Category Archives: We Are Family

Hooray for a long weekend!

This past week and a half has been utter hell.  Several times I caught myself wanting to come blog about some things, but decided to wait until some of the hurt and anger wore off.  I’ve buried most of it, but still get beyond pissed thinking about it.  Between all of that, another week of wicked insomnia, and a horribly tedious week at work, I’ve decided to just bite my tongue.  Instead, I’m going to look forward to the weekend!

I’m heading out to my brother Dilbert’s house at the lake tomorrow morning and planning to stay through Sunday.  I invited a few friends, with Dilbert’s permission of course, but it was so last minute that everyone had already made plans.  My friend, V, is planning to come out tomorrow night and stay until Saturday.  My parents are driving up.  So it should be good times.  I’m looking forward to catching up with V, lounging by the pool, playing a little poker, and drinking adult beverages (in moderation however…I did say my parents would be there).

So here’s wishing you all (in my mind I like to pretend there’s more than 2 or 3 people who read this) a safe and happy 4th of July!  Enjoy the time off, whatever your plans are!

Passports, hockey, and gangsters

Gosh, I miss the days when all you needed was your birth certificate to go to Mexico. I spent two hours in line at the post office yesterday to turn in my passport application, not to mention have the most awful passport photo taken EVER. Oh yeah, and it seems I have no parents…at least not on my birth certificate. $100+ later, I’m keeping my fingers crossed and hoping that, when it is processed, they take the time to read the note imprinted by the State of Tennessee regarding the file date.

Last night I headed over to Duckie’s to watch the Stars game with him and C on his gigantimum projection screened wall. Pretty damn cool. I could certainly see the puck more easily. Should be really cool when it is a game broadcast in HD. I’m already envisioning some playoff watching parties at his place!  His house is already more put together in a month than mine is after almost 4 years!

Today I tackled some flylady missions…15 minutes at a time. I’m turning into a believer! I’m working on scheduling my weekly tasks now. Sunday evenings, unofficially, are now slated for ME time…time to watch a movie (completely watch, no internet, no multi-tasking), read a book, whatever, and give myself some spa treatments. Tonight is American Gangster. So, off I go…

Truer words were never spoken.

Thank God it’s Friday!!!

This has been one hell of a long week. Between trying to get things handed off with the old boss, all the meetings the new boss had lined up, continuing to teach the training classes that I already had scheduled, and squeezing in time with the lady I’m replacing, who happens to only be working part time from home with two children, I felt like it should’ve been Friday by Wednesday!

I’m feeling better about things now. Finally have a true transition plan in place and have been able to start off-loading some of my former responsibilities. And am starting to get a grasp on all the (many, many, many) reports that I’ll be responsible for providing on weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis…I can definitely see why that is an area in need of an overhaul. Talk about a lot of duplicate work and manual effort. Yeeesh.

Tonight has been all about recouperating from the week. I have had training calls with the lady from work from 8-11pm every night this week….after working a full day in the office. I am just beat. But I’d rather do that and take advantage of getting as much knowledge from her as I can before her last day next week.

Nothing says relaxing like PJs, a good drink, and, what turned out to be, a pretty lame movie from Netflix. But it felt good to do nothing!

My brother, Duckie, closed on his house yesterday, so Dad drove up today and is planning to be in town for a week or so helping out with some minor repairs and stuff with Duckie, before he moves in. I’ll probably head over there tomorrow and see what I can do to help. I’m so excited for him that he got this house!

Let the chips fall where they may.

Despite the wet, cold weather, Thanksgiving at Lake Fork was great. We were trying to figure out when the last time ALL of us kids and our parents were together for a holiday. I don’t think we ever came up with an exact time, but for sure it was more than a decade ago. Add to that all of the nieces and nephews (with the exception of Dilbert’s daughter and her bunch) and it was a madhouse of mayhem, fudge pie, and jailhouse rolls.

Dilbert’s new house was christened with the chaos of its first holiday gathering. It worked out perfectly because there was plenty of room to spread out. Plus RedBaron & fam drove their motorhome out. I think it was their retreat to peace and quiet! Anyway, there was much laughter and silliness, and of course, Texas Hold ‘Em.

Coming back to town and to work was a bit of a drag, but I’m exploring some potentially interesting possibilities. Actually had a job interview today that I think went pretty well. It’s for a position in a different business where I currently work (read where, not for whom). I have until Thursday morning to decide if I want to persue it. The lady I met with wants to make a decision next week and, if I’m game, would consider me on her short list of candidates.

I’ve got a call with GP HR tomorrow. They’ve been circulating my resume internally as well so I want to see what, if anything, they have/can come up with. Plus more followup conversation with my current boss about how he sees my existing role evolving.

Hopefully I’m arming myself with enough information to make smart decisions. And, if nothing else comes of it, I’ve gotten to refresh my interviewing skills and let it be known that I’m open to new opportunities.

Happy pills?

Root canals suck, in case you didn’t know. Part two was completed yesterday, and she wasn’t lying when she warned me it would be a longer appointment. I think I was in that chair for close to 2 hours. And dammit my jaw and gums hurts today. Don’t even want to imagine what it would feel like without the pain pills.

