Category Archives: Uncategorized

Trying to write a wedding toast, Part II

Part II: Itchy Hearts

I continued to think about Liz’s wedding, making plans for bridals showers, bachelorette events…and started feeling a little nostalgia for the beginning of things. A longing for something new.

It’s ironic because Liz and Jason have been together for almost twice as long as Lewis and I have, so I really can’t look at her relationship and think, “Ah…I remember being where they are…”

It’s more ironic, because I’m actually not a fan of beginnings. I’m a fan of grooving middles and bittersweet endings. So the nostalgia surprised me. The little itch in my heart for something gone by. Something I saw in movies. Or in a friend’s smile when she changed her Facebook profile picture to include her new boyfriend. Finally I figured it out, what was giving me the itchy heart.

Our first picture together. I probably nearly vomited with excitement.

Our first picture together. I probably vomited with excitement.

I’ll never fall in love again.

Sure, sure, I fall in love with Lewis every day all over again. That’s a nice sentiment, but it’s not what I’m talking about. I’m going to be really frank here, because I think it’s important. Because for a lot of people, that nostalgia for falling in love sneaks up and steals a lot of joy.

Falling in love is that nauseating, unsure, tears of excitement/relief/fear soup of suspended reality. The kind that would wreck your health if you experienced it too often. That’s what I can’t get from Lewis anymore. I also can’t get herpes, which is nice.

I dated a guy once who was fond of saying, “I’ve always wanted to do that…” after he made some sort of romantic gesture. It was sweet and lots of fun. Very rom-com. When I was later single again, I would look back on his gestures cynically and think, “That had nothing to do with me. He was just fulfilling his own dreams. I could have been anyone.”

This sort of thing still happens...but I don't stay up until 3 am thinking about what it means. It means he loves me, and it's my birthday.

This sort of thing still happens…but I don’t stay up until 3 am thinking about what it means. 

But now…I’m so thankful for his moments of cinematic grandeur. And the other fellas who wrote notes, or showed up in the rain, or sang to me in the supermarket. It didn’t need to be about me. It was about a time in life.

[Side note: There are also some destructive, unhappy dating moments that I never want to revisit. That’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about those giddy moments of “He likes me!” that only happen once per relationship. And they are going to happen whether you are dating, courting, hanging out, or whatever. People connect, however you define it.]

In my opinion, once married, it’s okay to look back on “He/She likes me!” fondly, even if the “he/she” involved wasn’t your spouse. Because it was a happy time. There’s a pressure to look back on all of it with disdain, but I don’t think that’s honest. Getting married doesn’t dissolve every human connection and every happy memory.

His hand was on my knee. I was probably about to have an aneurysm from excitement.

We’d been dating a couple of weeks. I was probably about to have an aneurysm of happiness, because he drove with his hand on my knee.

On the other end, I think it would be misplaced to go trying to constantly recreate “falling in love” in marriage. Rather than looking back and saying, “Awww…” a lot of people seem to take the melancholy itch as a sign that something is missing in their marriage…when it’s not at all. You can only fall in love with someone you’re not already in love with. So if I want to fall in love with Lewis again, I’d have to fall out of love with him first. And I don’t want to.

It’s also unfortunate when people try to speak that feeling back into existence, as though it is the incantation that will protect their marriage from harm. When people say that their spouse is “new to them everyday” or something like that, it terrifies me. We’ve got way to much invested in this thing to wake up and say, “Who are you?”

Married Lewis knows better than to take his eyes off his injeera when I'm around.

Boyfriend Lewis was naive. Husband Lewis knows better than to take his eyes off his injeera when I’m around. 

 

Falling in love is a fun and finite thing. Loving, sharing life, is only as good as it’s staying power. Falling in love is about potential. Marriage is about actual. And we should all know that something can be potentially wonderful, and actually horrible.  And vice versa. Like movies adapted from young adult fiction.

