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1973

Happy Anniversary to my parents, who were married 36 years ago today.

Roses

Before Digital Cameras

I’ve been stuck in Houston for the past few weeks with almost nothing to do. Rather than continuing to play Mario Kart Wii all the time, I decided to begin a project that is unlikely to be finished before I have to return to Waco. Since Houston has had some close calls with Hurricanes in the past few years, one of the biggest problems for my parents has been deciding what to take with them when they evacuated to my apartment. The two times this has happened, they arrived with two cars completely full of important things to be saved. If they hit a bump in the road or rounded a corner too fast, I wouldn’t have been surprised to witness papers flying out windows or the trunk busting open. In fact, I think they had a lovely view of boxes in their rear-view mirror for the duration of the drive.

A large number of the boxes were dedicated completely to family photos. We take a lot of pictures around here, and since purchasing a digital camera, I have neurotically backed up every photo I take two or three times just in case one form of media storage would fail. Of course, it is infinitely easier to transport a hard drive rather than 20 boxes full of pictures. Thus, I have begun an attempt to scan in every picture my family has in case another evacuation is necessary in the future. And LET ME TELL YOU. I think this might have been the STUPIDEST idea for which I have EVER volunteered.

This is why: after spending over three hours last evening scanning pictures I had only made it three months into my life. I scanned pictures of me in the same poses looking up, looking left, frowning, cross-eyed, naked etc. Over, and over, and over. I’m already sick of looking at me.

And there are eight more albums to go. Including pictures of me from my nefarious “awkward” stage that probably lasted twice as long than a normal person’s. Meaning at some point the label is no longer “awkward,” but “beaten by the ugly stick.” If I could think of anything that a hurricane should destroy, it would be those photographs.

Pesky Pests

I make often trips to Target for necessities, if not just for something to do on a Thursday afternoon in Waco. We can discuss my Hobby Lobby obsession later. Target strategically places multiple bins of dollar items right as you enter the door. It’s their sneaky way of getting me to purchase something, and it usually works. It’s only later that I find out whatever I bought was a total piece of crap when it falls apart, or in the case of the nail polish, peels off the next day. However, one thing they do carry in these bins is Buzzy Seeds grow kits for a dollar each. Thus, I have attempted to grow strawberries, lavender, clover, sunflowers, petunias, green peppers, Christmas trees, a rose plant, and sensitive plants. The rose plant has taken over a year to grow to be six inches tall, two of the Christmas trees survived and are an inch tall each, and I have eight sensitive plants that refuse to die. Everything else either didn’t spout, sprouted and died, or became a breeding ground for fruit flies. Since I do eat a considerable amount of fruit and do not have a functional disposal, the fruit fly problem became exponentially problematic.

The internet provided me with a variety of ways to exterminate fruit flies so I could stop picking them out of whatever drink they chose to dive-bomb. One website suggested that I place a piece of fruit in my oven and leave it for a few hours to collect a hoard of flies. Then, shut the oven, turn it on, and watch the fireworks. This option sounded extremely gratifying, even though I kept imagining the inside of my oven looking like my windshield after a long trip at night. I totally wouldn’t eat off of that.

I found another option on eHow that involved pouring some fruit juice in a cup, placing saran wrap on top, poking holes in the wrap, and then waiting. Because fruit flies are not the most intelligent insects (established by their suicide dive-bombing of my drinks), they can’t find their way out of the cup and then you can either let them go outside, or swish the cup to drown them as payback for inhaling them with your dinner.

I’ll let you guess which option I chose, but I will say this: they definitely don’t have the guts to go through that again.

Botanical Beauty

Our first trip to Vegas four years ago was not terrible, it’s just that none of us knew what to expect. My parents had never been before and it was still incredibly awkward for me to order a margarita in front of them. Thus, the highlight of the trip was seeing Blue Man Group and gathering the nerve to play a few hours of $5 blackjack the night before we left. Beforehand, I thought it would have been easier to just hand the dealer my money and walk away. After being up $30 at one point, I was only down $5 when I had to leave.

This trip was different. I wanted to see and do everything I possibly could. This included drinking, gambling, and visiting almost every casino. My dad has spent the past four years wishing we had stayed at the Bellagio, and and it is admittedly a gorgeous hotel. The ceiling of the entryway is covered in millions of dollars worth of glass, and the botanical gardens is maintained by 140 horticulturists year-round who change the display based on the seasons. The results are fantastic.

