Museum Weekend!

First off, I want to thank all of you who commented on my "lonely" post. Each comment made me think as well as encouraged and uplifted me. I can almost guarantee that I will be talking about that subject again, but for now, let's talk about my weekend.

It was just what the doctor ordered. We had a great time seeing five different museums, meeting new friends, and catching up on family gossip.

We headed up to Ft. Worth on Friday night and stayed at my cousin T's house. Calling her "Cousin T" makes me picture here as a farmer girl with a piece of hay in her mouth which is weird and not at all accurate, just so ya know. But she is one of the most generous and fun people I know and it was great being able to hang out with her, even if it was only for a little while as she had to work a lot that weekend.

It was also a little sad for me because my grandparents lived with her from about the time I entered middle school so most of the memories of my grandparents revolve around that house. I have only spent one night there since my Grandma's funeral so being there without them around was really different and I was a lot more emotional than I would have thought. It has been a number of years since they died but when I walked through the door, it seemed like it was yesterday that I was there with them, playing Scrabble and swiming and hearing stories. It was sad but good since Craig was there and I was able to share those memories and experiences with him. I wish that he had been able to meet them, but having him around this weekend was a nice way to share that part of my life with him.

The next day we started off early at the parking lot to the Natural Science and History Museum. I say the parking lot because we found that easily enough, but we couldn't find the entrance to the actual museum. Eventually we discovered that, due to construction, it was combined with the Cowgirl museum. I knew that was happening but the website said it wouldn't start until Sunday; well, the website lied.

That meant that most of the museum was not available to see, but we did see some dinosaur stuff. Craig even enjoyed a moment to sit and relax in a footprint. The little baby sitting up in the real print is cute, but I still think Craig is cuter. I will admit I'm slightly biased though.

Then we headed upstairs to the Cowgirl museum. It was a lot more interesting than I would have thought. We saw lots of costumes, sat at our own mini juke boxes to listen to some country music (I picked Patsy Cline, Craig picked the Dixie Chicks) and even had a chance to try out rodeo skills.
And of course, we had to check out the gift shop on the way out.
Since we hadn't spent as much time as the Science and History Museum as we planned, we had time to check out the Kimbell Art Museum and their special exhibit on Impressionism. I'm so glad we did as it turned out to be my favorite museum. It was really busy and you had to push to see some of the more popular pieces but I got to see my favorite painting ever! If any of you are up in the Ft. Worth area and have time to check it out, I highly recommend it. And the non-free days are probably a lot less crowded.

We then took a break, rested our feet, and grabbed lunch with bloggity friend Tina and her Mr. Aggie. It is always a little awkward at first to meet people that you know through blogging, but don't really know but they were super nice and I, for one, had a fun time.

We then headed over to the log cabin village. It was crowded but fun and interesting. There were lots of special exhibits for the day but my feet were killing me by the end. Plus, I really had to go to the bathroom but there was only a porta-potty. If you know me, you know - I don't do porta-potties. And there would have been lots of cute photo opportunities, but that previous thing had me distracted and I didn't get any at all :-(

We finished at the Sid Richardson museum with its western art. I didn't really want to go to this one but it was Craig's pick and he went to mine so it was only fair. I actually liked it. They had a neat brochure that talked about the pictures without you having to stand right there to read it so I could sit and read about them and enjoy them. Plus there was nobody there most of the time and it was nice to enjoy the paintings in the quiet.

Thus ended our day of museums. Cousin T was able to take off the next morning so we had a nice brunch with her then headed back. Though Saturday was busy, the whole weekend seemed really relaxed and stress free. But even so, it is nice to be back home.

Proof of the Obvious

From Instapundit via Power Line:
A READER AT A MAJOR NEWSROOM EMAILS: "Off the record, every suspicion you have about MSM being in the tank for O[bama] is true. We have a team of 4 people going thru dumpsters in Alaska and 4 in arizona. Not a single one looking into Acorn, Ayers or Freddiemae. Editor refuses to publish anything that would jeopardize election for O, and betting you dollars to donuts same is true at NYT, others. People cheer when CNN or NBC run another Palin-mocking but raising any reasonable inquiry into obama is derided or flat out ignored. The fix is in, and its working."


