Tuesday, October 30, 2007


I'm back from Halloween Horror Nights. I've got some fun pictures to share and I want to tell you about my trip, but I'm kind of deflated right now. It irks me that I've been working on my haunted house for over 2 months and now we have a tropical storm/hurricane on the horizon that is supposed to hit us tomorrow night. Mind you, it's been pretty calm all summer long, but nooo, it has to hit on Halloween and ruin everything that I look forward to all year long.

To say that I'm pissed and annoyed would be a huge understatement.

Monday, October 22, 2007


As long as I can remember, I always asked my parents for a puppy. Every Christmas, every birthday, every chance I got, I asked for a puppy. My parents always said no. No, there's no room. No, they're too much trouble. No, you're allergic. No, No, No. Finally, one day in 1998 my perseverance paid off. I walked into a pet shop with my mom (just to look of course) and won her over when she saw the cutest, smallest, whitest little chihuahua she had ever seen. A couple of days later we brought him home. His name, Peewee. At the age of 22 I finally got my first dog. Needless to say the dog and I were inseparable. I taught him tricks, I took him for walks, we played fetch with his favorite stuffed cow (la vaquita) and he slept in my bed with me. When I got married (in 2002) my mom said "you're not taking my dog with you".

How do you like that? The people that wouldn't let me have a dog for all those years, now didn't want to let him go. I let Peewee stay with them (as if I had a choice) since I was never really home those days anyway (work during the day, school at night), so he would've been alone all day if he went to live with me. So of course Peewee then got attached to my mom. They would go for long walks twice a day, she taught him tricks and of course they played all day with his beat up cow. He would watch the soaps with her or watch the game with my dad and curl up on the sofa next to them so they could scratch his back.

Even though I didn't live at home anymore, Peewee was always at the door to greet me hello whenever I came. He liked Christian too, but only from a distance. Christian loved chasing him and he had just recently learned to say "Peewee! Peewee!". Christian would grab his cow and throw it to him and Peewee would run to get it and then bring it back and they would do it all over again. They were perfect for each other because neither would get tired of the game. It was endlessly amusing for both of them.

In the past month or so, Peewee hadn't really been doing well. He'd always been a bit chubby (7 or 8 pounds), but recently he had been jaundiced and had lost some weight. We were concerned, but still hopeful. The vet gave him some medicine because he said his liver function was not doing well. The medicine didn't work and the weight kept coming off (he now weighed a little over 3 pounds). An appointment with a specialized vet was made, a scan was taken and the worst was revealed...cancer of the liver. They said perhaps surgery would help, but that carried only a 40% chance of success. We received this dreadful news last week. I guess we were in denial since he was still up and running about.

Last night I went to see him because my mom was crying and she wanted to put him to sleep because he had been throwing up and could barely stand up anymore. He was sitting up in his little bed, but was very weak. He looked like he was using all his energy just to sit up for me. I asked him to lay down and I put the blanket over him. I patted his little head and cried next to his bed. Christian came over to pat his head too. Without any of us having said anything, Cman seemed to understand that all was not well with the doggy. I sat there for a little while caressing Peewee's head. If I knew that was the last time I was going to see him alive, I would have picked him up, hugged him, kissed him and held him. Held him all night long if need be.

This morning, the first dog I ever had, the first dog I ever loved, passed away. I am beside myself with sadness.

Rest in peace my little baby. I love you and miss you.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Halloween Ninja

A couple of weeks ago, I was in Target when I noticed these cute little "you've been booed" bags. They have candy in them and you're supposed to hang them on your neighbor's door (without them knowing who it's from) and then they're supposed give a treat to 2 or 3 more neighbors, etc. It's kind of like a Halloween chain letter (except with candy!). I, being the crafty thrifty type, decided I'd make my own, so I bought all the supplies and put them aside to make my boo bags. Unfortunately, I'm not only crafty, but a huge procrastinator, so the supplies just sat there until one night I came home and was interrogated by two of my neighbors.

Them: We're you the one with the bowl of candy?
Me: What?
Them: We found a bowl of candy on our porch. The neighbor over there got one too.
Me: Really? How cool, did it say that you're supposed to pass it on to another neighbor?
Them: Yes. So it wasn't you? We figured...of all people, it had to be you.
Me: No, no, it wasn't me, but whoever it was beat me to it because I was going to do that too. Ha ha! That's great!

How cool is that? I was so excited that the Halloween bug had bitten someone one in my neighborhood and that the spirit of the season was alive. I was a bit bummed that I didn't get a bowl of candy, but I figured I would get one soon enough and now I already had the treats to pass on! Woohoo!

