Wednesday, December 19, 2012

It's beginning to look a lot like August....

It's a week before Christmas....and it's 84 degrees. 

"If you don't like the weather in Texas, just stick around for a few hours."  I have heard this time and time again.  It's mostly true, by the way, however, the fact that you have to keep an umbrella handy, a coat in the car, or a few tank tops in the top drawer (because it is December and you have sweated your way through one of them already this morning) doesn't take away from the fact that it is a week before Christmas, and it is 84 degrees.

I'm not a complete idiot. I understand this is Texas and it can be grotesquely warm much of the time.  Still, when 84 flippin' degrees hits you in the face while you're doing your last minute shopping - it's a buzzkill.  Major Buzzkill.

Just something to consider when you start dreaming of your Texas McMansions and an abundance of bbq.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Been awhile...I tried, but the irritation has flared again...

Texas is like living in a giant gift shop. For some reason they have to remind you that you live in case you forget.

God help the boys that don't love football or the girls that don't love dance. I'm not talking about artistic dance, I'm talking about Toddlers and Tiara's type dance for high schoolers. Living here during this past election season has been torture. Here's some advice...don't friend people on Facebook that live near you who are trying to be your new friend and me - you will only regret most of them. I call it Premature Friendulation....and it's a real problem peeps!

I was born in Houston. I still think Houston is pretty awesome. Being stuck in Austin is another story..I know a lot of us California's came here looking for the big house, low taxes and great schools. Guess what? Great schools aside, the big house and low taxes aren't worth the Stepford Wives you have to live around. That Vonage commercial where the creepy couple comes to the new neighbors door mumbling "but we all bundle" so spot on. Oh and bonus, they hate any of us coming from California coming to "screw up" their precious state.

No silver lining today....just too deep in it today.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Eeew...nice, uh, just, well, wow.

I was driving home today and in front of me was, shocker, a pick up truck.  I'll admit, I don't have the soft spot gene for these gas guzzling hickmobiles.    People often ask me, "HOW can you not LOVE living in TEXAS?"

Answer: I live around a lot of visions like this.

In case you can't quite make it out, the sticker on the blown out window reads, "WHITE LIGHTNING...GET'er DONE"
And you gotta love the total Jed Clampett style hat. 
Darling I love you but give me Park Avenue.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Hey Chick-fil-A....

*Forgive me my personal opinion rant, but hey, it's my blog.*

Well done Chick-fil-A, my hat is off to you today.  You obviously have lots of supporters and will likely realize a high profit record day.  I just drove home and passed our local Chick-fil-A and now I can see just how many of my community went out in eerily giddy throngs to make their support of "Christian Morals and Values" known....and I cried all the way home.

I never thought I'd quote Alan Jackson, but "I know Jesus and I talk to God", so before you slam me as a nutty liberal who must be void of "Christian Values", please realize that I too call myself a "Christian". And hey, I'm a straight white girl in a loving "traditional marriage".  I just want to know what these patrons told their children when little Bubba asked his mommy, "Why are there so many cars here today?"  This is what makes me hurt.  I realize I will not change anyone's minds about how people feel about equal rights. That's ok.  But for the children, I hurt.

I have people in my own family who may have gone into grab their nuggets and waffle fries today too,  no doubt. However, some of  them are much older than I am, and I'll give it to them that this might seem too progressive, they're worried we are focusing on the wrong things.  Do I still love them? 100% with all my heart.  I just know that it takes evolution of the mind and heart for the world to change, and by CFA stating how they have chosen to spend their profits, well, I can't look the other way anymore.  I'm glad they said it publically.  Who knows how many of the businesses we frequent are donating to causes and oppression of equal rights to women, marriage equality, and all the other things that make us squabble so passionately against our brothers and sisters.  At least they identified themselves and for that, I thank them.  At least now I know, and I can make my choice not to ever give them a penny of our family's money.   I think the extreme opposition's idea of having a "kiss-in" protest against CFA today is equally a bad idea.  It just creates an even more hostile environment.  I have a friend in the neighborhood, sweet lady, who was worried sending her daughter to work her high school job at CFA today.  This also broke my heart.  Here's a kid, who, and I don't know her personal beliefs, nor should I, but here's a hard working high school gal, just trying to make some cash and get some work experience, and because of the public remarks, and subsequent plea to make Aug. 01 support your local CFA day by none other than Mike Huckabee (really?), she was fearful. 

