Friday, December 24, 2010


It is that time of year again. Time for merry making, gift giving, and good cheer. Oh, and stress. Can't forget the stress. Getting everything accomplished in a timely, cost-efficient manner is something of a small miracle.

Living across the country from most of my friends and family also means I have to double and triple check addresses. I can't just walk down the street and hand a gift to my BFF anymore. I have to wrap it in a box and entrust the postal service to get it there in one piece. I also have to hope no one has moved, is out of town, or gave me the wrong digits when giving me their address in a holiday hurry. Because lets face it, everyone is in a holiday hurry and when rushed -- we make mistakes.

The first mistake I made was trusting the internet. A particular gift I was getting for someone was sold at Macy's "nation wide." So when I got to the nearest Macy's only to discover it was in fact, not available there, I was vexed. That meant not only did I waste gas and time, but I would have to hop back online in the middle of the night so no one would see and buy it with rush delivery to have it under the tree in time. Why tell me it's available at all Macy's if it's actually only sold at a select few? It isn't as if the item was simply sold out. They didn't carry it in the first place. I BITE MY THUMB AT YOU, Macy's.

Yeah, I'm calling out a mega corporation on my blog. What of it?

But wait, it gets worse from there! As most of you know, I moved last summer and then again this autumn, so there was some confusion as to where to send things to begin with. On top of that, I left town for two weeks and won't be home until next year, so anyone who wanted to send anything to me in a timely manner, would need to forward their packages to an address they were completely unfamiliar with.

In my own holiday hurry, I left off part of that unfamiliar address. Yeah...

So I had to contact everyone last-minute I had given the wrong address to and give them the right one. Then, they would need to call whatever parcel service they'd used and forward that information on to them. It wasn't just an inconvenience for others though. Even gifts I had ordered myself, for others, had to be changed day-of-delivery! Otherwise there would be no Christmas here at all.

Only problem? I'm staying with the people the gifts are for and had no way of getting online or calling to correct the misinformation without them knowing! However, with a lot of deep breaths, covert texting,  and the saint-like patience of my mother (across the country) we managed to get everything corrected in time. Thank goodness!

Kudos to Fedex for being particularly helpful, and the USPS as well. The only tricky situation I was left with was getting to and from UPS, who after changing the address for me refused to deliver the package. Forcing me have to go pick it up. With the person it was for. Forcing me to also lie about it.

Now I can relax, feast, and be merry with the rest of the world. Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Good Deeds

So in our new place, as with our old place, there are cats a-plenty outside, most of which have nearby homes. Since the first week we've been here however, there has been this fluffy black cat camped out on our door step. Every time I step out to shop or get the mail he tries to force his way into our place. This has earned him the name, "Intruder Cat." His fur is matted and he's kind of dirty, but I wasn't sure as to whether or not he was actually homeless... So I avoided letting him in.

Some people just don't take very good care of their pets, or don't know how to. So it was entirely possible they just forget to let him back inside sometimes and do not bathe or brush him. Not that I could blame them on the bathing part. Bathing cats is usually both an exercise in futility and an excuse to buy a whole new box of bandaids.

After a few months and his constant appearances at my door step, I began to truly consider the fact that he may have no place else to go. As the days started getting shorter, the nights colder, and at all times considerably more rainy, I started letting him inside. Just for short whiles. Long enough to make sure he had a warm nap and a full tummy. We had a bag of kitten chow from a year or so back just going to waste on the shelf, so I figured why not?  He didn't seem to get regular meals. He could use the extra calories and vitamins kitten chow provided.

Then the other day a neighbor of mine confirmed my suspicions: Intruder Cat was indeed homeless and had been for a year or more. The neighbor was, strangely enough, about to put out a little plate of food for Intruder himself. He said he often pitied him as well, but with his own cat, could not adopt him since he couldn't be sure as to whether or not Intruder had any of his shots. He did not want to put his current pets at any health risk which is understandable.

That's when I decided I'd start a fund for him, to get him to a Vet and make sure he's got all his vaccinations up-to-date and a clean bill of health. Thus far several friends and family members have made pledges to his cause. So even if we do not end up keeping him, he'll at least be healthy.

He's well mannered enough, so it's unlikely that he is feral (born wild). So the sad fact of the matter was, someone had bought him as a kitten and then when they moved out, simply left him outside to fend for himself.

This has all been going on for some time now. Recently there has been a second stray hanging around. Not on our door step specifically, but under our neighbor's window. So when there was a big commotion out there earlier today while Aaron was at class, I assumed it was just an altercation between my neighbor and the unwelcome feline. To my surprise when I looked outside I saw the commotion was actually animal control putting the new stray into a cage and going for Intruder next! The neighbors had called animal control to come solve the stray problem.

It's fairly common knowledge that if you bring a pet you can no longer care for into the pound, they give it two weeks to be adopted and then euthanize it. What most people don't know is that animals that are picked up after a complaint call are usually only held for twenty-four to forty-eight hours before they are euthanized. Just enough time for anyone who realizes their pet is missing to call and reclaim them. They are considered troublesome animals. They don't get a chance at adoption.

Upon seeing this my first thought was, "I need to put pants on," followed immediately by, "I don't have time to put my pants on!" Instead I ran outside in my bath robe. To save a cat. When Intruder saw me he ran towards me (imagine any cheesy beach scene where the man and woman run at each other from opposite sides of the screen) and I scooped him into my arms. I then gave both my neighbor and animal control a cross look, proclaimed Intruder as mine, and went inside.Probably looking more than a little like some crazy cat-woman.

So now he's sitting here in my armchair snoozing while I consider what to do with him. We go out of town for two weeks tomorrow. He can't stay inside by himself (just yet). I know I'll have to put him back out when we go, but I just want to be sure he isn't taken by animal control while I'm away. The other neighbors put some food out for their own pets, so I know he won't go hungry and I live in a place where it never drops below freezing so he won't be too cold. I guess I'll head over to the market and buy him a collar... Just in case.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Oh, Hello

I can't promise anything, as I typically write elsewhere. However, that elsewhere is undergoing change for the worse, so perhaps this will be my new venue? We'll see. Either way, I'm here because of her. She's far more interesting than I am, she has a dog.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving & Such

So, Thanksgiving was great. This year my mother was out of the country, so I missed her and her moist, delicious turkey. Aaron and I went South to spend the holiday with his mom. His mom is fabulous and I missed her a lot so it was fantastic to see her again.

We traveled to San Jose by train, which is always lovely, and met up with Sean who unfortunately went to the wrong station. Stranding us outside for thirty minutes in the chilly Californian night air. We stayed at his place for the night, where we watched Inception, then drove with him the rest of the way down. We took the 101 which is extremely scenic but also extremely curvaceous, forcing us to make several stops along the way to cure my vertigo. Still, it was a nice trip. The view along the 101 is primarily bay and mountains. Pretty cool for someone who grew up on flatland, far from any ocean.

Of note was a stop at a vineyard where we parked and lingered for a bit until I was confident in my ability to continue the trek. Seeing actual vineyards is nifty considering the only thing grown in Ohio is corn and cattle. Right as we got back into the car and drove off a cop showed up. I guess all of our meandering made the people at the vineyard nervous. Like we were going to make off with a carload of grapes or something. Haha.

Aaron's mom was thrilled to see us and we made giant deli sandwiches to celebrate our arrival. She introduced us to a new show called The Event, which is made by the same folk who brought us Lost, so it was pretty easy to get sucked into. Throughout the week we were there, we'd end up watching all of the episodes she had saved. And wanting more.

Monday I woke up with a touch of a sore throat and a hint of a headache. Nothing serious. That night Sean picked us up and we went to hang out at Jordan's. Where Aaron, Sean, Jay, and I got into a game of Twilight Imperium. Much to my dismay, about halfway into the game I developed a fever and as the night continued, grew increasingly more sick. Never one to ruin a good time, I stuck it out like a champ, but by the time we left Aaron had to scoop me up and carry me to the car.

By the time we made it back to his mother's house I couldn't stop shivering. I shivered through my warm pajamas, a sweater, gloves, four blankets, and Aaron's body heat. Nothing I did could make me feel any warmer. The tell-tale sign of a spiking fever. Tuesday morning I was full-blown sick. Not only did I still have a sore throat, headache, and fever, but I had also lost the ability to keep food down and my voice also. I sounded like a crotchety old woman. Though that was the least of my concerns. I was worried that I would be too sick for Thanksgiving! It was only two days away afterall. On top of that, I was worried I would be too sick for Thanksgiving and make Aaron and his mom miss out on Thanksgiving too. My worst fear, however, was that I would get better but Aaron and/or his mom would catch what I had and be too sick for Thanksgiving!

