Monday, August 9, 2010

Break's Over

After a ten-month stint of inactivity, Deliberations of a Dreamer is back - thanks to some persuasion from a distant friend and a recent gift. Unfortunately, the only explanation I have for the idleness is lack of motivation - and lack of an interesting topic. That's not to say I have an interesting topic now; unemployment just gives me more time to organize and publish thoughts.

Before I get to the present, here is what has been going on since my last, and appropriately titled post, Time for a Break:

October
Got a boyfriend. Although he claims I tricked him in to dating me, I think he was secretly glad that I did.

Got all dressed up for a Halloween party and didn't go to a Halloween party. I can't reveal my costume because it will most likely be making a second debut (oxymoron) this coming October.

November
November was uneventful.

Spent Thanksgiving in Seminole, Oklahoma.

December
Flew to Cancun the Sunday after final exams for the Burroughs/Lovett nuptials. We spent three days at the Azul Sensatori Resort in Riviera Maya, swimming in the pouring rain, getting pedicures, roasting marshmallows on the beach, eating, and, oh yeah, witnessing the wedding of an amazing friend.

After spending the morning on the beach, we flew back to Dallas, then I drove back to Cordell in the biggest blizzard in recent years. I made it home for Christmas Eve; however, Christmas Eve was spent snowed in, as was Christmas Day.


January
Also uneventful.

February
Spent Valentine's Day with the most wonderful valentine ever! After an amazing dinner at Kyle's 1025 he suffered through the movie Valentine's Day because he knew I wanted to see it - along with the rest of OKC. I came away with a beautiful pair of James Avery earrings and a giant Eileen's cookie. Not too shabby!



March
Professed my love to a long time friend only to discover that while he did "L" me back, he didn't quite "love" me back.

Participated in my last Spring Sing show ever as a Theta Grandma. Although we had the best directors by far, and the best Theta Spring Sing show in recent years, politics left us in 8th place.


Traveled to San Antonio for Spring Break to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Volunteering with H4H is without a doubt hard work, with all the hammering, sawing, drilling, installing, etc.; however, seeing the progress made in five days makes it all worth while. Not to mention, spending the week with awesome old friends and tons of new friends.


April
Graduated from Oklahoma Christian University with a degree in General Business and a minor in Spanish Languages, only to discover that there are no jobs out there that require a degree in General Business.

May
Traveled to the Village of Hope in Ghana, West Africa, where I spent the most amazing three weeks of my life with 200 of the most amazing kids I have ever met. The month of May requires its own entry, so I am not going to elaborate just yet.


June
Moved in with my big sister.

Began the dreaded job search.

July
Continued the dreaded job search.

August
Still unemployed. It turns out no one wants to hire an experienced Nanny/Lifeguard.

Thinking about waiting tables. These bills aren't paying themselves.

Still have the boyfriend. He loves me.



There you have it. A brief - or not so brief, depending on your definition of the word - update on the somewhat boring life of the Dreamer. Oh, and to elaborate on the recent motivation, the distant friend who keeps asking me to blog is none other than the Jaclyn Lovett Burroughs. I'm still not sure why she enjoys my blog so much, but I'm pinning it to the fact that she shares the same, worthless degree as me.

And the motivating gift: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society given to me by the sweetest friend I have. I am only halfway through the book, but the way it is written makes me long to write again. It also makes me wish I were alive long before telephones, cell phones, computers, e-mail, and, most of all, Facebook. The art of picking up a pen and writing a letter, then folding it and placing it in a stamped envelope and waiting a week for a response is intriguing to me. Now, with Facebook and Twitter I don't even need to write a letter or compose an e-mail at all. A few clicks of the mouse and I am instantly in the loop, knowing the whereabouts of all of my friends and even some strangers who somehow became my Facebook friend despite never meeting me in real life. Yes, I am going to start writing letters this week. If you receive one, I hope you will write me back; although, I'll understand if you're too busy or if you're not sure where to buy stamps or how to mail a letter.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time for a Break

Life comes at you fast. This statement has never been more accurate in my 22 years of being alive. In fact, I think it is safe to say that life also comes at you chaotically, stressfully, and overwhelmingly. We have been in school for a little over a month and after basically an entire month of Theta rush activities, on top of the menial 12 hours I am taking, combined with my internship at the church, and along with my Theta and ICC presidencies, Fall Break cannot come soon enough! Actually, I think I'm ready for Christmas Break.

