Sunday, September 30, 2007

On Meerkats and McNabb...

First, Flower died on MEERKAT MANOR (so NOT cool), and then McNabb – my favorite quarterback – was sacked twelve times in the Eagles versus Giants match up this evening. As if it wasn’t bad enough that the stupid Cowboys won earlier this afternoon. Again. Grrrrrrr…

In other words, it has been a difficult weekend. A VERY difficult weekend. Even more so when you consider that I’m not a big football fan AND I watched the sport voluntarily today (i.e. without Trevor holding both me and the remote hostage). I know, I know. Tragic. I think I was still in shock over Flower’s unexpected death. Stupid cobra.

Speaking of Flower, Animal Planet has set up a memorial for her on their website. Click HERE to visit it and pay your respects to the recently deceased Queen of the Kalahari.

Gone but never forgotten...
I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.

- Gilda Radner

Friday, September 28, 2007

In the category of: (JUST MY) LUCK…

Yep! It’s THAT time of the year again, folks! Today is the first day of the 2007 State Fair of Texas. I know you’re thrilled. Me? Well, I work on the fair grounds, so I mostly find the whole thing to be rather annoying (too much of a good thing, I guess).

That said, though, there are things about the State Fair that make me extremely happy. Like my reunion with Boris II earlier this afternoon, for example. I was very excited to see he survived slept through another year, and was able return to the fair this fall. Yey!

It’s completely nonsensical, but I just love that stupid pig. Here are some pictures I took of him napping on my lunch break:

Sleepy piggy...

Still a BIG BOY...

Wonder what pigs dream about?

He was twitching in his sleep...

A (giant) pig's life...

Because I am Boris’ NUMBER ONE FAN, I do take issue with the placement of his pig pen directly behind this, though:

Imagine being a pig and smelling the sausage a'cookin'...

It just doesn’t seem quite right somehow. Obviously, the people over at Owen’s Sausage aren’t very sensitive to the feelings of poor, old Boris. I guess it’s a good thing he spends an average of 23 hours EVERY DAY sound asleep (otherwise I’m sure Boris would be just as concerned about his location as I am)!!

Anyway, on my way back to the museum, I ran across these guys:

Cute, little piglets...

This got me to thinking (dangerous, I know). Do you think Boris started out so small, too? Is that even possible?! Hmmmmm…interesting. Makes me (almost) want to start researching giant pigs (boars?).

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?" - Jane Austen

It is THAT time again, folks! Yep, time for yet another installment of “Toolson Tidbits”!

I know, I know. It’s been waaaay too long since my last update on my next door neighbors. Not that I have been without material, mind you (that would be impossible!).

Anyway, like before, I’m going to do this in INCIDENT REPORT format. If you need to be reminded of previous stories about the Toolson’s, please visit HERE and HERE. Otherwise, I now leave you to the following:


“Jane Doe” had baby number two on the day after Christmas. As you may or may not remember, there was some initial confusion as to Jane’s due date. She thought she was only three months pregnant this time last year, which was odd considering:

  1. The size of her “baby bump” (i.e. third trimester BIG).

  2. Her last period had been back in February.

But whatever. She had done the whole pregnancy thing before, so she obviously knew more about the process than I did.

She finally DID make it to the doctor, though, and not just over the phone, either. Apparently, both doctor and pregnant Jane were astonished to discover that she was in her sixth month. As if there was ANY doubt!!!

The news, albeit shocking, was also a relief to Jane who was thrilled to learn that baby number two may be born before the New Year (thus making it possible for her to claim two dependents on her taxes in 2007). Because that’s why people have babies in the first place – as a tax write off! Jane was so excited about the prospect that she actually scheduled her labor to be induced on December 30th (just, you know, to make sure!).

As luck would have it though, little Savannah came out on her own the day after Christmas.

Thank goodness…


In the spring, I was asked to hold Savannah while her mother ran inside to grab something. This was when I learned that babies vibrate just before they blow their diapers off.

[Note: Baby poop does NOT smell sweeter than regular poop.]


I could not figure out why Gypsy Kitty was always so traumatized when I left her inside during the day. So, like any good investigator, I started coming home randomly during the day to check on her in an attempt to figure out what the problem was.

During one of these mid morning visits, I learned that Jet (the two year old) found it amusing to run up to my front door, bang on it, hear my dogs bark and then run away.


Since this activity was stressing Gypsy out so much (she’d literately start trembling when she heard him coming), I politely asked “Jane Doe” to keep Jet from running over and banging on the front door. Jane seemed to understand, and promised to keep Jet away.

