Friday, June 29, 2007


Funny story ahead--except for the funny part. So it's been a hectic few days with trying to write and pack. Dave spent the morning running an obstacle course at work (his annual physical agility test) and then waited for our fridge to be delivered by Lowes. Don't you just love it when they say we'll be there between 10 and 2. Right....

Dave finally made it home around 2:30. We had lunch then headed over to PetSmart to pick up the last of the puppy items we need: food, bowls, potty pads, bags, shampoo, etc. We toss everything in the truck and then head over to Wal-Mart for some random stuff like paper towels and things. As we're pausing at a stop sign in the parking lot, we suddenly hear a cacophony of crashing, and the driver's side front end drops down to the concrete. We can't move. We have little steering. We're generally fucked.

Dave is able to drive it a few feet out of traffic and into the overflow garden section of Wal-Mart. He gets out, pops the hood, and takes a peek. Yeah. Not good. The ball joint has snapped off of the left arm. Fuck Beans!

We call a tow truck driver and wait. And wait. And wait. We were basically a bizarre piece of white trash installation art. We should have charged for the privilege of slowing down to gawk.
Tow truck driver gets there and--well--let's just say he was a couple tacos short of a combo. Real nutter. He pulls the truck onto the flatbed. We climb into the cab and drive over to Aggieland Automotive, drop off the truck, fill out a key drop envelope, and head back to the apartment.

This couldn't have happened at a worse time. We're supposed to be moving this weekend. Dave is supposed to work tomorrow. I have a bridal shower and a puppy adoption. I mean, seriously! Jay-sus in a sidecar! Just a break, one little break is all I want.

Anywho. I'm done venting. Going to make dinner now.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


Hey, guess what is really, really, really annoying at 3 am??? Changing your blog template without first copying your customized html code!

Took me an hour and a half to write in all the new code for my sidebars, and they still look crappy. But whatev! I'm so done with it. At least the new color scheme is easier on the eyes.....

Oh, and if you haven't ever heard them, check out my fave new band--and yeah, I realize that I have a new favorite band, like, every week, but tough. deal with it--Explosions in the Sky. They're an Austin based band so you know I'm going to support my fellow Texans!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This Hairy Eyeball Is Reserved for BB&B

After filling out multiple forms and proving my identity, the apartment office staff finally gave me the UPS package that had been dropped off yesterday. This struck me as slightly odd. Seriously, folks, it was easier to get a marriage license than to pick up my package. And yes I get that the apartment complex has to protect itself from theft allegations, etc, but still.

You know, this calls to mind the hypocrisy and absolute futility of Homeland Security. A few weeks ago, a close friend of mine sent her passport out for a visa stamp prior her upcoming trip to Eurasia. She waited patiently for the return of her passport from FedEx, fully aware that she would have to sign for this security sensitive package. Like most people with an attached garage, she almost always uses the side entrance to her house so it was quite a disturbing surprise when she stepped out of her front door one afternoon only to find a soggy FedEx envelope on the doorstep. That's right. They left her passport on a doorstep. She's an upstanding citizen with few dissident beliefs, but can you imagine how easy it would be for someone with evil intentions to forge an application and/or steal a passport? Jeez!

So anywho. The apartment office girl goes into the back and brings out this massive battered box. When I say battered, I mean side caved in, top depressed, tape ripped and carboard slightly soggy. Wow! I'm glad it didn't contain, you know, something fragile or anything! So I trudge home, plop the box onto the couch, and rip into it with gleeful, Christmas morning delight--and guess what?

It's the wrong fucking gift! As in the bill of shipping doesn't match the item inside the box that is clearly maked with 2, TWO, independent inspections by BB&B shipping staff.

My cousin and her husband bought Dave and I a gorgeous set of dishes. I mean, super pretty. She was so excited about them--but what do I get? Well. Not dishes. Something really hideous that I won't describe b/c I really don't want to offend any readers who may have this specific item in their home.

So I call Bed, Bath & Beyond and the guy assures me that I did, in fact, receive a set of dishes. His computer screen tells him so. Hmmm. Curious, very curious. Perhaps my dishes are part of some first wave Earth invasion of tableware that are infected with nanobots that enable them to reorganize themselves into tacky, kitschy household items?

