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Archive for March, 2010

Unsolicited advice not given

March 29th, 2010 2 comments

Today was definitely a day of “getting to my roots.”

Inscription on Albritton Clock Tower on the Texas A&M Campus

Inscription on Albritton Clock Tower on the Texas A&M Campus

First, I went out to the cemetery where all my grandparents are buried, and its at the church where my husband and I got married. This location deserves a blog post all by itself, but suffice to say that you can’t get much deeper into my roots than this location!

Then, I visited Texas A&M University. I took some time to walk around a little bit of the campus and take pictures. I took in memories of days now-fairly-long past, and I observed the current student population a little. I am forever amazed by how little changes in light of how much things have changed.

I ran into the same family a couple times as I strolled around. It was a young man with his parents and a couple siblings. He was giving his family a tour of campus, and if I were guessing I’d have said he had to be a Freshman. Perhaps even a Senior checking out the campus he’d be attending in the fall.

I could only hear snippets of their conversations, and really it was none of my business. However, the young mans demeanor amused me. His body language screamed out that he would rather be doing anything other than what he was doing in that moment. Telling his family about traditions, etc. seemed to be almost an annoyance. It was as if they should know these things already.

I shook my head, and deep down I wanted to pull him aside. I wanted to convey to him that I’m over 5 years out of college now, and there are times I wish I’d taken more time to appreciate my campus. I was blessed with parents who took (and continue to take) an active roll in my life. He needs to be thankful to have his family there with him. Many would give anything to have that time. And 10 years from today, he’ll wish he had this time back. I could promise him that.

At another point in my tour, I couldn’t help but overhear another young man fretting over the coming summer. Should he stay in College Station, or should he go home to Dallas?

He was going through the pros and cons of both to his friend, and I have to admit, I was impressed at how he was thinking it through. But I felt the urge to go to him and tell him that neither choice was wrong. He is blessed to be in a time in his life that everything is a chance to grow and experience life. In a weird way, being a student gives him a safety net that “the real world” will not offer in the next few years. Enjoy having that problem. Revel in having the options ahead of you, and know that neither one is wrong. Both will offer lessons in life. Both will find you wiser come Fall Semester.

Its a funny thing about taking some time to visit your roots. You find yourself studying the lessons you’ve learned along the way. You realize you wish someone would have told you these lessons ahead of time. And yet within that, you find its learning these lessons on your own that have made them stick.

So even as I wanted to “offer words of advice” it was best I kept my musings to myself. Those lessons were for me to learn my own way, and for these current students to learn their own way as well. And some day, they may take their own stroll on campus and have the urge to share their own advice, but they, too, won’t.

Weekly Winners (Mar. 21 – 27)

March 28th, 2010 24 comments

I have to admit. I miss doing a 365, and I definitely plan to start another one on my next birthday. I’m sticking with my Weekly Winners plan for this year, and this week I approached it a LITTLE closer to my old 365. Mostly random images coming your way with no theme whatsoever. They’re just all photos I took this week.

For other Weekly Winners, check out the list of participants at the now-back-in-Texas Lotus!

Mocha Java Chiller

Mocha Java Chiller -- Coffee ice cream goodness!

Flip Flop Charms

Flip Flop Charms -- My niece took First Place in Jewelry at the local Livestock Show Home Economics Division competitions. This is the charm from one of her pieces.

1st Prize

My nephew painted this picture and, as you can see, took First Place!

Curl

A solo curl.

Looking into the Sunshine

This is my "Hollywood Look."

Above photo submitted to Linda’s “Moments of You” Weekly Photo Captures.

Steeple

This is the church, this is the steeple, look inside, there's all the people! Does anyone else remember that?

Suchi

Sushi. Love.

Vanilla Skinny Latte

This is a SKINNY Vanilla Latte, so please hold back judgement.

Palm Leaves

This weekend is Palm Sunday. We went to church tonight, and I had to include a photo of our palm leaves.

♥ ♥ ♥

All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Entitled

March 27th, 2010 2 comments

When you deal with the general public in any form, be it by your job or you’re just that big of a social butterfly, you’re going to run into them. The Entitled. Those people who believe everything is to stop when they enter or that any sort of idea of personal space does not apply to them.

I’ve dealt with many Entitled people. Some of them I actually find funny. Others leave me with my blood boiling.

One such Entitled came up to me one night while working at the hot dog stand. This gentleman came up, ordered a hot dog with mustard, and then proceeded to go sit down at a booth across the bar and wait. Now, see, a hot dog with mustard will take me a maximum of about 30 seconds to put together. So this mans ability to move that fast was impressive and absurd. I stared. In disbelief.

