Sunday, December 28, 2008
As I'm sure some of you have heard we put an offer on the dream house referenced in the blog posts below. The house is owned by a recently famous (young and blond) actress. It was her bachlerette pad before she was married recently. She will remain nameless in this blog. The offer was summarily rejected without a counter offer. They deemed it not a serious offer and I was insulted, for a moment. I suppose when money is no object you don't really have to be realistic about the value of your property. Our offer was not out of line with today's market conditions but alas.
A friend of mine who has seen the dream house aforementioned put the comparison of the two houses into perfect perspective -- Our current home is the "BBQ house" and this house would be the "cocktail house". Truer words have not been spoken. The comment has stuck with me since it was made and has caused much reflection on my part. Do I want to give up the BBQ lifestyle? Are we no longer BBQ types but cocktail types now? Who are we now?
Our friends and family are aghast that we would want to leave our current home. They say how wonderful it is, well appointed, and whatever else tickles their fancy about it. A home is where you hang your hat, a place you make your own and is a reflection of who you are and often what you stand for or believe in. After much thought about the BBQ versus cocktail point I realized that whatever house we live in it will be made into who we are. Just because some blond bombshell actress thought it was her party house doesn't mean it would have been our party house. Sure, I mix a mean martini but that doesn't mean that we are party animals entertaining every night serving only the finest wines and cheeses and we never BBQ. hmmmmm well maybe we've started doing that this year......weird.
I suppose it all doesn't really matter because it isn't our house. Somewhere out there, there is a house for us. The perfect house. A house we will make our own. Until then, we will live in the BBQ house and continue to enjoy it.
Friday, December 26, 2008
People in Edmonton are out shopping, buying things, talking of the future in a positive light, going out to dinner and living life. It's a dichotomy from the current attitudes in Los Angeles and the United States in general for sure. In Los Angeles I felt stifled, muffled almost, and somewhat depressed. In LA where everywhere you turn there are empty houses, for sale signs and all conversations focus on the value of our 401k's (or lack thereof), the stock market, interest rates, and how long it will all last. Malls are empty and sales people chase you around the store like a pack of desperate, hungry dogs. Restaurants you used to go to are gone and the future looms like a big black crushing rock weighing down your every thought. I'm getting depressed just writing about it.
I will enjoy my time here away from the reality that is America's deep recession (or depression as some may say). I will no longer cling to fear that has become the only driving force behind every policy and decision that the USA makes. I will live my life and be damn happy doing it. Today is my day. It's a National Holiday in Canada for crying out loud.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
In today's modern world of air travel one must check in via the internet 24 hours ahead of time. It's just a necessity now or your line at the airport will be worse. If that's possible. I checked in last night on United.com and was greeted with a plethora of questions. Of course, there was the usual, enter your passport, nationality and all that usual International stuff but now there was more. How many bags are you checking? Wow, do I really have to decide that now? I haven't even packed yet! Apparently I do because I have to pay for each one and if I pay online I save 3$. Whoopee!!
Then I was presented with an option of paying $ 40 to go in the "Premier" lane. This would allow me to basically go into the shorter security lane. I used to be able to do this all the time when I flew regularly and was United Premier Gold. Now apparently, I have to pay for it! Another option was if I paid an additional $ 80 I could get double the air miles. $80!!! Are you crazy?
So, if I would have paid the $ 40 I would have saved probably 30 minutes in the security line this morning. Was it worth it? Who knows. I have made it to Denver this morning and am anxiously awaiting a delayed flight to Edmonton. Wish me luck and wish all the travellers stuck all over the US of A luck as well. God speed and good weather.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
The gas company came out and it turns out the old valve that we don't really use to turn on the fireplace was leaking even in the off position. It was leaking at 0.3 cubic feet per hour. For the record, a pilot light can use up to 1 c'/hour. So, the leak was very, very small. There was more than enough air circulation both above and below our house to disipate the gas. We couldn't smell it and a gas leak detector was required to even know there was a leak. Now for the lesson. If you suspect a leak and it is not an emergency, call your plumber, not the gas company. Obviouisly, if you smell gas, shut it off and call the gas company. That's my disclaimer. But if you've shut off the gas and wish to call your plumber, that would be best.
The Gas Company, when detecting any sort of leak, is required for safety reasons to shut off the gas. I understand that but they also lock the shut off valve so that only they can turn the gas back on. So how are you supposed to get it fixed? Their answer to that is to have your plumber shoot compressed air through all the lines to test it. This can be damaging to the pipes and the pilot light mechanisms and is usually expensive. The gas company doesn't care, they are just covering their collective asses.
We spent the night with no heat on a very chilly night in Los Angeles. We managed to survive and get our plumber out on Saturday to fix the faulty valve. The gas company responded within an half hour to turn on the gas but we were cited again for another safety violation. This time for not having our fireplace flue permanently blocked open. Doesn't that sound silly? Why would I leave it open and let the cold air in when I'm not using the fireplace?
