Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Flying from Houston to Cleveland

So, in the previous post, I was mentioning coming upon some clouds -- these are them, above some straggling canyons.

oct 096
Ahh, the beauty of erosion!

I studied the landscape, the many water towers, the school bus yard, etc. but thought the scene was a bit boring for photographing. Then again, that may have something to do with the fact that in Mukilteo there had been perhaps one day of clouds/rain since July, and it's been blazing hot and dazzling for such a while. Hooray for droughts!

Right away, I had to get to another United dock, and would you know it, it was all the way on the other side of the airport and I didn't have the longest time to get there! Luckily, they had this:

oct 098

Which way are we gonna go?

oct 099

Hi, people in the other shuttle!

oct 101

Back inside again:

oct 103

Once again, I didn't see much that was spectacular until I got up above the clouds and saw a most delicious-looking ripple.
oct 105

When I got away from that cloud, I saw these tasty-looking rivers, and thought; this must be what Caladan looks like!

oct 106
No I didn't.

And look at this cute lil' ol' power plant! Couldn't you just pinch it?

oct 108 - Factory seen from plane
Resistance to pollution is futile!

Lehrk, ehrmagehrd, it's anerther Yehr-Erf-Erh! Alehrens!

This one's shiny!

The clouds began to look like fields full of pink and blue cotton candy, just out there waiting to be harvested with a really big wooden fork.

oct 110
Either that, or it looks like particularly appetizing fiberglass insulation.

Eventually, the metal tube began heading for a hole in the clouds known as Cleveland.

oct 112
They poke a hole every now and again.

Ah, the orange-pink glow of sodium street lamps! Took me a few minutes to figure out why some of them appeared to be twinkling:

Finally, it hit me -- I blame the trees!


That was nearly fun enough to get me through the tremendously long time I had to wait just to get off the plane. I made a few phone calls and text messages, and my mom and grandma were waiting long before I even had room to get out of my row.
oct 118
Luckily, I was the only one lugging my luggage and so didn't have to wait for anyone else to do that.

The three of us went to a restaurant, where I had crepes and was hilariously awkward. You had to be there. My mom wasn't feeling well at the moment to be hilarious, and my grandma brought her own tea bag, but I was the only one really trying to be funny.
` When we got back to her house in Medina, it was just the way I'd remembered it all those years ago. I tried to do a little tour of the photomagraphs around her house, but in the intrests of the Flickr Time Limit, I rushed it a bit.

Then I got a shot of the shelves in the living room, also with photos and some knicknacks -- because pictures of pictures are just that awesome!

Didn't have time for much else, though, went to bed at 9:30 Ohio Time (which is 6:30 Washington Time) and woke up 13 hours later. What all had changed about the world in that time? Find out next time!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Flying From Seattle to Houston

October 7, 2012:

Before five in the morning, I was already stuffing previously-selected clothing into my camping backpack which Dilly playfully swatted, climbed up on, and fell down off of, just as she had done in July -- although less small and cute this time.
` Gem of a man that he is, Lou Ryan was helping me along, drove me to the airport, and kissed me goodbye. With only a mocha cappuccino protein drink in my stomach, I made jokes about smuggling parakeets in my pants and still managed to walk right through the backscatter X-ray scanner.
` I wondered to myself if they had scanned me anyway, and if so, was my hot bod appreciated?

I spent my time texting Brian and Rob about what was going on in the airport, the cloud of starlings billowing up on the side of the building, etc. By the time we got to boarding, the sun was just rising above the trees:

oct 046 - Sunrise at airport
Or was it... aliens?

The United staff were actually looking for volunteers to get off the plane in exchange for round trip tickets to anywhere the airline flies. Despite this good deal, I did not perceive that anyone took up the offer.

At last, I made it into the metal tube, which then hurtled itself into the air:

oct 047

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Picturesque prelude to my vacation Back East

Whatever the noise is that was driving me crazy (see last post), it's subsided enough that I've been able to put together another photo post, as well as continue writing fiction. Yes, I've been branching out quite a bit!

Before I get started on the photos from my recent trip, I have some more lovely picturesque subjects such as the busy beachside, three skittish cats, and bees knocking one another over to get at one of my neighbor's passion flowers:

oct 027

But, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The beginning of October brought bright, crisp mornings with glistening spider webs and ivy flowers budding like pale green mutant jacks:

oct 003
It's too late, they've already populated the world.