The fact that you didn’t marry some of the people you fell in love with is still a very happy ending! I’ll take roses from any old clown, but my gosh I dodged some bullets on getting married (and I was also the bullet myself sometimes). Yes there were tears…the way there were tears when my mom wouldn’t let me drink the whole bottle of Dimatap Cough Syrup.

When I feel nostalgia for butterflies and nausea, I’m not thinking about Lewis. I’m thinking about a feeling I had and liked. It’s a feeling I can’t get from Lewis anymore, because he’s closer than my skin. We’re one. He can be romantic, generous and sweet (which he is, almost always). He just can’t be unfamiliar and new anymore.

But that’s the best part of a sweet, sweet irony…the more I get to know him, the more I like him. I wouldn’t trade him for all the nausea in the world.

Goodnight in Old San Antonio

After six years, I gave up my booth at Night in Old San Antonio (NIOSA). This has got to be a record for shortest tenure, seeing as how the woman from whom I inherited the booth had it for something over 30 years.

And actually, I’d been trying to quit for about three years, but kept getting talked out of it. But this year, as I slid into April with my hair on fire, I knew it was the magic year. The year where I finally learned to say: “No.”

Okay…maybe “learned to say no” is a bit of a stretch. But when I do finally scream “nooooo!!!!” in desperation, or cut someone off in traffic accidentally, or put my foot in my mouth I have learned to say: Eh…they’ll get over it.

So I quit NIOSA, a massive fundraiser for a cause that I affirm, the San Antonio Conservation Society. While I believe in their end goal, the event wasn’t something I could throw my whole self into anymore. For more on that, see my article in the Rivard Report.

I have stared out of that booth for 133 hours. Five and one half days. In all of that time, these were the highlights:

1) In the beginning, I was very…VERY into the whole thing. This photo was taken my first year in the booth, when I was 24 and kept company with primarily college students and single people. Back when stumbling home exhausted and sticky and smelling of beer was super cool. Back when I had a job that started at noon.

Liz and Bekah NIOSA

photo credit: Nell Glazener-Cooney

photo credit: Nell Glazener-Cooney

2) Nothing delighted me more than the men who would come by the booth in the drunking hour… not to see me. Dress a man up in a frilly blouse and a corona and you’ll have a line out the door.

Twinsies

3) I had many faithful helpers over the years. Becky Meyers, Justin Clement, the Behams, a whole host of Trinity Students who worked a shift every single year they were in school. But by far, the Volunteer of the Years(s) award goes to these two. I inherited them with the booth. They were the only thing that made it possible the last two years (when I had a job that didn’t observe “NIOSA week” as a holiday).

Rusty and Diana

4) I have a whole philosophy on Big Red, thanks to NIOSA’s contract with the RC Company and their refusal to sell Coca Cola or Pepsi Products. Here were some of the greatest quotes to come out of Cold Drinks #2.

THE “You didn’t do so well on multiple choice tests, did you?” CONVERSATION

Customer: You don’t have Coke?

Me: No. We only have RC products.

Customer: Pepsi?IMG_2491[1]

Me: No. We only have RC Products.

Customer: Dr. Pepper?

Me: No.

Customer: Diet Coke?

Me: No.

Customer: Okay, I’ll take a Big Red.

THE “What the hell is your 7 year old doing here on a school night?” CONVERSATION

Customer at 9:30pm: Do you have anything without caffiene?

Me: 7-Up

Customer’s Kid: I hate 7-UP!

Customer: Okay, he’ll take a Big Red.

THE “This is why America is obese” CONVERSATION

Customer: Do you have water?

Me: No.

Customer: Okay, I’ll take a Big Red.

Me: *blank stare*

I was beginning to believe that people only ordered Big Red as a last resort (which would mean that the four other drinks we served were beyond hope). But then there was this conversation, the year we decided to use the booth as a public health research venue.

Customer: I’ll take a Big Red.

Lewis: Here you go sir. And if you don’t mind my asking,  how often would you say you drink Big Red?

Customer: Most of the time.

Lewis: *blank stare*

5) I am pretty sure that NIOSA is the single most significant thing I have ever done (six times) to/for my immune system.

