Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Cow Named Rocky Dennis

I just had the Thanksgiving trip of a lifetime.  It can all be summed up by saying I drove to east Texas and learned the culture.  The very best part was finding Hands on a Hard movie ever!!!  If you don't know...find out!  WARNING: CrossFit/Zone/Paleo do not recommend a diet of Snickers and Oranges...but it is a human drama thing!

Monday, November 1, 2010

standing O, part deux

This weekend I declared everything as stupid to 125 people, made grown men cry and got a standing ovation for it.  Now I have these and must be responsible for them......

1. stupid is the new cool
2. eat, think, move, live with intention
3. you don't get it one minute before you GET IT
4. want to be happy everyday? get up to something
5. be a 'yes' to life
6. i already am a remarkable it or not
8. stop whining
9. take a deep breath and be great
10. i'm going to india

Monday, October 25, 2010

if you could be a goldfish would you?  just hold your breathe and spin in circles all day?  why are so many people afraid to of change?

TX status update & Moo Jesus

1.  Football is huge....and it reminds me fondly of Waynesville
2.  Moo Jesus is real....don't get too excited Misty....I said MOO Jesus
3.  I get to see these two cheeseballs as much as I can stand

4.  I know Cindy Mason
5.  Kat G's kids have shown me great parenting can truly produce mini-awesome adults
6.  I am surrounded by people who won't let me stop at average
7.  I did this....

This is month has been full of self-maintenance.  I haven't been feeling energized or silly or like calling anyone....but all is good.  I love October.

Friday, September 3, 2010

My hands are swelling again...don't take drugs...ever....if your kids are on ADHD meds...get them OFF!  If you think adderall is helping's not!  If you take birth control.......STOP IT!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I think the Texas heat has finally melted my brain.  I saw a tweet about doing a 100 Day Burpee Challenge.  I thought it sounded fun and asked my roommate if she wanted to do it with me.  I was selfishly thinking it would be nice to have an accountability partner.  Part of the challenge involves making a video of day 25, 50 and 75.  I do not desire to be even more reason to have a buddy on board to hold me to it.  Then something bad happened......I got excited about a themed party.  That's usually bad news because I get obsessed and things get crazy.  Within a few hours I had 10 people excited about burpees....with the simple promise of BBQ upon completion.  It's nuts what people will do for some grilled meat.  The current Burpees4BBQ count is 22.....who else wants in??  The beauty of video means you don't have to be in Texas....of course you do have to work on the honor system.  Action is character and reality lives in language!

100 Day Burpee Challenge rules and regs HERE....thanks Jess!  If you are in...let me know...there's BBQ in it for you....or a high five if you'd rather.

Coming soon.....Burpee Scavenger Hunt!

In other news, I'm beginning the master cleanse next week to try to finally get my thyroid and liver back to normal.....thanks Yasmin for teaching me a true lesson on why synthetic hormones are terrible.  No better motivation for the cleanse than 50 burpees chasing me.  I don't think I'll make it to 50 while only sipping lemonade for dinner.  This is where the "uh, what" comes into play....why am I doing all of this??????

Friday, August 13, 2010

for Mrs. Tanner Clayton

So, when was the last time you met a new friend and thought "OMG, we are totally gonna be BFFs for like LIFE"?  Let's say maybe you hang out a couple of times and you're even more like..."OMG, OMG, OMG....we should totally hangout like totally like always!!!!"  Well...let's just say you would expect that "you" were maybe 13 and you bought the heart necklaces w/ two halves just like all the other 13 year old lost soles in your 7th grade class.

What about when you're older? Maybe in college, well hopefully in college, you found a new set of OMG friends....sparked by the bigger better version of yourself discovered from branching outside of your high school.  Perhaps discovering for the first time that you were able to make friends based on choosing people as friends rather than being stuck next to them in 3rd,5th & 7th period because there were only 20 people in the "I read past a 5th grade level in 10th grade" class.

So, what about now...the big, scary 30....real life?  If you're lucky, changes never stop, but I know that I am more MEEEE than ever before.  It's fun and obnoxious and fun.  I think I've almost accepted who I am and what I like and that it's really okay to like things other people don't, respectfully of course.  (that is the hardest part, since I'm so good at keeping my opinion private via my telltale facial expressions).  That whole process makes new friends easier but leaving old friends harder.  I have a continuous habit of making and keeping really ridiculously awesome friends.  It's not always easy and they are certainly hard to leave behind.

There is no bigger compliment than having a friend from NC send an email connect with someone in TX saying "you both are awesome, make sure you hang out".....ahhhh technology!!  I feel like I already have a community of awesome around me in TX..  That's pretty incredible considering I still haven't changed my license plate or phone number.  In my most conceded moments it makes me feel like perhaps I'm awesome.....but then again, we learned last in the last episode than I AM, in fact, full of myself!  (yes, yes, I know humility, trust me I have it....just not on paper).  I only trust that I am totally, OMG awesome, when I look around and see the people around me.

