Thursday, December 31, 2009

How Oy! Oy! The Envoy ended 2009...


Yes, that's right: my car now has 50,000 miles on the odometer. Has it really been that long since THIS POST?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

In love with you, as always (grumble, grumble)...

I got a termination notice from the City of Dallas Water Department today. Apparently, I haven’t paid my bill in a couple of months.

Here’s the thing, though. I haven’t received a f-ing bill since we moved into our new house. Over the summer, I made monthly phone calls about this issue and complained to several individuals who – in typical City employee fashion – could have cared less. So, I created an account online, and asked to receive email notifications of my bills since it was apparently impossible to receive them the regular way.

It took a couple of months, but the City FINALLY started emailing me bill notifications. But I guess around late October they decided to stop sending me those as well. Because they like to screw with me like that. And, well, I just forgot about the d@mn water bill. I am used to paying bills PROMPTLY upon receiving them. But how in the HELL am I supposed to remember to pay a bill:

  1. I am never notified about?


  2. I have to remember to call a Dallas Water Utilities costumer service agent MONTHLY to find out the amount? Something – as discussed in previous posts – is often easier said than done.


  3. Without any kind of invoice number to tie it to?


All these points are ESPECIALLY important considering they sent me the notice TODAY informing me that they plan to turn off my water on MONDAY during a week when City offices are only open through TOMORROW.

And, then, there was this little dandy:


Luckily, after much trial and error, I was able to access my account online, and managed to pay my bill. Albeit, for a bill that listed my CURRENT address under a label that referenced my OLD address (which is most likely the root of the problem). I also enjoy the fact that this “confusion” has apparently taken place MONTHS after relocating back in JUNE. And that I get to PAY for their mistake with late payments and threats to discontinue my water.

Plus, it drives me up the wall that I really only have myself to blame. After all, I’ve known they were incompetent for years now. I need to remind myself to remind them to bill me properly, or pay the price.

Of course, I am still fascinated that they have NO problem mailing me a termination notice. It is just regular monthly billing that is the problem.

And, yet again, I am reminded about how much I hate that the City of Dallas has a monopoly on water. If there was a competitor out there, I’d switch in a heart beat.

Confessions of a mad woman...

The following story is being posted by popular request (not my own). This really means I am posting this so that you, Internet Metapeople, can join in the fun and laugh at my expense.

You know all the recent stories about Tiger Woods in the news? Well, unless you’ve been living in a hole, you know that he has been accused of being more or less a man-whore. His marriage is most likely over, and for awhile there, it seemed like a new sexual liaison (or two or eight) was emerging other day for weeks.

And – for the record – I KNOW who Tiger Woods is. He is the golfer that has won every coveted golfing whatever for the past decade. Or two. I’m not a golfing fanatic. But I know who Tiger Woods is.

See? Tiger.

But for whatever reason when all the stories were breaking after Thanksgiving, I kept getting Tiger confused with Jared-the-Subway-Guy.

Hi! I'm Jared.

Why? I dunno. Again: I KNOW who both Tiger Woods AND Jared-the-Subway-Guy are.

And, yet, whenever a new story about Tiger emerged, the mental image of Jared was conjured up in my brain. And I felt bad! Because poor Jared lost all that weight eating Subway sandwiches and found love only to become a man-whore and blow it all.

Except Jared didn’t cheat on his wife. Tiger did. And I know that.

And, yet? I still find myself periodically confused.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Remembering Moo...


Moo passed away exactly one year ago today at the age of 98.

To celebrate her life, Mimi, Dorothy (Moo's nurse for 15 years), my dad and I went El Fenix. I also donated blood this afternoon in her memory.


I love and miss you, Moo! Today and every day! XOXO, Deals

Thursday, December 24, 2009

My father torturing my dogs during my first Christmas party as a married woman...




NOTE: The girls (a.k.a. Gypsy and Alley) were spending the party in the guest bedroom after Alley tried to eat the smoked turkey while no one was looking. Problem was, both my sister and I WERE looking. Oops. Poor Alley. And since Alley threw a hissy fit about sitting out the party alone, Gypsy took one for the team and stayed with her. Good Gypsy. Santa will bring you something extra special this year. It might involve left over smoked turkey...

Could it be?

I have never, ever seen a white Christmas. Despite the decade I spent on the east coast (including the four years in Syracuse), I always returned to Texas for the holidays. And Dallas really isn't known for snow.

But then tonight? SNOW! This is REALLY something - especially considering it was 72 degrees only yesterday.









Keep your fingers crossed that it lasts until morning!


Nite, nite!

Merry Christmas Eve!

Gypsy, Alley and Haskell's stockings are hung by the chimney with care, in hopes that Santa Paws soon would soon be there:

Monday, December 21, 2009

A busy time at the Rainbow Bridge...

Loved ones always seem to go in threes.

Much love goes out to the friends and families of the following three kitties:

  • Franklin Lenhart, who passed away this morning.

    Franklin


  • Max "Max-a-million" Haynes, who passed away on December 16th.

