Saturday, December 24, 2005

A "PC" Holiday Wish...

I got the following in an email from a coworker of mine:

"Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2006, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere. And without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting these greetings you are accepting these terms. This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for herself or himself or others, and is void where prohibited by law and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.




Friday, December 23, 2005

In honor of the approaching holiday...

Since Texas never looks like a winter wonderland (at least not in Dallas), I thought that I would post pictures that I took in Colorado Springs, Colorado last weekend.


These are the mountains that surround Pikes Peak.

This is a park called "Garden of the Gods". During the summer it is full of tourists, but last Sunday it was almost completely empty. Trevor and I hiked all around the red rock formations - it was absolutely gorgeous (although, cold. The high last Sunday was a freezing 12 degrees).

This is a trail that we hiked down. It was snowing and wonderfully peaceful (and, yes, that's me standing in the middle of the path).

If you look up at the top of this rock formation, you might see two "Kissing Camels".

This is another picturesque view from our hike...

"Walking in a winter wonderland..."

This is a shot overlooking the "Garden of the Gods". We walked all around these beautiful rock formations. It was SO cold, but SO worth it!

This is another view overlooking the park...

I think this rock formation is called "Cathedral Rock". It was magnificent, especially in the snow.

This is "Balance Rock". I've seen pictures of it in the summer, and I think it looks much more beautiful in the snow.

This is my little doggie, Gypsy Kitty (AMStaff thought that she was a cat, because of her name). I had to board her at the vet while I was in Colorado. When I went to pick her up on Monday, she was so happy to see me that she would not stop crying and would not let me out of her sight (just incase I tried to "disappear" again). By 8:30 PM she was sound asleep with her favorite toy, "Frankie".


Happy Holidays, everyone!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

For the love of my vacuum cleaner...

JLR mentioned in THIS POST that she loves my vacuum.

Okay, okay. She didn't actually say that she "loves" my vacuum, but she DID say, "The other day, I had a nice conversation with Deals about her new vacuum, the DYSON, which she speaks of with such awe that it is though she is speaking in all capitals when she says its name. And now I want one."

So, I guess, that I'm the one who really loves my vacuum, not JLR. But I'm in love and what can I say?! I'd shout it from the mountain top if I lived anywhere near the top of a mountain. Everyone should be able to love like this!

And why wouldn't I try to get everyone else to love my vacuum, too? I mean, really people, the DYSON is awesome and deserves everyone's love and admiration.

Put another way: "If loving my DYSON is wrong, than I don't want to be right."

It hasn't always been such an easy romance, however. When I first became infatuated with the DYSON, I was three years into a long term (and very serious) relationship with...*gasp*...another vacuum. But, let's face it, love like the one I share with the DYSON doesn't come around everyday, and it was only a matter of time before I left the other vacuum behind for the younger and sexier DYSON model.

And, yes, my DYSON is an ANIMAL (it sucks hard)...

In fact, when my DYSON first moved in with me, I wanted to keep it all to myself. Trevor wanted to take my DYSON for a test-drive, but I would not hear of it! DYSON was mine - all MINE! It took me over a week before I'd even let Trevor TOUCH my DYSON, and the better part of a month before I allowed him to use it. But you know what they say: "If you love something, let it go. If it comes back to you, its yours forever. If it doesn't, then it was never meant to be." Thank goodness that Trevor returned my DYSON to me after doing a thorough job of vacuuming my entire house.

The DYSON, just incase you don't know, was conceived by James Dyson, who spent twenty-years creating, "The first vacuum that doesn't lose suction."

Freakin' brilliant, that Dyson fellow!

But wait, it gets better! James Dyson is British, and has that H-O-T little accent. I am totally in agreement with Jenny Bee about how, "the accent even makes [Dyson] sound 10 IQ points higher" - not to mention more convincing! I mean, really! He just thinks that things should work properly, people! How can you NOT get behind that?!

Dyson's products have even been put on display in ART MUSEUMS! Not only is my ANIMAL a dirt-sucking machine - it's a work of art, too!

Two words: AWE - SOME!!

But, WAIT, there's more! Dyson has also won a bunch of awards, including eleven honorary doctorates!

Ingenious, I say!!

I mean, c'mon, is there any reason NOT to love this vacuum cleaner?! I should certainly think not!

So, yeah, do yourself a favor and make this worthwhile purchase today (it is SO worth every penny)!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Anxious Update...

Just incase anyone was curious - "'Natural' doesn't always mean safe."

Well, duh!

Other noteworthy (newsworthy?) stories on tonight's local news:

A. Tomorrow I will need a thick winter coat, because it is going to be *gasp* in the upper 50's (this is especially upsetting for people in one North Texas neighborhood, because they don't have heat and it is, "literately colder inside the house than it is outside". How will they ever survive?!).

B. I should actively try to avoid Botulism (because, you know, I've always thought that Botulism sounded like a good idea...).

C. There was a "Pig Promotion" during last night's Pacific league baseball game in Mexico between innings. The pig apparently escaped, and no one could catch him -- save for the chicken mascot who stopped the little porker by taking, "off his head, and knocked the pig off his feet" (don't worry - the pig was apparently "unharmed").

Is it possible that tonight's news just made me dumber?

...And to think that I actually stayed awake voluntarily to be so NOT informed.


So, I'm watching TV tonight, and one of those stupid "teases" comes on for the 10 o'clock news.

The female news anchor - looking very, very concerned - announces the following:

"The healthy food that could be seriously endangering your health. Could you or someone you love be eating it right now? The story you will not want to miss at 10."

I was going to go to bed early, but now I'm sitting here waiting for the stupid news to come on.

I just hope that it's not applesauce...

Friday, December 09, 2005

Pearl Harbor Day...

Exactly four months and one day AFTER the museum flooded back in August, it happened again.

And, yes, it was worse this time.

The good news is that we (i.e. the staff) were here for this flood (the last flood happened on a Saturday), and we were, therefore, able to get everything off the floor and the bottom selves in the archives. Thus, we sustained absolutely NO collection damage this time around (thank goodness).

The bad news is that the water made it into each and every office (save two), our basement was re-submerged, our lecture hall (which had just been rewired after the August flood) sustained structural damage, and the potential for mold growth in our walls, carpets, closets -- EVERYWHERE -- is, again, a real possibility. Plus, our brand-new archives floor was scheduled to be completed this week, is ruined again (although, if the guys working on the floor hadn't been here on Wednesday, we might not have been able to get everything off the lower shelves in time. They even joked, as they helped us relocate the various collection boxes to higher ground, about how installing the first floor was just, "much needed practice").

Not to mention the fact that the fans outside my office are slowly driving me crazy...

Anyway, I have never used my BLOG as a political soapbox before, but I do not think that I can resist the temptation this time around. So, here goes nothing...

(Note: The opinions expressed below are mine, and mine alone. They do not, in any way, reflect the opinions or beliefs of my employeer, my coworkers or the museum where I work. Just FYI...)

First off, if I were to run a business the way that the City of Dallas does, I would be out of business. Departments of the City of Dallas do not share information, and countless man hours are spent (and wasted) reporting the same information to two or three branches of the same organization. Essentially, the right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. This is especially frustrating when trying to get, say, a water main shut off...again.

For example, at the height of the flood waters on Wednesday, a representative from the City of Dallas (Department of Parks and Recreation) stopped by. When he saw how deep the water was inside the building, he shouted, "What is going on here?! I told [your building manager] during the last flood what to do when this happened again!"

Uh..."again"? I'm sorry, but why should a museum - and historic building - have to flood "again"? Instead of putting a band-aid on a compound fracture, why don't we just FIX THE PROBLEM THE FIRST TIME AROUND, HUH?! I mean, I'm not an accountant, but it has got to be cheaper (at least in the long run) to go in and actually REPAIR the root of the problem. You know, instead of paying to restore the building every four months or so (all while running the risk of having the problem occur AGAIN in the very near future). Call me crazy, but I'm already planning on wearing boots and waders on April 8th, you know, just as a precaution...

What really gets me is that on the day before our second building flood this year, it was announced that the City of Dallas is considering a nearly $50 million proposal to make improvements to the Cotton Bowl. $50 million dollars for a stadium that hosts approximately TWO GAMES in any given year (high-profile, that is).


So, a stadium, which we were oh-so strongly considering tearing down a mere two years ago (so that Jerry Jones could build a new home for the Dallas Cowboys), is worth $50 million in improvements and renovations. However, a museum that is owned by the City of Dallas across the street (a museum, might I add, that houses a substantial amount of the city's and state's history AND educates almost 200,000 people about THAT history in any given year)...well, they will just have to deal with the fact that water mains break and flood their archives several times a year. I mean, really! Talk about prioritizing!

Last year, a problem with the building's air-conditioning system caused the roof to cave in on multiple occasions. The City has never attempted to, say, FIX the problem, however. Oh, no! It is (apparently) easier to just come out and repaint the ceiling each time it happens. Because, you know, that's logical?!

Also, our (historic) building is sinking - one side more than the other. The doorframes on the sinking side are literately pulling away from the walls, and leaving large gaps. When we called to report this problem, though, the City came out and simply nailed a wooden plank over the hole separating the doorframe from the ceiling. Apparently, if you cannot SEE the hole, it doesn't actually exist.


So, when the flood happened on Wednesday, a substantial amount of water poured underneath the building. This had the temporary effect of raising up the sinking side of the museum. The result, you ask? The boards that the City had nailed up - errrrr...I mean, installed - were popped off.


