Thursday, December 11, 2008
Monday, December 08, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Plain and simply, my beloved Aggies are going to get stomped on the gridiron. t.u. is tougher, faster, and very obviously, more talented. Texas A&M has a new coach, old players with bad attitudes, and some new players with not enough experience to keep their heads cool. It hasn't made for a pretty picture this season.
But during the Lone Star Showdown, none of that matters. As cliche as it sounds, you can throw the recordbooks out the window when you're playing this rivalry game. The Aggies have sucked the last two seasons as well, yet managed to pull out a victory against the 'Horns. I don't think that will be the case this year, and again, I think it's going to be a long day for the good guys in maroon and white.
But hey, it's Thanksgiving, and the Aggies and Longhorns are playing football. So it's all good.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Thursday, September 25, 2008
- going to the bathroom with the lights on
- the garbage disposal
- the ceiling fan in my bedroom
- the quiet hum of the air conditioner
- the dish washer
- the front porch light welcoming me home in the dark
- my TV and DVR (I've missed recording so many of my favorite shows!)
- cold milk from the refrigerator
- quickly throwing something in the washer and dryer
Tomorrow marks the 2-week point without electricity. Hopefully I'll be able to celebrate the "anniversary" with an announcement that the lights have come back on.
Keep on keepin' on, CenterPoint folks! We're still sweatin' in the dark in my neck of the woods.
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Once again, as was the case three years ago during Hurricane Katrina, the men and women of the United States Coast Guard have stepped up and are admirably serving without hesitation. A runaway barge was just secured, in chaotic conditions, by the swift and heroic actions of the USCG. FOXNews' Shepherd Smith went as far as saying that it could've been a definitive move in saving the city.
I've expressed my frustration time and again over some of the sometimes random and seemingly unnecessary operations and trips that Ty has been forced to endure, at the expense of distance away from our family -- and Lord knows I've been vocal about the shortcomings and "wrongs" that we've felt from this branch of the military.
But when push comes to shove, it's times like the current state of things that remind me why he's doing what he does what he does, and why it's very much needed. Even though most folks don't even realize the Coast Guard does anything but board boats checking for life jackets and alcohol, I'm glad they're out there doing what they do, day in and day out.
Friday, August 29, 2008
A choice reflective of real change, but change based in principle and true progress....
There were many other predictable, perhaps safer, choices McCain could have made which would have satiated the conservative based. Yet, he chose someone who has the qualifications and has a history of also walking the maverick walk, but does not necessarily have the traditional resume, and that’s exactly what we want in a day when trust in government has never been lower.
Sarah Palin is a perfect choice and moves me from grudging support to full, invigorated advocacy for his campaign.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
Teachers are stuck somewhere in between. :)
This was our first week back to school with our new students. So far, it appears that I lucked out -- I have a great class, and that's a huge chunk of what can make or break your year. Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself by saying (or typing) it "out loud."
Anyway, I thought I'd throw out some of the best things about the year so far, even though I'm only 3 days into it ...
- I have a student in my class named Johnny Walker. Seriously. And he's adorable.
- The new "coffee bar" in the lounge that the parents are putting together for us every day. Yeah the coffee is weak, and it's not that great, but still. It's the thought that counts.
- My snazzy new ACTIVboard set up in my classroom, along with the document cam. I can't for the life of me figure out how to set it up, and there appears to be no one else around me who does either ... but we'll get there. And the potential is totally amazing.
- The fact that I don't have to commute 2 hours every day (even though I'd do it again in a heartbeat if it meant having Ty home!). It's changed my life and is keeping sane, despite the fact that I actually seem to be going insane.
- My girlfriends
- The fact that I'm now productively "on the clock" / calendar
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
A dear (and very smart) friend told me today that "being happy is about finding peace in your every day, no matter what that every day is."
I think I may print that out and tape it up behind my desk at work ... along with my satellite picture of the Christmas Eve snow we received in Houston a few years back, and Ty and Aidan strolling together at the Astros game (right after Aidan learned to walk). Those are my "happy place" things.
Today SUCKED. No two ways about it. Some of it was petty and insignificant. Some of it a little bit heavier. But regardless, I felt like the world was out to get me. Which is a pretty pathetic outlook, and one I don't usually have.
