Life is Busting out ALL Over!

Archive for the ‘Tejas’ Category

Somehow, during last 12 months, which have been the most changed filled of my life, I found myself.

I have also found my way home, this life. My heart is full, my cup runneth over. I am content.

For all of it, I am thankful.

Wishing all a very Happy Thanksgiving!!


1. 500 days of summer

GO SEE IT!!!! Seriously. Like right now. Go!


I had been waiting and listening to the soundtrack on the website for WEEKS.  I watched the trailer every day,  I cheered every time the trailer came on TV, and I’m sure the boy was all “What the hell have I gotten myself into? This girl CHEERS for movie trailers yet I don’t even watch TV, heck I even listened to the 2008 election on the RADIO. Maybe if I tell her that she  is adorable when she cheers for the trailer, she’ll stop… Nope, that just made her cheer LOUDER. Crap, I think I’ll go run 20 miles barefoot”.

The boy and I got tickets for opening night here in Austin and Friday morning I suddenly became TERRIFIED.

I realized that I had reached the point in which there was NO possible way the movie would ever live up to the expectations I had set for it in my head.  I was pissed at myself (this tends to happen a lot) and then suddenly mortified because I was dragging another person along with me, someone who incorrectly kept referring to it as a chick flick.  P’shaw!! As IF!! I couldn’t wait to prove him wrong, until the terror took over. What if it sucks? It could taint my ability to make decisions, to make decisions that are cool and awesome. We are still at the stage where the boy would use words like ‘cool’ and ‘awesome’ to describe me. I’m not ready for it to plummet just yet.

Friday night, I didn’t want to go. The boy lured me with food by taking me here to watch the movie, where the waiters brought us our chips and queso and his pizza and beer. And then brought me a surprise beer! (I wasn’t going to have anything, and then I gasped when I saw Strongbow Cider and then I had to explain my love for certain ciders to him and then promptly ordered a coke instead) The boy put in our order, or whatever he wanted as I was still so nervous for the movie that I couldn’t eat,  via paper on a clip (Metra train style – I had to explain that one too, I’m sure the people next to us LOVED me) on our table and 30 minutes later a Strongbow showed up just like that!! It was a Christmas miracle! It was a good sign.

The movie rocked. It is not a weepy love story per se (it did well up emotion BIG time for me, however. Secretly), not one at all actually, but I’m not ruining anything by telling you that, it’s in the trailer. It was WAY funnier than I thought. Told from a male point of view and dudes dig it. This should be the movie that girls drag boys too so that in the future they will be willing to go with you to those “chick flicks” you’d want to see.

The point is I was totally validated, will continue to cheer when movie trailers come on TV and  some child actors grow up to be way cute:


2. MAD MEN YOURSELF!!! (dot com)

Man! If only I had gotten my worthless Advertising degree in the 1960s!!


3.  So, I’ve totally replaced my summer love for baseball with a new love for the Tour de France. I know, I’m super ashamed but there are a couple reasons. a) I don’t get WGN, and Comcast sportsnet doesn’t exist here so I’m SOL when it comes to Cubs games b) the Cubs tend to do much better when I don’t pay attention to them, not that I’m the solution, I’m just sayin’ it’s statistically better this way and c) The Tour de France is DRAMATIC. Like full on male hissy fits and stuff. The jury’s still out on Mr. Armstrong, but since he lives here, I definitely hear some crappy things but he’s also an amazing athlete who like bikes home from the airport and stuff so I have to give him props. But then there’s the shady stuff, I mean I guess you live long enough in Austin, you’ll have an LA story, right?

Anyway, did you know the Tour de France is a TEAM sport? I had no idea! It’s super fascinating. Not to mention that the dude who won yesterday is Lance’s TEAMMATE and since the team basically does what it can to help the No #1 guy to win, LA had to stand down and help the dude win. And the Dude was all “I’m so happy to have Lance working for me” and Lance was all “I’m happy to be the dude’s domestique, I’m proud of him” and then refused to comment any further on his teammate, the dude who won,  during the last stages so you know LA was PISSED – because LA loves him some camera time. And then after a total dramatic stage when the dude basically crapped on everyone else, including and especially LA, Lance goes on to announce coming BACK next year with a NEW team – interestingly the winner dude has one more year on their current team… which is pitting LA’s new team vs the current winner dude’s team (LA’s team this year) for a SHOWDOWN!!!

