Monday, September 29, 2008

The return of the Jane

Dear Internets,

I'm back from ACL and catching up on work and blogs. Stay tuned for an ACL re-cap.


Thursday, September 25, 2008

ACL Fest-trations

Dear Internets,

There will be 5-6 people (and my 65-lb dog) staying at my two bedroom condo this weekend for ACL Fest.

Um, it seemed like a good idea when A asked if it would be OK? (Also, there was a free ticket involved...)

I have spent the last few days furiously cleaning. And by cleaning, of course, I mean making sure that my files are in order, none of my toiletries are expired, and my CD's are all in their proper cases. Because who cares if there's a ring around the bathtub when there is a W2 from 2004 stuck in with the mortgage paperwork from 2007?

(Um, I don't do well under pressure. Ahem. Also, there is no ring around the bathtub. Anymore.)

On the brighter side of things, in about 48 hours I will (hopefully) be dancing and singing blissfully along with the Old 97's. [Dear Rhett Miller, if you're reading this, I probably won't make it nearly as close to the front of the stage as I usually get. In fact, I may even watch from the "chairs" section in the back. It doesn't mean I don't still love you guys. ACL is just hotter and more elbow-y than most Old 97's shows. XOXO, Jane] One of our friends from Arkansas who is staying with us is also a huge Old 97's fan, and A really likes them too. I am hoping the show will make the whole (stressful) weekend worth it.

I haven't gone through and picked out the other shows I want to see. This is the schedule:

Day 1
Day 2
Day 3

Who should I check out? Are there any awesome bands I shouldn't miss? Have I reached the age where the little teenagers and college kids are going to laugh at my creepy old-person-dancing?

I have to miss a big chunk of Sunday because I have to work, but I'll probably appreciate a break from the heat at that point. I was hoping the nicer cooler weather would last, but no dice: highs will be in the 90's (34 C). That's better than a few years ago, though, when the official high was 108 (42.2 C). Mmm.... sweaty hipsters (and hippies - we still have a few of those).

Love always,

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

This is only a test

Dear Internets,

Sorry to be annoying - I'm just trying to figure out why Google Reader stopped updating my blog.

Um.... I love bananas.


UPDATE: I think things are working now. It is possible that I was just crazy. It's late. I had probably better go to bed. XOXO.


Dear nine years I spent learning French,

I started reading this blog. I love the history of languages and learning why people choose certain words over others, but I find myself (idiom! yay!) having to translate everything in my head. It's just frustrating - I wonder if I wasted my time.



Dear guys playing guitar as you drove down the highway,

Welcome to Austin. I think you'll fit in well here.



Dear painting I made for my mom for her birthday,

I don't think she really liked you. But I will try again.



Dear UT Band,

I wish you would let the Rice M.O.B. play at football games rather than always making the Rice game "Alumni Band Weekend." The M.O.B. is way more entertaining than most marching bands. Besides, it's nice to be able to laugh at yourself once in a while.

This was kinda cool, though:



Dear Valentino,

I know it was probably stressful to have your tank moved upstairs to my office area. But please don't die. I like you.

FishMom (aka Jane)

P.S. Yes, that is a Neil Diamond CD below the fish tank. I also stole my parents' vinyl Neil Diamond albums. Don't judge me.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Dear S,

When we were in 7th grade, you read my diary. I didn't find out until a few days after you read it, when I opened it up and found that you had left little notes in the margins.

I didn't particularly feel like our trust had been violated; as best friends (with half-heart necklaces to prove it), you mostly knew what was in there already. Besides, I had written the worst parts - confessions about embarrassing crushes, angry letters about junior high drama - in code. Names were changed to protect the innocent me.

What did bother me was that you wrote in my diary. Where I had written angry letters to my "fat body" or "disgusting hair" (I had the self-esteem of a typical thirteen-year-old girl), you wrote cheerful little notes encouraging me to see the other side. Those motivational comments were nothing but graffiti on my sanctuary; it was as though the truth - my truth, at least - had been whitewashed over with a few pen strokes. My diary was my place to go, to write, to put words on paper that I was afraid to speak aloud. It was safe, if only because I wrote carefully in pencil, only an angry or fearful eraser away from being wiped out for eternity. It seemed as though your pen had made those words and feelings permanent, indelible. I had lost my escape hatch.

