Monday, July 31, 2006


Mondays. They almost always suck my ass. They especially suck my ass when I have a splitting migraine. They also especially suck my ass when I have had a migraine since Sunday afternoon. And when the only reason I peeled my no-seeing-out-of-my-left-eyeball-because-there-is-an-arrow-poking-through-it ass out of bed was to discuss this week’s testing program with Javier and I find out he’s on vacation all week. While I’m here I might as well attempt to get some work done – with my door closed and lights off in my office. Ugh. I hate this!

Although my hypochondriac self would like to think that my increased frequency of migraines is the result of a large tumor growing in my head, the more practical side of me realizes, or hypothesizes, that it is more likely the result of the increased nasal/sinus irritation that this great country brings, in addition to the increased amount of stress of just living here. The air quality is soooo crappy, I am always having issues with allergies and sinuses and other such crappy debilitating irritating things. Which makes me think I should go see an allergist, but I really don’t feel like A) finding one, B) trying to find the office and C) trying to explain in Spanish, my life history of allergies? A few people have recommended going to a homeopathic doctor – but I really just think they’re kooks, and if you don’t believe in the practice, there is no chance of their methods working. Maybe if my mood improves I’ll look for a specialist later today.

OK, enough of my crabbiness…..this weekend was fun – Friday Keith went out with the Wall Street crew and I just chilled at home making a gift for our friend Martha’s birthday. Her party was Sunday. On Saturday after Keith got out of work we went to Dos Rios to see the end of the Rugby tournament….which the Wallabies won! WHoooHOOO! I also managed to buy some fun Mexico Rugby shirts too, which is always a bonus. Keith was still hung over, so we didn’t stay long, and when we got back to Toluca we decided to get some grub at Texas Ribs in the mall. It was pretty yummy, but the baked potato left much to be desired.

Sunday we went to Martha and Fernando’s house, where we met their family and went to a neighbor's (who also shared the same birthday) for some barbacoa and beer. It was a really nice afternoon – a bit on the warm side when in the sun, but really nice when the clouds passed by or when we were in the shade. Maybe 80° tops. No humidity – just sunshine! Not like the 100°F searing humid head that is piercing the mid west and California right now. I hope that passes soon.

After we got home I started feeling woozy – and a migraine soon followed. I don’t normally get barfy when it comes to migraines – usually just sensitivity to light, and once in a while sound – so when I was barfy I couldn’t take the drugs to get rid of the migraine because they usually make my stomach a bit upset, and to me, being nauseated sometimes is worse than having a migraine. Sometimes. I tried everything else to get rid of it. Yogic stretching, nice long shower, my new neck massager. I should have taken the meds though because nothing else seems to work.

So, that’s about it. I am going to sleep under my desk now. Maybe that will help.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Me voy a casar

The meeting went well last night, although my ride got stuck in traffic after going to a jobsite and we were about 2 hours late. No big deal though, I managed to scrap a page while I was waiting…

Credits: Paper - Amy Teets, Font - Decker

We still made half of the technical presentation (we missed about an hour – a two hour long presentation! I’m glad we missed the first half!) and the important part – drinks and snackies! It was held at CEMEX, our competitors, CTCC (Center for Technology of Cement and Concrete). Not to be confused with the place I work at, CTC (Concrete Technology Center). It was a nice place! You can tell they are #1 here in Mexico – everything was top notch. The only down part was that I won a CEMEX water bottle at the raffle. Nice bottle, but bringing it to work would be like drinking Pepsi at a Coke plant. It’s just not right.

It was nice to practice my Spanish a bit more, also. Although I did manage to make some mistakes. We were talking about greetings, and I used a phrase with the word güey, which I thought meant “dude” or “man” as in, “What’s up, Man?” (“¿Qué onda güey?” is actually the example I used). Apparently it has a more negative & crude connotation to it that I wasn’t aware of. I mean, I hear it everywhere! Then I was told, yet again, that it’s a word I should use, because young ladies shouldn’t talk like that. UGH. That just makes steam come out of my ears. I can’t wait to get home to the US where I can be myself and talk and be as crude as I want and people won’t be appalled. That really bothers me here.

