Monday, December 29, 2008
Do you ever look at a photo and wish that you could go back to the exact moment that the picture was taken? I do that often, usually because the picture brings back waves of emotions and memories.
However, when I look at this picture I want to go back to that moment for a different reason.
I want to go to back, take the cat out of my arms, throw away the Minnie Mouse sleeping bag and sit myself down and say, "work harder on growing that hair out. And quit carrying the cat around like a baby." I would probably also think about brushing my hair. Or at least attempting to brush it.
Then, I want to slap my brother for taking the picture.
Side note: I absolutely remember nothing about this picture and I don't recall ever carrying around the cat like a baby. I hate cats.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Every now and then at Christmas, when I was younger, my parents gave me and my brosef a joint gift.
I can really and truly only remember one or three of these joint gifts, because I'm sure that one of us enjoyed the joint gift more than the other and it became mine or his.
Anyway. This one Christmas we got the joint gift and decided to unwrap it together. I'm quite positive this my idea and I wanted to help my brother unwrap the gift because I was already done unwrapping my presents and like any 10-year-old child, I just needed one last unwrapping. It's like, I was a cocaine junkie and I needed one last fix to get me through. Except that in my case, I just needed to unwrap one last gift to get me through until my birthday in October.
We ripped back 1/16th of the wrapping paper and I unleashed a yell, that only my dog could hear (RIP, Cooper). I tore the gift from my brother's hands and danced around the living room. I danced a dance of indescribable, uncomparable joy.
He screamed, "what is it, what is it?"
I shrieked back, "OUTBURST JUNIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Did I even know what Outburst Junior was? No. Did I care? No. Did we even ask for Outburst Junior? Doubtful. But, I had never been more excited to receive a gift than the year we got Outburst Junior.
My hope for this Christmas is to experience that kind of joy, to dance that kind of dance and not because of any of the gifts under the tree. But, because of the gift that was given to me when my Jesus was nailed to a tree.
Aren't we all looking for free or cheap gifts in this horrible economy? To steal a phrase from Melanie Frazier, be a recessionista this Christmas and accept the free gift of God-- Jesus. Or give it (bridge diagram).
Then dance. Dance with joy.
1 John 4:9
"And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!"
2 Corinthians 9:14-15
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Dear Precious Lil' Ba-bay Harper,
I am so excited for you to get here. I can't even explain how awesome it's going to be to finally meet you. I get even more excited when I hear your parents talk about you. They are super pumped about your arrival. And I mean, DUH. Your name is freakin' Harper, who wouldn't be excited?
Did you know that the author of my all-time favorite book was named Harper? Well, she was! She has a cool story, too! Her best friend was Truman Capote! Also, she went to school at the University of Alabama-- a place you are going to have to grow to love (at least in front of your father, but not necessarily in front of me or your mother). But, if you decide to roll with the Tide, I'll be ok with that. Although I won't announce it publicly. Mainly because I loathe Nick Saban.
I cannot wait to start burning CDs for you! You are going to have such a great music collection at such a young age. And the second you learn to walk we are going to start dancing! I'm thinking body rolls by age four! We can even go to the mall and you can dance in front of a little bucket with "donations" written across it. It'll be so fun!
Anyway, Harpie Due, I'm counting down the days until you can get here and I can buy you a drum set. I'm planning on being around the first time you ever taste a chocolate chip cookie-- you'll probably remember it as one of the best days of your life-- next to the time I take you to the Hannah Montana concert, of course!
Ok, hurry up, lil' Pardue Baby, everyone is waiting with much anticipation! Maybe, I'll bring some frankincense to the hospital to give to your mom!
Also, your parents are going to tell you about this guy, Jesus. I totally advise you to listen to them about Him.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
That your baby boy will one day walk on water? confident she didn't know that. I mean, that is crazy! walking on water!
Did you know
That your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know
That your baby boy has come to make you new? I mean, no way. That didn't even have a definition back then.
This child that you've delivered
Will soon deliver you
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy will give sight to a blind man? Long before lasik. There is no way she knew.
Did you know
That your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know
That your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little boy
You've kissed the face of god I think she could've had a small idea about this one...I mean, God did send that angel and all. I'm just saying.
Mary, did you know?
The blind will see
The deaf will hear
And the dead will live again
The lame will leap
The dumb will speak
The praises of the lamb
Mary, did you know
That your baby boy is lord of all creation? Definitely had no clue.
Did you know
That your baby boy will one day rules the nations? A dream for all young mothers.
Did you know
That your baby boy is heavens perfect lamb? I'm confident that while Mary was giving birth in a stable, she was not thinking, ahhh. perfection.
This sleeping child youre holding
Is the great I am No, cause then she would've thought he was a bush, right?
Monday, December 15, 2008
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Christmas (and holidays, in general) at my house* was always different than most others when I was growing up, mainly because my family did not participate in the spirit of the season. The spirit of the season being somewhat defined as an outpouring of love to everyone around, selflessness and a generally good attitude. You know—Christmas cheer**. It was completely nonexistent at 369 Ridgeview Lane.
