Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Is Email Dead?

I often answer my own questions on this blog and that is not changing today.

Is email dead?

It's in middle age.

I never thought I'd do it, but I have started keeping almost all of my phone numbers in my iPhone. Yes, I still have a Rolodex on my desk, but I almost never use it -- instead I use my iPhone and the internet to look up numbers almost exclusively.

NOTE:  The Rolodex was my first one from my first "real" job in Washington, DC, so I've had it about 25 years.  When I left the government, the HR person told me I could take it with me.

NOTE to NOTE:  Yes, your tax dollars paid for my Rolodex.

Kids, you may never have seen one of these before.  Is it antique yet?

Now, back to email...

My nieces almost never use their email.  We certainly still use it at Community Partners of Dallas. We send messages to people all the time, both internally and externally.  It is an easy way to send out messages to your tribe, both to inform and to delight.  But, I think FaceBook and Instagram and other social media platforms do it better -- and we are all so visually focused now that even I end up posting photos most of the time and I feel like I'm more of a writer than a photographer.

Loretta Lynn said that in order to become famous, great, etc., that you had to be one of these:

  1. Best
  2. First
  3. Different

Email was once all of these, but if you're like me, you may be wondering what comes next.

I'll have to ask my nieces.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Love Stinks

Valentine's Day is not really my thing.

While I enjoy the cuteness of it, my life pretty much goes on as usual.  I used to make Joe take me out -- I'd call him, plan the night, and make him pay for dinner (natch), etc. -- but now I normally just let it pass.

NOTE:  My brother usually does come through with some flowers for me.  All the sisters in the world are jealous, I know!

Yesterday, the staff at Community Partners of Dallas held our monthly "Terrific Tuesday" event for CPS caseworkers.  Our Terrific Tuesdays give CPS staff members a quick 30 minute respite from their grueling work to do something mindless and fun.  The Program staff here at CPD is in charge of these meetings and they do a great job. Normally I am not crafty, but yesterday I went over to say hi to the caseworkers and ended up actually doing the craft -- photos below.

NOTE:  Wasn't it nice of me to put my decorations in the lobby at CPD so everyone could enjoy them?  I'm sweet like that.

NOTE to NOTE:  My co-worker Allie was our instructor for these crafts and didn't they turn out great?

Valentine's Day is also a good time to eat.  There are fantastic cookies at the office made by staff members and volunteers and my friend Holly made homemade popovers the other day with strawberry butter.  Holly gave it to me in a darling bag with a valentine card.  Glad I'm her valentine for sure!

While Valentine's Day is pretty much just another day for me, it is a day of horror for so many children in Dallas County.

Another day Angel will be beaten.  Another day Claudette will be left alone in a locked room for hours.  Another day Peter will barely escape death.

In the time it will take for you eat your valentine meal with your special someone, another child in our community will be confirmed as abused and neglected.  And all they want for Valentine's Day is someone who loves them.

Good Lord, I'm lucky in love.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Four Favorite Things I Love Right Now! Part 20

It's time for another Four Faves and I'm excited about these, people!

In case you missed part 19 (and all of the 18 before that), click here:

Last night I was home watching the tube and realized it was Tuesday (so the next day -- today -- is blog day) and started thinking about what to write. I actually do think about what I'm going to write in advance sometimes, but those of you who know me won't be surprised to learn that sometimes I just sit down without a F-ing clue.

NOTE: Last week's post is an example of no advance prep, and you guys still read and liked it, so why prepare? I try to prepare because it saves me time at my keyboard staring into space. Lauren (our fabulous Program Director at Community Partners of Dallas) once came in my office and said -- "Oh, I'm sorry to bother you, are you writing the blog?" I didn't know I had a tell -- apparently it's staring off out the window with a dumb-ass look on my face. Great.

Anyway, doing a Four Faves post is really my most fun writing, so here goes...
  1. SOOOOOO excited that The Americans is starting back up tonight! It is such exciting television and if you haven't seen the first two seasons, they are available on Amazon Prime, so go to your dvr, tape tonight's Season 3 opener on F/X, and start with Season 1 and 2 -- I promise you won't be disappointed. Warning -- it is not for kids or the faint of heart. Sex and violence galore. Here's the star Keri Russell on this morning's Today Show. Fun Fact: Keri and her co-star are together in real life too -- or at least they were last season.
  2. I love this gift from my wonderful friend Stacey -- it came with the whole Oprah Chai Tea system from Teavana -- called the Teavana Perfectea Maker. It is truly ingenious how it works and I love making myself a cup on the weekend.
  3. While I'm having a cup of tea, this is the current book I can't put down -- I've only read about 100 pages, but it has me on the edge of my seat! Order The Girl on the Train today!
  4. My final fav is my almost everyday read of Jeanne Prejean's My Sweet Charity Blog: Jeanne's blog is a must-read for everyone in the non-profit world and for everyone who is interested in culture, fashion, and celebs of the local-type. Her writing is spot-on and she is a champion for so many in our community who have no voice. She's a marvel. Dallas is lucky to have her on the job!
What are your faves?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 Tips for Getting Back Control of Your Life

I have a big project to work on at Community Partners of Dallas, but I just can't get going. My eternal question is

Why am I too busy to do anything?

If you're like me, this is your problem. Even as I write this post -- and I'm one day late writing it, BTW -- I'm having my hair done at The Dry Bar. 

