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July 08, 2003

Joe Update

Today was Joe's last day of radiation. He's also done with his chemo treatment as well, and it looks like he is going to go home this Thursday or Friday! This is great news!

I went to visit him in the hospital today... although he was tuckered out and barely opened his eyes, I took comfort in hoping that it would be smooth sailing from this point on for him and his family. The next time I see him, he will be in the comfort of home... most excellent!

He will be getting an MRI in about 30 days, and I will be sure to let you all know what the results are.

Thanks for all your support and thoughts during this time!

posted by Courtney @ 11:37 PM
July 05, 2003
Oh, the Places You'll Go!

We have been super-mega nonstop over this holiday weekend. After a day or two of rest following our SoCal jaunt, I had to work for a day over in the East Bay, then the festivities begun.

It all started with an innocent dinner. One of Kev's co-workers invited us over for some tasty chicken, a coupla bottles of Two Buck Chuck, and stimulating conversation, including the many varieties of Lego Bionicles. I had no idea there were so many varieties...

We were pleasantly surprised to learn that Kev had Thursday off as well as Friday, so we were determined to make the best of our long weekend. Of course, we slept in... big time. Maybe too much, because I ended up with a sore back and a bit of a headache after getting up. We headed out for a nice drive along the coast, to Half Moon Bay, and hitting the Pescadero Beach area to drop a traveler off at a geocache and exploration of the tide pools. The fog was rolling in, and I was freezing my ears off!

On the Fourth, we decided to try and get away from the crowds and spend some time in the great outdoors. Our goal was to go towards the ocean again, but to run into more blue skies and sun than we did at Pescadero. Hmm, maybe Santa Cruz would have better weather. What we didn't take into account was that maybe everyone else wanted to get down that way for the festivities. Silly us... we hit some mondo traffic along the 17, and decided to turn right back around. We ended up going to see the movie Legend of Suriyothai at the Camera One, and a nice quiet dinner at Pasta Pomodoro. We even got to see the tail end of the SJ fireworks display, right from patio of the restaurant.

Saturday, we finally got out to Santa Cruz. The weather was perfect... it's good to get away from the blazing sun and dry air of the Valley. I must remember to return to the Natural Bridges State Park to visit the Monarch Resting Grounds in the winter... I bet it's awsome! We were able to hit a couple more geocaches and cruise around town for a few hours, before heading home to prepare for our evening.

This evening was spent in glorious geekdom with Tom, Tiffany, Gretchen and Chris. G had made us reservations at the charming Steps of Rome Trattoria in the always charming North Beach, where the waiters sing gleefully to the piped-in music, the food is fresh, and the Barbera d'Alba is delicious. I need to go back there again sometime... their menu was incredibly hard to make a decision from. All the girls had Ravioli, though. ;)

Tomorrow is gonna a long day. We have to leave early in the morning to take Kev's daughter to Girl Scout camp in Truckee, which is about a 4 hour drive away. We might spend the night somewhere up there or around Sacramento. Hmm, that reminds me, I gotta be sure to charge the ol' iPod...

I think we've spent enough time in the car lately, don't you think?

PS: Be sure to check the MoBlog for more action as it happens!

posted by Courtney @ 11:58 PM
July 03, 2003
california crusin': Day 2

Friday, 27 June 2003: In the Haus of Maus

Ah, Disneyland. The stuff that dreams are made of. Or, at least, that's what the numerous flyers, commercials, and billboards tell us. What joys await us within?

Kevin and I awoke at about a quarter to seven in the morning, since my family wanted to make the eight AM opening at the park. Exhausted and sore, I endured my pains for the good of the rest of the group. But frustratingly, no one else was even awake by the time we were enjoying our semi-continental breakfast from the hotel. Why do they call it "continental", anways?

I think we made it to the park Resort at 0930 or 1000. Keep in mind that I have not seen this place for many years, even before California Adventure was merely a dirt lot. It's completely different, and more reminiscent of Disney World... there is no longer the endless parking lot, there is now a larger-than-Paul-Bunyan parking lot to handle the masses. Patrons ride in a stinky gas-powered tram through the Resort area, past hotels and shopping areas... all reeking of sickly Disney commercialism.

It's so freakin' American.

After I got past the initial shock of the park's metamorphosis, we were headed in a beeline to the park, tickets already in hand. I ran with my 2 year old niece, Maddie, to visit Mickey Mouse. She had never been to Disneyland, and I don't think she's ever met a character. She was more patient than all the other (and older!) kids, and even their parents! I was sickened by how everyone pushed and shoved to get a glimpse of Mickey Mouse... how no one seemed to have any regard for the next person. All they wanted was to touch the round-eared one, to get his scribbled autograph, to hug his polyester suit. It was incredibly adorable to see Maddie's bewildered face as she watched the huge cartoon character in awe. It made me forget all the chaos happening around us... for a few seconds at least, when we were shoved aside after getting a single photo.

Of course, there were many more opportunities throughout the day to get character photos... way more than I ever remember. We saw Alice, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Captain Hook, Pocahontas, Woody, Jessie, Chip n' Dale and probably a lot more that I can't remember. Oh, and of course, Lilo and Stitch, who was the only one I was really interested in goofing around with.

Lemme just say that I am seriously diggin' on this whole FastPass thing. It really helps you maximize your time at the park. I absolutely cannot stand waiting in the queue for hours at a time, so the FastPasses were true blessings. We rode Indiana Jones 3 times (the third time because the ride actually broke down halfway through on our second ride... whoo hoo). I think I rode every ride that I wanted to go on, except Space Mountain, which is closed until 2005. Gah!

We were lucky that we went to Disneyland on Friday instead of Saturday (a last minute decision), because they were preparing the New Orleans Square area for the Pirates of the Caribbean movie premiere on Saturday. This results in a 6PM closing on that Saturday! I woulda been pretty ticked off if we were kicked outta there at 6.

Instead, we enjoyed a full day (till 12:30, save an hour or two to go back to our hotel to refresh), and had a lot of fun. It was really cool for Kev and I to go without the kids to Disneyland, so we could do stuff that we wanted, but at the same time, incredibly tiring to go with seven other people. I think we all had a fun time, regardless.

For the curious, here are photos from the premiere, even though we weren't there on that day. I post this link for the sheer opportunity to state that Keira Knightley is in serioius need of a sammich. Don't get me started on how I feel about big movie premieres. I'll save that rant for another day...

Day 3 is coming up: Movies are the Universal Language

In the meantime, you can view more photos from our trip at my photo gallery.

posted by Courtney @ 11:46 PM
June 30, 2003
California Crusin': Day 1

Thursday, 26 June 2003...

0000 Hours: Go to bed, setting alarm for 0330.
0315: Cell phone rings, with brother on other end of line, asking us to bring his forgotten gameboy along. Go back to bed.
0330: Alarm sounds. Smack it across the room, crawl groggily out of bed and collapse on floor.
0345: Arise from floor. Cell phone rings, answer to Dad stating that they are leaving within a few minutes.
0355: Splash cold water on face. Pull on grubby yet comfy clothes, throw toiletries into pre-packed suitcase, stumble out door.
0400: Realize I've forgotten something. Back into the house.
0405: Forgot to get something out of the car. Rustle through car in the dark.
0410: Inadvertently wake up baby next door. Hit head on car door frame.
0415: Finally pull away from the driveway, already in a foul mood for the day.

Things didn't get off to a smooth start, but what can you expect, it's four o'clock in the frickin' morning. Dad has this thing about leaving super early in the morning, to "drive in the dark". He's done this since we were little kids. It didn't really accomplish much for us this time but missed sleep and crankiness.

After missing a meal at Andersen's (they were still closed at 0530 when we arrived in Santa Nella), we stomached a breakfast at Lenny's Denny's and continued on our merry ways.

A few potty stops and millions of smashed bugs upon the windshield later, we were in Southern California. A few hours of weekday traffic were magically bestowed upon us, with much luck. It was getting hot, I could feel the backs of my knees getting sticky. Eww.

We arrive at our destination (Orange, CA) at around 1300. Lucky us, check-in time is not until 1500. Tell me why we left so early again? We had to sit tight for a few hours while our rooms were prepared... my sister and her family were able to secure a room earlier, so we just hung out in their room until the nazis front desk crew waved us into our humble suites.

Kevin and I participated enthusiastically in a much-needed nap for a couple o' hours, while my parents ventured out to a local military base to purchase theme park tickets. Then it was to Joe's Crab Shack in Garden Grove for some eatin' and burpin'. What a whacky place. The waitstaff line dances, and birthday guests prance around in cow costumes, complete with rubber neeples.

We go for a quick walk down at The Block, only to have my Mom and Seester sucked into Old Navy for some reason, whilst the rest of us enjoy a scoop or two from Ben and Jerry's. Kevin and I depart for the hotel a little bit earlier than the rest of the shoppin' crowd. Gotta get to bed. We have a long day ahead of us.

Tomorrow: The Mouse is in the House.

posted by Courtney @ 11:41 PM
June 23, 2003
Angel Adventure redux

The Angel Adventure this past Saturday was fun. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, sunny with a cool breese. 200-250 people showed up to walk, and we basically took over the Embarcadero from Pac Bell Park to the Ferry Building, where we enjoyed the sampling of fresh foods at the Farmer's Market and headed back to the ballpark.

Pictures are up, go take a gander!

Once again, I express a TON of gratitude to everyone out there in the blogosphere and beyond that donated to this cause. The walk made over $107,000 total in donations!

We had a fun afternoon, visiting Joe at the hospital, having some *awesome* Mediterranean pizza at Pasquale's Pizzeria in the Sunset, and really rich desserts in the Castro with Gretchen and Chris. It felt good after a day of walking in the sun, to just relax, watch some Family Guy and hold an informal Tetris face-off. ;)

All weekends should be this much fun!

posted by Courtney @ 11:56 AM
June 22, 2003

Today, I have been preparing for the next three days of sheer craziness. Yup, it's that time again... it's finals week.

I am scared to death (at least, I'm feeling something similar to that) of my Japanese final, which involves an interview as well as the written exam. It's incredibly overwhelming, with dozens of kanji to memorize, as well as a ton of conjugations and vocabulary to review. Phew!

In the meantime, to break the monotony of Japanese studies, I have been working on some of my photography projects. I've been creating a whole bunch of cyanotypes over the past few days. My most recent ones involve cutting stencils made from digital prints, and burning cyanotypes from them. Maybe I'll scan a few sometime soon, when this craziness passes.

Distractions today have included blog reading (duh), La Creme Mousse yogurt, Friendster and the iTunes Music store (thanks to Tom's entry today), where I downloaded a plethora of 80's music. I dunno, I just had to. I... I couldn't help it. You can't tell me you wouldn't be tempted to track down New Order, David Bowie, R.E.M., Adam Ant and Duran Duran tracks, heh...

Argh. Back to the books!

posted by Courtney @ 04:34 PM
June 21, 2003
walk on by

The walk is today. Thank you to everyone that donated!