My parents have been up here this week to look at some houses with my brother. Added bonus was that Dad has shown my Mazda a few times (no offers yet though). AND I finally have shelves in my office closet, thanks to him!

Yesterday I was completely useless. Today I am just completely lazy.

You’re in my heart.

 

I can’t begin to describe my feelings when I saw this picture.

I have been carrying around a couple of Lomolitos disposable cameras for a (long) while and finally finished off a roll. I took it, along with several others to be developed last week.

I was beside myself when I saw this picture when I picked up my prints. I had completely forgotten about it! I was leaving Mazzy with my parents in Beaumont after Thanksgiving last year since I would be travelling the first two weeks of December. The plan was I would get her back when I went down again for Christmas.

Mazzy had a tumor removed earlier in the summer and, while she did well initially after the surgery, she was becoming less and less mobile. So I was concerned with leaving her, but knew she was in good hands with my parents. That didn’t stop me from crying my eyes out when I had to head back to Dallas. We played and cuddled and hugged and I took two pictures of us before I left.

It was the last time I saw her. The cancer had returned and had spread. She had to be put to sleep a week later while I was in Tucson.

Miss you, baby girl.

He just smiled and gave me a vegemite sandwich.

Note to self: Next time you decide to let your brother take you for a ride in his boat on a 100+ degree day, without a cloud in the sky, even if it is just a quick ride, WEAR SUNSCREEN for crying out loud!!! It’s a wonder I didn’t spontaneously combust.

Was a fun time though. And now Mexigoalie can finally stop asking, “Who the &^%# is Dilbert?!?!”

Their new house is pretty darn sweet. It will be nicer to visit once the weather cools down a bit. 100 degree days just aren’t my bag, baby.

Oh! Speaking of bags. Or pouches. Whatever. I saw my very first, up close and personal kangaroo! TWO of them! In freaking Emory, Texas. Who’d have guessed that?! They were so freaking cute! One was about 3 years old and the other was just over a year old. And they shared a yard with two boxers. I kept wanting the dogs to chase them just to see those roos take off, but the dogs apparently know better. It was fun to see them hop around though. The kangaroos, that is. Not the boxers.

Interesting discussion with the boss this week. A little disconcerting and certainly has me wondering….and, ok, a little bit worried, even though I was told not to be. The not knowing what it all means exactly is going to drive me crazy, but I’m going to take him at his word when he says I’m in demand.

Tomorrow (later today) is the Artists’ Reception for the On My Own Time Art Show at work. We get to pick up our artwork and the winners will be announced. I think the first place in each category goes to the city-wide show at North Park.

Having been one of the volunteers to collect and store the art on drop off day, I have no illusions of winning. Based on what I’ve seen of the others, and of previous years’ winners, the safe, generic, technically correct images seem to be the preference (oh that was tacky of me). And that’s just not me. And I saw a lot of really great entries. But I’m happy to have put something out there. This is the first art show I’ve submitted anything to since I’ve been in Dallas. That’s just silly.

The new flickr group is going well so far. We are doing our first assignment this week, due on Saturday, which is Self Portraits (darn you, Flirt). I haven’t a clue what I’m doing for that yet. But I’m glad to have the excuse to play with Samuel L this weekend.

Hey, it’s good to be back home again!

Holy hell, that was a long trip. I took 3 vacation days and spent 2 of them in an airport. Literally spent ALL day Friday and ALL day Tuesday in one airport or another, being shuffled around from flight to flight, location to location, in an effort to get to my destination. Luckily Mom & Dad ended up in Austin with me after my first flight on Friday. Two full flights there so we were sent to LA to catch a flight into Vegas from there. Four flights later we finally made it on one and made our way into Vegas. Looooong day.

The wedding on Saturday was nice. Interesting to see how the herd the procession of weddings through the chapel. In and out. Bring on the next one. Everything in Vegas is about raking in a dollar I suppose.

Afterwards we went to the Hard Rock Cafe for the reception. That was a fun night. Just sillyness, a few drinks, and visiting with family. Afterwards, my niece’s girls came back with us to the hotel to swim and play for awhile.

Sunday, she and her new hubby came and spent the afternoon with us before getting ready to head out on their honeymoon. That night, we headed to the South Point Casino that was right next door to where we stayed. I got more than a little lucky on a Triple Diamond slot and hit the big jackpot….on one coin, playing 50 cents because I was cheap. But I’ll take it! Dad ended up winning $900 that night…after all his complaining about gambling. lol

We were going to go out to the strip that night, but Dilbert ended up finding a poker tournament and I was tired enough to skip it, figuring we still had one more night and could go Monday.

Barry and fam headed out Monday while Dad and I made the trip to Hoover Dam since I’d never been. It was pretty amazing and I took a ton of pictures, but DAMN it was HOT! I had no idea we’d be there that long. After sweating in the heat and walking for miles, we got back to the hotel around 5:30pm, planning to take showers and then head to the strip.

Not exactly how it happened. It was after 8pm before we got motivated and moving enough to go find the trolley stop. That ended up being more hassle than it was worth. We only ended up having about an hour on the strip before having to find our way back to the trolley before the service ended.