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6) Lewis coming along was a major change for my relationship with the booth. It was the beginning of a new time…a time when being irrationally tired had relational consequences.

I think the Conservation Society secretly knew this, and thus employed their prerogative as the arbiters of preservation. My maiden name (and the endless volunteer energy that went with it) is apparently one of the many monuments worth saving. 2013, when this picture was taken, was my 3rd NIOSA with the last name “McNeel.”

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7) Whether it was the very earnest cloggers, or the wildly inappropriate “flasher” character that roved the dancefloor, the booth was never lacking in spectacle to observe. Of course, the perennial favorite of drunk festival-goers across the Anglo-German world is the Chicken Dance.

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We kept a yearly tally of how many times the chicken dance was played.

8) The whole event has this sort of mom-n-pop feel to it. No one bothers with new-fangled conveniences like computers or health codes. So you can’t help but wonder how much money it could possibly make.

Millions, or more appropriately, tons.  One trip to the ticket weighing station underneath the booth at Sauerkraut Bend, and you see that these moms and pops are nobody’s fools.

About 5% of the nightly spoils. Each of those tickets is worth 50 cents.

About 3% of the nightly spoils. Each of those tickets is worth 50 cents.

9) Odd as it is, perhaps the thing I’ll miss the most is walk out, after it’s all over. There is no moodier light than the fading of a heat lamp. No more melancholy sound than the last of the revelry 100 feet ahead of you. No more atmospheric icon than the trash and debris of the party covered in confetti. It would have been easy for my last walk out of NIOSA to be a nostalgic, bittersweet moment…but then someone spilled beer on my shoe and nearly poked me in the eye with their sausage skewer…

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Protecting TED from the HMS Inspire

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was invited to attend the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference, or HOBY with the best and brightest from the region for a weekend seminar on leadership, service and innovation.

What do the best and brightest do when they are broken into groups and dispersed around a gymnasium with their enthusiastic counselors (read: kids one year older than them who had such a good time the year before that they wanted to come back and do it again)? Ice breakers. Team building exercises. Cheers and chants. And they kept telling us that the people around us would be our lifelong friends and that this weekend would change our lives. Truth is, they needed our loyalty and vulnerability up front in order to create this magical environment.

I stuck it out at HOBY for about 7 hours before calling my dad to come pick me up.  I just wasn’t feeling the magic.

I had a similar reaction to the Welcome Week activities in college, but I had to stick it out as this was the front door of my education…which would be the front door of a career. Yes…the portal to success lies behind answering the question “boxers or briefs?”, making animal noises, and dorm-olympics.  I entered adulthood with a big orange “S” painted on my face.

I remember thinking, “I came here to go to school. Why am I doing call-response chants with the Student Life staff? I don’t even know if I like it here.”

One of the best parts about being an adult is that, for the most part, there’s no more chanting. I still dread public participation. Whenever a speaker, pastor, or teacher says, “say it with me…” or “everybody stand up” I want to start shouting vulgarities just to ruin their demonstration.

Just give me what I came for, and let me give back on my own.

Which is why I love TED. In many ways TEDx conferences are the kind of grown-up, skeptic-friendly, purpose-oriented events I’ve been looking for my whole life. The day is jam-packed with “talks” and most of the exploration is left up to the individual.

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TED’s appeal and vibe is in its DNA. Technology, entertainment, and design are not the fields of group-think chanters or dispassionate couch potatoes who need to be roused from their inertia. The crowd is given to creating the experience they want, approaching the people they like, and engaging on multiple levels in order to make connections. The curated audiences offer some front-end engineering of this environment as well.

However, I think TED is in danger of drifting from what makes it great, at least in the TEDx events. The emphasis on general inspiration has broadened their appeal and I’ve noticed that a TED-culture is percolating. A cult of TED, if you will. The cadence and tone of the speakers and emcees is distinctly TED. A lot of the talks center on someone bottoming out and stumbling upon their calling. The extroverted interpretations of themes like “FearLess,” and “be Bold” engineer vulnerability and joinerism.

