I'm so thankful...

I'm so thankful...
Current mood: thankful

Wow, so it's Thanksgiving Eve. :) I'm sitting here today at work thinking about Thanksgiving's past and tomorrow's events. I have so much to be thankful for. I think there is more this year than ever before. Here's my top ten for this year:

10. Beautiful weather. I am thankful for God's green earth and the many chances that I have to get outdoors in the hill country.

9. Food, water, and shelter. Living in a city that is so heavily populated with homeless people, I am thankful that I do not have to worry about where I am going to sleep or how I am going to afford my next meal. At the same time, I feel compassion towards those who do have these worries. Also, with the onset of hurricanes, many refugees came to Austin. I am glad that I was not unfortunate enough to lose all of my belongings in such a tragic event. My heart goes out to those who did.

8. My car. It runs, it is mine, and even though I hate paying for it, i am thankful that I don't have to walk or ride a huffy to work.

7. lucky number seven is: my beautiful Lola. Though she is not with me in austin, she is always, always, always in my heart and I miss her like crazy.

6. My relocation. It has been hard at times. At times, I'll admit I have been bitter. I will admit that at times I felt defeated. I will admit that I have wanted to escape many times. But, I can honestly say that this is where I am supposed to be. Since I have relocated, I have been given many new opportunities (which have made this list). My favorite opportunity and change has been that I am now of GREAT influence on my neice. I have been given new opportunities to get to know her, and seeing her grow on a daily basis has been so humbling. Seeing things through the eyes of a child is one of life's great blessings. She is so clever and so so so smart. There is nothing like waking up in the morning to her smiling eyes (i think she gets them from me). She helps bring me into focus.

5. My bills. I know this sounds funny, but in some way they are a testament to my personal development. I have grown in so many ways in this last year. And though I am broke and can only afford Boones at times (hehe), I am grateful that I can pay my own bills.

4. My job!! I am SO sosososossososo blessed. God truly blessed me with this great job and this great company who cares about each and every employee. I have never felt so welcome or so spoiled in any workplace. I can't believe I was lucky enough to run into my good friend Allison the very 1st day I moved to Austin. Without her, I surely would have been looking for a job to this day!

3. My friends. Through this last year, I have felt so much. So many different emotions have run through my little head. I can't believe the amazing amount of support that you all have given me. You have held my hand, wiped my tears, picked me up, and given encouraging words through everything. You few are my super-duper-support system. It's hard to seperate any of you from family, so read number 1 and know that you are included in that speech also.

2. This wonderful feeling they call "love." I never thought I would feel it again. So imagine my surprise when I felt it so soon! Thank God for all the wonderful times that I have had as of late. I truly do feel that if not for Him, i would not know "him." I am truly blessed just by knowing you, and I want you to know that you are my angel in disguise, my knight in shining armor, my frog prince, and my security blanket. I am where I am today because of what some might call one of "life's tragedies." But, I am all the more thankful for that because my circumstances have led me to you. I love you with all of my heart.

1. My family. They have been there for me for many, many, many years but this year seems to be their shining moment. They all really stepped in and took control of my life when I felt like I couldn't steer my way through the fog. Then, when I was brave enough to take the wheel, they lovingly let me take control again. I will forever be in debt to their efforts and actions. I am truly, truly, truly thankful.

So, go out and eat turkey (or tofurkey) and all the trimmings! And also be thankful for the many blessings in your life, big and small!

Why I love austin (the finale)

Current mood: blah
Stole this from a friend...wish I could be this original...

1. First, it's pronounced AWS-TUN. It doesn't matter how they say it in other places.

2. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. Austin has its own set of traffic rules. There's no book about them. All you can do is get in your car and hope you survive to learn them. (If yer an aggressive driver, you reign. If yer not, just stay calm and try to stay outta the way.)

3. All directions start with "Go down Mopac...'cause you don't want to get on I-35." No one knows for sure what 'Mopac' means. (fyi: That name came from the Missouri Pacific Railway.)

