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Friday, January 29, 2010

Giving sorority girls a good name since 2001

When I was in college, I had the privilege of serving as the Vice President of my sorority, the one and only Chi Omega. I actually ended up working for that same sorority for my first year out of college, but that’s another story for another time. Anyway, as the VP, I was in charge of overseeing the chapter’s scholarship efforts. This meant that I tracked grades, encouraged good study habits, and a few other boring tasks that basically paled in comparison to the fact that if the President were to die, I would have been in charge. But for many reasons, not the least of which being the fact that the President, Risa, was/is one of my good friends and eventual roommates, I’m glad that she did not die :)

Moving along, one of the events that I was in charge of was the Professor Dinner. Basically we encouraged all members to invite one of their professors to dinner at the Chi O house… hence the very creative and catchy title of the event. If the thought of having to hang out with your professor one-on-one was too intimidating, then it was also an option to get a group of girls who also had that same professor and all invite him/her together.

Essentially, if you aren’t catching my drift, the whole point was to suck up to your professor by giving him/her a free dinner. But at the time, it didn’t seem quite so shameless.

So anyway, on the evening of the dinner (catered by the prestigious Olive Garden… before it burned down… because that’s about as fancy as it gets in College Station), in addition to inviting my own professor for dinner, I was also responsible for helping to greet professors as they arrived and directing them to their respective students.

So I dutifully stood by the front door, flashing a smile and doing my best to warmly usher in the somewhat apprehensive professors. Occasionally, a professor would arrive whose respective student had not yet arrived, and so I had the pleasure of making small talk until that person showed up. Not a problem, right? I’m great at small talk, and also pretty good at brown-nosing people of authority.

Or so I thought.

In walks this short little man, and so I asked him who had invited him to the dinner (please note that this probably would have been a good time to ask him WHAT HIS NAME WAS). Upon realizing that his student had not arrived yet, I began to make conversation. I discovered that he was a history professor, that it was his first year teaching at A&M, and that he and his wife had just had a baby earlier that year. How sweet.

I responded that I was actually taking a history class that semester myself, and the conversation went a little like this:

Professor: Oh really? Which class are you taking?
Me: World History 107 (or whatever it was).
Professor: So how do you like the class?
Me: Well to be honest, the class is pretty boring. And it wouldn’t be quite so bad if my professor wasn’t so mean! I swear she is angry all the time and just takes it out on her students.
Professor: Hmm, what’s her name?
Me: Professor (whatever her name was). Do you know her?
Professor: (smiles) That’s my wife.

Oops. This is the point were I started backpedaling as quickly as possible and clarifying that by “mean” and “angry,” I really just meant that she was very structured and had high standards for her students. And by “boring,” I meant to say that the material was a little over my head because OBVIOUSLY I’M AN IDIOT.

He didn’t seem terribly offended, but as you can imagine, the conversation pretty much came to an abrupt halt at that point. And I have no doubt that he went home and told his wife (whom I had not invited to the dinner, mind you) what I said. And while I took comfort in the fact that he never caught my name, I have a feeling that they probably didn’t have a ton of trouble putting two and two together being that I wore Chi Omega shirts to class virtually every day.

And in my defense, the reason I thought she was mean is because she one time interrupted her class to reprimand Allison, a friend, and I for being distracting in class. In college. Because apparently we’re 12. So I guess that really isn’t in my defense, but come on, I’m sorry if your class was so boring that drawing pictures of you and/or doing crossword puzzles was more entertaining, ok?

And I just have to state for the record that I was actually a very good student and even managed to get an A in her class. So in case this blog sounds like the vengeful ramblings of a stupid sorority girl, I wanted to make sure and clarify that that was not the case. I actually liked school. I’m a loser. The end.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

At least now I know how to create a distraction if I ever decide to rob the Y

This story really isn't all that exciting, so I'm just going to jump right in so as not to waste anyone's time:

So yesterday morning when we arrived at the Y, I hopped onto my favorite treadmill to find that whoever had used it before me had left his/her ipod shuffle behind. After I finished my run, I very dutifully took the lost item to the front desk to turn it in.

