Friday, December 25, 2009

Silent Night

There is a stillness, a peaceful quiet that happens as Christmas comes to a close.  The roads are less traveled, the store fronts are closed, the phone rings less and the email bing is silent.  This year, I noticed the stillness more than I have in the past...and I reveled in it.

The excitement and energy of Christmas morning has waned into a shared sofa with my mother and Fa La La La Lifetime.  I truly can't imagine a better day... a day spent with family and loved ones.

I've already made my list of people to see and stores to visit tomorrow and I know that this quiet won't last much longer.  But it got me to thinking.  To thinking about the peace that comes on Christmas; God's simple way of making me pause and take stock of all the wonderful gifts in my life.  More so today than any other day I recognize the beauty in my world - the surprise White Christmas, the laughter through tears at the Christmas dinner table, the longing for friends, the bittersweet memories of Christmas's with my dad and grandparents, the special hope for Christmas's future and the pure joy of knowing that today is different.

So today, I'll not send a message to the cosmic void, but I'll send a message to each of you.  Today I won't send my questions, worries or woes.  Today I wish you each the peace of knowing Christ's love and the warmth of your families loving embrace.

When I was little I would read the following passage outloud on Christmas Eve to my family, from Luke.

But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.  Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Well, I Believe... for Christmas

'Tis the season for sorts of wonderful things including a list of all the things I believe in for Christmas. 

Well, I believe in advent calendars.  Misteltoe, trains and nativity scenes.  I believe in sending cards and getting cards.  I believe the "from" on the tag should always say Santa. 

Well, I believe in the Christmas candles from "The Market".  Lights on the house, glitter and Christmas China. I believe in reading the Christmas story from Luke on Christmas Eve. And I believe in re-reading a "Christmas Carol" so I know all the buildings in my mom's Dicken's Village.

Well, I believe in opening your presents Christmas morning instead of Christmas Eve.  Christmas pajamas, wreaths and bows.  I believe in having cinnamon rolls and coffee on Christmas morning and I believe in stockings that are loaded down with goods.

Well, I believe my mom's traditions are the right ones.  Big bows, pretty paper and white twinkle lights.  I believe in the candlelight service on Christmas Eve.  I believe in singing Christmas carols as loud as possible. And saying "Merry Christmas" even to complete strangers.

And well, frankly, I believe in the Christmas spirit.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Season's Change

I have told you guys why I love football.  I provided you with detailed information on my love of the game.  I am a little sad that the season is coming to a close... soon the bowl games will be played ... I'll have to resort to watching pro football and the playoffs.

The joy that gets me through this... well, its the next season that is coming.  That's right... AWARD SHOW SEASON!

I ell oh vee ee, love it.  The Golden Globes are January 17.  Its my season opener.  And yes, just like football season... I throw watch parties.  I make you wear a formal, there is betting and by God... you don't talk during the presentations.  I mean you talk all you want during technical presentations.  But if you talk during Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting.... you get the idea... if you think you'll need to talk during those - don't bother coming over.

Now starts my season of going to the movies every Sunday morning to see all the nominated movies.  Now starts the detailed debates with Marla, Carolyn and Karen.  The debates over movies in Carolyn's kitchen over a bowl of queso and an daquiri.

The Academy Awards ... March 7.  Some jackasses are going to want to watch basketball.  That's for pansies.  This is serious competition and the stakes are high. 

Though I will admit two things.  I am not nearly as loyal to my pick for movie of the year as I am to the Texas Longhorns.  And I am pretty sure that Twilight and New Moon aren't going to get any nominations... unless Jacob gets one for most improved abs.  That's a vote I think we can all agree on.

Well, I DON'T Believe...

Here's the deal.  I have figured out something big that I just don't believe in. 

Sick feelings in the pit of your stomach.

I've had one for the better part of a month and its starting to piss me off.  And you know what? I am not alone.  I asked around.  Other people have this affliction, too.  It's so freaking annoying.  You know that feeling of just impending doom...

worry about what people think of you
what they are going to think of your work
how your meeting is going to go
if the Christmas tree is just a little crooked
if you remembered to unplug your straightener
if that police man going to notice your expired registration
is he going to call
can everyone see that pimple on my forehead
is your cooking any good or are people just being nice
do I have food in my teeth
should I have said that
what did she/he/it mean when they said.....
are my feet going to hurt in these shoes
what are the manicure/pedicure women saying about you when they are talking so fast
what are people going to think of me
are their parents going to like me
is that spelled correctly
is there really a serial killer after me
what will they think of my blog
why won't he/she/it hold my hand
can people see my gray hairs
is this all there is

That damn feeling, the sick sinking feeling in the pit of your stomach.  I think mine's busted.  Seriously, I think its freaking broke cause it just won't go away.  It's a total a-hole.  So, tonight, I am trying to send all these worries and woes out to the cosmic void.  In the hopes that this asshole feeling goes away for the holidays.  Oh, and that it leaves my friends alone, too.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

It's All About Me

I hit a bumpy patch in the road recently and filled up to brim with doubt.  I asked a good friend to help me remember what motivates and drives me.   

I would like to encourage each of you to take a minute and ask someone you trust to tell you what they think drives you.  For me, this has been a liberating experience and its completely turned my perspective around.

And I love that I get to take my self indulgence to new heights by publishing it on my blog.

This is her response.

You like to be needed and provide solutions for people so long as you have a team of people working for you and so long as you have power/control and are driving the train. You don't enjoy solely providing... you like to lead and make decisions. You don't like to be the smartest person in the room when you don't have control.

You are also motivated by very smart people in powerful positions who look to you for your point of view. You are often surprised by your ability to deliver on this. This isn't unusual but is worth noting. You like finding things that don't work and then revamping how it's done so it makes sense. You like perks that enable you to do and experience "exclusive" and "VIP" opportunities and you like to be able to provide those same "perks" to people you like.  Someone gets on your shit list, their done. No looking back. No 2nd chances. Their dead to you. But you have one of the biggest hearts of anyone I know and once you like someone and know their story, you will do whatever it takes to support them, make them laugh, fight for them, take time for them, travel thousands of miles to be at their wedding in the Bahamas, etc. And ideally, those kinds of relationships are not exclusive to your personal life - in fact, you like to have your personal and professional lives mesh in that regard.

You love the funny. You LOVE telling funny stories and you often times tell them multiple times in a day. You really love being the center of attention and have been known to increase the volume of your voice so that your presence is known to all those sitting/standing/walking within a 100 yard radius. You are competitive but you enjoy helping others succeed and you are very good at helping them do so. You have a horrible singing voice. It must be stopped. But you will be heard anyway...your favorite people are those that think your horrible singing is hilarious. I am one of those people.


Monday, December 7, 2009

Hope's a Bitch, but I can't break up with her...

Hope is a total bitch.  I wish Hope was my friend.  I wish Hope was actually some girl I know instead of this nagging, irritating, constant emotion inside me.

I am that girl, the one that is always hoping.  Believing in people, believing that the best it about to happen.  And frankly, it makes me a nervous wreck.  I am the red headed chick from "He's Just Not That Into You"... constantly hoping, trusting, and making an ass out of myself.

I quote a lot of movies on this delicious blog, well, simply because I love them.  So here's another one that I love ... its from "He's Just Not That Into You"... its Gigi, the red head, the hopeful one... its me.

Girls are taught a lot of stuff growing up. If a guy punches you he likes you. Never try to trim your own bangs and someday you will meet a wonderful guy and get your very own happy ending... But sometimes we're so focused on finding our happy ending we don't learn how to read the signs. How to tell from the ones who want us and the ones who don't, the ones who will stay and the ones who will leave. And maybe a happy ending doesn't include a guy, maybe... it's you, on your own… Or maybe the happy ending is this, knowing after all the unreturned phone calls, broken-hearts, through the blunders and misread signals, through all the pain and embarrassment you never gave up hope.
I gotta tell you.... I could have used this information when I was younger.  I cut my own bangs a lot and it was always disastrious.  The thing about this... is this.. doesn't it seem to apply to everything? Its not just about hoping for love.  I end everyday filled with hope and sure that tomorrow morning is the day that I will leap from my bed early and be ready to tackle the day.  Hopeful and trusting that I'll do something amazing, like cure a disease or invent a longer lasting lightbulb.  And every morning... I hit snooze for at least an hour and struggle to even get my simple tasks complete.
At work, I have a meeting and I get so excited because its the best meeting ever and I am sure they are going to give a million dollars to the Heart Association... and then it starts... the Hope.  I start to imagine all the wonderful things that we'll be able to do and I am so hopeful.  And most of the time, I have unreturned phone calls, some embarassment, misread signals ... but I keep hoping... through it all... until my heart gets broken.