    Max


  • Mittens "Mitty" Dealey, who passed away on December 6th. Mittens came to us as a kitten. She was discovered by my childhood cat, Tootsie, in the pile of bricks that was delivered to my dad's house when he was redoing his front walkway in the late 80s. How little Mitty survived both the brick delivery and drop off is still considered to be a bit of a miracle in our family.

    Mittens was adopted by my maternal grandparents, and outlived them both. After my grandmother was relocated to a retirement community in 2004, Mittens went to live with my uncle. At the time of her death, she was at least 20 years old.

    Sadly, I cannot find a picture to properly memorialize sweet Mittens. To give you an idea, though, she was a beautiful long haired tuxedo cat with milky white mittens on each of her four paws.



And please don't forget little Foxy, who has not been found since she went missing on December 9th, but is never far from our hearts.

If only...

So far my three are only good at "eating" oraments and shorting out the bottom string of lights on the Christmas tree...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

I'm baaaaack...

After a blissful and relaxing week in Cabo, Trevor and I have returned home.

The good news: I have pictures to share and stories to tell.

The bad news: My computer is slooooooow. I have had my laptop since graduate school and it is dying a somewhat slow and painful death. This makes uploading pictures at home quite tedious.

The hopeful news: Rumor has it that I may the joyful recipient of a new laptop for Christmas. Keep your fingers crossed for me, okay?!

More from me later...

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Prayers for Foxy...


My mother's dog, Foxy, disappeared last night.

We are fearing the worst. The number of small dogs and cats that have gone missing in her area (thanks to bobcats, hawks and coyotes) has dramatically increased in recent weeks.

And Foxy always was the brave one. Even taking on copperheads when given the chance.


So, if you get a chance, please say a little prayer for a good, feisty, pint-sized pup that has brought nothing but joy and happiness to our family.


And if, by some miracle, she is still out there, pray that she finds her way back home to us soon.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

On Greg Mortenson and old men driving in parking lots...


Last night, Mimi and I went to see Greg Mortenson speak at a local church. We had been planning to go to this particular lecture for weeks – ever since finishing his first book Three Cups of Tea. Although I knew his book was popular and was expecting a crowd, I had NO idea it would be as jam-packed as it was! Mimi and I arrived a good hour before the start of the lecture AND STILL ended up in the overflow room! Amazing!

Mortenson visiting the people in overflow...

While trying to park, we wound our way around the humongous parking lot. It was mass chaos, and since we do not attend that particular parish, Mimi decided to ask directions to the main sanctuary. There was an officer from the Dallas Sheriff’s Office helping to direct traffic, and Mimi rolled down the passenger side window to ask if there was any parking left near where the lecture was scheduled to take place. However, before she could finish asking, a large, champagne-colored SUV backed into my car.

From my vantage point in the driver’s seat, it all happened in slow motion. When we stopped to ask directions, the SUV in front of me continued to drive forward. All the cars were in a single file line, so when we stopped to ask directions from the cop, my car temporarily held up the cars behind me. Then, all of a sudden, the SUV in front of me started to reverse. At first, I wasn’t concerned. He was a good 25 or 30 feet ahead of me. But it was soon clear he didn’t see me. So, I started honking and flashing my lights. The Dallas Sheriff started yelling and waving his arms, and even Mimi started screaming at the car to stop. I threw my car into reverse before remembering that I couldn’t back up because there was a car directly behind me. All I could was helplessly watch as the champagne-colored SUV slowly made contact with my parked car.

Crunch!

After the collision, the SUV pulled forward, and the driver exited his vehicle to talk to the cop. Then, he got back in the SUV and drove away. By this time, Mimi had jumped out of my car to inspect the damage, and I was busy rummaging through my glove box for my insurance information. I was about to drive after the SUV when the cop came back over to my car, and told me the following:

  • There was no damage to my car.


  • The driver of the SUV had no idea he had hit me. He hadn’t seen my car behind him, and apparently did not HEAR or FEEL the crunch of our two vehicles colliding.


  • The driver of the SUV was elderly, and obviously agitated by the number of people at his church and the overwhelming parking situation. This was only compounded when the cop STOPPED him from backing into “his” usual handicapped parking space close to the front door. That’s right, the old man only stopped for the cop. Not because his SUV had just run into another car in the church parking lot.


Since there was no damage to my car, the cop decided against furthering exciting the old man by enlightening him to the minor accident he had just caused and (grumble, grumble) allowed him to continue on.


For the record, though, I think the gentleman driving the champagne-colored SUV with handicapped plates 3VY-DC should maybe reconsider driving. Especially, after dark. In crowded parking lots. Because, really: what if I hadn’t been in a car? What if I had just been walking through the parking lot? I know he didn’t mean to back into me, but I’m seriously concerned about his ability to operate a motor vehicle anymore. Not realizing you just backed into someone (despite all the honking and waving) IN FRONT OF A COP (no less) just isn’t normal. Someone should be concerned about not only the safety of other motorists, but HIM as well.


I can only hope that someone in his family reads this.

