Friday, November 26, 2010

Micky & The Motorcars

Tonight I had the opportunity to sit down with Micky Braun, front man of Micky & the Motorcars. The five member group was in the middle of sound check but Micky took a few minutes to chat with me on the tour bus (it was a little quieter in there)

He talked about the changes from driving across the country in a van, playing for beer and crashing on couches in city after city to touring in a bus and actually getting paid for gigs. It's been a long ten years of good times, tough times and great music.

The Braun brothers, Micky and Gary are also related to the Braun duo, Willy and Cody of Reckless Kelly. RK is also playing tonight at Gruene Hall. Micky tells me the four siblings are still close and support each other despite hectic touring schedules.

Check out the full interview where he talks life on the road, the early years, an upcoming record and the one thing most people don't know about him...it's good stuff.


video

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Reflecting

It's been a long time since I've written anything for my personal blog. And for that I apologize. My life has dramatically shifted the last four months or so. I now get up at 2:30am and go to be at 7pm. My social life mid week is pretty much non existent and I live for naps lol.

But as I sit in my house at 11:20pm on the first mid-week late night up that I've had in months, knowing I have the day off tomorrow, I felt inspired to write.

What I've learned the last four months of being a traffic reporter/anchor is that we all, myself included, drive like jerks sometimes. That accidents happen when we least expect them and when we inevitably least need them. Most usually when we're running late or frustrated or stressed and always when we're caught off guard.

Its just like life...we all make mistakes. We all make bad judgement calls whether on the road or in our personal lives. Everyone of us, whether we admit it or not will glance at that text message or email, promising our selves it's just this one time.

Everyone of us will go a few miles over the speed limit, roll through a stop, run a light, cut someone off and often times it is by accident. Unfortunately sometimes those accidents catch up to us and it's just our turn to face the consequences.

I think about these things every morning at 6:55 when my traffic computer goes from practically void of accidents to stacked full of minor and major crashes. That's the point when everyone goes from merrily trucking along to "holy cow I'm running late."

Sometimes I'm able to see the carnage from the view of a Transguide camera, other times its just an anonymous map location. But I'm sure no one was thinking when they left the house that morning "I'm going to slam my car into something today." Yet it happens every morning without fail.

Does that make me a better driver because of this knowledge? Yes and no. I am only human. I too get stressed and frustrated when I have to sit in traffic at 4:55pm at Huebner and 10 when I'm headed to the gym. I too don't want to let "cheaters" in the lane ahead of me sometimes and I'm just as guilty of talking smack in my car about the person driving in front of me.

But what I have gained is some compassion and patience for the fact that I have to share the roads and this world with everyone around me and to always be on the lookout because you never know when fate may catch up with you and try to pass you in the fast lane.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Puppy Love

So I'm fostering a puppy...an adorable little 6 week old puppy. His name is Jack. I originally wasn't going to name him but I couldn't just keep calling him puppy. I'm trying not to get attached but it's hard. He's cute. Like all other puppies out there...he has that sweet little smell and a head that just begs for kisses.


Yes in a matter of two days little Jack has turned my world upside down. George, my cat, is not happy. There have been a few little piddles on the wood floors and one on the bed, and it's been quite amusing to watch the little guy toddle around on the hardwoods. By the way....he doesn't appreciate my beautifully polished hardwood floors that I work so hard to keep clean.

Other than dog sitting, which I do for several of my friends, this is the first time I've had a dog in my home on a regular basis for quite some time. I've been contemplating getting a dog for a few years now but I didn't really know if I was ready to take that step. Dogs are a big responsibility, they require walking, training, lots of attention and the like. I'm a very busy girl. I'm constantly on the go and George fits my lifestyle.

But deep in my heart I know that's not what's been keeping me from getting a dog. You see I used to have a dog. I had a precious little Yorkie named Bella. She was my little angel and my baby. I took her with me everywhere. She was my companion and my life mate. We were like two peas in a pod.

I still remember picking her out at the breeders and falling in love with her sweet little face. I remember reading everything I could about dogs and about Yorkies before I even brought Bella home so I'd be prepared. Just like a new parent, I puppy proofed my house, broke the bank buying supplies for her and vowed to do everything right.

Our first day together she slept in my lap and I lovingly watched her little belly move up and down as she napped. I was in love. I cooked her fresh chicken and rice for meals and we excelled at puppy obedience class...she was a star pupil.

My favorite time with her was when we would lay together watching TV and she would curl up on my chest and I would rest my chin on her back. At night she would ball up under the covers, always making sure some part of her was touching me - a tiny, little warm bundle of love. And every day when I came home from work she would be there in her pen, tail wagging, waiting for me...so happy I was home.

But two years ago, when I was moving to my new apartment, she got out during the move and her disappearance wasn't discovered until hours later. A part of me died that day. My heart just sank and then I went into survivor mode. I put up flyers in my old neighborhood, put ads in the paper, called shelters and cried for days. It was all to no avail. Bella didn't come home.

After that I just didn't know if I could ever get a dog again. I resigned myself to the fact that maybe I just wasn't a dog person after all. That maybe it was just supposed to be me and George. That was until this week when I was asked to foster a puppy.

Now I'm house training and cuddling and "good boying" this adorable, cow colored, little mutt who just needs a good dose of love. I really don't know what I'm going to do in two weeks when I have to give him up. Maybe, just maybe I'll be ready to get a little puppy of my own.

