Thursday, October 29, 2009

When parents make you take pictures

You know it. Parents always make us pose for pictures. Sometimes it's all good, but sometimes it's totally forced and contrived. For example, note this buffalo shot:

Guess who are the kids of the mom taking this picture vs. who are the friends who have to smile because they just got a free dinner?

Gotta love Jackson Hole.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009


Here are some things that bring joy to my friends:

My husband!

University of Texas football

SEC football (mmm rivalry here....)

Sundays with family!!!

Laughing with friends.

Chanel Mademoiselle Perfume....There is something about this scent that makes me feel warm, confident, beautiful, sexy and empowered.

Friends Thanksgiving it.

Voluspa candles....they remind me of love. They are powerful, consistent, peaceful, glowing, romantic, all-encompassing, and simply wonderful.

The deeper relationships I've formed with people over the past week.



Having a little girl at my school look up to me and want to be like me.

Putting on cowboy boots for the first time in the fall. Its been so long since you've worn them... And it means football games, fires, leaves changing, tailgating and mimosas, and sometimes drinking too many mimosas and skipping the game to stay at the tailgate and flirt with ______.

Dinner at Molly's.

Getting a compliment from my boss.

Going on a tour of the Capitol.

Reading in bed.

Snuggling with Piper.

Laughing with friends.

Huge breakfasts....I'm talking blueberry waffles, cheesy eggs, grits, homemade sausage patties....

Wearing sweatpants!

Sitting on the dock of the lake.

Being with ______ (insert boy's name here.)

Running outside with a beautiful view.

Christmas! and my dad still picking me up to put the angel on top of the tree.

Being outside.

Trying to speak French......“L’amour c’est ĂȘtre stupide ensemble.”

You! (Thank you Til and B, love love y'all.)

The vibrant colors of the changing leaves.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Snow-Covered Sand Traps

My brother and I once made an epic roadtrip from northern California to Dallas in order to get his car back home from college. Chris is so talented at a wide array of things, but bless his heart, his car is something he is not good at....unless you consider the hundreds of empty gatorade bottles that have piled up in the back of his tahoe since his sophomore year of high school. The general upkeep of both the interior and exterior of that green machine was pretty much shot and gone the moment Chris first gunned the engine. This included his air conditioning. Driving through Death Valley in July with no air conditioning? It was hot, let me tell you what. Also, for some unknown reason, we chose not to stop at the last gas station before the Valley, so I literally thought we were going to die in the desert. No gas, no AC, and some really weird lights coming at us on the horizon (long story, but we were convinced that aliens were coming for us. So convinced in fact, that we turned the car around and fled.)

The one thing we did have on that trip was music. I remember listening to Sigur Ros while driving through the streets of San Fransisco, windows up, with the world going by all around us. People, trolleys, cars, strollers, lights, life. But no sound. The city was silent, but the ethereal sound of the music made it more real than I had ever experienced it. When one sense is taken away, your other senses are so enhanced -- so with no noise from the city, I really felt the city with my eyes.

Lombard Street

As we continued our drive, the music definitely changed as we got tired of listening to the...ummmmm....maybe 6 CD's that Chris so expertly planned to have in his car on a 3-day roadtrip. So desperate were we for some new tunes that we put in El Ten Eleven and made up our own words to the wordless tunes. "DIET COKE--oh ya.....bubble gum! Diet Coke...oh ya." We also started thinking of cool band names. Hence, why I like that little game from yesterday's post so much. We started noticing the little snippets of things we would say in our ordinary conversation, and we realized how poetic it really sounded. I can't remember many examples, but I commented about the snow on top of the mountains when we were leaving Lake Tahoe, and said that it looked like snow-covered sand traps. Ooooooo good band name, eh?

Ever since then (this was 3 1/2 years ago,) I've tried to make a point to find the poetry in what we all say to each other on a regular basis. We talk. You talk. I talk. I live with 8 girls. They ALL talk. It's hilarious too. No matter what, there is always beauty in what we have to say to each other. I wish I had a voice recorder about 83% of the time when my friend Abigail says anything. She is a nut. And I love her. Taking her words in splices and bits and phrases, I'd have about 50 awesome band names right away. Or my friend Liz, her dad grew up in Mexico and practically breathes beauty into everything he says. Or my friend Cooper, he always puts funny things up on his gchat status. Today it is, "A coworker walked behind me and it got really cold. Is she a witch?!" Haaaa. Ok so maybe not beautiful. But great nonetheless. Words. Listen up.
Now I'm off to meet Beyonce.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My Band

Ok, I sent this out in an email a while ago, but I still get the biggest kick out of it.

