December 30, 2008

Tuesday smiles

I pretty much think our niece is the most adorable little girl in the world. I dare you to disagree.

December 29, 2008

What a wonderful world...except not for Bambi

Ahhh.  What a life I have.  I am lying in bed, covered up with my fluffy comforter, watching Anthony Bourdain, Bella curled up next to me.  

Oh yeah, can't forget the sweet fact that I am also capable of BEING CONNECTED TO THE INTERNET while in this ridiculously comfortable position.  

I am totally bragging, I know.  I try not to do it often, though.  And I am just so flippin' stoked about my new computer - I really can't help myself, and I'm sorry.

However, lest you think I am just living an insanely charmed life full of "xoxo's" and sugar and spice and everything nice, let me assure you that all is not completely right with my chi ("you're fucking up my chi" - name that movie).  

SK is out tonight.  Not that that is a big deal.  We have our own lives and go out without the other.  It keeps us sane and balanced and ultimately serves as a reminder of how much we both like to have the other around.  So he's out.  I'm not whining.  He will be out all night.  He will be out until probably sometime around 1 or 2pm tomorrow, at which time he will return to the house tired, smelly and maybe a little bit more wild and manly.  Why, you ask?

SK is hunting.

HUNTING.

He is on his way to get up before sunrise and shoot stuff.  

My world has just been flipped upside down.

Now, I am not an advocate for the NRA or anything, but I am not against hunting.  I think that if it's your thing, then it's your thing.  As long as you do it legally and aren't wasteful with the animals you hunt, you and I are square.  It's just not something I ever in a million years imagined SK being interested in.

Just goes to show ya that even after living with a person for a few years and thinking you know everything about them, they can still shock the hell out of you.

I am afraid that this first hunting trip is going to be like getting a tattoo - once you've experienced it, you don't want to stop.  You crave the sensation and dream of the next time you'll get to feel it again.  I am afraid that he will come home and start to have fantasies of being in the woods, chasing a deer down and doing it in with his bare hands, wearing nothing but a loincloth.  

Do me a favor tonight, Internet; say a little prayer to whatever higher power you dig that SK makes it home ok and intact.  My neighbor, the instigator of this whole event, is an experienced hunter and promised to keep him safe and not let him shoot his eye out.  I told him he better because having SK in the hospital for the next few days would really fuck up my New Year's Eve plans.

December 28, 2008

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...

I appreciate all the comment love I have gotten this week, via SITS.  You all really made me feel special and although I have been a jerk and haven't yet visited all of you in return, know that I will.  This week is about catching up on the replies and paying it forward by visiting more blogs.  

I have spent this week hanging out with family and enjoying the break from work.  I get back into my regular routine tomorrow, with a quick break mid-week for our New Year's Eve party.  We're expecting anywhere from 20 to 40ish people, so I'll report back about THAT on Thursday or Friday.  Hopefully, I will even remember to use my snazzy new camera and I will have pictures to post.  Not like last night, when I completely forgot to bust it out and capture some memories.

My younger brother, Vinny, left for boot camp today.  He will be joining the Air Force, and I am so proud of him.  We threw him a going-away party last night at my parent's house and it was a great success.  Most of our best friends from high school were there, minus a few that were out of state or sick.  People I haven't seen in years showed up to see Vinny off and wish him well on his newest adventure.  He had a great time and was stoked to see so many friends.  

A great night with family and friends.  Lots of fun and laughter.  The last night with my little brother, the civilian, before he returns my little brother, the Airman.  Not a single effing photo.  

Sometimes, I suck real bad. 

December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas, ya'll

I am blogging from my very new, VERY cool MacBook, courtesy of SK.  It was a huge surprise, since I thought I knew the big gifts we were exchanging - a new camera to share and a Garmin navigation thingy for each of us.  He bought the MacBook for me weeks ago and hid it at a friend's house so I wouldn't accidentally find it at home.  Thanks, SK!  I love you long time.

I hope all of you have a great day with your families and enjoy the holiday.  Merry Christmas!

December 23, 2008

Snowy snow snow

Not TODAY, unfortunately.

These are photos from last week's snow fest! It coated everything (except the ground) and turned the outside white for a few hours. I doubt it will snow again anytime soon, considering today it was 70 degrees out, but a girl can dream.

Probably the only time in my life (in TX) that we will have a roof that resembles snow-peaked mountains. See the snowflakes in the air?? I was so stoked.

Here is our back patio furniture, with a good inch or so of icy powder covering it all. Our chairs don't match. Whatever. Don't judge me.

Here is Bella being freaked out by the snow, but not so freaked out that she won't try a bite. Nom nom nom.

Aaaaaand here is Bella, trying to get the fuck out of Dodge. She'd had enough and was looking at me like I was insane for wanting to be outside with the camera. I could call her a wimp, but in her defense I DID have socks on.

December 22, 2008

Early Christmas

So I am still totally on a high from being chosen as a Saucy Blogger this week. Tiffany and Heather, you chicks are awesome and have given me such a sweet Christmas gift! Also, you have given me a huge head.

I have a bunch of people leaving me comment love and I even have a Follower now! Good Lord, I am going to be a mess next week when the traffic slows down and things return to normal. So don't leave me, ok? I promise you can all come to my birthday party if you be my friends and hang out regularly.

In the meantime, I figure I will try and post something each day. It's a habit I'd like to get into anyway, so the knowledge that more people than usual are venturing over to take a peek just gives me the extra kick I need to get going.

Since SK bought me a fancy new camera as an early Christmas gift, I'll share some photos. Photos don't chain me to my computer, but allow me to crank out a post with some substance (and also lets me play with Photoshop, which SK bought for me as well). I've been trying to get the hang of the different settings and have failed miserably at digging deep into my brain and yanking out some of that photography knowledge I collected while in high school and college. I took more than a few photography classes over those 8 years, but clearly, nothing stuck. I can however, remember how to develop a photo in a darkroom. I could probably still unload my film in a pitch black closet, too. I got skills.


I also have pretty flowers in my guest bathroom and streaks on my mirror because we usually have one or two friends stay the night each weekend and I am more concerned with keeping the toilet clean for their visits than I am with making sure the mirrors are toothpaste-free. Mental note: buy Windex.


This is Bella. You might have read about her HERE or HERE or maybe HERE. She's a little skittish, a lot hyper and a major drooler, but we love her and think she's pretty cool. She's also become a play-thing for our neice, Ryan, so that's good news. Bella's not a baby-biter.

Thanks, Bella.

One more day of work before Christmas. I am SO thrilled. This has been a long year and I am lookng forward to a few days off to decompress and not think about project timelines and invoicing and meetings. Be back tomorrow.

Peace out, fools.

December 21, 2008

I'm Saucy!

How surprised was I to check in on my little blog today and find that I had 16 people comment on my last post?!

That NEVER happens to me.

I have maybe 4 people read my blog regularly, and they're either family members or good friends, so to have 4 times the traffic come through in one day? I am thrilled!

Thanks to SITS, people now know I exist. SITS, you girls rock ;)

Welcome to my small corner of the Internet. Kick off your shoes, grab a drink, and stay for a while. You might find an F-word in a post or two...just know you've been warned. Come back sometime soon! I'd love to see ya'll again.

Here are a few of my favorite posts:

How I ended up in Texas

Happiness

Meet Bella

Sometimes, I'm an idiot

Thanks again, SITS! So happy today!!

December 19, 2008

Would you capture it, or just let it slip? YO.

Last Christmas Eve while at church with SK's family, Deborah and I got busted for laughing at the bell choir. We got the giggles - you know the kind - and had to turn away from each other in the pew because we were both on the brink of either wetting ourselves, or dying from asphyxiation because we couldn't breathe. We got the stink-eye from Sue, as she thought we were laughing at people coming back down the aisle after taking Communion, but even she chuckled a little when we told her - after the service, when we could speak again - what we had been so hysterical about.