By the way you can follow Jacks adventures on twitter @pupjack

Monday, April 12, 2010

#21 Stopping to Smell the Roses

Sometimes things change in your life when you least expect them to. You're going on your merry way and all of a sudden you're faced with a truth - a truth you can no longer ignore or pretend isn't there. A truth you know is going to turn your whole world upside down. I was faced with such a truth last week.

I had but two choices - speak my mind or try to ignore that little voice inside of me that has never steered me wrong. That little voice of reason who seems to cut through my selfishness and helps me see when I'm wrong. Some people call it women's intuition I prefer to think of it as my God consciousness. Its that feeling I get when I know I need to start doing or thinking the right thought or action. So I did. And its been painful ever since.

Rarely has been doing the right thing ever been easy and its not usually as near as much fun as doing the wrong thing. Whether it's fessing up to a lie, telling someone "You're right" or just saying "I'm sorry" - doing the right thing can bring about horrible amounts of fear and anxiety. But as my good friend Heather always says "the only way out is through," she just never mentions the fact that the journey is often tough, painful and an excellent example of a time to grow.

Often times I've heard people say life isn't a bed of roses but I had an opportunity this weekend to hear a speaker explain it a little differently. She said life is exactly a bed a roses - full of beautiful wonderful smells but there are a lot of thorns too.

Right now I've pricked myself on a few thorns making my way through this rose bed called life and that's ok. If there's one thing I've learned over the years is that time heals all wounds. Broken hearts mend, frowns eventually turn back into smiles and there is nothing like a good bout of laughter to make you forget your troubles for a while.

Does that mean things are going to change overnight? No. But with each day the pain lessons a bit and the fake smile becomes a little more genuine, the laughter comes a little more frequent and I put one beautifully high heeled foot in front of the other until I can again stop and smell the roses, appreciating the joy they add to my life instead of focusing on the thorns they bring with them.

In the meantime I leave you with this - it's a song a new friend sent to me that touched me today. It's called A note to God.




Monday, April 5, 2010

#20 - Just like Grandma Used to Make

Tonight I did something that I've been too afraid to do for a year. That I've been afraid of screwing up. That I was afraid I just wouldn't get right. That it wouldn't be just like Grandma used to make. I made strawberry jam.

Last year, almost to the day, I lost my Cookie Grandma after a long bout with lung cancer. She was a trooper, fought it for many years but finally succumbed to the disease and passed. I flew back home to California for her funeral last year, spent Easter with my family and flew back here to San Antonio with several jars of my most prized keepsakes...her strawberry jam.

This was the jam she had been making for me since I was a old enough to gum down whole food. I have fond memories of being at her house, watching cartoons and eating toast with Grandmas special strawberry jam. She made it special for her #1 granddaughter who loved strawberries so.

She continued to make it for me long into my childhood and teenage years as I couldn't get enough of it for my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, bagels and even peanut butter and jelly burritos - hey don't knock it till you've tried it.

I don't know how I would have survived life as a young adult and struggling reporter without her shipments of jam - lovingly freezer packed to my various markets of the Imperial Valley, Tucson and then weighing down my suitcases back to Texas.

So when she passed the thought of never having that piece of love to adorn my favorite meals left a huge hole in my heart. How could I ever possibly hope to recreate the masterpiece she so lovingly perfected. She had told me many times it was easy...just buy the certo and follow the directions on the box. But I never did it. It just wouldn't have that Cookie Grandma touch I told myself. So I never did...until tonight...on the anniversary of her death I made her jam.

I'll know in a few days how it turned out.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #19 - Pride

What is it about our pride that keeps us from saying and doing things that are on our mind? From taking the plunge, being vulnerable and putting yourself out there? Whether its taking a new job, ending a relationship, telling someone you love them, apologizing for being wrong or simply saying "yes those jeans make you look fat."

I am one of those managed risk people. I am cautious, dip my toes in the water and give it a little test before jumping in - at least most of the time.

However, sometimes I do jump in head first and end up slamming my head into the concrete. And then, only after coming to, with a massive headache and seeing stars, do I realize what's happened and what I've done.

Its that fear of getting into another headache style situation that keeps me from acting on the first impulse that comes into my head. That keeps me silent, when to speak would mean saying something that could never be taken back. You can't un-ring the bell after all.

But its also my pride and my fear of putting myself out there to look foolish or weak or dare I say it vulnerable to another person, that I might not be seen as the smart, sophisticated, confident, independent woman I strive to be, that also has kept me trapped in the status quo and has enabled me to live through years of misery - jobs I didn't like, relationships that weren't working, friendships that were destructive.

Its a delicate game of Russian roulette, this putting yourself out there, full of adrenaline and chance. Sometimes you pull the trigger and the chamber is empty - you breathe a big gulp of air, smile, revel in the rush and live to thrive another day. Other times your luck runs out and you're left with a big mess to clean up.

This weekend I pulled the proverbial trigger - the chamber was empty - my body was flooded with a warm sensation and I felt alive. I started to pull the trigger again tonight and chickened out. I think this round can wait for another day.

Monday, March 22, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #18 - Dear Future Husband

So there was a trending topic today on Twitter that started with #dearfuturewife and some of the tweets were hilarious

@wayansjr: #dearfuturewife Yes, this gun is loaded. so, let's try and answer the "will u marry me" question right this time.

