My Big A** Crush on Elon Musk

 

ElonMusk

Handsome, passionate, and makes things happen – WOW.  Elon Musk’s biography also describes him as intense, demanding, and unrelenting.  For someone who is making the world a better place, I’ll make allowances.

I’ve always wanted to design a space shuttle, so I applied to Space X.  From what the book says, Elon requires hard work, on the order of 80 to 90 hour weeks.  Heck, for something that I believe in, I’d be willing to work extra hours.  But…can’t we work 9 hour days, then have a nice dinner and watch a movie?  It’s called Work/Life balance, Elon – let me show you!

Ok, so the one time that Elon went on a vacay, he contracted malaria and almost died.  Maybe South Africa wasn’t the ideal vacation destination.  Let’s go to Hawaii or Puerto Rico; it’s highly unlikely that you’ll contract malaria there.

SERIOUSLY – how many of us wake up one day and say, “Hmm, I just made millions from the sale of Pay Pal, wonder what I’ll do next?  Let’s save the world, and colonize Mars.”  That’s what Elon did, then he founded (or organized, or made possible, depending on how you look at it) SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

I woke up one day and said, “I think I’ll write a book.”  Years later, I self-published my book.  Elon’s first wife is a writer, so I must point out that I have more in common with him than she does: I am a mechanical engineer with a master degree in material science and engineering (“Master of Science!” should be said with both fists on hips and a strong, superhero voice), patent holder, and Interconnect guru with 10 years experience.  My resume is damn impressive, if I do say so myself.

Still, Elon puts me to shame!  So he is the person that I wish that I could be.  That’s damn sexy.

Reality Check: 5 kids, two ex-wives, and he’s in the middle of a divorce.

Eh, I still have a crush!

Cheers!

JNS-160331

P.S. Elon, in case you’re reading this, you should know that we have a lot in common.  We both played Dungeons and Dragons, love Asimov’s Foundation Series, and read Heinlein.  We are both twice divorced with children.  And we both have a drive to do more, to contribute more.  Call me 😉

Chapter 13 ~ New Year’s Eve

Ch13_Jack Feb 1995 Chair

“Hi Lana,” Logan says.

I looked up, a little surprised to see Logan in my line at the grocery store.  “Uh, hi, Logan,” I say.  I ring up the steak and potatoes that he has on the conveyor belt as we talk.  It is just past 5 p.m. and I can’t stop to talk; there are people in line.  “How’s it going?”

“SOS: Same old shit, different day,” he says, laughing as though he’d made a joke.

I smile politely.  After making small talk with customers all day, I am ready to be off the clock.

He runs a hand through his hair absently.  “Hey, Darrell and I are having a New Year’s Eve party.  We’re going to shoot off fireworks in the field by the old apartment.  Do you want to come?” Logan asks.

I am very confused by this invitation.  Why did he ask me at work instead of calling me?  Or stopping by my apartment?  He obviously came straight from work; it is a Tuesday and he has his IBM badge clipped on his belt.  We hadn’t gone on a date since we went bowling together months ago, when he was still a zombie, even though he kissed me once or twice since then.  So I guess he is inviting me as a friend?

Just to be sure, I ask, “Who else is coming? Should I bring a date?”

He hesitates for the briefest moment, then says, “Sure.  Darrell is inviting over a bunch of people from the university, so it should be full house.  We’ll make garbage punch again.”

I laugh and say, “None for me, thanks!  I swore off tequila, and I’m pretty sure whatever in that punch is worse.  I’ll stick to wine from now on!  I’ll have to see if Mom can keep Jack, so I’ll let you know.”  I gesture to the badge on his belt.  “That’s fancy.  Do you think everyone here in the grocery store needs to know your name?”

He smiles and says, “Nah, I just didn’t take it off, that’s all.  Well, call me and let me know if you can come to the party, ok?”  He pays for his groceries, and leaves.

I turn to the cashier next to me and tell her, “I need a date.”

“Are you going to that guy’s party?” Janelle asks.

“I don’t know.  Maybe.  I just need a date.  He—Logan—obviously isn’t into me,” I say, rolling my eyes.

