Friday, October 25, 2013

Happy Ending

One of Patrick's favorite things is Baylor football. He's been to several games this season so far and always complains that his wife is always working when he goes, so given the opportunity last week, I made a last minute switch, got 3 hours of sleep, and finally made it to a game date with that handsome husband of mine.
We got into town early enough to eat at Ninfas (my favorite) with the fam (and my brother's new Facebook official girlfriend), swung by a couple of tailgating events, and then squooshed into the bleachers for one of the highest attendance games of the season (it was homecoming after all).
A beautiful sunny October day turned into a wonderfully chilly October night, minus the disturbingly odd spider silks migrating through the sky over the field, threatening to land on innocent and unsuspecting spectators any minute. Their presence was only amplified by the field lights and I couldn't stop worrying I was caught in a sci-fi movie and the mother of all spiders was just waiting for the right moment to peak around a building and trap everyone in it's giant web. (Proof it doesn't pay to watch scary movies.)
The highlight of my night was the hot cocoa, but I'm pretty sure everyone else's was the announcement that Texas A&M lost. The crowd roared with delight.
Actually, no matter what happened or where I was, after working 52 hours in one week, I was just happy to be enjoying an evening with no responsibilities. A happy ending for all.......except the Aggies, I guess. 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

I know, I know. Disgraceful.

"This fall, I'm going to do something I've never done before. I'm definitely not missing the fair." That's what I said. And then suddenly, somehow, there were only 3 days left and we still hadn't found the time to go. 
So last week, Patrick, my brother, and me went to the Dallas State Fair for the very first time in the history of our lives!!!
We took Dusty on his first public transit experience on the way, where soon he would learn there's not many public events in the city one can attend with a huge knife in their pocket.
Then set out on an adventure to see the brand new Big Tex, find a Fletcher corny dog...........
(We actually ate 4 between the 3 of us. Patrick even had his very first French mustard covered dog, and dare I say he liked it.)
...........watched a mini parade.....
......saw the Chinese Lanterns, and waited in a ton of lines in the short couple of hours we had to cover the gigantic spread of deep fried heaven and carny booths.
After giving up on my dream to ride the Ferris Wheel (the line was outrageous and we had a train to catch so I could get to work on time)..........
........I talked the boys into paying 10 tickets a piece to squeeze (literally) into a tiny rail car made for kids, and see me scream my head off in most ridiculously lame haunted house.
I'm still calling it a justified scream since everything in the house was a plastic mannequin until the last second of the ride when a real person jumped out targeting me personally, lunging about 3 inches from my face.
I should have known something was up when the guy taking tickets asked me in the most creepy and inappropriate way, "Are you ready to be touched?"
We probably had way too much fun in the green house.
There was just something entertaining about the mini towns, seeing Thomas the train, and posing with abnormally large pumpkins.
Before heading out, we splurged on some last minute munchies (deep fried Snickers, deep fried Oreos, deep fried buodin, fresh squeezed lemonade), and sold our leftover tickets to a girl who wanted a deal but didn't know how to haggle, so broke even, leaving us with a clean conscience and a good giggle.
 All in all, I'd say I needed an entire day and an endless supply of tickets to really discover what the fair had to offer, but given our circumstances, had a pretty good time!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Snow in October!!!