Over the last few months, I have found a few videos on YouTube that have put the bell choir to shame and this is me, right now, admitting that I would absolutely NOT be able to contain myself if forced to sit in on these services and I would surely die from laughing right in my seat and then likely go straight and directly to Hell.

Turn up your speakers and sit back and enjoy. Things get REALLY insane at 4:07.

December 15, 2008

10 Days

So it's a week a half 'til Christmas and do I have everything under control this year, or what?

Um...what?

Yeah. Our presents are not all bought and wrapped, although we've started, which is a big deal for me as usually I am not out and looking until December 23rd (or later) and so typically you get a little Cheryl Road Rage wrapped up with that cute pajama set you're ripping open on Christmas morning.

We have, however, totally decked the SHIT out of our halls.

The weekend after Thanksgiving we got to work on putting up the Christmas lights, we bought a tree, and we pulled in the boxes of decorations and Christmafied the living room and kitchen.

Last year, we purchased a pre-lit artificial tree for the apartment. We thought it would be easier to deal with and we weren't really sure how Bella would react to a tree in the living room, considering she ate everything alive on our balcony. Turns out, the dog couldn't have cared less about the tree and was actually more put out that it took up the sunniest spot in the living room for a month and could usually be found scrunched up into a little ball, lying underneath it in a pathetic attempt to keep her nose in the rays of sunshine coming through the sliding door. This year, I wanted to get a real tree for the living room, and I thought it would be nice to put the fake tree in the bay window at the front of the house, for all passersby to see and admire.

Bella apparently remembered her sunshine-stealing nemisis and behaved this year just as she did last year.


Clearly, we use our treadmill A LOT. Whatever. Don't judge. We've actually moved the tree onto a box and pulled the treadmill forward so that it's usable again, but still, it sits motionless.

And as I claimed in this post, here are photos of some of the ornaments I made last year.

I want to have an ornament to document all of our Christmas' together. We were together in '06, but not cohabiting, so technically 2007 marks the first year.

This one is a large, clear glass ball, filled with sparkly red ribbons. I wrote "Believe" on the glass with gold paint.

This is a small, gold glass ball with gold, purple and red stripes running around it. The stripes are made out of glitter, which I usually despise, but actually had a lot of fun with last year. I have a few other glittery ones hanging on the tree.

I am a big fan of swirls and loops and pretty much any design that is non-uniform and whimsical. This is silver glitter paint on a small, clear glass ball. These were my favorite to make.

I haven't had a chance to make any new ones this year, but I will get around to it this weekend. I have a few ideas in mind so along with baking cookies and making oreo balls and finishing Christmas shopping this weekend, I will try to squeeze in an hour or so of ornament decorating.

Is it just me, or do the days get shorter as we get closer to Christmas?

December 11, 2008

White Christmas?

It snowed in Houston last night.

SNOWED.

As in, real little flecks of frozen water floated down from the sky and landed on things, creating a thin little blanket of chilly white goodness all over the city.

It was amazing.

Pictures coming soon. I got a new camera (yayhooray!) as an early Christmas gift from SK and I snapped some shots last night. The dog was appropriately freaked out, our patio furniture was covered in snow, and even this morning driving into work I saw trucks with beds full of the stuff.

Of course, today it's supposed to get up to about 70, and I doubt the snow will come again before December 25th, but for a few hours last night, it was definitely beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

December 4, 2008

How you know you're not cool

"Crank Dat" by Soulja Boy comes on and every pre-tween around you goes nuts.

You have no idea what the song is and how they all know the dance. Does MTV still play music videos?

The next song to come on is a song by NSync, when they were in their prime. You brace yourself for the inevitable hysteria.

No one bats an eyelash.

Holy shit. How old am I?!

November 27, 2008

Give Thanks

I have family coming in tonight with lots of cooking to be done at my mom's, and then tomorrow will be spent driving from SK's parent's house to my parent's house to eat a big meal twice. I am sure a lot of wine will be consumed, so don't you worry about that. Also, my laptop is on the fritz AGAIN (can anyone say MacBook?) so I can't write from the comfort of my bed, which is probably just as well since, as I mentioned, lots of wine will be consumed and the last thing I want to do this year is drunkenly blog about what I am thankful for and how I am so looking forward to the new year and fresh starts.

This is a re-post from last year. Here's to a decade of Texas Thanksgivings. Enjoy!



I love the holidays!

I love everything about them. The shopping, the deciding, the returning, the wrapping, the food, the gifts and yes, even the family.

Especially the family.

My family is insane. Really. They are nuts.

But that is what makes them SO! MUCH! FUN! They welcome everyone, whether they know you or not, and within 15 minutes will have you rolling on the floor in a puddle of your own pee because you are laughing so hard you think you just might die. And you would die with a smile on your face, so see? They’re awesome.

My family is big. My mom is the middle of 5 kids, all of whom now have their own spouses and children and pets and issues, and my dad is the oldest of 3 with all of the same. Take off the shoes. It’s ok. I know there is a lot of math to be done there.

Holidays in California were always spent with ALL of the family. Occasionally there would be an aunt/uncle/cousin group missing because they were Air Force or Navy and living in some exotic locale like the Philippines or Hawaii for the year and couldn’t come home. But usually there were all of us, crammed into my grandmother’s 3 bedroom house, with food EVERYWHERE and babies crying and drunk aunts laughing and uncles filling up water bed mattresses with air for the kids and dogs to jump on.

We even celebrated Veteran’s Day like this. I’m not lying even a little when I say that any excuse for my whole family to get together was one big freaking party.

So you can imagine how sad our first big holiday in Texas was. It was Thanksgiving and we had been in Houston for about 2 and half months. I remember feeling like our 4-person family was so small. So tiny. How would we be able to celebrate without everyone else?

My mom cooked like she normally did, which meant we had Thanksgiving leftovers for 5 months because she cooked for 37 people instead of just the 4 of us. The cooking of the food was always a big deal in our family. I remember everyone getting together at my grandma’s house the night before Thanksgiving and helping out and it being LOUD. There was laughing and singing and dancing and yelling and it was fantastic.

It was just too quiet that first year, on the night before Thanksgiving. My mom was cooking, using her mom’s recipes and trying so desperately not to cry into the sweet potatoes. Vinny and I were moping around, as usual, and my dad was trying to keep everyone’s spirits up by convincing us that a holiday without the rest of the family would be fun and new and exciting. As you would expect, these attempts at perking us up were met with A LOT of eye rolling and heavy sighs.

As a last ditch effort to pull us out of the funk we were all in my dad threw my new Santana single, Smooth, into the CD player and started dancing around with my mom. And she laughed and started dancing too. Vinny and I held out through the first rotation of the song, gaping at my mom and dad like they were crazy, but when we realized my dad had set it on repeat and turned it up even louder than before, we folded and started jamming out with them.

That night is my first real happy memory of Texas. And it still amazes me that it came out of a time when we were all so sad and lonely for our family in another place.

Every year, no matter where we are living at the time, my brother and I get home with enough time to help cook the night before. We put on Santana and dance around the kitchen and celebrate the fact that all 4 of us are together again. And for that, I am so thankful.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone! Eat more than you should, drink until your nose goes numb, and love the hell out of your family.

Because really, everyone needs a little crazy in their lives to be grateful for.

November 26, 2008

How to make me putty in your hands

Welcome me home with a clean kitchen

Do all the laundry. All the time.

Clean the house for MY family because you know it will bug me forever if it's not just the way I like it.

Ask me, on YOUR day off, if there is anything you can do for me while I am at work.

Sigh.
I heart you big time, SK.

November 25, 2008

No stopping in the EZ Tag lane

Thank GOD the traffic was light this morning.

I was cruising along in the fast lane coming up on the toll booth, admittedly not really paying attention to what was going on around me because I make this drive 5 times a week at 7am and honestly I am usually still half-asleep but that's ok because I am pretty sure my car could get me to work all by itself, when out of the corner of my eye I saw this little silver car driving sideways ACROSS the lanes of traffic.

