April 30, 2008

Almost May Day

It's funny how people's ideas of great ways to celebrate their birthdays change over time.

When I was in college, my birthday always fell during finals week, or right before finals week. This posed a major problem and usually resulted in me shuffling around a final or two so that I could spend the whole day of my birth at the river, and then party that night without having to worry about getting up in the morning (or next 48 hours) to take a final that I definitely didn't study for because, duh? I was planning my birthday party.

Now that I am out of school, my birthday has become less of a ONE TIME BIG PARTY event and is now something I stretch out into a MONTH LONG FUN FEST since I always have to work on April 30th. And I know I shouldn't, but I feel guilty calling in sick on a Wednesday just to sit at home and enjoy the fact that yes, I have made it to the next consecutive year on the timeline, damn you work ethic. Besides, none of my friends have the day off either and how much fun is hanging out alone on your birthday?

Also, since friends are now scattered all over the place and not within the two square miles of the TLU campus, it is necessary to have more than one birthday party so that I can celebrate with all of those lovely people who would like to celebrate with me ;) Thus, the multi-weekend birthday festivities.

I find it interesting too, the things that become more and more important to me each birthday. No longer do I worry about what I will GET for my birthday, although presents and such are nice (I wear a size 7 shoe, for those wondering), it has become far more important to me to just spend time with the people I love and the friends I don't see often enough. It's great to get calls and texts and facebook and myspace messages from friends all over the US that I won't get to spend the day with this year, or any year, maybe. It really is amazing how much it makes my heart happy to know that, even though I am aware of the birthday reminders on myspace/facebook, my friends took the time to show they were thinking of me.

So this is to you, sweet friends, who have made my birthdays something to look forward to each year. I love you all, and miss those of you I don't see often or EVER. Thanks for thinking of me and stopping by to say hi, birthday reminders or not. You guys really made my day.


April 28, 2008

If I don't change my mind...

Yesterday evening I was on the phone with my mom, talking to her about the weekend. SK was half asleep, on the couch next to me and could only hear one side of the conversation, obviously...

Mom: "So do you still want to go out to dinner on Friday for your birthday?"

Me: "Yeah! Definitely. I'm pumped."

Mom: "I'm guessing we all already know where you want to go..."

Dad (in the background): "Sweet, Babins!"

Me: "Yeah, I am guessing that is what I will want to do, I mean unless something totally crazy happens this week to make me completely change my mind and not want to."

At that point I can see SK pop up on the couch, motioning for me to turn to look at him.

SK, with a concerned look on his face: "What are you talking about? What do you mean 'if you don't change your mind about it?'"

Me, giving him a confused look: "I'm talking to my mom about where I want to go for my birthday dinner...I'm thinking Babin's. That ok with you?"

SK, heaving a huge sigh of relief and sinking back down into the couch: "Oh Jesus...yeah, of course Babin's is fine. I thought you were talking about changing your mind about buying the house with me."

So yes, SK and I bought a house. We close May 5th! Housewarming party, anyone?

April 25, 2008


SK is babysitting this morning. Deb had to go take care of an old traffic ticket and didn't want to go through the whole process of taking baby Ryan down to the courthouse with her so she asked me on Wednesday if SK or I possibly had the day off today. I told her that with the way work is going right now there was no way I could take the day off, but she should ask SK and just see. I knew he would say yes...he is so in love with that little baby girl, there is no way he would have said no ;) So she asked and lo and behold, guess who is taking the day off work to hang with his niece?

He got over to the house at about 6:15 this morning so that Deb could show him where all Ryan's stuff was and how to make her bottles and all that jazz. I called him at 7 when I was leaving for work.

"How ya doing over there?"

"Fine (big yawn) , but she's not sleeping like Deb said she would be."

"Oh no? So what are you guys doing?"

"I'm doing nothing. She's being all...squirmy."


"Yeah...squirmy...she's being squirmy."

