Posted in Personal, Work

Don’t Pass the Buck

River Road is a curious place to be. When you first turn down it, you might be convinced you’re headed the wrong way. “How can this barren wasteland of nothingness possibly lead to the river?” Then, you make some windy turns all the while driving 20 mph because that’s the speed limit and you never know what is around the next corner. Suddenly, you take the hard core bend by Slumber Falls rapids at the low water crossing and (RELIEF!) you see the majestic Guadalupe River in all her glory flowing through a beautiful campground. That’s Camp Huaco Springs to be exact and that is where I work.
The 5 mile stretch I drive daily from Loop 337 to the entrance of the campgrounds is usually devoid of cars or people during the off-season and can seem off-putting and eerie. During the prime-season, the narrow twisty road can be full of cyclists (bastards) cars, trucks, RV’s, campers, motorhomes, pop-ups, and tourists tootling along for the scenic drive all the way up to Canyon Lake.
In between all this human activity, there is wildlife – and A LOT of it. There are buzzards buzzing, squirrels on a suicide mission, (I swear they run out in front of you on purpose just to watch you panic!) slithering snakes, road runners running, mountain goats just chillin’ on the cliffs defying gravity and shit, cows – yes, cows – mooing along without a care in the world. There are more alien-like insects than all 3 MIB movies combined, and finally…
Deer. A shit ton of deer. Does, fawns, bucks… Bambi’s entire family seemingly domesticated as they meander across River Road practically daring you to speed up.
…and that’s where this story begins.

I got off work yesterday at the usual 4pm and pulled onto River Road. Everything was nice and normal, nothing odd or out of place – until I took the bend at Slumber Falls. I eased the curve slowly, knowing that some asshole may be hurtling around the curve at too fast a pace, most likely straddling the double yellow line and at any moment I could be facing a head-on collision, (yeah, that happens way too often) but instead I found a huge buck standing in the middle of the road. This was the kind of a buck a Texan would have stuffed and mounted on the wall. A trophy buck, and he scared the hell outta me! Now, I’ve had my fair share of run-ins with deer before. Once, with all 3 of my kids in the backseat and another time on the way home from picking up my mom at the airport (Mother was NOT impressed.) With all this experience, I knew my truck was no match for that buck so I came to a complete stop. (Dangerous, I know. But really, there was NOBODY around.)

So there we were, me and the buck engaged in a staring contest. He didn’t look scared or intimidated by me as we locked eyes. It was weird; it was surreal. That buck was mad-dogging me like I’d shot and ate his fawn. This went on for what seemed like an eternity but in reality was probably about 30 seconds before I felt uncomfortable and looked down.
When I looked back up, he was standing next to my door, facing the same I was. I started to ease forward and so did he. I sped up a little, he sped up. I slowed down, he slowed down. I was terrified if I drove too fast, he would run out in front of me so we just kept each others pace as we passed the entrance to the Judge’s property.
I had my window cracked so I looked at him and said, “You want to race, buck?” as I revved my engine a little. He looked down, tapped his hoof (do deer have hooves, paws, or feet? I just don’t know these things) and I swear, smoke flared from his nostrils like a bull about to charge at the matador. “Oh my God, what have I done!?”
We started going faster and faster and that buck stayed right next to me all the way up to the River Road Icehouse where he quickly ran into the woods and out if sight. That’s also where I stopped and had a beer because you know, after an encounter like that – one deserves a cold beer.

index

Moral of the story:
Don’t pass the buck. If you handle your shit yourself, in the end you’ll be rewarded with a cold beer.

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Posted in Culture, Personal, Relationships

I Support Inclusive Scouting

Boy Scouts

Hello Readers!

The Board of Boy Scouts is considering changing it’s ban on gays and they are taking a poll. They want to know if you are “FOR” or “AGAINST” their current, long-standing policy. Call 972-580-2330 to let your voice be counted. It literally took 15 seconds (I checked the timer on my phone) to get connected and say, “FOR!”

The Boy Scouts of America is a wonderful organization for any boy and they should all be included. Special thanks to my friend, Jules for putting this information out there.

