Saturday, July 26, 2008

Puppy to Please

Just when I decided to write about my playful pup, he does not disappoint. Since moving into the new house, I have been allowing Maverick to sleep in the room with me. He has a bed in the corner which works out well since he can't jump up on to the my bed because it is too high. So when I put him in his room Thursday night so I could get ready for bed, you would have thought I was abusing the pup based on the noises coming from his room. Of course I let him in the room with me once I was heading to bed and, since I am the well trained human that I am, put him up on the bed so he could snuggle with me. Needless to say Mav doesn't quite understand the concept of sleeping in a bit. At 6:15 the next morning, I felt a cold wet nose on my face. Now I am one of these lucky people who has a flexible work schedule so waking up at 6:15 is not something I that I prefer to do. So I went into a full belly rub attack hoping that would calm P-dog down and he would return to dreamland for at least another hour when my alarm goes off. Unfortunately he would have nothing of it and proceeded to start walking around the bed intent to jump off. At that point I realized I would need to get up and let him out. So I slid off the bed and turned around to lift Mav back down to the floor. And there he was in the upward facing stomach position waiting for me to rub his belly. Well I decided that Mr. Dog had missed his chance for the belly rub and I took him back door for his morning rounds. At that point I headed back to bed and slept for two more hours. Hopefully soon Maverick will learn tell time soon and understand the concept of me not having to be at work until around 9.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Maverick & Me

I had to make a quick trip to Oklahoma City this week for work. Normally when I am traveling I make observations about my fellow travelers and comment on any mishaps that might befall me along the way. However, I miraculously had no mishaps and my fellow travelers didn't provide me with any new material to comment on. This trip did afford me the opportunity to catch up on some reading. You see I tend to do my best reading on airplanes. I joined a book club a few weeks ago and my first reading assignment was Marley and Me by John Grogan. Now I had heard a little about this book but never really thought to read it. But with the movie coming out, the book has regained popularity. Being a proud dog owner and lover, I realized that this was a must read. So I spent my flights to and from OKC devouring this book. I must say that I laughed out loud many times as I read Marley's antics and related them to tales of my own beloved pup. I am sure my row mates were confused by my tears as I read the last few chapters telling of Marley's golden years and death. After reading this book, I realized that I had not done a very good job of relating Maverick stories to my faithful followers. After all, my selected alias on Blogger is MavsMom so it would be logical for me to recount stories of my rambunctious beagle. I had a co worker in Killeen who loved hearing tales of Maverick and his daily craziness. I did realize that I need to record his tales so that they may never be forgotten. So soon I will be regaling you with Maverick stories to make sure my pup lives forever in the minds of those who love him (or at least for me!) So be prepared to laugh at the moments that fill my dull life and bring me a bit of joy.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

LiveStrong Challenge

A couple of months ago I stumbled across the website for the LiveStrong Challenge. I decided I wanted to participate for multiple reasons. First, I have felt a strong need to volunteer or do something to give back. The Lance Armstrong Foundation is doing a lot for cancer research. I don't believe there is anyone in this country who hasn't been effected by cancer in some way, shape or form. Just in the last year, I had a friend from college pass away from breast cancer at the age of 29. Also, Maverick and I are in serious need of some physical activity. I figure that having a goal to be able to walk (or run) a 5K by October 25th is a good place to start. I used to walk about 3 miles a day in college. I just got out of the habit and now I am having to build myself back up again. The heat doesn't help but I am trying to find times when the heat isn't so bad (either early morning or late evening). Mav and I are starting out by tackling laps around the block. Once around the block is about half a mile. So we are trying to start out with one trip around this week and work ourselves up from there. I plan on keeping everyone updated on our progress (building up to the 5k and hopefully losing some weight in the process) as well as my progress toward my fundraising goal for the foundation. If you would like to help out, you can click on the link to the right of my page or go to http://austin08.livestrong.org/bamagirljj. Oh and just so you know...we started our laps tonight and Maverick is currently racked out on the couch. I think I wore him out!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Oh...The Things People Say