They Beat Me to It

I was close, too.
Computer scientists are hoping to claim a $100,000 prize after discovering the largest known prime number. At 12,978,189 digits long, it would take the best part of two and a half months to write out by hand.


Obviously I'm not cut out to be president

I use Firefox and have for a while. I was probably the last person the planet to switch over from IE but now that I am used to it, I love it. Except for one thing. That bar that comes down and asks if you want to save your password.

I am just too indecisive to deal with that. If I want to save it, it's easy -I just click "Yes." But if I don't, I get stuck. I don't want to have to click "Not this time" every single time but then, if I say "Never" what if I change my mind? It just seems to final. After a month of clicking "not this time" to my facebook password, I went ahead and said never and I am already regretting it. Oh, I just don't like making tough decisions


Stop with the free stuff already.

That is what I have a feeling you will probably say after reading this. But I am not going to, even though this one isn't even a real free thing, just a contest and a possibility of a free thing. Yet I'm still gonna post.

Yep, I'm shameless and am using my blog to get more entries in a drawing for a free handbag at handbagplanet. But to make it at least somewhat interesting for you readers I will tell you that I am a boring handbag person and if you want proof you can go to that website. You have to pick which of the handbags you want and I am pretty sure I picked the most boring of them all, hour 6. It was kinda hard because I was trying to be real logical about it before deciding that it doesn't matter, I never win anything and went with something I would actually use if I did win.

My whole thought process kinda reminded me of Indiana Jones, like I had to decide which bag Jesus would have used. And obviously, had I gone with the hour 14 bag, which is bright pink with a bow, my chances of winning would have been higher because who else would have picked that one. But then trying to find someway to incorporate it into my wardrobe would have put me in as much pain as Donovan after he used the wrong grail. Because death and bad fashion are definitely on the same level.

Probably Not Coming to a TV Near You

I was alerted to this European car commercial in one of my classes. It is funny, non-PC stuff.


One may be the loneliest number but two can be pretty lonely as well

Warning - I am frustrated and grumpy and taking it out in this post.

You may have noticed that we haven't posted a lot lately. It's almost the end of September month and we are at about half of the number of posts we normally make each month. That is mostly because we haven't been doing anything but work/school, come home, eat dinner, maybe work out, maybe not, read or watch a movie, go to bed, repeat. It's not that I don't like spending time just the two or us or that I don't like routine, I certainly do. But every once in a while, it is nice to interact with other human beings. I think it is worse for me because 1) I am a girl and need more social interaction than Craig and 2) He has fellow student to converse with and relate to while I am stuck in a lab by myself. I maybe say 50 words during the day, maybe. In fact, last week I went the whole day without saying a single word out loud from 8 to 3ish. When the cleaning lady came in to change the garbage, I tried to say hi but my mouth was all dry so no sound came out. That being said, I don't think I would mind the work thing if we had friend to hang out with at other times.

We do have some old friends in town but we don't hang out much, I'm not sure why. I guess partly because we don't see them 2-3 times a week at church anymore so we don't have the opportunity to just say, hey, let's grab lunch/dinner/ice cream/anything edible.

Oh church, I'm just frustrated with churches. I hate criticizing the Church, as in the Body of Christ (stop laughing, I really do, I just ignore that feeling a lot), because I love the people that make it up but I need to get this off my chest. We have been living here for about 6 weeks now and we really haven't made any progress with church shopping (and hopefully the friendships that come with a church). Despite my last post, which was another rant from being annoyed with church shopping and was a little harsher than I now wish it was, I don't think we are being that picky.

