Monday, November 30, 2009

Great Weekend. Long Day.

I went home last Wednesday night for the Thanksgiving weekend. My flight had moved from its originally-listed departure time, so I ended up getting home a couple of hours earlier than usual. That meant a couple extra hours of talking and relaxing with Julia and neither of us minded that!

Thursday we took advantage of having nothing to do until a bit later in the morning and slept in, then had an excellent homemade breakfast burrito and went to a retirement center to wash dishes for their Thanksgiving luncheon. Julia's dad volunteers at the center and he asked if we'd be willing to help out. All things considered, it was a pretty short event, but we were moving the whole time. Julia handled cleaning off the plates and I dried and stacked and put things on shelves. We worked with a number of other people, including her parents, grandmother, aunt, brother, and a couple of other people. In all, I think we were there about two hours and the people who always worked there said we were the quickest they'd ever worked with. Hooray for us!

Afterward we went to Julia's parents' place for the afternoon and evening. We had a very good, traditional Thanksgiving dinner around four or five o'clock, I can't honestly say what time it was, and spent the evening cleaning up, talking, playing a game, and enjoying some dessert. It was a small group, just seven of us, which was a nice change of pace from their usual -- very large -- family gatherings. Julia and I both really enjoyed it.

Friday and the rest of the weekend we ran a lot of errands and managed to get a ton of things done at the condo as well as inside and outside the house. At the condo I had to install a new fan in the bathroom. I'd installed another one last year, so I knew it was pretty simple, but I also had to see about fixing the fan on the heater which was making quite a lot of noise. We finished off the fan pretty quickly once we purchased a new motor and installed it, then went to work on the heater. The issue there was trickier and we'd pretty much resigned ourselves to not being able to fix it, but on a lark I decided to try and tighten a couple of nuts (none of which seemed particularly loose) and that seemed to fix it! We were amazed. Really, the telling is much less exciting than it was in the moment. I received big kudos from my girl for that one!

Over the rest of the weekend we worked in the yard, transplanted some plants, put in a couple of lilacs, bought a new smokebush that was on sale for 75% off (we both like those, so that was a great find!), bought some potting soil for some indoor replanting we need to do, hung a "Welcome" sign we received as a wedding gift, and hung two big pieces of art/sculpture on the walls in the living room. 

Saturday night we had Shana, Jen, Seth, and Melissa over for dinner and the night before we decided to make it a little fancier than the pizza and soda we'd originally planned on, so Saturday afternoon we made an excellent salad with baby greens, toasted walnuts, prosciutto slices, and a dressing of equal parts real maple syrup and balsamic vinegar. Sounds crazy, I know, but the dressing is so good. Better than it has a right to be. Anyway, we also made some delicious turkey burgers with a spicy-sweet chutney, and key lime pie. None of which we'd every made before. And, wow, was it all great!

Monday morning we were up early so I could catch my flight back, but I was bumped to a later flight, which was then delayed a bit, so I didn't actually leave Seattle until 1:30. That was fine with me, though, because the airline bought me breakfast and lunch, and gave me a voucher that may cover the cost of two flights home, so I didn't complain one bit.

When I made it back to San Jose I had to pack up all the stuff at my desk because we're finally moving things around so most of the team can sit together. Hopefully when I get in tomorrow my things will be in the new spot and I can put all my goodies back on the walls and shelves.

Now I'm just prattling. I'm back and things are good. I'm going to watch a movie, read, relax, and collapse into bed.

Oh, tomorrow, December 1st, is the five-year anniversary of my and Julia's first date! No way it can be a bad day!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

So, So, So Ready

I leave for home tomorrow after work and I am so ready to get home and be with my girl! I don't actually get in until about 10pm and the next day is Thanksgiving, but even so, it'll be nice to be home and be comfortable. And just be home.

I finally made it to the barber shop after work today to get a haircut. I say finally, because I've been planning to get a haircut for about five days, but always found something else to do. Monday and today I'd planned to go at lunch, but was invited to eat with some co-workers and bonding time is always good. Even if I did look like a shaggy hippie.

Right now I'm doing laundry and as soon as that's done it's time to pack for my trip. I already have a trip to the airport lined up and hopefully I can find someone to come get me Monday morning when I return. We'll see how that goes.

I found out yesterday that Elvis Costello has a talk show on the Sundance Channel and even the few short clips I managed to find online were so interesting and inspiring that I have to see the actual programs. We have the channel on OnDemand, so I'll have to check that this weekend.

Okay, I've nothing else to say.

Except this: Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Relaxing Weekend and a Belated Anniversary

In my last post I mentioned Jim was leaving for a couple of weeks. That means I get to use his car while he's gone and I definitely took advantage of it this weekend!

