Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Long Time No Blog

Yes. I know. I said I was going to update more often, but hey, I'm entitled to a life. So what's new?

The wedding planning is still steaming along, but it's on the back burner for the time being. Dave and I have a million other pressing issues to hack away at for the next few weeks. We're thinking about building a new home in a quiet country subdivision a few minutes from College Station. As a joke, we applied for pre-qualification to build, certain that we would be turned down, but lo and behold, we were approved! Can you believe it? All of that worry and anxiety for nothing, lol. According to the bank, we can handle a mortgage of $1300/month, but there is no way in hell we're going to max out like that. We don't want to be house poor so we'll probably go with something in the $900 range or 125-135K total mortage. We have a meeting with the builder tomorrow at 2pm to sort out our floor plan and financing options. We want to have the info before we go home for the holidays so we can ask our families for advice.

I had a request from a lit agent for an exclusive of my revised manuscript, and of course, I granted it. She has been enthusiastic about my manuscript from the beginning and has tons of experience in the business. I should hear back from her after the holidays and--fingers crossed--she'll enjoy the rewrite and offer representation. I would LOVE to sell something in the next year.

I'm still working on a commercialish chic lit novel (the first in a series of five) while juggling a fantasy novel with a kickass chick protagonist and a pair of erotic romances. I've got a historical romance outlined, too, and hope to start on that one some time in April/May. I know it sounds confusing, but I have a hard time sticking to one thing at a time, especially when I'm writing six (sometimes seven) days a week. The fantasy novel and erotica novellas are ways for me to clear my mind and amuse myself.


So tomorrow or today (Wednesday) is Dave's birthday! Woohoo! He has the day off, but has a fasting blood sugar test in the morning. When he gets back from the hospital we're having brunch. I'm making a Cream Cheese Apricot Coffee Cake (18g Carbs/slice) and a Sausage, Spinach, and Gruyere quiche b/c I am so badass like that. I am unleashing my Martha Stewart this week and baking up a storm for the holidays. I've settled on three recipes that I've been working on for the past few weeks: poinsettia cookies, low carb triple cholocate cookies (13g carbs/cookie) and a hidden mint cookie. And no, I don't use any of that yukky Splenda crap either! There are so many easy ways to cut down on the carbs w/o resorting to that horrid sugar substitute, and I'm not about to make something for Dave to eat that I wouldn't gladly munch on myself.

All right. I really should finish up my shopping list and straighten up the house. Tomorrow's a big day!!!!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Sugar Coating

It's after midnight so I s'pose that means it's officially Turkey Day! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I realize that it's been more than a month since my last post, but in my uber-weak defense, I've had a monsoon of craziness in my life. I won't go into a play-by-play, but suffice to say that planning a wedding, juggling two novels and a novella, drafting proposal packages, and general every day must-dos have seriously bit into my blogging time. The wedding is coming along well. I'm just flying through the checklist. We're doing really well in selecting vendors, too. Our photographer has a great photojournalistic flair, and we have one of the best bakers in the world (literally!) She makes these amazing all-natural confectionary masterpieces and supplies to upscale stores like Whole Foods. She's not like most bakers who make the cake a week or two in advance and chunk it in the freezer. Oh, no! She makes the cake the day before or day of wedding. In our case, the cakes will be baked the evening before and then frosted the afternoon of our wedding before she transports them to The Kyle House. That means super yummy and fresh cake for all of our guests! She's a bit on the pricey side for cake, but hey, you gotta splurge on something right? Check her out at:


Now, keeping with the preceeding theme of cakes and confections, I move onto the subject of sugar coating. I was just having a late night nibble of Italian Creme Cake (one of the samples Sandee gave us during our consultation) and I was thinking about the fact that I don't even like walnuts, but cover it in frosting and I'll eat it. So, I'm staring at the frosting left on the spoon and it hits me. That's one of my greatest weaknesses and maybe one our greatest weaknesses as a collective society. Not the late night snacking (which, yeah, is bad and explains the rising rates of obesity, but that's another post for another day,) but our love of sugar coating. It doesn't matter whether it's healthy foods slathered in frosting or really bad, like uber-depressing news camouflaged in pc terms--we just eat that crap up.

Take for instance, a new USDA study that shows that in this "thriving" economy of ours approximately 35 MILLION people are classified as having "low food security." Yeah, digest that bs for a second. Low Food Security. WTF? Let's translate that from PC-speak to plain English. 35 MILLION people inside the United States of America are HUNGRY. STARVING. LIVING HAND TO MOUTH. DON'T KNOW WHERE THEIR NEXT MEAL IS COMING FROM.