And can I just pause here to tell you that I seriously get a huge kick out of doing “the right thing”? For the duration of my 30-minute workout, I was silently praying that no one would come claim the ipod while I was working out so that I would have the satisfaction of walking it over to lost and found myself. For some people, bungee jumping and sky diving gets their adrenaline going; for me, it’s obeying the rules. I am a loser.

Anyway, the usual 5:30 am entourage of octogenarians was clustered in the front lobby chatting, and while I really don’t even know if any of them actually work there, I can only assume that at least one of them has some sort of authority being that they are the only people guarding the front desk when we arrive and leave.

So I proudly held out the ipod shuffle and said, “This was left on my treadmill—is there some kind of lost and found where I can turn it in?” I waited expectantly for them to applaud my good deed, or at least for them to smile fondly at this young good Samaritan as they pointed me towards the lost and found. But sadly, all I received was a collective look of bewilderment.

Baffled. All of them. It was as if I was holding a rock from the moon (are there rocks on the moon?). I informed them that it was an ipod shuffle, and while they nodded their heads knowingly and pointed me toward the person to give it to, I heard the ensuing conversation in which one of the (obviously more hip) old women informed the rest of the crew just what exactly an ipod shuffle was.

Brian suggested that had I been holding out a phonograph, they might have been quicker to understand the gravity of the situation… perhaps I’ll try that next time to get more of a reaction.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Wild and crazy Friday night

Have I ever mentioned how glamorous the life of a youth minister's wife is? Take, for example, my plans for this wonderful Friday night. While Brian is attending the church's vestry retreat, I just painted my toes, ate a homemade chicken taco for dinner, and am now in the middle of watching Thursday night's recorded episode of Project Runway. Future plans include taking a bath and getting in bed by 9 pm.

Exhilarating, I know.

So what better way to spice up my evening then to comply with a recent tag given to me by Desiree? I thought you might agree, so now, for your reading pleasure, enjoy my top 8's (or at least the ones I picked from the tag anyway):

8 TV shows I watch:
1. Glee (new favorite)
2. Desperate Housewives (don't judge)
3. Parks and Recreation
4. The Office
5. 30 Rock
6. Project Runway
7. The Biggest Loser
8. American Idol
(Can you tell my Thursday nights are busy?)

8 favorite places to eat and drink:
1. Hula Hut (Austin)
2. Z'Tejas (Austin)
3. Sandy McGee's (Richmond)
4. Gringo's (Richmond and H-town)
5. Panera (everywhere)
6. El Tiempo (H-town)
7. Pappasito's (H-town)
8. Chili's... I live for their chips and queso and hamburgers, ok?

8 things I look forward to:
1. Being a mommy one day
2. Our upcoming trip to Nashville
3. Being finished with my Junior League provisional year!
4. Visits with my fam throughout the Spring
5. Celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary- and many more!
6. Getting to see my dad, niece, and nephew tomorrow
7. Getting to meet my fourth niece/nephew in July
8. The return of Glee in April!

8 things that happened (I did) yesterday:
1. Worked out at the YMCA
2. Read my Bible Study book outside during my lunch break
3. Ate a quesadilla (prepared by Chef Brian) for dinner
4. Threw a temper tantrum and hid in the closet... sometimes you just need to act like you're 5
5. Sent someone a surprise in the mail
6. Interviewed applicants, aka: what I do every day
7. Made myself a s'more (inspired by a gmail chat convo with Chrissy)
8. Ate too much candy... again

8 things I have learned from the past (some serious, some not):
1. God is not limited by our circumstances.
2. Baking power and baking soda are not the same thing.
3. Relationships (friendships and otherwise) are not all meant to last.
4. Your college GPA, as much as it pains me to say this, really does not matter.
5. The most effective way to influence a person is to set an example yourself.
6. Life is really not like it is in the movies... still learning this one!
7. Don't ever make fun of small towns or you will inevitably end up living in one.
8. Always make sure you look your best... you never know who you might meet on the bus :)

I'm not tagging anyone in particular, but if you are reading this and haven't already done it, consider yourself tagged!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

HUGE Townie Update

For those of you who are true Rich-Rose townies, you are already well aware that Monday night quite possibly brought Richmond/Rosenberg the nation-wide fame that it has always deserved.

