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30 March 2009

Houston: A Photo Blog

Houston was a blast. I fell in love (with Sawyer). And laughed more in the course of five days than I have in the last three months combined! It could even be six months. I had such an amazing time with Kirsten. I forgot how much I love that chick. And how easy our friendship is. Nothing is forced and awkward. We laughed and laughed and had such a great time. Happily, Sawyer took to me rather quickly, allowing me to actually hold him by the start of Day 2. By the end of my visit, he was reaching for me and laughing with me. Well, he was probably laughing at me, but whatever. We spent the entire week laughing at Sawyer and his amazing little personality and just hanging out. By the time the week was over, I realized that 95% of my pictures were of Sawyer. Which I think is awesome.

Here is SoyBeans (that's my name for my boy) with a clearly furrowed brow. He does that face a lot.
 
Turns out the kid likes to play in the closet. Clearly.

Clearly this the cutest little face ever.

Baby alligators at the Nature Center at Brazos Bend. They were safely in an aquarium where they couldn't chase me. Clearly a good idea.

Clearly, Sawyer is a big fan of taxidermy. Who knew?

This big guy clearly wanted to make me his lunch.

We were clearly too close to this guy. Which was scary.
 
This is the guy that tried to attack me. He chased me and I bolted like a little girl. Kirsten will tell you that he wasn't chasing me, but he was.  Clearly she is crazy. He wanted me to be lunch. I almost died.

Sawyer and me as twins. Quite stylish. Clearly.

So, in an attempt to save money on frivolous items, Kirsten has turned one of Sawyer's socks into a driving glove. She's crazy that way. Clearly.

Sawyer gazing out longingly at the sand. He couldn't wait to dive in! The beach at Galveston was humid as all can be and threatened rain all day. We still had an AWESOME time (in spite of the dead body in the beach. Which was very sad.)

You've got to look at this one close up. See the long string of drool coming out of Sawyer's mouth and hitting the sand? AWESOME!!

Beautiful Mama and Handsome Boy.

Proof of a recession: Flowers in vases are placed in a mixture of carrots and water. Preservation chemicals are clearly too expensive. Sawyer was just as fascinated as I was.

This is the Baptodome (as Kirsten affectionately calls it). What kind of church has their own work out facilities? Seriously?

Straps are clearly the most tasty thing ever.

Tex is clearly apathetic over it all. I was so happy he remembered me!!

So, this is a statue of the Holy Family riding around in the back of a pick-up on a MAJOR highway in Houston. I'm clearly confused. 

So, long story short, I had an awesome time. It really recharged my batteries, but I didn't want to leave!! I could stay there forever. Or at least for a long time. Now The Boy is going to look for job opportunities in Dallas and Houston!!! Yeah!!!!

25 March 2009

I heart Texas!

And Kiki!

And my new pal Sawyer!!!

and Tex!!

and even Rob!!!

20 March 2009

I love my people

Yesterday I finished and passed my exam. I'll be honest. I pretty much kicked ass. Seriously. I was on FIRE. I know my stuff and talked about it like a pro. I was actually impressed with myself. It felt good to do so well. Bot the Barracuda and KK were impressed with me ... or at least they said so. Afterwards, MealyMel met me to congratulate me. It was pretty sweet. KK laughed because she was "stalking" outside the room. But she knew I was in there, and she rocks!

Immediately after I left campus, I picked up Jo and we went to get some amazing and long overdue pedicures. It felt amazing. We laughed and chatted and Jo broke a wine glass. It was kinda surreal and anti-climactic. But, the whole ordeal was over.

After pedis, we came home and had another drink on the patio before it rained. Boo for rain, but YEAH for drinks!!! The Boy met us at my house around 5 and we went to Saffron's for a celebratory dinner. Oh my gosh, it was sooooooo yummy! I was torn between Indian and Mexican, but I know that I'll be getting some kick-ass Tex-Mex when I get out to Texas in THREE DAYS. The Indian was amazing. We all shared a bottle of wine and some super tasty nan. It's the pashawari nan and its got cherries and coconut and it tastes SOOOOOOO yummy. 

Once our bellies were filled, we all came home and changed to get ready to go to the "club." We had a few drinks there while critiquing the dancers, but it was pretty lackluster. We left early and were in bed by 10. I didn't realize how tired and worn out I was until I had a few drinks in me. then I passed out into a coma.

And, of course, B had to reward all of my hard work and stress with her own little present this morning. What was her present you ask? Bloody vomiting for 45 minutes at 5:30am which prompted a quick visit to the emergency vet. Really B? After $200, the vet sent her home with some medicine and fluids and told me to keep an eye on her. They wanted to run the gamut of blood tests and whatnot, but, given B's propensity for a sensitive stomach, I said "no" and that I would watch her symptoms. If she wasn't better by tomorrow, I'd take her to her real vet. She's feeling better already, just a little pist that I didn't give her breakfast yet.