Every January I am filled with hope ... hope that I will not hate swimsuit shopping that year, hope that I'll actually balance my checkbook, hope that I won't trip when walking (which I do often), hope that my Barista boyfriend will realize that he loves me... until none of it happens... and my heart starts to ache.

And frankly, cosmic void, as much as I hate the disappointment that so often follows hope. I can't shake the habit of being hopeful.  I can't stop dreaming big and expecting the best.  I can't help myself; the hope high is just too great.  And there is always, not matter how tiny, that chance for a happy ending. 

Right now, I am focused on on singular hope. I hope the Longhorns win the National Championship. I really do. I hope that there aren't mis-read signals, or embarassment. I'll keep hoping until January 7th and I'll keep wishing and I'll keep praying. And I am really, really hoping that they don't break my heart.

So I am going to keep on hoping, keep on riding the Hope high... because I am just not sure I'd appreciate things as much if they weren't the fulfillment of my hopes.  

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Great Christmas Debate

There are two kinds of Christmas people.  Christmas Vacationers and A Christmas Storiers. 

Except for my mother.  Big Sara is totally a Mircale on 34th Streeter.  She was very clear with me about this when I mentioned that I was struggling with how to really delve into this great Christmas Debate.

So here's my theory... everyone has a kind of Christmas habit... they'll either stop the channel flipping on Clark or Ralphie.  Both have brilliant lines, scenes and both mean different things to different people.

I think that the films speak to different people in different ways.  And I am concerned that I might be a middle of the road person.  I truly believe this is one of the best lines in a film ever....

"We're going to press on, and we're going to have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tapped danced with Danny fucking Kaye."

But I cannot contain myself when that kid can't move his arms, or he puts on the bunny pajamas, or the whole you'll shoot your eye out thing - I full out belly laugh... everytime.  All 12 times that TNT plays it on Christmas Day.

It might be a generational thing... I don't have the answers.  I don't know if anyone does.  I just know that this great divide exists and I wonder about it everytime the holidays roll around.  Can a Vacationer marry a Storier?  Could they find love amidst their differences?  Does this divide families?  What does it truly say about each of us? 

So today, I am sending these questions out to the cosmic void because I don't want to judge anyone for their Christmas movie choices.  I love each of you, no matter your choice.

But me, well, I think I am going to go watch "It's A Wonderful Life"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

It's Been A Long December...

"Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does, even for me."

Yeah, I just quoted New Moon. 

This year I feel like time has raced and suddenly it has slowed to a crawl.  My days pass slowly now matter how busy I am and I lie awake a night with thoughts racing.  Although a bit awkward and uncomfortable to admit, I totally get what Bella was saying.  This year lurched by and now all of a sudden its a dragging lull.

But I think I have figured out why.  I haven't sent my Christmas list to my mom and Elizabeth. For some reason, today, I felt like I should publish my Christmas list.  This way, if any of you are wondering what to get me for Christmas... you'll know.

Here it is, Ladies and Gentlemen, my 2009 Christmas list. These are presented in no particular order.
  1. Edward  Cullen
  2. Kitchen Aid Mixer (stainless steel)
  3. 2010 Tahoe (tan, tan leather)
  4. Brown cowboy boots with burnt orange tops from Nordstrom's (these are on hold under Sara Woodard at the Nordstrom's Galleria in Dallas)
  5. Cross Necklace from Tiffany's in silver
  6. Dish Towels from Williams Sonoma (red stripe)
  7. US Weekly Subscription
  8. Small Flat Screen TV for my bedroom
  9. Rolling pin
  10. Sieve
  11. New Chanel Eyeshadow
  12. Diorshow Blackout Mascara
  13. Coco Chanel Perfume
  14. One billion thread count sheets
I think that's pretty much it.  It's a simple list this year.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

City Council Meeting Minutes - Ashlyville

The first city council meeting for the inaugural town in Sherryland - recented named Ashlyville- was conducted today. Below are the meeting minutes from the Ashlyville City Council Meeting.

The fiirst item on the agenda was the proposed expansion of Ashlyville.  The Development Committee met yesterday and approved the motion for expansion.  At this time, the approvals include a Whataburger and a Barnes and Noble.  Other structures were approved but have not been leased yet. 

A motion was introduced again by the Coalition for the Prevention of Ilegal Fornication to close the brothel located on the north end of Ashlyville.  The motion was not approved by a vote of 0-2. 

A petition was introduced by the Ashlyville Hookers for a liquor store to be opened in Ashlyville.  The petition cited the need for customers to be "more liquored up" to encourage incremental interpersonal commerce at the brothel.  The petition is currently under consideration of the Development Committee.

The Deacons from the First Church of Ashlyville presented a request for a permit to carol in the streets during the last two weeks of December.  This was unamisously approved.

The final agenda item was a review of the proposed railroad project through Ashlyville.  However, due to the absence of the railroad commissioner, there was no timeline to review or approve.  The hookers were outraged as they have no way in or out of Ashlyville and feel that the railroad workers present yet another opportunity for increased interpersonal commerce.  The Ashlyville Express Line has an expected completion date of December 11.  Hopefully, in time to bring presents from Santa for the little children of Ashlyville, as well increased client interaction at the brothel.  The Council understands that the railroad commissioner is currently recruiting for a safety engineer before construction can begin.

The meeting was adjorned, eggnog was served and Tiny Tim blessed everyone in Ashlyville.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I Need a Vice

I have quit smoking and quit drinking.  Right now I am regretting both those decisions - cause I could really use a Maker's Mark and a Marlboro Light.  In fact, I desperately want them both even though its 9 in the morning. 

This morning I found out that someone very, very precious to me is sick.  And I am not really handling it well.  So I've sat down to tell the cosmic void how I feel in the hopes that saying it all out loud will help me stop crying.

I am scared. 

I am trying so hard to turn to God, to pray for his will.  But my prayers keep coming up selfish.  I keep praying for her to be better - to not have to go down this road.  I am pretty sure that's not how I am supposed to pray and not what I am supposed to ask for... but its so desperately what I want.  I wish I could be unselfish enough to pray for wisdom, and patience... but I am not there yet. And right now, I wonder if I can ever get to that point. 

I am scared. 

In this moment, I have horrible regret that I moved away.  I just want to be with my friend.  Even if its just to sit next to her and do nothing.  I don't want to be here; I don't want to be in this place away from them.  I feel truly trapped right now.  I know that being there won't change anything but it would just make me feel better.

But for now, I am just going to sit here and pray my selfish prayers and cry.  A lot.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

He's Just Not That Into Me

Yesterday I went to lunch with my handsome friend Jared.  He's super sweet too but handsome is the important part of this story. After lunch we decided to go up to my Starbuck's and try to make my barista boyfriend jealous.

I loved this idea and it was great for about the first 5 minutes.  First, Jared has discovered how to get to me to be quiet (he was very excited about this discovery)... apparently all you have to do it put me in the same room with the man I've had a secret crush on for a year.  I become mute.  So there was that.

And then, disaster struck.  I am still reeling from what happened next.

My barista boyfriend flirted with Jared.

Yeah, you read that right.

I am pretty sure it was the hunting knife in Jared's back pocket that did it for him.  It does it for me.  But kids, here's the rub, I feel so cheated, so wronged.  Its like my barista boyfriend has been lying to me for a year.  Like I was the only one in our relationship.  I thought I was reading the signs correctly.  I thought he was into me.  I thought my lattes were special. 

But Jared's latte was free. 

Monday, November 16, 2009

That's Just Geography

Today is my one year anniversary in Houston. For people that move around a lot, this may not seem like a big deal.  But rest assured for this Plano girl, changing jobs and moving was indeed a very big deal.  A year ago today I packed up my belongings and headed south on I-45.

I cried the entire way.  I played sad songs about goodbye until Centerville and then I switched to upbeat songs about making a new start.  But I still cried the whole time.  I unpacked, unloaded and moved in to Kathy's guest room.  Then I went to Madonna, because every new start should start with at least a Madonna song.

I was so scared.  Scared that I wouldn't be any good in another career, scared that I wouldn't make friends, scared that I miss my old life so much.

One of my friends Stephanie asked me on Friday how I've changed in the past year.  When I really started thinking about it, the change in me has been profound.  Some changes are small, like I have shorter hair and wear higher heels.  Some are big, like I am happier more than I am sad and that I try every day to keep Christ as my focus (somedays are better than others).

