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ninth and eighteenth

October 28, 2010

the topic of today's challenge post is regret. i could write a thousand words on this one, but i won't. it doesn't do any good. i can't change any of it. i can't go back to my childhood self and say love you. i can't go back to those days of torment and stand up instead of sit down. i can't go back to the day when i chose cottey over a & m. i can't go back to borders in stafford and stay there instead of going to san antonio. i can't fix things with adam. can't fix things with casey. can't fix things with my brother.

because i was supposed to learn something from each of those moments, those people.

maybe all that criticism i received as a child taught me the importance of critiquing my work. it should be perfect. i should be horribly harsh when it comes to examining every word of every chapter i write. because it has to be perfect for the reader. otherwise, she's gonna be furious at forking over twenty bucks for crap. how many times have yall picked up a book from one of your favorite authors who churns them out and wished they'd been a little bit better? seriously. 

maybe all that criticism will help me help my niece and nephew when they receive it themselves. the boy's got the griffin genes for pale skin and long, scrawny legs, folks. the girl's got a huge sensitive spot.

if i had gone to a & m, i wouldn't have gotten to meet so many different women from all over the world. i probably wouldn't've come out of my shell, either (except on game days, of course).

if i hadn't gone to san antonio, i wouldn't have met some of my better friends. and i wouldn't have left borders to go to barnes & noble and meet my even better friends swissy (a.k.a. keli), who reminded me of how much i love aggieland, and katy and ali, who give off so much light, it's contagious. :]

meet swissy, circa high school.

i wasn't supposed to fix things with either adam or casey because they weren't the right boys for me.

and my brother... a month or so before he died, i'd come home from san antonio for a long weekend or something and he'd been there. and he and i had gotten along really well. so well that my brother, with a broad grin on his face, had exclaimed to my mother as he'd left to go back to his apartment that he and i'd not fought once. 

we normally fought all the time. mostly because i was so angry with and disappointed in him.

it would've been nice to have heard the wonder and joy in his voice, to have seen it on his face. 

but i get to imagine it. and that's enough.

this ended up being a matlock project. learn about that here.

days four and five

October 25, 2010


today, for the thirty day blog challenge, i'm supposed to tell you about my family. i'm supposed to do this in two posts, but i'm pretty behind with this thing, so i'll be combining a post or two or ten until i've caught up.

mom. the only one of us not from texas, born in colorado. the oldest of four children, the daughter of a naval doctor and a nurse. she graduated from lamar university, majoring in english and secondary education. she taught high school english. she's the sort of person who tends to everyone -- first her siblings, then her husband, then her children, then her mother and in-laws. she's selfless, creative and diligent. i'm pretty boring. dad's the one who's interesting.

dad. the youngest of two boys. my grandfather worked for shell. my grandmother worked as an operator, and later at a clothing store. dad also graduated from lamar university, majoring in elementary education. he taught fifth-grade english, then was an assistant principal, then a principal, then director of special education, then assistant superintendent, then superintendent. while he was climbing the educational ladder, he was pursuing master's degrees in curriculum instruction, administration and supervision and special education and doctoral degrees in curriculum and instruction, administration and supervision and theology. not all at the same time, of course. by the time i was three, he was a superintendent and was finishing up that last doctoral degree. he works. a lot. he's a jolly, yet control-freaky genius. who's gonna wanna know that tripe?

my older brother. graduated from sam houston state university with a degree in finance. he worked for kpmg-peat marwick, then deloitte and touche, then with my father. he was arrogant, clever and a FANTASTIC storyteller. he drank. a lot. died seven years ago because of it. he's in colorado, what he would call heaven. he would probably want me to tell you that he's a goddamned good-looking man. he pretty much told everybody this and often.

my younger brother. graduated from sam houston state university with a fine arts degree in studio art. he worked for best buy, foley's, best buy, petco, best buy, bank of america then best buy again. he's been married for eight years and has twenty-one-month-old twins, a boy and girl. take two parts adam sandler, one part johnny knoxville, and sprinkle with a generous helping of punk.

probably not a good idea to put pictures up. i don't think they'd like that very much.

probably not. you wouldn't like the influx of emails you'd get.