We stuck with the Lutheran one for three weeks. The service was nice and the sermons were good but not a single person greeted us. Even when we went through the line and shook the pastors hand, he just said hi, despite the fact that he greeted everyone else by name and obviously didn't know ours. He could have at least said made up something about it being nice to see new faces. (Ironically, the sermon series he had been giving was about building communities.) We even went to a small group but it didn't really fit us. And I emailed people about other studies that would be more of a fit, but no reply. So after three tries and seemingly no way to even meet anybody there, we bid them farewell. (If you attend a very welcoming church or are a welcoming person at your church, take this as an encouragement, it is appreciated! I am convicted because I haven't always been a big greeter at church but that will be changing)

So we tried a different church last, a fairly large popular church in the area. They are well know for their music ministries and although the music was amazing, the rest seemed, uhm, fluffy? Let's just say when the sermon includes 10 full minutes of watching scenes from Sister Act and only 1 bible verse being references, I begin to wonder if someone has their priorities right. Just sayin.'

Despite what I said last month about their being tons of churches in the area, I feel like we are running out of options. Obviously some of the options are automatically out because of personal preference, but a traditional service is important to Craig so we will stand by that.

But each time we give each other a thumbs down look as we leave, I get more and more tempted to return to "the old church." The old church was the reason Craig and I met, and the reason I knew he could be a spiritual leader and husband and it's where we made all our amazing friends (you know, the ones you keep seeing in all the wedding pictures). We know people there. People that have helped my faith grow and helped show my how God could pull me out of the pit I was in. People that befriended Craig and I and gave us advice about what living in Logan was like so I didn't completely flip out about moving to Utah. And little people two, ones I have known since before they were born. And ones I taught VBS songs too.

Part of me is wondering if the reasons we choose not to go back there are valid, or if I am just holding a grudge and being stubborn. I honestly don't know. Maybe all the doors we are facing are closed for a reason. But the other part of me says I am just being impatient and there are reasons we didn't want to go there so why should that change just because it seems hard now. And even if we do go back, it's not all going to be the same. A lot has changed and just like coming back to the same town wasn't the same as before, going back to the same church won't be either.

When everything about a church is good except one thing, is that good enough? What if that one thing is church leadership? And how much of a church is the members as opposed to the pastor? I just don't know.

This week we will be taking a rest as we will be in Ft. Worth. I'm really glad, I need it. But then we will be back at it, trying to find out where God wants us to be. Until we know, I will just keep reminding myself that it is God's burden, not mine. He obviously wants us to fellowship with other Christians so He is going to have to make that possible. Iwill allow him to work in mylife, but I don't need to be encumbered with a burden that isn't mine so I'm going to try to give it to him. Really, I am. I'll let you now how it goes.

Again with the free stuff...

Okay, so you poor Loganities got left out on my last freebie post as there weren't really any museums nearby. This one is something you might be able to enjoy, but you have to act fast as it is only for today. Cold Stone Creamery is giving away ice cream tonight! Go here for more info. Craig and I are going after work. Yep, even before dinner! We live on the edge.


WFMW - Food Challenges

I haven't done a WFWM in a while, when Shannon took that summer break, I got out of the habit but I'm back now and ready to start up again.

I've been reading a lot about nutrition in the last 6 months or so but have found myself getting overwhelmed. Plus, it isn't like there's a consensus on what is good nutritious food. One book might label something, like milk, a wonder food while another will say, unless it is raw you might as well be feeding your body poison. It's scary and leaves me wondering if I should just stop caring and eat mac and cheese from a box.

But obviously, that won't work so we have started setting food goals. Here are my guidelines:
  • Set 1 goal at a time. It's hard because I want to make all these changes at once but if I stick with one goal until I am comfortable and confident with it, it will actually last. If I make a bunch of changes at one time, I get burnt out and go back to what I am comfortable with.
  • Don't set a time limit. It isn't one goal a week. It is one goal until that is part of our routine. Sometimes that will only take a week or two, sometimes it will take longer. The one we just finished lasted over a month.
  • Focus on ideas that aren't controversial. Yes, later I will have to make some decisions about who to believe but for now, there is lots I can do that almost everyone agrees on. That way I feel more confident and don't end up second guessing my decision.
  • Take it as a personal challenge. It isn't something I have to do. I am an adult and since I make the dinners now, no one is forcing me to eat a certain way (just like me mom said so many times when I was younger). It is a choice that I am making and somethings might be harder, but I find that thinking of it as my food challenge puts my competitive spirit to work.
My first food challenge, although I didn't call it that, was to serve fish at least one meal a week. It was hard as I only knew how to make two meals with fish, tuna pasta salad and tuna noodle casserole, and neither is one I would want to eat more than once a month. And yes, we made some big messes and had a few disgusting dinners but we didn't starve and now it's second nature. My fish meal is one of my easiest and tastiest every week.

