the 1st weigh in 1 pound up from my starting weight, at 168. Dammit all anyway. But, I’ve adjusted a few things and I think it will make a big difference. Working out is going well – I had about 5 hours last week, and hope to exceed that this week also. It will be a challenge while I’m traveling, but I have a new, improved mentality so I will rise up and be victorious!!!

I probably won’t be blogging much while I’m away :o) See you on the 14th!!!

Friday, October 27, 2006

So it’s true….

Pat O’Brien mentioned something to me a while back about maybe possibly making an effort to make more entries when I’m in a good mood. I guess he has a point. I don’t want to make anybody more depressed! I was thinking about it again this week, because I haven’t had an entry since, what, Tuesday? And I’ve had a really good week! Been in a great mood – had lots of fabulous exercise and good experiences at work – but I guess I’m not moved much to write about that kind of stuff. Yes, this blog is supposed to be an account of all my experiences, good and bad, but I suppose that it’s turned into more of a therapeutic exercise for me – so I write more when I’m having a bad day or crabby or pissy just because I feel like getting it out. Understand? Eh – if not, ni modo, I get myself…..most days.

Wednesday I made my way to Planta Apaxco to learn some techniques for testing Total Alkali’s and water soluble alkalis of aggregates. I felt like I was in my element – learning new things, meeting new people – I really enjoy that. It makes me feel like, well, me. Happy and cheery and chirpy and making people laugh and all that. I did get lost on the way home. Twice. But I didn’t fret much because I had a map, a compass, a full tank of gas and lots of day light. I was pretty proud of myself for not freaking out!

After I got home from the plant I went to my favorite clothing store, Suburbia (part of the Wal-Mart chain here) and went looking for black pants and an orange shirt – our unofficial uniform for our ACI Magna meeting. I found that – well, a black suit actually, not just pants – plus about four more shirts, a pair of black leather boots (my Payless pleather boots had survived two years, and have just about had it), a pair of fabulous sunglasses (have I mentioned I’m addicted to sunglasses? A girl can never have enough) and a little present for Karli girl for Christmas. I have to stop spending money on that girl – but every where I go I find something that I think she’ll like!!! All in all, I spent about $2300 pesos, but it all serves dual purpose because I’ll be able to wear almost everything I bought at the ACI meeting in Denver next week. Oh, and I came into almost $6000 pesos in medical reimbursements, so I had a little money burning a hole in my pocket anyway.

I was surprised I liked the black suit – I usually have an aversion to them. I tried on grey, pink, purple, brown, and pinstripes - everything possible before the black suit. But its classic and it looks really nice. I think the aversion stems from my days as a Victoria’s Secret girl – that was our uniform – black pants, any color shirt, and black jacket. My experience there terminated abruptly when I quit without two weeks notice because my manager kept scheduling me on weekends I had rugby tournaments. After the third time I just couldn’t take it any more. I mean, she HAD a copy of the schedule with my name written at the top. Did she think I was just making it up?!?! I remember the day I quit she told me “OK, well, if you quit without two weeks notice you’ll never be able to work for Victoria’s Secret or any other Limited, Inc. Company EVER again!!!” Ohhhh – please lady – threaten me some more. Did I mention I was going to be a Chemical Engineer? I don’t need you and I don’t need your stinkin store!!!

**sigh** of course, I still frequent the store because their products are oh so heavenly. Not even crazy Nazi manager lady could make me stop going there…..

Speaking of retail…..for some reason, around this time of year (holiday-ish season) I always get the urge to pick up a second job. Obviously I won’t be doing so here, but I definitely have the itch. I guess I just like the business and rush of the holiday season, decorations of the malls, helping crazed shoppers, and the fun of working in retail. Not sure if I’ll ever get it out of my system :) Aside from the Body Shop direct sales gig I had for a while, the last Holiday Retail gig I did was in 2000 at Old Navy. It was awesome because it was right across the street from my apartment complex......and I looooooove me some Old Navy!

Anyway, back to the rest of my fun week…..

Thursday I took my black suit with orange shirt wearin' ass to Mexico City for Holcim’s ACI Magna meeting. Veronica and I have been planning it for over two months, so it was nice to finally have it arrive! We had a lower than expected turnout – we were hoping for 100, got 60, but it was pretty good considering we were competing against a very popular industry meeting in Acapulco. Everything went well though, and aside from the balls of my feet feeling like they are going to explode (damn those 4 inch heels) I’m no worse for the wear. I also made a date to eat dinner with the Mexico City Chapter ACI president in Denver – so that’s kind of exciting too!