But the biggest change in me in the past year isn't about geography. I think its how I relate to other people.  Don't get me wrong, its still very much about me and I still very much love to be the center of attention.  I am just much more open to meeting and getting to know others.  But I am no longer defining my worth by what others think of me.  Instead I am finding joy in how they respond to me and in how those relationships grow and change.

"Nobody can go back and start a new beginning but anyone can start today to make a new ending"

How true is that?  I cannot go back and change the mistakes I've made or the experiences I've had... but a year ago I started to shape a new ending and I feel like the story is just now starting to get good.  So to each of you that have been a part of my journey this past year - thank you.  Thank you for accepting me as I am, embracing my eccentricities, tolerating my idiosyncrasies, laughing with me, crying with me, participating in all my new hobbies, listening to my doubts and fears, and most of all celebrating all the extraordinarory moments of the past year with me. 

You'll never know how very much it has meant to me.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Forever 21

Tonight I went country dancing with some friends. Yeah, you read that correctly.  But that's not the point I need to make.  I lost my wallet about a week ago.  Its somewhere between El Rey's on Washington and my house.  But again, not the point.  The point is, I don't have a driver's license.

So tonight, I realize this upon my arrival at Wild West.  (Yeah, its called Wild West).  Again... not the freaking point.  Pay attention.  Here's how the deal went down...

I walk in.  I advise the women at the door that I lost my wallet and truly don't have anything with my birthday on it.  She stares at me for a second.  To which I say "Go ahead, tell me I don't look 21.  Please.  Make my day that way."  She doesn't pause, waves me in.

You know what, I think she's a bitch.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What One Wants

There's a line in the movie "Beautiful Girls" that I love.  Paul just randomly proposed to Jan in the middle of her shift as a waitress at a diner.  She says no.  He gets mad because she has a new boyfriend.  And Jan says, and this is greatness "One comes to a decision based on what one wants, Paul, not what one doesn't want" and then a few weeks ago my friend Jeana told me the same thing... and since then... I think I have said this to about 10 people. 

So, I've been thinking about what I want .... we've talked about what I believe on the blog, but I don't know that I've ever given you a list of what I want.  So here, for your reading pleasure, are just a few things that I want:

  1. A great pair of high heels that don't hurt my feet
  2. To not be allergic to everything
  3. To smile more hours in the day than not
  4. To hold hands
  5. To not have to fight pimpils
  6. To put my foot in my mouth less often
  7. To feel a cool breeze on my face but still have the little sting of the sunshine
  8. To someday have someone call me "Mom"
  9. To be able to sleep at night
  10. To find a bra strap that doesn't slip
  11. To laugh at myself
  12. To raise a million dollars for the Heart Association
  13. To be challenged by my work and by people around me
  14. To listen better
  15. To demonstrate God's love in my actions
  16. To learn how to tap dance
  17. To run and not grow weary
  18. To cook for friends and family
  19. To keep my Christmas tree up all year long
  20. To learn to focus on what I want and not what I don't want

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Love Actually

My two favorite movies are Saving Private Ryan and Love Actually.   I know it doesn't make a lot of sense and I can't explain it either... but in SPR that part where Tom Sizemore says "what if the one good thing to come out of this whole, god awful, shitty mess is saving Private Ryan, well then, like you said, Captain, we all earn the right to go home"... it just gets me every time.  I always cry.

And Love Actually... I saw it 6 times in the theater.  I sent an intern to buy me a copy of the DVD at 10 AM the day it was available for sale. 

Its the best opening line of a movie that I know:
"Whenever I get gloomy with the state of the world, I think about the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport. General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere. Often, it's not particularly dignified or newsworthy, but it's always there - fathers and sons, mothers and daughters, husbands and wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, old friends. When the planes hit the Twin Towers, as far as I know, none of the phone calls from the people on board were messages of hate or revenge - they were all messages of love. If you look for it, I've got a sneaking suspicion... love actually is all around. "
I decided to watch it tonight to fall asleep and instead its started ideas a churning in my head... so I've come into the study to tell the cosmic void about them.  And hear's the rub, I just figured out that I am, indeed, surrounded by love.  That in my little life here in Houston, love actually, is all around. 

My friends who are mothers now show me love in a whole new light.  My friends who are newly weds or new couples show me the joy and energy of new love.  My friends who are new show me the beauty in learning about each other.  My old friends demonstrate the comfort of always knowing that you're there for each other - even if we aren't always around each other.

I love the line "its not particularly dignified or newsworthy"  ... how true is that, cosmic void?  The love that surrounds me here isn't newsworthy... its in my friends helping me set up for watch parties, in helping me clean up from watch parties, its in making a new Christmas wreath, its on the porch swing, its a slow dance even though no one else is dancing, its the reaction to Pumpkin ice cream, its in being called Sherbear by my Houston friends, its wall posts on Facebook, its in wanting to hold someone's hand, its in sharing secrets, its in Sunday afternoons on the sofa, its in the encouraging words when I doubt myself so often, its the hard core laughter, the belly laugh that seems to be wherever my friends are, and its in my prayers... none of those are particularly newsworthy, except to me.

So tonight, I find myself incredibly grateful for the love that surrounds me.  Incredibly grateful for seeing the love of Christ in my life again and incredibly grateful for each of you that show me daily how love is, actually, all around me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

La Bonne Soup (dedicated to Jeorjie, Steve and Serious David)

As you may be aware, I have been dealing with a little bout of blogger block.  My days just haven't been as dramatic as normal.  Maybe, at 32, I am finally getting it together.  But I doubt it.  But I've taken up a new hobby... cooking.  My mother is terrified, she believes me totally incapable of functioning in a kitchen.

But I'm not half bad at it.  I found the ice cream maker that Elizabeth and Eric got me and I've made Pumpkin Ice Cream, Cinnamon Ice Cream, and Peanut Butter Ice Cream.  I am gonna try to figure out Rainbow Sherbert to take home to Marla for Thanksgiving.  And next weekend I am going to try to master my mom's dressing for our church Thanksgiving.  And then I am going to make a Christmas Duck!  But there is one dish I am terrified to attempt.... French Onion Soup.

A couple years back I went on a quest for the best French Onion Soup.  I was travelling a ton, so this wasn't that difficult.  The Palace Hotel in New York has the best hotel French Onion Soup, though the Hyatt in San Antonio wasn't that bad either.  The Majestic in Kansas City's is pretty decent.  La Madeleine's is crap compared to the ones I tried.  I can't really explain it but I was obsessed with French Onion Soup.  I had it everyday... for months. Maybe because I knew it was safe at every hotel or maybe its the fact that comes with melted cheese on top.  I don't have the answers.  I just know I freaking love French Onion Soup.

So my friend David... serious David for those that were at the Bubble... he researched the French Onion Soup in NYC and when I came up for a visit... we had LA BONNE SOUP.  This place was crazy delicious.  The picture above is a whole bunch of soups just waiting to be eaten.  It was such a fun night and by far the winner of the Best French Onion Soup, EVER. 

I took out the back portion of the booth we were sitting in and made everyone sign it. So if you are ever in New York City, go to La Bonne Soup on 55th and 5th... ask for the back room and if you remove the booth back in the near corner... we're all there... Jeorjie, David, Yvette, Sherry and Steve.  I think that was the last bowl of French Onion soup I've had. 

So French Onion Soup holds a mystic place in my heart.  Its the pinnacle of soups.  If I make it and its not as good and the night isn't  as much fun as that blistery March night... will French Onion soup be ruined for me? 

I can't imagine it'd be that hard, onions, broth, and some cheese.  Dude, I wonder if you melt the cheese with a blow torch thing.  MOM - I need a blow torch and a rolling pin now.  Anyway, I'm gonna work on dressing, then a duck and maybe some French Onion Soup.  Oh, and the sherbert for Marla.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Its for a Good Cause

This Saturday in Houston is the American Heart Association's Heartwalk.  We've been working all year to raise money and awareness - yesterday we passed the $1.3 million dollar mark.  This is a huge accomplishment and I am crazy proud of my colleagues that have raised all this dough! We are shooting for $1.5 million - so we are still out there working to raise more money!

A few months back I bet one of our board members that I could raise more money than him for the Heartwalk.  I have lost that bet.  He's raised like $25,000 and I've raised $1700... I am ok with that, cause it got people excited about raising money. And he has loved torturing me.

The trouble is, by losing I have to wear an OU shirt for the walk.  I cannot think of a worse punishment.  Not the actual shirt wearing... but the fact that I have to purchase an OU shirt.  The fact that any amount of my hard earned money will be going to support Oklahoma's Athletic Department. 