These days I post blog entries online where just about anyone can read them. The names are (mostly) changed to protect the guilty me. My words are preserved for eternity, or at least until robots stop archiving the internet. When someone leaves a comment, I get little happy butterflies in my stomach.

I wonder if I would have ever been able to keep a blog if you hadn't ever read my diary. Would my imaginary walls have ever come down? Would it ever have seemed OK for people to really, really know what I thought?

Maybe so - even I had to grow up at some point. But sometimes I wonder.

Love always,

Monday, September 22, 2008

We be spammin'

Dear Wordpress,

Any time I try to leave a comment on a blog using Firefox, you send it to spam. That's just not nice.

Stop thinking I'm a spammer!


P.S. If you have a Wordpress blog, and wonder why dear ol' Jane never leaves you a comment, check your spam folder. XOXO

Friday, September 19, 2008

Pre-Weekend Rambling

Dear Job,

I like you, but you make my brain hurt sometimes.

Sometimes I think I'm mostly right-brained person with a completely left-brained job. Actually, I don't know if I'm right-brained or left-brained; if I blog before work, I find it difficult to switch gears and look at computer code and spreadsheets; if I wait until after I get off work to blog, it's like my creative juices are all dried up.

Anyway, I'm rambling. I'm super-excited that the weekend is here, except that it will be mostly spent doing the following:
  • unpacking/organizing
  • working at job #2
  • going to Home Depot for random stuff that I don't really want to spend money on, but need so that my condo doesn't crumble completely into a pile of rubble and squalor
  • bathing my (70-lb, hates-to-be-bathed) dog
  • moving my betta upstairs/hoping he survives the move
  • studying
We are going to the UT/Rice game. The weather has been absolutely amazing this week - highs in the mid-80's, so that will be nice.

I am going to stop now... This is getting painful to read. [Turn off already, Left Brain! It's Friday.]

Love always,

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Because this is what the internet is good for

Dear Internets,

Do you remember the olden days of the Internets, when having internet access at home meant you were Kind of A Big Deal (and usually, were unreachable by phone for several hours a night while you explored the wonders of AOL)?

We did not have The Internet yet at our house back then. When my sister started college, she let me use her email address sometimes, but the whole internet thing remained a mystery (wrapped up in an enigma, placed delicately inside a question) for several years after most of my friends were "going online."

Then something magical happened. The phone company stopped offering a discount for rotary dial phones, and my parents finally got touch tone dialing. Best of all, I could finally use my sister's college-provided dial-up account to surf the World Wide Web.

I hadn't heard of a "Google" yet, so I tended to just click around until I found something interesting. I never knew what I would find, and I didn't particularly care; my palate for the medium was undeveloped and unrefined.

Web site for an intramural field hockey team in the northeast? Why not?

Chat room dedicated to Kurt Cobain? Sure, I'll take a look.

Winnie the Pooh pictures? Oh crap - pr0nz! Back button, back button! For the love of God, let something else load before Mom or Dad walks in.

It was in those early days of having internet access that I stumbled into a Renaissance Faire discussion board, and onto what to this day is The Greatest Thing I Have Ever Seen on the Internet.

I thought that, in the spirit of giving, I would share it with you today.


Bring me Wallace!

You're welcome.

Love always,

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Maybe she's part owl

Dear Internets,

I am feeling much better this morning. It's amazing what sleep, inspiring political speeches, and videos about herding cats can do for my mood. Winning a song from iTunes from Last Name Unknown, and I getting tagged by Perfectly Cursed Life didn't hurt either.

I have never been tagged before, so this is really exciting for me. I have to say eight things about myself that you may have known before.

