Friday, May 26, 2006

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

And without further ado...

(depending on your perspective…)

My mother (a.k.a. "Grammy Pammy") is a private pilot with a commercial rating. Very impressive if you ask me. Her husband, Nightcourt, is a pilot as well and the two of them enjoy flying themselves all over the country in their small, twin-engine Piper Navajo. They take aviation very seriously – to the extent that my mother has a bumper sticker on the back of her red jeep that reads, "My other car is an airplane". If you happen to pass her on the highway, please feel free to honk (Zeus likes the attention).

Anyway, it really came as no surprise when I learned that my mom and her husband would be flying us down to Galveston to catch our cruise ship. Although, we did get a late start because my stepbrother (who's just finishing up his sophomore year in high school) decided to take an exceptionally long shower before he was ready to fly on "Grammy Pammy Air". Because, you know, some strange, hot girl might randomly be flying down with us and he wouldn’t want to smell. Teenagers...

Well, the flight was more or less uneventful. My mom flew the plane, while her husband sat right seat and proceeded to TAKE THE PLANE APART MIDFLIGHT. No, I'm not kidding. There I am in the back of the plane, watching the co-pilot unscrew this and Velcro that. So, I decided to jot down a note and pass it up to the cockpit that read, "For the record, it's a little disconcerting to see the co-pilot putting the plane back together with a screwdriver and some Velcro...” My stepfather quickly responded with, "It's only the Velcro that keeps us in the air." So, yeah, that was fun (and a little nerve-racking).

We did land safely in Galveston, however, so no worries. Well, at least, not until I walked into airport and heard that Celine Dion song, MY HEART WILL GO ON, playing over the speakers. Since I didn't feel that it was appropriate to listen to the theme song from the movie THE TITANIC an hour before boarding a cruise ship, I turned around and waited outside until the song played its course.

Anyway, I kept a quote book while on the cruise. I figured that the quotes and the pictures would speak for themselves. Enjoy:

DAY I (5/7/06) – GALVESTON

Trevor: “What’s a ‘mustard’ and why do we have to do it?”

Upon returning to our cabin after the muster drill, I noticed my mom struggling to unbuckle her life vest:
Mom: “Help! What am I doing wrong? I’m stuck!”
Deals: [Quickly unsnapping the life vest and freeing Mom] “There you go.”
Mom: “How’d you do that?!”
Deals: “It’s okay, Mom. You’re just one of those special people that require some extra assistance.”

Trevor: [Looking nervously at the cruise ship docked directly in front of us] “I hope the ship can cut around the Carnival.”
[Five minutes pass…]
Trevor: [With obvious relief] “Oh, good. We don’t have to worry about going around the Carnival because the Carnival is leaving!”

Mom: “What’s going on right now?”
Trevor: “Well, there’s an alcohol tasting going on right now.”
Mom: “Let’s go!”

Mom: “Are we coming back to the bar before dinner?…I mean ‘the room’?”

Deals: "You know how I remember our cabin number?”
Mom: “No. How?”
Deals: “8046 – the years of our births!”
Mom: “Oh, right…Hey, wait a minute!”
[Note: My mom was born in the 1950s]

Trevor: “Okay. We gotta go. The theater is starting to fill up.”
Deals: “But the show doesn’t start for another twenty minutes.”
Trevor: “But I want to get good seats.”
Deals: “Uh, okay.”
[Trevor runs ahead while Deals stops off in the bathroom]
Deals: [Upon entering the theater…] “Where’s Trevor? Up front?”
Mom: “No. He’s upstairs.”
Deals: “Why?”
Mom: “I dunno. He seemed really excited about sitting in the balcony.”
Deals: “Why?”
Mom: “I dunno. Don’t make fun of him. He’s really excited about sitting way up in the balcony for some reason. Just go along with it. Poor guy – he’s just so excited. It’s almost cute.”
Deals: “What a dork!”
Mom: “Don’t call him a dork!”
[Upon finding Trevor and sitting down]
Mom: “Don’t worry, Trevor. I like where we are sitting.”
Trevor: “Yeah. We are way up high. We are above everyone else.”
Deals: “Uh, huh. Whatever.”

Deals and Trevor [in unison]: “Oh, no way! They are playing JOURNEY!”
[Note: Upon arriving in Key West the next day, I immediately called RR on my cell phone to let her know that they played Journey (her favorite band, like, EVER) and we thought of her]

Mom: “I cannot get a signal on my cell phone. You’d think they could put an antenna up on one of those floating oil derricks or something.”
Trevor: “Yeah! Or at least on a buoy!”
Mom: “Deal[s]! Quite laughing! It’s a good idea!”

