"music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life"

(quote by Berthold Auerbach)

I *may* have gotten a little carried away with this whole "I'm getting a masters degree!" thing. I keep thinking I deserve to treat myself to fun things, so for the past 6 months or so, I've been buying concert tickets. Turns out, I have scheduled myself quite a line-up. I "defend" my thesis portfolio at noon on 4/15. After that, all bets are off. I've managed to sucker all sorts of people into going concert hopping with me....

4/15 – Avett Brothers (with my sister)

4/26 – Mumford and Sons/Edward Sharpe/Old Crow Medicine Show (with Sarah)

4/27 – Citizen Cope (with Shelly)

6/1 – Michael Buble (with Larry)

6/26 – New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys (with Kristin and Shelby)

(Lindsey/Lana - it isn't right that you aren't in the line-up. Granted, you're going to Kings of Leon without me, but surely we can find a show at La Zona Rosa or something?!?!)

Guess I better graduate, or there won't be much to celebrate. (Although I could probably make a killing if I scalped all these tickets!!!) I am ALMOST DONE! I might be smack dab in the middle of the tunnel, but there is indeed a visible light!



not good

I wrote a post last night and realized this morning that since I kinda sorta work for the state and this is a fairly public blog, I probably need to be a little more careful. I didn't say anything bad, just expressed my disappointment about learning that the school I used to work at laid off 25 people today. 25. And apparently they aren't done yet.

I've deleted the rest of what I wrote last night, because let's face it.... now would not be a good time to make any enemies. I'll just leave it with: I'm sad for the state our current educational system is in.


so this is what anxiety feels like

You know what is super fun? Taking the day off from work and going to a sports bar at noon to watch some March Madness. Oh, wait - except for the part where in between games, I was checking my e-mail and was "reminded" that my graduate school thesis portfolio is due on April 1st. WHAT?!?!? Where was my initial notice? Can a sista get a timeline or something? That is exactly 2 weeks away! I think I might actually be having a panic attack - I just had to remind myself to unclench my shoulders and take a deep breath.

Looks like I'll need to spend a little less time playing on the internet and a little more time being productive. Sorry to disappoint you, but this might mean that you'll never get to see a baby picture, pet peeves and/or a travel story.

Fortunately there is wifi and a plug here at the MVP Sports Bar and Grill, so I'll spend the rest of the day working on getting started. I hope my ability to work under pressure doesn't fail me now!



Ahhhhh, prompt #16 - a favorite food. Why narrow it down to just one? I mean, seeing as how I don't ever plan to end up on death row, it probably won't be necessary for me to choose my favorite food for one final meal. Instead, let's spice it up and do favorite food depending on the event.

Favorite food on a road trip: beef jerky and gummy life savers
Favorite food of my mom's: homemade pizza
Favorite food of my dad's: smoked brisket with Claude's seasoning
Favorite food of Larry's: slow smoked baby-back ribs
Favorite food for a hangover: Long John Silvers - 1 piece fish, 1 piece chicken and extra crunchies or a Wendy's Spicy Chicken sandwich
Favorite fast food meal: Chick-fil-a nuggets with waffle fries and BBQ sauce
Favorite poor girl's meal: Ramen noodles, any flavor
Favorite "I don't know what to cook tonight so we are going to have this" meal: Taco salad with ground turkey meat
Favorite "We are having company so I better figure something out for dinner" meal: kabobs - chicken/beef with zucchini, squash, red bell pepper, onion and mushroom
Favorite food to order at an Austin restaurant: Chicken stuffed avocado at Trudy's (with queso on top) or Seafood Enchiladas at Z'Tejas
Favorite food to order at a Lubbock restaurant: Chicken broccoli casserole at Orlando's or a bean burrito at Taco Villa
Favorite thing to order when I can't decide what I want: a bacon cheeseburger
Favorite "key to a man's heart" meal: Chicken spaghetti or lasagna
Favorite comfort food: tie between Sour cream chicken enchiladas or chicken fried chicken with mashed potatoes and macaroni and cheese
Favorite thing that I've eaten out of town: Chargrilled oysters at Acme Oyster House in New Orleans
Favorite food made out of pure sugar: Peeps

But if pressed to choose just ONE favorite food: I suppose I would go with the baby-back ribs. (which is weird - I really don't like eating chicken off the bone, but I will mow down some ribs.)