"Hmmm...ok...so what time will Deb be home?"

"I don't know..."

**At this point I can hear Ryan in the background, making little noises and starting to whimper a little. SK starts talking again with a little panic in his voice.

"Shit, I gotta go. Now she's being squirmy AND making noise. No kids for us. EVER. This is already too much for me."

April 23, 2008

Always check your pants

I was listening to the radio on my way to work this morning and heard the end of a conversation about this story. The dj's were asking people to call in and tell them about weird animals or bugs they had found in their houses. People were calling in with all kinds of odd tales (ha) of creepies and crawlies that had gotten into their living spaces and all of a sudden I was shot back to my freshman year of college and the terrible, horrible day I didn't check my pants.

My freshman year was spent mostly hanging around my aunt and uncle's rental home on the golf course off Lake McQueeney. I was mopey and sad and angry all the time and being at their house was my way of getting away from "stupid, crappy Seguin" and being with people who loved me for the shitty pouty 18 year-old I was.

I always did my laundry there (or Uncle Chip would do it for me...hehe) and would end up spending the night because I would stay so late getting it done. I would fold my cleaned and dried clothes and stack them back into my laundry basket until that was full and then I would stack the folded clothes on the floor next to the basket.


I woke up one morning and went to put on a pair of jeans I had washed the night before. I grabbed them from the bottom of the stack of clothes sitting on the floor and took them into the bathroom. I slipped my legs into the jeans and was zipping them up when I felt
something on my right thigh. I shook my leg a little and IT moved down to my calf. All the hair on my body was standing on end by this point and I was frantically shaking my entire lower half, trying to get whatever IT was the hell off my leg. I was obviously screaming because I could hear my aunt asking if I was ok from the other side of the bathroom door.

Finally, after the longest 5 seconds of my life, I gave one last panicked shake of my leg and out flew the offending THING.

It was a SCORPION.

my pants.

It looked like this.

After stripping the rest of my clothes off and jumping into the shower to rid myself of any other scorpions that might have taken up residence on my person, I went through each article of clothing that had been stacked on the ground and shook it like a maniac to make sure no other scorpions were hiding out, waiting to attack me. There were none.

The pants scorpion was squashed (sorry, Right to Life bug activists) and some obsessive research was done on my end. Apparently the type of scorpion that had camped out in my jeans was pretty common in Texas (shudder) and they all like dark, warm places, like piles of clothes just out of the dryer. It wasn't a particularly poisonous type of scorpion, but the articles I read stated that the sting could be pretty painful. Bullet dodged.

After that horrifying experience, I went through a phase where I would leave NOTHING on the floor, not even my shoes. I moved everything in my dorm room up as high as I could get it and put piles of folded laundry on the counters in my aunt and uncle's house. I started warning my friends to check their pants when they put them on. I got laughed at a lot for that, but guess who has never found another scorpion in her jeans?


April 18, 2008

T-Minus 12 days

So just today I realized that in 12 days I will be 25.

Twenty Five.


I am sure that there will be some sort of reflective post coming in the near future, but right now I am just in complete awe of the fact that I am coming up on my 25th birthday.

Twenty five.

I am undecided about my feelings on this.

April 9, 2008

Smash Mash

There is a deli in my office building, right down the hall from our suite. It's changed ownership 3 times in the 2.5 years I have been with the company, although the current owners have definitely been there the longest at almost a year.

When they moved in, the "deli" was little more than a cooler of drinks and a rack of candy bars and chips. They served lunch everyday, but it was less than great--usually just a ham sandwich on semi-stale white bread with a wilted lettuce leaf and a packet of mustard and mayo on the side. In the past 6 months, though, they've cleaned house and brought out the big guns. It's a family run place, so I think they must have fired the lame cousins running the joint and decided to recruit Momma to do the cooking.

This place is straight up soul food.

They cook the most amazing things down there. Goodbye gross sandwiches, hello chicken fried steak.

