I Had a Dream

Y’all I am elbow deep in bachelors degree this week, so I do hope that you will pardon the brevity of this post. But first, a quick update on how my schooling is going. My topic for my capstone paper has been officially approved, and I will be focusing on the English side of things during the events of 1066; particularly Harold Godwinson and the Battle of Stanford Battle. I look forward to writing the paper but also look forward to being finished with said paper, June 25th could not come fast enough y’all.

I was thinking of something that I could write about that would be quick but also amusing, and decided to tell y’all about this dream I had a couple of weeks ago. It involves the People’s Choice Awards, Sebastian Stan, and some brillo pads, it was pretty crazy. Well maybe not crazy, interesting?, thought provoking?, weird?….hmmm…amusing, yeah, we’ll just stick with amusing. Anywho…with out further delay…

So I was at the People’s Choice Awards and I was wearing this dress, I had seen it on an advertisement on Pinterest that day. Then in the morning after I told my husband about the dream, I saw the dress on Pinterest again, and was like, “This is it! This is the dress!” And he was like, “Huh.” So I decided to save the picture.

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I had just mustered up the courage to introduce myself to this guy, which was no small feat I assure you.

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Then I look down and notice that my legs are not only unshaven, they basically looked like someone had glued a bunch of these to them.

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Weird..okay yeah, maybe it was a little weird. I don’t remember anything after that, the shock of having brillo pad legs may have woken me up. By the way, I usually don’t remember my dreams, so recalling this many details is unusual. I wonder what it means…

sophia

Until next time,

The Texan

 

 

 

1066

You’re probably wondering about that title aren’t you? Don’t worry I’ll explain that here in a moment. But first a quick update…my History of Africa teacher was not moved by my words/pleas that I hoped would get me a slightly better grade, but instead provided me with different reason as to why I received the grade that I did. In short, I am hoping that these last classes will prop my GPA back up. Which of course also means that these last two big projects have to be on point y’all. Good thing is that, I’m not worried…okay I’m a little worried. But!, I must keep moving forward because, I’m almost there y’all, almost there.

My Senior Seminar teacher wanted us to submit four topic ideas for our final or capstone paper, as they call it, and he picked the one that he felt would work the best. I will be writing my, gulp, twenty one page paper on the Norman invasion of England in the year 1066. This event is one my favorite historical events mainly because the story is about people, it’s very people focused. So I thought that before diving into my super serious formal history paper, I would like to share the story with you, with my own brand of flare. Now before your brain glazes over, or you switch to a different blog just bear with me, I promise you this will not be boring.

The 1066 Invasion of England, led by Duke William the Conqueror

This is a story about an old English king, a young English earl, a Norman duke, and some dude from Norway. The old English king was called King Edward the Confessor, and in January of 1066 he was near death with no apparent heir to the throne. The young English earl, was Edward’s brother in law, Harold Godwinson. The Norman duke was Edward’s cousin, once removed, William of Normandy. The dude from Norway was actually the king of Norway, and Denmark too I believe, Harold Hardrada, who pointed at some old treaty as to why he should be Edward’s successor.

The story begins in late 1065, the king is old and sick, essentially his days were numbered. In those days the king could chose whomever they wanted to succeed them provided they were apart of the family and had the approval of other English leaders. Now according to William, and many of the written sources most of which are told from the Norman perspective, Edward had told him back in 1053 that he would be Edward’s heir. So as far as William was concerned it was a done deal, all he had to was wait, and England would be his; gift wrapped. However, there was no official record of this exchange, it was basically William’s word against everyone else’s.

Unfortunately for William, on Edward’s death bed he declared Harold Godwinson as being the best qualified for the job. The other English leaders approved because he had shouldered so many royalish duties while the king had been ill, plus he was the leader of the English army. So on January 6, 1066, Harold Godwinson was crowned the King of England, and all was good, until it wasn’t.

Here is the coronation of King Harold as shown on the Bayeux Tapestry, a really long embroidery commissioned by Bishop Odo, William’s half brother, which shows the events of 1066.  

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Meanwhile in Normandy, William is you know doing his duke stuff and patiently waiting for the English crown to be offered to him. Then one day, someone tells him, “Hey bro, didn’t you hear? Edward died and that Harold dude is the king now.” And William said, “Excuse me, who is the what now?” “Harold is the king.” To which William replied, “Oh hell no!” So he rounded his best men, and they built a bunch of boats, which thankfully was something they were quite good at given the fact that the Normans were descendants of Vikings. He loaded up said boats, with men, horses, and supplies, and set off across the English Channel, to confront….well England basically.

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He landed on the southern coast of England just a few days after Harold and the English won the Battle of Stamford Bridge (fought near York), which took care of that dude from Norway that I mentioned earlier. This distraction also allowed William to land and begin his march further into England unnoticed. Well for the most part, he did encounter some rather confused villagers who had yet to hear that Edward had died. Furthermore they did not care much for this Norman dude with all his horses that had showed up on their doorstep. Perhaps it was the raiding of food stores that caused William to not win their favor, yeah that probably had a lot to do with it.

