Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Colon Blow...

Without (obviously) thinking about it, I have somehow managed to consume more than 150% of my recommended daily fiber allotment in a mere six hour period.

I am suddenly very concerned about the consequences of this action.

DUCK Tape versus DUCT Tape...

Thanks to RR, a two and a half year old MYSTERY has finally been solved:

From: RR
Sent: Wednesday, October 28, 2009 11:39 AM
To: Deals
Subject: Duck tape or duct tape?

I read this and thought of you.

From a Real Simple (magazine) clipping from a few years ago:

“Invented during World War II to keep moisture out of ammunition cases, it was called ‘duck tape,’ since it repelled water. After the war, it was used to connect heating ductwork and became ‘duct.’ The later name stuck, though Manco, Inc., renamed its product Duck Tape in 1984.”

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Proceed with caution...

Rode around on a school bus today with 40+ high school students.

One girl told me that she had just gotten her drivers license. Not two minutes later, upon arriving at a blinking red light, the same girl asked me why the bus driver was stopping at the intersection.

High School Student: “Why is he stopping? Blinking lights just mean the light is broken. You are just supposed to, like, proceed with caution. You don’t have to stop! Everyone knows that!”

Everyone should avoid driving in Flower Mound for the foreseeable future.

Friday, October 23, 2009

What would YOU do?

On the second Friday of the State Fair, one of the museum’s board members brought a Tres Leches cake in for the volunteers as a thank you for all their hard work. The cake was from La Duni.

Unfortunately, the refrigerator was so packed with various volunteer snacks and lunches that the cake was unable to fit inside. So, the cake remained on the museum’s board room table all weekend.

And then for the whole week after that.

By the third – and last – week of the fair, the cake sitting on the table became a running joke among the staff and volunteers. People sitting too close to the box could detect the odor of spoiled milk, and mold had started to grow on one corner. And, yet, the cake did not get thrown away.

Can you tell where this is going?

Last Thursday, I used the restroom just off the boardroom. Once done, I exited and noticed one of the museum’s volunteers sitting at the table eating something with a spoon out of a paper bowl.

Me: “Hi, Ann! How are you?”

Ann: “Okay. This cake, though, is awful.”

And that is when I noticed that Ann was more than halfway through a giant slice of the La Duni Tres Leches.

Ann: “My children eat at La Duni all the time and are constantly raving about the food. This cake doesn’t taste very good to me. In fact, it was so bad that I had to pour a fruit cocktail over the top just to get it down!”

Here is my question: Should I have told Ann that the cake was rancid? Because she was almost finished with her slice, and the damage was already done. I know how to induce vomiting on a dog, but, A) Ann isn’t a dog; and B) I didn’t have any Hydrogen Peroxide handy.

Plus, I was speechless. Ann said the cake tasted bad, but continued to eat it anyway. Why would you do that?!

So, here I am. One week and one day later. Still wondering if I inadvertently killed one of the museum’s volunteers.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Thrown off...

For some reason, I keep doing things out of order (per my routine) first thing in the morning. As a result, I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth TWICE in the past seven days.


Monday, October 19, 2009

Honoring the Turd...

My brother's goal in life recently is to send me a video link that will make my blog.

What Wee-Yum doesn't realize is that the other videos he has sent me lately (like THIS one) HAVE made my blog - just months and months and months ago.

Until, that is, he sent me THIS video of a dog sleepwalking. Which, by the way, is completely awesome.

Poor Bizkit.

Enjoy (compliments of The Turd, of course)!

Monday morning giggle (I heart Steve!)...

Watch in order:

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I'm cold. You're cold. Let's snuggle...

My coworker sent me the following picture in an email forward with about a billion other equally adorable animal photos. This one is my favorite, though:

I just want to find the poor, cold babies and put them in front of a roaring fire with bowls of warm water and a basket of biscuits.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

State Fair throwback...

Wonder what ever happened to those sunglasses?
I look like Geordi La Forge on Star Trek...

Monday, October 12, 2009

For my mother who had to miss the show...

