Tag Archives: Lubbock

Good Sign

This morning was a warm-but-cool, sunny, moon-roof-open-on-the-interstate kind of morning. It was also a Thursday-is-my-Friday kind of morning, because tomorrow I’m off to a weekend getaway in Lubbock.

Glorious, right?

Then this song came on:

Now, the last time I went to Lubs, I also went to San Francisco, Las Vegas, and St. Louis. It was a crazy-awesome fall and just a generally good time in my life, and I’ve always associated the song with traveling and happiness. Well, that and the fact the song is kind of about traveling and sex.

ANYWAY, it felt right having this little number come on this morning. Like it’s the right time to leave Des Moines for a bit. 

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Well gang, after 10 hours in airports/planes today, I’ll be done with my traveling binge for the year. This final surge started in October with a quick trip to Omaha to see family, and it ends with a LAS-PHX-DSM return from vacation.

The trips have all been enlightening in their own ways. San Fran’s wine country experience left me feeling uncultured–I know next to nothing about wine. And Vegas is so full of attractive people and nightlife that it makes one feel very plain and uninteresting. After Lubbock I am confident in my choice to leave grad school, and every trip confirmed that that my friends and family are good shit.

In all these places I’ve gotten to do a crapton of awesome things: from shopping at Those Iowa Girls, to touring Anheuser-Busch and the Zephyr showroom, taking in the mountainous Red Rock Canyon area at sunset, hanging from trees at Wash U and walking down Las Vegas Blvd. I ate at Fuzzys Tacos, Empress of China, Capriotti’s and Le Thai – to name a few. I enjoyed Bud Light at the O Bar, a Hemingway Daiquiri or two at Herbs & Rye, multiple pumpkin chai at Daybreak, a Grey Goose + Sonic special a la Megan Hansen, a quickly-downed fruity and delicious somethingorother at Frankie’s Tiki Room, and a sip of a bad-behavior-inducing drink called the “Amen” made by a bartender named Jim.

Thanks to everyone who made it happen. I’d be lying if I said I wanted to go home right now, but at least I can happily and exhaustedly surrender myself to working through the holiday season and into the new year… where a fresh batch of vacation days awaits.

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How is my energy bill only $19, you ask?

In Lubbock you can get away with not turning on the heat. Sort of.

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On pain of death

I vow to never, ever, ever move somewhere that doesn’t have an Apple store.

Having problems with my laptop is worse than being dangerously ill.

I fucking hate you, Lubbock.

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Lubbock: A hotbed of sex

I’ve already thrown this up as a Facebook post, but I’ve got to document this fine day  in my history. For the first time in my life, I live in a “hotbed of sex.” According to Men’s Health, Lubbock ranks in the nations Top 15 based on census birthrates, STDs, and sales of condoms and sex toys.

Check out the ABC News story. Then find the October issue on newsstands.

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Observations on Texas, II

Here are some more things I’ve noticed about this hot, dusty land mass.

1. Taco places all serve breakfast. When Taco Johns started serving breakfast, most people agreed it was weirdly gross. I still feel the same.

2. They have distinct beverages. Fanta Red must be the southern version of Fruit Punch or Hi-C and whatnot. It’s always there. Their fountain machines also seem to always include Diet Dr. Pepper, which is a godsend. In Iowa, I could only find it at Chick-Fil-A (and Kum & Go, of course). Sadly, I’m having to use that Diet D.P. to replace my true love, Diet Mountain Dew. I can’t find it anywhere! Also, at most places, a medium drink is 32 ounces. And they put their pop in styrofoam. It’s hot as sin down here, so it really keeps that liquid cool, while killing the environment one Big-Gulp-sized take-out cup at a time.

3. Informative signs can be found all over the place. “Watch for water” along the frontage roads. “Bridges ice before roads” before every bridge. I mean, isn’t this common sense? My favorites, however, are the ones that say it’s a misdemeanor to consume alcohol on site–most notably the grocery stores and Target.

4. Magazines are terrifying. Walking down the magazine aisle at Target my first night in Lubbock, I found the May issue of Esquire. The. May. Issue. Does that not disturb you? Even more upsetting was that a week later, I found no issues at all. Checkouts–hot spots for the mag buyer–have such titles as Cowboys & Indians, Country Weekly, Texas Football, and ‘Taste of Home’s’ Church Suppers. I yi yi. Where’s GQ or Real Simple? But I’m proud to report I found Parents and Kitchen and Bath Ideas.

5. Texans really do say y’all all the time. Especially at restaurants. One server topped out with six y’alls in her introduction. Oh boy.

6. Stores have some very different quotidian products. For instance, I’ve never seen so many different kinds of Jarritos. They took up a fourth of an aisle at the HUGE grocery store I frequent. Right next to those were an assortment of religious candles. Those had half an aisle at Target!

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Observations on Texas, I

I waited a little while to post my first round of observations on Texas. This is mostly because I haven’t done anything since I moved here. Except put together my apartment–that I have done and it will have it’s own glorified post in the very near future. But for now, here are some things I’ve noticed about my new realm.

