The Meaning of Christmas…To me…

Merry Christmas!!!!

Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year.  It’s filled with family, friends, love, spending time with one another, and giving to others. Even if it’s just a hello, Happy Holidays, or a smile, you are giving to another person.  It may totally cheer up their day.  That is what this season is all about…being good to one another. 

(On a side note – This should be taken into consideration when people go shopping around this time of year. You’d think the customers are the ones having the worst day ever . They seem to forget the sales associate spends half their day being the doormat for every other person in line…go figure.  Life is tough for the holiday consumer.)

But back to the point of the meaning of Christmas…  My holiday season isn’t what who’s who and what’s what of holiday gifts.  It’s about spreading love and spending time with your family & friends.  You need to embody the spirit of Christmas.  There is one particular person I can think of that possesses this trait .  His name is Kenneth and he is a volunteer for the Salvation Army. He rings his bells and sings his whole shift.  When little children walk up to him, he lets them play his bell while he sings.  He really makes everyone that crosses his path so happy.  I cannot think of anyone I’ve come across this season that has brought everyone so much happiness.  It’s really beautiful how one person can really touch so many lives in the cheapest and simplest way possible.  There was no credit card needed for the gift he gave us all through the holiday.  He always said “the smiles are what kept him going everyday.”  I can honestly tell you that he’s perked my days up when  I needed a little pick me up.

See him in action…He’s amazing!!

Although most of my family and friends are far away this year, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! This Christmas is going to be a bit difficult and VERY different this season.  Instead of my blood family, I have an Austin family to spend time with on December 25th.   I miss all of you very much and cannot wait to see you in 2014. I miss everyone so much and hope you have a fantastic holiday filled with love and laughs.  I will see you soon! 

CHEERS TO ANOTHER CHRISTMAS ! I HOPE EVERYONE HAS A BEAUTIFUL DAY! MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT!!!

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The Choices We Make & The Others Who Make You Feel Bad About Them

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So I have this friend…

She’s having a rough go of it.  It’s stressing her out more than anyone really knows. There are days she’s in tears because the words ” we support you and trust you” never actually play out in real life.  It’s never enough.

While trying to exert her independence in a new city( on a small budget), she tells herself…”Make your own way.  You may need to sacrifice, but you’re doing it.”

Her family says , “go out and be independent. We will support and trust you.” They also adversely say moments later,  ” why would you choose that/go there/do that.”  Guilt is thrown around.  When someone tells her ” I cant sleep because of this choice” , she doesn’t know to think anymore.  She begins to doubt her own choices. What is this friend suppose to do? They know she’s trying to make her own way, Why can’t they just let her do that?  It sometimes seems easier to just agree to the other party so they stop throwing the guilt around.  Yet on the other end, she just wants them to be quiet and let her make the choice with out an objection.  She felt great about her choice before, but doubts have set in because of the disapproval.

The area surrounding this complex isn’t fabulous by any means.  It’s working class.  She may be a minority in the area.  It’s not a complex you’d brag about living in to the Housewives of ( insert city here )or even the middle class in the area.  But you know what, she did it herself ( and its gated.) She didn’t need anyone’s money to help her get in.  She didn’t need anyone’s assistance to get in. It was her. That makes her feel proud of herself.  On top of that, it’s only one year.  It will be over before everyone knows it and she can move on to something better.    Something ghetto here, is completely un-comparable to where she originally came from.  If they want to see a problem area, head over to where she was born. 

Her parents gave her an option of a Co-sign.  The thought of a co-signer sickens her, she can do it alone.  Facing the fact that someone would have to financially back her to get an apartment right now is not an option she wants. There are times she’d rather sacrifice a bit , then to have money from others so they can control the choices she makes.  You can call it stubborn or  immature but maybe she just doesn’t want to be controlled. To be honest, the next apartment wouldn’t be appreciated much because she did nothing to earn it.  All this the excitement would be lost. 

So at the end of this entry, I wonder would someone rather get something because of they earned it and did it them self or feel like they got something because a third party assisted in a huge way? Sometimes, we just want to get something because we did it on our own.  The strings attached cause too much stress, even if it comes from a good place.  

 

 

 

 

 

Rock That Holiday Sweater…It’s Time to Par-Tay.

IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN…UGLY HOLIDAY SWEATER PARTY SEASON!!!

Despite the location change, the party must go on…even this bear at The Buzz Mill agrees! (I highly suggest you go to this coffee shop! It’s amazing!)
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The same rules held true for this year…wear festive gear, show up at the bar, and have fun. 

At 8ish, everyone showed up at Shang-ri La.  It’s a bar on the East side of Austin.  The neighborhood is very Allentown-ish.  It’s full of rock and rollers, jute boxes with classic tunes, and cheap drinks.

Here are some pictures from the party!

 


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Santa…I know him!!!

Before entering the establishment, it appears as if it’s just going to be a boring dive bar in a small parking lot plaza (Snooze fest right?)

As I took my first steps inside the bar, I discovered how looks can be very deceiving. This is a fantastic place where they celebrate Christmas all year round. Why am I not surprised it’s in Austin?

It’s called Lala’s. This small hole in the wall bar possesses the magical spirit of Christmas all year round. The jute box plays vintage tunes like Elvis Presley and also carries Christmas classics. The crowd is causal, fun, welcoming, and the patrons ages range from 20 to 70. As we walked in, the old man (who I think was the owner) was moving & grooving with a young twenty something female. The beverages are also strong and inexpensive.