Eight Things You May or May Not Know About Jane
  1. I have a tendency to become nocturnal. I can't call it insomnia because I love being awake at night so much. I seriously feel like I come alive at around 10:00 p.m.
  2. Perhaps paradoxically, I also love mornings. I have a tendency to bound out of bed and bounce around like a puppy on the weekend. I try to make up for it by fixing breakfast, or picking up tacos, or cleaning while I wait for everyone else to wake up.
  3. I can't stand it when people talk on the phone in public restrooms.
  4. I can touch my elbows together behind my back. I discovered this in my freshman year of high school, while learning about evolution in biology. A student teacher showed us pictures of owls in flight as a visual aid. "Look at how they have evolved the ability to stretch their wings so far back. That's why owls are such powerful flyers." A few seconds later, the kid sitting behind me said, "looks like Jane has evolved that ability too." I was super embarrassed, more about causing a disruption in class than about being a freak of nature. I am pretty sure everyone tried to do it, though.
  5. I used to be able to lay on my stomach and touch the bottoms of my feet to the top of my head, but I am no longer that flexible.
  6. My first paycheck ever was for modeling for a math textbook (watch out, boys!). I never wanted to be a model, though, which is a good thing since I'm 5'4" and average-looking. My secret dream careers have included living history museum curator, ambassador, high school math teacher, architect, and animator, among about a zillion others.
  7. My first real job was at a farm/history museum. I learned to cook cornbread in a Dutch oven, walk on stilts, milk a cow, and herd small children.
  8. When I was in second grade, the boy I had a crush on surprised me in front of the whole class on my birthday with plastic flowers and a bottle of nail polish. As an eight-year-old girl, this was pretty much the equivalent of being proposed to at the Super Bowl (before people did that type of thing all the time). I had no idea that twenty years later, that would still be the most romantic moment of my life.
The ninth thing that you may not know about me is that I am really pretty shy at first in real life. I am too nervous to tag anyone (what if no one responds? What if they don't like being tagged as much as I do?). So instead, I will write a poem for anyone who decides to participate (and lets me know that they did). Hopefully lots and lots of you will, because there's almost nothing I like more than inflicting my bad poetry on the Internets.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Alive, I suppose

Dear Internets,

I'm sorry that I've been AWOL the past few days. I feel like I've lost my blogging muse.

I've been worrying a lot lately about stuff I have no control over, stuff I'd probably need another degree to even begin to fully understand. I worry about the election. I worry about my mom's heart problems. I worry about the economy (should the government be using tax money to buy risky debt? isn't that what got everyone into this mess in the first place?). I worry about hurricane victims that lost their homes. I worry about my friends who lost their jobs months ago and still can't find work.

I donate money to campaigns, I try to convince my mom to take her blood pressure pills, I go to work, I take food to the food bank, I try to be a good listener and a generous friend. I know there's really nothing else I can do. But it's frustrating to feel helpless; I think it's the feeling of helplessness, more than even the worry, that's wearing me out.

All in all, it has been a rough summer for my family and friends. Really, it's been a rough summer for most of the country. I know that that things will get better, and that even this funk will come to an end. I just hope it will happen soon.


Friday, September 12, 2008

I guess this is growing up

Dear Couch,

You (along with Chair) were the first nice, non-used, non-hand-me-down, non-Ikea furniture I ever bought for myself. I think fondly of the person I was when I bought you - a single girl just out of college, so proud of her freshly scotchgarded sofa. You saw me through the beginnings and ends of relationships, late nights when I was a little too tipsy to make it all the way to bed, and the last season of Veronica Mars.

I just sold you on Craigslist. It's time to merge furniture; you did not make the cut.

Am I ready to say goodbye to the girl I was when I bought you? I dunno. But I am ready to find out.

Love always,

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hurricanes are only fun in Scorpion songs

Dear Ike,

Please be nice. You are gathering strength and heading straight for the Texas coastline, where one of my good friends (who lives in Corpus Christi, right by the bay) is currently in the process of not evacuating. Her line of reasoning (which I guess isn't totally illogical) is that the projected storm path follows the highway on which she, her boyfriend, and their dog and two cats would be traveling anyway.

It's not just Corpus I'm worried about. Sure, sometimes I like to gripe about Houston, but it's really not a terrible place. I mean, the pollution is partly due to the fact that the refineries there provide fuel for a large part of the rest of the country. Plus, Houston has pretty decent museums, and really, it's kind of interesting that someone could build a porn shop right next to a church.

The smaller towns on the coast are pretty cool too. Galveston is a great little island. The last time I visited was right after Hurricane Rita in 2005 - a lot of people there who evacuated for that storm (which didn't end up hitting Galveston) swore they would never do it again, no matter what the officials told them.*

*One woman told me that she and her boyfriend fought, broke up, and got back together seven times as they attempted to navigate the evacuation traffic. She said she kicked him out of the car near San Antonio, but made him get back in after she realized he was moving faster walking than she was driving. "And when we got back, all that had happened was that my potted plant had blown over. My dumbass boyfriend probably just knocked it over running to the car on our way out."

