Monday, September 29, 2008

in training.

I've trained for very few things in life before. I group training with studying and still, I've trained for very few things in life.

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

lessons in humility.

This is the second in a series of posts about events in my life that made me who I am today.

*This is not my actual car. It looks exactly like it though.

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

my heart hurts.

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

two wrongs make a mullet.

This is the first in a series of posts about events in my life that made me who I am today.

I was about four and we were spending what I believe to be a long weekend in the metropolis of Mineral Springs, Arkansas (don't knock it 'til you've tried it).

Weekends in Mineral (the shortened name for those who are not familiar with Howard County slang) consisted of splitting time between Tollette, with my mother's family and time in MS (more HoCo slang) with my father's family.

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).

Time in Tollette consisted of tractor rides, running from the dogs that scared the pee out of me, watching tv with my Buddy (more slang for "great grandpa"), washing the dishes (I loved it?) and of course, occasional trips to Miss Vivian's. Miss Vivian cut and styled hair. Miss Vivian was a friend of my grandmother and the mother to one of my biological mother's high school BFFs. So, apparently she was like family.

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.

I vividly remember, like it was just last week, coming home from Miss Vivians, climbing onto the stool painted like a tractor in my grandmother's bathroom and exclaiming, "It's so short in the front and long in the back!"

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.

But, I do know that that haircut, that weekend in Howard County changed my life forever and in a way I am forever grateful for that awful mullet, because whenever people are having a bad hair day, I can relate to them and say, "you know, once, in 1987 I had a couple of bad hair the form of a mullet."

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

survivor: ecuador.

I got some fashion advice once on how to wear a backpack, "you always want to look like you're about to go hiking." Some of the best advice I've ever received. And the extent of my hiking experience. 

Well, scratch that. In 7th grade, I went on a seven-mile hike with my Sunday school class (my dad went with me and carried everything and as a 7th grader I had more energy than one can possibly imagine. Seriously.) and at Kanakuk, we went on a mile hike once. So, that is the extent of my hiking experience. 

Britt sent the itinerary for the big trip...I am convinced it's my own version of Survivor. But, I did go out and buy some of those pants that zip off into shorts, so that is worth it!

Here's a bit of the run-down: 
  • 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 p├íramo 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?

All of that being said...I am so excited for this adventure with my best friend! I mean, if I'm going to die on the side of a mountain, I might as well do it in my new adventure pants in the Andes, right? Right. 

Also, if I die I want Morgan to have my DVDs. Lauren Pardue can have all of my books on the Presidents (for the baby's growth and development). And...the Anita girls can have my i-Pod and its playlists (not to be shared with Melanie).  Risa can have my Vans and my Converses. Britt can keep the adventure pants. 

Monday, September 15, 2008

morgan. morghan. morghanne.

Morgan, Morgan, Morgan...where do I even begin in describing the most wonderful roommate I have ever had?

I could start with her hair-- she showers and it's done. Fixed. Perfectly. Many of you probably think I am envious, but I am not. I have the forearms of a Roman soldier because of my daily Chi workout. And isn't that what all young women want?

Or I could start with her ability to somehow not fall into the temptations of reality tv. How can someone continually walk away from Little People Big World and Kid Nation?

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're serious?

What you are seeing here is a an air-brushed picture of Elvis. Not all that weird (I mean, yes, but no). Not all that weird until... I tell you it was air-brushed on a bathroom stall door in the middle of Oklahoma. The stall door next to it had Frank Sinatra air-brushed on it. 

With that sight and with  hearing the news that FoxNews is giving Mike Huckabee a show, I have concluded that Jesus is probably coming back soon. He will not let any more people be subjected to seeing an air-brushed Elvis on a bathroom stall door and he surely won't let anyone actually endure watching Mike Huckabee, and only Mike Huckabee, on a show. 


* No, I don't really think those things are signs of Jesus coming back.  But, it's as good a reason as any.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

looking into the future.

I'll admit it. I'm hooked on Sarah Palin. I haven't been this fired up about an election since I ran for 8th grade class secretary...and lost. What an introduction she gave herself last night-- she was poised, confident, witty and her hair looked great! I will say, at first, I was a bit leary of her, solely because of her early 90s up-do. I'm pretty sure she has more than several of those GIANT clippies.

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

thank you.

Dear John McCain:

Senator, thank you for introducing America to Sarah Palin. I was not very excited about you or your campaign until you brought her onto the ticket. 

No matter how many times Mr. Obama says the word, "hope" in the next two months, I promise to vote for you and your PTA running-mate. 

I hope at the inaugural ball she wears something in a light sage with puff paint. Can you arrange that, Mr. Presidential Hopeful? Can you at least persuade her to bust out some mom jeans on the campaign trail? 

Thanks again, Mac, I'm truly looking forward to at least four more years of this war, crap economy, health care crisis AND Sarah Palin, card carrying NRA AND PTA member. 

Quickly becoming your biggest fan,
former vp of young democrats, LC

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

like concrete.

Some people are so set in their ways, which is admirable in some ways and completely detestable in other ways.

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.

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