Mom: “Oh, no! I entered the wrong number on the safe. It’s counting down. I think it’s going to explode!”

Deals: “Do you think that [the almost bride] will want to hang out with us?”
Trevor: “Probably not.”
Deals: “Why?”
Trevor: “Well, you went up to say ‘hello’ and she started to cry. I’m guessing that wasn’t a good sign.”

Deals: “I think I’ll cash out now before I loose any more.”
Mom: “How much are you getting back?”
Deals: “$11.50. I like how, when you cash out of the slot machine, it sounds like you are winning.”
[Not 10 minutes later in the theater…]
Mom: “Wow! That is a lot of winnings! How much do you think it adds up to?”
Deals: “$11.50.”
Mom: “How do you know that just by looking?”
Deals: “I’m Rainman.”

DAY II (5/8/06) – DAY AT SEA

Deals: [Calling Trevor on the phone to wake him up…] “Good morning starshine! The Earth says ‘hello’!”
Mom: “Oh! That’s from that WILLY WONKA movie that they play over and over on our one station.”
Deals: “I think we get more than one station, Mom.”
Mom: “Really?”
Deals: “Yeah. You just have to hit the channel up or down button.”
Mom: “Oh, that makes sense.”

Mom: “Hey, Deal[s]? Will you hand me my bathing suit?”
Trevor: “Where is it?”
Deals: “Right here. Uh…where are the bottoms? Mom? Are you already wearing the bottoms?”
Mom: “No. Do I need them?”
Deals: “What do you think I said?”

Mom: “Hey, Trevor? Did you hear that noise?”
Trevor: “Yeah.”
Mom: “What do you think it is?”
Trevor: “I dunno…the shuffleboard upstairs?”
Mom: “Oh, good. I was worried that we kept hitting a whale or something.”

Deals: [Running to the bathroom and opening the door to find Grammy Pammy in formal dress laying in the bathtub…] “Oh, my word! Are you okay?”
Mom: “Uh, no. Does it look like I am okay? I’ve just fallen into the bathtub. Of course I’m not okay!”

DAY III (5/9/06) – KEY WEST

Deals: “I HATE Dan-Dan-the-Party-Man. It’s too early to be announcing bingo over the ship’s loud speakers – much less in multiple languages!”

Deals: “Why are our neighbors hammering?”
Mom: “I dunno. Why not? It’s a cruise. Perfect place to hammer.”
Deals: “It’s 8 AM! I hate them! Hammering at 8 AM should be illegal!”

Mom: “Deal[s]…wake up. Have you seen my watch?”
Deals: “It’s in your backpack.”
Mom: “My backpack? Why?”
Deals: “I dunno. That’s where you put it last night."

Mom: “Yeah. I ‘celebrated’ a bit too much last night.”
Deals: “But you cleaned up at Blackjack!”
Trevor: “Yeah. How’d you do that?”
Mom: “Did I really win?”
Trevor: “Yeah. You won $36.”
Mom: “Wow! Really?”

Mom: “I think I’m getting sunburned.”
Deals: “Here. Put on more sunscreen and don’t forget your ears.”
Mom: “Yes, Mom!”

Deals: “I like how they let us snorkel for, like, 45 minutes before they take us out of the water, put us in kayaks, and tell us that they’ve seen three sharks in the last two minutes. Then, just like a good piece of trivia, they tell us that Florida is the shark bite capital of the world – more than everywhere else combined. So, yeah, I feel secure.”
Mom: “I’m just glad I’m in a boat now…”

Mom: “What’s making that burping noise?”
Kayaking Guide: “It’s a bird. See it up in the tree? Yeah, they are like bats with wings.”
Deals: “Really? ‘Bats with wings’? Not ‘rats with wings’?”
Mom: “Shhhh…he’ll hear you!”
Deals: “Serves him right for messing up the cliché and making zero sense in the process.”

Deals: “I think we were the most coordinated kayakers out there.”
Mom: I agree. We were going really fast.”
Deals and Grammy Pammy [responding to Trevor’s laughter in unison…]: “Shut up, Trevor!”

Mom: [On the phone with her husband in Key West…] “Yep. I saw a dolphin’s ‘lipstick’ today.”

Deals: “Oh, WOW! It’s a kitty that looks like Gypsy. It’s a Gypsy Kitty!”

Mom: “Had I known we’d be walking all the way to Hemingway’s house, I would have worn different shoes.”
Deals: “The price of looking cute, huh?!”
Mom: “I know! It’s so unfair.”

Mom: “Oh, no! You killed the bunny!”
Deals: “I thought it was a swan.”
Trevor: “A swan? What a swan with two heads?”
Mom: “And big ears?”
Deals: “Oh…is that what that is? Oh, now I see it now. Why does his head fall off like that?”
Mom: “Well, it didn’t before you killed him.”