So here's my message for today... first, its not to late to donate and I've included my link below.  Take a look at my page and you'll see that I am walking to honor my dad.  He ran marathons, so I am sure he'd be disappointed that I am only walking... but I am not my father... so I walk.  I wish you could have seen him run... it was hystercial - bird legs, big pot belly, and a half t-shirt... but he did it.  He'd run all 26.2.  So on Saturday I will walk 5 miles to honor him.  Maybe someday when my lungs have healed from smoking and my head can get past the idea of how freaking far 26.2 miles is... maybe, just maybe I'll run a marathon to honor him.  But I wouldn't hold your breath.

Second, if you don't have plans on Saturday morning come out to Sam Houston Park to celebrate with us.  Its a crazy fun event and you'll get to see me in an OU shirt.  This will actually be my second appearance in an OU shirt.  The first is when Texas lost to OU a few years back and I had to wear a friend's jersey from his playing days.  I threw up a little bit in my mouth when I put it on.

I hope to see any of you Houstonians out there on Saturday for the big event and if you aren't in Houston.  Do me a favor... get up, go outside and a take quick walk... for me... in a UT shirt.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A Bipolar Day

Today is a bipolar day.  Yeah, I said it.  Today I experienced extreme joy and extreme depression within hours of each other.

Here is what happened... I found a gray hair.  And then I got a pair of purple high heels in the mail from Pipelime. 

If you are a girl, this entry requires no further explanation.  If you are a guy, you simply don't care and have lost interest by this point.

So that's all I will write for today.  Besides, I've got some shoes to break in and a hair appointment to make.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

My iPod is Trying to Tell Me Something

Today when I was getting ready I noticed a trend on the shuffle from my iPod.  It kept hitting on the Christmas Carols.  So you know what that means... yup... the tree is going up this week. For years, I have been too consumed with football season to adequately prepare for the holiday season.  Last year I lived in two places during the Holidays...I lent my tree to a friend.

Not this year.  So get ready, Houstonians... Christmas Sherry is about to get serious.

I am about to try to put a 10 ft tree up in a one bedroom apartment.  I don't care if I have to walk around the SOB everyday for the next two months.  We are about to get some holiday cheer up in here.

I can't begin to express how happy it makes me that Target already has the Christmas isle up, or that my iPod knew that I need validation that it was okay to start Christmas. 

You see, this year is my first Christmas in Houston, my first Christmas to not be consumed by the rigors of football season.  I am thrilled that I won't be spending my vacation securing bowl tickets or November assigning 7000 seats for a Championship Game.  This year I make new traditions.  And I think that's a big deal.  What happens in the next two months could very well dictate years of my holiday celebrations. I cannot F this up.  The tree has to be just right, the egg nog mixed carefully, the packages decorated perfectly, the right pieces added to my nativity scene (you better get on that Mom).. the holiday party has to be the best, I have to see a Christmas Carol, I need to sing Christmas Songs and hear the Hallejah Chorus and most importantly my Christmas list has to be perfected.

My family will understand this, my Christmas list is a document that I carefully craft throughout the year.  Items are added and deleted with significant pondering.  Pictures are cut from catalogs, links are included on the list and there are always a couple of ridiculous items that I have no business asking for but I want them.  And my sister always delivers.  There was the Louis Vitton wallet, the Louis Vitton small clutch, and the ice cream maker.  Just a few of the items no one needs but my sweet sister has purchased for me over the years.  My mother will have no part of my frivolity, but Elizabeth has always given in.  I know this might shock some of you, but apparently I am somewhat animated when opening gifts.  Sweet Elizabeth loves my reactions to my gifts.  So she indulges me.  She's always indulged me.  So I still tell Santa (and Elizabeth) exactly what I want. 

I think you can expect to hear a lot from me about Christmas over the next two months.  This week I'll be focused on figuring out how to put my tree up without Scooter, Marla, or Holly and I'll be making my list.  Its gonna be a busy week....

It's Christmas time in the city... ring a ling.. here them sing...soon it will be Christmas Day.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Blogger Block

Ladies and Gentlemen, we all feared this might happen and it has.  I have a cause of blogger block.  I am stuck on one blog and can't get past it. 

So I am hosting an ask the audience session and allowing you to submit reader suggestions.

Hopefully, I'll be back next week... but I suppose that all depends on how fun my weekend is... so it's up to you, Houston.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Grab a Spatula and Rise Up.

This article appeared in ESPN Magazine.  Rick Reilly says is better than I can, so I'll let him.  I simply have this to say... if the tailgates around DKR Memorial Stadium ever disappear.  Well, I just might consider only watching the games on TV.

Of all the gates -- Watergate, Monicagate, Spygate -- there is only one gate this country can be proud of: the tailgate.

A parking-lot spiral, a cheese brat whispering sweet nitrates and a decent ticket in your pocket. Buddy, that's more American than deficits. So why is America trying to kill tailgating?

Look around: Outside Soldier Field -- home of the Chicago Bears -- fans are getting kicked out of the parking lot once the game starts. Heresy! A lot of Bears fans can't afford tickets ($245 for a nosebleed), but they love pulling into the south lot (for which they pay $46), opening up the camper van, putting one satellite dish on the tailgate and one on the roof and living and dying for their Bears. Tailgaiting is a tradition that's been in place for 90 years, and now it's forbidden? Why don't they just clean our Weber grills with the American flag!

In Arizona, the Cardinals did the same thing. And this coming off a Super Bowl year! These are Cards fans who stuck with a toothless team through a barren 21-year wasteland until it finally made the Super Bowl last season. Now they're getting the bum's rush? Blasphemy! And the Cards have banned postgame tailgating, too. So waiting in lawn chairs by your car with your friends while the traffic clears is now forbidden. Get in line and waste gas like everybody else!

Grab a spatula and rise up!

This crap is going on everywhere. In Dallas, the Cowboys moved tailgaters to the far back outreaches of their lots. What are we, contagious? This kills one of the most fun tailgating traditions of all: mooching. Get an outlying parking spot and wander through tailgaters on the way to your gate. If you're not offered a brew, a burger or a brownie in the first 100 yards, you need to try smiling.

But it's in the state of Michigan that tailgating is dying the fastest. Imagine! The state where the first tailgate came off the assembly line!

What they're doing at Central Michigan should be investigated by Congress. Tailgategate. The geniuses there banned external sound systems. What? Think about our lives. It's just us at the computer. Just us and our CrackBerries. Tailgating is one of the few experiences we have together. We listen to the game together. We sing Queen together. On one set of speakers!

Worse, CMU isn't letting any cars leave the parking lot until the third quarter. Reduces congestion, the school says. Isn't that kidnapping?

Terrified mom: "Please let me go! My baby's climbed out onto the roof of my house!"
Cop: "Sorry, ma'am. Still 1:48 left in the half."

At Western Michigan, tailgating is permitted to begin no earlier than three hours before the game and must end at kickoff. Hell, I know guys who need that much time to set up their radar ranges -- forget moving the Barcalounger out of the truck.

Not only that, but vehicles that take up two parking spots aren't allowed at WMU either. No Winnebagos? No Airstreams? What is this, Sweden?

The bosses will tell you it has to do with curbing alcohol-fueled rowdies inside the stadium. But a guy can sit in a bar 100 yards away and drink enough to drown a Carnival cruise ship, and they don't stop that. If it's drinking you want to stop, have a guy with a Breathalyzer at every gate. If a fan blows more than .08, he doesn't get to enter.

These are families getting screwed here.

If you've ever loved the smell of chili and exhaust together, if you've ever worn a beer helmet, if you've ever made a diving catch onto the hood of a Buick, grab a spatula and rise up! Lock yourself in your Explorer! Grill up liver and send it to the university dean until he relents just from the smell!

Because if you let them take your Winnebagos now, they will take your cornhole game next. If you let them take your sound systems now, they will take your football-field green shag next. If you let them take your tailgate party now, they will take your political party next.

It's already working at CMU. The students were so torqued off at these jackbooted rules that they formed a committee, protested to officials and got the idiotic speakers rule reversed. Solidarity!

I saw the wimps and the lawyers and the insurance companies kill dodgeball and diving boards, but I never thought they'd get tailgating.

Over my cold, dead kielbasa.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I Am Not Crying... It's Just Been Raining on My Face

"I know now why you cry. But it's something I can never do." 

That's from the Terminator.  I have a friend that cannot stand when people cry.  She has to leave the room.  This is tough for me cause I am a big crier.  Is crier even a word?  She got me to thinking about this; about the fact that maybe, just maybe, crying all the time makes other people uncomfortable.