I know what all of you non-townies are thinking: “Did you finally receive recognition for having the highest cockroach:people ratio ever?” or perhaps, “Did you set a record for the greatest number of dollar stores per capita?” To answer your questions, no and no.

Remember in this post when I told you about Bob’s Taco Station? And remember how I also mentioned that Bob’s was going to be featured on Food Network on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives with Guy Fiere in January? Well guess what just so happened to air at 9 pm CST on Monday night??

I know, it’s a lot to take in, so I’ll give you a minute to really soak in all of the excitement.

Finished yet?

The show did not disappoint, as Guy filmed the intro right there on highway 90 in all of its ugly glory. Downtown Rosenberg is many things, but unfortunately, beautiful is not one of them. But anyway, Bob himself talked about the history of the restaurant and one of his nephews gave a wonderful play-by-play of how their most famous dishes are made.

It was all pretty magical, but there was just one part of the show that did not sit well with me (literally and figuratviely, you will soon see): the number of times that Bob’s nephew used the word “LARD” when listing the ingredients of their authentic recipes. And not only did he have to repeatedly say the word “lard,” but the filming crew also made sure to get a wonderful close-up view of the lard as it was being tossed into the tortilla batter.

Listen, I am well aware that Mexican food is not exactly known for its superior nutritional value. But do you really need to give us such a grotesque visual of what my insides will look like after I’ve eaten it? And does the ingredient really have to be called “lard”? When I hear that word, I imagine a really sweaty fat man jiggling his belly around. Doesn’t exactly make me want to cruise down Highway 90 to pick up a taco.

But I should also mention that you would be surprised how quickly my brain rebounds from being grossed out, because the minute they displayed the finished product (a tortilla) on the tv screen, I was drooling and plotting when I could next get my hands on one.

Perhaps I should take lessons from Jillian on how to pretend I’m grossed out by food that is “bad” for me?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The joys of being uptight

It probably comes as no surprise to you that I am slightly obsessive compulsive. Dishes in the sink make my heart race, pillows out of place on the bed make me uneasy, and let’s please not even discuss how I feel when cabinet doors are left open or the light is left on in the pantry. With the help of my extremely laid back husband, I have learned to let some things slide off my back more easily, but for the most part, I am still wound just as tightly and allow even the tiniest things to upset me.

And not just upset me as in “ugh, that’s annoying,” but more like upset me as in “I THINK I AM GOING TO INFLICT PAIN UPON SOMEONE IF THE THROW BLANKET IS NOT FOLDED UP AND PUT IMMEDIATELY BACK IN ITS PLACE.” I am the model of rationality, I know.

Add in the fact that I am slightly territorial, and I am basically a ticking time bomb. Which brings me to today’s major point of frustration: someone stole my parking spot. Technically, we do not have assigned parking spots at work. Other than the visitors’ spots, employees can pretty much park wherever they want. On a side note, at my last company, the supervisors were all assigned the closest spots and the rest of us had to fend for ourselves, which I think was a great way to create animosity between employees and their bosses, by the way.

So anyway, we do not have assigned spots, but for the most part, everyone generally parks in the same place. I arrive at work approximately 15 minutes early, so there are usually not a ton of other cars in the lot, which generally means that “my” place is free for the taking.
But occasionally, this one other person happens to beat me to work, and EVERY SINGLE TIME, he parks in “my” space. And I have to admit that every single time I pull into the lot and notice it, my blood pressure rises and rage builds within me. And yes, I am fully aware that this is a slightly unreasonable response, but it literally makes me fume.

And here is the part where I should realize that I am being ridiculous and vow to make a concerted effort not to get upset when “my” spot is taken, or to (gasp) actually try parking somewhere different every day so that I don’t get too attached to one particular space. But I’m sorry, folks, this is not that kind of blog. Instead, I will spend the first half hour of work silently stewing and plotting ways to steal back my space during the lunch break. Because personally, I think that the passive aggressive approach is usually the healthiest.

Also, in case you didn’t already read about it on facebook, I somehow forgot to wear earrings today. And yes, I realize that this should not be a big deal, but this has never happened to me… ever. And I will admit that I had brief thoughts of asking Brian to drive the 26-mile roundtrip to bring a pair to me at work. Yes, it’s official—I am insane.

