Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Finally moved to Wordpress

Decided to give this blogging thing some attention, so we're all grown up and moved to a new domain.

See you there!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Conversations Head While Tubing

One of the new experiences I've had in Texas is the art of tubing.  About 30-45 minutes outside of Austin there are several places to "go tube", and yesterday I went with a few friends for the first time.  What I experienced was a mixture between an extremely relaxing ride in a inflated tractor tire tube, and the biggest frat party I've been to since freshman year of college.

The professional tuber is in a fraternity or sorority.  They tube with a large group of their tanned, string bikini wearing sorority friends.  They bring a small, floating cooler for water but a LARGE industrial sized cooler for Bud Lite cans.  Only Budlite.  Only cans.  The girls, since they're much classier, sip out of pre-mixed margaritas or wine coolers - because you know, that has a lot more style.  What's also imperative for sorority tubing style, is decorating your beer cooler with your greek letters and fun sayings like "What happens on the river stays on the river."  

I did enjoy my tubing experience, minus the annoying "tube rash" on my arms today from rubbing against the rubber tube.  These were the highlights brought to you by Delta Kappa Alpha Omega OBitchy. 

The river is mostly calm, but there are small periods of rapids.  The key to these rapids (as we soon learned) is to pay attention to the fraternity boons in front of you.  When they start screaming and flipping over, you should probably take notice and not go that way.  Once you discover that, it becomes a fun game of "Watch the girls mess up their hair and scream" which I enjoyed quite a bit.

There's also the fact that the river is a collegiate mating ground.  Not in a literal sense, but in the game of the chase.  At any given point you'll see a brave young frat boy paddling madly upstream against the current to go see the princess of his dreams, guzzling an electric blue margarita out of a longneck glass bottle.  The stimulating conversation seems to go something like this:

AKA: "Are there fish in this river?"
TKE: "Not many.  Mostly turtles."
- gulps beer and glances backwards at his frat buddies, who are tossing a helpless turtle they picked off a log back and forth over the groups of tubes -
AKA:  "Omg, snapping turtles!"
- squeals and chugs more margarita from a bottle -

Then of course, after the frat "fraternizing" if you will, we reach the end of the river and to the eventual breakup of collegiate love.  I witnessed one girl, sobbing over what I believe was a broken flip flop - her boyfriend all the while moaning why she had to be so emotional. 

Good question, probably that mixes with the wine coolers and the river muck. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

What I'm Reading - August

Had a job interview today.  Hope it goes really well, because for previously mentioned reasons (and more to come), I can't stay where I am much longer.  However, I'm really broke so it's not like I have much of an option as far as not working.  Not sure where all this money is going, but I think it has something to do with all these miscellaneous wedding expenses, shopping around for horse trainers, and life in general.  Sigh, the things we do to stay up these days.  Maybe I'll go off the grid.

What I am doing that is quite cheap entertainment though, is getting back into reading.  I was always a big reader, and hell I'm partially a literature major so it's not like I'm shy from the great american (or european or world) novel.  Somewhere during all that reading though, it often became a chore.  I love young adult novels, but in my last few years of college that was the only literature class I really enjoyed.  There got to be a point where I'd rather write a novel than read one, and that's just bad juju.

However, it's been years since I've been out of college and there's no excuse for me not to read regularly.  I'm starting a "Less Toddlers & Tiaras, More Books" mind bootcamp (Teen Mom doesn't count though, that's quality television about the modern american family).  It's nearly the end of August, and I've failed short of my completing two books a month goal... that's just pitiful.

Initially, I picked out one "trashy" book to read and one "literary" book to read.  The "literary book", The Art of Racing in the Rain spontaneously combusted in the 105+ degree Texas heat in my car.  I didn't realize books melted... but after finding a pile of papers in random order I think it's safe to say that I will not be completing that book anytime soon.  My other "trashy" pick, Kitchen Confidential brought on by my mild infatuation with Anthony Bourdain, is about 75% completed.

Instead of replacing the fallen "Racing" with another book of equal literary value, I found this gem at CVS and begged the fiance to get it for me.