Other goals we have done:
-Eat beans at least 3 times a week. Again, this was a hard one as I didn't think I liked beans and I didn't know what to do with them. This blog helped a lot and after about 5 weeks, it wasn't that hard to come up with 3 meals with beans. I even managed to do it this week when, due to the hurricane, the stores were so bare that the only type of bean I could find was dry black beans.

- Cut out beverages. We now drink mostly water, sometimes milk.

- Have at least two servings of vegetables at dinner. This is our current goal. We do pretty well with the 5-a-day idea for fruits and vegetables, but that is mostly fruits. Hopefully in a few weeks, that will no longer be the case.


ND a No-Go for Obama

Earlier this summer, I was surprised to see electoral map projections that depicted North Dakota as a toss-up. North Dakota hasn't gone blue since 1964, despite the fact that its entire Congressional delegation is Democratic. I realized that the hippie college students in Fargo might be excited for Obama, but I didn't think that would be enough to put the state's 3 electoral votes in play.

Now, however, whatever potential Obama had in the state has been abandoned, as Obama has pulled his paid staffers out of the state. He moved them to Minnesota and Wisconsin, traditional blue states that have been close for the last couple of elections. I was under the impression from Democratic types that states like these would vote overwhelmingly for Obama, but apparently that is not the case.

The idea of ND being a battleground is kind of exciting (Obama even had an office in Rugby), but I'm glad that this Obama flirtation will go no further.


Survey Says...

To close the loop on our Geico Girl poll of last week, it was the opinion of the masses (by a 57%-43% tally) that I was right, that she was indeed flashing the pilot of that plane. Naughty girl.


Museum Day!

Y'all know the BRC loves free stuff. And we love museums. Well, on Sept 27th, we will be able to combine our two loves, because it is Museum Day 2008!

No really, I didn't make that up. Go here to the Smithsonian Magazine website and get your free passes which grant you free access to Smithsonian Institute Museums, and don't think that means you have to be in D.C; there are lots in Texas and probably where you are, too. And did I mention it was free? The website has a complete list of participating museums but here are a few that looked neat to me (plus, some are located where I happen to know some of my readers are from):

Louisville Slugger Museum and Factory (Louisville, KY)
Olbrich Botanical Gardens (Madison, WI)
Albuquerque International Balloon Museum (Albuquerque, NM)
Hawaii Maritime Center (Honolulu - Too bad the pass doesn't include transportation)

Craig and I are thinking about heading up to Ft. Worth to check one out. Hopefully you can find one in your area as well.


Ballet - It's not for sissies

My body, oh, it aches. The first week wasn't so bad but this time, I feel like I am dying. I think it is the shoes.

I was just in bare feet last week since I didn't have time to go to the ballet store. But Friday, while everyone else was off buying food and filling up on gas, I ran over to the local dance store and picked up my outfit. Obviously, I have my priorities in order.

What I learned this week is that with bare feet you have a whole foots worth of space to balance with but in the fancy-schmancy ballet shoes you only have a few inches of leather. (You know it is fancy when you have to spend $20 for a few inches of fabric and you still have to finish sewing them yourself!) This forces your muscles to work a lot harder to keep you upright. Every part of me hurt last night, except maybe my eyeballs. (But now those hurt too because I keep thinking of some poor dog that no longer has it's eyeballs as they are in a box at my feet.)

The rest of my ballet outfit consists of slightly more fabric, but not a lot. Yes, it is more than a swimsuit but it really doesn't feel like it when you are standing in a room of mirrors. It's not the body image thing, I pretty much like my body. There are obviously areas I like better than others but overall, my body and I are cool. And it isn't like anyone else cares there, the class is mostly girls, of all shapes and sizes, just there to have fun. And the two boys, well, let's just say I am pretty sure they aren't there to meet any ladies.

