Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Too cute not to share...


(About Surya, an orangutan, and his hound dog buddy.
You all KNOW I am a sucker for sweet animal stories!)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Because it made me laugh, that's why...

Trouble in paradise…

Now that Trevor and I are married, I’ve noticed the following problem:

  • At night, we have to turn the AC down to 70 degrees and I’m still hot – even with the bedroom fan at full speed.


  • When Trevor leaves the bed in the wee hours of the morning to go to the gym, I freeze to death.

Apparently, the days of easy regulation of my own body temperature while sleeping are over. Oh, the tragedy!

A Monday morning giggle...

Sunday, September 27, 2009

To change my name or not to change my name. That is the question...

An issue impacting me recently. My thoughts follow the article.

Posted Friday, September 18, 2009 1:16 PM

What's In A Name?
A Bride-to-Be Reflects on Changing Her Surname


By Jaime Cunningham

I'm getting married next spring, and I've decided to keep my last name. And, honestly, most of my reasoning behind it has to do with convenience. In order to change the name I've had since birth, I'd also have to change all the paperwork associated with it—the name affiliated with my Social Security number, credit cards, passports, apartment lease, degrees, and student loans, and several other accounts or memberships I'm sure would slip through the cracks in the process.

I'm not a feminist. And even if I were, by keeping my last name, I'd still be holding onto a man's name (my father's). I'm fine being addressed with my future husband's last name in social settings. I'm happy for our kids to take his surname. I'm just not OK with dealing with a lot of red tape in the name of tradition.

But I'm making an unpopular decision. According to the results of a national survey released last month, 71 percent of Americans said it's better for a woman to change her surname to her husband's after marriage. Only a mere 29 percent disagreed. What's even more shocking is that nearly half of the respondents supported the idea of government regulation requiring name change.

It makes me wonder: Does it really matter which decision a woman makes about her name after the wedding? Does society really expect me to take my future husband’s name? Are there severe social and professional consequences to holding onto my surname? How will it affect my kids?
Some sociologists think that the popularity of the age-old tradition of taking the groom’s name shows that society’s opinion on marriage isn’t changing as much as we think. "The claims that we are moving toward equality within families has been overstated," says Brian Powell, coauthor of the study and James H. Rudy professor in the department of sociology at Indiana University. "When there's such resistance to women keeping their names, maybe we haven't moved as quickly as we think."

According to Powell, many of the respondents’ reasons had to do with tradition and the concept of family unity. Religious references were sometimes brought up, including one respondent who said, "We don't want to follow the way of Sodom and Gomorrah!"

Despite the fact that women now have successful careers and have moved forward in so many ways, it seems that men still dominate in the home. "There's still a male bias in our family systems," says Andrew J. Cherlin, a professor of public policy in the department of sociology at Johns Hopkins University who did not work on this study. He explains that although the days when men owned their wives and children are long gone, Americans still retain a little of the traditional, male-dominated view. "There's a sense that one name is better than two and that the husband's name and family is more important, and that's tradition. It's a lingering sign that men have more power. The greater of two equals."

But in terms of the societal drawbacks for women today not changing their name, Cherlin doesn’t think it’s too severe. “A few decades ago, a woman keeping her name could be seen as not accepting her husband's role as the family head. But today most people don't view husbands as automatically heading their families.”

Only a few of my friends are married, but their decisions vary on how to play the name game. "I hyphenated mainly so that all my kids should share at least a part of a last name,” says Cyndi Lopez-Martin, 33, of Sacramento, Calif., who has three children, one of them from a previous relationship. “My husband hyphenated too.”

The majority of my female friends and acquaintances, however, have actually taken their husband’s last name. I’ve noticed a growing trend of female friends I’m linked to on Facebook keeping their maiden names as middle names, and taking on their husband’s last names as their new surnames, like Angela Chang Marlaud, 31, of San Francisco. “I took my husband's last name because it seemed natural. Being married is another way of evolving as a person and, for me, incorporating my husband’s name while keeping my maiden name is a reflection of that,” she explains. “I didn't feel any social pressures or expectations since I think it's completely up to the individual to do what seems comfortable to her.” Daria Blake Walton, 35, of South Gardiner, Maine, made the same choice. "I took my husband's name because I enjoy paperwork,” she jokes. “Seriously, more because I love him and am a traditional kind of girl. I did make my maiden name my middle name, so it's not gone forever."