The thing about Galveston (and a lot of the Texas coastline) is that a lot of the people there live from paycheck-to-paycheck. If they spend money on gas to evacuate (and lose potential hours of work at their jobs), that's just money they don't have for groceries and rent.

If it seems like I'm hoping that you'll come ashore further east, I'm not. Those parts of Texas and Louisiana are barely recovering from the effects of Rita and (to a lesser extent) Katrina. I just want you to take a breather, and surprise us all by weakening a little. Dump a little rain on us, then head on up to Arkansas. I hear it's becoming a popular place to retire; you should check it out.


Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Why I sometimes feel like there's no such thing as a "good" person

They were waiting outside the bank when we opened the doors at 7. She was in her 70's, but stood up straight. She wore no make-up, except the lip liner tattooed around her mouth; it struck me that she had probably been quite pretty when she was younger. He was in his 40's. He wore his long, greasy, dyed-black hair slicked back, and the top two snaps of his Western shirt unbuttoned, like he had just stumbled off the set of a cheesy Las Vegas movie.

He seemed uneasy; she seemed confused. They both smiled a little too much.

They handed over the papers they wanted notarized, carefully typed by an old-fashioned typewriter that printed its letter "R's" slightly off-center.

I looked over the documents.

The first page described a property in Vail that the old woman was signing over to Mr. Hair Gel. The second gave him power of attorney over one of her bank accounts. The third signed over the title to her vintage Cadillac. Page after page described properties in California, Hawaii, and Colorado, bank accounts, and expensive assets, all being signed over by Ms. Confused to her "good friend Mr. Hair Gel."

"I'm not sure I am allowed to notarize this particular type of document without manager approval," I lied.

"No problem," Mr. Hair Gel answered. "Only, we're kind of in a hurry, so don't take too long."

I took the documents and both of their photo ID's to the back office.

A sleepy teller was verifying the cash in her drawer. "Hey, could you do me a huge favor and make copies of all this stuff?" I asked.

I grabbed the phone and started dialing. The branch manager was on vacation. The assistant manager was still asleep. I finally got a regional manager on the phone.

I explained the situation. "I feel like something fishy is going on, like maybe the old lady has dementia or something. I need your permission to tell them that I won't notarize their documents," I finished.

"I can't give you permission to deny a customer service based on your 'feelings,' Jane," he said. "Unless you have some kind of proof that something illegal is going on, you need to notarize the documents."

I hung up the phone. I wouldn't do it, I decided. No job was worth my morals.

The teller handed me the papers from the copier. "These are kinda weird," she said.

"Yeah," I muttered.

The other teller came back to the back. "Um, your customer is getting kind of loud..." she said. "He says he wants his papers back."

I took the documents back out to the front to Mr. Hair Gel.

"You had no right to take our documents away from us!" he said, no longer pleasant, no longer smiling. "Give them - give me my driver's license! You are incredibly slow. This is not difficult - I have never had such awful - if you're not going to notarize these now, we're leaving. We'll take our business somewhere else." He grabbed the papers out of my hand, and herded Ms. Confused out the front door.

"She's discriminating against you," he told her as they walked away.

A few days later, Ms. Confused came back, not confused at all. "My friend, my only friend, he left me because of YOU," she said, pure vitriol. "He moved away to another state and I will never see him again. You are a HORRIBLE person. I HATE you. I will get you fired, you wait and see."

For the next several days, Ms. Confused would come and stand near my desk, squinting at me angrily and wagging a long, pointy fingernail. When she wasn't staring me down, she was screaming at a long management chain that she wanted me fired, that I was a horrible, dishonest person
. After a week or so, she finally gave up.

Dear Ms. Confused,

I am sorry that you blamed me for the loss of your friendship with Mr. Hair Gel. I am sorry you were so lonely.