If you're like me, you probably had one of those "What the Hell is Wrong With Our Government" moments. We're spending billions of dollars on a war that started out as pointless but is now (unfortunately) the most important war we've ever had the misfortune to enter. Also, a disproportionate number of poor kids are fighting this war b/c they have fewer opportunities and college costs are astronomically high. Add to that the fact that we don't provide nearly enough Veteran's benefits or even (in my opinion) a fair wage to members of the military. I mean, seriously, if we expect someone to give up a year to go live in some horrid stinkhole to dodge bullets and IEDs, I think the very least we can do is fairly compensate them or ensure that their wives/husbands back home won't have to apply for FOOD STAMPS to support their families. What kind of screwed-up BS is that?

I'd like to see our congressmen/women live on military salaries or without health insurance for a year. That might force change. Right now, we have a Congress who pushed through more earmarked bills than ever before and wasted Hecate knows how much money on worthless projects. Also, medical costs are the number one cause of bankruptcy, and we have at least 46.6 million uninsured Americans (I'm one of 'em.) And don't even get me started on the Medicare "Donut." My head might explode....

Did I mention illegal immigration? Yeah, that's a major problem, and we've done nothing to secure our border from the nutters out there who could easily blend in with your typical group of Mexican/Guatamalan/Honduran/Ecuadoran, etc. immigrants. (I say that with some certainty b/c a number of my relatives could easily exchange places with a person of Syrian/Jordanian/Arabian/Iraqi/Persian/Afghan, etc. descent.) And yes, I realize that I am Hispanic and a descendant of an illegal immigrant. I would like to point out though that being a politically enthused Latina and pro-border security aren't mutually exclusive. Plus, I reserve the right to insist that illegal immigration in the 40s/50s wasn't what it is today. My grandfather came here to work, not for Welfare benefits. He worked hard, paid taxes (yes, you can pay taxes if you're not a citizen,) and established a home and super-productive family with my grandmother who came across legally.

Wait. Come on. Come back. I know that this is a rant, and you're eyes are probably glazed over by now, and if you're like me, you're mind has already jumped topics. Something like this I'm sure:

"Did she just say glaze? Mmmm. Glaze is good, sugary, tasty. Thick glaze is frosting, right? Man, frosting makes me happy, especially straight from the can...."

I know what you're thinking. You're prolly like, "Wow! It's like she's in my head." Scary fact: I am.


Anywho....in summation, let's be wary of the Man sugar coating the important, yet painful stuff. And later today when you sit down to your yummy Thanksgiving feast, take a moment to think of those who have less than you and be thankful for what you have. I know I will....

Monday, October 02, 2006

Consent To Treatment

Oy veh! So I went through with it, and suprisingly, it wasn't that bad. 'Course that's prolly b/c I was majorly doped up....

I'm talking about having my five teeth extracted last Tuesday, folks. Yep, that's right. Five. Count 'em. One, two, three, four, FIF!

...Sorry. I couldn't help myself. I LOVE Dave Chapelle.

Anywho. So last Tuesday, I woke up after maybe three hours of sleep, took a shower, choked down some oatmeal and OJ, and then Dave dragged me out of the house, down the sidewalk, and forced me into the truck. Yep. I was being a big, fat baby about it. I mean, begging, whining, threatening to run away--I'm weak, so very, very weak.

At the dentist's office, they made me sign all of these forms with clauses like "...some patients suffer adverse reactions to analgesics which may require hospitalization...," or "...patients with heart defects are at higher risk of complications which may result in severe infection...," and my personal favorite, "...in the event of your death...." Yeah, there's nothing like consent forms to get that heart racing. Luckily, though, I opted for the pre-meds to the extraction which include my new uber-fave cocktail: Valium, Demerol, and a Phenergan chaser. Nice, huh?

It took half an hour or so for the meds to kick in, and then it was off to the dreaded Dentist de Sade torture chamber. The assistant slathered benzocaine gel on my gums, hooked me up to some laughing gas (whee!!) and before I knew it I was flat on my back--and not in the good way, either. When I started "floating," the doc came in and started jabbing my gums with huge needles until I was numb from my nose to neck. After that, I don't remember much b/c that was the point where they kicked up the gas....

I have some vague memories of stumbling out of the doctor's office with Dave's help, sitting in the parking lot of a CVS, scribbling a rambling, incoherent note on the back of my receipt, and then plopping down on the couch in the living room. I swallowed some Vicodin, Medrol, and Cleocin when we got home and then--well--I started dozing in and out while propped up on the couch. I 'member these snippets of Dave dabbing drool off my chin or coaxing me to drink Gatorade and even helping me change those yukky gauze wads. Ah, l'amour, no?