When you think about it, the Tour de France is like the General Hospital of sports. Can’t wait!

BONUS: I have a name for the boy but it’s related to other stuff in a forthcoming post. It’s going well, slightly freaking out but that seems to be norm for me, I feel like.  The whole thing is mind boggling. When he laughs for no reason when he’s with me, he calls them HAPPY GIGGLES. He bikes up and down one of the highways on his lunch hour and has a watch that tracks the calories burned (and heart rate and other stuff). I mean, WHAT? How is this whole thing even possible?

Seriously, if you told me that I’ve just woken up and am part of a new civilzation on a little place we like to call Mars, I’d totally believe you. I mean it would explain a lot and Lord knows it’s hot enough here.

Hello. I am about to  bust out onto a glorious 85 degree day and holiday weekend and well, I can’t possible concentrate on work.

  • It is graduation time!! I went to one this morning, and gosh darnit, they are really long but I fricking love it. I just walked down a hallway passing about 6 professors in full regalia and for a second, I thought I was at Hogwarts.
  • The date is still happening. Details not firm but there has been continous follow thru from his end, to make sure it’s happening. Also I’m trying not to put much into it, but I have to say this:  It is so nice when someone is considerate, recalls things you’ve said previously, wants your opinion, and has a sincere desire to get to know you. Men in their early to mid thirties rule. I almost feel bad for neglecting them before.
  • I just found out that Simon & Garfunkel wrote and sang Hazy Shade of Winter. I am floored. How did I not know this?? I mean, I guess I knew The Bangles couldn’t have written it but still, Simon & Garfunkel?? I would never have guessed.
  • I am seriously hating my hair. I got a FAB cut almost three weeks ago but I just can’t do anything with it. Then yesterday,  it occured to me that my hair cut resembles ‘The Rachel’ cut on a simpler scale and now I can’t get it out of my head. Everytime I look in the mirror I see the ‘The Rachel’. My new stylist is great and I know if I went back she’d be fine with it and hopefully fix it. I have SO MUCH hair but it’s really fine which limits the styles apparently, so this cut I currently have is the cut I always end up with no matter who I go or what age I am. Eventually it all grows out and I keep it long and then get it cut and go back to square 1. Part of me doesn’t want to be that wimp that goes back to the salon so I think I might go buy some product and perhaps a curling iron to see if I can at least get it into some style I can live with.
  • But back to the date, this will be the first first date I’ve had since 2004. The last first date started a almost 4 year relationship. But still I feel too young to have my last first date be 5 years ago. It’s probably no surprise that I’m flashing back to then as a guidepost. Thinking of things for reference. Uh yeah, that was like 20 lbs ago and I relied on getting stupid drunk to get me through. So those things aren’t going to work. But I know what I’m going to wear! Bonus!(?)

Anyway, it’s time for me to get the hell up on outta here (thought I’d pepper in some Texan for ya).  Have a lovely Memorial Day weekend!!

3336432680_22c0a185d92Another Austin Sunset from Pennypacker Bridge – photo credit

The week before last I hit a wall. My breaking point, if you will. After almost exactly 4 months in a new city in a new state (which feels like the other side of the world), in a new job in a new environment and going from corporate to a government employee (in the crudest sense of the word, but it’s so evident in how different things operate not to mention s–l–o–w), my brain went on strike. All the new information, the new faces and names, my brain had reached it’s capacity.

This week, the semester is over, save for finals but as far as I’m concerned, my semester ended for me when I hit the wall. It was as if all the information I had consciously and unconsciously absorbed since 2009 started was swirling around at such a fast pace that there simply wasn’t enough room for anything else. The effect on me, was one I felt deeply, as I desperately wanted something, anything to find a tether and bring it back down to settle, at the very least so I could get used to it.