Here, let me give you a visual. That way you can fully appreciate what I am telling you:

My point, you ask? The City's museums and historic buildings are slowly going to pot, and nothing is being done to improve the situation. Buildings, like the museum where I work, are part of our heritage and our history. Pretending like everything is okay isn't helping anyone (just like nailing a board over a gap, isn't fixing an ever-worsening foundation crisis). If something isn't done (and done soon) these buildings might not be around for our children and grandchildren to enjoy and appreciate.

I'm not saying that the Cotton Bowl is not important. It is as much a part of this city's history as the museum across the street. In fact, the Cotton Bowl (as a structure) is actually about four years OLDER than the building where I work, and the games played there are just as much about history and tradition as anything else that this city has to offer (and, no. I didn't go to either the University of Texas or Oklahoma University, thank you!).

I agree that something needs to be done to improve the Cotton Bowl, or it runs the risk of being demolished for the sake of something flashy and new.

It is just that this City has a history of waiting until the eleventh hour to do something that should have been done years ago. They've waited until the Texas/OU contract was almost up (again) to start SERIOUSLY thinking about improving the Cotton Bowl (it has literately taken the realistic threat having the Red River Shoot-Out at a place other than the Cotton Bowl to get anything done about this issue - and even THEN it was the State Fair of Texas, not the City of Dallas, who initiated the process).

Therefore, it stands to reason, that nothing will happen to improve the problems afflicting the museum where I work until it is (or nearly is) too late. By then, the foundation will be rotting, the walls will be supporting a new species of marble-consuming mold and all the museum employees will have trench-foot.


Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Okay, so I lied. This post really isn't about last Thursday, because - in reality - last Thursday (a.k.a. Thanksgiving) was not all that interesting.

I mean, really. I woke up, ran the Turkey Trot (yes, all 8 miles), showered and...well...


...And ate...

...And ate.

Get the picture?
(See, really not all that interesting.)

I actually want to discuss the much more interesting day after Thanksgiving.

No, upon second thought, the day after Thanksgiving was not all that much more interesting than Thanksgiving, itself. Interesting just isn't the right word. In fact, interesting doesn't describe the day after Thanksgiving at all. No, no the day after Thanksgiving needs a whole NEW level of description. Something that cannot be summarized by a simple word (like interesting). It needs a whole sentence, a catch-phrase (if you will). Something that can capture my experiences, thoughts and emotions and put them into a neat little box - complete with gift-wrapping and a big, bright bow.

Yes, yes...that is what I want.

Now, let me see. How can I put this?

How about:

"I'm sorry...what?! Since WHEN can my body DO THAT?!"

Hummmm. Yes. That about sums it up.

Anyway...where was I?...ah, yes...the day AFTER Thanksgiving. A day that will go down in history as the day I almost died wanted to die.

And, no, I am NOT kidding. It was just that kind of a BAD day.


Well let me tell you about it (just don't forget that this will NOT be PLEASANT in any way, shape or form. In other words, consider yourself warned):

So, on the day AFTER Thanksgiving I had to go to a formal party honoring one of my many, many, MANY cousins (I'm related to everyone. Just ask RR (a.k.a. NDT). According to her, my family tree is a wreath. Charming, huh...?!).

Since I was going to such a...ahem...genteel affair, I thought I should, you know, make an effort. Thus, I donned the appropriate ball gown, matching shoes, and color-coordinated make-up. My super-hot, super-sexy boy toy (uh...I mean, boyfriend), Trevor arrived clean and shaven - looking quite smart in his tuxedo. Yes, yes. We quite looked the part.

And so - as in fairytales - the princess and her beau were off to the dance.

Except in this fairytale, I am playing the princess. Hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
(This should be one of many, many clues that the evening does not planned.)

Anyway, my chariot (a.k.a. Trevor's Chevy Trailblazer) arrived at the ball at 8 o'clock - making us about half an hour (fashionably) late. The party was at the Dallas Petroleum Club, which is located way up high in the JPMorgan Chase Tower. Because of the Petroleum Club's location in the building, a very, very speedy elevator is required to "people move" the party goers to the 40th floor. And this is where things started to get...interesting.

Flashback for a moment...

...While I was getting ready for the super-swanky affair earlier in the evening, I was suddenly consumed with hunger. Unfortunately, my cupboard was bare EXCEPT for a half eaten bag of potato chips and an Organic Fiber Bar (lemon flavored, of course).

Now, I know what you are thinking and I whole-heartedly agree that eating ANYTHING with 14 grams of fiber just hours before you are scheduled to attend a black tie event is a BAD idea. However, after I ate a few of the potato chips I was feeling rather bloated and - quite frankly - guilty. Eating the fiber bar seemed like a good way of...well...flushing the potato chips through the system.

Yeah, well, hindsight is ALWAYS twenty-twenty...

Anyway, getting back to the story, it was on the elevator ride up to the 40th floor that I first started feeling...whoozy. But I figured that I would feel better once my ears popped (I was in denial).

Trevor, being the wonderful date that he is, thought it would help if I had a glass of red wine know...relax me (which it did). In fact, the red wine relaxed me SO much that I decided that I would tell everyone about the battle raging in my stomach between the fiber bar and the potato chips (yes, I only had one glass, thank you!). Most people just smiled politely and moved on. Others laughed at me and my self-induced predicament. But one lady offered to give me advice (big mistake). All I can say is that NO ONE should EVER take the advice of a senile, close-talker who smells of mothballs.

And, yes, hindsight is STILL twenty-twenty...

So, I listened as Ode-de-Mothballs explained to me that milk, cheese and essentially everything dairy has the opposite effect of fiber. Me (being me, of course) thought that this new tidbit of information was absolutely BRILLIANT, and immediately excused myself from Senora Mothballs to go join Trevor in the food line (where I promptly ordered him to pile Brie cheese, crackers and olives onto his plate).

Once Trevor's plate could hold no more, we began the process of looking for an appropriate place to sit down This is always a trite difficult at a formal ball because there are hundreds of people - all dress to the nines - of which only a select few you actually want to sit with (or see or talk to, for that matter). Because of the fiber problem, I really didn't want to sit with anyone - at least, no one that might be within "odor" range (incase the so-called battle in my tummy produced a much uninvited and unexpected...smell).

So, we ended up sitting at a crowded table (of course!) full of people my own age - who all, up to that point, thought I was reasonably normal (and knew nothing of my apparent lack of judgment when it came to all things fiber and potato related). They all just sat there and watched - with a look of vague curiosity - as I consumed slice after slice of cheese. Thank goodness that I had enough sense to spare them the details (and reasoning) behind my sudden need to dairy-induce constipation.

Never - during this entire episode - did it dawn on me that it might try to trump a fiber card with a cheese card. I consider myself lucky that I didn't explode on the spot.

As you might guess, it didn't take long for the battle in my stomach to become an all out war. And by "war", I really mean "REBELLION". Thus, after a brief (half hour) party intermission (spent, of course, in one of the stalls in the lady's restroom), I emerged and informed Trevor that it was time to leave the ball. Like, NOW! I was rapidly turning back into a (rotten) pumpkin.

It was 9:45 PM.

Trevor, because he is SO wonderful, didn't complain at all about having to leave the party early. He didn't even make fun of me as we road the elevator back down 40 floors to his champagne-colored SUV.

We made it back to my house by 10 PM - just in time for me to change out of my ball gown before I (and I am quoting season 7, episode 4 of the sitcom FRIENDS here), "visited a little town a south of throw-up".

So, yeah, that was fun.

It was especially fun because my wonderful, sweet and handsome boyfriend, Trevor, was in the next room trying not to hear all the...noises...that are famously associated with that particular bodily function.

So, again, that was reallllllly fun.

But just when you think that it can't get any does (because I'm blessed that way).

Anyway, I'm sitting on the pot and having problem "A", when I suddenly realize that I'm going to have problem "B"(yes, I was traveling north to that aforementioned town). So, I desperately reached for the trashcan (which, thank goodness, had a liner in it) and grabbed it just in time to be reintroduced to the potato chips, fiber bar and Brie cheese.


So, there I am, sitting on the pot having problem "A" and problem "B" simultaneously (which, before this evening, I didn't realize could happen at the same time. Boy, was I naive), while problem "C" (a.k.a. my handsome prince) is knocking at the bathroom door in an effort to inquire if everything was okay.

Yes, folks, it was during that moment that I actually wanted to die. My body was literately exploding from both ends, and I just didn't see how death wasn't an realistic option at that point. It felt like I was going to die regardless, and I was hoping for something along the lines of "sooner than later" in the timeline that I was sure was dictating the end of my life. In fact, I was actually wishing for death, because no creature should ever have to suffer like that. I think I actually asked Trevor to shoot me at one point. From my perspective, it was the only humane thing to do.

But, alas, he didn't have a gun.

He also said something about how much he loved me before he got in his car and left on a Pepto-Bismol and Gatorade run.

God love that boy.

So, in conclusion, I would like to publicly state that I am THANKFUL for surviving last Friday night (and Saturday and Sunday). I'm pretty sure that I really had the stomach flu (the fiber bar, potato chip and Brie cheese didn't help anything, but I don't think that self-induced food poisoning lasts for three days).

I find it somehow curious that people, in general, aren't more THANKFUL (like on a daily basis) that they are not - at this very moment - having both problem "A" and problem "B" simultaneously. We should all be thanking our lucky stars day in and day out...

In fact, I might just announce next Thanksgiving - at the dinner table - that I am THANKFUL for not having those two problems at that particular moment.

I really feel as though I've gained some perspective, here. Don't you?!

(well, almost...)

