Wednesday, March 30, 2011

On floating heads and big, white vans...

I see this van in the parking lot of my gym occasionally, and the mannequin head never fails to completely freak me out. I mean, look at it! It kind of looks like the floating head of some poor, decapitated Barbie.

I don't care how much you value the HOV lane. It is not cool. Not cool at all.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Jury Duty: City versus the County

I had jury duty for the City of Dallas yesterday. Today I had jury duty for the county. Because I am just lucky that way.

There are many differences between city and county jury duty. But for the internet’s sake, I will just hit the highlights.

  • Start time for the city is 9 AM. Start time for the county is 8:30 AM. Neither is close to a coffee shop, but the Municipal Building does have a 7-11 across the street.

  • You have to stand to be sworn in at the city. You can sit over at the county.

  • The county has a large auditorium for potential jurors with comfy seats. The city has a room with several rows of plastic chairs. The first time I had jury duty for the city in 2005 I had to sit on the floor because every seat in the room was already taken.

  • The county pays you $6 for your time (assuming, of course, you don't waive or donate your fee). The city gives you a stamped piece of paper informing you that “no fee was [or will be] paid”.

  • The county validates discounts your parking. The city does nothing. So, basically, it cost me $12 in parking fees to perform my civic duty for the city on Monday and $3 today.

  • The county gives you a juror badge, punch out DART pass and directions to the Central Jury Room. The city just directs you - without going into ANY specifics whatsoever - to the second floor of the Municipal Building downtown. Please note that the second floor is large, and to get to the juror room you have to go up a flight of stairs, down another, walk down a hallway, turn right and go to the forth door on your left. And, no. There are no signs.

  • The county has a video explaining the basics of jury duty. They don't tell you they are going to show you a film, much less that a film exists and they consider it to be mandatory viewing. They just unceremoniously turn off the lights around 9:15 AM and start rolling. For about 30 seconds after the lights have gone out (but before the film starts), the jury pool is convinced that there has been some sort of power outage.

  • Said jury 101 video at the county was hosted by Clarice Tinsley. The city on Monday had a TV in the jury room that was tuned to channel 4. All this could lead someone to believe that jury duty in Dallas is somehow sponsored by the Fox network.

  • The county mandates that you fill out a survey before reporting for duty. REQUIRED questions include race, religion, marital status and spouse’s name and occupation. I am not sure why answering these questions was mandatory, since it has absolutely no bearing on my ability to be a juror. The city, on the other hand, doesn't care if it has your address correct or not.

  • Don't show for the city, and they issue you another summons. Don't show for the county, and they issue you a citation.

Unlike in 2007, I was not chosen to sit on an actual jury this time around. But it did give me the opportunity to read two very good books over the course of my combined eight hours of service. Which, if you are me, is kind of fantastic. Almost like vacation. If going on holiday included a random gathering of my fellow residents - most with hacking coughs or significant congestion - on two consecutive early mornings with no coffee, a bunch of metal detectors and very expensive parking.

Yep. Fan-tastic.

Monday, March 28, 2011

As if having municipal jury duty wasn't bad enough...

I know we live in a free country and it is fantastic and all of that, BUT:

  1. It is NEVER okay to clip your finger and toenails while waiting in a jury room in public (the noise! THE NOISE!).

  2. Even if it WAS okay (which, again, it is not), you should properly dispose of said clippings. NOT leave them scattered on the floor around your seat.

Seriously. Sometimes I hate people.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

How GP rang in her 58th year...


A Hike

Target Practice (because, you know, why not?!).

It is also important to note that mom and I were the only ones to actually HIT the target. Poor, silly, cocky boys.

Friday, March 25, 2011

On water shortages, zombies and whatnot...

So, we all know that I worry about the inevitable zombie apocalypse, and spend sleepless nights trying to come up with a realistic action plan for survival.

