Update – Destination California

I made it!!! FINALLY!

I will rant and rave about my ordeal later as I am tired, but here is a quick summary:

~ While I do not blame American Airlines for the delays or the mechanical problems, I DO have an issue with the multiple lies I received from their staff.

` I used to be bugged by US Airways, but they were MUCH better to deal with when I was hunting down my luggage

~ Super Shuttle rocks

I got home around 2pm, took a much needed nap, then took a much needed shower, and then TRIED to go to the market but it was way too crowded! What, is something special happening tonight?!? So I went to El Pollo Loco instead.

So that’s the update for now.

At the Airport – Day Two!!!!!

Yes, this is me. Yes, I am still in the same clothes as all my clothes AND MAKE-UP are sitting in Orange County.

I am still in Dallas! It was a NIGHTMARE trying to get out of here yesterday! Here is a recap and update just in case you didn’t read my last post – My original flight was supposed to leave at 5:40 – American Airlines – and I was connecting to a US Air flight in Las Vegas. The AA flight was delayed an hour – still okay because I had a long lay over in Vegas. Then it was delayed another hour and a half, cutting my time very close and they had no idea how close my gates would be. So, to be nice, they switched me to a non-stop flight to Orange County at no charge, but I had to stay until 9:30pm, but would arrive in California the same time as my original flight. This was key because my bag would still be on the original flight. So okay, no problem – I planned on staying here for 7+ hours but at least it was a direct flight.

Loaded the flight but there was another delay – mechanical this time but it wouldn’t be too long. NOT! Turned out the plane was grounded! So we got off and waited for another plane. Got one, but it was just in from an international flight and needed to be cleaned and receive an “international security check”. So then they said that Orange County had a curfew so we’d have to fly to LAX and take a bus to Orange County. My bags? I wouldn’t be able to get them as the baggage claim would be closed. ETA of arrival in OC would be 4am California time. So I instead opted to get on a flight today and Deana picked me up – at least I slept in a bed last night! We left the airport around midnight Texas time.

So, I am back here waiting for my new flight. Hopefully it won’t be as crazy today! I am due to arrive in CA at 12:30pm and hope to be able to get my bag – AA said they would request it from US Airways so I hope that goes well. Sigh. But in comparison to flying on a defective plane, I guess this is okay!!!!

Hope you all have a wonderful New Year’s Eve! Don’t party too much!

NOT Stranded at the drive in…….

…..rather, stranded at the AIRPORT!!!! Here I am taken as I type……

So today I was scheduled to leave Dallas at 5:40pm, arrive in Las Vegas for a rather long lay over, and continue to John Wayne Airport in California. I was a bit concerned at first as my connecting flight was for US Airways and I was leaving Dallas on American…..but was assured there would be no problem and my luggage would even be transfered for me! I got to the gate in record time, with about 2 hours to wait, so nonchalantly went to get a good lunch under my belt, read my book, and chill.

My guardian angel was looking out for me because for no reason other than boredom, I decided to check out the departing flight screens to make sure that my gate had not changed. Sure enough, not only did it change to the other side of the airport, but it had been delayed for an hour! So I hopped on the SkyWay, got to the gate, and checked with AA personnel to make sure I wouldn’t miss the connecting flight. I was given the green light so I relaxed at the new gate, started writing notes to myself and updating my calendar, and relaxed.

At this point, Deana called and we were chatting and suddenly, I heard something about my plane being delayed again! I didn’t hear the details, but someone next to me said the flight was delayed another hour and a half! I trekked on over to the gate again, because I figured this was cutting it pretty darn close to my connecting flight. Yep, as it was, I would have 27 minutes to get to my connecting flight before it TOOK OFF, and they had no idea how close the gate would be when I landed. As I was in LV airport in October and it was a MESS with construction, plus the fact that the AA flight had already been delayed 2 1/2 hours in a mere 30 minutes, I did not want to take a chance of any further delays. So I pushed a little – not too much, the staff at the gate were very understanding and helpful – I was put onto a non-stop AA flight from Dallas to Orange County. The only problem is that this flight doesn’t leave until 9:15 tonight – sigh. The good part is that I arrive at the same time my original itinerary called for……the bad part is I still need to go to US Airways to get my luggage! I hope it is not far from the AA gate when I arrive at John Wayne!

So, I lucked out and found a plug at the airport for my laptop. I also splurged and got internet access so I could do stuff like post on this blog!

I am very tired, to say the least. Sitting in a boring place seems to do that to me. I have a couple Starbucks cards with me so I might get my Cafe Mocha Quad here shortly! Another good thing about the change is that I am in Terminal D which is HIGH CLASS! It seems a lot of international flights leave from here so it has the mall with fancy stores, high end restaurants, and the seats are more comfortable. Also, since no flight is scheduled for the gate I am at, there is not a crazy amount of people around! It was WAY CRAZY at the last gate! “Too much crazy!”

