Saturday, December 27, 2008

New Year's Resolutions...

I used to do them as a kid because my parents made us do it. I haven't done them since I went to college. Recently, my piano teacher asked us to establish piano playing goals for 2009. On top of that, work requires us to write 5 goals for the year. While I hate the paperwork, there is something to be said about having explicit goals, so I decided to extend it to my whole life on a 1-year trial basis. I don't know how many you are supposed to have:

1. Put God first.

1. Complete writing the 2 piano pieces I am working on.
2. Complete my current piano level on the 2 methods. Get at least halfway through the next level.
3. Learn a piece I really want to play (deciding between the danza Coqui and Raul DiBlasio's Corazon de Nino).
4. Read at a minimum 1 book per month + 3 classics in the New Year.

1. Go skydiving.
2. Go to an Atlanta Symphonic Orchestra concert.
3. Help with set-building consistently at Dramatech for at least 1 show.
4. Visit a few Jazz venues.
5. Take advantage of the city and all the festivals and arts that are available.
6. Support local independent artists.
7. Learn to shoot a gun.

1. NYC--I haven't been in almost 2 years, and that is unacceptable.
2. Miami--I may decide to scratch this one off after visiting family nearby on Jan 4th.
3. Dallas--I have seen Elba for about 6 hours in the last 4 years or so, need to improve that stat.
4. See a new state with friends.

1. Develop a plan to leave the grasp of The Man within the next 10 years.
2. Go on an unorganized retreat away from the city before April, religious or not.
3. Continue an exercise regime and improve on the diet for the next year.

What are your resolutions?

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things that make me go Hmmmm....

Not one for the sap, but this is pretty neat.

And for comedy relief, I really want a CD by this guy!!

Friday, December 19, 2008

What's up?

Someone brought to my attention an old post in the blog. Then I realized we haven't posted in a while.

All is well. New job is good, Christmas tree is gone and we get to spend Christmas in PR.

God has been teaching me some lessons lately:
1. HE is in control and not me, I should not worry.--My new company laid off 150 people, 2 from my team, about 3 weeks into my new job. Somehow I was spared. One of the reasons I wanted to change jobs is the many lay-offs in the previous company.
2. I should obey when he speaks--We had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch with friends from many places. We did this in obedience (I hate to cook). I am not one to over-Godify everyday life, but maybe I should.
3. New people--I have had the opportunity to make new acquaintances at the new job. it was hard in the beginning. I was so used to moving in the road-warrior consultant world where everyone is equally outgoing and equally willing to meet new people (especially when it meant dinner is not eaten alone), that I had forgotten how the whole thing worked in the real world. I am re-learning and patiently waiting for Him to use these "new" bits for His glory.
4. Music--God has a plan for it all and I need to be diligent with my part.
5. Mysterious and Magnificent--God works in mysterious ways, at mysterious times, by mysterious circumstances and through mysterious people. I am overwhelmed by this truth. My cup is overflowing with his blessings. My mind is amazed by His power. My heart is glad. These ways, circumstances and especially these people, I am convinced, are God's way of lending us a taste of heaven here on earth.

Will hopefully update closer to year end with some resolutions.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

The Night Before Thanksgiving

'Twas the night before Thanksgiving, when in the garage
A single tree was standing - no not a mirage!

The limbs were still greenish with spots of light brown,
But this had to be done, or the house might burn down.
Patricia was at work, earning some bread,
While visions of mulch danced in my head.
The dog was still playing, and I hadn't begun,

When Patricia arrived home and saw what I'd done.
The garage smelled of pine, she said with a smile,
I replied, "It will be better, if you wait just a while!"
To the hedge trimmer, I went with great speed,

While Patricia took Mambo away with the lead.
The needles began to fall to the ground,
While the trimmer made trim-trimming sounds.
I paused only to take some quick photo shots,
Though few are displayed, I really took lots!

I circled the tree, trimming all around,
Then swept all the clippings into a small mound.
The needles, the branches, and the rest of the tree
(Not the trunk, I mean just the debris),
Went into bags - big ones and brown -
To be picked up by trucks, owned by the town.

With the Christmas stick, I decided to play,
I made it hold the broom, in more than one way!
First, like a hook, it held it so high,
Then balanced across (You should give this a try!).

Finally, I finished, but for one task,
Chopping the trunk, but I had not an axe!
No matter, a friend with a saw came by, you see,
And saw he did; We saw him saw the trunk of the tree!
The sawing, I didn't take pictures of, though.
So you can't see, but at least you can know
How the Christmas tree from 2007,
Stayed with us until month number eleven,
And how after 339 glorious days,
We said our good-byes and parted our ways.
So to all who are reading, before saying good-night,
Know Patricia is happy, that it is out of her sight!

Thursday, November 06, 2008

From Twilight to Eclipse (Thursday 13)

So, we haven't posted much lately. I am not really sure why because I have thought about it a bunch.

No Spoilers here if you have read through half of book 2.
I have been reading the stupid Twilight Series. I hate so much that I am unable to put the stupid books down!! I am halfway through Eclipse. I was super enchanted with Edward in book 1 and super mad at him in book 2. The I fell in love with Jacob and cannot understand why Bella would prefer Edward. Perfection should wear out at some point. Besides, there is only so much one should be able to glare without going cock-eyed, smell someone's breath without sending them to brush their teeth and wouldn't you rather cuddle with a pillow than a wall or be embraced in warm arms than cold ones? I guess it must be the whole rebellious teenager bit.

Then, there is the election. I do not like to discuss politics in an open forum like this. I think my political ideologies should be private. However, there is one question that I wonder:
Regardless of who you support, being that Obama ran on a platform of change there should be one question on everyone's minds will this be Twilight to Eclipse or Twilight to Dawn? This is a valid question wherever you stand because with big risks come big accomplishments or big failures.