She and I were about to make a 90 degree angle with our cars. Bad news.

I don’t know what happened with her car - possibly she spun out while trying to change lanes...on the completely dry concrete? - but she flew across at least 3 lanes of traffic (all the EZ Tag lanes that are moving significantly faster that other tollway lanes) and stopped right in front of me, just short of hitting the concrete median. I saw her coming across traffic and immediately started braking and then SLAMMED on my brakes and proceeded to skid and squeal for about 40 yards until I finally stopped about a foot and a half from her car. The guys behind me were watching the whole thing and backed off when they saw I was braking hard and were in no danger of hitting me. They jumped out of their car when I stopped to make sure she and I were ok. It wasn’t until I stopped that I realized I had been holding my breath and my heart was pounding. I waved the guys by me, telling them I was fine, and they ran to her car and she rolled her window down.

Guess what?

THE BITCH WAS ON THE MOTHERFUCKING PHONE.

November 20, 2008

Writer's Workshop

I generally try not to vent on here. Maybe I should so you could all get to know me a little better, but honestly, SK is such a great sounding board that I don't usually need to. He lets me bitch and moan and grumble about anything and everything and then hugs me and tells me it's going to be ok and it's awesome because then I don't have to write here often about things that piss me off and can instead write about fun and light things like how I'd like to quit my job to sell turkey legs on the river and how my dog sometimes hates me and tries to kill me with her farts.

And it allows me to tragically abuse run-one sentences.

But this week, I need to let it out. I feel like a "freakin' one-woman circus" (name that movie) and I am ready to throw in the towel.

I need an SK hug.

So my slow descent into CrazyVille began a few months ago and will hopefully end soon and then I will be rid of it forever and ever, Amen.

What is the result of my anguish and pain, you ask? THIS. HE'S who I have been obsessing over for the past 3 months? Ugh. And boo, casting team. Boo.

**Sometimes I'm dramatic. I do what I want.

Go HERE to play and write about something that bothered you this week. Or choose another prompt. Do what YOU want.

November 19, 2008

I'm vain. So?

I posted the picture of the New Hair in the previous entry because I wanted you all to see the Violet comparison. Also, I am working on being comfortable with the fact that I am no longer a size 0, and that sometimes I have days I would rather not document with a camera. But the truth is, I have those days. And I sometimes don't wear makeup to work. And I am pale almost to the point of being translucent right now. And that day, in that picture, I was definitely feeling the after effects of the bottle of wine I consumed with Sarah while watching Grey's the night before. But it's all about growing and being honest, with you, strangers in my world, and myself.

BUT, because I am a liiiiiittle vain, here is a better picture of the New Hair:

I'm working on it. Vanity doesn't just go away overnight, people.

November 13, 2008

But...I can't go invisible *Updated*

I have been bored with my hair for a long time now, but I mean how ENTERTAINED can you really be with long, brown-sometimes-red-in-the-sun-and-definitely-not-the-same-color-at-the-roots-as-it-as-at-the-tips, hair?

I usually have Chandra's professional hair-cutter sister cut my hair, but the other day at work, I got squirrely and just went for it. Translation: I got super frustrated at work, needed a distraction, caught my reflection in the window and decided to take my aggressions out on my completely innocent head of hair and get bangs. Hello, TGF Haircutters.

Also, I box-dyed it. Dear Jesus, please don't tell Chandra's professional hair-cutter sister. She will chop me to bits with her scissors. Really. I am afraid.

I got home last night and dried my hair. I walked out and asked SK what he thought. He smiled wide and said, "You look INCREDIBLE! Get it? Like The Incredibles? You look like Violet!"


Because Melody asked, here is the hair, via camera phone...

Too bad Halloween has come and gone.

Writer's Workshop

The prompt from Mama Kat that I chose this week was to write a haiku about something I see out my window.

From my office:

Dreary, dismal, grey
Can't wait to get home to warmth
Love waits anxiously

Aaaaand since I spend a ridiculously large portion of my life in my car driving TO and FROM my office (and because sometimes I am a brown-noser), I present you with a second little ditty:

Brake lights, I curse thee
Blurring into waking hell
F you, Houston traffic

Go HERE to play!

November 11, 2008

Proud Sister of a (future) Airman

My younger brother will soon be joining the Air Force, and I am so proud of him. He's making a hugely brave decision to join a branch of the armed forces right now. One that he isn't being forced to make, like so many men before him were. He is going in of his own free will and is confident he will come out a better person for it. Through all the craziness the past few years, I've been lucky enough to not see any family members go overseas to fight. Now, that possibility is very real for my little brother. If I were to say I wasn't scared for him and for his safety, I would be lying.

To all the veterans, thank you for what you do and for what you have done. For those of you away from home, may you all return safely to your loved ones. Our prayers are with all of you.

November 10, 2008

Listen!

Ah, music. The world would be BLAH without it. I thinks it's so interesting how one song can mean so many different things to everyone. Songs that make me happy might make someone else sad, and songs that got me through some really tough times in my life might make other people want to slam their head into the wall. It's all how your interpret it, man.

Most of my earliest memories involve my mom singing and dancing around the living room, or riding in the car with my dad, watching him beat on the steering wheel to the rhythm of whatever was on the radio. My uncle plays the guitar and piano and sings, so holidays in California were always full of music. I've always been into classic rock, but my musical horizon has been widened expansively since the SK era of my life began. He hearts Pearl Jam. BIG TIME. He's into singer-songwriter stuff and music that has a bluesy feel to it. There is ALWAYS music playing at our house.

We love live music and have found some amazing new artists at the various music festivals we've been to over the last almost 3 years, and we've been lucky enough to see some of our old favorites. Ray LaMontagne, The Raconteurs, Iron and Wine, and Ghostland Observatory are some excellent acts we've been happy to lay in the grass and listen to.

If you hop into my car with me and come along for a drive, this is likely what we'd be listening to:


HelloGoodbye. Here (In Your Arms) is my favorite song on this album. I turn it up really loud.

Explosions in the Sky. All instrumental. They rock, and are great to listen to when driving in the rain.

Imogen Heap. She's a weirdo, and I love her. Hide and Seek makes me so so sad I have no vocal talent. She is wonderful.

Yeah, it's a soundtrack. So? TV Carpio's rendition of I Wanna Hold Your Hand thrilled the pants off me, and the gospel version of Let It Be made me a weepy, bawly mess. Great movie, even better music.

Dave. No matter how many albums this band puts out, this one will always be my favorite. I love everything about it, even the cover art, and can still remember hearing Ants Marching for the first time and being BLOWN AWAY by Boyd Tinsley's sweet violin skills. I've had this CD so long that one of the tracks no longer plays, and the black front of the disc is rubbing off.

And finally, the Holy Trinity:



Really, what's a drive in the car without a little ROCK?

What's your favorite type of music? What do you like to jam out to in the car? What do you put on during the weekend while you're hanging out at home? I love finding new stuff - share the love!

November 7, 2008

When I smell like alcohol, just let me cry

Living where we live has certain advantages - we're close enough to the city that going downtown on a weeknight is still do-able (although my little hungover head might argue that the next morning), we have a YARD, and we live really close to a lot of our friends and all of our family. And when I say "really close to a lot of our friends," I mean that some of them live (or will soon live!) within 1.5 miles of us.

That means we all drink a lot on the weekends and can walk home if we need to.

That also means that we can have impromptu (who am I kidding? I start planning a week in advance) get-togethers during the week. Namely, Thursdays with Sarah and Dustin. Sarah and I are Grey's Anatomy (Grey's, to the hip) fans. SK and Dustin are anything BUT Grey's fans, so they send us off to the bedroom with our wine to watch our show while they do manly things in the living room like wrestle with the dogs, or watch baseball, or braid each other's hair while talking about their feelings.

Wait. Whaaat...?