DAY IV (5/10/06) – DAY AT SEA

Mom: “Did you turn in the camera you found in the theater?”
Deals: “Yes.”
Mom: “Do you think they have my missing pajama top in lost-and-found?”
Deals: “Probably not.”
Mom: “Well, they might. I’ll ask.”
[Pause while Grammy Pammy goes to the desk to inquire about her missing PJ top]
Deals: “Did they have it?”
Mom: “They said that they haven’t found it yet, but I should check back later.”
Deals: “Right…just incase it shows up or someone turns it in.”

Deals: “You know Gypsy Kitty is an endangered species.”
Mom: “Really? Says who?”
Deals: “Well, she’s afraid of everything so she is constantly ‘in danger’!…Get it? ‘In danger’?!”
Mom: “Oh. Ha. Ha.”

Playing QUEST -
Deals: “Wait! I can’t get my bra on Trevor properly. Mom! Quick! Hand me yours…”

Trevor: “Why did you have to put lipstick all around my mouth instead of just on my lips?”
Deals: “I wanted to make sure that they’d see it.”

Mom: “Poor Trevor. He puts up with so much. Look at him up there in a long line wearing two bras, make up and carrying a purse.”
Deals: “Hey! He isn’t the only one who suffered playing this game. I put his dirty, smelly sock in my mouth!”
Mom: “I’m sure what he’s going thorough right now is worse.”
Deals: “Have you ever gotten a 'wif' of his feet?”

Trevor: “Where can we get false teeth?”
Deals: “Hold on…I’ll ask that old guy over there.”
Deals: “Does anyone have a comb?”
Trevor: “No. I don’t have a comb. Wait. Why does he need a comb to remove his false teeth?”
Deals: “He doesn’t. It just dawned on me that a comb also has false teeth and no 'old man spit'.”

DAY V (5/11/06) – GRAND CAYMAN

Mom: [Showing off the place on her arm where she got “sucked on” by a stingray during our ULTIMATE STINGRAY SNUBA excursion] “I got SUCKED! See my battle wound?! I hope it gets all swollen and ugly…you get more pity that way.”

Trevor: “A stingray gave your mother a hickey…”

The Captain from the Bridge: “The Cayman Trench is 25,000 feet deep. If you took Mount Everest, which at 29,000 feet is the tallest mountain in the world, only 4,000 feet would be left above the water. Now there’s some deep water!”
Deals: “Wow…our Captain is quiiiiick!”

Overheard while watching the evening performance in the cruise ship’s theater:
Trevor: “Why does she look like something from outer space?”
Mom: “Yeah. Like someone on Star Trek.”
Trevor: “Or Cher.”

DAY VI (5/12/06) – COZUMEL

Man at Jewelry Store (MAJS): "Hey, should buy your wife a pretty piece of jewelry."
Trevor: "Actually, she's my girlfriend, not my wife."
MAJS: "Well, then you've come to the right place. We have a good selection of engagement rings..."
Trevor: "No, thanks. I don't think she's ready for that."
MAJS: "Oh, she's ready. She's a woman. Women like weddings. I think the problem is you. Why you no want to marry her? She's pretty."
Trevor: "Believe me, I'm trying. She's just not ready. Really."
MAJS: "Okay, but when she gets ready, you come back here to buy the ring, yes?"
Trevor: "Sure."

On our bike riding excursion through the Mayan Ruins:
Mom: “Sorry I’m going so slowly. It’s just so bumpy.”
Guide: “This? Bumpy? You haven’t seen anything yet.”
Mom: “Is it too late to turn around and go back?”

Deals: “I cannot believe you sabotaged your bike so you wouldn’t have to ride it anymore!”
Mom: “I didn’t break it on purpose. I hit a rock.”
Deals: “Sure. Sure you did!”

Mom: "You should have seen it. While I was in the shower, all the water was brown with the mud running off my legs.”
Trevor: “Yeah. I know what you mean. I showered and then got out to dry off. When I went to dry my legs, the towel turned all brown. I guess I missed a few spots.”
Deals: “Please tell me you got back in and washed better the second time!”
Trevor: “Maybe.”

Mom: [At dinner…] “At first I felt like I was holding everyone up because I was going so slow. But then I hit a rock and the chain came off. I had to walk the bike up the trail until I caught up with everyone. It was at that point that I realized that I could walk my bike faster than they were all pedaling.”

Trevor: “Oh, no! All the balcony seats are taken! Now we’ll have to sit down there with all the…the common people!”

Onboard Comedian: “Walking doofi.”

