Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tsunami Relief

Webpages like Google and Amazon are making it easier for anyone to donate money to the tsunami victims. It's just a click away. Please help them out.

Monday, December 20, 2004

What Some Find Humorous

I'm reading through Wired News when I came across this tiny article. The guy, Antonio Casale, deserves to be thrown in jail for thinking that his prank was funny. Please read on:

Bad Call
Practical jokes are often funny only to the prankster, and an Italian tourist's recent idea of a joke is a case in point. Antonio Casale sent a text message to his wife while he was on a flight from Sydney to Vienna, telling her the plane was being hijacked by terrorists. His wife called Italian police. "The Italian police picked up on it, then the Italian embassy, the Australian Federal Police came in on it, and it was quite a big operation," said a spokesman for the Australian Transport Minister. Counterterrorism negotiators contacted the pilot, who was unaware of any hijacking attempt. "Federal police and other authorities over here have got enough on their plate without having to worry about stupidity like this as well," the spokesman said.
-- Debra Jones

Can you imagine how his poor wife felt when she received that text message? What was he thinking? Personally, I would divorce him for being stupid.

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Check this out ladies, the average WNBA player makes between $46,000 and $60,000 (WNBA). Seems unfair since the average NBA player makes about $4 million. As the article points out, the women players don't get much of an audience, which explains their salaries. Although, they do have a salary cap of $87,000.

I deem this horribly unfair. So, I decided to sign a petition to increase the WNBA's salary. I urge you to do so, also. There are NBA players that suck and are making half a million a year. Our ladies are working out hard, playing around the country making less than some of you do. Please go to WNBA's Petition to show your support.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


The holidays are always a hectic time of year. You have to buy gifts (if you celebrate Xmas), see relatives you might not normally want to see, and gain a few pounds from all the eating and drinking you'll be doing. The main holidays going on are obviously Christmas and Chanukah. And of course like every year there is an argument over whether we should wish people "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Chanukah". The pc way to go about is to wish people a "Happy Holiday" or "Seasons Greetings."

As I've mentioned before, I'm not really religious. I grew up Catholic and I hold some of those values, but I don't go to church. Obviously, I celebrate Christmas. I don't celebrate the religious aspect of it, but the perfect timing to catch up with old friends and family. I don't really bother with the whole "People might be offended if the Christmas tree is actually called the Christmas tree" crap. Or for that matter if an atheist might get offended if I wish them a Merry Christmas or Happy Chanukah.

I use to worry about it a bit when I worked in the restaurant industry. People love letting the server know they are wrong on something. I guess it's the whole servant thing. Nowadays, I think it's rather frivolous. I also don't really get bothered if I see a Nativity scene in the middle of town.

Granted, there are other celebrations going on like Kwanza and the Soltice. But does this mean that Christians and Jewish people can't express what is a religious time for them in the public eye? Do you think I would be insulted if someone wished me a Happy Chanukah or Kwanza? I just feel it is a waste of energy. People get worked up over the weirdest things at times. Get aggravated with the war going on not over a holiday celebration.

Celebrations whether public or private should not be misconstrued as an insult or threat to the separation of church and state. Celebrating the birth of Christ (even if you don't believe it) is not a horrible aspect. Whether you like it or not, Christmas is a federal holiday. Which means that it's an in-your-face type of celebration. Don't be a scrooge. Christmas has become very commercialized, which you could even separate it from the religious aspect of it. I have friends who are just like me that aren't religious and we have the best time during Christmas. This is especially true of the little kids. They are only interested in Santa Claus and what he's leaving under that Christmas tree.

Friday, December 10, 2004


Dan and I have nicknamed our dog Louie, Houdini. Our dear little pooch has figured out how to get out of his harness. We leave our dogs leashed at night because they like leaving their mark. Not so much Louie, but Hercules. If he's left alone, he'll walk to every corner of the house, lift his leg, and mark his spot. Very annoying to say the least. Hence they are leashed at night or when we're not home.

Louie I guess feels that he shouldn't be leashed because he backs out of his harness. He really doesn't mark his spot anywhere, but I don't feel comfortable leaving loose all day. If it were my place, then I probably would. Then again Hercules would get jealous. Drama! If Hercules would control himself I would love to leave them loose. They spend their day sleeping when I'm home. Xena is left loose all day, but she's not allowed on the carpet because she thinks it's a giant wee-wee pad. On the tile, she's fine.

So we started to put Louie in a crate, but we feel awful leaving him in there all day. My father-in-law decided to buy a choke chain. I personally don't like it, but we put it on to see if he would stop escaping. He's been wearing it for about three weeks. Everything was fine until yesterday. Somehow, he has figured out how to get out of the choke chain. I have no clue how he managed because choke chains tighten up when you pull. He bypassed pass that obstacle because my father-in-law caught him loose drinking water. So much for the choke chain.

Thursday, December 09, 2004


I have to say that Miami is not doing me any good. I'm broke, my house is still in cinderblocks, I'm sick, and Dan and I are making crappy money. Wow, if these aren't signs than I don't know what are. I'm definitely going for my master's down here. It would only cost me $7,000 as to compared to $30,000 in NYU. I'm going to bang it out and depending on how things are going I might do my PhD down here. If things aren't letting up, I think I'll bite the bullet and pay more for it up north.

Since my PhD will take a few years (60 credits), I have to really think hard about this. PhD is not something you just bang out. I've actually seen some job postings for history professors at the local colleges. At least that's somewhat promising. If I were to find a position like that, than I would work towards my PhD down here.

I think what's most frustrating about living here is that I feel as if I don't have a degree. All the jobs require at least five years of experience, a master's, and bla-bla-bla for 25,000 a year. Can you imagine?

Me and my great ideas. It was my idea to move down here in the first place. I thought it would be great to buy a house and try a new place. At this point we're still living with my in-laws (and they've been great to us) and stuck in limbo. Like Cubans say, nesecito un despojo because man am I having bad luck.

Going on three weeks

By tomorrow I will officially be sick three weeks. I'm back home again because I had an adverse reaction to the antibiotics that I was taking. I'm not going to get into the details (frankly, it's gross), but needless to say I had to leave work after only being there two hours. I called my doctor and told him what happened. He told me to discontinue the medicine and get a different antibiotic. I spent about three and half hours yesterday with an awful migraine that I couldn't even put on my glasses because it hurt. I also had to make Dan pull over because I thought I was going to puke my brains out.

Anyway, I've missed so much work that I'm surprised that I'm not fired. At this point, I could care less. I feel bad for the kids because we have a system going on in class and basically not of that is being followed. They do have work left for them so I'm sure it will be given to them. I feel bad that the first graders are now learning long a vowel words and I'm not there to teach them the sound. Most of the first graders have learning disabilities and it's hard for them to grasp a new concept.

While I was on the phone with the doctor, I told him that I'm not getting any better. I still sound like a frog and I feel horrible. I've lost the sense of taste and I barely have the sense of smell. Unless it has a powerful smell, I can't smell it. Most of the phlegm is out of my system, which is a good sign that my bronchitis is letting up. The doctor is utterly surprised that I'm still sick.

This school is going to kill me. Those of you that know me know that I rarely get sick. What usually makes me feel crappy is allergies (post-nasal drip--gross). I've been teaching for three months and I've been sick twice and out of work a total of nine days. I can't even begin to comprehend this. For God's sake I was in school until last year, and I never suffered any of these ailments. This blows my mind.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

I'm still sick

My flu has turned into pharyngitis and bronchitis. I've never coughed up so much junk in my life. I've never had bronchitis, either. I attribute my illness to the lack of ventilation in the school I work in. I can't also forget the fact that the children are constantly hugging me and the majority of the teachers are sick. I've been sick now for about two weeks and I'm not having any fun. My doctor prescribed antibiotics and I'll be taking them until I die. I just want to get better so that when my winter vacation comes up in two weeks I'll be able to enjoy it.

Not to mention that I haven't exercised. I attempted to rollerblade a few days ago. The thought of putting on my rollerblades exhausted me into bed. I haven't even been watching the news. Although, I have been hooked on this yahoo game called bookworm, but even that makes me very sleepy.

I have now thoroughly exhausted myself and I'm going back to bed. See ya!

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Hectic in a Weird Way

Thanksgiving was nice and the Turducken was delicious. I recommend you try it next year. I'm still fighting the flu. I have a slight headache and my patience level today was not great. Little kids have a funny way of pushing you. I must admit that I've learned a lot about myself with these kids. I'm not proud on how I sometimes loose my cool. But when you have 13 out 15 students who take medication in order not to be hyper, it's hard not to. They don't mean to be hyper and I always remind myself of this.

On another note, Dan bought me a pair of really nice rollerblades on Friday. Between a bike, jogging, rollerblades, and the gym I have no excuse to workout (although I'm still under the weather so I'm taking it light). So this is the reason I've been off the net for the last few days (in other words--I haven't blogged). My major goal is to be able to wear a bikini this summer and not look like I'm busting out of everywhere.

By the way, I saw pictures of myself from about a year to two years ago and I can't believe no one ever told me how horrible I looked. I still have a ways to go, but I don't look swollen. The great thing is that I'm able to see the difference. Anyway, got to go I must go rollerblade.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Happy Gobble-Gobble!!

