Monday, November 29, 2010

The Big East...

I know that no one asked me, but I am THRILLED that TCU decided to join the Big East. Why? Because that means that Syracuse will periodically have to come to DFW to play games! I may actually get a chance to see my alma mater play football or basketball in the near future without having to travel out of state! Be still my heart!

Let's go orange! Let's go!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mountain biking in Cedar Hill State Park (or the day I almost died)...

Today, I learned several things:

  1. Mountain biking is not a leisurely bike ride through the trees.

  2. If you don't wipe out or if blood isn't drawn, you probably aren't doing it right.

  3. Mountain bike trails do not run parallel to "opt out trails" or anything remotely resembling "the easy way down". Once on a mountain bike trail you are kind of committed.

  4. After riding for what seems like a huge chunck of eternity, your brother will kindly inform you that you are only 33% done. And this will only be after the group decides collectively to do the shortest route possible.

  5. Some a$$hole decided it would be funny to randomly run the bike trail between tiny gaps between two trees. A one point, you will come around a bend to discover your mother wedged between said trees and oddly suspended in the air.

  6. It is not funny to wipe out in an area named "Poison Ivy Alley".

  7. "The Shoot" should probably be called "The Chute" or possibly "Shiiiiiiiiiiit!". Of course, by the time you have read the sign it is too late to stop, react or do anything other than hold on and hope for the best.

  8. Bridges look nice and easy, but are really death traps that lure you in before attempting to destroy you.

  9. There is nothing quite as discouraging (and painful) as trying to "jump" your front wheel up over some sort of log or other obstacle, and failing.

  10. When the sign says "Helmets Required" they are not making a suggestion.

With that said, pictures:

Getting ready...

The Injuries...





We survived!
(The End)

***NOTE: I managed to neither wipe out nor have blood drawn forcibly from me. I obviously wasn't doing it right. I'm just happy I escaped with my life.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving...

Things NOT to be thankful for:

  • Costumes

  • When mom and dad decide to play dress up at 10:30 PM

Haskell is still adorable, though...

An example of what I am up against...

Look at that booty!

Me: "So why do you want children so badly?"

Trevor: [Flexing his "guns" and looking proudly from bicep to bicep] "Somethings need to be passed down, [Deals]. Somethings just need to be passed down."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


Dear Mother Nature -

Today my car said the outside temperature was 88 degrees.

It will be well below freezing by tomorrow night.

I know I live in Texas, but it seems like fall should be more of a gradual phenomenon. Going from summer to winter in less than 24 hours is just...well, ostentatious. I mean, I get it. You are all powerful. You can stop showing off now.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Kids say the darndest things...

Me: "Woo-hoo! First good news all day!"

Intern: "Really? What is it?"

Me: "A 20% discount for a huge table rental for an event in February!"

Intern: "Wow. [Pause] I guess good news becomes less exciting as you get older."

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Why I don't get paid enough to deal with teachers...

Today I had to call a DISD elementary school about a program voucher that is scheduled to expire at the end of the month.

All names and places have changed to protect the identities of those involved. However, for simplicity's sake, let's call the school "Mooseville Elementary" and the teacher "Alice Hooverton".

[Ring, Ring, Ring]

Receptionist: "Mooseville Elementary."

Me: "Hi. Is Alice Hooverton available?"

Receptionist: "One moment please."

I thought the receptionist was going to transfer me, so I was surprised to realize that I was on hold. Except she forgot to hit the HOLD button, so I was essentially left sitting on her desk listening to all the school-related gossip and drama. In the twenty minutes - yes, TWENTY minutes - that I was on hold I learned a variety of interesting facts. Like, for instance, the receptionist had a cold but didn't want to go to the doctor. The rest of the office seemed to agree that the longer the sick receptionist stuck around, the more likely that she would infect the entire school just in time for Thanksgiving. There was much snarkiness, but either the receptionist didn't care or was oblivious to the feelings of her coworkers.

SImilarly, I was privy to all the details surrounding some trivial feud between a couple of 4th grade teachers. Who knew adults could be so juvenile.

Finally, however, the receptionist realized that I was still on the line. This was accomplished when she went to make a call to order lunch, and I WAS STILL THERE!

Receptionist: "Hello?"

Me: "Oh, hi. I am holding for Ms. Hooverton."

Receptionist: "You are still on the line?!"

Me: "Um...yeah. You told me to hold."

Receptionist: "Oh, sorry. I'll transfer you right now."

And that is when she transferred me to an extension that was no longer in use, and I was promptly disconnected.

So I called back.

Receptionist: "Mooseville Elementary."

Me: "Hi. I was just holding for Ms. Hooverton, and was accidentally transferred to a line that has been disconnected."

Receptionist: "Oh, yeah. I am sorry about that. It is just that there is not a Ms. Hooverton at this school."

Me: "Oh...?"

Receptionist: "It is hard to transfer you to someone that doesn't work here, you know."

