Saturday, October 4, 2014

Fall, y'all

Chocolate cinnamon pumpkin pancakes. Door open to cooler air. Fall harvest candle lit. Slow morning with the husband, watching a National Geographic documentary on our national parks: another reminder of the majesty of God's creation. Geysers and gluten free pancakes. Selah.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Last weekend of summer classes!

View of the Capitol from this past week. Pretty flowers, pretty day (in the shade). This was hours before a death threat letter hit one of the offices and practically shut down the east wing of the G level and countless law enforcement and first responder vehicles lined the Capitol Drive.
 
Oh, hello. It's Statistics class. Time for another post. Get ready for some first world problems:
  • I have a sinus headache but am too lazy to rustle through my bag and find some Advil congestion meds.
  • I need more coffee and waiting for the opportune time to run to the coffee machine before my classmates get there on break
  • I'm too tired to read through all my "to read" emails or answer old texts I've let go by the wayside.
  • I need to deposit a check but don't have a dark surface on which to place the check so I can take a photo of it and instantly deposit it through my USAA banking app.
  • Giving myself a pedicure in class would be frowned upon.

Well that's embarrassing. In other news, here are two photos of awesomeness from the past week:

Cool Category:

This is an AMBUS. An ambulance bus. There are 13 of these bad boys in Texas, and I was able to go in this one and visit with some of the EMTF (Emergency Management Task Force) personnel. Cool facts about this bus:
  • They can be configured to hold 20 gurneys (think shallow but adequate bunk beds) lining the sides of the bus.
  • There's a wench in the bottom middle of the bus and they can pull bariatric patients in this way.
  • These 13 buses have the same capacity as 117 ambulances, so clearly they're a big help when there's a need for an evacuation of, say, a nursing home or hospital.
  • Buses elsewhere are equipped with 4 air conditioning units, but the Texas AMBUSes have FIVE. So there.
So Very Weird category:

 
I don't care who you are. This is weird.
 
 
 
And for the Totally Awesome Category:
 
I took this pic on a dreamy Sunday evening kayak ride with Tim - we bought kayaks at the beginning of summer and have thoroughly enjoyed being out on the water. We've been going out in the morning, which is still fun, but the evening ride (with a picnic dinner!) was pretty stellar. And since we haven't been out in the evenings on kayaks since that one time I broke up with him on July 4, 2010 when walking over the Potomac River in DC ("I-N-D-E-P-E-N-D-E-N-T DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS...")... it was nice to have a good memory of a sunset kayak ride :).
 
Have a great weekend, y'all!! 
 



Saturday, August 2, 2014

What I'm doing today in Stats class

Statistics is hard. As in another language. As in a "successful" class today means I don't fall asleep or storm out. Can I get an amen?

Here's what I've been doing in Stats this morning (class is 7:30am - 12:00pm this lovely Saturday morning that was an amazingly low 68 degrees when I drove to school this morning and I'm stuck inside in a fluorescent bulb-lit classroom that is about 55 degrees and I'm shivering and what the hell).
  • Made a list of all family birthdays by month
  • Read several Wall Street Journal articles re: Ebola, Israel, the US border with Mexico....
  • This article that makes us seethe "I knew it back then!" and "I told you so!"
  • Paid my credit card statement
  • Continually making a to do list, using my Container Store planner and my taasky app
  • Made a grocery list with the GroceryIQ app
  • Made a shopping list (I ripped through TWO! Count 'em! One, TWO! Pairs of blue jeans this morning like a true fatty. As I was having a breakdown/hissy fit, sweet Tim observes, "time to go shopping!" Hell yes I do. But I don't want to talk about it.)
  • Followed up on some old emails I've been meaning to send
  • Noticed that I really need to clean my jewelry
  • Stayed current on my Instagram monitoring activities

Ladwy mercy. Get here, 12:00pm.

Friday, August 1, 2014

It's the simple things

After class on Friday nights, I come home and am pretty much worthless for the evening. Tonight, Tim is on a boat somewhere in Lake Austin for a work thingy (tough life, I know), so after 237... Okay, 4, times of trying unsuccessfully to make Netflix connect so I can get my long overdue 30 Rock fix, I started flipping through our measly channel selection and was so elated to come across this gem! 