Fear....what is it that CFA is afraid of?  Newsflash: You don't "catch gay".  How would it affect your life if your neighbors have been in a relationship longer than yours perhaps, and wanted to be seen as your equal?  It's about love people.  It's about progress.  It's none of your business.  It's only my business because I'm a Libra I guess.  Not a very good argument, I realize, however when things are so unfair, I hurt.  I fear.

I can't shake the image of all those cars lined up today. 
My tears are for you Danny, Mark,  Michael, Bill, Randy, Roy, Rus, Dar, Diane, Chris, Jerry, Aaron, Andy, Stephanie, Chris (and all of your beautiful children too),..I could be here all day typing names that don't mean anything to you, Mr. Cathy, but they mean something to me. 

**If you are gonna be in Texas, you might have to deal with things like the, a lot.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Yr killing me Texas, but you, Houston, yr not so bad

Houston, at least, is a world class city.  Maybe I'm just a sentimental gal, but I've always thought Houston was more fun than Austin.  I grew up in Houston.  Before I hit the diamond studded road to L.A., (or so I thought), I never understood how people could think Austin was so much better.  I never bought into that hype, which is why I'm probably having such issues still today. To me, back in the day, I thought Austin was the type of place that either had naked people swimming at Hippie Hollow, or office gals who wore natural colored pantyhose in the office.

Last weekend we packed up the family and hit the road for the three hour car trip to  spend a weekend in Houston.  After stopping about an hour out of Bastrop for a quick break (where upon opening my car door all I could see was a swarm of crickets like mini transforming bug bots scurry across the parking lot to greet my feet - TOTALLY ICK TO THE NTH DEGREE!) we made it to  Houston adjacent.  WTF Katy? When did you get to be so big? There's a downtown Katy?  That's funny.  Then after Katy,  finally hitting the Memorial area and taking the loop to Post Oak was d-i-v-i-n-e!  You don't appreciate what you have until you don't have it anymore.  It was so nice to be around buildings that had more than two floors!  And those futuristic street signs around the Galleria? Genius.  I've been seeing these commercials playing in Austin for the "MyHouston" ad campaign.  First there was ZZ Top - super cool to see those guys thumbing their nose up to the music industry who thought they'd never make it if they left Houston.  Then, my favorite is Jim Parson's of The Big Bang Theory talking about how he's seen more horses in NYC than he ever did in Houston, and he's seen more Art in Houston than he's seen in NYC.  Such classy ads for an often knocked city.  I seriously think if Houston wasn't in Texas, the rest of the country would give it more respect.  Yes it's ugly in places.  Yes they have too many billboards.  Yes there is crime, and yes, it can be way too humid for words, which is how you explain that H-town doesn't just stand for Houston, but Helltown as well. 

At least in Houston you can find pretty much anything you want. You can eat at your choice of a gazillion (ok, didn't fact check this one) 5 star restaurants. You can find a million family things to do that weren't built for outside use because they realize, unlike Austin  city planners, that it is flippin' hot there so they've planned accordingly. You can be at the beach in 45 minutes.  You can have your choice of museums, technologically advanced medicine,  libraries, and nightlife.  And yet, no one scoffs if your yard isn't perfect.

Maybe that's my problem.  I don't particularly like the outside.  Maybe it's because I'm from Houston and I like my A/C.  People here in Austin are outdoor folks.  People in Houston are indoor folks.  Maybe to me, sophistication means dressing up and not sweating.  Sure there are a lot of activities for families here in Austin, but most of it requires being outside...and sweating.

