MK & House

I got to see Mari-Kate on Sunday for the first time in forever. She brought her boyfriend (who I didn’t really get to meet at the wedding seeing as a: she was deathly ill and b: I was getting married = preoccupied) who I decided I really like. I’m really happy for them…but more happy that I got to see her. We have the kind of relationship that is unexplainable. I strongly believe that MK and I were born half boy/half girl. We have a very boy-ish friendship where we say exactly what we think no matter how much it makes the other mad, we spend a few hours apart, and we’re good as new later. Most girls are not like this. Seeing her made me sad that I don’t have her in my life more, and that friendships like that are few and far between. I bawled on the way home from Pocahontas on Sunday because I was blubbering to Taylor how I didn’t know anyone there and how I didn’t have a job yet and how I just wanted to have really good friends like MK there. Think I’m a little stressed? Me too.

Funny story… we had a dad come today who was wearing a “John Hopkins Medical” shirt and I asked if he knew Dr. House. (You would understand this joke if you watch House – if not just stick with me) It got awkward for a second and then the dad said something along the lines of, “No. That show is banned from my home. When I watched it for the first time and saw how his personality was, it did not depict the Christian morals that I am establishing in my home. We do not watch that show in our house because it is trash.” Huh. Well, welcome to ACU! This day sure did get off on a great foot! Yikes…

Uncle Elwood’s funeral was so good. It was funny – exactly how I want my funeral to be. Almost all the siblings (all 9 remaining brothers and sisters) got up and told stories about funny things Elwood did. It was a good time. The best part was that we had 2 southern potlucks back to back. You seriously can’t beat a good C of C potluck.

Elwood the Great & Arkansas

I’ve been dreading this day since I was little. Uncle Elwood was and probably will always be my favorite uncle. It wasn’t that he played games with me or taught me funny songs. I don’t know what it was about him but I loved every time I got to see him. He was always mismatched – and I mean severly. Stripes on stripes, Dickies full-length jumpsuits…he wore it all.

When I was in elementary school in Omaha, Papa, Claxton, and Elwood (the Smiths were very fearful of generic names) all came to pheasant hunt. When I was going to bed one night, I asked my mom if I could take Uncle Elwood to show-and-tell at school the next day. Most kids brought ant farms or gerbils…I wanted to bring my 80-something year old great uncle because he was that special to me.

So the day finally came when my mom called and told me that he’d had a stroke and died. I wasn’t devastated or even really that sad. He was 94 for goodness sake! I don’t blame the man for going to hang out with Jesus, Mother Teresa, and anyone else he finds to party with. It’s just a sad realization that the Smith family reunions I dreaded going to as a kid won’t be around much longer. Unless you have been before you just can’t imagine Aunt Polly’s canned pickles, the random junk my great aunts bring to sell in the family auction, or the acapella gospel hymns we sit around singing for hours. I’m looking forward to this year because I think I have a better appreciation foe the uniqueness of my family. I know Uncle Elwood will be kickin it in heaven singing right along with us.

At any rate, Taylor and I decided to get our dog and gear and head to Pocahontas for the funeral. You know you’re close to memphis when a disgruntled, ghetto Taco Bell employee is yelling in jibberish getting frustrated that you can’t decode it. You know you’re in Arkansas, however, when an old beat up Chevy pick-up rolls down it’s windows from the drive-through and a semi-toothed woman inquires about your dog. Better yet, Toothy gets out of the car, pets our dog, and then asks, “you gon’ get any pups outa ’em?” I wanted to say, “Ma’am, even if he can somehow reproduce again, I highly doubt that we will subject his offspring to a life of backwoods beer pong and ‘coon hunting.”

Addictions, Rangers & Ozarks

So as it turns out I didn’t at all change the look of my blog. Apparently my hard work didn’t pay off when reading my blog anywhere other than my computer. I promise all the fonts looked awesome on my screen though. Crap. I guess the background is still okay.

I ended up buying an iPhone. I love every second of it too. I added about 3 pages of apps in the first few hours and have been adding and deleting since. I knew I had a problem, however, after I woke up in the middle of the night in a sweat worrying about if I downloaded the dictionary.com app or not. This is bad news. Taylor is also slightly addicted – every time I set the phone down for one second he picks it up and starts playing with it. Coolest thing about the phone: the Bloons app. I played it on addictinggames.com and now it is right on my phone. Sweet.

