Thursday, May 21, 2015

I Feel Lucky

I don't know what I did to end up in Denton, but I feel like the luckiest person.

Today one of the bosses told me how proud he was of me and I was doing so much good, and it was exactly what they wanted when I was hired. I admit I blushed a little; I love positive reinforcement, but also squirm when I get it. I responded that I loved Denton and felt so lucky to be here, and I hoped I could do so much. This was after I gave a very simple presentation to the president of TWU. I returned to work and for more "Good jobs!" from my boss, the Mayor and other co-workers.

This all comes after last week, where there had been many compliments given, too. I really enjoyed my time in Topeka, but here it feels like I'm thriving. I have lots of positive feedback, my boss gives me direction and projects and goes to bat for me. I feel supported by not just my co-workers, but the community too. I had felt unfulfilled for awhile in Topeka and was a main reason for me seeking a new job opportunity.

Denton is just what I needed.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

500 Miles

Last week my car got quite the workout, as I travelled to Arlington three times to see my Royals in their series against the Texas Rangers. I walk or ride my bike to work, and to lots of other places, too. It's one of the reasons why I chose to live where I do. I bet it's taken me three months to put 500 miles on my car.

But the Royals were worth it. I splurged for the first game and bought a seat right behind their dugout. And it was awesome. The Royals won that one with a homer in the tenth by Gordon. The next game I chose a seat in the outfield, which I've never done before. After some very annoying fans left, I enjoyed the game even if the Royals lost. Thursday's game was an afternoon game, and I felt a bit like Ferris Bueller. Except my boss knew I was there and told me to have fun. It was brutally hot and cold water was in short supply (they actually ran out at one point).  But the Royals won, and split the series.

I have pictures, but my laptop has died and I am typing this on my phone.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

My First Tornado Siren

I have always wondered if I would know a tornado siren was going off. Would it be loud enough? And would I know that it was the tornado siren and not something else?

That siren went off today around 2:30 pm. And at first I didn't realize it. I recognized the sound of police and fire sirens, which had started just moments before. The weather was really picking up but didn't seem any different than the thunderstorms we'd had all week long.

The rain and wind was getting pretty intense, and I realized that I WAS hearing the tornado sirens. I started to panic a bit. I grabbed Biscuit's cardboard carrier out of the closet and put her in it. But then I didn't know where to go. If I had been anywhere else (except maybe on the freeway) I would have known what to do. I couldn't remember the rental company ever telling me where to go in the event of severe weather.

I decided to turn the tv on and see what was going on. Yes, there was definitely a Tornado Warning in effect until 3 pm. The weather map showed a mass of red and purple making its way through Denton. The meteorologist then said, "This is coming right through Denton. If you are in one of the dorms at UNT, make your way to the basement."

I don't have a basement. I live on the third floor. I was panicking.I called the maintenance number but no one answered.

So I called my mom. I frantically told her the sirens had gone off and I didn't know where to go. The connection was bad (obviously, a tornado was afoot) and I lost her. I grabbed the cardboard carrier Biscuit was in and a book and headed to the bottom floor stairwell. While walking down the stairs the emergency alert went off my phone: Tornado Warning - seek shelter.

As we sat there, my mom called me back. I told her I was now in the stairwell. We talked for a bit, but Biscuit was getting pretty loud in her carrier. She wanted out. It was getting close to 3pm, and it seemed like the worst part was over. I decided to go back to my apartment and see what the news was saying.

The tornado had passed. I don't think a tornado actually touched down in Denton. But there damage nonetheless. I took a walk around the Square and passed upturned baby trees newly planted on Hickory St and tree branches littering the courthouse lawn.

It was a crazy afternoon. After clawing her way out of the carrier, Biscuit has been laying around unphased by it all.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Keep Those Things Away From Me...And Dry

A couple weeks ago I was in a meeting for a group planning an event that was intended to raise money for a good cause. To raise money the group would host a Dunking Booth and anyone who wanted to dunk the person in the seat would have to pay money. The point is to get people well-known in the organization that people would gladly pay a few dollars to see dunked.

Names were being thrown around. But before too long, the organizer mentioned that, for obvious reasons, it was best not to have females included in the list. You know, because we don't want the event turning into a wet t-shirt contest.

