Thursday, August 31, 2006

the o.c. (don't call it that)

Working a half day means the "day" flies by. Or so it would seem when I worked until one last Thursday before leaving for Southern California.

I went with my friend Anj, my fellow Dave-head, and we were both more than ready for a mini-getaway! Airport security was painless, and I blazed through in no time, allowing me to grab a snack in lieu of a proper lunch. 'S okay, I'm not much of an eater before flying, as I get horrendously motion sick, and we'll leave it at that.

Popped a Xanax, courtesy of Anj, and zoned into my iPod (yay for appropriated video of "Arrested Development!"). Said Xanax did little if nothing noticeable, but at least when we arrived to claim our baggage (damn having to check a bag for a mere hour flight because I need my toothpaste!) and car I wasn't zonked out.

Speaking of rental cars, we were upgraded, which is always nice. The last time I rented with Hertz I was upgraded as well, and I'm not even a member of their VIP club, so that was a welcome surprise.

Our rental ride -- it's a far cry from my first car, a 1990 Limited Jeep Cherokee!

We cruised directly to the hotel, which was embarrassingly close to the airport, spitting distance really. Anj wanted to find a Target or something of the sort to pick up some shampoo and such and we headed off to find one on the (poor) directions from the front desk gal.

We ended up at South Coast Plaza , one of the best malls ever. It's been about six years since I was last there, and so much has changed! It was hard to limit our time to a mere hour before departing to meet my aunt and cousins for dinner.

We ate at a Mexican restaurant in Irvine near where my aunt works and it was pretty decent. Cousin J brought along a friend, Tom, who was beyond obnoxious, and this was before he started drinking. Cousin T showed up uber late, as he's working ridiculous hours these days. So goes the world of loans, I guess! Dinner was nice, and it was good to catch up with everyone, even Tom did put his two cents in far too often with punk-ass and completely inappropriate sexist comments. Even my aunt, who has known him for years, was apologizing on his behalf, which I didn't think was her responsibility. If a 32 year-old man wants to live at home and can't take the teasing about not doing his own laundry, it's his problem!

We said our good-byes at dinner, but before Anj and I were out of the parking lot, J called and invited us to a bar where his friends were hanging out. We ended up here and a good time was had by all. J bought me a couple of beers, introducing me to my new fave hefeweisen, Hacker-Pschorr, making Pyramid's version taste like utter crap. I also got a pint of Franziskaner on the advice of Tom. Speaking of Tom, I'm still wondering if he made it home okay -- he drank enough to make a Russian wince. Anj and I split a little after midnight, stopping for something sweet (yay for IHOP serving shitty food 24 hours a day! Boo for having to pay $7 for an ice cream sundae!) on the way back to the hotel.

I always wake up early, even when I'm on vacation, and Friday morning was no exception. I thought I might sleep in a bit because I didn't end up falling asleep until about 2:30, but I was awake by 7:30 and ready to go by 8. I just figured we didn't have a ton of time to fit in all the things we wanted to do, and that we'd better get a move on!

We were on the road to Balboa Island in about an hour.

I was proud of myself that I didn't spend too much money, just some coral pieces for my coffee table. But I did more window shopping than picture taking, so these'll have to suffice:

Balboa Island

One of the many Balboa houses I fell in love with

Bluth's Original Frozen Bananas -- it was so yummy! And very "Arrested Development"

We left Balboa about 3-ish and headed down PCH toward Laguna, ogling the beautiful homes along the way.

Cruising down PCH on the way to Laguna (like, totally)

We found awesome metered parking about a block from the beach and grabbed a quick late lunch at a hole-in-the-wall place that was really freaking good.

The real Laguna Beach

We hung out on the beach for a while and dipped our toes in the freezing water. I don't want to hear anything more from uppity Southern California folks that our water is cold up north, as my toes ached -- the water was so cold! Anj removed her sandals before dipping her toes in, but neglected to actually pick up her sandals, and the with the next wave that came in, they were washed out. I was laughing too hard to be of any help, but there was a kind woman already half in the water that fished them out for her. Consequently, Anj had water and sand halfway up her calves from this little adventure.

Anj's sandy sandals

We did some window shopping before leaving the beach, where upon we booked it back to the car in fear of getting a ticket.

Whew, just made it!

