Friday, May 29, 2009

Ode to Starkey

I lost my best friend today. No I didn't misplace him like a set of keys. And no Starkey isn't a dog. Starkey is my partner in crime, my dancing buddy, my "it's always sunny in Philadelphia" marathon watching, drive me to the airport in his jeep, favorite now former WOAI photog. Today he packed up that same Jeep Wrangler and headed out west to Phoenix *sniff*

Starkey and I first really bonded over WOAI's extended coverage of the "Winter Blast" when we were stranded in Kerrville for 5 days.

We worked like dogs and did live hits every 15 to 30 minutes for the wall to wall coverage. We laughed, cried, complained, shivered and played with my mac books photo booth program to pass the time. We became great friends.

Since I left WOAI, Starkey has consistently kept in touch with me and we've remained close. He's the kind of person you don't forget - always has a smile on his face, a quick one liner to make you laugh or a comforting hug just when you need it. He makes friends fast and doesn't lose them easily - not even if he or they move away, which is common in the news business.

Thank heavens Southwest has a quick, cheap, direct flight to Phoenix. Vaya Con Dios my friend. Until we meet again.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

What I Learned On My Trip To Nebraska

As you know, I went to Nebraska this past weekend to hang with G&G Tejeda. They're not native Huskers. My grandparents are originally from Southern California but after my father died they moved to a little town near Columbus to be closer to my Aunt Toni. They've been there since 1999ish.

Since living in Texas, I've made the trek three states and 14-hours drive up to Nebraska to see them. It's a brutal trip but like a good granddaughter I do it because I love them and they're all I have left of my dad.

Grandpa is an 82 year old WWII Navy vet who served on the USS Lunga Point. Grandma is a 76 year old classy lady who always has her makeup on by the time breakfast is ready and I'm just crawling out of bed. They've been married for 58 years, go to church every Sunday and love their #1 granddaughter. Yeah I'm that cool. I was also the first for many years ;)

Normally my trips are full of watching tv or sleeping or baking pies or shopping but this time I didn't want to do any of that. Well that's not true. I did some sleeping/napping and I didn't really do any shopping because I'm broke, but that's besides the point. What I really wanted to do was spend some time talking to them - so I did. That generated not only some hilarious twitter posts but I also learned some amazingly, mind blowing things about my grandparents that I never knew before.

So here is my composition on What I Learned On My Trip To Nebraska by: Natalie Tejeda

Finally found my grandparents at the Omaha airport. I walked right past them. Doh! from TwitterBerry

Just found out my grandparents got married at the "hitchin post" in Las Vegas 58 years ago! Scandalous!! from TwitterBerry

They knew each other 3 months before running off to Vegas to get married. They left my great grandpa a note and eloped! from TwitterBerry

That was in 1951. In those days it was quite controversial for a white girl to marry a hispanic man. When they returned from Vegas my Grandmothers father was furious and had sold her car as punishment. However he later came around and he and my Grandfather became good friends.

All the corn fields are full of seedlings. My GPA says by July they'll be knee high from TwitterBerry

Time for the Sunday grandparents ritual church then lunch. from TwitterBerry

Hot damn GPA is flying through town like we're not going to get a seat at church! Services don't start for another 1/2 hour and we just parkd from TwitterBerry

Things are getting serious gma just made a beeline for the front door. I'm confused b/c the parking lot is still empty from TwitterBerry

@guerra2100 4th pew and meeting the whole congregation practically. I'm the mysterious visitor/granddaughter from Texas from TwitterBerry

Man what a rushed schedule we are on. No time for chit chat after church. GPA must be hungry. We're off to the upscale "chances are" restnt from TwitterBerry

Just passed a cattle ranch. Seriously what are they feeding them cabbage? from TwitterBerry

Having fun talking with GPA about his ww2 days on the USS lunga point. His ships yearbook is way cool. He even has a tattoo from TwitterBerry

My Grandfather has worked many jobs in his lifetime. As a young boy he set up pins at a bowling alley. As he got older he was a caddy at a golf course and eventually played on the golf team in high school. He joined the service when he was 17 and wanted to be a pilot but was too tall. After the Navy he worked in several automobile factories before joining Hughes Aircraft. Both he and my Grandmother retired from Hughes.

Overheard on the porch: gma: oh a bird shit on the window GPA: yeah we have some birds that really drop a load gma: this is big poo! TwitterBerry

I have never, EVER, EVER heard my grandmother utter a swear word in her life before.

