Friday, December 28, 2007

Heinrich Holidays

It’s never truly Christmas with the family unless someone gets pissed or cries. It’s a double bonus if you manage to get both. There were 11 of us this year at the house for Christmas festivities. When you put 11 people in a confined area who are all buzzed on sugar and caffeine, and had to endure both a family photo session at the local gold mine and 2 insane little boys (my nephews), you get a weekend to remember. We all haven’t been together in years, and my parents were so excited that they prepared for weeks before our arrival. Our favorite foods were made, the rooms were ready, and all the renovations to the house had been completed (mostly). Having become engaged only a week earlier, the ring was the first thing everyone wanted to see. The reactions were classic.

Mom: “That is obscene”

Dad (to my mom): “Don’t get any ideas”

Sister: “It’s bigger than the last one” (always tactful)

I think my favorite moment this Christmas was my dad getting his big present. After all these years of my dad getting the shaft at Christmas, as dad’s so often do, we made his gift the focal point of the weekend. My mom took him to breakfast and to run a few errands while the rest of us scrambled to set up his new 50” TV and cable. Yes, we got my parents cable TV and a DVR for Christmas. They have had a basic antenna and the same 5 channels since I was born. When they would visit, my mom in particular, they would marvel at all the things one could watch on cable TV, and they have even called me, in Texas mind you, on occasion over the past year to have me Tivo shows for them. We decided enough was enough, and they needed to enter this century.
We worked like crazy elves to get the job done, finishing just in time for their return home. My dad was shocked. He loved it, and didn’t move much the rest of the vacation. He did, of course, continually mess with all the cables, but that’s par for the course with him. My only fear now is that I will become “tech support”. The season pass feature, setting favorite channel lists, and recording multiple channels at once might be a little over their heads right now, but I guess we’ll see.

Mine Shaft Saloon

For most, going home for Christmas is usually about 4 things: family, church, food and gifts. For me however, it’s also about the chance to see old friends again at whichever of my hometown’s very few bars we decide to visit. My personal favorite is the Mine Shaft Saloon. While usually a hangout for the local alcoholics, the holidays transform the Mine Shaft each year into a high school reunion for anyone 30 and under. Being that I am now 30, this was clearly my last year. Chris joined me, Rob (my brother), and Allison (his wife) on this year’s late night adventure. Also enjoying the festivities this year was our youngest brother, Allen, who turned 21 in December, and made it his wish to join us for a round of drinks. Well, that round turned into several rounds, and our saint of a mother ended up being called well past her bedtime to come pick up her 3 drunken children, one fiancĂ©, and one daughter-in-law. It was a proud moment for her, but now I think she worries her children may have drinking problems. I simply refer to it during the holidays as “self medicating.”
(this is one of the many classic pieces of art on the walls of the mine shaft)

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


I wanted to make mention that Chris's granddad died on Sunday. Even if you can see it coming, it's never easy to lose someone. They were very close, and having been in the exact same situation 2 years ago with my grandmother I am painfully familiar with how he feels. I was lucky enough to spend time with Gaino regularly over the past 3 years. He, and Chris's Grandmother are very special to me. I adored him and already miss him. He hung on until he was sure Chris was going to propose...and we were all able to say goodbye. I will always be grateful to him for helping raise Chris into the man that he is.

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Monday, December 17, 2007

Cupcakes and Diamonds

Chris and I have a standing date night on Fridays. This past week I had a work party earlier in the evening so I had to meet him for dinner, and he had decided that before the holiday madness he wanted a nice quiet date. We went to my favorite Dallas steakhouse, Rick Steins, and they took us to a special booth. At that point my interest was peaked because the staff was very attentive. Once dinner was over the waitress asked if we wanted to see the dessert menu. I of course said yes. Chris however had other plans. He had a long week, and wanted to go and told me we had dessert we could eat at home that he had picked up. I was a bit disappointed because I love a good creme brulee.

We headed home (in separate cars) and when I pulled into the driveway he was at the front door. I figured he had just pulled in and was waiting for me. I walked up, opened the door and there were roses and candles lit everywhere in the house. Apparently he had left work early, cleaned the house, gotten flowers and my sister in-law, and brother working behind the scenes. It looked amazing. When I walked in…I knew what was happening and of course I started to laugh and to cry.

