Friday, February 29, 2008

I really feel as if I have nothing to say today. Got to work at 8am, and had to make up hours, so I worked until 7pm. For those of you counting, that comes out to WAY too many hours to be editing house montages. Which could be why I now have a headache. Plans for tonight? A quiet night at home since I have no game in my Friday night league. Um...tomorrow will be more work, followed by additional work on Sunday. I lead an exciting life, don't I?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I don't usually title my blogs, but if I did, the title for today would be "Why AT&T sucks."

As you know, I was recently in Canada for a few days. As you also probably know, I have nearly had my iPhone surgically attached and am basically addicted to checking my e-mail. The friend I stayed with up there had a Mac WiFi system in his house. Inexplicably, I was unable to connect to it with either my laptop or my iPhone. My friend had a laptop there that I was more than welcome to use. But, because I am incredibly impatient and (again) addicted to the internet, I often found myself checking e-mails while sitting in another room in the house, or more unnecessarily while sitting on the ski slope, with Data Roaming clicked on.

Let me first explain that when I was in Australia and New Zealand for an entire month, I still had service with T-Mobile. I hardly used my phone there, and certainly not to download e-mails - but international text messaging was free, and when I returned home, for the phone calls I did need to make, my entire bill was only about $65 over what is usually was.

I got my first text message from AT&T on the day I left Canada. It informed me there was a high amount of international data usage on my device and to call them to avoid unnecessary charges. I figured it couldn't be that bad, based on previous traveling experience. Maybe $30 extra or something. I was only in Canada, barely 30 minutes north of the border. And who really considers Canada "international"? You don't have to dial an international number to reach someone there. Canada is akin to a 51st state, America-lite, if you will. I should point out here that I freely admit I am a complete idiot.

I got a few more of those text messages from AT&T but ignored them. Then, I got another one this morning, a week after I'd returned. Hmm...I had been exchanging a reasonable amount of text messages with my friend in Canada. Maybe international texting wasn't free with AT&T? I mentally counted up the amount of texts we'd exchanged and came to....a whole freaking lot. I figured it was time to make the call to AT&T.

When I got ahold of the operator, she said she indeed saw a significant amount of data usage while I was in Canada amounting to 23mb. (Ooh...a whole 23mb!) I asked how much that was going to cost me and she checked my account then announced, "$472." I almost fell off my chair. My answer was a protracted, "Whaaaaat??" where the pitch rose to barely controlled hysteria at the end. Thankfully, she was able to add on an international data package for $40 that she could make retroactive to cover the cost, and that I can remove next week once the billing cycle ends. I asked if text messages were included with that. As it turns out, not so much. All those messages would be charged at $.50 per message, which multiplied by a whole freaking lot turned into a nice chunk of change. I added another package to cover the text messages that wasn't too expensive, so now I'm covered there.

Aargh...I never wanted to switch to AT&T anyway. I was forced to because of Apple and their sweet, slick, sexy, beautiful iPhone. And that, kids, is why AT&T sucks.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday! Here he is sharing a bowl of water with his BFF, Stryder. (Well, he doesn't look like he's sharing so much, is he?)


I feel completely out of touch with the world and have no comments on anything today. I'm sure there's something I need to be informed about, I just don't know what it is right now. Is there something I should know about? Have the Kings taken on a new, awesome veteran and a stellar goalie? If not, I'm not interested. I'm enjoying a quiet day at home. Tried to work on the film for awhile but got too distracted and am now getting ready to watch some TV on the tube tonight. Maybe after a quick run to Cold Stone.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

I'd like to start the blog off today with one of the funniest video clips I've seen in a very long time.



To be honest, I got nothing else going on. It's life as usual for me. Busy, busy. It was beautiful outside today which means I don't want to be at work here right now. Though, Wally is here which always makes work a little more palatable. At least it looks to be nice all week, so my two days off will be enjoyable...even if I spent much of that time inside editing the film I've been working on.