I want to wish everyone a very happy Thanksgiving. For those of you traveling, please be safe. This year I will not be making my turkey wrapped in bacon (which if you've had it before you know this is a shocker). Instead, we opted for a ter-duc-hen. If you haven't watched the FoodTV network, it's a partially deboned turkey stuffed with a deboned chicken and duck. The turkey is first, then they put in the chicken. And finally the duck gets stuffed into the chicken.

According to the FoodTV network, it's not a difficult task to debone the turkey, chicken, or duck. We decided to go the safe route by ordering the ter-duc-hen. It already comes seasoned and also with a cornbread stuffing with pork. I forgot the company that we ordered it from, but they fedexed the turkey. It arrived yesterday afternoon. We ordered extra cornbread stuffing (just in case). It looks very good. I can't wait for tomorrow.

Of course since we're Cubans, we are also having pork and a ham (my in-laws are convinced there won't be enough food with a 15 lb. bird--there's 14 of us in total). I'm in charge of making an asparagus rissoto and Sandra (my sister-in-law) is in charge of making mashed potatoes. On top of all this celebration, it's my father-in-law's (Frank) birthday. I'm expecting to have a lot of fun tomorrow.

I hope everyone has a fun filled day tomorrow. I'm not letting my flu (or Dan's--he's feeling like crap) get in the way. I have been looking forward to this holiday season. I guess it's because I miss all of my friends and family from up north. It won't be the same without them, but I'll have them in my heart. Enjoy!!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2004


Of course I have the flu. Good thing is that I don't have to be back at work until Monday. The bad thing is I feel horrible not being able to wish my students a Happy Thanksgiving. You could expect a lot more entries in my blog. Unless of course I feel so sick from the medication that I spend my time in bed, which is what I basically did this weekend.

Wasted Weekend

Don't you hate it when you have an array of tasks you want to complete over the weekend, but it doesn't happen? I've been sick all weekend. I couldn't bike, exercise, or jog. I did manage to go out to dinner yesterday with my in-laws and we had a blast. Unfortunately when I got home, I threw up dinner. I spent the whole night coughing and I called out of work today. Right now I'm having saltines and 7up for breakfast because I'm afraid if I eat anything else I'll end up in the bathroom. As you can see my day is not starting out to be that great.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Remember the Distribution of Hate Cds?

MSNBC - Hate groups spread message through music
About a month and a half ago, I posted about white supremacist groups making rock music cds filled with hate (White Power Music). Well, here's another article speaking about this.

I think this should get more press coverage than it has gotten. This is a serious threat to all people living in this country. I just don't get it, but I'm finding that people are stranger than normal. Preaching hate to children is disgraceful. It doesn't take much to have a child thinking a certain way. Kids are very susceptible to everything surrounding them. If they are taught bad things, they'll think it is part of the norm. These white supremacist groups know this and are trying to bank on it.

Weird Science

MSNBC - Of mice, men and in-between
If you're into science, you must check this article out. I felt as if I were reading something out a science fiction novel. Animals are being injected with human stem cells in order to produce viable organs for humans. I have to admit I'm a bit creeped out about it. But make you're own judgment about it.

Abortion Clause

The Negotiators Add Abortion Clause to Spending Bill
Like always they are trying to prevent easy measures for women to have abortions. I can't tell you how much this aggravates me. Here's the clause:

The abortion language would bar federal, state and local agencies from withholding taxpayer money from health care providers that refuse to provide or pay for abortions or refuse to offer abortion counseling or referrals. Current federal law, aimed at protecting Roman Catholic doctors, provides such "conscience protection'' to doctors who do not want to undergo abortion training. The new language would expand that protection to all health care providers, including hospitals, doctors, clinics and insurers.

What will happen if this passes through is that you'll have women in the South with unwanted children. Of course this world needs more unwanted children. There are plenty of children that live in orphanages that do not have an idea of what a family life is suppose to be. Let's add more to that. How about women that abuse drugs while they're pregnant? Is it fair to bring that child who will obviously have mental incapacities to this world?

This clause will add to the struggle that many women have with abortions. Bringing unwanted children to this world is not the best idea. That's my opinion on this. We are going to face some tough times ahead of us. I feel if Roe v. Wade ends being overturned we will have great turmoil in this country. Let's see what happens.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Veggies or Fruits

Depending on whether you like fruits or vegetables, you're personality is determined. That's what the article that I found states. I figured let me check it out. I personally prefer veggies over fruits. Although I do eat fruits, I get bored of them quickly. I love veggies. I could eat them all day long. So here is the personality type:

People who like vegetables more than fruit tend to eat more spicy foods, drink wine more frequently with dinner, cook more elaborate meals, and enjoy trying new recipes.
People who prefer fruit over veggies have a greater desire for sweets, are less adventurous in the kitchen, entertain fewer guests, and eat desserts more often after dinner.

I have to say that it was right on the money with me. I love spicy foods and love drinking wine (especially red wine). So which one are you?

Tuesday, November 16, 2004


For those that know me we, you know how I hate jogging. Better yet, I suck at it. Give me a bike, rollerblades, or the treadmill and I'm pretty good at it. I'm good at endurance. I could last long on the treadmill or rollerblading, but when it comes to jogging it just doesn't happen for me. If fact I'm so bad at jogging that I quickly go out of breath. Put me on the treadmill with an incline of 15 and 3.0 mph and I'm good.

Since I had such a bad day at school yesterday (I was trying to stop a fight and got slammed into a door handle, amongst other things that went on), I had so much adrenaline running through me that I decided to go out for a jog. I jogged on and off for a mile and walked a half mile. I didn't feel so bad. I accomplished more than I thought I would be able to. Of course, I'm paying for this today. My lower back is sore from the door handle and my legs are feeling a bit sore. No gym or jogging for me tomorrow.

The reason I hate jogging is because I always feel like the fat girl that can't keep up with the other kids. That's the one thing that always makes me feel inferior. Let's face it, if you're carrying extra weight you're going to run slower. I think that's why it bothers me. But I'm proud of myself for giving it a shot. I think I'm going to start jogging a few times a week. I need to incorporate all the different exercises I can in order to keep my body guessing.

Of course I'll keep you posted on my progress. My goal for right now (I have so many goals!) is to run a half mile without stopping. Now that I remember, there was only one time in life that I ran a mile without stopping, and that was I believe when I was a freshman in high school. Anyway back to my goal. I want to really challenge my heart. I'll let you know when I accomplish it.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Lesbian Parents OK

I found this article on the New Scientist. A study of 44 teens raised in lesbian households found these teens to have no difference from teens raised in heterosexual households. Now this really isn't a big study, but it counts for something. I wish they would have found more families to study. Anyway, I found the article interesting. Check it out!

Thursday, November 11, 2004


I have accomplished a great task, today. I rode my bike for twenty miles. This is the first time I have ever done anything like this. I normally bike around 10-12 miles, but I was inspired by the beautiful day. The weather is perfect with the temperature reaching around 82. I couldn't resist. The best part about it is that I don't feel extremely tired or sore. Although, I'm sure I'll take a nap sometime this afternoon. If I could do this at least once a week, I would be very proud of myself. That's my new goal!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Here We Go Again...

Abortion is a dirty word in the South. I just came across an article that states that certain states like Texas, Mississippi, and Kansas give out brochures indicating that women who have abortions increase their risk of getting cancer. What's great about this is that the group that puts this brochure out are part of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer group, which is pro-life.

And this is where they get their information:
Joel Brind, a biochemist at Baruch College in New York who advises the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, noted that a woman's chances of getting breast cancer go down if she gives birth at a relatively young age. He reasons that those who opt for abortion are giving up a chance of reducing their breast cancer risk.
Therefore, he says, abortion increases the risk of cancer.

I can't believe he says this with a straight face. Check out the article!

Saturday, November 06, 2004

The Values-Vote Myth

The New York Times > Opinion > Op-Ed Columnist: The Values-Vote Myth
I found this op-ed piece in the NYT. Interestingly enough, I've been feeling the same about how Democrats are rationalizing the reason Bush got reelected--If you want to understand why Democrats keep losing elections, just listen to some coastal and university town liberals talk about how conformist and intolerant people in Red America are..

I have been reading many different articles about the post election feelings of the Democrats, which has lead me to conclude that Democrats are being a bit snobbish. One thing is disagree on key positions like abortion or the war, but another is to think that Red America are made up of bunch of homophobic rednecks. The fact of the matter is that it's not true. I also don't believe that there's a surge of Evangelical Republicans coming out to vote, but then again the country has been leaning more conservative than liberal. The reality is that the young people who tend to be more liberal on social issues didn't vote. That's the bottom line.

I have to be honest. This is the first year that I vote. I never bothered to vote in the past. If I had registered in time in 2000, I would have voted for Bush. I didn't like Al Gore. He didn't move me. Bush wasn't so bad. I changed my mind on him because I don't feel that anyone has been held accountable for the obvious lack of accurate intelligence when it comes to the war. I don't necessarily disagree with everything Bush has done, but I do recognize the importance of the balance of power. I use to consider myself a Republican in the economic sense, but I lean toward the left on some social issues. Besides, you should vote for a candidate based on issues not what party they belong to. This is a lesson that I'm beginning to understand more and more as I dig into the political arena.


The story is beginning to heat up--Abortion. I want all of you to keep on eye on this like I will.

Angry conservatives flooded Senate phone and fax lines on Friday demanding that Republicans prevent Senator Arlen Specter from presiding over the Judiciary Committee after he remarked that strongly anti-abortion judicial nominees might be rejected in the Senate.

