Friday, November 30, 2007

1, 2, 3, 4 Meme

First one I've posted on here... Let 'er rip!

Subject: 4 Things You May Not Know About Me

Four things about me that you may or may not
have known in no particular order.

Four jobs I have had in my life:

2. Intern at The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M
3. Waitress at Kerri's Stacked Enchiladas
4. Gas station attendant at Diamond Shamrock

Four movies I could watch over and over:

1. Pi (or anything directed by Daron Aronofsky)
2. Amelie
3. The Client
4. Big Business (one summer my sisters and I watched this Bette Midler movie almost every day)

Four places I have lived:

1. Dallas, TX
2. Madisonville, TX
3. College Station, TX
4. Conroe, TX

Four Shows that I watch:

1. Iron Chef
2. Good Eats
3. Heroes
4. How I met your mother

Four places I have been:

1. St. Louis, Mo.
2. Key West, Fla.
3. San Francisco, Calif.
4. Santa Fe/Taos, N.M.

People who e-mail me and text message me
regularly...including myspace

1. Dave
2. Kara
3. Jack
4. Olivia

Four of my favorite foods:

1. Curry (any kind, really)
2. Smoked Salmon
3. Vegetarian chili
4. Salads with lots of healthy goodies

Four places I would rather be right now:

1. On a train in Europe
2. Tibet
3. Pune, India
4. The Pacific Northwest

Four friends I think will do this meme:

1. Sara
2. Ashlee
3. Anna
4. Sara again?

Things I am looking forward to this year: (the year is almost over - this one is hard)

1. Christmas and my birthday with the whole Jemison/England/Fraser/Williams Clan!
2. Recommiting myself to my yoga practice
3. Building the deck and putting up new shades
4. Finishing all of these godforsaken knit gifts!!!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Butter and yarn

I want to be a housewife. I shit you not. Stay with me here, becuase I know all us college educated ladies have been conditioned to think that housewives are the mailroom workers of the fairer sex. But, how can that be so when I, a Big XII graduate and a corporate ladder-climbing company shill, want to give it all up to stay at home? I'll tell you why: Being a cog in the machine is unfulfilling. I'd rather stay at home, freelance every now and again, bake bread, sew stuff, read philosphy, raise a rugrat and knit all the livelong day. Will I ever do this? Probably not.

The market of human resources has become conditioned to the availability of women in the workplace. Now it's almost expected that women take advantage of the wide array of jobs now available to them, and if a college educated woman were to ever shun the corporate life for one at home, she's a waste, and wasn't worth the educational investment in the first place. I disagree.

Although I've never seriously considered starting a family, I can see why a woman would want to stay home with their children. I'm not going to make any generalizations that it's in a woman's nature to care for kids, but I can understand why a woman would want to make sure that the only indoctrination their kids get is from their home. My parents did as much, albeit I'm sure it was a nightmare with five kids. My mom made sure we understood that there were people out there that were going to say things and do things we didn't understand or we didn't like. We could always ask my parents about that kind of stuff. We ate meals together, we did sports and clubs together. We were all active in eachothers lives.

So I was thinking about how this Christmas will be the first Christmas for all of us married kids to bring our spouses and all be together under one roof. We're so different, and our husbands/wives reflect that. But we're all a family. I don't know one kid or in-law that doesn't absolutely love one another. That's a freakin' family. I hope that we're always like this. That we're always involved, that we're always on good terms. And when someone finally squirts out offspring, I hope it doesn't poo/puke/pee on me and that I'll love it, too.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

My life as Cathy

A coworker is going through a parallel struggle against fat, and we both extoll the days we've been "good" and haven't gorged ourselves on ubiquitous, easily consumed and seemingly pervasive holiday treats. Likewise, we both verbally flog ourselves with guilt and admittance when we've partaken of said treats. In the refrigerator at work you are faced with a blue pill/red pill choice: Will you go for the bowl of sliced fruit and be proud of yourself or will you sneak one of the brownies/cheescake bites/rasberry bars/cookies and feel remarkably guilty for it? Today it was fruit, but I only did it because yesterday it was a cheesecake bite AND a brownie.

If you've ever seen the long-running American comic strip "Cathy" then you see the obvious parallel between my struggle against my lard-ass genes and Cathy's own flab fight. Though, Cathy is such a poor example -- she hasn't lost weight in almost 30 years! She's gotta be like, a size 16!

Knit one, Knit one, Knit one ...

Year before last it was scarves. This year it's hats. Next year ... who knows! I'm trying to knit as many hats as possible for Christmas this year. If I don't make them all in time I'll just have to take a picture of the yarn and stick it in a box with a bar of chocolate or something. I always seem to get great ideas for Christmas gifts a little too late. I've already made three hats: the first one was for me, the next was for a yoga teacher and the third was Dave's. I'm making Dave's mother's hat, Dave's father, Dave's brother, My mother (hat AND scarf!), my father, my three sisters and my brother. That's nine hats. IN FOUR WEEKS!!! That's 2.25 hats per week! I don't know if I can do it (in fact, I'm almost certain I can't), but I'm going to try anyway. It's the thought that counts, right?

