Another one?


Our plan this morning was to wake up early, throw on the closest walking-around clothes, and dash out to see the Great Mall. This is my first time in DC, right? Surely the Great Mall is worth spending a couple hours touring. Having spent some time yesterday walking down to the Lincoln Memorial, I wasn't overly motivated to wake up and GO GO GO!

So, when my phone rang around nine am this morning, I was a little confused at the ringing wake up call, since we hadn't called for one.

Imagine my surprise when Kris said hello. Kris. Kris, who was supposed to be on a plane flying towards me, I thought, as I looked at my watch and saw it was after 9 and his flight left at 8. "What are you doing? You're supposed to be on a plane right now!" I asked quickly.

"Time difference, it's only 6 here."


Personal space


At dinner tonight, Jessica commented, "You don't blog about me much any more."


The statement caught me a little offguard.

People have boundaries, I explained. Some people don't want to be found on the internet at all. Some people have to warm up to the idea. Some people embrace it. It depends on where your boundaries are.

My personal space is BIG (around three feet, actually, with strangers, about three inches with friends). My internet personal space, however, is small. I don't mind writing about farting (everybody does it). I care about some things (you don't really need to know about my migraines, really), but for the most part, eh, whatever.

Bangkok Joe's


Jessica and I went out to Bangkok Joe's for dinner tonight. It was Jess' first outing to a restaurant in DC without her coworkers, and, hey, mine, too!

The meal was good, but the dessert? Holy moly, AMAZING!

Recommended restaurant. Completely recommended.




Huh. Look at that.


I had Jessica's last name spelled wrong in a tag and she didn't comment. I wonder if that means she didn't notice.

No matter. Fixed now.

Booger boy


I stayed at Jessica's last night. The thought being that since we're both on the same painfully early o'clock flight out of Chicago, staying over at her place was easier than both my getting up on time at Dad's and her detouring in the morning to pick me up. I was good with it, because it meant that I could stay in bed as long as possible, maximizing the important stuff: sleep.

So, ten minutes before we were scheduled to leave, Jessica woke me up. I dutifully rolled out of bed, put on my shoes, walked to the bathroom, walked out of the bathroom a minute later, grabbed my luggage, dragged it upstairs, put it all into the car, and waited for Jessica. Having a small child to say good-bye to takes more than those 10 minutes did, which left me time to wonder about the important things in life.

Like, should I have brushed my teeth?

We ended up leaving right on time: 3:40 am. That's right, I was awake at 3:20 am, central time. And, stayed awake. That second part? The STAYED part? Yeah, I don't know how either.

I managed to stay awake on the drive to the airport, despite Jessica's offers to let me sleep. I didn't particularly feel good about that, I mean, she was driving, and all I needed to do was sit there. The least I could do was stay awake and chat with her. I managed to stay awake and drag my tired butt through the airport AND stay awake until take off. I'm still not sure how I managed it.

I also managed to stay awake until we boarded the flight. Jessica totally rocked yesterday and checked me in, so I had a ultra-low number and managed my favorite seat on the plane: just at the back of the wing, close to the exit, on the aisle row. The flight was so empty (yay, Tuesday morning, early o'clock flights) that we had our own rows, and I slept most of the flight.


Yay, own row!

Jessica was not so lucky in the sleeping department.

Apparently, there was a guy sitting across the aisle from me. He was in one of the very few rows with two people in the row, the other guy was in the window seat. The aisle guy seat had lost a diamond up this nose and was attempting to retrieve it mid-flight. Two knuckles up his nostril, with no worry about the possibility of sinus infection, or what-not, because there's gold up them thar nose!

I asked Jessica why she didn't just turn away.

"I couldn't! I just couldn't! It was so disgusting!"

Ah, train wreck with booger boy.

What a way to start a day.

Whirlwind day


Wow. Talk about a whirlwhind day. I'm quite glad I chose to take the day off from work because I'm 100% sure that I would have been completely unable to cram anything else more into my day.

