Monday, October 20, 2014

Today, my grandmother passed away. It's surreal.

College Station is a place woven into my story. My grandmother lived there for most of her life and all of mine. Many Christmases were spent in the little yellow house on Pershing. Many games of Clue Master detective, Skipbo, Go Fish were played around her dining room table. Many bedtime stories of the city mouse and country mouse were imagined in that back room. A slew of Santas looked on from the shelves as vats of the best mac&cheese one could know were devoured. And that road was well worn between Grammy's house and Texas A&M University.

Because College Station was my grandmother's town, it was mine. I grew up standing in the heat of Bonfire, seeing the wee hours of the morning after Midnight Yell, falling asleep to the sound of the cannon when I stayed back at the house. Because it was my grandmother's town, College Station and A&M were in me. Even when I wanted to attend a different school, there was a part of me that knew A&M was home. Even for this two-percenter. It home.

And so, because I bleed maroon ever so slightly, because my grandmother lived just down the street from campus, because I knew every yell by the time I was 5, today's song is one of tradition, of valor, of a family of Aggies.

The Spirit of Aggieland

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Everyone has a favorite Disney princess. Everyone. Even if you pretend you don't, when it comes down to it, you love one more than the rest. Don't deny it. Some of you love Cinderella because you are all about the classic, elegant girl trapped in a simple life until true love sweeps her away. Some of you love Pocahontas because she is strong and confident and refuses to settle(never you mind that Disney butchered history). Still others prefer Belle, and I'll admit, she put up a good fight for favorite in my books too. After all, she is unassuming, kind and empathetic, stands up for the misunderstood and has a serious case of stockholm syndrome. But there is one greater than this avid reader. She is agnsty and curious and stubborn...such lovely qualities. Well, relatable ones at least. 

Ariel got me. She understood the plight, y'all. She collected thingamajigs, I had acorns...much more than 20, but who's counting? She saw something she wanted and she went after it. Sure she sold her soul to get it, but it was LOVE. What was she supposed to do? I mean, her dad blew up her statue of her crush with his underwater lightning rod. Clearly, he didn't understand. 

So, I wasn't all that angsty. (Maybe verify that with my family though.)

But I was stubborn and I did feel like there was a different world for me where I just might fit better. This of course is not my parents' fault. I've always felt that way. I haven't grown out of it. It just seems, and this is where Belle and Ariel level out in the battle for top spot, that there is so much adventure waiting. New things to learn. New people to meet. I wanted to be part of this world that I imagined was out there. I want to be part of every world I haven't yet experienced. Could be that all of that is really just my guts yearning for heaven...probably so. But, it makes me angsty. 

My favorite line from all the music in The Little Mermaid was "bet ya on land they understand, bet they don't reprimand their daughters." Without fail, whether watching the movie or singing my little anthem on the swing in the back yard, at that line I would pause and think to myself, "Oh, but reprimand they do, Ariel. Reprimand they do." I would commiserate with my finned friend for a moment before finishing the song with a delicate, wistful "wish I could be *longing sigh* part of that world."

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

There are some great things about having an older brother. Lots of great things. He can pick you up from school before you are old enough to drive. He has cute friends that are always around. He passes down some awesome dinosaur hand-me-down pajamas.

My brother is pretty great. All of those things above were true. He also was the worship leader for our youth group for  few years, tried to be patient enough to teach me guitar as I mentioned before, played guitar for some songs I wrote before I could play too, gave me a much wider appreciation for music that I'd otherwise have, and gave me a black eye....oh, I did that get on this list?

One thing that wasn't so awesome, although I'm almost positive it's worse in my memory bank than in reality, was his reign over after school movie choices. While I would have chosen Disney or Feature Family Films like The Buttercream Gang (anyone? anyone?), my brother was living on a solid diet of The Princess Bride and Star Wars.

Now, don't get me wrong, both the story of Wesley and Buttercup and the saga of Luke and Leia are magnificent, important works of cinematic achievement. And, after several years of detox, I actually have a deep love and appreciation for The Princess Bride. I even own a copy and choose to watch it at least once a year. Star Wars however, though valuable in its own right and worthy of the honor of the historic fame it has garnered, is not on my list of regularly chosen films. I can't remember the last time I watched one of the originals...and I haven't seen episode 3 ever. 1 and 2 were painful enough. And yet, one note of that epic music brings the whole saga flooding back. The yellow text scrolling through space setting the stage for a galaxy far, far away, the awkward, ambiguous brother-sister relationship, that gigantic snotball Jabba The Hut. All of it...rushing over me like a tidal wave. It's hard to deny one's early education.