Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Yeah, okay, I've been slacking. I've had so much to do, I haven't had time to write! My mother flew out last Thursday, and we bought a house on Saturday. Yikes! It's a great place on a big corner lot, so plenty of room for the two or three dogs who will usually be running around. We close on April 29th. Unfortunately, that means I might have to miss a track day on May 3, since my mom, grandfather and brother are likely going to be arriving on April 30. I've gone through my calendar for the summer, marking myself out for all of the days I'll need to travel to races. I'm really looking forward to this summer - Alex will be on his new bike, and it will be my second season, so I think I'll have a better time and get more out of it.

Work has suddenly become very busy, leaving me little time for my personal studies (can you imagine??). I had a week off from Spanish but start back again tonight, and the class runs through April, so an awful lot of things in my life will be coming to a head at the same time in a month or so. I did the embarrassing homework assignment (call my teacher and leave a message for her in Spanish) and am writing my Spanish film review today. I really like this class, and the teacher - so much so that I decided to wait and take Spanish 2 in the fall, because it will be my same teacher again.

For my female readership, I bought a lovely necklace yesterday from a company that my mom worked with at the Yoga Expo last year - Energy Muse. That particular necklace is for Prosperity - a fitting goal for me.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

We finally got some signatures on the Venice house - it is sold! My mother is flying out tonight to look at property around Boulder this weekend. What a relief. We'll close at the end of April, and she's hoping to move straight in to something else (praying for a quick close). I think I'll take tomorrow off work so I can look around with her.

I've been getting caught up on all the motorcycle racing news - reading the last several months worth of posts on the MRA message boards. I can't believe that racing starts up again in a month. Alex will miss the first race of the season to be at another track, but that should be fun, too.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

There's something about Tuesdays that is just wrong. The week isn't half over yet, and the memory of the past weekend is still fresh enough to torture. The one upside to this week is that it's spring break, so no class. I do have homework, which I will likely put off until the very last moment. It is nice to be able to relax this week - I went to a baby shower last night, I'm doing assorted housework-type things tonight (have to finally move the futon into the basement), have my cleaning person coming tomorrow morning and a meeting with the accountant tomorrow afternoon, have a going-away party/happy hour on Friday, and then breakfast on Saturday with two girlfriends. The only downside is the hours I have to spend at work.

I went to see "Taking Lives" on Sunday. It was better than I expected, kind of a surprise ending. Angelina Jolie didn't leave much of an impression, but I thought Ethan Hawke (the poor, beleaguered former Mr. Uma Thurman) was pretty interesting to watch. There was more for him to do in this film than I've seen him do before. Next up for me on my movie list - either "Girl with the Pearl Earring" or "Secret Window".

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Why can't I have a Mac at work? Why why why why why? I hate this computer, I can't tell you how many times throughout the day it crashes, kills programs or just slows down in general. I've started doing more graphics and web stuff, and it just kills the speed on my machine (especially since I have to be running the infamous memory/CPU hog Outlook all day). Not to mention, there's no good music player for windows that isn't a usage suck - forget Real One, and even Winamp is slowing me down. Can't very well get my work done w/out my music in the background. May have to break down and buy a boom box for my desk. There's a technological step backward.

Kim is coming over tonight, hopefully - if she makes it on a flight out of SF, she should be at our house in time for a beer and a movie. Alex will be one with his computer for the next few nights, since I dragged him out to the pub last night and he didn't get any work done, so I'll be happy to have someone to play with.

It's a perfect spring day here. I went out to lunch with a friend from work, we walked to a Japanese place that is a few blocks away - it was so hard to bring myself back to the office, I just wanted to find a little table outside and sit there for the rest of the day. I'm hoping to leave early though, so I might go home and just enjoy my backyard. This is the best time of year for it, warm and breezy, but no mosquitos yet.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Happy St. Patrick's Day! I can't wait to go to the pub tonight - I never get to go out anymore, and I MISS BEER!! I'm hoping to go early enough to miss all the drunken revelry. The weather is so nice, I would love to sit outside with a beer. Yum, Harp on tap. Yummm.

No school tomorrow night - our teacher can't make it, so I don't have class again for about a week and a half. She did give us an interesting assignment - sometime between now and a week from Monday, we have to call her cell phone and leave her a 2 minute message (in Spanish, of course). We'll be graded on our grammar, pronunciation, conversation skills, etc. I have to write mine out and have Alex help me with it. Hopefully I can get through the whole message without laughing.

Do you ever wonder about the song that's in your head when you wake up? I've noticed lately that the song running through my mind as I take a shower and brush my teeth is invariable something from my childhood. This morning it was the theme song from "The Jeffersons." That song prompted a thought that I really like -- it never occurred to me that there was anything wrong on The Jeffersons - I never thought twice about the fact that Tom Willis was white and Helen Willis was black. That makes me happy. Anyway, I can think of worse ways to start the day than humming "movin' on up, to the sky, to that dee-luxe apartment in the skyyyyy....."

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I noticed on my paycheck yesterday that the raise I was supposed to get on March 1 has not yet kicked in. I suspect a conspiracy, but am resisting the urge to point fingers, and instead have dispatched my boss to look into it. It's only a small (very small) increase, but it's the principle - if I'm going to be here, toiling as department slave, they damn well better pay me what they owe me.

I heard about a band that's being touted as the next Nirvana - The Vines. MSN.com has a link up where you can listen to their latest album ("Winning Days") online through the end of this week. Some of it is pretty good, I'm listening to it at my desk right now. I'm going out today to run errands at lunch, and I'd like to get some of Prince's stuff - I saw a clip of his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he was amazing.