So, I saw mostly the same parts of the strip that I’d already seen before. We rode to Harrah’s and dropped Mom off there to play for awhile since she can’t do all that walking. Then Dad and I wandered up to the Venetian so I could see it (it was being built the last time I was there). A whole lot of buildup for nothing, if you ask me. A beautiful facade with no purpose. Then we crossed the street and headed back past Treasure Island, The Mirage, and Ceasar’s Palace. Met Mom, caught the shuttle, and headed back towards our hotel. I ended up getting off at South Point because I wanted to play a little more before we left the next day. Should’ve just gone to the hotel….that was a bust and left me getting only about 2 hours of sleep before the return to the airport marathon.

Tuesday we were at the airport by 8am CT to catch the flight to San Antonio, which was full. So they shipped us off to Phoenix then to Tulsa then a 2-hour wait to catch a flight for me to Dallas and for Mom & Dad to get back to Houston. Mom and Dad caught their flight. I did not, but was a definite for the next flight…2 more hours later. So I went out through security to sit outside and smoke for awhile, then came back in and got lunch and a (monster!) drink from TGI Fridays. Made my way back to the gate only to find out that the 6:35pm flight had been cancelled. Growl. So then I was moved to the 8pm flight . The last one of the night from there. And it was delayed until 9:40pm. I finally made it to my house at a quarter til midnight last night. What a day.

I was just completely exhausted and ended up sleeping most of today. Guess I’m using another 8 hours of vacation time for that. It was nice to see everyone, but it’s good to be home.

I believe it’s time for me to fly!

Well, I managed to stay up. Granted, I had some help in the form of online messages, but here I am at almost 6am, downing some coffee and getting ready to head to the airport.

I’m going to go witness and celebrate my oldest niece’s wedding, and spend time with some of my family…a happy time. My niece is marrying the father of her first child and I hope that they can make a good life out of it. But I can’t help but feel sad that the marraige of someone I love infinitely is in jeopardy. Know that my phone works no matter what state I’m in.

Wish me luck getting on a flight!

Here I go again on my own.

It’s nice to have a pilot for a brother and the opportunity to get free passes from time to time. Not so nice is the whole idea of flying standby at the bottom of the totem pole. I just listed for my flight to Vegas on Friday. None of the flights look great, so I’m going to have to just be there for the earliest one and keep my fingers crossed. Being at the airport by 6:45am is going to suck navel lint. I’m predicting no sleep the night before since me waking up at that ungodly hour is essentially out of the question.

I’m bringing some books with me, so if I ended up sitting in various airports all day, I’ll have something to keep me entertained. I’m psyching myself up to take it in stride. As long as I actually get into Vegas on Friday, all will be well.

The wedding is Saturday afternoon and I still don’t have a clue what to wear. I have some thoughts, but need to just bite the bullet and start trying things on from my closet…which will only serve to upset me, but it has to be done.

Hopefully Mom will be more recovered from her surgery and feel well enough to get out and about some on Sunday and Monday. She wants to go to the Red Rock where I had all my slot machine success last time. And of course, I want to visit the strip since I missed it last time. Who knows what Dad will want to do….play golf probably. Only I doubt he’s bringing his clubs since they’re doing the flight passes as well and won’t want to check luggage.

Lately I keep forgetting to take my medicine and boy is it making me weird. I need an alarm or something. Probably not helping with my work right now either. I’ve been just awful this week about going into the office. Not smart considering I’m about to be out for 3 days.

Good game, good friends, sad news.

I got to go to another Stars game tonight, only my 2nd of the regular season, which is just sad and another story all-together. I got to see my boys beat the despicable Avs, which is always a good thing. And I got to catchup a bit and have a few drinks with Flirt & Mr. Red during and afterwards, which was a great and much-needed thing. And I got to visit briefly with some other friends, who are both going through a difficult time, which is not so much of a good thing.

It’s a mix of happiness and sadness all rolled into one. I have so many thoughts about what has happened, but nothing I want to blog about right now. Just know that I am concerned and wish I’d been a better friend lately, although I know that wouldn’t change anything.

It’s difficult to talk generically about this, so I’ll just move on.

I’m heading to Sam Rayburn later this week to spend time with my family for Thanksgiving. My oldest brother, Dilbert, from San Diego, and his family flew in and are there at his lake house so we will be celebrating the holiday there this year. Middle brother, Red Baron, will be flying so it doesn’t sound like we’ll get to see him or his family, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend time with the rest of my family. Duckie even gets to bring his daughter this year and she will get to meet her San Diego cousins for the first time!

As it stands right now, I’ll be leaving Mazzy with my parents and not getting her back until I’m in Beaumont for Christmas. I’m having major panic and concerns over that but don’t want to get into that particular topic right now either. There’s a slight chance that my work travel in December may be cancelled, so I’m hoping I can get confirmation on that one way or the other before I give up my dog for a month.

Oh. And you people go ahead thinking I can’t keep a secret! The ones I’ve told are just the tip of the iceberg. Otherwise, I’m a vault, so you shut your filthy mouth!

