kitsjay: (Default)
afjsakj My dad's writing short stories!

Okay, okay, so I'm overwhelmed by how adorable this is, but back-story. My family is the personification of Southern oral tradition. If you thought oral tradition was just some weird anthropological case study of New Guinea or somewhere, come to my house on any weekend night. We sit around telling stories passed down from generation to generation and adding our own new ones as it goes along. Everyone in my family can tell you stories about the two draft horses my great-grandpa owned, or the way he got called up for WWI twice, or any number of things. I've always loved sitting around and hearing these stories, even though I could recite them by heart, because they're so comfortably Southern. They're all a part of me, these bits and pieces that all accumulated until I'm sitting here now. The more outrageous the stories, the better (and trust me, our family has some outrageous ones).

So I've always wanted to collect and preserve these stories but never got around to it. For some reason, my dad did though. And he sent me one! He was all embarrassed and sent it to me and Sean to look over, because he hasn't written in a really long time, but I think it's awesome.

Here's my dad's short story!

Smokin' Holes )

Both he and I would love it if you have any constructive criticism that I can pass along.
kitsjay: (Girls Bed)
(1) I have discovered the secret to world peace: it is, predictably, in the form of creamy, sugary deliciousness called Bluebell's "Delta Blues" ice cream.

(2) Oh, right, also I have a new neice (Heather; 7 lbs; born this morning) and my brother Chris is married.

(3) But yeah, the ice cream--oh my sweet Aunt Martha, 'tis good!
kitsjay: (Archie Confuzzled)
My dad decided to sell three heifers that failed to calve this year, so he had Mom and me helping him herd them all into the pen. Dad saddled TJ and together we worked to outsmart a group of about thirty cattle, which is harder than it sounds. For one thing, herding cattle on a horse looks cool and rugged; standing on the ground, flapping your arms and shouting, "Yaa, move, cow, move!" is less impressive.

That said, seeing Dad get bucked off of TJ and briefly fly through the air made it almost worth it.

We finally managed to pen the cows and Dad works out his battle stratagem for how to cull the heifers out from the group. He tried three times unsuccessfully, then marched into the house to work out a new plan. I remarked that cows really should not be able to outsmart him and Dad muttered something peevish under his breath.

So tomorrow, Dad is castrating the bulls, and because I am not allowed to have a normal family, this has turned into a party. Uncle Eddie was invited to help, so he called Will Baker, who was in Arizona but came home today and he's bringing two of his horses to help. Then Momma Toy said she hadn't been around cattle so long, she wanted to come, and Mike, Mare, and Chris decided to come by to see Momma Toy and visit with the family.

Then the vet's husband heard about it and asked to come along, so their family is coming over as well.

I plan on taking the car keys, driving into Lytle, and standing in the HEB a while to pretend that I'm actually in civilization.

In other news, I found the only cat in the entire universe who does not sleep. Instead, he is incredibly hyper, which would be cute and amusing except that five of his six ends are pointy, sharp, and hurt.

Mike asked me why my arm looked like I had worn a barbed wire bracelet, and I answered, "I'm in an abusive relationship."

It was kind of cute, but Murphy has started gnawing on the inside of my wrist and pouncing on my face (nearly scratching my eye) and it stopped being cute really fast. I've been picking him up by the scruff of the neck and whapping him on the nose whenever he bites, but he doesn't seem to be getting the message. I'll let you know how that goes.

But I know he doesn't mean it. He really loves me, I know it.

ETA: So adorable. When my parents were young, they both played on basketball leagues. Apparently both of them were quite good. So now, both of them 67 years old, they bought a basketball hoop for the kids, but have been going out and playing one-on-one. I have the most adorable grandparents in the world.
kitsjay: (Expectations)
I woke up this morning and stared at my ceiling for a few minutes before heaving a gigantic sigh and maneuvering myself up and my computer on in a complicated motion perfected by a semester of practice. My bandwidth has, alas, once again dipped into the negatives, which I tried convincing myself was a good thing as this would encourage me to start my major essay that I resolved to start this weekend and hopefully finish by Monday. I have never had so much difficulty writing an essay. Normally as soon as I finally sit down with my research resources and a keyboard at my fingertips, the words begin to flow and I occasionally insert a source here or there to make it official. Not so with this one. This one resists all attempts to be written. Even breaking it into an outline, which I absolutely hate doing, has not helped any. I keep starting before realizing I’m either writing myself in circles or starting an entirely new thesis. It is beyond vexing. I promised myself I could watch more episodes of due South if I actually worked, though, and there is nothing like proper incentive.

Earlier this week, I had toyed with the idea of going home for the weekend, but Dad and Mom informed me that they would be in College Station for Parent’s Day with Chris. Joking with them, I mentioned that they had not been to visit me once and Austin was two hours closer than College Station. Now, my recent obsession with Northern Exposure and due South recalled a yearning for the outdoors in me and I quickly went through a list of people it would be acceptable to go camping with before finally, and somewhat inexplicably, landing on Dad. So I called today and Dad answered the phone. He must have felt guilty about my joking, because when I awkwardly blurted, “Would you like to go camping with me this summer?”, he readily agreed.