It's about prehistoric giant man-eating sharks... in an aquarium.  The brain reels in delight.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Morning Mayhem of the Corporate World

I'm doing something I never do, because I think it's dumb.  I never bitch about my job on a blog, ever.  You write it on the internet, and it will come back to you.  It doesn't matter if you publish your blog with your full name or a super-cool-pseudo alias like mine (hah!), it will return.  However, I'm past the point of caring and if I got fired tomorrow it would be a relief - this stuff needs to be shared with unknowing public.

Every morning at work we have a huddle.  This huddle is at a precise time every day.  Not a normal meeting time like 8:30, 9:45, 9:15 etc... but an odd number.  Every day, just to be cool and "alternative" (this place where I am oh-so-hoping to get out of is just so alternative) we have this huddle at 9:17am. 

On my first day, I figured "huddle" was just a colloquial term for company briefing, and that made sense to me.  Little did I know that at 9:16 someone would run through the office yelling "LET'S HUDDLE!" and music would start playing.  This wasn't as bad as what followed next - the group clap.  Readers, every day at 10:13am I have to clap in unison with my entire office... to music. 

Let it be said for the record that I am not "a clapper", so this is somewhat difficult to do every morning before I'm really awake.

What follows after the music stops is first the sharing of good news.  Employees may raise their hand to share good news which ranges from "Sales were great yesterday" to "My mom made me cookies this weekend and it was awesome."  After each good news, the huddle leader will determine how many claps the good news deserved.  From what I can tell, below is a range of clapping awesomeness.

After the sharing of good news, then we move onto the themes of the day.  I won't go into specific details about these themes, but each day deals with a different department of the company and there is cheesy alliteration involved. 

Following the daily themes, we have critical issues - where employees share any problems they have with the company or work place.  Only brave souls go here, and frankly I would need something along the lines of a dissertation compared to a 30 second shout out even if I wanted to fry my ass publicly in front of the CEO.

The finale of this morning event is where we "bring it in", and by we I mean an employee who's one of the tallest/biggest men I ever seen.  NFL linebackers would be jealous.  My first day, I got stepped on by this man who stampeded his way to the center of the huddle to "bring it in".  Now, as soon as I hear the word we're going to 'bring it in for' of the day (usually something inspiring like energy, momentum, or "rocketship") I jump out to the side of the group so my flip flop feet don't get stomped on.  Once "it's in" there's lots of intense group clapping until we repeat the word of the day.

Pray for me.

Here's hoping tomorrow is a rocketship kind of day.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Too Tired to Think About Anything but 90's Toys

I can't believe this is going to be my 2nd post about toys.  There's no justification for it, only that my new job is really mentally draining and that it's Friday night.  I went out for happy hour after work with some co-workers and the fiance, and that was fun.  Later hubby-to-be and I strolled downtown in a Car2Go, which I will post about later when I'm more coherent and will now refer to them as deathboxgolfcartonwheels (although statistically they're safe blah blah).  Once we got downtime we found a chill outdoor bar with a really trippy projection on an empty stage.  I think the DJ was reliving his rave days, but whatever.  The rest of downtown was covered with skank hos and guys who wear dragon shirts - joy of all joys.  So now I'm home, sober as a judge and wondering what the hell happened to the littlest pet shop.

If you haven't caught on by now, I love miniature things.  I have conspired with my brother to grow a miniature farm of miniature vegetables (baby carrots, baby corn, cherry tomatoes, etc etc).  I have a slew of model horses and that doesn't even begin to describe it, but that's another day.  So it should be no surprise that in the 90's, a young shemovedtotexas adored "The Littlest Pet Shop."

Sure, they were simple.  This wagged its paw, but hey it had cute little plastic accessories and even more important - PUPPIES!

And this one, little gerbils that had a magnet on them, so you could make them scurry through the cages with a magnetic "wand" on the outside.  Super cute?  Yes indeed, and no pesky cedar shavings that I was allergic to that real gerbils needed.  So I think we get the picture.  Cute little animals, that actually resembled animals - circa 1992.

