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November 2003

4 days till Puerto Rico!

November 30, 2003: sniff, sniff, it's the last day of November. Did this month fly by or what? Anyways, I'm back from my jaunt to Los Angeles for Thanksgiving. I had a blast, and if you want to read about it, go to my picture page for the details. Anyways, I'm poised to start my computer project, as I have all the pieces and now I just need to start. Which is scary. But I've gotta do it and I know once it's done, I'm gonna be so happy.

And did I mention I have another 3-day week this week? Yep, I'm gone Thursday to go to Puerto Rico. Oh yeah!
What's New? Pictures from my Thanksgiving weekend. Like a schmuck though, I didn't get any of the feast or the family. I'm a bad person.

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 26, 2003: Well, if you didn't see Survivor tonight, I'm truly sorry. It was without a doubt one of the most.... I don't even know the word to use..... despicable? emotional? shocking? episodes I've seen. Jon has made good on his promise to be the dirtiest Survivor player ever. Ugh. Read my page if you want to read my thoughts on it. I write about it still because honestly what happened on the show is still running through my head. But anyways.....

I managed to catch Survivor just barely tonight, as I had been at Sam's Town right before then. Marian and Drew were on their way to Tucson when they discovered that apparently the entire state of Nevada is trying to cross Hoover Dam. So they called me and we met up at Sam's Town. Drew and I played Blackjack (of course), and by the end of the 2 1/2 hours I was there, I walked away with +$115!!! Yay!!! I am so loving Blackjack. And I'm finding a lot of fun dealers as well. I like when they have personalities and are willing to joke back. The ones who just stand there and deal usually end up taking my money very fast. It always seems to work that way. It's eerie.

Yesterday was a great Super Tuesday in the entertainment world. I went buckwild at the BX, buying lots of CDs and some DVDs. I was definitely surprised how many things came out yesterday. Woo hoo!

Well, I'm getting sleepy and I should get some sleep. I will probably read a little more from the book I'm currently reading, Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, which is written by the same guy who wrote Wicked. Obviously you can tell this is the Cinderella story yet from a different perspective, that being the before-mentioned "ugly stepsister". It's a great read! And I have in the queue the next book by the same author, Gregory Maguire, which is called Mirror Mirror, a retelling of Snow White. I've gotta say, the fairy-tale gimmick is a good one, and the author executes it well. I highly recommend these books!

Have a fantastic holiday weekend, and when I get back to the site, I should have some pictures of my latest project - my new homemade computer. I'll probably do a before-during-&-after photo shoot to show how a computer can come into being from lots of other parts. At least I hope. If it all goes well, I should have a pretty kick ass gaming rig. This is definitely going to be my big Christmas gift to myself.... or more accurately, it's my Thanksgiving gift to myself.... or even a late Birthday gift.... Whatever.
What's New? I bought some More DVDs on Super Tuesday. Plus, I've got my take on Survivor. I don't have others' opinions yet, so that'll have to wait.

You've got to see these DVDs!

November 24, 2003: Today kinda flew by, and I really didn't get much done at work. C'est la vie! Only 2 days to go until the weekend holiday!! Woo hoo! Anyways, I got my latest DVDs in, and I liked one of them soooo much that I had to write about it on my DVD page. Check it out.
What's New? I've got more DVDs!

