Finding Myself At TEDxHouston

Finding Myself At TEDxHouston

I was nervous when filling out my application to attend my first TEDx event.  As I looked at the the extensive questionnaire I tried to think of some clever answers to give, something that would surely “wow” the application board into letting me attend. You see, I wanted in badly!  I love TED and everything it stands for and the fact that a TEDx event was happening in my very backyard was thrilling to say the least.  So instead of being witty and clever with my application, I went a different direction.  I went with my heart.

I wanted to write the answers to those short essays and have them be truthful, real, honest, transparent and most importantly a reflection of me.  I didn’t make a rough draft, I gave myself no more than an hour, and I quickly typed as fast as my brain could  process what my heart was feeling.  I read it over once for spelling and quickly hit “send” before I could go back and “ruin” it with flowery language, overdone punctuation or even a rewrite.

I got in.  As myself.

This Saturday I attended TEDxHouston and was overwhelmed, for it was unlike any conference I have ever attended.  The details of the day, from the different programs jackets that made an image if put together with 5 others, down to the tdescriptive words pulled from our applications and placed on our name tags, it was all just perfect.  My words: “education, believe, kindness


Our emcee for the day, KUHF’s Chirs Johnson, opened the conference with some rather profound advice that really set the tone for the day.  He said, “listen like the plane is going down” and that is what we did.  Each of the 500 attendees sat on the edge of their seats hanging on the words of each of the speakers as they spoke for their 18 mins. My favorite part, as I looked over the audience there was not a laptop or a phone in sight.  No one was worried about checking e-mails or sending out a tweet.  Everyone was just listening…

I couldn’t even try to go over all the speakers and tell you what they all had to say.  I know this because I  tried to do that with my parents today and failed miserably.  Instead I just sounded like a 10 year old kid hopped up on pixie sticks as I tried to tell them every detail and the excitement that I felt while sitting in that theatre.

I walked out of TEDxHouston yesterday excited, filled with ideas, and ready to tackle something, anything.

Solve world hunger? Yup!

Bring peace in the Middle East?  Bring it on!

Save the rain forest?  Let’s do this!

Sadly though, you wake up the next morning with a strong reality check. ” Hey!  You have a day job, you have bills to pay….you can’t go save the whales today…”

As much as I would like to ignore that voice, I have to be as honest with myself, as I was on my application,  I can’t solve world hunger today, but I can do something after work.  I can go read to children at the library, I can mentor, I can go help give dogs bathes at the animals shelter so they look nice to go out for adoption day, I can buy local produce and even eat in locally owned restaurants.  I can make a difference in someone elses life right here in Houston.

As we left yesterday we were given this thought from another TEDster and fabulous conductor, Benjamin Zander, whom I’ve featured on C&B before.  He asks “Who am I being?  Who am I being that I am causing this reaction in someone else? Who am I being?”….my goal at the end of the day is to  proudly say none other than… myself.

Guess Who I Met Yesterday?

Guess Who I Met Yesterday?

DSC05250Aaron Brooks from the Houston Rockets!  He was out on the golf course I was working at.  I noticed him sitting there waiting for a buddy and decided to introduce myself.  He was super nice and VERY cute!

Buy a Pair of Cowboy Boots and Wear them to the Houston Rodeo!

Buy a Pair of Cowboy Boots and Wear them to the Houston Rodeo!

As I continue with the pursuit to make 2010 the “best year ever” I am still working hard to mark off and add new and exciting things to My Life List.  My recent adventure had me not only buying my first pair of cowboy boots EVER, but attending the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo in them not one, but three times.  This has been one of my favorite things I have done so far in 2010 and I couldn’t have asked for better company each time I went through the rodeo gates.  Check out the video below to see my adventures and boots at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

2nd Annual Sam Houston Race Park Wiener Dog Races

2nd Annual Sam Houston Race Park Wiener Dog Races

Hidee Practicing For The Races

Hidee Practicing For The Races

This Saturday my precious pup, Hidee, will be competing in the 2010 Sam Houston Wiener Dog Races.  Hidee is 9 years old and sure to be one of the most senior dogs on the track, but don’t doubt her speed, this old lady can run….when she wants to.  Hidee is actually lucky enough to have a sponsor for the race, Daisy’s Doggie Duds, who will be providing all her “off track” attire.  This includes a sweatshirt, t-shirt and Bumble Bee costume for the costume contest held after the races.  We are really excited that Daisy’s Doggie Duds wanted to be part of Hidee’s special day, as all of her family and friends will be coming out to watch her as she races for the finish.

I am going to be taking lots of pictures and hopefully some video of the event so that you guys can see what a proud mommy I am(as if you haven’t grasped that already from the thousands of pictures of her on Flickr, Facebook and the tweets coming from her very own Twitter account @hideeho).