“I’d like that,” he said. “Think about where you want to go and we’ll set aside a weekend to go.”

It seems strange that not four months ago, Dad and I could scarcely stand to be in the same room without a fight breaking out and now we are planning on going camping together. I find myself simultaneously dreading and looking forward to it. I am leaning towards the latter. I never found myself overcome with any bouts of homesickness or loneliness while here, no doubt partly because of the comforting presence of [livejournal.com profile] panpipe, but with only three weeks to go, I find myself wanting to be home. The first thing I plan to do when I get home is to make chicken fajitas with corn tortillas, mango pico de gallo, and grilled bell peppers, complete it with a couple of beers, and sit in the hot tub with a good book at my side.

But, before all that, I suppose I have to finish up here. This essay, then two more tests, and I am D-U-N done--and not a moment too soon.

20 days to go.
kitsjay: (Expectations)
This weekend I went home with Court. Saturday, Christy, Court and I went to see Fool's Gold which was awful in a fun kind of way. I thought it would have been better suited for the summer, but then again, it's February in Texas and I went sunbathing on the roof today. In the movie, everytime the plot took a turn for the worse, I would say, "Wait, that's--" and then Matthew Mcconaughey took off his shirt.

I had dinner with my grandparents and Sean, who impressed me through his sheer jackassery. He shows up fifteen minutes before dinner was ready (which Grandma fixed for us), eats, then takes the TV she had for him and leaves without even waiting to clear the table. I was apalled. Grandma later commented on it, saying, "Do you think Sean had a date? He rushed off in a hurry..." Classy move, Sean.

Court and I left Grandma's with a bag of homemade banana nut bread and a knife secreted away in my bag (this is completely normal and not at all psychotic; try slicing up an apple with a plastic knife one day) and drove back to Austin. I saw a sign on the way that said something about "Austin to Cancun! $9.99!"

"Surely they don't mean $10," I thought. Out of curiosity, I looked it up and found them. I am very tempted, but the May ones right after finals are for $20, so Audrey, Court and I are entertaining the thought of going then. Audrey confessed the pictures of Cancun I looked up were what kept her going through her classes. I just keep repeating an inward mantra of, "Beaches, booze, and babes" in my head while sitting in class. I did the same skip-the-reading-then-write-an-essay-on-it in Sociology as I did in my BritLit and ended up getting full credit. With a "Well done!" at the bottom. It's hard to motivate yourself to work when you know that you really don't have to, true story.

Finally, Audrey said she had a dream last night we were at Cancun and there were dinosaurs that chased us. Apparently at one point we were trapped in a room with a group of guys, and a T-Rex on the outside trying to get in when I shouted, "F this! I'm not going to die a virgin!" and started stripping with one of the guys.

I should have asked if he was at least good-looking.
kitsjay: (Woo)
Courtney and I went to Houston this weekend, which was lovely. By strange coincidence, Mike and Mary Ann were in town as well so I got to see them. I had dinner with Sean at Bennigan's Friday night, then we went to his apartment where we watched Psych. He was all jazzed, telling me about all the goings-on at the Police Academy.

Saturday Christy, Court and I went to see Juno, which was surprisingly good! I had heard it was excellent, but it really didn't seem like a movie I would like, but I really enjoyed it. It was snarky and fun, and the acting in it was just excellent.

Court dropped me off at Grandma and Grandpa's. Uncle Joel and his family and Mike and them were there*, so we socialized and ate dinner, then it was just my grandparents and I. I took a shower and came out to see the lamp by my bedside turned on and the sheets turned down, with a glass of water on the dresser. I felt a wave of home.

The next morning, Grandma tapped on my door and asked, "What would you like for breakfast? I have bacon, eggs, pancakes..."

I lay in bed, curled up under warm sheets, and smiled. "Pancakes sound good," I said through the door.

Not that Mom ever treated us like that, but I had the stupid thought, "I've missed this," anyway.

We had first service then Courtney showed up and we ate lunch. Court and I left at 2:00 p.m. and got back to Austin at 4:30 or so. It was a nice weekend, but now it's back to real life and calculus and sociology tests.

*My niece is huge! Kimberly outweighs babies three months older than her by five pounds. She's a little chublet and it's absolutely adorable. Mike calls her Kimber the Hutt.

And now for something completely handhold )

1. Leave me a comment and remember to specify if you want questions or not.
2. I will respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in your own post.
5. When others respond with an appropriate comment, you will ask them five questions.
kitsjay: (Woo)
I hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas! I had a really good time. Everyone seemed to like their gifts really well--which is good, considering I bought Dad's at 1:30 Christmas Eve. Whoops.

I gave Chris two movies, but Chris is a huge movie buff so I was worried that he might have them already.

"If you do, I can return them," I said.

He didn't have either, but started laughing when he saw Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.

"Open yours from me," he said.

I opened mine and found the sequel, Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey. Tashina actually got me the complete works of Edgar Allen Poe which was so incredibly perfect.

Mike was opening his three books, and Sean said, "Ooh, yoink," on the first one, then "double yoink" on the second, then yahtzee. I gave him two books on quantum physics and one collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov. Everyone in my family was eyeing them enviously, wondering when we could possibly steal them. We are such geeks.

Speaking of geekiness, my brother has a picture of Spock, Kirk, and McCoy from Star Trek on his wall in the billiard room. He has taught his one-year-old daughter to point out the characters. He walks her up there and holds her up, then says, "Where's Spock, Shannon? Where's Spock?" and she points to him. So hilarious. He also was looking at Kim's head and said, "Mur, she's got dry skin on her head. Mom, my baby is molting. She's like a lizard baby."

Then Mom chased him around saying, "Don't say that about my grandbabies!"

T'was fun.

Also went to see National Treasure: Book of Secrets last night and it was really good! It didn't quite have the same charm as the first, but they used new jokes and the bad guy was unique and I really enjoyed it. Riley was still hysterical. Also, I saw a preview for Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian last night and was hitting Stef on the arm excitedly. That is going to be so amazing.

Oh, and a spot of good news! Not Entirely Graphic Good News About My Piercing )
kitsjay: (Default)
A quick review.

Friday went to work for a half day, left with Tashina and Chris to go to Houston. Had a flat, fixed it, bought a spare tire from a cute guy with red hair, went to air up the tires, got 10 miles down the road, Tashina realized her credit card was gone. Went back 10 miles to Flatonia, checked around, Tashina calls and cancels her card just as she remembered she put the credit card in a cubby so it wouldn't fall out.

Finally got to Houston, went to Barnes & Noble and out to eat with Keebler, Christy, Vanessa, and Court. Had tons of fun, naturally. Courtney took a million pictures, half where my tongue was stuck out.

We met for brunch the next day at IHOP, then went to Vanessa's and hung out for a while watching half of a movie. They took me back to Grandma and Grandpa's, where we hung out for a while. Two hours after they left, my brother and Tashina picked me up and we drove back to Houston.

Sunday, my mom gave Dad and I an early Christmas present: two tickets to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra. The show was amazing. They played for three hours; the first was a Christmas set, then they played things like CCR, Beethoven, the Queen of the Night Aria, and others, then the third, they played Bach, the Snoopy theme song, and ragtime. It was so amazing. They had a lights show and everything. The company dragged a bit: Dad didn't really like it, which I didn't think he would. Mom, in her eternal quest to interfere in my life, decided Dad and I aren't "close" enough and decided we would go together. I can't really blame her, though, as she was under the mistaken impression that Trans-Siberian Orchestra was an actual orchestra that played symphony music, even after I explained they weren't. So Dad didn't clap or make any noise at all and complained afterwards that he hated it when they "jazzed good songs up" and how it was "too night-loungeish for me". Next year, I'll take Mike.

We got home and I called Vanessa to see if she had dinner, then went to pick her up. Dad went psychotic, which I do not get.

He was saying it was too late, and I said, "Dad, it's 7:30."

"Fine," he said in a huff. "Go die and I'll show up for your funeral."

"Whatever," I said, leaving.

"Do you want a coat?" Mom said. "It's supposed to be getting cold tonight. What if you break down and don't have a coat?"

"If you break down, don't call me!" Dad interrupts.

Apparently he said something else about it being late and Mom said, "It's 7:30, Stan."

"Bullshit," he said.

Mom just stared at him in disbelief because the clock was right in front of him.

And she thinks we should be closer. The man is utterly unreasonable.

Vanessa, Lauren (her little sister), and I went out to eat at California Kitchens and had pizza and dessert. At 10:20 p.m. we went to see Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium which WAS AMAZING. I loved it so much. I sat there the entire time with a goofy grin on my face. Afterwards, I vowed to open a toy shop after college, because I am five.

Hopefully Christmas will cheer him up. I know I'm happy. I have my family around me, presents are wrapped and under the tree, garland and tree are sparkling, and a puzzle is started on the table.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

ETA: Heh. I adore my brothers. Mary Ann was making cream puffs, and Sean and Mike were eating the shells. Chris pointed to a bowl full of something with a creamy consistency and said, "There's the pudding filling. Why don't you dip them in that?"

Sean and Mike both did and spat it out.

"Ugh," Mike said. "Mare, is this the pudding?"

"No," Mare said, puzzled. "That's the batter for the shells."

Chris took off, with Mike and Sean right after him.
kitsjay: (Buttons)
So this random guy friends me on Facebook, and at first I thought it was Tashina's gay ex-boyfriend, who she's still friends with, so I went ahead and friended him back, when I notice that it says he's dating a girl in his profile.

"Hm!" thinks I, "That's odd. Who is this masked man?"

A letter appears in my inbox from him.

"Hey, are you Chris's sister?"

"Yeah," I send back. "I'm sorry, I'm awful with names, have we met?"

I just got this back:

"I'm sorry, I confused you with somebody else.

No, we haven't met, but I don't want your brother to get mad at me. He is a pretty cool guy plus he is my uppclassman, my junior in the Corps, I'm his sophomore.

Nice meeting you, but I have to erase you as my friend. I apologize for that."

I'm torn between amusement, frustration, and HOW THE HELL DOES CHRIS STILL REGULATE WHO CAN AND CAN'T TALK TO ME WHEN I DON'T EVEN SEE HIM BUT THRICE A YEAR.

But definitely edging towards frustrated amusement, in the end.
kitsjay: (Lucy)
Stef had plans to take me out to dinner for my birthday in November, but we never did, so we decided to combine Rachael's birthday on the 14th. We went to Casa Rio and ate, with plans to go to the Tower of America afterwards for dessert. Or so I thought.

"So," Stef said, pushing aside her plate. She leaned forward with Rachael. "Want to go get your belly-button pierced?"

As testament to my capricious nature, I did not reply with, "What, now?" or "No, not tonight," but instead thought for a moment and said, "Sure. You know of a place?"

So at 9:45 at night, we drove to a tattoo parlour on 410, walked through the door, got through the documentation, and now I have a navel piercing.

When I asked Stef on the way if it hurt, she said, "No, it's just a sharp pinch and that's it."

So after the man did mine, Stef and Rachael started laughing.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"We can tell you now," Rachael giggled. "But Stef nearly passed out when she got her's done."

"Part of me is saying, 'Why didn't you tell me?' but most of me is glad you didn't," I said, admiring my new ring.

So yeah. Went out for dessert, came back with body piercing. If all my nights turn out like this, I should go out more often.
kitsjay: (Sting)
This weekend Mike, Mary Ann, the kids and I headed to College Station where we picked up Chris and Tashina, Chris's girlfriend. Afterwards we all went to Lovelady, Texas, where my great-uncle J.T. lives. He and his wife, Betty, celebrated their fiftieth wedding anniversary this weekend and held a large party at the Lovelady Gym. My family, for one reason or another, was prevented from going to the last several reunions, so it was fun to see family again. Of course, several people couldn't make it, but a good 100 people were there or so, with about half or more being family. We introduced Tashi to everyone and repeated the joke that if she ever got confused, she could call them John. We have an Uncle John, John Jr., Little John, and Uncle J.T. (John Thomas).

Aunt Sharon and her children and their families; Aunt Debbie and Uncle Allen, with their children and grandchildren; my grandfather's sister, Aunt Clara, who is twenty years older than he is; Aunt Grace and Uncle Larry; and others were there. We mingled and made rounds, saying hi once to Uncle J.T. and Aunt Betty before they were swept away by well-wishers. I have always had a fondness for the both of them. Uncle J.T. is a weathered man with a broad, square face, and still has dark hair with only the beginnings of gray sprinkled through. He has a deep voice that sounds like he gargles gravel in the mornings and possesses a thick East Texas accent when he speaks at all. Aunt Betty is a sweet woman with white hair, blue eyes, and a voice that always seems to sputter. Uncle J.T. raises cattle and vegetables and is a steadfastly practical man. His devotionals during Sunday were overwhelmingly stark compared to the complexity of my grandfather's. They were also, blessedly, short.

After everyone filtered out and Aunt Sharon and I helped clean up, I had the oppourtunity to speak with Uncle J.T. for a brief period. Regretfully, we had to leave, but I hugged him goodbye and promised to visit. On the way through East Texas, I was struck again by how homesick I felt from Houston. I grew up among pine tree forests and great tracts of land with creeks ambling congenially through the midst of it. San Antonio is nothing like that. It is dry and barren, covered with sand and scrub bushes and dotted by cacti. There is no gentle rain, nor impressive thunderstorms; it is consistently hot and arid. The city is even worse, with rude people and garish colors, like Las Vegas except without the charm of knowing its shortcomings. San Antonio is garishly ignorant of its own ugliness. Though I want to travel the world and plan to do so, when I finally do settle down, it will be in East Texas. It is the only place on this Earth that I have completely fallen in love with.

Grandma made cornbread and soup for dinner and we gathered around the kitchen table to pray. My grandfather, who is notorious for giving lengthy prayers, was about to say the prayer while Grandma kept throwing anxious glances at the stove.

"The cornbread should be done any minute now," she said to him. "So try not to--" She cut herself off suddenly, as if realizing the sacrilegiousness of it.

I laughed and looked at Paw-Paw. "Hear that? I think she just told you to keep your prayer short!"

"It never worked when we asked," Uncle John said with a grin.

Dinner was delicious, and later Tashi, Chris, and I watched The Quiet Man and Oscar, then fell asleep.

I woke up this morning to the sound of Mike relating a dream wherein his teeth all fell out. Finally realizing I was not going to get back to sleep, I pulled myself off the couch and went into the kitchen and helped myself to homemade biscuits with raspberry preserves.

All of us sat around for a while, with Uncle Joel and his family showing up, and we played with Shannon, Joey, and Jodel before church. Jodel, who is just old enough to walk, is silent and has huge, dark eyes that stare at you expressionessly. I have never seen a child with such a poker face. She is usually reserved around people, but let me pick her up and even snuggled her head into my neck. Joey, naturally, got jealous and ran over to tug at my pantsleg and grin up at me in the endearing way he has.

We sang two of my favorite hymns, two Christmas songs, and listened to Grandpa's message. Afterwards, I sketched their curved staircase, decorated with garland curled around the rails. It was all very pretty. We left after lunch and dropped Tashi and Chris off to College Station to study for finals. I drove the rest of the way home, which was an adventure. I learned to drive on a truck, but the Expedition tilts oddly and it took me a while to get used to it. Worse, it was growing dark and raining a bit, so I was quite tense. Usually music relaxes me, but Shannon pitched a fit and they put on Lady and the Tramp to appease her. Still, the drive from College Station to San Antonio is a pretty one. The rain even would have been welcome were it not for the unfamiliarity of the vehicle I was driving. One of the roads was covered with a fine sheen of water that reflected the sky; I felt as if I were driving on a broad strip of blue satin ribbon.

We made it home and I wandered about Mike and Mary Ann's house, straightening things and cleaning. Mike and I watched a few episodes of The Red Green Show on the couch, each thinking about work tomorrow.

A very nice trip, all in all. I even had the great pleasure of being able to read The Great Gatsby and The Awakening during the past two days. I quite enjoyed The Great Gatsby, more so when I read it for pleasure rather than for class, although I still feel as if he goes overboard on the symbols. That said, The Awakening made use of the most unsubtle symbolism I have ever read--and I am an Ayn Rand fan. The sheer pleasure of being able to read, no matter the book, quite made up for any shortcomings.

Were it not for the list of to-do's I have before me, this week would be a very pleasant one, as well. I plan on cleaning the house, for one thing, and enjoying its cleanliness for an entire week that Mom and Dad are gone. It should be very relaxing.

"For a transitory enchanted moment man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation he neither understood nor desired, face to face for the last time in history with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder."

--Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby
kitsjay: (Accomplished/Smug)
Matt and I finished around 3:00 a.m., at a staggering 11,000 for word count of the main paper and an additional 3,000 words in the citations.

I have never been so glad to have finished something in my entire life.

Not much else has been going on. Mike, Mary Ann, and I are going to buy a Christmas tree and decorate it tomorrow; I'm going to call Wells Fargo on Monday and get my loan taken care of; I have a few miscellaneous chores to accomplish and have an entire week to myself as Mom and Dad are going on vacation to Florida.

Dad went to the sleep clinic in Floresville last night, and they confirmed that he most definitely has sleep apnea. Moreso, he apparently has not been getting any REM. He was in a much better mood today, and I'm wondering if it's not because they hooked him up to their little machine, so he actually rested. He even offered to buy me a plane ticket to Australia to visit Bianca next year, which is, well, kind of brilliant awesome.

I also had to give a persuasive speech a few weeks ago, and I delivered mine on "Hitchhiking: Why It's a Great Idea". We have to give a similar "call to action" speech this coming Tuesday, and I asked my teacher, "Would it be alright if my topic was, 'You Should Hire Someone to Write Your Papers For You'?"

My teacher cracked up and said, "That's gold." I sent him my outline two days ago and received this email back:

Kitty,

This is outstanding work! One of the best speeches I have ever seen. Let me make a one minor point with the goal creating an immortal speech--provide some research to show how stressful college is to justify what may be considered extreme, unusual action.

I will re-read this being that I was so excited I read the outline very quickly.

Mr Williams


I also checked my grades a while ago and my government teacher already has my "A" down on my unofficial transcript, though it's not even December yet.

The only thing that has not been fantastic is that I have to return an immunizaiton record to UT by December 3; I recieved it two days ago. So yesterday I gave it to my doctor, who returned it unfilled out, so I took it back to her. Today, a nurse dropped it off at 5:30 at the office, and told me I needed a tuberculosis test, and to fill out when I had chicken pox.

I read the thing, and it says "only students born outside of the U.S." need the TB test. Barring that, she also forgot to sign it.

I can't fax it either, so I guess I'm going to have to pay for same-day delivery in order to get it to UT on time.

Frustrating, but do-able.

All in all, things are--

Confound it ... Satisfactory.

--Nero Wolfe, to Archie Goodwin in "The Doorbell Rang"
kitsjay: (bird)
So yesterday I just kind of lost it at work. Just the combination of not getting enough sleep and mental exhaustion and everything all together just had me suddenly bursting into tears at random intervals. To make things worse, when I can't control my emotions and I freak out like that, I don't want anyone to see or anything. I'd rather be by myself. Stef is one of those people who when she gets really emotional, she wants people around her, so she kept trying to be helpful and asking me what she could do and it was really sweet, except it just made me feel embarrassed, which made me cry more. And I really have no idea what it was. Mike was all worried because he didn't understand why I was freaking out, and I couldn't explain, and yeah. I finally calmed down enough so that I wasn't answering the phones with, "J-Jor-sniffle--dan Builders." On the way home, though, 101.9, our radio station here, switched to Christmas music and that set me off as well because I started sobbing to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing".

