$4 cupcake? yes, please!

28 09 2009

So I said in the last post that work got better.  And it did, very quickly.  Who knew that flipping a lobster tail down your front could improve things so easily?

I have now managed to work my way through all 4 stations in the kitchen, 3 of which are ridiculously uneventful.  These are pantry, pizza, and grill.  Pantry involves a lot of salad making and a lot of standing around.  Pizza is a little more involved than it sounds as it handles almost all of the appetizers and desserts as well as bailing pantry out of the weeds.  How pantry EVER gets in the weeds still evades me.  Grill is grill.  Its hot and humid and gross, I have literally never sweat more in my life, not even in that awful wool band uniform I wore every Friday night in high school.  Maybe I’ll find a picture to post of that….  Anyway, back on track.  Grill is pretty easy and a lot of fun.  Things are a little different over on that side because guests can substitute sides and glazes and sauces and risottos and so on.  What I will never, EVER understand about that restaurant is why they chose to install a thermometer right next to the grill.  Above it in fact.  It generally reads between 135-150 on any normal night and when I was back there on Friday, it was sitting at a comfy 165.  Boo.  Boo boo boo.  Talk about a sauna.  Except in saunas there are signs that say exposure lasting over 15 minutes is not recommended.  Here, at Macaroni Grill, we require people to stand back there at 6 hour intervals.  Talk about hard labor, get Chris Brown’s ass back there.

And then, SAUTE.  The greatest station in this universe.  You flip pasta and are encouraged to throw pans.  You clank your tongs with such force against the metal that the person next to you WILL jump if they aren’t paying attention (I think I lost at least a year off my life due to this).  Making a mess is required and I have learned that when a chef yells, “Fire in the kitchen!!!” he is just lighting his pan on fire to impress the kid watching him, not trying to give me a heartattack.  THIS, ladies and gents, this is when my week improved.

I wanted to take those 5 bobbypins to work and come back and type about how much morale improved that day.  I wanted to be able to say, see???  Just a compliment sometimes, just a pat on the back can improve working relations a hundred times over.

But instead, I left the bobbypins on the nightstand.  What an idiot.  But you know what happened instead?  I was being impressed with myself and my flipping abilities (Gosh, I caught on SO quick) and I flipped a lobster tail right down the front of my chef’s coat.  This in itself is a feat.  You see, there is an apron over the coat – I flipped that sucker straight down the middle of the two.  Then I yelped.  Like a dog that had it’s tail stepped on.  And then immediately burst into laughter.  I don’t think the kitchen guys knew what to do.  I mean, first of all their boss is throwing seafood at herself and then is horrified and then is cracking up laughing.  All in the matter of two seconds.  Then of course, FIRE IN THE KITCHEN!!! and lots of laughing and joking and throwing of a sad, sad lobster tail.

This is what it should look like.....
This is what it should look like…..

I learned not to take Houston so seriously at exactly that moment.  We were getting killed, I mean KILLED on Saute at that moment but WHO CARES.  People will get their food, even if I have to flip version one of the spaghetti down my front to get version two on the table.  And don’t worry, this isn’t just a high that I’m having right now because of my lobster.  I’ve never been so sore – my hand was in so much pain and so swollen the next day from gripping those saute pans so tight.  Working the next day was torture, it was like someone pressing down on a bruise for about 4 hours.  But you know what?  I won’t have to live here forever and thank goodness I won’t be at that store forever.  But man, when we were all laughing like that, I really couldn’t help thinking, I wonder when they laughed like this last with the other people that work here?  The next day I brought them all kolaches and the day after that I threw meat sauce all over me and Vicente when I got a littlte overzealous with my flipping abilities.  The laughter was started all over again just because of the horrified look on his face.   Those will be the people and the moments I’ll remember from here.

