Sunday, September 27, 2009

Birthdays, Football and U2

September has been a busy month for me, hence the lack of updates. September is also one of my favorite months. Why you ask?

Let's see. I turned 31, though people at the restaurant swore up and down I didn't look a day over 21. I'll take it. Hell, I was carded a month ago, too. This past month I wished about 20 different people Happy Birthday and I'm not even done yet. The most important person is my nephew; he will be 8 years old. He's the only person that can make me feel old.


It's football season people. I do not have a favorite team nor do I participate in any fantasy leagues (they are a waste of time in my opinion), but I love watching the games (minus my husband's extra commentary). The Jets look great this season and their new QB, Sanchez, just may make Rookie of the Year if he keeps up the work he's doing (minus those silly rookie mistakes he made today). The Giants... look the same. We'll see where they go. The Cowboys... ummm... yeah... Texas always has to do everything bigger, but not necessarily better. Who was the genius who thought it was a good idea having the huge jumbotron so low to the field? And those cage dancers? Really? Cage dancers? As Cris Collingsworth said, "It's the Triple AAA for the cheerleaders."

Brett Favre is back; he's the new Michael Jordan of football. Kurt Warner seems to be ageless and still good. Adrian Petersen looks amazing as always and the Bengals... well, at least they have OchoCinco...

My picks for the Super Bowl?


Why not? Just don't quote me on that, I never said I was a football expert. :o)

Finally... U2. This year I had the privilege of seeing U2 in concert. I considered this my other birthday present to myself. The 360 Tour is the second concert I've seen live. (I saw their PopMart tour back in '97). The smartest thing ever done was having a 360 degree stage. I felt more a part of the concert than ever before and I was all the way in the top tier. Not to mention that there was NO bad seat in the house. You can't go wrong. Their opening act was Muse and I have to say, I'm convert now. Here's a little peek at what I was excited to see...

Here's a peek at U2:

I also sent in an application for a post baccalaureate program. I'm going to try and become the doctor I should have been already. Let's hope everything works out well, shall we?

There are two days (or three, depending on when you're reading this) left to September. I wonder what else I can squeeze in before October rolls around.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Beer Babies

I saw something rather disturbing today... Babies, toddlers and other small children (aka under the age of 21) relaxing at the Beer Garden.

Now some of you may think that the Beer Garden is an actual garden and I will forgive you for not knowing, but the Beer Garden is, for all intents and purposes, a huge outdoor bar. I didn't take any pictures because I did not want to have to deal with privacy issues and such, but believe me when I say that the bathroom even has a baby-changing station.

Ridiculous? YES!

What are these parents thinking? "Hello, I'm raising my child to be a future alcoholic of America. I also plan on helping him/her when s/he goes to AA meetings."


Why would you want to subject your young'uns to a bunch of obnoxious drunk beer drinkers that act like children? Oh wait... the kids are in their element then, nevermind... proceed with the corruption of our future.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Death Becomes Us

I haven't written in a while and there is no excuse for my idleness. I do know you'll forgive me though.

Today's topic of choice: Death

The last two months the public has seen a myriad of deaths from the most newsworthy to the little "who was that again?"

So here's a list of those that died just as a reminder...

1) Michael Jackson - I don't think I need to cover his death anymore. The media had a field day with his passing as it was. I will say, though, that it pains me when I read or hear people say things like "he deserved it, he was a pedophile" or "he was a weirdo anyway, good riddance." The man made some strange choices no doubt, but to wish someone's death like that or to say cruel things is uncalled for in my book. Whether he did anything or not, doesn't matter. He was still the man!

2) Farrah Fawcett - I was too young to appreciate her and really the wrong color as well. It's hard for me to look up to her, but she was every teen boy's wet dream... including my husband's, so that must count for something. I do think she was very strong though, it's not easy dying a slow death from cancer and having the will to live after learning that you don't have much longer to live. I just hope she lived those last days to the fullest.

3) Ed McMahon - Here's Johnny! There goes Ed... don't have much to say except I wish they never canceled the original American Idol... Star Search. I loved that show!

4) Walter Cronkite - people were upset about his death. I wasn't. He was old, he lived a long life, I'm sure he was fine with it.

5) Arturo Gatti - Known for the greatest boxing trilogy against Mickey Ward. His career was already on the decline if it hadn't already hit rock bottom with his recent losses. It's still a shame to see someone tragically killed. The investigation into his death is still open. I think his wife killed him, but who knows for sure.