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TEDx Austin is exactly the kind of exemplar event that you would expect from that city. The speakers were visionaries. The interactive art exhibits were professional. The lunches were innovative and attractively packaged. Even the snacks were superb. It was exceptionally inspiring for all the right reasons.

But also in play were more overt attempts to inspire, rather than simply spread ideas. There was an obvious effort at creating a community around the event, rather than creating an event for a community. So it felt like we were being asked to find ourselves, to become something in this manufactured environment. This was made most obvious in the interactive elements, which included a room for hanging anonymous love letters on the wall, and two wigwam-meets-teepee type structures called confessionals. In the darkness of the wigwam was a phone, which connected to the other wigwam with voice distortion technology. The confessor was provided a safe space to tell their deepest secrets.

The cone of confession

The cone of confession

The wall of love notes

The wall of love notes

There is no doubt that in our over-mediated world people are hungry for community, safety, vulnerability. But it felt a little too reverent. A little to sacred. A little too religious for me.

TED is brain candy. When the occasional Brene Brown pops up to challenge your heart, it’s great. But if the theme of Technology, Entertainment, and Design is replaced with Heart, Mind, and Soul, I cannot help but wonder if “TED: be daring” be replaced by “all aboard the HMS Inspire?”

Again, at this moment, TEDx Austin is still a great example of getting that for which I paid (handsomely, in this case). Invisibility cloaks, slack rope walkers, urban cable, sociological linguistics, and experimental jazz. Yes, yes, and yes. It did generate spontaneous contribution and conversation. And I was deeply inspired by many of the talks. A lot of the social Post-Secret-esque environs  could be due to their correct understanding of what gets millennials jazzed. We want something that means something.

But the exact opposite of what millennials want is meaning –so naturally generated by TED and  TEDx events– packaged and sold as a brand-name experience. That’s when the satire kicks in. Be careful TED, SNL is coming for you.

1,380 Miles, some desert running, and a puppy

As I write this, I am sitting on the dog bed next to a (finally) sleeping puppy who has only recently abandoned her efforts to help me type. I cannot rest the heels of my hands on the laptop, because they are skinned raw, and Lewis is dead-to-the-world asleep. The sign of a truly productive vacation is when upon return home Lewis can’t stay up past 9, and I can’t fall asleep until after midnight.

Things lined up rather marvelously this weekend, if I do say so myself. A concert coincided with an important anniversary. A race with some unused vacation time. A spay surgery with a road trip. The results were five days of patchwork vacation held together by the Steve Jobs biography on audiobook.

Day 1)

Austin. We cashed in a “Friends and Family” rate at Hotel Saint Cecilia so that we could design-geek/beat-geek out. We also conducted research on counterintuitively veggie-based foods, which on South Congress mostly just means we ate out. To be honest though, as much as I love anything leek-based I would have been content with the minibar at the hotel…Central Market has nothing on Liz Lambert’s minibars.

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The whole trip was planned around a Heartless Bastards concert. The date of the concert, January 17th, happily coincides with the anniversary of the day Lewis decided not the be a heartless bastard, an instead to ask me out on a “real date”…

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The band was amazing. Definitely a band that should be heard live, which was why is was particularly peculiar that we were surrounded by an unusually uncouth group. Not what one would expect in Austin, the standard bearer for indie music culture. My inner, snarky, guardian of all social contracts, we’ll call her Emily Post-modern, would like to send the following memos:

To the gorilla grinder requiring five feet of clearance on all sides: we’re not forming a dance circle around you. We’re trying to avoid the splash zone of your Lone Star. And the girl you met five minutes ago with the line, “That’s a beautiful name,” is not making up a new dance move, she’s trying to get away.

To the guy whipping out disco moves while the rest of us do the Buster Bluth: I think you’re cool, but the girl with whom you are obviously on a first date  looks a little uneasy.

To the sorority reunions happening in front of and behind us: talking over the music makes your voices sound fat.