The 4 of us have tried to get together each week and trade off houses and dinner duties. Last night, the party was at our house. Did anyone else besides us BAWL YOUR HEAD OFF through the scene with the elderly husband and wife?? We were sobbing. SK and Dustin could hear us from the living room and thought we were joking, we were crying so hard. It might have had something to do with the wine, too. Maybe.

I ran to the store on my way home for some last-minute stuff, and ended up being detoured to Wal Mart because the line of traffic to turn into Kroger's was 10 years long. I ran into WM, waved off the cart hander-outer, and grabbed my bag of salad, bag of shrimp, bulb of garlic, and Nilla Wafers. I headed to the check out line, but then thought, "You know what? We have no beer. What if SK and Dustin want some beer?" So I turn around, head down to Aisle 13 (why do I know this, you ask? Oh, just you wait and see...) and go to quick grab a 12-pack. Bottles and cans were the same price, so I grab for the bottles, thinking I'll be classy that way. Too bad I didn't notice that someone had already opened the side of the beer case. I pulled the case up and suddenly a beer bottle waterfall was happening right in front of my face. And right in front of my khaki pants.

11 bottles of beer shattered and spilled out at my feet. Which were in flip flops. My previously dry pants were now SOAKED from the mid-thigh down in cheap, light beer. The noise it made was spectacular and drew curious shoppers from surrounding aisles. Now, it takes a lot to embarrass me usually, but last night, standing in a slowly-widening puddle of beer, drenched from the thighs down, exposed feet completely wet, I wanted to sink into the floor. Or dunk my burning face in a bucket of ice water and pray for the moment to be over.

I didn't want to move because I was afraid of slipping and falling on my butt. Also, there were shards of broken glass all around me. Thankfully, a WM employee walked by at that moment and saw me, frozen, surrounded by enough beer to fill a kiddie pool, and came to my rescue. I thanked her for the help, she didn't demand I pay for the beer, and I hauled ass off the aisle and to the check out line, all the while hearing "Wet cleanup on aisle 13" resounding in the store around me.

As I was paying the checker just laughed, shook her head and said, "you better hope you don't get pulled over--you smell like a bar." I glared at her, swiped my card, and walked out.

Carrying a 12-pack of cans. Oh no Beer, you will not defeat me.

6 Things v.2

I was tagged by Melody to list 6 things I love. Have I mentioned how much I love being tagged? And it seems to always be sweet Melody that does it! Just so you know, I think she rocks.

Here, in no particular order, are 6 things I adore:

1. Apple desserts. Apple pie, apple crisp, apple sauce, apple Jello (is there such a thing? If there is, I know I would love it). Anything apple. Add a little vanilla ice cream in there and holy geez, I'll be yours forever.


2. October in Houston. I have spent the better part of the last 10 years griping and bitching about how much Texas weather sucks balls, and just this year can I say I actually LOVE the weather during the month of October. It was cool enough to keep the windows open most nights, the mornings were crisp, and the humidity was low. I am officially a big fan of October.


3. Dial's new Yogurt Honey Vanilla body wash. Oh my heavens, this stuff is divine. I bought it because my skin gets helplessly dry during the winter months (weeks?) here and not even my arsenal of Bath & Body Works lotions do anything to alleviate the itchiness. This stuff claims to "Refresh[es] Thirsty Skin." OH BOY, DOES IT. I've been using it for 3 days now and I haven't had to apply any lotion to my arms or hands. Also, it smells amazing on my skin and I have found myself randomly sniffing my forearms throughout the day. I haven't even worn any perfume the last few days because the smell of the body wash makes me sublimely happy.

4. American Eagle Boyfriend jeans. I am a jeans and t-shirt girl. I am thankful every day that in my office, getting dressed up consists of putting on my "nice" jeans, wearing a less casual than a t-shirt top, and heels. I bought these jeans last month when Saul was going through his "reinvent our wardrobe" phase and we were going shopping like, every weekend, which for me is kind of a mild form of torture but I was really in need of some new stuff so I went along and didn't complain. Much. I hate shopping. I hate the lines, I hate trying things on, and I hate that I can no longer go into any store and pick up anything I like and KNOW it will look good on me. Because of these reasons, I haven't bought staples in my wardrobe, like jeans, in YEARS. I saw these jeans and (UGH) tried them on and fell in love. Usually, I don't go for the pre-destroyed look either, but these were too cute and fit too well to pass up.


**By the way, I am not getting paid to mention either of the above 2 products. I wouldn't mind if Dial or American Eagle contacted me about being a spokesperson, though. Just sayin'.

5. Crawfish boils. I can't wait for late Spring, when the crawfish are back in season. It might look weird--a bunch of people sitting around a table, dismembering boiled "mud bugs," eating their tails, and then sucking out their brains--but don't knock it til you've tried it. It's very much a social event and to me, there is nothing better than gathering a group of friends and family around a rickety picnic table covered in butcher paper on an evening in May for a feast of crawfish, potatoes and corn on the cob. Oh, and beer. There MUST be cold beer.


6. The Twilight books. SHUT UP. I am ridiculously in love with Edward. RIDICULOUSLY.



I tag: Liz, Heidi, Sorrelle, Chandra, Karen, and Mama Kat.

**That last tag is really more of an experiment. I totally heart her blog and read it all the time. She has a ton of readers and a bunch of regular commenters and I want to be like her when I grow up. She occassionally comments on my blog and I feel super important when she does. Will she or won't she respond to the tag?!

PS: Mama Kat, I am not a creepy stalker, I swear. Really. I just totally dig your sense of humor and sweet photoshopping skills. Be my friend?

PPS: Sorry if that "be my friend?" came off as desperate. I'm not. I really don't care if you respond to the tag or not. I'm too cool for all this anyway. WORD.

PPPS: Shh...don't tell anyone, but I totally do care.

November 5, 2008

Change


I was told at an early age by my grandmother that neither politics nor religion were topics of polite conversation and I guess that's stuck with me because I've never been too savvy (or interested, quite frankly) on either subject.

And then I met SK. Son of a preacher man. Liberal Democrat through and through.

No longer could I avoid the issues that I'd been so blissfully blind to for 22 years. He's helped me understand the things that were being discussed in the campaign and since I GET what everyone is talking about now, I felt really invested in this election. It's historical and I feel incredibly proud to have been a part of it.

Gobama.

October 28, 2008

Writer's Workshop Wednesday

Sigh.

I didn't do my homework again last week. Gaaawd, I am a worthless blogger. And now it's time for the excuses:

We had company this past weekend. Our friends from the far, far North came to visit. We trade off states each year and this year was their turn to travel, regardless of the fact that they would now be traveling with a 7 month-old (heh). We're jerks, I know. BUT, they did travel with a 7 month-old to a ridiculously clean house, which is why I didn't write anything last week. I swear, my house was cleaner this weekend than it's been the whole time we've lived here, which, le gross, but whatever.

When we spend time with Ryan and Leah, The Northerners, it's a party. We stay up all night, consume mass quantities of the booze, and do crazy impulsive things like drive two hours to a lake at 5am after staying up all night. While towing a boat.

This visit, there was no boat-towing, no staying up all night, and Leah was sober the whole weekend, but it was still a great time. It was crazy to see them with a baby, mostly, I think because we weren't around for any of the pregnancy, so last time we saw them we were all able to be immature and irresponsible and then this year, BAM! They grew up and made a kid. The baby was cool, real happy all the time and totally in love with our dog (which I always dig in a person--if you like Bella, you're A-ok in my book). It was fun to be able to play with her and then hand her back over to mom and dad when she (or I) got fussy or bored. It was really awesome to watch the sweet little family they've become. It's our turn to visit next year, and SK and I are already stoked to make a winter trip so we can check out the snow and the ice-fishing and watch as Leah flips her shit when Ryan straps baby to his chest and takes her out on the snow mobile. Hee.