While still in York, Harold got wind of William’s arrival and he rounded up his guys and headed for London, were he got some new guys. He then marched south and met the armies of William in a open field near the village of Battle. The fighting, known to history as the Battle of Hastings, began around 9am on October 14, 1066, and lasted all day. As daylight faded the Normans began their final assault during which Harold himself was killed, with an arrow to the eye. I know…ouch.

The death of Harold as shown by the Bayeux Tapestry, there are other theories, but this is the traditional story.

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With that victory the English throne was firmly in William’s grasp, and he was crowned William I, on December 25, 1066 at Westminster Abbey. His nineteen year reign was not without its revolts, to which he responded with “Viking flare”, if you get my drift. But nevertheless, the Normans did bring some good things to England, which forever changed the country, and how it dealt with the rest of world.

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Ah history, dontcha just love to bask in its glow. : )

sebastian

Until next time,

The Texan

 

Stronger

They say that what ever doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger, and to quote Wendy Cooper (from What To Expect When You’re Expecting), “I for one, hope that’s true.” College has challenged me in ways that I didn’t expect that it would when first started this degree all those years ago. I have grown, as a person and a writer. I have felt awesome about myself, and I have felt terribly inadequate. I have had bright shining moments of brilliance, and moments where I could not focus or put a sentence together if you paid me. I have had teachers who basically told me I could do no wrong, and teachers who basically told me I was the scum of the history profession. Okay maybe I am exaggerating a little on that last bit but I definitely have had teachers that didn’t seem to like me very much. The important thing is that I kept going and stayed true to my view of history, which is not that of a scholar and its not really formal either. My favorite part of history is the people, and being able to breathe some fresh life into the story of someone who lived hundreds of years ago. So many people think that history is boring, maybe you are one of them, and I hope to change that by not being a stuffy formal historian.

College has been big part of my life for a while now, it has been my focus, and has been apart of my identity. But one day soon it won’t be anymore. I won’t just be someone who is working on their degree, but someone who has their degree. Then I have to go and be what I want to be, instead of just talking about what I want to be. On one hand that’s awesome, but on the other, that’s scary. The world is big and foreboding and full of unknowns, but also open and limitless and full of opportunity. I have my hopes, and my dreams, and a thousand and one ideas floating around in my head waiting to be discovered and nourished. I haven’t the slightest idea what it will all amount to, but I know that they are all worth striving for.

But first! I need to finish my last eight weeks of school!! Eight weeks, y’all! Eight weeks! However, there is a big nasty gatekeeper guarding the gate to freedom. I call it, the Senior Seminar. (shutter shutter, and why not a crash of lightening)

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Before it will let me pass, it demands a twenty one page research paper, seven of those pages are due in two weeks. The good thing is, I can write this paper on anything that has to do with history, the bad thing is, the final product is 54% of my grade; so if it sucks I’m toast. I also have to finish the last four weeks of my Myth and Ritual class, the final project for that is a power point presentation that must consist of twenty slides; all I’ve done for that little gem is read instructions that made me think about Captain America. On top of all that is the nastygram I got from my History of Africa teacher for disobeying the final exam instructions, which by the way I could not find, I looked in four different places; so I decided to wing it. Let’s just say my efforts were not well received. So yeah, these next eight weeks can go by as fast as they want.

I have a feeling that my mood over the next eight weeks is going fluctuate between “I am awesome. I am one with the Force. I am super historian.” and simply Bucky Barnes.

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Until next time,

The Texan

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By the way, I’ve been thinking about changing the name of the blog/website to better reflect its content, and so that my writing doesn’t have to be connected to winter. Stay tuned for a new name, and if you would like follow me on Twitter at @TheTexan5. As always thank you for reading!

Fred and Ethel

The weather has been lovely as of late. On Sunday, we even planted some flowers in the front garden. The warmth (relative warmth that is) and sunshine have been awesome! I just hope that the trend continues. In other news, college is still wearing on me. My Nile River paper (the one that was two pages too short) was received okay-ish. My professor told me that I can construct an awesome introduction/thesis statement and conclusion, I can expertly organize my information, use my sources well and have decent analyzing skills. All good things! However, I seem to have no grammatical skill to speak of and was awarded zero, out of a possible ten points. I mean I’m used to loosing points because of bad grammar, but have never been told that my grammar was that bad. I thought about trying to argue this somewhat lopsided assessment of my writing skills, with the hopes of gaining a few more points but decided against it. My other grades are good, I just want to be done with it. And considering that this (refer to picture below) is me at the present moment, I’ll take what I can get.

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But enough about that. For this blog post I thought that I would share with you one of my ideas for a story/movie. I’m sharing this in good faith and welcome any constructive criticism or thoughts that you may have. This idea is the least developed of all of the ideas that I have, to be frank I have only written what would be one of the final scenes in the movie. As the title of the post suggests, the movie would be about Fred and Ethel Mertz of I Love Lucy fame. I have often wondered about their backstory, mainly because Fred is my husband’s favorite character, and thought that it would be fun to piece together a “how we met story” based off of the information given to the viewer by the show itself.