To make it short and sour (it wasn't sweet):
- The school district I know and love -- the one I grew up in (K-12), did my student teaching with, and have spent the past 12 years teaching in is really starting to piss me off. I don't know if it's public education as a whole, or what. But I'm so f'ing sick of the standardization of everything. Whether it be state tests, lesson plans, gradebooks, teachers, or whatever. It just goes against everything I stand for. Part of the greatness of education is experiencing differences in personalities and the way things are done from year to year, depending on which teacher you have. We're slowly but surely losing that ... purposefully and deliberately weeding the individualism out of our teachers. And it's a crime.
- In the only spare 20 or so minutes I had available, I went to pick up my contact lenses today (had the Dr.'s appt. last week). I rushed over to Eye Masters to grab them, only to be told by a bitchy emo girl with attitude that I had to see the doctor again to get them "fitted." HUH? Isn't that what you originally measured my eyes for last week at my appointment? So even though I'd already paid for my contacts, they wouldn't give them to me. On top of that, they had no appointment times today or tomorrow (just for me to stick the freakin' contacts in my eyes and the doctor to confirm that they're "ok" ??), so I now have to wait 'til Thursday to go back. It was horrible, and it got ugly. I asked to see this policy in writing, and they couldn't show it to me. I asked for a refund, and they wouldn't give it to me. If I had more time and energy, I'd make it my mission to bring them some major trouble. And the emo bitch didn't help. I could go on and on ... but I'm getting sick just thinking about it. And an entire waiting room full of eye patients got to witness this altercation. Ugh. I'm going to go pop a few TUMS.
- I had to go to the Hallmark store to grab a Baptism card for my nephew (the occasion is this Saturday). I'd just picked up Aidan, so he was with me. Like all Hallmark stores, this particular establishment had racks upon racks of Ty Beanie Baby-type animals. Aidan found a Blue (a la Blue's Clues), and began to make small, 2-year-old barking noises. The woman at the cash register looked at him and said, "Oh, please don't touch that, honey," (in a really abrasive tone). So I took the toy from Aidan. She then looked at me and said, "You really need to control your child." No joke. Yep. That's what she said. I walked out without my card. It was horrible. I was pissed off, humiliated, and exhausted.
Thank goodness for cold glasses of gin and tonic ... and good friends with equally good listening ears and strong shoulders.
Tomorrow WILL be a better day.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
The object of my obsession will be arriving in theaters a few weeks earlier than previously expected. Twilight, the movie based on one of the greatest series of books EVER (written by Stephenie Meyer) will be released on November 21 rather than December 12. Yippee! Thanksgiving will be that much more festive!
Here's the explanation from Stephenie's website:
So, many of you have heard that the release of the sixth Harry Potter
movie, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, has been moved from this
Thanksgiving to next summer. First and foremost, please know that this schedule
change has absolutely nothing to do with Twilight, me, or Summit Films (so
enough with the imdb death wishes, okay?). This is Warner Bros. decision, and it
was not motivated by anything Twilight-related.
Now for the good news! Though we're all sad
to have to wait for Harry Potter, this open spot at the theater creates a cool
opportunity. The good people at Summit were thrilled to let me know that now
Twilight fans are going to get their movie three weeks earlier than scheduled.
That's right—Twilight will be released in theaters November 21st! Let the
WORKS FOR ME! Crazy and coincidentally enough, I may actually be arriving in Forks, WA that night to stay with Ty for Thanksgiving (haven't decided yet). How wild and crazy would that be to get to see the movie in the actual location of the book? My heart is pitter-pattering just thinking about it.
Friday, August 15, 2008
... but why do some of the female gymnasts (thank goodness, not the Americans, it appears) plaster their head with those [white] bendy metal hair clips? I understand wanting to keep the little wisps of stray hairs out of their faces. But why not use the more inconspicuous bobby pins?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I've actually thoroughly been attempting to soak up my last few days of summer before returning back to work, which I officially did today ... so painful. I'm trying to be positive and energetic about the upcoming school year, but my heart just isn't into it right now. To be fair, I'm not much into anything at the moment, other than good wine (or cold beer), sitting out by the pool, and hanging out with Aidan. But I've got a classroom full of young minds that need me, regardless of my emotional state, so I need to step up.
