Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Arriving Launches

Yep, another busy weekend under my belt. I guess I'm alternating between the busy and the boring this month. Next month I'll be out and about every weekend.

But those are other posts.

Friday night, I went over to Joe's for a career group BBQ. It turned out to be just Joe, Christina, and I, but we had a great time talking and eating until almost midnight. We did take a break in there to watch Princess Bride.

As I already mentioned yesterday, Saturday I was off to the launch party for Cream Puff Murder. I have never seen Mysteries to Die For that crowded. It was honestly hard to turn around, much less walk into the story and buy the book or get it signed. I met Angelique there, so we got a chance to talk. Also got to talk to Laura Levine and her husband for a few minutes.

Saturday night, I headed down to the local theater company to catch their production of High School Musical. (Yes, I like it that much.) It was enjoyable for a community production. Some noticable changes and a couple new songs. All told, it was plenty of fun.

When I got out of the play, I had a text message (yes, I had turned down the volume) letting me know that my friends Kurt and Kellie had their baby. So Sunday after church I went down with Kenny and Katherine (and Ethan) to see them. There was quite a crowd around. Kellie wound up having a c-section, but she and Wes seemed to be doing well.

When I got home, I crashed. I hadn't intended to, but after a chapter of my book, I fell asleep and dozed for an hour or two. Then I got plenty of reading done. It was nice to just relax some.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

My Nightstand - February 2009 Edition

We're already to the fourth Tuesday of the February, which means it is time to discuss what's on my nightstand.

I actually just finished Cream Puff Murder, the latest Hannah Swensen mystery by Joanne Fluke. As always, this was a cute, fun, light, cozy read. And those recipes. My mouth was watering the entire way through.

So now, I'm just getting into You Have the Right to Remain Puzzled by Parnell Hall. So far, the book is fairly good although the characters seem to be oftly angery all the time. It's getting a little tiring, but hopefully that will go away as things get going.

After that, I'm debating between the second Women's Murder Club book by James Patterson or a reread of Mrs. Pollifax on Saffari by Dorothy Gilman.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Word Association for February 23rd

Once again, I am doing the Word Association. Two weeks in a row? Wow!

  1. Carpet :: Magic
  2. William :: and Mary
  3. Oh! :: No!
  4. Board game :: Fun times
  5. Sunlight :: Shadow
  6. Delay :: Wait
  7. Winner :: Loser
  8. Concubine :: Ick
  9. Comatose :: Tired
  10. Satisfy :: Ending

Friday, February 20, 2009

Long Weekends and Long Weeks

So I now have two roommates again. Brennon started moving in late last week and did the majority of his moving over the weekend. So far, we seem to all be getting along well.

I actually had President's day off this year! Normally, I work that day. The college gives us our most of our holidays between Christmas and New Years. Not that I'm complaining. I love knowing I will have that time off to spend with family. But this year, I am rapidly approaching the vacation cap, so I decided I needed to start taking more days off, and that seemed like a good one.

So what did I do with my long weekend? Not too much. In fact, I never left the condo on Saturday or Monday. I take that back, I left the condo long enough to walk to the library, pick up Return from Witch Mountain, and walk back. Other then that and church on Sunday, I was home the entire time.

I spent the time watching some movies, reading, and generally being lazy. It was great.

Saturday night, Joe, a new friend from church, came over and we hung out. We watched 4 episodes of Chuck (he'd never seen it before) and played Settlers of Catan. He won the first game and I won the second game very quickly. We had lots of fun.

Even with a short work week, this week has seemed really long. Frankly, I'm not sure how my days seem to have gotten so incredibly long. I guess I'm just bored with my life at the moment or something. Hopefully, I get over it quickly since I'd like to get out of my rut.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Stimulating Taxes, or Fun Times in California

This year, I've started watching Special Report with Bret Baire on Fox News on a regular basis. While my DVR records it every day for me, I tend to only watch 2 or 3 of them a week and delete the others unwatched.

Naturally, a big story they've been talking about for the last month is the economy and the stimuless package that has been passed and signed now. I'm not going to get into that whole debate here (but I do think it is a lousy bill that we'll be paying for generations from now). The only thing I want to comment on is one thing they threw out there. They say the average American will only get an additional $8 per pay check from the tax cuts that were part of the deal.

