Monday, August 30, 2004

Wonderful Weekends...

...give you a bad case of the Mondays. I'm still on my California high, so work doesn't seem that bad this morning, but I would give at least one of my four limbs to be back there, just driving around with no plans, no schedule, no idea where we'll end up, just driving. Listening to music, talking, enjoying the weather, the company, the environment. It was awesome.

We arrived Friday night, checked into the hotel, and headed out for some grub. Long Beach is a quaint little town, but shuts down early like a Dallas suburb. We found a place to eat, walked in 15 minutes before closing. The waitress told Sam he didn't need any french fries. Turns out, she was right. So after dinner, Todd and I headed to a bar down the street for a couple of drinks and people watching, then we headed back to the hotel, exhausted.

We didn't keep a schedule. We knew we had to be at the Home Depot Center around 6:30-ish on Saturday. Other than that, we just drove until we found a place that looked like somewhere we'd want to be.

The Beach
As great as the concert was, nothing compares to the beach and the fun we had there on Saturday. We spent Saturday at Venice Beach. Todd and I spent some time playing in the waves, which was fun until that huge wave picked me up and threw me on top of Todd -- me, struggling for air, trying to escape the undertow, elbowing him in the face. I didn't mean to...really. Something about being in the ocean like that, it's a drug. I can't quit laughing. Enjoying this drug with someone you love, well, that's something you can't put into words. My cheeks hurt all day from the incessant smiling. We buried Todd in the sand. We gave him all kinds of body parts and took all kinds of fun pictures. We were twelve years old for about four hours.

And I spent a lot of money. On things I really didn't need. Except that awesome shirt. And necklace. And that hat. And that sarong. Okay, I needed all of it.

The Concert
The Black Eyed Peas decided not to open for this show, and were replaced by some "Jem" or someshit. We decided to enjoy a few drinks at the hotel before heading to the show for $11 beers, and miss out on the "Jem". (I'm only assuming this is the way she/they spell the name, hence, the "quotes.") We arrived a little late, and missed some of Ben Harper. I thought for sure that Sam would never forgive me for this, even though it wasn't my fault that we were late. I mean, we were all enjoying the QT at the hotel. He got over it. The acoustics for Ben's show were awful. It could have been because there were so many people just walking around, talking, not really taking in the Ben show. Idiots. Anyway, the sun went down, the breeze picked up, and Dave Matthews came on...and we spent a few hours in Utopia. He played some new stuff, which we really enjoyed, but the old stuff warmed our hearts on such a cold evening. It was awesome.

It was so good spending this weekend with Sam. We got a chance to talk about things we hadn't discussed in a while, things we needed to talk about. We got to spend some quality time together, which we don't do often enough. It was so nice to see him out of his element, just enjoying life. I think he needed it worse than the rest of us. So we allowed him to giggle in bed after the concert, quoting lines from "Red Dawn". My God that was funny.

We got up Sunday morning and headed out to find some breakfast. We stumbled upon a great Mexican food restaurant, "Acapulco", with a brunch buffet, complete with all the mimosas you could drink. Too bad champagne gives me a raging headache, so I didn't partake. They sure are pretty, though, those bubbly mimosas. We decided to head the other direction on Hwy. 1, and landed at Huntington Beach. A great beach with some great shopping and awesome people watching. Todd and I decided that before the year ends, we'll be back there for another weekend. There's just too much we didn't get to do. Time is an evil vacation buzzkill.

Every time I go to California, I have a very hard time getting on the plane for the return flight home. This time was the worst. We were seriously thinking through scenarios, trying to figure out exactly what would happen if we didn't return. Could we find jobs? A place to live? Could we just live on the beach somewhere and use those nasty public showers and restrooms until we got settled? When we returned the rental car and got ready to head to the terminal, I must admit that I got a little scared when Todd looked at me and said, "I'm not going." I thought he was serious. Actually, he was serious. He would have stayed if I hadn't whined about how I needed him back in Dallas with me. So I convinced him that we'd return soon, and he picked our bags up and we headed to the motherfucking terminal.