But will changing their names midcareer affect their jobs? Paul Hoch, certified business coach and vice president of sales for the Sacramento, Calif.-based Business.com, hasn’t seen it really impact anyone, although he has noticed that many women tend to hyphenate their names at marriage. He advises brides-to-be to consider the professional consequences of a name change. “Look at the overall financial impact of taking his name. How will it affect your career?”
Changing your name once you have established yourself in your career could lead to some confusion in certain situations─like if you change jobs within your field. But it’s probably more dependent on how high profile your name might be. So, if you’re a writer, physician, or defense attorney and already have established a reputation, suddenly changing your surname could affect future earning potential. A lot of women avoid this confusion by hyphenating their surnames at marriage so they still retain their established (maiden) name in some form. Some women try to find a balance. "I took my husband's name legally, but kept my maiden name professionally,” Kerry Cavanaugh Kandel, 32, of Los Angeles, writes via e-mail. “It's gotten confusing, though, as professional and personal life intersects, and I'm increasingly going hyphenated. But our baby has my husband's last name."

Children are often the deciding factor, says Laura Hamilton, also a coauthor of the study and a graduate student at Indiana University. Rachel Adame Anderson of El Paso, Texas, found that to be true. "I kept my name until we had our daughter, and then I hyphenated,” she explains. “As a teacher, I am sensitive to the confusion it causes at school when parent and child have different names."

But are kids confused if Mom holds onto her maiden name? Probably not. "They know who Mom is and they know who Dad is,” says W. Brad Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project and associate professor of sociology at the University of Virginia. Still, there will be hassles, he says. “Teachers, coaches, and school friends can sometime get confused trying to match children to a mother with a different name. I don’t think this necessarily has a lasting impact on children, unless the difference in surnames is linked to a lack of a common family identity.”

Serena Carbonell, 33, of Chicago, kept her name after tying the knot. “[My husband] wanted me to keep my own name for, I guess, the feeling of independence—he is very passionate about being married but not losing your identity,” she explains. “I, also, did not want to deal with changing any legal documents. That all seemed to be a serious hassle.”

I'd estimate that my friends' choices run parallel to the results of a 2005 survey out of the University of Florida that showed that 77 percent of women were choosing to take their husband's names after marriage, while only 18 percent decided to keep their last names, and the remainder hyphenated or took new names.

Well, at least my choice to keep my name would be acceptable in Montreal. Quebec law mandates that both spouses keep their names. It probably saves the province a lot of paperwork.

For the record, my decision to not change my last name is NOT because:

  • I am a bra burning feminist.

  • I don’t love Trevor.

Not changing my name actually has more to do with the paperwork – especially, since I go by my MIDDLE name. The only name I’d consider dropping is my first name, but that is a headache I don’t need from the Social Security office. And, for the record, changing your last name is easy compared to the process of dropping your first name. I’d always have an alias, which – quite frankly – I’d rather not. It is hard enough to remember to include my first name on paperwork as it is!

On the flipside, I would consider dropping my maiden name, but – as a person interested in history – I feel that my maiden name is a connection to my family identity. Plus, I’ve always liked my maiden name. It is part of who I am and where I came from.

So, the only choice left is to keep my first, middle and maiden name and add or hyphenate Trevor’s last name on to it. A RIDICULOUS idea if you knew the length and sheer number of syllables it would suddenly involve. My name would never fit on a driver’s license, passport or any kind of “official” paperwork. Okay, okay: It would, but I don't want to write all four over and over for the rest of my life. Is that a crime?

If Trevor and I have kids, I have no problem giving them Trevor’s last name. And I have no issue being referred to as Mrs. Trevor [Ha…wouldn’t you like to know]. I’m just not going to change it officially.

Judge me as you will…

Friday, September 25, 2009

A short quiz...

Quick! What do the following have in common:

  • Sam Houston

  • Molly Bailey, Circus Queen of Texas

  • Mary Poppins

  • Agent K

  • George Washington Carver

  • The Mavs Man

  • The Ice Girls

  • Texas Hooper

  • Two adults in butterfly costumes

  • Little Big Tex

  • Tom Leppert, Mayor of Dallas

  • A DART Train

Any guesses? It is a somewhat random assortment of individuals and costumed characters.

