Archive

Fact

gold33This is my memory box. It’s not very big, but it’s kept a lot of things important to me from the past year. I received it on my 21st birthday and since that day, I’ve been collecting mementos.
I was notorious for saying, “I need that, I need it for my memory box.”

Here are some of the things in my memory box:

  • Texas Longhorn lollipop I bought from Central Market one day because we won a game.
  • Wristbands from ACL 2013, SXSW 2013, and Raw Paw. I was SO close to seeing Justin Timberlake, got a black eye from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, met Bastille, saw Dan Croll perform, fell in love with Lucius, etc etc etc.
  • American Flag bandana that I took from Cain & Abel’s on a game day. It was from someone’s bachelor party and not my first Texas Tea.
  • A plastic giraffe drink stirrer from a restaurant in Florida. We named him Geoffrey. Peak Tanning Hours all day, every day.
  • Receipts, matchboxes, menus from NO VA, Perla’s and Qui. These were the bougiest parts of my box.
  • Pens on pens on pens from restaurants, bars, and house parties. I can’t help myself from taking them, ask Caroline (or anyone really).
  • A cut up “Exit” sign from a bar in Dallas. The yuppie part of Dallas. I learned that Dallas is not Austin.

This is just a thin slice of the pie that was my 21st-Year Memory Box, I took a lot of mementos.

I’m planning to get another one for my 22nd year with a theme this time: gold. I’m naming it my “golden year.” My memory box, similar to my life, will be bigger, better, and golden.

Thank you to those who knew about me, my memory box [and slight kleptomania], you helped make it memorable. Help me make this year a golden year, accepting gold coins…and gold everything. Cheers to 22!

Advertisements

thu texas blog newsYou could all say it started with Friday Night Lights, but even before that [life-changing] TV show, I’ve always been a Texas girl.

I was born in Texas, I go to Texas (the University of Texas), and I love Texas.
There are buckets of reasons why I love this state, but it’s mostly the city that I have been privileged to call home for the past four years: Austin, TX.

My previous blog name was a mouthful and I knew ushering into the new year, I needed a change. Thus began the brainstorming for the last several months. Branding/rebranding/naming is hard. I don’t know how companies come up with their names with the incredible stories behind it; it is truly astounding. I have been stumped and fickle when it has come to my blog name. The blog itself does not narrow with niche topics, and I think I know why. I’m no expert in one or three topics, but I am a lifelong learner with a curiosity that runs as deep as a well.

With all of this in mind, I first thought to rebranding my blog as “Red, White, & Thu.” That name lingered for a while. My name has always been something that people remembered and so including my name was a mandatory. If you have met me in person, I think you can agree.

Again, I thought this was a mouthful. I don’t know why I’m so caught up with these long, three-worded titles. At the same time, I think to myself, “How are people limiting themselves to just two words?” Back to the drawing board…or I guess in my story, to church.

Yes, I came up with “thu, tx” in church, when I probably should have been thinking about how I am a sinner, etc etc etc. I have heard that when people attend church, their minds become more clear. Well, my mind was clear…and then an idea popped in my brain and “Thu, Texas” was born.

Thu, Texas is an ode to the Lone Star state and a window into how I want live my life: local and weird.

Welcome to Thu, Texas. Population: Me.

And after you read allllll of this, you can read the short version here.

dabbling with vinylIt’s Christmastime/the holidaze. Time for festivities, lights, drinks, and vinyl-listenin’.  Okay, so I’m back home for winter break and yes, I loaded my turntable and box of vinyls into my car for the few short weeks that I’m here.

Here’s my reasoning: We have a better sound system in at home and I just can’t pass that up. PLUS, I know I got vinyl for Christmas…and I don’t have a turntable for home and Austin.

It’s funny, even before I was gifted a turntable, I was given vinyls. Friends and family assumed I had one, or vinyl decor was the new thing. For me, I think it was the former. Then when I was finally given a turntable (thanks to Toms), I had no idea what I was in for. It seems that vinyl-collecting is “back in style” or I just crawled out of the stone I was living under. Anyway, speaking to many friends and acquaintances, they tell me that they also desire to own a turntable. Before we all dive back to the 80’s with our media-turntable-set-ups, here are some truths I learned as I started my own vinyl collection.