Catching up with 2 of my brothers

My brother, Red Baron, was in town yesterday for his annual check flight.  So when he called me up offering dinner, who was I to say no?  Given the mood I’ve been in, had anyone else asked, I would’ve politely declined.  But I don’t get to see the Baron very often…except on trips to Beaumont.  And those are always spent trying to play catchup with everyone so it leaves little time for more lengthy, individual conversations.

I went and picked the Baron up from his hotel and then we met my other brother, Duckie, at a nearby restaurant.  Red Baron was joking that he should come up more often because it was pretty obvious that Duckie and I had catching up to do as well.  It’s funny, but really kind of sad.  I mean, Duckie does live within 30 minutes of me (if the flow of traffic cooperates), but we don’t see a lot of each other.  We have good intentions at times, but life gets in the way I guess.

Anyway, it was great to spend a few hours with the both of them.  I love my family!  Even though we aren’t always the best at staying in touch, I feel really fortunate to have the family that I do. 

I see that the testing app server bounce is complete, so back to work I go…

Welcome home, Mazzy!

We picked Mazzy up from the vet around 5pm yesterday.  When they brought her around the corner, all bandaged up and wobbly-walking, I was crying all over again.  I was soooo happy to see her up and moving, even if it was with much effort.  After our (my) emotional reunion, she couldn’t wait to get out of there.  So much so that she, against my trying to guide her the other way, walked into the glass window next to the door. 

Poor baby was still all groggy from the anesthesia and couldn’t really see yet.  I think the only reason she knew me at first was from my voice.  Her eyes were all bugged out and she just had this dazed look.   We managed to get her up into the van and then Mom joined me in crying.  Said I ought to go in there and kiss that vet!!  I would have if he’d come out with her, but as it was, I just wanted to get her home and comfortable.

I have to bring her back tomorrow afternoon to have the drain removed.  Getting her into my car is going to be a challenge.  She has a hard time anyway because of arthritis in her back right leg.  And right now, both her little legs are having a hard time supporting her.  She has some pain medicine that I’m giving her right now, but after reading the info on it, it seems to be more for arthritis than anything. 

She mostly slept last night after we got her home, which was to be expected.  She was still drugged and pretty much out of it.  Around 11pm, she got up and walked around a little so I took her outside to see if she needed to pee.  She didn’t, and walked back to the door so I let her back in and she laid back on her rug.  She wasn’t drinking any water, which they also said she might not want.  But I kept putting a little on my finger and running it around her mouth just in case she got a “taste” for it.  I gave her a few spoonfuls of canned dog food on a plate and she cleaned it off in seconds, so at least she had an appetite.  Considering she hadn’t eaten since 8pm the previous night, I wasn’t surprised by that.  😛 

She didn’t seem up for the walk back to my room.   So I figured I’d sleep on the couch.  Around 1am she sat up and was looking around.  I could tell she was still having a hard time focusing and getting her bearings, so I moved over to the chaise and pulled it parallel to her rug so I could keep an eye on her.  And so she could see that she wasn’t alone.  She finally laid back down and slept for awhile.

This morning she got up, with some encouragement, and went outside to go potty.  That made me feel better.  Then I gave her some food and her medicine and she cleaned her bowl.  Again, makes me feel better.  :)  About an hour later she finally drank some water.

Mom & Dad left around 10am.  I am so grateful they were here with me during all of this.  I don’t think I could’ve handled it on my own.  It’s been a rough few days. 

Mazzy has been resting mostly this afternoon, but I’ve gotten her up and walking around every once in awhile just so she won’t get too stiff and to see how she’s doing.  She’s looking much perkier today.  Even been wagging her tail a little bit.  That makes my heart smile.

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This is my trying to remain calm.

I took Mazzy to the vet this morning.  The verdict?  She has a mammory tumor.  And the size, odd shape, hardness, and speed with which it appeared made the vet think there is a good chance it is cancerous.  Either way, it has to be removed.  If not, he said it would ulcerize (sp?) and could potentially spread.  He said typically this type of tumor likes to spread to the lungs.  She hasn’t been coughing or lethargic (any more so than normal atleast…lol), so those were good signs.

Because of her age, the surgery is pretty risky.  He did a chest xray to make sure her lungs looked clear, otherwise it was probably too late.  Thankfully it all looked good.  He didn’t see any signs of potentially cancerous areas….except one tiny spot that was a MAYBE, but the fact that it was the only one made him think not.  He also did bloodwork on her to make sure all her counts were normal.  If not, again, might not be good to do the surgery at this point. 

He also said I should consider whether or not I want them to spay her while she is under.  Explained the increased risk of uterus cancer and infection at her age.  Also explained the negative aspects as well.

The one thing he said that is stuck in my mind is that one of two things will happen after surgery.  “She’ll either wake up or she won’t.” 

Luckily my parents are here visiting right now so Mom went with me.  Her being the nurse, she could ask the right questions and better understand some of what the vet was saying.  Me, all I could do was cry.

Apparently the vet just lost his dog to a very similar lump that had spread.  And his dog was only 7 years old.  Mazzy is 12.  And the average lifespan for dogs is 12-14 years.  So he says I should be happy that she has lived a long life.  But that doesn’t make me feel any better about the situation. 