Day 2)

More Austin. We check out vinyls from the front desk (it’s that kind of place) and Lewis makes the most of the outdoor shower (yes, that kind of place).

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Day 3)

Big Bend. We headed out early in the morning for the National Park, armed with Steve Jobs’s biography on Audiobook. Which made us so glad to arrive at the headquarters of the Big Bend Ultra Run where your choices for company were happy, sun-dried, endorphin-fueled nature nuts…or no one for hundreds of miles. Either choice seemed better than imagining myself in the company of Steve Jobs circa 1982.

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We hiked to an amazing waterfall. In the middle of Big Bend. Amazing. Lewis tells me that it is great for skinny dipping when not serving as the meet-up point for three generations of a family reunion, which it was at that moment. Lewis, though intensely private, is an avid streaker and skinny-dipper. I, though intensely public, am neither.

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IMG_0404[1]Day 4)

The Race. Last year we ran the Big Bend Ultra Run 50K. After nearly losing my religion, I declared that I hate trail running and had no desire to do anything of the sort ever again. So this year we registered for the 25K, employing theory that stopping half way through the 50K would have made me incredibly happy. Ergo, if I ran a race half the distance, I would be incredibly happy.

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We we right. It was great.

Other than the moment I caught sight of the finish line and forgot to watch where I was going.

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We met up with Lewis’s parents for dinner and soaked in the views of the Chisos, as the medic informed me that soaking the Rio Grande or the hot springs with open wounds was ill advised. I drank a soda and a beer. One for the race. One for the road rash.

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Day 5)

The Long Road Home. We piled back in the car with Steve Jobs (having had all the laid-back, balanced people we could take) and headed back to Marathon for breakfast. The Burnt Biscuit Bakery is always an entertaining stop, so we made it and were regaled on why there were flowers coming out of the coffee roaster while we feasted on fried pies (I’d run out of reasons for indulgences, so this one was just a plain old indulgence).

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At exit 477, we took a detour to Marble Falls, to meet the newest member of our family. Florence McNeel (formerly Chloe the rescue rottweiler) rode home in my lap, finally fully vetted and ready for her new home. At this point, Lewis, who bikes to work most days, had been driving for five straight days (except when he was running across the desert). I knew he was exhausted, and wondered if the two-hour detour to fetch Florence had been the right call.

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I need not have feared. Lewis’s assessment after 1,380 miles: “If only all long road trips ended with a puppy.”

New Year Holiday in Not-Brazil

I didn’t do a lot of reflecting on the turn of the year as 2013 approached and 2012 eeked to a close. But a couple of weeks ago, I was offered the opportunity to close the year out with a bang. Or rather, um estrando. A client canceled his trip, leaving a vacant room up for grabs in a Rio de Janeiro hotel. On Copacabana beach. With a view of the New Years fireworks.

The trip to Rio was the ultimate way to “stick it to” 2012, a year that was full of upheaval and bad news. Hop on a plane, soak up some sun and order room service. Be jetset. Come out on top.

It’s not uncommon for me to close chapters of my life by skipping town. A good international cleansing to bookend seasons of growth, struggle, incubation, or serenity.

After a last minute scramble and a lot of tension (can Lewis go? can we get visas in time? plane tickets are how much???), it didn’t work out, and thus I am blogging from my home office, not a Club Room overlooking the Rio nightlife. And the holiday I had was entirely different than the holiday I passed up.

Instead of a plane, I hopped on a Megabus. I guess instead of jetset, I’m coachset.

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Instead of the concierge, I hung out with old friends (Rex and Lee are not pictured, but they came to visit on a night that I would have been in transit).

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Instead of Copacabana Beach, I sat in a cozy coffee shop on Guadalupe Street in Austin. The people watching was just as good.

