Friday, February 26, 2010

A Better Understanding

(Photo credit to my aunt and uncle, whose ranch was covered in a lovely layer of white this week.)

My Gmail needs a good purging. I try to delete emails as I see fit, but I also don't like deleting particularly funny little exchanges between some of my friends. I keep the gems.

I ran across this email that I sent to MG last week as a follow-up to a discussion on pronunciation woes that we had had the night before. I realized that this email is so very me, it is such the perfect example of my personality and how my brain works, that it's almost comical.

Sometimes I capitalize words that need to be capitalized, other times I'm too lazy and use all lowercase letters. Sometimes I just find all lowercase more charming. When I run across a word or a phrase I don't know (I think I'm the only person who still wants to learn Latin), I look it up immediately, though I should probably pay more attention as to how to pronounce the word itself instead of the definition.

I realize that I'm strange. At least I embrace it.

from: Amy
to: MG
date: Wed, Feb 17, 2010 at 8:56 AM
subject: pronunciation

remember the crudites conversation from last night? (side note: i don't always feel like looking for letters with accent marks and i don't know the short cuts, but i know one should be there. by now i could have found it and not been annoyed with it, but i still don't feel like it... just had to get that off my chest.)

okay so i was trying to think of a word that tripped me up in a similar fashion, and i found one!


i used to say, in my head of course, "dough-shur."

it is, in fact, pronounced "dos-ee-ey."

i won't even admit that it was an episode of gossip girl that revealed this to me.

we can't have these french words embarrassing us up like this, it's unacceptable. we are more cultured that this. our next continuing education class needs to be beginning french.

peace, love, appetizers of raw vegetables and a collection of documents about one subject,

Consistency is the last refuge of the unimaginative.
-Oscar Wilde

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl

I hope you didn't think I totally forgot about this Thursday thing I've got going. Though I suppose two weeks on, one week off is hardly a solid pattern at this point, is it?

UPDATE: The Dallas Mavericks

The Mavericks are looking revived after the trade they made at the All-Star break. Seeing them go 2-5 before the break and bounce back to 5-1 after the break is a big swing, with what was probably their most difficult win last night against the Lakers.

In the trade, the most significant players that were traded away from Dallas were Josh Howard and Drew Gooden. Gooden played well for Dallas, in his short time here, but Howard was increasingly seen as a liability, both for his injuries and his unpredictable behavior off the court.

In exchange, we got notable additions Caron Butler, Brendan Haywood and DeShawn Stevenson. Haywood is getting a lot of playing time and press because he's a 7'0 center and he is a presence near the basket. Butler, who did not play in the game against the Lakers due to an averse reaction, is already looking like a great small forward who can score. Stevenson did a great job guarding Kobe Bryant last night, holding him to 20 points.

Twenty points is no small feat, don't misunderstand me. I don't think I scored 20 points in my entire 5th grade Boys & Girls Club basketball career. But this is Kobe we're talking about- and 20 points constitutes a less than stellar night for Kobe.

The great thing is that playing with the new guys has revived Nowitzki, Kidd, Terry and Marion, whose skills are looking even better alongside their new teammates.

Hopefully the rest of the season will be this fun to watch.

They tell you that nobody is perfect, then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they'd make up their minds.
-Wilt Chamberlain

Monday, February 22, 2010

Breeding Potential

I mentioned in earlier last week that a large group of friends and I went to Joe T. Garcia's for dinner last weekend in Ft. Worth. I didn't delve into many details of last weekend because most of them were completely overshadowed by the huge amount of snow that fell and the fact that we had no power for three days and woe-is-me, but it was actually a lot of fun.

At dinner that night I was sitting next to KR and her brother TR, who was in town visiting for the weekend before he heads to Scottsdale, AZ in a few weeks for spring training. TR's friend J was also with us and before long, we heard them commenting on the waitress serving the table next to ours and discussing her "breeding potential."

Say what?

Allow me to explain, or at least allow me to try and describe this as it was explained to me.
It has come to my attention that there is a contingent of men who do not merely survey a girl as attractive or not, but they actually take into consideration physical qualities such as height, coordination and athletic prowess. The waitress, for example, was brunette, in the 5'8-5'10 range, left-handed (TR's observation) and clearly coordinated, as waitresses are required to be. This qualified said young woman as "a breeder."

TR is an athlete, a baseball pitcher by profession and is 6'5, so in his words, if he were to have kids with a girl who is 5'10, "Do you know what our children could do on the athletic field?"

