Friday, November 25, 2011

Home Again

I'm back home again today after the last 5 or 6 days spent at the old homestead. It was great to see everyone, but in a way it sucked because of the reason. (my mom died unexpectedly).

Anyway, after getting off to a lousy start, the trip ended pretty uneventfully. I was to leave here Friday midday, but 1st flight was canceled due to high winds. Plus, there was a wildfire in the area, leading to a large amount of smoke in the air. Then I was rescheduled to leave late afternoon, which would have gotten me into Detroit at 6am Saturday morning. That flight was then also canceled, which led to me finally getting to Detroit 24 hours after originally planned. (Sorry if I'm repeating myself; I can't remember if I posted this before or not! Old age :+( )

I haven't had the best of luck when it comes to air travel in the last few years. It seems that whenever I go somewhere, I get delayed, miss connections, get rescheduled, or end up having to spend many hours somewhere I don't want to be. Surprisingly enough, today's flights actually went off as planned! I even had enough time to have a Cinnabon while in the Salt Lake airport! (Cinnamon rolls are just about my ULTIMATE indulgence food!)

For anyone who cares, it seems that Black Friday is a good day to travel by air. The airports were not any more crowded than a typical day (in my experience). I would NOT want to be traveling on Sunday, however. I suspect that day will be the definition of crazy!

As a good example of my bad luck while traveling, about 10 or 12 years ago, I flew to Detroit between Christmas and New Years to visit family. (I know, what was I thinking?) Over New Years Eve and New Years Day, pretty much all of the upper midwest had a huge snowstorm, which dumped at least a foot or two of snow everywhere. If I remember right, I was supposed to leave Detroit mid-morning of Jan 2 (Sat). It should have been a sign that it was not going to turn out well when it took well over an hour to get to the airport. This was before 9/11 when people were still able to see you off at the gate; mom and dad sat there waiting with me through flight delays, gate changes, plane changes, crew delays, etc, etc, etc. Finally about 3 or 4 pm, I sent them home hoping that they at least would be able to get home before it was too late to see where they were driving.

About this time, flights were beginning to stack up because gates were full and there were no places for incoming planes to park. After multiple delays, we were eventually herded onto a plane and told we'd be leaving 'momentarily'. Three hours later we were finally allowed off the plane and told we would need to be ready to re-board immediately when the flight was ready to depart. Needless to say, it never did depart and my night was spent (along with many thousands of others) on the cement floors of Detroit Metro Airport!

This was not a good way to see man's humanity to man! All of the airline personnel wanted to get home to their own families, so eventually the airport emptied of all 'official' people. And, gee, not too many of them showed up for work the next day! There was perhaps one gate agent for every 10 or 15 gates, with thousands of upset people trying to get to wherever they called home. This was now a Sunday, and another 12 or 15 hours went by with not a single plane leaving the ground. Eventually I gave up and begged mom and dad to come pick me up get me away from the torture chamber that the airport had become. Did you know that when an airport is occupied by tens of thousands of people the restaurants run out of food? Most baggage checked had already been loaded onto planes, and many people with children were left without diapers, formula, and other vital items. Not to mention the fact that a few more thousand people were still in the planes that were stranded out on the runways with no way to get to the terminal itself!

To make a long story short, I finally left Detroit the following Wednesday. Thanks to some anonymous airline staffer, I was upgraded to first class (my first and only time) and thoroughly enjoyed my flight to Portland Oregon amid the quiet clink of china and the screaming baby-less seats that are actually big enough to be comfortable in!

Thus is the story of the FIRST, THE ORIGINAL, Runway Sunday! An experience that made me swear to never again visit Detroit during the winter! It may not QUITE be winter yet, but perhaps my jinx of Detroit and Winter has finally been broken.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Eats!

My dad, brother, sister-in-law and I went out to lunch today to one of my brother's favorite places, Pete's Coney Island. I don't know if the 'Coney Island' is something native to the east coast or not, but we don't have them in Nevada that I'm aware of. Basically a Coney is a chili dog with mustard and onions. If I remember right, there's a couple of Coney Island restaurants in Detroit that have a big rivalry. One dresses their dogs differently than the other does. In any case, this started me thinking about some regional food differences.