Is it just me, or did Oprah take fashion advice from Big Tex?

Today, was the much anticipated taping of Oprah on the Chevy Stage. I’ve heard rumors that people (mostly women) SLEPT at Fair Park last night to secure the closest standing room possible to Oprah. Granted, very little crime happens IN the park, but I still wouldn’t want to participate in a slumber party on the grounds. Especially, in light of last night’s weather. Nothing spells F-U-N like a little lightening and heavy rain.

Because of the anticipated attendance, my boss had everyone arrive by 7:30 AM so we could open the museum early. I got here just before 7:15 – mainly so I could navigate the parking situation. Harpo Productions seized control over the VIP lot where I normally park during the fair on Saturday, so I really didn’t know what to expect. And, despite the fact that I was here before sunrise, I STILL had to park parallel to the swine pavilion – a good half mile from the museum thanks to the less-than-convenient location of the nearest admission gate. Nothing quite like a brisk walk before dawn in South Dallas. Grumble, grumble.

Anyway, Oprah drew a crowd – just like we all knew she would. True, it could have been a tad larger, but the weather was a little iffy and the fog a bit thick. If I had a choice, it would have been a perfect morning to sleep in and/or curl up with a good book. Although, hanging around watching Oprah with all my coworkers wasn’t a bad second.

Here are my pictures and a video I threw together. Enjoy:

Mounted officers...

Waiting for Oprah's taping to begin...

The Chevy Stage...

Oprah finally appeared and the crowd went wild...

Food competition ( was a tie)

Small children were more interested in the horses than seeing Oprah...

Martina McBride played several songs...

The end of the taping right before the Dallas Cowboys
Cheerleaders hit the stage with a dance routine
(Thank goodness the Cowboys won last night!!)

Just incase the pictures weren't enough...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Gran's take on fried butter...

Trevor’s grandmother proclaimed the fried butter to be:

“The best thing she has ever had.”

She is 89 years old, so this is quite the endorsement.

Call me crazy, but I'll still be avoiding anything called "fried" and "butter". Sorry Gran!

Pumpkin Run...

If only my mom had also been holding a wine bottle...

Yesterday, involved three things:

  1. The Pumpkin Run. Trevor and I ran the 5K.

  2. My car failing inspection (something involving my gas cap).

  3. A party that literally had the Secret Service at the gate.

It was also chilly (for Dallas), which officially started the hooded sweatshirt season. At least for me.

Yum. Fall.

Bring on Halloween!

Friday, October 09, 2009

The case of the not-so-missing ring...

Trevor called me in a panic this morning because he looked down and realized he wasn’t wearing his wedding ring. He rarely takes the thing off – even when he sleeps – so the missing ring was cause for concern.

Luckily, I knew exactly where it was: on MY bedside table.

Last night, our bed broke. No, no – get your head OUT of the gutter. It wasn’t anything like that. It was much more reminiscent of THIS STORY, except it happened in the middle of the night for apparently no reason.

Obviously, the thump and violently shifting mattress woke us both up, and we climbed out of bed and proceeded to fix the problem. This usually involves me lifting the mattress while Trevor replaces the fallen slat. He took off his ring so it wouldn’t get scratched and placed it on my bedside table. After the slat was back in place, we climbed into bed and forgot all about the ring. Again, nothing dirty. The bed just happened to break right before last night’s thunderstorm arrived. Our house is on a hill next to a lake, and I swear storms are more intense at our new address. Lightening repeatedly strikes the water, and the resulting thunder is deafening. Until the leading edge passes, I find sleep to be near impossible - especially with Gypsy Kitty nervously shaking next to my side of the bed. Poor thing hates thunder.

Anyway, in all the middle-of-the-night drama, Trevor just plain forgot to put the ring back on his finger.

Of course, I’d be lying if I told you that his panic over the missing ring didn’t make me smile. Nothing sinister. I just love that he likes wearing it so much.

Ah, newly wedded bliss! Feel free to gag now.

On the subject of my navel...

No.  This is NOT my navel...
No, this is NOT a picture of my navel...