We had to cancel all of our fun plans for Tuesday, though our friends were understanding. Between Aaron's pampering and his mom's pampering, I felt considerably better by the end of the day. Two bowls of soup, a Gatorade, snuggles, and a cup of hot tea later. My fever broke that night and I was left with the headache, sore throat, and no voice. A considerable improvement, I'd say (if I could).

As a housewarming gift, Aaron's mom wanted to buy us a television for our new place. So on Wednesday, feeling a great deal better but still sounding like Betty White, we went to Best Buy to get a feel for TVs. It was good to get out of the house for a short while and we found a TV we really liked. As an added bonus, I was no longer worried that I would miss Thanksgiving -- or cause anyone else to miss Thanksgiving because of me. When we got back, Aaron made homemade butternut squash gnocchi which was amazing. No seriously, you don't understand. It was amaaaaaaazing.

Thursday was a day of comedy gold. We woke and got ready then headed for Aaron's mom's BFF's house where we would partake in a huge gathering of Thanksgiving delightfulness. Little did we know however that we'd been given the wrong address... So when we arrived at this little lime green house full of Latin-Americans, we were sufficiently confused. It smelled great and they were strangely more-than-willing to welcome us inside even though we were total strangers. As tempting as it was, we decided to find the Thanksgiving celebration we'd actually been invited to, so we took our carrot pudding and began walking.

A few phone calls later, we were at the right place. Snacking and merry-making with people we actually knew as we awaited the turkeys. This was one of the first Thanksgivings I haven't shared with my own mother, but the company I was in made me feel like family. Obligatory disclaimer: not to say it wouldn't have been made even better had my mommy been there! <3

Friday we lazed about until midday and then went to visit Aaron's great grandmother. My headache had finally subsided but the sore throat remained and brought with it a cough, so I was very conscious about touching anything or getting too close. We were supposed to go see her on Wednesday, but I was too sick then, and afraid that I would get her sick. She's super old. The last thing you want to do is make a super old person sick. She's a funny lady though and her house is full of antiques and old photos. If she'd been up to par (her words, not mine), I bet she would've had some fascinating stories to tell. Despite not feeling so well herself she joked that she was older than the three of us combined. We didn't stay too long, wanting to let her get some rest after a busy week of visitors.

We stopped for lunch at a delicious Cuban restaurant that I can only wish was closer to us up here in Sacramento. On our way back we went by Trader Joe's and stocked up on a few things. Mostly sweet things (of course). Aaron's mom and I each got an Amaryllis! Since Black Friday is a whole lot busier in a state that has more people than cattle in it, we did our sale-shopping online. Got some good deals, though I forgot about our need of an A to B USB cable and a 56/57 HP ink cartridge, so I ended up having to make-due on those at full price later.

Saturday we had to say goodbye, always a difficult thing, and begin our journey back North. Aaron's mom loaded us up with things to take with us, as mothers tend to do. Not that it's a bad thing, quite the contrary as she has really good taste. Sean arrived around eleven and we were on the road not long after. We took a different route back up, avoiding the curves for a more straight forward return to spare my stomach. We met up with our friend Will and his wife Ari. After some chit chat we went to this quaint yet strangely busy cafe called Aroma and had lunch. The mystery of the busy-ness was soon laid to rest when our food arrived and I realized how magnificent it was.

After lunch we continued on home. We got in late, so Sean stayed the night. Unfortunately it was rather cold and as the first true test of our central heating, we realized it wasn't working! It was too late to bother with it, so Aaron and Sean opened up our broken small-space heater and got that working again and we all just huddled around it playing Texas Hold'em until bed time.

Sunday morning we went and had a mighty lumberjack breakfast at a local restaurant called Lumberjack's. Outside there is a big statue of a lumberjack and the sign has a lumberjack with a fork and and axe on it. Pretty win. The food was fantastic, though our waitress was quite flighty. I asked for pancakes and she just assumed I wanted a small stack instead of a full stack. Why? I'm small? I don't know. Then when it was time to go, she asked if I'd like a box for my remaining pancake. Not one, but two of us said, "Yes." So she picks up my plate and goes away. We presume she's going off to, you know, put my pancakes into a box but after a few minutes we realize she probably took my food away and disposed of it. So when she comes around again Aaron asks.

She acts like she's never seen us before and is all, "She never got her pancake???"

We're like, "..." So she goes back to the kitchen, has them make me a whole new pancake and brings that out to us in a box. Derp-a-der? Finally it's all set right, we realize we probably tipped her way too much, and go home. We hang out for a bit. Talk some Eve Online. Talk some Twilight Imperium. Then Sean hits the road so he can make it home before nightfall.

Overall, even though I got horribly sick, it was a really fun week. The sore throat and cough have managed to maintain their hold on me, even now over a week later. Hopefully that'll be gone soon.

In other news, gamer weekend this weekend! The heat is fixed! And Intruder Cat has officially intruded! It's been so cold, and he's been on our doorstep so often, that we decided to just start letting him in. That way we can be sure he's safe and warm at least a few hours out of the day. We give him a nice hearty meal of kitten chow (full of vitamins he's probably lacking), fresh water, and pettings. He follows me around like a shadow, which is super cute considering he's a little cautious sometimes -- probably because he's not used to people being nice to him. Eventually I'd like to give him a bath and brush the mats out of his fur.

We don't want to keep him full time until Neelix has arrived and settled in. Just in case they don't get along, we don't want him to feel like he's been thrown out again. If we can keep him, in the future, he'll need to go to the vet. I want to make sure he's healthy, for his sake and Neelix's if they're going to be pals.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Flowers & Sushi

Aaron was late from class the other day. He rides to school since it is so close, and there are many vehicles between our apartment and the college. Naturally as a woman, I worry. Turns out he was just being the sweetest ever and stopped by a florist on his way home to buy me a flower. A huge orange lily to be exact.

Some girls like roses. They are expensive, smell nice, and are pleasing enough to look at. However, all flowers smell nice and are pleasing to look at. So that just leaves you with expensive. The price of an object cannot be correlated to how much someone cares for you, though. The fact that tulips and lilies are my favorite flowers (as is the color orange), and he always remembers that -- means a lot more to me than the cost. The fact that he doesn't need an official holiday to treat me to nice things means even more. He brought me a flower he knew I'd love simply to show his appreciation of me. He is the best.

Then, last night, we went on a sushi date. There's this adorable little place right up the street from us that we'd been meaning to try, so we finally did. It was really good. Though its hard not to be tasty when it comes to sushi. We started the meal with vegetable tempura, then unagi and tako, followed by a caterpillar roll. For dessert we had green tea and red bean ice cream. Sooooooo yummy. Couldn't have had a better time.

And of course, we ended the night playing video games together.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Creepy Stalker

A handful of weeks ago I decided to head to the used book store down the street. Aaron had just gotten home from class and he decided to stay in, so I headed off to the bookstore by my lonesome. It was a lovely afternoon so I didn't mind the walk alone, even though I prefer his company. Little did I know what was in store for me just around the corner.

I had just crossed the parking lot when I noticed a man talking to some woman about a kid. She left and when he approached me, I only stopped because I assumed he had lost his kid and needed help. Turns out instead, he just wanted to talk to me. No harm in that, the people in our new place have all been very neighborly and welcoming, so I thought nothing of it. At first.

He asks me my name, tells me his, explains he had bought cookies from one of the children near by and asked me which he thought he should bake first, the chocolate chip or the peanut butter. I'm like, "Uh... both?" Though easily the correct answer would have been to bake them both together so they would be peanut butter-chocolate chip.

He then goes on to ask if I was attending the college nearby and what classes I'm taking or would be taking. A little intrusive of a stranger to ask, but not altogether unheard of, so I mention I plan on taking ASL in a year or so and he exclaims that he's been learning ASL for a while now and that we should get together to study. I explain that it'll be a while until I attend, if I even do for that matter, and he instead offers the use of his Sign Language books.

I'm a little hesitant about taking anything from a stranger out of a weird sense of debt, but he's pretty insistent upon it and invites me inside. Red flag goes up and I mentioned that I really ought to be heading to the book store since it closes at six, and he waves it off and assures me it'll only take a moment. Reluctantly I follow him towards he door to his apartment, though I don't plan on going in. Especially since five steps forward he tells me how careful I should be, because there are, "Many bad men out there." Additional red flags, are they even needed?

I hover abouts the doorway, where his dog is lounging so it doesn't seem too impolite and he goes in to get the book. I hear him call out that he won't bite and he's got nothing to hide so I should, come in. Cautiously I tip toe a foot into his apartment, knowing the woman across the street saw me do so and that the door behind me was still open. Immediately I notice the over-grown tomato plants obscuring the view into/out of his window. He must have been able to tell that I found it odd, because he started explaining straight away that they used to be even bigger, but when new management took over and did their walk-throughs, they made him trim them down.