So the "i'm awesome" Six Flags rides is one of those psycho coasters where your feet hang free.  It's great, but scary and dangerous...but worth the line, at least twice.  This week I became extremely irritated with people, well maybe just one or two people in specific.  For the first time in awhile I was thinking..."wow, you really aren't smart......when did I sign up to be your life tutor? at least you PAY a life coach"  I used to feel that way quite often.  That's a terrible way to think and I have purposefully moved away from it.  But recently, I found myself beating my head against the dumb-wall and couldn't figure out why I was playing the game.  I know better!  So, back onto the "i'm awesome" free fall portion.  I don't need any more Vanilla Ice Songs in my know "that kid is like a Vanilla Ice song, fun at first, even more fun after a few drinks....sober you realize there is no artistic value to the song, but it's still fun so who cares....then, suddenly you can't escape it and even the first two beats make you angry because everything about it is annoying"  yeah, no thanks....I'm good at annoying myself, no help needed.

If you met someone and they were an OMG friend...then they referenced "Freaks"....would you still want them to be your neighbor...227 style??? Sadly, that reference confused me at first, but upon's perfect.  I want an OMG/227 island....I have too many friends who don't live close's hard being awesome :) Thank you times 8 billion-trillion to all of the people I can sit back and call amazing....and crave spending time with...the island is coming.......WATCH THIS!!!!!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

"...I'm in love with your teeth"

Have you ever received a standing ovation?  Has that question ever crossed your mind, or some other version like "I wonder what that feels like"?  Not me.  I have never really liked to be the center of attention.  Maybe at family dinners when I was being a brat, but not in public or school or work.  I don't hate to be in front of a room full of people, but just didn't seek it out.  I have considered in the past what it might feel like to be on stage performing.  I've never done that.  I have close friends who love it, feed off of it.  I just don't care to do that......I'm not even comfortable advertising the fact that I have a blog.  I'll talk my friends' ears off, but who cares about sharing with the world?  Apparently, now, I do........

This weekend after 2.8998989 days of listening to other people speak, I finally got up on stage at the very last moment.  Once on stage, the crowd did not exist, just me and my little world, bouncing around in my big brain.  I left the stage and saw nothing but a straight path to Lisa, then Jeremy, then my chair.  Once in my safe zone and the attention was on someone else, I realized that I had just received a standing ovation.  WEIRD!  I don't think it really sank in until today.  I can see how someone might get addicted to that feeling.

A few months ago, one of my favorite people from high school asked what I had been up to.  My response was a quick "discovering that I'm the coolest girl I know."  It was kind of a joke, but kind of true as I was finally pulling my sad, leaking breakup face out of the pond of tears on my apartment floor.  It was a nice realization that things were really getting better....even if it took more than a year.  His response was "the last person to know, that's so you."  Jokes or not, that conversation stuck with me. 
Right before I moved to Texas I had a short conversation about real life beginning.  The response I got was "this is real life."  Short and sweet sticks with me I guess.  Anymore than that and we didn't have a meaningful conversation because I was unable to keep my attention on one thing.  This weekend 'real life' came up often.  I kept thinking about "this is real life" and how the person saying it might be one of the only people I know living that way.  Apparently this weekend I proved yet again, that I'm the last person to know.  I finally feel like this IS real life and I AM the coolest girl I know.   (not in a Paris Hilton "that's hot" kind of way, but in a grounded, accepting way that makes my friends equally awesome) 
I didn't even realize I was getting a standing ovation until everyone else was sitting down again.  It doesn't matter, I finally got it.

Everyone should experience a standing the world something that evokes it.  If you haven't yet....make it happen.  If you haven't been to The Landmark Forum...DO IT.  You don't have to use the lingo or buy the book or drink any cool just have to crawl out of your head long enough to see that the world is fun!  If you just read that and said "my world IS fun"....proactively make it fun for everyone around you.  You don't even have to hug it out.

Friday, July 9, 2010


I love this clip for so many different reasons.  I'm excited for this weekend.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

where's my zippo for guiding light?

