Wednesday, April 30, 2008

But, seriously!

Just to clarify, I was quoting Susie last night when I said, “I just LOVE going to strip clubs!”

Not that the random pub quiz guy who walked by our couch AT THAT PRECISE MOMENT knew that or anything.


On Baseball and Flan...

Trevor got four free tickets to the Ranger’s game last Saturday.

At first, I was all excited: the Ranger’s had won the night before and our seats were right next to the Bull Pen. I even brought my mitt JUST INCASE the Ranger’s hit a homerun in my direction. I LOVE YOU, Hank Blalock (even if you are younger than me, changed your number from 12 to 9, and are ALWAYS mysteriously "injured" whenever I make it to a game!)!

The Ranger’s started out strong, and were in the lead for most of the first five or six innings. But, like all good things, that abruptly came to an end. It was a slow and somewhat painful collapse – not unlike a flan in a cupboard.

The good news was that we found two potential boyfriend’s for Melissa that night:

- AND -

My vote is for Superfan even if he looked like this at the end of the game:

Poor Superfan...

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ah, kids...

Last week a group of 150+ kindergarteners visited the museum. We didn’t charge them or anything. The point of the field trip that day was for the kiddos to learn “appropriate museum behavior”, which can be difficult when you are five.

Anyway, the kids all filed into the museum and looked at the various paintings, statues and exhibitions. Attention spans are short at that age, so their visit probably lasted only thirty minutes or so. And there were no problems (except for a gazillion little hand prints on the display cases), save for the following:

The kindergarteners traveled by class in a single file line behind their teacher. Kind of like a row of ducklings following their mother. When it was time to leave the museum, I held open the front door and the teacher and students filed out in an orderly fashion. Except for one little girl that had fallen about 10 feet behind the boy directly in front of her.

With tears in her eyes, she stopped, looked up at me, and declared, “I’m lost!”

Resisting the urge to laugh (please note that there were about five OTHER classes from her school still in the museum at this point, not to mention the seven or eight other kids from her class standing directly behind her), I calmly reassured her that - as long as she kept walking towards the big, yellow school bus - someone would find her.

Sometimes I really love my job...

Somewhere Ann Richards is rolling in her grave...

Every once in awhile the museum staff is sent books to review. Most of the time, they are just new books on old subjects. Nothing terribly exciting. Depending on the topic or historic relevance of the book to our museum, someone on our staff may be asked to take a book home with them, read it and write a short review for the author or publisher. Generally speaking, the majority of these review requests are handled by the museum’s Executive Director, and I only hear about them later on (if at all).

So, imagine my surprise when my boss came into my office last week giggling uncontrollably and telling me about something, “I had to see to believe.” Having no idea what he was talking about, I got up from my desk and followed him down the hall into his office. Once there, he handed me two children’s paperback volumes. Both were brightly illustrated paper doll books. The first one contained famous Texas men and the other famous Texas women.

Not understanding why my boss found the two books so (obviously) amusing, I slowly started to thumb through the pages of the book about famous Texas women.

My Boss: “Check out the one about Ann Richards.”

Me: “Uhmmmm, okay.”

And that’s when I saw the following:

*Gasp!* Poor Ann Richards being depicted in granny panties, old lady bra and thigh highs! Dear God! Was that really the best way to portray a former governor of Texas? Whatever happened to paper dolls wearing conservative one-piece bathing suits? Or full coverage slips? Is it really necessary to show them in their underwear?

And the book about famous Texas men was not a whole lot better:

I don’t know what I thought was underneath Willie Nelson’s denim jeans, but black tightie-whities definitely wasn’t it.

The book also pairs Audie Murphy (spelled M-U-R-P-H-I-E in the book), with the likes of Larry Hagman under the subheading “Movie Stars”. While it is true that Audie Murphy WAS in over 45 films, I believe his rightful place should have been under “Military Heroes” with individuals like Juan Seguin and Davy Crockett (who, might I add, was NOT a Texan. Crockett was from Tennessee, and spent less than three months in Texas before dying at the Alamo). After all, the fact that Audie Murphy was the most decorated combat soldier at the time of his death is NOT something that should be overshadowed by his later escapades in Hollywood. But I guess that is just my opinion, so whatever.

(The history dork inside me growls in frustration...)

At least my boss is planning on writing a somewhat stern review. I believe the word he used was, “inappropriate.” I couldn’t agree more.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Tight jeans and hot tooshies...

Yesterday, my boyfriend (yes, that would be Trevor) bought a pair of 7 jeans from the 7 For All Mankind store at Northpark.

