Saturday, December 23, 2006


I went to my first Nascar race on November 3-5. My dad has always been a NASCAR fan and I wanted to take him for his birthday which is November 13. We drove to Fort Worth late morning on the 3rd and made it to Texas Motor Speedway in plenty of time to get our pit passes and watch the drivers qualify. Driving up to the speedway was exciting -- especially once you hear the cars driving around. It is very, very loud.

It was great to be able to get into the pit area -- especially when the drivers were qualifying. We saw a lot of them walk by right in front of us: Tony Stewart, Mark Martin, Denny Hamlin, Kurt Bush, and many more. We were so tired that we didn't stay to watch the truck races that night.

The view from the pits: Tony Stewart's pit crew getting the car ready to qualify.

Getting to our hotel was quite an experience. The hotel staff did a horrendous job of giving me directions and we went completely out of our way but finally made it to the hotel about an hour after leaving the track.

On Saturday, we went to the race track early (I thought traffic would be horrendous but it wasn't) and we were able to see the drivers practicing. We stayed to watch the Busch race and then went and had dinner at Outback.

On Sunday we took off early to beat traffic (which once again was not bad). It started sprinkling when we got to the track but that didn't stop any of the activities. We put on our rain slickers and went about buying souvenirs for everyone. That place is addictive -- there is so much stuff that you want to buy it all.

We saw Lightning McQueen, Mater and Sally from Cars. They were the cutest things!

It continued to rain and the race was delayed for about 45 mins. The drivers had to drive around the track for a while to help dry it. Watching the race is something else. Those cars are so fast and so loud! Being there really gets you into the race. We were seated on Row 9 right in front of pit row. I had read online that the seats were going to be bad and we weren't going to be able to see anything. Well, that wasn't the case. The seats were great and you could see everything (well, not around the entire track but that was fine with me).

I had fun listening to the scanner and hearing the drivers during the race. Most of my attention was on #8 Dale Jr. -- at one point during the race he asked his crew for water and some Prilosec. He was not feeling well and he said he felt like he was going to throw up. The next time he came into the pit area, he was given water and they had put the Prilosec into the water. Over the scanner I heard him say something like "you dumb ass, you don't put it in the water!" It was hilarious -- but I felt awful for him; can you imagine feeling that sick and going over 180 mph for three hours! It was amazing he was able to stay in the race. That is a true athlete!

Dale Jr. going round the track!

This was my first race but hopefully it won't be my last one.

** Kasey Kahn went to a local sports store to sign autographs. Mom and I took the kids (Diane, Mom and I had to stand in line for about 40 mins. to get the tickets) to meet Kasey, get his autograph and take a picture of him. He seemed really nice.

Jacob is the only one who would take a picture with him.

Friday, October 13, 2006

10th anniversary gala....

We had our 10th Anniversary Gala in Washington, DC on October 4. Salma Hayek was one of the award recipients as well as Yvette Cade (a domestic violence survivor - her husband threw gasoline on her and set her on fire. She is an amazing, brave and sweet woman.

Everything was great -- first class all the way. The room was beautiful. It was a purple/silver motif with beautiful place settings and flowers. It was the best event we have had to date.

The food was delicious. I was able to go to DC last month for the tasting and that was so much fun. They had a delicious butternut squash soup but there was so much going on at the reception that I didn't get a chance to eat any of the soup. Thank goodness I had tasted everything at the tasting so I didn't miss out on too much at the actual event.

There was just one teeny tiny problem -- my shoes! I bought a new outfit and looked nice. I was running late of course and was rushing to get to the car that was waiting for me; when I put on my shoes as I was running out the door, I noticed that something was wrong. Sure enough, I had two right shoes. And, I didn't have any other dress shoes to go with the outfit and didn't have any time to go to the store.

I bought the shoes right before I left and didn't even notice anything wrong at the store. That is the way my luck is so I wasn't too surprised -- just kind of went with the flow.

It was unbelievable and painful. Luckily one of the advocates is studying to be a masseuse and she gave me a foot massage to ease the pain.