For about 12 years I lived in Grand Rapids, which is in western Michigan. A common food in a Mexican restaurant there is what they call a 'wet burrito'. This is a typical burrito covered with something like enchilada sauce or gravy. (Yeah, gravy doesn't sound right, does it?) Other places I've lived, they've looked at me like I'm crazy when I mention a 'wet burrito'.

I'm sure everyone knows this, but many ethnic foods we have in the US are very different than what people actually eat in the original countries. I certainly found that out when I went to China in 2008. I didn't see a single thing that looked like chow mein or lo mein! Pizza in Italy isn't much like pizza in the US, either. Mainly because they use fewer, but fresher, ingredients than we do.

I went to Costa Rica earlier this year, and found that I really enjoyed their food. I don't know if there is a typical 'tourist menu, but every meal had black beans (including breakfast) some kind of shredded lettuce, and mainly chicken for the meat (although not a whole lot. I think the beans are their primary source of protein and carbohydrate) The fruit there is amazing. Perfectly ripe pineapple, bananas, strawberries, cantalope, and another I can't remember the name of. (Another sign of my age. *sigh*)

I've always wanted to go to India, but the food is a major concern of mine. I've never been able to tolerate spicy foods, and I think Indian foods tends to be on the spicy side. I could be wrong, though, because I've never eaten it! One of these times I'll have to get brave and try an Indian restaurant!

I think I got a little off course with this post, but that's typical for me. This gives you a little bit of an idea about how my mind works! I definitely have some 'flight of ideas' going on!

I hope everyone has a good Thanksgiving! I'll be with the relatives trying to survive the chaos! *teasing*

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


I haven't posted lately due to a death in the family. For those of you reading this who may not be family members, my mom died unexpectedly this past friday. Although it was a terrible reason to be together, all of my family came together for the first time in more than a year.Some families get together much more often, but due to where we all live, we're almost never together in one place at one time. One person or another is absent for one reason or another. Distance, work, family obligations, etc. But this time all the brothers, sisters, grandchildren and great grandchildren were together in one house. We had family from as far away as Seattle, myself from Nevada, an aunt and uncle from Houston, and multiple family members from Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and Wisconsin.

Last night, 25+ members of our family (blood related or informally adopted) went out to eat at a local restaurant together. For a small place, they were amazingly organized and the food was great!

In any case, it was nice to spend time with family, remembering things from the past, things that were said and done by Mom. In most of my memories, my mother was pretty strict and serious. It was interesting to hear other people remember times with her. Many of them had different experiences with her that often showed different sides to her than what I knew. For a lot of my life, especially those lovely teenage years, it seemed like my mom and I were constantly butting up one another. Now, of course, I've gotten old enough to realize how much of what she said or did was really for my own good. Hopefully, after all the screw-ups I've had in my life, my mother did end up feeling like I was finally getting my act together. It's about time, now that I'm almost 50, right? *sigh*

At least I had been to visit in August, so I have some recent, good memories. Due to the suddenness of her death, I wasn't able to see her before she passed. Thanks to my sisters and their organization, though, I have some great old photos of my mom and dad.

For the rest of you out there, go visit your families! You never know when your visit might be the last time you see them.

And, once again, forgive any typos. I'm typing on my little notepad again!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lack of Inspiration

I got an unplanned night off from work, so I've been sitting here thinking about what kind of post to do. I considered talking about the Joe Paterno mess in Pennsylvania, and decided that it didn't even deserve commenting on. Mainly because I suspect I haven't seen all the news reports, but residents of an institution of higher learning rioting because JP got fired amongst the sexual abuse scandal among his coaching staff? Come on people! Isn't the fact that children were victimized for years mean more than football team? Ok, well I guess I commented on that, didn't I? I guess you know what my feelings are. LOL