Four Truths I Learned About Vinyl-Collecting:

  1. It’s addicting. Last year, I became a Spotify Premium user because I wanted to save money on the mp3 albums I was buying off of iTunes/Amazon. It seemed to make sense, but even after I became a Premium user, I still bought vinyls (with mp3 downloads inside). I had to, I needed X on vinyl (X = artist name).
  2. Collecting is expensive. Most of the vinyls that I have are relatively new and so they range from $15-$25/vinyl. It adds up and I’m not even counting those pre-order, limited-edition vinyls. I’m pretty sure ⅓ of my paycheck went to vinyls this past semester. Sidebar:  At Waterloo Records on Tuesday nights, they have Happy Hour aka 10% off regularly priced LPs from some time to some time. Go look it up.
  3. Equipment is expensive. Right now, I have a turntable that connects to a pair of computer speakers (help me I’m poor). I’m still working on getting a receiver, but I have speakers (I’ve decided to help out my dad, and take his short-stack speakers). On top of the vinyls which are $20 a pop, equipment can cost upwards of $200. It’s probably a personal thing because I’m opting for a bangin’ set-up, but why would you play music on anything short of high-quality?
  4. Vinyls can virtually sound the same or lesser quality than CDs, arguably. GASP. There is a lot of literature behind it and I’m still reading. Analog versus digital, the possibility of lesser quality when it’s digitally recorded at first and converted to analog. CDs last longer etc, etc, etc. The way we argue that there is a warmer sound to vinyls? Possibility, but to an untrained ear (which can be subjective), there may be no difference. It may just be the “bias frequencies.”

I don’t know it all, but I want to. And despite these truths, I feel really lucky to have a turntable with a collection of vinyls that I’m proud to display. The intention of writing this blog post was to point out some things I never thought about until after I got my turntable. If you’re getting a turntable for Christmas, let’s talk! If you already have one, let’s talk! If you don’t, let’s talk! My turntable and speakers have an open-door policy.

9FCDD5B1-24CF-4D6C-AB38-ACD56E9164CE

I’m coming up on Week 3 of training…and in short, it is ruff. Rough. Rough.

My weekly exercise schedule goes a little something like this:

  • M, W, F, Sun – 3 of 4 days of cross training (by cycling or elliptical or squats or stretching or swimming) 1 day can be taken for rest. I’m failing to bring myself to a yoga studio…
  • T,TH – Short runs. 2-3 miles. Goal is to run without stopping.
  • Sat – Long runs. 4+ miles. Goal is to run the distance.

Only 95 more days until the Austin Half. *Nervous mental vomit* I’m learning about myself everyday. For example: I’m learning that my body is demanding. Some might say frail. Since I’ve started running at the beginning of this year, I’ve gotten injured multiple times and had to rest for weeks at a time. Then there was the bruise in the face, the bike accident, and concussion… Through all of that, how did I learn my body is demanding?

This is how and why:

  • I learned that I have to cross train. I won’t get by without injury if I don’t.
  • On the note of cross training, I have to have a strong core, or else my body can’t support my running which leads to injury (which sucks).
  • There is such a thing as overdressing and my body hates my brain a mile in.
  • Then there is such a thing as cold ears leading to ear aches after a run. It even happens when I wear an ear band.
  • Hydrating has never been more important. I learned that when you’re running in the cold and don’t feel thirsty, you should still drink water.
  • I bought this thing called a foam roller. Runners will know what this is. Well, it’s my new best friend. I really think this is what keeps me from seriously injuring my IT-band.

And maybe it’s my brain demanding myself to stop running…no, it’s definitely my brain. The body is more resilient as long as you take care of it, but the hardest part is definitely conquering that small voice that says, “I don’t wanna run, don’t run.”

Thankfully, I have my brother, a handful of friends, and a deep love for eating to get me out the door. Whatever gets you there, right? More on motivation later. Today, it’s about learning to listen to my demanding body…and taking care of it. Stretch, cross-train, run, repeat. 95 more days. Run or perish.

I did it again. I got into another bike accident. This time it was a bike-on-bike collision. It was completely not my fault. I don’t even think I was going that fast (which is something rare). The dude just pulled out on me…and stopped directly in my way. It wasn’t at ACL but it was after. I seem to have an affinity to get hurt when there are music festivals going on (re: SXSW), but I digress.

Ended up with some major bruising (or 3) and an abrasion (or 2). Lesson of the day: always wear your helmet…which is seriously true by the way. I wore my helmet, thank God. I wore my helmet and I still have a hazy memory. It’s a scary thing, I’m still trying to piece together that night. Grasping at straws for a memory that I assume is never coming back. It’s a blessing that I got picked up by at PA (physician assistant aka my brother) and came home to two more PA’s (aka his classmates).

I will be out of commission for running, at least until the bruising goes away. I have a big ‘ol bruise on bum…and it hurts to walk (how sad…). All I can say is, “whomp, whomp, whomp.” Ironically, as this has been my second bike accident, I don’t think I’m done with biking (just yet). If you’re not frightened at bruises, I’ll link a picture of it here.

Another day, another accident.

community-college-life-fact

oh acc, my acc

I was never proud of where I came from. Was. Today and forever, I am proud to say that I transferred from a community college. Two community colleges actually and they both had their own greatnesses, thus why I am writing this post. See, I don’t think people get it. Many people have a negative perception of community college and you know what? I’ve been there, but I also think maybe people haven’t fully understood how fun it really is. I miss community college, and it’s not just because of the many ‘Bonus’ and extra credit opportunities I came across. Sidebar: I come across more extra credit opportunities at UT than I was led to believe.

