Showing posts from October, 2005

Update 2

Today was Halloween, M's favorite (nonreligious) holiday. The house was decorated, the pumpkins were carved, and the candy was purchased and sorted.

It was a lazy day, spent around the house doing odd chores and just relaxing a bit. I made French Toast, eggs, and back bacon for breakfast. I then finished the cleaning up after the pumpkin carving event while M ran some errands around the town.

Also got to light the stove for the first time this season... anyone who knows me knows how much I enjoy making fire! Fire, heh he-heh heh. I think M may have become a little frightened at that moment. ;-)

Anyway, as it was a really nice day out, M got steaks for dinner and she made the salad while I grilled. She's got a nice grill, and it burns hotter than mine so I overcooked slightly, but it was still yummy.

Finally, we sat outside with the pumpkins lit and our fleece and jackets on, under blankets, and doled out candy. Had about 70 children show up total... not bad.

Now we're off to w…

Vacation Report (10/30/05)

The first flight was a fun-filled trip involving a talkative pilot (on a red-eye) and a lot of turbulence. Not fun. I only cat-napped at best, so was pretty tired deplaning in Toronto-- int 1 degree (celsius) temperatures.

Toronto's airport was interesting and I had to wait about 30 minutes to clear customs, then get my baggage, recheck my baggage, and then get on the pimped shuttle to go the other terminal. It was hectic, never having done that before, but everyone was very helpful and polite.

The second leg was a bit better; the flight was smooth and the pilot kept to himself. The plan was pretty small so that, at my size, I was fairly cramped in my seat. I did make the man next to me smile when I glanced out the window and said, "It's so greeen!"

Desert rat, born and raised.

M met me at the Saint John airport with jacket in-hand. Most of my worries and cares from the flight sloughed away right then and there! We collected my bag and drove to her home.

I got the grand t…

Nervous Now

Okay, I admit it... I'm nervous now. Butterflies are a-flapping away in my gut and I'm totally distracted.

Not nervous about M; she's the best thing that has happened to me in a long, long time. That will be fine. Only slightly nervous about meeting friends. I've talked to many of them via IM and through emails and they all seem like great people. A bit more nervous about meeting family. Hey, it's family!

But I'm really, really nervous about the traveling.

I know in my head that everything will be okay. That hundreds of flights have no trouble whatsoever. That thousands of people fly every single day. But that doesn't stop my heart from skipping a beat every now and then.

As my mom always says, "This too shall pass." And it will, and then I'll be in Canada. With M.

Holding onto that thought.

Pizza Party

The two most popular flavors of pizza are cheese and pepperoni. So, when my company announced that our division was having a "pizza party," I actually decided to join in. When I got down there, I counted 20 boxes of pizza sitting on the table. I opened every single box, looking for either a slice of pepperoni or cheese to enjoy. Maybe a Hawaiian. Something without fungus or veggies. What I came across were all specialty pizzas that had "the works" or "supreme" in the title.

I saw chicken supreme (mushrooms, onions, and tomato chunks), veggie supreme, "the works" (a little bit of everything), and similar. Every single pizza they ordered had at least two, but most had more, vegetables on it. Many had fungus (my way of saying mushrooms).

On top of this, they were from California Pizza Kitchen, a company that has a hard time leaving well enough alone. They used every kind of cheese you can imagine except mozzerella. The slice I eventually took, a chic…

Secret Santa

A few years back our group of friends implemented a (sort of) Secret Santa strategy for Christmas. This plan has saved each of us time and money.

Everyone wants to get gifts for everyone else, of course. As the group got larger and things like couple-hood/marriage and children complicated things and further expanded the group, it just became impractical.

In our group, the typical plan is as follows:
• Elisa is generally our “ring leader” for getting this going.
• She provides the emails of each participant to a family member who acts as the neutral party and then randomly draws everyone’s name and assigns one person to another (throwing out the off times when a person is drawn for their own name).
• A dollar amount is set (usually $40), and everyone provides a list of items to a generic location that everyone can access. We actually have a Yahoo! Group set up for our Secret Santa chats and lists.
• Each person receives an email from the neutral party with their Secret Santa person and they …

Mostly for My Own Peace of Mind

How M and I met:

She was clicking the Next Blog button, stopped on mine, liked what I wrote, and commented. This led me to her blog, where I liked what I read, and commented.