Now, I obviously have no idea how they figured that out. Heck, I don't know if that is a weekly, bi-weekly, twice monthly, or monthly paycheck. But we'll just assume it is correct for the sake of arguement. That means I will get an extra $208 dollars a year in my pay checks. I'll try not to spend it all in one place.

One of the stories I caught last night (I actually fast forwarded through most of two episodes when I should have been in bed) was about the budget problems here in California. We still don't have a budget (and our fiscal year is from July to June. Or it was at one point.) We're talking about a budget out of balance by Billions of dollars. One suggestion was to raise taxes. They'd double the car registration fee (one of the things that got Davis impeached and Arnold in office), raise our sales tax by 1% (which would make it dangerously close to double digits in parts of the state like LA County), increase state income taxes, and increase our gas taxes (already one of the highest in the country). The estimate of what these would cost the tax payers? $2K a piece for at least 5 years.

My first thought - I can't afford that. I'd better start saving money now so I can afford to live.

My second thought - So, the federal government is going to give me $208 dollars a year back, but California is going to take $2K from me. That means, ultimately, I will be behind by $1,792 a year. If the secret to building our economy again is to give money to the lower classes so they can spend money, well, I guess we have a great economy in California because they sure aren't going to be allowing me to spend any more of the money I earned how I see fit.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Why are We Here Again?

So last week in my readings I ran across a post from someone. (Yes, I am being vague here so you can't track it down.) The subject was how likely you were to get spiritual advice from complete strangers. This person said they lived in Northern California, so any spiritual advice they would get would be about chrystals and other new agie things. Since this was a Christian site, they said they couldn't wait to get back to the Bible belt and be around people who believed as they do again.

All I could think was how sad.

Now I grew up in Northern California myself, so I know it's not easy to deal with people who believe something other then you do on a daily basis. In the four years I spent in public high school and junior college, I faced that every day.

But that is exactly what God calls us to do. Remember the great commission? Go into all the world and preach the gospel. Not if you feel like it or are comfortable doing it. Not go hide out with all your friends in one part of the world and let everyone else go to hell. Go and preach the truth.

We so often think about missionaries when that verse comes up, but it applies to every one of us. God has placed us around unbelievers and we need to share the gospel with them.

Now I realize I am being slightly hypocritical here since I work at a Christian college. But I do play ultimate Frisbee with unbelievers. I don't live in a Christian compound. And Los Angeles isn't exactly nothing but Christians.

So remember to share the gospel wherever you are, not just run back to your comfort zone as quickly as possible. And, to borrow from St. Francis, use words if necessary.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Word Association for February 16th

You know what I haven't done in forever? Word Association

  1. Be mine :: Valentine
  2. Ecstatic :: Excited
  3. Orderly :: Hospital
  4. Sebastian :: Crab
  5. Sore :: Loser
  6. Don’t need :: More Debt
  7. Rockstar :: Need Money
  8. Tinfoil :: Hat
  9. Addiction :: TV
  10. Where? :: Waldo

Friday, February 13, 2009

Amazon Math

So, the middle of last week, Amazon put a notice up on my profile page letting everyone know that I have a birthday coming up. (The idea, of course, is to get people who don't really know me to buy me something from my wish list. If you are so included, be my guest, but don't feel like you have to.)

The notice first went up around Monday or so, and it said my birthday was in four weeks. Well, they were off by a week, but I figured they were close enough.

This last weekend, the noticed changed to three weeks until my birthday. And that's what it has said all week. But my birthday is the 8th, which is four weeks from this last Sunday.

So somehow the four weeks of a month have turned into three weeks this go around.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

200 Years

I've seen several mentions of it elsewhere, but I want to mention it here as well. It was 200 years ago today that Abraham Lincoln was born in a log cabin in Illinois.

I can't imagine how our country would be today without his four years as President. He led us during a very difficult time and never got to reap the benefits of what his determination had brought.

I don't say this lightly, but I do believe that God brought him to our country to lead us through the Civil War.