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Did I mention they also have dancing elves…YES THEY DO! When a man enters or leaves the restroom, it activated the elves to bounce around in a happy Christmas dance/bounce/drop. I was told there were more dropping elves in the past but I only saw three. It was fun and entertaining regardless! 🙂

In addition to all these selling points, they also repped a Buffalo Bills Pendant! Go Bills! ( Well, maybe next year…) We’re outta the playoff’s again this year. We DEF have the Superbowl win next year though!!! Yeah…So go to Lala’s and celebrate Christmas whenever you need some holiday cheer…even if its in August!

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The Lesson of the One Clawed Grackel

The grackle is a common bird around Austin. They are EVERYWHERE. They’re feisty & bold survivors.

I hit a rough patch recently and have been a bit down. To be honest, I was scared I wasn’t going to make it. The worst thing I could imagine is me moving back to Buffalo. That’s one hell of a drive and that’s not what I want.

It’s disappointing to know the jobs I thought were going to work out, didn’t. It also annoys me that I’m still trapped in Macy’s. Yes, Macy’s is a cage to me. I am happy I have it as a SMALL source of income but I need to get a place of my own and be financially stable in Austin. This is my dream.

After I got over my gloom and doom mood, I gathered my thoughts and composed myself. I headed to South Congress to do some more job applications. When I was putting my nose to the grindstone, I noticed one sassy grackle. It was hard to ignore. The bird was hopping around the patio, showing his stuff. As his profile faced me, I noticed something interesting.

The grackle I had been admiring was missing a claw. He was only supporting himself with one full leg and his bird peg leg on the other side. I thought if this grackle can overcome his handicap missing a main part of his little body, I can get through my dilemma of finding my path and future in Austin.

Life left that grackle handicap. I’m stressed and jobless in Austin. If that bird can get through life, I sure as hell can too!

Maybe life makes things difficult sometimes to make you realize how great it is when things actually work out. I just have to believe that everything is going to work out and know I only control my destiny. What you put out in life creates the results you dream about. I’m going to make it in Austin.

Like Kendrick Lamar once said ” Bitch, don’t kill my vibe.”

The Most Amazing Grocerie Store I’ve Seen…And It’s NOT Wegmans or Whole Foods!

As per my contribution to the Hajewski Household, I make dinner once or twice a week.  I usually go to a H-E-B.  H (HOWARD) E (E) B (BUTTS) is what that stands for if you were wondering.  Google why he is important. Ain’t nobody got time for that right now!  I usually just say I need to go to The H-E-B ( VERY Buffalo) or The Hebie Jebbie  (O.K, I guess that’s also very Buffalo.)

SORRY- I went off on an A.D.D tangent.  Back to the point of this entry…Let’s start over 🙂

I usually go to H-E-B for my groceries but that traffic was CRAY-ZEE ( it was 5 PM after all.) I called my girl , Suri, to help me out.  I asked her where the closest store was…she told me there were a few “fairly close to me.” In .7 miles, I arrived at the most amazing experience, El Rancho.

El Rancho :  Mexican population as Whole Foods: Any contestant on Top Chef or people who just realized they have a “Gluten allergy” ( AKA “i’m trying a new fad diet”…I swear it’s true.)

When you walk in an El Rancho, the first thing you hear is cheery mariachi music.  It’s fun.  You feel happy.  The visuals are bright.  There are murals replicating scenes from Mexico.  Oh…the best part is there are piñatas EVERYWHERE ( and they’re CHEAP…only 9.99!) I may have to remember that for a future event. 

I had to focus on my mission. I needed marinade for my chicken and Spanish rice.  I passed by a lot of different items I’ve never seen in a Whole Foods, Tops, Wegmans, or H-E-B. I didn’t even know what half of the food items were in all the aisles.  One did really gross me out but it probably looked worse than it actually tasted.  One of the bins looked like dried up cat poop (but I assumed it was a pepper of some kind.) There were also HUGE catfish swimming around in a tank that would normally be filled with lobsters in our food stores.  And if you didn’t assume this already, I was the only white girl there. They had to get 4 people to help me.  I tried some Spanish but I did poorly.  I guess its something I have to work on! 

All in all, I really loved my half hour in El Rancho and dammit, I will probably go back! It was awesome ( and VERY inexpensive!) Also, the fajita marinade had an amazing kick of spice.  You wouldn’t find that taste at any Hebbie Gebbie!

Check out my El Rancho Adventure!

 

 

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My Texas Friendsgiving!

Thanksgiving was great! Although I missed my family, I had a great time with some of my Buffalo family.  I’m glad I wasn’t all alone.  It was nice to spend it with a wonderful group of people.  Our friend Nick hosted the festivities.  There were about 12 people there. 

The food was great.  I tried borscht (pronounced Bar-schet for all the non-eastern European folk like me.) This is a beet based soup with beef.  It was delicious.  I also tried brussel sprouts for the first time. I actually liked them.  They are like the pit bulls of the veggie world.  People say ” they’re bad”  but they’re really awesome in reality!

There was lots of good food, laughs, WINE, and classic movies.  We saw the classic 80’s movie, The Garbage Pail Kids.  The movie made NO sense at all but I highly recommend it 🙂 

The best part of Thanksgiving had to be the fact that I did not have to work at Macy’s that’s night.  They opened at 8PM.  No Thank you! I hope you all had a good Thanksgiving too! Here are some memories from the night!

 

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