#DearFutureWife atleast play some video games with me once a week haha

#dearfuturewife if you cook pancakes like ihop you're MINES forever!

#DearFutureWife I'm now taking applications... A Credit check, STD test, & Autobiography will be needed to apply... #Okthanks

#Dearfuturewife do you know tiger woods?

Some other funny ones from a comedian that I follow on twitter @finessemitchell:

#dearfuturewife if u promise we will keep makin love, then I promise WE WILL BE JUST FINE! I GOT U MA! Go ahead,#buyBOTHpurses #sugadaddy

#dearfuturewife I want 3 kids... At LEAST! Know that before u say I DO! And it would b even nicer if u waz dey real Momma!#dontmakemedoit

#dearfuturewife Another headache 2nite? Really Bitch?...Really? I'll be back, I'm going 2 Umm, return a video to blockbuster #creepin

#dearfuturewife I would NEVER call u bitch. You are my QUEEN! But I would type it to my friends!

#dearfuturewife. I will DO WHATEVER u say! I promise!!! But U GOTTA DO WHTEVER I SAY FIRST!!! #ithinkthatsinthebible

#dearfuturewife. PLEASE LOVE PRO FOOTBALL! 4 me! PU-LEASE!!..................oh, and the cheerleaders! PU-LEASE!!!!

But after reading and laughing at all those tweets I started thinking about all the tweets I would send to my #dearfuturehusband. Here are a few of my nuggets of wisdom

#dearfuturehusband I don't cook, I barely clean and I don't want kids. If u DEMAND anything i'll probably tell u to go shove it-any takers?

#dearfuturehusband if u cant put the toilet seat down then u should be forced to go outside #learnfromthecatwhousesabox

#dearfuturehusband understand that i will always get the biggest closet and yes i really need all those pairs of black shoes kthanks

#dearfuturehusband i promise not to EVER drag you to a britney spears concert if you promise to never force me to listen to the Cure

#dearfuturehusband you can play with your friends, watch sports and bro-out just don't ever let me find you wearing my shoes

#dearfuturehusband understand that i am not a maid - we both get to clean the toilet and scrub the tub

#dearfuturehusband you are the official bug killer in the house - no matter what time of day or night #alergictobees

#dearfuturehusband i drink a lot of coffee and thus need flavored creamer and no milk n sugar wont do #imacoffeesnob

#dearfuturehusband yes u are bigger & stronger than me but if u ever lay a hand on me u will unleash a fury like no other

#dearfuturehusband i am fiercely loyal, will love you with all my heart & support you in all you do unless its immoral or unethical

#dearfuturehusband i look forward to a lifetime of love, laughter, challenges, triumphs and tears - lets enjoy this journey together




Sunday, March 21, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #17 - Such a bad Lentin

So I gave up sweets for Lent and for the first week and a half I did good...but then I fell off the no sweets aka the no candy, no soda, no ice cream, no cake wagon. And I didn't just fall off the wagon. After falling off said wagon, it actually backed up ran me over, stopped, pulled forward and ran over me again.

It started with a soda at work one afternoon when I was on a caffeine low. I justified it because it was a diet Dr. Pepper and it technically wasn't sugar.

A few days later I raided the candy jars at work for a couple bite sized snickers. I just needed a little something sweet to spice up my afternoon after lunch. They were little itty bitty snickers...barely even tasted them. They couldn't possibly count as a lent violation right??

Then Sunday rolled around. Thank God for Sundays during lent. Those are the cheat days. I gorged myself on my boyfriends mothers homemade cake with cream cheese frosting - like three pieces worth. I was like a little kid in a candy store and practically licked the plate clean

The next morning I was on such sugar withdrawls that I couldn't take it. I was jonsing so bad for something sweet it was unreal. I started drinking uber amounts of coffee because I use flavored creamer and that was the only sugar I can legally have via my pact with God.

I did good all week - until Friday when I had a soda at work - damn the soda machine downstairs. I couldn't wait for Sunday and scarfed down an entire bag of white chocolate covered pretzels. Such a glutton. Will the madness ever end?

Then one Monday night last week I cracked like an ancient piece of pottery that had been sitting in sun for years...I had a blizzard from Dairy Queen. Not just any blizzard but a butterfinger/reeses blizzard. Oh sweet Jesus it was good, every last sinful bite.

Yes I am a royal failure at Lent *sigh* But I keep trying. I had some more chocolate covered pretzels this Sunday but so far today, Monday, I'm candy/cake/ice cream/soda free. Wish me luck for the rest of this week. Hopefully I can hold out till Sunday. This week is going to drag on by.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #16 - Finding My Long Lost Brother

I called my brother Robert last night for the first time in almost three years. That's right I have a third brother. I don't talk about him much on my blog or twitter or Facebook. We're not that close. We should be but we're not.

Just like my other two brothers, Daniel and Scott, he's also a half brother. He's my fathers son. He's 26, will be 27 this October and lives in California. I haven't seen him since I went home for Christmas in 2007. In fact I can't even remember if we've talked since that short visit in Costa Mesa.

It was the night of my birthday dinner. I had just finished dining with my mom, step dad, Daniel, Scott, Grandma Sue, girlfriend Lisa and a few of her friends. Robert was driving in from Apple Valley with a friend - a four hour drive just to see me. He was lost, driving in circles in Costa Mesa and had pulled into a motel parking lot to rest until I could drive to him.