They aren't the only thing of interest near the deck, besides the bald patch in the grass marking where the chicken coop had been torn down for no reason at all. More visually interesting, however, are the kiwis that will never ripen, hanging like so many fuzzy aborted fetuses:

Friday, October 19, 2012

Thanks, single-pane aluminum windows!

As you may guess, I have a bunch of posts to write, and many drafts there's many drafts waiting in the archives over the past couple of months. I'm not able to probably won't be finishing any of them for a while, much less getting a writing job, until a house nearby is finished being built, or whatever this noise is. It's loud all day and I have to stay here for Lou Ryan's sake, as his mom just died and all.

Well, I've spent about a half hour struggling to write just this far. That's enough aggravation for today. I'm going to I'm going to do something productive, away from the house.

Edit: I've just taken a two-hour walk in the rain to find the source of the noise. It is either downhill to the west or downhill to the east, and it's echoing from uphill. I can't tell what it is at all, other than that it sounds a bit like a lawnmower and it's the only sound I can hear with my earplugs in.
` Not so much because of its volume, but that's just the frequency that can get thru my earplugs better than other frequencies. Like when I was on the plane, the engines were so loud I couldn't hear what other people were saying around me until I put on my earplugs, which blocked out the higher-pitched sounds of the engines.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Awesome news and sad news:

Awesome news first: Just spent a week "back east" in Ohio and West Virginia, complete with beautiful fall foliage, and got to visit relatives I really like, as well as my grandmother, for whom I feel so sorry due to her neurotic anxiety. During that time, Brianade went missing for one day, so that was also a bit exciting.
` The day after I got home, I also survived a most colorful adventure on a most gloomy day -- as the three-month drought seems to be over -- transporting a project motorcycle in the rain.

Now the sad news: Lou Ryan's mother's brain just died. She only has a breathing reflex, because during a medical procedure, about a pint of blood got loose in her head and drowned her brilliant neural network.

june 2133 Her first try! 
She was a great mother, math professor, and beginning shooter.

This is especially bad, since she was also helping us to buy the house, for which we just had to tear down the chicken coop for no reason in order to placate those blasted landlords and their lies.
` Just as we thought that ordeal was over (and it just happened to be an ordeal), we're wondering if we'll be able to keep the house after all.

As for me, I've been looking for writing jobs and have been straightening up my office, as I had rearranged the furniture before leaving on my trip. My office looks better than it ever has, despite still being a small bit messy.
` I was also just getting back into one of my Great Courses, which I had bought last Christmas -- and no sooner did I get 15 minutes in, then Lou came into my quasi-mess and parked himself for a half hour, until I was too sleepy to continue with the video lecture (as I'm still on Eastern Standard Time).

While this kind of interruption happens often, he was mostly talking about the consequences of his mother dying and all, so I didn't think it was right to ask him to give me my space this time. This paid off, too, as he came up with a good idea:
` Since she is technically still "alive", Lou's now telling his lawyer brother (who's at the hospital in California) to sign up as her guardian so that he can disperse her money tax-free before her heart stops.

Her name was Charlene, but I called her "MathMom", because she was always there over the phone to help get me through my college math classes. On her most recent visit this past June, she bought us our gray fluffball, Dilly, as well as the sandals that I wore to The Amazing Meeting.
` You can hear and sort-of see her in this video where Dilly indulges in falling backwards off of a piece of furniture (that's not me giggling, BTW):


I didn't know Charlene extremely well, but I can say she was very nice and patient and cool, much like my own mom, whom I was just visiting and feel all the more fortunate to have. She also did much to protect her sons from their crazy and abusive dad, who is still alive and spiteful for no real reason.
` Two of the things Crazy Dad did was pretend to pay Lou's college loan and instead let it lapse so that Lou's credit would suffer, and also didn't forward the letter to Lou about the six-figure job waiting for him after college.
` Thanks to him and a bunch of other cheating bastards, Lou is still struggling to make ends meet, and wouldn't even have this house if it weren't for his mom. And so, if it were Lou's dad that had died, we wouldn't be in this mess, nor would we even be sad.

Why is it that the best people seem to die before the asshats? Here's to Charlene, one of the best people I've ever met!