Friday, February 16, 2007

Pink tutus, melted keyboards and other random things

Welcome back, kiddies! Now for my next act...

PINK TUTUS!! On Monday I was having kind of a crappy day, so when Natalie got home from Sing Song practice she let me put on her pink tutu and go running around the apartment. I don't know how a camera got introduced into the mix, but here are the results:

Natalie: "I've GOT to work on my spirit fingers."

In other news, I kinda melted part of my keyboard. The other night, to reward myself for a long, hard week of work and reading (and a 103% on my first Advanced Public Speaking test!) I decided to take a lovely little bath with the new bath salts that St. Pat bought for me. It was just perfect. Relaxing music playing on my laptop, C.S. Lewis' Final Battle to read, and some Christmas lights gently illuminating the room. Only problem is, some of the lights were hanging down on my keyboard, and those little buggers melted three of my keys! The "Z" button melted with one end tipped straight up into the air, and after a day gave up and fell off in my hand. The Tab and Caps Lock buttons got a little smooshed, but they work alright for the most part. Here's my handiwork!!

I threw out the Z key on accident, so you don't get to see its little lopsided mohawk. Too bad.

Yesterday I went to coffee with a friend from color guard, and we were playing a game called Contrario. It's a really fun game where you get a mixed-up phrase and a clue and you try to guess who or what the phrase really is. For instance, if your Contrario was "Moonrise Avenue" and your clue was "Hollywood/Famous landmark," your phrase would be...... very good! Sunset Boulevard! So Adriana and I were playing and I was trying to help her guess some phrases, and we got some hilarious outtakes.

Phrase Adriana is trying to guess: "Take the bull by the horns"
Me: "Okay, the most prominent feature of a pig is its nose, and the most prominent feature of a bull is its..."
Adriana: "BUTT! .... No! Horns!"
The worst part of this one is that I was pointing at my head when she said "butt."

Phrase: Smoke like a chimney
Adriana: "DON'T SMOKE!"
Me: "Okaaaaaay, you got one word! And I'll give you a hint: it's not 'don't.' "
Adriana: "NOT!"

Contrario: Out of the private nose Real Phrase: In the Public Eye
Me: "Okay, take it a word at a time. Out?"
Adriana: "In!"
Me: "Private?"
Adriana: "Public!"
Me: "Nose?"
Adriana: "Bathroom!"

I laughed for a good five minutes on that one. She said that the bathroom is where you go to blow your nose so it made sense to her!

Alright, kids, that's all for today's show. Tune in next time and look both ways before you cross the street.

P.S. Pat, my bathroom still smells AMAZING. Thanks again!

Monday, February 12, 2007

San Antoniooooooooooo!

Welcome to my world, everyone! I figured I'd start one of these blogs so that everyone back home can keep up with my life out here.

This weekend I went to San Antonio to visit Pat and Bo Brockman and had a fabulous time!!!

Here are a few of the important lessons I learned:

1. Abilene is NOT all there is to Texas! Hallelujah!
2. Driving through West Texas during the day is only SLIGHTLY less boring than at night.
3. Apparently, George Strait and Tim Duncan are kind of a big deal.
4. Apparently, so is the Alamo.
5. Davy Crockett was a real person! He wasn't some fake person like that Johnny Appleseed guy. Wait, no, he was real, too.
6. The rodeo is NOT the same thing as the stock show. You may not say that you have been to the rodeo if you have not actually seen the crazy men on bulls.
7. A bull, a steer, a cow and a heifer are all different, and calling a longhorn steer "a big cow" is a punishable offense.
8. If you say something that a Texan doesn't agree with while they are within earshot, they will let you know that you are wrong.
9. Texas is not its own country. It's not. Bad, Texas! Bad! Stop saying that! It is, however, it's own weird little universe.
And number 10..... California is still better. So there you go!

The weekend was amazing. I needed to be mothered some, and Pat enjoyed the opportunity to mother me, so it worked out pretty well! I left work Friday evening and headed out to San Antone, and finally met up with Pat and Bo near their apartment around 11:45. When we got back to the apartment Pat was just pulling homemade cookies out of the oven. What a woman!!

The next morning we all slept in a little bit and then went to the Historic Market Square for lunch at La Margarita! I had some delicious shrimp fajitas, and then Pat and I went and wandered around the little shops inside the mall area. I loved seeing all the culture and beautiful Mexican clothes and pottery. Things can be a little homogenous in Abilene, so it was nice to be surrounded by different people of different backgrounds and different languages. There was a beautiful leather store, and I saw this gorgeous distressed leather weekend bag -- just the thing for my (anticipated) travels through Ireland. (IRELAND '08!!! WHOOOO!)

