Sunday, October 29, 2006

UPDATED: Holy COW Crash - the night of

First of all, EVERYONE is okay. Yes, despite how awful my car looks, remarkably, we're all juhhst fine. My Gma Rae was sitting in the front passenger seat and and my cousin Tyler's wife, Brianna, was in the backseat with their 2 yr old strapped in a childseat behind me. My Grams had to be taken in for x-ray that night and watched over at home. Her entire chest is deeply bruised from the airbag's deployment and she's still terribly sore, but she doesn't have a single scratch. In fact, she'd been doing well enough that she was sure and able to see the hairdresser the very next day for a new shampoo set.

Brianna had some glass picked from her face, and just last Sunday night, a tiny sliver more was removed from her right ear. She was scratched the worst of us, with a good pair of 2-inch long, thin scratches on the right side of her cheek, up near her ear. Right before we'd hit the cow, she'd taken off her seat belt to comfort her baby who was crying - ?!? - I know, I know...we were really lucky that Brianna wasn't seriously injured. Not having her seat belt on, however, allowed her to shield her son and to also keep hold of her fluffy Chihuahua, Issy. The baby had only a few tiny scratches at his neckline and some light bruising about his clavicle area, caused by the strain of his child seat restraints. And Brianna's little Issy, although desperately in need of a bath later on, not unlike the rest of us, was totally unharmed.

On Saturday, the day after the accident, I went in to see the hospital for a spinal x-ray to be sure I was fracture-free, and then I was treated for very mild whiplash and general muscle strain. I have a lot of muscle soreness and neck pain, but nothing too terrible. Both of my knees are deeply bruised, as both my feet had lost contact with the floor upon impact, both legs folding upward, hitting the underside of the steering wheel. Other than that, I have 4 itty bitty, extremely minor cuts on my face - - that alone is amazing because the windshield was resting on my face, laying over my hands and arms when the car stopped!!! Even so, I have only a few scratches on my left hand from shoving the windshield off of me.

What happened is this: Last Friday on the 27th at 7:45 p.m., I was driving on a small 5 mile-long stretch of rural highway between two small towns in southeast Idaho in Bear Lake County. On either side of the road, there's pasture, but both sides are supposed to be fenced. At the beginning of a rather straight stretch of the hwy road, an oncoming car passed me without time to give any kind of flashing brights to warn me of anything. Once the car passed and my eyes had barely readjusted, immediately thereafter, there was barely enough time for me to see a big black cow standing straight ahead. I didn't even see its head or its feet or legs - - just a big, very broad and very black cow side, and we slammed into her at 70mph, before I could ever touch the breaks. It was so fast, my Gma Rae never saw it coming, nor did Brianna.

So immediately after the passing of that oncoming car, my eyes saw the cow for a mere split second. The only reason I recognized it to be a cow is the fact that I already knew we were in cattle country, and I'd seen before what the side of a deer looks like in headlights, and this thing was black and 3 times larger than any deer I'd ever seen = thus, it was a cow. It happened so fast, I don't remember even having a chance to scream. I do know though exactly how fast I was driving, as just a couple minutes before the accident, my Grams had complained I was driving too fast [SIDE NOTE: Frankly, any speed over 45 mph is too fast for her. It's true Grams and you know it!], and I assured her I was driving just 5 over the 65 mph speed limit, having set my cruise control. So yeah, driving 70 mph, I hit that damn cow without a chance scream or to even hit the brakes.

As the photos indicate: All in split second time, the cow ripped off the entire front side of the driver's fender and bent that same side of the front axle, rendering that front tire almost useless. The cow then went up over the hood of the car, and shattered and caved in the windshield, and then the cow broke through my side of the windshield, and then moved further upward, falling off from the side of my car's front roof, denting inward and partially collapsing the car's rooftop, also tearing off the driver's side mirror.

