Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Scenes from Thanksgiving Dinner

OMG - two posts in one day! But I couldn't resist, since I got these pictures from my sis-in-law.

Here, in no particular order favorites, scenes from a Very Diverse Thanksgiving...

My Dad and my faithful Indian companion, Patel

Baby Tommy, great nephew and godson

Dinner among family and friends in my living room. See me in the purple? My profile is 20 pounds lighter!

The Irish side: Mikey, ma-in-law, sis-in-law, and bro-in-law from Flah-rida.
Now, where is my mother? She's sitting next to me, to my right. But shortly after, she got up and made her way into the kitchen. You know why? Probably to wash a dirty pot. Or to invent a makeshift mop with an old broom and towel.

Cuban Guilt

For those Cubans that read this blog, you will understand what I am referring to when I mention the Cuban mop. It's basically a stick shaped like a T, where you hang a towel on the lower end and mop. Then you take the towel off, rinse it off, ring it out, place it back on the stick, and continue mopping. Then you can easily wash the towel when you are finished. Usually, you use the oldest towel you own to do this type of cleaning.

Cubans beware: I don't own a Cuban mop (the horror! someone call the cops!).

My parents arrived in New Jersey last week for a 12-day visit that included their first visit to my new home and Thanksgiving hosted by their wonderful daughter.

A conversation began the morning after they arrived:

mom: do you have a mop?
me: no. i use the swiffer.

an hour later:
mom: do you have a mop?
me: no mom. i use the swiffer to clean the kitchen.

three hours later:
mom: do you have a bucket?
me: no.
mom: then what do you use when you mop?
me: nothing. i use a swiffer to mop the kitchen floor.

the next day:
mom: do you have a mop? i need a mop.
me: mom, i don't have a mop. i don't have a bucket either. i use a swiffer to clean the floor.
mom: why don't you have a bucket? where do you put the dirty water when you mop?

Now, I cleaned the house right before my parents arrived. Everything was spotless. Yet, my mother felt it just wasn't clean enough. Thus began the cleaning. Everyday, sweeping. Then the mop conversation. Everyday, people. Everyday. I hate the mop conversation already.

But if I say, 'listen ma, just stop it with the mop. just sit down and relax. there's no need to clean. please stop!,' I'm sure I'll get scolded.

Because in Cuban households, you never tell your parents what to do. Not even if it's your own house.

Ahhhhhh, here it comes. Can you feel it?

The Cuban guilt has arrived.

Monday, November 27, 2006

I'm Still Stuffed

Thanksgiving came and went. Thankfully, without a hitch.

I am pleased to report that my first turkey was pretty tasty. Since it's over, I can reveal my marinade secret. On Monday night, I marinaded the big bird with Cuban mojo and chipotle (comprised of garlic, lemon, oil, garlic, chipotle), more garlic, and dry white wine. Then I rubbed turkey seasoning all over it and let it sit in the fridge till Wednesday. My mom and I cooked it for five hours, basting it frequently, and the result was a tasty, moist bird which I think everyone enjoyed. The ham was a hit too - but I had a lot of help from the store, since it seems those spiral hams just need to be heated through. :)

The entire family helped too (all 15 of them!) with mashed potatoes (from my hubby), sweet potatoes (from my hubby's nephew's wife - yes, it's a mouthful), sausage dressing/stuffing (from my ma-in-law), meat empanadas, stuffed mushrooms, and eggplant lasagna (from my aunt), chocolate cheesecake (from my sis-in-law), chocolate ice cream "pie surprise" (from my hubby), magic bars (from my faithful Indian friend, Patel), apple pie (from Mrs. Smith's), and pecan and pumpkin pies (from Sam's Club). I'm sure I'm missing something, but you all get the idea of the mass quantities of food.

A smaller group of us (12 in total) met up in Atlantic City on Black Friday to gamble away our nickels. None were as successful as my dear ole ma, who won $281 on a nickel slot machine (a slot machine called Risque Business, which featured a Fabio-looking like guy stripping - gross!) and walked away happy as a clam.

With her winnings she proceeded to buy a variety of items from the Dollar Tree on Saturday, including Christmas lights for my windows, dulce de leche Oreos (disgusting) for my dad, and milk. It's true that only at the dollar store can you purchase items which can accommodate all areas of your home.

We spent all day yesterday entertaining family and friends who braved the holiday traffic to see our new digs (finally!). I won't bore with details, but we had more food. And beer. And spiked punch.