Kris and I started the day off by having breakfast with Jess and Gab. The drive over was short, and we probably should have just walked over, but really, hitting the snooze button six times really was more important in our not-completely-awake state.

I thought the next part of our plan, the part starting after breakfast, involved taking Jess and Gab out for some brief shopping in downtown Los Gatos, as I watched Meter for Megan, as she managed to squeeze in a haircut.

Unfortunately, I was mistaken, as Jess had a conference call in the morning. No problem, I thought, I'll take Gab.


I let Jess know that I thought her decision to keep Gab in the room for the morning, while she has conference calls, instead of letting her run run run around with me, was a bad idea. It was ultimately her decision, however, so off Kris and I went after breakfast.

I caught up with Megan in downtown Los Gatos, where she handed me Meter and off we went. Instead of the walking tour of downtown, which is what we did last time, Meter and I walked straight through downtown and went to hangout at the small park at the opposite end of downtown.


Meter is totally starting the get the walking thing down. She walked around the park holding my hand, but not really needing to hold my hand. She used it more for a comfort than for a steadying crutch. It's been a long time since I've had so much fun just walking around in circles.


Unfortunately, as is all too typical when I'm not paying attention to the camera, I managed to use up the battery on the camera, without the benefit of my backpack with All Things Emergency™, which includes 4 spare batteries, 4 spare memory cards, 2 GUs, facial tissue, two memory cards, a memory card reader, pain reliever in 4 forms, dental floss, a tampon, two liners, 3 pens, $20, a safety pin, a Mischief button, a sewing kit, eye drops, ear plugs, hair ties, and assortment of band-aids and the last of a prescription that I should probably take out.

All of that, none of it near.

That means, of course, lunch with Megan and Mirabelle, with Meter, too, is undocumented.

The horror.

After lunch, I went back to Jessica's hotel to check in and hang out with the two of them. Apparently the morning was as horrible as I expected it to be, with Jessica relieved that hey, someone new can burn off some of this kid's energy. Please? Thanks.

Gab and I went down to the gym at the hotel and goofed off for a hwile. She had a good time on the stairstepper, while I walked on the treadmill in several directions. We played with the Swiss ball and the medicine balls (a gym hotel with medicine balls? crazy!), and the yoga mats. We would have kept playing, except that a cleaning woman came in and kept hovering over us as we played with the equipment. No fun in that.


After being chased out of the gym, we wandered back up to her room to verify that Jess wasn't done with her current phone call.


So, off we went to the nearest grocery store. We were going to try to get a Sobe tea for Jess, and maybe an Odwalla for me. On the way over, Gab had a brilliant idea.

"Let's get ice cream for my mom!"

Internally, I chuckled at the suggestion. Normally, I'd have said, "Hells yeah, let's go!" but the adult in me resisted. Ice cream? At 3 in the afternoon. It sounds like the right time to have some, but, the sugar... eh...

"Does your fridge have a freezer?"


"You sure?"



We continued to debate the issue of ice cream as we walked to the store. The store itself was maybe 80m from the front of the hotel. However, that straight shot also crossed El Camino Real and its 6 lanes of heavy traffic. We took the long way around to the stoplight.

"It'll be a surprise for her!" Gaby tried the "it's a gift! everyone loves gifts!" approach for ice cream.

"Is that a surprise she'll appreciate?"

"I don't know."

"I don't either," I answered.

"We don't need a freezer, you know."


"We'll surprise her and eat it right away!"

She kept trying, I'll give her that.

We ended up purchasing three juices, and skipping out on the ice cream. As much as I, too, would have enjoyed the ice cream, I couldn't justify buying it and setting the tone of "If Mom says no, go ask Kitt" for the trip.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on homework. I was a little frustrated by the textbook that Gab had, it neither being well written nor actually factual in some cases, but I chose to ignore that fact for the moment. I tried to remember what level I was learning at when I was in third grade, not quite remembering. Gab seemed to pick up the content quickly, the fact that it was mostly review for her lost on me until we were done.