While Democrats have always been more vocal than Republicans, don't expect this to be true in the next four years. I would hate to see what would happen to this country if Roe v. Wade is overturn.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Walmart Gets the OK

Walmart has been able to open its doors in Teotihuacan, Mexico. Some are very happy about this claiming that this is progress. While others realize that Walmart will only bring down the town. Let's see how those people will feel about Walmart when local businesses will have to close down because they cannot keep up with the giant. I hope someone follows up on this story. I would like to see the results of this.

Get it Together

Well now that the elections are over, I hope the Democratic party gets their shit together. I've been surfing through the net and found out that they are thinking of the 2008 presidential election. It seems that Edwards will try to run for president. He's got to be kidding if he thinks he'll get elected. He's not even running for reelection in the Senate. How's he going to do it? The next person (and we all know who it is) is Hillary Clinton. I don't like her at all, but she has a hell a lot more experience than Edwards.

On the right, we have Giuliani, Frist, McCain, and so on. If Giuliani runs, he has a good chance of getting elected. As much as I like Giuliani and dislike Clinton, I would probably vote for Clinton. The simple fact that there needs to be a balance of power in our government. This is why the two party system sucks. The Republicans control everything now. That's dangerous. Supreme Court Justices are going to be picked. Can we say goodbye Roe v. Wade?

Now there are things that I do like about the Republicans. They are not all bad. The way Democrats stomp there feet like little kids when things don't go their way is extremely annoying to me. Especially when the Hollywood elite decide they are going to become political. I hate to tell you but that turns me off more than anything else. Hey Hollywood, wake up and shut up! The Republicans won without having any help from celebrities! Do you realize that you morons???!!!! But Hollywood lives in their own little world and think everyone else does, too.

Anyway, I feel this is a critical time in our lives that calls for action. If you didn't vote or are turned off to vote on the next elections, think again. This could be the turn of this country towards a more religiously conservative era. For those of you that are not that religious, think about your position.

Sunday, October 31, 2004


I said I was going to keep my vote secret, but the more I think about it the more I know it's a wrong decision to do so. This election is important and my friends should know what issues helped me make my decision. I didn't make up my mind until yesterday. I decided to go to Bush's and Kerry's websites to see what each offered. Frankly, I was not impressed with Bush. I support the war in Iraq, but I didn't support the US going in alone. I knew it would be a bad idea. It turns out that there weren't any weapons. That just doesn't sit well with me. Yes we did remove Saddam Hussein, but there are many other leaders that should be removed and are more of a threat than Hussein was.

I also did not like the fact that Bush wanted a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage. Social issues should not be decided by the constitution. I hate to tell you anti-homosexuals that there are actually five sexes. Not everyone is born a complete female or a complete male. This is not something pulled out of a hat. It is scientific. Gays want to marry, so let them. Mind your own business! If you don't like it, tough! I don't like it when you start preaching down my throat about God or that gays are bad!

Now on to Kerry. As you know I'm not crazy about him, but I did find some stuff that I do like about him. He believes in border patrol. That alone shows that he's tougher on terrorism than Bush is. Bush has not done anything for our borders. If he can't stop illegal immigration into this country, how is he going to stop terrorists from seeping in? We can easily protect ourselves from outside threats. But when the threats are in this country already, how are we suppose to stop them? We didn't stop 9/11.

Another issue I find important that I was very pleased to see was keeping schools open until six:
Offer 3.5 Million After-School Opportunities Through "School's Open 'Til Six"
John Kerry and John Edwards are strong supporters of after-school programs. They give students extra help, keep them out of trouble, and offer peace of mind to working parents. The Kerry-Edwards "School's Open 'Til 'Six" initiative will offer after-school opportunities to 3.5 million children, through programs that are open until 6 p.m. and offer safe transportation for children.

Do you know how great that will be? How much money parents are going to save by keeping their children in school and not having to take them into a daycare? It won't be good for daycares, but the bottom line is that it helps parents. This is especially helpful to low and middle income families. This means more jobs opening up because now we need people to stay with these students. Women will benefit from this tremendously. Families that can't afford daycare, won't have to worry about mommies having to only work a part-time job in order to be home in time to pick up the kids from school. This eventually will signify that more women will hold full-time jobs and more money will poor into the household.

Let's not forget about the children, either. They will receive extra help in the subjects needed and have time to finish their homework. Kids will not have the opportunity to get themselves into any trouble. With many children not knowing how to read, how could this not be an overall benefit for working families?

There are other issues I like, but these two struck home. I'm not a parent, but if I knew that I would be able to keep my children in school longer and not have to worry about additional costs, I would be a happy camper. Border patrol is also very important to me and I've mentioned it before.

As you have probably deduced by now, I'm voting for Kerry. The polls open today at one and as long as there isn't a four hour wait (like yesterday), I will cast my vote. I'm happy that I have found issues that are important to me. I was originally going to vote for Nader, but now I know that my vote will count. I could now at least get behind a candidate and not hate the president. Let's hope that Kerry does get elected on Tuesday.

Thursday, October 28, 2004

Free Time

Maybe not, but I'm down to two 4 hour shifts a week. I'm working my last eight hour shift at B&N on Saturday and no more weekends. I know I've been slacking a bit, but I'm too tired to write. What I haven't been slacking off on has been working out. I'm glad about this because it's usually the first thing to go. I still work out 4 to 5 days a week (depending on how tired I am).

Now that I'm down to two shifts, I'm starting my GRE studying and relearning French. I was thinking about it a few days ago that it sucks that I can't speak French after taking a couple of semesters of it. I'm back to reading it, which I could do barely. Anyway, it's fun. Also when I go back to school to get my master's, I'm probably going to learn Portuguese, but that's another story.

Anyway, that's what's been going on. I'm still not sure who I'm going to vote for. This is not good since there's early voting down here. What to do? I better make up my mind soon. I don't have much time left.

Friday, October 22, 2004

Clinton--Head of the UN?

Bill Clinton
This does come as a surprise. Clinton is interested in taking over Kofi Annans's spot in the UN. Would he actually get that spot? And what would this mean if Hillary gets elected in 2008 (of course if Kerry looses this election)? I personally think it's a bit scary that one family would control the world. How imperialistic would we look then? The GOP wouldn't like this. Any international decision would have to be approved by Clinton (unless the president decides to go it alone, like Iraq). I'll have to say that I'll have a lot of material to write about once I'm done with school.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

I'm Mad at the Yankees!!!!!

At first, I couldn't believe that the Yankees had lost the lead in this series. But loose the series?! Come on!! 10-3? I got so mad that at 10:00pm I decided to go to sleep. The truth is that the Yankees played a horrible game last night. The pitching decisions were awful. How do you allow the Red Sox to hit a grand slam on game 7? Anyway, I will not talk about this anymore.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Smartest and Dumbest State

I guess I belong in Florida being that I moved from New Jersey, which is #4 in the country of smartest states.

14 Superfoods

For those of you interested, check this article out about superfoods. It's an interesting find.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Protesting Walmart - Anti-Wal-Mart�
I'm glad to hear that the local people in Teotihuacan are protesting Walmart. This is a great sign that people are beginning to see what Walmart truly stands for. I hope more people take on this trend.

Sunday, October 17, 2004


Check this article out (Atkins). I found it interesting since I'm dieting myself and following a low carb diet. By my low carb diet consists of whole wheat pasta, whole wheat cereal (Fiber), and veggies. My low carb is defined by low processed carbs like sugar and white bread. Of course, I do buy low carb meals or products that contain low carbs. For example, I'm eating a chocolate ice cream by Edy's that is low carb. It is sweetened with splenda. I haven't had a chance to weigh myself this past week, but I could tell you that I don't have enough money to buy new clothes. My shorts don't fit me, and I can't buy any new ones because Miami sells winter clothes. The main thing is that I do count calories and exercise 4 to 5 times a week. I know I'm looking better because I keep on getting hit on at B&N, which I find funny. Most importantly is that Dan bike rides with me on Sunday mornings, which is our only time together throughout the entire week. We have tons of fun doing it. It's a definite stress reliever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

I know I'm slacking, but....

I've been pretty busy this last week and a half. I started going back to the gym which means I'm waking up at 4:30 instead of 5:30. I'm still working at B & N, which is getting to me. I haven't even read the newspaper in the past week. How crazy is that? I have no idea what's going on with the world. I'm pretty upset about this. I have to end this post quickly because I'm leaving to work in a few minutes. See you around!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Eating Right

Eating Right

I have this argument with many people that think Atkins is the best thing that has ever happened to weight loss. I like this article that I found because it's exactly the type of diet I'm following (except for the alcohol). People don't realize that you have to restrict the amount of calories per day. Cutting carbs is a fast fix and you won't last very long on it. Besides, in order for your brain to function, you must eat carbs. Protein does not help your brain.

Two months ago I began restricting my calories. I went to the doctor about a week ago, and he told me to do low carb. What he didn't say was to restrict all carbs. He wants me to eat fruits, vegetables, whole wheat pasta, and anything that has a lot of fiber in it. I have lost 12 pounds so far, and dropped a size. For those of you that haven't seen me in a while, I've lost a total of 27 pounds. I'm very excited about this. I'm also not taking any diet pills or calorie burners. It's called discipline! My fellow readers that's what you need in order to loose weight.


