Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Maligayang Pasko!

This is our parol. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Not enough hours in the day

Well I've been home 1 month now. I'm still unemployed :( but I've got an interview at Digene tomorrow from 1-4pm. A 3 hour interview with a number of people (eek!). It's a little last minute because I only heard back from the company on Monday and couldn't get a definite interview time until 5pm today. So I'm a little nervous, but I'll just let them know what I know and hopefully they want what I got. Because they got something I want: money
I was mistaken in my last post though. While Digene is the manufacturer of the HPV test, they are not the ones who do that "I didn't know HPV causes cervical cancer/tell-someone.com" commerical. That would be Merck, which has the HPV vaccine that is recommended for girls and young women 9-26 y/o. There is another HPV commerical that is from Digene, that has a big orange circle logo that says "HPV test, ask your doctor, tell your friends". HPV is getting a lot of media these days. Too bad it's not singable as 'herpes' like in Stephen Lynch's "Love Song".

So yeah, despite being unemployed there don't seem to be enough hours in the day. It's probably just the holiday effect.
Sunday my parents and I bought a Christmas tree. We also went grocery shopping for regular stuff and ingredients for Christmas cookies. That evening I made three different kinds of cookies.

Cookie #1: tried and true Jam Thumbprint cookies. Recipe by Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa.
They are super-buttery shortbread rolled in coconut flake topped with a dollop of strawberry jam. I mistakenly picked up seedless jam so it was kind of runny. And of course I always put twice as much jam as the recipe calls for.
I also used apricot jam.

Cookie #2: Tastes Like Fruitcake Cookies from the Food Network's Cookie special. It was a viewer submission. My mom saw it and requested I make them. It consists of yellow cake mix and assorted dried fruits and walnuts (instead of the candied fruit and three different kinds of nuts).

The recipe reviews weren't great, just 2/5 stars, mostly because the reviewers thought there must be a typo in the amount of butter flavored shortening and the cookies would end up greasy and flat. Knowing this, I cut the amount of shortening in half. And it didn't seem like the recipe would make many cookies, so I doubled the dough part of the recipe without doubling the fruit and nuts. Who wants that many fruits and nuts anyway? But the first batch came out flat and greasy despite the shortening reduction. So I added more cake mix and chilled the dough. You can see the difference here (flat cookie in the foreground):

Cookie #3: Ultimate Oatmeal cookies with bittersweet chocolate chunks, dried cranberries, and toasted walnuts. This was a Cooks Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen recipe. They promised the perfect oatmeal cookie that wasn't overloaded with crap and crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle (dark brown sugar being the crucial ingredient). I love this cookie. So does my mom :)

The recipe makes 16 cookies so they come out as big as saucers, I guess. *sigh* I love Cooks Ilustrated, even if they are ridiculously anal retentive.

Monday I accompanied my mom to Prince George's Hospital for her interview. Then we went Christmas shopping for little present for the people she works for at the nursing home.

Tuesday I wrote KSA (knowledge, skills, abilities) narratives for my NIH application for a job doing mouse work and dissecting skeletal muscle. Cross yer fingers and yer toes. I felt a lot better about writing these dumb federal job essays after I found a really helpful PDF from a workshop for writing KSAs. A vague KSA like, "[What is your] knowledge of scientific principles and theories?" totally threw me off. I mean, how do you possibly answer that? Do you really want me to tell you everything I know about science? But then I learned it's just basically asking you, "What science courses have you taken?" There are usually 4 KSAs and each should be about a page long with examples, so that took a while to do.

Today I ran some errands, looked over my Sallie Mae loans so that I could figure out how to go about deferring them (am I eligible for unemployment? is On Assignment Lab support an employment agency, and not a temp agency?), and picked up Goo at BWI, which is about an hour each way.

I still have to finalize the invitation for Alexis' birthay party on January 20th and contact all the inviteeeeees AND make some jewelry before the end of the week!!! IN ADDITION to running errands tomorrow AND going to my THREE hour interview at Digene. Apparently they have a lot of applicants so cross your fingers and your toes and your arms and your legs and your eyes and wish me luck. A job would be an awesome Christmas present.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


It's been a while since I've posted. I've been pretty busy for an unemployed person.

Trying to find a job is a job in and of itself.

I had to slow down an think about that idiom. All I could hear in my head was "in an oven self".

So anyways, my first priority has been trying to find a job. I have put in applications at a handful of places: Quest Diagnostics, NIH, Digene, and some other companies I found on Monster. I also am officially an employee of On Assignment Lab Support, which is basically a recruitment office for lab contract jobs, mostly in industry. So I'm waiting to hear from them.

The job at Quest was in their cytogenetics lab in Chantilly, VA. It's something I'd really like to do in the future, but unfortunately now was not the time.

NIH has crazy-involved job applications that include essays, like school applications. So those have been taking a lot more time. Of course I would LOVE a job at NIH, so I'm crossing my fingers hard for a job there. Unfortunately, the jobs that I am applying for are mouse related, so I wouldn't be able to have pet mice at home. Oh well.

The job opening at Digene was found by my mom in the Washington Post's Health and Science section. Digene is a molecular diagnostics company that developed the HPV cervical cancer test that is being promoted by all of those new "I didn't know I could get cancer from a virus" commericals. I really hate those commercials because it makes me mad that women don't know that the virus that gives you genital warts can give you cervical cancer. It's just something you should know if you're gonna engage in sexual activity. Same with the people who say, "I didn't know cold sores were caused by HERPES." The same herpes that causes brain damage, blindness, and death in newborns. And you can't get rid of it, EVER. Don't tell me herpes isn't a big deal because up to 75% of the people in the U.S. have it. That's just nasty and there are too many uninformed people!!!! Grr.


I also considered working retail for the meantime. I went to the mall and got applications and filled them out and got all ready to turn them in. But then I got calls from Quest (which ultimately led to nothing) and On Assignment and I spend all my free time applying to real jobs. So since I hate people, especially during the holidays, and I don't have to pay rent or nothin, I decided to put off the retail job until I'm insanely desperate. True, it means no cash for the holidays, but I was planning on making presents anyways. This Christmas is rather dry for the whole family anyway, so it's basically no pressure and I like that a lot.

I hope to get a job soon, because well, I like money. And for two, I will be able to concentrate on other things like writing a thesis. And fun stuff like making jewelry and making friends and exploring a city I've called home but really have no idea how to get around.

I have also moved my bedroom from upstairs to downstairs. I had to get a space heater because it is FREAKIN FREEEZIN down here. But, since I got the heater, I gots the coziest room in the house. And hopefully I will get to repainting the room before it gets cold again. Daytime highs lately have been 55-60degF and I need to have the windows open.

Last weekend my Pa and I put up some Christmas lights. We plan on putting up more this weekend as well as getting the tree and hanging the parol.

Also this weekend I need to make Christmas presents.

So, until I post again, wish me luck.

Thursday, December 07, 2006


Aww, is that a man-embrace at the end? Almost. Check out the Guy Love video.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Random #2 : Hugs

Why must guys hug their guy friends while simultaneously hitting each other on the back? Why can't they just embrace?

Snuggle with your friends, guys. Wha? Huh? A little gay? Yeah. But it makes me giggle!

For the ladies...isn't it a little weird when you hug another girl? The boobs get in the way. It's awkward. Smooshy. Unless padded bras are involved. Those things stand on their own and are probably inpenetrable.