However, I take him his hot dog, tell him how much it is, and he proceeded to request salt, relish and extra napkins. Uhm. See. The idea of a hot dog stand is you make your order, you get it there, and then you go to your seat. Occasionally when its an order that will take longer, I’ll happily deliver to your table. Its not delivery that I minded. It was the attitude of the man, and the idea that he felt I was supposed to wait on him the entire time he was there. Never mind that I had other orders.

Ultimately, I brought him what he asked for, but refused to leave until I got my only salt shaker back, and was left with… absolutely no tip and annoyance. The Entitled had struck.

Another such Entitled was probably  not so much as Entitled as just not thinking. But I still group them as an Entitled.

While working at my parent’s tax office last year, I was helping a woman with her tax information. I had to get something from my desk which is behind the counter we have at the door to log people in, etc. So I go behind the counter and my desk, grab what I need, and turn only to find the women right behind me. Behind my desk. Behind the counter. Uhh… what?

People are amazed that we actually had to put a small swinging door and large sign up stating the area behind the counter is “employees only.” In most cases, people know not to go into a personal working area. But to those that are Entitled, it does not matter. They will go wherever they please, any time they please.

Similarly, we’ve had to put up other doors to attempt to keep clients from other private areas. Attempt being the operative word. It doesn’t always work. Because those that are Entitled, see nothing wrong with walking into private offices at any time. Because, after all, THEY have arrived. Everything needs to stop for them. They take the idea of “the customer is always right” to the next level.

Well, I’m here to say… keeping the customer happy is job one. But the customer? They aren’t always right. Especially Even if they are as Entitled.

Categories: ironic musings, work Tags:

Texas Music in Texas

March 25th, 2010 No comments

I love Nashville. I really do. Its become my home, and I lovingly refer to it as “my city.”

However, it has a high failure rate in one location.

Texas Music concerts.

Which, really, it makes sense for Texas Music to not fit in Nashville. I mean, Nashville isn’t in Texas, which is a big problem right there! And a big part of the charm of the Texas Music scene is that its not polished. It’s not clean like the Nashville sound. It’s a little more rock-and-roll, whereas I think Nashville leans a little more towards to pop-sound to morph its Country sound here and there.

Jason Boland & Cody Canada

Jason Boland & Cody Canada

Just going and being at a Texas Music concert in Texas is a big part of the fun. You have your hardcore rednecks. You have your bitchy girlie-girls. You have your drunk guy who’s going to probably spill his beer on you at some point in the night. It’s elbow to elbow and you can hardly stir the crowd with a stick. You have to get there at least an hour to two hours before showtime if you want to be even remotely close to the stage. You’re probably going to have the urge to cuss at least ten people out at some point.

But you’re ultimately surrounded by people who GET it. Who are passionate about the music. Who know the words to all the band’s cover songs, new songs, old songs, and who are going to know exactly when to participate and when to sit back and take it all in.

Going to see a Texas Music group in Nashville is missing a good chunk of what makes the experience so incredible. It’s fun to see all the Texans (and a few from Oklahoma!) in Nashville come out. Often sporting either their University’s colors (There’s usually some fun Big XII trash talk going on.) or their favorite old Cross Canadian Ragweed t-shirt. There’s a buzz in the air, but its diluted. It’s level of rowdiness is no where near that found “back home.” No one sings the words of the songs OVER the artist. In a lot of ways, its impossible to explain how or why. It’s just not the same.

Eli Young Band @ HLSR

Eli Young Band @ HLSR

I went last week to see Eli Young Band at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. I’ve seen the band several times in Nashville, and every time been blown away by their show. But I’ve been severely let down by the audience. That night at the show in Houston, I was amazed. AMAZED.

In that huge rodeo arena, where everyone was spread out. You could STILL hear the fans singing OVER the band. You still had your rednecks and your bitchy girlie girls. But more than anything, you had that passion of the people who GET it.

Since that night, I’ve been listening to my favorite Texas artists, reliving in my mind the many shows I’ve seen with friends. Laughing at memories of them. Wishing I could be at one of those shows in that very  moment. Wanting to show my husband what it was all about. Wanting to call my girlfriends and tell them to saddle up and let’s go! It’s showtime!

