Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The long flight home.

Operation: Mai Tai is in full effect. All objectives have been reached, but overconfidence at this stage is very likely to cause me a lot of trouble down the line.



The toughest part of the trip is coming up fast on the radar. We have to actually get on the plane after saying goodbye. I've done all I can up until now. I can only hope our long drive around the island yesterday and the romantic dinner last night has had enough of calming effect on my lovely wife.



We're heading over to the school this morning. Chances are it's going to be a tearful time and I don't think I can say enough in what I'm writing to do the event justice. It's really mindblowing.

There's so many changes for us after we get home and there's so much of a difference in saying goodbye this time. It's our youngest child and she was the last child at home.

I keep telling Dellis that at least she still has me. That just seems to make her cry harder.



All I can say is that I think we've done the best we could. The time for second guessing the paths we could have taken is done.

I admit that I have plenty of sadness over the prospect of not having our youngest daughter with us, but I'm pretty damn thrilled to see her take those big steps towards building a life for herself.

Yay, Camia!



This is her dorm for the coming semester and it may not be the Hilton Hawaiian Villiage (that's where we're staying), I'm still a little envious.

We'll have to find what comfort we can. My wife and I will muddle through and find our own road in this stage of our life.



It's just good to know that even in this big scary world, we can always find some things to comfort us and remind us of home.

Good luck, Camia. You know where to find us if you need us, but just find us every now and then even when you don't need us.

We miss you too.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A mother's tears and tequila shots.

No matter how bad we feel about the prospect of returning home to an empty nest. I don't expect a need for a great amount of sympathy for our situation. We're still in Hawaii.



There's more than enough to see and do to distract us from the reason why we're here. A lot of people never get to experience the things that we're being pretty casual about.



There's laughter and even some frolicking going on. Well, Dellis is frolicking. I'm a guy, I don't frolic. As a matter of fact, I can't remember ever using that word before.



We only have a couple of more trips to the school to make. A little shopping and dinner today, then we'll be saying goodbye to our daughter and returning home tomorrow.

Last night I went to plan B and added a beer and a shot of tequila. I actually needed it just to recover from the parent orientation.

I drank the beer. The shot was for Dellis.



We're making it okay through the week. There's still a quiet moment every now and then. There's still the random far away look. I don't need to know exactly what Dellis is thinking.

I'm thinking exactly the same thing.



That's why I picked up some chocolate ice cream, Bailey's, and Macadamia nuts to snack on as we sat in the tropical night air on our hotel balcony last night. We talked and listened to the island sounds.

Okay, maybe I wasn't thinking the same thing. At least I was thinking something. I was thinking how much I love my wife and how much I want her to be happy. I want her to remember that painful memories fade. After they do, I want her to remember that we did have time for a little romance when we were in Hawaii.

Bartender, another round of Mai Tai's over here.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Why leave paradise?

It's a nice day in Hawaii, but I don't know if there are ever any really bad days in Hawaii. I do want to share some of the little fun bits from our trip so far, but I really want to go and hang out in the hotel bar.



Speaking of little fun bits, did I ever show you my daughter's luggage? Her big sister gave her the set.



Somewhere along the way, my youngest turned into a "Legally Blonde" college student. We got a lot of comments on the hot pink luggage on the way over. Maybe I was just paranoid, but I think people were looking at me funny whenever I was handling it.



I have to be careful here. Not because it might be insensitive to show pictures of my lovely wife at a vulnerable moment. It's because she might kill me for this. Really. We didn't even get on the plane before things got a little misty for her. Just remember, call the cops if the blog doesn't get updated for more than three days.



Camia's gotten moved into her dorm and she spent her first night on campus last night. Dellis is taking it all pretty well. Much better than I expected.



After we left Camia on the campus, we found one of the local Starbucks. We got our drinks then five minutes later, got back in the car. We went back to the campus and picked up Camia.

Yeah, it looks like we're going to have to take this a little slow.

We have until Wednesday to work out the whole separation thing. Maybe we'll be able to get on the plane on Wednesday, but I think I'm going to need some sort of a distraction.



Speaking of distractions, we also got to meet the school mascot. I have a complicated plan formulating for getting Dellis on the plane. It's rough right now, but I think I can pull it all together by Wednesday.

Unless she reads this. If she does, then it's on to plan B: Codename Mai Tai.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Life moves forward.

It begins tomorrow. Dellis and I board a flight in the evening to escort our youngest daughter (Scooter) to Hawaii. She's starting her first semester at Hawaii Pacific University and words can't begin to describe how happy I am for her.