The poor teenagers in our area have nothing to do.  Which, now that I think about it, maybe that's why every girl is on the dance/cheer team, and every boy has to do sports.  I was talking to my sweet babysitter who is a teenage girl in my neighborhood.  She agreed with me and told me that most kids go walk the outside mall.  For crying out loud, we can't even give them A/C to hang out in when they do nothing.  This has caused me to seriously consider opening a business out here to give them something to do besides sneak into their parents liquor cabinets while the parents are out at the country club.  How about a little retro roller rink, somewhere along TX HWY 71.  I've already named it "Bible Skate" (Trademark coming soon bitches, so no stealing it.)  However, because I do not want to get boycotted, I will probably have to think of another name I can use for the public.

Sorry for going off topic.  The point is, maybe it's not Texas that is sucking the life out of me.  Maybe it's Austin.  Sorry Austin, I am a Houston girl.  Much like you, Houston, I'm more of a city slicker, I like to shop, I find the crime and the massive overbuilding a little exciting, and yes, I'm a little ugly in places too, but most importantly, Houston, you and I understand the value of air conditioning.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The Commercials that Make Me Wanna MOVE

You can tell a lot about a city by its local commercials.  In L.A., the ads were all for liposuction and teeth whitening.  In the Bay Area it was either luxury cars, patent attorneys or the occasional bail bonds spot that came on during Cheaters.

 I thought this city was supposed to be so hip?  If you move here, be prepared for an overly  embarrassing onslaught of amateur hour at the ad agency. It's so hard not to go all Elvis and shoot the tube.  Here's a sampling of the local commercials that dispel this rampant rumor.

The first time I saw one of this guy's car commercials it really icked me out.  I mean, good for him for being a good old boy who thinks he's funny, but DUDE, your commercials are as dated as the SGI Lipsynch's of the 1990's, (rim shot).  Too bad too, because I actually like Toyotas, and am doubly impressed that you aren't afraid to sell something other than big ass giant white trucks. (More on the truck business in another post. I'm far too tired to unleash that beast today.)  From the creative geniuses behind this dealership, I bring you the man that dons cheap suits as Austin Powers, Elvis, Ghostbusters, and something that borders on insanely jerk-hole racism. What year is this again?  Maybe I've been in the Bay Area too long, but I don't see this ad going over real well in San Francisco.  You be the judge: or this one

Not to be outdone are all the ambulance chasing accident attorneys.  Ick. Is there a lower life form?  (Oh right, I forgot about family court attorneys.  There's a special place in hell, folks, a special place in hell...)  If you are home for more than 15 minutes during the day, I guarantee you will have to suffer through no less than a dozen of these slimy ads. "My cli-unt got hurt in a cur accidint. I got her one hundred and thirty two thousand dollahs. Now listen, I cayn't guruntee that kind of settlement, but if yer in a car accidint, don't go it alone, just tell them to CALL MU' LUWYAH!" 

Another embarrassing thing about the local markets is how they love to put their own family in the ad as the spokesperson, and I'm not talking about some sweet little country kids.  There's some chick who sells leather couches, or sofas as they are called out here. I can't figure out what's more buggy, her face or her voice.  Either way, some people need to realize the power of HD and give it up. There's also the bugger in the Specs Liquor commercial - who ironically looks to be maybe 18, and last time I checked, that's still illegal, even in Texas.  If she's over 18, then good for her, but she still is way too West Lake High School Head Cheerleader to make me want to dance-walk down to my local Specs.  Bring back the bunny.

And now I will leave you with my favorite commercial stars currently steaming up my television screen....I'm trying to talk my husband into dressing like them with me for Halloween.  The trouble is, I don't know if they are sisters or mom and daughter, either way, the lackluster excitement of a tandem voiced "and we're the gold gals" makes me laugh-cry every time it's on.