It was also during these past few weeks that I have longed for Chicago. I think missing is too soft of a word. I would have typed ‘desperately missing’ but I’m trying to keep my use of desperate to once a post – lest I need to create a category for it (but there’s 3 so far, bygones). It’s not a new feeling, I have missed it greatly since I’ve left and tried to push it away.  But as my lifeline to the world, others call Facebook, kept commenting how great the weather has been, I could feel my heartstrings pull north.

The weather is great in Texas as well… for August as I know it to be. It has been no less than 95 degrees with such humidity I have to check with others that Houston in fact has it worse, so I can be grateful for something. I don’t hate the heat but fall has always been my favorite season. It’s really not the heat (and I know I shouldn’t complain) it’s the lack of build up to the heat that has thrown me and made me homesick. I loved this time of year in Chicago, when the weather, for however many glimpses, allowed us to shake off the hibernation and start to venture outside for walks on the lakefront or gather together for grilling out, when the sun shone just long enough to bring out the skirts and if it was too cold by the end of the day leaving work, it didn’t matter because we knew of what was to come. And it’s why I loved living in the city. The heartbeat that maintained a steady pulse throughout the winter months so that the build up of energy could explode in the summer.

I suppose that the winter months in Austin could represent the same thing but having experienced for the first time, my natural biorhythms were not used to it yet. The strangest thing has happened, though, since I’ve hit that wall. I’ve really started to enjoy myself, and enjoy Austin tremendously.

I’ve forged a strong friendship with a co-worker in which has taken me to the most beautiful spot to watch a sunset in Austin, a long night of talking and sharing and relating even though we are in two very different stages of our lives, and I’d never thought I’d say it: a fantastic old school Texan honkytonk. A great bond with her daughter, the cutest 3.5 year old on the planet, who shares my love for belting out The Sound of Music, who runs to me for hugs, was the first one to notice my new hair cut and who won’t leave me alone, when she comes to see her mom after day care, until I promise once again that “Yes, I promise to watch Bolt with you.”

I have made amends with a relationship that was very hard to let go, endured an ongoing saga with the one who let me down only for him  to realize that I was indeed that One, something I had known in my heart all along but could never trust that feeling enough. I somehow found the strength that words were just words and follow through was just more important and all of it was no longer what I, the one who had waited to hear it, wanted. I finally realized that letting him go was the best thing I could do for me, even if it meant hurting him, something I did not want to be responsible for after he had had a lifetime of hurt. But not being honest with him would have cut his scarred wounds even deeper. I knew I loved him enough to let him go and when I finally saw through the smoke that he didn’t love me enough to do the same, I closed the chapter. I am someone who can find a way to make anything work , and on the eve on what would have been our 5th anniversary, I forgave myself for exerting so much energy on something that would not, or was not meant to, work. Months of not knowing which was the right thing to do, showed itself when all I felt was relief once it was all said and done for good.

I have found a new hair stylist, in the cutest little yellow house in South Austin, who is honest and promises on what she delivers and whose cut does not stop receiving compliments. I bought tickets to a music festival I can NOT wait for, even though I might have to tolerate more heat than I want for October and still am trying to figure out how to get there without driving. I think 5 months is enough time to figure it out.

I hosted my mom for Mother’s Day this past weekend on her very first trip to Austin. I dragged the poor woman through hikes and outdoors in blazing heat and she still couldn’t find relief in my car which holds the little air condition that really could not hold up (fingers crossed for the summer!). With all the tours and the restaurants I’ve been dying to try but had not yet, I realized how great this part of the country I live in really is. And how lucky I am to be here. When I hugged her goodbye at the airport, I realized that the only thing I wanted to do was get back in my extraordinarily hot car, now blowing hot air instead of A/C, and get on to work and at the end of the day, back home, yes home, to my apartment. I smiled the whole way.

I ended my first semester with more relief than I thought I’d feel. I received thank you notes from students for whom I only did what I could, just trying to get by on my first outing. I became a mentor for some, and found mentors in others. Even if their phones are fancier than mine and they are on the brink of I life I wouldn’t choose for myself, I have learned far more from them than I had hoped to give to them. I have had little signs along the way that wink at me letting me know I’m headed in the right direction.

