Thursday, February 23, 2006

"Deep Thoughts," by Deals...

Last weekend it was cold.

Not, like, Minnesota cold or anything, but Texas cold (in other words, it was in the upper 20s - temperatures that, according to local TV weather people, constituted a WINTER BLAST).

So, I guess, last weekend would best be described as being...well...rather chilly.

It was, however, cold enough that you could see your breath when you exhaled.

Back when I was in college in upstate New York, I lived in an apartment that was about 4 or 5 blocks from campus. Getting to and from campus, although the walk wasn't really all that far, could be absolutely miserable at times. It was the kind of cold that physically hurt. Exposed skin stung, and the very act of breathing could cause your nose hairs to freeze (which, might I add, makes it feel like you have boogers coming out of your nostrils. Not pleasant AT ALL).

Not surprisingly, when it was that kind of cold, I hated the walk to and from class. Dreaded it, actually. I'd get all bundled up (so that only my eyes were exposed), put my head into the wind and snow, and literately marched myself to campus. Yes, it was a march. It was icy, so running wasn't an option (plus, the cold air would make my lungs ache). My only recourse was to walk quickly, with a purpose.

On these daily marches to and from class, I would try not to think about how cold it was outside (or how I was slowly freezing to death on the inside). Instead, I would try to distract myself by thinking of other, more trivial, things.

One day, while I was walking home, I got to thinking about how I could still see my breath - even though my mouth was covered up by multiple layers of mask, scarf and ski jacket. I started to imagine that I was a little steam engine, chugging home (toot-toot). This thought, lead me DIRECTLY to the subject of farts (or "toots", if you prefer), which is when the following suddenly occurred to me:

"If I can see my breath, even though my mouth is covered up by multiple layers of clothing - what would happen if I passed gas on a cold day, like today? Would I be able to see that, too?"

This very thought made me stop short. I started to worry about all of those times that I had farted walking around outside on days like that one. Now, I'm not crude or anything, but sometimes - when you are walking by yourself and no one else is around - the need arises, you know? I'm not, like, letting one rip in public or anything like that, but sometimes it is possible to...kind of...let one seep out kind of...discreetly.

Anyway, what if every time I had done that a little puff had been visible from behind? How horrible would that be!

I was suddenly many people had SEEN me fart?! And, more importantly, WHY HAD NO ONE TOLD ME?!

I was so embarrassed, until it occurred to me that maybe no one could see it if I passed gas outside when it was cold. Maybe farting was different than breathing?

But I needed to know. I needed to know for sure.

There could be no question about this. No doubt. No nothing.

So, over the course of the next several weeks, I would try to pass gas on my way to campus when no one else was around know...SEE it. Then, I'd do a quick 180 to see if I could make out the puff still lingering in the air.

For about a week, I was completely convinced that you could see my farts when it was cold. That was, at least, until I realized that I was just seeing my breath. It hadn't occurred to me to stop breathing during my...experiments.

So, I had to spend the next week retesting. And, tragically, the results were inconclusive.

I tried again the following week, and the results were the same. Sometimes I thought I could see a puff and other times I wasn't so sure.

Frustrating. Very frustrating.

This whole process was getting me nowhere. I needed someone to help me - someone that could witness the process from behind, and let me know for sure.

Thus, I mustered up all of my courage, and asked my college roommate, C, if she' me solve a problem that I was having.

She said, "Sure," and asked what it was.

So, I told her.

And you know what she did?

She laughed at me!

C told me that no one could see a fart - no matter how cold it was.

Then, she laughed some more.

I thought a lot about what C said. I wanted to believe her, but *alas* I was still unsure. To this day, if it is cold outside, I worry about what I will do if I suddenly have the urge know...toot.


Sometimes it is hard being me.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Yet another reason why the City of Dallas is "special"...

Over the course of the past six months, as you may recall, I have complained about the various things that drive me crazy about the City of Dallas.

And, no, nothing has changed.

The City of Dallas is STILL completely inefficient and disorganized.

They drive me crazy, mainly because they do nothing (and do it in a matter that is NOT described as being "timely").

Anyway, as you may or may not remember, the museum where RR and I work has flooded twice in four months. This, as you might have guessed, is ALWAYS a good thing.

