Channelview is one of those places that, when you're born there, you do everything you can to get out as soon as possible. Obviously it hasn't always been that way. My great-grandparents moved there in the 30's, my grandparents built a house on their property right next door to their house in the 50's and my grandmother's brother built a house just beyond my grandparents' in the 60's. Although my great-grandparents sold their place in the 70's, the other two houses are still in the family. My grandmother still lives in the home she and my grandfather moved into in 1953 when my mother was just three years old, my uncle was still a baby and my youngest aunt wasn't even considered. Some of my cousins now live in the house built by my great-uncle for his family.
I love my grandmother's house. It is the home of my youth - my mother and I lived there with them until I was just a little younger than Trystan is now. I also love the Channelview I remember.
It's very odd how the world changes in just one generation. I never traveled any farther than the opposite side of Houston until I was twelve years old and yet Trystan has been to San Francisco and Washington DC and many places in between and he's not quite eleven. Channelview was my whole world - Trystan's world is so much larger and seems to take up the country if not the entire planet. I remember standing on the crosswalk that connected my neighborhood to the neighborhood across IH 10 and looking down on all the cars that drove by beneath me, wondering where they were going and about the adventures they would have once they crossed out of Channelview - Trystan's in one of those cars and can tell you stories about the things he's seen and the places he's been.
Although my memory of Channelview is a gilded Norman Rockwell image, I did notice the cracks in the veneer when I was a teenager. My best friend from high school and I began calling it Cattle-ville at that time and spoke of escape. The not so nice parts of town seemed far seedier than they had when I was younger. Graffitti began springing up on all the surfaces flat and otherwise. And then of course, there's the "Texas Cheerlearder Murdering Mom" also called "the Pompom Mom." Yep, that's my hometown - football and cheerleaders and FFA.
A few years back there was also a bank robbery. I can't remember if Brett used a gun but I do remember he tried to rob a bank at which many people worked who were able to not only recognize him on sight but also knew where his mother still lived. This is a small town, what kind of a moron would try to rob a small town bank at which one of his old high school buddies is branch manager? When he demanded the cash, the teller called him by name... He never even made it out to his car, the branch manager folowed him and convinced him to return the money.
My yearbook from my freshman year is nearly a copy of my mother's high school yearbooks - same sir names, different clothing styles. I used to be able to walk into the grocery store and know almost every person I saw - heavens, with my grandfather's nine siblings and their families still in close proximity, I was related to nearly every other person there in some way or another.
It was with this history that I took my mother and son back to Channelview for a week-long visit with my grandmother. On our first night there (literally less than an hour after our arrival), some idiot tried to burgularize my car. Luckily, I never keep anything of value in the car so they managed to get away with about five cents that I had dumped into a loose change collector earlier that day. It upset my grandmother but didn't bother me so much since nothing of value was taken. After that, granma insisted I park in her garage since the driver's door on my car locks only sometimes.
The next day, to escape the house for a bit, the three of us went for a drive while my aunt and grandmother went off to finish Christmas shopping. I gave Trystan the grand tour of this place I used to ride my bicycle all over while my son's head was burried in his game boy. I pointed out where his Oma and I lived after we moved out of his Nana's house, the homes of several of my old friends and places I used to work and go to school. As we were passing by one house, the one I pointed out as having been the home of my best friend from pre-school until high school, Mama noticed that one of the women standing in front of it looked a good deal like that old friend.
Later that afternoon, Tryst and I drove back to the house I had pointed out to him earlier as my old friend's and I was pleasantly pleased to find that Joanna was there after all. It turns out that her brother passed away two months ago and then her father passed on just two weeks ago. She and her mother, along with some family friends, were in the process of having an estate sale to clear away the things that were no longer needed. Tryst played with her boys (aged 13 and 11) and her eldest was amused to learn that he and Trystan got along better than his mother and I did when we were their age, he was also shocked to learn that his mother and I had known each other ever since we were three and four years old.
I also managed to get away for an evening to visit Weldon, an old high school friend I haven't seen in 17 years. We chatted and caught up over coffee at the Alabama Book Stop and three hours later I headed home.
