Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jar O' Head

I would like to take a moment to thank my car for its amazing ability to go from 70 miles per hour, highway driving, to a tire screeching 7 miles per hour, Georgetown driving, without self-combusting. Now, when one thinks of big city life, you often think of the traffic and congestion. That should be the last thing you think about when you consider residing in Georgetown.
Georgetown is about thirty miles north of anywhere. It boasts residence to a Quilt and Sew instead of a Joanne Fabric. It has a Beds, Beds, and More instead of a Bed Bath and Beyond. There is a saddle repair shop on the main drag. You would be hardpressed to find a fast food restaurant that didn't prominently feature chicken in a bucket. Its that sort of place. And I always fancied myself as a small town kind of girl, anyway, but I must say... there's something a little off abouut Ol' Georgetown.
First of all, Georgetown is nestled between Sun City and a county law system whose penalty for driving over the speed limit includes death by hanging in town square. At least, I'm pretty sure. Sun City is an "active adult" community. I have never actually been over there, but judging from the traffic and the constant outandaboutness of its residents, I'm guessing the population is just over 765 billion. While I live on a road that has no substantial business ventures, it still takes me several minutes to get out of my driveway. Our grocery store is the last store in existence for 7 light years and it is PACKED to the gills until night fall each day. There isn't even elbow room to walk in the aisles. Sometimes, when I'm there, I worry that I'm on a makeshift rocket aimed at the Anterean culture of Cocoon... why else would so many seniors gather in one place so often... The elderly population here rivals that of Bradenton, FL where I spent 4 years in a town that had the buzz of Jepoardy in the air-- wherever you were-- at around 7pm on week nights. Because of this, you can rest assured that everything closes early and the businesses that dare to stay open risk being labeled as seedy or unscrupulous. The only thing unique about Sun City in comparison to Bradenton is that here, nothing opens early, either. Georgetown Commerce Hours of Operation: 10am-4pm. Closed 12pm-1pm for lunch.
But what does it matter? You have to go to Round Rock if you need anything, anyway. Georgetown is HELL BENT on keeping actual business entities out of city limits. They are however, all for community growth. This is best demonstrated by the fact that since I have moved in a year ago, there are two giant office complexes that remain empty... (well, one contains a Chinese buffet and a medical supply shop) yet despite this, they have built two more giant empty office complexes. That's four complexes, hundreds of empty suites, and acres or unused parking lots. For a year I have been waiting to see what will come fill up these empty storefronts. Much to my disappointment, however, the answer is: NOTHING. Nothing has come here. Well, nothing meaningful anyway. Granted, both complexes are still basically completely empty save for one business in each. Pappa Murphy's pizza, conveniently located across from Dominos (who doesn't deliver most nights, doesn't accept cash or checks and won't let you order online) and a "Mane Tamers" hair cutting place. I assume its for people and not horses, but we do have the saddle shop still... I have yet to ever see a car in the haircuttery's parking lot.
This is probably painting an entirely incorrect picture. As you drive through Georgetown, you're probably imagining a ghost town that serves pizza and offers hair care. This is not so. We do have a fabulous selection of gas stations and banks and a soon to be astronomically sized church. The street that I live on has, in a two and a half mile span, 358 gas stations, 212 banks (none of which are commonly known-- think Juan's Haus of Cash) and one GIANT sized Church with an expansion underway big enough to seat God, himself.
It's always been really funny to me that G-town has so many gas stations. The speed limit is getting slower by the day. Like I said, today I found myself going 7. At first I thought that school had gotten out. But no, everyone is just confused and slow here. So as we're crawling along at break-neck speed, I start to imagine the people of Sun City and how they must run this town. I pictured a group of young seniors... mid 70's, maybe. They want to lower the speed limit from the crusty 25 to a blistery 15. I'm almost certain that to bring a business in or change such a law here, one still has to go before the village elders... and since Sun City is just down the block, I'm thinking they probably have to put on robes that have rope belts and scratchy hoods and talk to a head in a jar. I'm guessing that's why nothing gets done here, why all these empty buildings are here but no businesses can come. No one can get a straight answer from the Wise Old Jar O' Head.

It may be time to move.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ho, Ho, Holy Hell... Something From the Chimney Fell...