Whoever you are:
1. Be conservative with money, lending and committments
2. Be conservative with energy.
3. This Christmas, shop for items that will provide entertainment for long periods so as to avoid spending on outings (board games, bicycles, etc).
4. Do the best job you can for your employer whether you think you are doomed for unemployment for life or whether you think you are indispensable, the whole economy will benefit from steady workers and God looks gladly on this committment.
5. Above all, be honest, resist temptation.
6. Enjoy your family and help others in need to provide them with the opportunity to enjoy their family as well.
7. Cherish the elderly, learn from their advice, bring joy to them any way you can.
8. Start a diet, no better time to eat less than now when the food is so expensive.
9. Exercise, it costs nothing to do a few push-ups and sit-ups and it will save energy from a TV that is off, money from entertainment you did not pay for and give you better sleep.
10. Listen to the kids. They usually have insight we do not, they see the world through oh so very simple eyes and oh so very calm places.
11. Wash your hands, do it often please... I do not want to catch a bad cold and I refuse to get vaccinated against the flu.
12. Root for Georgia Tech... especially if you are a Dawg. Ok, if you are outside of Georgia, root for a team where their athletes are more than race horses but are actually being challenged and working toward being productive in the future... like Georgia Tech.
13. Above all, praise God. Take this opportunity when you either have no President to defend (if you didn't vote for Obama) or where you have no candidate to sell (since your vote elected Obama) and get closer to God.

Happy day before Friday!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

And the winner is...


Sure enough, the 100 entries gave her an edge right into the winner's circle. A fair seed random number generator was used for complete fairness. Heidi, contact me through facebook so we can arrange pick-up. Due to the surprise nature of the tree type, no pictures had been posted in the giveaway announcement. However, I have managed to take some now and here they are: pictures of the all-natural, low-maintenance, organic, indoor tree. This tree has served us well for the past year and we hope it fills the Zawisa home with the same joy and good times as it did for us... May it bless you for many years to come!!

This experiment has worked so well, in fact, that I will be working on a next, even better, giveaway in the next weeks. Stay tuned all ye new followers... do not give up on us yet. There is more to come...

Giveaway pictures:

This tree has been featured in other posts such as:
Tag we are it
My husband the lizard-catcher Rocks!
Where have we been
Free mulch and other Thursday 13s

Here is what it looked like in its youth -- the free tree that we received the day before Jesus' birthday! It's the gift that keeps on giving!!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Nature Made!! Free!! Giveaway!! Enter now (ends October 12th at midnight)!!

So, Heidi is giving away a beautiful hand-made bulletin board. This has pumped her ratings in the blog-world very high!!

I cannot compete with Heidi though, just read the rest of her blog and you see why. Besides, she has all the mom's in the world on her side and we have no blog readers.

Either way, I discussed this new idea with Jamil and we are ready for our very first, free! giveaway. To enter, just leave a comment on this blog.

We are giving away, ONE ORGANIC ALL-NATURAL NATURE MADE TREE. This tree is an indoor tree and will require no painful planting in your yard (you could plant it in your yard if you prefer though). This contest is open to anyone willing to come to our house (background check required) and pick it up. For pick-up you will not need anything bigger than a mid-size sedan (we picked this tree up in our Accord), we do recommend you bring a trash bag as all trees are dirty. The kind of tree will be kept a surprise as we are an equal opportunity blog and would never discriminate amongst the Plant Kingdom. With the tree, you also get your very own J&P lunch! That is right folks! The winner gets lunch which will be at least Fast Food quality (this is to balance the organic giveaway, we are an equal opportunity blog and would never discriminate, besides organic means that it contains Carbon as does just about anything you eat--except rocks, metals and some dirt).

So, why wait? Enter now!! Leave a comment and get 1 entry, blog about this on your blog and get 10 entries (better than Heidi!!). Be the first to post a youtube video and get 100 entries (all others that post on youtube get 50 entries). This is an opportunity not to be missed. Contest ends October 12th at midnight, because Jamil and I got engaged on this date.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Tag WE are it!

Jessica has tagged us! The rules of the tag are as follows:
1.Post the rules on your blog.
2.Write six random things about yourself.
3.Tag six people at the end of your post.
4. If you are tagged, JUST DO IT, and pass the tag along.

Since Jessica actually tagged BOTH me and Jamil and in the spirit of Heidi's blog, I will divide these evenly between random things about me and random things about Jamil. For those of you still blind enough to believe Jamil is blameless and oh so nice, I have a Christmas Tree sitting in my living room, 3 months away from next Christmas (which is now this Christmas).

Six random thoughts:
1. Jamil is very sheltered. He has these ideas from when he was a kid that no one bothered to correct and I have had the arduous task to do so. Thank God for Google. Some samples: he used to think the Winter Olympics were the main event (ok he still does although he acknowledges the evidence), he used to think the guys holding "I need ticket signs" outside the stadium really did need tickets and almost gave away some really good ones to them and wouldn't believe they were scalpers and you should ask him one day what the pharmacist does in the back room when you deliver a prescription.
2. I call myself Puerto Rican, but truly, but American definition, I am not. I was born and raised there, but my mom is Cuban and my dad is Dominican so I am actually a 1st generation American.
3. Jamil is also a 1st generation American. But even better, he is actually African American because his parents were born and raised in Africa (which makes them African). The dimwit rejected attending Duke because the threatened to offer him a minority scholarship!! Boys and pride!
4. There is nothing I love more than white rice and cheese in bed. Yep, I can even eat and drink lying down and love me some white rice (non-Uncle Bens, cooked with salt) and a slice or two of American cheese melting on top. I learned this delicacy as a latch-key kid and I learned the lying down skill because for the first 11 years of my life, I ate every meal in that fashion spoiled at the hand of my grandmother, great grandmother and great grandmother's sister. My childhood was pure bliss!
5. Let's just say that Jamil does not like blood.
6. The idea of getting a puppy started with me. Although, by the time we were about to get him, I was halfway to my senses, I started the whole puppy craziness. That said, it started with me trying to get a reaction from Jamil and when he wouldn't react, I had to insist until I got a reaction, only I started to believe it myself. I don't regret it though and Mambo has helped lessen my ubiquitous fear of dogs.