Needless to say he didn't quite appreciate my witty sense of humor but after ten minutes of back and forth banter, he explained that I could simply take the package back to my local BB&B for an expedited exchange. Gee! Thanks!

Anywho. BB&B is officially on my Hairy Eyeball short list now, right behind my archnemesis, Mr. UPS...


So obviously I should be doing something productive, you know, like working through the crap chapter I'm stuck in, but I'm finding it rather hard. And yes, it is almost 0300. Normal people are asleep, but I'm sitting here wasting time not working.

Procrastination is probably my worst trait. Well. It's a close tie with my love for gossip. I ♥ chisme! But I think that's a cultural thing. Or a female thing. Or maybe a combination of both? Who the hell knows....

So what have I been doing rather than writing? Comparing dog foods (you would not believe some of the crap that goes into dog food. seriously. they put dogs and cats in dog food. it's called bone meal. ick!), reading up on neuter surgery after-care and housetraining a puppy, reading reviews of my friends' latest books (i suspect that a lot of snarky reviews are written by struggling writers unable to snag an agent or place a manuscript with an editor,) making new friends on Myspace, working on a genealogy chart for a character in my next book, comparing washer/dryer prices, putting together Dave's homemade carb-conscious meals for the next 3 days, and planning our moving schedule. Oh, and I've got Season 3 of the Golden Girls blaring in the background on my laptop. I ♥ the Golden Girls!

Anywho. I think I'm going to try to get a few pages written. I won't be able to sleep if I don't. I'm going to need my sleep for tomorrow. I may have to engage in mortal combat with the UPS man if he broke our new dishes (a wedding gift from Suzie & Freddie.) That rat bastard in brown shorts has dropped/misplaced his last package addressed to me.

I have never in my life had such a difficult problem with a delivery man. He's still delivering packages (most of them dropped and beaten up) to the apartment office without leaving a notice on our door. Hell he didn't even have the decency to make sure that boxes clearly marked perishable were delivered by the office staff the day following his attempted "delivery." You would have thought that after the Lane Bryant Dress Debacle and my chasing him into the back of his truck (in my PJs, barefoot and brandishing a chancla) that he would have gotten his act together, but nope.

Looks like I'm going to have pull out the Big Guns this time and corner him with one of Dave's workboots...

Friday, June 22, 2007


So after months of consideration, Dave and I are getting a puppy!!! I've wanted a Great Dane since I was a young kid, but my parents weren't very keen on the idea of a massive, gangly dog bounding through the house. With two young boys, can you blame them?

Anywho. We had just about decided to just take the plunge with a breeder, but then Dave suggested we consider a rescue. I did a quick search on Pet Finder and found a number of Great Danes in the area. We weren't quite comfortable with taking in an adult Dane on the off chance that it might have behavioral issues. And I have to say that once you start reading through the blurbs accompanying rescue pets--well--it can be rather depressing. There was one dog who had been left tethered to a fence post and a bag of dog food in the middle of nowhere. A Great Dane puppy in Austin named Tiny weighs 3 pounds and is the same size as a freakin' Fresca can. WTF is wrong with people?!?!

We found our puppy in Alvin via their PAWS Rescue Center. His name is Bosley and he's just adorable. He was rescued from a puppy mill where he was held on concrete. He has some raw spots and blisters, but Dave and I are determined to get him the best vet care available (and being CS this shouldn't be too hard.) With a little medical care and proper nutrition, he'll be fine. We finalize the adoption on the 30th, the day after he's being, uh, snipped.

So if you're considering adding a puppy or kitten into the mix, browse Pet Finder first. There are so many wonderful animals who need homes!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What's In A Name?

Getting married is, like, way more than flowers and cake flavors and colors. I mean, yeah, aesthetics are nice, but I'm way more worried about the important things like changing my name.

When I was a little girl, I simply assumed that I would take my husband's surname. Cinderella did it. Or maybe not? I mean, the story ends kind of abruptly. That whole marriage and name changing is implied, but still, you get the point.

It wasn't until high school when I started publishing articles and editorials nationwide that I realized the value of my name. Writing is all about branding. People associate names with genres, likeability (is that even a word?), etc. For instance I hear James Patterson and immediately "suspense, thriller" pops into my mind. Kathleen E. Woodiwiss equals sweeping historical romance while Khaled Hosseini or Gabriel Garcia Marquez make me think of literary masterpieces.