We ended up sitting in traffic to get to 405, then traffic on 405 to get back to Newport Beach. This left us little time to get ready before we had to book it back down to Irvine to see the show. Which was damn good, by the way, even if my DMB fanatic-ness has waned. The setlist was great, the atmosphere was great and the ease of getting in and out of the venue was unparalleled. Instead of eating at the show, we capped off our evening with some greasy Pizza Hut fast food in the hotel room while watching Conan O'Brien.

The hotel was merely mediocre, but what are you going to do for a package deal with Travelocity that cost a little over $300 per person? But the bathtub was dirty upon arrival and I'm still trying to resolve a mystery $200 "internet kit" charge that was posted to my account on the day of departure.

The trip back was uneventful, and I was able to relax on the way back (prolly thanks to the 1.5 Xanax I downed this leg of the flight) and although it was altogether too short, it was nice to get away.

I arrived home and chilled for about an hour before I left to baby-sit for four rug rats.

And that's a story in itself.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

foiled again

Again, thank goodness for the Blackberry.

I am at an all day conference on one of the most boring topics. But secretly I am excited, as it's my first professional conference and this will allow me to obtain a pretty neat certification, making this the second certification that I hold professionally.

When I first heard I would be attending this conference, my head spun with the thought of getting away from work for a day. Oh, the possibilities! Where would the conference be held? San Francisco,maybe? Some place even more exotic than my daily routine, certainly.

Someone has a sense of humor, though.

The conference is held literally across the street from my restaurant where my main office is. Literally across the street.

I'm the only one not laughing.

* I forgot the best part! Because I am so close to work (and because a couple of staff members called in today) I got to go back to work on my lunch break and work the lunch rush! It just doesn't get much better than this. Even my boss (read: father) said today, "I'll bet you wish you chose the corporate world today!" But the truth of the matter is nope--this works for me.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

six word sunday: i know we're gonna be friends

for the Six Word Sunday challenge

Join in the fun! Get more information about the Six Word Sunday challenge

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

defend your actions

(better late than never!)

The big 2-7 was a pretty good day, even if I did have to work.

I pretty much got all kinds of good stuff, including a gift certificate toward a black 60GB video iPod. Squeee! I bought said iPod immediately, and am rockin'. Because I am a geek, I did a trial subscription at and now have three audio books at my disposal.

My friends are awesome, and know me so well and got me the most thoughtful gifts ever. I love them (the friends) all! :)

Friday night (the 11th) I had a shindig at my house for no particular reason. It'd been a while since I had more than a handful of people over, and I figured it was about time. I got into it, too, making prickly pear margaritas, all kinds of apps, dessert and bbq chicken (thanks, Cyrus!). There was way too much food -- thankfully Cyrus called on Jeff to come over and help eat it all! That's the best way to avoid over-lefts!

Saturday (the 12th) I saw "QuinceaƱera" and went apartment hunting with her in my neck of the woods. In the middle of looking at apartments for her, I remembered why I no longer eat movie theater popcorn -- I felt so sick to my stomach, I couldn't wait to get home. Fortunately I felt much better after some 7-Up (it does wonders) and a brief spell on the couch. That's the last time I fall prey to the siren song of the popcorn smell wafting through the theater!

Sunday (the 13th) a group of friends and I celebrated my birthday by going to Great America . Like the little kid that I am, it was my choice, and made better by the fact that I get complimentary tickets annually from a vendor.

Looks like he is throwing gang signs in this pic.

On my actual date of birth (14th), the fam took me out to dinner here . I get teased for being adverse to change, but how many other folks do you know that choose a new, never-before-tried restaurant for their birthday dinner? I've done this six years running now that I can remember and have yet to be disappointed. Ha!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

snakes calling


If you haven't yet seen this get on over there and do it NOW! The best part is, when the call is placed, if the receipient has caller ID it shows as the sender's phone number. She sent me one yesterday morning and I spent the last evening laughing hysterically while sending it to everyone in my address book.

The comapny, Varitalk, that provides this service looks poised to really take off.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

six word sunday

There's a great group on Flickr called Six Word Story where the rules are oh-so-simple: create a story for a photograph using only six words.

From the Flickr group's site:

Ernest Hemingway was once prodded to compose a complete story in six words. His answer, personally felt to be his best prose ever, was "For sale: baby shoes, never used." Some people say it was to settle a bar bet. Others say it was a personal challenge directed at other famous authors.

I'm creating a challenge for my fellow bloggers -- Sunday will be known as Six Word Sunday, and participants should post a photograph with a Six Word Story on Sundays. No prizes are awarded, but it's awfully fun to get those creative juices flowing.