Random: Hooray for Boobies

"Breastfeeding in public is acceptable when done discretely"

Who the hell is doing INdiscrete breast feeding?

Is she stripping completely?

Is she squirting people in the eye?

Is she shaking them around as if to twirl tassles and going "Whooooo!!!!!!! Chow time!!!!

Well if she is, she should be getting a tip, and not any guff from Victorian prudes.

Are you kidding me???

I got DSL at the house, thank goodness. But get this, when I got DSL in Houston 4 years ago it was like $29 for the first 12 months then about $50/mo after. AND I couldn't get newer cheaper rates because only NEW customers were eligible for the good rates. So it was either DSL or Cable and I had to choose. I HAD TO CHOOOOOSE!!!!!

NOW I get DSL and it's $14.95 for the first 12 mo and $17.95/mo after that.

Honestly, WTF.

Home, finally

Ahhhhh this trip posting is taking too long and really the best stuff happened on the first day....


We left New Orleans and began the 11 hour drive that crossed time zones, making it seem longer, to arrive in Greenville, South Carolina at about 10pm. FYI there are two Days Inns in Greenville, so make sure you know at which one you have a reservation. Not much happened during the drive; we listened to a book, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. It was very entertaining.

On the next and final day of the drive, we were quite anxious to get home because it seemed like we were so close. We did stop at a BBQ place in North Carolina. It was alright; I like Pierce's in Williamsburg better, acutally. Grace drove the whole way taking us off 85 and on to 95 into Richmond. Grace is a good driver. It was her greatest driving challege...except for you know, driving an ambulance 80mph while taking on the phone and writing notes. Ok, so maybe it wasn't so much of a challenge. We listened to the rest of Confessions and also laughed along to Stephen Lynch, Mitch Hedberg, and a little Dane Cook. It took about 8hrs and we arrived in Richmond at Grace's house at about 4:20pm (the same time her flight was scheduled to arrive in Houston three days earlier. Freaky).

I stayed at Grace's for a few hours until rush hour(s) died down. We ate mexican pizza delivered from Bottom's Up and watched Top Chef. Ahh...comfortable couch and cable tv. But by 8pm I was itching to get home.

I pulled into the drive way at about 10pm and almost immediately began doing prep work for Thanksgiving. It was like I hadn't even been driving three days and 14,000 miles. It wasn't until a week after putting all my stuff in the car, after all the holiday hullabaloo, that I really began unpacking my car.

I'm still getting settled in. I've rewashed all my clothes. I spent yesterday clearing out Edward's old bedroom in the basement so that I could begin redecorating it and filling it with my stuff. FYI, Guboy, your room is filled with your crap now. LOL. Merry Christmas, clean your room. I'm applying to a number of technician jobs at NIH (a mouse job therefore no mice as pets, oh well!) and Quest Diagnostics. They're full time and part time positions, and since I have no money and nobody wants to give me any, I'll take anything and figure out how I'll complete my thesis. Wish me luck.

Well, I have to go now because I have lots to do. I am going to get a retail job while I wait for the science jobs. Probably some place where I can get a discount on clothes. :) wish me luck for a place that doesn't suck.

It's nice to be home. It will take some getting used to, but the food is good and I don't pay rent!

P.S. I am back on trying to live a healthier life and began a JC style diet on my own. Since Monday I've lost 2lbs! Yay!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Moving day 2, part 2, jammed packed with flavor

Now where was I?

After getting my fortune told, Grace and I went in search of some food. We came across this cafe with its doors wide open, even though it was a little chilly. The place was fairly empty, but hey, it was a random Sunday afternoon. The menu had a good sampling of N'awlins cuisine so we decided to give it a go. Our waitress was very chatty and hospitable. While we waited for our food we watched the sparrows hop in and out of the restaurant looking for crumbs under the tables. Grace's cup of gumbo arrived first followed by her shrimp po'boy with fries. I was starving and had the sampler that started off with a bowl of gumbo, followed by a split platter of shrimp creole and red beans and rice with a side of jambalaya, finished off with a lil bowl of bread pudding. My favorite was the jambalaya and made me want to whip up a pot of my own recipe of "gumbalaya" (my yummy, hearty, and spicy combination of gumbo and jambalaya). My least favorite was the bread pudding because it wasn't regular dense bread pudding, but a spicy, almost burnt, gingerbread pudding with too many raisins and whatnots. Oh well, but overall it was all pretty good and I was happy to have food authentic to the area.

We walked off some of those Calories and stretched our legs from the long drive by walking allll over the French Quarter. I was partly in search for some shrimp boudin for mom. It's a sausage with shrimp and rice with creole seasoning. Unfortunately, the place that used to sell it in the French Market down by the water closed down a while ago. We learned this from the rather surly woman in the chocolate shop. Of course we stopped by a candy shop. Pralines are really popular there but we chose a couple chocolate covered marshmallow things instead. We also stopped by cute little galleries including this awesome Animation gallery that the "Secret Art of Dr. Seuss" as well as cells from Looney tunes, Simpsons, Peanuts, etc etc. I wished Goo and Edward were there with me; they would have loved it.

By 6pm Bourbon st was starting to get LOUD and rowdy. Actually all the drunk college kids started coming out of the woodwork at the strike of 5. But by then, the elderly and we started getting tired. We took a little break back at the Inn on Bourbon and forced ourselves to get back out around 8 or 9pm.

Once we stepped back outside it was INSANE. LIKE NO OTHER SUNDAY EVENING. Bourbon St was blocked off, people were drunk and hitting on anything that moved. There were guys trying to lure in other guys to see "Topless and Bottomless" girls. We were mostly amused by the strip club where you could "Wash the girl of your choice". Well, boy, what is better than that? If it wasn't a strip club, it was a disco with laser lights and the music blaring. Some guy was singing Sweet Home Alabama and trying to get the audience to call back. Another club had hip hop thumping and 19 year olds jumping. LOL Grace and I asked the concierge where we could find a nice little jazz club where we could just chill...cuz you know...we're old. 62...no 26? Yeah, 26. But instead we decided on going to somewhere calmer, like Harrah's casino.

We decided to walk the 9 blocks to the casino and take a cab back. On the way there we passed Cafe Beignet's which had a statue of Louis Armstrong in addition to some chick in leotard. BIZARRE. There was a jazz trio there but for the brief time we were there, they were just telling some strange story about how the lead singer used to be a vaccum salesman when he was 16. Once again, bizarre, because nobody but his bandmate seemed to care. So we left after buying a pecan tartlet and a frozen mango margarita. We kept on to Harrah's but I couldnt walk pass when we came across the Hustler shop! Yay! Two levels of porn porn topped with hardcore gonzo porn. It was a long shot but we asked one of the clerks (a very thin girl who didn't seem like...well, let's just say she isn't college material) if they carried anything with the Filipino porn star Katrina Salazar. For a few minutes it seemed like they just might have it, but to no avail. Oh well. We did get a guy standing in the gay porn section hit on us. I really don't know what to think of that.

When we had enough of all that crap we pressed on in the chilly air to Harrah's. It's no Vegas on the outside, but once inside it's pretty much the same. I pointed out WMS games, the company Edward works for. Then I pointed out how I don't understand multiline games, but we gave them a shot anyway. Then! Grace won $45 on a WMS game (I think!?!). Later on I won about $10. I spent it on a Fuddrucker's burger (instead of the $23 buffet!!!!!). Yummy with sauteed onions.