But Monday was the first day that most of us came in something other than shorts and a t-shirt and you could feel the uncomfortable vibe from pretty much everyone but the instructor. I think it probably boils down to the fact that we are adults and we are in public wearing tights and a leotard. It doesn't matter that everyone else is too, it is embarrassing! (It's also embarrassing when you realize you have to go to HEB afterwards because you are in desperate need of bananas and sour cream.) But it is also tons of fun too so if you have the chance to take a ballet class, I say do it! Just be forewarned, it's not for sissies.


A Bad Way to Start Your Day

...opening a box expecting to find Styrofoam peanuts and instead finding dozens of clear plastic containers with dog body parts inside them. Yuck!


Clock Confusion

In my new office, I have a cute little clock that was given to me as a "welcome gift" from a vendor I've been working with. Not only does it tell time, but it also has temperature and date info. It comes in very handy when my computer is running a program and refuses to tell me the time or if I want to know the temperature of my lab, not that the university gives me any sort of control over that, but it is nice to know.

It is a bit quirky though. I got it Monday and set the time and it worked great. Tuesday morning I come in and it is exactly two hours behind. So I reset it and before I go home I check it and see that it is still perfect in sync with my computer. Then this morning it is exactly two hours behind again! Why, little clock, are you acting this way? Do you think there are only 22 hours in a day? Or is some secret evil computer sending you signals at midnight telling you to resync yourself to a wrong time?

This time I have not reset it, and after a full day of clock confusion, I am going to leave it still set two hours behind just to see what it will do. Will it stay two hours behind or will it be four hours behind when I check it tomorrow morning? We shall see.


CVS and Walgreens are Fun!

One of the exciting results of our recent move was that we are now residents of a city that has both Walgreens and CVS stores. Neither of these stores can be found in the Logan, Utah metro area. The reason I was excited to patronize these establishments is because the savvy shopper (which I consider myself to be) can get some good deals by participating in each store's particular system.

CVS has an Extra Care Bucks program, with which you can get ECBs for certain purchases, which you can then use on future purchases in the store. Money Saving Mom has a good primer on the program, which can be somewhat confusing to the newcomer. I haven't been too impressed with this program so far, because only a few items that I actually need have come with ECBs. Also, such items are not clearly marked in the store, so I have to closely examine the CVS ad to make sure I'm getting the right item.

Walgreens has an EasySaver rebate program. With this, a number of items are free each month after rebate, and others are merely reduced in price. You submit your rebates each month, and if you put the money on a Walgreen's gift card, you get an extra 10%. Ideally, once you have a decent balance on a card, it becomes self-perpetuating, with last month's rebates paying for this month's item, and so on. MSM also has a primer on this program. This has worked pretty well for me. I got a few good free items here his month that I actually need.

A great feature of these stores is that you can stack store and manufacturer coupons together on the same item. If you play your coupons right, you can get items for free, or even better, you can essentially get paid to buy items. MSM and other sites post weekly reports on the best available items at each store. If you have these stores in your area, it will be worth your while to check these programs out.


How we weathered the weekend

I had a three day weekend so I'm not sure why Monday seemed to come so soon, but it did. In an attempt to hold onto the weekend a bit longer, I'll give you a quick recap.

My brother was planning on coming in to town from Austin so Thursday when I found out they were closing the University, I gave him a call. He agreed that the storm probably wouldn't be too bad but we weren't sure about traffic so he quickly threw some stuff in the car and drove over. We spent Thursday night playing trivia and eating hot wings at BWW. And I could be all humble and leave it at that, but I won't. I want to brag - I won trivia! I don't think I have ever even beaten Craig before but this time not only did I beat him, and my brother (who is getting his pHd) but whoever else was there too. I think the only way that win could have been more impressive is if Rachel was there. And part of it was luck with the questions, and part of it was lucky guessing, but as Emma once asked "Have you never known the pleasure and triumph of a lucky guess?"