I have to say, though, this was by far the best medical experience I've ever had. I'm not kidding either. My dentist is one of those super efficient, no bullshit types. I love that about doctors! He minimized my pain, addressed the most pressing issues, and was very informative about my treatment options. And you know what else? I only needed the painkillers (the Vicodin) for the first day. That's it. For the past week, I've been on the Medrol (anti-inflammatory steroid) and Cleocin (to keep me from developing some kind of horrendous, cardiac tissue devouring infection,) but that's all. So yeah, if you're in my area (and you know who you are!) gimme a ring when u need a dentist!!

Onto other interesting info....

Well. Our A/C gave out on Saturday morning and it's seventh level of Hell hot right now so that's not been a lot of fun. Right now, the slightly inept maintenance guy is trying to figure out what the problem is and I don't think he's having much luck. First, he tried changing the filter which is fine b/c it prolly needed changing anyways, but I SERIOUSLY doubt that's the reason the A/C is blowing hot air. I'm thinking it's a teeny bit more technical than that. I sort of want to insist that they call in a professional b/c I'm tired of soaking thru my t-shirts plus heat and antibiotics don't mix well, but I'm really, really trying to be nice. And now he's rifling through my closet, flipping breakers, and did I mention that he's totally NOT talking to me? Sigh. Perhaps I should go retrieve my trusty pair of prosthetic balls so he'll feel comfortable discussing a mechanical problem with me....

Yeah. That's settles it. I'm off to badger the maintenance boy! Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Soma-ch for the Afterglow

Where to start? Well. I suppose the beginning, no? Life has been really great lately. I was having great times reconnecting with old friends and nurturing my current close friendships. I was planning my wedding--you know, getting down to the nitty gritty details--and finally checking off to-do's on my planning lists. My novels are progressing rather well and I'm still talking to literary agents. So yeah, life, in general, was great.

Until last week, when all hell broke loose. Too much drama to get into in detail so let's suffice to say that I am having some MAJOR dental issues. Try taking a crowbar to the face sometime and then maybe you'll understand. My jaw was locked for a days, then I had this intense railroad-spike-through-the-jaw pain along with some incredible swelling and nausea. Did I mention that I no longer have dental insurance? Yeah. Try scoring an appointment without insurance. Not an easy feat...

I've been mixing up my own pain cocktails with some success--and yes, I know that it's dangerous, but when you're in pain, safety goes right out the window. Extra Strength Tylenol with a glass of wine, then Extra Strength Tylonel with Aleve (double doses at a time,) then Extra Strength Tylenol (1000mg) with 500 mg of Naproxen, then 500 mg of Naproxen with some--ahem...borrowed--Soma. I finally nabbed a dentist appointment on Tuesday afternoon where my dentist announced that I would have to have five teeth surgically removed next Tuesday. It doesn't help that I have a mitral valve prolaspe or a heart murmur b/c that limits some of my pain medication choices and increases my risk of serious complications. Oh, joy! So now I'm on some kind of steroid thing (methylprednisolone or medrol) chased with extra strength Tylenol and I am finally receiving some relief! I actually slept last night--my first night of sleep in over two weeks.

I had a mini-breakdown yesterday, too. Normally, I refuse to cry b/c crying is--quite frankly--a sign of weakness. So I like to keep things bottled in because I'm not comfortable asking for help. That's strange and horribly ironic since I'm always the first to volunteer to help someone else, but that's one of my biggest quirks, I guess. At any rate, the pain was at it's most intense yesterday and my dentist hadn't returned my phone calls for pain meds and Dave finally managed to get through and went to CVS to pick up the Medrol and he came back and the prescription warning was about five pages long and I just couldn't take it any more and I started bawling like a little girl. I mean, full on five year old with a skinned knee ugly sobs. Yikes.

Dave came through, though, and did that whole jump off the couch, wrap his arms around my shoulders, soothing promises, stroke my hair, it's-gonna-be-ok-we'll-fix-this-bit. Gotta love having a strong man in your corner, right? If this year has done anything, it's proven that we have what it takes to get through these small crises (Dave's hospitalization, my fucked-up jaw, etc...)

So anywho...I'm going to try to stay optimistic b/c that's prolly the best thing to do right now. All of my invitation stationery has arrived, and it's simply beautiful. I have some great ideas for the ending of my latest chic lit novel and for a paranormal romance I might pen...maybe. Oh, and of course, Halloween is right around the corner and we all know how much I LOVE Halloween!!!!!!