That night I went out to run an errand. When I came back I found this on my porch!
How cool! I got a bowl! I got a bowl! As you can see, it had a glow necklace and some Halloween balls and some candy and a piece of paper with some writing on it. Oooooh Spoooooky! I pulled the paper out and read the instructions slowly and carefully. Wait! This wasn't a boo bag, this was a Phantom Ghost! (I'm such a sucker for these things). So that night I made my treat bags and strategized with Ren over which neighbors I would give them to.

This is the part where I started to freak out because you have to do it secretly so that they don't see you. I kept thinking what if they go outside at the exact moment when I'm putting the treat on their porch? After much hemming and hawing I finally decided to just give the treats to the two neighbors to the right of my house.

Under dark of night, I slowly crept past the next door neighbor's car and opened the screen porch door. It let out a squeak that almost made me turn back. I quietly snuck in and decided to put the treat bag on one of the chairs in their front porch. I couldn't bring myself to hang it from the door knob because I didn't want them to hear me. I ran out as fast as possible and headed over to the next house. Another neighbor was outside talking on her cell phone. I hadn't noticed I had a witness. This meant I had to be extra careful and extra quiet at the next house so that she wouldn't see me. I gingerly went to the next house and tiptoed past their cars. I figured this one would be even more difficult because although they didn't have a screened in porch, they did have a dog and you know those damn animals can smell you coming a mile away. So far so good, no dog barking. One step closer..another...another OH CRAP! These people have a motion sensitive flood light! BAM! The light went on and I looked like a deer caught in the headlights. The neighbor on the phone started laughing (I don't know if it was at me or at the conversation,but you know when something happens like that, you always think everything is about you). I kept walking towards the next house as if that was my plan all along. I wasn't going to this house...nooooo...I was going to the next house, yep. Alright folks, nothing to look at here. I have nothing in my hands, keep going about your business.

After the flood light freak out, I kept on walking towards the mail box to make it look like that's where I was originally headed to when I decided to cut through my neighbor's front yard. I didn't want the cell phone neighbor to know that I was the Phantom Ghost (sounds like a Scooby Doo episode). I checked my empty mailbox and then decided to just leave the other treat at the closest house (the one by the mailbox). I crept up to the front porch and opened the gate. Great, even squeakier than the first one. I held my breath and took light steps but unfortunately this porch didn't have any chairs on it. I didn't want to hang it on the door knob because I knew it would make noise so I propped it up against the window. It fell down. Fuck! I picked it up and put it there again and pressed it towards the screen. The screen made noise. Crap! This is taking too long. I left it on the window and backed out of there as quickly as possible. I decided to cut through the neighbor's yard again (you know for consistency). This time I walked past their tree and walked right into a spider web. Yech! I kept walking faster and faster towards home while peeling spider webs off my face and body. I really didn't want to get caught doing my Halloween ninja deeds. What kind of a Phantom Ghost gets caught? A sucky one, that's what kind.

I finally made it back to the safety and security of my front porch. The motion sensor light went on. I reached for my keys and noticed a giant spider on my arm. Aack! I must have been carrying it on me since I walked into it's web. I calmly flicked it off my arm, but it just came right back up. I flicked it again and it started floating right back up. It had a piece of web coming out of it's butt-web-factory and the other end of it was stuck on to me somewhere, so whenever I would flick it off, it would come right back up the web. This is the part where my calm demeanor vanishes. I frantically brushed my entire arm, my back, my butt, my legs, my stomach, my hair, my face. I was turning in circles and swatting all parts of my body while trying to hold the evil animal off at bay. I looked like a maniac doing the macarena. EHHHH MACARENA AHAI! I finally broke the spiderweb link of death and squashed him (I generally don't kill non-roach insects/bugs, but I was irate by this time).

I don't think I'm cut out for this under-dark-of-night-ninja crap.

Oh, and those neighbors never even passed the treats on to another neighbor. Fuckers.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Tristan! -Updated (again)

My friend Lissette had her baby boy today. He's got chubby little rolls on his legs and he's really pink! He also has a little bit of brown wavy hair. I think he's going to look like his mommy.

I didn't get to take too many pictures because I dropped my camera and it stopped working (but it's working again now...it has 9 lives I tell you...oh and it's also jinxed).

With all the excitement of seeing the baby (and dropping my camera) I didn't really write down his stats, but I believe that he weighed 8lbs and 10oz and was 23 inches long. I am going to go see her during lunch tomorrow, so I'll update the stats and get more pictures.


