Archive for July, 2010

BUS PARTY!

Posted by    |    July 27th, 2010 at 12:17 pm

What do you get when you put 80 SMU alums on 2 buses to the Ballpark in Arlington with a promise of free beer and hotdogs? A party that could rival John Belushi’s days as a Delta in Animal House. An alum myself, I know that we are a hard working group, but when gratis brewskies are mentioned; our spreadsheets are closed and our 4 o’clock meetings are moved to the following day. We rushed to the buses in our work attire, hopped on board, and grabbed a beer (or three). Everyone threw back a bud light—evidently, we hadn’t lost our college touch (ah, our younger years). We arrived at the stadium for the LA Angels vs our Texas Rangers for what was sure to be a good game—and it was, but try pulling us away from the rousing games of flip cup to inform us of the 3-2 win. It was a night of hanging out with old friends, making new ones, and a fun way for SMU alums in Dallas to reconnect.

Wachovia: Goodbye and Good Riddance

Posted by    |    July 11th, 2010 at 2:23 pm

No one will shed a tear when the Wachovia Bank signs come down and the red logo of Wells Fargo takes its place. That’s because Wachovia’s boorish policies actually cost Park Cities residents money. First, here’s how writer Bill Freehling describes Wachovia:

Wachovia Corp., a once-thriving operation with a business presence throughout much of the U.S., became a poster child for banking incompetence during the financial crisis of 2008. The bank’s ill-timed purchase of Golden West Financial Corp. during the peak of the housing boom left it drowning in a sea of bad loans.

To the utter dismay (and disgust) of consumers, for the past ten years banks have over-expanded their locations, taking over retail locations from local merchants and driving up rents which crippled the mom-and-pop businesses we all love. But Wachovia went farther: in the Park Cities, it took our last two free-standing gas stations in Snider Plaza and by HP Village, which killed competition and allowed the remaining station to increase rates by 35-40 cents a gallon. So, for the average driver who uses 1,200 gallons per year (big SUVs use more), the “Wachovia Effect” was this: spend the time and hassle to drive outside the community to get your gas, or pay an extra $420 per year. With 20,000 drivers in HP and UP, these greedy, short-sighted characters cost us more than $840,000 per year.

The Clock Strikes 12 at Inwood Theater

Posted by    |    July 7th, 2010 at 10:31 pm

Attending a midnight movie at the Inwood Theater is an experience you aren’t likely to forget. A variety of individuals, ranging from the downtown hipsters to the Highland Park preps, gather each weekend at the witching hour to view some bizarre and inexplicably popular cult classics. In the past few months, I’ve seen everything from a parody of blaxploitation films to a horror movie about three people being sewn together. One of my greatest Inwood Theater experiences was The Room, a so-bad-it’s-good film by Tommy Wiseau. The Room has reached cult status a la The Rocky Horror Picture Show; viewers bring spoons to throw during certain parts, people run through aisles, some hold up their lighters during “romantic” scenes. All in all, the Inwood brings an eclectic mix of Dallasites to witness the most bizarre cinematic experiences. It’s almost a kind of bonding experience that transcends all barriers; if you have seven dollars and a willingness to be weirded out, there’s something for you at the Inwood.

Thoughts on the July 4th Parade

Posted by    |    July 7th, 2010 at 9:58 pm

Talk about separation of church and state: when July 4th landed on a Sunday, Park Cities Parade organizers faced eternal damnation if they took the God-fearing residents of HP and UP away from Sabbath services. So they moved the event to Monday, the right choice, but it still felt a little weird. It didn’t help that Dallas Country Club, around which the parade route winds, looks like a strip-mining operation. And thanks to the ongoing remodeling, the DCC fireworks show was canceled. Still, unabashed patriotism and hallowed tradition are powerful forces, and the annual gathering of red, white, and bluebloods still delivered a satisfying experience. For one man’s review of the proceedings, keep reading.

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