Monday, July 31, 2006

The Ride

Aaron and Joseph rode "The Ride" while at Circus Circus Hotel & Casino. The first few times around were honky-dory, no worries, no problem. Then the ride started to pick up speed and it was too much for Joseph to handle. Poor guy! You can read their lips and get the gist of what's being said. Funny!

The Birds

Invasion of the Birds?

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Beach Party

this is an audio post - click to play

We took a drive to the beach today to celebrate the end of the season for Christopher's Little League - Major Athletics. Here are some pictures:

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Return from Vegas

Jennie, Tony, Joseph and Aaron returned from Vegas today with stories, pictures and souvenirs to share! Here are some really cool pictures they took while out and about the town.

Friday, July 28, 2006


The Target of the old days has taken on a facelift. Interestingly, they've placed these giant red balls out on the front walkway leading to the entrance. I'm sure the Target by my house, the brand spanking new one, didn't anticipate it would be a skateboarder's heaven as their decorative landscaping has become their ultimate obstacle course. I'm just waiting for the day some idiot decides to hop over it or do some "trick" and catches a bad one between the legs. Ouch!

Forgotten Art

Sadly, while in the midst of changing majors from Music Education to Communications, it pained me to know that my piano would be taking a back seat and giving way to all things multi-media, journalism, photography, and communications. It's not a bad thing, really, just a sad thing. To make up for some lost time, I remove the dust cover and plop down on my chair (the bench is nowhere to be found) and start playing some ol' familiar tunes. Fittingly, there's a piano book I own called "I Used to Play the Piano" chock-full of, well, ol' familiar tunes I used to play while learning how to play the piano. Duh. Songs like "The Entertainer," "Fur Elise," "The Spinning Song," and the family-favorite "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." Well, it's not a total loss - at least I can still play, huh?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

I Think I Can, I Think I Can, I Think I Can

This "Can" video is buzzing on Yahoo's "The 9". For those of you who aren't too savvy on Yahoo takes, it means they have an eclectic array of random stuff that could potentially be of some interest to some people. It caught the attention of this journalist, and in turn I'm sharing it with you.

Honestly, I never knew can tossing or "kicking-the-can" would be labeled an art-form, but hey - kudos for creativity.

I Need A Fix

BLOGGER had a momentary blackout just now which posted a recent post "Miss Me" four separate times. I'm a little puzzled, okay, perplexed as to why Blogger has been giving me grief. It very well could be Mozilla's Firefox. I don't really know the root cause behind all of this angst, but what I do know is that when I try to open up "Annie's Desk" or any of the templates in Mozilla, they time-out quite a bit. Is that happening to you? On the other hand, Internet Explorer opened up the pages just fine, but as I viewed the display, I almost fainted. Some of the alignments are terribly jumbled throughout, for instance, the sidebar is located at the bottom of the page in IE but in Mozilla it displays perfectly.

Like I said, I do not know the cause but what I do know is I NEED A FIX! So if you're one of the readers who use Mozilla as your browser (KUDOS to you), hoepfully it dispays evenly and have no "broken" codes or links. If you are an IE user (SORRY ABOUT THAT!), and if the sidebar is stretched out and appears at the bottom, I suggest you adjust your monitor or viewing screen's capacity.

I apologize for the mess!

Miss Me

So I heard from Aaron. He's in Vegas remember? I got the brag-report on Monday. They have a suite at the New York New York hotel somewhere on one of the top floors, I'm sure. I was told they have a "mini-pool" - that's kid-talk for "jacuzzi". There are two KING SIZE beds of which Aaron and his cousin Joseph (he's two years old remember?) occupy.

They've gone swimming, eating, visiting friends of my sister-in-law; and today they've gone to Circus Circus where Aaron tells me they played in the arcades and he made out like a bandit and won a few stuffed animals: lion and tigers and bears, oh my!

So, ultimately I asked him if he misses me and he says YES. I asked him if he's ready to come home and he says NO. Of course not! What was I thinking?

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

More Abstracts: Scenery and Architecture

As you know, I love to take pictures of scenery and architectural structures. They fascinate me somehow. Here are more photos taken while outside of the mall today.

Mall Arcades: Are You Game?