He then starts telling me plants can grow year-round so long as you tend them right, and I agree, because out here in California that's very true. If you keep a plant warm enough in the chilly months and well nourished enough, they need not enter a dormant phase. He hands me the book, and I kindly thank him, hoping to now head on to the book store, even going to far as to tell him that. Not quite yet!

He goes on then to introduce me to his dog. An Akita he rescued several years ago after his Lab-Retriever finally had to be put down. Her name is Sierra. Like the mountain, he says. I'm like, okay... It apparently dawns on him that I was walking to the book store, because he asks me why I'm not driving there. I explain that I don't own a car and prefer to go places that I can on foot. He get real close to me and I can tell, awkwardly, that he planned to hug me before thinking better of it and instead shakes my hand, complimenting my morals.

Which leads him to the story of why he no longer owns a car either. He's a born-again Christian sort of fellow and he used to visit all the local churchs like Paul or Peter or some other Bible character I cannot recall at the moment. But he did so in a white Bronco which lead several of the other church-goers to look down on him for, "thinking so highly of himself and riding in on his white horse," in reference to his vehicle...

So long story short, he sells his car to a pastor. I tell him then that I really have to go, as it has been forty-five minutes already and the book store closes in ten minutes. He stops me and says he wants me to use the ASL book to decipher what he says first. I mentioned again more expressively that I really do need to go, but he again insists it will take only a moment. So he signs something, I'm oblivious and the book isn't helping (since most ASL books don't without proper instruction). I realize I'll be here all night at this rate and throw in the proverbial towel. He then says he was saying, "I want something with you."

Mentally I'm thinking, "Oh, ffs!" But outwardly I'm more composed and polite about it, explaining to him that I'm already in a relationship and quite happy. You'd think that would be enough, but he then goes on to like... give me instructions on how to proceed in dating him should I want to and break up with Aaron.

We could only be friends for the first month, nothing romantic. And! If Aaron and I are living together, that's at least five months before he will date me. If Aaron and I were to get married and then divorce, I could not date him for a year per every five years Aaron and I were married.


Yes, these were actual words coming out of his talk-hole. I smile and nod and then, one final time, insist I have to go now. Finally, I'm free. I have to run to the book store by this point because it is so close to closing time, and once I get there I only have a few minutes to quickly peruse what's available. A shame, because there is a ton of great old books to sort through. I grab a couple nicely bound old prints and head out. By now it is growing dark and weird guy's behavior has made me nervous, so I call my mom as insurance on my way home.

As expected, he's waiting outside for me when I get into the parking lot. I assume surely no one would be so intrusive and creepy as to interrupt someone obviously in the middle of a telephone conversation... but he does. He stops me to tell me a story about some Christian radio show he had listened to some time ago about star crossed lovers. The entire time my mom is in the background, on the phone asking, "Who the hell is that? Is this the creepy guy? Was he waiting outside for you?" Etc., etc. None of which I can answer while he is RIGHT there.

I smile and nod some more, and take my leave, finally making it home to tell Aaron all about my experience and how I'm never leaving the house by myself ever again.

Just you wait. There's more.

Yesterday I was doing laundry, while checking the drier to see if it was finished, the same guy comes running up from across the complex shouting my name. I'm like, "???" and peek out of the laundry room window only to realize who it was. I instantly wish there was a back door, but alas there isn't so I just had to be trapped in the room with him.

I'm dreading this conversation but he starts it off with an innocent, "How goes the ASL?" To which I can only reply honestly, that I haven't had the time to start. Then he hits me with he creepy, full force.

"I've been walking this way with Sierra the last couple of weeks trying to see if I could find out where you live."

Not only is he completely socially inappropriate in most ways imaginable, he's also been trying to stalk me for two weeks straight. Since the day he met me. Creeper! To make it worse, the whole time he's talking to me he is obstructing the exit so I cannot leave, and I just so happen to have a laundry basket with underthings in it. Sigh.

He then clarifies just to make sure I did in fact have a boyfriend. I say yes, because... I do. Then he starts asking if any of the people outside are him. One by one. When I say it isn't the man in the baseball hat he says, "I thought for sure it was that guy in the hat, because he keeps checking you out. I guess it's just cause you're pretty though." When I decline that it is the guy watching us from across the street he says, "Huh, he must just be keeping an eye on you to make sure I don't do anything bad."


His friends show up to relieve me of him (not fast enough) and he asks them if I can go along. I don't know where they're going, not that it would make a difference. He then touches my arm after they agree and says, "Heh heh, just playin, I see you're doing laundry." and gives a nod to acknowledge my basket. I uneasily ebb by him and make a retreat to our apartment, but only after I was sure he'd gone and wasn't observing from afar.

This is why I lock myself -in- the house.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Hard Cider

Aaron and I drove down to San Jose with Josh to meet up with Melina (not to be confused with Milena) and hang out at Sean's for Halloween weekend. A formula for super fun.

Sean's cat was remarkably nicer than the last time we'd seen her (back in March), where she would growl and attack people as they walked innocently by her. She only having two outbursts of feline anger. At times, she would even approach you and let you pet her. Granted only for a few seconds before got nervous and/or ran off.

We met up with Melina, Joshua (not to be confused with Josh), Chris, and Kayleigh in San Fransisco at the gigantic mall downtown where we congregated in Borders like true geeks. From there we went on the prowl for sushi, which lead us several blocks away to some itty bitty sushi bar on one of those steep hills you can only find in San Fransisco where we met up with another pal, Stephanie. I'm not exaggerating when I say it was a tiny place, our group of nine took up nearly all of the tables, but that added to the charm of the place.

After having our fill of sushi, Japanese beer, plum wine, and warm sake we concluded that it was time for ice cream. Coldstone was reputedly fantastic, so we headed there. Sean and I racing down the hill nearly into on-coming traffic. Sean won, but only because I was afraid I wouldn't be able to stop myself before plowing into the side of a car. At Coldstone I got a giant scoop of Watermelon sherbet with rainbow sprinkles mixed in. It was delicious, but after-the-fact I determined I should have also gotten chocolate chips.

While lingering outside of the ice cream shop, it was decided that we should meet up at Chris' apartment to watch 300, drink some American beers, and hang out. After driving uphill what seemed like an impossibly long time, that's exactly what we did. This is where we met Abbey, Chris' roomie, who thought my name was, "Totally intense!" and asked what sort of human I was. She was also mesmerized by Aaron's hair. Not that I can blame her. He does have amazing hair. Then we returned to Sean's to pass out until morning came and it was bacon time.

Halloween morning it occurred to us that we had a costume party to attend in a handful of hours, so we raided Sean's closet for last-minute costumes. Which was surprisingly fruitful, yielding masks, cloaks, and all kinds of random costume bits. We ended up with December (a creepy masked man in a suit), a guy with a burlap sack over his head, a lumberjack, and a cloaked woman with claws that we dubbed, "Or Something." Pictures were taken but not by me. So you'll have to wait to see them.

The party itself was fabulous. Joshua made this excellent spiced rum cider and served it out of a Jack-o-Lantern, which was totally my drink of choice for the night. We played on the Wii, then several rounds of I've Never followed by many hilarious games of Twister. Twister as an adult was totally more fun than I recall Twister being as a kid. Maybe it was the alcohol. Or maybe it was the fact that it was a bunch of adults dressed in costumes playing. Either way, it was great.

When the party finally died down, we headed back to Sean's house and went to sleep. Though it could be argued I went to sleep on the ride home, as I fell asleep in the back seat with my head on Aaron's lap. The next morning we went to some quaint little diner for breakfast and some much needed (albeit not good) coffee, before saying our goodbyes and heading back to Sacramento. All in all an A+ vacation.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

All New

Oops, a month went by. My bad. You can guess that my life has either been really busy, or really entertaining. Truth is that it has been both.

September was our last month in the old apartment. Sean came up to visit us and on the weekend of the first, we moved into the new apartment!

With just the three of us it was a little hard, but luckily we weren't taking everything. Mostly just a bunch of things in boxes, bagged groceries, and a couple of pieces of furniture to get us by until we buy new furniture.

Basically we rented a truck, loaded it, then drove over everything we planned on keeping to our new place. Then we went back, loaded the truck, and dropped off all of the stuff we weren't keeping. It took all day, but we got it done with plenty of time for booze and pizza afterward.

The new place is in a better, safer location right by the college Aaron goes to, so he can bike to class. Within walking distance there is also a grocery store, a Target, a Walgreens, a Home Depot, and an In 'n Out. Delicious In 'n Out burgers, mmm... Those of you not on the West coast have no idea how good those things are.

