Blessed are those whose strength is in you, who have set their hearts on pilgrimage . . . They go from strength to strength, till each appears before God in Zion.
~Psalm 84:5

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Highs and Lows...

...this week was full of them.

Work was hard. I was sick all day Thursday, but still had to work (a low). We went on a fieldtrip to the Children's Museum on Friday. Although it was fun, the kids acted like they had never been out in public (another low). Plus, I also had to work from 8-5 on Saturday (a big low).

The Astros lost the World Series (a major low).

While on my way to the Texans game, I was involved in a six car accident on I-10 this morning (another major low). I'm ok, but my car's not. It's drivable but will need some major work (big low).


But thankfully, life is comprised of great lows AND highs.

My principal got in trouble with HISD for not paying us for those four hurricane days last month (did I even tell y'all about that?). I'm not one to let people bother me and I especially don't like to judge, but that woman is the epitome of evil. Seriously. And I think HISD is finally starting to realize that she may be a liability. So we should be getting our money soon.

The Texans FINALLY won their first game of the season. (And I'm only slightly bitter that I missed the game because of an idiotic driver.)

On Friday night I was in the same building as Craig Biggio and joined in with everyone cheering and screaming and chanting his name. It was awesome!!!

A short time after we cheered for Biggio, The Edge was playing his guitar just eight feet away from me. Not only that, he made eye contact and smiled and winked at me!!!!!!! That's right folks, I was on the floor, leaning against the railing that surrounded the stage at the U2 concert!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*happy sigh*

Just give me some time, and I'll have some spin-off posts up. Boy do I have stories to tell!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005


I saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the dollar theater this past weekend, but I think I saw it with the wrong crowd. Many of the scenes were hilarious, but the people around me weren't laughing. "What's the matter?? This is FUNNY!!!" I wanted to shout.

Maybe it depends on what your taste in movies is. This Charlie movie, a Tim Burton/Danny Elfman/Johnny Depp collaboration, is a remake of the 1971 version of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (both films based on Roald Dahl's book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory). I wouldn't do either movie justice by comparing them to each other, but I must say the world would be missing out on a LOT if either movie didn't exist. :D

The new Charlie film I think is based a lot more closely on the book than its older counterpart. So it's a bit more off the wall, and naturally if Tim Burton has anything to do with it, it's a bit darker, super artsy-fartsy, and VERY imaginative. (Sort of like Mars Attacks! meets Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events.) I like the contemporary touches they added to the movie, like Violet Beauregard being a karate expert/overly competitive type. Veruca Salt was almost sweeter than her 1971 counterpart. Augustus Gloop was much more of a slob in this one. In all, they were a bit exaggerated. Satire -- I dig it. :D

A while back, I read a review saying that Johnny Depp's portrayal of Willy Wonka REALLY reminded you of Michael Jackson and was quite creepy. I totally agree!! Depp's Wonka is quite sissy-like, to be frank, but his chalky skin and antisocial life totally make sense if you think about it -- the dude just stays in his factory making candy all day and doesn't really know how to act around people. And this guy (unlike Gene Wilder's portrayal in 1971) is desperately in need of psychological counseling.

OK, great movie quote, from the scene where Mr. Wonka escorts the children into The Chocolate Room of his factory, where everything is edible (basically made out of candy): "Everything in this room is eatable. Even me. And that's called cannibalism, which is frowned upon in most cultures." HILARIOUS!!! (One of the parts where the theater TOTALLY missed out on a good laugh!!!)

You know how you're watching movies or cartoons and suddenly a chorus bursts into song?? There's this smart-alecky question in the back of your mind, going How do they know exactly what to sing and where the heck is that music coming from??? This movie picks up on that!! Augustus Gloop meets his downfall, the Oompa-Loompas start singing their song, and one of the children asks Mr. Wonka, "Hey, that looks very rehearsed! How did they know what would happen to Augustus??" And Mr. Wonka gets this trying-to-stay-discreet look on this face. Totally cheeky!!!

A note to fans of The NeverEnding Story: If I'm not mistaken, that actor who plays the dude who rides the racing snail plays the Oompa-Loompa in this new Charlie movie. (I'm pretty sure it's just the same actor, multiplied a zillion times via movie animation.) Cool!

In all, this movie ROCKS!!! The whole time, I kept thinking to myself, I WANT THE DVD!!! Well beyond worth the 50-cent matinee price I paid for it. :D I would definitely recommend it to anyone. But if you usually don't like Burton/Elfman/Depp movies, you may not go for it -- they remain true to their wackily brilliant form.


Monday, October 24, 2005

You know you've worked too long at your night job when...

The idea of going to bed at 1:30 AM seems awfully early.

People ask you to speak up because you're in the habit of trying not to wake anybody up with any noise.

The highlight of your evening is watching Judge Judy episodes that you set your VCR to tape earlier. With the Closed Captions on.

World Series, Parts I & II

It's strange to not be watching a baseball game tonight.

