Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Love This Day!

I drink Dunkin Donuts coffee.  (I didn't know what smooth coffee was until I discovered it.  Seriously.
     Move over Starbucks.)
I drive past a lovely house that has been writing a poem in my head for a few days now.
I can't find a space in the parking garage, so I go to the Kroger parking lot, park in a random spot and chat
     with Kae for 20 minutes.  Lovely and soooo refreshing!
I pump gas and revel in the crazy wind that chills me slightly even in 70 degree weather.
Did you notice that?  It's sunny with a high of 75 around here.
I drive through the garage and still can't find a spot . . . But the radio is playing AWESOME music for me.
I go to the park and swing for a while.  (Have I mentioned how much I love swings?  After my first car
     accident, all I wanted to do, and exactly what I did, was go to the park and swing til the tears stopped.)
     While I'm swinging, I observe three generations of a hispanic family interacting.  So sweet!
     Una Abuela, una Mama, y tres hijos . . . Listening to their little chatter is a great spanish review, but
     eventually I become concerned that one of the many toddlers playing around me (the hispanic family are
     by no means the only ones playing today) might run under my swing; I'm swinging much too high to stop
     in time if one of them does.  I slow down - let the cat die, as my Aunt Kandace used to say (What a
     horrible phrase!) - and head back to my car.
Back in my car, I put on the rest of my make up - I'd started in line for the gas pump earlier.
I marvel at the pretty swirl of shimmery granules that rise in a dervish when I open my eye shadow and
     another poem comes to me.

I've got six hours of work ahead of me with a quick bagel at 5.  (Potato Bagel with Cream Cheese from Einstein Bros. = my new favorite.)  But right now I'm listening to "Say Hey (I Love You)" and loving life.  Ahead:  Phone dates with two besties.  One tonight and one tomorrow.  Oh, and a day at home tomorrow with absolutely nothing going on.  It's shaping up to be a marvellous last weekend of this detox, which, by the way, did not turn out as I expected, but possibly even better.
The Lord has taught me much about myself in this month.  Not all of it pretty, but all of it necessary.  I never realized how legalistic I can be sometimes . . .

And, to close out this post,  I received an award from Abigail!  Thanks!

Here is how it works:

1. Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Award 8 recently discovered great bloggers.
4. Contact the bloggers and let them know about the award.
Step one complete.  On to step two - seven things about me!

1.  Every time I see a girl with perfect curls, I stare at her (for probably too long) and try to calculate if I could possibly get my hair to do the same.  I just love curls!

2.  I don't use the term best friend liberally.  I just have a lot of best friends.  Three nearby and three distant.  They don't all know each other either, which is kind of weird.

3.  I love the sunshine.  I seriously could not live somewhere like Alaska where you have to go without it for long periods of time.  It's an addiction.

4.  All I want to be, ultimately, is a wife and mother.  I don't think I'll ever give up writing or photography, but I'll be fine if I never get published.  It's not what I live for.

5.  Music is just about on the level with sunshine for me.  And in case you're wondering, no.  Rap, screamo, heavy metal, and hard rock don't count for me.  Give me guitars, pianos and voices.

6.  I'm a secret ham.  I love performing.  I still look back longingly on my ballet and show choir days.  Give me a pretty dress and an empty stage and I will sing and dance my heart out.

7.  I want a big big dog one day.  Like English Mastiff big.  But I know that's a big dream, so I'd settle for a Great Pyrenes, an Irish Setter, or even a Whippet (cute little things).  Can you tell I intend to never live without a dog?

And, step three.  I'm not really sure what it means to choose "eight recently discovered great bloggers", but I only follow about eight blogs anyway, so here they are:
5. Allie

Okay, so that's five.  All I've got . . .
Happy almost weeked everyone!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Career Services, this is Esther, I'm not a mind-reader.

Phone rings.

"Career Services, this is Esther.  How can I help you?"

"Yeah, and we have to turn in something."
*long pause*
"for our class"  in a tone that says you should know what I'm talking about by now.

"Okay" in a cheerful voice, thinking hopefully I'll figure out what's going on soon.

"Yeah, and I was just wondering if I could turn it in online instead of having to actually come up there."

Have no fear, eventually we figured out what was going on and that he could in fact turn in in online.  But really, sometimes I wonder how people actually got as far in their life as they are right now.

Monday, February 14, 2011

National Red and Pink Day

Seriously, half the people on campus are wearing red or pink today, and some are wearing both.

Good things:
People are randomly handing out long-stemmed roses like they're going out of style.
It's a lovely day - sixty degree weather that reallty makes me wish I'd put on a dress this morning . . . but
     not a red or pink one.  If you're not firmly convinced Texas has the craziest weather in the world yet,
     check out the post I wrote four days ago compared to this one and then check back next week.
Finally found peppermint tea on campus . . . and apparently started a trend in the Starbucks line.
A story and two poems have come flying at me out of the middle of nowhere in the last week - right when I
     was feeling devoid of ideas.

Now, on to what I really want to say.  For the last several years, the whole drama of being single on Valentine's Day has really bothered me.  The fact is, the people who complain most about it are the young ones like me who have their whole lives stretching out like a broad road in front of them.  It's one day out of the year and people make such a big deal out of it without looking at the bigger picture.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time there was a young woman who fell madly in love with an older man in the army.  She was 15 and he was 22.  This was during World War 2 and eventually, he was told he was going to be shipped off to Germany soon.  She refused to let him leave the country without her.  Somehow she convinced the Justice of the Peace that she was sixteen and left America in a steamship bound for Germany with her new husband two weeks before her 16th birthday.  She never looked back and never regretted her choice.  They lived happily together above a saurkraut shop and didn't learn much German, but they took enough black and white pictures to fill up a small red-patterned "Fox Photo" album.  She gave birth to her first child in Germany and then they moved back to Houston, where they had their next four children and became pillars in their community.