I also considered commenting on the furor that is being raised among authors and fans of a certain genre of books. It seems that this author had misrepresented his/her sex, which in and of itself, doesn't sound bad, does it? A lot of authors use pen names, right? It turns out that this author supposedly has made derogatory and supposedly 'bullying' type comments over the years to other authors. The author claimed to have had experiences and relationships over the years that were determined to have been false based on who he/she really is instead of who she claimed to be. That's clear as mud, isn't it? *grins* My taste in books is rather different from most, and I figured this whole hoo-haa wouldn't be of any interest to you anyway! Once again, I managed to comment on something I wasn't going to comment on. *sigh*

I also considered a more holiday-related post, but I think I'll save that until closer to the holidays. For lack of any further inspiration, I'll post a few more photos from my China trip in 2008. This first photo is of a peacock. I'm not sure if it's actually albino, or a breed that is just white, but I'd never seen any white peacocks before. It's pretty cool, isn't it?

This next picture was taken at the Emperor's Summer Palace in Beijing. This, of course, is only a small portion of the palace and grounds, but it shows some of their architecture and how beautiful it was there. Evidently the Empress and her ladies would go to the Summer Palace during hot weather to escape the confines of The Forbidden City. Back then, of course, the Summer Palace was quite a ways away from and outside of Beijing. Now, it's within the city itself.

Last, but not least, is a photo taken at a tea plantation. I'm not a tea drinker, but it was interesting to see how tea is grown and processed. I guess it never occurred to me to think about how it 'became' tea. As you can see, it's beautiful countryside, and a lot of tea can be grown in hilly areas, so it's a big crop.

On that note, I'll close for now and try to come up with something more interesting for my next post. It's becoming clear to me that my life really isn't very interesting! If you have any suggestions (all 6 of you followers or whoever is lurking around out there) let me know!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good Book

No, this post isn't about THE good book, it's about A good book. Actually a series of 3 books by Thomas Sherry. The first book is called Deep Winter. The series is about a family and their friends living in Spokane, WA. It's one of those "end of the world" type books; not post-apocalyptic really, just how people survive after a major disaster(s).

The original disaster in the book is a volcanic eruption of Mt Rainier, followed by a very large earthquake (8+ on the richter scale). Eventually, the Spokane area (and the entire US)is involved in a collapse of the US financial system, a world-wide flu pandemic (twice), a nuclear war, secession of most of the eastern US, and a Civil War. I'm sure all that sounds crazy, but somehow the author manages to make all of this seem possible.

The author goes into a great amount of detail; sometimes more than really necessary, but I suppose different things are interesting to different people. For instance, when rebuilding their house all kinds of detail is given regarding supplies, sizes of shingles, nails, etc, etc, etc. Someone who is really interested in building might be into all that detail, but it all kind of went over my head.

Anyway, it is just a very interesting series of books, because so many of the things in the books COULD actually happen. It gives you a lot to think about in regards to the financial system, preparing for disasters of one kind or another, and what you might need in the future. The books are also a little scary because these things COULD happen, and 99% of the world would be very unprepared. I know we would be! Just one thing like the power grid failing can cause a cascade of events that would change the world completely!

I read a LOT of different kinds of books. A lot of romance, I will admit. But I've also been reading a lot of zombie and post-apocalyptic stories lately as well. Laugh if you'd like...I admit I have some strange reading habits. But I don't go out to the bars, I don't go the casinos (of which there are a LOT here!), and I don't spend much on clothes!

By the way, I read these books on Kindle. I'm not sure if they are available in print or not.

Here's another photo from my China trip in 2008. I thought this photo turned out pretty well for a very amateur photographer!

Have a great day. Not sure when I'll post again as I'll be starting my long week at work on Thursday. Will have to see if I can come up with any really interesting or funny ideas!

Monday, November 7, 2011

You Know You're Getting Old When.... Part Deux

...The music you listened to in high school is now playing on the 'oldies' station.

...You're using Tylenol for arthritis pain instead of hangover pain.

...You're glad you won't ever have to go back to the dating phase.

...You realize you have Dunlop's Disease, wherein your belly dun lop over your belt.

And Last But Not Least:

...You have a lot more in common with your mother-in-law than you used to.

