Saturday, August 29, 2009

Why I may be getting divorced

This may come as a shock to you. Especially if you are my husband. But I fear that a divorce is imminent.

Why? you ask.

I'll tell you.

For the past 3 years my wonderful hubby has been out of town, every other week. Yes, he was a traveling salesman. Was. Business has slowed down, and his company now has him working at home.

My home.

In my office, as a matter of fact.

Clearly, I have grounds for divorce.

Grounds # 1: Irreconcilable differences.

(see that remote? it was all mine for the past 3 years. but now instead of hgtv, it keeps turning the channel to the james bond marathon on spike tv)

Grounds # 2: Invasion of space.

(his stuff, in my office)

Grounds # 3: Smoothies.

(yes, you heard me right. smoothies. which mess up my blender. which i hate to wash because without fail i cut my finger on that sharp little blade which was invented by satan)

So there you have it. If we end up divorced, you will know that it has nothing to do with a certain innocent party snapping her chewing gum, eating potato chips in bed or watching Rear Window every night for a month, starting the movie ten minutes later each time because she keeps falling asleep and she to this day does not know if Raymond Burr is a killer or not.

It was all his fault.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Kreativ R Us

(i am definitely the kreativ type)

I am happy to accept a Kreativ Blogger award from Fran, who writes witty posts on Being Miss when she is not riding buses around the English countryside.

Normally I'm not very good at the award thing. I lose track of them. I don't know all that many bloggers, so it's hard for me to pass the awards along. And I just don't follow rules very well.

But I have had a very busy week and my brain is tired, so I'm going to play along for a change! Though I don't plan to follow the rules.

First, I'm supposed to nominate 7 blogs for the award. I don't want to pick favorites, so if you are a follower, consider yourself nominated! Congratulations! If you're not a follower but you love awards, sign up to follow and then go ahead and grab it. Congratulations to you too!

Now, I'm supposed to tell you 7 things about myself. Let's see ...

1. My hair is totally out of control. Always.

2. I love to shop but I very rarely buy anything.

3. I either work very very hard, putting in long hours writing advertising copy, or I totally goof off all day long. Not much in between.

4. Fortunately, I am a freelancer so as long as I get my projects done on time, nobody cares which type of day I am having.

5. I could never work in an office. I can't imagine spending 8 consecutive hours doing anything, much less writing copy.

6. Though perhaps if someone paid me a handsome salary and full benefits, I might reconsider.

7. But only if I had every other week off, and I could wear my Dallas Cowboys t-shirt and raggedy blue sweatpants to the office. Otherwise forget it.

There! Do you feel like you know me a little better? I hope so. Thanks again for the award, Fran! It was fun.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

Why Frisco Texas is exactly the same as London

(you have penny lane - i have a fabulous collection of beatles cards, all of which say 'lesley loves paul' on the back)

Wait! Stop! Last week I thought my town was exactly the same as San Francisco. But on second thought, as Amanda pointed out, we do not have Tofu Bars or Save The Sand Fly Rallies. So today I have a new theory.

Frisco Texas is EXACTLY the same as London, England. I'm sure Fran, a very funny blogger who spends most of her time riding buses around the British countryside, will back me up.

Here are the similarities I have found so far:

Similarity # 1: People with accents

(yee haw, partner. kiss my big ol' texas tumbleweed or ah'll secede from this here country)

(pip pip, cheerio old chap! kiss my ring and i shall turn into a beautiful young maiden)

Similarity # 2: Plenty of shopping

(harrod's, the famous london department store)

(neiman marcus, the famous dallas department store. one of my favorite pastimes is to walk through the store and try to find the most expensive t-shirt then carry it around for a while pretending i might actually buy it, which would only happen if it was 90% off and i had a coupon for another 10% off.)

Similarity # 3: Gigantic modes of transportation

(a typical texas vehicle. i swear i am the only person in frisco who drives a car. i honk my horn at all times, just to make sure the other drivers see me. or at least hear me.)

(wave to fran everybody! i'm sure she's in there somewhere)


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Say "Cheese"

(just point, click, turn the knob, unload the film,
and take it to the store!
nothing to it)

Today, boys and girls, let's talk about photography in the good old days. Even though cave drawings were still quite popular when I was younger, we had cameras as well.

"oh yeah? digital?"

No. They used film.

"film? like movie film?"

No, camera film. It looked like this:
"what was it for?"

Well, the film recorded the pictures.

"so how did you get the pictures onto your computer?"

We didn't. There were no computers, remember?

"oh ya. i forgot just how old you are."

To get the pictures, you had to take the film to the drug store.

"oh sure. that makes sense."

The drug stores all had photo labs, where they would print out the pictures. It took about a week.

"a WEEK? you are so funny."

