Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The worst school photographs ever

The kids got the school pictures back. And they are both terrible. Poor Andy was in the throws of Fifth's Disease, also called Slapped Cheek Disease, so his cheeks look like he's got bad acne.

Meg's, well, wow those are just bad. Her hair looks greasy and messy (messier than usual even) and the black background doesn't do her any favors. It's too bad, too, since I purposely put her in a green dress thinking it could be Christmasey enough.

Sure, I went ahead and bought some. Even bad pictures are a chronicle of their youth that I want to preserve, possibly in the form of Christmas ornaments. I doubt either kid is going to thank me in 10 years for saving these though!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Praise thee oh heavenly television

It didn't happen overnight, but I am pleased to report that Meg finally likes to watch television. It's shocking to believe a child of mine didn't climb out of the nursery demanding her episode of Sister Wives, but it's true. Sure, there was a passing five minutes here or there, but never anything where I could let her watch Little Einsteins while I took a shower and know that she'd more or less be there when I was done in 10 minutes. Rather, before this she preferred to watch for five seconds and then follow me into the shower and stand outside and cry while I tried to shave my legs.

But now? Well, she's in love with Quincy and wants to be Annie. She will even tolerate an episode of Phineas and Ferb, much to Andy's delight. She seems to have skipped over the whole Jack's Big Music Show stage, which is a shame because I really liked that show. I find her tastes are in the Disney family at the moment -- Little Einsteins mostly, followed by Mickey Mouse Clubhouse with a little Phineas and Ferb mixed in. Sure, she'll tolerate a little DJ Lance Rock on Yo Gabba Gabba (a show that I find totally overrated by the way), but mostly it's her boy Quincy.

I do find that it makes life so much easier if I can find something safe that doesn't involve her pulling knives from the kitchen drawers or climbing out the window on to the roof just so I am able to get dinner started or shave my legs.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Our new backyard is sort of weird. Right now, all that's fenced is the pool. We have more land around it, but it's not fenced and is heavily wooded. We're been trying to think about what the best way would be to use it. Right now, we're thinking that someday when the coffers replenish, we'll fence the rest of the yard, create a gate out of the backdoor to fence off the pool from the kids and add some type of playground stuff. Since it's wooded, I was thinking some sort of tree house would be perfect.

Have any of you ever done something like this?

I don't think we want to make our own from scratch. I think it would be more complicated than we can realistically handle and I'm not sure I'd want the kids up in some structure that's not sound. I did some searching online and there's some way cool stuff out there. I certainly don't want to spend $3,000 on it so I'm noodling other things.

This would be pretty darn awesome though.

In other news, my high school reunion was this weekend. I need to finish processing the overload of names and faces (and snarky remarks) so expect a post on it someday.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I don't want to fly US Airways again, part two

Apparently I'm not one to learn from my previous mistakes. Remember when I said I would never fly US Airways again? Yeah, well, I did it again. And it sucked. Again.

I had to fly to Philadelphia for work this week. It's sort of weird being a remote employee and I'm definitely conscious of trying to not seem to expensive. So when I looked online at the flights, I could fly American to Philly, but return flights on American were twice as expensive as on US Airways. So I went with the cheaper option. I know, my mistake.

I showed up for my return flight well in advance to find out I had no seat assignment. I swear they must find the mean ladies to work the US Airways counters from rejects from the DMV. I have rarely had such continued bad customer service and this from a person who really seems to court it somehow. I nicely asked several people who kept saying I had to get to the gate to figure it out. So I arrived about 4:45 for my 6:10 flight. There were four gate agents there, but they continued to chat with themselves. When I asked a question about my seat assignment, they looked up and left the gate. Without saying anythign. I know, right? Who does that?

Eventually at 5:10, I was able to get someone to talk to me.

"We're in an oversold situation. You may not be able to leave until tomorrow."
"Really? I have a confirmation."
"Doesn't matter. We're oversold. We're going to ask for volunteers."
"Oh. Do you need my information?"
"No. We'll find you if we want to."

I hung around and about 5:20, they asked for volunteers. A $300 travel voucher and a hotel room. Two people walked up. Clearly there were a lot more "oversold" seats than that. (I love that it's "we're in an oversold situation" implying no fault as opposed to "We oversold the flight.")

Anyhoo. I came back about 5:30 and eavesdropped as the guy in front of me went through the same thing.

