Thursday, November 30, 2006

Skull found on Mars!

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The Mars Rovers have found a human skull on the red planet! Or so DJ said last night. I couldn't find any mention of it in the news, but I did find it on some zany web site dedicated to "Mars anomaly research".

Before we start filming episodes of CSI: Mars, we should probably ask ourselves some questions. What do we make of this subtle play of light and shadow? Shall we believe that Mars is strewn with human remains? Or reject it as another cockamamy product of the human imagination?

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Fe Fi Fo Fum, well I'll be darn here it comes...

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Today was a gray day.
Thankfully it did not affect my mood (it usually does).

Well, I took the local transit bus today. And it felt like it was my first day at school or at a job. I ran late to an appointment I had this morning. All because I missed the bus. Standing at the bus stop (a short block away from my house)I realized, after waiting about 5 minutes,that I had forgotten my cell phone. Even though I knew the bus was due any moment I ran back to the house to get my phone. As I walked out my door, sure enough, the bus passed by. I went back for my phone because sometime later in the morning Shane was going to call me. And so, I missed the bus. That had a domino effect because then I missed the bus that I was to transfer to later. For both bus rides I had to wait 15 minutes for the bus to arrive. So, I felt really lame when I arrived to my appointment exactly a half hour late. Nonetheless, I did not feel bad about the whole thing. I just felt silly. Thankfully, the person I was to meet did not get too upset (not that I could tell, anyway).

Give me a Ho, if you've got your funky bus fare... Ho, HO,Ho...

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

While in Reston...

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We visited Uncle Alex and Aunt Charlotte's church. The service and worship time was really cool.

With all the traveling I have done this month, I have missed quite a bit of church... I miss the worship services from Pasadena. The band there was jamming. Our current church, they jam but not quite as "hard" or upbeat. It has been, I guess, what could be called more soulful (?)... not a lot of clapping or dancing. We have flags and some people go up and do some modern dance type steps.... but not exactly something I would go do. ANYWay... the church in Reston was a little more upbeat and they sang songs that we used to sing in Pasadena. Knowing them and feeling free to express myself in the old familiar way, I just let go and met with God. He is awesome and so worthy to be praised. We sang "How great Thou art" and it brought me so much joy to sing it to the Lord! It brought me to tears. No matter where you go, worshipping God is still worshipping God. Maybe I cried because it had been a while and it has been a difficult month for me. But God is so good and being able to worship Him is such a huge blessing! I was overjoyed.

So, this church had a visitor center where they sold books and music and stuff. I bought two worship cds and a book. The book is one that Shane used to have. He let someone borrow it and never got it back. I have been wanting to read it so I went ahead and bought it. The cds, one was the church band and the other is a band I have never heard of (not that I know many Christian bands...). BUt the cd is awesome!!! It has songs that I have always liked and didn't know they were hyms! And it sounds pretty cool, not dull or boring as some might expect. Check it itout.

So yesterday I was playing that cd and was worshipping and singing in my kitchen. So cool! So that is what inspired me to write the last blog... :)

Monday, November 27, 2006

This hymn moves me to tears

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I first heard this hymn in Spanish... I only remember one part... "Cuan grande es El, cuan grande es El."


HOW GREAT THOU ART

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!

When Christ shall come, with shouts of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And there proclaim: "My God, how great You are!"

Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art.
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee,
How great Thou art, How great Thou art!


Original words by Carl G. Boberg (1886) and translated and 4th verse by Stuart K. Hine, 1953

Thanksgiving...

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We went to Shane's aunt and uncle's house in Reston, VA. It was nice. We had cajun flavored turkey!

Aunt Charlotte and Uncle Alex are pretty awesome people. A real power couple. They have their own business and they travel the world. Uncle Alex enjoys cooking exotic gourmet food- so they really gave us a treat with every meal. Lots of healthy yet delicious touches to everything served. Wine, nuts, spreads... I came back with some ideas on how to make food tastier and fancy looking!

While on our visit, I managed to finish crocheting a hat/beanie... it was a new stitch that my mom taught me the last time I saw her. It came out pretty nice. I gave it to Aunt Charlotte. It looked really pretty on her. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture.

We had sunny and warm weather while there. We took the Metro to DC and visited the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall. It was crowded! Lots of people. We didn't stay very long. We walked around, and saw the backside of the White House. It really is white... all around. Blah. There were no Christmas decorations, yet.