You wouldn't really know if your pictures were any good until you got them back.

"you'd wait a WEEK without even previewing your pictures ahead of time?"

Yup. And if you used the cheap paper, they would all fade away after a few years.

"good lord. no wonder nobody ever smiled in those old pictures. hey, i gotta go. send me some pictures from your phone and i'll take em to the drug store! hahahaha"

Sure thing. Catch ya later.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Dale Girls go to OCEAN BEACH!!!

(if i was making a flyer for ocean beach, i would have put a picture of, oh say,
THE BEACH on it. but that's just me being picky.
the clock and the flag are very nice too)

I grew up in Connecticut, as I have mentioned before. Ocean Beach was 15 minutes away, so of course we went there all the time. Especially in August, when the air temperature sometimes soared into the low 80's and the water was so warm, we could swim for 4 or 5 minutes before frostbite set in.

In fact, I still have a little blue, hand-knit wool bathing suit that was passed down from one Dale sister to another, to another, and to another. It appears on various sisters in all of our photo albums.

(yes, it's really wool. i have the hives to prove it.)

If you ever get the chance to visit Ocean Beach, you definitely should.

Here are some tips:

1. Watch closely out the front window of the car. As soon as you see anything that might possibly be the ocean, yell into your dad's ear "I SEE THE WATER!!!!!" First one to yell is the winner. Extra points if you get him to swear.

2. Dig a hole in the sand. If you dig long enough, water will appear in the bottom of the hole. This means you are very close to China.

3. If your sister is being annoying, put her in the hole and tell her they eat cry-babies in China. That will shut her up.

4. Try the clam fritters. They're amazing.

5. Bring a wool bathing suit. I wasn't kidding about the frostbite.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Why Frisco Texas is exactly the same as San Francisco

(see? we get cloudy skies just like you, Amanda)

I was out for a morning walk when I first noticed the similarity. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized - I could very well be LIVING in San Francisco! My town is exactly the same.

Let me explain.

My husband and I visited San Francisco for 3 days last fall. Plus I follow a blog called Brilliant Sulk that is written by a brilliant (though sulky) resident of SF. So I know quite a bit about SF. And as usual, if I'm missing some information I am not at all hesitant about making things up.

So. Here is the first similarity between Frisco and San Francisco: Curvy roads.

(lombard street in sf, sponsored by the makers of dramamine)

(a sidewalk near my house that really has no excuse for being so curvy)

Similarity # 2: Passionate politicians.

(our governor rick perry, who would love to see texas secede from the union)

(sf congresswoman nancy pelosi, who would not be at all sad
to see us go)

Similarity # 3: Diversity.

(chinatown, just one example of the amazing cultural diversity in sf)

(just the other day, i saw a white lexus parked peacefully next to a black maserati at the mall. a blue jaguar pulled in and was welcomed into the neighborhood without hesitation,
and a silver bmw drove by with a friendly honk.
brought a little tear to my eye.)


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Notes to Mom

(this week's theme on Heads or Tails is "note."
click here to join in the fun!)

Age 5:
Deer Mommy
I luv yu!!! I luv my new pensils for skool. You are the bestest Mommy in the hole wide wurld. Can we go to the park tooday?

Age 8:
Dear Mommy,
Here is my skool supply list. I really really want a pink bakpack like Jenny. Can we go to the store? I wil be up by 6 so we can get ther early. I love you! You are the best Mommy!

Age 13:
Dear Mother,
Got my school supply list today. Need money and a ride to the mall. Do NOT wake me up. I will let you know when I'm ready to go. And do NOT plan on staying at the mall with me. PLEASE. Last time was SO embarrassing. My friends did NOT think it was funny when you took off your shoes and waded into the fountain. And your singing was totally lame. Just being honest. Oh, and could you PLEASE NOT wear that blue sweater this time? Even if you don't get out of the car, people can see you, you know.

Age 18:
Dear Mom,
Well, here I am. Who knew 3 girls could fit in a room this small? I'm all signed up for classes. The supply lists are on the bulletin board in the hallway. So I guess the bookstore is my next stop. Remember when I used to take forever just picking out the perfect pencils? I sure wish you were here. I feel so alone. It feels like the bottom has dropped out.

Can I really do this?

I keep remembering what you told me - "Be true to yourself." So that's my plan. Hey, there's a fountain in the middle of campus. Who knows? I might try your singing routine some day. haha!

My roommates are yelling for me, so I gotta go to lunch. Talk to you soon.

I love you Mommy.


Sunday, August 9, 2009

How to Attain the Perfect Figure

(you, too, could have a lovely figure like Sylvia ... though if your name is fred or sam, it might start the neighbors talking.)