Glass Ceiling Entrance:
Entrance

Ferris Wheel built in 1922:
Wheel

Entrance to the gazebo area:
Gazebo

Morning meal:
Meal

Gerber daisies, one of my favorite flowers:
Gerber

Always a Baylor Bear…they’re even green and gold in Vegas
Bear

I was initially opposed to staying at the Bellagio, wanting to stay across the street at Paris due to my love of everything French. Walking by this display every morning before going out on the strip and every evening on the way back to our room was the perfect way to begin and end a day. Besides, I ended up having a great view of Paris during the Bellagio’s water show. And I can’t wait to see it again someday.

Paris Show

Chip and Dale

I have traveled to Las Vegas twice in my life.  The first time was the MLK holiday weekend right after I turned 21, and the second time was this week.  Both of these trips were with my parents.  My best friend and I have both decided to host our bachlorette parties in Vegas someday and let me tell you now: they will be nothing like these previous two trips.  Except for one thing.

On Monday evening, I saw the Chippendales with my mother.

My mother, who describes having sex as “screwing.”  My mother, who remarks “yeah, anything for a screw” every time she hears a guy say that he loves a girl during sex on television.  My mother, who describes making out as “sucking face” or a “rubdown.”  My mother, who proclaims anyone who is having sex before marriage as being “used” and emphasizes how sorry she is for them.  And I saw the Chippendales with this woman.  Not by choice.

I think she secretly wanted to see them; for two weeks leading up to the trip she mentioned it almost daily: “are you sure you don’t want to go see the Chippendales?” she would ask, after I had originally said I had never heard of them.  “I’ll go if you want to go see them,” she would add.  Finally, on our last day of the trip, we had no shows planned, and she goes “well, there’s always the Chippendales.”  I reply “I’d rather go see that with Katelyn than with my mother.”  She promptly bought tickets while I was in the shower.

Not just any tickets.  When we arrived I walked in horror to our spot on the front row.

In all fairness, we were surrounded by old ladies and the men were amazingly hot (especially the one in whose lap I got to sit for a picture).  And, my mom was one of the first to get a partial lap dance from one of the guys who ironically looked like my cousin Greg.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen her face so red, and we were in the darkness of the theater.

However, this all could have turned out much, much worse.  I could have been one of the girls they chose to go on-stage.  Then I would have gotten to either perform a lap dance, demonstrate my favorite sexual position, or show my most creative way to apply a condom on a strategically placed banana.  And the fact that I can do all three would have TOTALLY ruined the evening.

But I guess it could have been worse.  One of the girls who was chosen to go onstage was not wearing underwear.  How do I know this?  When she squatted down with her legs spread to put on a guy’s underwear with her teeth, I got a great view of her vagina.  Especially from the front row.

Chippendales

Back to Business

Welcome back?  I know it’s been a while, but life got in the way.  After I passed my oral exam, I had a whirlwind few weeks ending with me spending almost a week with Chris and then going to Vegas with my parents for a few days.  Rather than pay the twenty-five dollars a day the hotel requested for internet access, I instead dropped that twenty-five dollars into several of their slot machines.  I heard it chuckle “see-ya sucker” after every max bet spin.

I’ve got a long summer/future of unemployment facing me; I’m sure you will hear from me more often after this.  And do look for a possible site redesign coming soon.  Only if I don’t destroy the code in the process.

Drinking and Eating

One of the side effects of drinking heavily is eating. You might even go so far as to describe them as inexorably linked. In my mind there are three major combinations of the two:

  1. Eating before drinking heavily.  Proceed in this order to avoid major issues, including but not limited to blackouts, jail, or being an asshole.
  2. Eating while drinking heavily.  While this option does not guarantee you will be hangover free tomorrow morning, you probably won’t be the one passed out on the couch at 9pm while your friends enjoy the rest of the evening.
  3. Drinking heavily, then eating.  You’re fucked

Option number three is when I become my most creative in the kitchen.  When my ex-boyfriend was visiting me once, he left to go visit a former roommate and returned to find me in the kitchen with my second 32oz can of Miller High Life in one hand and the spoon I was stirring macaroni with in the other.  I had decided that half the 1lb bag of elbow macaroni didn’t look like nearly enough in the water and had poured the whole bag in.  It proceeded to expand all over my stove.  He called me up recently and this is one snippet of our awful relationship that apparently stuck out in his memory.  Then he asked me if I was wearing any clothes.