I am also thankful for my adorable dog, Gypsy Kitty, who had "sympathy pukes" early on Saturday morning. She barely slept a wink all night, because she was SO worried about me. The whole time, while I was...uh...kneeling before the porcelain throne, Gypsy Kitty was at my side - licking my arm in (apparent) support.

Then, in the wee-morning hours - mere seconds after I had finally (and mercifully) fallen asleep - Gypsy Kitty jumped up on my bed and frantically started licking my face. Alarmed, I jumped out of bed and heard the unmistakable...

...grunt, grunt, grunt...

...of a dog on the verge of throwing up.

"Oh, no! Gypsy! Quick! Outside! Let's go outside!"

And, for the first time EVER, Gypsy made it outside and puked in the grass (instead of on the rug next to my bed)!!

If that isn't the very definition of "thankful", I don't know what is (personally, after a long night of blowing chunks, the last thing I want to do is clean up doggie barf. Plus, quite frankly, how often can you find a reason to be thankful for vomit?)!!


Monday, November 21, 2005

For Tinkerbell...

We will never forget you, Tinkerbell!

~ Love always (and forever) ~
Deals, Gypsy Kitty and Dolly
~ xoxo ~

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

When pictures speak a thousand words...

(A Photo Blog)

Today has been a weird day.

For what ever reason, everywhere I go and everything I see seems to illustrate the kind of day I am having. The “photo phenomenon” (if you will) has literately been narrating my experiences and emotions for the past ten hours.

So, on the off chance that this actually means something (and I'm just missing it), I thought I’d put it all together for your viewing pleasure.

Here goes nothing...

The word of the day is:

But not like:

And more like:

My morning started off with my boss calling me into his office, where I felt like:

He told me that he was changing organizational structure of the museum, and I looked at him like:

He held up a chart, and pointed to where my position was now located in the newly organized structure of things. It was too far away for me to see clearly, so I just made a mental note that I was now a:

(at least on his new chart)

After meeting with my boss, I went back to my office and started to return phone calls. One lady (who was do I say this?...the sharpest knife in the drawer) engaged me for half an hour in a ridiculous conversation that went absolutely nowhere. This is when I thought something along the lines of:

It was getting late, and there was an event in the museum tonight for people from:

One of my coworkers asked me if I could help her upstairs for a second. I walked out of the office and the smell of:

was everywhere, and I could think of was,

"Ah! The smell of fromage in the evening!"

So, that was my day and now all I want to do is go home and:


Friday, November 11, 2005

Looney Tunes (Volume II)...

A woman walked up to the exhibit bookstore, and began to browse through the selection of Elvis books that were on sale.

I was bored and decided that I would engage the woman in conversation.

"So, are you a big Elvis fan," I inquired?

"Not really," she answered, "I loved Elvis, but I didn't love him THAT much. When he died I wasn't even all that upset. I only cried for six weeks, and almost got a divorce over it."

And with that, she turned and walked away.

Kind of makes me wonder what she is like when she really IS that upset...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A letter to my mother on a matter of politics...

Dear Mom,

I know we spoke briefly last night about this whole gay marriage issue, and the point of this email is not to try to persuade you in any way (your side has already won, after all). However, since I feel very strongly about this issue, I thought that it might be good to let you in on some of my thoughts and opinions about Proposition #2. At least, you can go to sleep tonight knowing – if nothing else – that I am interested in politics. We will probably never agree when it comes to topics like this, but it should be comforting to know that I try very hard to be an educated voter. I have read arguments both for and against Proposition #2, and I have researched the topic extensively.

Plus, I should get points for caring to vote, in the first place. It isn’t like I am all talk, and then “forget” to participate in the democratic process. Not voting yesterday was never an option.

Anyway, I cannot believe that Proposition #2 passed (although, I cannot say that I am necessarily surprised that it passed. I was just hoping that it somehow would not).

Did you know that every single newspaper in Texas advocated for people to vote against Proposition #2? It is so poorly written, and people were (I think) way too preoccupied with the whole “moral” issue instead of looking at the amendment from a legal standpoint (hello! Let’s not confuse church and state, people! I mean, even Jesus said, "Pay Caesar what is due to Caesar, and pay God what is due to God." Moral issues have fatally divided nations in the past. Personally, I don’t care what your religious convictions are. Shout them from the mountain top – you have that right. Just don’t make faith based laws – at least not in this country! I think that the Founding Fathers knew what they were talking about when they came up with the First Amendment. For me, as far as the state should be concerned, “marriage” is really the act of two people entering into an official contract in which they agree to take legal responsibility for each other. Anything outside of that is not the business of the state. Period.

I would have felt better about everything if they had just come out and said that Texas will not recognize any marriage that happened outside of the state borders. I mean, think about it, one of the reasons that politicians still argue over “Roe vs. Wade” today is because that whole thing was so poorly written, and yet we’ve done it again. Except now, in my opinion, we’ve just set civil rights back 50 years, and people think that all they’ve voted for is a definition of the word “marriage”. I wonder how many hundreds of millions of dollars will be wasted over the course of the next ten or twenty years in an attempt to try and figure out exactly what is meant or implied by this new amendment.

I feel that it is hypocritical to say that the state of Texas will recognize a marriage involving a man and a 14 year-old girl just because it happened in the state of Alabama (you only have to be 13, by the way, to get hitched in New Hampshire), but they will not recognize a marriage that happened legally in Massachusetts because the couple is gay. Also, in more than half of the states in the country, it is legal to marry your first-cousin (Ew. Ew. And EW). It is illegal to marry your first-cousin in Texas, but if you marry your first-cousin in a state where it is legal to do so (and then move to Texas), Texas will recognize it. Why are gay couples so different?

Furthermore, why IS it legal to marry your fourteen year old first-cousin in Alabama in the first place? Why aren’t we writing laws to prevent that?!

How about children of gay couples? What about second-parent adoption? What if only one parent works, while their partner stays home and raises the children? That parent that stays home isn’t eligible for their spouse’s medical insurance now, because the state has just ruled that – because they are gay and got married in another state – their marriage is not a “legal” marriage in the state of Texas. Therefore, the working spouse’s medical insurance company can choose to not cover the non-working spouse and/or children in an “effort” to align themselves properly with the Texas Constitution.

And what about transsexuals? If, physically, they have become a woman and they marry a man – does THAT count? How about hermaphrodites? Parents are forced to “choose” the sex of their baby on the spot if it is born with both sex organs. So, what if the parents decide to raise the child as a “boy” and that boy grows up and is attracted to men? What then? And how about couples that have been together forever, and because they are gay, they can be forced to testify against their partner in a court of law, because they are not protected by rights and privileges of a legally recognized marriage? Plus, since the language of Proposition #2 is SO broad, it also bans the creation (or state recognition) of any relationship “similar or identical to marriage”. So, now, we’ve even prohibited the civil union for gay couples, and essentially placed homosexual couples into a kind of legal limbo! Even legal documents are not a guaranteed form of protection for homosexuals, because judges in Texas are not obligated to consider legislative intent when interpreting the Texas Constitution.

Similar legislation to Proposition #2 has been passed in other states (Texas, though, is the first state to add it to their constitution), and it has had a lot of “unintended” side effects. Like, for example, in Ohio. Judges there have either thrown out or lessened the charges of heterosexual men who have physically abused their girlfriends, because they ruled that Ohio’s domestic violence law no longer applies to unmarried couples. Therefore, it is naïve to think that Proposition #2 won’t adversely affect heterosexual couples in this state as well!

What it really comes down to (at least, for me) is that there is a fundamental separation between church and state in this country. Marriage is, and has always been, a religious matter. Similarly, marriage is a private matter between two consenting adults. Since we, as Americans, enjoy both freedom of religion and a fundamental right to privacy, maybe marriage (as an institution) should cease to be a state or federal concern. I do not want anyone butting into my business and telling me who I can and cannot marry – much less the state of Texas! Civil Unions are different (in the sense that they are much more like a legal contract instead of being religiously and/or culturally based, like the institution of marriage), but with the passing of Proposition #2, even civil unions and domestic partnerships are at risk of being nullified! Why would anyone, in their right mind, allow the government to interfere in their personal lives?! Yet, Texans have just given the government the right to do so! I am not okay with this!

Proposition #2 does nothing to preserve or sanctify marriage. Nothing! It is just another way of imposing Christian values into the laws that govern this state in an effort to do…what?...discourage people from being gay? All it is really doing is overtly discriminating against tax paying citizens because of their sexual orientation. I’m sorry, but if that is not a violation of civil liberties, I don’t know what is! What’s next? Are we going to vote in an effort to make homosexuals count as only 3/5th of a person? It isn’t the same thing, but it isn’t that different either!

Okay, I’m done now. Again, the point of this email is to let you know where I am coming from on this issue. I’ve thought a lot about it, and I think that it is important that you know what I think about stuff like this. Of course, I do not foresee us ever agreeing on subjects surrounding matters of politics. But that does not mean that we cannot respect each other’s different view points. At least, rest assured that I am not just a lemming when it comes to politics. Believe me, it isn’t “cool” to be a liberal, a democrat, etc. in the state of Texas.