Friday we were supposed to be preparing for the big storm but I had already spent an hour buying milk at the grocery store so I was good. Instead we went to the Bush Library. I wasn't expecting much since I had already been a thousand times (give or take a few hundreds) but they had updated it and I had a good time. When it comes to museums, I am like a little kid - the more buttons I can push, the better. Then the boys went off to the shooting range while I was a party pooper. They made fun of me for not wanting to go but I did make a double batch of cookies while they were gone so really, where would they have been without me? Cookie-less, it would have been sad for them.

Saturday was a little rainy so after we risked life and limb to report the news to you, we stayed in and watched movies. We did venture out later to do a bit of shopping but not much was open.

Sunday was spent in our normal routine - church, lunch, nap/tv watching, and reading. My bro headed home to Austin and thus ended our crazy hurricane weekend.

It's crazy to think that just a little more than an hour south of here, so much damage was done. Speaking of which, I haven't heard from all my houston friends though so if you are my friend and typically reside in Houston, please at least shoot me an email so I know you are safe. Unless you don't have power, then I will forgive you for ignoring this.


What's going on with that Geico Girl?

There is a running debate in our house over this commercial. Watch it while thinking about what is actually happening in the scene. We will each plead our cases below, we are asking you to decide for yourself what is in fact occurring, then vote in our poll below.

MacKenzie: She's getting ready to swim
Obviously, they went to the beach to go swimming. The girl saw the pretty island and the sparkling water so she was excited to get in and swim. She started by taking off her shirt. As she was half way off with her shirt, she spotted the Geico plane and its sign. Realizing that the caveman will be mad and won't want to stay, she puts her shirt back down. He is mad so he goes and gets in the car, leaving her with the blanket and umbrella and such to pick up (because he is a caveman).

Craig: She's flashing the pilot
When she says, "That's amazing," she's not referring to the rock island, but to the Geico banner behind the plane we can hear in the background. So she turns around and does the classic flashing maneuver. When the pilot is out of eyeshot, she pulls her shirt back down. The caveman is incensed by this action, so he says, "I'll be in the car." She replies, "Okay," obviously intending to stick around for awhile.

What do you think?

Do Try This at Home

After spending last night watching Geraldo and others standing out in the hurricane giving weather updates, I thought, "Hey, I can do that." In the name of citizen journalism, here is my Hurricane Ike report, filed a mere 100 miles or so from the eye of the storm:

Note: I would like to thank my brave camerawoman for venturing out into the storm with me.


Hurricane Day

That's right, school is canceled today due to Ike. That bad boy is supposed to reach this area during the overnight hours tonight. We are far enough from the sea that we would merely be hit with tropical storm conditions. The current forecast says we will get rain and about 50 mph winds. Of course, when Rita came in 2005, they predicted 10 inches of rain and 60 mph winds, and we didn't get much of anything. We were prepared, though, although our window-boarding skills were called into question.

Although things should be fine today, school was still called off, as a "precautionary measure." Non-essential employees also got the day off, and MacKenzie is apparently non-essential, in the eyes of the University. There are some evacuees rolling into town, so I suspect cancellation was done in part to keep people off the roads, although the University's action will allow some people the opportunity to drive home, and others (like me) the opportunity to go shopping or something. The University offered off-campus students lodging in a gym on campus if they are freaked out by all this. I think I'll decline that offer.

The exciting part of the hurricane is that I can pull out my neat emergency radio. It operates via hand crank, and has a light, siren, and cell phone charger. It receives AM/FM, TV, and weather band signals. You should get one.


Does this tutu make my butt look big?

I mentioned the fact that we are fairly busy around here, but what are we busy doing? Well, I'm taking an fitness class. I like to be active but I hate to "exercise." In high school I did Tae Kwon Do, soccer and swim team (not all at the same time) and was overall pretty fit. Then I got to college and everyone else just went to the gym and runs on the treadmill or works out with weights. I tried that and found it very boring, so I stopped.

Then I started gaining weight, something that had never happened to me before. The freshman 5 15 20, had reared it's ugly head, helped by my dorm's location near the bad cafeteria, where the only edible things were grilled cheese sandwiches, yogurt, and rice crispy treats. Even the fruit was gross.