We had a good time. I am glad that we went. Even though we didn't spend it with my family, it was nice to spend time with Shane's. To get to know them better and such. In Spanish it is called "convivir". Literally to "coexist", but beyond... to spend time together, get to know each other,... it is just nice.

When we returned I discovered that someone stole our pumpkin that we left outside our front door. Oh well, I guess I won't be making empanadas this Christmas! Those bandits!!

Picture of my boots...

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A while ago I posted that I was looking to buy some cowboy boots. When I went to Texas for my uncle's funeral I took advantage of the trip and bought some boots. Good ol' genuine cowboy boots. I did not get ropers like I originally wanted, but I did get a good pair that I really liked. My brother, Aldo, says these are truly Texas style. The difference is that they are slightly more pointy than other cowboy boots. I dunno... I just like 'em.... so here are some pictures I took for your viewing pleasure! :P



Monday, November 20, 2006

Celebrity look-alikes

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J E S S I C A:


S H A N E:

Friday, November 17, 2006

Some family photos

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These are some of my cousins and two of my brothers. Left to right: Cuz Lorena, Cuz Gabriel, Cuz Sandie, Bro Rene, Bro Aldo, Me, Cuz Noe, Cuz Rudy.



These are my aunts, uncles, and my mom. Left to right: My Tio Yeyo, Tia Chuy, Tio Carlos, Tia Tere, and my mom. All are siblings except for my Tia Tere. She was married to my Tio Ventura.

There are three more of my uncle's siblings that were not able to attend the funeral.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

"What do you WANT?!!!"

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On the Tuesday after we returned form our wonderful getaway to Virginia Beach I got a bad-news-call from my mom. My uncle had passed away that morning. He was one of my favorite uncles, my Tio Ventura. He had been sick (enphysima) for the last couple of years, but his death was a surprise. He had a heart attack. I am not sure if it was related to enphysima, but it sure was unexpected.

Having missed my cousin's funeral (from the same side of the family) I decided that I just couldn't not go to this one. I left on Thursday and I just got back last night. It was a crazy trip because the most economical way to get there (El Paso, TX) was for me to fly to LA first. Then carpool with my brother and mom to El Paso. So you can imagine it was a long journey.

We arrived Friday afternoon for the viewing.
My uncle was a devout Catholic. He belonged to a United Catholic Association and was always very involved in his church. During the viewing they held a Rosary service. The Rosary service is typical in Catholic funerals, but this one had an added farewell prayer from the association. I really enjoyed its message of hope. There were musicians that played some very sad and beautiful songs during the Rosary. An interesting thing I observed was the guarding of the casket. Every time they announced the "mysteries" there was singing and changing of a "guard". I think it was four or six men and women that stood in front of the casket in a semi-circle solemly watching the body. People took turns going up there for each "decade". (I am not Catholic, so I don't know if I am using the proper language to describe the process.) I don't know the significance of "guarding" the casket, but it seemed like an honor and a tribute to my uncle. I was very touched by the whole thing.

There were many, many people there. He was a very loved man. I have many fond memories of him. He was always the merry prankster and made people laugh. He used to call our house and pretend he was a radio announcer calling to tell us we had just won a trip or lots of money, as a kid I believed him everytime! Then he would just laugh!! He brought Santa Claus to our house when I was eight and nine. He always was very happy to see us and greeted us wholeheartedly. When we moved away to CA, I looked forward to visiting his house in the summer. My cousin Sandy (his only daughter) was a lot of fun, too. Those summer visits were always something to remember.

When I saw him in the coffin it was really good to see him. I know it sounds weird, but I saw his face and I just loved him so much. He looked very well. He had a peaceful face and a smile. He looked very good and happy. All I could think was "I will see you again, Tio." I felt melancholy that that time in my life will forever be a happy childhood memory. I looked at my aunt and cousin and cried for their heartache and loss.

The day of the funeral was very beautiful and sunny. There was a cool wind, but it was just a beautiful sunny day. My older brother, Aldo, commented that "it was a beautiful day to die." He was recalling a Native American saying he'd heard. I agreed. The remainder of the day was spent at a reception where there was lots of food and fellowship with the family and friends.

"What do you want?!!!" classic response when I would call my uncle's name. He liked to say it in an angry tone as if you were bugging him. It always made me laugh.

Since this post has gotten rather long I will stop now. Stay tuned for some pictures.

Monday, November 06, 2006

We are baaaack...