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute had their big gala the same night. And Prince Felipe, Spain's Crown Prince, was their honored guest. I still can't believe that I was in DC the same time as Prince Felipe and I wasn't able to go to the dinner. I told my boss that she shouldn't be surprised if I slipped out of our event and headed over to CHCI's dinner.

Monday, July 31, 2006

south padre island...

I went with the kids to S. Padre Island over the Fourth of July holiday. We all had so much fun at the beach last year that we wanted to do it again this year. I forgot how much I loved the beach and now I intend to go there every year to enjoy some R&R. The kids would much rather spend time at the pool so I told them next year I was going to go by myself -- this made Jacob a little leary and he asked if I knew how to get there. I told him I would follow the palm trees and he said he would come with me. He worries so much....the next day when they were all going to the pool, he decided he wanted to go with me to the beach. I was enjoying reading a book and enjoying just relaxing on the beach not thinking he would really show up -- next thing I know Jacob and Dad are strolling up to Jacob and I were able to have fun in the waves for a while. It was nice.

I wrote more about our trip on the kids website.

more travel....

It's been a while since I posted -- so I'll first catch up on latest the end of June I went to DC for work for a meeting on our upcoming Gala. This was around the time that DC was having those horrendous floods. Our plane was delayed going in and we finally got in six hours later and had to stay in a shady part of Arlington; we are always getting our hotel reservations late and this time we definitely paid for that. We left right after the meeting so it was an in and out trip.

The purpose of the trip was to have a tasting for our Gala dinner and to have a walk-through at Union Station where the event is to be held. This was my first tasting and I LOVED it. The food was all great (except for one nasty tasting piece) and it's the first time I had butternut squash soup. It was devine. It is going to be a great event and the food is going to taste amazing.

Next up was NYC in mid-July. This was a meeting for our upcoming summit. Quinton Tarantino was on the same flight going and coming through Newark. Nancy Kerrigan was checking into our hotel when we were checking in. I never see celebs in NY so this was eventful for me. We stayed at the Grand Hyatt and it was so nice. The staff there was excellent -- definitely the best hotel I have ever stayed in while in NYC.

No other big trips planned until September.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

baby proof....

Just finished reading Baby Proof (Emily Giffin) -- and absolutely loved it. The advance copy of the book that I received also had the first chapter on audio tape. Loved that! Emily's books are some of my favorites and I can't wait to see what she comes up with next.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


How sexy is this man?

(Robert Rodriguez in case you are not familiar with him)

Oh what a man what a man what a very nice man!

Man, he is unbelievably sexy!

round rock express...

I went to the Round Rock Express game with the kids today. It has been so many years since I have been to an actual professional ball game that I forgot how much fun they can be. We all had a great time and I really enjoyed the game. Caleb especially liked it and has a real keen interest in baseball now.

Being at the game has made me want to pull out Bull Durham and watch it all over again. There is just something about ball players.....ahhh.....

Friday, May 19, 2006

president bill clinton

Tonight I went to the Center for Public Policy Priorities Legacy Dinner honoring Bernard Rapoport -- Former President Bill Clinton was the keynote speaker.

This was a great event. There were so many politicos (lots from my old days in the Senate -- hard to believe they are still around) there it was a great night to people-watch. A few folks who were there:

  • Henry Cisneros
  • Tony Sanchez
  • Jim Mattox
  • Pete Laney
  • Kent Caperton
  • Hector Uribe
  • bunches of high profile lobbyists
  • and many many more