Oh, and this is only kind of related, but the other day, I accidentally put my underwear on backwards (not inside out) and wore it that way for 6 hours before I realized my mistake. Perhaps I need a vacation? I guess it's a good thing we are Nashville-bound in 2.5 weeks!

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Surprise! New bloggy layout... enjoy!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

I'm only posting out of blogger's guilt.

Alright so let’s talk about The Biggest Loser. I admittedly was distracted during last week’s premiere, so last night’s episode was really my first glimpse into the season. Just a couple of thoughts:

1. I heard one of the contestants talking about how he has just “sat back” and “let this happen” to himself for too long. I hate to sound harsh here, but weighing 500 pounds doesn’t exactly just happen to a person. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I would imagine that being that overweight takes some real effort. I am not trying to belittle his struggle, but I would just like for him to own up to his responsibility in the matter. My compassion is overwhelming, I know.

2. And really, Jillian, was the burrito so disgusting that you had to spit it out? I think you’re being a tad dramatic. Let’s be honest, you were probably dying to eat that burrito and likely went back to the trash can later when the crew was done filming to fish it out and eat it. Or at least that’s what I have done. Because we all like to talk about how fast food is so gross (and yes, it is horrible for you), but I think I’m not alone in admitting that watching that clip really made me crave Taco Bell.

And that’s about all I have to say about TBL for the moment.

On to other news—Brian was out of town on Monday and Tuesday and I spent one whole evening all by myself. All of you other married peeps out there know that, no matter how resourceful and independent you might be, it is still scary to spend a night at home alone when you are used to having your full-time body guard around.

Normally I would have wallowed in self-pity and written a post about how you should all feel sorry for me (and bring me ice cream). However, I have heard a lot of people talking lately about how it’s not very smart to post when you will be (a) out of town or (b) home alone on facebook, blogs, etc. because it is basically an invitation for stalkers and creeps to pay you a visit.

So I kept my mouth (computer?) shut and suffered silently. I’m pretty sure I deserve some kind of medal. But really when I was thinking about, it seems a little egotistical for me to think that just because I blog about being out of town (or Brian being out of town), that someone would want to try and break into my house and steal all of my stuff. Because really, what would they be after? Our new plug-in cockroach killer? Not likely.

Although for the record, I have not seen a dead cockroach in the house since we received this wonderful gift for Christmas from Brian’s grandparents. And I’m not superstitious or anything, but you better believe that I just knocked on some wood right after typing that. Because you can never be too cautious when it comes to pest control, you know.

Ok this post is officially boring* and officially over. So… bye.

*Just so you know, I’m fully aware that self-deprecation is just a defense tactic that I employ so that, in the event that readers really do think this post is boring, I can act like I anticipated it all along and therefore am not offended. But I think we all know I will still be offended. And I'm ok with admitting that, because I know that all of you can relate :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Winter weather advisory: beware of side effects

If you're wondering why I haven't blogged for the past couple of days (you weren't), it's because I have turned into a snowman and no longer have the use of my fingers.

And I am certainly not complaining, because you might remember that this past summer was so disgustingly hot that it made me want to run over myself (and the weatherman) with my car, but it was allegedly 15 degrees here yesterday. I really and truly do love cold weather, but unfortunately my body was not designed to function fully at temperatures below 30 degrees, so I have been waiting for my brain to thaw before gracing the internet with my presence.

Thankfully Brian's normal Sunday night youth group routine has resumed, which means my Sunday night "sit on the couch and do nothing worthwhile" routine is also back in full effect. So while he is youth ministering, I am bundled up in a blanket on the couch and jamming out to "Party in the USA." And if you're wondering what song that is, or if you think I'm strange for liking it, then we can't be friends anymore and you should probably stop reading now.

And now for your reading pleasure, I would like to share with you two strange phenomenons I have noticed lately:

1. I have always thought it was really amusing when commercials for medications list "death" as a possible side effect. No, it's not amusing to me that medication can cause someone to die. But rather, I just think it's amusing that they classify it as a "side effect."