As you could probably tell, this fundraising was almost all-consuming for me. Well, that and it's Finals time at school (tons of projects to work on, plus a Japanese interview to write), and a few web projects to work on. Phew!

Keep an eye on my moblog today, and there may be an AudBlog post or two.

posted by Courtney @ 07:25 AM
June 12, 2003
angel adventure

This afternoon, I went to go visit Joe at the hospital. I hadn't seen him for about a week, which is longest I've gone without seeing him since learning about his brain tumor. I'm glad I drove up to The City today to see him. Today was a good day.

He was bright, alert, and cheery. Huge difference from last week, when he was reeling in pain in his chest from developing pneumonia, and he could barely move. He was talkative, and his eyes glowed.

I had one of the happiest moments that I've had in a long time today. Joe had a physical therapy session today (his brain tumor has caused him to have partial paralysis in the left side of his body), and he was able to sit up and support himself quite well. He got up and walked, with lots of strength! The happy moment came when he was on his way back to his room from the gym, he was still walking with lots of strength (believe me, this is an amazing accomplishment in comparison to last week), and I said, "Hey!" to him, with a big smile. What I got in return was a huge beaming grin and a "Hey!" in return as he walked towards me. It felt awesome... the highlight of my week.

Here's where I get to the "help a sister out" part of this blog entry:

I will be participating in the Bay Area Angel Adventure for the National Brain Tumor Foundation on 21 June, 2003. What is the Angel Adventure? It is a 5k walk along the San Francisco waterfront to raise funds to support brain tumor research. Click below to donate... no minimum!

Text link if the above button doesn't work for you

You can also snail mail donations if you desire.(unless you live in CA, don't snail mail me donations, since I'd probably receive it too late)

I am trying to raise at least $500 for the event. I would be ecstatic if I could raise more in Joe's name! Brother, could you spare a dime? Or a few? ;) I would really appreciate it as well if you can help spread the word with a link or two on your own blogs/sites. Feel free to swipe above button and link to this entry.

Thank you so much in advance. Let's show 'em!

posted by Courtney @ 08:45 PM
June 10, 2003
weddings and funerals

It's an unfortunate fact that an unfortunate event brings people back together. But it's fortunate that it does bring people back together, y'know?

Wow, that paragraph is confusing. But d'ya get my drift?

I just got off the phone with my friend Tiffany, who I have not talked to in, gosh, I dunno... four years? We were best friends in high school, and drifted apart a few years after graduation. I decided to try and get a hold of her the other day, to notify her of recent news with our friend Joe.

What a shock to learn that her boyfriend (now fiancé!) also had a form of cancer two years ago! I had no idea. It is such a big reality check that kids our age (mid-twenties) are falling ill in such drastic ways. Sometimes we forget how vulnerable we really are... it is common for young people to think that they are invincible.

In the end, we're simply all humans, and we're all equally vulnerable. Humbling, ainnit? Just tonight's food for thought.

posted by Courtney @ 10:37 PM
June 03, 2003
simple pleasures

It's the simple things that make us happy. I need these moments as of late. Things are mad crazy 'round these parts. 'Splains why I'm so tired. Anyways... the simple pleasures for today:

My day wasn't so bad, after all.

posted by Courtney @ 11:59 PM
May 15, 2003
song of the south

It looks like I am off to Southern CA for a few days to visit a friend who has fallen ill.

I do not know how my net access will be, but I'll be sure to AudBlog once or twice. :)

In the meantime, please visit a few local friends, some of who I will be seeing next week at the Meetup:

See you on the flip side...

posted by Courtney @ 12:17 AM
May 06, 2003
pulling teeth

That just about describes driving on the 101 from Palo Alto to San Francisco at 50MPH. It's like pulling teeth... or watching water boil... or something.

Why the heck would one do such a thing?

I blew my left front tire in moderately moving traffic on the 101 earlier this evening. I had a date with two geeks and some sashimi, and I was anxious to get to The City. Perfect timing for a tire to blow.

It's a freakin' scary experience... this has never happened to me before. To hear such a loud sound and hear the car grind to a slower speed with surrounding traffic speeding past... I was mildly shaken, yes.

As fate would have it, there was a tow truck a few cars behind me, and he graciously pulled over to help me out. After a few frantic phone calls... one to find out my insurance policy didn't include roadside insurance, and a couple to find out our AAA membership was defunct... the spare doughnut was attached. The driver was gracious enough to give me a cheap price on the assistance (I swear, I did not bat my eyes at him. Maybe it's that ol' Filipino Discount?) and moved on. I continued onto The City at 15 miles under the speed limit, cos I'm a trooper like that.

Driving home wasn't so bad, since I took the less-trafficked and much quieter 280 back home. Took a little over and hour, though. I am so ready to go to bed. Japanese homework will hafta wait until tomorrow afternoon.

Let's hear it for cars. Yay. They always seem to do bad things just when our finances can barely handle it.

posted by Courtney @ 11:58 PM
May 05, 2003
stayin' alive

Just a quick note to let all ya'lls know I'm alive, but busy as all gets. I have a couple of projects to finish, as well as some assignments to work on... not to mention, not finishing the list from the other day. I'm hoping to update with a Bakers Dozen later today... if I can finish my to-do's for the day. *sigh* Story of my life...

Why don't you go play a game to kill some time?

Happy Monday to you all!

posted by Courtney @ 11:02 AM
May 02, 2003

Ah, a day off. I slept in, and boy, did I need it. The week had *really* caught up with me, I'll tell you that. I guess that also explains lack of content these past coupla days.


to-do for today and the weekend:

  1. finish 2 sites that need minor tweaks
  2. clean house for poker tonight
  3. bake cookies. I crave me some chocolate.
  4. japanese assignments
  5. process two rolls of film (delta 400 & 100)
  6. block out light in our evolving garage darkroom
  7. pick up MCA-25 camera
  8. scatter more wildflower seed in the backyard

Yay, let's hear it for excitment. ^_^;;

Fun things to do this weekend? I don't know for sure. I hear it's supposed to be rainy, but the weather seems to be subject to change. I mean, heck, what happened to the "major rainstorm" that was supposed to pass through last night, anyways?

Well, movies are usually up there on our weekend list. Top contenders: Adaptation, Bend it like Beckham, The Man Without a Past and yeah, I'll say it, X2.

Any big weekend plans for you folks out there in blogville?

posted by Courtney @ 11:57 AM
April 20, 2003
whiny cheese heads

G hosted a wonderful cheese and wine shindig last night. Or as we also like to call it, "come over to my house and help empty my liquor cabinet" night. Stinky cheese and dizzying wines were consumed in mass quantities. I'm a sucker for food and wine parties. Oh, not to mention the indulgent yummy chocolate cheesecake homemade by G (no, no pie this time!).

We brought the Wenselydale. ;)

pictures to follow for your bandwidth consumption.

G makes a toast to celebrate their liberation from the crutches of employment.

Robert Scoble drinks to his red pill consumption.

A toasted toast to Easter, 4/20 and Hitler's Birthday... don't ask. I think Cheyenne is puzzled too ;)

talk of stinky cheeses.

Thanks to the Pirillos for a lovely evening, and I am so glad I finally got to see Cheyenne, Min Jung (with hobbit boy Chris) and Vince in the flesh as well. Good times. Good buzz.

posted by Courtney @ 06:17 PM
April 15, 2003
cut short

Alright, I caved. I finally got a haircut, because my awkward length was bugging the heck outta me.

Enjoy (or chuckle at) the low-quality before and after webcam shots.

I need to take better photos later for posterity. Or rather, so I can remember what my hairdresser did (I'll be sure to post those too). I'm not super pleased with the result at the moment... it's supposed to flip on both sides, but right now it's only showing on the right side. Eh, I can fix it later myself with the magic of a curling iron.

Musta been the day for haircuts, cos Cheyenne got hers snipped too!

Again, I can be such a girl sometimes. ^_^;;

posted by Courtney @ 10:03 PM
March 25, 2003
pearly whites

So the dental procedure that started a couple of weeks ago was finally completed as of this morning.

I have a new smile.

It's really weird having this new front tooth. The gap that existed between these two teeth is gone, and I can't squirt water out of it anymore. The backside of the crown is so flawless and smooth, I keep finding myself touching it because it's such a difference. I used to stick my tongue in the gap idly when I was thinking or doing nothing else at all... but alas, I cannot. All these silly little quirks that I had with this silly gap between my teeth have now met their demise.

Alas, poor tooth gap.

The crown looks amazing, it really does. It matches my teeth quite well, and it fits perfectly. Now I'm really anxious to get my teeth whitened, because the dentist made the crown very slightly lighter to accomodate a whitening. All that coffee and tea has wreaked a lot of havoc on my poor teef.

Ah, the things we do for a lovely smile.

posted by Courtney @ 10:47 PM
March 18, 2003
Illin' and Chillin'

Don't worry, I'm hangin' in there. The illness seems to be slowly wearing down, with muchos help from our new humidifier and a whole lotta tea (Did I ever mention that I am a tea snot? Not as prestigious as a wine snot, mind you, but I am. So there).

And no, I am not worried that I have the pneumonia mutation that kat mentioned in the comments (and that I am sure you have all heard of by now). It's a cold or a flu, dammit.

I'm not fully myself because I haven't had my coffee since Saturday. Bleargh! Pass the tea kettle again, dear...

posted by Courtney @ 10:44 AM
March 10, 2003
dr. teeth

Today was a day that centered around today's dental procedure.

Much fun was had by all.

The back story:
I clonked my eye tooth on the bottom of a pool when I was seventeen years old while on a family vacation. It hurt like hell for many days, my lip was a little purple, but I didn't think much of it... until it was still painful a month later, and the slightest pressure on my upper jaw made me scream in pain.

A quick exam at the dentist revealed that my tooth had abscessed, and a root canal was necessary to salvage the tooth. To make a long story short, it was definitely not a pleasant experience. I think I'm blocking it from memory, because I don't remember a lot about it.

Fast forward to ten years later. My current dentist tells me that I need to get a crown put on said tooth to prevent it from becoming brittle and eventually falling out. It was visibly darker than the rest of my teeth, which was a bit worrysome.

Today was the first appointment in the process of getting the crown done. I went in with high hopes, thinking it wouldn't be so bad. Hooo boy, was this a bucket load more of fun than the last visit! Little did I know that the porcelain crown involved removing a lot of the original tooth... is "grinding away" a proper term for this? I hate that they call the remaining bit "the stump", but I guess you call it like it is.

Right now, I have a freaky looking temporary crown on "the stump". I hafta go to the lab in a few days so they can match my crown to my teeth, and I hopefully get the permanent crown put on in about two weeks from now.