This weekend we drove to Fort Worth to go to the Ranger/Yankee game with Luke. The game was on Monday, so we decided to go up on Sunday early to lay out by the pool and hang out with our friends that night. It wasn’t a problem, because Taylor’s parents were on their anniversary trip. We pull up to their house in NRH only to see Wes & Ellen’s car. We called again and told them we were coming to FW (even though we were right outside) and they told us they not only hadn’t gone on the trip but Taylor’s sister and brother-in-law had come to visit and brought their dog. Whoops…ruined that party. It was interesting with Mack and Blanco together but it was fun.

The Ranger game was so bloody hot that I got a full frontage burn on all exposed skin. They also lost 11-1 to the Yankees. Way to go, Rangers! Also, I tweeted about CJ Wilson but yet again he didn’t respond. One day he’ll reply – I know it.

Houston and I gave a tour today to two families: a football player and a music major. Sometime over the course of the tour, Music’s family started talking about some Ozark college whose curfew is 10 p.m. (curfew meaning lights out) and who locks up freshman cars on Sunday night until the next weekend. All week the cars cannot be accessed. When I was alone with Football, I begged him not to compare Ozark with ACU. ACU has rules that seem strict compared to other schools, but Harding for goodness sake doesn’t even let students live off campus or wear shorts to class. That’s just a little bit outrageous. Yes, you do have curfew one year at ACU and yes you are required to attend chapel daily, but at least we don’t make cookie cutter students – you can at least have a zillion piercings, tattoos and a mohawk while you do it. Thank goodness for ACU letting us be our own person and have our own beliefs. I wish next time Music would save the Ozark talk for when Football isn’t around – it sort of ruins the experience.

HTML Colors & Nerd-Alerts

Redesigned blog. Like it? It only took me about 3 hours. I looked at every website known to man that gives information on html color codes and website design codes. I feel like my brain could explode. I found the background on a blog design site and then altered it some. I think I could have gone into computer science. I kind of like figuring out how to do things like that. Taylor for sure does…maybe we should become anti-social and open a computer store.

I’ll have you know, by the way, that the font used in my blog is none other than MY own handwriting. Taylor let me make a font for Christmas so the font you see is Mrs. Brooks.

While I was working on my blog, I had the music going pretty loud and I started singing – also pretty loud. I was jammin along by myself trying to decode these stupid things and occasionally going off the beaten path by showcasing my singing abilities. I’d throw in a few extra notes here and there and harmonize every now and again. It didn’t matter because Taylor was outside on the phone so it was just me and Mack. After a while of my singing, Taylor says, “Hey – do you think you could turn that down?” OH…that’s embarrassing…you were sitting on the chair reading the whole time, huh? I laughed so hard I cried. It was more of a I’m-glad-you’re-already-stuck-with-me-but-that’s-super-humiliating-still kind of a laugh. Good times.

Rosa’s & In-Laws

Man…when I first got this blog I must not have had a life. I haven’t posted since Monday which is like a record for me.

So here’s a good one… our office bought gift cards for Sharky’s and Betty Rose’s to give to our visiting families. Someone decided we didn’t have enough money to pay for the gift cards, so we needed to return them to the restaurants. Who wants to volunteer to make an idiot out of themself? “Hey – thanks for hand-writing all of these gift cards, but can we return them and get our money back?” Not happening. So I suggested that we eat the cost and just send them to various restaurants when we run out of coupons. I know that if we advertise 3-4 restaurants, they’d offer us some sort of a deal for our families. On Thursday my mission was to get these restaurants to give us discounts. I went to Sharky’s, Betty Rose’s, Rick & Carolyn’s, and finally Rosa’s. I walk into Rosa’s Cafe and Tortilla Factory, ask for the manager, and introduce myself. I ask him if he has 3 seconds to talk. He steps back, looks me up and down, and says, “I have 5” with a sick smirk on his face. Wow. I’ll only take 3 but thanks for the offer, sir. Although your job is highly esteemed and coveted, I unfortunately do not want to date you.

I gave a tour today to a fairly important person. I thought the tour was for prospective students that this person wanted to see ACU. Unbeknown (?) to me, the tour was actually a ploy for this person to bring his in-laws and entire extended family to visit campus while in Abilene. They arrived 45 minutes late, we waited around for them, took our golf carts, and then this person gave most of the tour. Call it what it is – if you just wanted to use us for our carts, please don’t make me go. I actually took family portraits at Jacob’s Dream, too. I didn’t realize my job description included chauffeuring families around for a reunion. This person at one point also suggested that Houston and I leave and move the golf carts closer to the building we were in so that they could just walk out the doors and hop on. I don’t do well in situations like that. The family was really nice, I just don’t particularly enjoy abuses of power.