That brings me to today. I’ve been setting up some tests, but I’m going to be running them tomorrow – yup – that’s me, super hard core – working on a Saturday! I have to get these tests done before I leave on Thursday though, so have little other choice. ACK! That means only a three day work week next week! WOOO HOOO!!!! That’s an exciting surprise! Almost as exciting as when I heard on the radio today to make sure to remember to turn our clocks back an hour. I LOOOOOOOOVE falling back! It’s the only day where you get an extra hour, and that is just too cool!

Oh, and a big shout out to the 1977-ish SVSU (wait, wasn’t it SVSC wayyyyyy back then???) Cardinal Football team, a few of whom will be gathering at my parent’s place this weekend to imbibe in some friendly revelry – which I’m sure will entail drinking a lot of beer and pretending to be 20 again  Its not Homecoming – maybe more like an Alumni weekend, but there will be tailgating involved before the football game and SVSU will also be honoring our friend Tony Ceccacci (NASA Flight Director) as a distinguished graduate. I wish I could be there to watch the fun – they are a great group of guys, and their wives and families ain’t too shabby either : ) I have a lot of good memories of them together – I think maybe because it was always really great to see my parents so happy and having fun, acting like kids themselves.

Have A GREAT Weekend!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Get yer Tiger Pumpkin Stencils Here! **REPOST**

I've gotten a few hits (OK, more than a few....more like 15 in the past day alone!!!!) over the past view days of people doing google searches for the Detroit Tiger's Pumpkin I thought I would be nice and repost my original post so people could find the link it more easily! I'm sure the demand for these will die down after next, here it is!

:::::::::::ORIGINAL POST:::::::::::::::::

Its just what you always dreamed of - carving your own halloween pumpkin in a gentle, candle lit homage to our hometown heros. I think its kind of hilarious - I found them as I was browsing the Tiger's Fan Forum on their website.


Personally, I'm torn between these two.....but I'm pretty sure the old English D's gonna win out - just its just so darn classic.

Ohhhh – Nice and toasty warm!!!!

I finally am wearing the serape type thing I bought at La Quimera a few moons ago. Its relatively lightweight fabric, but its wool and it is soooooo toasty warm! It’s like wearing a blanket around me wherever I go! I officially *heart* it, and I shall keep it with me for the rest of my days. It will be perfect for those crisp fall days when you have to go to a high school football game, but it’s a little too warm to bust out the winter goods. I had to make sure to wear long sleeve shirt today though, because I didn’t want to have über itchy arms. Yeah, that’s right. I said über.

My alarm was apparently playing a good song when I woke up this morning, because I was dancing when I woke up. No, I didn’t start dancing in my bed after I woke up – I actually came to consciousness and realized I was dancing. Shaking my shoulders and hips and stuff – I don’t even know the name of the song, but I know I really like it a lot. You know, it’s hard to be in a bad mood when you wake up like that, because you can’t help but laugh at yourself, and laughing smiling first thing in the morning is pretty much an instant mood picker upper.

Ooohhh - a coworker just came in and gave me some yummy treats for my throat (I’ve been having slight allergy/throat/drainage issues over the past few days). It’s like an Über Halls Lozenge, but disguised as a honey lollipop. That’s right, über and lollipop in the same sentence. I’m on a roll. Anyway, it tastes pretty good, and its all natural, and it’s got some kind of menthol yumminess in it so I can actually breathe right now. Awesome! No, ÜBER awesome.

Hmmmm….I wonder if one can overuse an umlaut? Those are the dots above the Ü in ÜBER incase you were wondering.

I was supposed to stay the night at the plant in Apaxco tonight so I could do some super cool chemical testing stuffs tomorrow morning…..but I really would rather stay here tonight and go early tomorrow morning. I have good reasons…..

  • I have this phobia about staying in strange places by myself (I’m sure I’ve told you all before)
  • I have no idea if they even have TV’s that would get the Tiger’s game tonight, and I’m not about to miss one
  • I have a test to run here today that won’t be done until 5
  • I really should go shopping tonight for an outfit for a big meeting I have on Thursday.

Then again, I really should go just to experience staying in a cement village. They had them in the US back in the day – it’s a town just for cement workers and their families, which is a really good concept seeing as how cement plants are often in the middle of no wheres. Although I don't know how I would feel about living and working with the same people every single day. It would just be too twighlight zoney.

I need to make up my mind soon – because if I’m going today I need to leave at like 3:00PM……

Monday, October 23, 2006

AHHHHH – I’m a bottomless PIT!!!!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::weightloss activities:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

First I would like to say, I am very happy to announce a two pound loss this week, and an official recommitment to eating healthier and exercising. Yes, I realize that I recommit a lot, but at least I’m not giving up for good! I’m proud of myself that I keep on coming back instead of saying “Sheesh, what’s the use!?!?!”. I know what I have to do, I just need to motivation to stick to it.