Alright. I'm gonna go take some Tylenol. Laters.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Take Luck!

Short post today. It's a little after 0530, and unfortunately, I am wide awake. I'm in one of those four hour cycles again. Awake 24 plus hours, sleep four hours, awake 20 hours, sleep four hours..... AARRGGHH!! So annoying.

Dave and I are FINALLY going to have some together time this weekend! He's been working tons of extra hours so we can hit our wedding savings goal quickly and move onto our next goal: a house. With stagnant housing prices and surplus inventory, we should be able to negotiate a good deal when we buy next July/August/September. We're also going to be first time homebuyers so we're going to apply for all of those nifty FHA/HUD programs. I mean, why shouldn't we? Right? It's like free money--except for the fact that our taxes fund those programs, lol.

So anywho. We're going to Houston this afternoon to watch Brian Regan this evening. We're staying at The Magnolia, a super posh downtown hotel. We don't often go on vacations, and since this is technically a mini-vacay, Dave decided to splurge a little. I was expecting to stay at La Quinta or something, but when he busted out the reservation receipt, I was ecstatic. I LOVE staying at upscale places. You get dress up and act like you're "somebody." It's so much fun!!!

Yes. Sigh. I know I sound like I'm twelve, but who cares? Why shouldn't I enjoy myself? Hmm?

So let's see. What else? Well--I'm a little worried about one of my soldier buddies stationed in Iraq. His name is Chad and even though he hasn't told me exactly where he's stationed, I've used the powers of deduction and think that he must be somewhere in the Al Anbar province. I mean, his mail goes through Jordan so that would be the most likely scenario. At any rate, I haven't heard from him in a few weeks, and well, it's just tearing me up inside. It's those Mama Hen genes of mine, I guess. If I don't know that all of my chicks are safe and accounted for, I go into panic mode. Hopefully, I'll hear from him soon. I'll keep you posted.

Oh yeah! Sara turned 22 on Thursday! Yay! Happy Birthday to Sara! And she has a new man in her life! From everything I've heard, he's perfect. Literally. Intelligent (biochemistry grad student like Sara,) handsome, kind, generous, chivalrous... Perfect! I'm keeping my fingers crossed for her! And hey--even if if doesn't work out long-term, it's still a wonderful experience. Always gotta look for that silver lining.

Alright. I need to finish this chapter before I start packing. Laters!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Saltines On A Putting Green

It's not quite 0600 and I've been up all night mapping out the plot of my newest novel. I have to say this one was a lot of fun, and I think I might be able to finish the rough draft by the end of the month. Fingers crossed!

I've been really overwhelmed with writing/agents latetly, but feel as if I'm hitting a stride. I know one thing for sure, though. I have to clean my house. I love clutter, but there comes a point when you have to say: ENOUGH! I reached that point around 0317 when I was trying to find a certain book and dropped a hammer on my foot. Yes. Sigh. A hammer. No, I don't know what a hammer was doing between my Arabic manuals and a Sophie Kinsella book. Yes. Yes. I know. Hammers belong in a tool box. OK. OK. I get it!

It's not just the housekeeping that's suffered, though. I haven't even dealt with the wedding in weeks. Not good, I know. I forced myself to order Save the Dates yesterday. I still have to make time to do a mock-up of our invitations and start fiddling with the wording. I'm sure that will spark some kind of backlash from all parties involved, too. Crap. Plus, I had my first bridezilla moment a few days ago. I was handing out Dave's groom to-do list--which I have to point out is unbelievably shorter than mine. I mean, I have 162 items on my wedding planning to do list. He has, like, five. Pick groomsmen, choose tux, give me guest list, deal with transportation, and arrange honeymoon. Can you say gender bias? I mean, seriously, WTF?!?!

Anyways, I was having a really rough day and I was super stressed (and yes, I know that isn't an excuse, but...still.) Dave asked some asinine question about the honeymoon, and I unleashed my inner Mao Zedong. I think my exact quote was something along the lines of, "Mess up my honeymoon and I will crush you like a Democratic Revolt in Communist China. Seriously. Our living room will become Tiananmen Square and I will be the tank barrelling down on your ass."

Needless to say, I apologized shortly thereafter. Actually, I'm kinda relieved that I'm not the only one who feels this way, though. Ash is experiencing the same thing as she plans her wedding. Good to know this is entirely normal albeit inexusable behavior.

