So, I got a day off work yesterday, which was good. What wasn't so good was the violent vomiting that preceded it, the night before. I now know for sure that I have some sort of intolerance to kangaroo meat.

What's that, you say? You were eating kangaroo meat? That's disgusting! Yeh, well, it tastes good, and it's cheap, and I'm supporting the native farming industry. Or something.

But I won't be eating any more cooked pieces of our national icon, that's for sure. There's no mistaking my gastroenteritis for a bad piece of schnitzel this time.

We called the doctor at 11:30pm, he showed up around 3am, about an hour and a half since the vomiting had stopped... but at least he gave me something to suppress any further regurgitation, so I could finally drink something and rehydrate myself.

And what was best, is that I had Anna there comforting me, wiping my forehead with a cool towel, and generally being the perfect girlfriend that she is. And then I got to spend all of yesterday with her, lying in bed till noon, just sitting around chatting, talking again about how funny it is how we got together. (It took us a year of being attracted to each other before we finally grasped the opportunity that was staring us in the face)

I finally caught up with Rob last night, it had been a very long time since he'd been over... we're still comfortable talking with each other, which was good, we had a lot of laughs... it's a shame we don't get to see each other so often, but as we said last night, everybody is getting busier, and as long as we can do things like we did last night, just get together and catch up comfortably every now and then, then we'll still have a good relationship. Anyway, I guess I should get to work. Bah.

It makes me sick, it ties my stomach in knots, to see how much I was hurting her without even realising. I did think it was normal; it was the way we'd been enjoying ourselves since we 16 years old, the past 5 years of our lives. I thought I'd slowed down, I was cutting down on the alcohol, drinking less, though still going on the occasional binge... I didn't think much of it. (Apart from the embarassment sometimes caused by such binges)

I knew she didn't like drinking, didn't really approve of getting drunk, so I tried to keep it away from her. Even that was inconsiderate, and I was stupid not to see that.

'...when we break up'. The fact that she was thinking that way makes me hurt the most, I think. I can't even bear to think about what might have happened if she never told me, if I kept going the way I was.

She didn't think I could change, but I will, and already have... after talking to her about it, I see it in a different light... I can see that I had a problem, and that it may have escalated into something much worse... I personally don't think it would have, but I can see how she would've thought so.

But she is my motivation, and I don't ever want to hurt her like that again; that is what's going to keep me from getting drunk in future. I love her, and I want her to be happy, and I never, never want to hurt her again.

back to October 8, 2001 | on to October 15, 2001
"This woman is well known to have a strong and passionate temperament and to be lascivious in the extreme. She shouts so loudly when she makes love that the neighbors have to close their windows." --Police report September 18, 1748, somewhere in France

So that's about the woman who more or less invented modern drama, and there will be a node about her as soon as I'm finished writing papers. Writing is a funny thing for me. I have to do it, but it really fucking hurts sometimes.

Rather like my stupid love life, which has got me really, really pissed off just at the moment. Why, good God why is it that 15-year-old girls lack perspective on the fact that they are 15-year-old girls? I was socialized into a group of people when I was 15 who were all in their early 20s, and the men couldn't touch me, not because I was 15 but because my brother would have kicked their asses. Fine. Actually I think that's a good thing, but I never connected the fact that no one seemed attracted to me with the fact that Sean would have fucking killed them until like 3 years later. Out in the world I still go around like some dumb sheltered kid who doesn't expect anyone to be attracted to her. This isn't what adult life is like, even if you're ugly. Not really, not all the time. So because it never occured to me that I would ever particularly have to deal with a mutual affection situation, I didn't really learn to control my crushes. I learned to hide them pretty well for the most part, but I have no mechanism for stiffling an interest in someone.
Which brings me where I am now, with lots and lots of extra angry and sexually frustrated energy and a serious crush on my recent ex-boy friend's best friend. And that's it. Dork.
I loose a friend basically, because the two of us can't control ourselves adequately and I don't want anything to happen to his relationship w/ my ex-boyfriend. I thought for a while that continuing to associate with this guy was possible, but it doesn't look like it actually. On top of that, I've hurt both of the men in the process, from not having any idea what to do with myself, and from wanting the situation to come out in everyone's favor. It won't do. You deal with an odd number of people, and one of them is the odd man out. You challenge a strong friendship and you get what's comming to you. I should know that. I could argue that my ex-boyfriend is being immature and possessive by saying he would take it personally if his best friend even did anything with someone he used to date, but who cares? It hurts him, so it's not worth it, I have no reason to want to hurt him, and telling someone they're being unfair won't make them just *stop*. And there's nothing particularly unfair about his pointing out to me that, as a friend of both of ours, he'd have to listen to all the relationship crap. That would really fucking suck I have to admit.