Oh, and I’ll remember these things as well, in bullet point for your convenience:

cupcake

  • THAT is my $4 cupcake and I tell you, it was worth every penny.  That one was lemon on lemon and that little gem right there on top was a pure sugar treat.  This rivals Sprinkles in L.A. if you’re ever been privy to such excitement.  I mean, how could it go bad?  The box and bag alone are probably worth the $4.
  • the front desk people saying, What’s up girl? to me instead of “Welcome back or welcome home!” like they do to everyone else.
  • the look on the dude’s face that refills my free wine everyday when I gave him his cupcake.  The day before we talked about how vanilla is the greatest flavor of all – and always will be.  He looked shellshocked and I am so so happy 🙂
  • this little beauty; me: So did you do anything cool today? Mackenzie: No, not really.  I got hit in the face with a carrot.

And on that note, it’s bedtime.  Hey Pops, if you read this, glad your Cowboys didn’t choke too bad tonight.

xo





See ya later adventure.

28 09 2009

So, it’s pretty obvious upon rereading that last post I was stressed or depressed or just exhaaaaausted.  But you know, things are better.  Work is better (kind of….I shall explain in the next blog), I’m going to San Diego in 4 days, and I’ll see some other friends pretty soon after that.  No complaints there.

It is with great regret I inform all of you that I’ve decided adventure days are on hold until further notice – excluding mimosa Friday that will soon be had with Mackenzie.  I think part of my stress was that I hadn’t actually rested while I was in Houston.  Having one day off a week doesn’t really lend itself to a lot of down time, especially when you are determined to see cool stuff in a town you c0uld really care less about.  Thus, I’ve decided that random sights and sounds will have to do.  I’m open to suggestions, bring it.

The thing is, that decision was made yesterday which means that I did have one last adventure before I called it quits (my posts are running anywhere from 5-7 days behind, I’m trying to catch up).  Day #2 off was spent at the aquarium with Cindy (the soon to be GM in Okinawa).  It was fun, pretty awesome stuff for an aquarium.  Hello.  White tigers – we’re talking Vegas tigers friends.  It also had a tiny amusement part attached to it complete with a ferris wheel, a train that went under a shark tank, and some other broken down ride.  But by the time we got back to the hotel, I was so ready for bed.  It was 6pm.  Given the lack of details about the aquarium, I was obviously pretty dazed.  I know it was cool, and I know there were fish, and I know I touched a stingray and made an inappropriate joke about Steve Irwin. But the lack of a memory comes with the lack of sleep.  And all this before the start of my helacious week mentioned in the last post.  I guess I started to realize at this point just how tired and worn out I really was.  I did get this picture at the aquarium amusement park thing though:

IMG_0657

So this week, for day off #3, I decided to treat myself to sleeping without an alarm clock, a nice lunch at Kona Grill and a little walk around the mall.  Ended with the purchase of a cute shirt at Banana Republic at the Galleria, which by the way is in foreclosure, and doing a few loads of laundry.  Nothing more relaxing than good food and the scent of fresh washed clothes.  Which, seriously, if you’ve never been to my house when the washer and dryer are running, you are missing out.

I also talked to Japan last night.  No, I didn’t talk to the country, CLEARLY.  Sheesh.  But I did talk to my boss who happens to live there.  I found out some more info about this job that I’ve gotten myself into and where I’ll be staying when I first get to Okinawa.  I don’t think this new company knows what to do with me.  This is not an uncommon reaction when first meeting me I’ve come to expect over the last few years but I mean, they REALLY don’t know what to do.  Sarcasm does not exist in Japan.  That should give you a little tidbit to go off of.  Let your imagination run wild.  Also, read the next blog.  Trying to keep these things short isn’t easy when you only update once a week.  Eek!





honeymoon, over.

24 09 2009

I know, I know, I know.  I have not updated it a hot minute here.  But friends, my Houston honeymoon quickly came to an end.  Like, we’re fighting on the beaches of Maui screaming about how we should have never gotten married and why are you looking at that girl over there, honeymoon over.

