Tuesday, December 28, 2010

An Interesting End to the Decade

I'm just gonna go ahead and say it: 2010 was not my favorite year ever. Why? A quick chronological recap...

BCS National Championship Game: It's not that I'm being ungrateful; it just still hurts to look back and watch Colt McCoy take that seemingly innocent hit to his right arm. And his post-game interview is still hard on the burnt orange soul. The entire trip, courtesy of Longhorn Band and the University of Texas, was incredible. I had an excellent time in LA going to new places like Universal Studios, the beach (even though we walked freaking forever to find the right one), and seeing some of the gorgeous homes in Pasadena. But to watch our Horns fight hard the ENTIRE season to get to the Big XII Championship, and see that game literally come down to the last second before a Hunter Lawrence field goal sealed the deal, it's difficult to not see that team play Alabama. Not a fan of the "what if" game...

Car Wreck #1: A 70-year-old woman named Sandra Gentry was "not paying attention" when she ran her red light and t-boned me at Lamar and 183. That was an interesting experience. Not going to go back through that whole thing (though if you'd like to read the story, check back one post), but it has definitely left its impact on me, some lasting longer than others. I am jumpy on the road when people approach my line on a perpendicular street. I check intersections 5 times before I drive through them, making sure cars are not blowing through their red light while I consciously think, "Green. Green. Green. Still green. Aaand still green." My wrist is still not healed... 11 MONTHS LATER. I hit a baseball for the first time since the accident a couple of weeks ago, and the next day I had to wear a brace because it hurt so bad with any extensive movement. And, though not overwhelmingly noticeable, I have permanent scars on my lower lip. This accident totaled my car and left me immobile in a semester where I had intended on finding a job and making some money, and distracted me for the first month while I adjusted to not being able to use my right hand. Oh, we still have not reached a settlement with the insurance company, a lingering source of stress in both mine and my dad's lives.

Spring '10 Academic Semester: HED 329K with Peterson (aka Santa Claus). If you have to take it, I'm sorry and I recommend a laptop or bringing other material to study. He will shove his personal beliefs and political stances down your throat, and will only become irritated at arguments brought up in support of an opposing view. And he bases his entire course on some self-made flow chart that makes zero sense. Horrible horrible class.

LOST finale: The ending of a FANTASTIC series. I loved the finale and thought it was fitting to what the show was really about: The characters. I'm currently watching it from the beginning for a third time, and it is still awesome. I miss ending my Wednesday nights with, "LOST" ... "WTF?!?!" Brilliant show that honestly felt like a 6-year movie in terms of intensity and the complexity and development of the story and the characters in it.

Longhorn Baseball: Great season until it seemed intensity died in the last series against Mizzou before playoffs. Big XII tournament wasn't exactly an impressive showing, and the boys lost in Super Regionals to TCU, falling short of the usually-expected trip to the College World Series in Omaha, and the final year at Rosenblatt Stadium. This one was not as hard to swallow, maybe because TCU simply outplayed the Horns that weekend. But it was still strange to not see our school listed as one of the teams making it to the CWS.

Black-eyed Pea: The pay wasn't great. The hours were awkward. The food portions made me forget to eat anything the first 4 days I worked there. I worked a double-shift on my birthday, and requesting a change in an already-made schedule was apparently a no-no. At least my co-workers were awesome and kept everyone laughing!

Lack of Ranger Games: Because of the previously mentioned job, trips to Arlington were wayyyyy too few and far between. And it was often difficult to even watch them at night for the same reason, which was a huge bummer because of the fantastic season they were having.

MLB All-Star Game: The American League lost to the National League for the first time since 1996. Why did that bother me? The year the Rangers finally not only win the AL West Division and win the ALDS, but the year they defeat the Yankees in the ALCS, win the pennant, and advance to the World Freaking Series, the AL did not get home field advantage. I don't really think it would have made that much of a difference in the ultimate outcome, but that would happen the season in which the Rangers finally would have potentially benefited from an All-Star Game victory. Typical.

Fall '10 Academic Semester: Group projects are the worst thing to assign. Seriously. Of the 5 classes I was taking, 4 of them had at least 4 projects, 3 of them having projects and/or lab reports due every other week. Hey professors: We don't have time to meet outside of class! Gah.

