San Antonio is a bustling cosmopolitan town with plenty to see and do for the casual visitor

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and I definitely hope you all got what you wanted. I've decided to list my gifts, in no particular order, but I am saving the favorite for last: Jewelry, socks, running shoes, toothbrush, sweater, underthings, coffee mug, notepad, pencil, coin purse, fancy wine opener, my very first Christmas Pickle, bodyspray galore, and a ticket to the BRITNEY SPEARS CONCERT!
(Thank you to my BFF Katie!)
This past weekend we visited Kristy at her home in San Antonio! She was home for Christmastime from her present residence in Hawaii. (And you're thinking what I'm thinking, taking a vacation AWAY from Hawaii?)
All in all, Katie and I were REALLY excited to get to go down to SA to see her. We took off Friday afternoon to hopefully avoid southbound 35 traffic through Temple, Texas. We still ended up getting stuck , thanks to some super-eager rubberneckers. People act like they've never seen a completely charred carcass of a large semi before. Made it down there about 8, feasted at Outback, and watched Mamma Mia. I've seen better musicals.

Saturday we got up and went to go look for the horses. Kristy's got three horses and a lot of acreage so we hopped in the Bronco and went lookin'. We finally find the horses, fed them carrots, and expected them to follow us back to the barn. 20 minutes later they've stood us up, so we hike back out there and find them. Katie hikes me up onto on of the nicest horses, Firefly, and I get to ride bareback all the way to the barn! I even came back with dirt on my butt.
Saturday afternoon we clean up and head to the driving range to meet Amanda and Francois. My swing has gotten so rusty that I think I literally created a new sandtrap with all the divots I was making in the grass. I believe I've found a resolution in getting my sorry butt back out to practice.
After waiting for the restaurant that never opened, we settled for an afternoon of hanging out at Amanda's, dining at Whatabuger, and shopping at Old Navy. Kristy's parents made us fajitas that night and we got to meet some more of her SA friends.
Saturday night we headed out to a sexy little joint called the Midnight Rodeo! It was all two-stepping with interspersed hip hop music, of course! The people watching was top notch. I danced a bit but the best part was taking over one side of the floor with Katie. We performed a duet to "Billie Jean" and were joined by a silly young man in a cowboy hat for "Ice Ice Baby". Always satisfying to teach a southern youngster the ways of the running man. As we're leaving the dance floor, an inebriated stringbean of a fella pops Katie on the bottom. Leading up to the phrase of the night, as we stroll out of the sweaty nightclub at 2 am: "You know what? I'm happy leaving with a slap on the ass and a kiss on the cheek. That's all I need." Katie says to me, as we say farewell to a place we may never see again! ;-) Other highlights of the night included large lady with unbuttoned pearl snap shirt and stringbean man trying to jump rope with his own leg.
Sunday we went horseback riding and then to lunch with a Amanda. A jam-packed and super-fun weekend.
Onto the New Year! I'm in the process of writing my list of resolutions, and will probably post them here just to hold myself accountable - maybe even give some folks out there some ideas. My yoga teacher today made a good point - instead of thinking about all the things we want to do, and things we want to accomplish, why not also thank the Lord for what we've already done, too?
If we all looked back to where we were a year from now, I'm sure we'd all have something great that we did that we have to be proud of.
Why not make 2009 the year of making the 2010 version of ourselves proud? :)
May you all end 2008 with a "slap on the ass and a kiss on the cheek" - compliments of Katie. All the more reason to stop by our places on New Year's Eve! :)


Tag, You're It - And Hopefully, You're Interesting!

My dear longtime friend Amanda over at La Maison de Gentis (my little french twist on her blog title) has "tagged" me to share six interesting things about myself. Now, if you've read hers or any other similar ones on the internets, you'll know that theirs are way creative and completely engaging.
After an entire day of sifting through the 25 years of what makes me, I've decided to pick out six random facts, which may or may not be interesting, but will always be good conversation starters. (Especially when you're the only person at a Christmas party who doesn't know anyone and there is a short supply of wine on hand.)
Six Interesting Facts About the C-Flo:

1. Between the ages of 3 and 4, I was in the emergency room three times. The first time was due to an extremely high fever and dehydration, leading me to an overnight stay and lack of enamel/ staining on my teeth. (Which should explain my compulsive teeth-whitening rituals to this day). The second time was because while stacking chairs at day care, I fell backwards and chomped down on my tongue. After two visits and one straight jacket later, I got stitches and a really cool scar on my tongue to prove it. The third time my friend Shannon and I had a contest to win a Malibu Barbie. We were on the playground, and using our resources, decided that whoever could fit the most rocks up their nose won the Barbie. I won, but I didn't win a Barbie. I won a trip to see a doctor who had really long tweezers with which to remove said rocks. My mom still bought the Barbie for me afterwards.
Let's just say Mom was a little scared to send me to kindergarten.