That's what it's all about, huh? Eating and laughing and gossiping. And then more eating. Eating until you pass out. Eating until you have to be rolled out the door. Eating until you just can't eat anymore. And then what do you do? Eat some more. :)

It's the holiday season! As soon as I digest my food, I have to get to the mall.

But I might need a snack to get me energized first. I think my co-worker is selling candy on behalf of her daughter. :)

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is really my favorite holiday. I suppose I could thank my father for this, since he has always been an advocate for the United States and thanking the country that did so many things to enhance his life.

I love Thanksgiving because it's a holiday where families get together, eat all day long, watch tv, gossip, fight, and eat some more.

This year, I have taken the task of hosting Thanksgiving at my house. I hope I don't let anyone down with my lack of knowledge on Thanksgiving hosting, or any type of hosting, for that matter. But do know that I'm trying my best.

Since I have offered to host Thanksgiving, it's something I have been thinking about for many weeks now (menu planning, distributing jobs, buying groceries). But I have also been thinking about the things I am most thankful for in my life.

I don't know if I am going to be able to post this on the actual day of Thanksgiving, since my parents are arriving tonight and the rest of the week is full of activities.

And so, I present some things I am thankful for:

  • My husband - before him, I really didn't know how happy I could really be. In all it's cheesiness, he is a great addition to my life. And I really don't know how I would function in this world without him.
  • My family, both blood and in-law - despite the craziness of both sets of families, I am grateful that I have them. My side: for teaching me values, for giving me everything they never had, for allowing me to be independent, for supporting me, and for sticking by me always (or, eventually coming around) whenever I made decisions that they didn't necessarily agree with. My in-laws: for accepting me as one of their own, for learning with me, and for making me feel the warmth of family when my own is miles away.
  • My good friends - for sticking by me through the best and worst. It's a blessing to have friends that will drop everything if you need them. It's also a blessing to have friends that you can drop everything if they need you.

I could be thankful for the material things in my life: my car, house, clothes, etc, but that's not really what this is about, is it?

Happy Thanksgiving to all - I hope you find things in your life that you are thankful for.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Commencement of Thanksgiving Week

It's a short week at work - I'm in my office intermittently today and tomorrow and off for the rest of the week.

The parental units arrive from Miami tomorrow, complete with sweaters, gloves, and hats, I'm sure. This morning, it was 35 degrees out with the high only going up to 48. Tomorrow, it's predicted to be at freezing temperature the entire day.

I spent all day Saturday shopping and cleaning. I am happy to report there is an 18 pound turkey defrosting my fridge (nevermind there is no room for anything else) and that my house is spotless. I wonder how long it will stay that way?

And since it's the beginning of the holiday season, Mike and I celebrated by going to see the new 007 movie yesterday afternoon. I think I like Daniel Craig as the new Bond. He's not terribly handsome, but he sort of has that rugged look to him. And his body? To. Die. For.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Last weekend, I had a dream that I flew to California for a conference and Luke Perry picked me up at the airport! Yes, that's right. Luke. Perry. Sideburns and all.

It was a really strange dream because I no longer have a crush of Luke Perry (yes, I was totally and madly in love with him when I was a sophomore in high school, because, hello? he was Dylan McKay on 90210 and really, what was he doing with Brenda, when he could totally have me?). But in my dream, I was really happy that he picked me up and we were friendly.

And then Luke asked me to go with him to a time share presentation in Palm Springs. What could I say? Of course!

But in my dream, I was married. To my sweaty snowape husband in real life. But I did call him, told him Luke had picked me up, I was safe and we were going to a time share presentation.

I think in my dream (at least, I'm hoping) my hubby was jealous.

When I woke up, I was all giddy and happy. I told Mike about the dream. He wasn't too impressed.

What's up with that?

If he told me he dreamt about him and Elle McPherson going to a time share presentation, I would at least pretend to be happy for him.

Well, after I called her a perfect, dirty, and disgusting wench.

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I spent the entire day yesterday craving Chex Mix. Not just your regular variety either, I was craving Honey Nut Chex Mix.

On my way home from work, I stopped at the store and bought some. I'm sad to report that it wasn't what I expected. It was nearly as honey nutty as I remembered. WTH?

But I did go home and get to watch Emmitt's big victory on Dancing With the Stars. I didn't expect him to win, but I loved him all season. And it was great to watch the other dancer, Karina, squirm when her beloved Mario didn't win (insert evil laugh here).

