Thursday, July 29, 2010

i was trapped, i tell ya...trapped!

I had every intention of getting up early and getting a lot done today...but when I woke up, I found I was pinned down by a cat curled up under my left arm, and one lying directly on my right arm/shoulder. I succumbed to the comfort and cute for a while, totally scuttling my plans. So much for productivity...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

we're just following ancient history

Some random link clicking somehow led me to a list of Journey concert dates...and I found the first concert that Greg and I went together: the "Raised on Radio" tour, in Cincinnati, with Glass Tiger [!!] opening for them. The date?? October 2nd, 1986 [yipe].

That got me curious about my very first concert, so I tracked it down [gotta love the internets]: Adam Ant's "Strip" tour, with The Romantics opening, playing at Vets Memorial in Columbus, Ohio, way back on on March 9th, 1984. I stayed at my friend Kim's house that night; she was supposed to go with another friend, but they couldn't go, so I jumped at the chance. Her dad drove us and even seemed to enjoy the concert a bit [brave man, nice man], and I remember bits and pieces about the night: the older crowd [well, older than me at the time]; the double drums, two separate drummers on either side of the stage, high up on scaffolding; the smell of pot in the lobby [the first I'd encountered]; the long lines for the restrooms; Adam performing the song "Strip", slowly losing piece after piece of his clothing, until ending up in a big clear plastic cube filled with water, wearing nothing but leather trunks [cue audience screaming and applauding]; trying to act like I did this all the time, and that I wasn't some kid at her first concert.

I came home the next day with ringing ears, a t-shirt, a program [both long lost to time, sadly], and a grounding...I didn't get the okay from my parents before going, so they grounded me when they found out.

But it was worth it.

a catch up post

Vegas was a lot of fun. Won about $300 at penny slots [half was when playing a "John Wayne" machine, as a nod to my dad], saw Blue Man Group [], many cookies eaten from the Grand Lux Cafe in the Venetian [yum, piping hot chocolate chip with almonds], temps were *ridiculous* [high of 114 one day, over 110 the others, it never got below 90 the whole trip, even in the wee hours of the morning], went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum [it's a very strange phenomenon staring at lifelike wax replicas...somewhere in the deep recessed of your instincts, you expect to see movement and breathing, and the caveman brain gets a bit woogy and confused when it doesn't happen]. We were upgraded to first class on the way out, which was nice; return trip was "economy plus", with extra legroom, so not too bad. A good trip.

Saw "Inception" [good movie, see my previous blog post] and "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" [not bad, actually...not great, but diverting]. Streamed "Planet 51" from Netflix, and liked it. Watched "Rat Race" on DVD; some good bits, a few pretty funny lines, a lot of "ugh" eyeroll bits; it was pretty much a remake of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World", but with a more charity-minded ending.

Lost a day rebuilding my iPad...installed the latest OS update, and it choked on reboot. Tracked down the issue to "USB timing issues", which wasn't a lot of help, but finally got it pulled together. Annoying fact: "backing up" the device doesn't actually back up everything...only the base settings and photos were restored, none of my music, apps, or the way the screens were organized were restored, so had to be done manually.

Went to the GameStop midnight launch of StarCraft II with Will. I was one of only about three chicks there, which made me giggle. Had a good conversation with a fellow geek about Piers Anthony, Tracy Weis, and other authors; helped more than a few lost souls find the right line; and actually made it out in a fairly short time.

Meh, that's a good enough overview to jog my memory later on...way back when, I started this blog for myself, and to give my parents an idea of what was happening in my life over on this side of the country. Now that they are gone, there's not real reason for me to keep posting...I do it more for a diary-type record of things I did, places I went, people I shared moments with, just for myself. Not sure if anyone else reads it [though I have it on good authority that Will's ex still checks in regularly...sigh]; with the exception of the phone bill fraud post [which is still getting comments, crazily enough], there's really nothing here for anyone else. Maybe I'll migrate my brain babbles to another place some time...just don't care enough to right now.

So for now, business as usual...lots of time elapsed between posting, then one long rambling catch-up entry, then radio silence, and repeat. But it works, and it gives me a source for answers to those "when did we see that movie/band/friend/whatever?" questions that come up every once in a while...

i'll just say it...

I didn't think "Inception" was all that confusing. In fact, it was pretty straightforward. You had to pay a bit of attention, but still, it was all laid out, all handed to you on a nice shiny silver platter. Major exposition, major hints as to where you were, when you were. The only ambiguity was in the ending...and that was blatantly manufactured uncertainty, designed to leave you with a talking point, to get you to carry the movie out into the real world and keep the buzz going.