Monday, February 25, 2008

I finally had a chance to plug in my camera for my photos from British Columbia. I didn't take many, but here are some from Cypress Mountain, including the view of Vancouver from the mountain. Other photos are from the University of British Columbia's Museum of Anthropology where they had some amazing Native American carvings on display.


The last piece shown here is called Raven and the First Men and was carved by an artist named Bill Reid, who died in 1998. Reid's mother was a Haida, one of the First Nations of the Pacific Coast. The sculpture is very large and was carved out of a laminate block of Yellow Cedar by Reid and some other artists who helped him. It portrays the Haida creation myth in which the Raven coaxes the First Men out of a clamshell he found on the beach. It's really stunning, and if you've ever in B.C., I recommend you go see it in person.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

My hockey team has done really well again this season. We are currently in first place with a record of 16-1 in this current 20 game season. Last night, for the second time, we played the only team that has beaten us. They scored two goals in the 1st, then we scored two in the 2nd to tie it up. With about 7 minutes left in the game, we scored a third goal, then a fourth two minutes later bringing the score to 4-2. With only 5 minutes left, it seemed like a sure win if we just played a strong defense for the rest of the game. They scored a minute later. With 2 minutes left in the game, our center grabbed a break away pass and scored our fifth goal, and we ended the game with another W under our belts. The game wasn't as rough as I expected it to be, since I know they really wanted to beat us, especially considering that team has 210 penalty minutes for the season and we only have 52, the second lowest in the division. All in all, a good game, and a happy victory. All hail the Red Menace!

I've mentioned before about the fun of showering at the rink with the guys on my team. Last night, I was all ready to hop in the shower since we were, of course, headed to IHOP...when I realized I'd forgotten to bring a towel with me. I asked if anyone had an extra towel - they did not. Our goalie offered to let me use one of his clean jerseys as a towel, but I didn't think the nylon would be very absorbent. I started to weigh my options...go out to eat and sit bathed in a layer of my own sweat, or get creative. I loathe being sweaty and sticky if I'm not in the actual moment of working out. I decided I'd brave the showers in a new way. I had a small towel that I use to wipe my skates clean (which I had already used to wipe water and ice from my skate blades), and my team mate, Dean, offered me (seriously) two clean hockey socks.

If you don't play hockey and aren't familiar with what a hockey sock looks like, it's a knitted sleeve that covers your leg from your thigh to your ankle. It's not a true sock as it has no feet, but it covers your legs and shin/knee pads. I accepted the dry, clean socks, sighed in resignation, and headed to the showers. I actually figured the socks would work reasonably well. When I was done showering, I started to use them to dry off. After a minute or so, I realized that no matter how much I tried to towel off with them, they just seemed to be moving the water around on my body instead of actually soaking it up. I ended up using my tiny skate towel (if you've ever seen Planes, Trains and Automobiles, it was like the scene where Steve Martin had to dry himself off with a washcloth). Water still dripped heavily from my hair as I stepped out of the stall. When I walked back into the locker room, I mentioned the group at large, "As it turns out, hockey socks don't work so well as a towel." Another player, James, seemed confused at what I assume he thought was a completely random statement. "I forgot my towel," I explained. "Ooh!," he exclaimed. "Why didn't you ask me? I have an extra one in my bag."

Saturday, February 23, 2008

I have a friend named Nelsen who was one of the very first friends I made when I moved to Los Angeles. We used to work together in a sucky day job, but he was a blues musician with a band that played out every so often, and they were really good. I used to go out pretty much every time he was playing. After more than 20 years trying to break into the business, he finally began putting out CDs on an indie label and had enough success that he decided to sell his home in L.A. and move to Macomb, Mississippi, where he bought a 3 bedroom house for about $65K. He thoroughly enjoys living in a town where he can leave his doors unlocked, much like the small town he grew up in in Connecticut. If you like blues music, you can get information on Nelsen's website and hear and download his music on iTunes.

