Friday, November 26, 2004

...and speaking of Thanksgiving

I was inspired today by Paula's Blog. It reminded me of the real meaning of Thanksgiving. Not the turkey, the food, the traffic, the shopping, etc., but the REAL meaning... Giving Thanks.

So here's my list of the many things that I am grateful for. I try not to take any of it for granted, and I realize how very blessed I am...

My boyfriend/fiance/love of my life/best friend. I feel like the luckiest girl in the world. I still find it amazing that I'm lucky enough to have found someone in this world who makes me laugh, smile, love, and enjoy life as much as he does. He's loving, compassionate, smart, talented, artistic, geeky, and not too bad at Halo :)

My family. I've always known that I have a wonderful relationship with both of my parents and my sister. My parents had us when they were very young, and have said that we all grew up together. They have always been very loving, supportive and understanding of any choice I've ever made.

My extended family. I am 34 years old (with an older sister) and I am fortunate enough to still have all four of my grandparents. It's quite amazing, and believe me, I know how lucky I am. We are a very close family of grandparents, parents, sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, and second cousins. We get together for most holidays, and all live within a couple of hours from each other.

Dick's family. Yes, they'll be my family soon, too :) I'm especially grateful for the love, support and friendship that they have given me, even from the very first time I met them. They have always made me feel like I was part of their family, and I am very grateful for that.

My friends: Those I see every day, every week, every year, and even those I only see once every few years. I am so lucky to have so many friends in town, nearby, in state, across the country, and even the world. Those friends who I can go for months on end without seeing, and have an immediate connection with again - those are special friendships.

Fuzzy friends. I love my kitties, and appreciate every day that we share together. There's nothing like the unconditional love of a pet.

My health. I've dealt with some health issues of my own in the past, but I also realize how minor it is compared to what other people face every day. I do believe that having questioned the stability of my health at one time has made me appreciate how important our health really is.

My work. I've had my web design business for almost 8 years now. That's simply astounding to me. I'm thankful that I've had the opportunity and ability to do work that I truly enjoy, from my home, on my own terms, and to have the ability to make a living out of it. I love what I do, and hope that I can continue to do it for many more years to come.

Creativity. Art, in one form or another, has always played an important part of my life - drawing, painting, music, dance, color guard, etc., . I am thankful for the creative outlets that I've been given throughout the years, and for the people who have helped me to devleop my talents.

Worldly Possessions. Although I realize that "things" are not entirely necessary for a happy life, I'm very grateful for those things that I have that make me happy everyday. From my Raggedy Ann collection, to my MINI Cooper, and even my computer...I know how lucky I am to have all of these material possessions in my life.

Our Home. I believe in serendipity - events that are "meant to happen". My (upstairs) condo used to be owned by my friend, Andrew. I used to come over and visit him at his place, and I always had a "feeling" that it would be my home one day. I remember thinking once, that perhaps Andrew would move one day, and that he would possibly rent it out to me. Well, a couple of years later, he and his partner decided to buy a house together, and sell both of their properties. I was just out of art school, and not in any financial position to ever consider real estate opportunities. Long story short, my sister and my parents heard of Andrew's move, and suggested that we all invest in the property together. Years later, I moved into Dick's house, and after much debate, we decided to hold on to the condo, even though renting it was problematic. You all know the end of the story: my tenants gave notice around the same time that my downstairs neighbors decided to sell. Dick bought the downstairs unit, and we combined both condos to make one beautiful house. It was truly meant to be.

A friend of mine who I hold great admiration for once told me that "good things happen to good people".

I know that I've had my fair share of good fortune already. I've lived a very charmed life, and I appreciate every single moment of it.

My thanks to all of you for sharing your lives with me.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.

..and now it's time to play more Halo ;)
(i'm grateful for the shotgun)

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Turkey Day! :)

We're driving to Stockton to spend the day with the rest of the family at my Grandma's house. (over the river, and through the woods....)

Hope everyone has a fun and safe holiday!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Holiday Schedule?

