Doggen walken, Indiana style

So, Dad and Linda now have two doggen instead of just one. Willy passed away a bit ago (fewer than four months ago, since that was when I was out last). I'm more upset that they didn't tell me about his passing than I am about his passing, I think.

I suggested we take the two doggen for a walk today. Dad looked at me like I was insane. "Horizonal. Snow. Winds?" was all he could manage before shrugging his shoulders and agreeing that, hey, walking two itty bitty zooming dogs in sub zero with the wind chill factor was JUST the thing for a father daughter bonding moment.

George was excited. Gracie was a blur.

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For the record, I've had better ideas than this one.

It was unbelievably cold coming back. It was so cold even Dad ran to keep warm when we walked back from the corner of Lincolin Hills Drive (yeah, you read that right, we spell Lincoln with TWO i's in Indiana). I don't recall seeing Dad run in my adult life. I shall cherish this memory.

Just as soon as my nose thaws.

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 Brrrrrrrr

Brrrrr, it's cold here. It's so windy, the snow is blowing horizontal.

I left California why again?

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 First two of five: out to Indiana

Today begins my two week journey to parts old, new and old again. Since Southwest doesn't have any convenient non-stop flights to Chicago from AEFM (airport easy for me, read: flights after 9:00 am), I decided to start my day with a flight through Phoenix and fly "home" with Mom, eke out those last three hours in her Visit.

We successfully managed to suck at taking a self potrait of ourselves.

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Mom and I hopped off the plane and wandered over to the gate of my next flight. We squeezed in another 15 minutes of girl-time together before my flight boarded. Since I'll be taking five flights over the next two weeks, with a total of 23 hours in the air, I brought along about 6" of magazines, three books (two of which Kris hasn't read so that he, too, can read them when I'm done with them), and two books on my iPod, including the Brothers Karamazov.

I hope to be all set for entertainment. We'll see.

Dad picked me up from the airport. To my surprise, and I think his, we beat our previous record of "arrival to complete annoyance" time, and set a spectacular new record: 15 minutes. We were arguing about banning smoking, with his logic making no sense (I later figured out he was using the guilt by association logic error), and I grew more and more and more frustrated, until I just lost it.

I threw a complete hissy fit and offered to just fly back home, since this trip was going to be full of arguments and I wanted to be with him, not spend the whole visit annoyed and pissed off at him.

I hadn't realized that I hadn't lost my hissy-fit touch. It's been so long since I threw one. Usually I just simmer. This one? Oh, this one was amazing. It was a fit of glory. It was so bad that people 40-50 meters away were shying away from my screaming onslaught. Dad seemed to curl in to himself.

When I was done, I have to say, my embarrassment ranked up in the top 10 worst moments of my life. I didn't need to lay into my dad that way. I spent the drive home apologizing.

We stayed away from politics for the ride home.

George and the newest addition to the family, Gracie, greeted us at the door. Nothing like the joy of two little dogs to put some happiness back into an arrival.

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 Lost instructions

Well, okay, so Kris and I aren't travelling for Thanksgiving specifically. I am, however, travelling. In particular, back to Indiana (shock there, eh?) for a lifelong friend's wedding. I've known Jessi Klein since she was born, having been friends with Jenny, her older sister, for a year or so by the time she was born. Not that I remember that far back, since that friendship started when I was three and Jenny was one.

You know, if Jenny and Jessi are able to switch to calling me Kitt, the least I can do is call them by their preferred names of Jenn and Jessica. Gah. It's like calling Mark's brother Matt 'Matty' because he's been Matty so long that it's hard not to. Time to learn to switch!

So, off I flew today, the day after Thanksgiving, back to the Midwest, where it's cold, and blustery, and unpleasant. But a wedding is happening, so it can't be all that bad, right? Right?

What I didn't realize when I boarded my flight, however, was that I was flying down to Los Angeles first, then on to Midway. I really wish I could keep my flights straight.

When I booked this too long flight, I decided that I was going to skip renting a car. I'm not sure why I decided that public transportation in a city I'm mostly unfamiliar with was a good idea. However, checking Google maps which now has the "public transporation directions" gave me confidence that renting a car only to drive for 30 minutes then park it for three days, paying for both renting it and parking it, was a dumb idea. Public transportation and $2.50 was the way to go. I printed up my Google directions, tucked them into my bag with a billion magazines and a couple books to read, and didn't think much more of them until I arrived in Chicago.

I actually had packed light this time, and rolled straight out of the plane, down the jet way, out the gate, along the terminal, through the security check point, down the escalator and out the hall to the trains. I pulled out my instructions, verified I wanted on the orange line, tucked page two back into my bag, went through the airport out door which doubles as the station in door, and realized I forgot to pull out my wallet.

So, out came the wallet, and $10 later, I had a ticket. I took enough time trying to figure out how to get through the turnstiles to show that I was, indeed, a visitor to the area, but eventually managed to feed my ticket through the slot and wander down to the trains. I recalled I wanted the orange line, and knew there was only one direction for the trains to go from the airport station, so wandered through the open train doors.

Only to realize I had lost my directions.

I was in Chicago with the directions out for no more than 15 minutes, and had already lost my directions.

CRAP!

I quickly tried to figure out my options. The passenger a few rows away said the trains came every 10-15 minutes or so, so I wouldn't have long to wait for the next one. My cell phones had web access, but it wasn't very google map friendly. Crap! Think! Think!

Kris to rescue.

In a panic, I called him up and had him relook up the train directions. I had my destination still, because page 2 was still tucked into my bag. The rest, Kris had to look up and recite to me, which he did without hestitation.

Well, without MUCH hesitation. There was that WoW battle that needed to be completed before he brought his web browser up.

Or something like that. Here's hoping I don't lose my current directions, too!

 Fall

Oh, one of the things I really miss about the Midwest is the weather. I miss it for about, oh, a day. Then I'm glad I live in an area with steady weather. Well, except for when it's not.

And the colors! Oh, the colors! Yay, FALL!

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