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January 23, 2005

Joshua Tree

We had our first Family Field Trip yesterday, the first time all four of us did something other than the "usual" together. We went to Joshua Tree National Park for some hiking and rock climbing.

Some (Ryan) were more adventurous than others (me), but I think everyone had a good time. We hiked down a trail, then cut across to the... mountains? Rocks? to climb. I am not the most agile rock climber, nor the most fearless, but it was a beautiful day and a beautiful landscape and a lot of fun. I would have taken more pictures, but we left the cameras at the bottom when we started climbing. Here are a few:

A little Joshua Tree. ;)

The sun was quite bright. That happens in the desert.

And yes, the sky really was that blue.

The weather was about perfect, somewhere around 70 degrees and, as you can tell, clear and sunny. I imagine it gets pretty hot there in the summer, and pretty cold at night, so mid-day in January was probably the best time to go. The park itself is huge, though, so I'd like to go back and see another area.


Today was much less eventful. I cleaned the downstairs (really, really well... hands-and-knees cleaned), finished laundry, and watched The Aviator and Before Sunset. Last night we watched Beyond the Sea. All were very different, but quite good.

And that, my friends, is that. Tomorrow's another day, another dollar. And so it goes.

January 21, 2005


I am completely wide awake. Can't sleep at all.

It's weird, because I zonked out on the couch watching The Life Acquatic about 9:30 tonight, and then came upstairs to go to bed and, bam! Awake!

I'm in the middle of two books, Wicked and Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning. One is in my desk at work (to be read on lunch hours) and the other is downstairs on the coffee table. I could go down and get it... I probably should.


Work still sucks, but my attitude has changed a bit. I was getting discouraged and unmotivated because of it, but I've recently decided it's time to kick a little ass. I'm going to do my best, and if it's not good enough, so be it. It's a bit of a relief to have my work ethic back.

Okay, time to read, or put on a movie, or (hopefully) sleep.

January 17, 2005


If Johnny Depp walked into the room, I'd jump on him. Just thought I'd share that little fact. If ever I was to make a List, he'd be right there at the top. Mmmm, Johnny Depp. (No, Johnny Depp is not the houseguest... damnit)


I've mostly been doing nothing of any grand interest lately. And what a sentence that was! Working, working, working. Anyhow. Caitlin's sister is visiting this week, so that's been fun. Sean's birthday was Tuesday, so we had All You Can Eat Sushi. Mmmm, sushi. I had Wednesday off, so the three of us went down to Hollywood to do a bit of shopping. Thursday, I went to dinner at Coworker J's restaurant in Beverly Hills, which was way tasty. Friday, hmm. Oh, dinner at our little Mexican restaurant, and then we rented Napoleon Dynamite. Saturday (after I worked), Caitlin, Sean, Caitlin's sister and I drove to Malibu to the beach to watch the sunset. It was a very nice day and a very pretty sunset. Today (which is really yesterday, as it's after midnight and thus tomorrow), we went antiquing/vintage shopping, and then watched the Golden Globes.

We're tons o' fun, y'all. Tons of fun. I can tell you're jealous of my fast-paced and exciting lifestyle here.

January 08, 2005


I just bought an iPod. I never buy expensive things for myself, but I figured I had some money from Christmas to use. And after my upsetting day yesterday (and three weeks previous), I figured I could stand to burn some money. Somehow, it seemed better than eating my way through an entire batch of brownies (especially after the M&M breakfast). Anyway. The iPod. It's such a neat little gadget! I have no idea how to use it yet, but I set up iTunes and imported all my songs to my iPod, and I've been listening to the whole list in order.

Do you realize that "iPod!" is one of those, what do you call them, same-forward-as-backwards things, if you kind of twist it in the center around the 'o'? Yeah, maybe that's just me being weird.

That's about all I did today. It's been a fairly lazy Saturday. I was up early, so I did laundry, cleaned up a bit around the house, got rid of the Christmas tree, vacuumed, etc. Then Caitlin and I went to the Glendale Galleria so she could exchange a gift and I could buy my iPod.

