January 16, 2004


Monday: Dare To Be Normal
A couple of stories this week: both funny, one a little bit sad.

I am writing this over the Atlantic on my way to England, Ireland and Scotland. I flew out of Denver International Airport at about 10:30 this morning and I just finished dinner; it’s about seven Mountain Time.

I walk with a cane these days, thanks to MS. One of the plusses is that I frequently get special treatment. Last time I went to Austin, I was pulled out of the security line and escorted through.

Today, I was pulled of line as well. “This is great!” I thought. The nice lady told me to go to line one. I thought it funny that the “handicapped” line was a further walk, but I was rolling with it. I got to line one and put my cane, laptop, and carry-on on the belt. Then I was told to remove my shoes.

Ouch. I had worn tennis shoes so that I would not have to remove them. I obliged, of course, and removed both shoes and my AFO ankle brace. Um, that’s the thing that lets me walk.I hobbled up to the metal detector. Did I play it up a little? Was I melodramatic? I’ll leave that to those who know me but I was not overly stoic about it. “It seems odd that they treat people like this in the handicapped lane…”

I was quickly disabused of my thoughts of special treatment. I had been picked out for special scrutiny – not disability. I was laughing inside at my expectations; it really is funny. The TSA people were very kind and professional. I got a good searching (no body-cavity) but they were kind and concerned.

The second story is funny in a more pathetic way. I have had some, thankfully short, bouts of double vision, which is a documented MS symptom. It has scared me, but if I just hang in there, it tends to go away. I got it last Thursday and it did not go away until I removed my contacts and rested my eyes. I was badly impaired for three days and very nervous, as I knew I would be traveling and working in Ireland for a week.

Sunday morning, I get a flash of inspiration. The symptoms, the cure, a feeling in my eyes – you have your contacts in the wrong eyes stupid!!!! I’m about ready for brain surgery, and I just need to switch lenses.

I need to learn to be normal. It is not all about my health. I, jk, resolve to live life a little more normally.

The good news is that I am excited about this trip. It should be fun. I usually hate the long flight and the travel, but I am looking to enjoy this trip. I will be seeing people that I like, going to Scotland for the first time, and staying a few days in Dublin. I am known for my dislike of cities, but Dublin holds a charm for me.

I will post some pictures when I have a chance, and I will be home next Monday – Cheers, y’all!

Tuesday – Day Two, Still No Sight of Land
My flight to Edinburgh was cancelled, so I flew straight into Dublin. I was looking forward to seeing Scotland. Some other time.

I’m staying at the beautiful home of some great people. Last night we had some outstanding Indian food. My hosts are good friends of the proprietors. It was a good evening. I stayed up until ten at night, missing the whole night (yawn) but I should get on schedule. My first appointment isn’t until noon.

I got up once in the night, wide awake. I had my laptop and Season One of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” on DVD. I watched “Nightmares.” That is a good episode. If you’ve never checked out this show, this would be a good first episode. You get humor, personality, and a good feel for the show. Back to sleep, sleep well.

Wednesday: “I love to program in C++”

I am interviewing research scientists for a position in Dublin. I won’t go into the stories, but some of the applicants were a bit odd. One very bright albeit English-challenged fellow answered every question with “Ilove to program in C++,” I think he may be the guy…

The evening is a pub trip with Investors and corporate superiors. Don’t tell anybody but they sometimes drink a little in Ireland. They are all good folks: serious but fun and personable. A late night out, an early next morning.

Is it Thursday today?

Oh, that’s early. Interviews are good today. At night no investors but a quiet evening with compant members – at a five star hotel.

Friday – back to the UK

The Marina/Harbor is beautiful. More good friends, a quick trip to the Yacht Club. Work tomorrow, old friends Sunday and home Monday AM – see y’all!

Posted by John Kranz at January 16, 2004 5:23 PM

Love Ya!!! Thanks for calling me everyday and thanks for talking to The Wonder Hound. She's not as pissed off at me. I still get the mild what-did-you-do-to-jk looks. I'm up a notch or two, I'm no longer scum of the earth. She may even be the bed hog that we know and love. She joined me a two in the morning.

Beautiful sunrises.

Love Ya!!!!

Posted by: Riza Rivera at January 16, 2004 9:06 PM

Pretty morning over the Harbor here in Chi. I sat on a frosty bench and had something called a "cuppatee" it's not bad...

Love ya to pieces, Riza and I'll see you on Monday!

Posted by: jk at January 17, 2004 3:40 AM