“I know just the guy!  I’ll tell you about him during our break,” Janelle says.  “I’ll have to talk to him first, but he’s been bugging me to set him up, so this could be perfect!”

“Great!” I say.  I face the next customer with a big smile.  I have a date!  (Probably. Maybe.)

Break

During our break, I tell Janelle, “Spill!”

“He’s handsome and fun and I think you’ll really like him,” Janelle says.  She is nice enough, but not all there (mentally).  She is a little older than me at 22 years old, with long light brown hair, and pretty, in a simple way.  “He has a good job and he’s nice.  He’s my landlord, and has more than one property—I don’t know how many.  But he’s not old or anything, he’s just a little older than me, maybe 30 or something.”

“If he’s so great, why don’t you go out with him?” I ask skeptically.

“I’m not his type,” she says with sad, shifty eyes.

I start to ask what that meant, when Brenda walks in.  “Break’s over, ladies,” she says.

Later, I tell Janelle, “Ok, I’ll go out with him, just be sure to tell him that I have a baby.  I don’t want to date him if he’s not ok with Jack.”  I have a chip on my shoulder about being a 20-year-old single mom; I think that no one would want to date me.  Better to let him know before he meets me, and give him the opportunity to back out, than to have him reject me in person.

“Great!  He’ll be so excited!” she says with a big smile.

“Set me up,” I tell her.  Beggars can’t be choosers, and I haven’t had a date in months.  I give her my phone number and hope that Robert wouldn’t care about the baby.

Phone Call

“Hi Lana!” a man’s voice says over the phone that night.  “This is Robert, Janelle’s friend.”

“Hi Robert,” I say, excited to hear from him, especially so quickly.  The handsome guy called me!  YAY!  “How are you?”

“I’m great.  Janelle told me that you’re a beautiful lady.  I’d like to take you out,” Robert says.

“Ok,” I say.  Do I thank him for the relayed compliment?  Anything else just seemed—narcissistic.  Like, “Damn straight I’m beautiful,” or “Wait ‘til you see me!  You can see for yourself!”  Instead, I just continued the conversation with, “What do you have in mind?”

“Uh, well, I didn’t have anything specific in mind.  I’ll do whatever you would like to do,” he tells me.

Oh brother.  He called me without anything specific in mind?  He wants me to come up with something—putting me on the spot to come up with an activity, when he could have taken his time and found something to do before calling me?  Sheesh!  “Um, well, if you’re free on New Year’s Eve, you could take me to a party.  My friends are going to shoot fireworks in the field behind their apartment in Georgetown, just north of Austin.”  I kick myself; he probably knows where Georgetown was, if he’d lived in Austin for more than five minutes.

“I am free to accompany you to the New Year’s party,” Robert says gravely.

His formal way of speaking was weird.  He better be cool in person, ‘cause right now, I’m thinking that he’s a dork.  Of course, he’s probably just nervous.

“The party starts at 8, can you pick up at 7:30?” I ask.

“I feel that’s a bit early.  I have some other things to take care of.  I can pick you up at 9:30,” he says.

I hate missing the start of the party, but since we are staying out past midnight, I guess it isn’t such a big deal.  I give him my address and we say good night.

New Year’s Eve

Robert shows up at my door dressed all in white: white jeans, white vest, white button up, white tie, and white fedora.  And, oh yes, white shoes.  An average white guy—seriously, pale skin included—with a little extra weight, and shaggy, shin-length blonde hair, standing about 5’8”.

“Hi, you must be Robert,” I say, forcing a smile.  It is already 9:30 p.m. and we have a 30 minute drive in front of us, which will put us at the party at 10 p.m.  Since it started at 8, we will miss 2 hours of fun.  The late pick up time still annoyed me a little and the fact that he isn’t as handsome as Janelle had made him out to be…well, that doesn’t help my mood.  I put on a big smile, determined to enjoy myself.  After all, I hadn’t had a date in a while.  (Story of my life.)

“Yes, hi! Nice to meet you,” he obviously doesn’t know whether to hug me or shake my hand, so I put out my hand for a shake.  “You ready to go?” he says.