The other interesting mistake had to do with my excitement about spreading the news of my upcoming nuptials. I was telling people I was going to get married in March. Or so I thought. The phrase I was using, “Voy a casar” (casar is the verb To Marry) apparently sounds about the same as “Voy a cazar” – which means I am going hunting. As in killing deer and other small woodland creatures. Not exactly what I was trying to say. But, thanks to some friends who don’t mind laughing at me and then correcting me, I learned the appropriate saying, which is “Me voy a casar”, or “voy a casarme”. So now I know. And some people are still running around wondering why I am going hunting with my boyfriend in Chicago in March. Eh. It doesn’t really matter. I’ll probably never see them again anyway.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Happy Birthday!!!!!

A big giant super HAPPY 30th Birthday to my favorite person in the world PAT O’BRIEN!!!

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I was pretty bummed out that I couldn’t be there to do anything nice, like take him out to dinner or something like that. I did, however, manage for the first time ever to get a birthday present that (I think) the person doesn’t know about. Hopefully he’ll find out about it today – if not then tomorrow. If you’re reading this, Patrick, DAMMIT I just ruined the surprise. But I hope you like it still :o)

Other big news of the day……well, its actually old news for those of you who were camping with us at the Diaz Camp-O-Rama…..Pat O’Brien and I are officially getting married! WHOOOooOoOOOO HOooOOOOO! We’ll be getting hitched in Chicago sometime in March. We wanted to do Vegas, but its just not realistic with our and our families’ budgets….besides, Chicago rocks and there are very many cool places to do it. Of course those cool places all cost $5000 to rent not including the food, so we won’t be getting married in them, but we’ll find another option. Its going to be a small, intimate, short ceremony – just us, our parents, our siblings and our nieces and nephews – and then a nice dinner at a restaurant after. I’m looking forward to it! It will be about a month after I get home, so its more cool stuff to look forward to! And, just because it’s a small wedding doesn’t mean any less planning. I’ve still got a lot to take care of :o)

Funny thing – there is a dude called Rent-A-Rev who I’ve looked at to officiate the ceremony – and he’s the dude that married the My Fair Brady peeps that aired this weekend. The guy called Pat to make sure he knew the episode was airing. I thought that was funny. But hey, man, advertising is advertising – I’d work it anyway I could too!

I’m pretty bummed out because I planned on going to the gym to crunch out an hour of exercise, but I totally forgot about the meeting I have tonight in Mexico. Crap. And I almost totally got up early and went at 6AM. Seriously! I did! I woke up to call Pat and be the first to wish him Happy Birthday…..and I was planning on going to the gym right after. Unfortunately I took a nytol last night to help with the sleep, but I didn’t take it until like midnight because I thought maybe I could go to sleep by myself….so I was all super groggy and weird feeling. I figured it was best to stay away from heavy machinery and treadmills while feeling like that – so I went back to bed for an hour. So now, I’m going to have to get up early tomorrow morning and do it. I need at least 60 minutes three times a week.

Oh yeah, update on the scary Gyno-ness. I called the Doc this morning and he said that from the blood work I had done it looked like I needed a Measles booster. That was it. I was flippin out for nothing. They recommend getting the boosters for measles/chicken pox if you haven’t had them in a while to protect the fetus en utero. No, I’m not pregnant, but I am getting married in 8 months, so I figured I better get the works done to make sure the plumbing was all good to go for the next year.

Apparently everything else (pap smear, infection check, blood check) came out perfectly. It’s just like me though – I flip out and always expect the worst. I’m not sure why. Typically I’m not a pessimistic person, but when it comes to health issues I always feel like I’m gonna die. I definitely need to start seeing a shrink about that when I get back to the states.