We also found a used book store right around the corner with an awesome selection of really, really old books in really good condition. We bought King's, The Shining first edition in hardcover and a neat hardcover edition of Russian history from the 1950's. I foresee many hours and many dollars being spent there. To make it even better, they've got a shop cat named Sugar. An old, portly white cat without a tail. Super friendly. I may wind up visiting the book store just to visit her on occasion (though I'd undoubtedly leave with a book anyhow).

As if the old book store wasn't rad enough, we also found a comic shop. Scratch that. A huge comic shop. So big in fact its got its own building. Not like usually, where the comic shop is in one of those little strip malls in some tiny neglected section beside a laundry mat or whatever. Wall-to-wall nerd, just like I like it.

We picked up some snazzy new dice, Apples to Apples, and later ordered Arkam Horror. A Lovecraftian boardgame which we've found ourselves playing daily since it arrived. Yesterday Cthulu got out. Aaron was like, "Welp, game over." And I was all, "Lets try to fight him!" But neither of us had dice pools anywhere near big enough to even do damage. So the game was indeed over. Haha.

Basically you randomly select an investigator and an Ancient One. Then you go around the ''city'' as random, usually dangerous, events take place -- fighting monsters and closing portals to other dimensions along the way. If you manage to close all of the rifts, you win. If too many open, or any of several other situations are allowed to transpire, the Ancient One you selected at the beginning of the game is unleashed and you lose.

Well, you may not lose automatically, depending on the Ancient One you wound up with. For example, Yig has a combat modifier of -3, which is doable albeit challenging whereas Azathoth has a combat modifier of -infinity. Which basically means you instantly lose, with no hope of fighting him.

Aside from fighting great beasts from beyond, we've been playing Civilization 5, watching House, Stargate: Atlantis, Dead Like Me, Madmen, The Office, and reading A Feast For Crows together.

If anyone hasn't seen Howl's Moving Castle, you should do that right away.

We're as settled in as we can be until we get all of our furniture. Which, should be soon. We've got the funds, we just haven't actually gone out and made the purchases yet. We even found two furniture stores nearby. One which we've been to (and made note of items we liked) and another which we'll have to visit soon.

I think it would be amusing to buy furniture from both of them and have it delivered on the same day. So they run into each other on the way up.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Library Adventures

Yesterday I went to college with Aaron. He needed to make use of the campus library and I just like to go places with him. He gave me a tour of the grounds, showed me where a few of his classes are, pointed out the nerd section in the cafeteria, and then we made our way to the library.

Unfortunately the book he needed was checked out, so we decided to head to a nearby bookstore to buy other books he needed for other courses. En route we decided to check out some of the apartment complexes nearby since we are in the market for a new place and we've had our eye on a particular place in that area.

We found a particularly nice one and will likely wind up there once we've got all of our plans panned out and everyone's schedules worked in. Best part is that it's a big place, perfect for the two of us and Neelix the giant. Second best part is that there is a creek nearby, so there is a cool place for me to go chill by the water and play with frogs.

The second place we stopped to check out was endlessly confusing, though they had brilliantly tended palm trees lining the walk ways. We wandered around for so long trying to find the manager's office that there were hawks circling over head waiting for us to die so they could bag a free meal.

The third place was even less welcoming, if that's possible. We found the manager's office easy enough, however the manager was some crotchety old woman who made fiberglass socks seem pleasant. She answered the door with a, "Yeah?" and when we informed her that we were in the market for a new apartment her reply was, "What do you want?"

An apartment... we just said that, didn't we? I was speechless, it was profound how ill suited she was to her job. Like she wanted nothing to do with us or the paperwork that would be involved in taking copious amounts of our cash. Her loss.

She made the guy at the first place who had sat down to have a chat with us and then took us on a tour of the community seem like some housing market saint. I kind of wanted to go back and offer him a drink or a cookie or something for being good at his job (and not an ass).

It was an entertaining day. Once we got back to the library, the book Aaron had needed was back and he could get his work underway. I busied myself with sketching beside him and bore witness to the most painfully awkward/hopeless flirting ever -- making the day even greater.

At the next table some odd social fail was happening. This dude casually "wanders" past the girl sitting there, does an actual double take and coyly proclaims how he almost walked right by her without seeing her there. Despite clearly having no business in the library, let alone the inner most library courtyard aside from "nonchalantly" bumping into her. As in: no books, no back pack, no notebook, no writing utensils. He then helped himself to the seat beside her.

At first I thought it was going to be a really weird case of unrequited affections, but no, it ended up being weirder because she totally wanted him as much as he wanted her. Just somehow neither of them were aware of the other's interest. While he had come there just in the hope of running into her, she flirted with him mercilessly the second he sat down.

And yet she remained oblivious to his motives and he remained just as ignorant to hers. I was tempted to go over to the both of them and set things straight just so I could stop being witness to all of the sad, but eventually she left and he just sat around for twenty or so minutes (doing nothing) until I guess it finally became clear she had left for good, and then he left as well.

It was really funny.

Once Aaron finished his work, we packed up our things and journeyed home, stopping for tasty Mexican food at this new little place on the way we had been curious about. Om nom nom. We spent the rest of the night in with Stargate and Civilization 4. Spain declaring war on me kept us up way past bed time.

In other news, it was brought to my attention that Neelix was very sick recently but is on the road to recovery now. Everyone keep his big giant head in your thoughts and send him all your well wishes if you happen to be his ultra cool Facebook friend.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Cheesecake and College

Aaron started classes today so I'm sitting here all by my lonesome thinking on how weird it feels that the seat beside me is empty. Or more accurately: isn't occupied by him. Maybe I will construct a make-shift Aaron out of blankets and talk to it while I play video games until real Aaron gets home. Maybe.

Last Saturday he took me to Cheesecake Factory for dinner (and cheesecake). I had never been there before, so it was twice as amazing. Being that Aaron took me there made it thrice as amazing. The fact that they had pages and pages of cheesecake to choose from boosted the amazing factor even higher. The food was magnificent from appetizer to dessert and the environment was especially pleasant. Were I a restaurant critic I'd be giving my Cheesecake Factory experience a 5 out of 5 stars.

It was also the first time I've ever had asparagus. Little did I know, I like asparagus! I've tried more new things since my arrival here than I have in the last ten years of my life. It was a wonderful way to spend my evening. We even brought some cheesecake home so that we could have more cheesecake later. And we did.

Right now I'm musing over dinner. Aaron's schedule means I'm alone for dinner tonight, and everyone knows of the two of us, he is the chef. I settled in with Dragon Age and a bowl of rainbow sprinkles a bit ago but at some point I'm going to need actual food. At least, that is what my adult senses are telling me.

Not dinner?

Monday, July 5, 2010

Almost Home

I'm back in Ohio now safe and sound but only until Saturday. Then I fly home, to California! I shall pass the time with this here kitten on my knee.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Michigan, This Weekend!

This will be my last appearance before I take the Oregon trail West. It may be quite some time before you see me again, since I'm no longer dividing my time between both coasts but moving there full time. I'll be bringing kittens, so if you would like one or know someone who would, let me know ahead of time and I'll bring extras! I'll be in the 313 area, specifics available upon request. I hope to see you all there!

Monday, June 21, 2010


So this month hasn't been all doom and gloom (read: waiting impatiently). Though it's been quite a while since an update took place. Take that however you will.

I drew the crap out of the first part of this month. Like ink and paper were going to go out of style. Now I haven't drawn anything for a week or more. It feels weird. As if I'm obligated to not allow that to happen or something. Though not in a bad way or anything like that. Just in an odd way.

I went to another party a few weekends past and had a great time. Someone else going away. I think it's the summer trend. People leaving. We dominated a game of beer pong and a game of Family Feud on the Wii. Well, Lena and I dominated the beer pong. Lindsey and I got thrashed playing Family Feud. I think those boys should play game shows for a living. Or at least Family Feud. They knew more about what goes into a woman's purse than two women did!

I've played much Portal and stand now at the end of the proverbial road. The only thing preventing its completion being a lack of ginger and a fondness for not wanting it to be over. Some friends and I have been passing the time in Borderlands and Left 4 Dead 2, too. Meanwhile Aaron and I beat Dawn of War II then proceeded on to the expansion Chaos Rising and beat that as well. The traitor in our chapter was quite a surprise! Then of course, Dragon Age. Lots of gaming goodness.

One of my sisters Stan Marshed me into one of those damn facebook games and is trying to lure me back to Warcraft. I can think of several hundred reasons not to. However good of an idea it may seem when direly bored. Which actually isn't that often right now, but happens every great once in a while. I can only think of one legit reason I'd consider playing again and well, it's not my sister, though I love her dearly.