But I digress. The real point of this post is that:

The line to get books signed...

Greg Mortenson is amazing, and he not only signed our books, but also came into the overflow room and greeted all of us that couldn’t fit in the main sanctuary. He totally didn’t have to do that. I really thought the closest I would get to him was via the giant TV screen mounted on the wall. But there he was. I was so impressed. And giddy. And weeeeeeeeeee! I really respect what he is doing in Afghanistan and Pakistan. And I love that he also acknowledges the hard work of young people across the country.


If you’ve never heard of Greg Mortenson and the Central Asian Institute, I would highly recommend checking them out. Mr. Mortenson was up for the Nobel Peace Prize this year, and I believe it is only a matter of time until he receives the recognition he deserves.

Mimi getting our books signed!

Ominous sky…



Today's high: 65.

Tomorrow's low: 24.

The good news? At least it will feel more like Christmas in the morning.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Who said Bedford was boring?

Today’s oral history started with the interviewee refusing to let me in until his friend arrived. Which was great since it was cold and rainy, and his “friend” was running forty five minutes late.

The interview ended with the interviewee not wanting me to leave and a somewhat awkward conversation about the state of his prostate.

I love my job.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Clearly, I am an idiot...

I had an oral history yesterday in Farmersville, which – incase you didn’t know – is north of McKinney and one of two north Texas towns that claim Audie Murphy.

During the interview, the interviewee asked me if I knew why Farmersville was called “Farmersville”.

Assuming it would sound rudely sarcastic to blurt out, “Because there are a lot of farmers in the area”. I opted for the much more innocent, “No, why?”

The answer: “Because there are a lot of farmers in the area.”

Well, obviously.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Not farming in Farmersville...

You got to love it when, after driving for over an hour, your scheduled oral history interviewee opens the door, squints at you with something resembling contempt and says,

“Who the hell are you?”


Apparently, I wasn’t what she expected.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

SNOW!





We don't get a lot of the white stuff in Dallas, so when we do, it is cause for excitement! Even if it is "just a dusting"...

Monday, November 30, 2009

That day I almost used a chainsaw...


Yes, I bought a pole chainsaw. Or, as I prefer to call it: a chainsaw on a stick.

Yes, I brought said chainsaw home, fully assembled it and read the instructions cover to cover.

But did I ever use it?

That would be a great, big NO!

Why?

I developed a healthy fear of my new purchase after reading the chapter dedicated to “chainsaw kickback”.

To be fair, I didn’t take the chainsaw back right away. I let the mental images fully mature for a good 15 minutes first: me accidentally cutting off my arm, severing some major blood vessel, etc. But what finally did it was the thought of Trevor returning home with dinner to discover his new wife dead in the backyard with a chainsaw embedded in her skull.

So, yeah. The chainsaw was returned less than ninety minutes after I purchased it.

And when the nice lady at the Home Depot counter asked me why I was returning a fully assembled, perfectly good, unused chainsaw on a stick? Yeah, I totally lied and told her that it wasn’t what my husband wanted.

Funny how karma catches up with you, though.

The limb I intended to fell with the chainsaw, was instead sawed down by hand. It took me over an hour. And when the limb was finally felled, it was too heavy for Trevor (now home) and me to carry to the curb. So, we had to cut the thick branch into four or five smaller pieces. By hand. At dusk. As a thunderstorm rolled in and the mosquitoes swarmed all around us.

It was miserable.

Not unsurprisingly, my new fear of chainsaw kickback was a source of great irritation to Trevor. And, as a result, my tree trimming privileges have been revoked. The next time a limb needs to come down, the professional tree trimmers will be called to do the job.

I wish I could say I was upset. But, yeah, totally not. Because honestly, I'm still completely terrified of chainsaws.

Friday, November 27, 2009

My boyz...


It is important to note that Haskell actually left his bed - voluntarily - to snuggle next to Trevor on the floor. Apparently, his doggie bed can't compete with the warmth found next to Trevor-the-hot box.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Trevor on eating more than me on Thanksgiving...


Trevor: “No. I am a man. A hunk of a man. And you should worship me.”

(Please note: I have never had any intention of trying to out eat my husband. Ever.)

Happy Thanksgiving (sunset), Dallas!




Thanksgiving walks are short and can only occur during half time
(or until mommy sees a pretty sunset)...

Too much turkey and a Thanksgiving tradition is born...

My first Thanksgiving as a married lady, and my new husband is passed out and snoring loudly on the couch with the Cowboy’s game blasting in the background.

I have a feeling that I will see a repeat of this scenario for many, many years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Trevor and I started our day with the annual Turkey Trot.

The Start Line

Haskell was there.

So was Gypsy Kitty.


Alley, however, was not. She spent the morning thinking about the consquences of digging four holes in the dog run.



There were runners.

And walkers.

And everything between.

Always good to start a day of feasting with a brisk, early morning walk through downtown.


Speaking of eating...


...guess what we ate?

Three guesses...

One...

...Two...


Yum.

HAPPY TURKEY DAY, EVERYONE!