Dallas Jill's 03-25-07 Update 03-25-07: yeehaw + yelp

Ah, Texas.

Just got back from a 6-day stint in the Dallas area. I taught three days in Richardson, and then moseyed on over to Irving (another Dallas outskirt) to visit with Sarah, Jack and DrJohn, and also to meet Jack and Sarah's 7-month-old cutie-patootie kid Ian. What a sweet, happy kid!

While I was teaching in Richardson, I was stranded without a rental car because I'd misinterpreted an email from my boss, which I thought had said to avoid renting cars. What he really meant was to avoid renting cars in cities where plentiful cabs and quick subways are available. So as soon as class was over, I took a cab over to Dallas Love Field and rented me a Hertz Cheapmobile, which they promptly upgraded to a RAV-4 gratis because I'm a fancy-pants Hertz #1 Club Gold member. Rock!

With my newfound freedom, I drove to the hotel to dump off my crap and then set off in search of a pedicure. I found my place thanks to my trusty VZW Navigator and was thankful to shut my brain off for a while, with my tootsies in the capable hands of a woman of Thai descent. I picked out my color (a nice super-dark, vampy almost-black red) and she said, "Oh, You shouldn't choose that color. Your skin is too light!" I wasn't up for an argument, and really, she could have painted them flourescent green for all I cared; I was just there to relax. So she picked out a slightly different red which admittedly looks really nice.

Anyway, as she was working on me, she kept saying (seriously, it must have been 25 times) "Oooooooh! You're so paaaaaale! Your legs are so whiiiiiiiite! Why are you so paaaaaaale? You're so paaaaaaaale!" I was like, "Yeah, I'm pretty pale. I don't tan very well." "But you so PAAAAAAAALE!" "Yes, I know. My Dad is pretty fair-skinned, too." "Why are your legs so WHIIIIITE?" "I don't know. I guess I don't spend much time in the sun, and I don't use self-tanners until the summer." "But you so paaaaaale! I can see your veins!" Finally I just smiled and paid more attention to Judge Judy playing on the TV overhead.

I headed back to the hotel and soon Sarah, Ian and DrJohn arrived. It was so wonderful to see Sarah; I hadn't seen her since the summer of 2004. She is so warm and smart and terrific, and I am just so happy hanging out with her. Meeting Ian was really terrific, too. I was really comfortable around him, when normally I get a bit squoobly around babies (though it still didn't change my mind about not ever wanting one of my own). Seeing DrJohn handle a kid was also pretty neat; that guy needs to be a dad.

After some ogling of the hotel, dinner became a priority with Thai being on our minds. DrJohn introduced me to yelp.com, which I had only ever used as a search tool, but never as a contributor. Apparently he's totally plugged in on this site, and his friends have a nice little rivalry as to whom can review more places (it keeps track for you). We found Bangkok Orchid, and loved the pants off of it.

Speaking of Yelp, I started a profile over there and have been reviewing things like mad. Consider it for yourself!

After dinner we went our separate ways, until at 1:30 in the morning I couldn't sleep, so I grabbed DrJohn and we headed to the Denny's across the street. A Super-Bird never tasted so good.

The next morning the three of us went out exploring Dallas a bit, spending a good chunk of time in the Deep Ellum thrift stores trying on funky outfits. Sarah almost convinced me to buy some insanely fun blue and purple sequined cropped jacket, but yo, when would I wear it? I hate being practical. We hung out there until 5-ish, and then made our way (the only way we know how) to the Dallas Hilton, home of the Texas Pinball Festival.

I must admit that after seeing California Extreme and PAPAs 8 and 9, the Texas Pinball Festival was a little disappointing. Surprisingly, there weren't many more games on Saturday than there were on Friday, and they didn't have a tandem (aka "double split flipper") competition. However, there was still plenty of pinball to be played, and the crowd was pretty cool.

I think the highlight of my weekend was seeing some guy WIN AT PINBALL. I mean, I've always said that nobody can win at pinball, but this guy actually won on Attack from Mars. First he conquered the martian attacks for all the countries, then he won Total Annihilation, and then he got to some levels I'd never even frikkin HEARD of before. And that was all on Ball 2. He finally got to a point where the machine looked like it turned off; it paused and then started applauding; then the machine's display and playfiend simulated a Victory Lap. I actually got choked up, I shit you not.     Let the record state that the best I've ever done on that game was 7 or 8 billion; John once got 14 billion after getting to the Total Annihilation stage. I think this guy had upwards of 50 billion when I got pulled away. But seriously: when that machine paused to applaud him, I actually cried. I'm such a freakin' fairy.

Anyway, Jack arrived from his business trip in NYC just before midnight Saturday night; so we fed him full of leftover Thai food from dinner (yep, Thai two nights in a row), and we all played pinball until they closed at 2am.

On Saturday, we grabbed a quick breakfast sandwich and headed over to the convention, played a bit more, and then I had to leave to catch my flights back east.

My flights were relatively uneventful, save for the hour delay leaving Houston, and the world's creepiest, pushiest, sketchiest limo driver ever who picked me up from the airport. Holy crap, this guy was SO intense... you could tell he was one of those guys who has had 982734 jobs throughout his life and can't figure out why bosses keep letting him go. He tried so hard to be of good service that he was actually providing creepy service. The guy was a total loose cannon; it didn't help that his face was all bashed in, probably from someone "setting him straight" 15 years ago. He'd ask me a question and then not listen to the answer (that's a huge button of mine), and he'd try to over-help to the point of inefficiency and just getting in the way. Then he'd brag about what great service he's providing and how all the other drivers for DelawareExpress stink because they don't offer their passengers a choice of water, iced tea or beer on the ride; then he'd hand me his card and tell me in a forceful, pushy way that he works on referrals and I should call him whenever I need a ride... because after all, he's got my home address right here, my phone number, my flight information, blah blah blah. (How about you just grab my bag, drive me home and shut the hell up? That'd be awesome. No, I don't need a drink, no I don't need what you consider "above and beyond service." You don't have to start every sentence with my name; I know that you know my name and your committment to providing good service by knowing my name has been FUCKING NOTED. Stop calling the toll collector "sir" because it is obvious you don't revere him as such; saying "sir" 8 times during a toll-taking transaction is excessive, insincere and a CREEPY effort to prove to me how polite and "service-oriented" you are. Just get me home, and don't offer to bring my bags inside. I'm a strong (enough) girl. And stop telling me that I should call you directly for rides from now on. There is no way. In fact, I will make sure they do NOT send you.) The good news is that he was fairly easy to control via the trusty Jedi Mind Trick. But yo, when a weathered guy with a bashed in face tells me that he used to work construction, that (hello, stereotypes!) always shouts mobster wackjob to me.


Sorry. Just had to vent that, there. I'm done.


And of course, part of me doesn't want to be the bitchface who calls DelExpress and says, "Hi, please don't ever send Bill again, the dude creeps me out," because I know that'll get him fired, and I know it'll get back to him that I was the one who said that. And since he knows where I live, it wouldn't surprise me if he'd be the type of dude who knocks on my door looking for answers. He used to work construction after all...

OK. I said I was done with it.

[letting it go... letting it go... watch me let it go... see me with the letting of the go?]

In other news, I feel really lame for not wishing DrJohn good luck on his big move coming up. He's starting his diagonal drive from Austin to Seattle (by way of Melanie's wedding in Phoenix) this week, and I totally didn't even think to make him a mix CD or give him an extra good-luck hug. I stink.

OK, I've gotta get ready to rock. More soon.

Fortune Teller Miracle Fish today tells me: I'm a dead one. That puppy wasn't moving at all.