Deals: "Oh, no."
Trevor: "What?"
Deals: "Do you hear that?"
Trevor: "Hear what?"
Deals: "That song!"
Trevor: "What song?"
Deals: "The one that they are playing right now over the loud speakers."
Trevor: "I hear it, but I can't make out the tune."
Deals: "It's Celine Dion's MY HEART WILL GO ON. It's the second time I've heard it since I left Dallas. The first time was at the airport in Galveston. I cannot believe that they are playing it on the boat, though! It has got to be bad luck to play the love them from the movie THE TITANIC on a giant cruise ship! Are they asking for an iceberg?"

Sitting outside on our cabin’s balcony:
Deals: “I’m sorry, but it makes no sense to me. Why would we turn around and go all the way back to Cozumel for a medical emergency? Why not go to Cancun? Cancun is so much closer. Cozumel is, like, four hours away from here! Cancun is right there! Right there! And you know that Cancun has hospitals, too. Cozumel doesn’t have exclusive rights to the medical profession in Mexico, at least not the last time I checked. If this was really a matter of life and death, then I’d be worried that going all the way back to Cozumel might kill me! They don’t even generate their own electricity in Cozumel. They have to get it from the mainland. Something else is going on here. I smell a conspiracy.”
Mom: “I smell Mexico.”
Trevor: “Really? What does that smell like?”
Mom: “I dunno. Like a blend of sunscreen, leather and chili.”

DAY VII (5/13/06) – DAY AT SEA

Mom: "What’s wrong with Trevor? He seems a little down.”
Deals: “He entered his post-vacation depression this morning.”
Mom: “But we are still on vacation.”
Deals: “Tell me about it.”

Mom: “So, what did you think of the beginning of WILLY WONKA?”
Deals: “Nothing. I fell asleep. What did you think?”
Mom: “I dunno. I fell asleep, too.”
Deals: “Great. Now we’ll never know. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two scenes in the movie. One where Violet turns into a blueberry, and the other one with the cute, trained squirrels.”
Mom: “I don’t like that girl with the squirrels. She’s spoiled.”
Deals: “No. She’s a ‘bad nut’.”

Trevor: “Let’s dance.”
Deals: “Okay.”
[Deals starts to move towards dance floor]
Trevor: [Looking at dance floor and seeing no one on it…] “Why don’t we just dance here?”
Deals: “Because we’d be blocking traffic.”
Trevor: “No we wouldn’t…”
Group of Old Ladies: “Excuse me.”

Deals: “Do you think Dad would like this or this?”
Mom: “Neither. Get him a cigar.”
Deals: “I hate it when you do that.”
Mom: “Do what?”
Deals: “Assert the fact that you were married to the man for 23 years and still know him better than I do.”
Mom: “Well, yeah. Just don’t tell him that. It might take all the pleasure out of smoking the cigar.”


Mom: “Oh, no! I just realized that I’m going to miss the soft-serve ice cream. Maybe we should just stay on the boat for another week.”
Deals: “Too late. They’ve already pushed our beds together in our cabin for the next people.”
Mom: “Darn.”

Mom: “And now it’s time for the cruise ship ‘hurry-up-and-wait’ routine.”

Mom: “Wait! You are going the wrong way!”
Deals: “No, I’m not.”
Mom: “But the door is over there.”
Deals: “No, it isn’t.”
Mom: “Oh, yeah. You’re right. Never mind.”
Deals: “Wasn’t that the whole reason you sent us to boarding school?…So, you could have children that could navigate airports like no one’s business?”
Mom: “Precisely.”
Deals: “Well, I’m glad I could be here for you. If I wasn’t, you’d currently be staring at a brick wall looking for an opening.”


Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Kids say...errr...write the darnedest things...

I received a bunch of "Thank You" Letters from several of the student groups that visited the museum recently. These letters always crack me up, and I thought I'd take this opportunity to share a few of my favorites with everyone.

(Be patient, AM. I haven't forgotten to post pictures from my cruise. I just need to get my photos put on a disk first.)