But what do you do if you don't cry?  I cry at everything. Always have.  When I was a little girl I loved biographies.  I read the biography of Mary Todd Lincoln. And I BALLED when she died.  I went downstairs and woke up my mom and had to tell her the whole story through tears.  She was less than pleased.  She thought my out-pouring of emotion was a bit dramatic since I knew when I started the book that Mary Todd Lincoln was dead.  But I cried, none the less.  Buckets and buckets of tears.

When I was a kid and I got in trouble my dad would say he was going to spank us again if we didn't stop crying.  I could never stop crying ... those hiccups, and shaky crying... and I typically got spanked again and that just made the crying even worse.  It was a vicious cycle. 

If you tell me something and you start crying, rest assured I will cry with you.  Probably harder than you are crying and it will become about me.  I cry in Hallmark commercials, I cry at songs, I cry at weddings, I cry at funerals, I cry at the news, I cry when I stub my toes, I cry when I am tired, I cry anytime I have to do math, I cry when people don't like cheese, I cry in books, I cry the morning after bootcamp, I cry at Christmas carols, I cry when I talk about home, I cry when I am sick, I cry when you are sick, I cry when babies are born....

The problem with my crying is that it starts with something small.... and then next thing you know I am crying because I'll be 40 someday, or that my house is a mess, or that my hair is too short, or that my ovaries are aging... I will rattle off any and everything that could possibly ever be or go wrong in my life.  It's a little ridiculous and can be hard to follow my logic.  But I always feel so much better afterwards.

I just cannot imagine not being able to cry at everything.  Its like one of my favorite past times.  I mean I've had to switch to waterproof mascara just to camoflage my outbursts.

But my friend can't cry unless she's laughing (which is awesome and so much fun to make her cry laughing) but I am not sure how she is going to react when I have my first outburst - which could happen anytime.  And I just don't understand how she gets through the day without tears. 

So, be careful how you respond to my blog today, you might make me cry.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Cheese Glorious Cheese

When I was in the sixth grade our choir did a riveting performance of Oliver.  Austin Amos had the role of Oliver Twist.  I might have been in the back of the chorus, if they even let me on stage.  The reason I mention this is that song "cheese glorious cheese, hot sausage and mustard...." keeps running through my head.

And here's why....

I have recently met a number of people that don't eat cheese.  And frankly, I find it really hard to trust them.  I don't understand this.  I can assure you that if I was the most lactose intolerant person on the planet, I would still find a way to have queso. 

What's with people that get pizza with no cheese?  Yes, Jonna - I am talking about you.  That's just bread with Ragu.  What's the point?  Pizza should have that perfectly melted cheese with the layer of grease on top.  The white box that it comes in should have grease spots.  This is how pizza was meant to be consumed. 

*I am sure I am going to get some negative press about that statement from my co-workers at the American Heart Association... but, hey, everything in moderation, right?*

So if you are reading this and you don't eat cheese... I want to point out some of the things you are missing out on in life.  Cheese Sticks.  Cheese Its. Cheese Nips.  Cheese Flavored Goldfish.  Pizza.  Queso. Queso Blanco.  THE BOB ARMSTRONG DIP from Mattito's... (oh my God that shit is so freaking good... now I miss Dallas.) Cheese Blintzes.  Baked Brie.  Blue Cheese Fries.  Cheesecake.  Better yet, my Aunt Gladys Cheesecake.  Cheesy Artichoke Dip.  Twice Baked Potatoes.  Grill Cheese Sandwiches.  Turkey and Cheese.  Cheesesteak Sandwiches.  Cream Cheese in general.

I just don't get it.  And don't get me wrong, one of my most beloved parent figures doesn't eat cheese.  I accept it in Bruce because a) I've had years to adjust to it and b) well, he just so nice and fun that you kind of overlook it... and c) his wife still makes queso by the gallon for Saturdays by the pool. 

But back to just not getting it, what isn't there to love about cheese?  You can even still have cheese on the Atkins Diet.  And it compliments wine.  I can't imagine my high school years without Chili's Queso.  There's a place in College Station that serves BBQ on butcher paper with a block of cheese and only a knife.  See how much cooler the BBQ was cause it came with a block of cheese?

Anyway, I could sit alone in my apartment and blog about cheese for days. So, I'll send out my question to the cosmic void today "What gene are cheese haters missing?  Was something in their brain damaged?  Can they be trusted?  Do they really know what they are missing out on?  And how can I... a lowly public servant... help them to see the light?  To discover that "cheese glorious cheese"?" 

I don't think there are answers to these questions, I don't think there is a solution... but just know this... if you don't like cheese... well, I am watching you...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

To Err is Sherry

I believe in the Tao of Carrie Bradshaw.  I believe the lessons learned in any episode of "Sex and the City" are worthwhile. 

Maybe mistakes are what make our fate... without them what would shape our lives? Maybe if we had never veered off course we wouldn't fall in love, have babies, or be who we are. After all, things change, so do cities, people come into your life and they go. But it's comforting to know that the ones you love are always in your heart... and if you're very lucky, a plane ride away...

Let's be honest here, I make and have made, a lot of mistakes.  There are the simple unimportant ones like the frequest grammatical mistakes that appear throughout this blog.  Then there are the medium sizes ones like the butch hair cut I got few years back.  Short blond hair is not becoming on someone with my huge head.  And there are the bigger ones, like not apologizing. Then there are the doozies, the mistakes in judgment... the mistakes about people, the mistakes about ourselves.

Its the doozies that stay with you.  Its the doozies that you can't shake.  They are the ones that haunt me.  ... There are so very many things that I wish I could do over.  Go back and change.  Shit, there are things from today that I want to go back and change. I have a terrible fear of regret.  Don't you?  I am so terrified of saying "I wish I had..."

How do we forgive ourselves and accept our fate? But more importantly, when in God's name are mistakes going to start paying off... when are the idiotic things I do, and say going to end up allowing me to fall in love, to have babies.... cause right now, as far as I can see ... the mistakes I make are mostly just making me look like an ass. 

I wish I had some kind of buzzer that would start going off when I entered the "Doozie Zone"... a warning that shouted... "you are about to make a HUGE mistake."  Moreover, (my mom will love that I used that word) I have started to notice that I am most frequently seen entering the "Doozie Zone" with at least a bottle of Maker's Mark.  Cause I have to tell you from where I sit ... everything inside the "Doozie Zone" looks the same as everything else.

But I think my bigger question for the cosmic void today is "Does everyone feel this way?  Does everyone overthink the things they do?  And how, sweet void, can I stop worrying so much about the things I do and wondering if every decision is a mistake?"

But better yet, "Am I totally mistaken about the mistakes I think I've made?"

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Leaving on a Jetplane...

For about the past 5 years or so, my friend Ricky has tormented me with the same joke.  At least I think its been a joke. 

I just talked to him and he doesn't think this story is going to go over well in my blog.  He doesn't think that I'll be able to make my adoring public truly appreciate the joke.  So I am going to start with the punch line and then I'll give you the backstory.

Some of you have experienced the joke because you've been on planes with me, you've sat at the airport and you've heard my cackle, because everytime he did it, it was funny.

Tonight when we were talking - I was torturing him by asking for feedback on this very blog.  We started to talk a little bit about my irrational fear of serial killers.  Or rather the fact that I am certain I've been stalked by the same serial killer for many years now.  (See Yesterday's Blog for more on this topic.) 

So, in screenplay form again:

Ricky:  Yeah, I don't really think serial killers are your biggest threat.
Sherry:  Really, what do you think is my biggest threat?
Ricky:  Well, me picking you up from the airport.

**insert my hardcore cackle and trying to say between laughs that was the funniest thing he'd ever said to me.... cause it absolutely is....unless you count his repeated insistence to be allowed to simply email a few words that someone could read for my funeral ...instead of actually attending and providing a meaningful, funny and poignant eulogy for his ole pal, Sher Bear**

The Backstory
In my previous job, I traveled A LOT.  Which meant a ton of time spent driving to airports, taxing to airports, sitting in airports, waiting to take off, waiting for a gate, driving to hotels, taxiing to hotels... what have you.... you get it... lots of down time.  A pretty good portion of that time has been spent on the phone with Ricky.  It works out well, he gets to try out his latest material and I get entertained for a bit.  About a hundred years ago on one such call I mentioned that was headed to the airport.  To which Ricky replied with the following story:

Did I ever tell you about the time I saw a plane crash? I was a little kid and my mom and I went to pick up my dad at DFW airport.  I was standing at the window watching all the planes land and that Delta plane that crashed and killed all those people hit as I was standing at the window.  It was freaky.  You know, I've never seen weather like that night.  Well, until tonight. Tonight is exactly like that night.

