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two proposals

September 30, 2011

from time to time during games at kyle field, the cameras hone in on members of the twelfth man, usually the cute -- babies, toddlers and the physically blessed -- or enthusiastic fans, like those who have forgone shirts for body paint. just long enough that the individuals involved are aware their mugs grace the big screen in the south endzone.

last saturday, one of those individuals was a man holding up a twelfth man towel, upon which he'd written in black, block letters she said yes.

now, normally i'm not a fan of the proposals that call attention to themselves. i've seen'm advertised on big screens in ball parks, dropped in glasses of wine or buried in a dessert, or ...

written in the sky. like the one i saw today as i was walking from work to my car. there's a plane overhead. a banner with red block letters boasting a woman's name, the question and the man's name.

my first reaction was to smile and think how sweet. but that only last a millisecond. because, really? it's not sweet. that one's not about the joy of the thing. it's not even about the thing, really. or the woman. it's about the man. about the story the woman can tell her friends about the man.

there's no creativity there. there's no romance in that. he had someone fly a plane over a mall. so everybody could see. so everybody could, for that split second, think how sweet. it's horribly cliched and impersonal.

i'd much rather be the girl standing next to the guy with the towel. sure he asked her in a football stadium, surrounded by nearly ninety-thousand people. and sure, it got attention.

but the two of them were doing something they loved doing. together. and when he asked her, i doubt the people standing next to him were listening to his conversation. so the world, for them, for just a second, amidst all that chaos that is kyle field, was just theirs despite that cacophony. it was, for her, just about the boy standing next to her asking that question girls love and long to hear. and it was, for him, just about the girl standing next to him.

and when she said yes, they got to share in their excitement. afterward. in a way that made the people in that stadium smile and think how sweet, a sentiment that stuck with them for much longer than a millisecond.

do you know how i know this? because when i saw that stupid plane with its silly banner, i thought of that other proposal, of the sheer happiness on those young faces, and smiled again. and thought how sweet again.

that other one? i'll have forgotten it by next saturday. at the latest.

speaking of friends

September 20, 2011

there's this website called pinterest. and yes, i am on it.

what is it? (in case you're one of those ... i just typed one like won, by the way ... few folks out there who hasn't joined that bandwagon yet.) it's a website that lets you collect images of things you like.

it is a GIANT TIMESUCK. and i'm not on there very often, because i prefer to have my time sucked up in other ways. like trying to shoot the moon in hearts. or sitting at a bar at pappadeaux's picking the brains of its barstaff and servers, in hopes that some gem of an idea for the novel i've been writing in stupid stops and starts for more than a decade (i'm two pages away from completing eight chapters. go me.) ... some gem will reveal itself and let me write some.

so. pinterest. you surf the net for things you like, and when you find one, you pin it to the boards on your pinterest page so your friends can see. and your friends can repin things from your boards onto theirs if they like them.

today, i found this:


i love it. it's awesome. the stuff in the grey, that is.

random quarter: the how-would-you-blow-a-shitload-of-dough edition

September 15, 2011

one. pay off my college loans.

two. get current with all my bills.

three. personal training on a much more regular and frequent basis, so my ass could once again fit into a size-six pair of gap boot cut jeans.

four. phineas restored to his supremely awesome self. i've scraped up his belly and his right side quite a bit.  also, i've not detailed the leather since i bought him six years ago. shame on me.

five. that apartment i was telling you about? i'd snag that sucker up and keep it forever and ever and ever. 

i know what you're thinking. why an apartment? why not a house or a ...

because there is no yard to maintain. there is no maintenance for which i must set aside funds or headaches caused by that maintenance that i must medicate. you call the front office. you say my so-and-so is busted. and you wait while they get right on that. that's about as much of a headache as i've had to suffer when it comes to that stuff. 

and i am one person. one person does not need more than the space one apartment would provide. this right here? this is plenty.

six. a graduate degree at texas a&m university.

seven. lifetime season tickets to kyle field, preferably in section one-forty-three, row one, on the aisle. 

eight. restoration hardware's lancaster leather sofa

nine. restoration hardware's churchill reading chair. once upon a time they called it buster. i like the old name a whole lot better.

ten. pottery barn kids comfort chair, slip-covered in walnut washed linen. 

eleven. modifications to the pad to make it more me.

twelve. pay my parents back.

thirteen. give some to my brother.

fourteen. give some to my niece and nephew.

fifteen. vacation in england, ireland, scotland, austria and greece.

sixteen. wardrobe shopping sprees at anthropologie, banana republic and the gap.

seventeen. new boots. because mine are literally coming apart. and this makes me sad because i loved them so. but alas, i will have to learn to love another pair.

eighteen. every album on rolling stones' five hundred best list. i never liked the who, for example, but then i made myself listen to one of their greatest hits compilations until i could at least appreciate them. and it's actually kind of easy to do that with some of their songs. so maybe if i immersed myself in some of the other selections, i might could acquire a taste for a few of those as well. because god knows the music scene right now sucks ass. i keep turning on the radio thinking that i might hear something that will speak volumes to me. and it rarely ever happens. (and every time i think about this, i realize this must be how my parents felt when their music went out of style ... it's not sitting well.)

nineteen. donations to aids and cancer charities and research and to the march of dimes.

twenty. new television.

twenty-one. pottery barn's printer's media hutch.



twenty-two. williams sonoma. i would spend hours in there. hours. and it would most likely be a total waste of that money because i can't even make cinnamon toast. but, oh, i have such a huge fetish for kitchen shit. shoes? handbags? not really my thing. not that i won't go on the hunt for the quintessential accessory, but really? that sense of near-orgasmic glee most girls get over a pair of manolo blahniks or whoever is the it-shoemaker for the moment? i don't get that. ever. i'm happy with a pair of forty dollar flats (although i would be ecstatic if i could find a near exact replica of the pair of boots i'm going to have to replace). a finely made cutting board, on the other hand ...