Imagine my surprise when I strolled through Target the other week and found this monstrosity.
What the hell is THAT?  Does EVERYTHING these days have to have those sad anime eyes?  I mean, when have you looked at a puppy recently and thought, "Oh no, those eyes aren't cute enough.  Maybe if they were bigger, and had little teardrops and exaggerated pupils... then they'd be a winner - but until then, no way puppy.  No petting for you."  I mean, what is that crap?  Pets hang out at the mall I guess, looking sad and Japanese.
This is what happens when a 4 year old is allowed to give an animal tribal tattoos.  It's Littlest Emo Pet, a sad plastic companion for your sad little child who's going to be severely confused in their first Biology class when they see that a ferret's head isn't 500% bigger than it's body, nor is it pink.  Maybe I'm just sensitive, or maybe I've been watching too much "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" but this irks me all the same.  It's a short road now to "back in my day I walked to school up hill both ways," but if they're going to keep my childhood toys in production the least they can do is not fuck them up with pink japanimation barf.

Monday, July 5, 2010

End of a long weekend

This is what our local watering hole looks like at the end if a nice holiday weekend.

Yes, that's a diet coke. Nectar of the gods. I need their nectar, because I start my new job tomorrow. More on our 4th of July later, now I'm going to enjoy the sun and $1 lonestar night.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Martha, Martha, Martha

I have a confession to make. So Martha Stewart stole a bunch of money and I'm not entirely sure that she actually has a soul, but the bitch has some good ideas. Earlier in my life I'm pretty sure I vehemently denied supporting anything Martha'esque or even house keeping/hosting in general, but I have to say that these days I absolutely love being a hostess. Bakerella is one of my heroes, and since 'Top Chef' has been one of my reality programs on record during the last few days of working from home, I've been in the mood to craft some stuff in the kitchen. We're having some friends over for a cookout the 4th of July (unless it rains, then it's more of a cook-in), and to me that means several things but right now I keep hearing "Theme Party!"

Though I'm not going completely crazy (discount plastic red white and blue star themed glasses from Target, and flag napkins does not equal crazy.. by some definitions), I did see these really cute pretzels on Martha's site and thought they'd be easy to do.

I thought wrong.

Actually, they're not that bad but I didn't think about several things.

1) Nobody makes those pretzel rods anymore, and ESPECIALLY not in Gluten-Free and Vegan (Hubby is vegan right now, and one of our guests is gluten-free)

2) Apparantly you need to order red white and blue sprinkles online or something, because I couldn't find any at Hobby Lobby or the grocery store (just had sanding sugar in the wrong colors or nothing at all, listen I'm all for fair trade organic but is there really something so harmful about a chemically died sprinkle?!).  I could have driven across town to Williams-Sonoma, but I couldn't justify traveling about an hour round trip in a bunch of thunderstorms to find.. sprinkles.

So, I improvised.

Instead of red white and blue pretzel rods, we ended up with white, light blue, pastel flower, and orange mini-pretzel rods.  For a while I had a nice little assembly of dip in chocolate, roll in sprinkles, place on tray - with the occasional broken pretzel dropped down on the floor for the dogs to scarf up.  This lasted for about as many pretzels as you see here, before I got bored and went for a more modern approach.

I have not yet developed the patience to accurately dip beautiful chocolate pretzels.  Maybe next year! 

On the horse front, I'm going to have to wait a few weeks before I can go try out the Hanoverian.  The weather has been really crappy, and he's apparently afraid of thunder. He sounds like a really nice horse, but I'm also going to look into some local barns in the meantime and try to develop a list of places to check out that are close to me.  On my last day of my discount at my old job, I bought a brand new IRH helmet - exciting!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Study of a sleepy dog

Not feeling it today.  Here's a collage of crappy iphone pictures of the BT.  Sad to say, I've been working on taking these snaps for a collage for a handful of weeks... mostly while she sleeps next to me on the couch while I pretend to work.  Yes, she is giving me the evil eye in most of these. Yes, that's pretty much her normal expression. It's a hard life to be a BT.