I am happy. I think I was afraid to be happy here, where my connections are few and my roots are struggling to break through the thick, thick Texan limestone. But they will. And I’m ready to be present through every experience that those roots’ struggles and eventual successes might bring.

That wall, the one that I hit where I threw up my hands in frustration, broke me. But it also broke my expectations of how I should feel and through it I found a way to climb over the wall and now can see over the other side.

I’ve neglecting this blog. On purpose. Truly it’s because I really don’t have any thing to say.

This is a lie. I always have something to say. But I’ve hit a wall, personally and professionally where my head is spinning all the time, wiping out all space for any new thoughts or learnings to take hold. I’m going through a lot but I can’t even define let alone articulate (redundant?) it. And as off the wall it might be to feel it, I can’t even imagine reading it, so I’m sparing the internet for now.

Turns out redefining the instincts I’ve had both externally and internally is a shock to the system (whoa, maybe I did). But it’s good for me, this change is good for me. I don’t think I could have ever done it at any other time in my life.

Plus it helps that Austin has the most beautiful blue skies I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been here almost 4 months and I still am taken aback on sunny days when there is not a cloud in the sky.



I have had a pretty tough week. It’s knocked me into some kind of adrenaline-induced and resulting crash funk.

At work, the hardest part of the semester for me is over. I spent 11 hour days this week supporting and organizing different panels for our students. My panel? Pretty much almost a complete disaster. I was late to the game securing speakers for my students because I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and I haven’t been in the job long enough to know specific employers to come speak. The day of the panel, I was only sure of 1 person attending. I was planning on being the featured speaker if all else failed. In the end all my speakers showed up. I should have known marketing folks are always focused on the deadline. At 5pm, half an hour before it started, they were there. Then there are my students in the class I teach, whom I swear reading comprehension decreases with every text message and iPhone usage they do because they have NO ability to read directions. It’s on the fucking syllabus for a reason people, after I explain it EVERY WEEK. Yet they come crying to me, literally, because they missed 3 points because they didn’t read the directions. And crying is the pathway to my heart because I cave and then question my own authority.

Then there’s my personal life. I’ve been doing SO GOOD at moving on from the Ex, and starting to really heal. As in I could FEEL my heart healing, and actually getting excited about the future again. And then this week, I had feelings. Crappy feelings that I just didn’t want to feel. But I let myself. Figured I probably had pushed them away so much that my subconscious was getting her revenge. You can’t pretend I don’t exist, you bitch, she was probably laughing far off in some random part of my brain. The one that connects directly to my heart. And then I get into a car accident. Which for the first time, was not my fault. Some girl backed into me as I was waiting for the apartment gate to open. Nice crater in my passenger car door. I wasn’t hurt and I don’t have to pay for it, her insurance is on it, THANK GOD. But still. Didn’t really want to deal with it this week.

But my week is not over just yet. I’m back to work tomorrow because my director asked me severely last minute to help host a Parents Day for the college. (I honestly don’t know what it is with me and parents, I have spent almost too much time in higher education working with them. My future boyfriend(s?) should love me for this attribute).

Anyway, all day today I scrambled to organize students to help me tomorrow, rent fricking A/V equipment I need and have absolutely ZERO skills in understanding. I also had to get posters printed and mounted and as I’m working on my delegating skills, I had a student create a pretty rad poster – while I spent my time trying to find how the hell you get something printed on college campus in one day (I was so missing my agency days when my buds in production would do favors for me).

I lucked out and found the main copy center would help me out. Except the rad poster – used stock art without paying for it, had images that were too pixelated for the size I needed. And I had to start over. And it’s Friday. And I’m higher ed, so things work at snails pace, to say I was panicked over this thing I had no choice to do – on a SATURDAY – mandated to me by our Director, was an overstatement. Also, it was the very last thing I needed this week.