Theta First Day of School 2009

With all the chaos and stress this past month entailed, I have found that my priorities have been juggled around tremendously; and, although I have been aware of this drastic priority alteration, I have yet to do anything about it. My six weeks grades will prove that my academics have definitely taken a backseat to Theta and my cluttered and stressful life surely indicates that my relationship with God has taken a backseat to almost everything else. It is because of this shift in priorities that I have been anxiously awaiting Fall Break. I need a break from all the distractions that have gotten me to this point of apathy. In the past week alone I can count at least five times that I have said, "I just don't care." I am so overwhelmed that I have stopped caring about some very important aspects of my life; which, in case you don't know, is very uncharacteristic of me.

For the first time in a long time I am desperately looking forward to the boring two-hour drive to Cordell with nothing to see except as far as the eye can see. There are no major highways in Cordell and there are no buildings over three stories tall. There is nothing in Cordell to write home about and that is why I love it. I love that I can see four different towns from the balcony at my house. I love that I cannot go anywhere without seeing someone that I not only know, but who has a genuine interest in my life. I love that as soon as I pull in the driveway Liko will be waiting to greet me. I love that I will get to see my little sister cheer for the first time. I love that I will get to sleep in my own bed and be awaken only by the little sliver of light that comes through the window in my bedroom.

My Backyard


Liko

I need a break. This semester has been full of change and transition. And while I am not opposed to change, I find that I sometimes have trouble transitioning. I have gone from a member of Theta to the president of Theta. I have gone from simply being best friends with my best friend to living with her. I have gone from simply attending Sunday and Wednesday church services to planning them. I have gone from being "just friends" to "more than just friends" and back again. I have gone from mostly A's to mostly B's. I have gone from daily Bible reader to "Sunday only" Bible reader. I have experienced so many new things and have been given so many wonderful opportunities and in the midst of it all I have lost sight of the most important things in my life: God and my family. I am eager to get back to where I need to be, but I am nervous that I will not get there. And if I do get there, will I be able to stay there?

I am ready for a break and I am ready to regroup. I am ready to get my priorities back in order and I am ready to get rid of all the stresses that are weighing me down. I am ready to care again.

“Then Jesus said, ‘Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”’
-Matthew 11:28

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Farewell Summer, Hello Real World

After three months of hanging out with a three year-old, a five year-old, a seven year-old and an eight year-old almost daily, I am now back to "Big Kid Land" and the stresses of college, money and busyness in general have taken over. I'm glad to be back at school with my friends, but I miss the kiddos everyday. Their innocent smiles and carefree giggles were always enough to make the stresses of each day fade away; and, now that those daily stresses are more prevalent than ever I am in desperate need of a snow cone run, a day at the pool, a trip to the zoo or a goodnight kiss from two sweet little boys. While these simple pleasures are not at my fingertips anymore like they were all summer, a day does not go by that I don't think about the four kiddos that reminded me what it was like to be a kid again. A slice of pizza, flipping past the Disney channel, a snow cone stand and even Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer", all remind me of one of the greatest summers in recent years.

A Day at the Zoo

While this summer was an amazing getaway from the real world, it also served as a means of expanding my everyday vocabulary to words such as "silly", "shooey" and "toot". Furthermore, my diet of frozen pizza, ice cream, snow cones, fruit snacks, and Goldfish, was a sole contributor to my 10-pound weight gain. And I must contribute my immense knowledge about shows such as, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, Wizards of Waverly Place, Phineas and Ferb, and Hannah Montanta, to the rainy days spent inside.
All in all this summer will go down in the books as one of most rewarding experiences in my life. Not only because it made me reevaluate the number of children I want, but also because it gave me the opportunity to get to know my cousins and taught me how to relax and go with the flow.