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but death isn't exactly just a mild adverse reaction, like drowsiness or an unexplained rash. I'm wondering if they just list it as a side effect so that if someone were to die as a result of taking the medication, the manufacturer couldn't get in trouble for it. "Unfortunately we lost Grandma last week after she took a Benadryl and never woke up. But hey, the commercials said that might happen!"

(cue fake comment from a Benadryl customer service representative written by my dad here...)

2. On an unrelated note, I have noticed lately that Church's chicken is advertising that they are now serving their "livers and gizzards" platter. Please excuse me while I VOMIT ALL OVER THE PLACE. I want to know who willingly orders and then consumes a meal referred to as "livers and gizzards." I would just as soon order the "human waste" combo. Seriously.

If I were the marketing rep for Church's (wouldn't that be a fun job?), I think I would steer clear of advertising anything with the name "gizzards" and focus more on the mashed potatoes and drumsticks.

If you ask me, this meal should also list death as a possible side effect.

(and cue fake comment from a Church's customer service representative written by my dad here...)

That's all I have for you today on this lovely (and frigid) Sunday afternoon. And after re-reading what I just wrote, I'm wondering whether or not my brain really did have the chance to finish thawing. Oops.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Scratch that.

So apparently Allison got the exact same comment that I received on her blog this week… which means that I did not, in fact, receive any type of compliment regarding my writing. The upside is that now that I realize that comment was from a spammer, I can judge the terrible grammar without sounding like an ungrateful jerk, right? :)

Anyway, for the sake of having something else to write about, I would like to admit that I called Brian on the phone last night while we were sitting 3 feet away from each other. And we might or might not have also been gmail chatting on our respective laptops at the moment.

It wasn’t totally purposeless, however: in his latest youth group newsletter, Brian included a contest that had close-up pictures of 4 different eyes belonging to 4 of the youth group members that required you to guess to whom each eye belonged. He also stated at the bottom that the first person to call him with the correct answers would win a cheeseburger at his expense.

Well sadly, no one has even attempted to enter the contest, and in case you haven’t met me yet, then let me take this moment to inform you that there are few things in the world that I am more passionate about than free food. Even if it’s coming from my husband that already pays for my food.

And also, can we please all agree to ignore the fact that I actually helped him create the contest questions, so I already knew all of the answers?

Anyway, I called him to make my contest entry official, and guess what… I answered all of the questions correctly! I expected applause, but all I received was an exaggerated eye roll. And when I asked about my free cheeseburger, he reminded me that he actually cooked the hamburger that I had eaten earlier in the evening for dinner, so my prize had already been redeemed. I know, I know—it’s totally unfair!

Don’t worry, though, my quest for free food will not be in vain because our DQ gift card from Christmas still has not been redeemed. Hello, weekend plans!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Thanks!!... I think?

I received an anonymous comment the other morning on my very first blog post ever written (back in August of 2007). Typically if I get comments on older posts, they are usually from some kind of spammer saying something really intriguing like, “You have great site. I like very much the content.”

This one, however, appeared to be a legitimate comment from an actual human! The comment stated:

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

My first thought was, “Wow, thanks! How very kind!” And then I re-read the part about “your older articles are not as good” and that’s where the “… I think?” portion of this post’s title comes from.

Not to worry, Anonymous, I know you meant well, so I won’t take the slight at my older content personally. And I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following for the supposed increased entertainment value of my posts:

- the city of Richmond (and Rosenberg)
- cockroaches
- Dairy Queen
- Buster and Noah
- the countless businesses out there that practice terrible customer service
- my husband

…without all of which I would have nothing to write about.

Anyway, Anonymous, thanks for the compliment and I hope you continue reading. But I do have one question… why were you reading my blog at 5:10 in the morning? If I didn’t know better, I would guess that you were my dad. But truth be told, if this comment did come from my dad, it would look a little more like this:

Dear Member,

We are very pleased to see that you have stuck with your commitment to blog for over 2 years now, and very much appreciate you choosing as your blog host. Upon conducting a review of your past content, we are delighted to inform you that your writing has improved greatly, because in the past, your posts were a bunch of crap.

Happy new year and happy blogging,

David Smith Customer Service Specialist

Don’t believe me that his sense of humor is just that predictable? Then take Allison’s word for it.