Taylor and I are currently watching about 27 shows. Check out our list and if you currently aren’t subscribing to a particular show, you haven’t been living:
1. House
2. Lie to Me
3. 24
4. LOST
5. Hell’s Kitchen
6. Leverage
7. SouthLAnd
8. The Office

Skanky & Weddings

A nice young lady came in to campus visits today wearing the most unbelievable dress. It was a string bikini top and almost completely backless. I guess it was supposed to be a sundress….but I almost saw her hoo-hoos. It might have been the tackiest thing I’ve seen worn on our campus before….and it was a senior in high school. Denied for admission…I wonder why!

Her outfit was slightly less awkward than the nice girl who decided to take her senior portraits in a white string bikini next to the lake. She then moved on to Jacob’s Dream. In a bikini. In the middle of the day. That is outrageous.

I had 3 friends get married on Saturday. We have about a kazillion weddings to go to this summer, and it just weird. I guess it was crazy for all of my friends when I got married, but now it’s my turn to be weirded out. We’re getting old I think. I saw the wedding pictures of a friend of mine from Memphis, and she looked like a grown woman. How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday I would go to the park and hang out with Sam or go to MK’s and swim for hours on end. Now we’re all in completely different states with spouses. As soon as that thought gets normal, we’ll start poppin out babies. What in the world is happening to the time?!

Twitter & iPhones

I hated every second of Twitter before I was on it. I judged those who had it and thought that if I hated Facebook statuses, why would I like this new thing? Sooo I signed up so that I could check it out (you can’t really preview it without having an account) and now I’m addicted. What I like about it is not the constant connection, but how connected it makes you feel. I’ll explain: I follow Shaq and other celebrities as well as many friends from ACU. When Shaq says “I just saw the new Budweiser commercial and thought it was funny” it makes me feel like we are buddies that watch the same shows and commercials and then talk about them. Obviously that isn’t the case but it makes you feel cool anyway. Because of Twitter today, Taylor, Luke and I ate at Little Italy with our new boss man. I tweeted “hey going to church – anyone up for lunch after?” and much to my surprise he responded and ended up eating with us. Crazy. Gives me a lot of respect for him though, when he wants to eat lunch with me, my husband, and random.

At Southern Hills last week, they took about 15 minutes to say bye to their music ministry intern. At the end of this big ordeal of calling his family forward, giving him a blessing, etc. they said “But the good news is, he isn’s leaving! He’ll be here another 2 years!” Oh, excuse me, why did we just have that little fake reception? I have no idea. That was free.

Today though at SH, Phil told us that we could access the scriptures used today from our phones by going to the SH website. It struck me how many people pulled out their phones, but it also made me wonder why every church isn’t keeping up to date with technology. We have these awesome tools we can use by putting our Bibles on our phones, texting our friends to invite them to church during the service, etc, and in some parts of the U.S. churches are still arguing about whether or not they will go to hell for using powerpoint. Unreal. If we have any hope of reaching my generation and beyond, technology has to play an active role…and it can be such an incredible experience with it. Let’s get with it, tweeple.

I’m also currently trying to convince Taylor that I need an iPhone. I just feel that it will really enhance my current state of being. That, and I’d be able to check Twitter constantly. Yesssss.

P-90x, Tours, & Bona Fide

I think I might hate this man:

This, ladies and gents, is the man that will ruin your life. P90x has to be the hardest workout ever. I think I’d rather be fat. Seriously, we did not even half of the Ab Ripper X today and I could barely lift my legs to get into the shower afterwards. It’s ridiculous. No human should voluntarily put their body through his entire workout.

How do you go from absolutely nothing to do to running around like a chicken with your head cut off? No idea, but it happened today. We had 6 or 7 families total today, but Laura was sick and so it was just me and Houston who is still training. 2 campus tours and 3 residence hall tours later…. that’s a way to get burned out quickly. We had some cool visitors today though. I wanted a few of them to come to ACU so badly. I also talked a boy out of visiting Hardin-Simmons in the afternoon…he came back and met with business instead. Maybe I should go into sales…

So I’m wondering when Taylor and I will be a bona-fide married couple. We’re in this awkward stage of “too young to hang out with the real married people yet too far removed from good friends that are just dating seriously”. It’s just frustrating sometimes. We really need to get plugged in to a mentoring group or something because we are the role models for all of our aged friends yet we have no one older to bounce things off of. Getting married when we did was perfect for us but its causing some kinks getting involved. We graduated but are still working the same student-worker jobs so its just kind of an awkward time. It’s kind of like the prophet-in-his-own-hometown kind of a thing. I think we’re ready to move on.

