Monday, December 29, 2008

holiday games

We spent since Tuesday in Seattle with Carl's dad. I learned to play Yahtzee. I was really bad at first because I'd never played before. I learned though and eventually did really well. Yahtzee!

If you haven't played, you should learn. It's barrels of fun!

PS, barrels makes me think of Barrel of Monkeys which was a dumb game to me. You always lose monkeys and then the game's worthless.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Okay. Oakland is scary.

We walked to In-and-Out burger which was roughly a mile from our hotel. No big deal. It'll be nice to get out of our hotel. Well, okay. I almost got hit by a car on the way there. Then while we were waiting for our food, I have my arm on the back of my seat and this creeeeepy man puts his hand on my arm and isn't moving it. I'm instantly like, what are you doing, and take his hand off my arm. Meanwhile, I'm thinking of ways to defend myself and then run. This guy says, "Oh I'm sorry. I thought you were my grand-daughter." I say, "Okay." And this dude continues to explain why he thought I was his grand-daughter. Dude, I don't care, just get away from me. I was completely freaked out. It totally ruined my meal. Then I see him outside with his family pointing at me and explaining what happened and they're laughing. Sir, I don't think it's funny. Go away.

There's a fight outside when we leave. We walk quickly. This is going to sound so horrible and I know that and I'm disappointed in myself for thinking it, but it's honest. We were 2 of 10 white people we saw on our outing. I felt really unsafe. Part of this may be because Josh (our new friend) told us that Oakland is the murder capitol of the US. Gee wiz dude, don't tell me that. So then I'm paranoid our entire walk and wondering if everyone has a gun. That's awful. I know. But it was my reaction to our situation. We walked quickly back to our hotel as it was getting colder, starting to drizzle and get dark. I feel really bad that the main reason I felt unsafe was because of someone's skin color and the way they were dressed. We almost got hit by a garbage truck on the walk back. It seemed like he sped up when we crossed the street.

Okay. We spent the night in our hotel room and ate in the restaurant downstairs again and then watched A&E shows. I love my Intervention and stumbled on a new show, Manhunters. It's tight. I slept SOOO great (which was nice for a change) and woke up to blueberry muffins we purchased on our walk.

We're packing up to leave, take the shuttle, and chill in the airport. Wait. Wait. Wait. The zipper on my luggage just broke. The broke where it comes off track you know? And then it starts opening....ah! What am I going to do! It was on the bottom of my bag too. Great. So we go downstairs, ask the front desk when the shuttle will be here and if they can take us to WalMart to get a new bag. They say sure. Shew! While I had to sell my soul to WalMart (my first purchase at WM in 3 years) to freaking TRY to fly for the 4th time, it was worth it.

Now we're sitting at our gate, crossed fingers and toes that we're leaving for real this time. So far, so good.

PS-plan update. We're flying into Seattle to stay with Carl's dad and step-mom till Monday (so great!) and then taking the Amtrak to Portland on Monday morning. Now if everything will just not cancel, we'll be good. New Years in Portland wasn't planned, but is happenin'. We'll make the best of 7 extra days in the Northwest. It probably won't be that hard.

Bless you for thinking of us as we travel this journey. It's been CRAAAZY! If I don't get to talk to you again,

Merry Chrismahannahquanica to you and Happy Festivas for the rest of us.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Okay, here's been the adventure since Saturday morning.

1st-We were supposed to leave Thursday and were cancelled due to fog in OKC. No worries, there's only the worst snow/ice storm ever to hit the Northwest starting Friday.

2nd-Saturday. We get to the airport early, check-in, security, on the plane to KC connecting to Denver. We land in Denver. Sweet. Hardly any snow on the ground. Okay, for all of us staying on the plane to go to PDX they tell us there will be about an hour delay. Carl goes and grabs us some lunch while I stay on the plane. I ask our flight attendant, "Is there any way this flight will be cancelled?" She says, "Oh no, this is a full-flight, they won't do that." I'm fairly confident in her answer. They say it may be up to a 2 hour delay. long as we get there. I'll wait all day. Okay, about 5 bites into lunch, the guy comes on again and says, "I hate to make you move your lunch." I look at him like, "What do you mean?" And then I know. "It's cancelled isn't it." "Yes." Great. We get off the plane, there's already a line of about 75 people. We get in line, Carl goes to talk to a flight attendant from our flight to ask what the best option is. He says to call the 1-800 number. Okay. We stay in line, call the number, end up rescheduling our flight for the next day from Denver, to Oakland, to PDX. Luckily, I have family in Co. Springs. We rented a car for only $20!!! and drove to stay with them. They have a small BBQ business so we had brisket and ribs and fixings. We were soooo full and sit by the fire and go to bed early.