Quotes from “Thank You” Letters to the Docents:

“I am so glad you showed us the big room, it gave me a whole new look on art. I loved it when we talked about heroes. And when you explained the pose of each statue down to the last detail, that was my favorite, except when you spent fifteen minutes explaining the mural.” – John

“My favorite thing of all was the big mural of all the different things going on.” – Blake

“Thanks for pointing out that the Six Flags Theme Park was named because there were six flags over Texas.” – Bevida

“I now know that that big white building is in fact a monument to our state.” – Chris

“I learned if we were to study the mural it would take weeks.” – Gabie

“Your contributing to our visit made it even better.” – Shannon

“I also thought putting all the Texas Heroes in one hall was clever.” – Katie

“I liked to see the Hall of Heroes as well. The statues were as real as they get. And to see the space ships was cool too. I loved it there.” - Andrew

“I cannot thank you enough for guiding me through the wonderful lair of Texas History…You also presented the murals on the walls in a way that really grasped my interest…I especially loved the story of James Fannin. The way you told us his story grabbed me.” – Jordan

“The Hall of Heroes was cool because I knew some of the people who were in there.” – Alex

“I deeply enjoyed all the facts that you gave us about our own country…You were very patient with our class, and I respect that.” - Elliott

“You knew exactly how to make things interesting.” – Ellyn

“Also I liked the chairs that you cannot sit in. I liked them because Queen Elizabeth sat in one of them…In the Great Hall I liked the big Gold Seal because it was so big and most of all it was gold.” – Jarrod

“I remember how you talked about the Gold Statue in the front.” – Tommy

“You helped me for sure to better understand some facts about history.” – Austin

“The Great Seal was almost awe-inspiring.” – Isla

“I also found the door at the entrance that was made out of metals very interesting.” – Stephanie

“Just the front of the Building made it look very honorable as you would say.” – Andrew

“The ceiling lights were really different from regular ones. I like the one that looks like the UFO. Do you have a favorite picture or statue?” – Robert

“I thought you were great because I heard everything you said…You told us about the chairs and who sat in it and what and who was in the paintings. You told us that the lights in each room were different and same as the granite floor. It was great to have you as our guide. I thank you very much for choosing to help us rather than the other class.” – Kit

“You also let us see the different ceilings of rooms and you taught us what they meant.” - Annie

“I thought it was so cool because I have learned about him already.” – Maggie

“You really knew what you were talking about!” – Connor

“Thank you for being so kind to serve as our docent. I can honestly say that I learned a lot from my visit…The Great Seal was also very eye-catching. I also loved the 'Clothing Back in the Day' exhibit.” – Julia

“I also noticed that you knew your stuff!...How did you get to learn so much about Texas History? Was it your favorite subject in school?” – Ryan

“I admire your patience with us.” – Jessica

“The Great Seal was so big and shiny.” – Brian

“You did a great job! You made this field trip for me interesting and fun…You know so much about your job, you were great! You are the best tour guide that I know.” – Elisa

“I’ve never been there before and I think I might come back.” – Christian

“I want to thank you for giving us a tour. I know handling a group of kids isn’t easy. The most amazing thing, I thought, was the mural where the people were dirt. I thought that it properly explained how we use too much of our resources.” - Emily

“All the seventh graders are thankful that you were our docent.” – Gina

“Thank you for showing us the room where they showed us what the people wore back then. They did not have a very good since of style back then. Thank you for showing us the mural with the people in the ground. Then you showed when they were part of the tree.” – Nick

“This field trip would not be possible without you. In other words thank you.” – Michael

“I thought that was interesting because I didn’t know that was there until you told me.” – Olivia

“I learned that the people in the dirt represent oil.” – Claire

“You made this trip more enlightening than I ever dreamed.” – Joseph

“Thank you for being a wonderful tour-guide for my class, I know that it was deeply appreciated…I hope you keep doing a great job. My class and I are very grateful, and I believe some of us will return.” – Peter

“That was an entertaining field trip thanks to you. You may be old but you sure know a lot about your history. You taught me a lot about Texas History. You are a sweet lady and a good tour guide. I paid attention to all of the things that you said.” – Thomas

“In my opinion, you were a great tour guide!” – Christine

“Thank you for taking time out of your day.” – Melanie

“One thing I learned that I didn’t know was the gold oil on the mural at the big hall. Also when you showed us the mural with the bodies on the ground that was dirt.” – Laura

“I will always remember the time I discovered the six soldiers around the lamppost…If you weren’t there to guide us we would all be lost.” – Mark

“The knowledge you know shocks me!...Hopefully I’ll come back to get the full tour!” – Sara

“I’m not a huge artist and I loved it!...I like those puzzle-type things.” – Erin

“I also thought that it was amazing how much you know about history. You must really enjoy it.” – Ellie

“I bet it wasn’t easy to talk that whole time. However, I think you did great. You didn’t ramble on or get off the subject.” – Chris

“Thank you so much for enlightening my class…I think it’s cool that everything stands for something…Thank you again for your patience and effort.” – Ify

“Thanks for tour. Also, sharing all that useful information about our history. Along with that, making us use our minds to answer the questions….I’m just trying to say thank you. Maybe we will visit again soon.” – Vanessa