Outside on the patio eating pizza on a beautiful fall evening in downtown.....
An incomplete sentence, and yet, need I say more?
I needn't, but I shall. 
After Neo's with Lara and Tim, we walked to House of Blues just in time for the doors to open, hoping we were early enough to get our faces painted for the Walk the Moon concert. Unfortunately, it was come-with--your-own-damn-face-paint-night, so once again we were the dummies with just regular makeup on and decided mauve lipstick wouldn't really look very cool as warrior stripes (I guess they were too tired from performing at ACL to go the extra mile).
The Mowgli's (you may know them by their most popular song, San Francisco), what we decided has to be one of the poorest hippy bands out there due to that fact they have enough members to form a small village, set the Fen Shui in the room by smudging the stage. (I seriously had to look that up, because I had no idea what lighting a stick of sage and waving it's smoke all over the room was all about.) During their performance, they told us it may snow later, but I genuinely thought it was because they were about to sing The Great Divide, and never considered it having literal meaning.
Walk the Moon entered stage with Circle of Life blaring through the speakers. The little kid came out in everyone, grownups alike singing aloud. The cool thing about these Ohio native indie rock guys is their ability to bring out the young booty shaking skills of all genders and walks of people. With their songs consisting of only the positive major chords, uplifting lyrics, and an 80's vibe beat, even grown men who you'd usually see awkwardly standing in one place like a stone statue, can't resist the urge to let loose. Fact.
And then, even though it was well above 70 degrees outside, inside it snowed. Fact. Ask Lara, who went downstairs to buy a $40 sweater.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Don't Be Shy, Feel The Explosion!

I know I've been a terrible writer when my husband sarcastically yet endearingly tells me he'd love to read one of my blogs again some day. Slacker to the max!
 Not only is it difficult to squeeze in some black and white words when I'm getting slammed every night at work, but ceasing to step out of the house for much more than the occasional dog walk and to make sure we have enough groceries to survive on leaves little room for excitement in my life. Other than having a lot on my mind and nothing on my to do list but trying to see how many Bones and Breaking Bad episodes I can watch on my days off, I'm void of excuses!
There is one exception to my recent mellow state when I was feeling pretty frisky at Hobby Lobby (I know, what a weirdo). I bought a 3 pack of Pop Rocks, causing a chain affect after the lady at the register teased me for not being able to resist the calling. I told her I wished I had some kid with me to blame my weak purchase on, but admitted I had been defeated by the urge to play with my candy. Seconds later, the entire cashier register zone of people were nostalgically bantering about Pop Rocks. Meanwhile, the website adversities, "The planet's #1 selling popping candy." Which brings me to there another popping candy in the running as competition that I don't know about? Someone quick, do the research, because I'm too lazy to Google it!
I heard a great quote this week (probably from some television show I was wasting my life away watching). "Life begins at the end of your comfort zone." Neale Donald Walsch. I wonder how many people see a tantalizing but juvenile candy like Fun Dip, Warheads, or Pop Rocks at the pre-counter goodies rack and hesitate to buy what they really want for fear it may make them look silly? I've got news, people, if there was ever a time to buy candy and blame it on a kid, now's the time!!! It's officially Halloween candy buying season!!!!

Which is your favorite juvenile candy?
Is there anything out there you want to do that your comfort zone is keeping you from?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Jump Starting Our Day, Pun Intended (Project Pretty)

(Project pretty is a personal commitment to share my weekly journey of keeping my non-New-Year's-Resolution: staying fit to improve quality of life while inspiring others to do the same. Let's all jump on the endorphin wagon!)

Last week Cristina and I not only jump started our day together with a nice little workout, we also had to jump start her car just to leave the gym parking lot! Luckily I had some jumper cables in the 4 Runner, but had never used them before, and Cristina had me convinced that she "kinda" knew what she was doing.....until she accidentally let the black and red ends touch which resulted in a big spark.........then I was genuinely scared the likely hood of us blowing something up was significant. To make matters even more challenging, our car batteries were so far away from each other, the jumper cable ends couldn't reach, and given the limitations of space due to other cars in the lot, our vehicles were merely millimeters apart by the time we could make it work!!! SCARY! (Side note: Some sweet older man saw what we were doing, but must have had a feeling we were independent women [or was just interested in some early morning entertainment], because he just stood back and silently watched us to make sure we didn't do anything stupid and then stepped up to make sure we were all good in the end.)
Besides my whole body feeling like it was hit by a truck one boot camp class and 2 days later, I'd been gently and unsuccessfully trying to get back into a running groove. (I'm serious about that getting hit by a truck thing. I was so sore over the weekend, Patrick had to put his hands under my butt cheeks and spot me up the stairs because I couldn't manage the incline alone........and because he really likes to touch my butt.) Unfortunately, despite taking it slow, stretching, rolling, and icing, every time I run, the knot in my left calf returns with a vengeance. This is officially the roughest injury recovery yet and I have no idea what to do about it. At this rate, it looks like I may be walking the MetroPCS Half in December!!!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Slumming on the South Side