Christmas cheer was typically replaced with brutal honesty. No frills. No fluff. Just the truth.
I was six years old rolling along in the family’s ’89 Oldsmobile when I caught my father’s eyes in the rearview mirror, we were headed south to Mineral Springs, where the Christmas cheer decimal wasn’t much higher than at our house.
“Tell me the truth.”
“Is Santa Claus real?”
There was a brief moment of thought before a quick, “No, Santa
Claus isn’t real,” shot out of my father’s mouth.
“I knew it all along,” I mumbled.
And that was that. My father didn’t beat around the bush and my mother didn’t try to interrupt and vault away my childhood imagination for a few more years, with some story about my brother’s Nintendo appearing under the tree magically. It was as if she knew she was raising a complete and total realist.
I’ll be honest—I probably would’ve held on to the Santa Claus theory until I was at least eight had I not found a Diet Coke with lipstick on the rim right next to Santa’s cookie plate. The bag of chips sitting on the fireplace didn’t help either. I vividly remember only putting out cookies for Santa. Not Diet Coke and definitely not a bag of chips. Somehow I just knew that Santa did not go rummaging through our pantry on that Christmas Eve night.
Maybe, after only nine years of being parents, my parents were tired of the charade. Tired of all the games and lies. Maybe, they set themselves up. I just find it almost impossible to believe that my parents, two of the smartest people I know, couldn’t fool us into believing there was a creepy man, with access to all the houses in the world, delivering presents to me and my brother. I mean, my father could have sat me down and explained time zones to me and I would’ve bit. Hook, line and sinker. I was six. I wanted to believe. However, he chose to end the madness and just let me in on the world’s little secret: Santa don’t exist. The Easter bunny is a crock of shit and the Tooth Fairy character is just a complete farce.
And thus, the brutal honesty of the holidays started.
I don’t recall ever receiving a gift marked, from: Santa again, until I was about 12. I had been begging Laurie and Reg for a Gary Fisher bike. But, Christmas morning I woke up to a pink and purple Roadmaster bike. (Really? Roadmaster? Pink and purple? Who am I?) That was the smartest “Santa card” Laurie and Reg could’ve ever pulled—blaming that cheap-ass, knock-off bike on Santa.
* I would like to say that my parents are wonderful parents and always gave me and my brother more than we could've ever wanted or needed. This still continues today. I truly appreciate my parent's honesty with me and their attempt to raise me in the "real world" starting at a young age. I love my parents deeply and have no resentment towards them for telling me about Santa Claus.
** I would also like to say that things have changed a great deal in my home around the Holidays since this story took place. We have not raked leaves, carried firewood or cleaned out the storage shed on Christmas day in several years (at least three, maybe four). In general, I would go as far as saying we really enjoy spending time together at Christmas and look forward to it. We even try to play games and talk to each other.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
April 13, 2004
It's been a year since we went to prom, put on those caps and gowns and swore for a whole summer we'd be "friends forever." I'm sure we did that starting in like, 4th grade, not just the summer after graduation. We promised emails, letters, and phone calls, but suddenly, more suddenly than anyone thought we were swept away by a new group of people. This group was a hand-picked group, you chose them and they chose you. Apparently, I felt like my friends from home were not hand picked by me to be my friend. Oh, the agony.
Everyone was going through the same experience. I'm guessing the experience was moving away to college? We all had shower shoes, plans to call our friends from home daily, and not wanting to eat in the cafeteria. We shared our past lives in the first few weeks and slowly we began to learn everything about the girl across the hall, like we had known them forever. We would go home and still love our friends there, but things are different now. They have their lives, we have ours. Before it was only one life? What? I am fairly confident I was independent in high school, but this leads me to believe I felt smothered.
Here, your best friends live next door...literally. That's a dorm, genius. You walk three feet to talk. You check in with them when you return from class, a movie, dinner, or anytime you leave the vicinity of your room. So true, I bet my friends in the dorm thought I was so annoying. You never did that at home, you never called your friends to tell them you were "running to Wal-Mart, be back in a minute." You also never rode the bus to class with your friends. Before college riding the bus was definitely not appropriate. Duh.
Now instead of planning for prom and graduation, you plan for functions and decide what time is appropriate to "go out." Probably because colleges don't have proms. You stay up late...every night, not just on Friday. REBEL. Things are messed up here, Thursday is the big night and Fridays are crap. Still baffles me. Can't get my mind around it.
Now instead of promising to be "Friends Forever" you promise to still be friends when you move into whatever house, apartment, or dorm you'll be living in next year. Things will change, people will go from being your BFF, to your close friend, to your friend, to your acquaintance, to the girl you lived next to your freshman year. But, SOME will be in your wedding, some will be present when you give birth not in the room hopefully, some will help you grieve when your parents die, some you will name your children after, some will name kids after you, some you won't ever see again..but most, you will always remember. I must've been the most profound kid to EVER move out of a dorm. I mean. What? I'm starting to wonder if I wrote this the night my roommate gave me an adderall for the first time ever?
