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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Bet you didn't think you'd see me back here so soon!

My blogging buddy, Angela, tagged me to post six unspectacular quirks about myself. I realize you have already gotten to enjoy one post from me today, so just consider yourselves extra blessed :)

So here are the tag rules:
Link to the person who tagged you.
Post the rules on your blog.
List 6 unspectacular quirks you have.
Tag 6 bloggers by linking them.
Leave a comment on each taggee's blog to let them know they've been tagged.

1. My favorite chapstick is Vanilla Mint (Chapstick brand). I use it every day and only wear lipstick for special occasions.

2. I refused to eat Asian food until I was finally forced to try Pei Wei/PF Chang’s 3 or 4 years ago.

3. Brian and I have not one, but several make-believe friends. I will spare you the details for fear that you will think we are really strange :o).

4. I wish I could be paid to write.

5. My shirts are organized in my closet by color and sleeve length. I have successfully convinced Brian to maintain a somewhat similar order on his side of the closet… a small victory, but an important one indeed!

6. My favorite CD to sing along with in the car is Deana Carter’s “Did I Shave My Legs for This?”

I am a huge rebel, so I am not tagging anyone else. But feel free to copy and paste anyway!

Under my Angerella-ella-ella-hey-hey-hey…

Ok here’s my thought: instead of saying something is the greatest thing since sliced bread (which I’ll admit is a staple in my life), we should start saying it’s the greatest thing since DVR. If it weren’t for the magestic DVR, I would have missed not only the 2-hour premiere of Grey’s Anatomy, but also the one-hour premiere of The Office, AND the premiere of Desperate Housewives. Yes, I admit that I am addicted to all 3. In addition to Jon & Kate Plus 8 and Project Runway. The rest of our DVR is filled up with an assortment of bad movies from the 80s and some very strange cartoons that my husband records.

So anyway, as we were out of town this weekend for Sara and Clayton’s wedding (which was beautiful, by the way), we missed a few of our favorite shows, but now we are finally caught up and back in the loop. We had a great time in Dallas and while we were excited to help send the Callens off on their honeymoon to Maine, we were sad to see them go as we enjoyed getting to spend a whole weekend hanging out with them! But such is the nature of weddings, I guess, so I suppose we’ll continue living.

Funny moment from the wedding: the DJ announced that it was time for Sara and her dad to share a dance, and the music to “My Wish” by Rascal Flatts starts playing. Sara and her dad start dancing and everyone is “aww”ing and watching them on the dance floor. And then my husband leans over to me and whispers, “Every time I hear this song, I think of ESPN.” He then went on to explain his reasoning, but I think it’s safe to say that the explanation was really irrelevant as the comment pretty much spoke for itself. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, Brian is somewhat addicted to sports :o). And this is not at all related, but I think I should also let you know that one of his favorite smells is the smell that skunks make. Every time we’re on a road trip and catch the scent in the air, he takes a deep breath as one might do when smelling freshly baked cookies or flowers. Yes, I definitely married a boy.

And speaking of road trips, I hate Houston traffic with a fiery burning passion. We spent at least 18 years sitting on Beltway 8 while trying to get out of town on Thursday, until we finally decided to exit at I-10 and make our way over to I-45 (which was a wise decision, by the way). But don’t worry, there was some kind of freakish construction that put us basically at a standstill for 30 minutes outside of Madisonville. So to sum, our normal 4-hour journey lasted a delightful 5.5 hours. Brian announced that before our next long road trip, he is going to the doctor to get me some sedatives. I think that’s probably not a bad idea.

Is anyone else really incredibly excited that tomorrow is the first day of OCTOBER?! October is my 2nd favorite month (2nd only to May, my birthday month, duh) and is my favorite time of year. I have big plans to make, er, I mean suggest to Brian that we go pick out pumpkins for our front porch this weekend. I also plan on putting out all of my Fall-ish decorations, including my candles that smell like candy corn. And I should also let you know that I made 2 impulse purchases at Walmart this weekend: a giant tub of candy corn (because why the heck not?) and a package of slice and bake ghost cookies. Neither has a specific purpose, but who cares? And besides, I have a constantly hungry significant other that will have no problem consuming both purchases.