And everyone who knew that The Northerners were coming this weekend, and that we were keeping a baby in our house for roughly 72 consecutive hours have all asked, "Awwww, see? Doesn't it make you want to have a baby now?"

The answer is still a solid, resounding NO. Get over it, people.

Also, we went to the Ray Lamontagne concert. UH-MAZING. Seriously. If you haven't heard him yet, you're missing out and I strongly suggest you go buy his new disc. The show was at a smallish venue and felt very personal and intimate. My only gripe was that he didn't play "Shelter," which is my absolute favorite Ray song and the song SK and I have said we will dance to at our (eventual) wedding. Other than that, though, the show kicked major ass.

So, Ms. Mama Kat, this week I write to explain why I haven't written. Is that copping out? A little, yeah. But I'd have written this post anyway and I liked the prompt so I figured, why not? I'll be efficient and roll it all into one nice little bundle. Also, as stated previously, I am lazy so this covers THAT.

In my less lazy moments I write for various reasons - it's cathartic, I enjoy feeling like I might have made someone laugh, it keeps me the tiniest bit tied to my one-time dream of being a famous journalist, and I like telling stories.

Sometimes I just get in the habit of only telling one a week. I'll work on it. Really.

October 21, 2008

Thanks for noticing

Some of you might have noticed my blog was down over the weekend--thanks for the texts; made me feel important. If not, then you suck yeah, it was down over the weekend.

Because I'm an idiot.

SK teaches high school. His kids are effing nosy. They thought it would be fun to Google his name and see what they could find. Guess what they found?

The first organic Google response when you typed SK's name into the Google bar routed you to this blog. Because a year ago I wrote a gushy post about how we met and our first date and I used his full name. Yaaaay me.

So I had to delete the post so that Google would see it was gone, and then go through and change his name in every post I mentioned it. Which was a lot. Like, almost every single one. Arg.

I hate high schoolers.

October 15, 2008

Writer's Workshop Wednesday

Hi blogland. My name is Cheryl and I am a loser who doesn't do her homework. Please don't judge me. One of the reasons is because I am busy working on tons of fun stuff for one of my very best friend's wedding and you can go HERE to see proof of that. The other is, well, I'm easily distracted. I love to read blogs, but sometimes get so caught up in laughing at all the funny things ya'll have to say, I forget to write anything myself. So really, it's YOUR fault. Quit being so dang funny and creative and interesting and GIVE ME MY LIFE BACK. I'd really appreciate it.

Tonight's homework from Ms. Mama Kat is to write about something I love to create. Since it's obvious that the thing I love to create is NOT regular blog entries, let's find out what it really is, shall we?

I love, love, wanna kiss it all over it's little face and maybe tickle it behind it's tiny ear a little, love to make Christmas ornaments.

Don't laugh.

I even gave them out last year as Christmas gifts.

Sigh. Ok, call me a dork if you must. SK does. BUT, he also sat with me last year, at the table in our apartment dining room, and decorated an ornament with me because he knew how much I hated to do it alone. And that, folks, is one of the many reasons I love this man. Because while he may not always understand how or why my obsessions manifest, he will sit with me while I indulge in one. AND he will even participate. Swoon.

So the ornament thing came about after my mom and I went to The Nutcracker Market, which benefits the Houston Ballet. It's sometime at the beginning of November each year and is a crafty person's wet dream. There are TONS of booths, selling all kinds of handmade stuff, like candles, soaps, Christmas decorations, food, and ornaments. We walked around the market and bought a few things and laughed at a few others and sampled all the snacks. After walking into our first ornament booth, I looked at a clear ball with snowflakes painted on and said to my mom, "I could make that!" The ornament was probably around $12 and after seeing dozens of booths peddling the same type of wares, I turned to my mom and declared, "I can TOTALLY make that!!"

We went to Michael's right after that, bought a few super inexpensive clear glass balls, some paint and some other pretty accessories and I got to work. I looked to magazines and Christmas linens and decor for inspiration. I got Chandra in on the fun and I am happy to report that I filled our whole (fake) tree last year with different sized glass ornaments.

I'll post pictures later on in the year, closer to Christmas. I have ideas for new ornaments this year, and I would LOVE someday to be able to open an Etsy shop and sell them online. However, since I have issues even staying focused enough to write about them (see first paragraph of this post), that someday is inevitably very, very far away.

October 13, 2008

I can't even do my homework...

...but I am now officially managing 2 blogs. Call me crazy, but really, that's my life.

I am a multi-tasker. Like, to the point where I get going doing so many different that nothing actually gets completed. Hey, I don't claim to be an efficient multi-tasker here.

I struggle with this daily because it's not as if I can come into work and get my hands into 20 different things and not actually finish anything, ever. I am learning to reign it in and actually tell my boss that, yes, I am swamped today, and no, I can't take anything else on. Because I have grown up in the past 3 years and have found that this is acceptable in the work place, my quality of work has improved and that makes me a happier person.

At work.

Do I apply this same time-management philosophy to my daily life?

Ummm, no.

Welcome to my newest project
. This is something I am actually going to HAVE to keep up with because I'm doing it to help 10 other girls stay informed on the details of one of the biggest days of my best friend's life. So, yeah, you can pretty much guarantee THAT blog will stay current. AND be super cute, because it's a representation of Sarah and Dustin, so duh, it's gotta be super cute.

And whaaaa whaaa whaa...I'm not crying about anything, so give me a break. I love Sarah and Dustin and I'm stoked about managing the blog. I just want to lay it all out there and let you people know what's going on in my world and why I might be a bit absent from this blog.

So don't judge me if it suffers. Undoubtedly, it will. Instead, just go see what I've done over here and be content in the knowledge that I am still alive and well and haven't tried to paper cut myself to death with a bridal shower invite.

October 8, 2008

Cute suit, but will it pass the Fruit Test?

I am finding some seriously awesome shit on the Internet today, people. It feels a little like Christmas, and I'm loving it.

Don't ask me how I found these places, because really, I don't know. I browse through various blogs and sites, clicking my little heart out, and end up so far from my original entrance page that I often find myself stunned, blinking at the page in front of my face, wondering how the hell I ended up on a site advertising bathing suits you'll look good in while holding fruit.

No joke. The site features videos of models in different types of suits performing different tests such as the "Stretch Test," and the "Frisbee Test," and they all play out pretty much exactly like they sound they would. And then there is the "Fruit Test," which, oookaaay, but HUH? It seriously is a girl in a cute bikini walking toward the camera and bending down to pick up an orange, and then tossing it into the air and catching it with a delighted smile, before turning around and walking back to the place she started, fruit in hand. I don't know about you, but I have never been bathing suit shopping and while picking a suit off the rack stopped to think, you know what? No. Not this one. No way could I look good holding an orange in THIS one.

Maybe that's just me, though.

While I was checking out the other suits and reading what tests they had undergone to be deemed wearable for the 2008 swimsuit season, I found the "Fruit Test," or variations of, applied to a number of different suits. Strangely enough, they were all modeled by the same girl. It makes me wonder if, when she went in for her audition, they asked about her talents and she replied, "I am into walking on the beach, smiling really huge, and drinking Zima. Frisbees freak me out, but you know what I am SO totally awesome at? Throwing fruit in the air and catching it!"

And thus, the "Fruit Test" was born.

Friends don't let friends drunk-email

Remember all the times you went out for a night of dancing (or watching other people dance, in my case) and drinking with friends? You wake up the next morning, reach over and grab your phone, see the "New Message" light blinking and immediately panic.

Who did I call/text last night??

Drunk-dials can be funny and harmless ("You're sooooo my BEST FRIEND! I totally looooove yooouuu!!"), but more often than not they lead nowhere good. The guy you broke up with because of the weird way he pronounced your name ("Hey Cher-ul")? Not so annoying 6 beers in, so how about we call him and tell him that? That of course leads him to believe that you want to work things out and maybe give it another go which is why he is calling you and leaving you messages at 9am on a Saturday.