I don't really think many people read this blog. Also, all the people I stalk have been tagged, so that leaves only people I know in person who blog (not many). I am a big rule believer though, so I'll tag 6 people as per the rules: Allison, Sarah, Christine Butcher, Pete (I am certain he doesn't read this but he hasn't been tagged so it satisfies the word of the law) and the Cranes.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


So my old boss has the cutest little red-headed kid. They live in deep south, rural South Carolina which is highly republican. They are still trying to figure this one out:

Sunday, September 14, 2008

My husband, the lizard catcher, ROCKS!

Jamil had a recent experience at Church where during the altar call he jumped in the front of the room, to the awe of our pastor to catch an intrusive lizard.

Yeah, that was probably a bit goofy, but he was just trying to save us women toward the front of the Church from being eaten by this lizard.... By the way, this was no ordinary lizard, this was a salamander about a foot in length (tail included) color black with yellow. Either way, I didn't see very many other men ready to tackle the beast, including Pete who, while from the country, does not know a lizard from a salamander.

Well, Jamil cooks, cleans, takes care of the puppy, does the laundry and works to bring home our daily bread and goes out of his way to find my food from home in odd places. It is very nice to know that a couple of weeks ago when I went to PR, he stayed with the puppy and I knew was coming home to a clean-ish (Esperanza was in Colombia... more on her later) house and all the clothes we needed for our Vegas trip nicely laid out.

Unfortunately, he is off the market, although I do rent him out to special, qualified women over a certain age. Fortunately though, I married him while he was still in his desirable age because his great charms are hidden under loads of geeky Star Trek, 1 hour showers, behind 2 computer monitors and between two HUGE ears and a big nose so you wouldn't want him anyway :P

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Where have we been?

Maybe one day I will write all the posts I meant to write in our hiatus. Here is the skinny (ok a little chubby really):

1. I quit my first full-time job in what was a very tough. I have been wanting to move to a different position on and off for the last year. I finally jumped the shark and now it is buh-bye.
2. I had some time off in between jobs which coupled with Labor Day weekend adds up to me going to Puerto Rico for a few days.
3. I couldn't leave Jamil without some jobless bliss, so my last weekend as an unemployed woman I took him (we really have one pocket, but this sounds funnier) to Las Vegas baby!
4. We met Miesha and her sister in Vegas. Jamil's "jamilness" showed up in full fling and we learned every "how to be cheap in Vegas" trick in the handbook thanks to me being out on the long weekend and Travel Channel's special on Vegas.
5. We saw David Copperfield and Blue Man Group (everyone must see BMG and Tobias actually fit BMG quite perfectly).
6. We came back and I have been at my new job for a grand 3 days. So far not a dull moment at work which is very nice!

Maybe Jamil will get bloggy and post some video and pictures. Our Christmas Tree went from green to orange right in time for Halloween so, since I dislike Halloween, now its death sentence has been called!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Free Mulch! and Other Thursday 13's

1. Do you have a mulcher?
2. A pickup truck?
3. Do you need dead used-to-be green matter?
4. Boy have I the solution for you.
5. Our Christmas Tree has just recently turned brown.
6. We will hopefully not be there in January when we can safely throw it out without weird looks from the HOA.
7. But I don't think the tree will make it another year.
8. So, if you have a truck and need pot-purri (ok it doesn't smell so much anymore)...
9. Maybe you need mulch? (ok maybe it is a little dry now).
10. If you like lighting things on fire?
11. Maybe you need to decorate your kids' classroom (not guaranteed to survive the travel).
12. I know, maybe you are someone with some influence over Jamil?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Thirteen Things This Thursday

1. I can't believe how fast everything has happened.
2. I can't believe I have accepted a job.
3. I can't believe I gave my 2 weeks notice.
4. I must be nuts!
5. No more working from home.
6. No more travelling to cool places.
7. Ok, maybe I will still get to travel some.
8. I hate the unknowns.
9. I am the queen of What If's.
10. I can't believe I am leaving the job that was my dream job not too long ago.
11. I hope the new job is all it is cracked up to be.
12. I am excited that I get to see my family soon.
13. So much to do at the old job, for the new job and even to go see my family.

I read that stress can take as much as 7 years away from your life expectancy. I feel like I am under constant stress. I am not even sure stress for what or about what. So, there it is... I am really leaving this time, I try not to think about it to try to increase my life expectancy.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Jamil missed the deadline and I got stopped by a cop

Happy Anniversary to us. We got married on August 1st. And here is Jamil's gift. One day, I will tell you how he booked our honeymoon. I cannot believe people think he is THE nice one:

No fair! Jamil missed the deadline to renew our cars' tags and I got stopped by a cop early in the morning for it. This is my first time being stopped and they gave me a warning and let me go. I am very thankful but I am very upset that I wasted my warning on something that was not my fault.

So this has caused a change in perspective... Perspective of how this mythical stop would occur.

Before I ever got stopped here is what I would have imagined:
Officer: Ma'am, do you know why I have stopped you?
Patricia: I am sorry, I am not sure.
Officer: Ma'am, your registration has expired.
Patricia: Oh really, wow... Hey, I got some medicine here, can you check the expiration date on that too?


Officer: Ma'am, your light is out.
Patricia: Oh, serious? I am so sorry, I better run and change it.
Officer: Ma'am, also your tires seem a little low.
Patricia: Yikes! Can you check my oil level while we are at it?

