Tuesday, June 27, 2006

FYI...

You might recall that I used to have a very confused Mockingbird living in the pecan tree in my front yard.

Yeah, well, he's back. So, it's not so much "used to have" as "currently have again".

And he has turned up the volume this time around.

I'm, of course, as thrilled as humanly possible.

Friday, June 23, 2006

On camera (or what happens if you accidentally insult RR)…

It all started while walking to our coworker’s car on our way to lunch. RR was wearing this cute, little skirt - complete with off white pantyhose and shoes with a heal. She looked very grown up and professional, and I thought I’d pay her a compliment by telling her so:

Me: “I like your outfit today. You are the only person I know that can pull off white pantyhose.”

RR: [Looking in my direction with a, “You are kidding me, right?!” expression on her face…] “I’m NOT wearing pantyhose! My legs are just this white, okay?!”

So, yeah, definitely not the reaction that I was looking for (not to mention the answer)! Her legs were the color of milk, people! Milk!


Anyway, later on in the afternoon (just after 5 PM), I got a phone call from a lady telling me that they were about to tear down the Arcadia Theater. The Arcadia has been around for decades, but the entire complex burned down Wednesday night. Very sad. Especially, for those of us interested in local history and preservation.


Anyhow, the building was still smoldering with hot spots and all. Therefore, despite the fact that the outer shell of the building still remained standing, they were being forced to tear down the entire structure (mainly in an effort to keep the fire from reemerging and putting nearby homes and businesses on lower Greenville in danger).


RR and I, being the good, little historians that we are, grabbed our cameras and made a beeline for the Arcadia. Once there, we proceeded to walk all the way around the complex taking as many “last images” of the historic theater as we could. We weren’t the only ones, either. Greenville Avenue was essentially a parking lot, as cars drove slowly by with passengers desperately trying to get one last glimpse of the building’s fa├žade before it was gone forever. Similarly, various members of the press were scattered all around the smoldering site, waiting for the moment the wrecking ball (errrr...oil derrick) finally hit its mark. An historic site becomes history – very news worthy. They had the choppers out for this one.

Personally, I thought that someone should have been documenting the various levels of irony right in front of us. The bar behind the Arcadia is called the “Torch”, the electrician disconnecting the wires from the theater “pre-knockdown” was smoking a cigarette, etc. – it was unbelievable:

Torch
Photo by Deals


Cigarette
Photo by Deals

But the most awkward moment was when this guy approached us as we were finishing up with our “photo documenting,” and told us how he spent many evenings in the theater complex over the years before he moved to Denver (note: he just moved back from Denver…in June. Obviously, he forgot how oppressively hot Texas summers can be):

RR: “So, you must have a lot of great memories of this place. How sad for you that it’s about to be torn down.”

Random Guy: “Yeah, it is. My best friend was also murdered in there, though, so I guess it is more bittersweet than anything else. Kind like closure in a way, you know?”

RR: “Oooh…right. I guess it would be.”

Mural
Photo by Deals


Anyway, it wasn’t long until RR and I finally decided to head home. It was smoky and hot…


(“Smoky and hot” is an understatement, by the way. The smoke also smelled kind of weird – like a mixture of campfire and burning rubber. Of course, it all became clear when I saw the charred doorway of Condom Sense. Nothing quite like the odor of burning prophylactics in the late afternoon sun, let me tell you)

…and neither one of us could tell how long it would be until the workers got around to the actual demolishing. Plus, RR couldn’t remember if she had plans or not with JLR (if she did, JLR, it was entirely my fault – really! Blame me, not RR. I convinced her to go with me in the first place), and she didn’t want to get home any later than she already was/might be. So, we started heading in the direction of the cars – taking a few last minute pictures along the way...

Doomed
Photo by Deals

...And THAT was when it happened. The exact moment RR got her revenge for my “pantyhose” comment earlier that afternoon. Let me set the stage:

A man in a purple shirt approached us. He was obviously a reporter – complete with cameraman. He wanted to interview us about what “young people” would like to see rise out of the ashes of the old Arcadia.

I tried to explain to him that I had an irrational fear of being on camera (to which he responded, “Well, it’s a good thing that we’re not live, then!”). However, it was no use, he was determined to interview us – or, at least, one of us. RR, being much older and more quick-on-her-feet than I am, recognized this “truth” immediately and - before I could react - announced, “I’m not interested in being interviewed on camera, but SHE might be.”

