Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dear Bert, you are my hero...

This image is brought to you by ASH Designs,
the BEST Graphic Design Company in Dallas (possibly the universe).

Interesting. Very interesting...

Things I found out about today:

  • The air conditioning unit for our office area is broken.

  • There are no plans to repair said air conditioner until September. SEPTEMBER!

  • Instead of being temporarily displaced from my office for two weeks, I should now plan on four to five months.

  • There is not an extra office currently available.

  • We have a new Executive Director.

And, suddenly, this summer is looking a whole lot more interesting. Well, that and I'll probably be working from home more. No AC in August is kind of a deal breaker for me (not that I'll have an office here until the State Fair of Texas begins).

Monday, April 27, 2009

On diarrhea of the mouth…

One of the museums fundraisers took place last Thursday evening.

The black tie seated dinner took place downtown, and had about 150 people in attendance (a good number considering the economy and how much a ticket costs). My boss, coworker (let’s call her Nina Fairchild) and I were in charge of checking people in and handing out table assignments.

Everyone could bring a date if they wanted. Most had provided their guest’s names when calling or mailing in their RSVPs, but not all. One female attendee in particular had told us she’d be bringing a guest, but failed to provide his name. Normally, this isn’t a problem. It was, however, in this particular incidence because her date came to the table to check both of them in using his name, not hers. And his name was John Bobbitt.

Nina: “[Without thinking…] Right. And will Lorena be joining us as well?”

[Brief pause while Nina realizes that she just said that out loud and not in her head]

Nina: “OMG! I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to say that! It just came out! Oh, no! Oh, no! Oh, no! I am SO sorry! Please forgive me!”

Mr. Bobbitt: “No problem. I get it all the time. My date is actually [blah, blah, blah].”

Nina: “[Still bright red…] Okay, here is [blah, blah, blah’s] and your table assignment. Cocktails are through that door over there.”

Mr. Bobbitt: “Thank you so much. And, really, don’t worry about it. I’ve been getting stuff like that since 1993.”

Nina: “I’m still sorry, but thanks.”

My Boss: “[Waiting until Mr. Bobbitt is out of earshot…] Nina Fairchild! I am going to beat you!”

So, yeah, THAT was fun in a completely mortifying kind of way. Poor Nina!

I don’t know what we would have done if Mr. Bobbitt hadn’t been so gracious!

Rainy Monday (Canine) Entertainment...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some traditions are better off forgotten…

From: Susan
Sent: Friday, April 24, 2009 1:56 PM
To: Deals
Subject: Wedding advice

Here’s some wedding advice I read while researching in the “Dallas Story” edition of the Daily Times Herald, Aug. 28, 1949…

“It is bad form for the newlyweds to sneak away from their wedding reception and embark on the honeymoon. They must give the guests their traditional chance to throw rice, confetti, and old shoes, says a bridal consultant.”

I do have some old shoes I need to get rid of… ;)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On gross incompetence…

I never received my water bill this month. Unfortunately, such an incident is not all that uncommon at my house. For whatever reason, I generally get my water bills either the day they are due, or – if I’m extremely “luckily” – the day after. On two occasions since I’ve lived at my current address, I’ve received a bill from the water company that was POSTMARKED the day the bill was due. However, no amount of calling and complaining has ever made a lick of difference (according to them, Dallas Water Utilities cannot be held responsible for the Federal Post Office). I think Dallas is doing it on purpose. Those late fees probably add up pretty quickly. Lucky them.

Anyway, knowing my bill was most likely due soon (and not wanting a late fee), I looked up “Dallas Water Utilities” on the internet this afternoon, and called the number listed on the webpage. All I wanted was my account balance. I pay my bills online through my bank. If I could get the amount due, I'd be golden.

After being subjected to the Dallas Water Utilities automated answering system for just over twenty minutes (press 1 for this, press two for that, etc.), I was finally told by a computer that my account balance was currently unavailable and that I needed to call a customer service agent.

Irritated, but determined to get the bill paid on time, I again turned to the internet for the correct customer service number to call. Four were listed on THEIR WEBPAGE. I started at the top.

The first number had been disconnected.

The second and third numbers were “currently unavailable”.

The forth number was answered by very nice lady who – thank goodness – worked for the water department. She, however, was not a customer service agent or supervisor and was curious to learn how I got her number.