On a side note, I followed C.J. Wilson from the Rangers on Twitter and I want him to reply to me. He is my favorite player because he’s super weird and wears Vans and is kind of a freak. Exactly why I like him. I’ll keep you posted on if it works for me or not.

I told this lady today that most people’s brains are like sponges but I thought mine was more like swiss cheese. She then followed it up with “Mine is more like a strainer – catching the big things only.” I agreed with her and decided hers was a much better analogy, but the point still remains that I can be so retarded because I don’t think before I speak. I lost my phone this afternoon and could not for the life of me find it. I was at work and kept calling it from the work phone, used Houston’s phone to call it, asked everyone if they’d seen it, called Taylor and had him check his truck twice, etc. Finally when it was time to leave I just kept saying, “I can’t leave until I find it…I just can’t find it.” It was in my purse… my very large, very absorbing purse. Wow.

Luke is staying the weekend with us. I dare you to come over for hamburgers and hotdogs tomorrow night.

Soldiers & Work

I bought a book last night that I finished when I got home from work today. It’s “A Long Way Gone” and it is delightful. Just kidding…not delightful, but really good. It was very eye-opening to read firsthand accounts of a little boy who fought against the rebels. I can’t even imagine what life like that is like. I felt like I had a better visual image of the dirt roads and forests having been to Africa, but I can’t even begin to visualize a war as gruesome and unpredictable as the ones going on across the world. After reading about the people that took Ishmael in and allowed him to heal a painful and slow healing, it made me want to be there at those homes. It was incredible how those boys would beat up anyone who tried to help them and yet the staff came back with smiles every day despite how badly they were treated. I hope I can love like that one day.

Today was my first day of work during the summer. I work from 8-5 every day of every week of every month of this summer. At about 8:14 I realized I had made a terrible mistake. There was already nothing to do and I sat around just waiting until our tour at 9:30. The whole day was like that – very slow and very, very boring. I wish I had found an internship or talked to other people to get a change of pace. I’m stuck in this rut of being the “student worker” even though I graduated. It’s also frustrating to have ideas or plans fall by the wayside because I am not qualified or something…I don’t know.

All that whining to say that as I sat at the desk feeling sorry for myself for continuing to work there this summer instead of doing something different, I thought about the book I was reading and what a terrible life Ishmael lived and how that is still going on right this second. As I sat in my air-conditioned office with nothing to do but surf the internet and googlechat, I thought about the girls in India being sold as sex slaves or about children soldiers shooting their peers… I think I’ll make it.

In the event that I don’t though, does anyone have good ideas for how to pass the time in an office? Get back to me.

Shopping & Graduation

I just went around Abilene looking for summer-esque clothes. I absolutely abhor shopping here. Two observations though: Boom and Fashions by JJ are the two funniest stores in the whole mall. There’s about 3 shirts, 2 pants and 80 necklaces. They also choose to advertise using metallic mannequins. There’s also a thriving retail outlet that is called “Corn Dog”. I saw a shirt in Monk’s yesterday with my mom that said “Only Abilene – what happens here, leaves here.” That’s very fitting for this silly little metropolis. Surprisingly enough, I didn’t find anything I couldn’t live without at Boom.

I graduated on Saturday. From college. With a bachelor’s degree. Now…what in the world am I going to do with my life? And who in the world decided that long black and white robes complete with ridiculous hats would be the most appropriate attire for such a big day? How has someone not come up with a better idea 500 years later? And Rick Lytle or Royce Money? That outfit is just absurd.

This weekend with my family was really fun. It’s really tiring though trying to organize two different sides of the family for a whole weekend. They need to invent a physical version of the Urban Spoon application that I can use – without an iPhone. Half the time when people come to visit, everyone just stands around debating about where to eat. Americans spend about 77% of their time eating, talking about eating, working out to get rid of the fat from what they ate, or thinking about where to eat next. It can be quite exhausting.

The moral of the story is that I am still in Abilene. Come hang out with us.