"But you don't have any other flights going to Dallas?"
"What about connecting through another city? I really have to get home tonight to see my son."
"Hang on. Wait, there's a flight going to DC and then going to Dallas. It leaves now. Do you want it? It arrives at 10:05 p.m."
"Am I going to get on this flight?"
"I don't know. I don't know how many seats we need. You have to decide NOW."
"Um, I guess I'll take it."

I asked if I could do the same thing. She seemed skeptical but eventually looked it up.

"Yeah. Run over there."

So I ran over there and then waited for two minutes in the line to board for Las Vegas. Fortunately, I figured it out in time to convince the gate agent to let me on the plane. Phew! I still didn't have a seat assignment for Dallas, but my thought was if I got stuck in DC, at least I'd get to see my friends.

I got to DC. All the monitors were saying the wrong thing so I finally had to stop someone in the hallway to ask where the flight to Dallas was. The boards said 26. It was 23? I explained finally I needed a seat assignment and was stunned to get one. Yay! I was going home!

The rest of the trip was uneventful. The seats were actually nicer than expected, but man, the service they provide is just so, so awful. I really do intend to fly on anything else if given the chance.

Customer service is hard. It really is. Dealing with people who are stressed and frustrated is also hard. But if you don't want to do the job, don't do the job. Likewise, I think US Airways needs to rethink its gate agent approach. They're the face of the company and they're giving it a black eye.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

I heart television

So after I wrote this long post about TV shows I like, I realized, "Wow. I sure watch a lot of television." Later, I also realized, "Dang. Not only do I watch a lot of TV, but I left off a bunch of shows I watch." So, herewith to you my loyal fans, all both of you, I give you my real updated list.

Back in action that I love:
1) 30 Rock
2) Modern Family
3) How I Met Your Mother
4) CougarTown
5) The Office
6) Glee
7) 90210*
8) Parenthood
9) Saturday Night Live**
10) Parks and Recreation
11) Friday Night Lights
12) Mad Men

*This is a guilty pleasure that I watch about half of each week just to keep up with the girls in the office. They make me!
** I usually only watch the first couple of skits and Weekend Update.

Recorded but relegated to the B list (i.e. if I have time although if they go about three or four episodes without me touching it, I usually stop recording)
1) Desperate Housewives
2) Brothers and Sisters
3) Big Bang Theory
4) Pardon the Interruption

Here are some new shows I've recorded and am trying to get into, but haven't really decided on yet:
1) Lone Star (bummer, it's filmed here in Southlake and apparently just got cancelled).
2) Raising Hope
3) Running Wilde
4) Hawaii Five-O
5) Sister Wives.

Since I wrote this post last week, I've now realized that with my Tivo able to record two things at once, I have waaay more stuff than I can watch at the moment. So here are the shows that I'm now no longer watching unless desperate.

1) Lone Star (cancelled, that was easy)
2) Running Wilde (not funny, also easy)
3) Hawaii Five-O (recorded, never actually watched)
4) Brothers and Sisters (it's been boring for two years now)
5) Friday Night Lights (I was watching Season 1 on ABC Family, but now that I've seen it, I'm done. Course, when the final season starts again in 2011, I will so definitely watch it. I heart me some Tim Riggins and Tami Taylor.)
6) Big Bang Theory (I like it, a lot despite Leonard's hoodies, but inexplicably when I watch it, something bad seems to happen, like a kid starts throwing up so that makes it hard to watch and even harder to want to watch when everyone is healthy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Things that make you go, "Hmmmm"

So Bjorn and I both applied to register to vote in Texas. And both of us had our applications returned for "insufficient information." Bjorn's was because they said his social security number wasn't valid, mine because it said I failed to complete the "citizenship question."

As you may have heard, the Texas governor's race between incumbent Rick Perry (R) and former Houston mayor Bill White (D) is getting a lot of attention these days. It wouldn't take much to figure out that Bjorn was active in the Barack Obama campaign in Virginia and would likely be voting for White as well. Do you think there's a conspiracy here? I mean, one incomplete voter registration form is one thing, but two? A solid 100 percent?

I must say I have voted in most elections (I won't say all, because come on, I was in college for a while) and I have never had a voter form rejected, whether it be for voting absentee or changing my location. Considering the White campaign is trying to tap into the Hispanics, many of whom are first time voters and might be dissuaded by an official letter like this, the whole thing smells a little fishy, that's all.