This is what actually took place:
Patricia (thinking): Oh my God this police car is behind me... Oh my God it is still behind me.... Please don't run my tag, please don't run my tag.... Jamil will die if she...
Officer: *whooot Whoot* *Bright lights*
Patricia (thinking): Oh Crap!!... I was certain I changed the proper distance past the intersection. I also put my indicator and looked to the side. Jamil is sooooo dead, there is no way she will not notice now.
Patricia (talking loudly in the car in hopes that the officer can hear): Ok, where do you want me to stop? Please don't shoot, I am going to pull into the parking lot in front. Look, I am slowing down. Ok, where do you want me to park?
Patricia (thinking): I better put my hands on the wheel. But how can I open the window if my hands are on the wheel. Maybe the officer will tell me.
Officer: *Tap Tap annoyed that the window is up*
Patricia: Ok, she has no gun and has seen I have no gun so I guess I will put my window down... I wonder if I am supposed to...
Officer: Ma'am, the reason I have stopped you is that your registration is expired.
Patricia (very annoyed at Jamil): I know!! I just had this conversation with my husband. We got the cars inspected last night.
Officer: May I see the receipt?
Patricia looks and realizes she does not have it because dim wit Jamil kept it to register the car even though he said we better keep it IN the car.
Patricia: Crap, my husband has it, but I can call him and get the number from him.
Officer: That will not be necessary, do you have your driver's license?
Patricia: Yes, Ma'am (thinking she is grateful she took it, since sometimes she forgets.)
Officer goes away for what seems like eternity, Patricia prays really hard that she will not write a ticket and mess up her clea record, oh and she hopes she could have Jamil deal with the cop instead but the head blink and nod is getting her nowhere near this goal.

Officer returns license: Ma'am, I am going to let you off with a warning this time since we are still in July but you need to take care of this immediately.
Patricia: Thank you, thank you. I am really sorry.
Officer: I will move out from behind you first, then you can leave.
Patricia agrees and proceeds to call Jamil on her cell phone while trying to exit the parking lot, losing all common sense and driving in the middle of the road rather than the side of the road until she realizes the cop can still stop her.

This morning, Jamil had still not registered the cars... EVEN THOUGH HE HAD ALL THE PAPERS HE NEEDED!!! I called him every 5 minutes until he did and we are driving legally once again. Jamil is not as ashamed as he should be.

Me likes to travel...

...But when I had the time, I had no money and when I have had money, there has been no time...

I am much farther behind on the 50 state feat than I thought... I guess with the depressed dollar we will speed up this list since travelling abroad is so much pricier.

create your own personalized map of the USA or check out ourCalifornia travel guide

And unfortunately, I am just as far behind on this one as I had expected.

create your own visited country map
or check our Venice travel guide

Anyone up for a trip this year?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

"I fear mediocrity more than death"

We recited this over and over on the first day of a life changing 10th grade. Benjamin Mendez, the 10th grade English teacher who just about wrote this in blood, would turn out to be both the best and the most dreaded teacher I ever had. He attended our wedding, in his white tuxedo, the designated pusher (you know in case I decided to walk backwards). He convinced me that my homesickness was only temporary and I wanted my Georgia Tech degree more than anything. He met and approved of Jamil. He was there when we were spent at a very tough and sketchy Forensics speech competition and I got my proud 6th or 8th place. I don't remember what place it was, but I remember he was there, just like he was there to convince me to stick in Forensics after I was edged out the previous year by some other strange circumstances. He was the first to hug me when I finished my speech as class Valedictorian. He was waiting at the bottom of the steps.

He is still alive somewhere in PR. It used to be that I could say he lived in my mind every time this phrase would sneak out into my thoughts. I fear mediocrity more than death... actually, I used to fear mediocrity more than death. Some days, and more frequently now that I work for THE MAN, I am not so sure. Somewhere in time, my fear of mediocrity has turned from fear to acceptance and I find myself resting in the easeness of a life that is content with what a minimum effort for what I need provides.

This needs to change. In fact, this change is starting now. Not only does Ben frown upon mediocrity but God does too. He has asked that everything we do should be done as if unto the Lord. How could I possibly offer mediocrity to a God who gave His only begotten Son for me? So what if my mediocrity goes by unnoticed, what if THE MAN, my friends, others are easily impressed? That is no excuse for me to settle at that level, because I do not do everything I do for anyone and I am not called to do it as if it was to THE MAN or as if it was to my friends or as if it was to others. I am called to do my duties as if onto the Lord.

Ben is no God, but God who provided me with Ben is a powerful God who works in mysterious ways, including excentric writings on a 10th grade English classroom wall at the hand of an unforgettable teacher. And so it is, that Ben was meant to have a one year impact in my life but instead has impacted my life in just about every season, even when it has been over a year since we last spoke. God bless Ben, God bless all the Ben's around the world and God continue to use Ben's to bless us and make us Ben's to bless others.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

I voted!!

And here is my sticker to prove it.

Here is a surprising fact...

Even though I am not afraid to express my opinion and I highly advocate excercising your vote whenever possible, I have never voted. Ok, so I did call a couple of times to vote on American Idol this season, but never for government posts.

Now, I registered to vote in Puerto Rico at 17. I eagerly looked forward to my first election in 2000, but I was in the U.S. and somehow missed my opportunity to vote by absentee ballot. Most people will brush that off saying ah.. those don't really even get counted, but there is a LARGE number of absentee ballots casted on any one PR election.

Then in 2004, I had achieved my most prized qualification. I was able to vote in the U.S. election (PR is part of the U.S. but we do not vote for the President or have any senators). But, ironically, a trip with my International Affairs class put me out of town for the election and somewhere along the lines of studying and planning projects, I missed the deadline for submitting my absentee ballot.

This year's primary.... that was going to be it. But then, the DMV stepped in to make my life miserable one more time and they lost my voter registration and I was not able to be registered on time to vote. Around April, when I had to renew my license, they seem to have hired someone with nonzero IQ at the DMV. I know the IQ was non-zero because I renewed via computer and many of them cannot really properly operate one (I have had to assist in the past, and I have had to sit through system down situations, so believe me I KNOW). I got registered to vote and my card came in the mail to the surprise of both me and my husband.

So, first chance I got, I voted. July 15th at 27 (a whole 10+ years since I first set out to be a voting citizen). I will not tell you who I voted for, but if you ever catch me in person, I will explain lots of fun stuff about how we chose.

And so we put an end to this little embarrassing part of my life.