Overheard in the car: gma: I forgot my glasses. Gpa: you don't need to see from TwitterBerry

You know I have never heard them have a serious fight. I'm sure they have but I've never heard them have it out. They've chided each other or picked a little bit but I've never heard them call each other names or belittle each other. I once asked them the secret to a marriage lasting so long and they said a few things 1) you just don't quit 2) *jokingly* Grandma's too old to run away now 3) they also said look for someone who you know will be there when you're old and grey, and who would be willing to wipe your a** for you if you couldn't (thanks for that Grandpa)

As I walked down the ramp toward security and my departing flight at the Omaha airport I looked back to see my G&G Tejeda, standing there with tears in their eyes. They watched and waited as I made my way through security. I would have been just fine if they had just slowed down the car and let me dive roll out at the curb but they insisted on parking and walking me in.

That's the difference between us and them. We're so fast paced, so self centered, is it convenient? Yeah I'll drop you off. Yeah I'll pick you up. Call me when you're outside.

How often do we make the effort to go to the door at a friends house? Or do we just call and say "I'm outside." How often do we just do ten circles around the airport or wait in the cell phone waiting lot instead of parking and walking in to meet our friends and loved ones?

They were willing to wait for me when I arrived in Omaha and see me off when I left. They went the extra mile. Just like their marriage, just like their jobs at Hughes, they gave it their all. It's amazing what you learn when you're not even trying to learn anything.

So am I going to give up my cell phone, my fast paced life, become a nun and move to BFE...come on...lets get real....look who's writing. But maybe...just maybe...I'll slow down a tad, call them a little more often, ask others how they're doing and remember its quality not quantity that counts.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

To Grandmothers House I Go

So about a month ago I told my Grandma and Grandpa Tejeda I would come out and visit for Memorial Day and about a week ago - last weekend to be more precise - they called to tell me how excited they were. And to be quite honest I felt like such a bad granddaughter because I had totally forgotten. I didn't even realize the Memorial Day holiday was approaching and had already made plans for the weekend that I was to come out. Doh!! Bad granddaughter!! 

To make matters worse they live in Nebraska...not just a little Nebraska but BFE Nebraska. Three states up, 14 hours drive away Nebraska! Double Doh. So like the bad granddaughter I was I told them I wasn't going to be able to come out because I couldn't get a 4-day weekend and wouldn't be able to make the trip which usually goes like this:

Friday: Drive all day, hit traffic, see friends in Oklahoma, see friends in Kansas and finally arrive in Nebraska at 10pm ish

Saturday: Sleep till noon, visit with grandma, tell her the same story over and over, bake a pie, watch tv, go to bed

Sunday: wake up early, go to church, hit the chinese food buffet, come home watch more tv, go to bed

Monday: wake up early, drive home all day, hit traffic, get home exhausted, go to bed and prepare for work the next day

But after feeling like a total schmuck all weekend, I can't even begin to describe the disappointment in my grandpa's voice, I asked my work for Friday off, cancelled my plans for the Memorial Day weekend and mentally prepared for the long drive ahead.

Car ready...check
Gas fund...check
Rockstar supply...valero is stocked...check

Then all my friends started nagging me about booking a flight instead of driving. The only problems 1) 3 days notice and 2) no close airports to my grandparents house...BFE remember. But I did find a relatively cheap flight to Omaha, which is two hours away, so I snagged it. Thank God for Southwest Airlines.

When I called my Grandpa Tejeda to tell him the good news, that I was in fact coming out for a visit and he and grandma were going to have to pick me up at the airport, I thought he was going to start crying right then. He was so excited. He wanted to know all the details - flight number, time, airline, etc. So I emailed my itinerary to my Aunt Toni who lives a town away. (note: G&G Tejeda don't have email...according to Grandpa it was too frustrating for "Grandma" and they got rid of the computer. I have a sneaking suspicion it was really Grandpa who was frustrated not Grandma.) My Aunt Toni sent me this email back:

I passed along the info. You have made them so very happy by coming to
visit, thank-you. Please be prepared for Grandmas dementia, it is getting
harder to see her, and I see them about once a week.... I fear that soon she
will not know me. They love you so much.... you are the only part of your
Dad that they cling to. Anyway, I am glad you are not waiting to visit.I
look forward to seeing you!

It will be the 13th anniversary of my fathers death this June. And I can count on two hands the number of times I've seen my Grandma and Grandpa Tejeda since he died. Up until last month when my Cookie Grandmother passed away I still had all of my grandparents living and sometimes I forget how lucky I am to be in that position. I'm glad I'm taking the time this Memorial Day to travel to BFE Nebraska and spend a little time with mi familia. 