I'm not a fan of mall arcades simply because:
  1. They usually occupy a small space
  2. They cram outdated and non-functioning games in these small spaces
  3. You spend MORE than you want to
  4. After countless attempts in winning a game versus the computer as your opponent, you win raffle tickets. Whatever happened to winning free games or extended games?
  5. In exchange for these raffle tickets you get miniscule and odd-shaped prizes they pass off as toys!
  6. After about 10 minutes and a dozen attempts at playing with your prize, it breaks
  7. They always end up in "The Abyss" I call - the floor of my car or squeezed in between the cushions
There are probably other reasons I am blatantly forgetting, but at this point - who cares, huh?

Blogrolling Button

I have a button called "Annie's Desk" that links directly to my blog. For those of you who read my blog, link to my blog, or would like to link to my blog, please feel free to COPY and PASTE the button below, but first you must save it to your hard drive and use it in your LINK.

Monday, July 24, 2006


Aaron packed his bag (or really I did!) and headed for the rental car with Tony, Jennie and Joseph for their trip to Vegas. You had to twist my arm because quite frankly, you NEVER want your children to be a burden on someone else and their family. After much time, I was convinced it was going to be just FINE! So, lots of hugs and kisses were exchanged and reading of the rules were done to ensure Aaron (and I) were in agreement for a week away from each other. I'm certain he will have a wonderful time!

I miss him already!!!!!

Scenes from the Weekend

Here are photos of some of the happenings around our house.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Holla! Day Two

After a goodnight's rest, we got up and had chorizo & eggs, bacon, sausages and rolled them up into breakfast burritos! Yummy! It was a lazy-sort-of-day for all of us. We enjoyed each other's company throughout the thunder and lightning storm. After lunch and a Sunday stroll around the neighborhood, they jumped into the pool for a later afternoon swim. Elvira, James and I prepared for a barbecue at the Vierstras'. Hamburgers, hot dogs, chips and soda - and more stories galore!!! Even funnier than the night before. Believe it or not, stories that even I had never heard (and I thought I heard them all). With our bellies filled up with barbecued delight, we retired to our home where I sit now before you recalling the details of the weekend; Jennie's decorating her cell phone with Nail Art gems; Christopher tucked in for beddy-bye; Steve's working on a homemade video creation (I can't wait to see that!); Tony and Aaron are playing "Pokeman" on Gameboy; Ariana's coloring on notebook paper; and Joseph is asleep in the living room. Tomorrow (Monday) they leave for a drive to Las Vegas to visit with friends and to see Jennie's old stomping ground. The kids are a little bummed they are leaving for a few days but they will return by Saturday and will stay with us for the following week before flying back to NY.

Holla! Day One

We anticipated their arrival all morning. It was after 1:00 PM when they finally pulled up in the school parking lot and made their way over to our front door! How nice it was to see Jennie, Tony and Joseph. After about forty-five minutes of minor chit-chat, we went swimming in the pool. The water was very refreshing after the weather peaked 100 degrees. My air conditioner was working extra hard to cool down the house and finally it was time to jump in the pool. Our neighbors, Elvira and the boys (Anthony, Austin, and Alex) along with Christopher's and Anthony's buddy, Ryan, joined us and we had great fun. The boys played "Marco Polo" and wrestled each other in a game of "Chicken". We hung out and reminisced down memory lane. The stories Jennie and Steve shared were HEE-LARRY-US!

Joseph is a cutie pie!!!! For some reason, Joseph keeps calling his Uncle Steve "Uncle Joey." He's got these sweet puppy dog eyes that make you melt. Tony and I engaged in political discussions. It's good to know we shared some of the same views!

More to come later!

Friday, July 21, 2006

ARod Hits A Milestone

Christopher's favorite player just hit his 2,000th hit today in a game versus Toronto Blue Jays. WAY TO GO ALEX!!!

Childhood Memories

Remember this game???

New Yorkers In the House

Steve's sister (Jennie), her husband (Tony) and their son (Joseph) will be visiting for a few weeks from New York. I can't tell you how ecstatic we are to host them! After two long years, Steve will finally get to see his nephew! How thrilling, huh? Please join us in welcoming them! We hope we will have an opportunity for you to meet them and vice versa. Don't be shy! Stop by! (Hey...a rhyme!) WELCOME TONY, JENNIE & JOSEPH!!!!