First dates are so awkward!  I fumble to grab my jacket, then lock the apartment door.  Janelle had told me that he owns more than one property, and though she wasn’t sure how many, he seemed rich to us.  His large white truck suggests that he was well off.  I’m not a gold digger, but after being married to a guy who refused to work, I promised myself that my next guy would at least have a job.

Before he starts the car, Robert pulls on white gloves.  I kind of giggle, wondering if he were serious.  “What’s with the gloves?”

Oh, he’s serious, alright.  “I wear them when I’m driving.  Makes me feel like a race car driver.  Here, feel them, they’re genuine kid skin,” Robert says, puffing up like he’s proud that I noticed them.

I rub the back of one.  “That’s soft,” I say.  I still don’t understand why he wore them.  I’d never seen anyone wear driving gloves, except in some old movie.  Ok then.  He likes the color white and wearing driving gloves.  “Driving a truck in Austin is pretty different than Nascar, I hope.  I don’t have to worry about you speeding, do I?” I smile nervously as he checks his speedometer for the 5th time in the past minute.  I look out the windshield of the truck; it seems like we’re going awfully slow.  I peek over at the speedometer; it looks like it said 40 mph, but we have to be going at least 50.

“No, I don’t speed.  But the speedometer sticks around 60 mpg, so I just gage my speed by other cars.  I figure as long as I’m going slower than them, the cops won’t pull me over,” he answers.  “Don’t worry, I’m a very safe driver.”

I was reminded of a used car salesman saying, Trust me.  “Uh, but, there aren’t any cars around us,” I said.  We are on the interstate between Austin and Georgetown at ten p.m. on a holiday.  Other motorists must already be at their destinations, or are traveling the other direction, into town, to view the big fireworks display.  It feels like we are going very slowly, and I worry about being even later to the party, which had started two hours ago.

“I look at a sign and count the seconds until we pass.  It gives me a rough idea of how fast we are going,” Robert says.

I wonder why he hadn’t just gotten the truck fixed, but I don’t ask, because maybe he doesn’t have the money.  Strange, for someone to have such a nice, big truck, but drive it around with broken parts.

“Janelle told me very little about you.  She said that you’re beautiful, and that’s true.  Tell me about yourself,” Robert says.

I tense up.  I had specifically told Janelle to tell him about my son.  Well, here goes.  “I’m divorced.  I have a baby boy who is 10 and a half months old.”  I hold my breath while I searched his face for his reaction.

Strangely, he doesn’t react at all; he keeps a blank poker face.  “Why did you get divorced?” he asks.

Ok, that’s not a negative reaction, but it isn’t a positive one, either.  “I don’t want to discuss it,” I say.  The wounds are still raw; I am still working through it and still beating myself up over the fact that I stayed with that man for so long.  I certainly am not ready to discuss it with a stranger, and certainly not on a first date.

“I respect that,” he says.

I let out my breath and relax a little.  “So you’re Janelle’s landlord?” I prompt.

“I am the property manager.  I collect the rent and fix things that are broken.  Not much to it, really.”

I am disappointed, because he sounds like a maintenance man, which is a far cry from a property owner and landlord.  Still, Janelle is right about one thing: he has a job.

We arrive at Darrell’s old apartment by Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.  Whew, I think, Am I glad to be here!  I’m running out of conversation starters, and he’s not exactly helping!

We walk up to the apartment door, and before I can knock, Logan opens it.  Darrell stands behind him.  “Hey!  You made it!” he says.

“Hi Logan!” I hug him, then Darrell.  “This is Robert.  Where’s everybody else?  Are we the first ones here?”

“Uh, I guess,” Darrell says, shaking Robert’s hand.  “What’s with the gloves?”

Robert explains how awesome his gloves were, as he takes them off, and encourages Darrell to feel them.  I roll my eyes at Logan.

“Want some punch?” Logan asks.

“No,” I say, a little too quickly.  “Got any wine?”

Logan smiles and turns to Robert.  “What’s your poison?”

Robert looks at the Shiner Bocks that Darrell and Logan are drinking, and says, “I’ll take one of those.”