Speaking of reprehensible behavior, I watched a rerun of the Daily Show last night that dealt with recent racist remarks by congressmen and Tony Snow, WH Press Secretary. I can't believe that in the 21st century people are still throwing around terms like "tar baby," "macaca," and using racial stereotypes. Then again, it probably shouldn't surprise me. Dave experiences racism all the time where he works b/c the farther east one travels in Texas, the more intolerance one encounters. Plus, it wasn't that long ago that I responded to a call on campus at TAMU and was told by the ignorant, male patient to "...get [my] filthy spic hands off of [him.]" Sad isn't it? It's really sad that someone like that was accepted to this university instead of someone else who probably wasn't a racist.

I guess I've never been the victim of malicious racism. I've definitely been subjected to other forms of it, though. I can remember being six years old, sitting in a classroom, waiting to take some kind of standardized test, and being completely confused by the "pick your race" question. White? Hispanic? Aren't they really the same thing? I mean, Hispanic isn't a race. It's not even really an ethnicity. I mean, no one is born in "Hispana." It's just some label that demographers created. When I asked my teacher which bubble to color in, she shrugged, and asked our elementary principle who said, and I quote, "Tell her to bubble Hispanic. These Mexican kids need all the help they can get."


Can you say defining moment?

Anyways...Jon Stewart and Larry Wilmore, Sr. Black Correspondent, did a segment on racism--especially lazy racism--in the US with their trademark smart ass-ness and satire. This brings me back to the title of today's post. Let me leave you with a little gem from the Daily Show on 22.08.06.

{On Republican Senator George Allen's use of the word "macaca" and Tony Snow's use of the term "tar baby"}

Larry: How am I supposed to be pissed off about ‘macaca?’ That’s weak.

Jon: But you don’t think there’s something though to the idea that phrases like “tar baby” evoke a more dangerous time?

Larry: Yeah but he wasn’t calling anyone “tar baby.” He was using it figuratively. It would be like if someone spills saltines on a putting green, and I say, "Hey! Look at all those goddamned crackers on the golf course!" It sounds bad, but it doesn’t mean anything...

If you have a few minutes, check out the Youtube link below for the full segment. And yes, there is some coarse language, but in this case, I think it's warranted.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Panic! But NOT At The Disco

Just a quick note for today. I know I haven't updated in a weekish, but I've been swamped. Gimme a few days. I'll catch up.

So I had a chance to watch the new Al Qaeda tape not long ago, and well--I'm slightly worried and upset. The reason is really, really simple. In the Qur'an (Koran,) it states that before one attacks or kills another, you must warn them and offer a chance to convert to Islam. (Obviously that's my elementary paraphrasing; I'm no theologian.) Still, you get the point. That's one of the reasons that Bin Laden lost some support after the WTC attacks. He didn't warn or offer Americans a chance to "see the light" so to speak, a direct breech of etiquette.

Now, Adam Gadahn (aka Azzam the American by his Al Qaeda brethren) warns Americans to repent and convert during his rambling speech. The only conclusion I can draw is that--well--they're considering or planning or giving the go-ahead for another attack. I mean, it doesn't take a CIA analyst to put together the info presented to us.

I'm not saying that we should panic or anything. I'm just throwing my pennies into the pool. If it happens, it happens. If it doesn't, then we're lucky. Lucky b/c I don't trust this government to protect us. Anybody remember the 9/11 Commission and that massive report with all of those recommendations that were supposed to be implemented??? Yeah. I'm not even a tiny bit surprised that "our" government only implemented a handful. You know, heaven forbid we actually approach governing this country in an efficient, responsible manner. I suppose that's because employing reasonable intelligence now equals liberalism and--holy hannah--no one wants to be labeled a liberal in this neo-con circus.

Alright. Enough ranting for now. I've got better things to do than depress myself with the idiocy of our current administration. Hurry up and get here 2008! Mama needs to clean house!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Rock En Seine

While I have a few quiet moments in my hectic yet thoroughly enjoyable day, I thought I would update the blog.

Today has been interesting. I listened to lots of great music and had some super-interesting conversations with friends. A particular highlight was when I was telling Ash that I'm considering doing a mind/body/soul cleansing and she remarked that my little experiment will "...look like an Alice Cooper garage sale."

Hmmm. Not sure what she meant by that.

NOT! OK. So I know exactly what she meant. Gotta love The Ash and her sardonically astute witticisms!