On the positive side, I don't have to see those Bad Boys bail bonds ads telling me my mama wants me home. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Eyes of Texas Are Upon You

Here's a shocker, I'm in therapy.  I was delighted when the wait list cleared and I was finally able to see someone about my anxiety and adjustment issues.  Running a few minutes late and sweating (what else is new?) I finally found the little green awnings and made my way into my therapist's office.  God's sense of humor was on a roll that day, trust me.  As I plopped down into my little couch (sofa, for all you Texans out there) I look up and the first thing I notice above my Doc's head was this big, beautiful, amazing old print of....The Golden Gate Bridge.  Well played, irony, well played.

As I start to discuss a little bit about my anxiety issues, (some things even I know to keep private and off this blog, for now) I am hesitant to bring up my problems with Texas, but since it's more than half the reason I'm here, I let it flow.  I tell Doc that I hope I don't offend him, and that he's probably going to roll his eyes, but this girl ain't fully down with the ways of the big T.  "Listen, I'm from Philly", says Doc with a smile on his face, and then I knew I had found a new best friend.  He told me something interesting.  He said I'm not the only person he's working with right now, at this exact moment in time, that is having the same issue.  Of course he couldn't tell me much about this other gal other than she moved here recently from California, but suffice it to say she had also moved in to the "west side" (hmmmm) and that she wasn't feeling the local country club set that was surrounding her (hmmmm).  He told me that they are making progress and that she's now starting to wear her nose ring again in public.  I wanna go high five this girl, and I'm not even particularly a fan of the nose ring, but you get the point.  He gave me some good advice, none of which I'm ready to share yet, and a few Kleenex Puff boxes later, I inked my next appointment and headed to my car.

I get in my car.  Black might not have been the best choice.  I'm sweating and it's only May.  I blast the a/c. (Move tip #1, your automobile air conditioner must remain on high speed for at least five full minutes before you turn on the radio, lock your doors or fasten your seat belt.  It's a matter of survival.)  As I click the fan speed down and turn the radio up, I pull out onto the road home, still sniffling from my session.  My tears of pity are replaced by tears of "ARE YOU F'ing KIDDING ME?!". My own sweet little mini cooper speakers are betraying me. "The eyes of Texas are upon you, all the live long day!"  Full on, old fashioned trumpeted battle hymn of the early 1900's is now blasting out of my car.  I mean, come on, I had to laugh at this one.  Then just to rub it in so deep that I felt like I was being punked, it was followed up with George Strait proclaiming his love of this land with "If It Weren't For Texas".  As I drive through the (ok, they are beautiful) hills on the way home,  I'm left to think about the fact that I told the Doc, "If I think about living here for the rest of my life...."...and then I made that blow your head off gun gesture with my right hand while my left hand mimes out brains shooting out of my left ear.  The whole thing is just, well, damn humorous if you ask me.

Written by John Sinclair, 1903-

The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
All the live long day.
The Eyes of Texas are upon you,
You can not get away.
Do not think you can escape them
At night or early in the morn-
The Eyes of Texas are upon you
'Till Gabriel blows his horn.

On the plus side, there's a Steinmart not far from the therapist office. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

If You Ain't Texas, You Ain't S#*!

But she's been so polite with her observations so far, how could she write this? Traitor! Bubba, get your gun...