Monday, August 17, 2009

Remembering the Alamo...and Long-Lost Friends

After a month of planning and anticipation, Ben, Becca and I loaded up the Camry and headed to Texas last Wednesday to visit our long lost BFF Reid who just moved to San Antonio in June. We departed from Edmond at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday and after a 7-hour drive filled with traveling games, loud music, and junk food, we arrived at the Keystone apartment complex in San Antonio at 2:30 a.m. on Thursday.

Southbound on I-35.

Upon arrival we went straight to sleep and slept until 12:30 while Reid was hard at work at his grown-up job at Jos. A. Bank. Luckily, we were able to visit Reid at work after eating lunch at Whole Foods. Ben and Becca had pizza and I had a Tuscan chicken sandwich. I would say it was a good experience overall.

Grown-up Reid and tank top Ben.


When Reid got off work we all went grocery shopping at H•E•B to get supplies for our cookout. This was my first H•E•B experience and I must say, I was pretty impressed. (Aside: Just visited the H•E•B website where I discovered that H•E•B stands for "Here Everything's Better. Definitely agree that it is better than Oklahoma grocery stores.)

We went back to Reid's apartment and the boys set out to start grilling. Thankfully Reid's roommate Scott was there to start the fire. After eating the awesome burgers the boys made for us we went back to the apartment and had peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream (my housewarming gift to Reid). After hanging out at the apartment and watching Season 1 of Entourage we decided to go for a night swim where we played the movie game and were entertained/annoyed by Reid's performance of Chi Spring Sing shows from the last decade. After the swim we went back and watched X2, the Reid Agan commentary edition.

Group swim pic.

On Friday we got up around 11, watched some more Entourage Season 1, then headed to New Braunfels, TX, to float down the Comal River. Not being a huge fan of water untreated by chlorine, I was slightly leery of this adventure, but it turned out to be a lot of fun!

Sexy boys.

After three hours on the river we headed back to the apartment and got ready for dinner and the Rocketboy's concert. We had dinner at "Alamo Café" then we headed to Sam's Burger Joint to hear the Rocketboys and Quiet Company. I hadn't heard either of these bands before Friday night, but I ended up really liking them! After the concert we went back to Reid's, listened to Jack FM and played darts.

Check out Reid's sexy new frat boy look.

Saturday was "tourist day". First stop was Big Lou's Pizza where they make 42" pizzas. We weren't really feeling up to the challenge, so Ben and Reid split a regular sized pizza and Becca and i split a calzone. I think I can speak for us all when I say it was awesome! Next we headed to the Rivercenter in downtown San Antonio where we watched Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams inThe Time Travler's Wife. Not very touristy, but it was a decent movie nonetheless.

Outside of Big Lou's

After visiting the Alamo in San Antonio's 105º weather the gang headed to Lulu's Bakery & Cafe where they make giant cinnamon rolls! However, upon our arrival we discovered that we would have to wait two to three hours to taste one of their enormous cinnamon rolls...so we left.


Saturday night we all pitched in and made awesome fajitas (thanks to H•E•B's fajita meal deal)! Becca made some great guacamole in which we dipped the Texas-shaped tortilla chips we purchased at H•E•B! The rest of the evening was spent hanging out at the apartment cherishing our last night with our long-lost friend. Unless you are Becca and passed out on Benadryl.

Family dinner!

Sunday morning Becca, Ben and I, sadly packed our suitcases and loaded up the Camry once again to head back to Oklahoma. Our weekend in San Antonio with our gracious host Reid was well worth the 16-hour roundtrip. The four days I spent in Texas further affirmed my desire to live there before I die. It also reminded me that I have awesome friends with whom I love hanging out!