What indeed.

I had a similar conversation which I filed away for such a time as this at a party last fall. I was in the kitchen at my friends CC and AH's house while they were having people over, and found myself chatting with SR and her husband and LS and her husband.

Fifth wheel: present.

The girls were discussing the conundrum between being tall and wanting to wear heels and the various benefits of low heels and wedges, and the guys somehow ended up talking about the factors that went into choosing their wives. Both of their wives are beautiful blond, and interestingly enough, they are both around the 5'10 mark. They both discussed the fact that marrying a tall woman was definitely to their advantage. Siring future basketball and football stars was mentioned.

I know what you are thinking: compelling and rich.

Men also don't really consider that they also have equal odds of having a girl, but don't tell them that. It's like what Henry VIII's wives did, they just nodded and said "Yep, I can have sons!"

Worked every time.

I'm 5'7 with no shoes on, meaning I am upwards of 5'10-5'11 in heels. The average American male is about 5'10, meaning if I am wearing heels, I'll be looking most guys straight in the eye and maybe scoping out a few premature bald-spots from my birds-eye view. This can sometimes be an issue- it feels unnatural to look down at a guy when you are talking to him, and no one looks their best when they start hunching over.

I always thought that guys were more attracted to short, tiny women as a rule. The kind of women who shop in the petite section of Ann Taylor, where MK and I found ourselves admiring ruffly tank-tops last weekend before wondering aloud: "why are these so SHORT?" I can answer that. Because they are worn by women who are short and therefore wear everything well and who don't have to search for especially-long pants or need borderline could-be-a-minidress-long tank tops because anything shorter and you would see midriff... that's why.

Tangent is over.

So anyway, I was glad to learn, in the most roundabout of ways, that being tall and female is a good thing.

It's good-breeding, in fact.

I have good genes. My father is Danish and my mother is Irish and Native American.
They both have good skin.
-Virginia Madsen

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Addition & Subtraction

Hi there!

How are you today? Meh? I understand, it is Wednesday, after all.

I'm guest-posting over at Alana's blog today. She is one of those people I only know in blog-life, but I feel like I know her because I've been reading her blog for so long. You should check it out- it's fashion-y, or as Alana likes to call it, a "Stylish Snippet" and probably a bit different than what you usually read from me.

Or not. I don't really know.

Now I'm rambling.

Did you give anything up for Lent? I opted for diet drinks, which is the standard thing I need to ax anyway. But still, I love them.

I'd also like to add something, instead of just giving something up, so I'm going to write letters of the hand-written, no-reason, just-hi, funny-anecdote variety. Let's start with one a week. If it makes anyone smile, I will have accomplished my goal.

The great opportunity is where you are. Every place is under the stars. Every place is the center of the universe...
-John Burroughs

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Trager never looked the part of a hopeless romantic,
but in the final days of his life, he revealed an unknown side of his psyche. The hidden quasi-Jungian persona surfaced during the Agatha Christie-like pursuit of his long-reputed soul-mate, a woman whom he only spent a few precious hours with. Sadly, the protracted search ended late Saturday night in complete and utter failure. Yet even in certain defeat, Trager secretly clung to the belief that life is not merely a series of meaningless accidents or coincidences. Uh-uh. But rather, it's a tapestry of events that culminate in an exquisite, sublime plan.

-Serendipity, 2001

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Let There Be Light

Early Thursday morning, it started snowing, which persisted into Friday. This would not be out of the ordinary in many parts of the world, which I realize, but in Texas that much snowfall is most unusual.

On Thursday night schools started canceling class for Friday and local weathermen were having a heyday because of the record-setting inches which kept falling. Emails started buzzing about snowball fights and huddling up indoors to watch movies and drink cocoa.

Friday morning I woke up and immediately attempted to turn on my TV to see what the traffic and road conditions would be for trying to get to work. No luck. I then tried turning on the lamp on to my left next to my bed. No luck again. I sat up in bed and brushed the top of my duvet, which was freezing.

We had lost power.

I washed my face and threw on jeans and a North Face because there would have been no way of drying shower-wet hair, nor was I having much luck finding anything in the darkness of my closet. I was even on my hands and knees feeling each one of my shoes as I would imagine a blind person reads Braille. Efforts at looking presentable were futile.

