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7 Quick Takes (23)

August 13, 2010

Ash –

Good afternoon y’all. Friday at last. Although in my case, I really wish it would slow down. Only one more week (plus this weekend) to go before the fall semester! Kind of nervous, excited, and dreading it. Mostly dreading it. But we’ll let that slide for the moment. Here’s some tidbits from our week.

1. Matt – I just wanted to thank all of you who commented about my little episode yesterday morning. I’m feeling perfectly fine now, more confused than anything. I’ve never had anything like that happen to me before!?! I can’t imagine living with those. To anybody who gets migraines on a regular basis, I am so sorry. If there is anything I can do, I will do my best. Build you a dark room? Bring you over some medicine? It really freaks me out that people get those sometimes daily. Wow.

2. Ash – With an empty fridge (aside from the tres leches from my neighbor). And my parents out of town the past few days (happy to say that they come home today), I had three options: starve, eat dog food, or make a grocery run. The dog food wasn’t entirely out of the question. One of our dogs gets baby food (another story for another time). But I decided to go with Whole Foods.

My favorite find of the trip? Red currants! I’m not sure when was the last time I saw these in a Texas grocery store. Typically I only see red currants in Europe (a combination of family vacations and visiting relatives). Not so surprising. According to Wikipedia, they’re actually native to Europe. Might explain why they don’t seem to be nearly as popular in the U.S. If you like tart berries though, these are great. I’ve been having them with breakfast almost every day this week.

Plain Greek yogurt, lots of blueberries, and red currants. Yum!

3. Matt – BEACH DAY! For the last time in 2010, we are headed down to Galveston Island for my best man’s birthday celebration. The old guy is turning 22…his last year before he goes off to be brainwashed by Texas A&M. I really tried to prevent it. Anyways, after the beach he might drag us old practically-married types out to a dance club where we can stand around and be exhausted. I swear after Ashley and I had been together for about a year or so, neither of us can comfortably stay out at night past 10pm. It’s really, really sad.

4. Ash – This week we met with the recommended officiant for our wedding venue. I want to be upfront and say we liked him but…. we didn’t really connect. Without a doubt, this guy knew his business. He had binders to show us, videos for us to watch, a website filled with examples, sample programs for us to take home. But with other vendors, we just knew when we’d found the right person. Didn’t get that same feeling with this guy. So the search continues. Instead we asked friends and family to give us church recommendations. Leaving us a couple new places check out. You know where to find us this Sunday. In church with a couple small prayers that God helps us find the person meant to officiate our wedding.

5. Matt – You probably already know that Ash and I are pretty solid fans of So You Think You Can Dance. We managed to catch a recording of this weeks final performances just in time to watch the finale live.


For those of you who’ve watched it, the blonde girl ( I can’t think of her name) was way better than other finalists. She definitely deserved to win. Way more versatile (read “attractive”) than the two other guys. Very glad she got the win.

On a related note, I’m pretty sure Ash now can add Kat Deely to her crush list. Everytime Kat would even glance at the camera, touch somebody else’s hair, smile, tell a joke, or even blink, Ashley would SQUEAALLLLL with delight. “Isn’t she the absolute cutest? OH MY GOD I so love her!!!” I really wasn’t sure if I could respond with the proper amount of enthusiasm (read “enough enthusiasm not to get beat to a pulp”) “Oh yeah babe. She’s awesome!” Sweet. She bought it. And the bonus? She doesn’t know I was doing the same exact thing on the inside.

6. Ash – Getting back to the intro. Schools starts next Monday (the 23rd). But Matt and I head back this Tuesday. Lots of cleaning. Unpacking. Books to pick up. A couple days of orientation for Matt. A training for me. Plus a last “oh my goodness the summer is really over” trip next weekend. Very busy. Very exciting. Very nerve wracking.

Matt is a weirdo and thrilled for the semester to start. Psyched about his internship at the school. I… I’m not so thrilled. I’m a planner. And a worrier. And crazy. So I’m not just thinking about school starting. I’m wondering how I’ll balance my job and traveling to medical school interviews? How hard (or how much of my time) will biochem take? Will my allergies be a major issue especially while I’m on the shots? When will I schedule time to write the first couple chapters of my honors thesis (due by the end of the semester)? And will I still be able to watch Glee on Tuesday nights at 7 (returns in September) or will I have to start watching them online?