It is a special day, indeed, when something plummets from the sky down the chimney... and the calendar claims to be October.
So, you can imagine the minor coronary embolism I experienced when, as I was minding my own business at the ol' computadora, my fire place begins making a sound that could only be described as the noise a rat would make if you chucked it down an air shaft. Both dogs leapt from their bed and barked like crazy and I swung around so fast in my chair, you would think I had heard someone announce that they were giving away free ice cream sundaes. All eyes were on the mesh gate enclosing the front of the fireplace.
Not quite sure how to take this, I mentioned the incident to some guildies who helpfully suggested that it could be merely a bird.... or Jebus. Either way, it would probably be safe to have a looksee. The sight was particularly horrifying, but only because the inside of my fireplace had become a massive spider and insect condo decorated with dirt and cobwebs from years of unuse. It was pretty disgusting.
But the heavenly treasure that had fallen from the sky was pretty baffling.
It seems that I am now the proud owner of a plastic bag with a magnet in it.
Not like a ziplock, but one of those little plastic pouches that contain screws or tiny allen wrenches if you were to, say, buy a desk to put together. The magnet was smallish and round. I suppose it could be radioactive... I still haven't touched it.
I did, however, take a picture.

Seriously, though. I hope come Christmas time, ol' St. Nick takes a closer look at my wishlist, because a bag o' magnet was not on it.

And the Boobies Have It.

There it is folks. People searching for this image is the cause of 99.99999994% of the hits I get on this blog. It must be highly disappointing as the image has actually been removed... from the original site that I callously stole it from, and consequently from the blog entry that, in fact, claimed the hit count. Sorry pervs. Best of luck in your quest for boobies, be it artisticly inclined, or otherwise.

Running on... well.... caffeine, mostly...

Some days I think to myself that I would like to run a marathon. Now, I'm not COMPLETELY dillusional in that I know a 5K is probably the outer limits of anything I could hope to accomplish without some major surgery, performance enhancing drugs, or the life of a beloved family member riding on its completion. But I would love to get involved with charities and do some good for the world as well as for my heart-- which I have come to envision as a cartoon sitting on a lounge chair with a beer hat and a bag of cheetos. So I toss the idea around. I think about training. Whether I'll ever actually do it... I don't know. It doesn't look good. In my search for a book called something to the tune of: "So, You Think Your Fat Ass Can Run a Marathon?" I found this poem (which I have altered ever so slightly):

Ode to Running
By: Dawn Dais (I think)

What's the point of running?
What reason could there be?
Running twenty-six miles
Makes no sense to me.

We have planes, trains, and automobiles,
Helicopters, scooters, and boats.
And if you really, really, need to
You could even ride a goat.

With all these options to move you
Why would you want to run?
Compared to runing for hours
Riding a goat sounds like much more fun.

Running makes you sweaty
And tired and cranky and sore,
And running around in circles
Can be really quite a bore.

But the worst part of running,
What drives me out of my mind,
Are the Chipper Happy Runers
Who are Chipper and Happy all the time.

They get up at 7am
To run too many miles
And whethere it's Mile 1, 5, or 10,
They still have that Chipper, Happy, smile.

I fear that I'm outnumbered,
And they're trying to wear me down,
They're trying to make me chipper
But all I can do is frown.

But I'll be nice to the Chipper People
And I'll tolerate their smiles,
Since they have so much friggin' energy
Maybe I can ride on their backs for awhile.

If I DO ever run a marathon, Half-marathon, 5-K, or hell, participate in the Special Olympics. I will be writing that book.

Friday, October 3, 2008

You Shut Your Mouth When You're Talking to Me

Have you ever been talking to someone and you realize that you're treading uncertain waters and to broach even the most mundane topic can make the words catch in the back of your throat like a dolphin in a tuna net? In this country of free speech where no one seems to mind unloading their political, religious, or sexual preferences all over the bumper of their cars, their wardrobe, and their personal web pages, its kind of laughable that bringing up the subject of myspace or of MMOs or dieting or Macs vs PCs could be a wholly uncomfortable discussion. Yet somehow, it is. Whenever someone asks me if I get into the whole: "Myspace" thing, I feel as though my whole body sighs heavily and I have to prepare to defend myself. Well, it stops here and now. For what I hope to be the last time, I am going to defend some things that are near and dear to my heart and whether that means that I am a raging nerd or not, I don't care. If you read this maybe you'll understand why I think the way I do. If you don't, I'll be watching around every corner for a wedgie so back off.

1. "Myspace is gay."
That has actually been used as an argument from people who meant to dissuade me from the use of this "childish" Internet phenom. People will tell me that its for high school kids. Well, I'm pretty sure that calling things: "gay" is something that should only be reserved for high school kids. That aside, why would high school kids need myspace? They see each other all day in school, do they not? I love myspace because I went to 6 schools as a kid. I lost touch with all my friends until this wonderful little website came into my life. All the people that I loved and thought about over the years are now on myspace and I couldn't be more grateful to have some people back in my life. Its great for networking and job connections and meeting up with old friends when you're back in town. Anyone who thinks they're too cool for myspace is missing out. Have some common sense and take advantage of their security features if that's a concern. Don't post: "What kind of summer fruit are you" quizzes if you don't want to, but its a different world now. The people you grew up with scatter all across the country and all across the world. Being able to stay in touch is pretty nice... or you know... gay...