Why didn't someone just take away my phone? Better yet, why doesn't someone invent a phone with a breathalyzer built-in, that way if I am obviously toasted, I can't dial?

Although it's not for a phone, Google is making strides in the right direction. I've never really jumped on the drunk e-mailing train, but I can totally see how this would be helpful.

Also, just so you all know, I am NOT a cheating floozy. The only person I drunk dial or text now is SK, so THERE. Also, sometimes Sarah. And occasionally Chandra. Aaaand sometimes Elizabeth. But that's it. So don't get your panties in a bunch thinking I still wake up on Saturdays, scrambling to figure out which ex-boyfriend I decided to tease and be cruel to the night before.

PS--Sometimes I also drunk dial my mom. What? You don't?

via Daily Tech

September 26, 2008

Friday Foto

I've been away for a while, but I'm back now! As always, go to Carrie's Place on Fridays to play!

This is my last post having to do with Ike, I SWEAR. And I'm cheating and posting more than 1 picture.

I took these photos with my phone (excuse the quality) Friday evening, as Ike rolled in. 2 weeks ago, this was the scene in Houston, and I looked at it thinking I had never seen a more beautiful sunset and surely this was a sign. A sign that everything was going to be fine and we'd all be ok and this was nothing more than another hurricane scare.



However, one quick look in the other direction, the direction Ike was actually coming in from, and I couldn't help but feel like he was really snickering with glee and rubbing his hands together in anticipation of delivering a much different message.

Cover your ass, Houston. I'm about to jack you up.

September 23, 2008

Ike, Ike Baby

My head is still spinning from the insanity that is Houston right now, but I'm back and we're in extremely good shape after this whole hurricane incident. We still don't have internet/cable/phone at the house, but we have POWER! We were some of the really lucky ones who got power back (please Houston friends, don't kill me) SUNDAY AFTERNOON. And I don't mean Sunday the 21st, I mean Sunday the 14th.

I know!

And yes, we had house guests. And yes, we invited everyone we knew up to the house if they wanted to come bask in the glow of the halogen lights in our kitchen. So we weren't being power hoarders. But we were freaking lucky.

Rewind to the week of the 8th.

The news and weather forecasts were getting increasingly more paranoid due to Ike heading towards the Gulf. We watched, mildly interested, but not making any plans to actually DO anything. Should we go grocery shopping? Nah, we have some bottled water in the pantry. Should we get more batteries? Nah, our flashlights are fine. What about boarding the windows, SK? Are you going to help, Cheryl? Oh right, about that...um, yeah, we don't have trees in the backyard. I think we'll be ok.

Mayor Bill White told everyone to stay home from work if at all possible on Friday--only emergency responder teams should be on the roads. The storm wasn't supposed to hit until late Friday night, early Saturday morning, but people were leaving town and the highways were getting packed. We got a memo from our building managers letting us know our office building would be closed Friday/Saturday due to the risk of losing power and water. I'm not even going to get into the issues I dealt with at work due to Ike, but let's just say that more than once during the whole experience, I called some co-workers some not so nice names and seriously considered just walking out of my office and telling the world of IT to kiss my ass, I am so done with you, just go the hell away already. I worked from home on Friday morning.

SK and I finally got in gear Friday afternoon and filled up the bathtub with water (just in case), threw the patio furniture into the pool, stowed the grill in the garage, and ran out to the gas station to fill up my car and to get the essentials - beer, cigarettes and some Cup 'O Noodles. Hee. I know, I know! We were SO unprepared.

And here is where we show we are complete brain-trusts: We figured that the power would go out, but didn't think it would be out for long. It didn't occur to us that along with power being out, our ice maker wouldn't work. Also, lights and TVs and radios? That all are powered by Ambit Energy and NOT batteries? Yeah...didn't think about that stuff not working when the electricity wasn't, either. I figured we could cook things on the grill, since it's hooked to a propane tank (we ran out of propane before the storm even started...). As I've mentioned before--I've never been through an actual hurricane. The storms here can be bad, but they're not ever THAT bad and I guess I just didn't really expect it to be terrible.

Oh, but it was. OMFG, it was.

It started getting windy about 10pm on Friday. It was nice. Sort of cooling, making my hair fly around my face, and making the leaves swish around on their branches. By 2am Saturday, the wind was so frickin' loud and was shaking the windows so hard, it sounded like a train was coming through our living room. Amazingly, I slept through much of it (no doubt aided by the many beers I consumed earlier that afternoon - hello, Hurricane Party!), but woke up a few times terrified out of my mind that at any moment a tree branch was going to snap off the massive pine behind our neighbor's fence (why didn't I notice that earlier?!) and fly, torpedo-style, through our bedroom window and crush me in my bed. I also was too tired (read: drunk) to be bothered to move into the closet.

SK was up for a while in the middle of all of it, pacing through the house and making sure that nothing major happened, or at least that someone responsible (read: not drunk) was awake to deal with it. Toby was asleep in the guest room, head right below a window that faced a fence that could have easily smashed through the glass. I think at some point, he had the sense to turn around on the bed and throw the covers over himself so that should a large chunk of wood come at him in the night, he would be protected.

We're such good hosts.

We all woke up the next morning about 8:30am to a ridiculously hot house. Our fence was standing. There was one tree in the front yard that was bent sideways, away from the house, but other than that, we were all good. We dodged a major bullet. However, it was still raining, the power was out, we had a leak in the A/C vent in the master bathroom, and the dog wouldn't go outside to pee. What to do? Bust out Risk and Bloody Marys, of course! We played board games by candlelight and drank what was left in the fridge before falling asleep again at 1. One of the two flashlights we own was running low, and I was beginning to get really pissed at myself for not preparing better. We woke up around 5 and decided to drive over to my parent's house since cell phones weren't working and I wanted to make sure they were--you know--ALIVE, thinking we'd get to check out some fallen trees and maybe flooded ditches.

Holy Mother of God.

Spring looked like a war zone. We sat in the car, silent, as we weaved around uprooted 60 ft. tall pine trees, swerved out of the way of fallen power poles, and watched people walking around dazed, looking at their destroyed yards, broken fences and torn up roofs, not sure where to start the clean-up effort. Entire rows of trees were all broken and had fallen at the exact same angle, making them look like a broken line of sticks in a matchbook. No flooding up where we were, just complete destruction from the wind. It was surreal.

We made it to my parent's house and found that not only had my dad started drinking before we did that morning (7:30am), he had not taken a nap, proving once and for all how much of a badass my father is, and also making my family look like a bunch of drunks, which we are not. Ike changed the rules. Day-drinking after a massive catastrophe is acceptable.

No major damage to their house. Their power stayed out a few days longer than ours did, but their neighbor had a generator, so they didn't lose everything in their fridge. SK's parent's were without power about as long (or maybe a day longer) as mine were, but Deb and Wil and baby Ryan got power back Sunday like we did, which is awesome because hot house + no generator = miserable time for anyone, but especially for parents with small child.

Since we were without power and didn't have a radio, don't get the paper, and were without cable, we really had no clue how bad it was outside of Spring. Before I went back to work and had access to the internet, everything I knew about the storm and the days following came from people who had been to different areas of town, or who had heard from friends. Made me feel like I had traveled back in time. Have any of you ever seen Jericho? I know that comparing this to a nuclear war might seem, oh, I don't know, a bit INSANE? Dramatic, maybe? I'm just trying to make a point here. But really, the way the people in Jericho were cut off from the world and had to hear about how things were outside of their town, that's how I felt in the first few days after Ike.

Things are FINALLY getting back to normal around here, which means that my cell phone works again and even though my 60 mile round-trip drive to and from work now sucks 3 hours (!!!) of my life away every day, I am grateful that we came out of this so untouched. There are many people that did not and I can't even imagine how they must be feeling right now. Traffic lights are still out all over the place, stores are open but many still don't have air conditioners working, the grocery stores are back to stocked, and the hum of generators still can be heard throughout parts of the city, but things are getting better. For some, "normal" will be changed forever, and their lives will be forced to make a drastic left when they thought their next turn would be right. And I am reminded again how lucky we were. Are.