Hello thighs, too.

I have tried to cut back on the number of times I eat there in a week, and have started choosing healthier options. They always have steamed vegetables, they make great salads, and there is usually grilled chicken. Not as exciting as homemade mac 'n cheese, or homemade fried EVERYTHING covered in homemade white gravy, but y' know...

Speaking of exciting, as of late they have tried to spice up the vocabulary in their menu. They e-mail out a menu each morning with the lunch choices for the day. Normally, these came in standard list form. However, in an attempt to be flashy and different, they have apparently busted out the thesaurus to aid them in showcasing the meals of the day.

Just a few gems from the morning e-mails:

Zesty Beef Stroganoff
Seculent Smothered Pork Chops
Mouth watering "pot roast" smothered in carrots and potatoes
Smash Mash Potatoes

There are more than a few things I find just hilarious about these listings. A) Zesty Beef anything makes my stomach lurch. Why is the zest necessary? What are you trying to hide in that stroganoff? B) What is Seculent? C) They list lemonade every day as a drink choice. Why, on April 3rd, was it necessary to make the ADE stand out? I bought it that day just to see. Nothing particularly exceptional about it. Bummer. D) "Pot Roast." Like, maybe it's not really pot roast? Um... E) Smash Mash? I just like to say it.

April 7, 2008

Early morning carbs

I received this e-mail from SK at 8:09 this morning:
So, I was still getting ready this morning and I heard Bella clinking some metal around in the den. What could that have been? I yelled for her. She came running in to the bathroom quickly as though she'd been caught. What was the noise though? Can't really beat her, I mean, punish her if I have no reason. I looked at dog to ask her. No need though. She had mashed potato on her face, stuck in her hair. Idiot had dug her face into the last remains of baked potato on the plate in the den. Busted.
I started laughing so hard I almost fell out of my chair. Such a smart dog, our Bella.

April 3, 2008

Some things never change...

I am the worst procrastinator ever. It’s really ridiculous. I will wait until the last minute to do almost everything.

If there is a major natural disaster? Yeah, I am not your go-to girl. I will definitely be one of the sad few scrambling around the local AM/PM, fighting a child for that fruit pie she just picked up because there is nothing left to eat and I waited until NOW to try and horde a stash.

You can call me a planner, but “prepared in advance” has never been a phrase tossed in my direction. I far prefer the idea of being ready and prepared to the actual act.

Which is why I found myself sitting at the dining room table this morning, hair wet, eyes barely open, reviewing the reports I should have evaluated LAST NIGHT.

I had vivid flashbacks of sitting in the kitchen of my last college house, at dawn, frantically flipping through an entire notebook of anatomy terms. It was my last class EVER and I had to pass to get my degree. I wasn’t in any real danger of failing the course, but I was in serious trouble for the final that was in 2 hours that I hadn’t studied for because “I can do it tomorrow” made the test always sound so far away. Suddenly, tomorrow had become now and there I sat, panicked, trying to figure out a way to remember all of the bones in the hands, vowing to never ever wait until the last minute to do anything ever again.

Obviously, the lessons learned in college have totally stuck with me.

April's Fool

When I was in my junior year of college I pulled what I thought was a harmless April Fool’s prank on my mom. About 17 frantic phone calls later, one of which was to the Dean of my school, I have forever sworn off April Fool’s Day.

That was the year I was the Vice President of my sorority, which basically means I was in charge of planning all the parties and benefits we threw, and designing all the t-shirts we wore and sold. It was a great job and I loved it.


There were definitely more than a few nights when I would rant and rage to my roommate about how ridiculous the rest of the sorority was being about picking out a shirt or deciding on a theme for a date party and how I was soooo stressed out from planning whatever 14 keg party happened to be coming up.

I know you're all laughing.

It’s ok. I laugh about it now too. However, that year? That year I took it all VERY SERIOUSLY.

