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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's with a side of Christmas

I have been lucky enough to always live pretty close to my family. Even when I was away at school I could afford to come home for a few days to celebrate with everyone. I have NO idea how people do this away from their crazy families!

It is a long story, but basically I came home with all of my Christmas presents still wrapped on the 25th. When I got home from Mom’s to unwrap my gifts alone, I burst into tears! I was super upset when I left her house, and all I really wanted was a hug, but when I got home the thought of it was just BAD!

I called Sis crying and told her how terribly lonely it was to sit all by myself and open presents with my dog. She said she had the same feeling and put all of her gifts in the closet. I am currently staring at mine, all wrapped, under the tree. So tonight, I think we are having Christmas part three.

We will probably open up a little of the gift that A got me, too. It is a HUGE basket of beverages. It has a little of everything! (Sorry, my camera is not working to show you. ☹)

Mumm Sparkling wine, Absolut Mandarin, a Riesling, a Spanish red, Cava, Pellegrino, Pomegranate Soda, Blood Orange Martini mix, and a good mix of beer from “around the world” (from Modelo to Carlsberg to Red Stripe, Harp and Corona just to name a few)

Here is wishing all of you a GREAT time tonight and a HAPPY 2009!!  Have fun and be safe!

Bound to happen

While hanging out with the extended family this week, they found out that I had a blog.  It has been mentioned several times before but, as is typical in our house, it fell on deaf ears.  No one ever did the "WHAT?" head pop of shock, asked what the address was, or read it.  EVER!  Well, let me just tell you that it flew over like a lead zeppelin this week.  

I never really cared because the only people that really "followed" it were my friends that were scattered around the country/world, or former students that have freakish google searching powers.  Now I am beginning to realize that I have people that read it and are just RUDE and never leave comments!  ;) That includes you, my friend!

All of that being said, there will be some changes to the little site in the coming new year.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Just random and fun

After a crazy week, I am really not in the mood to post anything thoughtful or witty or entertaining. Sorry! So, in my lack of motivation, this is what you get. Again, I am sorry that I am suddenly this crappy, slacker blog poster girl.




You Are a Yellow Crayon



Your world is colored with happy, warm, fun colors.

You have a thoughtful and wise way about you. Some people might even consider you a genius.

Charming and eloquent, you are able to get people to do things your way.

While you seem spontaneous and free wheeling, you are calculating to the extreme.



Your color wheel opposite is purple. You both are charismatic leaders, but purple people act like you have no depth.



"Genius" HA! That one actually made me laugh out loud. While I think/hope that most of this is true, I found it interesting when I went back and changed one of my answers. There was one that I was teetering between two choices and when I switched them, it said that I was purple. Which is the exact opposite! I guess that since I laughed at "genius", I think I have "no depth". Oh well.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Who is Murphy?

Updated at the bottom

I got a bone to pick with him and his law!

So last night (read early this morning) as the evil West Texas wind began to blow a monsoon into the city, Ashley and I left Club Overrated. We did our best to walk to the cars against the wind. Easier said than done considering I am the short one of the group standing at 5’11” and we had consumed more wine than ever necessary and Ash’s favorite champagne. I have no idea what she was celebrating. Life, maybe? Thankfully we are all skinny and pretty aerodynamic. We make it to the car and she is fumbling for her keys because mama brought her big purse. I roll down the window to ask if she is good to go, and POP! My window is stuck. Down. CRAP! All I am really worried about is getting home before the rain. I do. It is all good. I wait this morning for the rain to pass and take my car to the shop to get an estimate.

$750!! POOP!

You may remember that I paid off my car in October, got in an accident a week later, paid $500 deductible, blew a tire Sunday night coming home from Christmas at Dad’s, bought two new tires on Monday, and now this. So, by my calculations, since I paid off my car, I have made the equivalent of 3.4 car payments in repair bills.

Seriously, where is this Murphy guy!

Update: I have learned a couple of things tonight. One, it is freaking COLD to drive with your window down! Now, it is not a tundra down here in the south, and as mentioned, I was never great at physics, but driving 80 MPH in wind gusts up to 43 MPH creates a wind chill of like -40 degrees. GOOD GOD!

Two, it is not a good idea to go to a concert and park in a shady place with Lock, Take, Hide signs with your window rolled down. Nothing was taken, but how bad is it that I did not even think about it until I came out of the concert? Oops!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Here's to everyone

And whatever you may celebrate during this time of year. Here is a picture I took of my church after Christmas Eve service. This is where I "grew up" so to speak.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Take my girl card and youth card

No, seriously. Here, have them. Keep them. They are all yours. There are few things that make me “girly”. I do not craft; I build. I do not shop; I shoot. I would prefer a college football game to a craft show any day. I do not complain about my weight and I can literally get ready in 10 minutes. It is a plus when you do not wear makeup and your wardrobe consists of jeans, Chuck Taylors, and anything that is ironed.

As mentioned here before, I do not enjoy shopping. I shop like men…go, get in, get it, and get out. (That sounds far dirtier than intended by the way.) Well, I realized today that Christmas is tomorrow, and I needed shoes to wear to church. All I need is a new pair of black peep-toe heels. My old ones have been resoled twice and will not withstand a third go at the cobbler. I knew it would be tough given “‘tis the season”, but really?!

I went to the fancy mall three miles from my house because fancy people go there. By no means do I fit into this category, but I knew it would be less crowded than the malls with stores like The Gap and Dillard’s. (Nothing wrong with those places, I shop at them, but Fancy Land has Barney’s, Neiman’s, and 7 diamond stores. Enough said)

It was not horribly crowded, but I had a crazy hard time finding a pair of shoes. Why are all the heels out there now like 5 inches high? And platform? I do not swing on a pole for a living! I am sure they look cute on some people, but my chicken legs are not the target audience for this look. Long story short on the shoes is that I settled for a pair that works for work and I am going to try to “dress them up” for Jesus’ birthday.

My shopping trip was capped off with a feeling of “GEEZ! I am old. And not girly”. You see, the very kind gentleman that owns/manages Fancy Land often shuts down stores so that celebrities can shop in peace. It is really nice of him to do, and means a lot to the honored guest. Often times these are only mildly important local athletes or the occasional “B” lister, but today. TODAY! It was…brace yourself ladies…

THE JONAS BROTHERS! AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHAAHHHHHAAHHHHH!

I know. Right.

I heard a mumble or two about these guys as I was power walking from one store of hooker heels to the next. Normally it would not have fazed me, but today I overheard GROWN MEN talking about them. Weird. As I walk into a store, I see a blond blur rushing toward me. She stops and calls my name startled. It is a young girl I know from my teaching era. She is near tears because (imagine a slight valley accent and over dramatics) “her friends A and B had just met the Jonas Brothers and now she will NEVER meet them”. I kinda giggled, offered the best support I knew how, and backed away slowly.

As I begin my next power walk, a crowd of people slows me up. They are gathered outside of a nice jewelry store that is being blocked by a LARGE cop. Not security guard. COP! I glance over my right shoulder and OMG! There they are! All three of them. In all their skinny jeaned glory. THE JONAS BROTHERS! Performing my caring adult duty, I rush back to the store, find the blond blur and notify her of their whereabouts. Off she went. The blur returns.

