Top 100 reasons Texas is better than any other state

My comments and feedback on Dallas Morning Observer’s recent article “Top 100 reasons Texas is Twice as Awesome as your state”.  Ok feedback on majority of them…..

1. NASA. Cool?  Yes.  But we are not the only state that has a NASA site.  Ours is big and impressive and I have friends who work there.
2. World class birding. Even in the middle of Dallas at White Rock Lake.  I’ve been to the lake once and the wildlife was pretty.
3. Tex-Mex Oh yes!
4. El Capitan Been there, it’s pretty awesome, especially if you are a science nerd like me.
5. South Padre Island (best sand castle sand in the world) I’ve only been once and to be honest, Florida’s panhandle is WAY better.
6. Molly Ivins
7. Ann Richards
8. Taco Cabana I do like Cabana and it’s easy for me to eat there.
9. Sons of Hermann Hall On my list, never been.  I am a Hermann Sons camp alumni and insurance holder (semi-related).  This is their local lodge, but they hold lots of dances and concerts there.
10. Barton Springs, Balmorhea, Krause Springs and all the rest I’ve been to springs, but none of these.  I know, I know.  I need to.
11. When Katrina refugees needed places to stay, we took them in.
12. Nolan Ryan YES!  He was my childhood hero.
13. Willie Nelson Legend!  Saw him live twice and didn’t care for it, but I do like his writing and albums.
14. Robert Earl Keen, Guy Clark, Billy Joe Shaver, Lyle Lovett and Townes Van Zandt Well yes, some of Texas’ most influential songwriters.    I’ve seen the first 3 live. We have albums from all of them in our house.
15. The most popular poker game in the world isn’t called New York Hold ‘Em, is it?  Not a fan of poker
16. The Frio River Absolutely.  I can’t believe I was 29 before we ever went there!  My mom was there all of the time as a kid and I grew up only an hour
17. The Alamo Drafthouse Movie Theater
18. Bottle Rocket, Reality Bites and Robocop were filmed here.
19. Also, Giant, Logan’s Run, Fandango and No Country for Old Men.
20. The Last Picture Show, Bonnie and Clyde, Lonesome Dove and Dazed and Confused, too.
21. Walker, Texas Fucking Ranger OR Chuck Norris
22. Texas high school football is Friday Night Lights.  This is true.  Friday Night Lights and Varsity Blues are JUST LIKE Friday nights in Texas!
23.In some Texas towns, you can hear native Texans speaking Spanish, German and Polish. True.  People still speak Alsatian in Castroville, and Polish in Koscuisko where my dad is from.  In fact, my grandmother and dad used to talk to each other in Polish.  I think it’s really cool, keeping the culture alive.
24. Oh, and Czech, too
25. The Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders
26. Our school kids take a full year of Texas History. Can they name all other 49 states? Not sure but they sure as hell wouldn’t bother to rank them below us in a list.  I took Texas History way more than just 1 year in both HS and in college.
27. Chili. Real chili, with no beans and not made with chicken or other yankee bullshit. I like all kinds of chili, sorry.
28. That “The stars at night are big and bright…” scene in Pee Wee’s Big Adventure? That shit really works in real life. And not ironically. We’ve seen it many times.
29. Aggie jokes/tests. 
30. SMU Physics Dept.’s Dark Matter Research (apparently leading the field)
31. Top Tier Universities: Rice (17) and the University of Texas at Austin (45)
32. You’ve heard of “Texas Music,” right?  Music has been a big part of my life since college.  I can relate things back to what has happening musically then.  I met Dan at a Reckless Kelly concert and we both belonged to the Galleywinter forum.
33. Kris Kristofferson, the guy who wrote every song you’ve ever heard (pop and country) I hope to see him someday live.
34. Waylon Jennings, not from Texas but got here quick (Luckenbach, anybody?)  Legend!
35. Tommy Lee Jones San Antonio baby!
36. Can we count Bill Moyers? Born in Hugo, OK but went to UT Austin and was press sec for LBJ.
37. That Larry McMurtry guy with all those badass books he wrote about us.
38. Lon Tinkle, writer, literary critic and Dallas Morning News journalist who now (posthumously) pays for a lot of kids to go to school (Lon Tinkle Award at SMU, for instance)
39.The Texas Freedom Network – watchdog against radical religious conservatism
