Sunday, April 30, 2006


Way to go, Mustangs! You guys rock! Hits, runs, scores, MUSTANGS!

Saturday, April 29, 2006

A is for Athletics

Here is a picture of Christopher's Little League team taken after one of their games.

Friday, April 28, 2006

So Fresh and So Clean Clean


Monday, April 24, 2006


I browsed through today and found “Baseball for Dummies”, of course to provide continuity in the series of the popular “Dummies” books. I don’t suppose Major League teams have a copy of this book on hand in the event they have to “go back to basics” or to “review their fundamentals” huh? Brings new meaning to the phrase: “fundamentally sound” eh? Suddenly the First Aid kit is no longer the most important piece of equipment in the dug outs these days. Hurry! Get ‘em while supplies last!

Sunday, April 23, 2006

The Benchwarmers

"The Benchwarmers" (if you haven't already taken the family down to the theaters to see this movie) is quite the belly-buster. It is extremely hilarious, yes but mostly inappropriate. It's not as "kid-friendly" as I had hoped. I haven't been asked some of the obvious questions YET but I am bracing myself in the event that one of my kidlings decides to be inquisitive. If you are a fan of dry humor such as "Airplane" (which is "mild" humor compared to today's blockbusters), or "Scary Movie I, II, III...XXIV" (kidding!), and "Dodgeball" - parents, consider yourselves warned.

Aside from this, wait for the's not a "date" movie either.

My Kingdom for a Protractor

You could tell we were experiencing pure boredom when we ventured off to search for a protractor. Since the Mustangs' travel ball game was rained out (funny...there was not a cloud in the sky this morning), I began to tackle some math homework for a quiz I am to have on Monday. This is how our adventure panned out:

  • Ariana and I started off for a quick trip to our local Target store down the street - literally no more than 1 mile north of our house.
  • We browse the office supplies aisle and I couldn't believe a whole section dedicated to crayons, color markers, colored pencils, various paper stock, envelopes and scrapping paper, because apparently these things are far more popular to buy than a boring protractor.
  • The "academic" section of the office supply consisted of ONE 12-inch ruler - and that was it.
  • What?
  • So now we're off to the Wal-Mart just east of the Target store we were visiting.
  • We duplicate the same effort at Wal-Mart and head down the stationery section. There wasn't that much variety there either. At least Target had a 12-inch ruler.
  • Next, we head to Office Max across the street from Wal-Mart only to find out it was 9:18 AM and the store wasn't opened until 10:00 AM. Whatever in the world are we going to for 40 minutes?
  • Good thing we bought 2 bags of much needed Hot Cheetos while at Wal-Mart. We chomped on those for a while.
  • I turn to Ariana and ask, "Did we think enough to buy water or drinks?" Her response was a blank stare and a slight shake of her head. Apparently not.
  • Finally, when Office Max opened up, we spent a good 3 minutes in the store. We went right to the section where there were not only one but SEVERAL protractors available. I was in heaven.
  • There were compasses, packs of rulers, proctractors, architecture-style, and even some I couldn't tell you what the names are.
  • Three-minutes - that's all it took to find the protractor I needed. Amazing.
  • Then we were on our way home.
  • As soon as we got there...the kids and I decided to go to the movies.

Math homework was going to have to wait.

I needed a break from our exhausting shopping spree.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Photo Shop

It's amazing how far advanced we are these days, for instance...who would have ever thought you could actually have Photo Shop (or equivalent) software added to your cell phone? Cell phones sure have come a long way since the OG ginormous Motorola Jurassic-park-looking cellular phone, huh? It was even called a "cellular phone" it's politically & correctly referred to as a "mobile" (or for your highly sophisticated and intellectual friends - a 'PCS') phone. Nothing is ever as simple as it was before, but I suppose change is good - right? I suppose.

So to keep in line with technology, I yearned for a better camera phone not too long ago. I don't know about better, but I acquired a "newer" phone. So, to test out the quality, I have decided to post the following picture of Christopher at the batting cages. What are your thoughts? Is it okay, mediocre, great, FANTASTIC, or no-comment quality? I just need to know.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

I'm still awake!!!!!

So check this is 3:20 AM and I'm still up studying for a mid-term on Thursday. Here's a series of stupid questions? I have to be up at 5:00 AM. If you were me, would you go to sleep and hope you hear the crazy alarm? Or do you stay up and be freakishly exhausted and zombied-out at work? Then cross your fingers you don't nod off while at your desk or find yourself drooling a small puddle on your blouse, or worse - be 'out' cold that you bang your head on your computer monitor and proclaim, "It's okay, I'm alright"? Oh but don't forget that I have yet to take my exam...that is if I can manipulate my body to somehow navigate in the direction of the school. Eeek!!!!