Yes, guys and gals, it's time for another lesson from Sylvia of Hollywood, our 1935 beauty expert. Her little book is chock full of helpful advice, which, being a helpful and extremely lazy blogger, I am happy to steal. I mean pass along.

Today's topic: Exercises that can help you attain the perfect figure.

The quotes are from Sylvia's book. The comments in red are mine.

"Slowly draw the right leg upward and toward the chest and lower the left to about 3 inches from the floor. Now reverse. Lower both legs to the floor and relax. You'll need to. This is one of the most tiring exercises I will give you."

Somehow I find that hard to believe, Sylvia. I think you're just trying to fool us so we will try your other exercises - like this one:

"Scissors - To Develop Your Legs"
"Skinny, undeveloped legs are enough to give anybody an inferiority complex. They're bad enough in long skirts. But you're lost in a bathing suit. No one would look at you twice, except to make fun. You can build up those legs, and here are ways to do it."

But Sylvia - I don't have skinny, undeveloped legs! In fact, I don't know of anyone in the United States over the age of 6 who has skinny, undeveloped legs.

And besides, exercising is so boring! Do you have any tips for exercising with a friend?

"See how this works? It's as if your helper were trying to pull you in two. As she does this you can feel those fatty tissues being broken down. You must always be relaxed."

Which is it, Sylvia? Do you want my helper to pull me in two, or do you want me to be relaxed? You can't have it both ways.

Do you have any parting words for us, Sylvia?

"Keep yourself physically fit. Be mentally alert. Be as attractive and charming as you can. You will increase your earning power, which may come in handy some day."

Thank you Sylvia! I would certainly like to increase my earning power. I've been working as hard as I can. But maybe I'll try being attractive and charming instead! Let's see if my husband notices.

I'll keep you posted.


Friday, August 7, 2009

How to achieve SEO while you write greetings cards, debate what not to wear and get cash for clunkers

(the key to blogging success? keywords, of course)

As a blogger, it is important to understand Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This technique can help you show off for your friends by plugging a few words into google and pulling up a list of websites including - voila! - your very own blog!

I recently discovered the secrets of SEO and, being the kindly blogger that I am, I thought I would share them with you.

1. Use keywords, especially in your titles. Keywords are words or phrases that people might be searching for. The headline for this blog post is full of keywords. In fact, these are the top keywords that have been driving people to my blogs, according to StatCounter, a nifty little tool that you might want to try.

2. Use the same keywords in your post while achieving SEO and writing greeting cards. Do not worry about what to wear. Nobody can see you anyway. Cash for clunkers.

3. Mention cash for clunkers at least three times because lots of people are interested in cash for clunkers. But do not let cash for clunkers take over your computer. See this informative post for more information. Meanwhile, write greeting cards.

Ok. You probably get the idea. I have no idea how to use keywords or SEO. But I got you to read this post.

So there ya go.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Twitter was hacked today!

(did you miss my tweets?)

Did you hear? Twitter was hacked today by a "denial of service" attack!

My first thought was: I didn't know Twitter had crappy health insurance like me. I've had my share of "denial of service" and there's usually nothing much you can do about it unless you have hours and hours to spend on the phone with Gloria from Blue Cross, who is very nice but totally unable to do anything about anything unless you would like to spend hours and hours trying to get her supervisor on the phone, who totally by accident cuts you off every time just when you thought you were about to get somewhere.


Turns out, Twitter was flooded with phony communications requests, which caused them to shut down.

I have a feeling nobody missed me. I signed up for Twitter about 6 months ago, just to see what it was all about.

My one and only tweet was: "I don't know what I'm doing."

But I checked back today, and lo and behold, I have ten followers! One follower is a normal person - in fact, a very funny and talented blogger friend. (hi Amanda!)

Who are the other 9 people?? Let's take a look at 3 of them ...

There's Twittabiz from Australia, who tweets exciting updates like "OMG! is offering international currency options now!"

There's erabita from Canada, who tweets exciting updates like "Spotify Jukebox: It's fun and legal."

Then there's yipvwqtgypjb, also known as Your Kitty, who has a very exciting picture but no tweets at all.

Why are these people following me? Are they waiting for me to figure out what I'm doing? Do they think I will eventually order some international currency options? Are they hoping I will post some exciting Kitty-ish pictures of my own, which would be legal but probably not all that much fun?

I have no idea.

But keep following! Eventually I will have something else to say. I always do.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Open wide ... not your mouth, your wallet!

(i brush ten times a day now. i can't afford a cavity.)

I love Texas. You should come visit some time. And while you're here, why not schedule a dental check-up? You will definitely have something to tell your friends about when you get home.

I went to a Texas dentist shortly after moving down. He took panoramic x-rays of my entire mouth. He took close-up pictures of each tooth, which he displayed on his computerized system so he could show me every crack, shadow, and disgustingly plaque-covered tooth. Then he told me I needed $8,000 of dental work, IMMEDIATELY.