In the past, you have called me an “idealistic youth”. Although, I am young, I do not think of myself as an idealist. I look at things from a historic perspective. I study a situation and I research it thoroughly before I make a decision. I apply the situation to today, and I think about the Golden Rule (i.e. if I were gay). I do not like to be told what to think, what to do, what to say. I interpret things for myself, and then I decide. I do not consider myself an idealist, because I take a realistic approach to things. I guess I’d prefer to be called passionate, if I must be labeled at all. I have sworn no allegiance to any one political party, because I am not a political drone. I vote for what I believe in and what I think is right – not just what is right for me, but what is right for people unlike me, too. We are not all the same, and laws should protect us all. I believe that everyone has certain inalienable rights (i.e. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness). That means, that if Trevor makes me happy, than I should be able to love him and marry him (if I so choose). Just like if a man falls in love with another man, or a woman another woman. Why deny yourself what you love, what makes you happy? It is a personal thing, a private thing. It is not the business of the state to decide who you can marry and who you cannot marry; who makes you happy and who doesn’t.

I believe in God. I have read the Bible. I have go to church. I read, “Love thy neighbor” and I choose to take that literately. I believe that loving thy neighbor does not have any restrictions. The Bible never says love thy neighbor except if he is black, Muslim, Jewish, female, gay, rich, poor, liberal, conservative, etc. I believe that God created everyone equally. Everyone.

I also believe, understand and accept that not everyone thinks the same way that I do. No one is right or wrong. We just all think and believe in different things. That should be respected. Keep religion out of law, because the law will govern those of all religions – at least on this earth and in this country.

Less "othering" and more "accepting".



P.S. Incase you were curious, here is Proposition #2 (and, YES, I am quoting here):

Ballot Language
"The constitutional amendment providing that marriage in this state consists only of the union of one man and one woman and prohibiting this state or a political subdivision of this state from creating or recognizing any legal status identical or similar to marriage."

"Enmienda constitucional que dispone que en este estado el matrimonio consiste exclusivamente en la unión de un hombre y una mujer y que desautoriza, en este estado o en alguna subdivisión política del mismo, la creación o el reconocimiento de cualquier estatus jurídico idéntico o semejante al matrimonio."

Brief Explanation
HJR 6 would provide that marriage in Texas is solely the union of a man and woman, and that the state and its political subdivisions could not create or recognize any legal status identical to or similar to marriage, including such legal status relationships created outside of Texas.”

I would also like to point out here (my last point, I promise) that it would not be all that difficult to read the language of Proposition #2 and infer that Texans have somehow just passed a law that outlaws marriage itself. I know that’s not what just happened, but it wouldn’t be difficult to argue that none-the-less.

Monday, November 07, 2005

When "Rare Form" isn't so rare...

So, imagine you are me and you have to attend a large awards luncheon for work (because it is your museum's largest annual fundraiser).

And now, imagine that you have to dress-up for the function (because THAT takes effort - A LOT of effort, actually).

A single ticket to the super-swanky affair is $100 ($1000 if you were purchasing a table). Therefore, normally "optional" daily activities like shaving, bathing and deodorizing are suddenly prerequisites for attendance (along with dry-cleaned clothing, application of make-up and blow-drying of hair). After all, the event's guest list looks like something out of a who's-who-guide-to-Dallas-society. So, my only option was to play along (and look the part).

* Groan *

Anyway, since I am an employee, I got to attend the awards luncheon for free (yippee-tye-yai-a). Technically, I was working the event (employees are strategically placed throughout the room in an effort to "talk up" the museums programs and activities), but whatever.

Of course, the staff has to arrive early and stay late (set up and break down). So, I arrived at the Wyndham Anatole about 10 AM to help out with last minute preparations. Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah...

All of the background information that I just provided serves only one function (and, NO, my intention was not to bore you to death with insignificant event particulars). In fact, my objective was to enlighten you to how uncomfortable a social situation this was for me. If you do not understand what I am talking about, please refer to JLR's (a.k.a. DT) post entitled "It's not that I don't like you, I just don't want to be around you". Pay special attention to the part about introverts.

Yes. I am an introvert. I admit it. I don't like social situations, especially social situations that involve me with 2100 other people. Not to mention social situations that I have to attend as an employee because, let's be honest here, in those situations I am nothing more than "the hired help" (for the case-in-point, keep reading...).

Now, I will not bore you with any more details of this event, because the REAL purpose of this post is to discuss a conversation that I had with one of the luncheon attendees. And by "luncheon attendee" I really mean "Arrogant Dallas Socialite".

Anyway, let me set the stage:

The awards luncheon was just about to start, and everything was running smoothly for the most part.

I was finishing up with a last minute task (involving a pen, paper and clipboard), when I was approached by the aforementioned "Arrogant Dallas Socialite" (or ADS, for short).

ADS: "A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: [Continued writing on clipboard.]

ADS: "Ahem...A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: [Continued writing. Vaguely remember thinking, "I wonder why this guy is 'spelling' at someone?"]

ADS: "[Swatting at my clipboard to get my attention...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Confused] Uh...what?"

ADS: "[Obviously irritated...] A-R-C-H-I..."

ME: "...[interrupting] I'm sorry, sir. I don't understand..."

ADS: "...[Angrily interrupting] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Turning red out of embarrassment and confusion] Sir, I am sorry. I don't understand. Why are you 'spelling' at me?"

ADS: "[Shouting] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "I don't understand..."

ADS: "[Violently points his finger at a stack of papers on a table to my left] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "[Realizing what is going on...] Oh, you think that I'm checking people in! I'm sorry, sir! I didn't realize! I'm not checking people in today, but this lady right here is...

[ADS's eyes narrow, and I can tell that he is about to lose it with me]

...I mean, I'll check you in. Now, what did you say your name was?"

ADS: "[Very slowly...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D"

ME: "Uhmmm...okay...just one second. Let me see if I can find your name..."

[My face was extremely flushed by this point. I was nowhere near crying, but my eyes water when my face turns red. Therefore, when I tried to read the check-in papers, everything was just a blur.]

ADS: "[Angrily pointing at his name on the list...] A-R-C-H-I-B-A-L-D!!"

ME: "I'm sorry, sir, but I cannot read!"

[Long pause as I realize what I just said...]

ME: "Uh...wait...I mean..."

ADS: "[...Interrupting] Never mind, I will just check-in with her, since you are apparently incapable!"

[And with that, ADS stormed off...]

Later on, at the end of the awards luncheon, the museum staff was asked to stand up and be recognized. Here I am, the Director of Education, and there is someone out there who thinks that I am illiterate.


Thursday, November 03, 2005

Because JCOL asked (and I was curious)...

I am Schroeder!
("Frequent bouts of neurosis" is a good thing, right?!)

Which Peanuts Character are You?
(C'mon! Give in! You know that you want to know!)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Loony Tunes (Volume 1)...

PRELUDE (or INTRODUCTION, if you prefer):

I've been working on this post for about a month now. It was my intention to have it finished last week, but - alas - that has not happened.

Anyway, during the State Fair (which, by the way, FINALLY ended 10 days ago) I met a lot do I put this..."interesting" people. I took note of the exceptionally "interesting" with the intention (yes, intention. I've had a multitude of "intentions" as of late) of posting about them here.

Originally, I wanted to talk about all of my experiences with the exceptionally "interesting" in one post, but that is proving to be difficult (not to mention long). So, instead, I've decided to break them up a bit. Future installments to follow in the days and weeks to come (yes, I have that much of material).

Therefore, without further ado -

LOONY TUNES (Volume 1):

I work at a museum with a small staff. During the State Fair, the staff (armed with about fifty volunteers) manage the exponential increase in museum visitation, and we all take turns doing our "normal" jobs as well as our extra "fair" duties. This means, for the past several weeks, I have been splitting my time between my desk and the museum bookstore.

And, no, sales really is not my thing.

Typically, for the Fair, the museum puts on some sort of special exhibit, and this year was no different. This year's display dealt with the history of Rock 'n' Roll, and focused on the lives and music of several infamous musicians (i.e. Elvis Prestley, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, etc.).

Oh, and I should mention that ALL "The Crazies" came out during the State Fair. No joke.

AND they ALWAYS seemed to appear during my bookstore shifts (because I'm blessed that way).

Now, that you have some background, let's discuss:

INCIDENT #1 (Sunday, October 2nd):

A man walks up to me and wants to know where he can buy a yellow submarine.

"A yellow submarine," I inquire?

"Yes. A yellow submarine."

"Like the CD?"

"No, an actual yellow submarine."

"You mean from the Beatles?"

"Yes. I want to buy their submarine."

"Uhmmm...okay. Well, we have replicas over here. Would you like to see one?"

"No! I want to buy the REAL thing. Not some replica. I cannot play 'Yellow Submarine' in a replica. Jeez!"

"Uh, right. Well, sir, we only seem to have the replicas. I don't suppose you could make a miniature of yourself, so that you could play 'Yellow Submarine' in the replica, huh?"

"No, I have to be inside the submarine to play 'Yellow Submarine'. How do you expect me to play 'Yellow Submarine' without a real submarine?!"

"Right. Obviously, my mistake. Unfortunately, we are all out of life-size yellow submarines today."

"Darn! I was really hoping to take one home today."

"I know. I'm sorry. Can I interest you in a book or a CD?"

"Uhmmm...maybe. Let me see what you have here."

[Long pause as he browses around our museum bookstore.]

"Ah! I see you have Elvis CDs," he said!

"Yes, sir. Would you like one?"

"Yes, I most certainly would. In fact, I will take all three."

"Okay, great! Just give me a second and I'll get you all rung up."


[Long pause as I begin to ring up the customer.]

"Okay, sir. Will that be cash, check or credit?"

"Uhmmm...I dunno. Whatever works best for you," he replied.

"Well, sir, why don't you just hand me one or the other and I'll proceed from there?"

"I think I need to go and find my wife first. You know, so I can get permission."

