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Random thoughts

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Star Sighting

I was walking down Third Street with my parents when this tall white-capped fellow with a shopping bag slung casually over his shoulder walked by and made me stop abruptly.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Visitors in the Home Nest

My parents are here on a two-week visit from the Philippines. Like three excited little kids, my uncle, Marc and I piled into the car to pick them up. It helped a lot that they only had so much luggage so that we could all crowd into the car without having to worry about where to put their stuff. Marc and I jumped out of the car to fetch them, and it was probably the easiest airport pickup I'd ever done in my life. I walked into the terminal, saw my dad sitting there, with my mom following shortly after, and then we headed out and jumped back in the car because my uncle hadn't even driven away.

So we got home and started unpacking their luggage. As usual, half of what they brought was food - mango tartlets, dried mangoes, packs of instant chocolate oatmeal, cooked prawns, etc., etc. Then there was the usual set of clothes that my mom always brings me. Then airline magazines. By the time all these were unloaded, there was only a little set of clothes for my mother, and another little set for my dad. You gotta love that.

It's always exciting when they visit because I get to plan things that I don't normally do. It's fun to try and think of places to take them to. I also love it when I can take my dad with me and go ride our bikes together, or go hiking somewhere, although the one and only time I did that, he ended up with high blood pressure and my mother forbade me to ever let him do that again.

This Sunday, I am taking them to the Getty Villa, which I was lucky to get tickets to. I had checked the website a couple of weeks ago to see if Marc and I could get in, but all the days up to July were sold out. But this morning, Marc mentioned that Charlie and Julie logged in just last week and was able to get tickets for this weekend. As soon as I hung up, I went to the website and endured the slow museum ticketing web application to reserve three spots for Sunday. Score! I know my parents will definitely enjoy that.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Slow Weekend

Starting off the weekend with a high-energy night did not bode well for the rest of the weekend. On Friday, a bunch of people met at a secluded little nook in Century Club for some salsa dancing and loads of drinking to celebrate Apinya's birthday. For some reason, Tony took it upon himself to force me to drink two of the humungous "shots" of tequila (yeah right, they were more like double shots that I had to drink in one go). After one of these shots, we were off to the dance floor to shake our butts to the music.

Well, when everyone congregated back upstairs, there was another round of shots waiting for us. Someone shoved one in my hand, and my efforts to pass it on to someone else were quickly shot down. So shot#2, and then we were off again. By that time, I was really feeling it. But the sweaty dancing was holding me down just enough.

When we got to the car though, every little turn Marc made sent me into a barrage of complaints and whinings. It was not a pretty sight. I was glad to finally lay down in bed and sleep off my intoxication.

What resulted was one of the slowest weekends I've ever had. I think the two days consisted mostly of sleeping, eating and vegging out on the couch. Marc almost had to drag me down to the Santa Monica stairs to get me to do some semblance of exercise.

Today, President's Day, most of the people around me aren't here, and once again, I find myself slowly sinking into a state of laziness. Coffee isn't an option since we started our "prepare for summer" diet yesterday. I wonder how long before my brain stops functioning?

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Wedding Bells Everywhere

It seems that more and more people are getting engaged these days. It's the sign of the times - I really am getting old. ;) I just attended a wedding not too long ago in December, and then there are two more weddings coming up in the springtime. And I thought that was that.

But today there was a commotion just outside of my cubicle - it was like all the girls in our aisle had converged right there. There was squealing, some tears and a lot of excited chatter: Somebody had just gotten engaged.

Naturally it makes you think when you're surrounded by all these pending wedding bells. And naturally, I got to thinking about what I wanted in mine. I know, some girls grow up already dreaming about this day, and in a way, I did. I remember telling my mom that I wanted to get married when I was 24 (sorry, Mom, I'm already four years late! haha!). But other than that, I never really sat down and spent hours visualizing what it would be like. It's only now that I'm beginning to determine what I like and don't like because I see all this planning around me.

It's still hard to imagine myself actually being in that point in time though. I know I'll eventually get there, and when I do, I know it'll be a blast finally figuring out what I really want on my wedding day. Right now, all I know is, I will be sending out "save the date" cards. But I'm told that that's standard practice, so really, I'm nowhere near having it all planned out.

Monday, February 13, 2006

I Heart New Jack

Up to the last minute, I hadn't decided if I really wanted to go to New Jack with Marc and the rest of the gang, but when I woke up Saturday morning, I finally caved in and packed up my stuff for the day trip. New Jack is about 2.5 hours from LA, and we wanted to get an early start, so Marc and I rendezvoused at 8am, had the car's oil changed, then started the sleepy-eyed drive to Barstow.

Our goal was to do 5 routes, and we started off with a tricky 5.9 that made me feel a little frustrated. From then on though, things got a lot better. We did three 5.10s that felt so damn good and offered great views of the area. Then Marc and I tried a 5.11 that we both choked on, but finished anyway. Lucky Douglas, who actually almost on-sighted this climb!

We only did the climbs in one of the rocks in the area though, so I'm still intrigued by all the other areas. Plus, I have to come back and actually lead the 10s that we did, since I mostly topped them. Hopefully around mid-March we can take another trip out there again.

The rock quality in New Jack is less gritty than the rock in Joshua Tree, and I'm really grateful for that. My hands didn't get any fresh cuts, but my knees did have the usual sore spots from pressing too hard against the rock.

All in all, it was a fun trip, one that I'm glad I went on, and one that I wish to do again. Too bad that there's really no good camping area around. But it was definitely worth the 2.5 hours of sitting on my ass!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Food and Religion

I came across this article in Yahoo! news, and a little detail in it caught my attention:

Catholics aren't short on rules, but they couldn't care less if non-Catholics use birth control. Conservative Jews have no interest in forbidding other people from mixing meat and dairy. Protestants don't make a peep about other people eating food off one another's plates. (Just stay away from our plates -- that's disgusting.)

I admit to being ignorant about the differences within Christianity, so this was the first time I'd ever heard of this. So I did a quick search on Google and found this really interesting essay.

Bet you Ronald wasn't feeling very cheerful when he read that. He probably resembled the clowns you see in horror movies.

My Long Week

It's finally Friday! After a long harrowing week filled with a lot of pressure and outbursts, I'm finally done with it. The long hours I put in at work paid off well yesterday - the application prototype I pretty much coded by myself was presented to a group of 18 people, and it went over well. I felt a great sense of fulfillment when I got the feedback from the meeting. There's still a lot to do, but it helps to get a boost of confidence from others.

To reward myself, I think I'll do a little shopping sometime this weekend. Being away from the corporate world for so long, I got rid of a lot of my office clothes, and ended up with a closetful of hooded sweaters, flipflops and wifebeaters. I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a very good idea if I showed up wearing that here at work. So I'm giving my wardrobe a makeover - combing through everything and donating the stuff I haven't worn for over a year. That's the only way I would actually feel good about buying more clothes and shoes for myself.

The climbing program Marc and I are on seem to be going along well. We went up to 12 routes in one session then went back to 10 last Wednesday, and although I didn't climb that hard, I did feel a little stronger, and was able to do better than the first time we tried to do the ten routes. I've also started to do more weight training so hopefully that will help.

Old Fart

Who wears a turtleneck to a club? An old fart!