And most importantly, we are getting a cool front tomorrow! Granted, this means that the high will be 80 instead of 88, but hey, I’m not complaining. Pretty soon I’ll be using the seat heaters on a regular basis and wearing jackets into work! And by the way, tomorrow also means we are one month closer to November (aka: the month that I can start listening to Christmas music and Brian can’t stop me!) If you can’t tell, I’m having trouble containing my excitement. Happy almost October!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The Glory Days

I think it’s safe to say that I hit my “prime” in life in 5th grade. That’s right, when I was 10 years old. I don’t mean to say that it’s gone downhill from there, but all I’m saying is that I might not ever be as cool (or perceived as being as cool) as I was that year. Oh to go back to 1993…

I really don’t know if it was the massive glasses I sported, or the short bob hair cut, but I had some kind of magical combo going on that year. I had not one, but TWO boyfriends that year. And I might have had 3 if I had agreed to go to another boy’s football practice after school where he was allegedly planning on asking me to “go” with him. I got to have a solo number in the 5th grade play as Clementine (where potential boyfriend # 3 actually played the role of my father).

My BFF and I nicknamed ourselves “Salt and Pepper” during gym because we were always the first 2 girls picked for basketball. (side note: I later more or less ruined my image as a skilled b-ball player by shooting at the wrong basket during a game against one of our rival elementary schools.) I was a major goodie goodie (as in, made up poems for my teacher for fun during lunch with one of my other over-achieving friends), and as such, won major bonus points with Mrs. Nance. She liked me so much that she even invited me to come help her set up her classroom the following summer. Clearly, I was on top of the world.

And then came 6th grade and my coolness came to a screeching halt. I was attempting to grow out my bangs, and if you’ve ever grown out your bangs, you know it’s not pretty. I wore flower-printed jean shorts (no further explanation necessary). For the better part of the school year, I was still sporting those massive glasses from 5th grade, which had mysteriously ceased being cool. My boyfriend (who was a carry-over boyfriend from 5th grade… I liked keeping things long-term) dumped me on Halloween for a cuter girl who had attended a different elementary school. Ouch.

And if life wasn’t rough enough, my yearbook picture that year was so hideous that even my mom suggested I attend re-takes. The re-take was just as awful, but by a tragic twist of fate, they accidentally put my terrible original picture in next to the name Allison Nelson (my twin sis) and my slightly-less-horrible-but-still-really-unflattering picture next to my name. Sorry about that one, sis.

I have no idea how I survived that year, or how I managed to turn out relatively normal in spite of it. I guess it was God’s way of teaching me humility after my 5th grade peak. What about you? When did YOU peak?

Monday, September 22, 2008

I want a s'more.

Today’s title has nothing at all to do with today’s post. I just thought I should let y’all know that I have been craving a s’more for about a week now, and I really can’t seem to get over it. We have chocolate and graham crackers in our pantry, but have yet to remember to purchase any marshmallows, so for the time being, I am out of luck.

So I’d say our trip to the BCS was a success. Brian and I arrived there on Friday afternoon after what SHOULD have been a quick 1.5 hour trip. Well we made the mistake of stopping at Sonic (during Happy Hour, mind you) on our way out of town. It took 35 minutes. 35 MINUTES for a vanilla Dr. Pepper and a WATER. Meanwhile, the vans full of morbidly obese families to our left and right—who arrived after us, mind you—were served their beverages AND food while we waited. Ok maybe there was only one morbidly obese customer, but still. We (I) finally got fed up and pressed the order button (ok, I made Brian do it) to see what the deal was. Minutes later the world’s angriest and meanest looking Sonic car hop came rushing out with our complex order, apologizing while simultaneously insisting that it was a “madhouse” in there. How mad does a house have to be in order for it to take 35 minutes to fill up 2 cups with ice and beverages? Ok I’ll stop now, but seriously, it was very irritating.

So anyway, we met up with Shannon at the Chi O house, where I got to see her room (my old room) and re-live the glory days. I was shocked and offended to find that I am now so old that 2 of the 4 composites featuring my picture have now been moved upstairs. Risa and I were discussing the fact that when we lived at the Chi O house, all of the pictures upstairs seemed like they were from a really long time ago and that the girls in those pictures seemed way outdated. So apparently we are old news now. Bummer.