I'm digressing ... supposed to be talking about music. Focus.
I was listening to my usual "in the car" music the other day (XM Flight 26) and the DJ was introducing a song. She described seeing the artist at a live performance in NYC and said he was remarkably talented, so I was really anxious to hear the song. I immediately loved it -- Come On Get Higher by Matt Nathanson. It's awesome. The crazy thing is, he's just released his sixth (yes, SIXTH!) album. Where the hell has this guy been? Or where the hell have I been??!! Apparently he's got a pretty big following. I need to get out more, I guess. He's incredible -- his acoustic sounds go straight to the soul.
I love what he has to say at the end of the bio on his website ...
"In some ways, I think this is a really mature record, but I don't think it's necessarily one that says 'okay, I'm an adult now," he says. "A lot of times when artists 'mature' in a certain way, they lose the stuff that drew you in and actually blew your mind in the first place. I don't think you need to stay stuck in perpetual adolescence, but you do need to keep part of you frozen -- so you don't lose touch with the wonderment of seeing the world the way you did at 17. I want to hang onto that."
Word, Matt. You've got a new fan down in Texas.
Tuesday, August 05, 2008
Aidan is thrilled with the "just in case" flashlights we've got on hand. He keeps insisting that I turn off all the lights so he can get the full effect of things. It's a hoot ... mainly because I remember being a little kid myself and getting a huge kick out of the flashlights and storms -- that's big-time fun.
Tropical Storm Edouard is currently pushing his way on land and through the Houston area right now, but it looks like we've dodged another potential bullet. Some of the talking heads on the news were just commenting that if this storm had made landfall at Kemah rather than where it did, we could've been looking at an 8-10 foot wall of water ... and this was only a tropical storm, not a hurricane.
All of these little "test drives" will hopefully prepare us for the big one. Yeah, most of Houston is shut-down today for basically just a really good thunderstorm system, but it never hurts to be safe ... rather than sorry.
Monday, August 04, 2008
I headed out to Kroger and Costco this morning to stock up on the essentials, which I hate to admit, I hadn't done yet this hurricane season. Costco was a mad scene, of course. I dreaded even going inside, but surprisingly, people seemed to be much more friendly and helpful than usual. People were patient, helpful with one another, and smiling.
Times like this always make me proud of my neighbors, and proud to be a Houstonian and a Texan. Tough times seem to bring out the best in us.
Anyway, it doesn't look to be too fierce a storm. But a hurricane is a hurricane. You just don't mess with 'em. Hopefully we won't even need our batteries, flashlights, and bottled water. But as those of us who've been born and raised on the Gulf Coast always remember, it's better to be safe than sorry.
Sunday, August 03, 2008
So I started reading ... and reading ... and reading ... and reading (I didn't turn off the lights 'til well after midnight). The first few chapters were captivating. For those of us who have been following Bella and Edward's love story, it was exactly the dream that we'd been waiting for -- pure bliss.
Then (insert dramatic music), things took a decidedly unexpected turn -- something began to unfold that I did not see coming, which is usually the mark of a great plot, right? Well, I'll be honest: reading through it was agonizing. So much so that I had this queasy, sick feeling throughout the 300 or so pages that it took to get through the "event". It reminded me of how I felt throughout most of Meyer's Host -- "This is disturbing. How did her mind come up with this?" To put it mildly, I was heartbroken.
But ... because of my 'In Stephenie I Trust' outlook, I kept reading. But I've got to be honest ... it was HARD. The more I read, the more I shook my head. What was she thinking?! How could she do this to me?! All of my favorite characters were there, but it was all wrong! Had Stephenie fallen and hurt her head while writing? Had she encountered a rebellious stage in her own personal career that she was now purging through Breaking Dawn? I don't know what to say, other than I was sort of mindlessly following the book along last night, not really grasping what I was reading...
... until page 387. And, coincidentally, the title of that chapter is New. Just when I thought I couldn't make it through the second half of the book, it was like an oasis in the desert.
I've now entered the second half of the book, and although things aren't perfect, and I still don't really see where Steph is heading with all of this madness, I'm starting to smile again. Things are starting to feel sort of right again in the world of Forks, Washington.