The second flood occurred on December 7th, which completely explains why the City just showed up yesterday (yes, that would be February 13th) to clean the carpets. Because, you know, making them wet again is really the answer at this point. Heaven forbid they actually, I dunno’, replace the carpeting this time around. I don't know about every one else, but I'm guessing that normal-not-flooded-on-twice-carpet does not go "crunch, crunch" when you walk on it.

Stupid city...

AND – to make matters worse - they sent out workers to clean the carpets that had NO IDEA how to operate the carpet-cleaning machinery. Because that’s the definition of competence! Not to mention the reassuring feeling you get when the so-called professionals are in the hallway trying to figure out where the “ON” switch is located.

However, my FAVORITE thing is that the City is completely unfazed by the fact that we have MOLD growing in the walls of the building. Because you ALWAYS want mold growing in the walls of a historic site (not to mention a facility containing an archive). That's a super-swell combo, let me tell you.

You know what makes it even better?...the fact that it is growing in RR's office, which - since RR is our resident Archivist - shares a common wall with the archives. I mean, can it get any worse?!

Oh, can! Since the building is sinking, there is a two-inch gap between RR's office wall and the floor. This means that all mold spores are free to transport themselves on the Airborne Express from RR's office - through the fun gap between the floor and the wall - right into the archives. Brilliant, I tell you! Brilliant!

But, wait. There is more. The City of Dallas has not one, but TWO new mottos. Ah, yes. New mottos (because THAT is what the City needs right now - not a swift kick to the A** but new city slogans). Any guess as to what they are? No?..

Okay, I'll tell you:

    1. "Dallas - together, we do it better!"

    2. "The City that Works: Diverse, Vibrant & Progressive"

Because, you know...obviously!

My question: Is the City kidding, or are they just trying to give themselves something to, say, strive for?

Friday, February 10, 2006

Arnold, Arnold, Arnold (and, no, I am not kidding)...

Not only does this exist, but you can buy it.

Even more worrisome, is that there is a market for this kind of crap music, and that some people (in all seriousness) refer to this CD as, "good workout music".

JCOL, I'm pretty sure that Arnold wasn't up for a GRAMMY for this "album" the other night (or that this constitutes "popular music" in the first place), but it made me laugh regardless.

Happy Friday, everyone!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

On the subject of color photographs...

So, incase you didn't notice, Katie has changed her profile picture.

No warning, no nothing. Just *BAM!* new photo. We, her reading public, are expected to adjust accordingly (a concept that is often referred to as "adapt or parish" on ANIMAL PLANET, but I digress).

This is not the first time that Katie has done this, either. Her first profile picture (at least to my knowledge) had her staring at the ground - looking rather pensive. It always made me speculate:

Then, because my mind wonders, I'd imagine that she was really pondering:

or (after today):

Anyway, I was (originally) a little sad about this latest change in "Katie Imagery" because I never got to ask about the "random nose" in the old...errrrr...I mean, second profile picture.

I’ve always assumed that the nose belonged to Jes who – for whatever reason – was dressed up like JEM, the cartoon rock star from the mid 1980's...

...but that would mean the picture was taken at some sort of Halloween or costume-requisite event or party. However, since Katie did not appear to be in costume, this did not make a whole lot of sense (unless, of course, Jes is the kind of person who randomly puts on a masquerade, which - quite frankly - might be a possibility when it comes to Jes...who knows?!).

Then, I saw something that made me think differently:

This further supported the costume party idea, but I was still lacking in the "proof" department. Well, that is until I remembered seeing THIS POST from Halloween, 2005, on Katie's BLOG.

So, Katie HAD posted about it - complete with pictures - way back in October! My mystery was really not a mystery at all! It's a wonder that I didn't make the connection before today (actually I find it to be a little embarrassing, to be honest).

The worst moment for me, though, was in learning that Jes's costume that night was, in fact, "Sydney Bristow" - not JEM.

Anyway, no worries. I am never "mystery-less" for long (I'm special that way). I already have a new one surrounding Katie's most recent picture.

Want to know what it is?


Okay, here you go:

Hehe...just kidding.

That's not what I really think about when I see the picture (although, I can't say that I'm not curious, never-the-less).

