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.

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 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 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 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.