Bye Reid! Have fun being a grown-up!


Monday, August 10, 2009

The McKee's Go To Mexico

After spending a week on the beach in the Mayan Riviera and withstanding a cancelled flight back to the U.S., my family finally returned to the states a month ago where we were greeted at DFW International with friendly English-speaking airport personnel with Southern accents. Mexico was awesome, but it sure felt great to be back in the land of the free with normal ketchup, safe water, and no language barrier (well, less of a language barrier).

The fam at the Mayan city of Tulum.

Our week in Mexico was full of laughs, surprises, awkward moments, and setbacks. Thankfully I kept a journal of each of these occurrences. While reading them I have suddenly come to the conclusion that if some desperate movie producer decided to make a movie based on McKee Family vacations it would undoubtedly show up next to Earnest Goes to Camp and National Lampoon's Vacation at Blockbuster. Don't believe me? Keep reading.

In order to save a little bit of money on our airfare, my parents decided that we should fly out of Dallas rather than Oklahoma City; so, the Sunday morning before our flight we loaded up the truck and headed south on I-35 excited about our upcoming vacation. Our flight was at 7:00 on Monday morning, meaning we would need to be at the airport at 5:00 A.M. My mom made everyone their own personal food baggie filled with pretzels and crackers for the flight because Heaven forbid the McKee’s go two and a half hours without eating. My dad, being the opposite of laid back, made us ALL set the alarms on our phones for different times between 3:30 and 4:20 to ensure we wouldn’t oversleep and miss our flight; all this along with a 3:45 wake-up call from the front desk.

Five alarms and one wake-up call later we were at the airport, bags in tow, ready to get to Mexico. My older sister Lindsey was set on flying out in style, wearing a dress, wedges and a full face of makeup. I, on the other hand, was perfectly content makeup-free, still wearing the basketball shorts and T-shirt I had put on the previous morning.

Hanging out at DFW International Airport at 5:00 a.m.

After gathering all our luggage from the baggage claim of the Cancun airport we headed toward Customs only to be selected for a random luggage search. It was at this point in time, as two native airport workers were rummaging through our personal belongings, that my dad discovered that his Aqua Velva had spilled in his suitcase and was all over his festive tropical shirts. Slight buzz-kill, but we all bounced back and headed out the door toward our shuttle.

Upon exiting the airport I was immediately offered a “cerveza” after accidentally reading a sign on the “Welcome Bar” out loud that said, “Cerveza por favor.” Of course I declined and boarded the hotel shuttle.

An hour and a half later we were dropped off at the Catalonia Riviera Maya where we were greeted with tropical juice in champagne glasses. We received our all-inclusive bracelets and headed to our hotel rooms to change into our swimsuits and head to the beach.

We headed out to the pool area only to be welcomed by old, topless women at the swim up bar. After adjusting to the shock and regaining our appetites we hit up the snack bar. At this point we had gone nearly five hours without eating which may have been a McKee family record.

Ok, since this blog is already entirely too long I am going to proceed by summing up the rest of our vacation with bulleted lists:

Monday

  • Mom wore her T-shirt backwards for a good sum of the day.
  • First time for me to fly over water.
  • First time for me to use an airplane bathroom.
  • Filled out form indicating any swine flu symptoms we may have.
  • Wore the exact same outfit for 28 hours.
  • Lindsey got a drink bought for her as soon as we got to the resort.
  • Topless swimmers.

Me and Dad on the plane. This is the outfit I wore for 28 hours.