OK, this could be the post that offends the most, but I wouldn't be authentic if I didn't address this longhorn in the room.  Can someone please explain to me why Texas has to remind me that I'm in Texas, like EVERYWHERE I turn?  There are TEXAS edition trucks.  There is a  historic yet strangely written Texas pledge that is recited in my son's elementary school. (The first time I attended a weekly assembly I had been told how cute it is and how it would uplift my morning by attending.  I can't put my finger on it, but there was something vaguely brain washy about it.  I was uncomfortable.  This is where the Texas pride, I suppose, gets into our children's minds and establishes them as proud Texans for life.  I know, I know, my friend count just went down as I write this, but it is my truth.) (I so want to write "so suck it", here, but that just wouldn't be very lady like.) There are Texas branded bar stools in 8/10 homes here. Patio furniture? Must have the Texas star in iron on it to pass muster.  There are more Texas flags  here than roadkill, and trust me, that's a lot of flags. Funny story about the flags everywhere.  My good friend's friend came out to visit her from San Francisco.  She asked my friend, "What is the deal, why are there so many banks out here?"  To which my confused friend answered, "Oh, honey, those aren't banks, we just put flags everywhere out here." 

Now lest you forget, I am indeed a born Texan.  I still tear up at military homecomings, little children selling lemonade from their front yards, and the beauty of a perfectly grilled T-bone.  That said, I think you might not realize how intimidating you can be with your pride. Please give us newbies and  homecomers a little adjustment time. Maybe we'll get there. I mean, we'll get there.  I know I should expect no less from a state that yearly tries to secede from the rest of the union.  When I was a little girl growing up in Texas, I remember a bumper sticker sentiment that stuck with me through the years.  "If you ain't Texas, you ain't shit."  I'm not even going to start with the proper grammar thing, because I'm no English teacher, but that just doesn't make you sound very smart people!  More to the point, maybe I don't want to be *shit*.  Is that so wrong? 

Maybe I just don't understand Texas as a brand.  I did however, really love your Don't Mess with Texas anti-littering campaign.  The problem is you've seemed to take a clever ad and turned it into a shove it down your throat way of life here. I get it. I live in Texas. I'm reminded of that everyday when I see deers being mounted as art in living rooms, when I feel the sting of a mosquito on my leg, and when I hear good old boy cement pond builders tell me they need to talk to my husband about the technical plans for the pool because I wouldn't understand them because I probably only worked retail in my past and would probably only understand if we were talking about shopping for shoes. *

*True story.

On the positive side, the actual shape of Texas is pretty cool.  Especially in the form of a waffle.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It's the Music, Stupid

I get it, I get it. As a reformed neo groupie of the 1980's, trust me.  I totally get it.  However, if you are a mom, live in the sticks, er, burbs, have a wonderful husband that you'd rather stay at home with and make fun of the Batchelor on ABC, sometimes it can be hard for it to always be about the music.  Nothing makes me feel older than trying to look glam while simultaneously making sure my upper arms are covered and that I'm wearing sensible shoes. (Thank you Jesus for the cowboy boot.)  When you tell people you are moving to Austin, the first thing these never lived in Texas souls squeal is "OH MY GOD, I LOVE Austin! Music Capital of the World! I'm so jealous!"  Trust me, it's as predictable a response as the failed relationship count of the Batchelor - who, by the way, best BATCH ever? Brad Womack...a former Austinite, who apparently, local gossip just found out last weekend, has moved to Houston (What up H-town?!) to find a "normal" girl.  Good luck with that Brad.  Here's hoping you come back often to your Austin bars because I'm one of those goobers who would actually make it a destination just to be able to take another cool facebook photo with you.  Here's hoping our next photo op together turns out better than the one of us at the airport where I could use some serious that a word? 

Anyhoo, when I moved back here I thought sure, it would be cool to be able to see a few bands in a more casual and close setting.  I made a bucket list of musicians I'd be willing to take the long and scary at night drive down Hwy 71 for: (forgive the bad grammar, it's just the way I speak)

1.  Radney Foster
2.  Kelly Willis
3.  The Wagoneers
4.  Raul Malo and The Mavericks

Radney Foster at The Shady Grove.  He even sat a few booths away eating dinner first.  I tried to be non-chalant about the whole thing but I was dying to know if he was having the chicken fried steak, or the vegan burrito.  He's my favorite singer songwriter, and while I've met him before in a small venue in Berkeley where he and my hubs discussed websites they owned, it was still as thrilling as before.  Bucket list Texas music count: 1 out of 4, Facebook photo count 1.  Radney Foster:  CHECK.

The Wagoneers at The Continental Club.  While I'm still good friends with my buddy Tom Lewis, drummer extraordinaire, I hadn't seen the other guys in years.  Partly because they hadn't played together as The Wagoneers for years.  Now on the comeback scene and about to blow up bigger than ever, I was very excited to come out and hear and see my friends again.  Funny footnote; these guys played my first wedding....the best memory I had from that day, that's for sure!  Here's where it gets icky.  Being in that club, seeing all the "Bettys" and the chicks giving me dirty looks for getting some attention from my friends just made me quickly realize how much too old I am for this kind of high school feeling scene.  Don't get me wrong, the band was amazing. They even did a special dedication to me from the stage. I was touched.  The years have been good, no GREAT to these guys and I know their success is going to be huge, which is well deserved.  It's just that icky "don't look at my man" kind of immaturity that left me feeling a little sad, but a little glad that I could go home and hug my kid and hubs and let them know how grateful I am that I have them.  Bucket list Texas music count: 2 out of 4, Facebook photo count 2, plus I made it into the music video they made that night. If you blink, you'll miss me dancing 80's freestyle.  The Wagoneers: CHECK.

Kelly Willis, FREE show at our local outdoor mall.  My 6 year old dancing up front in his dirty T-ball uniform. 'Nuff said. Bucket list Texas music count: 3 out of 4. Kelly Willis:  CHECK

The Mavericks at La Zona Rosa.  First of all, here's a word of advice if you do live in the burbs and are coming into downtown for a show.  Diet Coke is your best friend.   Plus, zero Points Plus!  Raul Malo is the VOICE.  I'm sorry all you contestants on some silly TV show, Raul has already been given the title of The Voice by me and many others , apparently at birth.  The Mavericks were one of my favorite bands EVER.  Once I went to see them at the Warfield in San Francisco.  My buddy Tom (see above), was opening up for them so he took me backstage to watch the show from the side of the stage.  I got to meet everyone in the band except Raul. (Curses!)  Robert Reynolds, bass player , (aka: the ex- Mr. Trisha Yearwood) even gave me a little kiss on the cheek when we said goodbye.  To which I blushed and tried to act cool and walk away casually.  Only I didn't realize the door I had opened to walk through was, in fact, a custodial closet.  I sat in the dark for a few seconds before making my own version of the walk of shame out of the closet where, you guessed it, the guys were still standing.  I got a round of applause for that one.  Not my most proud moment.  Anyhoo, flash forward to last weekend where I found myself standing right in the front of The Mavericks, (Thanks to Whitney's husband and Erika who pushed my 5.2 frame to the front of the stage!)  Let me just say something to the guys out there who are reading this.  Listen closely...If you are a DUDE, you shouldn't be pushing your way to front row unless it's a Metallica show.  It's just wrong.  You think Chris Isaak wants to see you? It was the same with this show.  There was one particular buggar who looked like an old, fat, drunken version of Radney Foster.  He kept trying his move of trying to drunk dance next to some girls who were near the front, thinking we'd be all like, "Woo! Yeah, Party, Come Stand By Me Upfront!"  I'm sure that was his game plan, but I wasn't budging.  I noticed him try with a few girls.  Didn't work.  Then he made the mistake of trying with me.  Elbows firmly in place and ignoring him stance not working, I finally, at the displeasure of my friend Erika who I think thought he would kick my 5.2 ass, say to him, "Dude! Why are you trying to push your way up here? Guys shouldn't be fighting to be front row. Leave it for the girls!" which I then realize that he's wearing a gray ruffled mini skirt.  #KeepingAustinWeird.  Once I got over that laugh, I have to admit, I enjoyed the show just as I would have way back when.   With Raul leading the band, and in a quiet moment when his voice alone could command silence from a rowdy and drunken crowd, it hit me.  I felt the tears fall from my eyes as he sang an unexpected Waltz Across Texas, and for a little bit, I forgot about how I didn't need to hear live music, how I was OVER Texas, and if my arms were looking fat.  For that little moment, I got it.  It's the music stupid.   Bucket list Texas music count: 4 out of 4. The Mavericks:  CHECK