My mouth has been pretty painful all day, I've been quite grumpy. Apologies to Kev for my bitchiness earlier. ^_^;;

Not-so-interesting tidbit: today's soft diet made my tummy sloshy. Weeee! No chewy foods for me for a coupla weeks... I guess the turkey jerky and gummi bears have to wait.

posted by Courtney @ 11:18 PM
February 25, 2003
geek stink breath

Yesterday afternoon, I had my first dentist appointment in many many years. So many, I forget exactly how long it's been... but even if I *did* remember, it would be a number of years that would be too embarassing to say. Let's just say that the visit was long overdue.

I had full mouth x-rays done. My x-rays were popping up immediately on the monitor in front of me... something around 16 images, I think. Cool stuff. Hey, I can see my root canal from here! The process was kinda awkward... I have a small jaw and the pieces that I had to hold between my teeth for the x-ray were almost painful to hold. I had a hard time in particular holding it between my molars... it was digging into my lower jaw, and it was painful.

"Oh," the dentist said, "You have an extra mass of bone in there."

Um, what? No one told me this before. I mean, yeah, dental x-rays have bothered me in this same way before, but I thought it was normal to have minor discomfort like that. So I have these excess bone masses under my tongue, one on each side of the inside of my teeth. Nothing abnormal to worry about, it's just... weird.

Then came the most painful part. Well, yeah, it wasn't as bad as having eight teeth extracted (which is another story completely, although it does have to do with my small jaw), but it was pretty horrid. I had a lot of tartar built up on my teeth... it took quite a while for the dentist to clear it off. The dental tool whirred and scraped and poked at my teeth and gums.

"There's a lot of blood..." the dentist said. "Your gums are puffy. Do you floss?"

I shrugged and said frankly, "Not as often as I should."

He smiled, nodded and left it at that. He knew that I was aware of my mistakes and didn't want to lecture me. He could probably tell that I was not enjoying this... my hands were clasped on my lap, but I kept catching myself having to loosen my grip because my fingers were turning white. I'm glad I couldn't see what was going on in my mouth because I would probably freak out, but the taste of the blood almost constantly flowing was enough to make me cringe. I also got nervous whenever people were walking through the mobile office, and shook the entire thing. I'm sure that the dentists and nurses were used to that, and knew how to handle it, but I wasn't prepared for it, and was afraid that the sharp tools would accidentally dig into my mouth.

Mind you, I have never really had a fear of going to the dentist... but the results of the years of neglect made me never want to go through this again.

Rinse and spit. Sigh of relief.

I left with no toy, no stickers, no toothbrush. Just sore gums.

Do you take care of your teeth? Is there anything you would change about your dental routines, or about the appearance of your teeth?

posted by Courtney @ 10:59 AM
February 24, 2003
still kickin'

Some of you are wondering where the geeky chick is.

She thinks that February has been a month full of crap and is lying in wait for March. Really... is it March yet?

I am quite ready for spring. Damn that groundhog... he just *had* to see his shadow, didn't he? I really need some sun and some fresh air... I think we *all* could stand to get a little of that!

When I was in Hawaii, I complained that the weather never changed, and that there were no obvious seasons... well, except that it rained a little more in the "winter months". In retrospect, it was pretty darned good. I didn't have to have seasonal wardrobes, I could wear sandals ninety-nine percent of the time (even in the office... ooo), and I drove a scenic route every single day. Bah... the grass is always greener, isn't it (literally)?

Anyways, onto the weekend highlight(s).

Kev and I got to go gallery hopping on Saturday. My main purpose was to see the Richard Avedon exhibit at the Fraenkel Gallery, and we ended up perusing all the other galleries that reside at 49 Geary Street. Good stuff.

Now all I have to do now is write a paper on it... easier said than done, though. Interpretation, comparison and contrasting of Avedon's work? I need to think about this one. Or maybe I need a cuppa java first.

I can't believe that even though I just had midterms, finals are just around the corner. I guess that's the quarter system for ya...
(oh, and BTW, thanks to eric for getting me to read PhD, heh)

It means spring is right around the corner, though!

posted by Courtney @ 11:59 AM
February 18, 2003
long tall weekend

I don't have the time or brain power to make a proper blog entry about my weekend, so I'll do an abridged post in the spirit of the Baker's Dozen (see kat's recent entry)...

posted by Courtney @ 10:46 AM
February 12, 2003
I fall to pieces

Kevin comes home from London tomorrow night!


You know as they say, absence makes the heart grow fonder. We haven't really been in contact the whole time he was gone, save a few emails. Last time he was in the UK, we ran up an horrendous phone bill, so we cut back on that, naturally. What a great Valentine's Day gift... he will be off of work, as will I. We get the whole day together, which is really all I want.

Do you celebrate Valentine's day, and how? Gifts, flowers, candy, cards? All of the above, none of the above?

posted by Courtney @ 11:43 PM
February 08, 2003
the sound of silence

The house is empty... even the cat has left me for the adventure of the suburban streets. It's quiet... and no, it's not too quiet. I kinda like it, although I already miss Kevin a lot. It kinda hit me earlier, and I was mildly freaking out... but I think I'll be okay. He'll be home on Thursday, and I've dealt with longer absences than that before.

I spent my day with Mish and Ace... and no, we didn't go to Todai (much to Laserone's dismay), but we did have some really kick ass chinese food in the Sunset for real cheap. Mmmm. I appreciate a really good hot and sour soup, and the Nan King Road Bistro does it right. We walked around the neighborhood, and I got to see many of my old haunts, which was really pretty comforting.

We also took a lovely walk through Golden Gate Park, taking advantage of the lovely, clear day. There was a lot of activity that was just fun to be nearby... lots of peoplewatching, lots of pictures to take. I was glad that I was able to shoot two rolls this afternoon, since I feel like I have been slacking on my photo shooting lately. I also took some pictures up and down Clement Street, where we were on a quest to find some good chopsticks and a kitchen knife for Mish (which, she found almost right away!).

So much diversity... I am now reminded why I love the City so much. I just wish it was as accessible to me as it used to be... no BART access in the South Bay really dampens my plans to be up there often.

Now it's time to partake in some won ton soup and sit down to maybe catch up on my Netflix movies.

posted by Courtney @ 08:34 PM
January 12, 2003
while the cat is away

Wow, that last, super short entry brought in a lot of comments! Imagine that... I had no idea that chinese food was a hot topic.

To quote the Monty Python song:

I like Chinese
I like Chinese
Their food is guaranteed to please
A fourteen, a seven, a nine, and lychees...

So I've been gone all weekend. I went up with the poker crew (sans Ace) towards Tahoe on Saturday morning. We stayed in Truckee at my aunt's condo right at Tahoe Donner. What a GREAT time. We played in the snow, played our usual poker game, drank hot cocoa in front of the fireplace, and played many rounds of Yahtzee. Although the condo is located a short walk from a ski lift, we did not get a chance to hit the slopes... but a really fun time anyways!

This morning, we drove across the state line to visit Boomtown, solely to have the yummy breakfast buffet there. Wow... some really good stuff there! I recommend the heart-shaped belgian waffles. I couldn't partake in all the areas of the buffet, although I wish I could have, but I was incredibly stuffed.

We're home, and it's back to the grind. I have some homework to do, and some laundry. Blah.

posted by Courtney @ 06:31 PM
January 09, 2003
and you are...?

Yup, I'm late in the game in recapping the busy day that was Wednesday.

What can I say that wasn't already said by the others?

Wednesday was your humble correspondent's Big Day" at MacWorld. I arrived in The City around noon, hoping to grab some lunch with my boss from the Hawaii job, who was in town for MWSF. Hmm, no such luck, since he only had 45 minutes between conferences and was feeling rushed. No problem, since I grabbed a horrendously overpriced spinach salad at a nearby diner. Ever notice how inflated the food prices are in the direct vicinity of these conventions? Jeebus.

Anyways, I met up with Mike on the Expo floor, near the massive Apple booth. Within minutes, we were spontaneously joined by Eric... what were the chances of that happening at such a large gathering? I wandered the floor for quite a while, killed some time at a few booths. Later on, Eric and I decided on the nearby Chevy's for dinner, which we felt kinda guilty about. I feel like such a bad local... gotta reprahzent the local businesses and all (man, we really shoulda found Shalimar, huh, Nala?).

Afterwards, Mike and I were off to Gordon Biersch on the Embarcadero for the Online Tonight listener appreciation party. We were a tad early, but we showed up in the middle of the Firewire Plugfest (yes, we exhausted *every* joke possible about the name of that party). Three quarters of a beer later, we were off to tour the city in a motorized cable car, complete with blaring music, strobe lights and *ahem* "la-sers".

Ah, it was a pure out geekfest. Gotta love it! I finally got to meet up with Gretchen and Chris after missing out on this past weekend's Disco party... and fortunately, they had Lori and Jake in tow. Four gnomes for the price of two! Throw in the MacSlash crew and a handful of other techies, and we were set. A disco on wheels, cases of chilled beer, wine, and geeks... what more could you ask for?

I won some sort of prize in the drawing at the end of the night, but I wasn't paying enough attention to what it was. I guess I'll find out in a few days from the Google Guy.

Oh, and the Expo itself? I almost forgot. That was the least of my fun ;)

(Here's the link to the pictures again, for the incredibly lazy.)

posted by Courtney @ 11:30 PM
January 05, 2003
she wants to disco?

I woke up pretty late. Sheee-at.

Was up late playing the weekly poker game with the usual crew... also with a returning Ace (from his trip to Guatemala... he had some *great* pics), his sis Sonja, and Andy's hockey bud Tal. A great time was had by all, and much cokes and vanilla rum were consumed. What *are* those drinks called, anyways? I've heard that they are called "Wedding Cakes", but hell if I know.

So I was thinking of stopping by The City today, cos I had missed day one of the West Coast Blogger Disco Party... but who knows if everyone will just be a hung over mess today, heh. ;) I'm pretty sure that there will be no more disco boogie going on, but I want to meet up with everyone.

Busy week ahead. Classes start again on Monday, MacWorld is all week, hoping to get together with Mike, attend a taping of TSS, gonna meet up with my old boss from Hawaii, and I have to do 2 days worth of work over in the East Bay later this week. Oy.

posted by Courtney @ 10:58 AM
December 31, 2002
tick tick tick

This very well might be the last post of 2002. So much has happened in the past year, I can't even begin to recap... it would take me clear into the next year (and then some) to ponder and write about it all.

So I won't. ^_^;;

I will let you know that today, we took a day trip up towards Bear Valley on a quest to find the fabled snow we have not seen for many many years. We found ourselves at Big Trees State Park in Calaveras County. Pretty awesome... a big snowfall started *just* as we got out of the car, and then cleared up and let the sun shine through with accompanying blue skies just as we were leaving. I posted some photos (albeit a few) to my photo gallery if you want to take a gander.

Here I sit, a mere few minutes away from the new year, at my desk. I'm holding a glass of cold champagne in my hand, and still blogging away. What the heck am I doing here?

Happy 2003, Everyone!