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Instead of room service I had Kerbey Lane Pumpkin Pancakes (once at the restaurant, and then again at home with this exotic local…)

IMG_0231[1]Instead of in-flight entertainment, I did a lot of this:

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And instead of fireworks from a Club Room in Rio, I watched them from my own bed. In addition to the official display downtown (which we can see to the south), last night it was hard to tell if 2013 or a revolutionary militia had arrived in Dignowity Hill. Fireworks are a major budget line item for our neighbors.

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Compared to a trip to Rio, yes, it was a low-key holiday. But it’s a more fitting way to say goodbye to 2012, the year of bad news. Rather than fleeing to South America to dazzle the year into oblivion, it exited through a sieve. Staying home I realized that there were a lot of things from the past 12 months that I don’t want to leave behind. And those things have passed through Christmas and into the new year. I love my friends. I love my husband. I love gingerbread pancakes. And I love our city. God is on the throne. I hope that some things stay just the same in 2013.

Good, clean living

Just once, once in my life, I would like to go to the doctor and have the following discussion:

Doctor: Well we’ve gotten your labs back. All good, except for one thing. Have you been feeling a little woozy in the mid-afternoon?

Bekah: Come to think of it…yes! Nothing debilitating, but a little dizzy.

Doctor: That’s because you’re lacking a certain enzyme. Nothing dangerous at all, you just need to eat more salt and vinegar chips. A Coke every now and then wouldn’t hurt either.

They won’t say that. Ever.

On the other hand, there are some things that, no matter what the diagnosis, will be part of the prescription. They are universally accepted as good ideas for every single human being.

There’s been some concern lately about over-prescribed antibiotics. Yesterday’s wonderdrug is now prepping the world for the coming of the great Plague, from what I understand. Well, my theory is that people turned to antibiotics because they were tired of good, clean living as a way to ward off illness.

I get it, I do. But I have to admit there are times when I go to the dentist thinking, “Man, I have been so dutiful!” The hygeanist frowns as she looks in my mouth, “How often do you brush?”

“Twice a day.”

“Really could be three. How often do you floss?”

“Two or three times a week.”

“Needs to be every day. Do you use mouthwash?”

“Every night.”

“Go to morning and night.”

I just want to jump out of the chair and cry, “What do you want from me? What do I have to do to make you happy? When will you love me for who I am? Maybe I like a little tartar around the edges! What about that, huh? Did you ever think of that?”

And if you’ve ever tried to get out of exercise via sickness, good luck. “So should I lay off the gym for a while?” I ask as I feel like a 777 is lodged in my bronchial tubes.

“No, no. Moderate exercise will help as soon as your fever goes down.”

And as far as injury goes…two words: physical therapy. The worse you are hurt, the more you’re going to sweat.

Here are my list of things that seem to be beyond reproach when it comes to good, clean living. Cheers to your health!

Flossing– We have an endodontist friend, and one night over dinner we were all joking about things that we know we should do, but don’t. Everyone was laughing and joking until I said, “And sometimes it’s just so hard to floss each of those back bottom molars.” The endodontist went completely straightfaced and said, “No, seriously. You have to do that.”

Probably not good that this stuff tends to accumulate faster than it is used around here.

Probably not good that this stuff tends to accumulate faster than it is used around here.

Sunscreen– I’ve always been on board the sunscreen wagon, but now that 28 years of tans from swimming and working at camps have consolidated into two age spots on my right cheek, I’m driving it. Too little too late, but the dermatologist said there is exactly a 0% chance of them connecting and taking over my face to give me an olive complexion.

The winter skin protection regimen.

The winter skin protection regimen.

Walking– The pros and cons of various kinds of exercises are continuously debated. My favorite was the article explaining the dangers of yoga. But walking, the original mode of human transportation, is universally accepted as a gentle, sustainable form of cardiovascular exercise.

These shoes were made for walkin'. Well, running really, but there's pleanty of walking being done.

These shoes were made for walkin’. Well, running really, but there’s pleanty of walking being done.

Sleep– I’ve never had a doctor recommend that I get some sleep, but my husband does. Usually right when I’ve just made a super-logical point, or when I’ve finally reached the tearful conclusion of my theory on how I’ve disappointed everyone.  I’m perfectly rational at 1am. I have no idea what his problem is.