I then realized I suck at shopping. I never liked boy bands. New Kids, N’Sync, Backstreet, none of them. I cried when I saw Limp Bizkit in concert. Does that count? I also look at the Jonas boys and think “what nice young men”. But yet, I was slightly annoyed that they thought it a good idea to go shopping in the middle of the day, two days before Christmas, at a busy mall where they knew stores would have to be shut down.

Anyway, I got my shoes, made a young girl’s Christmas wish come true, and came out alive. Minus my girl card, youth card, and 2 hours of my life.

Just a side note...in my research for this post, I found out that the Jonas Brothers have 1,110,000 friends on MySpace. Do you feel lonely and friendless now? And who still uses MySpace?!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

End of year... personally

Pretty basic. Pretty simple.
Took a job doing something I NEVER imagined I would do in life.

Paid off my car, paid off the kitchen remodel (in less than a year!), and managed to save a little money.

Took a summer off for the first time in 10 years (odd since I was a teacher) and traveled a bit.

Reconnected with old friends and got to know my family better.

Witnessed loved ones accomplish some big life goals (Bro) and others put themselves on good paths in life (Eb).

I was blessed with a few amazing friends that have taught me that there is good in people and encourage me to focus on the positive (Robyn, Julie, & CL). I used to only do this with one person in my life (you know who you are).

One of the best parts of the year was witnessing and taking part in history with the election season. It did not hit me what a big deal it was until that day, but I am so glad I am here to witness it all.

In the end, 2008 was a success! It can all be summed up with one lyric…I won some and learned some.

And because I forgot to add it to the post yesterday...

Happy Birthday Scott!
Thanks for being around. I know that it is sporadic and honestly, I completely understand. You are a great friend and I really enjoy our dinners out and the times we hang out and watch terrible TV. ;) Here’s to you. Have a great time in the new decade, you old man!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

End of the year... work wise

Well, yesterday was the first official day of my two-week vacation. I cannot believe it is already over. It seems like yesterday was my first day at the new job, but it has been almost 5 months! Usually at this time of year I wipe my tears and sink into my couch in a deep depression because of the fact that I have to go back. This year? I already miss it. After a job where I cried literally EVERY SINGLE DAY, I realize I only cried once these past 5 months. I used to become physically ill from my job and had limb-numbing migraines that would force me to have MRIs. These past few months? I had one. (And it was more from a lack of stress management than from the job itself.)

This new job has allowed me to see the best in people. It has taught me that you can be a leader and be positive. What a novel concept! It has reignited my desire to work hard and continue to learn. I so appreciate both the people I work for and the people I work with…for the first time in years.

Given the economic situation, I am not sure what the future holds for me at the company, but no matter what happens it has been the most fantastic year! I could not be more grateful or feel more blessed!

Now I am off to celebrate!!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

All four in one week

Fri
Sat Sun
Mon




75 69 36 40


51 55 28 22

Here is the forecast for the next four days. I bought a sweater on Tuesday to wear this weekend, but it will not be making a showing until Sunday. It should be noted that I had a half day on Tuesday because of snow that morning. CRAZY, and I love it!

So sorry to all of yall that are buried under 2 feet or more of snow. If you need me, I will be at the pool.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Only missing the cookies

Much debate went into whether or not the decorations would go up this year. It is so much work for a single gal. It is not like my little girl cares if the house is festive. She is a dog for cryin’ out loud! The conclusion was to put up enough to bring in a bit of Christmas cheer, but there is still a box that will not come out this year. My house will serve as a bed and breakfast for the week after Christmas and I want it to look at least a little seasonal. Oh man, which reminds me…some serious cleaning needs to be done before my mom’s side of the fam descend upon the great Lone Star State.

Anywho…here is the tree. Tall, skinny, and overly accessorized with 535 lights. This tree took 3 hours and a dozen 4 letter words to assemble and decorate.

The tablescape…this tree took 3 minutes to assemble and decorate. Hey, it was good enough for Charlie.

Entry table…I cleaned off the mail and three sets of keys for the photo shoot. You're welcome.


Stockings are hung…I am sure Santa will be able to find the armoire. Yes, my dog’s stocking is better than mine, I know. I made it as practice just in case I ever have children.


Top of the armoire…I got all three hurricanes for $6 at an estate sale. God, I love those sales!! That picture to the right is from Christmas last year. My aunt was hell bent and determined to come from MI and surprise my mom at church on Christmas Eve. I think deep down she knew it would be her last trip to see us. Love ya, miss ya Aunt Pat.


The presents are all wrapped and ready to go to their new owners. Except one. Dang it, Eb!

Coffee table…these were a gift from someone I work for this year. They are not really my style and I would have never picked them out, but they are gorgeous when lit and smell delicious.


Oh, and who can forget McSanta O’Claus? He comes bearing shamrocks, blarney, a pot o’ gold, Guinness, and Jameson. No, he is not a crackhead, but he does stay out until March 17th.
So there it is...the casa de cheer. Hope yall got all your decorations out and up despite the 70 degree weather.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Purses, Pizza, and Auctions...Oh My!

Friday night Julie, the Mr., and the Young ‘un came up to visit. We wii-ed. We shopped. We ate. It was great!

The young ‘un and I played Wii Friday night while the Mr. organized his sinister plan for Saturday, and Julie laughed at the ridiculousness around her. I cannot really blame her.

The Mr. headed out early Saturday morning for an auction and the rest of us took our time getting ready. We went to the Land of Handbags & Cheap Jewelry and bought both. We went to Bro’s restaurant and put the Young ‘un to work with the dishes in the kitchen. Not kidding. Bro is so good with kids, he can convince them to bus their own table. Then we went to the town square and craft stores.

Just when we thought the day was done...

We get the call to head to the auction. And pick up a U-haul on the way. WHAT?! Evidently it went well. I will admit that I was a little jealous of the loot the Mr. came away with that day. Not that I was in the market for any of his purchases, but MAN! This guy got a bargain. B-A-R GAIN!

After a U-haul debacle, the trailer was picked up today amidst a marathon, and everyone and everything got home in one piece.

It had been a long day and there were no U-hauls to be found!It was so great to see yall and we need to do it again! Blogher '09?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Which way to confession

Lord forgive me. I have committed a sin for which I know better. Maybe not a sin according to the church, but it is one for this recovering Catholic.

I went to Target. Tired and hungry.

It could have been ugly. But my Target is GHETTO!! There was a list involved, but it did little good.

The first stop was to the seasonal section. WHAT WAS I THINKING?! I wasn’t. Thank God when I got to the grocery side of the store it was as if people were preparing for Y2K again. Seriously, look at this!
Is there a natural disaster I am unaware of here?

The only stuff on sale is still on the shelf!

Did I mention that I was in a time crunch? Basically, it turned into a game of Supermarket Sweep. The prize at the end? Well, this week’s dinner menus consist of Princess fruit snacks, spaghetti o’s with beef franks, goldfish, and generic hot chocolate. But man! My tablescape will look super cute with the new ornaments. It took 15 minutes to decide which ones to finally buy.

P.S. -- This was not the 100th post I was hoping for, so I am going to wait until the 100th post of 2008. I think I can make it before New Year's Eve...stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Attention Black Friday Shoppers

Hello fellow midnight madness shopper! It was great getting to know the back of your car, oh you back there, and your headlights shining into my car, too. Did you know that your brights were on, cause I sure did. Well, after staring at your bumper to avoid going into a seizure because of your brights in my rearview, I am glad that the hour plus of literally inching into the parking lot is done. We have all three found a spot. It is 1:15 in the morning. Let the shopping commence! Lovely not chatting with you one because we were in separate cars and two I do not speak Korean. Have fun!

