Friday, February 26, 2010


The reasons why I had a bad day coupled with the validation of my belief that there is no such thing as a competent busing company:

  • No working microphone on a bus tour for 56 passengers. This was a driving tour of the city. People paid to hear a local historian talk about various places of interest in Dallas. No working microphone made it hard for the paying customers to hear.

  • There was no AC or heat on the bus. The lack of air circulation fogged up the windows. Besides the fact that none of the tour attendees could see what we were touring, our driver was having to continually wipe the windshield in order to see the road in front of him. I was even called upon to help out by wiping the passenger side of the windshield, so the driver could see his side view mirror and blind spots. Since the windshield was in a constant state of fog, the wiping was an activity repeated by me at least once every two minutes.

  • It was raining. Hard. We had no working wind shield wipers. Call me crazy, but I feel a bus that costs $75+/an hour should have working effing windshield wipers.

  • While merging onto 175, the door on the bus came open. Because of where we were (right where 175, 30, 45 and 75 all come together) we were unable to pull off safely or exit the highway for close to three miles. Since an open door created an unsafe situation for the bus, its passengers, and other vehicles on the road, I personally held the door closed until the driver was able to bring the bus to a halt safely. Somewhere around mile two, as my hands shook with the effort of keeping the door from flying open (and taking me with it), it occurred to me that I was doing something both risky and very stupid. Risky because one slip of my hands could send my body flying out onto the highway. Stupid because I suddenly remembered that I was without life insurance (thanks to my job “accidentally” canceling it awhile back).

So, yeah. Today was a grrrrrrrrrreat day. A margarita or two (or ten) await me shortly…

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Who said Fair Park was boring? Take II...

From: Fair Park
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 4:09 PM
To: Fair Park Campus Members
Subject: Filming and Explosion at Fitzhugh Bridge Feb 24

Fair Park Campus Members:

Campus Alert for Filming and Explosion underneath Fitzhugh Bridge. Code 58 will be filming and there will be a controlled explosion underneath Fitzhugh Bridge between 1pm-5pm. If you have any questions please contact Steven...

This must be related to THIS article I read in the DMN on Friday:

'Code 58' TV crew feels at home in Dallas

12:00 AM CST on Friday, February 19, 2010


How do you turn a city into an attractive location to shoot television shows? Make it easy to blow things up.

That's just part of the equation that brought Code 58 to Dallas to shoot 13 episodes. It's an important part of the mix, says Bob Lemchen, head of physical production for Fox Television Studios and perhaps the prime decision-maker for the filming location.

"We did one in an unnamed city in December, and we won't go back there," Lemchen says. "You're looking for people who are happy to have you there and who don't make your work more difficult."

That's just one intangible that has pilots for NBC's Chase, a Jerry Bruckheimer-produced crime drama, and Fox's soapy oil-business tale, Midland, shooting here. It also led The Deep End to shoot six episodes recently in the Studios at Las Colinas.

Code 58 is shooting all around North Texas, but Lemchen says the buddy cop show from Burn Notice creator Matt Nix is particularly pleased to be handed the keys to Fair Park, originally the site of the 1936 Texas Centennial Exposition, when it's not otherwise in use.

"We can blow stuff up at Fair Park without impacting residents," says Lemchen, who knew Dallas from days working the television movie Breaking Home Ties in the late 1980s. "It's a great financial benefit offered to us above and beyond the rebate."

That rebate is from a filming incentives program the Texas Legislature pumped up in 2009. Texas offers up to 15 percent of in-state spending or up to 25 percent of wages, with both figures increased slightly for filming in areas deemed underutilized.

It's still not higher than the rebate offered by the most competitive states, but Lemchen says it was close enough when taking into account other factors like available trained film crew and appropriate locations. Georgia and Louisiana were the other possibilities, but the available film crews were already stretched thin.

"It's a complex decision," Lemchen says. "We're always balancing creative needs of the show along with the financial needs. [Show creator Nix] felt the show overall would require a certain amount of action, which it does. Dallas was a better opportunity for us to physically shoot the show. Plus, it has a very beautiful downtown."

Will it result in even more television coming to North Texas? It's likely. "Other producers here have had good experiences, and we all talk to each other," Lemchen says.

I especially enjoy the fact that Fair Park is the place to film because we allow film crews to blow things up. Awesome.

I love Fair Park.

Flower Blossom!

I frothed at the mouth today while losing to my coworker at Scrabble on my lunch break.

Yes, frothed. Like a Starbucks latte.

Why? Oh, why?

I just said "Yes, Ma'am" to my boss who is a man.

To be fair, I thought he was my coworker, Pam. Pam frequently says my name before she walks into my office, and I guess I was expecting her, not him.

Five minutes later, while talking to Pam on the phone, I rubbed my eye, looked at my finger and saw blood. Guess I must have scratched my eyelid or something without knowing it.