The bank's fraud investigator told me that you had been a history professor before you retired, and that your assets represented a lifetime of careful saving. Mr. Hair Gel was a drifter, but did not have a serious criminal record. You met him through an ad that he posted in a seniors newsletter in Hawaii. Mr. Hair Gel was looking for "a place to stay, preferably where [he] could pay his way by serving as a caretaker/friend." He loved "chatting and listening to stories."

A few weeks after you responded to Mr. Hair Gel's ad, he moved in. A few weeks after that, he told you that you were being sued, and that you should move away from your last remaining family so that he could help protect you and your (sizable) assets. You could sign everything over to Mr. Hair Gel, and "the people suing you" wouldn't get one penny of your money. This brought you to Texas, to the little bank where I worked.

You were never served with a lawsuit.

Six months after I almost notarized away your life's savings, you came back to the bank. You had (apparently) forgotten who I was. You were lost, you said. Could you use the phone to call a taxi? You took a taxi home, and I never saw you again.

I don't know if what I did was right or wrong. I sure felt like I was indeed a horrible person when I saw how alone you were. Maybe Mr. Hair Gel would have taken your money; maybe, to a lonely old woman, it would have been a small price to pay for friendship.

I hope that you're being taken care of, wherever you are.


I survived

Dear Internets,

I survived the green peanut butter!

I'm not feeling so hot this morning, but I think it might have more to do with the margarita I had before trivia night last night than the funky PB. (It seems like restaurants have started competing to see who can sell the most ridiculously strong frozen margaritas. My tolerance for strong drinks isn't what it was in college, though, so maybe it's all my imagination.)

This probably will not fascinate anyone who's not going to ACL Fest, but the (very) extended weather forecasts for Austin are finally showing a cold front/rain in the next few weeks. It's possible that there won't be a 100-degree plus dust bowl this year. This makes me happy. (Fall in general makes me happy, actually.)

I'm off to do a rain dance (of the cold front, non-hurricane variety).


Monday, September 8, 2008

Uh oh

Dear Peanut Butter that I Keep at my Desk at Work,

Why did you turn green? This can't be good.


P.S. Why did I only discover this after I had eaten some of you?

Sunday, September 7, 2008

On the first day of Festivus, Jane gave to me...

Dear Internets,

I've been thinking about what to do about holiday gifts this year (don't be impressed with me; be impressed with Saving Diva. She's the one that planted the idea). Recently, I fell in love with Subversive Cross Stitch, and have been toying with the idea of making cross stitch Christmas presents for my friends as gifts. Only I would design my own using our own weird catch phrases and inside jokes (Like: "True Friendship Means Cutting the Occasional Brake Line").

The problem is, while I find angry/dark cross stitch hilarious, and would hang it all over my house if I could, I'm not sure if it really makes an appropriate gift. I'm afraid it's the type of thing that my friends would open, laugh uncomfortably at, and then stick into a closet until enough time had passed that they could donate it to Goodwill/throw it away without feeling too guilty.

What do you think, Internets? Should I stick to gift cards?

Love always,

P.S. Wouldn't it be kind of fun if we distinguished the gift type of present by spelling it with two s's, like dessert? Pressent. I like it.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Dear Internets,

Have you ever gotten one of those phone calls where some really important person at the head office of the place where you work calls you and asks if you knew that you accidentally ran this program that completely shut down the system for two hours, and you're thinking, "Um, yeah, I kind of did know, but I was hoping no one would notice because it's Friday afternoon and I was thinking maybe no one else would be trying to work," but out loud you say, "Oh wow, I'm so sorry, I will fix that and not let it happen again," and you feel really dumb? And then you eat a brownie because you think it might make you feel better, and then it kind of does make you feel better, and you think, "Great, I've become an emotional eater and I don't even know what I am going to do about it, even though it's the kind of thing that Oprah could probably help me with, because Oprah comes on while I'm at work and I don't have DVR or Tivo or anything"?

Um, me either.

On another note, here are some pictures of my Eee PC and my Swingline stapler. I should have included the entire phone in the picture - my laptop is seriously smaller than my telephone! I can't get over it.

The color is kind of funky, but I think the pictures are not terrible for a camera phone (that is three years old and not an iPhone because I am poor. And also, cheap).

I had been saving and watching for deals on the Eee PC for a while, so I was worried that I would be disappointed once I actually got one. However, so far, I am in love. (I got a good deal - $75 off, free shipping, and no sales tax, so that helped.)