Basically, my strategy at the moment involves making it to the museum where I work (which, during the Cold War, was designated as a bomb shelter), hoarding the volunteer snacks, camping out on the roof and rationing out water from the Ozarka water bottle surplus in the board room to stay hydrated.

Good plan, right?

Wrong. The water surplus is gone. We are currently on our last bottle. And unless the Ozarka guy comes TODAY, there will be no water at all. At least no water that doesn't look like THIS.

How am I supposed to survive now? Water is the second most important thing behind shelter. Everyone knows that!

Plus, zombie apocalypse or no zombie apocalypse, I need potable water to make coffee with in the morning. Because, really: No coffee isn't an option.

So, Nora called Ozarka this morning to find out why our water supply hasn’t been replenished. The conversation went something like this:

Nora: "Oh, you have been trying to deliver? I am so sorry! No, honey. It isn't your fault. Our doorbell isn't that reliable. But we really are running low on water this time. I know! I don't think I would have even noticed if it weren't for my coworker. Yeah, she totally squirrels the water bottles away incase of a natural disaster or, I dunno, zombie attack. Yes. That’s right. I said, ‘Zombie attack’. Yeah. She has an action plan and everything. So if you have any antizombie ideas just let me know. Oh? Okay. I will tell her.

[Turns to me]

"She says to tell you that Ozarka’s water deters zombies. Just put in a spray bottle and you will be all set.”

Somehow I doubt I am being taken seriously around here.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Don't mind me. I'm just staring off into space...

This morning, while sitting at my desk, I noticed three things:

  1. My mouth was open.

  2. My tongue was completely dry.

  3. I had been sitting like that for awhile.

So, basically, I was so tired that I was all but completely passed out in my office.

And that was after two BIG cups of extra strong coffee this morning.

I need a nap. Or, better yet, for this week to end already!


Monday, March 21, 2011

Who is with me?

I am sorry, but I think tofu sounds exponentially more appetizing than bean curd.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Note to self...

While Haskell is wearing a t-shirt made for a human,
make sure the doggie door remains closed.

Guess who is ready for some Syracuse basketball?

Just don't tell Haskell that he is wearing a shirt that reads "Real Women Wear Orange" on the back.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Oh, right. I forgot. I am an idiot...

Years ago the security guard caught me on filming running to the restroom.

Now, to be fair, I had been in a meeting for close to THREE hours. The closest facility off the museum's board room was out of order, and the nearest alternative was on the far side of the downstairs gallery. A gallery, by the way, that was - at the time - closed to the public. So, encouraged by the agony in my bladder and the absence of any witnesses (or so I thought), I ran sprinted to restroom.

Cut to upstairs: purely by chance, Lou, the security guard on duty that day, decided to look up from his newspaper and catch my mad dash to the ladies room on the security camera monitor. Then, a few minutes later, he watched as I reemerged and casually walked back down to the office area. Apparently the relief on my face was palpable (even on a grainy security video feed).

Lou wasted no time calling my extension and mocking me. And, in the weeks, months and YEARS that followed, it turned into a bit of an inside joke between us.

But eventually Lou moved on, and a different security guard took his place.

Today, I drank too much coffee right before the executive board of the museum was scheduled to meet back in the conference room. And, like before, the staff bathroom was inaccessible. So I had to venture out into the museum to use the public facility. This time around, though, the downstairs gallery was open, but (luckily) no one was in it.

All the same, I didn't want to cause too much of a spectacle. I would like to say that I learned from the first time that doing anything but walking LIKE A NORMAL PERSON to the bathroom can have far reaching consequences for one's ego. But skipping? Maybe skipping is okay.

So, yeah, I skipped to the bathroom.

And for about two hours I thought I had gotten away with it. That is, until security guard Tom came down and commented on my good mood.

Me: "Good mood?"

Tom: "Well, I saw you skip down the hall on the security camera earlier. I figured you were in a good mood. After all, the weather is fabulous this afternoon."

Me: "Right. The weather. Yep. I am in a great mood today. Just couldn't contain myself."