I know I sound obsessive. I am. I try not to be. I prefer to think of myself as detail oriented. Good thing is the semester usually looks better or at least more manageable once it starts. But for now I think I’ll cling to summer like a kid to her blanket.

7. Matt – Our friend Lindsay brought our attention to a new movie coming out that stars one of my all time, Jason Bateman as well as Jennifer Aniston. Switch looks like the producers took the characters that made the two famous (Rachel from Friends and Michael from Arrested Development) and placed them in the same story. It looks REALLY promising.

“Oh my God. I have that.”

Have a great weekend everyone and a safe Friday the 13th (just in case you have friggatriskaidekaphobia). Also anything you’d like to ask? Don’t forget to send in some Texas Tuesday questions!


Scatterbrain (7)

August 12, 2010

Matt –

As promised, here is my second post of the evening. Looks like I’ll be keeping up my end of the bargain. Am I getting paid for this? It’s time for my brain to be tidied up…

1. So even though I wasn’t feeling so hot, I had to go through something even worse. Thursday morning I took Ash to the allergy clinic for her to start her treatments. Now I’m not afraid of needles, but I severely dislike them. I don’t know how many of you have seen any of the Saw movie series, but in the second one…. well there is a large hole in the ground full of… I have no desire to continue remembering that movie. In any case, watching her get three shots in two arms was surprisingly painful. I hate shots, but I hate watching them even more.

2. I’m always critical of Ashley’s dogs. They don’t seem to partake in any normal roughhousing dog activities. They’re way too smart for their own good, and they often bicker with each other over nonsensical things. They’re little philosopher dogs. I did catch a site the other day that made me quite proud of them though.

YES LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, I have finally taught these sissy dogs how to compete. Granted the tug-of-war ended a-la YMCA…there were “trophies” for everyone, but it’s a start.

Everyone wins.

3. Forever and a day I have hated Hugh Grant. He’s pompous and not funny. Even more I hate the fact that I can now stand him. I might even enjoy his movies. I recently saw Did You Hear About the Morgans? in which he stars across Sarah Jessica Parker (BARF) as quarreling lovers placed in witness protection in Wyoming. Just describing the movie makes me sick. But it turned out to be pretty funny. SPOILER ALERT: Sarah Jessica Parker does not get hurt or die in this movie. A usual requirement in my selections. To add on to the Hugh Grant movie marathon I seem to be on, I watched Mickey Blue Eyes last night. Except for the terrible depiction of Italian mobsters, it was passable as funny.

If anybody quotes ANYTHING I said from the previous paragraph to another of my male friends, there will be severe consequences.

4. We have a problem. It started off as an innocent trip to the local outdoor mall to satisfy our ice cream (more specifically, italian gelato) craving. We strolled through Barnes & Noble with almost no problem, but then we tricked ourselves to browsing inside American Eagle. No way they would have the same kind of deals we found last time right? It’s a tragedy/blessing. They were running the same promotion, BOGO half off for tshirts. I picked up a tee for 6 bucks…. but Ashley’s was the story. Regularly $15.50… we bought it for $1.75. Somebody do the math as far as percentage goes. I’m starting to be scared by our abilities to find things that are inexpensive and to BUY THEM ALL THE TIME.

How about we go back to a regular schedule next week? Sounds good to me. See y’all tomorrow.

30 Seconds of OK

August 12, 2010

Matt –

Ash and I made a deal. If I postponed posting yesterday until this morning, I could post twice and all would be forgiven. Fair game. We sat down and I had her watch Gladiator (one of my all time favorites) for the first time last night. If she hadn’t had been fantasizing about Dairy Queen’s Peanut Parfait (a virus that she caused me to catch – although we managed to avoid succumbing to temptation), she might have paid better attention. Oh well, just ammunition to use to get her to watch it again.