Car Wreck #2: While on the way to study one night after LHB, I was at the front end of a 4-car accident on the Drag. No one was seriously injured and luckily my car was only rear-ended, but the frustration came in the emotional havoc of being in another accident only 9 months after the first one, taking steps back after significant progress was made in trusting people on the road, and the hassle of dealing with insurance companies and car repairs (which I am finally getting around to over the break).

Longhorn Football: The sloppy game against Rice was only the beginning, and those bad habits of a young, inexperienced team persisted throughout the season. And what was worse than that, our fans were HORRIBLE about continuing to support the team. Yes, it was rough at times to sit through some of those games, but it's your team. It was embarrassing as a UT student to see entire sections practically emptied before halftime, if they ever filled in at all. Either love your team and be there for them or don't; can't have it both ways. The end result of such a season? No bowl game. NO BOWL GAME. Not that we deserved to go to one or anything. It's weird to be watching all these other teams get ready for theirs, and there have been no emails sent out by LHB telling me what night we'll rehearse in Austin and at what awful early hour our flight will leave the next morning. This is the longest amount of time I have spent in Denton since I moved the majority of my stuff into my apartment last summer. And it's not that being home is bad, it's just a different type of break that is the result of a different type of Longhorn Football season.

And to prove this is not supposed to be a debbie downer type of note, a few things I absolutely LOVED about 2010:

My new '07 Nissan Sentra: Though I wouldn't say the big January accident was "worth it" for the new car, it is a very positive thing that has emerged from a bad situation.

Despite the chaos of the spring semester...: I still pulled of A's and B's. Not bad/Close enough!

Inception: I feel like my life is better having seen that film.

2010 Ranger Baseball: Goodbye Hicks; Helloooo Greenberg-Ryan! Cannot be more excited about that ownership change and the future of the club as a result of it. Getting Cliff Lee in July. Clinching the AL West in Oakland the same day the Longhorn football team lost to UCLA. Lee in the ALDS. A-Rod's face and Eric Nadel's call at the end of the ALCS. And finally, playing as one of two teams left standing in Major League Baseball. How cool was that for our Texas Rangers? Not to mention the experience of actually attending a World Series game! That was so incredible. Fellow Ranger fans: That was fun, wasn't it? New fans: Welcome aboard! Still non-fans: I'd apologize for the excessive freakouts throughout the semester and at LHB rehearsals during games, but that would mean I'd be apologizing for caring, and I can't do that ;)

Troy Kimmel in GRG 301K: He made me laugh this fall at least twice every TTH sometime between 11 and 12:15. Little things in life, yes?

University of Texas Class Ring: Growing up isn't bad at all; I just wish it would have given me some warning before it went to work!

Family: We have issues. Surprise, right? But if we, with God's help, can get through all of the issues at hand, we will be able to look back on this knowing that it only strengthened the love that I know we still have for each other.

FRIENDS: Grew closer with some friends this past semester, and made some fantastic memories with those people and even a few new friends. Y'all know who you are, and I love each and every one of you :)

Do a couple of those goods outweigh some of the bads? Perhaps. But as I look back on the year as a whole, I find myself more frustrated and worn out than I have in any years past. Maybe that is a part of becoming an adult. Maybe it's because a traumatic car accident 22 days into the new year is just not a good way to start things off. But I'd argue that the past 12 months were something less than spectacular for me personally, and I think that acknowledging that it was a tough year helps in preparation for a new one. A new year that, for all intents and purposes, will be my last as a student attending classes (since next spring will only be an internship). A new year that will see my baby brother graduate high school and my older sister get married. And a new year that will usher us into a new decade and me to the age of 21, so that I may buy my own alcoholic drinks and rent my own cars, if need be.

So here is to an awkward cap on the "Aughts," as they are apparently called. Hey 2011, I don't know if you knew this yet, but you are gonna be awesome. And no, you do not have a choice in the matter :)

Everybody falls sometimes, Gotta find the strength to rise
From the ashes and make a new beginning
Anyone can feel the ache, You think it’s more than you can take
But you're stronger, stronger than you know
Don’t you give up now, The sun will soon be shining
You gotta face the clouds, To find the silver lining

I’ve seen dreams that move the mountains
Hope that doesn’t ever end, Even when the sky is falling
I’ve seen miracles just happen
Silent prayers get answered, Broken hearts become brand new
That’s what faith can do

"What Faith Can Do" --Kutless

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

"That was totally my fault!"