True Grit! Rooster Cogburn!.... Stand up Tom Chaney! ....My family has property! ...Is that man simple minded? ...oh, they're dead. Terrible sight to see... Rooster Cogburn is no friend of mine...

Oh good times.

So good that I tripped over my very full, stemless glass holding the remainder of my red wine and discovered that my big easy chair has some sort of 3M repellant in it, so you can't tell I splashed the side of it. And thank goodness for carpet spot cleaner. 

Back to the liquor cabinet to fully appreciate this !movie night. I might even try to take a swig Rooster Cogburn style.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Drinking on the job

Seriously, people. This has gotten out of control. 

This is my desk right now. No staging was necessary for this photo. Tap water in my (Go CHI-O!) red cup. Iced tea (was) in my Aggie Tervis Tumbler. Sparkling (flat) water straight from the big Trader Joe's bottle. Hot mint tea in my EE cup. Lawdy.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

George H. W. Bush on Socks

I love George Herbert Walker Bush. So much. Allie sent me this buzzfeed highlighting his advice for choosing socks and, well, read it for yourself. And then go buy some fun socks. Live a little.



Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Frank Lucas

This is a Frank Lucas.



I created this masterpiece while watching American Gangster. My man Denzel was so cool, per usual, I just had to name this lovely drink after his character. (And yes, I carry a little chip on my shoulder because I invented the half tea half lemonade drink dubbed the "Arnold Palmer" when I was like 2. Come on, how creative a drink is this?!?)

This is how you make a Frank Lucas:
Whiskey (to taste)
Triple sec (to taste)
Sprinkle of bitters
A maraschino cherry if you're feeling lucky

Do what you like. Like what you do.

And now, some Frank Lucas quotes.

"See, ya are what ya are in this world. That's either one of two things: Either you're somebody, or you ain't nobody."

"My man."

"This is my home. My country. Frank Lucas don't run from nobody. This is America."

But Why Male Models?

It's time to fire up the ol' blog. Here's why. I'm in Statistics class and really have no clue what's going on. I sit here for 4.5 hours every Saturday morning (from 7:30am - 12:00pm, mind you), developing severe frowning and squinting lines as I stare at the projector screen, terrified that I'm going to blurt out, "....BUT WHY MALE MODELS!?" Zoolander style.

 (inserting a clever meme is proving more difficult than my short temper will allow right now, so just use your own imagination). After having everything explicitly explained to him, he was still so thoroughly confused....

Rather than letting all my genius go to waste as I languish here in Stats, I thought I'd channel all this creative energy back into my blog. Besides, typing on a Word-like document isn't as suspicious-looking as pinterest would be to my classmates.

So yeah. Quick catch up: I'm still married to Sherpa Tim. He's the best thing in this world. I'm still working for Rep. Ed Thompson at the Texas Capitol, love my job. I'm pursuing an Executive Master's degree in Public Leadership at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT. Learning a lot, loving the other 22 people in the cohort.

Well shucks. In a fit of despair, I just jerked back in a display of utter defiance for coefficients of determination (whatever the hell that means), and jammed my knee into the table leg. This class reeks of an exercise in futility, given that I'm planning a party after this class is over that involves pyrotechnics and explosives.... and I PRAY I don't have to ever use this info.

Let me be clear. The professors in this class are great men. I really respect their work and their dedication to the field of statistics.

But enough about Stats. No really.
 Time for a nap. At my desk.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Farewell, 2012. Onward, 2013!

(here is my nod to the 4 month hiatus from the blog. I'm back, world).

So it's New Years Day and with that comes the expectation to have a nice and neat little list of how I'm going to better myself, better the world in this new year. Lose weight, get fit, cook healthy, excel at work, be an amazing wife, be nice to everyone, read at least a book a month, read through the Bible, get involved in church, be more politically informed, dress nicely, find a charity to pour myself into, join a civic organization, decorate the apartment, train for and run a half marathon (who am I kidding?!)..... I'm stopping now to make my head stop spinning.

But 2012 was an amazing year. 

Tim and I found each other again, dated for 3.5 months, were engaged for 4 months, and have been married 3 weeks and 2 days. The best bit of 2012 for me. The most incredible man of my dreams....for reals.