And that, my friends, is why it is sort of amazing that I am allowed to leave the house unsupervised.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Pigs might be flying...somewhere

I just walked into the room to find Trevor voluntarily watching a show on the OWN network.

He seems to be feeling okay, but I plan to monitor him closely. It is entirely possible he has been taken over by a pod person.

Three things that make me giggle...

Spent some time going through my camera's memory card this evening and found three little gems that I meant to share, but (apparently) forgot to:

Grammy Pammy passed out in the car while I ran errands at a local community college (hey, sushi lunches make a girl tired!).

Auntie Mimi with a vat of salad dressing (yes, it really is THAT good).

Haskell checking to see if he can come inside yet (please?!).

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Poop! There it is!

Is anyone else as fascinated AND completely disturbed by this commercial as I am?

Because, you know, obviously...

From: Nora
Sent: Thursday, March 10, 2011 9:15 AM
To: Deals
Subject: FW: 深圳/上海/北京[准时开课]

I think this is for you, it said tour.

-----Original Message-----
From: hr13457990999@139.c0m
Sent: Wednesday, March 09, 2011 10:18 PM
To: Nora
Subject: 深圳/上海/北京[准时开课]

│┆件┆人┆ ┆│
│┆ ┆全┆ ┆│
│┆ ┆面┆ ┆│
│┆ ┆技┆ ┆│
│┆ ┆能┆ ┆│

Tuesday, March 08, 2011


From: Stephen
To: All
Subject: Great Gatsby for Nintendo
Date: Tue, 8 Mar 2011


This is quite possibly the greatest website in the history of the World Wide Web.

What if... F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby were an original Nintendo game from the 1980s?

What if... no longer!

Great Gatsby Game



Monday, March 07, 2011

Bird poop isn't always lucky, you know...

You know the grackles (or "crackles" if you are Trevor) are bad when a van in a local parking lot looks like this:

And the ground around said van looks like this:

It is eery enough during the day...

...but when it gets dark, the area around the van starts to look like something out of Alfred Hitchcock's THE BIRDS:


Friday, March 04, 2011

Oh, hell...

Will somebody please explain to Trevor that a movie about Nazi zombies isn't "historical".

Because it is not. And zombies give me nightmares.

Which obviously explains why we are watching it RIGHT NOW.

Sometimes I hate my life.

Basically, we both think the other is an idiot...

On Tuesday I went to Houston. It was a bright morning, and I really wanted a pair of sunglasses. But an extensive search of the house and my car yielded nothing. Trevor has a propensity for hoarding sunglasses, so I called him to ask if he remembered seeing a pair laying around the house. Or, more likely, if he had "accidentally" transferred all of the sunglasses to his car (he has a tendency to do this as well).

Trevor, after a long, somewhat strange hesitation, replied that he had only one pair of sunglasses. Which pretty much lead me to believe that he actually DID have all of them. Except that he promised that he only had one pair, and he was wearing them.

I only sort of believed him.

Cut to Wednesday afternoon. I returned home from Houston to find sunglasses EVERYWHERE. They were on my bedside table. In the kitchen. On the coffee table. Next to the door. Seriously. Sunglasses all over the house.

When Trevor got home I questioned him about the sudden appearance of the sunglasses, and asked where he found them all. Which is when he decided to try and make me believe that I "just didn't look hard enough on Tuesday morning."


Of course, the REAL story was that he found them all at his office in a pile on his desk. Where he had been depositing a pair every day upon arriving at work.

So, yeah. Trevor is fantastic.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

On alcohol, history and old folks…

From: Ed
Sent: Thursday, March 03, 2011 10:21 AM
To: Deals
Subject: Programming


You can add my talk to the [Blah, Blah] Senior Living Center to the [programming] list. I talked for about an hour, there were about 30 people there.

Half the people were asleep and the other thought I was Calvin Coolidge. It didn’t help that during my presentation the center also had a wine and cheese tasting.

Have fun with them today.