About 40 minutes after we got home, the vet called to say that Mazzy’s bloodwork looked good.  So we’re bringing her in between 7:30 and 8:30 tomorrow morning.  He said they should be all done by around noon and that, if everything goes well, she’d be able to come home afterwards.

Please let my baby girl make it through this. 

Catching up with DrH & time to go home

Dr H was actually in San Diego the 4th and 5th for a training class, so we had agreed, if our schedules allowed for it, to try and meet up for dinner while we were both there.  Tuesday evening, we decided, based on the suggestion of my brother and a friend of mine, to meet up in the Gas Lamp Quarter.   My sis-in-law was going to drop me off in that area around 4, so she could avoid most of the traffic heading back to her house.  And Dr H was going to give me a call and meet me somewhere after his class, around 5:30.

After looking at the website, I figured this was a good plan because there would be plenty of places for me to walk around and see and take pictures of while waiting on Dr H.  What I did NOT plan on was the downpour that started about 5 minutes after my sis-in-law dropped me off.  Ugh.  I managed to find a store that sold umbrellas atleast, but it was not the carefree downtown wandering I had envisioned.

Dr H’s class ended early, so he was in the area a little before 5pm.  After a few phone calls and miscalculated intersections, we found each other.  Poor thing was pretty soaked by then.  I tried to share my umbrella, but he was having little to none of that.  Men.  Hmmpph.

I was actually pretty excited about seeing him.  None of that first meeting pressure or worries about how to pass the time.  We wandered down to one of the historic houses that supposedly gives tours until 6pm only to find that they had closed early that day.  Dr H got a kick out of that.  His experiences with my “planning” have not been that great so far.  So we made our way back up 5th street and spotted Martini Ranch and decided to go in and have a drink (and get out of the rain). 

We chatted for awhile there and I was genuinely happy to be with him.  Of course, I’m thinking to myself, could I be attracted to this guy?  Did I misjudge things based on the other stuff that was going on?  I don’t know.  He’s cute.  Am I letting his size keep me away?  Does that make me shallow if I am?  Anyway, we had a good time visiting there then decided to go in search of dinner.  I was definitely more “touchy-feely” with him this time. 

The bartender had recommended a place, but when we walked down there (still raining) it looked a little too fancy.  I was in a tshirt, jeans, and tennis shoes.  So we decided to walk some more.  Then we saw Croce’s and the sign for live jazz music got my attention so we stopped to ask when that started.  It was about an hour away, so we looked over a (pricey) menu and decided we’d have dinner there.

We ordered a bottle of wine and some calamari for starters.  Then opted to split an entree (yummy halibut with asparagus and potatoes).  By then the band had started to play.  I don’t know if it was a combination of the live jazz (which doesn’t have quite the overpowering effect on me that blues music does, but still…) and the wine and the rain or what, but it was soooo undeniably “date-like” and I didn’t mind at all.  I went outside to smoke and called my brother to see what the plans were for the next day (I was heading home).  I mentioned that Dr H offered to bring me to the airport and wanted to see what Dilbert thought about that.  His reply was, do you want to do that?  Basically, my call.

Dr H comes out about that time and gives me a nice hug from behind.  We stood there for a few minutes enjoying the music while I finished my smoke.  Then we went back inside and there, sitting on the table, is a cd of the band that’s playing that Dr H had, very sneakily, purchased for me.  Awwww! 

We shared a dessert while I polished off another glass of wine (we’d emptied the bottle by then).  Then we headed to my brother’s.  I was still undecided about Dr H taking me to the airport the next day.  I wasn’t sure if my brother was really ok with it or just saying so.  So we got there and he got to meet Dr H, we looked at some video of the lake house he just bought near Sam Rayburn in Texas, talked a little, then I could tell Dr H needed to get back (he had class again the next morning). 

So Dilbert explains that if he takes me to the airport, he’d be dropping me off way early (around 7:30 for a 10:30 flight) because he has a meeting.  Dr H says he can take me around 8:30 or 9.  I feel bad because I didn’t even get to tell my sis-in-law or nephews bye (they were already asleep….it was almost midnight afterall) but I guess the alcohol made my manners questionable and I gathered up my stuff and headed back towards San Diego with Dr H to his hotel.

And…um…yeah.  I think we got to sleep around 3am. 

So anyway, we got up the next morning and headed to the airport.  It was about 8:20 when he dropped me off.  I ended up getting on an even earlier flight (headed to Albequerque at 9:20) with the idea that I could catch the connecting flight to Dallas there and be home a little earlier.  Oh the joy of flying standby.  Yes, it’s free, but it’s not without a downside.  The downside being creative travel plans.  I made it to Albq with no problem at around noon.  The flight from there to Dallas was supposed to leave around 2, so I wandered the airport and found a smoking lounge, ordered a drink, and took advantage of their free wireless for a bit.

Then that flight ended up being delayed and was pushed back to 3:20.  I was finally able to check in for that one and the odds of me getting on it weren’t looking too good.  Around 3pm, they sent me and another red pass passenger to another gate to catch a flight to Lubbock (WTF?!).  Then from there, we’d definitely be able to get on the “wide open” flight to Dallas.  So that’s what we did.  I got back into Dallas around 7:45pm and then had to wait another 30 minutes for the damn shuttle I reserved to show up.