Okay - I have a question:

Thursday morning is garbage day on our street.
Does Sunset Scavenger pick-up the garbage on Holidays? Their website doesn't say.

I'd be really surprised if they do, but our neighbors are all putting out their trash cans, so I guess I will too. (such a lemming)

Thursday morning 8:30am

Answer: yes, Sunset Scavenger does come to pick up trash on holidays! (or at least on Thanksgiving)

A Better Day :)

Had a good day today. (and it's only 4:00!)

I had a very good meeting this morning with a new cient: UCSF Medical Center. I'm going to be doing a site for a group there. It's going to be a fairly large project, so I'm excited to take it on.

I also had a lucky moment today.

I went to the Cartoon Art Museum today to pick up some art and animation pieces that I had loaned them for the Johnny Gruelle exhibit. I met my friend, Andrew there - he was the currator of the exhibit. I was excited because I found a metered parking spot right on the street in front of the museum. The meter had a sign saying it was for passenger loading only during the hours of 9:00am - 3:00pm. I got there at 3:00, so I figured that the spot had only opened up for regular use. I also noticed the street cleaning sign, and read that I was clear from those times as well. The meter was only a 30 minute meter - another reason why I figured the space was available. (do you see where this is going?) I met Andrew, and we went up to the offices, signed our stuff out, and I decided to help Andrew load his car first, since he had so many pieces. I got back to my car at 3:15, and saw an officer getting ready to write a ticket. I questioned him, and pointed to the sign on the meter (saying that I could park there after 3:00) He pointed up and across to another sign that was bent and hard to read stating that it was a tow-away zone from 3:00 - 6:00pm!!! Eek! Usually I'm really good about making sure to read all of the signs. The sign on the meter must have distracted me! Anyhow, it was all fine. He let me go without incident. But *phew*!!! I would have been so sad (and upset) to have walked out, expected to see my beloved MINI, and for it not to be there!

...I'm taking a moment to thank the universe right now...

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Do Not Disturb

I'm having a grumpy day.

Maybe I should just go back to bed.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Litter Robot - my second review

(for those of you who are interested....)

We've had our Litter Robot for almost 4 months now. I wrote my first week review of it way back in August. I've received a few emails since then from people asking for an additional review.

So far, I'm still loving it! On the whole, I'm much happier with this than I ever was with the LitterMaid. It really does work as advertised. My favorite part is that it's very easy to keep clean, and especially easy to dump the waste from the garbage bag/litter tray. I usually clean out the litter try every 2-3 days, which isn't bad, considering we have two kitties!

I finally got around to actually cleaning the globe today. I know, I was a little remiss in doing this. It probably should be done every 2 months or so. I know that some people clean it once a month. I had dumped out all of the used litter before, and filled it entirely with fresh litter. That was easy.

To clean the globe, I simply lifted it off from the base (very easy), brought it outside to our backyard, and powerwashed it with our hose. Then, I took it inside, put it in the bathtub, and scrubbed it down with dishwashing liquid. That seems to have done the trick. It was super easy to clean, and pretty fast to dry.

We still have an occasional "accident" with our kitties - sometimes they go in without turning around, and they simply aren't in far enough. It's still pretty easy to clean up, and doesn't happen very often, so I'm not complaining.

So, final verdict: 4 months into ownership, and I'm still happy with it.
Here's a good forum with lots of good information about the Litter Robot.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

6 Years!

Today is the 6-year Anniversary of the day that Dick and I met! Yay!

We met on the Sunday afternoon before Thanksgiving in 1998. When I look at a calendar, I see that it is technically November 22nd, but I think it's just easier to remember it as "The Sunday before Thanksgiving". :)

I blogged about the whole "how we met" story last year, so I don't want to bore all of you with a repeat blog.
If you haven't heard the story before (and you care) you can find it here.

6 years already, and it just keeps getting better.... :)
I'm such a lucky girl.

Saturday, November 20, 2004


I'm so spoiled....

Dick bought a HDTV tuner card and installed it into our Media Center PC today. We also got a HDTV antenna and 1 GB RAM.