1. What do you think of the sticker?
There is an 80% turn out for voting in PR, so we don't get stickers back home. The first time I saw these people with peach stickers I had to resist laughing.
2. Did you wear your sticker?
We voted at night time so I had no place to wear it to. Well, there was the grocery store, but I just carried it proudly in my hand through out there.
3. Man, I sense some bad vibe with the DMV, what is that all about?
The extense space occupied by the "intertubes" is not big enough to explain my gripes about the DMV. Maybe one day I will post some stories, but basically going to the DMV sucks. Whenever I walk through the door they immediately associate a number of adjectives to my person which do not belong and treat me like a second class citizen.
4. Are you sure it is not just about the fact that they ask about your weight?
No, if anything it is about how fat they make me look in the picture, but it is about neither of those.
5. Do you need a voter's registration card to vote?
No, just your driver's license. However, when the DMV refuses to get a grip on the inner workings of hispanic last names... you might need a smallish army of identifications unless you register through them.
6. Absentee ballots count in PR elections?
Yep, although usually the tie breaker votes are amongst the people in jail and prison. They also have Air Conditioning and Cable TV.
7. Wow, that is a good picture of your hand lines. I have nothing to do, can I read your hand and tell you the future?
No, but I hear the DMV is hiring. Let me know if you take the job, because I will then be able to read YOUR future.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dear Sonny...

The first day you turned these stupid light meters on, it took me and my husband (we carpool to save gas) about 30 minutes to get to the Highway entrance. This normally takes no more than 10 minutes.

Our commute at this time of the day is 35 minutes on average. Once we get to the expressway, regardless of traffic, we must drive 15 minutes at least. Now, an average is a smoothing of a number of trials so that an average of 35 minutes means that sometimes it takes us less and sometimes more than 35 minutes. You have thus successfully increased our late afternoon commute (we wait traffic out by giving the man extra hours of our lives) on average by at least 15 minutes if you keep this up.

Yes, it looks nice and clear on 285 but on top of all this, it took my husband 20 minutes to make his way down 1.5 miles on Hammond to pick me up for carpooling. He drove 1.33 hours that afternoon because as soon as we hit an area without a meter, you guessed it, 285 was just as packed.

Basically, you have achieved the great feat of making carpooling worthless for us and decreasing 285 traffic at the expense of local traffic (you should hear what those who pay expensive rents at the top end perimeter to avoid 285 have to say).

Let's see if you remember this very popular speech given at weddings:
The ring, great because it is a circle... it has no beginning and no end... like your love/relationship etc.

Do you know what else is a circle? 285. People only take this road because they feel the need to drive around the perimeter. This is the ONLY way around, backroads not only suck, but they are just as packed and only lead you to the next entrance to 285 which are now backed up due to people trying to get to the next (hopefully) less crowded 285 entrance.

Now, this was a while back... But we would not know what it looks like anymore since we are too busy trying to make money to pay for gas or buy a helicopter whichever is cheaper.

Here is a grand idea: How about incentives for companies that allow telecommuting? How about a useful public transportation system? How about increasing the speed-limit so people can ride around their circle quickly and just as quickly get out of my way?

Seriously man...

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Sunning like an Iguana

We just came back from Puerto Rico. We did a lot of sight seeing, family seeing, dog seeing and High School classmate seeing (the men are a lot fatter than the women and I am not the only one carrying a suitcase around under her skin--whew!). One highlight being "la casa de los pastelillos" which gets added henceforth as one of my favorite spots on the island. We also hit Lago Dos Bocas where we spent 15 minutes after a 2 hour drive because the restaurants only open on the weekends. And of course, we spent a nice afternoon at the beach in Isla Verde's El Alambique on a beautiful almost cloudy day allowing for refreshment without melting away. My baby sister has now seen a semi-naked European/Canadian/American male tourist at the beach--click on the link at your own risk (his was white).

Mr. Mambo came with us and he played lots with Kiwie (my baby sister's dog). This turned my parents house into dog central and a number of other dogs (exactly 1) came to visit and play. Mambo had a blast.

On the way back we got stuck in Orlando (thanks airtran--NOT) and all thoughout Mambo was a trooper. We didn't even give him meds.

He has been sleeping ever since we got back.

The Christmas Tree survived the preparation for our trip and so it is Christmas in July at our house (picture from today complete with suitcases in the background so you believe me). I am starting to think Jamil feels the piano will be lonely if we remove the tree.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Thirteen Things in my mind that I should not be typing

So, there is this whole list 13 things thing that Hollie, who we entrust with keeping our pastor sane or at least grounded, started.

I am calling it 13 Things in my mind that I do not have time to type, because I need to be doing a million other things right now:

1. Why oh why am I wasting my time like this?
2. How do I get to doing what I need to do?
3. How long has it been since i last posted on this blog?
4. Oh Crap, the Christmas Tree is still up!!
5. I hope Jamil can get rid of it tonight.
6. Mambo has been awefully quiet all morning... must be all that jumping on me to get me up that tired him out.
7. My baby sister can't wait to see me, I know cause she never calls and has called every day this week.
8. I need to take a shower.
9. I also need to finish 32 hours of work in about 6 hours that are left in the day.
10. I was a whole 60lbs thinner when I graduated High School.
11. 60 lbs is like a very heavy, very full, full-size suitcase--yikes!
12. How can I hide my double-chin from the ever critical HS reunion folk.
13. I probably can't and it will get forever plastered on the pages of impossible-to-leave facebook.

I am soooooooooooo stressed out.... God please help me finish everything I need to finish in a miraculuous short time. I guess that requires me to start so, we sign off.

No one ever reads this, but if you just did, write your 13 on your blog and leave me a comment so I can procrastinate some more.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Carrusel for the Spanish Speakers

This is a soap that was very important to me and my sister when we were growing up. Cool days. When my baby sister was little they replayed the soap (or maybe it was still going on) and she would say "presente" like the kids on the show intro.

Well they had a 15 years later reunion.

