It was my turn to make the afternoon pilgrimage to Starbucks. Typically, the individual responsible for the daily Starbucks run takes at least one other person with him or her, because it just isn’t possible to carry more than two caffeinated beverages unless one has disturbingly large hands. But due to a seemingly endless Customer Service meeting that occupied a large portion of my co-workers, I found myself flying solo.
I was a smidge concerned because I was sporting a cute frock I’d only worn once before, and one of the girls had requested a tall, hot coffee. Never once have I been able to tote a hot coffee any distance without involuntarily demonstrating a little move I like to call the spill-n-scald. Recently, I discovered that by piling 50+ napkins on top of the Starbucks lid, I could greatly cut down on both spillage and scaldage. Unfortunately, in today’s eco-friendly, greener-than-thou environment, grabbing so many napkins is frowned upon with excessive condescension. I dreaded the dirty looks I’d get from Birkenstock-wearing, soy latte and green tea drinkers in Chelsea. Still, the dirty looks were preferable to the ruined expensive white tops.
Today, however, when the barrista slid me the tall hot coffee I’d ordered, there was a mysterious green thing sticking out of the sip hole. Fascinating! Some lucky individual — probably employed at a crappy job which caused him to require copious amounts of caffeine — had invented a coffee cork! This toothpick-esque sliver of plastic prevented leakage and was alarmingly simple. The guy was probably a bazillionaire now with a lifetime supply of Starbucks. That bastard! Why had I not thought of this?
Thanks to the plug, I managed to deliver the coffee in pristine conditon — having lost nary a drop. I also delivered an ice coffee with grace and aplomb. Then, gently, I began to pull my own drink — a caramel frappuccino – out of the cardboard tray. The lid came flying off and within a nanosecond, the lower half of my dress was covered in sugary beige sludge.
The moral of the story is: some people are lucky. Some people end up covered in sludge.
At approximately 2 p.m. this afternoon, on my way back from lunch procurement at Benvenuto, I noticed a cute little puppy that was either a Cairn or a Norwich terrier, just sitting there calmly, checking out the scenery on 24th Street. Both breeds are fairly popular in the city given their compact size and the equally compact size of the average residence here, but I had never before seen one so young and innocent-looking. (For your reference and terrier edification: Dorothy’s Toto, while oft mistaken for a Scottie, was actually a Cairn terrier.)
I bent down to pet the dog, who was very nice and generously supplied me with puppy kisses. I did feel like I was cheating a little bit on Howie and LuLu, but I also felt like they’d be happy I was getting some doggie love in their absence.
“Is this a Cairn terrier or a Norwich terrier?” I asked the owner, whose gender was indeterminate. “So cute!”
“I can’t get her to urinate,” He-She blurted out in a gender-neutral and Tourette’s-like manner.
Um … sorry to hear that … I have irritable bowel syndrome.
I didn’t really know how to respond. Sure, Ollie had been known to withhold pee when he was distracted by a blade of grass, a pigeon, the faint smell of fried chicken, or another dog, but I’m fairly sure that was never the first thing I said to people I met on the streets of Philadelphia.
Moreover, everyone knows that dogs pee. They don’t “urinate.” They do not evacuate their bladders. I cannot imagine how much like a jackass I would have sounded if I’d used that word when Sloth and I bickered about which of us would be taking Ollie for his bedtime constitutional.
“Husband, it is your turn to ensure that our canine, Ollie, urinates prior to retiring for the evening. He has not urinated in several hours and if he does not urinate outside now, he may urinate within the domicile later. I would prefer that no urination take place within said domicile, as the plush beige carpet already emits a urine-esque odor. Ergo, please take Ollie outside and see that he urinates.”
In the end, I merely chuckled politely in response to the gender-unknown dog owner. I wished I’d had some pee-inducing wisdom for her, but the one piece of relevent advice I had didn’t seem like something He-She would want to hear: that the surest way to get a puppy to take a leak is to bring him inside and put him somewhere you DON’T want him to pee.
It’s here! The much-anticipated and RIVETING final installment of the epic blog post
“10 Days in Texas!”