On to meet new friends. Why hello crazy ass that drove no less than three hours to get a plain green sweater on sale for 20% off. It is so good to see you spending your hard earned money in my state. How about those low gas prices? Great, huh? You enjoy that sweater with a little Ralph Lauren polo horse monogrammed on it. Well, see you in forty-five minutes when I will walk past this store and you will still be in line. Have fun!

Oh look, an adorable child in a stroller. WAIT! IT IS 2 AM! WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR KID DOING SHOPPING?! Is 40% off really that big of a deal? Please take her home and her eight or nine year old brother too. Please stop chastising them and asking him to stop crying. Just imagine you are an eight-year-old boy and your mom wants you to try on clothes at 2 am! Nothing says fun like that scenario. GO HOME!

Thank you kind Banana Republic employees. You truly were a delight to work with this morning. You have been nothing less than efficient and accommodating. Seriously. Your sale was enjoyable as well. Thank you for $658 worth of clothes for $312.

Hey mother nature, turn off the faucet! The 3 AM downpour was not cool, but thank God I did not park in the field across the street. Sucks to be impatient.

Hey, real life friends that I have not seen in months. Fancy meeting you here at this ungodly hour of the morning. Don’t you worry. I looked past the pajama bottoms and sweatshirt. To be honest, I was a little jealous of your comfy attire.

4:30 am trip to Wal-mart? Why of course! I would give a shout out to my new friends that came in the dark and left in the early morning mist, but to be honest, you people were on a mission. Your motivation brought the whole extended family and spread it out around the store to get everything from electronics to clothes to toys. I envy your drive and efficiency!

Shout out to the three other people that were with me at Old Navy. Thanks for helping me pick out colors for my two new cashmere sweaters for a cool $20. ‘preciate it!

I hope that you all know that I say this with love. YOU ARE CRAZY! Yes, I am among you, but I am healthy glass a day crazy. You, with the kids, are straight up crazy. You, the urban camper, who has been outside of Best Buy for 36 hours, are crazy on the rocks. And you? The guy that took a gun to the toy store or got pissed when they closed the store because there was a fatally injured person in the entranceway? Well, I just do not know what to say about you.

Until next year, yall! It was lovely seeing you, do not call me, I will call you, and lets keep the kiddies tucked in next year.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Could Wii talk?

Day 4

Thanksgiving day was pretty normal. Ya know, breakfast donuts, parade, set table, appetizers, football, turkey, Black Friday ads, dessert, nap, evening munchies, and all the regular stuff. It was just the girls this year. Bro’s new restaurant happens to be about 3 miles from mom’s house so there was no why-does-my-son-not-love-me-he-never-calls guilt trip to get him to show up for the holiday. Mom gave him an out to stay home and sleep because she can pop in on him regularly. Long story short – he has been in the restaurant industry for 10 yrs and usually provides thanksgiving meals to people so we only really see him at Christmas.

Because it was just the girls, and one can only go through the ads to plan their Black Friday attack so many times, I took the new Wii up to mom’s house. People, I missed my calling! I should sell these things! I have not seen my family laugh so hard together in a long time. Even Bea got into it and was adamant that everyone took their turn. We played all the basic games, trained, and figured out everyone’s Wii fit age. Sorry Sis, it must suck to be 68. HA! I think the highlight was when I switched to the boxing game for Sis to get some cardio. You may be laughing right now, but it kicks your butt if you go more than 4 rounds. Her first opponent? Another Wii character that coincidentally had the same name as her ex-husband. Let’s just say he went down FAST! 

Once the Wii dust cleared I can honestly say that I pulled something, and mom and Sis both bought one the next day.

Among the many, many things I am thankful for this year, I am most grateful for my family because they stick with me and always make me laugh. We truly do put the fun in dysfunctional.  

Mom floatin' like a butterfly  
Sis having way too much fun boxing

Friday, December 5, 2008

Middle of the break

Day 2 = unproductive; cannot remember what I did. I thought about working, but did nothing.

Day 3 = cleaned, laundry, wrapped gifts, worked a bit, dry cleaning, Disney on Ice (see post below)

Wednesday was a bit of a long day. On my way home from Disney, I got a phone call. You see I have this friend that pops in and out of my life when they feel so inclined. The timing does not always work well with my life, but I am always there for them. To be honest I do not remember what the point of the phone call was, but I ended up heading over to their house after about 3 months of not talking.

We had a great time together. We always do. Even in the worst of times; deaths, births, divorces, moves, crappy relationships, car accidents, family drama, tears, and laughs, we always come out on top. Through it all we simply share a quick glance, smile, and feel good about the moment. Knowing that in the end the lesson will be learned, a memory made, and hopefully a bit of a laugh.

That night we played Wii. I am improving and have rediscovered the original Mario Bros. I also found a ridiculous amount of joy from some random game on PS3. You get to design your own character and then take the cute little nugget to these different worlds. I was repeatedly told, “it is all about physics, Colleen”, but you know what? I cheated in physics. I do not have a damn clue how to do real life physics let alone video game science. But it cracked me up to try.

We ended the night with a little Generation Kill. Such a great show! (Side note: I should really start to take pictures of my life to post in these things.)

It was a lot of fun. It will be a lot of fun the next time I get a phone call. In the end, it is always a good time!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

So behind

So behind on the posting because let’s be honest, I am boring. Regardless, here is a Thanksgiving recap…

I am one of those lucky, lucky few that are given an entire week off for Thanksgiving. This is the first year that I have been giving this little treat and let me tell you; it is lovely! The weekend before the break is posted below and that brings us to Monday.

I decided to give Sis a bit of a break and voluntarily took Bea Christmas shopping. This is a big deal because Bea and I fight like siblings most of the time, and she is a bit moody. You never really know if she is going to want to hang out with you. I risked it. Luckily she was in a good mood so we headed out to the mall close to Bea’s house.

Another reason this was a big deal is because I am NOT a shopper. I figured that if anyone was going to get a Christmas present this year it needed to be picked up during the day, thus Monday afternoon. Bea and I went through the ENTIRE mall! She was great. The only time she complained was really because of me. We were in Restoration Hardware and I asked her if some pillows would look good on my couch. She scrunched her nose and said, “Aunt Coz, we are not looking for you. I want to go.” She was right. We left. After 3 hours of bonding at the mall and some dinner, I had all but two gifts done. Go us!

Day 1 = productive

Monday, December 1, 2008

I finally found him

That is right. I was beginning to give up. As Charlotte York McDougal Goldenblatt once said, “I’ve been dating since I was 15. Where is he? I’m exhausted!” Well, I found Mr. Incredible! No, Eb, I did not meet him in 9th grade, Mr. Funny pants.


Okay, okay…so it was really just my mom dressed as Mr. Incredible…

We went with Bea and Sis to Disney on Ice last Wednesday. I have to admit that I absolutely LOVE these things. This was the fourth one we went to, and every time we walk out we all agree it was the best one yet. Although, looking back, I have to say Nemo on Ice is the best. Only two drawbacks… 1. There is A TON of kids at these things (go figure), and I do not really enjoy the company of children. 2. The marketing for crazy overpriced crap is amazing. There is no t-shirt less than $18, no princess wand less than $15, and Bea’s choice of a spinning light up Cinderella thing for $20. I selected a fine dining meal of a hot dog, pretzel, Dr. Pepper, and of course, cotton candy for a cool $21. Yep, you read that right, 21 BUCKS! Honestly, it is so worth it to see Bea light up and yell “take my picture” every time a new character came on the ice. Oh, and meeting Mr. Incredible was fun, too.

