Saturday, June 07, 2008
Posted by TX Poppet at 11:57 AM
Monday, June 02, 2008
So the doctor says to me, "There are two medications you can take for this, but medication A can cause rapid weight loss".
My left eyebrow shot up and I gave him the same hard stare Mr. Spock always affected when dealing with a particularly stupid human.
"Um, so I'll just be writing the prescription for medication A".
For those of you wondering what is going on with my blog move, pesky real life keeps getting in the way of my bloggy obsessions. I promise when the move is done I'll let you know.
Posted by TX Poppet at 3:47 PM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
- Surprising my girlfriend's husband by showing up at their front door in my night clothes while his wife was away. (Leslie, you knew my scheduling goof would end up as blog fodder, didn't you?)
- Donning the daughter version of our matching mother/daughter dresses to head over to my parents for the big clan hoopla.
- Having tremendous fun teasing my mother about wearing our matching dresses to Early Bird Specials and on Grey Line bus tours.
- Worrying myself silly about middle sister when Mom said she'd been smoking a wild pig brother in law brought home. "Does she know it takes at least two days of smoking before those things are safe to eat?"
- Catching my mother's eye then laughing like a loon when my middle sister said she felt fine now but she'd been puking all day and "must have a stomach bug".
- Making my younger sister scream by threatening to lick her nose.
- Gobbling down steaks grilled to the consistency of shoe leather by the menfolk who are in their grilling glory.
- Giggling with relief upon discovering the very silly reason why brother-in-law stormed out in a rage. "Ha! More steak for us!"
- Leading the entire family in a game of "Name the alternate insult he could have heard" to the hilarity of all.
- Herding toddlers like a rodeo queen and telling younger sister "Having three boys in diapers isn't so tough" in my most superior voice, then saying a prayer of thanks back at home that they aren't mine.
- Collapsing in my newly re-arranged living room, glancing at the cat up on my good console table and telling him he's lucky he gets a pass tonight because I'm too pooped to care.
- Then wondering if everybody has as manic and evil a family as I do, because really? They are just too much fun.
Posted by TX Poppet at 10:48 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
This is it my lovelies. I've had all I can stands and I can't stands no more from my current blogging platform. It's time to go self-hosted. Now I am soliciting advice from all you self hosted babes. Tell me about your web host. Who do you use? Which hosts do love/hate? The Thrifty Scot will have a fit when I actually start spending money on a server instead of just blathering away for free, so please tell me who you think has good value and who has an inflated opinion of their services. In the meantime, I'll be working on building a free site at wordpress.com. They are a pill for graphic heavy blogs like mine, but in the words of the immortal Jake Blues, "It don't cost nothin'." Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions.
Posted by TX Poppet at 7:52 AM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
In 1954 The Statler hotel family was facing an unwanted takeover bid. In response E.M. Statler's widow accepted an alternative offer from Conrad Hilton to keep the Statler properties with "hotel people". The $111,000,000.00 deal became the world's largest real estate transaction and made Hilton the largest hospitality chain in the world. It was decided that such a momentous achievement needed a symbol of success. That symbol would be built in Dallas.
Built with a thousand rooms, convention facilities, showroom and 2000 seat ballroom, the hotel offered unheard of amenities for it's day including a helipad and televisions in every room so you would not have to miss a single episode of GE Playhouse, Ed Sullivan or The ALCOA Hour. Not into television? No problem! Enjoy the rooftop pool, the Empire Room showroom, or just sway to the music in one of the first elevators in the nation to have music piped in for your relaxation.
Opening Day was a glittering four day event with Hollywood stars and politicos
Over the years, the Statler Hilton in Dallas hosted headliners like Elvis, Liberace (who had $25,000 worth of jewelry stolen from his room over Valentine's weekend 1974. The thief was caught.), and Robert Clary. Remember Robert Clary? You know, Lebeau from "Hogan's Heroes"? Well, before that he was a Broadway star and had an award winning nightclub act that was booked for a three week engagement in the Empire Room in November 1963.