2. I was somewhat of an artistic, yet intelligent kid. I began reading before age 3 and at age 5 my kindergarten teachers would get the morning classes together and have me read Curious George books to my class as well as the other classes. It was a little scary so I pretended like I was reading aloud to myself and not 60 other kids. I won a ribbon two years in a row in the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo Art Contest for my drawings and my 6 foot tall mural was selected to hang in the Cotton Bowl at the State Fair in 1996. In fourth grade I learned how to balance a checkbook and read the stock market and have retained everything I learned that year to now. I went to Space Camp and Math/ Science Camp every summer on top of my dance and cheerleading camps. I took the SAT in seventh grade and fought my way from ranking 9th to 5th in my high school graduating class.

3. I've been in three commercials, 1 movie, 1 print ad, and have been interviewed on 2 radio shows. The commercials were for Main Event, Comcast, and the DCC show, the movie was "Sidekicks" starring Chuck Norris, the print ad was for MetroPCS, and the radio Shows were Lex & Terry, and Bo & Jim.

4. I love to write poetry and have enough written to eventually compile a book someday. I'm not concerned with who would buy the book, but to know that that my "cortneyisms" have been exposed to the world would be enough for me. I also learned how to convert my poetry into songwriting and wrote a song about my family for one of aspiring artist friends. :)

5. I'm a walking oxymoron: I research about/read fitness & health, and wine blogs until I'm blue in the face, knowing that someday I'll have to choose. Either that, or I'll have to make a REALLY great argument about how wine is a great compliment to anyone's foray into the wide world of health. Maybe if I decide to pursue a degree that requires a thesis, I can make this the topic.

6. As stupid as astrology can be, I think I'm a textbook Taurus. A Taurus is someone who is very determined and doesn't like change until after great deliberation. They are anal retentive about keeping track of their money and can sometimes be over-indulgent, needing to practice moderation. Taureans have a need of safety, stability, and security in life and can be a bit stubborn. For anyone that's known me for an extended period of time, they know that when I get an idea in my head, I ride it out to the end. I hate changing my routine, but when I do, it becomes permanent until I find a new one. I've kept my checkbook balanced since I opened my first account in 2000, and I eat WAY too much oatmeal and drink WAY too much coffee. I am in a constant state of worry if I can't premeditate how or what is going to happen, and I'm overly careful sometimes.


To all my friends that actually read my ridiculous musings, please comment and tell ME six interesting things about yourself...I'd love to hear them!!



Pre-Christmas Fun

Cortney's Christmas Poem, 2008

Is it ironic that Kris Kringle rhymes with jingle?

Or at Christmastime we're expected to mingle?

There are no sounds that rhyme with Nick

Except if you count the word 'ick'

Nothing can be done socially that rhymes with Clause

Unless socially you drop your 'draws'

If that's your Christmas, leave me be

I'd rather have my sanity

And be around bells that jingle

While watching Mr. Kringle mix and mingle!


It's the most wonderful time of the year! Yes folks, it's my absolute 1oo percent favorite time of the year. I've already got the decorations up, my radio is constantly tuned to 103.7 for lite holiday favorites, my room smells of cookies and pumpkin spice, and my coffee of the moment is holiday peppermint. What is better than the span of time from Thanksgiving to New Year's when everything is seasonally superb!

There will be many more Christmastime posts to come, for sure, but today was influenced by the presence of Christmas lights in church.

While I'm supposed to be thinking about Jesus (I try really hard) I sometimes find my thoughts drifting towards the Christmas lights profession. And I find myself thinking, "What does a professional Christmas tree lights specialist do for the other 10 months out of the year?" I think I figured it out. They are professional tree-climbers. Like not tree-huggers, or environmentalists or whatever...they climb trees. Like, everything that can ever be done in a really big tree, these people do. They're like professional stuntmen. Everyone appreciates what they do, and are fascinated by it all at the same time, but would never want to do it themselves. Cut branches away from a power line? Get spooked cats out of trees? Hang fancy lights to make rich people's mansions look bigger? Create mood lighting in deciduous backyards? I'm not doing any of that, but I appreciate it.