ashes and wine

October 10, 2010






san antonio. the deck at capparelli's on main. cheesy jane's on broadway. the skyline as seen from trinity university's campus. oktoberfest at beethoven maennerchor. the alamo.

for lacie -- the HELLA long list

October 8, 2010

FAVORITES:
COLOR: green
ANIMAL YOU WOULD LIKE TO HAVE AS A PET: french mastiff
FLOWER: rose
NUMBER: seven
SCENTS: blueberry muffins fresh from the oven, laundry fresh from the dryer, phineas bubbaphat fresh from the car wash
COLOGNE/PERFUME: ralph lauren’s romance for men/for women
HOBBIES: reading, watching movies, television shows, concerts, gigs, sporting events, writing, traveling
SPORT YOU ENJOY WATCHING: football
SPORT YOU ENJOY PLAYING: swimming
TOWN TO CHILL: london
CITY YOU WOULD LIKE TO VISIT: monterey, california
COUNTRY YOU WOULD LIKE TO EXPLORE: ireland
FOOD: chicken spaghetti
CEREAL: cheerios
DRINK: sprite
FLAVOR SNAPPLE: kiwi strawberry
DESSERT: paula deen's bananas foster bread pudding
ICE CREAM: blue bell’s grooms’ cake
RESTAURANT: l’bella bistro
BOARD GAME: scene it
BOOK: our mutual friend
AUTHOR: charles dickens
POET: me
MAGAZINE: rolling stone
TYPE OF MUSIC: alternative
SINGER/BAND: the airborne toxic event
SOUNDTRACK: pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl
MOVIE SEEN RECENTLY IN A THEATRE: the black swan
MOVIE SEEN AT HOME: becoming jane
MOVIES: the blind side, cinderella man, dedication, donnie brasco, eternal sunshine of the spotless mind, the family stone, five hundred days of summer, the great raid, the last samurai, the lord of the rings trilogy, love actually, memoirs of a geisha, pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl, playing by heart, the princess bride, a river runs through it, robin hood: prince of thieves, seabiscuit, miracle, serenity, star trek, the star wars saga, steel magnolias, tombstone
DIRECTOR: george lucas
ACTOR: johnny depp
ACTRESS: jennifer aniston
TELEVISION SHOWS: bones, castle, extreme makeover: home edition, grey's anatomy, ncis, ncis: los angeles, private practice, rizzoli and isles, the unusuals, the west wing
CARTOON: the simpsons
ARTIST: vincent van gogh
ARTICLE OF CLOTHING: my twelfth man aggie sweatshirt
TIME OF DAY: sunset
WAY TO SPEND A SUNDAY: with my niece and nephew
WEBSITE: mine :]
SUBJECT IN SCHOOL: victorian literature
HOLIDAY: christmas
TIME OF YEAR: spring
PLACE(S) TO SHOP: for clothes -- abercrombie and fitch, anthropologie, banana republic, the gap; for music and movies -- best buy; for books -- barnes and noble booksellers; for furniture and kitchen gadgets -- southwestern furniture, restoration hardware, pottery barn, williams sonoma, sur la table
SAYINGS: any combination of cuss words, god bless it, blast it, that's a suck

THE FRUITS OF LABOR:
LIVING ARRANGEMENT: home, with parents
TYPE OF CAR YOU DRIVE NOW: 2005 pewter grey acura rsx
APPROXIMATE NUMBER OF HOURS YOU SPEND WORKING EACH WEEK: fiftyish
THE TYPE OF WATCH YOU OWN: silver bracelet-styled fossil
SOMETHING IMPORTANT ON YOUR DESK: books
WHAT’S ON YOUR MOUSEPAD: i don't have one
ON YOU DESKTOP: aggie photos
ON THE WALLS OF YOUR ROOM: a painting my paternal grandmother painted, a bulletin board covered with papers and pictures of my niece and nephew, a clock my maternal great uncle made, a virginia stroud print my mother gave me, flavia prints my maternal grandmother gave me, a dried sunflower floral arrangement
THINGS YOU HIDE IN YOUR CLOSET, UNDER YOUR BED: bills, artwork
ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND: i don't have one
THINGS YOU LIKE TO BUY: clothes, movies, music, books, furniture and kitchen gadgets
IF YOU COULD AFFORD TO AT THIS MOMENT, YOU WOULD BUY: my own home
YOU COLLECT: see "things you like to buy"
YOU DON’T HAVE A LOT OF: money
STRANGEST POSSESSION: the splint for my teeth
MOST EXPENSIVE POSSESSION: phineas bubbaphat
MOST PRIZED POSSESSION: the antique icebox my great-uncle restored and my great-aunt painted
IF YOUR HOUSE WAS BURNING AND YOU ONLY HAD TIME TO SAVE THREE THINGS, THEY WOULD BE: jon's bulletin board, my laptop, the aquamarine ring joe gave me