My roommates kept me up to speed with the power-situation throughout the day, which was that we didn't have any, and MG told me that we could stay with her parents who live five minutes from our house, until our power returned. I drove home after work to check our house and get what I needed to stay away from home for a night so that I could have everything settled.

Friday was my dear friend AVs birthday, and a group of us drove from Dallas to Ft. Worth to eat dinner at Joe T. Garcia's and then go to Billy Bob's for a Miranda Lambert concert. MK was driving us and while trying to park in a snowy field next to the concert hall for $5, her car got stuck. AV, CC and I hopped out of the car in our cowboy boots and started pushing while MK tried the gas pedal to get the car to budge. I was thankful to be wearing old cowboy boots that can withstand the elements, because we were sliding all over the place after falling knees to the ground into the snow and finally getting MK's car moving.

AV has had more white birthdays in recent years than I have, a fact of which I am supremely jealous because I also have a winter birthday but very few of my 25 have seen snow. We scurried inside to get out of the cold wind with our cold and now muddy tights, and MK threw a snowball at me as I told her to "walk with purpose" after she was offering up ill-advised piggy-back rides.

We had a great time and I returned to MG's family's home feeling like a teenager sneaking in after curfew. I woke up Saturday morning to find that the G's were also harboring MG's brother, his wife and their golden retriever, who live a street over from us and were also still without power. Seven people and three dogs under the same roof.

We made more trips to our house after coming to terms with the fact that we would need more clothing to survive the weekend, and somehow I ended up bringing five pairs of boots into the room where I was staying. Five pairs of boots and my own room and bathroom in the G's house... you can tell we were really roughing it, can't you?

MG and I were feeling both productive and a little helpless today after church and finally decided to face the carnage of our refrigerator before it got any worse. With the power still out, we opened all the blinds in the kitchen and filled four trash bags with the contents of both our fridge and freezer, save for the alcohol, which was unaffected. I ascertained during the purge that we have an affinity for cheese, hummus, barbeque sauce and frozen pizza at our house. On the bright side, our fridge has not been this clean since the day Home Depot delivered it.

KS and I went to dinner tonight (she was a lovely Valentine, I must say) and while eating I got an email beep on my phone that MG's brother had sent, telling us our power was back on. We bolted as soon as we could sign our checks at the restaurant, did a quick drive past our house to make sure he wasn't playing a cruel older-brother joke on us and confirmed the power was indeed on, then went back to pack our things. No one else was home and we left a note but otherwise I felt like we were thieves in the night, stealing away with bags of ours clothing, hair-dryers, boot collections and other essentials that had been brought with us. The G's could not have been better hosts- I think we were just thrilled at the idea of waking up in our own beds and not having to make anymore trips for those one or two things we forgot at home.

My immediate concern after packing up was the fact that we were now without coffee creamer at home. This may seem trivial, but when you can make the world's greatest coffee at your house and you've been without it for three days, your priorities change accordingly. Never mind milk and bread; I needed Original Fat-Free Coffee-Mate. I went three places to find it too.

Our refrigerator is now home to multiple bottles of beer, wine, prosecco, strawberry yogurt and Coffee-Mate, naturally. The freezer has ice-cubes and one loner bottle of Tanqueray gin.

Home sweet home... and happy Valentine's day.

He made the world to be a grassy road before her wandering feet.
-W.B. Yeats

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl

I'm a sports-enthusiast who happens to be a woman. I am thrilled when my teams win and get frustrated when they lose. I have a hard time understanding why there is such a disconnect between women and sports and I aim to help, by providing once-a-week posts on the goings-on in the world of sports. I throw like a girl.

This is a big weekend.

The Winter Olympics are upon us; "us" being the world.

The NBA All-Star game is upon us; "us" being Dallas.

Things to know about the Vancouver Olympics...

There are 15 sports in the Winter Olympics, including crowd-favorites like Freestyle Skiing and Figure Skating, but also some lesser known but still notable events like Skeleton and Curling. Skeleton sounds terrifying, racing head-first, downhill on a sled-looking contraption called a "sledge" and Curling is like an oversized game of shuffleboard.

If you find yourself watching the Olympics and are curious for more detailed information on each sport, the dates they will be aired or the athletes competing, ESPN has a thorough break-down of everything.

The All-Star Game...