I built some time into my packed schedule to send out some emails, too. Most importantly, I contacted I.K., the literary agent interested enough in my manuscript to offer some constructive criticism, and offered her the first look at my restructured/revamped manuscript. I'm not sure if she'll like it. If she does, I'll be ecstatic because that means I can move forward with my dream of a career as a successful novelist. Then again, if she feels that the project isn't right for her, I completely understand. Publishing is, after all, a subjective business. Either way, I sincerely appreciate the effort she put into reading my unpolished manuscript during my first round of queries.

On a different note, I talked to Sparky yesterday. (Sparky being Joey, of course.) He gave me a first hand account of his horrifying ordeal, and it was really disturbing. He says that he's just really tired and sore, but otherwise feels fine. I'm glad that he's doing well, but I'm definitely going to keep an eye on him. I can only imagine how a near-permanent-death experience will affect him mentally/socially. I figure he'll go one of three ways.

1) He'll become a daredevil intent upon living life to the fullest without remorse or consideration for the safety of his person.

2) He'll fall into a gloomy, sulking depression and start abusing some substance.

3) He'll be depressed for a few days, act like a daredevil for a week or two, and then come to terms with new him.

I'm leaning towards number three because Joey is...well...Joey.

Well. I have tons more to write, but I've got a million things to do and a gaggle of girls shouting at me to hurry. Laters!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


If you're hoping to read one of my usual light-hearted posts--well--you're outta luck. Today will have a definitely more serious tone. As a disclaimer, I must say that I wasn't present when these events occurred, but the details have been relayed to me by my mother and younger brother, Marcos.

On Monday evening, my mother, father, Marcos, Tricia, and Marcos' friend, Kyle B., were sitting on our front porch enjoying a cool evening breeze and after a few hours in the pool. The phone rang and Mom answered only to have M.J., Joey's longtime girlfriend, screaming unintelligibly in her ear. Exasperated, Mom handed the phone to Marcos and he attempted to calm her down. Eventually, she was able to communicate her news: Joey had been electrocuted and was being evacuated via helicopter to Del Rio.

Shocked, Marcos dropped the phone and repeated the news to my family. Chaos erupted and my mother, a woman with a serious cardiac history, swayed on her feet before collapsing into a chair. Kyle B. immediately picked up his cell phone and dialed the sheriff's department hoping to get any tiny bits of information available. Dad and Mom ran into the house to change out of their swimming clothes while Tricia started having a panic attack. Dad, Marcos, and Kyle B. worked their phones until they found out that the initial information they had received from Joey's girlfriend had been somewhat exaggerated. (Not her fault, though. She was given bad info by a fellow rig worker.)

They learned that Joey was already on his way home and was doing OK. His rig boss, J.J., drove Joey home, and as soon as the car stopped in the front yard, Joey staggered from the backseat and went straight to Mom. He threw his arms around her in a bear hug and wouldn't let go. At that point, Mom knew that something terrible must have happened to him.

J.J. approached Dad and began to relay the story of what had happened to my brother. It appears that Joey who is twenty (just barely) picked up an electric cord and was electrocuted. The current surged across his chest, and instantly he shouted, "MANUEL!"

(Manuel is Joey's best friend of some fifteen or sixteen years. They are as close as brothers and work together on the rigs. Incidentally, Manuel is J.J.'s little brother. This crew of rig workers is essentially a family.)

Joey's pained shout garnered the attention of the men in the crew, and instantly, Manuel ran to Joey to save his best friend's life. J.J. stopped him before he could make contact and I can only imagine how excruciating it must have been to know that you can't reach out and just yank the cord from your friend's hand. Joey was hit across the chest with some implement and the cord fell from one hand. Eventually, they were able to free the cord from his second hand.

Joey sucked in a deep breath and said Manuel's name again before falling straight backwards, stiff as a board. He was dead. Manuel and J.J. ran to him and began assessing the situation while other workers called 911. CPR was attempted, but Joey wouldn't breathe. Manuel grabbed the shoulders of Joey's shirt and roughly slammed him against the ground, shouting at him, urging him not to die, to breathe. Joey's shoulders met the ground, and unbelievably, he inhaled a ragged breath. The first words out of his mouth were, "Mom. I want my Mom."

The ambulance arrived and Joey was checked out, but because he is an adult and was able to answer the pertinent questions regarding his level of consciousness, he was allowed to refuse treatment. Ah, the machismo of young men.

I have to admit that as I'm writing this, I am crying. I can't really explain why. I guess it's that whole I-could-have-lost-my-brother-bit. Being the older sister, I've always assumed I would go first. I mean, I've had so many health issues that I've just kind of accepted that I'm not exactly gonna win any awards for longevity of life, you know? I think it's also hard for me to realize that I can't be there every time something happens to a member of my family. As we get older, we make these decisions to move away and start our own lives because-well--that's what we're supposed to do. But...well...I don't know. I suppose this is the caveat.