Let me explain.

While overall everything is still fine, work is a pretty big struggle.  I was spoiled when I worked at Chili’s for a lot of reasons but mainly because when I did my training, my former GM was in charge of that process.  If I screwed something up, it was alright, it was a learning process, things happen.  When training was over, I managed the store that I worked at on and off for the previous 5 years.  The transition from server to manager was the hardest part.

Maybe it’s the new place or the new people or the new job, but it’s gotten to be hard the last 5 days or so.  It’s mundane, I don’t have many friends here, and you can only pretend to be excited about the humidity so maybe Mother Nature will throw you a bone – for so long.

I had a few other rant paragraphs typed but you know, at the end of the day, I can make my own training experience good or bad.  So literally today, I am taking 5 of some object with me to work (let’s be real, probably bobbypins as it’s the only thing I have multiples of), in my pocket and I’m going to say 5 nice things to the staff before I critique anyone on the way they are doing something.  Every time I say something nice, I’ll move a bobbypin to my other pocket and only then can I offer my constructive feedback.  This is my plan anyway.  It could become difficult because the pockets on the chef’s pants I have are backwards.  Like, when you put your hand in them, it is forced backwards rather than as easy glide forwards.  Weird.  Anyway,  I have definitely come to value the idea of “praise” as it relates to a job.  Not much of it is offered around where I am at these days, to me or anyone else, and that’s wearing on a group of people.  So today, I am slapping a smile on my face and it’s staying there, damnit.  We’ll see how it goes.  Also, if you come to Macaroni Grill today and there’s a bobbypin in your food, I probably heard you say something rude to someone else and I was hoping you would choke on it.  And since I’m still in the kitchen, I don’t have to deal with guest complaints quite yet.  But I assure you,  it was placed in that pasta with a smile painted on my face….

xo





Day off #1 in Houston

17 09 2009

My days off here are slim in number, 10 to be exact.  Thus, I figure I will number them.  And yes, while I’m sure you assume (and rightly so) that these will be adventure days, I’m tired of typing and reading that phrase so 1 through 10 it is.

Day 1.

Sunday.

Hot.

Humid.

Nothing to do, nowhere to be.

Aw, who am I trying to kid here, this will never sound like a mystery.  My day was good.  I went and ate at Mama’s cafe here in Uptown or Midtown or wherever I am that has street signs like this:

what the hell?
what the hell?

And it was alright.  The service was complete shit but the food was decent.  Really, how would one completely screw up scramble eggs, bacon, or biscuits and gravy?  I hope to never find out the answer that question. I felt kind of bad when I got back to the hotel because I didn’t have the heart to tell the dude at the front desk about the shitty service.  He had recommended the place so maybe my silence indicated the less than great experience.  Maybe he got the hint.

I googled cool stuff to do in Houston.  You know you’re in trouble when the “must-see” list for a town involve a mall.  Eek.  But all was not lost.  I saw a building on the list called the Williams Tower that had a man-made waterfall out front.  You guessed it – I had found my first random adventure in Houston.  It was actually pretty close by – I think it is 0.6 miles from where I’m staying so I decided that it was silly to drive.  But trust me, the thought did cross my mind.  The humidity is ABSURD, especially if it is going to rain.  I walked outside to this view:

crappy weather day

Then I turned around.  Not because I was giving up but because I was wearing a three-quarter length sleeve shirt and a pair of jeans.  Considering I was outside for 2.8 seconds and I was drenched in my own sweat, a change of wardrobe was clearly going to be required.  See Lindsey, at least I TRIED to wear the things I made you fold.  I also realized once I was back upstairs that my cute umbrella had someway worked it’s way out of my bag.  It was clearly a must.  If you are a visual learner and don’t know why I needed the umbrella, scroll back up about 4 sentences or so.  You’ll see a nice big picture of what my afternoon had in store for me.