I woke up this morning, mentally ready to write something… until I threw up. Now I’ve had friends and family with migraines before, and according to what I hear from them, this is what I had. And a big one. Light seemed to be screaming at me. I couldn’t lay my head on the softest of pillows without feelings like the green Power Ranger was roundhouse kicking me in the back of the skull. (And then he would play that little flute thing and a big robotic… never mind.) I stumbled downstairs, grabbed an advil, a bottle of water, and a couple of Excedrin. They worked like a charm… for the 30 seconds that I could keep them down.

How do you people deal with these on a regular basis? I wouldn’t be able to keep a job or go to school. In all honestly, one of the most miserable feelings I’ve had. I was lucky though, it only lasted a couple of hours. After that I got some solid food and some more water, and I started to recover. I’m still a tad dizzy, but I’ll cope.

Ash is going to be a stellar mom one day, I can tell. You know how you want to go back to being a kid when you’re sick? The soon-to-be Mrs. Wilson is crazy good.

Are those CUT UP hot dogs? A toothpick to eat them with and ketchup to dip in? Unbelievable. I’m gonna get sick every day! We both sat down with a plate of salmon hot dogs (interesting concept right?), yellow bell peppers, tiny cherry tomatoes (toe-MAY-toes) and carrots. Finish it with a little Dove piece of peanut butter and chocolate, and I was set.

After lunch we curled up, caught a recorded episode of So You Think You Can Dance, then hopped in the pool (or at least I’m hoping to convince her to jump in – she’s mentioning something about a 30 minute wait…). Hopefully this only happens to me once in a NEVER EVER AGAIN EVER.

I’ll be feeling better tonight so I can actually share something that isn’t whiny or sick with y’all. Catch you then!

Texas Tuesday (23)

August 10, 2010

Matt –

Oh Tuesday. You resemble Monday so closely, it really isn’t nice. You just make us realize that we are two days in, three days out from the weekend. Farther away then close. Sad day. Sad, sad day. But answering these questions cheered me up 🙂

1. What do you associate with the following colors: Red, Blue, Orange?

Ash – I’ll just go with the first things that come to mind. Red –> The wedding. Our colors are champagne and a deep red. Blue –> My eyes. Physically speaking, one of the few things I really like about myself. Orange –> My mom. Her favorite color.

Matt – Red, I associate with fire. Or my skin, if exposed for more than 30 minutes to the sun. Blue reminds me of the sky. Don’t laugh. If the sky is blue outside, its much more likely my skin turns red. And finally, orange makes me think of burnt orange, which reminds me that UT is in our conference. Which then reminds me that Baylor beat UT 4 times in a row last basketball season. Which makes me happy.

2. How do you imagine the world will be different by the year 2020?

Matt – I imagine things being a lot more mobile. No more “laptops” or “desktops”, but rather small personal PC’s (not sure if we will go the tablet route). Textbooks in schools (or at least colleges) will be virtually impossible to find, replaced by Kindle-type or Nook-type devices that allow students to take notes and read the text at the same time. Video gaming will become an awkward combination of physical movement and occasional button pressing. There will either be more or less countries in the Middle East, but North Korea will still be there. I will have lost my wallet 1.5 times, and gone to the DMV twice.

Ash – Are you kidding? I’m still mentally trying to figure out how old I’ll be in 2020. So if I’m 21 now, and it’s 2010…. I should be 31 in 2020? Side note – favorite quote from one of my college professors who is also a doctor: “I was assured there’d be no math.” Anyway back to the question. Dear lord. I’m not ready to imagine how the world will be different. Or maybe we’ll just return back to the 90’s (the only other full decade I know). Beanie babies and fanny packs will be cool again.

3. Which freedom were you denied as a child that you want to give your child when you have one, e.g., didn’t have a cell phone until you were X years old?

Ash – Honestly my mom gave me more than enough freedoms. Regarding the cell phone, I had one in the 6th grade. Normally something I figure a kid doesn’t need at that point (especially since almost none of my friends had cell phones – my phone time was spent playing Snake). But in my defense it was my mom’s hand me down. And its main purpose was so I could contact her whenever in spite of her having to travel for work and the ongoing divorce. I fully admit I was spoiled. But similar to how a friend recently joked about another friend, “She’s spoiled. Just not a brat.” Hopefully my parents agree.

Something I’ll probably let my kid have at an earlier age than I got is an iPod. But that’s only because those bad boys weren’t launched until 2001 (making me twelve), and I don’t think I got one until a few years after that.