He was nice enough to offer me a financing plan. Right before I bolted out the door.

Check out this website. That is a Texas dental office. Honest to God. It's about a 10 minute drive from my house.

This same dentist just opened a second location. Here is the description:

The Smile Spa at Moon River Ranch.

"It’s the nation’s first Ranch Resort Dental Spa and Willow Bend Dental’s second office location. Be sure to see the state of the art Tommy-Bahama-like dental spa overlooking the natural rock pool and cascading waterfalls."

Ok, I'm sorry - what the heck is a "dental spa"? From my experience, those two words do not go together at all.

~ Will they massage my feet while they scrape the hardened potato chips from my molars?

~ Will they wrap me in seaweed to detoxify my gums?

~ Will they put hot stones on my back when I fall flat on the floor from looking at the bill?

Sadly, I will never know. Because I managed to find a sane dentist, with a plain white office, old-fashioned x-ray machines, and a pleasant chair-side manner. But if you'd like a Dental Spa appointment, just let me know! I'd love to hear how you like it.


Sunday, August 2, 2009

How to not buy a car

(today's episode is brought to you by the number 47,582. if you like a different number better, just come back tomorrow!)

We spent five hours at a car dealership yesterday. Five long hours. It was about as much fun as visiting the dentist for five hours, which here in Texas would cost you approximately a bazillion dollars. Though they do have an attractive financing plan. I will tell you about that another time.

Anyway, here's the deal with our car:

We only own one car. It is a very nice one. Hubby has his eye on a little convertible, so we thought, hey! why not trade in our very nice car, lease a little sedan for me, and buy a used convertible for hubby.

Our hope was to walk away with 2 cars, with as little as possible out of pocket.

So far, so good. Off we went to the dealership, where we met a nice young man who I will call Mike.

Here is the conversation we would have had with Mike if we were all being honest, which is clearly not ever going to happen at a dealership. The basic details are completely accurate:

Mike: Hi there! How are you folks doing today?

Us: Fine thanks! We were just wondering ... (we tell Mike what we had in mind)

Mike: Excellent! Just have a seat here and I will have somebody look at your car. Did you have any idea how much you might be able to get for it?

Us: Do we look like complete morons?

Mike: Well yes, as a matter of fact you do.

Me: I was thinking anywhere between $40,000 and $50,000, heh heh.

Mike: Heh heh. Let me go put some numbers together for you.

Ten minutes later ...

Mike: Ok! Here we go! We will give you $18,500 for your car.

Us: Nice meeting you.

Mike: No! Wait! Oh my gosh! Your car has tires on it, doesn't it? I forgot to factor in the tires. Let me go get a different number.

Ten minutes later ...

Mike: Ok! Here we go! We will give you $26,000 for your car.

Us: That's more like it. Now, how much would a 3-year lease cost us?

Mike: Well, they're usually around $250 a month. We've got some great deals going. I'll go check.

Ten minutes later ...

Mike: We can do a lease for $220 a month, for 38 months, so you've got $26,000 minus $11,000, which leaves $15,000 towards the convertible.

Hubby: (who is very good at math) But $220 times 38 is only $8360. Where did you come up with $11,000?

Mike: Well, you've got taxes, title and license.

... (long, long conversation about the convertible hubby is interested in, which would cost about $20,000) ...

Mike: So. Let's sum this up. You guys just sign over your car to us, pay another $5,000 for the convertible, and then make lease payments of $220 a month for 38 months.

Us: But we thought the lease payments were covered.

Mike: Oh no, no! Ha! Ha! We put $11,000 towards the lease, but you've still got the monthly payments of $220.

Us: Nice meeting you.

Mike: Wait! You haven't met my general manager yet! You'll like him. Be right back.

Ten minutes later ...

Sam: Hi there! I'm the general manager! You guys look like total saps, so I'm going to sit here and talk with you until we get a deal done. Ready?

Us: ... groan ...

Sam: Great! Groaning is always a good sign. Now, here's the deal. We'll give you $26,000 for your car. You've got a total lease of $14,630 for the 38 months, which works out to $385 a month, and you'll have $11,400 to put towards the convertible.

Us: Where on earth did those numbers come from? They are totally different.

Sam: Of course they are! The first numbers didn't work, so we just came up with some new ones! That shows how nice we are! Sign right here and I'll be able to make my house payment for another month!

Us: Listen. We are leaving now. It's getting dark, and we are tired and hungry. Let's all pretend that we are going to call you on Monday, which will only happen if aliens invade our brains while we sleep.

Sam and Mike: Ok! Bye now! Have a great weekend!! It was fun!! Call us on Monday and we'll make up some new numbers for you!! Ta-ta!!



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