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


After one night of the home computer being fixed, it's on the 'outs' again. I think it's my modem. But I ain't no computer wiz, so I can't be sure. Of course, the computer being 'out' means that I can't post any pictures, check my personal email, or pay any bills. Just great. It's like there's a conspiracy against me - DON'T. LET. HER. PAY. BILLS. OR. POST. PICTURES.

The lack of internet access has allowed me to do a few things around the house, though. The first thing I did was create a shopping list for Thanksgiving. The list is pages and pages long and I suspect that we are going to have lots of leftovers, but hey, I'd rather have leftovers than not have enough food. Right? Inititially, when I offered to host Thanksgiving, I had images in my mind of baking pies and making decorations. Now, I'm convinced that if I buy a pie at the grocery store, no one will notice the difference. So I will. And decorations? Yeah, right.

The second thing I did was sit though an hour of the new William Shatner gameshow - Show Me the Money. I have one message for Shatner (or as my husband would call him, OTS, One True Shatner): I'll give you some money if you just go away! The show as a complete disaster, comprised of components from all the other gameshows on tv. Seriously, how much dancing and singing can we take from Shatner? He's not a sexy guy; he really shouldn't be singing Sexyback. No more, please, for the love of all that is holy and pure.

Lastly, and I would have done this with or without access to the internet, I watched the finals of
Dancing with the Stars. I am completely in love with Emmitt Smith. And I am sad to think that he won't win tonight. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed anyway.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Darnit All to Hell

So I tried to post on Saturday. And then again on Sunday.

Obviously, I had no luck.

And so I post the first chance I get on a Monday morning.

It's officially the week before Thanksgiving. Am I nervous about almost 20 guests in my house for dinner? No way! Am I nervous about a visit from my parents? No way! Am I nervous that I haven't even started Christmas shopping? No way!

It's all good.

Until Wednesday night of next week. Then there's a slight possibility that I might freak out. Slight. Freak. Out.

And I have to get the computer at home fixed. Pronto!

But hey - how 'bout them Gators?

Friday, November 10, 2006



I'm so happy it's Friday, I can barely contain myself. Especially since I just got off the phone with the most irritating woman I have ever met in my entire life.

The weekend doesn't hold much excitement for me. I'll be off to NYC for a meeting in a little while, then home probably, to watch stuff stored away on my DVR. Saturday and Sunday, I hope to do more of the same, with laundry, cleaning, and bill paying somewhere in between.

Oh yeah, and fixing my computer - my router is shot and my internet connect stinks on ice.

What else? Oh yeah, the Rutgers win over Louisville last night. The cheapest sports venue in Jersey just got a little more expensive. But on a complementary side (this really wasn't a complaint anyway), I was really impressed when player Rice was interviewed after the game and he said, "it was the team that did it." He took no credit for the win - he credited the entire team. *That's* the way it's done, people! Congrats, Scarlet Knights!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

I Got Tagged

Freckle Face Girl tagged me. Thankfully, she did, because I haven't done a meme in a long time.

1. Explain what ended your last relationship.

I got dumped. Can you believe it? Sweet little me. DUMPED. It was just as well. I’m sure my life wouldn’t have turned out the same way.

2. When was the last time you shaved?

The day before yesterday. I’m not really a hairy person, but I had a little stubble.

3. What were you doing this morning at 8 a.m.?

At work, on a conference call.

4. What were you doing 15 minutes ago?

Still on the conference call!

5. Are you any good at math?

Yeah, I’m pretty good at Algebra and Geometry. And I like it! Yes, I’m a total geek.

6. Your prom night?

Prom night – the night of dreams! Well, not really. Yes, I went to my prom. No date (I'm a loser), just went with friends. My prom was held at the Fountainebleau on Miami Beach. Afterward, we all went to Denny’s, followed by a night of hanging out.

7. Do you have any famous ancestors?

No freakin’ way. I’m a total mutt from all over the place, but my ancestors aren’t famous.

8. Have you had to take a loan out for school?

I worked through school & my parents were fairly generous, but I had a few loans. Luckily, they are paid off.

9. Do you know the words to the song on your Myspace profile?

I can’t stand MySpace. It’s way too youthful, even for me.

10. Last thing received in the mail?

Some pictures of my parents dressed up on Halloween.

11. How many different beverages have you had today?

One – water.