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We had a really nice time. It was a scenic drive. We arrived at Newport News Thursday evening. While Shane finished some work I completely vegetated and watched TV... it was great! Since we don't have cable at home I thoroughly enjoyed channelsurfing!!! We watched the VH1 top 100 songs of the 80's! I came across the show when they were at 20 or something... who knew that my fave band of the 80's (Bon Jovi), would win number 1 with "Living on a Prayer"?!! I was almost sure it would've been Prince with "Party like it's 1999" or something else by Prince... you know? or Michael Jackson... or Duran Duran, or U2? Although I loved Bon Jovi, I would never have guessed they'd win. Maybe it has to do with the people that actually watch VH1 and that would participate in the survey.

Anyway, it was a nice and relaxing evening. We got up early so that I could take Shane to his work activity. I dropped him off at 8:30 am. I proceeded to explore the area. I went to a cute little town center, where I bought some super Not so good licorice at a specialty store. I say I will stick to the not so expensive, and better tasting, Red Vines... or Twizzler. (You can't find redvines over here. Another westcoast thing to miss. Well, like most things, you only miss it when you can't have it.)

I didn't have a street map (only the one the hotel provides, which isn't so highly detailed) so I didn't drive around too much for fear of getting lost. When Shane finished, I picked him up and then we proceeded unto our destination. Virginia Beach.
I made reservations a a Bed and Breakfast. First ever in my life. It was great! I recommend it to anyone that is tired of traveling hotel, motel, hotel, motel, ..... Bed and Breakfast is where its at!

We arrived and they had coffee, snacks, water bottles, soda and stuff waiting for us. Books, magazines, large screen tv in the living room, dvds, cds all kinds of things to make you feel at home. (Rocking chairs on the veranda, and blankets so that you can go out there in the evening or early morning with your coffee...) Since it was two blocks from the beach, this place is great to stay in- they provide bikes, beach chairs, any amenities that would make your visit to the beach better. It was super cute! I am sure that in the summer it is more pricey but being off season we got a very good competitive rate compared to the hotels in the area. It also gave the triple A discount. Sweet. I could gush and go on and on about the place, but maybe it would be best you check it out at their website the barclaycottage.com.

Friday night, we went out to dinner by the beach. First we walked out to the beach and I was amazed at how quiet the ocean was. It was quiet and the water seemed pretty still with small waves. The moon was almost full and it shone bright through the clouds and there was a beautiful shimmery reflection on the ocean. It was really pretty. The sand was so fine! It was powdery and almost white. And it was COLD out so we quickly made our way to a restaurant for dinner. It was called Rockfish and had a gazillion pieces of Beatles memorabilia.

Saturday, after a yummy breakfast, we went bike riding on the boardwalk. My ears were cold so I wrapped my scarf over my helmet to cover my ears. I looked pretty funny, but I was warm and that's all that mattered. After our bike ride we went to the Aquarium and Marine Science Museum. They had a really cool walking trail over some marshland. We watched an IMAX movie of the deep sea... 3D. That was cool.

Then, we went to visit with Natalie and Chris! It was a short visit because they were getting ready for the band's show/performance. We hung out for about an hour.

Shane and I returned to our B&B and got ready for our dinner date at a restuarant that is greatly acclaimed for it's location. It is located in the sixth floor of a hotel, near the beach, with floor to ceiling windows that provide an incredible ocean view. Every seat in the house had a good view. Being a full moon over the ocean, the view was spectacular.

Sunday, we got up early to pack and to have another delicious breakfast. We then went to hang out with Chris and Natalie again. That was fun. They had a break till 2 pm, so we hung out for a few hours. We went to the mall to look for a book, Natalie wants, about a young artist named Akiane. Then after walking a bit and looking around we ended up kicking it at the food court. We ate ice cream. Then it was time to get them back to their crew. They were going to meet up at the Mount Trashmore Park. Yes, trashmore. Named that way because it is a converted landfill. It was pretty creepy that there was a lake next to it with ducks and a mini pier where people could fish. If I were into fishing I wouldn't fish there. Crazy! We then said our goodbyes, and happy trails... and we left.

Thennnnn.... we headed back to Newport News and indulged in the joys of shopping at Trader Joe's. Yay! We bought all kinds of goodies!

We finally got home at about 10 pm. And that my friends, was our wonderfull weekend. We plan to return so that we can do all the other things that there is to do over there. Like visit historical sites and such. But for now, I can honestly say it was a very nice getaway. Yay! :)