There are five weeks left to election day, and I still have no idea who am I going to vote for. This is a bad sign. I'm not crazy about Bush and I was in favor over the war. Although, I always said he didn't have a clear definition on why we were going into war. You can't have different objectives on why you're taking a country to war. It was the wmd's and we were under imminent threat to be attacked. These are two very different reasons on why to go to war. I still supported it because I believed the evidence was there that Iraq had wmd's. Obviously that wasn't the case and there was no imminent threat of us being attacked. But I do believe that it is better that Saddam Hussein is out of power. This man is a horrible person and what he's done to his own people is unthinkable. That being said, I now feel we should have concentrated more on Afghanistan.

I don't agree with everything Bush believes in, which I think would be weird if I did. For example, I love Dan to death, but that doesn't mean I agree with every he says or does. One thing for sure is that you know what you're getting from him. Kerry is a different story. He makes it sound that he would have made all the right choices. How often does anyone make all the right choices? I know I don't. Moving down to Florida was not a right choice, and I felt we were prepared for it. Now, we're stuck making little money and working way too much. There's a pool in the backyard that I have not gotten into since July. How's that for enjoying the sunshine state? This doesn't make me a bad person; it just makes me human. It's easy to say you would have done things differently after the fact. I could say the same thing about moving down here.

The point is that neither candidate is the best one for the job. I definitely don't like Kerry, but I'm not entirely crazy about Bush either. Who knows who I'll vote for. I wish there was a better contender.

White Power Music - News - White Power Groups Turn To Rock CDs To Entice Students

Neo-Nazis are at it again. They have made rock cds and plan to distribute them to schools in Colorado. Neo-Nazis are calling this "Operation Schoolyard USA." These people are a bunch of morons and are trying to make more morons.

What I find interesting is their motto, "We don't just entertain racist kids. We create them." To me that says it all. They have to create racists, which obviously means that people are not born racist. I mean this obivious to me and probably to others. Children become exposed to racist behavior. They are not born that way. I wish the Neo-Nazis would learn from their motto and realize how harmful they are being to society. It's beyond me why anyone hates another person because of his/her religious affiliation and/or ethnicity, but they are out there.

Caskets Float - News - Flooding From Jeanne Raises Dead At Florida, Georgia Cemeteries

I had to link this story because it's never crossed my mind that flooding will cause caskets to float. The thought of this is extremely disturbing.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

Walmart Near the Pyramids

The New York Times > International > Americas > Teotihuac�n Journal: No, the Conquistadors Are Not Back. It's Just Wal-Mart.

The more I think about it, the more I dislike Walmart. I've shopped their in the past. I'm guilty of being swept by the prices they offer. Maybe I dislike it because the one by where I live is very chaotic (and not because of the people that shop there; although they could be, too). You can't even walk through the aisles without tripping over a box. It's even dirty. The fact of the matter is that the best time to shop at this Walmart is very early in the morning or sometime after 3am. Besides that, you're in there for a long time. I've been to other Walmarts that are really nice and clean. I wouldn't mind shopping in those, I guess.

With great prices comes great hardships. The reason Walmart could offer super low prices is because they could buy in bulk (big bulk). When a Walmart sets up shop in a town, the first thing to go are the small businesses. They can't possibly compete with Walmart. The simple and most obvious reason is that a small business owner does not have the means to buy in bulk. Unfortunately for these small business owners, they have to set their prices higher. We all know what occurs after this point--they go out of business.

Did you know that Walmart is richer than many countries. If my memory serves me correctly, it is in the top thirty of rich companies/countries (I saw the statistics in one of my Latin American and Caribbean Studies classes). It is richer than some countries!! That's impressive. Who is going to compete with that? I know this is good old capitalism at it's best, but I feel for the small guy (if this was a few decades earlier, I would probably be accused of being a communist). What is funny in this whole equation is that the small guy is the one to shop at this place (including myself--very rarely; although I do like shopping at Target).

Of course Walmart is now international. It's set up shop in Mexico. The point of the above article is that it's going to open a store near ancient pyramids and the locals are upset about this. I don't blame them. There seems to be some controversy on corruption by the city and archaelogists, which does not really surprise me. The locals are worried that they will loose their small businesses:
But an economic reality underlies this dispute - Wal-Mart has not only built stores throughout Mexico, but has taken over several other chains. It is the largest private employer in the country, and wherever this American retail titan erects a new outlet, the local merchants tend to disappear, or at least lose business.

My biggest problem with Walmart is not actually Walmart, but Latin America. Walmart is the largest private employer in Mexico. Why does a foreign country have that much control over Mexico? The answer is that countries like Mexico always look outside of its borders for economic help. It's easier to let a foreign company come in and take over its economy. I'm not going to change the way countries in Latin America operate, but they keep on making the same mistakes over and over again. The more they depend on outside help, the less wealthy and productive they become. This has been going on for centuries now. When are they going to realize this is their biggest downfall?

Monday, September 27, 2004

Hurricane Season Specials

For those of you intrigued by this hectic hurricane season, I found a link on that gives you information on how hurricanes form. It's pretty interesting. It also shows a gallery of the top 10 worst hurricanes. Check it out.

Most lucrative college degrees

Most lucrative college degrees - Sep. 21, 2004

Those of you in school or just graduated you may want to look at this article. With the way things are going for me, I'm not surprised to see that my degree's worth has dropped 4.80% and the starting salary is $30,344. With all the different jobs I could do, it's quite alarming. As I've said before, I can't complain about my situation because Dan and I aren't starving to death. I'm hoping the tides change a bit for us.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

Spared Again

Jeanne landed further north than where I am, but we have been getting a lot of rain. Today is pretty cloudy and rainy. I can't really complain because we haven't lost any power or suffered any damages. I just can't believe how central Florida has been pounded by all of these hurricanes. I see it coming--insurances and electricity are going up. This place is going to suck even further.

Saturday, September 25, 2004


Another weekend wasted trapped inside the house. I can't tell you how annoyed I am. Well, not that I was able to do much since I'm sick, but Dan and I were going to buy a second car this weekend. We've been trying to buy a car for the past month. Between the hurricanes, work, and more work, it's been useless. What a mess!! I'll keep everyone posted on this new hurricane. The core of the storm is projected to hit Palm Beach County (again!!!!), but Miami will feel tropical storm force winds. Let's see what happens.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004


As many of you know, I just celebrated my 29th birthday. It was a great birthday. I have to say that all of you that remembered are awesome. I think I got more phone calls and cards than I could ever remember. I've been feeling crappy for the past week with some allergy/cold that I have. On Saturday night, Dan took me out to grab a bite to eat, and I couldn't finish my bahamarita (very yummy). I don't believe that's ever happened in my life. Dan kind of laughed at me and tried to make me finish it (I think he was trying to get me drunk). Instead, I ended up driving home!! Anyway, I have to thank everyone of you for making me feel special and for the wonderful gifts I got!!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Crazy Week

I've had the craziest week ever. My new job, sucks! The school is mass chaos. As I found out through some of the other teachers, most of the students have learning disabilities and are taking medication. My first day, I had a sixth grader tell me to go screw myself and then apologized. I broke up four fights between two kids in an hour. I found out that most of the ninth graders don't know how to write three paragraphs. I don't get my own lunch period, either. I have to be in the cafeteria with the kids to make sure they don't crazy. Kids just curse up and down the hallway.

Then the kicker came. I was asked to teach 1st and 2nd grade (combined). The reason for this is because the teacher these students had didn't speak English that well. Wow! The fact that these two grades are combined is beyond me, but whatever. So my little rugrats are actually very adorable. I have a couple of kids that have speech impediments, a boy with add, and a girl that has psychological problems due to abuse.

The little girl is hectic to deal with, but is the sweetest kid you could ever imagine. She sees me in the mornings before class starts and runs to me to give me a hug and a kiss. She stands next to me and holds my hand waiting for me to walk her up the stairs. I fed her the first day because she just puts food everywhere but her mouth. She only knows how to write her name. She spends the entire day coloring or trying to steal some other kid's pen. She even goes into my bookbag and tries to take my pens. I got her to understand that there's no talking and that she must sit down. I think I also got her to understand that she must ask me first to go the bathroom instead of running out of the classroom. Let's see if I could make some progress with her.

There's actually special ed classes in this school, but I don't know what they do with all the other kids. My add kid, he just wants to color and show me his karate moves. I could barely get him to do classwork. He doesn't do his homework. I sent a letter to his parents to make sure that he does his homework. He's also a sweet kid. He keeps on making me paper dogs and planes. He draws for me, too. If I had each of these kids alone, they would definitely improve. They all have potential.

Another problem I'm running into is dividing the lesson plans between the two grades. What happens when I start teaching the first graders or the second graders, they all want to participate. Even if I give them classwork to do while I try to teach the lesson, they get excited and want to answer the questions. So far, I make all of them participate. I'm not sure what else to do. I don't want to tell either grade not to answer because I feel that will turn them off to school. Most of the times you get kids that don't want to participate in class. In this case, they all want to participate, which I think is a great sign.