So to recap: Drove from Houston to New Orleans. Got a Tarot card reading. Walked all over the French Quarter and Market. Ate creole food. Browsed through a bunch of great shops. Went to a casino and won :). Pretty awesome sunday evening, if you ask me.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Day 2 Part 1 of the best Sunday EVER

Sunday, November 19

Grace and I had gotten a room at a motel in Houston because my apartment was basically non-functional. I still had utilities and whatnot, but no TV and nothing to sleep on. We woke up early and headed out the door at about 7am.

First stop: My apartment to check the place one more time and return the keys. Bye bye Scotland Yard Apartments!

Next stop: The Valero gas station down the block. WHOooooo Hooooo!!! Road trip!

Ok, then we finally got on 610 west at about 7:30am

Next next stop: McDonalds somewhere. It was a renovated one. It had a fireplace and was like a cozy cafe, only dirty like a McDonalds. McDonalds! You can't deny who you really are!!!! But they did have two computers with internet. I wanted to blog from there just to say, "I'm blogging from a McDonalds" but for some reason you can't post from a McDonalds. Weird.

As we drove through the crappy west side of Houston, Grace noted how it stank like INDUSTRY! and was disappointed to learn that we weren't going to be driving through desert. That's the other side of Texas, far far far away.

From 610 we took I-10 to Louisiana. It got more scenic once we hit the Atchafalaya basin. Atchafalayaaaaaaaaa. I bet you could get some jumbalaya in ATCHafalaya. The road lies very low over the bayou in this area. I bet you could also see some aligators.

I drove all the way to New Orleans since it is only about 6hrs away from Houston. On the way there we listened to a CD I burned of the music on my laptop arranged in alphabetical order. It included the appropriate Muppet Movie song, "Movin Right Along" and the worst Muppet song, "Muhnah Muhnah". We got there at about 2ish. Good thing it was pretty dead and we didn't arrive at night because with all the narrow one way streets, it was hard enough to get to our hotel.

We stayed at the Ramada Inn on Bourbon at the corner of Toulouse and Bourbon, right in the French Quarter. It was built on the site of the old French Opera House. I made the reservation at Hotels.com and got it at a steal at $99. Normally the rooms go for $240. It's a really pretty hotel and the beds were SOOOOOO comfy; I wanted to take one home. They had Bath and Body Works soaps in the bathroom. Very nice, but the iron was missing from the closet. Normally I wouldn't care, but my pants were wrinkly.

We decided to go exploring in the French Quarter. It smelled like a frat house. Like the sweet stale smell of alcohol and sweat and little hint of pee. Almost right away we spotted a Voodoo shop and we went inside. They had lots of little trinkets like Mexican Day of the Dead dolls and Turkish evil eyes. The girl at the front with the bright magenta hair mentioned that they were having a special on readings. $20 each for tarot card, past life, or numerology and only $35 for two. I was a little disappointed they didn't have palm reading since I have wanted to do that for ages now. I settled on a Tarot card reading. I paid the bright magenta girl and she brought be to a little room in the back that had a beaded curtain for a door.

Inside the dim closet sized room sat a heavy set woman with long white hair and a flannel wrap around her shoulers. She put away the paper she was reading (I wonder if she gets very bored back there) and welcomed Grace and me into her little room. She had an English accent and seemed very pleasant but, I never got her name. I sat across a kitchenette sized table from the woman and Grace sat on a sofa chair next to her.

The woman asked me to think of a question or my life in general. She then had me shuffle a deck of Tarot cards. I'm horrible at shuffling regular cards and this was even harder because the cards are longer and there are over 70 of them. I shuffled them 3 times (3's the magic number, yes it is, the magic number). She laid 10 cards out in what I later learned to be a Celtic Cross spread.

Grace thought it was amusing how I wasn't giving the woman any information. The woman would interpret the cards and ask, "Does this make any sense to you?" and I would merely answer, "Hmm, yes. I think so." I wanted her to go through all of the cards without my help. Although if she was reallllly good she would be able to tell from my slight facial expressions and body language if she was on the right track. And all of this fortune tellng stuff always has to be taken with a grain of salt and all for fun, but truth be told, the cards were pretty much on target. For example, the card which describes the querent was the King of Cups which meant I am supposedly someone that holds back my emotions and tries hard not to let them show. LOL. When I noticed Grace was nodding her head with her eyes wide in agreement, I wondered if I should have let her come in the room with me! At least my last card that shows my final outcome was a very happy one. I am a little worried about the 'near future' card though; it was the three of swords and depicted a heart skewered by three swords. Owie.

Once she had gone through all of the cards I let her know what I thought some of the cards meant. Some of the cards dealt with career and creativity and starting a business. So we started talking about jewelry making and selling. Then she took off her necklace and showed me her work. I gave her tips and she told me about some wholesalers I should check out. LOL, it was just funny how the conversation always seems to turn that way. Beaders are everywhere.

I tipped her $3.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Moving pt 1

Hey everybody! Lots has happened in the past week.

I packed up my valuables into my Nissan Sentra and tossed the rest in the dumpster or just left it in my apartment for the cleaning people to deal with (my security deposit was just $150 and $75 was unrefundable, so no big whoop). A few large items were given away or sold to good homes.

I guess it'll just be easier to give y'all the run down:

Saturday Nov 18th

I woke up early after going to bed late to finish packing the car.

Then I had lunch with Marivonne and Luo at an awesome Chinese restaurant. We ordered so much that we had to be moved to a big round table with a lazy susan. I tried a couple new dishes that I loved including honey batter fried fish served cold. But my favorite, if I HAD to choose, would have to be the potstickers that were soooo insanely good and a lot better than any other than I've had. Even though we had so many dishes, we were envious of other tables that were ordering duck and got that to go.

Stuffed and ready to burst, we drove back to my apt so that they could buy my T.V. and DVD player. Thank you Marivonne!!! That money really helped :)

Shortly after they left, Grace called. She had arrived at Hobby Airport!

I picked her up and we drove back to my apt to finish the last of the car packing while she snacked on the Bejing duck take-out.

Then I took her on a driving tour of the medical center. The tall buildings fooled her into thinking it was downtown. And as I was pointing out the M.D. Anderson skybridge that crosses 2 streets and spans at least a quarter mile, we got PULLED OVER by U.T. police. Apparently I rolled through a stop sign. Honestly this fake cop had nothing else to do on a Saturday as the medical center is DEAD on the weekends. Ah well, I got a written warning, LOL.

Since I no longer have access into the building, we continued our driving tour. I drove through Montrose and along Westheimer to the Galleria. I have NEVER been to the Galleria on a Saturday evening. I know better than that. So thank goodness, over 4 years, I had finally learned other parking options at the Galleria. For homebodies like us, a Saturday at the Galleria was a little overwhelming. I took Grace to the Louis Vuitton and insisted that we were still in a mall that has a Sbarro's and Claire's. Then we walked around and got lost trying to find a store that had the M.A.C. lipstick in Misty in stock. And, not that they are rare, but I was glad that Grace was able to spot the quintessential Galleria shopper: Middle aged rich woman dressed like her 14 year old daughter.

After we had just enough of the strange world that is the upscale mall, we headed back to the medical center because Marivonne was in the lab and could let us in. I was able to introduce my friends to each other, show Grace around the lab, and print out another copy of the map. It was getting late, so I said farewell to the lab one last time and said my goodbyes to Marivonne.