40. Dallas Mavericks!  Ok I respectfully disagree with this one and 41 and 42.  Sorry.
41. Dirk Nowitzki!
42. Mark Cuban!
43. Denton proving that you don’t have to be a big city to have a phenomenal music scene.
44. You can sing any Emily Dickinson poem to the tune of “The Yellow Rose of Texas.”
45. More mega-churches
46. Dr. Denton Cooley performed first artificial heart transplant
47. Best state shape for cookies
48. Regional theater started here with Margo Jones in the 1940s
49. “Cowboying” is still a profession.
50. The Marfa lights and Janis Joplin still aren’t fully understood by outsiders.
51. Everybody knows somebody who has a ranch.
52. Bill Hicks lived and died here.
53. We still have the moon rocks.
54. Betty Buckley was born here and still lives in Fort Worth.
55. SXSW is now cooler than the Sundance Film Festival.  I LOVE SXSW!
56. Cheap avocados. I once thought this but they are WAY cheaper in California.  Most of ours come from there or Mexico anyhow.
57. Great surfing. But we like to keep that to ourselves. I’ve always watched people surfing at Texas beaches and I’ll take their word for it.
58. You can go to an opera and a rodeo and see the same people in the crowd at both.
59. No state income tax. So far, anyway.
60. We get heat, ice storms, earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes.  Not a fan of any of these.
61. Lots of chupacabra sightings.
62. Frozen margaritas were invented here.
63. The State Fair of Texas, which has changed very little in 50 years but is still the biggest, best damn state fair in the land.  I’ve actually never been.
64. Farrah Fawcett splashed in the NorthPark fountain and was born and raised in Corpus Christi.
65. Currently the leader in most reality shows filmed about one city/state.
66. Did we mention our State used to be a nation? Our state used to be a nation.
67. More songs written about/involving Texas than rest
68. “Everything is bigger in Texas” — We have the most “legendary” perception from others, national and internationally.
69. More than 10 distinct ecological regions (Coastal Plains, Delta Valley, Deserts, Mountains, Hill Country, etc.)
70. UT Austin owns all the Woodward and Bernstein files from Watergate.
71. First state to successfully prosecute those nutty FLDS pedophiles.
72. Dinosaur tracks in Glen Rose  Been here, very cool for science geeks.
73. Texas toast.
74. Real iced tea from teabags, not that California mango crap.  This made me laugh, reminds me of Adam Carolla’s passionfruit tea rant
75. Gruene Hall, which has a unique history all its own Yes!  I love Gruene hall and lots of history for me there.
76. Tubing down the Guadalupe and Comal Rivers  I *think* I remember what it was like for the Guad to have enough water to float in.  The Comal is always too crowded, so while it’s gorgeous and fun, i’ll take it on a weekday anytime!
77. The Alamo, y’all; it’s especially beautiful lit up at night Yes, especially at Christmas.
78. Joe Ely Another Texas legend
79. UT Austin has Norman Mailer’s papers, and also LBJ’s
80. Fiesta in San Antonio (it’s a citywide party)  I haven’t been in years, but Fiesta is a ton of fun!
81. Wes Anderson was born here
82. The sky! And the best thunderstorms you’ve ever seen.
83. Larry McMurtry’s Booked Up shops in Archer City
84. The Harry Ransom Center
85. Chicken fried steak  I used to LOVE chicken fried steak.
86. A state shape that makes for excellent souvenirs, aside from the aforementioned cookies
87. The Texas Rangers are nice boys.
88. Buddy Holly Another legend….seeing a trend here?
89. And therefore, the very excellent Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock  I’ve actually never been to Lubbock
90. Big Bend National Park  I’ve been there once in HS and I REALLY want to go back!
91. Austin City Limits (the show, not the fest)  Been to two filmings, both in the old building at UT.
92. East Texas Bigfoot
93. John Graves
94. Shiner and Rahr Sorry, I don’t drink
95. Enchanted Rock  I am dying to go again soon, I haven’t been since college.
96. Barbecue  Yes please
97. Dead Armadillos Drinking Lone Star, and related folk art/crafts
98. Roy Orbison
99. Roky Erickson
100. George Jones 
Fuck it, Texas has the richest musical heritage of any state in the Union.