Or maybe professional Christmas tree-lighters are actually just off duty firemen who like to take the motorized ladder out for a spin every once in a while.
Let me tell you about the what I've coined as "The METRORETRO Movement". After discussing it with Katie this morning, her response was "you should blog about that."
We saw a guy wearing black jeans today, and we decided that as soon as a trend hits the women of America, guys latch on. Not the regular guys at first, but the "metrosexual" men. The men who are comfortable enough in their own skin to wear purple skinny jeans while clutching an attractive, albeit confused young woman.
So ladies, watch out for your men. Before we know it, they too will be privy to the Metroretro.
The retro comes from the fact that the trends now are the trends from years ago, that have been resurfacing in a particularly interesting and quick manner. So quick that I've been asking for my bags from Goodwill BACK.
Happy December! I'm off to watch the Dallas Stars defeat (?) Edmonton.

Turkey Trot 2008!

Thanksgiving morning my family, Katie's mom, and our friend Ryan ran the 3-Mile Turkey Trot in downtown Dallas!
It's always fun to see lots of friends (Nikki & Family, Stacey!) and have a generally good time.
Strollers, dogs, large swarms of walking people, cross country jogging
Teenagers, dog poo, finding breaks in the crowd to run through
Teenage girls holding hands, sprinting, finish line, a half eaten orange dropped on the ground
Happy Thanksgiving!

Made Cooler by the Cavalier

DISCLAIMER: This really happened last week!

Sorry the picture is so bad, but I was driving, trying not to be too obvious, and this guy was for real - I had to try and capture something I haven't seen since 1998!

Picture this (it gets cooler every line):
Bleach bottle blonde hair color
Chil-bowl haircut parted down the middle, gelled down
Black button up shirt
Black wristband pulled up above watch line
Orange cell phone cover
Sunglasses with mirrored yellow- orange fade
Yellow Chevy Cavalier

I don't think I need to make any comments...this speaks for itself.

The Natural State

Howdy there, I'm back!
As my welcome back post, thought I'd say Happy Thanksgiving and hello again. Over Halloween I made the journey up to Fayetteville, Arkansas for my very first Razorback football game. The game and the campus itself were so reminiscent of College Station...meaning, completely fun and wonderful. What happened outside of the game was what made the trip have character.

Friday night my mom decides that she wants to go out with her old high school buddies and leaves my sisters and I to our own devices. We spend our Halloween night in the local mall surrounded by small children in really cute costumes and large children dressed as Paris Hilton. Dinner consisted of 2 smoothies and a coffee for myself. We're heading back to my crazy Grammy's house in my mom's car, when we get totally lost. We're lost in Fort Smith, Arkansas, and not the pretty part either. I decide to be cute and pull out the iphone, assuming that my GPS will come to the rescue and point me in the right direction. Mom doesn't want to talk on the phone longer than enough to tell us that Grammy lives on "33rd street".

Did you know that Fort Smith has MULTIPLE 33rd streets?

Neither did I.
45 minutes upon leaving the mall, we thankfully landed in the front yard of Grammy's house (she doesn't have a driveway) and we completed what is normally a ten minute drive.
Much of me wishes I were traipsing through Uptown with my Wonder-Woman clad best friend on Halloween night at 4 am instead. :)
This was just Friday. On the drive to and from Fayetteville on Saturday, I saw lots of things in the back of trucks. I wish I would have taken pictures. My favorite things that people were hauling would have been:
3. Plastic Santa Claus
2. Gigantic Deer Head
1. Rock Climbing Wall

And who said Arkansans were only used to scaling the Ozarks? Apparently, they like their textured polyurethane-covered multiplex board too as much as the next guy.
All in all the trip was pretty fun. Arkansas is really beautiful, and the University's campus is very impressive. Makes me proud to say I'm a native of THE Natural State.


Deep in the Heart of Texas!

BIG TEX IS HOT!Katie and I made our first visit to the State Fair of Texas in about 10 years yesterday! It all began with a trip to the Car Show, of course. The best showing by far were the Saleen Mustangs and the Saturns. My next car is going to be one of two things: a huge gas guzzling monster or the smallest thing ever that nibbles on gas.

Gig em Big Tex!That's me imitating Big Tex.