I finally left the hotel and made it to the park/waterfall/building area with no problems.  Which was good seeing as how it only required two turns, one being out of the hotel parking lot.  It was actually a really cool thing just stuffed right there in the middle of Houston.  The building actually has a beacon on the top of it so once the sun goes down, it looks like there is a giant lighthouse randomly places in the city.  Since I was there in the middle of the day, I didn’t see this up close but that did answer a lot of questions about the spotlight that never changed heights.  The waterfall is manmade and stands 52′ high I believe – somewhere in that neighborhood.  It’s shaped in an arc so standing right in the middle of the thing will get you dizzy and soaking wet.  Two things you do not want to be when holding a camera or a fancy phone.  The water actually runs on the inside as well as the outside of the arc.  The outside sections creates foam bubbles and shoots them out of the drain every so often.  While I was there, two small-ish kids were running around trying to jump on the bubbles and pop them.  It was foam so of course when the kids would jump on it, it would shoot out everywhere and they were just overcome with delight by this; right until some foam shot out of the drain and hit the kid in the face, catching him totally off guard.  I have never in my days seen a kid freak out SO much over bubbles.  But it was hilarious and I wished I was gutsy enough to take pictures of other people’s kids, but alas, who wants to be the creepy lady.  I took these pictures instead.

The Williams Tower
The Williams Tower

waterfall

awkward smile? check.
awkward smile? check.
water, water, everywhere.
water, water, everywhere.

IMG_0633

At this point, I realized it was pouring down rain.  Not a good thing when you can’t even tell it’s raining because you’re already drenched from sweat and waterfall water.  The wishing for good weather was clearly going to be a lost cause.  And just for the hell of it and really more because I thought it would be funny, I took my umbrella out and stood as close and I could to the waterfall.  It was great.  And super loud and super awesome.

Then I got mud up to my ankles.  I thought it would be nice to walk across the giant field to see what the waterfall looked like from the other end.  Well, as I’ve now stated 8 times, it rains here.  Alot.  It was gross and muddy and gunky and just….ew.  But then I was embarrassed because I was dumb enough to walk in grass in a freaking rainstorm and something told me, just keep going, it’s not that far.  Um, it is.  It’s really far.  Let’s put it this way, when I walked back to the waterfall to rinse my feet off, I left footprints the whole way back.  NOT advised friends.

the field of doom.  and mud.
the field of doom. and mud.
the outside of the arc
the outside of the arc

By this point it was only about noon so I figured I had time to go to the Astros game.  While going to hockey games by myself is probably my biggest hobby, going to baseball games alone will no longer make the cut.  And besides that, the Astrodome or Minute Maid park or whatever it’s called is weird.  Like real weird.  It has a roof that’s painted white.  Isn’t this a conflict of interest for the outfielders?  Also, it’s smaller than UNT’s basketball arena.  Or it felt that way.  Whatever, I watched the Astros get three hits in 8 innings and only score 1 run.  I left early.  Never did find out if they rallied or not.  Eh.

So there it is, the day off #1.  An overall success.  That was also four days ago so I’m getting behind in my blogging world.  I started kitchen training since then and already managed to burn myself while doing prep.  There is only one item in prep that is required to be cooked and lo and behold, I burned my arm.  I can only imagine what sauté will have in store for me.  If I start talking to my kitchen angel now, maybe he can help me by next Friday.  More to come on this, I’ll keep you updated on hospital visits to reattach my phalanges.  Or maybe for a burn.  OOOOOHH.  Now we’ve got a nail biter ending!  Maybe it’s a mystery after all…….

xo.





I’m here to stay. For a hot second anyway.

14 09 2009

An update from the last bloggy blog, the mall did not burn down.  I still have no idea what happened and it seems that no one else even saw what was going on.  I swear, I’m not making this up.  Tomorrow I will take a picture of said charred Macy*s star for proof.

