G

GMG was a common phrase heard around my college job on Saturdays during football season. I worked as a student videographer for the Mean Green Football team (the university of North Texas) doing coaches video.

As far as jobs goes this one gave me some of my greatest memories during college.

It has been almost a year since I graduated and what seems like a life time since I worked my last football game. Somedays I miss standing up on that tower in the pouring rain, blister heat and frigid wind filming each practice. It’s not the weather conditions I miss but the people I spent time working with.

Over the years many people came in and out of the job, some graduating and others it wasn’t the right fit for.

I met some of my favorite people and good friends during those long days, giving up weekends to work games, and waking up or in a few cases getting home at the crack of dawn.

The adulting life lesson I take away from that job is that sometimes you enter into a world and spend four years not expecting much out of it and walk away with good memories, friends and a whole bundle of life experiences. And as always Go Mean Green.

Pictured below is a group of us at my last home game. More blog post to come on the World of Football.

We Need To Talk About Kevin

It has been really hard for me to blog since last Wednesday. I’ve tried to pick another subject, I even had a Valentine’s day post on my mind. But then the world stopped when I heard about what happened in Parkland FL.

I came out on many different sides over the following few days. I cried over the thought that those kids would never get to the walk the stage as they graduated high school. I cried as I watched the video of Jamie Guttenberg’s dad speak about the fact that he couldn’t remember if he told her that he loved her that morning before she went to school, I cried thinking I couldn’t remember the last time I told my mom I loved her. I was enraged that people on Facebook were making fun of one of the victims parents because he had on a Trump shirt, he just lost his daughter. I was enraged at the thought of the kids who survived having something so pure taken away from them, their innocence. I was unnerved when I heard that a kid brought a gun to Marcus high school, my high schools rivalry. I was unnerved when I heard that four schools in Texas reported kids bring guns to school the next day. I spent a good two days trying to sort out my emotions.

And then I thought back to a movie I watched in a college film class, We Need To Talk About Kevin (WNTTAK). IT was one of those films that leave a scar on you, the kind you can never unsee. It’s not one I lightly recommend people to watch, but if you do watch it then clear your day. It’s a film that I am still two years later processing through. The film deals with a high school massacre, but on a deeper level, it deals with the idea of evil inside of a person. Is it our nature to be evil or are we nurtured to be that way? The film is constantly asking this question and then turning everything you think in every way possible.

I remember after the seeing film that I went home and told my mom, who loves romcoms and generally happy films only, about this movie. I felt that there had to be a way to talk about Kevin, but I couldn’t wrap my brain around how to talk about Kevin. And then it hit me today I think the thing we need to talk about when it comes to kids like Kevin is a combination of nature and nurture.

Each time we have a mass shooting the person holding the gun always seemed to be accused of being mentally ill. But the conversation always seems to steer towards guns. I hear the phrase ‘guns kill people’ and think no people kill people. Whether you believe in the Bible or not one of the oldest recorded acts of murder dates back to Cain killing Abel. People have used cars (July 2016 in Nice, France), knives (London Bridge attack June 2017), planes (9/11), homemade bombs (Oklahoma City bombing April 1995). The point is that evil will always find a way.

But on the flip side, I don’t think that anyone should be able to get an AR-whatever. I can see the practical reason behind having a handgun, shotguns, rifles, (my first blog on guns: Guns In America) but still, no one has been able to give me a reason that someone needs an AR-whatever as a necessity?

So while I think having access to an AR-whatever needs to be stricter and more controlled I don’t think banning all guns is the answer. Pick up a history book y’all.

Let us go back to the mental illness topic. If everyone one, or close to all, have been deemed mentally ill then it sounds like that’s a good place to start with preventing future mass shootings. Why is that we have turned our backs on helping those that are mentally ill? Is that we think we could be offending someone? Or that if just treat them like every other person on the street that is sane that they will just fall in line?

We as a country have turned our backs on those who need us, we have stopped looking out for the mentally ill and getting them help. We as a country have told every single person they are important and special. We as a country have done this to ourselves. We have handed out trophies to the kids who barely even tried. We have raised our kids on microwavable TV dinners in front of the television. We have let ipads and televisions become our babysitters.

I read somewhere that the average parent only spends 40 minutes with there kids at night. What happened to helping mom cook dinner, and washing dishes with dad? What happened to learning how to set the table properly and learning good conversational skills at the dinner table. What happened to bedtime stories with funny voices form mom and dad teaching us how to blow bubbles in our chocolate milk that we made with Hershey syrup.