I don't have my journal with me, but I know I documented over one thousand things to be grateful for in 2012 alone - Ann Voskamp changed my life (more on her later). Natalie and I met weekly for Bible study, Mom and Dad finished the house, I went to IJM's GPG (where Tim and I met for lunch and started dating...again) in April, Amy and I spent Cinco de Mayo at the Palmilla in Cabo San Lucas, I didn't go to my 10 year high school reunion (still haven't mastered my new persona where I am infinitely cooler than I was in high school and those bullies will be silenced... maybe for the 20 year?), Trey graduated from A&M (so proud!!), Tim and I went to Napa Valley in June, went to Washington DC in July, the family went to Inks Lake twice this summer, Jackson Eckel was born, we got engaged in August, got a new job at the Capitol, had a blur of an engagement (WOW being married is so much more fun than dating or being engaged!!), became obsessed with Pinterest and Instagram, spent Thanksgiving in Fredericksburg, tried to catch up at work for a week, flew to Modesto for Christmas, saw Les Miserables (yes it was that good and I'm including it on this hodge podge list), bought a spiffy brand new truck the one full day we were back in town, then drove to Fredericksburg for a late Christmas celebration sans Trey, and had a fabulous New Years Eve party including being annihilated at ping-pong by a kid who spent 6 months in China learning all their ping-pong secrets.... and here we are.

Maybe I'll do a here's-some-more-of-the-great-things-that-happened-in-2012 post later (hopefully this year)...but I can't remember everything else right now. Forgive me if you've been left out of my short list of awesomeness.

I read the latest blog entry from Ann Voskamp this afternoon.... thus the prompting to start up this blog again. Please read it when you have a chance. It's super motivating to go forth and move forward in this new year. She is so inspiring! 

Loyal readers, I will try to have some semblance of purpose for this blog, other than my meandering thoughts and tirades. Or this may be a therapeutic way of dealing with the stresses ahead in 2013. Either way, I'll let ya know ;).

What are you most looking forward to in 2013?

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2016....Obama's....Texas?

Last weekend, the fiance (that's right folks, I'm engaged... a post for another day!) and the brother (up and coming oil and gas tycoon in Houston) and I went to see 2016: Obama's America. (yeah yeah you liberal hippies reading this... shut yo face).

It's actually a good movie. Go see it and then we can talk.

Funniest thing, though - when the credits rolled at the end of the film, a man stood up and crowed, "y'all all better remember that s*** when it comes time to VOTE!" and the crowd roared and clapped.

At this point, Tim has fallen on the ground unable to breathe because he's laughing so hard. I - in my best southern drawl - say, "way-uhl-come tew Texis, sugah."

Good times.


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Oh my goodness what just happened?

Hello new google blog format. Will we be friends?

Ahem. So today one of my greatest fears was realized and I LIVED TO TELL THE TALE. Let's cut right to the chase: A creepy blackbird/grackle pest swooped down on my head this morning and scratched my scalp.



I was jogging in front of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf at 38th and Lamar when I felt the strange sensation of skinny fingernails grabbing my hair. My first thought was that a friend was running, too, and grabbed my hair from behind. Then I realized I don't have any friends with fingernails that skinny... and there was such a small amount of pressure... it was....not...human.

Now there are a couple different angles from which to examine this horrendous deed:

  • My hair was pretty frizzy, and matched the color of my yellow shirt. Maybe it thought I was a big haystack.
  • I was jogging so very slowly that the bird mistook me for a stationary object, like say, a nest.
  • The dang thing was trying to steal my headband. Seriously pulled it but thank goodness it let go!
  • This  is karma because moments before I caught a glimpse of my reflection and thought, "hey, runner! you don't look so bad! You actually look AWESOME!" Hopefully it wasn't like this:


Thankfully I was highly aware that there were people all around (38th and Lamar is a busy intersection for you non-Austinites), so I oh-so-smoothly laughed it off, as in, "hee hee, silly Mary-Poppins-style-animated-bird trying to take my headband, fa la la happy world." It was about 30 seconds later that I realized I was about to hyperventilate I felt so violated. So I walked the rest of the way home. And shampooed several times, wishing they made an antibacterial shampoo.

The End. The massive bird fear continues, clearly. 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Green things....brown things....

Exhibit 547(a): yet another failed attempt at domesticity:
It used to be a cute little box o' green succulents on my desk so brown.

Kinda like this:


Sarah in our office took one look at my sad flowerbed and said, "Don't get a pet anytime soon."