After work Friday my boss and a number of people from work went over to a hole-in-the-wall meadery (place that makes and sells mead - honey wine for those who don't know). It was likely the oddest bar I've ever been in because it was in, basically, and small two-story office building that looked like part of a high school built in the '70s; all brushed aluminum and glass, but old. No lights outside and nothing to say, "Hey, come drink here!"

So, I tried mead for the first time and it was good. I haven't been drinking much in the last few years and it was actually sort of hard to drink an entire glass of the stuff. It seemed very thick to me, but really, it was the same as any wine. I think the flavor and the smell was just new to me. Anyway, I liked it, but I only had the one drink.

Saturday morning I slept in, had breakfast at the diner, then spent the day going to used bookstores, comic shops, and just sort of enjoying the ability to drive around and do whatever I wanted. It was great. So relaxing and liberating in a weird sort of way. I'd actually set out to go to a Half-Price Books since I have a gift certificate to use, but the one I found online had closed or moved or never actually existed. But the day was far from a failure; I found a couple of books for a total of $10, a couple of comics for another $10, enjoyed looking over the game store shelves, but didn't buy anything, and found a nice place for lunch.

When I returned home I did some editing, ordered a pizza for dinner, and watched some more of the Middleman DVDs one of the guys at work lent me. Great day.

Sunday I slept in again, had breakfast, worked on some notes for a novel I've been trying to write for, oh, I don't know, five years? And I actually came up with some good ideas for it, so I'm happy about that. Then it was time for laundry! So while I was waiting to change loads I played some Dragon Age on my awesome computer. Then at 2:30 I went to see An Education which Julia loved, so I had to see it. I can't say I loved it, but it was very good and I enjoyed it quite a bit.

On the docket after the movie was changing my flight home for Christmas so I arrive a couple of days earlier. That only cost $75. I'd hoped it would be in that price range and feared it would cost more like $200. Dodged a bullet there!

Now I'm going to do something. I'm not sure what. Dinner? Play more Dragon Age? Write? Read? Watch Middleman? One of those for sure, maybe a couple of them.

Oh, and in the title I mentioned a belated anniversary. That was referring to my blog. I started writing here eight years ago on November 15, 2001. I downloaded a copy of my blog and it seems I've written over 300,000 words here over the past 8 years. For the curious, this is post number 902. Wow, huh?

More soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Yep, another new post.

Mostly because I was having issues playing videos on the new computer using Internet Explorer and any Google products (Reader and Wave, specifically), so I switched to Google Chrome. I wasn't a big fan last year when I tried it out, so we'll see how it works. Thankfully the changeover already fixed the problem I was having, so I'm happy.

I have to get up early tomorrow to take Jim to the airport. He's headed for a couple of weeks at home and he takes off at about 7:00, so I'll be up by 5:00 or so. Bleh.

That's all for now. I'm going to go read.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Trying New Things

I'm trying new things tonight!

First, I didn't play Dragon Age, which has been pretty time-consuming over the last couple of weeks.

Second, I did a bunch of Green Ronin emails. That's actually not so new, but I typically save them for the weekend, but I'd received a lot of responses for emails I sent over last weekend, so I thought I'd deal with them right away.

Third, I played around with Google Wave a little bit. Looks interesting. Especially now that I know a few people who have accounts. Most notably Seth, Jason, and a handful of the Green Ronin crew. Wave may prove very useful for some upcoming Green Ronin products in the works right now.

Fourth, I hooked up my new wireless keyboard and mouse -- and I'm using them right now! I picked them up as a packaged set a week or so ago and I could return them only if the package wasn't opened -- and only within 14 days. I just decided over the weekend that I wanted to keep and use them, so now the package is open and they're performing wonderfully. I bought them because the space for my computer is pretty small and the extra wire or two wasn't working so well. Plus, this keyboard is larger and much more comfortable than the one that came with my desktop. Another plus, the set was on sale for a really good price at Office Depot.

Fifth, I'm going to watch the first episode of "The Middle Man" on my computer. So, I'll be watching a show I've never seen before on a computer I've never used to watch a DVD on before. New, new, new!

Sixth, I'm posting something here for the second day in a row! That hasn't happened in forever!

That's about it for now. Time to take out my contacts and watch a show.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fast Times

It shouldn't surprise me that the weekend goes quickly when I don't leave work until after 6:30, and am at work for six hours on Saturday. I tried to get ahead on some things at work Saturday, but then I ended up erasing a bunch of work from the day before, so I stopped in hopes that someone could tell me how to revert back to an older copy of what I was working on. We'll see how that goes.

Jim and I walked to work on Friday and on the way home we decided to stop at a little Chinese restaurant we'd seen, but never been to for dinner. It was good. Nice little, hole-in-wall place. It was certainly a nice change of pace from my usual fare.

The portions of Saturday not spent at work were spent playing more Dragon Age on the computer and watching a movie. The day was very short, it seemed.

