Day 16 - Plano Fun

Trip Start May 18, 2008
Trip End Jul 17, 2008

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Where I stayed
The Bennett's Plano Home

Flag of United States  , Texas
Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Day 16

I started off the day with hopes of seeing the sites in Dallas. Since it was the first day that'd I have to find things to do while Casey was at work, I thought I should ask where I should go. The response I heard over and over was the DMA - Dallas Museum of Art.

I first met Casey Bennett, like the others, at the Florida Nature and Culture Center in Fort Lauderdale at the annual national conference for students last summer. We were on the same shuttle to FNCC getting picked up from the airport, sitting the same back row with a few other youth members. The first thing I noticed about the man was that he was loud and very animated. You couldn't miss him at the conference. What I thought was, oh, attention whore. But in the end, the penetrating impression that he made on everyone including myself was his sincere desire to make a connection with everyone. A guy with a huge heart.

Casey works in the service department at Nortel, a leading company in providing communication and networking technologies for businesses. I got up early enough to catch Casey for some early morning chanting before he worked. The plan was to meet up with him for lunch and then go see the sites. Well, the former happened. I drove to his office, I'm sorry - campus, at around one. The place was huge. We ate in the cafeteria and as were getting food, he stopped by every other person to say hi and see how they were doing. He caught one of his friends, Tam, in line behind me and got him to eat with us. We got a chance to talk about Nortel as a company and also the specifics to Dallas since I was a visitor. It was good food too.

He took me up to his office after the food to introduce me to his coworkers. I didn't know the office was that open to these sort of things but I was hanging around meeting people for about 15 minutes while he was "working". Great people. Also, they also seemed to have great relationships with Casey, clearly the office clown. It's a good thing. He keeps the office joyful.

Now, off to the DMA? That was the plan but I got back home and the fatigue hit me. Also the fact that I had to catch up on the writing did. So I did both rest and write. I'll do it tomorrow.

Casey got home and we decided to go to a chanting meeting that friend was hosting. Patrick, who lives pretty close, was having some guys over to chant with him for about an hour. So we went and got a chance to sit down and talk before we chanted. Patrick is from Connecticut and moved to Houston and ultimately to Dallas. He wants to move once his boyfriend is finished with school. We got our hour of chanting in and then decided to take Casey out, since it's his birthday tomorrow and eat at Obzeet. Another friend, Tomo joined us. We ate some pretty good food and ended up studying at the restaurant the letters written by Nichiren Daishonin (called the Gosho), the founder of Nichiren Buddhism, because the mood struck us.

After this outing, Casey was set up to meet with some other friends at The Fillmore Pub. These friends were mostly through college but Eddie Mowrer was also there to hang out with us. Eddie and I have a funny connection. At one time, an SGI-USA intern stationed in Washington, DC, I met him when we had our first UMBC campus Buddhist club meeting. A man was handing out MY flyers in the academic corridor and I didn't know the man. Strangest thing ever! And I find out that he volunteered through the DC Region to support our activity, without notification to me of course. Funny how first meetings are. We all ended up watching the Stanley Cup finals where the Penguins edged out the Red Wings in 3OT making the series 3-2. It got late but it was a good night.

Miles driven today: 19.0mi

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