You know, it doesn’t help that Keith comes home yesterday and tells me one of his students has Dengue Fever. I totally feel like I’ve been exposed. As a matter of fact, maybe strange, mysterious bruising and rashes is a symptom of Dengue Fever.

Ugh. I’m such a hypochondriac.

OK, off to Mexico. Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Miscelaneous stuff

I've been yelled at for not keeping more current......I really will try to get back to my regular posting schedule. Its been difficult though - usually I update at work, and for some reason our firewall has been blocking blogger, and on top of that I've actually been pretty busy. They finally have realized that I am leaving come hell or high water in February, and that I really need to have the lab time and resources dedicated to finishing my objectives. I finally have sent out some cylinders that should have been tested at 28 days...and now they are at 128. WTF!?!?! Anyway, it feels good to be busy.

Tonight Keith, myself and some new friends Jamie and Omar (from Keith's work) went to Wednesday night 27 peso movie night at the move theatre. We wanted to see Superman, but it was all sold out by time we got there....which is fine because if I see Superman I want to see it in 3D at IMAX......anyway, we decided to see "Viviendo con mi Ex".....or living with my Ex....or, the Breakup with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn. Actually pretty darn good. It was very real. Also very cool because of all the Chicago Shots / and thats my future home! They even mentioned a little bit of Ann Arbor (something about Michigan vs Notre Dame game). I really dug it.

It made me a bit emotional at one point where they are standing in an empty home with everything packed up and ready to move made all these raw emotions flood back from after Troy and I split up and sold the house and embarked on our new lives. I was bawling....and after the movie when I tried to explain to the crew why I was crying I just started to cry more....then, after talking to Pat O'Brien he told me nonchalantly mentioned the Gyno called and left a message...."No big deal". HA! Its never "not a big deal" when the doctor is calling you back after a pap smear and blood work. UGH. Just one more thing for me to freak out about.

OK, time to do yoga and head to bed. Hope all is well in cyber land.....if you're out there....reading....leave me a little comment or feels good to know that I'm not out here talking to myself.

Hasta Lluego!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Forgive my absence

I got home on Monday night, but have not felt much like blogging....mostly because I didn't want to make myself more sad by recounting all the wonderful things that happened this weekend. I had serious homesickness this time - worse than the last. I thought it was getting better, but alas, it has not.

I think it was worse this time because Pat O'Brien and I spent the time together in our new house / neighborhood.....and I loved it! The condo looks so awesome with our stuff in it (well, mostly his until I move in) and our neighborhood is so cute! It made me not want to leave - I want to start our life together NOW - not wait until February. It made me want to move my repatriation date up to November....but alas, I wouldn't be able to finish my projects and I would get slapped with all sorts of crazy taxes - so its best to wait til the beginning of next year. Mark my words though, if I can finagle a earlier than scheduled return, you can bet I will!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

A few words before heading out

I'm headed to Chicago tomorrow evening :) It should be a good time - its also the weekend of our Diaz Family Canoe Trip, so we will definitely have a good time!

Before I go I will leave you with a couple new layouts completed last week. One of my hunky hunky man.....

And one of our fun travels in Acapulco.

Have a great week! See you on Tuesday!

Monday, July 10, 2006

brown skin and bloodshot eyes

holy man. i am exhausted. it was a long trip for two days, but it was definitely a great time. i just wasn't prepared to feel like death when i woke up this mornig - two hours late for work!!!! no matter though, they are pretty cool. i'll just skip lunch and stay a bit late today.

got a great tan this weekend - managed to religously reapply sunscreen and not burn....but i am a yummy carmely brown :) except my lips. it seems that no matter how hard i try, even if i reapply sunscreen on my lips every hour, they always get burned. maybe i need to try zinc.

didn't sleep much over the weekend though. left at 4 am saturday monring, got back at 1:30 am monday morning. keith got even less sleep than i did since he dind't get back from going out satuyrday nigth until 8:30 sunday morning...i turned in at about 3AM cuz i am a ligth weight.