So now we're home. Now we're pushing paper around, making phone calls, running errands, taking care of business. But there are smiles on our faces. And, there's the daydreaming. And the reminiscing. And maybe there's even some planning. Planning to go back, planning to escape again sometime soon, someplace different. Perhaps planning to return for good. Who knows.

I'll post some pictures when I get them. :)

posted at 9:44 AM

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Kids, we're in Long Beach. Let the games begin.

posted at 9:49 AM

Thursday, August 26, 2004

My Trip to Texas A&M

As promised, I've posted some pictures from my trip to College Station. Better late than never.

Clearly, you can only post one picture per blog post. Clearly, scanned pictures aren't as clear as digital photos. Clearly, I have a big head. Clearly, we had a good time. Clearly, I am old. Clearly, well, clearly I am happy.


posted at 10:36 AM


At the Sake bar. Note the size of my head in this particular photo. Much bigger than Todd's, and he's much bigger than me.

posted at 10:34 AM


I love this picture. Clearly, another end-of-night photograph. We had a designated driver.

posted at 10:34 AM


Todd and his brother, Nate, pretending that they're going to kiss. Or maybe they weren't pretending... I don't remember.

posted at 10:33 AM


Graduation evening. This was taken at the end of the night. Todd's having a big time.

posted at 10:32 AM

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

We have an electric stapler at work. You know, one of those that you just push the paper under it and it staples everything for you. There's no risk for carpal tunnel syndrome or hand cramping, BAM! It just staples for you. When that damned thing quits working, I get really frustrated. Standing in the copy room, banging it against the counter... Then I realize how jacked that is and I start laughing out loud.

Only four more days before I head to sunny California for The Concert of the Year with my mister and my brother. I can hardly contain myself, my excitement. We've literally been counting down for weeks.

I love this song. I love the lyrics. So I'm sharing with you today.

Such Great Heights
-- The Postal Service (Or by Iron and Wine, most recently from the "Garden State" soundtrack")

Thinking it's a sign
That the freckles in our eyes
Are mirror images and
When we kiss they're perfectly aligned

And I...
Have to speculate
That God himself did make us into
Corresponding shapes like puzzles pieces
From the clay

It may seem like a stretch
But it's thoughts like this
That catch my troubled head
When you're away, when I am missing you to death

When you were out there on the road
For several weeks of shows
And when you scan the radio
I hope this song will guide you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now," but we'll stay

Tried my best to leave
This all on your machine
But the persistent beat
Sounded thin upon listening
That frankly will not fly

Will hear the shrillest highs
And lowest lows with the windows down
When this is guiding you home

They will see us waving from such great heights
"Come down now," they'll say
But everything looks perfect from far away
"Come down now," but we'll say...

posted at 8:45 AM

Friday, August 20, 2004

So I'm testing how to send pictures to my blog using this, as suggested by Amber, a Girl Without A Blog right now. This could be dangerous...

Unfortunately, this is a scanned picture, and isn't coming out very clear. Oh well. More later. Now that I have this nifty new tool, someone try to stop me! :)

PS - My hips sure look big in this picture. Perhaps it's the angle. Ahem.

posted at 7:43 PM

There is a God, and He Brought Me "Garden State".

My life exists in two main stages. That time before I saw "Garden State", and the time following seeing "Garden State". This is, hands down, the best movie I've seen in the past few years. Easily. I don't know if it was the writing, the casting, the music... It's a must see.

Note: I really don't feel that this movie was life-defining, life-changing, and self-preserving in any way. It was just really good and I speak in superlatives most of the time.

Moving on. It's almost the weekend, and for that, I am truly thankful.

I had the best meal known to man last night at Bread Winners. My God. Almond encrusted tilapia, tiger prawns, spicy mashed potatoes, veggies. Good Lord, I was in heaven. Then the movie! And with my mister! Life is good, folks. Life is good.