In the last month, I finally accepted that it often looks like rain all day, but not a drop falls.  My "upside down leaves" trick doesn't work here, partially because Oaks don't shine like Silver Maples.  One small piece of real estate agent still lives in my car....4 umbrellas tucked neatly into the backseat pockets.  I've actively kept that habit alive, even if 4 is excessive.
This week I started interviewing again....reluctantly, but it's July and time for the House of Health to cleanse itself...which means RENT...ugh! 
I needed something immediate and really did not want give into waiting tables.  I picked up two applications at bars then, Whitney at TRC staffing set me up with an interview temporary work.  The interview came at just the right time, I was able to squeeze it into my day off.  Hurricane Alex has been dumping on Austin so i was sure to consider that when I left for the appointment.  Like a good little girl, I arrived 30 minutes early, giving plenty of time to park etc.  My instructions included an option to bypass street parking and use a parking garage by telling the little man in the box I had an interview.  Big H Alex was dumping massive rain droplets all morning and picked up the pace just as I was on my third circle looking for a street spot.  I opted for the parking garage as it would be drier.  I stopped just shy of a giant white gate with red flashing lights.  I looked at the guard in his shiny, comfy and very dry office as he showed me at least 22 of his 32 teeth.  Then he waved his lanyard and badge at me like "hey little one, USE your badge".  I tried my Tacodeli fancy ptouch card but no luck, regardless of the fancy lanyard.  I pushed the call button and spoke into a sea of static but he just watched and laughed as my mouth flapped and my car flooded through the open window.  He finally came out, waved his badge at the scanner and said "just GO"....sweet, I guess the rain is a good thing.

I still had 25 minutes until the interview started, so I brushed the rain off my dress but decided not to bring an umbrella.  At this point I was parked under the building so why bother.  I approached the automatic doors which led to the elevator lobby and nothing.  I considered that the rain was keeping me from giving off enough heat to be sensed as human, but quickly realized I was in some restricted access area.  I followed the big blue sign's suggestive arrow to a "call box" but it was just a phone on an abandoned desk with a phonebook.  I felt totally confident that I was in the right place, so I tried the door to the stairs....success!  I walked up three floors and into a huge, shiny, tiled building with Texas stars everywhere.  The massive building and open stairwells made me feel like I was in 'redneck's day out' and but the echo of my heels made me feel like an elephant trying to tiptoe.  I walked just a few steps and didn't immediately see a reception or information area.  I stopped two women and asked where the directory might be, even threw out the name of the person I was meeting.  They offered a directory a "mile" down the hall.  On my way to the directory I realized I was not in the right building.  I was wandering around the State Capitol Building on one of the floors not open to the public.  A small sense of urgency came on as I was now 15 minutes from the interview and in the wrong building.  I passed a state trooper and asked if he knew where the state bar offices were.  He did not and suggested I go to the tourist area, two floors up.....awesome, now I'm a tourist in my own life.....neat.  On my way up I stopped on the wrong floor and was directed to the south entrance.  Up one more floor, I stopped the first person I came to, another trooper.  Trooper Smothers had apparently signed up for the Unwanted-Buddy-for-the-Day Program that morning.  He gave me detailed instructions which included, going outside and walking three buildings away, only to ask for further instructions.  He paused twice to say "you know it's raining? umbrella huh?"  yeah, great.  So, I went outside with five minutes until my interview and the entire Atlantic Ocean falling from the sky...and of course, no umbrella.  I then realized I did not have a phone number or office number for my potential employer...good work genius.  I was able to get a message to the interviewer through the staffing agency, which was great, but one more person to witness my ridiculousness.  Fortunately, rain is rare enough in Texas that people still accept it as an excuse for tardiness.  I bit it and began walking, in the storm across a huge courtyard.  The girliness of my dress and heels got the best of my brain and I actually used a small notebook to shield my hair as I shuffled past an overflowing decorative fountain and a small impromptu pond and into the Regan building.  My wet dog presence instantly got the attention of the two guards on duty.  They were quick to tell me they did not know where the state bar offices were but they are probably in the building next door.  Oh and "no, I don't have an umbrella" thanks for pointing out the obvious.  In the next building I was directed to the fifth floor, only to face yet another locked door, call box and confused person on the other side.  She did at least know proper directions to my interview, which was in the building across the street!

This was seriously one of the best days I've had here.  I was laughing my face off the whole time.  My trooper escort gave me a proper answer to the difference in State Troopers, Highway Patrol and Rangers which I've been looking for since January.  The generous explanation included "you know, Texas was it's own country for eight years, so things are a little different here".....never heard a truer statement.  I expect that bit of trivia and a good story was all I was going to gain from this experience.  But.... I had a message from the staffing agency before I was even out of the parking garage.  I was pretty sure I was stuck slinging tacos for a little longer, luckily...Wednesday I will start a new job.  It's temporary but it has absolutely nothing to do with flour, corn or wheat.  

Thursday, June 17, 2010


I crawled into a hole in order to get my head straight.  Then, Lisa started telling her blogger bloggy friends about my blog...suddenly I felt pressure to write something....but I didn't have anything funny, just regular life stuff.

I read's short and sweet and really really worth it.

If you are running a business, doing business, talking about business, have purchased something at a business or have simply ever driven past a should read this book.  In fact, you don't even have to know what the word business means, just be able to read.  This is worth reading if you interact with the world in any way.  It will take you a couple of hours or maybe two nights before bed.  It's bueno.