I know how difficult those first days of school can be. I've been there for every one of her first days of school since pre-school.



Most people tend to be sad when their children leave home. I won't be an exception to that and neither will Dellis. This is the last of our three kids to leave the nest and I'm expecting to see a lot of tears flowing over the next few days. . .weeks. . .months. . .



Let me tell you how I feel right now. I look at my daughter and a thought keeps passing through my mind.

It wasn't enough time.

We've had her all her life to raise her and guide her and make sure she's ready for the day when she'd leave home. That day is tomorrow. She's ready.

We are too.



Yeah, I know. It doesn't sound convincing when I say it out loud either. I'm going to keep working on it. Who knows, maybe by the time she graduates, I'll be able to say it and make it sound like it's true.

Maybe.



For all the frustration and anxiety that comes with being a parent, the happiness outweighs the pain. Memories of any bad stuff fades and even now, the pain is hardly worth mentioning.

Remember that this week if I don't happen to bring it up.



Aloha little girl. Your mother and I love you very much.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Random day.

I'm sinking this week. Feeling a little under the weather, but I've got a lot of pictures that I wanted to share and a few comments to make on the Germany trip. Let's roll.

First up, Charles DeGaul Airport in Paris. Our flight to and from Los Angeles had a stop here. Two things that I liked, very cool design and all the female Air France flight attendants wore French maid outfits. Not buying it?

Okay, but come on, wouldn't it be a better world if they did?



Our field producer Karina heading to Germany. She kept the smile and positive attitude going all week.



Our field producer Karina coming home from Germany. I can't tell if she's still smiling. I was going to check, but she kind of growled and that scared me.



This was our home away from home at the media center. I actually managed to go the whole week without blowing any circuits in the workspace.

Don't ask me about the hotel, because POW! Electro-Man strikes again.



One million Catholics can't be wrong.

This was one of the main courses in the boxed meals provided for the folks spending the night camping out in Marienfeld.

Mmmm, German canned tuna.



Here's a Beavis and Butthead moment. As far as business names go, this bus company really needs to reconsider. Huh-huh, huh-huh.



Oh, did you know they sell beer in Germany? Heck, I thought everybody knew that's where you go for good beer.

Yeah, this was a good beer. . .



. . .and this was also a pretty good beer. . .



. . .and this one too. . .



. . .but the one below must've been brought out for the media and tourists. Not a bad beer (if there is such a thing), but not the stuff that I was expecting.

People kept telling me that this was the best local beer. Yeah, and lots of people over here drink Coors, but I wouldn't recommend it.



I guess some people were wondering if I got to see the Pope. Yep, I sure did. You might have to squint, but that's him in the back seat.

I think the guy running next to the car is the official car door opener guy.



He was pretty amazing. I think the car was doing about 45mph.

There you go, just a random selection from my week in Germany. Some exaggeration, but I'm being honest when I say it was an amazing experience. The work was really difficult, but it's great to be able to say we survived.

I think there's still a couple more posts in me for this trip, but that's all for today. I have a long list of things to catch up on around the house and I have to make sure I'm packed for my trip next week. It's not work related, but Dellis and I are going on a special trip to Hawaii and I've got to really be prepared for it.

I'll tell you all about it later, do you think I should bring a camera?

Ouch! Hey, stop throwing things at me!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

What A Life

It's a little difficult to compose anything coherent when trying to focus through blurry, tearful eyes. I just read Actionman's post today and tears started rolling uncontrollably down my face. Words can't describe how I feel about that man. He is my world. He lets me be me and supports me in my dreams. He challenges me intellectually, he fulfills me emotionally and he's the life partner I've always dreamed of having. It fills my soul to hear him tell the world that he feels the same way.

I really do appreciate that he has these wonderful opportunities to see so many wonderful places and I can't wait until I'm able to accompany him to some of them. It's close, I can feel it. Let's just get this last one through college and FREEDOM!!! (just a little freedom to travel at the drop of a hat - never freedom from the kids - that's a life journey too)

Thank you Sweetheart. You are loved beyond compare. You will always have open arms to wrap around you to welcome you home.

I have the most wonderful life anyone could ever ask for! So this is what a contented life feels like.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Till a' the seas gang dry.

Well, I'm home. The trip to Germany seems to have been a great success at my station and I'm actually pretty thankful for being given the opportunity to be a part of it. It's 3:36am and I'm wide awake.

