Thursday, November 26, 2009

the maroon and the orange face off

Deb of etc, etc, etc has an affinity for a unique combination: Texas and flamingos.

Today, while the pie crust was chilling and the turkey was basting, Sam and I took a short ride to capture one of Austin's most unique traditions: Flamingos on parade.

We spotted a rare flock of maroon flamingos:

And then a flock of orange:

And then when we back up a bit:

we see that it's not just college athletes who have a passion for squaring off on a field of green:

Complete with a referee,

a penguin to insure impartiality:

And Deb? If these pictures are making you yearn for Texas, pack your bags. I'll have the perfect vehicle waiting at the airport:

The Flamingo Express.

Okay, enough of birds and blogging. Time to get back to the real game.

Gig 'em, Aggies!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

two hours and counting

Two hours to the test.

Will my fetishistic cultish devotion to Edward be challenged by Jacob, or, rather, this latest cinematic update of Jacob, as my kids so fool heartedly believe?

All three of my kids are incredulous that I am solidly in lust with rooted to Team Edward. Surely, they plead, I can see that hairy dark, claw-footed warm-blooded Jacob should win Bella's heart.

But please, I argue, here is the Jacob of Twilight:

Because, I mean, what the hell? What kind of misplaced vamp-mullet is that?

What was director Catherine Hardwicke thinking, putting that Eddie Munster widow's peak on a teenage werewolf? Pretty clear to me whose team she was on.

That's right.


Even if she did dress him like a dud.

So the challenge is in place.

Will this latest example of institutionalized sexism in the Hollywood movie industry director do a better job convincing we cougar vampire moms to switch from Team Edward to Team Jacob?

Six-pack abs Game on!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Friday, November 13, 2009

words every mother dreads hearing

And why, every parent who survives the raising of teenagers, deserves an all-expense paid trip to a caribbean island.

No, wait, deserves to be deeded the island. Along with a different cabana boy for every day of the week.

So here is what I heard:

I picked up my son from his after school meeting. He gets into the car.

Mom! You did NOT wear that today!

me: (whose training and work experience means having an answer for everything)


son: Seriously. MOM! Tell me you did NOT wear that shirt! I mean, look at it! All those swirly colors. And what are those? Are those sequins?!

me: What?!? I like this shirt. The sequins aren't that noticeable ... are they?

son: OMG, Mom. Are you for real? Yes! You can see them. Ughghghghgghghghghg!

me: It adds a little sparkle to my day. So what? And they aren't actually sequins. They are little sparkly bits. And besides, I think the little sparkly bits .... are ... pretty.

Friday, November 06, 2009

when shoes matter, part 3, the conclusion

So Sam, with the bad shoes and the El Camino, was history. Because shoes matter.

Or so I thought.

Fast forward to mid-December. The winter weather had put an end to tennis and an end to seeing Sam.

I was busy preparing for a January trip to a list of interviews on the east coast. My schooling was nearly over. I was choosing to leave Texas behind. Close the chapter. Head back to the direction of my family and old friends. Feeling really good about it, too. For the first time, no man in my life to hamper my career plans.

But then, shortly before Christmas, Mindy called to tell me that Sam's best friend Austin had died suddenly. Suicide. Oh my god, how shattered Sam must be.

The funeral was held on an unnusually crisp and sunny afternoon. I saw Sam, one of the pall bearers, inside the church wearing this:

and a pair of these:

My heart broke for him.

The church was crowded. I squeezed in next to an older lady, also by herself. As the eulogies progressed, she handed me a tissue and we both cried.

Someone told me Sam was having a gathering at his house that night for Austin's friends. I was so tired. I had worked the early shift so that I could make the funeral. What I really wanted was to go home and go to bed. I settled for a late afternoon nap that nearly turned into an early bedtime. But I made myself get up. So in my smudged mascara and rumpled funeral clothes I went.

I showed up to a large gathering of old fogies older people I did not know. And no Sam. He was visiting with Austin's parents. I grabbed a can of beer and uncomfortably mingled. I waited to offer my condolences.

That's when Sam walked through his front door wearing these:

and this:

and this:

And most vitally, these:

Roughout pigskin Wellington style boots. Bought in the mistake pile of a Justin Outlet in Fort Worth, he later told me. The mistake? Leather soles when the bootmaker meant to use rubber.

The bootmaker's mistake transformed Sam into hawtness.

Suddenly I was seeing him for the first time. Gone was the older divorcee. Gone was the arrogant talker by the lake. Gone was the fuddy duddy in the El Camino. In this instant I was seeing a tall, handsome man, a person who was grieving for his friend.

So, there I stood, across the room, head doing a double take, jaw hanging open to my waist, thinking, for the first time since knowing him, I want this man.

I must have this man.

He dropped down in his recliner. Someone handed him his drink, a Weller and water. He looked drained and beaten and really sad. Here sat a man who truly had lost his best friend.

So it was more than the clothes. Or was it? I often wonder about the dynamics of this emotional whiplash. I think as I stood across the room, trying to observe him without being noticed, I saw a side of Sam that I'd never seen before. He was always so arrogant confident, before. Emotionally aloof. Socially at ease. Unruffled. Never revealing a weakness. Seeing Sam in those Levi's and boots the depth of his grief let me see past the superficial appearances. And remember, I was studying to be a psychologist at the time. I was driven to help people with their distress. The helper in me wanted to reach out to this man in need. To understand and comfort.

I bided my time, watching from my awkward perch as he was approached by one friend after another. Eventually Sam and I had a few awkward conversations but always surrounded by groups of people. And I couldn't read him with all of that grieving weighing him down. Was he still interested? Did I even stand a chance at this point? Had I blown it?

I racked my brain. How to make a move? If I should make any move. I mean, my god, what was I thinking? This was his best friend's funeral.

But I was due to leave town for a long weekend. And then it was Christmas. And then I was leaving for two weeks of internship.

It was now or never.

And apparently, I was not the only funeral attendee with sex on the brain romance on my mind. I was nearly cock blocked foiled twice: a slimeball trying to pick me up and a surprise visitor, Old-Home-Week-Holly, a tall, beautiful, blonde photographer trying to pick Sam up.

The crowd thinned out. It was time for me to leave lest I start to look like Maude stalking Harold.

Sam walked me to the front door. My heart was thundering in my chest. I turned to go. And then, at the last possible nano-second, I barely squeaked out, "Let's go out for a drink soon." He smiled, knodded and said he would like to do that. I called him the next day.

It wasn't long before I was wearing this:

And the boots were under my bed. For good.


The older lady at the funeral who handed me a tissue?

Turns out she was my future mother-in-law.

The inspiration for this three-part-post?

I came up behind Sam the other day as he was surfing the internet. He was shopping for a pair of boots.

The boots he was planning to buy?