So, basically, I have this asshole telling me a plane crash story before I took off on a flight.  And so began a very ridiculous tradition in our friendship.  The tradition of Ricky reminding me before every single flight about how he saw that plane crash when he was picking his dad up.  Sometimes he thought I was testing him, I would say something about AN AIRPORT and he'd bring it up... and I would have to let him down by saying that I wasn't getting on a flight.  Hes even dropped me off at the Austin airport with the reminder of the crash he saw.  He was always at his best if I was in bad weather. He'd make up dramatic stories about why the Delta plane crashed and how he heard things about the air traffic coming out of Newark. Blah, Blah, Blah ...

But it became part of my travel tradition. I don't much like getting on a plane anymore without hearing him tell me about that crash.  I need to know that's it out of the way, so that I can sleep peacefully on the flight. 

Apparently I need to be worried less about serial killers and more about Ricky picking me up from the airport.  I haven't yet figured out how to leave behind forensic evidence that Ricky just has shitty luck and seems to see dramatic catatrophies on a fairly regular basis.

None the less, I hope in some part I have been able to make this story relatively funny.  Its was always so funny to me, especially in the beginning because I would forget about it, but he never did.  Every flight, if I so much as said plane, or flight, or airport.... boom... "Did I ever tell you about that time I saw a plane crash?"  And the surprise always made me cackle.  Trust me, people at the Admiral's Club don't really appreciate someone cackling that loud in their special private lounge space... but I did anyway.

So, Ricky, don't forget, I head to Cabo on Thursday morning.  We take off about 9:35... talk to ya then.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

CSI: Sherry

So I've become a little bit addicted to forensics and detective shows.  Forensic Files, the First 48, The Investigators, etc... the real true life crime story shows.  I am totally hooked.  I heart them.  However, last night I had an epiphany... they are real... and now I am scared shitless.

My apartment makes weird noises and I just know that the knocking noise is NOT THE ICE FALLING, its a serial killer, the Houston Killer coming to kill me in my sleep.  I've had this fear before and my friend Grant will attest that for years I was terrified of the New York Killer.  Apparently there was one very specific serial killer that was looking for me during all my trips to the city.  I named him the New York Killer.  He knocked on my hotel room doors and I just know he was following me.  Which is why it was totally unsafe for me to ride the subway, carry my own luggage, walk on the outside of the street and why I had to always be picked up for events and couldn't get myself there.  But I am regressing into New York Killer conversations and this blog is about the current serial killer after me, the Houston Killer.

I have found it quite helpful to watch these shows and to watch Criminal Minds, as I now feel much more qualified to profile him and feel confident in my ability to leave behind good forensic evidence.  I want to make it as easy as possible for the hot dude from Criminal Minds to find my killer.  I am not sure how I feel about the name I have selected for my personal serial killer, though... I mean I like it... I guess.  Anyhoo... below are the steps I am planning on taking to ensure that the Houston Killer does not go unpunished.

  1.   I am going to make an evidence kit.  A little baggie with a lock of hair, my spit, maybe a finger nail clipping and some fiber from my sweater.  I will take one of these with me everywhere.  If you ever find one in your car, pocket, or in your bag... well, then you know that I suspect you of being a serial killer and we probably don't have too much of a future.
  2. I will scratch any man that takes me anywhere.  That way in case he kills me and I forget to fight back, well, there will still be evidence under my finger nails.
  3. If we go out more than once, you can bet your sweet ass that I'll be throwing a map up on the wall with little pins in all the places we go.  This way, I got the geographical profile started for the team early.
  4. Ummm, I am for sure never naming anyone in Houston the beneficiary on my life insurance.  This way, you can't marry me, then kill me for the insurance money.  That all goes to Elizabeth Woodard Porterfield. 
  5. So, sidenote about #4... if I mysteriously die over Thanksgiving or Christmas... check out Elizabeth and Eric... they are doing a lot of renovations on their house and I don't wanna die just so my sister can get new hardwoods throughout the house.  Ya know what I mean?
  6. Antifreeze.  Apparently this is a big killer.  I had no idea.  So, first I am starting a petition to the antifreeze maker people that they change the taste.  This silent killer should not easily masked in a glass of sweet tea.  And second, you can bet that I'll have some kind of testing strip with me to find out if there is anything in my tea.  I will not be felled by a glass of sweet tea.
  7. I am scared of being murdered in the shower.  I don't want to be found naked.  I have gone 32 years without having naked pictures of me taken and I would like to keep it that way even in death.  So, Houston Killer, if you follow this blog... please don't kill me in the shower.  Second, if any of you really love me... and you find me murdered in my shower ... do me a tinsy tiny favor, throw some clothes on me, THEN call the cops. I would do it for you.
  8. And finally, maybe just maybe, I am gonna think about not watching these shows anymore... they might be making me think irrational thoughts about being slayed by a serial killer.  Maybe. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday

Today is my dad's birthday.  He would be 61 years old. My dad called me "pad'nuh" (partner for those that don't speak Southern) my whole life.  Pods for short.  He was something special, my dad.    I wonder what I would have gotten him for his birthday as an adult.  Or would I still be a kid, be the daughter and not get him a thing and let him take me out to celebrate.  That actually sounds a lot more like me.

On my last birthday with him, my 16th, we drove around the country together-looking at land.  I drove him around while he smoked cigars.  We drove for hours.  It seemed a little ridiculous to me at the time.  Its the best birthday I've ever had.  I've been trying to remember his birthdays and how we would celebrate.  I can't remember them at all.  I can't remember if we celebrated him.  I hope we did. 

I think he'd like the life I've made here in Houston.  I don't think he'd like the fact that I wasn't within arm's reach of him... but he'd like it none the less.  I wish I could have known him now, as an adult.  I am pretty sure he'd be my best friend. 

I recently met a man that reminds me so very much of my dad that sometimes it hurts.  I am caught off guard by little things he does that are "Bubba" and it surprises me that it still makes me sad.  It surprises me how much I missed those things.  Its made me think about my dad more than usual and its a consistent reminder of him.  Like how he wore deck shoes everywhere and called them "his deckers", like practicing duck calls, the ways his ankles popped when he walked, how he'd rub the top of your head when he walked by, the way he pushed the envelope, found your weak spot and teased you about it, or the way he'd put his arm around me when we walked somewhere.  But try as I might I cannot remember the sound of his voice. 

So, I guess my birthday wish for him today would be to remember that sound.  That sweet sound of comfort and safety, the sound of my daddy's voice.

Happy Birthday, Daddy.

Love, Pods

Friday, October 16, 2009

Well, I Believe....

Well, I believe in the power of prayer.  In Cowboy boots, songs on repeat, and putting your feet up on your desk.  I believe in sitting on counters and smiling at strangers.  I believe in the power of a song.  I believe in Willie Nelson and I believe my mama loves me.  I still believe in butterflies and beautiful blue eyes.  I believe in myself.  I believe in you.  I believe in Colt McCoy and Jordan Shipley. 

Well, I believe in getting tucked into bed.  In singing hymns, winks from across the room and pick up trucks.  I believe in saying "I Love You" and lazy Sundays on the couch.  I believe the best sound in the word is the sound of a screen door slamming.  I believe my mom's Gumbo is the best and my grandma's dressing is the best. And I believe that running laps is pointless... you end up where you started.

Well, I believe we all have a purpose.  In slow dancing, watching the rain and flirting.  I believe in making people laugh.  I believe we all need a shoulder to cry on and that Scooter's is mine.  And I really, truly believe that the man that makes me snort laughing is the man I want to be with.

And, well, finally, since its October... well, I believe that OU still sucks.  Hook 'em Horns.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Football as Religion

I owe this post to Ricky Brennes.  He reads this blog, though he refuses to admit that its hysterical.  He's my biggest fan that does not acknowledge my genius.  But ladies and gentlemen, today is all Ricky.  I didn't come up with this, he did.  I'm going to write it out like a screenplay so hopefully you can enjoy the genius of this conversation.  I don't know if he thinks about this stuff ahead of time, I don't think he does.  But this story still makes me laugh and as we approach the big Red River Rivalry this weekend, I thought we could all use a little football humor. 