Grace and I then met up with Katrina and Will at Amazon Grill. It took forever for them to give Grace her salad but other than that it was good and super yummy as always. Grace got to taste the magical dressing and the soupy kind of tres leches that is common in Houston and nothing like the one she had for her wedding from Richmond's CubaCuba restaurant.

Since we couldn't leave town without going to Dessert Gallery, it was time for second dessert. Sure we had one dessert already. But what was there to stop us to have another??? I had the Luscious Lemon cake and Grace had the Chocolate Pecan pie a la mode. Needless to say, we didn't finish.

Grace and I had to get up early the next morning so we bode farewell to Katrina and Will, but not without snapping another Aznz Rule Peace out photo (this one is actually from earlier that week).

Even though I'm glad to be out of Houston, I will miss my friends. Thanks for a fantastic last day.

I'll post more about the rest of the trip later.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

The C stands for Crack. Is it coincidence I bought them at CVS??

OK, so you all know how Cadbury Mini Eggs are made of crack and are would be perfect if only they were sold all year round? (This guy says it perfectly). Well perfection is nigh!! Cadbury now has these:

They don't really have a name, but they're basically Mini Eggs for Christmas! Except balls, not eggs. Practically the same. LOL. Cadbury Mini Balls!

I'm gonna go OD now.

Monday, November 13, 2006

It's getting real! For real, y'all! Really!

I called the electric and phone companies this morning to discontinue services on Monday the 20th.

It's only starting to sink in that I am moving for good and I have to be out of this apartment in a week!


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Friday, November 03, 2006

FYI: I'm retarded

Hey folks

I changed my email address password thinking, "Hey I should change my password because that is the responsible thing to do if you want to keep people from stealing your identity" or sumthin.

But I failed to remember that I am a retard and I changed it in the middle of the night when I have NO memory in my head and I am an even bigger retard because I didn't write this password down. Then I got a new automated temporary password from yahoo and didn't write that down before clicking on something so when I tried to go "Back" and look at it, the page had expired. SO I had to get ANOTHER automated temporary password.

So, while I wait for the automated temporary password #2 to kick in (apparently takes 24 hours) I will not be able to chat or email from my houston underscore 610 account.

Edit 11/4/2006 12:18AM: I got back into my account :)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Tour of Houston by way of your tummy

Though I am extremely excited about moving back east, I admit there are things I will miss about Houston. I will miss living close to cool stuff like boutiques. I will miss living in a city that is easy to drive around and you don't really need to know how to parallel park. But I'll probably miss the food the most. Houston doesn't have much stuff for visitors, but if you were to take a tour, you'd have to take a tour of the food. There's the requisite BBQ. Beef brisket is king. There's the mexican food and tres leches, tres leches, and more tres leches (I guess that would make nueve leches, at least). There is a HUGE Chinese population and so many places to get authentic Chinese food marching along side the General (Tso). There are also so many good cafes for lighter fare like sandwiches and salads. That being said there are AMAZING places for sinful desserts like 6inch tall, three layer chocolate cakes that deserve the name "Death By Chocolate".

Here are some of my favorite places to eat in Houston:

Amazon Grill - BEST cilantro salad dressing in the world and it tastes good on EVERYTHING. I definitely recommend the Amacones, crunchy tortilla cones filled with seasoned chicken and topped with a dollop of guacamole.
Berryhill Baja Grill & Cantina - gotta try their fish tacos. Though I think grilled with the original set-up of special sauce and shredded red cabbage is better than the tempura fried orginals.
Café Express - excellent shrimp and avocado salad and they have monthly specials. My favorite was this jerk chicken sandwich with chipotle sauce with a side of sweet potato fries.

Central Market - yeah, it's a grocery store, but MAN, what a grocery store! A dozen variety of apples alone and the wall of chocolate from around the world says it all.
China Bear - best Chinese buffet in the area. How they keep their General Tso so crispy all the time is a mystery to me.
Chocolate Bar - home of insane Death By Chocolate cake. I swear I almost died eating that thing. They also have lots different kinds of chocolate ice cream and chocolates, of course.

Chocolat du Monde - excellent Belgian chocolates that make even the worst days a little better. Favorite piece is probably the one called Mephisto. Mmmm...sin.
Dessert Gallery -yummy sandwiches and to DIE FOR Texas sized cakes. My fav's are Mom's chocolate cake with choclate frosting, Diner yellow cake with chocolate frosting, and Luscious Lemon cake that is like having cake and lemon meringue pie at the same time. Plus they have LCD screen showing how they decorate the cakes. Total food porn.
Katz’s - NY style deli restaurant that never Kloses. Awesome yankee pot roast sandwich at 3am.
Paulie’s - great paninis and Big salads . Skip the cookies though. They look pretty and that's about it.
Pico’s Mex-Mex Restaurant -Seafood enchiladas!!!! and my favorite rice and beans anywhere. I'll miss this the most because I know I can't get real Mexican food up north.
Ruggle’s Café & Bakery - MMM....almond slice encrusted goat cheese salad with grilled chicken and sundried tomato vinaigrette. And I dont even like sundried tomatoes, so thats saying something.
Silver Palace - best Chinese buffet close to the medical center
Taste of Texas - No talking when we eat here. Best steaks and salad bar EVER. Seriously, no talking.


I'm going home! Yay! Goin' home! Yay!

My bestest friend Grace is flying to Houston on Nov 18 and she will accompany me on the 1,340 mile drive back to the east coast!

It should take about 3 days, 2 nights. We'll have a short first day and spend some time in New Orleans and try to stay in a hotel in the French Quarter. Then we'll have a longer second day and spend the night in Greenville, SC or somethin between Atlanta, I mean HOTlanta, and Charlotte. Grace and I are great traveling buddies so I'm excited about this trip! I've never driven so far before. Well, I was in a car on the same trip from Houston to Virginia back in 1983, but I don't remember any of that.

If it don't fit in my car, it ain't comin' with me. So I have lots to do to sort out all of my junk. After Katrina and Rita, I realized I don't really need STUFF. Almost everyTHING is replacable. I'll try to sell some stuff, but a lot will just be thrown out or maybe donated. I'm not really sure how I'm gonna do all that. Craigslist I guess. But I'm going to toss every tshirt that has a little hole near the belly button resulting from leaning up against lab benches with bleach or other mysterious chemical residue, which sadly, is a lot. Dishes, glassware, and pots and pans are going. Small favorite kitchen gadgets, like the microplane grater, will be kept. Old text books are going because the most important bio texts are free and online at the NCBI Bookshelf website anyway. So basically, that leaves clothes I actually wear, sentimental things, fun books, jewelry making supplies, my laptop, and stuff for my thesis.

Thinking about all the crap I have to square away in the lab and in the apartment makes my head hurt.

BUT I'll be home just in time for Thanksgiving! My family moved into our house in Clinton on Thanksgiving in 1986 (right?). That's gotta be a good sign :)

Monday, October 16, 2006

Screw you guys, I'm going home.

That's right folks, I'm headed back east.

Being here in Houston working in this field has worn me too thin. I've given it my best shot to work it alone, but I need more support than what I can get over a telephone. My boss is terrific and we will email frequently so that I can complete the thesis paper. So I'm going to regain my sanity, my happiness, my life at home.

Screw all those who think I'm a failure. None of those people read this blog (I hope), but screw them anyway.