--This is broken into parts because it's a long story and I don't have the time or mental energy to sit down and write it all together. So.. here is Part 1.--

I have no class on Fridays. For the first time in my college career, I get a three day weekend every week. It's a pretty sweet gig, but with this free time, I am supposed to be working this semester and making money to keep me at this awesome university. Since last Friday was my first one off, I decided to go out and apply as many places as possible. I thought Hobby Lobby up at 183 and Lamar might be a good place to start since it is reasonably close to my apartment, the hours are not ridiculous, and it's supposedly a very employee-friendly place. So I headed north on Lamar, realized it was January 22, and called my grandmother to wish her a happy birthday. Because I could not think of an alternate way to get to Hobby Lobby, I planned to go underneath the 183 bridge, turn left, and make a u-turn under the next available spot to get to it on the right side of the highway. The first light before going under the bridge was green, so me and the 8 cars in front of me continued through the intersection. At this point, my grandma and I had shifted our conversation to other things like school and the bi-polarity of the weather the past few weeks. As soon as I got into the intersection (with my green light still present), I saw a streak of what I remember to be blue flying at me very quickly. I did not see it through the windshield, I saw it peripherally through my window when it was about one inch from my car door. It was in that split of a split second, that I honestly thought my life was over.

I don't remember if I screamed in my grandma's ear, but I do remember hearing that unmistakable sound of cars colliding, feeling a force that I've never felt before in my life, and my vision being limited to a sea of blue-green (which turned out to be the air bag). My car kept moving, but I could feel that something was wrong and that I was slowing down. When it went up on a curb and finally stopped, I opened my eyes to see my windshield completely spider-webbed, and took a breath of the smell of airbag. With both hands close to my face (I guess I had moved them there for instinctual protection?), I looked around and said aloud, "I can't pay for this!" What a college kid, right? But I had apparently drifted onto the median that holds the supporting poles underneath the bridge, which means I crossed two lanes of traffic without getting hit again. Incredible. A car had pulled over next to me, and the couple inside rolled down their window to ask if I was okay. Since I could hear them, I noticed my window was completely gone, shattered on my lap, chair, and the floor beneath my feet. I don't think I replied back to them, mainly because I was shaking, in shock, and trying to look around to see what the heck had just happened. After about 20 seconds, an older lady runs over to me and says, "Oh my gosh, are you okay?!"
Me: "... I... I don't know."
Guilty Lady: "I'm so sorry! That was completely my fault! I just wasn't paying attention!"
Me: (still shaking) "... Okay...?"
She ran back over to what was apparently her vehicle, which was still back in the intersection.

At this point, the couple got out and told me that I was bleeding. I looked in the rear view mirror, saw the blood all over my chin, and simply said, "SonuvaBITCH!" The guy asked once again if I was generally okay, to which I replied, "I think so, yeah." As I heard him calling 911 and reporting where the accident was and what had happened, the lady asked if I had any family in town that she could call.
Me: (Keep in mind, this is amidst tears of shock, a VERY shaky voice, and quick and shallow breaths) "No, I'm not from here. I'm a student."
Lady: "Okay, any friends to come pick you up?"
Me: "They're all in class. But we should call my dad. His name is Terry."
I told her his cell number, which I was apparently thinking clearly enough to give, and she called him on her phone. When I looked around and saw my phone and battery separated and mixed with glass on the floor, and the back cover in the dashboard, I thought I was screwed. I HAD to have my phone... I literally knew no one's numbers, and I did not want to go through whatever I was about to go through by myself. As I picked the parts up, the lady handed me her phone so I could talk to my dad. I don't remember what I said or if he could even understand me, but I guess he got the basic gist of what happened.

I gave the nice lady back her phone, then decided that I wanted to get out of the car. About the time I tried to open my door (which was, of course, impossible), I remember hearing sirens, then being told by the guy to just take it easy and sit and breathe for a bit. Another Hispanic-looking guy had also pulled over and brought over some moist towelettes. He put a few in my hand, then placed the other on my chin so that I knew where I was bleeding from. I thanked him profusely for this small act of kindness, he nodded, and walked off. It had probably been about 10 minutes of waiting, when a cop approached my window to check on me. First, I would like to say that he was freaking hot. He was the perfect distraction to a mind in chaos. He suggested that I get out of the car, but said that I would have to crawl over to the passenger side to get out because there was no way my door was going to open. I made my way across the glass that had gone everywhere, and out the passenger door that had even jammed from the impact.