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Since then the economy has further worsened, if that was possible. We've researched, met with financial advisors, consulted mortgage bankers, talked with realtors, researched market values, and watched property prices drop. Time has passed and still we can think of nothing else but that house. It turns out after all our research and crunching numbers that possibly it isn't just a dream.
Today we are going to see the house again. We are taking our tape measure, our realtor and our hopes. What happens when a dream gets close to reality? What if we make an offer? What if they don't accept it. What if they do?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
The event was in an small little restaurant on the west side. We walked in and immediately stood out like sore thumbs. We weren't blond, we didn't look like Martina Navratilova and we didn't speak an Eastern European language. Well I thought, at least there's food. There wasn't much of that and what was offered was a little different. Some sort of potato pastry thing, some dry salami, feta (?) cheese, bread and carrots. An interesting combination to be sure. Well I thought, there's alcohol.....and off I went drinking bad wine on an empty stomach. I'm sure you can imagine where that ended up.
I can say that we ate, we drank, we donated and then we went our for Ethiopian food. What can I say, I was hungry. As a parting piece of knowledge that I did learn about Bosnian orphans, is that they are not allowed to leave the country so people in that country are adopting them and using them as child labor.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Today, at the table my statement will be thus:
Gratitude is not always a spontaneous emotion; often, it's a matter of choice. It's a perspective of appreciation that doesn't necessarily make life easier, but it always makes life better.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Last night through the driving rain we drove up to Cambria for our annual pilgrimage. I thought I would use that word, pilgrimage, apropos isn't it? I mean really, how often do you get to use that word.....but I digress. For those Canucks reading this blog the U.S. Thanksgiving occurs on the last Thursday of November, always. Most companies, except retail and restaurants are closed on Friday, making for a nice long 4 day weekend.
This morning I awoke to the quiet that is Cambria. I ventured out for a morning stroll and was greeted by hummingbirds, woodpeckers, blue jays and squirrels. It was like a scene from Snow White. As I walked up the hill my thoughts couldn't help but wander to a quieter, simpler time. Why couldn't I live in a place like this? Quiet, peaceful, filled with wildlife and beauty..... Do these thoughts date me? Do thoughts like these happen only to the older crowd? Is city life only for the young?
Sunday, November 23, 2008
So, yesterday we were supposed to get our new AT&T uVerse cable TV via fiber + high speed internet. After waiting all day the tech called at 3:30 pm to re-schedule it for this morning, Sunday, at 8am. Well, I want it installed so I suppose I'll get my ass out of bed early on a Sunday morning.....
I know there are issues with installations and I understand that but sometimes it can be very frustrating. I remember when I was working on VoiceMail systems and voicemail was a new service. No one really cared if it went down. Then, as it caught on we could only take it down in the wee hours of the morning as now it was considered vital. We've come full circle with voice mail as now people don't care again with the advent of text messaging and the proliferation of cell phones and email. Well today, DVRs , cable TV and high speed internet are the same way. We were beside ourselves with the 5 hour loss of services today. And now we have to set everything back up again, setup all the shows to record, change our email addresses and on and on it goes.....
As a word of caution, AT&T uVerse is affiliated with Yahoo! so your choices of email addresses is extremely limited as most good addresses have been used already. My new email address sucks.
We are unable to remove reruns from our recording listing and the internet was installed with 3mb instead of the 6mb I ordered. We are awaiting resolutions to both.
We'll see if this is all worth the $ 30 a month savings....and the promised awesome picture and the additional features. One feature I'm excited about it the programming of your DVR via webpage. If I forget to program a show to record, I can log in anywhere and do it. That's cool, but will it work?
Monday, November 17, 2008
<--- This is her balcony on 41. Avenue of the Stars -->
Saturday, November 15, 2008
As the Mayor spoke I felt myself welling up. Wow, I was a part of this. I called my sister and she said probably the most succinct comment of all, "It's ridiculus that you have to march and rally and protest for this." Of course, she's up in Canada where human rights are fully granted including the right for all to marry, the right to smoke marijuana and the right for women to go topless if they so choose. What a novel concept, equal rights for all.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
But the real crux of the problem is the design of the hotel. I'm staying at the Crowne Plaza hotel on the San Francisco peninsula. The hotel is designed sort of like a donut where the rooms are the pastry all around the outside and inside, at the bottom or in the hole are the common areas. The bar, the restaurants and the pool. As I sit here writing this in my hotel room I can hear this one woman laugh in the bar. Everything richochets off the walls and up......up and up and up to the top floor so that I can hear every single noise. I feel like going downstairs and slapping this woman for her irritating laugh. This morning, I was awakened at 5:52 am by the sound of the bus boy pouring water into the glasses in the restaurant. I'm on the top floor and the sound travels so well that I can tell exactly the noise I'm hearing and where it's coming from. Last night I had to call downstairs and tell the front desk to turn the TV down in the bar, I didn't like the movie.