"Uh, okay. I'll just put these on hold for you. Just come back when you are ready to check out."

"I cannot have them now?"

"No, sir. You have to pay first. Why don't you go and find your wife?"

"Uhmmm...okay. He isn't leaving anytime soon, is he?"

"He? Who are you talking about?"



"Yes, Elvis."

"You mean, the impersonator?"

"No. I mean, Elvis. I want him to sign my CDs."

"Well, the impersonator will be here next weekend, and Sonny, Elvis's bodyguard, is in that room over there. He'll be here until 6 or 7..."

"...[Interrupting] No. I don't want Elvis's bodyguard's autograph. I want Elvis's autograph. And not an impersonator's signature, either. I want the REAL thing."

"Uh, sir. The real Elvis cannot be here today."

"Why not?"

"Just because."

"Because why?"

" you really not know?"

"Know what? What are you trying to say, here? It's not like Elvis is dead or anything!"

"Well, actually..."

"...[Interrupting] NO! Elvis is NOT dead! I know this for a fact."

"Uh...yes, sir. Whatever you say."

"No! I don't think you believe me. Elvis is most certainly NOT dead."

"Sure. He's alive and well..."

"No, I can tell. You think he is dead. Well, let me tell you something, Miss-Smarty-Pants! I was listening to Rush Limbaugh the other day, and HE said that Elvis was engaged to be married to Marilyn Monroe later on this fall. Hear that! Rush Limbaugh! He is on the RADIO! I think he knows a little more about these things then you. He's on the RADIO and you work in a BOOKSTORE! A BOOKSTORE AT THE STATE FAIR!"

"Uh-huh. Whatever you say, sir."

"I don't think you are hearing me. Rush Limbaugh!"

"Yes, sir. You already said that. If you want, why don't you go and take it up with Sonny in the next room? He used to be Elvis's bodyguard. I'm sure he would know more about this than me."

"Well, I might just do that!"

And with that, he stormed off into the next room to confront Sonny.

It is important to mention that this whole thing caused quite a stir ("The Elvis Psycho" was yelling, after all). He was very serious (at first, I thought he was kidding. Boy, was I wrong), and was getting quite angry about the whole "Elvis: Dead or Alive" issue. One of the volunteers was so concerned about my safety that he went and notified the security guards of the problem.

However, the story does not end here (No, I am not THAT lucky).

Anyway, I almost felt bad about pawning the "Elvis Psycho" off on poor 'ole Sonny. But, Sonny IS a bodyguard, so I felt like he could...uh..."handle" (defend?) himself better than I could. How could I have known that he'd talk to Sonny for almost an hour?!

So, again, I ALMOST felt bad for Sonny. Well, that is until Sonny told the "Elvis Psycho" to go away and sent him BACK over to me.


So, here we go again:

"Did you talk to Sonny," I ask?


"What did he say?"

"He said that Elvis is dead. That is why there are no current pictures of him anywhere."

"Oh. Well, I am sorry that you had to find out such bad news here."

" I know. [Audible *sigh*] Sonny said that if Elvis was still alive, he'd have come out of hiding when Lisa Marie married Michael Jackson."

"Probably. That's an interesting take on it anyway."

"Yeah, I guess. I just really wanted Elvis to sign my CDs. I thought that would be really special."

"I'm really sorry, sir."

At this point, another customer came up and bought several books. Since I was the only one working the bookstore, I had to leave the "Elvis Psycho" unattended while I handled the sale. While I did this, the "Elvis Pyscho" browsed around the bookstore looking at the various items available for purchase.

About ten minutes or so went by, and - to be perfectly honest - I had almost forgotten about the "Elvis Psycho" because he was so quietly reading a book at the far end of the table. However, this did not last long (again...just my luck).

All of a sudden, he was back in my face waving a large, hardback book and shouting:

"This is NOT what it looks like, this is NOT what it looks like!!"

"Sir, please calm down. This is not what 'what' looks like?"

"The ferris wheel!"

"Uhmmm...let me see."

He handed me a copy of Carolyn Brown's, Where Dreams Come True. In the book, there is a picture of the Texas Star. The photograph was taken at dusk and, therefore, (most likely) taken with a relatively low f/stop and long shutter speed. Taking the picture in this way produced the effect that the ferris wheel was somehow rapidly spinning, when it was actually going no faster than normal. To see what I am talking about, click here.

"Sir," I reply, "that is the ferris wheel. I see nothing wrong with it."

"It doesn't MOVE that fast! It is SLOW. I know this for a fact! I rode it this morning and it was boring and slow!"

"Uh...this is just a wild guess here, but I think that this is just an old photography trick. The effect is that the ferris wheel LOOKS like it is moving really fast, but it really isn't."

"Well, how do you do this?"

"It depends on how much light you let into the camera during each shot..."

"...[Interrupting] But I SAW IT. IT DOESN'T MOVE THAT FAST."

"Yes, sir. I understand that. I'm trying to explain..."

"...[Interrupting] Can you imagine if you were riding the ferris wheel while it was going that fast? You'd get sick."

"Yes, sir. You are probably right. You'd probably get really sick."

"How sick?"

"I dunno. Really, really sick."

"That sick, huh?"



"I dunno. All the fried food, I guess."

"Oh, good point."

"The Elvis Psycho" hung around for a little while longer until his wife FINALLY showed up at the bookstore to "collect" her spouse.

The worst part of the whole thing is that she wouldn't even let him buy something after all of that! She just looked at him like he was crazy (which I think he was), and told him that they needed to go. She PHYSICALLY had to lead him out of the building.

So, that was fun...

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Runt turns 20...

Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday to you!
Happy Birthday dear, Pee-Wee!
Happy 20th Birthday to you!

Friday, October 21, 2005


My aunt came to visit from California. She is nice enough, but is known around the family for do I put this...not the brightest crayon in the box.

For example, about five years ago, I was on a family vacation in Spain with my mother, grandmother and aunt. When we got to Barcelona, my mother decided that it would be nice for all of us to take a bus tour of the city. On this tour, we passed by a statue of Christopher Columbus. Columbus, in the statue, was pointing in the direction that he was going to sail in 1492 to find India and China.

My aunt, in all seriousness, raised her hand and asked the tour guide, "Well, was Columbus successful?"

The bus tour was filled with American tourists, and we all got really, really quiet. My grandmother finally leaned over and whispered in her ear, "He discovered America". To which my aunt replied, "Oh, really? I thought Washington did that."

So, yeah, she's kind of like that.

Anyway, Wednesday night at dinner we were all chatting away, and my aunt starts talking about Shaquille O'Neal. Apparently, Shaq stayed at Jenny Craig's beach house and his "posse" trashed the place (my aunt knows this because she plays tennis with Jenny Craig's daughter. She doesn't play tennis with Ms. So-and-So, who just happens to be the daughter of Jenny Craig. No, no. She plays tennis WITH Jenny Craig's daughter, who has no other identity outside of being the so-called daughter of Jenny Craig. But, I digress...).

Now, my aunt is also one of those almost-fifty-somethings that is quasi-obsessed with staying trendy and young. She prides herself on the fact that she's all hip-and-with-it and "down" with the teenage lingo. She was SO proud of herself for knowing:

    A) Who Shaq was (except she called him "Shaq O'Neal" instead of either "Shaq" or "Shaquille O'Neal", but whatever...)

    B) Knowing that Shaq takes an entourage with him when he travels

    C) That Shaq's entourage would qualify as a "posse"

My uncle - in an effort to prove that he too was familiar with teenage semantics - commented, "So, Shaq's 'peeps' trashed the joint, did they?"

My aunt quickly shot back, "No. His 'posse' trashed it. He didn't bring any chickens with him. At least none that I am aware of, anyway."

"No. Not 'peeps', like chickens. 'Peeps', like people," I tried to explain.

To which my aunt responded, "Oh, so you mean like black chickens, then?!"

So, yeah, it was a long night...

Monday, October 17, 2005

A story from a recent teachers' conference...

So, my museum partners every year with 8 other museums for an educators' conference, and this year was no different (well, other than the fact that I was able to somehow convince the representative from one of the science museums - who doesn't like to "share" - that we needed to split-up orientation at two museums (hers and mine)).

Anyway, on the day of the conference, everything was running surprisingly smoothly for the most part. We had over 700 teachers registered for the event, and half of them were starting out at my building. Therefore, the day had definite potential for...uh...not running smoothly.

At about 11 AM or so, the caterers stopped by to pick up the breakfast leftovers, so I accompanied them downstairs and helped them pack it all up. Then, I escorted them through one of our "secure" hallways to an employee entrance that was closer to their van.

All this, again, ran...smoothly.

And, then, things started to get, well, interesting...

After getting the caterers all squared away, I reentered the building. I was heading back upstairs, but stopped in the foyer of one of our downstairs exhibits to finish tiding up where the caterers left off. There seemed to be some sort of commotion over near the lecture hall (which was behind me), and when I turned around, I could see a large group of teachers huddled over near the stairs staring at something. Their backs were to me, so I couldn't see what they were looking at. However, I could hear it. Loud, hysterical wailing. Thinking that someone had fallen down the stairs, I immediately dropped everything and sprinted over to help (mistake number 1).

I pushed my way through the crowd to find a lady (teacher) on her cell phone. She was screaming at the top of her lungs and bawling (wailing). Everyone was staring at her.

It is important to note that the building I work in is made of marble. Hence, it echoes...badly (worst acoustics EVER). Therefore, this lady's hysterical screams were being broadcast all over the museum. Curious teachers were "rubbernecking" from everywhere - the stairs, the lecture hall, the downstairs exhibit. Everyone was just staring at her, which irritated me to no end. I mean, C'mon people, give her some room. She's upset, not a spectacle.