1 - Go to "wikipedia." Hit “random” or click The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.

2 - Go to "Random quotations" or click The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.

3 - Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” or click Third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

4 - Use photoshop or similar to put it all together.

5 - Relish in the 'new found glory' of your band!!
This is mine -- pretty saweet:

I have many thoughts about this -- and about some new tunes I have recently discovered. But I also really want to go eat my daily 4:00pm apple. I'm 44 minutes behind schedule. Oh my stars, here I go.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Am I in Europe?

Oh but I wish.

Today, finally, with some sunshine after a full week of rain, I ventured out for my daily cafe au lait at my neighborhood Starbucks. BTdubs, new favorite of the fall: Starbucks VIA!! It's their version of instant coffee. I love it. Combined with a little vanilla soy milk and voila. Deliciousness for only $2.95 for three cups.

What I really mean by "my neighborhood Starbucks" is actually my businesshood Starbucks. I office 2 blocks up from Barack Obama himself. I practically can hear his kids whine about the Guantanamo Bay protesters in orange prison uniforms who obstruct their scenic view outside their front windows. JK, I can't. I actually really think Malia and Sasha are pretty dang cute. I think it's time for a new movie on the PK's -- Chasing Liberty and First Daughter are way too dated.

Hey! I'm a PK too -- preacher's kid, president's kid -- yada yada, all the same.

To the point -- since I office 2 blocks up from the White House, in the heart of DC, next to the Mexican Embassy in fact, I hear about 5 different languages at any given time during my afternoon Starbucks meandering. It's so cool. I like to think of myself as really international and hip and cultural and Je ne sais pas....but it's pretty funny how un-hip and un-international I am compared to the real deal. Today, there was a group of five smartly dressed Germans, two girls and three guys, clearly in town on business, but they may as well have been in Milan during fashion week sipping White Russians in their minks. This one guy looked so much like Daniel Craig from 007 that I was convinced he was packing a gun and maybe a speedo as well. And his gal pal had on these crazy flowy pants that tucked into her ultra lacy boots. The kind of outfit that looks ridiculous but probably cost her quite a penny, or should I say, Euro.

All the while, there was an older French couple sitting to my left, (I was sure they were murmuring sweet beautiful nothings to each other,) and on my right, there was a group of four Mexican men who I see quite often since we all frequent the same Starbucks.

And then there was moi. Steve Madden ballet flats (I really like them) and my rad steel water bottle from Pottery Barn. Trying to play it cool but really just dying to speak their languages and be whisked off into the Tuscan sun....

Oh but it's all good. I was equally a part of that scene as Bond. Humanity. We're in the throngs of it. We are it. Las estrellas son brillantes en mi corazon.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just a lumbering soul

I just finished reading John Steinbeck's "East of Eden." Steinbeck is a beautiful writer, capturing real emotions, thoughts and feelings just as if they were really happening to the reader. The characters in his books become like the reader's best friend because you deeply know and understand them by the time the book comes to an end. It's incredible. I wish I had the book with me now (due to its size, I left it home in Dallas) to post a few passages.

Throughout his life, Steinbeck ended his personal correspondance with his own "Pigasus" logo with this latin phrase over the flying pig:

It means, "To the stars on the wings of a pig." What he means is he considers himself "a lumbering soul but trying to fly." Hooooow cool. I think of myself like that too -- I'm just not as cool as Steinbeck and would never have a great phrase or symbol for it.

His Pigasus, and what it symbolizes, reminds me of the short film* that was at the beginning of the Pixar film, "Up." It's the one about the clouds that make babies or little cute puppies, but the one storm cloud just can't seem to make anything right. He makes an electric eel, a porcupine, and pretty much anything that isn't exactly easy for his loyal stork to carry. After several hard deliveries of the baby eel, or whatever, the stork doesn't abandon his cloud, as we are led to believe at first, but actually returns to his cloud with football pads on. Hurraaay!