I think I'm caught up on sleep

November 23, 2003: Wow, what a good time this past week has been. So, let's start with last weekend, shall we? On that Saturday, Nellis AFB was having its Air Show Weekend, and my squadron was hosting a food booth to raise money for the Christmas Party. I volunteered for the Saturday 12-5 shift..... big mistake! This show was packed with people, and they all wanted food (for some reason...). Our booth had 4 lines going non-stop, so basically from 12-3 (which was when the Thunderbirds performed and it started getting dark), there were no breaks in the service. I was Nacho Boy, a title I never want again. Nor do I ever want to see nachos again. Blech. It was all for a good cause, so I'm not that bent out of shape. BUT, I was extremely tired, and I needed a beer. So I bought a 12-pack of Fosters (yum) and had 3 at home. Ahhh... then I called Marian to see what her and Drew were up to. Drew had come back from Pakistan a few days before, and I wanted to hang out with them and eat dinner and definitely gamble. So I called them to see if they were game, they said of course, I had them pick me up (hello - 3 beers != able to drive), and we had dinner at Olive Garden, and then headed to Sam's Town for some good gambling fun. And fun is definitely what we had. We each got about $100 out, and we first started playing nickels. Well, lately I've been having no luck with these, so I quickly tired of them after losing like $50. I was like, I need to play Blackjack!!!!! I'm totally addicted to the game, for better or for worse. Even when I lose, I still enjoy the game. Sick. So I dragged Drew over to the tables, and from about 9:30 at night till about 4 in the morning, we played table games. Primarily Blackjack, but I took a pause to play Deuces Wild table and lose $80.... So I went back to Blackjack. Anyways, I at one point was up to $200 (including initial buy-in) but finally walked away with $140, so I say I lost $60 when I really won $40. Oh, and did I mention that I was drinking free beers nonstop while playing? Yes, Drew & I were BLITZED by the end of the night, and boy did I hate life Sunday morning. Ugh. It was so worth it though.

So after recovering on Sunday, I headed back to work. I forgot to do the FOD (Foreign Objects & Debris?) walk that the base walk was having after the air show, so I got plenty of grief from my coworkers, including getting a letter of reprimand from SSgt Jenny. She's a funny one. So I Article 15'd her and she's no longer a problem. I LOVE paperwork punishment. ;-)

Breaktime: I'm headed back to the Flamingo to have lunch with the gang. I'll continue shortly!

I'm now back from visiting with the peeps once more and after watching movies and TV. I just watched Jackass the Movie, and surprisingly, I liked it a lot. I have usually been a snob when it comes to movies, but I have to admit this really did entertain me. I think what I liked was that they pretty much did all this completely idiotic stuff to themselves. Some of it was just freakishly funny, including seeing people puke because the stunts were so gross. Yes, there is reaction puking in this movie. Welcome to Jackass.

So I left off as I went back to work. Work is great now that Jenn is back. Lots of stupid things to deal with still, but it's always more fun when you have someone to face it with. On Tuesday, Wendy & Jason came to town. Tuesday night they came over to my place and we watched TV and Bringing Down the House. I so miss just doing that kind of relaxed stuff. Then on Wednesday, they came back with Gendy in tow. She's my friend who is also a published journalist in the LA Weekly. How cool is that? She just wrote an article about celebrity party planning that was extremely entertaining. I'd link to it, but I need to mail the link from work. It's a good read! She liked my apartment, and pointed out that my kitchen does indeed look like a TV cooking show kitchen with the track lighting I have and the wide open areas. ANYWAYS.... Gendy picked up a copy of the Two Towers Extended Edition because both Jason & I pre-ordered it from Amazon and I hadn't received mine yet (although I got it today!!!). We ended up watching that and boy oh boy do I love these movies. Very well done version of the movie, and it really is hard to go back and watch Theatrical versions after watching the Extended. And I so can NOT wait for Return of the King.

I took leave from work on Friday, so Thursday night was open to go out as late as I wanted to. Gendy went back home to write an article, and Clarissa flew down for some good Vegas fun. I met up with the crew at Outback (yum) and we had a great dinner, then went back to my place. We first watched the OC, which was a blast to make fun of and to drive Clarissa crazy, and then we watched my tape of Survivor, in which the beloved and psycho Rupert was voted out. Not totally unseen, yet was still a great show. I still can't believe how gross that snake eating the lizard was. Yech. We then went to Cleopatra's Barge late late late that night, and definitely enjoying the people watching. This is not the greatest of clubs - it's more of a lounge. Yeah, lounge. Anyways, got back to Bally's where they were staying, and Jason & I decided to try Blackjack. Well, that didn't pan out well at all! Both of us lost $100 in short order. Cards not in our favor at all. Oh well.