After what seemed like an eternity, Thursday arrived and those who had attended the educational technology conference cleared out. The last of my co-workers left early that morning, but my flight to Dallas wasn’t until later in the day. This gave me time to collect myself and obsess over the fact that I was now in a city with absolutely no one I knew, except of course for Milagros, the check-out girl at the Balcones Heights Target. This freaked me out a little bit, so I sought comfort at the hotel’s Starbucks outpost. Downstairs, I found the lobby packed with husbands and wives about my parents’ age, all of whom looked and sounded exactly like Hank and Peggy Hill, the protagonist couple in the aforementioned (and animated) King of the Hill.
“Hank Hill, propane,” one of them said to another in a Texan accent. [Note, for those of you who have never seen “KOTH”: This is how Hank Hill introduces himself – he provides his name and the business he’s in.]
“Heh heh. Mah nay-eem eez Haink Heel too, and I also say-ell pro-pay-in!”
It was not actually a propane sellers’ convention that had come to town but rather, a reunion of Vietnam War helicopter pilots from south Texas. I made my way through the sea of Wrangler jeans and ordered my frosty caffeinated beverage, intrigued by the whole thing and the flashbacks to the early 70s it caused me to have. But alas, there was no legitimate reason for me to be down there and I certainly couldn’t stand there eavesdropping on their memories of Saigon and An Loc without looking like a conspicuous freak. I also didn’t think they’d care that just a few days earlier, I’d seen a real Huey at Fort Sam, or that I myself lived on a NATO base during the war, so I went upstairs to pack.
At the San Antonio airport, I had a sad Quizno’s lunch by myself, obsessed for a bit about the still-unsolved salmonella outbreak, then flew (on a plane) to Dallas, where Dave picked me up at the airport. I had a lovely reunion with him, RSM and of course, my beloved furry god-dogs, Howie and LuLu, then we humans had some cocktails by the gorgeous pool. Also in attendance, but keeping a low profile, was Otis, Howie and LuLu’s elderly Shi-Tzu first cousin.
After a delicious dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant in Oak Lawn, we headed to Home Depot to procure some extra outdoor tables for the impending July 4 BBQ. En route, Rob and Dave noticed a prime parking spot in front of a bar called The Round-Up.
“It’s a sign!” they agreed as Rob made a sharp right.
The Round-Up is a gay cowboy bar featuring Texas Two-Step lessons. I was fascinated! We watched the lesson while drinking Shiner Bock, and I would absolutely have participated myself had it not been for some menacing-looking lesbians on the dance floor.
The next day, Allyson and I got manicures in Plano, then had a Japanese-infused snack with Eric. Later, Rob and Dave hosted a fabulous BBQ to which I contributed my traditional July 4 white trash flag cake (strawberries, blueberries and Cool Whip) and an experimental but equally white trash S’mores casserole that turned out to be a huge success. Also on the menu was Dave’s fabulous corn salad, which involved cheddar cheese, onions, sour cream and some other stuff; grilled chicken and sausages; Tesa’s fabulous cornbread salad; Tesa’s fabulous watermelon, blue cheese and cucumber salad; and several fabulous dishes prepared by Lil, the Unsinkable Molly Brown of my life. The real star of the evening, though, was Dave and Rob’s brand-spanking-new Big Green Egg, a born-again version of a grill that had been popular in the 70s. Not only did it produce fabulous BBQ, but it was quite cute.
On Saturday, in a momentarily lapse of reason, I agreed to walk the famous Katy Trail with the boys in the brutal Dallas heat. Powered by a dee-LICIOUS Raspberry Strudel Oatmeal Bar, I was somehow able to handle this activity without passing out, although I do seem to have developed varicose veins since returning from my trip … I found it comforting that the trail was lined with signs that revealed your coordinates. That way, when you did pass out, passersby could easily tell the 911 operator where to find your limp, smelly body.
Saturday night, after dinner at Fireside Pies with the Philly-Dallas crew, we drove 20 minutes southeast out of Dallas and attended the Mesquite Championship Rodeo. On the way there, Dave pointed out a fine-looking establishment on the right side of the road. He told us that if you dared to enter wearing a tie, the restaurant cut it off. We all found that hysterical, of course, and Eric said he wished he’d had a tie in the car so he could run in and experience the chopping process.
As it happened, I’d noticed a rather unsightly tie sitting next to me and brought this to Eric’s attention.
“What about this hideous piece of shit? Did you get it at the airport gift shop? Is it a clip-on?” I asked.