12. Do you ever leave messages on people's answering machine?


13. Whom did you lose your CONCERT virginity to?

Duran Duran in 1988

14. Do you draw your name in the sand when you go to the beach?

I just did that recently in Hawaii.

15. What was the most painful dental procedure you have had?

Root canal a few years ago.

16. What is out your back door?

My backyard, which houses a grill, a small shed, a Gator gnome, and a St. Francis statue.

17. Any plans for Friday night?

Nothing yet. I have meetings in NYC all day which always lengthens my day significantly long.

18. Do you like what the ocean does to your hair?

No way, it makes my hair very unmanageable.

19. Have you ever received one of those big tins of 3 different popcorns?

Yes! But Mike ate it all and left the caramel corn.

20. Have you ever been to a planetarium?

Oh yes! The planetarium in Miami used to have laser light shows on Friday nights and I used to go when I was in high school.

21. Do you re-use towels after you shower?


22. Some things you are excited about?

My parents visiting in two weeks for Thanksgiving.

23. What is your favorite flavor of JELLO?

I like all the flavors of JELLO – especially raspberry.

24. Describe your keychain(s).

A silver keychain with two rings. On one ring, I keep my office keys, on the other ring, I keep my house and car keys.

25. Where do you keep your change?

In a Glenmorangie container by the front door.

26. What kind of winter coat do you own?

I have a few. A long grey wool coat, a burgundy corduroy that does mid-thigh, and a red down jacket.

27. What was the weather like on your graduation day?

It was Miami and it was freakin’ hot!

28. Do you sleep with the door to your room open or closed?

Open. Except when we have company. Then we close it.

I'm not tagging anyone in particular, but if you want to use this, feel free.

As an aside, I am happy to report that Emmet was not kicked off Dancing With the Stars last night. Joey was and I'm thankful for that, because his bald head and eyes? They were FREAKING ME OUT already!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Keeping My Fingers Crossed

Here's hoping that Emmet Smith makes it to the finals in Dancing With the Stars tonight.

I know, I'm ridiculous for hoping (especially since I didn't vote because OH MY GOD, how stupid and pathetic would I be to vote!), but that man is GOOD!

You can guess where I'll be tonight at 8. Sitting on the couch with my hands tucked underneath my legs so I don't bite my nails, watching ABC.


But oh so very true.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


It's amazing how quickly a year passes. Last year, I was eagerly anticipating the arrival of Owen.

Today, he turns one.

Here's my tribute to Little Owen through past posts.

Happy first birthday, kid!

Monday, November 06, 2006


It appears I have signed on to be a part of the National Blog Posting Month. Basically, I am supposed to post everyday for the entire month of November. No back posts allowed, I've read, so I've already betrayed my commitment.

Despite not posting on Saturday of this past weekend, I will try my best to post for the rest of the month.

I do promise more pictures of Hawaii, except they will come via posts, rather than flickr (I used up my entire space for the month - darn those free accounts!).

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Pictures are up!

My favorites from our Hawaii trip are posted on flickr.

Will post more soon.


Friday, November 03, 2006


Over the last few days, my inbox has been inundaded with friends sending me pictures of their kids dressed up for Halloween. I'm not complaining, since I love kids, and nothing makes me happier than seeing them dressed up as gypsies, superheroes, and angels.
I noticed a trend this year. Aside from the usual superheroes (I got to see a kid dressed as Mr. Incredible, yet he was wearing a Batman mask), many of my friends dressed their kids up as animals.

They are awesome!
Owen the Penguin

Sophie the Ladybug

Cole the Spider

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Something to Wet Your Beak

I know, I know, I haven't posted all the Hawaii pics yet... I will.

In the meantime, here are a few more shots:

Red Ginger

Hanging out on a catamaran

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Next Day

"I was robbed! I spent the whole night waiting for the Great Pumpkin when I could have been out for tricks or treats! Halloween is over and I missed it! You blockhead! You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin and all that came was a beagle! I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats! And it was all your fault! I'll sue! What a fool I was. I could have had candy apples and gum! And cookies and money and all sorts of things! But no, I had to listen to you! You blockhead. What a fool I was. Trick or treats come only once a year. And I miss it by sitting in a pumpkin patch with a blockhead. You owe me restitution!"

(courtesy of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown)

So... we didn't get nearly as many kids as we wanted. And we had good candy - Reese's, Baby Ruths, 100 Grands, Butterfingers... But only a few, certainly not enough.

Maybe next year.