Posted in Music, Personal, Television

Ode to the Jingle

jingles

When Kodak started using “Pictures of You” by The Cure for their commercials, I wasn’t so much offended as I was annoyed. I love that song. I have a history and memories with that song. But now it’s ruined. I’m not overcome with nostalgia when that song pops up on my iPod now, I’m overcome with nausea. Why? Because, I want to think of days gone by in a good way when I hear it, not think of Kodak. Then came that laundry detergent commercial using “Pop Goes the World” by Men Without Hats and I was borderline angry. I mean, sure, I’m glad that these songs are getting exposure and if that means a whole new generation of people will have an appreciation for awesome music, then that’s a win, but really, what happened to advertising execs actually using their brains & education to come up with something original to sell a product? Personally, I think it’s a cop-out to use a song that will pull at the heart strings of your target demographic in order to sell more product. DO YOUR DAMN JOB and create an advert on your own without piggy-backing off of others successes!
…And on that note, I’ve created a little poem in honor of the jingle (an antiquated notion)

Ode to the Jingle

From artists like Lennon, Joplin, and Jason Mraz
to bands like the Stones, Erasure, and Yaz.
The Target commercial with a tune from the Go-Go’s
is insulting at best, and so full of no-no’s.
To the makers of the ad for auto insurance,
You must accept my hearty assurance,
That song is about cheating
Not dexterity fleeting.
So leave the Human League
on classic radio for repeating.
Sailor Jerry rum
is only ho-hum,
Using the Misfits,
is undeniably dumb.
I don’t blame the artists,
I don’t blame the band.
I blame the marketing jerks.
That took this all out of hand.
I don’t want to associate crappy products
with my favorite tunes.
So I offer a solid “FUCK YOU”
to those advertising buffoons.

Posted in Personal, Relationships

The Oak Tree

There is nothing in the world like knowing you are not facing your battles alone. I received the most beautiful card with a lovely and poignant handwritten message inside today from a true friend. It came out of the blue and hit me like a ton of bricks (in a good way!) I feel lighter and lifted. I feel stronger. I feel like I can do this, face this, get over this, and move onward and upward with my life.
My friend told me that I am amazing and an inspiration…
Thank you, but it is YOU who is amazing. YOU inspire ME.
I love you, girl! xoxo

If you have a loved one that is feeling down and you are unable to be there for them in person, take the time to pen a note and drop it in the mail. Let me tell you, getting something like that out of the blue is a zillion times better than any inspirational quote pic you post on their Facebook wall.

This is the story of the Mighty Oak on my card and I love it. I hope you do, too.

A mighty wind blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away.
Then snapped its boughs and pulled its bark
Until the oak was tired and stark.
But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around.
The weary wind gave up and spoke,
“How can you still be standing, Oak?”
The oak tree said, “I know that you
can break each branch of mine in two,
carry every leaf away,
shake my limbs, and make me sway.
But I have roots stretched in the earth,
growing stronger since my birth.
You’ll never touch them, for you see,
they are the deepest part of me.
Until today, I wasn’t sure
of just how much I could endure.
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you,
I’m stronger than I ever knew.”
-Johnny Ray Ryder, Jr

Thank you, JT, thank you so much.

Because of you

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships

NOTEability

I admit, I’ve never been a “night owl” and I’ve certainly never been a “morning person.” I’ve always just sorta been one of those people that really enjoys sleep. Sure, I’ve been known to pull all-nighters when the party is right (even though I secretly couldn’t wait to get home to my pillow) and I’m generally the first to wake every morning (not that that says much, I live with 3 teenagers and a 2 year old.) I was the first person to fall asleep pass out at my 33rd birthday party and I was definitely not the first person rise the next morning.

I remember asking my mom how she could wake up so early every single day (even on the weekends!) when she would sometimes stay up very late waiting for us to get home, taking care of my dad, sewing, or working on a crafty project that she’s known to do (and well at that!) She explained to me that one day when I have a family of my own, responsibilities, stress, a job, a household to run, children to feed, and a dog to keep up with that I would understand. In a nutshell, when you’re the mother of chaos, those first couple of hours in the morning, before God Himself has awoken, that’s when you get your “me” time. She has nobody to take care, nobody to pester her, nothing to do in the world except whatever it is in the world she wants to do. I always figured I’d just want more sleep. I was wrong.