Now, I have to finish packing up the house so that we can get moved next week...
It may be decent, it may not be. I'm still sending it off to publishers in the hope that someone will be interested in at least requesting to see the whole thing. It was also included in my Christmas cards this year in lieu of gifts.
Tryst is in absolute heaven. Our across the street neighbor (whose two boys are nearly both grown now) called Trystan over this evening to ask if he liked Pokemon cards. They have been doing some spring cleaning and had come across a book of Pokemon cards they were going to throw away until they thought of Trystan. Does he like Pokemon cards? It's the main thing he's asked for for Christmas and it's what his weekly allowance gets used for each Friday.
He is now the proud owner of not only more Pokemon cards, but many early edition Japanese cards and a number of others that are from earlier sets than the ones he has now. He's now pawing through them describing their relative value (money wise as well as game wise).
So I suppose we'll count that as an early Christmas gift from the neighbors.
First, Trystan a few nights ago prefaced a question with "If I ask you something, do you promise to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?" This, in and of itself, leads the questionee to know a loaded question will follow so I wasn't wholly startled by the question that did follow: "Is there really a Santa Claus?"
I figure that at 10, he's ready for the truth and 'fessed up that I was actually the provider of all those Santa gifts. I was then told that I had ruined Christmas forever, something he quickly recanted when I explained that if there isn't a Santa, there's no need to hold back the big gifts until Christmas day. And with our family tradition of opening one gift on Christmas Eve, he's now thrilled with the prospect.
I did include my true feelings on the matter. Santa is alive and well in everyone out there who goes out and buys gifts for children who aren't theirs, who donate their time and money to charities, etc. Santa is a spirit rather than a person.
Next, with my grandmother's 80th birthday fast approaching (Dec 21st), my uncle has wanted to have a big family dinner in honor of this. The plan was for us to all (at least those from my own household which includes my aunt and cousin as well as Tryst, my mother and myself) spend Christmas down in Channelview and since I'm currently not working and have no other prior engagements, we've decided to spend the 21st through the 25th in my old hometown. Granma's very excited about the prospect of having a full house for a week, it's been decades since a child got to open all their gifts in her living room on Christmas morning. Mama's stockpiling her anxiety medications for the event and I'm contacting all my old friends who sill live in the general vicinity (including but not limited to my best friend for the 2nd grade.)
I crocheted a tablecloth for my grandmother and had originally planned to give it to her for Christmas but have now altered it to a birthday present. It took me nine months to crochet and I only hope she'll like it. I'll try to post a picture of it once I locate the photo I took once I was finally done. It went with me to every doctor's appointment Mama had this last year and I had many nurses eagerly watching my progress.
Also, our house hunt of the last year plus has finally ended. I somehow finally managed to find a place we all like and that we can afford. Granted, it's in Smiley, Texas, a town that boasts a population of 453. It's an old 1930's or 40's farmhouse with three bedrooms, central A/C, and an acre of land. The best part of the deal is that it's a sale and financing by owner situation. The gentleman who owns it reminds me a great deal of our current landlord of whom I am greatly fond. We're set to move in on the first of the year. It'll be nice to start the new year in a new place.
I know it's been a while since I last posted anything - it's been busy here.
I'm mailing out Christmas cards this week, if you'd like one just send me your email either to the email address associated with this account (melpomene_blue) or to my gmail account: rillatheresa (at) gmail.
I'll try to post an actual entry later.
The Austin Pow Wow was last Saturday and I rounded up Mama and Tryst to attend - without regalia since I have no clue where my old regalia is and I haven't put together any for Tryst since he was a toddler. Much to my surprise, we were able to stick out seven hours before I became too worried about Mama's stamina and health and insisted we leave.
We had a good time and Tryst has decided he wants to learn to dance, so now I'm scouring the web to find the various bits and pieces he'll need for his traditional regalia. I've also decided to make another Tear Dress since I never quite finished the last one I made to my liking and I want to switch up my colors. It's been so long since I beaded anything, this should be interesting.
I was surprized by the large number of "off season" competition pow wows that are going on in our general vicinity. I guess it just goes to show how long it's been since I was in the pow wow scene with any regularity since back when I was a regular, there were never any competition pow wows in the spring, fall or winter.
