Wednesday, December 31, 2008

year in review

it's been a wild year.

my sister got engaged at the end of january, and we've been awash in wedding talk since.

my mother, having learned she had breast cancer in late 2007, underwent radiation treatment in the first few months of the year. following her last treatment, i surprised her and some of her girlfriends by joining them for lunch at macarthur park in palo alto. meals there are usually excellent, but this one tasted especially good knowing that we were celebrating something that she would hopefully never have to go through again.

i took a cake decorating class and a sushi making class, learning skills in both that i have yet to put to good use. i still prefer to eat baked goods and sushi made by others, apparently.

i traveled to vancouver, british columbia and seattle with my friend matt in april. we drove from seattle into canada, and it was my first time in vancouver. although we didn't explore the city extensively, it was a great trip and i have many fond memories of our international road trip, photoboothing, and exploring.

i was laid up with a back injury that still hurts on occasion, especially after too much sitting. physical therapy and chiropractic care from my friend lisa helped speed my recovery.

i volunteered for two film festivals, learning a lot about how festivals are organized (or disorganized, as was the case sometimes) and just how many people are needed to make something run seamlessly.

i bought a new camera in april, and i've fallen in love with little photo junkets with friends.

i went to some of the best concerts i've ever been to, including rilo kiley, jay-z, and jenny lewis.

i was elected to the board of my condo complex in may, and these past few months have had me learning more about working with a group than ever before.

both of my parents had knee surgery this year, and are recovering well after both having complications post-surgery. we had a scare in june when my father was hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. seeing him frail, attached to oxygen in a hospital bed was frightening, but after spending several days in the hospital, he was released and stayed at my home for a week. i'm glad to say he's no longer on his blood thinning medication and is back to his usual self.

i traveled to long beach in july for the wedding of a family friend, a young lady for whom i used to babysit. although i was invited, i didn't attend the wedding and instead drove north into santa monica and further east for photo ops.

i traveled to boston and to cape cod with my friend greta in august and attended a red sox game on my birthday.

i traveled to orange county for my cousin's wedding in september and went to disneyland with my family. there were lots of good memories made while riding rides, and very little drama.

i did a little 5K for breast cancer, and am looking forward to participating in another one next year.

i drove to los angeles in november with T and had fun exploring places i hadn't been to in years.

we got good news in november from my mother's radiation oncologist that there was no sign of her breast cancer returning. she continues to take her oral chemotherapy drug on a daily basis.

i traveled to florida in december and went to walt disney world, my first visit to both places. tres exciting that i visited both disneyland and disney world in the same year.

i am going to ring in 2009 on maui, one of my very favorite places on earth.

i know i am very fortunate to have had the opportunities i've had this year, and i look forward to what 2009 will bring.

media update: december

this, of course, is more for my own remembrance than anything else. asterisks denote something i particularly enjoyed. follow this advice at your own risk.

The Good Shepard
Can't Buy Me Love (r)
Harold and Kumar Escape From Guantanamo Bay
Slumdog Millionaire *
Full Metal Jacket
Tropic Thunder
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure (r)
Team America: World Police
Garden State (r)
Milk *
Andromeda Strain (r)
Back to the Future (r)
Fred Claus

Al di Meola "Bianca's Midnight Lullaby" *
Pierre de Reeder "The Way That It Was" *
Vince Guaraldi Trio "A Charlie Brown Christmas" *
R. Kelly "I Believe" (single, iTunes free download)
Various Artists "Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remixed" *
Enya "O Come O Come Emmanuel" (single, iTunes free download)
Stephen Colbert "Another Christmas Song" (single, iTunes free download)

Amy Bloom, "Away"

Monday, December 29, 2008


LAX to...

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Hotel California

So I'm still in California, although I should be on a flight to Maui right now.

I took the SJC to LAX flight and at LAX the airline asked for volunteers to give up their seat in exchange for an $800 travel voucher, a night at the Westin, and some meal vouchers. So I'm booked on the first flight to Maui tomorrow morning, and for now I'm enjoying the Heavenly Bed (king size!) at the Westin.


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SJC to...

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six word sunday: it wasn't all sunshine and roses

sometimes it was sunshine and palms!

off to maui today, peoples. see ya next year!