We as a country are broken, we have spent so much time trying to make everyone feel included and telling each individual that they are special that we are missing when someone isn’t doing okay. Somewhere along the line we stopped paying attention and started letting each other slip through the cracks.

As a country we are at a critical moment, thoughts and prayers are great, but policy and change is what we need. Congress needs to get up off there comfy little asses and put together a plan.

Our children, America’s children are precious, each one of there young lives shouldn’t be concerned less valuable than a stance on guns. Each one of their lives is worth fighting for. Children should be able to walk into a classroom and learn. They shouldn’t have to sit in a seat and wonder if that one kid that was acting kinda weird the other week is mentally stable enough to be in class with them.

Children should have the right to be children. We need to stop putting them in situations that force them to grow up quickly.

We as a people, we as a country can let the victims, most of who were just kids, become another face of the many victims that came before. Or we can start fighting for those who don’t get to have a voice anymore, we can start checking up on each other, and start by changing things in the home. Change rarely starts in a big way. Change usually starts in the small spaces filling up those cracks that have been letting so much slip through.

It is time we had an open and honest conversation about Kevin.

 

D

Dancing until two in the morning till they kicked us out of the bars was my favourite way to end a night out.  It wasn’t always the ending of the night but it sure was a great way to stay at the bars without feeling like you had to order another drink. On a side note, I never could understand why people tried to dance with a drink in there in hand?

If you’ve ever been down to fry street in Denton then you know there isn’t a lot of places to go dancing. Well, I can only think one place: Public House. Right on the end of the street across from the Language building Public House stood as one of the only two-story bars on the street.

The first floor would turn into a dance floor on busy nights. And it would get packed. My friends and I would form a circle and dance it out as popular songs filled the bar air. In between moving to the music, we would constantly have to tell random strange guys that would come up to try and dance with us that we just weren’t interested. It was our time to be together and shake it off.

In that moment between the beats of the music, surrounded by my closest friends in college, everything felt absolutely magical on the floors of Public House.

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Pictured: My three roommates and me happy after dancing at Public House on my 22nd birthday. 

C

Cow Tipping Creamery is this adorable gourmet food truck in Carrolton, they also have a Frisco and Austin location. It was this time last year that I got a question from my aunt, did I want to go for a walk with her to get ice cream. I mean I love ice cream and I like walks so putting the two together sounded great. Until she told me the catch, it would be 2.9 miles down and 2.9 miles back. I was given a choice do I walk for ice cream or stay at home?

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As you can tell I wasn’t too happy about it. But none the less I was up for the challenge, 3 miles isn’t really that far…let me stop my self right here. 3 miles really is that far. If anyone ever tells you walking 3 miles for ice cream is a piece of cake they are wrong.

While you are on the 3 mile trek all your mouth can think about is how that cold delicious ice cream taste is not present, your limbs will feel weak and you will try to remember the last time you tasted ice cream, eventually your brain will start to forget and it will cause your legs to start to panic, your body will randomly think about bolting forward into a dead sprint just to crawl up to that food truck and say with the little strength you have left, ice cream?

At least mentally that’s how it felt. But it all turned out okay and we ended up very happy! Birthday cake ice cream and all!

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In the end what I learned was that sometimes you have to put in a lot of work to get a little sweet treat. Because at the end of the day smiling with the ones you love is worth walking 6 miles.

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Fleeing Irma

It was only a few days ago that I wrote a post about preparing for my first hurricane. A LOT has happened since then, I feel like I was preparing for Irma at least a month ago.

It all started last Friday, I was supposed to go in for work at noon when my cousin came home and told me I should gas up now since everywhere was running out. I left and went to a gas station a town over since we had none. I had texted my boss to let her know I would be late. She told me not to bother coming in, it was really dead. Unusual for a normal Friday.

I still needed to go pick up my check so I went in just to grab it. I decided that I would talk to my boss. She cut me for the whole weekend and told me that it was iffy if I would work the next weekend. I was already leaving at the beginning of October to move back to Texas. She told me that the hurricane had put Ginnie out of season and it was okay if I wanted to leave early.

I went home not knowing what to do. Should I stay even though I won’t have any work. Should I go and risk the possibility of horrible road conditions. I had no idea what I should do. So I asked those closest to me what to do, should I stay or should I go? The consensus was come home to Texas.

I decided that I would just pack one box, the next thing I knew half my room was packed. I felt so clearheaded. Everything was pushing me towards Texas. Things had completely fallen into place. I packed up my belongings in about an hour and a half.

I set out on the road. My car loaded with my stuff, a full tank of gas, and an uncertain road trip plan. I was making decisions about three minutes in advance. Uncertain if I could find gas on the way I drove in the hot Florida sun without my air condition on to conserve gas.