Once I finally stood up, my knees were shaky, my hands were still shaky, my breathing was still very panicked, and I was still crying tears of shock. He asked if I had called anyone yet to come pick me up, and I said that I didn't really have anyone. At this point, he put his arms around me and simply told me, "You're okay. I know that was scary, but you're gonna be alright." A hug was all that it took... I felt better getting out of the car and having someone there to just hold me for a second. He asked for license, insurance, and my story of what happened. The couple was trying to get out of there, so they told me that the police had their number if I needed anything else. Even though I said thank you like nine times, I hope they realize how awesome they really were. Somehow an ambulance appeared; no idea when it got there. But one EMT came over to the median I was standing on and did a few procedural checks to make sure I was okay. Feeling more calm and collected, I told him that I was alright. Really shaken up, but alright, and that I didn't think I needed to go to the hospital.

Mr. Cute Cop walked back over, returned my license and insurance, and said they could find someone to take me home, but suggested I find a friend to come pick me up.
Cutie Patootie: "Any friends that you can call?"
Me: "I have a roommate."
CP: "Are y'all friends?"
Me: "Yeah. Okay. Hang on."
I gathered the phone parts, pieced it back together, and it STILL worked. Uh-may-zing. So I called Camille, but she didn't answer. Then I called Kristy Moryan. No answer. Rachel Frey. No answer. /sigh/ "Well... I might as well go to the hospital. I'm just gonna go home and cry anyway, right?" I had been talking to my dad off and on throughout this whole thing, but every time I tried, some authority person on the scene wanted to talk to me, which was very frustrating. The EMT finally suggested that I grab some stuff out of my car that I might need. LUCKILYYYY I had a Dillard's bag in the back seat because I bought some jeans with a gift card, so I started throwing in things I did not want to get stolen. I took my CD visor, the flashlight from my glove compartment, my ice scraper, the key chains off of the car keys (couldn't get the key out of the ignition), and my C+ parking permit. My head was working pretty well if I thought to grab the permit, haha.

As I walked around to the other side of the car, I finally saw the damage that had been done. I looked at it only twice because I found that it made me incredibly angry. My front left tire was steaming, it looked like. The was a ginormous indention remarkably close to where I sit. "How am I not bleeding anywhere else?" I thought to myself as I checked my stomach and ribs. There was glass all over the road, and my entire front bumper had been dislodged and was back in the intersection. As I glanced that way, and I saw the other vehicle. Didn't see what it was, the color, or what kind of shape it was in. I just remember seeing that it was way over there and that I was way over here. Kinda weird, huh? I find it weird.

The EMT then told me to get in the ambulance and sit down. I texted my dad Camille's phone number so that he could try to get a hold of her while I did hospital things. I also suggested that he call Grandma, since I had no idea what she had heard. I was worried she was at home freaking out, but thankfully she just assumed the call had dropped. I asked the EMT if we got to use the siren for the ride to the hospital. He said, "No. You're not dying and it costs more money. Do you want it?"
"Any medical problems in your family?"
"My mom has really high blood pressure." (as he wraps around the band to take mine)
He raised his eye brows when he saw it, though he wouldn't tell me what it was.
"I was just t-boned on my side of the car, that's not fair!"

As I argued, we started to pull away from the scene to head for the hospital.

--The next part will be up when I can get around to writing it :)--

Sunday, July 12, 2009

How I got Locked Between Two Doors

My mom got married last Saturday on July 4. I remember her saying that she didn't want to have to pay for fireworks at her wedding, so the Fourth would make perfect sense for free pyrotechnics. However, as I remember that night (which is a bit fuzzy, I'll admit), we were in the middle of the Tucson Botanical Gardens with trees all around us. I also remember that our Cumbia-dancing, alcohol-consuming, celebratory selves were not interrupted by any fireworks at any point in that evening. Way to go, Mom. In all fairness, I suppose you were consumed with other fireworks that night... Not including the ones fired after you guys left for the evening.

My sister, brother, and I got up early Sunday morning to say bye to family heading back to Sacramento, but then I laid down on the couch and fell right back into my unconscious recovery state. I woke up like four hours later to find a note on top of my phone. I concluded that it was from Andrew because of his I'm-stuck-in-4th-grade handwriting, only to later read the note and find his name signed at the end. In retrospect, I should have started with that first. He wrote something to the effect of, "At the mall with Stacy getting my watched fixed. We have our phones." Called my mom in search of what to do with myself, and she decided that we would meet them at the mall. However, instead of going all the way across Tucson to come get me, she was sending my two new cousins and step sister to pick me up at 1:30. It was one o'clock. Okay... no shower.