To which I retorted that pets and kids scream and make noise when they need attention. Hey there's an idea. Reminder beepy microchips in the soil to remind me to water, give sun, hell I'll TALK TO the dang plants if it means they'll live longer than a few weeks!

Green thumb have I not.

Happy Friday, world.

Monday, February 27, 2012

5 Productivity Myths That Need to Be Busted

This is an awesome take on some productivity myths that I confess I've held dear. Got this on dumblittleman.com. READ IT.


When there is so much advice and information on productivity floating around, it is obvious that not all of that is worth paying heed to. There are certain popular beliefs on productivity that some consider useful, which in reality do nothing but to hamper their efficiency.

This article talks about five productivity myths which the sooner you come to know about and understand, the better. I'm sure most these tips are something you could actually relate to. Check them out.

  • Multitasking Works:
  • Let me set the record straight before I begin - I am not against multitasking. Some people can actually juggle tasks and accomplish all of them efficiently. But the fact is there aren't many people who can do it, especially in this age of information overload. Uni-tasking is far more effective if you want to get things done without compromising on quality. We've already published how mono-tasking is better than multi-tasking, and why this might be the age of uni-tasking. If you care about focusing, and focusing well, try your hand on one thing at a time.
  • Procrastination is "Always" Bad: Procrastination is a basic human trait. Most of us are lazy by birth. We want to delay tasks and enjoy life, till they can be delayed. There are many negative effects of procrastination, no doubt. But, it isn't always bad to procrastinate. Sometimes, it's important to take a step back, relax and just ignore what you do every day. It helps you assess the importance of things you do, prioritize them, and also helps to de-stress yourself. So it's good to procrastinate once in a while in order to recharge yourself.
  • The More You Work, the Better: This might have been true in the industrial age, but not in this information age. Make no mistake, there's still no substitute for hard work; success doesn't come easy. But, it requires that you be productive and efficient. You need to decide what should be your focus and where you should channelize your energies. Sometimes, just 5 or 6 hours of work each day can get you results. But that has to be 5 or 6 hours of actual "work" and nothing else. And, you have to be consistent with that too; you gotta do it every day without fail.
  • The Same Productivity System Works for Everyone: This is something I myself understood quite late. I would read productivity advice and then try my best to implement it. When I was unable to follow it, I couldn't understand where I was going wrong. Finally, after trying out various systems, I found out what's best for me. Since no two people are same, the same productivity system might not work for them. One might prefer to work till late, the other might be an early riser. The bottom line is that you need to try different productivity systems to see which of them fits you well.
  • It's Always About the System: Finally, I think one of the biggest myths surrounding productivity is that one can always be productive by following certain steps, or by following a productive system. It's not always about the system. It's about you.

I've read about people who suffer from disorders like ADHD and hence can't focus. But since they don't know about it, they cannot figure out why none of the productivity systems works for them. I've also read about people who don't like what they do, but still try out everything to focus and get things done, just to fail each time.

The point is, if you just can't get things done, and this has been going on for a long time, then it's time to self-introspect and find out what this is all about.

Cheers,

Abhijeet

Written on 10/04/2010 by Abhijeet Mukherjee. Abhijeet is a blogger and web publisher from India.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Lent and God's Drumbeat

So I've been thinking about what I should give up or take on for Lent, and came across this sermon by the Bishop of London (Anglican - love ya, miss ya). It's not that long, but in case you're pressed for time, here are a couple of excerpts that struck me:

You will know the pressure points in your own lives, but now is the time for deciding how to use Lent. Perhaps by not reading so many newspapers, hearing so much, watching so much, consuming so much, so that we can be liberated from the sick hurry which dulls our capacity to hear the still small voice.

Perhaps it is the time to live more simply in order to tighten up the drumskin, so that God's drumbeat can be heard more clearly in our lives.

Perhaps it is a time for carving out some solitude so that we can become aware of those senses which are deadened in daily life. The choice is yours. You have to decide what is most relevant.....

Just giving up chocolate, which can be resumed in a great binge on Easter Day, does little good and can easily fill us with an unhelpful sense of spiritual achievement. Lent is an opportunity for Springtime cleansing and we can encourage one another in observing it.

I'm still pondering if I'll befriend GUS (giving up something) or TOM (taking on more) this Lenten season, but in light of this year of intentionality, I'm thinking of getting rid of some of this clutter that leaves little room for God to work in my life.

