The Thing About Texas

So it’s been exactly two months since I first arrived in San Antonio, TX, and, like my bug-bite-free skin, my blogging seemed to disappear this summer. Man, and I was doing so well with the weekly posts! Guess that happens when your job is your life seemingly 24/7. Granted, I could’ve probably found the time to blog, but we can’t all be Wonder Woman.

I do have some things to share about San Antonio, though–and more broadly, Texas.  I could type you up some long blog post detailing exactly my experiences and what not, but let’s face it: I’m too lazy to do that, and you probably equally don’t want to read that. So, instead, I thought I’d make a nice little list for you all.

First, though, I want to make note that for a first job–even though it was only a temporary gig from the get-go–I had a lot of fun. It was a really good experience to work in a new city that I had never been to, and a state that I was not really familiar with. It gives me hope for my upcoming venture into the wild land out west. So, without further ado, The Things About Texas that I discovered during my time in San Antonio:

1) Texas is full of terrible drivers. I don’t care what you say about Los Angeles, New York, Boston, or Chicago–San Antonio has the WORST drivers in America. I don’t even understand it, because you would assume that, being in Texas where nearly everyone has to drive in order to get anywhere, everyone would have plenty of experience driving and therefore plenty of common sense while driving. This seemingly logical assumption is completely false. I don’t know if it’s the water, or simply the way Texans evolved from riding horses, but the drivers are complete idiots. Perfectly nice people outside of their vehicles, but complete idiots once they get behind the wheel. (Sorry San Antonio friends. Some of you have proven yourselves capable drivers, but the majority rules here.)

2) This brings me to my next point, which is that Texas traffic is HORRIBLE.  So it’s not bumper-to-bumper 30 mph or slower traffic during awfully long rush hours like LA, but in LA’s defense, at least there’s an expected routine. In Texas, you can be driving down the road at 3pm on a Sunday and find yourself suddenly in the middle of nerve-wracking bumper-to-bumper traffic for the next forty minutes (this happened to me). And I-35 in Austin is just Hell on Earth. Seriously, someone please get some monorails in these towns or something. Maybe a public metro of helicopters–really, anything else would suffice the cruel and unusual punishment that is Texan roadways.

3) Everything IS bigger in Texas, including the mosquitoes. Thank God vampires aren’t real because I swear, the way mosquitoes love me, I’d last about five seconds in a Vamp world. I went through FOUR cans of bug spray (on my own!) this summer. I was layering the stuff on three times a day (yes, I probably have some weird cancer now) and still getting bug bites the size of quarters.  QUARTERS! Do you know how uncomfortable that is when you’re laying in bed at night and you’re trying to fall asleep?

4) If you ever want to be able to buy a margarita anywhere else in the country and not feel like you just wasted $10, don’t drink in Texas. If there’s one thing Texas has right, it’s the tequila. The first two or three you try will make you feel like you’ve just had alcohol for the first time in your life, but after that, everything else will taste like cheap sugar water. Texas knows how to drink.

5) Southern hospitality makes itself subtle in its Texan manners.  Granted, my experience with Southern hospitality is limited to ten days I spent in Alabama two years ago, but man, did they lay it on thick there! Midwest manners are much more subtle, but also a bit more honest, if you ask me.  (Which, btw, apparently it’s a thing that some people believe Kansas is technically Southern and not Midwest. Woah! Mind blown.) In Texas, however, just like the geography, the southern hospitality meets midwest manners. You’ll often find that Texans are extremely generous and welcoming, but they also tend to be a bit more genuine than what I would consider true southern hospitality. So, ten brownie points to Texas, kind sirs and madams.

6) San Antonio is a Catholic haven. I lived on Trinity University’s campus, close to downtown, but still a drive (you have to drive literally every where). Within short commuting distance was four cathedrals and a couple churches. Not to mention the ruins of the (I believe it’s six) missions that include the famous Alamo.  Oh, and they still do services at the San Jose mission ruins. Talk about never letting tradition die. However, to any Catholics who have ever found themselves in the heart of the Bible belt and felt awkward because there’s literally a protestant church on every corner, but the only Catholic church is on the other side of town and you’re given judging stares for asking how to get there, San Antonio is a true gem. It’s most certainly a religious cultural opportunity.

7) TEXAS HEAT IS NOT DRY. In the months leading up to my leaving for Texas, all I kept hearing was, “The heat is horrible there, but at least it’s a dry heat, so it doesn’t feel as bad as it does here.” Dry heat this, dry heat that. I had high hopes, Texas, and you failed me, miserably. San Antonio was so humid, I swear it was more humid than Orlando, FL, which is really saying something–I think–because Florida is the most claustrophobicly humid place I have ever visited.  Why? Why does Texas nature get such a sadistic kick out of making me miserable??