I remember pulling into the back of the parking lot and seeing him get out of the car. And there he was in all his 6'3" glory. Blonde hair, blue eyes and so happy to see his big sister. We talked for a few minutes. It was cold. Lisa was impatient. I had plans to be at a friends house. So we stood there in the parking lot and caught up on years and years worth of news in 20 minutes. Then I gave him $20 bucks for gas and we parted ways.

A part of me died when I left him in that parking lot knowing he was just going to turn around and drive back four hours to Apple Valley to a life of nothing going nowhere. I wanted to scream come with me back to Texas. Come live with me and go to school and let me help you. Let me show you how to have a better life. Anything is better than what you're living now. But instead I just drove away and waved as my car passed his in the parking lot.

We haven't spoken since then. I've tried to call the cell phone number that I had for him but I have a sneaking suspicion I have been leaving random voicemails on someone else's inbox. I tried the old email address I had for him but no response. Then last night I got up the courage to call my step mom Dixie.

This is the woman I have avoided calling all these years. The woman who brings up painful memories of my father and his death whenever I call. But she's also the woman I knew would know how to get in contact with her son, my brother, my Robert. So I called. And she answered. She indeed had a number to where Robert was living and gladly passed it on saying he'll be so happy to hear from you.

I took a deep breath and called Robert. A machine picked up. So I started to leave a message - Hello this is Natalie Tejeda can you please tell her brother Robert Tejeda to give her a call at ------ Holy F**k how the hell are you - my brother excitedly said as he picked up the line.

And that's how our hour and a half conversation started. We talked about life, love, relationships, hardships, work, coming out to visit me in Texas, his going back to school, my stepbrother Scott, my stepsister Paula and my whole gaggle of now grown and teenage nieces and nephews. We laughed about how we've each been trying to track each other down and that it should be easier to keep in better contact now that we're Facebook friends. But just in case we exchanged cell phone numbers.

By the end of our conversation I had a much lighter heart knowing that my little Robert, ok, my gentle giant of a brother Robert was eking along in life but starting to head in the right direction. That he had a little direction for what seemed like the first time in his adult life.

I slept easy knowing that through extending the olive branch and doing a little digging I was able to reconnect to someone very important in my life. Someone who deserves much more than just a quick chat and a $20 spot to get home safely. Someone like Robert, my blood, my brother.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #15 - The little things

These days its all about appreciating the little things. Right now I'm sitting in my house with the windows open and basking in the breeze. Its that attitude of: Does it get any better than this?

Just this morning I sat on my couch, drinking my coffee and thanked God for this beautiful blessing that he has bestowed on me. In fact that's how I start most of my mornings - in gratitude for everything that I've been given, especially my house.

It's a feeling of inner peace and serenity and I carry it with me throughout my day. It's a nice change from the chaos that I used to live in.

As a creature of habit I used to thrive on drama and chaos, living in fear of what each day would bring but yet not able to break the vicious cycle of pain that was a constant in my life.

Today life is so different. I work for God. Meaning I give of myself and help others as I think He would have me. Its a completely different way of living life then I ever did before and its entirely more wonderful than I could have ever imagined. That being said He has provided for me in a way that is indescribably more fulfilling then I could have ever hoped for.

Its allowed me to be grateful for the little things and not take anything for granted. Today I know that I am blessed and even though I wonder "Does it get any better than this?" I know it will.

Monday, February 22, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #14 - Welcome to the Neighborhood

So I've decided to be neighborly and get out and meet my neighbors. Although I kind of new a few of my neighbors at my last place, I did live there for two years, I didn't know all my neighbors. But I figured since I bought this house I should get to know the neighbors.

So I started with cookies. Thats right I whipped up a few dozen of my famous peanut butter-hershey kiss cookies, loaded them on plates and started block walking in my Sunday finest.

My first house was my next door neighbors - the Rodriguez'. They are a super cool family of four who spent all Sunday working in the yard and chasing after their new little puppy Leo. Such an adorable dog!

Next I went across the street to Tom and Inja's house. They were the first people to come over and say hello on the day that I moved in. I remember Tom introduced his wife as Inja - like Ninja Turtle without the N.

Tonight I met Ruth - a sweet little old lady who's lived in her house for 50 years. She was funny, feisty and said she's not leaving her house till she dies hahahaha. She has a rottweiler and is all of 5 feet tall. I invited her to the housewarming party. I want her on my rockband challenge team lol.

I still haven't made all the rounds quite yet. Not everyone was home. But I'm hoping to finish all my cookie deliveries tomorrow night before it gets dark. One of my neighbors has a beware of dog sign and Ruth was telling me there was an "incident" with the dogs awhile back. I want to make sure I can see the exact location of these "puppies" before I go wandering into the yard.

They say good fences make good neighbors but I've always believed that a batch of cookies and a warm smile can seal the deal on a great friendship and so far I like the friends I'm making. Its good stuff.

Friday, February 19, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #13 - Making a house a home

These past few weeks have been spent furiously unpacking and nesting as I attempt to find a place for everything and put everything in its place in my new home. I've had contractors, electricians, plumbers, gardeners and one very patient boyfriend at my beck and call to get my house in order. And still there is more to do.