Being that I write literary and YA fiction with a Latina bent, my last name is kind of important. I considered keeping Maria L. Hernandez as my career name and taking Overstreet as my legal name. In fact, I had all but settled on that until I started doing pretend introductions in front of the mirror a few mornings before the wedding. That's when I realized that Maria L. Overstreet sounds weird. And no, not in that "Oh! That's different" way. More like, "WTF?"

It suddenly dawned on me that I wasn't just replacing an interchangeable name with a different one. I was replacing my identity. All of my life I've identified as a Latina. Am I really 100% Latina? No, not really. I have a Hispanic father and a Caucasian mother, but I was raised primarily in the Mexican American culture. I'm a roasted corn and pan dulce munching, pinata smacking, mariachi listening girl and Hernandez is a part of that.

Now I have to say that Dave has never once pressured me into taking his name. He's just, like, whatever makes you happy. That said I finally settled on Hernandez-Overstreet. Obviously our kids will go by Overstreet only b/c seriously, I'm not mean enough to slam my kindergartner with a 19 letter last name. That's just cruel.

So that's that. Oh, and just for your amusement here's a snippet of Dave's interaction with the saleswoman at Men's Warehouse.

Dave: I wanted to let you know up front that I couldn't find my tie.

Her in a helfpul tone: Well did you ask the other guys if they found an extra one?

Dave: Um...they weren't there when I got undressed.

Her: Oh.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

It's All Right

So OK--a ton has happened since my last post so I'll just hit the highlights.

The rehearsal went really well. During the first run through, after Sara pronounced us husband and wife and Dave and I kissed, Joey (the older of my two younger bros) yelled out, "Hey! Get your hands off my sister!" Pretty funny actually. Dinner was fantastic, and Dave gave a nifty off-the-cuff speech.

The actual wedding day was hectic. The power went out sometime mid-morning and didn't pop back on until almost one o'clock. Yeah. Panic much? Luckily Sara was uber-cool about everything. Everyone was running behind but she just pitched right in and got things moving. She was officiant/photog assistant/family herder/wedding site liaison/greeter/tailor/insert randomness here.

Because the stress level was high, Marcos decided to slip in one of his trademark laidback jokes to calm everyone down. We were taking pre-wedding photos (me, Dave, my mom and dad, Joey, Marcos, & Tricia), and Marcos semi-whispers, "Dave, don't it! You're throwing your life away!"

Yeah. Lots of laughs on that one.

After that, it was smooth sailing. Well. There was one recurrent problem, but I'm not really ready to hash that one out in public. So yeah. Everything went really well after that. The Kyle House was gorgeously decorated. The ceremony went off without a major snafu. Hell, I didn't even trip over my dress and face plant down the aisle!

The food was amazing, and the cake was scrumptious. I loved meeting new family, making new friends, and catching up with old friends. Speaking of friends! I heard some fantastic news, but I'm not going to share because I'm pretty sure that it's something that's still really private.
The cake cutting and toasting was memorable. First of all, two of Dave's friends have the cutest little girl, and she was so well behaved. During the cake cutting, she started yanking on Dad's pant leg, and when he looked down she said, "Happy Birthday!" Now if that isn't just the most adorable thing ever, I don't know what is...

Oh, and of course, Kyle gave quite a toast. Suffice to say the most memorable line was, "...and may the only ups and downs come in the bedroom." Yeah. I found it hilarious and on par with my bawdy sense of humor. My grandmother, however, not so much. Still. I loved it!

When I threw the bouquet, I gave a little too much oomph and launched it over the heads of the single ladies. It landed with a thud on the sidewalk and my young cousin, Alex, picked it up. God, that was funny! After that, we raced to the truck, and as soon as we turned the ignition, the A/C vents blasted stripper dust hearts all over the cab. No doubt that came from my Joey's pockets, lol.

By the time we got to the Victorian cottage in Calvert, I realized that I had left my overnight bag in Sara's car! Luckily, I had an extra outfit packed in Dave's suitcase, but I had no toiletries. I scrounged through Dave's things and used the rubber band on his phone charger cord to wrangle my hair into the Miss Freihoffer (you'll have to ask what that is if you're confused.)