8) Texas goes on forever.  On my drive home, my goal was simply to make it out of Texas that first day.  I had such an adrenaline high from making it across the Texas border that I didn’t even keep track of time and I was within an hour of home before I even looked at the clock and went, “Oh. I’ve been driving for nearly twelve hours now.” Seriously, Texas is so big.

9) Texans really like to point out the fact that they were once a country.  Though, I’m not sure the logic behind this, because they are no longer their own country, so really they’re only point out and bragging about their own failure…Sometimes, I think logic is suppressed by all of that state pride they have.

10) Texans are very proud of their state, in a strange way.  Seriously, I can’t wrap my mind around it.  The state is big, bulky, hot, and full of bad drivers. What seems like 3/4’s of the state is nothing but desert prairie and cacti, and their state schools have terribly ugly colors (Seriously, orange doesn’t look good on anybody [Sorry Austin]). Yet they will defend their state til the die, fly the state flag at the same height as the USA flag (they can do that, I guess) and brag about any facts they think are good about their state to anyone who will listen. (The favorite as far as I’ve found is that Beyoncé is from Houston.)

11) Texas is a lot of fun.  There’s lots to do, lots of people to meet (and try to avoid on the road) and a whole ‘lotta history. So, despite how negative this list–or maybe I should call it a vent session–is, Texas is actually a pretty cool place to visit. Note, I said visit. I would never, EVER live there.

So, I’m not sure if Davy Crockett knew exactly what he was saying when he wrote this line, but either way he was condemning himself to his death–for better or worse than hell, we may never know. (But probably better. I don’t think Texas is as bad as hell).

Davy Crockett funny

 

Be on the lookout, because in the upcoming weeks I will start my new journey out west to LA, and I plan to be blogging about it madly. Expect weekly updates on a set weekday that I just haven’t decided on yet.

Yours truly,

tlc

Southward, Ho!

I love when I get to travel, because it only reminds me more about the diversity that surrounds us everyday. I particularly love traveling within the U.S. when I am able to stay in one place long enough and out of the typical tourist-y way that I am able to get a real feel for the people and region.  It’s easy to forget–or perhaps, never realize–that even in a nationalized state like America, we do not all live the same way.  A couple years ago, I spent a brief ten days in Huntsville, Alabama volunteering through my University with a local non-profit organization there.  My culture-shock was almost immediate upon arrival: the Bible belt comes to its full realization in the Southern states, housing a church literally on every corner.  And the southern drawls! My, my! The southern drawls.  And southern hospitality finds its truest practitioners in the people of Huntsville.  It was an experience that threw all of my conceptions of Americans in my face.

Now, for the summer at least, I have made the trek down to San Antonio, Texas–a shorter drive than expected, considering the size of the state.  This is not my first time in Texas, but it is my first time in San Antonio, and my first time spending an extended period of time in the state.  Already I’ve had encounters with that ever-so-cherished southern hospitality, though it seems to be much more subtle here in Texas.  I-35 seems to be the vein that connects most of west Texas, and so I do not have much visual to go off of about Texas Landscape, though the expanse of the state seems to show in the variance of geographical sights: everything from flatlands, to hills, to trees and woods, to palm trees.  But mainly freeways. Lots and lots of freeways.

I am only here for a couple months, and I only just arrived, so I will make this post a brief  one.  But I hope to explore more in my off-time and prove to myself that San Antonio is not just a city of tall buildings and freeways, but a real Texas town like I imagined. I’ll keep you updated on whether or not I prove myself wrong.  In the meantime, keep checking back for more posts. I hope to get back on a schedule soon. I’ll let you know when I do.

Yours truly,

tlc

To Nobody, Who Reads My Blog:

After a two week hiatus, Nobody is probably wondering why I haven’t posted.  Oops, sorry I didn’t forewarn you, Nobody, but my summer internship wrapped up two weeks ago and I spent my first Friday that I missed posting a blog on the road and the second Friday hanging out in South Dakota on vacation.

I know. South Dakota, right?  What in the world could possibly keep me away from blogging while on “vacation” (haha) in South Dakota?

Well, for one, it’s South Dakota. Internet is like a smelly Parisian cheese that the locals don’t know how to cook with yet.  And two, South Dakota is actually awesome, if you like nature, but you don’t actually like nature.

What does that mean?  Well, it means I had an awesome time admiring the beauty of the Black Hills and the epic-ness of the Badlands without actually having to deal with Mother Nature’s little–let’s call them “buts”.  As in, “I love laying out at night and gazing at the immensity of sky and stars, BUT chigger bites really suck.” As in, “I had such a blast camping last weekend, living outdoors and really making a go of it, BUT that run-in with the [insert animal here (possible answers: ferocious bear, ginormous tarantula, rattle snake, rabid squirrel, etc)] was horrible.”  As in, I like you, outdoors, I really do. But it’s not you, it’s me. But actually it’s you.