Things got better for awhile, but it wasn’t long before I started to notice the same traumatized-dog behavior from Gypsy when I returned home each day. Thinking the problem must still be Jet running over and banging on the door, I started randomly returning home again during the morning or mid afternoon. My thought process was: I’d catch Jet in the act and confront Jane about his behavior once again.

What I discovered, however, was slightly different from before. Now, instead of Jet running over and banging on the door, I found Jane walking over to my front porch with her son and repeatedly ringing the doorbell. This evoked a similar reaction to Jet’s banging (i.e. barking dogs).

Trying hard not to lose my temper, I again asked Jane to stop bothering my dogs. She explained to me that her son just wanted to see them, and didn’t see the harm in going about it in the manner described. I persisted, though, and again she promised that such activities would stop.

Like before, things calmed down for awhile, but it wasn’t long before I started returning home to find BOTH a traumatized Gypsy Kitty AND teeth marks on front door. After doing a little more reconnaissance, I discovered that Jet was back to his old “bang and run” routine. Gypsy, unable to handle the stress, was now nervously chewing on the front door while she waited – terrified – for the screaming child to return to taunt her.

Knowing it would do no good to confront Jane again about the situation, I decided to buy a pet gate and barricade the dogs in the kitchen AWAY from the front door. This worked for almost an entire week before I returned home to find evidence that Gypsy had started chewing on the BACK door. Further inspection revealed several cigarette butts littered around my deck and backyard. Apparently, when Jane and Jet discovered that the dogs were being kept in the kitchen away from the front door, she started to bring her son to the back door instead.

Now, when my dogs have to be left inside (due to weather or extreme heat or cold), I have to barricade them in the back bedroom with the shades drawn and a portable radio playing soothing, classical music.


While celebrating Gypsy Kitty’s 4th birthday last May (yes, I throw birthday parties for my dogs), my aunt noticed an odd odor wafting over the fence that separates my yard from the Toolsons. My aunt’s friend, Harriet, decided to investigate. She was gone approximately two minutes before returning and announcing in a loud whisper:

“Ya’ll! Her neighbors are sitting on their porch overlooking the driveway smoking marijuana! I recognize the smell from the 1960s!”


I returned home one evening from the grocery store to discover Jet in my backyard digging a hole behind a bush with a plastic, yellow shovel. The backyard gate was closed, so it was unclear how he got in (the gate latch is too high for him to reach).

Anyway, not knowing what else to do, I picked Jet up, carried him across the driveway and knocked on the door. At first there was no answer (which almost sent me into a panic), but finally the grandmother walked past the door and I got her attention by waving at her through the window at the top of the door. It was clear she had just gotten home from the office.

Grandma Toolson: “Oh, hi! Were you babysitting Jet?”

Me: “Uh, no. I just came home from the store and found him digging in my backyard with his plastic shovel.”

Grandma Toolson: “Oh. That’s…that’s…well, it is NOT good, anyway. Where are his parents?”

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t seen them. I was hoping they were inside.”

Grandma Toolson: “Hold on. Let me see if they are here. I just walked in the door. CHASE? CHASE? ARE YOU HOME?”

Chase: [From the other room] “Yeah? I’m right here, Mom.”

Grandma Toolson: “Where is Jet?”

Chase: “I dunno. With his mother?”

Grandma Toolson: “No. Want to try again?”

Chase: “I don’t know where he is. I haven’t seen him since I was working on the car in the driveway.”

Grandma Toolson: “When was that, exactly?”

Chase: “I dunno. An hour ago?”

Grandma Toolson: “Well, [Deals] from next door just found your baby in her backyard.”

Chase: [Running in from the other room] “Whaaaaat?!”

Grandma Toolson: “Yeah. My thoughts exactly. [Turning back to me] Thank you for returning my grandson.”

Me: “Sure. Anytime.”


RR and JLR picked my dogs up from the doggie hotel one day last June. They agreed to do so as long as they could, A) do their laundry at my house, and B) watch my cable TV (a fair trade in my books).

Anyway, my flight didn’t get in until late that evening, so I didn’t make it home until almost 10 PM. However, NO SOONER did I pull in the driveway did I see my neighbor’s side door open and Mr. Toolson come barreling out towards me.

Mr. Toolson: “There were people in your house this afternoon. Two women. Did you know about that?”