Home finally a little before 9pm last night.  Yay!  Picked up Mazzy from the PetsHotel today and she’s finally speaking to me again.  She was happy to see me, happy to leave, and then suddenly seemed to remember she was mad at me.  She’s good now though.  The “Pawgress Report” they gave me is cute.  Cheesey, but cute.  Seems like they took good care of my baby atleast.

Santa Monica Pier and Hwy 1

Sunday morning we had to be out of the hotel by 11am.  So we loaded back up into Dilbert’s truck and headed north again, back into LA.  He drove us through Rodeo Drive so I could atleast say I’d seen that.  And then we drove through the Brentwood area.  Sooo bummed I didn’t know Marilyn’s address off the top of my head.  If I’d known we were going back into that area, I would have made it a point to find out so I could see that, too.  Oh well.

Then we headed to Santa Monica pier.  I was thinking wooden thing over water.  No thanks.  Instead, it was a big huge thing, only partially over water, with games and rides and vendors and restaurants and stuff.  Pretty cool.  We spent most of the afternoon there, wandering around, taking pictures, letting the kids play some games, and ate lunch next to a little stage area where there was a really good blues band performing.  Dilbert and I liked that.  I could’ve sat and listened to that all day long.

Then we piled back into the truck and headed towards San Diego.  We took the scenic route that was pretty much ocean-view the entire way.  Soooo pretty.  At one point, there was an easy access area to pull off, so we pulled over so I could take some pics.

Not far past that, we saw the most gorgeous golf course ever.  I don’t even play, but I’d be tempted to learn with a view like that.  As we got further down the highway, we found out it was a Trump golf course.  Dilbert looked it up online when we got home that night and said it was like $140 for the twilight (cheapest!) times.  Um.  Yeah.  Don’t think any of us will be playing there.

We got back to Escondido around 10pm.  My eye was killing me by then, so I crashed pretty early.

Monday morning, I woke up with my eye barely even able to open it was so swollen.  And RED!  I flushed it out as much as I could but could barely see out of it.  Everything was blurry.  I talked to my mom the nurse and she said warm compresses and to get my ass to a doctor.

After a hot shower, it felt a little better and was not as swollen but still awful and red.  So when my sis-in-law got home, I got her to bring me to a doctor to get it looked at.  After waiting about an hour, he looked at my eye and said he could tell it was irritated (DUH!).  Put some weird dye stuff in it and looked at it under a blacklight.  But said he couldn’t see anything in there.  Just that it was scratchy.  He ended up giving me a prescription for some eye drops to help with and/or prevent infection that I’m supposed to use for the next 2 days and if it’s not better by the time I get back to Dallas Wednesday night, to go see someone there.

Here’s hoping it helps.

Not the road games I was hoping for

I have to say, that first step out of the car towards Arrowhead Pond, in my Stars jersey, was the tiniest bit intimidating.  I got over it pretty quickly, but it was my first time having a game experience as the “visitor.”  I was surprised how many Stars jerseys I saw once we got inside.  Not that I blame them…..good to know some Anaheim folks recognize talent when they see it.  Wink

Met a few guys that had made the trip up from Dallas.  One of them winked at me, according to my nephew.  I miss everything. 

The game itself was disappointing.   The Ducks scored on Turco about 30 seconds in.  Not a good way to start off.  The whole game we just looked sloppy.  We ended up getting ahead, only to let them tie in the final minutes, forcing it into OT.  We played better in OT than we did the entire game.  Ugh.  No score after 5, so we went to a shootout.  And, of course, we LOST.  Our FIRST loss in a shootout the ENTIRE season.  And I had to be there to see it.  cry

Saturday we headed up to LA and Hollywood.  I got to find Marilyn’s star on the Walk of Fame (which is not nearly as nice and fancy as I expected it to be).  Got several pics of that.  Then we headed over to the Chinese Theater and found her and Jane Russell’s hand and footprints.  More pictures.  I could’ve been all emotional about it if given time to savor it more, so it’s probably a good thing that one of my nephews was a little restless.  lol 

And a bad thing to realize that my battery in my digital camera was dying.  I don’t know what that was all about….a full charge should’ve lasted way longer than that.  I only took a dozen or so pics the night before.  And since we weren’t going back to the hotel before the game, that meant I’d get very few digital pics that night.  Which sucks even more because I don’t have a zoom on my 35mm and we were sitting in the nosebleeds.

Bought a few souvenirs and gifts to bring back and then we went to Chinatown and wandered around for a few hours.  Hopefully I got some good pics there, too.  It’s been so long since I’ve shot film, I’m a little nervous about seeing how they turned out.  Plus noticing the film speeds i was using mid-way through the roll.  D’oh.

Bought more stuff there, ate lunch, wandered some more.  Then it was time to head to the Staples Center for the game. 

I saw far fewer Stars jerseys there.  People looked at me like they were completely appalled to see me walking in with a Stars jersey on.  It was pretty funny to see some of the weird looks I got.  But no one was rude about it atleast.