Tuesday

  • Rode waves in the ocean for my first and last time. Got motion sick and decided I don’t like the ocean as much as I like the beach.
  • Dad taught my little sister how to take a shot.
  • Quote from Dad: “I thought you could only eat avocados after they had been guacamolized.”
  • Mom sipped a 1-ounce shot of Parrot Bay.
  • Ate peppers for the first time on the best fajitas ever.
  • Hung out in the hotel lounge with my sisters.
  • Called Mom and Dad’s room at one in the morning to let them know we were back safely and weren’t sure if it was dad on the phone, so my little sister called him back and quizzed him to verify his identity.
  • Watched our black and white TV. Found out that after 30 minutes it switched to color (unless you hit the top, then it only took 3 seconds).

Dinner at the Mexican restaurant at our resort.

Wednesday

  • Gave Dad a Spanish lesson at dinner. Informed him that speaking to the natives in a loud voice and adding “o” to the end of English words does not ensure that they will understand you.

Thursday

  • Zip-lined through the jungle.
  • Tour guide knew Mom’s name and partial life story within the first hour of the trip.
  • Mom wore her motion-sickness preventive wristbands on the ride to the zip-line and still almost had to pull over.
  • Swam in a cenote.
  • The McKee family was in the background of everyone else’s cenote picture.
  • I dropped my snorkel and mask as soon as I set foot in the cenote and they sunk to the bottom while flailing for my life, so my little sister used her long legs and long toes to retrieve them.
  • Lindsey lost her second pair of Coach sunglasses.
  • Learned that Caesar dressing is made out of anchovies.
The McKee's in the cenote.

Friday


  • Counted 50 mosquito bites on my body from the zip-line in the jungle.
  • Mom gave me some of my little sister’s epidermis dermatitis pills (relieves itching).
  • Ended up taking a four-hour nap on the beach because apparently if you don’t actually have epidermis dermatitis the pills work as a mild sedative.

Saturday

  • Lindsey and I spent the morning in the hotel spa.
  • Got to the airport three hours before our flight only to find out it had been delayed two hours.
  • Found out an hour later that it was in fact cancelled.
  • Stayed the night at the Courtyard by Marriott in Cancun.
  • Got up at 3 in the morning to catch our new flight.
  • Realized that Mom spoke to every single native she encountered with proper English. Their confused and utterly lost expression did not faze her.
  • Arrived back at the Cancun airport where the security alarms began sounding throughout the entire airport. There was never an explanation.
  • My backpack got searched and wiped down with wet wipes. No explanation for that either.
  • Arrived in Dallas and kissed the ground.

McKee Family vacations are, without a doubt, always overly dramatic, super embarrassing and slightly awkward at times; however, I think I can speak for all of us when I say we had a blast in Mexico and enjoyed our week of family bonding, sun, food, swimming, and relaxation.




Monday, August 3, 2009

Mayday Parade in OKC

My good friend Ben and I hit up the Coca Cola Events Center in Bricktown tonight to see Mayday Parade in concert. We were entertained by four opening bands while we anxiously waited for Mayday Parade to take the stage: For the Atlantic, Theatre Breaks Loose, Unmarked Cars and The Taking State All of the opening bands were local and while one or two showed signs of a promising future the others were definitely sub par. However, it was worth withstanding their mediocrity to hear Mayday live.



The guys opened with "Take This To Heart" from their album A Lesson in Romantics, along with "Black Cat", "Ocean And Atlantic", "Jersey", "Miserable at Best", "I'd Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About" and "When I Get Home You're So Dead", along with "Your Song" and "Three Cheers for Five Years" from their EP album Tales Told by Dead Friends. They also sang "Anywhere But Here" which will appear on their new album coming out October 6, 2009, and a cover of The Pussycat Dolls' "When I Grow Up".



video
"I'd Hate To Be You When People Find Out What This Song Is About"


Overall it was a great night full of great music, new and old. I can't wait to check out Mayday Parade's new CD on October 6th!




Monday, June 29, 2009

Clichés Part I: Most Used

I love clichés.  I was unaware of my passion for clichés until my friends started pointing out the fact that I tend to implement at least one cliché into any given conversation.  In Human Resource Management last fall I succeeded in using three different clichés in one 30-minute presentation about first jobs.  Until now I haven't put much thought into my cliché fetish; however, I have compiled a list of my top 20 most used clichés for you Deliberations readers out there (initially I was only going to compile a top 10 list, but there was no way I could narrow it down that much).