Tristan Alexander
10/17/2007 2:22pm
20 and a half inches long
8lbs 10oz

Here are some more pictures: Poor little baby kept making a frowny face when the flash would go off.

I went again today (Friday) during lunch time. This kid gets cuter by the day!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Proof positive that going to the gym is bad for my health

I was walking to the gym this afternoon when I happend upon this fellow.

I'm glad that water bottle was there for a bit of scale. Otherwise I would have been forced to put my hand next to him...ha ha..I kid, I kid. Actually, I used the full zoom capacity of my camera. I was not about to go in for a closer shot of this lovely creature.

Note to self: Must discontinue gym usage, it is dangerous.


Monday, October 15, 2007

The Little Farmer

Yesterday we took Cman to the Little Farm. This was our first visit there and we had a wonderful time. They have a pumpkin patch, a petting zoo, pony rides, little play houses and a butterfly garden. Chris loved the pumpkins and kept saying "punkin" and trying to hug them and take a bite out of them. The petting zoo had one or more of the following: goat, sheep, PEEPS, turkey, chicken, bunny and pig. Cman kept trying to pet them on the business end and I was afraid that he would either get kicked or pooped on (or kicked and pooped on). His favorite animal was the bunny. He kept petting it and saying "Bum! Bum!" (he can say bunny now, but he sleeps with a rabbit that he named Bum back when he couldn't say bunny).

When it came time for the pony rides, I thought for sure that he would be scared of them. He doesn't even like to sit on the 3-horse-carousels in front of the grocery store...not even when they're OFF. I figured a real pony would be out of the question. But wouldn't you know it. He sat on the horsie like he's done it all his life. He held on to the saddle and was just relaxin on the ride. I walked next to the horse holding on to him in case he decided to jump off (mission abort!) because the horse was too scary, but nope...he was calm, cool and collected the whole time.

They also had some little play houses and Chris LOVES those, so he spent a good deal of time going in and out of them and closing the windows and opening the windows and closing the windows. Next, we headed over to the butterfly garden where there were so many pretty butterflies. They wouldn't land on us, but they did sit still on the branches sometimes, so you were able to touch them before they flew off. CMan loved running up and down the bridge and trying to grab the butterflies. I found some other nifty creatures there too.
Finally, as we were leaving the butterfly area we saw some of the other animals that lived at the farm and called it a day. Christian had a huge smile on his face and so did I. I definitely think we'll be going back there again (we only spent $5!).

On the ride back home I saw a pretty little country house (you hardly see this type of architecture down here) and I made Ren stop the car on the side of the road because I just had to take a picture of it. It was so cute. It had a plaque in front of it that said Lindgren House; It turns out that it's a historical home!

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Monday, October 08, 2007

You may want to read this in installments

I'm feeling alot better now...and that was the shortest lived weight-loss ever. I guess Lilli's birthday cake from Saturday night didn't help, neither did the chocolate chip cookies I had last night, neither did the cake I just ate here in the office for someone else's birthday. You can see where this is going, but I bet you didn't come here to read about cake. Ah yes, California. Have a seat, we'll be here a while.

Day 1
Well, I got there on Friday around 11am and Jen picked me up at the airport and we headed over to Downtown Disney. Our first stop was the Rainforest Cafe where we met up with a hairy friend. Afterwards we walked around and looked at the pretty stores and restaurants. We went over to Disneyland and California Adventure so we could get a preview (we were going to go on Monday) of the Halloweentime decorations they put up during this time of year. After that we headed back towards the car because I was kind of pooped, but not before walking into a store that had a couple of Halloween decorations in the window. "Should we browse in here? sure, why not". Well, I'm glad we decided to go in because that store contained the mother load of all Halloween villages. If you think the Michael's spooky village display is large, you ain't seen nothing yet. Jen and I almost collapsed at the sight of it. The people around us were staring at us because we were freaking out so much and going "wow, look at this...and look at this one...oh my god, look at the little arm....and this one has dangling legs...oh there's more back here....there's a train...and a carousel....a swing!...and look at this little bench and check out the lights...." You get the point.

Day 2
The next day we headed out for some shopping at the dollar store. They have so many Halloween things at the dollar stores over there that we don't have here. I bought so much stuff it almost didn't fit in my suitcase. After that we spotted an Ecuadorian restaurant and a Salvadorean restaurant next to each other, that was funny (R is from Ecuador)... of course we picked the Salvadorean one where I promptly ordered one of everything in sight....to go. We went back to Jen's apartment and I was amazed at the size of the pupusas from the restaurant. They were almost as big as my hand! After my eat-fest we stayed in and rested. We would need all the energy we could get for Knott's Scary farm that evening.