Naturally, I'm bummed that the Astros won neither game this past weekend. IMHO, they played rather well, considering the environment and weather conditions. It was sad to see Clemens walk off the mound Saturday night after such a short time. It was especially sad that his relief pitcher wasn't up to par. Pettitte did an amazing job starting last night. The grandslam that Lidge let happen was devastating, though. So frustrating that it was practically handed to them (that ball totally hit the bat NOT the batter!!!). Although the 'Stros played well, there were some major mistakes, so hopefully they'll be able to pull it together and win the games here in town.

Saturday night I watched the game with my brother and friend Jason at a local sport's bar. I out drank both of them. Don't know if I should brag about that. I must have a wooden leg, 'cause I didn't even really get a buzz. I could have ordered another drink, but I didn't want to look like a lush.

Last night I ate a couple of hotdogs from James Coney Island and watched the game from the comfort of my own home. That's probably what I'll do for the rest of the series. I'm just praying that we win a game or two or four. GO ASTROS!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


YAY! -- The Astros just won the National League Championship!!!! How exciting!!!!!

Our whole family has been waiting for this for the past 44 years. Seriously. We all grew up watching the 'Stros with my grandpa, and I'm so happy that he finally gets to watch them play in the World Series.

Watching the live news coverage is awesome! Especially seeing the interviews with the handful of Astros fans up in St. Louis. There's one group of women up there who are all dressed in Astros jerseys with fake beehives and '60s style sun glasses. They're calling themselves "The Killer Bees" and have a poster that says, "We're Teaching the Birds About the Bees!" We all thought it was very clever.

As much as I would love to stay up and continue watching news coverage, my bed beacons . . . 5 a.m. comes way too early . . .

Monday, October 17, 2005

Safely Home

We got back to Houston yesterday afternoon, but I've been stranded without a computer all day yesterday and today.

The trip was fun. I'm tired and it's WAY past my bedtime, so I won't be writing that follow-up email tonight. But I wanted to post the 'quote of the weekend,' said by a 90 year-old World War II veteran called "Bud." We asked him how he was doing and he promptly replied, "Still kicking, though not as high as I used to!" He embellished by giving a small kick through the legs of his walker. So cute!!!

Heartache is . . .

. . . the Astros being one out away from going to the World Series for the first time EVER, only to have the Cardinals get a homerun with two men on base.


At least there are two more games . . .

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Road Trip!

I am currently enjoying my school's Fall Break Holiday. It was WONDERFUL being able to sleep in today! I slept 'til 10:30 -- that's five extra hours of sleep!!! *sigh* I sure do miss those lazy days . . .

But tomorrow will be another early morning. We picked up a rental tonight so that Mom and I can head over to my grandparents' house in the wee small hours of the morning. From there we're heading to The Woodlands to pick up my uncle and we'll all embark on an EIGHT HOUR drive to Snyder, TX for my grandpa's World War II company's final reunion. I've never been, so I'm looking forward to meeting everyone and hearing all the war stories. They used to have these reunions every year but the viejitosare dying off. Very sad. They had their final reunion two years ago, but those who are still around decided to get together for one final hurrah.

It was just a few weeks ago I went on an eight hour road trip to escape a coming hurricane. But this time around our van is equipped with a DVD player. Nice. And I'll be the youngest passenger, so we don't have to worry about changing poopy diapers two hours into the trip.

I'll let y'all know how it all turns out!

Saturday, October 08, 2005


I truly dig the reality TV show Survivor, and am glad to have a working VCR so I can catch Survivor Guatemala when it comes on Thursday nights. (If you're not familiar with the show, read up on

I have to admit, though, that when I watch the show I sort of do this mental double-take and just laugh... You see, there's an eery life parallel. I'm increasingly convinced that the game of Survivor is actually a lot like my job, or for that matter, the American workplace. Allow me to elaborate.

1) You're a bunch of random people stuck in this foreign place, forced to halfway learn the culture and maneuver through the hostile environment without killing each other.

2) There's usually at least one person around who's bossy (whether or not they're the designated boss) and succeeds in stirring up people's anger with each new power-hungry command.

3) Speaking of stirring up, there's usually at least one troublemaker who just idles about, putting bugs in people's ears that usually add up to somebody's demise... if not the troublemaker's themselves.

4) Those who lay low and remain under the radar usually end up going the furthest, I think. Especially if they play dumb at just the right moments.

5) He who speaks his mind haphazardly usually ends up on the chopping block unless everyone else agrees with him.

6) Those who are deprived of sufficient nutrients (i.e., lunch) end up cranky and showing their true colors. Often to their demise.

7) Those who are rewarded are often looked on with some jealousy and, if it goes to their heads, their actions often lead to their termination.

8) Everyone is periodically thrown together for a stressful, time-sensitive challenge that's momentarily exciting but then seems sort of childish and a bit dumb later on. Those who fail during the challenge are often terminated.

Sigh. If only a million-dollar prize were waiting for you the end of the American workday. Or at least a chance to watch yourself on TV.
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