I need to start feeling better. I've been toying with the idea of getting sick for the past week or so. Let's get it over and done with. I hate a germ tease.

posted at 9:07 AM

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

I have a big head.

I don't mean that someone's been over-complimenting me (which, really...someone has...but that's beside the point.) I mean, my head is big. Huge. I've developed about four rolls of film over the past couple of weeks, and I have a very large face/head when compared to other faces/heads in the pictures.

If I can figure out how to post an example, I will. But that takes time. And I've got none of that.

posted at 11:33 AM

Monday, August 16, 2004

Why!? WHY!???!!??!?!???
Won't someone please think of the children???

Austin City Limits. September 17 - 19. In Austin, obviously. A few bands there that I'd really like to see. Including Ben Harper on Sunday.

Sting. With Annie Lennox. Sunday, September 19. In Dallas. Tickets already purchased.

Are the music gods toying with my sanity? Is this a test of some sort? Have I committed a mortal music sin for which there is no forgiveness? Is this because I've *shared music* with friends and family? What have I done to deserve this?

posted at 4:28 PM


It's been a week since my last post. I'm slacking. I wonder if people still visit this site? I could be writing for no one. I've let you down. And I apologize. Especially you, D. Hopefully this will provide you with something to do at work today.

I feel the need to offer 4 or 5 co-workers a ride to work each day to offset the fact that I drive a SUV.

I've been busy. Traveling for work. Traveling for pleasure.

There's so much to say, and as usual, so little time. Perhaps a bulleted list will suffice? Good. Thanks.
- I went to Indiana last week and it was about 60 degrees the two days I was there. I thought I was going to freeze my ass off, but I must say that it made me excited about fall fashion.
- On a relative note, I dreamed that I won a contest that enabled me to choose one item from every page of the new J. Crew catalogue -- men's and women's clothing. And I was in heaven, heaven, heaven.
- I was in College Station this weekend. I've never spent any quality time in College Station. I had a good time. I did. And...I am old. It occurred to me this weekend that there was actually a time in my life when standing in a puddle of urine and toilet water to pee in a bar was nothin', just part of *the experience*. Now, I wake up in the middle of the night, my bed soaked from the cold sweats, fearing the deadly infection I might have picked up from wearing flip-flops into said bathroom. Oh sweet Jesus. Save me from the urine. Save me! Open-toed shoes will be the death of me!
- I have less than a month to plan a high school reunion. I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off. In the words of TMW, "good times..."
- I watched a lot of movies this weekend -- "50 First Dates", "The Butterfly Effect", "Bad Santa", and "The Manchurian Candidate". All of them worth watching. Spending a Sunday rolling out the couch bed and doing a movie marathon was just what the doctor ordered after a busy week and weekend.
- Music moves me to distraction.
- Todd scored seven goals at his hockey game last night. SEVEN. That amounts to 2 "natural" hattricks -- in the first and third periods. I've got a copy of the score sheet to prove it! What a rush.
- I bought a new car to avoid a tune up, oil change, and door repair on the old one. I've moved on from this story, though. I like to tell people it's because my new boyfriend couldn't fit into the other one. He sure did look funny driving it. Although, he's not funny-looking at all.
- Somewhat relative to that -- Todd calls me his "shorty", an inside joke from our trip to Mexico. Imagine how tickled we were when a guy in line in front of us at a convenience store said to a woman standing near him (she was pushing a stroller, with a baby in it, with her stretch marked belly hanging out of her tube top, buying a forty), "Yo Shorty! What you been up to? Just marinatin'?" What the hell does "marinating" mean? That's one I've never heard before. And I'm a youth group leader for Christ's sake.
- If you think that "the past is the past", try tapping into it sometime, it's more real than you think. It can throw you off course, tie you up, handicap you in ways that you never realized. The fact that "present" people have to sometimes indirectly pay for what "past" people have been or done isn't fair. But it's life.
- And life is good. Really good.