I should have known trouble was brewing when I walked into the room last night and there was this lovely little bag on the bed. It contained sleep aids. Ear plugs, a CD of calming sounds, lavendar linen spray and an eye mask. Ambien will hopefully save me this night. Please, I beg of you, save me.
Friday, November 07, 2008
For example, I will only buy clothes in a store where I can try them on. Oh, wait. Let's modify that. I bought underwear and bras online, however, this was only after I purchased the original from the brick and mortar store, walked around in them for a day or two to make sure, then went online and purchased a whole bunch more. In my opinion there's never too much of a good thing especially when it comes to bras and underwear.
What about that part you need to fix something? I needed bulbs for Dena's Porsche and could only find one in the regular auto parts store. I went online, and magically I received it. What about that lightbulb that just burnt out in the chandelier? Wouldn't you just run over to Lamps Plus to buy a new one? I didn't, I went online, found one and bought it. What is also great is that you can comparison shop. If I went to Lamps Plus and bought the bulb I would pay whatever they charged because I just spent an hour of my day doing it. I'm not going to visit multiple stores generally for this kind of item. Online, I shopped for the chandelier bulb, found one for $8 and then found a box of 10 on ebay for $ 13. I don't need 10 but I was going to buy two.
Our consumer based world is changing and only the creative, innovative and forward looking will survive from a retailer point of view.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
As we drove home over to our friends house I felt a stir in the air. Looking up I began to see leaves rustle and palm fronds sway. Ah, a little breeze. How lovely for a California autumn evening. During the course of that night we gathered around that glowing orb, drank champagne and patted ourselves on the backs while listening to inspiration. A man who stood for hope had won the presidency. An electorate had spoken and that emotion that only homo sapiens can feel had won; hope. Forget that he was the first black electee or even elected president, forget that. That was but a footnote in the larger voter message. That message was Hope and she was who voted on November 4th.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
Why is this country expected to turn out in record numbers for this election? Why now? Has the usual apathy wore off? Was the "get out the vote" message successful this time? Is it because it's a black nominee versus a woman nominee? Is it because George Bush is so stupid and we're all tired of it? Or is it because American's have been hit so hard in their own personal pocket books? Hmmm. Me thinks it's all about the money. Isn't it always all about the money.
Dena left the polling place at 7:30 am, the line now stretched around the block and she could not see the end. She called me all excited like a 5 year on Halloween Night, all giddy and chatty. She said she was vibrating. If only every election was so well tended.
Let's hope tomorrows post is also happy and full of elation.
Monday, November 03, 2008
Dad says, 'Well son, let me try to explain it this way: I am the head of the family , so call me The President. Your mother is the administrator of the money, so! we call her the Government. We are here to take care of your needs, so we will call you the People. The nanny, we will consider her the Working Class. And your baby brother, we will call him the Future. Now think about that and see if it makes sense.'
So the little boy goes off to bed thinking about what Dad has said. Later that night, he hears his baby brother crying, so he gets up to check on him. He finds that the baby has severely soiled his diaper. So the little boy goes to his parents' room and finds his mother asleep. Not wanting to wake her, he goes to the nanny's room finding the door locked, he peeks in the keyhole and sees his father in bed with the nanny. He gives up and goes back to bed.
The next morning, the little boy says to his father, 'Dad, I think I understand the concept of politics now.' The father says, 'Good, son, tell me in your own words what you think politics is all about.'
The little boy replies, 'The President is screwing the Working Class while the Government is sound asleep. The People are being ignored and the Future is in deep shit.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
That's it folks....a random thought...
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Sunday, October 26, 2008
An eclectic crowd to be sure, a mixture of twenty somethings, white trash forty somethings, dikes and rabid fans. Security was provided by a rough looking group of what could only be categorized as ex-gang bangers. Food was provided by Hot Dog on a Stick and beer was available in 16 oz. cans. You can see the demographic catered to here I'm sure.
My verdict? I cannot begin to tell you what a fun time we all had. We really got into it and laughed, hooted and hollered through all 4 quarters. There are 4 quarters in a roller derby. There are penalties and rules and when I was a kid I don't think I knew how complicated the game was. Watching it made me want to strap on a pair of quad wheel skates and some knee pads and get out there and kick some ass. If you ever have an opportunity to see Roller Derby, I highly recommend it. The 2008 championship derby is November 8th - I suggest you get your tickets now!
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
We went to the NLCS (National League Championship Series) Game 4 with high hopes. So much hope that we were talking of the World Series as if it were a done deal. We would surely be at the fall classic. Baseball is a funny thing. You are up one minute and crushed the next. By the 7th inning we were flying on cloud 9 - fans waving their rally towels and chanting "Phillies Suck". Ah, how foolish we were. The top of the 8th sucked the life right out of Dodger stadium. You could hear a pin drop as the 2nd home run soared over the right field wall. It was 7 to 5, Phillies.