6) Vernon Forrest - another great fighter. I just learned of his death yesterday. He was my husband's age. It's tough to see another good one go. We watched his last fight against Sergio "Latin Snake" Mora last night. It was his last fight and he lost, but just barely. He still lives in in the books though.

7) Steve McNair - Titans quarterback. Two words: Crazy lover. Men, if you plan on cheating on your wives make sure the woman is mentally stable. He had a good career and it was literally blown away.

8) Other notable deaths: Robert McNamara (former Secretary of Defense), Frank McCourt (author), E. Lynn Harris (author), Merce Cunningham (dancer/choreographer).

I could sit here and ask what in the world is going on because of all of the people are dying. OH MY GOD!!!!!

Right, I could, but I won't. People die everyday. It's a part of life. The moment we are born we begin to die. This isn't a bad thing. This just tells us that we need to live our life to the fullest because we never know when it's going to end. My father died two and half years ago. I was witness to it and I can say that he died with a smile on his face. His last vision was of me, my sister and his wife. He died knowing we were going to be okay. Did he die too young? For me, he did, but I liked spending time with him. Was it his time to go? Apparently so.

So here's a moment of silence to everyone that has died and everyone who is still alive not truly living. If you're not living, get off your asses and get to it!

I've made my peace, have you made yours?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

What the Blood Clot?!?!?!

Wow. I know you guys have missed me. I've missed myself. It seems my life went for a little roller coaster ride the last couple of months. The most important thing that's husband was diagnosed with blood clots...multiple clots. Now, this wouldn't be such an issue if he were 60 years old, but he's a very healthy 38 year old man. Strange, huh?

Apparently not...

My husband was hospitalized twice. The first time when he was diagnosed which was a complete waste of time. The second time they actually removed the most of the clotting. However, both times it was brought to our attention how common blood clots are these days... among young people. I wish I knew what the exact numbers were by age group. The only statistic I found was that 1 in 1000 people a year get DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis - the official term for blood clots in the lower extremities).

I don't know about you, but I find this very odd. It's not normal. What's worse was the nurse said that doctors are recommending people take Heparin shots before they fly to reduce the risk of clotting. Ok. People have been traveling for decades now and clotting, while certainly a risk because of the lack of movement on a plane, was never that big of an issue. My little conspiracy mind is going a mile a minute though wondering what the hell is going on. There should be no reason to take any type of medication if you don't need it.

Heparin for those of you that do not know is a pretty powerful blood thinner and anti-coagulant. The biggest side effect, of course, is that your blood thins and doesn't coagulate properly. So please tell me why anyone would willingly subject themselves to this major side effect for a couple of hours on a plane, especially if you are not pre-disposed to getting clots. It makes no sense. That doctors are telling people to get these shots makes even less sense...unless they are getting a kickback or worse, there's something else in those shots. Hey I don't put it past our government. They've done some f'd up things in the past.

Just to be on the safe side though, here is a list of things that can cause blood clots:
  • Flying
  • Prolonged sitting
  • Pregnant, smoking, female
  • Birth control taking, smoking female
  • Trauma to the leg (getting kicked in the leg for instance or break/fracture of the leg)
  • Some surgeries
  • Genetics
  • Old age
There are more, but those are the the main ones. So watch yourselves kiddies... Don't want to see you in the hospital.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Reading, 'Riting, 'Rithmetic

The three R's. Obviously, whoever came up with that wasn't too bright considering that it's more like R, W, A or in another order RAW.

My early retirement has been going pretty well. I have indeed been reading, I have been writing (except not updating my blog as much as I said I would) and I have in fact been using some arithmetic... tutoring my friend's brother in math. Yes, I'm a bit of nerd.

So, what have I been reading? Well for starters a few books... yes all at the same time. I read depending on my mood. Here's the list:

1) Diana Gabaldon - The Fiery Cross (Outlander): This is book 5 of the Outlander series. My friend, E, got me totally hooked on the first book and I couldn't put it down. She bought the books, I borrowed, but to make it up to her, I bought the Outlander Companion book. Yes, I'm a fan.

2) Mario Livio - Is God a Mathematician?: I told you i was into Math. Not only am I tutoring, but I'm also reading about it. This is an interesting book about math and religion, almost a "which came first?" type thing. I haven't completely gotten into it, it requires a little more concentration that a regular book, but I will eventually finish it.