That young woman and the man she left everything behind for were my grandparents.

I have never seen any couple love each other like those two did.  They taught me everything there is to learn about loving someone no matter what.  It was obvious to all of our family that they loved each other in every word, deed, and look that passed between them.

Today would have been their wedding anniversary.
But Grandma lost Grandpa four years ago.

Thinking about the way she hurts today makes me upset at people like me who can complain about their singleness.  So go love on someone like my grandma today and take the time to realize and bask in the things in your life that do bring you love and consistency.  I've found mine:

Grandma’s House

Those porch chairs have always been the same green.
Stationed under the patio cover,
They never fail to greet me in the spring.

So many memories that front porch brings –
drinking hot tea with friends from all over.
Those porch chairs have always been the same green

The glass door, also, has always been green.
There, Grandma and Grandpa always hovered.
They never failed to greet me in the spring.

Then, together, we did our favorite thing –
Grabbed our swimsuits and ran for the river.
Those porch chairs have always been the same green.

The woods around the river were a screen
that hid our secret world by the water.
They never failed to greet me in the spring.

I couldn’t come on that day in late spring
when Grandma buried Grandpa, her lover,
but the porch chairs will always be that green.
They never fail to greet me in the spring.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sometimes the Thorns Get to You

Detox not going so great.

I've been spending more time at home like I wanted to and I've had a quiet time every morning this week, but the attempt at improving eating habits has not gone well at all.  I definitely haven't come near to quitting sugar.  I've reduced it a bit and the headaches have abated, at least for now, but I'm definitely still eating it.  And it has been SO cold lately that I broke down and bought a coffee the other day to wake/warm myself up without even thinking twice about it.

But, regardless (not irregardless, all you crazy East Texas folks) of all that, I am feeling a little more even keeled.  Not completely yet.  In fact, I have that scratchy feeling in the back of my throat that foretells a cold and this has been one of those weeks where you run out of printer ink and toothpaste and can't even seem to carve out enough time to buy either one.  You may now be saying "Excuse me, but why are you writing a blog when you could be out getting things done?"
Well, the fact is, it's below twenty degrees right now and at this point in the day, there's no guarantee that I'll be able to get a parking space remotely close to school if I leave and come back, so despite the fact that I technically have time right now, there's no way I'm risking having to walk to a terrible parking space later on in the dark.
The other fact is that today is a hard day to call my favorite and I need to come here and write down some good things since I'm in danger of drowning in the bad right now.  So, without further ado, another list:

I must be lookin nice today because when I got off the elevator in the library this morning, a guy was
     waiting to get on and he gave me quite a frank look of admiration.  It's good to feel beautiful.
First official meeting with my thesis advisor.  Somehow she always manages to make me feel like I really am
     a good writer, despite my doubts on the subject.
It's cold in Texas!  Actually cold.  I know, I know, I just said I didn't want to be out in it, but it's nice to
     know that the North really has nothing on us ;)  Zero degree windchill twice in one week.  And my
     Northern professor told us the other day that she was pulling out her Wisconsin clothes!
Along with the cold we have freezing precipitation.  You'd be surprised how many different ways frozen
     water can fall out of the sky.  At least, I was surprised.  I don't know the names of any of them except
     snow and hail, but, last week we had something that resembled dipping dots on the ground.  So funny!
And there's this other kind that is happening right now. It's like teeny tiny drops of frozen water that fall
     slowly, but it's not swirly like snow.  It's just lazier and tinier and colder than rain.  And it seems magical
     to me.  I can't tell you why, but it just seems like it belongs to another world and accidentally got into
     ours somehow.  Like it's the kind of rain that always falls on fairies or something.  It's gentle like that.
     Not violent like rain.  It's just lovely.
Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte from Starbucks.  Just what I needed.  I know it's sugary, but it's not coffee!

Monday, February 7, 2011


I deactivated my facebook account.
It was so easy!
At least, I say it was easy.  I had no doubts that it was the right thing to do.  I'm so tired of electronic communication and I was just getting entirely too distracted by it every time I got a few hours near the internet.  So that part was easy.

The actual process of deactivation?  Not so much.

Have you ever tried to deactivate your account?

Let me explain how it works.  First of all, I should just note that, if you for any reason want to delete your account, you actually have to submit a request to do so and who knows what happens with that.  I just decided to deactivate.  Once I chose that option, it gave me nine different possible reasons that a body might want to deactivate their facebook and I was required to choose one.  So I chose one and clicked the "Deactivate" button.

Then it had a banner across the top of the screen that read "Are you sure you want to deactivate your account?" and showed me five different photos randomly generated from my profile (all of which were low quality and dark) and chose a person at random out of each photo and said "So-and-so will miss you." above each photo.  Ironically, all but one of those were people I see at least once a week anyway and they were all people I keep in touch with via things other than facebook.  So I said yes, I was sure.

Then it had me confirm my password.

Then it had me do one of those little word-verification things.  (By the way, I have this irrational fear of getting those things wrong.  Somehow I feel like the world will fall apart if I ever make one little mistake in them.  I literally am afraid that the FBI or something will come barging through my door and arrest me if I get one wrong.  I know.  I'm weird.)  And I got it right!

Then it took me to the login screen with my username typed in and ready to go just in case I had already changed my mind about this whole foolish deactivating the account idea.  I "x"ed out of the window.

Ridiculous.  Utterly ridiculous.

Dear Facebook,
Although I chose the "This is temporary - I'll come back" option, I may never return to you.  No website should be as utterly dependent and needy as you are.  I am happy to be free.

Okay, so that was a joke, but really?  I did think it was pretty silly.