We went to Sweet Eugene’s with Shannon for a bit before meeting up with our friends Sarah and Jason for dinner at La Bodega. As per usual, I convinced Brian to share a burrito with me. Don’t get me wrong, I could easily consume my own. But I try to practice a little bit of portion control so that I don’t become one of those 800-pound women featured on TLC in shows called, “What it’s like to be gigantic” or something equally compelling. So anyway, dinner was amazing. I’m going to have to make sure that it’s not another 7 months before I eat it again.

Allison and Wade rolled into town later in the evening and we met them at Sweet Eugene’s (yes, again) with Risa, as well as Wade’s sister, Amy, and her boyfriend, Sam. Now that you know everyone’s names, I guess it’s safe to proceed. After we’d had our fill of pretending we were still cool college kids, Allison and I parted ways with the boys and headed to Risa’s for the night. She has a cute little duplex and was very sweet to let us stay with her. She even cooked breakfast for us on Saturday morning! Thank you, Reesy Weesy, for being such a wonderful hostess!

Saturday was spent as planned—shopping at less-than-stellar stores and cruising around our old stomping grounds. And yes, we did a little bit of eating. Ok a lot of eating. I blame Risa for the unlimited supply of Oreos and peanut M&Ms. Anyway, we met up with all of the game-goers (well, not the whole stadium, just the peeps we were with) for dinner at Casa Ole in Post Oak Mall. It is rare to find a place where you can eat after a football game in College Station without an extremely long wait, but somehow we managed to find a restaurant with no wait at all. Which probably doesn’t bode well for the quality of the restaurant, but oh well.

And here is the exciting part: after dinner, we made an obligatory stop at the Puppy Store in the mall. You can probably guess what they sell there. Well after a lot of peer pressure and about 5 seconds spent holding one of the little pups, Allison and Wade decided to take the plunge and become puppy-owners. They now have a new little pup named Rocky and he is really incredibly adorable. Go to her blog to see a pic. I am proud to be Rocky’s aunt, and can’t wait to play with him again soon!

Yesterday was spent church-ing and recovering from our weekend of fun. And by recovering, I mean grocery shopping, doing laundry, and cooking. Oh the joys of being an adult. We are headed out of town again this weekend—this time to Dallas for my sweet friend, Sara’s wedding! If you’re really lucky, I’ll post again before we leave town. Until then, have a great week!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Call me crazy

So I may or may not have used my seat heater today because the temperature was in the 60s. Those of you who live outside of Texas will call this lame. And I will call you a weather elitist.

Anyway, it was glorious. I think I want to move to a place where it feels like Fall all year round—suggestions? I’m back at work today, but I wouldn’t exactly call it back to normal. Our phones aren’t working, some of our doors aren’t working, and it is eerily empty and quiet since not all of the other companies in our building have come back to work. It is also not normal for traffic light cables to be hanging in the road, or for there to be 4+ hour lines at the gas station, or for Walgreens to be completely out of milk. Who buys milk at Walgreens anyway? Let’s be honest, though—I was really at Walgreens to buy candy, so I can’t really complain.

I wish I could say I had something other than Ike to blog about, but considering that most of the news stations are still covering it 24/7, I can’t really help but have it on the brain. We are making a trip to Aggieland this weekend, and I’m hoping that the hype will have fizzled out a little by the time we get back. However, if there are still more than a million people without power at that time, then I have a feeling it will still be making the news J

So about our trip to the B/CS—Brian and Wade will be attending the football game against Miami with their sisters, while Allison and I are gallivanting around town and partaking in more nostalgic activities, like eating Shake’s concretes and shopping at Post Oak Mall (it’s a great shopping place, puts a smile on your face…). And I can assure you that a meal at La Bodega will definitely be consumed during our visit.

I actually wouldn’t mind going to the game, but if the temperature were to rise above 85 degrees and if I was forced to stand for more than 5 minutes at a time, I probably wouldn’t provide the most enjoyable company to those around me, so I will play it safe and stay out of the stadium. But don’t worry, Ags, I will be rooting for you!