twenty-three. every film that's ever won any oscar in any category.

twenty-four. barnes & noble. i would spend days in there. DAYS.


twenty-five. get my teeth fixed.

the world is on fire

September 6, 2011


i step outside and breathe in smoke. my sky is not quite so bright a blue anymore. and those slight chances of rain that i was so happy to see last week, they're gone now. gone because lee went a little too far east.

oh, but the wind. we got some of that. and those fires have blown higher and wider because of it.

i think i might have jinxed us when i prayed earlier this year that the hurricanes would stay far, far away. i'm kind of wishing i hadn't done that now.

and according to the ten-day forecast, there is no rain on the horizon. none.

god? you can stop now. really.

the following fires originated yesterday alone, as reported by the texas forest service:

RILEY ROAD, Grimes County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. The fire is exhibiting extreme fire behavior as it burns rapidly west of Magnolia (neighboring city). At least 20 homes have been destroyed, with 150 immediately threatened and hundred more in its path. The fire is actively moving to the south.

TAMINA ROAD, Montgomery County (my county). 150 acres, unknown containment. Two hundred homes have been evacuated in and near the Woodlands and an additional 400 are within a one-fourth of a mile of the fire.

UNION CHAPEL, Bastrop County. 750 acres, 10 percent contained. Twenty-five homes were destroyed on this fire just west of Bastrop. Aircraft responded immediately after the fire was reported but were ineffective in the windy conditions.

MOONGLOW, Williamson County. 300 acres, no containment. This fire is burning in Leander where 150 homes were threatened. Thirteen homes are reported lost.

PETERS CHAPEL, Harrison County. 600 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning actively in pine plantation. Numerous homes have been evacuated. There are no reports of losses.

#552, Upshur County. 200 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Three homes were lost and dozens remain threatened.

#854, Walker County. 200 acres, unknown containment. Thirty homes have been evacuated, five homes were destroyed.

#507, Anderson County. 1,200 acres, unknown containment.

#505 Rusk County. 400 acres, unknown containment.

#504, Anderson County. 800 acres, unknown containment.


and these are from the days before:

BASTROP COUNTY COMPLEX, Bastrop County. 30,000 acres, no containment. Heavy airtankers and single-engine airtankers assisted on this fire that started in the Lost Pines area just northeast of Bastrop. The fire continues to move rapidly to the south, with some eastward movement. Numerous subdivisions have been evacuated. Reports indicate nearly 600 homes have been destroyed.

PEDERNALES BEND, Travis County. 6,500 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire is burning 4 miles southeast of Spicewood. Sixty-seven homes were destroyed. The fire has jumped the Pedernales River and is burning actively towards the south.

BEAR CREEK (#536), Cass County. 7,000 acres, no containment. The fire is burning in heavy timber and is threatened a gas facility and chicken houses.

STEINER RANCH, Travis County. 125 acres, 40 percent contained. The fire started just north of the Steiner Ranch subdivision. More than 1,000 homes were evacuated. Thirty-five homes were destroyed. A Texas Intrastate Fire Mutual Aid System strike team responded.

HENDERSON #495, Anderson County. 3,700 acres, unknown containment. Three homes were saved.

#491, Limestone County. 3,000 acres, unknown containment. Six homes were saved and one was lost on this fire 20 miles east of Waco.

DELHI, Caldwell County. 8,000 acres, 40 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved and six were lost on this fire east of Lockhart.

BAILEY, Colorado County. 1,500 acres, 50 percent contained. This fast-moving fire threatened 40 homes near Columbus.

MOORE, Smith County. 1,300 acres, 90 percent contained. Ten homes were evacuated and five were lost on this fire burning on the Smith/Gregg County line. Two civilian fatalities were reported.

DIANA (#545), Upshur County. 750 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in grass and timber. Twenty homes are threatened.

LUTHERHILL, Fayette County. 2,000 acres, 50 percent contained. The community of Ruttersville was evacuated. Seven homes are reported lost.

BONBIEW RANCH, Van Zandt County. 350 acres, 80 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved southeast of Canton.

CLEMANIS, Upshur County. 500 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved on this timber fire.

#543, Gregg County. 300 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in pine and hardwood. Numerous homes were saved, none lost.

#538, Harrison County. 200 acres, contained. One hundred fifty homes were evacuated in a trailer park east of Longview.

#502, Nacogdoches County. 2,900 acres, unknown containment. More than a dozen homes have been evacuated, but none lost.

ARBOR, Houston County. 150 acres, unknown containment. The fire is burning in timber. Up to 15 homes reported lost.

KENNEDY ROAD, Rusk County. 150 acres, unknown containment. Numerous homes threatened, one lost.

PETTYTOWN, Caldwell County. 200 acres, 90 percent contained. Twenty homes were saved east of Lockhart.

OLD MAGNOLIA, Gregg County. 500 acres, unknown containment. Several structures and a gas plant are threatened. Two fuel tanks exploded.

SOUTH SULPHER, Hunt County. 100 acres, 70 percent contained. Five homes were threatened and two were destroyed.

#839, Leon County (Concord Robbins). 600 acres, unknown containment. At least 15 homes are reported lost and more than 300 were evacuated.

101 RANCH, Palo Pinto County. 6,555 acres, 85 percent contained. The fire is burning on the south side of Possum Kingdom Lake near the town of Brad. Thirty-nine homes and nine RVs have been reported destroyed.

the bastrop county complex fire? nasa took this photo from space: