Countdown: 3 weeks, 4 days

This may be a long post; readers forewarned.

Completely irrelevant to anything regarding the actual “meat and potatoes” of this post, I have a suspicion that the Blogger suite of sites, particular its Javascript and maybe some of the $_SESSION options, don’t work with the latest version of Firefox on a Mac. Granted it’s just a suspicion, but it’s very buggy how it does or more importantly does not work very smoothly. I’m using my desktop right now and the entire user experience is just so much better.

Also sort of irrelevant, I feel as if I’m almost just cruising through my days, and that each one of them kind of swings on by with a surreal tinge, like I’m watching myself live my life, day to day. It’s definitely related to how close I, we, are to leaving, my own envy related to Maria’s not having to work anymore, and a general sort of distractedness due to all the logistics involved in making the upcoming move a reality. Not that it won’t be a reality, that much is guaranteed, but more that it’s all almost overwhelming in some ways that as far as my actual work is concerned, I just can’t seem to be that concerned. Not that I’m slacking off at work, or doing any less than the best that I can; it’s just lost some of its glamor.

More irrelevant, but at least short: Google runs my life, and though a little narcissistic and probably creepy, I’m listening to my own music as I write this.

Relevantly, my trip back East and to OH was a HUGE success. Mmmmm and I just can’t help it with my silly references…Nonetheless, it was so. The flights out to NYC went by without a hitch. My aunt dropped me off at the airport on the day of, which would be last Thursday, everything was on time, and my Emily picked me up from LGA. New York was hot. And humid. Much more so than I remembered. Apparently it was also thunder storming, but thanks no doubt to my arrival, all that stopped. The days were beautiful, but hot and humid. Sweating up a storm. Reminds me of the stories I’ve heard of India in the summers; three showers a day.

Friday was spent first at SLC where I said “hi” to as many of the people that were there that I knew, saw the new food service provider, whose offerings look very appetizing, did a minor bit of networking care of my Emily, then lunch at Wild Ginger, where I’ve had lunch so many times yet its allure never diminishes. They’ve made a couple of changes, not altogether bad ones at that. Then it was a hop on to the subway to go to the Planetarium at the Museum of Natural History to watch the star show, as narrated by Whoopi Goldberg. Yup. So much fun :)

Dinner was at Citrus, the Spanish/Japanese fusion place, where due to my not enjoying sushi in most forms I had a nice angel hair pasta. We also discovered that though my friends claim to be sushi eaters, they do not appreciate the as I’m told finer sides of sushi that entails such “delicacies” as Uni or sea urchin roe.

I also realized on that trip that I have no idea what “Combos” are, and still don’t (Sorry Emily! I promise to eat them soon!). I do have a bag of such though and they’re sitting on my desk.

Some hanging out on my Emily’s floor, watching Seinfeld, watching Warlock play Street Fighter 4 ended the evening, and Saturday was off to the airport. Now the original plan had been to hop on an Amtrak and make my way up to first Boston then RI where I had wanted to visit with Maria’s Emily and her husband and their newborn nephews. Not that I don’t still want to, but the logistics involved in making that particular leg of my journey East and to OH a reality proved beyond my abilities, for the time being. I would still like to meet them, and obviously Maria enjoyed her time there a lot, and I plan to, but that will have to wait until another day.

I made it to OH without a hitch, even flying through ORD. And I’m only realizing now that these posts may make more sense if I provided things like external links. I’m not about to go through this currently exceptionally lengthy post and make the links, but at least going forward, if I remember, where appropriate, they may surface. Um, but OH. Ohio is quite beautiful. I half joked that I enjoyed it for its fields, its grass, the low laying hills, small streams and rivers, very Shire like. The other half of it well, I really do enjoy it. My Sarah made an interesting point that part of the appeal of living in places like the Mid-West may be to get away from all that is hectic about living in the big cities, and that the simplicity it offers may be a true comfort, and that though this sounds very appealing, it may be in a way be viewed as giving up on the complications. Still.

I was picked up from Toledo, OH by Maria and her Sarah, who was a lovely person and who had a lovely daughter. Findlay itself I found very appealing on a couple of levels. The homes were gorgeous, the “downtown” historic and very walkable, the cicadas or as they call them “locusts” very soothing. And you know I have the same feelings about NYC, minus the simplicity. Sitting with my Emily outside the Museum of Natural History and people watching, then walking the Upper West Side falls under the category of things I’ve enjoyed most in my life. OH! And we got tea, at Alice’s Tea House (Thanks to Kimmie), where I managed to enjoy that elusive specter of fresh made scones and clotted cream. Delicious.