Anyway, I am off to attempt not to break anything else in the next two hours. Wish me luck!


Meeting Notes

Dear Jane,

Please stop taking notes like this in meetings. It is going to get us in trouble.

Meetings 101: One doodle per page, Jane!

You say doodling helps you concentrate on what people are saying.

They have a hard time believing that when you write "Zzzzzzzzz" under your pictures.

I just think it's probably a good idea to take a little break from the doodling, Jane, and focus on your work.

Your Brain

P.S. I do kind of like this fox, though.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Dear Internets,

I decided not to post any foot pictures; firstly, because I love my readers and don't want to subject them to seeing pictures of my smelly feet when they're expecting to read odes to bananas; and secondly, because I'm not sure how I feel about my feet being out there, subjected to the scrutiny of people who troll the internet looking for foot pictures, and who probably wouldn't understand that my feet are Working Feet and can't spend all day at the gym trying to look hot for foot fetishists on the internet. Also, I haven't had a pedicure recently.

The back story is this: I took a hard misstep off a curb at the Human Race, and was a little worried that I had fractured my foot. Fortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case. There might be a tiny stress fracture, but most likely, it's just a strain that will require a little bit of rest. Yay feet! Unfortunately, I think I might need new shoes - this was my first longish run in this pair, and my joints complained more they should have. But I'm not complaining; I have a feeling that new shoes would still end up being cheaper than a broken foot.

In other news, I love my little Eee PC. I think I'll love it even more once I figure out how to type well on its tiny keyboard. I'm beginning to wonder if I really do have man hands. (After several posts that mention feet pictures and man hands, I'm looking forward to seeing my search engine traffic take a turn for the unusual. I'll keep you posted, Internets.)

Love always,

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

See Jane Photograph

Dear Internets,

I finally figured how to upload pictures from my camera phone (for the love of Apple, cell phone companies should not make the process so difficult! But I digress...). My normal camera has been broken since before I started this blog, so in celebration of my new ability to add somewhat relevant, mediocre-quality photos to my posts, I retroactively added some to my post about my colony of tiny paper cranes*.** ***

*Technically, it is a colony of paper flapping birds, but let's not split hairs.
**Also, I took the pictures after I made two more little flapping birds so that the remaining three wouldn't be lonely, so the pictures don't really 100% match the post. But I like them. And am still not splitting hairs.
***And also? It actually was Hawaiian Shirt Day a few days after I titled that post (hence the lei in the pictures). So the picture is kind of appropriate after all. Yay!

Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of the truck nuts or the grape stomp, or any good ones of minor celebrities/Bevo. But I did get pictures of my new Eee PC!

This is not my picture. However, all the photos I took of the green case had my hands in them, and since the computer is so small, it created an optical illusion that made it look like I have some major man hands.

Look! It's a Distractible Jane window inside your Distractible Jane window! It's like it could go on to infinity!

Not particularly related - I just love Talia's picture of the man in the singlet. A whole lot.

Tomorrow I'll try to get a picture of the Eee PC with the Swingline for size comparison. Until then, be cool soda pops.

Love always,

P.S. I will update on the foot tomorrow.


Dear Foot,

Please don't be broken. If you decide that being broken is the way to go, let's go with a stress fracture.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

I promise I'm not just listing minor celebrities to attract Googlers

Dear Blog,

I hope you enjoyed your long weekend off. This weekend was seriously filled with moment after moment of "oh my gosh I need to tell my Blog about that." Well, mostly. But we'll get to that.

Friday, I was pretty much exhausted after subsisting on caffeine all week (it's a vicious cycle, I tell you). So after I went to dinner with A (Threadgill's, mmmm....), I passed out, my tummy filled with delicious fried okra, macaroni and cheese, and steamed broccoli (the broccoli canceled out the mac & cheese & fried-ness, in case you were wondering). Going to bed early was a good call, really, because I had to get up early to work at job #2.

