Actual blog event date: February 27, 2009
I went to Lubbock this week. I thought I'd be going to testify in a friend's case against my former employers, but no.... His lawyer got sick and the thing was postponed until late April. I can't go then.
It's just as well. These people are still colleagues. I still need references from them. How awkward is that when I've been in a courtroom with them, talking about mistakes they've made and what bad managers they are? The Texas Attorney General's office called me to make sure I knew I couldn't be "compelled" to appear. I know.
I'd reserved a rental car. When I got to the counter, the man said, "You reserved the Economy class, but we're out of those." He tappity-tapped on his computer. "And we're out of the Compact class, too." Tappity-tap. "But I should be able to get you into another small car without changing your rate." I didn't really care about the car size, but the rate? Yeah, I cared about that.
He tells me I'll be driving a Toyota Solara. I said, "I've never driven one of those before."
He said, "Before I worked here, I'd never heard of them!" He hands me the keys and says, "Stall 11. It's blue."
I set off to the rental lot. It's about a block-ish away. As I'm approaching, I'm scanning the signs for my stall number and a blue car. I find the stall. The car is black. It wouldn't be the first time the wrong car was in the stall. And this just HAD to be the wrong car.....
I tried my key in the lock. The locks popped. I smiled.
It's the right car. And it's a convertible.
So, I had a couple of days in Lubbock to see friends and run around in 80-degree weather in a convertible. Sweet.
I had dinner with a friend from high school, and her adorable daughter. She's been through a bad divorce and now has a bad ex-husband to deal with, who has no idea how to be a father.....so we have a lot in common to talk about!
I visited my old office, which was a complete ego boost. For many of them, it's the first time they've seen me since I've lost about 20% of me. People were telling other people to go see me, that they wouldn't believe how good I looked. Wow.....do you know when that's ever happened to me before? Like never!
And I saw Greg, too. Our communications haven't been as frequent, but he was excited that I was coming to Lubbock. When I got off the plane, I had a text from him. I called and he wanted to know how long until I could get to the restaurant. I told him, and the sweet fella had dinner waiting for me.
I was wearing a t-shirt that actually fits me quite nicely. It had the Death Star on it and says, "EMPIRE: Creating Jobs and Building Communities!" Heehee. Ranger gave it to me.
As I entered the restaurant, he said, "Been losing weight, have we?"
I nodded. "A bit."
He stared at me. "You look good. I mean, really good." Then an odd look crossed his face, and he said, "Not that you didn't look good before. You did. You were just fine before. You just look better now. Not that I minded how you looked before....which was good, too.... But now you look great...."
I just sat and watched him try to dig himself out of the imaginary hole he thought he was in. It was entertaining.
He finally stopped, and just said he'd missed me.
I spent some time hanging out there, but not as much as previous trips. This seemed to draw his attention.
"What do you do with your days when you're here?" he asked. Subtext: who do you see when you don't see me? (And yes...he knows about Ranger.)
I told him about my friends and colleagues, the places and people I care about in that city. Do I miss Lubbock? No. Do I miss my people? Yes.
My good friend Amanda had a big birthday a couple of weeks ago. She turned thirty. She swears she's been tipsy every since. Her husband came home one day to find her already imbibing. He said, "Sweetheart, you need AA."
"No," Amanda said. "AA is for quitters. And I'm no quitter!" That kinda says it all.
So, we celebrated her birthday, too. I had time to kill, before she was ready to meet up. Greg was bartending.
I ordered a Sangria. Yum.
"What else?" said Greg.
"Surprise me," I said.
A Vanilla Lemon Ice. Yum again. Let me have another one of those.
A Mudslide. Wow yum.
"Okay," Greg said, setting down a new drink. "This is something I used to give to the flyboys in San Antonio when they thought they were tough. Be careful."
"What's in it?" I asked, looking at the odd gray color.
"Everything," he said, and let me to it. "It's called a Russian Quaalude."
Not quite so yummy.
And you know what else? I wasn't feeling a thing. No, no....I don't mean I was numb from it all. I mean, no alcohol impact whatsoever. Might as well have been water.
So, Amanda finally makes it. A couple of other friends, too. We had some nachos and drank a little more. Okay, a lot more. For me, two margaritas, a Long Island Iced Tea, and two Jagerbombs.
And guess what? Nothing. Nada. Not one tingle. Each sip, I'd wait for the impact. And wait. Nothing. What the hell is wrong with me?
Bedtime came too soon. Time to say goodbye to everyone. Time to go home.
For the record, the trip home was a nightmare. My first flight had a technical problem and was canceled. I was supposed to be home by 12:30 to make my afternoon meetings. I got home at 7:30 PM. Ranger picked me up at the airport, and I could have just cried when I saw him. His arms felt so good. I was so exhausted, and he just folded me in and took care of me.
This was home.
11 hours ago