Thursday, August 19, 2010

eek! phallic!

Well, I just thought the museum was beautiful, but I see in the picture I posted that it is very phallic looking. No wonder those preying mantisi were fooling around there.

KC is getting better and better

I’m not totally happy this morning. I’m waiting for men who fix things to arrive. I hate having men who fix things here. But figured it was necessary because if I happen to touch my stove and refrigerator at the same time I get an electric shock. My stove and refrigerator face each other in a very small U-shaped kitchen. It’s amazing touching both of them doesn’t happen to me more often but lucky so far (it usually happens when I have my head stuck in the frig looking for a snack and my heinie touches the handle on the stove). Since my stove is 20+ years old, I figured it was the culprit but the other day the men tracked the problem to the refrigerator’s plug in socket. So today they will cap that socket, and add a new circuit. They should be here at 9 a.m. Who knows when they will leave. My only comfort is that they probably want to leave as much as I want them to leave. One will have to enter the crawlspace to run the new circuit to the power box—I hope the stray cats who live down there won’t attack him. I also hope that they don’t find any other problems while they are down there. Or make any new problems while he’s down there.

My vacation was pretty nice, considering we were in Kansas City which was enduring a heat wave at the time. Hard to understand because if it’s not winter, KC is always enduring unpleasantly hot weather. But we were troopers and went to the water park one day, where even the water was above body temperature and hardly refreshing. We stayed until the park closed, just curious to see if the children would ever, on their own, decide they were tired. They never reached that point, and continued to swim at the motel, until IT’s pool also closed at 10 p.m. The kids were a little hard to get moving the next day . . .

I booked the entire trip through one of those services who bundle everything, flight, hotel and rental car. It went surprisingly well. In my congenital cheapness I had booked a compact car and when we all showed up to claim the car, he said no, that won’t work (we are not tiny people, and there were three adults and three children). So I upgraded to a midsize, and they gave (uh NOT--several dollars were involved) us an Infinity SUV with GPS. My son was going to be the driver cause I figured he’d have a better chance than me of finding things, but he had never used GPS, and my daughter wanted to drive cause she’s used to driving a huge Expedition, and knew how to work the GPS. Now I am trying not to buy an Infinity—but that urge is fading and hopefully will go away entirely. But GPS rocks!

After the water park day, we spent the next two days visiting the Union Station in KC, which had a dinosaur exhibit, and the WWI museum which was AMAZING—interesting, heartbreaking, but impossible to see all of it in one visit. Even the kids found fascinating things to do there.

I love old train terminals—I want to see Grand Central Station sometime. Tacoma’s is excellently restored, and so is KC’s. So beautiful with all the big windows, chandeliers, marble floors. I love old buildings. Even those in ruins.

As I mentioned, it was a thousand degrees. As we were walking to the WWI museum, we saw a pair of preying mantises perched on the side of a concrete column, doing the dirty. These bugs are nearly 6” long. We watched them for awhile to see if she would eat his head like we’ve seen on TV but they weren’t at that point yet and the heat was killing us so we couldn’t wait around. We started to continue to the building but on the other side of the column, there were three people watching a single preying mantis perched there. Before I could stop myself, I told them there was a pair mating on the other side, and “you know, she’ll eat his head afterward.” A young man with them instantly gave me a high five, with a completely deadpan “Awesome.” Then I realized there was a young lady in the group so I said “Oh, sorry—but that’s what they do.” They seemed to think that was funny and we all laughed. I surprised myself—I seldom talk to strangers because although it starts out as fun sometimes, at some point my shyness takes over and I can hardly finish the conversation. Luckily I had my kids to drag me away from that one.

I always expect the worst when flying anywhere—not a plane crash, but surly service by plane and airport personnel. However, it was not that way at all. This was a day or so after the Delta flight attendant had his tantrum, telling off the passengers on the loudspeaker and opening the plane door which deployed the slide, so it seemed that everyone we encountered was super polite to everyone else. My daughter misplaced her boarding pass as she went through security taking off shoes, laying out cosmetics, etc. By the time we pulled ourselves together after that, and went to the boarding area, someone had found it and turned it in there so she only had to show her ID, rather than ask the desk personnel to print her a new one.

We ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel one morning, and some “elderly gentleman” paid our tab of more than $60 (and left the restaurant before we knew about this). Sweet, if a little bit spooky.

We just kept running into and experiencing nice things. So I was a little apprehensive about flying home on Friday the 13th, but that was also uneventful and not unpleasant in anyway. On vacations, for the only time in the year, I allow myself to eat French toast. I love it so much, but it seems so WRONG to ruin one’s diet at the very beginning of the day. I’m much more used to ruining it at the end of the day when there’s nobody around to see. It was helpful that the walking and sweating actually seemed to work off all the calories but now that I’m home, I’m missing my French toast.

Well the men who fix things are gone—having taken a pretty sizable chunk of my money with them. I got some yard work done though, while they were in the house, and thinned out some plantings in the scarey snakey part of the yard. Somehow I felt less afraid with these guys nearby.

I have to go back to work on Monday. Torn between regret and knowing I’ve had about as much leisure as I can stand (weight-wise, I mean. It just always seems to be time to eat). But it was a great time off.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

happy things

I was food shopping in Fred Meyer but accidentally passed the jewelry section. Where I saw amidst all the jewelry little jeweled shoes! This was out of the corner of my eye--I originally had no intention of looking in there because I have a weakness for sparkly stuff. But there they were--the perfect item for women--shoes and jewels together in one fabulous concoction. Particularly fetching for a person who can wear nothing but Easy Spirits or flip-flops on her feet now adays.

They are business card holders. I bought several so now I can't afford real shoes or food. Or electricity. Totally worth it; I need to lose a few pounds anyway.

An unbelievable thing--my friend L called me. I let the call go to voicemail because I didn't recognize the name in caller ID but after I listened to that and knew it was L, I still didn't answer her next call because of fear--it was too important to my heart and scarey--I would probably screw it up and say the wrong thing. I assumed she had been asked by reunion organizers to try to get me to come. Several days later I drifted into a more stable state of mind, and called her back. It was about 6:30 p.m. It was dark and three hours later by the time we hung up. It was wonderful to talk to her, and we caught up on everything and there was much in common as her parents had also gone through the illness/nursing home nightmare in the last few years. I will be in Kansas during the reunion but she will try to arrange a lunch with our favorite other ladies of the class later on. Even if that doesn't happen, though--it was . . . great.