Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Do What You Can

This is my call to all of you to give to the Red Cross, or to your religious organization of choice, to help the Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and the rest of the Gulf Coast. New Orleans is down for the long-haul, it will take weeks, if not months, to get all that water out of there. Trust me, I'm a civil engineer. Also, encourage your place of employment to match your donation. This is our tsunami. Yes, it's that bad. So please, do what you can to help.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Geez I'm Old

My baby brother turns 21 today. Happy birthday Colin! Welcome to my side of legal! About 3:30 this afternoon, 21 years ago, Grandadder was picking me up at school to take me to the hospital where I had a new baby brother! Gross, a brother! But you were super cute, and I can still remember you sucking your index finger (even thought I STILL have no idea how you did that!), holding your little diaper, and riding around on the wooden horse in the front yard with your little boots on the wrong feet! You were so cute! Now look at're a cute OLD guy now! Time flies....

If you're a single female out there in the DC/Baltimore area and looking for a cute sensible guy, just let me know. If you're lucky, I'll put in a good word for you.

The Other Shoe Part Due

Well, I think I figured it out. The Other Shoe. I happened upon a tremendous opportunity less than a week ago that will change things as I know them. I can't reveal it now, although some of you might know or can guess, but I promise I will be revealing it shortly. The reason for my sealed lips is my upcoming vacation and need to keep a secret for the moment. In case, God forbid, someone actually READS this blog! But I promise I'll give you the news as soon as I possibly can.

I said vacation? Yes! My vacation! I'm going to Italy with my lovely husband for 13 days! Venice, Siena, Florence, and Rome. I am already mentally drinking excellent House wine, eating the best bread and olive oil in the world, and waiting for my excellent pasta dish to arrive. I confirmed our seats on the plane today, printed out our email confirmations from all the hotels (really, what did we DO before everyone had email?), and started printing maps. We are renting a car to drive around Tuscany, and I'm thinking now that we need to just buy a map. It will at least minimize the upcoming navigation argument in which I tell Joel to go one way and he disagrees and tries to grab the map, even when everyone KNOWS you have to listen to your navigator! We have even packed our bag, just to make sure we have enough room. Apparently we do, as I ordered a new duffle bag from Lands' End and it's HUGE. I thought I ordered the 'Large' cappuchino. (Anyone besides Joel know that movie quote?) I mean, we BOTH put everything we were planning on taking in this ONE bag, and it's got plenty of room for more stuff! And, I can even carry it! Either we are excellent packers (which we are), or we got lucky with a bag bigger than we expected so we can buy lots of stuff to put in it! Maybe it's both...

Anyway, I am very excited and ready to leave right now! But there are 3 MORE DAYS of work to get through. Ugh. Not sure if I can make it mentally. You all have to comment so I have something to do over the next few days.

Monday, August 15, 2005

The Rains Came Down

And the floods came up. Anyone else know that song?

We had some really cool thunderstorms in NYC last night! With big lightening and cracks of thunder loud enough to make car alarms go off on Riverside Drive. If it hadn’t been so damn hot outside, I’d have turned off the A/C and opened the windows to listen to it. (Alas, it was bloody hot here all weekend, miserably so. The thunderstorms were riding piggy-back on a cold front, so we got a slight reprieve from the suffocating temperatures, but not enough to warrant turning off the A/C for even a few minutes.) It was just fun to watch out the window! I know there was flooding and loss of power in other parts of the city and in NJ, but we were just fine.

It made me miss Texas, where storms like these are a regular occurrence and always take me back to my childhood. We had GREAT storms out in West Texas! The power would most likely go out (due to our location 5 miles outside of town) because the wind knocked a tree branch into the power line and boom, no more electricity for our half of the county! So we’d all scramble around in the glow of the electric storm outside looking for candles and matches and flashlights (almost none of which actually had batteries) and the oil lamp we kept for just such an occasion. My parents house has crank-open windows and one was always open somewhere (more than likely there were a lot open, as the big thunderstorms happen in the spring and fall when it’s not so hot and there’s a nice breeze to cool the house), so we’d also scramble around the entire house to shut all the windows before the deluge of rain hit. My brother and sister and I were never frightened by the storm, it was always somehow thrilling to all of us. Out where we lived, you could see it approaching for miles, and I think the fact that we could see it for miles away and knew it was coming even before darkness set in that kept us from being frightened when it actually arrived. If the storm was really bad, we’d be pulled from our beds to go down the road to the neighbors’ or into town to my grandparents’ to escape to the basement. We didn’t have one. I liked to stand up above ground at the garage entrance with the men to listen for the fire-house siren (warning people of the approaching tornado) and to watch the rain come down in sheets. To this day, I still love sitting and watching the rain. Listening to it. It calms me.

