Minneapolis is cccccccold

Picked up my mom Friday (had lunch with my sister, mom and sister's friend) and stopped by Chris' mom's house on the way home.Brigitte just loves Mom2 (Mom is my mom and Mom2 is Chris' mom, just so you won't get confused) so much. She growled at my mom and followed Mom2 all over the house.

We had tea, Mom2 teared up a couple of times, so did I, but it was a nice visit.

Got home and gave mom her list of instructions on taking care of the dogs and how to use things in the house (like the TV/stereo, heating, microwave, coffeepot, etc). We went grocery shopping and came back. I finished up some things on my computer for my trip while Mom enjoyed flipping through all the cable channels. She stopped at an old Bill Cosby special and was laughing her butt off.

I've got a cold. Coughing my lungs out. Great. Took some Nyquil before going to bed.

Saturday morning packed, went over final instructions with Mom, then the car service came to get me. Quick ride to Logan airport, quick checkin to Northwest (they are always great) and got a row of seats to myself for the flight.

Listened to Penn Jillette's podcast radio show on my iPod, read some magazines, snoozed a bit and tried not to cough too much. When I got to Minneapolis (13 degrees, wind chill of -2 degrees, no kidding), it hit me suddenly that I wouldn't be calling Chris to let him know I landed okay. I came thisclose to bursting into tears. Called Mom and everything was a-ok at home. Good.

Got the Super Shuttle to the Hyatt Regency. Another passenger was from Sweden but looked just like Matt Frewer (if you're old enough to remember Max Headroom, you know who I mean). Nice guy. His company manufactures and sells camping stoves. Only camping stoves. Talk about a niche market.

Got to the hotel, asked for a room overlooking the parade route for the Holidazzle Parade and they gave me the same room I had last year. Yay!

Unpacked, then freshened up to meet my writing friend, Dan Goodman. Dan was around when the whole Woodside debacle happened. He has also been consistent in sending cards to Chris' mom and me when everything hit the fan last month. He is such a sweetheart. We hugged tight and sat down for dinner. All I can say again is thank God for xanax. I teared up once, but did not cry in front of Dan (and the rest of the restaurant). My cough was worse, so I only had french onion soup and a crab appetizer. Dan listened while I poured my heart out to him. Then we talked about general things, writing, what he's doing, etc. I felt better talking with him (or to him, I mean - poor guy, I really dumped on him), but had to go to my room to take my cough syrup with codeine and get to bed.

Slept like hell. Kept having nightmares, weird dreams. Then at around 3 am, I hear banging on a door near my room. Some guy was locked out and screaming at his friend to let him in. Just when I picked up the phone to call the front desk to complain, I heard a muffled voice tell the idiot that he had the wrong room. Things got quiet real quick as the guy found the right room.

Got up this morning - they give you a full Sunday paper here - yay! My breakfast came - a bagel w/cream cheese, bacon and OJ. The chef threw in a sample of mango juice for free. How nice. Made coffee and sat to eat breakfast.

That's when I burst into tears. I used to call Chris in the morning to see how the dogs were and just to talk. It's going to be a hard day, but I have to do this. I have to get back to normal (or as close to it as I can). Once I do this first trip, the next won't be as bad.

It's the same as when I have to see someone for the first time who don't know about Chris and his dad being dead. There are always tears and it's hard, but then the next time I see them, it's not as bad.

Mom2 has been having the same problem. When she walks Brigitte around the neighborhood, she says the people she meets that she knows make her cry. But I told her - the next time you won't cry (or at least not as much).

Found two old friends I'd been searching for to tell - Jan Trickel from the US Consul when we were on Okinawa. I finally found her through her parents. She's in D.C. now. We talked for a long time. Steve Rummel, who was with Chris in the Marines in California finally got back to me and we talked for a long time. Plus a writing friend, Clive (and those of you who know me well know who I am talking about) called me and we talked for a good hour. He lost his wife a few years ago to cancer and we have a lot in common as far as how people react to you, the feelings you have, etc. He made me feel so much better.

Today I do a three hour training workshop for the pre-conference, beginning at 12:30 pm. Until then, I'm going to go over my Powerpoint, take a nice, long hot shower and hope I don't lose my voice during the workshop. The cough is still nasty and I have to see if I can find some Dayquil or non-drowsy cold meds. I thought I had some with me, but don't.

Now for a pitch - support a writer today (me!):

If you purchase a copy of my latest book, Net Crimes & Misdemeanors 2nd edition direct from me before December 19th, I will include a free gift bag w/tissue. The book is only $20 +shipping (that's 20% off the cover price)!

I have a limited number of books at my house, so order soon.



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