After our nap (you know you're getting old when you start scheduling naps into your vacations) we were on our way to Knott's Bery Farm Haunt, but first we made a quick stop for some aspirin for me because I had a major headache (another sign of old age) and a funny stomach (hmm...I wonder why). We went into the park and stopped at the buffet for a quick bite and something to drink and then we were on our way. Knott's had 13 haunted houses and 6 shows (plus the rides), so we had our work cut out for us because we only had about 6 hours to do everything. Fortunately Jenny had the hookup, so we got a VIP wristband that admitted us to the front of the line for (mostly) everything. We saw all but one of the haunted houses, but we only saw one show called the Hanging. It had alot of funny pop culture stuff in it (kind of like the bill & ted show at Halloween Horror Nights) and alot of men jumping around and fighting in their underwear. Who's complaining? Not me. We got on a couple of cool roller coasters and this thing that drops you from a height of 254 feet (excellent for those of us that don't like heights). After all the rides, houses, underwear, decorations and scares, we were pooped and called it a night around 2:30 am.

Day 3
On Sunday we took it easy and stayed home most of the day. We needed to recuperate from the last couple of days and we needed to save up our energies for Disneyland the next day. At night we went to the movies to see Good Luck Chuck. I live in a cave and hadn't ever seen Dane Cook before, so I kept saying "hello...who is that?"....of course all the gratuitous naked Chuck shots in the movie had nothing to do with it. The man has dimples on his ass...that's impressive.

Day 4
The following day we crawled out of bed, grabbed a muffin and headed to Disneyland to enjoy the day. I snickered silently at the throngs of parents struggling with small children, trying to navigate the park, and I thanked my stars I wasn't one of them that day. Ha ha. Sorry Christian, you're going to have to wait till you're older, theme parks and toddlers (that don't like strollers and don't like to walk) do not mix well. Thankfully the weather was gorgeous and the park wasn't very full, so the lines were manageable.

First we went to Adventureland and we rode the Indiana Jones ride, then we headed over to New Orleans Square to ride the Pirates of the Caribbean and the haunted mansion (which deserves a whole post to itself) which had been completely converted (inside and out) into a Nightmare before Christmas haunted house. After taking 999 pictures (there's always room for one more) of the haunted mansion, we headed over to the Winnie the Pooh ride in Critter Country. Afterwards we took a stroll through Frontierland to go ride on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Splash Mountain was next in line (with a fastpass), then we got on the Disneyland Railroad and headed to Fantasyland. We didn't ride It's a Small World because the line was outside in the hot sun (wimps) and there was no fastpass for it, but we did go on the Matterhorn (very short line). The Alice in Wonderland line was long and the teacups make me nauseous (getting old), so I just said hi to Alice and went on my way to Tomorrowland. The line for Space Mountain was only 15 minutes long, so our fastpass was useless since the lines were combined into one.

Although I had been to Disneyland twice before, Space Mountain had been closed for renovations both times. This was my first time riding it in this park. I was expecting it to be the same as the one here, but boy was I wrong. Florida needs to get with the program, the Disneyland ride is so much better! It's darker, longer, faster and plays spacey techno music (sounded like something else for a second there). After our ride through space, we went over to Sleeping Beauty's Castle to take a jillion pictures in every pose known to man (of which I will spare you). We walked through the castle and were once again in Fantasyland where we went on the Snow White and Pinocchio rides (and faked it on the teacups). We hopped back on to the Disneyland Railroad and this time we passed through these weird caves that have animals and dinosaurs in them. I don't remember seeing this in Florida, but I haven't gone on the little train here in a while, so perhaps we have it here too.

Our next stop was the Blue Bayou which is a nifty little restaurant in New Orleans Square. You have to make reservations (Jen made them a week in advance) and it's an indoor sit down dining experience where you really feel like you are outdoors (except for the bugs and heat). Jen and I ate there the last time we came and we liked the ambiance so much that we wanted to come again. The last time we got a table that was in the middle, so we were disappointed, but this time we were happy because we got "waterside" seating which meant that the people in the Pirate's ride would pass by your table in their little boats and wave to you.

It was super cute:

"Hello people eating" ...frantic waving from the boats

"hello Pirate peeps"...frantic waving back (oops I dropped my butter knife)

After you've done this throughout dinner though...it's not so cute anymore, you just start ignoring the people in the boats and wishing the pirates would let you eat in peace.