ME, MYSELF AND I:
THREE BEST QUALITIES: intelligence, compassion, generosity
THREE WORST QUALITIES: insecurity, temper, laziness
THREE WORDS OTHERS USE TO DESCRIBE YOU: effervescent, bright, inspiring
THREE WORDS YOU USE TO DESCRIBE YOUR IDEAL SELF: independent, successful, content
THREE THINGS FOR WHICH YOU ARE OFTEN COMPLIMENTED: smile, writing skills, sense of style
THE NUMBER OF DRINKS THAT CONSTITUTES YOUR LIMIT: three
BEST PHYSICAL FEATURE: smile
WORST PHYSICAL FEATURE: posture

YES OR NO (THERE IS NO MAYBE):
KEEP A DIARY: yes
LIKE TO COOK: no
EXERCISE REGULARLY: no
SKETCH WHILE ON THE PHONE: yes
HAVE READ A BOOK IN THE PAST MONTH: no
LIKE CROSSWORD PUZZLES: yes
WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE TO FILL UP THE TANK: yes
SNORE: yes
CAN REMEMBER JOKES: no
PLAY CARDS: yes
TALK IN YOUR SLEEP: yes
EAT FAST: no
SET YOUR WATCH A FEW MINUTES AHEAD: no
ARE ALWAYS LATE: yes
OFTEN GET HEADACHES: yes
SMOKE: no
WRITE LETTERS REGULARLY: no
CAN WHISTLE: no
BELIEVE IN DESTINY: yes
CHANGE YOUR BEDSHEETS WEEKLY: yes
BITE YOUR FINGERNAILS: yes
ARE A VEGETARIAN: no
HAVE EATEN IN RESTAURANTS ALONE: yes
HAVE GONE TO A MOVIE ALONE: yes
HAVE TAKEN A VACATION ALONE: yes
READ THE NEWSPAPER DAILY: no
GET OUT OF BED AS SOON AS THE ALARM GOES OFF: no
SAVE LETTERS: yes
HAVE SWIPED A BIT OF CASH FROM YOUR FOLKS: yes
GET ALONG WITH YOUR PARENTS: no
EAT THE STEMS OF BROCCOLI: yes

PICK THREE:
PEOPLE YOU CONSIDER TO BE GENIUSES: william shakespeare, charles dickens, hunter s. thompson
INVENTIONS YOU CONSIDER INGENIUS: language, paper, the pen
FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TOYS OR GAMES: fisher price's little people (they don't make them like they used to. they used to be really cool), richard scary's townhouse, barbie
WORDS OFTEN USED WHEN SPEAKING: fuck, shit, damn
SOUNDS THAT DISTURB YOU: nails on a chalkboard, sirens, thunder
THINGS YOU WOULD NEVER DO: murder, cheat, steal
CHARITIES TO WHICH YOU WOULD DONATE MONEY: march of dimes, aids research, cancer research
QUALITIES YOUR IDEAL GUY OR GIRL WOULD POSSESS: charisma, spontaneity, confidence
QUALITIES YOUR IDEAL RELATIONSHIP SHOULD HAVE: communication, passion, variety
YOU’RE STRANDED ON A DESERT ISLAND, WHAT CD’S WOULD YOU WANT WITH YOU: three compilations i'd made
WHAT DVD’S: dedication, star wars: episode vi - the return of the jedi, pirates of the caribbean: the curse of the black pearl
WHAT PEOPLE: johnny depp, brad pitt and adam sandler