Last night my sister-in-law, Jenny, and I went to see Martina McBride at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Selma, TX (right outside of San Antonio). The drive from her house in South Austin (Kyle to be exact) only took us about an hour so we arrived with about 45 minutes to spare before the gates opened. We wanted to get there a little on the early side because we had general admission lawn tickets and we wanted to make sure we got a good spot on the lawn so we could see the concert well. While we were waiting in the heat (a concert in July in Texas...what was I thinking!), we were informed that they were closing the lawn for this concert and would be upgrading us to actual seats. This was a nice surprise because it meant we would actually be covered and not have the sun beating down on us. However, if we had known this ahead of time we could have waited another hour to drive down and still would have gotten the seats we were given. The concert itself was great. It just made for a late evening with me having to get up and go to work today.

If Jenny and I would have waited to drive down, we would have missed one of the best lines of the evening. While waiting in line and commenting on the attair of many of our fellow concert goers (ranging from spike heels and sundresses to full cowboy getup complete with boots and hats), we overheard a mother tell a daughter that, "If I had known this was an outdoor concert, I would have dressed differently." Now...the last time I checked all amphitheaters are technically outdoors. Just to make sure I went to Wikipedia to get a definition of amphitheater and this is what it gave me, "An amphitheatre (alternatively amphitheater) is an open-air venue for spectator sports, concerts, rallies, or theatrical performances." Wouldn't the phrase "open-air venue" say outdoors to you? Not to mention you can go to the website for the Verizon Center and see a layout of the amphitheatre. I swear I am frequently amazed at people and the things they say.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Why I Hate Dating

I was not a fan of dating before I got married so you can imagine that I am even less of a fan of dating now that I have divorced to add to my status. I never had much luck in the relationship world and being that I am still new to the Austin area, I have found it hard to meet people. So I have been trying the world of online dating via such websites as Match.com, Yahoo Personals, and eHarmony. Granted while I have had some luck in the form of J and James, the majority of my matches have been misses and it has been months since I have had a real connection with any of the guys I have been matched with. I received an email last week that is a prime example of why I hate dating again. Here is that email, word for word, with only personal information removed:

your cute and you sound like a very sweet girl, but please dont take me to a musical, lol . im rob, i work graveyard so i dont wake up till like 3 or 4 in the evenings. and i try to be in bed before the sun rises. hit me up sometime, you can do it here or on my yahoo, the screen name is more political than it sounds , lol. or you could just do it the easy way and call . although i think i do a great job typing, i do this great job with one finger, so i better at least get a friggin hello cause this chit is taking me for ever to type, lol. dont worry , im not one of the weird obsessive guys, i promise i wont be peepin through your windows in the middle of the night, lol. i dont have the time or gas money, lol , im playing ofcorse. at the least we may turn out to at least be friends, later i gotta go to work, you can still call while im working

OK...so now that you are laughing so hard you are crying, I will continue. I really copied and pasted this from the original email. First off, if you can't spell, use capitalization or proper punctuation, don't write me. Second off, if the one thing I mention in my profile that I love is something you hate, don't write me. Third, if you are over the age of 14, please don't use abbreviations such as lol, u, 4, or r. I am not a teenager and this line of conversation does not interest me.

Now let me tell you about Rob. His screen name is Robsnsodeep (lovely!) and his profile picture was him shirtless (no thanks!) Nothing turns me off more than someone whose primary profile picture is them shirtless. I think this is very conceited not to mention the fact that normally the men who choose these pictures have nothing to show off. Rob, however, was showing off the two tattoos right below his collarbones. Being someone with ink, I don't think there is anything wrong with that but I don't necessarily think it is something that should be presented up front. I would not be showing my back tattoo to a man on the first date. And please let's not get started on the grammar.

