Random Stuff from My Life

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Christmas Trip

It's still 20 days 'til we leave, and work is going to be stressful between now and then. But today I mapped out the routes for our two-week drive to the middle of the country. It's 2026.71 miles going and 2380.68 miles coming back. I've got all the motels reserved, and a print-out of the Sonic Drive-Ins along the way. I even found a list of Route 66 landmarks. Let's hope gas stays cheap and the weather holds out.

For now, I can't wait to see which team goes home tonight on "The Amazing Race."

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Friday Recap

For the second year in a row, I went to bed late on Thanksgiving, having ruled out the idea of hitting the stores at the crack of pre-dawn. I figured Long's Drugs wasn't likely to sell out of Pepsi, so why brave the 6 a.m. crowds. But, for the second year in a row, I got up anyway. This year, it was thanks to the cat.

There was an earthquake offshore about a quarter 'til 6 this morning. We didn't feel it, but it freaked the cat out (at least we're assuming that's what freaked the cat out). She was scratching the bed at 5:46 a.m. So, why not get up and go?

We were the first ones in line at Long's. Geez, I guess the economy IS bad.

We ran other errands and did additional shopping, but I didn't end up getting the external hard drive. This evening we went out to dinner with some guys we know from San Jose who were up here visiting family. Then, when we got home, I got the gayest Christmas video ever:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Unabashed consumerism

Well, here I am... awake on my day off. Watching the Macy's Parade. Having already poured through the ads for tomorrow morning's sales. I'm not sure we need anything. In fact, I'm relatively sure we don't. But we'll probably head out anyway. Once again, Long's Drugs seems to have the best ad (Pepsi for 69 cents, $5 off a $25 iTunes card, a winter emergency kit... stuff we'll actually use).

Keeping Up With the Digital Joneses
The one big purchase I am seriously considering is an external hard drive. I remember my first computer... 2 KB of RAM, data storage on cassette tapes, a 5" wide printer that required special thermal paper, no software of any kind (you had to program anything you wanted it to do in BASIC). Now I'm annoyed when the laptop gets a bit sluggish if I try to Skype, surf the 'Net and burn a DVD simultaneously. So, you know, I really "need" extra data storage. The only question is whether it should be the 750 GB for $88.88 at Target or the cheaper but less capacity 640 GB for $69.99 at Staples.

What I Really Need
I'm hoping someone will have a sale on Just for Men. I swear the amount of gray in my hair tripled since the last time I put on my glasses in front of the bathroom mirror. Oh well, I guess I can give thanks for still having some of my hair.

The Holidays Have Begun
It's officially that time of year. We missed "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown," but we watched "A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving" as well as "Rosie Live." We're on our second batch of Chex Mix. Stan is making a pumpkin pie to take to our friends' house for Thanksgiving Dinner (which is at 5 p.m.; having been raised by a Southern woman, I've always believed that "dinner" is the noon meal, at least on Sundays and holidays). I've got the holiday letter ready to go to the post office tomorrow after our shopping excursions. It's beginning to feel a lot like... this year has been entirely too fast.

Season's Greetings!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Seen at today's protest

Oh, so true. The guy wearing it was way cute, too. Too bad I can now utter phrases like, "If only I were 20 years younger..."

A sign of the end times?

November 14, 2008

Canned Heat
Bordeaux in a Can

You've got nothing against wine. Quite the opposite, actually.

But sometimes you wish wine was just a little more like beer—portable, easy drinkin' and without fancy trappings like glass bottles and corks.

So you might want to turn your attention to SF-based Volute Wines, three new Bordeaux varietals served in ready-to-drink aluminum bottles, available now.

Of course, if you haven't been sold on the screwtop wine bottle yet, it might take some time to warm up to the aluminum bottle. But it helps to think of it as a shatterproof, lightweight evolution past glass (sort of like a futuristic vision of wine from the '50s). Yes, people have been putting wine in alternative vessels since the dawn of time—the much ballyhooed goatskin wine sack, the ceramic jug favored by monks and, of course, the wooden leg—but beer's stranglehold on aluminum has been keeping you from enjoying a nice cabernet at your favorite outdoor fests (barbecues, bonfires, tailgating, lunch) for too long.

With one outdoor swig of the can, you'll forget that you're drinking wine in aluminum and see only possibilities: sauvignon blanc at the beach, rosé on the golf course, cab/merlot at Bay to Breakers.

Just stay away from wine pong...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Okay, I'm ready to talk

Vacation review
First off, Ft. Lauderdale was great. It is so much different than Miami Beach. And it was mega-relaxing. A lot of lazily drifting around the pool at our resort on a pool float. Which is so not (normally) me. I think Stan was a little flummoxed that I didn't want to go, go, go and see a million things. He tried to convince me to drive down to the Keys, but I just was not up for hours in the car. It was a good thing vacation was so relaxing, because it's been non-stop stress since we got back. Starting with...

The election
Okay, so we have an African-American President-Elect and that's historic and it was neat to watch Oprah in Grant Park, but... PROP 8 PASSED! There are no words to describe what a complete affront this is to the basic ideals of American democracy. Mob rule is not supposed to be able to take rights away from minority groups. That's why we have cute little innovations like the Electoral College. I have been so pissed since last Tuesday I can't even express myself. I was just beginning to let go of the anger a little bit when...

You've GOT to be kidding me
I got home last night and there was a letter in the mail from Enterprise Rent-a-Car in Miami. They're alleging that we damaged our rental car! I have rented cars all across this country for a decade now, and this has NEVER happened. And in fact, it DIDN'T happen (so far as I know, but I don't even know for sure what they're alleging because the letter didn't specify a type or amount of damage). Now I have to deal with this? I need an escape, like...

My post-Lottery win plan
I've decide how I really want to spend my life. Six and a half months a year (early June through mid-December) in northern California. Five months a year (New Year's Eve through late May) in southern Florida. Two weeks a year (Christmas and Memorial Day) in Kansas. One house overlooking the Pacific and one overlooking the Atlantic. The best of both coasts, plus a few amber waves of grain thrown in for good measure. We could keep our cell phone plan, but change Stan's number to a Florida number so we'd have one local number in California and one in Florida. Then we could get a Kansas number on Skype. We'd keep all our winter clothes in the California house and our summer clothes in the Florida house and just need a carry-on bag to get us through the change of seasons in Kansas. And we'd still have our timeshares for when we needed to "get away" from this fabulous, carefree existence. Hey, some days dreams are all you've got, you know?

Speaking of Skype
I finally signed up. I didn't get a SkypeIn number yet, but if anyone out there's on the service, let me know and we can Skype-to-Skype for free.

That's about it for today, kids. Wish me luck on the rental car fight. At least it's my birthday month so I get free slot play at the local casinos.

Friday, November 07, 2008

I'm still too pissed to blog

Do it
The bastards
The next fight

Monday, November 03, 2008

I'm tired

It has been a long birthday. I woke up 20 and a half hours ago on another coast. I'll blog about the trip soon, but I'm not sure how many coherent sentences I can string together right now. In the meantime, a picture is worth a thousand words, right?