As I'm often fond of saying, hope springs eternal. The bottom of the 8th and the 9th brought little glimmers of hope but it was soon dashed and the crowd of 56,000 streamed out of the stadium, quiet as mice. We were down 3 games to 1. If ever there was a time for hope, it is now.
Monday, October 06, 2008
Sunday, October 05, 2008
Awhile later I get a bill. There was a trick with the 15% discount. You see, first you paid the bill in full then they give you a 15% credit back to the credit line, thus forcing you to go buy more stuff to reap the "reward". That ticked me off. Also, I was a little miffed as I wanted to return something and just couldn't get over to the store. Time slipped away from me and I forgot to pay the bill. You know, I started a new job and was very busy and frankly, it wasn't on my online bill pay.
Another month passed, another bill came with late charges and the madder I got. I did pay the initial balance in full but was just pissed at myself for falling for the usual scam and refused to pay the late fees. It got to the point that the "major department store" bill came each month and I refused to open it and threw it in a pile. I suppose some of you might think I'm stubborn. That's probably true.
So yesterday I'm sitting in our house minding my own business and the phone rings. Is this Dawn Armstrong. Yes, who is calling please? They wondered why I hadn't paid. I was surprised it took so long. I told them the story of missing the first bill and being upset at the late charges. They waived all the late charges and zeroed my balance. And that, my friends, is where our economy has gotten us. A department store so desperate to keep its shoppers happy and charging on their credit card that they credited me over $ 90 in late fees.
Perhaps stubbornness pays off? Usually not.....
Saturday, October 04, 2008
Yes, I did tip it over on its side for a couple days and yes, I did tip it over upside down for a week. The moisturizer is very viscus and wouldn't move.
And mom.....The avon moisturizer gives me pimples. I'm too old for pimples.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Friday, September 26, 2008
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Monday, September 22, 2008
We used the Waterworks gift card in the true spirit of why gift cards were invented by retailers. Buy stuff you probably don't need. We bought soaps and a sachet for ~ $ 55.00. So, the theory bears true. I have a card for $ 50. What I want to buy is either a few dollars less or more than that. If I buy something > $ 50 then the retailer gets additional cash from me and someone who might not have come into the store at all has just spent money. If I buy < $ 50 then the remaining balance on the card just sits there and my gift giver has effectively made a donation to the retailer. Both not positive for the consumer but all good for the retailer.
At least in California there are now laws protecting consumers a little. A gift card can never expire, a retailer cannot charge a few for you to use it or keep it and now if there is < $10 on the card they MUST give you that back in cash. I love cash. If there is a small amount left over on the card retailers are allowed to start drawing down the money once a card is left with less than five dollars and unused for two years. The reason why Dena and I did not suffer this fate and have a card worth nothing is that they cannot do it on an unused card. So if you have a $ 200 Best Buy gift card. You go into the store and end up using the card for only a DVD. You've just triggered the fee cycle. If you forget about the card and discover it two years later the retailer will have been allowed to deduct fees and who knows how much you may have left. So be careful.
Oh, and by the way, these rules do not apply to Visa, Mastercard and American Express bank issued gift cards.....they can do anything they want regarding fees, etc. Surprised? I would hope you are not.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
The other morning I walked into my local 7-11, I have three of them that surround me and I frequent them all and pretty much know the main staff by name. I went to purchase lottery tickets because, hey, winning the lottery would solve all my problems, right? So in I walk to the 7-11 on the corner of Whitworth and Fairfax bright and early Sunday morning. Kahn, the regular guy who is always there, is snoozing in the corner and there is no one in the store. How odd. No one in a 7-11? I say "hi" to Kahn and wake him up. We chat, I get my lottery tickets and I ask him what's up with the empty store. He said for the last 3 months that business has been really down. Not as many customers and the customers he does have are not buying as much. We had a great talk about the impending election and how that might affect his livelihood and I left enlightened and thoughtful.
This morning I stopped at the 7-11 on Hauser and San Vicente. I wanted to speak with my Burmese friend. I don't come by as much anymore and he asks why. I tell him I'm trying to save money. He says me and everyone else. I tell him about Kahn and his plight and he says that their store is the same way. It must be true because when I pulled into the lot at 7am on a Wednesday morning I had my pick of parking spaces. About 6 months ago if I pulled into the lot on a weekday morning I'd have to wait for a spot. Things must be bad if 7-11 is suffering. Do you remember Reagan's trickle down economics? Well this is Bush's trickle down effect. Nice, eh?
Oh by the way, the Burmese 7-11 proprietor works 10 hour shifts (all co-owners of course, same family), 7 days a week. Ouch. He also wants to marry me for my US immigration rights. It's nice to be needed isn't it?