1. Roads are like nothing I’ve ever experienced. There are four-lane one-ways, turnarounds, frontage roads and loops. Not uncommon for people from big cities, but it’s certainly new to this girl. I practically live on the corner of two major roads. Major means five to seven lanes across. In the middle of town. What the fuck? It’s not as bad as I’d imagined, though. So far, so good, although I’ve only ventured three places: Target, a parking lot at TTU, and another Target.

2. People here are slow. Sssslllloooooooowwww. Well, not when driving. But at everything else. Fast food? Slow. Talking? Slow. Walking, moving, standing, eating. Slow, slow, slow, slow! It makes me crazy. I wonder if people will have a hard time understanding me when I speak.

3. Popular foods are far different here. For instance, down the street is a corner with Sonic, Jimmy Johns (hooray!) and Dennys. I’ve never seen more then two cars in the JJ parking lot. Sonic, however, has at least five cars at all times and once I saw the parking spaces full (like 20+ spots) with a line. Dennys, too, is wildly popular. And traveling down 50th I know of at least five taco places. It’s nuts! Also, fountain drinks are a bit different here. Like the “Enjoy Fanta Red.” Hmm.

4. I’m rather paranoid here. I think people look at me funny, talk to me funny, everything. I feel like I have IOWA stamped across my forehead.

5. Music doesn’t suck. Not that they don’t have Country here. Because they do. But I’ve managed to avoid it by finding a wicked Hip-Hop station that I never plan to turn off.

6. Everyone wears TTU gear. Mostly red shirts that say Texas Tech or Texas Tech University. I see a lot of “Wreck ‘Em Tech” as well. Guess I’m underdressed.

That’s about all I’ve had the honor of observing thus far. Gimme a while, a couple trips to campus, an orientation or class or two, and I’ll have much more to comment on, I’m sure.


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I’m sitting in a hotel room in Oklahoma City, en-route on our triumphant return from Lubbock.

Mission: Procure apartment
Status: Complete

Although rent is much more than I anticipated, I found an amazing apartment. If I am careful with my spending, I should be okay. My only requirement going into the search was a washer/dryer connection. Being a full-time student and (hopefully) part-time mag writer, I don’t want to have to find time to sit in a gross communal laundry room. So after visiting a few complexes, I fell in love with my to-be abode. Two story, one bedroom, one-and-a-half bath townhome. It has three closets, including a Harry Potter home under the stairs. Oh, and a balcony.

A balcony.

Anyhoo, after some courting of the complex folk, and proving I make real monies, I got myself a place starting August 6th. Huzzah!

A trip bonus: the purchase of a new bed! I’ve had a twin for, oh, 20 years now. In a few months, I’ll have my own deliciously plush full bed. Fabulous.

But, the trip wasn’t all balconies and shoe closets. I haven’t slept worth shit  I’ve been on a slanted couch and my parents snore to the point that I seriously think I can feel vibrations. I also haven’t had an appetite since we left on Saturday. NONE. I’ve eaten a bit, but haven’t actually wanted to. It’s like when you’re sick and you can’t taste anything but you need to eat because… well duh, you need to eat. That’s this. It’s terrible, and we’re on the road and it’s all bad food and I feel disgusting. Ugh.

Then there is this weird realization that hit me at 2:05 am last night when I couldn’t sleep. Of my eight closest girl friends in elementary/middle school, at least five are married or engaged. That number increases with the friends I added in high school and college. Babies are in the picture, too. Plus I have wonderful friends who aren’t that committed yet, but it’s not hard to see in the not-so-distant future. I know there’s no point in comparing myself to my peers, and I’m not looking to be in their position, either. But it’s hard not to feel like I’m somehow behind.

Yet another tangent: I spent 45 minutes walking around a deserted parking lot in Happy, Texas and got my first sunburn of the season! Woo!

Everything is okay, see?

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Please, no.

Roadtrips? Cool. Spontaneous random acts of driving? Even cooler.

A 6 am-9:30 pm drive from Kansas City to Lubbock? With your parents? A limited music supply? And no sleep the night before?

Hell on Earth.

Just thinking about doing it again on Wednesday makes me sick.

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You want ‘not exactly ready’? I’ll give it to you. Real apartment hunting. Last year wasn’t real. Jenny and I looked at three apartments, picked one, and went back to sign the lease on the same day. In retrospect, we got lucky that we could afford it and it had everything we wanted (two bedrooms3, two full baths, washer and dryer, appliances).

This year, I’ve got a list of almost 20 places that I must reduce to a manageable number in order to call and find out if they have availability, then book a tour accordingly. I just… UGH! It’s not easy. Few have washer/dryer connections in a one bedroom unit, and even fewer received good ratings from tenants. A lot have bad layouts, and many seem ridden with hideous appliances.

My whole life, I’ve had it easy. I still do. But it’s left me pretty sheltered about things and I’m nervous, not only about apartment hunting, but also what life will really be like on my own. A bad apartment would be a terrible way to start.

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