One of my nephews and I went down to watch the warmups before the game.  Saw a few other Stars fans then.  And was horrified to realize that my Mikey was not on the ice!  I fired off some text messages to Dr Honeydew and Mexigoalie to see if they knew wtf was going on.  Morrow was wearing the C, so Mo was definitely not playing.  Neither of them could find any news on it.  Since my digital was almost dead, I took the film camera down for warmups.  And then quickly realized I was out of film and didn’t bring my purse down with me.  So I might have gotten 4 or so shots before resorting to my camera phone.  D’oh again.

Another crap game.  We did good killing off penalties, but our PP was non-existant without Mo and Zubie on the ice.  The fans around us didn’t really heckle me at all.  And I coerced one of my nephews and sis-in-law into yelling STARS with me during the anthem.  That was fun.   And we certainly weren’t alone.  We may not have seen all the Stars fans, but it was obvious they were there. 

My brother, Dilbert, was cracking up at me because, at one point, we were on the powerplay and it was dead quiet (those fans could make some noise, but only when prompted by the video screen).  So, being down 1-0, and wanting to motivate my boys (ha), I yelled “Let’s go Stars!” at the top of my lungs.  The people around me all turned around so fast I’m certain they got whiplash.  Every one of them’s facial expression was priceless.  I guess they were expecting to hear “Kings” so when I got to the Stars part, they were all aghast.  Funny. 

After the Kings first (and only) goal (damn you, Roenick), when we were killing off a penalty, some guy behind us, apparently unhappy with the fact that we were clearing the puck constantly, said, “Dammit.  Now we suck again.”  That was pretty funny, too.

Anyway, after enduring another crappy Stars game, which we lost 1-0, not a single LA fan was rude or obnoxious to me.  Which was surprising considering, at one point, towards the end of the game, the ENTIRE place started a “Dallas Sucks” chant.  I honestly thought that was tacky.  And I was surprised that EVERY SINGLE person seemed to join in.  I’ve never been a fan of booing the other team or specifically using the word sucks in a chant.  I guess my mother taught me better.  But after the game, no one really had anything to say to me.  I got more weird looks, but that was about it.  One guy actually turned around and realized I was in a Stars jersey and said, “Tough loss, huh?” 

So then the drive back to the hotel in Anaheim and off to bed.  That’s enough for now.  I’ll tell about Sunday later.  I’m having serious eye problems today.  One eye has been bugging me for almost a week now.  Just when I first wake up it’s all scratchy and tearing and hurting.  Then it would get better after about an hour and I’d be fine.  Starting Sunday, it’s pretty much hurt all day.

When I woke up this morning (we got back to my brother’s late last night) my left eye would barely open.  Two hours later and it will still barely open, hurts like hell and is all puffy and watering.  And light if almost unbearable.  I’ve been wearing sunglasses all day, even inside.  Not sure what to do about it. 

What a way to start my vacation!

The shuttle was picking me up between 8:20 and 8:40 this morning to take me to the airport.  So I set 2 alarms on my phone for 7:30.  Then stayed up way late  trying to make sure I had everything.  Got my suitcase and bag loaded up and at the front door.  Clothes laid out to wear on the plane.  Made sure I had my battery charger for my camera and phone.  Loaded up my film camera and flash and stuff.  Then finally crashed around 4am.

I got woken up by my home phone ringing at 8:30am.  It was Super Shuttle calling to tell me they were outside.  ACK!!!!  PANIC!!!  Run around like a crazy person, throwing on clothes, grabbing house keys, etc.  Somehow I was out the door within about 5-10 minutes.  I didn’t even brush my teeth or my hair.  😛 

On the way to the airport (I was the only passenger…dammit, I could’ve slowed down my mad rush a bit if I’d known that) I realized I’d forgotten to grab my glasses out of my car.  I don’t need them much, but would’ve been nice to have them for the games this weekend.  Oh well.

I get to the airport and check in for my 10:50 flight to San Antonio and find that an earlier flight had been cancelled, so they are pretty sure this one will be full and I won’t make it on (flying standby essentially on one of Red Baron’s passes).  As this is a new experience for me, I’m a little panicked about what to do if I don’t make it on that flight.  I was supposed to fly there then change planes for San Diego (stupid Wright Amendment). 

I figure I won’t panic yet and will just wait and see what happens.  If I miss the flight, I’ll go find some nice Southwest employee to help me.  When they get ready to start loading, they announce that they are guaranteeing ALL people from the cancelled flight will be boarded.  I’m thinking this doesn’t sound good for me.  But in the end, I make it onto the plane at the last minute and am on my way.

I find a seat next to two older (40s maybe) ladies who seem to be having a good ol’ time.  Apparently one or both are school teachers and/or a principal.  Their conversations were amusing (and also scary considering they are educators of some sort).  At one point, I shit you not, the lady by the window tells the other she just doesn’t get the whole tsunami thing, “Why couldn’t they just swim with it?”

I was completely dumbfounded.  Then she starts talking about not liking Iranians or something.  The other lady was like, “yeah, probably not something you should be saying on a plane.  There might be one sitting near us.”

Finally they put in a dvd on their laptop and I didn’t have to hear anymore insanity.