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Anger soon replaces the sadness as I think of how our world has changed so much since that fateful day in 2001. The Republican Bush administration successfully turned the American pyche towards fear. We became a fear based society. Afraid of the next attack, afraid of terrorism, afraid of our own shadows. We changed our way of life in every way including surrendering our privacy and liberty in the name of fear. We are afraid. A public constantly afraid is easy to control and that's the entire point isn't it. Ironic that the World Trade Center will be replaced with the Freedom Tower. Are we truly free?
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
As I rushed across 6th street to the Daily Grille for the party I wondered how I would have 90 minutes of uninterrupted time. I usually only get maybe one lunch a week so would this be the lunch? I only got 4 phone calls so I suppose it was a success. The whole experience was fun but odd. I don't really fit in as my title puts me quite a bit further up the food chain than the "gals" but I know they sort of want to accept me but they sort of don't want to talk to me. Also, I'm the IT person. IT people are a cross between saviors and police. We save you from your problems but in a company we police the network. We record, monitor and police where you surf on the Internet, what programs you download, what kind of computer you get, what files you can look at, and the list goes on and on and on..... It's a weird situation to be in.
Then of course there's the whole gay thing. They are all straight, either looking for guys to make babies with or having babies with their guys. That's a bit of an outsider feeling to be sure. Wow, I'm just freaking myself out just writing this blog. I feel so alone.
Friday, September 05, 2008
I'd never had the experience of having this particular weapon used on me that I can remember until this morning. A little early for weapons I might add..... but regardless, this woman at work walks up to me at one of the job sites. Being in IT now everyone wants something. They want you to fix something, help them with their computer at home, a newer faster laptop, get free software, get their music on or off their computer, they always want something.
So this assistant walks up to me in her tight dress (a little odd for a construction office) and high heels, leans over me, bats her eyelashes and starts asking me about a laptop with a bigger screen. Seriously, she batted her eyelashes. When I explained that currently we were out of large screeened laptops and that it would be months until we can deploy anything else to her she said, "well, would you save me one, promise?" There was a smile, some more batting of the eyelashes. I'm not sure if my jaw had dropped as I was quite shocked by this entire display. I kind of felt like I was watching it in the 3rd person.
Each time she's walked by me in the last 2 hours, I get another smile and eyelash bat. I guess she really wants that laptop, eh.
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
It's amazing how hiring a kitchen designer can open your eyes to the possibilities in your kitchen, make your life easier now and for all your remaining cooking years. I'm scared, yet happy to report that we'll be demolishing 3 walls. Yes, three walls. She'll be out to measure Wednesday night and hopefully in a week or so I'll have a sketch to post up here on the blog, so stay tuned.
Saturday, August 30, 2008
The new Vice Presidential candidate has the distinction of being in politics since 1992 and being a year younger than me. Now, I know........it's hard for me to be so sarcastic of a woman but come on.....seriously. Her political history starts off with her being on the city council of a small bohunk town on the coast of Alaska called Wasilla (1992 population ~ 5,000 souls). After that four years she graduated to mayor. Not a real big leap. At that time she fired the Police Chief (who also served as the library director because their just aren't that many people in Wasilla!!!!). She was sued for wrongful termination as it was alleged that she fired him because he supported her opponent.
Somewhere around here the Republicans noticed her. Probably not for her political distinction but because Pat Buchanan noticed her on a visit to Wasilla and her right wing views turned his crank.
After a 4 year dry spell of a couple failed elections she somehow managed to win the gubernatorial post of the State of Alaska. She took office in December of 2006. Yes, that's what I said, less than two years ago.
For the record, her name is Sarah Palin. Don't bother remembering it. She'll be but a minor footnote in history, perhaps even a trivial pursuit question.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Eye drops -- laser eye surgery and dry eye sometimes at night
Alarm clock -- it has a temperature read out, too, so when I feel like I'm on fire in the middle of the night I can consult the clock and see what the temperature is and curse the fact that we don't have air conditioning
Moisturizing creme -- I wake up at night and my feet are dry and hot. Weird...but true
Carmex -- can't sleep without my lips all nice and soft with Carmex
sleeping pills -- well, frankly, I live in the USA where you are go, go, go and never relax
Eat, Pray, Love -- see above. I am searching for balance.
What's beside your bed?
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
It's quite an irritating sport to watch actually. I do use the word sport loosely in that sentence. I mean, they jump up and down, up and down, over and over again and my eyes kind of get a little bouncy and I get a little dizzy. Then flip, flip, flip and its over. I suppose its a combination of diving and gymnastics but an Olympic sport?
