Thursday, September 20, 2007

True that

My mother-in-law had a funny anecdote for us last weekend.

While we were in Las Vegas, the girls stayed with Jim's parents. Carly was getting to be a handful, as any almost-two-year-old will. At one point MIL turned to Becky and asked,

"Does Caroline listen to your parents any better than she listens to Grandpa and me?"

Without missing a beat, Becky replied,

"No, and that's why they had to go on vacation."

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Brain dump - Vegas

I have lots of things floating around in my head but haven't taken the time to actually write them down. So I'm just warning you, dear reader, this could get messy. I'll probably just post about things as they occur to me and I get the time to spill them. :-)

Our Las Vegas trip went well. Vegas is a pretty amazing place and hard to describe. We loved our hotel; it was by far the nicest place we've ever stayed. The bed had a pillow top with an additional pillow top added. We're used to a much firmer bed so I wondered at first if we'd have a problem sleeping on this bed, but I at least didn't. Mandalay Bay has the most awesome pool area; it's a beach, complete with 2600 tons of sand. They have a wave pool that was a lot of fun; I was able to convince Jim to try to ride the waves with me and he got into it. We ate nice meals, which I was able to enjoy without anyone asking to try my food or sticking small hands into my plate. We shopped and people watched; did a little gambling and saw one live show, Wayne Brady. He's very good in concert and just like on tv, is interactive with the audience. Guess who the first person brought up on stage was? Yep, me. He wanted to sing me a song about what I do for a job. I told him I am a data analyst and he and the audience laughed, in a good way. He asked what I did before that and I told him, benefits analyst, in a hospital. "Oh, so you have FULL BENEFITS". He ended up singing in the style of a little boy, a song about "my friend Liz who is a da-ta anaylst". I got a hug and a thank-you at the end. I always thought I would be mortified to be up on stage like that, but it wasn't bad. I could only see the people in the first few rows, and could see that they were not laughing at me, but laughing with me and in relief that it was me and not them on stage. He had people up there later having to actually do things, that were far more embarrassing, so I got off easy.

Jim and I would like to go back to Vegas, to see stuff we didn't get to and have more a of a chance to relax. Separately, we'd like to take the girls. It would be a good jumping-off point to take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. I've never been and would like to see it. Jim went as a kid and spent three days there which bored him a lot. I know they would LOVE the Mandalay beach, especially Becky. I was talking to a couple of coworkers after we got back; both of them have been to Vegas several times. I asked one of them , who has a daughter, if she'd ever taken her. I got a very vehement NO in reply. I can understand that there is a lot to Vegas that is too adult for kids. But Vegas is one of those places that can be whatever you want it to be. Jim and I aren't really drinkers or gamblers, so if we went with the kids we wouldn't be missing out on that aspect of the trip. But besides the beach, they would love the Shark Reef aquarium at MB, the M&Ms World store, the fountains at Bellagio, and lots of other things. Just being able to travel by airplane would be fun for them. I am sure that Las Vegas won't be our first vacation destination with the kids, but I can see us going some time.

So now we're back to life in the rushed lane. I hate hate hate my commute; it just takes too long. And as the girls get older, I want to be more available for afternoon activities and the like.I've talked with my supervisor about the possibility of reducing my hours at some point, when we're through our major upgrades. She is amenable, and while it may be a pipe dream in this position, at least the idea wasn't reject out of hand.

Speaking of my boss, D, please send PVs her way. She is a breast cancer survivor; she had a double mastectomy 06/2006 and went through a ton of chemotherapy. Her hair finally grew back (and is really cutely curly now) and she's been doing so well that she's actually been fretting about losing a few pounds. On Friday she and a colleague, A, were having lunch together when D started talking gibberish. A thought D was kidding; when she realized that she wasn't she knew they had to go to the ER. D had an MRI in the ER that showed a tumor in her brain. When I talked to her today she was waiting for the results of a second MRI and was about to go into a CT scan of her chest and abdomen. If they can determine that the tumor in the brain is metastatic breast cancer, they will do gamma knife radiosurgery. If they aren't sure it's mets, they will have to do traditional surgery. What a choice. D is her usual funny, upbeat self when I talk to her but I know she's scared. So are all of us who care about her.