You'll remember the talks late at night long after the swimmer told you to "show some respect," you'll remember running into someone in the bathroom way back in August and now you can't go to the bathroom without telling everyone who lives in your pod again, I'm sure my dorm mates thought I was awesome, you'll remember the late night deliveries, the talks on AOL when the person you are IMing lives right across the hall, the drunken comments not by me. NOT BY ME., the parties, borrowing things sure, I can see it now: I'm 75 and telling my grand kids-- I remember this one time in college-- I borrowed something from someone, sharing things, making fun of roommates, the prank calls, and more importantly you'll remember the people- most of them forever. Way to wrap it up, lc. That's deep stuff.
Ok, when I really sit and think about it-- it's scary how much of that turned out to be completely factual. And then, it goes back to being completely embarrassing and shameful. Either way, can't wait for my BFFs to be present when I give birth! Y'all get in line, ok!
Monday, December 8, 2008
Today, yes, today we celebrate the birth of you, my beloved friend and roommate. I am so blessed by your life, your words, your actions, your ill dance moves, your singing performances, the rare occasions that you cook, your selflessness with the DVR, your quick laugh and your generous heart.
You are my friend. You are my roommate. I am proud of you. I am humbled by your strength. I am honored to know you, you little hood rat.
I'll be forever yours.
Twenny five years ago in the southern most of louisiane,
a lil’ baby was born and she was called morghanne.
an early Christmas gift for this family of three,
she was better than anything under their tree.
cute, funny and smart to boot,
this little girl was anything but a toot.
singing songs with other kids from the streets,
she loved it a lot when she got to eat treats.
always talking on the phone about jenny ganger and rainbow bright,
she was a sweet child, a real delight.
playing golf and making up shit,
softball was her game and she loved to hit.
always getting into trouble on the mean streets of naw’lins,
her parents picked up and moved to the wood’lins.
The new kid in this somewhat strange town,
it didn’t take long for her to stop dressing up like a clown.
she made lots of friends and quit the softball team,
the Olympics were gone and but a faded dream.
packed up and headed to c-stat,
became a chi-o and was p-h-a-t, phat.
staking her claim on the street of old willow,
she seems to never sleep, doesn’t even own a pillow.
graduated with a marketing degree,
move to dallas, become friends with you and me.
spreads her love to kids in the highlands by the lake,
she is Morgan, she is anything but fake.
she is real and she is fun,
she is multi-talented, but I’ve never seen her run.
She can sing like a pretty angel or a bird,
she loves to rap and ends sentences by simply yelling, “word!”
She is a rare and precious jewel to all who know her middle name,
but, you should see her spit her game.
I’ve come to love this lil baby her parents called morghanne,
even if she tends to freckle rather than tan.
she is celebrating twenty five years today,
I’m so glad she doesn’t wear make-up like tammy faye.
She is a joy in my life and many others as well,
because of Morgan lots of people won’t be going to hell.
I am so glad I can call her friend and pal,
she really is one helluva a gal.
Thursday, December 4, 2008
For the better part of my early childhood, I was pretty convinced I was going to become a doctor. Then, reality struck in the form of 4th grade science. I was lost. Things got worse when I walked into math class in 8th grade. I was not cut out to be a doctor.
Somewhere in there I planned on becoming a coach. Whenever someone would ask, what kind of coach? I would reply with, a good one. That dream faded away as well when Reggie informed me on an extremely regular basis that coaches don't make much money. I vividly remember him saying to me one day, "you won't be able to afford groceries." That dream went into the garbage, pretty close to the file of business proposals and movie scripts I had written, too.
I then had the bright idea that I was going to write jingles for commercials. Never mind that I'm not a musician. I'm an excellent lyricist. Never mind that's not an actual position at any company.
Dreams die hard. I mean, when you're in 10th grade, did you ever imagine yourself living in an apartment with a broken freezer? Did you ever think you would spend a countless amount of minutes beating a solid sheet of ice frozen to the bottom of the freezer during your 20s? No. You imagined yourself brushing your hair for a countless amount of minutes every evening while you talk to your best friends on the phone every night, because you are friends forever. Yeah. Freaking. Right. Sitting in class in college, daydreaming about your future independence, did you have any clue that your job would basically consist of checking your email every 2.5 seconds? Doubtful.
I'm not bitter. I just wish someone would've told me. I honestly wish someone would've said, "taxes account for a good portion of your paycheck." OR even, "most of your vacation days will go to attending weddings."
Here's to following your dreams. Here's to going after what you want. Here's to being youthful.
Here's to searching monster.com for job openings under: non-musical lyricist with some medical knowledge and ability to diagram basketball plays. Salary negotiable depending on experience.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
I've been doing some reading lately and have become even more perplexed by this man's theory. First some background: the basis of Maslow's theory is that human beings are motivated by unsatisfied needs, and that certain lower needs need to be satisfied before higher needs can be satisfied.