So! In the spirit of not freaking out and losing it again, I was trying to think of constructive things to do. Lately Christmas has lost some of its spirit, and I was just thinking about this year.

Alicia, Keebler, Courtney, Christy, and Vanessa, basically anyone that buys gifts for each other, I was thinking that instead of buying gifts for each other this year, we all go to the mall or something near Christmas, and buy gifts from the Salvation Army tree? For the kids who can't afford gifts?

Anyway. I just thought it'd be something nice, because I mean, we're all at college, and it's not like we really are wanting for anything, and anyway. Just. Um. Feeling kind of dumb right now, but just tell me if you guys think it's a good/bad idea or if y'all want to do it. I thought it'd be fun because we would all be together at the mall, trying to find the gifts the kids want, and we could make it a tradition or something.

And as for everyone else--does anyone know how to volunteer to be a Salvation Army Santa? I can't find it on their website.

ETA: Found the presents-for-kids, it's at Adopt-an-Angel and I also signed up for the Salvation Army Bell Ringer thing. So exciting!

He who has not Christmas in his heart will never find it under a tree.
- Roy L. Smith
kitsjay: (Dennis Quaid)
I had a marvellous weekend!

In the morning, I headed to work and went out to eat with Dad, Mom, Uncle John, Mike and Mare. Halfway through Matt called to talk to me about a job offer (he's a second year law student and wants me to help him with a research paper; I am skeptical about how much help I will really be, but I shall try) and I was talking on the phone to him. When I hung up, my tea was gone.

"Where's my tea?" I asked, looking around for it. Dad suddenly looks down and goes, "Oh. Whoops." Apparently he had forgotten his up at the counter and was drinking mine. I added lime to it and it's unsweet! How did he not notice? Anyway, he offered to give me some of his, but I really cannot stand sweet tea now that I've switched to unsweet. It's like drinking corn syrup.

After lunch, I headed out to Austin and made it there with the directions Uncle John gave me, met Courtney outside the dorm, and parked the car.

We went out to eat at Kearby Lane, an Austin restaurant that has a fantastic portobello mushroom sandwich, and watched Supernatural back at their dorm. We also went and got an "air mattress", which was actually a cleverly disguised pad that was about the width of one of my legs. It was comfortable enough to not wake up until 11:00 the next day, so I'm not complaining.

We ate breakfast at the dining hall with Audrey, a suitemate of Alicia and Courtney's, then went to Town Lake, where the guy behind the counter was really nice and reserved a three-person kayak for us. So we wandered around for 30 minutes, then came back and went kayaking which was an adventure. We were fine until we were on the opposite side of the river on the way back. The current kept sweeping us towards the riverbank despite our frantic paddling, and poor Courtney, who was in front, was attacked by overhanging branches. Twice. We made it back though!

Also when we were leaving, the guy said, "Oh, you don't have to wear the lifejacket, you just have to have it in the boat!" So like hell I was going to wear that thing, so I tossed it inbetween my legs while Courtney and Alicia put their's on. The guy watched them then said, "Nerd!" It was very funny.

Afterwards, we were going to go hiking up Mt. Bonnell and so Courtney printed out directions. We followed them to the letter and ended up in this super fancy neighborhood instead! It was uphill though... perhaps it was nearby and we missed it... Like good giver-uppers, we gave up.

We went to the Capitol, where I found Sam Houston's portrait and a portrait of E.J. Davis, who had to be chased out of office by the Texas Rangers and the newly elected Governor Coke because he didn't want to give up the position (and I just looked it up on wikipedia and it doesn't mention any of that!). I was laughing so much when I saw his portrait was actually up there. I would have figured they would quietly put it in the basement for perpetual "repairs" or some such. Courtney said Malibou Lamar's was somewhere. His two competitors "mysteriously" died before election. Fun with politics.

At the dorm we watched more Supernatural and sat around enjoying each other's company, then went out to eat Thai food at Madame Mam's Noodles and More (sounded promising, didn't it?). I've had Thai food before at a charming little restaurant in San Antonio called Jasmine's, and so convinced Courtney and Alicia to come try this one with me. A bit on the expensive side, but they had a huge plate and it was very good!

This morning, we went to Kearby Lane's again and I ordered a slice of my absolute favorite kind of cake, which I've never seen anyone serve before, that is, Italian Creme Cake, and it was utterly delicious. Especially after avacado black bean tacos. Mm-mmm. The waiter forgot to charge us for our drinks, too. I felt vaguely guilty though, so he got a $5.00 tip.

About that time, I headed back and made it without any undue difficulty, plus in only an hour. I found someone going 80 mph on the way home and just speed-tailed them most of the way on I-35.

Anyway. I had a very nice birthday. OH! Wow, I almost forgot the most exciting piece of news. On Friday or Saturday night, I forget which, I checked my status and I'm in! I'm officially admitted to University of Texas! I called Mike and Mare's house and got Mare, so I told her, and she was very excited. She told Mike and I hear in the background, "Cool". It was incredibly unenthusiastic, so I'm kind of glad I told it to Mare, who at least acted very supportive.