I have to say, the Glendale Galleria is probably the worst mall lay-out ever. Ever! It was so confusing! It started with the parking garage, which was so poorly designed as to be absolutely infuriating. It was almost enough to make us turn around and go home. Took probably a half-hour just to find a parking space, which is not something I have encountered around here. Not even before Christmas. *pulls hair out* Then, inside the mall, nothing made sense. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) there are a LOT of good stores there. I don't know if we'll be back anytime soon to enjoy them.

And now I'm here, playing with my new toy. It needs four hours to charge, and while it seems able to play music and charge at the same time, I think I'll give it a rest.

Why do I torture myself 40 hours each week?

Work sucks. Sucks like a giant sucking thing -- like a vacuum. The turbo kind that, like, cleans up when the dog knocks over an entire potted plant.

I had a mini breakdown on the way home from work, and then felt worse because she made me fucking cry. And now she made me say "fucking." And all of that exhausted me, and I fell asleep in the middle of one of my favoritest movies evah (but woke up for the end, which was good).

Then I was up until 2:30, and wide awake again at 7:30. Now, I'm quite happily making a breakfast out of Peanut M&M's (screw New Year's resolutions--I have CRAMPS!) and planning on doing laundry, cleaning, and spending money today. Money that I don't really have, but darn it, after the last three weeks in hellat work, I need to treat myself (nevermind that Christmas was in there somewhere).

January 03, 2005



Yes, those are snowballs. Yes, that picture was taken tonight with Caitlin's camera phone. Yes, I am in southern California.

Okay, so they were more like hail balls, but still! White stuff covering the ground! At first we thought it was salt, but it was all over lawns and parking lots and the road. That'd be a lot of salt, yo.

We may or may not have had a snowball fight in the FedEx parking lot.

We also may or may not have floated home down the river that was Sherman Way and Vineland. Seriously, the water was up to the bumpers of SUVs. Insane amounts of water. Thank goodness we were driving C's CRV and not my Malibu.

Is this normal? It seems not to be, but what do I know? I've only been here for five months.

January 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

Wanted to do a little entry about last night, which was the last day of last year.

Jill and Mike called on Thursday saying they would be in town with last-minute Rose Bowl tickets, and wanted to get together for dinner or similar. I worked all day, but met up with them afterwards. We all -- Jill and Mike, me, and the three roommates -- went to dinner for Chinese food.

After dinner, Jill and Mike headed off to drive through the hills before heading back to the hotel, as they had a very early start in the morning, and the Roommates and I headed toward Pasadena for a show. It was in an office building, and the band are friends of Sean's and Ryan's. The show was pretty good (if not a bit loud), and it was overall an event unlike anything I'd previously experienced.

We made it home about 11:56, ran inside and turned on the re-aired New York countdown. Five-four-three-two-one-HAPPY NEW YEAR! We toasted with Bacardi Raz for Caitlin and me, apple juice for the boys. No champagne or sparkling cider, as we are wholly unprepared. Woops.

After midnight, we had our Family Christmas. We sat around the living room and handed out and opened gifts (we hadn't all four been together since December 14 when Caitlin went home). It was a very enjoyable Christmas for all.


The First Day of the Next Year

Today has been a lazy day. We all got up late, had a late breakfast/lunch, and then did a little post-holiday shopping. We had Mexican for dinner and settled in to watch a movie. I thought Jill was going to call me when they were done with the football game, but as of yet she has not phoned. Hmmm. I guess they decided to call it a night and go back to the hotel.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to what 2005 will bring. Hopefully the changes will be good!

2004: A Year in Review

I should have done this yesterday, and I almost backdated it, but that would take effort. Just went through my entire blog from 2004. I just wanted a little recap of my year, as so very much has happened. Not only did I grow a year older, but a year wiser. All in all, a very good year. Witness:


The year started off cold and in Chicago, with me living at home and working in Naperville, approaching my one-year anniversary at the bank.
  • Watched the Golden Globes with much anticipation, as it is often such a predictor of the Oscars.
  • Made my Oscar predictions.
  • Was in Jamie and Craig's wedding!
  • Went up to Sarah's in Wisconsin (the "future roommate") to start planning our move to LA.
  • Saw Lord of the Rings: Return of the King for the second and third times, Monster and Mystic River, all in the theatre.