According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them. Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. For example: Physiological needs are those required to sustain life, such as: air, food, water and sleep. According to Maslow's theory, if these fundamental needs are not satisfied then one will surely be motivated to satisfy them (if you aren’t breathing on your own, I’m not sure any amount of motivation can help you, but I’m no doctor). Higher needs such as social needs and esteem are not recognized until one satisfies the needs basic to existence. He then states that once those needs are met you can move on to bigger and better things like financial security, social needs (like belonging to a group, OMG) and then on to achievement and attention and then...then, you reach the summit of Maslow's hierarchy: self-actualization. Self-actualization is defined as the quest of reaching one's full potential as a person.
This is where I get lost.
From the day we're born aren't we cravers of attention (some more than others)? Don't some people put social needs way ahead of financial security? And I'm pretty positive that long ago I started the quest of reaching my full-potential.
Maslow also describes self-actualization as a person's need to be and do that which the person was born to do.
But, here's my question-- what if you feel like you were born to be on reality TV? Or that you were born to burn CDs for people's birthday? Then what? Then, I just never reach self-actualization?
Also, I'm pretty sure that self-actualization can only be reached when one's needs are being met by Jesus and not others (or one's self), but that's a whole other topic.
I hope everyone is motivated to get some air and water today, then you can worry about your social status on Facebook.
Monday, December 1, 2008
It is not a sad day in Arkansas. Waking up on Saturday was like Christmas morning-- I immediately thought-- today is the first day in four years that Casey Dick is not my quarterback. We are rid of you-- forever!
I know I probably seem like a crazy, psycho fan who has too much time on their hands, but let me assure you, that is not the case. I just loathe you. Plain and simple: you are the thorn in my side.
I know you heard me screaming before the last play of your career, "complete this pass and I'll take back everything I've ever said about you." Well, Casey, I lied. I just don't understand how you even got a college scholarship. I mean, if you are throwing footballs in the SEC, I should've easily been shooting baskets in the Big 12. I, too, was a sub-par high school athlete.
I want to make sure you know this isn't personal. I don't even know you. I did look at your Facebook profile once. I didn't like your jeans. But, I don't like a lot of people's jeans, so no harm done.
This letter is more of a hey! good luck in the future letter! Just promise me that future leads you far, far away from Razorback Stadium...swear to me, Casey! Swear to me! Stay.Away.from.Razorback.Stadium.
Bring your kids in a few years, tell them about how you beat LSU two years in a row and everyone loved you (for a brief moment). I'm sure it's hard to be hated by a whole state. I don't envy you. But, I don't feel sorry for you either. You probably should've quit after those 18 interceptions in 2007.
Anyway, this is getting carried away-- good luck to you, sir. I really hope you're attending class. Get a business degree, I am sure some old school alumni will give you a job, just based on the fact that you played football for the Razorbacks. Just don't drop the ball on those TPS reports.
Thanks for nothing,
your biggest fan (now that you're gone)
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
I immediately gagged a little bit and was distraught at this attempt to market the soup in the container. Nothing in me wanted to buy this soup and I definitely did not want to eat it. Ever. Actually, I didn't even want to see said soup that was hidden beneath the label.
Looking at that label got me to thinking about how I describe people to those who may or may not know them. One of my most-used phrases is, "bigger, but not bigger." And quite often I throw out, "you know, the girls I hang out with in Dallas."
Bigger, but not bigger? I should slap myself for that one. If anyone I know was ever describing me like that to someone, I would promptly be offended and cross them off any Christmas card lists that I hope to have in the future.
The other moniker of girls I hang out with in Dallas, is just plain dumb, because I hang out with upwards (on a good week) of four to six girls in Dallas and each of them are unique in their own way and should be described as such.
All of that being said, the chunky soup label made me realize that like soup, people must be marketed well, too...you know in order to pad your facebook friends and g-chat lists.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
I have decided to post my Christmas list for the world to see.
As economic times have hit us all hard this year, it is with great pleasure that I present to you, Christmas 2008, in list form. I hope you will notice that I went less extravagant than usual, but also have kept in mind that gas prices are declining at rapid pace, opening up the floor for even more Christmas goodies under the tree. Remember the reason for the season and that the more you give, the more you (could possibly) get in return from me.
1. Pony (will accept unicorn)
2. Spinners for the CR-V
3. Hannah Montana tickets (you may have to pull out the big guns for this one)
4. Mustard colored Doc Martens (to replace the ones I got in 1998)
5. Live-in chef (I'm trying to eat better)
6. Scuba gear (I love to try new things)
7. Champion show Poodle (that I can breed and sell the puppies)
8. Any animal on the endangered species list (really want to help the environment more, but am not into recycling)
9. Karaoke machine (to work on my American Idol try-out)
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Disclaimer: The blog you are about to read is much different than my other posts. There's no deep, hidden meaning behind it. It's not for anyone in particular and there's no motive in posting it, other than the fact that it's something that I've needed to put into written words for quite some time. I will return to my usual, mullet filled posts later this week.
Just about every Methodist church I've ever stumbled into has this painted portrait of Jesus with his hair swept back (yet perfectly in place), His face is glowing, His eyes shifted Heavenward and His beard neatly trimmed hanging in its Fellowship Hall.