Yes, I know. This is becoming an annoying habit I need to soon break. It's now 3:24 AM. I've just finished researching online for a paper I'm writing (and hope to have completed and submitted to my professor before Saturday, for a Sunday deadline). The kids, Christopher and Aaron this time, up until about 1 1/2 hours ago, stayed up with me because they felt compelled to "keep me company" during my grueling research. Thankfully they knocked out before I had the chance to send them off to bed! I'm so flipping tired I could scream!!!!!!!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Summer Update

It's 2:25 AM and all's well. The kids, well, Christopher and Ariana are up with me, believe it or not. Ariana was full of energy she started a "beauty school" in the kitchen and began doing a hair-miracle on Christopher. The only words she spoke, that cracked me up, was "You are so ugly". It sounded funnier coming from her exaggerated English, perhaps, British accent. It was a "You-had-to-be-there" moment.

Meanwhile, I wanted to keep you posted on how our summer's progressing thus far (in random order):

  1. Outside of being laid off in the middle of June, it's been pretty relaxing at home.
  2. The kids and I go swimming, if not everyday, at least every other day. They're SO dark now!!!!
  3. Christopher's All-Star team went undefeated 4-0 up until Game 5 and Game 6 of the District 29 All-Star Tournament, in which they were eliminated after losing both games. It was a great season, nonetheless.
  4. Christopher's travel ball team will be starting up this week for practice and the next coming weeks to prepare for the CCYB World Series in August.
  5. I'm going to take my time looking for the "right" job this time and not rush into anything too hastily. Have you any leads???
  6. I'm halfway through summer school. I have (had) two online classes of which I received an "A" in the first class and have yet to finish the second course. Fall semester is just around the corner - ARRRRGGHHHH! I need a vacation!!!!
  7. My niece will turn ONE YEARS OLD this August!!!! Woo hoo!
  8. I LOVE MY iPo (that's my iPod Nano, in case you didn't already know her name!)
  9. I am getting a kick out of updating my blog! Thanks to Lina - I've found many more generators and interesting things to place in my site. Cool.
  10. I haven't had to write a paper or essay in two weeks now - I feel rusty!

I need to go to sleep!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Travel Dances

You may have already viewed these videos but if you haven't, pay special attention to the background scenery and the people around the dancing host, Matt Harding. His dancing is to be desired but I'm mostly impressed with the distance in which he's traveled and how he's able to get to some of the risky, dangerous and amazing places to stage his performances. It appears he uses the same song for each of his videos, mostly like to add effects, and I have to admit, it actually has a catchy beat!

Having fun in the pool

Having fun in the pool.

Aaron jumping in

Ariana jumping in

Christopher jumping in

Kids jumping in together and relaxing!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Time To Vote

Here's your opportunity to voice your opinions about my blog! I'd really like to get your feedback.

Do You Like My Web Site?
Yes, very much
Yes, somewhat
Yes, it's okay
No, not really
No, not at all
Only a little bit
Post more pictures
Post less pictures
I can't get enough! Post more blogs
I've had enough! Post fewer blogs
Free polls from


Don't laugh! I'm testing out a new feature for my site. Audioblogging!
this is an audio post - click to play

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Worship Team

Ariana took some pictures of me while singing at church on the Worship Team this weekend.

What Happens Inside Target While Shopping

It's never been about running into a store like Target and grabbing the one thing you set out to buy. NO! It's never that easy. I somehow separated from the girls as I was looking in the electronics area and they were in, well...several areas. I reached for my cell phone to round them up and noticed my cell phone was also M.I.A. So resorted to screaming out their names in hopes they would reveal their whereabouts. No success. Fortunately, they found me and all was well. And my cell phone was returned to its rightful owner too. And upon retrieving my phone, I noticed a few, okay, several photos taken of the girls as they explored the toy section.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Chinese Backstreet Boys

By popular demand, I thought I would re-link you to this clever and funny video of the Chinese Backstreet Boys performing their rendition of "That Way". Hilarious!