When I was in B.C., I realized the friend I was staying with is a huge fan of the blues and pretty much always has his XM radio turned on all day long. I wanted to buy some of Nelsen's CDs to send to him to listen to. Other than iTunes, you can buy hard copies of Nelsen's CDs at a web site called CD Baby. It's a site originally designed by a guy who was trying to get CDs of his own band out there, and the site appears to cater to artists on their own labels. At any rate, I bought the CDs and later received this confirmation letter via e-mail which I found highly amusing:

"Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow. A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing. Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy. We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved "Bon Voyage!" to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Friday, February 22nd. I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby. We sure did. Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year." We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!! Thank you, thank you, thank you! Sigh...
Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby the little store with the best new independent music"

If you like indie music or bands, I can't help but recommend this web site. And again, if you like blues, check out Nelsen's stuff.

Friday, February 22, 2008

I have really hit the ground running since I returned from Canada yesterday. Get off plane, drive to valley, work until 1:30am, go home to sleep, get back to work at 11am, work until 7:30, go home to feed dog, fetch dog, pack hockey equipment and drive across town for a game, wash, rinse, and repeat for the rest of the weekend. I think sometime early in the day Monday I may actually get a few minutes to sit back and take a breath. Even my side projects have been sitting on the back burner while I catch up with work I missed while I was gone. I hate being bored, but being too busy is even worse. I never seem to be able to find a happy medium. I'm either so busy that I can't even get a breath, or I'm so bored I want to shoot myself. Am I the only one with this problem?

Off topic, does anyone know how to obtain tickets for the Olympics in Vancouver in 2010? Do they just go on sale at Ticketmaster or something??

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today was sadly my last day in Vancouver BC, at least for the time being. My friend and I stayed up last night watching the Vancouver Giants beat the pants off the Edmonton Oil Kings (Junior hockey). I have to say, there's nothing better than watching hockey in Canada with your Canadian friend who also loves hockey. After watching the Canucks win two games while I was there, I think I may adopt them as a surrogate home team to replace the Kings in my heart while they continue to suck. (Don't worry - it will only be temporary).

My check in at the airport went smoothly, and unlike during entry into the country, I managed to get through customs with no hassle. The problem this time came when I went through the metal detector. I don't know if any of you have ever noticed this as I have, but metal detectors in certain cities seem to be more sensitive than others. At LAX, I can always get through with change in my pocket and all my jewelry on, as long as I remember to take my cell phone out of my pocket. Which I forgot to do this time. I was then subject to a full pat down, which is the most intimate I've been with anyone in some time. When the guy said, "Ma'am, would you mind if I patted you down?" I said, "Yes, please!" To make matters more uncomfortable, I had what could have turned into a bad mishap when emptying my pockets for him. Since I tend to get bad headaches that can come on without warning, I usually take a couple of Vicodin with me in my pocket. I have a prescription for them, but it's not exactly evident when I just have pills in my pocket. I reached into my pocket to pull out all the loonies and tooneys (Reason #7 for loving Canada - $1 and $2 coins), and a bunch of change - and narcotics - popped out of my pocket onto the floor. The inspector said, "I think you dropped something there." Luckily, he didn't ask what it was. I remember Courtney Love being detained in an airport once for having a single Ambien in her purse with no prescription on her. Then again, I'm no Courtney Love.

When I got back to LAX, I walked out into the smog and cold drizzly rain to wait 20 minutes for my shuttle to show up to take me to my parking lot. While I stood there, cranky, waiting for MY shuttle, I kept seeing shuttles from other parking places go by again and again. I kept thinking next time, I'd have to park at one of those places instead. The one I saw most often was from a company called WallyPark. Of COURSE I should have parked there! What was I thinking?