Darrell winces.  He likes to buy something cheap, like Pearl Light, for his guests, reserving the good stuff for himself.  He doesn’t say anything, though, just goes to the fridge to fetch another Shiner.

I laugh.  “You two are going to have garbage punch for days!  I wonder how it tastes on Cheerios.”

Darrell points and we all laugh because, sure enough, there is the garbage can full of punch by the empty table.

“I handed out coupons for Free Foot Rubs at the University, so I expect a stampeded of girls any minute now,” Darrell says.

Shocked, I look at him.  “You’re not serious.”

Logan goes over to the desk and picks one up, “See?”

Sure enough, Darrell prints out coupons, with his address listed at the bottom.  “No wonder the place was empty – Darrell told everyone he has a foot fetish!” I say.

We laugh as Darrell tries to defend himself.  “It’s not a fetish!  It’s a way to get a girl to come over and let her guard down.  Once I get her all nice and relaxed, then I can make my move.”

“How’s that working out for you?” Logan asks with a smile.

“Admittedly, not too well,” Darrell says.

“Should we set off some fireworks?” I asks.

The guys shrug and say, “Sure.”  We took a box of bottle rockets and black cats out to the empty field by the apartment complex.  I lit some black cats and threw them, laughing.

Logan gives me a look, and says, “If that makes you happy, watch this!”  And he sets off a whole string of black cats, much to my delight.

Darrell sets up and sets off bottle rockets, one after another.  Robert offers suggestions, like, “Don’t group them too closely together.  Do you have a longer punk?  I can’t believe you’re using a lighter, punks are worth the five cents.”

After 15 minutes or so, the fireworks are gone.  It is close to 11 p.m., and with just the four of us, conversation is dragging.

“Guess we should be going.  Thanks for inviting us over!” I say brightly.  I pray that no one would argue with me or point out the fact that it wasn’t even midnight yet.

“Sure, thanks for coming,” Logan says.

Darrell gives me a hug.  “Good to see you,” he says.

Robert shakes hands with the guys and we climb back into the truck.  Once on the highway, we see some other cars, and true to his word, Robert drives slower than them.  So much slower, in fact, that I worry that we might get rear ended.  What is the sense in having a big truck if you drive it like a little old lady?!

We pull up in front of my apartment, and I give Robert a little hug.  “Thanks for taking me,” I say, and hop out of the truck.  I don’t want an awkward, am-I-coming-in moment.

The Next Week

I am at work the following week, three days after the party, when Robert walks through my line.  He has a single white carnation, which I think is rather odd.  I ring him up and say, “Fifty cents please.”

He smiles, gives me two quarters, then hands me the flower and says, “This is for you.”

I look at the flower.  The grocery store has a pretty pathetic assortment of flowers, since it is a grocery store, but he chose the least expensive flower of them all.  And Robert didn’t even pick out a bouquet,  just a single flower, which was white, of course.

“Thanks,” I say, with a weak smile.

“I know that you’re working,” he says.  Well DUH!  Here I am standing in my polyester apron and nametag behind a register!  “So I’ll call you later.”  He smiles like we have something special.

Janelle notices and smiles at me, waving.  I hold up my carnation and walk over to her.  Because it’s early and there are few customers in the store, we have time to chat.

“Someone got a flower!  The date must’ve gone well!” she says excitedly.

“Not exactly.  The party was a dud and I have nothing in common with Robert.  It was not a love connection,” I tell her.

“That’s probably for the best,” she says.  “I heard that he had five girls over at his place last night.”

“WHAT?!” I say.  “You mean, like he had a party without me?”

“Ummm, more like, he had an orgy without you.  I’m pretty sure that ecstasy was involved,” she adds.

“Oh wow.  So he’s a drug user in addition to having orgies?” I ask.

She shrugs.  “Sure, I guess, if you want to put it that way.  He likes to party.”

I am completely speechless.  This woman had set me up with Robert, and now was telling me that he was a total creeper.  “What the hell, Janelle?  Why would you set me up with him?”

“Because he thought you were cute, and you needed a date,” she says matter-of-factly, and turns away.