The NBA All-Star game is being hosted in Dallas this weekend, and following it, an influx of 250,000 people are expected to show up. I'm just going to go ahead and tell you to prepare yourself for the fact that the All-Star game itself coincides with Valentine's Day, if in fact your are celebrating this day and if in fact the person you celebrate with happens to like basketball. I think that the Saturday events are fun to watch but the game itself depends on who is injured and who will be able to play.

Here are the basketball events:

Friday, February 12 at 7 PM ET- Celebrity Game
Friday, February 12 at 9 PM ET- Rookie Challenge
Saturday, February 13 at 8:30 PM ET- Skills Challenge, 3-Point Shootout, Slam Dunk Contest
Sunday, February 14 at 8 PM ET- NBA All-Star Game

The NBA is on the All-Star break until this weekend is over, the will resume play as normal. The trade-deadline is quickly approaching, meaning any changes that coaches want to make to their rosters have to be done by February 18. The Mavericks have had a bad streak running into this weekend, including their worst loss of the season to the Denver Nuggets on Tuesday.

Have a great weekend!

The first thing is to love your sport. Never do it to please someone else, it has to be yours.
-Peggy Fleming, American Figure-Skater

Monday, February 8, 2010

Guinea Pigs

My friends love making plans. Plans for the day, plans for the night, the weekend, trips- anything.

When we are planning to cook at one of our houses, I usually assume the role of menu-planner. Weekends especially allow me the freedom to cook as I wish and unless otherwise noted, my friends let me use them as my guinea pigs for trying new recipes.

I have chopped, diced and baked with my friends around enough to know who I'm dealing with. I know that MG, AV and I will not eat fish, CC and MK will eat most anything but CC does not like celery and MK gets nauseous around bananas. AV does not like to mix salty and sweet in the same bite, KS is allergic to red meat and chocolate (I know, so tragic), and I can tell you that KR will eat sushi but also gets goobed-out handling raw meat. I can tell you who drinks coffee and who drinks tea, who prefers white wine and who prefers red, and so on.

Two weekends ago I decided I wanted to cook fried chicken. I felt like it was one of those staples that Southern women should just know how to prepare for lunch on a Sunday afternoon after church, so that's what I did. With the help of KS, who stayed hard at work making homemade biscuits, I made fried chicken in a cast-iron skillet, how God intended. It fried and then baked for an additional length of time which made it more crunchy and delicious.

Thankfully we cooked an entire chicken for just the two of us, along with mashed potatoes and the biscuits covered in honey butter. We even listened to a nice mix of country music the entire time and wore our favorite aprons, which should really complete the vision of domesticity in your head right now.

This past weekend it was decided that we would eat over at KR and MK's place. I was set on using their grill and decided that it was as good a time as any to learn how to grill steak. My dad makes amazing food from the grill so I consulted him on a marinade and got my shopping list together.

KR helped me light the grill and after turning on the gas and the knobs, as per instructions, we still managed to create a small atomic bomb-like explosion of fire as the grill roared to life. Eyebrows were thankfully spared. KR, AV, KS, BF and I enjoyed a night in and had dips, roasted garlic on crostini, filet mignon and Gruyere-Parmesan scalloped potatoes. KS also made us Sidecars (which were a hit, thanks for my friend CT's recipe) and KR made Nutella cupcakes which completed our decadent meal.

I bought a dining table for our front room tonight (thank you, Craigslist) and plan to add some cute covered chairs with it, so you'll hear about more dinner parties soon.

Explosions will henceforth be kept to a minimum... people start talking when someone singes an eyebrow.

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
-Harriet Van Horne

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Throwing Like a Girl

I have a hard time understanding why there is such a disconnect between women and sports. Some of the best outings to me have been attending live sporting events and getting to watch players duke it out with a crowded sea of thousands roaring alongside them- the energy is infectious.

I am thrilled when my teams win and get frustrated when they lose.

I'm a sports-enthusiast who happens to be a woman.

The night of my 25th birthday I was about to leave to meet my friends for dinner and was yelling at my basketball team- heels and dress on, hair curled and all- while I watched them lose in overtime on T.V. I often check score-updates on my iPhone, I listen to sports talk-radio and I always choose one of the treadmills in front of ESPN at the gym. I'm also not a retired female coach sitting in a booth giving commentary and I'm not a swimsuit model who moonlights as a sideline reporter, who are the typical women seen in sports-news. I am not an athlete and I do not keep up with sports to please a significant other- I genuinely enjoy it.