Tonight I'm actually sitting on the couch in perfect peace and ease, looking around and going its almost done. Just a few more things to hang on the walls and I'll be done.

Its amazing the peace and serenity I feel in this house. Every morning when I wake up I take my cup of coffee, sit on the couch and thank God for the beautiful blessing that I have been given. This was something that I worked so hard for - for so long that I can't believe its really real.

Sometimes I think George can't believe its real either. It took him a while to get used to the new place. He hid for a few days under the bed and in his litter box not wanting to come out and explore. But now he's just like me - perfectly settled. Tonight he's sleeping on one of the new chairs I bought last weekend - all curled up in a little ball, his little kitten face one of sweet contentment. I haven't told him about the party next weekend - he's not going to like that one bit hahaha.

Next Saturday I'm having my housewarming party and opening up my place to all my friends, co-workers and neighbors. It should be a hell of a party and I can't wait. I love entertaining and this house is perfect for hosting.

Sometimes I wonder how life ever got this good and if it gets any better than this and then it does. Each day gets a little better than the next. I'm so blessed.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #12 - Lent

Today is ash Wednesday and for the first time in my life I've decided to give something up for lent. This is actually a pretty big deal because 1) I'm not catholic and 2) I really don't do good with depriving myself of anything. I'm pretty much an instant gratification junkie. I don't have much patience for waiting.

So why am I giving up something for a religion I don't partake in or belong to? Because I have an open mind and I'm always willing to try something new. So I've personally decided to give up sweets. Yes this is a pretty big deal for me. Ask anyone who knows me and they will tell you I am a junk food addict. I love candy, chocolate, cake, cookies, ice cream, sodas and the like. One of the main reasons I work out is so I can indulge my sweet tooth. But no mas! Until April 4th I will be sugar free* (note the asterisk)

Here is the fine print - I am still going to use flavored creamer in my coffee in the mornings and I am still going to drink my sugar free Rockstars. My rationalization for that is they are not cookies, candies, ice cream or regular sugar filled sodas. So there...that's my disclaimer.

I still can't believe I'm going to miss Cadbury Creme Egg season *sigh*

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #11 - Henry & The Invisibles

So I was hanging out at the Gatsby for girls night last week and I saw this incredible one man phunk band named Henry and the Invisibles. And let me just tell you this guy rocked. Not only did he jam on the drums, keyboard and mic, he also played a regular ole' pot. That's right a pot that you would find in a kitchen.
Henry, it turns out, is originally from New York and recently relocated here to San Antonio brining all of his funkiness with him. You can catch him at Rebar on Broadway in Alamo Heights every Friday night and he also regularly treks up and down the I35 corridor to Austin and San Marcos spreading the jams to his loyal following.

I have become one of those loyal followers and plan to check him out this Friday night at Rebar.

You can follow him on twitter @henryinvisible or on Facebook at Henry + The Invisibles

Monday, February 8, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - 10 - These Roots Grasp a New Soil

I was transplanting a few little plants tonight that my new neighbors had given me (Yes I can say that I have already made friends with my new neighbors) and I realized that the tender roots of these little plants aren't the only ones that will be grasping new soil. My own roots are now firmly planted here in San Antonio.

If there was ever any doubt as to whether or not I was going to make the Alamo City my home, it has been dispersed with the purchase of my very first home.

This past week and a half has been totally surreal for me. Even now as I sit on my couch, in my candlelit living room, writing this blog its hard for me to believe this house is really mine.

I have had so many amazing changes over the past year and a few months, and its all climaxed with the purchase of my little 3b/1ba home ;)

When I started my journey of self discovery in January of 2009 I was barely a shell of a person, just kind of drifting here and there not really sure who I was or where I belonged. I was scared, insecure and lost.

Today I know myself much better. I know that I am a confident, kind and loving person who knows what she wants out of life and goes after it. I am capable of achieving just about anything if I put my mind to it. Last year I wanted to have fun, travel and go dancing - a lot - and I did.

This year I want to be a little more grown up, buy a house and focus on my career - so I will. I am going to dig in deep, grasp that soil and bloom where I am planted - right here in San Antonio. God I love this city. So much opportunity and a chance to make a difference in so many lives. Bring it 2010 - Lets do it!

100 Blog Challenge - #9 - Haunted House?

So the past week has been spent getting settled in my new house, putting stuff away, unpacking boxes and nesting in my new pad. I'm loving it. There is so much space I don't have nearly enough stuff to fill it and ironically not nearly enough closet space for all my clothes.

I've had contractors in and out of my home doing various odd jobs and installing my Uverse. Finally I think everything is done and if I never have to sweep up a pile of drywall dust or fiberglass insulation that's floated down from the attic opening it will be just fine with me. But here's the creepy thing...I think my house may be haunted!

Nick has told me a few times that he's been sitting on the couch and has heard sounds like the back door opening. And often times I'll walk into the kitchen and find some of the cupboards open. At first I thought maybe it was just my curious cat who was opening the cupboards because they were the lower ones that he can reach but now I'm not so sure. And here's why.

Last night we were all sitting on the couch watching the Superbowl and for no reason at all the dishwasher turned on - all by itself! Can we say Spooky!