2. "MMOs are for nerds"
MMO = Massive Multiplayer Online game. I get it. So playing Warcraft doesn't make me chief contender for Homecoming Queen. Since I started playing this game, recently, it has been hovering just below the level of addiction. Not only is it super fun, but I play with people I know and can't see on a regular basis and in three different states. What could be more fun than coming home from a long day at work and slaughtering a horde village with your closest friends from around the globe? So what if its nerdy? This is the most fun hobby I have had in a long time and like myspace, you're missing out if you haven't tried it. Not to mention, I haven't been to a party or gathering since that hasn't had fellow addictees in tow. Lets face it, Warcraft is the new smoking. It gives you an instant connection and something to talk about, even if somewhere there is an illiterate jock telling anyone who will listen that "Warcraft is gay, dude."

3. "She's taking diet pills."
Eating right because you have to or you will die has become kind of a new thing with me. I'm not very good at it, but I try it consistently and I've made some headway... on certain days.... sometimes.
Either way, it always seems that I try my hardest in group settings because that's where it is the hardest. Its not because I'm showing off. That would be totally gay. For example. I was recently at a dinner party where the drinks for the evening were either soda or beer. Water was not on the menu. Next, came the breadsticks, followed by two fattening salads and a french bread style pizza-- all prelude to the dessert.
Now, trust me, I would have loved to pour myself a tumbler of coke, and create a breadstick log cabin on my plate to house my 15 servings of 6 inch thick cheesy pizza and top it with a chunk of cake, but none of these items, save for a scaled back version of the salad, screams diabetic friendly. So I made my choices. No drink, no bread, no dessert. One slice of pizza and a salad. I often wonder if such eating warrants so much attention because it is in fact strange, or is it me? Do people I know expect me to go for broke at the buffet? I don't know. Either way, I recently overheard a friend of mine telling another group of friends that I take diet pills and that's why I have lost weight.
Um, no. I passed on the beer and the cheese fries, thank you. I also have been known to make an appearance at the gym. While I'm not exactly a pillar of fitness and no piece of chocolate is safe within my grasp, I did the work myself. Thanks for the backhanded compliment.

4. "Politicians, aren't we all."
I am so completely disillusioned with politics right now, that I won't even begin to fight with you. But you know what? Obama doesn't have all the answers. He's an amazing speaker... but his promises, too, are outlandish. Pull your head out of your ass and get over yourself. The majority of people who speak with authority on the subject know so, so little in the over all picture of the health of the nation and the consequences and requirements of the campaign promises on both sides. Even if we had a great candidate, there really isn't anything they can do-- politically, their hands are tied in many ways. The best you can do is find someone who closest matches your ideals and cast your vote. So get off your soap box, you sound like a moron. You and I don't know a thing... unless of course you are one of the big business money holders. Then, I suppose you have a major stake in the outcome of everything and a driving force at that. The rest of us are just part of the illusion.

5. "Mac or PC, one is silver and the other is gold. But who cares."

For the love of God, owning a mac doesn't make you an after shot from an episode of "Queer Eye"-- pass it on.

6. "Girls who think other girls who play video games are weird."
When I was seven I sat in Justin Geckle's bedroom playing Mario for the first time with him and Jesse Rivera. It was a defining moment in my life. From Christmas of 1987 I would never be the same and I'm proud to say that even at 28, I can beat any boy* at any game, at any time. I grew up in a neighborhood full of boys and we always played. I moved to a new state and didn't know anyone so I came home and played because I had no one to talk to. I played gameboy in the car because we were always on the road. I read nintendo power magazine. I traded games and new cheat codes.
Fast forward. I married a man who works in the game industry. He's a character designer. I routinely hang out with game designers, environment artists, and animators. How could I not love video games? They surround my life like pugs at your dinner plate and it would be a lot more boring if I didn't share that with them. Sure, I can also make a mean batch of chocolate chip cookies, and I can't ever open pickle jars, but being able to kick your ass at Wii boxing, just makes me that much cooler. Do you see now?

And that's the list. I could write more but its getting late and I still have to go to the gym before coming home and playing warcraft. Have a great weekend, everyone, and I now have a button on the right side where you can follow my blog. Please do so, or else I will feel like a big, gay nerd.

*Any boy with the exception of Ryan Martin who has always bested me at every game, that Wiley devil.

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