The flight from San Antonio to San Diego was much easier.  I show up to check in and they immediately give me a boarding pass.  Yes, I’m definitely on the next flight, so I call my brother in San Diego to let him know so he’ll know when to pick me up.

Got here around 5pm Dallas time and hung out with my sis-in-law for a bit.  Dilbert had to go back into the office for a 4pm (6pm CT) meeting.  In about an hour, we’re going to dinner.  Good thing, too.  I’m starving and have had nothing more than airplane snacks and coffee today.

P.S.  I ended up bringing 3 pairs of shoes.  And wish I’d have grabbed my black boots as well.  It’s freaking cold and I have 2 pair of sandals.  Brilliant.

Not the week off I had planned.

Duckie and I made it to Beaumont around 6pm on Saturday.  We had our family Christmas Sunday afternoon, once my middle brother, Red Baron, and his family came over.  They had to do their family thing that morning, and the sis-in-law’s family after that.  It was a nice day though. 

I hadn’t seen the little Red Barons in awhile. They are growing up so fast.  Little Miss Red Baron is a mess.  That girl is going to be a handful when she gets older.  Well, she already is actually.  And her brother, the boy genius, is getting much better socially, so that’s a good thing.

My mom got my dad a badass GPS.  They are technology-challenged, so it’s good to see them embracing something new.  Red Baron is a tech gadget freak, so he helped her pick it out.  Dad was funny playing with it, walking around the house and stuff.

Dad ended up driving me back to Dallas on Wednesday so he could, hopefully, fix my car.   On the ride up, we got to really give the GPS a run for the money.  And now, I WANT ONE!!!  They are so damn cool.  As much as I get lost and turned around, it’s definitely being added to my list of things to buy….along with a ton of other stuff that is, unfortunately, all high dollar.  I guess I should start playing the lottery or selling my eggs or something.

We got to my house around 4pm Wednesday afternoon and Dad was able to resolve the oil leak problem pretty quickly.  I took him to the Stars game last night and we drove my car to see how it was running after the minor repairs he had done.  It didn’t take long to realize that the transmission woes were still present. 

So today, he drove it all over town checking things out and trying to decide what our next move was.  We talked about him leaving the other car here and him flying back home so I could try and sell my car and not be without transportation while he looks for something else for me to buy.  But there is a lady foaming at the mouth for him to get home because she supposedly wants to buy the car he drove up here. 

He ended up finding another reason for my tranmission problem and went up to the Mazda dealer to talk to them about the part.  Of course, it has to be special ordered.  Ugh.  But being the McGyver (sp?) that he is, he found a temporary way to replace it.  It’s running good now, but for how long?  I think the plan is that he is going to get up early tomorrow (today…whatever) and head home.  And I still need to start thinking about selling my car and upgrading to something a little newer and (fingers crossed) more reliable.

I’ve tried not to be bitchy about the whole situation.  It just pisses me off that I took a much-needed week off of work so I’d have time to go visit the family and come back home and have the rest of the week to relax, unwind, and recover before heading back to work next week.   And instead, I’ve spent that time stressed out, not being able to go anywhere, and not getting to do any of the stuff I had planned.  I love my dad dearly for coming up here and helping me out.  Not to mention saving me a buttload of money.  I don’t begrudge him being here.  It’s just the timing of it all. 

I’m going to the NYE Stars game tomorrow night (green hair night for me and my friends…YIPPEE!) and hosting an impromptu party at my house afterwards.  So that leaves me with Sunday afternoon (after people get up and go home) and Monday to have some peace and quiet. 

Man.  I am just a whiney little bitch lately.  It must be close to that time of the month.  Which reminds me, I still need to fax all those damn forms to the new doctor so I can schedule an appointment. 

Surprise, surprise.

You’ll never guess who tried to head out of town around 9am today and had major car problems.  And is now back at her house waiting on her brother, who was half way to Beaumont and had to turn around and come back.   

I checked all my fluids and got everything ready to go last night.  Woke up this morning and got the car all loaded.  Backed out of the garage to spot a HUGE puddle of OIL on the ground.  So I get out of the car and see oil streaming out from under my car.  CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP CRAP.

I took off to Firestone and had them look at it to see why it’s leaking and they find some cooling line has cracked.  And it’s a special part that has to come direct from the dealership.  And of course, the parts and service place at Mazda is closed.  SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT.

Luckily, Duckie, who was supposed to leave yesterday, had decided to wait and head out this morning so we could kind of follow each other.  Since he lives across town, we decided we’d meet up about an hour south of Dallas.  It’s all interstate from there.  He ended up getting on the road a lot earlier than me and was already there when I called to tell him I was leaving.  So he’s got a good hour on me. 

Then, I see the crap in my car and all and call him back and tell him to drive slower.  lol  Another hour later and he is now almost back to Dallas.  Should be here in a bit so we can move all my crap to his truck and head out again.

So now I don’t know if I will be coming back with him on Monday or if my dad is gong to be able to loan me something to drive back.  And then I have the whole getting-the-car-fixed crap to deal with.  It’s probably going to cost more than that POS is worth.

Ok, I’m done bitching.  Merry Christmas!  😛