Sembrando Dalias

Damn flu

It’s been raining for two days now and outside the colors are hyper-real. The near fluorescent green of newly budded leaves contrasts sharply with pitch black, wet trunks and the screaming fuchsia and yellow of freshly blossomed flowers seen along roadsides.  I was sick with the flu for eight days, in short all of last week. The days were mild and sunny but I only saw the dark interior of my living room and mind-numbing TV.

My limbs ached and the fever kept me under thick blankets in spite of the warmth outside. I lost all appetite and my throat felt as if it had been torched. Work was out of the question. In between fits of coughing I could only manage painful sounding grunts. I lost my voice. I went to the doctor on Monday only to be told there was nothing they could give me as it was most likely viral. Half way through the week I developed a sinus infection, which was very painful. I could barely hear and my right ear and eye ached incessantly. Went back to the doctor and this time I came home with a prescription of Levaquin (antibiotic), which pretty soon lessened the discomfort.

My dad came over Thursday to cheer me up and he made me Cuban chicken soup which somehow miraculously helped me with the fever…could have been coincidence but it felt great to have my dad look over me. Rob had a hellish week and was busy with work all week and I felt as though I barely saw him. After the soup I felt a lot better and even sat outside on the deck to watch as a multitude of birds fought the squirrel for birdseed. Almost as soon as I got better it seems the weather took a turn for the worse and it’s been raining for a few days. With my dad’s help I planted some dahlia bulbs I bought. The only think I could find to dig a hole was this big ass BBQ knife with a long wooden handle that did a poor job with the very rocky soil out back. Still my dad persevered and the bulbs were planted and watered. I’ll have flowers in no time.

When I was little in Cuba we had a small garden that my dad started behind the house. No one thought he’d grow anything and they laughed at the idea of planting flowers; why not plant something useful like lettuce or carrots? We planted pretty much all of our food and my dad wanted to plant something beautiful. He found a bunch of dahlia seeds and in no time the garden was filled with colorful flowers. The more we cut them the more bloomed all year round. I guess I bought the dahlias cause some part of me deep down always remembered those good times with my dad taking care of our little garden. That’s why I was filled with happiness when he helped me plant them. I was overjoyed. It couldn’t have been more perfect.

Rob and I were going to do a vegetable swap with our friends but I feel like I missed the boat on planting and preparing the yard. It is too late now to get all that stuff done and we’ve had so much work every weekend. I do want to do it but maybe the plan will have to be for next year. I have to prepare the ground and that’s no easy task. Furthermore we have rabbits, groundhogs and squirrels back there and peas and carrots are going to be the appetizers to the feast. The groundhog just dug two massive holes into the shed and tore up our topsoil, what’s to say he won’t dig under the carrots? Yeah. It requires some thinking and planning.

Could be worse

My dad’s ways of cheering me up are pretty interesting. He not only made me chicken soup he brought over a French movie called “The Butterfly and the Diving Bell.” I suppose it was his way of saying no matter how horrible you feel there is someone who is always worse off than you. Talk about depressing! Based on the true memoir of Jean-Dominique Bauby it is the story of a man who suffers a stroke that results in “locked-up syndrome.”

The entire book was written by Bauby blinking his left eyelid to signal to a transcriber the right letter in a repeatedly recited a French language frequency ordered alphabet (E, S, A, R, I, N, T, U, L, etc.). The transcriber sat there repeating these characters until he picked the right one! Each word took two minutes to decipher and 200,000 winks later the book was completed. The book describes what life is like for someone with locked in syndrome.

Bauby is in the prime of his life when he is struck down by this horrifying condition. He is paralyzed completely except for his left eye. His book was published in 1997 and sold exceptionally well. Ten days later Bauby dies of pneumonia. The movie is hard to watch but it drove the point home. I was just sick with the flu; at least I wasn’t paralyzed having to blink to communicate for the rest of my life.


Rob and I are the proud new God Parents of Trevor! He’s adorably cute! Here we are in church during the Christening. Wow…does that make us adults? I guess it does!

Our Godson!

I don’t know if I mentioned it but I had the distinct pleasure of working with very talented author Melina Morel on her new book’s web site. Experience Devour Here.I drew my inspiration for the look and feel from my deep love for all things goth and vampire alike. Melina is one of the most interesting individuals you will ever meet and, like her book, not to be soon forgotten. I used Poser and Photoshop to bring each character distinctly to life and programmed the site using Flash CS3 Actionscripting and HTML. That beautiful music in the background is an original score composed by none other than Rob. Melina’s next book debuts in September and I hope to build another great looking site for her. Oh, the site is also interactive so play with it!