Monday, November 24, 2008

To a few people from Saturday night (in order of appearance)

The random dude named Justin… You stood near us being all shady until you worked up the nerve to speak.  You chatted us up for all of five minutes before offering to “get us a drink”.  When you found out what we ordered, you kindly put them on MY TAB!  Get us a drink.  Buy us a drink.  Semantics I guess, but still, thanks for nothing.

The questionable 40 year old wearing a blazer…  How ironic it was that you approached while we were laughing about that fashion statement.  After whispering odd things into my ear like the brand name of everything you were wearing, you asked me if I “liked to party”.  At this point my friend, thanks Maureen, had successfully abandoned me!  When I told you that I did not “party” you insisted on asking me FOUR MORE TIMES.  Dude, I will tell you once more, to party would not be conducive to my job.  My bad, conducive is probably too big of a word for you to process at this juncture in the evening.  Look, here are your friends, and oh wow, they are leaving.  Peace.

Jonnie and Fonz… How I miss thee.  I forgot how great Fonz’s dry sense of humor is to be around.  Jonnie, you always told me you could dance, but I thought you were kidding.  We should do it again sometime soon boys, and you should bring Craig.

Craig… I am sorry I did not have a chance to really talk to you, but I forgive you for baptizing me in your beer.

Last, but by no means least, the tow people…  YOU JERKS!  Now it was my friend’s car, and not mine, so I have a bit of a different perspective, but I was not thrilled.  Ok. Fine. She parked in an empty parking lot DIRECTLY across from where she was going.  Sorry she felt like that would be a safe option.  When we went to get her car, you put your shady ass place in the nether regions of the city.  Not where people die, but where people drop the bodies.  Not kidding.  I have never felt unsafe in my own city until last night when we went to claim her very nice luxury vehicle from a dark alley in the industrial park southwest of the city.  Oh, and did I thank you for letting us talk to a one sided window with half of the letters peeled off?  I didn’t?  Well, thanks.

There it is.  The bad, the good, and the ugly.  Thanks…in varying degrees.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hmmmm

I do not really know what to title this post.  Never in my life have I ever thought that I would "ask" someone for a prayer.  Partly because my up bringing just never really encouraged me to ask for a prayer and partly because I respect the fact that, frankly, some people just do not believe in it.  At this point though, I am putting that all aside to ask you for a few.  One of my great friends, Julie, sent me a text yesterday morning that her brother was in a head on collision on the highway on his way to work.  I ask that you pray for him.  She packed up her husband and son and left her classroom to go be with her family.  I ask that you pray for her and her family.  

On Tuesday I was reminded by some former students about the collapse of Bonfire at Texas A & M.  I remember that day very vividly and rarely talk about it.  What was so striking about November 18th this year was that Eb's sister had her baby.  For so many years I remember that one event on that one day, but now there is a celebration for the day.  I also became very much aware of the power of prayer that day in 1999.  So many families came to BCS to be with their injured loved ones.  I know that those prayers helped.  I guess that is just my way of asking for some for Julie, her brother, and her family.

Thanks!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Things I am loving

My car back
That is right. After 32 days and over 1200 miles on a rent car, my Mini is home. It was a long, ugly time (that is going to continue since two of the other parties are in small claims court), but now all is right with my transportation world again. The insurance company also cut me a check for “pain and suffering” which covered the rest of my deductible and gave me a little cash to get
The Wii...
Meet mii.  Does it look like me?
I am obviously still learning, but seriously J, you really should have pushed me to get this earlier. I also had some cash for my new TOMS
I love them and all that they stand for today. Then I got motivated to turn my frat house of a place into a clean house.
One more thing needed a little sprucing up and so now I have a clean pup, and the two of us have been taking long walks in the fantabulous fall weather. Everyone knows that crisp temperatures mean pulling out some new decorations.
These are the bows that The Station puts up for the holidays. They are up on the lofts above the Starbucks where I sat with my mint hot chocolate and managed to build the DONE pile for work. After a crazy hectic last two weeks, I am finally feeling like I can breath again. Especially since there are three more days until Thanksgiving break!
Baby clothes do not really fit into my regular daily life, but Amy (Eb's sister) had her baby girl EARLY this morning, so I will be sending her this terribly cute hoodie, and a fun shirt for the big brother.

On the work front...
I am loving this thing we do with another "company" to raise money for charity. The McDonald's between the two places donates 50% of their profits from breakfast all week to a shelter we work with throughout the year. Therefore, I will met the people I work for up at McD's for an early morning bite four days this week. The girls in my family will also be doing dinner and some friends will be getting together for appetizers at other restaurants that are also donating proceeds for the cause this week.  Lovin' it!!
                                 
Another work thing...there are a lot, A LOT, of international folks where I work. Every year the new people from around the world take a trip to Washington D.C. for obvious reasons. Well, they went last week. Can I say jealous?! I told one of them that I fit nicely into a large piece of luggage. She did not take me up on it. Bummer. Anyway, one of them brought back a souvenir for me. Yes, the simple idea/thought is super nice, BUT, it is a Constitutional baseball!!
 A-W-E! Seriously. It is probably one of the coolest baseball things I own. 
Scratch that, it IS the coolest.
It is complete with a replica signature of my favorite president, Abe Lincoln.

So there are 12 little things that I am thankful for and enjoying this week.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Kick it to me, Pele'

Yeah, she is #1...the one and only!

Saturday afternoon was Bea’s last soccer game of the season. She has improved soooo much! She actually bends her arms when she runs. I know. You are thinking, what? How do you run with your arms straight? I will just tell you, not well. And slowly. Note to parents: teach your kids to run before signing them up for ballet.

I digress.

At the first game Bea was barely in the back of the bunch as they all corralled the ball sheep dog style. She was far more concerned with how her lip-gloss looked than catching some damn ball. Every now and again she would go after it, but I think it was because it was hot pink, and not because it’s the concept of the game. Now, it is the end of the season. She “practices” with one of us when she is benched and is smack dab in the middle of the group when coach puts her in the game. She is so on top of it, she scored TWO goals!! Okay, so one goal and one assist, really. The second one went in after she gingerly kicked the ball when her teammate very gracefully fell over it. I say gracefully, because this 4 year old managed to fall over the ball and move her arms in such a manner that she caught herself WITHOUT touching it.  Seriously impressive!  I am not really sure what the team’s record was this season because everybody seems to win…that is until they go into the real world.  Ah, to be a member of this generation.