I'm in the process of moving this blog over to a domain and wordpress.  Call me a blog snob, but the web designer in me just can't handle anymore blogger templates and sub-domain nonsense.  Expect a change soonish.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Toy Story 3: Be kind to your toys

I've been begging my lovely SO to go see Toy Story 3 with me for a few weeks.  To his credit, he's a good sport and we tried to go once but it was sold out.  Luckily for me, his mom wanted to go see it too so we headed to the awesome Prytania Theatre in New Orleans.  The best thing about the Prytania (besides the sticky movie theatre candy floors of course) are the retro snack commercials they play before the movie starts.  If you open the website on the link I sent you, you'll soon have "Let's All Go to the Lobby" stuck in your head too.

But really I can't take away from the awesomeness that is Toy Story 3 by blogging extensively about cartoon snack commercials.  If you haven't seen the final round of Buzz & Woody, go see it.  I loved it, but that's not what I'm going to talk about today.

In case you're curious, and even if you're not I don't really care I present...

The Toys that I Loved that are Living in an Attic and Should Probably be Donated to a Child who will Love them but Instead will Live in the Attic Because I am Selfish:
Okay, so it probably goes without saying that I liked/like Breyer horses.  My Little Pony's weren't realistic enough, but Breyer's couldn't (and still can't really) be beat for realism and aesthetic value.  They're a bit pricy as a kids toy, but lucky for me I had a Grandmother with a shopping addiction who wanted to spoil her grand kids rotten.  Lucky for my family?  Probably not when they had to bail her out of debt several years later, but hey I had a totally bitching herd of fake horses so I was too young to care much.  These horses suffered several broken legs due to their extensive training regiments - I had a notebook where I would write down names, disciplines, and show schedules.  My grandfather built a wooden barn custom for them that had a little sign up top with "MyLastName Stables" burned into it.  Now horses, barn, and kiddy accessories all are lovingly packed up in a box in my attic.  I actually have a decent collection of these as an adult, but the carpet herd is being saved for when I might have my own horse crazy kid someday.  With my luck, there are only going to be boys who like motorcycles and zombies.

I don't have a picture, but my best stuffed companion was Brown Bear.  Yes, I realize that is a gray bear shown  in the picture.  No, brown bear was not brown.  I had an imaginative color palette and naming scheme at two.  There was also Fluffy Puppy, though I can't remember if that was actually my brother's stuffed toy.  Throughout my childhood there was a large string of stuffed animals, many got yard saled and some tossed I think.. but a lot are in the attic still.  A high light was Refrigerator Bear (another naming gem I know) who was a pink oversized bear with a rainbow on his stomach that stood taller than I did.  My dad won him for me at the NC State Fair.  He moved on at a yard sale because he was really too big to fit anywhere reasonably, sad day.

Real life circus?  Cruel and unusual punishment for animals.  Playmobil Circus?  Best thing EVER.  The highlight was a group of 6 plastic gray horses (are we noticing a theme here?) that had pink feathers for their heads and saddles.  I was very serious about training these horses.  I would line them up and shout out the secret command "Montoyo!" (I do not know where I got these things, seriously) over and over to train the plastic beasts.  This is something my dear Father has never forgotten.  So much so, that whenever I come back from a real horse show and have done well, he'll ask me if I told the horse "Montoyo!" to get that blue ribbon.  Sigh, childhood sillies.

On that note, I need to go back to pretending to work.  I'm a bit excited on the real horse front, because I found a nice gelding on Craig's List today that is looking for a half lease.  From the owner's description, he sounds like a quality animal and that's good to hear mixed in with the ads that go something like "She likes to go real fast and you don't need no saddle because she's too fat to wear one".  Will have to see, it'd be nice to ride again!

Monday, June 28, 2010

The truth is, if you whine you get what you want.

Okay, so I don't necessarily believe that  but my last post was mainly me whining about not being able to find a job.  Low and behold, I got an interview last Friday and a job offer came with it.  So, here's the big obligatory WOOHOO.  Now that I have secured employment, I'm actually a little sad that my slack lifestyle will be ending shortly.  Since this is the case, we decided to drive to New Orleans on Saturday for an impromptu trip to hang out with hubby's sister for her birthday celebration.

I love New Orleans, so do my dogs and so does everyone pretty much.  We're lucky that they're such good travelers (the dogs that is, I don't know if hubby and myself are good travelers at this point).  My spaniel freaks out a bit when he sees us packing suitcases,  but as soon as he's in the car he's just happy to be able to go somewhere. 

