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June 19th, 2007

07:28 pm

Stephanie (AKA "Lou") and I went on a road trip to Dallas the weekend before last. We used to do crap like that all the time, then we got married and it became hard to find time for such shenanigans. We decided it had been too long and made plans to ditch the husbands for the weekend.

We hit the road Friday after work. We stopped in Norman and met Lou's husband, Mom and brother at the Greek House, home of the world's most awesome Gyros. (Yes, my diet totally went down the toilet on this trip. I don't want to talk about it,. but rest assured that I'm back on track now though.) After dinner we briefly got back on the road. Then we stopped at an interesting bathroom. It was a gas station/bar-b-q restaurant. The bathroom stalls were made out of that wavy steel stuff that they make metal buildings out of. I'm sure it has some technical, manly name, but alas, I have no idea. I know that it is some kind of steel, it's wavy and my Grandfather has a shelter in his pasture for the cows that is made out of this same material. Anyway, the point is that this bathroom was interestingly rustic but also very clean and pleasant to pee in. As an added bonus, it had some very nice smelling soap which kind of made my day because there is nothing I appreciate more in a public restroom than nice smelling soap.

After the bathroom stop, our drive was pretty uneventful until we got into Dallas. We were cruising along real good with our Map quest directions, then all of a sudden, there were no exit numbers or highway signage. We couldn't find any signs at all. So, we got lost. I blame the State of Texas for their invisible signs. We went into a hotel for directions and were told that we weren't as lost as we thought and that it wasn't our fault because that section of the highway wasn't marked well. And that was from a local, so I feel justified in passing the blame for our disorientation on the State of Texas. . Stupid Texas!

Our hotel was right next to the Ballpark. We made it to that general vicinity and could see the ballpark. But for reasons I can't figure out, we simply could not find this hotel or the street that it was on. We called the hotel for directions and the guy had no idea what the Hell he was talking about. Then we stopped for directions and got no help. I was starting to think this place was invisible. I felt like we were searching for the Island on "Lost". We drove around the Ballpark about 5 times then all of a sudden, we were on the street we had been looking for for thirty minutes. I think Lou must have just been worn out by this time because there is really no reason why this should have been so difficult. We finally checked into the hotel about midnight.

We slept in the next day. We had planned to get up at 8, but Lou and I were enjoying the peace and quiet of our hotel room with no husbands or animals to wake us up. We finally got up around 9:30. By the time we were ready and had made a quick stop at the computer in the lobby for directions, it was lunch time. We ate at Red Lobster and then went to see Ocean's 13.

Now, I'm sure you're wondering why we went all the way to Dallas and then wasted a bunch of time going to a movie when we could have done that at home. Well, the reason we went to the movie is that there are several movie theaters in the DFW area that offer movies with descriptive video service (DVS). DVS comes from the same folks who do closed captioning for the hearing impaired. Instead of captions on the screen, there is an alternate audio soundtrack that features a narrator who describes the action for the blind and visually impaired. The narration is very detailed yet quick and to the point. They get a lot of bang for the buck with their choice of words and only give description during breaks in dialogue. It's really impressive to me how much information gets passed along yet, it doesn't feel obtrusive or interfere with the movie. It's very well done.

To hear the audio description, I get a special headset from the theater. The audio description is transmitted by radio signal in the theater and is picked up by a receiver in the headset. It's pretty cool. The headphones are kind of uncomfortable and I had to keep my head in a certain position to prevent static, but it was better than sitting through a movie and having no clue what's going on. I had seen a movie on VHS that had an audio description, but this was my first time to use the system in a theater. I really got a kick out of it. It was nice to be in a movie theater again. The description filled in all the visual details and I was able to enjoy the movie and understand what was going on. Obviously, I'd much rather be able to see the movie, but at least this way I can go to a movie and feel like I'm getting my money's worth. You just don't think about how hard it is to follow movies and TV when you can't see it until you are forced to deal with it. It's very frustrating, especially to me because I have always been a movie/TV junkie. Anyway, we don't have any theaters with DVS in OKC, so I decided to take advantage of it while I was in the area. It was time well spent. In fact, it was so enjoyable that I think I am going to write a letter to AMC and try to get them to put DVS in one of their theaters in OKC.

After the movie, we hauled ass to the Ballpark for the Rangers game. We had totally bitchin' seats thanks to Dad. He knows a guy who hooked us up with seats right behind home plate on row 21. It was sweet. Of course, the game looks the same to me no matter where I sit, but I get a lot of enjoyment out of taking up a great seat while knowing that there are plenty of guys up in the nosebleeds that would give up a testicle to have my seat and who would probably have a fit knowing that a perfectly awesome seat was being wasted on a blind woman. (OK, a testicle is a little much. Maybe if it were the World Series, but since it's Texas, we all know that's never going to
happen. You get my drift though.) . And in any event, Lou enjoyed the
great seats and we saw an incredible game. The Rangers were playing the Brewers. They were down 3-0 with 2 outs in the bottom of the 9th then scored 4 runs off a walk and a bunch of greasy singles to win it. It was awesome. Plus, there were a couple of incredible defensive plays. It was a lot of fun. I also really enjoyed the radio broadcast. The play by play guy was very detailed in his description of uniforms and individual uni related quirks by the players. It was really good for my uni obsession. I can't obsess over stuff like who's wearing their pants legs pulled up and such so I am always appreciative of radio guys who give lots of uni related detail. I really miss watching for guys wearing stirrups. I wish they would track that in box scores or something. Even better, MLB could just make stirrups mandatory. Stirrups rock.

We slept late again on Sunday. The plan was to go see "Knocked Up" in DVS. We had lunch and then went to the theater. Unfortunately, the information I got from AMC's website was incorrect. The theater we went to didn't have DVS even though the company's website said it did. The manager was very nice and gave us directions to another AMC down the street that had the service. He also gave us some free passes for our trouble which was very nice of him. We tried to get to the other theater, but with traffic and stop lights, we couldn't get there in time. We decided to just cruise around the mall for a little while instead.

After hanging out at the mall, we headed home. We made it out of town without getting lost and had an easy drive home. It was a good trip. It doesn't seem like we did very much, but Lou and I enjoyed our quality time together and had a blast. We're hoping to make another trip before baseball season is over.

As for this past weekend, I didn't do much. Randy went to the lake with some of his buddies and I chilled out at home. I went to my cousin's bridal shower Saturday afternoon. Then, later that night, the parents and I went to the casino. I lost Thirty bucks. Stupid slot machines. But we had fun, so I really can't complain too much. Sunday, we tried to kick back by Mom and Dad's pool but the weather didn't cooperate. We still had a nice day. We bought some crab legs and had a bitchin' Father's Day dinner.

I think I had something I wanted to complain about, but damn if I can remember what it was. Maybe next time. Later.