Here is the now on the top and the original on the bottom:

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Proof we have a tree, digital pictures and my dog the smoker

So, we took a picture of the tree last night. Unfortunately, we are not sure where you buy a newspaper so you are just going to have to trust us.

Which makes me think that it is a good thing digital pictures, when downloaded properly, keep dates up because otherwise, 20 years from now, we would look at the picture below and not only wonder why our dog was smoking a cigar, but determine from the fact that the Christmas Tree is still up, that it must be... Christmas. However, this picture is from 3 weeks ago around March 9th, which is 3 months after Christmas.

Incidentally, the tree is still up if anyone wants cheap mulch and has a tree shredder! Oh, and Mambo is not smoking a cigar, he is chewing on a bull penis (sold as a bully stick at the pet store).

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree, how green you stand up in the Spring

So, in following with the non-April Fool's April 1st tradition at our household we have a full grown, still green with needles on Christmas Tree standing. It is no longer decorated, but it is a Christmas tree all the same. I think we posted about this on this date last year too, so I figured I would post this today.

In contrast to last year, we didn't cut this one ourselves so I am surprised it hasn't crumbled to pieces. Also, Jamil has not watered it, so I am amazed it hasn't crumbled to pieces. Mambo likes to bite at it if we are not watching so it is crazy that it hasn't crumbled to pieces.

The funniest thing is that we only remember it doesn't belong there when someone comes to visit and points it out like something out of the ordinary.

I am halfway considering putting it out on the curb to go with the weeds so our HOA only sends us 1 letter about our yard rather than 1 about our yard and one about our house decor when they get to their window peeking rounds (I am sure the peek through the windows). Then again, assuming we don't light it up (fire hazard) it would probably make a nice tree next year too assuming it doesn't crumble to pieces.

This is my super-secret way to have Jamil get rid of it without asking him. Last year he was so embarrassed at the idea of me taking a picture of the tree for the blog that it was gone by the time I was back. So, I WILL BE TAKING A PICTURE TONIGHT IF THERE IS ANYONE OUT THERE LISTENING.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Gallegos... More than meets the eye


I just read this news article. A woman in Galicia (people in Galicia are called Gallegos) gives birth to a girl with the help of her 6 year old son. She had pain the night before and dismissing the whole super large pregnancy bit, she rolled over and continued sleeping because she figured it was just pain from moving furniture the day before. Apparently, she also didn't tell her husband before he went to work. She went to the restroom, her water broke and her new daughter dangled from her far enough that she had to hold her and ask her son to help. In the end, she called for some help and followed instructions on how to handle the umbilical cord. The Emergency folks arrived toward the end of the whole thing.

In latin/hispanic culture, they make fun of gallegos. They make them out to be not the cleverest of people and end up being the butt of jokes. I don't really find those jokes funny because I am so far removed from the culture that surrounds the "funniness" of the jokes. I do have to wonder about a couple of things:
1. Moving furniture while pregnant... hmmmm
2. Not telling husband of strange abdominal pains while very pregnant... hmmmm
3. Delivering a baby with 6 year old, while 6 year old finds it normal and easy... hmmmm

Maybe I ought to read more about how these jokes started... Oh, and all of you who read the story and find it cool or sweet are simply sick! At 27, I do not want to deliver my mother's baby (especially by pulling down while reaching) any more than I did at 14 when my mom did have a baby.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Why Darwin is wrong, it is not the fittest that survives but those for whose God's appointed days are not over yet

I am perplexed why people think this video is heart-warming or tender. I think this woman has a death wish. However, this illustrates a good point and is a good example of why Survival of the Fittest is not the rule that truly applies to how a group sample changes over time.

Following Darwin's survival of the fittest, she has twice escaped her fate: she rescued a hungry (skinny lion's are not usually over-stuffed) lion and then she came up to his pen and reached in. According to Survival of the Fittest, this woman's life is such that she would die before child bearing to make the group of humans fitter going forward.

Here is the point that is missed. This woman will likely die a Steve Irwin death, not due to stupidity because we have already seen her stupidity was not enough twice already. She will die when her God given days are over.

So what if she dies as a lion appetizer? Well, this is no different than someone who often eats bad foods (henceforth called Fatty for endearment) dying from a blocked artery or heart attack or someone in a high stress job (such as a CEO and henceforth called the suit for effect) dying of a heart attack. In the examples of Fatty and the Suit, they are not necessarily less fit, especially if Fatty eats a lot but excercises a lot so that he actually looks and acts fit and especially considering the Suit exemplifies all the characteristics we admire in this here corporate America.

It is not unnatural for people to die doing what they do most of the time, by simple probability. If at any point in time, you have a 1% chance of finding out you won the lottery, it should be no surprise that you find out at work if you are a workaholic, at the gym if you are sick and ripped like Schwarzenagger or at Starbucks if you are a yuppy.

Besides, she looks like she could have had kids already if she had wanted to so that the supposed certain effects of Natural Selection would be mute at the time of death.

What is the moral of the story?
I would rather die with a full stomach in my 90's than IN a full stomach any day, so I will not be rescuing or hugging lions any time soon. Oh and I am not going near stingrays, fires, fubu (the blowfish, not the clothing brand, although wearing the wrong brand/color of clothing in the wrong place would be a bad idea too) or downtown Atlanta either just to better my chances of dying the way I want since I cannot control the when.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Tornado in Atlanta

We are safe!

There was a tornado in downtown Atlanta at about 11pm. We found out by chance when instead of turning off the TV we decided to check out Leno briefly only to find out some crazy news scene. I think cable tv companies should have a way to interrupt programming or send messages regardless of what channel you are watching.

Tornadoes scare me a bit. A hurricane is scary, but it goes by steadily, and rarely hits one house while sparing the next oh and you have a whole 1-2 weeks build up of expectation and preparations. We also read the 3 little pigs story and build out of cement for when the big bad tornado wolf blows our house stands.