Was it worth seeing? Most definitely. Was it as big a mind-frak as it's been made out to be? Sorry, but no.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

random stuff

* Started ground school. The instructor reminds me a lot of Dad...hard of hearing but refuses to wear his hearing aids [he admitted to the hearing problem, pulled the hearing aids out of his pocket and set them on the table, then told us that he "hates wearing the damn things" and never put them in]. Dad used "goddamn" as his go-to adjective: "so I put this goddamn insulator on the wires, and the goddamn thing was still sparking away"; the instructor uses "damn" a lot ["so you've got this damn plane that won't start, so you use the the damn propeller to start the thing, and then you get clocked right in the damn shoulder as it whips around and nearly tears your arm off"]. There's something about the guy's teaching style that reminds me a lot of Dad...lots of knowledge, loves to share it, but doesn't quite remember what it was like to not know this stuff, so isn't quite able to take it down to a 'just starting' level. The classes are tools, though, to help prep for the written pilot's test, so any information you get from them will be useful; plus once you pay, you get to go whenever and forever, so you can hop in / hop out as you like. It's cool to be learning for the sake of learning...I've missed that.

* A phrase I really hate: something "turned up missing". If it turned up, then it can't be missing...

* Finally got my registration and stickers for my car. The one I bought last October. The dealership submitted the paperwork when I bought it, and I never received anything. Called them after a month, they said to wait three or four months and to call back if they still hadn't arrived [California's budget crisis is affecting the DMV hard, and a lot of folks have been having troubles]. So I call them in February, and they submit a request to have them resent. Still nothing a month later, so I send in the forms myself [checking "never received"]. DMV says to wait 30 days between submissions, so I send another in April. And another in May. I sent another one in June, and realize that I'm going to have to go fight the DMV in person since I've heard absolutely *nothing*. So I wait out another 30 days...and the day before I'm going to head to the DMV, I get a letter from them! Finally!

Oh wait...they say I owe the processing fee for duplicate registration and stickers, even though I never received them in the first place. Screw it...I'll just pay it. Consider it my donation to the ailing California economy. I look closer at the paperwork they was the form I mailed on 05/04/2010, and they sent the 'you owe us money' letter on [wait for it...] 07/06/2010. Two frickin' months. Sheesh. [just realized: this means there is at least one more form that I sent in still working its way through the tortured system...great.]

Appointments at the DMV started at least two weeks out, but I wanted to get this taken care of, and was a little too paranoid to trust it to the mail again. So I took my chances, grabbed up all my paperwork, and headed over early in the morning, intending to camp out. Joy of joys, less than an hour later, I'm out and have a now-legal car. Whew.

[Oh, and the best part? I get to renew it all in October...mere months from now. Yeesh.]

* Vegas this weekend. Going to see Blue Man Group, staying at the Venetian. Looking forward to it, though not looking forward to the temperatures. Highs in the 110s, lows in the 90s. Just going to repeat that: LOWS in the frickin' ninety-degree range. Ugh. Ugh, blegh, and yech. Huzzah for air-conditoning.

* Been looking at houses with Will, keeping an eye out for something worth buying in the Santa Clara area [so he can keep on with the fire department]. Even with the crappy economy, housing prices are still crazy in the Bay Area. Hard to think about buying a house whose cost is given in fractions of a *million* dollars...even starter homes are at least "a third of a million". If you want something worth living in, you are talking closer to $600-700K, minimum. Crazy.

* Saw "Despicable Me"...definitely worth seeing. "Prince of Persia", not so much. Waiting for "The Expendables" to come out...that one looks like a lot of fun.

* Concerts coming up...busy times. Green Day, Dropkick Murphys, Lady Gaga [our friend Nate had extra tickets...not sure why he got four luxury tickets to a Lady Gaga show, but I'm not one to judge, and I'll bet it will be quite the spectacle]. Great Big Sea are coming back around later this year, might go see them again. The Bravery are touring. Colin Hay is due to be in the Bay Area some time soon [if I haven't missed him].

[Had the *best* experience buying the Green Day tickets: *all* fees were included in the ticket price, so what you saw was what you paid. What an amazing concept.]

As always, more going on, but nothing more making it from the brain to the keyboard right now. Maybe there'll be some stories after Vegas...

Thursday, July 01, 2010

how the hell...

...can I have 3,452 songs on my music player and not find a single one that I want to listen to?



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hell no

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oh, forgot about this one...


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