Archive for the ‘Dallas’ Category

Wearing your heart on your car

A few weeks ago I was stuck behind a large truck on my way to work. I often am stuck behind a large truck or two on my way to work. This particular truck, however, had the normal “offensive” stickers all over it. One of which said, “Welcome to America. Now learn English.” I posted about this topic on my Facebook and got quite a response. Although I do understand the frustration of trying to communicate with someone who doesn’t know much English (and the irritiation that comes with knowing that some families choose not to EVER learn once they arrive here), imagine being in their shoes. And let’s just remember that when we visit outside of our Land of the Free, we should never assume everyone there will or CAN speak English. In this instance I found myself torn on the topic for the reasons I mentioned above and for the fact that I am an American. And I know how many people who come here want that affiliation but don’t have it yet. Bumper stickers as food for thought isn’t really a new thing. But I have found myself noticing them more these days. My friend, who is a farmer for a CSA, gave me a sticker that says, “Who’s Your Farmer?” Well, she is. And I was proud to display it. And it must have been a pretty cool sticker because when I came back to my car after lunch in Deep Ellum yesterday, it was gone. Peeled clean off. I guess they wanted Marie to be THEIR farmer too…

But all of this just makes me wonder, should we wear our thoughts, ideals, emotions and our hearts on our cars? In the journalism biz, we are pretty much forbidden to place political stuff on our cars. It shows bias and is frowned upon. However, I’ve seen plenty of J folks sporting their beliefs loud and clear on their back windows. And in today’s interesting climate in the media industry, does this even matter anymore? The rules have changed. We have changed. So is it wrong to share our thoughts as openly as what we stick on our cars? Even if you aren’t a media type, what about if you are a teacher? A pastor? A therapist? Should your car remain silent and forever hold it’s peace?

The John Popper experience

OK. So I’ve always been a fan of Blues Traveler. But I have to admit, I’ve never been to a show.  So when I saw John Popper at Frankie’s in Uptown on election night, I was star struck but didn’t really know much about Blues Traveler’s latest album. However, after chatting for a little while, Popper said “Write your name down” so I could get into their show at House of Blues the next night.

I grabbed a matchbook and wrote it down. And because I’m way too curious, I decided I would head out to HOB last night to really see if my name was on the list…and sure enough it was. Along with backstage stickers!

But like I said, fan — but not really aware of the new stuff. I’ve always heard BT puts on a great show and me-and-john-popperlast night was no different. He played the old standard, “Run Around” of course but some of the new songs were cool too. I’m definitely going to get the CD.

After the show, and a few harmonica tosses later that I managed to never catch but one guy got knocked in the head with, we got to head to the Green Room. I wasn’t even in the door when he yelled, “Jenice! I was looking at that book of matches today and hoped you would come!” and then he kissed my hand.So because I didn’t get the photo on Tuesday, I got my picture taken with him where he proceeded to kiss me on the cheek. Look folks, I’m not a groupie but that was kind of cute. He even signed my reporter’s notebook and asked, “Did I spell your name right?”

When we left I got his artist manager’s card and they seemed interested in photos…or maybe they were just being polite. Either way, who cares! It’s not everyday you get a kiss on the cheek from a Grammy winner.

Holy s***! I bought a house…

Well actually a townhouse but it’s still the same really…responsibility and upkeep. I suppose the feeling I should be having here is excitement. And to many degrees, I do have that particular sentiment. But overall I am more to the point — numb. I can’t believe the grueling process is over. It started with hopes of receiving a forgivable loan from the City of Dallas. I may have a pretty fun job, but the pay isn’t that great.

 

 Well, I qualified for a program that allowed me to receive $10,000 from the City of Dallas if I:

A.) Found a home in Dallas, of course.

B.) Take homeowner classes.

C.) Live in the home at least 8 years.

It seemed perfect. But right in the middle of my offer to the townhouse I wanted, they pulled the funding. They now exclusively offer the funding, even at a better rate, for the homes that are in their system, which means I wouldn’t be able to just find a place — it had to be on the city’s list of homes they are trying to sell. I decided to give up.

Then in May my realtor calls me and tells me that the townhouse I wanted — the one I had originally put an offer down on — dropped $10,000. It just seemed meant, but not without a few hiccups. Namely the appraisal came in under the sales price and there were a few repairs that had to be taken care of such as a few breaker issues. And even after all that, I sat at the title company’s table of endless papers and began signing. Then my realtor points out a taxing discrepancy. Would it ever end?!

The next day I finally got the keys and my family and I went out to dinner to celebrate with my realtor. We had some crazy times together so I felt it only fitting to pay for our dinner. Confession: actually dad made me but I was gonna pay — promise! As well as the fact that I am sure I was very small potatoes in the scheme of clients for my realtor. After all the trouble we went through, all of his concerns and looking out for my best interest, I just don’t think his commission from it all is that spectacular but he’s quite a humble man. And anyone who could put up with my tastes and demands deserves more than a gold star. I mean I am really particular about what I call, and I think the industry calls, “wet areas.” That basically means I’m a stinker about kitchens and bathrooms. But considering my choices of price range, and my particulars about what I wanted, I think I did pretty good.