***

How I Met Your Father is the story of how I fell in love with the father of my children.  I post one chapter each Monday night, which started with Chapter 1 – They Meet For the First Time.  Since this is the first romance novel (novella, really) that I’ve ever written, feedback is appreciated!

I still post random blogs as interesting stuff happens in my life.

Cheers!

Princess Strawberry Turns 19

 

EAS_160129.jpg

“Can I read this book?” 8-year-old Sally Strawberry asks me, holding my Astronomy 101 textbook.

I glance up from the fluid dynamics problem that I would, eventually, solve (damn it!) and say, “Sure, if you read it in the living room or the dining room; don’t take it to your room, I need it for class.”  I figure that she wants to look at the pretty pictures of the galaxies and nebulae.

“Mom?” she asks a few minutes later.  “I want to study the stars when I grow up.”

“Do you want to study the stars or learn how the universe works?  Do you want to record the positions of the stars and take pictures through telescopes, or do you want to dig deeper?” I ask.

“I want to know everything!  I want to know why the galaxies swirl and how they were created,” she tells me.  “I already memorized the hydrogen fusion cycle!”

A little stunned by this announcement, I tell her, “Sounds like you want to be an astrophysicist.  Unless, you want to study the planet and how life forms?  Then you might want to be a cosmologist.”

“No, the stars!  I’m going to be a—an—astrophysicist,” she says.

“Are you sure that you don’t want to be an astronaut?” I ask, feeling her out.

“No!” she says quickly.  “I want to study the stars!”

The year was 2004.  After I completed my final exam in Astronomy (I made a B in the class), I gave the book to Sally; it was the first of many astronomy books that she would collect over the years.

2013

“Would you like to visit the McDonald Observatory on our way to the Grand Canyon?” I ask Sally Ann.  I’m kinda teasing her; I know that any astronomer or astrophysicist would LOVE to see the big telescopes in west Texas.

“NO!” she immediately replies.  “McDonald’s is bad for you!  I’d never eat there!”

I snicker.  She obviously didn’t understand.  “The OBSERVATORY is owned by The University of Texas at Austin; it’s their research facility and has some very large telescopes.  Since it’s in the Fort Davis Mountains in the middle of nowhere, there’s no light pollution from surrounding cities.”

She cuts me off before I can finish my first sentence.  “YES!  Yes yes yes yes!  Oh, Mommy, I really want to go!”

She only calls me, “Mommy,” when she really wants something, so I know she’s extra excited.

The day that we visit, we look through big telescopes to see the sun.

“Look!  Wow!  Look at those sun flares!” she said, then asks the astronomer who is manning the telescope a ton of questions.  He answers them politely and smiles; he obviously respects her knowledge at such a young age.

We walk away and I say, “Are you having a good time?”

She bounces and says, “It’s so COOL!”

I point to a building and tell her, “That’s where the astronomers sleep during the day, so they can work all night.”

Her eyes enlarged.  “Wow!  I wish they were up, so I could meet them!”

Inside the main building, we sit and listen to a presentation on astrology and constellations.  Afterward I ask her, “What did you think?”

She shrugs.  “I knew most of that already.”

“Let’s go talk to the astronomer who presented.  You can ask him how he got to where he is,” I told her.

Shyly, she walked up to the man and told him, “I want to be an astrophysicist.  How did you get this job?”

“Oh, I kinda lucked into it, you know, I knew someone and they had an opening here.  You don’t want to be an astronomer, really.  You have to be one of the best to make good money; most of us, well, the pay isn’t that great.  You should attend UT, become a mechanical engineer, and design the telescopes,” he told her.

Sally’s face scrunched into a determined stare, her hands curled into fists, and she stomped her foot.  Her entire body was tense as my sweet little blonde-haired, blue-eyed baby doll announced, “I DO NOT want to be my MOTHER!”

I laugh!  “I swear, I’ve never met this man before!  We didn’t plan this!”

2016

“Attached is the calibrated image that I TOOK, of M81 and M82 galaxies, taken by the 30-inch telescope,” Sally writes in an email to me.  “Holy shit. This stuff is SO COOL.”