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Today's Cell Phone Technology

So we get these new phones. I kid you not - it took me literally half a day to transfer phone numbers from my old phone to my new phone. Of course I could have saved myself the trouble by using their state-of-the art Bluetooth wireless technology and utilizing the infrared or optional USB cable (who knew?). But I opted for the poor man’s method and whittled away 4 hours of plugging in phone numbers. Now there’s more verbiage to be familiar with: PlayNow, VideoDJ, SmartChip (what in the world?) that now this technicologically-savvy guru (yours truly) is slowly becoming technically challenged. But I won’t let it conquer me as I am determined to know my phone like the back of my hand.

Now I have to explain it all to Steve. I tell him:

…”It slices, it dices, rings like this, rings like that, zoom in or zoom out, click up for brightness, click down for contrast, enter contacts here, change ring tones this way, program it to bring your bedroom slippers upon arrival home from work, teach it to fetch the newspaper out on the porch for your morning read, set the alarm, turn off the alarm, set it to brew coffee at 5:00 AM, etc.”…

Steve’s reply:

…”All I want to know is how to dial out and answer calls. That’s it.”…


Monday, April 17, 2006

What's In A Name?

As the great William Shakespeare wrote: "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

And so the same applies to TAXES. Taxes due on any other day is still due. Whether it’s due on the traditional dooms-day April 15th or on April 17th as it is this year, the end result is still the same: I OWE, I OWE – SO OFF TO WORK I GO.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Spring Break Woes

I don't know about you but there are several things wrong with Spring Break:
  1. Unless you have umpteen sick and vacation days saved up, you can't necessarily take the week off
  2. Now you have to resort to grandmas, grandpas, friends, friends of neighbors, friends of friends of neighbors, friends of friends of friends of neighbors to watch your kids while they're on Spring Break
  3. You have to hire a teenager (scary!)
  4. You have to hire a daycare center and pay through your nose, lungs and heart in order to afford them
  5. Your usual daycare center is also closed for Spring Break
  6. You take the entire week off from college and declare NO HOMEWORK WEEK only to cram the Sunday before school resumes to complete homework you were assigned during the break
  7. Sunday Easter Service has become crowded that you have to take a number to enter the church
  8. Your "last minute" Easter shopping is halted because you've come to realize all the malls and stores are closed
  9. You decide to eat out and when you arrive at the restaurant you realize EVERYONE and their mother decided the same thing
  10. Spring Break is a tease - it's just not long enough

Man...the dread of having to return to a "normal routine". ARRRGGHHHH!!!!!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


The PennySaver ad said “running or not”…”we pay for junk”. I hate to think of our old clunker, a ’94 Dodge Caravan (we’ll call her CARA) as junk but let’s face it, that’s exactly what she was…junk..

Keyword: junk.

Our car selling experience was going to be an adventure, we could tell. Here’s how it began.

I called several places and they all quoted me the same price: $250. Fine, I thought. (Sorry CARA, they only want $250 for you. That’s the best I could do). Steve and I agreed, no problem. We set our FIRST appointment with the company who would ultimately be the recipient of our luxurious heap for Thursday night. I call back to tell them we have a couple of things going on that evening (i.e. Open House at school, baseball game, etc.). They respond with, “We work all hours of the night…you call us when it’s convenient for you.” Fine, I thought. After all the activities were over, I call them back and tell them can we reschedule for Friday instead. They hemmed, they hawed, and they said OK.

So our RESCHEDULED appointment is set for Friday after 6:00 PM. “Slight delay,” they tell me because of the rain. Fair enough, I thought. And so the wait game continues. Here it is now 8:30 PM. Now it’s getting ridiculous. I put off going to Target and to Kohl’s to wait around for someone to NO SHOW? Puh-lease! I call them yet again. “We are sending out a driver now. They’ll be out in an hour!” Fine, I thought. By this time Steve is getting impatient and tells me to call these guys back up and tell them to forget it. We can call another of the many places in the PennySaver. I’m starting to agree with him wholeheartedly.

At 9:30 PM I get a call from “Luis”. He tells me he’s in Los Angeles at a gas station getting gas for his truck and he’d be here in an hour. What the? An hour? C’mon. What were we to do? A little after 10:00 PM I get a phone call. HE’S OUTSIDE. Unbelievable! He’s here!!!

