Monday, January 29, 2007

Beautiful Sedona

Shane and I arrived last night. I have not been here since maybe 2002?? Well, I do not remember it being so developed. It is pretty and I plan to go exploring today.

I think I love the desert now more than ever. Virginia is lush and pretty but the desert is something else. I would like to take a class in geography or something related to types of land - tundra, desert, jungle, .... those type of things I would like to relearn. ANyhow, whatever this environment is- it is very pretty. Gotta go explore. C-ya!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Mixed thoughts and feelings.

Okay, so I reread the previous post and I really feel bad, even ashamed, to have written such harsh words about two complete strangers. Two people that put their lives out there on display (kinda like this blog) exposing some really ugly character flaws. Whether it was for show or drama (maybe the show's editing escalated the drama by showing more of the ugly than good) I allowed it to draw me in. The emotions and feelings that it stirred in me were pretty ugly.

I was disgusted by the inconsistency of moral uprightness. The one person was so ashamed of being dubbed a "racist" but did not express remorse for being mean, rude and awful. That was very strange.

Then the other girl that was two-faced. Enough said. Being a two-face is probably worse than just being a bully. There the person is neither here nor there. Spineless to stand and be either good or bad.

Well, my mixed feelings come from two places. One, I feel ashamed for getting so upset at these two individuals. The show is set up for viewers to judge these people, and so I did. And harshly. That is pretty bad, isn't it? Two, even though I may be right to be angry, where is God's grace? Rather than get so angry, I should feel sad and moved to pray for them, right? Or stop watching the show? Rather than fueling disdain for these individuals, I should be loving them, right?

I am glad that God is not like me. And I wish I were more like God.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

UK Celebrity Big Brother ...

We have been watching the notorious show on youtube (for example, Big Brother, Day 18). I can't believe how much time we have wasted on that show. It helped to stir a good discussion on defining racism. Basically, people have made such a fuss about Jade being a racist yet they don't address the fact that she has just been nasty mean! She cried on air that she wasn't racist, yet she never seemed to apologize for her atrocious and mean behaviour! She never said, "I'm not racist, I am just a real mean big jerk!"

I specifically greatly disliked Danielle. OOOoohhh, what a big weenie! She is such a weak and spineless two-faced loser. (Yes, can you tell she got under my skin?) She was mean and played along with Jade, then turned around all nice to Shilpa. When she went to the "Diary" room she was soooo busted for saying something about Shilpa. She sat there and gave the lamest apology. Her whole tone was so ridiculous as if she was helpless or something. Ugghhh! Like she just couldn't help herself. Weakbutt!!!

Okay, now that I have vented I feel better. The drama! It became my guilty pleasure over the weekend. I even got Shane watching it. Shame on me!

In other news... there isn't much going on. My big brother, Aldo, sent me pictures of Albuquerque... and let me tell you, they got some snow. I am such a scaredycat over some melted snow and didn't leave the house; over there they had a least six inches on the ground. The real stuff! He also sent me pictures of my other brother's (Adrian) dog. The cutest cockerspaniel. I am so happy he got a dog. Adrian is the one brother that is still single, so I am glad to hear that he got himself a furry friend! Chispita's new cousin, Boy!

Sunday, January 21, 2007

some pics

This is the snow that came down on January 9th. Chispita's first experience in the snow. She looked so cute!

Shane out in the snow.

This is us at our Post-Christmas party. It will be our First Annual Post-Christmas Party here in B'burg. (I believe this is the 5th one I have thrown.)

Today, results of the "wintry mix." Icicles on our balcony...

Our first winter in B'burg.

