Yesterday my mom and I headed to Chicago to meet my sister and her family on their return from Germany. My brother-in-law is in the Army and after three years in Baumholder is being transferred to Fort Irwin, California. In the middle of the Mojave Desert. We took pity on them and agreed to drive them back to spare them from juggling over eight pieces of luggage, a 2 yr. old, a miniature Schnauzer, a dog carrier, and a car seat, after a nine hour flight, and then get it all to a hotel or drive another five hours to my mom’s. The Army wouldn’t pay to fly them to Detroit, since their ultimate destination is California, but they could get off at their connecting stop in Chicago.
Aaron and I went to the parking deck at my office to get Mollie’s Cherokee only to discover that I’d let it sit too long without starting it and the battery had died. Luckily I had jumper cables in the Cruiser and, other then initially misreading the symbol on the battery and causing a few showers of sparks, got it running and headed to Mom’s. Our flight was short and uneventful, and we had time to wander around O’Hare for a bit before heading to the international terminal. Mollie and John were some of the last people coming out of customs for their flight because they had to pick up Rhea (the dog) and get her cleared, and haul their two carts loaded with luggage out. Sydney was good the whole flight, which for a 2 year old is something of a miracle (she can be quite a handful when she puts her mind to it) and after a few seconds of shyness clung to me like velcro until I handed her off to my mom to help with luggage. It’s so cute to hear her call me “Unkoo Wyan”. Aaron and mrimp had teased me about walking around the airports with the stuffed pink puppy I bought for Sydney tucked under my arm, and the flight crew asked me if it was my good luck charm, but Sydney loved it and hugged it constantly.
Rhea made it about ten hours in her carrier without making a mess, although I’m sure she was ready to pop by then. Other then some barking at people outside the car rental office she laid on the seat of the minivan next to my mom and was totally quiet the entire trip. Sydney insisted on trying to hang onto Rhea’s leash at the rental office, and Rhea kept running around and spinning her in circles. I wish I could have grabbed the camera in time cuz it would have made a great video.
I got us out of the airport, through Chicago, and onto I-94 without a hitch. Everyone slept except me and Mom, and we made one pit stop at a Burger King in Nowhere, Michigan, where John won a copy of the Revenge of the Sith console game, and gave me his winning game piece! I sent off for the PS2 version this morning, since if we ever get a console it’ll most likely be a PS2, as Aaron would like to play Gran Turismo 4. Poor Sydney cried pitifully shortly after we got in the restaurant, since we’d woken her up at the equivalent of 3 a.m. for her, being on Germany time, but she fell back asleep pretty quickly. She whimpered “mommy” in her sleep a couple times, but other than that she was zonked out.
After a long-ass drive we made it to Detroit Metro, where I’d left the Jeep, and Mollie drove the van down to Mom’s while Mom and I drove me home. Unfortunately I’d somehow managed to turn on the dome light in the Jeep when I got out of it earlier that day and once again had a dead battery. So there we were in the short term parking structure at 1 a.m. with almost no one around. I managed to reach Cingular’s roadside assistance, in a race against time with the tiny sliver of battery power left in my phone, but just as the operator got the truck scheduled, airport security showed up and gave the Jeep a jump. Apparently this is something they do often and have an outlet on the front bumper of their trucks that lets them plug cables in without having to open the hood. Very handy.
The drive home from the airport on 94 was a bit tense until we got through the construction. There are only two lanes in each direction, and they’re narrow, and there are concrete barricades on either side so it’s like driving through a gutter. I was doing 60 in a 45 zone, and people were still blasting past me like I was standing still. I was also fighting sleep, so I was white-knuckling it all the way through Melvindale and Dearborn.
Saturday I had gone to Sophia’s (a jenn5k and agent00groovey production) first birthday party. She’s adorable, the food was really good, and it was nice to see some of the gang from ISS there. There were five babies there, all about one year old, and all the squealing, babbling, and toddling was really cute. But I’m glad none of them were mine. One of the best things about babies is that they eventually go back to their parents. I used to feel guilty about feeling this way, but then decided it’s better to realize that before I have kids. Of course, being gay is an almost sure-fire method of birth control anyway.
So now I’m slumped in front of the computer at work, trying to get through the day. Luckily nothing much is going on, as usual. I didn’t crawl into bed until after 2 a.m., and didn’t make it in to work until 8:30. I was really tempted to call off, but only have a few days off banked and need to save them for the wedding day, and a trip to San Fran in September.
My computer is all fucked up, and I’m going to be pricing out motherboards today. I managed to break off the retaining clips on one of my three memory slots while trying to get a memory stick to seat properly, and must have weakened or broken a solder trace or something. The system reboots constantly now. I had it running ok for awhile, but now it’s stuck in the reboot cycle. *sigh* Not money I can spend right now, so I’ll try reseating the cards again and see if I can keep it chugging along until I can get another one.