I like these two analogies for life. Like Steinbeck, I'm just a pig with wings but trying to make it. Like the storm cloud, I just can't seem to make things turn out perfectly. But! Holla for the but! At least I am trying. And at least I have friends who don't give up on me and take my abuse sometimes, just like the loyal stork. Life would be lonely without friends. Hey Tilly. Yo Sarah. What up Molly Mac. Hi Claire!

*I saw Up with my friend Sarah and we were both so confused about the beginning short film. I thought that it was actually the beginning of the real movie, and that the storm cloud was going to make the grumpy old man. Pixar is so above my head....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

She's still my sweetheart

Last night, I was sitting at gate C31 waiting to start boarding at DFW. I was writing in my journal about the joy of coming home every now and then to Dallas, and at the same time, was eyeing this 50-something man who had his guitar out and was strumming it. He really did! My initial reaction was something along the lines of "the disturb all these people sitting here in their own quiet peace..." But after eyeing him for about a minute, I realized he really wasn't trying to draw attention to himself in anyway. He was just happy, doing something that he likes to do, having a few moments in an airport lounge to stretch his fingers over the strings.

And then I got to thinking about my own heart in that situation. He's just doing something that he likes to do, in the same way that I was journaling because I like to do it. Who am I to judge? Yet I fear that I do judge too quickly far too often.
***Random aside -- I have no idea why, but Wes from the Bachlorette's song that he annoyingly played on his guitar all the time for Jillian is stuck in my head right now. "They say love, it don't come easy...." Uhhhhhhhg. Need a picture reminder?

While I was thinking about this, I was also eavesdropping on the conversation between the two 40-somethings sitting across from me who were eating rather garlicky-smelling Chinese food. The woman asked the man about his wife, and he said, "well actually, my divorce was finalized about 3 weeks ago." Pause.... "She's still my sweetheart, and I'm hoping she'll see that one day, but we've been separated for 3 years now." Pause..... and then the woman gushes her apologies for prying into his life, she really should not have asked, etc.

Two things struck me about this conversation: the brokenness of the situation, and the man's heartbreaking honesty and openness with a stranger. First of all, yes, we live in a broken world. Marriages aren't supposed to fall apart, but they do. Promises aren't made to be broken, but they are. However, many of us act like our lives are hunky-dory, perfect, fun, successful, free. It's rare to find someone who actually speaks of their pain, sadness, broken heart, or loneliness. As strange as it may sound since I didn't know this guy from Adam, I greatly appreciated this man's honesty. I wanted to give him a hug. I liked him instantaneously for showing real emotion. And to a total rando in the airport!

I think the woman's reaction to his disclosure was pretty spot on too. After all, what really can we say in that situation? We in ourselves possess absolutely no comfort to our fellow man. But PTL that there is a God in Heaven who does possess it. Not only comfort, but love, wisdom, and a coming wholeness to our broken world. And we can be little vessels, broken for sure, but vessels none the less of God's healing and love. PTL.

Another less random aside, but my parents marriage hasn't been hunky-dory (this is an expression my mom often says, by the way) for their whole 30 years of being together. But they have really discovered a new love and appreciation for each other in the past few years. On Saturday night, they went to the movies and my dad stood in line to buy popcorn for my mom. Finally at the front of the line, my dad realized he didn't have his wallet on him and jetted into the theater to get my mom's credit card. True sugar mama she is :) Anyway, the point is, he still serves her, and she still loves him, and I'm happy to see it. That's another PTL.

Parents, thank you for my late night popcorn. My mom eats like a bird and brought her popcorn home!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

"Double-Infinity Forever Cool"

In keeping with the trend of life experienced in my daily commute as mentioned in my last two posts, I'm now thinking of trading in my wheels for one of these bad boys:

Oh yes, the Cupcake Car, yours truly from Neiman Marcus. For a mere $25,000, you can "put on your matching hat, slip under the muffin top of your Cupcake Car, and let the world figure itself out for awhile." Escapism to the really weird max.

