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10/19/03  Sun  (2237):    Charlie and I got on the road about 0930 this morning, made a quick stop at WalMart for a couple of things (he just can't escape WalMart!) then finally on the freeway north to Hollywood.  It was a pretty quick trip and there we were, on Hollyweird Blvd!  Found a parking space a couple of blocks from Mann's Chinese Theater and walked down to check out the hand/foot imprints.  Along the way we read off names from the stars in the sidewalk.  There were lots of people there, you could hear languages from all over the world. 

There were people dressed in costumes (will have a picture of Charlie with 'Elvis' up later) who would let you take pictures with them, but then said "I pose for tips."  I went ahead and gave the Elvis guy a dollar, he was okay.  As we were leaving the theater to walk down to Hollywood & Vine the weirdest, strangest dressed one of them all appeared.  I have his picture up on
Fotolog and I'll put it up here later.  I took his picture as he was posing for someone else and as he said something about posing for tips I walked on.

It was a long, hot walk (we were on the sunny side of the street, but I guess that's a good thing, right.  At least it is according to the song!) to the intersection but the city was nice enough to have some benches down there so we sat and watched the people go by.  I called Mom and made her guess where we were, when I said "Hollywood & Vine," she said "oh my God!"  She said to watch out for the locals, which I already was.  As we were sitting there some guy came walking down the sidewalk, yelling & screaming out things.  He sat down at the next bench, next to a lady eating an ice cream cone.  Sat there for a bit, continuing his tirade, then got up and left.  The lady sat there thru it all, licking her ice cream cone.

We walked back up the other side of the street, looking in store windows and people-watching.  Stopped at a tourist trap and picked up a shot glass for me and I got some keychains and zipper pulls for Kyle, Meagan, Charlie, and Heather then we got in the car and headed off to Farmer's Market for lunch and more poking around. Unfortunately I forgot to bring my LA map with me and Charlie's road atlas didn't have a close-up view of the area we were in.  We ended up on Laurel Canyon, winding & twisting up one side and down the other until we could find a place to turn around.    We ended up on the right road and before we knew it there was Farmer's Market.  Boy has it changed!  The original little area is still there.  I bought some T-shirts for Alyssa, Hunter, and Weston then we ate some BBQ which was very tasty, then walked out the end.  They have an entire new area, a pedestrian area with all kinds of high-end stores along the way.  Down at the end they have dancing fountains that do their thing to music.  The area reminded me of some of the places in Europe.

By this time we were walked out so we hit the 10 freeway, swung onto the 5 and headed home.  Then we were surrounded by a motorcycle gang, the Mongols.  I took pictures as they passed, then all of a sudden they decided they needed to get off and were cutting across in front of us.  After that it was smooth sailing home and here we are!

I have to work tomorrow, told Charlie we could go to CostCo when it opens, I'll make sure I'm home by 12-1230 to have plenty of time for a nap, then unfortunately he's on his own.  Tuesday he'll be pretty much on his own too as I'll have to sleep before going back to work.  I told him to feel free to go anywhere he wanted, don't think I had to come along, except for Disneyland, he can't go there by himself, I have to go to!

I have a bunch more pictures to do, but may not get to them tonight as I told Charlie he could play around on the computer and see if there were any places he wanted to look up to get ideas of what to do for the next two days.  Yes, I'm going to share and let him touch my computer!

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10/24/03  Fri  (1144):   Today is United Nations Day, too bad the nations of the world aren't really united.

My horoscope:  'Beware of strangers bearing Cheez Whiz.'

Let's see, what has been going on.  I worked Mon & Tuesday night.  Monday morning I went over to Jake's to get instruction in how to work the home theater set-up.  Then Charlie & I went over to CostCo and then I came home to try to take a nap, Charlie just lazed around watching movies at the motel.  Tuesday he was on his own and went to the zoo.  He did pretty good, forgot to stay to the right going south on hwy 5 and ended up on the 805, but he found his way to the zoo. 

Wednesday I got home a little after 0800, called & told him whenever he was ready to pack up and come on over, I needed to download pics from Sunday to empty the camera.  I've also been saving all my pics to disc & giving him copies.  After that was done we went over to Jake's, they're gone until 11/2 and we've got free reign!  We unloaded the cars and watched the director's cut of the movie Stargate on the cool TV, then went over to Claim Jumper's for lunch/dinner.  Oh boy, were we stuffed!  We even had left-overs to bring home, Charlie ate his last night, mine's still in the fridge.