“Actually that’s my favorite Hugo Boss tie. I keep it in the car for good luck. I’m not making a hundred-dollar sacrifice, sorry.”
Um … oops.
Anyway, Allyson had been to a rodeo before, in Cowtown, NJ of all places, and Dave, of course, was no stranger to the bovine realm either, having grown up in the sticks of Texas. But for HBD, a British import; Eric, a Philly native; and me, it was a virgin experience. And honestly, I have never been so proud to be an American.
The rodeo was sponsored in part by Justin, the company that manufactured the cowboy boots I’d worn every day between 1992 and 1994. Other sponsors included a trailer park developer; Wrangler; Cavender’s Boot City; Fox Sports Southwest; Dodge; Holiday Inn; and Resistol Hats, for which the rodeo’s arena is named. It was just like I pictured it would be, except no one in the audience was actually wearing a red bandana around his or her neck, and there were no bison roaming in the background. Much like a less creepy version of the circus, the rodeo consisted of different “acts.” There was the traditional bull riding and then a kiddie version, in which small cowboys and cowgirls rode and attempted to not fall off of young sheep. (I believe the technical term is “Mutton Bustin’.) There were covered wagon races, barrel races and an event during which all the children in the audience chased after a small farm animal, oft losing shoes in the process. I tried to take some good action shots, but I was wearing a white shirt and the cows do tend to send dirt and god knows what else flying. Better to miss out on the photo-ops than to die from Mad Cow Disease while looking at beautiful pictures of bull balls.
After bidding a teary farewell to HBD, Eric and Allyson back at the house, I packed and retired, slightly depressed about the end of my trip. The next morning, we rose early and voyaged to the northern suburb of Plano, where we breakfasted at Breadwinners with Lil, Hal and Judy, then toured their beautiful homes. Panic set in as I tried to mentally prepare for my return to New York. It made me sad to think about being back in my studio apartment at my mediocre job with everyone down here, living a good life in a place where people were nice, brunettes and B-cups were a novelty, and a few months of Manhattan rent could practically BUY an amazing apartment in a posh Dallas ‘hood. It’s odd that almost everyone I knew in Philly ended up in Dallas for various reasons, and I can’t help but feel slightly left out and “My Life Without Me-ish.” And don’t get me started on the dogs. I asked Howie how he felt about coming with me in my suitcase, but he wasn’t sure he’d fit given the numerous pairs of shoes I’d brought.
Alas, the time came to head to the airport, and Howie and LuLu joined us for the ride. It was hard enough saying goodbye to Dave and Rob at one of the eight American terminals at DFW. But I have to admit that I cried a little when they drove off and I saw Howie sticking his fuzzy noggin out the window, looking back at me.
Alright, I’ll get on with it. I’ve been motivated to write by a new book I just procured, entitled “I Was Told There’d Be Cake.” I haven’t read any of it yet, but I already love it and the author — Sloane Crosley — because her bio includes this line: “She also wrote the cover story for the worst-selling issue of Maxim in that magazine’s history.” Ergo, I must finish these mind-numbing Texan tales before I can move on with my blog, become an honorary member of the Sedaris clan and ultimately land a book and movie deal.
Our Lone Star story picks up on Monday, the first day of the year’s biggest educational technology trade show. That day, I met the four riotously funny and tireless educators who were in San Antonio leading workshops and presentations for us — Teacher Patrice, Teacher Lorraine, Teacher Robert and Teacher Scott. Props to all four of you for a great job! If you’re interested in this kind of stuff, check out Scott’s blog — TeacherTech.