The installation of the new tuner card and RAM went smoothly. I think it's so cool to open up a computer and look at all of its guts. Dick is a pro at all of this stuff, so it took no time at all.

So far, the new HDTV tuner card is way cool. We get about 10 local station in HD now - most of the major networks. The picture is just outstanding! We also get the benefit of two tuner cards, so we can record two programs at the same time! That's huge - we used to be able to do that when we had Ultimate TV at the old house, and I really missed having two tuners. Now we can have one program recorded in HD (which we could never do at the old house) and the other in standard broadcast.

Now Dick is an HDTV nut. He keeps going through the program guide, just looking for programs that are broadcast in HD. It looks like I may have to sit through a lot more college and pro football now (roll of eyes).

Friday, November 19, 2004

No more basketball games for me :(

It turns out that I am bad luck.

Anyone who knows Dick knows that he went to UNC (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and that he LOVES the Tar Heels Basketball team.

One of our first dates (almost 6 years ago) was to the UNC vs. Cal game at the Pete Newell Challenge at the Oakland Coliseum. Prior to this game, UNC had been one of the country's top teams, and was slated to easily win against Cal. Unfortunately, it was a huge upset, and UNC lost.

It was the beginning of the end.

Ever since that game, the team has had some very rough seasons.

Dick blames me.

UNC's team is supposed to very good this year. I think they are ranked #4 in the country.

Last month, Dick bought us tickets to this year's Pete Newell Challenge: UNC vs. Santa Clara. Again, UNC was favored to win.
Well, here's what happened.

Dick said that he's never going to bring me to a game again. :(

I'm lucky he didn't call this whole engagement off. ;)


I just came back from my morning walk. I was listening to one of my all-time favorite albums, "Dookie" by Green Day. I don't know what it is about that album, but it just makes me happy. :) Perhaps it reminds me of my old art school days, and my "wild days" (ha!) of going to concerts. The year that Greenday released "Dookie", I saw them in concert 3 times: Live 105's first BFD (which was the best ever), Lollapolooza, and the Greenday Concert in Berkeley. They were really fabulous live in concert. That sounds funny coming from me now, since I haven't been to a rock concert in years.

Green Day has come out with a new album this year called "American Idiot". It's a "rock opera" has has received glowing reviews. I want it. It's on my wish list.

So, back to Dookie... (funny sentence out of context, isn't it?)
There's just something about it. I realized this morning that it's perfect "work out" music. Really strong, fast rhythm and beat. Makes me want to learn how to play the drums.

Dick has taught me a little bit on his drum set. I think I may want to try it again! I think I did okay. At the very least, he said that I had good, natural rhythm. (years of color guard, finally paying off) Speaking of, I had a hard time getting all four of my limbs to do something different. I was able to manage 3 okay (2 hands, one foot) but just couldn't get in the fourth. I'll have to try it again. I figure (back to my color guard days again) I can toss a flag in the air, have it rotate 2 full rotations, turn 1 and one half times, and catch it behind my back solidly... all within 4 beats of whatever tempo you throw. Really. With a little practice, I'm pretty sure I can get coordinated enough to play the drums a little better. ;)

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Xbox Big Brother

Thanks to a helpful tip on Reeves's Blog and the magic of MSN Messenger, I now recieve an alert whenever there's any new Xbox news.

Even better (or scarier, however you look at it) I am alerted anytime one of my friends logs on to Xbox Live. It even tells me what game they are playing.

So, watch out fellow Xbox Live gamers...
I'm watching you!


Monday, November 15, 2004

The Halo2 "Time-Suck" Effect

Yesterday, we were playing Halo2 Live with Reeves and Pete. We started to play around 1:00. Early on, I asked what time it was, and said that Dick and I needed to leave our house around 4:00 to have dinner in the East Bay. Pete said, "It's 1:20. We have plenty of time!"