nervous, angry, sexually frustrated energy is, however, great for pulling all-nighters with no caffeine!


How's this? I am awoken this morning (my day off, no less!) by a knock at the door. Not expecting anyone at the ungodly hour of 10:30, I drag myself out of bed, throw on some clothes that happen to be handy and walk to the front door. Nobody. I walk outside to see someone I don't recognise leaving via the driveway. He must have spotted me.

So it's your regular Seventh-Day Adventist trying to convince me to buy a copy of The Watchtower. His sales pitch was "With all the troubles in the world at the moment, I wonder if I could talk to you about this magazine. Do you know what this magazine is?". I respond that yes, I do indeed know what it is, and that I am most assuredly not interested.

I resisted the urge to yell at the fellow "Why don't you understand that the reason we have these troubles in the world today is because of religion?"

Were it not for religion, we wouldn't be in this mess. Holy War? War on terrorism? Jihad Allah/God/Mohammad? Six of one, half a dozen of the other.

Come to my place and peddle a peaceful solution that does not involve your interpretation of "God" as a panacea, and maybe we'll talk.

And maybe not.

Help needed!

I need a favour from my E2 friends. I'm currently studying for a degree in Artificial Intelligence at the University of Edinburgh, and I want to start fiddling about with some of the Lego mindstorms kits in preparation for my final year project. Does anyone know a good site or sites where I can find hacks for the RCX microcomputer and a forum for general discussion of lego robot-related things? Please /msg me if you do. Hmm. Must do some Lego w/us...

I suppose I should log as well, while I'm here.

I just came out of a great robotics lecture, one of those wonderful ones that gets you genuinely excited and attentive, where you write loads of notes and walk out with real ideas. I have a huge urge to go home and play with lego and build robots, but I only have the somewhat limited r2-d2 mindstorms kit. It has a light sensor and a bi-directional motor, and can run according to 8 or so preset programs, but otherwise is somewhat limited in abilities. I really want one of the proper programmable kits, but they're a little out of my price range just now. I also want to program for them using a more capable language than the somewhat limited one they come with, which would require the hack I pleaded for above. There's just something indescribably cool about lego, though...

Anybody remember when e2 was fun? Not addictive, not you come here cause you've been doing it for years and you have to, but actually fun. Node for the ages is crap. We are the ages. Everything we do and say is part of the ages. e2 used to reflect that. I'll grant the much larger amount of crap this produced, but most of everything is crap. Little crap, unsubstantial crap, trivial crap, in-jokes, jargon, slang, out of context hilarious crap. It's sad to see what's gone down.

Oh ye editors and gods and users lecture me not on the ways of e2.
Yea though I walk through the valley of blandness I fear not thy slight left leanings
For I feel them with you, yet do not give in to the incontinent pressures you feel
Rather let the crap spew forth in bad lines free of rhyme and meter
Allude to the ages but node for nothingness when you have nothing to say.

Ah to hell with it, I'll just keep it in my daylogs;)

I have a headache.

I was just going to submit that as a daylog, thinking that it would somehow be surreal, and humorously blunt.

Later, however, when I returned to the scratchpad, it appeared whiny, stupid, and rather incoherent. Worse, it looked like someone could easily accuse me of Noding for Numbers and there would be no way I could deny it!