Pile of Bull
For the most part, these trade shows stink on ice. They are absolutely exhausting, wreak havoc on the hooves regardless of shoe-age, take place in hideously lit, massive exhibit halls, leave you unable to speak in complete sentences and, frankly, are just plain Boring McBoringstein. This one was no exception, but there were a few notable highlights. First of all, one of the booths had, as its centerpiece, a mechanical bull. Out of deference to Dave and Rob, I vowed to prove that I had an inner Texan and could stun all of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center with my unapproached ability to triumph over the bull. I’d be the talk of Bexar County — the 100-pound, midget Jew (in $150, low-rise jeans) from New York City who broke all bull riding records, ever. I’d be recruited for the Olympic rodeo team! Jan and Lew would be so proud. At last, I’d have found my special gift. What I had not counted on was how high or wide the bull would be. I had envisioned something similar in size to Merry-Go-Round ponies, which should have been my first clue, because Merry-Go-Rounds, along with taxis, elevators, planes, trains and automobiles, make me nauseous. It took the assistance of two Mexican mechanical bull engineers to lift me up. I was horrified. I was 10 feet off the ground! What the hell was I thinking? There was no way I could do this without becoming paralyzed. I would have to seek national glory and a gold medal some other way. Quickly, I attempted to dismount, but the bull was already starting to move in a clockwise direction. Hanging off the bull with one leg still wrapped around “him” and the rest of me dangling, my entire crack visible to all, I began screaming hysterically to Jorge. “I can’t do it! I can’t do it! I need to get off! Stop! Help!” Thankfully, he did, and I received my “Yee-Haw! I Rode the Mechanical Bull at Booth 8659!” button despite my complete and utter humiliation.
After the catastrophic results of my date with the mechanical bull — which left my thighs so sore I could barely walk — I attempted to come to terms with the fact that I am just a nerd in good clothes and lip gloss. If I wanted to join the rodeo, I’d have to do it as a clown or as an employee of the Bud Lite concession stand. But redemption was actually just down the ginormous aisle. While making the rounds in search of free candy, I noticed that another booth was running computerized, interactive games of Jeopardy! I sized up the competition. Sure, the gathered group was comprised of teachers who had devoted their lives to imparting knowledge, and sure, knowledge was power. But I could take ’em. And I did. I scored 76,000 points, due largely to my knowledge of Ponce de Leon and Eastern European capitals. The bull may have beaten me, but I became the all-time conference Jeopardy! champ. I beamed as history and science teachers from around the country looked at me with amazement. The sales rep told me that I’d done so well I’d be asked to participate in an all-star round at the next big conference. I continued to beam, before a co-worker told me he was kidding. I did not go home empty-handed though. I was allowed to take as many bite-sized Snickers as I wanted.
Remember the Alamo
No trip to San Antonio would be complete without a trip to the world-famous Alamo, site of what may be the only Texan Revolution battle anyone anywhere can name. Of course, it was the historical importance I cited when I reported that I’d be taking an extended lunch break to visit the Alamo. But let’s be real. What I really wanted to see was the place where, in 1982, Ozzy Osbourne had lifted up the dress he was wearing and taken a big ol’ Texan leak on the national landmark. Oddly enough, there was nothing denoting that particular spot. I did, however, pose for a photo with a menacing Texas ranger by the name of Officer Ramirez.
The Marriott Spa
To thank us for all the manual labor, the CEO of our small company offered to treat us to massages at the hotel’s spa. I was concerned about the credentials of the spa’s staff – after all, what kind of expert Shiatsu or Swedish masseur ended up in San Antonio? I did, however, desperately need a pedicure, and opted to use my spa time for that purpose. My sister wisely suggested that I bring my own nail polish, because outside of major metropolitan areas, one can never be sure there will be a decent selection of hues. (I was once stuck, in Michigan, with a choice of frosty turquoise, fire engine red and crusty bubble gum pink.) I hit the mall that abutted the hotel and purchased a bottle of “Clutch Me If You Can,” a delightful cherry-chocolate shade. The Texan pedicure was actually quite good, but the “technician” made me a little sad for some reason. She asked a lot of questions about New York (she’d never been) and seemed to think that life there was very glamorous. (It ain’t.) She also told me several times how pretty she thought “Clutch Me If You Can” was. At the end of the procedure, I asked her if she might like to keep the bottle so that her other customers could enjoy it. She was so touched I thought she was going to cry. I didn’t want to make anyone cry, but I was glad to do something nice. I figured it was good karma for all the snide comments I’d made throughout my time in San Antonio.
That evening at dinner, riotously funny PG said he wasn’t going to avail himself of the free massage and gave me his gift certificate. Sore muscles trumped my concerns over the qualifications of the massage staff, and I underwent a 30-minute treatment when we were done packing up the booth the next afternoon. Stupidly, I had expected that the masseur would be a muscular, wholesome-looking Texan who obviously ate steak three times a day and had a name like Ricky or Danny. Alas, the guy was about my height and size, with a voice so soft and gentle it literally gave me chills. Every time he asked me to shift positions or told me what he was going to do, I shuddered. I wanted to ask him if he really spoke like that in the outside world, but I didn’t want to encourage him to open his creepy mouth. I felt bad and tried to blame the shuddering on the compressed nerve endings that I claim short people have. Ick. And, I’m fairly sure I flashed him inadvertently when rolling over. Ick again!