One of my cousins came up to knock on the door so that I would know they were there (since we don't have each other's phone numbers or anything yet), and I told her that I'd grab my shoes and my purse and be right out. So she retreats to the A/C-filled car. Lucky her. Now, before I try to explain this next part, it should be known that Joe's house (the guy that just married my mom) has a regular front door, a couple feet of "porch", if you will, then a metal screen door for security. Stacy and Andrew took Joe's spare keys with them to the mall, so I made sure to lock the front door behind me. As I turned the handle on the screen door and push to open, I was quite startled to discover that the screen door had been locked. The only way to unlock it? With a key that was with Joe/my mom and it's twin with my siblings. Yep. I was stuck between the two; a caged lion in the Arizona heat (because that's what I am... a lion). To make matters worse, my ride was in the driveway that was NOT VISIBLE from my walls of confinement. So here I was, locked in the gap between the front and screen doors, with no numbers of the people waiting for me, and with the keys to freedom not anywhere within 20 minutes of the house. PLUS the fact that I was outside in Arizona in July. At least I was in the shade, otherwise things would have gotten ugly really quick.

Again, I called my Mommy Dearest: "Uh, Mom? Yeah sorry to bug you, but I'm kinda locked between the two doors at Joe's, and I don't have Korina's number to call her to tell her that I won't be able to make it to the car..." Predictably, she laughed, told Joe, then said she was on her way and would be there in about 10 minutes. That's actually about 20-30 minutes. I love my mom, but sometimes she's not the best at estimating distances in time. Sure enough, 22 minutes later (yes, I kept track of every single minute) and her and Joe pulled up and brought a key to my rescue. Only after another good and slightly disbelieving laugh.

Thus, my sentence was over. I choose the word "sentence" because that's what I get for getting excessively drunk the night before. Not just I-bet-I-could-kick-your-ass-Just-kidding-let's-be-friends drunk. It was more along the lines of I-don't-enjoy-dancing-but-put-me-in-the-middle-of-a-big-circle-and-watch-me-break-it-down drunk. And around new family. I had a great time, don't get me wrong. And my mom says that Joe's side thought I was hilarious and a lot of fun to be around (whew!). But me experiencing the worst part of my hangover while stuck in the gap between the doors was punishment for being that Maid of Honor that ends up in everyone's pictures with inexplicably ridiculous faces.

But ya know, I sure as hell don't regret having a fantastic time. And I'll probably consume an alcoholic beverage or two at the next event celebrating a lifetime unity. Bring it on, wedding gods. You are too far in my future for me to give a damn about what you think.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

"I got hit by a car" Full Story:

Ok, so I need to share:

Yesterday I was walking from Littlefield to UFCU Disch-Falk Field for the baseball game v. Texas Tech. I was crossing the access road at Manor Rd (at the time of the it's-ok-to-cross sign, I might add), and noticed that one car with an Indian lady and three adorable children was not slowing down a whole lot. Then she appeared to be stopping, and what I confused with an acknowledgment of my presence turned out to be a rolling stop followed by an attempted right turn on red. So she slows, I take a step, she accelerates to complete her turn, I step to my left to avoid the impact, and her bumper hit my thigh. It knocked me off my feet and sent me flying a couple yards into the otherwise ghostly intersection. After scrambling to my feet after a moment of shock, I gave the lady my "Are you serious?!" face while she sat in her car, mouth agape, eyes bugging out, and hands on her head. She asked, "Oh my... You want me to take you to hospital?!" to which I calmly, yet slightly passive aggressively replied, "No, I'm late for a baseball game." As I glanced at the other members of her brigade, they seemed to have the same reaction as their chauffeur, and the car rolled on to complete the right turn.

The aftermath: No, I did not get any insurance information or license plate number because the injury seems to just be a bruised upper right thigh. No, "bruised" does not actually mean that it's showing. My leg looks completely normal... no battle wound or anything... freaking crap. Yes, I went to the game. I wasn't gonna let some stupid dumb driver prevent me from going to support my Longhorns. No, no serious injuries. Just a very tender leg that only hurts a little bit on the stairs.

It's actually kind of funny, now that I reminisce on the incident. It was more shocking at the time than anything else. Anywho, I thought I'd fill all of you guys in on my excitement of yesterday.

Opening Day in a week and a day!!