I started work on Thursday.  Besides waiting for 1 1/2 hours for the GM to show up and do my orientation, it was a successful day.  If you remember from the last posting, I am a huge stickler for time.  Stick.  Ler.  No if, ands, or buts about it.  I cannot STAND tardiness.  Also, if you’ve ever managed a restaurant you know that the first group of people you should make friends with is the cooks.  They will be your saving grace on a busy night or when you need important info.  In this case, I learned that the managers are late about 20-30 minutes everyday.  Oh boy, this will be a challenge in patience.  Or, it will be a great learning experience in how to voice an opinion without being rude.  Or, on second thought, maybe they need a swift kick in the ass.  I like option 3….

I really don’t have any work stories.  Yet.  I’m sure they will come, all in good time.  The one really cool thing about the restaurant right now is that I’m training with my soon-to-be General Manager.  Cindy is also from the Chili’s side of Brinker and will be moving to Okinawa the middle of November.  Communication is not my new company’s strong point.  Both Cindy and I knew we were training with someone else but neither of us knew that the other was going to Japan, let alone the same store.  Silly company, get it together.

Since I have no work stories, I will tell you THIS story instead.  I have kind of been waiting for something to go wrong at the hotel.  It’s inevitable within a 72 day time span that something will happen here and Saturday afternoon my prophecy was fulfilled.  At a hotel, or this one anyway, there are two water pumps.  Say one was to stop working.  Well, well, there’ s a plan.  The other simply does double duty until said broken pump is repaired.  Mr. Hotel Manager Man.  Did we not learn anything from the blackout in New York several years ago?  Let me remind you.  One power grid went down so another one picked up the slack.  Well, that grid was instantly overloaded, causing the power outage to spread.  Then all of that mess immediately transfered over to another grid and, shock.  It went down, too.  And so it went until there was no power in all of NYC.  Thus the story of the hotel water pump only on a much smaller scale.  No working water pump equals no running water.  I really thought I had broken something.  I got out of the shower, hair and body still wrapped up in a towel (two different towels mind you), went to brush my teeth and swish, nothing.  Not a single thing except a heinous noise that really sounded like the sink was going to shoot out from the wall and I was going to have firehouse-power water rushing out of it, slamming me into the toilet where it too would then break and I would have water coming from two giant hotels in my hotel room.  My imagination only runs rampant in disaster scenarios, by the way.  I called the front desk and apparently I was one of several people that had called.  Which in itself is impressive.  I mean, the water had literal JUST been running while I was in the shower.  This was about 2:00 pm.  When I left the hotel about 2:45, still no water.  What was I supposed to do, melt down the ice in the freezer?  I mean thankfully I had a full bucket because I forgot to turn of the ice maker the night before, but sheesh.  Surely it would be fixed by the time I was back.  And it was, I was actually there for the announcement.  I was waiting in line to just ask what was going on with it, and I thought the front desk manager was going to break down in tears of joy.  I cannot imagine his job when at 3:30 pm, he had to explain to the bridal party trying to get ready upstairs that they would have to move to the Marriott next door because, eh, we’re not sure when the water will be back on.  Oh, at it was 11:15 pm when I got back from work.  Nine hours of waterless hotel, eek.

I would also like to stop and thank Mackenzie at this point.  When I did actually get back upstairs there was a huge POP in my bathroom wall maybe 5 minutes after I sat down – I was certain that a pipe had exploded.  Frantically I called the front desk, people came rushing upstairs, and it turns out it was nothing.  I freaked out about the water rushing back through the pipes, making a little noise, but I assure you, if you had heard the noise I had heard you would have been running for the hills – screw the front desk.  Mackenzie had to talk me into flushing the toilet.  I was horrified that it was going to explode.  I had been reassured by the plumber and the front desk that it was fine, but it was Mackenzie that made me finally do it.  How can you say no to someone who says, “It’ll make great writing for the blog if anything bursts.”  Yea, anything except the aneurism I was about to have.