Ricky:  So, how are you meeting people in Houston?
Sherry:  Well, I've met a lot of people through church.
Ricky:  What church are you going to?
Sherry:  Chapelwood, its a Methodist Church not to far from my house.
Ricky:  Methodist, so that's like the coach that slaps the player on the ass and tells him he's doing a good job and its all gonna be ok.
Sherry:  Yeah, its pretty much like that.
Ricky:  So, Baptist... that'd be like the coach that grabs the kid by the face mask and yells at him for f-ing up.  Spitting in his face.
Sherry:  Yeah, that's about right.  What would Catholic be?
Ricky:  Catholic, well, that'd be the quarterback that freaks out if he has to get out of the pocket and scramble.  He has to follow the playbook.  And then he feels like shit cause he let the team down.
Sherry:  Awesome.  So, Jewish... what would Jewish be in football?

Ricky:  Strictly a first half team.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Happy Halloween

This may come as a surprise to many of you.  The more people I've told about this the more I realized that I probably needed to explain myself.

I don't like costumes.  Mascots terrify me.  Clowns are the devil.  I don't want to dress up.  Its a miracle that I get up everyday and put on my "Professional Sherry" costume.  And I am not going to lie - there are a lot of days that I don't even manage that.

My fear exists on several levels.

First, I think people willing to put on costumes like Mickey Mouse or Daffy Duck are probably pedifiles.  Or at the very least really, really weird people.  I don't want to be around that.  Characters that sing and dance and talk funny are not natural.  They have always scared me and they always will.  Don't try to convince me otherwise.  They are just down right freaky and I don't want anything to do with them.

Second, Halloween scares me.  Not the scary haunted houses or the ghosts or pumpkins... although those are scary.  Just the idea of not really knowing who you are talking to.  Adults dressed up as something else is just bizarre to me. And guys, calm down... she will NEVER put on the slutty nurse costume again.  She wore it once.  Because her friends dared her to... she isn't a slutty nurse.  Kids dressing up I get.  Its so cute ... little lions, and pumpkins, and bears and lobsters... those are adorable... but past a certain age you just look awkward and a little bit uncomfortable.  And frankly, there is good TV on and all that doorbell ringing keeps interrupting my shows. 

Third, mascots are terrifying.  I have no problem with the real deal.  I will stand next to Bevo, or Ralphie or Reveille... but put me next to Pork Chop that motorized pig from Arkansas and I will faint dead away.  I can't explain it, but it just isn't natural.  It scares the shit out me.

I have dressed up for Halloween once in my adult life.  I was an ovenmitt.  It was awesome.  Marla's mom has pictures.  There was even a freak cold front that blew in that day... all the slutty nurses, and slutty maids were freezing.  I was toasty warm in my giant ovenmitt costume.  I did it to prove a point, to prove that costumes were ridiculous.  That plan backfired.  The ovenmitt was a huge hit.  A pain in the ass to drive in, but a huge hit none the less.

So, as we approach Halloween, I felt it right to let my public know that you won't see me shopping for a costume... slutty or otherwise.  You won't see me dressing up with a knife sticking out of my head and you won't see me on the sidelines with Rowdy (that annoying guy that is the mascot for the Cowboys.)  However, you might just catch a glimpse of me as I run home to turn off the lights and lock the doors before anyone knows I am home.

Happy Halloween.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Break Up Part 2

Thanks to one of our loyal readers for sending in this response to yesterday's blog:

I can't believe you would dump your pair of shoes for a new, younger model. This sort of behavior really pisses me off, Woodard. Maybe if you had taken proper time to take care of the shoes, the shoes would still be able to take care of you.

But instead, the shoes are worn out and have nothing left to give.

And so you just give up on them... you’re just going to throw them out for a new relationship with a tighter, prettier version with fewer miles on them. Those old shoes were there for you during your hard times... they got you through.

When you were beat down and reduced to nothingness... they loved you and carried you... they never complained about the sacrifice they were making... and now what are they supposed to do... they'll never find another someone to love them... they are all used and washed up... and you just abandoned them.


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

So This Break is Really a Break-Up?

Dear Tennis Shoes,

I remember the first day I met you.  When my friend Andrew at Luke's Locker first pointed you out to me.  You were so beautiful.  And we seemed to just fit together so well.  I was so excited for our first walk together.  The joy I felt in those first few trips through the park together.

You were good to me.  But my schedule got busy and I found it harder to spend time with you.  I saw you there, available, willing to spend time with me.. but I couldn't.

And then you took from me and it hurt.  You took the skin off the back of my heel, you took the skin off my big toes... and you gave me such pain in the calfs.  I could tell you where trying to hurt me, to prove to me that you shouldn't be neglected.

But relationships are hard to maintain and frankly, you started to lose some of your charm.  You got dirty, your soles weren't as bouncy, the shine on your stripe was just a little less. 

So, I know that we've both hurt each other and I know its time for me to move on.  I need to feel the joy of  the first test step, to see the sparkle in the stripe and to feel the hope in the first trek around the park.  I know that we'll see each other again, for lake trips, maybe for some house work or even on a muddy day.  But I think we both know that it will never be the same.

Love, Sherry

In case you didn't catch on... I simply need a new pair of running shoes.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Its Not Like You're a Phi Beta Kappa

My father was a poet.  Not literally, no one named Bubba would have ever been accepted in literary circles.  But I spent the first 16 years of my life being educated by a man with colloqial wisdom that truly bordered on poetry.  For those of you that knew him, you know exactly what I mean... a few little samples from the wisdom of Bubba Woodard.

  1. What, Sherry, you think your shit doesn't stink like the rest of the worlds?
  2. Referring to his two beautiful daughters:  Snotty little curtain climbers.
  3. That dog just ain't gonna hunt.
  4. Sherry, you are not the only pebble on the beach.
  5. In response to something I MIGHT have said that was less than intelligent:  Well, its not like you're a Phi Beta Kappa.
For YEARS, I had no idea what a Phi Beta Kappa was.  And in case you don't... its some kind of honor fraternity for truly brillant people.  And my dad was right, it wasn't like I was a Phi Beta Kappa.  And here is the point of my story today.  I actually know a Phi Beta Kappa.  Yup.  I am even related to him now.  My sister married a genius. 

Today, I wanted to tell you guys a little something about my brother in law.  He's a badass.  He is the nicest, kindest human being I know.  During my sister's wedding I was really sick.  A couple days after the wedding I actually had my gall bladder removed.  Eric was traumatized that I didn't get to eat the tenderloin and seabass at the event.  I thought he was going to cry when they brought my two course of soup.  I don't think any other member of my family even noticed. 

Eric is also a badass lawyer.  This kind, gentle giant is tough, too.  The reason I want to tell you about him is because my boy Eric is busting his ass right now for a trial and I couldn't be prouder!  So now my prayers go like this:

Dear Baby Jesus, thank you for Mack Brown and Colt McCoy's arm.  Please give Eric wisdom and look over my mom, my sister and my future husband.  But most of all, thank you for Will Muschamp.

So, really the point of this blog is to introduce you one my heros, and someone I respect more than I could articulate.  Todays blog is dedicated to the Phi Beta Kappa that was smart enough to marry my sister.

Go get 'em Eric!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Can't Take My Eyes Off of You

I saw the best thing ever last night.  I don't know if I can put it into words and truly give it justice.  Last night my friend Kathy got married.  She absolutely without question is marrying the love of her life.  Kathy and Chap are PERFECT for each other. 

And last night, they danced their first dance as man and wife.  And it was F-ING AWESOME.  Seriously.  OK, how do I explain this.  Well, lets start with the fact that the crowd SANG ALONG.  I have mad respect for the fact that they danced to Frankie Valli... but they had a routine.  A routine that was awesomeness.  You know what,  I can't put this into words. I just know that the crowd cheered, clapped, laughed and then sang "oh, pretty baby, if its quite alright, I need you baby... trust in me when I say... I love you baby" at the top of our lungs. 

There were twists and turns and dips.  It was truly fun to watch.  From now on, I have a new rule.  Everyone should choreograph routines for their first dance.  Its so much more fun that way!!!

She danced with her dad next.  And it was crazy fun too. When Kathy was a little girl her mom would play "You Light Up My Life" on the piano and she and her dad would dance and sing along.  She danced to that song with her dad.  They looked like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers... and once again the crowd SANG ALONG.

Wait, you know what... maybe it was the crowd that was awesome.  Yup, that's it... we were badass.   

I honestly can't believe that I am writing about wedding dances but they were so great that I had to talk about it.  I am not doing them justice.  So if you're getting married anytime soon, give Chappy and Kathy a call ... they can tell how to do the dance part of the night up right.  And if you need an awesome crowd and you've got an open bar, give me a call.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

There are Rules for Everything

 My friend Kathy is getting married today.  I am thrilled for her.  She has spent the past year planning every detail.  And it got me to thinking...  There are always a few elements out of a brides control. The one that has been on mind the past few months is the wedding party.  So, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to present you with wedding party rules by Sherry Woodard.  If you are goingo to be a bridesmaid, a maid of honor, best man, usher, house party or anything in a wedding anytime soon.  I recommend you read these and take them to heart.