What the photos clearly show, but can't exactly explain: On impact, the cow's side split and exploded open, and once she'd slammed upward onto the hood and into the windshield, the windshield collapsed and a trap-like door-like opening was created in the windshield on my side, allowing very wet, hot and very heavy and super smelly cow shit and cow stomach contents to funnel into the car, in a manner reminiscent of a salad shooter - - I had about 60 lbs of it on my lap alone. In fact, once the car had stopped moving, the wet heaviness and the steaming heat of all that crap on my lap, coupled with the firm resistance of my airbag, I thought I had a cow's head in my lap, and it was in that first moment when we'd stopped moving, not knowing what was on me, I nearly lost my cool - - although it was a no-brainer, determining what I had in my mouth. I think I spit and screamed for no more than 5 seconds, something along the lines of "I dunno what this is, I gotta get this off me, get me outta here," buhht quickly realized my screaming wouldn't help anyone.

Instead, I had to shove the windshield off me, and then I fumbled for the car's hazard lights and set the emergency brake. By that time, my Grams was able to crack her door open, engaging the car's interior light. We all began to frantically yell at one another, asking each other if everyone was okay - - any broken bones? any heavy bleeding? We all had cow shit in our hair and in our mouths, but that was really the very worst of it. Brianna called my aunt Brenda on her cell, who I'd spoken to only 2 minutes earlier, as later verified on her caller ID log, and Brianna told her we'd been in a car accident and to come quick. At the time, Brianna didn't tell Brenda how it had happened, but made it clear that we were all well enough that no ambulance was needed. Thereafter, all stuck in the car together, although I'm sure we were all in shock and a bit deliriously so, we actually began to joke around:

Me: Grandma, you got shit in your hair. You're gunna have to get a new shampoo set. [All of us then laughing together, knowing how particular she is about her hair, seeing her with the equivalent of a cow pie on the side of her head.]

Brianna: Well, now you can get your gray interior, Ang. [Referring to an earlier convo we'd had in the car while driving that night, about my Matrix and how much I liked it, and how if I had to do it over again, I'd change nothing except its black interior; that I'd prefer gray or beige.]

Me: The shit has really hit the ceiling. [Note the obvious photos included further below]

Grams: I dunno if I shit my pants or peed them! [My Grams is so small, she had lifted up and forward in her seat, enough so, the cow crap had landed behind her, so that she wound up sitting in it.]

The laughter wore off quickly though, as our surroundings sank in. We had to get out of that car. My Grams, with a 2nd adrenaline rush kicking in, bailed out her door, falling down into the bar pit. She had to crawl up and out from it, around to the back of the car. At the very same time, we realized 2 different cars of people had stopped to help us, including the car that had passed us just before the crash. Later on, once I had been pulled from the car, they told me how they had actually heard us hit the cow immediately after they had passed me, and that they had not seen that cow themselves until they were actually passing it, one second before I hit it head on. And another fellow and his family who had stopped to help, who actually got me out of the car, all said they'd seen the cows long before I hit one, but had returned to help move the cattle off the road, not realizing one had been hit until they drove up to it, lying dead in the middle of the road.

It was amazing how many people stopped to help. The first man at the scene, Jerry, who helped me get out, he gave jackets to Brianna and my Grams, and a woman, Katie (you can see the back of her blonde head in a couple shots), she gave us blankets from her car to keep us warm and helped to unload our things from my car. She even dug in the backseat to help find my cow-crap-laden purse.

The police were awesome and showed up 2 minutes after they'd been called. Also, my uncle Trent's boys, Tanner and Thayne, who could see from their home the lights of my flashers and the stopped cars on the hwy road, guessed right that someone had hit a cow (the second one that week), and they drove up the road from their house to check, showing up right after the 2 other cars that had stopped first. As Thayne and Tanner pulled alongside my car, I turned around and Tanner saw me first - - I think his eyes about popped out of his head, realizing it was his Las Vegas cousin who'd hit the cow they'd seen lying in the road, who's car was smashed, who had blood and shit smeared all over her face and in her hair. And shortly after the boys came, my aunt Brenda and uncle Kevin arrived in separate cars within 10 minutes... they'd been delayed some; my aunt Brenda was pulled over by the police for driving too fast through town, on her way to see us. It was then that she found out we'd hit a cow, as the policeman who'd pulled her over said he'd heard the report.

Just how lucky were we? - A very seasoned sheriff's deputy told us that night that if I'd seen the cow any earlier and had I tried to brake or swerve first, we would have probably lost our straight arrow trajectory, and would have gone right off the road, flying off into the deep bar pit, and we would have rolled at least twice - and we probably would have hit the cow anyhow... and we probably wouldn't have been able to walk away from an accident like that. But who knows...

What we do know is that I'd stopped the car just 4-6 inches from losing the car's balance and going off the road = any further and we would have had only one tire in contact with the road, which would have caused us to roll down into the bar pit. Also, past the point of impact, we could see where I hit the brakes, and that it took several feet before we came to a stop. Having not been able to brake before impact, and having lost contact with the foot pedals post-impact, I had hard time trying to secure my foot to the brake with all the shit piling in over my feet and the car floor. As for my steering, I tried as hard as I could to maintain a solid grip on the steering wheel, remembering the road was straight, trying hard to keep the steering wheel straight against the rightside pull created by the braking of my one good front tire. And couldn't see a thing!!! Nothing! My hair was plastered across my face with all the crap in it and in my mouth, and the airbag was up and the windshield was pushed in on my hands and arms, its bottom edge resting on the upper bridge of my nose! Once I stopped, the back driver's tire was clear off the ground by nearly 2 inches and the car was high centered, the front end tilted down towards the bar pit. The pictures totally fail to show just how slanted the car was and how deep the bar pit is... Anyone who tried to come around to that side of the car wound up standing only one-head above the base of the car door's frame.

And that poor damn cow: Once I was pulled out of the car and checked over by a policeman, I was coherent enough to not only take a gazillion photos of the scene, but to first locate flashlights in my car trunk and run off with Jerry down the road, in an effort to prevent others from hitting the cow I'd killed or any of the other cows out loose on the highway. We do know the owner of the cow was Dennis Hunzeker, by checking the ear tag, and we had several witnesses give their info. to the police. People who'd stopped and one of the sherriff's deputies helped haul the cow from the middle to the side of the road. We were later told that night and several times since then that it wasn't the first time the Hunzekers have failed to keep up their fence lines. The next morning, driving over to the accident site, in fact, one of the Hunzeker boys was out repairing the 10 ft wide gap they'd deliberately left open in their fence line. Yes, deliberately.

More details to follow... here and Part II here, Part III here, and here,
here and Part IV here , Part V here and Part VI here,
here and HERE and Part VII, the NOT so final word re: liability right here ...

This is my poor Matrix ~ pictures taken the day after the accident.

Holy CAR Crash! - the day after

I'll give the story later (right here), but for now, these speak for themselves...
This is my Matrix, pictures taken yesterday.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

6 lbs of Preciousness

I'm in Utah right now - - enjoying my friend Suzanne's latest addition to the family. . .

Do you hear that?

Do you hear that sound?

It's me - it's my ovaries, screaming.

Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be leaving SLC for family time in Bear Lake and more babies. . . I apologize for the noise...

I won't be back to Vegas until Halloween night ~

Thursday, October 19, 2006

I Can Hear Him Laughing

My parents were visiting not too long ago - - My father often comes to Vegas for work, but now that my sister is also here, my step-mum plans to come along from here on out. Anyhow, they were both here for 5 days, sans my lil' not-so-little-6'8"-tall brother (he's too cool now - want to stay home and hang with his homies and go to the home football games and the like, lil' stinker!), amounting to lots of endless shopping and lots of eating out and more eating out. [SEMI-RELATED TANGENT: I am SOOOO not a shopper = take me shopping, and you'll find me waiting it out with the men; ya know, sitting and waiting in those lounge chairs found in the dept. stores, specifically placed for men who've been dragged there by their wives or girlfriends? Yeah, that's me on a shopping trip (unless it's IKEA - I could roam IKEA for days, as long as I don't go more frequently than 4 times a year, however!); you can always find me wherever those chairs are located in the store. With me, if I go shopping, I know exactly what I'm looking for, I find it, I buy it, and I go home! END OF TANGENT]

Anyhow, we all had lunch together at a seafood joint one day, and I took these drink napkins home with me... For fun (or cuz I'm ridiculously silly -I think both are true), I'm going to mail them to the angel boy-O. I can hear him laughing right now...

I like the sushi one best, myself.