Katie's first time on the Texas Star!What's more awesome than the Dallas skyline?We indulged in a snack (corny dog for Katie, Lemon Chill for me), we rode the Texas Star (Katie had never been on the Ferris wheel before!) and we even watched Mark conquer a few of the fried tasty treats! (Fried chocolate truffle, strawberry waffle balls)
This alpaca had dreads, kinda looks a cross between the lead singer for the Counting Crows and Kid of Kid n Play. Alpaca House Party.
It's some bighorns! We had a staring contest...they won.A baby cow named Beauregard.We also made it to the nutrition pavilion, saw some cows, played with a miniature horse, and ran into my very first boyfriend ever, Kyle! I was imitating a chewing camel at the petting zoo/ feed barn when I heard my name and looked over see him and his family across the way.
All in all, it was a fabulous day.

For those of you that watch the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader show on CMT, YES! I made it into the first episode. Although I only made it to semi finals, there’s a shot of me dancing, splitting, and smiling while they announce the finalists! So if you get a chance to watch it, look for the bleach blonde in a sparkly hot pink top and blue shorts.
Not my best look, but I did stand out a little.
Screen shots from my mom's tv.

So I tried running on the Katy Trail again yesterday, for the first time since last March. My joints HATE me right now. My ankles, knees, and hip flexors are dying. I need it though; I am running Race for the Cure again in two weeks (3.1 miles) and then the Turkey Trot again on Thanksgiving Day (8 miles).
I got a REALLY good idea while I was running though. I never go out on the trail if I’m going to walk. I run, or I don’t go at all. To me, I’m embarrassed to be out there if I’m not running, biking or rollerblading like everyone else. HOWEVER – there is an exception. When I see people walking, their tops are covered in sweat. Automatically I think – “Wow, they must have just gotten done with a really LONG run! I wish that were me….”
Technically, it’s okay to walk if you’re covered in sweat. People automatically assume you’ve just been going at it really hard and are in your cool down period.


So here’s my idea….

Ladies and gentleman –

A shirt with strategically placed “sweat marks” and “wet whiskers” to make it look like you’ve been working out for hours! No more worrying about what they’ll think about you taking a walk. Taking a walk in a *SWEAT-SHIRT* gives you a free out, fooling others to believe that you’ve just run the Boston Marathon!

Just think – looking like you’ve just expended yourself physically gives you a free out – hit up any restaurant or party in this *SWEAT-SHIRT* and you can eat or drink whatever you want – you’re THAT GUY who just worked out REALLY HARD. Now it’s time to enjoy life. You don’t even small bad….you didn’t even exercise, so you didn’t sweat!



What up, Gourd Season

So obviously my blog’s been out of commission recently, and with good reason! Work’s been a lot lately and with all my dedication to my students I’ve forgotten to get back to one of the things that makes me happiest – writing about them. HA! Just kidding. And with that, I give you –

The Fall/ Halloween Post of 2008!!

With the presidential election coming up, I would like you to all know that YES I’ve been researching each candidate, and am making my decision based on a myriad of information, mainly including their favorite pop culture icon and song of 1998. Anyway,

in the spirit of the recent vice presidential debate, I’ve created new campaign slogans for each camp, to show a little love to our VEEPEES! Ladies and gentlemen, I give you the Repubs: McPalin 2008! And the Dems: Obiden 2008! I will not divulge my political leanings, but I will advise that listening to celebrities is probably not the best idea….but hey, if you too believe that someday aliens are going to come and rescue everyone wearing red strings around their wrists and give the world to those with no less than five DUIs, then be my guest!

I am SO happy that fall is here. My favorite thing about fall is GOURD SEASON! Once it gets closer I will be making my annual trip to Central Market to pick out some delicious, decorative gourds for the apartment. My friend Mark first introduced me to these amazing beings back in 2004, and I haven’t been the same since. In fact, I am considering giving my students extra credit for bringing me gourds. How wonderful would a classroom full of gourds look on a Christmas card? Nothing says happy holidays like a science lab full of squash.

Fair day is Monday – of course, none of my friends are off the same day so Katie are going to try and head out there tomorrow – we love the car show, and haven’t been in forever. Plus, this year the new addition to the fried food feast is an friend apple pie that looks like an ipod. I just want to see someone actually eat the nastiest thing I’ve ever heard of. They even give you a free set of headphones when you buy it. I guess you stick the headphones in the apple pie and you can hear, not the ocean, but Chris Farley repeating “Fat guy in a little coat”.

High school bathrooms are like haunted houses. You walk in, holding your breath, wandering which door is safe, which door does NOT have something scary behind it, and you are usually wrong, and your heart stops, and you are horrified by what you have seen. Gives a new meaning to “I’m so sacred I’m about to pee my pants!”

Everyone makes fun of carneys, but aren’t haunted house actors like the scary version of carneys? They essentially do the same thing – sit together and smoke on their break, wearing garb reminiscent of a homeless person, leaving you wondering if they are working or just found a way to sneak in and mess with unsuspecting patrons.