**If you don't know Jesus, I would be happy to draw the bridge diagram for you.
Monday, November 10, 2008
One day my career orientations teacher, Mrs. Lemley, took us on a field trip to the Pope County Detention Center. Side note: completely ironic that we took a career oriented field trip to a jail. When exiting the bus, Mrs. Lemley looked at me and said, "remember: for something to be interesting, you must first be interested."
Those words still ring true today, even though I am even less interested in the Pope County Detention center today than I was in 1998.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I didn't purchase them.
I then walked another aisle over. Christmas candy is out. Same bag of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups was a solid dollar more expensive because it was red and green and not black and orange.
I am my father's daughter. Can't fool me.
By the way, how is it that Christmas items are out? The American retail industry is apparently planning to start skipping Thanksgiving any year now. I'm just buckling down, waiting to not see it on my calendar in 2011. I guess we have nothing left to be thankful for (some could insert an Obama joke here)? Not even clearance aisle halloween candy.
It's a damn shame.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
1. I am still here. I am not going to miss the Jesus Train to Heaven.
2. Starbucks was open (Some people would argue that Starbucks is so powerful they could operate even if the world ended and/or that Starbucks is so great it'll be in Heaven).
3. I saw other people driving.
4. The toilet flushed normally.
There you have it, the world didn't end. Barack Obama is the next President of the United States of America and the world didn't end (I didn't see an inordinate number of U-Hauls on the road, so I don't think Canada is about to get a huge influx of American residents either).
Again, let me repeat myself: the world did not end last night. I thought it was supposed to? I could have sworn I heard a number of people tell me specifically, the world will end before Obama is elected.
I've said all along (at least to myself and my dad) that if Obama gets elected I hope he proves me wrong. And what do you know, he already has! He was elected and the world didn't end. Touche, Mr. President, touche.
Don't think I'm jumping on any bandwagons here. I'm not trying to come to you and say, "No, I've always been a Phillies fan," because they are the reigning world champions. No, I'm very much proud of who I voted for for the most powerful position in the world. I'll stand by that decision and my decision in 2004 when I very much voted for John Kerry (clearly not a bandwagon).
I'm just saying, the world didn't end. Obama is our next president, we might as well go ahead and accept it. Especially since he's going to be spreading all of that wealth.
Now, there's a bandwagon.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
I was driving down Mockingbird Lane yesterday around lunch time and I came up behind a hybrid Toyota Camry and I thought, oh, how nice. She's saving the world.
Then, I got closer and saw that she was just hanging her arm out of the window. Cigarette attached.
Then, I thought, oh, she's saving the world and killing herself. How completely selfless.
Monday, October 13, 2008
How could you not look forward to something when this is the beginning? Breathtaking. Absolutely. I started off in high spirits. Giddy almost.
I found a stick because I thought it'd help, but the stick did nothing to get oxygen into my lungs. My lungs felt like they were going to collapse, my legs felt like jello and all I wanted to do was have someone, anyone, come get me. I was stuck. I threw the stick down, then my hiking companions had a little talk and decided one of the guides should take my backpack away from me. Defeat. At its finest. Things only got worse as the last hour of the hike was straight up an 11,000 foot mountain in the Andes.
Before we could even get to the volcano, we had to make several stops. These stops ended up being a series of firsts for me. First time to use a restroom and pay for toilet paper, first time to buy a roll of toilet paper and carry it around to make sure I'd always have some, first time to see cows, pigs and horses roped up in yards and of course, my first time to set foot on top of a volcano.
Britta just stretching it out a bit at the pit stop. This was right after we were chased down for 5 cents to pay for the toilet paper. I gave her a 50 piece.
We could not get to the top without stopping again and of course seeing some stray dogs.
At times, the excitement was over-whelming, even for us.
Finally, we reached the top. It was freezing, it was snowing/sleeting, there was a solid two inches of snow on the ground and our biking guide told us several horror stories about biking down Cotopaxi. He pretty much made it seem like if I didn't die while doing it, I would at least fall several times and break one, if not 12 bones.
We decided to take this photo at the top in case we did actually die.
I made it half-way down the mountain and had to stop to let all of the other bikers know that I am, in fact, numero uno.
Like I said, not the best for my figure, but then again...those pants weren't really helping either.
Brittain and I thought we were having a pretty good time on the trip prior to meeting this little gem, but we quickly learned that we didn't know what a good time was until we had our rendezvous with Kathy and some of her Continental Airlines crew.
The ride ended with some brownies and wine in the back of a mini-bus drinking wine out of a used water bottle (provided by Kathy). And I thought, this is the life.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
My 25th birthday was spent exploring the city of Quito and generally mocking tourists. I could not have dreamed of a better way to spend the day. We ventured to some artisan markets, visited some historic sites (see self-time photo above) and then ate some pizza. I have had pizza every year on my birthday for as long as I can remember.
- It is a city of mass chaos. There are stray dogs everywhere. Traffic flow is impossible to figure out. The bus system is scary.