I've got a case of the Monday's. I'm taping my eyelids to my eyebrows now. Must...stay...awake.

posted at 9:31 AM

Monday, August 09, 2004

I really like the lyrics to this song. It's sad, but they're great. More later.

"My Skin" by Natalie Merchant

Take a look at my body
Look at my hands
There's so much here that I don't understand
Your face saving these promises
Whispered like prayers
I don't need them...

Because I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

Well, content loves the silence
It thrives in the dark
With fine winding tendrils
That strangle the heart
They say that promises sweeten the blow
But I don't need them, no
I don't need them

I've been treated so wrong
I've been treated so long
As if I'm becoming untouchable

I'm the slow dying flower
In the frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable

Oh, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this...

I'm the slow dying flower
In the frost killing hour
Sweet turning sour and untouchable

Do you remember the way that you touched me before
All the trembling sweetness I loved and adored?
Your face saying promises whispered like prayers
I don't need them...

Oh, I need the darkness
The sweetness
The sadness
The weakness
Oh, I need this
I need a lullaby
A kiss good night
Angel sweet love of my life
Oh, I need this

Well is it dark enough?
Can you see me?
Do you want me?
Can you reach me?
Oh, I'm leaving

You better shut your mouth
And hold your breath
And kiss me now
And catch your death
Oh, I mean this...
Oh, I mean this...

posted at 10:43 AM

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

More Concert Preparation

I've got to buy plane tickets today.

So this morning, I'm really enjoying this older DMB song that is on the live album from The Gorge... I really like the way he introduces new lyrics to songs when he performs them live, there's always something a little unexpected. I can't find the exact words for the first stanza he added in this performance, but man I love the last three lines... I love all the lyrics to this song, I'm obsessing over it this morning. So, of course, here you go.

Two Step - Dave Matthews Band

Walking, while in life
I came upon this deep, deep river
And slowly by me floating, I
Wondered how long it could have been
And maybe there it was
When I opened up and realized
The most I can do while I'm here now
Is not a thing
Leave it as i found it

Hey, my love...
I came to you with best intentions
You laid down, you give to me just what I'm seeking
Oh say, my love...
You drive me to distraction

So, my love...
Do you believe that we might last
A thousand years
Or more if not for this,
Our flesh and blood
It ties you and me right up
Tie me... celebrate...

Celebrate we will
'Cause life is short but sweet for certain
Hey, we climb on two by two
To be sure these days continue
Things we cannot change

Hey, my love...
You came to me like wine comes to the mouth
Grown tired of water all the time
You quench my love and heart, you quench my mind
Let's celebrate...

Celebrate we will
'Cause life is short but
Sweet for certain
Hey, we climb on two by two
To be sure these days continue
Things we can...

Right up, right up
Celebrate we will
Oh, but life is sweet for certain
We climb on two by two, to be sure
That all these days continue
Things we cannot change...

Hey, my love...
I came to you
With best intentions
You, you laid down and gave to me
Just what I'm seeking
Oh say, won't you come,
Let's celebrate with me...

Celebrate we will
Oh, 'cause life is short
But sweet for certain
We climb on two by two
To be sure that all these days continue
Things we can...

Oh, yeah...
Oh, we climb on two by two
Oh no, just to be sure
That all these days continue...

Things we have not changed
Say goodbye lover, goodbye....

posted at 9:36 AM

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Would you not like to be
Sitting on top of the world with
Your legs hanging free?

posted at 10:17 AM

Monday, August 02, 2004

Mondays Blow.

I had a great weekend. Friday night, Vincent, Mary, Mike, Todd, and I got together at Mary's awesome house for some good old fashioned fun -- Pictionary, wine, and good eats. Mary is the hostess with the mostess, that's for sure. Mary, Todd, and I defeated Mike and Vincent at the game -- it was close...neck-and-neck for most of the evening. But Todd and I are machines at this game. He would draw a straight line, I'd say "Dorothy and Toto" and BAM! we'd won another one. Also, I'm a monkey drawing machine. Perhaps they only got that it was a "monkey" because it was sitting in a tree eating a banana.'s all about context in that game.