  1. Do whatever the bride wants.
  2. Do whatever the bride wants.
  3. Let me be more clear... do whatever the bride wants.  Do not be difficult.  You do not matter in all this.  You are replaceable.  Whatever your role, there is someone else they can put in that spot.  Do not add to her stress.
  4. Don't ask too many questions.  The bride has already belabored over every decision.  Asking questions just makes her think more.  Just don't do it.
  5. Do not get drunk at the rehearsal dinner.  No bride wants hungover friends on her wedding day.
  6. Going home with a groomsman, bridesmaid, usher, whatever is not acceptable from the rehearsal dinner.  You wanna hook up after the wedding, fine, do whatever you want but Friday night before the wedding - the bride still REALLY cares what everyone thinks.  She does not want her aunt talking about her slutty high school friends. 
  7. Give a toast.  If you are terrified of speaking, fine... write something out and tell the bride ahead of time.  Apparently being toasted is kind of a big deal.
  8. If you have a speaking part - practice. Our friend Tammie is speaking at Kathy's and you know what - she has practiced - I applaud that.  Do not be the funny part of the ceremony.  The bride and groom are really the only ones that should do anything funny.  If you do it, well then, you just ruined her perfect wedding.
  9. Do whatever the bride wants.
  10. Don't be difficult.  No one, I repeat, no one gives a shit about your needs.  Our friend Margaret... she gets this rule.  She will eat what she is served and by God if she has to use the Epi Pen cause it was cooked in peanut oil.  Well, then she'll use it.  But quietly, in a bathroom, so as not to pull attention away from the bride.
I say all these things with love and offer them to you now - so that you will all be real, real clear about my expectations when my turn comes.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Childhood Comforts

So many thoughts, ideas, fears and woes are crashing around in my head.  I worry about this, did I do that, did I say the wrong thing, did I imagine my success.... always worrying, always, doubting.

So tonight after a little tossing and a little turning.  I decided to find the cure for my worries as a child.  I always escaped in a book.  A few specials ones were frequently visited.  So tonight, to help me rest, to clear my head and maybe find a little peace.  I would like to read you two special poems to me.  They both come from one of my very favorites "A Light in the Attic" by Shel Silverstein.  I could quote most of his poems to you as a little girl and as I juggle my 30s now - I find his wisdom still holds true.

INVITATION by Shel Silverstein

If you are a dreamer, come in,
If you are a dreamer, a wisher, a liar,
A hope-er, a pray-er, a magic bean buyer...
If you're a pretender, come sit by my fire
For we have some flax-golden tales to spin.
Come in!
Come in!

God's Wheel by Shel Silverstein

GOD says to me with a kind
of smile, "Hey how would you like
to be God awhile And steer the world?"

"Okay," says I, "I'll give it a try.

Where do I set?
How much do I get?
What time is lunch?
When can I quit?"

"Gimme back that wheel," says GOD.

"I don't think you're quite ready YET."

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Well, I Believe

I haven't done one of these in awhile and frankly I have just been lucky and had a few really fun weeks that have made me believe, again.  So for all you fans out there... here's what I believe in today.  Blog features extended releases of "I Believe Statements"

Well, I believe in laughing so hard it hurts.
In family, in grape koolaid, and beautiful blue eyes. 
I believe that Nordstrom's truly has the best customer service and
that you can always find what you need there. 
I believe in staying in touch with friends and taking the time to call. 
I believe in butterflies and I know it isn't indigestion.
I believe in John 3:16 and Phillipians 4:13.
I believe in the power of friendships, the comfort in old ones and the energy and discovery of new ones. 
I still really believe in that breathless moment right before you kiss
and that holding hands in the most sincere form of romance. 
I believe I have been blessed. 
I believe in laughing at yourself, better yet,
laughing at yourself with a good friend that gets the joke.
I believe that men should still hold doors and
the guy that does the half stand thing when a woman leaves the table that its totally hot. 
I believe in soul mates.
I believe in Will Muschamp.
I believe Kathy is going to be a beautiful bride on Saturday. 

And I believe that despite it all, we are each made
better, stronger, more attractive, more interesting by the people who come in and out of our lives. 
Thanks for being in mine.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I Still Need to Talk About This.

If you've been wondering - yes, I went to boot camp again last night.  And do you know what happened?  It poured down rain.  I was so excited.  In the middle of my walking (instead of jogging) to a lightpost or something, it started to rain.  I was thrilled, ready to head back to the car.  Guess what?  That didn't happen.

This morning when my alarm went off... I slowly opened my eyes to greet the day.  Then I started to sit up.  But I couldn't.  The muscles in my stomach had stopped working.  So then I tried to sit up using my arms.  But I couldn't.  The muscles in my arms had stopped working.  So I rolled off the bed.  I am assuming that the thud scared the shit out of the people that live below me.  None of this is a lie.  None of this is exaggerated. 

I will live.  I don't think this boot camp will kill me, at least I hope it won't.  I hope I heal before Kathy's wedding.  I don't think she'll be pleased if I have to be wheeled or assisted up the aisle. 

And yesterday, my entry was dedicated to my friend Matthew that leads the boot camp.  I was a little bit hateful.  I blame him for my inability to move.  But you know what?  Last night he was encouraging and not that mean, he wasn't actually ever mean... just his exercises.  And he wouldn't let me stop... which was totally annoying at the time... but now its kind of appreciated.  Can you imagine actually being a nice enough person to listen to me bitch and argue with you  for an entire hour, while your running and jumping, in the rain? I assure you there is not even a single member of my family that would have endured that kind of torture.  And yet he did.

Furthermore, he solved a really big puzzle the other day. He has figured out how to get me marathon ready.  Here is his plan... put a man in a seersucker suit in front of me that I have to chase, put a man with a knife behind me that I have to run away from, and tell me to run to the building with really great air conditioning.  Are you kidding?  Matthew, you totally get me.

Kids, with this plan... I should be Prefontaine by New Years!

Editors Note:  If you don't know about me and seersucker suits, just wait awhile - I know they'll be a blog topic soon.  Just know that there is something about a man in a blue seersucker suit.  Yeah, there is just something.  Phhh..

Monday, September 28, 2009

Why I Would Never Join the Army (dedicated to Matthew Goldsby)

I promised myself I wasn't going to write about this.  I wasn't going to give Matthew Goldsby the satisfaction of knowing that he'd won.  But ladies and gentlemen as the day has worn on I find that every single one of my thoughts is focused on the fact that every single muscle in my body hurts.

Yesterday, I lost my mind and participated in a boot camp.  My chipper little mind that wants me to have a healthy heart and eliminate the food baby says "yay you... you should do this all the time".  The rest of me thinks I am an idiot. 

So my question for the cosmic void today is "Why in God's name would I need the same exercises as a soldier to be a fundraiser for the American Heart Association?"  The answer is "I DON'T"  I am trying NOT to let people die.  Soldiers kill people.  We are opposites.  I don't need a boot camp.  Actually, wait I already went to a two day boot camp for the Heart Association.  I sat in a room for two days with sandwiches and cookies ... and I listened.  I actively listened to a whole bunch of shit about cardio vascular disease.  And I wasn't sore when it was all over.

I was just in a meeting and literally got confused and said the wrong thing.  Do you know why?  Cause I was thinking about the calluses on the palms of my hands and how they hurt but that I couldn't look at them since it would hurt too much to actually turn my hand over.  Yeah, you heard me.  Even my wrists hurt.

First of all, I now hate the term "on the hop"  If anyone ever says that to me and expects me to run.  I will cut them.

Second, I don't like push ups.  If I fall face down and have to get up -someone should help me.  I should not be expected to get myself up.  Ergo, I don't need to do push ups.  To use my new favorite saying "Push Ups can blow me"

Third, Jumping Jacks seem innocent.  Matthew even called them easy.  My ass.  Jumping Jacks are evil.  They are the worst kind of evil.  They are a sneaky evil.  You think that they are all friendly with their cute name.  But today at 1:43 pm... I CAN'T MOVE MY ARMS. If what I have to say wasn't so important... I promise you I would not be typing.

Fourth, you guys know me.  What the hell was I thinking participating in an activity where RUNNING was considered the break.

Fifth, squats are assholes.

But God help me, I packed a change of clothes to go again tonight.  If anyone is available to wash my hair and dress me tomorrow - that would be great cause I am 100% sure that I will not be able to do it.