Me: "Right. Well, see I have an AP voucher that is scheduled to expire at the end of the month for a 'Patrick Henry' performance. I just need the approval code to keep the voucher 'alive' after the end of the month. Is there someone that might have that information?"

Receptionist: "Well, why didn't you say so? Let me put you on hold for a second while I ask around the office."

Me: "Um, okay."

This time I really was on hold, but only for about ten minutes. When she returned:

Receptionist: "Hello?"

Me: "Hi. I am still here."

Receptionist: "I am sorry to tell you this, but there isn't a Patrick Henry teaching here either."

Me: "Wait. What? No, no. The program is called 'Patrick Henry! I was looking for a Ms. Hooverton or a teacher that could give me the approval code for voucher number [blah, blah, blah]."

Receptionist: "Oh well, Ms. Hooverton works for BT and is only here a couple of times a week."

Me: "But she does work there?"

Receptionist: "Oh, yeah. She's just not here now."

Me: "Okay, um, well, is there anyone else that might have the AP approval code? The 'Patrick Henry' program is usually booked for 5th grade history students. Is there a 5th grade history teacher that might have that sort of information?"

Receptionist: "Any 5th grade history teacher?"

Me: "Well, I'd prefer one that might know the voucher approval code."

Receptionist: "Hmmm...why don't I just get Ms. Hooverton to call you back?"

Me: " told me she didn't work there earlier, so - I am sorry - I am just a little confused."

Receptionist: "Well, that is what we do when people call for her."

Me: "Oh?"

Receptionist: " want to leave her a message?"

There are many things wrong with this conversation. But - for me - the worst was when Ms. Hooverton called me back THREE DAYS LATER and left a message on my voicemail. And, in her message, she only gave me the voucher number - which I already knew - but forgot the all important approval code. So I am really no better off than I started. Hence, the title of this post.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010


Why they continue to write Nora is completely beyond me...

From: Prof. Joseph Owor
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 2:48 PM
To: undisclosed-recipients
Subject: Greetings, +Kind Proposal

Prof. Joseph Owor
Head of Faculty of Business Administration
Uganda Christian University
Mukono Town , Uganda.

Confidential Message:

I hope this message will meet you in good faith, please pardon me for reaching you in this manner because you do not know me,and I am hoping that by this means we can establish a mutual relationship in regards to the reason why I contacted you.

I have an obscure proposal of mutual interest to share with you. I got your email address from the Internet data base directories through my search for a relatively unknown person who will assist me in securing a large sum of amount as I will explain to you later.

I am Joseph Owor , The Head of Faculty of Business Administration of the Uganda Christian University.

I will need you to assist us in executing a confidential charity project. It involves the securing of a large sum of fund. Everything concerning this proposal shall be legally done without hitch if you are willing to consider this proposal.

Please I will kindly request that you endeavor to observe utmost discretion in all matters concerning this message if my proposal is accepted by you due tothe confidential nature of this proposal and if this proposal is not acceptable by you, kindly delete this email and do not pass it to a third party as I vehemently risk my job to send you this email.

I am presently on a foreign committee appointment in Europe through the United Nations Christian charity project fund of Uganda as head of a world wide fund raising program for charity projects in Uganda.

Once the transaction I am proposing to you have been successfully completed if accepted by you and the fund in question is in your possession, we shall be offering to you a ratio to be agreed upon as remuneration for your services.

kindly reach me back at this juncture to get your opinion first regarding this proposal, after that I will furnish you with more information about this proposal.

You are to contact me on my secure email address below for further details if this proposal is accepted by you:

Thanks and waiting for your urgent response.

Yours Sincerely,
Prof. Joseph Owor.

-----Original Message-----

From: Nora
Sent: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 4:18 PM
To: Prof. Joseph Owor
Subject: RE: Greetings, +Kind Proposal

Professor Joseph Owor,

Regarding your confidential message, did you know that you used the word "proposal" (in form) a total of eleven times in your email? Is that your favorite word? Or is eleven your lucky/favorite number? My favorite number is fifteen. I work with a girl whose favorite number is 8, but I am not particular fond of it, except it is a number without beginning or end...if you are tracing it or doing figure 8's while learning how to ice skate. I have always wanted to learn how to ice skate, but I think I am at the point in my live where my butt is too big and my ankles too small. Not that I have particularly small ankles; actually for my height I think I am probably big boned. But, that is what all ladies say who are carrying too much weight. Speaking of weight, how much do you weigh and how tall are you. Is your height/weight propionate? If so you are lucky, ohhh maybe your lucky number is lucky seven, or it could be seven and eleven. Those are lucky numbers in the game of craps, but only if you roll a seven on the come out roll. I do so love craps, not the kind that goes in the toilet but the gambling kind. Do you gamble? Is there gambling in Uganda? But since you are with the Uganda Christian University I guess you don't gamble. You just try to bilk honest people (you are not included) out of their hard earned money, because you are a lazy dishonest sot. That's right I said SOT. Look it up.