Let's see...moving on to Saturday. Book club Saturday morning. I was dreading it, since I was feeling the pain of Friday night. No sleep, lots of wine...But I got up and did it. Made the drive back to Mary's for the meeting and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think every woman (and man, if the mood strikes you) should be in a book club. Or a movie club, or a cooking club -- whatever. Just a day you set aside every 4-6 weeks to just enjoy each other's company, good food, and free therapy. I love my group. I'm so glad we've kept it up for the four years it's been going. Such a great group of women -- they don't even mind when I don't read the book.

After book club, I laid my white hiney by the pool and relaxed a bit, then headed to Todd's -- dinner and a movie with the parentals. "The Bourne Supremacy". Boring. Todd and his dad both fell asleep. I stuck it out, though, considering that it's my job to fall asleep in movies that I watch from my couch. And he doesn't mind one bit. :)

Speaking of which, I've tried to watch the movie "Miracle" about three times over the past few weeks. I kept falling asleep. Not because it's boring, I just can't stay awake. Sunday after some more pool time, I watched it. I cried. What a great movie.

But let's back up. Before the Sunday pool time and the movie...I had the best Whole Foods experience imaginable. It all started in the bulk section. I was getting my week's supply of trail mix. I put the bag underneath the spout, pulled the handle, and for some reason, spilled the sacred mix all over the ground. It was like watching dollar bills being flushed down a toilet full of wine for water. Anyway. This old dude is also getting some mix, and he tells the butcher dude that we need a broom. I was embarrassed, a little out of sorts. He said, "I don't think spills like this really matter when it's such a pretty girl doing the spilling." Yep. He made my day. But that's not it!

So I go to buy my tomato-basil-goat cheese- stuffed mushrooms for the week and the woman tells me not only is she having a good day, she's just very happy to be alive. I wasn't sure how to take that one, but I sure did appreciate her positive attitude.

On to the bakery...They've decided to quit carrying the MINI Rustic Italian bread, so I had to opt for the full one pound size. It didn't matter, though! Because my bakery man was so nice and offering me all kinds of new breads to taste...Even one with some gorganzola cheese baked into it... "Bring on the one pounder!" I say, "what I don't eat, I'll give to the birds!" Which reminds me, I saw a possum on Friday night.

You'd think that was it. You'd think that a Whole Foods trip couldn't POSSIBLY get any better. But no. The salad bar had that penne pasta salad with pine nuts and garlic. Load 'er up!

So I'm heading to the check-out, and who's standing there by the check-out aisles...? The Tom's of Maine representative. She asks me if I'm familiar with their products, to which I reply, "But of course, have you not smelled my luscious Calendula armpits???" So we smelled each other's armpits for a while, and then she offered me all kinds of free samples of the toothpaste, mouthwash, and some soap. I'm so set for my next business trip that it's not even funny. And I'm going to have to track that little honey down and let her know how the "transition" from Crest to au naturale is going for me. I trust it will be a smooth transition.

And this is where it ends...I get into the line and start the check-out procedure with one of my favorite checkers, Robin. She notices the insane amounts of Vitamin Water that I'm purchasing and starts to admit to her own Vitamin Water addiction. And for a few moments, the world is a perfect place. You'd THINK! But NO! It gets better...As she finishes ringing up all my goods, she says, "Ms. Brian, you've spent over $75 with us today...we'd like to give you a free can of coffee, I've got two for you to choose from!" Glorious. I want to take her home with me. No, I want to pack my shit and move INTO Whole Foods. Those people are like family to me. Really, I consider most of them to be like my own children, since I probably write most of their paychecks and am responsible for their livelihood. I feel good about that.

Man, this post is getting long.

So Sunday...After Whole Foods, after the pool, I went to Todd's hockey game. FOUR GOALS, people! FOUR GOALS! He's the man, I tell you. He's the man.

And I am happy, happy, happy. :)

posted at 9:47 AM