The new job is going fantastically well and I am very happy working as part of a highly productive team of people who are focused on creating exceptional work. I have a few extremely challenging design projects on my hands that will certainly push my career in new directions.

Rob and I have created a new company called Export2Reality and have been doing some really fun freelance design work in both print and web for a bunch of clients. Needless to say I’ve been staying busy.


Rob and I have been following Lost and Battlestar Galactica pretty closely. Lost I have to say is getting really monotonous and I am glad that BSG only had a couple of “Lost” style episodes. The whole flashback thing has gotten tired for me. Eventually the one step forward two steps back approach creates viewer fatigue. More and more I have learned to despise Kate’s duplicity, Jack’s bravado and Locke’s gullibility. Of all the characters I think Sawyer has been the most true to self. In fact I want to see more of Rose and her hubby, maybe I’m just tired of drama in my own life and I’m shrinking away from characters that constantly create it.

So Battlestar…I’m pretty hooked in spite of recent weird stuff on the show. I like the idea of the toasters turning against the skin jobs ala civil revolt, that was cool but other storylines like the final five cylons being on board the Galactica not so plausible. They better have a pretty damn good explanation for that cause right now I don’t buy it. Likewise Lee Adama as politician is silly. The suit has got to go. Roslin has become the one thing she despised from early on, a despot and Starbuck is a raving lunatic that just wants to frak, frak, frak…aboard the poop vessel Demetrius. HUH?

“Humanity's children are returning home. Today. -Number 6"

Yeah the sewage ship she was given to plot her crazy ass back to earth. Members of that crew include Halo and Athena (hello where is the Cylon child?), murder bent Gaeta, and another bunch of whining losers? Poop ship indeed. Let’s send a garbage vessel to find the glorious lost colony. Silly. Also if her visions were so stark and clear regarding earth’s positions couldn’t she just “find it”. What is she doing with a compass? I don’t see how a compass would help anyone trying to navigate star charts. Throw her in the sewage bin!

Hmmm what else, oh yeah Tori must die. She’s possibly the least likeable character ever, even worse than Ben Linus from Lost. OMG and they killed Cally! Don’t know that I feel bad one-way or another, liked her well enough but they could have done more with her than simply turning her into a raving mega bitch. I really do believe that Ronald D. Moore hates marriage more than anything else on the show. Just look at all the marriages. Adama’s failed marriage, Saul’s and Ellen’s, Apollo and Dee, Starbuck and Anders, Chief with Cally, and last but not least Athena and Helo. Need I say more? They are all fraked up! It’s annoying. Who is having a good relationship on BSG? No one. Well maybe Cavil and Boomer. Who knows? Don’t even get me going on the Baltar harem of groupies!

If you’re interested there are a couple of really good BSG pod casts that I like. One is the Galactica Quorum and the other is Galactica Water Cooler. Both are highly entertaining.

No More pill

Last weekend I made a decision to stop taking the pill. I’ve been on it for years and to be honest I just don’t feel that the side effects are worth it. Weight gain, gall bladder desease (we already know what had to happen there), increased chances of cervical cancer, low sex drive, water retention, emotional blitzes, blood clots…the list is really endless. I will obviously need to find another means of contraception but I’m done with the evil little pills. I say I want to be healthy and I’m doing healthy things like working out and eating right but I take this stupid pill everyday pumping my body full of synthetic hormones. I have to ask myself is that really healthy? Anyway I’m putting it out there for you girls who are thinking about it and are just not sure…it’s personal I know, but we’re supposed to be communicating on the great world wide web about issues like this. I was lucky to find a lot of forums moderated by both expert and novice alike where such things are discussed at length and I’ve made my decision. Happy sex drive = happy Mabe.

New Neighbors

I’m really happy that my best friend recently moved to Clifton which is a hop, skip and a jump away from us. When I saw their new home I didn’t think they could turn it around, I was really floored. The previous owner had sponge painted the walls blue and white!

R and B Move in!

We lovingly called it Smurf blood. This one family had received no love. My kingdom for a miter box??? All of the moulding in the house was cut square at the corners and lo and behold there was a miter box sitting in the basement! They tore up the rugs to discover gorgeous wood floor underneath that needed a lot of work. A few cans of paint later their home is really beginning to look beautiful. It’s coming out really gorgeous and I couldn’t be happier.

It looks like finally J will also be moving out and I’m very proud of him. Moving was not entirely his idea of course, it took ten years and his mom getting really pissed off but it is a happy day! He’ll be living not too far from us which is cool. Congrats J! Hip hip, hooray!