Next on my agenda - sit on the 405 for exactly 2 hours to get to the valley and work the night shift. After only about 15 minutes in traffic, I was already losing my mind. Welcome back to L.A. No wonder Bean calls it the Bad Place. I now have a dream where I take a year off, move to B.C. and write the novel I've been wanting to start for two years now. If only I had a benefactor like Pip.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Welcome to Wally Wednesday!  Since I'm away in Canada, I took this photo of him before I left.  It's what he looked like when he realized that I was going away and he wasn't coming with him.

This is Wally's counterpart.  She's my friend, Winston's, dog and her name is Claire.  She is beautiful and sweet and totally reminds me of Wally, all the way down to her shedding.  She looks to be lab mixed with something else and was rescued. I think she and Wally would make good friends considering they have a mutual love of both swimming AND playing fetch with tennis balls.
I spent today exploring Vancouver and doing some shopping.  Went into downtown and walked up and down Robson Street, which is sort of like Old Town, but bigger and better.  I then headed over to historic Gas Town and walked around some more, walking in and out of shops.  Time to come home tomorrow.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

I had a great time today hanging out with my friend, Winston, here in Canada.  Started out the morning by walking around the neighborhood and grabbing a quick breakfast while he was at the gym.  Then he drove me around town a bit, where we visited the Anthropological museum at UBC.  It was really cool with lots of native american carvings, including totem poles and things of that sort, and I've always loved that sort of art.

Since Madeline was asking about the ski conditions at Cypress Mountain, I should say it was hot and the snow got a bit slushy by the afternoon.  They had some good beginners runs that ran long so you could just carve all day long.  I tried to take some of the intermediate runs, which I haven't had a problem with on other mountains, but found the steeper slopes riddled with moguls - no fun for a snowboarder.  In fact, I would randomly come across areas with moguls even on the beginner's run, which was annoying.  I'd have a bunch of speed up and then hit the moguls and went airborne a few times, much to my dismay (since I don't know how to land). I'm sure if I had scouted out the rest of the mountain I would have found much better runs.

This afternoon, we took Winston's dog, Claire, for a long walk through the woods.  She is a ery cool, adorable retriever of some sort.  I think she and Wally would be fast friends, they both love tennis balls AND the water!

And then this evening, we went out to a sports bar to watch the Canucks/Wild game, which the Canucks won in overtime so it was a decent game to watch, even though we were concerned in the middle of the game.

Tonight - time to kick back and relax.  Would post some photos, but forgot to bring the cable to connect my digital camera.  I'll have to post them when I get back.

Monday, February 18, 2008

I worked a short day yesterday then headed to LAX to catch my flight to Canada.  When I checked in with Alaska Airlines, the ticketing agent informed me that an earlier flight was currently boarding that had empty seats and I might be able to get on it.  I went up and got on the standby list.  They told me to have a seat and they'd call my name if they had a seat.  Boarding was nearly finished, and they hadn't called me so I figured I hadn't gotten one of the empty seats.  I checked at the counter where the agent asked my name, and said, "Oh...here," and handed me a boarding pass.  I was the last person on the plane.  Not only did I manage to get on an earlier flight, I actually had a whole row to myself!

I've been to Vancouver B.C. several times but have never flown in, I've always driven.  I'll tell you, the Vancouver B.C. airport is the nicest airport ever.  It is so clean and so cool looking.  There was  Tim Horton's on the way to customs.  Welcome to Canada!  When going through customs, I got a female agent who was a bit of a hard ass.  She asked where I'd be staying, and when I told her I was staying with a friend, she asked where I knew him from.  I don't know about you, but I'm one of those people who gets really nervous around this type of official, and am always afraid I'm going to inadvertently  lie which will ultimately result in some sort of body cavity check.  So when she asked how I knew my friend, I coughed up, "A.A." right away.  Except that because I was nervous, everything I said was coming out like a question.  My answer became, "A.A.?"  Not only had I outed myself as a recovering alcoholic to some random customs agent, I had also outed my friend.  So much for the second "A."  She also wanted to know when we had met, which I answered, "About 10 years ago?"  She asked me what I do for a living. "I'm a television editor?"  Then she began to grill me about whether or not I'd be working while in town, or if I ever got calls to come work in Canada, to which I replied, "Why would they do that when they could hire a Canadian?" which was apparently the right answer.