I have actually been mulling over the idea of talking about sports on here for a while because I feel like someone needs to make sports more relatable for women. With all of the statistics and analysis provided for any game on any given day, I realize that it's challenging to even know where to begin. What I aim to do is to provide the knowledge in a relatable way so that you know what is going on in the world of sports (specifically the Dallas/Texas/Big 12 world of sports but also overall information), basics about how different games are played and who you should know about.

The thing you will have to remember is that I am a girl and I throw like one. I have never been a tomboy a day in my life, I get lost even with a GPS and I don't know a fraction of what the nearest male in your current vicinity probably knows about sports. But I still love it. I plan to keep educating myself so that I can better equip you to, for example, walk into a crowded living room during the Super Bowl and not ask: Who is winning?

Please don't do that.

So this week, we will briefly touch on the Super Bowl, in which the Indianapolis Colts will face off against the New Orleans Saints this Sunday afternoon. Wherever you go will probably have greasy food, beer and hang out around the focal point of the afternoon- that football game on T.V.

The Saints have never made it to the Super Bowl and getting this far in the season is a great accomplishment for them. The Saints went 13-3 in the regular season (pre-playoff games) led by quarterback Drew Brees, and their three losses during that time were consecutive; all at the very end. New Orleans since bounced back for a big win against the Arizona Cardinals and then beat Brett Favre and the Vikings in overtime to become the NFC Champions (National Football Conference) advance to the Super Bowl.

The Colts are looking for another Super Bowl win with their quarterback Peyton Manning, who is arguably one of the best quarterbacks of all time. They went 14-2 in the regular season with both of their losses also coming at the very end of their schedule. They defeated the Baltimore Ravens and the New York Jets in the playoffs to advance as the AFC Champions (American Football Conference) and go on to the Super Bowl.

(Side-note: the AFC and the NFC are the two conferences in the National Football League {NFL}. There are 16 teams in each conference and the teams play each other within their conference until the Super Bowl, which faces the AFC Champion against the NFC Champion. Many other sports operate under a similar system.)

I am much more familiar with the NFC because that is the conference the Dallas Cowboys fall into and therefore I have watched the Saints play more than the Colts and I have a better idea of the strength of teams they have played. That said, I also know how good Peyton Manning is, and if his team plays up to his level then I think the Colts will have a great chance to win, even if it's by a small margin. The Saints can put points on the board so I think everyone is hoping for a good game.

I'll stop there for today. Hope you learned something!

The reason women don't play football is because eleven of them would never wear the same outfit in public.
-Phyllis Diller

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Renaissance Blogger

I've been thinking.

I've been thinking about this blog and the purpose of it and what I'm doing with it. I want a more defined idea of what I'm doing, even though the great thing about blogging is that it becomes whatever you want it to be.

If you have been around a while, you will have seen more pictures from weddings than you ever thought possible. You will have read about the irreplaceable people in my life, my faith, my ongoing internal long versus short-hair debate, teaching my parents how to work their iPods, running through airports, that time I gave up eating meat and my complete lack of knowledge regarding any person of the male gender.

I don't want to switch over and only start discussing a single topic, so I'm not going to. There are so many bloggers who excel at discussing one topic, but rather than focusing on one thing, I want to keep the personal, introspective level there while also trying to write more regularly on various subjects like my version of cooking, books I read; maybe talk a little wedding etiquette and whatnot. I also know that I specifically want to discuss sports on a regular basis is such a way that makes them more interesting and relevant for women.


You heard me: sports. I've got some ideas; we'll see how they turn out. I don't know how successfully anyone has ever been at dabbling in a little bit of everything but it's worth trying.

I plan to invest in a digital SLR picture-taker to give more depth and detail to my photos; what I see and how I see it. I love blogs with great writing most of all but I do appreciate good photos as well.

Here's the thing: I don't view writing or blogging as a chore. I write because it feels natural to me, because I enjoy it and because thoughts, memories and ideas become more tangible when I put them into words. I have never been great about keeping a journal but for whatever reason, I've stuck with this, so I'm going to keep on sticking.

If nothing else, you can count on the quotes I post. Those definitely aren't leaving any time soon.

Elizabeth Bennet: I am no longer surprised at your knowing only six accomplished women, I now wonder at your knowing any.
Mr. Darcy: Are you so severe on your own sex?
Elizabeth Bennet: I never saw such a woman. She would certainly be a fearsome thing to behold.
-Pride & Prejudice (2005 movie version. FYI the A&E version is also wonderful.)