Friday, September 26, 2008

Another first for Melanie

I spend the afternoon at our new house, unpacking our kitchen, doing laundry, and trying to keep Hattie happy while still being productive myself. Finally, I give in to her whining and decide to go home. I notice that it's 5 pm..."Perfect timing," I think to myself. So I decide to experiment. Rather than take the roads through town and to the freeway that loops around Lubbock, I decide to try Milwaukee, a road near the outskirts of town with fewer stoplights and perhaps less traffic. Maybe it'll prove a faster route between our two houses.

So I coast along, talking with my mother-in-law on the phone, and I see a policeman ahead (You should know that there are an uncanny number of policeman here in Lubbock. I hear there's one for every 100 people and that there is one living at every apartment complex. I see them everywhere). "Hum, I wonder what the speed limit is out here...probably 50." I glance down and see that I'm going about 53 and keep going (Lesson 1: Never assume you know the speed limit). Of course the lights turn on, and I laughingly tell Jessie that I have to hang up.

The cop is very nice...apparently it is a 45 zone (I'm just glad it isn't a school or construction zone). And, just my luck, I don't have my car insurance on me since we barely changed policies. So I am cited for speeding and having no insurance. My first speeding ticket ever, after almost 11 years of driving. Paul laughs at me when I get home.

So this morning I arrive at the court promptly at 8:30, hoping to miss the lines. Somehow, everyone else in Lubbock has the same idea (Lesson 2: Don't assume that the lines will be short in the morning). So after desperately trying to keep Hattie happy, I go up to pay. I bring my insurance with me to dismiss that charge and they tell me my options: I can pay $99 and take a defensive driving course and the ticket will be erased from my record, or I can pay the ticket in full, and be on driving probation for 3 months (meaning I can't get another citation) and the ticket will be erased from my record. She realizes that I have an Oregon driver's license, so it ends up that I cannot choose the defensive driving option. So, $153 later, I pay for my first traffic violation ever*.

They also tell me that I have to get a Texas driver's license, even though my Oregon one is good until 2013. I ask why. They say that then I can select the defensive driving class option the next time I get a ticket. Then they say that if I were in an accident they would more easily be able to identify me and get help. Makes sense, but it doesn't really seem to necessitate the change. I ask again, if those were the only reasons. They say that I could be cited for not having a Texas driver's license if I were pulled over again.

Now, I love Texas, but that seems a little extreme. Getting a ticket for having an out-of-state driver's license? They said that students were exempt, but not wives of students. Has anyone else ever heard of this in other states?

I must admit, I won't mind getting a new driver's license...the photo on my current one was taken on our wedding day, so my hair is formal and my smile ridiculously large.

*I did receive a ticket when I was 16 for running a stop sign, but I didn't pay for it since I went to teen court. I'll have to save that story for another day.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Feliz Cumpleanos

I love birthdays. And today is Paul's! The big 28. Gratefully he has no studying to do because of his test yesterday, so we have him all to ourselves.

We went out last night and enjoyed dinner and Bahama Bucks...I never knew that shaved ice could be so good! I think they have around 80 flavors. This morning we tried sleeping in...no success, thanks to Hattie. So we got an early start on presents.




(Mom, of all the things you could have picked, this was the best! He's been talking about this game for months!)


(We scored Erika, he loved it!)

Then Paul was able to do one of his favorite things...read. We went out and got the new Brisingr book and picked up a pie (since Paul doesn't really like cake) at a fabulous little bakery that I discovered by sheer luck. It was amazing...since it was our first time in the shop, they threw in some sample cookies and a dozen cheese rolls! Talk about customer service! I'm already dreaming of our next visit.

All and all, a good birthday so far. Happy birthday, my love.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Rain, rain, don't go away

Just to remind you of how anxious we are to move to our house, let me give you some highlights from the week:

- the water was shut off 4 times this week...a record so far.
- a man knocked on our door at 9:00 pm in the pouring rain with only shorts and a coat on to ask for a cigarette...quite the door approach. Paul said he was drunk.
- someone stole our laundry basket, of all things.

On another note, this morning it was foggy. I love the fog. I only remember 1 or 2 foggy days in all my years in Utah, but for those of you from Ontario (or who were on Study Abroad with me in London), fog is a normal thing. I have always loved it. It makes me want to bundle up in a blanket, grab some hot chocolate, and read poetry. Weird. So now that I've had a foggy day in Lubbock, it feels even more like home. Hattie and I went on a walk in it (at 7:30 am) and it was so peaceful and quiet (probably because it WAS 7:30 am). I hope it wasn't a fluke and that it happens regularly here.

Another thing I love about Lubbock is that when it rains, it RAINS. I've never lived in the Midwest, so it's new to me to be driving down the street in a foot of water. We haven't seen the sun here in about a week, I think. They even closed school yesterday because of the rain. Gratefully, no rivers are close, so no big chance of flooding.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Take me to the Aquarium!

Over the Labor Day weekend, we took a road trip to Dallas to escape for a few days after Paul's test. While there we went to the Dallas World Aquarium. It was a hit. Hattie LOVES animals, we discovered. We'll have to hit the zoo next time.



Some crocodiles, if you can see them.



They are looking at a green bird with a black head...it blends in pretty well.



To our right is a manatee hovering behind us...it was hard to get a good picture here because everyone wanted one.



Cool parrots



Hattie wanted to touch everything. Plus she liked being out of her stroller most of the time, getting spoiled by dad.



These fish are bigger than the ones at Wal-Mart!



I loved these frogs...they looked almost plastic.



Bad picture, but that is the coolest seahorse I have ever seen.



I loved being in the shark tank and seeing them swimming around us.



A puffer fish, I think.



Hattie liked the stinky pink flamingos.



Looking down on the shark tank.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Third time's a charm

After two unsucessful offers on a house and a solid month of searching, we finally found a house! We hope to close on it before the end of the month and get out of our current living situation:



We live downstairs, and gratefully no one lives upstairs. I haven't really even unpacked anything besides our clothes...no pots, dishes, etc. I know I've probably complained plenty about living here, but it's mostly just been the apartment itself...I really do love Lubbock. We have some neighborHOOD neighbors around here though.

And the remodelers bring their supplies like this:

Can you see why we are happy to be moving here?

Monday, September 1, 2008

Pussy cat

video

I know I previously shared a video of Hattie and my in-laws' cat, but she really does go bananas around him. She'll be crying, see Tang, and immediately start to laugh. She chases him around all the furniture, getting stuck behind the couch and between the table and chair legs. It almost makes me want to get a cat. But only almost. I can't handle the hair. Once I was busy doing something else when I heard her whimpering. She had followed Tang all the way up the stairs and was stuck at the top, not knowing how to get down! We have now blocked the stairs from our ambitious baby.