As for the Olympics in general, I'm enjoying them but I felt the judging for gymnastics and a few other of the discretionary sports were skewed towards the Chinese. But, hey, what do I know? I'm only an armchair judge. Well, that's all I have for now.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
At this point I'm standing there a little surprised by the audacity of the whole thing but yet mildly amused as I know how this is going to play out. The kid says, "I need some ketchup for my lunch.", the owner says, "so you're just going to take it?". The kids says, "um, may I please have some ketchup packets?". This almost made me giggle. So, stealing is ok if you ask nicely?
You can see the progression of this story and the outcome was expected. The mother yelled from the door, "Well, (huff and puff) I'm never going to buy lunch here again." and stormed away. The owner told me that she never buys lunch and that last week they snuck in and stole some ketchup before he could come out of the kitchen. Do you think that the kid learned that what he was doing was wrong? Yeah, I doubt it too. When you're being reinforced from your parents that stealing is ok and you should be upset when you don't get what you feel you're entitled to, then that is sending the wrong message.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Saturday, August 02, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
In the data center I had just gotten into the bathroom to blow my nose. I've been sick for almost 10 days now and frankly, the whole thing is getting on my nerves. But that's another story. As I stood over the toilet blowing my nose on some toilet paper I thought, wow, I shouldn't blow so hard, I'm a little dizzy. I grabbed the wall for support and wondered why I was so stupid to make myself dizzy and then I looked at the toilet bowl. The water was sloshing about. Then it hit me.....EARTHQUAKE!! hehe It didn't last much longer than that entire thought process and I trotted out of the bathroom to lots of people running around making sure everyone and everything was alright.
5.4 in the grand scheme of things is not that big but, it is big enough to remind us that we do live in earthquake country and we should check those flashlight batteries and earthquake kits now. And all you people that have moved to AT&T uVerse and Time Warner cable modem telephones just remember.....when the power goes out, so does your phone service. And don't even think that your cell phone will work. I couldn't get a call out today even after our little earthquake for 15 minutes on my cell. But plain old dial tone works everytime.....
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Dena got me to lay down and pressed an acupressure point in the middle of my chest between my last 2 ribs. I couldn't find anything on the Internet to support that this is a real acupressure point for asthmatics but frankly, there is so much information out there regarding acupressure for breathing difficulties that it was overwhelming. It never occurred to me that this was an option and here I've relied on an inhaler all my adult life. Here are just a few.
After calming me down doing the acupressure she then applied Vicks Vapor Rub on my chest and under my nose. I remember back that my mom used to do this too, although she used to use safety pins to put a washcloth between my jammies and the Vicks. I now know why she did this as the Vicks discolors your clothes. But alas, a trip to the emergency room was averted once more. Dena often jokes to anyone who will listen that she'd never been to an emergency room until she met me and now she's been to them all throughout California. Stick with me baby and I'll take you places..... As she jokes, I worry, about my weak lungs and what will happen next time.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Heterosexual couples have a straight (pun intended) linear path to follow as their relationship develops. That path involves courting, dating, going steady, the proposal, a term of engagement and finally - marriage. The final step. This final step requires a melding of names, families and finances. For us gay people that are in a relationship we've been stuck somewhere between the last two steps. The families are pretty much melded, what's the point of melding names, and our finances are sort of combined. Now, we can go that final half step.
Think about it. All you straight people out there.....just take a moment to think.......if you legally couldn't get married and were together with your partner for a long time and then one day someone said, oh you can now.....what would you do?
The question begs......should we or shouldn't we? And if so, why?
Your thoughtful comments are always welcome.
Sunday, July 20, 2008
So the other night, tickets in hand, we jump into the Porsche, put the top down and roar down Sunset Blvd. on our way to the DGA (Director's Guild of America) for a women's film. We dressed up a little, I put on some dangly earrings and my best sandals and we were ready. We were standing in line waiting to get into the theatre and an Outfest worker informs us we were in the wrong line. We were in the priority seating line. Well, harummpf. I join Outfest every year but see no real value in paying over $ 300 for priority seating and the few other perks you get.
So Dena climbs over the velvet rope (I suppose that should have been our first clue) and I follow. Except, I get my foot caught on the rope and BOOM, down I go. Faceplant on the carpet, velvet rope all over me, what a sight I made. Dena was yards ahead of me racing to get into the "regular people" line so she thought I was right behind her. As I struggled to get up, my hands burning from carpet burns and more importantly, my pride majorly hurt Dena rushes over. As she cooes over me making sure I'm ok this outfest fellow says, "since you're obviously in pain you should probably come sit in the theatre". I sacrificed my pride for priority seating. Not too bad of a trade I suppose.
We enjoyed wonderful seats at a mediocre movie seating among the rich, powerful and highly cultured lesbians.
Saturday, July 12, 2008
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Everytime I think about the miles running behind us leaving my family further and further behind the sadder I get. I'm quite conflicted. I'm not sad to be leaving outhouses, mosquitoes and well water behind but I'm definitely sad from watching my little niece (held by my mom) wave bye bye with her big doe eyes.
