Very Superstitious

Hokay, so I’m supposing for just about everyone that reads the blog, the news has already been broken, but to make it official….

As of this Wednesday,
I became on of the food bloggers for the Houston Press.
Yes.
Most of the time between now and finding out exactly one week ago today has felt something like an out-of-body experience. There was a point in the application process where I had gotten REALLY excited and typed up a whole list of ideas for blog posts only to delete them days later because I never thought I would actually get the job.
Now that I have two posts under my belt I feel confident enough to at least talk about it without feeling like I’d jinx it. When life gets this good, and things so eerily perfect for me just fall into place, it gives me the heebie jeebies.
Felt a little like Carrie Bradshaw walking into Vogue for the first time, knowing it was so right, hoping they felt that way too.
Just gotta remember “a little less you, a little more purse.”

Ya no quieres caminar

I’m back from my long weekend in San Antonio.

And when I say long, I mean it. Count with me-
18 high school marching band performances (15 back-t0-back in a four-hour block)
9 total hours in the car
5 out of 6 meals Tex-Mex (two breakfast)
My skin is dry, my lips are chapped, I’m tired and itchy and I’m burping up foods I don’t remember eating. There are several mariachis along the Riverwalk still bewildered by my family’s adverse reaction to their presence. (Turns out when you spend five hours listening to marching bands the last thing you want is a trumpet six inches from your face wailing La Cucaracha while you eat dinner).
The good news:
-Saw my lovely sister’s marching performance with my alma mater
-Found one of the best Sangrias I’ve had in a long while
-Stopped by Buc-cees in Luling to visit the shrine of all things Road Trip
-Picked up a couple of goodies at the San Marcos outlets
-Took some decent pictures at the Market Square I’ll upload at some point…
Decent blog posts promised later as well. Spend the time in between contemplating why exactly the idea of eating next to a stream of running sewage is such a tourist attraction, and who ever decided that serving alcohol next to a water walkway with no guardrails was a good idea.

Someone like you and all you know and how you speak

Funny thing to spend your teenage years searching for people like you only to spend your twenties lamenting the discovery.

Yesterday’s kindred spirits are today’s competition. And with the growing knowledge of their existence thickens the reality of my inconsequence and the improbability of the lightning strike of success in art. Why me?
I’ve never come across a writer that didn’t have a dysfunctional childhood, or at the very least a dysfunctional view of it. It would stand to reason that we ourselves, as creative types, are not functional. Craving the validation for our secret art and quiet obsessions, but shying from it at every opportunity. And when those braver than us try for it and win- we do not revel in the accomplishment, but grumble angrily to ourselves about how we could have done it better.

What is it about intelligence and creativity that scatters focus and creates a converse relationship between ability and drive?
It must be the same phenomenon that pairs the attainment of wisdom with the perception of knowing less. Perspective slides us to self-doubt in a way that leaves society to be run by the thick-headed and sure of foot.
The world we know is run by a steady stream of unflinching egotists- a blooper reel of American Idol contestants so sure they are the next big thing.
I need to add an ounce of stubborn to my daily vitamins. I’m starting to believe more and more that unfailing confidence and inability to quit can count more than true talent. But the more I build my confidence the more I question its source. If I build confidence and become necessarily blind to my abilities, what will I become? William Hung producing a CD of Ricky Martin covers?
If we put ourselves out there, can we choose to be so selective in defining success? Or do we take what we can get because it’s better than distinguished, prideful anonymity?

Songs for Fat People

Since I started exercising I’ve become one of the people I despise most because I
(a) go jogging
(b) jog in such a way that it’s actually slower than walking
As one such despicable person, I can tell you that music matters. I have to find songs slow enough to keep rhythm to (I was in marching band for four years, it’s pretty much impossible not to set pace to the beat) while at the same time fast enough to add a skip of inspiration to my overly-labored hippopotamus steps.
After almost two full months of running, not only are my calves somewhat less gelatinous, I’ve managed by trial and error to create the perfect slow-jog playlist.
A generous sample:
Get a playlist! Standalone player

Spoiled Brat.

This weekend Aaron and I decided our dog just might have too many toys, so we spent a little time this afternoon going through everything. Scientific tests were performed to determine the desirability and retrievability of various items.
A clear fail:

Somewhere Between Houston and Albuquerque

I started painting again.

More than two years ago I took an Intro to Acrylic Painting summer school class at UT taught by Polly Jackson.

It. was. glorious.

Not because I ended up with any sort of respectable art- but because it gave me a vague idea of how exactly you get to where you want to go with paint.

This is where I want to go this time:

Albuquerque Sink by Polly Jackson

I love how the color is hiding behind all that titanium white- only peaking out when absolutely necessary. It’s like the split in the reel where light cracks between scenes in old movies.

Where I am:

Remains to be seen if I’ll ever get to where I want to be, but it feels good to be on the road again.

Extremists

The biggest problem with deciding to eat healthy is that the minute you tell anyone you intend to do so they will begin to scrutinize your food choices.

“Pistachios are actually not that good for you” they will say.

Neither are steak fajitas or entire meals at Luby’s where even the vegetables are fried or the six Shipley’s donuts I ate last weekend. Why can’t you acknowledge the progress it took to eat only one bowl of Special K last night before bed?
No one seems willing to admit this sort of progress unless it involves fat free salad dressing and a complete embargo on butter.

Prime example- the sheet above. I picked it up at a conference a while back and keep it on my fridge not as a reminder but for a good laugh (and as a subtle way of screening friends). Notice all the takeout magnets and menus holding the paper on there?
I think it’s important to remember that it’s not about averaging the extremes in your life but finding balance in moderation. If you’re worrying about the calories in lettuce, there are more constructive things you can do with your time.

I Heart SL

I think everyone has a healthy dose of uneasy ambivalence towards the towns in which they grew up, but returning from Austin to live just 20 minutes down the road and working at an agency that has quite a few Sugar Land clients has given me the opportunity to rethink it. Now almost entirely free of teen angst I’m able to see Sugar Land for what it is, and love it just a little more than my high school friends who moved away.

A couple of recent reasons that make me feel the love:

Saturday Oct 3Bark for a Cure walk around Sugar Land Town Square

Saturday, Oct 3– The Houston Museum of Natural Science Sugar Land branch officially opens in the old farm house in Telfair.

Saturday Oct 10– “Pawm Springs” dog park opens just down the road from the UH Sugar Land branch.

Thursday, Oct 15Sugar Land Sweetup for everyone in the area who loves social media (okay, so I had a little something to do with this one, but it’s still gonna be loads of fun)

Youth in Asia

As predicted, Basil suffered a swift decline once entering my care. He held on strong for nearly three months. Today we said our final goodbyes (although in retrospect we should have waited until tomorrow for trash day because I can see my dumpster baby from the back patio and it’s making me feel guilty). Please observe a moment of silence as we reflect on his short life.