I'm so excited to move back!! I have no idea what the details are but I've made the first scary step.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Zaner Bloser sounds dirty.

There is this article about the loss of cursive handwriting. Some people lament it because they wish things were like how they were back in the "good old days". Most people don't give a crap because they type everything. The only thing for which you need cursive these days is to sign your name on the credit card reader at the store. And who knows, maybe in a few years we won't even need it then when they just ask for your thumbprint.

I however do lament the loss of handwriting, but not because I long for the olden times, but because it's pretty. It's everyday art.

I admit my handwriting has gotten chicken-scratchier over the years due to lack of practice, but there are many days when I just sit down with a blank sheet of paper and write the alphabet. It's soothing. And it's easy when you can't think of anything to draw. For each letter I've decided what my A's look like, B's, etc. I still have a hard time deciding how my upper case I's and Q's should look.

I do also have to admit that I can get pretty obsessive over my handwriting. I was entering my signature into Goo's NintendoDS Brain Age (Blue. Bloo. BLUE!) and I insisted on rewriting it like 20 times. It was freaking ridiculous. I can be pretty anal retentive sometimes.

A person's handwriting is also very telling about their personality. You know exactly the kind of girl who dots her i's with circles, or God forbid, hearts. Her letters are always bubbly and probably, so is her personality (for better or worse). My cursive has lots of flourishes, but mostly angles from right to left, which ,some say, indicates that I look to the past too much.

Oh well, if you feel like you're losing your personality on your keyboard, there is a
thing that, for a fee, that will make your handwritten letters into computer font. Neat.

Maybe over time, cursive handwriting will become what calligraphy is. Beautiful but outdated, always impressive, but simpler than most people think. So in my opinion, it's worth the effort.




Dear Insomnia,

It sucks not being able to call anybody at 3am.



Chupacabras are scary monsters that suck the blood and guts out of livestock in Latin America.

In English, Chupacabra means "Goat Sucker" and that is scary in a completely different way.

You know how on T.V. people who have scary nightmares sit up straight out of bed? That is so fake right? I say Nay Nay! I did that the other night. Sometimes I take sleeping pills that sometimes make me have really vivid dreams. Some are good, some are bad. But the other night I dreamt of a giant tarantual climbing out of my kitchen sink. And believe it or not, I sat straight up out of bed and a little to the right, thereby falling onto the floor.

I'm going to stop taking the sleeping pills. Unfortunately that means I'm here posting random stuff on my blog in the wee hours of the mornin.

Monday, October 09, 2006

I had a McCoun, but I ate it.

Jonagold, Cortland, Empire.

P.S. The Jonagold here is freakin HUGE. Like baby head big.

 Posted by Picasa

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's that time again

Hi everybody. I figured it was time to post a new blog mostly because I'm tired of opening up IE and seeing a picture of magic cup and balls, despite how much I love magic cup and balls.

So instead, let's all look at this. I want this shirt from One Horse Shy.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Made in China

This is something I found at Target in the Dollar Bins.

I sent it to Goo in a care package because it has the words "cups" and "balls". Not only that, but they are indeed "magic".

It wasn't until he called to thank me for the package did he enlighten me to the fact that "each ball penetrates the cup".

Honestly, what the hell???

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Whoooo are you? I really want to know. Who? Who? Who? Who?

I love those random ass surveys people send to their friends or post up on MySpace. I gathered up some from three surveys on my MySpace bulletin board and chose the questions I liked and thought would let you all know a little more about me. I post it here, because I dont like posting stuff on MySpace. This is a crazy long post, but I don't care.

If you were to attend a costume party tonight, what or whom would you go as?
Poor graduate student.

What are your choice of toppings on a hamburger?
Ketchup, mayo, pickles, one slice of tomato, lettuce, two thin slices of red onion

You are chosen to have lunch with the President. The condition is you only get to ask one question. What do you ask?
Did it hurt when I hit you just now with this 2x4?

What is your concession stand must-have at the movies?
milk duds melting in popcorn

What do you think Captain Hook's name was before he had a hook for a hand?
Lieutenant Hand

Rock, paper, or scissors?
Rock on!

Which is worse, being in a place that is too loud, or too quiet?
Too loud, sonny. Turn that dern radio down!

At the good old general store, what particular kind of candy would you expect to be in the big jar at the counter?

What is the most distinguishing landmark in your city?
St. Luke’s Medical Towers in the medical center look like two big syringes.

Everyone hears discussions that they consider boring. What topic can put you to sleep quicker than any other?
business, economics, such and s...zzzzzzzzzzzz

You are offered an envelope that you know contains $50. You are then told that you may either keep it or exchange it for another envelope that may contain $500 or may be empty. Do you keep the first envelope, or do you take your chances with the second?
I’d punch you in the face and take both.

If you had to choose, which would you give up: cable TV, or DSL/cable internet?
I gave up cable TV for you

What is your highest level of Education?
Master of Shit

How much is a gallon of gas in your city?

What would you rather have, a nanny, a housekeeper, a cook, or a chauffeur?
housekeeper, but it better not be that damn Tony Danza

Lets say a brick fell on your foot, and your kid is standing right next to you, what is your 'cleaned up' swear word?
Ah, shit mother fucker. You didn’t hear me say that.

What are your siblings MIDDLE names?
Allan, “Xander” hehehee

What is something you've learned about yourself recently?
I am capable of more than I think.

What color is your watch?
I don’t have a watch.

What time of day were you born?
dunno, I didn't have a watch

Where were you at midnight last night?
On my couch wishing I didn’t live alone so someone could go buy me some Nyquil and chocolate.

What is your most attractive feature?
My eyes

What's your favorite number?

Do you know anyone named Damien?
I know the devil quite well

Do you have a dog?
Kane is my long distance dog.

Did anything bad happen to you in 1993?
No, that was a pretty good year. I applied for college that year.

When was the last time you went swimming?
Two summers ago my apt complex pool. It was hot and like swimming in someone’s spit. NOT refreshing. Fucking Houston.

When was the last time you talked to one of your siblings?
Yesterday I talked to both.

Did you ever go to camp as a kid?
Horseback riding day camp

Do you like fire?
Fire bad! Except when it comes to cooking. Whatever with raw food. I believe in fire.

Are you allergic to anything?
Spring pollen makes me itchy and sneezy. Penicillin gives me a rash. MSG and calcium proprionate give me headaches

When was the last time you cried?
3 hours ago

Have you ever been to a spa?
Yes. It was weird. I’m not really a big fan of touching.

Do you like butterflies?
Not if they touch me.

What is the last book you read?
I’m in the middle of Heat by Bill Buford. Sounds kinky, but it’s just about cooking.

Do you like Coke or Pepsi more?
Pepsi, definitely

Did you ever see the school nurse?
Yes, my uterus hurt.

Are you jealous of anyone?

Is anyone jealous of you?
Doubtful. Maybe homeless people. I dunno.

Ever been stuck in an elevator?
Yes. I pressed the red button for assistance and the guy kept talking about his girlfriend. And I was like, “can I just get out?”

What does your dad call you?
My dear daughter-o. Which is spanish for "my dear daughter", or so he says. We don't speak spanish. Or as he would say, "We no speak-o spanish-o".

What does your mom call you?
Aileen but it sounds like “I-len”

What have you eaten today?
chicken sammich, fries, diet coke (yick) from mcdonalds, and a slice of lasagna pizza from pizza hut. I know, gross, but I’m sick and I get to eat what I want!