Me: “Yeah. They picked up my dogs and delivered them here.”

Mr. Toolson: “Well, it also looked like they were planning on doing some laundry. By the looks of it, it was at least 4 or 5 loads. Did you know about THAT?”

Me: “Yeah. They asked me if they could do a few loads in exchange for picking up my dogs. I agreed.”

Mr. Toolson: “Well, did you know they ordered pizza, too?”

Me: “No. I didn’t know that.”

Mr. Toolson: “Well, they did. A pizza delivery man showed up with it and everything. Anyway, just thought you should know.”

Me: “Thank you, Mr. Toolson. I really appreciate you keeping tabs on my house while I am away.”

Mr. Toolson: “Just being neighborly.”

The best part of THIS incident was getting to call RR the next day and ask her how the pizza was. I think she thought I had my house bugged!


Mark, my mentally challenged across the street neighbor, was recently put in a long term care facility because his parents became too ill to care for him (they are both in their late 80s).

Anyway, the day that Trevor and I were scheduled to leave Dallas for our Colorado vacation, Mark went missing. His family was literately going door to door in the neighborhood looking for him. The thought process was that he may try to return home – even though his parent’s house was on the market and no one was living in it anymore.

The lady who came to my house looking for him asked if I would mind letting the Toolsons know about Mark’s disappearance. Apparently, they weren’t home, but she thought if Mark DID show up in the neighborhood, he’d probably stop by the Toolsons house. After all, Mark had lived across the street from the Toolsons for almost four decades, so he’d probably go to them if/when he discovered he was no longer able to get inside his house.

About half an hour came and went before I heard the Toolson’s car pull into the driveway. I immediately went outside to greet them.

Me: “Hi.”

Chase: “Oh, hi.”

Me: “Have you seen or heard from Mark?”

Chase: “Uh, no. Why?”

I proceeded to tell Chase everything I had learned from the lady who stopped by my house looking for Mark.

Chase: “Oh, my! That’s horrible!”

Me: “I know! I’m worried about him! Poor guy!”

Chase: “I bet he’s with Jerry.”

Me: “Jerry?”

Chase: “Yeah. Jerry. You know Jerry, right?”

Me: “Uhmmm, no. I don’t think so, anyway.”

Chase: “Oh. Well, Jerry is the neighborhood crack head. He and Mark are friends. I bet Mark went to Jerry’s house.”

Me: “A crack head?”

Chase: “Yeah. Never give Jerry any money. He’ll say it is for a soda or something like that, but he ALWAYS finds a way to score crack with it.”

Me: “Oh.”

Chase: “Me and Jerry used to be close friends back when I was a crack head, too. I mean, Jerry is a good guy and all, but sometimes it’s hard to stay friends with someone when they are a crack head, you know?”

Me: “I could see that.”

Chase: “Yeah. Well, it is true.”

Me: “Well, here’s [the lady’s] phone number. Call her if you see or hear anything from Mark, okay? Or if you know where Jerry is, I bet she’d be interested in that information, too.”

Chase: “Oh, I bet he and Jerry are crashed out in one of the many East Dallas crack houses right now as we speak.”

Me: “Right. Well, if you figure out which one, let her know, okay?”

Chase: “Yeah. I can do that.”

Me: “Thanks.”

[NOTE: Mark was found and is doing fine.]


Chase asked Trevor if he could borrow a dollar to buy baby formula. Trevor didn’t have any cash, so he gave them the $10 I keep hidden in my car for “parking emergencies”.

Trevor: “I’ll pay you back if they don’t okay?”

Me: “No problem. I feel bad for them, anyway. They live paycheck to paycheck. Plus, no telling where they buy baby formula for a $1. I know I’ve seen stuff at the grocery story that is upwards of $15 for a 12 oz. can. In fact, the cheapest I remember seeing it for was around $4 for a small jar of that concentrated liquid stuff. Sigh. It makes me feel bad when I consider how much I spend on my dogs every month, you know?”


“Jane Doe” rang my doorbell one day because she:

  1. Wanted to borrow an iron, so Chase could iron his pants.

  2. Wanted to know if she had done the right thing by getting her tubes tied.


Jane Doe was sitting on the driveway smoking a cigarette late one evening. Chase was busy cleaning the interior windows of his dad’s car with his white t-shirt. One swipe with the shirt on the window, and the cotton turned completely black with ash.

Chase: “Maybe we should start smoking with the windows done when the babies are in the car.”

Jane: “Why?”