Great! It’s all settled, then,” cried the reporter as he motioned for the cameraman to start recording before I could protest.

So, that’s how I ended up being interviewed for the local news last night.

My favorite part of the evening broadcast (and I’m being sarcastic here) - other than watching myself on TV - was definitely the good eight seconds of me “walking dramatically” towards the camera (I looked upset/pensive) before they cut to me talking about my concerns for the future of the soon-to-be-former site of the Arcadia Theater. They obviously got this footage before the purple-shirted reporter approached us wanting an interview. I, of course, had no idea that I was being filmed at this point (I don’t even recall seeing the camera), and was probably thinking about something stupid. Like, if RR could smell the chicken fajitas that I had had for lunch seeping out through my pores or something (it was that kind of “hot” outside, and I was – tragically – that kind of sweaty).

I haven’t laughed that hard (or been so embarrassed) in a long time.

Note to self: Never assume RR is wearing white pantyhose ever again.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

As a side note on Time's ability to fly...

I just realized that I have been a BLOGGER for year now.

Actually, today is my BLOG's 1st Birthday.

Whoa.




P.S. Does anyone else find it strange that BLOGGER spell check doesn't recognize the words "BLOGGER" or "BLOG"?...Because I do.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Oh, Ma...


If English was good enough for Jesus Christ, it ought to be good enough for the children of Texas.”

- Ma Ferguson, Governor of Texas, est. 1924.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Blondes in the city…

My little sister (a.k.a. The Runt) is a blonde. So is her roommate, Melissa.

Earlier this week, the two of them went to Northpark Shopping Center to check out the brand new section of the mall, which recently opened at the beginning of the month.

See picture below:



Please note that the new section of Northpark now means that the mall is shaped like a square (as illustrated by the pink dotted line). Previously, the mall formed a "C" or "J" shape, as seen below (shaded in blue):



Prior to the opening of the new section of the mall, shopping at Northpark required quite a bit of backtracking. Typically, I’d always try to park near Dillard’s, because of its central location to both “wings” of the complex. Now, however, it is possible to park anywhere and walk the mall in a circle (or square) – no backtracking required. Much more convenient (and logical), if you ask me.

It is important to mention that I haven’t actually visited the latest section of the Northpark, yet. However, I have been to the mall (several times, actually) since they broke ground a year and a half ago, and – since my grandmother lives in close proximity to Northpark – have witnessed the construction in all stages. Consequently, it was obvious to me FROM THE BEGINNING that the mall would one day be connected (therefore, turning the mall’s "C"/"J" shape into a much more shopping-efficient square/circular shopping experience).

Yet, this realization wasn’t obvious to everyone (i.e. my sister and Melissa).

When the blonde bombshells ventured into Northpark earlier this week, they parked over near Nieman Marcus and made an immediate beeline in the direction of the brand new section of the mall – all excited about checking out the latest stores, food court and movie theater complex located there. Melissa was especially excited about the new pretzel shop. Apparently, they pass out free samples, which is something that all starving college students (especially those with "emergency" Nieman Marcus cards) find appealing.

After seeing all they could see of the new part of the mall, the blonde duo decided that their shopping excursion wasn’t over yet, and, consequently, continued on towards the older part of Northpark to check out the “new” JCrew (by “new” I mean that the store was “new” to the space, not to the mall. JCrew had just moved from a smaller space on the other side of the mall near Neiman’s, to a larger space over near Foley’s). From there, the Runt and Melissa passed by Dillard’s on their way to Express and Sephora.

To give all of you (who may not be familiar with Northpark Center) a visual, this is what their route (shown below in red) looked like up to this point:



After visiting Sephora, the girls decided that they had had enough of shopping for one day. Their purchases of so many new, cute things had them quite weighed down, you see, and my sister was starting to get a cramp in her arm form carrying around so many bags.

Obviously, the quickest and easiest way back to my sister’s car was to do the following (shown in green):



After all, that was the most logical way to exit the mall considering the location of my sister’s Montero. However, we are talking about two blondes here, thus, logic – sadly – doesn’t enter into the equation.

Therefore, with something that can only be described as “blonde reasoning”, my sister and Melissa rationalized the following:

When visiting Northpark in the past, we’ve always had to retrace our steps to get back to the car – thus, it only makes sense that we should still have to do it now.