Fuck. I hate this. This is just another one of those "adulthood" episodes. It's like the people in my closest circles (including me) are just running down the list and checking off those important milestones. Graduation? Check. Moving away? Check. Having a baby? Check. Check. Check. Check. Buying a house? Check. Engaged? Check. Planning a wedding? Check. Watching your lifelong goal of publishing a novel become more of a reality? Three-quarter check. Younger brother gets full-time job? Check. Family member almost dies? Check.

Well. I feel better. Sorta. Somewhat. I'm sure I'm just following the pattern of processing troubling info, right? I don't know. Sigh.

I need some caffeine and my journal.

Catch you on the flip-flop....

Monday, August 21, 2006

How Do You Feel About Large, Soft Pretzels?

OK. Is it just me or is that question (my title) kinda creepy and strangely funny? Let me give you some background. A few days ago, Dave and I were IM-ing via AIM and were discussing something for the wedding--stationery, I think--when he suddenly busted out that question. I'm not sure why, but it struck me as hilarious, and a split-second later, I was spewing Dr. Pepper all over my desk. Anyways. That's today's random thought.

The past week has been rather quiet. Sure, I've had a small share of friend and wedding drama, but nothing too hard to handle. Right now, I'm in that dreaded guest list phase of the wedding planning. Yikes. Thankfully, I think I've put out most of the fires and everything seems to be proceeding smoothly. I'm not letting my guard down, though. I'm sure I'll make some misstep about the napkin color or the wedding cake filling and all Hell will break loose again. Sigh.

Saturday night we had our big Summer Bash 2006, but in order to protect the future careers and reputations of all ladies involved, I am forbidden from revealing any details. Suffice it to say that we had a wonderful time and are planning on making this a monthly activity for all Texas MAS-ers. For all of our out-of-town ladies, we'll have to start scheduling these little soirees twice a year and with plenty of time to accomodate busy grad-school schedules.

As for myself, well, I'm still trying to recover from Saturday night and it's now 0527 Monday morning. Yeah. I may have had way too much of a good time, lol. Dave has ordered me to drink my weight in water (well, not my weight exactly, but still, a lot of water) b/c I'm dehydrated from all of that revelry. It probably didn't help that I had only slept six hours in the two days preceeding Saturday and was then awake for 24 plus hours with a two hour nap on Sunday morning before crashing Sunday afternoon for sixteen hours. Ugh. Must get a handle on that sleep cycle business.

Alright. Well. I'm starving and I don't think we have any breakfast items in the kitchen. Or at least, nothing that interests me, lol. Sure, we have all of that healthy bran cereal, low carb pancake mix, fresh fruit, calcium enriched OJ, etc. Thing is, I'm really in the mood for a burger, lol. One of those super scrumptious BBQ Cheddar Burgers that Whataburger makes. Yes. I know. It's not part of my low-carb-getting-sexy-for-my-wedding-diet, but this morning, I could care less.

That settles it. I'm off to find some pj pants and the keys to the truck.

Oh. Yeah. For all of you who have emailed me about not being able to leave comments on the blog, I have tweaked the settings to allow anyone (not just blogger members) to comment!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Wolfmother vs. Wolf Chili

So it's been a few days since my last post but in my defense, I had a busy weekend. My parents and two of my younger siblings, Marcos (17) and Tricia (14,) surprised us with a visit on Saturday. Well--the plan was that they would arrive on Friday, but circumstances unforeseen arose and they had to delay their take-off until Saturday morning. At any rate, we had a great time (aside from the FORTY minute wait at Chili's for dinner on Saturday evening) and got a lot of shopping done. We also went to a midnight showing of Talladega Nights and I thought is was rather funny. Not quite as good as Old School or Anchorman. Those two movies were continually hilarious whereas TN has a few really funny parts scattered across two hours of random weirdness.

As is customary with family weekends, my lil bro and sis were a constant source of craziness and laughter. While I was waiting for them to arrive, I sent Marcos a text message to learn their ETA and I tacked on a question about Wolfmother, my fave new band. Basically, I wanted to know if he had heard them and/or liked them. His response: "I'm not sure what Wolfmother is, but I like Wolf Chili on my hot dogs."

Right. My thoughts exactly.