"One Red Paper Clip"

You may have heard all the hype and read all the hooplah, but here's a link to the story behind "One Red Paper Clip". Like the cliche, bigger and better things are yet to come! Very cool!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Better Than Disneyland

This is by far, the best rides and attractions on the West side of town and certainly far better than Disneyland!!!

Mall Signage

As you probably already know, I get a kick out of SIGNS. Any sort of SIGN, especially those that are random and randomly placed. Some SIGNS show up in the strangest places. Take the mall for instance.

I found this particular SIGN pretty interesting and eye-catching. My daughter and her best friend are on this "ness" kick where they add "ness" to the end of almost every word. You'd think they created this ad themselves.

This oddly-placed SIGN was erected, of all places, right outside the food court. I guess this is what you get after eating at one of their fast food restaurants!

Strangely enough, we spotted this SIGN just before stepping onto the escalators going downward. So, the question is: NO BABIES WITH DETACHED HEADS ALLOWED or NO STROLLERS ALLOWED? Which is it?

All-Star Spirit

Ryan_Christopher1, originally uploaded by arivera626.

That's the way, boys! Show those pearly whites, keep your chin up and be proud of yourselves! We had a great All-Star run!

All-Star Conclusion

The Buena Park American Little League Major All-Star season has to come to a close and what a blast it was!

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Game 5 Results

BPALL suffered their first loss in District 29 - Game 5 with a score of 4-0. The final and Championship game for the district is on Thursday, July 13, 2006 at 5:00 PM.

The location is:

Furman Park

10531 Rives Avenue

Downey, CA

Hope you can come out to support our team! We need your energy, your cheers and encouragement!

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Family Puzzle

Check out this link!

See if you can piece this family photo together! Have fun!

Missed & Rescheduled Mid-Term

By no fault of anyone in particular, I galloped to school, eager to take a "specially arranged" Mid-Term this morning at 9:00 AM - but never took it.

Because of Christopher's All-Star game tonight, I was able to arrange a special meeting with my professor to take the Mid-Term early. It was originally scheduled for tonight at 6:30 PM. I couldn't see myself leaving in the middle of the game to come to school and stay focused on an exam when rightfully so, my mind would have been on the diamond, at Short Stop, or at-bat wondering how the game is progressing.

So, while waiting for Professor P. to show up, I sat and read through my study guide, checked email on my phone, sent an email to Professor P. from my phone, called and left Professor P. a voice message, walked around, checked out all the many "Books for Sale" on the congested overcrowded bulletin boards, walked through the hallways and peeked into the classrooms, and took pictures (what else?) of the empty hallway, lighting fixtures and railings. Finally, I bothered the department secretary (or to be politically correct...the "office manager") to see if perhaps they could call Professor P., and sure enough, we had crossed information. She thought Thursday but wrote Wednesday. So, to make a long story short, I will be taking a rescheduled specially arranged Mid-Term at a later date and time.

To be continued later.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Picture Cube

This is really cool! A picture cube of my family!

(To see the picture cube, please visit the blog site at If you are viewing the picture cube from your email, the image may not display correctly).

Everything Baseball

You know you're a baseball fan when you have baseball fixtures and decor even in your bathroom. Too much?


Living down the street from an amusement park, you'd think would prove to be more, well...amusing, right? Wrong. Other than what we see on the outside, I can't imagine it's any fun in the inside - especially during these hot summer days. I can't fathom standing in long congested lines waiting for a cheap-thrill-of-a-ride that's only some 22-seconds long. Okay, so I'm exaggerating, but you get the point. And the lamer that I am, I can't go on rides that go side to side. I'm proud to announce that I can stomach the rides that go up and down (not much variety, I know!).

Who am I kidding? If you knew me, but at all, you'd know that I am a huge Disneyland fan, so I guess I'll just shut up. I just wanted to post some pictures I took of Knott's while driving by. Take a look at these monstrous rides? How do they build them so close to each other and in such little spaces? Scary.

Next, I'll try and get some good shots of "Soak City" the next time I drive by it.

Is There More To Summer Than This?