Speaking of the Aggies, have I ever mentioned how much I love it when people talk smack to me about A&M’s football team? Especially if they (a) didn't attend the school that we played against and (b) insinuate that our athletic record is indicative of our scholastic abilities. Yep, it’s true. Right up there with how much I love it when people don’t hold open doors for others, blatantly misuse grammar, and are embarrassingly rude to waiters or other people providing customer service. So as a friendly reminder this football season, please keep any negative Aggie comments to yourself :o). Thanks and gig ‘em.

Have a happy and hurricane-free week, friends!

Monday, September 15, 2008

I would say with certainty that we made it into that cone...

Yep, Ike sure did make landfall. But have no fear, the Joiners are alive and well! But wow, what a weekend it was. As I'm sure was the case for everyone else in the area, we didn't exactly get a lot of sleep on Friday night. The wind was SO loud- I have really never heard anything like it. I was fairly sure at one point that it was going to pick up our house and move it, or at least spin it around in circles a few times, but fortunately that was not the case.

Our power went out around 5 am, and as you can imagine, we didn't stay in bed too much longer after that before getting up for the day. It didn't take long for us to discover how utterly dependent we are on electricity. We spent a better part of the morning sitting in the dark staring out the window and debating whether or not to head out of town to a place where the Mexican food was abundant and the air conditioning was free flowing.

We let the dogs out once the winds had died down and they were pretty excited to have so many fallen branches to play with. They were not, however, excited about the RAT that had taken shelter on our porch next to their food bowls. And when I say rat, I want you to picture a small horse... it was huge. Maybe I'm exaggerating a little.

Anyway, I'm not sure whether it was the lack of A/C, the messiness of our yard, or the inability to watch the storm coverage on TV, but something sent me into a blind rage fairly early in the day. I stayed that way until mid-afternoon (lucky Brian) when we decided to go check out the church's youth building. It is an old portable building- not exactly the model of stability- and we were sure that it would be damaged, if not gone entirely. But fortunately, there was no damage and the power was still on! So we set up camp there, and spent the rest of the afternoon watching the news on the tv and playing the Wii to distract ourselves. Nothing makes your worries disappear quite like playing make believe sports.

Once we realized the power would not be coming back on for the night at our house, we decided to join Brian's parents and head to his grandparents' house in La Grange where a hot shower and an air-conditioned bedroom awaited us. It was magical. We got up the next morning (in hopes of beating the traffic brought on by the returning evacuees) and made it back to Richmond just in time to find that our power had been turned back on! Hooray!

We realize that we are very, very fortunate, as the news is showing that most of the area is still without power, and many places without water as well. There are pretty ridiculous lines at the gas stations and at the grocery stores- if I was selling gas, ice, and bread right now, I would be a rich woman.

Anyway, this is not a very exciting post, but I thought you all might be interested in hearing about how we "weathered" the storm. I think it's official that I don't want to go through any more hurricanes. And it's also official that I really. hate. raking. a. lot. Good thing I have a husband to do most of it, right? :o)

Peace out, Ike! Don't come back!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Bring it on, Ike.

So here we sit, hunkered down and glued to our tv screen in anticipation of Ike. Many of our neighbors have boarded up their windows, but being the rebels that we are, we are going to close the blinds and hope that does the trick. We have secured any "loose objects" outside (the dogs included) and are hoping that the wind doesn't knock any of our trees over onto our house. And we are also utilizing our garage (for something other than storage) for the first time since we moved in! My car is parked in there and "big blue" (as Brian refers to his truck) is in the driveway.

The storm isn't supposed to hit until late tonight, but work (finally) was cancelled for the day for me, and Brian doesn't work on Fridays anyway, so we have basically just spent the day watching the weather and sitting around. We did take the pups on a walk and clean the house, but other than that, we are just being lazy. Which is why I had the free time to change the layout of the old bloggy blog. Hope you like it!