Then we went to the famous River Walk and had a wonderful time just wandering around the quaint (and not so quaint) shops and restaraunts. I can't tell you how good it felt just to be surrounded by water and plants, including some big, romantic trees! We didn't have time to sit and lounge, but next time I go back I'm going to make sure I have plenty of time just to sit and listen to the live jazz at Jim Cullum's Landing.

As we emerged from the sophisticated, upscale, big city atmosphere of the River Walk we walked straight into.... a full-scale live reenactment of some general surrendering to some other general back in the... Well, I'm not sure when it was, but it was a long time ago. The Alamo was interesting, but I had to ask Bo to give me a refresher course. I felt pretty bad, but I think he enjoyed imparting his expansive knowledge on me.

From there we went on to Pat and Bo's new house. One house in that area leaned significantly, and as I remarked on it Pat said, "Oh, yeah, ours does that, too. It's structurally sound and everything, it just has a little lean." I gotta say, that's taking gangsta lean to a whole new level of committment! I looooooved their house. I used to work at the Winchester Mystery House, so I have a soft spot in my heart for houses built in that time period. It's going to be absolutely gorgeous, and I can't wait to come and spend some time drinking tea in their upstairs sitting room.

After that (yeah, we did a LOT that day!) we went to the stores that Pat and Bo's daughter-in-law and her sister own and manage. They are simply amazing and I loved the atmosphere and the merchandise -- especially the shoes and dresses! If it hadn't been so late and all of us so tired I would have spent a good chunk of time (and change!) trying on shoes and dresses in their "Sole Sisters" shop. As it was, I was a good girl and didn't get anything, though I did have a dream that night that I actually had bought this one really cute skirt I liked. Ah, well. That'll just serve as motivation to go back soon!

Sunday morning we woke up early and ate breakfast tacos, which Pat docu- mented on her camera because my first breakfast taco "is a big deal." Then we went to Oak Hills Church and I got to see Dave and Judy Treat! I had forgotten that they lived in San Antonio, too, but it was wonderful to see them. Oak Hills is very interesting, and very different from good ole Campbell, but I can tell that there are a lot of people there who have genuine hearts for God, and when you've got that, the rest will just come out in the wash.

From there we went to the Rodeo!!! Oh, pardon me. We went to the Stock Show!! It smelled. It was fun, though! My little Converse were completely out of place amongst all the cowboy boots, but everyone seemed pretty nice and the whole experience was just fascinating. I felt like an anthropologist studying a foreign culture and tried to treat it as a learning experience. I gotta tell you, though, the pigs and goats and all those other whatsits all look the same to me. As we were walking through the holding areas and Bo was pointing out the different kinds of pigs I had to keep reminding myself that these are serious animals in a serious competition and I should resist the urge to ask someone if I could pet their cute little animal. At one point, though, a pig who was being weighed freaked out and went tearing up the crowded walkway! Ever the brave warrior, I grabbed Pat and hid behind her.

My favorite part of the stock show was the sheep herding competition. The sheep herding was really cool because it had puppies and because I could actually understand why one was better than another!! The dogs did a really good job and it was amazing to see them kind of creep around low to the floor and listen so well to the different vocal, whistle and hand commands. They were all so neat!! The only bad part was where Bo remarked that the sheep herding dogs don't make very good pets and the two women in front of us whipped around so fast you'd think he'd said something insulting about their mothers!! Pat said later that she thought for a second there that she was going to be a widow. In true Texas form, though, Bo struck up a conversation with the ladies and the gentleman who was with them and they began jawing about all kinds of things.

After that we went and bought a delicious, steaming hot funnel cake. While Bo and I were in line he was trying to explain the difference between a steer, a bull, a cow and a heifer. I was trying to learn, but in frustration I whined, "Yeah, but can't you just call them all cows?" I got a stern "no" from Bo and an equally stern "no" from the little girl behind me! She was probably 12, but obviously knew a lot about this kind of thing. I smiled sheepishly and asked if she could tell this was my first stock show. She was kind to the noob, though, and she and Bo explained it all again. I gotta say, though, I still think that if it moos, it's a cow. Moo = cow.

After that we went to a place called Rudy's Barbeque for some good lunch before I hit the road. It's called "The Worst B-B-Q in Texas." I guess it's supposed to be funny. :) I got the sausage link and we shared some cream corn (very good -- very creamy! very corny!) and baked beans. It was awesome, but I swear Texas food is specifically designed to kill you. I get acid reflux every once in a while and I could feel that sausage burning my chest for the rest of the night! I'd still probably eat it again, though. It was goooood.

Ah, the folly of man.

Well, it was a wonderful weekend, Bo and Pat are angels, and I'm excited about my new blog! Stay tuned for pictures of me in a pink tutu.

Oh, yeah!