Sunday, August 28, 2016

It's That Time Again

Time for updates!

-The 2016-17 school year is off to an interesting start. Teaching a new class on study skills. So far so good. Crazy schedule, but I have time to go to the restroom. #winning

-New allergy doctor. He is AMAZING. Is on my top 5 lists of awesome doctors. Took the time to listen to me. Respected my research and my medical records. Unfortunately my allergy tests came back that I am literally allergic to EVERYTHING. He thinks he can help me and I believe him.

-My Coda turned 11 this week! She's still acting like a puppy, but she is slowing down. I can't imagine my life without her. Totally grateful to my ex for bringing her into my life.

-I hired a professional to do my mulch this year. Incredibly glad I did and will budget to continue to do so from now on. Landscaping makes a house look like a home in my opinion. Plus he's a former student. We've come full circle :).

-A guy I dated briefly a few years ago looked me up. Take two is happening this week. We'll see what happens...

-This election year has brought out the worst in people. Ugh. No me gustan los políticos.

-As you know Big Brother is one of my favorite reality TV shows. This season has been sort of a nightmare until Paulie and Zakiyah (aka Zaulie). I LOVE them for many reasons. Now I know this is a showmance, but they are gorgeous together. Paulie has said and done some stupid things in the house, but if Zakiyah can forgive him who are we to judge? I love watching their tribute videos on YouTube and chatting about them online. #BB18


Besos y abrazos,
Monica 

*Photo courtesy of YouTube/Big Brother .


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

#WeddingWednesday - Backyard Beauty

If you are trying to reduce wedding costs, look no further than your own backyard! There are many seasonal flowers that can be used to enhance your reception tablescape or even your bridal bouquet. Research garden tips online or at your local library. Beautiful florals maybe grown just a few steps from your back door.


xxoo,
Monica 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Mr. Robot Explained

KellyKeybored replied 1 day ago
*Spoilers below for both season one and two* 

Sorry this is so long, but I hope it's helpful in some way. It's my own interpretation, and I may have left out important details, it's not really meant to be absolutely accurate. 

I'm confused too, but I believe we are supposed to be confused. 

I also can't be sure what is really happening as opposed to just being Elliot's hallucinations, but I do believe that this is all very real to Elliot. So in that way, I do sympathize with him, that he is struggling for his very existence, and trying to make sense of it all. 

Elliot has finally come to terms that he has been speaking to his deceased father, and did not have any memory of his father, or of his sister Darlene. Elliot is afraid that Mr. Robot is taking control of his life so he wants to get rid of him. 

Last season, Elliot, Darlene, Trenton, Romero and Mobley (and Mr. Robot!) as members of fsociety prepare to launch an attack on Ecorp on 5/9. But it is Tyrell, (an upper level executive at Ecorp) that meets with Elliot at the arcade when that happens. The last time we see Tyrell, Elliot is getting a gun from the pop corn machine, and Tyrell has his back to him. 

Elliot wakes up in Tyrell's SUV in a parking lot, where the attendant tells Elliot he has been asleep for 2 or 3 days. But Elliot can't remember what happened to Tyrell. 

Elliot checks himself into a mental hospital, keeps a journal and a daily routine, takes his meds (Adderal), continues therapy with Krista, (his court ordered therapist) and talks with Ray (who may also be some sort of counselor or therapist at that facility where he is staying). 

While he is at this facility, Darlene and Gideon visit him, he keeps a strict routine of eating all his meals with his friend Leon (Jerry Seinfield fan), writes down everything in a journal, and watches neighborhood basketball games (where he initially meets Ray). 

There is a flashback of Darlene visiting Elliot at his apartment, and Elliot brings out his father's “Mr. Robot” coat from his old store, Darlene hands him a (anonymous) Mask. Darlene seems a little shaken, and wants Elliot to take off the mask, but Mr. Robot is born. 

Tyrell's wife Joanna Wellick, has been paying the parking lot attendant (Kareem) to be quiet about what he knows. She says that her husband will be “returning soon,” and she needs the attendant to be quiet until then. Her driver/assistant/bodyguard (Mr. Sutherland) tells her that she is running out of money. 

Joanna is also having an affair with a bartender who wants to get a better job so that he can take her anywhere she wants to go. She says he makes her happy, just being the man he is. 