NOTE:  Yes, The Dry Bar is my secret to great hair. Now you know. 

NOTE to NOTE:  And it's not only my secret. I know someone in the joint every time I darken their door. 

Anyway, I've now rushed to the office for about 45 minutes, then I'm off to a lunch, then back and then and then and then...


I don't know exactly how to get my life back and my project completed, but I'm starting now. Here's my starting tips for control:
  1. Get your hair done and wear a good looking outfit. If you look like crap, you feel like it too. 
  2. Clean off your desk. Get out the Clorox Wipes and get the dust off. Don't forget to wipe down the phone -- gross!
  3. Go through your piles. File stuff. Sort into like action piles, then attack the ones you must and put the others aside. 
  4. Make a cup of tea or coffee -- I'm having peppermint tea right now and I love it -- drink some. 
  5. Look at your email. Respond to those that need response, then turn off notifications. Don't check again until 4 pm. 
Now, quit farting around and start that project, people!  Or at least I'm going to try to start.

No matter what, I'm looking great while drinking my tea.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

WTF -- Christmas Pumpkins?

Have you seen it?  This is one of several houses that I saw this year sporting both Christmas decor and pumpkins.

As my old friend Tom Foote would say "It just ain't fittin." 
  • Number one, pumpkins are so autumn, so dump them for winter, right? 
  • Number two, how are they possibly not rotting away on your front porch in January?
  • Number three, why do you want to divert attention from your Christmas stuff with all that orange?
But the real problem here is why do I think this is any of my business? 

It ain't.

I've started getting exasperated with all of the people who want to bitch about things about which they have no business bitching. 
  • Tom Thumb moving out of Highland Park Village?  Buy HPV from Ray Washburne and family and keep the store, otherwise shut up.
  • Don't think HPISD needs to add a new school/redo old ones?  Run for the school board or attend a town hall meeting.  NOTE:  Don't get me started on complaining if you don't even live in PC anymore -- you don't get a vote.
I'm going to start focusing my attention on my priorities and stop judging others.  Will you join me?

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Favorite Reads of 2014

My friend Jill just sent me a link to a book list from The Aspen Institute blog that listed their fav reads of 2014 and since I'm always up for borrowing a good idea, here are mine:

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd -- this book had me riveted from page one.  I'm leading the discussion for the book club later this year and cannot wait to see what the rest of the Jld Sustainers thought about it!
The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer -- traces the history and coming of age of six friends who meet at camp in the seventies. Just my kind of book -- and since it was a gift from my best friend Cathy, I loved it even more.
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt -- finger lickin' good.  Pulitzer winner.
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole -- if you've never read this one, do it in 2015. Joe gave it to me in high school and I've read it many times since. We all have a bit of Ignatius in us -- some more than others, of course. 
Queen of the Turtle Derby by Julia Reed -- I love everything of Julia's and read this when it came out in the 2000's and again last year since Julia was the speaker for Community Partners of Dallas' Chick Lit Luncheon in 2014.  Hilarious.  Hilarious.  Hilarious. 
Room by Emma Donoghue -- #CannotPutDownFiction -- this book is on my fav book list forever.  Creepy stuff.
One More Thing by B.J. Novak -- B.J. was a writer and actor on The Office and he is laugh out loud funny.  The new David Sedaris -- and I LOVE David Sedaris. 
The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz -- advice for living a successful life.  I read this when it came out years and years ago and even kept copies of it to give to anyone who asked.  Not sure why I let the practice go, but I resolve to reread it annually. 

What are yours?

Happy new year, dear friends! <This is a borrowed greeting from one of my fav bloggers -- Katie at Preppy Empty Nester!  Giving the girl credit...

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Christmas Eve Gift! I Got You!

If you know what the title of this post means, then you've known me for a very long time.

Our family plays this game and has forever.  It is supposedly a throwback from long ago -- the basic idea is that if you are the first one to say to someone "Christmas gift!", then they are supposed to give you a gift.  I believe that it was originally played on Christmas Day only, but our family plays it for every holiday, including Christmas Eve, birthdays, Valentine's, Martin Luther King Day, etc.  We have never followed through with the gift giving part -- the first person to say it just gets the pleasure of winning and lording it over everyone.  

My personal favorite is when you can catch someone totally off guard and say "Oh, John?"  Him:  "What?"  "I just wanted to say Christmas Eve Gift!"  This is naturally followed by lots of disgust and drama, etc.  It's tons of fun to win.

I like to win.

The downside of this game is that on holidays we don't call one another because the other person will invariably answer the phone "Christmas Eve Gift" and then they got you.  In the pre-caller ID days, we would answer every call this way, so then explaining went along with the game, which is why lots of my friends play the game with us too.  Joe particularly likes to get my mom.  Let's be honest -- we all like to get mom.

Anyway, it is now 1:37 pm on Christmas Eve and I haven't had a single phone call and won't unless someone decides they are throwing in the towel -- and I'm waiting to pounce if they do.

I like to win.

I'm truly grateful that I have a family when so many in Dallas do not.  Lots of kids served by Community Partners of Dallas would be happy to let someone win the game every single time if it meant they could have a family to be with today and tomorrow and forever.

I think I'll give mom a call and give her a thrill since I know how she'll answer the phone.

But I'll get her tomorrow.