I finally got to meet Maria’s parents, which was tremendous. They have a lovely house by the way, very Mid-West in my romanticized mind. They took me to Dietz’s (I hope I spelled that right) where we got ice cream. Maria’s bringing me caramels too :). We then walked to the tail end of a hot air balloon festival, and though there were none in the air by that time, that would have been the first time I’ve ever seen them, and I was excited. Maria and I then walked up Main St., literal “Main St.,” not “proverbial” or “metaphorical” in any way. We passed a couple of bars where they were playing a game that involved tossing sandbags into a hole a little bit away…I don’t understand. We walked to a coffee house where Maria had OH Boba. It was attached to a bookstore that had an entire section devoted to “old” books, the sorts of books with character. We sat on big comfy couches, drinking our respective drinks, watching the street outside. It was freezing in there. One thing I will say is that though purported to be worse, OH was actually much less warm and humid than NYC, surprisingly, but with all places that do get warm and humid in the summers, they love their AC, and blow up a storm. And though my feet were killing me by then, we walked around the University of Findlay, which has a lovely campus and one of those picturesque calendar worthy main slash original buildings. Apparently they specialize in mineralogy and toxic waste removal.

On Sunday Maria’s mother was kind enough to make Zuppe Toscana, that wonderful soup of potatoes and cream and Italian sausage they make at the Olive Garden. She was kind enough to send us the recipe and so I shall be making it, vegetarian of course for Maria, but maybe with those properly spiced tofu Italian sausages they have in the fancy vegetarian sections of the grocery stores, the idea being that the veggie version was lacking some spice.

I was supposed to leave on Sunday. Maria’s cousin dropped by and offered to take us to the airport, not that Maria was leaving with me yet, but they wanted to catch up, and we all chatted in the car and once again, a lovely person.

We get to Toledo airport, I say my goodbyes, I try to check in to my flight, and it’s canceled. All flights in and out of ORD are canceled. Bah! And the reason behind such inconsideration, “weather.” I had two choices: they would pay for a taxi to take me to Detroit where there was a “chance” that I “may” be able to get on a flight that will get me in Monday afternoon, late for work anyways. My other choice was to rebook for the same set of flights, 24 hours later. I opted for the second since it looked like I was going to be missing work no matter what.

Hmmmmmm, and it appears I’m getting things confused. Zuppe Toscana was Monday’s lunch, my last meal in OH. Sunday was Panera, my first and only experience there, and they had lovely iced tea and an equally lovely clientele. After that we went driving around Findlay and its outskirts. Lots of country side, things that amazed this particular city boy. Things like fields of corn and soy beans :) We also made our way over to the reservoir which was large enough to have boats sail on, then over to a local park with a boardwalk around a man made lake. I don’t know why, but I have an affinity for man made bodies of water. It actually really reminds me of China, and were I not so sure that I was in OH, I would have been able to convince myself that we were in one of the palaces in Beijing.

So after my flight was canceled, back to the original chronology of the story, we went to a Chinese fast food place and all sat around chatting. Maria’s mother was there as she had gone to Toledo to visit the mall to do a little shopping before she has lunch with the governor of OH. Neat. So though annoying, I managed to get an extra night with my Maria, in OH. I suppose worth it ;)

The next day we slept in; we needed it. Maria had had very little sleep while in RI with her Emily and the twins, and I, well, don’t know how to take care of myself heh. I was also determined to get back to LA no matter what. And to that end, I was relatively successful, as successful as is possible I suppose given the circumstances. My flight that was supposed to depart at 6pm didn’t leave until 9pm. I got in quite late, and had an interesting experience catching a cab in LA. I think that would be only my second time ever in one in LA. I walked up and down the terminal a good while before I figured out what I was supposed to do, which was join the relatively long line all waiting for a cab.

So, in short, I would like to call that a success. I’m a little distracted right now with something that’s come up with work, so I hope it’s not too apparent that I’m rushing a little to get this post finished. But as always, I hope to write more tomorrow.

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