Matt – YOU’RE GIVING OUR CHILD AN IPOD?!?!! Sorry. It keeps things fresh if I instigate. A freedom I was denied….hmmm. Ah yes. A freedom I would give my child would be the freedom to mow the lawn. I started at around 13, I think he/she would benefit from having that freedom about 7 years earlier. This way I can watch TV in peace really get a sense of personal accomplishment and family responsibility engrained in his/her little head.

4. The ability to fly like a bird or swim like a fish – which would you prefer? And does it matter how your life partner answers this question?

Ash – Swim like a fish. I love to travel, but airplanes always make me nervous. Not sure I’d enjoying being able to fly. However, swimming (the relaxing rather than the racing kind) I love. Especially the ocean. Salt water feels great on my skin and makes my hair extra curly. But I think I’d be willing to fly if that was the difference between being with Matt or not. Although consider carefully, Matt. I’d like to point out that under the sea “we got not troubles. Life is the bubbles.”

Matt – I suppose it would be swimming. I’m a garbage swimmer. Plus, if I felt like flying, all I have to do is swim by the beach goers and jump up into the air (freaking out Chelsea over at Roots&Rings). But then you would have to watch out for sharks and whales and fish nets. Flying would be easier.

5. Favorite comfort food when you are feeling blue? Favorite comfort food when you are feeling sick? Favorite indulgent food when you are feeling naughty?

Matt – Comfort food for feeling blue (or really, anytime) – Chicken friend steak with mashed potatoes and either corn or green beans. When I’m feeling sick? This is a tough one, because I eat so much less when I’m sick. I guess it would have to be Gatorade. I drink the stuff like its going out of style. Love it. When I’m feeling rebellious? Toaster Strudel. Oh my goodness. I hurt thinking about it. Crispy, flaky, doughy, sweetly filled bars of toasted incrediblosity.

Ash – Ice cream could probably be the answer for any of these, but we’ll reserve it as the “naughty” answer. When I’m feeling blue/depressed/stressed, I enjoy a burger. Either that or fried rice. Something about both of those are oddly comforting. As for sick, it’s a toss up between mashed potatoes (especially of the homemade variety) or my mom’s “tuna casserole” (really just Kraft mac ‘n cheese, tuna, and cream of mushroom – tastes a lot better than it probably sounds).

6. Name the photo you want to capture at some time in your lifetime, e.g., top of the Himalayas?

Ash – Okay hopefully this isn’t too odd of an answer. But a picture of Matt napping with our (way off in the future) baby. I look forward to the day I can step into a room and see my husband sleeping while protecting his precious babe. My hormones sing at the thought. I’ll be the weirdo with a comically huge picture of the two of them sleeping hanging in my house. People will stare, and I’ll proudly explain how this is just as breathtaking as any ol’ Himalaya.

Matt – I would love to capture the photo of my golf ball at the bottom of the hole…after a hole in one. I’ve only come close a couple of times, but nowhere near close enough.

7. I would like you to ask your readers to name their favorite book so we will have something new to read after Mockingjay.

Ash – Oooooooh. I like this question. Please make some suggestions? I could always use a good read, and I’m even willing to have any suggestions count toward my 101 in 1001.

8. What is your ideal home? Ranch with lots of space for “fetch” and football? Apartment in the heart of the action with a fabulous view? Houseboat, perhaps? RV with WiFi? Treehouse?

Matt – I definitely need a yard to throw a ball around, and flat area of concrete for a future basketball goal. Everything else is negotiable. Except for Ash. She’s not.

Ash – Well the Pioneer Woman makes the ranch life look awfully fun, but could I convince someone else to herd my animals? I like the room for gardens and running around though. Probably a decent sized house (let me be extra vague and say not too big and not too small). Maybe in a smaller community but with access to a larger city. Probably with a pool if we are in Texas (and assuming we can afford it). But as long as I have Matt and am somewhere near my family that is my ideal home.