“Thank you for leading us around on our tour. If it was someone else, I’m not sure how much of it I would have remembered and understood…I never really cared for museums, but I enjoyed this one very much…You are great at what you do. Having you as our guide was much better than last time when I had a grumpy old guy.” – Paul

“You were very educated when it counted…I’m thankful you were patient with us. You also put up with us even when we were bored.” – Daniel

“My favorite part was all the murals. It was cool to see what they showed and how it represented something.” – Michelle

“It was also cool learning about the stories of the six flags over Texas. I did not know that those flags actually meant something!” – Vinny

“Everything was the way it was for some reason.” – Claire

“Without your help I would have missed the meaning of almost everything. Thank you for putting up with us when we were so loud at the bathroom.” – Jordan

“I also enjoyed looking at all the old stuff that belonged to many old famous people…Another thing I liked were the big statues of the heroes of Texas. I thought they were huge. Anyway you were great.” – Sarah

“I learned so much. One thing I learned was that Texas was the 28th state in the United States. Thank you for teaching me that!” – Dee

“The hall of heroes was awesome although Fannin shouldn’t be there…I can’t wait to one day go back to the downstairs.” – Amy

“From studying Texas History all year I didn’t know how much more I could learn. But boy was I wrong.” – Stephen

“You also were very nice. You asked questions we knew.” – Lindsey

“I also enjoyed the mural because it was all stuff I knew and could explain. I also knew a lot of stuff about the heroes and the mural. I was the one who you said had the answer to many questions. I just knew all of it.” – Brian

“You knew exactly what you were talking about, that was a good thing! I also liked how you let us tell you what we knew about the subject, and even when we were wrong you didn’t put us down. You just added on. You knew what every little symbol meant, which was a real jaw dropper!! You were really nice and took in all of our ideas.” – Kristina

“I looked in our text book about the question I asked you. Is it supposed to be Coleto Creek? In our text book it says Coleto Creek. Thank you for helping me with that question.” – Emily

“Thank you so much for giving our class an ‘easy-to-understand’ tour of the Hall of State…I also thought it was cool that all the Texas battles were around the museum.” – Timmy

“I am thankful that you were very nice to everyone and treated us with kindness.” – Hannah

“Thank you so much for being our docent (I was listening).” – Christy

“Although we were tired, and didn’t want to stand, you put up with our groaning.” – Lauren

“Although we weren’t able to sit down while receiving so much information, I think that everyone still had a super, super, super time!” – Kari

“I thank you for being our ‘docent’ (by the way, that means ‘tour guide’).” – Matt

“Although I was sleepy and tired, you made me stay awake because you were such a good tour guide.” – John

Quotes from “Thank You” Letters to one of our Living History Performers:

“I learned one thing in particular. I learned how Sam Houston was shot and how he lived.” – Christian

“There were a lot of things I already knew. But thanks for sharing.” – Jennifer

“My favorite part was when you were doing ‘Deaf’ Smith. He sounded like a funny person.” – Nick

“One day I want to be a historian just like you. Being a historian is fun if you get to teach facts while acting.” – Michael

“I learned more about the Battle of Jacinto, fighting wise. I also learned more about the Battle of San Jacinto and what the scenery looked like.” – Claire

“You refreshed all of our minds on what we read earlier, but in a more entertaining way.” – Peter

“You are a great actor. You are a really cool guy. I hope to be like you when I grow up. You know a lot about Texas History. You should be an actor.” – Thomas

“We had been studying about Sam Houston in Texas History, and I thought I knew everything there was to know about this historical figure. However, I learned at least five new things about him. I liked in the beginning of your monologue when you were ‘coughing’ and explaining how you were ill. To me, that sounded real.” – Christine

“Another funny part was when you told us about the Battle of San Jacinto.” – Laura

“When you pulled out that sword, I could have sworn that Sam Houston was speaking to me. You acted so real coughing like you were just alive again.” – Mark

“I liked the part when you were acting as ‘Deaf’ Smith, it was really funny. I remember that part of the battle at San Jacinto.” – John

“Your reenactment of Sam Houston was amazing! I personally found it a better way of learning than a text book.” – Sarah

“I loved the accent. I’m in theater too and accents are one of my favorites. You taught us a lot too. I like the style as well. Maybe our teachers could dress up when they teach.” – Erin

“I really appreciated the fact that you kept us entertained after we had had such a day.” – Brian

“I loved your acting. You were quite interesting. Some of the dates you mentioned popped out at me. One was my friend’s birthday, another was mine…I am sure that a lot of my classmates enjoyed your performance too.” – Alex

“You were a lot of help to my historical knowledge…Also the knife that you had was very cool and I think all of the guys thought the same. On the other hand the girls were kind of scared.” – Austin