Alas, it just flushed, no fanfare about it.  Not sure if that’s better or worse than the other option.  Surely something else fun will happen while I’m here.  Anyone want to place wagers on what it will be?

I did plan to write more – I had a solo adventure day Sunday! – but that last bit took it out of me.  I will write about it soon(ish).  For now, I leave you with this picture.  I will look like this for the next 19 days.  Laugh away, I expect nothing less.

HOT.

HOT.

xo





day 1: the arrival.

12 09 2009

I’ve been in Houston a few days now, and you know what?  It’s okay.  The people I’ve met so far are really nice, the restaurant I’m working in is a lot of fun, and most importantly, there really is someone that cleans up after me everyday.

I drove down on Wednesday after a long night of packing.  Thankfully, Lindsey, Christine, Tiffany, and Stuart all showed up to “help” with the packing.  To be fair, Lindsey did actually help.  I think she folded just about every article of clothing I threw at her, even the ones that she said, “Stephanie.  You do not need this sweater/jacket/long sleeve shirt.  Do you know how hot it is in Houston?”  Well after being here a few days, no.  I had no effing idea and I should have paid more attention.  Like, a lot more.  I also love that Lindsey managed to pull this vocabulary card out of my new Japanese set:

Take note of the last bullet point.

Take note of the last bullet point.

I don’t know if it was the 2 margaritas and 2 glasses of wine we had before starting the packing process, but we laughed for a long time over this.

Considering we didn’t eat dinner until about 1030pm, I can only assume that the lights finally went out about 1 or 2 am.  Christine had to wake up early so there I was, 830 am, as wide awake as I could be.  I planned to be on the road by 10 so I made the mistake of staying awake after she and Lindsey left and forgoing the nap I desperately wanted.  Things I realized I had forgotten to pack: Bras, panties, socks, hangers.  Oops.  All of these being vital things as you can imagine.  Yes, even the hangers.  I’m living in a hotel for 10 weeks people, you’re crazy if you think the 3-drawer dresser was going to cut it.  I did finally get on the road about 11.  I was already a little irritable and panicky as I’m a huge stickler for time.  I eased out of bitch mode slowly on my drive to lunch with Papa Long, realizing this was actually self-imposed.  No need to be angry about time when you don’t have anywhere to be.  Silly Stephanie.

Lunch was fun with my Dad.  We went to Potbelly’s Sandwiches, had a good lunch and chatted for a while.  Talked about him and my mom coming to see me in Houston, the previous night with my packing party, Japan, the hockey games we WILL be attending when I am back in Dallas for 10 days.  Dropped him back off at work and instantly started crying.  Geez.  This was just Houston, what was it going to be like when I actually left for Japan?  Shit.  So of course I spent the next 30 minutes going back and forth, should I go?  Should I bail?  Will I be able to actually do this?  All things I should have thought about before I said yes to this job offer.

The drive to Houston was fairly uneventful – for a while.   I had to stop several times; at first for gas and coffee and then for 5 hour energy and a Redbull – at the same stop.  Of course my stops quickly turned into more of a bodily function need rather than a pick me up need, but nonetheless it was nice to get out of the car and stretch every so often.

One of the final stops was in Huntsville.  Huntsville is known for a few things: 1. The state prison 2. I think Sam Houston State University 3. The Texas Prison Museum (which, yes.  I have in fact toured) and finally, the purpose of my Huntsville stop, 4.  The Sam Houston Statue.  Now, most everyone I know has driven past this statue at some point in their life and has said, “man, we should stop at that thing next time!” but never do.  Usually because it’s forgotten about until you are right under it and I assure you, it is not easy to get to.  But I had a mission to complete and damn it to hell, I was going to visit.