What about you? What is God showing you in preparation for Lent?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Excruciation Exam 1/7/2012



My pal Patrick is all big into mountain bike racing (or as those in the biz refer to it: MTB racing). I was a temporary member of the cool kids club and was invited to a race in Warda, Texas (yeah, it's a place. They have a post office.) 2 weeks ago. The Excruciation Exam. I was supposed to be the Sporting Press and give tweet updates on the progress of Patrick vs. Devin. I was picked up at 5:00am on a Saturday (I know, right?), and we drove through the fog for approximately 7 hours (give or take 5-6 hours) then arrived in some pasture where apparently they often do this sort of thing.

Warning: this is a complete outsider's view of the world of MTB racing. I fall off my bike because I forget to kick my feet out of the clips. Seriously. And I didn't take a lot of pictures, and the ones I took aren't that great. The tweets weren't even clever. Just factual. You should probably stop reading now and save yourself.

No? Okay. Bear with me. The race was delayed because of the fog. I admit I didn't see why this was an issue. I mean, it's one thing if you're driving fast in a car, but a bike? Oh. But you see, these guys (and girls - I'll get to that in a minute) GO REALLY FAST. Like not at all leisurely.



The fog cleared, and everyone lined up. There was a stretch of 200 yards or so that they had to run (in their clippy shoes!! What the heck?!) to their bikes, THEN they could officially take off. The running part (if I would have been racing, I probably would have forfeited right there. Something dramatic like lying down in the middle of the path.) helped space them out, I'm told.



So there were some fast people at the front.... OH GOOD FOR YOU.






And some people who would have been my friends.



We (Derek and I) took their (Patrick, Devin, and some other dudes) bags to Rocky Hill, the next big time checkpoint (some 20ish miles from where they started).




The volunteers have this sort of thing down to a science. They made 57,000 sandwiches in 5 minutes. A guy brought all the bags and coolers and laid them out on big plywood boards (did I mention it was wet and foggy?). We took our crew's bags and kept them to the side. I'm picturing that everyone will arrive at the same time and a bunch of high maintenance guys in spandex would be all, "Where's my Evian water?"



They weren't at all high maintenance. They were actually incredibly chill. This guy wins best gear award. He used a cat carrier. Who does that?!



So then the clouds decided to open up and finally the sun came out!

Good thing. It was pretty gross. Kinda like my lame tweet updates. I blame it on the fact that I had no Press Pass badge. I would have felt a lot cooler (in a Liz Lemon sort of way). I digress.


Here's Devin coming in to Rocky Hill...



And here's Patrick just before his Dublin Dr. Pepper fix. It's true: water and gatorade aren't all that can be poured into a water bottle. Sidenote: Patrick has since bought all remaining Dublin Dr. Peppers left in existence after the evil Dublin DP buyout.



And here's some random 7 year old that was kicking everyone's tail... I keed. He was 16. I met his mom. But still.




So yeah. We helped people with their energy bars and water bottles and what not. And when I say we it was really Derek. I just moved around trying to act busy with a dumb smile on my face as if that would encourage the people in the race. After all the hard work of not riding a bike and not really contributing anything useful other than saying helpful things like "enjoy the sunshine!" to downtrodden riders, I was hungry. Whew - good thing there was a food trailer on site! Check this monstrosity out.

All that for $6. All in a day's work, my friends. There may have been a can of Shiner Bock involved as well.

OMNOMNOM what? Oh yeah, the race. It was 85 miles long. Incredible. Devin beat Patrick by a few minutes, which apparently was all that really mattered in The Grand Scheme of Life. Here are the results. Here is the trail. 2,787 feet gained in elevation?! And they were all laughing it up and talking afterwards like it was nothing. Are you kidding me? Incredible.

After being so motivated, I drug Amy on a little 12.1 mile ride the following day and had a whopping 651 feet gained in elevation and we almost died (Houston, how I miss thee). So quick note on girls. Top 3 guys got a prize, as did the top 3 girls. Even though their times were a good 1.5 - 2 hours behind the guys' time. SO not fair, but such is life. I need to find a race (that's not 85 miles long. I want to win, I don't want to DIE) where there are very few girls competing (like no more than 3). Bucket list that one.

Go boys.

The end.