I an getting a NOAA radio... trying to calm back down. Here is live feed from the inside of the Georgia Dome from the coverage of the basketball game that was taking place at the time. I think you can hear noise kind of like a freight train (not a horn but a train) in the background:

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The difference between Alabama and South Carolina

It is not apparent to the naked eye. In fact, it is not clear as you drive through the fields on the mostly straight highway in the opporite direction from the other.

That said, I enjoyed my time in South Carolina a good bit more than any hour I have spent in Alabama. I even found me some land and a cow for sale if I ever choose to move. It also seems like planting and selling fruit is a lucrative and popular business. Besides, at $5,000 an acre and the fast rate of growth of Atlanta, it may be a good investment for when the Atlanta city limits border SC so that SC is the great suburbs we pay so much for. The way I see it, we only have 1/4 or less of an acre and pay a rent it from the bank for a good bit more than $5,000. While all along I could have bought an acre for $5,000 and a high quality trailer for about $2,000 my cow is about $1,500 (not too high quality but it will do to not have to pay someone to mow the lawn) and I would have been all set. Heck, I paid more than that for our 1.5 years in our 650 sq ft. apartment.

But this is not about realty or money and quite honestly this post is not about making much sense. The one thing this post is about is my bewilderment that knowing land is cheap in Alabama ends at the word cheap and is followed by my high dislike of our neighbor to the west but knowing land in South Carolina is cheap has a long string of what I would do with it and how big the farm would be etc when in reality they both look very much the same and have about the same amount of entertainment and are equally far from civilization.

I am going to Alabama again at the end of March. I will spend the whole weekend there. I will be working in Alabama that weekend. I will be doing this somewhat voluntarily even. I will not be using the words never and Alabama in the same sentence again anytime soon. At least this time Mambo and Jamil will be coming along. Oh, joy!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Some Women in the South have JOBS... even interesting, challenging ones!

I am very irritated...

I think it is very commendable for a woman to want to stay at home and make that their full-time job. I do not currently belong in that group. That may or may not change, not because I am too good for it, but because staying at home with kids is harder than any job I can imagine.

I currently work, in an office, like many men (with many men, even some who call me for help), after being in traffic for a while, wearing my best business casual attire. I even do some work in a very interesting, challenging field which some consider male dominated. Dare I say, I excel at it and my superiors would tell you this in a heart-beat? Then, why is it that when we spark up casual conversation you ask my husband what he does for a living and ignore me? Am I not worth asking? Are you just not interested in my life? Are you assuming I am a stay at home.. what... because I have no children and when you see me at church with my husband this is clear so clearly I am not a stay at home mom! And if I was a stay at home mom then what? Would my duties of raising the world's future not be worthy of such a question as well?

And there is no pride in working for THE MAN other than that of a job well done. But there is a lot of arrogance in your assumption that it is not worth asking what I do for a living. Or perhaps a lot of cowardliness? Are you afraid I have a better education as I wear a Tech shirt and you sport your red and black? Are you embarrassed of your job? Why should it matter? It sure did not matter when you decided to ask my guy? How come you don't want to know about mine?

There is no financial pride in my irritation, if we had too much money I wouldn't work... I do not know anyone who works as hard as I do without needing the money! There is pride however in what I have achieved in my life and you DISCOUNT my worth to society when I become just an accessory to my husband as demonstrated by your disinterest in my life, REGARDLESS OF WHAT I DO OR DO NOT DO. It is RUDE for you to discount my life in light of the man standing next to me no matter what I do or want to do! No matter North or South of the Dixie line!! Did you not learn that in school?

I am not saying I am the same as a man, or you should respect me in the same way, that is your choice. I am saying don't carry your pretty leather Bible to Church listen to the sermon about loving people (all people mind you... if my husband is your neighbor... so am I), caring about people and discount my life. Hypocrite Southern man!

I just don't know what "Southern manners" you learned.... I am not sure what Bible version you read... and I would not make the assumption that this post is about just ONE person... because more than one of you are guilty of this. Women and men roles are different, but never was one life worth more to God than another and never was one role valued over another by the Creator.

So when you ask my husband about his life (which happens to include me), why must you always ignore mine? What are you afraid of? Why is his life important and mine not? Why must you edge me out of conversation? Did you miss him searching for his keys while I approached you with a question?

Friday, February 15, 2008

First Impressions

I have been working for my current company for 2.5 years or so. I started travelling for work about 2 years ago and so far have been to a number of cities and rural towns. Achieving the most despicable yet covetable achievement, Medallion Status.

Here are some first impressions as I think back on the last year alone (Delta's history does not go back to the first year):

Long Island, NY--Not a bad place, the greatest part of it being how close this is to NYC.

Rochester, NY--I saw the most snow here that I have ever seen, as in total up how much snow I have seen in my life (not a whole lot considering I grew up in the Caribbean).

San Juan, PR--It is always a pleasure... no, seriously, I only go there for pleasure but I am hoping for some customers there some day.

Winston-Salem, NC--The smokiest town I have ever been in. It is nice, good places to eat and close to the university, but the whole town, restaurants and even the customer site are just smoky. Not a big surprise considering the origins.

North Lawrence, NY--I made a post about this place earlier. I was not aware there were rural parts to New York, or even Indian reservations, but there I was, 2 days in the land of the Mohawks.

Montreal, Canada--My first trip to Montreal in 1999 definitely was a better trip. This trip to Montreal in April put me up in a smelly Comfort Inn Hotel, driving was confusing and the food was pretty boring. I did get to drive accross the border from North Lawrence so I got to see some other parts of Canada, but...

Rockland, MA and Boston, MA--Boston deserves all the recognition it gets. This is truly a melting pot, not in the same way as New York, but in a heightened cultural sense. You have to be there to understand, but you should not die before experiencing Boston. I had the chance to see Plymouth which is worth the trip! I also visited Sommerville (I forget how to spell that) and MIT. Getting to see my old roommate Michelle was awesome!!

Milwaukee, WI--I want a summer house in Milwaukee. Just the thought of Milwaukee makes me smile, relax and feel happy. Boston is nice to visit, but Milwaukee is perfect if only it was not cold.