The drive was about fourteen-ish hours away. Luckily for me I have some really good friends in Tuscaloosa Alabama. One of them works for the Bama football team. He told me if I could get in early enough he would get me a ticket to the game with his wife. I arrived in Tuscaloosa at midnight. The next day I went and saw the Roll Tide Roll. I got to catch up with friends, and then drive the last part of the way home on Sunday morning.

I’ve been meaning to write this since I got home Sunday night, which was less than forty-eight hours ago (but feels like weeks ago). But I have been so freaking tired. I had mono in college and all I wanted to do was sleep for days, that’s how I feel right now. I have no idea how people drive such long distance by them self. It was hell. My whole body felt like it was seizing up. My legs started to cramp and all I wanted to do was go thirty over the speed limit.

But I made it. I made it back home to Texas and I’m here to stay for a little while. I have no idea what I am going to do, where I am going to go. I have some plans, things I want to do. Being an adult is hard and sucks. I’ll just keep making decisions three minutes, three days, three months, three whatever in advance.

 

Happy Birthday To You

I would like to dedicate this blog post to my mommy. Today is her birthday, somehow everything fell into place and on this day many (but not to many) years ago she came into this world and then eventually got to be my mom.

My mom gave her support 110% behind me as a kid. When I wanted to play basketball, a sport she knew nothing about, she went to the library and checked out books on basketball. She spent many hours reading those books, taking me to the gym, and trying her best to help me along. Even when it irritated me or embarrassed my childhood self. I have a mom who no matter if she was an expert or a novice, put herself into my world for me to succeed. My mom spent countless hours driving to and from high schools for early morning practices, far away games, and all day tournaments when she could.

We would spend countless weekends doing movie marathons. Similar to something you might see in Gilmore Girls (a favorite of ours). My mom would take me to the grocery store where we would stock up on snacks. We would go home, order Chinese food, pop in movies or the newest season of Gilmore Girls, and start a weekend of lounging around. We would get so wrapped up into the episodes, snuggled down into the blankets that we would eventually take our eyes away from the screen and see that morning had already come. Still to this day sometimes we’ll sit around, snuggled into blankets, eyes glued to the TV, and I feel like a little kid again. But with more wine.

It was my senior year of high school and my moms friend won tickets to a junior league hockey team. My dad was working a charity event with my brother at the Rangers stadium, my aunt couldn’t go with my mom, and she was running out of options so last minute. She decided to go to the game herself, I couldn’t have it. My mom and I left for the stadium, leaving my friends alone in my parents empty house (she told them to lock up when they left). Neither of us had any idea that our lives would be so drastically changed that day.

A year later we got full season tickets to the Dallas Stars (my first year in college) and kept those seats all four years I was in college. My mom and I made some incredible friends along that journey together. People to this day neither of us would want to live our lifes without. My mom became my hockey buddy.

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Hockey not only was something that brought us together several times a week, but also gave us a really good reason to take girl trips. over the last four years we went to Nashville, Phoenix, San Jose, LA, Anaheim, and Tampa. Each city exploring and trying new and old things.

My mother gave me a lot. She gave me a parent on the PTA, even though I saw her as having a stick in her ass, to help know how she could better further me in school. She gave me her car when I got my license, leasing out a pretty sweet one herself. She taught me about alcohol starting when I was 13 so it wouldn’t become something to fear or that was exotic, she wanted us to drink safely and respect alcohol. My mother taught me about sex and afforded me the comfortably to talk to her about it, no judgment passed. My mother gave me amazing advice. My two favorite lines being It’s not the mistake that defines you, but the way you handle the mistake and If in the morning you can’t look into the mirror and be okay with who you are, then don’t do it. And lastly (I could probably keep going but I’ll wrap it) the two favorite things my mom ever gave me are my siblings.

Happy birthday mom. I thought about making a sappy Facebook post but a sappy blog post seemed like a better idea.

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How UnTexan of you

Every Texan knows that eating something off a tortilla chip is as close to a heavenly encounter you can get in this beautiful state. We also know that after a long hard day of school, actually my last day of college classes, you come back to your parents house and look for a snack, see a jar of salsa in the fridge and you get happier faster than an egg frys on a Texas summer side walk.

What you don’t expect after pulling out that red majestic jar is to find that your parents have no tortilla chips in their house. I am not opposed to just drinking salsa right out of the fridge. But all I wanted when I saw that jar was to feel its cool jalapeño filled bite against a salty tortilla chip.

You know what goes great with tortilla chips and salsa? Margaritas, but thats probably too much to ask for too.