I just hope that knitting all of these hats doesn't turn me off to knitting like all of those scarves did. Granted, the scarves were all garter stitch with novelty yarns, which is really difficult to knit sometimes because they are so uneven and you can't tell if you've dropped a stitch or if you've accidentally increased. This year, with the hats, I'm only making one using a novelty yarn and that's only because it's going to match a scarf I made for the recipient last year.

I also hope that with all of these hats knitted I'll gain the confidence to try something new, like cables or interesting patterns with increases and decreases all over the place. I've also wanted to try sock knitting, but that looks so complicated to try right now, besides that, the yarn is so small and the gauge is so tight. I'm not a very proficient knitter as is, and I've never seen anyone else knit up close before. I'm entirely self-taught, which means that I have no clue if I'm doing something blatantly wrong that an experienced knitter would pick up in a second.

Anyway, wish me luck! If I knit like the wind I just might be able to do it! (And thank goodness for the three-plus hour car ride from Dallas to Houston!)

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

First Draft

It's finally chilly here in Texas. It's our first winter in the new house and my, my, my is this little sucker drafty. And the furnace sounds like there's a freight train going 80 mph in our back yard. And I don't have a decent set of slippers!

I've been through a cold winter here in Dallas. Last year we had snow that stuck for like, three or four days!!! But in the old drafty house we used to live in I had a nice set of shearling slippers and there were gas furnaces in just about every room.

Now that we have central heat and air conditioning I'm kind of missing the heaters. They were quiet. Heck, they were silent. Just imagine trying to get nice and toasty and curl up in bed only to almost drift off when all of the sudden it sounds like there's a semi on top of you.

The cats are having a rough time dealing with the cold, too. They're warming up by way of double occupancy.


This cold weather has also lead me to conclude that I don't have nearly as many cool sweaters as I though. I guess I should go out and buy more cool sweaters. Nod your heads, people... Thanks a bunch!

Also, I've been working on my scorpion pose a lot. Although it still looks like crap, I just have to take a look back at how incredibly far I've come. At one time I couldn't keep my arms under me, my elbows would always splay and my head would come to the floor, but look at me now!


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Weekends (bombs) away

It's been approximately four years since I've seen Betzy. The last I saw of her was waving at her in the back seat of a car as she pulled away from her wedding. I was her maid of honor. I didn't go to the afterparty because I was the only person that couldn't tell that my then boyfriend was an asshole. C'est la vie.

Since Betzy moved to North Carolina (envious) she's settled down like I have: small house, too many animals. Except her husband isn't a bookselling poet. Her husband is a marine, who is now deployed overseas. I have so much respect for Betzy, mostly because she looks happy and blessed to people that don't know her. Most people don't under stand what an enormous accomplishment that is. Life has dealt her many opportunities to give up. Depression (not the rainy-day kind, but invasive, crippling depression)runs in her family. She's had more ups and downs than the roller coasters at Six Flags and now her husband is fighting a war that I've given up railing against because too many people I know have sacrificed to fight it.

Betzy and I were in Kindergarten together. She watched my back and stuck up for me. We always looked to one another for guidance, we went through some of the same struggles and we both played violin. I miss the midnight sessions we'd have laying in bed during sleepovers at her parents' enormous house, or how we'd sit on the bleachers during junior high and talk music and take risks. We were both the kind of people who were bound and determined to take the route less traveled. For that reason I admire her and I can't wait to spend some real time with her again.

Last night I came home after a very stressful day and did some yoga. I've been working on my Scorpion pose more and now I can hold it away from the wall for like, a second. My king pigeon pose now sucks, though.

Here's to back bends -- Because you're bending over backwards during the rest of the day anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

On the verge

Sometimes I have to take a step outside of my body, take a look at what surrounds me and ask myself, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" I'm beginning to wonder these days whether or not I really appreciate being the blanket that other people use to cover their asses. Strap me to a fucking post, people. I have turned into your accountability. I am young and susceptible, and you put me in a position to take 40 lashes in every direction? Is this leadership? Yeah, if you call leading a lamb to slaughter leadership, then call it like you see it.

Only time will tell if I can really take all this. I wanted to be in an environment with a lot of pressure a lot of drive to succeed, but it was only a matter of time before I looked for ways to relieve the everyday pressure of being the seive that filters other people's bullshit. The only thing this gives me is a guaranteed dirty feeling.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Personal space

Decorating a room is really hard. Seriously. If you're lazy (like me) and yet a perfectionist (guilty, too) you have to have things done right the first time so you don't have to do them over again, which is a frickin' pain. So, I agonized over my yoga room. I wanted it to be just the right color, I wanted it to be open and accessible but not too fussy. I wanted it to be a place where I can find solace but still have an explicit purpose. I didn't want it to be a room where stray furniture ends up. It is a yoga room, sparsely furnished and open to possibilities. The walls are minimal and the color should be airy. That doesn't mean that it shouldn't be fun or playful though.