3) Brooke Allen - Moral Minority: Our Skeptical Founding Fathers: History, my other favorite subject. This is a great read for all of you who think our country was founded on religion. Nothing could be further from the truth. Our Founding Fathers (and really, they didn't find anything, the country was already here), were very much for separation of church and state and a few of them were devout atheists. Go figure! I'm almost done with the book, I will be passing it on to my mother.

4) Charlaine Harris - Shakespeare's Landlord (Lily Bard Mysteries, Book 1): Another series from the author of the Southern Vampire Mysteries (aka the True Blood series). I needed something to start reading on my new Kindle, so I decided to get this one. I like the True Blood series (which I've read), so I figured I'll give this one a shot and maybe the rest of her series too.

5) - Wow, this site has me totally addicted to its stories. I happened onto this site when I was checking out information on IMDB for New Moon (Twilight Saga) and I read the some of the posts in the forum. Someone mentioned a story "Wide Awake" that was a Bella/Edward story, minus the vampire theme. So I checked it out and now you can't get me to do anything else. Well, I take that back, I do other things and as you can see I also read. Anyway, there is FanFiction for almost every book, TV show, video game, etc out there. In other words, when you're not satisfied with a story, write your own version...

So that leads me to Writing. I was so hooked that I told my friend, E (the same as above), and she agreed too, that she should write her own FanFic of Twilight. And she did, check it out, it's called Bliss and it's a great story. She encouraged me to write my own Fanfic. Granted, I have a blog that I update, but that's not the same as writing a story. But I did, or rather I am. If you want to check it out (and review it), you can. It's called "Due To a Stalled Train Ahead." I won't tell you about it, just read it.

My ultimate goal in all of this is to eventually write my own original novel. I've always liked writing, but never had the time or motivation to do anything about it, until now. I certainly have the time and motivation since I'm not working anymore.

Oh and the 'rithmetic? As I said, I've been tutoring my friend's brother and I have to say it's fun getting back into math. It was always one of my favorite subjects in school and I always did well. One of the top in my classes...consistently.

All of this is making me nostalgic for my favorite show... School House Rock!!!!

3... is a magic number... oh yes it is....

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Early Retirement

Did you guys miss me? I'm sorry for the delay in updating my blog, I've been busy enjoying my early retirement. It seems that my company (which shall remain nameless, but the owner's daughter was famously "kidnapped" and then later robbed a bank back in the '70s), decided that, even though it was sitting on a large pile of cash, they wanted to hoard the cash and lay off some folks. I was one of them. Was I upset? not about getting laid off, but just in the manner that it happened. It was really one of those "oh hey you're gone effective immediately, pack your shit and go" type things. So, I did. I barely said bye to anyone (but there's always facebook). It was 2 or so in the afternoon when I found out and I was rather happy to get the hell out of there.

I liked the job, don't get me wrong, but I have better things to do with my time then sitting in front of a computer working for someone else. I can be sitting in front of a computer, updating my blog, selling on ebay, writing a novel, reconnecting with friends, searching for real estate deals, etc etc. the list can go on and I can do all of this from the comfort of my home or wherever there is free wi-fi. As a matter of fact, my ex-boyfriend was kind enough to even tell me about adding amazon to my blog so I can make some money. Thanks HMM. (yes, I still keep in touch with my ex... no my husband is not jealous).

As it is, my forced early retirement was the best opportunity for me. First of all, I was planning on quitting soon anyway. This turned out better considering that had I quit I would not have received severance, an extra month of health benefits (3 if I go with COBRA), or unemployment for a year. WOOOOOHOOOOOO. I think I hit the jackpot. So, of course, yours truly was trying very hard to play the part of the sad laid off worker, in reality all I wanted to do was laugh and jump for joy. So what does this mean for me? Truly, I wasn't joking about doing more important things. I can't exactly reveal what those things are because most people won't understand, but should everything work out, I will NEVER have to worry about money again. What I (and my husband) are doing is such a long and tedious process though that working was hindering this getting done sooner. Now, in just the two weeks that I've been laid off, we're almost done. On top of that, I've been doing the one thing I love to do... read (that will be another blog post because I do need to tell you about my new addiction).

So, I won't write much more for now, but do know that I will be updating my blog more often. I can't wait!

(oh, I also finally received my kindle... I'll talk about that later too).

Ciao for now!
Yours in randomness....