Anyway, upon seeing all of this, my first reaction was to get the poor woman into my office where she would be spared being the object of such intense curiosity. So, I began to try to "sign" to her with my hands in an effort to ask her if she would like to come with me to somewhere a little more...well...private. Great plan, right? In theory, maybe. Unfortunately, I forgot that not everyone KNOWS American Sign Language, so my effort was in vein. The Hysterical Teacher probably thought that I was just another (more energetic) rubbernecker.

About thirty seconds went by (yes, I was STILL signing at this point - I mean, what else was I going to do?) before The Hysterical Teacher abruptly got off the phone and (oh-so dramatically) threw herself down on a wood bench and burst into tears (we are talking whole-body-sobs here). Since this woman was essentially in a fishbowl, all the other teachers froze briefly before shifting slightly to accommodate The Hysterical Teacher's new location in the room. Heaven forbid any of them ACTUALLY comfort the hysterical woman or escort her to the bathroom. No, no...let's all do nothing and wait for her to do something "interesting" again (like call someone else and scream at them). Had none of these people ever had a problem in public before? Did they miss "how to be empathetic day" at school or something?

So, I did what I HOPE someone would have done for me (if I had been hysterically bawling in a public building somewhere): I took her somewhere private - my office. I swear I heard a disappointed *sigh* from the foyer "audience" when I did this. After all, I was essentially taking away their late-morning entertainment (as Not Peaches would say, "Asshats!").

Anyway, The Hysterical Teacher was about to hyperventilate, so I get her some water, tissues and ask if she would like to use the staff bathroom (which is not accessible to the public). I also inquired whether or not she was at the teachers' conference with anyone or if there was anyone that she would like me to find or contact for her.

However, I didn't get a response. Just more crying. I looked around the office and wondered what I would do if I run out of tissues (she was one of those 10-tissues-at-a-time people).

About seven minutes went by. I was doing my best to be supportive, which is always hard when the supportee is a complete stranger. So, I sat down next to her and just...well...waited for her to calm down.

A few more minutes went by before The Hysterical Teacher turned to me, and - with weapy eyes - thanked me for helping her.

"Sure. Anytime," I said.

(Mistake number 2)

Who knew that this simple sentence would open the flood gates of conversation (because I didn't)? Oh, if I could only go back and act more...more...unsupportive or something!

Anyway, it was at this point that the Hysterical Teacher decided to disclose to me why she was, in fact, hysterical.

Are you ready for this (because I wasn't)?

Apparently, the Hysterical Teacher's niece was just arrested for not one...

...not two...

...BUT - oh, yes - THREE counts of MURDER in the FIRST DEGREE!

I'm sorry...what?!

I remember swallowing really, really hard and wondering what I should do. Or say, for that matter.

This is how the conversation went:

ME: "Oh, my! Really?"

THE HYSTERICAL TEACHER (THT): [Screaming] "I know! Murder! Three counts of murder! Can you believe that?!"

ME: ", actually, I cannot."

THT: "Me neither. It just doesn't make sense to me. She's a good girl and she's only 21 years old. Murderers aren't 21 year-old girls! They are poor people. Poor people from lower socio-economic levels. They aren't white, 21 year old girls from suburbia!"

ME: "Uh-huh." (The last thing I was going to do was DISAGREE with the woman. Especially now that she was getting all agitated!)

THT: "And you know what else?"

ME: "Uh...what?"

THT: "She was only trying to SURVIVE!"

ME: "Oh? Like self-defense?"

THT: "Yeah. Self-defense. She was only trying to protect herself and her stuff! After all, she lives only about two hours from New Orleans. I mean, what do you expect?!"

ME: "What?" (I was confused by her comment. I really didn't know where she was going with the whole "New Orleans" thing)

THT: "She HAD to go to New Orleans. She stole all that stuff after the hurricane so she could support herself! Jewelry buys a lot of stuff, you know. And it wasn't like anyone in New Orleans was using it!"

ME: "Uh...Right...Sure." (Again, I wasn't going to DISAGREE with her. I'm locked in the staff offices ALONE with this woman. She's hysterical and increasingly angry. The last thing I want to do is NOT agree with her. After all, murder runs in her family...!)

THT: "I mean, what would YOU do? What would you do if all these people showed up and tried to take it all back? You'd defend yourself and your stuff - wouldn't you?!"

ME: "Uh-huh."

THT: "I mean, she HAD to do it! Those three people were going to take it all away. She had to protect it! She had to protect herself!"

ME: "Uh-huh."

THT: "And now she is going to go to jail! And she's only 21! It just isn't fair!"

ME: "Uh-huh."

THT: "You understand, don't you?!"

ME: "Uh-huh."

THT: "She's a good girl. You believe me, right?"

ME: "Uh-huh. Of course."

[Long pause. The Hysterical Teacher bursts back into dramatic sobs.]

ME: ", is there anyone I can go and find for you? Did you come with a friend? Or can I call someone for you?"

[In my head I was chanting, "Please, God. Please let this woman know someone that I can go and GET for her!" THT was seriously starting to scare me.]

THT: "[Sobbing] Dorothy. Please find my good friend, Dorothy. I need Dorothy. Dorothy will understand!"

[In my head, "THANK GOD!"]

ME: "Right. Dorothy. Got it. I'll go find her right now. Was she in your group?"

THT: [Nods forcibly and starts sobbing even louder.]

ME: "I'll be right back."

I ran from the office and out into the downstairs exhibit. There were at least 50 teachers in the gallery, and - not wanting to waste anytime (THT was ALONE in my office, after all) - I start calling out, "Dorothy! Dorothy! Is anyone here named, Dorothy?"

Finally, a woman stepped forward and identified herself as "Dorothy" (I almost fainted, I was SO relieved!).

"Can you please come with me," I ask?

"Sure. Is anything wrong," Dorothy inquired?

"Well, I think that your friend needs you. She seems pretty upset."

"My friend? I'm here alone."

" are here alone," I ask (trying to disguise my near panic)?

"Well, not alone exactly. I'm here with some of the other teachers from my school, but no one I'm really close with. No one I really consider a 'friend' anyway."

"How about (I describe The Hysterical Teacher)?"

"Oh, HER?! We're NOT friends. She's a new teacher at my school, and I introduced her around a bit. But we're NOT friends. Not even close! I think she's a, if you ask me."

"Uhmmm...well, she is asking for you. I think that she thinks that you two are friends."

"Lord, no! She is crazy."

"Right. Well, crazy or not, she wants to see you and she is really upset."

"About what?"

"I think that she'd better tell you."

"[Sighing loudly] Fine. Take me to her."

"Okay. Follow me."

I ushered Dorothy into the staff offices and lead her to mine. The Hysterical Teacher was still...well...hysterical.

THT: "[Looking up and seeing Dorothy] Oh, Dorothy! Thank God!"

[The Hysterical Teacher jumps up and violently embraces Dorothy. Dorothy looks a little more than "mildly uncomfortable". THT proceeds to tell Dorothy everything that she had just - minutes before - told me. Dorothy shot a look at me that read, "What have you gotten me into, here?!" Poor Dorothy.]

Dorothy: [In a voice that can only be described as deadpan] Well, what do you want me to do about it?"

THT: "Tell me what to do!"

Dorothy: "Okay. Go home."

THT: "[Tearing up again] I cannot! I need the CPE credits!"

Dorothy: "What is more important to you? CPE credits or your family?"

THT: "Oh, Dorothy! Don't ask me that! I need the credits..."

Dorothy: [Interrupting] "...and your niece needs you, doesn't she?"

THT: "Yes, but I need my credits!"

Dorothy: "Get them later on."

THT: "But I need them NOW! [Turning to me] Do you offer half day credit?"

ME: "No, ma'am. We don't."

THT: "Well, why not? Am I supposed to simply forfeit the three credit hours that I've earned this morning?"

ME: "I'm sorry, ma'am. We only offer all-day credit."

THT: "Well, can you just comp me the extra three hours?"

ME: "No, ma'am. I'm sorry."

THT: "[Screaming] WELL, I'LL BE! THIS is just GREAT! I have a mind to..."

Dorothy: [interrupting] "...Calm down! Why don't you just go home? Why are you insisting on making a scene?"


Dorothy: "Yeah, I know. You already told me. Listen, I don't care what you do. Leave. Stay. No matter. It is all the same to me. [Dorothy starts to walk out of my office. I start to panic a little bit and almost scream out, "Dorothy, don't leave me alone with her again!"]"

THT: "Dorothy, I'm sorry. Please don't leave me!"

[Dorothy keeps walking.]

[THT starts to tear-up again.]

ME: "Hey...uh...Dorothy. Wait a second. Why don't you take her with you to lunch? It is next on your schedule, and that way she can calm down a bit more and decide whether or not she wants to stay for the rest of the day."

[Dorothy's eyes narrow at me as if to say, "I cannot believe you just said that!"]

Dorothy: "[Looking directly at me with a cold, cold look on her face.] Fine. Let's go to lunch, then. That sounds great. Just great."

[Dorothy turns and continues toward the door.]

THT: "Okay. Sounds great! Just let me get my bag..."

So, yeah. That was...uh...Awkward...Uncomfortable...Nerve-racking...Craziness!

For the rest of the day, I kind of kept waiting for Dorothy to appear out of nowhere and beat the crap out of me for pawning The Hysterical Teacher off on her (but she didn't, thank goodness).