- It's cheap. And by cheap, I mean, dollar general cheap.
- It is dirty and by dirty I mean, junior high school bathroom dirty.
- You cannot flush toilet paper down the toilet. Yes, you read that right. So, you sit on the toilet, clean yourself up and then throw the TP in the trash. It's like that all over Ecuador. Apparently the sewer system is bad.
- It is beautiful. And by beautiful, I mean, like, a freakin' postcard. Coming from the concrete mecca of the world and flying into this place was seriously awesome.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
- For the first time ever, I decided to try out the facilities on the airplane. What a bad decision. Even after "locking" the door, a lady opened it up on me. I was so asleep and confused that I could only muster up an, "Oooohhh, no!" I quickly closed it and then was certain she was staring at me throughout the remainder of our time in the air over Central America.
- Panama City, Panama-- Teddy Roosevelt and spring break come to mind. This is not Teddy's airport and I am nowhere near Destin. I am guessing there are 36 other passengers here with me today (that's a rough estimate, there could easily only be 12 or 13). I've seen two planes leave in the last 2 hours. Tourism must be down at the Canal.
- I just had my first experience with a native. She asked about 12 questions and I mustered up a "No se." She then said, "Oh, you don't understand?" I was thinking, what gave it away? My look of confusion or the fact that I have American written all over my forehead?
- This airport has nothing to offer me. No McDonald's, no coffee, no televisions. So much for imperialism. I really think TR had more in mind for this place when he got that whole Canal thing underway.
- The native has been staring at me for the better part of 3 hours. She looks like someone off of MTV's Made. Maybe she likes my American attire, or is curious about Palin-- either way she and I have made eye contact a solid 12 times in 9 minutes.
- I got up to go to my actual departure gate and the native looked so scared and confused, like I was leaving her. She followed me within six minutes. She's really feeling a connection. Maybe she thinks I'm her Made coach?
- I wish I could do marketing for the country of Panama. I have thought of so many phrases that include things like: Catch the Panamania or I'm a Panamaniac!
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
That is the final verse in the Gospel according to John, the one who Jesus loved. The more I read that verse the more jealous I am of John. Jealous because John got to spend three years with Jesus. He walked beside Him, he followed Him, he listened to Him. They shared meals, wine and miracles. They were best friends.
What a profound verse. At first, I just think, Jesus did so many other things that John saw. But, then, I wonder was John foreshadowing? Was John alluding to the fact that Jesus was going to do so many more things even after he ascended into Heaven?
And then, I go back to the simplicity of it. What if John really did mean, Jesus did many other things as well. Maybe Jesus was a bad-a basketball player. Maybe Jesus could play the trumpet. Maybe Jesus could walk and chew gum at the same time. Maybe, one time, Jesus got a bad haircut. Maybe, just maybe, Jesus was talented with water colors. Maybe Jesus tripped in front of a crowd once. He was human after all, right?
I don't what John meant to say, but I know what he accomplished.
He got me to want to know Jesus. On a much deeper level, maybe even the way he knew Him.
And I'm fairly certain Jesus never got a bad haircut.
Monday, September 29, 2008
I've definitely never trained to go on vacation. I've never started running to prepare for a week long journey. I've never cut caffeine and any other beverage but water out of my diet before.
Maybe I've never really been on vacation before. Maybe this is what vacation is all about.
In my head, I'm kind of, not really, but really, pretending like I'm preparing to go on the Real World/ Road Rules Challenge.
It keeps me motivated.
Thursday, September 25, 2008
I could think of a million things to say when I talk about the day my father called me on my cellular phone and told me to meet him, "at Farm Bureau Insurance, over by Staples." After inquiring why, he had told me that he found a car for me.
This phone call came after a month or so of scouring little Russellville, Arkansas for a small SUV. Reggie had all but convinced me that he was going to buy me a two-door Explorer Sport or Blazer. I just knew I'd start my junior year of high school in style.
Instead, I turned the corner to meet ole Reg and saw it. The brightest, bright red little Corolla you've ever seen...even better, it had a huge FOR SALE sign on it. My lucky day.
I drove that little machine for two and a half years. My friends used to steal my hubcaps for fun. One weekend, I went to Bentonville and parked it on my friend's street. Someone threw a pumpkin at it and broke the antenna off. I got in a wreck once. Reggie fixed the bumper with duct tape. True statement. Manual doors. Manual windows. Tape deck. It was a fine piece of equipment.
When I first started driving it I was completely embarrassed, when I took it to college, I was even more embarrassed, but really, honestly, driving that car taught me that people will be your friends no matter what kind of car you have. Especially if you can stuff 16 people into it and drive it in the homecoming parade.
That car taught me more about humility and character than anything else in my life ever could. I will never drive a Lexus or a Range Rover, simply because of that little red Corolla...and I work for a non-profit and can't afford one.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
I have been attending Razorback sporting events since I was in the womb. When I learned to walk, Reggie drug me from Pulaski Heights United Methodist church down a street named after a president, across Markham and into War Memorial Stadium, where our seats usually bordered the visiting section. When I was old enough to dress myself I started wearing opposing teams colors. When I learned to talk, I'd yell for the other team. This carried on for many years. Many years. Probably until I was 17 or so and realized I had no other option for my higher education than the institution I had been mocking for so many years, the University of Arkansas.