9. If you were in Hunger Games, which character would you be and why?

Ash – Katniss. Who doesn’t want to be the main character? Assuming they are the same sex as you – after all, I’m guessing Matt might not want to be Katniss. Also assuming they’re somewhat likable and not annoying (cough*Bella Swan*cough). Mostly I’d choose Katniss because I can’t really relate to any of the other characters. I don’t think of myself as a Peeta, Gale, or Prim.

(If you don’t know what I’m talking about please read this book. In fact, if you’re my real life friend, I’ll happily let you borrow it.)

Matt – I have a feeling I would be Gale, the friend from District 12. I wouldn’t be Peeta, I’m not country strong like him. But I’m crafty.

10. Name something that made you smile in the last 24 hours.

Ash – I feel like I smiled all day long. I was super productive and even had enough time to see a movie. But probably my favorite moments of the day? When Matt came over in the morning with these:

They're beautiful and some of them are still opening.

And then when my neighbor called us last night to ask if we wanted to pick up this:

Homemade tres leches. She makes the best. Who cares if I'm full from dinner?

Matt – The fact that I get to eat what’s pictured above in a few hours. Score.

Breakfast, Bowling, and Babies (and My Addiction to Alliteration)

August 9, 2010

Ash –

Look at us posting on time on a Monday morning! *Pats self on back* Sorry about last week. Between packing, the wedding menu tasting, driving to Dallas, no internet at the hotel, and then driving back it was a busy few days. However, if you didn’t get a chance to read them, Matt did write TWO posts on Saturday. Go ahead and check that out.

Also while you’re reading this post why don’t you go ahead and start brainstorming a couple of Texas Tuesday questions? Okay? Alright lets get to it…

I admit Sunday was a pretty quiet one. Ran a few errands with the Momma. An afternoon cat nap. Picked some basil leaves for homemade pesto. Played with the adorable one year old my sister was babysitting (who I then contemplated stealing she was so cute – but I will not post a picture in case you want to steal her as well). Essentially relaxing to the max (sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?).

Which was perfect after all the fun we had on Saturday. Started the morning off strong with a Physique 57 (eesh my arms are still sore) and a healthy breakfast (Greek yogurt, lots of blueberries, and cinnamon). Took care of some things around the house, a quick lunch (a couple handfuls of chips, salsa, and an apple with peanut butter), and a shower. All of that was before 1:30!

My favorite is extra crunchy. What's yours?

Then I began the hour and a half process that is straightening my hair (it might have been shorter if I took out the string cheese and dance breaks). Straightening is a pain in the behind for people with thick and long hair. Or people who don’t straighten their hair on a regular basis so never got “good” at it per se. But I felt like doing something different. After all, we had special plans that night. Our first “official” double date with friends.

Of course we’ve been out with other people before. Group nights with friends. Family nights or double dating with the parents. Even a semi-double date before we actually started dating (this was the “we’re interested but just hanging out” sort of date). But this was the first time we had actually asked a friend, “Want to do a double date sometime?” Yes, our rhetoric is awesome.

Maybe we feared rejection. Maybe we thought it sounded awkward. Maybe we were too busy curling up at home with movies. I don’t know. But we asked, and our friend Lindsay (also known as Rosey – I swear Matt and all of his friends have at least 20 different names for each other) said yes.

Being the girls that we are, Lindsay and I texted the night before to confirm our plans and gush about how excited we were. She was especially excited because Kory (her boyfriend – obviously the other person in our double date) would be helping her move into her new apartment in the morning. Which is why Matt and I being the outrageously kind, thoughtful, and generous people that we are brought her an apartment warming gift:

From Matt. Pinot Grigio. Classy.

From me. Hostess cupcakes. Even more classy!

So we met up and headed off to dinner. Or in my case breakfast for dinner. Because the best part about Rosey’s new apartment? It’s five minutes away from one of my favorite breakfast places. Buffalo Grille. Huge servings. Not bad prices. And some of the best migas, biscuits, and bacon around.

No they aren't paying me, but if you live in Houston you should eat here some time. You won't regret it.

Sufficiently stuffed, Matt, Rosey, Kory, Kory’s food baby (no food baby for me this time!), and I loaded back into the car for the second part of our evening. Bowling. Now I’m pretty good if we’re talking about the Wii version. I once got seven strikes in a row playing that game (of course that happened when nobody was there to witness it but I PROMISE it happened). Unfortunately we’re talking about the kind where you rent the shoes and hand over cash.