Thanks to those of you that have checked up on me. I've missed you all ;). I've also neglected to turn in 2 homework assignments from Miss Kathy, and have missed out participating in the Friday Foto Fun that I so love. I'll be back to normal again next week. For now, it's time to gear up for my ridiculously long drive home and enjoy a weekend of pretty weather and a VERY strong drink. Or 7.

September 18, 2008

Quickie

We made it out of Ike alive and relatively unscathed. I will post more about the experience sometime soon, but right now I am so tired of talking/watching/hearing about the storm and all the devastation it brought to the area that I need a few days to regroup. Saul's dad's birthday party is tomorrow (happy birthday!), so that will provide a nice distraction.

Ike, you whooped my ass.

September 12, 2008

Forecast: Craptastic

So the Texas Gulf Coast has been evacuated. I'm sure you've all heard. It's all that the news anchors talked about all day yesterday in Houston and everyone was talking about it at work. The parking garage of our building emptied out pretty early (guess who was there til 5:30?!) and co workers talked about where they were going to go to ride out the storm. Our building even announced a mandatory closing for today and tomorrow. Can't get in. Not safe. Stay home.

I'll admit, this one seems a little more serious than the others. I've been watching the progress on the news and cripes--Ike looks like a bonafide motherfucker of a storm. I've mocked those that go through all the insanity that is preparing for a hurricane, but this time, I will raise my hand and stand up all, Hey you! Back there! Got any water you can hook me up with? Also, can I get some gas?

It wasn't until yesterday at 2pm that I realized how absorbed everyone was with tracking this hurricane. A co-worker and I were discussing what the plan was for work the next day and he looked over my shoulder out the window and asked, "Why are the flags at half-mast? Because of the hurricane?" I glanced behind me and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Yesterday was September 11th.

I could not believe I had completely neglected to recognize the date. Everyone was so frantic about the weather, even the news anchors that morning hadn't mentioned anything about the 7th year anniversary. I was flooded with guilt.

Most everyone can remember exactly what they were doing the moment they heard the news about the Twin Towers. I was leaving my first class of the day, my freshman year of college. I walked back to my dorm, still half-asleep, and noticed a group of students gathered in the lounge area, watching the news, talking about some sort of explosion in New York City. I remember thinking, I need to call Danielle, a friend of mine from high school that was at NYU. I walked past them all to my room to take a quick nap before my next class. My roommate came running in about 3 minutes later, screaming at me to turn on the tv and why wasn't I watching, didn't I hear what happened? We sat in our room for the next 2 hours and watched in complete disbelief. What the hell was going on?

I remember hearing someone say that Austin was a target for a bombing since the President's daughters went to school there. My boyfriend at the time was also at UT and I couldn't get in touch with him because the cell phone traffic was ridiculously maxxed out. Classes were canceled and lots of people went home to be with their families. I spoke with Danielle and she sent us terrifying photos she took FROM HER DORM ROOM WINDOW of the planes in the towers and the explosions and then the towers falling. For months, I couldn't look at those pictures without feeling like I was going to throw up.

I felt so ashamed yesterday that I hadn't thought once about the date. That I hadn't taken a moment yet to remember the images seen in the days and weeks and months following. Instead, I was wondering how I was going to flush my toilet should we lose water and how many days REALLY could I suffer eating canned meals should the electricity go out.

To all the men and women who fight each day to keep our country and our freedoms safe, thank you. This might be coming a day late, but I mean it with all of my heart when I say that you are all amazingly brave and selfless and I admire you. A million times, thank you.

September 11, 2008

Dear God...

...forgive me for all the jokes I have ever made about Houston's craziness when it comes to hurricanes. I apologize and understand I was a jerk for all the smack I've talked.

Please don't cave my house in.

Amen.


**To all of you in the path of the hurricane, please be safe! Stay inside and keep your loved ones close. See ya Monday!

September 10, 2008

Writer's Workshop Wednesday

As it is each Wednesday, go visit Mama Kat and magically get transported back to your favorite English class.

I am sooo becoming a slacker in my old age. I want so badly to participate and be a good student and turn in the work, but I haven't got the time to write a lengthy essay on any of the 3 topics. DAMN YOU, JOB. I'm doing it anyway.

Here is my rushed assignment result:

Teacher Issues

I have only ever had 1 issue with a professor/teacher. Well ok, 2, but the time my British Lit. professor called me a "brainless sorority girl," and threatened to fail me for alleged plagiarism (which I did NOT commit, by the way), I kind of went a little berserk and may or may not have written her a strongly worded e-mail, calling her incompetent and accusing her of wasting my (parent's) money, and threatening to go to the Dean to report how uncomfortable I felt, what with her pushing her personal religious beliefs (she was Jewish...not that there is anything wrong with that!) on our entire class.

I am pretty sure that was more scary for her than it was for me.

For the record, she apologized, and I made an A in the class.

I was pretty much a big dork in high school and all my teachers loved me because I did all my stuff, and in college I more or less tried to blend in and flirted my way to a higher grade when I got desperate and had skipped too many classes to actually EARN my A.

However, the moment in time that will forever be burned into my memory as The Moment I Realized I Hated School, was my first day of first grade at Thompson Elementary School. My teacher's name was Mrs. Williams (or Mrs. Henry, or Mrs. Edwards...it was Mrs. "Man's First Name Here"), and she was a gigantic specimen of a woman. She was loud and covered in makeup, and I honestly don't think she liked kids much.

I was never a clingy child, but that first day, my mom could not peel me from her thigh. I wasn't going in. Mrs. Man's First Name Here was terrifying.

She stood at the door and beckoned us all in by crooking her finger in a "come hither" motion, while chanting "Come IN, my Pretties," like the Wicked Witch from the Wizard of Oz. I was a bawling mess before I even crossed into the classroom.

I sat in the back row and sobbed in horror with another little girl named Ashley. We would bond in those first few miserable days and remain best friends through 8th grade, occasionally reminiscing about the nightmare that was the first month of first grade. We got yelled at and we were called "weak" if we tried to hug her or if we didn't know the answer to something. It was wretched.

MRS. HARDY! THAT was her name! Yikes. The pure recollection of that gave me chills. Mrs. Man's First Name Here? Whatever. Clearly, there are portions of that time in my life I have trained my mind to block out.

Anyway, the whole Mrs. Hardy thing ended rather anti-climatically. We all went home on a Friday, anxious to be free of the witch that held us hostage all week long, and when we come in on Monday, we were greeted by a smiley, beautiful, blonde woman named Ms. Wattenburger. No matter none of us could pronounce or spell her last name through most of the year--she was happy and young and pretty and she let us color and never yelled and HUGGED us. We were all in love.

Ms. Wattenburger would later become Mrs. Tolerico (she was nice, but she looooved to torture her kids with the hard last names) and remain a favorite teacher of mine forever. She saved us. She treated us all as her own. She was a Godsend for 24 little 6 year-olds who's careers as school-haters were very much on the way to being solidified.

Thanks Ms. Wattenburger/Mrs. Tolerico. I hope you're doing well.

Mrs. Hardy, frankly, I do not care how you've been, but I do hope that you no longer cackle like a witch when speaking to very small children. It's more damaging than you know.

Yo Houston, get with it

For those of you that check out the list of blogs I follow (look left), you'll notice I have a few new additions, one of which belongs to Matt Logelin.

Matt's story is heartbreaking and heartwarming, all at the same time. His wife, Liz, passed away the day after delivering their baby, Madeline. Matt is now a single dad, mourning the loss of his wife, while reveling in the new joys his baby girl brings.