Why does this event warrant mentioning? Well, I find it comical that my boyfriend now has a pair of designer jeans, while me?...yeah, not so much.

It was pretty funny, though. The first pair of jeans Trevor tried on were…well, “very fitted”. As in: there was NO question about what he was…errrr, “packing”. How he missed this detail before exiting the dressing room is beyond me. Needless to say, hysterical giggling ensued from the ever-supportive girlfriend.

In the end, Trevor opted for the more relaxed fit (Thank Goodness!). And while he will most likely have to endure a fair amount of lighthearted teasing from yours truly (for owning a pair of designer jeans, of course), I must admit: that boy’s toosh looks AWESOME in expensive denim.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Maybe it is just the month of April?!

“It has begun to occur to me that life is a stage I’m going through.”

- Ellen Goodman

Remember last April when I was cursed with bad karma? Well, yeah. It’s back.

Since Monday (yes, that would be TWO days ago) the following has occurred:

  • My air conditioner compressor sorta-kinda-almost died within moments of it’s spring check up. Seriously. The AC guy came out to service my system, said everything looked great and left. I then proceeded to go outside and paint my deck (long story. I was exhausted and trying to avoid an afternoon nap) when I heard a long hissing coming from the AC compressor. Further investigation revealed a cold gas that smelled funny leaking out of the unit. Assuming it was the Freon (and thinking THAT wasn’t a good sign), I called the air conditioning company back and told them about the problem. Apparently, no one could come back out to my house that afternoon (even though what’s-his-name had just left), so they told me they’d send someone else out the following morning.

    That night, it was 80 degrees in my house. I slept well, let me tell you. Grrrr…

    The next morning, the repairman shows up just as I was returning home from the gym. After an hour and a half of banging on my machine, he announces that it is completely out of Freon (Duh!). Freon, by the way, that I will have to pay to replace. Which seems weird to me since the damn compressor was working fine BEFORE he “serviced it” the day before.

  • I’m pretty sure Gypsy Kitty has another ear infection. This would only signify bad luck to you if you knew that so far this month she has been to the emergency vet, had her annual checkup, shots and blood work AND was boarded at the vet’s last weekend while I was at my 10 year high school reunion in Maryland. Yeah, Gypsy? Over $600 spent on her since April 1st. Not cool.

  • My internet at home died last night. So, if you were expecting a lot of entries this week, I’m sorry. You will be disappointed. Unless I decide to blog from work, which is unlikely. The only reason I’m blogging from the office right now is because it is after 5 PM and I’m waiting to hear whether or not I’m still needed to give more info for our latest grant application.

    But HOW did I know my internet was down? Well, there was this awesome light show on my wireless box thingy, followed by…well, nothing. All the lights went out and didn’t come back on. So, I unplugged it and tried a different plug (Nothing!). Then I tried resetting the stupid thing (Again. Nothing!). Finally, I called costumer service and talked to some guy named Frank somewhere overseas. And, guess what? Frank had me REPEAT everything I had already tried just to see if I got the same result while he was on the phone, which I did (even though it annoyed me to no end). The end result: Frank declared my wireless box thingy to be “dead”, which was something I had already determined before I called him. So, yeah. That was fun.

    And now, I get to call the Sales Department and order a new internet box thingy for the bargain price of several hundred dollars (I don’t believe Frank when he says I’ll get some sort of discount).

    But my favorite was the following conversation I had with Frank:

    Frank: “I’d transfer you to Sales, but they are already closed for the evening.”

    Me: “What are their hours?”

    Frank: “Nine to five.”

    Me: “Eastern?”

    Frank: “What?”

    Me: “Which time zone is the Sales Department located in?”

    Frank: “What does that mean?”

    Me: “Well, there are four time zones in the U.S….”

    Frank: “Yes, but I’m not located in the U.S.”

    Me: “Yeah, but it sounds like Sales is since they are only open from nine to five.”

    Frank: “And why does it matter if it is one time zone or another?”

    Me: “Because I want to call when Sales is open, and if they are located in the Eastern time zone I will have to make sure I call them tomorrow at work because they will be closed before I get home. But if they are located in California, I can wait to call until after I get home tomorrow evening.”

    Frank: “I see. So…what are my options again?”

    Me: “Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific.”

    Frank: “Hmmmmm. I don’t know, but if I had to guess I’d say ‘Central’.”

OMG, Frank! You’re killing me! KILLING ME!

And no I haven’t ordered a new internet box thingy, because when I called today on my lunch hour the Sales Department was closed. So, I may never get this issue resolved, which is sad because I have so much to post about:

- My 10 year high school reunion
- Bob the Beagle
- Ann Richards and the paper dolls

Alas! To say I am frustrated would be the understatement of the year.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I always knew Haskell was a "bird dog"...