It then evolved into an organic process of talking, getting to know one another, and, finally, meeting in person. It just happened to start using the internet as our primary medium. We are still dating and do not know what the future holds in store for our budding romance.

I love relating our tale. It is romantic and involves the right mix of coincidence, fate, and recognition between two similar souls.

NOT How M and I met:

Via an Online Dating Service. I'm not sure why so many people hear the story related above and then immediately turn around and tell their friends that M and I met via an ODS. An ODS is a specific means by which people post stats about themselves, meet, and check compatibility. Many are nothing more than meat markets. The higher-end ODSs, like eHarmony, use profiles and detailed algorithms to …


When someone says hello to me by way of the generic “hi, how are you” (which usually comes out as “hihowareya”) I actually respond. And I do not mean that I say, “Fine thanks, how are you?” I provide an honest answer. If I ask “how are you” in return, I wait for an answer.

This morning I had two people accost me with a “hihowareya.” The first I let pass because she did not even glance in my direction and her stride did not slow one iota. I was irritated, but just smiled and nodded while murmuring something incoherent. That was enough for her as she nodded and kept going, quickly making it to the corner and out of sight. Since she obviously did not care, why ask?

The second person was heading straight toward me and made eye contact. When he gave the “howareya” I answered him and moved subtly to restrict his progress past me as I asked him about his health in return. I could tell from the quick look he gave me that he was slightly annoyed or taken aback by my interest, but then he recover…

Passport is in the House

The United States Post Office hand delivered my passport to me today.

One more step in my ultimate goal of conquering Canada has come to fruiti... er, I've said too much. ;-)

Canada, here I come!

Taste Quiz

I haven't done one of these in awhile.

You're SWEET!

You prefer the calmer, more compassionate things in
life and are loved by many.

Are you Sweet, Sour, Salty, or Bitter?
brought to you by Quizilla

Not for the Squeamish

You've been warned.
I am frustrated with men who tell me, "I didn't pee on my hands, why wash them?" I wash my hands each and every time I use the restroom and let me tell you one reason why.

This division of my company has approximately 160 employees. I work upstairs where slightly more than half the people work. Let's say 100 people. The division is pretty evenly mixed between males to females, so let's say 50 are male.

Each day, a majority of the males have to use the men's restroom at least once and some men multiple times. That means, each day, approximately 45 men are using the urinals in the upstairs men's restroom.

Most men hold their penises with at least one hand while using a urinal and nearly all touch their penises for "the shake" when they are finished peeing.

That means that 45 men have touched their penises and, at a minimum, have then touched the flushing mechanism on the urinal and/or the door to exit the men's bathro…

Never Easy...

Everyone has followed my travails in getting a birth certificate so I could get a new passport. I got my old passport February 14, 1986, when I was 14, and it expired March 1991. Time for a new one.

So I filled out the proper forms and sent them off after neither my mother nor I could find the original (which is still a bit of a worry-- where did it go?). Then the snafu of my credit union leaving Southern California and giving all of its members to a different credit union, so I was worried that the state couldn't cash the check I had included (since it was from the former bank).

Elation when the check was cashed. More elation when I received the actual birth certificate nearly a week earlier than expected.

While waiting for the birth certificate, I called and found a post office that does passports. I chatted with the guy at the USPS phone service center hotline about the charges, including expediting, photos, etc. Total of $97, he told me. Steep, but fine. I need this and it is goo…

The US Government Comes Through

My birth certificate came today, nearly a week early. Who says the US Government isn't on the ball?

So, now I can try for my passport next week. I know if I pay an extra $30 fee they can expedite the request, but I may or may not have it in time for Halloween.

But it doesn't matter, because I can get in with my ID and birth certificate.


*snoopy happy dance
*sings... "I'm going to see my girlfriend, I'm going to see my girlfriend!"

Near Death Experiences

So, I'm at the intersection. The light turns green for our side of the three-way intersection to go. I start to pull out. The guy on the left side of the intersection just floors it and takes off. Drives right through the red light he has, avoids the two cars turning left, narrowly misses me (as I was turning into the lane he was driving in), and just keeps going.