Elliot's friend Angela is now working for the company she blames for the death of her mother (Elliot's father also died after working for Ecorp). Even though she tried to sue them (and then dropped the case) she is hired by Phillip Price, the powerful CEO of Ecorp, who is giving her a great deal of attention (asks her to dinner). 

Price gives her incriminating evidence that will implicate two high level executives (that are also at the dinner), who are to blame for her mother's death. Angela later makes demands of Price, for a better position and a better office, but he turns her down. Price: “But I'm sorry, my dear. This is all in your head. Now, don't take that as a slight. Always good to have dreams.” 

WhiteRose is affiliated with the Dark Army (who helped Fsociety hack into Ecorp). But he/she also is an associate of Phillip Price, and seems to have a very close relationship with him. WhiteRose seems to have a great deal of influence over financial and economic policy perhaps for another large company, or perhaps for another country. 

Whiterose knows all about fsociety, but Price does not know he/she knows. Price says that he knows who is responsible for the attack on ECorp, and he will handle it. Whiterose seems impatient for Price to take action. 

Mobley, a member of fsociety is frightened when he finds Romero's body. Romero was the original member of fsociety that enlisted Mobley's help. Romero initially told Mobley that the guy in charge (we assume he meant Elliot) is crazy, that Mobley will probably hate him, but that he is a brilliant coder. 

After Romero is murdered, the FBI calls in Dominique, a special agent interested in the case. She finds a flyer for the party that fsociety had, which leads her to the Coney Island Arcade.

Darlene feels as if someone is following her, but she goes to meet her boyfriend Cisco (who has a connection to the Dark Army). They talk about Romero's death, and he tells her to be careful. 

Meanwhile, Elliot is struggling to keep Mr. Robot away. In Elliot's delusions, men kidnap him and make him swallow cement mix, so that he has to throw up his pills. (We assume without his meds, he will be forced to speak to Mr. Robot again.) 

One of the men (that looks like Walter White from Breaking Bad) takes off his hat and glasses and becomes Mr. Robot. 

Mr. Robot wants to have a chess game with Elliot, and the winner will take all, to be in control. The loser will become nothing, feel nothing, will not exist. Elliot agrees to the match, but as they play, they continue to come to a draw, stalemate... no winner, no loser. 

After Leon advises Elliot to think about his future, Elliot dreams of his perfect future, with those that he loves, his friends and family, and even those we might not expect (Tyrell and his wife and his child), and those Elliot may have treated badly (Bill from Steel Mountain, the man whom Elliot insulted, telling him no one would care if he died). The ECorp building collapses in the background, as everyone applauds. 
The people at the dinner: 
Darlene 
Lloyd (From Allsafe) 
Lloyd's girlfriend or wife, or perhaps another Allsafe employee 
Mobley 
Trenton 
Ray 
(Qwerty) 
Angela 
Bill (the man that Elliot insulted at Steel Mountain) 
Leon 
Tyrell Wellick 
Joanna Wellick 
Wellick's child (as a toddler) 
And a chair for us, Elliot's imaginary friend. 

Meanwhile, Ray is running some kind of illegal business on the side, and needs Elliot's help because someone has accessed his site and taken his bitcoins. 

When Elliot goes online, he reads Darlene's message about the FBI finding the arcade, and about Romero being dead. Mr. Robot is with him, and they both agree that Elliot has to save Darlene, that she is in trouble, so Elliot is going to hack into the FBI. 

Last episode: 

Elliot hacks into the FBI (but I'm not sure what exactly he accomplished, I may have missed it.) 

Darlene goes to Angela and asks for her help, to go into the Ecorp building (where the FBI has taken a whole floor for their investigation). Angela turns her down, and tells her to leave. 
Darlene goes to see Elliot to ask him to ask Angela for her help, but he says no, not to involve Angela. 

Angela finally goes to see Elliot, and says that she didn't want to see him again until he stopped “seeing” his father, Mr. Robot. But she missed him, and cared about him. Elliot tells Angela that Mr. Robot is standing right behind her. 

Angela eventually agrees to help Darlene (perhaps because she feels that Elliot is not able to help himself), and she meets Darlene at the Ecorp building at night, to drop something off that is supposed to delete the FBI's data and evidence that may lead back to Elliot (and fsociety). 