We'll cross the border into the USA briefly, spend the night in Baudette, Minn. then drive back into Canada for our flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Los Angeles. Doing 4 - 6 border crossings a trip out here can become arduous as the US customs can make it quite difficult especially if you are driving a rent-a-car. We were in Morson, Ontario, home of my family. Here is a map to help you see where it is.
Well, our free breakfast calls from the hotel lunch room, so I'd better run. We'll see you all soon.
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I've never used one until yesterday. Sure, I've turned them on and watched and wondered why anyone would use one. But yesterday, it all became clear to me in the oddest of places. Dena and I went to this place out in Burbank to look for stoves. We are trying to collect information on our kitchen and finally move forward with the remodel. The place was overwhelming with appliances of all sort and well, everything including the kitchen sink.
Somewhere during the process I had to go to the bathroom. Surprise. The woman with the smallest bladder having to to to the bathroom. In the bathroom was the Toto washlet bidet. This intriguing electronic plumbing gadget allows one to do their business then wash and dry without moving. I fantastic idea. It allows you to move the direction of the jet to wash in the proper place, adjust the strength of the spray and even pulsate. Now that's scary. After washing one can also dry. I decided at that moment, what the hell. You only live once. I tried it. I adjusted the spray and giggled. Hmmmm, that felt lovely. The water was not too cold, not too hot, just right. Yes, I even dried but honestly, used toilet paper afterward as it was too freaky not to.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
But, the trees I started shaking are still bearing fruit and the fruit is getting ripe. Riper everyday it seems. I recently had a job offer for $ 145k. It was in Beverly Hills, what was a girl to do? It was a great opportunity but I decided to stay. Another opportunity has just popped up. Not as great as the job I have now and not as great as the previous offer, but with more responsibility and a greater location. What is a girl to do? You can rest assured that my mind will be a swirling and a whirling this weekend. I'll keep you posted.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I was dreading the opera. In my limited knowledge of it I assumed it was a musical, except in a language I didn't understand and that I'd have to read. What's worse than a subtitled musical? That is a good question but I was sure I'd be bored to tears. With that in mind I read through all the synopses and found that Tosca sounded the most interesting. It had murder and intrique with a firing squad thrown in for a bonus so I hopefully thought this would keep me entertained despite all the singing. I was right.
Basically a brief synopsis is that a guy escapes from jail, the evil police chief tries to capture him and in the meantime discovers that his latest romantic interest (Tosca), her boyfriend has harbored the escapee. He uses this information to get to her. They all die in the end. hehe We had the bonus of experiencing Plácido Domingo ( the world famous tenor and conductor), conduct the orchestra during the performance.
I learned that Opera is not quite as bad as a musical, there's the drama (over the top drama) of a theatrical performance, listening to Italian is not that bad as it's a nice language and I only fell asleep in Act 3. So all in all, I did pretty good. I did however have to promise Dena that we could go to one opera a season at the LA Opera House. Ah, the things we do for love.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Sunday, June 08, 2008
This is pretty exciting stuff. Imagine the boost to the California economy as gays and lesbians rush to the alter! Matter of fact they are expecting (based on census data and Massachusetts' experience) over 20,000 weddings before November. Why is there a magic date of November 2008? I'm so glad you asked as there is a catch to everything. There is a group called the Liberty Counsel (naturally a fundamental Christian group) that are fighting to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot in November stating that marriage is defined as a man and a woman.
What saddens me is the use of the word Liberty to define themselves. Liberty is defined by dictionaries everywhere as the following:
-- autonomy: immunity from arbitrary exercise of authority: political independence
-- freedom of choice; "liberty of opinion"; "liberty of worship"; "liberty--perfect liberty--to think or feel or do just as one pleases"; "at liberty to choose whatever occupation one wishes"
-- personal freedom from servitude or confinement or oppression
Friday, June 06, 2008
It must, right?
Please, please, I hope it does.....
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
In the movie (and the series) all the women have fantastic wardrobes, are in excellent shape and have a real sense of style. As I stood in line at the theatre I looked at the different groupings of women and could see that many of them actually got dressed up in their own version of "Manhattan Style" to see the movie. Or was it just me being cynical and did they always dress this way? Did I dress that way when I was younger? Did I have that sense of style? Nah. I don't remember any style. We couldn't afford style.
I remember when I was a kid in junior high school I wanted Wrangler's so bad, for 2 years I wanted them. They were the "in" thing. Wrangler jeans with bell bottoms. Yeah baby. I couldn't have them. They were too expensive. I got my jeans at Sears. On sale...... No Wranglers for me. You know what's funny. I still buy my jeans on sale except now I own a pair of Wranglers and they are NOT in.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
The game was also full of firsts. Clayton Kershaw (recently called up rookie wiz kid) pitched in his first MLB game and struck his first batter out. Luis Maza (another rookie in the MLB although he's been in the minors forever), in for Jeff Kent who had the day off, hit his first pitch for his first MLB homerun. All in all, a very fun and exciting day.
