But I am waiting to leave for the appointment to close on our house here – after a six week delay!  I haven’t told anyone because I’m afraid of jinxing it, so I’m confiding in the void of the internet…

Can’t get any real work done because I’m too jittery.  Can’t leave now because I’ll get there too early.

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Lightning Storm!

Posted: September 12, 2010 in lightning, weather

Last night we saw the coolest flashes of lightning up in the sky. They lit up the clouds from inside. It was very spooky and very cool. I stood like an idiot in the Tom Thumb parking lot watching it for a while before it was time to go in and shop.

I was wishing I had my camera, but in truth, I don’t think I could have captured it.  It looked similar to this, but the clouds were a dark blue:

Interesting side note: when searching for this video, I discovered that there is a German country band called “Texas Lightning”.  Apparently they competed on Eurovision. Fascinating.

I quite enjoyed their video / cover of “Like a Virgin”:

The Bugs at Night are Big and Bite…

Posted: September 11, 2010 in Bugs

First day here, a very large, dark-brown cricket ran across my bare foot while I was standing in the front lawn.  I thought it was a cockroach! *shudder*

But this story goes back further than that.  Allow me to begin at the beginning…

When we were here house-hunting in July, I found myself confused by the rhythmic buzzing noise that we encountered when we got out of the car in several neighborhoods.  It was like the electric lines were about to explode or something.  It was one of those situations in which I am reminded that some questions are better left unanswered. Read the rest of this entry »

I can see this becoming an ongoing series of posts.

A Texas shaped swimming pool.  Thanks to “You+Dallas” for putting this on my radar. http://www.youplusdallas.com/cityblog/plano/?p=35

Hello Texas!

Posted: August 14, 2010 in Uncategorized

So, after months of planning we are here.  Things haven’t gone quite as smoothly as we were hoping and we are currently squatting at my in-laws house.  But the situation will hopefully work itself out in time.

I thought for the first post that I should clarify a few things.  The first is my attitude toward Texas.  When people found out that I was moving here, I got a lot of jokes, even a few expressions of condolences.  And I totally understand that.  Texas has a unique identity in our popular imagination and at many times it has been difficult to imagine how I might fit in here.  That being said, I do want to make it clear that I intend to give Texas a chance.  The purpose of this blog isn’t to belittle Texas or Texans.  The purpose is to chronicle what is likely to be a unique transition, full of many new experiences.  That doesn’t mean I won’t ever express frustration or puzzlement, or anything negative.  But it does mean that I am doing my best to approach things with an open mind.

The second point of clarification is also related to stereotypes about places – my status as a Southern California native.  I was born in and lived for all of my life in Southern California.  I suspect that just as my CA friends and family have some pre-conceived ideas about Texas, that maybe the people reading this or that I meet along the way might have some pre-conceived ideas about California and its residents.  But if you meet me and are expecting a tanned beach babe, you will be sorely disappointed.  I can’t remember the last time I went to the beach (except on vacation in France) and I’m about as pale as they come.  I’ve never surfed or roller-skated on a boardwalk.  Most recently I lived in “the valley” but I don’t talk like an idiot or obsess about shopping.  I’ve never gagged myself, or anyone else for that matter, with a spoon.  I am pretty liberal in terms of politics, but given CA’s recent Prop 8 debacle, I hope that most people realize that even states with a reputation as clearly liberal have more variety than one might expect.

So, back to the point of this blog!  I’d have to say that my first uniquely Texas experience happened on the very first morning that we woke up after arriving in The Lone Star state.  We took the 10 past El Paso and drove up the 20 to Midland, where we stopped for the night.  Our hotel offered complimentary breakfast in the morning and my partner went out to get us some food while I packed up our room.  He returned with….wait for it…no, really, it’s worth waiting for…

A waffle in the shape of Texas.

Would I make this up?  I’m fairly certain that I’ve never eaten anything in the shape of California, much though I loved living there.  So, I ate a waffle shaped like my new home state.  It was pretty tasty and if you find yourself at the LaQuinta Inn in Midland, I highly recommend trying one for yourself.

But my encounter with the waffle didn’t end when the waffle was gone.  That waffle has made a lasting impact on me (and I don’t just mean the calorie count).  I’ve been thinking about what it means to eat a waffle in the shape of your state.  Does any other state have breakfast food in their shape?  What about a New York omelet maker?  Or an Idaho toast stamp?  To me, the waffle indicates a quality about Texas that is visible in many other ways if you look around – state pride.  Not pride in the sports teams, or in certain landmarks, though those things certainly come with the territory.  We are talking about a deep and abundant pride in Texas.  A pride that borders on patriotism, or maybe even supersedes patriotism.  What is it about Texas that inspires this feeling?

I hope to find out over the next 12 months.