Thursday, December 31, 2009

What 2009 means

At the beginning of this decade I was a junior in high school. I cannot believe how much I've changed since then, and I don't mean just hair colors.

At that point in my life, I still felt like a big fish in a small pond. I was still smart enough to do whatever I wanted and young enough to make mistakes and not fear the consequences. I wanted to be a veterinarian, I wanted to double major in music performance (violin), and I wanted to move far away from Texas. Of these things I was absolutely certain.

At the beginning of my senior year, I hung a poster of the aerial view of Randolph Macon Women's College in my bedroom. I was going to go there, or somewhere like it, and I was going to thrive. I just knew it. It seemed inevitable that someone would burden my dreams with reality, though.

I would break up with my significantly older boyfriend of two because he refused to go back to school. I would also get accepted to Texas A&M University's Biomedical Science program, which is not at all Randolph Macon, where I was accepted but couldn't afford even with my $20,000 scholarship from a golf charity.

I graduated, said good bye to my friends, and moved to College Station. Turns out that I didn't need to be in Lynchburg, Va., to find out who I really was and what I really wanted.

Several idiotic college relationships later, I felt smarter, but I wasn't necessarily. I decided to move in with my then boyfriend, and I made one of them most significant life decisions ever: After two years in the Biomedical Science program, I switched majors to journalism.

I got into photography.

And I set out to change the world in my own way.

I took a few environmental policy and law courses and really felt that advocacy and publications and the business of changing people's minds was my destiny. I'd always felt a connection with the environment, and to really work to change our culture's perception of it was a noble cause.

So, I graduated, dumped my long-term boyfriend who admitted he was dead weight, got into some really hasty love affairs and then got a job in the Editorial Department of Texas' Leading Newspaper.

It was my dream job.

I moved to Dallas, which may have well been Lynchburg to my family in the Houston area. It was hard to be a 3-hour drive away, but it was also liberating.

At the end of July in 2005 I went on my first night out alone to a small blues bar on Greenville Ave. near Ross called Muddy Waters. I sat at the bar, drinking Lone Star and smoking Camels. I met Dave. We've been together ever since.

We got married the next year, which is my second most life-changing decision. The third followed soon after: We bought a house in East Dallas, cementing my status as a Dallasite.

You've read about everything else in between, so I'll spare the details. But it's safe to say that as 2009 ends, so does the most turbulent decade of my life. I can't believe the number of changes I've been through since then, but I'm so glad I ended up where I did. Even though this year I've dealt with unemployment and the real difficulties of making ends meet and keeping your pride in check, I can say that this decade has been the most humbling, gratifying, amazing, and optimistic years of my life.

I hope you and I both have many more ahead. Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

When Movie Romances Go Bad

So, I just watched Twilight. For the first time. I've never read the books. Don't plan to, either.

As you can figure, from watching the first movie, I have some stunning cultural observations to share:

1) No matter how ridiculous they seem, you know that you can relate to the whole teen-angsty budding relationship. And, you know that even though you're now what legally passes for an adult, you kinda miss all of those pit-in-your-stomach moments when you're undressing the other person hastily with your eyes as you kiss somewhat tentatively.

And even though you miss it, seeing a movie FILLED with these moments can be really exhausting.

2) Edward and Bella will make you wonder what the fuck is going on with Mormons these days. You know that in 75 percent of the teens out there confronted with some of the situations in this movie would have been buck naked and on top of each other in .0125 seconds. The fact that Edward and Bella barely even kiss is ridiculous. This is an adult movie with the sex scenes deleted, that's what it is.

3) Also, from watching this completely whack (yes, I said "whack" and I mean every bit of it) romance, you will feel like your relationship is somewhat inferior to what the two pasty teens have going on. This is crazy, especially if you read the Cliffs Notes version of the books (thanks for saving me time, Twilight wiki!) and discover how this whole story ends. SO. EFFING. STUPID.

Vampire/human hybrids? Werewolf imprinting? Sex after marriage?

All poppycock, I say! Poppycock!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My 27th on the 26th

Here I am, cruising on the couch at my sister's place, watching some inconsequential football game, sitting next to my husband, doodling on my new macbook pro, and being entirely grateful.

Yesterday was my 27th birthday, and I feel so lucky to have spent it with my family and close friends. I feel so tremendously lucky, mostly because for the last several years my birthday was spent driving from one place to the next, or at work, where some people forgot. In all, last night was my first-ever real birthday party, and I have my family, especially my mom and my sisters, to thank.

And, even awesome-er, I got a set of Harmony Wood Knitpicks interchangeable circular needles!!!

So exciting!

I hope you had a wonderful holiday and are hanging close to the people you love. Let's all get ready for 2010!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Plans for 11 days and nights away from work

Miracle of miracles, I get a winter break this year.

At my former employer, we didn't even get Christmas Eve off. Bah Humbug!

At my new and fabulous employer, we're taking off from Dec. 24 to Jan. 3. That's 11 days people.