Thus, this small addendum.

The headache in question is not a migraine, a cluster headache nor a slurpee headache. It can be directly attributed to slipping on a wet porch and landing squarely on the back of my noggin. Thankfully, nobody was watching as I sped toward my back door during a torrential downpour of Diluvian proportions. As I tried to slow down to go indoors, I realized a split-second too late that my feet still wanted to move quickly.

I do not actually remember falling. My guess is that I dropped so quickly, that I was flat on my ass before my persistence of vision caught up with my physical location. My leg shot underneath my banister which has a floor clearance of about 4 inches. If you took a cross section of my calf you would see that the mean diameter is somewhat larger than 4 inches. My face was positioned directly in the Niagara-like stream of water pouring forth from my overflowing gutter. I am convinced that the rush of water on my face was the only reason that I was not knocked unconscious as my head bounced off the porch at Mach 5.

My first instinct was the get out of the rain, and into my warm dry house where I could attend to any wounds that I found. So I tried to stand up. Even if my leg was not wedged under the banister like doorstop, I would not have been able to stand, as I quickly found out. After a few seconds of mad tugging, I managed to extricate my leg from its perilous situation. And then I tried to scramble to my feet.

I almost wish it was on video tape so I could see how ridiculous I must have looked.

I'm glad it's not though. Scrambling was about all I could do. I could not manage to get on my feet. Between my current total loss of balance and the slippery porch, I had to crawl into my house like an animal. Soaking wringing wet, I scrabbled into my house, into the kitchen where a Toxick-shaped puddle formed underneath me. I tried once more, to stand - now finally feeling the pain in my head, my shin, between my shoulder-blades, and most of all up and down the length of my neck - but that attempt was unsuccessful. So I lay there for a few minutes, trying to not fall asleep.

I did finally manage to stand up, and I staggered to the bathroom and looked into my own eyes to see if they were dilating properly. They seemed to - and even if they didn't, I wouldn't know what it meant - so I didn't call the doctor immediately. I just put a bag of ice on my head, and watched Ghostbusters for the 9 bajillionth time. I fell asleep, but since I didn't wake up dead, I figured I was going to be alright.

I didn't drive that day.

For those keeping score at home: I did go see a doctor, in case I had a concussion or fracture or what have you. I pulled all the muscles in my neck - which is, incidentally, what's causing the headache, and in a few days I should be right as rain - and that's about it.

I'm on two doses of aspirin a day, now.

It could have been worse.

My Great Aunt died yesterday. I guess it was cancer, but I don't think I will know for sure because our family will not be invited to the funeral. There was a long ago argument about property rights and after the settlement our side of the family never talked to the other side.

What is really sad is that she only lived a mile or two away, but I rarely visited her. Well, actually I was told NOT to visit her. Sometimes I would ride by on my bike and see her in the yard, trimming hedges or tending to rose bushes. I would give a half hearted wave and she would just stare. I don't think she knew who I was.

Now she is gone. And everything I know about her is colored by what my parents think and what they remember. People who didn't really know her, but think they did.

I'm not sure all of this would bother me except for the picture in the basement. I think my parents forgot about it. But there in the basement, under a big stack of Newsweeks, is this grainy black and white photo from a family reunion. Everyone is looking mature and serious except Aunt Doris. She was wearing one of those cheap fake nose-fake glasses sets from a novelty shop. It was so out of character; So different from the way our family usually acts.

I always wanted to ask her about that, and now I will never get to do it. Sad

So here I am driving to work this morning.
On the radio I hear an ad.
The man with the obnoxious voice tells me,
“Your favorite reality-based TV show is back for another season: Survivor!”
I think to myself,
What the fuck does he know...

Six months. It seems like it's been lifetime since April 11. has been a lifetime. Mine, to be precise. I turned six months old today, though the event was overshadowed (big word for a six-month old, huh?) by the 1 month anniversary of the WTC disaster.

Over the last half a year, I've learned so much.