Was telling Jane Doe about our trip to Colorado and all the hikes Trevor and I went on…

Jane: “Did you see any animals?”

Me: “Oh, yeah. Lots of animals.”

Jane: “Like what?”

Me: “Geese, deer, marmots, beavers, chipmunks...”

Jane: “Any bear?”

Me: “No, no bears. Although, we saw evidence of bears on our hikes.”

Jane: “Like what?”

Me: “Feces and…”

Jane: “…Feces?! Oh, you mean like footprints?”


Jane was outside late one night with Jet. I was just returning home after taking the dogs out on their evening walk. After chitchatting with Jane for a couple of minutes, I told her I was tired and started heading toward the door.

Jane: “Hold on, [Deals]. I want Jet to say, ‘Night, night’ to you. He’s really starting to talk a lot now and can even make sentences. Jet! Come over here for a second!”

Jet runs over. That boy RUNS everywhere. Always with his arms stuck out like wings on an airplane.

Jane: “Jet? Can you say, ‘Night, night’ to [Deals]?”

Jet: [With his hands on his hips for dramatic flare] “GOD D*MN IT!”

Both Jane and I watch as Jet turns around and runs back up the driveway. I think we are both too shocked to say anything. After all, it isn’t every day that you get sworn at by a two year old.


Me: “It’s funny what kids pick up, huh?”

Jane: “Yeah. It is. I just wish he didn’t say THAT all the time.”

Me: “All the time, huh?”

Jane: “Yeah.”

Me: “Oh. That sucks.”

So, does anyone else have stories about their weirdo neighbors? I can’t be the only one, can I? Uh, hello? Anyone? Is anyone there?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Dachshund Dash...

My mother's dachshund, Schnitzel, at yesterday's races in Addison.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Things you'd love to say out loud at work...

Okay, so a college friend sent the following in an email to me today. She knew I was having problems "issues" at work and thought I could find humor in some of the phrases listed below.

Not once have I ever connected so with an email forward before. It’s almost like the email’s original author used MY office as his/her “inspiration”.

It’s amazing (and somewhat uncanny) how dead on it is. I’ve either: A) thought these things at the office before, or B) heard someone say these things at the office before.

Seriously…Goosebumps. I have Goosebumps.

Anyway, it was too good not to share. I was even inspired to add on to the list at the bottom. Enjoy…

  1. I can see your point, but I still think you're full of sh*t.

  2. I don't know what your problem is, but I'll bet it's hard to pronounce.

  3. How about never? Is never good for you?

  4. I see you've set aside this special time to humiliate yourself in public.

  5. I'm really easy to get along with once you people learn to see it my way.

  6. I'll try being nicer if you'll try being smarter.

  7. I'm out of my mind, but feel free to leave a message.

  8. I don't work here. I'm a consultant.

  9. It sounds like English, but I can't understand a d*mn word you're saying.

  10. Ahhh...I see the screw-up fairy has visited us again.

  11. I like you. You remind me of myself when I was young and stupid.

  12. You are validating my inherent mistrust of strangers.

  13. I have plenty of talent and vision; I just don't give a d*mn.

  14. I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth.

  15. I will always cherish the initial misconceptions I had about you.

  16. Thank you. We're all refreshed and challenged by your unique point of view.

  17. The fact that no one understands you doesn't mean you're an artist.

  18. Any connection between your reality and mine is purely coincidental.

  19. What am I? Flypaper for freaks!?

  20. I'm not being rude. You're just insignificant.

  21. It's a thankless job, but I've got a lot of Karma to burn off.

  22. Yes, I am an agent of Satan, but my duties are largely ceremonial.

  23. And your crybaby whiny-a**ed opinion would be...?

  24. Do I look like a people person?

  25. This isn't an office. It's Hell with fluorescent lighting.

  26. I started out with nothing & still have most of it left.

  27. Sarcasm is just one more service we offer.

  28. If I throw a stick, will you leave?

  29. Errors have been made. Others will be blamed.

  30. Whatever kind of look you were going for, you missed.

  31. I'm trying to imagine you with a personality.

  32. A cubicle is just a padded cell without a door.

  33. Can I trade this job for what's behind door # 1?

  34. Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

  35. Nice perfume. Must you marinate in it?

  36. Chaos, panic, & disorder... my work here is done.

  37. How do I set a laser printer to stun?

  38. I thought I wanted a career; turns out I just wanted a salary.

  39. Oh I get it... like humor... but different.

Things I’d like to add to the list. No one but RR (and maybe Melissa) will find humor in them, but – as they say - it’s cheaper than therapy:

  1. Uhmmm, you know I can hear you, right?

  2. I would like to counter the notion that what I do isn’t labor intensive.

  3. Because I have nothing better to do than sneak soda down to your end of the building and hide it in the fridge with all the negatives.

