Category Archives: Life in TX

15:365 – What’s in a Name… One Like Oatmeal, TX?

Still in Abilene. Death is near.

As a side note, this is the furthest west I have ever been in my life! It feels like it, too, but maybe that’s just because I spent over two solid hours driving nearly due west last night to get here.

The scenery changes between here and Ft Worth. You start to see some landscape that looks like the kind of place John Wayne would hang out. Long stretches of flat and wide open spaces rise up into huge stair-like plateaus. Very cool.

I like living in Texas because it feels like I’m somewhere. Maine is just so remote, so far from everything, that no matter where you are you have a distinct sense of being in the middle of nowhere.Some people like that. I am not those people. Living in Texas, and especially living in a huge metropolitan area where you’re never any further than two miles from a Starbucks and/or a frozen yogurt place, you know you’re somewhere good. Being from the northeast also gives me a profound appreciation for all things southern. I love armadillos and red dirt. I love it when someone says “y’all” in a casual conversation and I’m the only one who seems to have noticed. Love how men wear cowboy boots at work or other formal situation and it’s totally appropriate and not even slightly ironic. I live more toward the Dallas side of the metroplex, where The Look is “expensive” more than “cowboy”, but I’m moving to Ft Worth soon where cowboy hats abound. It’s so cool!

One of my favorite things of all would have to be the names of Texas counties and towns. Aside from the cities that just make you feel like you’re the in the southwest (Abilene, Amarillo, Saginaw, Lubbock, El Paso, Wylie…), there are a lot of totally unique names you’re not going to find anywhere else. A lot of town’s names sound more like things than places. A few examples: Flower Mound, Grapevine, College Station, Trophy Club, Bee Cave, Little Elm, Rockwall, Buffalo Gap, Moss Hill, Grand Prairie, Elysian Fields. Who else but a Texan could come up with names like those?

There are also some names that make you think that someone in charge was either lazy or coming up on a deadline: guess where Texhoma is? That’s right, on the Oklahoma boarder. (There’s another one with the same name on the Oklahoma side of the line! That is one impressive use of the concept two birds one stone.) Okay now read that last part again, replacing the words “Texhoma” and “Oklahoma” with “Texarkana” and “Arkansas.” Same deal. In the mextroplex you can find Dalworthington Gardens, which is a delightful combination of Dallas, Ft Worth, and Arlington: the two bookends and the center. Who else but a Texan.

Another favored source of inspiration is quite clearly a baby name book. Texas counties are especially notable in this regard. Collin, Angelina, Madison, Travis, Austin, Lee, Dawson, Floyd, Jim Hogg, Jim Wells, Tom Green, Victoria. And those are just some of the first names, I didn’t even bother to list the counties given last names!

And then there are the ones that just…. well they’re weird, really. No point mincing words. They’re nuts. If you find yourself looking to plan a vacation in Texas any time soon, be sure you check out such places as Gun Barrel City, Humble, Dime Box, Cut & Shoot, DISH, Telephone, Telegraph, Study Butte, Orange, Negro Crossing, White Settlement, Oatmeal, and Raisin.

I couldn’t make this stuff up.

You’re not going to find a place called Hoop & Holler in Maine. Or anywhere in New England for that matter. Which is not to say that northeastern town names don’t have their own charm: European sounding places like Derry, Manchester, Portsmouth; the Native American names Madawaska, Piscatiquis, Kennebunk… All very nice in their own right. But come on… who doesn’t want to at least see what a place like Ding Dong, TX looks like? I know I sure do!

So yeah. This place is awesome. And just between you and me, I genuinely hope that Oatmeal, TX and Raisin, TX are right next to each other.

Today’s Reading (#2): The Self Hat: Vanity :: Life as I Know It – A cute post in a creative and well-written blog. Check this one out.


8:365 – Rangers Win the AL West and I Just Don’t Care

Nope, I don’t care at all. In fact, I kind of want to groan in disappointment because it just means I’ve got to put up with watching them play for up to another 6 weeks. Oh my God. Just kill me.

I kind of hate how my life has to be planned around sports and the watching of them. I’m still not in peak health condition, so today I’m laying in bed for going on the 3rd hour, feeling like I’ve been hit by an atomic bomb, and I have to drag my ass out of my death bed to go set the DVR to record the Rangers game for the Boy who works on Saturdays. Can I just tell you that the last thing I wanted to do at that moment was drag my ass out of my death bed for any reason at all, let alone to facilitate my sports junkie boyfriend’s sports habit? I can only compare it to having to get out of your death bed to cut lines for your coke-head significant other.

Then, because the Boy’s family is every bit as psycho as he is about baseball, I got to watch the whole thing live and then again when he finally got home from work. And after that we watched some college football. And tomorrow we’ll watch NFL ball. Monday we’ll be watching the Rangers again, and then Tuesday, and so on until I FREAKING DIE.

Not to mention the games the Nephews play that we have to go to. Baseball games all day every weekend day, football throughout the week. Thank God I don’t have to go to all of them, but my Boy likes to go whenever he has an opportunity, and his parents sure as hell try to see them all (and they succeed!).

It’s a sickness. It’s a dirty sickness.

Is it because I’m from a state that has to share it’s sports teams with 5 other neighboring states that I just don’t understand this? Is this sort of sick obsession isolated just to this particular family, or is it all of Texas? Or is it all of the United States?? That thought just scares me…

Today’s Reading: An iPad With a Cupholder :: Thought Tech – On the Horizon

3:365 – The Setting

So I feel like I should begin, as this is still the beginning, by setting the scene. Though starting my life, spending the first twenty years of my life, and fearing I would end my life in the mid-coast area of Maine (which is not part of Canada… no, it’s not), I find myself in Texas. DFW, to be more precise, or Dallas-Fort Worth to those not in the know. I like it here, or maybe I love it here… it’s kind of a fine line. It’s not the northeast. The locals don’t really know what the word “beach” means. Nor do they know the potential implications of the word “winter.” Nor do they understand the concept of “small town.” The small towns here have forty-thousand people crammed inside their borders, and at least one high school each. The town I grew up in had approximately fourteen-hundred people strewn across the landscape, and shared a high school with four neighboring towns. That’s a small town.
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