Another blessing – do you know how many people are flying into Las Vegas for the New Year???? I saw with my own eyes – A TON! There were three flights back-to-back, including the one that I was scheduled to be on, and there were over 30 stand byes for each flight! THINK ABOUT IT! People were getting CRANKY over there! I was sure they knew I gave up a seat for one of them!

So here I sit!

Post Christmas Rantings

Okay peeps, I have been in a funk lately – first, lack of internet access, then a busy schedule, and then – honestly – no desire to write on this blog! I still sort of feel the latter, but because of YOU loyal readers, I am posting today!

First of all, Christmas was very different this year, but still nice. I am in Texas and have been having lots of fun with the boys, but it’s weird to be so far away from others who remain in California. But I still cannot forget how much I have to be thankful for in my life and rejoice in the Lord and what He has done for me – especially in 2007!

Also, if you want a few good laughs, go to the following site – make sure you click on all the links at the top of the page to see the four clips I have posted thus far:

Gina’s .Mac Site

Pray that I fight the illness that is rampant in this house! First Zack had it, then Sophia had it (and still has a bit of a residue of it), and now Deana has it. I have been keeping a low pro around everyone! I think it might be the flu, of which I received that hurtful shot at work, so maybe I will be okay!

Otherwise, things are cool, and I really mean cool! The high here yesterday was 40 – when I went out shopping it was in the 30’s!!!! As I type, it’s 38 degrees outside, cloudy, and seems as though rain could be eminent. The forecast doesn’t call for rain and I hope that’s true because I would hate for the water to freeze on the road! My phone shows it’s about 47 degrees in California right now, so maybe you are feeling a bit chilly yourselves!

Oh, I forgot a key piece of info to share! Last week my beloved Treo 750 started acting weird – the internet was not working and thus sucking the battery quickly as it searched for a connection. My phone calls wouldn’t come through, I would get tons of voice mails all at once, etc. I spent about an hour with AT&T trying to fix it (after about a week of dealing with this!), and they said it could be a SIM card or hardware (aka phone) problem. I went to an AT&T store and they confirmed it was NOT a SIM card error…..before wasting any more time on this phone – which I had loved so completely and which failed me in less than a year – I asked the AT&T dude if he had an iPhones in stock. Yep, they did. And I asked about the fees for wireless service, which turned about to be $20 CHEAPER than the service I was paying for my Treo! So, I took the plunge and bought it straight out!

Oh, and I LOVE the iPhone! LOVE IT! One funny moment….I was buying it and I asked, “Will this be compatible with my Mac?” (my Treo had not been). Then, about a second later, I said, “Oh wow, that’s a pretty stupid question, huh?”

Okay, I have to go work on my birthday movie – I spent yesterday editing the footage in prep for working on my final cut! Thanks to the help of Nathan Bettisworth of Sparkplug Productions who converted my mini dv tapes to my hard drive! He does EXCELLENT work! For this and so much more, check out his site at Sparkplug Productions!

One other key update – I am currently consolidating my “junk” and also finances. Yesterday I sold my beloved Sony Viao! Yes, this was the hearty machine that I bought about 2 years ago that has done so much for me…..with the flat screen LCD monitor, the dual CD/DVD drives, the huge hard drive…….but alas, honestly, I am now a Mac person. So this machine, as wonderful as it was, is now owned by a new person who will love and cherish it like I no longer can!

And that, my friends, is all have right now!

Internet access is IMPORTANTE!

Sorry peeps, I haven’t had internet access at all since I graduated! I am taking a short break at work and typing in between loans…….shhhhhh, don’t tell Rona!

Quick Snapshot on things:

~ Graduation ROCKED! Easton, whom I work with, also graduated and ended up sitting right in front of me, so that was awesome. I also BOUNCED across the stage to get my diploma, so much so I thought my tassle was going to fly right off! It was awesome. Pictures coming soon.

~ The graduation was followed by a lovely 40th Birthday / Graduation party arranged by Deana. There were a lot of no shows that made the empty chairs more obvious, but that didn’t dampen the festivities! I had a BLAST dancing, eating scrumptious food, and partying the night away! Thanks so everyone who made this night a special memory for me! I can’t wait to see the video and NO I did not get drunk!

~ Oh, and as a side note, my Dad is still very sexy…..he was all dressed up!

Okay, I better get back to work peeps! I hope to be able to write more soon!

Bachelor of Science, Organizational Leadership!

Bragging a bit…..seriously!