To be completely cliche, it’s really how you make it. My very first experience at a community college was great because I got through it with my friend and it was during the summer. I Skyped in the hallway, and I got credit just by being there. My official experience at a community college kind of brought the “ashamed feelings” though. Despite being in an amazing city, I thought to myself, “I don’t have to be happy, I don’t have to make it fun, this is just a stepping stone to university-life.”

When I didn’t get into UT for what felt like the 30th time, I wanted to cry. It was supposed to be easy, it was supposed to be just 1 year here at this community college (thought in a tone of frustration)…and so I had to move home. Yep, not a lot of people know this, so there that is in the open. I moved home to go to our local community college, somewhere I thought I was doomed. Many of y’all have heard of it, LONESTAR? (Go Ducks.)

But I honestly don’t know what happened, I started to love it. I started to make the situation better because no one else was going to…or something. In my first year, I was disillusioned by the impossibility that my experience was going like NBC’s show, Community, until I realized that it totally was…in it’s special way. We had carnivals, I had a Spanish class that I loved (kind of like Community), and speech class was always a show…I loved going to the library and messing around with people, reading the books (because people still do that), and sleeping on benches like it was my job. Our Spanish class even had an end-of-the-semester party at our classmate’s house and it was legit, ask Caroline. There was a gazebo.

I’m not saying my time at ACC was completely awful. It kind of was, but it kind of wasn’t. I went to ACC and I was taught by some amazing professors that made me realize that we are all meant to do great things. One prof even wrote me a letter of rec and I know he meant every word. I went to ACC and I realized that I hate o-chem and that the biology/pre-med life is not for me. Who knows what would have happened if I had gone straight to a university and just stuck through my classes? I don’t know and I don’t really care to know, I think this was the way it was meant to be. (Go Riverbats.)

I also made friends with a lot of older people. Some people were in their late 50’s…and they were amazing. Y’all know I love older folk. They still have sass and they are all class. (I just wanted to rhyme, sue me.) They showed me how to appreciate the opportunity I get a.k.a. getting a degree at this young age. I wasn’t bombarded by job loss or worries about their kids, but they were and it put things into perspective. My problems seemed microscopic in comparison to theirs.

There are some people who go through an incredibly straight path throughout their college career. They go from high school -> university in 4 years (internship or 2 in between) -> full-time job. What I discovered is that this is a huge misconception.

My friend recently got a tattoo that says, “Treasure the journey.” I get it…in this context anyway. If you are thinking about community college, really consider it, it’s really what you make of it, and I really did love my time at community college. If community college is your only option for the first year, congrats, I’m jealous, “treasure the journey.” If you’re in community college, really “milk the cow”. I made up that analogy, but really enjoy it, find those goofy festivals, the weirdo, but incredibly awesome professors that actually care about their students, and the older folk who are probably in your class. I miss them, they totally have stories. And if you’re like me, someone who transferred from a comm college into a university, wear your riverbat/duck/whatever-the-goofy-comm-college mascot is proud.

Fact: The boiling temperature of water is 212 degrees.
That is an actual fact.
212 degrees Fahrenheit to be specific.

Why is that relevant?

  1. During my time in high school, our football team was on fire (metaphorically speaking). We were beating teams left and right. We weren’t the best, but we were pretty damn good. Thus, when we referred to our beloved Wildcat football players, they were on fire, they were “212”. We even had a hand signal that my best friend and I still do to this day. I loved watching high school football and I loved our team. Our principal and this tradition she carried out was crazy – but it stuck with all of us. It suck with me almost literally, metaphorically.
  2. Tying in with that last sentence, there is not a moment that goes by where I see the number 212 and think about my principal, my school, and my time there. Room 212, apartment 212, page 212, number 212 on a ticket – I mentally do the hand signal and mentally yell, “TWO TWEEEELLVEEE!”
  3. Most recently, I have officially started interning with Fahrenheit Marketing. That’s right, they’re called Fahrenheit Marketing. There’s a line in the ‘About’ tab that [literally] says, “We associate our marketing campaigns with turning up the heat.” If that doesn’t scream 212, I don’t know what does. UPDATEToday was the first day and our CEO brought us breakfast tacos. I was meant to work at this place y’all.

Perhaps it’s my Wildcat mentality. Perhaps it’s my insanity. I think I wrote this to say: everything happens for a reason and it’s all connected.
I think 212 is deep rooted in my life and forever will be. I’m okay with that.

Here are embarrassing shots of me and my best friend…and our never-ending love to the Cinderella story (re: this is another Wildcat tradition that only Wildcats would understand).

wildcatpride

circa 2009?