The next day, Friday, I got home and ran some errands before heading back for the Party, Round 2. They had checked out of Bally's and then checked in to the Flamingo Grand Vacations Hotel, which is right behind the main hotel of the Flamingo but has amazing large rooms with huge hot tubs. OH YEAH!!! Unfortunately, this visit did not have me in a hot tub this time....perhaps it wasn't unfortunate at all, if anyone remembers the Labor Day incident. This night, I went out with the peeps to the Beach for my first time. This is one of those clubs that people go to purely to hook up. That's it. It's a meat market through and thru, and is a total blast. Plus it's free for Military!!! Anyways, it's pretty basic - lots of open space, loud music, and very near-naked bartenders. There are LOTS of pictures from that night, plus from Saturday night, which I did not participate in, as I had had my share of The Beach on Friday night. And I needed sleep. I'm not going into details about what happened - no need for that to be in 'print', but you can feel free to ask away. Good times! I was glad to not go though, as I definitely needed the chance to catch up on sleep (I had gone to bed no earlier than 4:30am the last two days).

All in all, it was a great visit. And I'll be seeing them Thursday night for the casino party being thrown. Good times!!! I will hopefully be going with Mila, as poor Mila and Kenny have been ditched by their folks who went to Costa Rica!!

So, this is our 3-day week! Yay! Just remember Survivor is on Wednesday this week (and not Thursday) so as not to be on Thanksgiving Day. Yay for CBS to that schedule change. I so can not wait to find out what happens next. Well, I think you're caught up on what's been happening. I will post pictures of this last week as I get them and as their edited. Heh heh heh...
What's New? I put up Robbie's thoughts on Survivor, updated my DVD listing, and wrote the above opus. That should be enough for you!

My hiatus is over for now

November 21, 2003: I won't be able to get completely into what has happened this past week, as I don't have a lot of time right now. But rest assured, tomorrow I will have some more time to dish the details. Last weekend was a blast, lots of gambling, lots of hangover, this past week has been fun with Jason & Wendy & friends (Gendy & Clarissa & Ilyne, so far) stopping in this week. That's kept me pretty busy this week, and they're still here until Sunday.
I have been enjoying reading Byron's and Robbie's sites. Byron, you are indeed correct - I am an evil bastard. Hahahahahahahaha. And can you believe this latest Survivor episode? Major cool drama - and that snake eating the lizard - blech! That was a huge freakin' lizard. HUGE!!!
So tomorrow I should give all the details, but for now, I've put up my Survivor page (I can't believe it's almost over - only 3 episodes left). Enjoy!
What's New? Survivor Episode 10 is up.

Sgt Jenny is Back!

November 13, 2003: I haven't been this active on website in a long time, have I? Perhaps I'm feeling the pressure from my most recent web followers, Robbie & Byron. After all, I am the catalyst for quite a few people now. First Alan.... then Robbie, and now Byron. It's hard work being a trendsetter, but you know, I think I'm doing quite well under the pressure. ;-)

So yes, Sgt Jenny has returned from 2 1/2 weeks of TDY. It has been pretty rough at work while she's been gone, but I definitely got a lot more experience in troubleshooting and just getting things done. It was her birthday on Sunday, so I baked ANOTHER cake. Can you believe it? This time, I made a chocolate cake with Vanilla frosting, on which M&Ms were sprinkled on top. YUM. Very tasty. And then next week, I'm making the Italian Sausage Stuffing which is DA BOMB. It's for the Squadron Thanksgiving - and I'm making a ton of the stuff. I should probably take the day off beforehand.

And in some other happy news, Marian's husband Drew has returned from Pakistan! Needless to say, Marian hasn't been at work since he returned on Wednesday. We don't expect to see her till Monday. I'm sure they're busy reading books together, or possibly discussing the politics of North Korea vs. Zimbabwe. Fascinating topics indeed. Heh heh heh.

Well, that's enough for me. I want some sleep and I'm going to make myself wake up in the morning and work out. I have been quite lazy the last few days. It's just too chilly in the mornings!!
What's New? Episode 9 of Survivor is up!