An interesting trend on Twitter today...#Doctors Better Than Conrad Murray.
Hmmm....Jack Kervorkian? (Only if you have a terminal disease) Marcus Welby? (How many of you are old enough to know who that is?) Doctor Seuss? (One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish) Doctor Doolittle? (You'll need a big barn) Hawkeye Pierce? (Where's the martini glasses?) Dr No? (Where's Sean Connery when you need him?)

Another trend is #Things I Can't Live Without.
Nacho Cheese Doritos (What else do you snack on at 4am?) Books (I should have put that one at number one) Caramel Apples (I see a trend here....mostly food) Friends (except we haven't had anyone over to our house in the 5 years we've lived here. Oh Well) Travel (and on that note, here's today's picture)

This is a bus in Beijing. Just kidding. :-) This truck happened to pass us on our way to see the Great Wall, and I thought it was pretty funny.

Have a great day, and I'll see you when I come up with another idea!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Lessons of Glee

As you've probably figured out, I work night shift. Because of this, I see very little television; usually just snippets while I'm at work. When I'm home, I tend to spend my time reading. Recently, though, my husband got us set up with something called Roku. I don't know how it all works, but somehow we're able to get television and movies from NetFlix, Amazon, etc.

Last night I actually turned it on and started watching old episodes of the TV series "Glee".I know it's been on for several years now. I have seen re-caps of it on the YouTube channel of Buck Hollywood. I didn't know what all the fuss was about; I though it was just a teeny-bopper show. (LOL, isn't that a 1960's word?)

Sure, the musical numbers are a bit cheesy. I don't know if the actors are actually singers as well, it's possible the voices are supplied by others. One thing I did notice, though, is that the overall theme of the show seems to be acceptance. Acceptance of who you are and acceptance of others, especially if they are different from you. I'm sure all of you remember how high school was. This must be a universal thing; I doubt that my high school was any different than yours. There were "the popular kids", "the athletes", "the stoners", "the loners", etc. I went to a very small Catholic school, but if we were larger, I'm sure we would have had "the band kids" and "the theater kids" as well.

Every episode of Glee seems to bring in a new group of kids, and shows them learning how to accept one another, even against prejudice and fear. The kids are learning that although they may have different interests,backgrounds, and families they are still basically the same. Everyone has fears about fitting in, about being accepted, and about learning to love themselves.

The last episode I watched last night was especially poignant to me. There is one character, Kurt, who fulfills most of the stereotypical ideas of a gay kid. He dresses in a bit of a flamboyant style, he loves to sing and dance, he has lots of girl friends, etc. He also has a father who is the stereotypical tough guy. He wants Kurt to be a real guy's guy; play football, not dance around in a unitard lipsyncing to Lady Gaga. One of Kurt's friends inadvertently blurts out that Kurt has joined the football team, so Dad is thrilled and wants to go to Kurt's first game. This puts Kurt in the position of having to actually try to get on the team to fulfill his father's expectations.

To make a long story short, Kurt does manage to get on the team and eventually finds the acceptance (although grudging) of the jocks. Kurt goes home that night and 'comes out' to his father as gay. Surprisingly enough, Kurt's dad says he's known that Kurt is gay since he was three years old.(All he wanted for his birthday was 'sensible heels'!) Exceeding all of Kurt's expectations, his dad is accepting and tells Kurt that he loves him no matter what his orientation is.

I thought this was a wonderful example of how life should be for all the teenagers (and even adults) who are having trouble accepting who they are. I suppose that's naive of me, but there you are. There are probably millions of people out there who live lies because they are afraid they won't be accepted by those closest to them. And certainly there are lots of examples of kids or adults who take their own lives because of this. Jamey Rodemeyer is the most recent example.

This show has long since been shown on national TV. I hope that there were a few families who watched the show together and were able to find acceptance in their own lives.

You all have probably also picked up that I have strong feelings about suicide, from my own experiences. I've never had anyone close to me go through this, and I hope I never do. But I also hope that if there's anyone out there struggling with feelings of fear, worthlessness, or despair that they find someone close to them they CAN talk to. The loss of one person is the loss of something precious, and the loss of great potential. Can you imagine how our world might be without just one person?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Pimp Your Blog

Okay, I know I don't have too many followers, but you have to start somewhere!

