Be your own Disneyland.

Wednesday, November 30

So my holiday vacation plans have evaporated. Also, I went on my first Christmas-shopping-for-others excursion tonight, and I think perhaps I should look harder for sale items, 'cause I spent a lot of dough and I haven't even started on my family. These two conditions combined means that I think I'll be spending the Christmas -> New Year's break close to home and doing something cheap, like exercising or staying with my family, where I don't have to pay for food.

I'm a little sad not to be visiting Tucson this winter (haha!!), but I got some good stuff. Don't you wish you were on my gift list??

Monday, November 28


1) I don't think I've communicated to those who read this site just how much I'm driving this holiday season. I went Home the weekend before Thanksgiving (niece's birthday). I went Home Thanksgiving weekend. I'm going Home again on the 9th (cousin's graduation). And then again for Christmas. An unexpected advantage is that the drive is getting easier the more often I do it. I thought it would be worse, but ... maybe it's the new cds I bought this weekend that make the difference.

2) Speaking of buying stuff for myself, Black Friday was all about me. 2 board games, 4 cds, a bracelet, a sweater and some other stuff I can't remember right now. I'll start shopping for others soon. After I stop blogging.

3) So my company's holiday party is coming up, and the office manager is asking for RSVPs. And it got me thinking that, as much as I would like to take a date to this shindig (after all, the food and the door prizes and the free booze make it a party worth attending), I HAVE NO SINGLE MALE FRIENDS. Not here, anyway. What happened to my default date friends? A friend suggested that this is what happens when you get into your 30s - a nice comment on my age, thanks. And no, I'm not advertising on craigslist for a date. I'll just carpool in with some friends and make a night of it.

4) And finally, no, I still don't have an RSS feed for this site and I have never had eggnog. Maybe December will make it all come true.

Sunday, November 27

I hope everyone in the US (and anyone else who wanted to participate) had a nice Thanksgiving weekend. I took pictures, as usual. The pies turned out especially well, I thought. The photos don't do them justice.

I'm going to go finish off the apple pie now.

Wednesday, November 23

I battled with a cookie sheet tonight, and it won. Ow.

I may have lost the battle, but I won the war - the apple pie is one of the most beautiful I've ever created. And I know it's going to taste good, because how can you go wrong with 6 Granny Smith apples, a shitload of sugar and cinnamon (technical measurements courtesy of Betty Crocker), lots of butter (I remembered the butter!!), homemade crust, and more sugar baked on top of the crust?

Answer? You can't. Pictures soon.

Btw, if you can avoid driving at all today, do so. It's really annoying out there.

Monday, November 21

Much as I complain about customer service, some days are the complete opposite. I'm hoping today sets the trend of the rest of this very short week.

I spent the weekend celebrating my niece's 1st birthday party on Saturday (pictures to be uploaded soon), watching movies I like be butchered by tv, and visiting with my grandma and other friends. And then I drove really really fast and made it to San Francisco in time for baked goose, fruit compote and stuffed acorn squash, followed by homemade pear pie and ice cream.

It was a good weekend. How was yours?

Friday, November 18

To quote Kevin's famous plates "Grr Arg".

On some days, customer service really really sucks. I'm not so much a duck with the water, you know?

Thursday, November 17

ipod flea [via Jon]

Wednesday, November 16

So I was a dork and forgot to wish Carly a happy second birthday back in September.

However, the dorkiness will end now, and I will wish Lily a happy first birthday today:

Happy birthday, Lily!!

Tuesday, November 15

Thanks to the Lovely Lucia, I have discovered the joy of Pandora Music Genome Project. Check it out - my station. It's fun!

We live in a very different world from our grandparents. From a song I hear often on iTunes:
With my high starched collar
and my high topped shoes
and my hair piled high upon my head,
I went to lose a jolly
hour on the trolly
and lost my heart instead.

With his light brown derby and his bright green tie
he was quite the handsomest of men ...
and it goes on in a similar vein. While the motivations are the same, everything else? Drastically different. Can any reasonably normal woman of 2005 conceive of putting on a high starched collar and high topped shoes and piling her hair on top of her head to go ride the trolley for an hour? How about BART? The El? The New York subway? I know lots of women, and probably men too, pile their hair on top of their head and lose an hour on public transit, but I don't think they're looking to lose a jolly hour. Or not the same sort of jolly hour this woman is talking about.

Sunday, November 13

Things that made this weekend a good one:

A birthday party (bedtime: 5 a.m.)
Sleeping until 1 p.m.
A very good recovery brunch (3 p.m., 5 gallons of liquid and a turkey sandwich)
A beautiful sweater, found by chance
A housewarming party
Hearing a friend's plan to go on a 300-mile unicycle tour of Laos
Which will happen after he quits his current job to go into acrobatics full-time
Another 5 a.m. bedtime (not sure why, as I got home at 2:30 ... brownie chocolate caffeine?)
Getting my window fixed, again, hopefully for the last time
Having my tire patched so I can stop driving in the right lane*
Watching The Girl in the Café
Going to bed early (projected)

*Oh. My. God. I have never in my life spent so much time in the slow lane of a freeway, much less the freeways of the Bay Area. Do people always drive this slow? I'm not talking 65-the min/max speed limit slow. I'm talking about 40-50 mph slow. I thought the folks in the left lane were neurotic, but holy shit, the sub-50 mph drivers should be all forced to go on surface streets. With all that random braking, it's a wonder anyone gets anywhere.