I have discovered another hurricane term that I find amusing: "the dirty side" of the storm. Weathermen and city officials throw this out (along with the "cone of uncertainty") with such serious tones and it is hard not to laugh. It is easy, however, to laugh at the mayor of Galveston who is currently answering questions at a news conference. I realize her city is currently mostly under water, so I'm not saying she has no reason to behave this way, but home girl looks really ticked off. She reminds me of a very strict and unforgiving school secretary. Here's a pic of her. I wouldn't be surprised if she ate that poor dog after that picture was taken. Kidding. :o)

Anyway, I don't have much else exciting to report for the time being. Know that we are safe and sound (for now) here in Richmond! Brian picked up a few supplies yesterday- water and batteries, mainly. When he called to tell me this, my first question was, "No M&M's? No chips and queso?" Clearly he does not understand the true meaning of "hunkering down." Anyway, bring it on, Ike. We're ready for you.

Monday, September 8, 2008

The cone of uncertainty

I don’t know why, but this term really makes me laugh. It seems like they would come up with something a little more technical to describe the possible projected path(s) of a hurricane. It sounds more like the name of a sci-fi movie to me, but anyway. Yes, it’s that time again. Allegedly Hurricane Ike is (possibly) headed straight for H-town. I will admit that it is hard for me to take these storms seriously when there has been so much hype and so little bad weather associated with them in my area so far. But now that I say it, it will probably make a direct hit on Richmond, so I’m going to shut up now.

We/I had another fun weekend. After going shopping on Friday (no, I didn’t find any pants), we came back to the house and watched our most recent Netflix delivery—Schindler’s List. Very uplifting, let me tell you. We took a mid-movie break and had dinner at IHOP. Why, you ask? Because we secretly wish that we were 60 years old. And because nothing takes the edge off of a depressing movie quite like a short stack of pancakes. But really it's because we have had a gift card to IHOP for 6 months now and have yet to use it, so we thought it was about time. Brian literally stuffed his face and consumed more food in his dinner (breakfast) than he does in a normal day. I watched in awe and jealousy, knowing that if I had done the same, I would have easily woken up the next morning weighing 15 extra pounds. But don’t worry, I still enjoyed my eggs and pancakes.

On Saturday I made a quick trip to Dallas for my friend Sara’s bachelorette party. Sara and I go waaaay back to our freshman year at A&M when we were Chi O pledge sisters. She and her sister Haley are two of the nicest and most genuine people you will ever meet, so we (Allison and I) had a lot of fun sharing a hotel room with and catching up with them. The hotel we stayed at was really cool, and get this—at the hotel, you have the option of having a complimentary goldfish brought to your room to keep you company. No, I am not making this up. And yes, we definitely took advantage. We named our little friend Clayton after Sara’s fiancée—he was the life of the party for sure :o) The party was fun- Sara got a lot of cute things and we all ate a lot of food. The end.

On my plane ride back yesterday, I sat next to a very delightful little boy. And by delightful, I mean that he was picking his nose HARDCORE and yes, eating it. AND he was wiping the grease off of the top of his pizza and licking it (prior to the nose picking, but I’m not sure if that makes it any less gross). The flight was crowded so he was separated from his parents, so I’m just hoping that he would have not gotten away with that had they been there. I kept thinking about how I was breathing all of his recycled air and it made me want to vomit on his comic books, but I refrained. Looks like I’m not ready to be a mom yet, huh? Or at least not to an 8-year-old boy.

And by the way, we found out this morning that Baby Wheeler # 3 is a boy! Now Brown will have a little brother to play with, and as Brian put it, he will also have someone else to help him torment Emma now! Hopefully they won't pick their noses and lick pizza grease off their fingers on airplanes. I'd like to think Ford & Elizabeth will teach them better :o) But anyway, I’ll let you know once Baby Boy Wheeler has a name!

Ok I think that’s about all I have for right now. Have a great week, peeps!

Friday, September 5, 2008

I can’t decide if this makes me sound racist or just hungry?

So yesterday as I was merging onto the freeway on the way home from work, I noticed that the Sugar Land Town Square billboard had been changed. There was a big stamp (more or less) on the corner that said, “Welcome home Lopez family!” And what was my first thought? That we were getting a new Mexican food restaurant in Town Square. Um. What is wrong with me? In my defense, there is a very tasty Mexican food restaurant named Lopez just outside of Sugar Land, so I thought maybe they were opening up another one. But in actuality, they were welcoming home the Lopez family (who lives in Sugar Land) from the Olympics (3 of the kids in the family participated). And the sad part is that when I realized what the sign was really about, I was a little disappointed that there would, in fact, be no new restaurant.