So at this point it all seems concentrated in the kitchen. Which is fine with me because I'm not a big cook but still I do have to brew my coffee in there ;)

So I'm thinking its time to bring in the priest and have him bless my house. The dishwasher could have been a fluke thing. I could just have a very curious cat. Nick could be imagining things. But hey why not have my house blessed...just to be on the safe side.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

William Peche for Justice of the Peace - Precinct 3

About a week ago my friend William Peché approached me to help get the word out about his campaign for Bexar County Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3. Now like many people in San Antonio I wasn’t really sure what exactly a justice of the peace really entailed but I knew William and his background so after talking to him I decided to help.

A Justice of the Peace is an elected position and serves as a sort of people’s court for the average citizen. It’s where you and I go to get minor disputes settled quickly. The JP handles Class C misdemeanors that are punishable by fine only, and civil disputes up to $10,000. They also marry people and handle truancy cases.

The latter is where I knew William's background as a probation officer would come to be a great asset.

“As an adult probation officer in Travis County for 4 years I saw first hand what happens when people drop out of school and don’t go on to college or a trade school,” says Peché. “I have two young sons myself. Not only do I want the best for them but I also want the best for the children of Bexar County and I know that it all starts with a good education.”

Currently the Justice of the Peace in Precinct 3 is only a part time court. In a county of 1.6 million people William will make it into a full time position, especially to dedicate more time to addressing truancy in Precinct 3, which encompasses much of the North side.

“Since the JP is community justice,” says Peché, “the JP needs to get out in the community. I want to talk with schoolteachers, principals, superintendents and at-risk kids. We need to talk with them before they hit the justice system. Because by the time they get to court, often it's too late. Truancy needs to be addressed proactively."

“I’m a firm believer in personal responsibility,” says Peché. “That’s a big part of what I’m going to consider. I will hear all the facts but I don’t want to hear too many excuses. I want kids to know what they did was wrong and take responsibility for it. I had the same philosophy as a probation officer – be fair but tough when you need to be.”

“I am going to work with these kids,” continues Peché, “to let them know that simply because they’re in trouble doesn’t mean they just get punished and it's over, but also that they have to change their behavior and really work to change it. Truancy has far reaching effects from high dropout rates to increased dependence on social services to high crime rates. We definitely have a vested interest to educate our kids. An educated workforce brings jobs, economic development and opportunity to our city.”

William spent 7 years on Capitol Hill as a congressional aide and legislative director for several high profile congressmen. He advocated for the people and helped these officials get initiatives through Congress and funding for much needed programs here at home. I truly believe he’s ready to take this next step to go from behind the desk to behind the bench.

His goals to reduce truancy and make the JP in Precinct 3 full time tie into his strong belief in justice. "Justice is involved, justice is visible," continues Peché. "The community needs to know it's there. People need to know they have access to justice. I’ve knocked on a lot of doors and most people didn’t know they even had a JP or how I would serve them.”

“I think positively,” says Peché. “So when I win this election I’m going to be a fair judge and I’m going to listen to the people in my Precinct. When people go to the Justice of the Peace they will get their day in court. They will get their say.”

But more than just a sitting judge I also believe that William will get out from behind the bench and advocate for our community. I believe he will work for our children to make a difference in their lives and help them become good citizens.

You can vote for William Peché for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 in the March 3rd primary election. It will be down ballot, so be sure to scroll pages until you see his name. You can check the link below to see if he would be your JP.

http://apps.bexar.org/webapps/html/elstrinq02.asp

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #7 - Buying a House

I feel like a kid the night before Christmas or the night before I'm going to Disneyland right now. I'm closing on my very first home tomorrow ;) Yay me!!

I really can't believe this is happening for me. I have wanted this for so long and its finally happening. This week has gone by sooooooooooo slowly it's incredible. In fact the past 20 days of my closing has gone by so slowly.

I have been ready to buy a home the last nine months that I've been looking. This is, in fact, the 5th home I put an offer on...yeah count them 5. All the others just didn't work out. I guess God knew what he was doing because this one is just perfect for me.

So now its the moment of truth:

Twas the night before closing and all through my old place, George patiently purrs, a look of contentment on his soft furry face.

Boxes are packed, laundry is done, oh how I look forward to this weekends moving fun.

Utilities are transfered, mail has been re-routed, OMG is this happening! my mind raced and shouted.

I turn down the sheets and get ready for bed - tomorrow I will have my very own homestead.

I pace back and forth, "have I forgotten anything?" My Twhirl chimes with a familiar ring

'Good luck tomorrow' from all my tweeps, good luck indeed...now time for some sleep!


Sunday, January 24, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #6 - Another One Takes The Plunge

I just found out one of my best guy friends is getting married...wow...why am I the last to know?

Apparently he proposed last Valentines Day...hello breaking news in Texas! (they live in AZ so I guess I get a little slack) But damn I think he's the last of my friends who I never pictured getting hitched to get hitched. Its the end of an era.

Granted the girl he's marrying is a good girl. She's great, gets along with the guys and the mother of their beautiful son. I have nothing but good stuff to say about her. It just trips me out that another one of my friends is getting hitched.

I thought I was past this in my early to mid twenties when most of my high school acquaintances were all running off in droves and getting married and having kids. I should also add that many of them are now miserably/happily divorced and often tell me I was the smart one for not getting married so young.

But I don't know how to feel about this whole 30's marriage boom. Is it normal? Is it like the economy - going up and down? Do I need to be mentally prepared for a barrage of "Why aren't you married yet?" questions? *Sigh* I already had to deal with that from the fam over xmas.