So far we have had interesting weather. Lots of sun, light snow here and there. I think twice already. Today though, we have what they call a "wintry mix?" What in the world??? I think it sounds like some delicious hot cocoa/peppermint latte.... or a cinnamon spice frappaccino?
But no, it is this. Light snow, that turns into water on the way down, then hits a cold patch that makes it ice when it hits the ground. Or something like that. Basically, it is freakin' cold outside. It looked white on the ground this morning and now it has turned into snowcone type white ice stuff on the ground. Looking outside our window you can see the little icy balls bouncing off the railing on our balcony.
We opted not to go to church this morning due to the weather and have thus dwindled away our Sunday just lounging and reading. Yup, it is 3:30 pm and I am still in my pjs and robe. The robe keeps me warm. Shane is in his pjs, but instead of wearing his robe, I looked up from reading a magazine to find, he's got on his Northface all-climate jacket. His hood is up and the jacket is zipped up to cover half his face! It is a funny sight to see.

At this very moment I can see, through the window, my neighbor is brushing off the ice on his car. The girl, with him, pounded on the hood a little to break up the ice? Weird.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The quest for good pizza...

Yesterday the internet connection was down. It just came back about 2 hours ago. Ugh.. I am so addicted. It is horrible. Since we don't get very good tv reception I am constantly checking the computer. My email, the news, the weather...

Anyway, last night it was particularly funny how we are so reliant on it. We wanted to go get pizza and go to the movies. Well we didn't have access to movie listings or previews. How silly! And we didn't have netflix...
Well, I remembered that Movie Gallery called on THursday to tell us we could go rent a movie for free! So we went and picked up, of course "not the new releases", X-men. Then we went to PKs pizza.

We got pizza and beer, then came home to watch "X-men."

The movie was alright- I guess I forgot I had already seen it.
The pizza was pretty good. I guess pepperoni and jalapenos makes any pizza taste good.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

It's sunny out.

It is a beautiful and sunny day. It's cold, too.
I am doing laundry.
Monday, was Shane and my 2nd year wedding anniversary. How cool is that? We've been blissfully and happily married for two years. Although I cannot remember life before Shane, it still seems weird that it's already been 2 years since we said our vows. We had the party of the century!
Two years later and here I am in B'burg just as I said in my vows to Shane: "Wherever you go, I will go. Wherever you live, I will live."

And true to that again, next week, I will be following him to Sedona, AZ. :)
I am extra excited for the fact that we will fly into Phoenix where my cousin lives. She has been my cousin for a long time! (LOL! I am so happy that I am being giddy...) Okay, what I mean to say is that we are nearly the same age. She is 19 days older than me. Even though we have not lived near each other, since we were 10 years old, we have been pretty close at heart.

The weekend she got married is the same weekend that I realized that I really liked Shane a lot. Prior to her wedding, Shane and I had been "hanging out" for about 5 months as "friends". So much so that when I left for the weekend, to attend her wedding, I really, really, really missed him quite a bit.

On my way home from her wedding late Sunday night he and I spoke on the phone for quite a while. On the following morning my cousin and her new hubby were flying into LAX, for a layover of about 10 hours. I had promised her to hang out with them and show them around town while they waited for their flight to their honeymoon in Jamaica. Shane agreed to go with me. That morning before we picked them up at the airport, Shane asked me to be his girlfriend. So, my cousin and her hubby were the first to see us officially as a couple! We had a lot of fun driving around LA that day! So, anyway... I am very excited to go hang out with them.

Then Sedona will be cool, too. While Shane is working during the day, I will chillin' like some artsie-fartsie-type at some hip coffee shop... reading, maybe I will draw something... whatever I get inspired to do. I will be doing it.

Shout out to Giancarlo and Sonja, in Pasadena. Congratulations on the 10lb.1oz, bouncing-baby-boy, Elijah James!! Yay! Born on our anniversary, Jan. 15th!!! Talk about time flying by. When Giancarlo was at our wedding- he wasn't married. Now he's married and has a baby! Whoop whoop!!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Isn't this dress lovely?

Look a little closer....

New York City Double-O Seven


Screaming at Times Square

Late Nite but No David Letterman :(

Jessica in surreal urban landscape

Great lipstick shot dwarfing Statue of Liberty

Weird Jesus puppets

City seen through hole in ground

Central park

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Check out my new boots....

Now, I am NYC chic.

More about the holidays in B'burg.