Last but not least, I've been sick all week. I think it's really bad allergies. I'm loosing my voice and I'm all congested. My voice isn't going to get any better because I'm usually yelling at the kids to be quiet. Thursday night I ended up taking a tylenol pm, and fell asleep before 7pm. I've also been working at B&N, so I'm just exhausted. I finally have Sunday off. I want to enjoy the day and celebrate my birthday, which is on Monday.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Prep List for Ivan

For those of you that don't know how to prepare for a hurricane, I have the list for you: Hurricane Check List

Thursday, September 09, 2004

New Job

I have good news!! Starting Monday (if Ivan misses), I will be a history teacher at Lincoln-Marti school in Little Havana. My mother-in-law happen to pick up the paper and found the job posting. She called me right away to let me know about it. I faxed over my resume. Three hours later, the school called me to set an interview. I went over to their main office and got the job. It's a starting point for me and I'm excited about it. I think I'm also a bit nervous because I'm actually breaking out. Even Dan noticed that I'm breaking out! Anyway, that's what's going on. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 06, 2004

Hurricane Ivan

Because Frances wasn't enough! Now we have Ivan to worry about. As of right now, it's a Category 4 with winds of 125 mph and it's traveling at 23 mph, which is quite fast. From the pictures, it seems as if it's going straight into Florida.

I brought this up to Dan last night, but I feel that the last two years have been hectic with storms. The last winter I spent in NJ, we got pounded with blizzards and bitter weather. That summer, I remember spending an entire month without seeing the sun. I remember that vividly because I was alone. Dan had already moved down to Miami. It made me really depressed. In Florida, we've had two major hurricanes and we're only in September. It has also been a very rainy season. I hope this trend does not continue. - Storm Track

Sunday, September 05, 2004


Frances's core hit in Stuart, which is north of West Palm Beach. We've gotten the storm, but with wind gusts of up to 50-70 miles an hour. The right side of the storm has not hit yet, which is expected to be the worst part of the storm. Miami will be getting the tail end of it, but with the same wind speeds. Money hungry places are already opening up, even though the advisory is to stay home. I guess they figure that people have been cooped up in their homes since Thursday night and are itching to get out (I'm one of those, but with my luck I'll have a tree fall on me). I couldn't go online yesterday because we kept on having power surges. Luckily, we never lost the electricity. It might happen later on today, but so far, so good.

Other than that, everything has been fine. The only problem is that we're bored. I've been studying for the GRE, and finally got a chance to play with the Xbox. I played Prince of Persia. I didn't do so bad. Dan has been so involved in Knights of the Old Republic that I haven't even held the controller.

Anyway with this whole preparation for Frances, I haven't had much of a chance to study for the GRE. I wanted to take the exam the weekend of my birthday, but the more I look at the material, the more I realize how unprepared I really am for this exam. I'm going to have to hold off on school until the summer. I believe I have until April to apply for the summer. I'll probably take the exam some time in March. There's no point of taking an exam you're not prepared for. I am now giving myself six months to study for it. I'm upset about this, but I know it's the best move. Once I'm back in school, I'll be back in business.

Friday, September 03, 2004

Frances Update

Frances has slowed down to a mere 9 miles an hour. As of 2:00pm, it was 190 miles east of Miami. The national hurricane center is anticipating landfall by Ft. Lauderdale or West Palm Beach, but is cautioning that Frances might make a left turn making landfall in the Miami area. Even if it doesn't make that left turn, we will probably feel winds of 70 miles an hour or more. Right now, we are experiencing a second feeder band that is bringing winds of about 20-25 miles an hour.

We are as prepared as we can be. The only problem I foresee is that my bathroom window shutter is actually not attached to the wall, which makes the shutter useless. I will have to remove stuff from the bathroom, and keep the door closed. There's nothing we could do about it as of now, and we don't have a long enough ladder to climb up to the window. Even if we did, we wouldn't be able to secure it because it's very windy. All we could do now is wait.

I do have to say that it's been a long day, and it's only 4:53pm. I feel as if it's 9:00pm. It also doesn't help that the house is dark. We woke up at around 7:30am to get our gas tank filled up, and been working all day long. I bleached the bathtubs so that we could fill them up with water (I know this sounds weird, but if the city shuts down the water we will have fill up the tubs in order to drink, bathe, and to flush). We also pulled in all the patio and balcony furniture from outside. Dan backed up his computer, and did a whole bunch of stuff outside of the house. In other words, we're pooped.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

Hurricane Frances

I know I said I was taking a three week break to study for the GRE, but there's something more important going on at the moment. We're preparing for Hurricane Frances. This is my first real hurricane, and frankly, I'm worried. Gas stations are running out of gas, Home Depot is running out of ply wood, etc. As of right now, I'm bringing in the small plants from outside. Later on, we'll have to bring in the patio furniture. One thing I'm upset about is if we have to go to a shelter, pets aren't allowed. I have no idea what we'll do if it comes to that. We can't leave all three dogs.

As of right now, the national weather center has not issued a hurricane warning for Miami-Dade County. We're just under a watch, which means I'll probably end up at work today. The only thing I could do at the moment is hope for the better. If all goes well, I'll blog again after the hurricane passes through (if there's no water damage inside the house; we live on a lake and have a pool) Either way, I'll keep you guys posted.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Taking a Blogging Break

I am not going to blog for about three weeks (until the weekend of my birthday 9/20). The reason for this is that I'm studying for the GRE. I will hopefully take the test that weekend. I plan to start taking courses in the spring for a master's in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. This was a decision that Dan, his parents, and I came to. I need to get my master's in order to move ahead in my career. I'm stuck in limbo at the moment because my degree requires further schooling. It has been a year since we moved down to Miami, and it's time to pursue my goals. If all goes well, I'll be back in school in January. Wish me luck; I'm going to need it.

BTW: I will still be checking my email from time to time. If I don't get back to you is because I'm studying like a maniac.

Friday, August 27, 2004

Barbie and Ken

Did you know that Barbie had a middle and last name? And Ken also had a last name? Here they are: Barbie Millicent Roberts and Ken Carson. Ms. Roberts also went to Willows High in Willows, Wisconsin. Barbie and Ken dated for 43 yrs. and broke up February 12, 2004. I had no clue about this. Here's the link to the article: Barbie

Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Yup, I'm sick. It hit me full force at work today. Not that I was feeling great this morning, either. My mood became worse when this woman on a four-way stop decided to proceed even though we were already in the middle of the intersection. She starts yelling from her car and I immediately snapped and told her "It's called a Stop sign, you f..... c...." Of course, there was a school in the corner when I yelled this out the window. What was I thinking? I'm glad we were in the car because I would have gotten into a fight with this women. I need lots of mint tea and tylenol pm. If I could get some sleep tonight, I will be happy tomorrow.


Man, I miss having my own car. It's almost 7:00 am, and I've been awake since 6:00. No big deal if I had to be in work at 8:00, but I don't. I'm not in until 10:00, but I'll be there at around 7:30. I have no other alternative today. Sometimes, I could borrow my mother-in-law's car. I'm so grateful on those days. Yesterday was one of those days. Today is not. I could walk to the bus stop, but it's three miles away. I'm not in the mood of walking three miles this morning. I'll walk it coming home from work since I still have energy. Besides, it's been raining so much that I'll probably get soaked. I have no choice in the matter, but get dropped off by Dan. I could ride my bike to the store. The problem is that I don't have a lock to put on it. With my luck, someone will steal it.
The worst part of this is that I didn't get much sleep last night. For some reason, I kept on waking up. I'm coming down with something. I've been fighting it for about a week and a half. Everyone at work has been getting sick. In time, I'll be one of those. As you can see, I'm not very happy this morning.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Hanging Coffins

While I was crocheting last night, I had the Discovery Science Channel on. I began watching a documentary about the Bo peoples of Southwestern China. These people practically vanished about 1000 years ago. I believe they were annihilated by the Ming Dynasty (I might be incorrect on this point). There are descendants of these people present today. What's fascinating about them is the fact that they had a special ritual with their deceased. Instead of burying them or cremating them, their coffins were suspended against high points of mountains. I found this to be so bizarre and interesting. How would these people carry these coffins that weighed about 500 pounds along the sides of these cliffs? There was practically no room to walk. In fact, archaeologists have not been able to reach most of the coffins. If it happens to be shown again, I strongly urge you to watch it. You'll be just as amazed.

Monday, August 23, 2004

New Pictures

If you haven't visited Xia's Handmade Apparel, then you're missing out. Last night, Dan took pictures of some the items that I have made in the recent weeks. Check them out and let me know what you think!!

Sunday, August 22, 2004


Back in July, I wrote a piece on how Americans are reading less (Bring on the Books). Something came to me the other day. Maybe readership has not gone down. People are becoming smarter. You could go to B&N or Borders, sit down, and read. I see people do this all the time. Some people grab stacks of magazines and sit there for a few hours. It didn't really hit me until yesterday at work. I went on break and I wasn't in the mood of crocheting or sitting in the break room (it's cold back there). I wasn't sure on what to do until I stumbled upon the financial section. I saw a row of books by Suze Orman. I picked one up, ordered tea, sat down, and began reading through it. I obviously did not read the entire book, but I got some good info out of it. Now, I could buy it if I want to, but I'm trying to save as much money as possible. This is when it hit me. If you have some free time, why not sit at one of these bookstores and read a bit. You could even pick up from where you left off the last time you were there. It the same thing with a library book. You read it and return it. If you can't afford to constantly purchase every book that catches your fancy, this is an ideal situation for you. It's a great atmosphere. Once you're ready and willing, you buy the book. I wonder if this was taken into account when they said purchases of books had gone down.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

al-Qaida is trying to recruit in Latin America, according to an article from the Associated Press. This shouldn't shock anyone. Where's the best place to have anti-American sentiment thrive? Not only will al-Qaida use Latin America to plan attacks against the United States, but also in countries in Latin America. According to the article, the United States has been aware of this problem. That's great! That is why we still have an uncontrollable illegal immigrant situation in this country. If we can't stop millions of people crossing over into this country, how are we going to stop terrorists?