Last weekend Lisa, Jeremy and I joined the cult of smiley-wide-eyed-crazy-happy-people.  I know, it doesn't sound like something I would join.  I was hesitant. It took me three full days and a day off to marinate, but now I'm in.  Jeremy and I even hugged!  I can't remember a time when I wanted to scoop up everyone I know and take them to hear some dude talk for 10 hours a day for three days straight.  Especially when all I can say is "I don't know, he just drew circles and said the same thing repeatedly".  Actually, that's not even true and sounds like a real cult.  If you can see these words....check it.....we can hug it out when you get back from the weekend.

I found a place to live and a roommate.  It's awesome, walking distance to the House of Health and affordable.  #sweet! (oh wait, does that work if it's not on twitter?)

I painted my nails green.  Lisa gave her approval by saying it looks like I spilled paint on my feet.  Clearly she doesn't know that jade is the new black...duh!

Otherwise, I've been up to this! (why is the bank always such an energy suck?)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Texas Fights Back

For the past few weeks I've had ugly, crispy brown skin on my arm from my encounter with an over zealous iron.  I now have a small light patch of skin in the shape of the top of the iron on my arm.  This week someone asked if I had been doing if my iron mark was equivalent to hand ripping.  Nope, no crazy fitness here, just overconfidence about a stupid habit.

I've been working a little more than a week.  Today, I was feeling confident in my ability to sling tacos.  There was finally someone newer than me which is always a confidence booster.  In my bartending days I broke so many glasses it was kind of a joke...but kind of a problem.  I was happy to have avoided sweeping broken glass thus far in Texas.  Today however,....Texas fought back.  I dropped a glass bottle in the perfect position, on a concrete floor.  I gave my usual non-reaction, as I have become overly accustomed to the sound of breaking glass.  I looked down to assess the damage and saw a small droplet of blood.  As I strolled to the first aide box, I noticed both ankles had a little blood, but really I've seen worse from shaving.  I sat down and the frantic, about to puke manager asked if I was ok.  He took one look at the gauge on my right ankle and was headed toward his makeshift ambulance.  I started to argue, looked down and saw bone.....or so I thought.  Once at the ER, the doctor with scissors stuffed down the back of his scrubs quickly explained that I did not see bone....something about the next layer of skin or whatever.  All I know is my ankle was talking to me and I saw something white in it's mouth.  I'm pretty sure Lisa thought I was joking when I called and asked her to meet me at the hospital.  Apparently I was too calm....she didn't really respond until I was seriously asking her to come because my ride was leaving.  Then she came in and laughed at me, then took pictures.  But really that was totally appropriate.  I was laughing the whole was just stupid, I wasn't in pain, there was very little blood and I dropped a freakin' bottle...and my doctor had scissors shoved down his pants!  Damn Mexicans always need their sodas in glass bottles and use real sugar...why can't they fake out like the USA?  Or even better, drink Big Red like Texans.  I know, I know......big red is gum.  Oh but wait....what about Big Blue?  Nope.... there's nothing appealing about either of those as a beverage. Of course none of the excited Big Red drinkers thought Cheerwine or Sundrop sounded delicious.  Thankfully, none of those are on my drink list but I'll take my chances with Mexican coke if I really have to have a soda.  I kind of feel bad that I was bumped in front of the lady wearing a nightgown with no shoes and scraggly hair; who could only utter "40" when asked for her identification.  Not sure if that was her age, the number of pills she had taken, what she owed the cab out front or what.  That's exactly the reason hospitals freak me out.  The Haywood County Board of Education is in an old hospital building.  One time in high school I went there and got so freaked out by the extra long elevator, I never went back.  I still get grossed out by the's like seeing dead bodies or something.  Here is further proof of why I should not commit to something that begins at 6:30am......

Otherwise, my week has been successful.  I finally got a haircut and didn't explode.  Going to someone new after six years was scary.  It's still not quite right, but better.   I also made it to The Scoot Inn.  Lisa swears it's famous and supposed to be awesome.  I was a little overwhelmed by the smell and by flashbacks of hanging out with 'the band' to think it was awesome.  I did enjoy the dreaded-up white dude who was implementing the favored forehead bandanna to hide the fact that his dreads are giving him a fivehead faster than normal.  Perhaps I'll try again sometime and be sure to chose a seat further from the porta-johns.

On the bright side, I didn't cut my wrists.....based on the amount of gauze on my ankles, no one would believe I didn't try to join the guy in the sky.  I kind of look like I had some new and improved feet sewn on.  Maybe that will be my new story....something about finally making my legs even.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

maybe y'uns DO know how to be country

Yesterday I was thinking about my first visit to Austin.  Lisa had been here only a few months and was staying with my aunt in Round Rock.  I was accustomed to seeing her at least twice a week, so once my plane landed I pushed my way off, desperately trying to find Lisa, as if she was choking or something.  That thought was quickly lost in the country music playing in the was different.....but much better than the slot machines in LAS.  I walked outside to search for Lisa's new car, named by my father as "the lesbian mobile".  I had been thinking "HOW could she possibly have a car that I had not seen/approved of first?  And it's not white?? That's weird!!"  Little did I know she would soon pick out a husband without me helping with the decision.  (he's not really white either but I approve).  Leaving the airport, I was immediately smacked in the face with suffocating heat.  That pretty much set my terrible mood for the day.