While all that 4-year-old soccer was great and all, the soccer celebrations continued on Sunday. I had the privilege of teaching some of the greatest kids before I quit last year. Among the many, was one little soccer player. Melissa is respectful, kind, and humble. She would do anything for her friends and worked hard in the classroom. Aside from all of that, she is a ROCKSTAR on the soccer field. Mel accepted an opportunity to play for ND this year, and boy has she! She was not only honored with the Rookie of the Year award for the Big East, but she was the second rookie in history to be named Most Outstanding Offensive Player of the Championship tourney. That is probably because she scored the ONLY goal of the game to give ND the Big East title and keep their record at 21-0-0. Holy Crap! So proud of you, Melissa!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mars and Venus

So I was talking to a friend of mine last week that had sat through a lecture on how men and women are different. He wanted to test something out on me. He presented it as a “story” and not a test. It went a little something like this…

H : Ok, so there is this guy and girl who are dating, and they are coming up on their anniversary. She plans this picnic on Saturday at 3:00 and tells him all about it. About the amazing weather she has planned, the food, the butterflies, and unicorns, basically the perfect picnic to celebrate them. All he hears is Saturday. Three o’clock. Food. Got it.

Me : Ok. Sounds normal. Was a game on?

H : Not the point. So, Saturday comes around and she calls and tells him that she forgot mayonnaise and asks him to go to the store and pick some up.

Me : Alright. (Smirk a little)

H : So, what did she ask him to pick up at the store.

Me : (Tilt my head, pop my mouth open a little, squint my eyes and shoot him my best are-you-a-moron look.) Um…FLOWERS!

H : (stumbles back a little, throws his arms out, leans forward.) WHAT?! That is exactly what all the women said. Why would I get flowers? She asked for mayonnaise.

Me : Why would you not get flowers. You have to walk past them to get to the mayonnaise. I mean at least a card.

H : Or maybe a little bear thing.

Me : (A little insulted.) No! That will just gather dust and end up being thrown away.

H : and flowers…

Me : Not the point. Get the flowers! Damn it.

H : That does not even make sense.

Me : It makes perfect sense. You do not make sense.

Yes, that is how I win an argument. With a quick, “yeah, well you are stupid, stupid.” But seriously ladies, am I wrong? She wanted flowers, right?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For the kiddies

Every friend I have that has children has a little girl (and the only one that has a boy is due any day with a daughter). I found this contest just for yall. You have all asked where to find cute dresses for all sorts of events from weddings to Easter or just a weekend with the grandparents. I thought this was perfect. Even if you do not win, it is a great source for the future. Oh, and let's just say BOWS GALORE!! So run over to SITS and check it out.

(Get ready for girlie fun, Eb. Or just forward it to mom...she will love it.)

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

As if there were any doubt

Yes. I am an Election Day voter. Sadly, there was no line when I went to cast my ballot. As with the other presidential elections I voted in, I stood and contemplated my decision. Just to make sure. Now I sit with my map and color in each state as the totals scroll across the screen.
Complete with the traditional every half-hour phone call check-ins from Eb.
God, it's great to be an American!!

Proudly sported bipartisan purple to work today.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I just had to do it

Elections are coming to an end and I just had to include one more thing about voting. I used to teach high school at a rather diverse little place and I loved learning more than is ever necessary about the hip hop culture. The kids thought it was funny when my skinny little white self would rap, walk it out, or pop and lock. I miss them. A lot. Here is a little taste of the greatness that is pop culture and politics. Thanks to T.I. and Ron Clark!

I included the lyrics below for those that are not used to the speed.



Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

(McCain supporters)
McCain is the man
Fought for us in Vietnam
You know if anyone can
Help our country he can
Taxes droppin low
Dont you know oils gonna flow
Drill it low
I'll show our economy will grow

McCain's the best candidate
With Palin as his running mate
They'll fight for gun rights, pro life,
The conservative right
Our future is bright
Better economy in site
And all the world will feel our military might

(Obama supporters)
But McCain and Bush are real close right
They vote alike and keep it tight
Obama's new, he's younger too
The Middle Class he will help you
He'll bring a change, he's got the brains
McCain and Bush are just the same
You are to blame, Iraq's a shame
Four more years would be insane

Lower your Taxes - you know Obama Won't
PROTECT THE LOWER CLASS - You know McCain won't!
Have enough experience - you know that they don't
STOP GLOBAL WARMING - you know that you won't

I want Obama
FORGET OBAMA
Stick with McCain and you're going to have some drama
We need it
HE'LL BRING IT
He'll be it
YOU'LL SEE IT
We'll do it
GET TO IT
Let's move it
DO IT!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

I'm talking big pipe lines, and low gas prices
Below $2.00 that would be nice

But to do it right we gotta start today
Finding renewable ways that are here to stay

I want Obama
FORGET OBAMA,
Stick wit McCain you gone have some drama
MORE WAR IN IRAQ
Iran he will attack
CAN'T BRING OUR TROOPS BACK
We gotta vote Barack!

Obama on the left
McCain on the right
We can talk politics all night
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Democratic left
Republican right
November 4th we decide
And you can vote however you like, I said
You can vote however you like, yeah

Sunday, November 2, 2008

I do not like being tagged

So, I was “tagged”.  My good friend C posted this and then sent it on to me.  I did a similar post when I first started the whole blogging thing; click here to read that entry.  All that is written there is still very true, but here are a few more…only 6 because I have serious OCD about even numbers.

1.)  I hate the fact that I do not work out.  A consistent exercise routine has not been in my life since April of 1998.  I used to be proud of that, but now it drives me crazy.  I try, but so much of it is boring to me.  Any suggestions?  (Cheap would be nice)

2.)  I love giving gifts.  When I see things that I think someone would like, I usually buy it.  Even if I have not talked to them in months, it makes me smile and remember them.  People think it strange, but it is fun.  Plus, I have a great stash in my “prize closet”.

3.)  I think SNL commercials are hilarious.  The old ones of course are classics, but some of the new ones are greatness, too.  My personal favorite is Pat ‘N Patti’s Backpack Shack.  Oh, and I adore Jimmy Fallon.  Here is a clip from his performance where I went to school.

4.)  I am addicted to the news.  I watch it a minimum of 4 times a day.  Local, national, BBC, I do not even care…I watch it all

5.)  Despite my love of and degree in history, I find it difficult to watch “historical” movies.  I spot the inconsistencies and it annoys people when I point them out.

6.)  I refuse to tell people what political party I belong to and who I vote for in elections.  I value the Australian ballot.  I will never ask you whom you voted for, so stop asking me.

I tag whoever wants to do this little thing.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Coffee talk with a 4 year old

So Bea and I were chatting over a Dr. Pepper and watered down lemonade when I decided to give her a “grown up” lesson. We do this quite often and cover topics from the amendments beyond the Bill of Rights, the importance of judicial review, and the ongoing debate of whether or not we landed on the moon. Sometimes we discuss the state of the Rangers, but on that topic she usually becomes frustrated and walks away. Preachin’ to the choir sista!

This week’s topic?  The election.  What else?  It went a little something like this…

Me : Hey Bea, do you know what happens on the 4th?

Bea : [Flashes a quick glance to Mommy and then looks at me a little annoyed]  No.

Me : Well, we get to vote.  It is a REALLY big deal.  It means we get a new president.  Do you know what a president is?

Bea : No, but I know what voting is.

Me : [A little shocked]  You do?  What is voting?

Bea : We pick a new guy.

Me : Well, yeah.  So whom are you going to pick?

Bea : [In a rather matter of fact way, and not flinching from her near complete crayon masterpiece]  McCain.

Me : Huh.  Why?

Bea : [again annoyed]  Because, Aunt Coz, he is the guy with the white hair.

Me : Well, yeah, but Mimi and Mommy and I all have brown hair.  So, why don’t you vote for the guy with brown hair?