So now, while B recovers for the vomiting, I am going to clean this house. The last few weeks/months have prevented me from giving the house a really good scrubbing. So, today's the day. Plus, if I clean it really good today, it'll be spick and span span when I get home from TEXAS!

Did I mention that I leave for TEXAS in a few days??!!?

19 March 2009

That crap is done!!

I'm done!! I passed!! That shit is O-V-E-R!

Now onto the prospectus.

Yeah.

17 March 2009

Savannah is the place for me!

Life would be good in Savannah.

I'd buy an historic mansion on the edges of Forsythe Park and spend my days walking through the city, visiting Tybee Island, and photographing Bonaventure Cemetery. The open-container laws would make afternoon "tea" a wonderful thing. I'd visit all of the museums every day and have a killer St. Paddy's day ever year!

15 March 2009

Four days out ...

Exam part deux is in three and a half days. I'm not excited. Happily, I made it through the weekend without vomiting. So, go me. I studied with the help of The Boy, and I feel no more confident about this damn thing. My only rationale of this whole situation is that I most likely won't fail twice, right? And, if I do, there will be seriously hell to pay. I've kept my mouth shut about the whole "violation of a contract" thing, but, if they even mention the word "fail," I'm heading directly to the DGS' office and then to the Grad School to complain. I'm not being a whiner, but this whole situation is honestly bullshit. I need to get through Thursday and then I'm taking a two week hiatus from thinking.

The two things I AM looking forward to this week: 1.) Getting O-BLIT-ERATED on Thursday night with Jo and friends. 2.) Packing and getting ready to jet off to TEXAS!!!! I cannot wait until I am in Texas with Kik and Saw and Rob and doing nothing but relaxing and having fun for a week!!! Am I there yet?

You may not hear much from me between now and Thursday. If you don't hear from me by Saturday, worry.

13 March 2009

Anxiety

My exam "re-take" is on the 19th. I think I'm gonna throw up. Seriously. I feel so nervous and anxious about this damn thing. I just want it to be the 20th so I don't have to think about this crap any more. Ugh. I know that just walking into the room after the last mess is going to take every once of strength I have, and then to sit down and be grilled by these people!?!?! I seriously can't even make a coherent thought about the things that I am supposed to know.

Last night I had a nightmare about the damn test. It was the morning of and I knew NOTHING. Seriously. I couldn't even make complete sentences about the material that I've been studying. I woke up in a cold sweat and immediately started going over the material in my head. Of course, in my middle-of-the-night-groggy-sleep I couldn't make sense of anything. That, of course, gave me great confidence for today's studying.

In happier news, Bailey has gained 4 pounds! The doc is really happy about this and wants her to pack on another 4 or 5. She no longer looks like she is starving. (She wasn't before but she certainly needed to gain some weight. Four visible ribs is four ribs too many!) This makes everyone happier!

No more wallowing! Get over it!

Clearly, from these choices, I'm not big on wallowing in the bittersweet remnants of nasty break-ups. Divorces happen. Break-ups happen. People die, and people are born. Every day is a new day and nothing we can do will ever change the past. Sometimes we just need to pick ourselves up by our bootstraps and get on with living our lives.
"You drove me, nearly drove me, out of my head
While you never shed a tear
Remember, I remember, all that you said
You told me love was too plebeian
Told me you were through with me and

Now you say you love me
Well, just to prove that you do
Come on and cry me a river
Cry me a river
I cried a river over you
I cried a river over you
I cried a river...over you..."

Really? Need I say more? We all know (or at least like to think) that the dumper will eventually regret it and come crawling back. And then we, as the dumpee, will revel in the thrill of rejecting the apologies and groveling of the dumper. Even if it never happens, this song still gives you that thrill of power and perseverance.
It's more about waking up and getting started with a new life than wallowing in the unchangeable past.

"When all the dark clouds roll away
And the sun begins to shine
I see my freedom from across the way
And it comes right in on time
Well it shines so bright and it gives so much light
And it comes from the sky above
Makes me feel so free makes me feel like me
And lights my life with love

[Chorus:]
And it seems like and it feels like
And it seems like yes it feels like
A brand new day, yeah
A brand new day oh

I was lost and double crossed
With my hands behind my back
I was longtime hurt and thrown in the dirt
Shoved out on the railroad track
I've been used, abused and so confused
And I had nowhere to run
But I stood and looked
And my eyes got hooked
On that beautiful morning sun

[Chorus]

And the sun shines down all on the ground
Yeah and the grass is oh so green
And my heart is still and I've got the will
And I don't really feel so mean
Here it comes, here it comes
0 here it comes right now
And it comes right in on time
Well it eases me and it pleases me
And it satisfies my mind"
Because break-ups are life. Sometimes life kicks your ass. Other times, it doesn't. That's just the way things are.