  4. If I was intending to get you in trouble, I’d totally seek out someone better than the woman in charge of reconfiguring the ADA building accessibility.

  5. You know I work in a city maintained building, right? And you’re surprised nothing works?!

  6. It’s the City of Dallas. We do things half a**ed here.

  7. What exactly, if anything, do you do here?

  8. No, that’s normal. That wall shakes whenever someone flushes a toilet.

  9. Well, I guess that’s not the worst idea in the world.

  10. Was your graduate school accredited?

  11. Did he just refer to himself as our “Daddy”?

  12. I hate the world. I know I always say that, but I mean it this time.

  13. This can’t end well…

  14. Ever notice how morale increases exponentially when he leaves on an extended vacation?

  15. Wait. He didn't just say what I think he did, did he?

  16. So, what you’re saying is…I cannot have $30 to help market my programs, but he gets to take an all expenses paid trip to a learn-how-to-take-your-boss’s-job-conference in Arizona?!

  17. Am I missing something here?

  18. What, exactly, did women contribute to history prior to the 1920s, anyway? They didn’t even have the vote yet.

  19. Where is everyone today? Oh, right…[the boss] is out of the office.

  20. Obviously. I work late because I can’t manage my time.

Sigh. I think I need a new job...


I'm all about the bootie...
...this one is for you, JLR!

Friday, September 14, 2007

With or without Moxie (or why cows seem smaller in Vermont)...

Over Labor Day weekend, Trevor and I went to the wedding of one of my college roommates in Middlebury, Vermont.

Now, incase you were wondering, Vermont is not an easy place to get to. Personally, I think it is some sort of New England conspiracy, but don’t take my word for it. Instead, try to find affordable airfare into Burlington from Dallas, Texas. The cheapest I found: $1,600.00 a ticket. Yeah. I could fly to China for less than that.

Anyway, Trevor and I left for the Northeast on Friday after work. Our flight into Hartford, CT (the most inexpensive flight we could find within driving distance of Middlebury) was due to depart at 7:00 PM, which didn’t leave much time to get from work to the airport that afternoon. Then, throw in all the Labor Day traffic hiccups (which I somehow failed to foresee), and you have the makings of a near disaster. This was (of course!) further complicated by the remote parking situation over the holiday weekend at DFW (read: Absolute. Nightmare). All the remote parking lots were full, and – after driving in circles for almost half an hour at Remote Parking South – I was finally offered a coupon that made terminal parking quasi-affordable ($10/day as opposed to the normal $17).

So, with my car finally parked, Trevor and I hastily made our way through security to the departure gate – only to discover that our flight had been delayed for more than an hour. This, unexpectedly, gave us time to grab a bite to eat and browse the various airport newsstands for the latest novel by Stephen King or Michael Crichton (yes, my academic days are behind me. Sue me). The two of us returned to the gate just in time to discover that our flight’s departure time had been delayed even more because – I KID YOU NOT – American Airlines was trying to “locate a crew to fly the plane to Hartford”. Uhmmmm, yeah. That’s kind of an important detail, donchathink?! I mean, call me crazy, but those big, metal planes don’t just fly themselves…

Long story short (or shortER, at least), Trevor and I finally arrived in Hartfort, CT around 1:30 AM. Since we knew we would be getting in late (even before you threw in the unexpected flight delay), we had already arranged to spend the night at the Marriott near the airport. However, we did not anticipate the following:

  1. Being unable to pick up our rental car upon arrival - even though we supplied Dollar with our flight number (and they knew our flight was delayed leaving Dallas). Dollar was apparently closed for the night, despite the fact that their competition over at Thrifty, Budget and Avis all kept their rental facilities open and their shuttles running for their customers arriving late on our flight.

  2. The shuttle from the airport to the hotel being closed down for the night as well.

  3. The taxi taking us to the WRONG Marriott.

  4. The concierge at the wrong Marriott being a complete and utter crackjass. He actually said to me, “Why didn’t you tell the cab driver that you didn’t want to be taken to the wrong hotel?” My response: “Really? You really think I came to the wrong hotel on purpose? At 2:30 in the morning? You’ve got to be kidding me!”

