Six Flags and soapboxes
To celebrate L's birthday, I offered to take her and one of her friends to Six Flags last Monday. We had a pretty good time... weekdays are definitely the days to go if you want to beat the crowds. We rode the Titan, Mr. Freeze, Batman, and the Shock Wave -- all without having to wait more than two or three minutes in line! Some of the other rides had a bit of a wait, and the lines started getting longer in the mid-afternoon when some thunderstorms rolled in and the park began shutting things down. Still, we had an enjoyable day... and I might even make it back there again before the summer's over.
Riding the Sidewinder
Other scenes from the past week...
Whiskey's shopping soapbox
After being yelled at on my bike, there's nothing like a visit to our local Wal-Mart to help reaffirm my faith in American society. On Friday, M joined me for a trip to the Wally-World to do some grocery shopping. (Can you say "white trash meltdown"?) Friday's adventure began before we even entered the store -- a lady in a minivan full of kids was blocking the aisle in the parking lot waiting for a good spot to open up. It didn't matter that the driver of the departing car was taking 10 minutes to load her groceries and then take her cart to one of the cart bays, or that traffic was backing up behind her, OR that there were other perfectly good spots less than a hundred feet away -- no, she was going to wait for the GOOD spot. After we finally made it inside the store, moms with kids agonized over which variety of hot dog buns to purchase (just F*&$ING PICK ONE and get out of the way, all right?) and other shoppers blocked aisles as they stood there yammering away on their cell phones talking about God knows what. When the hell did people become so self-absorbed and self-centered that they fail to notice how they're inconveniencing those around them? For God's sake, people, show a little CONSIDERATION! We were lucky on this trip that we chose a checkout line where no one in front of us wanted to haggle about prices, or take 10 minutes of our time while they sorted through their coupons. That always seems to happen when we shop at Albertsons. And K wonders why I hate to go grocery shopping... or for that matter, why I hate to even leave the house...
"Clusterf*ck, Texas" revisited
bek responded to my "Clusterf*ck, Texas" comments from June 2nd, " I hate it as much as you do, Whiskey... I only came to Texas because my job is here. It was interesting for the first few years, but in the last five or six years, I'm started to really hate the place."
I remember a few years ago when one of my co-workers retired, he sent out an email to our whole office strongly criticizing the company for "making" him move to such a godforsaken and ass-backwards place. He announced that happiness would be seeing Texas in his rear-view mirror as he hauled ass back home -- to Nebraska! (Oh, the irony!)
If north Texas no longer floats your boat, there are plenty of other options... If I could relocate to El Paso or Marfa or Alpine or Amarillo and work the job and earn the same salary, I'd be gone in a SECOND. Not that those places are perfect... El Paso, with its desert climate and its proximity to the Mexican border (and one of northern Mexico's largest cities) has its own set of problems. Marfa's streets are filling up with New Yorkers, and Alpine is probably next on the list, so it's just a matter of time before those places become victims of their own desirability as well. It might be a while, though, before that happens up in Amarillo... maybe that's the place for me! Grain elevators, wheat fields, wide open spaces, and trains... I'm there, dude. And if the winters get too cold for me up there, I'd even consider going back to (gasp) San Angelo. What was that about irony?
As for bek's assertion that "the stereotypes of Texans are mostly true. They're low-class, often slow-witted, impatient, hot-tempered and mostly folks I'd rather not associate with if I didn't have to. Folks here profess to love Texas but trash the state up with bad makeup, horrible boob jobs, crappy homes, shoddy workmanship, and no regard to the environment. ", I disagree... to a point. Sure, our state is home to some folks like that -- but most of 'em probably moved here from Oklahoma and Kansas and Arkansas!