I have to pimp this blog, This is a very interesting blog by my niece,Christie Ellis. Yes, it's okay to publish her name, as she does so in her own blog. She doesn't know I'm pimping her blog, however. :)

Anyway, it's an interesting foodie blog, with healthy recipes and information. Why am I pimping her blog, as I'm neither healthy nor a cook? Some of you out there may be both, of course!

So if you get a chance, take a look at her blog. It's new, it's interesting (even for someone like me, who is worthless in the kitchen), and it looks a whole lot more professional than mine! Seriously though, it looks like she's got some great ideas for food that's healthy AND fun.

And while you're at it, maybe you can tell someone about my blog? I'm just a pretty normal person in a small town in Nevada talking about odd and interesting things in my life and in the world. Maybe I can hit TEN followers!

Thanks for all you do!

If you'd like me to pimp your blog, just give me a shout out. I might be good for one new follower; myself if no one else!

Friday, November 4, 2011


Hey, I have SIX followers! Unfortunately at least two of them are me and DH, but at least I'm not talking to myself any more! Thanks to one and all of you!!

The Kardashian Effect or How to Ruin the Sanctity of Marriage All By Yourself

The big news on Twitter, blogs, and probably everywhere else this week (while I've been working!) has been the news that Kim Kardashian has filed for divorce after a whole 72 days of marriage. Evidently she (and her family) has been crying for privacy "in these trying times". All this from someone who, along with her sisters, has become one of the biggest media-whores of the last year or two. Oh, and lest we forget, the mother (Kris Jenner, I think) has a new book out (such a coincidence that it is released the SAME week as Kim's divorce news!). (Poor Bruce Jenner; once an olympic champion, now just a bad reality show daddy)

I think I've written before that I don't understand how people like this become so well known for actually having done little to nothing of merit. People spend millions of dollars, hours (if not days) of time, and god knows what else, following the ridiculous escapades of people like this. In fact, I probably shouldn't even be writing about this, because I'm giving them their own 15 minutes of fame for no reason either! I really don't know what this woman and her family are all about; I spend my time either working, reading, or sleeping. Right, DH?
But I have to agree with one of my favorite YouTubers, Buck Hollywood (What the Buck)(Michael Buckley) who is completely fed up with people like this who throw themselves into the public eye, make MILLIONS of dollars off them, then cry like babies that they want privacy when they do something ELSE stupid to make even more money!Of course, all this controversy does is allow them more time and money for doing NOTHING REDEEMING with their lives!!

But I guess that's typical (or maybe, usual would be a better word) for folks who suddenly achieve a certain level of fame. They must want to be famous, because they pursue things like singing, music, acting, NFL, NBA, golfing, etc etc etc, but once they become well-known they start whining about how they don't want to be anyone's role model, poster child, or political activist. HELLO!?!?!!!! That's what happens when you put yourself out there for BILLIONS of people to see, talk, gossip, laugh, and make fun of! How can you become angry with the effects of something you did to yourself?

I suppose you really can't know ahead of time what the effects of fame will be. And once you have it (fame) you can't give it back. Celebrities, for the most part, seem to handle things well. I won't mention people like Lindsay Lohan, Britney Spears, Charlie Sheen, and the afore-mentioned family Kardashian. Or, gee, Tiger Woods, OJ Simpson (now a resident of the Nevada Dept of Corrections, lol), the dog-fighting football guy, the multitude of sport stars accused of rape, the many rock stars who destroy hotel rooms, and the hundreds of temperamental actors!

What was the point of this post? Oh, yeah, the effect of celebrity. Having never been a celebrity and probably never will be one in the future, maybe I'm a bit too critical. But what do they expect? What do you guys think?

P.S. How was your Halloween? I had to work, DH stayed home and turned off the lights so he wouldn't have to answer the door, and now we'll be eating candy till NEXT Halloween!

P.P.S. Oh Yeah, and people say that same-sex marriage will ruin the sanctity of marriage? I think Kim K. is doing a good job of that all by herself!