I took my mom to the movies and dinner for her birthday. We saw the new Karate Kid, in which the martial art being used is actually kung fu, but it's still the same premise. Which is why it bears the name. Too many people are willing to waste all their time getting hung up about the technicalities rather than actually experience something for themselves and forming a real opinion. It was actually pretty good. A very nostalgic movie choice, and Jackie Chan is always a bonus to any movie. My only real complaint is the camera work. It had that whole "free range" thing going on with lots of spinning and shaking and bouncing and what have you. All of which makes me dreadfully dizzy.

I should have stashed some ginger in my purse.

Speaking of things for watching. Another show to keep us busy until The Office comes back had to be found. We ended up speeding through all the available episodes of Caprica (whoops) and had to find another other show! So we got a hold of Jericho, which had a very promising first season before being canceled and picked up for a seven episode second season. Even so, it's still worthwhile to watch. I recommend it. Now that True Blood has returned all is well again in my scheduled weekly viewing department. Though you can never have too many good things to watch.

This weekend for Father's day we took my brother's kids so that he could have a nice quiet day with his wife. I played a game of golf with Jaiden, who was far too excited about golf for any one person that size. Then we caught a toad and, "took it home," saw a daddy longlegs also going home, and ended the day with a game of T ball. Mind you all the sports equipment being used was brightly colored plastic and made to scale to a 5 year old's height. So I did a lot of crawling around on my knees.

Yes, there's a joke there.

I've got several appointments on the horizon, including my obscenely long Sleep Study on Wednesday and the follow up to that, provided we can get a date for it before I'm gone. I wonder if the doctors are going to make me breakfast again? This time without the radiation of course. Speaking of being gone: bumped up the moving plans from the end of July to the beginning of July. Ideally by the tenth I'll be living across the land full time! But most of you already knew that.

Before that I have many things to do. Including a trip to Michigan. Which will have to be planned soon. So if you're one of my Ohio or Michigan friends, better get me while you can. It's going to be a hectic few weeks and you know I would hate to miss out on seeing any of you before I'm out of here!

In other news: Gobi is doing fantastic, Neelix is spectacular (as ever), and all of my brother's kittens are healthy and almost ready to be adopted. Hint hint. All in all things are rad. Except this bug bite. It is opposite of rad and itches fiercely.

I covered all sorts of things in this I hadn't planned to. I originally meant to just sort of sum up the last couple of weeks in a paragraph, but as this cat lay here in my lap forbade me to move to go do anything else, all manner of words happened. Oh well, consider it compensation for the epic lack of updates since June 1st.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Memorial Day

Sunday was the dedication for Jason Hernandez, it was a really moving event. A clear blue sky and a field bathed in warm light really set the mood. The speeches given moved the crowd to tears, even those who didn't know him were crying when John, Jason's Father, read a letter written by Jason before he died.

I made a post about it way back when, but as a refresher, Jason was a soldier serving in Iraq when a improvised explosive device killed him in 2007. On his 21st birthday no less. More than that he was a son, brother, husband, and a friend to all who knew him. A kid we all grew up with.

He had such an impact on everyone's lives that the primary road in our city, Route 43, has been renamed after him so that he will always be remembered.

I ran into a bunch of old friends from school after the ceremony. People I had not seen in a face-to-face sort of way in far too many years, though we've always kept in touch. Like Makenzie, Mel's beautiful daughter. The last time I saw her was when I held her the day she was born, at the hospital. Now she's a kid grown, full of opinions and that faux independence we all flaunted as children. No amount of shared pictures could have done that justice. I look forward to seeing them all some more before I move permanently.

As an aside, I hope you all had a pleasant Memorial Day. I did! There was an array of tasty BBQ food, hard lemonade, and plenty of good company. Never forget what the day off of work is for though.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

William Riker's Beard

I thought this weekend was going to be a bummer for several reasons. Most notably a certain someone being out of town! However, this weekend managed to be fabulous.

I went to a party at The Liz, followed by a party in a pool where drunken clothed swimming took place. I'm fairly sure all of my favorite people in Ohio were there. To make it even better, I got to make a Will Riker reference and a Ferangi reference in the same night -- and both were gotten. That's pretty amazing.

Where am I?!
Today when I woke up Starwars was on TV (always cause for celebration), and I didn't know what was going on. Why did I smell like chlorine? Where did my other earring go? The mystery was solved by a note I had drunkenly written myself before bed. I didn't lose actual memory from last night, I just didn't get enough sleep so when I woke up I was still drunk.

Later I got to go play with not one but seven kittens! They were super cute in their wobbly eyes-just-opened state. Speaking of kittens, in a few more weeks they'll all need homes! So if you're looking for a friend (or a replacement for your Companion Cube), let me know. On the way home I went to an icecream stand and got a waffle cone. Mmm, waffle cones...

I have no closing statement for this entry.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

A Month to Kill

I realize now after writing this that the title sounds like I'm some contract killer or rebel soldier or something and I only have one month to kill my targets before the time is up. If I don't meet the deadline, I get dead? I don't know. I don't think I thought this through.


The hospital, my doctor's office, and their various phone-slaves finally mustered up enough team coherence to reschedule my sleep study. What was a speedy, "four days from now," is now an obnoxious, "one month from now." June 23rd. Which naturally pushes back all of my other scheduled appointments as well, since they rely on information provided by this one. Also, it's been changed from a daytime sleep study to an all night sleep study followed immediately by an all day sleep study. So I'll be effectively removed from society for 24 hours.

I have no idea how I'm going to entertain myself during this time frame. Lots of reading, I presume. Doctors are seldom interesting enough to hold a conversation with past the 5 minute mark. I've met enough to know. I'd bring my sketchpad, but then I have to deal with the constant inquiries. Asking me what I'm drawing, where I learned to draw, if I do it professionally, my inspiration, and what sorts of mediums I use. Like it's some sort of arcane magic they've never before seen first hand. It is very difficult to draw anything with someone over your shoulder distracting you every three minutes.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mother's Day Space Marine

I took my mom out to brunch and bought her a book for Mother's Day, then treated her to gourmet coffee. Don't forget your mothers this weekend, guys. They love you! You're never too cool to love your mommies, I don't care who you are.

Every now and then I get the urge to actually go out and shop for things aside from groceries. Rare but not unheard of. Particularly, I find myself in much need of clothing. I can never take shopping for clothing seriously though because you just stumble upon such whacky clothes you can't help but imagine what sort of crazy person actually buys them. This makes shopping more fun though because I make a game of it. If I can find the absolute ugliest, most bizarre item on the rack, I win. If I can fit into it, I double win. If someone gets a picture of me making an ass out of myself, you win (but I won twice).

Mission accomplished!
I passed a quarter machine at the mall and was sad to learn I held no quarters whatsoever. Though I magically had a single dollar. I NEEDED more balls for my collection. Not ten steps away -- I found a change machine. Cha-ching! Balls +2.

My quest for a dual timezone watch is finally at an end. In lovely sterling silver, I can now keep track of time in Ohio and California simultaneously! Best part? By being nice I got the clerk to add the watch I wanted to the current 50% off sale. Only thing better than stylishly keeping time on both coasts? Doing it for 50% less.

When isn't a good time to be a Space Marine? Never, that's when. While meandering about waiting for pretzels to cook, GameStop happened. I figured I was due another game for my DS to make waiting rooms and airports less boring. Let it not be said digging through the clearance bin never pays off. Once you get passed all the teen idol games and movies made into a game games, you may actually find something worth paying for.

I also bought several Magic cards and when I got home to have a gander at them noticed someone threw in extras for free. How dapper. Free stuff is always great! Aaron says, "The amount of free stuff received is inversely proportional to the amount of clothes worn.  You probably could have gotten a lot more!" He's probably right.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Weather

I absolutely adore this weather. Despite the fact that it keeps making the electricity go out. I love it.

Darkness and lightning, rain and hail, wind and thunder...

I've got the window open, I can smell the storm on the air, drink my tea, and read my book. Life is good.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

I Dream of Sleeping

In all honesty this was a rather pointless doctor appointment in the grand scheme of things. Basically I walked in, waited for him to arrive, and was told the same exact thing I was told before. By the other doctor. Only difference was that this guy could order more sleep studies to be done. So I do that again during the day time, this Tuesday. They're testing to confirm narcolepsy.

The good: I'd have a diagnosis.
The bad: Controlled substances for life.

If it is as they suspect, I've likely been suffering from the effects of it for years now. Since high school at least. Which explains a ton, actually.

Essentially all those super awesome in-depth dreams I have and recall with such great clarity every night are both a boon and a curse. Narcolepsy is scientifically cooler than portrayed by the media and yet amazingly less funny. No cause for concern yet, so I won't concern you!