Favorite color?

What do you dip a chicken nugget in?
BBQ sauce, honey, sweet chili sauce

What is your favorite type of food/cuisine?
most everything except japanese

Were you a boy/girl scout?
No I’ve always been anti-joining crap and wearing uniforms.

Would you ever strip or pose nude in a magazine?
If the magazine were called, “I want to vomit”

When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone on paper and mailed it?
Back when I had my horse and buggy and we dropped it off at the general store.

Best thing for breakfast?
kielbasa, bagels, cream cheese, and mom’s potato and onion frittata

What is your usual bedtime?
Anywhere between 12 and 3

Are you lazy?
Am I!

Do you read the newspaper?
I read snippits of news online. I'm too lazy to read full articles.

How many languages do you know?
Hmm, one and a quarter. English, a little Spanish, and even less Tagalog

You have any magazine subscriptions?
No but I like Cook’s Illustrated, Prevention, and Yoga Journal

Which are better Legos or Lincoln Logs?

Red wine or white wine?
Neither. Can I just have some water?

Favorite season?
Fall. Houston doesn't have a Fall. Fuckin Houston.

Favorite TV channels?
PBS, nerd!

Who is better...Leno or Letterman?

Ever used a gun?
Nope, and I hope I never do

Occupations you wanted to be when you were a kid?
Doctor. Now I have dreams of being a jewelry maker, artist, yoga instructor, college professor, elementary school art teacher, high school science teacher, professional blogger, cytogeneticist, and most of all, mama.

Do you believe in ghosts?
I believe in the afterlife and parallel universes

Are you superstitious?
a little.

Take a vitamin daily?
No. I’d rather eat.

Wear a bath robe?
Yes, I have three to choose from and wear them rather than real clothes around the house.

What do you wear to bed?
underpants, a tshirt and a big foam “You’re #1” Hand

First concert?
Adam Sandler. Yeah, weird huh? What can I say, I likes my musical comedians. Can’t wait to see Stephen Lynch.

Favorite genre of music?
Hmmm… eclectic folk and funk kinda stuff I guess. Hard to say.

Any tattoos?
nope, i'm not that cool

Wal-Mart, Target or K-Mart?
Walmart’s cheap and I’m going to hell, I know. I’m sorry sweatshop children!

Nike or Adidas?
I don’t care. What’s on sale? And which has a shoe that is blue, white, and gray?

Fritos or Cheetos?
Fritos are more versatile and don’t make your fingers orange.

Ever heard of "gorp?"
Yeah. I’d rather have cashews and dried apricots though.

Ever heard of spuba?
No, and I don’t think I want to.

Ever take dance lessons?
Yes, ballet as a wee toddler and ballroom as a wee undergrad.

Is there a profession that you picture your future/current spouse having?
Bajillionaire. Or writer.

Ever won a spelling bee?
No, I intentionally misspelled because I couldn’t take the pressure.

Tea or coffee?
Tea, only if you make it right with whole leaves and in a French press. But my favorite kind of coffee is regular drip brew with lots of sweetner and creamer, as long as it’s fresh.

Favorite kind of cookie?
Chocolate chip with M&M’s

Can you swim well?
Only well enough to save my life for a few minutes.

Are you artistic?
Yes. I’m in the wrong field.

Best room for a fireplace?
In the bedroom near my $240 worth of pudding.

Have you ever gone fishing?
Yes, but I don’t do the actual fishing. I’m afraid of sharp objects flying through the air and impaling me in the eyeball.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Adorable AND Disturbing! Can't beat that deal

It's even more disturbing when you learn that the title of this painting is 'I asked for scrambled'.

But what goes great with eggs? Ham of course!

Everybody loves ham.

These paintings are from http://www.lukechueh.com/.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


This is my brother. He has an Emmy. I am SO proud.

See, this is what happens when you follow your heart.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

RIP Ann Richards, Former Texas Governor (1933-2006)

"Poor George (H.W. Bush). He can't help it. He was born with a silver foot in his mouth."
- Ann Richards at the Democratic National Convention in 1988

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Guess what my next henna tattoo will be!

Edward is beginning to train as a tattoo artist and mentioned to me a new fad in tattoos.


Also, there are Tear Tattoos:


pictures from http://www.needled.com/archives/2005/09/finger_mustache.php

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Wash your feet, dirty girl

This is my foot and the closest thing I have to a tattoo. I tried henna years ago and it was a messy mess and didn't work very well. But here I used Earth Henna that I got from Whole Foods and am very pleased with the whole process and results. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 31, 2006


Stephen Lynch is funny. Listen to him. Especially "Vanilla Ice Cream", "Baby", "Bitch", and "Beelz". He is also a very sick sick puppy. Be warned.

There will be a Reno 911 movie next year. I dont watch that show, but guess who will be in that movie? ALL 11 members of

Men are from Mars. Women are from Venus. Pluto isn't a planet. So..."My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nothing". Sad. Your momma don't love you.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Cleveland ROCKS hurt when they fall on you

I spent last weekend helping Goo move back to Case in Cleveland, Ohio. I had a really good time and always love spending time with my big old baby brother. We ate good food at Aladdin's, a middle eastern restaurant, and at Presti's, a bakery cafe in Little Italy.

We didn't eat any giant hot dogs though. This is actually the Phish hot dog in the lobby of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

We went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Gift Shop. We didn't bother going into the actual museum. Admission cost $22!

So we went to the science museum instead for only $9 each.

Goo may be gay. Or he just controls the winds. Or has a lot of wind. That boy sure does fart a lot.

I got an awesome low slung purse from an import shop on Coventry where Goo also got a cool tapestry to hang up and cover his dormroom closet.

He's in the closet but he's not gay. I just wanted him to confine the farts to one area of the room.

We also went to a cool antique shop where we saw cool stuff and Goo bought a turtle!

It's actually a soup tureen. Possibly for turtle soup. Yuck. But since the turtle was damaged it was only $5! Goo will probably use it as a planter and not a soup tureen.

Cleveland is an interesting city and apparently stuck in between some weird time space vortex.

This is the business school at Case. Crazy! And doesn't have a single right angle in it! Too bad right angles are necessary when you want to hide from a armed lunatic!

To conclude, Cleveland seems like a pretty cool place, even if it is a little bit sketch.

Rock and roll + violence = rifle guitar

To be completely honest, Cleveland probably isn't more sketchy than any other similarly sized city. But Case, like many wonderful universities, is in a very sketchy part of town. Good luck this year, Goo, and stay safe!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Random thingy

So I'm watching Criminal Minds and this week's story is set in Tennessee. An extremely mentally ill man is accused of killing 3 people and kidnapping a boy. His mother is being questioned by Hotchner played by Thomas Gibson aka Greg from Dharma and Greg. The following is paraphrased.

Hotchner: How long have you lived here?
Woman: All my life. I went to college in Virginia, but except that, just here.
H: Where did you go to college?
W: Sweet Briar. You know it?
H: My mother went to Mary Baldwin.

Cool! My teeny lil' women's college was mentioned on a TV show!

Hotchner went on to say that he knew Sweet Briar and Staunton (pronounced correctly!), Virginia well and that it was filled with people with a lot of old money and a lot of pride and she wanted to hide the fact that her son was a psycho.