Bea : [lets out a BIG sigh and attempts an eye roll]  Because I like WHITE HAIR and I am voting for McCain!

Alrighty then.  How can you really argue with the logic of a 4 year old?  I mean she actually seems to have thought it out more than some voters, so I will let her own it.

Do not fret Eb, you have 14 years of “grown up” lessons before she votes.

EARLY VOTING ENDS FRIDAY!!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Yeah...what?

I don’t look gangsta?

I don’t look like a 70-year-old golf pro or a retired woman with 4 grown kids?

Really? So I don’t look like someone that would drive this?

That is right, my rent car is a sweet 300. No, I am not a booty girl in a new rap video. But I am looking for a good deal on some spinners. Are those even cool anymore?

Now, I do not think that there is something wrong with a 300. It has been a pretty decent car. (FOR TWO WEEKS NOW!!) But for the past few years I have been told that my car “fits” me. I guess I would agree with that observation. I mean my Mini is small and sassy. It is German so it has a bit of a temper, and a BMW so sometimes a part of it will just stop working for a week or so. But it is incredibly reliable. It responds when I need it to, and cleans up nicely. My Mini is me. I love my Mini! I miss my Mini.

The 300 is the last car that you would pick if I asked you to find a car for me. Hopefully the insurance people will give me good news tomorrow.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Lesson

1.) Palin’s wardrobe. Today the media has jumped on what it costs to outfit the VP candidate. The “ladies” of The View made mention that she was spending “tax payer” money. I guess that is true at the core, but in reality she is using donations from SUPPORTERS to do this, and those that donate know that their money could be spent in such a way. When donating to a campaign, a good bit of money is earmarked for certain expenses. This includes a category for appearance. That covers the CRAZY expensive suits the men wear, too. Shoot, once they are in office, congressmen, presidents, VPs, first ladies, etc. all get an allowance for these expenses. That money comes from all taxpayers, supporters and otherwise.

2.) McCain being a Maverick. I really think that this short article sums it up better than I ever dreamed. Plus, it comes from the mouth of a real Maverick. (Sorry Eb, it is not Dirk) Side note: There is a person at work who has the first name Maverick. I feel like they will be very happy when this is all over with on November 4.

3.) Could both candidates please stop talking about what they would do to save the economy? Almost all national tax bills begin in the House of Representatives. The man in the White House can do little more than make phone calls to convince people to write/vote for bills concerning the economy. If you believe that one of the candidates can do great things with your money, keep them in the Senate.

I know it is disgusting, but to prove my point, I will admit that I carry a Constitution with me in my purse. Seriously, next time you see me ask for it. As part of my job, I know that Article 1, Section 8, Clause 1 states that only Congress has the power to “levy taxes”. Article 1, Section 7 says that this power must go through the HofR and Senate before it hits the President. There are a few exceptions on import taxes because of the President’s power of Executive Agreement, but otherwise, it is all Congress.

There.  Done. I promise that this will be one of the last politically centered posts. To be perfectly honest, I am pretty sick of what is going on in the media leading up to the election. Not to mention, there is other stuff going on in the world.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Early Voting

It started today.  Go!!  If you live one of those lives, and who doesn't these days, vote early.  You never know what could happen on November 4th that will keep you from the polls.  Especially if you have little ones.  They could get sick, have a "better" opportunity at a play date, or let's be honest, just be too fussy to stand in a line that day.  If you need to know where to go, send me a comment.

Hell is getting chilly

So I got a text out of nowhere that said, "Eagle endorses Obama".  My first instinct was the old Dallas radio station, you know, the original Russ Martin Show, but no, that has not been around for like a million years.  (Yes, I look good for 1 million, I know)  So I called to get some clarification, and sure enough the one thing I thought it could not be, was true!

The BCS newspaper has thrown its support to the Democratic candidate.  For the first time EVER.  I knew that there was a lot of blue in south Texas, but I always thought that Aggieland would be the pocket of red.  Evidently, there are some Dems down there after all.  Not so much when I was in school.  My short, bright red hair, and facial piercings did not go over well with BCS-ers in the late 90s.  Little did they know I worked in a staunchly Christian business and could out shoot 98% of the trap and skeet team.  Yes, we really had one of those at A&M and yes, I did get fired for the piercings because the Bible said it was wrong.

Anyhoo, I am surprised that that town has become divided by this race.  A place that I have always considered overly conservative, Baptist, and Republican, is suddenly a lot less right winged.   

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

October

(Holy 2 posts in 1 day...crazy!)

I am a terrible niece! It is half way through October and I have not posted anything for breast cancer awareness. As many of you know, my aunt passed away back in June. She was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2001, had a mastectomy, chemo, everything, and beat it. While the cancer was gone, it left her body broken.  Her crazy, fun loving spirit never wavered, but her body just could not sustain itself and the continued need for medical attention. We all miss her dearly and think of her daily. 

My mom and I have worked or walked the Race for the Cure since 1993 and I continued the tradition with friends in college. It was amazing to me how people rallied around me when I had a lumpectomy at the age of 19 and have always felt that I would do what I could to support others. My aunt brought that all a little closer to home than I ever wanted.

So, in support of breast cancer awareness month, please visit the Susan G. Komen website. You can do a variety of things to support the cause from test drive a car, run/walk/work the 5k, buy a number of items, or just wear a ribbon. It is a great site for information about the disease too.

There are a lot of other sites and products for purchase that donate to breast cancer foundations.  I will try and post a slew of them tomorrow.  Just know that almost anything light pink donates a portion of their proceeds.  That covers everything from nail polish and lip stick to great shoes to kitchen appliances and vacuum cleaners.
Image:Pink ribbon.png

Don't you worry

Of course I watched the debate. I do have some commentary for this one. Bear with it. I wrote it stream of consciousness so it covers a little bit of everything. Basically, all of the freely typed statements were cut and pasted together to make this post. Again, do not fret. There is more to be posted tomorrow. Plus an update on the car accident issues and my sweet new rental car pics.

Mr. McCain…Dallas has a lot, A LOT, of Republican voters. They also have a lot of swing voters this year. Your two snide little comments about the city are probably not winning over anyone. I totally agree that we need to start drilling off shore now. You looked like a fool when you said “zero!” about the health care fine. Obama was not aligned with the “extreme” aspects of abortion, he was voting for government to stay out of my womb when a doctor advises something in the name of my health. You are a much better offensive lineman than d-back. Where were you a month ago? This is the McCain I liked in 2000 and in 2002 when you wrote the McCain-Feingold bill.

Barack…way to clear the air once and for all about Ayers and Acorn! Finally! 
Health care -- what will encourage companies to continue to cover their employees? Why would I take it from my company if the government coverage is better? Can I really get the same plan you have?! That is freaking awesome! But let’s be real, never going to happen. Ledbetter was ruled correctly because of the statute of limitations. You are wrong to think it was decided incorrectly and should be overturned. You should know that.  You were law school buddies with a guy I work with now.  You are exactly what government needs as a fundraiser. People would actually buy the idea that paying taxes is patriotic with you as the president. Not to mention you are probably one of the most eloquent politicians I have ever seen in action. And yes, you get two words instead of one for “in action”. Truly, you are a brilliant speaker.

Did McCain snort at the end of the debate?! Now that is funny!

Evidently, Joe has a six-pack and is a plumber. Joe sounds a lot hotter than my plumber. I know, I know, six-pack of beer, but just let me think he has rock hard abs. Thanks.