I always wanted Tryst to get involved with the pow wow circuit but I wanted to wait until he was older enough to decide on his own. I told him that if he was serious about wanted to do it, I would go ahead and buy one of the DVDs for him to practice with and start on his regalia. We've spent the last few days discussing which dance style he prefers (fancy dance is out based on the amount of energy involved) and so forth. I've never had to put a bustle or roach together before - this is going to be an interesting winter.
In other news, I'm still not used to the swith from daylight savings time... or was it the switch to daylight savings time... I never am sure. It's only 9:30 but I'm going to bed.
I don't know if God's on my side or if I'm either incredibly lucky or unlucky.
I managed to melt my car's engine last night while driving my mother home from her radiation appointment. The mechanic gave me the bad news this morning, he then found a car that fit in my current budget. When I drove said car back to his shop in order to sign the final sales papers, it decided to spring a massive leak and spew fluids all over the cement. It's now in his shop because, to be completely honest, the deal they gave me can't be beat even with having to pay half of the cost of fixing the vehicle. I'll still end up with a car that's actually worth a good deal more than what I paid.
I've been sick all week with 100 degree temperatures and Tryst was ill enough today to merit staying home as well. I know my own illness is due to the fact that I have finally slowed down enough to allow my body to become sick. all it took was three days without work for my fever to start climbing - the house is still not tidy although the plan was to have it so by Wednesday.
I'm off to tidy the kitchen while the medicine I took is still working well enough to make me feel like a human being.
Today is my last official day at Apple. I decided to take a break from working so that I can get Mama to and from her daily radiation therapy appointments and to give me time to focus a bit more on my manuscripts... not to mention time to actually clean the house that has been neglected the last month (we have no more clean dishes.) Since Mama's disability is more than my paycheck, we decided we could afford it and I'm exhausted anyway.
With the monstrous check we received last week, Mama got a new HD TV (the color tube in my old TV is trying to go out finally) and she bought me a laptop since my desktop and her laptop are never available and it's difficult to work on my manuscripts when the only time I can snag a computer is when she's at the doctor's and Tryst is at school. Now the next large expenditure will be a place to live on our own.
Tryst has a new pet whom I happened across while driving home from the grocery store a week ago. It's a tiny little red-eared slider I was worried would be squashed by a car in his chosen sunning spot of the middle of the road. I was also a bit concerned the neighborhood chickens would think it was lunch. It's name: Frederick von Strasse. Frederick seems quite content in his aquarium and with all his new paraphernalia. Who knew a little two-inch long terrapin could possibly need so much stuff...
Last week, if you searched for Villa Muse on Google, you might get a half dozen results. After Villa Muse's coming out party on Saturday, it's mentioned everywhere. Having heard, first hand, the scheme and the ideas behind the whole concept I'm more intrigued by it all. It has a great deal of promise, it could be very cool indeed, of course (as with anything) it could also fall flatter than a pancake.
My only comment about the fancy schmancy party is that grown men and women who earn/have more money than I can even imagine needing much less having should have enough sense (and far more class) to not get drunk when they are out at a public gathering regardless of the open bar.
1. What are your initials?
at birth: RTC, when I was married: RTR, after my divorce and right up to today: RTC
2. What is your favorite thing to wear?
3. Last thing you ate?
Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, I even had to dig the wrapper from the trash to remember how to spell it
4. One place you will NEVER eat at?
scary little hole in the wall joint back in Beaumont, I was afraid to walk too close to it along the sidewalk lest I catch something
5. I say Shotgun, you say:
I'd rather walk.
6. Last person you hugged?
Trystan when I dropped him off at school this morning
7. Does anyone you know wanna date you?
you'd have to ask the people I know
8. Would you date anyone you met online?
9. Name something you like physically about yourself.
my height - not too tall, not too short
10. The last place you went out to dinner to?
Taco-Hell for last night's dinner when I was too lazy to cook
11. Who is your best friend?
Trent and Lara
12. What time of the day is it?
13. Who/What made you angry today?
nothing - I'm remarkably easy-going and rarely get riled up really
14. Baseball or Football?
baseball without a doubt
15. Ever gone skinny dipping?
16. Favorite type of Food?
Mexican, no... Cajun, no... Chinese, no... Thai, no... Southern Soul Food, no... Caribbean - all food is wonderful
17. Favorite holidays:
Halloween and the 4th of July
18. Do you download music:
Hmmm.... I work as customer support for iTunes, what do you think?