I report to the hospital at 8am and stay all day, napping on cue. They'll be measuring the time it takes me to fall asleep and the time it takes me from that point to reach REM sleep. Those with narcolepsy get little to no Deep sleep, instead bypassing it straight to REM. This was observed in my overnight sleep study, but to confirm I have to do it every time I sleep -- even during day time naps.

We'll see how this goes. I remain optimistic regardless.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bokchoy Wonderland

Went and saw Alice In Wonderland this past weekend. It wasn't as dark as I had expected an Alice In Wonderland rendition by Tim Burton to be, but it was entertaining none-the-less. Alice In Wonderland is inherently dark by it's very nature, so I suppose I just suspected Burton would've honed in on that more to his advantage. It was enjoyable though. I liked the Cheshire Cat especially, but then again he's always been my favorite.

I have a strange fascination with quarter machines. You know? Those things you see in super markets and theaters everywhere. Insert a quarter, get a random toy.  Usually I just buy rubber balls, the fun is in trying to guess what color you'll get. If you guess right, you win! But I couldn't pass up the opportunity to get a Bok Choy Boy from the theater's machines. I mean, who could? Just what is a Bok Choy Boy? Well...

Delicious bok choy!
A boy. Whose? I don't know.
 Somehow combining the two gives you this:

 Yeah, I don't know either. Moving on!

We had the hardest time finding card shops, which was boggling because several years ago there were at least 4 or 5 within a 30 minute drive (30 minutes is considered pretty good, out here).  In fact local listings still list them nearby. However, all of them are gone if you try going to where they are supposed to be. Like all just up and closed simultaneously. I eventually managed to find a few places -- none of which were actual card shops. So at least I know where I can find M:TG cards locally, should I desire anything mundane I don't require the internet for.  For everything else... there's the internet! I imagine that's where I'll be buying the brunt of my stock from anyhow. Since, you know, Ohio and all.

In other geeky news, I finally got Dragon Age working. I'm not sure how many of you have played it or plan on playing it, so I won't spoil anything. Song of Ice And Fire fans may be interested to know there is totally a Ser Jory in it though! Whether or not it's an intentional reference, I have no idea, but I found it amusing. Aside from that it's been Dawn of War II and Skies of Arcadia. I need more hours in a day to play all these games. Dragon Age is absorbing too many of them.

Tomorrow is my doctor appointment. Briiiiight and early, so I probably won't be on until afterward and even then I'll probably try to nap as soon as I get home. At least you know ahead of time that I'll be leaving you hanging a while.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Sky Pirate

Computer and internet troubles have plagued me since my return, no biggie, I'll have them sorted out in no time. In the meanwhile I have Skies of Arcadia to keep me busy. I get to be a sky pirate. Yes, you read that right and it's exactly what it sounds like. Only cooler.

Which beats what I was doing before hooking up the Gamecube:

Staring contest with my cat.
I win by default because he always falls asleep.

The game plays a lot like your typical JRPG, but you have an airship. Also, maybe I just haven't played a JRPG in a long while, but this seems like more fun than what I'm used to in a JPRG. Less predictability, if that makes sense. Normally in this sort of game I've figured out the good guys, the bad guys, and how it's all going to end within the first hour of gameplay. Not so here.

That's what she said.
Readjusting to Ohio hasn't been easy. In fact, I don't think it's possible. I'll just have to manage. Somehow. A time machine would be helpful, if any of you have successfully built one yet. In exchange for its use I could offer you... Cadbury Creme Eggs. Or art.

In unrelated news, I think I'm going to the movies this weekend? I need to scout out local card shops as well so I can get my nerd on. We'll see.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Oh, Ohio

As many of you are already aware, I am safe and sound back in Ohio. Though I left my heart in California (along with my sweater, incidentally).

My flights were pretty uneventful this time around. From Sacramento to Denver I sat beside a big big fat who kept complimenting my jewelry. Then from Denver to Akron my seat was all by itself so I didn't have to deal with strangers. It was cold though with no sweater.

Comedy happened when I forgot my watch was set to PST. I felt like I had been on the plane for at least 4 hours, looked at my watch only to see it was 8pm and thought I had only been on the plane for a single damned hour. Then, several moments later the captain tells us to prepare for landing. I was like, "Hrp. Why are we landing 3 hours early?"

Shut up.

Upon arrival I was whisked away to Denny's for midnight breakfast. Pancakes, hashbrowns, bacon, sausage, and coffee. I hadn't eaten anything since tasty breakfast hotdogs, so I was fairly famished. You read that right. Though saying I just had a hotdog for breakfast is misleading. I had a hotdog slathered in BBQ sauce with piles and piles of bacon on top. Bacon is a breakfast food, right?

While waiting on our food, using sugar packets, I taught my mother how to play Magic, so that if I were so inclined, I'd have someone to play with here in Amish land. I think the only thing dorkier than sitting in Denny's at 2am, if you hadn't just come from a bar/club/party, is sitting in Denny's at 2am teaching your parents to play a card game (that isn't poker).

When I actually got to the house Neelix was eagerly awaiting my return at the door. He immediately planted his giant head in my palm, forcing me to pet him. Not that I wouldn't have otherwise, but he lacks patience of any sort.

Sticking with tradition, I got Swine Flu. Again.

This time totally Aaron's fault.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Four Weeks

Last Friday was fabulous. We met up with Kurt and Arlene in Old Sacramento. For those unfamiliar, Old Sacramento is like 3 blocks of super old buildings full of shops, restaurants, and taverns. Think of old Western movies and you'll have a pretty decent idea of what the place looks like. There are also river boats and horse-drawn carriages. I even saw an Amish family wandering about (must've followed me from Ohio).

We started the day strolling along the streets, stopped for lunch at Fat City (how could you not eat there?) where I had a delicious cheeseburger slathered in BBQ sauce, and then we took over a river boat. Yarr!  Our boat passed by a bridge, which had to open for us to get by, and we held up rush hour traffic which I found satisfying. The best part though, was probably that all the smaller boats on the river waved at us every time we passed. The river tour was an hour of neat, then it was back on land with us. By then it was clearly ice cream cone time, so we went and got ice cream at some tiny little ice cream place.

A few pictures are available of us... on a boat.

Evening was almost upon us, so we called it a day. Mind you, escaping downtown Sacramento is like being lost in an episode of the Twilight Zone. You can't just go back the way you came because of all the one way streets. The way back was like some epic quest, and none of us had put enough points into Navigation. But that was all part of the fun.

Later in the week we went and bought a ton of candy. Of note, an entire box of Cadbury Eggs. The cashier wasn't sure how to ring them up, since they only sell them individually and we had brought up an entire sealed box. So he like, took them all out of the box one by one and started counting them. I couldn't help but start giggling as everyone in line waited for the poor cashier to figure out exactly how much to charge us for an entire box of Cadbury eggs. It was ridiculous (and awesome).

The incredible edible egg!
I figured he would just multiply the price of each egg by the egg count on the outside of the box, but he decided to be super efficient or something and took the long route. At first, I thought he was going to ring up each egg he took out one by one, which would have been even more ridiculous (read: hilarious). I could barely contain my amusement as it was. I felt bad for laughing so hard with all of the people in line behind us. Notably the poor older gentleman who was actually just buying a carton of actual eggs.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Three Weeks

Another week has gone by so here I am with a weekly update! Everything is still awesome, not that that's any shock to anyone. We traveled by train (choo choo) from Sacramento to San Jose for a big party. The journey there was cool in it's own right, since I've never traveled any significant distance by train. Let alone a two story train with electrical outlets and diners inside.

The scenery in California going anyplace is fantastic, but by train it seems especially so. Lots of contrast in the environment: marshes, plains, cities, forests, farms, mountains (or giant hills), etc. Go anyplace at all and you'll probably see at least a combination of 3 of those. Not like most other places I've been where it's virtually all sparse, flat land.

Here is a cloud, also a vineyard.
The party was also great, not that anything less was expected. There was drunken tomfoolery, geekery, drunken geekery... You know, all those things I enjoy the most. Sean's a generous host and all the people out here are just nice to be around. I think over the last year I've met more people I like in California than I have in the past 10 years living in elsewhere.

The journey back by train was even cooler since it was dusk. The sun setting behind a mountain casting shadows over plains dotted with marshes was very pretty to say the least. I was a little worried initially that my motion sickness would rear it's ugly head on a train, but I was actually pretty fine. A little dizzy but no worse than if I had been in a car. Actually, probably a little better than if I had been in a car. Which is interesting to know.