Thank you, jetlag.



It's never easy for me to be away from home. When I'm on the road and seeing sights that take my breath away, my first impulse is to turn to my wife, Dellis to see if she's as impressed as I am. I can't do that when I'm on the road.

I grew up and lived sort of a solitary life. My loving wife and kids kind of screwed that whole brooding loner thing up for me, but that's okay. At this point, I don't even mind admitting that it makes it a little difficult to fully enjoy all the stuff I get to see. There's always a part of me that wishes I could share those experiences with Dellis right then and there.

After eighteen years of marriage, it's still nice to want that.

You might wonder why I still go on these trips if I get so homesick. I suppose it's just the feeling that it's important to take advantage of opportunities in life. Even when some small sacrifices have to be made.

It helps that I do get to come home and share some of it.



I can honestly say, now I know what it's like to be standing in a crowd of a million people and still feel lonely. It's just that part of me wanting to be home.



There's a lot of hard work involved in what I do. Lugging the gear in covering the mass on Sunday at Marienfeld was like carrying a six year old all day at Disneyland, uh. . .but without the rides.



I don't know if you could tell, but if you saw any of the coverage maybe you noticed that rain had done a number on the field. Sunday morning it was cold, overcast, and muddy. We were only there a few hours before the mass and made it out relatively quickly after it was over. I can't imagine what it must have been like to spend the night out there.



It's frustrating.

I'm trying to write this post, but it's hard to stay focused. There was just so much going on and I can't possibly summarize it and do it justice. A lot of the stuff that I saw, I'm still trying to process.

The window that I have open into the things that I experience is never going to let you see everything. I can show you the flower on the table at dinner in the restaurant of the Dom Hotel where we stayed, but I can't show you the smile on the face of the waiter as he helped me pronounce the food on the menu.



I can show you the picture of a guy with his arm around a girl during the mass, but I can't tell you anything about them. I don't know their story. I don't know if they're a couple or brother and sister. I don't know if they're close or if maybe they just met.

About all I do know, is that when I saw them I wanted to turn to Dellis and see if she saw them too. I wanted to be able to turn and put my arm around Dellis and hold her close, but I couldn't. I was on the other side of the world at the time.

After a week away, I came home today. I opened my front door and walked inside. Dellis was in the kitchen fixing dinner for me. She greeted me out loud and I quietly took her in my arms and held her close for a long time. We didn't say much.

It was just good to be home.

A Red, Red Rose
Robert Burns

O my luve's like a red, red rose
That's newly sprung in June;
O my luve's like the melodie
That's sweetly play'd in tune.

As fair art thou, my bonie lass,

So deep in luve am I;
And I will luve thee still, my dear,
Till a' the seas gang dry.

Till a' the seas gang dry, my dear,

And the rocks melt wi' the sun;
O I will luve thee still, my dear
While the sands o' life shall run.

And fare-thee-weel, my only Luve!

And fare-thee-weel awhile!
And I will come again, my luve,
Tho' 'twere ten thousand miles.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

I need a beer.

Sometimes everything just falls into place and all I have to do is snap the picture.



Having lots of fun losing posts to Blogger today. Now I'm resorting to just throwing stuff up and hoping it sticks. This is Anchor Reporter Sylvia Lopez and I thought this was a really nice shot of her I took along the Rhine River.



Anybody want a Royal with cheese?



Inside the Cathedral of Cologne.



Karina and Sylvia in front of our liveshot location.



The downpour that caught us off-guard.



The big-ass steak I had for lunch during the huge downpour. Cooked medium, with mushrooms and some stuff in German that I can't pronounce or remember how to spell (but tasted really really good).



. . .and Pele' (yes, that Pele').

I hope this stuff makes it to you guys. I tried my best.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Easy day.

I was up this morning at 4:30am instead of 3:00am or 2:00am. I have internet access and five minutes here and there. I'm getting some decnt pictures, but not nearly enough time to prep them and upload them. I'm playing it by ear and hopefully I'll have a concious moment to tell you what you're seeing.

Just remember to come back and check this post, it'll be changing through the day as I get a minute or two to type.



Updated at 1:30pm (Local Time, Germany)

I keep forgetting, I can't update a lot of these pictures because I don't know how to spell half of this stuff. I'm going to need to do research just to explain what the heck I'm shooting.






















More pictures to follow. I just don't have the writing time. Really, it's not that I've been drinking beer or anything. No, really.