P.S. I would like to thank everyone, though, for the kind words when they found out I was laid off. My mom, especially; she took it the hardest, she actually cried. Seems that everyone is helping me look for a new job and I'm eternally grateful. My own set of personal head hunters. Thanks guys!!! (but let me enjoy my time and hopefully I won't have to go back to work).

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Friends... How Many of Us Have Them?

According to Facebook, yours truly has currently has 395 friends... and counting. I'm baffled that I know that many people. Well, let's truly think about this. Of those 395 people, I REALLY know about 100 and of those 100, I'm close to about 50 and of those 50, I talk to about 10 of them on a consistent basis. So really, how many friends do I have? 10, 50, 100 or almost 400?

So who comprises this lovely 395 number.

1) Family - I have to say that I've gotten closer to some family members because of Facebook. It's a beautiful thing. Sure there was e-mail, but for some of these people, I didn't even know they had any way of getting in contact with them until Facebook came around. So, yes, I'm grateful for that.

2) My true friends - why not. just another way to keep in touch with them. I love them just like family, they keep me sane.

3) Co-workers - common courtesy. I see them everyday, I occasionally say HI to a few them, it would be weird to sit next to them after ignoring their friend request.

4) School friends - This is probably the largest of the group. I went to 8 different schools in my life. Wow. I just realized I went to 8 different schools! I'm surprised I ever graduated on time. It's a good thing I was/am smart. Well because of all the moving around I developed many friendships around the country. I actively sought out some of these people since I was the one that moved. They wouldn't even know where to begin to find me if it were up to them. Lucky for me, they all remembered me (including the ones from kindergarten!) and they were curious about my whereabouts as well. Reconnecting with them has been a joy. Now, you have the others (mainly from HS) that are adding me as a friend. My first inclination is to ignore them. I kept to a select group of friends. Yes, most people knew me or knew of me, but a passing smile or hi, doesn't make me a friend. However, it still makes me feel good that they want to add me as a friend, it means I'm remembered. Or they just want to be able to look at the HS photos that they may be in. Who knows.

5) Other - this is the group of people that you've randomly met throughout your life, but can't classify them in a particular group. Online acquaintances, friends of friends... of friends... of friends, random people you meet in the street, even the husband's ex-girlfriends, which ironically enough, I am better friends with than my husband. lol

I have considered going through the list and removing some people that I really barely know, but I don't. I don't know if it's because there is something in me that likes the fact that all of these people know me and/or remember me; or if it's that I'm afraid of losing touch with them again and I'll have to wait until the next social networking site to come around to reconnect.... again. I would prefer to just leave them. Also, Facebook has made me realize how many people have been in my life, affected it in some way, shape or form. Some people are blurs, others are clear, but either way they made a great impact and in my case. 395 impacts. WOW!

Kindles and Rokus and iPods, Oh my!!!

I like gadgets. I like electronics. I do not let my husband near any electronic without my supervision. I'm always afraid he's going to erase something or break something or connect something incorrectly. Should I trust him? I suppose, but when he keeps asking me how to copy and paste something... I'll keep everything to myself.

My husband jokes around with me though. When the latest toy arrives, I'm like a kid in a candy store, until I get bored with it. No, I don't get bored with it, I get used to it. The first few days are spent learning everything I can about the object in question. So here are a few things that I own or will soon come into my possession.

1) The Amazon Kindle 2. That's right 2. Amazon unveiled the new version of their kindle yesterday and it's a beautiful little thing. This was my mother's gift to me for Christmas (did I ever tell you I was spoiled rotten?) and of course it was back-ordered. Well with the new unveiling, they have since discontinued the old Kindle and will be automatically upgrading anyone that bought, but has not received, the old one. Yours truly is a lucky winner. Look at it... it's so sleek!!!!

I can't wait to get my little hands on that. I've already told my husband to be prepared, I'll be spending quite a bit loading it with books. wooohoooo!!!! I just have to wait until, at the earliest, February 24th. *sigh*

2) My other new toy we purchased was the Roku Netflix Player. At $99 and pretty much "umlimited" movies, that's a steal. It's so cute and small too. I thought it would be a bigger box, but no. Small and petite like me. It works pretty well too. My only complaint is that it is streaming so every once in a while it'll stop to re-stream. Sometimes when it does that, the sound gets whacky so the syncing is off. I'm hearing before seeing or vice versa. This corrects after a bit, but oh well. I'll deal. The best part though, it's wireless. I can move it around my apartment and put it on my other tv's if I need to. :o)

3) iPods.... well that's a given. I've had mine for a while, but I still wanted to list it. I, of course, have the old Special Edition U2 30GB iPod and it will be a sad day in hell when I have to upgrade (that time is coming soon), but I will never get rid of it. It's done me proud these last few years. I love it. You will usually always find me with my iPod on. I love my music too.