I got my rental car and made it to my friend's house.  After going to the door to make sure I had the right place, I went back to the car to get my stuff.  This is the point when I set the car alarm off.  At 11:30pm in a residential neighborhood.  Worse yet, I was unable to turn the alarm OFF.  And it was REALLY loud.  After fumbling around for about 5 minutes and nervously waving off neighbors coming out to find out what the hell was going on, I finally got it off.  In the midst of pressing every button I could find on my alarm remote over and over again, I must have pressed the trunk button, because when I came out this morning around 9am, the back window to the SUV was popped up and wide open.  Sweet.
I headed up to Cypress Mountain which is only 30 minutes from downtown Vancouver.  It was a beautiful day, and actually, really warm.  I needed to rent a board and boots which turned out to be a total ordeal.  As it turns out, in addition to being President's Day which drew some families from the States, it was also a school holiday in the city of Vancouver so there were a TON of people there.  It literally took me 2 1/2 hours to get my rental gear, get my lift ticket, and get on the mountain.  It was a little slushy, but a beautiful view - snowy mountains and the city skyline in the distance.  

I love this city.  I would totally move here.  Unfortunately, there is no work here, and even if there was, it wouldn't likely go to an American.  Let me know if you have any bright ideas on how I could successfully make the move and not be an unemployed deadbeat living in B.C.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

When I went to the rink on Friday night, there was a kids tournament going on. I think it might have been Pee Wees. The kids were about 11 years old and it was a checking game (thought there wasn't a lot of checking going on). I stood there watching the game for awhile, but soon found myself paying more attention to the parents in the stands. The one that got my particular attention was a woman standing at the glass, shooting photos with a very expensive long lensed camera, shouting intermittent encouragement to her son on the ice. When I say "encouragement" let me illustrate what I mean. She yells, "Timmy, pass the puck, pass the puck!" The kid hears her and does a blind pass to nowhere, at which point she yells, "Who the hell were you passing to, Timmy?!" This was followed by other encouragement, such as "Why are you changing up? That kid sucks!" Aah...sports parents. It's hard not to laugh, but I have to wonder how scarred the kid gets. I played in quite a few team sports when I was a kid, and I feel very fortunate that my parents never behaved like that. It would have embarrassed the hell out of me. My mom and dad it to a lot of games and drove me to many practices. My dad was always there at the beginning of soccer games, where he'd hoist me up on his shoulders so we could hang the soccer nets for the first game of the day. He'd often run lines, even though I don't think he really "got" soccer. At baseball practice, though he wasn't a coach, he wasn't beyond hitting fly balls to us during warm up. All of that time next to the playing field, and I don't ever remember hearing him yell at me or anyone else on my team. I guess I was really lucky.

I'm working a short day today, then leaving directly from here to go to LAX. I abhor flying out of LAX, but I couldn't get to Canada from Burbank without a stop. The weather here is warming up again, but I see it's cold and wet in British Columbia. Wally will be looked after by my friend, his Auntie Madeline. I'm sure he'll be spoiled and a few pounds heavier when I return.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

When our hockey game started last night, we had exactly five skaters and a goalie, which is the minimum amount you're required to have in able to not forfeit. To recap from yesterday, 10 players = good, five players = bad. We had not a single sub on the bench. It was time for marathon hockey. Luckily, another girl showed up on the ice not too long after the puck dropped so we were only at 5 for a few minutes. It was a long and arduous game. If you have two lines (ten skaters) you can switch out every minute or two and always have fresh legs on the ice. That means in a 20 minute period, you will sit about half of the time to rest. In our game last night, I got to sit exactly 4 times. My legs felt like jelly. Luckily, the team we played really sucked and we actually ended in an OT tie. If we'd had just another player or two, we would have easily won. I scored two goals (oooo...I so wanted a hat trick!). Of course, it would stand to reason that we were also short a score keeper to record the goals. There goes my stats.