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Accident Prone

For those of you that know me well, you have come to accept me as very accident prone. I'm always tripping, getting hurt, or dropping things. It's part of my charm. Even Dan has come to accept me for what I am. At the beginning of our relationship, he would jump at the sound of me tripping or yelling because I banged my head (which explains a lot about me). Now, he just laughs at me and says "You're so freakin clumsy." I laugh right along with him (unless I'm already pissed off and then I just glare at him).

Well, I have the perfect excuse for this. I can't help it! It's because I'm ambidextrous! I was watching the Discovery Science Channel the other day. I cannot recall the program I was watching, but a segment on clumsy people came up. I immediately focused on what was being said. The narrator was explaining why there are some people more accident prone than others. The answer is that those that are left-handed, which is the hand I write with, tend to be more accident prone than right-handed people. Those that are ambidextrous (I use my right hand for everything else from throwing a ball to crocheting, and sometimes writing) are the clumsiest. The reason for this is because since there is no preference for either side of the brain, the actions taken are not as defined. I guess right-handed people have this under control.

There you have it! I got so excited when I heard this that I called Dan at work and told him about it. I don't feel like a weirdo anymore. As careful as I try to be, I know that I will somehow manage to trip or something.


Over the years of working customer service jobs, I've pretty much seen and heard just about everything. I've come to the conclusion that human beings are very unique. Hell, I'm the same way. I've probably have said many stupid things in my life and forever will. No surprise there. At least I know that I try my hardest not to sound stupid. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Anyway, I got a pretty funny question today at work. I'm at the condiment bar wiping it down and getting rid of the sugar packets/straws that people always fail to throw away in the trash. There is a woman standing next to me reaching for a straw to put into her iced latte. She takes a sip from it, looks at me, and says, "This is not sweet." I respond, "No it isn't. It's just espresso with milk." She then tries to justify her reaction by saying, "But it's iced." At that point, I should have said "Right, I forgot that ice sweetens things up. Let me remake that for you." I obviously didn't say that. I told her to go ahead and add sugar. She was then worried that the sugar wasn't going to melt. After that statement, I felt like telling her that sugar doesn't melt, but it dissolves. I'll forgive her on the "melt" part, I don't think she was American. I don't get people.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

X Box

Dan and I bought X Box last night with Knights of the Old Republic. He was very excited trying to figure out how to keep his PS2 in the same area as his new X Box. We're now all set up. We have Xbox, PS2, Gamecube, and Gameboy Advance. Do we need all of this? Well, I think you know the answer to that one. None-the-less, it's great to see Dan excited setting the X Box up. I on the other hand (surprisingly) watched him for about 20 minutes and went to bed. I think I was just exhausted. Maybe it was because it only came with one controller and I couldn't play. Either way, I'm very glad to see Dan happy; he deserves it.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Charley 2

The worst part of the storm in Miami-Dade County was last night. The day was cloudy and a bit windy, but luckily we were spared. The hurricane has claimed four lives in Jamaica and Cuba, who were hard hit. Most of the islands off the west coast of Florida were evacuated because they were right in Charley's path. Last I heard, Charley is a Category 4 hurricane, which is one step below hurricane Andrew. Compared to Andrew, Florida is now more prepared for these types of hurricanes. The public is informed well in advance because of new technology available. This prevents the lost of many lives and property. Unfortunately, there has been significant damage to the west coast of Florida. Many people are without homes tonight or have enough damage to their homes that they must stay at a shelter until the hurricane has passed. Hopefully, the worst is over.


Hurricane Charley has to be vicious. It is not hitting Miami-Dade County, but let me tell you we're getting soaked. Dan and I woke up around 12:30am because of the howling winds. We got a bit freaked out when we turned on the TV. The advisory was to leave the top floors of your house and remain in on the first floor in the center of the house. Of course that advisory was for Kendall, which is where we live. We freaked out because the first floor of the house does not have a real center. This house has a lot of windows. There's a huge window in the living room that is probably twenty feet tall. We were getting 30 mile an hour winds according to the report. I know today is going to get worse, which is when Charley is hitting Key West. Well, let's hope for the best. I'll keep you updated.

Monday, August 09, 2004

Nuclear Power

"European powers and Russia have resisted American efforts to impose sanctions against Iran, which they see as a major trading partner," according to the New York Times. So the Iranians are being allowed to develop nuclear power because they are a major trading partner. Even though, "the International Atomic Energy Agency, the United Nations' nuclear monitoring agency, has found evidence of covert efforts, stretching back more than 18 years, to produce highly enriched uranium suitable primarily for weapons production." So, let's let them develop nuclear power. Once they have us by the balls, I wonder if Iran will still be considered a major trading partner.

The United States is always being criticized for the actions taken, but what about the Europeans and Russia? The most logical step would be to impose sanctions on Iran. We have been doing so against North Korea (not that it has been working very well, but at least we're not bombing the crap out of them). Since Europe and Russia are no longer super powers, I guess they feel they must do everything in their power to oppose the United States. The new kid on the block has more power and money than they do, and frankly they are not happy about it. Of course when we turn around and start a war with Iran, we will be looked upon as hawkish (not that we should until we're done with Afghanistan and Iraq).

I find this to be very troubling. Being divided is not going to help against terrorists or nuclear hungry countries. This is a time when all countries should work together to try to avert these kinds of situations. The truth of the matter is that everyone will be affected by this. It is not only the US's problem. Of course, the situation is always about power and money, and who has the most of it. Europe and Russia do not have as much of either one of them, and they are eager to regain it.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Ebay Store

My eBay store does not seem to be catching on. I decided to close it and showcase my items on blogger. I left the link on the page, but changed the address. I'm not sure if it's because it's the middle of the summer or because of my marketing nonskills. Anyway, I'll try it word of mouth first and see what happens.

Monday, August 02, 2004


"The Danger of the Dead," is an article I stumbled upon that focuses on the dangers of dead bodies after a terrorist attack. The dead bodies could be contaminated with an infectious disease, which would potentially harm investigators, coroners, and anyone else that might come into contact with the bodies.

These are situations that our government has to think about. I personally would of not thought about it, but as the article points out, "as warriors realized in the Middle Ages as they committed what may be the first acts of bioterrorism in history. According to historians, they used a unique delivery system -- catapults -- to fling plague victims over walls into enemy territory." As I'm now recalling, there were other instances where this method had been used."

I am glad that people are thinking outside of the box. As grim as this scenario sounds, it could happen and we should be prepared for it. Our time of safety in this country are long gone. All we could do now is prevent any attacks and be prepared in case of an attack. This is all new to us, in a sense, because we have the two oceans protecting us from terrorists coming in. That has worked in the past, and I'm talking when there wasn't any planes. But now we have to realize that everything is accessible, including the country. So we have to adjust to the times.

Saturday, July 31, 2004

Restrictions May be Backfiring on Bush

In a New York Times article, it states that Bush is finding opposition on the initial restrictions to Cuba. The opposition is on the travel restrictions and relief packages. After much debate, there was a vote to ease the restriction on sending relief packages to families. The problem Bush is having is that there are recent Cubans immigrants that still have strong ties with their families from the island. They find it hard being able to see them only once every three years.

Now, I believe the Cuban embargo has failed because it has not gotten rid of Fidel Castro. What it has done is further alienate the Cubans on the island that do need the relief packages or money sent to them. I'm going to give a perfect example on this issue. I have family that still lives in Cuba. My parents have to send them money because they can't survive without it. A few years ago, their roof had collapsed and they did not have the means to replace it. My parents had to send them money. Once the money got there, they bought the necessary supplies and replaced it. How could you not send any money to them? What do you do, let them live in house with the roof gone?

The travel restrictions are just as bad. How can you only allow one visit every three years? What if your mother is dying? You visited the island last year, and now you can't see her die. Is that reasonable? When both of my grandparents died, my father was not able to be by their side. I think that's horrible. You should be allowed to visit in situations like these.

I would be all for the embargo if it was effective, but it's not. All Cubans, exiled and from the island, have suffered enough with the policies of the Cuban government. We do not need more restrictions. What we need is dialogue between both governments to open up. Castro would probably ease up because he's receiving help. He accepted help from the Soviet Union over forty years ago. Now that the Soviet Union is gone, who else could help Cuba? I'm not saying he would become a saint, but he would have to cave in to the United States.