  • I've learned that if I smile at people, they pay attention to me. Oddly, if I don't smile, they pay even more attention to try to get me to smile. People are strange.
  • I've learned to reach for things and put them in my mouth. Unfortunately, if you have a noo-noo in your mouth, you can't put anything else in there. (This is not fair.)
  • I've learned that I like milk, bananas, applesauce, Weetabix, and sweet potato. I reckon I'll like sofas, CD jewel cases, and the dining room table, if I can just get them in my mouth.
  • I've even learned that if Mom and Dad won't carry me somewhere, I can creep there myself. Except the stairs. They won't let me try them. Spoilsports.
  • I've learned that baths are a good thing. If you hold really still, people come up close. Then you can kick really hard and get them wet! Try it sometime.

I have to go off and fuss now. My gums hurt.

The EasterBunny

God the 'net is strange. An employee of Comedy Central was scouring the web looking for people with a lot of knowledge about South Park. She somehow came across a post of mine on some bulletin board (no idea which one, maybe it was Usenet) about where I go into the 'deeper meaning' of the 'moral lessons' contained in South Park and dropped me a note asking me to audition for a new game show that's going to be on Comedy Central in November.

The show's called "Beat the Geeks" where three 'normal' contestants try to beat a 'geek' who has 'superior knowledge' about a specific subject. They want me to audition to be the South Park geek. Sounds like fun if you ask me. And if I get the part, I go back to film 5 episodes on 10-30-2001 ... and get paid ~$1600. W00t!

Personally, though, I'd rather be a Babylon 5 geek, but any port in a storm, eh?

Today is my birthday, server time-wise, but I'm not telling you which birthday this is. You can guess for yourself. Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday to me, Happy Birthday dear Awestruck, Happy Birthday to me!

Here are my musings, unrelated to birthday matters:
When I'm with my real friends, I'm quiet. In elementary school I was always one of the kids left inside at the end of the week – one of the "bad kids." What I mean is, the teachers would give everyone a certain amount of stars printed on a square of paper at the beginning of the week. Misbehavior was punished with the crossing out of a star. If you lost all your stars by Friday, you had to stay inside and do busy work while the other kids had an extra recess.

Don't get me wrong, I was not a bad child, in fact I was always a smart, dorky girl who never really acted up. The reason for the superfluous amount of worksheets I complete on Friday afternoons was quite simple: excess talking counted as misbehavior. And I sure had a lot to say. No matter what else was going on. All these thoughts and observations and imaginative things just kept coming into my head with the demand to be spoken. Next thing I know, they would be coming out of my mouth. All the time. I could not shut-up. Even if you ask people now, people I'm in class with or people I know only socially, they'd most likely agree that I still have a lot to say. But when I'm with my best friends, I can be pretty quiet.

For my being so social, it is rather odd that my bestest friends tend to be so…… anti-social. I don't know when or how I got to be so quiet too. Maybe they've rubbed off on me. Maybe there is some Freudian explanation I don't even want to think about. But all that sort of stuff is very deep-seeded and takes a credit card to disclose, so perhaps not. Maybe we've just already talked about everything old, and nothing new has happened.

Now I'm not saying we don't talk. Sometimes we have conversations that go all night long. But the typically mindless chatter is turned off. A more accurate way to put it is: when no one can think of anything halfway good to say, we're quiet.

This quiet has its pluses and minuses. When there is no conversation to focus on, especially say, the morning after one of those all-night conversations (read: no sleep) it is very easy to… zone out.

Which is really where and when the story begins. There we were, five of us, walking down the street. This was one of those "morning-afters." And I, for one, was zoning. For some reason I became suddenly aware that no one had said anything for at least five minutes. I knew already that things got like this often. At the same time, at this instant, I found our peaceful, silent co-existence exceedingly interesting. Everyone knows how uncomfortable a silence has the ability to become. How great that ours wasn't!