Mr. Sutherland, Joanna Wellick's bodyguard/assistant, goes to Kareem's apartment, kills him and makes it look like a burglary. When he returns to the Wellick apartment, Joanna calmly thanks Sutherland for everything, and continues to sing to her baby. 

Joanna gets another mysterious phone call, she believes it is Tyrell, hears a passing ambulance and realizes that the caller was just outside her building. 

Elliot asks for help with the previous computer tech (that had been beating up for failing to protect Ray's business interests properly (someone stole Ray's bitcoins). 

Elliot wants to know why the tech has bruises all over his face, if Ray did it and why. The tech eventually allows Elliot to access Ray's disturbing online business interests: drugs, weapons, hitmen, and kidnapped teenagers sold into prostitution. 

Elliot is abducted and badly beaten by Ray's thugs. Ray tells Elliot that he warned him not to look, to mind his own business. He throws a small piece of hair (and bloody scalp?) onto the ground, implying that the tech talked and told Ray everything. It's possible that the tech has been beaten again, or is dead. (Again I think I may have missed that part and haven't rewatched yet.) 

Meanwhile Dominique, the FBI agent, goes to China to investigate the Ecorp hack, but she foolishly speaks up and makes it sound like the FBI believes that the Dark Army was responsible for the hack. Whiterose does not look pleased by Dominque's brazen comments. 

Whiterose is revealed to be a government official for China. The FBI agents are invited to his elegant mansion for dinner where Dom sneaks off in search of a restroom, but instead finds a small room filled with clocks. 

Whiterose catches her, but then takes her to a closet and shows her very beautiful and valuable dresses that he/she claims to belong to his sister.

The next morning, the FBI agents are enjoying their breakfast buffet in the lobby of their hotel, and they are brutally attacked by gunman (does not appear that many survive). 
 
*Reposted from the Mr. Robot IMDB message board.

This is the best explanation of Mr. Robot I have ever seen. 

Thank you user KellyKeybored. You ROCK!

Monica 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

#RNCinCLE

I had the honor of volunteering for the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio last week. I had a total of 5 shifts as a hotel greeter and a GOP Express worker.

The delegates staying at my assigned hotel were from Missouri, Guam, the North Marianas Islands, and the Virgin Islands. The second hotel I was assigned to had members of the media. Everyone was extremely complementary. They loved Cleveland (and the surrounding areas), the volunteers, and the community. The delegates felt very welcome in Northeastern Ohio.

The delegates from Guam reminded me of my former father-in-law. Many people who live in Guam (27%) are Filipino. The men were all dressed in suits with florals leis around their necks.

I met one of the Missouri delegates who is a professional Abraham Lincoln look-a-like. He gave all of us a business card. We enjoyed listening to his stories!

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah was in town to cover the convention. I was fortunate enough to get a ticket online to attend the July 19th live taping of the show!! I felt like a true Fangirl. Trevor Noah is one of my favorite comedians. The show was hilarious.

I am glad I was able to experience a part of history. I'm so happy the RNC came to Cleveland and had a fantastic experience. I'm still tired from all the activities. It's a good tired and I would definitely do it all over again.


Still smiling,
Monica 



Wednesday, July 13, 2016

I Can Feel the Excitement!

The Republican National Convention is coming to Cleveland Ohio next week. I'm happy to say I will be volunteering all week. Due to the recent world events, I am a bit nervous. Security is tight, but everyone must always be aware. If you see something SAY SOMETHING!

I'm sure I will have lots of interesting stories. Ay... I can't wait to meet the delegates, media, politicians, and the many tourists that will be in Northeastern Ohio. Welcome to my state.


Welcome to Ohio!!

Sinceramente,
Monica 

Friday, June 17, 2016

#AllinCLE

The 2016 NBA Finals have been so exciting this year. The Cleveland Cavaliers are playing the Golden State Warriors. The series is all tied up.

Game 7 is coming up on June 19th and will definitely make history if Cleveland wins. Lots of pressure on LeBron James and the rest of the team. I'm #AllinCLE!