So yeah, not a whole lot to report besides the fact that I have to start going to an office again after the 4th of July holiday weekend, and I'm sitting in a really pretty double shotgun right now with my dogs.  Tomorrow I need to go check on our florist for the wedding, because they're not particularly good at email and seemed to have cashed our deposit check without any kind of written or verbal confirmation.  Fun fun.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Naner Bread & Bugs

I wish I had something more interesting to say, but hubby is in Chicago working and I've been left at home to my own devices.  Right now, that doesn't mean a whole lot unfortunately.  I have about three more weeks that I'm working for my job remotely, so my days are spent with a laptop on my lap watching re-runs of America's Next Top Model, applying for jobs, and doing some web design.

And at the moment, the job hunt isn't going very well.

That's pretty discouraging, because I've never had a problem finding any job in my life.  Everything from tutoring to career web design jobs, it just short of happened to me.  I suppose this is a good experience, letting me know that I'm not god or anything... but dammit I'd like a little bit of validation please.

Instead, I spent tonight alone with my dogs trying to validate myself through cooking and getting the bugs out of my house.  I don't know if it's this old house we're renting, or Texas and that whole southern heat thing, or the huge gaping hole in my porch door (well, I'm certain that has something to do with it) - but my house is infested with bugs.  We have beetles, flies, fruit flies, and the occasional spider - joy!  I googled fruit fly traps, and have had a cup with really nice organic balsamic vinagarette out for days... but the flies just laughed at my fancy vinegar and refused to die in it like they were supposed to.  I'm now resorting to moving all of hubby's fruit into the refrigerator, where it may never ripen but HOPEFULLY will not attract anymore fruit flies. 

On the cooking front, I rounded off the evening with home-made healthy banana nut bread.  I don't like bananas, but in bread form they're okay.  Plus the damn things were probably attracting more flies.  I would have taken a picture, but alas I already zipped the bread up in a bag and hid it in the refrigerator so it wouldn't get swarmed by insects.  Here's the recipe, sort of a mix of my own and something off of all recipes. 

Healthy Banana Nut Bread

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/4 teaspoon Baking Soda
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 cup Agave Nectar
2 eggs (can be left out or substituted for apple sauce for vegan bread)
1/3 cup butter / buttery spread
3 smushed bananas
1/2 cup pecans

Cook at 350 (like you cook everything in the world) until it's risen some and is just starting to brown on top.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


I know, there's been a long absence.  I spent most of last week feeling like death, somewhere between the "oh my god I can't keep my eyes open" of mono and the "I'm so green i make kermit look like a joke" stomach flu.  I call this the "I've moved to Texas and discovered I'm allergic to tacos", because it all started with these.

Those are breakfast tacos.  They are actually yummy and delicious, but they started this whole thing so now they are to blame.  In case you weren't aware, everything in Texas comes in taco form.  You can get filet mignon tacos... out of a trailer.  You can get veggie and shrimp and breakfast and dinner and dessert.  Texas should really be re-named Tacoss.

And for the first few days I had no problem with this taco delight, but then one night we went out for Tex Mex (surprise) with some friends and I innocently consumed two strawberry margaritas.  In Massachusetts, strawberry maragaritas = sugar with a hint of tequila, but here they are no joke.  Suffice to say, it wasn't long before I was begging hubby to take me to the dessert bar at whole foods (because that would fix EVERYTHING) and acting a total fool.

The next morning I woke up and thought breakfast tacos would fix everything.  NOT.

But now I'm recovered, evidence being I'm drinking a glass of white wine without feeling like I need to go have a lay down (at least not after one).  I've got three weeks starting tomorrow of stretching out my job, which is exciting because I get paid.. but not exciting because I don't really have anything else in the hopper for future employment.  At least the hubby is willing to keep buying me tacos, it could be a lot worse!

Friday, June 11, 2010

This is just to say

I had a dream last night that I was bitten by a rat that lived in my basement with a gaggle of bunnies. The rat chased me and my flash light to bite me, so it was probably rabid.. but I decided large amounts of neosporin would cure rabies.