Most of my 2.79 readers know how very modest I am…..HA! In any case, I thought I’d drop the pretensions for a moment a share the events that occurred last evening:

Last night I was inducted into Alpha Sigma Lambda (ASL) Honor Society, which is “the only honor society in the nation specifically instituted to recognize the special achievements of adult students. ASL is designed to honor the accomplishments of the adult learner who has displayed academic excellence and service to the University and community, while facing he competing interests of home and work.” For more info on the honor society, you can check it out here.

To be candid, I had the goal of graduating with high honors, which I missed because of a B I received in a theology class (and which I think was wrong…..but I will stop this ongoing tirade…..). I was able to make it to graduating with honors instead and I told myself that was still pretty darn good. But then I got the call from Biola about being inducted into ASL and I was surprised and so excited. As only a small percentage of the graduating class is inducted, I knew this was an honor that spoke of the hard work I had done for the last 18 months (and even the years before at the JC level.) So I was completely jazzed……

But I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge those that assisted and supported me during my tenure as a student:

~ Deana, who encouraged me when I was ready to quit, for tending to the day-to-day demands with the house, the kids, and general life as I sat working on homework, studying for the many tests, and otherwise being removed from many of the aspects known as “life” to those who are not in school. It should also be noted that it was Deana who encouraged me to go back to school in the first place.

~ Mom, who attended class with me and traveled the road of college beside me. She always encouraged me when the responsibilities of our group weighed me down or I hit any sort of wall – physically or emotionally.

~ Fitsum, my counselor at Biola, who has been supporting my academic career since I first met her at the info session Mom and I attended. She told me early on that I was flagged to graduate in December 2007, at which I scoffed as I had so many GE units to finish. I fought her on this, aiming for May 2008 – and yet, here I am! Her encouragement was constant throughout. And when I went to Russia in March with Deana, she stepped in and helped me rearrange my schedule, telling me not to worry about the logistics so that I could focus on my family.

~ Stepha, who made me laugh at times when my responsibilities seemed insurmountable. She also helped tremendously with the kids and the laundry (she is the best folder I know!) and other details that would take up pages if I elaborated in detail.

~ Rona, who assisted me by being the subject of many papers, including my biggest research paper for the program. Through it all, she not only opened her busy schedule to be interviewed, but she models many (if not all) of the characteristics of management that I was being taught. Not only that, but she has encouraged me beyond the “call of duty” and gave me the gumption to move forward even when I was ready to throw in the towel.

There are many more I’d like to add, but I am dry right now (it IS in the middle of the night!). All to say, while I was inducted into ASL last night, I couldn’t have done it without the many friends and family members that are so much a part of my life. Thank you one and all!

Answers to some questions!

Okay, back to my genetics post…..Liz was having “technical difficulties” and was not able to comment and RF also asked a question. So, here are my answers!

1. Where did you get your sarcasm from? That was a tough one, but I think I probably got it from my Dad. He has a dry whit and we would often play off each other. With my 40 years I have been able to refine this talent, I am sure!

2. Where did you get your sense of humor? This was also tough, because I have to say I am probably the goofiest in my family. However, both of my parents have great personalities and are gregarious. My mom was very social and my Dad is too. But I think wanting to be like my sister, who is very bubbly, influenced me the most. I saw how everyone laughed around her and fought to hang around her, and being so intelligent, I incorporated that into my own life. LOL

3. Who was the techno-nerd? I had to think about this too, because it certainly was NOT from my parents! But then it hit me like a ton of bricks – my brother Joey! He is a genius, seriously – super high IQ and sort of eccentric like I imagine Einstein was. In any case, he was very influential with me in academics and technology. (And, as a side note, was VERY loving to me and David…..he was our primary care giver when we were little and our parents went to work.) You might not remember it, but he bought the first “sort of” home computer (it was made by Texas Instrument I think….might be wrong) and it was tiny and plugged into our TV. He taught me how to program in basic….stuff like make my name scroll down the screen (I was like 10 years old). Before that he would program stuff at school using punch cards! Anyway, he gave me my own computer in high school – a brand I don’t remember – and it had TWO FLOPPY DRIVES and one had to have a boot disk! But I was happy to be able to do my essays and term papers on it instead of typing them out like I used to! I even learned how to write my own database program, which was SO archaic compared to today’s standards (this was in the mid-80’s). Then this was reinforced when I got married as he was a Computer Science major and had the first REAL home PC, the IBM. In fact, I remember the day when we bought a new computer and added a MATH CO-PROCESSOR and it was SO ADVANCED!!!!! The rest, as they say, is history!

So there you go! If you have any other questions about why I am the way I am, let me know!!!!

Updates and other Exciting Things

Well, I made it thru my 40th Birthday in one piece! Yeah! It was a great day! My friends took me out to lunch, D flew in to California, and I was able to eek out a late dinner too! Woohoo!

On that note, wanted to update my list for “inquiring minds”! LOL I am so pathetic!

