April 30, 2009

Birthday visitor

Along with "Happy Birthday" calls, Facebook/MySpace messages and e-mails (thanks, by the way - you guys ROCK!), I received an unexpected visit this morning.

I took the dogs (we have Mica again for the week) out to go to the bathroom before I left for work and spotted something in the pool.

Disclaimer: Please ignore the crappy landscaping around the pool. It's a work in progress.

The THING was small, so at first I thought it might just be a leaf that had sunk to the bottom, which, weird...we have no trees around the pool. I took a step closer to check it out.

Still puzzled by the sunken leaf/THING, I stared a little harder, willing it to identify itself.

Then, it MOVED.

Yep folks, that would be a real-live crawfish, swimming around in our pool. WTF man? We have no bayous or rivers or creeks running behind our house. None of our neighbors have recently had a boil. The flooding earlier this week didn't wash masses of water INTO our pool. I have no frickin' clue where this little dude came from or how he came to be in our pool, but he seemed quite happy to be there.

Our pool guy comes today to clean and chlorinate the water, so I left Little Buddy in the pool for Jeff to find. I'll be curious to know what he did with him - flinging him over the back fence is what I assume will happen...

April 28, 2009

April showers bring...lots of insurance claims

If you've been watching the news you might have noticed, squeezed between the urgent updates about the outbreak of Swine Flu, that southeast Texas is floating away. It rains a lot down here, but really, what has happened in the last 16 hours is ridiculous.

The forecast for the week was rain, rain, and more rain, but that's nothing new. The year that my family moved to TX, it rained every single day for 27 days. I thought we had accidentally moved to Seattle. Except that there were cows in the pasture across the street from my house. Do they have cow pastures near residential areas in Seattle? My only experience with the area is the knowledge gathered from reading and watching Twilight...and actually, that was Forks, not Seattle. And actually, I am a huge nerd for knowing that. I don't care. I HEART EDWARD.

So rain. All week. I was bummed initially because DAVE! is Friday and we have "lawn seats," which really means we get herded into the amphitheater with the masses and choose a spot of grass to plunk down on. Rain all week = soggy "lawn seats." Boo. No matter though - I can stand for a 3 hour DAVE! concert because that's how much I love him. However, I became bummed about the rain for another reason last night about 6pm when I received a text from my neighbor while on my way home from work:

Road is flooded. You can't get home yet. Chill for a bit.


The HELL?! Chill where? I was on the highway, trying desperately to see through the pouring rain, braking like a madwoman because as I have said before, when it rains in Houston everyone loses their F'ing minds and forgets how to drive. Where exactly should I CHILL?

I called him back and asked wtf was up and he reported that our street was flooded. Like, was over the sidewalks, flooded. I certainly wasn't making it around the corner and into my driveway. After a call to SK, a few texts and frantic phone calls with the neighbors, I was on my way to park my car at their daughter's daycare center. I met up with the neighbors, who came to rescue me in a truck. We drove through the high water (really, no exaggeration, my car would have FLOATED through that shit) to our houses and saw this:

Our house is to the left - you can't see it, but that is our yard, flooded right there on the corner. The Savior Neighbors' house is directly across the street from ours, where that IDIOT Scion is hanging out. Homie thought he could make it through the high water, forgot he was driving a tin box on training wheels, and floated up and over the gutter right in front of the neighbors' house.

We rounded the corner and since the Scion was blocking their driveway, we pulled their truck into ours.

Right at that moment, a genius family in a Jeep came careening around the corner and floated right up and over the curb on the other side of the neighbors driveway. I told you. Rain + Houstonians = Instant Brainloss.

The Jeep fixed itself and kept on truckin' down the canal that was formerly known as our street. I kept snapping away with the camera phone.

The Scion wasn't totaled, but knew it was too wimpy to make it down the street, so they pulled into the neighbor's driveway and walked to their house. They came back later and picked up the car. About 5 minutes after I took this picture, a smarty in a super nice BMW cruised through and flooded out her car. She had to climb out through her sunroof. THEN, she locked her keys in her car, so when the tow truck showed up a few hours later, it took FOREVER for them to get her loaded up and towed away.

The water receded almost as quickly as it came up and by 9pm we were able to retrieve our abandoned cars from the daycare parking lot. It was quite the Monday night in Houston. Driving into work this morning, there were alerts of high water all over the city and highway feeder roads and exits were blocked off. Traffic wasn't too bad, as most people stayed in to wait out the morning rain, but everywhere you looked was flooded and there were empty, floating cars all over the place.