The new "Katie Photo" actually makes me think of a very specific story - a story that, might I add, was the reason that I decided to post about Katie's new picture in the first place.

Every time I see the new photo of Katie in black and white, it reminds me of last spring when a group of kids came to the museum on a tour. They were young (probably 4th graders) and I was showing them a bunch of pictures that were taken in Texas back in the in the 1930's.

Needless to say, the pictures were all in black and white.

One little boy raised his hand and asked me, "So, when the world got color, why didn't they add color to these old pictures, too?"

The little booger actually thought that, in the past, the ENTIRE world - not just old photographs - was in black and white. People were in black and white, and they only saw each other in black and white. Water, mountains, the sun - all were represented in shades of gray. It wasn't the film or the technology of the time - it was the WORLD that was colorless.

Where do you even begin to correct this...this...this misconception?!

After all, this little boy had seen old movies, so he knew that it was true. According to him, the very concept of "color" was a quasi-recent phenomenon.


So, every time I see Katie's new profile photo, that is the story that will come to my mind. I will think of THAT little boy and wonder aloud, "Katie, you must be a whole lot older than you say you are if you had your picture taken WAY back before the Earth had color".

Alas. Kids today...

Monday, February 06, 2006

In preparation for the upcoming Olympic Games...

Somebody please explain to me how people "fall" into this sport.

How do you even begin practicing for it?

And, furthermore, what kind of parents ALLOW their child to DO this?

I mean, really! Did ya'll hear what happened to Emily Cook right before the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake? Here, let me refresh your memory:

"The top U.S. female aerialist leading up to the Salt Lake Games, Cook secured herself a spot on the Olympic team with a win at the 2001 Gold Cup. But two weeks later, and two weeks before the Opening Ceremony, she landed awkwardly during a training jump in Lake Placid and caused serious damage to both feet. With the Olympic aerials competitions taking place in her hometown of Park City, Cook watched from a wheelchair with a cast on both feet. In her right foot, 'the better one,' Cook had small fractures and tore all the ligaments. That foot was in a walking boot and couldn't bear weight for six weeks. But in her left foot, she had significant fractures, tore all the ligaments and had a considerable dislocation of the midfoot. Cook underwent two major surgeries, both on the left foot, and after each surgery, she couldn't bear weight for three months."

- Read more about Emily Cook's story here.

Uh, ouch..!

So, yeah, Emily is back for the 2006 Olympics in Torino. I think her story is absolutely amazing and fundamentally inspirational.

Think about it, though. How do you go back to something that almost permanently crippled you? I mean, kudos to Emily for overcoming a major (almost career ending) injury as well as having the guts, courage and determination to fight her way back to where she is today - but the ENTIRE accident four years ago was caused by a gust of wind (as opposed to landing, "awkwardly during a training jump in Lake Placid" - talk about the understatement of the year!!). Seriously. A gust of wind that blew her off balance ever so slightly, and sent her crashing to the ground.

Her feet were shattered. Shattered! Doctors thought that she may never walk again (much less ski).

I guess, I am a little more "in tune" with my overall sense of mortality. It's like if you put your hand on a hot stove, and burn yourself. It hurts, so you learn to avoid putting your hand on a hot stove in the future. Similarly, if I fell off a mountain and broke shattered my feet, I think I'd elect to avoid that activity in the future.

…But then there is Emily. Here is someone that does something dangerous, gets hurt in the process, almost loses the ability to walk, and then says, "Let's go do that again"!

So, I've decided that I'll be rooting for Emily starting this Friday. If it were up to me, I'd give her a gold metal for just qualifying for the Olympics after her ordeal four years ago.

As they say in Rugby: "Is everybody with me?"

(Answer: "You bet your a** we are!")

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

So, yes, I am a copycat...

I'm stealing this idea from AMSTAFF's BLOG (who got it from Tracey who lifted it from Sheila who borrowed it from Mental Multivitamin who found it at Book Moot who took it from Big A Little a who came by it via Geeky Mom who was referred by Dorcasina who discovered it at Badger's site who saw it at Claire's who noticed it at BrightStar's who was alerted by Lucy who stumbled upon it at Lifehacker's who - apparently - was the first one in the chain to find out about SnapShirts and Word Clouds).

So, without further ado, here is my January, 2006, Word Cloud: