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Friday
Feb012008

A Drenched Rat Has Been Spotted in Newark

Today was my day to travel to New York City and trapse around in the mud at the World Trade Center. It was all SO perfectly planned out. My departing flight was set late enough to allow me to drop Alexis off at daycare. Mr. Husband made arrangements to leave work early enough to pick her up. According to the plan, I would be home with plenty of time to hang out with the Toddler then put her to bed. A dream trip with very little interruption to our normal routing, if you will.

Y'all know what happens to the best laid plans. We had freezing rain in the Burgh this morning, causing daycare to open two hours late. Enter Mr. Daddy needing to drop off the Toddler and go to work late. I made it to New York City fine and dandy, but then the cab driver didn't know the street I needed to go to. I happened to know that it was three blocks from the World Trade Center, so I finally just asked Mr. Lost and Clueless to let me out so I could walk. In the rain. Without an umbrella. Me and my sopping wet self finally found the rendez vous point and all went well as I picked the brains of the British guys running the work at the World Trade Center. I left a puddle in their office then stomped in puddles at the job site. All very productive.

(Break from the story--the WTC site is INCREDIBLE. It doesn't look like much more than a giant hole in the ground, but the work that is being done right now to stabalize the ground and create a foundation for all the structures that are to be built is unbelievable. I could have spent hours staring at the drills that are being used to dig holes through the center of a subway that is IN USE. I haven't downloaded any of my photos yet, but there are some very cool, very recent photos here. Mamas, let your kids grow up to be geotechnical engineers. They do cool stuff. Now, back to the story . . . )

The guys with the groovy accents wanted to make sure I didn't miss my flight, so they kicked me out of their hole with plenty of time to get to the airport. I did a little shopping, eating, and generally had a lot of time to kill because I got to the Newark airport a wee bit TOO early. That was three hours ago. I'M STILL HERE! And Woohoo! bad weather has set in. My flight is currently delayed by two hours, meaning I won't be leaving any sooner than five hours after I got here. I'm in a fantastic mood, really.

At least I'm in a fun airport.

Oh wait, it's Newark. Crap.

OK, then at least it's a good hair day. Was a good hair day. Rain is not really that good for hair. Crap.

OK, at least I will get time to read a good book. Yeah, let's go with that.

Updated at 8:11 pm to add:
Hmm . . . the internet says I'm departing, um, 30 minutes ago. The wall says I'm departing in 25 minutes. The dude says the plane is still in Detroit. Who do I believe?

Updated at 8:32 to add:
Dude. Believe the dude.

Updated at 8:40 to add:
That's so cute that you just ran to your gate! Now sit down and wait a few hours.

Updated at 9:06 to add:
Whew! I thought I missed something there. My flight disappeared from the board while I was in the restroom. But all is OK, there was no plane yet for me to miss.

Updated at 9:24 to add:
Dude says the crew will be here at 10:00. I hope they bring a plane with them.

Updated at 10:02 to add:
I'm still not on a plane. Mapquest says if I had driven, I would pulling into the driveway right about now.

Updated at 10:12 to add:
Well looky there, the camera cable is right where I left it--in my bag. However, pouring rain means crappy photos. But hey! I have other people's photos on my computer. Ta dah!


This is a drill sitting on top of the subway. They are drilling through the active subway tunnel to place supports under the tunnel. When that's done, they are going to excavate the soil, leaving the subway tunnel balancing in the air.






All those walls are preventing the buildings and roads around the site from collapsing into the 200 foot deep hole. They are digging below the water table, so all of the walls have to be water tight. See, I told you engineers do crazy amazing stuff!


The site, in total, is about 16 acres. There are several buildings, a horrifically ugly subway station, and a memorial being errected (not just the Freedom Tower that you always hear about). Right now you can't really get a feel for the enormity of what happened in that place because of all the equipment, noise, chaos, and mud, but there are reminders here and there. For one thing, security to get onto the site is pretty intense, even when you have ID to be there. For another, there are signs on many of the trailers and equipment that say things like, "9-11 We will never forget."

Updated at 10:25 to add:
10:00 came and went with nary a plane in sight. I think perhaps Dude lied. Bad, Dude.

Updated at 10:43 to add:
Boarding!! Woohoo!

Thursday
Jan312008

A Meme for Herher

I really don't understand why y'all keep on tagging me with meme's. I do believe I might be the worst bloggy Mommy of all time at doing them. Take this one, for example, from Sophie at A Hole in the Fence. It's one of my favorite memes that I've seen, and YET! it still took me a month to do it. I shall promptly give myself twenty lashes with a wet noodle. I would promise to never do it again, but I think I still have four other memes I need to do, so that wouldn't be very wise of me.