February saw plays, movies, and skiing, but not in that order.
  • Saw Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat
  • Watched the Superbowl, complete with the Wardrobe Malfunction that Captivated America.
  • Went down to Champaign to visit Sarah and Aarti.
  • Saw Genevieve in her play.
  • My baby sister turned 21. Went with the 'rents to Michigan to celebrate.
  • JC's album came out!
  • Went skiing with Aarti and Theresa at Devil's Head in Wisconsin. Much fun.
  • Had my Oscars party, complete with themed food. Hee.
  • Saw Lost in Translation (by myself, a big step for me), Against the Ropes (a sneak preview) and Miracle.


Apparently an uneventful month, was not without it's enjoyment.
  • Karey visited.
  • Helped host the Art League auction at the bank
  • Saw Hidalgo, Secret Window, and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


April showers... bring some good things!
  • Threw a bridal shower for Jill
  • Went to see World Without Sundays with Sarah-from-Wisconsin (aka Would-Be-Roommate Sarah)
  • Went to Mom's Energy Fair, for which she and her Energy Club were invited to the National Energy Convention in Washington, DC
  • Kelly moved to St. Louis. Bye, Kelly! *sniff*
  • Had my $6 million customer
  • Saw The Prince & Me


Another quick month, but as the weather gets warmer, the outlook seems brighter.
  • Took Jess to see RENT for her birthday (which had been in February)
  • Jill and Mike were married
  • Went to JC's show at House of Blues Chicago
  • Tonya visited briefly.
  • Got promoted!


Lots of excitement in June. My time in Illinois was coming closer and closer to an end, and I was obviously starting to try to stuff every last thing into my remaining days.
  • Went down to Champaign to visit Aarti and Sarah.
  • Noora visited from Finland
  • Went to California to find an apartment
  • Lost a roommate, instead.
  • But met Suzanne!
  • And went to the Spider-Man 2 premiere! (And saw Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and Dominic Monaghan, among others)
  • Went to Disneyland
  • Experienced an earthquake -- in Illinois!
  • Saw Saved! and Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban -- twice. Once on IMAX and once at Mann's Chinese Theatre.


Last month as a Chicagoan.
  • Family reunion.
  • Unfortunate work circumstance (great way to say good-bye)
  • Packed, packed, packed.
  • Good-bye party at Megs, with almost all my friends in attendance. Good times!
  • Went to Washington, DC for Lisa's wedding
  • Got to hang out with Greg and see the sights of DC, not necessarily at the same time.
  • Had a bit of car trouble the morning of my move.
  • Roadtrip across the country! Saw John in Colorado, stopped in Vail, sidetripped to the Grand Canyon, drove through a storm in the desert, stayed overnight in Las Vegas, and destination: Los Angeles!


In the driest, brownest, possibly smoggiest month of the year, I began to make Los Angeles, California my home.
  • Stayed in the Extended Stay America
  • A bit more car trouble
  • Apartment searching (and finding)
  • Roommates met (and moved in)
  • 52-hour Insurance Class of DOOM
  • Saw The Notebook


September was the month of getting settled, getting furniture bought, and exploring a bit.
  • Went to San Francisco with Sean and Caitlin. Great trip! Saw Santa Cruz, the beach, the redwood forests, and the Pacific Coast Highway. Stopped in Santa Barbara to see Elaina.
  • Found out for sure that the Kitty had cancer, and decided on amputation. My baby!
  • Saw Garden State


Not necessarily the best month of the year, October.
  • Moved Caitlin into our kitchen
  • Bank got robbed
  • Was rear-ended by an uninsured motorist on the first rainy day of the year.


After October, November had to be better.
  • The election. Big news, NOT big fun.
  • Jamie and Craig visited!
  • Charles in Charge was at my desk!
  • Bank was robbed again.
  • Went home for Thanksgiving
  • Family Reunion Pt. 2
  • Turned 24
  • Saw The Incredibles and Finding Neverland.


Another year gone by. This one ends considerably more warmly, with me in Los Angeles.
  • Christmas party at House of Blues on Sunset
  • Home for a very quick Christmas
  • Job situation SUCKS
  • Tsunami in Asia
  • Jill visited
  • Family Christmas with the roommates
  • Saw Kinsey, Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason, and Spanglish

Aaaaaand... there you have it, folks. The year Two Thousand and Four has come to a close. Lots has been accomplished and experienced, most of it good, but all of it valuable.