My dogs are shedding. Shedding like you would not believe. Actually “shedding” isn’t the right word for it. It’s more the Great Fluff Exodus of 2008.

In other words: it is bad this year. Especially with Haskell. It’s almost like he’s doing it on purpose. I know how that sounds, but I swear the shedding problem got exponentially worse after last week’s vet appointment. It was just Haskell’s annual checkup. No big deal. He’s completely healthy…except the vet thinks Haskell needs to go on a diet and lose two or three pounds. The Doc actually referred to my dog as “Husky Haskell”, and asked if Haskell was active (my answer, “Yes, but not voluntarily”).

Poor little guy. The cut in kibble has definitely NOT gone unnoticed. Nor have the longer walks around the neighborhood and lake. Haskell always starts out strong, with his tail held high. But after about half an hour, the tail starts to droop and his pace slows until Gypsy and Alley are all but out of sight ahead of him. I think Haskell believes I’m trying to kill him. And it has only been one week. Or seven weeks (in dog time).

But I digress.

Back to the hair problem: I’ve gotten into the habit of trying to brush both of my dogs at night before I go to bed. I have a FURminator (i.e. the BEST pet brush EVER), and using it regularly is all part of my effort to stay on top of problem - lest my house, furniture and floor be covered in black dog fuzz. The ritual usually involves me (sometimes Trevor) taking the dogs outside on the deck in the backyard, and…well, brushing them. Generally, after about 10-15 minutes of vigorous grooming, I have enough defluffed hair to build two additional dogs lying around the deck in grayish clumps. I’m constantly surprised that THAT much hair can come off of a dog every single night without one of them going bald. It’s seriously amazing.

Anyway, I generally pick up the clumps of hair and dispose of them (because large clumps of dog hair lying around the backyard is gross), but I have been leaving a hairball or two out every now and again for the nesting birds in the area. There is a nest in the tree overlooking my driveway and backyard that is completely full of dog hair. How do I know this? Well, two or three weekends ago I was outside brushing my dogs, and couldn’t help but notice these two birds that kept flying down into the yard and picking up HUGE clumps of dog hair and flying away with it. This process of collecting hair continued for a little more than an hour (at which time I finally located their nest way up high in the tree). And now there is a soon-to-be mama bird diligently sitting on eggs, which excites me to no end (baby birdies! Weeeeee!). Guess it is true what they say: One man’s garbage is another man’s treasure (except I am a woman and we are discussing a bird nest and dog hair, but whatev).

However, I found out today that I’m being too stingy with the number of hairballs I’m leaving behind for the birds. This morning I encountered five birds (5!) fighting over one of last night’s disregarded hair clumps in the flower bed just off the side of the deck. I wanted to run out screaming, “No need to fight guys! There is plenty more where that came from!” But I didn’t. They wouldn’t understand and would probably just fly away (because, you know…they are birds and all). So, I did what any rational person would do: I took Haskell outside, brushed him and deposited the hairballs in the various flowerbeds in my backyard. And you know what?! Most of them were gone this evening when I got home. Which means nothing except that Haskell and Gypsy fluff is popular bedding for birds.

Does that make me the Mattress Giant of the Avian Kingdom?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stuck on Band Aid Brand. Literately.

I totally have this commercial stuck in my head:

The thing is: I LOVE this ad. It makes me happy whenever it comes on TV. The kids are adorable, and it always makes giggle the way the little boy sings the word, "Soooooo".

But going through the day with, "I is stuck on Band Aid Brand cuz Band Aid stuck on me," is not very professional. Especially when you are caught humming it to yourself. Twice. In under an hour. During a meeting.

I guess Band Aid really IS stuck on me.

“I is stuck on Band Aid Brand…”


It is going to be a looooooong day.

Monday, April 14, 2008

So typical...

Mom: "Did you go riding today?"

Amy: "No. I got my hair done."

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

An update on Lucy...

From: Deals
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2008 2:55 PM
To: Tracy
Cc: Melissa
Subject: About Lucy (yes, again)...

Dear Tracy,

I am deeply saddened by the lack of improvement when it comes to Miss Lucy’s standard of living at the museum. In the past few weeks, I have been made aware of the following unacceptable situations:

  • March 6th: Lucy nearly freezes to death as temperatures in the DFW area plummet to below freezing. Wet and shivering, poor Lucy is forced to stand outside (sans coat, scarf, boots, or heating pads) in the driving wind as ice pellets and snow flakes nip and sting at her sensitive hide.