  5. Dollar-rent-a-car putting Trevor on hold for 45 minutes while they checked to see if we were lying about our flight being delayed.

  6. Finding out that Dollar had given away our rent a car when we hadn’t shown up by midnight.

  7. Learning that Dollar no longer had any available rent a cars due to the holiday weekend rush.

So, yeah. Fun. Loads of it.

The good news: We finally DID check into our hotel room (at the RIGHT Marriot) around 3:30 AM. And Dollar? Yeah. They “suddenly” located an available car after we…ahem…reasoned with them. Crisis averted (although barely).

The rest of the trip went more or less as planned. We woke up early(ish) on Saturday morning and drove the almost 4 hours to Middlebury, VT (and I always thought those New England states were little!). Trevor even learned about “Tag Sales” along the way! Yey!

Anyway, here are a couple of pictures of the wedding. Isn’t Becky a beautiful bride?!

Middlebury, Vermont

Before the ceremony...

Becky making her entrance...

The bride and groom...

Husband and wife...

Sunday, September 09, 2007

In the category of: "Why?"

Really?  PMS TX 2?!

Trevor and I parked next to this car while visiting the Baylor ER last week. Looking at it brings the following questions to mind:

  1. A Hummer? Really?

  2. Is there a PMS TX 1?

  3. Do you think the driver is a gynecologist?

  4. Am I the only person that thinks the Hummer should be red?
    Oh, come on! They started it…!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Trevor: like my own personal muse, but different…

I was working late yesterday afternoon when Trevor called me at the office. This is the conversation that transpired:
Me: “Hello?”

Trevor: “Hi.”

Me: “Oh! Hi, Trev! What’s up?”

Trevor: “Okay. Don’t panic.”

Me: “What’s wrong?”

Trevor: “I’m fine. Really. There was just an accident.”

Me: “Oh, no! Are you really alright?”

Trevor: “Yes, I’m fine. I think I need to go to the ER, though.”

Me: “The ER? What’s wrong?”

Trevor: “I think I broke my hand.”

Me: “Well, I’ll drive you…”

Trevor: “…You don’t have to do that. I can drive myself, no problem. Plus, I want to sign the lease for my new apartment first. I’ll just go afterwards, you know, if my hand still hurts and all.”

Me: “You don’t think you should go straight to the ER?”

Trevor: “No. I’m fine. Really.”

Me: “…”

Trevor: “How about this: After I sign my lease, I’ll go to your house. That way you can look at my hand. If you still think I need to go to the ER after seeing it, then you can drive me. Okay?”

Me: “Okay. [Pause while I think about what to say next…] So, what happened anyway? How’s your car?”

Trevor: “My car isn’t that bad, you know, considering…”

Me: “Considering what?”

Trevor: “That I hit a tractor.”

Me: “A what?!”

Trevor: “A tractor. It was heading the wrong way down this street. I didn’t see it because I was at an intersection waiting to turn right. My view was obstructed, plus who expects for a tractor to be heading the wrong way down a busy street at rush hour anyway? I turned right, accelerated and we smacked right into one another. I totally didn’t see it until it was too late. It’s hard to miss a tractor, you know, because they are so big.”

Me: “Oh, my goodness! I’m glad you’re okay! You could have been seriously hurt!”

Trevor: “It wasn’t that big of a deal. Neither one of us was going very fast. It just sucks because it is, like, bumper number 5 on this car and all.”

Me: “I’m just glad you’re okay. Did you file a police report?”

Trevor: “Yeah. The police were involved. It was clearly the tractor’s fault, so that’s in my favor. The contractor at the site told me to contact their insurance company directly.”

Me: “Oh. That’s good, then.”

Trevor: “Well, I better get off the phone. Meet you at your house in half an hour?”

Me: “Yeah. See you then. Unless…”

Trevor: “Unless what?”

Me: “You want me to meet you at the ER?”

Trevor: “No, I’m fine. I’m even starting to think that my hand is okay, too. It feels a lot better now. I’ll probably just ice it tonight and reevaluate it in the morning.”

Me: “Well…we’ll have to see about that.”

Trevor: “Right. But not until after I sign my lease.”

Me: “I know, I know. The lease. Fine. Whatever. See you in thirty minutes. Love you.”

Trevor: “Love you, too. Bye.”

Me: “Bye.”

