Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sorry, I'm not here right now, I'm at the Ranch...leave a message at the beep...

If you don't know me, you might not know that I have a tendency to get just a teeny bit obsessed about things. You know, just a little.

If you DO know me, I do not want any editorial comments about the above statement.

So this week is VBS week. VBS is vacation bible school. For the second year, I'm the director. To say that I'm completely VBS-focused would be putting it ever so mildly. The people at work know about VBS. Cashiers at every store I've been in over the last several weeks (and there have been plenty) know about VBS. I'm pretty sure if there were a VBS version of the Arby's hat, it would be perpetually hovering over my head. In fact, I'm already thinking about next year's VBS. Like I said, the obsession thing is just a small problem.

And that, my friends, is why I haven't been here. I've been there. At Avalanche Ranch. Oh, yes, there will be pictures. I'm creating a whole new Flickr account just for this. But that probably won't be ready for another week or so. My schedule this week is INSANE. Andrew is in Cub Scout day camp. They leave at 7:15am each morning. That means we all have to actually be ready to leave the house by then. Holy crap! I'm working until 3pm each day this week, then leaving to pick up Abby from day care and Andrew when he gets back from camp at 4pm (although they haven't actually made it back before 4:20 yet this week), then dash home, pick up our VBS stuff, and it's off to church. Monday night, Andrew also had a baseball game (at some point, I'll have a post up on Just The Mommy with more dirt on THAT...). Tomorrow night Abby has dance class at 5pm (VBS starts at 6pm). OH, and did I mention that Steve was in Kentucky yesterday and left at 6:30 this morning for an overnight in CANADA? Yes, during VBS week!! That's a good story too, and I really will try to get it posted soon, but if you notice, I am posting this after midnight. Abby didn't fall asleep until about 11:30, and that was laying here on the couch next to me. We're all pretty worn out, and we still have two nights of fun left to go!

I've got to get to bed. Besides, there's a chance I'll be kissing a pig on Friday (yes, more VBS stuff I'll have to explain to you later). I need to get some beauty rest so that people can tell the diffence between the two of us!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Lost and Found. And lost again?

I have so many things that I want to write about...I've been in Texas for another week, there are more parenting fiascos to discuss, I've been reminded how much I really love my husband (there is apparently some truth to that asbence-makes-the-heart-grow-fonder thing)...but right now, I have to talk about something else that's been troubling me.

Once upon a time...not in a galaxy far, far Austin, Texas, I had a friend. And then I moved away, went to college, and well, I lost my friend. It happens sometimes. Things are said and done, people change, and then they just drift apart. For whatever reason. My freshman year of college was pretty hard, and I'm not talking about schoolwork. That's a story for a whole different time - or never - but the point is, I lost my friend, and I thought it was a forever loss.

But then! My friend found me!! And, miracle of miracles, my friend still wanted to be my friend! It was awesome! I was so thrilled to be back in touch with this person who had meant so much to me when I really needed good friends - my time in Texas was also tumultuous. I guess we could just say my teenage years in general kind of sucked in a lot of different ways, but then again, don't everyone's? Anyway...for a while, my friend and I were back in touch. Hooray! Jubilee! My friend is funny and reminds me of the happy times I had in Texas. Happy, happy. Joy, joy. Life was good.

But then. Now. I think my friend may be lost again. I don't know where my friend has gone. Or why. And because I'm me and am apparently not happy unless it's all about me, I am beginning to obsess about this. Was it something I said? Was it the subject of my last email? Did I bring up memories better left alone? Was it that I asked my friend about meeting me while I was in Waco? I don't know. It could be that my friend's Internet connection has been down for a few weeks. It could be that my friend has more important things going on in real non-Internet life than replying to my email or posting a hello. It could be a million things. But I obsess that it's about me. Because I don't like losing things. Especially friends. And I've lost my share - and it's usually been my fault in at least some way. But this friend that I lost, had been found. And now that my friend may be lost again, I'm starting to feel like an insecure high school girl all over again.