Oh, I still get excited to know a Texas Music artist is in Nashville, and I’ll try to make the show. However, if I miss it, its not that big of a deal. Because I know that I’ll ultimately leave the show feeling a little unfulfilled. The music and the artist will be great, but the audience just won’t be what I’ve come to know and expect. Chances are, I’ll even leave early. I’d rather save up and make the trip “back home” to see a show. Because I know it is then and there that I’ll truly get my money’s worth.

PS – Nashville, I still love you! But no one is perfect.

Categories: concerts, nashville, texas Tags:

Weekly Winners (Mar. 14 – 20)

March 21st, 2010 20 comments

Another travel week, ending with an awesome rodeo and concert night with girl friends. These are my crazy week’s photo winners. To see all those participating in Weekly Winners, go visit hostess Lotus.

Red candles

Red candles

Red roses, wine and a bubble bath

Red roses, white wine and a rubber ducky... sounds like a great bubble bath to me!

One last look at my roses

Before I left home, I had to take a moment to enjoy my roses one last time. They were so beautiful!

iPod

Not real happy with this picture, but I liked it too much to leave it out.

Barrel Racing

Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo -- Barrel racing. This rider's horse stumbled moments later and almost threw the rider!

American Flag

American Flag

HLSR

Its show time!!!

Eli Young Band

Eli Young Band

Eli Young Band

Small Town Kids -- This group of friends stood and sung along to "Small Town Kid" by Eli Young Band. Made me smile!

♥ ♥ ♥

All of my photos available on my Flickr stream.

Categories: photos, weekly-winners Tags:

Lesson from a child

March 17th, 2010 1 comment

Last week, when I flew from Austin to Nashville, I was treated to an overbooked flight full of small children. I was even that lucky passenger who ended up with the screaming child who kicked the back of my seat the entire flight. I figured I dare not complain, because it’ll be my luck it’ll be MY child screaming and kicking in a few years. I hoped deep down my lack of (visible) irritation might earn me some good karma points for the future.

Prior to boarding, it was pretty impossible to miss the gate crawling with children. I groaned, but soon one family caught my attention. I was afforded some wonderful little-people-watching.

I watched as a dad lead three kids to the windows so they could watch the planes come and go. His brood consisted of two boys, approximately ages 6 and 5, and a little girl who had to be shooting for 2 years old. The mom was no where to be seen for a long time, and I was filled with admiration at the dad’s patience. He was the picture of calm! The two boys were pretty self-sufficient. The little girl, though, was this whirlwind bundle of energy. Dad was constantly trying to let her be free without letting her get away.

At one point, though, things were a bit calmer around the gate, and Dad let the little girl run a little further. Her eyes shined bright and her smile was wide as this big expanse of carpet opened in front of her. Without hesitation, she threw her tiny body in the direction of “freedom” only to quickly get tangled up in her own feet. Down she went.

I waited for the tears to start, but instead this look of shock came over her face. Her mouth going from a smile to a shocked,  “Oh!” She blinked as if she were confused by her fall. Soon, two strong arms scooped her back up to her feet, as Dad lifted her up, set her down, and without hesitation she was off again without fear. This time, she got all the way across the open area.

Right away, I was struck by this realization. Even today, at 29, I’m still that little girl. We all are from time to time.

Life opens up a door, and we look out across this open area. And with bright shining eyes, we run towards it only to get tripped up — often by our feet. We haven’t fully prepared for this opportunity, or perhaps some mistake from the past sneaks up to bite us. Maybe we actually suddenly second-guess our own abilities.

Out of no where, strong arms come to scoop us up. Those arms could literally be a hug (or a bit of advice, or even a loan) from a parent. Perhaps its an encouraging word from a friend. Maybe its even as simple as a smile from a stranger that gives us a boost in our attitude.

However, its in that instant that we have a choice. We can give up and decide instead to ask someone to carry us. Perhaps we can just sit down where we are and give up.  Or we can decide to run. To take that encouragement and aid and decide to run towards our goal and opportunity in our life at full speed, un-afraid of falling again.

I was left sitting for the whole flight chewing on this revelation. How many times have I opted to give up? How many times have I taken the lift up and continued to run? And will I have the nerve to run again and again towards my goals?

I hope any time I think about sitting down and giving up I’ll think about that bright eyed little girl with no fear of falling. Who after falling down, getting up and running across the room continued to be adventurous. Who tripped over luggage and her own feet, only to get up and try again. Who only cried at the top of her lungs when she was strapped back in her stroller, because all she wanted to do was keep going. She was determined to not be stopped.

I want to have that little girl’s energy and ambition.

I will have it.

Categories: faith, flying, lessons learned Tags: