Monday, February 26, 2007

Driving ambition

It was my first road trip in my new car. Last week there was so much anticipation surrounding that Friday afternoon departure that when I left Dallas in such miserable weather, the sky half dark and my windshield wipers sweeping the drops from my view, I was let down, very disappointed. When I had visualized the windows down, sunshades on, hair blowing in the wind with my favorite rock tunes blaring, rain and bumper-to-bumper traffic seemed like the shaft.

And then, when I got to Conroe, everyone was just hanging out at home and no one wanted to go out! Sara and Brent rented a movie, Kara was at Mom and Dad's and Jessica came by to get her eyebrows waxed. I got a little much-needed waxing, too. But, with all that disappointment, the evening turned out to be great comic relief with several detours down Memory Lane.

We were digging through boxes of ancient photographs for Jessica's slideshow at her wedding reception. I was a freakin' cute baby. I should scan some of those shots, cuz damn! Cute baby! Right here! You know, I think my parents really did dote on me much more than any of their other children. I don't necessarily think this was because I was "the baby." Maybe it was because I was quiet and occupied all of the time. I had a rampant imagination. I could sit out in the sun for hours and play in the dirt, completely amused. I'm still kind of like that. I love the simple things. I'm still very salt-of-the-earth, but I no longer wash rocks in my mouth.

On Saturday, we shopped 'til we dropped at Target, getting a couple of things that Jessica had registered for, like a four-slice toaster. You could fit half a loaf in the sucker. Who needs that much toast and can't wait for a two-slice toaster to do the job, eh? and isn't it a waste of energy if you just want one or two slices, but you have to fire up the whole job? Bonus: There was a lingere sale and I got 4 new bras for $16! Yay for boob harnesses!

At Jessica's wedding shower, the very reason I was in town for the weekend, I couldn't shake the feeling that I just didn't belong there. I couldn't really summon the proper enthusiasm for the event, so I made myself comic relief, exhibiting apropos excitement to the nth degree. Shouts of joy, oooohs and ahhhhs, all that crap. I felt like Meg Ryan in the famous restaurant scene of When Harry Met Sally. Funny though that I ran into Erica's mother, Bettye, there. I had no clue that she'd be at the shower. In fact, I think everyone on the face of the planet knew that she'd be there, except me. I asked her how Erica was, bad idea because I should have known that she wouldn't have anything nice to say. Everyone joked that she was still in college to get her "MRS" degree. Trying to avoid people, I gorged on the fruit and pastry buffet and washed it down with some piss-poor coffee and tea. Horrid tea. Lukewarm tea with no cream. Ugh.

My mother and I left the shower, both of us feeling that we'd never get back that hour wasted.

We got home and I got dressed down to do some yoga and have some dinner before the evening began. We saw a special on Barbecue on Food Network. I remember seeing some really good stuff, and then I said, "You know, I've never had ribs before." My mother immediately got up and said that she was going to go get dinner. Dad and I hung out cleaning his rifle when mom returned toting a big brown paper sack, which could only mean one thing: McKenzie's Barbecue. McKenzie's is like a Conroe tradition, and it is THE BEST BARBECUE. Honest. You'll never taste better. In fact, if you ever traipse through Conroe, or Texas or Houston for that matter, you better stop at McKenzies.

Their ribs were awesome, even despite my complete lack of reference. So tender, the flesh was easily tugged from the tidily trimmed bones. I could only eat three and I was reeling. It was like crack, despite my complete lack of reference.

I went over to Phillip and Megan's house. There I met Kara, Mel, Sara, Brent, etc. etc. We played Wii. Dear God, that was so fun. I'd consider getting a Wii just for the incredibly fun parties you could throw. Everyone gets throwed while playing video games! Yay!



We all slept over Saturday night and woke to stale booze breath and a few siblings munching on fast-food breakfast. I did not indulge (no fast food in over 2 years!) and instead opted for a protein bar. I made the trip back to my parents house, changed clothes and went shopping with my mom. We had the BEST time. Seriously. We went to the Apple store in the mall and I got a car adapter for my iPod! Now I can play my iPod through my car stereo! YAY!!! I got some new iPod headphones for Dave, just like he asked, and then we went to HEB to scout the bulk sections and crazy produce. You'd be surprised at the larger selection that the HEB we went to had compared to the Whole Foods in my neighborhood or even the Central Market in my old neighborhood. We totally raided the bulk area, the olive bar, and the produce section. And we picked up all kinds of cool Italian sodas. Yum!

But just as soon as I got there, I had to go. I strapped myself in and pulled away from my parents' house slowly, waving at my mom out the window of the car that will help me visit my family much more often, which is great, because there's nothing quite like them.


Olivia said...

NEVER HAD RIBS? What? And you grew up in the BBQ capital of the USA!

Hang on, I thought you were a veggie...

I miss Target, I wish they had that here instead of the Wal-Mart-owned ASDA superstores. Super Target has better food and products overall, hands down.

What is an MRS degree?

Did you go to the HEB Marketplace shopping plaza in The Woodlands, and the mall nearby?
I haven't been to TW since they opened the Waterway.

Have you ever been to the Conroe Outlet mall? I never have, it always seemed a bit far. How about Portofino? I think that's further south of TW. Looks like Venice. V. Pretty.

Olivia said...

Ooh I forgot, I'd love to see you as a baby.
I put mine up here: Circles n curls
So now it is your turn. :)

lunaliar said...

OMG! Liv you were so precious as a bitty girl! Love the curls! Being a tomboy when I was growing up, I was a bit untidy and unkempt, but always a cutie!

I know, isn't it absurd that I've never had ribs? I'm not a veg, I once was but then developed severe anemia and had to be hospitalized for a bit. I don't eat beef at all, pork only occaisionally, while my diet consists of mostly tofu, seitan, fish and some chicken.

I have to say, Target is so awesome. We have a regular Target and a Super Target in our neighborhood. You're right about the food. They have the best store brands ever. I love their frozen gourmet section. You can get great stuff like spinach, artichoke asiago stuffed tortellini for only 4.99 for a 16 oz bag! Awesome! They also have the best store brand cookies and crackers.

That was the HEB we went to. It was nice, a lot like the Central Market in my neighborhood here in Dallas, esp. since their owned by the same company.

I haven't checked out the completed waterway yet. I'll probably do that when I'm back down there in a week and a half.

We used to do a lot of our back-to-school shopping at the Conroe Premium Outlets, but I haven't been there in a while. There are some good outlet malls up here though! The Portofino center is okay, I mean, it's kind of campy. Venice doesn't have a 9-acre parking lot and a Wal-Mart. It's right across from Shenandoah, at the North end of The Woodlands, near Highway 242.

Ah... Nostalgia!

Olivia said...

LOL It was always hard remembering which side of TW anything was. I remember one time I had to take my Dad's car in for maintenance, and he took mine, and I couldn't remember whether the dealership was north or south!

I also once got lost on the way back home from Dairy Ashford. I got on the wrong bit of the 59, couldn't figure our where to get off, and ended up in Kingwood.

I don't eat beef either, or even pork really - except in both cases they make great ribs.

Yesterday it was really grey and drizzly here in London (comfort food weather), and I was madly craving some chicken fried steak with white gravy and mashed potato...I could taste it!

lunaliar said...

OMG... Chicken fried steak is as close to culinary as a lot of my college friends could get. It was a really ritzy evening if they got green beans (haircot vert was lost on them) or steamed kale with it. To be Southern...

Olivia said...

LOL I remember once at the university cafeteria, we asked for "spinach" and the dinner staff corrected us because it was "collard greens"

MattJ said...

Tofu?! blech! A more loathsome substance I have yet to consume! with the possible exception of ochra......

Anyway! I'm back you lucky devil!

Ribs FTW!