Fortunately I'm just going to do what I always do...wish them well because I truly mean it and want the best for them and I'm going to continue on my merry way, doing my thing and living life content as I do.

Viva Bailar!



Tuesday, January 12, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #5 - Slacker!

So it's not even two weeks into the new year and I'm already slacking on my resolution to write 100 blogs in 100 days...damn...gotta get cracking! The good news is I have great news...I already completed another one of my new years resolutions...I bought a house!! Yay!

This is something that I have been wanting to do since I moved to San Antonio four years ago. Coming from Southern California where you can't finance a cardboard box for less that $350k its so exciting to be able to finally buy my own home.

My new home-to-be is exactly what I want. An older home in an older neighborhood and only about two minutes drive to my work. I love older homes - the wood floors, the crown moulding and the architecture that goes along with being in an older community. I love how every home on the block is different from each other.

Growing up in California I grew up in track homes and master planned communities. It wasn't until I started moving around as a reporter that I discovered historical districts and the charm that comes from living in and near downtown.

I am so excited to own my first home. I close on the 28th and move in on the 29th. Now it's time to make some serious contacts at Home Depot ;)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #4 - Living in the Grey

So I looked in the mirror today and shrieked! There it was! Staring at me just to the right of my eye brow in plain view to everyone - a grey hair! One long, grey hair inter-mixed among the brown just below the blonde. Right in front - like a good student! And then I sighed. Happy 33rd birthday to me. Welcome to the party. Glad you could make it. A little late but thanks for playing.

Now I should say that this is not my first grey hair. I've been spotting the little buggers since my early 20's but they usually like to hang out higher up on my part and kind of blend in with the other blonde highlights that are in my hair. Natural highlights as my hairdresser once called them. Evidence of a life of stress and too much fun I'm sure. But this one - this one - was way out of line coming down to the front of the hairline and casually sliding across my face like it belonged there with its other brown and blonde counterparts. And in that instant I felt old.

It's amazing how in seeing that one grey hair I started to notice all the fine lines under my eyes and then proceeded to pick myself apart. I'm sure the lovely fluorescent light in the ladies room didn't help my cause but I can't help but think of that country song "I'm much to young to feel this damn old."

Seriously most of the time I forget that I'm in my 30's and it's not until I'm reminded by a birthday or when I'm forced to pull out my ID that it's like "Oh yeah I'm 33."

I can still remember itching to get my drivers license at 16 or how I didn't think I would ever be 21 or when 25 seemed so old. And it floors me how fast the time, days, months, hell even years fly by. I remember Y2K!!

The scary part is I don't feel my age. I live by the philosophy you're only as old as you feel and most days I still feel and probably act 15. I have boundless energy, go out with my friends and have way too much fun. Really I wonder "Where did the last 15 years go??"

Yet, in all honesty, there are those mornings where I do sit up in bed, find myself feeling as if I'd been hit by a Mack-10 truck and think "I'm too old for this s**t." *sigh* I have an appointment with my hairdresser tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #3 - Making Changes For The Better

So it's the new year and time to make some changes. Every year I sit down and make a list of goals. I don't call them resolutions because resolutions get broken like the first week. I call them goals - short, mid and long term - for the year.

Last year I had a few goals:

- to be single for a year - accomplished
- to buy a house - I tried and came close
- to sponsor more women and be more active in my community - I think I succeeded
- to be more financially responsible - I did pretty good on that end
- to visit my friend Kaushal in Atlanta - accomplished
- to vist my grandpa and grandma Tejeda in Nebraska - did it
- to make more trips back home to Cali - done
- to have more fun - definitely accomplished ;)
- to make new friends - nailed that
- to laugh more - definitely laughed till my sides hurt
- to get to know myself better - I did
- pray for others every day - did that most of the time

After looking back on 365 days of blood, sweat, tears and triumph it's empowering to see how far I've come in just one year. Granted the past 12 months have been full of ups and downs but overall the transformation process to a better me has been amazing.

That being said its time to do some more growing - because as an eternal student of life we never stop growing. So for 2010 here is what I propose for myself to be a better person:

- Get a closer connection to God - sometimes I forget who's really running the show, think that I have all the power and then get gently reminded who's really in charge. See when I'm driving the car I tend to make a mess of things and once the mess is made, that's usually when I'm willing to turn to God and ask for help. I'd like to circumvent the mess process this year and just stay close to God in the first place. That starts with a little prayer, meditation and service work.

- Be on time everywhere I go. I once had a teacher who said: Early is on time, on time is late and late is unforgivable. Every time I'm even a few minutes late to something that phrase rings in my head. I know I'm late, you know I'm late, now what am I going to do about it. My best friend Diana calls it arrogance - thinking the world will wait for you. Well the real world won't wait for me and really it is arrogance regardless of the reason for my tardiness. Planes don't wait, meetings don't wait, sponsees, clients and bosses shouldn't have to wait and I shouldn't be late. Enuf said!

- Rebuild my savings. Last year I started to build up a nice savings and over the past few months I had some big expenses that drained it. That killed me to see my little nest egg go to $0 :( So for 2010 I get to be disciplined with my budget, stop spoiling myself with "presents to me" and start setting money aside again for my emgergency fund.