3rd-Sunday. Wake up, eat more great food (omelets and biscuits and gravy) and hit the road back to Denver. We were told to get there early because we would have to go through additional security measures. No prob. We get there and are told that there is a weather advisory and are risking not making it to PDX. Duh dude, like we haven't learned that yet. Okay, through security, no problem, plenty of time to go pee-pee, grab a snack, and hang out. Board the plane, we check SW's website, our flight to PDX says it's On Time. We luck out with an exit row, a nice row companion from Oakland, and land. Okay, we make it off the plane. Cancelled. &@*#(@!*!@#&$&*@&!*2!!!! We got in line (short this time) and asked to re-schedule. She doesn't know what she's doing so we go to get on the 1-800 number again. Bless the sweet grandma lady that has been on our flights since KC. We'd talked about driving in line in Denver that morning. She offers to pay for a rental car if we decide to drive to Portland. It was awkward. We tell her we're going to go make some calls and get road conditions. We talk to Carl's family, they offer to come pick us up. It's a 10 hour drive. We think, maybe we'll drive 1/2 way so it's not as bad. Then, we find out 2 mountain passes on the way are closed. Great. We go tell the grandma lady, give her a number we'd gotten from another traveler that morning who was going to drive and our number. I guess she made a plan. We get a flight to Seattle for Tuesday morning, (Portland, the soonest was Christmas Day.) Okay, we go to get a rental car. Enterprise has no cars. We love Enterprise. The cheapest rental car for just 1.5 days is $412 with National. Ohhhh, gosh. And we have to get a hotel on top of that. No thanks. We met another traveler named Josh in the rental place who's in the same position. We decide we're going to get a hotel room. We go to the same hotel. He'd gotten a rental car already and was going to drive the 101 up the coast to his parents which is a 16-18 hour drive. He offered to take us. We decide we'd rather take a day off to rest and re-group and try to fly out Tuesday. We all ate together in the hotel restaurant and chatted a while. He even paid for our meal. What a saint! Turns out he's a pretty interesting guy and a fellow "believer" as he put it. It was a great break in the clouds to make a friend on this crazy journey.

4th-Monday Wake up. I'm hungry. I call the front desk to ask how long the continental breakfast is. She says, "We don't have a continental breakfast." WHAAAATTT? Okay, re-group. Vending machine. Yes, it'll have something. I find only a soda machine. I ask a cleaning lady. She says, "There isn't one....but I think there's something by the front desk." I go to the front desk. I find juice....and candy. I get juice. I find a granola bar in my bag. Score! Now we're sitting in our bed watching CNN and listening to how bad it is in the Northwest and trying to keep our already shattered hopes high of making it out tomorrow.

So help me...I don't know what we'll do if we can't get out of here. One more night in Oakland. Luckily we have some brisket and ribs in a goodie bag from my family in Co. Springs. LUNCH!

Click your heels for us. We are nearing the end of our positive attitudes.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

people watchery

So, we get to the airport, get our bags, go inside. OH NO. Where does the line for Southwest start and stop? We start walking, keep walking, still walking, "Sir, is this the line for Southwest?" Yes. Keep walking...finally, but the United desk, the end of the line. (The line grows to the next airline counter...masses of people.)

By this point, I'm facing the fact that we're not making our flight. I figure our flight is delayed. We made it up to the actual posts where the line starts and then it happens, "Unless you are on flight @#*$ to Dallas, your flight has been cancelled. Please call the 1-800 number to reschedule your flight." Oh great. We get out of line, kind of laughing at everyone, call the number, on hold for a few minutes, flight rescheduled for Saturday morning. Not ideal, but it works.

Okay, so the couple in line behind us was already fighting when they got in line. Something about their boarding passes which she had printed offline or something. Then we find out our respective flights are canceled, the husband loses it. He starts off with the cussing and how they'll have to wait forever for a ride since they're from out of town, they won't get to Phoenix, this is the worst thing ever, blah blah blah. He keeps walking off and then coming back and saying something to his wife dramatically and then does it again. We are trying not to laugh because he's acting like a 4 year old. We move outside to wait for Thomas to pick us up, and watch as TSA employees inform those getting out of their cars that all flights have been canceled. We told a guy as we were getting in our car as he was saying goodbye to his friends and the disappointment on his face was priceless. We watched this again and again while inside and outside. I don't know why I found hilarity in others misery today, but it was glorious.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

And now, this is happening.

We leave in 52 hours for 11 days in the Northwest. I know 4 of the 3 pictures are from the beach, but I'm the most excited about seeing the ocean again. After all, it's only my 3rd time to see it. We've got lots of fun things planned and I'm looking forward to getting more acquainted with Portland and Seattle. We may luck into a white Christmas which would be great.

Here's to festivus, family, friends, and food! I hope your holiday is one with lots of memories and that we all remember that the only reason we have what we have is by the grace of God.