  • March 18th: Lucy’s already grim surroundings down at the farmstead flood. Despite the near constant downpour, Miss Lucy is left outside for HOURS without a raincoat, goulashes, umbrella or meager shelter of any kind. Only AFTER the wooly yard art began to LITERATELY float away does Miss Lucy get relocated to higher ground. And by “higher ground” I really mean “chateau Nip and Tuck” where poor Lucy is forced to stand in muddy donkey filth – adding much suffering to an already miserable situation.

  • March 19th: Despite the flood the day before, Lucy is forcibly returned to her muddy paddock where she wallows in muck until things SLOWLY dry out…over a period of days. DAYS!

  • April 5th: As if the insult of not being invited to the GONE TO TEXAS gala was not enough, Lucy is shocked to learn that beef (BEEF!) was served at the event. The shame! Not even the chickens had to endure such horrible news (as no chicken was served at the fundraiser). With a heavy heart, Lucy considers applying for a position at Chick-fil-A as one of the “Eat More Chicken” cows. Sadly, she learns that the only openings are for black and white dairy cows. Depressed and feeling discriminated against because of her natural coloring (and all beef ribs), Lucy cries herself to sleep.

It would be in DHV’s best interest to treat Miss Lucy better. Just this morning I learned of a farmer on the TODAY SHOW who pampers his bovine employees for SOUND BUSINESS REASONS. Happy cows make happy profits! If you don’t believe me, please click on HERE. Keep in mind that Miss Lucy has NEVER asked for something as luxurious as a waterbed. That said, she would never turn one down if one was provided to her (which I think should be. AT ONCE!).

Lucy’s #1 Fan

Monday, April 07, 2008

Funny what you remember...

They tore it down three days shy of the fourteenth anniversary of my grandfather's death.

Just over three years since my grandmother passed away, and I still lived there as a house sitter.

I knew it was coming.

I still cried when I finally saw it reduced to rubble. So many memories in that house. And now it is gone forever.

On March 30th, my grandmother's closet still smelled like her...

And part of me still expected to see her sitting on her bed through this window...

(I'd always try to sneak up and knock on her window from the yard without her noticing me. She'd always pretend like she didn't see me coming and act surprised. I’d giggle. She’d come out and give me a hug. I miss that.)

Now, nothing but memories remain.

I miss you Memaw...

I miss you Pop-Pop...

Love always,
Your Deeeeeeeeeal

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Gone but never forgotten...

From this on March 30th, 2008...

...To this on April 5th.

Incase you cannot read the signs in front of the teardown pictures, they are advertising the Park Cities Historic & Preservation Society's 6th Annual Historic Home Tour. My grandparent's house was built in the 1920s, making it one of the "older" homes in the Park Cities. Nothing quite like irony, huh?

Taking a CHANCE on Mark Chestnut...

I am not known for being the best salesperson. Especially when it comes to selling CHANCE TICKETS at a country-western gala benefiting a local nonprofit.

That said, I am VERY capable of BUYING said CHANCE TICKETS and putting other people's names in the bucket for the drawing. And by “other people” I REALLY mean “those who are unbelievably gifted at selling CHANCE TICKETS”. Quite frankly, if you are THAT good at selling CHANCE TICKETS, I believe you should have a “chance” to have Mark Chestnut serenade you. On stage. In front of 550 people. I’ll even pay for you to have “a chance” at that particular honor. It’s my small way of acknowledging the fact that you are 30 times better at selling CHANCE TICKETS than I am. And, you know, supporting a good cause at the same time.

Of course, how could I have known that you’d actually end up being serenaded by Mark Chestnut? On stage?! In front of 550 people?!! Talk about my luck!

This definitely goes into the category of:
Best Money I’ve EVER Spent

And to think it is all tax deductible, too!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

This is torture. NOT ART.

I received the following email forward from a friend of mine this morning. CLICK HERE to sign the petition and prevent such horrible animal cruelty from happening to another dog in Honduras in 2008.

To my animal lover friends,

Please forgive the group e-mail but this seems important and perhaps our signatures may help.

I'm wondering if you have heard about the boycott petition for an artist from Costa Rica who used a starving street dog as an art installation in a gallery in Nicaragua and purposely let the dog die in public view.

I received several e-mails about this issue and honestly at first I thought it was a hoax, I could not believe it was true, but sadly it is true.

This artist has been chosen to display this same "installation" with another dog in the 2008 Biennial in Honduras.