What to wear to work

I am thinking our OPP probably needs an update on the dress code section.  Mind you, I work in a professional, yet semi-casual office.

We used to be able to wear jeans only on Fridays.  No t-shirts, no sneakers, no shirts with writing across the front.  Now we can wear jeans whenever we are not having meetings with really important people, public speaking, or meeting with the public.   I will admit, I wear jeans almost daily, because it’s freezing in my office and it’s easy.

People have taken things to a pretty disturbing level.  Here are some of my favorites, and this is only in my building! (note, none of these people are immediate coworkers).

  • the Birkenstocks with socks. Men and women
  • sweatpants
  • lucite heels
  • royal blue hair extensions
  • flipflops.  I’m not talking leather or decorative, I am talking $1.99 Target flipflops
  • clubwear.  I will admit, I sometimes wear something with an inappropriate back, but I ALWAYS wear a cardigan or jacket over it and it doesn’t come off
  • wifebeaters.  We used to have a temp that would wear skintight white wifebeaters and brightly colored padded bras under.  Classy.
  • spandex, nope not just on halloween
  • muscle shirts.  I had a coworker in my old office that would wear capris with muscle shirts and flipflops.  I’m not sure if she was confused if she was going to work or the park
  • spaghetti strap shirts with nothing over them.  I wear these, but again, always under something, never solo
  • 1980’s business suits complete with shoulder pads.  Scary
  • scrubs.  No, we have nothing to do with medical care and this isn’t in one of the labs

Am I the only one that sees this crazy stuff?


Great idea from Heather!   She decided to use Friday as an inspiration. As in the letters.

So here is my week in FRIDAY.

Food fail.  I did a crap job of planning menus this week, especially for my lunches.  Luckily today I had leftovers, so I just needed my coworkers to pick up a salad to go with it to make it enough for a meal.  Thawed one of our smoked tenderloins for dinner, so at least that’s half planned.

Rain.  We didn’t get any.  People are not happy and it meant me working long hours the last few days.  And maybe over the weekend.

Insane.  That’s how this week has been.  I look forward to yoga Saturday and Sunday.  I had to miss it today due to working through lunch.

Downtown.  Headed downtown again tonight to see Bill Burr at the Moontower Comedy Fest.

Awesome.   As in my Thursday night at Shady Grove having dinner and seeing Dirty River Boys with Dan.  It was almost derailed by work, I got two high priority assignments at 5 pm, but luckily it was something I had to wait to do in the office in the morning.  Music totally made me forget about my long day at work.  And the weather was perfect!

Yay for the week being OVER!  I am looking forward to getting things done and getting some much needed rest if possible.

Things I like Thursday: my new Dr.

Ok, well I think I like her.  I’ve only seen her once.  And she’s not a Dr., she’s a PA.   She was super smart and so easy to talk to and SO full of energy.  Just talking to her made me happy!

So I found her on Facebook.  Don’t laugh.  I belong to like 10 hormone, adrenal, and thyroid groups on Facebook.  Someone asked for a referral in Austin area and 2 others chimed in about this lady.  So I wrote down her name and made an appointment in early April and had my first visit with her yesterday.  Her office is pretty far from work and home, but if she’s awesome, she’s worth it.

My favorite thing is, that she’s into trying natural approaches.  She took me off of the estradiol patch, testosterone, DHEA, and halved the progesterone.   She added 3 supplements, 2 to help with girl problems and the other to help my iodine levels and a probiotic.  So I am still on quite a few things, but less hormones and drugs.  Now the majority is supplements.

Girl problems?  Yes.  I haven’t had a cycle in over 2 years.  That’s why the other Dr. had me on estradiol and progesterone.  I was on both for about 8 months and the patch most recently, which I HATED.  Talk about water retention?  Yeah.  Not pretty.  She didn’t like me being on all of that and to be honest, I didn’t like it either.  I don’t care if I have a cycle, I just want to be HEALTHY. She told me that everything should fall into place eventually and she thinks she can make my girl stuff and my stomach work right.  Those things should be corrected when my hormones and other imbalances are fixed.

She said we’ll see how I do on this regiment for a month or so, and then test my levels to see what is going on.  They did a thyroid panel yesterday on my way out, but i’d taken my PM dose like an hour before that, so it’ll likely be skewed.  I forgot to remind her of that before I went to the lab.

So here we go again.  New medical expert, new plan.  Fingers are crossed that this is what makes the world of difference in my health and how I feel 🙂

My trip to SF

It’s only a few weeks late 😉  Keeping it short and simple…

Lots of moving, learning, and FOOD!