"That's life (that's life), that's what all the people say
You're ridin' high in April, shot down in May
But I know I'm gonna change that tune
When I'm back on top, back on top in June

I said that's life (that's life), and as funny as it may seem
Some people get their kicks stompin' on a dream
But I don't let it, let it get me down
'cause this fine old world, it keeps spinnin' around

I've been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn and a king
I've been up and down and over and out and I know one thing
Each time I find myself flat on my face
I pick myself up and get back in the race

That's life (that's life), I tell you I can't deny it
I thought of quitting, baby, but my heart just ain't gonna buy it
And if I didn't think it was worth one single try
I'd jump right on a big bird and then I'd fly"



07 March 2009

Home is the Heart of the Fingerlakes

There's no place like home! There's no place like home!!

It's spring here in the 'boro, and springtime anywhere makes me miss Upstate NY. Spring and Fall are my favorite time back home in Ithaca. (Of course, spring doesn't happen up there for another month or so!) When the last cold snow melts and the earth begins to warm and the birds begin to sing and the trees begin to bud ... there is nothing like hiking in a gorge or splashing in a waterfall. The vineyards should be kicking into high gear and Ithaca Beer should be starting production of Partly Sunny -- the best beer ever! I haven't been home in over a year, and I miss it. Of course, the eternal warmth of the South is rather appealing ... But nothin' replaces home.

06 March 2009

I always believed it was the things you don't choose that makes you who you are.

"I always believed it was the things you don't choose that makes you who you are. Your city, your neighborhood, your family. People here take pride in these things, like it was something they'd accomplished. The bodies around their souls, the cities wrapped around those. I lived on this block my whole life; most of these people have. [...] This city can be hard. When I was young, I asked my priest how you could get to heaven and still protect yourself from all the evil in the world. He told me what God said to His children. 'You are sheep among wolves. Be wise as serpents, yet innocent as doves.'"

These lines truly express how we find our identity in things that we have no control over. While we do have control over many parts of our lives, we often so strongly identify ourselves by our city or our neighborhood or our "people." The culture in which we are raised shapes us and gives us so much pride.

The last lines (about the priest) is an amazing line simply because it speaks to the evil and corruption in the world. By being vigilant and careful, we can see the evil and be smart while maintaining our "innocence."

Let the sunshine in!!

Alright, it's not super sunny. But it is warm!!!! We're supposed to crack 65 today. In honor of the great melt, I've torn all the insulating plastic off of my windows and threw them all wide open!!! It's warmer outside than it is in my house, and, after such a cold, nasty winter, things need airing out. So, here I sit at my Rear Window, which is now wide open, listening to the church bells (which may belong to a nursing home ... I've yet to make a solid conclusion on that one) and working away. What a great day!

05 March 2009

Don't say 'moist' around me

My verbal pet peeves - words that should be eliminated from the langauge
moist
I hate how the word feels in my mouth. It's gross. It's sounds like what it is. Moistness is GROSS!
Thundersnow
um ... the weatherman isn't allowed to just make up words. What is that about?
Bailout
Isn't it obvious?
Bipartisanship
Seriously?
quote when "quotation" is necessary
Why have we turned regular ol' nouns in to verbs? Are we seriously that lazy? When dod Google become an action? And Facebook? It's a service!! Not an action!!! And IMDB ... How can one IMDB something?!?! Let's go back to a better time when nouns were nouns and verbs were verbs.

02 March 2009

Bailey's first NC Snow Day!

As a Northerner, B has had her fair share of snow encounters of the cold kind. But, being a skinny delicate little things, she would be happy to never see snow again. Or so I thought. After our 5 inches last night, I took her to the park across the street to play. She had a blast!!! She hasn't seen real snow (more than a dusting) since Christmas '07 in New England. Her friskiness and true nature certainly came out! She was catching and chasing snow balls, digging for sticks beneath the snow, and acting like a puppy again. And now she's passed out on her bed.

The pretty tree limbs.

Sticks are more fun than snow.

The pretty park.

The snow mustache is better than a milk mustache.

Do you see what her ear is doing here? I love the spaziness of this dog. Seriously. 

On the hunt for something ... pretty sure it was a stick.

Winter makes for some beautiful trees. 

The beautiful snow almost makes me miss winters in the Northeast. But then I remember that the snow in the Northeast is mingled with ice and no sun for months at a time, and I come back to my senses.

01 March 2009

Reasons why I love the South...

Every business/school/organization in a 30 mile radius has been cancelled/closed already for the terror of the current snow "storm." It's pretty awesome. I love how the people down here are TOTALLY ill-equipped to deal with any kind of semi-solid or solid precipitation. Back home, we send out kids to school in three feet of snow. The only time we cancel is when the wind chill makes it too dangerous for the kiddies to stand out at the bus stop. I totally understand why everything shuts down here. But it is still extremely comical!

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