So, onward I now read. What a wild ride it's been so far. It's only 9:00 a.m., and I woke up feeling like I'd been hit by a truck. Wish me luck. I'm goin' in ....
Friday, August 01, 2008
And to close the whole circle of my Twilight synchronicity journey, I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Breaking Dawn will be in my happy little hands tomorrow! When I first heard several months ago when the release date of Breaking Dawn was (exactly one day after Ty's arrival in Forks/La Push), I attributed it once again to that weird, crazy, meant-to-be energy that has surrounded me since we received his orders to Quillayute River, and I began reading my favorite series ever. I'm not losing my marbles ... only continuously trying to get through this whole wild ride with some understanding of why it's happening -- with faith and hope.
As my sister says, there's no such thing as a coincidence!
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
For the past few weeks, IE has been acting really weird. I've frequently been getting error messages when I try to click a link on a page before the page fully loads. I then have to stop, back-track, and refresh the window. It's like it overloads or something. I have a spankin' new laptop, so I know the problem isn't the machine.
The final straw came today today at a district training I attended. Several of us were getting some weird errors when trying to access certain portions of a program that required us to run the internet at the same time. The woman conducting the class informed us that they've noticed the same issue repeatedly over the summer during different sessions. She said it only acts "buggy" with IE.
She strongly recommended using Firefox instead of IE. Soooo ... I came home and did some research.
According to ScanIT (a web consultanting company that specializes in network security audits):
Internet Explorer was around 80% unsafe during 2004, while FireFox barely "missed" around 15 percent. The results are based upon a tester developed by the company, Browser Security Checker, used by around 195,000 clients last year in order to detect whether their systems are vulnerable and whether the browser is the access gate for malicious codes.
According to ScanIT CEO, David Michaux, "around 98% of the Internet Explorer users were exposed to online threats during 2004; 200 days out of the whole 2004 (54% of last year) was dominated by activities specific to this worm or virus which exploited browser’s vulnerabilities".
As a comparison, FireFox was only left unprotected to known vulnerabilities for 56 days last year; the open-source online browsing solution seems to rule.
That did it for me. I downloaded Firefox. All my bookmarks and cookies transferred over, but my del.icio.us tags and buttons didn't. After doing a quick search, I found a Mozilla add-on extension that fixed the problem for me, so now I'm good to go -- del.icio.us links and all.
It feels sort of weird. There are a few differences. But I was really getting frustrated with the problems I was having, and I can already tell the difference (I haven't had a single one of the above-mentioned error messages). So far, so good!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Friday, July 25, 2008
Oh, and a big sigh of relief for dodging Hurricane Dolly. Whew.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
I love these books. There are so many different aspects to them that have come to mean so much to me. I wonder if Stephenie would think I'm just another freaky groupie if I wrote her a letter telling her all about the Twilight synchronicity (Ty moving to La Push, etc.) that I've experienced in my life since first discovering the series (Thanks again, B!)? Who knows? Groupie or not, I'd like to tell her about it some day.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
It was even better when you added flashlights and some goodies from the kitchen (i.e. a bag of chips or a few stolen cookies from the cookie jar). We'd always start out planning to stay up all night, but usually ended up cratering around mignight. And then on Saturday morning, you had a nice comfy pile to lounge around on while watching cartoons. Ah. Great times.
Over the past few days, Big A has started to show interest in this time-honored tradition of childhood, and it's cracking me up. Except he calls it his "house." I'm really having to hold myself back from dragging out a bunch more of stuff from the linen closet ... to really add to his meager little structure. But right now, he's content with 2 of the big couch cushions -- one propped up between the coffee table and the couch, acting as a back wall, and the other lying on top, acting as a roof. HE LOVES IT. He crawls under there and says, "Mommy! Come see me!"
It's fun watching the pieces of my childhood appear in his. Makes me smile at the most unexpected times -- thank goodness. :)
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Tuesday, July 08, 2008
Mom's front door is going to be red. Her inspiration is the front door at Talbot's -- brass kick-plate and all. I bet in about 50 years, someone will be removing paint and discover our layer of red and think to themselves, "Who in the HELL paints a front door red?"