The cure for the crankies.

The cure for the crankies.

Prayer– Long treated as the panacea for all that ails Christians, it seems to be gaining steam outside the walls of the church as well as meditation, centering, etc. Whether you believe that the efficacy of prayer is primarily internal (achieving balance and “chi,” if you will) or external (beseeching God to participate in your life and converse with you) more than likely if your condition falls somewhere near “agitation” or “melancholy,” then prayer is going to be part of the treatment plan.

Keeping a food diary– why is this not something mandatory in schools? I went to public elementary school. They taught us how to balance checkbooks, follow the stock market, use a map, brush our teeth properly, and calculate our resting heart rate…where was this discipline? I’m too old to start new habits.

Today in the life of my mouth.

Today in the life of my mouth.

Drinking plenty of fluids– and then they go on to tell you to avoid sugary drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. So what they really mean is that you need to drink water. Man, are you in for a wild evening.

Recommended daily allowance. Also helps get the walking in, as you will use the restroom approximately 8-10 times a day if you are getting the recommended fluid allowance.

Recommended daily allowance of water. Also helps get the walking in, as you will use the restroom approximately 8-10 times a day.

Fleet Foxes and Growing Up

A while back, I went to a Fleet Foxes concert with my husband. We were smashed into the crowd with tons of other people, standing in a rain we were grateful to see during a horrific drought. The sky was lit with lightening and the Fleet Foxes were, as Lewis puts is, “otherworldly.” I felt super cool just being there.

Then, I looked up at the VIP box. Perched above the crowd with plenty of room to move and groove, was none other than the boy I’d had a crush on in middle school. He had married the most popular girl from middle school. She was there too, in the VIP box.

I had lived those tender years grasping at their heels. Every time I thought I’d gained some ground in the battle for “cool,” I’d look up and see those two just that far ahead of me. Now here we were again. I was enjoying a concert…they were enjoying it from the VIP box.

And everything about modern irony and poetic justice would dictate that it would be me in the VIP box. In the end, the coolest kids weren’t supposed to prevail in the long term. But life’s not like the movies, I mused to myself, sometimes the cool kids become the cool adults.

But wait.

I looked closer at the boy I’d been so mad for in middle school. Let’s just say this: I think I knew him at his peak, back in 6th grade.

I turned and looked at my husband, who was lost somewhere in another world with the Fleet Foxes. He had a few days-worth of stubble, his hair was at the perfect length, and he was wearing one of those fabulous Gap t-shirts that fit perfectly. He looked every inch an architect, the union of aesthetic and intelligence.

Call me petty, lame, or immature; but since I’d already reverted back to my catty middle school self, I thought, “Ha! I totally win.”

Happy Birthday, Lewis. Thanks for turning out hotter than all the guys I liked in middle school.

I get this look a lot.

Nervous gulp…

I’ve toyed around with the idea of a blog for a while now, but I was terrified of how I might drift into public demonstrations of my worst habits:

Ranting.

Pseudo-philosophy.

Baseless claims.

Pretentious musings on things like broccoli, laundry, and marriage.

People use blogs as great ways to keep family and friends updated on life in a foreign land. My family all lives in San Antonio with me. People use blogs to document home renovations. I’m not responsible for most of our home renovations, and couldn’t give you any details as to how they happen. People use blogs to share hilarious elementary school journals. My elementary school journals would leave me a friendless paraiah.  Basically, there are a lot of great reasons to blog, and until now I haven’t had one.

But I’ve taken up writing for Talk Magazine and The Rivard Report, which has resulted in significant overflow of articles that have nowhere to live except my Documents folder.  While it may be that they would be better served staying there, I’m going to let them have some air.

If I start documenting the most inane details of my daily life (how long it took me to shower or the consistency of my mucous) you’ll know the project has gone off the rails. But hopefully I’ll remember that I’m not that exciting, and stick to writing things that are of interest.