So now what? I've got a check mark on all my Texas music bucket list wishes.  It almost makes me a little scared that now that those are done, is there really anything left here to look forward to?  Once you get past the music, then what?  Sigh....maybe Willie Nelson and I can hang out at the car wash sometime.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I've Got Good News and I've Got Bad News...

The bad news is that people out here don't care about what you do for a living.  The good news is that people out here don't care about what you do for a living.

If you can't escape the heat, find some water.  The fact that it happened to be at the car wash, and the water wasn't used for me particularly, didn't really matter.  I was in search of liquid even if it was just to watch all the cars get their relief through the always anxiety provoking automated car wash tunnel. I follow along the glass windows inside the building as each car, eh, who am I kidding, each TRUCK got their turn at the robotic bath.  Car washes always cause me anxiety. (Get to know me and you will quickly see pretty much everything causes me anxiety. I'm like Bethenny Frankel on Red Bull...on a good day.) I don't know but I think it was all of those trips with my mom to the corner car wash that started this apprehension.  Raise your hand if your parents used to treat the car washes like haunted houses?  "Woo, watch out for the big monster!" Flap, flap, went the big scary rubber tentacles that did more traumatizing of little children then actual cleaning of the automobile. My big sister would squeal with giggles, my mom would do her best horror film damsel in distress acting, and I? Well, I think I was curled up next to that weird hump in the bottom of the back seat, in a fetal position until it was over. Good thing we didn't have 5 point harness restrictions back in those days.  Can you imagine being trapped in your seat for this? No? I'm the only one. (Shout out Ralphie May, shout out.)  Not that the old fashioned do it yourself stalls conjured up any sweet fuzzies for me either.  My sister and I went to one of those good old fashioned crank your own squeegee bucket stalls with our dad.  He gets out of his Starsky and Hutch red Ford Torino, points to the sadistic contraption and gives us one rule. "Keep your fingers away from this thing."  Exactly one minute later, there I was, age of about six, finger pointing in a place it shouldn't be, but it was if memory serves, at the encouragement of my older sister and partner in crime.  Somehow the crank turned.  (I can't throw my sister under the bus for this one, the memory is too hazy, but let's just say it would have been hard to crank my own middle finger through to the STUCK position.  Hard, but not impossible.)  The only thing I remember next was Dad's voice, "I told you to leave that thing alone.  Don't you dare cry."  The ride back from the emergency room was silent and tense.  Dad was not happy that we didn't listen to him, but I think he was most pissed off that his car didn't get to finish getting washed.  After what seemed like an eternity but was most likely ten minutes in the car, Dad finally turned to the back seat where two pouty faced and scared little girls sat like dolls without a working pull string in their backs, he spoke. "Do you wanna cry now?"  I could feel the burning behind my still little at this point nose and whimpered out "Yes."  Permission to cry granted.  Then the floodgates opened, probably with a bit more hysteria than required just to make all parties involved feel a smidge guilty about the whole thing. 

Anyways, back at the local car wash, 2011. This particular trip to the car wash was one of those trigger days for me.  (Hee, Trigger was a horse. 1 point for the cowboy reference.)  Having safely escaped the tunnel of fear, I plop down in the fancy wicker settee and wait a bit while the guys did the drying off of my car outside.  This car wash isn't so bad.  There's cute little gifty things to buy, a soda dispenser, beef jerky, wind chimes, and even an autographed picture or two of Willie Nelson, who's said to be a frequent customer here. They even have a barber shop in the corner nook.   I noticed there was a woman who was running the place who seemed to be very busy.  She had been running to the stock closet, answering phones, ringing up customers and dealing with the crew outside.  I smiled at her as she scurried around.  She made a few more rounds around me and that's when it happened. "Miss, you seem like a nice gal. You got a kiddo in school during the day?" Yes, I tell her, a kindergartner.  "Well, how about you work here during the day? I need some damn help and you seem nice. I'm serious. You looking for a job?"