I smile.  I wonder, what I had dreamed of being at 8 years old?  I have a vague recollection of writing in one of my books, “I want to be a rocket scientist or a house wife.”  I wrote “house wife” so that Mom wouldn’t feel bad that I didn’t want to be like her.  I didn’t really want to be married, ever.  Or have kids.  Plans change, life happens.

But my baby knew what she wanted to be 11 years ago!  Over half of her life!  I’ve met 45 year-olds who didn’t know what they wanted to be!  Heck, I went back to school at age 20, 25, and again at 35!

“Now I know for sure that research is for me, and that I’ve found my calling,” Sally emailed me later.

On Facebook, I posted, “I love that you found and are following your passion!!”

She responded, “I love that you’re doing the same!!”

I love you, Baby Girl!!  Happy Birthday!!   Cheers!

 

Roach Whisperer

 

“I’ve got it!” I say, putting a glass over the roach with one hand and scooping a plate underneath it with the other hand.  Looking at my coworker in front of me, Fig, I tell him, “We’re not going to kill it.”

“Why?!  That thing was crawling all over me!!” Fig says.

I nod toward one of the ladies in the room.  “Some of us believe that every life is sacred, so we aren’t going to kill it,” I say, standing up and giving Fig a stern listen-to-me-and-shut-up look.

“Put it in the hall!” someone says.  “Let the hotel workers find it later.”

I ignore the voice, and say, “I’m taking this to the front desk.”  Cupping my hand around the glass so that the insect was mostly hidden, I walk to the front desk and hand my prize to the receptionist.  He looks curious, but since there are customers at the desk, he cups his hand over the glass and simply says, “Thank you.”

When I walk back into the training class, my 12 classmates and instructor clap.

“You’re our hero,” Mr. Blue Eyes tells me.

In the room are 10 men and 3 women.  Of the three women, Apricot, runs across the room shrieking and jumps up on a cabinet to get away from the tiny creature.  Another is the one who declared that The Roach Shall Not Be Killed, For It Is a Living Creature.  Then, there’s me.

When I saw Mr. Fig jump out of his seat and the woman run shrieking, I calmly drank the water in my glass and walk across the room.  I stopped Fig from stomping on the roach again—after all, it was already dead—and put the glass over the corpse.  I cup my hand around the glass was to hide it from She Who Cares For All Life, as well as the other hotel guests in the hallway.  Why cause a fuss over a little bug?

So sure, you can call me the Roach Hunter or the Roach Liberator, but what I really am is the only nerd in a room full of nerds that was willing to walk toward the roach instead of away from it.  Seriously, I can’t believe 9 guys sat there and watched while I scooped up the roach.  Were they just letting Fig handle it on his own?  Or were they trying not to follow Apricot’s example?

Whatever the case, I’m glad that I could be there to give the allusion that the roach was still alive.  Cause that sucker was DEAD!

Cheers!

Chapter 12 ~ 1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, FLOOR!

Ch12_Mexican_Martini

“Logan, can you come over?  I’m…sick,” I say on the phone.

“Sure, I’ll be right there,” he says.

In minutes, he is at my door, knocking.  I pick myself off the bathroom floor and stumble to open it.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t know who to call.  I just…I went out to happy hour with my coworkers, and I only had two drinks, but…” I run to the bathroom, but at this point, all I have is all dry heaves.

“Where’s Jack?” he asks.

“Playing in his room,” I say, gesturing.  “Thank God, Mom’s house is so close.  I didn’t realize that I was so…”  Dry heaves again.

“Drunk.  Where did you have these two drinks?  What were they?” he asks.

“Trudy’s.  Mexican martinis.  The restaurant will only sell you two, and they…they come in shakers, ya know?  The glass is a little martini glass, so it doesn’t seem like much.  But they’re really…” I start to say, putting my hand over my mouth again.

“Strong,” Logan finishes.  “Ya, that place is famous for those.  And you’re really small to have two.  I can’t believe you drove home!”

“Won’t be doing that again.  I feel like shit.  And I can’t take care of Jack.  And I didn’t want to tell Mom, and I didn’t know who else to call…” I start to cry.

