Life As I Know It

L.A. Baby!

We arrived in L.A safe and sound and have been enjoying the hell out of Annika and Will’s company. They are without doubt two of the coolest human beings (or otherwise) in the universe. I feel like coming to L.A. is sort of like my own “pilgramage to Mecca”. I can feel a certain energy and buzz here, and there is undoubtedly a part of me that will not want to leave. However as I fully expected, there is the other part of me that loves Austin and also acknowledges the not so keen aspects of L.A. I’m not ready to up to move out to old Cali yet (if ever) but there is a sort of cosmic pull that tempts me, mostly since this is where the vast majority of my career choices lie.
Gotta go! Katherine and Min are here now. On a cool side not, you can go out on the balcony here and see the “Hollywood” sign. Although that’s probably true for much of L.A. since it’s on a big friggin’ hill overlooking the city.

[peter gabriel] Hi there! [/peter gabriel]

So yeah, I suck at updating lately. It’s been a whirlwind life, I tells ya!
My new job is everything I knew it would be. Absolutely love going in every day. We have been trying to play EQII (we still plan on playing CoH too), keep up with TiVo and Netflix, wash clothes, eat, sleep, work, shop, socialize, etc. It just seems like I never have any time at all any more.
We got almost all of our X-mas shopping done in one night of online shopping, so that rocks.
I’m still working on completing our CD (not going to happen by the end of the year as I’d hoped), and we’re kicking into busy band month. I need to learn two new songs by this weekend. Doh!
I think I’ve taken the plunge and ditched Outlook in favor of Thunderbird. It can sync with my Palm if I use an extension, and it’s much improved in its 1.0 state from when I tried it back at 0.3. I’ll miss the calender in Outlook but I can just use the palm desktop calender (with the extra effort of opening up a nother program).
I’m jonesing to build a new computer and drooling heavily over the Treo 650. Must have it.
And of course we are determined to get a Toyota Prius. That’s it for now! Off to get Jess and run around some more!

Life is goooooood!

First let’s just get this out of the way:
My new job rocks AND rolls.
It feels so right. Mu cubicle rules, the department rules, the people rule, the atmosphere rules, the job rules. Even my bitchin’ fancy phone which emails your voice mails to you in an message with the caller ID info and the audio of the message in a .wav file rules.
For anyone who doesn’t know, I’m working for a video game company as a Quality Assurance Tester. This means I try and break things. Due to the whole confidentiality thing, I’m being purposefully overly vague just be safe here, but I spent yesterday getting settled, getting my computer feeling all home-y and getting to know the game.
This means I pretty much spent the day playing the game (what there is of it so far) and getting to know the part which I will be responsible for testing.
It still pretty much puts a damper on any acting/film crew work I’d like to do, but I think the good far outweighs the bad. If these are “chains” they are soft velvety chains which are kind of nice to wear.
Now that Jess and I are both gainfully employed at “real” jobs with decent pay and benefits, we’re planning to go order us a Toyota Prius. I’s going to be quite the financial leap, but as much gas as we use, it should be worth it.
I tend to walk around in a dreamy daze with a giddy smile on my face these days, a bit stunned at the whole predicament. It all happened so fast, there were three or four other people interviewing for this position, too. I had felt that the interview had went really well though, and I’m glad I was right. Over the weekend, I actually found myself waiting for Monday with excitement and anticipation.
Today I am “moving in”. I’m bringing all my geeky cubicle accoutrements. I think I’ll even get into the whole 401K retirement fund thing that I’ve never bothered with before. This is the first company that’s actually provided me with enough information and literature that I feel comfortable knowing how it all works.
So in conclusion, WOOHOO!

World domination plans

My world domination plans are progressing nicely.
I GOT THE JOB! I start on Monday!
Can’t type much more right now, too busy jumping around celebrating.