- Find and buy my dream home - I worked really hard last year to improve my credit, raise the money for my down payment and be in the position to buy a home - the only problem...I didn't find the right home :( So this year my goal is to find my dream home - right size, right neighborhood, right price.

Other Goals:

- Pray for others
- Do my gratitude list everyday
- Get a promotion at work
- Be a good girlfriend
- Zumba twice a week
- Visit my grandparents in Nebraska
- Make a spring/summer trip to Cali
- Visit Kaushal where ever she is
- Take a trip to New York to visit my Cousin Jackie
- Have my brother visit Texas
- Have more fun this year than last
- Dance more this year than last
- Take Salsa lessons
- Go skydiving
- Laugh a lot

So that's it. Those are my goals for 2010. I may add a few in as the year progresses. I do have a brand new passport that is itching for some stamps so I'll let you know if some international travel gets added to the list. Feel free to let me know if I need to add some things to my goal list ;)

Monday, January 4, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #2 - Off The Market

So at 12:30 am 2010 I was officially taken off the dating market. That's when Nick pulled me aside and sweetly asked me "What I would think about being his girlfriend." My immediate response wasn't a verbal one. Instead I just smiled and kissed him. As I felt a flutter of excitement pour over me I also had a momentary twinge of hesitation run through my body.

That was the label I had managed to neatly evade for all of 2009 - something I had stuck to my guns about - I was going to be SINGLE for an entire year. But here it was, 30 minutes into 2010, and Nick was not wasting any time. Was I ready for this? Could I do this? Can I be a good girlfriend?

I always joke that the song "Bad Girlfriend" is my theme song because I have a history of not doing relationships well. They never work out or they're not with the right people. On my end I can be selfish, cold, vain and get bored easily. (Hey at least I'm honest)

To make a long story short my track record with LTR's isn't great. They usually have a shelf life of 18 months and by the end I'm either racing from some sick co-dependent cocoon or gimping my way out of the so called union scathed, scarred and emotionally wrecked. Sounds like fun huh?

Some might say, and have said, I have commitment issues. I would definitely say I have commitment issues. That's a big Roger that! I hate the fact that I had to sign a two year contract for my cell phone company.

So what makes this guy - more specifically Nick - so different? Especially when I spent an entire YEAR dating a number of men, one in particular, almost exclusively for most of the year and who had indicated interest in the boyfriend position. Why was I so willing or even considering getting back into a relationship after a year of single bliss?

I wish I could say I knew or could point to one single thing but I can't. From the moment Nick first extended his hand to me and we danced Salsa in the kitchen at his family's tamalada I knew I wanted to dance with him again. The next night at Arjon's as we laughed and spun around the small, crowded floor, I was enchanted by his smile, confidence and expressive eyes.

In the following days and weeks we talked for hours, stayed up way too late, went dancing again and again and again, went to dinner, went to a movie, danced in my living room till all hours of the night, went to a concert at Gruene Hall, went to my Christmas party, texted, he met a few of my friends and I met a few of his. And with each passing day the other people that I had been dating just kind of slipped away.

Then on New Years Eve, in my room, as he pulled me close and asked me if I would be his girlfriend, that momentary flash of fear vanished and I said "Yes!"

Call me crazy - I am. Call this a whirl wind romance - It is. Call it whatever you will. But I'm jumping in head first and going to ride this train till the wheels come off. Wish me luck ;)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

100 Blog Challenge - #1 - The Dance Floor Disaster

So the other day I saw a twitter post from one of my friends that said I challenge you to post 100 blogs in 100 days and I thought...hmmmm could I do that? Really could I do that?

My goal when I started this blog was to write about my life and journey of living up the good life in the Alamo city and I am a pretty busy girl so I'm going to give this 100 blogs in 100 days a shot. So here goes #1

Most of you know that I am a dancing machine and I never hesitate to hit up the floor when the music is bumping. Whether its house, salsa or country I am ready to shuffle my feet and burn some calories. But not everything always goes according to plan.

The other night I went to Cowboys and man it was PACKED! I mean there was wiggle room only on the dance floor. I probably wasn't wearing the best shoes - 4" heels instead of my boots. That was my first mistake. Fortunately I was with a great dance partner - my boyfriend Nick.

Nick is a phenomenal dancer - country, salsa, house, any type of music is his forte. So not only can he spin me around the dance floor with ease but he can also navigate a packed dance floor with the same talent as a precision driver maneuvering 281/1604 traffic at 5 o'clock.

Unfortunately during one of my spins my hand slipped from his grasp and given my outward spinning momentum I fell over me heels, flew backwards and it was like the red sea parted as I sailed through the air, through the crowd, not hitting a single person and landed on my ass right in the middle of the dance floor.

To add insult to injury not a single person helped me up. Yep people just kept right on dancing around me as if I wasn't even there. What could I do but laugh. And laugh I did. Hysterically so until Nick barreled through the packed floor to help me up. I was a good ten feet away from him and the "sea" had closed after my passing. He was literally shoving people aside to get to me.

Yep just call me grace. Good times. That was the start of my night and it didn't stop me. I just kept on dancing. Sometimes when things like that happen you just pick yourself up, dust your butt off and keep on dancing.

Its just like life...you just gotta laugh at yourself and roll with the punches, trips, falls and disasters. I always say if I didn't laugh I'd surely cry. So why not laugh instead. It sure feels a hell of a lot better to laugh.