So if you have any questions as to why I hate dating then please post them here. Otherwise, I do believe this is enough reason for you. While there may be many fish in the sea, the pool has been contaminated and those that remain have serious issues.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Birthday Reflections

I intended to write this post on Friday on my actual birthday. I spent a lot of time in the weeks leading up to my birthday thinking about the last year and everything that has happened. Birthdays are really a good time to pause and reflect on life. I am still amazed at everything that has happened and how much my life and I have changed over the last year. So I decided to do a quick rundown of the last year.

July - my 30th birthday; Shawn was at NTC for the big day but took me to Fredericksburg to celebrate
August - trip to Hawaii; Shawn moved out; Shawn filed for divorce
September - went home for Labor Day; found job listing on Monster for job in Austin; applied for job in Austin; interviewed for job in Austin; offered job in Austin
October - started working in Austin; listed Killeen house; secured apartment in Austin; Shawn moved back to Alabama
November - divorce finalized; moved into apartment in Austin; Mom and Dad came for Thanksgiving; met J
December - dating J; his divorce finalized; his mom has stroke and he leaves for Christmas; I head home for Christmas; we drive back to TX together
January - New Year's at J's; Mav to Doggy Boot Camp; J and I head to Mobile for La Luna ball; J goes to visit mom in hospital; offer on Killeen house
February - Mav returns from boot camp; J and I begin the process of breaking up; Valentine's alone; Break up completes;find house in Round Rock; close on Killeen house; bought an iPhone
March - food poisoning; meet James; busied myself preparing for new house; bought a Wii; Easter came early; college friend, Jessica, passed from breast cancer
April - discovered a love for yoga; got a tattoo; James and I broke up; started seeing Dena; went to see Jimmy Buffett in Dallas; closed on new house; Brandon died
May - moved out of apartment in Austin into house in Round Rock; went to New York with Mom, Jenny and Shannon; bailed on Boot Camp; bought a new car (4Runner); went to Crawfish Festival in Fredericksburg alone over Memorial Day weekend; Sex and the City movie
June - still getting settled in new house; met with advisor about going back to school; headed to Alabama for Grand Assembly

While I know this list doesn't really do justice to everything that has happened since I turned 30, I can easily say based off of this list that 31 is looking good already. I am optimistic about what the future holds for me. I am in a great place in my life right now. I am living each day for no one but myself. I am doing things that I enjoy and I don't have to answer to anyone about it. I do hope that I will have someone special to share my life with in the near future. However, I am not an incomplete person because I am alone. I also know that I don't want to settle for less than what is the best for me. Stay tuned as I update you as life unfolds around me.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Party of One

I started out this morning being a little lazy because it was Saturday and I could. However, I knew I had some shopping I wanted to do so I finally got myself motivated to get clean and head out the door. I decided to head to Cracker Barrel first since it was on my way to Ikea and I was craving some home cookin' after watch Down Home with the Neely's this morning on the Food Network. Being that Cracker Barrel is Cracker Barrel and it was lunch time, it was a surprise that the place was packed and I had to wait 10 minutes just to get a table for one. Shortly after I arrived an older lady came in also requesting a table for one. I thought nothing of it and when my name was called I headed to the hostess stand and reminded the lady that it was just me and I didn't need two sets of silverware. Well, the older lady had requested a chair to sit in while waiting and was perched up near the hostess stand. When she realized I was a party of one, she proceeded to ask if she might join me so that we didn't tie up two tables. Well, what was I supposed to do, say No!?! So Gertie, the older lady, scooted her walker across the restaurant and accompanied me through what I had hoped would be a quick and peaceful meal. I don't believe she ever asked for my name the entire time we were sitting there but she was sure to let everyone know that asked that we weren't together but just sharing a table. Gertie also filled me in all the sad details of her life from her divorce when her children were young because her husband had other women to her daughter being killed when she was my age in 1977 (very sad) to her son not taking care of her in her old age (88) and his wife not knowing she was his 4th. All the while she was bitter and snappy to the waitress who I am sure felt sorry for me for being stuck sitting with this woman. And people wonder why I hate going to restaurants alone. Stuff like this always happens to me. If I sit at the bar, I get hit on by random guys. If I try to eat at a nice family establishment, some crazy old lady asks to sit with me. I am seriously rethinking ever eating alone in public again. Dine on Demand seems better and better everyday even if I have to pay a delivery fee.