On the sports front, college football has been the year of the upset so far – and I mean that in an underdog way, as well as a disappointed way towards my Aggies. It is my hopes that we’re in a rebuilding year….
Excitement ensues as I embark on my
trip to an Arkansas game! I will be heading to Fayetteville on Halloween for the homecoming game! Woo, pig soiee!
I also have gotten to go to a Stars game already this year! I’m going to pull a John Madden and state the obvious – we look good, and Sean Avery is HOT.

My sisters are completely awesome, I’ve decided. My youngest sister is conquering her first semester of college, taking 12 hours and heading towards being a teacher! She still has no car and works full time at a restaurant! My middle sister is also amazing, and I’m pretty jealous of all she’s done. At 20, she is a radio deejay, is in her third year of majoring in broadcast production, is a production assistant for the local news network, works in the school computer lab, AND just wrapped up assisting a prominent LA tv editor on a reality show pilot. Some may say I’m living vicariously through that little one!

After writing my rap about cells for a biology lesson, I have now crossed over into fifth grade music. My bff Amanda was in a prime number crisis, emailed me the prime numbers, and asked me to provide her with a suitable tune with which to sing said prime numbers. After much deliberation with my third period class, we figured out the “Yankee Doodle” has the same number of syllables as the prime numbers…I think I have a new calling. School songwriter! My current work is a rap about Tungsten for my classes’ element project. Once it is perfected, it will be unleashed on the world.

Things I have learned this year:
Kids do drugs in class by rubbing their noses with their index fingers while I’m lecturing
The drug dog sniffed out my classroom full of juniors clean, but found alcohol and cigarettes in the freshman class down the hall, meaning that 14 years old need more to get through the day than 17 year olds
The newest dance crazes are called the Stanky Leg and the Booty-Doo, and it’s more funny to pretend to be ridiculously white and frustrate my kids by asking them to show me “that turkey leg” dance again

I’m going to combine this stanky leg dance with the salt shaker and the superman dances and make my own called the “Shaky Man”. Basically you walk around the dance floor, with your pretend cape, flailing about as if you were having the jitters. I love it.

Go Green, Go Gourds, Peace Out, -CFLOW-


I hate "Icebreakers"

Staff Development, Day Uno

Principal: "Let's go around the room and introduce ourselves! Tell me who your are, how long you've been here teaching, and something wonderful you did this summer!"

Cortney: "Hi! I'm Cortney. This is my third year teaching. I graduated from our wonderful high school and made my way onto Texas A&M (whoop inserted here) where I graduated from in the fall of 2005. This summer after I taught summer school I got to see my best friend from college marry a guy with my last name. So now, there's two of us - the only difference is that she has a husband....and I have a cat."

Everyone around the room: "Awwww....hahahahaha. You're better off with a cat!"

I love you, Courtney - just wanted to share the fact that you made a good story during an absolutely, positively, most excellently boring day of talking. :)


Probes, Balls, and Logs Galore!

Some days, you just cannot make stuff up. Stuff happens, and people say glorious things about it, and I write them down, for all to enjoy.
Here is an actual conversation had, this very morning, in a lesson planning meeting with other chemistry teachers from across the district.
It seems that we are introducing a new activity into our daily lessons, and these activities are called "probes".
Teacher 1: "So where should we stick our probes in this unit?"
Teacher 2: "Which probe are we using first?"
Teacher 3: "I thought we decided on using the floating logs probe first?"
Teacher 4: "Yes, let's do the log probe first!"
Teacher 5: "What about the floating balls probe? That one looks good!"
Me, after about 10 minutes of this: "So, balls or logs? And where exactly are we sticking each of these probes?" (Keep in mind I had about three other teachers watching me stifle my laugh the entire time.)
Oh, but that wasn't enough!
Other randomly selected quotes from the day, being as about 15 teachers are working together on one computer.
"Back it up!"
"It's always takes him about 30 minutes..."
"We should use a probe in every unit!"
And all the while, under my breath, I think I muttered "That's what she said" about 77 times.
I am admitting that I have a problem, and I'm trying to get off the "TWSS" wagon before August 25th. But, until then, watch out, I'm a champ, and will beat you to TWSS, not once - but always.
And the tagline reads:

"That's what she said" -

A fun, adult alternative game to Slugbug! So, while your little ones are busy beating up their pals at the sight a of Volkswagen, you my friend, are indulging in laughter with your fellow mates who enjoy a little inappropriate connotation!