4) Nintendo Wii. Ok this isn't so much a gadget as a videogame, but to me anything electronic can be considered a gadget. I don't play it often, but when I do, I can't get enough of it. I had to get my sister one for X-mas as well. I needed her to feel my addiction when she started playing. :o) She's hooked.

So, I'll keep you posted when I get the Kindle and which books I buy first. I'm already thinking about the next piece of equipment I'm going to buy. It is true, I do like those first few days of getting something new. Maybe it's the fact that I like learning new things. I will actually sit and read the whole instruction manual so I know the machine/gadget inside and out. Yes, I'm a nerd, but you love me anyway!

In the words of Mork: Na-nu, Na-nu

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Back to the Motherland

For those that know me, I am very proud to be of Cuban descent. So this year (or last year? I straddled years), I spent New Year's in Cuba. It was a great time and I wanted to share a little bit of Cuba with you all.

This was my 4th time going and my husband's first. He was scared!!! He thought he would either get stuck there or not be let back into the country . I told him he had nothing to worry about whatsoever. I forgot to mention to him, though, until the last minute, that we were going during the 50th Anniversary of the Cuban Revolution. Talk about a great time to go!!!!

Needless to say, he only got more paranoid. Too funny. Well, as it turned out, he LOVED it and can't wait to go back. So were all the festivities up to par? I wouldn't really know. I pretty much stayed with my family and did sight-seeing with the husband, of course the signs were everywhere, flags were everywhere and there was a general sense of pride emanating from everyone.

So what did my husband think of Cuba? As I said, he loved it, but more than that he felt it was quite peaceful; a land of survivors. There's a certain mystique to the island that drives everyone there. You have the sounds, sights and smells of the streets that draws you in:

But the tranquility of the ocean to relax you:

Varadero Beach

Then of course there's the history of this magical island:

El Morro

We didn't even see the whole island. We were confined, due to time limitations, to Havana, Pinar Del Rio (we went to ViƱales, where there are tobacco fields), and Matanzas (Varadero Beach). But as I said, we will be back soon and we'll see more of the island. I'll share some of those experiences as well.

Until the next post...

Oh, and yes, I brought back cigars and I've already smoked one. I don't smoke, but I'll always make an exception for the delicious cigars from my island.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My Favorite Band of all Time

I found out about 2 months ago that U2's next album, No Line on the Horizon, was coming out in March and it was available for pre-order on Amazon. Except, when I went to Amazon, they have about 4 different versions of the album. The plain album for $9.99, the limited edition digi-pak for $25.99, the magazine edition for $35.99, and the limited edition box set for $66.49 So many choices!!!! I will obviously get the box set, nothing less will do.

So what started my obsessions with U2. I honestly cannot say. I think I have to credit my sister. I was still too young to really appreciate their music when they first came out back in '79 (I was only one). By the time, their 6th album (The Joshua Tree) came out, I had already heard of them and liked some of their songs (New Year's Day, Two Hearst Beat as One, Sunday Bloody Sunday), but of course, With or Without You took the cake. I became a full-fledged fan then, and I'm sure that's when many people did too. However, I started to really listen to all of their albums, and I realized that all of their songs were good. yes ALL. I like each and every one of their albums, even Pop. Many people said it wasn't classic U2, but they obviously didn't hear it the way I did. :o)

So yes, I own every one of their albums, plus any album that they were either featured on or produced (soundtracks, singles, etc). If you happen to know of any other albums or songs that I may have missed, please feel free to share. I can never have enough U2.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tea Infuser or Ball Cruncher?

I'm back from my little hiatus and vacation. I will post about that shortly (and some other neat gadgets that have recently come under my ownership), but first, let's talk tea...

I love my tea, especially loose tea. So, some time ago I went and bought a tea infuser that I could use at work. It works pretty well, but every time I use it, I can't help to think how much it looks like a ball cruncher. And when I say ball, I am, of course, referring to the male genitalia. I also wonder how painful, if at all, it would be to actually use it. I know, sick and sadistic. :o)