Houston, TX--It is just sticky and dusty there. Ughhh, I am going back near there in a week and while I wouldn't trade it for a trip to Yuckabama (our neighbor state to the west), I may be willing to return to Saskatchewan (yes, a real place in Canada) over Houston. I got to see an old friend there and pig out. Karoline knows the absolute coolest places to eat.

St. Louis, MO--This is certainly not a clean looking place. Just a few minutes there was enough to determine nothing should be left visible in the car. However, St. Louis was nice. The food was awesome. I got to see Tope shortly after she arrived for school and that was very cool! I had a good time and it looked pretty friendly, only one of 3 places I have seen on business that I would consider moving to.. until I read about its position on the dangerous city scale (see previous post).

Indianapolis, IN--Can we say corn? Just corn. Straight roads, can't remember the name of the town I was in, but I do remember ever present corn, even around my hotel. The customer I visited there makes the best double-dipped chocolate peanuts of which I had about 4 party sized bags. If you like M&M's let me tell you what is better than candy coated chocolate covered peanuts... uncoated double-dipped ones. I was next to the Frito-Lay factory which was cool but unsurprising considering how much corn these people have. If companies push for Ethanol, I will buy some land in Indiana, because I am pretty sure corn grows the spontaneously.

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan--I always thought Saskatchewan was just some made up word kids used to name a really far away place.... until my boss told me I was going there. I thought he was kidding for a while, but he wasn't. Nothing much to be said really. I was only in the industrial part which is why. I did get to see the museum for one of the tribes Winneskuwan (sp?) but only the outside, because they closed at 4pm. The museum is in the middle of nowhere... but literarilly, not figuratively like most of the time when people say this. I won't be running back... the change of colors from the air as we flew over Minneapolis was a sight though! Almost as good as Milwaukee (Minneapolis that is).

Baltimore, MD--These folks really know how to season their crabs. I probably ate a pound or more on my own. At the end of dinner I saw a roach on the table... that was a downer, but I just took my dessert home with me. The crab place name is Bo- Jacks. I can see why people live here. I am not sure it is for me though. But I will be visiting again.

Las Vegas, NV-- WOOOHOOO!!! This place is larger than life and bigger than any TV screen can capture!!! Absolutely awesome!! And I cannot wait to go back!! I got to see the Hoover Dam when I left, the strip was cool, the Belagio Fountain was awesome... this place deserves a post of its own, which I meant to do but didn't. I have pictures, and I may show some (want to make sure what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas). Legends in Concert is a really cheesy sounding show that is absolutely awesome!! My customer there does some really cool work with diamonds and it is most likely the most interesting operation I have been involved in.

Paramus, NJ--Hmmm... New Jersey is just exactly as uneventful and uninteresting as everyone says. I had good company, but I am not rushing back there either.

Anywhere, Alabama--Then there is Yuckabama.... sigh... I know many people live there and love it, others grew up there and miss it. I have a hard time seeing either. I respect people's love of it and Sweet Home Alabama is both a good song and a good movie. That said, if I don't ever go there again I won't really long for it. Just thinking about it makes me depressed and frustrated. Everyone I have worked with there and who I know from there is very nice and polite, but sigh...

St. Petersburg, FL--The drive there from Tampa is nice. I did not get to see a whole lot of St. Pete because I had an awful 24 hour funk/bad luck/series of unfortunate events there. No opinions can be formed, but I did get to see my friend of 16 years (that sounds old though--I think it is 15 not 16 though), Elba. My St. Pete funk was to become a post of its own, but the seies of unfortunate events lasted into much later in the night than expected so when it was all done I was out of there in a flash. People in St. Pete were very friendly and made me feel right at home. I got cookies for everything there.

Philadelphia,PA, Cherry Hill, NJ and Camden, NJ--I visited the corner of PA and NJ which apparently is on the east side of PA not the west side like I thought. My customer there had a neverending supply of snacks and it doesn't get much better than that. I scraped ice from my car for the first time there... then I gave up and hitched a ride with the Project Manager. I almost slipped a number of times. I got to see Camden, NJ in the only way someone like me would...accidentally. Will come back to PA, but will skip the Camden/Cherry Hill bit except for the hotel rate in Chery Hill is good.

I will try to post some pictures I have later. They are not good pictures though, since most of them where taken from the car driving at 40MPH.. by the driver. At least I wasn't talking on my cell phone and driving though... :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

I survived Camden, NJ...

...By the grace of God alone.

Last night, sometime between 9 and 10 PM, I got lost in Camden, NJ. I didn't even know where I was. It was only after reviewing the route I took and discussing with the locals, that I found out where I was. I knew it was scary and dark and I also knew the guy in the big Cadillac slowed down to check me out. I also knew enough to make an illegal U-turn at the entrance of the darkest road I have ever seen. Today, I found out locals consider Camden scary. If you have ever been to New Jersey, then you know that the whole place is scary, so Camden being considered a bad area is insane.

I was starting to feel pretty lucky and somewhat brave about the whole thing (even though I had nothing to do with not getting shot on my drive from the Philly airport to my hotel... all God there). I had Jamil go on a scavenger hunt for information on Camden. I like scaring him with bad experiences once I have survived them. It is funny, but of course there is nothing funny about it while I am in the situation. He looked it up and it all had the expected reaction. Camden was the number 1 most dangerous city in the U.S. for 2005 and 2004 and third in 2003. I was having fun...

Then, I read the wikipedia article about Camden. Looking in the crime section, I realized that not only had I been to no. 1 for 05 and 06, but I have been to no. 1 in 2006 St. Louis. Now, that is the scary thought!!! I actually enjoyed St. Louis. I didn't feel totally safe, but it was no Camden. There is nothing scarier than not having been scared when I should have been.

Del agua mansa libreme Dios, que de la brava me libre tambien....

Peace out!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We got a puppy

Jamil has always wanted a dog. I like puppies but I am afraid of dogs (mostly big and/or yappy ones). We have had him for about 8 weeks now.