Dorothy - if you're out there - thank you so much for taking that crazy woman away from me! I owe you one!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Yey! I get to play with the big kids!

I. GOT. TAGGED. Tagged! I know! Can you believe it?! No one has ever tagged me before (thank you, Syd). I feel so special! So honored!

Anyway, here it goes (don't mess up, don't mess up, don't mess up...):

The instructions are as follows:
1. Go into your archives.
2. Find your 23rd post.
3. Post the fifth sentence or closest to it.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
5. Tag 5 other people.

"You look like a "Who-ville Who" with
that funny, pixie-like hairdo."

And I chose to tag...hmmm...(so much pressure):
1. The Runt
2. Peaches
3. Not Peaches
4. Gabe
5. Lia

Wow! That was SO much fun! I feel like bursting into song!

Thank you, Syd! You totally made my day!

"Mommy! Wow! I'm a big kid now!"

Monday, October 10, 2005

Dear Constant Reader...

Hello, all!

I would like to apologize for my current lack of new postings. I am working on two rather large entries (because, you know, I'm kind of wordy) right now, and I hope to have them both up by week's end.

In the meantime, I would like to pose a question to all of you "People 'o' BLOGLAND":

One night in college, a bunch of my friends and I were sitting around watching our school's Homecoming football game AND the Miss America pageant (yes, they always came on at the same time every year, so we made an event of it. We ordered pizza, drank beer and made fun of the various (and very vacuous) Miss America contestants, while simultaneously watching our college football team lose to Temple. Again. Ah, yes, you gotta' love the Big East...).

Anyway, during this annual event, a friend of mine oh-so RANDOMLY announced that she thought that the song, HERE COMES THE SUN (by the Beatles), ran through a person's mind while committing the act of homicide (don't you love that a night of football, pizza and Miss America bimbos can lead to a discussion of murder? Because THAT'S morbid...and, yet, strangely logical (I so LOATHE beauty pageants of any kind)).

Now, whenever I hear that song (which is A LOT lately because of the whole State Fair Exhibit theme), I always picture a scene out of some really bad 1970's murder-mystery movie. There is a guy and he is heading up the stairs - weapon in hand - supposedly on his way to "off" someone. The whole thing is in slow-motion, and the only noise that can heard is THAT stupid Beatles's song ("do-di-do-do")!

I always start to giggle at this point, because WHY would THAT song go through a killer's head in the first place?! "Here comes the". I mean, it is kind of ridiculous if you stop and think about it...

...Yet, I have a friend who DID (and now I KEEP thinking about it, too)!

Which leads me to my question (in a desperate attempt to think of something else the next time I have to listen to THAT song!):

What do YOU think about when you hear the song, HERE COMES THE SUN, by the Beatles?

P.S. If you say "murder" we are SOOOOOO in a fight!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Reason 567 why people in Highland Park are dumb...

This morning I saw a woman in a pink sweater at the Starbucks in the Highland Park Village. A THICK, pink sweater to be exact.

I know what you are thinking. You are asking yourself, "What is so 'dumb' about a woman in Highland Park wearing a sweater?"

Well, since you inquired (at least hypothetically), I'll tell you. It is supposed to be ninety-five freakin' degrees today in Dallas! And you do what?...Wear a thick sweater (obviously)!

I'm sorry. What?! When did it become socially acceptable to sacrifice "being practical" for "cute and trendy"? And, for that matter, when did it become "hip" to wear out-of-season apparel? Is the fashion industry bi-polar or just plain out of ideas?

Or maybe the HP Bimbo thought that if she dressed for cold weather that it would know...happen. There seems to be a lot of "entitlement" amongst the Parkies (as a species). Maybe she thought that she deserved cold weather because she had made such an oh-my-gawd-adorable-sweater-purchase? She'd already sacrificed practicality for the sake of the sweater, so we can therefore assume that "logic" and/or "brains" did NOT play a part in her early morning outfit selection.

Maybe her intelligence was bleached-out with her natural hair color?

Hehe (low blow, I know...)!

But I digress. No one really knows (or ever will) what goes into the "making" (or "make-up", if you prefer) of a Parkie. You might as well ponder the true meaning of life. The true meaning of life, at least, has an answer (presumably)...

In the end, we are left with the following assertion (made by me, of course):

Yes. While technically it is "fall" and no longer "summer", the weather in
Texas has yet to receive that memo. Therefore, please dress accordingly
(or I might decide to throw rotten fruit at you).


The HP Bimbo was also wearing gold, strappy sandals with seven inch heals, but that is a whole other problem. Apparently, where SHE was going, it was going to be cold and walking wasn't a priority.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Return of the Gnome...

So, the Gnome is back. Finally.

Incase you've forgotten about "The Fantastic One", click HERE for a refresher (and to read her latest posting).

Oh, and please feel free to remind her that she has a duty to her admiring public to post quasi regularly (despite her oh-so important commitments to her sorority, boy toy and frat parties everywhere).

The Lazy Gnome is the epitome of "The Ashley". In fact, I wouldn't be all that surprised if the Gnome wound up as a topic of discussion on The Phantom Professor's BLOG. SMU is NOT that big, after all (and the Gnome - despite her "vertically-challenged" stature - has a knack for being...uh...noticed).

Monday, August 29, 2005

So, apparently my "irrational fears" are contagious...

Over the course of the past five days or so, I have discovered that my dog (yes, little Gypsy Kitty) is, strike that...TERRIFIED of dust bunnies lurking in dark corners, colanders and (my personal favorite) pimento-cheese sandwiches. No joke. She is runaway-and-hide-with-her-tail-tucked-between-her-legs kind of scared.


Yeah, not a clue.

Whatever happened to that pet psychic on Animal Planet, because I'm starting to think that I could utilize her "abilities" right about now.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Why I (apparently) do not have good grasp of the English language...

So, in case anyone was wondering (or even noticed) I've been a little less than prolific on my BLOG as of late.

This is for (mainly) three reasons:

1. I mentioned that we had a "flood" of sorts in the building where I work. Besides trying to aid in the clean-up, I also had to cancel any and all educational activities in the museum for the immediate future (this was surprisingly time-consuming, in case you were wondering).

2. My grandmother was in and out of the hospital ER (don't worry, she is fine now).

3. I'm moving.

I actually have a lot to say about all of the above-mentioned events, but for the sake of this post I would like to focus solely on #3.

I'm moving.

Moving sucks. I hate moving. It is stressful, time-consuming and - quite frankly - irritating. Nothing about moving is easy. Nothing.

Take the whole process of switching the utilities into your name, for example. This is something that should be easy. After all, you WANT to have a service provided for you, and you are willing to PAY good money for it. So, you'd think that the "service provider" would work with you so they could TAKE your money by providing their service.

...But maybe that is bringing too much "logic" into it.

Anyway, I - like most people now-a-days - wanted power. So, I called electric company "A" to start the whole initiation-of-service-process about two weeks before my lease was to begin. Pretty typical, right?

Well, company "A" said that there would have to be a mandatory 3 to 7 day "black out period" in order for the electricity to be turned on in my name. Therefore, if I wanted the electricity put into my name on the 17th of August (for example), it might not ACTUALLY come on until the 24th.

This seemed a little ridiculous, so I inquired, "Why is that..."?

According to company "A", unless I transferred electrical service from the name of the "(then) current resident" into my name a "black out period "was a must.

I was like, "Fine, transfer the current account into my name then".

However, it wasn't quite that simple (nothing ever is, it seems). First, I had to have the "(then) current resident" of my soon-to-be-home call company "A" and give them permission to transfer the account into my name.

So, I called "Heather" (the "(then) current resident") and asked her if she would mind calling company "A" and giving them my name (and her permission, of course) so that I could avoid the mandatory "black out period" (as well as a hefty "service initiation fee" that, I assume, would be tacked on to my first bill).

Well, Heather (bless her heart) spent 2 hours on the phone with company "A" and they told her that no such "black out period" existed and that they didn't need her permission to transfer service into my name.

Interesting change of story...

Thus, I called company "A" back and tried AGAIN to transfer service into my name. However, attempt #2 was also unsuccessful because company "A" now claimed that they never had Heather has a client - past or present. Furthermore, they did not show the residence in question (i.e. my future home) as having any electrical service at all.

I thought that was a little weird. So, after calling Heather back (and verifying that she did indeed have electricity) I decided to call another electrical company altogether (we will call them company "B"), in order to open an account.

Well, company "B" put me on hold and disconnected me three times. When I finally did get a representative on the phone, they informed me that my future address currently had service with company "A", and that (since the account with company "A" was not in MY name) I could not initiate service with company "B".

I tried to explain that I was moving into the residence in question in the very near future (didn't seem to make a difference), and that I was a potential costumer very much interested in having electricity provided to me by company "B".

At this point, the representative from company "B" told me that a single residence cannot have multiple accounts with different electrical providers. Apparently, until I cancelled the current account at my future residence or transferred the account into my name, I would be unable to have electricity supplied by company "B".

This seemed a little ridiculous, so I tried reasoning with the representative from company "B"...

I tried again to explain to the representative from company "B" that the "(then) current residents" were moving out in the very near future, and that they had made arrangements to have their electrical service discontinued on the 16th. Thus, there never would be multiple accounts. Only ONE (seeing as though I wanted my service to begin on the 17th and the "(then) current residents" would have theirs discontinued the day before).

This all seemed to be perfectly rational to me.

However, the representative (who obviously did not rationalize much, if ever) told me to call company "B" back once the account with company "A" had been discontinued, cancelled or transferred. Once that had happened, company "B" would be (at that time) more than happy to initiate service with me.