In the morning, we had breakfast in the Parrish House proper, a gorgeous Victorian home with a wonderful owner and the fattest, goofiest dog you've ever seen! Breakfast was fan-freakin'-tastic! Baked apples with cinnamon granola and whipped cream, soft scrambled eggs with gruyere in a pastry package topped with hollandaise sauce, pepper corn bacon, grilled parmesan oregano tomato with mushrooms, Oh My God biscuits, gingerbread squares, canteloupe, strawberries, jam, juice, and coffee. We visited with Bronwen and her boyfriend for a few hours and took a grand tour of the house. Oh, and incidentally, the boyfriend, Bill, works in publishing, and she works in the furniture store just down the street from our new house! Nifty, huh?

We drove back to CS, met up with my parents, doled out cake, took the extended family out to see the new hosue, and heard all about their late night at Bennigans next to the hotel. Apparently they weren't quite ready for bed afer the wedding so they all walked over to Bennigans, pulled together enough tables for 20, and started kicking back the drinks and telling stories in true Hernandez family fashion.

After all of our family was gone, Dave and I were all alone in the house and we had one of those holy-shit-what-have-we-done moments about buying the new house. Sara warned us about that. It passed quickly, though.

Today we slept in, had some Chinese for lunch, did some mattress comparison shopping, and then stopped by Lowes for a manguera (hose), sprinkler, some Scotts Starter for the new sod, a ceiling fan for the living room, blinds for our "standard" size windows, quotes for our "not standard" windows, and a gorgeous six light old world bronze chandelier. It was originally 90 bucks but was on clearance. They didn't have any left, though, but I convinced Dave to ask if they would sell us the display model. They said sure, and since it was missing a bracket (a $3 piece) they sold it to us for ten freakin' bucks! Sweet!

We borrowed Sara's ladder and drove back to the house to install everything. Well. OK. Dave actually did the installing. I learned how to work the new gas range (being a gourmet cook you'd think I would have used gas, but alas, I'm a true 21st century chica, lol) and managed to maim myself with a tape measure. Yeah. Someone should have told me that unfurling 27 feet of metal tape was a hazard. That bastard came flying back into the metal holder thing and almost took off my pointer and middle finger and slapped my chin!

We made a quick stop at Subway, and seriously, the girl who works there must ride the shortbus. Here's the short version of our conversation.

Her: What would you like?
Me: Oven roasted chicken on Italian Herb and Cheese.
Her one minute later: And what did you want on this bread?
Me: Oven roasted chicken breast.
Her thirty seconds later: And what kind of cheese?
Me: American.
Her: And what meat did you want?
Her: OK. (She then slaps ROAST effing BEEF onto the bread.)

Rather than stroke out, I just let it go. We came home, watched Hell's Kitchen (omg! Is Gordon Ramsay hot or is Gordon Ramsay hot? Oh, and the other day I read a review that said "...Gordon Ramsay is the R. Lee Ermey of cooking." LMFAO) Sara, Tom, and Alison came over for to relieve us of some cake, champagne, wine, cookies, and flowers. Oh, and Tom had just returned from a Mason meeting. Yeah. Those Masons. Apparently our wedding reception was a Mason recruiting session?!?!

So anyways. It's like 0122 and I've finished reconciling the finances and we are solidly in the black. SQUEE!!! We're also surrounded by piles and piles of wedding gifts that I have absolutely no idea what to do with. I suppose I should pile them into containers for moving into the house. Or I could just veg out on the couch for, like, half an hour and then slip into bed. Yep. That sounds good. I'm off to find a stupid infomercial. Maybe I'll get lucky and find that one for the Tater Mitts....

Monday, June 04, 2007

3 Things

Three things that I found interesting during my all nighter:

1) Tater Mitts
2) Rodrigo y Gabriela
3) Two nights ago while surfing CNN, I did a double take as I scrolled past a blurry pic of G8 Summit protesters in Rostock, Germany. Two protesters looked familiar, but I couldn't be sure. Just about ten minutes ago, I looked up as the CNN American Morning crew ran through the day's headlines. As I watched a short clip of the protesters, sure enough there they were. I'm not going to use names b/c I'm paranoid like that, but one is a very dear friend who I've kind of lost touch with during the past seven months. The other is a girl who attended our school as part of an exchange program. Neither are radical, but both are concerned, involved types. Anywho. It was interesting to me but probably not to you....