A final thought before '24'

November 11, 2003: So I've had my digital cable's 'Classic Disco' radio station on ALL afternoon and evening, and I've been in front of a computer monitor either playing SimCity 4 (evil evil evil evil - and a prime reason why I'm upgrading my computer finally - my desktop is top-o'-the-line-in-1999 vintage, and needs to be brought up to speed) or surfing the net, and I came across a cool thread of discussion in DVD Talk. It was about 'What you think happened at the end of Matrix Revolutions". I was so excited to read this, because honestly, I still am not sure what the hell happened. Byron & I talked about it yesterday, but reading this brought up a lot of stuff I didn't notice, especially concerning Smith and the Oracle. And did you know that the big face thing at the end is actually called Deus Ex Machina? That's freakin' hilarious, and particularly interesting especially considering how the movie ended. So here's a link to the thread if you have some time to kill. And now it's time to get ready to watch Hour 3 of the 3rd season of 24. So far, the show has been interesting, but I'm waiting for the hammer to fall....although I just remembered how last week's ended and that was a pretty cool surprise. Anyways.....

Wow, I have something in common with Britney Spears

November 11, 2003: So on this Veteran's Day, I just finished watching MTV's special, All Eyes on Britney Spears, and I feel like I have a soulmate..... Not! But I discovered Britney has dark moods, just like me! Finally, someone I can identify with.
I went to Robbie's site this morning and saw him discuss the infamous Judy situation, and that got me laughing. I remember that incident very well, when JJ just wanted Robbie to call his sister Rhonda Judy. Very classic. And I think this situation was very near in time, or perhaps the same time, as my infamous Chicken Divinity misunderstanding. You see, Robbie was telling me about a dessert that Tami liked to make, and I heard him say it was called Chicken Divinity. He went on to explain that the materials were all covered with pink sugar or something, and immediately I'm imagining pieces of chicken covered in pink sugar and I'm nearly puking from the grossness of it. Well, after seeing my reaction, I had to explain my version of his story. Needless to say, the dessert isn't called Chicken Divinity, although I'm sure somewhere someone would love that stuff.
So last night I went to Boulder Station with Marian and Michelle and Alex and we went to see Elf, starring Will Ferrell. Very funny movie, and I don't know, I don't always like Will Ferrell's stuff - yes, I do like most of it, but sometimes, like Old School, I just don't really like the movie as much as others. This was good though, and very funny. But afterwards, we gambled, of course. And while I didn't do that great on the slots, which is not that surprising, I went to the $10 blackjack table (all the $5 tables were packed, those bastards) and about 3 hours later, I walked away with +$70. Maybe not a HUGE number, but a win is a win, and when it's not a loss, it's a win. Now go think on that, people. I was proud of myself for lasting 3 hours too.
And now it's today, and I'm cleaning my apartment....ugh. But I got to sleep in!
What's New? I have more links on my Episode 8 page, plus I talk about Elf on my movie page.

Lady Luck?! Bah!

November 10, 2003: I am saying this because you know how I was sulking the other day because I lost playing Blackjack the other day. Well, this weekend, I went to Sam's Town to go see Matrix Revolutions again (to see if I could 'get' it this time on a more philosophical/metaphorical level....result: not really. Yes, there's a religious subtext and then I read at aintitcoolnews.com a review that compared the machines to the US, the rebels to terrorists, Neo to Osama bin Laden, and Smith to Communism..... uh, yeah. Whatever....now pass me that doobie dude) ...<pause> Byron is interrupting as I type <end pause> FINALLY! Byron can just talk and talk.... just kidding, Byron. No, Byron is really excited about his website which is pretty cool. He has said he wants me to exclaim "That's Cool" every time I see his site. Well, he had better work hard at the site.... I don't say "That's Cool" for just anything. But back to my story. So I went and saw Matrix again, but I really wanted to go gamble. Call the hotline. Help. Sea monkeys have my money. So I found a blackjack table (I've really come to love Blackjack over Craps - I know, blasphemy! But craps has been so mean to me the last few times I've played) where you sit low and there was a pretty dealer named Maria from Mexico. Well, I start playing and immediately lose, but after that, I start winning. And winning. But then losing. I decide to leave when I'm still up $25. But alas, I see the Wheel of Fortune machine. Aren't those things evil? So, I put $20 in the 5-Times Wheel machine and sure enough, I get my SPIN eventually and I press the button and wham-bam thank you ma'am, I get 400 quarters!! (that's 100 bucks for you history majors). So with this newfound cash, I gotta go lose it..... or do I? I went back to beautiful Maria and sit back down, this time with two older guys who are going to the Bullrider's Event. Well, the cards are definitely in my favor this time, as well as with the other guys. I end up walking away with +$120 and one of the other guys was going all crazy with his bets (playing 2 hands, $100 each), and winning. He eventually walked away with 7 black out ($700 for you non gambling types). Then, I had to go shoot myself in the foot by returning to my true love, craps. Well, I have a new system, and I went and tried it, but even if I had been playing my old system, I woulda lost. This table sucked!!!!! Alas, I lost $100, but at least I still walked away with something like +$100. Very sweet.