There was a big box on the dining room table and he told me to open it. I could see the box was from my favorite bakery (Panini). Dessert!! I opened it up and written out in cupcakes were the words “I love you, will you….” I gasped, turned around and he was on one knee. He finished the question, and I said yes. It was just he and I…and it was perfect. We have some pictures but not many, and I have to add them later. The only picture I have is if the ring (see below). So be looking for bridezilla blogging over the next few months.

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Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Type A as in Ass...

I have several wonderful, smart, funny and oh yes KNOCKOUT GEORGOUS single girlfriends. I hear them speak of the pathetic Dallas dating scene, and being a supportive friend I mingle out some evenings to check out this scene. Tuesday was one such evening. I met one of the above motioned out for a cocktail and appetizer when up walks "Fred". "Fred" asks if he can take the only remaining open seat at the bar (next to us) and we agree. He casually interrupts to ask questions and find out our stories. He's not old, he's not ugly, he's not an idiot, and he's not poor...he might have potential.

As the evening progresses we move from the bar to the dining room at his invitation. This is where he begins his downward spiral of having a chance with anyone I know. He had a tantrum that we were placed at a table in the middle of the dining room and not a booth. He asked everyone to move us, and I mean everyone who came by for the entire 3 min we were at the table before moving to a booth. Strike 1.

"Fred" moves to the wine list...where he tells us about his undergrad experience in Italy and how he developed his fondness for certain wine while living there. Great, he's cultured...right? Well he also clearly wants us to know how much he is spending on wine, and for us to "experience" it because obviously we as women could never afford it on our own. Strike 2.

We move into dinner, and it was delicious and the wine was amazing. The only real issue is that he talked a lot about himself, and of course money. Usually in Dallas this is a clear sign of a is the land of men on overextended credit pretending to be things they are not. However I am very familiar with his company, and have connections to that family so I’m aware of the money he probably makes, and he wasn’t lying. He discussed private schools, charity events, hand made suits, college and graduate degrees, his triple Type A personality. We even heard the sad tale of how disappointed he was in moving from the 7 series to the Rover. Excellent. The plight of an upper class educated white guy. Let’s not even get into the fact that he told her she was well groomed, and checked to see if her hands/nails were well kept. Strike 3.

Unfortunately the final nail in the coffin was at the end of the evening...he helped my friend on with her jacket and also moved her hair. Warning to guys: NEVER touch a woman's hair that you are not involved with...ever. It's an intimate gesture and usually unwelcome.

We politely thanked him for dinner and wished him well. I'm sure his ego was not bruised, and told himself that clearly we don't recognize what an amazing catch he is.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Space Party

This past weekend we had a dinner party with some good friends and it was themed "a few favorite things". My Brother and his wife were actually the main hosts, we just supplied the house. We dined on Raclette (look it up) it's a cheese dish from Europe and has been a favorite tradition in our house for over 15 years. We decided to share the experience with some new friends in Dallas. It was a very big hit. I also have to give kudos to my baby bro for dessert. It was Paula Dean's Krispy Kreme Bread tasted like a churro on crack. It was amazing. Too bad that in the morning you feel like all your teeth are going to fall out from the sugar.

Another of our favorite things is a new one. It's a game called guitar hero. I'm no gamer, but I'm totally hooked. We set it up on one room, and the Big 12 championship game in the other and we all just moved around. If you haven't played this game I insist you come over to my house ASAP. SOS comes in here. The Police song "message in a bottle" must have been played 15 times that night and I still find myself singing it 3 days later. We were all rock stars.

Top 5 outbursts of the night:

1. "I'm so down for your space party, Britters is there!"
2. "Stop counting Bitch"
3. R" That red wine is going to ruin your palette for dinner"
B's response" Dude, this palette just wants to get drunk"
4. "I prefer mine semi-firm"...the cheese that is
5. "Can you not suck on your napkin at the table please?"

That party is now one of my favorite things.