And then it started raining.  At first just an annoying rain that would be irritating while standing around outside and then it was a torrential downpour.  And I was wearing a white shirt. Needless to say, the statue visit did not last long.  I think the employees were fairly shocked to see me.  They all but held my hand to show me the statue – gave me an umbrella and told me to be really careful in my flip-flops. Seriously, the thing is giant.  Something about being the biggest statue of Sam Houston in the world.  To be fair, I can’t remember ever seeing even a tiny statue of Sam Houston anywhere else but whatever, it’s their claim to fame.

Behold, Mr. Houston:

sam

And a random Mr. Houston head:

sams head

The head I don’t really get.  It’s off by itself with little benches surrounding it.  I don’t know if it’s meant to be like an art gallery where people would just sit and stare or if it’s meant to be more of a lecture site.  I really hope it’s not the latter though I think it probably is.  Can you imagine being a little kid on a field trip?  You’re supposed to be listening to the speaker but all you can think about is those lifeless eyes starting at you.  I would have nightmares for weeks, no questions asked.

I left with brochures I didn’t ask for and souvenirs I felt obligated to buy, being the only “tourist” there and all.  I have though used my new coffee mug everyday and everyday, someone at the hotel breakfast asks me if it’s mine or if the hotel is holding out on them.

davy cup

I also bought another fun thing but I’m not posting the picture until it is mailed to it’s soon to be owner.  More of these may be purchased on the way back to Dallas.

So finally, I get to the hotel without any problems.  No getting lost, no traffic, and an actual reservation.  I am thankful for the last bit.  Since I have yet to fill out any paperwork pertaining to this new job, I was still a little skeptical.  The kid at the check-in desk said, “Ma’am, are you aware that your reservation is for 72 days?”  I laughed, said yes and that he should call me Stephanie, we would be seeing a lot of eachother.  My room is on the top floor which is kind of fun and is really nice.  It’s like a little apartment in here – couch, TV, king-size bed, kitchen, and a desk.  I’m enjoying this moment, I think my apartment in Japan will be smaller than this hotel room.

After unpacking and getting settled into my hotel home (which by the way, offers a free light dinner with beer and wine Monday – Thursday), I decided to re-attempt finding black work pants.  I had tried to complete this task over and over for about the past two weeks.  Went back down 14 floors, took a deep breathe and stepped outside.  Instantly the heat and humidity hit you and of course, it’s raining.  Not to fear, I brought and plan to use my adorable umbrella.  The mall is across the street and not just any mall, the GALLERIA.  I think it’s something like the 3rd biggest mall in the US.  I’m walking over and notice the group of cute boys standing in the street.  Then I notice the firetrucks.  Wait, the cute boys in the street are wearing walkie-talkies, grey shirts, and heavy-duty pants.  These are the firemen, great.  The entire intersection is shut down and the ladder is up on Macy*s.  What the hell.  All I need is some black pants!!!!  I go to talk to the guys, figure out what’s going on and then I realize that my makeup is probably running down my face.  At least I had changed out of my yoga driving pants.  They told me that they weren’t sure what was going on yet, but that the star in Macy*s had caught on fire, exploded, electrical hoopla or something.  I wanted to know if I could still go in.  I mean, guys.  I am on a mission here.  They looked at me like I was nuts but said yes, the rest of the mall was open but try to avoid this area – smoke inhalation.  Oh, perfect.

And, guess what.  I found some pants!!!!!!!!!!!!!  They were buy one get one half off so I bought four.  Two black, one dark gray and one pinstripes.  They will have to be altered, turns out I’m not as tall as you are supposed to be when buying this particular size (ahem, I will be using the hotel gym often) but who cares.  They are cute and comfy and perfect.  I returned to the hotel, had a beer, and hit the sack.

I love Houston, even if it’s on fire.  Though, the humidity can go whenever it wants. My hair is way cuter when it’s curly.

xo





leaving.

10 09 2009

Moving is awesome.  Until it sucks.  Let me explain.