The Copy Center saved my ass. I’m seriously thinking about naming my first child _ _ Copy Center. I’m not kidding. I called over there and spoke to the Copy Center Guy, not knowing a THING about how it all worked, what I needed to do. The only thing I knew was the deadline I had to meet. I HATE not knowing procedures and placing demands on people without understanding their needs first. I had a lot of bosses like that and I at least try to understand what I need to do to help them first. My hands were tied and I had to demand and then redo everything and demand again.

Copy Center Guy was so calm and I probably spent hours on the phone with him today, and he seriously went above and beyond to help me out.

He also had a very nice voice on the phone. Not too much of a drawl but enough Texan to make it interesting. (No one here has southern accents, excuse me Texan accents, maybe because Austin is such a mix of people, mostly Californians – but not even the students do. Although they “Yes ma’am” alot, which is super polite and nice to hear).

They even stayed two hours past their closing time so I could pick up my stuff before I went home. Copy Center Guy called me after close and invited me to come by and look at it before they finished it to make sure I was happy with it. It was on my way to the car, so I did. And I secretly hoped that Copy Center Guy was cute to match his voice. And was also NOT a student of mine or of the undergraduate variety.

After getting lost for the umpteenth time since I’ve been on campus, I arrived. At this point it was 6pm – WELL past the time we all should have left to go home.  Copy Center Guy was waiting for me, holding the door open. He is an adult! His looks are as friendly and kind as his voice was on the phone. He has reddish hair but not obnoxiously so, almost blond, like he spends a lot of time out in the sun. Good teeth (I always check I don’t know why) and I’m not one who usually checks – not because I don’t think it’s important but I’ve just never been one who thought about it – but I checked. He had really kind eyes. The kind that when someone smiles, you don’t need to check their mouth to notice if they are.

He offered me water and let me sit down next to him while I waited. We chatted for a really long time. He asked about where I’d come from, since I had told him apologetically earlier in the day while making my demands I was sort of new and didn’t know what the hell I was doing. We discussed things I could still get away with, using the “But I’m NEW, I didn’t KNOW” excuse. We talked about Chicago, he mentioned he loved it, I said I missed it – which is the first time I’ve EVER said it outloud. We laughed and sort of bemoaned how annoying it is that our university/employer is good at every sport. He warned me about football season. We discussed Illinois basketball and how Michael Jordan’s son was on the team – and tried to figure out where his second son, who supposedly has the basketball talent, would play ball. We both agreed it would be Carolina.

And then just like that it was time to go. I picked up my very large posters and put them under my arm and had my keys in the other. And then he reached out his hand to shake as he told me how nice it was to meet me and to make sure I come back again. Somehow the handshake startled me, and I kind of squealed as clumsily passed my keys from my right hand to my left, which was holding the posters. But I managed to shake Copy Center guy’s hand without dropping anything.

It only occured to me as I walked to my car, that I had fucking FLIRTED. Without meaning to, or definitely meaning to, I’m not sure which. I do know, however, that I suddenly might have a need for a lot of posters.

(Unless he went home to his girlfriend or put his wedding ring he accidently forgot next to the sink, in which case I now know a short cut to getting shit done and am armed with more things I can get away with while I’m still “new”) Either way seems like a win for me!

Remember the crazy cat lady?? She actually turned out to be an ex-backup singer for a very famous 70s band AND a retired cardio surgeon. Yeah, book meet cover.  Well, she still has a lot of cats. One of which she wants to give to me.

Tonight she brought him over and we’re trying him on for size. Of course my cat is curious but not enough to really check it out, only enough to do drive-bys and then stay the hell away.

I secretly hope the kitten stays.

Meet Romeo*


*Couple disclaimers:

  • Kitten is in the bathroom like a responsible cat introduction should be, as opposed to a couple months ago when crazy cat lady just walked in my apartment with the kitten and my kitty hissed (So very impolite of her!)
  • Please excuse my dirty bathroom and floors, cleaning was going to be tonight but put it off once I’d realize I’d have to do it again once kitten leaves
  • If this kitten becomes mine, the name will change. I have a perfect girl’s name but no boy names. Brainstorming session has started.


musings and panic attacks of a Chicago girl embarking on a new life in Texas. Only it's not always June and it's not in song.

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