Now we're back in Sacramento. On Friday we've plans to go hang out with my uncle from San Fransisco. I don't get to see him nearly enough considering he's my favorite uncle, so that'll be sweet. Until then it's Soul Calibur IV, Diablo II on Nightmare difficulty, Dawn of War II, Stargate, South Park, The Office, and Lost! And probably tons of other less nerdy things, but if you're reading my status updates online, the geeky things are probably more interesting to you anyway.

tl;dr: fun stuff happened, more fun stuff happened, I'm doing fun stuff.

P.S. Keep an eye on my Deviant. I do have something special to post for having reached 4000 views, I've just been having too much fun to upload it. Or finish drawing it for that matter. Ahem.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

One Week

It has been about a week since I've been in California and as I recall anything longer than that is considered "too long" between updates. So, here is an update!

I get daily texts from my mom about the well being of my cat and my goldfish and I spend my days doing awesome things with awesome people in an awesome place (no less).

Right now we are working our way through Diablo II. We will save the world! Or perhaps we'll inevitably destroy the world, with our dark might (TM)! Who knows?

Not I.

The only draw back is my Windows Bug has escalated and I'm now stuck in 800x600 resolution with no hope of changing it until I reformat. So every time I get online it's like a laptop time machine to 1997. By the way guys, I've got a Windows Bug.

Also: Magic. I have learned it (more or less). Now I can also be a card geek. My nerdiness knows no bounds! I now just have to make my own decks.

Alas, I smell something delicious in the kitchen and my curiosity will not let me remain here, on the bed, typing like a typerton. Away I go!

Friday, March 19, 2010

California FTW

Safe and sound in California, been so for a couple of days but I'm a big slacker and found myself too preoccupied to say anything. So here I am saying something while waiting on a game install.

Hope you're all well and having at least half as much fun as I'm having.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Sunshine, Ho!

Me: I wanna take me with me.
My mom: Does that mean you're beside yourself?
(I don't remember typing this, I must have still be kind of drunk?)

I won't have time to check in tomorrow before I leave for the airport, since I have to be up far before dawn, so I'll say my habitual pre-travel words tonight before bed instead. I just got back from last minute shopping to grab things I may or may not need but should have "just in case." Rather have something and not need it than need something and not have it. amirite?!

As soon as I finish shoving everything back into my luggage I intend to go to sleep so that I won't be totally dead all day tomorrow. Though, even if I went to bed right this instant, I'd still only be getting about 6 hours of sleep. So I'll probably end up sleepy anyway, but at least I won't feel crappy AND tired. I can live with that.

I'm super excited, which is going to work against my whole going to bed plan I'm sure. Shut up! I can't help myself. Of course the drinks I had when I took my mom out to dinner tonight may prove useful in that regard. We'll see. My extraordinarily shitty internet will definitely be conductive to going to bed early. Like it's trying to prove a point or something. It's gone out about 14 times since I started writing this.
I'll update from an airport someplace, if I'm able.

In case any of you find yourselves wanting to imagine me flying through the sky, here's my schedule!

Flight #1
From: Cleveland, OH
To: Chicago, IL
Departs: 7:30am
Arrives: 8:20am

Flight #2
From: Chicago, IL
To: Sacramento, CA
Departs: 10:05am
Arrives: 12:40pm

Hopefully no one forgets to feed my goldfish. Ahem.

To everyone in Ohio: See you in a month!
To everyone in California: See you tomorrow!
To the internets: We'll be in touch, obebe.

P.S. Tomorrow is Aaron's birthday. I am going to hug him the instant I'm off the plane.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Nicest Viewer Ever

EVER! No seriously. I mean it.

Someone added one of my sketches to their favorites over at Deviant. Now, it is customary to thank people for visiting your gallery, so naturally that's what I did. I never want anyone to feel like their support isn't appreciated. Image my surprise when this is the response:

Name omitted.
At first I thought I was being yelled at, but as I continue beyond the first sentence I realize it's just a really nice person saying really nice things. On the internet no less, how rare! Viewing, commenting, and collecting my work is great on it's own, but this individual really took it to the next level. The rest of you may have to step up your game. I kid, I kid. But really, it was a very generous appraisal and it made me smile when I read it.

In less than a week I'll be in California again. How exciting! Some of you already know that, either because I told you personally or because you're following me on my super official Facebook. Like that guy and her over there. Yeah, you. I'm stoked. I'll be gone for an entire month, so if there's anything in particular you'd like for me to do that I wouldn't be able to do from the other side of the country, you should probably ask me now. Tomorrow is already quite booked though, so, any other day.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mauled By A Bear!

Okay, it was my cat, but honestly he is kind of like a bear. In size and build, anyway.

What happened is that everyone and their dog (literally) wanted to come see the mythical giant cat on my nephew's birthday. I tried to warn them that he had never seen a dog before and thus wasn't a big fan, but children are hardly adept at waiting and they opened the door prematurely with the dogs right there. Much to the dismay of my flesh:

I should probably get stitches or something.
The worst part was that due to his weight (30 lb.) and size (2'8"), he didn't just rend the flesh, he also bruised the muscle beneath. The big fat! Mere seconds after it happened he was chilling on the foot of my bed half asleep like nothing out of the ordinary had happened whatsoever. Dog intrusion totally forgotten. But that's Neelix for you.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Home is Where The Heart Is

We got back in to Ohio yesterday, but I was so exhausted and busy doing things that I didn't bother with an update. My apologies for that. Hopefully enough of you heard through the grapevine that there was no worrying. It's not like me to set out on an epic journey and not let you guys know I arrived safely.

We got a late start because our plan to grab a couple of muffins and some coffee from the hotel's free breakfast failed when my grandfather saw biscuits and gravy and just had to have a plate. Then we ran into traffic crossing the Ohio river, where all the interstates merge to cross the bridge. Then I delayed us a little longer when we pulled off 75 North to get gas in Ashland and ran into Grandpa's Cheesebarn. How can you NOT stop at a place like that and buy something is beyond me.

We finally got in around 6pm.

Neelix made the trip like a pro. Not a peep of protest from him despite being in a carrier for over seven hours. My grandpa, being horrible with names, of course cannot remember the cat's. He's been dubbed such things as, "Melee," and "Ni hao." Or most recently, "Meatloaf." Waiting to see what he'll call him next became a minigame. If I guess close to right, I win! Neelix always loses, though.

When I got him home and let him out all the other cats here came to investigate. Despite everyone's concern, there was no confrontation.  Which, if I recall (which I do), I said about a million times before I brought him back that there wouldn't be. And there wasn't. Odin, Karma, and Spider all came and checked him out with no hostility whatsoever. And, naturally, Neelix being as carefree as he is didn't mind their curiosity one bit.

In fact, everyone's biggest concern: Odin, had no qualms about his presence at all. Neelix sat under my chair, I sat in my chair, and Odin curled up under my desk. Just a foot away from one another with no incident. By this afternoon Spider and Neelix were sleeping on my bed together. Karma has visited him several times, in her indifferent sort of way, and then carried on about her business.

The only concern now is the dogs and that's not even actual concern. They are all well tempered with cats, since they've grown up with them around, but Neelix has never seen a dog. So I'm sure when he encounters one he'll be a little freaked out. Nothing time won't solve, though.

He's been sleeping in my lap all afternoon, making my legs fall asleep because of how very big he is. Not fat, just large. About 30 lb. worth of orange and white cat. Good thing he's well behaved. I missed him so much that I couldn't bring myself to make him get off of me. I just drank my coffee and dealt with the pins and needles.

Today is my nephew William's birthday, so I'll wrap this up to go eat pizza, shower him with presents, and then devour lots and lots of cake. Mm, birthday cake... I'll never forget his first birthday, he donned his first piece of cake like warpaint. It was great. Soon he'll be starting school. wtf!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Tennessee is one of those words that you look at weird because you're pretty sure you spelled it right. So just to be sure you rearrange some of the letters, add or remove a few and then the whole thing just becomes so confused you're not sure any of it was ever right in the first place. Then even if you are certain it is right, every time you read it thereafter it seems wrong.

I'm checking in from some place in Tennessee (see?). The hotel in Port Richey had no internet, so I was a week without. Not a huge deal, I was pretty busy anyhow. Hanging out with the Seminoles, loading up the SUV, driving out to retrieve my cat, and then taking all the folks who helped out to dinner so many times I lost count.

Boy was I thrilled to see my cat again. Words can't even describe it, so I won't try. He remembered me as soon as I let him out of the carrier into the hotel room to wander around. Spent the entire evening stalking me like a shadow and laying on me like a big big fat. He's taking the journey well which is fabulous. Not that I expected much differently, he's a chill cat.