Brian and I have big plans to go shopping after I get off work today (did I mention half-day Fridays are the greatest idea EVER?). It was totally Brian’s idea and I’m just tagging along. Or the opposite—you be the judge. I need to buy some new pants because I am bored with the ones I have, and I figure it would be nice to have a new pair or two for the Fall. However, I realize that what I need to tell Brian is the following: “I am mainly going to buy pants, but if I see anything else that catches my eye, I will probably want to try it on. And I will likely want to go into stores that don’t sell pants as well.” I have found that if I don’t use this disclaimer, then some pouting and some righteous indignation will ensue as soon as I insist that we go into the candle store when I have previously declared we are on a mission to find pants.

Some other exciting news—my older sister finds out on Monday morning what baby #3 will be! In case you weren’t already in the know about my extended family, she and her husband already have Emma, the cutest 3-year-old ever, and Brown, the cutest almost-2-year-old ever. So now that they already have one of each, it will be interesting to see what comes out next! She isn’t due until January, but it will be exciting to put a gender and a name with my sister’s baby bump :o) It’s a bummer not to live in Austin anymore because I hardly get to see the kiddos, but you better believe I’ll be making some extra trips that way once this next one arrives.

And today, you lucky readers, you, I will be leaving you with a townie fun fact… but this time, it’s a Sugar Land fun fact! I figure since I work in SL, I might as well give it some love (courtesy of this website):

Sugar became a part of life in the area when S. M. Swinson, captain of a small freight boat, made a meandering journey along the United States coast from New York to Velasco. Along the journey, commodities were picked up at various points and dispensed of as the journey proceeded. One of the stops was Cuba, and as it happened, it was during the height of sugar cane season. A small load of sugar cane stalks was taken on board and later delivered to Samuel M. Williams.

The next time Swinson came to the area, he saw sugar cane growing "as high as a man on a horse" and immediately returned to Cuba to purchase more stalks. Soon after, a mill was built to squeeze the juice from the stalks. Today, the present refinery is located approximately on the spot where the first mill was built.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Men are from Mars

So I started to write a blog this morning detailing my current frustrations and pet peeves. Consider yourselves fortunate that I stopped myself from posting it :o) But I am now in a better mood (and I think they even bumped the office thermostat up a degree to 51 degrees instead of 50- halleluiah!), so I decided I’d give blogging another go.

First of all, you should all know that Saturday (9/6) is Grandparents’ Day. Brian and I took my dad’s parents out to dinner last night to celebrate, and much fun was had by all. Believe it or not, we ate Mexican food, and believe it or not, I overdosed on tortilla chips. Some things never change. Anyway, make sure you celebrate as well. Saturday is ALSO Youth Worker’s appreciation day! In order to honor my Youth Minister husband, I am ditching him to go to a bachelorette party in Dallas. But don’t worry, I didn’t forget about him- I am leaving him a gift certificate (that I earned, mind you) for a free large pizza from Papa John’s to consume in my absence. Now that’s love.

Speaking of my husband, I just have to share this morning’s amusing experience with you in which I felt like a proud mom on my son’s first day of Kindergarten. We went to the YMCA this morning for our bi-weekly work-out together. Usually Brian is waiting for me when I finish on the elliptical (most likely anxious to leave), but today he wasn’t in his usual spot. I scanned the room and noticed him over by the weights… chatting with another guy who looked to be about our age. This is unusual for many reasons (ok 2 reasons): 1. Brian is not so much a morning person, and isn’t exactly the type to be social before the hour of, oh, say, noon. 2. The only people that work out at our YMCA are old! I’m talking like 60+ years of age here, people.

Anyway, so once he had finished chatting and joined me for our walk home, I of course had to inquire about his interaction with this stranger. He then let me know that while he was working out, he heard these 2 other guys talking about football, and they happened to bring up the Aggies. Like a moth to a flame, he could not help but join in on the conversation. That would be like expecting me not to jump in on a conversation about blogging. Or eating. Or being a townie. Or cockroaches. Or, let’s be honest, anything, really.