Oh, and the Tater Mitts infomercial is simply fascinating. Even though it's the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen, I soooooo want one! And Rodrigo y Gabriela are amazing! You should check out their YouTube clips! OMG! That girl can play! And whoever would have thought a Mexican guitar duo straight outta Mexico City would have found success in Ireland? Can you say "globalization??"


Fair Warning: This post is just going to be a jumble of thoughts. You may want to just skim through for the good parts, lol.

So I went home for a working vacation. Sat through a ton of school functions like spring concert, baccaulareate (yeah, I was shocked too. I tried to point out to a couple of people that it's, you know, ILLEGAL to require students to attend functions praising the Almighty JC, but Eldorado is seriously stuck in a time warp...) and then, of course, the graduation ceremony. Graduation was great. Short, sweet, done. We took some pictures, drank some beer, and that was that. Marcos seems happy to done with school but is a bit aimless now. I'm sure he'll figure it out soon.

Oh, and did I mention how freakin' tacky the spring concert was? Um, yeah. E-town used to have the most kickass band program in Texas. We won 20 plus years of state medals and were one of those bands that when we took the field people postponed their nacho runs to watch us perform. So anywho, the new guy is sort of a joke. I mean, what band director admits to a packed audience that he was "suprised" when he realized that Andrew Lloyd Webber composed Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar, and Phantom of the Opera. Uh, hello???? And I realize that it's not the students' fault that they aren't getting the right kind of musical education so I cringed through a cacophany of conflicting sharp and flat notes and uneven tempos. That said, I couldn't contain my disgust when the band director started showing this horrendous PowerPoint presentation while the band played a patriotic tune. The presentation started off fine with lots of eagles, flags, kids playing in front yards, soldiers, etc, but then, all of a sudden, the entire screen was taken up by an image of Osama bin Laden. Yeah. Awkward. And then it was slide after slide of super tacky World Trade Center images. I mean fire balls, explosions, bloody people, and general destruction. OK. I realize that we can't sugar coat history, but there is a time and place for stuff like that and a school music production with an audience full of toddlers probably isn't the best time.... And because the director didn't maintain tempo the music was off so rather than just continuing the concert regardless of the slides, he restarts the slides at the OBL section so we have to watch the whole damn thing all over again. I was just speechless....

While I was home, I always attended a bridal shower thrown in my honor by my cousins, Andrea & Suzie. It was so lovely! Beautiful tables with candles, rose and carnation centerpieces, and sprinklings of bridal confetti. The food was delicious, and the games were hilarious. I had a really great time and can't wait to get back my pictures!!! They're definitely going in the scrapbook!

Mom finished the gazebo swag, the fans, and the toasting glasses. The woman is a phenom with a glue gun! We drove all over San Angelo in search of a tiara, but I didn't find one. Luckily my younger sis has an eye for these kinds of things, and she chose one for me when she was in San Angelo earlier this week. As far as other wedding stuff goes, I think we're, like, done. I've got to mail my photog worksheet tomorrow, call Julie with our final head count, and make our final cake choices on Sunday. Sara and I discussed the ceremony format and as soon as Dave and I make our reading choices, I'll type it up and email it her way. I ordered flowers and discussed bouquet designs with Mom. Everything else is piddly stuff that has to wait until a few days before the wedding.

We have our first house walk through on Wednesday. Our final walk through and closing are on the 14th so we'll (well Dave) will own the house two days before we get married. Yikes! We've sort of picked out appliances that we're going to need (fridge, washer and dryer.) We'll probably make a run to Lowes and Home Depot this week to compare prices, service warranties, etc.

I'm kind of debating writing this last part b/c I try to keep this blog upbeat, but the longer I sit here, the more I think that being honest is OK. Life isn't always sunshine and daisies, you know? Unfortunately, I'm learning that the hard way. I will say that during the past two weeks I've had some real shitty moments. I don't know why, but weddings seem to bring out the worst in people. I've never had so many snide, mean, crass, or thoughtless comments directed at me in all of my life. I won't go into specifics because I don't want to cause any more arguments, but come on, people. And I can tell you right now that I, in no way, instigated these tiffs. It was so bizarre. Every where I went people were just taking pot shots at me. Bastards.

Anywho. I need to get some writing done, and my Dr. Pepper is hot. Need ice cubes. I'll post again soon.