On Tuesday, after working out, my belly button started to hurt.

I didn’t think too much of it. That is, until it started to get worse. By Wednesday night, the pain was so bad that it woke me up when I rolled over on to my tummy in my sleep.

By Thursday, I was whining about it at work.

One of my coworkers, tired of my complaining, Googled “Belly Button Pain” and discovered that pain in the belly button could be a symptom of a much more serious problem. Literally anything from a Urinary Tract Infection to Appendicitis to Crohn’s Disease. I wasn’t too worried about it, but my coworker was, and convinced me to call my doctor and inquire about the strange pain in my navel.

The nurse at my doctor’s office wasn’t too concerned, but recommended that I come in anyway to have it checked out. Since I am a newlywed, she figured it was most likely a bladder infection and – for whatever reason – I was presenting with belly button pain instead of the more common symptoms like frequent urination or a burning sensation while peeing.

I arrived at the doctor’s office around 3:30 and saw the doctor a little before 4 PM. Urine tests quickly ruled out a UTI, and a swab culture of the inside of my navel eliminated infection. So, my doctor made me stand up, stuck her gloved finger into my navel and had me turn my head and cough.

NOTE: Having someone stick their finger in your belly button for any reason is a weird. Even if it is a medical professional.

My doctor’s diagnosis: An umbilical hernia.

That’s right. A part of my body that has served no functional purpose in over 29 years and two months may suddenly be herniated.

My doctor explained that it probably happened during my workout on Tuesday, and is relatively common in people who lift heavy weights and/or professional weightlifters. Now, granted, I am not a professional weightlifter, but I DO lift two to three times a week and have been told that I am strong (for a girl). I never knew a potentially herniated belly button could be a side effect of working out.

To confirm the diagnosis, she referred me to a friend of hers down the hall. As luck would have it, Doc. #2 could see me at 4:30 that afternoon.

Doc. #2 also did the turn-head-and-cough test with her finger stuck in my navel, and seconded my doctor’s ruling of an umbilical hernia. To confirm, however, she’d need to take a CAT scan of my abdomen. And – lucky me – an appointment for Friday morning at 9 AM had just opened up.

I decided not to take the appointment, though, for four reasons.

  1. Everything was happening too fast. I had accepted the fact that I might have bladder infection, but not an umbilical hernia. Quite frankly, before yesterday I didn’t even know that a herniated belly button was possible.

  2. I wanted to give my belly button the weekend to reconsider itself and the pain it was causing me. Because, really? An umbilical hernia?! I just couldn’t get my head around a part of body herniating that has done absolutely NOTHING functional for me in almost 30 years!

  3. I don’t want an umbilical hernia. Correction: I don’t want to have to tell people that I HAVE an umbilical hernia. I've already been told that I have a somewhat bizarre list of medical issues, and an umbilical hernia would only go to support that theory.

  4. I don’t like CAT scans.

So, basically, I am giving my belly button until Monday to feel better. If not, I’ll swallow my pride and get the test. Maybe. It may depend on the pain factor.

Stupid belly button…

Thursday, October 08, 2009

The start of a bad day...

You know it is going to be a bad day when you toss a bag of dog poo into your alley trashcan, and manage to splash trash/poo water all over yourself.

I still don’t feel clean after a long, hot shower with much soap and scrubbing.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

It is funny how nothing and everything has changed…

The strangest thing about being married for one month and one day is that I have ONLY been married for one month and one day. Gone are the days when people asked how long Trevor and I had been dating (7 years, 12 weeks and 2 days at the time of saying “I do” or 6 years, 7 weeks and six days at the time of the engagement – depending, of course, on your perspective), and I was able to answer them in YEARS. Now, I am back to calculating our time together in days, weeks and – as of yesterday – months. Disclosing how long we dated prior to the wedding is no longer appropriate when asked, “How long have you been married?” That clock zeroed out 31 days ago.

Not that any of that matters, mind you. I just find it fascinating. Plus, it makes everything SEEM new again – even if it really isn’t. And, for the record, the best kind of new is the kind that is both comfortable and familiar. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but I think it is still pretty great anyway!