After a very heavy and delicious dinner I ordered dessert to go because I didn't want to miss the parade. If you're paying attention you will notice that this is really my first meal of the day because I had been feeling queasy all day long; that right there, is a sign that there is something very very wrong going on in stomachland (I didn't see this area on the Disneyland map Claudia).
We didn't make it on time for the parade, so we decided to go to the Finding Nemo submarine ride during the parade in hopes that the line would not be an hour long as it had been earlier in the day. Unfortunately our passage from New Orleans Square to Fantasyland was blocked by said parade, so we had to find our way around it. I stopped for a couple of quick pictures before I expertly navigated around it (by this point, I didn't need a map anymore...what a pro). We made it to the Nemo ride, but the line was still long. We had no choice...we had to wait because neither of us had been on it. Fortunately the line went pretty fast and before we knew it it was our turn to get in the sub. The ride was just as I remembered it (the old 20,000 leagues under the sea ride closed in 1994) with pretty fishes except it was souped up and it had screens with Nemo scenes playing on them, so it seemed like he was right outside your sub. It was lovely and all, but all these days of walking were beginning to take their toll (oldness strikes again) and we were tired. That is...until we discovered that the dude that drives the sub was standing on a platform right there behind us...ha ha...Hey Jen...I dare you to grab his crotch. Nothing like a little mischief to perk you right up.

The line and the ride took 45 minutes, so by the time we got out, the park was closing. I ventured over to Fantasyland to see if perhaps we could sneak in one or two more quick rides, but nope...everything was deserted (that sure made for nice uncrowded pictures though). Reluctantly (it was only 8pm!), we headed down Main Street towards the exit and hit the gift shops where it took me ages to decide what to buy for Cman. I ended up getting him two tshirts and a small mickey mouse. I didn't get anything for R there because he hates all things Disney and wouldn't wear whatever I got him anyway. I just realized that I didn't buy anything for myself (another sign that something must be wrong)

Day 5
My last day there I found out exactly what was wrong. I woke up with the worst nausea and I couldn't handle the smell of the bacon that Jenny was cooking. I know what ya'll are thinking and if I didn't know better I'd swear I was pregnant, but fortunately, I did know better, so no, that wasn't the case. I spent the whole morning making trips from the toilet to the couch and then I had to go and sit on an airplane for 5 hours. Good times, good times I tell you.

So that was my trip, very exhausting and very fun (I've put most of the pictures here) and we're not even done. Jenny is coming to Miami in 12 days (on my birthday!) for part II of our Halloween Extravaganza (Halloween Horror Nights). Hopefully no one will get sick this time.

Until next time my friends...

If you're still reading this, you deserve a cookie because this was a freaking long post.

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Friday, October 05, 2007

Pictures at last

I'm baaaack. I've had nausea and I haven't eaten well for a week. I'm four pounds lighter too, but not for the reason you're thinking (unless you're thinking that I got a major case of the runs in which case you would be absolutely correct).

I left on Friday and all was well until I got a call from Ren telling me that Cman had thrown up all over him....twice. Joy. My poor hubs not only had to be on 24/7 daddy duty (or doodie in this case) but he got a stomach virus chaser. Yes, it was all poop and throw-up in my household while I was gone. Ah, but the revenge monster, she is a fair and generous one; the last couple of days of my vacation weren't all holidays and twinkle lights for me either. Saturday was great and Sunday was good too, but on Monday my stomach began feeling a little tender and sensitive, so I didn't eat but one meal that day (albeit a very heavy and yummy one). On Tuesday it all caught up with me.

When I checked in for my flight at the airport I went to the self check machine and a nice young man came to see if I needed any help with the machine. I told him that I thought I was OK, but then I asked him if I could change my seat assignment. I told him I wasn't feeling very well and wanted to be very very very VERY close to the bathroom (there's a TMI if I ever saw one). So he helped me out and we stood there pondering over which seat was physically closest to the bathroom and how many people I would have to bother to get to it. Yes folks there is no dignity over here.

Fortunately I made it home without a serious airborne gastronomic incident and I am now feeling somewhat better, so it's time to get down to business (blog business that is). I've uploaded some of the pinecrest gardens pictures from last Thursday. I also want to finally share the long awaited birthday party pictures. I especially loved how my cardboard photo-op turned out. It was drawn by yours truly and my mom painted it. My mom also made the piƱata, so we're a crafty bunch over here. Christian seemed a little overwhelmed with everything that day and there isn't even one picture of him smiling. In hindsight perhaps it was because he had just gotten the lovely stomach virus...then again he had fun at Pinecrest, so who knows.

I took about 300 pictures in California. I'm going to have to weed some of them out before I upload them (cause they suck, not because they are indecent), so I guess you can expect to see them around...hm...Thanksgiving?

I'll be back with tales from my trip!

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