Done up nice and headed to the South Side for a concert later in the evening, we stopped by Deep Ellum for some grungy grub. 
It's a good thing I took that nap earlier in the day, because I needed to be well rested to fully enjoy Angry Dog's. 
Without refraining any modesty over their previous year's awards for best burger in the metroplex, this place is still pretty close to being a glorified hole in the wall, but they do make your beef exactly the way you order it. 
I went against the mold and opted for some cheese and bacon covered fries with chicken tenders. Don't worry, I didn't even come close to cleaning my plate, but the fries were just what the doctor ordered  and cured me from my segway induced motion sickness. 
Excited after returning from his half naked bikini model graffitied bathroom break, Patrick asked me to go check out the women's stall to see if it was equally decorated with sexy photographs. Apparently women just like head shots, preferably George Clooney and firefighters........holding puppies.
As if our day wasn't already exciting enough, we closed it out with The Neighbourhood and Imagine Dragons at the Palladium, now known as the South Side Ballroom. We've seen both bands before, but are always ready for more live music. 
I love how The NBHD incorporates the groovy vibe of R&B or Reggae with an Alternative Rock spin. As for the Imagine Dragons?? Two words: Synthesizer. Drums. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The Great Pretenders

Patrick will tell you, as much as he loves me, that I can be a super mean wife. 
About a month ago I planned a Saturday packed with fun to celebrate our anniversary, and told him there was a surprise in store. Then I taunted him with my secret for 30 whole days. He interprets this as "mean". I say it's a build up of anticipation in an age where surprises are almost extinct. 
I'd decided since we usually go on a trip to celebrate each year of marriage, but were staying local this year, it would be just as much fun to pretend to be tourists and enjoy some sites of the city we normally don't make the time to see.
We started off the morning by stopping at Rusty Taco and getting breakfast to go, so we could eat it outside at the Klyde Warren Park. 
Resting on a very popular bridge over the Woodall Rogers Freeway, this billion dollar open space is a beautiful addition to the city where people gather for yoga, walks, food trucks, outdoor concerts, and letting their kids play in the water features.  
Ironically both stimulating and calming in it's unique setting, the park makes it easy to kick back, relax, and enjoy the botanical garden. 
I kinda feel like a I need to show off what Patrick got me in my favorite color.......I didn't even know he knew what Chaco's were!!!
Next on the list was an out of the box sightseeing adventure, which I thought was ruined a day before, when the company called to re-confirm our reservations and Patrick answered the phone (but he swore he still had no idea what we were doing). 
Oh that a food truck full of design your own homemade ice-cream sandwiches made from real cookies???? Maybe just a little pit stop wont hurt. 
We were running a little late to our reservation, which had absolutely nothing to do with getting ice-cream (hello no actual sign on the outside of the building, limited parking, and the inside space looking suspiciously empty and under construction), but it turned out to work in our favor. 
Two more people showed up after us, and since 4 of us were late, the extra tour guide just split the group in half, so we basically got a private tour after our lessons. The very cool thing about Segways, is the technology that stimulates the motor to move forward when you put your weight in your toes,  backwards when you put your weight in your heels, and from side to side or in circles depending on which way you tilt your handle bars. It felt a little awkward at first, but we were regular old dare devil's by the time the tour ended!
I'm a big fan of guided tours because the more knowledge we have about what we're looking at, the more we can appreciate them. I've seen the Pioneer Plaza Cattle Drive outside of the Convention Center several times before, but had no idea the statues were completely made of bronze, and cost so many millions of dollars, half of which was donated or raised by the community!!!
It represented a time before the Chisholm trail, when longhorns were herded north through Austin, Waco, and Dallas. 
Did you know that the City Hall, designed as an upside down triangle back in the day to provide shade on sunny days as it's employees walked into work, was featured in Robo Cop because it looked so futuristic, and even the show Walker Texas Ranger??