Or my boss cursed me with a subconjunctival hemorrhage as payback for my mistaking him for a woman a few minutes earlier.

Either way, I am thinking that it is going to be a long day.

Note to self...

...when Trevor makes three bean chili for dinner, make him sleep in another room.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

If you give a dog an empty peanut butter jar...

Haskell: The top half of the jar is licked clean. As for the bottom half...well, I think I need a longer tongue.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Does it make me a bad person...

...that I just can't get excited about the sport of curling?

I watched women's curling last night. And men's tonight. But, yeah, not excited. I was actually waiting for it to be over so I could watch Shawn White and Lindsey Vonn.

The sad thing is that I want to support the curling athletes, because I am sure that curling isn't...well, the most popular winter Olympic sport out there. So, I make myself watch the competitions. Someone needs to.

Plus, I am pretty sure we have Scotland to thank for the sport of curling. Exciting sports don't seem to originate in Scotland. Take golf, for example. Have you ever watched it on TV? Interesting? Maybe. But not exciting. It isn't Scotland's fault. They have men in skirts and Nessie. They already have all the excitement they need. Any more and they might explode.

Hence, curling.

Ash Wednesday...

It is that time of the year again.

Lent. Or as my sister calls it, "Lint".

The time of the year where I willingly give up everything good. Mainly, to see if I can do it.

This season, I am giving up the following:

  1. Cheese

  2. Sugary foods and all deserts

  3. Fried food and everything battered, breaded or otherwise dipped in oil

I am still undecided about alcohol. I've given it up in the past, but I really don't drink that much. Just a glass of wine every now and again. It doesn't seem to pose the same challenge that cheese does (note: I really love cheese. Mmmm...).

Anyway, I am also planning on "improving" myself by eating more small meals throughout the day (I have a tendency to forget to eat), drinking more water, and generally being more aware of portion sizes. All this really has nothing to do with dieting. I've done all this before in the past, and - somewhat tragically - I have never lost a pound during the Lenten season. Not that I am opposed to loosing weight, mind you. It just doesn't work that way for me, apparently.

I am already missing cheese...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Against popular belief, I didn't freeze to death on Thursday night...

However, the evil tree DID take out our cable, internet and home phone. It also severed our power, but - luckily - we were only without electricity for about 8 hours.

This was taken on Friday morning. See our cable line in the snow?

Our cable, internet and home phone did not fair so well. In fact, we only got them back this afternoon. AT&T had made note of the fact that we were without service on Friday morning, but...well, forgot. It took us calling back THREE TIMES to jog their memory and (finally) schedule an appointment to repair the line. And they insisted that someone be home even though the problem was with the line on the ground in the backyard.


Anyway, said appointment was this morning between 8 AM and 12 PM. Trevor took a half day to sit at home and wait.

The first repairman arrived around 1 PM. Once he saw the outside line lying on the ground, he pronounced the problem to be, "for the outside repair guys" and left. Two hours later, a second repairman arrived and fixed the problem in less than 10 minutes. He never stepped foot indoors.

Obviously, the customer NEVER knows what s/he is talking about. EVER.

Stupid AT&T.

To say Trevor was annoyed would be an understatement. If it had been me, someone over at AT&T would have gotten an earful. I may have even cancelled our account. I have very little patience when it comes to stuff like this.

In other news, I'll be back posting pictures of the STORM OF THE CENTURY. Scroll down if you are interested. It was an insane weather week in Dallas. I've never seen anything like it here in my (almost) 30 years.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day...

Seen while standing in the check-out line at the Tom Thumb:

Not necessarily the order I would have put them in, but whatever...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

On VD...

Although I am sure I am not the first person to notice that VD can be an acronym for both Valentine's Day and venereal disease, I still feel the need to point it out.

Stupid? Very.

And, yet, there you go.

I blame the news coverage about all the prostitutes that have flooded Dallas this weekend for the NBA All Star game.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Storm of the Century (yes, really)...

Seriously. We got over a foot - 12.5 inches - in a mere 24 hours. This is Dallas, people. Not Syracuse. We don't get white stuff like this very often. In fact, it has been more than 100 years since the last time anything close to this has happened. It really was the storm of the century!

Here are some of my pictures (warning: there are a lot. When something only happens every 100 years, being camera happy is perfectly acceptable):

I's is a snow model...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

9.5 inches and counting...

If we lose power power and freeze to death in our sleep, please blame this tree:

What you can't see are the sparks at the top of the utility pole, and the current that keeps flashing up the limbs of the tree. I'd call the electric company if I thought that this wasn't happening all over the city.

This is the most snow Dallas has gotten in a 24 hour period in over 100 years. And it isn't over yet...

(cue dramatic music)

Note to self...

...check the weather when filming a TV show in Dallas that is set in L.A.:

Dallas' winter weather "situation"...

I's is gunna get you...


Where dit go?

Gypsy trying to catch snowflakes on her tongue...

Haskell air born...

Mys paws is cold...