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.

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?


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


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


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.

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