So here I am — outside of my very own place (please excuse my casual attire…not my normal look I assure you.)  Sure the neighborhood isn’t the Ritz but it’s a place that really suites me. And I’m happy to call it home. But all this means is I’ll be pretty preoccupied between medical appointments and cleaning/preparing the new place. Blogging will be a tough one in the next few weeks, but I’ll still try to make time to blather about.

So this is what it feels like to give up…

Being poor sucks. But what sucks more than being poor is when your expectations are squashed because of it. As you have been reading I was looking to buy a home. I will candidly confess that one of the major incentives (and almost the main reason) was because I was going to receive $10,000 of an 8-year forgivable loan from the city of Dallas. As of this week, right in the middle of my offer to the townhome I wanted to buy, they pull the funding for homes not in their network. Meaning that if I want to seek their assistance, I have to look into the properties on their list.

I am a girl of a certain taste. Does that make me high-maintenance? I could give a shit less. What it makes me is a girl who will not compromise. I want the option to pick where I want to live and the home I want to live in for the next 10 or so years. So what does this mean? It means I stay put, bitter in the rent race and clutching the Tuaca I said I was going to give up.

 I’m still in the middle of the offer but I doubt the owner, though a great guy, will want to accept it because it will be about $10,000 less than asking price. The blessing in all of this is that I will no longer be anchored. And maybe I’ll search out Alaska again one day.

 

Dallas Bimbos and Bottle Service

Last night I had the displeasure pleasure to hang at my first bottle service bar. And it had one name. Like so many of them do. One name everything like we are trying to be a mini Los Angeles or something. Kind of sad. I was there for a singles event and I had a good time until everywhere we sat eventually we were kicked out of because of “reservations.” Which basically means people called ahead to spend nearly $1,000 on a table of liquor and mixers they put together themselves. Seems like that kind of money should come with a bartender at every table. So I see this Tom Leykis looking joker (but worse) come with five better looking guy friends and whip out his wallet immediately for two bottles of Belvedere. All I could think was what a way to get attention. I mean all that cash is going down the drain — literally. I mean I pee after two drinks.

Well. Like I said. I did have a nice time — prior to the crowd getting there. But I had no qualms leaving before midnight. While I waited for my car from the valet (yea, it’s THAT kind of bar where you really don’t have a choice) I was privy to a little play I call: Dallas Bimbos and Bottle Service. This is where I saw a gaggle of ditzy women, drunk, waiting for their car.

The blond says, “We need the white Volvo but we’ll take a Bentley.” Her brunette, equally vacant friend chimes in, “Yea, or an Aston Martin.” She annoyingly giggled. The blond staggered a bit. And I imagined it that is was only going to take two more chocolate martinis before that one was going to need the brunette to hold her hair back. The group of them said a number of superficial epithets. And they laughed — that laugh. The one where you have to ask if there is air between the girl’s ears. I was in absolute disbelief that the Dallas stereotype was standing right there next to me, putting on a real life comedy of errors. I wish I had a video camera.

And this is Dallas. I am thinking that at sometime back in college or better that I felt that THIS was the lifestyle I wanted. I think looking at it now at 30, I just shook my head. Before heading to my car, which I found was a $6 valet instead of $5 and the guy just stood there because there was no tip (sorry, miscalculated), I remembered all the pumped up guys who rudely brushed by me to get to the bar, the girls overdone with silicone tits and acrylic nails and the fact that I’m happy not to fit the look and attitude of the typical uptown “Dallasite.” In room of fake, I felt my own fresh air.

My time is now — well really it’s tomorrow …

I’ve decided that after work tomorrow, I will drive 45 minutes or about an hour, keeping traffic in mind, to my hometown to vote (instead of getting it over with early of course.) And then after a nice dinner with the rents, I will drive right back to the polling station and do it again for the caucus. What a funky process.

The real buzz here has been the Clinton and Obama rallies. Big duh if you are living in Ohio and reading this. You just never hear enough about McCain or Huckabee. Even on my job’s Web site, as you can see below, there are a number of photos and/or video being posted from citizen journalists on a regular from the democratic front.

on-the-scene.jpg

But the McCain and Huckabee slots remain vacant of submissions. Why? Is it that citizen journalists are looking for the “interesting” story or are we just netting a more democratic crowd on our Web site? Is this really, as they kept yapping about on Meet the Press on Sunday, a “personality contest?” If so Texas will probably, as I’ve said before, go straight for a democratic vote if the rest of the state behaves anything like Dallas has come November. And if not I will be surprised, even though we have been known as a red state for over several decades.

Me and Barry…

Tricked ya. I’m not really dating a guy named Barry. I scored some free tickets from my favorite local radio station and I am confessing right now that I actually went to a Barry Manilow concert last night. When in doubt — go to a concert, I always say. Well, I really don’t say that, but you just never know who you may see there. I went with another single friend who loves Manilow. And may I add that I saw a good crop of good-looking lads — too bad they were looking at each other. Read more