20. “What a nail biter!” - Used while watching an intense sporting event where the score is neck and neck…usually an intramural basketball, football or softball game.

19. “Beggars can’t be choosers.” – Used when someone is being high maintenance and wants to have their cake and eat it too.  

18. “He/she rubs me the wrong way.” – Used when someone really chaps my hide.  I like this one because you don’t necessarily have to give a specific reason for not liking the person.

17. “We’re in the same boat.” – Used when one finds themselves in the same predicament as someone else; up a creek without a paddle, between a rock and a hard place, etc.

16. “I’m turning over a new leaf.” – Used when one decides to change his or her ways.  The fact that it’s on my top 20 most used list indicates that I decide to change my ways often. 

15. “I’ll pencil you in” – Used to make tentative plans with someone.  I mostly like using this cliché because it makes me sound important.

14. “Up a creek (without a paddle)” – Used when one is in a rather sticky situation.  As indicated by the parentheses, I prefer to simply use the first part of this classic cliché because I assume that most anyone could fill in the rest.

13. “It’s nothing to write home about.” – Used when something is sub-par and not noteworthy.  My good friend Jaclyn, who also shares my passion for clichés, introduced me to this one.  Thanks Jac! 

12. “That hit the spot!” – Used when something satisfies one's taste buds or desires.  Usually, but not limited to, a DDP (Diet Dr. Pepper) or CLA (Cherry Limeade) from Penn or FC. 

11.  “What goes around comes around.” – Used when someone reaps what they sow or dishes out what they can’t take.  May also be used as lyrics for a pop song if you step on your ex’s toes. 

10. “I’m between a rock and a hard place.” – Used when one finds themselves faced with a tough decision to make or when one must choose between the lesser of two evils.

 9. “He/she is all talk.” – Used when someone talks the talk, but never walks the walk.  Most commonly used when referring to my great friend Tori. 

 8. “Just shooting the breeze” – Used when talking to someone about lighthearted subjects.  Also used to trick people into thinking you and someone else are talking about something lighthearted when really you’re about to get in a knock-down-drag-out.   

7. “We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.” – Used to put something off until one is required to deal with it later on down the road (i.e. Lauren, what are you going to do when you graduate?  I’ll cross that bridge when I get there).

 6. “Fly by the seat of my pants” – Used to indicate being laid back and going with the flow.  I tend not to prefer flying by the seat of my pants; however, I find myself using this phrase often.  Maybe I’m becoming more laid back as I get older.  I can thank my anti-plan BFF Bex for that!

5. “To each his own.” – Used to accept differences among people.  I find myself using this cliché when I can’t think of anything nice to say about someone’s personal preferences.

4. “The more the merrier!” – Used to indicate that having more people around will in turn make one happier.  I use this one quite often because I really like to be around people.  It is because of this phrase that I tend to find myself hanging out with really random groups of people; but, I wouldn’t have it any other way!

3. “That was the straw that broke the camel’s back .” – Used to express that one has had it up to here with something.  My dear mother introduced this cliché to me and I’m so glad that she did because obviously I find myself using it a lot.

2. “Been there, done that.” – Used to indicate that one has already partaken in a particular activity.  May also be used to indicate one’s previous attachment to someone of the opposite sex. 

1. “Go with the flow.” – Used to convey one’s desire to fly by the seat of their pants.  This cliché may be used interchangeably with and goes hand in hand with number six.  It is my most used cliché because I am a people pleaser and people pleasers must be prepared to go with the flow.


There you have it!  A list of my most used overused sayings and phrases.  And this is only a handful of the clichés one may hear me incorporate into my everyday conversations.   Be looking for Clichés Part II and III for more cliché fun!