Besides if the United States was so interested in getting rid of Castro, than they would have done so during the Bay of Pigs. But as history reminds us, Kennedy called for the withdrawal of the troops. We left those Cubans that were fighting there to die. We could also invade the island now and get rid of Castro. The pact that we made with the Soviet Union that we would not invade the island after the Cuban missile crisis is no longer valid because there is no Soviet Union. Although, that would probably be a waste of life since Castro is not young anymore. He's 74 years old. Even if he lives to be 100, he won't be able to run the country for that much longer.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Being a Kid Again

It was about 8:30 pm last night when I decided to go into the pool with Dan's little cousin, Christopher. It began drizzling and I figured we should stay in the pool as long as it didn't thunder. Christopher was happy and we were playing around. It then began to pour that I could barely keep my eyes open. We kept on tossing the beach ball back and forth. The best part is that my sister-in-law, Sandra, my mother-in-law, Marta, and Christopher's parents, Lucy and Carlos come out to the backyard. Sandra and Marta decided to jump into the pool with their clothes on. Lucy and Carlos are now taking pictures and it's pouring even harder.

We were having so much fun in the pool. Christopher was having a blast because he was being tossed all over the pool. I felt like a little kid swimming around in the pool while it was raining. It felt great! After we got out of the pool, Sandra and I sat around and laughed about it. The best part is that Christopher (since he's almost nine years old) won't forget about this. He'll always remember how we let him stay in the pool while it was pouring. Of course I won't forget about this, either. I think it's good for your soul to act like a kid once in a while. You forget about all the worries you have on your mind and focus on having fun.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Xia's Handmade Apparel

I finally set up my eBay store!! Here's the link to it: My Store
Please, go visit it and tell your friends about it. I will make special orders if anyone likes. Just email me to let me know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

My Apparel

These are some of the stuff that I've made. I am taking requests so please drop me an email.







I am no Longer a Non-Producer

Dan coined that phrase when he was making fun of me for not having a job, expect he called me an "NP." Of course when he said that to me I just started laughing and threatened that I could be a real NP, and do nothing at all throughout the day. He stopped laughing!! I then laughed harder. Anyway, I got a job at Barnes and Noble at the Cafe. I want to see if I work my way into management. The prospects seem pretty good. They are impressed with me. I actually started today. It's like bartending w/o the tips, and no one talking loudly. It seems like a cool job, and management is very nice.

I'm also almost done with setting up my eBay store. I'm waiting for Paypal to verify me, and I'll post my stuff. I'm pretty proud of myself, I already sold two hats w/ the matching scarves to a friend of mine. So, I want to show you guys what I've made so far.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

Lazy Day

This has to be the laziest day I've had in years.  First of all, I woke up at 10:00 am.  Normally, I'm up the latest 8:30 am.  Then at around 1:30 pm, I went back to bed and woke up at 4:53 pm.  The funny thing is that  almost everyone in the house has done the same thing.  I still can't wake Dan up.  He told me to give him ten minutes.  I can't believe I've wasted this day away! 

Dan and I were planning to leave to the beach at around 4:00 pm.  I guess that's not happening anymore.  I think what happened was there was a big rain storm that made the day very gloomy, and we all just layed around.  Well, must go wake Dan up before he sleeps the rest of the day.

Winning Miss Chubby Contest

Yup that's the record I want to hold.  I want to be the fattest person in the country.  This contest was held in Italy and it was meant to show that being stick thin is not always the best way.  Newsflash:  Neither is being the fattest!  Everyone knows that models or actresses have those great bodies because they have the time and could afford personal trainers and chefs.  Now beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but health isn't.  Weighing 200-400 lbs. is not healthy.  This is not an issue of being beautiful. 

I'm not at a healthy weight, either.  I'm not as disciplined as I should be with my workouts.  I don't have a self image problem, either.  So, I don't need to prove to anyone anything.  I recognize that I should eat less and workout more.  This is not an easy task.  Even though I love working out, I have a hard time going regularly.  Last week, I worked out three times.  I really want to work out more, but I  need to make more of a commitment.  This contest is an atrocity to all men and women.  

Giovanna Guidoni, the winner, said she came in second place last year.  The organizers of the contest stated that her success is due to her being an owner of a restaurant.  She weighs in at 416 lbs., and she is only 20 yrs. old.    This woman will probably not live to see her 30's or 40's if she keeps up at that rate.  Instead of making her a winner, they should have doctors teach her how to eat and exercise.  They should make a contest on who is healthier, not skinnier or fatter. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Let's Bargain With the Terrorists

Thanks to Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, the president of the Phillipines, the terrorists have an upper hand in bargaining.  How great is that?  Arroyo stated "It would have been silly to sacrifice the life of the hostage, Angelo dela Cruz, when the troops were scheduled to go home in August in any event."  Number one rule:  NEVER BARGAIN WITH TERRORISTS!  As silly as she thinks it was to sacrifice Angelo dela Cruz's life, the fact of the matter is that she's now endangered more lives.  A country caving into the requests of terrorists only leads to more kidnappings and more beheadings.  It gives the terrorists and their cause legitimacy, which is something that should be avoided at all levels. 

Monday, July 19, 2004

Finally Finished!

Remember the scarf I was knitting?  Well, I finally finished it.  It took me a total of four days to do.  It's 58 inches long and 5 inches wide.  I also said it was going to be beautiful.  Well, it really isn't.  The problem is that it has some holes in it because the stitching wasn't even.  Since I wasn't completely happy on its outcome, I decided to keep the scarf.  Besides it is my first knit scarf and I worked a lot of hours on it.  I'll use it for when I go up to New Jersey to visit (if I'm able to do that). 

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Cuba Restrictions? Maybe Not.

A company from California called CancerVax Corp. will be developing three cancer drugs with the Cuban government.  This transaction has been approved by the government despite the new restrictions that were just imposed by the Bush administration.  If the drugs they make are approved for sale, CancerVax will share the profits with the Cuban government.  CancerVax will also pay Cuba $2 million a year in food and medicine over the next three years. 

Friday, July 16, 2004


Whoever said gardening was an exercise, was not kidding!  This morning I had to repot my aji cachucha plant (this is what is called in Spanish; the best way I could describe it is that it looks identical to a Jamaican hot pepper, but not as hot and a bit sweeter).  This plant was given to me by Dan's great aunt and uncle, Luisa and Pancho.  They found out that I'm into gardening and planted this for me (they are very sweet and I was very touched when I found out they were doing this for me).
I had originally repotted her two months ago, but for some reason she wasn't doing well in her new home.  I thought maybe I wasn't watering her as much as I should or that she was exposed to too much sun.  My father-in-law decided to buy a bigger pot and gave it to me last night.  I have to attempt to save this plant because I'll feel really guilty if she doesn't survive.  So, I was very grateful that Frank (my father-in-law) got this for me.
Now, this plant is pretty big to begin with.  There was no way that I could just pull her out of the pot without placing the pot on it's side.  Well before I go along with this story, I have to mention that we had a tremendous storm yesterday.  The wind blew off the screen to my bedroom window.  We normally keep the bags of dirt on the side of the house.  It's kept closed, but it doesn't really matter if it gets wet.  Well, I pick up the bag and start walking with it towards the new pot.  I noticed it had a couple of tears in it, but I wasn't worried.  When I start dumping the dirt into the pot, the bag rips open.  I now have dirt all over the terrace.
I forgot to mention that this dirt is not the dirt you buy at Home Depot.  We got this bag at a nursery.  The reason I mention this is because dirt from nurseries have a lot of fertilizer, which stains the floor tremendously.  The dirt from Home Depot has fertilizer, but it doesn't really stain the floor.  Of course, the dirt was also wet.  Here I am scooping up the dirt with my hands.  I left my gloves and tools in the garage thinking I wouldn't really need it (this is what happens in the mornings when I only have one cup of coffee).  Eventually, I managed to pick up all of the dirt off the floor.
Now on to the plant.  I add some water to the plant in order to pull her out without ripping her roots (now that I think about it, it poured yesterday).  So I place the pot on its side, and there goes the plant and the dirt.  It came right out of the pot.   Needless to say that I was amazed at this point.  I could have avoided all of this if I would have waited for Dan or Frank to get home, and had them help me out (or done this over the grass instead of the tiled terrace).
Repotting was successful and I think she likes her new home.  She didn't seem dried up.  After I was done picking up all the dirt off the floor, I began hosing down the terrace.  This was more of a hassle than repotting my plant.  I do have to be thankful that it is  a nice and breezy morning.  I would have passed out if it were the middle of the day.   Now on to that second cup of coffee...

Thursday, July 15, 2004


Remember how I told you that the scarf I was knitting would take me from two to three days?  Well, it's going to take me a very long time.  In the last two days, I've only been able to knit 15 inches of it.  I've gotten the hang of it, but it is very tasking.  What kind of sucks is that I found out how to do different patterns that would look very nice, but I can't incorporate them since I'm so far into the scarf already.  I want to stop knitting this scarf and begin a whole new one, but then I know I'll regret it. 
I did buy more yarn for the hat that I was crocheting and finished it today.  I still haven't posted these items on eBay because Dan and I are having conflicting schedules.  I don't remember how to upload pictures into the computer, or for that matter, post them on a website.  Once we resolve this, I'll be in business (hopefully).

Pumping Gas in New Jersey

I found a funny article on why it's illegal to pump your own gas in New Jersey. I suggest you take a look at it. I found it funny since I now pump my own gas, and it's much faster than waiting for someone else to do it for me. That's my take on it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Since I'm not currently working, I decided instead of becoming overwhelmingly bored at home to start crocheting. The last time I crocheted was when I went to Spain twenty years ago. My grandmother knits and crochets all the time. She use to make sweaters for my cabbage patch doll, Dulce Ella. That summer, she attempted to show the me the ropes. I never got the knitting part, but crocheting was a blast.