We went back to the house and just took it easy.  Went outside and he called Meagan and Kyle and described where he was, had to rub it in!  Then it was just TV for the rest of the night.  I finally went to bed and Thursday we headed off to Disneyland.

They were open 10-8pm and we got there about 1015.  They've really built up the place.  There were a lot of people there, but definitely not as many as there would have been had we gone during high summer.  We almost turned around and went home, "it's a small world" wasn't open, darn!  In fact there were several rides not open.  Space mountain is undergoing refurbishment and won't be open until 2005, for the 50th anniversary.  The monorail was closed, Big Thunder Mountain is still closed - they had an accident a couple of weeks ago and someone was killed.  Then when we were heading to the Blue Bayou Restaurant to have Monte Cristo sandwiches for lunch we passed by The Pirates of the Caribbean and it was closed, it did open later and we went on that.

Charlie took off his hat and looked to see if it said Chevy Chase on it, we thought we might be experiencing National Lampoon's Vacation!  The sandwiches were great, they've always been my favorite.  We noticed there was no line at the Haunted Mansion so we hot-footed it over there.  They've re-done it, it's all decorated in the Nightmare Before Christmas theme.  That ride stopped a couple of times.  I guess Disneyland was having problems!

The Indiana Jones ride is great fun, and we also went into space with Star Tours.  We had another 3-D experience, "Honey I Shrunk the Audience."  There was a movie in 3-D, when they duplicated a bunch of rats they went running by our legs, then when we were "shrunk" the floor vibrated with the people's footsteps, it was fun.  We timed it just right to catch the parade at 1900, then went back down to mainstreet to do some shopping.  It was after eight by the time we got done and I was beat!  Walk, walk, walk, walk!  It was a quick ride home and then we both collapsed downstairs in front of the TV.  I dozed off and around midnight crawled upstairs, allllll the way to the third floor and went to sleep.

Woke up a couple of times during the night and was up at 0700.  I waited until about 0730 then went downstairs.  Charlie was up, watching TV.  He really likes the house, said he could get used to that real fast!  Came home, where I am now, to clear out the camera and save pics.  I'm going to go by the store, yeah, gonna cross the picket-line, to get stuff for meatloaf and baked potatoes tonight. 

Called Grampa and they'll be home this afternoon, Charlie doesn't know it yet, but we're going for a visit this afternoon.  I told him this morning I needed a day of rest so we're not going to go off on any adventures.  I've been going & going and doing something every day since last Thursday.  I told him that meant Sat & Sun he'd be on his own again as I have to work both nights, don't know what he'll do.  He may be stuck at the beach house, "oh darn" he says :)
10/28/03  Tues (0539):   I should have written in here yesterday, it was Cranky Co-Worker Day and I was a bit cranky at work!  I had given Charlie a list of places he might like to go on Sunday as I had to sleep before going to work.  I didn't know what was going on around here until I woke up about 1700.  Flipped thru the channels and discovered San Diego County was on fire!  One of the places on the list I'd made up for him was the Wild Animal Park, out there in San Pasqual Valley where there was fire, other places were down in San Diego where he'd have to take the freeway. 

I had visions of him being out somewhere and not being able to get back because the freeways were closed and he didn't know how to get back up here by surface streets.  I couldn't contact him on the cell phone so all night I had visions of him being lost or trapped somewhere.  I even called Mom and asked if she'd heard from Charlie, of course now she was worried too!  I couldn't call Heather or Meagan and ask if they'd heard from their Dad, that would just add to the list of worried people!  So I had to deal with all the stuff at work, plus worry about Charlie.

And it was a busy night.  I had two med-surg nurses working with me, so that meant I had to keep an eye on things and help out a lot more than would have been needed if we'd had our regular staff there.  One pt ended up on the floor, luckily she wasn't hurt.  The pt in the room next to her decided to yank out her IV, blood all over the place.  I had a couple of needy pts and one that was pretty sick.  Why are men such little boys when they get sick???  Once again I had a man who couldn't do the littlest thing for himself.  Remember the guy who couldn't adjust his bed because he'd have to move his arm from under the covers?  I think I had his brother. 