TWINKLE, TWINKLE, LITTLE STAR:
IF YOU HAD THE TALENT OR THE OPPORTUNITY, YOU WOULD: bed and breakfast my way across western europe
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN TEN YEARS: the same as i am now
HOPE TO RETIRE AT THE RIPE OLD AGE OF: when the wheels fall off
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO SPEND THE YEARS FOLLOWING YOUR RETIREMENT: floating in the waters off california
A DREAM YOU HAVE HAD MORE THAN ONCE: i never remember them well enough to answer this. a long time ago, i had several that took place at hogwarts castle.
YOUR DREAM CAR: porsche boxster
WHERE YOU’D MOST LIKE TO LIVE: california in the winter, colorado in the summer
DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL: sometimes
WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU WON THE LOTTERY: pay off my debt, give some to my parents, some to my brother, some to my niece and nephew, buy a house, furnish it, buy a porsche, take a trip to western europe and write without feeling guilty for not working a “real” job.

EMOTIONS:
THE ONE YOU TEND TO HIDE THE MOST: madness
THE ONE YOU EXPRESS THE MOST: angst
THE ONE YOU’VE EXPERIENCED MOST OFTEN LATELY: despair
A MOMENT WHEN YOU ACHIEVED ABSOLUTE HAPPINESS: i was laying on a sofa with a guy, watching high fidelity. somewhere between the time he turned the movie on and the time he'd turned it off because he'd thought i'd fallen asleep, i'd stopped thinking and just was. it was glorious.
A PIECE OF MUSIC THAT MAKES YOU SENTIMENTAL: damien rice's the blower's daughter
THINGS THAT ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE YOU HAPPY: my niece and nephew, flowers where i wouldn't expect to find them, a beautiful day, a good drive at dusk, laughter, a great story told in a book, on a screen or canvas or in a song.
WRITE THE COLORS THAT MATCH THE FOLLOWING THE EMOTIONS – FEAR, HAPPINESS, ANGER, JEALOUSY, LOVE, SADNESS, GUILT, LONELINESS: white, orange, red, yellow, pink, blue, black, gray.
YOUR OPINION OF OUIJA BOARDS: bogus until i'm near one
DO YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF: sometimes
WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD: despair
BEST FEELING IN THE WORLD: contentment
DO YOU HAVE MOTION SICKNESS: no

CHOICES:
SUNRISE OR SUNSET: sunset
SWEET OR SOUR: sweet
SAHARA OR HIMALAYA: himalaya
DOLPHIN OR EAGLE: dolphin
OLD OR NEW: new
COKE OR PEPSI: coke
DRINKS, HOT OR COLD: cold
WEATHER, HOT OR COLD: hot
DRIVE OR FLY: drive
YESTERDAY OR TOMORROW: tomorrow
RED OR BLUE: blue
BEATLES OR ELVIS: beatles
FIRE OR WATER: water
SQUARE OR CIRCLE: circle
LIGHTNING OR THUNDER: lightning
BLACK OR WHITE: black
OCEAN OR FOREST: ocean
DOGS OR CATS: dogs
DAY OR NIGHT: day
LEAVES OR ROOTS: leaves
WRITTEN OR SPOKEN: written
CARPET OR HARDWOOD FLOOR: hardwood
EARTHQUAKE OR HURRICANE: hurricane
CITY OR COUNTRY: country
VANILLA OR CHOCOLATE: chocolate
ABSTRACT OR FIGURATIVE: figurative
SUN OR RAIN: sun
BOXERS OR BRIEFS: boxers
PEN OR PENCIL: pen
HORNS OR STRINGS: strings
SUMMER OR WINTER: summer
DESTINY OR CHOICE: destiny
NEW YORK OR PARIS: new york. definitely new york.
SILVER OR GOLD: silver
CROUTONS OR BACON BITS: bacon bits
HALF-EMPTY OR HALF-FULL: half-empty
DRINKS, WITH OR WITHOUT ICE CUBES: with, unless it's a can of dr. pepper. then it's without.
THUNDERSTORMS, COOL OR SCARY: scary, in a cool way
ROLLER COASTERS, COOL OR SCARY: scary, in a scary way
ONE PILLOW OR TWO: four
PAPER OR PLASTIC: paper