I am really waiting for this Joe guy to be contacted by the media. You know he is going to milk his 15 minutes like no plumber before him. Who can blame him really?

Mark your calendars. November 4th. Go vote!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Day Two

Today, not even 30 minutes after I woke up, the insurance adjuster came over to look at my car. An hour and a half later, the damage has been calculated.

Drum roll please….

$3,500.00. Not kidding!
Every part of my car has to be replaced or repaired except my two doors and one panel. We could not get the hood open, so we have no idea what is going on under there and the driver seat is loose. He did not know how to classify the seat, so he did not include it in the estimate.

I then went to the doctor. I was in a similar accident in 2001 and still have issues from time to time. I wanted to make sure that this would not make it worse. The doc said it should be all good.

My car will go to the shop on Monday and I have no idea how long it will take to be fixed.

All of that took up pretty much my entire day.

I am so ready for the TX/ou game! It would really make my vacation better if Texas would win this game. Please.

Oh, and I seriously have to get some work done soon.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How I spent my fall vacation

I had a GREAT appointment at the doctor for the whole skin cancer thing. WooHoo!! She said everything looked great and I do not have to go back for another year. I am elated!

Then I met mom and Eb at Bro’s new restaurant. It opened today and we wanted to be some of his first customers. It was delicious. For those of you that remember Mama’s Pizza growing up, he has the little Italian sausage just like they used to have and it is my favorite. I am really proud of him for finally doing this after 7 years of wanting to stop working for “the man”. Love you Bro!" 

Then I headed home for some work, a nap, and a nice long walk with Coop in this wonderful weather. BUT NO!! I end up in a 5 car accident.

Long story short, PT Cruiser (who still drives those?) hits Taurus, hits me, hits Mustang, hits Camry. Dude in the Taurus is leaning out of his car with blood streaming from a gash in his forehead. Really nasty. Paramedics come, firetrucks, cops, the whole nine. The woman that caused it all, the PT Pooper, is claiming we were all just “going along” and does not know how this happened. Hey, I know…you were not paying attention to the four people STOPPED in front of you. Pooper also claims the guy hit his head because he was not wearing his seatbelt. Maybe that is how you hit him. You were trying to see if he was buckled up WHILE BEHIND HIM! Seriously, it was everything in me.

Oh, then, THEN the cop pulls four of us aside and tells us, “well, you all know she does not have insurance, right”. WHAT?! Of course she does not have insurance. That would be too logical. Grrrrr!

There, I am done. Basically, it just stinks that this had to happen. I am glad that the guy will be fine and that he was well enough to stay at the scene and help us sort it all out. I am glad that the only injury seems to be minor and that three of the cars were drivable. It just stinks that we all have to deal with it now.

Hopefully Friday will be less eventful. Here are some pics. Happy Columbus Day!

Back of the dude's car.  

Front of dude's car.  All of the fluids poured out of his car so that explains the pile of kitty litter in front of the car and into the other lanes.


Back of my car.  Little girl took a licking, but it does not look bad in this picture.  It also looks really clean for some reason.

Front of my car after it was separated from the mustang.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I know, I know...

...I was so on a roll, all posting daily and stuff. Well, work got the best of me and I spent a good bit of time doing just that over the weekend. Do not worry, there was some good football time in there too. Not much has been happening other than work.

I did get a chance to go and taste test Bro's new restaurant. It is pretty tasty...not gonna lie. Insert post title here, I am biased. But really, you can not screw up pizza. The only bummer to the new place is that it is NOWHERE NEAR WHERE I LIVE!! Those of you up north, feel free to email me and I will tell you where you can go check it out.

Things coming up...
Debate tonight
Fair days = no work on Thursday and Friday
Range with dad Thursday
Fair on Friday, but really, I could go everyday
TX/ou weekend Friday and Saturday
Game on Saturday (Hook 'em)
Back to the grind Sunday

I may or may not post with pictures and such after this weekend.  It depends on how it all turns out.   Anyone up for the fair?!

Oh!  I am also trying to figure out what to do for the Spring vacation.  I am thinking Chicago again.  It's my kind of town!  Here are pics from when we went to Oprah.
                                   

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Warning : I was multitasking

[I was grading and watching at the same time, so I do not have a play-by-play feeling. I recorded it to watch it again this weekend. What does that say about me when re-watching a political debate is fun?!]

Well, well, well! Biden can actually answer a question in 90 seconds. Palin actually has some substance to her. The debate was pretty interesting. Granted, I still do not know who I will vote for and have no intention to decide based on a VP debate.

I totally agree with Palin’s stance on education and the sad place we are in when we are accepting mediocre in public schools. I found myself cheering out loud when she mentioned the fact that NCLB is not working.

I also cheered along with Biden’s camp each and every time he pointed out that the Bush years have not been great and tied McCain to GW. I am also proud of Biden for not jumping in and correcting every time Palin said something false or referred to the wrong person/leader. That would have taken up too much time.

Do I really want someone to be VP that uses phrases like “dog gone it”, “ darn right”, and “say it ain’t so” in a formal forum? I will admit that Palin did a good job, but really, did she just slow the “death spiral” she has been on since the media started covering her?

All in all, I think they both did exactly what they needed to do tonight…maintain the polls.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

I will give you a topic

1.)  Paul Newman died.  How sad is that?!  He got his start after James Dean was killed, and never looked back.  He was Cool Hand Luke, Butch Cassidy, Reg Dunlop, The Battler.  He colored money, developed bombs, and won the Piston Cup – 3 times!  He worked with everyone in Hollywood and managed to stay classy.  He was the original McDreamy.  Not only that, but he started a food business that donates all of its profits to various charitable needs including education.

2.)  Have not yet watched the debates.  I DVRed them due to HC so tonight I have a hot date with two men that are way too mature for me.

3.)  Can we just talk about what it says about us when the top two stories on CNN.com are these… "The U.S. economic crisis continues” and “Gas shortage leads to fights, threatens football”.  There was also this one, “Police say teen plotted to kill mom for breast implants”.

4.)  Hey…did you know Clay Aiken is gay?!  Shocking…I know.  Is there really an economic crisis going on?

5.)  I did a post everyday this week!  I have come so far.  Do not expect it to continue.

Discuss.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Looming deadline

As you see off to the left, the deadline to register to vote is October 6th. That is right around the corner folks! To do my part to make it easier for you, I have included a number of sites. Pick the one that relates to you and make sure you register. If you have moved in recent months...or years...you may need to update your address. You are probably registered to vote where you used to live. You will need to fill out a new form. The address on your ID (typically your driver's lisence) is usually where you are registered to vote. You may need to update the lisence too. By the way, it is illegal not to update that within a certain time of moving. Do not worry. I won't tell anyone.

Everyone can go to Rock the Vote to register.

You will need to print out the form and mail it in.

Just because it is where I am, If you are in Texas, you can go here to figure out if you are registered, where to vote, etc.

Those that will be away from home on November 4th, you can go to Long Distance Voter and follow the three simple steps to vote absentee. (This means all you college kids!)

The overseas Americans can get ballots and make sure they are registered here. I does not matter if you are military, ex-pat, vacationing, or studying abroad. They cover it all!

Hope this helps yall. I promise, this is not going to turn into a political blog. I know people do not share the love for it. Sad!