The drive down was a breeze. From Ohio to Georgia, where we rested the first day, went by fast. Kentucky has beautiful architecture along 75 South, and Tennessee is just naturally gorgeous. Georgia is, well, Georgia. A whole lot of nothing. Only redeeming quality of Florida is all the armadillos I saw. I had never seen a live armadillo before. Super yay!

The drive back up? Not so fast. We ran into a 2 hour delay after Atlanta. We had no trouble at all driving through the very heart of it on the way down, but it was atrocious this afternoon. We bypassed the city itself on 285 West and managed to, somehow, run into a traffic jam once we got back onto 75 North 20 miles after Atlanta. Go figure. Luckily we had gotten lunch just before, so even going 5 mph wasn't so torturous.

Now I sit here sipping a strawberry-chocolate shake and munching french fries watching reruns of House until I'm tired enough to sleep. Then at the crack of dawn it's back on the road. Only about 5 or 6 more hours ahead of us if we make good time.

I've tons of pictures of tons of things, but those will have to wait. Sometime after I arrive in Ohio tomorrow. See you all then!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Spanish Inquisition

Nobody expects it.

In a little less than 7 hours, I will begin the journey South to fetch my belongings from Florida. Finally. Finally. What a weight off my shoulders. It will be a long drive, around 24 hours total. Though, we'll be breaking in Georgia to eat and sleep so all in all the trek will probably round out around 30 hours or more. That'll put us there on Monday.

I bought a bunch of snacks for the road. Banana nut muffins, blueberry muffins, lemon poppy seed muffins, Bavarian creme doughnuts, Sunchips, pistachios, and jerky amongst them. I'm sensing a little bit of a theme there. Also orange juice, since I'll be rising at the crack of dawn tomorrow. I'll end this paragraph there before I am forced to think about how very little sleep I'll be getting tonight.

Here's a little run down of the ideal schedule. I'll probably do more than just these things of course, but these are what falls on the "to do" list. The entirety of Monday will be spent wallowing around in the hotel's queen size bed or even better, the hot tub. This'll be a day devoted to recovering from sitting for so damned long.

Tuesday I meet with the Seminole tribe folk who moved all of my possessions out of the house it was in and into storage. Whatever will fit will be loaded into the SUV and driven back up North when I go. Likely all my personal boxes, dishes, consoles, computers, and cozy computer chair. The other furniture will remain in storage until the Seminole find buyers for it or I get my place.

If I sell it I don't have to worry about moving it all the way from Florida to Ohio and can use the money to instead just buy all new furniture that I don't have to move hundreds of miles. If I don't sell it I retain my comfortable over-sized furniture but have to spend money without having made any getting it to wherever. Logically the previous is the better idea, but we'll see how it goes.

Wednesday is vacation day! I do absolutely nothing of importance all day and just bum around pool side sipping fruity alcoholic beverages with little umbrellas in them.

Thursday I have to go to the house in Clearwater and personally pick up a few odd ends that were left behind, but most importantly I have to go there to get my cat. The fabled Neelix! I can't wait. I'm actually looking more forward to being reunited with my cat than I am looking forward to having all my stuff back. Anyone who has met him knows why though.

He's a great cat.
Friday, bright and early we begin the drive back up, stopping once somewhere along the way for food and sleep again. We should be safely back in Ohio with Neelix and everything else by Saturday sometime. I probably won't have a lot of time on the internet while down there, but I will have my cell phone with me. You know what that means! My mom will send me daily picture texts of my goldfish every time she goes to feed him.

Toodles land of ice and snow.
I'll miss you most of all, internets.
Florida, watch out, here I come!

Thursday, February 25, 2010


Some people spoil their kids. Some people spoil their dogs. I spoil my goldfish: Gobi Gaara. While out the other night I decided to pick up some fabric plants to replace the plastic one he had. Not only are they more visually attractive, but cloth is far gentler on passing fins and scales. Then I decided to upgrade his house from a half gallon tank to a five gallon aquarium, complete with filter. That's right, it's no longer Gobi House. It's Gobi Manse.

1.5 inches of pure awesome.
Happy goldfish is happy.

Whoever said you can't buy friends is mistaken, as I also bought some friends for Gobi Gaara. So he wouldn't be sitting here on my desk in a big aquarium all by his lonesome while I'm out of town. The plan was five neon tetras and a cory cat.

As an aside, neon tetras are a community fish, and should always be kept in small schools.

That said, I wasn't planning to put all five in Gobi's manse. I was donating two of them to my mother's tank. She used to have a small school of neon tetras herself, but lost all but one over time. So that one tetra was a nervous mess. Buying five tetras would give us each a school of three. However, when the clerk went to fish out five tetras she ended up scooping up six tetras and a ghost shrimp. Rather than try to put them back, she just gave the extras to me. No charge.

While five gallons is a considerable size it's still not that big, so I gave the extra tetra to my mother for her tank. I had not noticed, since her tetra had been the only one for so long, that its colors had faded so much. In comparison to the newly introduced fish, he was rather bland. Probably from the stress. Within ten minutes of being part of a school again, his coloring improved and he quit hiding under a rock.

Friendly tetras are friendly.

I then brought the rest of the fish to Gobi's manse and dumped them in. He had been all by himself for quite a while and wasn't sure what to make of the situation at first. Kind of peeking out at the new comers through the soft leaves of the plants before coming out to investigate. The three neon tetra formed their little school, the ghost shrimp played hard-to-see on the rock, and the cory cat took to whiskering about the pebbles for food.

Much to my surprise, my favorite newcomer was the ghost shrimp. The addition who ironically wasn't even on my list to begin with. He was very active, scooting about with his swimmerets and picking bits of algae off the rock cave. Gobi Gaara accidentally picked him up a couple of times and spit him back out, mistaking his hard exterior for a pebble. Pretty amusing relationship between the two.

I was even more surprised when after about thirty minutes the ghost shrimp decided it was time to shed his exoskeleton. As soon as I noticed he had done it, the thought entered my mind, "I hope Gobi doesn't accidentally suck him up again." Because, if he had been soft that first time it happened, he'd have been gone. He was practically invisible, though, and it was unlikely anyone would see him before his skin hardened into a new shell...

Ghost shrimp is a ghost.

I was wrong. Less than five minutes after he had shed, while I was musing the idea of naming him Benjamin Linus, the cory cat caught him by his head and sucked out his brains. Like a zombie. I should have known better. Ben always gets his ass kicked. Less than five minutes after that the cory cat had devoured his entire body. Ten minutes after that he had found Ben's old protective shell, and decided to eat that too. In under twenty minutes it was as if the ghost shrimp had never existed at all.

Perhaps he was merely living up to his namesake and will now haunt Gobi Manse. The only thing cooler than a mansion is a haunted mansion, after all.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Something Amazing, Other Things Not So Much

I noticed something funny today while packing last minute for Florida. It's this: when I want to go someplace I am ready in advance. When I am going some place I either have little or no interest in going, I delay packing as long as I can.

For instance, while I am only just now packing for my journey South, which takes place tomorrow at dawn -- I already have things packed for my trip West which isn't even until next Month. In fact, I booked my flight and started packing for that in the end of January.

As if being ready will make time speed up. Then of course being unprepared will slow time down.

Update: I just got a call. Due to my travel companion being summoned to jury duty my journey is being delayed until next weekend. Maybe there is some sort of magic to my method. Though, I was kind of looking forward to finally getting this over with tomorrow.

On a side note, this is the second person I know who has been summoned to jury duty this week. And neither of them live in the same state. I think the government may be selecting you guys to serve your civic duty off of my friends list. You've been warned!

In other news (such a subtle transition), something amazing happened today. I was expecting a gift on the 18th that UPS reportedly delivered on the 16th. Though there was no box on my porch, nor notice about having missed a package. UPS delivered it to the wrong address.

Bummed but determined, I went on a Box Hunt. Trudging through 4 feet of snow with a flashlight, I checked the empty for-sale house to the right of mine and asked the neighbors living on the left of my house and across the street if they had perhaps gotten it. No luck. In fact the old couple across the street, who do little but stare out their huge picture window at the passing traffic all day reportedly hadn't even seen a UPS truck. The package was reported as missing, but naturally the UPS delivery guy swore he delivered it to the right place.

Just when hope had pretty much flown the coup on the matter, a visitor shows up. I peek out of the window and see some car in the driveway I don't recognize. I open the door regardless, armed of course with 4 dogs and a canister of mace in my pocket, and it's some timid-looking man with a box.

He lives way way down the street, pretty much where you first turn onto it (no where near the right address), and had come to deliver my unopened package that had been incorrectly delivered to him. What a nice guy!

In most places I've been, while people won't tamper with mailed envelopes, receiving an incorrectly delivered package was almost always considered fair game. Despite both being illegal. I guess the temptation of a whole box of something is just too great for most people. Thus the amazement.