Later that evening, we went to the mall so Marcos and Tricia could case the place and get their Sunday shopping itinerary together. Tricia, Mom, and I spent some time in Aeropostale where Tricia stocked up on tees and I grabbed a new messenger bag. (OOH!) After we found Dad, Marcos, and Dave, we decided to leave the mall and find some dinner. As we're walking out one of the main entrances, we pass this kiosk where they sell perfume and this middle-aged woman is dousing herself in some vile flower and peppermint concoction that she's just purchased. Tricia, always tactful, says way too loudly: "OH MY GOD! WHAT IS THAT STENCH!"

Marcos and I were mortified b/c the woman looked right at us as Tricia marched past, totally oblivious. We tried not to laugh, but it was just too hard and soon, we were laughing hysterically as we tried to relate the story to the rest of our group. Needless to say, there was a lot of laughter as we headed out to Dad's truck. The remainder of the evening was much of the same giggle-inducing insanity. Lots of fun!!!

My sleep schedule is all screwed up again, too. I slept two hours between Saturday and Sunday and then a little more than four Sunday afternoon. I tried to catch a few winks this morning and was slightly successful. I think I'm in another one of those four hour cycles where I'll be awake for twenty plus hours and then crash for four hours and then start all over again. YAY!!!!

On a happier note, this weekend is the collective Good Luck!/Happy New House!/Congrats on the Double Engagement Party at Sara's new casa! I worked out the menu this morning and tomorrow I'm going to call Sara so we can work out the last few kinks. Then I s'pose we'll just have to touch base with the girls and let them know the time, etc. Oh. Note to self: sleeping arrangements???

Alright. Back to work.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A Watched Pot Never Boils

I thought that while I'm waiting for my pasta water to boil, I would update the blog.

I finally fell asleep around 1000 and woke up up a little before 1700. Ugh. Gross. I was sleeping almost normally for a week or two, but these past few nights, it's been the same story. Awake for eighteen to twenty hours and then asleep for 4-7. I hate it b/c I'm on a completely different schedule than Dave, my family, and friends. It's insane! I've always been this way, though. A real night owl. Maybe it's because I was born at night? I was awake most of that first night of my life and slept for the entirety of the day. Who knows? Maybe that had some affect on my Circadian rhythm??? Any ideas???

While I was awake last night, I picked out the paper to make my wedding invitations. Yeah, I know, it's a lot of work, but I'm up for it. I'm crafty like that. You know, in that whole neurotic-Martha-Stewart-over-achiever-way. When I first started envisioning my wedding, I was thinking bright colors: hot pink, tangerine orange, lime green, lemon yellow, aqua blue. Unfortunately, the Kyle House is just way too Victorian and elegant for that color scheme. Instead, I'm going with pinks and whites and lavenders for the reception inside and the outdoor ceremony at the gazebo will be in bright summer colors.

I haven't checked the mail today. I need to do that later. 'Course that means I have to put on some kind of pants.... Skipping 'round the house in skivvies and a t-shirt is OK, but not so great for a trip to the mailbox. I think I've finished polishing Sangre, and I'm going to send it back to I.K., the agent who seems most interested and enthusiastic about the manuscript. Hopefully she'll like the revamped manuscript. At any rate, it's really nerve-wracking to have to sit here and wait for some stranger to tell me whether or not my lifetime dream of becoming a novelist is ever going to become a reality. I have to admit that I'm optimistic that it's going to happen. I mean, I've had three different agents request this manuscript so that means that my query letter was well written and catchy and my story has some marketable potential.

Let's see. What else is going on in my life? Oh! Yeah! Sara is back!!! Yay!!!!! I talked to her earlier and she sounds good. Her voice seems a bit hoarse, but hopefully those crazy Kazakh painkillers will do the trick, lol. I'm also planning a get-together before everyone heads off in different directions. :( Not sure what I'm going to cook, though. Hopefully, I'll have that worked out by Friday......

OK. Well. The water is boiling. Time for me to sign off.....

Here Goes Nothing...

Around 5 am this morning, I had a sudden urge to start a new blog and since I'm one of those nutters who believes in fate and listening to that "inner voice," I did it. I saved all of my posts from my last blog on Xanga, closed the account, and started anew. It's weird, but I feel...sorta...I don't know...liberated? It's as though my slate has been wiped clean and all of the drama with friends and family that surrounded my last blog is no more. I can almost pretend that it never existed because there is no record!

Then again, I'm sure that within a few weeks, this blog, too, shall be overcome, lol!

I'll post more later--when I'm not so damned tired. In fact, my first real post will be about my completely insane sleep schedule.....