The next year I moved to a different dorm near the good cafeteria and started working out like everyone else. It worked. I lost the pounds. Then I lost my motivation, for good. I have never been able to consistently work out at a gym since. But I want to be healthy. So I take classes. Since I am a rule follower and don't like to skip, I actually go. I don't know why my mind can't get around the fact that it isn't school and they don't take attendance, but I like it.

Before I got married, I conned one of my friends into taking pilates with me. She was my maid of honor and I needed to have nice looking arms in my wedding dress so she was morally obligated to take the class with me. It was a lot of fun, if we got there early enough to pick out a good spot. A good spot was one behind the door. A bad spot was one in front of the large glass window facing the racquetball courts. There is nothing like doing awkward poses while wearing ugly clothing in front of an audience of college guys waiting for their time slot to motivate you to work harder.

This semester, Craig has a class Monday nights and intermural practice Wednesday nights so in an effort to see him more than one night a week, I decided to pick a M/W class. But there was only one option on M/W - Intro to Ballet.

I am clumsy and I can't really dance but Monday night, I did ballet and I had fun. It didn't seem like we did much but I was so tired afterwards. I guess all that "stomach in" and "butt under" stuff really works your core. Plus it is something different that I have never done before. Well, technically I have done ballet before but I was 7 and the only things I remember are that my teacher had really long fingernails and that we danced to New Kids On The Block at my rehearsal. Obviously, that was money well spent :-) Maybe this time it will stick with me.


One Last Wedding

One of the things I like about moving is the chance to start over, schedule-wise. It is so easy to keep adding activities without removing some and no matter how much I try to slow the onslaught, eventually I end up busy almost every night. So I like when I move that my schedule becomes a clean slate again.

Somehow that hasn't happened this time. We are already super busy. I started work last Monday and I think we have had at least one thing going on every night. Even this weekend was busy, but it in a good way.

Saturday our friend got married and a lot of our old gang came back for his wedding. They got married in the same church as Craig and I and it was actually the first time we had been back there since then, so that was special. And a lot of it was familiar: the same organist and the same wedding bells chiming before the service, the same verses were read and we sang the same "Hymn of Promise" (which apparently only Methodists like since I haven't heard it outside that church). There wasn't any "You got a friend in me" processional like we had, but I think that might be unique to us.

The wedding was at 3pm and then we went to the reception where we picked up a snazzy new, and still nameless, beta fish. Since we rarely get to see those people, we weren't ready to say goodbye so we ended up hanging out and talking till after 1am with all our old friends - well, not the newlyweds, of course :-) Of course, I could barely stay awake past midnight back then so Sunday I was feeling the need to nap but it was worth it. It felt like old times and I'm sad now thinking about it since I don't know when that will happen again, this was our last of the many weddings we attended this year. Someone else had better get engaged soon so we have a reunion to look forward too.


I Suppose I'll Comment on the Convention

I haven't said too much about the conventions of the last two weeks. As far as the speeches go, it's hard to judge them. How commentators evaluate a speech depends on what party they are in, it seems. What's important is what the average, undecided voter thinks of them, and that's not me (although I claimed to be undecided today when trying to avoid answering some high schoolers' question about who I was voting for). However, I'll offer a few thoughts on McCain's address, from my conservative perspective.
  • McCain is not known for being much of an orator, so Obama beats him on that count, but how many people really care about that?
  • I don't like when politicians talk about how they met Mary Walters from Lisbon, Colorado, who is behind on her mortgage and has osteoporosis. I want policy proposals, not emotional stories. But I guess there are those out there who want to know that the candidates, to borrow a Bill Clinton phrase, "feel their pain." Also, it was not great when McCain mentioned a location, and that state cheered, right before McCain talked about cancer or war death or some other sad occurrence.
  • I don't think McCain knew that, when the crowd started chanting "USA, USA," that they were trying to drown out protesters. He seemed to be thinking, "What are you doing, people? I'm speaking here." But he obviously saw that old hag parading down the aisle in her pink shirt.
  • I really liked the end of his speech, when the crowd was cheering and he was fired up. Rather than waiting for them to quiet down, he pressed on, and it provided a great closing image for the voters.