I told Dan that I wanted to make scarves and hats and try to sell them on eBay. I think it's a good idea. Hopefully, so will the buyers. Surprisingly, I remembered how to do it. I now have two scarves, one hat, and an unfinished hat (I ran out of the yarn I was using). The hat fit my head, which if you all remember I have a huge head. It's a bit tight on me, but it should fit the rest of you normal head people. The scarves are different in size and width. I don't recall the dimensions at the moment, but the one scarf is really wide and thick. The other scarf is narrower and thinner. I used different stitches on these two, also.

I am now teaching myself how to knit. This is definitely harder to do. I'm sure once I get the hang of it, I'll knit faster. At this moment, I'm not getting far. The important thing is that I know the concept of knitting. I'm attempting to knit a scarf. I probably won't be done with this scarf for at least two to three days, but I'm having fun doing it. And I know the scarf will come out beautiful!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004


It is beyond me why there is a debate about marriage in this country. I don't care if a gay couple gets married. It doesn't offend me. In fact, I have no say in it because it's their decision not mine to make. It is ridiculous that at time when we have just learned that the CIA has made up information about wmds that we are concentrating on whether gay men and women should not be allowed to marry.

Why is this important? Because the religious right thinks it's a sin? I hate to break the news to you, but marriage came about when humans thought about the concept of private property. Before private property, people would have sex and children without any written commitment. When private property became a part of life, men needed to have proof that they were leaving property and money to their own children. The only way to prove this at that time was to have a legal contract binding the women to the men. This makes perfect sense. A woman could always prove that her children are hers, but a man (back in the day) couldn't.

So there you have it. Marriage was brought about because of private property, not because of God. It is a legal commitment that assures that property is being passed on to the rightful heirs. Why is this becoming such an issue is beyond me. If any of these people would understand this concept, then they would allow gay people to marry. They don't procreate, but they can adopt. With all the orphans in the world, why can't these children have two dads or two moms? The point is, they would be loved and cared for. I wish people would think of the bigger picture.

The sanctity of marriage is not in danger because of allowing two men to marry or two women to marry. It is in danger because many people marry without completely thinking about dedicating the rest of their lives to that other person. That's one of the biggest commitments you'll make besides having children. Fifty percent of Americans divorce. Where's the sanctity there?

English, Spanish, or How About Both?

As you may all know, I am job hunting. I'm trying to get a job in the retail industry until I find something else or go into management. But as some of you know, Miami is a strange animal. Some of the stores that I've gone into, have sales reps that don't speak any English. Here I am trying to get a retail job, even though I speak English and Spanish, I can't get hired! I walk into places where I have to speak Spanish because the rep doesn't understand what I'm saying. Is this fair? Isn't it a requirement to know English in order to work in a clothing store?

Maybe, I'm cruel. Maybe, I don't understand this strange animal called Miami. It frustrates me immensely. If you think I'm being a snob or an elitist, so be it. You know, when I was going through the hiring process at Bellsouth, I had to take a Spanish test over the phone in order to get hired. The position I had required that I speak Spanish and very fluently, since most of my calls would be from Hispanic customers. It wasn't a big deal test. I just had to prove to the other person over the phone that I could carry on a conversation in Spanish without throwing in English words. My point is that I needed to prove that I spoke Spanish. It was essential to the job.

I do understand that predominantly the people that walk into stores in the area I live in speak Spanish. But what would these reps do if they moved into Broward county? That's the invisible line between Spanish Florida and English Florida. Are these people creating a trap by remaining in this county because they don't have to learn English? I do want to add that not all of Miami speaks Spanish, either. You drive south a bit and you better know English.

I'm a big proponent of learning English if you're here. My parents can't fluently speak in English and it frustrates me. But I can't blame everyone for not knowing the language, either. Like my father, he has spent most of his time working from 7:00 am all the way to 8:00 or 9:00 at night. When I was younger, he even pumped gas on the weekends (working 12 hour shifts). To his credit, my father tries to understand and speak as much English as possible because he understands that it is important to be able to communicate. My brother-in-law is another one that works three jobs (not much time to learn English there, either). Let's all be honest here, putting food on the table is much more important than learning English.

My concern is that Hispanics are trapping themselves by not learning English. Is it reasonable to live in this country for 30 or 40 years and not be able to defend yourself verbally? If I moved to France, I better learn French because I won't understand what is going on over there. My point is that you have to adapt to the environment you're in. You might get by in life by asking others for help, but what happens when that help is no longer available? How do you survive?

Monday, July 12, 2004

Modern Job Search

This information was passed on to me by Dan and I want to share it with you.

Advice for a Thoroughly Modern Job Search
By: Amy Baldwin, The Charlotte Observer

Heads up, job hunters. Here's what's out and what's in for 2004.

OUT: Using terms like "team player" and "results-driven."

IN: Citing specific examples of such traits.

OUT: One-page resumes if you have 7+ years of experience.

IN: Two- to three-page resumes that highlight quantifiable achievements.

OUT: Functional resumes organized by skills and experience.

IN: Resumes that list experience in reverse chronological order.

OUT: Covering up employment gaps.

IN: Explaining gaps in cover letter.

OUT: Relying on want ads for job leads.

IN: Sending resumes to a "target list" of companies for which you want
to work.

OUT: Vague answers to standard interview questions.

IN: Real-life examples to illustrate your points.

OUT: References with impressive titles who don't know you well.

IN: Variety of well-informed references, including former peers.

OUT: Telling the interviewer you want the job.

IN: Offering to assume post on trial basis.

Friday, July 09, 2004

Bush Loosing Grip on Cuban-Americans in Florida

Bush's new ruling restricting Cuban-Americans is not sitting all that well with the Cuban-American community in Florida. A report from Reuters states, "Sixty-six percent of respondents said they would support Bush if the election was held today, down from 82 percent who voted for him in 2000, according to the poll of 800 Cuban-Americans, commissioned by the William C. Velasquez Institute." This does not mean good news for Kerry, either. According to this report, only sixteen percent would vote for Kerry.

I am now intrigued to find out how the Cuban-American community in Florida is going to affect the election this year. I would like to hear from my fellow Cuban-American friends to find out what you're take on these restrictions will affect how you vote in November. Feel free to leave a comment or email me.

Finally, We Hear About Our Ports

On, I found an article that shows the US is doing something about our ports. On one of my previous posts, Cole-Style Attacks, I had reported that I found an article from (which by the way, the link no longer works and you can't find the article when you do a search) stating that we were vulnerable to attacks from ships. My major complaint was that I hadn't found any other article stating this.

Tom Ridge is vamping up security on our ports in order to prevent any dirty bombs from reaching us. I'm relieved that it has been addressed and they are doing something about it. I haven't seen any other articles pertaining to this information. I am going to look harder to see what else I find.

Big Fat Lie

There you have it folks, CIA director, George Tenet, lied about weapons of mass destruction according to the Senate Intelligence Committee. Why would Tenet lie about this? This seems pretty sloppy business coming from the head of the CIA. This report is very troubling.

According to another report from the AFP,they found no evidence that the Bush administration pressured Tenet to come up with false reports. Although, according to the BBC, "The report does not address the issue of whether the Bush administration exaggerated the case for war in Iraq - which is being investigated separately." An article from states, "But some intelligence analysts did tell the committee they felt a need to emphasise one piece of evidence over another – a form of pressure, several Democratic lawmakers will point out in an “alternative view”, according to a Democratic congressional aide."

If some of the analysts felt they had to emphasize certain pieces of evidence over others, we have a huge problem. If the Bush administration was involved in skewing the reports, we have to hold George W. Bush accountable. This is an atrocity to the men and women who have lost their lives defending our country. This report is going to lead to more damning news. Unfortunately, we look like morons in front of the international community.

Bring on the Books

"Arts Report Reveals Johnny Won't Read," is an article that shows the decline of reading throughout the United States. The article gives you some statistics who's reading and who's not, but overall reading has dropped across the board. Have people not realized that reading is important?

Of course, the least amount of readers are among the Hispanic community. This infuriates me. Does the study take into account the Hispanics that don't know English, but read Spanish books all the times. For example, my parents read books all the time. They just don't read them in English. Does it also take into account the Hispanics that don't know how to read or write in their own language? I wonder what this study consists of.

From my experience, all of my Hispanic friends read, and a lot. I read all the time. I have books in English and Spanish. Have you seen my wish list on One Christmas, I was repeatedly asked by my gift givers if I really wanted only books for X-mas. My response--yes.

Anyway, it is a very scary thought that people are not reading. You don't have to read historical books (like I do), but pick up a book. It's good for you. Besides you always end up learning new vocabulary, which makes you sound smarter and more educated. News flash--being well versed in numerous areas is very attractive. I'm not talking about sexually, either (although I love it when Dan starts spewing information that I don't have a clue of). Sitting down with a friend or a coworker and being able to discuss different topics makes you someone that might be useful at a future job.

My point: READ. Pick up a book and start reading. You don't have to read two to three hundred pages a day (I could do that at Dan's amazement, but I'm a bit freaky). Besides if you have kids, the best example you give them is picking up a book. Trust me on this. One important thing I remember from my childhood is my mother constantly reading. Watching her read, made me want to sit down with her and read too. In fact, now-a-days when Dan starts reading, I do the same thing. We lay in bed and spend an hour or so reading. It's very catchy.