Bianca's birthday presents came in--two posters, one with a quote by Ray Bradbury (WONDERFUL!) and another with this quote: "The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking," by Christopher Morley.

That's it, I suppose! I have to research my topic for a persuasive speech on Tuesday (I should probably start that now, actually) on legalizing prostitution. I was going to do legalizing marijuana, but he was of the opinion marijuana was practically legal already (oookay, then!).

In the words of my cousin's friend, this is the last year I can be a teen mother!

You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
--Ray Bradbury
kitsjay: (Halloween Fun)
On the eleventh day of Halloween, my best ghoul gave to me, a picture of Winnie the Pooh )

I actually printed those out, bought a pack of Crayolas, and relived my childhood today at work.

In other news, Viva Laughlin was cancelled after only two episodes being shown, a cold front came through and we went from 93 during the day to 54, and Mike and I carved pumpkins.

He chose a ridiculously difficult stencil of Darth Vader. I chose a somewhat more simple Tigger. I say somewhat more simple because the printer wouldn't work, so Mike and I had to freehand the pictures from the computer onto the pumpkins.

They both look fantastic though, despite Mike mixing up his negative and positive spaces in one area and part of my Tigger's face breaking off. We lit them and Mike remarked, "It's good that pumpkin is such a forgiving medium."

I'll post pictures soon--of the pumpkins, and Kimberly.
kitsjay: (Default)
Dressing yourself in the mornings is such an accomplishment when you're a woman... )

In other news, Starbucks has released a new (limited time, I suspect) bottled coffee drink, Peppermint Dark Chocolate Frappuccino, which tastes as delicious as it sounds. With the first sip, you hold it in your mouth and wait, gradually sifting the chilly bite of peppermint, then the wash of decadent warmth that is dark chocolate, with just the slightest bitterness of coffee following. It's like drinking Christmas. With the first sip, I was fairly certain I had discovered the key to world peace, goodwill to man, and possibly the answer to where socks eaten by the dryer disappear to.

My brother Mike has recently become addicted to these drinks, though the vanilla flavor, so yesterday I brought two of this new flavor and put one in the fridge and gave him the other one. He fell in love, saying it was like drinking candy.

Anyway, he was having a miserable day yesterday, so instead of drinking the other one I bought for me, I put a note on his desk saying, "Mike, there's a drink for you in the fridge. Happy Thursday, Kitty" at the end of the day and left.

So this morning I get an email from him:

Hey Kittycat:

Thanks for the note and drink – it really made my day –I’ve been feeling ill all morning (I got up at five with a headache and queasiness)and a kind gesture has helped. If I don’t end up coming down withsomething we still will be on for tomorrow for X-files.

Thanks,
Mike


I'd forgotten how wonderful it feels to do a nice thing for someone.

In regards to the music I'm listening to currently, Mike had to make a rule a long time ago that I wasn't allowed to sing Christmas songs until after Thanksgiving, as I showed a penchant for humming them starting as early as July. The other day, he stopped and said, "What are you humming?"

"Winter Wonderland," I admitted guiltily.

"Kitty, you know the rule," he said.

Stef asked what rule and we explained. She looked at me askance and said, "It's sad that he had to make this rule up."

"What's even sadder," I replied cheerfully, "is how many times he's had to invoke it."
kitsjay: (leaf)
* Broke my 9 minute mile two days ago! It was 8:56, but still less than 9 minutes.

* Writing my research paper for Texas Government has been as amusing as it is appalling. My topic is the Texas Rangers, and the stories about them are hilarious. During the Mexican War, they were incredibly irregular and disorderly, pillaging and plundering like modern day pirates on land. The Mexicans (and some Americans) referred to them as "los diablos Tejanos", the Texas devils.

General Taylor used their fighting skills shamelessly, at one point telling them to go take a town and hold the line, planning to bombard the town with ammunition. The Texans ignored this and not only took the town, but overran its inner defenses too. Taylor was so annoyed he bombarded it anyway, figuring they'd get out of the way.

Then the Texans turned around and raided a town, and when Taylor ordered them to stop, the entire set of companies ignored him and kept on going. The regular army was so afraid of the Texas Rangers, Taylor had to rescind his order to stop and pretend that he wanted them to do it all along.

Just as he was about to get frustrated to no end with them, the Rangers told him that a drunken senorita let slip that there was a Mexican trap at Agua Nueva, and he should go to Buena Vista. Taylor did, winning a major victory and basically guaranteeing himself as president.

When he went to thank the Texas Rangers, though, they'd already gotten drunk in celebration, picked a fight with the regular army, and started a riot that took hundreds of state police and an entire troop of calvary to control.

Then, of course, there's the tale of the infamous Governor E.J. Davis, who took hold during Reconstruction and refused to leave office, so the new Governor, immediately after being sworn in, had to create the Texas Rangers just to take his rightful office. Governor Davis ended up sneaking out the window and leaving the state in disgrace.