Shotgun update

Just a quickie update since I’ve been way too busy to update properly (Hi Athena!) This crazy busy-ness is also the reason that the daily haiku has become the “whenever I get a chance” haiku.
I’m unemployed, and yet have no time to relax. I’m participating in NaNoWriMo, so I’m writing about 2000 words a day, everyday in November. This is actually quite a chore for me, but I think I’m getting some shining moments among the crap. I’m writing a Douglas Adams Style time travel adventure.
I’m trying desperately to work on songs for the CD as we want to finish out CD by the end of the year, optimistically.
I’m addicted to Evil Genius, still want to play City Of Heroes but hven’t had time, and despite trying to resist, have given in to my desire and my friends desires that Jess and I try Everquest II. We are waiting until December though so we can make the most of our free trial time.
I have an interview on Wednesday for a job I actually really want, and not just to pay the bills.
Life is generally damn fine.

Brave New Me

Today, my friends, a momentous goal has been reached. 5 months ago I set out to change my junk food ways and drop all the extra me that had accumulated over the years. I started out at 214 lbs. and set my goal at 175 lbs.
Today the scale read 174.
To anyone looking for a healthier lifestyle, I can’t say enough about the South Beach Diet. It’s not a fad, it’s not a gimmick. It’s just plain simple science applied to your blood chemistry and the way your body absorbs foods. I’ll try not to go on too long since Jess and I have each spouted voluminously about this diet, but there are a few things I want to say.
1. I too am sick of hearing about all the fad diets and low carb this low carb that. Yes I follow the South Beach Diet, and am very glad for the influx of low carb foods making diets like this so much easier now (although, don’t be fooled, South beach is NOT just about “low carb”). This is not a diet in the sense of “something you temporarily do to lose weight”. It is a diet in the sense of “this is my usual food and drink for the rest of my life” such as “A lemur’s diet consists of fruit and insects”. As I’ve said before, it’s the only diet that actually made sense to me after reading the book (something I can’t say about Atkins).
2. I’m not here to try and convince or coerce anyone into eating like I do. I think everyone should make their own choices, and I’m certainly no diet dictator or anything. I won’t be throwing scolding glances at anyone who chooses to have a box of Krispy Kreme’s. I’m all about “to each their own”. However, if you decide to do this or any other diet, eating plan, lifestyle change, etc., don’t do it half-assed. It won’t work, and it will just make everything harder. For example, if you try South Beach, but only half-ass it, your cravings will not go away, your blood chemistry will remain goofy, and on the occasions that you do try and follow it you will find it much more difficult. For me, I honestly felt like a drug addict. If I stayed away from sugar and starches, I stopped craving them, and didn’t really crave them at all. There was an occasional psychological pang, but it was never a physical “I must have this now!” feeling.
I’ve heard so many people who slag off various diets only to find out that they either didn’t actually know anything about what they were talking about or they actually didn’t really follow the diet. Then they get discouraged and cynical because it didn’t work. That Diet Coke will do you no good when it’s washing down a bag of M & M’s, and South Beach (or probably any other diet) won’t work when you only do it half of the time. [Yoda]Do or do not. There is no try.[/Yoda]
I’ll stop being that annoying diet guy now. As I said, I’m not here to convince anyone else, but I’m extremely happy help anyone who’s interested with our experiences and tips that we’ve learned along the way.
Next step: to actually start exercising.

Stick It To The Man!

Life has been way busy lately, thus my lack of blogging. The biggest news is that as of Thursday, I am unemployed. I quit my job. Jess is currently working at one company who look to want to get her on permanently, and is supposed to hear back from another job this week. Since things were looking good for her we decided that it was time to quit my soul sucking job which constantly makes me miserable. I will still try for some temp work and keep my eye open for other jobs, as well as trying my hardest to get hired at the video game company here where I have several friends trying to get me in, but I hope to be able to go back to pursuing my musical/acting aspirations as I was doing before the “real” job came along.
The Toreadors CD is coming along finally, and we look to hopefully have it finished by the end of this year, or soon thereafter. It is definitely my best musical work to date. I’m quite excited.
Next weekend, I am best man at Andy and Liz’s wedding as well as singing a song in Italian. It’s also the closest weekend to Me and Jess’s second anniversary, so we’re renting a Jacuzzi suite for the weekend since we have to get a room for the wedding stuff ot of town anyway.
We’ve been so busy that our Netflix and Tivo queues pile up with unwatched movies and shows, our City of Heroes characters have not been seen in Paragon city for quite some time, and we need more sleep. At least after Thursday I can rest for a bit since I won’t have to work!

Dude! Applicances!