“Reading is one thing, but actually acting it out is another. By the way your performance was flawless. It was a very good show of acting. One of the best things about it was when you showed everyone your saber. That saber was really cool.” – Andrew

“Thank you for playing an important role in Texas History as Sam Houston…It was like a review of what we learned, but really more interesting.” – Kit

“It was really fun to get an interactive Sam Houston.” – Annie

“Although, our Texas History class had already learned a lot about Sam Houston, your performance was still great and interesting.” – Maggie

“Another thing I liked was how you would pause and really enunciate when you said Texas. It was great how you limped because of ‘your’ leg injury.” – Ryan

“It really gave me a first class feeling that Sam Houston was actually there talking to me.” – Brian

“If I didn’t know that Sam Houston was dead, I would have thought that you were him.” – Ali

“I’ve never seen a sword up close like that, so it was my first.” – Andrew

“I also thought that you knew your history, obviously! I guess you had to to know the order of all those events.” - Jarrod

“We can just read any textbook and get the same exact stuff you gave us, but only understand half of it.” – Jordan

“I was kind of confused when you said that Houston was actually called ‘Sam Jacinto’, but I found out you were right.” – Justin

“Everyone was impressed that you were able to prepare all of that information and remember most of it.” – Gina

“You were really a great Sam Houston interpreter…I especially loved hearing about how ‘Deaf’ Smith wasn’t that deaf in the end. It was smart thinking of Sam Houston to use him as a spy.” – Sierra

“That was awesome! Did you ever try out for a play when you were in school, because that was a richly done play!...Was that sword that you had real? Well, anyways it was a good presentation….Hmm, was it hot while wearing those clothes? Yes, I know that question was really random, but I’m curious.” – Anthony

Monday, May 15, 2006


I got to meet Senator Hutchinson today.

She spoke to me.

I spoke back.

That's right, people. I had a CONVERSATION with Kay Bailey Hutchinson.

It was SO much cooler than the time I almost ran over Ross Perot at a dinner party last year...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

...and she's off!

Try not to miss me too much, okay?!

While I'm sailing around the Caribbean relaxing in the fun and sun...'re at a computer screen reading this post!!

Saturday, May 06, 2006

The sound of silence...

I was reading Katie's POST, and something about it got me thinking about the concept of silence and what it means to me.

Silence and I have a special relationship. I have always been fascinated with it and, I guess, rather drawn to its emptiness.

I came to the conclusion at an early age that the term "deafening silence" should be taken off the list of oxymorons - even before I understood what an oxymoron was. I used to make myself experience absolute silence, because I was convinced that you could hear it. For me, silence sounds like white noise, and the longer you are surrounded by it the louder the white noise becomes. I remember waking up as a little girl and thinking that I'd never get back to sleep. The quiet was just too loud.

It gets back to that whole “nothing is, inherently, something” concept that used to drive me crazy in philosophy.

My favorite “quiet moment”, though, is when there is a power outage in the middle of the night. Suddenly you realize how much noise electricity makes. I have a tendency to wake up when the power goes off, because I notice the void of electrical static. For me, it always sounds like the space around me sighs at the exact moment the electricity is cut. Only at that instant can I make out other noises that I couldn’t hear before, and it makes me long for the summers I spent camping in the mountains of northern New Mexico.

The term “peaceful silence”, though, is different, and I associate it with one sound in particular. The most beautiful sound in the world is the noise that snow makes when it is falling. It is always that “cold quiet”, and the world seems so still – almost as if time itself has stopped. Once, when I was in high school (I went to boarding school in a rural area north of Baltimore, Maryland), we had a blizzard that dropped almost three feet on the small campus. It was freezing, but I waded through the snow and made my way down to the athletic fields that were surrounded by a forest of tall, tall trees. I remember standing there and listening to the sound of the snow drifting to the ground – it was all I could hear. Everything was untouched white and utterly still. The snow was all that was moving or making a noise. It was so beautiful. Peaceful silence.

I think that is why I ended up going to college in upstate New York – I chased the sound of falling snow to the one place where snow falls more than any other in the entire country. I’d take long walks in the snow by myself to clear my head and think. It helped to put things into perspective. I used to imagine, during these quiet walks, that my breath was negativity actualized somehow and the cold air was pure stillness and peace. As I breathed in and out, I’d envision all my problems and stress leaving my body with each breath and being replaced with a sense of calm. The whole world would slow down and – just for a moment – I’d feel like the only person on the planet. Nothing mattered except breathing. Everything was going to be okay. My mind, for once, was resting peacefully.

I miss that…

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Back to the Dark Ages…

I don’t know why I came to work yesterday.