I love Texas history.

* I went to see my niece yesterday! The new one, obviously. She's small and red and has dark blue eyes, like most babies. Mike said that when she was coming out, her forehead looked like a Klingon's and he was really worried they'd have to rename her Worf.

* Mike also saw the Batmobile two days ago, the old Adam West one, traveling on 1604. He called me up yesterday and asked me to e-mail Aaron (who's in Iraq right now), and "tell him about the baby, and the Batmobile!"

Apparently he called Matt yesterday and said, "The best thing just happened!"

And Matt said, "The baby was born?"

Mike replied, "No, better!"

Mary Ann was not as amused as we were.

* We just got a message on our answering machine that's this poorly recorded techno music. And it just keeps going! For like three minutes, it just goes on! So hilarious. No talking, no dialogue, just... music. And then it suddenly cuts out.
kitsjay: (leaf)
I'm an aunt again!

Kimberly Rose Jordan, born today, 7 pounds and change.

"Rose", by the way, is kind of weird. My great-grandmother's first name, grandmother's middle name, my mom's middle name, and my middle name is Etoy, which is from the Old French word for "rose". Supposedly I'm supposed to continue the actual Etoy line of descent, but considering I don't want children, I guess they're covering their bases.

And Kimberly. I don't really like it, but I suppose Kim wouldn't be too bad.
kitsjay: (bird)
I’ve been in a bit of a bitchy mood of late, so I’m seeking to (somewhat) remedy this by making a list of random things that annoy me so hopefully I can let it go:

1. The other day Mike said that I was predictably unpredictable. When all three of my brothers went to A&M, he said, it was natural that I decided to go to UT.

I hate how any action I make on my own is reduced to a reaction to something my brothers have done. I chose UT because it had the best liberal arts program, which is what I’m mostly interested in.

2. There is no neutral pronoun in the English language, so whenever I’m talking about the position of governor in Texas, I have to type out “his or her cabinet” or whatever. It’s very annoying. Someone should get to work on this.

3. My speech group has to do an informational speech on Tuesday, with each member speaking 1-2 minutes on one point of a main topic. Ours was DeBeers, so after class, I went to the library, pulled every book and magazine that had something to do with it. I organized a formal outline, broke the topic into four sections and listed a brief description of the pertinent information in each book, along with the title, author, and page number. Then I attached the outline to an email, sent it to all the group members, and said I’d take whatever point no one else wanted.

Only one person has replied: my cousin, Stef.

And now, for some things that are good to cheer me up:

1. My housing and admissions application is in, now I’m just waiting on a formal admittance.

2. I did a degree audit on the UT website, and it looks like all but one of my classes count towards my degrees, which is way better than I thought.

3. I’m super ahead on government. I think I can be done with the class entirely by September 27.

4. I haven’t spent any money recently, got a paycheck, and have a somewhat more substantial paycheck on the way in a couple of weeks.

5. Sean finally got accepted into the Houston Police Department! He’s moving in October, which means I finally have that side of the house to myself! I can box up his books and clothes, clean the place up, and hopefully paint it so that it looks way nicer than it does now. I’m very excited about this. I’m excited for him, but really looking forward to having some space, as well.

6. Mike instituted “X-Files Night” when everyone who can gets to his house on Fridays and watches X-Files. It’s very fun and relaxing and I love it.

7. I’ve lost more weight and am nearly down to 155. Speaking of which, “lost” is a stupid term in that context. Seriously. It implies I might find it again, or that I somehow miss it. From now on, I’m saying that I killed pounds because it’s closer to reality.

8. I’ve renewed my love affair with blues, swing, and jazz. I listened to Frank Sinatra, Michael Buble, and Charles Mingus all last night.

9. Torchwood premiered finally! Mom and Dad couldn't understand what the people were saying, but Sean and I like it.

10. One word (literally): fantabulous. How awesometacular a word is that? Use it and use it often.


AND I finally got around to uploading pictures from the Utah trip. They are here.

Threestory

Aug. 14th, 2007 03:41 pm
kitsjay: (leaf)
Short Story:

Chris's buddies came over, some of them at least, and the words "blackican American" and "fantabulous" were bandied about.

Went tubing at the river, got marginally sunburned, came back, got completely drunk. Good times had.

Chris and I went to see Stardust--awesometacular--and happy birthday, Chris! and he left today.

Funny Story:

At the river, I had my glasses on top of my head. A guy said something to Chris in passing, just a casual I-don't-know-you-but-hey kind of thing, and so I swam up to Stef and said, "Hey, Stef, I don't have my glasses on, is that guy cute?"

Stef looked up, grinned suddenly and nodded. "You mean the one right behind you? Yeah."

I dove under the water and came up on the other side of her tube.

She laughed. "Yeah, he heard you. Kind of smiled, waved, and moved on. You can stop being mortified."

"I'll wait a little longer."

HiStory:

THIS DAY IN HISTORY...... Sonny and Cher's "I Got You Babe" topped the charts and stayed there for three weeks.

Also in this day, 1953, the whiffle ball was invented.

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