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Monday, November 28, 2011

Pants on Fire

I really should be doing something productive right now since this week is going to be the Hell that it's already turning out to be, however I am too incensed.

Okay, so I'm a _ _ _ _ _ _ _ liar.

Ugh. I need to go to confession.

When I say I won't ever get married... yeah, BIG FAT LIE. Of course anyone who really knows me knows this is utterly false. Nothing could be further from the truth. Yet I make this claim to any person of the opposite sex that expresses any form of interest in that sort of thing whatsoever. And I halfway believe myself. But....

Truth be told I want nothing more. I have all of these goals in my life... graduate with honors, get my masters, get into medical school, be a doctor, be on a hospital board, be a coach.... but nothing, and I mean nothing, means more to me than having a family. The first step, of course, is marriage--a perfect marriage, to someone who wants to take care of me even more than I want to take care of him. And trust me, I'm REALLY good at being that woman who takes care of her man, probably to a fault. I'm not going to even begin to describe my "perfect man" because even I don't know what embodies him. All I know is that he's gonna have to have a heck of a lot of a patience to put up with some of my bullshit (that's a science term). Momma always said it's gonna take some stronger man than most to tie me down.

Maybe my problem is that I have this illusion of everything turning out as "perfectly" as it did for my parents, albeit far from "perfect." But they've been married 25 years with 3 kids, so they had to have found something special. Ha, I even had a timeline of when I wanted everything to happen. Married between 24 and 26, kids by 28 or 30, my own practice by 34... living the good life. Right. But wait, I even have the ring picked out and the wedding gown designed; the whole wedding is planned--sans groom. I'm pathetic.

Okay, so the root of my problem is fear. Typical. (Let me whine for a sec) I'm so over being jaded. I see all of these Facebook posts of all these people from my graduating class getting engaged or staying in relationships for 3 to 6 years at a time... but I can't keep anyone around for more than a couple months? No trouble finding prospects, no. But get past that first few weeks and BAM! they're running the other direction.... So I've taken to asserting that Hell no, I'm never getting married. Seriously, this is but a dramatic conclusion concocted based on my fear of being hurt.

As one put it, I make myself out to be "the devil to date." My response? Well, I can be a bitch (another science term). In my head I have this mental image of a Miranda Lambert song-worthy charade of shooting my revolver at the back tires of a pick-up truck hollering "You get your sorry ass back here!" But let's be real. As Texas Monthly put it in their recent article on Miranda, what girl in Texas that has ever been hurt by a man hasn't wanted to do something like that? She just puts our fantasies into song . So they remain but a daydream and we remain sweet Southern Belles. Take Miranda for example. She sings all of these gunslinger songs about women getting even with good-for-nothing liars, cheats, and fools... but she just recently married Blake Shelton in a picturesque country wedding. So the girl I idolized as the she-woman-man-hater that won't ever need a man even wanted and found it!

So you see? No girl who daydreams about burning down the houses of ex-lovers is really so cold-hearted that she won't ever walk down the aisle. On the contrary, I would reckon that every girl, every human out there wants that companionship. We females just have a stupid way of showing it. --Link to article on Miranda Lambert, Texas Monthly October 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

It's a quarter after one...

Of course when I have to wake up in five hours I would be suddenly inspired for a blog posting. Alas, I'll keep it short.

I desperately wish I had some musical talent, or at least some lyrical genius.... Some form of talent that is raw and pure, resonating and perpetual. Something I could entertain everyone, everyone, and no one with until the day I die.

I suppose I shouldn't whine. God has bless me with many talents. I'm generally good with people. I'm a fairly decent public speaker. I have a certain way with animals. I learn quickly. I can play video games. I'm a good athlete and have developed excellent hand/eye coordination. I play collegiate softball and I've done fairly well in my career, but it's almost over. I can't keep playing forever; there's no time, place, or organization that allows average ex-college softballers to stick around and try their luck into their forties like there is for men's sports. Slow pitch just isn't the same. But I digress.