Farewell, my fellow, I mean, ex-blogger, dear ClosetMetro

Okay, until I checked my Bloglines account (why I did not do this first thing, I dunno), I was thinking this:

"Where'd Dave go? I know I've been an absent visitor in the blogosphere for a couple weeks, but man, I can't find C.M. - ??? I clicked his link in my blogroll, I checked Google... and I got nothing but "Hooter Jokes" - Hooter jokes?!? What the hell? Where's DAVE!?!"

Sadly, I've discovered that Dave aka 'ClosetMetro' has retired from blogging, but for good reasons! Good luck to you! And your lil' Dizzle!

Self-Portrait Day!

Today's my 'Friday' - - I should be in L.A. sometime late tomorrow. But today? I'm scrambling to get as much stuff done as I can before I leave town... I call this look my 'squirrely' face.
And see!? I DO have eyes!

Self-Portrait Day

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

"Sleepy Kitty Making Biscuits"

This one's great too!

"Sweet Tired Cat"

The best part happens near the end of the video...

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Even MORE Trivial Stuff About Me

1. Name someone with the same birthday as you. -My Gpa Billy, Francisco, Haldan and Keith

2. Where was your first kiss? -In Billings, MT, behind Shannon Jeppson's house, on the 3rd upper garden terrace.

3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property? -Yes; it's a naughty story and most wouldn't believe it.

4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex? -Yes.

5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people? -Yuppers.

6. What's the first thing you notice about the preferred sex? -Smile and hands.

7. What do you order at the Coffee Bean? -I don't, I prefer Starbucks, but rarely indulge in the purchase of any4 dollar drink, unless I've got a stash of gift certificate cards from work. Usually, I'm a "water's fine for me, thanks" kind of girl.

8. What is your biggest mistake? -Geesh, I don't think I could name just one mistake as the all time biggest one.

9. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose? -Oh yes, a glutton for self-punishment, I am.

10. Say something totally random about yourself. -I used to collect Pez dispensers.

11. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity? -Not exactly celebrity status, but more than a couple times (when my hair was shorter and more curly), I've been told I look like "Tia," the snotty niece in the movie Uncle Buck.

12. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows? -I absolutely love Pixar films and other similar productions!

13. Did you have braces? -No, but I went through 3 different retainers and headgear to avoid them.

14. Are you comfortable with your height? -Juhsst fine with it, although I find it funny that I'm the shortest in my father's fam, yet the tallest woman on my mum's side, after my mum, who was 5'8" - All her sisters, plus one sis-in-law and my Grams, they're all shrimps = 5'2" or less.

15. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you? -No comment.

16. When do you know it's love? -If anyone can ever find anyone who can answer this question, let me know.

17. Do you speak any other languages? -Speak? Um not really, but kinda understand, yes - - Spanish, German and I'm working on my French for my honey-man and his angel boy-O.

18. Have you ever been to a tanning salon? -Yes and if I could fall asleep in one without the fear of frying (and if I ever stayed longer than 10 minutes), tanning could double as naptime (although I have managed to conk out in less than 10 minutes of tan time). [SIDENOTE: In college, I was famous for going outside to study in the grass and for falling asleep in the sun, for a mid-study break = nasty sunburns on the back of my legs!] I haven't gone tanning in a couple years - - used to twice a week, 10 minutes at a time, prescribed by my doctor, for A, B and D vitamins 'activation' -?

19. What magazines do you read? -Smart Money and Time

20. Have you ever ridden in a limo? -Yes, a few times; highly overrated each time.

21. Has anyone you were really close to passed away? -My mother, in 1987.

22. Do you watch MTV? -Used to live and breathe MTV, but haven't watched it with any kind of regularity in years (oh, I feel old).

23. What's something that really annoys you? -When people don't return their shopping carts to the designated stow-it-here spot.

24. What's something you really like? -CAMPING!

25. Do you like Michael Jackson? -When he was black and a man, yes I did. Now, not so much.

26. Can you dance? Depends - I love dancing, but that doesn't mean I do it well.

27. What's the latest you have ever stayed up? -46 hours straight.

28. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room? -No, not that I remember...

29. What's your favorite jelly bean flavor? -Pear made by Jelly Belly.

30. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out? -Of course.

Monday, October 16, 2006

A New Kitty

Since I've been without seeing my fuzzy babies for 3 weeks now, a friend of mine gave me a new kitty here to substitute for a while, but although a cute concept, this lil' guy just won't cut it...

my pet!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

"You Poohed Your Pants!?!?"

Yesterday, I had lunch with my so dear, uber adorable friend, Ryan, after which, he knew full well why I've been feeling so in the dumps. So, knowing my state of general neediness, he offered me an evening of homemade quiche if I'd come over to his place after work, but I declined the offer, thinking I had too much to do. [SIDE NOTE: Ryan is The Quiche King. I love him only for his quiche (j/k, Ry Ry!).] Just before he'd be leaving work at 5pm, I called him back, asking if I was too late for quiche...

So last night as the kitchen timer ticked down to quiche-time, we sat on the couch together watching something I cannot remember right now - Seinfeld? Friends? I dunno. Anyhow, we were on the couch, both of us chuckling at the appropriate times, occasionally spacing out and/or blurting out any observations and personal thoughts unrelated to the TV show we were watching. At times, these various spontaneous declarations to one another would totally throw the other off, so that one would miss the words and meaning of declaration altogether.

The best declaration began like this: I'm spacing out and Ryan blurts something I first perceive as completely unintelligible, but instead of first asking him "Wha'd you say?", I take a guess and say to him what I think I heard (I do this kind of thing a lot, not hearing spoken words right).

Me: You pooed your pants?!?!

Ryan: "No, ...." [and he repeats whatever it was he'd said]
Me: Ohh. You pruned your pants? [I then glance down at the hem of his shorts and sat forward to give them a closer inspection]
Me: Did you trim the fray off the hem? [He grins at me and then stares at me in disbelief for a brief moment]

Ryan: "No, I prunned my.... " [He places vocal emphasis on the very last word, which now doesn't exactly sound like "pants," but I totally miss it, again. I give him a pained 'I-still-didn't-catch-that' look]

Ryan: "Plants." [I give him the same look again]
Ryan: "Plants. I pruned my PLANTS." [vocal emphasis given for each 'T']

Me: OHHHH! [I'm now choking up with laughter]
Me: I knew I had it wrooong... [Laughing still, I then begin to ramble on, amid spurts of our shared laughter, explaining how I had thought about our breakfast together last weekend, and how he had been wearing a pre-worn, yet brand new pair of shorts then, complaining about the already frayed hem... and Ryan then interrupts me]

Ryan: "Yeah. I guess 'you pruned your pants' makes a lot more sense, doesn't it?"
Revisiting that moment from last night has had me in stitches again today, at least 4 different times.
I love you, Ryan! You're a wonderful friend! Thanks so much for last night.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

'Disconnected,' or better yet, 'Discombobulated'

I'm sad and confused. Although I'm sure as to why/where it's coming from (no confusion there), I'm unsure as to what to do about any of it. It all just seems to involve the kind of stuff over which I am purty powerless. The attitude I choose regarding this, that and the other, is my only hope - or - it'll be the end of my sanity.

It's all so painful. I wish there was something more I could do to help alleviate the pain or better yet, obliterate the pain, but there's nothing I can do to that end. Sometimes it just hurts. And sometimes, all we can do is be there for each other.

By the way, if you're ever suddenly thrown into a state of upset and confusion, 'discombobulated' is a fantastic word to describe that very state of mind = it's the only way to go. I like to pronounce it adding "boo" though, instead of "bob" alone...

"Dis - com - BOO - bu - lat - ed"

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I could see me doing this... heck yeah!

First time I watched this, the realist in me was all "How could they do this?" Imagine how many people scoffed at such an offer, I'm sure... and how many thought they were nuts? and thought they were just plain stupid... and How many suspiciously suspected some kind of perversion as the motive for such a thing? And then I thought, overwhelmed by tears, it is so sad that we wouldn't all jump at the chance for a free hug.

It's too bad that half of us are too scared to even offer up a pleasant 'good morning' to an unknown passerby. Some of us, we can't hardly look one another in the eye and offer a smile without the fear of rejection... It's so sad.