Monday, October 05, 2009

Sunday, October 04, 2009

It isn't easy being green...

A group from one of the local community colleges was scheduled to do a science demonstration involving chemicals and dry ice in the museum. A science experiment that resulted in a lot of green smoke. During MY State Fair shift on Saturday.

The lead lady from the college had apparently done the experiment in the building every year with no problem. I tried to explain my concerns involving our brand new (and highly sensitive) fire alarm (compliments of the recent renovations), but to no avail. The experiment was already underway. Tragically, I had no authority to trump this decision, and my boss wasn’t answering his cell phone.

Museum security recommended that I contact the Fire Marshall. Unfortunately, no one in the Fire Marshall’s office answers their phone on the weekend over at the City of Dallas. So, I called 3-1-1 instead, and explained the situation to the operator:

Me: “Hi, yes. My name is [Deals] and I work at the [blah, blah, blah museum]. An experiment that will result in a lot of green smoke is currently underway in the museum’s lecture hall, and I am concerned that it will trigger the fire alarm. I do not have the password to put our building on “test” with our alarm monitoring company, and was wondering if there was any way I could preemptively alert the Fire Department to the situation so they don’t respond to a false alarm? I already tried to call the Fire Marshall’s office, but no one is in the office today.”

Operator: “How about calling 9-1-1?”

Me: “Well, since it is not an actual emergency, I do not want to disturb them. Plus, they don’t have the time to filter calls that may or may not be an actual emergency.”

Operator: “Hmmmmm. Interesting problem. Let me see if I can find someone to better assist you. Hold please.”

After approximately 5 minutes on hold: “9-1-1. What is your emergency?”

Me: “Whaaaaat? Oh, no! 3-1-1 just transferred me to you! I don’t have an actual emergency. I’m just trying to get advice on a potential fire alarm!”

The 9-1-1 operator was very patient and did his best to help me – all the while he was taking ACTUAL emergency phone calls (I actually heard him give advice to the son of a woman with chest pains. CHEST PAINS!). I finally made him get off the phone with me, because I felt so guilty I was taking up his time. Plus, I had no real emergency. Just the potential for a fire alarm in a crowded public facility mere hours before the Grambling/Prairie View game.

About this time, one of my coworkers stopped by briefly to finish up some paperwork for an upcoming fundraiser. As luck would have it, the facilities manager had given her the password for the alarm monitoring service the day before, and she happily handed it over to me. As a result, I was able to call and put the system on “test” for half an hour around 2:15.

Good thing, too, because the fire alarm was triggered at 2:42 – mere minutes before our “test” half hour was up. I called back and extended our “test period” before running upstairs to see about silencing the alarm.

The smoke was SO thick, though, that the museum’s newly installed sprinkler system kept trying to activate. Lucky me got to stand in the security closet and push the “reset” button every 15 seconds in an attempt to keep the sprinklers from going off and flooding the lecture hall. And – just so you know – it took almost an hour for the smoke to clear out enough to quiet the system. That is a lot of button pushing. I felt like I was on the TV show LOST.

Additionally, I had not one but TWO toilets in the building start violently flushing without stopping. Since the museum’s plumbing system is ancient, there is always a threat of flooding when this happens. The public, however, doesn’t take too kindly to OUT OF ORDER signs. I actually got yelled at about it on Saturday afternoon. I wanted to say, “Yes. I closed this stall on purpose because I am a cruel and evil person. Now, deal with it and get back in line!”

And, thanks to the chemical smoke, everyone who worked in the building got a pounding headache, which, of course, made me and everyone else a picnic and to work with. It is amazing I made it through the day with killing somebody. Because I was on the verge several times.

Stupid fair.

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Dealing with the public…

Dear State Fair patron –

Please do not verbally assault me just because I walked up and reminded you that the museum closed five minutes ago. I understand that it is a free, public building, but we still have hours of operation. I also appreciate the fact that it is raining, and you will mostly likely get wet once you step outside. If I could control the weather, believe me, I would. But I am not going to allow you to stay in the building after closing time just to keep your head dry. This is a museum, not a public shelter. You should have dressed appropriately and brought an umbrella.