Here’s where it really starts to get good! So Steve and I go outside and show him to CARA. Poor CARA. It’s like the recycle commercials: your tires will probably be reincarnated into smaller tires for some three-year olds’ tricycle with training wheels; the scrapped metal will have new life as trillions of paperclips.

So Luis comes and checks out the car with his handy-dandy industrial flashlight. He checks the interior, front and back seats, back of CARA (she’s missing the whole back seat…Steve removed it to make room for baseball equipment and bags). He checks out the engine, takes out CARA’s dipping stick, smelled the oil. CARA was undergoing an annual exam and a pap smear. She looked sad. We point out the busted window on the passenger side. We tell him that because CARA’s been inoperable for quite a few months, the battery’s dead. Pretty self-explanatory.

Luis tells us that from what he can determine (because he’s a certified car specialist, remember) that he could offer us $125 final offer! Of course he’ll have to phone back to headquarters for them to make that decision.

Murmur…murmur…murmur….beep…beep…(walkie talkie talk)…murmur…murmur…beep…beep.Finally, Luis comes back and hands the phone to Steve and said his boss wanted to speak to him. Here’s how that conversation went:

Junk place: If you put a battery in it will it run?

Steve: Yes, it will run. (Steve began to entertain more of his questions but realized that it was not worth his trouble. He hands the phone back to Luis)

Steve: Tell your boy that he’s full of _hit. You can take your truck and back the hell out. (Too funny. I stood there in complete silence and dumbfounded).

Steve: They quoted my wife $250 for JUNK…. (he slams his hand on CARA’s back window…sorry CARA and says)…here’s JUNK. The ad said running or not… (slams his hand on CARA again)…NOT running. Take your truck and leave. I’m not playing this _hit.” (Luis is scrambling.

Steve: What, do you think I’m an idiot? I know what you’re doing. You think your boy is going to tell me that the car’s worth only $125? You’re out of your damn mind. The ad (quote) said $250 for junk. Here’s junk. Give me my $250. Or get the hell out.

Luis: Sir, I want to help make it better. I’ll give you $250. (They begin their dialog in Spanish.)

After much deliberation, it’s a done deal. $250 it is. What a bunch of crap, if you ask me. This must be a “buying-junk-cars-for-cash” routine. They give you an estimate over the phone, based on EVERYTHING you disclose to them (busted window, dead battery, runs OK, have pink slip, etc.). But what they don’t tell you is once they look over the car, the quote could be less based on their inspection (by their certified inspectors, of course). And the poor consumer is supposed to be grateful to get even that much (in our case $125) and say YES…we’ll take it. That’s a crock! $250 was low already, don’t insult our intelligence and drop the quote lower. We have other places to call so be on your merry little way.

Moral: SELLERS beware.

Or if you want a street-smart, scam-savvy vigilante on your side, call Steve. He’ll get you the cash you were quoted. No frills or gimmicks allowed.

Friday, April 14, 2006


Happy Easter to everyone! Here's wishing you a very blessed celebration of the "reason for the season" (oh, wait...that's Christmas jargon isn't it?). A time for friends and family to come together and don their best-dressed suit or elaborate Easter hat, sunny pastel dresses for the lasses, and clip on ties for the young lads. A time for embellished hymnals in the church pews. A time for greetings and well-wishes to be exchanged. And for the (*) asterisks above (in the title): For you basket-loving, egg-hunting, candy-eating families, here's hoping Peter Cottontail (or the generic Easter Bunny) brings you giggles, smiles, laughter and cheers as you feast on marshmallow and chocolate treats!

Breakfast with the Bannergirls

A few weeks ago I was to attend a breakfast get together with some high school friends of mine - the 1985 Carson High Colts Bannergirls (yes, I am THAT old!), but because of scheduling conflicts I wasn't able to make it. I am so bummed! Thanks to Michelle, I am able to enjoy the timeless picture of my fellow Bannergirls as they pose in front of the Mimi's Cafe sign and inside of the restaurant enjoying food, drinks and each other's company. The picture taken outside of Mimi's Cafe reminds me of a pose we took at Loyola Marymount during summer camp - almost the exact same formation. I can hear Leila's countdown now: "7-2-8-2...". I MISS these guys dearly!!!!