Oh - I almost forgot! If you want to participate in March Madness but don't really know anything about basketball, fill out this bracket. It's fun.


all growed up

Eleven years ago I was in South Padre Island celebrating Spring Break. What I was celebrating, I'm not sure. But I celebrated nonetheless. For those of you who never went, this truly is what it looks like: (well, at least this is what it looked like the times I went. I don't know if it still looks like this. I doubt it, as I heard it is all dirty and has been infiltrated by thugs that bring guns and stuff. But anyway, this is what it looked like back then.)
(I got this picture from the internets but it didn't really have a credit. It is not mine but I especially like the really pale dude on the far left. I bet he got super sunburned by the end of this day and spent the rest of his vacation in extreme pain.) There are just people and beer everywhere. You wake up around noon, go to the beach until about 6pm, go home to shower and change from your swimsuit into your going out clothes (and maybe eat something if you have enough money) and then go out about 9pm until wee hours. The next day you rinse and repeat.

So far this Spring Break has consisted of me doing laundry, going to the gym, playing on the computer, rearranging patio furniture and raking leaves. I almost got a blister from the yard work today.

What a difference 11 years makes.

Day 15 — My celebrity crush

I kind of already did a post about this - handsome fellas. I don't actually have a celebrity crush. There are several reasons for this:
A.) I'm not 12
B.) Brad Womack isn't actually a celebrity, he was just on a reality show. (twice.)
C.) I just am not the "crushing" type. It seems like it would take time and energy away from my ACTUAL relationship, and that just doesn't seem very productive.

However, I do like Simon Baker, aka Patrick Jane. I would say that if there is one show that the Magical White Guy and I don't want to miss, it would be the Mentalist. (Thursdays at 9 CST) I am choosing to name him as my celebrity crush because I have actually said, "I can't wait for Patrick Jane to come on tonight!"
(photo from USA Today)

So while I would say that out of every celebrity, Jim Caviezel is probably the most attractive to me (as in REALLY attractive), he does not appear to be as witty, clever or eccentric as the fictional Patrick Jane. And we all know that handsome doesn't always last - but clever is forever.



For the 13th day of the month, the 13th prompt is "Something you want to buy." I cheated a little on this one, because I actually already bought it and applied it yesterday. This is quite possibly the most fun you can have with a 10 dollar bill:
The Sally Hansen Salon Effects are basically little strips of nail polish that you stick on your nails. Since I have short nails, I actually got 2 nails out of each strip, so I have a whole set ready for the next time I want to wear them. Supposedly they last 10 days, at which point you can just remove with nail polish remover. So the answer to the prompt is that something I would like to buy is another set of these suckers. I really like the "Frock Star" look. Another girl named JenPolishAholic has daily pictures on her flickr accout - she is wearing Frock Star and this is what hers looked like on the 10th day:

So there you have it. I could wish for a new car or a new purse or this technique or these shoes (among others), but all of those things require more disposable income that I'm willing/able to part with. Instead, I'll simply stick with Sally Hansen. If you need me, just look for the girl with the fancy nails.


starting with 11

I'm going to rewrite the rules a little bit. Since today is the 11th and I just don't have the energy to start at the beginning by describing what it is like to pick a favorite song, I am going to start with the 11th prompt from the list:

# 11 — A photo of me taken recently : This would be the last time any pictures were taken of me, 2 weeks ago when my sister was in town. We were both blessed with chubby cheeks and double chins, so this is how we have to smile when we don't want our chin(s) to show. You stretch your face real far out in front of your neck and pull your jaw back. The results are simply stunning:
Ha! Fortunately there is another option - if the photographer stands an appropriate distance away and holds the camera at the correct angle, the chin(s) are minimal. I'm including this one too just because I look way better in it than the one above, and well - isn't that what blogs are for?


the list

My friend Michelle borrowed something from her friend Martin Randomness who borrowed it from somebody else, so I don't know exactly where it came from. But oh, it is right up my alley. It takes me back to myspace bulletins, and if you were my myspace friend, you know how much I loved the bulletins. I would love to make a promise to do one a day for 30 days, but it is a lot more realistic to admit I'll probably just choose the ones I like the most. Plus, some of them are either too hard for me to think of or none of your business, so unless I am feeling creative enough to make a mockery of a topic I don't want to do, I'll just skip it.

Here is the list. Feel free to borrow it as well. Not sure when I'll start or if I'll do them consecutively, but as a tried and true rule follower, I like to have a structured list to work from. (Convenient that there are 30 of them, as my culminating grad school thesis portfolio is also due in about 30 days. This should be enough distraction to keep me properly balanced between procrastination and panic.)

Day 01 — A favorite song
Day 02 — A favorite movie 

Day 03 — A favorite TV show

Day 04 — A favorite book
Day 05 — A favorite quote 

Day 06 — A fun fact about me

Day 07 — A favorite photo

Day 08 — Something I crave 

Day 09 — Pet peeves

Day 10 — A photo of me taken over ten years ago 

Day 11 — A photo of me taken recently 

Day 12 — Something I bought recently 

Day 13 — Something I want to buy

Day 14 — An old photo 

Day 15 — My celebrity crush 

Day 16 — A favorite food

Day 17 — A photo of my family

Day 18 — A baby photo

Day 19 — A fun memory 

Day 20 — A hobby of mine

Day 21 — A favorite recipe 

Day 22 — A favorite joke

Day 23 — A video 

Day 24 — A travel story 

Day 25 — A favorite photo

Day 26 — A funny (true) story

Day 27 — A child I love

Day 28 — A place I love 

Day 29 — A person I love 

Day 30 — Hopes, dreams and plans for the next 365 days

not fair!

Let me preface this by saying I am incredibly thankful for my job.

But why do all the concerts I want to go to fall on the same nights I have to work? Kings of Leon were so good live at ACL that I would have loved to see them when they pass through. But I'll survive. However, Mumford & Sons / Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros / Old Crow Medicine Show at Stubbs?

Must find a way.


while I'm at it...

I was going through the pictures on my work blackberry and found some that I had forgotten about. Since I'm in the mood to post the precious comings-and-goings of my nieces and nephews, check these out. (the local paper in the small town where live they publishes all the school kids' "Letters to Santa.")

John doesn't mess around. He knows exactly what he wants and provides several options just to cover all his bases:

Vincent has diverse tastes - everything from fuzzy electric hamsters to assorted firearms:

Annie wants something for herself, but mostly so that she can share with her brother:

And then there is Mary.... if you notice, all the other letters were written to Santa. But Mary, she knows the real reason for the season.

We could all learn a little bit from her, don't you think? (And how many 1st graders use words like "fortunate?")


make my day

My sister brought her two kids on an impromptu trip this weekend. It worked out beautifully, as I didn't have any work commitments and was able to rearrange a few other things.

Annie (6) loves to draw and color and is doing an excellent job at reading and writing. When I asked her if she would like to accompany me to the cupcake store to pick up an order, she asked if she could write the cupcake lady a note. I said, "of course! That would make her day!" After the discussion on "what does make your day" mean, she produced this precious note:
Up close shot of the note (and Annie's dirty nail):

And I totally called it - the cupcake lady said it made her day.

We spent time visiting and then my sister wanted to go out with some friends. Larry wanted me to be able to go with them, so he volunteered to watch the kids for us. Aidan (15 months) was asleep when we left and Annie was tucked in watching a movie. I guess at some point the movie ended and Annie came out to ask Larry to put in a new one. Somehow they got into a conversation about swimming. We know this because the very first thing Annie told her mom the next morning was, "Larry said maybe this summer he can teach me to swim like a mermaid! But that I have to learn to swim really good before we can swim in the ocean with the dolphins and sharks."

Before they left, Annie drew Larry a reminder of his promise:

Safe to say it made his day.