Once my meal was over, I headed to Ikea to purchase a few more items for the new house. While I was there, they announced that they were having a contest to give away tickets to a screening of Mamma Mia. All you had to do was sing one of the songs from the show. Well, I love Mamma Mia and I am definitely going to see it when it comes out in two weeks. So I figured, "What the heck!" and decided to try my hand at Dancing Queen. Most of you know that I am not a singer so I am sure I tortured the poor people sitting in the cafe who had to listen to my performance. It was fun and I got to pass to the screening out of it. However, the screening is the same night as the Martina McBride concert Jenny and I are going to in San Antonio so I embarrassed myself for nothing. Now I need to find someone who would like the passes so they don't go to waste.

After buying out the entire stock of purple flowers from the home decor department at Ikea, I headed to Hobby Lobby in search of some more wrought iron pieces for my living room. I have been trying to find some sconces or something else small to hang on my fireplace and balance out the piece I already have hanging. I didn't have much luck in that department even though I found a sconce I really like. The problem the sconce is it is black and I could only find one at my local store. So I need to see how it will look with my existing piece before I try to search the two stores in NW Austin for a matching sconce. I did however find a beautiful wrought iron mirror to hang above the console table that leads into my hallway. The clerk sold it to me for half off although I didn't recall seeing any signs saying it should be on sale. I won't complain though because it saved me $45 in the process. I did have one funny moment while in Hobby Lobby. I happened to overhear two men debating which candle to purchase to cover the smell of stinky children coming in from the outdoors all sweaty from the summer heat. The two were trying to decide between Sugar Cookie and Butterscotch and the conversation went a little something like this:

Man 1: "Hell yeah! Sugar Cookie is the bomb. You should get that one."
Man 2: "I kind of like Butterscotch. I think the smell is better."
Man 1: "Well, Sugar Cookie isn't as heavy."

Now a conversation about candle scents between two women wouldn't be out of the ordinary but between two straight married men was hilarious. After laughing at them for a few minutes, I finally stepped in and offered my expert opinion which was two fold. First I said they should just buy both candles since they were 50% off and you would be getting two for the price of one. Second I said to go with Butterscotch since it was stronger yet not overpowering and would likely cover the sweaty kid smell better. At that point, they both agreed they needed to get the wives involved in the decision. That led to the question of who put the men in charge of picking out the candle in the first place?

I rounded out my shopping trip with a stop at Lowe's. I have been needing to purchase a garbage can for taking out the trash on a twice a week basis. I hadn't been too concerned about having one up to this point because I have just been carrying trash bags out to the curb that were mostly filled with packing materials from the move. However, since my trash days are Tuesday and Friday, I didn't have my second trash big up this week and I have accumulated more than my fair share of trash in my kitchen can. I decided that it was time to purchase the garbage can so I could at least empty the kitchen and bathroom cans before Tuesday since they were to capacity. You know...purchasing a garbage can is not something you really think about needing to do when you move into a new house. I was particularly spoiled in Killeen since the city provided the 96 gallon garbage cans for trash collection once a week. So I proceeded to wander aimlessly through Lowe's because I had no idea where one might find a garbage can and obviously no one asked me if I needed any assistance although I am sure I had an extremely confused look on my face. I was after all in a hardware store and I don't tend to spend a lot of time in them. Just as I was about to ask someone to point me in the right direction I spotted the sign that said trash cans. I was in the right spot. Moreover, I not only found one with wheels like I wanted but it is also purple. How awesome is that! Only I would be excited about a purple garbage can. Once all my shopping was complete, I headed home to get some love from my puppy and eat dinner ALONE in the peace and quiet of my own house.