Note: There is no need to panic when you realize that I am only two days into my 10-day Texan adventure and have not yet actually said anything. I promise that while I will continue to say nothing, I will not be chronicling each and every day of the trip.
Sunday, June 29. After a delicious breakfast of convention center coffee and a Target wholesome multi-grain cereal bar that, I realized too late, contained a tremendous amount of discount bran, manual labor resumed at the booth. The morning’s task involved folding 200 blue t-shirts adorned with the egg-shaped noggin of the robot who stars in our animated movies. The shirts were printed several years ago on the cheap. As such, the robot, whose normal skin tone – or pantone, as the case may be – is a pleasing burnt sienna, appeared to be the color of jaundice mixed with a hint of creamsicle. In some cases, he looked so ill we had to trash the shirts. It was a smidge challenging to neatly fold – and then sort by size – that many garments with one functioning hand and the other still stuck in its palsied claw-like c-shape, but thankfully, I had some help. By the time the noon hour struck, Hope and I realized with a mix of horror and joy that once again we needed to visit Target. On the way back, Hope was kind enough to take a side trip with me to Fort Sam Houston, where Lew (aka my dad) miraculously survived basic training in the summer of 1972. As it was approximately 200 degrees in the shade during our visit, I have no idea how he was able to accomplish this, and have to assume that the army goes easier on kindly physicians than the average G.I. Joe. While I myself had never set foot at Fort Sam before, I felt a strong connection to the place on account of Lew, and as if I now shared an even more special bond with my father. As Hope and I were driving around, past the PX and the commissary, imagining where each of the Army Wives leading ladies would have lived if they’d been stationed here instead of Charleston, I discovered the real root of the emotions that were overcoming me: Sonic. Looming on the horizon, just off the base, was an outlet of this exotic and not-yet-experienced-by-me fast food eatery. We still had to find a Kinko’s, so the only ethical choice was to avail ourselves of the famous drive-in feature. I chose a dee-LICIOUS lemon slush for my virgin Sonic experience and was quite happy with it. It was refreshing and just the right blend of tartness and sweetness. Later that evening, I asked Lew if he’d frequented said Sonic during his time at Fort Sam, hoping that perhaps we’d received frosty beverages from the very same window, 36 years apart. Alas, he had no recollection of receiving anything from any Sonic, ever.
We spent the rest of the late afternoon and evening ransacking San Antonio for a copy shop that was open on Sunday, having dinner at a sad and mediocre Mexican restaurant called La Fonda, getting lost again, and finally returning to the Marriott. Generally, I love the smell of hotels, but this one had an atypical aroma that I would describe as 1970s airport. Luckily, it was fairly easy to ignore the aroma because of all the good televisual options the San Antonio airwaves offered. For starters, there was NASA TV: FASCINATING and not at all sleep-inducing real-time coverage of people floating through the air in stylish blue jumpsuits. But beyond that, and more important, whatever channel I flipped to, whatever time it was, King of the Hill was always on.
I have officially returned from 10 days in Texas! I actually arrived back in New York a week ago, but was not fully recovered from my southern travels until today. Further complicating my mental exhaustion was the aching disappointment that has plagued me since I realized my sister could not be counted on to blog-sit. Sheesh.
I shall hereby provide some highlights from my time in the Lone Star State, in installments. That way, I can ease back into blogging and there’s less risk you’ll die of boredom.