The funny things about this story:

1. As he swerved to avoid me I got a good look at him. He was doing a one-handed McCauley Culkin/Home Alone shocked look. Idiot.
2. My heart rate didn't even spike for a second. I took it completely in stride.
3. The guy next to him nearly went too-- I guess the first idiot was really convincing in his portrayal of "it's really green and we can go." Oscar-calibre!
3. I have yet one more piece of evidence that the life-lesson I learned when I was young, that I cling to when all else fails, and that has never let me down is still true: People are Stupid.

And a quick aside conc…

End of the Innocence

After arriving home from bowling last night, I stopped to get my mail. As I neared the hallway in which the group mailboxes for my unit are located, I overheard the words, "I love you, but...." As I rounded the corner, a woman, mid-20s at a guess, was sitting on the stairs and facing her (and me) was a man around the same age. He saw me, but made no acknowledgement of me that she could see, so she continued not knowing she had an audience.

"I love you but not in that way. We have fun together, but I need...."

Having heard enough and it being obvious the man didn't care, I loudly scuffed my shoes on the ground made sure to jam my key into the mailbox lock more loudly than needed. I was going to allow her the privacy she needed for these comments.

However, I couldn't help but take a couple of looks over and assess the situation. I love stories, and my mind was racing with who these people might be and how they got to be here, on the stairs at 9:30 at night, brea…

"I'm giving her all she's got, Captain!"

Awhile back I posted a blog about my TV dying and the desire to get a new one. Then I started noticing a trend that when the TV was "dying" the power to other items in the apartment also seemed to be affected. I called the front office to have a worker come out and take a look.

The worker, Geraldo, stood in my apartment for 20 minutes with everything turned off, strangely didn't notice any power fluctuations or problems, and concluded there was nothing wrong.

The power fluctuations continued and I saw a pattern; they happened during peak usage hours mostly, and only to my front room (which consists of the main living area and the kitchen). It affected everything in both areas of the front room to some degree-- didn't matter which plugs I used or whether the item was plugged directly into the power (like the lights). Got so bad that the TV would shut off, the microwave's clock would go blank, and my TiVo would reset and have to go through the power-up process.

I call…

Bowling Update (10/5/05)

Tonight's scratch scores:

191 163 233 = 195 average.
Overall average for season (to date) = 186.

Team: It appears we went 3-1.

I say "appears" because Jean, our usual female bowler, was out and we had a substitute (Tai's girlfriend). We had to 'guesstimate' her handicap since she didn't have one going into tonight and it looks like we went 3-1 for the night when that gets factored in.

Oh, and Tai had a fabulous night. Had a 183 and 175 when he's normally a 140-145 bowler. He's coming along. Getting much better at picking his spots and nailing the spares, which is one of the first steps to becoming a good bowler. Now if we can just work on the consistency, he'll be fine.

Now to get Arvin back in the swing of things....

So, we are now 11-9 (if the 3-1 from tonight holds up) on the season and up from last place to middle of the pack.

Go Jean's Posse!

Working Vacation

Okay, it is booked. I'm leaving from LAX on Thursday at around 10:30pm, arriving in Toronto at around 6am on Friday morning (terminal change), then hopping one more flight at 8:40am from Toronto to Saint John, arriving at 11:30am. That is a lot of flying! The trip back will be better. I have to leave at 6:40am on Sunday, November 6, with a hop to Montreal, no terminal changes, and then to LAX.

Hopefully I can find a friend or two to drop me off and/or pick me up from LAX. But, if not, the Super Shuttle is $45 one way and I'll book passage with them to get me to and from LAX, which is 50 miles from here (80 kilometers).

I tried to get a flight from John Wayne Airport, which is just down the street from me, but the options we saw a few days ago completely were booked up or canceled. Plus, each of those flights required three planes and at least two terminal changes, both ways.

As a reluctant flier at best, and a fearful one in reality, we felt that three flights and so many termina…

Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman

I'm at lunch and stumbled across this cool conversation between a Times writer and Joss Whedon and Neil Gaiman. It touches on a variety of topics and I enjoyed learning a little more about both.

Oh, and I picked up Anansi Boys this weekend and hope to settle down with it soon-- I've got nearly everything Neil Gaiman has written, comics and books. Great author, really tuned in.

Link to Article

Fruits and Veggies

Do Claussen Kosher Dill Pickles count toward my daily allotment of fruits and veggies?