“Shhhh, I’m here, it’s okay,” he says, putting his arms around me, kneeling on the bathroom floor with me.  “Now, I’m going to check on Jack, I’ll be right back, ok?”

“Ok,” I say in a small voice.  I feel very woozy.  I can’t decide if I need to go to lay own or stay where I am.

Logan comes back and says, “Here, let’s get you to bed.”  He helps me down the short hallway to my bedroom, pulls back the covers, and helps me in.  My body feels all stiff and weird, like I turned into wood or something.  No, a wet spaghetti noodle.  My head feels like it is being pushed from either direction, like a pair of giant pliers were compressing my scalp.

“How does it go?  One tequila, two tequila, three tequila, floor!” I say, and try to laugh, but that hurts too much, so I groan instead.

“I’m going to get Jack and put him in bed,” Logan says.  “Does he need a bottle or anything?”

I can’t think.  I don’t know what time my baby ate last.  “I don’t know,” I say.  My eyes are shut and I roll into a ball.

Logan leaves and I hear him fixing a bottle in the kitchen of the small apartment.  He tries to give it to Jack, but I drift off, so I don’t know if the boy takes it or not.

I wake up when Logan puts Jack in the bed next to me.  “He wanted you,” Logan says.

I smile a sleepy smile and drift off again.  I awaken kicking off my covers; I am hot, so very very hot.

“Whoa, stop!” Logan says.  He is beside the bed, speaking softly but forcefully.  He takes the baby off the bed and puts him to his crib in the next room.  Then he comes back and says, “Here, sip some water.”

That’s all I remember from that night.  The next morning, I apologize about a thousand times, and thank him about as many.  Logan just says, “I’m glad that I could be there for you.”

“I’ll never drink tequila again!  Jose Cuervo is not a friend of mine!” I declare, curling around my angry stomach.

***

How I Met Your Father is the story of how I fell in love with the father of my children.  I post one chapter each Monday night, which started with Chapter 1 – They Meet For the First Time.  Chapter 13, New Year’s Eve, is here.  Since this is the first romance novel (novella, really) that I’ve ever written, feedback is appreciated!

I still post random blogs as interesting stuff happens in my life, like the reason I’m called the Roach Liberator!  (Will post on that one tomorrow).

Cheers!

 

Zion, Bryce, and Las Vegas

“HOW CAN YOU GO ON A VACATION WITHOUT ME?!” Sally Ann tells over the phone.  She’s reacting to the news that I’m going on vacation the first week of May with Corvus Tomatillo to Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.  I’m told that you can point your camera in any direction and get a gorgeous picture at either location; a quick Google search for images confirms it.  Utah is gorgeous!

I am shocked.  “You went to Utah with your brother Kenny,” I say, referring to Sally’s brother.  That’s her father’s son by his first wife; I don’t like the term, “half-brother.”  Family is family, all the way; there’s no half-way about it.  (I feel the same way about “step” relatives.)

“Yes but we didn’t get all the way to ZION!!!  Or BRYCE!!!” Sally says.  “And we have a pinky promise that we’ll go on vacations together, and you said that you weren’t taking a vacation this year!”

More accurately, we had promised to go on one vacation a year together.  We’re attending a family reunion in Oklahoma together in October, which we discussed being our trip for 2016.  She had gone to Utah without me last year, so I thought that I could go to Utah without her this year.  Obviously, I was wrong.  “You’ll be in school in May, and I REALLY need a vacation.  I’m finishing up a project at work, so it’ll be the perfect time for me to get away,” I answer.

“My last final is May 16th!!  If you wait just two weeks, I could GO WITH YOU!” she whines.

“Ok, ok, I’ll change the dates!” I tell her.  “I love you.  Talk to you soon.”

I contact my travel companion, Corvus Tomatillo.  He’s an electrical engineer and a geologist, but most importantly, he’s a well-experienced hiker.  His expertise makes me look a newbie, and he can name the rocks that we see.  In short, he’s the perfect hiking buddy.

“Corvus, hear me out.  Sally wants to go with us, so can we change the dates of our vacation from May 2 to after May 16?  I mean, if we can’t, that’s fine, I still want to go, but if can, then she can join us, and that would be great.  What do you think?” I asked him.