Go Cavs!!
Monica

*We WON! Congratulations to the Cleveland Cavaliers on their 2016 NBA Championship.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

#WeddingWednesday - Hydrangea

Big, beautiful Hydrangea flowers can be a stunning addition to your wedding reception tablescape!



In awe,
Monica


Friday, April 22, 2016

Wish U Heaven

The Artist who created the song track of my teen years has passed away. Prince's music made me feel mature. I had his pictures all over my locker. I was only a junior high student when I began listening to him.

The man who won 6 Grammy Awards, an Oscar, and many other awards for his beautifully talented music was pronounced dead at 10:21 am in an elevator at his home. I hope he didn't die alone.

Prince hadn't been feeling well over the last couple of days. I hope he wasn't in pain.

I feel like I lost a friend, even though we never met...




I will be spending the weekend listening to my favorite Prince songs and the groups he influenced (Morris Day, Jesse Johnson, Shelia E, Wendy and Lisa, The Family).



RIP Prince. 
You will be missed,
Monica








Monday, April 18, 2016

TSA Went THERE!

I went to visit mi hija in Chicago over my Spring Break last month. I was happy that I was able to go because I had walking pneumonia a few weeks before my trip.

 I headed to the airport about an hour and a half before my flight. There is construction at the Cleveland Hopkins airport and I didn't want traffic to cause me to miss my flight. I had no idea traffic would be the least of my worries that day.

I printed my boarding pass at the United Airlines kiosk and headed to the security check point. My papers and ID were checked and I went on my way to the x-ray machine to be body scanned. I took off my shoes and put my luggage and purse in the bin. After the scan two female agents told me that I needed to go with them for a full cavity search. What?!?

*Image via Freedoms Phoenix.

I was immediately scared. I knew I had done nothing wrong. Why was I being pulled aside? I froze. I didn't even ask any questions. (I should have asked what was going on).

The younger female TSA agent put on a pair of blue gloves and told me she would be applying pressure to the inside of my vagina and anus to check for contraband. I felt violated. No one has the right to touch me there without a medical degree or a close intimate relationship.

I remained silent the entire time. It was as if I left my body and I was standing there watching this woman search my private parts. After she finished the TSA agent informed me that my hands had to be tested for explosive residue. There was none of course, but I started shaking with nerves while walking for the test results to come up on the screen. The entire experience was awful. There has to be a better procedure for intrusive screening practices.

I will not consent to having a full cavity search again. If you refuse you aren't permitted to board your flight. I understand why these searches need to be conducted, but the system is flawed. The TSA agents need more training. There needs to be more education of the general public. Why was I singled out? Did I have on the wrong outfit? (Black shirt, scarf, black sweater, blue denim jeans and black leather mules).

I still feel violated. I am hesitant to go back to the airport any time soon. I am nervous about being pulled aside for no apparent reason. I hope this never happens to me or
another innocent person ever again.

Changed forever,
Monica

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Personal March Madness

Life is full of ups and downs.

-Walking pneumonia made me miserable. I had to miss a few days of school. I should have remained at home for 2 weeks. I only missed three days. I tried to keep a smile on my face and a positive attitude.

-Good Friday was not the best this year. I was given a full cavity search at the airport. My vagina is off limits to strangers. I felt embarrassed and completely violated. I had done nothing to deserve this treatment at the hands of the TSA agents. I will not go through this again.

-Despite the beginning of my trip to visit my hija in Chicago, we had a wonderful time. My hotel was fabulous. I finally got the much needed rest my body needed. Plus spending time with Brianna fills me with joy!

-ALICE training begins at work on Monday. I'm not ready. It's a shame we even have to participate in active shooter training at a middle school. Ay.

-If you haven't checked out Dr. Pimple Popper (Dr. Sandra Lee) on YouTube, you are missing out. Her videos have lessened my insomnia. I am sleeping better than I have in years. I'll write a post about her next month.

-Spring is here. I found four beautiful tops while shopping in Chicago over spring break. Still looking for a dress. Black or navy blue would be perfect!

-I haven't been on social media much over the past couple of months. Any form of pneumonia is physically and emotionally draining. I'll be back. I miss you mucho.

-My doctor gave me a prescription for Singulair. Not sure if I'm going to take it. If you have any personal stories about this allergy medication, por favor share. Necesito ayuda :).

Abrazos,
Monica