When I was growing up, my sister, brother and I would leave a note by the coffee pot for my mother if there was something we needed her to take care of for us before we woke up. It was usually to ask her to wake us up early, iron a shirt, sign papers for school, etc. It was known that the coffee pot was the first place Mom would go to in the morning and that’s where we would leave the important stuff for her.

My kids starting leaving notes for me on the front door. In my house, it’s known that I wake up, go to the fridge and grab a cold Coke in the can. (Cherry Coke Zero now, but whatevs, I’m getting older and watching my girlie figure.) I then go outside to the courtyard to begin the “waking up” process. I like to sit there for about 20 minutes, listen to the birds and check my e-mail & social network sites on my phone or just stare off into space. It seems Mom was correct (really, when is she not?) about my morning me time.

I look forward to the notes my kids leave me. They are witty and clever and almost always end with an “I love you.” (Although sometimes there is a hard core request in there like, “Can you do my Biology project for me and drop it at school before 3rd period?” Huh?!) But they are usually the same kind of requests we gave Mom when we were kids. Lately though, I’ve noticed the kids are leaving fewer notes on the door and that makes me a little sad. It’s like the reverse of leaving notes in my kids’ lunch boxes as they got older. I’ve noticed a trend among my 3 musketeers where they hand write fewer notes and are now leaving their requests on my Facebook.

It’s not like I don’t still get the note in the morning, it’s just… different. The letter in their own handwriting is more personal and savable. I know nothing on Facebook ever gets lost and I can always refer back to it (if I can find it again) but there is just something so much sweeter when they have taken the time to put it to paper. REAL paper.

I asked my kids, “What gives? Why no more notes on the front door?”
To which they replied,
“The door, your FB wall, what’s the diff?”

Nothing, I guess. I still get the “thank yous” and “I love yous” and that’s all that really matters to me.

Brandon

 

Posted in Music, Personal, Relationships

Blue Monday

Blue Monday

Today, Monday, January 21, 2013 is not only MLK Day, but it is also known as “Blue Monday,” the most depressing day of the year. If you follow my blog, you’ll know that I’ve been rather depressed lately, having dealt with many low blows.
Luckily, I have some great people in my life who have done everything in their power to boost me up… and you know what, it’s working! I had a fantabulous BuFFy Day with my best girl, Sandy Pants followed by some awesome QT with the kiddos. Yes, I can say for the first time in a couple of weeks, my spirits are high!

I do have several close friends that are suffering. I know today truly is a “Blue Monday” and for them… I offer my prayers, my shoulder, and my ear. I am here for you!

In the meantime, enjoy one of my favorite songs from New Order:

Posted in Personal, Relationships, Uncategorized

Good(en) Grief

I lost one of my best friends yesterday unexpectedly. It was a hard blow. One I don’t think I’ll recover from in a long time. I haven’t felt this way since I lost Jenny (a mother figure to me) about 6 months ago when she lost her battle to leukemia. In fact, this loss feels worse.

I’ve thought of you constantly since I got the news. There are so many things I wanted to say to you and I didn’t. Even worse, there are so many things I said to you over the years that I wish I could take back. I think of all the petty arguments we’ve had and I’m filled with regret. I think of all the times we drove around aimlessly and lost. Neither one of us ever had any navigational skills. We sure made some stupid decisions, but we made amazing memories and that’s all I have now. I recall all the times when you consoled me when I was sad (like when my Dad died), you would admit that you didn’t know what to say, but you were there for me and I just wish I could feel your hug right now. How can I be consoled over your loss when you were always the only one that could make me feel better? Who is going to do that now?

I know I’m being selfish because I can only think about how this affects me. I honestly thought we would have each others back forever. I feel very empty, lost, and alone right now. I’m a lucky girl because I’m surrounded by so many people that love and care for me. I have other wonderful friends and my family is the best, but my life is just not complete without you.