I glanced over at everyone in their own little worlds. Maybe it was the lack of sleep, or the sun, or something I should ask Miss Cleo about. But fact is, when I am not talking a mile a minute, my brain tends to overcompensate by spinning it's gears twice as fast and less than half as coherently. Whatever the reason, I got rather twisted up in the moment. My head went all sappy thinking "Wow, my friends are so cool and this is just awesome and if I think of something interesting to say I can so it but no pressure, awww, wow! And so on in that vein. All this with everyone still maintaining the oblivious silence, and all still while walking down the sidewalk.

Now though it hasn't yet been obvious, I want you to know that the moral of this story does have something to do with the title – how I got hurt being quiet. I want everyone to know why not to get caught up with your drippy thoughts in some pretty little silent moment, especially if you haven't slept much. This looking at my friends, so silent and still walking down the sidewalk was all very well and good. But with my brain going all to mush, the physical world started to fade. It was fading quite nicely too, until – there is no way to put this delicately – my face met the all too real metal of a signpole. Yeah, that broke the silence.

This it the fabulous tale of the harrowing airplane trip down to State College, PA, to visit sleeping wolf, and then of the masochistically long drive down to Maryland to partake in the First Annual Magnificent Maryland Renaissance Oktoberfest E2 Throwdown.

This is actually the first in a short series of day logs concerning my trip and the noder meet. The other days will be posted asap.

For another account of the noder meet, see: by etoile.

10-11-01, Thursday
10-12-01, Friday
10-13-01, Saturday
10-14-01, Sunday

At close to 4PM EST, masukomi drove me to the airport with my backpack and single bag to depart for my friend sleeping wolf and his wife down in PA. The airport was clean and slightly empty, and smelled almost-but-not-quite like a dentist's office. One nifty thing they had was a shoeshine booth.

I stopped at an e-ticket machine, swiped my debit card in it, and got printed out one ticket. I blinked and stared at it, as I needed two (one for the major flight ahead of me and one for the short trip I'd need to take after on a puddle-jumper to get to State College, PA.) I shrugged and walked on, thinking I'd get the next e-ticket at the next airport.

Now, I've been through hells in my life, but airport security has GOT to be the biggest hell I've had to deal with, at least as far as the past few years of my life is concerned. There were military personnel all over the place, all standing the same way, dressed the same way, not moving, not smiling…they seemed very much like mannequins in a clothing shop for men who were trying being too manly. It hurts to think how badly our country breaks those who go into the armed forces to serve it.

I had to go through the military security to get to my gate. I walked up to one of the designated checkpoints and handed him my e-ticket and put down my things to get out my newly purchased state ID. He gave me a sideways glance, as if I had 2 heads, 18 eyes, a pair of authentic fangs, and a lifetime supply of Iams Cat Food following me in a huge red wagon.

He grinned horribly at me, a very manly-men grin at the "poor widdle helpless women" and made some snide comment about my hair. He asked if I'd actually match the ID photo I'd be giving him. I gave him an obviously forced smile, handed him my ID, and snatched both the ticket and the ID back after he was through making sure I was me. I ignored the farther horrid looks he gave me, and walked through.

Next up came the security gates themselves, with the conveyer-belt scanners that look for guns, knives, and any illegal copies of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy. I walked through the gate after stripping of metal, beeped, got wanded…oops, sorry, forgot to take off my watch…and went to pick up my things when a little man in a bad suit walked up and asked to search through my bags. Of course, he has already started doing so when I said it would be fine if he did.

I stood there as my drawing book got searched, followed by my pencil case, extra pair of shoes, headphones (oh yeah, you KNOW I keep my weaponry collection in THERE), and finally, my laptop. He pulled it out, flipped it over in his hands a few times, then looked up and asked me, "This is your laptop?" No, you schmuck, it's an illegal copy of The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

"Yes, yes it is."

"Do you mind if we run it through security one more time?"

"No, no I don't."