Mary Baldwin and Sweet Briar the two women's colleges in Central Virginia. I assume girls who went to Sweet Briar had more money because they had an equestrian team. But you wouldn't have to search hard at all to find debutants at either school.

There's still hope in Pandora's box

One of my favorite things used to be finding new music and recommending it to friends. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find anything good to listen to in a very long time, and basically I just gave up on new music. But now I don't have to because there is a website that will help immensely.

I was perusing
Time Magazine's 50 coolest websites and found one really awesome thing, Pandora. Type in a song or musician you like and it finds similiar music, not based on typical genres or era or band appearance, but on tonal qualities in the song. Then Pandora will play these songs like a radio! AND Pandora is free and you don't have to download anything!

So far the only thing I don't like about it is that is part of something called the Music Genome Project. "Lame use of the word genome," says the nerdy geneticist.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Check out the post here http://www.simpsonschannel.com/#newsitemEEVulZlVyFkdVEyigt
from July 26: Simpsons movie b&w animatics!!

And if you watched the Simpsons yesterday, you would have caught a preview of the season 18(!!!) premiere episode where Homer imitates Mushmouth from Fat Albert http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=My1yszk0UV8 . That had me nearly peeing in my pants. I'm not sure why. I was a wee hyper yesterday.

I'm in a Simpsons mood lately. I haven't been watching the new episodes as regularly for the past couple seasons. However since summer TV sucks I watch DVDs a lot. Unfortunately, when it comes to the Simpsons, I only have seasons 1, 4, and 6. Hint hint nudge nudge.

Edit 8/13/06: I caved in and bought Season 5. Who needs the Qwikie Mart? I dooooooo!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Holy crap, she's cute

A Catholic Family

Thanks Edward for these photos. The rest of the photos have been copied into my yahoo photo album with the rest of the pics from Alexis'
baptism. But here are a few more of the ones I like.

Here's Alexis in her baptismal gown. Absolutely a precious angel. That's me holding her. Her dress is from the Philippines (thanks to Lola and Uncle G) and is fashioned a little like a barong tagalog.
Here is the actual baptism at one hell of a baptismal fountain at St. Thomas More. The holy water runs from the top where Alexis is lying, down a stepped slope, falling into a pretty deep cross/pool that has steps going down into it. I guess it's deep enough to get dunked. I didn't try and Alexis just had water poured on her head.

Here's a photo that I like of Rachel and her sweet lil babe just trying to get through the big day.

I'm glad she doesn't look like Mr. Roper anymore.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

So much to say

Here's a new post because I'm tired of looking at the same one.

I have nothing to say really. Nothing I'd want to post online.


Ok, until next time.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Silly String

Albert Einstein died trying to figure out a unifying theory of everything. Problem is that some rules of physics work on a small subatomic scale, but not on a giant planetary scale, and vice versa. Some physicists think it may be solved using String Theory (Nova on PBS has a really interesting series on string theory http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/elegant/). I think it's all very interesting but it's impossible to understand without have a grip on all of the dimensions. Here's a link that helps. But I'm still not sure I fully understand. Wait, maybe, yes?...no, no I've lost it.


I once got in trouble for laughing too loud at an art museum

Here is a link to a page with a collection of strange statues from around the world.

I think the some of the strangest statues always involve children in some way. Like this one:

I know babies can be pretty sticky sometimes, but geez. Maybe this guy got his wish when he wanted to be a "babe magnet". He got all ready, worked out some, got naked and then POOF! Babe Magnet...."DAMMIT! Wrong kind of babe. Crazy genies taking everything so literally!"

It reminds of another statue, in Richmond on Monument where there are monuments (get it? huh? huh?!) of Civil war generals....and Arthur Ashe, the black tennis player.

It looks like the kids are in a hot tub reaching out to Mr. Ashe, as if to say, "Help, we're drowning! Save us from the hot tub of segregation!" But Arthur swings his tennis racket in defense and yells, "Hell no! Get away! I swear if you get any closer, I'll throw these books at you!"

No? ok, maybe not.

Oh, but here's a new favorite of mine. Sometimes I can be a feminist and I get tired of seeing one phallic statue after another. This giant vag is located outside of a German University's Institute of Microbiology (is it a statement on venereal disease?).

I just wonder if the university students rub it for good luck before an exam.

On the other hand, it also looks like a scary portal into the unknown. LOL. Kinda true, don't ya think? ONLY THE BRAVE MAY ENTER!!!!! LOL that would be such an awesome door.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Rain, rain, fall on me

I'm not a granola head or a bible beater. I don't recycle enough and I eat non-organic animals. I don't go to church enough and I break commandments all the time.

But I like to stand out in the rain. Especially cold heavy downpours after days of sweltering heat. I completely recommend it, unless there is a lot of lightning. But next time it rains, stand outside. Get completely drenched. Look up to the sky and don't duck away. Don't mind the people who think you might be homeless or just plain nuts. Breathe. The air will smell surprisingly fresh, even in the city. Let it rain on you. It will feel like your soul is getting a bath.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Back from the surface of the sun

I'm back from Las Vegas. It was hot. But it was a dry heat. A burning, ferocious, searing, dry heat. I couldn't stop sneezing the first day because of the dryness. Going from 68% humidity in Houston to 9% in Las Vegas was a little much. After 6 liters of water, I felt OK. And if I had to choose, I'd choose a dry heat over humidity in a heartbeat.

But enough about the weather.

Alexis is just beyond wonderful. She is adorable and she likes me and she's not bad to take care of. She's pretty independent and doesn't wail when she wakes from a nap. She's totally content just playing in her crib by herself, as long as she isn't hungry or wet.

I needn't have worried that I wouldn't get much baby-holding time. I held her plenty and wished she wouldn't have to sleep so much. Despite not having changed a diaper in 20 years (Guboy's, ha ha), it was easy. Though, I was very lucky that I never had to change Alexis' poopy diaper. I gave Alexis a bath and fed her and burped her, no problem. It's reassuring to know that when I have babies, I won't be all thumbs. If I lived closer, I would be so happy to babysit Alexis. I did put on her onesie on backwards that one day, but now I know, lol. Edward and Rachel are really lucky to have such a good baby. Let's hope she stays that way.

I didn't get any pictures of Alexis in her baptismal clothes, but I'll be sure to get some and I'll make sure to post them asap. I didn't get the chance to get any pictures of me and Alexis on my camera which really sucks, but I do have the pictures I did take on my yahoo photos
page, including some where you can see how big she is. After cooking a lot of food for the reception into the wee hours of the night and eating a whole bunch, we were all sleepy. And running errands in 118 deg heat is pretty tiring, too. And taking care of a baby is pretty hard because you have to do the feed her-burp her-feed her-change her-clean her-put her to bed cycle every four hours. I loved meeting Alexis and I loved seeing the family, but I was pooped. I spent today in a coma, despite having good intentions to go to work. But when I fell asleep while eating lunch, I decided to call it a night.

I wouldn't say it's good to be back in Houston. But I will say, I can't wait to see my family again really soon.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

What exactly are they selling?

Representatives from laboratory supply companies often stop by the lab to inform the lab manager of sales and discounts for their products. And often they leave product samples and even little trinkets like pens or magnets or candy.

A rep from a small new local company selling plasticware, like tubes and pipette tips, stopped by today and left behind this:


Alexis is a Vegas baby, VEGAS!!

I'm going to Las Vegas for Alexis' baptism. Yay!