So now it's Monday, and I have tomorrow off. I"m about to head out to Boulder Station to go see Elf and play a little more blackjack. Help me.
What's New? Robbie submitted his thoughts on Survivor....finally!!!

I'm Back - so jump for damn joy, people

November 7, 2003: Well, I made it back from my 2 day trip to Los Angeles. It was a good time, I must say. On Wednesday, I flew in during the morning and found that no one was at home, so I had to kill some time. I went to the kick ass cinema in Monrovia and caught a noon showing of Matrix: Revolutions, which was amazingly packed. Hello, people. It's the middle of the damn day. Get a job. ;-) After that, I went back to the house and found that it was still empty, so I sat in my car and read my latest book acquisition for an hour, hoping that someone would show up at home. Well, an hour passed, and still no one showed up, or at least that I saw. So I decided this was silly and went back to the house. Well, apparently I'm the silly one, as not only was my Mom home, but so was Harv. Mom had stayed home sick from work, and apparently was sleeping when I stopped by. And I just plain missed Harv. Oh well. Anyways, I was able to make some progress in my book, Wolves of the Calla (Dark Tower V), while waiting, so it wasn't a total loss. And I got to see a movie. Anyways, then Mila came up to have dinner with me and we went to Claim Jumper. Man, that's a lot of food. We ended up chatting the evening away, and didn't leave there until about 11pm. It was fun. Then the next day, I killed most of the day by reading my book a lot more, scoping out a restaurant to go to before heading for the memorial at MHS, and hanging out with the folks at home. That evening, I went to Cafe Opera in Monrovia with Mila, Sveta & Sarah Bridges, and had a swell time there. But after that we went to the memory fest at MHS, where we parked at the old parking lot. Walking to the auditorium was awesome. So many damn memories walking by the tennis courts, the open plaza areas, through the area where German class was....realizing that the Annual Staff building was torn down (sad,sad,sad)....but we eventually made it to the foyer outside the auditorium. That was amazing in itself. I saw quite a few people I didn't think I'd ever see again, especially those who weren't in my class year. I saw Max Dino (one of my best buddies from high school but a year ahead of me), Frau Campbell (she actually remembered me after thinking about it for awhile), and Mr. Miller. Lots of faces I recognized as well.... Well, the remembrance started near about on time at 7 pm, but I had to leave at 8:30 to get to the airport....and by 8:30 pm, the program was just barely half over. So I haven't found out yet what happened afterwards, but I got to see quite a lot. I sure do miss Mr. Jansson, but the impressive thing that reflects a LOT on Mr. Jansson is that I am one of Many Many Many students. Bravo, Mr. Jansson. Your legacy definitely lives on.
And so now I'm back in Vegas, going to work today and finding it wasn't as bad as it could have been as one of my coworkers, MSgt Schofield took care of a lot of stuff. Thankfully. Whew!
What's new? Well, I watched my tape of Survivor tonight. Not the best episode, but this season is definitely a good one. I take back my words before the season started as I really didn't think this cast was going to be interesting. Boy was I wrong. So now my Survivor thoughts are up. I also have new DVDs, and I saw the Matrix and I gotta talk about it. A book review should be up shortly of the fifth book in the Dark Tower series - I am still so stoked that my favorite series is finally continuing, and that I won't have to wait all that long for the concluding two chapters. Woo hoo!