Moving brings people together.  I didn’t have a party or even a small gathering of friends planned but it managed to happen on its own.  Which, if you know me well, is appropriate.  Me and planning don’t generally get along.  The Thursday before I left town, Scotty Scott and I had an adventure day.  I decided I had to do a “Dallas” thing before I left and the answer: The JFK Memorial.

Now, this is why I love Scott.  Scott keeps a schedule quite similar mine – chaotic.  We have random weekdays off, random mornings off and work past 10pm several days out of any given month.  This leads to a lot of daytime poolside drinking, countless lunches and dinners, Rangers games, and if we’re getting crazy – an adventure day.  I said I was going to the Memorial and no questions asked, Scott was in.  Scott is also my pretend boyfriend, so if i ever tell you I have a boyfriend and I start talking about this guy with crazy hair and a lot of tattoos, I probably just want you to go away.  Take note.  Also, Scott is a good sport about most things, and yes, it’s his real name.

Now there are two parts to this memorial.  There’s the JFK museum which I figured we would blow right through and then there’s the actual memorial: the concrete lego.  The museum portion is really neat.  They give you a recording with headphones that explains every thing.  EVERY.  THING.  It’s very informative and easy to understand.  The recording goes so far as to explain which way  to turn to move to the next exhibit or which window to look out for the optimal view of the shooting location.  Which, thank you Dallas, is marked with an awkward fading “X” on Elm.  Why not just have an outline.  Tacky much?

There were several times that Scott and I were giggling at each other because we were just wandering around trying to follow the directions and not run into strangers.  Scott started his recording about 2.5 seconds before I did so several times he would look at me with an awkward Scott face, walk away and then we’d just kind of stare at each other for a moment until mine caught up.  I really hope one of those tourists caught one of these moments on video.  I imagine a few of them stopped caring about the exhibit and started watching us; trying to figure out if we knew each other or if I was just trying to get a date.  Also, random sidenote, I found it pretty impressive that they posted several of the conspiracy theories.  Impressive as well the amount of countries that were represented in the guestbooks.  The ones I remember are: Australia, Brazil, France, Italy, Spain, Canada, and either Norway or Sweden.  One of those countries that produces blonde haired, blue-eyed beauties was represented.  If anyone can explain to me who the “Brown Sisters” are, please let me know.  Someone had signed the book that he “had worked with the Brown Sisters and KNEW that their brother was involved with the conspiracy that LBJ had been behind to kill the President.”  I wonder if there were men in suits ushering him into a sideroom on his way out.

And the memorial itself.  It can only be explained visually.

Scooter and the LEGO

Scooter and the LEGO

What the hell is that?

The man was the most beloved President in history and you build an effing lego to honor him?  An open tomb?  Seriously.  It looks like one of those pieces of art that are usually scattered around college campuses.  You know the ones.  Student made and unexplainable.  Big and obnoxious but no one questions.  Well I want to know, WTF?

The day went on to include shopping, great Italian food, a UNT football win (no, really), booze, life-size jenga, and fooseball.  Oh, and Japanese language CD’s.  I think another meal was in there somewhere.  If you’re lucky, I might edit this soon and expand on adventure day.

And now for the explanation.  I love that I was able to do my adventure day with Scotty Scott as well as our adventure night with those that joined our impromptu sayonara party later on in the evening.  Would it have happened on a different random night?  Maybe.  Probably.  But people made an extra effort because I was leaving.    What sucks is I want to do this every week with the people I love.  Adventure days are fun.  Adventure nights are hard to remember.  Houston is humid and sticky and the mall is on fire.  The lego is lame but Scott is cool and we had a fine day, one I wouldn’t change anything about.  So it sucks.  It sucks to leave your friends and family behind and it really sucks to spend the last 2.5 months of your time living in the US in a town where you know exactly 1 person (but I do love you Caitie, I just wish you were still in Denton).  So there it is.  Yea or Nay – I’m working on the former, making the best of the situation, all that jazz.

For now, O-HI-O!!!  🙂

xo.