With age, I have become more sophisticated in my drinking heavily culinary experiments.  I recently decided to attempt fried rice after a drinking a six pack of Shiner.  I acquired the ingredients, along with a bottle of wine since I make good decisions, and proceeded to cook my rice and fry my eggs.  Once the rice had cooked, the eggs were diced, and I was two glasses of wine into the bottle, I combined the two and added some soy sauce.  Thinking the rice was a little too soggy and not the right color, I decided to crack two eggs over my skillet directly onto the rice.  Ever eaten crunchy, dried out rice?  I have.  The rest of my bottle of wine told me I didn’t care.  My Asian friend was horrified.

Sadly, one of my worst cooking disasters cannot be blamed completely on drinking heavily.  Oil and water don’t mix.  I have the spots on my ceiling to prove it.

Take Back Pain

I was traveling late last night and only had the radio for entertainment. Usually I will burn a new cd, or at least remember to pack my ipod to pass time, but seeing as how I almost forgot to pack contacts, there was no hope for my ipod actually making it into my car. Thus, I was left with whatever the radio stations Central Texas could provide until I could reach Houston broadcasts. Clearly, there was not much hope.

I was scanning through everything available to me. After finding Soulja Boy’s “Kiss Me Through the Phone” on multiple stations and deciding I would rather beat him through the radio for daring me to get that awful song stuck in my head for the next three days, I finally found what I thought to be a mix station. Tony Braxton’s “Unbreak my heart” was playing, and I decided to channel my inner black diva, belting out the end of the song. It was not one of my finer moments.

Anyway, I was hoping for a decent song to come on next, but instead, a curious voice came on the air. One who was suspiciously trying to give a convincing Barry White impersonation, but instead mastered the stereotypical voice of a middle aged man who was giving me his ’sexy’ voice to turn me on:

“Un….break my heart; SAY you love me again……….TAKE BACK!….paaaaaaaain.”

Seriously, if you’re going to creep me out by giving me the mental image of what Steve Wozniak probably sounds like trying to get it on with his wife, at LEAST get the words of the song correct instead of generalizing the last half of the chorus as “pain.”

But thanks for making me laugh. A lot.

Briefly…

How to know you have spent too much time studying:

You use the same fork for lunch and dinner every day for a least a week.

46 hours…

PICKLE SURPRISE!

I can’t remember the last time a youtube video was this ridiculously creepy. May the man with the giant pickle dildo on his head haunt your dreams. He will mine.

Another Brick in the Wall

One week from today, I will be in the middle of one of the biggest exams of my life, thus far. Currently, I am surrounded by eleven books that I need to go through in order to properly prepare for this exam and I have a Word document open, ready to type up everything I need to memorize before I step into that conference room.

At this point, I’m really hoping I know more than I think I do.

I am no expert in anything. I am adequately versed in so many different things. I know just enough to get by in the casual conversation, but nothing really in-depth except music, perhaps. Even with music, my lack of knowledge about operas and repertoire as a vocal performance major is astounding. I am probably the biggest fake you will ever meet.

I’ve never really found a reason as to why I can never just throw myself into something and become the best at it. Scores of books have been written addressing the issue of “being the best you can be,” a phrase which I have always secretly despised. The adage is true, you can only be the best that you can be, but being told I did the best I could at say, sports, gave me no comfort. I was still the worst.

Maybe my expectations are too high; if I can’t be the best right away, then there’s no point. Which is clearly not the most rational of thought processes, but it does make for a nice excuse when you go from being naturally good to “just another” of the many. But is the alternative any better? Be mediocre at everything you do, and then you die.

More likely, it is that I don’t want to spend twenty to thirty years of my life trying to be the best at something to wake up one morning and realize that my life really was a waste. And all I got out of it was a lousy t-shirt.

Just Cold

Ever wondered what Katy Perry’s song “Hot and Cold” would sound like with an accordion? Neither did I. But they did…

Behold!

Diadeloso

Tomorrow is a Baylor University Holiday. Those crazy Baptists, giving us students a THURSDAY off for the “Day of the Bear.” Because we all know no one would ever consider skipping Friday classes to enjoy a four day weekend, even if they were too hungover from a day of heavy drinking and toasting the almighty Bear. By God, they would make it to their 8am class. Yes, that kid in the corner who reeks of beer and looks like he might mistake your backpack for a trashcan DEFINITELY spent more time at the Dancing Bear Pub than the University sponsored activities. Except for when he was 10 beers in and stumbled to the Fountain Mall, looking for the bathroom. Forgetting the Fountain Mall was actually a long stretch of grass and NOT a fountain in which he could urinate, he then was sidetracked by the dog show event taking place on said grass. And wanted to participate. As a dog. Hopefully someone had a video camera.