I never thought my actions as a young child would come back to haunt me, but they have. We lose and we lose bad. Our band performs a minor miracle at half-time and half of the fans leave. What has Razorback football come to? Am I being mocked? Does Jesus hate the Razorbacks? I can't answer any of those questions, but I can look forward to the future and hopefully, as always, the Mississippi State Game.
Until then, I will gloat on our 1964 National Championship, Darren McFadden, Felix Jones and the monstrosity that is the Jumbotron.
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Time in MS meant time with my brother and three other cousins who were our age and trips to the pasture with my Papa Saul to look at the cows (he took us there individually to introduce each of us to the bull he named after us, turns out, it was the same bull and we each thought he was ours).
When someone like that is close to your family, you typically value their opinion. But, why in the world would my mother and grandmother let her do that to my hair? WHY, GOD, WHY?! Surely, she didn't say, "ok, I have an idea. Don't look." No, this had to be discussed.
Maybe they were trying to repress my four-year-old-over-the-top personality. Maybe they wanted me to know pain at a young age. Maybe they thought I was too pretty and was making the other girls at Mother's Day Out jealous. Maybe they were trying to start a trend.
I'll never know.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
- Hike from Laguna Quilotoa to Chugchilan (5 hours), passing through the indigenous valley of Guayama and crossing the Rio Sihui Canyon, a tributary to the Rio Toachi. Yes, we are hiking from one destination to the next.
- The bike adventure on the world’s highest active volcano begins. Bike on dirt roads through volcanic ash and páramo landscape to Inca ruin at 3.700 m Packed lunch while keeping an eye towards the sky - you might see a condor! In the afternoon bike on dirt roads and single track down from Lake Limpiopungo through pine forest. Ok, this is biking DOWN a mountain, but still...the difficulty is moderate and the altitude is intense and honestly, the thing that worries me the most is the packed lunch...what do Dutch-Ecuadorians pack in a lunch? I don't want to find out.
- Catch the bus to Zumbahua at Latacunga’s terminal ( 2 hours). Short walk in to Zumbahua, hire a truck to take us to Laguna Quilotoa ( 45 minutes). Short walk in? Hire a truck? Is that like hiring a truck to take me to Fort Worth, but they drop me off in Arlington?
Monday, September 15, 2008
Or I could start with her gracious heart. She is the most giving person I know.
Or I could start with her sense of humor. She's just plain funny.
Or I could start with her encouragement and what it means to this blog. Trust me, it wouldn't exist if she didn't tell me she reads it.
Or I could start with her ability to simply live with me. Lots of gold stars on that one. She co-exists in the same living environment as me. We won't mention that we are rarely on the same schedule, but still...she does it.
No matter what I start with, I am thankful for her. And the fact that I can always find her scissors and tape, because mine are always missing.
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Thursday, September 4, 2008
I am pretty positive that I could turn out to be just like Palin in 20 years. Why?
- Palin was a high school basketball star. I thought I was a high school basketball star and I once hurt my ankle playing, just like her!
- Palin has five kids. I love the Brady Bunch!
- She is the definition of middle class America. That's where I grew up, too!
- She looks just like Tina Fey. Every night before bed I pray that Jesus will make more and more like Tina Fey.
- She has a Journalism degree. Me too! And Reggie didn't think a Journalism degree could get you anywhere!
- She drives herself to work everyday. Me too! The similarities are getting eerie!
- She was a member of the PTA. I started a chapter of the PTA at the University of Arkansas and at K-2. I have the sweaters and vests to prove it.
- She has a I don't take no shit attitude. Duh.
If Sarah Palin was going into battle today, I'd follow her at least half-way (I'm more of a lover than a fighter). If Sarah Palin wanted to get a $400 haircut (like many politicians get in trouble for), I'd pay for it. If Sarah Palin called me and asked me to be her protege, I'd do it without even consulting my most trusted advisors.
If Sarah Palin wants to be Vice President, I'm voting for her.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Tuesday, September 2, 2008
I mean, when does it come time to let go of old school beliefs and start seeing things for yourself and for your current situation? When do we strip our parents thought formations and form our own?
As much as I love discussing and learning about politics it becomes a slap in the face every time it's brought up in conversation because people cannot see past red or blue. Why must a person be red or blue? Why not a little red, a little blue, making a very pretty purple.
I say, let's be set in the ways of Jesus and quit walking so gingerly along party lines. Fight for issues and causes and beliefs, not red or blue.
I know a lot (and by that I mean, three, possibly six) of people who read this are going to think, "LC! You *&^%$ don't talk about me on your blog!" And to them I say, "Listen here, dawg, I'm not talking about you."
And then, a few more (and by that I mean, two, maybe, three) people will say, "Freakin' LC, you're such a Democrat." And to them I say, "I am not."