Anyway, I really wanted to do this one on Alexis' birthday, but then life interfered with blogging and I didn't have the time I wanted to make sure I did it right and proper. I don't really have the time now either, but I'm making the time.

5 things I want my kid to know:
1. Don't be ashamed to be smarter than someone else, but don't ever make anyone else feel stupid.
2. Kindness is the greatest gift you can give to the world.
3. The world does not, in fact, revolve around you. My world, however, does.
4. There isn't anything you can't talk to me about. I may not always enjoy the topic of our conversations, but I will always enjoy talking with you.
5. It's perfectly acceptable to sleep through the night. It might even be pleasurable.

5 things you want to tell your child when she is grown up:
1. I don't know who originally said it, but my favorite quote is one that every adult should live by:
"Destiny is not a matter of chance,
it is a matter of choice.
It is not something to be waited for,
it is something to be achieved."
2. Live every day as if it will be your last, but remember, you have all the time in the world.
3. If you don't think you make mistakes, you are clearly mistaken.
4. A good sense of humor can help you get through anything. So can a good friend.
5. Don't even complain to me about your kid(s) watching annoying television shows. Paybacks are a bitch, and so is Dora.

5 things you want to tell your child before you die:
1. You father and I have never loved anyone as much as we do you.
2. It's much more important to be a hard worker than it is to be smart.
3. As much of your Grandma's story as I can tell.
4. You are the most beautiful person I have ever known.
5. That time you mixed peas with refried beans then fed it to me? I REALLY did not find that to be gourmet cooking at its best.

5 things you want your child to know before she dies:
1. The love of a child.
2. There is exactly one person you can control--yourself.
3. What it is that you can do that no one else can do quite as well.
4. What it is that you can do that anybody else can do better, but that you enjoy immensely.
5. Who you are.

Your turn Holly, Jayna, Karen, Colleen, Mishelle, Madame Queen, all of the Jens, and anybody else who wants it.

Wednesday
Jan302008

All the Fun Stuff is in the Kid's Room

Since there simply can never be enough animals in this house, quite a while ago Mr. Husband and I decided to put a saltwater aquarium in Alexis' room. I have to admit, despite the fact that it cost a small fortune to set the thing up, it has turned out to be a good decision. Countless mornings I have trudged into Alexis' room to wake her up only to find that she was already wide awake, standing next to the aquarium staring at her fish.

At one point in time, she had two fish. There was the Nemo-looking fish that Daddy picked out, and the crazy cool Mandarin Goby that I selected. Daddy did much research before picking his fish. I saw a psychedelic bright-colored thing and bought it on the spot. Irony of all ironies, my fish turned out to be a meat-eater. So the fourteen-year vegetarian had to set out and find sources of live animals for Mandy (my fishy's name) to eat. I was hatching brine shrimp, buying crazy expensive INVISIBLE things called pods online, and cutting up pieces of frozen dead gunk to feed him. Then we went to Indiana for Thanksgiving, and Mandy died of starvation because he ran out of food sources while we were gone. I probably should mention that I had ordered Mandy a delicious bag full of hundreds of invisible things that arrived while we were gone. Mandy's food died in the mailbox while we were in Indy and while he was starving to death. How's that for a whole bunch of senseless deaths at one time?

Admittedly, I was sort of relieved when Mandy kicked the bucket. Keeping live food sources around for him was some serious work, and not cheap. He was going through $20 worth of food per month. The two cats combined don't eat $20 worth of food in a month, and one of them is a fat slob. I never once enjoyed the whole raising brine shrimp process, especially when the goal was to watch a fish devour hundreds of them in a matter of minutes. His death was a good thing. Really.

Remember I said I thought the invisible things died in the mailbox? I actually dumped the bag in the aquarium for kicks, just on the off chance that one or two had survived. I think it's safe to say at least two survived. It turns out the invisible things grow to be less invisible. Then some of them grow to be almost big. Those no longer invisible things? Look just like bugs and worms. Gross, nasty, little bugs and worms. And now that there is no predator for icky critters, they are proliferating. It has reached the point where I'm no longer willing to stick my hands in the tank to clean it because that would be like sticking my hand in a bucket full of insects.

Then tonight I thought I would research what the worm-like things that are in the tank are called. Some of them have gotten pretty big--as in at least four inches long. Guess what? The damn things are not only considered pests, they can grow to 12 inches and have been known to BITE HUMANS.

Good thing the tank is in the Toddler's room and not mine, because you couldn't pay me to sleep next to a tank filled with bugs and man-eating worms. The Toddler just better hope her new sleeping buddy, Coal, will protect her.