I sat there and was annoyed. Then I was mad. Women couldn't participate for the sheer fact of being women and having breasts. And that people would look at those breasts when behind a wet t-shirt. I'm pretty sure it doesn't take a wet t-shirt for people to notice breasts. And really, it's not like the plan was to put these ladies in tight white shirts and have them prance around in front of everyone while we judged who looked the best.

The point was to make money for an organization that does good things.

I don't know if anyone else was uncomfortable like me. If I was more articulate maybe I would have spoken up. Maybe if I had unleashed my inner sassy-pants I could have mentioned that plenty of men have large breasts too, but that's not stopping them from participating. Or that men also have anatomy and maybe I don't want to see a wet pants contest.

I dislike the focus on our bodies. Yes, women have breasts. But they also have arms and legs and ears and armpits and MINDS. Let's not automatically disqualify them because they have breasts.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Story of My Biscuit Shirt

Everyone loves my cat, Biscuit. She's fat and super awesome. There is so much love for her, that before I left Kansas my friend Kate made a t-shirt for me (and her) featuring Biscuit.

 The shirt is perfect. It has an awesome cut and is a bright red. I would wear it everyday if I could.

The best thing about the shirt is that it elicits comments from complete strangers. I've been at the grocery store and had strangers say, "Nice shirt." I've been walking around the Square and had numerous people comment on it. It is the best conversation started when I meet new people. When Kate was in Denton, she actually had people meow at her. When I wore it in Dallas, a guy at a restaurant stopped to read it out loud, "Check meowt," then followed it with, "Done!"

But the best moment came when, at Arts and Jazz Festival, Jess noticed a guy wearing a shirt that also said "Check Meowt." She insisted I meet him and get a photo taken with him. I approached him and we bonded over our shirts and love for cats. He said he was a little concerned that he'd be the only person at Jazz Fest with a cat on his shirt!

 Turns out, the shirt he was wearing is from Walmart and pretty popular. Mine, however, is an original work of Kate Lindsay. Which makes it priceless. 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

32 And Awesome

Many months ago, probably in October or something, after realizing that my birthday fell on a Friday, I asked my friends if they wanted to spend the weekend in NYC to celebrate. They all agreed and we put it on our calendars. However, in the intervening months I got a new job in Denton and moved away to the great state of Texas. Since moving is expensive, I knew I couldn't swing a trip to NYC. But I didn't want to miss the opportunity of still spending my birthday weekend with my friends.

So I invited them to visit me in Denton. And I have been looking forward to it since the day I arrive in Texas. Because I miss them terribly and the awesomeness they bring into my life.

Kate, Janae and Jessica arrived Friday afternoon. After performing a birthday song in my hallway, we hit up the movie theater to see "The Age of Adaline," because it is a birthday tradition to see a movie on my birthday/birthday weekend. When my birthday falls on a Friday I love it because then all the movie posters and trailers are plastered with my birth date. We spent the rest of the evening experiencing bits of Denton--Rooster's for brisket hamburgers and then Beth Marie's for ice cream.

Saturday we headed south for a day in Dallas. It was a fabulous day, full of parks and walking and museums and fun picture-taking and sno-cones and people-watching. We saw where JFK was shot in downtown Dallas. We had amazing Mexican food. We happened upon a group taking pictures for prom, and watched them for awhile as we created backstories for them all.

We came back to Denton to hit up the Arts and Jazz Festival, a yearly music fest in Denton that is kind of a big deal. We were pounded with rain on Friday, so the grounds were a bit wet but not too bad. We listened to a jazz band and soaked in the atmosphere, before coming back to my place to unwind. Kate did mine and Jess' hair while we watched "Miss Congeniality."

They left today after some lunch post church. It was the perfect weekend.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

35 Denton Music Fest

People, I am still alive in Texas. I thought I would blog more, but I have not. Oops.

Denton is pretty well know for being a music town. This weekend is the 35 Denton Music Festival, Denton's reaction to Austin's SXSW. For three days, downtown is taken over by music acts playing at numerous venues. Right now, I have my windows open and am listening to the live music being played. Some of it I really like, some of it I don't care for. There are tons of different acts/artists/groups/bands playing.

It's all pretty awesome, even if the sounds plays on into the night and I don't get much sleep. That's the price you pay when you choose to live in the downtown of a really cool place.

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