Monday, April 21, 2008


Today is a very special day.

Today is April 21st.

Today is Muster.

Every year, on April 21st, Aggies all over the world celebrate Muster.

I won't go into all of the history that all the deprived non-Aggies out there don't care about, but for the past 100+ years Aggies have been gathering together once a year to "muster" - to share memories, remember their days at Texas A&M, and remember those classmates who have passed away.

At the A&M campus, they host the 50 year class reunion on campus with a GREAT BBQ lunch, and then in the evening students and former students gather in Reed Arena for the muster ceremony - a speaker for the reunion class and the "muster call," a roll call of students and former students who have passed away since the last muster, as candles are lit and friends and family respond "here" for the missing Aggies.

Other Aggies not at the ceremony gather in homes, bars, restaurants - wherever - to share stories, laugh, cry, and remember their days in College Station.

I couldn't find a muster gathering here, so I wore my Texas A&M sweatshirt and went out to the city center for dinner in hopes of stumbling across another Aggie. I was sadly disappointed, so I'll muster right here on my blog.

I won't bore you with all of the incredibly awesome Aggie traditions, because while I find them all thoroughly exciting, I realize that many people out there really couldn't care less. Those people are missing out. But instead, I'll post some pictures from my college years - and the friends that made them count.

Some of the pictures are sideways, but I just can't get them to turn around. Oh well. And they're not really in chronological order - that's too much work.

The original 121ites freshman year - my first real camping trip.

Relient K concert freshman year. Afterwards we almost fell asleep at IHOP.

Our camping/hiking trip Spring break 07, where we camped through a tornado. Literally.
On the last day of said camping trip we did a photo montage of the Billy Goats Gruff. Modern art at it's finest.

Graduation day for the class of 07...I cried in my Mommy's lap afterwards.

A "redneck weekend" in my hometown. We got really muddy. =)

One of the most beautiful (inside and out) girls I know on her wedding day.

Spring 06 - Wicked. Bertha broke down - I think Kyle cried - Tim sang a lot.

Panda about to get dunked (05?) at Living Hope's watermelon/dunking night. I love Living Hope.

One of the best dessert's we've ever had. A must-have at the end of a stressful week.

Hey Tim, remember that night we almost kissed? Yeah, that would have been awkward. Or maybe not so bad. I guess we'll never know. Don't tell Meghan.

Hey Kenton, remember that time we did kiss? Freshman year? Well, there was a plate of glass between us, and your girlfriend was taking the picture, but it was pretty special anyway.

Remember that awesome Secret Santa party where Kyle was Darth Vader? And we made a really sweet (pun intended) gingerbread house.

Matt and I rocked out to the music in our heads.
The 121ites (minus a few) in all our glory, at Freebirds, of course.


Good friends, good times, good memories.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


Si hablo en lenguas humanas y angelicales,
pero no tengo amor,
no soy más que un metal que resuena
o un platillo que hace ruido.

Si tengo el don de profecía
y entiendo todos los misterios
y poseo todo conocimiento,
y si tengo una fe que logra trasladar montañas,
pero me falta el amor,
no soy nada.

Si reparto entre los pobres todo lo que poseo,
y si entrego mi cuerpo para que lo consuman las llamas,
pero no tengo amor,
nada gano con eso.

El amor es paciente,
es bondadoso.

El amor no es envidioso
ni jactancioso
ni orgulloso.

No se comporta con rudeza,
no es egoísta,
no se enoja fácilmente,
no guarda rencor.

El amor no se deleita en la maldad sino que se regocija con la verdad.

Todo lo disculpa,
todo lo cree,
todo lo espera,
todo lo soporta.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Burnt Pecan Pie

Okay, I promised several posts ago to show y'all a picture of my burnt pecan pie, so here it is. I forgot to take a picture before we all dug in, so this will have to do:

If you notice, the top of the pecans are quite a bit more toasty than they should be. Overall however, the pie ended up tasting pretty good. Pecan pie w/ a slight hint of charcoal. It's sure to be a new hit in the Betty Crocker cookbook.

So 'bout 'em?



I finished my taxes!! They are officially filed!! WOO HOO!! And....I did it with NO TEARS!! Last year was my first time to do it ever and I'm quite sure I cried on several occasions. This year was my first time to do it OVERSEAS and I did it with NO CRYING! You have no idea how big of a deal this is - this kind of stuff stresses me out more than anything in life. Pages of letters numbers that mean absolutely nothing to me: AGI, IRA, 401K, SS...and when you've had 3 jobs in one year AND sold some mutual funds to pay for college (tuition deduction?), that's just even more random numbers and letters with no application to my daily life. If it doesn't apply to my daily life then it's just dead weight - I'd much rather just go for a run (which I did, to run off the stress...) or have a nice chat with some old British tourists at the coffee shop, or eat a salad at my favorite restaurant while the Italian dude tries to convince his friend to ask me out despite his and my many protests. Life is more exciting with real people, real activities, real substance.

Which is why I hate taxes. It's not real to me. It's just numbers on paper that mean the government is trying to ruin my life. But they have not succeeded. I am one tough cookie and I'm going to go have lots and lots of fun tomorrow and prance around town like a girl who has already filed her taxes. =)

Besides, I think we should just go back to bartering. I'll grow some watermelons and cucumbers and you raise some cows and then we trade alright sounds great thanks.

Sunday, April 13, 2008


I don't like them and I don't want to do them. All they do is add stress to my life.


Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Share the Love

About a month or so ago I was having a bad day. Well, more like a bad week. It just seemed like everything that could go wrong, did go wrong. Phone problems, computer problems, death, illness, and generally just feeling alone and utterly friendless in a foreign country in a foreign language. So one Friday while walking in tears towards the phone store I prayed, "God, I just need some encouragement today. Can you please just send somebody to encourage me?"