Once I was in the "LM" overly excited Lisa, drove directly to Mt. Bonnell.  It was her first of many attempts to convince me that Austin was a great place.  It was definitely a "look, there are mountains here" attempt.  It was beautiful, but I was ultimately unimpressed.  It was too hot, I was wearing pants and had zero interest in letting Lisa convince me to move here.  The very next stop was The Oasis....she was REALLY trying.  The Oasis softened me a little...but I was still NEVER moving to Texas.

Fast forward six years, and Mt. Bonnell is my favorite outdoor spot.  Poaching a room allows me to live within walking distance.  The nooks of the cliff provide perfect hiding/reading spots with a great view.  My first time back as an Austin resident, I continuously felt like I was at Devil's Courthouse .  Devil's Courthouse was always one of my easy escapes in Waynesville.  I planned many world domination events there.  I guess looking over a cliff clears my mind...I love it.

Upon the recommendation of the long haired Sprout's clerk, who had seen my face on one too many Saturday nights....I found another slice of Waynesville in  It was terrible and awesome and terrible...just like NC truck stop biscuits and gravy.

I guess TX has more NC in it than just the Bender sisters.  I keep hoping to hear a local version of y'uns....but only so I can avoid saying it.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Honest Abe vs. Cheshire Cat

Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.  ~Abraham Lincoln

Those who can laugh without cause have either found the true meaning of happiness or have gone stark raving mad.  ~Norm Papernick


Monday, April 26, 2010

cold spings in springs in the mountains

Today Lisa, a newly bald/badass JT and I went to Deep Eddy.  This was my first visit.  I don't really care for pools but I couldn't refuse the invitation because it's barely a mile from their/our house and it's an unknown Austin legend.  About 15 minutes into it, I was bored.  I have never been a pool person or a sunbather.  Deep Eddy is interesting and certainly better than the standard concrete pond.  I just don't like to bake, or sweat for no reason, or swim, or be hot.  I can handle it for about an hour, then I'm done.  I mentioned "now what" and Lisa said "sit in the shade and chill out" with a bit of a forceful tone, meaning...."shut up and let me turn into an African".  It is interesting that I can't just lay there but Lisa can.  In my mind Lisa is still the Bender sister who can't sit still and needs to run laps around the house.  That is still true most of the time.  I guess laying by the pool is considered an event, so she allows herself some down time....which I'm sure is much needed.  This led to me thinking about conversations I've had where I either said or thought..... "boring people get bored".   It's ok to know what you do or do not enjoy but it's not ok to continuously say you're bored.  At some point in my adulthood, I decided boredom was unacceptable. As my ramblings have mentioned, I truly entertain myself with everything I see.  That has not always been true.  The more I do, read and think, the more I am frustrated when someone continuously says they are bored.  I am in charge of my life, just as you are yours.  If you feel bored, fix it.  If you don't fix it, you will secure a nice, comfy spot in the "suck" file.  I know many people who accept ridiculousness because they are understimulated and just need something.  It is so frustrating to watch someone waste away because they are stuck in Shallowland and have no idea how to take control.  I'm glad I don't live there, even if  my world is harder sometimes.

Friday, April 23, 2010

The same thing we do everynight Pinky.....

I am completely dumbfounded by the fact that at least 3 people look at my blog everyday.  I know 3 isn't many but it's usually somewhere in the 8-20 range which blows my mind.  I mean, I know I like to talk but I always thought people were mostly nodding along just to be polite.  Maybe I'm just completely insane and people like making themselves feel a little more normal.  I do entertain myself most days.  I think everything is funny for all the wrong reasons.  One of the best things I've learned in the last few years is that laughter is always appropriate.  I learned this from a friend whose laughter often frustrated me.  Then I began to realize that it's always better to giggle at ridiculousness than most other reactions.  Laughter and knowing that "it's only as important or horrible as you make it".....pretty much solves everything.  Sometimes I wish my brain had an answering machine.....not so much for true answers...more for recording all the random crap that I think and quickly forget.  I think my skull is housing Pinky and the Brain......they continue to fumble around each other without achieving world domination, just random silliness.  Now....if I could just figure out who the creepsters are.....not just how many.

Not sure this stay at home mom or dishwasher role is enough for me. 

I miss having someone to s*!t talk with for 6 hours every day.  That's a little weird but I'm so good at it and no one here knows me well enough to not get offended.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

YES, everything IS a competition

it's been a month......

i'm not dead
i'm not totally bankrupt
i don't hate lisa or jeremy
i haven't married some loser taco
i'm not half way back to nc while writing this

.....i'm gonna call it a win....