I never exaggerate.

Me? I’m throwing a WILD party. Alas, only my bed is invited; it promised to snuggle with me until at LEAST 11am.

Fredomize the Ford Explorer

Hello, friend.  Would you like to buy a car from a Cuban gynecologist?  If so, I have JUST the place for you!  If you hurry, two lovely gentleman with fake mustaches will serenade you with a lovely dirge on their guitar and trumpet, or chase you off the lot if you decide not to liberate their Impala.  Comes with free exam for the ladies, and the doctor promises to do a little dance for you (seen at the end of the commercial) if he gives you a clean bill of health.

P.S., if you stole their dog, please return it.

Puzzle Fail

I’ve always liked puzzles.  I have been known to finish a 1000 piece puzzle in a single day.  While watching the History Channel.  Excuse me while I push my glasses up on my nose and hoist my pants up under my boobs.

Some puzzles are less entertaining and much more mortifying.  Take, for example, the puzzle that awaits you the morning after you decided it would be in your best interest to finish that 1.5L bottle of wine.  The one that you had purchased 6 hours earlier.

  • Wake up at 8am.  The TV is blaring, all the lights in your apartment are on.  This does nothing to help the excruciating pain reverberating in your brain.  You deserve this.
  • Stumble to the bathroom, pop two Advil and chug water.  Why is there broken glass in the bathroom trashcan?
  • Go to the living room, lay on the couch, and moan.  You still deserve this, but why is there a stain on the carpet?
  • After an hour of moaning and avoiding sunlight like a vampire, you feel a little better, so you get up to hydrate.  You notice the uneaten jalapeno poppers on top of your stove and your sticky counter top.
  • You see your cell phone on your end table, daring you to look at the call log.  You avoid it.
  • You finally receive a phone call.  The first thing the other person says is “how ya feeling.”  You cringe.  This conversation will not end well.
  • After the run down of all the stupid, obnoxious, and completely horrifying things you said/did, you hope you still have friends.  And vow never to drink again.  Well, at least THAT much.
  • Repeat 5 days later.

Sound familiar?  If not, you’re lucky.

If you’re not so lucky, then it might be time to save the money and the humiliation.  The more times you’ve had to put the pieces of the puzzle together, the more times you’ve probably been that person.  You know.  The drunken asshole.

Missing the Point

My day of reckoning occurs on May 1st, 2009.  By that, I mean my oral exam for my Master’s degree.  And by that, I mean my execution.

Two nights ago I had a dream about it.  One hour before the exam began, one of my professors on my committee presented me with a copy of my thesis.  Only this copy of my thesis was set to music.  And he wanted me to SING THE ENTIRE THING.  So I began, shakily starting off, warbling:

“Railroads began to weave their way across the United States more than one hundred fifty years ago, yet the ‘Iron Horse’ has not disappeared from the American way of life.”

Mind you, my oral exam is scheduled for 4pm.  Dr. Scott asked me to start singing my thesis at 3pm.  Did I also mention the fact that I had not begun to prepare for my orals before this time?  Meaning at this point, I was REALLY FUCKING SCREWED.

After a half hour of singing my thesis, complete with high A’s and dramatic moments, I finally told Dr. Scott that I needed a few minutes to prepare for the actual exam, which was to take place in HALF AN HOUR.  Clearly, I decided to save my panicking until it was too late, as there was no way in hell I could memorize the entirety of music history, song cycles, and russian song literature in thirty minutes.

At this point I decided to try to postpone my oral exam for five more days.  This part of my dream went surprisingly well; no one objected and I only felt like an extreme failure each time I got the same “we’re disappointed in you” expression from my professors.  As I was leaving the music building dejected, that’s when Sayid showed up.

Many of you might know Sayid from the ABC drama “Lost.”  He is definitely not my first choice of men from the show to appear in any sort of dream of mine, especially when he comes up to me, gives me a loving embrace, and says “do not worry, you’re going to be wonderful.  Let me accompany you home.”

I promptly woke up.  Rather than immediately thinking HOLY SHIT I SHOULD BE STUDYING, my only thought is “why couldn’t it have been Sawyer…”