Saturday, January 30, 2010

Hello, Kitty.

or, Why Are People So Weird?!?!

Despite my hatred/deep-seated fear of felines, I've always had a special place in my heart for Hello Kitty. I have no clue why, but perhaps this will come out in counseling years from now. I had a Hello Kitty suitcase, toothbrush, notebooks, pencils, piggy bank, etc.

Stream of consciousness: When I was looking for photos for the Oprah post, I came across a blog post that compared Oprah to Hello Kitty (in terms of influence in the U.S. vs. Japan). It was weird, but had some crazy pictures I thought I'd share just for the heck of it.

Enjoy.

zoomzoom.


Really?


Hello, Hitler. (?!!)


And other ways to waste time making useless stuff:




People are so strange. It's overwhelming at times.

O, Really?!?!

I just got a letter from O Magazine - Oprah's monthly platform for imparting Her great wisdom to Her minion followers.

Here's what the letter said: "In an effort to attract readers who fit various demographic profiles, O, The Oprah Magazine is pleased to offer you a special discounted rate. In exchange for your readership, we'll send you a year of O, The Oprah Magazine at a special rate of $15.

Well now, what demographic would that be, Oprah?
  • Disillusioned women who tried at least 7 of your "No really, this is it for real!!" diets and end up with a destroyed metabolism before hitting 25?
  • People whose family's livelihood was all but destroyed after your "I'll never eat a hamburger again" comment and who are still reeling?
  • People who think your O List isn't that great anyway?
  • People who secretly wish to be put on your show to their fame will skyrocket a la Rachel Ray (sad excuse for a chef), "Dr." Phil McGraw (your meal bars do NOT work), Suze Orman (lady, with that wardrobe, you're the last person I'd trust with my money), that creepy guy who wrote that weird book (you remind me of Ben from Lost and thus cannot be trusted), the cute heart doctor (you look great in scrubs, yet a little fake), etc?
  • People who are still haunted by the "YOU GET A CAR! YOU GET A CAR! YOU GET A CAR!" man voice you used years ago.
And while we're on the subject, me paying you $15 after you pretty much single-handedly (with the help of your puppet minions) caused The Family's main source of income to spiral down into the Yeah, It's Still Bad In The Cattle Industry Depression of 1998 - present.

I resent your power and influence over the housewives of America. You're a burr under my saddle.

Like Drew Barrymore.

Rant over.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Where are they now??

Moment of pride for a job well done: Heritage Bank just broke ground on their new location in Pearland!! Woohoo!

Here's a drawing of what it will look like:
This is the bank I helped start when I was living in Houston. Way to go, Heritage!

And in case you need a reason to take your money out of a big bank and invest in your community, here's an awesome little clip called "Move Your Money" about the importance of community banks (featuring George Bailey! My favorite!).

So proud. So proud.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Patrick Henry Hughes

Yet another awesome video.

We are so truly blessed. Have you heard of Patrick Henry Hughes before? What a talented young man with a positive take on life. What a testament to God's love for His people.

The Paradoxical Commandments


People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.

Kent M. Keith, Speaker and Writer
Often attributed to Mother Teresa
because she posted them on her wall

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SNL skit that made me crack up

This is a GREAT video!

Just kidding.

It's not.

Just kidding.

It is.

Just kidding.

She's amazing.

Just kidding.

She is....

A day in DC... it's been awhile.

I forget that I actually live ridiculously close to this big city called Washington, District of Columbia - the capital city of the United States of America.

Thus I braved the tourists and the lack of parking, and made my way into the District. The occasion: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, a work holiday, and a gorgeous day outside.

First stop: FDR Memorial. I visited this when I was a junior in high school, but honestly was more interested in the cute guy that didn't like me (yes I still remember his name. just looked up on facebook and he is still very attractive). I digress.

"freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from fear. " it's the American way.





I love words.


We are the world.....


And now for some good Eleanor Roosevelt quotes:

"Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make them all yourself."

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built."




Arsenal of Democracy. what a great phrase!


This would look great on a green/recycled canvas bag. Amy, get on this please.



It's a tree hugger's dream come true!! ...or....the next generation of tree huggers.


This is PRIMO people-watching grounds, I tell ya. Met up with Tim and people-watched...


Chatty junior high girls taking pictures of the boys in their field trip group. I could hardly hear myself think!


Flat Stanley!! Flat Stanley got a ride on a police horse!! The guy said "it's actually "Gingerbread Girl."


Funny.

After all this, we headed to the Air & Space Museum.... we rode in a flight simulator-thing! Tim was the pilot and I was the gunner. So fun! Trey, you would have loved it. It was Flight Simulator on speed. (P.S. Remember when I used to crash your plane into the ground on purpose so I could play Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego on CD-ROM?!?! Those were the days).

Monticello at sunset. I kinda forgot where I parked, so we probably walked miles.


A raccoon!


Virginia's attempt at a Texas sky... I'll give it a B-


Hey remember when people wrote their own speeches and then delivered them without the use of a teleprompter?


THE MIND OF MAN.


Tommy Boy. Love him.

Met a sweet Park Ranger who was incredibly animated. It came about where we worked, and he sheepishly shared, "I'm a believer, too!" He was so excited to connect with Christians, he was about to jump out of his skin. I love these little rendezvous God arranges.


Spastic photo taken with slow shutter... but don't the lights look cool at the bottom?