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

beyond the gates of Eden

Thursday I desperately wanted to watch bad tv.  The House of Health doesn't really "do" tv, so much so that the channels don't even show up, so it's always a mystery and sucks the fun out of channel surfing.  I settled on a random show about the creation of Marble Falls, Texas.  I forced myself to watch, thinking that I should know more about my new state and why the natives love it so much.  As Adam Johnson's sister or cousin or niece or somebody rambled on about the beauty of Marble Falls, I could barely hear her over my dad's voice echoing in my head about how "these ain't's not green...they don't even have water." 

In a mad dash to try to get to Camille's crawfish boil Saturday, I mistakenly took the scenic route from Austin to Odessa.  Even though it took 6.5 hours to get there, I saw a lot of Texas and loved it.  Apparently LBJ was not the only Johnson from Texas to improve domestic affairs.  Marble Falls is gorgeous which is not something I am comfortable saying about Texas.  Thus far I have been unimpressed with the "scenery".  The blue bonnets are in high season which I realized once I passed several cars randomly pulled over taking pictures.  It was like driving on the Parkway with all the leaf lookers.  That was the first of many things that reminded me of Waynesville. I stopped three times and over heard gas station cling-ons and motorcycle wives blabbing about being out "doin' the blue bonnets".  They are okay but much better when paired with their red-headed stepsister.  No one even knows what the stepsister is's worse than being referred to as "my sister" when I'm standing in the room and Lisa is talking to JT who clearly knows who she means if she ventures to use my name.....they don't even get a name.

Beyond the hills I was still entertained by the numerous small towns, each with a Main St. just begging to hold a saloon shootout.  I started feeling like I was passing through the same place repeatedly....that too is much like North Carolina.  The major difference is the type of bbq and the frequency of gas stations.  Amazingly driving through the middle of oil country and along side the pipeline, does not guarantee gas stations.  West Texas rule #1: if you pass a gas station fill up....who knows when you'll see another one.

The further I drove, the bigger the sky became.  I've never seen so many white fluffy clouds....they make the flat land beautiful.  Just as I was beginning to get bored with the clouds, I passed by the gates of Eden, which apparently keep the barbwire industry alive.  Then I began realizing how many songs are written about Texas and felt the urge to listen to Johnny Cash. 

I always rolled my eyes and thought South Carolinians were crazy about their state with all their tree and moon paraphernalia....Texas pride completely trumps it.  In no other state will you be invited to sit down in a chair resembling the state flag and then realize everyone around you has the same chair.  It's crazy and extreme and seems to be universal for Texans, even transplants.  I am a little dumbfounded by it but it's actually really interesting.  It is kinda cool that people are so into their state, most places no one even knows the state flower, much less the symbol or motto.  In my amazement over the chairs I joked about having a pledge to the Texas flag because it is EVERYWHERE......not a joke, apparently they have one.  A warehouse dedicated to jerky and taxidermy is also real....and not to be giggled about.

West Texas rule #2: washers is a serious game, worthy of tournaments and prize belt buckles.   #3: asking where one gets a crazy huge belt buckle is not acceptable..."um at the boot store"...right, obviously.  #4:  you're never too old to do a keg stand.  #5: water from the dirty oil land is gross.

Monday, I took the shorter route back to Austin via I-10.  I was super excited about the 80 mph speed limit and had to call Camille to verify I was not just seeing things.  I guess they have just accepted that it's straight, flat and empty.  I drove for several hours with no phone service, one tejano radio station and no other cars in sight.  Speed limit signs are rare gems along the highways here, oh, excuse me the "farm to market roads".   I was however constantly reminded to obey state signs which demand I drive friendly and maintain my vehicle.  I guess when the most common vehicle is an extra large, Texas edition truck with a mean grill guard, there is a need to remind people to drive friendly.   The cliffs, endless sky and empty highway made me feel small, free and like I was driving a lowrider.

West Texas is much like western North Carolina in very bizarre ways.  Maybe it's that "I'd like to check you for ticks" is an acceptable pick up line on the shore of Tow Head Creek and the Pigeon River.  Mostly it's the feeling of not having to force yourself to relax.  You don't have a choice.  But really I would choose to sit outside, watching the sun set, talking with Camille over a lot of things....even if it is in a Texas flag chair.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

elephant needles, no hands and tom green st.

I'm scared of restaurants covered in Christmas lights year round, bright orange paint and/or donkeys and cacti.  I can't quite figure out what part of Mexican culture calls for colored Christmas lights in April or why that signifies good food. In searching for the best tacos in Austin, I have continuously faced a maze of bright and scary items.  This is my favorite....the picture doesn't do it justice...its' frightening and confusing and I may never know how good the food is due to my inability to navigate the maze of horror blocking the entrance.  I just don't get it.....