Now, it is important to mention the following:

  1. Trevor hates doctors. He will insist that he is fine - even if he is (CLEARLY) not - to avoid seeing one.

    Case in point: He broke his big toe years ago playing basketball. Instead of going to a doctor, he decided the toe was okay and would (somehow) get better by itself in time. Today, his big toe is crooked (and by “crooked” I really mean “it looks like it is on backwards”. So. Gross.), and would have to be rebroken and reset to ever look “normal” again. Sigh.

  2. Trevor takes pride in the fact he cannot remember the last time he took a sick day from work. His job even gave him a certificate last year for not taking any sick leave in a twelve month period. I’m sort of surprised he didn’t have the certificate framed.

  3. Just because Trevor didn’t take any medical leave last year, does NOT mean that he was always healthy enough to go to work. I swear: Trevor could be bleeding profusely from the eyeball, and he’d still head to the office. He has some sort of (severely) over-developed sense of duty about his job. I’m not sure I’ll ever understand it.

Consequently, when Trevor called and told me he thought he needed to go to the ER, I was pretty sure his hand was either:

  1. A bloody pulp (and potentially severed from his wrist).

  2. Completely crushed and mangled (needing immediate reconstructive surgery).

So, not wanting to waste any time, I rushed home and waited for “the victim” to arrive at my house.

Half an hour came and went.

Then, forty five minutes.

At the fifty minute mark, I couldn’t stand it any longer and called Trevor. In my panicked state, I starting to imagine him slumped over in his car due to some sort of massive internal hemorrhage. Not pretty.

Finally, on the fifth ring, Trevor answered:
Trevor: “Hello?”

Me: “Oh, thank God! Are you okay?”

Trevor: “Yeah. I’m fine. Just trying to locate my new mailbox. Want to come over and see my new place? It’s larger than the unit they showed me.”

Me: “How about your hand?”

Trevor: “My hand? What about it?”

Me: “How is it? Remember the ER?”

Trevor: “Oh, yeah. About that: it is feeling a lot better now. I really don’t think I need to go anymore.”

Me: “Will you just come home now? I really want to see you.”

Trevor: “Uhmmm…yeah. I can do that. I’ll be there in five minutes.”

Me: “Okay. Thanks. See you soon.”

TEN minutes later, Trevor FINALLY showed up. His hand was bloody, but still attached to his arm (whew!). The “bloody parts” weren’t even that bloody – it almost looked like he had gotten into a fist fight or punched a wall (except, in his case, Trevor probably inadvertently slammed his hand into the dashboard of his car when it crashed into the tractor). His knuckles were the source the blood, but the cuts were all superficial. The only real cause for concern was the swelling on the right side of his right hand. It looked pretty angry. Trevor could still wiggle all his fingers, though, which was a good sign. The pinky and ring fingers were definitely limited in their range of motion, however – especially when Trevor tried to spread his fingers apart (as if he were going to palm a basketball).

Despite Trevor's insisting that he and his hand were fine (and I was making a big deal out of nothing), I decided that we were both going to the hospital. Initially, I thought getting Trevor into the car was going to be a problem, but he got in willingly enough once I pointed out the following:

  • It had been established that the tractor was at fault in the accident.

  • The police report confirmed that the tractor was – again – at fault.

  • The contractor had told Trevor to contact the company’s insurance provider directly to work out the details of getting his car fixed.

Therefore, if Trevor was hurt as a result of the accident, it should be documented by a medical professional as soon as possible. Not that Trevor would ever take legal action against the company operating the tractor, mind you (it was an accident after all), but protecting oneself is always a good idea in today’s society. Especially, in the event that something was really wrong with Trevor’s hand. Trevor has medical insurance, but that only goes so far and covers so much. Best the problem be documented now, rather than later. After all, the more time that passes, the harder it is to prove that the hand was injured in the accident with the tractor. Call me crazy, but I like all my bases covered.

Plus, I had a bad feeling about Trevor’s hand. It was very swollen. Trevor’s “wait and see” idea seemed a little risky to me.

Anyway, I finally get Trevor to the Baylor ER and checked in to the “Minor Emergency Room” (yes, Baylor has various levels of “emergency”. Very convenient. Just remember to check in with the triage nurse before following the blue line to the first floor), when I realize that I’m doing an awful lot of writing on Trevor’s behalf. At first, I dismissed it as nothing (I was there to help), but as time went by I started to pick up on a simple, little fact:

Trevor can’t write. It hurts him too badly.

It was definitely one of those ah-ha! moments for me. Once I recognized it, I knew we had made the right decision to come to the ER.