Here's wishing you good health and happiness.

posted by Courtney @ 11:53 PM
December 29, 2002

I'll get back into the blogging flow eventually... my routine is all outta whack cos of the holidaze. I know I can only use that excuse for so long now... ;)

My recent days have been spent eating lots of good food (to shortly recap a few: mom's homecooked food, a trip to a fondue restaurant, heavenly sushi and noodle bowls), sleeping in (it's lovely to wake up after 10, isn't it?), and relaxing for the majority of the day. Sounds good, donnit? Only a few more days of this, and then it's back to the grind... *sigh*

What've you all been up to these past coupla days? The blogging world has been awful quiet as of late.

Now, for me, it's back to playing a but of The Sims Online. If you play too and want to look me up, I'm Courtney Lea in the city of Alphaville.

posted by Courtney @ 08:55 PM
December 27, 2002

I hope everyone's holidays were relaxing and fun. I am SO glad that the craziness is done and over with. Now I can sleep.

Since everyone else seems to be going down their lists, and I enjoy reading them, here's my holiday stash:

Of course, the best part of Christmas was seeing all the relatives and friends that I have not seen in ages. Always a fun time when everyone gets together for good food and good company. Pictures being uploaded to the gallery as I type this...

posted by Courtney @ 08:23 PM
December 23, 2002
secret santa

Tonight, we had a little get-together of sorts to exchange secret santa gifts amongst some close friends. Yes, the comments in the Shout Box alluding to a St. Julie Christmas are in direct reference to this group of peoples. The get-together was luvverly, to say the least.

Not only was it great to get some old friends together, we had the second poker night for this weekend, some good eats and good conversation. Never mind that I didn't win a bit during each poker night, but eh, who cares?

Chris was my secret santa, and he got me a cool Super Mini Optical Mouse, as you see here (I just shot this photo, excuse the darkness of it).

Tonith had home-brewed some really great vanilla extract... I was so excited! Too bad I had done my holiday baking already, tho. This stuff is awesome... I was able to drink the stuff straight. A shot of it even made a plain ol' Coca-Cola taste awesome! Must... make... more...

I shot a couple photos of Bri after our poker game (which, I will add, in which he and Tonith cleaned up):

He wanted me to post that second one for sure, but the first one I kinda like. I call it the Money Shot. Bri just wanted to show off his new Mage Knight figure that he got from Chris. Oh yeah, and his cute daughter. ;)

It's always good to get together with friends you've had, like, forever. *sniff* It makes me all misty eyed...

posted by Courtney @ 01:39 AM
December 13, 2002
back to skull

Finals are OVER, thank jeebus. Let's get back to business. What has been happening in geeky chick land?

I submitted my final project for my Flash class last night, and I must say, it's not particularly stellar. It wasn't supposed to be artistic, so I just did the minimum requirements. Maybe I'll share it with you folks if I ever get drunk enough.

I think I fared well this quarter, I was really pleased with my photography class, and I'm going to pursue more classes in that department. I'm gonna hold off on more computer science/programming classes for now, but I will also be taking more Japanese classes. The next quarter starts in early January, so I have some time to kick back. I think.

I really want to play with Flash some more, and maybe produce something remotely good for posting on this here site, or one of the many sites I am working on. I really like Flash MX, it's a lot of fun... my art background as well as film studies have helped tremendously with my learning of the app. Anyone have any cool ideas of what to animate for a fun exercise?

I've been playing The Sims Online a lot... I don't even need the excuse of "I'm a Beta Tester, so I need to play a lot". The game is seriously kickass. It has renewed my interest in the whole Sims empire (I stopped playing The Sims offline many many months ago), but has reduced my real life interactions with others, heh. The game ships next week, AFAIK, so you should definitely check it out if you're a sim fan.

I have been posting and reading a lot more over at Killoggs, since earlier this week, Josh and Ben had finally scanned my head (which, I will add, I did see back in the summer when Ben was here) and activated my account.

Go visit, Killoggers are a great peoples.

This doesn't mean I'm ceasing to write on this here blog, no sirree. I have more plans for this site. Apologies to those of you having problems loading this site and the images (thanks to Antwon for the heads up on the Adobe vs. IE probs, more on that another time)... I'm working on it.

posted by Courtney @ 12:22 PM
December 05, 2002
a brush with the law

No, I wasn't arrested or anything.

Today was a long day. Or maybe it just seemed that way. With finals coming up next week, everyone is in a crazed state... not excluding yours truly, of course. I can't wait until next Wednesday, when I can finally breathe. Wednesdays are my long day to begin with. A class from 8:30am till 1:10pm, and a class from 6:20 to 9pm... that's a good extended day with a fair-sized break in between, mostly used for studying.

After studying for a couple of hours at the local bookstore café, I headed down to campus for my Japanese class. I was barely gonna make it, watching the clock as I parked my car in the garage. I had just enough time to run to the cafeteria to warm up my coffee.

I made it to class right on time, to find everyone in class having a heated discussion. I thought maybe they were discussing the upcoming final exam, or maybe there was some debate about the homework. Normal night in class, I assumed.

Then I heard the key words. "Security", "Police", "Contamination" and "Terrorist". Uh oh. I figured I should open up my ears a little more.

"Maybe we shouldn't let any more people come in the classroom," I heard the sensei say, very meekly.

Okay, so here's the deal. Before class was to begin, sensei was talking to the people who were already arrived... I guess about the exam, or something similar. There was an unmarked envelope on the table at the front of the room, and she inadvertently picked it up and opened it while continuing the discussion.

*poof*... a white powdery substance spills out of the envelope, onto the table and onto sensei's hands. In the envelope, there is a map of some sort. Those who saw it close up said it was some sort of terrorist map... locations, perhaps? Some believed it to be from another class, but no one was sure. There was some of the substance on the floors of the room, as well... supposedly pre-existing before the envelope was even open.

After many minutes of debate (and a very nervous sensei), a student, who had gone to contact security, instructed us to evacuate the room, as per the campus security office. We were not to leave the vicinity of the room.

A mere few minutes later, an officer from the local PD shows up and tells us (in a possibly over-protective, extremely serious tone) to remain calm and stay where we are. He breaks out the yellow tape and blocks us out from the rest of the world. Undoubtedly, a crowd starts to form. No one's taking this too seriously, except the officer... I guess I gotta hand it to him for being so serious about it. We're all sorta joking about the whole thing, shooting pictures and giggling... no one was freaking out, but the officer felt the need to say "You're doing just great, don't worry, sit tight and we'll be with you soon".

So the FD shows up... a few small trucks. Then the big haz mat truck shows up. Whoo... we're getting into the big tax dollars here, folks. Some really nice firemen and women show up to question us and take our info down. We were cold, confused and hungry at this point... I guess that's no big news for a group of college students. ;)

You could pretty much scratch any lessons for tonight. Sensei's books and such were still inside the room. Horrible timing, since the final exam is next week. The haz mat team needed to take these items for testing... wait, our grades are in there! I have no idea what's gonna happen... hopefully by next week, we can pass the course alright!

We're supposed to know in 48 hours if this was something to worry about. Some people were instructed to bag their clothes as soon as they got home. I'm not too worried about it... this just made my night pretty interesting.

Whoever pulls pranks like these should be tarred and feathered. I mean, heck, finals aren't THAT bad, are they? You can think of something better than a damn powdery envelope to get outta it...

I received a call on Thursday afteroon from my sensei, sounding kinda shaken, but she was extremely apologetic about the whole ordeal. Of course, this was a hoax. I had also discovered a message on my voicemail later from the officer in charge.

Apparently, there was a class earlier in the day that was studying and discussing terrorism. I have no idea why someone had made mock terrorist letters, but it was a big mistake, cos they left it behind for unsuspecting people (such as us) to find, with no explanation whatsoever. The white substance was cooking flour.

So life goes on. Sensei's message continued on, letting me know that we will be receiving full credit for that day, as well as the removal of an oral exam from the final exam, "if that is okay with you", as she said. No biggie, really... I do feel bad for her still, cos she had a really horrible evening that day.

I, along with some other students are going to bear gifts on this upcoming Wednesday... Japanese treats and such, to help ease the mind of sensei and our fellow students. Nothing like fresh mochi to soothe the soul. :)

posted by Courtney @ 12:18 AM
November 29, 2002
bought nothin'

Hope you are all enjoying your holiday. I love long weekends. I can sleep in for FOUR days... yes! Such a bonus.

Today was Buy Nothing Day, of course, and I hope that everyone was able to steer clear of the retail hells out there. I saw many a automobile driving on the streets, the back windows packed to the limit with shopping bags. Pretty sad.

But hey, we honored BND for ourselves, and it was really a good choice. We drove down to Castle Rock State Park (which is down towards Big Basin) this afternoon, to take a hike, enjoy the views, and possibly go Geocaching. Unfortunately, we were a bit late in the day, so the sun was setting fast. We took the scenic route, and stopped along the way to enjoy a lovely valley and ocean view.

Once at the park, we scurried along the Summit Rock trail, with the last fingers of daylight disappearing more and more every minute. Lovely trail, I might add... especially with all the golden leaves falling about. The blue haze of the imminent evening was all we had to see us along the trail... I had to start using the backlight on my GPS to help us along. Hmm. Not too good of a sign, but we pressed on, with about .39 of a mile to the cache.

Darkness was falling. Fast. I could barely recognize the forms of the barren trees around us, and I had to squint to see. My GPS read .28 from the cache, and I peered in the direction that the GPS was pointing. It wasn't comforting to see a fairly large hill ahead... this meant a quarter of a mile uphill? I was afraid that this was not feasible at this point.

Yup, it was. It was a sliver away from darkness, and we would barely make it back to the car before then. So I made the executive decision to turn back. I had almost forgotten that the hike in was mostly downhill, so we had a nice(?) challenging climb back. Jeez, I am so outta shape. I was horribly winded, but we made it back to the car as the day turned into night.

Oh look, a present.

We got a parking ticket for having the car parked after sunset. Grrrr. I guess that Buy Nothing Day bought us a lovely parking citation!

Oh well, I wouldn't trade this experience for shopping any day.

posted by Courtney @ 11:43 PM
November 28, 2002
gobble gobble

Pretty busy 'round these parts (as it is everywhere), but I wanted to take a minute to shout out to ya folks...


I would say "Turkey Day", but I'm actually in the process of making my first Tofurkey. I figured, there will be two turkeys at my family's gathering, so I need to have an alternative as well. I'll still eat some of the bird, tho... especially the fried one.


Okay, so I haven't eaten all day. Two loaves of pumpkin bread in the oven that'll be ready in half an hour from now. Then, we feast!

Enjoy your day!

posted by Courtney @ 12:37 PM
November 25, 2002
lithless lithps

I don't think I've worn my retainer for a couple of months. Bad, I know.

I put in on last night, and to my dismay, the bottom row of teeth were horribly misaligned with the retainer. Grr. Bad me.

So I woke up this morning with incredibly tender teeth... I was groaning from the pain pulsating within my gums. Bleh. I could hardly stand to munch on my toaster waffle (not an Eggo, mind you, but a generic freezer section toaster waffle). At least I don't have to chew my Peets House Blend.