You'll burn the house down!

Since both Craig and I work (in some fashion or another), we try and split up household duties. And I think I do a pretty good job most of the time, I am a good cook, do a decent job at keeping the place clean, and there is typically some sort of baked good in our house at least 2 or 3 times a month. But there are two things I am really bad about, and both involve turning things on and off.

The first issue, the lights. I try to remember to turn off the lights when I leave a room, really I do, but at almost any moment, Craig could probably look up and find at least one light I left on (and that really is saying a lot because there are only 4 rooms in our apartment!) It was never a big deal growing up but it drives Craig crazy. Even if I only leave the kitchen for a second to check the recipe on the computer, he will catch me. The "but I am going right back" doesn't seem to make a difference to him. They say it takes 30 days to make a habit but I have been trying to make myself turn off the lights for over a year and a half and I don't think I am any closer to forming a habit than the day after I got married. But, compared to my next fault, that one is nothing.

I also have difficulties turning off the oven and stove. And turning them on. They just give me grief. It's embarrassing but I will admit that I have accidentally left the oven on for a period of time in excess of 12 hours...oops :-) Hey, it hasn't happened again after that (but then again, Craig started checking the oven before we left for work in the morning.)

But it isn't just the oven, the stove top gives me issues as well. I have often complained about how long the water is taking to boil only to have Craig come in and notice that the pot may not be getting warm but the burner next to it is starting to smoke. I thought I'd gotten a lot better lately, no problems in the last couple of months. That is, until last week, when I thought it would be nice to make rolls.

You see, we were only having spaghetti and that's kinda boring but since I was home, jobless, I could make something fancy to go with it. I was trying to be nice so I whipped up a batch of dough, let it rise, shaped it into cute little buns and put them on top of the oven while it was pre-heating so the second rise would go quickly. I then started my water boiling and went back to watch Rachel Ray make something much more exciting than spaghetti (in under 30 minutes of course).

A few minutes later, Craig noticed something beginning to smell, and thank goodness he did because the smoke detector didn't make a peep. I ran into the kitchen just in time to see the cloth covering my rising rolls go up in flames. Oops, I guess I had turned on the burner underneath the rolls instead of the one underneath the pot of water. (And yes, either way I shouldn't have had the pan with a cloth covering on the stove top while it was on, but hindsight is 20/20 people!)

Don't worry though, I was able to quickly whisk the cloth into the sink and a few gallons of water later, we were safe again. Of course, my muffin pan was pretty much toast and we had to air out the apartment for over 30 minutes, which left us eating our spaghetti in a sauna but only about half of the rolls had to be tossed, the rest turned out great. And you know what they say, alls well that ends well. Let's just hope I have really learned my lesson this time.


Shallow RNC questions

I promise I won't take over Craig's role on this blog, but I have a couple questions...

1. Why can't people seem to figure out how to hold a sign right side up? It's not that difficult people!

2. Does anyone else start craving a Hershey bar every time those brown signs pop up? Oh, uh, me neither.

3. Wasn't it the cutest thing when Piper licked her hand then fixed baby Trig's hair? Gross, but cute.



I like Texas.
I dislike Texas Ave...could it get any more crowded?

I like what the humidity does to my skin.
I dislike what the humidity does to my hair.

I like swimming every day
I dislike putting on a swimsuit still cold and wet from the day before.

I like HEB, the best grocery store in the world.
I dislike how everyone else thinks HEB is the best grocery store in the world too.

I like job offers.
I dislike job interviews...but it doesn't matter. I started my new job! More on that later...


After-Action Report

As I stated Friday morning, I did some substitute teaching that day. It wasn't too bad; I merely had to give a test to each of 4 classes and watch a study hall. I had nothing the final two periods, so I got to leave early. Similar to the paltry training I received, I didn't get a whole lot of information in the morning about what I needed to know. However, I was able to ask the teacher next door a few questions, and then wing it the rest of the way. I suppose I'll stick with this subbing thing for awhile.