Friday, September 26, 2008

It was bound to happen

While there are a lot of things to adjust to at the new job, today it became exhausting. The people I work for need a lot of guidance from time to time. They all mean well, and simply do not want to mess up, but really, sometimes it is okay to slip. It is how you learn. But I guess that is the hardest lesson to learn in the moment. No one wants to fail, and when you are struggling it is very often difficult to remember that this will be beneficial in the long run. This is also a lesson that eases with age.

I am struggling to reassure people that they are successful. I am questioning whether I am doing enough. I know that I have not done a great job this year...shoot, I feel like I have not even done a good job, but their reactions are not helping any of us. There are a lot of adjustments, and it became overwhelming this week.

Hopefully, this weekend I will refocus, catch up, and improve next week.
P.S. -- HC '08 was great. Everyone looked happy and healthy, and Mrs. Cooper is doing a great job! I was glad to see each and every one of you and wish you all nothing but the best.

The Presidents/Buds                           My Corps Boys                 











My Girls                                     Crazy Marc


Thursday, September 25, 2008

Shout out to those "left behind"

Why does this man still have a job?! The Dallas school district is in a financial debacle right now. I know, given the current state of the nation's economy, this seems like an obvious statement. However, the district thought they were $24 million in debt, but it turns out they were $64 million in the hole. Back in June! Since then, they have managed to spend $19.5 million more bringing the total to almost $84 million. WHAT?! How does that happen? Oh, wait, I know, you are a ridiculously large school system.

For years I have chuckled when people discuss major companies, such as Enron, that have "cooked the books". I giggle because I feel like if people really want to see tweaking numbers to say what you want them to say, go to some public schools! Please do not get me wrong...there are a lot of great school districts in this country. Districts where the students are the priority, teachers are genuinely appreciated, and community is key. Hell, I am a product of one of these places. The vast number of “struggling” districts are in their situations because there are too many problems and not enough time. It is hard to reinvent the wheel and create change (there is your Obama salute, Eb) when the ENTIRE community is not on board. It is hard for everyone to catch the train when they are simply too busy to buy the ticket. I sympathize with these districts.

I "fought the good fight" in a classroom for years. I struggled to engage kids who worked nights to help pay rent. I bought baby gifts for teenagers that were pregnant too soon. I attended concerts, sporting events, graduations, plays, baptisms, and even a wedding to share in kids' joys with laughter and a high five. I went because so many of their parents could not go. I mediated between teachers/coaches/administrators and kids, fielded phone calls when they did not get into college, listened to countless family issues, attended a parents' funeral, and even gingerly hugged one who was in an abusive relationship before involving the police. I did it so they would know that someone, anyone, cared for them and how they turned out. I ate at gross restaurants and shopped at random, out of the way stores just so they would see a familiar face smiling back at them during their shift. I am not unusual. Teachers all over the country do this everyday. They do not do it to be recognized. They do not do it for a promotion, and they do not do it for the pay. They do it because they love children and what they will become in the future. They should be commended. They should not be fearful that their job will be cut tomorrow.

While teaching, I watched administrators come in late, leave early, mill about in hallways, and get promoted the next year. I witnessed questionable work ethics collect bonuses from high test scores because of the hard work of teachers. I listened to students, parents, and teachers wonder, "where is the [fill in the blank administrative title]". I heard upsetting, blanket statements come out of high-level personnel mouths about not only classroom teachers, but the kids too. Again, do not get me wrong...I heard great compliments about the students hard work both in and out of the classroom from some. I witnessed long hours of work from administrators that wanted nothing but the best for "their kids". There are good and bad administrators just as there are good and bad teachers, kids, and parents. My question is why do questionable people continue to collect six figure incomes?

Maybe Dallas could "restructure" for a year or two. What if all the administrators took pay cuts and made a standard teacher salary of roughly $47,000? Hmmm? Would they have to get a second job to pay their mortgage, make the dues for their own kid's little league this season, or fill up their car with gas? Oh, kind of like a lot of teachers. Hmmm?

It will be interested to see how they fix this issue. Like so many other problems in education, this one does not have a simple solution. One of the many reasons why this even happened is because districts set their budgets based on projected enrollment for the following year. This year, there were 23,000 kids that were not enrolled as of the first day of school. The superintendent, as well as the mayor, went door to door to get kids and send them to class. This really should not be necessary given the new grading policy in D town. That is a completely different issue.

I could honestly stand on this soapbox for hours. (Especially given the fact that I discovered that Miami schools are $88 million in debt) I just really want to salute those I left behind when I quit. In honor of the political atmosphere, I ask you American...Have you thanked a teacher today?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Get excited

40 more days and counting!!  As mentioned before...I LOVE ELECTION SEASON!  In honor of the upcoming festivities, the blog template has changed.  I actually had a hard time finding a nonpartisan one.  I am not completely happy with this (the blues look purple, and it is more an ad for Converse--which I also love--than voting), but it will do until the next elections in the spring.  I am also working on new widgets for the parties, but for some "odd" (read: annoying) reason, the Republican one is HUGE.
1st debate is FRIDAY :)

2 more days and counting!!  Also mentioned before...I have a gross love affair with the Texas State Fair.  Here is a pic of my boyfriend for one month every year.  I spend way more time with him than anyone really should - without a pay check from the fair itself.  If you are ever in the market for a great day of people watching, the fair is your place.  Simply, greatness!
The 1st presidential debate is also Friday...did I already tell you?!
HC '08 is also this weekend, and I am pumped!
This weekend will be busy.  ACL, too.

5/6 months and counting!!  The Texas Rangers will try again for a spot in the playoffs starting with the home opener on April 6, 2009 and spring training in March.  Today was, sadly, the last home game.  At least we went out with a win.  Do not fret boys, there is always next season.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Things I Miss...

...while camping
1.  My family.  Updates on B, commiserating with Sis, movement on Bro's place
2.  My dog!
3.  Check in chats with Julie, C, Johnnie 5 (miss you), and Robyn
4.  Patio buddies Maureen, Wilson, and Jason (in a small dose)
5.  Politics
6.  The people I work for.
7.  The people I work with and our lunch conversation
8.  My family
9.  My routine.  Nightly rituals, morning order, etc.
10.  POLITICS!!  I can not tell you how much this drove me crazy to have no TV, radio, newspaper, etc. for a whole week.
11.  My dog
12.  Dance party
13.  Quiet
14.  Dr. Pepper and BW3s (with Johnnie 5)
15.  Family, dog, and politics.  But I guess I already mentioned those.

And of course, the basics.  My big girl bed, shower, hair dryer, razor, walking around barefoot, perfume instead of bug spray, my family, my dog, my daily Wall Street Journal, and the news.  So glad to be back!!

...about camping
1.  Being outside
2.  Hiking
3.  Living on the river
4.  Ice cream sandwiches
5.  The challenges
6.  Casual clothes
7.  The smell of campfires
8.  Ping pong, Pictionary, BS, Markers, and Mafia
9.  The sun...I feel guilty in it here.  I have a doc appt next month :(
10.  Being physically tired instead of mentally or emotionally

Given # 1, 2, 5, 10, and I guess 9, I have decided to recommit myself to my new year's resolution.  Is October too late to start?  As some of you may remember, my goal was to complete a marathon.  Pretty sure May was too late to start that goal, so I am going to complete 2 5k runs by Christmas.  Totally doable...right?!