Also, that year the girl who was President was completing an internship in San Antonio, which meant she was pretty much never around. She was going to school to be a CPA, so spring was a really busy time for the firm she was interning with and a lot of the typically “presidential” duties fell down to me that second semester.

To add to the insanity that was the second half of my junior year, the Dean and Provost of the university were taking strict measures against any and all hazing violations by the fraternities and sororities. Being a small community, TLU life outside of the classroom really revolved around 3 things—sports, Greek life, and drinking. If you weren’t involved in one of those 3 activities on a regular basis, you probably commuted into Seguin from San Antonio, and were married with 3 kids.

So, like I was saying, Greek life was a big deal on campus. However, we were fiercely proud of the fact that we were all “local” fraternities and sororities, which meant we held no affiliation with national Greek organizations and did things a little, um, differently than the big names did.

We hazed the shit out of our pledges.

While there were stories all over the news of such and such fraternity getting kicked off UT campus for hazing, little old TLU kept on truckin’. 50 miles south of the schools that were getting national attention for swatting their pledges on the butts with wooden paddles, we were not phased.

**I need to note here that girls do not hit each other. I was never hit by a sorority sister with anything the whole time I was a Gamma. Except possibly a beer can, and I am going to blame hours upon of hours of drinking for that.**

So a big part of the spring semester was “Pledge Season,” during which time we would subject the poor freshman girls who only wanted to be a part of our sorority to psychological abuse for the duration of the semester.

That sounds really dramatic and mean. Really, it wasn't so bad. Mean, yes, but no real harm done.

Regardless of how harmless we viewed the actions, these were all things we could have gotten in really big trouble for by the Dean and Provost. We knew this. Did it stop us? Heck no! It motivated us to become more stealthy about we made the girls do. I’m not going to spill all the details, but just know that it sucked for the pledges. And for the actives, there was always the possibility of being found out, which made everything feel a little dangerous.

Right before April 1st, our brother fraternity got busted for hazing. Their charter was taken away and they were no longer allowed to represent their fraternity on campus. This made local and area news, so of course my parents knew what was going on and what it meant for the boys who had gotten in trouble. One more offense for any of them, and they would be expelled from TLU.

The night of the 1st, we were hosting a benefit for the organization we raised money for and I got a little tipsy. We started talking about pranks we had pulled in past years and somehow everyone got it in their heads that it would be a great idea to start calling our parents and playing jokes on them. It was 11:30 at night. On a Thursday.

When it was my turn, I called my mom and when she picked up I said the first thing that came to my head.

“Mom? I’ve been expelled.”

“Huh?” She had obviously been asleep.

“I’ve been expelled, Mom,” I repeated, trying to make my voice shake like I was really scared to be reporting this news to her.

I could HEAR her sit straight up in bed. “WHAT?! WHAT HAPPENED?!”

In the calmest, most even voice I could work up, I went into this long pitch about how because the girl who was President wasn’t on campus, I was in charge of the sorority and some of our girls had gotten into trouble for hazing the pledges and because I was the authority figure for the group, I was going to be punished along with the offending hazers. I think I may have even let out a little sob in the middle of it all.

It took a moment for her to react, but when she did all I got was a flat, deadly sounding, “I will call you right back.” And my mom hung up.

I froze. What the hell?

Turns out, she was calling my aunt in California, who knew some people on the Board of Directors for the school. She told my aunt what happened, my aunt called me (thank GOD, before she called anyone on the Board of Directors) and I had to tell her that it was all a joke. She told me very sternly, “You need to call your mother.”

I kept trying to get a hold of her and she kept hanging up on me, telling me she was getting the number to the Dean and that I needed to go talk to her immediately.

This had gotten really out of control.

Finally when I got her to listen to me for longer than .05 seconds, I shouted “Mom, listen—APRIL FOOL’S!!”

Needless to say, she was not amused, and I no longer play April Fool’s jokes.

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