Fun day. I'm glad I live so close to this wondrous city.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

C.S. Lewis quote

"Most people,
if they have really learned to look into their own hearts,
would know that they
do
want, and want acutely,
something that cannot be had in this world.
There are all sorts of things in this world that
offer
to give it to you, but they
never quite keep their promise.
The longings which arise in us when we
first fall in love, or
first think of some foreign country, or
first take up some subject that excites us,
are longings which
no marriage,
no travel,
no learning,
can really satisfy.
I am not now speaking of what would be ordinarily called
unsuccessful marriages, or
holidays, or
learned careers.
I am speaking of the best possible ones.
There was something we have grasped at,
in that first moment of longing,
which just
fades away
in the reality.

I think everyone knows what I mean.

The wife may be a good wife, and
the hotels and scenery may have been excellent, and
chemistry may be a very interesting job:
but something has evaded us."

~ C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity, Book III, Chapter 10: Hope.

Monday, January 18, 2010

a'hunting we will go...

After hanging out in G-town...well, G-county for that matter... we headed southwest for Atascosa County, home of Muy Grande (the legendary name Dad bestowed upon the elusive big bucks that frequent these parts). Dad beamed as he hauled the truck filled with his family and the trailer filled with the Mule, bouncing over the cattle guard and onto the property.

Just past the firing range (that "happens to" line up just so with the neighbor's deer blind built on the edge of the fenceline) and not quite to the first windmill, we found THIS in the road....


He was fat!!!


And limber....yet frozen... weird little demon. I think it was hibernating. Dad cut off its tail and threw it into a tree...



Inspiration for the song Redneck Yacht Club.....or..... former site of my great-grandparents homestead - what the heck?!?.....or.... where all the hunters park their trailers. Though it looked awful trashy, we were all awful grateful (well, at least the womenfolk were) for the luxury of sleeping inside a trailer instead of in a tent (a la The Great Freezing Christmas Hunting Adventure of 2004 (or thereabouts)).


Emily, sporting the winter white aviators


Ratley sighting in the rifle


Bullseye, baby! Yeah, that was me. (sidenote: bullet #2 is on the edge of the paper... and I'm not quite sure what happened to bullet #3... but hey! I got a bullseye!)


Texas skies. So great.


You can't make this stuff up.





They don't make skies like this in Virginny.


Eerily fantastic night sky


Fire pit!! Chili and tamales and Shiner around the fire. Life is good.


The Happy Hunting Family... and Miserable Mom...


It was rather funny. It was SUPER cold.


Like Daddo, like Ratley.


Mom sulking, desperate to find a warm place


Sharpshooter siblings!! We killed several pigs. (sidenote: we didn't see Muy Grande.... just muy does. What the heck. Where have all the good men/bucks gone??)


JES. Tex Mex... concession-stand-nacho-cheese-style a couple o' towns away. Sadly didn't get to go to Linda's Taco, home of ranch dressing along with every entree.

I love that they felt the need to clarify that JALISCO RESTAURANT is in fact "Mexican." Zopapillas that'll melt in your mouth. Gorditas for Miss Gordita (me. They were delish.)

One last sidenote: Thanksgiving holiday - though awesome - was spent mostly in "civilized" Houston, College Station, Austin, and Fredericksburg. Christmas afforded the opportunity to visit Gonzales, Bebe, Floresville, Pleasanton, Charlotte....wilderness.... and to my mom's horror, I proclaimed (in the Pleasanton HEB, as I traipsed through the aisles wearing cammo and snake boots (not snakeskin boots- snake-proof boots)), "See, mom!? These are my peeps! This is how I grew up!"

"Emily, you grew up refined," said with a disapproving glance at my outfit and lack of makeup.

Then I counted up for her the years I lived in Gonzales and Shiner compared to my short stint in Houston (and the non-really-countable-as-full-time-living-in-Fredericksburg-but-to-which-I-claim-hometownership), it was discovered that I, in fact, am a small town girl. *

*One could belabor the fact that my parents did a remarkable job raising me with a nice balance of citified manners and good old fashioned country-folk manners. "Ideas" and "Ideals," if you will. My ability to jump back and forth between the extremes is uncanny. Kind of like someone's "Negro voice," only more genuine.

As I was saying, it was a successful hunting trip with the fam. Good times.

the RANCH

I grew up reading Hank the Cowdog by John R. Erickson. A masterpiece. Characters like Hank, Drover, Plato the bird dog, Pete the cat, Scraunch the mean coyote, Wallace and Junior the buzzards, Slim the sidekick, Sally May the housewife.... good stuff. I've always viewed the ranch ("Thuh RAYUNCH") as the perfect setting for the stories, and was tickled pink to learn that Mr. Erickson stayed at the house (we're so creative with naming things) last year! I need to write him.


SCRAUNCH!!!




BONES! (prosthetic hip joints that somehow made their way from Mimi and Papa's garage to the feed room):


more BONES! (same story)


This is exactly what I pictured when Hank and Drover slept on the gunny sack beds under the fuel tanks. For business-use-only gas tanks by the barn...


"isth gonna RAYUN!" no, not so much.


A Study in Perspectives. I call it "Barbed Wire Fence."


Window to the tack room:


An old comic that was forever on the fridge in the kitchen, portraying Bobby Ray McCool getting bucked off of Sweet Cat:

Oh, good memories. It was good to wander around for a little while.