I found Alphabet City in Austin yesterday.  It has quickly become my favorite neighborhood...partially because it reminds me of Chapel Hill.  It's protected by historic standards so all of the houses are cutesy and bright colors, full of hippies and grad students....ok, maybe Carrboro rather than the CH.  I found a great apartment there today.  I decided to cruise the block to make sure it was worthy.  I was lost in a blissful world of windows down, sunroof open, Randy Travis, big trees and old houses when I turned down Avenue F and saw 3 guys with huge PostOffice Kid hair wearing tights (like the "i'm so hip i wear tights and if you don't get it you're obviously lame" kinda tights....not Brandon Montana I used to dance and think capri tights are ok tights).   I actually said out loud "sweet! freaks".....something about weirdos makes me feel right at home....maybe that's the "gala" in me. I instantly began planning my next tattoo of leaves and guns when I passed "Sideshow Tattoo".  Nothing like a circus freak reference to bring me back to reality.  I feel confident my sister named that shop and if she could, she would name all tattoo parlors something similar to keep me away.

I then started wondering why I was trying so hard to find a neighborhood that felt like NC....if I want to be in NC...why am I in Texas?  Who knows....I've been really homesick this week, so maybe this is making me feel more comfortable.  I love the apartment, so I better find a new job...tomorrow.  I'm becoming very accustomed to not working.  I even went to a movie theater...on myself...AND watched an entire movie without napping.  That's so insane I can't really believe it happened.  In the last year I have not only watched several movies to's been on the first try!!  Maybe not having two jobs and making myself crazy "staying busy" actually has improved my state of being.   I'm quickly slipping to the other side of enjoying my free time.  Any day now I will find a sponsor....maybe it will be Luksusowa....if I can convince JT it's a health drink he can probably work that out.  I'll start with the card....see how it goes.

I passed a house with a large sign out front which read "give up, go bowling"....even better, The Dude lives in Hyde Park.  If you're going to use quotes to communicate always include The Dude.  Maybe I'll put "don't fuck with the jesus" on my front door.  And then....Elephant Acupuncture...that's just bad one wants to associate a bunch of needles with the massive size of an elephant....or remember the experience cartoon elephant style.

Is someone who is well read and spouts out quotes related to every topic really intelligent?  Quotes are fun but that makes you less useful and more annoying than a Google search. That said, I was recently reminded that I am too hard on people.  I'm often told that I expect too much.  Maybe I do.  I just want people to BE who they are.  Don't work as a dietician when you don't eat and have fake boobs.  Don't flaunt your false intelligence by speaking in quotes.  Don't run a health food store if you are a "junk food junkie" and eat McDonald's for breakfast everyday.  Apparently I have a personality that can dominate, so people "fall into it".  I'm not even sure what that means, but it makes my mouth burn.  I just do and say what I want, without diliberately hurting anyone.  I'm sure I could add a little more fluff to my demeanor but I really don't want to....I don't like it when people use fluff with me, so why should I use it for them?  Everything is a choice.  There is always a way to be true to yourself and fit into a situation, IF you want or need to.  I've gone too far in the past, being totally self-defeating and so selfish that is was defeating.  I think I've found a useful balance.  Maybe it's a game, but it makes life more fun.  I'm glad that I know so many amazing people.  I am careful about who gets in....and certainly do not expect perfection.....just don't be a douche....own your life.  Everytime I start to wonder if I really am too harsh I think of three specific people.  They are my among my favorites...far from perfect...but not afraid of what they are in an unassuming, respectful, completely amazing manner.  The best moving away advice I heard was "don't take table scraps".  I might be harsh but I'm okay with that simply because my table is surrounded by amazing people.... even if all the chairs are in different states......who needs the rest?

I spent 10 long minutes being angry about Thumb Face spouting quotes to flaunt intelligence.  Way too long but a nice reminder of why leaving Chapel Hill wasn't a bad idea....I did see this today and I like it..... "love many, trust few, always paddle your own canoe"

Yesterday I heard a Van Morrison song and I suddently missed beach music and shagging.  Who am I??? Since when is the old person shuffle a piece of nostalgia?  Maybe it's just the only dance I can actually do.

Tomorrow I have group date with a UNC grad who JT thinks is like me.  Pretty funny to have a group date for a girl who might be a friend and to do it while working out.....should be entertaining and hideous....pretty sure I'll have a numb face, blood sugar sneak attack just so she really knows what she is getting into.

I'm more attached to my angry text/brunch ring than ever before in a gay girl power kinda way....I'm semi-obsessed with Look Heart, No Hands too.....pretty sure those contradict one another......the song obsession is more about my renewed love for country.....Oh yeah, Broken Spoke is now number 12 on the entertainment list....thanks to 7th grade gym class I can line dance my ass off.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

maybe I could handle a 35 year old suit

Yesterday I spent 3 hours on the computer looking for things to do and then made a spreadsheet separating bars/restaurants, outside activities and indoor events....and I starred the ones Lisa will never do with me....(yeah, yeah, I need a job)..and I need some local buddies.....