The rules, blatantly lifted from the Flickr group (with a slight modification):

I'd like you to post a photo with a Six Word Story in the title section of a [blog entry]. Be as inventive as possible. Have those few words tell the whole tale, and let the picture be its visual interpretation. Just make sure the title of your [blog entry] does indeed contain SIX WORDS in English.

To get things started, here's my first Six Word Sunday post:

of sound and fury, signifying nothing

(for this round, I'll not post the Six Word Story in the blog entry title)

Won't you join in?

Please feel free to refer your friends to participate, here's the address to this post:

Join in the fun! Get more information about the Six Word Sunday challenge

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Saw this whilst doing some shopping a couple of weeks ago, and I couldn't resist capturing it for posterity.

And a few laughs.

One of the funniest parts about the whole thing was that they were playing, nay, blasting, music by one of my favorite artists not often played outside of da islands. I'm guessing that because Spam is a favorite food in Hawaii, they felt there was a connection?

Monday, August 14, 2006

it's my birfday!

Being an adult means going to work on your birthday. Pffft.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Friday, August 11, 2006

Thursday, August 10, 2006

kill your television

Most television bores me.

Reality tv makes me gag ("Run's House" is not figured into the equation, this falls into a separate category), sitcoms are rarely funny (especially since the demise of "Arrested Development") and I have no patience for hour-long dramas (how many incarnations of "CSI" and "Law and Order" do we need?).

I rarely watch tv on tv, if that makes any sense. Most of my television time is for movies, and the television shows I do watch are torrents that I watch on the lappy, again, "Run's House" notwithstanding.

It's no secret that I'm a sucker for pay-cable serials. My first love was "The Sopranos," followed by "Sex and the City," "Huff,", "Curb Your Enthusiasm," and "Six Feet Under."

Now I'm really into "Entourage" and "Weeds." I Netflixed (gawd, I love using that as a verb) the first season of "Entourage" and downloaded the second, and am currently in the process of downloading the first seven episodes of the third season. I also Netflixed (there's that wonderful verb again) the first season of "Weeds" and it arrived the day it was released.

On the subject of "Weeds," -- holy smokes! (pun intended) Kevin Nealon used to irritate me on "SNL" but on "Weeds" I find his humor to actually, well, humorous. The supporting cast, particularly Heylia (played by Tonye Patano) and Conrad Shepard (played by Romany Malco) really make the show for me.

Is it a sign, then, that the new season of "Weeds" starts on my birthday? *insert "Twilight Zone" music here*

I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I start getting into "Sleeper Cell" or "The L Word."

Stay, erm...tuned.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


(PLEASE click to view larger)

from Penny Arcade

Monday, August 07, 2006

for lis (even tho she prolly already saw it on the blogs)

Her slapping of the desk has reduced me to fits of laughter.

Sunday, August 06, 2006



So, here's how it works:

1. Open your music player.
( iTunes, Winamp, Media Player, iPod, etc. )
2. Put it on shuffle.
3. Press play.
4. For every question type the song that's playing.
5. When you go to a new question press the next button.

Opening Credits: What Would You Say -- DMB

Waking Up: Cater 2 U -- Destiny's Child

Falling in Love: Glendora -- Rilo Kiley

Fight scene: Down on the River by the Sugar Plant -- Mike Doughty

Breaking Up: Do You Remember -- Jack Johnson

Getting back together: Do You Know What it Means to Miss New Orleans -- Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Secret Love: I Don't Want to Be --Gavin DeGraw

Life's okay: Best of What's Around -- DMB

Mental breakdown: Better Man -- Pearl Jam

Driving Flashback: If I Had $1000000 -- Barenaked Ladies

Partying: Jet Airliner -- Steve Miller Band

Happy Dance: I Still Love You (remix) -- Next

Regretting something: Someday -- Flipsyde

Long night alone: U Must Be -- Gina Rene

Death scene: Grace is Gone -- DMB

End credits: Change Your Mind -- The Killers


Hmmm. It would appear that the oracle of iTunes is far from accurate, although I can definitely see "Change Your Mind" by The Killers playing as the credits roll. Oh, and it would appear that I have far too many DMB tracks as they appeared THREE TIMES in this!

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

a rose by any other name...

Santa Clara University
Santa Clara, California

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

bad company

Top 10 Unintentionally Bad Company URLs:


This is a "bwahahaha" laugh-out-loud kinda site. And despite what the URLs (kinda) say, it IS safe for work.