19. Do you care if your socks are dirty?
dirty - yes, matching - not so much
20. Opinion of Chinese symbol tattoos?
tattoos are tattoos, as long as the person being tattooed likes it...
21. Would you date the person who posted this?
perhaps, as long as I didn't meet them on-line
22. Has anyone ever sang or played for you personally?
yes, a few times
23. Do you love anyone?
24. Are colored contact lenses sexy?
no, I'm more of a naturalist
25. Have you ever bungee jumped?
26. Have you ever gone white-water rafting?
not a chance
27. Has anyone ten years older than you ever hit on you?
28. How many pets do you have?
personally? 2 cats
the household? 1 cockateil, 1 rabbit, 1 terrapin, ~10 cats
29. Have you met a real redneck?
I grew up in the South, in Texas...
30. How is the weather right now?
warm I suppose but I'm stuck inside an office building
31. What are you listening to right now?
the movie "Sky High"
32. What is your current favorite song?
"Metamorphosis One" it's a piano piece
33. What was the last movie you watched?
at the theater - "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" on DVD - X-Men II
34. Do you wear contacts?
35. Where was the last place you went besides your house?
36. What are you afraid of?
losing Trystan and tornadic thunderstorms
37. How many piercings have you had?
7, all in my ears so that my mother would make "perforated ear" jokes
38. What piercings do you want?
I'm happy with the two (one in each ear)
39. What's one thing you've learned this year?
that 62 miles round trip is killer to drive in Austin traffic on a near-daily basis
40. What do you usually order from Starbucks?
nope, I let my old high school buddy (Winter) do Starbucks for me
41. Which is better: Livejournal or MySpace?
I would imagine it depends on your tastes, I prefer LiveJournal
42. Have you ever fired a gun:
43. Are you missing someone?:
yep, but not for long
44. Favorite TV show?
I like a few: Ghost Hunters, NCIS, Dr Who...
45. Do you have an obsession with WoW?:
not a chance
46. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celeb?
Mary Louise Parker
47. What Magazines are you reading?
the ones in the doctors' offices and National Geographic
48. Who would you like to see right now?
49. Favorite movie of all time?
it's a toss up between Pride and Prejudice and A Letter to Three Wives
50. Do you find yourself loved?
51. Have you ever been caught doing something you weren't suppose to?
well, I suppose not
52. Favorite smell?
fresh cut grass, gardenias, wood smoke, rain, lemons, coconut
53. Butter, plain, or salted popcorn?
salted and buttered
54. Have you ever done the celebrity challenge on www.GoofyAuctions.com?
never even heard about it before
55. Which celebrity does www.GoofyAuctions.com say you look like?
56. Has anyone you were really close to passed away recently?:
57. Our Lady Peace or Nickelback?
Nickelback's alright, I even downloaded a few of their songs
58. What's something that really bugs you?
people who are living life only for themselves without any thought to the rest of society
59. Do you like Michael Jackson?
60. Taco Bell or Burger King?
61. What's your favorite perfume?
Crabtree & Evelyn's Gardenia
62. Favorite baseball team?
Cubbies and the 'Stro's
63. Favorite cereal?
64. Nipple or Nose rings?
65. What's the longest time you've gone without sleep?
two years? You try being a solo-parent and see what I mean. In actuality, close to 65 hours
66. Last time you went bowling?
a few years ago, Tryst and I keep talking about going back but haven't done so yet
67. Where is the weirdest place you have slept?
I fell asleep at the funeral home during one of the viewings for a distant family member... it had been a very long day
68. Who was your last phone call?
my cousin who was looking for her mother who was still at work
69. Last time you were at work?
as I type...
70. What's the closest orange object to you?