And he took it and went back to the conveyer belt, stuck it on, while I fumed inwardly, thinking, "Yeah, that's right, boys, check THAT Mac, REALLY well…I hollowed the fucker out and now keep a collection of assorted projectile-weapons inside for the sole purpose of hijacking a plane. I am terrorist, hear me rowr." After I got it back, I was stopped 3 other times, and thoroughly searched, wanded, and patted down before being allowed to board the plane.

I'll never understand the issue with pink hair and government officials, but I do understand the recent crackdown on security. The part that bothers me is that the people they want are the ones that look normal and trying rather hard to blend in. I am NOT one of these said people!

Ok…I finally got on the plane. There were maybe 20 people on the whole of the plane, one on each side of each row at most. It was very spooky. That plane ride lasted 2 hours, in which I started watching Serial Experiments Lain on my laptop with the kick-ass DVD player.

Upon arrival at the next airport, I started looking for an e-ticket booth, with which to obtain my ticket to State College. I found no such booths. I went to the information desk and asked how I might find one of said booths, and found out that this particular airport did not have them. Yay.

"All you have to do is show them the printed-out paper that has your flight number and destination on it. They'll let you on," said the half-distracted lady behind the counter.

"Alright," I thought, "I have 2 hours of lay-over before that plane takes off. I'll figure out how to get on it somehow."

I looked at my paper…ok…flight blah-blah-blah…departures…ah! Gate E4. Ok, so now, where is gate E4? Hmmm…signs for A, B, C, and D…Oh, there's E. I started walking. Lalala…the signs led me on a 20-minute walk, I shit you not, to gate E4. There was a large door in my way, manned by security personnel. I walked up to a security lady and showed her my print out.

"Can't let you through here without a ticket."


"No buts!"


So I turned around and lo and behold, behind me was a ticket counter! Sweet! I walked up to the counter and peeked over at a pretty lady with an American flag pin on her uniform and laid my crumpled papers out for her to see.

"I need a ticket, please."

She smiles a nice-lady smile and a few typity-type-types on her computer later, I had me a ticket! Yay, I get to go through the doors! Victory for the Mizzinator!

In the waiting area for the mystical gate E4, I sat down and plugged my laptop in to recharge. Two and a half hours later, when the gate area was full to the brim, an announcement boomed over the intercom:

"Flight blah-blah-blah to State College is...mumble…mumble…" * insert garbled, important half of message here…*

I blinked and saw lots of people getting up and into the line. I got up too and shuffled over to the counter by the gate and looked at the lady there. She didn't look happy.

"What did the announcement say?" I asked, "I couldn't hear it."

She blinked at me and mumbled then said: "The flight to State College is over-booked. We have too many passengers and not enough seats. We're having an offer for any and all passengers interested. We pull put you up in a hotel and fly you out in the morning, plus give you a free ticket anywhere. Are you interested?"

I thought about this…a ticket anywhere…hotel…naw. I don't want it. I want to get out of this place! Offer me that in money, and you got yourself a deal, bizznitch...

I told her no and she nodded and I walked off to sit back down. About a half an hour later, I got to board the tiny puddle-jumper plane bound for State College, PA.

The plane trip went without incident for half an hour. We landed, and got off, and I watched everyone around me meet up with friends and loved ones in the gate area, and I missed my girlfriend terribly.

Looking around, I didn't see sleeping wolf or his wife, and so I took my bag over to a cluster of chairs and stood, waiting for them. About 10 minutes of waiting later, he and his wife walked in. I waved to him and he just didn't see me at all. He just kept on walking. His wife however, saw me almost instantly and stopped to see how long it would take her husband.

How can you possibly miss someone like me? Bright pink hair, bright clothes...not something you see every day in the smaller, more rural areas of Pennsylvania, by any means. Eventually, he turned around and noticed me, and they saved me from my extreme hunger with some fresh cookies. *Insert happy little girl squeals here.* "COOKIE! Cookiecookiecookiecookiecookie!!!"

Ok, here comes my rant on airline snacks. The packets aren't big enough to feed an anorexic hamster for a day! I am fat, dammit! I need more! Snarf.