Friday, June 27. The trip from New York to San Antonio generally involves a connecting flight. While the exotic Kansas City and the notoriously delayed O’Hare airports were both plane-change options, I flew through Dallas so that I could spend a few days with Dave, Rob, Howie, LuLu on the way home. This afforded me another perk: the best selection of airport eateries under the domestic sun. After landing at DFW and then riding the little tram to an American terminal I’d never seen before, I came upon an incredibly vast array of international nourishment vendors: Au Bon Pain, Whataburger, Blue Mesa, Bennigan’s, Blue Bamboo, Champp’s, Chick-fil-A, Cool River Cafe, Cousin’s BBQ, La Bodega Winery, Camille’s Sidwalk Cafe, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Ben & Jerry’s, Popeye’s, McDonald’s and 360 Burrito, just to name a few. This place puts the massive food court at the Bridgewater Mall to shame! I was overwhelmed, yet drawn to the aroma emanating from Blue Mesa. Insert image of me in my Club Monaco cargo pants, black Splendid t-shirt, Nike Air Rifts and Juicy hoodie wafting through the air in a Flintstonian manner, towards Blue Mesa. Then, insert image of me crashing to the industrially carpeted ground as I remember that I will be eating nothing BUT Mexican food for the next week, and, more important, that there could be turbulence on the flight from Dallas to San Antonio, in which case, anything with flavor and/or color was a bad idea. When the puke receptacle is a puny airsick bag, better to puke turkey and brie from Au Bon Pain than to puke Blue Mesa enchilada and salsa. Thankfully, the flight was smooth and barfage-free, but still, in retrospect, I made the right call. After landing safely, I collected my 75-lb suitcase – for which I had NOT been charged, miraculously – got into a cab driven by someone named Billy and ended up at the Marriott Rivercenter, where I discovered that my Frederic Fekkai shampoo had exploded all over my Kiehl’s toiletry bag, and I had forgotten to pack socks. Thankfully, later that afternoon, Hope and I made one of five weekend trips to the Target Greatland, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby, Lowe’s, Office Max and Staples in a sketchy part of San Antonio called Balcones Heights. At Target, I was able to procure replacement shampoo, a very stylish replacement toiletry bag, a pack of socks ($1.99) and some hotel room snacks. Hope appeared to need a pick-me-up, so I treated her and myself to $2.99-bottles of delicious-smelling, appealingly pink shower gel called “Clean on Me.” We finished the night on the disappointing and Vegas-y Riverwalk, at County Line BBQ, where I am convinced I ate smoked moose.
Saturday, June 28. Rising at 7 a.m., which should be illegal on Saturdays, I joined PK, Hope and MPC at Booth 8074 in the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center, where we spent the bulk of the day attempting to create the ultimate trade show experience for our fans and potential new customers. Most of the work involved assembling the mod white furniture we’d purchased at Ikea, hoping to create an inviting, un-corporate environment. Given the size of the shelving – which would stand approximately 8 feet off the ground and weigh what seemed like several tons – and the size of me (5 feet, no inches and approximately 100 pounds) –I really couldn’t be counted on for much manual labor. I was therefore given the very important task of screwing together 14 Ikea stools made of flimsy wood and then adorning them with brightly colored, shag toilet seat covers. On first glance, the project didn’t seem that difficult, and after all, Hope had just handed me a snazzola battery-operated screwdriver! Sadly though, the aforementioned battery was on its last leg and seemed willing only to screw OUT, not IN. I had to turn the power off and manually connect the hollow legs to the round stool tops. When all 14 Ikea stools were arranged in front of me, I felt a sense of pride. What I did not feel, however, was my right hand, which had lost all sensation and was stuck in an unnatural c-shaped, claw-like position from all the heavy-duty screwdriver gripping I’d just done. The rest of the day was spent having lunch at Chili’s with PK, returning to the fine shopping district of Balcones Heights for plants and mouse pads, getting completely lost on the 27 Interstates that intersect and share numbers around San Antonio, having “China Grove” stuck in my head, and being about to pass out from hunger yet unable to find any chain restaurant anywhere without a 60-minute wait. The end result? A glamorous business dinner at Denny’s. Thrilled at the thought of actually being able to eat after what felt like five hours in the car, I glanced longingly at the beautifully photographed breakfast specials. I announced to Hope and MPC that I was going to order something sad and mockable, yet delicious: Moon Over My Hammy. Hope was going to have pancakes, but then MPC lectured us on the inappropriateness of breakfast foods at night. Hope stood firm and got her pancakes. I got a turkey melt.
The following blog entry (coming soon) has been drafted by a guest blogger (T’s younger sister J). Miss T has not previewed this post. Therefore, we cannot guarantee that this entry will provide the same level of humor and wit our readers have been accustomed to. If this poses a potential problem for you, management of this site encourages you to check back on Monday when Miss T returns from her vacation and we return to our regular scheduled programming.