  1. We know that Ethel is from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and that Fred is from I believe, Iowa.
  2. We know that they met while performing in Vaudeville, in the 1920s.
  3. When the show premiered in 1951, they had already been married for 22 or 23 years, meaning they got married in either 1928 or 1929.
  4. We know that Fred is bit older than Ethel.
  5. We know that Ethel’s father did not approve, and that they eloped.
  6. After Vaudeville, they made their way to New York City, and purchased an apartment building.

I think that it would be a fun opportunity to get to research not only the 1920s but also Vaudeville, which is where great comedians like Bud Abbott and Lou Costello got their start. It would also be interesting to expand these characters and explore what they were like when they were younger. So with out further delay…

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Fred: “I can’t promise you that everything will always be perfect, that we will be flawless friends, sweethearts, or that we will never fight. Or perhaps even wonder if we made a mistake, because I know this wouldn’t be easy. And I can’t promise you that I will love you with out fail, because I will fail. What I can promise you is that you, will never be alone. And while I may not be able to love you with out fail, what I can do is love you with out ceasing. I won’t stop, ever. So no matter what you decide right now, I am yours, Ethel Mae Potter, yours, forever.”

Fred turns to walk away, nervously rubbing his hands together. Ethel watches him slowly move away from her, she is still in shock over hearing his words. Fred Mertz may not be the perfect man that she always dreamt of, but he was indeed the perfect man for her. As tears well up in her eyes she calls out..

Ethel: “Fred.”
Fred turns around, the emotion of the last few seconds worn on his face. “Yes Ethel.”
Ethel exhales slowly, fighting back the tears. “Okay.”
Fred: “Okay? So you do.”
Ethel smiles, with a tear rolling down her cheek. “I do.”
Fred smiles, they move in to embrace each other.

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I look being able to focus my creative writing pursuits, and learning how to format a proper screenplay. But first! I must obtain that bachelor’s degree! Only two months to go!

Until next time,

The Texan

The Texan

Thus far in this blog I have shared with you all my thoughts on winter, and it has become rather apparent by now that the below picture summarizes fairly nicely my thoughts on winter.

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I don’t like it. You know that, I know that; so I thought with this blog post I would write about something different…me. With a little winter humor at the end, I mean it is WINTER and the Texan after all. Of course you know I am from Texas, I’m married and have two kiddos, one cat and one dog. I am history major which is why I tend to spell out my numbers, the rule in formal writing is, spell out all numbers less than one hundred. I struggle with a vitamin D deficiency, which as you can imagine adds to my distaste for winter. I also have a gluten intolerance, a sensitivity to caramel color, and can no longer drink coffee. Major bummer I know, but I replaced coffee with tea which plays in nicely with my love for British things. I spent four years living in Germany, which provided the opportunity (or just made it a lot easier) to travel to eleven countries! Here they are in no particular order: Germany, France, The Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Ireland, England, Slovenia, and Italy (to include Sicily). I’m hoping by years end I can add Canada to my list of “have been to” countries, that shouldn’t be a problem since we basically live in Canada.

I am, at present, a student at an online university and started the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, countdown to graduation! I am working on classes five and four right now, this is the last week of class number five and class number three starts on March 6th. Class number five is the History of Russia, I mentioned my Peter the Great power point last week and I think it came out rather nicely. Class number four is Sociology of Religion (S of R), and oh yes its just as horrible as it sounds. No offense to sociology/religion majors, but this class is like the “meat and potatoes” of someone’s sociology/religion degree. And here I am a lowly history major, it is not easy. (In case you are wondering, my minor is religion, which is why I have to take it.) On Friday, which was pretty awesome day for me by the way, I checked the grade book for S of R and my professor not only gave me full credit for the forum post that week but also wrote that it was “fabulous”! What! Also on Friday I jumped from ten to thirteen push-ups! What, what!!

**We interrupt this blog post to give you a little background information. On January 1st, I started a push-up challenge (as in the not on your knees variety), starting on that day with one, and added one every day. I got stuck on a few numbers, was doing five for a while, and had been stuck on ten for like a week or so. I had told my husband the day before that I hoped I could move up to eleven soon but figured I would be stuck on ten for a few days more. And he said I’m sure you’ll be doing eleven sooner than you think, boy was he ever right!**

Yeah Friday was pretty awesome, and it left me feeling pretty good about myself.

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On Saturday, we went to a birthday party for one of my daughter’s friends, and I didn’t have to spend an hour digging the car out of a snow cave and then shovel the dang driveway, thanks to warmer temperatures and sunshine. Also awesome! The party included getting to watch “The Lego Batman Movie”, one of my favorites parts was Batman’s password to get into the Batcave which was “Iron Man sucks!” So stinking funny! Because as you may have gathered I sided with Captain America. I recommend it if you have the chance.

Whoa! (notices the word count in the corner) This post has gotten rather long, I hope you will pardon my lack of brevity. But first!

Your promised winter related humor, this was me watching the dashing knight, Sir Sunshine, take down the dastardly villain, Lord Snow Cover. The best part being that Sir Sunshine took care of that half of the driveway that I did NOT shovel. Hehehe!

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Until next time,

The Texan