I didn't have a watch on, or a clock in the room, so I had no concept of time while we were playing. 3-4 games later, I started to get a little tired, and thought it would be a good time to stop. I put everything away, walked downstairs, and saw that it was 4:00!!!

Where had the time gone???

Welcome to the Halo2 Live Time-Suck Effect.

As a matter of fact, we played for many hours this weekend. We started on Thursday night (as you can see from my last blog), and now all of a sudden, it's MONDAY!

Where did all of the time go?

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Halo 2 Live

That was awesome!

we just played 2-3/4 hours worth of Halo goodness!

I have to learn the new maps and weapons, so I still kind of suck (good thing I was on Murphy Dog's team) but that was SO COOL!

We had 5 players playing at a time - from 5 separate houses/Xboxes.
The maps were gorgeous.
The sound was amazing.

In case there was any question:
Halo 2 ROCKS!

More city annoyances

Thursday morning is trash day in our neighborhood.
I collect the trash, and bring out the trash and recycling bins on Wednesday evenings.

Some time between 8:00 and 9:00 this morning, some idiot decided to rummage through our trash, and spill some of it out along the sidewalk.

I had to go outside in the pouring rain, collect soggy pieces of misc trash, and put it all into a new trash bag.
Now I'm wet, and grumpy and filthy.

I am so annoyed right now.

It's not unusual for people to rummage through our recycling - I understand that. They can take the empty bottles and cans and turn them in for $$ at the recycling center.


It's garbage, you idiot! What exactly were you expecting to find? There is no hidden treasure deep within my trash! It's used kitty litter!


I'm going to have a very low tolerance for stupid people today.

(end rant)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Halo 2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

the day has come.
go get your copy.

see you online.
Xbox LIVE gamertag: Noe Cat

Monday, November 08, 2004

The Last Box

Okay, so it's been 6 full months since the final move into His 'n Her Condos.
Today, I momentously unpacked The last 3 boxes of "stuff" that have been sitting in the upstairs (extra) kitchen.

I know, 6 months is a really long time. I don't have a good excuse. I just never got around to it.
I have heard of the "last box phenomenon" from friends and family who have moved before - you've unpacked everything, and are completely organized except for the infamous "last box" that just sits there... for months, maybe years. ;)

I've had my large Raggedy Ann Painting in our bedroom closet since we moved in to the upstairs condo in March. We put it in there with some other artwork to keep it protected. This was the last thing that we needed to hang. It's a large and heavy piece, and I needed Dick's help to hang it up.

We finally got around to hanging it yesterday (yay) which (finally) allowed me to organize the closet in our bedroom. Now, that may sound ridiculous: "How could you have not been using the closet in your bedroom?" The closets in the upstairs condo (there are two) are TINY. They are an average width, but they are only about 10" deep. That's not deep enough to put hangers in. When I lived here by myself before, my parents & I put shelves in the closets to make them more functional.

Dick and I have our clothes in two different places: the closet units that we built in the spare kitchen, and a large chinese cabinet in the front room upstairs. My clothes have all been kind of packed in the cabinet, and I knew it would really help if I could spread my stuff out in the bedroom closet.

I went out today and bought two additional shelves and built them all in the closet. I was able to take all of my stuff out of the cabinet, and into the closet - much more organized this time. I was also able to take those final 3 boxes (which were from the two bedroom closets from the old house) and finally unpack them!


Big week for the Xbox

...and we still haven't gotten our fill of Star Wars: Battlefront yet...

It's a big week for the Xbox. It's holiday shopping time, and all of the video game companies are releasing their big titles this month.