I smiled (and maybe shat my pants a bit but no one needs to know about that part.)  "Oh, no ma'am, I work from home, but thank you for the offer!"

As I head home, I don't know whether to laugh or to cry.  So I choose cry.  "I am an entrepreneur! I am a business woman! An award winner! An inspirational mentor and speaker!  I work in fashion! I do television interviews! I have fabulous and famous friends! "  I call my husband in between laughs and cries.  He loves me no matter what.  He's used to our lives being nutty and exciting.  He affectionately refers to me as Lucy Ricardo because  he never knew what kind of trouble I was getting us into while he was at the club, I mean, his high tech computer job.  He talks me off of the ledge by saying, "You should be flattered! She took one look at you and could tell you were capable and likable and you got offered a job on the spot! Do you know how many people need jobs right now? You should be proud that you give off that vibe!"  He's right, as usual.  I tell him I love him, even if he gets all the way to the 3rd chorus of  (working at the) Car Wash by Rose Royce, before I hang up. 

And therein lies the issue.  We're not in Kansas (or California) anymore.  No one gives a crap about the glamorous at times life I have left behind.  Sometimes I just want acknowledgement of that.  Other times I realize I need to get over it. Maybe, just maybe it's OK to just "be".  Be a creative and driven person, yes, but also just BE a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend.   

P.S. Bonus Texas Lesson: No matter how clean your car is when you drive off the lot, you will have exactly 18 bug guts splattered on it by the time your tires make a few rotations.

Enough with the ranting, where's the positive you promised in every blog post?
*Willie Nelson goes to my car wash.  Willie F'in NELSON.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Howdy, I'm sweating.

Howdy from H. E. Double Hockey Sticks. I mean, Howdy.  Since this is my first post, let me apologize upfront to all the amazing, friendly and ever so supportive Texans in my life. Thank you for being patient with my adjustment issues, my complaining about the heat, and my heart's yearning to make peace with our decision to move back to this land that so many of you love. 

Here's the skinny, once I was gone from this place for a few years, I really did miss your stars at night, your big open skies, and well, your Luby's. (I know, I know, but you're just gonna have to trust me on that one, 'cuz it happens.)  After years of living the life in both Southern, then Northern California, the unthinkable happened. I had officially turned into a California Girl, minus the daisey dukes, bikini on top. I'm a mom of three, no one wants to see that anymore.)  Having survived my first summer here from  July 2011 - October 2011, which is apparently what folks around here call "summer", I feel like I'm finally in a position to start venting, I mean, helping others that might be making the transition, not just from my beloved California, but from pretty much any other state in the country, to Texas.  (See there, I wanted to be a wise ass and term it "God's country", but the whole thought process behind it that made me giggle might offend the GCB's. (Look it up, preferrably before the network cancels it.)   I digress, my point is, I moved here at the start of the "worst summer in the history of Texas". It was literally 100 degrees for 100 days in a row...except that one day when the cool front came in and it was a chilly 99.  I literally thought we had taken a wrong turn and ended up in Hell.  But guess what? I survived, and maybe you can too. I mean, you can too, with a little help from this journal, at least you will be properly warned, I mean, prepared.  **If you have any questions along the way, send them to me. I might be busy sweating through my MAC Studio Fix makeup, but I would love to answer them as honestly and as smartassly as possible.

So here we go. I find myself proceeding with a bit of caution, and a lot of hope that we can be friends again Texas, but first we have a few things to hash out....