Actually, South Dakota is surprisingly pretty great.  Who knew all this time I was visiting family in south central South Dakota all I had to do was mosey on over to the west border and there’d be ample amounts of touristy things for me to do. Let me give you a visual: most of South Dakota is like Western Kansas. There’s nothing, and then there’s something. But usually that something is nothing as well, so you have to use your imagination. If you like rural, it’s great.  I for one, enjoy the nostalgia of it. However most sane people will probably live their entire lives never even caring to visit even out of curiosity. I don’t blame you. Though you’re missing out on some of the best pizza, ever.  However, however, when you hit Rapid City–or maybe even Wall Drug–it’s like, suddenly you’re in Colorado, and not just the scenic but boring East side. You’re in the Rockies, baby. And wilderness just got real.  Except for the big billboards every half-mile advertising yet another gold mine tour.  Woo-hoo. (Actually, they’re pretty cool.)

So, yeah. That’s how I spent my one week of glorious summer vacation. In the Badlands and the Black Hills. Seeing Mount Rushmore. Touring really old mines. Getting some Black Hills Gold. Spending valuable bonding time with my parents. (I know, seems like a strange thing for someone my age to say, but family is really important to me. Maybe I’ll dive into that more in another post).

It was really fun. And now I have to move back to school. I should be excited. I should have senioritis that makes me really want to get this done and over with. But I kind of want to chain myself to a tree and never leave. I have no idea what’s happening next. O.O It’s a big world out there. And I’m a small person. (No, really, I’m pretty short. Not petite or under five-foot, but I’m still short.)

That got deep. (At least for me; I’ll probably go contemplate the world in my head now when I’m done writing this.)

Anyways, as with the end of my summer comes the end of my goal to update my blog every Friday. I think I did a pretty decent job, don’t you? I only had one week where I posted on Saturday instead (not counting my two-week hiatus). I think I’ll set another day for updating posts.  However, once again I’m not sure what day that’ll be on. Probably not Fridays. Fridays are weird during the school year. I spend a lot of Friday nights watching YouTube clips of the Ellen DeGeneres show while my hair is wet. (I sound like such a catch, don’t I?)

Okay, enough of what has turned into a confessional rambling about my life. Go do something with yours. And then come back and read my blog again in a week.

Thanks, Nobody. I appreciate your support. You da best.

Yours truly,

tlc

P.S. Here‘s a little sample of how my weekend went.

Guess Who’s Back?

Shady’s back! …alright, I’ll stop quoting decade-old Eminem. It’s not quite as cool typing it out as it is saying it, anyways.  

So, you’re probably wondering where I’ve been, where my posts have been, and why the heck I haven’t called you lately.  Okay, so you probably didn’t actually notice I was took a hiatus from blogging. It’s okay, I’ll get over my apparent disappointment in your lack of interest in my posts…eventually.  But in all seriousness, I sincerely apologize for not filling up ten minutes of your time every week with my meandering words and thoughts. I know, I’m such a terrible person.  What can I say? I’m a writer, I like to write. It’s a double-edged sword. 

Anywho, back to the reason I’ve been gone…the reason I’ve been gone…Ahh, yes, the reason I’ve been gone! You see, my fellow internet-surfing folks, I have one flaw (alright, maybe a few more than that, but only one that’s relevant to this post): my college priority list involves 1) Homework 2) Work 3) Social life 4) Internet procrastination 5) All other productive activities I should probably be doing instead of wasting time on Facebook.  

And that’s just it, I’m addicted to social media and I can’t stop. I was very busy this semester, and between an internship, a job, and school, I just didn’t find–or rather, should I say make the time–to keep up on this whole blog-thing. I’m sorry guys, my bad. 

No, seriously, I’m sorry. Seriously. 

Actually, I’ve really been looking forward to starting this up again. I have some really great ideas for posts and I can’t wait to share them with you in the upcoming weeks and months.  And, I think keeping this up over the summer will be great practice for accountability next fall. I’m working on my social media addiction. I’m going to see if I can ween myself off of it without actually deleting my Facebook profile (I have a lot of long-distance friends, okay!). Maybe I’ll update you on the progress of that as well.  

So, the moral of the story is: 1) I’m sorry I’ve neglected my posts 2) Updates every week this summer! (A specific day of the week may be solidified later on) 3) Don’t procrastinate awesome things by scrolling through your Facebook newsfeed. It’s just–just, no. Just don’t. Okay? Cool.

Yours truly,

tlc