Clinton's gave a great speech and really emphasized how we have to do something now to bring the country together and help people out. Man I miss him in office! B also gave a great speech. I wish there were so many others like him but they broke the mold when they made B.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

new york city

I just returned from a work trip to New York City. This trip was filled with many mishaps. Let me begin with the flight over...
  • We took a JetBlue flight out -- the AirBus is small so you can really feel the turbulence. We were barely up in the air for ten minutes when turbulence hit bad. We ran into a patch of bad weather (the pilot had warned us it would be a bit bumpy) and the turbulence was unbelievable. The plane was jumping up and down, side to side, it really felt like it could go down at any minute -- very scary. I was praying hard -- I think everyone on the plane was praying hard. I seriously considered driving home from NY. We ended up landing safely, thank goodness.
  • Once we got to the hotel we ran into a bit of a problem as the person who made our reservations did not do it accurately -- they had us down for one room with three people in it arriving the following day. The hotel was booked so they gave us a hard time but we stood firm and they finally gave us rooms. Of course, they wanted to charge us $399 a night -- and believe me, this hotel isn't even worth the $129 they charge.
  • Monday morning -- off to our first meeting. It was a rainy day and I ran to the mini-van that was picking us up and got in and bumped my head very hard on the roof of the mini-van. I mean I really hit it hard -- so hard I was looking up bleeding of the brain on the internet that night (that comes from too much Grey's Anatomy I think). It hurt for a few days but I think I'm ok. I hope.
  • I forgot an important video for our meeting -- we couldn't get the driver back to take a colleague back to the hotel to get it so we had to order a new car -- for some reason, no one thought to take a taxi! -- and my colleague and the driver could not connect so she gave up. Actually, there were a few times that day that we couldn't hook up with the drivers so it was quite frustrating.
  • The hotel no longer has room service so I had to find a place to order a burger and have them deliver it for dinner; which would have been fine but they stuck me with a $10 delivery fee once they got there. Bunch of crooks! As we're leaving, that is when I realize there is a "food court" across the street from the hotel with KFC, Pizza Hut, etc. in the store. UGH!
  • Tuesday -- trying to re-print a speech my boss was going to give; I called the front desk to ask where their business center was located? "on the third floor"; does it have a printer that I can print a document from my thumb drive? "oh yes". Great. Here I go to print it out. It turns out the "business center" is a crew lounge for all the poor airplane crew who have to stay at this awful has two wacked out computers with no printer. UGH!
  • When in NYC, you have to get a purse -- a fake purse. So, we're two blocks away from Canal Street for a meeting so we take that opportunity to go do a little purse shopping. The cops have really cracked down on these fake purses so no one was selling the goods. It was sad.
  • Had a great dinner at Don Shula's Steakhouse (the menu is on a football!) Came back to the hotel and opened up the laptop to do a little work while I'm watching Pepper Dennis (love that show!). When all of a sudden, I see something scurrying through the side of my eye. I screamed and picked up the phone to call the front desk. They didn't answer and as I was waiting for them to pick up, I saw a little mouse scurrying around the room and squeeze under the door and out into the hallway. I rushed to put towels under the door so it wouldn't come back in. I called my boss and she was so sweet -- she came down to check out the room and to help me pack up my bags so I could move into another room. The awful hotel was supposed to put me in a new room and send up the engineer to check things out. Three hours later I finally gave up and called them and told them I was heading to bed. Nothing -- the stinking hotel did NOTHING! Right when I went to bed, I heard the woman in the room next to me squeal -- guess I know where the mouse went!
  • Checked out of the awful hotel and went to my meeting and sure enough, our names were not on the security list to let us up into the building of this law firm. We had to wait quite a while to be cleared before we were allowed up.
  • After that meeting, I went to check out some purses I saw on the corner. BOUGHT THREE! Got one for Mom and Diane for late Mother's Day gifts. The woman put all three in a black trash bag so there I am walking the streets of NYC with a trash bag. By then I had less than $20 cash to my name -- once again the boss to the rescue. She saved me and we went and ate burgers at the Burger Joint at Le Parker Meridian (on Gayle King's list of must eat hamburgers). It was good and greasy!
  • So, after our next meeting, we had a driver meet us to pick us up, go pick up our luggage, go to a couple more meetings and then off to the airport for a 9pm flight. Well, we had a Chinese driver who did not speak English or understand it for that matter. All he could say was JFK. I take to JFK. We kept saying no, we have quite a few stops before then. But he was insistent that he was going to take us to JFK. So, we had to get another driver and let this one go.
  • Luckily our flight home was uneventful -- just nothing at all to watch on TV on the flight -- very restless and not a good place to sleep. We actually got in a few minutes before midnight so the pilot made great time.
  • It's good to be home!

and if you're interested, don't stay at the Hotel Plaza Milford (reverse that!)