This weekend we were helping our friend Travis move to his new third floor apartment. It came time to move his washer and dryer (ugh) and he expressed how he really wished he could have sold them so he wouldn’t have to move them. I inquired as to how much he wanted for them and he told me they were $1200 brand new 2 years ago, and he bought them used for $800, so he would like about $400, and since we were friends and that would save him from moving them we could pay it out in installments. Everybody wins!
We jumped in his moving van (now empty except for the washer and dryer) and went to our apartment where I quickly threw everything we were currently storing in the empty laundry room into any empty space I could fin in the rest of our small apartment. We installed the washer and dryer, and later when Jess and I came home we sorted out the carnage and tried to figure out where to put all the crap that was formerly stored where the washer and dryer now live.
No more trips to the laundry room and worrying about having tons of quarters! Wooooo!

Anarchy in the UK!

Quick update.
Went to Liverpool. Went to “The Beatles Story” museum. Very cool.
Went on a tour of John Lennon’s and Paul McCartneys childhood homes. VERY cool. Quite momentous and moving for me.
Was treated like a total celebrity when I sat in with a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band. The fact that I am from Austin seems to carry it’s own inherent set of credentials. A very nice guy named Tony brought me a choice of 3 different guitars, and a very nice amp to use. I sat in on several songs and it went great. The band is “Texas Hurricane”. They were excellent and more than that were all the nicest of people you could ever hope to meet.
Had somewhere around 30 people over to Jess’s parents house for her birthday. We barbecued outside all day and partied into the wee hours. I gave a small acoustic performance in a back room of the house. Invented the “Captain Archer” dance. This is my second dance invention, the first being “Do the Pope Hat”.
Barbecued again today for the 4th of July. There were 3 of us Yanks here so we used it as a good excuse to use up the ton of food left over from the day before. Casey (my cousin) and I did the barbecuing since it was a holiday for us, and we felt we should “host”. We decided the Brits should also celebrate today as “yay! We got rid of the Yanks!” day.
Perhaps I will elaborate on some or all of the above when time permits. Cheerio, pip pip, and all that guv’nor.

Karmic roller coaster.

So I got on the 4:15 plane to DC. Met up with Casey and Jess. We then went to list ourselves on the 9:30pm flight to London. It looked very full, and both my friend and the agent we spoke with said it didn’t look like we would get on that flight, but we could try. It was the last flight of the day so if we didn’t get on we would stay in a hotel (which she reserved for us at a discounted “distressed traveler” rate) and catch one the next day.
We inquired what happened to our luggage since the agent in Austin told us our bags would go straight through to London with or without us. The agent in DC said that due to new security measures no bag could ever travel without it’s corresponding passenger on board, so our bags would have been pulled off when we didn’t get on the previous London flight. She checked on our bags and they were indeed in DC with us. They usually need 2 hours to get the bags arranged to go on the next flight when they’ve been pulled like ours were, and the next flight was only an hour or so away, but she said they would try to get them on. We asked what would happen if they didn’t get on, and she said that in that case we couldn’t go on the flight due to the no bags without people rule.
We waited around even though we knew we probably wouldn’t get on a flight until the next day. As everyone was loading, they called us up to the counter, and to our surprise, gave us a choice of several seating arrangements. Jess and I sat together on a 2 seat aisle, and Casey just a few seats away. Score! I called as we were in line and canceled our hotel reservation.
The flight was all right. We watched Mystic River, and didn’t really manage to get any sleep unfortunately. We arrived at Me-row (Heathrow) and went to get our bags. Long time. No bags. Empty carousel. No bags. Jess went to check on them. They were in DC. She filled out some paper work, and they said they would send them on and deliver them the next day (which they just did a few minutes ago as I write this.) So the first agent was wrong in that they didn’t go straight through, and the second agent was double wrong in that we did get on the plane without our luggage, and they did send it along anyway even though we were not on that flight.
We had a good time on our first day though I was falling asleep (literally) at several of the pubs/cafes we stopped at, and we finally went to bed after something like 40+ hours of being awake.
More details later. This was intended to be just a quick and non-entertaining update, but it has instead turned into quite a long but still devoid of the effort to make it entertaining update. We’re here, we have bags, and all is right with the world for the moment.