My point is that none of the talents I am presumed to have are stage-worthy. I won't be like Julie Andres or Willie Nelson, dazzling the silver screen until I can no longer make it to casting call or kicking out the footlights until my hands are so crippled with arthritis I can't pick my guitar.

But I used to OWN the stage. I must admit I have no qualms about being the center of attention. Perhaps I thrive on in? I used to sing in honor choir and church choir when I was younger. I got major parts in many of the school plays or holiday performances I did. There's a video that will probably be played at my wedding rehearsal dinner (God willing I even have a wedding) of me at 8 years old taking the mic from a resort band and singing and dancing to La Vida Loca by Ricky Martin in front of all the resort guests. I got a standing ovation. I even won a gold medal in my individual performance in figure skating when I was 10. Uh, what happened?

My singing voice died with puberty. I mean I can get through an average karaoke song in key but my voice just isn't pretty. Acting... I never had time for it and theater in high school always involved musicals and required actors who could actually belt it. I wish I could play an instrument but as the athlete I had to choose between flute lessons and volleyball practice (who wants to be a band nerd anyway?). And it's not as if I'm funny enough to be a comedian.

Maybe I'll learn to play piano. Hell, my little brother practically taught himself how to play guitar online. Still, if I ever had any inkling of a dream of being on a professional stage doing something, that shot is long gone.

Do they have red carpet award shows for doctors?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Wrote this months ago...

Fair warning: there is no real point to this particular post other than for me to type out what's going on in my head.

I'm sitting in the bed in the room that is designated as "mine" in my parents' house. My brother is playing Wade Bowen songs on his acoustic guitar in the next room. I'm contemplating studying but, being honest with myself, I know that I would never be able to concentrate on anything having to do with foreign direct investment or the structure of muscle fibers.

I'm struggling too much with the idea that something is missing. It doesn't feel right. This room isn't mine. Sure, the beautiful four poster antique bed is the same, but the bedding has changed. There is a new neutral color on the walls instead of the sunshine yellow that used to help wake me up in the morning. The curtains are much more elegant. There are no photographs or doodles I did while bored during class scattered on the dresser or tacked to the walls. So it isn't mine. I will never have that room back. That's okay, really; I've grown out of it anyway.

But this town isn't mine either. Moore's restaurant has been replaced by a fresher, cleaner, less Mom-and-Pop style grill and bar. The roads curve differently and the speed limit signs are different. The kids running around in their jacked-up trucks or hand-me-down cars aren't the kids I used to know. There's a nostalgia to it. I think to myself, "God, those kids will never be as cool as we were," riding around with their friends in their letter jackets just trying to make a night out of nothing. Yet they're doing the same things, going to the same places, learning the same lessons.

So this isn't home. Okay, I can deal with that. To be honest the only reason I came back to this town is because my family is here.

08/31/12 So I just came back to this post and realized I never finished it. I'm going to post it anyway because I like the body of it.

Interestingly enough my parents moved to a new house in a new neighborhood. Same people, same area, same old places to go, and I have yet to see it. It's funny because my parents call it "our house" yet I always call it "their house." Still, I'm excited to see it, even though that will probably have to wait til Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

A Texas Tradition Discontinued?

I read this article this morning from the Houston Chronicle:

I'm thinking of this like the oil moratorium in the Gulf if Mexico and its affect on the state of Louisiana on a much smaller, local scale....

If the citizens of New Braunfels think this going to help their town, they could be sorely mistaken.

