Random Stuff from My Life

Friday, March 21, 2008

Good (to be home) Friday

Vegas was fabulous. I was not ready to come back and I cannot wait to go again. I have NEVER had that reaction to Vegas previously. Usually by day three I am hot and tired and broke and my feet are too blistered to stand on. But this time we drove pretty much everywhere (still managed to get a blister on one foot, but not 'til the next-to-last day). The weather was great. And we had a GREAT time.

Still, it's nice to be home (I guess). While I could have easily spent another week on vacation, I don't think I would have lasted any longer on a mattress other than my own. The first thing I did when we got home was take a nap! It's not hard to stay out and party all night when the thought of lying in bed fills you with dread.

I took the laptop with us, but obviously never found time to blog. In fact, I only fired the thing up one time to take advantage of the free Wi-Fi in the condo.

Now I have to get online and find out when this summer we can go back...

Friday, March 14, 2008

What happens in Vegas...

Truly is going to stay in Vegas, I guess. Our camera is dead! The battery was getting low last time I downloaded pictures, so I plugged it in. I thought something was weird. Now it won't turn on. At all. Well, I guess this is why we never used those last two rolls of 35mm film after we went digital.

Sunday, March 09, 2008


Tax time... I have been so busy, I've been putting it off. We always have a ton of stuff to add up. I miss the days of the 1040-EZ. But tonight I forced myself to get everything together. The Husband will be mailing it to our tax preparer tomorrow. Then we just have to... wait, write a $400 check, and pray that we're getting money back. But at least it's a relief to have it almost done. Done-ish.

My GOAL was to get everything in the mail to the tax preparer YESTERDAY. But I didn't. I spent pretty much the entire day researching stuff for our Vegas trip. I am so excited. Maybe that's the psychology of procrastinating on the taxes... I don't want to know how much of this trip we can't afford. Aah, you say, but if you had the taxes done you might have gotten a REFUND and then you could take it to the craps tables and blow it. Yeah, doesn't work like that around here. We always seem to end up owing the State of California whatever we get back from Uncle Sam. I guess that's the mark of successful tax planning; having a big "windfall" in April just means you've been loaning the government interest-free cash for a year. Still, it would be nice every once in awhile to get some huge refund and buy a big-screen TV with it or whatever people who get refunds do.

Okay, enough whining about taxes. Back to Vegas. I've got dinner reservations at a Zagat-rated place, a Restaurant.com certificate for a drag show dinner, and $50 in comps at New York, New York as part of our Cirque du Soleil package. And I've got a list of the cheapest buffets in town for breakfast and dinner. I've got us on guest lists for three ultra lounges (though we're leaving town before K-Fed's birthday bash), and I've committed most of Gay Vegas: A Guide to the Other Side of Sin City to memory. I've printed out certificates to get coupon books at the outlet malls. I found my Harrah's card and have printed out 20 pages of March casino deals. And this afternoon we went to the mall and spent $200 on new clothes for the trip. (Yes, I know, $200 won't even buy a belt in the Forum Shops, but I wanted clothes I can wear OFF the Strip as well.)

I cannot remember the last time we had an entire week away. We had three or four five-day vacations during '07, but nothing with an entire week and two weekends on either side. We have plans with two sets of friends (one couple that is taking us to the airport and picking us up, and another that's joining us for the first weekend in Vegas). And it's going to be warm. (It's been lovely here lately--unseasonably so--but the highs in Vegas are in the 70's this week. There are just so many things to love about this trip! Five more days...

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I've made a decision

I'm done with California. I'm not upset about anything. It's a beautiful place. I'm just done.

Nothing in particular prompted this. Maybe a confluence of things. I had a really weird conversation with my mom over the weekend. I hate not being more accessible to my parents, and this year we're going to be visiting them less than at any time since we moved to California.

Then we went to a tourist trap just north of here. It has a tram ride through the forest to the top of a peak. We've been there a dozen or so times, but it was always foggy so we never went to the top. Sunday was just gorgeous, so we went up. As we were driving away afterwards, the Husband says, "Now what haven't we seen?" And it occurred to me, "Nothing that I really care about seeing."

On the drive I was thinking about my job here and other jobs that I could apply for in the area. There's nothing wrong with any of the possibilities, just nothing exciting either. I want to move back to a metropolitan area. But not the Bay Area. Or L.A. And definitely not Sacramento.

Last night we watched TV. First it was "Oprah," with Drew Barrymore giving a million bucks to starving kids in Africa. Then it was Barbara Walters' special on the British Royal Family. I started thinking, maybe I should look at joining the foreign service again. There's going to be a new administration in January.

So, we're here until at least the end of the year. My boss wants me to stay 'til July of '09. We'll see. I'm going to talk to some headhunters starting this fall. I have no destination in mind yet, just not here. It's time. The last big "taking stock of my life" event was when I turned 29. That's what led us to California in the first place. Next year I turn 39. If I make it 'til July of next year, I'll have a guaranteed retirement of 18% at age 50. It's not the 40% I'd have if I stayed until 50, but it's something to show for my time here.

Bottom line... if you want to visit while we still have access to beaches and redwoods, you've got T-minus 16 months and counting.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

In Like a Lamb

What a gorgeous day. I really should be at work (I'm going, I'm going), but nothing's as urgent this weekend as it has been the last few weeks.

Last night I left at exactly 5:00, because we had early reservations for the last night of a local restaurant that closed (last night was the last night). Then we came home and finally watched our Netflix movie--"Funny Girl." Okay, now I know where Barbra Streisand impersonators get their material, but what really interested me was the life of Fanny Brice. I knew nothing about her. Here's the Wikipedia article.

Tonight the Husband is doing marriage equality stuff while I go hang out with cattlemen. Then we're going to meet up later for dancing at the new gay bar we visited when our friends were in town a couple weeks ago.

I can't believe it's March. Next weekend will be daylight savings again, and then the weekend after that we'll be in Vegas. I need to figure out what we're doing about Cirque du Soleil tickets.