i'm still super exhausted, so you'll hve to excuse the typos. no, i'm not drunk, jus ttired. i had a total of two beers the whole weekend. just wans't quite in the mood i suppose.

the tourney was great, the hotel was nice, the pool was nicer and the 2 hour boat ride we had in the bay was the best. i opted to not watch the world cup but rather sit in the pool and enjoy the crowd response for a distance. it was a much better decision since I could have given a rats ass about who won. There were lots of frenchies around though - so it did make it exciting to listen to. they were all pretty heartbroken that they lost!

it really was a great time! also got to meet lots of great rugby players from around mexico and the world. They really are a nice bunch of boys! i'll have pics soon, i'm sure.....i'll post as soon as Keith downloads them and puts them on photobucket.

until then - back to work. only two more sleeps until i get to see pat o'brien! and our new house! whoo hoooO!OOOOO!OOOO!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Patriotic layout

after my patriotic post yesterday i figured it would be a good idea to post a patriotic layout, since i did one :)

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

What freedom means to me

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230 years our nation has been celebrating and defending the rights of freedom. I have always been the patriotic type - I think it had something to do with my obsession with Marines - but living in a foriegn country has definitely given me a different perspective. It means so much more to me, or maybe I am just more aware. I've seen a couple different things online, and watching the CBS evening news tonight, and I found my self all choked up watching the clip from the fireworks display in Chicago, or the story about new citizens, or even the story about the lonely families of Fort Hood, TX. I couldn't help myself from crying.

SO, although ususally when I think of the 4th of July, I usually have fireworks, beer and hot dogs on the brain, I decided to change my thoughts a bit and write a little bit about what freedom means to me. freedom means driving down the highway, and not having to look over your shoulder to see what cop is targeting you today.

freedom means being able to stop and ask the police for directions, and knowing they have your best insterests in mind, and are there to help you and keep you safe.

freedom means trusting that your vote has been and always will count.

freedom means being born into one social class, but knowing that you have the power and will have the opportunity to educate, increase and provide a better life for yourself.

freedom is remembering your family members who are currently serving, and have served this great country to protect your rights, and the rights of those around the world, and thanking them for every breath you get to breathe in the land of the free.

freedom is a promise. promise of a better life, promise of a new day, promise to be able to live your life as you see fit, without judgmet and predjudice.

freedom is not having to live in fear.

So, what freedoms are you thankful for?

Weekend plans

Ick. I just ate a pack of baby carrots. can i say how much i don't like veggies? ew. But, I bought a whole shit pile of groceries last night, and I have vowed to not let ANY go to waste. I'm still managing to lose weight without including a ton of fruits and veggies, but I am hoping that upping my good food intake will jump start my loss again.....I need to lose at least 1.5 pounds this week to reach my current challenge goals.

As far as weekend plans go.......

There is a rugby sevens tournament (they play with 7 players instead of 15) in Acapulco this weekend....its been planned for a while, but my brother's team (The Wallabies) didn't decide to participate until the last few weeks or so. We signed up today to go. $500 pesos each, includes a tournament shirt, bus ride there and back from DF, dinner and open bar saturday night, room at a 5 star hotel, breakfast on Sunday, and a World Cup finals viewing party on the big screen. Not a bad deal :)

For that price its a 4 person occupancy, but i think that instead of sharing a bed with keith and two other stinky smelly rugby guys, I might get my own room. At most it will be an extra $1000 pesos, and I just got an unexpected bonus (that I should be using to pay bills, but I'm not really) and I think I can afford it.

I'm looking forward to going to Acapulco again, even if it is for a short weekend. I could use the extra tannage to prepare for my canoe trip next weekend :) I can't very well show up in Michigan in front of all the Mexican side of the family and not look like I've been living in Mexico!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Good times, tense shoulders

We made it to the volcano yesterday, despite not wanting to wake up at the ass crack of dawn. But, based on my time living in Denver, I knew if we didn't make it up there by mid-morning we would risk running into some nasty storms. And, since the volcano does occasionally see some snow cover even in the summer, I didn't want to risk it.