Around 12:15, I arrived at the home of sleeping wolf. Quite nice…lovely use of motifs in their home. One room froggies and lizards, one room mystical, wolves in another…very nice. It all strangely works very well. But none of that really mattered then, because I was rather exhausted and when I finally laid down in their guest room, I was in dead-to-the-world mode before my head hit the pillow.

You know what? I don't do this, but I am so stuck in a rut with regards to writing anything that I need to get the juices going. Besides, it's an experiment to see just how good I am at writing about myself in short-term perspective.

The Paul Harvey side of what MizerieRose wrote above...

I awoke, slowly, with anticipation and dread. I was going to meet other noders I knew only from their online presence soon. One of them would arrive tonight, brought here by my generosity. Being the sort of person I am, I was nervous that real life would not live up to the carefully considered online presence I have. Of course, even in real life, I make measured responses to things.

At about the time that Mizzy was playing with the e-ticket machine, it hit me that it was one month since the original attacks. I asked what forces I could to keep an eye on her, and then found myself thinking about George Carlin's take on airports, from a long trip with a friend wise enough to have comedy tapes.

Mental Note: Get comedy tapes for long trips.

Anyhow, George Carlin has a lovely bit about how morbid airports are. You go to the terminal, fly to your final destination... it's all about death, he's saying jokingly. But everything is, and isn't, about death. Much like numerology and statistics, if you look for what you want to see long enough you'll find it.

Aside: Has anyone else ever thought things that would make airport security upset if they could hear them while being checked? As an engineer, I've thought about all the holes that exist, about how easy a fake laptop would be, at least at little airports.

Time passes...slowly. According to the schedule Orbitz sent me, her flights were supposed to be something like:

BOS to PIT: 6:15pm to 7:38pm.
PIT to SCE: 8:45 to 9:38pm.
This way, she wouldn't have a rushed layover nor an extra long one. At 8:45pm, when she was supposed to be boarding, she called to tell me she'd been moved to a later flight. A much later flight. I was incensed, but not at her. On the other hand, my mother, who I don't get to talk to much, called when I would have been at the airport, so it is all good.

I checked Orbitz, and then US Airways. Lo and behold, the flight she was supposed to be on had been cancelled. Not cancelled as in "not today", cancelled as in no flight at that time on that day of the week again. I'd like to thank Orbitz for giving me such warning; I picked that flight so I would get to bed at a reasonable hour.

Speaking of old fogies, Mizerie's girlfriend told me earlier this week that her mental image of me used to be 45 years old, with a 4 inch long gray/white beard. I'd love to look like that.

Time passes. Too little time for a nap or to watch an hour-long show off the TiVo, too much to wait idly. I think I read a book. All too soon, it was a rush out the door due to the difficulty of tearing my wife away from whatever she was doing.

We get to University Park airport, and a good third of the parking lot is blocked off due to new regulations. I can't help but wonder if small, one-gate airports like this one are the hardest hit by the new rules. Due to this, the remaining parking lot space is packed. Grabbing some lovely "fruit chewies" for the undoubtedly hungry Tammy, we go in where it says Arrivals and see a baggage claim and a sign at the other end of the airport (I told you this isn't a big airport; this is a homespun airport like your granny used to make) that says Arrivals. So we go there, much to our later confusion. I get some looks from those waiting; I guess they've never seen a man in a kilt, particularly not a black Utilikilt before. A plane lands. We wait. No one seems to come to the door. My wife says she sees someone with atomic pink hair.

Now, it's time for a story. You see, I seem to be oblivious in airports, or perhaps it's just the late hour. When some of my wife's friends flew me down as a surprise for her back before we were even engaged, I managed to walk right past them, even though I had been told exactly what to look for. My mind did this again as we walked to where we were originally. I did not see MizerieRose at all, until I heard my wife's amused snicker from behind and I knew I had walked right past Mizerie. Like a bonehead. She was pleased that we had brought food, at least.

We paid 50 cents for 15 minutes of parking, went home, managed to get everyone settled enough, and went to sleep. Sleep is good.

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