For dinner, we went to the Cheesecake Factory in Palo Alto. I enjoy going there, and figure Jessica's visit is a good excuse to go to all the restaurants around that I like to go to.

When we were seated, after flirting with the waiter for a short while, we started flipping through the enormous menu selection. At one point, Gab pointed to an item on the menu and declared, "I want this!"

Jessica leaned over to see what she had selected.

"You're eight years old. You don't get filet mignon."

Gab was a little upset when I laughed.


Jess and Gab arrive!


Went to the airport today to pick up Jessica and Gabby, who are visiting the area (and me!) for a week. One of the serious advantages of working a telecommute job is the ability to work from anywhere, including sunny (when it is sunny, that is) California. Jess was stressed about a lot in her life right now, so I suggested a change on venue. Sometimes the change works, sometimes it doesn't. In this case, it was worth a try.

So, out came Jess and Gab, and off to the airport I went. Nothing overwhelming planned for the evening, just hotel check-in and dinner. Maybe a hug or two, too. Oh, and planning for tomorrow.


We ended up going to the hotel (all of 1.1 miles from me IF you go the long way), dropping off their luggage, and heading to P.F. Chang's for dinner. We also stopped by Target on the way home (hey, they're all close to each other), for a swimsuit for Gab, but were unable to find any (in December, imagine that), so settled for shorts and a workout shirt.

Quick jaunt over


Instead of staying in the City today, I decided to head out to look at the house. Having not been able to visit the house in the last few weeks since the tenants l'horrible moved out, I've been worried about the condition of the house. Dad says he's been over to look at it, but he didn't do much other than verify the heat was on. I was hoping to see Dad this weekend, too, but he's out at Chris' house (which cracked me up, that we're going to completely miss each other).

I had made this decision before I had realized there was a wedding brunch this morning. I met up with Lea in the lobby, where she offered to drive us to the brunch. I declined, since I already had made arrangements with Jess to hang out with her this afternoon and evening, but took her up on her offer to take me to the train station.

See, I was carrying the base of the wedding cake: a wood disc about 24" in diameter. Outside, the weather was windy and snowing and windy and blustery and did I mention the winds? Imagine how perfectly a 24" disc of wood becomes a sail in high velocity winds, and you can see just why I preferred a car ride with Ken and Lea to becoming a kite on the way to the train station.

Somehow I made across the street from where Ken and Lea dropped me off, dropping the disc a few times and running after it as it rolled down the street. If Ken wasn't laughing hysterically at my antics, then he has no appreciation for physical comedy.

An hour and a half of trains, followed by more delay because I chose the bad car rental agency again (made better only by the fact that I knew where I was going this time), a couple hours of driving the speed limit or more slowly, through (did I mention the) bad weather, and I was finally back in familiar country.

I can't say that driving in this weather is particularly comforting to me. I know the basics of driving in bad weather and snow and ice and dark and other various hazardous driving conditions (including the safest way to drive in these conditions, which is to say, don't drive in them), but, hey, I did okay, arriving at the house, checking it out, then heading over to Jessica's to stay the night with her and Gab.

I was immediately greated in Jess' dog's neurotic style which is to run up really fast, sniff my leg, then run away just as fast, as I'm determined to be a Stranger™ and Dangerous™ Jessica laughed at the dog (her laugher is always great to hear, I don't think she laughs enough), knowing full well that I would win the dog over before I leave tomorrow.


Jessica, bless her heart, immediately suggested we head over to Panera.

I have to say, I really (as in, really really) like Panera. It seems each time I head out to Indiana, I have at least one meal at Panera every day. If the people working there stayed longer than a month (they might), and see me on my visits, I suspect they'd be weirded out by my binging behaviour.

Gabby joined us later, and the three of us went home to play a rousing game of Skipbo!

Jessica and SkipBo!

The 2 is important

Gabby let me know that I take too many pictures, so I handed her my camera for one of those elusive shots that is rarely seen on my camera.

A shot of me.

Whoa.  I picture of me!