As for most of the problems in Texas this summer, blame can point a finger straight at the sky and it's unwillingness to rain. The severe drought kept tourists off the Guadalupe this summer. So they flocked to the Comal; I served witness as I did so myself. I actually visited both rivers. At the Guadalupe, there was a much smaller crowd (although I was there on a Sunday) and there were several stretches of river where my friends and I were forced to wade with our tubes to deeper waters. This was much different from my Guadalupe floats in the two previous years, which were easy and crowded, lined with residents offering keg stands, buzzing with floating stereos, and, as always, very fun. This year, my second trip to float the river ended up at the Comal, since I was with family who lives in New Braunfels. It was PACKED. We could hardly find parking, and had to pay $10 to get it. When we finally got in the river I can say that it was plenty fun and relaxing. We did run into some cops--not me, of course but we did see them hand out tickets to floaters participating in underage drinking or drug use. We carried a bag with us for trash and kept it in the cooler for safe-keeping. I was carded at the end of my float, showed that I was legal, and went on my merry way, with a sunburn and new memory under my belt--er, bikini. To me, this is how the rivers of Texas are meant to be enjoyed.

So the Comal was packed this year, and about 58% of the citizens of New Braunfels that make their residence on and near the river don't like it. They should bear in mind that this is an irregularity. Typically there is not nearly as much activity or litter on the Comal. But they've voted to ban disposable containers on both the Comal and the stretch of Guadalupe that runs through their town, now rendering it seemingly pointless (and even unsafe as floaters can no longer carry water bottles) for many to go tubing for the day. They're in for a different kind of drought--a drought of tourists, and that means a drought of revenue for local businesses that thrive on tourism from Schlitterbahn goers to river floaters every summer. The businesses outside the Comal river were selling parking this summer for $10 a car. PER CAR. I'd like to see the revenue they pulled in this summer as compared to previous summers. Better yet, I'd like to also see the revenue they earn in the summer versus the rest of the year. You think they're complaining? Of course not. (In fact, many local businesses are suing on the grounds that this violates state laws.) Because they know that without water and booze allowed on the river they are SOL. These won't be the only businesses affected--hotels, gas stations, eateries, bars, Gruene Hall, other minor tourist spots (like Natural Bridge Caverns), and more will be affected by this. What does that mean? Unemployment. Hey, isn't that our country's biggest problem today? Hmmm.... Well, if the people of New Braunfels are employed and their kids are unable to find summer jobs, pretty soon their entire town's GDP is falling. Then they're REALLY gonna whine. Property values will decline and businesses will close shop or move to more welcoming waters. Yup. It really seems like putting a stopper on floating the river is going to help New Braunfels. Come on, people. It's only about 3-4 months out of the year! And it's the sustainability of your cute little town!!

I DO care about the state of our Texas rivers and want them clean and preserved. So it's my responsibility as a Texan not to litter and to keep them clean, like I mentioned my friends and I did above. Easier said than done, I know, but perhaps regulations would both maintain the economy and keep the river clean "for the next generation." Hire MORE cops or city/river maintenance workers to keep the place clean and orderly (hey, more jobs!).

My argument is for employment and enjoyment. I can't blame the citizens of New Braunfels for wanting to keep the place they live clean and orderly, but if they want to remain living there with the kind of lifestyle they have now, they can't afford for tourism to decline. Your people are your greatest resource! How do you think the people in Vail, Colorado, Santa Monica, California, Orlando, Florida, or Washington, D.C. feel? They probably get annoyed with tourists, sure, but a lot of their jobs probably depend on the revenue brought in by those tourists. Funnily enough, I wonder how many New Braunfels citizens will be making vacations to "tourist" destinations this year... let's not be hypocrites.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Old Lady

Holy CRAP.

Today it's just hit me. Six months from now, I will be graduating from college. COLLEGE. With a double-major degree in two disciplines that don't even go together. When did that happen? Seriously.... Not so long ago I had just graduated from high school. Yeesh.

Okay, so fast forward four years. Clearly, I've been in denial. This is partially attributable to Peter Pan-syndrome; I'm afraid of the future (like any human, generally afraid of the unknown), but at the same time I look forward to the things I hope to accomplish. However, they crept... excuse me, rushed... up behind me and now I'm faced with tasks that I may only barely be able to accomplish.