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Travel Ball Family

One thing our family enjoys very much is traveling with the Mustangs. One of our favorite places is our first visit to Cathedral City's Big League Dreams Park where the team came in FIRST place at the Triple Crown Tournament. Here are two of my favorite pictures.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Thoughts about the H.B. Tournament

"Beggars can't be choosey..." And THEY were definitely begging! Well, there's much to be said about the old cliche especially when it deals with people other than yourself. I suppose there's much to be said about the tournament our Mustangs team played in over the weekend. What started out to be a great couple of games both Saturday and Sunday, and after a hard fought three-game series that lead to the championship game, one would think at that level the officials would be fair. One would think! I never experienced such bad officiating the way that I did on Sunday. Not only were the "blues" exercising poor judgment, but the opposing team's fans were obnoxious and classless. I'm sure they must have thought that of us but quite frankly "who gives a ...", well...uh, you know! So much "jawing", so much crying and whining were to be had by both sides, but one thing that was for certain was the one-sided calls favoring the other team. Because I consider myself a classy person and highly commend our Mustangs organization, I will not disclose the team's name (but only that it has something to do with the letter "X") or make mention of their small town affiliation with Bakersfield...NO!, not at all. Home plate umpire "loved" his job so much...too much if you ask me. His strike zone changed so much which got the best of me after a while. Especially since we teach our boys not to swing at bad pitches and since we pride our coaches in teaching plate discipline only to be warped by the umpire's distorted view of home plate. My grandma could have made better calls than he did! (Sorry Grandma!) Not to mention the field umpire who, at one point, called across the diamond to one of the tournament officials, walked across the field to talk with this official, walked all the way back to his original spot behind 1st base...and his slight interruption in the game had absolutely NOTHING to do with OUR game at all but rather of someone else's game earlier in the day! They were two clowns making their guest appearances at the circus. Amazing! Coming in 2nd place is not such a bad thing really...only I know the boys are somewhat tired of it! I know they long for a 1st place trophy...and they play like a 1st place team, no doubt. Just one more reason to work hard at more motivational strive for the gold! In closing, I must say...THIS is where we would rather be. THIS, as parents and fans, is why we support our team, our boys and our ALWAYS be in the game, to ALWAYS be a contender, and to ALWAYS be the team to beat! GO MUSTANGS!!!!

Friday, April 07, 2006

On the Road Again!

HUNTINGTON BEACH CLASSIC The Placentia Mustangs are on the road again. Only this time we're headed back to Huntington Beach. Game times are as follows: Saturday, April 8th 5:00 PM Placentia Mustangs vs. So Cal Bandits 7:00 PM Placentia Mustangs vs. La Costa Bandits Sunday, April 9th TBD (game times are TBD and are based on seeding from Saturday's games) *PLEASE CHECK BACK FOR UPDATES* Location Huntington Beach Sports Complex Goldenwest St & Talbert Ave Huntington Beach, CA 92605

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Blogger vs. My Space

Well, I might be shooting myself in the foot by this blog simply because I’m giving free advertising to my nemesis, but I thought I would weigh out the pros and cons (okay, so more pros than cons) and list the Top 10 reasons why, in my own humble opinion, having a blog on Blogger is better:
  1. I can write more intelligent articles, essays, dissertations, and speeches
  2. I’m not 16
  3. I can post much more interesting pictures and not just pictures of myself in front of the mirror taking photos from different angles with my lips puckered and eyes batted (the emphasis here is NOT: “me”, “I”, “me”, “I”, and sometimes “myself”)
  4. I’m not 16
  5. Those reading my blog are not teenagers who type using annoying alternating lowercase/uppercase letters
  6. I feature my favorite subjects: My Kids
  7. I’m not 16
  8. I can act my age on my blog
  9. I can directly link to interesting and informative web sites
  10. I’m not 16

There, that just about sums it up!

Monday, April 03, 2006

PR baby!

In all fairness to my better half, I thought it would be best to give props to the mastermind behind the RIVERA family. Since his DNA was needed in order to create the PR babies, I thought I would at least honorably mention the Puerto Rican pride that is running rampant in our household.

New York or Bust!

Five words! Cooperstown and Hall-of-Fame!!!! And so the planning begins. The Placentia Mustangs are taking a trip to Cooperstown and the Baseball Hall-of-Fame for the summer of 2007. It's a long 14 months ahead, but not too early to start training and planning! Is this exciting or what? I can't tell you how excited the team is not to mention the families. This is GREAT news for the Mustangs. By then, we will be a 12u team, I think, or perhaps we'll shoot for something more challenging....say, 13u???? Here's dreaming! Stay tuned for more!!!!

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Once Upon A Time...

My kids once said to me... "I wonder if we're a story and some giant is reading about us right now." Classic.