I'm desperately fighting down the urge to go camera shopping. Alex gave me a digital camera for Christmas about two years ago, and it's been a great camera - but everyone has red eyes, there are spots on the lens that I can't seem to get rid of, and the style (the lens folds out to shoot, then back up to turn off) makes it a little awkward. Plus, there's no speed to it whatsoever, so if anyone moves a fraction of an inch during the 20 seconds it takes to snap the photo after I depress the button, the photo is off. You know how it goes with toys, always looking to upgrade...

Monday, March 15, 2004

This was a busy weekend. Alex and I left for Iowa on Friday afternoon - he had a buyer for his Kaw, and we picked up his new '04 Honda. Pretty nice looking, I must say. It was a little sad to see the Kaw go, but we talked to her and explained that she was going to be able to take it easy now - no one would be sending her flying through the air at 100mph anymore (at least, I hope not!). We also got to spend some time with the new members of the race team, seem like really good guys. They're based in this teeny tiny town in Iowa, just past the Nebraska border. The wind never stops blowing there - morning, noon and night. It was good to get home though. We had stopped and bought a gift for Ruby - we found a stuffed dog that only had one eye, and thought it was perfect for her.

I feel a certain amount of relief knowing that I'm taking the summer off from school - it would have been too much, with a short semester and all the racing. Now I can go to all of the races, and work on my skills to help with the new site. I'm hopeful that I'll be able to quit my job later this year and do that full time. Maybe I'll take a seasonal job at the Gap and get that employee discount!

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Our cleaning person came to the house for the first time today - Alex went home at lunch and says it's spotless! What a wonderful thing, to have someone else come over and do the thing you hate most. I can't wait to get home and enjoy my clean rooms!

We had the inspection today on the house in LA, and everything went pretty smoothly. I think he found only dumb stuff to note, like the screens on the bottom of the house next to the foundation were rusty - no kidding, rust happens when the house is 7 blocks from the ocean! For the money the buyer is paying, I think she can spend $50 for new screens if she wants them. Anyway, there was nothing major, so escrow should proceed pretty smoothly. I signed all kinds of disclosure statements yesterday, so I think our broker can handle every thing else from here.

Joni and I saw "Hidalgo" this weekend, and loved it. Really, it was so entertaining, and Viggo is soooo cute. There was some story in the news this week about historians contesting the studio's claim that the movie is based on the true story of Frank Hopkins - they say he largely made up all of his adventures, that there is no thousand-year-old horse race across the Arabian desert, that he wasn't at Wounded Knee, etc. In my mind, who really cares? The film was fun, it was a great story, it had the feel of a real story because of the Army at Wounded Knee and Buffalo Bill....Frank Hopkins died more than 20 years ago, so who gives a sh*t if he embellished a little? Besides, it's not as if anyone is going for the historical value, we all just want to watch Viggo for a couple of hours.

Monday, March 08, 2004

It looks like we sold the house (finally) - I think we open escrow today, and will close in 45 days. Woo hoo! It's about time that cute little house got sold. My mother has been ready to go for quite some time, and I'm sure my sister is anxious to move on as well. Once some initial funds are released, my mother will come out here to look at more houses. I think she's still undecided as to whether to buy something quickly, or put her stuff in storage and stay with me for a month or so. Either way, it's nice that she's on her way and moving in the right direction.

Alex sold his motorcycle and has made arrangements to buy a new one, so we're driving to Iowa next weekend (with the dog) to drop off the sold bike and pick up the new one. Racing starts in a few weeks, so I'm sure there will be a lot of "tweaking" that Alex wants to do to the new bike. This season, they'll look like much more of a team, everyone on the same kind of bike, same colors, and Kim and I even have little matching pit crew shirts. Plus, Dean and Kim have bought an EXTRAORDINARILY LARGE trailer - Alex says it's like a condo on wheels. We're going to be very comfortable this summer....

Much work to do this morning. More later.

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I have such nice friends. I got a package in the mail on Monday afternoon from my goddog, Louie - he bought me some books off of my Amazon wish list on behalf of his people, my friends Mike and Joni. Four new books that I can't wait to dive into, including Food Lover's Guide to Paris - I heard about this book in an interview on NPR a while back, and it looks wonderful, lots of yummy recipes in addition to the stories about where the locals go for the best food.

I'm trying to convince Alex to come look at a couch with me this weekend. A friend from work is selling it for $75, and from the photos it looks brand new. It's very simple, clean lines, so if I get sick of the color, it will be easy to slipcover. I am trying to set up one half of the basement as a room for me - a desk, couch, comfy chair. Alex is busy most of the time at the Mac in our main office room, I need to set up one of the spare computers somewhere else, plus I need a place to go in the summer where it will be cool. I want this to be a cozy space for me, where I can go and knit or read or work on the computer. I think we need another Mac though, I don't see how I can go back to Windows after getting so spoiled. I have high hopes for this little room. I need a place to be crafty.

My mother had another successful open house last weekend, and has had three private showings so far this week. There is a film crew coming tomorrow to shoot a commercial at the house (I'm not sure for what product), and then there will be another open house this weekend. There is a rumor from the broker that one of the viewers is putting together an offer for this week, so keep all your fingers crossed for a good, high offer that we can accept, and get this show on the road.

Monday, March 01, 2004

Today is a good Monday. We got our 2003 bonus checks today, and while mine was not as high as I would have liked, it will make me so happy to be able to send money to my credit card companies, effectively telling them to take their high interest rates and shove it up their collective asses. So there.

My iPod is back among the living! Yahoo! For reasons I can't remember, I decided to disconnect the docking station from the computer, and then the firewire cable from the docking station, and just plug my iPod directly in to the wall - lo and behold, it worked! It took a full charge for the first time in months. I'm going to buy a new docking station, and as if that helps, and will also go looking for software updates for iTunes. Maybe that will prevent this from happening again. Once again, Mac rocks.