The trunk monkeys are back together for a final three weeks of training. Let’s just say, $!t’s getting real. I have two big jobs, a final exam, and a final presentation left.

“Look what I brought back for you. All the way from Seattle…” *middle finger* -SoccerDad.

“Okankwo, how was your break? Did you eat Thanksgiving dinner?”


“What did you eat?”

“I don’t know. There were a lot of things.”-O

I used to pretend to be too busy to do things. Now, I legitimately forget because I’m busy. Weird.

I am first engineer for our job tomorrow. As I have mentioned before, this stresses me out. Not since playing competitive soccer have I felt this intense about performing well at anything. This is the cover sheet for the job I am doing tomorrow:

Pretend client?

When we do jobs, we always have a pretend company. Previous themes include Spaceballs, Avatar, OU football, Big Texan Oil, and Chevrolet. This job is my favorite so far.

Road trip adjourned

Sadly, my break from work has come to an end. My trip out west was very fun. My some of my co workers met some of my college friends. This was a pleasant mix. I ate a lot of road trip food. Guissepe inspired me to try this concoction. “Go to the gas station and get a bag of flamin’ hot cheetos. Open the bag while you’re still in the gas station and pour nacho cheese in it.” This was a fantastic meal, and I recommend it to anyone.

“Oh!! Look at all the pretty colors!” – Edwin enjoyed the rainbow bandage Kesha gave to him.

“How does it break wind?” -Albert

“You can still [drive] without a [license], but you can not play x box without an x box.”  -Former Neighbor

Visiting with dear friends. Making faces at the camera.

It feels great to visit friends and hear all the great things they are doing. I hope to be able to visit often.

 On the drive, I saw the Texas panhandle. Yikes… There is a truck stop there called “Jesus Christ is Lord Travel Stop”. We also drove past a cow…. farm? I am not sure of the correct term for this venue. There was a sign that said “Quality Beef.” It smelled horrible, and I saw hundreds of cows sharing tight quarters. “I wonder what the specifications are on those cows?”- This is how I tried to express “How much acreage does a cow in the panhandle need to graze.”

Texas panhandle

The small shadow is the tram car in which we rode up the mountain :



Edwin and Albert made their way down to the valley and experienced the desert for the first time. Edwin was so fascinated with the landscape in Phoenix, he rummaged through someone’s yard trash, stole a giant palm tree branch, stored it in the bed of my pickup truck, and drove it back to Oklahoma. Edwin now has a palm tree branch that is roughly 9 ft tall. While in the desert, Albert and Edwin tried cactus fries. Inspired by this southwest cuisine, Edwin decided to cut off part of a cactus to take it home and cook. Edwin also tried to hug a cactus. Kesha stopped him, as she is always the voice of reason.

Happy Thanksgiving and to all a good night

The last two posts were taken on my hike on Sandia Mountain outside Albuquerque, NM. Before hiking, we went into downtown to do some souvenir shopping. I got my new moccasins for the year.

I am now back in my college town visiting friends. I am staying in my old apartment complex with my old roommates and friends, Rabbit and Ke$ha. Upon arriving, I was informed of a moth infestation taking place in the apartment. The moths have occupied the kitchen, forcing Rabbit and Kesha to move some things around to mitigate the infestation and facilitate an extermination. This is the new storage situation:

“WARNING: This pot contains knives. CAUTION!”

 “Do you see the white stuff stuck to the ceiling?… Well, apparently, vinegar can kill moth cocoons. There are eggs stuck up there in the popcorn ceiling, so I soaked some napkins in vinegar and stuck them to the ceiling to kill them off.”-Kesha is so crafty.

This morning, I visited a close friend, Guissepe. Guissepe and I ate cereal and he made a pie for his family’s Thanksgiving feast. We named the pie a “Chunky cream cheese and blackberry pie”. It is exactly as it sounds.

I am full of turkey and pie. I miss this place. I have plans to visit my favorite pizza place and also my favorite burrito spot. This is me and the turkey leg I ate. 

"Growing girl needs more turkey"

“Never wake a sleeping Giraffe.” -Kesha

I ate Thanksgiving dinner at Rabbit’s parents house. Rabbit has a younger brother named Q-tip. I quite enjoy their sibling squabbles. We all give each other a hard time and sometimes I feel like Q-tip is my little brother too.

“I don’t know if I dreamed this or not… Laila, did you tell Q-tip to shut up?”-Rabbit


“Hahaha. Awesome.”-Rabbit

“Oh, well the oil rigger is here now, let’s go!” -Rabbit’s dad. By let’s go, he was referring to starting the party.

“I would just like to point out that at the kid’s table, we have an engineer this year.”-Rabbit

“Rabbit, did you tell Laila what I told you to tell her?” -Q tip

“Uhh, what was it you wanted me to tell her?” -Rabbit

“That she should buy me things now.”-Q tip

“Things like what?… I can buy you a key chain.” -Me

“He meant things like a car.”-Rabbit


Jake is the coolest instructor here. He decided to give us a generous Thanksgiving break.

“You all better enjoy Thanksgiving and Christmas this year. For the next 5 years, you will be spending every holiday on a rig.” -Jake

“What about spring break?” -Me

The open holers are stuck at the training center. Edwin and Albert have planned (or not planned) a trip to the Grand Canyon. I am headed west to Arizona as well. We decided to drive part of the way together in a convoy. We are in Albuquerque now. I must report, so far this road trip has been genius. A couple of years ago, I received a book for my birthday. It has 500 random places to eat around the country. We have stopped at a few of these places. In the beginning of our journey, we stopped at a diner for onion burgers. After indulging in some burgers, we somehow convinced ourselves to buy a whole pie.

 “So…do you want me to just bring this to your table? Are you going to eat it all now?” – Our server.

We have been carrying around this pie and every time we stop, we eat a piece together. I have been keeping a photo chronicle of these events:

At the diner. Albert devouring some cherry cheesecake pie

We stopped in Amarillo, after driving around the downtown for a while Edwin decides we have to eat this pie in an empty parking lot….

"Let's eat pie with our hands"

Albert and I convinced Edwin to not eat the pie with his hands in a parking lot whilst sitting in a truck bed. Instead, we found a coffee shop. I was pretty surprised by this place. I loved it. We walked in to find two people doing yoga. There were dozens of board games and puzzles, old furniture, couches, artwork, and people working on their laptops. Albert, “I don’t like this place. There are places like this near where I went to college. It’s where all hippies go.”

Note the creepy demon artwork and people doing yoga in the background.

I have taken many other photos, but they will be in another post. Today, I will be exploring Albuquerque, eating pie, driving to Flagstaff, eating pie, and driving to the valley.

Laila gets a speeding ticket

This one is a doosey. It contains a lot of stuff. Bare with us.

A few weeks ago, I took this picture off the TV screen.

Friday, we went to the Midnight Rodeo. We took Okankwo, as he had never been. Before we get there:

“They do country dancing there. Do you know how to line dance?” -Albert

“Yeah, I teach you.”-Okankwo’s sarcasm never fails.

We get there. All of the times I have gone to the rodeo, there is a large group of Whataberger employees. We usually form a mob on the dance floor when they decide to play hip hop. This time, we were a small group: Tommy, Beatrice, Albert, Edwin and myself. A group of various aged older women decided to dance in our circle. We took turns dancing in the middle. They kept encouraging Okankwo to get in the middle and dance. Tommy leans over to me, “I think they think he’s regular black…which is totally different.” We had a great time. Beatrice taught Okankwo to two step:


The DJ plays “Teach me how to Doug E”. The older women come back to dance with us. One woman and I are singing and dancing next to each other. However, she thinks the only words of the song are “teach me how to dance.”

Sunday, I do my first explosive pretend job. I am shaking when I have to arm the gun. Even though this is a training detonator and nothing is actually going to explode, and I am not actually going to get fired if something bad happens, I definitely felt the heat of being around this stuff. It was no help that SoccerDad was standing by to make fun of me. The trunk monkeys (My class of 7 people.) have a new “game”. This game could use its own post, and I may give it one later. For now, all you need to know is that we try to flip each other off whenever possible. (Example: “Hey, Jake wanted me to tell you…” *finger*.) I did a sub par job connecting two wires in a special connector thing. I had to cut them and get another special connector thing. While I am doing this, SoccerDad says, “Hey, I have an extra one.” I look up just in time to encounter his finger. Well played.

Some of you may remember BurmeseMan from my very first pretend job. He is known for memorable miscommunications like “suck it” and “catfish” when he was actually saying circuit and cartridge. BurmeseMan was my instructor during my job. I must say, I enjoyed him much more than I did in previous encounters. BurmeseMan carries nail clippers on his key chain. He uses them for cutting a particular wire. BurmeseMan also has super strength fingers. This particular type of wire has a plastic insulator over the regular insulator. The plastic must be stripped, and then two wires severed from each other. It is pretty tricky, but BurmeseMan does it with ease. “You all too young. Weak fingers.”

Saturday, I went to and from Dallas. I spent the day with my sister. My sister blogs. Check her out!

We went to the Deep Ellum outdoor market. I picked up a CD from Daniel Chrysler. It happened like this: Laila gets a free dubstep CD from some t shirt vendor. Laila then walks over to where the live music is. The guy playing calls her out, “How many free CD’s have you gotten today?” Laila feels caught off guard, “Just this one.” Daniel, “Would you like to pay for one?” Me, “I would, but I don’t have any cash.” Daniel, “Who comes to an outdoor market without cash?!” Daniel lets me take a CD despite my lack of planning. Check em out!!/danielchrysler.

 Not since the great ID offense double ticket doosey thanksgiving catastrophe of 2008 have I received a speeding ticket. (Not counting photo radar bull crap. Have fun serving me, Tempe. This car is registered 1200 miles away, suckaa.) However, I was pulled over. “I reduced your speed to 80 to keep this off your record.” “Great, thank you.” Big girls pay their speeding tickets. Also, for the first time, I was not upset at getting a ticket. Mainly because every ticket I have gotten in the past has been detrimental to my budget. This time, I just looked at the officer and thought “Thanks for doing your job.”

On the way home, I got pulled over again. Got a second speeding ticket. When it rains, it pours.