I had left my wallet and driver's license at job #1 on Friday, so I stopped by the office to get it on my way out to Small Town*, Texas. (*Name changed to protect the guilty. Forget what you may have learned from watching "Texas Chainsaw Massacre" or "To Catch a Predator"; if there's anything small town police officers in Texas are notorious for, it's giving out tickets to out-of-towners. Considering my lead foot and my burned-out right brake light, I wasn't taking any chances.) I stopped to let the security guard know that I was going in the building, and he said, "Go on in, Sugar, thanks for letting me know." [Note to any stranger who calls me "Sugar," "Mija," "Honey," or "Little Mama": I love you.] [Note to the building where I work: you are scary as heck after hours.]

After picking up my wallet and practically sprinting away from my scary office building, I drove for about an hour through rolling green hills to get to Small Town. When I arrived, it was about 76 degrees outside and the air smelled like barbecue. For the first time (probably in my whole life) I considered that living in a small town might not be as bad as I'd always thought. However, five hours, 20 degrees, and 55 high school students telling stories about their Friday night exploits later (got drunk after the football game, went to "Wallmarts," bought baseball bats, "smayshed stuff") I quickly came back to my senses.

After I got off work, A and I headed to campus for the football game. A friend of a friend of a friend had a big tailgate party set up, and we ate and drank for free until it was time to head to the stadium to see Vince Young's number get retired. I have to say, of all the local celebrities I saw this weekend, I got most excited about VY. (I think I might officially love him more than Major Applewhite; Major broke my heart when I issued him a cashier's check so that he could go buy an engagement ring. Sigh.)

The football game was great, although it was a bit surreal. They just finished renovating the stadium, so in addition to the old standbys like Godzillatron, the heavily-sedated Bevo, Smokey the Canon, and Big Bertha the giant drum, there were 98,000 people, pyrotechnics, fireworks, a bunch of celebrities and a baton twirler throwing flaming batons. It was a bit overwhelming, honestly. After Vince Young, Kevin Durant, Major Applewhite and Gail Goestenkors (assistant Olympic basketball coach) all made triumphant returns to UT via Godzillatron, I said to A, "Good grief. All we need now is Matthew McConaughey to show up, and we'll have a complete set of recent beloved Longhorns."

At that exact moment, Matthew McConaughey's face lit up the screen. He was on the field with his girlfriend who looked lovely, but a bit terrified, holding either their baby or a sack of potatoes in a sling. (A's brother, who was on the sidelines, later confirmed that Matthew's girlfriend was indeed holding their baby. Considering that football fields aren't exactly the safest place in the world for babies - good going Matthew - I figured that explained the look of terror on her face).

Despite normally being a very loyal fan, it was just too hot to be loud, wear orange, OR stay late. Feeling dehydrated, hungry, and tired, we left with a couple of minutes to go in the fourth quarter (Dear Vince, Major, Mack, et al: I'm sorry. I did come early. Does that redeem me at all?) I loaded up on tomato pie and water and headed to bed.

Sunday, I checked my email to make sure that I had the correct time and contact information for Saving Diva. We were going to meet for ice cream later that afternoon - or so I thought. To my horror, I found out that Saving and I had gotten our dates crossed, and I had inadvertently stood her up on Saturday. I felt (and still feel) super guilty. I owe her a dark chocolate ice cream cone or two. I probably need to attend the Derek Zoolander Center For Kids Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too, so that I don't mis-read emails in the future. (Sorry again, Saving.)

Sunday evening, A and I loaded our running gear and iPods and headed downtown to run in the Nike Human Race. Aaron "HottieMcHotPants" "Olympic swimmer that I respect tremendously" Peirsol started the hot, hilly Austin race. The man that sold me my first pair of running shoes had the fastest time in Austin; Lance Armstrong finished 6th (is there anything he can't do?), and Matthew McConaughey finished 128th. I did not finish first, 6th, or 128th, although I did finish in the top half of the world, if you count the people who didn't show up.

After drinking gallons and gallons of water (the theme of this weekend was "dehydration") and eating a couple of slices of pizza, I went to sleep.

I woke up early, took Bailey on a long walk, went to visit my grandmother (who was in town for the weekend), took my sister a coffee because she had to work (on Labor Day! Blasphemy!) and then headed to my friend Kat's house for a barbecue. I lasted until about 5:30, when I headed home and slept until I had to get up for work this morning.

And that is about it. I realize that this is about 20 times longer (yet not, unfortunately, 20 times more interesting) than most of my blog posts. I will try to go back to being my normal, more concise self tomorrow.

Love, as always,