That's the problem with the Internet. It can be an awesome place where you can find anyone or anything - if those people and things want to be found. But in other ways, it's like this giant black hole. You can throw things out there that may never come back to you. Maybe you are writing a blog and there are dozens or hundreds or thousands of people reading it (or maybe just the two or three important ones!). Or maybe no one is reading. Who knows? Maybe the silence that comes back is just a factor of real-world issues that have nothing to do with Internet life, or maybe the Internet hates you. It's hard to read non-verbal cues from the Internet. The Internet has a very good poker face.

Don't hate me, Internet. Because I really like you. Help me find my friend again.

Friend, are you out there? Are you reading? Don't lose me.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Don't mess with Texas - they will put you on a bus to nowhere

Howdy y'all! Guess where I am!! By the way, that's Hi! in Texan.

I've been in Waco, Texas, for a few days and it has been pretty great. I have missed Texas. I used to live here, you know. My family lived in Austin from the summer before my freshman year of high school until November of my junior year of high school. I won't go into all the gory details here about how that all came to be. Let's just say that trouble can follow a marriage, even if the marriage relocates. More on that another day.

But Texas - oh, it's so beautiful. And the people are friendly. No, I am not being sarcastic! And I LOVE to listen to southerners talk. In fact, in just my few days here, I've already picked up a slight twang to my voice. I'll be back next week for five whole days - I can't wait to see how southern I'll go then!

But I do have one small complaint about Dallas. Specifically, about the Dallas-Fort Worth Airport. I realize that Texas does not do small. Ever. But seriously. Can we talk for a minute about the size of this airport? It goes on and on. And on. And then around a bend and on some more. And then? Try to rent a car. I dare you. No, TEXAS dares you. DFW double dog dares you. First, find your way to the little sign that says Rental Cars This Way (not really, there's an arrow). Does the arrow direct you to the rental car office? Don't be ridiculous. There's this bus stop. It's not exactly clear when you're standing there what you're really waiting for, but eventually a big bus pulls up and you and the rest of your herd will stumble on with your baggage. Then you ride. Get comfortable, you'll be there a while. A really long while. The trip out to the rental car building will take you down an access road (some of you may call these frontage roads - that is WRONG in Texas), past rolling fields of green, onto a highway, more fields, and then back off. When you reach the point where you wonder to yourself or someone sitting next to you whether the bus driver might actually be a car-jacker of some kind who is kidnapping everyone on the bus and their luggage in the hopes that someone is carrying some seriously cool contraband, well that's the point when you have about five more minutes until you reach your destination.

When you're there, make sure you ask for directions on how to get back to civilization. Seriously. Even if you are of the male persuasion. Please, for the love of all that is good, trust me on this. If you are not from Texas, I will give you a couple of pieces of advice that my traveling buddy and I learned the hard way:

1) Just because a particular road is named X where you are right now does not mean that it will continue to be named X for any further distance. In fact, it may be named both X and Y right where you are. Any map you view or person you ask will likely use both X and Y interchangeably. It's a test. That's how they know y'all ain't from 'round here.

2) Everyone - except for the rental car agents, and even that's not guaranteed - who you might ask for directions will be lovely and kind and know exactly how to get to where you want to go. They just won't be able to tell you. They will want to. And they will try their best - women will try to give you landmarks to go by. Unfortunately, telling you to turn at the Whataburger is about the same as trying to identify your blind date by looking for the one with the cell phone. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that no one could decide on one name for a road, I don't know. If you are lucky, like we were, you might find someone who is actually on their way toward your destination and they will let you follow them there. Yes, that is exactly what we did. Thanks, Ellie!

But all in all, I have really loved my few days here and I can't wait to come back next week. I haven't had my Whataburger yet, after all. But next time, I'm flying straight to Waco and skipping the DFW rental "oasis." Take that, bus-jacking luggage thieves!