Friday, April 28, 2006

george lopez...

My sister Diane and I went to the George Lopez concert in Austin tonight. That is one funny mexcan. 99% of what he says is absolutely true -- he talked about how kids today wouldn't last a day growing up how we did back in the old days. He talked about eating eggs with weiner, drinking water from the hose outside, eating menudo to help a hangover....ah the good old days.

He also talked a lot about the Immigration Rights debate that is going on now -- there are 39 million Mexicans in the US. They (idiots) are trying to get rid of 2 million -- George said that's not a problem; we'll just crank some more out to make up for those 2 million. When he first came out, he said something about people wanting to get rid of the Mexicans; and then he said "we aint going nowhere" which brought a huge response from the audience.

Robert Rodrigez (man is that man gorgeous!) introduced George and said that there were 13,000 people in the audience -- not bad.

I couldn't believe it but a guy was arrested for hitting his girlfriend during the show. He was in the second or third row and the cops came and took him away and George asked what he did to be arrested and they told him he was hitting the girl; he got after the folks around them for not doing anything about it. Then, a crazy woman kept trying to get up close to him and they had to haul her out -- it took like six security guards to deal with the woman.

Jorge -- that is one funny mexcan!

Monday, April 10, 2006

the west wing....

I am really going to miss The West Wing when the series ends this year. This final season has been a good year of shows because it brings me back to my political campaign days.

In last nights episode (Election Night, part II) I was so taken aback when the republican operatives were talking about Nevada voters and the question was asked "do you know how many voters there are in Nevada?" and another one of those idiots stated "yeah, but how many of them are legal?" -- that made me want to puke. What a self-righteous egotistical....oh yeah, it's just a tv show. But what a great thought provoking show.

I can't wait to see the next episode with Leo McGarry's funeral -- last night's episode where he passed away had me weeping. I'm sure I am going to be a basket-case with the funeral.

Any chance of a new show with President-Elect Santos and his crew? Any chance of Jimmy Smits actually being that type of wonderful orater in real life and running for President?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

great books....

I've read some great books recently -- just finished Baby Trails (Sinead Moriarty). I loved loved loved the book and cannot wait until this summer for the last installment of the series. After I finished Baby Trails I had to look up the writers website to see if there were any other books with the same characters. Luckily for me the second book had already come out in the UK (thank goodness for Amazon). Now I just have to practice patience for the last one.

Since Perfect Match hadn't yet arrived in time for my trip to Tallahassee, I took along P.S. I love you (Cecilia Ahern). This book was also great. It made me weep -- and I can't wait to read the rest of Cecilia's books.

Loved loved loved Something Borrowed and Something Blue (Emily Giffin). I must favor books that continue the story of favorite characters. I couldn't wait to continue reading about Rachel and Dex -- I so hope a movie is made of this book and I hope Emily publishes Something Old and Something New too. At the back of the Something Borrowed book was a survey to write the author to let her know what you thought of the book. I was more than happy to do that since I loved the book -- and she sent me a copy of Something Blue (which I already had so I passed along to a friend) and she's sending me a copy of her third book Baby Proof. Can't wait to read that one!

Other favorites:

  • True Love (and other lies) (everything by Whitney Gaskell)
  • Shopoholic Series (everything by Sophie Kinsella)
  • Jemima J (everything by Jane Green)
  • Good in Bed (everything by Jennifer Weiner)

starting a blog....

Everyone seems to have one so I thought why not. It will help me keep track of things going on since life is just too crazy right now.

This blog will have my favorite books, scrapbooking, photography, and all things kids too.

Check out the kids new blog as well --

More to come..........