The only dangerous thing about the storm yesterday was the flooding in spots and the lightening strikes. I’ll bet the Empire State Building got struck a few times. And when it rains that hard, the subway floods (which is not a good place to be anyway, as they are run off electricity and that’s bad in the rain!) and the trains just don’t run. But, as we had no where to go, we just sat and watched the rain. The perfect thing to do on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Friday, August 5, 2005


I got a phone call last night from a person I haven't talked to in 10+ years. Dusty Holland, a guy I briefly dated in high school (junior year, I think). He called to see if I was coming to our 10 year high school reunion this weekend. OK, it's Thursday night around 9 pm. He's calling me in New York City to see if I'm going to be there tomorrow night for the Class of '95 bonfire out at the river. Hmm, let's do the math. I live roughly 1500 miles away, it's late the night before and it would take me all day to get there tomorrow (flight to Dallas, then flight to Amarillo, then 2 hour drive to Wellington). Don't think so. I jokingly said something to the effect that it's a little far for a drive, etc., but I don't think he got the irony. Never really was a sharp cookie.

Anyway, it was strange to talk to someone I used to make out with in my driveway on the phone again. No, he did not call me for romantic intentions, as he's married and so am I. He was our Senior Class President and it's his job to get people to come to our class reunions for the rest of his life. But I don't think calling someone the day before the event to see if they're coming qualifies as getting the job done. We chatted for a few more minutes, quickly ran out of things to talk about (What are you doing now? How do you like NY? How's the weather? I'll bet it's cold in the winter. Etc.) and I hung up, thanking him for calling and to please tell everyone hello for me. Then I called my mother to ask why she's giving my number to random people. (She didn't give it to him, so I have no idea how he got it.)

So I guess I'm having a 'Gross Pointe Blank' John Cusack moment. 10 years. Where have I been? What did I do with myself? Am I where I thought I'd be 10 years later? Do I like where I am in my life? Am I missing anything? What did I learn? I must say I am thoroughly pleased with the past 10 years and don't regret a moment of it. I wouldn't change anything, either. Hindsight is 20/20, but those stupid things you did at 20 only helped to shape the person you are at 30. I like where I am and don’t feel like I’m missing a thing. In the past 10 years, I went off to college, earned my first real paycheck, failed a few classes, drank a lot, gained 20 pounds made crazy new friends, lost a few friends, fell in and out of love, earned a degree in engineering, got drunk with my parents, married the love of my life, read most of the bible, moved twice, had 4 jobs, and earned a professional license. I learned that you should not use an exacto knife when you are seriously sleep-deprived. I learned that sleep-deprivation can make you very ill. I learned how to make a killer margarita. I learned that friends come in and out of your life, but those that count are always there, no matter the distance or the time apart. I learned how to carry 4 wine glasses in one hand and 3 plates on one arm. I learned that my parents really DO know everything. I also learned that I should listen to their advice, but it’s ok not to take it. I learned that a little flirting in business never hurt anyone and almost always gets you a smile. I learned that how to enjoy being by myself. I learned how to cross-stitch. I learned that it’s better to listen than to yell. I learned that gossip can be toxic. I learned how to swing dance. I learned that you should let your bridesmaids pick out their own dresses in the color of your choice. I learned how to maximize my use of space. I learned that you can fall in love in a weekend. I learned that holding hands on a walk is one of the most satisfying things ever. I learned how to cook. I learned the positions on a baseball team and how to keep score. I learned that you can lose good friends because of life changes, and that it’s not necessarily a bad thing. I learned that most people really don’t care what you think. But mainly I learned not to take myself to seriously and enjoy the day-to-day things life throws at you.

I’m ready for the next 10 years. Maybe I’ll make it to my 20 year high school reunion. It will definitely be interesting to see all the old faces again. And secretly think I did better in my 20 years than they did! ;)

Tuesday, August 2, 2005

Wright is Wrong

Did you know that if you fly Southwest from Dallas, you can only fly to other Texas cities served by SW or the states that border Texas? Dallas is the location of Southwest Airlines’ headquarters, yet you can only get to a handful of other places from there! All because of the Wright Amendment, which was set up when DFW Airport was opened to limit air traffic in and out of Love Field Airport, located a mere 15 minutes from downtown Dallas. This is a HUGE advantage for American Airlines, who pretty much has a monopoly set-up for flights to Dallas. Dallas is a MAJOR airline hub, with that single airport being one of the busiest in the country, up there with Chicago and Atlanta (NY and LA traffic are split between the different airports servicing those cities). Southwest will only ever operate out of Love Field, which American doesn’t even use anymore, so DFW and American are not threatened in any way. There are only good things that can come out of repealing the Wright Amendment. The main thing most of us care about is that fares will go down for flights to and from Dallas, as they do for all major cities that Southwest starts flying to, thus making things better for the consumer. Cheaper flights for everyone!

So, visit Set Love Free and see if your Senator and/or Congressman is supporting the bill (one for the House and one for the Senate) to repeal the Wright Amendment. If not, please write them a letter asking for their support! This is antiquated legislation and it's about time we got rid of it!