It was meant to portray beauty and quality of life in a time when Dallas was being severally hated on after JFK's assassination. 
Built in the 1912, the Adolphus hotel (the pretty one with intricate details and turquoise top) was the tallest building in Texas at the time, with 22 floors, and a earned reputation of flair and fancy. Of course it would soon be trumped by the Mongolia Building (next door with the Pegasus topper), but that's they way it goes in the game of architecture.  (I believe it was somewhere around this time that Patrick started getting a little cocky with his newfound Segway skills and in the midst of weaving through a ton of sidewalk trees ended up having to bail ship and roll the Segway into a little ditch in order to avoid hitting a tree trunk!)
The Main Street Garden Park was gorgeously quaint, and I hear is done up really nice during the holidays. It took over 17 million dollars to demolish the old buildings and parking garages that once inhabited this space. Wow!!! Another tid bit of info: Across the street is a hotel where Tina Turner had one of her famous fights with Ike. 
Thanksgiving Square was designed to show Dallas welcomes all denominations of people despite it's reputation, with a common denominator of being thankful. (Insert incident where I try to get off my Segway for a picture and do a couple of awkward hopping 360's in the process because my right hand unknowingly is tilting the handlebars and my right foot is still on the foot pad and the tour guide is trying to coach me out of the situation while everyone laughs at me.)
The mosaic piece of "The Golden Rule" is amazing up close and personal, and when you stand inside the gold plated aluminum ring and talk or yell (meant for your thanks), your words echo back to you as if you were inside a megaphone, yet sounds completely normal to outside bystanders. 
Nestled at the feet of the blue glass business buildings of down town is the brand spanking new edition of the First Baptist Church, complete with an every 15 minute orchestrated hymn and fountain show. 
Did you know Dallas has the largest Arts District in the United States?
With 68 acres of land packed with several Museums (some free), performing arts, and visual arts, I guess Patrick and I should do a better job of exploring the venues! 
I've seen Fountain Place from afar, but standing at it's base is a totally different view with levels upon levels of flowing water with cypress trees decorating the ground here and there. I'd love to see it during the week when the fountains are actually active. 
I look like a natural, don't you think?
Look, no hands!!!!
As the 6th Courthouse built in Dallas, and the 5th on this particular site, dating back to the late 1800's the Old Red Courthouse is one of the oldest buildings still standing. A pretty penny was spent to compose it of red sandstone due it's mostly fireproof nature, which paid off, since all the other courthouses have since burned down. 
The cool part?? You can see dark smoke stains on the outside of the windows from it's fiery battles. It's a survivor. 
Next to the Dealey Plaza Park is the Dallas County Administration building, also known as the building harboring the window (6th floor, far right, looks like it's halfway open) where JFK's assassin fired his deadly shots. 
Down the street is the Grassy Knoll, with eery X's on the street marking the spot.
The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Memorial was designed as an open tomb to free his spirit, "a place of quiet refuge, an enclosed place of thought and contemplation separated from the city around, but near the sky and earth". During a time when so many serious things where happening in our world, it was meant to be a welcoming place of reflection. 
As soon as we closed the doors to the car, the wind dramatically picked up, blowing fall leaves all through the streets, shortly followed by gigantic rain drops falling from the sky. The clouds quickly darkened, and by the time we made it to the highway, it was raining cats and dogs outside. A humid and sticky morning's bottom had broken in just the nick of time for our tour to finish, but a little early for us to still enjoy the outdoor lunch I had planned, so we drove home instead. 
...........Which turned out to be a blessing, because after a morning like that, me and my purple flower were ready for a nap! (At least one of the puppy's are always ready to cuddle for some couch time.


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