My favorite salad and the only thing I can eat on Boudin Sourdough’s menu.  It’s ok because I LOVE it.   I got another one on the way out to take home from the airport.   And I got Dan 2 lbs of bread, which is now portion controlled for him in bags in our freezer 😉sf salad

One of my favorite parts of the whole weekend is that they take GOOD care of all of the girls, especially when it comes to food.  If you are gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian, or all of the above, have no fear.  I usually worry a bit when I travel, but at the hotel and at the Clif Co. dinner, I didn’t have to worry either year.  It takes a HUGE load off of me.  I will go hungry before I cave and eat gluten, ask Dan, he’s learned the hard way.

The food at Clif is excellent.  This may be been the first plate of 2 (or 3) 🙂

sf clif food

That’s my team, putting Texas on the map at the Clif headquarters!  LOVE my team and I am so proud of them.

sf map

The only thing I was really worried about was the run training.  I had to quit running in January and had only started back about 1.5 weeks before I flew out to San Francisco.  3 months off of running is the longest i’d ever gone since starting.  You also lose almost all of your fitness in anything over 6 weeks.

Our morning of run training was mostly a track workout, which was GREAT for me.  The mile warmup at the time was the longest i’d run non-stop.  I almost cried I was so happy.    I was fine and didn’t really have anything to worry about.  My team was really supportive and actually had to reign me in during the speedwork, because I was running my intervals at my old pace.  I know too fast too soon is bad, but it felt AWESOME.  I behaved and scaled back at the end.  And there was yoga and lots of it, which I loved.  Sadie, the Clif yogi taught the classes and I adored her!sfgroup

We got a little silly on our final night of the conference.  Had to get a pic on this round Hugh Hefner-esque couch!

sf silly

The silly may have been the booze and the desserts.  Ok for me, it was just desserts.  My team devoured everything on the table.  Yes, that’s a whole tray of gluten free!    There were actually some tables who didn’t touch theirs.  My team is obviously meant to be.  We all love food.

sf gf guests

We spent 2 extra nights, one on the front and one on the end for extra time.

The last day we had Mediterranean food at a cute little dive in a super fancy area.  So random and so good!  We were famished after we shopped at Athleta.  The salmon kabobs really gave Zoe’s a run for their money.  I will be back again!
sf kabob

The weekend ended way too soon.  But once it was time to leave, boy were we ready to leave!  It was a long day traveling home that Monday, lack of sleep, coffee, and own beds was wearing us down.  It was an even longer day back at work on Tuesday!

Recipe review: Chorizo stuffed peppers

Sprouts had peppers on sale on Sunday, so I decided it was time for stuffed peppers!  Just a little something I threw together as I was making it.

First, I made my own chorizo.  Savory Spice shop chorizo seasoning.  You add it to whatever type of ground meat you want, add vinegar (I use apple cider) and water and mix, then chill for a few hours or longer.  The directions are on the side of the package.  I like this seasoning so much, I have a big bottle of it.

Chorizo Stuffed Bell Peppers

-1 lb of chorizo-cooked (whatever kind you like, they make vegetarian versions too)

-1 cup of rice-cooked (I made a pan of Alton Brown’s Brown Rice)

-2 cups of cooked mixed veggies (I used HEB stirfry blend which has peppers, broccoli, carrots, etc)

-4 large bell peppers, tops sliced off

-shredded cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Pull the tops off of the bell peppers and remove the seeds.  You can either cut up the tops (minus the stem) and throw in the mixture, or toss them in trash.  Put the 4 bell pepper bottoms in a pot of boiling water and boil 4-5 minutes.   Remove from the water and dry them off.

In a skillet combine the mixed veggies, rice, and meat/meat sub and heat until warm.  Then stuff each pepper with the mixture.before bell pepper

Place in a greased 8×8 pan and bake covered with foil, for 20 minutes.  Remove foil, top with cheese if desired and broil until melted and bubbly.finish peppers

Dan LOVED these.  Good.  Because we are having them as leftovers tonight.  It’s LUNA run night and we always have leftovers on Tuesdays, because I don’t have time to cook.  I am already doing well not to gnaw my arm off before I get home at 8 pm.

Who does that?