Really, THANK GOD I'm going to graduate school. I wouldn't know what to do with myself otherwise. I'm worried that someday I won't know how to function without school. Of course I say that, but I find myself in the middle of my most boring supply-chain management or anatomy classes wishing the rudimentary BS were all over. (Haha, get it? BS... I'm a nerd.) Lately my norm has been wishing to stay in bed all day and just watch TV while falling in and out of comfortable snoozes and creating meaningless Google queries and perusing pointless Twitter feeds. I don't do this; how could I? I'm too goal-oriented and over-involved.

Despite all this, I feel like adulthood drowning me. Wow, I sound so enthusiastic.... I'm not blind, I saw it coming. I've come to terms with some of it and enjoy a large part of it. Sometimes the responsibility sucks, sure, but could I imagine giving it up and going back to being under-the-thumb and parental rule I was subjected to just 4 years ago? Not only no, but HELL no. So I guess I could say the transformation is becoming more and more complete by the day.

So what is it exactly that makes you an adult? I'm coming up with a list. I use active voice because I'm coming up with these as I think of them. Therefore there is no hierarchical order, these are just trends in myself and my aging friends that I have noticed.

  • You're over superficiality. What happened to the popularity contest? Nobody cares how many MySpace (does that even exist anymore?) or Facebook friends you have anymore. But it's more than that. The petty crap annoys you. For example, I overheard some freshman talking about another girl I know the other day in the most condescending way, for reasons that had no effect on them or their lives whatsoever. I suppose this means growing up allows you to see beyond things that don't really matter. Good, because who really has time for extraneous information these days?
  • You FEEL old. Your joints hurt. You're tired ALL THE TIME. It's harder to stay in shape. Pretty soon I'm gonna need glasses and a cane. WHOA CHILL I'm just kidding. But really, I've noticed things that I only 2 years ago associated with old people. For example, I have noticed within only the last semester that I have a much easier time going to bed and getting up super early to complete assignments than I do staying up super late. I used to be completely opposite, able to complete assignments even if it took me until 4 in the morning. These days, I would give just about anything to be in bed before 12:30. Perhaps the most evident part of it is that I have no problem with any of this. Sooner or later I have to adopt normal sleeping habits....
  • You follow the news. All of the sudden the only two channels I watch are ESPN and FoxNews. When did that happen? Probably this semester. Classes got intriguing and required that I follow the news. Well, now it's actually interesting. Maybe it's because I now can put it into context and understand exactly how current events affect me. It's also decision-making time. Detrimental decision making time. I feel compelled to be in-the-know, or I'll fall behind in all that I want to accomplish later.
  • Your priorities have changed drastically. Okay, so school has always been my number one. However, rather than just being a measure of personal success, it's a means to and end. I'm only here now to get where I want to be later. School maintains precedence, even if for new reasons, but my other priorities have shuffled. I have this thing called a job. J-O-B. Yay. I think? I wait tables. Not great, but it pays the bills. (Wait, what? Bills?) This has taken priority of all those other things I used to be oh-so-committed to. Three years ago, being a student athlete, a member of FCA, the spirit committee, the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and participating in ever other little event I could squeeze onto a resume took precedence over everything. Now, all of these seem ...elementary? I'm not sure if that's the correct term for it. Regardless, I used to say "Oh, I have to go to a meeting for such-and-such group;" now, I say "I have to work." Which seems more qualified to employ the phrase "have to?" If I'm honest with myself those were all the things I wanted to do rather than what I had to do in order to support that ultimate means to an end. I could go on for days about how and why this happened and how I feel about it, but I digress....
  • You stop whining about responsibility. I remember when I used to complain about having to go the bank or the post office or the registrar's office, etc. It seemed like such a hassle. Today it's just everyday whatever. Oi, so much of this realizing what you have to do... and conceding to it....
That's all I have. I think it'd be interesting to get input from anyone who bothers to read this.... like on Twitter with a hash tag #uknowuroldwhen (<-- the "u" for "you" disgusts me but that's Twitter) or simply in the form of comments. I'm sure there are other more simple, not to mention funnier, reasons for feeling submerged in adulthood, whether you view this as good or bad.

So please, comment away!