Not having an agenda or schedule in which to follow on a daily basis can be a bit hum-drum especially over the course of a long hot summer vacation. Take today for instance. The kids and I got up, had breakfast. The twins and I took a walk (rather, I walked and the twins rode their bikes) in the local neighborhood on the way to a mini-post office in the shopping center near our house. They were a little tired and sweaty from our trip and instantly, it was time to jump in the pool. So, joined by Christopher, we all hopped in, swam, played, did laps, and splashed around. Then that got a little tiresome. So we headed back into the house. I knew I had to hit the books to study for a Mid-Term tomorrow...and the kids? Well, they resorted to the good ol' stand-by: TV. And the sad part is, it's only 1:30 PM. Arrgghhh....we've got to get more active!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Meet "iPo"

It's not a typo...that's the name I gave it, "iPo" (pronounced "eye-poe"). Typical for a music fanatic and download enthusiast. iPo has come in handy in many occasions. Take for instance the noisy living room/dining room area where peace and quiet are non-existent. I simply wave to my family "goodbye" and "go under" the earbuds and drown myself in music madness. Or, at the campus library where the sound of clickety-clack can be heard from the neighboring computer newbie next to me. I have to admit, there are times where I appear to be under the spell of iPo, but in reality I only have the buds in my ears with no music to be heard. Makes for a good excuse not to respond to the hubby questions or the inquisitive children sporting bathing suites and dragging towels on their arms as if they are butlers. I simply point to my buds and say, "What?" Try it sometime. You'll want to go out tomorrow and by your substitute for serenity.

Game 4 Results

The Buena Park American Little League (BPALL) Major All-Stars won Game 4 versus the West La Mirada with a score of 10-0 after four complete innings.

Our next game is set for Wednesday, July 12th at 5:00 PM.

The address for Wednesday's game is as follows:

West Downey Field

11985 Old River School Road

Downey, CA 90242

If you're able to come out and support our team, we'd love to have you.

GO BPALL!!!!!!!!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Last Man Standing

Poetry, if you don't already enjoy reading it, is the pathway to a soul's innermost feelings.

I thought I would share with you a poem I wrote during the time certain professional athletes were highly scrutinized and in the news for making incredulous and compromising decisions, which very well could have ended their illustrious careers. It pained me enough to pen a prayerful-plea-of-a- poem to my son, Christopher, in hopes that the sterness of his father's firm discipline, the discernment I try to instill in him, and the loyalty he has to his family would separate him from the crowd and enable him to make the right choices (we hope - all of the time) most of the time.

The Last Man Standing - (May 2004)

One by one they fall

Where strength was once their pride

Their guard let down - reveals all.

What brought them to their demise?

What caused them to gradually fail?

They heed not the words from the wise.

Did we not teach them while they were young?

Did we not warn them of the signs?

Who now is left among?

These men who once were told

To keep watch of what will become

Be strong, be true, be bold.

The sadness we must endure

When you choose wrong over right

So quickly you want to mature.

Because we love you we must set free

Your spirit to grow and live

A child, through whose eyes I see;

Your heart has not yet learned

What life is all about

Your rewards you alone have earned;

Through blood, sweat and tears

Through struggles and tribulations

These are the things I fear.

To throw it all away

For meaningless encounters,

Please hear what I must say.

Shield with the heaviest of armor

Your soul from life's deceits

Protect from glitz and glamour.

Hide your values within

Carry them close to your heart

Finish the race to win.

Although many are sure to fail

Be one with courage demanding

All others fall short of the prize

You'll be the last man standing.

Game 3 Results

Continuing on their All-Stars win-streak, Buena Park American Little League (BPALL) Majors took Game 3 with a score of 2-0. Game 4 is set for Sunday, July 9th at 3:00 PM.

Come out to support our team!

Address and Directions:

Furman Park

10531 Rives Avenue

Downey, CA

Major cross streets: Firestone and Paramount

Camera Fun

As teenagers do, Elysse got a hold of my camera phone and decided to take pictures of herself, her sister, her brother and random stuff (trying to keep up with my skills, I see! Ha!). Enjoy.

All-Star Car

As BPALL Majors continue on their All-Star run, parents, family, fans and, get into the spirit to cheer and support thei team. Cars? If cars had a personality all their own, I wonder what our car would be like? Speaks volumes!