I had another lady who was such a sound sleeper that she scared me.  I said something to her, no response.  She was very pale, not moving.  I thought "oh no, she's dead!"  How can that be if she's monitored, you ask?  Well, she had a pacemaker.  It can still pace the heart and someone can be dead.  I touched her leg, jiggled it, all the while calling her name.  I jiggled her arm.  She had her hands clasped over her chest (all she needed was to be holding a lilly and she would have completed the picture) and I had to tug to get them apart.  Still no response to name calling and shaking arms or legs.  So I reached down to do a sternal rub; one rub and she startled awake, gasped and grabbed my hand, and then GLARED at me as if to ask, "what the hell are you doing!"  I had to explain what was going on.

Anyway, it was a long night as I didn't want to be there, wanted to find out about Charlie.  I thought of calling a friend to go by Jake's to see if his car was there but then decided I didn't want to know.  If it wasn't there I'd really be a nervous wreck.  Besides, if he was outside he wouldn't hear the doorbell, I know!  I came back from the store & rang it for help but he was sitting outside.  Or if you're watching the big TV downstairs and have the surround-sound on, I bet it's difficult to hear.

So anyway, I finally decided that if he was lost or trapped somewhere and had forgotten to take the cellphone he would have called Mom (his sister) or my home number.  So I calmed down a little about that (except when I thought he got cornered by fire!), then got to thinking he was lying there dead after being bonked on the head by the homeless guy that's been sleeping ouside the empty house next door!  We crack the slider every once in a while if it gets stuffy downstairs.  I had visions of him doing that while I was at work and the guy creeping up behind him and whacking him upside the head!  Then I'd have to explain to Jake why there were bloodstains on his carpet downstairs!

Needless to say, it was a l-o-o-o-n-g night at work!  Seemed even longer than the night before when I worked 13 hours because of Daylight Savings Time!  I finally got thru, ran home, grabbed a couple of things and hightailed it over here.  Okay, his car was out front, whew!  He didn't get burned up.  Now, was he lying downstairs in a pool of blood?  I came thru the door, down the stairs and I could hear the TV.  No answer to my calling his name.  I came around the corner, the TV was on and......no body on the floor!  I went outside and there he was, calmly sitting in the chaise lounge, watching the waves! 

I told him, "boy are you in trouble!"  He just laughed when I told him all I'd thought and said the cellphone died when talking to Meagan so it was recharging.  I called Mom and told her he was safe & sound.  I had said at work if he was sitting in front of that TV with the cellphone turned off I was going to kick his butt, I raised my hand about shoulder level and said, I'd have to kick up here, but I'll do it!  He said he'd seen the news and heard about all the freeway closings and decided to stay right where he was, "besides, I can't think of a better place to be trapped in."

We walked down on the beach again, the tide was way out and I was taking pics of the sun thru the smoke and wading around in the water.  Sitting here I can smell smoke; all night, everytime I woke up the smell of smoke was heavy in the air.  I tracked down all my friends and they're okay, I have one who lives in Ramona and she said the fire was not on her side of town.  Kathi in Escondido was packed & ready to go if necessary.  I swear I saw Rosie on TV, they were trying to load a donkey into a trailer and he had his feet planted and was not going anywhere!  The smell of smoke is really stong this morning.  Charlie and I were sitting outside yesterday evening, I sniffed, turned to him and said, "hmmm, smells like someone's having a fire."  He laughed.

I made meatloaf, baked potatoes, and salad for dinner last night.  Charlie said it was good, I have to believe him, he went back for seconds!  He said it was one of those meals that was so good you just wanted to keep eating and eating.  I like the meatloaf the next day, for sandwiches! 

I pooped out yesterday; after rushing over here, Charlie went to WalMart and I went to CostCo to get some stuff.  Came out just in time, I was parked on the other side of the street and it was street-sweeping day.  He was down the street & heading my way, I got out of there before he got to my section, yay, no ticket!  By 2000 I could barely keep my eyes open, hadn't slept after working all night, so I hit the sack.  Did wake up a couple of times, as usual, and was awake at 0500, which is really 0600 until my body gets used to the time change.

Picked up some more sandwhich stuff, fruit, soda, juice, etc. and a treat for us!  Shrimp!  Not the big platter I like to get at Christmas for all of us, but individual containers, mmmmmm snack today!

Sammy is rumpity-rumpiting around, guess I'll go play with him.  Charlie played with him Sat night and now Sammy likes him :)

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