The phone store only had more bad news for me - obviously that wasn't it.

So I went where I always go when I need a pick-me-up: Starbucks.

Every Starbucks in the world is the same, so no matter where you are, it always feels like home. The music, the sofas, the over-priced menu, the hunter green...

It was about lunch time so I got a delicious sandwich and sat down to read while I passed the time before class. But by the time I needed to leave I was hungry again, so I decided to buy a muffin to eat on the way to class. There were two guys behind the counter, neither of whom I had ever really talked other than to order a drink. As I counted the money for my muffin, one of the guys said something to the other guy, who then handed me my money back and said (in English), "try not to make it look obvious." I stared at him in utter confusion. What?? Then the other guy said "te lo compro" - "I'm buying it for you." I smiled and said thank you, and then went on my with a bounce in my step, smiling the whole way to the metro station. God had answered my prayer.

So today, about a month later, I went to meet a friend at the same Starbucks. I hadn't seen the guy but once or twice since that day and of course, didn't have a chance to say anything to him. After all, we've never even really spoken.

As I was waiting for my friend he was cleaning up around the condiment bar, so he came over and started chatting with me just like we were old friends. So I told him, "remember that day when you gave me the muffin?" He smiled and nodded. I said, "You have no idea what you did for me that day," and began to tell him the story of how I had been having an awful week and had been crying that morning and asked God for somebody to encourage me, and he was the answer to my prayer.

So then he started crying! Of course he was embarrassed, crying with someone who is practically a stranger, in the middle of Starbucks while he's supposed to be getting the trash and his co-workers are all looking on like "what the..?" We laughed and continued chatting until the line got too long and he had to go back to foaming milk and pushing the magic espresso button, but, as corny as it sounds, I feel like we shared something special today. Goodness, I feel so 1990 family TV programming Bob Saget saying that, but it's true.

So we're pretty much BFF now.

How does this apply to you? Go do something nice today - some random act of kindness. And then go tell somebody "thank you." You never know what it might do for them.


Saturday, April 5, 2008

One of the Many Joys of Living in a Growing City

For almost 6 months I've lived here.

The first 2 or 3 weeks were relatively peaceful.

Then they started work on the bakery downstairs.

Every morning I woke up to the pounding of hammers, the whirring of an electric saw, or sometimes, the deafening metal on concrete sound of a jack hammer.

Sometimes even on Sundays. Even on Christmas Eve.

Finally, soon after Christmas they finished. I couldn't have been happier.

Until just a week later they started work on the apartment below me.

This time I woke up to more sounds of hammers and power tools, only they were directly below my bed. It sounded as though they were inside my bedroom, inside my head. Sometimes my floor shook and on several occasions I thought for sure the bathroom floor was going to cave in during my shower and I would find myself naked in room full of construction workers. I kept a towel handy any time I was unclothed for that very purpose.

Finally, the work was finished and I was left with only the random tappings and bustlings of the final touches.

But not for long - somebody opened a store downstairs next to the bakery. More hammers - sometimes even at midnight. Who hammers at midnight??? And today, I awoke to the constant "pum pum pum pum pum" of hammering at the store next to the store that's next to the bakery. I wouldn't have known where the sound was coming from if I hadn't gone to the bakery to get a cup of STRONG coffee to wake me out of my stupor.

Can't a girl get a break?


No, a girl can't get a break. I forgot to mention that they're building what I can only assume is a new apartment building across the street, so if it's not hammering from downstairs, it's the sounds of dump trucks and cranes. This morning (Sunday) I woke up several hours earlier than intended to the consistent beeping of what sounded like a truck backing up. ::sigh:: But like Toby said, at least I have a yummy bakery w/ yummy coffee downstairs!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Salmo 23

El Señor es mi pastor, nada me falta;
en verdes pastos me hace descansar.
Junto a tranquilas aquas me conduce;
me infunde nuevas fuerzas.
Me guía por sendas de justicia
por amor a su nombre.

Aun si voy por valles tenebrosos,
no temo peligro alguno
porque tú estás a mi lado;
tu vara de pastor me reconforta.

Dispones ante mí un banquete
en presencia de mis enemigos.
Has ungido con perfume mi cabeza;
has llenado mi copa a rebosar.

La bondad y el amor me seguirán
todos los días de mi vida;
y en la casa del Señor
habitaré para siempre.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

No Pictures

I just realized that I haven't put any pictures up since my hike. I apologize; I realize that we live in a microwave society and we need the visual stimulation of a photograph to hold our attention. But since I overloaded my hard-drive I've been having to do some technological rearranging and thus have not uploaded any new photos lately. So to prevent losing the interest of my avid fans, I have included this photo for your viewing pleasure:

This is Juanes. Anybody who has read my blog for any substantial amount of time knows that I'm his number one fan. I probably learned more Spanish from him than I ever learned sitting in a classroom conjugating verbs and picking nouns out of a word-bank.

He's going on tour this summer, but sadly, he's going to be in my city when I'm in Rome (it's a hard life, ya know). I thought about going to see him in another city and just making a trip out of it, but big of a fan as I am, I'm not ready to shell out 100 Euros for a train and a hotel/hostel in addition to the cost of the already over-priced concert ticket (once they become an international superstar, you can kiss the 10 dollar ticket good-bye).

Since I figure I should include something socially relevant on this post (really I'm just posting so as to keep my audience from thinking I've abandoned them), please check out Fundación Mi Sangre, the organization started by Juanes to help victims of land mines in Colombia. Don't worry - you can view the website in English.

That is all. I am now going to eat dinner at Maoz.