• Final Cut Express 4.0 Software (for Mac….of course!)
• Steel string acoustic guitar (narrow neck if possible but cheap is cool)
• Leopard Mac Operating System upgrade – RECEIVED
• Gift Cards for iTunes
• Harry Potter book series, or any part thereof AFTER book 3
• The new Amazon Kindle eBook reading device. I mean, seriously, I think this was made for ME! The newest technology, the ability to hold 200 books, and it reads like a piece of paper! Freaking amazing!
• Video8 digital converter (so I can convert them to my Mac computer)
• Apple Airport Express
• Apple AirPort Extreme Base Station RECEIVED
• Apple TV 160GB
• Borders gift cards
• Motorcycle riding lessons
• Starbucks gift cards
• Skydiving jump (tandem, of course!)

Thanks to all of you who made this day special! You have blessed me beyond measure!



Where I got what…..another diversionary theme for my 40th Birthday AND the fact I am once again awake during the middle of the night!

• Hair – a combo – curls from my mom, color from my Dad
• Eyebrows – my Dad and I still complain to him about it!
• Nose – yep, it’s all Minard
• Dimples – my Grandma Minard
• Teeth – my Dad, even the missing adult ones INCLUDING NO WISDOM TEETH! I do have to thank him, though, I have had like 2 cavities in my life.
• Complexion – my white skin is all from my Mom!
• Blue Eyes – From my Grandpa Gates
• Left Handedness – from my Daddy WOOHOO!
• My Goofiness – I really do not even know this one! Although it all started when I was a toddler and I ran up to a black man screaming “Daddy!” My mother was a little embarrassed……
• Love for Music – a mix here; my Mom’s side has tons of musical talent so I think I got my desire to be a musician from her (such that I am, that is!). My love for rock et al is all from my Dad though! I still remember knowing he was home from work because I heard his car radio blaring as he drove into the driveway!
• My love for Christ – well, my Dad was very devout when I was growing up, so that was certainly foundational for me. Then I got my first Bible from my sister Linda in December 1977, which I still have today. Actually, Kenny uses it now! It’s awesome to have it – especially her note to me…..priceless.
• Athletic Ability – yes, I still have this to some extent even though I am OLD! I always believe I got this from my Dad, and I don’t disagree with this at all. Most of my youth was spent playing sports with Dad (or catch or whatever!). I love this part of my life! But I also know that my Mom had skills too – she ran pretty fast and was athletic when she was young, too. Although, admittedly, I never saw it with my own eyes! ☺
• Love for Reading – all from my Dad! But reinforced by my brother Joey.
• Love for Weirdness – I have to say I inherited this from my brother Joey. And yes, he would not be thrilled that I added the “y” to his name! Something about him being in his 50’s…..

• Height – I believe I got this from my Grandma Minard……only because she and I were the exact same height for most of my life…..but then she started shrinking and that did not make her very pleased! LOL

That’s all I can think of right now! If you have a question regarding where a certain trait of mine came from, post a comment!

The Countdown!

This picture was taken of me in 5th Grade and was, perhaps, the first image that proves that I can actually tan! I was so very happy! What you can’t tell is that my best friend, Kristi Robinson, was wearing the same top as I was. We were SO JAZZED to be so “cool”, showing up with the same tops on the classroom picture sheet! I wish I still had that, although the image is still very clear in my mind.

So how does this walk down memory lane tie to the countdown? Well, turning 40 has a way of making you look back over the years. This picture was taken a few months before my 11th birthday. On a side note, did you know in California the cut off for starting kindergarten is December 2? That means I just missed the cut off and actually started kindergarten when I was almost 6. But it worked out well when it was time to assign students to driver’s ed…..I was one of the oldest!

ANYWAY, tomorrow – technically at 11am – I will be 40. It’s weird to hear that, weird to accept that number when inside I don’t resonate with the stereotypical reaction to the age. But what DOES 40 mean? Does it mean I am getting old? I don’t think so. I look at my Dad, whose age will remain anonymous, and although his knees still bug him, he is still young. I think of my Grandma, who at age 80 was kicking butt and taking names……and still made me lose my breath because she walked so fast and far! So what do I have to fear?

I have lived 39 amazing years….well, technically almost 40! I have been blessed with so many things – family, friends, relationships come and gone……it’s amazing really how full my life has been! And the amazing thing is, it doesn’t end here! By the grace of God, I will have many more days to laugh, cry, learn, grow, bless others……..wow!

So tomorrow is the day! My cousin Christine, who turned 40 a few weeks ago, assures me that this is going to rock – and I believe her! I have friends who have already traveled this road and they are pretty cool, so I look forward to trying to be like them! (Notice there are no names! LOL!) So, to that I say BRING IT ON!

OH, and I am wondering, when you get “this age”, is it normal to wake up in the middle of the night? LOL