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

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

tourist attraction

florida was great! the weather was nice, except the last day we were there, where there were torrential rain storms and a tornado warning. but it didn't stop was from exploring animal kingdom in soaking wet clothes!

we got to hit up the pool/waterslide area at our hotel and head to some awesome outlets. i scored some major deals, and because i rarely go shopping anymore, i spent a bit more than i intended. but can i just say i want to move into the barney's outlet? so much good stuff, and for seriously reasonable prices.

the outlets, and to a lesser degree, the disney parks, were packed. what recession?

we stayed in a pretty rad place for a steal, about $100 a night for a two-bedroom two-bath place with a full kitchen and washer and dryer in-unit. i wasn't expecting much for the price, but the place is pretty much brand-new and anj gets all the credit for suggesting we not stay at a disney property. staying at one probably would have driven me nuts. the place we stayed had a free shuttle to epcot, and from there you could hop on the monorail or take buses to anywhere in walt disney world. never did i imagine walt disney world to be so insanely huge! it truly is like driving in a small city. the only bummer about not staying at at disney property is not getting to participate in the "extra magic hours," where each park opens early/stays open late on a particular day, as this is option is exclusively for resort guests.

magic kingdom, our first full day in orlando:

holiday spirit

main street

castle stylin'

enchanted tiki room. we didn't get to see a show, but the decor was awesome

even mickey's house was in the holiday spirit

we went on pretty much everything we wanted to, except for space mountain. fast passes, my first time using them, are the greatest invention.


obligatory "golf ball" shot

each world showcase had a "kidcot" area where they had tables where kids colored this mask. then the mask was stamped, sort-of a passport, indicating you'd "traveled the world"

coca-cola products from around the world. a blatant marketing scheme, it was still cool to taste all of the flavors. beverly was horrible, the rest were decent.

piazza san marco

it was huge!

epcot was pretty awesome, it was what i was most looking forward to in terms of disney parks. the test track ride was more intense than i thought it would be, but i dug it. i'd pass on mission: space if i was ever asked to go on it again, and we even did the "green" easy experience. i quite literally had the beginnings of a panic attack, being trapped in that little capsule was not so much fun.

i got to introduce anj and her son to waffle house, late late at night

cocoa beach:


at disney's Polynesian resort, which was totally kitschy, and totally up my alley

animal kingdom:

ominous looking clouds, right? you know no idea.

this doesn't do it justice

blurry ostriches

rhino ass!

just as we were leaving, the rain stopped

airing of grievances

happy festivus to all!

now who's gonna wrestle me to the floor?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Quick! Buy now while it's such a great deal!

Wait...I'm not saving anything!
@ Lucky

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Thursday, December 11, 2008 SJC!

Home. Ahhh.

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MCO to...

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We're not in the Bay Area anymore...

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Sunday, December 07, 2008 MCO!

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Live blogging: Chicago

So I'm supposed to be on my way to Orlando, but Southwest asked for volunteers to take a later flight. You know how I roll -- collect as many travel vouchers as possible. So of course I volunteered us, and after waiting about an hour for the promised $200 the woman at the counter goes, "Well I can't figure it out. So I just gave you a voucher for the total amount of your roundtrip flight."
Sent from my BlackBerry® wireless handheld MDW, to...

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SJC to...

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

yes, but how did they dance?

what i wouldn't have given to see something like this at my alma mater.

the folks at jericho! improv are awesome.
via urban prankster.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

At work @ 5:45a...

Means it's time for a grande half-caff (!). Today' choice: peppermint mocha.

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Monday, December 01, 2008

media update: november

this, of course, is more for my own remembrance than anything else. asterisks denote something i particularly enjoyed. follow this advice at your own risk.

Zach and Miri Make a Porno
My Own Private Idaho
Tortilla Heaven
Freshman Orientation
Madagascar 2
Great World of Sound
Bowling for Columbine
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues
Quantum of Solace*
Snow Angels
A Mighty Heart
Bolt (3-D!)*
The Babysitters

Vampire Weekend "Vampire Weekend" *
The Killers "Day & Age"
Rihanna "Good Girl Gone Bad" *
Kanye West "808s & Heartbreak"
Beyonce "I Am...Sasha Fierce"
Linkin Park "Hybrid Theory"
Sam Sparro "Sam Sparro" *
T.I. "Paper Trail"
Jack White & Alicia Keys "Another Way to Die" *

"Things I Learned About My Dad (in Therapy)," Heather B. Armstrong