Happy Birthday - to ME!

November 3, 2003: I'm 27 today! I love gift cards from Best Buy or Amazon.com, and typically DVDs are great gifts. Just in case you're wondering. You can see the list of DVDs I already own at my DVD section - make sure to cross-reference! ;-) Just kidding!

So now it's almost Not my birthday anymore. <sigh> But I must say it wasn't that bad of a birthday, even though I had to go to work. I made a cake yesterday (I wasn't going to go without cake, and didn't want to take the chance that I wouldn't get a surprise cake....perish the thought), and it actually turned out pretty good. It was a Duncan Hines marble cake mix, and the damn thing was moist and delicious, just as advertised! Then the tons of chocolate frosting I put on it pretty much insured that I have to exercise for like 9 hours a day or something. But it was totally worth it. Anyways, I brought the best cake ever into work, where of course it was a hit. Oh yeah, I can follow directions and make a cake work! So then the day went by pretty evenly, compared to the horrible Monday of last week. I got to talk to quite a few friends today, got some nice gifts (thanks Mom! thanks Dad! thanks Marian!) and overall, like I said, it was good times.

I am looking forward to flying back to Los Angeles this week (I'm tired of driving). I'm going back to go to a remembrance of Mr. Jansson at MHS, and I expect to see a good bunch of my friends there. I haven't gotten really emotional yet (read as, I haven't cried), but I think I definitely will once I get to the memorial. Mr. Jansson was really one of those amazing people and I owe him at least this much in going back to remember him. He made such a huge difference on so many lives. So while that will be the somber part of the visit, I really am looking forward to just hanging out and seeing my friends there, such as Roni, Mila & Sveta. Sometimes it seems like high school was eons ago, and then when I talk to my friends, it seems like high school was just last month. It's really depressing to realize my 10 year reunion is in 2004 and I'm now 27. WTF? I don't know if I would have imagined my life as it is now back when I was 17. I'm not even sure I remember what I hoped for back then. Not to say I'm unhappy - I am definitely happy, but I still think about the what-ifs and coulda-shoulda-wouldas every now and then. Unhealthy to do that, yes, but doesn't stop me from thinking about them.

Well, that soapbox is done. It was a good 27th birthday, and I think this will be a fun month, with Jason & Wendy & Clarissa & Jane & others coming up to Vegas later this month (Jason's birthday is 25 Nov, and SSgt Jenny's is 9 Nov!!). I have lots of high hopes and ambitions for this winter. I want to go skiing up in Utah sometime in Dec or Jan with friends from work, I am planning on going to Tahoe in Feb with the Rubi-Nuval extended friendship circle, and in Dec I'm going to Puerto Rico to visit Dad. Definitely lots going on! Definitely lots of money being spent!!!

And then I got a great birthday gift in the form of a website from Byron. It's not a website in my honor, mind you, but I mandated to Byron that he get his act together and fast and create a website by my birthdate. And you know what, he did! And it looks great. Check it out here. Impressive job - and combined with Robbie's outstanding efforts is making me think my site might need an overhaul.... but then I rethink that and realize I'M the creative genius who inspired them.... but maybe some new colors or something wouldn't hurt.

Oh, and yesterday and the other day I have discovered I hate slot machines. And I'm getting pretty fed up with Blackjack as well. I played the other night with Marian and literally, I could not get a hand that didn't add up to 15. And if you know blackjack at all, that is NOT a good thing. At all. It was unreal. And even when I play blackjack on Hoyle Casino (a computer game), I was getting worked. So it's definitely hit or miss with me and gambling.

Did I say I was done? Whatever. I'm just happy to write down some stuff finally. I was wondering where my rambling nature went. I found it!
What's New? I made sure to add Byron's site to my Links page.


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