Panama City, Panama – Thursday 4/9

Slept a mighty 11 hours and woke up ready for coffee. (good coffee…haven’t found much yet here-that’s a little disheartening.)
Room service was wacky, we just giggled over the fact that they wanted to give us Froot Loops though we opted for granola and yogurt.
Mama had whatever cold/allergies thing is going around last week and so she’s still taking it easy. I’m good with that actually. I am not as gung ho about 12-15 hour days of sightseeing, trying to remember my Spanish, figure out how they do things in this particular Central American country (Uruguay was amusing because they speak a mishmash of Spanish with Portuguese pronunciation. Apparently it is the same dialect in Argentina. I got the hang of it eventually, but language processing takes a lot of brain power that I haven’t used lately, so I am out of practice.) Anyhoo, it isn’t too bad here. I smile goofily (I call it my happy puppy face) and start slowly. It helps that people here are really, really sweet and like to giggle along with me while saying their English isn’t very good. Its all fine and I’m digging the folks I’ve dealt with so far.
We walked down from the hotel to the main road , Ave Balboa, and I took a lot of pictures. Neat skyline. One of the things I like about it is that it is not just a bunch of skyscrapers in long, tall boxes in a row. They have twists and curves and decorations that make it unique, but still restrained enough that it isn’t just a bunch of garish buildings.
So. Very. Humid.
This is not a surprise, we are on an isthmus between two BIG bodies of water, I’m still going to squawk a bit about it. I’ve been ok about washing clothes in the sinks in hotels for as long as I have traveled, but I get a little soaked by the end of the day that I might not have brought enough clothes this time. Heh. Never thought I’d say that…of course I couldn’t find all my merino shirts since I moved, so I don’t need to worry about buying more, just finding the little boogers in all my carefully arranged clutter at home that I am still sorting out.
I really don’t think I brought too few clothes actually… i think I just want to wear my favorite shirt every day… not about logic, you see.
Had a snack of cheeses and shrimp crostini (that I picked out the overt onions and hoped wildly that it wouldn’t have too much other onion in it) and devoured both. The tomatoes here are very sweet and tasty. The shrimp crostini had a hot, sweetness to it that I loved (mom says it was too hot for her and that she doesn’t know who I am anymore ;) )

Tried to see if we could get on one of those bus tours to the canal, but since a bunch of presidential types are in the area, there are lots of cancellations. We’ll have to wing it. I really want to see the canal, then my Eiffel trifecta will be complete (Statue of liberty (both!), the Eiffel tower and the Panama Canal. I really should start a list or a book or something with wacky lists of this kind.)
Had a steak for dinner then went back to the hotel so mama could pass out. I was well rested so I was awake til the wee hours. I knew I’d feel it in the morning, but oh well.
Good trip so far.


Panama City, Panama – Wednesday 4/8

I chose the o’ god hundred flight to get me to Houston on purpose. (I have to keep reminding myself of that.)
It wasn’t so bad getting there and getting through security because there was no one at the airport at 4 am (no one in their right mind at least), but only having about 2 hours of sleep on a travel day isn’t my best option.
Sorry world.

I wasn’t crabby even though Starbucks wasn’t open (and no, I dont consider anything on the plane coffee at all) I even got a latte with a minimum of fuss in Houston for my connection. Really it was all fine – I was only about 4 minutes away from my next gate – which never happens… it was ony when I started dealing with the rest of the world that it all made me want to crawl under a chair at the airport and hide.
Mom’s present didn’t get to her on time before we left-despite Amazon Prime + overnight shipping fees (It was something for this trip we are on, so I squawked at Amazon and FedEx on Twitter about that) then my plans to hang out with Susan in Houston next weekend, as Iam going to be there briefly, kinda got all bungled and I started feeling the lack of sleep.
Anyway, I talked firmly to myself about how to fix it all without letting myself go too far into the anxiety phase and calmed down.
The things I thought would be issues just weren’t so I calmed down more.
Met mom in line for boarding and soon we were on our way to Panama City to explore.
I was still tired so i ignored my brain telling me it was stamping its petulant foot and that it didn’t want to go anywhere new and the rest of the day passed without issue.