Actually, CORRECTION: I know why I came to work, but I’m not completely sure why I stayed.

Our server was down, hence no email or Internet.

The fax machine went on strike.

The air-conditioning in the main office area malfunctioned.

And, then, for whatever reason, the City of Dallas decided to turn off our water.


The only good thing that happened was the Coke-a-Cola delivery guy finally showed up to restock the soda machine in the lounge.

For the past several weeks, I’ve been feeding quarters into the machine in an effort to obtain a Diet Coke. However, the machine always decided to give me a regular Coke, instead.

Now, I’m not a fan of regular Coke (too sweet), so I was essentially supporting the Coke habit of one of my coworkers. The same coworker – might I add – who later suggested that maybe I was, “hitting the regular Coke button by mistake.” The mere implication that I had some sort of mental lapse, which resulted in the unintended purchase of a regular soda, bought my coworker an additional three beverages at my expense.

Anyway, all this soda-machine torture was at an end because – FINALLY – the Coke guy was here to fix and restock it.

Or so I thought.

During my lunch break, I popped my three quarters into the machine and hit the DIET COKE button, and you know what happened?...

…Yeah, the machine gave me water.

So, it makes perfect sense that I worked until after 6 PM under such conditions.


(At least this time next week I'll be on a cruise!)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Riiiight, because THAT won't be awkward...

Incase anyone has forgotten, I have to go on this Caribbean cruise thingy next week.

You might recall that in THIS POST I mentioned the original reasoning behind going on the cruise: a destination wedding. You also might remember that the groom-to-be was Trevor’s little brother, that the bride-and-groom-to-be broke up a couple of weeks ago, and that Trevor, my mom and I are still going on the cruise (mainly because we couldn’t get our money back).

Now, it is important to mention that Trevor and his brother – despite an age difference of four years – are almost identical. They are the same height, the same build, have the same hair/eye color…you get the idea. It’s not like I get them confused or anything, but sometimes a double-take is necessary when one of them walks into a room.

They do have differences, mind you. They have different noses and different skin tones. Trevor is as white as he can be. Literately. He only has two colors: pink in the summer and blue in the winter. Trevor’s brother, on the other hand, can tan to a dark brown.

My favorite difference between the brothers, though, is Trevor’s red beard. Trevor’s facial hair grows in bright red for some reason, which is totally different than the hair on his head. Totally cracks me up. His brother doesn’t have that particular genetic trait.

Just to give you a visual, I offer the following:

Okay, okay. I don’t really date Peter Krause, but RR thinks that Trevor bears an uncanny resemblance to him.

That’s right. Someone thinks that my hunk’o’hunk ‘o’ burnin’ love looks like Peter Krause.

Well, sorta’ anyway.

Anyhoo, back to the cruise…

I also mentioned back in previously said post, that we have no way of knowing whether or not Trevor’s brother’s almost-bride and/or Trevor’s brother’s almost-in-laws would be on the cruise as well. After all, if we were still going because we couldn’t get our money back, it stood to reason that others might be in the same boat, too (sorry…couldn’t resist the pun). However, I only mentioned it as a “hey, wouldn’t it be funny (but not really) if…” scenario.

So, yeah, I should have knocked-on-wood, because GUESS WHAT…


Uh, can I say “uncomfortable”?!

Trevor and I have met the almost-bride on several occasions, but never the almost-in-laws. Trevor probably wouldn’t know them if they were standing right in front of him - which is kinda’ funny considering that they will ALL look at Trevor and know instantly who HE is…

So, yeah, the almost-bride will be on a ship that was supposed to be her almost-honeymoon with the one person on the planet who bears an uncanny resemblance to her almost-husband.

I just hope that we all don’t end up sharing a table at dinner (although I know enough now not rule it out of the realm of possibility. Something like that would happen to people like us).

Monday, May 01, 2006

Equality (or a general lack thereof)...

Now, you may remember that RR and I went to Beaumont for a conference not too long ago. If you need to jog your memory, please refer HERE and HERE.

Anyway, I feel the need to inquire whether or not anyone out there feels the following is fair:

RR and I got to attend a conference in Beaumont at the beginning of April. Since we are both females, our boss asked that we share a room to minimize cost. We agreed, which ended up being a good thing (neither one of us wanted to stay HERE by ourselves).

Meanwhile, two male coworkers of ours also got to go to a conference at the end of April. However, their conference was in Boston, and they got to stay in separate rooms at a hotel where room rates per night start at the total cost of our entire hotel room stay in Beaumont (not including the 12.5% occupancy tax). This is, of course, in addition to the airfare to/from Boston, cab/rental car fees, food, etc.
Does anyone else feel that “one of these things is not like the other” or is it just me?