Saturday, May 17, 2008
I'm not sure how you could come out of this exhibit not affected in some way. I found it definitely life changing. Let me explain the premise of the exhibit. All of the exhibits are real. Real organs, real people, real everything. These people have donated their bodies to science and their bodies were basically injected with some sort of plastic in a process called plastination. It's bizarre but really cool. The picture is of a fellow holding his own skin. This was the end of the exhibit and was about all I could take as it was the grossest.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Yesterday and today were our big Los Angeles cell phone roll out. Lots of work in a small amount of time. I got a call to run over a couple spare phones to the Hollywood and Vine project and as I was running about the office I notice two women in the conference room and a dog. I go back towards my cube and make some snarky remark about people bring their dogs everywhere. You know where this is going right? Well, come on, give me a break, in Los Angeles dogs are like accessories and people bring them shopping and out to meals, it's just ridiculous.
So the fellow that sits next to me says, "the dog has special abilities". Well, then it dawned on me. Duh. As I made my way towards the elevator feeling like an idiot the woman and her dog were waiting there too. She said, "oh, you're the new IT person". One thing led to another and it turns out she is working at the Hollywood and Vine location. I offered her and her dog a ride. She had taken the train over. She's a very nice person and the dog is a "puppy in training". She has him for 18 months and trains him on obedience, he has to go with her everywhere for socializing. It's a volunteer thing.
The dog was very well behaved in the car and sat quietly on the seat. She has to train him that while he's wearing the green seeing eye dog shirt, he's working and cannot play or anything. She says once he gets the shirt off he goes nuts. As we let him out of the car a quick 20 minutes later I notice that the light grey colored back seat of my new Highlander is covered in black dog hair. I almost screamed but surpressed it. I thought, well, this is karma. Half a roll of duct tape later and the truck was clean.
Saturday, May 10, 2008
My hopes are starting to wane as my tomato and broccoli leaves have holes in them. Lately I've been coming outside in the morning and I see these little slime trails all over the place, mostly leading to my veggie planters. Slugs. I'm told these are slug trails. My first introduction to slugs was many years ago when on the show Survivor the contestants were eating them. How absolutely disgusting. What the hell was I to do about slugs? They come at night and are gone by morning.
I tried these slug pellets. I came out each morning with great hope that the slug trails would be gone. Instead I see slug trails going around the pellets. Smart little buggers. They were on to me. Then my friend told me about this age old trick of filling a tuna can with beer, leaving it out, the snails crawl in, get drunk and can't stagger out. Cool I thought. But where am I to get a tuna can? I don't eat canned tuna. I tried the terra cotta planter bases. That didn't work, they are porous. The beer just soaked into the base. Don't tell Dena this, but I tried some Tupperware ops. Too shallow, they apparently crawled out before drowning in their drunken stupors. Finally my friend brought me one empty tuna can. I filled it and went to bed with hope. That morning I awoke early to check the can. Wow! Slug trails leading directly to the can and a couple drunk, dead slugs. YAY! It works. I wish I had more cans. Any of you that live locally, please save your tuna cans for the wars.
I also tried some of this English slug killer powder. That works really well, too. The morning check revealed slug trails through the powder and then death. The carnage in the backyard can be gruesome on some mornings but the battle continues. I'm not sure who is winning but I'm pretty sure it's not me.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
I park at the dry cleaner, get out of the car and in front of me was an odd sight. A homeless fellow, sitting on a milk crate talking to someone named Little Freddy on walkie talkie. Now granted, I'm not sure Little Freddy was talking back, but nonetheless it was an odd sight. I beebop into the dry cleaners, drop off my stuff and on the way back to the car this black fellow comes out of the liquor store next door. He's grabbing his crotch and yapping on his cell phone. Something about having lots of 'ho's and he could get this guy any number of 'ho's. As I fumbled to unlock the door, wondering what kind of neighborhood I live next to, I noticed the homeless guy still talking on his walkie talkie and sipping an olde english 800 brewski out of a straw. Just then it hit me, literally......I felt and heard wet splats all over. What the...!!!! For a nanosecond I thought the homeless guy had thrown his beer at me but another nanosecond later I realized it had come from above.
You see, I had parked under a billboard. Pigeons sit on billboards. I stood there, incredulous for a moment looking all around me and feeling what I now know is birdshit on my head and shoulders. The homeless guy is looking at me and I think, there's some sort of irony here but I'm missing it. Just then, SPLAT, SPLAT, SPLAT, another bombardment from above. In reality, the spacing between bombardments was really only a matter of a couple seconds. I think I escaped unscathed from that blast and jumped in the car. I sat there for a second and all of a sudden I felt like crying as the birdshit is starting to run down my sunglasses.