Bite me.

Monday, November 15, 2010

After a LONG dry spell, the SPAMMERS have another go at Nora...

Sent: Saturday, November 13, 2010 11:25 AM

I am Mr.cheung keung, Director,HS Bank HongKong,contact me for a proposal of $15.5m USD via
Please send me your confidential telephone and fax numbers for easy communication,you should observe utmost confidentiality, and rest assured that this transaction would be most profitable for both of us because I shall require your assistance to invest my share in your country.
If you give me positive signals, I will initiate this process towards conclusion.
Awaiting your urgent reply.
Thanks and regards.
cheung keung
NB: Please send all Reply mail to my comfidential
email address(


From: Nora
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 2:22 PM
To: 'MARY SPOR'; ''

Oh Mr. Cheung Keung,

I have been hoping and praying that I would get an email such as yours! And don’t worry; I will treat this with the ‘utmost confidentiality’ as I am sure that I am the only person you have sent this email to.

I do have a question. What kind of positive signal do you want? Should it be a series of plus signs (++++++), or a smiley face turned on its side :) or a coded message such as ‘the blue crested booby flies at dawn’? Ohhh how about a secret hand shake, of course that would mean that we had already progressed beyond the positive signal faze. Which means that we still need to settle on a signal. Can you pat your head and rub your tummy at the same time? I see that you are from Hong Kong, do you speak Chinese? I don’t but maybe we can used the Chinese symbol for “stupid American who wants a get rich scam”? What do you think, I think that one is the big winner.

Oh, please let me know. I await your reply with the utmost insincerity.

Bite me.

Some things just can't be made any clearer. This is one of those things...

From: Nora
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 9:47 AM
To: Mr. & Mrs. VIP
Subject: Left item

FYI - There was an envelope left at your table (number 6). It is a card and has ‘John’ on the front.

From: Mr. VIP
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 10:56 AM
To: Nora
Subject: RE: Left item

Are you saying that the envelope contains a card and that card has John on the front?

From: Nora
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 10:58 AM
To: Deals
Subject: FW: Left item

Should I have replied ‘Duhh’?

I know it is sad, but sometimes the most fun we have all day is when we check our junk mail...

-----Original Message-----
From: juilet
Sent: Friday, November 12, 2010 8:01 PM
Subject: my dear friend

my dear friend
How are you today and your family i hope all is well with you I am Miss Juliet I saw your contact in my Google searching this morning when i came across your contact are thought that you are worthy to be mine as some one whom i can lay on his arms as long as love is concern, caring and testing you all the nightlong, If you are interested in knowing more about me and for me to send you some pictures of mine my contact thus: a waiting to hear from you.
Loving you forever

-----Original Message-----
From: Deals
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 9:15 AM
To: Nora
Subject: FW: my dear friend

Basically, Nora, I feel the same way about you...

-----Original Message-----
From: Nora
Sent: Monday, November 15, 2010 9:59 AM
To: Deals
Subject: RE: my dear friend

What kind of tests is she going to do all night long?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Excuses, excuses...

So, the problem is that I have a lot to say, but no motivation to actually write out a post. Which explains - sort of - why I have filled my blog lately with a bunch of photos and emails, but very little content. Yeah, I'll try to work on that. Maaaybe.

Friday, November 12, 2010

To Jeg or not to Jeg...

Not sure what it says about me or my sense (or general lack) of style, but I just had to Google "jeggings" to figure out what in the heck they were.

And, no. I doubt I'll be buying a pair anytime soon. Because only in some alternate and very distant universe would something part denim and part stretch pant look good on my body.

The end.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Tevo University...

For the past year Trevor has made endless fun of Grammy Pammy, Amy and me for playing Farmville.

Then, last week, he finished all of his coursework for his MBA and started playing ESPNU. ESPNU is essentially Farmville but on a virtual college campus where you harvest students and host monster truck rallies in your stadium.

Yeah. I don't get it either.

In an effort to be supportive, I started a virtual college campus, affiliated it with Syracuse (of course!) and started sending Trevor gifts to support "Tevo University". All was fine and good until "Tevo University" challenged "Haskell University" (shut up. I'm not 100% committed to this game and naming my virtual campus was not priority numero uno this week) to some sort of fake competition. A competition that I managed to win. Which is shocking because - again - I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.

And now my husband is pouting in the other room.

This can't be good for our relationship...


Just in case anyone had any doubts, Crazy Neighbor Joe is still crazy. And possibly an a$$hole. While bathing my dogs this evening in the backyard, he made some lurid comment about my bootie (I was wearing bike shorts and an oversized t-shirt), told me I needed to cut down all my hackberries and fix my "ghetto" front sidewalk. This coming from a man terrorized my tree trimmers less than a month ago, still lives with his mother and apparently spends every waking hour drinking.

Oy vey...

Some fences just aren't tall enough.