And of course we had to come with someone who was actually good at bowling. Kory came prepared with his own shoes and bowling ball. I was given the name slot right after Kory. Talk about making me look bad. Good news is I got second place in the first game. The bad news is I got third place in the second game and dead last in the third game. Learning curve there was not.

Bowling and Archie (plus gang) are fun 🙂

Really we had a great time. Kory’s friend showed up for the last game (and there was much teasing about him getting beaten by a girl – Lindsay…. obviously not me). Plus I’m very proud of Matt for not only getting a turkey (three strikes in a row) but winning the last game with a 150 score. That’s right y’all. Apparently my man can bowl!

Unfortunately the night had to come to an end. Everyone had been told to clear out at 9 (I think they were doing one of those Rock N Bowl’s after 9). So we called it a night considering the drive home would take close to an hour (everyone else lives semi-close to that area because they all went to high school together but I live on the other side of town). And of course on the way home we stopped by Blockbuster and picked up Did You Hear About the Morgans? An awesome double date and a chance to curl up with a movie? I guess sometimes you get the best of both worlds.

Needless to say I look forward to any future double dates. They’re a blast. Especially with Rosey and Kory. And you know what else is a blast? Texas Tuesday questions. That’s right folks. Brainstorming is over. Push the comment button and throw us a bone or two. Please and thank you!

7 Quick Takes (22)

August 7, 2010


1. I can’t imagine being a newspaper or magazine writer. Writing for a deadline seems too stressful for me! Right now I’m typing at a feverish pace to get this out before Ash and I go out on a double date with some good friends. Lindsay just moved into a new apartment, so we thought we’d go over and see it and then go have breakfast for dinner at a spot really close to her new pad. (What constitutes a pad? Do you have to be British? Do you have to be a bachelor? Help me out here.) After that, we’re taking it back to the middle school days and hitting the bowling alley. Rumor has it that her boyfriend bowls with his family as a habit. We’ll see…oh…we’ll see.

I'm much better on the Wii.

2. Ok Dallas people, let’s hammer this out. You keep talking about how much more awesome D-Town is than Houston. I respect city pride, I really do. But Dallas kinda is….meh. It doesn’t seem any more awesome than any other city. A ton of traffic, bad drivers, extremely hot, busy and congested airport, etc. The Denny’s we ate in didn’t even have working AC. So here, my Dallas friends, defend your city. Comment and make your case. I still maintain that Houston is better (from a totally objective point of view). Houston readers, chime in as well. Those who don’t live in either city? Make your case for your favorite. Could there be a reward for the best comments? Who knows.

3. I haven’t mentioned him that often here before, but my brother Michael is a pretty awesome kid. One of the hardest workers I know, he’s trying to get into a really awesome school on the north side of Houston. Michael has attended even more schools than I have, but since he advances so quickly, he has to move to another one that can give him what he needs! For kids who learn a different way and at a different pace, Michael is tearing it up. At the moment, we have a parent interview at the new school so please pray for us. Of anybody I know, he deserves to be in a place where he can have a truly awesome high school experience.

4. I’m making a dent in our 101 in 1001! Ashley finally browbeat me into reading Hunger Games. I was hooked about 15 pages in. Incredible. No matter how old you are, you need to read this book. I’m currently about 30 pages into the sequel, Catching Fire and it hasn’t disappointed me yet. Suzanne Collins has really earned my respect. Rumor has it, and I REALLY hope they’re true, that there will be a movie made from Hunger Games. <fingers crossed>

5. This past Wednesday Ash and I drove up to the wedding venue for our menu tasting. My parents were free so they were kind enough to join us. (It will be painful, but I will have to blog in the future about how much like my dad I am. Sighhhhhhh.) Ashley and I found a white zinfandel we are obsessed with (Forestville?) and really want at the bar for our big day. We also had fun with finger foods. One in particular was a “shrimp shooter”. A cocktail shrimp, stacked on a small piece of bruschetta, balanced on a shot glass of cocktail sauce. Bite the shrimp, bite the bread, sip the sauce. Too similar to a tequila shot right? The best part, without a doubt, was watching some people trying in vain to dip the bread and shrimp into the sauce. Hours de ouvres fail.

