Good Intentions.

Ok, so I had a semi-funny post about stress and exercise and not drinking because I have a triathlon this weekend and then OPPS. I went out and played pool volleyball and had approximately 1 (or 2 or 3) too many Bells Oberon Summer Ale. DAMNIT.

YET. It was fun and delicious and resulted in me getting Taco Johns on the way home. BASTARD.

Blah, now I want to sleep. Goodnight.

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Oh my holy shit.

PSA: A trashcan full of empty boxes and a bike parked at the right angle so the sun hits the bike reflector can ignite a fire. OUTSIDE YOUR FRONT DOOR.

Then in your awesomely half dressed state (because you just emerged from the shower) you can throw open said door to find a cop yelling at you to shut the door while he extinguishes the fire. Then still not wearing a bra and with wet hair you can be asked a million questions by the cops and fireman (who were actually really nice and helpful) determine that it was a freak accident (once they rule out that you are neither a smoker, pyromaniac or crazy).

Things that were ruined by the fire: trashcan, bike tire (hopefully not the rim or anything else), lawn chair, snow shovel and a couple of my tomato plants.

This is just another in a random set of things that have sucked balls, including getting food poisoning on Friday night possibly from something I ate on the scenic railway beer train (cost: $25). Really, as if it wasn't bad enough they ran out of beer 20 minutes into a 2 hour ride and their "local appetizers" were tiny cubes of very non-local cheese, ritz crackers and a bag of pretzels; but then 6 hours later I'm spending copious amounts of time hunched over my toliet. That is like kicking someone in the ass after they've already fallen down because you tripped them and then stealing $25 from their wallet.

Previously, on things that blow: my iBook keyboard started malfunctioning. Several of the keys died and while it is an easy fix the nearest Apple Genius Bar is 1.5 hours away. So last Saturday I drove to Columbus to get it fixed, except that once I reached Columbus' 270 outerbelt I hit a freaking box spring at 70 miles an hour. There was a giant truck right in front of me that swerved to miss it, but since I couldn't see why it swerved until about 3 seconds later there was nothing I could do. I was boxed in, and slamming on my breaks would have only caused the guy behind me to ram into my back end.

So like something out of Dukes of Hazard I just drove right over top of it. Killing it dead.

Luckily it didn't seem to hurt my car, but really it's an experience I could of lived without.

Seems I'm not the only one having a rough go of July, the wonderfully witty and awesome Jemima seems to be in the same boat as I am.

Post Script: Cleaning up hot, smoked, half-burned rotting garbage is horribly horrific. Oh my god, the smell. I had to shower after I picked it up, I felt like that awful smell was clinging to my skin and hair.

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In brief

I think I could have stayed in Texas for a little while longer, if only to eat delicious BBQ and Mexican food. There were a couple of nights I laid in bed moaning because my belly hurt from over fullness. My poor sister had to listen to me go on and on about how I shouldn't have eaten that last 12 bites of beans or tamale or whatever else I had overindulged in.

But seriously, that tamale was delicious. But really the most amazing thing I ate the whole time I was there was a roast beef sandwich from this little roadside smoke house Robertson's Choppin' Block. I'm completely in love with it, there just are no words to describe the tender meat that just falls apart and their own rich BBQ sauce. (Le sigh.)

I truly believe that this sandwich could bring about peace in the middle east. At one point I had a fantasy that I would someday get married on the back deck and serve the delicious sandwiches for the meal (with lots of shiner bock). Have I strayed too far into hyperbole? Perhaps, but damnit- that sandwich is worthy of such great blathering on.

And really, I could have used some more of the poolside sunbathing with a book.

Last but not least, the snow cone. These are not the crap pellet-ice versions that are available in the north rather they are shaved ice topped with fantastic flavorings and snow cream.

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What does one pack for a trip when the destination is only slightly cooler than the surface of the sun? Personally I have no idea, only that I'll probably melt into a puddle the minute I step outside of the air conditioned bliss of the Austin airport. Why would anyone in their right mind take a slightly extended mini-break to Texas in the middle of July? Only for the love of a family member- my brother is leaving for Afghanistan next week and my sister, parents and his fiance are all converging on that hottest of locals for 5 days of family fun.

Not that Kileen is the happiest place on earth, but rather where his base is so in this situation we come to him. And really, from what Glenn has told me Kileen is in the exact middle of nowhere. I really expect the first thing I'll need to do after de-boarding is pick up some sunscreen since the TSA is so unkind about the amounts of 'liquids and gels' one can bring with themselves aboard a plane. 3 ounces of sunscreen is nothing and I'm very, very white. I glow, people. Last year I had more free time (thanks second job) and so had spent more time outside building up some natural color (while wearing the 'screen). And I'm going to try to avoid like freaking hell to check bags since I would be charged an addition $15 each way. Shelling out ridiculous amounts of money already on ticket wasn't enough, now they want to bleed me dry to check a bag.

Ok, so $15 won't break me but it's still ridiculous.

Right now I'm focusing on the positives, Melissa will be free from all her adorable little goblins since they will be staying at home. Straight up sister time! We've not had that since we took a trip to Vegas a couple of years ago; the last family outing which involved a hospital visit, an intervention, and gambling- the perfect Vegas trip no? Oh, Melissa and I also hid out in the bathroom every morning in our hotel room, drinking coffee and eating fresh donuts and trying not to wake the other sister who was still sleeping. I don't know why but that is one of my favorite memories of us, our backs pressed up against the tub laughing and downing coffee and donuts.

So anyways, Melissa and I are hoping to spend some time pool side, slathered in copious amounts of sunscreen drinking some Shiner Bock. We've also got a very strict goal of eating as much as we possibly can, all our childhood favorites to be specific (we all lived in Texas for 10 years in the 80's). On the list are mexican food, snow cones (no one does snow cones like Texas), BBQ and Ranch Beans. I'm sure there are more things but really I'm trying to appear not entirely gluttonous right now. I know I'm not the only member of the family that is obsessed with the good food from Texas, my Dad is planning on stopping at his favorite chocolate place and loading up. I fully expect that by the time they reach Ohio he'll be deep into a Fudge Love coma.

In preparation for the trip I also bought a new camera, shocking behavior for a photographer- I know. My old point and shoot was complete shit, it was a lemon from the day I got it and I sent it back for repairs at least 4 times before I just gave up on it entirely. Its been half operational for a year and half, and really it was time to upgrade. I ended up with a little Canon Elf, and thus far I'm completely in love with it. It is exactly what I've been looking for in a little point and shoot- the color is good, it works well without needing the flash (providing there is appropriate light available) and is small. Now I will barrage you all with photos.

It's a good thing I'm leaving soon because these pickles I made the other night are taunting me from the refridgerator. 10 days feels entirely too long to wait before I'm allowed to open the jar. Patience is clearly a virtue I lack:

Random salad I made for dinner. Roast beets, bacon and pine nuts in a basil chili feta dressing:

Bernard (the MG Midget) and I went for a drive, stopping at these old, sort of creepy brick kilns:

Here I am being a chicken shit about going inside:

Phallic smoke stack!

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