I’m sorry if you do not like my tone. Please understand that I’ve been at the museum for over ten hours today, and - quite frankly - I want to go home. Feel free to call and lodge a complaint against me on Monday morning.

In the meantime, please leave and take your attitude with you.

The Management

Friday, October 02, 2009

I love stories like these...

This totally brought a tear to my eye, and I just had to share. As previously stated, I am such a sucker for sweet animal stories. Who knows if this particular forward is true or not, but I have decided it doesn’t really matter (at least not to me). This is the kind of story I WANT to believe in. For SO many different reasons...
Our 14 year old dog, Abbey, died last month. The day after she died, my 4 year old daughter Meredith was crying and talking about how much she missed Abbey. She asked if we could write a letter to God so that when Abbey got to heaven, God would recognize her. I told her that I thought we could so she dictated these words:

Dear God,

Will you please take care of my dog? She died yesterday and is with you in heaven. I miss her very much. I am happy that you let me have her as my dog even though she got sick.

I hope you will play with her. She likes to play with balls and to swim. I am sending a picture of her so when you see her. You will know that she is my dog. I really miss her.

Love, Meredith

We put the letter in an envelope with a picture of Abbey and Meredith and addressed it to God/Heaven. We put our return address on it. Then Meredith pasted several stamps on the front of the envelope because she said it would take lots of stamps to get the letter all the way to heaven. That afternoon she dropped it into the letter box at the post office. A few days later, she asked if God had gotten the letter yet. I told her that I thought He had.

Yesterday, there was a package wrapped in gold paper on our front porch addressed "To Meredith" in an unfamiliar hand. Meredith opened it. Inside was a book by Mr. Rogers called, When a Pet Dies... Taped to the inside front cover was the letter we had written to God in its opened envelope. On the opposite page was the picture of Abbey and Meredith and this note:

Dear Meredith,

Abbey arrived safely in heaven.

Having the picture was a big help. I recognized Abbey right away. Abbey isn't sick anymore. Her spirit is here with me just like it stays in your heart. Abbey loved being your dog. Since we don't need our bodies in heaven, I don't have any pockets to keep your picture in, so I am sending it back to you in this little book for you to keep and have something to remember Abbey by.

Thank you for the beautiful letter and thank your mother for helping you write it and sending it to me. What a wonderful mother you have. I picked her especially for you.

I send my blessings every day and remember that I love you very much.

By the way, I'm easy to find, I am wherever there is love.



Thursday, October 01, 2009

On needless delegation…

Last week, the facility manager, Jim, brought me an email that had been sent to him and to our old interim director. It was about a city contract that I manage, so Jim thought I was the best person to deal with it. I agreed, but to cover my bases I took it to our old interim director, Paula – who, by the way, is now the museum’s part time accountant. The timestamp on the original email was 11:49 AM.

Paula also agreed that I was the best person to deal with the information request, but asked that I take it to our current Executive Director, Jeff, and let him know that it had been received.

So, I did. However, Jeff decided that I was NOT the best person to handle the request, and asked that I instead deliver the email to Betsy in Development. He also asked that I have Paula forward the email to his account since he never received it.

Betsy wasn’t in her office, so I left the email on her chair with a note explaining the situation. Then, I returned to Paula’s office and asked her to forward the email onto Jeff.

Jeff received the forwarded email from Paula in his Outlook inbox at exactly 12:17 PM, and promptly he forwarded it on to Betsy. Betsy was working from home that day, and received Jeff’s email around 1:30 PM. After quickly browsing the document she forwarded it back to me with the note:

"Can you please take a quick look at the language below and let me know of any changes?"

So, yeah, after a two hour tour of the office, the document landed right back where it started – ON MY DESK.

Somehow I think we aren’t as efficient as we ought to be.

Grumble, grumble…

(NOTE: All names have been changed to protect the true identities of everyone involved.)