6. Ashley is trying to kill me, little by little. She rigged a booby trap in her pool the other day. I was innocently walking around and stepped on the plastic grate. As it turns out, she weakend the structural integrity of the plastic so it would cave under my extremely lean, yet massive body weight. It worked perfectly, leaving a small piece of plastic on the side of the grate to slice open my toe. I survived, barely. I lost no a ton of blood and had to stagger back to the house to get a band-aid a large piece of gauze to stop the bleeding. But that’s not all. When I got home, I found she had rigged the bottom of my desk to slice open THE EXACT SAME TOE but on the top. I’m a trooper, but I just need somebody to kiss it and make it all better.

7. God bless the man who invented Buc-ees. The gas station and convenience store chain is by far my favorite. I’m not sure if I’ve written about it before, but it deserves another quick take. On the way to Dallas, we encountered the biggest Buc-ees yet. At least 3 times as big as your regular gas-station, and about 10 times as nice and clean. What other gas station has a fudge bar? Or a backpack made from its adorable mascot? Or 5 rows of chips? Or a coffee station that….well its an awesome coffee station. If you live in Texas and haven’t been, shame on you. Bring me back some Beaver nuggets and beef jerkey.

A billboard advertising Buc-ees says "My Overbite is Sexy". Win.

Some Guys…

August 7, 2010

Matt –

So I realize that it’s been a week, but I never got to tell Matt’s side of the Vegas story. This makes for a sad Matt. Matt didn’t make the mistake of wearing heels, and he rarely does. Very rarely.

Vegas was overwhelming from the moment we got off the plane. First off, just the heat that we felt coming through the little crack between the plane door and the terminal was lung crushing.

“Oh, but Matt, it will be a dry heat”, said people back in Houston. These people are stupid and have never been to Nevada. Dry heat or no, 106 degrees Farenheit is still really freaking hot, especially when it is 102 in the shaded parking garage.

First thing we saw coming off the plane? Slot machines. I guess I should have prepared myself for this, but I hadn’t. This really is VEGAS. The place where people blow hundreds and thousands of dollars gambling. We got situated in our rooms and got ready to explore Sin City, amusement park for adults.

I mention Sin City for a reason. For those of you who aren’t aware, prostitution is legal in some parts of Nevada. This isn’t true is Las Vegas….but advertising for it is a totally different story. What seems like hundreds of people line the street corners holding cards and pamphlets, slapping them on their wrists to make a large popping noise, and then offering them to you. It was culture shock at first, but “hooker cards” just ended up being funny.

I’ve traveled (with Ashley and her family) to New York City, walked in Manhattan, and took in the sheer size of the city. It was ginormous. It really was.

But for a few miles, Las Vegas has the edge on overwhelming. Lights, huge buildings, shiny things, sounds, cars, the heat….it all combines to be truly spectacular (except for the famous “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign…its about the size of a McDonald’s sign on a shorter pole).

But the most spectacular? Ceasar’s Palace. A collection of what seemed like endless buildings all connected by casinos or gardens and nightclubs and theatres and restaurants and shopping malls and and and…we didn’t even have time to see all of it. ONE HOTEL! If anything embodies Vegas, its Ceaser’s. Truly mind boggling.

I'm not even sure if all of Ceasar's is included in the photo...

And it was in Ceasar’s that I got my first shot at real live Texas Hold ‘Em Poker. And I will never play at the real tables any time soon. I am not good. Online poker is not the same as real life poker (as are most things duplicated online). Let’s move on from that.

The other truly spectacular thing I saw while in Vegas was the Bellagio fountains. Different songs synced perfectly with high powered fountains to create a visually stimulating aquatic display? My brain was firing on all cylinders trying to comprehend the engineering and the mathematics put into each of these performances (son of an engineer playing its role).

My friend Monet (the whole reason for us being there) is an absolute machine. I think if she was given free range, she could cover all of Vegas in one night. I think we barely hit half (if that) in two nights…and I was bushed.

As mentioned by one of the valet drivers in the movie Hangover, some guys just can’t handle Vegas. I’m probably one of them. But we should try again.