I want to buy a kite...the weather just calls for it. I tried to see if kite racing really existed...did not find races but found the Zilker Park Kite was March 14th...sooo sad... but that gives me a year to master the art of flying my new badass kite (once I get one).  

I also decided that I am FOR REAL going to India this year. I'm shooting for next December. That is a good time with their weather and I'm going to call it a birthday present. I figure if I can up and move to another state without a job or any real money, I can make an India trip happen. Want to come???...I really want to go alone but am a little afraid of disappearing...either will be a curry filled fun time.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I'm early off, let's.....crap.......

yesterday this ....

led me to this....

I've been taking walks She's Come Undone style....well except that I go home at night.  The weather is beautiful and it's certainly calmed my nerves.  Thursday night I smuggled beer into the House of Health.  I am taking a much needed break from drinking to entertain myself....but Thursday a beer was needed.  Friday I woke up with swollen hands for the first time in a week.  Pretty sure I have some major circulation issues tied to alcohol....scary b/c of liver failure but they were also swollen after walking for an hour.......on a lighter note, my nose was not cold.

It's the weekend....I miss my friends.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Just another half please….um hefe grande

(i wrote this w/ squids buddies in mind...but decided the whole world needed to be involved)

It’s Thursday and just because I’m in another state doesn’t save you from my rants

Today was much better…..I learned/decided the following

I'm not sure I want to get married...for reals...i'm just going to become the female version of the coolest guy I know.....which basically just means Bender w/out the ticking clock

Going for a short neighborhood walk and accidentally finding a lake is awesome….doing it twice is badass or means I have no idea where I am…either way more fun than u-turns

For a girl who loves alone time...I need a lot of stimulation…if I drive around alone for an hour I find at least 10 things humorous and need to tell someone….today I drove past a place called “the spicy pickle” would you eat there?

I don’t know how to give myself a break…I have felt under stimulated and unchallenged since December…as SJ said “aside from the major life change”…after driving past three tattoo parlors I thought “if something crazy doesn’t happen soon I’m getting a tat of a gun and jumping out of a plane again”….then I remembered SJ’s words and how yesterday I thought I was going to puke all day…maybe I should recognize what I just did and cool-out....I often think of Kyle saying "shiny keys" when I do random stupid ADD's true...I need meds

Awesome translates, no matter what state you’re in…I talked w/ an old friend for an hour and decided I was still awesome, even if no one here knows it yet. Then I talked to a douche…he’s not awesome no matter what state I’m in

I found Mt. Bonnell and thought I was lost coming home….but found the Austin Museum of Art…which is beautiful, on the water and walking distance from my sister’s house…ahh warm and fuzzy again

In an effort to actually leave the house, I drove downtown and kinda knew where I was most of the time….then I was forced onto MLK---YES, I got nervous regardless of my ghetto Lexus status….then I realized I was on UT’s campus and there was a HUGE football stadium staring me in the face…campus was badass and complete with two frat-ish couples dressed like they are 50

Most of Austin is like Carrboro on steroids…which means, my bangs are too long and my deodorant works too well… jeans are surely not hip enough

A van full of rock star wannabies used to get me excited….now I want to throw eggs or bean filled tortillas at them…is that wrong?

I passed a white Mercedes and didn’t cringe thinking Thumb Face might be driving it….baby steps

I like this town today but really really really wanted to import my favorite people here…..

I don't believe in God...but if there is one, he made my sister and her husband for one another. JT is the most amazing person ever....and just as crazy and quirky as Lisa....still don't think I want to get married

I’m still unemployed but according to Time Magazine…Austin is the place to get a job…let’s hope!

Tomorrow I’m going to go figure out why the entire state of Florida thinks 7 elevens are so great….might just hang out and have a slurpee….if that isn’t enough excitement maybe I’ll be sending you all pictures of my new colt 45 tat….or I’ll jump trains.

I actually do want to train jump....that would be cool....wonder if my necklace w/ a 44 shell is hardcore enough to scare the other trainees (what are they called???)


Texas Rules of the Day

1. my GPS is dyslexic
2. I-35 is to be avoided no matter what time it is
3. my North Carolina brain does not understand access roads
4. Funyuns and Whopper's Robins Eggs don't help, they hurt
5. it can actually take an hour and a half to drive 30 miles if you throw in a billion U-turns
6. there is no such thing as a "quick trip" to wal-mart when you don't know where the F-anything is
7. if you hate people....don't move to a city
8. if I am going to serve stupid people food, I should have stayed at Squids where I at least knew what's up and could scare the newbies, instead of being a newbie
9. loud music solves all...even if the lyrics are in Spanish and the station is straight out of Mexico