Another proud moment - this marks week 3 of getting my arse out of bed at 6AM to go work out. It’s working out well – even though this morning I did NOT want to go – I was back to being grumpy cursing Karin – but I did NOT give myself the option to go back to bed….although I did catch a 15 minute nap while I was waiting for Keith to get out of the shower – we don’t have quite enough water pressure to run both of our showers at the same time.

I’m trying something a little different in addition to my eDiets and Ultimate Challenges this time.

I’m a member of The Biggest Digi Loser! It was started by a group of girls who posted at, and now is an all out contents – 4 teams – 60 participants! The reason I’m doing this is because A) I really am ready to get back on track, get back on the wagon and gitty up! And B) There are some FABULOUS prizes to be had – including a cash prize for the top two % losers over the 9 week challenge and also weekly digi-prizes donated by some fabulous designers! I think some of the weekly challenges will incorporate digiscrapping too – so it seemed like a great fit!

I’m a proud member of the Green team – although I must admit it may take a while to get used to saying “GO GREEN!”.

So where does this bottomless pit theme come in? Right now. I’ve been off birth control for three cycles now, and the one major thing I have noticed is not the crazy cravings of chocolate or crazy nuts bitchiness – but rather an INSATIABLE appetite the few days leading up to my period. I mean SERIOUS bottomless pit-ness. Last month, I was with Pat O’Brien those few days leading up and I gained, like, 6 pounds in a weekend!?!?! It just seems like no matter what I eat, I cannot get satisfied! So, I’m combating this in a couple ways:

1. I’m aware. So I’m not mindlessly shoving things in my mouth. Knowing is half the battle, right? (GI Joe….the real American Hero)
2. Although it will amount to more calories than I normally eat in a day, I’ve brought some healthier type snacks to shovel in today – I’ve got grapes, ham & swiss roll ups, almonds, microwave popcorn, Green Tea & oodles of water. Also 3 Almond Hershey kisses thrown in for good measure – hey, I can’t deprive myself here!
3. I’m not going to eat any of those items unless my belly is rumbling. Which as been pretty much all day – but it’s a good rule to follow anyway. No sense in eating if I’m already full…..

Tonight I have to make a pit stop at the SuperRama to pick up some more celery and some feta cheese. Mmmmm….feta! I’m going to make a Mediterranean CousCous dish tonight that just sounds DELISH!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::weekend activities:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

Friday night was a pretty chill night – although I did become engrossed in a WONDERFUL documentary on the History Channel called “THE HISTORY OF 1”. Not one person – but the number one. It was very interesting, and quite enjoyable. It trekked the journeys of the development of #1 from the times of the Romans, through India all the way to present times. They also included one’s partner, zero – and celebrated their importance. There was a whole segment on Binary code and how it came to be and how it changed the face of mathematics and computation. Binary code rocks!

Saturday was exciting – after my workout and cleaning fest (I mean SERIOUS Move Furniture Around Cleaning!) I picked up Keith from work and we hit Caliente to place a bet and then to WalMart to pick a few things up for Game 1 of the World Series! Beer and snackies and the like. We also found some real live pumpkins! Not sure when we’re going to carve them, but I’m kinda excited to do so! I’ve missed out on the whole feeling of fall with the 75°F weather and all.

It was a fun night having everyone over – we even ordered from a new local Pizza Joint that was WAY yummy! But I realized that I really don’t get to watch the game much when there are people to be talking to! Just as well the Tiger’s lost anyway – now I can’t have any more parties (Party = Loss, no party = WIN!). Glad they came back playing better in Game 2 – although Todd Jones had me worried there a bit in the 9th. I couldn’t even talk to Pat O’Brien during the game because every time I did something bad happened……

Sunday was a laundry / football / pajama all day day! I love those days sometimes!

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::scrappy activities:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

I didn’t get much scrapping done per se, but I did organize and label all 3000 different scrapbook elements that I have on my computer. HOORAY! It felt sooooo good to have that all done – it took me FOREVER!!! But now, it will save me oodles of time when I’m trying to find “the perfect” thing to match a picture! I used it when I was looking for stuff for this LO – It was the only one I did manage to get done this weekend – it was for a photo swap at ACOT - this little boy is just tooooo adorable!

Credits: Paper & Elements - Autumn Glory by Shannon Lee at; BeadyTrim - Shannon Lee at; Fonts - Rage, Batik Regular; Hand Stamped Alpha - Michelle Coleman

Journaling Reads:
I rode on the paths of
crisp dry leaves
that flamed with color and
crackled with laughter.

That sounds like a good enough recap for me – hope all is well with all you out there in cyberlandia!

P.S. I have 80's Party Tunes playing on the iPod now - a list created by Keith. Question for you all - can anyone hear "I Think We're Alone Now" without thinking of Tiffany's spread in Playboy???