We were up and at 'em and on the road by 8:00AM, and made it to the entrance of the park by 9. The ride up wasn't too bad, the road wasn't very well maintained, but I got to see a couple humming birds - huge hummingbirds - like the size of sparrows - but we didn't get any pics. There was lots of nice scenery and plenty of other things to keep me occupied. Lots of pretty pretty flowers, like this one:
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

We decided to not hike in the lower regions of el volcán, but rather opted to head right to the top to see the Lagos del Sol y Luna. Once I took a look at the road though, I started having second thoughts.

I've driven up many a mountain in my day, both on paved and unpaved roads. I've conquered Mount Evans & Pike's Peak repeated times (both over 14,000 ft), along with Trail Ridge and Fall River roads which head up the ridge in Rocky Mountain National Park, and through Red Mountain Pass (both about 12,000 ft). So really, despite being a nervous and paranoid person, cliff faces don't bother me, heights don't bother me, i figured it wasn't going to be a big deal when people at work told me the road was dangerous. It was a bit higher than any mountain I have been on (this summit was 14,700, as opposed to Mt. Evans which is the highest I have been at 14,264 ft...and even surpasses Colorado's Highest Fourteener - Mt. Elbert - 14,443)

I should have listened. Considering the repair of many of the roads in the city, when a Mexican tells you a road is dangerous, you better damn well belive the road is dangerous. It was really only bad for the last 3 miles......but those last three miles is what has my neck and arms all sore today - i was so flippin tense that last hour! The trail was so narrow, it barely wide enough to fit our car through. The roads were not only dirt and rock, but soo poorly maintained that every time we hit a rock or bump i was afraid we'd lose control and go careening off the side, even though we were going less than 5 mph. And of course, throw in the steep unguarded edges, hairpin turns, and the fact that this road supported two way traffic you can bet this paranoid girl was doing everything she could to NOT have a panic attack. Deep breathing doesn't work so well at 13,000 feet though....FYI. Not quite enough oxygen. Here's a couple pics, but it really doesn't do it justice...
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

When we reached the summit it was kind of anti-climactic, we haven't had a lot of rain, so the lakes were much smaller....maybe it was just because i was too wound up.....although it was kind of cool to be hanging out inside the crater of a volcano. At any rate, we managed to get out and hike for about an hour and took a few cool photos. it was a good work out, and it must ahve gotten my blood flowing well because i was much more relaxed on the way down, even though we had to park ourselves halfway up the side of the road in order to let people pass. i vaguely remember the rule of the road in Colorado to be that the person going down has the right of way, but I didn't bank on any person knowing that here (especially because people were having TAXI's take them up). So, anytime i spotted a car ahead the second we located a semi decent spot to park we did and waited for the other people to pass.

Pics at the summit......
Photobucket - Video and Image HostingPhotobucket - Video and Image Hosting

All in all, a good experience, but not one that I think I'll be repeating. Oh, I'm sure we'll head back and maybe hit a couple trails in the National Park, but if anyone is planning on visiting, you can cross heading to the Summit of the Nevado de Toluca off your list, because it AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN!!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

happy July 1st!

i feel kind of left out :( Everyone is headed to various places for the 4th of July weekend, and I won't even be able to get any real fireworks. Bums me out dude.

today is a chill day, since Keith is at work til 2pm. Tomorrow I think we'll go hiking at the Volcano. I've been meaning to go since we got here......we'll see how it goes.

tomorrow is Election Day for the President of Mexico. it will be intresting to see who wins (we should know by 8pm central time).....whomever wins will have a significant effect on future relations with the US. one guy is open to business exchange, another is rather bitter towards us, and the other guy seems like he doesn't really know whats going on. at any rate, it should be a close race.

I wanted to also take this opportunity to sing the praises of Adobe Photoshop. I love it. It takes good pictures, and can make them GREAT!

Original Photo

Photoshopped version :)