So thank you, Mr. President, for your leadership and having the courage of your convictions. We have strayed far from the example you set and need more politians with your character.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I'm Stuck for a Title

Some days, titles come. Some days, they don't. Today is one of those days. But I will not let that be a reason not to blog.

Friday night, I went over to a game night for the career Bible Study I attend. We started by playing Catch Phrase. Then we played Apples to Apples. Then, at 10:30, we decided to play Settlers of Catan.

That was a mistake.

I've never had a game that lasted longer then an hour and a half. Nathan finally won at 2 AM. Yes, you read that right, I was out until 2AM!

If I had it to do over again, I might leave when we sat down to play. But I did have lots of fun. I'm just still trying to recover.

Saturday was the launch party for Murder at the Academy Awards, the first in the series written by Joan Rivers and Jerrilyn Farmer. Since I love Jerrilyn's other books, I had to get this one. Yep, I've already read it. And I really enjoyed it. Plenty of laughs at Hollywood. Gotta love 'em.

Looks like Brennon is moving in tonight.

And that's the big news around here.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Winter Weather

Guess what! It's only February 6th and we are having winter weather. Finally. Okay, so we had that snow and freezing weather in December, but since then it's been mostly warm. Like in the 70s and 80s.

Yesterday when I left for work it was mostly sunny. But it clouded up and was raining by lunch time. It rained pretty steadily for about 24 hours, took the afternoon off, then started raining again.

Unfortunately, it sounds like this storm has hit us more then it has hit northern California. They need rain just as much as we do. In fact, according to my parents they are talking about water rationing up there.

Not that we've gotten a huge amount of rain here. It's been steady but fairly light. That's probably better for letting the rain soak into the ground. But it also doesn't exactly tip the scales back toward normal.

So it's been a while since I blogged much of anything, hasn't it? Let's see.

I got my dishwasher installed a week and a half ago. I'm happy with it, at least so far. But I'm not happy with how much extra it cost to get it installed. The guy decided I need all kinds of new hoses and what not that set me back an extra $175. Granted, they did seem old and brittle. But that price was just outrageous!

Last Saturday, I met up with Angelique and we went to Glendale Centre Theatre to see Barefoot in the Park. We both loved it. Very funny. And they always do such a good job down there.

Sunday I went over to the Scroggins for lunch after church. It was a very nice, relaxing time. Then I came home and watched the Super Bowl while doing two loads of laundry. I couldn't believe how exciting the ending was.

This week has pretty much been the usual - work and hanging out at home. I just wish I had more time for the second part of that.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Some Random TV Thoughts for Monday

I've just got a few random bits of TV musing to impart today. That's about all I'm feeling inspired to do, really.

The goodness that is Chuck returns tonight with a 3-D episode. Watch as if the fate of the world depends on it. Because it just might.

Friday night's Psych killed me multiple times. It was absolutely histerically funny. But the part I loved best was a reference to Shawn watching The Mentalist. See, in Psych, Shawn is a PI who pretends to be a psychic. In the Mentalist, the PI is a former fake psychic.

Crusoe ended its run Saturday night. I'm going to miss it. It was a pretty decent adventure show with wonderful production values. I mean, that show looked amazing. Of course, I do understand that the ratings were very poor. I'm torn about how I feel about the ending. While part of it was wonderfully just, another part wasn't the ending I had hoped for. Still, I'm very glad I watched the show.

I'll admit I didn't start watching the Super Bowl until the beginning of the second quarter, but I didn't see any impressive or highly original comercials this year. Maybe it would have helped if I wasn't doing laundry and other stuff while it was on.

And somehow, I have to find time to finish my current book as well as watch Chuck and 24 tonight. Considering I have 85 pages to go (not that I'm counting or anything) this will be tough. I may not do the workout I was planning for tonight (just don't let Ryan see this), and I probably won't watch the next episode of West Wing, either. Still, I hope I can get it finished.

Speaking of The West Wing, I am now four episodes into the series. I am finding it highly cliched, over written, and pretensious, just like how I felt with Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. I just don't see the cause for all the praise.

Another thing I don't see the praise for is the original Pink Panther movie. I watched it when it was on TV Saturday. The plot was slow and it wasn't remotely funny. Silly as it was, give me the remake any day of the week.

Okay, so I managed to work in movies and books, too.