Besides hanging the shades, which are on order, it's mostly complete. We're planning on buying a rug to hang on the one blank wall for a foot rest during inversions. It'll be light and airy, too, probably a mix of green and purple, and hang above the chair rail. On the opposite wall there are stencils of lime-green lily pads behind framed photos of water lilies (one of my favorite flowers).




Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Stupid neighbors!

I am really warming to our neighborhood. It's small, middle class, has some great views and some really nice routes for jogging/walking the dogs. So far we've met a lot of our neighbors while walking Hornsby and Fitzgerald, one woman that owns a pug is very sweet, but because I can't remember her name for shit, we have resigned to call her "Pug lady." There's also a young pregnant wife down the street with a doberman. She's due on New Years, and her name is Shanna, or Shawna, or Shandra, or something like that. Real sweet gal. Two houses down there is a Mexican couple that doesn't speak any English and has an antique plow painted bright red, along with myriad other tacky yard art not limited to a flower box made from cinder blocks adorned with an orange painted fish. This house we have knighted "Casa de Pescados" or "House of the Fish." With all of this added flavor, we still don't mind the owners becuase they're genuinely nice and they don't bother us.

But, across the street is the Cat Lady. Besides the travel van permanently parked in her driveway with Oregon plates, the house looks normal from the street. But inside there are motives much more sinister. The woman indiscriminantly feeds unneutered feral cats, thereby fascilitating their breeding and their pest status. She scatters cheap cat food by the cupful into her lawn like a spinster feeding pigeons. The cats flock to her front porch for seconds every morning. She's fascilitating the spread of disease and cat poop on to neighborhood lawns. She must be stopped!

I contacted a feral cat service in Dallas and they will soon be working to send traps over to my house so I can trap the cats and have them neutered/spayed and release them. I hate to trap them, but it's for their/my own good. They can't procreate like bunnies and not expect to fall ill from rampant infectious disease. Besides, it's just a matter of time before they vector whatever crap they have onto my cats via their multitutde of fleas.

It is actually heartbreaking to see the litters these cats have that will shy from human touch and be resigned to an early death because one woman was irresponsible.

Stupid neighbors!!!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Dallas: Dumbass Central

I deal with skads, literally a force, of barely literate people who can't keep their moronic thoughts to themselves. Every day, as I read the crap spewing from panicked and angry people, I'm reminded of a saying: "Opinions are like assholes -- everyone has one and they're all shitty."

But what depresses me even more than reading these diatribes and bullshit is that these people vote. They vote without thinking, without reading and without knowing what they are voting for/against. They vote randomly, they vote haphazardly, and worst of all, they vote early and often.

It's people like this that often complain about confusing ballot language when so many websites, newspapers and magazines have spent so many hours and dollars spelling it out for them. If they would only pick up a copy, read about it and THEN decide ... This, however, is asking far to much from the barely literate people of Dallas.

I, on the other hand (that is attached to a body with feet firmly planted in reality), did so much research into my vote. I spent oodles of time looking into all of the state constitutional propositions, into Dallas' Prop. 1, weighing both sides and sometimes even debating with friends. I made my decision like it was a crucial one, one that deserved the respect and intention that our civic duty implies. In this case, I am rare. Shit, who am I trying to kid? I'm facing extinction.

As a matter of fact, I feel that uninformed voters, the confused ones that were unsure of how to vote on Dallas' Prop. 1, the Trinity Referendum, were the deciding factor. There was only a 6 percent margin in the election. If the vote-yes-against-the-toll road campaign had better informed 4 percent of the voters, if they had kept these morons from bubbling in the wrong oval, then they would have won.

Heck, I don't know if I really care about who won or lost in the Trinity vote. It was a poorly planned but well-executed campaign of confusion. The engineering group designing the contentious toll road that was to pass through the levees of the Trinity River (a dicey situation at best) hadn't even finalized the plans. Their estimates for what the road would cost had margins of error at 20 to 30 percent! That's insane! Why are we voting to approve a plan for a road that doesn't even exist?!

There is a chance that the establishment's preferred road design between the levees will never get government approval, and it might never be built. but by golly, we're going to spend $2 million that Dallas can't afford to have an election on a road that hasn't even been fully designed yet! We can't afford a $2 million election on a road that doesn't exist when we're spending so much money on administrative costs for a city council that can't repair the roads we already have!

I really wonder if any other cities are so frustrating. I wonder if there is anything such as common-sense politics.