A ridiculous amount of vacation if you ask me.

So, what do I plan to do?



Walk the dogs.

And blog.

Keep up with what's going on in my little world on my twitter feed. I should be posting pics of knitted gifts soon, too!

Happy Holidays and Merry Vacations!

When it comes to Fox, you're darn right I'll be picky.

This just in from Fox News' story on the Congress' health care reform mess:

As the Senate prepares for a crucial vote before final passage of a massive overhaul bill that Democrats argue will reduce the deficit by $132 billion over 10 years, Sen. Jeff Sesssions, R-Ala, said the nearly $500 billion in cuts to Medicare actually will add $300 billion to the deficit

Makes me think that Jef Sessssssions might be a member of Slytherin.

My Preciousssssssssssssss.....

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Jesus is the reason for advertising this season

I have been meaning to post about this, but, you know, life gets in the way.

Those ridiculous financing ads you may run into on news websites have sunk to a new low. Yes, lower than the dancing clown crap. Lower than the "Follow this one rule to erase belly fat" ads.

They're using Jesus.


Sunday, December 20, 2009

A Day Late to the Christmas Party

Yup. I forgot to mention that I guest blogged over at Wonju Wife!

Go, read!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Every day like falling leaves

Our front yard is covered in crunchy, gold and brown leaves. This happens every year as the entropy of fall sets in -- usually just before Thanksgiving -- and I am loathe to rake them. Dave and I don't hire out landscape work. It often seems like a big waste of money to have other people do a task of which he and I both are completely capable.

But, if we ever decided to (and believe me, we've talked about it), I would not hesitate to hire out the ridiculous amount of raking that needs to be done in our small patch of East Dallas.

Then again, I've always fantasized about hiring a maid to come every two weeks to dust and shine our house (Especially the bathroom!) so that it doesn't become so unmanageable (our level of untidyness is often unmanageable).

Speaking of lazy asses, since I started my new job a month ago, I've ordered takeout more than I did in the six months I was unemployed. This, however, has rekindled my love of area restaurants.

When we moved to the Casa Linda area of Dallas, we left behind some really great restaurants in the Lakewood/Munger Place neighborhood. We order takeout from them sometimes, though. Bangkok Inn off of Oram is one great little spot (Try their curries!), but definitely get takeout, because the inside of the restaurant will just trip you out. I also miss La Calle Doce, The Goldrush, Garden Cafe, Piggie Pies (off of Greenville) and The Tipperary Inn (Closed because of a greedy landlord).

Speaking of bars and restaurants (I was speaking of them, wasn't I?), have you ever heard of the "Two glasses of wine" theory? The gist: Everything is a better idea (even the worst ideas are measurably better) after two glasses of wine.

You're at a bar and talking to some of your friends about a tattoo you've always wanted to get, and suddenly, after a couple of glasses of wine, you're all at the tattoo shop.

One of your pals said that she likes the way Sinead O'Connor looks, but shaving your head is a big committment. After two glasses of wine you at least start to wonder what you'd look like with some scalp showing.

You're cousin isn't bad looking. After two glasses of wine you he's Brad Pitt and the idea of making out with him is still repulsive, but, hey, he looks like Brad Pitt...

Speaking of family (I was kind of speaking of family right then, right?) Thanksgiving was just last weekend, and like most of America, I spent it with family. My in-laws (lucky bastards!!!) hosted Tofurkey Day this year, and Dave and I went to their house for the day.

Now, my mother-in-law still doesn't get the whole "vegetarian thing," so I made a couple of dishes that I knew I would be able to eat. One of them was mushroom risotto. The other was this fantastic pumpkin bread pudding.

The risotto was a huge disappointment. This was mostly because I used a brand of dried mushrooms that I hadn't ever used before, and, for the record, I will never use again. They had the worst texture, and really, mushrooms are all about texture. A mushroom that is limp or gummy, no matter how savory and delicious, is unappetizing. Imagine a perfectly cooked risotto full of gummy mushrooms. I seriously ate my way around them, and I never do that.

The bread pudding, on the other hand, WAS RIDICULOUS!!! So good! I made some whipped cream to go with it, and guys, it was effing delicious. It was so tasty that my mother-in-law called the day after Thanksgiving (also known as "Hell on Earth" for people who work in retail) to tell me that she absolutely needed the recipe.

Speaking of Black Friday (See what I did there?), I have never really known anyone that actually shops (or should I say, "makes it into stores without getting trampled to death") at 4 a.m. on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Thanks to Facebook, I now know at least 8 people that went out to malls and big-box stores at four fucking o'clock in the morning, ON A FRIDAY DURING A FOUR-DAY WEEKEND!!!! Idiots.

Oh, and I watch 3.5 movies this weekend. The Wrestler (depressing!), Revolutionary Road (also depressing!), Margot at the Wedding (funny and depressing!), and half of Che' (LONGLONGLONG! (but thorough)).

Man, I want some Thai food....