I'd rather get a book, grab a coffee, and lay around on a blanket all day. Wait, who am I kidding? I'll take carrot cake with butter pecan cream cheese icing and a whipped cream swirl hat.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Beauty and the Beer

While driving home from work yesterday, I saw a Blue Moon Brewing Co. delivery truck. I tried taking a picture of it but was too busy jammin to Jason Derulo's* "Whatcha Say" while not wanting to rear end the car in front of me at the same time. ("'Cause when the roof caved in and the truth came out, I just didn't know what to do" -- lyrics just don't get any better than that, right Abigail?) I completely missed the Blue Moon truck, but did get this picture.

Note the jag in the rearview. So posh.

What struck me about the truck was the print on the side of it. Far from the typical "tap the Rockies" jagged mountain scene of any other beer truck, it was a painting of Blue Moon beer in a glass, with the bottle next to it, and a couple of oranges and orange slices in a bowl beside it. It looked straight out of Van Gogh's "Cafe Terrace at Night" if you could zoom in and actually see what food and drinks are on the cafe tables.

I found it so cool that such beautiful art can be found on the side of a beer delivery truck. I went to the Blue Moon Website, and it turns out that the company featured an art contest in 2008 in different cities. No real point to it except that it's an awesome marketing tool to have artists depict how the beer inspired their work. The paintings are incredible and creative. One of my favorites is from the Philadelphia collection and is advertising the company's "Honey Moon" label. It looks like a French vintage poster from the Belle Epogue: a girl jumping over a moon that has little beehive holes in lieu of moon craters.

How amazing it is that real beauty is all around us. I once heard someone speak of God as the "Great Artist." He really is. We as human beings have the privilege of being created in God's image. Because of this, his creativity, wonder and beauty that he put into creation is reflected in us and in what we do. Even in paintings on the side of beer delivery trucks. His beauty is all around us. That is no small wonder.

Disclaimer: I'm not much of a beer drinker, but the first time I had a Blue Moon, orange slice of course included, was in Nashville, TN, at Mafioso's with my friend Ellen. I had just gotten back to the states from 7 months in Argentina, and it's a really happy memory.

*Jason Derulo took the chorus of his song from Imogen Heap's "Hide and Seek" which is a totally chilll song to listen to, was on the OC soundtrack during Caleb's funeral scene, and reminds me of skiing in Telluride during my 2nd year at UVa. My friend Nora introduced me to Imogen Heap's CD. Thank you, Nora.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My life today

My friend Molly encouraged me to start a blog today. So here we go.

Every day, I drive to work over the Potomac River into DC. It's pretty tedious most mornings, and often I find myself thinking about how cool it would be to be a giant. When I was young, I often imagined what it would be like to be one. I'm not talking like Fezzik from The Princess Bride, but I mean a giant. More like the BFG from Roald Dahl. I'm talking tall. Taller than the White House. I imagined that I had these longs legs - they could traverse half a mile with each stride. And obviously I was really fast compared to the normal human being, and compared to the average American car as well. So in my giant life, I never have to wait in traffic. Why would I even need a car? This is what I think about as I drive to work.

Speaking of Molly, she also told me something a few weeks ago that I think her dad told her. "We are human beings, not human doings," she said. I recently read an interview of Rick Warren, the author of The Purpose Driven Life, and he said the same thing. Both Mother Teresa and my own mother, Barbara, said that, "We are created in order to love and to be loved." I like both of these ideas because I don't exactly have the most mentally stimulating job in town (although I definitely have left my mark at the office. Literally. My third week of working here, I dripped salad dressing all the way from my desk, around the corner, and into the office kitchen. I am no match for Resolve carpet cleaner. My legacy will always be remembered and noted) and I have often ask myself WHAT IN THE WORLD AM I DOING HERE?? At the same time, I honestly do not feel the heavy burden that so many people do: the need to jump, run, climb, claw, or scrape their way to the top of whatever they are trying to climb. Not that this is wrong at all! God gives us abilities, desires, passions and interests that do allow us to succeed and to lead in the workplace. But there is joy, for me at least, in knowing that to love is enough. That I can rest in the goodness of the way the Lord has created me, that I can know the strengths he has given me, that I can be a human being! To live and to love and to share this life with others.

And yes, that especially includes my boss and my co-workers. And yes, that includes the people that I refuse to let into the traffic line on the bridge over the Potomac each morning. Maybe tomorrow I will let one or two get in the line in front of me. And no, I do not have a little Christian fish on the back of my car.