PS, watch the video at the bottom. It has been inspirational in my family's life over the last 2 years.

Friday, December 12, 2008


"Well life has a funny way of sneaking up on you when you think everything's okay and everything's going right."

So, I went to the Neuro yesterday. He was very pleased with my progress. I was cleared to drive. He encouraged me to go back to work. (I'm going to start part-time somewhere, I think full-time is still risky.)

And then...

I woke up to a partial seizure. It was followed by 5-6 (I couldn't keep track) within a few minutes. This is a huge and devastating disappointment. More so because I had the majority awake. This hasn't happened since June. 6 months ago. Great. Just when I was getting more comfortable with the idea of driving and actually driving...BAM. Why must the moon and tides torment me so! (That's for you, Maggie.) But seriously. It seems that I get over small and big hurdles and then there is a setback.

Honestly. It was not even 24 hours ago that I was in his office and happy and felt like things couldn't be better.

"Isn't it ironic; Don't you think?"

Thursday, December 11, 2008

driver's ed.

So, I've been driving in little spurts since the last week of November. Yesterday I drove on the highway for the first time. It went pretty well. I stayed in the outside lanes just in case I would need to get off. (That was Bennett's idea since she would have to navigate if something happened.) Nothing happened, but you can't have too many safety plans...well, that's not really true, but you know what I mean.

It's been nerve-racking. I'm having to get used to the stimulation driving brings since I can get overstimulated easily sometimes. I've only driven at night a few's a little harder because there's lots of lights and flashing signs. I'm getting more comfortable with it. It will just take time like everything else does with Epilepsy.

In other news I go to the doctor today for my 3-month check-up. Not expecting anything major.

P.S. I would light my whole house with white lights if it was possible. I'm in love with our Christmas tree at night.

Sunday, December 7, 2008


I'm a pseudo fan of country music...more alternative country, folk, not whine-y or twangy. Anyway, I am watching a re-run of the CMA awards while I'm cleaning out my email inbox. I don't care what your feelings are about country music, you have got to give props to Carrie Underwood. She has got serious pipes. It looks so effortless for her. When she sings live, it's as good if not better than on her records. From a musical perspective, she has amazing control and stamina...for goodness sake, she sings at full voice higher than many can sing, period. Gee Wiz Carrie. You are #1 on my list of voices I wish I had. Here's her performance. PS, Taylor Swift, you could take a lesson from her.

Oh, and Vince Gill has packed on more pounds.

PS, I would take Allison Krauss or Martina any day too.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


Frank Warren is the founder of the Post Secret art project that has turned into an international phenomenon where anonymous people submit secrets on 4x6 postcards to Warren's house. Frank Warren tours the country speaking at college campuses as well as touring with the traveling art exhibit that displays hundreds of secrets. There are 4 books that are a compilation of secrets collected over the years.

Last night, Frank made his first trip to Oklahoma and spoke at OU. He showed secrets that didn't make it in the books for various reasons (mostly because they contained copyrighted material.) He spoke about how and why he started the project and how it's evolved since. The man is brilliant. He narrated everything so well. The main theme was how sharing/displaying secrets is so powerful because it connects and unifies us as humanity. Everyone has something or somethings that they keep to themselves and we have a choice; to keep it or to share it. With PostSecret, people have seen that they are not alone in their secret. Warren believes that loneliness is the greatest obstacle for all of us to overcome and by sharing secrets we find out that we are not alone.

At the close of the night, Warren opened it up for questions and secret sharing. There were some funny secrets and some serious ones and a few questions. These are 2 that stuck out to me.

"My parents divorced when I was 10 and I've lived with my dad since. My mom is on her 4th marriage and I avoid seeing or staying with her because she has ruined the idea of marriage for me."

"My mom died when I was 10 and her name was Penny. Every time I see a penny I turn it face-up."

I'd highly recommend you go to one of the PostSecret events. It was brilliant.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

different name, same thing

"A stylish hands-free way to carry all your essentials! This textured faux leather waist purse features decorative antique finish metal studs on one of the exterior pockets, an adjustable waist strap, and a lined interior with 2 slip pockets and a single zip pocket."

Really? A waist purse? Don't you mean fanny pack? And last time I checked those were for 60+ who wear some form of a neon windsuit. And tourists.

Monday, December 1, 2008


I really enjoy grocery shopping. I don't really know why...maybe because I love food. Maybe because I get a freakish joy out of deals and figuring out if it's cheaper to the family size or 2 of the regular.

Maybe it's also because I love the music played in grocery stores. It makes me dance. And lip sync.

I also like talking to my checker. Probably because when I was little my mom let us put away the groceries and we always pretended to be a checker before putting everything away.

I also enjoy putting everything away. It's like an organizing puzzle that I like figuring out.

I'm weird.