I have decided to try to wear this bad boy all day today. This means that I will have a minor lisp until my tongue gets used to speaking with it in. Bah! Everyone knows that I sound different, but no one says anything... they just look at me funny until they realize I have an appliance in my mouth.

I feel like I'm in Junior High again.

posted by Courtney @ 01:02 PM
November 15, 2002
do a good turn daily

... so says the Girl Scout motto. This is a story of my good turn today.

I had some free time this afternoon, so I browsed a coupla Thrift Shops (whoo hoo! A set of art pencils for thirty-five cents!) and drove around the neighborhood. I passed CompUSA once, thought for a second about browsing around in there, but didn't stop.

15 minutes later, I was back.

I was curious to see if The Sims Online was available yet, since I had lost track of it completely. So I found my excuse to go in.

Nope, no Sims Online yet (I know, it's not being developed for Mac, grr. But there is a Windoze machine in this house just for gaming, heh). So I wandered into the small Mac section to see how it was doing.

CompUSA is notorious for not encouraging Mac sales. Their salespeople cringe when customers ask for Mac hardware, software or accessories. You'd think you had just asked them to pull their toenails out or something. Scott Kelby writes about this in his book Macintosh: The Naked Truth. He also suggests ways for us Mac Evangelists to improve the situation. One of these ways is to visit your local CompUSA store regularly and tidy up the Mac section.

Only a die-hard would do that. I guess I'm a die-hard now.

I went around to all the stations... I think there were 3 iBooks, 5 iMacs, 2 G4s and 1 Ti... and I cleaned up all of their desktops, filled up the docks (they were empty, save the trash and the finder icons), and did a general tidying of the area. It was really sad... all the hard drives were named gobbledy gook like "sadfg" or "../.,;". The desktops were chaotic. Open windows everywhere! A nightmare for this minimalist Mac user! It made a difference... even though I didn't physically do much, the section looked clean and consistent from mac to mac. I grinned to myself and walked out of the door, without buying anything, after about 15 minutes.

Who knows if this service will accomplish anything... will someone buy a Mac just because I made them look good? I have no idea. If it helps influence one person's decision to buy a mac, that's good enough for me. Someone has to care, and it ain't gonna be the workers at CompUSA.

So I did my good turn... and a geeky one at that. Maybe tomorrow I'll save the world or find a cure for the common cold.


posted by Courtney @ 06:27 PM
October 30, 2002
tea and honey

I woke up this morning with a sore throat, sniffles and sneezing. Bleh. I guess what's going around has found me. This especially sucks, since I have midterms going on right now, and of course, Halloween is tomorrow. Bah!

I had a very long day, but thank Jeez that I have a long (read: 4-5 hour) break between my classes... long enough that I could come home and try to sleep some of this illness off. Not that it helped a lot or anything, but I think I needed the rest.

I sat in the campus cafeteria this evening, studying for my Japanese midterm. Um, or rather, listening to the band that was playing, watching the swirls of steam in my Earl Grey and practicing my pen spinning. Which, BTW, I have discovered that if you use a pen with more grip, like a PaperMate ComfortMate, it makes it a lot easier to practice and master the mad pen spinning skillz. Just thought you'd want to know. Anyways, the point is, I was way too spaced out to really study in the Caf, but I ended up doing all right on the midterm, despite the illness-induced wooziness.

I think I need to just dose out on more tea, get wrapped in the down comforter and sleep forever. Er, at least until I have a conference call from Hawaii tomorrow. Maybe I'll take the call while in my flannel jammies and fluffy slippers... that thought is certainly a novelty.

posted by Courtney @ 11:35 PM
October 18, 2002
senses working overtime

The outside world has been calling, and I have been answering as of late.

Keeping busy with classes, maintaining the household, and interacting with real people out in the real world (granted, they were random internet people, but still)... all these factors have been keeping me away from you, dear reader.

Hmm. Maybe I need to take a page from PromoGuy's book and concentrate on quality over quantity. I think that this method works well and makes for some good reading. Take for example, Antwon. He takes any subject and can write a verbose yet interesting entry on it. I'm amazed. Then again, I'm not much of a writer. ^_^;;

The rundown lately is that I'm doing pretty well in class... Japanese continues to confuse the crap outta me (although I'm faring decently), my unix class is deathly slow, my photo class is awesome (I am so glad to be back in the darkroom after all this digital madness), and I'm motoring along in Flash. I think I've mentioned before that I think being back at school, ANY school, has made me feel more like part of a community. Meeting new people and learning new things is just what the doctor ordered to get me out of this rut I've been in since being back in California and basically unemployed. For the first time in a long time, I've felt like I've had a place in the world... like I have a purpose.

Then I go back to browing craigslist and various publications for jobs and the vicious cycle starts all over again. The mounds of form letters saying "Thanks, but no thanks", and/or the lack of responses in general (even for CHEAP or BARTER contract jobs!) don't do a lot for this geek's ego.


I think it's about that time that I go out and find some coffee and run a few errands. Getting outside is good.

Oh, BTW... the image I've posted for you today is from a drive down to Santa Cruz two weeks ago... when Kev and I felt like we simply wanted to be out of the Silly Valley and go somewhere where we could see mountains, trees and ocean.

posted by Courtney @ 02:06 PM
October 07, 2002

Sorry that there hasn't been a lot of bloggage happening at this site in the past few days... real life calls. Being back at school, handling some freelance jobs, as well as maintaining a household kinda distracts me from the real fun stuff. ;)

There have been some updates to the link weblog... new entries, as well as a link submission window. Send me your fun, weird and interesting links!

If you were wondering who the cute little girl is that has been on the webcam still for a few days, it's my niece Maddie (Madeline). Isn't she a cutie? She came for a visit this past Saturday. Just so you know, I didn't shrink into a 2 year old.

Halloween is upon us... we're gonna go to a REAL pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay this weekend, I think, and hand pick our punkins from the field. I'm pondering a cool pattern to put on my pumpkin for this year. This one is just downright frightening... and you can't scare the kiddies more than this one, for sure!

posted by Courtney @ 10:53 PM
October 01, 2002
higher education

I had forgotten what an interesting experience school is. I mean, not just for my learning experience, but the dynamics within the classroom itself. It's interesting to see how people interact with each other in the classroom context.

I have been reminded of the fact that there always has to be a smartass in each class... well, at least someone that likes to question the teacher's knowledge and credibility. Why do these students feel that it is necessary to argue with the teacher about these silly topics?

I am fortunate(?) enough to have a couple of these guys in my unix class. Last week, I think they spent about half an hour arguing with our teacher about what is the best OS... and of course, they all insisted that they were right. I mean, heck, people, we're not paying to hear you rant... no OS advocacy, please, I can get that for free elsewhere. They also keep interrupting the lecture and start spewing "other better ways" to do what the teacher is talking about. OKAY, guys, this is a beginner's class, and we're going by the book for now, so please zip it and let the rest of us learn. I will admit that the class is going a wee bit slow, but I think a review is always good. No harm done.

There was someone in class today that brought their iBook to class (running jaguar, of course), which I think is a good call. I think I'll bring my powerbook with next time. I do have a small issue with not having this class in the computer labs, where we can learn hands-on. We're taking notes off of the white board and overhead projector, which seems a little bass-ackwards to me.

Class is going extremely slow, but for fairly good reason. The original intro to unix class was way too intense... I believe it covered the entire textbook in one quarter. So they decided to stretch that cirriculum across three quarter-long classes starting this fall. It seems to me that the teachers are stumbling a llittle bit with the lessons because of this change, but I'm forgiving. -_^

The return to college has been interesting so far.

posted by Courtney @ 10:12 PM
September 29, 2002
the revenge of nekkid day

Tonight was poker night, which also served double duty as a second llittle birthday party for yours truly. The best birthday gift of all was a surprise visit from Bri (who now lives in Washington state)!

We had the PokerCam on for a while, but switched to a videoconference with Bri's wife back in WA, for some fun real-time video chat. Sorry if you guys were hoping to watch some hot poker action. ;)

Some of my friends chipped in together and got me a Olympus VN-1800 digital voice recorder. It'll come in handy for school, as well as recording my many ideas that I have while on the road or on the go, including blog entries! I've learned that it's dangerous to try to scribble in your Palm while driving, heh. Wow... another gadget to add to my collection. Jeez, now I need a man purse for all these gadgets!

Now to bed. Mmm... sleep.

posted by Courtney @ 01:56 AM
September 27, 2002
nekkid day (part deux)

What a birthday it was! It started off with a good session of sleeping in. Mmm... sleep. Kev had the day off, so he got to sleep in with me! What a bonus, when you get to sleep in late and have someone to keep you warm on a windy autumn morning!

Kev had planned for us to drive up to Marin for some wandering and exploration. We used to live in Mill Valley many years ago, when we were first together. His ultimate goal was to get us up around Mt. Tam to watch the sunset. Aww!

I had forgotten to charge the battery on the digital camera (it's his, but we have been sharing it), so I immediately ran to plug it in before getting myself ready to go. When it came to be the time to leave, I was bummed to see that the battery was not fully charged, but I unplugged it anyways.

Hmm. "What to do?" I thought out loud.

"Use this one," Kev said, and handed me a battery. It was a retangular looking battery, and it wasn't at all like the one that we used in the G1. I stared at him, confused.

"When did you get this?" I asked.

"I did when I got THIS!" he said gleefully, and handed me a box containing a Canon Powershot S330. OMG... the one I was toiling over last month! I was blown away. I wasn't expecting a gift, really... all I wanted today was to spend some quality time with Kev. But, wow. I took some great pictures today with it.

We had lunch a a great Thai restaurant on Irving Street in SF, then headed to Mill Valley to see how much the place has changed since we left. A few new stores here and there, but it was pretty much the same... yuppie-ville. After grabbing a Freddo at Peet's (of course), we headed up towards Mt. Tam and froze our keesters off in the cold wind on Fairfax-Bolinas Road! What a lovely view, though... I've missed it! We then took a coast drive to see Stinson Beach, reconnect with some redwoods, and visited Muir Beach as well. A very lovely drive, indeed.

I'll post some photos in my photo gallery soon... I do so dig this camera. :)

posted by Courtney @ 11:20 PM
September 24, 2002
forgetful jones

So the school semester starts this week. I thought I had classes Wednesdays and Thursdays, but turns out I was wrong.

So an alarm goes off in my Treo at 5:15pm saying that I had to be there in 15 minutes. Farkin' A. Something went wonky here.

The printout I got from school is dumb.



Course Title Days
ARTS-063.-01 TR

I assumed that "TR" meant "Thursday". Apparently, it means Tuesday AND Thursday. Gah. Don't most schools give you schedules that indicated "TTh" if it's those two days? Ah well.

So I showed up 20 minutes late for my UNIX class, but it wasn't a big deal. I did end up missing my first "Business Practices for Graphic Design" class, but hopefully I'm still cool for Thursday.