What if I told you that everyone mentioned above were part of the opening of the State Fair of Texas? And they all rode the DART train from the American Airlines Center to Fair Park this morning?

Because they all did. Together.


If only they all could have sat down and shared a helping of fried butter it would have been the best (most random) day ever.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

And it was a Funhouse...

Things I learned last night at the P!nk concert:

  • Pink (the color, not the band) wristbands are needed in order to access the floor. Yes, this is in addition to your ticket. No one will tell you that you need one until after you show your ticket to four various ticket checkers on your way to the floor. But, rest assured, accessing the floor without one will prove impossible. As will finding a place to obtain a pink wrist band once you realize you need one, and start frantically looking. Pink wrist band stations will only exist on the opposite side of the stadium and will be peopled by unhappy employees wielding stanchions.

  • There will be cruel rumors that both Queen Latifah and Jeff Foxworthy will be making surprise visits during the concert. Even though nothing about these rumors makes any sense, when they don’t pan out it will still be disappointing somehow.

  • Overhearing the conversations of strangers can be amusing. Especially, when the conversation is about purchasing concert t-shirts that don’t look like concert t-shirts.

  • They do not sell wax earplugs at the AAC. Napkins don’t make great replacements. Especially, if you spit on them before sticking them in your ears.

  • The Ting Tings (P!nk’s opening act) are not three Asian girls in Catholic school girl uniforms singing That’s Not My Name. Not sure why I thought that they were, but that is the mental image that my brain came up with when I heard their songs. Instead, The Ting Tings are made up of a blonde, British woman wearing purple sequins over a black and gray cat suit and a drummer with a beat box.

  • P!nk must either wax or laser her bikini line. I’ve never seen pants so low in the front. It was awesome. That woman is a ball of muscle.

  • Giant, inflatable evil clowns aren’t nearly as terrifying when surrounded by gay men and someone with B.O.

  • People bond when forced to stand arm to arm. Just try and force your way any closer to the stage!

    “I’m sorry. I’ve been here since 6:30 and I don’t recognize you. If - and it is a big “if” - your friend is really standing over there, you will have to go around the long way. Next time either find a good landmark BEFORE you leave the packed crowd mid concert, or get here early enough to get a good standing place. And, no. I do NOT feel like I should let you and your four friends stand in front of me just because I am taller. There is no rule giving short people dibs to the front of the line. Again, get here earlier next time or wear taller shoes. Don’t go hatin’ on the tall people just because we are standing in front of you at a general admission free for all. We paid for our tickets just like you AND have been standing here for hours…unlike you. Yeah, that’s right. Walk away. Walk away now.”

  • Women can look like Conan O'Brien.

  • Five year olds like P!nk.

  • Some parents think that P!nk is an appropriate artist to take their five year old to see in concert.

  • There will be at least one random, older couple on the floor. They will look uncomfortable and awkward for the entire show. Everyone around them will be forced to wonder how and why they came to see P!nk. Did they win their tickets on the radio? Did they really buy tickets to Barry Manilo but got P!nk ones by mistake? Was it a cruel joke? Seriously, why are you here? And, more importantly, why do you stay?

  • Heaven forbid there be more than one t-shirt stand in a stadium built to hold 20,000 people.

  • Despite what you were told, cameras ARE allowed.

The End

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I only wish I was kidding (especially about the butter)...

Just incase anyone was interested in all the new fried food dishes they will be offering come Friday:

  • Green Goblins – Cherry peppers are hollowed out, stuffed with spicy shredded chicken and guacamole, then battered and deep fried. Served three to a skewer and topped with queso. Located at the entrance to the Thrillway.

  • Deep Fried Butter – 100% pure butter is whipped till light and fluffy, then specially sweetened with a choice of several flavors. The tantalizing mixture is surrounded by a special dough and quick fried. Located on Nimitz Drive. Winner of Most Creative in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

  • Twisted Yam on a Stick – A delicious, towering, spiral-cut sweet potato on a 13” skewer is fried to a delicate crispy texture, then gently rolled in butter and dusted with cinnamon and sugar. Located near the Exposition/Parry Avenue entrance.