He has a bunch of people following his expedition into fatherhood, and they've decided to mobilize and do something to help out. September 21, people all over the US will be participating in the Liz Goodman Logelin Memorial 5k Walk/Run. In Houston, assuming Ike doesn't wipe out the Texas coast, we'll be down in Kemah. Let me know if you're interested! Also, if you're not in Texas, go to his blog and check the comments to see if someone from your area is participating!

Also, go here for more info. She has all kinds of stuff linked, like how to submit pictures and how to order cool shirts.

You've also GOT to check out the super sweet ROBOT.

September 8, 2008

Honey, this guy said I won!

I won! I won! I WON!!


I won an award. For blogging. For writing about how I am feeling about a particular topic on a random day, or for telling you stories about how I once lit my car on fire, or how I beat up boys.

Or, as Heidi put it (in not so many words), how I have managed to completely master the use of profanity in every day story telling.

Thanks Heidi, for awarding me my very first blogging award.

Who would have thought I would win an award for TALKING? This blogging stuff rocks.

Some background on the super award I just won:

The Oops Award was created and is to be given to bloggers who inspire others with their humor and their talents, also for contributing to the blogging world in whatever medium. When you receive this award it is considered a special honor. Once you have received this award, you are to pass it on to others.

The rules for passing this honor on:

1) Pick 5 blogs that you would like to award this honor to.
2) Each award has to have the name of the author and also a link to his or her blog to be visited by everyone.
3) Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award itself.
4) Award-winner and the one who has given the prize have to show the link of “Oops” blog, so everyone will know the origin of this award.

So YAAAYYY HOORAY me! I think I will take the day off and sip mimosas while letting SK fan me with palm fronds by the pool.

I'm going to award this nifty little guy to the following bloggers:

Step Into My World: It makes me so happy when you update your blog regularly--kill more time in the airports!

The Askew View: Holy crap, you've got opinions. Your blog spreads awareness and I love it. And I love phone dates with you, even though I suck at keeping them.

I Love Cats. No Really, I Do.: Reading your blog is JUST LIKE talking to you on the phone, so I still feel connected even though you're far away in grad school land. You're shameless about posting pictures and professing your love for your kitties, and even though I am not a cat person, you crack my shit up.

Kicking You From the Inside: Because new bloggy friends always deserve a "nice to meet you" award. Your blog is hilarious, and the photos of your kids are super sweet. See you Sept. 21!

Candid Carrie: The story you posted in the comment section of this blog had me rolling on the floor laughing. Your blog is witty and clever and I love reading it. Yay phun Phridays!


Also--thanks a bunch to all the new visitors! I haven't been great at commenting back to all of you who have stopped by, but I blame that on my lack of internet access at home (I am DYING without it), and the fact that I have to check your comments from my Blackberry, write up a new post at home on my un-Internetted laptop, save it to a USB stick, and then upload the post from the stick to my computer at work (shhhh...), and post it super quick in the morning. I will get better at showing the love as soon as someone can come over and fix my router issue. I will pay all those interested in the job in the form of cookies or Cheese-Its. Your choice.

September 5, 2008

Friday Foto

This is a photo of the 2007 Crane Christmas Party (1st Annual!), and includes all of my very best friends from high school, with some new additions. There's a lot going on in this picture and I'd like you all to note 3 very specific things:

1. Keith's face (guy 3rd from left). He is clearly in pain, as Aaron has just "nut-checked" him.
2. Aaron's face (guy 4th from left). He is grinning as only one on the giving end of a "nut-check" is wont to do.
3. SK's costume (back right). Yes, it's his Speed Racer outfit. Yes, I am aware it's not Halloween. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, that's MY prize.


Just kidding, SK. You know I love you...foo.

Go to Candid Carrie to play every Friday! There are some great photos linked to her site. Thanks, Carrie, for giving me purpose each Friday ;)

September 3, 2008

Writer's Workshop Wednesday

Go HERE and play! I read her blog every day, but I didn't participate last week which means I am 1 homework assignment behind. It's cool...I was always a bit of a rebel anyway.

Ok, that's a HUGE lie. I am actually quietly freaking out over here about the fact that I am a homework assignment behind. BEHIND! I was such a dork in school that I did extra credit work because I thought it was FUN. Yeah yeah, make your jokes...I'm ashamed of me too. Fortunately, I am cool (lazy?) enough now that I am going to accept this and move on. I'll consider myself a new student, which means this would be my first real assignment anyway. SO THERE.

Letter to a 10 Year-Old Me

Dear Cheryl Ann,

You don’t know me yet, but you will. I’m 25 year-old you, which I’m sure is just blowing your mind right now, but we’ve always been one to catch on to concepts easily, so just go with me here. I’m here to tell you that while we’re not President of the United States (yet…? If this is still an aspiration of yours when you’re 18, I will caution you to probably not do anything in college but sit on your bed – alone – and do all of your homework…those tabloid people dig EVERYTHING up. Definitely don’t pledge Gamma.), we’re still kicking some major ass in this world!

Some tips for you:

1. You will be forced to go on a shopping trip with Dad right before 7th grade starts because Mom is out of town. Sounds fun, right? You KNOW he will buy you anything you want, and he does, so get excited about that. Problem is, you have absolutely NO TASTE at this point in our life, and you end up buying 3 striped XL Unionbay shirts in different colors. Devastatingly tragic. Please browse through a few fashion magazines before you embark on said shopping trip. You have a few years still to prepare. Also, take this shopping trip as a sign that Dad might be a little color blind. Be sensitive to this for the rest of our life.

2. You have wasted approximately 2 years of our life trying desperately to straighten out our hair. It’s got a lot of natural wave that activates at the slightest mention of humidity or rain. Let the hair run free…it’s not worth trying to catch up, and that guy you will like in your Chemistry class in 10th grade? He prefers curly hair anyway.

3. Be nicer to girls. They’ll be your biggest supporters and greatest allies in the issues we face later on. Try to learn now how to develop relationships with them—this will help later.

4. Start asking NOW to begin shaving our legs before 7th grade starts. Trust me on this. You might not care now, but if you don’t begin putting the pressure on to do this before you start Jr. High, you will be called all kinds of names due to the hairy legs. If you don’t get annoyingly persistent about it now, the parents won’t let you shave until after 7th grade is over, by which time the nicknames will be set in stone.

5. In the name of Jesus H. Christ, please appreciate the trip to Scotland we’ll take in 3 years. No, we’re not moving there, so quit the whining about how the “Coke tastes different” there, and how “pigeon is on the menu!” It’s a delicacy in many countries, you uncultured brat. Also, try a little harder to score some wine while you’re there or possibly some Scottish whiskey, you square.

6. We will experience the greatest heartbreak of our life (thus far—as for 25.5 and beyond, I can’t say yet) at 15. October 3rd is going to be a day that you’ll hate for a very long time. We move to Houston on October 3rd, 1998. This is going to hurt more than anything you’ve ever experienced before and honestly, I don’t know how to make it better for you, even now. Trust me, though, when I tell you that the parents didn’t do this TO us. They did it FOR us, and you have to try not to hate them for it. Our friends in California are still friends of ours today! All of them! Do your best to enjoy your time with them in the next 5 years and be grateful everyday for a group of wonderful people that love us and will miss us just as much as we miss them. Instead of shutting Texas out and mourning our life in California, be friendly. Despite the moodiness and bitchiness you throw around (which is not a good look for you, by the way), we made some amazing friends that probably would have been at our side earlier were it not for the perpetual death-ray glares we shot at everyone for a year. Know that you will get through this. Know that Mom and Dad do understand, and they didn’t mean to hurt us. Know that this is a place you’ll eventually grow to love, and it’s ok to let it become a part of you. Also know that even 10 years after the fact, the thought of the move still sometimes makes us cry, and that’s ok too.

7. Don’t stress out so much about finding a job when you graduate – we find an awesome one in the IT field, and you’ll love it. Mostly.

8. Your money-saving issue? You know, how you CAN’T? Yeah…that never changes.

9. You’re going to join a sorority. Don’t scream. You actually have fun.

Love,

Cheryl
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