Some things that left me confused in the past week…


  • Picks their nose in the breakroom while waiting for their food to heat?  I don’t care if there is a Kleenex barrier.  Gross is gross.  Go to the bathroom.
  • Ruins someone else’s belonging and doesn’t tell them?
  • Using public assistance to buy sodas, chips, and doughnuts?
  • Uses the work gym bathroom as their personal nasty stall?  You know what I mean!  some people ONLY venture in there to do their dirty work.  Thank goodness I only go to the work gym when I have to.
  • Eats potato chips in the work gym?  I was so perplexed, I took a photo.  It’s ok to eat chips if you want, but in the gym?  Yeah, that’s a candy wrapper next to it.trash
  • Spills a soda on the carpet and just leaves it there?
  • Takes over the crowded gym and readjusts EVERYTHING?  The fans, the tv, the stereo, etc?   All fans off was brutal.
  • Goes to an event and freeloads on everything?  Leave some stuff for others!  Free is free to an extent.  If they wanted you to take everything, I am pretty sure they’d give you everything up front.
  • Grunts during yoga? I am not talking about prompted or necessary noises.  It must be a dude thing.
  • Doesn’t wash their hands after leaving the bathroom stall?

Things I like Thursday: good time Saturday night

We had a few people over last weekend.  party 5

Ok like 16.

Dan and I hosted our very first party and first house concert, featuring Drew Kennedy.  The concert was also used as a kick-start for his new album, which he played in it’s entirety.  No, it’s not cheap, but it’s really a neat experience to go to.  Small number of people and very intimate.  This was the 3rd or 4th i’ve been to, but our first time hosting.  It was hard, because we couldn’t invite everyone, in fact, I didn’t have anything to do with the logistics other than being there and getting the massive amount of groceries and helping food prep.

concert 2

The food was awesome, or at least I thought so.  I finally got to use my new Auburn serving platter!  That’s homemade jalapeno summer sausage that my dad made.

part 1

Dan smoked a bunch of meat (bacon wrapped pork tenderloins, Canecuh sausages from Alabama, and a brisket), made his mom’s potato salad, beans, I made my mom’s famous 7 layer dip.  We also had people bring oriental slaw, 7 layer greek dip, brownies, an awesome fruit bowl, and lots of drinks (our whole kitchen table was a bar).concert 1

party 4

During the first break at the concert, we sang Dan happy birthdayconcert 4

and they dug into his cookie cake (writing in Auburn orange of course!)

concert 3

I think it’s safe to say, a good time was had by all.  The evening ended with a 18 person slumber party!  It’s a good thing we have room.

The next morning the yummy bbq was converted into breakfast tacos.  I cropped this so you can’t see the disaster my house was on Sunday morning!concert 5

It got cleaned up for the most part, but then we all went to the softball benefit and I never finished the job.  Not spotless, but it’ll do until the weekend.

Fun facts Friday: like momma

I realized while I was in San Francisco last week, that I am more like my mom that I thought.  This is a good and a bad thing.

  • I make lists.  When I am bored I make lists of lists I need to make.  
  • On both flights last week, I made lists on the notepad of my phone.  I edited the first one on Wednesday, but I originally wrote it April 4 on my way out to Cali.  If my mom knew how do do this on her new iphone, she would.lists
  • Lists lead me to be more organized most of the time and hopefully worry less.  Unless stuff on said list doesn’t get done soon enough.
  • I am a planner.  I do better when I plan.  When I don’t plan, it’s not the end of the world.  Unless it means I don’t get to eat, then all hell breaks loose.
  • She has the same haircut as me.  I had it first though.
  • We both lost our weight on Weight Watchers.
  • She likes to fish with my dad.  I spent many hours fishing with my dad when I was in college. Hopefully as soon as June rolls around (and the legislative session is over), I can take some time off to go with them.   Although, spring and fall fishing is way better.
  • I am frugal.  My parents spoiled me as a kid, but it was never at full price.  When Solo Serve was around, we shopped there.  Ross, TJ, and Marshall’s are faves these days for both mom and I.  And I love a good outlet mall store.  My first truck, yes, it was brand new, but my Sonic wages and tips paid for that sucker.
  • I worry.  ALOT.  This is bad bad bad for the health.
  • Both of my parents snack alot.  I’ve gotten better but I still eat when I cook.  This is something i’ve never been able to nix.
  • When I am at work, I worry about all of the stuff I need to do at home.  I am getting better about worrying about work while at home.
  • One of the really bad things I do is let the snark come out full force or snip.  I have huge issues with my tone.  My mom is really bad about this.  I am trying to be better, but Dan harshly reminds me of this often.

The bad I am really going to have to try hard to fix for my sanity and for my health.  It’s not hard to see that some of my habits are very type A and type A’s have been shown to have increased risk for stress issues.