So, even though they had no reason to go back the way they came (except that they always had done it this way before), the pair proceeded to walk back to the car the same way that they had come in. The LONG way. Neither one of them ever stopped to consider that there was another way out, even though they had both been in the old part of Northpark a million times (and could see Niemen’s from where they were standing in front of Sephora).

Apparently, it only dawned on the Runt and Melissa that they could have exited the mall much more expeditiously while dining with me later on that evening. After hearing about their shopping trip, I couldn’t help but inquire as to the reason why the two didn’t simply walk the short way from Sephora to Nieman’s (instead of retracing their steps around ¾ of the mall). After a long pause, my sister looked at me and said, “Ooh, yeah! We could have done that, couldn’t we?” She then looked across the table at Melissa (as if to say, “Now, why didn’t WE think of that?”) before they both burst into hysterical laughter.

I’m starting to wonder how they are able to navigate their way around their own apartment without getting lost…

UPDATE...

Below is a quote from Melissa reprimanding me for leaving part of the story out (NOTE: Had I known
about the following, it never (EVER) would have been left out of the original text, believe me):

Melissa: "Ohh and you didn't mention how we thought there was two Neiman’s since we went around and didn't realize it was a square. Get the story right!"

*Sigh* Blondes

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

The black sheep of the family...

So, I'm having a conversation with Trevor's uncle about why I think a certain west-Texas congressional candidate should - at all costs - be kept from achieving political power come November:

Me: "He's the kind of guy that doesn't understand why it's inappropriate to hang a giant picture of himself over his own fireplace. He must be stopped! If he's elected, it's like putting one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse in the House of Representatives! Do you know anyone, in places like Midland, who could be called upon to vote against him?"

Trevor's Uncle: "Is he a Republican?"

Me: "Yeah. [PAUSE] Not a chance, huh?"

Trevor's Uncle: "Not if he is a Republican."

Me: "Darn. I'm too liberal for Texas."

Trevor's Uncle: "[LAUGHING] You're too liberal for your own family!"


So, yeah, that went well...

Monday, June 12, 2006

An apology of sorts...

For those of you concerned that I may have fallen off the face of the Earth, fear not! I am fine.

The absence of new postings is nothing personal, mind you. I have a perfectly good explanation. Namely, I went out of town (yes, again), and – since my return to the good ‘ole State ‘o’ Texas – have been desperately trying to catch up at the office.

The good news is that I am currently working on several new entries (complete with photographs) that I’ll be posting in the very new future. Until then, have patience my dear grasshoppers…

In the interim, consider the following:

Joseph Plumb Martin was a private in the 8th Connecticut regiment of General George Washington’s Continental army. He kept a journal faithfully during his seven years in the military, and – in the subsequent quotation – frankly assessed his fellow soldiers:


“They put me in this regiment, half New Englanders and half Pennsylvanians. Folks as different as night and day. Myself, I’d rather be fighting with a tribe of Indians than with these Southerners. I mean they’re foreigners, can’t hardly speak English. They don’t like me either. They call me that ‘damn Yankee’. That’s about the nicest thing they say.”


    A) At this point weren’t they were all “foreigners” to a certain extent?

    B) With the possible exceptions of the Dutch and Swedish, Pennsylvania was settled predominantly by English settlers. Therefore, we can conclude that most of them were fluent in English (seeing as though most of them came from jolly ‘ole England in the first place).

    C) We can also deduce that the Pennsylvanians’ apparent trouble with the English language was not caused by a lack of access to a form of generalized education. I say this because the first public school in the original thirteen colonies was opened in Philadelphia, not New England. This, of course, makes sense when it is remembered that Mr. Martin stated that his Pennsylvanian counterparts “can’t hardly speak English.” Obviously, Mr. Martin, who lived in New England, didn’t have access to an education that would teach him the finer points of, say, grammar.

    D) I’m sure that Pennsylvanians would find it humorous to discover that they were once described as being “Southerners”. I know I do, and I’m from Texas.


As you may remember, I love to poke fun at New Englanders. This is mainly because I don’t understand the logic behind which states are part of “New England” and which ones are excluded. In fact, I do not think that logic plays a part in it at all. Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island all just got together and decided to form a club because they weren’t “cool” enough to play with the popular states like New York and New Jersey.

Anyway, I’ve talked about this before HERE. This is just more fuel for the fire (or something like that).

Okay, talk amongst yourselves…