On November 22, 1963 former Vice President Richard Nixon was attached to a law firm representing Pepsi Cola. He was attending a bottlers convention at the Statler Hilton in Dallas and was enjoying Robert Clary's show with Joan Crawford and her husband who was at that time Pepsi's CEO. I'm afraid any conspiracy rumors connected with JFK's assassination a few blocks away the next morning are nonsense. Or are they? I've always been suspicious of men in berets.
Of course the dems were well represented at the hotel in those early days, too. On March 11, 1962, Vice President Johnson and Lady Bird attended a brunch hosted by the Texas State Society in the Imperial Ballroom where the Cherry Blossom Princess for 1962- Miss Lynda Bird Johnson was presented.
Time marches on. The hotel was subjected to countless "refurbishments", "modernizations", and ill-conceived "re-modelings". The vibrant neighborhood around it decayed and business travellers began frequenting more suburban hotels. In 1988, Hilton Hotels sold the property to Hong Kong investors who re-named it the Dallas Grand. Under their ownership, it really was not so "grand". The hotel grew more seedy and in 2001 it was closed for good.
Enter downtown revitalization! In 2003, the parking garage was razed by the city in order to build the upcoming Main Street Gardens park. The main building was spared and optioned to a California developer who was interested in turning it in to pricey loft style condominiums.
Oops! Remember when I told you that the structure of the building featured "reinforced cantilevered slabs"? That means the ceilings must remain a mid-century modern standard 8 feet high. They can not be raised or cut away without tremendous expense and the risk of collapse. Fine with me, but not so fine to overpriced condo developers.
Ironically, it was the decay of it's neighborhood that caused it's fall and it is now the gorgeous revitalization of it's neighborhood that puts it in imminent danger by increasing the value of the property on which the hotel sits. It seems however, that Dallas doesn't want to give up on her yet. Offering up to $15 million dollars in tax credits and replacement of the razed garage with underground parking, the City Council is trying to get investors to look at the hotel's potential for moderate income housing. The University of North Texas is also in discussions to use a chunk of the building as Student Housing for their new downtown Law School (Having a husband who went to law school during our early years, I can attest their income can not be any more 'moderate').
Despite all these exciting ideas, the building is still very much in danger of demolition. For those of us with a soft spot for the old gal, great news came today. The National Trust for Historic Preservation officially designated it on their 2008 list of the country's most endangered historic places. While an NTHP designation can not guarantee the safety of any building, it is extremely rare when a designee is actually lost. If you would like to see some amazing photgraphs and learn more about this historic Dallas landmark, click here.
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I loved my next door neighbors on the West side. They bought their home just after us and we were fairly close, sharing barbecues and card parties and gardening tasks. I even helped her plant a rose garden opposite to mine that is still lovely and thriving. Last fall they decided to build a home out in the country for their growing family and they sold their home to a retiree.
TM put the fur on my neck right up with his "nosy neighbor" comment. And who would these nosy neighbors be? The retirees and parents of well behaved young children that surround us? Who does he think would call the police for him, or bring him food or help him with his lawn if he were ill? I LOVE my nosy neighbors. I'm proud to be one of them.
He tells me that he is yanking out his roses (that I helped to plant) and putting down gravel in anticipation of the new fence. "What kind of moron puts bushes by a driveway?" Duuude. It is so ON.
For now I watch and wait and get my ducks in a row. Here's my plan of action:
- First I'll wait to see if he really does go through with it.
- Next I'll rely on my city's extremely strict building code for fences. I think it's a safe bet that he will try building without a permit. Being the good citizen that I am, I will of course need to report him.
- If he actually does apply for a permit, I'm sure he will not be up to code. Uh-oh! Time to call the city again!
- If all else fails, I'll just have to take him to court for property line infringement. Somehow he doesn't strike me as the type to go to court over a fence (even if he is a mean old misanthrope).
Posted by TX Poppet at 2:17 PM