  • Fernie’s Deep Fried Peaches & Cream – Sweet juicy peaches are coated in a delicious batter of cinnamon, ginger, coconut, graham cracker crumbs, eggs & milk, then deep fried to a crunchy golden brown on the outside, while luscious and sweet on the inside. Served on a plate drizzled with raspberry sauce, lightly dusted with powdered sugar and topped with a cool dollop of whipped cream. A side of vanilla butter cream icing is provided for dipping. The Dock Restaurant inside the Embarcadero Building. Winner of Best Taste in the Big Tex Choice Awards competition.

  • Texas Fried Pecan Pie – A mini-pecan pie is battered and deep fried to a golden brown. Served drizzled with rich caramel sauce, then topped with whipping cream and chopped candied pecans. Located on Nimitz Drive near the entrance to the Creative Arts Showplace Theater.

  • Country Fried Pork Chips – Thin sliced pork loin is seasoned, surrounded by a tasty corn meal batter and deep fried. Served with sides of ketchup or cream gravy. Located on Nimitz Drive at MLK and the Hans Mueller Booth on Cotton Bowl Plaza.

  • Sweet Jalapeno Corn Dog Shrimp – Shrimp on a stick is coated with a sweet and spicy corn meal batter, then deep fried to a golden brown and served with a spicy glaze. Located at the Belgian Waffle stand on the NE corner of the Esplanade.

  • Fried Peanut Butter Cup Macaroon – A peanut butter cup is wrapped inside a coconut macaroon fried and dusted with powdered sugar. Also available with a scoop of Blue Bell ice cream. Located near the Texas Star.

I think my arteries just clogged READING this…

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

If it is yellow let it mellow...

I just peed.

When I went to flush, however, nothing happened. Apparently the museum is without water.

Even MORE fun? Getting to tell your boss and coworkers that there is no water AND confessing that the pee currently mellowing in the ONLY staff toilet is yours.

My Boss: “Bet you couldn’t wash your hands either.”

Me: [Hanging head in defeat while slowly shaking it back and forth]

My Boss: “Ew!”

Nora: “Great! Now I have to pee! Thanks a lot, [Deals]!”

Me: Sigh…

So, yeah, this is gearing up to be a good day.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The WELCOME HOME surprise from my mother and sister...

Incase you can't see properly, that is a pregnancy test with two balloons tied to it. One balloon says "It's a Girl!" and the other "It's a Boy!".

Oh, haha. You are both SO funny.

Smart A$$es...

Neither here nor there...


This will be a short entry because we are under a severe thunderstorm warning.

I am back from my two week honeymoon in Argentina. It was amazing and relaxing and pretty much everything a honeymoon should be. I wish I was still there.

Tragically, I am back in the real world. And work. And 752 (not junk) emails. Bah.

In other news:

  • Haskell broke his tail the day we picked him up from doggie camp. Yes, this would be AFTER his two weeks of hardcore puppy playtime was over. As if it isn’t bad enough that he breaks his tail in the first place, Haskell now seems to suffer from post traumatic tail syndrome.

  • The State Fair starts on Friday. They are frying butter this year. Really. Butter. I always joked that butter was next, but I was honestly kidding. What is next? Lard?

  • My dogs now have a doggie storm door off the kitchen. Alley, who has experienced the joy of having a dog door before, runs in and out like she’s always had one. Gypsy wants to enjoy it, but has a hard time finding the hole. More often than not, she hits her head on the door frame. Once hard enough to make an audible thud. Poor Gypsy. To her credit, though, she keeps trying.

    Haskell, on the other hand paw, isn’t amused. At all. I’m not sure he’ll ever pick it up. Especially, since he more or less demands that I continue to open the WHOLE door for him. Silly, dumb dog. He is lucky he is so cute.

Well, the storm is almost here, so I better go. More later!

Monday, September 07, 2009


Just incase you were wondering, Trevor and I got married on Saturday.

Yes, really.

And now we are honeymooning in Argentina.

Updates to follow.


Until then, don´t miss us too much.

Unless, of course, you are Gypsy Kitty, Haskell or Alley. If you are, then we miss you, too.

The "G´s"