I hope you know that I will think of you every day for the rest of my life and I will love you until the end of time. When we do see each other again, I fully expect to see your amazing smile on your face and a cold beer in your hand waiting to welcome me.

Good(en)-Bye, my friend. I love you.

Posted in Culture, Personal

Eyes Wide Open

WakeUpAmericaSign

 

I’m bored with seeing “Wake Up, America!” attached to every “If you agree, like & share” pic posted to Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, and Pinterest about gun control, conspiracies, the war on vaginas, or whatever today’s hot topic is. What, do you think we are new to the internet? Do you think you’re the first person on our feed to have seen this meme? Do you think posting a picture and having your friends share it will somehow persuade me to suddenly change my views? Are you new to politics?

No, I will NOT “wake up.”  In fact, I’m tired. I don’t want to wake up…
I’d rather take a nap.

Here… listen to some Bowling For Soup. That’ll help. Well, it always helps me.

Posted in Family, Home, Personal, Relationships

Long-Distance Love

Long distances relationships aren’t easy for anyone, but this one has taken it’s toll on me. When we are together, it’s us against the world! I’m his only one. He likes to take me by the hand and parade me around like he’s showing me off. We laugh, we eat, we cuddle, we nap, we love. We are inseparable. It’s the highlight of my life.

When we are apart, I think about him constantly. I wonder what he is doing and who he is with. I worry that he is not taking his medications. Sometimes we go a few days without talking to each other and I wonder if he is thinking of me as much as I think of him. I wonder if he misses me so much that it hurts because that’s how I feel about him. If I make plans and go out with friends, I feel guilty that I didn’t take that time to spend with him. I wonder if it hurts him that I’m enjoying myself without him. I wonder if he knows that even though I’m out with others, he is the one that is on my mind.

When I hear that he went out with others, I get jealous. I wanted to try that restaurant with him, I wanted to be the one to take him to see that movie. I know it’s selfish, but it’s hard for me to share him. Especially when I know that he has another woman in his life. I hate it. It’s agonizing and it rips me up inside. He doesn’t talk about her to me, but I know she is there. I never bring her up to him. I’m afraid of what I might hear. What if he likes being with her more than he likes being with me? Or worse, what if he loves her more? I don’t think I could take it. Really, my heart would break into so many pieces it could never be put back together. I often wonder if she feels that way about me. Does he talk about me to her? Does he tell her he loves me? Does she get jealous of me? What if she puts ideas in his head? Oh God, this is tearing me up. It’s torture.

I want us to always be together. I want to live in harmony. I know we will have our ups and downs. We won’t always agree with each other. Sometimes I’ll do things that will drive him nuts and sometimes he’ll do things that will make me crazy. But we will get over it and move on because that’s what love is.

I know I can never be #1 in his life. That spot is reserved for his Mother and she deserves it. Nobody will love him the way she does, not even me. The bond between a mother and son is beautiful and amazing. She is so good to him and he is so good to her. I see the way he cares for her when she is sick. His love, care, and nurturing is beyond measure. And hers in return is the same. She loves him the same I way I love my son. It’s the best love.

It feels like an eternity since I saw him last. I can’t wait to see him again. I get all giddy with butterflies in my stomach, anticipating that moment when we first lock eyes. His eyes! My God, they are amazing. So deep and soulful, they could make you weep. He has the eyes of wise man with eyelashes that don’t stop. In that moment, all the worry, all the anxiety, all the gut-wrenching nausea of not being with him subsides. That’s when he cups my face with one hand, tousles my hair with the other hand, smiles at me, cocks his head to the side, gazes into my eyes and says,

“Luh you, Grammy!”

That’s the moment I know I’m his forever.

blogg*My grandson divides his time between being home with us and going to stay with his father and paternal grandparents.

*UPDATE: For the many of you that have asked… the other woman I was referring to is indeed the other grandma.

Posted in Culture, Family, Home, Personal, Relationships

My Thoughts On Homosexuality

“God would not have made our bodies into these amazing puzzle pieces that fit together in so many different ways if his intention was for us to only fit together in one way.”

…and you can quote me on that, jack.