It's not raining right now, so I am hoping the weather people were wrong (as they typically are in TX) about the week of wetness. Dry lawn seats...too much to ask for on Friday?

April 27, 2009

So a-PEEL-ing

This week is a big one, folks. Lots of stuff going on, lots of events to attend and lots of people to see. Also, lots of candles to blow out.

I turn 26 on Thursday!

This is a weird birthday for me - not because of the age or anything, but because I haven't been hyping the day up this year. Usually, I start celebrating my birthday on April 1. That's right. I give myself a MONTH. What? You're just jealous you didn't think to do that until now.

This year, though, I have been busy with other stuff and this week just kind of crept up on me. I have been working on stuff for S & D's wedding, mostly. SK and I hosted a Stock the Bar party for them on Saturday. 60 or so people came over to drink beer and margaritas and play washers by the pool. It was a great evening and a sneak peek at how awesome that wedding is going to be.

In preparation of the party, I started tanning. I had grand plans to wear a bright colored sundress and look totally cute. Too bad the first time I plopped down in the bed was the first time my body had seen any sun (real or artificial) in about 6 months. Too bad I stayed in the bed WAY longer than I should have. Too bad I got SO burned that my skin was peeling off in sheets by Saturday morning. I spent Saturday night in shorts and a shirt with some sleeves, because really, no one needed to see the mess that once dreamt of being a smooth bronzed back. Sigh.

We're having SK's family over on Tuesday night to eat pizza and watch the Astro's game on our new TV. Oh right - did I mention that we bought a 54" flat screen? We went into Best Buy for a vacuum and came out with a home theater setup. And no vacuum. We totally have our priorities in order.

Friday night we're going to Dave Matthews with Deborah and Wil. I AM SO PUMPED! It's been 2 years since I have seen them live and I can't wait. I am going to buy their new album this week and memorize all of it. I have a feeling they'll be playing a lot of the new one, as it is kind of a tribute to their saxophonist, who passed away after only being able to record a few tracks. Also, I will be buying a shirt. Concert tshirts make me happy.

Saturday my parents get home from Singapore, and after we pick them up from the airport, we're going to meet up with some friends and celebrate my bday. At a local bowling alley. Because I'm 9. The bday this year is going to be low-key - pizza, beer, bowling, movies at home. No grand plans, no big fanfare. I have been telling everyone I am gearing up for 30. 4 years of restful birthdays to prepare for a huge blowout in 2013. PUT YOUR PARTY PANTS ON!!!

April 10, 2009

Slow and steady

I've been absent.

I promised posts while I was in Tahoe, but the vacation was so relaxing and so necessary, I forced myself to slow down and just BE. I had the greatest time. Blogging was really the last thing on my mind.

I tend to assume a crazy amount of responsibility - this applies to everything in my life (except housework...hee) and more often than not I find myself just exhausted and unable to catch my breath. Even while on vacations, I feel the need to PLAN and GO and DO. I come home from trips feeling like I need a 3-day sleep and wondering why the hell people ever would want to leave the quiet and calm of their own homes.

Tahoe was different. We showed up with no agenda. No one had any expectations, save for skiing at least one day. We had a week to do whatever we wanted.

I panicked.

I started thinking about everything I would be missing out on by not planning my week out in advance. How would I know when we were going to ski? How about snowmobiling? Was that going to happen? I wanted to go sledding too - when would we do that?? Dear GOD, when would I shop?!?!

My problem is that during vacations, I want to do things that I wouldn't normally be able to do in Houston. I tell myself I want to maximize my time in this new and different place and soak it all in and make lasting memories and be able to tell great stories when I come home about that one spring we went to Tahoe. The issue with THAT is that by the end of the second day of the trip, I am so freaking exhausted by all the memory-making, the end of the vacation becomes a blur of traveling and seeing and going. I wear myself out too early.

Not this time. It was slow-paced and rejuvenating. For the first 3 days, we didn't do anything in Tahoe we couldn't have done in Spring. We all spent time together playing cards, watching movies, drinking beer and sitting out on our balcony, looking up at the mountains.

Ok, so THAT we couldn't do in Spring.

Now that we're home, I am trying to slow down. Sleep in on the weekends. Not make plans for every Friday and Saturday night. JUST LAY AROUND MY HOUSE FOR A WHOLE DAY. I'll admit, just typing out those last 3 sentences kind of makes my heart race and I honestly just started thinking about plans for the weekend, but I am learning that with a few deep breaths I can talk myself down from the ledge that is a perpetually full calendar.

I'm working on it.
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