Back to school. Ainnit great?

posted by Courtney @ 10:14 PM
September 18, 2002
meetup report

Just got back from the weblogger meetup in Cupertino.

Two hosts, 6 people had RSVP'ed. And then there were four. Ealasaid, her father, Guy, Antwon and I were the lucky winners.

Good times, good coffee, good conversation. I think that Coffee Society is a really great place to meet people... they have a cool back room with sofas and internet taps and power outlets and local rags... a geek utopia when you add in the caffeine factor! My wireless net tap worked there, but it was a pay-as-you go ($7 a day or $20 a month) service. Bah.

I forgot the camera, but we'll always have the memories. Either that, or the blog entries. ^_^;;

posted by Courtney @ 11:59 PM
September 17, 2002
This thing that is eating my life

I remember in the old days of The Palace, there was a script within the chat software that would turn the text "palace" (when someone would type it in chat) to "This Thing that is Eating my Life".

Little did I know how close to home that statement is. I'm starting to personally feel this way about computing in general. Dammit, it's like crack. I know it's bad, but I keep going back to it. Gotta get outta the habit of hopping outta bed and directly to the computer desk. Gotta stop spending so much time on the 'net and wasting half my day. I keep telling myself, I'll get off my duff today and limit my computer time. Gotta frickin' *exercise*.

I need to do more geocaching, cos it was a perfect excuse to get out of the house. Taking walks is nice. Being outdoors is nice. Monitor tan is bad.

Then again, I also wanted to get outside to do a little wardriving or warchalking.

All right, that was just extremely sad.

posted by Courtney @ 02:04 PM
September 04, 2002
El Scorcho

Today wasn't so bad. I've been feeling kinda stuck in a rut lately... being at home, not really doing much. Kinda my own fault, I guess. Allergies, hot weather, general tiredness... all kept me from really getting out there. So I promised myself that today I'd get out in the world, mostly because the weather was cooler today... ^_^

I got a late start, but I drove down to Uvas Canyon County Park in Morgan Hill, to try and find a couple of good geocaches. I ended up finding only one near the creek, and didn't go after the others because I was getting killed by the mosquitoes. One flew right into my eye, and one up my nose... bleh! I couldn't stand it.

It's a really nice drive up to Uvas Canyon. Quite relaxing, I'd recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a weekend drive.

On my way back, I stopped to look for a birthday gift... didn't quite find what I was looking for, but I ended up buying a coupla CD's at Rasputin's in Campbell. I had just heard some snippets of a band called Hot Hot Heat on today's All Things Considered, and wanted to find their album. Score, it was $7.99. Gotta love it. Also picked up the album "Symphony of Enchanted Lands" by Rhapsody... just cos it's so rock. It's dangerous to try and find a birthday gift at places where you can easily spend a lot of money on your own inklings.

Anyhoo, I happened upon a lone Del Taco franchise on my way back home... Mish had told me the other day of its existence. These places are never heard of 'round these parts. So I thought I'd feed my curiousity and pick up some dinner... complete with Del Scorcho sauce. My day was complete. I guess.

And I'm Jello, baby.

posted by Courtney @ 07:18 PM
August 23, 2002
bye-bye purple dino

Got back from the DNA Lounge just a while ago, where there was an EFF benefit taking place. The benefit featured Wil Wheaton versus Barney the Dinosaur in a grudge boxing match. Good fun.

I drove up to SF with Ben, and we met up with Loren there. It was absolutely mad there... no one could hear a word anyone else was saying, and it was pretty hard to make out any faces in the dark. Made it doubly hard to locate Wil, but we did it. He was constantly surrounded by a gaggle of geeks, and constantly being pulled away for pictures. It must be weird being a celeb. But he handled it very well. Don't get me started on the giggling girls.

We had a quick bite to eat with Wil's wife, Anne, after toiling to find an open mexican joint... some random guy from the club wanted us to buy him a veggie burrito. No dice, so we just settled upon whatever was open. The waitress even forgot my order. Lovely. But we killed time by passing a napkin around the table and taking turns drawing on it. Kind of like an exquisite corpse... but different. Look for it on eBay soon.

The DJs back at the lounge were a bit mad. Some of the tunes they played were really way out there. Some experimental shit, I guess. Lots of screeees and scratches and... stuff. My ears hurt. Anne had fun being a complete goofball on the dance floor... shaking her thang at these guys that took themselves WAY too seriously. Ben was sure he was gonna get lucky with one of the guys dressed in black and toting a gin and tonic. Wil gave a pretty kickass speech and gave that damn dino a good fight. Me, I just took the pictures.

You can see the photos from the evening in my photo gallery. I need to sleep.

posted by Courtney @ 03:39 AM
August 14, 2002
sleepless in santa clara


I didn't think that I'd have such a reaction, since I haven't before, but I'm all awake and feeling a tad nervous-like after taking a generic for sudafed about 2 hours ago.

Anyone else get this kind of reaction?

A quick search on the web led me to an interesting article about scuba divers and pseudoephedrine... apparently it's widely used, but can possibly cause complications for scuba divers. Check it out, there's some interesting stories within.

A cave diver "bolted" from his dive buddies during an air dive and was later found dead. He had exhibited this behavior before. On both occasions he had taken pseudoephedrine before the dive. (This incident seems to have features of excitability, a known side effect of pseudoephedrine and a symptom of oxygen toxicity.)

But it gave me the info I was looking for...

Starting with pharmacology, pseudoephedrine is a sympathomimetic (has effects similar to substances found in the sympathetic nervous system) whose major effect is to cause vasoconstriction in the lining of the nose and sinuses, thus reducing stuffiness and congestion. It is considered a mild central nervous stimulant, and its usual side effects are excitability, restlessness, dizziness, weakness and insomnia.


posted by Courtney @ 03:31 AM
August 09, 2002
we wanna rock

I feel slow and sluggish this morning. Maybe I feel that way every day when I wake up, but maybe I'm just more aware of it right now since I'm writing about how I feel at this moment.

I just woke up.

Last night, I had a really good Barbeque Chicken Pizza with Andy and Mish in the Willow Glen neighborhood of San Jose. With Kev out of town, I was feeling a bit lonely, so I solicited their company. I'm weak. Oh man, that pizza was good. Smoked provolone, red onions and all. Mmm.

Oh crap, I think I left the leftovers in my trunk. Ah well, it's prolly still okay.

Mish works at 5am and Andy has a day job, so I stopped bugging them at about quarter to ten. I started driving to Palo Alto to head in the general direction of Stanford.

Ben had left a few voice mails for me telling me that him and his crew were hanging out at shitty bars. Sounds entertaining. Besides, I was more intent on just meeting him... we still hadn't met in RL just yet.

So after getting completely LOST in Palo Alto (the trees everywhere make every single corner look the same in the dark, not to mention the shitty cell phone reception) and driving around for maybe 45 minutes, I found the dive that they had settled upon, and found Ben in the parking lot. Yay!

He was hanging out with the staff from the computer camp that he teaches at Stanford. These poor people hardly ever venture outta Palo Alto. Pretty sad... I need to get him outta that vicinity, since the mostly seem to be from outta town. Palo Alto is really um, weird. It's a college town, but it's full of yuppies and cafés and trendy high priced shops.

It was weird walking back to the car a couple hours later... Ben made a statement that it was like walking through Disneyland when it was closing. It frightened me to think how true that statement actually was... I was waiting to hear the Mickey Mouse Club song. After dropping him off, I headed straight outta that town... I really didn't want to spend any more time watching flamboyant men in tight polo shirts walk around.

Then home. Bed. Good.

posted by Courtney @ 10:38 AM
August 01, 2002
'cross the bay

Today, I went to the East Bay to meet up with the family. You see, the brother's birthday was on Sunday, the sister's birthday is today, and the nephew's birthday is tomorrow. So I killed three birds with one stone and arrived bearing gifts and tiramisu.

I had found a coupon for Ghirardelli sundaes that Kev and I acquired last weekend in Monterey, so we took full advantage of it and raided the local Ghirardelli parlor for two-scoop Hot Fudge sundaes. Mmm.

The Walnut Creek Farmer's Market was goin' on this evening, so I raided the booths for many baskets of strawberries, fresh picked today, as well as some sweet onions. I'm glad to be back in California where this fresh produce is readily available. Another cool thing was that they're holding free jazz concerts right next to the farmer's market all summer, I think.

So, I was back home before the sun completely disappeared beneath the horizon... the clouds were a nice purply-pink in the cool blue sky. It was real purty. I was smelling the fresh strawberries all the way home, and it was starting to drive me nuts... I ran inside and put them in the fridge, stat.

I just now had found out that Ben was supposed to be nearby, in Palo Alto tonight. Dang, I think I missed him by a hair. I was reading his recent entry on Killoggs telling me to get in touch for tonight if I happened to read it. Ah well. I think I'll be seeing him sometime next week if his busy schedule permits.

That is all.

posted by Courtney @ 09:35 PM
July 29, 2002
Back in town

Don't worry too much, 'cause I'm back.

I had a very full week, indeed!

I spent most of last week with my parents and siblings in South Lake Tahoe. My parents own a timeshare up there, and it's a good place to go to relax. You can pretty much spend all your time in the resort area without even going down to town or to the lake... there's a lot to do there.

My photo gallery from the trip is up. Most of the photos are of Maddie, but that tends to happen when you're around a cute little kid. Hah.

I also took Bren for his first geocache find. See the photos here.

Left for home on Friday afternoon, since Kevin was scheduled to fly into SJC later that evening. I made the drive by myself, since my sister and her family decided to stay another day. What a long and lonely drive... especially since I had to take a MAJOR detour through the mountains because of a forest fire. It took me close to five hours to get back home.

Saturday morning, Kev and I left for Monterey. It was really nice and cool near the bay... we loved it! I took him for his first visit to the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which I know he really enjoyed. If you get a chance, go check out the Jellyfish exhibits there. They're kickass.

After spending the night in Pacific Grove, we left the next morning for the Gilroy Garlic Festival, where we met up with Mish and Andy. Lots of expensive (but gooood) food, some garlic chocolate, garlic ice cream, one bat t-shirt and a failed geocache hunt later, we headed home.

It's good to be home and in our own bed. My back was beginning to hurt!

posted by Courtney @ 08:52 PM
July 22, 2002
tahoe a go-go

I'm running out the door now, on my way to South Lake Tahoe.

Hope to get some geocaching in, as well as finish all the books I've half read, and RELAX.

That's a good thing, since I apparently have a pickle up my ass.
(quick, name the movie!)

See you all in a few days.

posted by Courtney @ 06:33 PM
July 21, 2002

That's how I feel.

I usually consider myself a fairly independent person. I spent the entire day today by myself, for the most part. But it felt strange. Maybe it's something about being out of normal routines that is making me feel so... blue-grayish. Blah.

The house is still and quiet, except maybe for the ocassional break in silence from the cat. She's been sleeping a lot. Maybe I should take a page from her notebook. Wait... I did. I took a nap late this afternoon because I had no idea what to do.