Monday, May 18, 2009

Guilty Pleasures

So I have these guilty pleasures. One of them is reading the "Best Of" section on Craigslist. I LOVE IT. Some of my favorite recent postings include.

Yes there have been many times I have spent hours perusing through postings laughing so hard I've cried on my keyboard. My all time favorite posting is about the dating scene on Craigslist. Its totally NSFW.

I don't know why I get such a thrill reading the "Best Of" postings but it somehow makes me feel like my life is not so abnormal. But my latest obsession is this website OMG!! Hilarious. 

I first heard about texts from the "Office Time Wasters" blog on but then my friend Lisa got me hooked on it. It's kind of like drunk dials but instead its text messages about peoples escapades from the night before. Only now they're logged on the internet for all to see. You can even sort them by area code to see what the people in your city are saying after a night of "fun." 

Some of my favorites include: (disclaimer - many are NSFW so I'll only post the safe ones here. check out the website for the rest)

(415): u know ur in oregon when the cop tells u to keep the beer cans he made u pour out so u can recycle them

(978): every time i drive by the road she lives on, i scream in the car "i'm sorry i'm sleeping with your boyfriend!" makes me feel less whore-y.

(917): i'm at a stripclub and this b***h just lit her nipples on fire!

(404): Not sure what happened last night, but there are four mini bikes outside and some guy is wearing my shirt passed out in the breakfast nook. Won't be telling the grand kids about this one.

(708): Luol and I just scored with two 40 year old married chicks. They dropped us off on the way to soccer prctic. The kids in the back were confused. Call me.

(212): i want you now
(916): you need to stop dating girls with the same name as your mother...or stop drinking so much...I don't want to see this

(412): Dude, you need to talk to your mom
(724): wtf?
(412): She just called and asked if i would be part of the intervention she's planning for you

Good reads...and guilty pleasures....gotta love it. 


Its safe to say I'm a fan of our new president. This morning I watched, in entirety, the commencement address of the Notre Dame graduation. I did this as I was doing busy work at my desk and I found myself stopping to listen over and over to the words of inspiration he gave to the class of 2009. I was so moved I decided to post it. Granted our new president has given a lot of speeches in his first few months as Commander in Chief however I felt this was a particularly good one and deserved some extra play. 

Thursday, May 14, 2009


So I've been schooled three times this week on two different topics - 1) not updating my blog and 2) texting/tweeting while driving. Doh!! So I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. The first gentle reminder came from my friend Carlos who so nicely put it "A blog very quickly turns into a very demanding mistress."

Tell me about it. This blog woman is demanding. I have a hard enough time keeping up with my daily life, twitter, Zumba classes, dates, outings and the like. And most of the time I just come home exhausted and collapse into bed without ever giving my little Mac a second look. Granted this blog woman does have a right to complain, she is quite neglected so I am making a commitment to her again. A renewal of my vows so to speak to spend some of my valuable down time typing away at the keyboard and sharing a bit of my crazy little world with the interweb. The funny thing is, as anyone who knows me knows (why do I always say that?) I'm not that great at commitment as evidence to the fact that most of my relationships don't last longer than 18 months. However here's to you "The Güera" may we be a match made online.

As for lesson numero dos - tweeting while driving. You know I never used to be a big texter while driving. I used to be pretty adamant against it. In fact I used to get into fights with people about why didn't I text back right away. Granted I was on a motorcycle at the time but still I wasn't too keene on the idea because I saw how many people were swerving all over the road. Then came twitter. Oh twitter how I love thee. Now I'm addicted to twitter and I find myself tweeting all the time while I'm out and about - especially when I'm behind the wheel.

So here's the do I break my new habit. My crackberry has twitterberry on it and I find myself constantly checking my friends updates. If not that, I'm checking emails. I'm not willing to give up my Crackberry but even on my drive home from New Braunfels today it was hard to just put my phone down and not check status updates and that was just a 35 minute drive. Man what did we do before cell phones and twitter? But as I said I was schooled by not one but two people about my driving and tweeting. And although I've never been in an accident or curbed it (run into a curb because I wasn't looking where I was going because I was too busy tweeting/texting) I keep thinking of this story from the News 4 WOAI Troubleshooters.

I think I'll just put my phone down now and concentrate on the road and think up some good blog topics while I drive

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Swine Flu

I am so over the crazy panic that everyone is in over the swine flu.'s the flu. More people a year die from heart disease, lung disease, AIDS etc. And yet it seems that everyone is in a panic over "the flu!!"

So here's a little comic relief that I got today via email. Hopefully this will remind us to put things in perspective.