Here is the petition to boycott a second opportunity for this artist to have another dog dying in public display. You can find more information by googling the artist name, the 2008 Honduras Biennial and animal rights groups.

I haven't been able to find any evidence online so far to suggest this is a prank or hoax.
And the pictures of the emaciated dog had to come from somewhere...

If this is someone's idea of a good laugh or April Fool's Day joke, though, it is NOT FUNNY.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

About all the politics I can handle for one day…

Yeah. Your sign? Totally upside down.

As you may remember, I was nominated to be an alternate delegate to the 23rd Texas Senatorial District Convention during the March 4th democratic primary. This had nothing to do with me wanting to be part of the convention. I was nominated partly because we needed six delegates and six alternates (and there were only thirteen people left in “Camp Hillary” by the time we got around to “electing” people to go to the convention) and partly because my across-the-street neighbor pointed at me and said, “I nominate her!” Yeah, that neighbor? Lucky Number Thirteen. Had I been that quick, I could have avoided the situation all together, too. Boo!

I really didn’t think much about going, though. I was an alternate, after all. I would only be needed if one of the delegates called to say that they couldn’t make it. And I was one of SIX alternates (i.e. there were five other people could take slacker delegate’s place in a pinch. It didn't have to be me). The odds were I wouldn’t get called.

Or so I thought.

Yep. I got called.

So, even though I had only JUST returned home from Galveston the night before, I got to wake up before the sun rose and haul my a$$ down to the Ellis Davis Field House IN FREAKIN’ LANCASTER, TEXAS. Because why not make everyone drive down there on a Saturday morning?

Yeah, me? Not such a happy camper.

I was even less happy when I encountered traffic on I-20. Until I realized that the traffic was being caused by the number of people attending the convention. Thrilled I was, let me tell you (Grrrrrrrr…)!

Finding a parking place was not easy, but I wasn’t prepared for the registration process. Oh, holy hell was it crowded. You couldn’t move. Not even if you wanted to. I mean, seriously! It may sound cliché, but we were like sardines in a can. I’ve never felt so clausterphobic. Ever.

I finally got registered around 10 AM. This is impressive only if I tell you that I walked through the doors at 8 AM. That’s right: TWO HOURS STANDING IN LINE WAITING TO REGISTER!

Amazing. Simply amazing.

Only then was I able to go and find my precinct (of course much, much, MUCH easier said than done considering the number of people in attendance AND the fact that they had made a lot of last minute changes to the precinct locations) and sit down.

Did I mention that they had told us to plan on staying for six hours?

Because were there for twelve.

Yep. Nothing to do but wait. And try to read.

I’d tell you what we were waiting for, but I honestly cannot understand why it took so long. I heard a rumor that a bunch of the other precincts had to re-caucus. Apparently they had sent too many delegates and alternates, and it took hours for them to decide on who got to vote in the convention (a lot of people felt very strongly about getting to vote for their presidential preference). Don’t get me wrong, it was great to see so many people excited about participating in the democratic process. I just can’t comprehend the time it took to accomplish…well, anything that day.

It was frustrating.

And LOUD. 5,000 people cheering and chanting almost nonstop for twelve hours is both deafening and incredibly annoying.

Even more so since MY candidate doesn’t have a good chant. Actually, we had NO chant. At least none that we were aware of. It was okay, though, because we were in the minority. VAST minority. Our voices would have just gotten lost in all the noise.

We finally started the first caucus around 6 P.M. And this was only after clear, plastic donation bins were passed around. Apparently, the convention cost around $40,000 to put on, and we (the ever-patient patriots) were told that we each needed to contribute $10 a piece to cover our part.

Uhmmmmm, yeah. Nice try. But no thanks. Next time you pay me.

The first caucus took about an hour to complete. Tempers were short. There was one pregnant woman who made the long process even longer by complaining about how long the process was taking. Really? Is that the best use of time? Because I’m pretty sure everyone was KEENLY aware of how LONG it was taking. No one needed for her to point it out (namely, because pointing out how long it is taking only takes more time). If she wasn’t pregnant (and so clearly a hormonal mess), I might have been inclined to smack her.

The second caucus only took about ten minutes. Theoretically, it should have taken longer because we were voting on two people from our precinct (one delegate and one alternate) to send to the state convention in Austin. My precinct, however, had already (unofficially) decided on who were going to nominate and vote on beforehand (there are only so many different things a group of strangers can talk about for twelve hours). It came up, and we all agreed we should have a plan - lest we be there all night.

So, yeah. That was my Saturday. It was kind of like having my wisdom teeth pulled – I’m glad it’s over but I’d never want to do it again. How’s that for an analogy?!