Got a cab and the cabbie was playing some sort of Mexican radio sounding club mix. I liked it for the most part, made me giggle when it went into the reggae region, but it was somehow fitting to have it as a soundtrack for driving into the city. I didn’t get any pictures coming into the city worth posting…all too blurry from the crazy taxi ride. But hi-rise lights through the sea haze on an inky black coast reminded me of Hawaii or Monaco or some sort, very pretty in any event.
Got into our hotel (they gave us a cookie! Our access cards have a cookie on them! Now I have “C is for Cookie” stuck in my head.) Mom and I traded all the presents we brought for each other, compared travel gadgets, then I flopped on the bed and said “I want a steak and sleep.” We managed to get a hamburger from room service (Just FYI the tomatoes here are divine) I scraped off the onions, and reluctantly the guac-just in case, then devoured it.
I realized also that I somehow took out the travel sim chip OUT OF my unlocked android phone and therefore I couldn’t make a cell call with it. (“YOU HAD ONE JOB.” said mom.) However I had reloaded our account in the last couple of days in prep for using it here and noticed that now they have a VoIP option, and had already gotten that set up (also we test drove MagicJack and was able to make that work as well). Am an idiot, but I can sort of fix it most of the time. I can’t remember why on earth I took out the sim, but I’m sure it was very important and I put it in a very safe place. Mom just laughed. Sigh.

I slept for 11 solid hours in a well air conditioned room.
Good stuff.

Mucking about in Montevideo

Mucking about in Montevideo

December begins.

Went to Hawaii last week to mark the 1 year of Mikey’s death.

It was hard, but I had mostly come to terms with it given that he had congestive heart failure for the last 12 years and also he was having a pretty hard go of it this last summer while Tex was ill.

I have my own 1 year anniversary to deal with at xmas as well. I have no idea how I will handle it. Pretty much everything surprises me how I react. I either don’t and then it isn’t an issue, or I am startled by the tears and unhappy that emerges from the situation.

For instance, they had the Jobs movie on the plane back from Hawaii and I kind of got a bit weird over the fact that Steve Jobs died from pancreatic cancer as well. So I guess I’m not ready for that association yet.

I’m still surrounded by people I love and who love me, so I’m well cared for, but of course, I have to get through this shite in my head on my own when it comes down to brass tacks. This isn’t unusual and I am not afraid of it.

Kaiser hospice is still having a hell of a time trying to speak to me… not that I’m terribly interested. Apparently normal grieving processes are not applicable to fredlet brain. So, while I appreciate it, I’m sure I’m just frustrating the poor kind folks there. Mostly little bits come out here and there about Tex and his last days, or Lee and I will make jokes about Mikey and Tex and their funny little friendship and how we miss them.

I do miss him.

In other news, EDD continues to deny me unemployment benefits, the job listings that send me are ridiculous (just because I worked at a bank’s technology group once does not mean that sending me personal banker or teller positions will do me any good) and I’m about to try to figure out if anything out there suits my skills or interest… Lotto winner would be a great position to hold. Also personal chef to lotto winner could be fun, too.

Also, given the squawking of many of my loved ones about my snoring (I’ve always snored-it is my defense against marauding bears), I went in for a sleep study (not much of a study, O2 sensor and pulse meter one night… a night that I was congested, up too late and then had to get up too early to return the %*&^(*&^ equipment to Kaiser, so of the 4 hours of sleep they were able to monitor it looked like I was actually the living dead.

Standard recommendations: lose weight, stop haunting the living, don’t let the cat sleep on your face, etc… and a CPAP.
I have the test module (sleeping with training wheels!) for this week then will get my tricked out ride a bit after that. Guess I need to rewire the bed area and then figure out what Goal Zero power thingy will run my CPAP when I am wherever doesn’t have power.


But that will have to wait as I am almost out of money for the year (thanks EDD for taking $$ for the last 12 years from me for everyone else and not letting me access it when I need it). It was a good year, but I’m going to mark it over soon and start the next section of my life… it kind of has already started, but on some things I just need to say “Enough. Now done.”