Trevor, on the other hand (no pun intended), was still in denial. I sat there and listened as he told the nurse and doctor that his hand, “didn’t hurt that badly,” and it was, “probably just bruised”. My personal favorite was when he announced that the pain in his hand only ranked a three on a scale of one to ten. I almost asked the doctor to test Trevor’s pain tolerance by asking Trevor to write down his name and telephone number with a pen and paper, but decided against it. After all, Trevor was fooling no one but himself.

So, as you might have already guessed, Trevor broke his hand.

Good news: It is a clean break, so (hopefully) no surgery will be required. The type of break is also known as a “Boxer’s Break” (meaning: people who box often sustain fractures of the same bone(s) in their hand(s) during a match). Trevor is VERY excited about being lumped into the same category as a boxer. I’ve actually heard him say, “I broke my hand. It’s a ‘Boxer’s Break’. Yeah, that’s right. I broke my hand just like a boxer.” I’m pretty sure the story will morph into Trevor fighting the tractor with his bare hands before long…

Bad news: He’ll be needing a cast once the swelling goes down. I’m hoping for pink one (mainly because Trevor has already announced that I will not be allowed to sign it. Humph…we’ll see about that!).

On a serious note, though, I’m really, really happy that Trevor is okay. I was very worried about him yesterday – mainly because I knew he was hurting even though he wouldn’t admit it. Plus, there was the whole “Trevor had a head on collision with a tractor” thing. It all could have turned out very differently. After all, the tractors are kind of designed to “win”, especially when faced with a small, domestic SUV, like Trevor’s TrialBlazer. Everything considered, a broken hand and bumper are two small prices to pay.

Oh, and just incase anyone was wondering, Trevor DID go into work today (although he took the morning off). That boy’s dedication to his job knows no bounds (rolls eyes). Apparently, when Trevor called his boss this morning, the conversation went something like this:
Trevor: “Hi. So, I’ll be coming in a little late today. I was involved in an accident on the way home from work yesterday, and I broke my hand.”

Boss: “Really?! Wow. A broken hand, huh?”

Trevor: “Yeah. It’s a ‘Boxer’s Break’. I’ve got a splint on it now, but will need a cast in a few days once the swelling goes down.”

Boss: “Oh. [Pause…] So, uh, do you think you’ll still be able to, uh, type?”

Poor widdle, tinkie-winkie!
Sigh. Poor Trevor…

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Wallace Lake (well, almost anyway)...

This hike is just up Missionary Ridge (north of Durango), and can be reached easily by car. Thanks to the 2002 fire, mom, Trevor and I drove to the wrong trailhead (all the burned timber is a little disorientating), and hiked an easily three miles before turning around and heading back to the car – all the time wondering where the stupid lake was!

The burned forest is starting to regenerate, and is very beautiful in a different way than some of the other hikes we've been on. Additionally, dead trees can be heard falling down from time to time, which almost gives the area a haunted, eerie feel (that whole, “if a tree falls down in a forest and no one is around, does it make a sound” thing).

We did find Wallace Lake eventually, but - for some reason - I do not seem to have any photos of it. All the following images are from the short three mile hike we did trying to find Wallace Lake from the first trailhead. Just so you know, though, you can literately drive all the way up the logging road to Wallace Lake without a problem (or a four-wheel drive vehicle even). This is a great hike to go on when trying to get acclimated.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Ice Lakes (in the cold, cold rain)...

The Ice Lakes is one our absolute favorite hikes in all of Colorado. It is on the longer side (between 8 and 12 miles roundtrip depending on which ice lake you are shooting for), so be sure to bring plenty of water and snacks. I'd also suggest packing several layers. As you will see in the photos, it started out sunny and warm at the base of the mountain (just north of Silverton), but turned rainy, windy and cold by the time we reached Fuller Lake cabin. Seriously. At one point it was sleeting. In August. Be prepared!

Trevor and I have completed this hike several times before. It is where THIS PICTURE was taken back in 2004, and is the infamous hike where Trevor (finally) swore off smoking for good back in 2003. In fact, the only reason the 2004 photo was taken was because Trevor was unable to make it to that same point the year before! I have THIS great shot of Trevor in almost the same place with his arms outspread – like he was conquering the mountain. Very inspirational!

The following pictures are only in a loose order, but I don’t think it makes them any less dramatic. Trevor and I completed this hike twice this year, so you’ll be seeing more images from this area (but a different lake) later on. Enjoy!