* Don't kill babies. Don't tax me until I'm poor. Don't take my tax dollars and pay for people to live without working. Let me choose my own healthcare. Everyone should be able to get healthcare. Everyone should have public education. Take care of those who need to be taken care of ie; veterans. Drill for oil in Alaska. Screw going green. The death penalty isn't all that bad. Marijuana should continue to be illegal. Women should be able to hold some power in this country.
* Those are most of my political beliefs. If you can decipher that and tell me if I'm red of blue, I'll go with it.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
I can honestly say that I yearn and long to see my friends from life (I say life instead of high school. I was friends with them long before high school began). It's a deep and incredible love that I have for this rare group of gUrls (women? young women? ladies?).
Life was so simple back in the day. My biggest worries were: roll my hair or straighten it? Homework or chat on MSN? Pack my lunch or buy the over-priced, under-cooked chicken strips in the Cyclone Cafe? Join Art Club for one more photo in the yearbook or save five dollars? Try to bring back Doc Martens or start the Reebok Classics fad? I mean, tough decisions. Can you imagine waking up and having to deal with that everyday? Every single day?
Oh, what I wouldn't give to have those worries as the hardest thing I have to deal with all week-- who knew life was so easy and simple back then? I would go back to my third period senior English class everyday if I could. I'd yell at Bran from across the room, I'd comb Bell's hair with the broom I found in the hallway, I'd tell ADub her sweater was ugly, I'd write poop on Corky's paper every chance I got and I'd definitely tell Megan to get rid of RW every time she made eye contact with me. Then, we'd skip down the hallway to lunch and live happily ever after. And we'd have it all on video. Or at least documented with a photo-op.
I've been extremely blessed in the area of friendships in my short life. I went to college and made friends there that can only be described as amazing. I moved to Dallas and ended up with another incredibly wonderful group of friends. But, at the end of the day there's just something about the people who have seen you pre-Chi, pre-learning how to put on make-up, pre-fashion savvy...the people who saw you cry at lunch in sixth grade, the people who sat next to you during 10th grade Biology when you cried your eyes out about seeing a frog, the people who taught you how to be a friend in the first place. I don't know, maybe I feel this way about them because they have millions of pictures they could blackmail me with me. Or maybe it's because they still know my parent's phone number and could call them at any minute and tell them everything I've ever done wrong (which is very little).
Or maybe I love them deeply because I realize the important role they played in my life. The role that led me to want to live a life for Jesus and have fun while doing it. And the fact that they made it through my junior high years, which could not have been easy for anyone.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I've got this friend who challenges me, makes me laugh and calls me on a semi-regular basis to tell me about some man she just saw at Target with a shirt on that says, "My Body is a Wonderland." You see, she's just a really great friend.
I've got this friend who understands that it's ok to laugh at people as long as you feel bad about it later. You see, she's a living example of the Gospel.
I've got this friend who is so loyal she makes me look like Benedict Arnold. You see, she's just a great person to have involved in my life.
I've got this friend who is awesome. And you see now why I'm so glad she was born.
Monday, August 25, 2008
One of my favorite, most loyal, trusted, hilarious and versatile (she has many talents) has finally gone public with the news that she is, with child.
She is carrying the baby of her baby's daddy and I could not be more excited to announce publicly, that: YES, I will babysit. Yes, I will do it often and YES, I will expect (and accept) some form of payment.
I also cannot wait to teach the baby some of my sweet dance moves and how to straighten hair! It will also be really fun to play and hide-n-seek with the baby! Meaning: I hide the baby...you find it!
And seriously, I can't wait for the Pardue baby to figure out how incredibly wonderful its/his/her parents are (the general wonderment about Auntee LC can go ahead and last a lifetime).
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Realizing this fact, I reached back into my bag of memories and tried to remember what productive things I was doing during those formative years of my youth. This is what I came up with: not too freakin' much.
At 16 I was...
...spending an abnormal amount of time watching the University of Tennessee women's basketball team on TV. I taped all of their games. Yes, taped. VHS.
...chatting a lot on the MSN Highway of Love. Russellville didn't have AOL, so we kicked it on MSN.
...spending a lot of time at the family dinner table doing geometry problems with Reggie.
...listening to a lot of heavy, abrasive, scary rap on the way home from basketball practice everyday. Sometimes we'd switch it over to Destiny's Child.
...working on my jump-shot a lot and preparing myself to accept a scholarship offer from Pat Summitt and the University of Tennessee. Old dreams die hard. And in this case, fast.
...trying to make up choreographed dances for the cheerleading squad.
At 18 I was...
...burning a lot of CDs for myself and others. Napster made me popular.
...driving a little red Corolla.
...answering to the name of, "Thriller."
...buckling up stuffed animals in the back of my little red Corolla because I thought it was funny.
...venturing to the Dixie Cafe with my gUrls and ordering only milkshakes and rolls.
...dancing by train tracks and cruising in mini-vans.
...spending a lot of time straightening my hair.
Clearly, that was time well spent. It prepared me for all the time I spend watching reality tv and blow drying my hair.