We went into EB Games on Saturday, and saw the DOA Ultimate is out now. Dick and I pondered whether or not we should buy it, and we decided that we'd wait for a few months. We're still playing Star Wars Battlefront, and Halo2 is being released on Tuesday. We saw Pete Saturday night, and told him that we didn't buy it - which he seemed to understand and agree with our rationale. However Pete called yesterday afternoon from Best Buy saying that he was buying DOA Ultimate so we could all play together. (He obviously misunderstood the memo from Saturday). So, since Pete was buying DOA, we caved, and asked him to buy 2 copies for us. He bought 3 copies, came over to our pad, and we played for an hour or so before we all had to get going. It's great fun, although pretty much the same as DOA 3 - with the exeption (of course) of being LIVE enabled! There are new fighting grounds, and new costumes (woo-hoo) but it plays pretty much the same. Unfortunately, we ran out of time, and weren't able to play LIVE last night. We'll probably check it out tonight. Looks like we'll all have to go through our own copies, and play the regular mode for a while to unlock various extra costumes, characters and locations.

Now, I realize that some of you guys don't enjoy playing DOA - it doesn't compare to Halo or GR. True, it doesn't require the same amount of skill as the other games, but we have such a great time playing it. We have a great time KO'ing each other, and often scream and howl at the moves and costumes! ;)

The big Xbox news is, of course, the release of Halo 2 tomorrow. Dick will be getting our copies tomorrow morning. Really looking forward to it. I usually play in slayer mode against other players. I really love the campaign mode, but I have a problem with motion sickness if I play too long. I might look into getting those little motion-sickness wrist bands and see if those help.

Hey Mike, check this out: TriXie's Top 10 Xbox Hotties. When Dick and I first started to date, Mike couldn't remember my name, and teased Dick by calling me "Trixie". Well Mike, it looks like Trixie is alive and well, and writing for!

Sunday, November 07, 2004

The Incredibles!

We went to see The Incredibles last night with Pete & Richard.

So far, I've loved every movie that Pixar has done. I've enjoyed some more than others, but on the whole I think they're such amazing films - they generally are an amazing combination of incredible animation mixed with interesting stories. I'm always amazed at the quality of animation that they improve upon with each release.

Dick and I both walked out of "The Incredibles" thinking it was their best film that Pixar has put out yet. I loved the story: I thought it was clever, funny, and not fully predictable.

Okay, that's my review.... such as it is.
Go see it. You'll love it.

"Honey??? Where is my Super Suit??!!"

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Star Wars: Episode III Trailer

Okay, I assume that anyone who is interested has already seen the teaser trailer for Star Wars Episode III.

Just in case you haven't, here it is.

The best deal in Union Square

Dick and I just came back from a lovely afternoon in Union Square.

I meant to mention this before, but forgot...
Here's the best deal in Union Square:

Shoe Shine

It's such a bargain. The shoe-shine station is on the first Nordstrom level, between the men's and women's shoe departments. I've had my old Doc Martins shined there before, and Dick had a pair of his shined today. (the guy looked at Dick's shoes, and asked "What Happened?" Dick replied, "I wore them for 10 years".)

The guys who work there are super - they've been there for years, are very professional, and do a bang-up job.

So, the next time you go to Union Square, remember to wear a pair of your old favorite shoes, and go to Nordstrom to have them brought back to life!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

It's Time to Meet the Muppets!

Coming soon (March 2005) to a post office near you....

Pete and I are both pretty excited about it.
It's the little things... ;)

Wednesday, November 03, 2004


...and that's all I have to say about the election....

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Rock the Vote!

I'm sure I'll be echoing everyone else's blog when I say:
Get out and vote today!

Monday, November 01, 2004

San Franciso Real Estate

Dick, Pete, Richard & I took a walk along Noe Valley's 24th street yesterday afternoon.

We passed a Port-o-Potty on the sidewalk that had a "For Rent" sign on it.

The sign said:

For Rent
Studio apartment

hee hee.

Happy Halloween! (one day late)

Creep-o-Rama 2004 was Saturday night, October 30th. I think it was a great success, and hope that everyone had a good time!
We had the usual crowd of 50-60 people over - some came as far away as Southern CA.

Dick's band Gafas de Soul played for the third year in row, and entertained the crowd.

Dick and I had more of a "concept" couple's costume this year. We came as "Snow White" and "The Artist Formerly known as Prince...Charming". We had posters up in the hallway to serve as props.

Thanks to all who came! Great costumes, great friends, great time!

Pictures are posted!