Even though this was our first holiday without our families it turned out to be quite a blessed and wonderful season. We originally intended to take a holiday (vacation in the tropics) but at the last minute after much deliberation we opted to stay in. I had mixed feelings between taking a vacation, flying out to see family, or taking the opportunity for us to establish our own Christmas traditions here at home.

Staying home turned out to be the best thing. Here in B-burg our church held a morning service which was a breakfast potluck, a time of fellowship, a short sermon and we sang Christmas songs. That was fun.

After our Christmas brunch, we came home and I made a fresh batch of pumpkin empanadas. We took them to a dinner we were invited to at Sarah's house. Sarah is a new friend from my Wednesday "Mornings" group. She was kind to invite me, Shane, and another family. Then after dinner we all caravaned to her church's Christmas evening service. Afterwards she invited us to join her as she visited yet another church, where she volunteers. This second church is a Spanish speaking church. (She invited us to join her because she knows that I am interested in working as an interpreter with the Spanish speaking community in this area and also because the other family, that was with us, is Spanish speaking.) It was really sweet. I met more Spanish speakers and the pastor's wife is an educator and Spanish interpreter! (I will be talking with her soon, regarding the interpreter career track...)

After all that, it was still only about 9 pm so we invited them to come over to our house for some hot chocolate and more empanadas. Sarah and her husband didn't join us, but the other family did. They are Salvador, Celia, and their toddler, Chavita (nickname for Salvador). They are from Mexico City. So, they also don't have family here in Blacksburg. We had a nice time getting to know each other and talking about traditions and stuff. I already knew Celia, from "Mornings", but this is the first time we hung out more intimately (?). Her husband, Salvador is a post-doc at VT so he and Shane got to talking about science stuff... physics... and those things they have in common. We really enjoyed their visit. They left a little after 10 pm.

At 11 pm, Shane and I then started what we hope to establish as "our" Christmas Eve tradition. We did some Bible readings and sang Christmas songs. At midnight, we brought out the "Baby Jesus" figurine and placed him in the Nativity set. Then sang happy birthday to Jesus. To keep the spirit of Christmas focused on Jesus, we did not exchange gifts until Christmas morning.

As for the holidays overall... Dec. was a month filled with several invitations to holiday celebrations and activities.
- Through my "Mornings" group, I enjoyed making crafts (santa bread, my gingerbread house and wreath).
- An off-shoot of "Mornings" is the Cooking club. I attended my first meeting in which I learned how to make a "Christmas Log", a French Christmas tradition. It was rich, dark chocolatey, and yummy!!!
- My Thursday morning women's Bible study group held a potluck at someone's house. There were lots of delicious and international foods to eat; Hawaiian meatballs, fried tofu, some type of noodle dish, soup, Philipino stew... and some desserts...!!!
- For Shane's birthday I made my own version of the "Christmas Log". We went out to dinner at the only Thai restaurant in town.
- We went to Shane's work "Christmas Brunch".
- We were invited to lunch at Dave's house(Shane's colleague. He is the person that invited us to have corn at his house back in August). His wife is Taiwanese and she made hotpot soup for us. After lunch, they showed us a new place to go hiking nearby. We had a nice walk around a local pond called Pandapas Pond
- One night we had people (Kyle, Doty, and Eric from the Wed. night home group) over for coffee and dessert.
- Another night Doty and Eric invited us on a drive to see Christmas lights out in the styx. It really was out in the styx...
- Celia and I made sweet tamales. Later we, along with our husbands, went out for pizza. We returned to their place and played a new boardgame called " Tikal."
- We were also invited over to dinner at one of Shane's friends parent's house. His friend Dan, who also graduated from Caltech, was in town, with his wife and two children, visiting his parents for the holidays. It was nice to join him and his family for dinner. (Hi Emily!)
- Lastly, for New Year's Eve we went to Celia's house for some good ol' Mexican Posole. That was good.
Later that night we took off to Charlotte, NC, to catch an early plane to New York.

And that is how we ended 2006. In a new town, new friends, new experiences....