This rat also later turned out to be a muppet, which I tried to dispose of by flushing down the toilet and cutting various body parts off of (think van gogh, not gelding).

All of this is okay though, because this house doesn't have a basement.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Homebody goes out in Austin: Fireants, Split Rayfield and some band I didn't like

Some background about me. I'm kind of a homebody. I don't think I always used to be a homebody, and I actually don't like the term homebody (I prefer to say that I'm very good at entertaining myself) but between moving a few times and not having any friends in the area, I'm perfectly happy staying at home watching bad television, playing with my dogs, and doing artsy dorky crafts.

My fiance, is not.

He needs to be entertained, and loves going out and meeting new people. In this way, we're a really good match because I keep him in the house enough to justify paying rent and he makes sure I don't become a crazy cat lady at home alone.

So last night we went out in Austin. It's the live music capital of the world, and hubby is a big live music fan. He pitches a lot of shows to me that I have absolutely no interest in, but last night there was a bluegrass / folk / band with a mandolin playing and it sounded good to me so I agreed to go.

As we walked to the venue and passed this couple riding a souped up tractor down the road, I was glad I decided to go out. We ended up at Antone's , which is a neat little divy blues club downtown. Besides the fact that he first bartender charged me $2.50 for a diet coke (wtf dude, i'm driving drunky home), I really liked it. Smaller venue, concrete floor, simple folding tables. A place you can go in jeans and an old t-shirt and not feel like you have to impress anybody.

First band, Fireants, I loved. They're a bunch of teenagers and have that arrogant, finding their way kind of attitude that you'd expect any teenage band with some talent and credibility to have. The lead singer and fiddler has a decent voice, and an amazing talent for the fiddle. He's also a decent entertainer, though is still finding some comfort with the stage. Extra points for the super cool girl bass player. I wish I was that cool in high school (but definitely wasn't).

Second band, don't remember the name. They jumped around from being jesus freaks (with an empty whiskey bottle on the symbols... that was interesting), singing 60's television jingles, conservative "This is AMERica" songs, and ending with a GREAT song called "Fuck Fuck Fuck This Really Fucking Sucks." They didn't suck, but need some kind of consistency.

Last band, Splitlip Rayfield was the headliner and the hubby's obvious player. Granted these cell phone pictures are horrible, but if you look at the photo above you can probably notice that the bass isn't an ordinary instrument. It's a freakin' fuel tank converted into a base, and that guy was rockin' it. I should have donated him the parts from my burning car (that's a story for a later date), he probably could have turned the scarred brakes into a piano. To be honest, it was getting late (for me) at this point and I faded before the show ended - but the band was really entertaining and rich with talented musicians.

Tonight, I'm cleaning my dirty house which we've almost unpacked and looking forward to the weekend.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Texas is ridiculous.

No really, it is.

Tonight we walked to a bar near our house that has just glowing yelp reviews for having good food (Why my fiance thought going out to dinner sounded better than tofu pop hot dogs, I don't know). So when we sit down at Gibson's I don't know anything about it besides "They have really good food," and as I look at the menu it's pretty clear why they have really good food - because it's pretty much all burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Who doesn't like burgers hot dogs and fries? Not only that, but they're trailer park themed burgers & fries, because everything is cooked in a 50's silver trailer next to the bar. No need to make junk food classy in Texas, yeehaw.

So I get a grilled chicken something and the fiance gets a veggie burger. There was a brief plea from him for me to order a - and this is true - baked potato hot dog. Because a plain hot dog isn't enough oh no, but we should wrap it in bacon before putting it in a bun with a wedge of potato, cheese, sour cream, and chives. Tasty? Oh yes, but my rationale of "I walked 1/4 a mile to get here so that means I can eat french fries" wasn't extending so far as a baked potato hot dog.

Then our food arrived.

Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is a veggie burger with a donut for a bun. Ohmygoddonutbun! Neither I nor dear hubby read the fine print on this one, so this came as a surprise. A sugary fattening wonderful surprise. OK, so I only had a bite but this officially confirmed the sneaking belief I had all along - that Texas is insane and I haven't even begun to see it all here.