I'm the godmother/ninang. Yay!

I'll be gone from Thursday to Monday. Yay!


Monday, July 10, 2006

How to wrap a bowling pin

So I got a comment on my sea glass post asking how I made the necklace. Things are always better with pictures, so here ya go.

First you start with a piece of sea glass. Any will work, but something with curves and bumps will be more secure because the wire will won't slip off so easily.

This glass was rather small so I took about 7 inches of 22 gauge sterling silver wire (though 24 would be easier) and made a loop in the middle . Hold the loop tight against the back of the glass and do not let go until you're sure the loop won't move. Wrap the ends around the front. Try to lay the ends side by side and flat against the glass in the front for a neater look. The ends can crisscross in the back and look all lumpy since you won't see that as much. Once you have the loop in place and you know it won't move, you can use flat nosed pliers (preferrably nylon tipped to avoid scratches) to complete the wrapping around the pendant to ensure a tight fit.

Using wire cutters, cut one wire (blue) so that the end lies in the back of the glass. Smooth the sharp tip with a metal file.

With the remaining long end of wire (red), wrap it around the body of the glass so that the last couple of inches are toward the front. Using the smallest round nose pliers, start a coil with the end. Take the very tip of the wire and make the tiniest, and most circular loop you can. If the loop is crooked, you'll end up with a very noticeable off-shaped coil. Then use flat nosed pliers to hold the edge of the loop and coil the wire around the loop.

To make the leather necklace, take an 18 inch piece of deerskin leather. Attach a fold crimp to each end. You can use a dot of glue to hold the leather in place as you use your flat nose pliers to fold the crimp closed. Attach your clasp of choice; here, I used a lobster claw.

Then attach a jump ring (jewelry term for a circle of wire with a cut at one point so that it can be opened) to the loop and the leather necklace so that the pendant dangles properly and faces front.

Ta-da! A necklace!

I hope this makes some sense. Fine materials, such as sterling silver, are available online or at beading shops. Crafting tools and cheaper, base metal materials are available at craft stores like Michael's.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another museum party

Last night I went to another museum party, only this time at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. $5 for students, $10 for everybody else, free for members. A really good deal. It's sponsored by Starbucks, so there were girls with green aprons handing out the newest frap. Unfortunately by the time we got there they were running out of drinks and handed out coupons for a free tangerine frap. My friend didn't want hers so now I have 5 free fraps! I hope they're good. There were a LOT of people there in the main lobby and the ajoining patio. Almost everyone looked to be part of the hip 20-something midtown crowd. Good people-watching. They had a number of musicians and DJs thoughout the night. I didn't like the music, so I it was a little boring for me. It was just like being in a club.

Unlike the science museum, the art museum didn't have the whole museum open. But the one art exhibit we could see was the Quilts of Gee's Bend. It was SO cool. I saw the documentary on PBS (of course) a while ago and it's a really neat story. So, there is tiny tiny tiny town called Gee's Bend. It is made up of the decendants of slaves on former plantation land. At one point in time, around the depression, Gee's Bend was the poorest town in the whole country. It's still very poor. Before some of the women were "found" they had no electricity or running water. Now, as the quilts they used to cover their beds are selling for thousands of dollars, they are proud owners of refrigerators and washers. But she still hangs on to her old washboard, just in case. So, what happened was, an artfully minded outsider came across the town and saw these quilts hanging on the clotheslines and was just taken aback by the color and modern art-like design of these quilts. The most amazing thing is that all of the women in the town who make these quilts and have been making them for generations, don't know a thing about modern art. They took inspiration from their surroundings. It's all a priori. For example, a common pattern is called "housetop" and is taken from what you see when you look up to the underside of a roof.

I haven't been to an art museum in a long time and I forgot how much I LOVE it. I was with someone who doesn't get modern art, so I kind of felt like a giddy nerd, especially gushing over any quilt with red cloth (I love red, lol). But the colors were so vivid and the patterns and different pieces of cloth were so varied, it can take a long time to look at one piece. You can get lost in staring at patterns and colors (well, at least I can). But I think the best part of this exhibit, or really any art exhibit - classical or contemporary, is the story behind the art. The quilts of Gee's Bend are more engaging when you realize where they came from. But quilts, in general, kind of take it one more level further, because each piece of fabric has a story. You can see it in the blue quilts- the strips of fabric have a soft color gradation from dark blue to white. None of it's intentional. The strips of blue were made from well worn denim pants or workshirts. You can just imagine how hard these people worked. Everything was spared, nothing thrown away, just transformed into what would become internationally acclaimed modern art.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

And the winner is...


He beat Chestnut by 2!!! 54 hot dogs in 12 minutes.

That's consecutive win No. 6 for Kobayashi.

Ah, well good try Chestnut. You beat your own record. Just keep on gobbling those wieners!

Happy Independence Day everybody!

P.S. Did you all SEE that Italy-Germany match??? GOD!! 118 minutes of my life wasted on NOTHING but completely saved by the most shocking two minutes of soccer I've ever seen. Granted, I haven't seen that much soccer. But WOW!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Ultimate Showdown!!!!

The date: July 4th, 2006
The place: Coney Island
The event: Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest
5 time Nathan's champion from Japan, TAKERU KOBAYASHI
(I have no idea why he looks like a scary buff albino clown)
("Gee whiz, Beav, I sure like to gobble down wieners!")
WHO WILL WIN!!!?!?!?!?
read the buzz here
Oohhh I'm so excited and kind of grossed out! But who am I to wag my finger at gluttony? Tomorrow I am planning to eat beer soaked brats, cheese stuffed burgers, potato salad, chips and salsa, fresh squeezed lemon-limade with strawberries, and butter pecan ice cream with marshmallow fluff, hot fudge, chopped nuts, whipped cream, and a maraschino cherry (or two...or three). If you hear an explosion tomorrow, those aren't fireworks! (it's me)
LOLOL those sentences rhymed. LOL. Am I drunk?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Another random veggie post

A couple of days ago I tried another "new" vegetable. "New" because I've eaten artichokes before plenty of times - jarred and in dips. But this time around I bought fresh ones and had to Google "how to eat an artichoke".

It was pretty tasty and really simple to cook. I just steamed it in the microwave for 8 minutes after trimming the top and bottom. But eating it was a lot of work for the amount of food you get, much like crabs. But I love both so I don't mind the work. Plus it's nice to take a nice long time to eat a veggie while watching t.v.

Since I had never eaten a fresh artichoke before I was a little afraid because there are a lot of parts you're not supposed to eat. I thought I'd choke and die and since I live alone nobody would notice. But really, why give a veggie a name like artiCHOKE? Bad marketing if you ask me. That's like having foods called Stabbycarrot or Deathlettuce or Heartattackburger. Wait, I'd still probably eat Heartattackburger. Sounds pretty good.

Kneel before Wonder Woman!

This is from Gofugyourself.com. Why is Wonder Woman dressed up as Zod? She wasn't even in Superman.

See, straight out of the Zod and crew wardrobe.

Even the guys had the puffy sleeves.

Now, was Linda Carter dressed like this at the Superman premiere? As an homage to the Superman movies of old? Did someone trick her into thinking everyone else would be dressed up as their favorite Superman character?

Upon closer inspection, there are what seem to be pirates in the background of that red carpet photo. Maybe it's the Pirates of the Carribean premiere and Linda Carter is just a huge freak.