After explaining to her how I got her number (on her company’s website under “customer service”) and what I wanted (a simple account balance), she very graciously looked up my account on her computer and gave me the amount due.

I then gave her the webpage where I found her number listed, and heard her sigh. Apparently, this was nothing new.

Personally, I am convinced that Dallas Water Utilities has no actual customer service line. They just select their employees’ phone numbers at random and post them online. Employees who catch on early, have their numbers disconnected or changed – leaving the problem for the next unsuspecting employee whose phone number has been listed.

I’m just glad I got such a nice and helpful woman on the phone. Otherwise, I’m sure I’d still be navigating Dallas Water Utilities website and phone system. They make it all but impossible to pay your bill on time, I swear.

On Registering…

From: Trevor
Sent: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 8:49 AM
To: Deals
Subject: Registry


I just happened to look at our Bed Bath and Beyond registry, we might need to do some editing tonight. we are registered for 20 spatulas and 5 bottle openers. That's a lot of drinking and pancake flipping....



Monday, April 20, 2009

On being a general disaster...

On Friday, I did an oral history for the museum. The woman I was scheduled to interview lived in a four story assisted living community in north Dallas. I arrived shortly after 2:30 in the afternoon.

After I set up all my equipment and chatted with the interviewee for a few minutes, the oral history was ready to begin. The interviewee, however, wanted to grab a couple of photos to show on camera, and I used the brief lull in the conversation to excuse myself to use the facilities just off the master bedroom.

Upon completion of my business, I washed and dried my hands and turned to leave the bathroom. But something was wrong. The door handle wouldn’t turn. I was locked inside.

After four or five attempts, I finally accepted the fact that I needed help and knocked on the door. The interviewee’s daughter came running, and tried to push the door open from the other side.

Interviewee’s daughter: “Is the lock turned on the inside?”

Me: “Actually, there isn’t a lock.”

Interviewee’s daughter: “Are you holding the knob?”

Me: “No. Want me to try pulling again from this side?”

Interviewee’s daughter: “Sure.”

[Pause while I pulled on the door from the inside…]

Interviewee’s daughter: “Any luck?”

Me: “No. The knob won’t turn at all.”

Interviewee’s daughter: “Hold on. Let me go and find a screwdriver…”

Long story short: the interviewee’s daughter had to essentially disassemble the door to liberate me from the bathroom. All in all, I was trapped in the bathroom for about fifteen minutes.

I bring a whole new level of professionalism to the museum, I swear.

Luckily, both the interviewee and the interviewee’s daughter found humor in the situation, and the subsequent interview went off without a hitch.

Note to self: if you have to pee before an interview, use a public restroom or just HOLD IT!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Can I stand on a box in the wedding, too?

My sister deserves a medal for letting me dress her up like a Barbie doll so many times over the past couple of weeks. Especially, after THIS INCIDENT.

It is a good thing she likes shopping so much or I probably would have given up ages ago!

When getting your car serviced...

Vodka and gin, however, are totally cool.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter (Egg)!

Trevor was confirmed last night in the LOOOOOOOONGEST service known to man. It was totally worth it, though, and now we can dance the Episco-Disco together! Woo-Hoo!

Tuesday, April 07, 2009


Fourteen years (and exactly half my life) ago, my grandfather died. It was a Friday afternoon.

At the time, I was a freshman at a boarding school in Maryland.

My grandfather – a long time smoker – had been diagnosed with lung cancer the year before. Despite all efforts, the cancer spread to his brain.

I knew he wasn’t doing well, but I didn’t realize the end was so close.

That weekend, I had signed up to go Williamsburg, Virginia with some of my schoolmates. It was a trip I had been looking forward to for weeks. In fact I had just finished packing for it, when my mother called to tell me that she had booked me on a flight back to Dallas the following day. Pop-Pop wasn’t doing well. I would be coming home to say, “Goodbye”.

The next morning, the school transported me to the airport where I boarded a plane to Texas. I remember falling asleep, and dreaming of my grandfather. I woke up thinking that I was too late. That he had already died.

My mother was waiting for me at the gate when my plane arrived. I could tell something was wrong from the moment I saw her, but dismissed it as worry for her sick father. It was only after we had claimed my bag and were walking to the car that she told me that Pop-Pop had passed away. He had died while I was on the plane. I was ninety minutes too late.