4. Burnet Road, Braker Lane, and Lamar Blvd. have no beginning and no end.

5. It is impossible to go around a block and wind up on the same street that you started on. The Chamber of Commerce calls this a scenic drive. (Lucky for us, there are hills and deer everywhere. That means its nice to get lost sometimes.)

6. The 8:00am rush hour is from 6:30am to 9:30am. The 5:00pm rush hour is from 3:30p to 7:15pm. Friday's rush hour starts on Thursday morning. (Couldn't be closer to the truth. Plan ahead when driving in.)

7. If you actually stop at a yellow light, then you cannot be from Austin. You may only apply your brakes when the end of a yellow light and the beginning of the red light create a burnt-orange hue. This is Longhorn Country, after all. (For some reason, there's also a rule in place that states you cant push yer accelerator until 3.2 seconds AFTER the light turns green. GOOD LORD PEOPLE! WHY??)

8. If you like being an individual, don't even think of working for Dell. You'll be branded like cattle and made to walk all over town with your Dell Tag around your neck or clipped on to your belt loop. (err... I think that kinda goes for the TX Lottery, too.)

Ninety-eight percent of the people within a 200 mile radius work for Dell. When someone says "Michael Dell", Dell employees are trained to face Round Rock, hit their knees, put their face to the ground, weep, and rock back and forth.

9. Just remember that Mopac = Loop 1; Capital of Texas Hwy = 360; and U.S.183 = Research Blvd., Anderson Lane, Ed Bluestein Blvd. and Old Bastrop Hwy; 2222 = Northland Dr. or Allendale Rd. or Koenig Lane. (Takes twice the brains to live here, see?)
***Also don't forget Ben White/290/71 which also turns into Capital of Tx Hwy/Loop 360***

Don't try to figure it out. Just accept it. If you question the intelligence behind this naming convention, people will simply tilt their heads to the right and stare at you.

10. If moisture is determined to be rain, and not sweat, all traffic must immediately come to a screeching halt; ditto for daylight savings time, a female UT student applying eye-shadow across the street, or a flat tire three lanes over. (Geez, so true.)

11. DO NOT attempt to access any road after an apocalyptic event like snow or SXSW (South by Southwest Music Convention). Construction on I-35 AND U.S. 183 is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. Get used to it!

12. Attn: All telephone solicitors...DO NOT correct my pronunciation when I say I live in Manchaca, TX. It's pronounced MAN-shack (just like a man living in shack). Also realize that the city of Manchaca (MANshack) is in Hays and Travis Counties, and there is also a very long street in Austin named Manchaca (MANshack)!

The city of Manor and Manor Rd. are pronounced 'MAY-ner'. We don't like corrections on that either.

And, for God's sake, DON'T pronounce the 'E' at the end of Guadalupe. It's Gwada-LOOP and we like it that way!

13. Burnet Road is pronounced BURN-it, not Bur-NET. Koenig Lane is pronounced KAE-nig not KOE-nig. The old airport (Robert Mueller) is pronounced Robert Miller and is on Airport Boulevard. The new airport (Austin-Bergstrom) is no where near Airport Boulevard. It's in the city of Del Valle pronounced Dell Valley!

14. Keep in mind that the sloppily dressed 'hippie' in worn-out sandals and earrings is probably the latest millionaire around here. (Which means: be nice to all people under the sun. Yes, even the homeless guy on the corner.)

15. Stay away from the Congress Ave bridge at sundown if you do not like the thought of being in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. It has the Largest Mexican Free Tail Bat Population in the US. (And its frikkin awesome to see them depart at dusk EVERYDAY to go munch on like 20 tons of insects. So cool. And much fewer mosquito bites for us!)

16. And, yes, we all know that there's a man in a teddy and a tiara on Congress Ave. It's Leslie and he probably makes more money than you do. Surely, you have a homeless, celebrity drag queen that likes to run for Mayor where you live, too, right?

Now you'll never wonder why there are so many bumper stickers that say 'Keep Austin Weird'