I was like, "Great. Now what...?"

I was starting to get a little desperate at this point. So, I decided to called company "A" back the next day (against my better judgment).

This time, however, I was able to open an account (much to my relief) and the female representative told me that she'd be able to have the electricity turned on at my new home starting August 17th (with NO mandatory "black out period").

I was ecstatic and - consequently - found no need to question company "A's" abrupt change in policy (I was afraid they would change their mind if I did)!

I explained to the representative that I needed to do some work on the place before I moved in, and that I had scheduled the electrician for the morning of the 18th. I asked her if she thought I should cancel the electrical just in case the electricity wasn't on yet. She told me that I didn't need to worry. The power would be on by the 18th (her exact words were that the power would be on "sometime between 8 AM and 5 PM on the 17th of August").

That was good enough for me, so the process continued.

Today, when you open an account over the phone, you must have your voice recorded while agreeing to the "terms of service". We had to do this twice because - during the part where she asked me if I understood that my service would be on "BY the 18th" - I asked again if that meant that the power would be on BY the morning of the 18th (because I had workers scheduled to arrive at 8:30 AM). She said "yes" and informed me that she'd have to start the recording process over (because I'd messed it up by asking a question).

After we finished up with the second recording, the representative from company "A" repeated everything back to me (my account number, service initiation date, etc.). Everything seemed to be in order, but just to make sure I asked one more time about the workers coming on the morning of the 18th. The representative assured me - once again - that the power would be on sometime between 8 AM and 5 PM the day before.

"Are you sure," I ask one last time?

"Yes, ma'am. Your electricity will be on BY the morning of the 18th unless, of course, it rains."

"What do you mean by 'rain,'" I inquired (this was the first time I'd heard a reason why the power might not be on by the morning of the 18th)?

"Water falling from the sky, ma'am."

"Yes. I know what 'rain' means, thank you. So, I won't have power between 8 AM and 5 PM on the 17th if...what? If it is thunder-storming? If we are under a tornado warning? If it is just really, really humid outside?! What degree of 'rain' are we talking about here?"

"Ma'am, don't worry. We are only supposed to say that in case there is some kind of natural disaster where we are trying to repair large-scale power outages."

"Right. That makes since. So, the power should - most likely - be on by 8:30 on the morning of the 18th...?"

"Yes, ma'am."

So, we wrapped up our conversation and I hung up satisfied that - barring some kind of freak August storm-of-the-century kind of thing - I'd have power by 8:30 AM on August 18th. Thus, I went on with my business for the next couple of weeks and didn't think very much about the electricity issue (it was supposedly taken care of, after all).

That is until I discovered that the power wasn't on at my new place by 2 PM on August 17th. I remembered that it was supposed to be on somewhere between 8 AM and 5 PM, so I didn't panic. But - just to be safe - I decided to call company "A" and verify that the power would be on by 5 PM that afternoon. After all, I had workers coming the next morning and still had time to cancel before 5 PM if there had been a mix-up.

This was, apparently, my first BIG mistake.

The first time I called, company "A" claimed that they did not have me as a client AT ALL. This was alarming (to say the least), so I asked to speak to a supervisor. After waiting on hold for half an hour, I finally got one. He was able to verify that I was indeed a client, but did not have me scheduled to have my electricity turned on until August 22nd!


I told him that it was supposed to be on TODAY, and he told me that "was impossible". So, I asked to speak to his supervisor. After being on hold for another 15 minutes, I was mysteriously disconnected.

So, I called back and was disconnected again.

The third time, I was put on hold for twenty-five minutes before a lady came back on the line and told me that there was a possibility that they could get my power turned on if she sent an order down to the service department immediately. I told her that I'd like for her to do this (like NOW). She asked if I could hold while she called the service department. I said "Yes". I was on hold for 10 minutes before being disconnected yet again.

By the fourth call I was losing my patience. When the representative came on the line (I was - admittedly - a little short with her), I only briefly summarized my problem before asking to speak to her supervisor. She put me on hold. And (surprise, surprise) I was disconnected.

Call number five did not start out much better. I didn't even bother telling the representative why I was calling this time, though. I just immediately asked to speak to her supervisor. I was put on hold again, but - amazingly enough - this time I actually got a supervisor without being disconnected. I explained my problem to her, and she told me that she didn't think that there was anything that she could do. So, I asked to speak to her supervisor (and was put on hold again).

It was now going on 4:30 (4:22 PM to be exact).

At 4:45 PM, the lady who put me on hold came back on the line to ask if I was still there. I replied, "Yes". She thanked me for my patience and told me that I was "in queue" to speak to her supervisor. She assured me that it would only be a few more minutes.

At 4:55 PM, she came back on the line to tell me that her supervisor was still on the phone with another customer, but that I was next in line to speak with him.

At 5:04 PM, the supervisor's supervisor finally came on the line. I was furious, but tried to be polite (or, at least, civil). I explained to him my problem - starting with the electricity not being on yet (which was the initial reason for my phone call) and concluding with my experiences with his company over the course of the afternoon (I detailed to him all the people I had spoken to, how long I had been on hold, how many times I had been disconnected, etc.).

After I finished, he then - in an exasperated kind of way - asked me what I wanted him to do about it.

"Are you kidding me," I asked?

"No. Really, ma'am...what do you expect me to do about it?"

"Well, for starters I want you to turn on my power."

"Sorry. No-can-do."

"Uh, really...why not?!"

"Ma'am, it is after 5 PM. All of our service people have gone home already."

"How convenient for you," I snapped back (keep in mind, I was relatively pissed by now).

"Ma'am, I really don't know what you want me to do...?"

"[Interrupting]...I WANT you to get my power ON! Get it on by noon tomorrow, if you cannot uphold your end of the agreement by getting it on TODAY!"

"Ma'am, we never promised that we'd get your service on today."

"Yes, you did. I made sure of it. I have the electrician coming tomorrow morning at 8:30. Do you think that I would schedule an electrician to come to the house if I wasn't sure that the power would be on by then?"

"Ma'am, I don't know why you scheduled the electrician for tomorrow."

"I scheduled the electrician for tomorrow because your company's representative told me two weeks ago that - unless it rained - my power would be on BY the 18th. I even asked if I should reschedule the electrician and your company's representative said "no" because my power would be on long before he got to the house that morning."

"Ma'am, you agreed to have the power on by the 18th, is that correct?"


"Well, then we are not in violation of anything by not having it on today. This is your misunderstanding. Not ours."

"What are you talking about?!"

"We agreed to have your power on BY the 18th, which means that you should have power tomorrow sometime between 8 AM and 5 PM."

"No. I didn't want the power switched-on ON the 18th. I wanted the power turned on BY the 18th. There is a difference."

"No, ma'am. There is not a difference. 'ON' and 'BY' mean the same thing."

"No! No, they don't! 'ON' means 'ON the 18th' and 'BY' means 'BEFORE the 18th'!"

"Well, you obviously do not have a good grasp of the English language, then."

"Excuse me?! Are YOU really going to sit there and tell me that the words 'ON' and 'BY' mean the SAME thing? Are you KIDDING me?!"

"Well, ma'am I'm fluent in English and I don't understand the difference between the two words. They essentially mean the same thing. The way I see it, you're really at fault here for not being clearer with us about when you wanted your lights to come on. Plus, nothing you say at this point is going to change anything. Your power is going to come on tomorrow. To-morrow. What is the problem with waiting just one more day?"

"I'll tell you what the problem is. I scheduled workers for tomorrow morning. The workers need electricity, because they are ELECTRICIANS. Now, thanks to YOUR company, there won't be any. I've been on hold with you people for going on four hours now. One lady even told me that she could get it on TODAY before we got disconnected! And now it is after five, which you so brilliantly pointed out to me. It is too late to call the electrician and cancel him, so I'm going to have to pay him to do nothing when he shows up at the crack of dawn tomorrow morning. I'm going to be out of money for NOTHING all because your company cannot turn on the electricity when you said you would!"

"Ma'am, again - what do you want me to do about it? Do you want me to call down to the service department and get them to put a special order in to get your electricity turned on first thing tomorrow? Would that make you happy?"

"YES!!! At least then the electrician would be DOING something tomorrow while I'm paying him!"

"Fine. However, I'm not promising anything. I'm just saying that I'll put IN a request."

[Long pause. I could hear him typing.]


"Yes. I'm still here."

"Okay. That'll be $89.99."

"W H A T ??!!"

"Well, that is what it costs when you make LAST minute service changes like this."

"Are you KIDDING? You want ME to pay YOU $90 to type an email to the service department and strongly recommend that they turn on my power first thing tomorrow morning?!"

"Ma'am, it is ALL that I can do. Take it or leave it."

"$90! $90! For NO guarantees?! Really?! You must be kidding me! Does it go right into your personal checking account or something?"

"Ma'am, you can take it or leave it."

"No, thank you!"

"Fine. Then it is settled. Your power will be on tomorrow between 8 AM and 5 PM."


"Unless, of course, it rains and then it will be on sometime between the 18th and the 24th..."

That was the point where I hung up. There was just no point in continuing the conversation.

So, yeah...that WAS fun. A regular barrel of freakin' monkeys, if you ask me.

Just in case you were wondering, my power did come on the next day...It didn't come on until after 4 PM, but it did come on.

I half expected that tool-of-a-supervisor to cancel my order or something juvenile like that. What a jerk! I wonder if anyone has ever been stupid enough to pay the $90 to have him email someone in the service department - with no guarantees!