I sort of feel like I've been blasting away at a lot of the old stuff and getting ready for the new as well. Life is full of color, for sure. Sometimes the outside coating chips and peels, but if you dig down deep enough, you can usually find some interesting stuff! A fresh coat of color shakes things up every once in a while.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Friday, June 27, 2008
- Less than a mile from the house is that beacon of American gluttony. That oh, so marvelous place that serves our desire to have everything all in one place (aka ... laziness) -- Costco! I don't know what I did before Costco. Really. I can't remember ... it's all a blur.
There are so many reasons to regularly head down Bunker Hill to Costco ... let me count the ways:
- Their GAS PRICES! Need I say more?
- As part of my ongoing summer project (scrapping), I just ordered over 300 pictures for development. They were ready for pick-up an hour later, for less than $30! Costco will also mail them out to you for FREE, if you so desire. Can't beat that with a stick!
- Their wine section is top-notch. Our local Costco has a super-knowledgable and friendly sommelier who is always willing to lend a helpful opinion or suggestion. Three bottles of La Crema chardonnay for $29.99?! C'mon! That's a steal!
- Fruit. Always fresh. Always yummy. I especially love their raspberries, blueberries and limes. You can get a ton for very little money.
- It*se*bit*se panties by French Dressing -- they're awesome! And no creeping up! :)
- Books, books and more books.
- Scrapbooking paper (who knew?!)
- Gorgeous flowers
- Spinach salad with poppyseed dressing
- Fresh feta-stuffed filet migon
- Tortilla-crusted tilapia
- And my personal FAVORITE -- their huge wedge of parmigiano reggiano. You seriously, seriously, SERIOUSLY can't beat the price anywhere. We always have a big chunk in the refrigerator for cooking, or just nibbling on with some wine in the evenings before dinner. Amazing.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Friday, June 20, 2008
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Tomorrow is my anniversary. When I look back at the past 5 years, I can hardly believe all we've been able to cram into such a short period of time.
Talk about an adventure. As stated, married life for the Farrells began in Las Vegas. We spent our "honeymoon" roadtripping across the western states. I have some particularly fond memories of Carson City, Nevada. I'll never forget the older couple (in their 80s, at least) whom we met at the blackjack table at the Best Western. They wished us well by providing us with words of wisdom on life and love and marital bliss. That gentle old man still had a sparkle in his eye when he looked at his bride. It was awesome.
We ended up planting some temporary roots in Long Beach, Washington where we were fortunate enough to be stationed, care of the U.S. Coast Guard. I had a tough time adjusting from life in Houston, Texas to life on the Long Beach Peninsula. But looking back, I can't think of a better way to spend the first year of marriage -- together and dependant only on eachother. I learned a lot about myself, and even more about my new husband.
Since then, we've lived in Pearland and Friendswood (two suburbs of Houston I knew little to nothing about, despite the fact that I've grown up in this great big city), and now find ourselves living with my mom (again, courtesy of that good ol' U.S. Coast Guard)! Aidan and I will be here for the next two years while Ty completes a tour of duty far, far away. Our current living situation sure makes that tiny apartment in Long Beach seem huge!
Along the way, we've become parents. We've evacuated from hurricanes. We've been through sickness and health (Ty now has one less gall bladder to kick around). We've been through richer ... ok ... poorer and poorer. We've grilled countless steaks and chickens, taken long walks pulling Aidan behind us in his little red wagon, decorated Christmas trees and strung lights outside, and even hosted a Thanksgiving where I served raw potatoes. Basically we've lived a very blessed life.
My guy isn't perfect. It annoys the hell out of me how he "sings" along to songs when he doesn't know the words. He's terribly dramatic when he catches a cold. And the inside of his truck looks like he's been living out of it for years. But you know what? He's mine. And I wouldn't have changed a single minute of this blur of a half-decade for anything. Except, maybe ... Ty's orders to Quillayute River. I really could do without those, but I digress....
I can't wait to see what happens next. It's starting out with an unexpected twist, that's for sure. But based on how we've ridden out the storm so far, I have a feeling that the fun is only just beginning.
The man DOES owe me a real honeymoon, however. Carson City was a nice stop along the highway, but I'm aiming higher. :)