Sure, the house could use some tidying, and I have some work I could do... it's the perfect environment for getting things done.

So why can't I? Not feeling super motivated.


Oh yeah, it could have something to do with monthly cycles. Hah!

5 more days till Kevin's back. I should be back to normal by then. ^_^;;

posted by Courtney @ 10:05 PM

Kev left for Texas yet again today (er, Saturday)... San Antonio this time, for Siggraph 2002. Hopefully, this will be the last business trip for a while now. It's not a way of life we really want. Kinda quiet around here, it's just me and the cat. I'll be going to Tahoe for a few days with my family, starting Monday night, so at least I'll have something to do besides mill around the house all day.

Not to say that I'm really lost, just solitary, quiet and pensive.

The "Lost" part refers mostly to a find I had today. I almost ran over this black mass in the middle of the road today... stopped my car to see what it was, and it was a pack of at least 50 CDs. Man, I'd be bummed if I lost that many CDs. The problem is, there's no identifying marks on it. Oh well, what can you do? Kinda frustrating that I can't really do anything much about it. At least some of it is good stuff... I'll just ignore the crap CDs, heh. I wonder if this person has realized their loss yet...

I'm pretty tired. This week alone has been tiring. Or maybe it's just that time of the month. Oh yeah, it *is*.

posted by Courtney @ 01:03 AM
July 07, 2002
piece of dirt

We went today to see the first showing of Lilo and Stitch. It's a damn good idea to see the first show of the day, I had almost forgotten about this long lost trick of the movie theater going experience. You get there, and find a parking spot almost immediately, you can find a seat in a preferred spot swiftly, and have lunch right afterwards!

Lunch was In-N-Out burgers. This is a rare moment where I will eat a hamburger on my own free will. Kev and I had forgotten how good this place is... living on an island for a few years can make you forget these things. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to go over well with the kids too much. I guess this is just the nature of kids... they want everything as plain as possible, and god forbid that In-N-Out cuts fresh potatoes everyday for their fries... they don't coat them in beef lard like McDonald's! Such a shame that many kids these days prefer the processed crap that's churned out by fast food joints.

Andy had reminded me that I need to read Fast Food Nation... it sounds like something I'd really enjoy.

So I spent the rest of my afternoon trying my hand (or is that green thumb?) at gardening. I went and bought a bunch of crap at OSH... well, not literally. I decided to go with the mushroom compost, thank you. Got some herbs for the garden, including some catnip for Sparx to get wasted on. Aerated the soil around the lawn and then planted some summer flowers and scattered some wildflower seed. Hopefully, these plants will stay alive for more than a few weeks... I'm not too good at this gardening stuff. I guess my place is in front of the monitor... ^_^;;

Of course, tonight was also poker night. The weekend would not be complete without it. I feel pretty good about losing my money to the "Feed Mish lunch for the week" fund.

This has been a summary of Courtney's Saturday. Signing off.

posted by Courtney @ 01:27 AM
June 30, 2002

We were pretty much nonstop today, although I will note that I woke up late. Mmm. Sleep.

Team Geek went out on our first Multi-Cache today (er, Saturday), Edith's Trunk. Very challenging, seeing that we parked across the freeway from it and we were walking around for a total of close to 3 hours (including in the wrong park entirely!). But we found it... rather, Andy found it! The first one that he had found himself.

We came straight home to meet Asa for a nice little Barbeque in our backyard. Mmm. Asa made some kickass burgers with our bottle of Ring of Fire BBQ Sauce. Good stuff, adds a nice kick.

Then, it was poker as usual. Except... Andy and Michelle didn't bring along the poker chips and cards. So we improvised!

We used Lego blocks as our poker chips. They stack pretty well, and you can make cool things with your winnings. Look here for pictures from tonight's poker game.

I think it's time to sleep.

posted by Courtney @ 02:28 AM
June 24, 2002
East Bay Hijinx

I had lunch with Robyn today, in Emeryville. This is the first time we've met IRL (in real life, for you non-acronym peeps). Too bad, since he's about to move to Seattle. I met Robyn on the FARK Forums sometime late last year. A good guy, I wish him luck in the Starbucks State... er, I mean, Evergreen State.

Robyn gave me a couple of great California books... one on CA Hiking, which will be a great help when geocaching, for sure. And a generic California handbook. You can never know too much about your home state. :)

I was to meet my mom later at IKEA, but had a few hours to kill after lunch. So of course, I geocached. Duh.

Scoped out, but didn't find, the "No eGrets" cache... it was ugly anyways. Not a good sign when you find packets of condoms and syringe packaging, is it? Went on to find the Berkeley Pedestrian Bridge cache, which was really easy. Nice walk, that bridge.

I then headed to IKEA and met Mom for a bit. Got some throw pillows, display shelves and mortar & pestle. Nothing too exciting. They were still out of an item that I've been asking about for months now. Grr.

Straight from IKEA back to the Berkeley for the New Stinky cache. This one is a toughie, but I found it! Lots of bricks and concrete about to scrape my legs and knees up. Luckily, I left a little first aid baggie for the next visitor.

I think I'm gonna stay on this side of the Bay tomorrow.

posted by Courtney @ 11:28 PM
June 20, 2002
Salty Dawg

I went to find the T in the Road cache today. It's located around some salt farm ponds, which can get pretty stinky in the summer. Luckily, it was fair and breezy today. I tried not to face downwind. ^_^

I'd recommend this cache. It's like a maze... lots of paths to take, and if you take the wrong one, you hafta backtrack. Makes it interesting. Lots of cool birds and views, too.

I might do more tomorrow. Last week was virtually cache-less for me, with Kevin out of town and all, so I guess I should make up for it.

Umm. What else... I got some pants today. Weee.

That is all.

posted by Courtney @ 11:55 PM
June 13, 2002
Das Boot

I spent a nice couple of hours over at REI this afternoon trying to find some good, reasonably priced, hiking boots.

After an interesting exchange on the Forums, I decided against some all-terrain Nikes that I had looked at earlier this week at another store, in favor of a boot. Gotta have that ankle support.

I bought some! Salomon Exit Mid GTX boots. They're solid, and comfy.

I've been wearing them ever since I got home this afternoon to break em in. I feel mighty funny tromping around in the house in these things, heh. Seems like overkill.

Kevin called this afternoon... it was 1AM in London when he called. He had just returned from seeing Star Wars Episode II for the second time. Apparently, one of his UK co-workers, who is heading the Gathering, is a huge Star Wars nut. He made everyone wear Jedi Robes and yield light sabers all day. Hahaha. Even to walk to the movie theatre.

Makes sense, I guess. Game Developers = Geeks = Star Wars Nerds.

Or something.

posted by Courtney @ 07:37 PM
June 12, 2002
Lonesome Town

It's quiet 'round these parts.

Kevin's safe and sound in London, and begins his presentations tomorrow. Hopefully he isn't too jet lagged. He tried to find a few geocaches, to no avail... the GPSR pooped out on him more than a few times.

It's weird not having him around. Amazing how comfortable we get and don't realize it. Even just simply having him sitting in the same room was comforting, although we may not even be doing things together. It's just having that natural rhythm and rituals that makes us be at peace, I guess.

Had a hard time sleeping last night. Woke up this AM to see the kids off to school, and actually fell back to sleep "for just a minute"... until a bit past 10. Whoops. Thought I would go geocaching this morning. Instead, I went out and bought presents for dads and grads. THERE, American economy, are you happy now? ^_^;;

Did manage to visit one geocache this afternoon. Unfortunately, the cache had been vandalized last week. Lovely park in the middle of the city, I wouldn't have even known it was there. Too bad I forgot the camera. Again.

3 more nights...

posted by Courtney @ 09:40 PM
May 29, 2002

Okay, okay, so we're getting local cell phones. Everyone's been bugging me to change my cell phone so it's not a long distance call. Heh.

Thought I'd do a little geeky bragging here. We got Handspring Treos. Weeee!

I've been staying up late a lot lately. Could be because I'm not working. I guess I am back into the night owl schedule like I used to be. It almost bothers me, because I'm on a different schedule than the rest of the house, so I don't really get to spend time with anyone. It's almost lonely. But I get a lot more done this way during the day, and I'm definitely more productive.

But at what price? Is this worth it? I think I need to find a balance between human companionship and self productivity.

Then again, I looooove sleep. Especially with no interruptions from other people. That's the ultimate. And who doesn't like naps?

Mmm. Sleep. Time to get some. Soon.

Perchance to dream.

posted by Courtney @ 12:40 AM
May 21, 2002
The Light

I think we're almost in the clear...

The house we moved into is looking less and less like a warehouse, and more and more like a home. Less boxes, more personal items... less stress and more sleep. The light at the end of the tunnel is near.

We finally got our internet access up and running. We had initially ordered DSL... but on the day of installation, somewhere past four o'clock in the afternoon, we receive a call saying they cannot install it since we are "too far from the central office".


Anyways, that's what took me so long. I should be back on a more normal blogging schedule again soon.

Oh yeah, and I did NOT get to see "Gigantic". Grr. It sold out before I was able to get online to snag tickets. Double Grr.

Since I haven't been online in a few weeks, I don't think I have much to share in the way of links.

Well, maybe just BonsaiKitten.

posted by Courtney @ 11:04 PM
May 01, 2002
You give me fever

...SOMETHING does, at least. I don't know what's going on. I've had a fever on and off for the past week and a half. At first I thought it was allergies, but I don't seem to have the respiratory symptoms anymore. I musta caught something in that gross recycled airplane air.


Still getting settled... we actually signed a rental agreement the other day. It's gonna be cool having a house so close to Kevin's office and the schools now. Should save us some time. Our house is cool... it's at the end of a court, and it's got a good amount of room with two fireplaces. All at a price not too much higher than our Kailua House. Bonus!

We start to move our stuff in on Monday, but we're gonna lay down some new linoleum in the kitchen this weekend, I think. Having a nice kitchen is important to me, since one of my recent addictions is cooking. That was my only problem with this house... that the kitchen was under par. But hopefully it'll work out.

I can't tell if I'm really tired or not. This stupid illness or whatever it is, is taking its toll on me.

Time for more joos.

posted by Courtney @ 11:20 PM
April 23, 2002
Back in da hood

It happened so fast, we had no idea what hit us!

I'm now writing from Santa Clara, CA. I'm sitting here in our Apartment Complex's little business center, since we have no DSL in our room just yet.

So far, it's been an adventure. Moving always is, isn't it? We flew to the Big Island to visit Hilo and the Volcanoes National Park. That was fun. We didn't see any flowing lava, but there was a lot to see... steam vents (one which I almost burned my hand in, heh), huge craters with nene (hawaiian geese) hanging about, vast fields of hardened lava. Very cool stuff. I'll post pictures soon.

