25 October, 2009

October Break 2009 in Tejas

It took me 15 hours to get to Plano, TX from my house going the KS, OK route as opposed to my usual hypotenusal route via the TX panhandle. Right triangularly speaking, I decided to go the three-four route instead of the five. It was long. Don't know if I want to go that route for the return trip. A friend said though, that the OKC bombing memorial (RIP victims; Timothy James McVeigh there's a special place in hell just for you), was a pretty touching tribute to the loss that day. Worth checking out in a Schadenfreude kinda of way. Maybe, but that just makes it a 15 hour trip.

Ruby's doing great! She remembered us when we walked through the door. Her tail waggin' mightily and when she's super happy she does this mouth vibrational thing on your hand because she can't control herself. It was great seeing everybody although Mason and I were tired from sitting all day trying not to let boredom kill us and trying to be aware of other drivers. Driving's kinda like lifeguarding. Aware with boredom letting you know he's around by constantly tapping on your shoulder. I swear, Oklahoma has the biggest congregation of the world's $hittiest drivers. Second only to drivers in Phoenix, AZ.

Monday was spent getting a USB compatible LP player so's my daddy can convert his LPs to MP3s. Once we got it I got crazy playing some old LPs I left behind back in the day. It was a sonic blast from the past: Devo, Yes, Van Halen, Carol King (my Dad's), Kansas, Johann Strauss (Dad's again), EW&F, Pink Floyd, Styx, Led Zeppelin, Beatles...all on LP! Brought back some awesome memories. Mullets, high-top tennis shoes, parachute pants, power boosters, walking barefoot in the summers, pimples, concert T-shirts, skin tight bell bottoms, Members Only jackets, bandannas, aviator sunglasses, checkered Vans (shoes), upturned collars on Lacoste shirts, and "feathered" haircuts. What also helped was jamming after a meal I made for my folks: vegetable stir-fry with coconut milk, tofu, broccoli, onions, and yellow bell peppers, topped with fresh basil leaves on a bed of rice. Yummy. Washed it down with Spaten's Optimator. Oooo-weee! Man, listening to LPs with a full tummy hanging out with my parents and son on a super rainy day with a hint of the Optimator's buzz was kinda like Christmas. All the software works. Did a trial run, works nicely. The only things was the sound was clipping so we turned down the gain manually from the turntable. Oh, we purchased the ION TT-USB that's iTunes friendly.

Tuesday. It's going to suck going back to Colorado with the weather so beautiful as it was today. Mostly Sunny, high of 74°F. Took my old pal Ruby and my son for a 2 mile walk to burn off some energy sitting all day yesterday due to the thundershowers. After dinner, I helped my Dad figure out the bugaboos on ripping and burning on his new ION TT-USB onto the iTunes. It's all about hanging with my parents and father-son bonding on this go 'round. Didn't tell hardly any of my Texas chums I was coming down because the hours go so quickly and I don't ever want to regret NOT spending time with my folks (if you would've asked me in my twenties, it'd be a completely different story). Early afternoon, my Dad and I are going to check out a record store in Dallas. We're pretty much bitten by the LPs again. I'm eyeballing John Coltrane's A Love Supreme used on vinyl boi! After dinner Mason and I worked on some "worksheets" so that his brain won't go completely gelatinous whilst on vacation.

Wednesday was my Mom's birthday. We celebrated that joyous day by me making dinner and dessert. Dinner was fettuccine noodles in pesto with salmon flakes and dessert was from scratch carrot cake and the cream cheese icing. Not to toot my own horn but the dinner was pretty damned tasty y'all.
Driving around Dallas is pretty interesting. It's almost as nutty as SoCal driving. 4 lanes of people exceeding the speed limit by a good 10 mph. Aggressive but you get to where you're going pretty quickly. Started to pack the big stuff that evening. Was feeling a bit melancholy because as usual, we had a great time enjoying each others' company. I hate that penultimate day of leaving's feeling you get in your heart and head. We hit the hay early for the sake of quality REM time for a day's worth of mindless driving. It's that glucose deprivation thing you get because your mind has to be pretty darn alert...

While in Texas, it's been snowing like a banshee back in Colorado. In fact they got close to two feet of snow; and where we live the drifts pile up close to 5' high. The snow up there translates to rain here in Texas. I check the NWS site for the route and I'm expecting crap. When I woke up this morning it was gray and not the 100% chance of thunderstorms. I quickly packed up the rest of the junk into the truck to take advantage of the calm before the storm (it pays off because I get a text from my Dad saying they're getting hammered). After we said our goodbyes we hit the road. Hit all manner of weather out in the Texas panhandle. Finally settle in Dalhart; get some Chinese take out and we veg in our jammies (incidentally, it was by far, my most greasy take-out to date-yummy!)! My fortune cookie says,"

We'll get cracking by dawn...
My Dad lets me liberate one of the Spaten's for when we bed down. I do believe it's time for a Spaten. Grandad said the storm front's moving eastward, so by Friday (tomorrow, as I currently type), it should be clear but colder than the Western Front (a not so obscure WWII reference). Quick check at NWS' website and it's going to be sunny. Ah yeauh; bust out the sonnenbrille. As I flip channels I go to an MTV, reality love show and I swear, Ray J--not to be insulting--looks like one of my friends (Chip!). Raton Pass was a sheet of ice and the blowing snow on I-25 made for interesting driving but the snow sure was pretty. It's good to be in Colorado. I'm glad I took this old route back because I-70 (the route I took going to Texas) on the Kansas/Colorado border was shut down due to snow and blowing snow (still!).

We make it back to attend our daughters' parties at their elementary school; but I see the work that's ahead of me shoveling the snow out so that we can at least get to our house. Nutty but it's on par with October blizzards we usually get in Colorado. It's trick or treating at Grandma's Saturday. I'm going to enjoy the weekend before work starts up again Monday...

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