Sometimes I think about that dream I had on the airplane. I wish I could remember all of the details. I was close to my grandfather, and I’ve often wondered if the dream was his way of saying “goodbye” to me. I’d like to think so, at least.

I can still hear him saying my name – even after all these years. He called me “Deal”, but always drew it out so it sounded like: “Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeal!”

I miss that.

I miss him.

I don’t think that will ever go away.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Believe me now?

I’m not saying, “I told you so.”

But Central Texas lore IS:

Freeze Warning for Dallas County, TX
from 3 am CDT, Tue., Apr. 7, 2009 until 9 am CDT, Tue., Apr. 7, 2009

Issued by The National Weather Service
Dallas/Fort Worth, TX
3:21 pm CDT, Mon., Apr. 6, 2009




Remember this the next time you hear thunder in February…

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Any Questions?

I must have missed that day in Sunday School as a kid...

Today was Palm Sunday.

I got my palm before we processed from the Great Hall into the Cathedral, and spent part of the service trying to figure out how to twist it into a cross.

Tragically, I only managed to maim my palm. I tried to pawn it off as a magical palm rod or wand, but Trevor didn’t buy it.

And then, adding insult to injury, the three, little boys sitting in the pew behind us had managed to turn about 30 palms into crosses (their mother had apparently grabbed a bunch to entertain her brood during the long service). Trevor tried to get the eldest to teach me how to make one, but with no success. According to the little boy, “you either know how to make one, or you don’t.” Yes, that is helpful, thanks (grumble, grumble).

Not that I’ll remember to take the following to church with me NEXT year, but here are some relatively easy to follow directions. Hopefully, this is the last year I’ll be bested by a five-year-old.

  1. Take a palm that is about 2 feet long and 1/2" wide (if it tapers at the top, this is good!). Hold the palm upright, so the tapered end points toward the ceiling.

  2. Then bend the top end down and toward you so that the bend is about 5 or 6 inches from the bottom of the palm.

  3. About a third of the way from the bend you just made, twist the section you've pulled down to the right, forming a right angle.

  4. About an inch and a half away from the "stem" of the cross, bend this arm of the palm back behind the palm so that it is now facing to your left. Make the bend at a good length to form the right arm of the Cross.

  5. Folding that same section at a point that equals the length on the right side, bend it on the left side and bring the end forward over what is now the front of the cross.

  6. From the very center of the Cross, fold that arm up and to the upper right (in a "northeast" direction) so that it can wrap around where the upright post of the Cross and the right arm intersect.

  7. Fold this down and to the left behind the Cross...

  8. ...and then fold it toward the right so that it is parallel and under the transverse arms of the Cross.

  9. Bring it up behind the Cross again, this time folding it up toward the "northwest" direction.

  10. Tuck the tapered end into the transverse section you made in step 7...

  11. ...and pull through.

  12. Turn the Cross over; this side will be the front.

Fuzzy Fear: A short (but VERY scary) play...

The scene: Trevor is studying at the dining room table, while [Deals] reads on the couch in the living room. Gypsy Kitty is asleep on the floor next to the couch (close to her momma as always). Alley is curled up on the doggie day bed in front of the armoire. Haskell is in his room napping by himself.

The house is quiet except for the occasional soft rustle of pages turning in the books Trevor and [Deals] are reading and the steady breathing of the resident pups.

Suddenly, from the guest bedroom, comes the scrambling sound of terrified paws churning frantically on the wood floor. Haskell, obviously alarmed, explodes into the living room and dives into the relative safety and warmth of doggie day bed next to Alley. He is visibly shaken.

Trevor: “Haskell? What happened? You get scared?”

Deals: “Maybe go check his room.”

Trevor: “For what? A monster?”

Deals: “A small bug, perhaps? It is Haskell.”

Trevor gets up from the dining room table and walks down the hall into the guest bedroom. A few minutes later, Trevor reemerges shaking his head and giggling.

Deals: “Find anything?”

Trevor: “Nope.”

Deals: “What do you think happened?”

Trevor: “Who knows. [To Haskell…] You’re the bravest dog in the whole world aren’t you?”

Haskell: “[Audible sigh].”

Deals: “Poor little guy. As if things weren’t hard enough for him already, he is now scared of his own shadow.”

[End Scene]

Thursday, April 02, 2009

15 years of my life...

I just got finished watching the series finale of ER. What ever will I do without my favorite Thursday night drama?