We flew out to San Jose on Friday night, on a red eye flight. Got in Saturday morning, tired and cold (we still were in shorts and tshirts, ack!). We got to the apartment, ready for a shower and nap... and we find out (or rather, were surprised) that the water heater/gas was not turned on! Eek! So they put us up in a hotel for two nights... we were not too happy about moving around again, but we had to.

The cat wasn't too happy, either. Poor thing. We finally let her our of her box last night. After jumping on every surface and peeking in every crack, she was content.

Sorry that this entry is kinda vague, but there's a lot of info to share and not too much time for me to invest in writing. Battery is running low and I have more things to do. Just a quick update, that's all!

More to come, as we look for homes and get settled.

posted by Courtney @ 10:48 AM
April 11, 2002
Unplanned Hiatus

Oops. All the recent events have caused me to take an unintended break from blogging.

We're scrambling to get things done before we move... rummage through the house for unwanted things to have a garage sale, researching our new home, etc. We even took a weekend trip to Maui last Friday that we planned 2 days prior.

Maui was wonderful. We had a very full weekend. We went from 10,000 feet at Haleakala, to snorkeling 2.5 miles off the shore at Molokini, a partially sunken crater which is also a marine and wildlife sanctuary. Highly recommended activities. We *were* going to ride bikes down Haleakala, but the company we booked the bike tour with cancelled the trip. So we drove up there at 3AM to catch sunrise. It is FREEZING up there! Luckily, we could drive down the volcano and enjoy the tropical weather. :)

We might get to the Big Island again... or at least try to. Last time we were there, it was on the heels of a huge storm that flooded the island and left us with hardly anywhere to go.


Last day at work tomorrow. I already got my first farewell lei this morning. I'm both saddened yet excited to see what's ahead. My emotions are up and down.

Or maybe that's just PMS. ^_^;;

posted by Courtney @ 12:00 PM
March 28, 2002
Take Me Back...

...back to da kine.

We're heading back to California! Kevin accepted a job at nVidia in lovely Santa Clara. We're not exactly sure where we're gonna live, but we're shooting for fairly close to the office. We'll see. Anyone have any suggestions for South Bay living?

Of course, I had to give notice at work. I turned in my two-week notice yesterday and it was announced this morning. So this day is already full of sadness and some tears around here. It's coming up so fast, and I think although everyone was expecting this, they're all shocked. It's really hard to leave this place because I really like the people here and the environment is just awesome. We're all sad.

Hmph. I'm here workin' workin' workin', and the highlight of Kevin's day today is the office-wide Quake game. Geeks.

Hmm. I should talk.

posted by Courtney @ 09:49 AM
March 25, 2002

I slack. I think I blame the lack of caffeine.

I see you lurking out there, Zorgon. Help a sista out.

I had a pretty slow weekend, but I think that's a good thing. We needed the west and wewaxation. Caught a coupla foreign films, a yummy dinner at Ninniku-ya (Garlic Restaurant in Honolulu), sleeping in, and a impromptu hike down the Old Pali Highway. You can see the pictures I took on our little hike at my Photo Diary, including some cool Jackson Chameleons!

I did spend a lot of time this weekend on the ol' resumÈ. The time is growing nearer and nearer. Kevin did get an offer today, but we're waiting to hear from others to compare and discuss. Square shuts down officially this Friday! Tick tick tick tick... we're feelin' the pressure. I think I'm gonna put in my notice at work sometime this week.

What else can I say? It's a Monday. Back to work. Dragging feet. Craig had mentioned to me today that this is a four day week. Not for us publishing cronies. We work all the time. :P

Oh yeah, I gotta fit in some Easter cookie makin' sometime this week too. I love doing that... it's like painting to me. The mixing of the colors, the piping, the sprinkles, non-pareils, etc. I know that sounds painfully domestic, but I love to do it. Oh yeah, did anyone see my Christmas cookies?

posted by Courtney @ 08:25 PM
March 17, 2002
Chasin' Waterfalls

Today we chased waterfalls. Yeah, we did.

After a quick jaunt to downtown Honolulu to check out the St. Paddy's block party, which was really nothing more than lots of booze and fattening foods, we went a-chasing waterfalls. Don't you go singing that silly song now, children.

The rain was pelting the windward side of the island pretty much all day, but it was really clear and blue in Honolulu. We were driving back towards Kailua on the Pali Highway when we saw maybe three or four waterfalls alongside the highway. This gave us the spontaneous idea to go find more waterfalls along the H-3 highway, where I have seen literally DOZENS of waterfalls on my daily commute.

It was worth the detour. We did see lots of waterfalls streaming down the sides of the Koolau Mountain range. It's really a sight to see. Too bad for those twits driving too fast and tailgating us on the highway, never looking up once to behold the beauty of the land around them. For shame. But we enjoyed it. Too bad we can't really stop and take pictures... I woulda shared those with you guys.

I'll miss the natural beauty of these islands when I'm gone, for sure. Gotta enjoy it (and chase it!) while it lasts.

I made a corned beef brisket in the ol' crock pot, which was amazing easy. Threw the veggies, meat, seasonings and water in... and presto! Dinner was ready when we came home. Crock Pots rule. I've made a mean Tamale Pie in it more than a few times.

Oh, quick side (site?) note: the Forums are back, but I don't have the databases. It wasn't worth saving, so if you like, (re)register and post up a storm. It's all for you, folks! Make it a community worth visiting.

posted by Courtney @ 11:23 PM
March 14, 2002
Jet Setter

I'm just about to leave to drop Kevin off at the airport again. Yep, he's still in the interview stage. This time he's off to the Bay Area for a couple of interviews. I do hope for something back in the Bay Area, since I miss it so much... and to be near my family again.

What I wish for the most is for us to know something. The uncertainty is killing us. We've slowly begun to pack books up, and preparing to move. I'm also trying to decide when to put in my notice at work. I still want to be able to relax and see things before we go, but I also don't want to be short on cash. Argh.

I'm tired. Must be Thursday the 14th. What that has to do with anything, I have no idea. Just looking for excuses, I guess. -_-

On a completely unrelated note, my momma sent me an Italian charm bracelet with a cute little 18k computer charm on it. I've never seen these things. Maybe it's because I'm on a secluded island. Are these things really big on the Mainland?

posted by Courtney @ 11:32 AM
March 13, 2002

This is annoying.

I have this piece of junk for a radio here at my desk at the office, and it randomly cuts out. It just decides that it's time to start hissing at any given time of day. But for some odd reason, I still go back to it every morning.

I'd wear headphones and listen to whatever I wanted to, if it wasn't for people poking at me all day with sticks. Either that or bothering me with some boring work thing. Can't you see here, I'm cruising the web and listening to loud music? Sheesh!

I've found a moment of solace in watching Frank the Cat groom this morning. He looks like he's recuperating well from his accident.


posted by Courtney @ 09:31 AM
February 20, 2002
Playing Tourist

I hope everyone had a fun three day weekend. I know mine went way too fast, but then again, I'm not surprised. We were very busy, with Kevin's parents in town and all. Top that with normal weekend chores and you got a doozy of a weekend! ^_^

We got to play tourist on Monday, taking a jaunt up to the Polynesian Cultural Center on the North Shore. PCC was founded by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the 1960's, and is employer to hundreds of students from the neighboring Brigham Young University of Hawaii. The last time I visited there, I was maybe 12 years old and didn't even realize the history of this place. Interesting.

So anyhoo, playing tourist was interesting. Since I hadn't done it in a while, I was actually quite interested in some of the behaviors I observed. Call it a sociological observation of sorts. Amongst the salty kalua pork and poke, silk leis, and scent of suntan lotion, is what keeps this island alive. As expected, most of Hawai'i's economy relies on tourism. I never really get to observe this machine in motion, although I work for a tourist magazine publisher. It's all ink on paper to me until I actually get my butt out there and see these places. Sadly, I will have to say that I haven't done much travelling around. Guess that'll change, since we're about to move!

We also went down to Waikiki this weekend. That's always a fun place to go to people watch. High-priced fashion stores that attract Japanese tourists like moths to flame. Sunburnt northwestern tourists with farmer tans and squeaky new rubber slippers bought from the ABC store on the corner. Lanky teenagers lugging longboards along the beachwalk to learn to surf for the first time. It's all a part of the experience.

The prepackaged version of Hawai'i is fun, but not really the full, real experience of the islands. I'm glad I got to know it well over these past couple of years... or else I wouldn't have known it at all. The plate lunches that made me gain 10+ pounds (luckily taken off since then). The heaps of fresh pikake leis I receiived for my birthday. The shave ice at the little store down the street. The volcanic mountain range I get to see on my commute everyday (and the waterfalls that sometime grace it!). The warm and friendly people quaintly muttering in pidgin english. It's all wonderful. And I know I'll miss it.

posted by Courtney @ 08:55 PM
February 07, 2002
Movin' On

So, many of you have heard the news. Yep, Square Pictures is closing its doors on March 29th. This means Kevin is looking for a new job, and it's most likely going to be back on the mainland. I've spent almost two years on the island of Oahu, and Kevin's been here about three and a half years. Time to say Aloha to Kailua, but we're not exactly sure when and where just yet. We need to get out butts out there and see there and see the rest of the islands, if we can, before we go. There's just so much to do in the meantime.

Everyone at the office seems pretty bummed about the whole thing. Since I do the work of like 4 people (okay, I may be exaggerating), it'll be hard to find someone to take my position. That, and I've made a lot of good friends here. Hey, anyone looking for a job in Hawaii for a large publishing company? ::grin:: And no, they won't pay for relocation, so much for dreams.

Click MORE below if you're really bored and want to poke around my brain a little more about my current situation.

Kevin and I have been engaged for over a year and we haven't done much after that. I guess we should start to plan a wedding instead of just talking about ideas. I guess we've been too busy to think about these things, but ya gotta just bear down and do it! Kevin feels like this is a good time to plan, since we are moving. We're trying to have the wedding in the Bay Area, since that is where I grew up and that is where my family is. Besides, we met and lived together there as well. :) The only thing I know for sure is that my chickie Toni is my Matron of Honor. No, Toni, I haven't forgotten. ;) Love you!

We are most likely going to move somewhere around Southern California, since that's where most of the prospective jobs are in the moviemaking biz. I'd really love to be living back in the Bay Area, and this possibility is not ruled out. I'm thinking I may not get another nine-to-five job unless it's really really appealing and pays well. I am considering going back to school, and definitely looking into at least refining my skills and learning more in New Media. I am even considering culinary school, maybe learn to be a pastry chef since I have earned a love of cooking and baking. So maybe I'll freelance design part or full time while trying to figure this out. I also want to be able to be home for the stepkids as well as (*ulp*) have a baby in the future. So yeah, a lot on my mind!

The bottom line is, I hope Kevin finds something challenging and creative. I'm pretty sure I can find something good to do for myself wherever we go. It's his career that is a little limiting in terms of geography. I can do graphic design anywhere. You can't make full length CG Features in Vancouver, Washington (unfortunately... not yet, at least). ;) I also want what's best for the family. So, wish us luck!

posted by Courtney @ 12:24 PM