Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weather Report

There is not much to report from icy Dallas, except to say that it has been icy in Dallas. I thought the weather in Denver was wacky, but Dallas puts Denver to shame. Sunday it was 75 degrees. Everyone was outside. The neighbors were all standing around catching up, while the kids played football in the street. I was bragging to friends in Denver about the fact that it was 70 degrees warmer here than there. All in all, it was a beautiful autumn day. We even opened all the windows to air out the house (though our house is so drafty, there really is no point in opening the windows). Anyway, that night, as we sat around watching TV, the weather changed in the amount of time it took to change the channel. The warm breeze blowing through the house turned into an Arctic wind, and I was frantically running around, trying to seal off all the windows before we turned into Popsicles. By the time we woke up the next day, the temps had dropped to below freezing and then stayed there until right about now. Damn you icy wind from Canada!! By the end of the day Monday, as Mark was driving home from Dave's, the rain was instantly freezing on the windshield of little Henry Honda. ... And as far as we know, that is all that has been happening in the entire world. Since Monday morning, every local news anchor has been talking about nothing but the accidents, traffic jams, icy conditions, and storm tracking. The only other item of note, according to the local news,  was that it was Terrell Owens's (boo) birthday, and everyone was wondering whether Tony Romo would show up to the big bash. (Oh, the drama of Cowboys football.) I know, I know. Poor little ol' me. I know it's been crazy cold across the entire U.S., but this is Dallas. It just ain't supposed to be this cold. 

Anyway, yes, I did just talk about the weather for an entire (really long) paragraph. I am truly sorry about that. On to happier news: I just got off the phone with my good friend Susan, who lives in Denver and who two weeks ago gave birth to little Ryan. I am a lousy friend and hadn't spoken to her since before the delivery. But it was great to catch up and to hear all about her life for the past few weeks (including her helpful hint to future moms-to-be ... apparently Warren Miller films are great entertainment while waiting for little baby to come out). If you want to "meet" the little guy, hop on over to The Fleming Seven, or check out my other good friend's blog (Beth at Wedlake Studios), where you can see some spectacular photos of the little guy. [I'm not saying that Susan's blog photos aren't spectacular. But Beth's truly are, what with her being a professional and all, y'know?] Congratulations, Sam and Susan. He is a little doll, and we can't wait to meet him in person! Hope all the other "kids" in the house are adjusting well to the new situation (hi, Chester!).

As for what's been going on around here: This past weekend, I finally made it down to Dallas for more than just a quick drive-by. Mark and Dave set up shop at the White Rock Marathon expo to sell their gear. For the past couple years, Mark had been flying down to Dallas for the expo, and I never really understood why. I couldn't imagine an entire expo set up for a little marathon in Dallas. Well, apparently, it's a really big marathon in Dallas, with thousands of people signing up (and paying!) to punish their bodies for 26 grueling miles (kooks!). The expo is a two-day event before the race, where all sorts of vendors promote and sell their wares.

For Mark and Dave, it was quite the success, as they sold well more than 1,000 performance T's, beanies, singlets, and other gear in just two days. I joined them for some of the selling frenzy on Saturday, and it was great to see the positive response to their gear (it was also great to see so much of that inventory moving out of their hands). I originally had great plans to stop in and say hi and then venture out either to see Dealey Plaza or to check out the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts (where King Tut is hanging out). But instead I stuck around and helped them sell, sell, sell (and brought them lunch). So, now my experience of Dallas consists of the Farmer's Market and the Convention Center (oh, and the Spaghetti Warehouse and the Boardroom ... see below).

After closing up shop at the expo, we ventured over to Dallas's West End, which sounds like it should be a cool spot to hang out. Apparently, it's mainly a dinner area that pretty much shuts down around 9. So we ate our dinner and then mosey'd over to the Boardroom for a couple drinks with some friends who were celebrating a night out on the town without their kids. 

And now we are home, trying to stay warm, and getting the final holiday shopping done before heading back east next week. Because I have no photos of the icy weather (oh darn) or the expo (forgot the camera), I'll finally put up some shots of our humble abode here in Flower Mound.

You can also go to our Picasa site to browse some of our other images (with accompanying helpful captions). (I have not mastered the art of organizing photos in Picasa, so there are duplicate photos and albums.) And now that I have spent more than an hour updating this blog, I probably should try to squeeze in some work before heading to the gym with Mark for a spinning class (wish us luck ... on the spinning part, that is).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Happy Anniversary, Greg and Karen!

I know ... I am a day late. Will I ever get the Australia-US time difference right? 

Technically, it's your anniversary here today. So happy anniversary from the other side of the world!

Whatever day it is, we wish all the best for you both and hope that your anniversary weekend (as well as the year to come) is full of love and good times with family and friends. We'll be there soon to help you celebrate in person.

[Once again, Mark's computer has all the photos on it, and it is not here. So my apologies for that!]

Monday, December 1, 2008

I Remember

I remember the scratchy tickleness of your goatee; getting to be the one who blew out the match after you lit your pipe; how stylish you always were, even when you were just out raking the leaves; the big blue bookcase full of your classical, opera, and Dean and Frank and the other boys music; the story of you so involved in a conversation that you buttered the wine cork rather than your breadstick; saving the heel of the rye bread for you; the smell of your tobacco; "1-2-3" jump and "ow-eee, ow-eee, ow-eeee"; writing messages to you on the workshop chalkboard; cocktail cruises on the party boat; dinners at Pete O'Neill's; our Monday morning commutes into the city, with a stop for a coffee and cream for you and a bagel for me; your blue-and-white seersucker suit; wearing your reading glasses; helping to clean out your pipes; how no matter where we lived, you always seemed to find a way to mispronounce the town or base; you and Nana dropping me off at Smith; your cosmo cocktail hours overlooking the lake; your stories of growing up in Brooklyn with the rest of the fabulous Darling clan; our California shopping trips to "Moivyn's"; trying to stay out of your political discussions; listening to you enjoy those same discussions with Uncle George and Mark and others; our discussion together that last Christmas; and so much more.

Thank you for helping to raise me those first months of my life and for so many more months after that; for taking us in all those summers (and falls and winters); for your constant love and support, no matter how far apart we were; for visiting me in my dreams these past few years; for providing an example of such a strong, loving, happy, supportive relationship (you and Nana set a high standard for us all to follow); your belief in me and in Mark.

I wish I had more of your generosity and kindness; your ability to strike up a friendship with just about anyone, anywhere; your good humor and positive outlook; your dignity and grace.

I love you, Grandpa. Happy Birthday!