Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Texas Our Texas

So, as my thought process often begins, I was riding along in the car this morning and something came on the radio that got me thinking. Well first of all, let me explain that by “riding along” I really mean sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in the rain because no one in Dallas can drive when it rains (this is not an opinion but rather a scientifically proven fact).

Anyway, so Three Dog Night came on and as always, being that they are officially on my list of top ten favorites of all time, I sang along with them. "Oh I've never been to heaven; but I've been to Oklahoma. Well they tell me I was born there; but I really don't remember....."

This song has always held a special place in my heart, aside from the aforementioned comment. You see, I WAS in fact born in the state previously referred to as Oklahoma. (Point of clarification on this one though - I was born on an Army Base, so I officially was born on Federal land, NOT the state known to many as Oklahoma.) And as the song goes, thankfully I really don't remember being born there (this is probably why my Mother used to sing this one to me when I was but a wee child).

That's the line that got me thinking this morning. You see, most people would be down right proud, if they even cared at all, to be born in Oklahoma. For example, the majority of my husband's family, well almost ALL of them, are Okies. And if I must admit it, it is a beautiful state, but come on; we all know that “Oklahoma is O.K.”….why be just “O.K” when you can be Texas? (Follow-up point - see, when you're born on Federal land, you get to "choose" your home, when your family is from Texas and you're a direct descendant of Sam Houston, it's kind of an unwritten rule that you too then, are a Texan. Again, this is another scientific fact, as is the rain to Dallas driving ability ratio.)

So while musing over this point this morning it dawned on me; I've never lived any where else that was anything like Texas. In no other state have I ever run across the same statewide, ingrained pride as you will find in this state. Now hear me out on this one…sure, most states have "a state song", but hell, in Texas we not only have A state song, we have an entire damn song book! Go ahead, take a few minutes and start listing them out in your brain.....see, I'm right.

Most states have one official state license plate. Well not us....we have multiple ones to choose from. I'm not just talking about the special plates, like SPCA or university alumni plates; I mean plates just paying homage to our state. I was able to find six plates alone on my drive in. SIX!

Sure, most states have state pride, but how many other states can you personally toss out a one-line motto or charge for? Walk into any bar, school or train station in Texas and yell "Remember the Alamo" and see what kind of response you get. And if you think we keep this kind of pride contained just within our boarders, trying walking in some place in another state and sing out "The stars at night are big and bright...." Twenty bucks says that someone, other than you, will respond with "clap, clap, clap, clap....deep in the heart, of Texas!"

And why wouldn't we be overly proud? I mean, after all, we are the only state in the Union that is allowed to fly our flag at the same level as the United States of America's flag. Heck, even our state tourism board claims that we are "a whole other country"! Take that California!

Here is how bad I personally wanted to secure my roots firmly in the soil that is my home state. On Mother's Day, 1997, while living in New Jersey (I know, right?), I had the state of Texas tattooed on my body. Truth! Later that year, when I moved back home, I honestly stopped and got out of my car and quite literally, kissed the ground as I crossed over the boarder back into Texas. I was home! Don't get me wrong, I loved living in other places, but as they say, "there's just no place like home."

Look, everyone knows that "everything is bigger in Texas." Sure, we might not officially be the largest in population or land mass, but I'll be damned if we aren't the biggest in state pride! Yeeeeeeehaw! (Feel free to wave your proverbial cowboy hat and stomp that boot here...well, after you dismount from your horse and secure your cattle first, of course.)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday, Monday

So as I sit here poised to write something witty and entertaining today I realize....I’ve got a big bag of nothing to offer today. What? Gasp! No really, it's true...nada! Could it be that I've encountered that dreaded Yeti known to many as writer's block or could there be something more devious at foot? Personally I feel it's the latter as anyone who knows me knows that I am rarely one who finds themselves ever at a loss for words.

Yes, I actually think what we're now experiencing together, as you read along, is the concept affectionately known as “Monday”. That's right kids, "Monday, Monday", as it's known to the Mama's and the Papa's; "Manic Monday" as it's known to the Bangles; and "A case of the Mondays" as it's referred to in one of my all time favorite cult films Office Space.

I should have known when I woke-up this morning that today would be the proverbial Monday experience; however, I went ahead and got out of bed and trudged ahead thinking that I could conquer anything....even a Monday!

Luckily I’m an evening shower person (I know, TMI), so that saved me time as I laid in bed for an extra hour today; however that didn’t save my hair. Yepper, I have to admit even I was a bit startled when I stumbled into the bathroom and caught a glimpse of the curly inferno on top of my head this morning. “Nope, no time to straighten that out,” I thought to myself. So I dropped in a couple of combs to my hair, lied to myself and called it a hair-style, and proceeded to get dressed and wrangle the kids to head out the door.

By the time I actually attempted to leave the house, I found that not only was I 30 minutes behind schedule, but I now had a child sans a shoe and had forgotten to pack the diaper the night before. As I returned to the house to search out the elusive right baby-shoe and to pack the diaper bag, I started the Monday grumbling process of, "this is NOT going to be the day I'm going to have" to myself. You could almost hear the Universe begin to laugh at me and my feeble attempt at free-will.

As I dashed out the door with the baby shoe and diaper bag, I heard a little voice from the backseat say, "Hey Mommy....we didn't fill out my form for the book fair today." Dratts! "Nope, you can conquer this one," I heard my inner voice cheering on. I quickly regrouped and while backing out of my driveway and closing the garage door, I simultaneously managed to procure $10 from my wallet and toss it into the backseat with a "see what you can do with this, baby." (Note: Rearview mirrors were used by the driver and all children were strapped in at all times during the events explained in this paragraph.)

Having managed to successfully deposit two small people at school, I headed off on my drive to the office. Seeing as it is Monday and all, I decided to stop for a spot of coffee (okay, has nothing to do with it being a Monday, but rather an endless addiction to caffeine and me lacking the energy to actually put a scope of coffee and a bit of water in my coffee pot this morning). As I pulled into the drive of "the Beckon of Hope", known to many as Starbucks, I was confronted with Monday once again. "Four, five, six, seven," my brain continued to tally as I looked at the cars ahead of me. Quickly looking at the clock I made the executive decision that the office would much rather me be 10 minutes late and caffeinated than have me roll in sans the liquid support my brain so desperately craved.

Finally, coffee in hand, and iPod cranking and I was off! Nothing can stop me now! "Aaaahhhh chooooo!" "Oh seriously?!?!?!" I yell to no one in particular as my body jerked from the sneeze and the beautiful substance of my soy mocha coffee went shooting across the dash of my car (as you can tell, I'm really a committed sneezer). But wait....what's that I see....a silver lining???? Not one drop off coffee hit my white tee-shirt. Great Juan Valdez...the gods have spared my otherwise already sloppily thrown together attire by diverting all of the flying coffee goodness onto the dash and floorboard only and not my clothes!

As I regrouped, grabbing a wet wipe out of my middle console and began wiping down the dash while sitting at the stop light, I smugly smirked to myself, puffed out my chest in victory and thought, "Monday my ass, Universe......Monday my ass!"