So anyway, Brian and these two guys got to chatting about the ins and outs of football (I won’t pretend to know or care about the details), and one of them even invited him to join their fantasy football league! Substitute these men for 5-year-old boys and substitute the fantasy football invite to trading fruit snacks in the cafeteria and I think you’ll see why I felt the way I did. Brian probably hates me for thinking this interaction was “cute,” but hey, you said your vows and now you are legally and morally stuck with me… sweetie :o)

Who knows? Maybe these guys will become Brian’s new BFFs. Let's just hope they have cool wives for me to hang out with. Looks like the YMCA is good for more than we thought!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor-free Weekend

So who else thinks every work week should start on Tuesday? It’s amazing how rested I feel with just one extra day of sleep/lounging around. Maybe I’ll start and circulate an e-mail chain letter claiming that if x # of people sign my petition, then we can get the work week changed to Tuesday-Friday. Because chain letter petitions are the best way to make a change, right? Right.

Labor Day weekend 2k8 was a good one, I must say. Allison and Wade came to Richmond on Friday night to get the weekend started. After a few rounds of Guitar Hero, I was dizzy and ready for bed. Something about that game messes with my equilibrium and makes me want to vomit, and yet I keep going back. Guess it’s a good thing I’ve never gotten into drugs. Anyway, we got up on Saturday morning and after a few more rounds of Guitar Hero, we packed up the car and headed for Brian’s family’s bay house in Palacios, Texas (pronounced “Puh-lash-us,” which really strikes at the heart of the Spanish major in me).

Because the house is for sale, the family hasn’t been there in quite some time, so we knew before arriving that the house might not necessarily be in working order. Fortunately, all of the major things were working—water, electricity, air conditioning… for the most part. We spent the first hour or so disposing of bugs/bug remains/bug droppings—a delightful way to start any vacation, right? But it really wasn’t so bad considering all of the bugs were dead.

We spent the weekend playing Guitar Hero (see a theme here?), playing games, eating, and avoiding the plague of mosquitoes that awaited us outside. A few things you should know about playing games with the Olivers/Joiners:

Brian is extremely competitive. It doesn’t matter if we officially keep score or not, he will always know his standing, and will make sure to remind you of it if he happens to be winning. Also, just FYI, in case you ever play Rummikub with him, you should know that he will try to see through the tiles and pick the ones he needs. I won’t use the “cheater” word, but consider yourself warned.

Wade does not appreciate your pity. Taboo might not be his strongest game (in one round he scored a whopping one point in 60 seconds), but he would rather you berate him than say something like, “See, Wade, you’re improving!” He is also the most likely to misspeak and unintentionally end up saying something inappropriate (ie: “Ok Brian, this is a game we play where I touch you with my hand!” Umm… keep it clean, Wade).

Allison is not the world’s best guesser, and will insist that “short bedtime” is a perfectly rational guess when the word you are acting out is quite clearly “nap.” She also doesn’t really like games that involve cards or any form of thinking. She said so herself.

Believe it or not, I have rage issues. It is not really fun to be my partner in games because I will almost always blame you if we lose. I am also the one most likely to make really off-color jokes in the game of “Apples to Apples.” I made myself laugh until I cried twice because of the cards I used. I won’t share the specifics with you because then you will judge me, trust me.

Anyway, we ended up coming back to Richmond earlier than planned on Sunday evening (rather than Monday morning) because our sleeping arrangement (4 people on one giant couch) was a little less than ideal. There was actually plenty of room for all of us, but Allison and I stayed up most of the night fearing that some of the dead bugs would be resurrected and attack us in our sleep. Wade had trouble sleeping as well, but Brian (aka: the log) was dead asleep the whole evening. No surprise there.

I plan to spend this next week recovering from the weekend’s festivities by not eating anything. Somehow all eating “rules” go out the window when it’s a holiday weekend and I now feel well on my way to morbid obesity. But it’s not often that I throw caution to the wind and stuff my face repeatedly with handfuls of Marshmallow Matey cereal, so I figure it was worth it.

And by the way, I’m going to confess that last night I had a dream that I hung out with this stranger whose blog I read… I have never communicated with her in my life, but in my dream we were practically best friends. Perhaps I spend a little too much time on here…? Oh well, better than dreaming about work, if you ask me!

Happy September, everyone—we are one month closer to Christmas!