Friday, November 11

Notable stuff this week:

I made a pie on Tuesday night and it was deemed good.

I bought a gym membership last night.

I found that another tire on my car had gone flat when I left the gym.

I am now driving around on a donut. And I'm kind of embarrassed about it.

I'm going to a party tonight with a Hawaiian theme. I don't really have any Hawaiian clothes, so I'll be there as a tourist.

A friend and I have decided to head to Baja California for the Christmas break.

I can't find my passport, which is expired anyway, but which is necessary for renewal, apparently. UPDATE: I just found it. This bodes well.

I also can't find my winxp system disk still. And my living room looks like a tornado blew through it from all the computer crap all over the place.

But the pie is really good. Yum.

Wednesday, November 9

So I went to Zeitgeist on Friday night and holy cow! What happened to my eyes? I think they might have fallen into that glass of Chimay.

Tuesday, November 8

Two things:

1) Bacon Strips Bandages - for the really bad injuries.

2) LeiaScofield: i don't want to alarm you, but san francisco's hazard mitigation plan is written in comic sans font.
LeiaScofield: the website itself is scary:

I told Jessa, who responded with ...

Jessa: I don't know whether to laugh or scream
Jessa: *bangs head on desk instead*
Jessa: comedy and disaster recovery don't mix!

Monday, November 7

I have so. much. crap.

... of the computer sort. And yet, amidst all the disks, printers, modems and cords, I can't seem to find the WinXP disk for my current desktop. At the moment, this is really bumming me out.

What's not bumming me out is that two of my favorite movies are now on DVD and you can buy them for me: Murphy's Romance and Crossing Delancey. 'Cause pickle merchants and aging James Garners are way sexy.

Funniest thing I've read in a while:
If you're sitting by a cute girl you want to talk with, fucking reinstall your balls software and talk to her.
Sarah makes me laugh, usually intentionally.

Friday, November 4

I'll talk to almost anyone, about almost anything ... until the adolescent text-message-you-must-chat-now behavior starts. Turns out I'm a chatting snob, after all.

If you're tempted to chat with me:

1) have something to say when you start a conversation other than 'hi' and 'asl' - I'm probably working and I'm not interested in dating you, but I'll chat with you if you have something to talk about.

2)learn to type whole words. I know not everyone is a great speller, or English is not their first language, but points are given for trying, trust me. I never learned text-message speak on purpose. I think it dumbs you down. At least, having never met you, my mental image of your maturity and age drop several points as soon as I get a "r u there?"

3) As mentioned above, I'm probably working. Which means that I will probably not respond immediately to messages. Don't *ding* and "r u there?" me. If I'm online, then I'm here and I keep my status up-to-date. But I'm doing other things, and they don't pay me to chat to non-co-workers here. It's like starting a conversation with a stranger on the bus by going "hey, hey you, will you talk to me? huhhuhuhuhuhuh? huh?" while tugging on their sleeve. I get immediately pissed off.

So have something to say, don't write like a 12-year old with a phone, and make allowances for the fact that I'm doing something else and we'll get along famously! I look forward to hearing from you.

Thursday, November 3

Yes, I've been working rather hard today ... to make up for the rest of the week. But I've come across a few gems today:

Escapa! [via DP] So far, I've achieved 23.5.

They're recalling what? [via Greg] One day, maybe I'll share with you the variety of responses I got when I spammed (HAHA!) many of my friends with this link.

and finally,

find the cheap gas in your area, from my friend Joey, who doesn't update his "site" often enough to be cited here.

Tuesday, November 1

Did you know that I work on a help desk? That's right, for a couple of hours each day, I answer the phone, addressing issues people have with our software. Many times, I have to address other issues these people have as well, such as insecurity, misdirected hostility, laziness, etc.

A couple of tips to keep in mind before calling the help desk in question:

* do NOT try so hard to fix the problem yourself that by the time you call you are frustrated, angry and ready to take someone's head off.
--- Remember, although you've been looking at this for hours, they are looking at it for the first time.
--- And although you think you might have gone through all the steps needed to troubleshoot the problem, they do this sort of thing ALL THE TIME, so just answer the questions they ask.
--- Also, while you've been getting yourself all worked up, it's possible that they've had the answer all along.

* with that in mind, it does warm a help desk person's heart if you show that you made SOME effort to resolve the issue yourself. Even if you haven't Read The Fucking Manual, tell them you tried and couldn't find the relevant info. They'll bend over backwards to help you out.

* Read The Fucking Manual. Very often, the help desk personnel work very hard to make even more information available in the form of FAQs and tutorials. Just look over them, you might find all sorts of information you didn't know you didn't know.

* the old saying that you can catch more flies with honey than with ... something bitter, or whatever, is certainly true here. If you're nice to the help desk person (see tip #1), even if you're an idiot or keep asking dumb questions, they will be nice to you. If you start out being a jerk, don't expect extra help. They'll do as much as is required and no more.

I'm sure there's more, but this is all I've had to deal with since I started answering phones about an hour ago. Tears, frustration, questions easily answered in the documentation ... all before they even picked up the phone. Folks, it's just not worth it. Really.