Sunday, today, I slept in, played more, did laundry, went to see a matinee of the movie 2012, and worked on some things for Green Ronin.

And now my weekend is over.

I'm so looking forward to spending a few days at home with Julia over Thanksgiving.

Okay, time for me to do some more reading for Green Ronin, then relax a bit before bed.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Killing Time

It's surprising how quickly a week passes. Every time I sit down to write something here I think, "I'll follow that up with another post in the next day or so." And then it's six or seven days later all of a sudden.

I know what the issue is; I don't really have anything too exciting happening in my life. I pretty much get up, go to work, come home and play some games or watch a movie until I go to bed. I don't go out, I don't have Julia here to spend time with or do things around the house, or run errands with, or visit with friends, or whatever. Instead I do the same things every day and every week. Am I bored? No, not really, but I don't really have anything to write about here. Nothing stands out. Nothing important happens. So, I don't have anything to tell you.

On some level I know that's lame. I'm sure most people who read this would like to know about my frustrations at work, the lack of training I've received (and continue to not receive), the fact that things are going well with Jim now sharing the house with me. That's actually made my living situation a lot better. The house seems "lighter" since the last tenant was just an asocial grump. I'm sure even the fact that I've been playing a whole lot of the Dragon Age computer game might be interesting. Oh, and tomorrow night (Thursday) I'm going to run the first session of a new game based on the Song of Ice and Fire novels (for those of you who know what that is).

So, there, that's what's going on with me. Work is challenging. I'm still 1,000 miles from my wife and friends and 2,000 miles from my family. None of this is hard to take, it's just so freaking boring.

Man, what a downer of a post, eh? But that said, I don't want you to think I'm sad, just bored. And the lack of anything really exciting happening in my life means my posts here are few and far between.

Oh! I do have one piece of news! I went to the follow-up meeting with the sleep specialist. I've been using the APAP machine for just over a month now and my sleep apnea has improved greatly. The machine I use has a memory card in it, which the doctor pulled the info off of and he said I went from an average of 41 "blockages" an hour while sleeping down to only 3 per hour (the normal range is between zero and five per hour -- yes, even people without sleep apnea have blockages -- and yes, I mean per hour. I was a bit surprised by that, too). He also said the pressure I need to correct my blockages is pretty low, which is neither good nor bad, just something he remarked on.

There you go. My sleep machine is working fine and happily making me healthier. Woohoo!

More soon, I hope. Really.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Home Again, Home Again, Home Again

Yep, three days in a row I stayed home. This cold has been sort of a pain and I can't really remember the last time I've stayed home sick for this long.

Admittedly, this isn't the worse cold I've ever had (and thankfully it's not the flu!), but that whole "watery-eye" thing made it really hard to do anything in front of the computer. I didn't feel too terrible, but I definitely sounded it. Mostly I was tired, so I slept each day for a few hours, which is really saying something for me since I don't like napping. Today I woke up around 7:30 and then decided to go to bed at 8:00 and slept until after 9:30. I was surprised I could do that. Usually, once I'm up, I'm up for the day. I could probably take another nap now and I may try after my shower.

Other than that, I haven't been up to much. I left the house Tuesday night to buy a game with Jim. Left the house Wednesday night to get some dinner from Boston Market (oh, comfort food!). And tonight I'm going to go to work to play a game. I'm feeling pretty good right now, so I think that's an okay decision -- and it's only for a couple of hours, so I'll still be in bed early. It's feeling very likely that I'll make it to work tomorrow.

I've been doing some writing for work this afternoon and it's been going very well -- better than at work, actually, but I think that may be because I was starting to get sick last week when I was trying to do this stuff. Anyway, much easier now.

Julia met with the surgeon about her foot and he thinks he can make it all better, which is good, but she may need to be off it for a couple of weeks, which was a bit longer than we'd thought. I'm sure we'll work something out.

Okay, time to shower and nap, I think.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

It's Here

It took over a week, but over the weekend my half-cold turned into a real cold. Then, Monday morning I felt pretty good, so I went to work, did my thing, went hom and almost immediately started to feel really beat up and tired and icky.

This morning when I woke up I felt worse than yesterday, so I decided to stay home and try to beat this thing with some Afrin, Day-Quil, and sleep. We'll see how that goes.

Over the weekend I helped Jim move from his old mother-in-law house he was renting into the room next door to me in the house. I feel even more like I'm in college, but I think it'll be good and a lot more enjoyable. He has quite a bit less space, but I think it's generally more comfortable and useful.

I did absolutely nothing for Halloween. I was invited to a co-worker's party, but I think I was in bed by 9:30 on Saturday night because I was so tired from the cold.

Enough about that. I'm going to get some breakfast and relax and hopefully sleep some more.