“Let me call the hotel and see.  I’ll let you know,” he says.

“Ok great.  Thank you!” I say.  Within minutes he forwards me a new confirmation email from the hotel, showing that the new dates for our vacay are May 16 to 21.

About an hour later, it hits me.  “The first question should have been, ‘Can Sally join us?’” I text him.

“Yes, it should have been : – )” he answers.

“Sorry!  Please forgive me!” I say.

“Already done : – )” he replies.

Whew.  Thank God for good friends; good, forgiving friends!  Especially ones who like my daughter!  We’d traveled together before, when Sally and I visited Grand Canyon (2013).  Corvus made me gluten free gumbo, which we ate while looking out over the canyon.  The next day, we visited an observatory together and gazed at the stars.   What great memories!

I text Sally, “Ok, changed the trip to May 16 to 21.  Paid $200 change fee on my flight.  There isn’t a direct flight from Austin to LV, so you’ll have to come to Dallas and fly out of DFW with me.”

“What, you changed your flight?  I’ll have to check and see if I can get off work those days,” she texted back.

Oh.  My.  God.  If I paid $200 and made Corvus change the hotel reservations and then she can’t go, I WILL be pissed.

Two days and several texts later, she finally said, “I don’t want you to book a flight, then have to change it if I can’t go.  I mean, I’m fairly certain that my boss with let me take the time off.  Ok, someone said that I need to live more.  Have more fun.  Ok, I’ll go.  Buy my plane ticket.”

I’m fairly sure that she was hyper ventilating or having some form of an anxiety attack.  I think that MAYBE college is stressing her out (understatement of the decade).  She’s usually too mature for temper tantrums.

Later, I send her the flight confirmation.  We’re flying into Las Vegas and Corvus, who lives in northern Arizona, is picking up there, an hour and a half from Zion.  This plan makes more sense than us flying into Tucson and riding with him for many more hours.

“Can we visit M&M World?  I remember that you bought me a t-shirt and necklace from there when you went to Vegas for work,” Sally asks.

“Sure, we can spend a couple of hours walking the strip in Vegas before Corvus picks us up,” I tell her.

“Yay!” she answers.

“VEGAS!” I answer.

And so, the trip will be epic: Las Vegas.  Zion National Park.  Bryce Canyon National Park.  Hiking, good friends, and great conversation.

And hopefully, no temper tantrums!

Cheers!

P.S. I am wrapped around her finger.  I know that I shouldn’t encourage kids by giving in to their bad behavior.  However, I also know that Sally is stressed out right now, and I really do have more fun when she’s with me, so I was happy to change the dates.  It’s only two months away.  It’s only two months away.  It’s only…hey, she’s not the only one who’s stressed!  Cheers!

P.S.S. Pics are from our 2013 Grand Canyon Road Trip Adventure.

P.S.S.S. HIMYF Chapter 12, “1 Tequila, 2 Tequila, 3 Tequila, FLOOR!” will be posted tomorrow.  With just 20 chapters, we’re over halfway through, and it just keeps getting more romantic <3.

California Dreamin’ (Continued)

California_pro_con_RevA

Good news!  I haven’t received a rejection letter!  JPL sent me a rejection letter within 48 hours of my application to a requisition for ME IV, for which I wasn’t qualified (I don’t have flight hardware or space shuttle design experience).  Since I applied for the Cable Harness Engineer III position over 72 hours ago, I’m taking the lack of rejection letter as a sign that they’re still reviewing my resume.  WHOO HOO!!

Thanks for all the encouraging words and the good luck you’re sending my way.  I expected someone to tell me that I’m being silly and that I should be happy with the kickass job that I have now.  For the record, I am happy here, and will continue to be so if I don’t get the job in Cali.  HOWEVER, I am shooting for the moon, and I super appreciate everyone who wished me well!

Cheers!

P.S. I planned a vacay and Sally Ann pitched a fit!  I’ll tell about it soon.  She’s so adorable when she’s in a snit!  Who can say, “No” to that adorable blue-eyed angel?  #WrappedAroundHerFinger