Since this is Hidee’s first time to do this, and mine as well, I went on to YouTube to see if there was any video from last year’s races.  Thankfully I was able to find this short clip of the track and some of the dogs that participated last year.  I think we are in for an exciting day and A LOT of laughs.

For more information about the races go to www.shrp.com

Hidee’s first race will start around 7:30pm-Hope to see you there!

Major Concert Fun

Major Concert Fun

I was looking at my calendar today and noticed that I have some HUGE concerts coming my way that I am fortunate to have tickets to. If you know me, you know that I LOVE concerts. All kinds. Yes, even the symphony.

I was really fortunate to grow up in a family who loves concert, which is probably where I get it from.  My first billyjoelconcert I ever saw, at least that I can remember, was Billy Joel-River of Dreams concert when I was in 5th grade.  I remember making myself learn all the words to “We Didn’t Start the Fire” before I went so that I could sing-along when Billy played it.  I actually had to get my parents old Billy Joel cassette tapes out and play them on my karaoke machine to learn the words.  Rewind…Rewind…Rewind.

Since then I have seen some pretty incredible shows and have made a promise to expose my kids(when I have them) as much live music as possible.  In the next couple months I have some great concerts to attend , both very different in style and crowd type, but equally exciting (OK maybe one a little more than the other).

March means it’s Rodeo time in Houston and this year I am going to see Lady Antebellum. Now, I would not call myself a country music fan because I KNOW country music fans and they are diehard. I mean they bleed country music, but there are a lot of country bands that I really like and Lady A is definitely one of them. While I would call them more of a contemporary country group bordering on the line of pop rock, they still have the heartfelt, yet gut wrenching  lyrics that accompany a good country ballad. They have great chemistry too! I actually thought the two lead singers were married, but I have been informed otherwise. Ooops! but kudos to them for making us believe they would actually “Run” to each other.

Next up, in March and what I am most excited about…..drumroll please….MUSE!! AHHHH! My parents gave my sister and I an early Valentine’s Day present last weekend when they informed us that they bought us tickets to see the fabulous British group.   I am simply ecstatic.  I have seen the group once before at ACL a couple years ago and they blew me away with their sound and incredible showmanship.  It’s chilling how great they are.  I am really looking forward to their show at the Toyota Center and will hopefully be able to post some pics of my sister and I.

Did anyone catch their show when they came with U2?  I wanted to go then, but I can’t stand U2 so I didn’t spend the money…Bono..uggh! *shudder*

Here is a preview of the show: Squeeeeeeal! Check out the crowd!!

These Boots Were Made For Walkin’

These Boots Were Made For Walkin’

It’s been a really exciting week around my house as I set out to try and accomplish some of the things on my Life List.  The first one I decided to tackle was to “Buy cowboy boots and wear them to the rodeo”.  Simple enough, right?  Well not so fast.  This past weekend I went with my best friend Kelly to buy my first pair of cowboy boots at the one and only Cavenders Boot City.

bootsWe walked in and it was PACKED!  I know it’s rodeo season and all, but good gravy I have never seen so many people sitting on the floor wrestling to get a pair of boots on in my life.  Kelly quickly found a pair that she loved and now it was my turn.  I browsed the shelves for a bit and then, I saw them.  The most beautiful pair of boots I have ever seen.  It was like you see in the movies when the light shines down from heavens and the angels sing an angelic “Ahhhhhh”!  I had found my boots.

Time to try them on and just as I was hitting this ultimate high my bubble was quickly burst as the salesman told me they did not have my size. Bummer!  We called all the stores in Houston and they did not have my size.  Double bummer! So instead I exercised my paypal account and bought them online.

Well “The Boots” arrived today and I had wanted to make a video for you guys to see them, but my computer crashed.  Brilliant, right?  Stupid thing. Ok so “The Boots” are purchased and as luck would have it, thanks to my good friend Kristen and Chevron, I will be attending Lady Antebellum at this years Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.  I am so PUMPED!!  I promise by that time I will have some kind of recording device so that I can show you how fabulous my boots are, cause frankly this picture does not do them justice.

Now I know many of you are wondering why cowboy boots are such a big deal, after all we do live in Texas where cowboy boots are about as common as the nose on your face but  it’s a little different in my family.  My family and I are very proud of our British heritage and I remember as a kid, when we first moved to Texas, my dad saying ” there will be no boots or ice tea in this house”, he of course said it jokingly…but kinda not.  When I went off to Waco for school I was hit with the sweet tea bug, but I resisted the cowboy boots, until now.

I am so excited to get to wear my new boots to the rodeo and check off one of the things on my “Life List“.  Now I just have to remember to watch where I’m walking in the petting zoo.

Hugs!

Jess