My friend, Dean, is an accountant for non-profit organizations. One of his clients works with torture victims, and those words are included in the organization's name. While at the bank today making a deposit for them, the teller looked at the name on the slip and said, "So, do you guys torture people?" After a beat to let it sink in, Dean replied, "Um...no. We work with torture victims." The teller went, "Oohhhh!" I made the point to Dean that people who DO torture people probably don't have a name that includes what they do to put on their checks. He said, " Yeah, like John's Waterboarding Consortium, LLP." (Sounds a little like a surf shop, right?)

Friday, February 15, 2008

This photo was e-mailed to me today under the heading "Why Men Shouldn't Get Action Figures."

My women's league has a game tonight. All was going well until today when a flurry of e-mails came into my inbox, different players with different reasons as to why they wouldn't be making the game tonight. If my count is correct, we should have 7 players. For those of you unfamiliar with the sport, NHL teams generally play with 20 players, and in most adult rec leagues, 10 is an acceptable amount to play with. 7 means a long, tired game. We'll see how we do. It's frustrating to see so many teammates bail in the 11th hour. It takes a lot for me to not go to a game, such as "just had surgery" or "nose won't stop running" (I can't play with snot running down my face - everyone has their limits). The girls on my team need to suck it up and get on the ice.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

I totally forgot it was Wally Wednesday yesterday, so to make up for it, I'm posting a video instead of a photo. I've written before about his excitement over going outside to play. Now you can see it in motion.

video

Living away from your family during your birthday can be a drag because they're so far away. On the up side, it becomes a bit of a week long extravaganza as presents keep arriving in the mail. Earlier this week, I got a necklace from my mom with a piece of jade on it that my grandfather brought with him when he came from China in the 1920's. Today, I got a really cool bracelet from one sister, and new snowboarding gloves and "The Kite Runner" from my other sister. Last night, a friend gave me a gift certificate to REI. Since I've been wanting a new ski jacket, and they were clearing out all their winter wear, I got a really good deal with the certificate factored in. Now I'm all bundled up and ready to head to British Columbia on Sunday. Though I imagine it's a lot warmer there than it is in, say, Ottawa.

So, did any of you see that "24" will not air now until January of 2009? WTH? I need my Kiefer fix!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

I got home from work around 1:45am this morning and my Sciatic was killing me. (By the way, can you even SAY "Sciatic" without sounding like you're 70-years-old?) It had been bothering me all night, getting worse and worse, and nothing was helping it. I took a pain killer as soon as I got home which knocked me out and I slept until past noon. So much for fully enjoying a day off! I ran errands, did my laundry, and worked on my side project most of the day. Then, friends and I went to dinner to belatedly celebrate my birthday. It was lots of fun and the cake was great! Now, it's time to sit back and relax and watch a movie or something.

I got an e-mail from an old colleague today named Karen who I worked with at DEK. Jimmey, a mutual co-worker of ours, has a wonderful yellow lab named Cody who used to play with Wally whenever I took him up into the writer's area. Karen told me that Cody has gotten cancer and Jimmey has to put him down in a few days and gave me his e-mail address to send a note. It's hard to see Cody go and not think about the day when Wally will also be going away, though hopefully, that's a long way in the future. I told Jimmey he could at least be content in knowing he gave Cody a long, spoiled life filled with lots of love. I read a quote once and I can't remember who said it, but the basic gist was that someone has done us a favor by making the life of a dog so short, because considering how much we love them in that limited amount of time, think about how much more their passing would hurt if they were to live 2 or 3 times that long.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to me! Happy Birthday to meeeee! Happy birthday to me! Unfortunately, it's business as usual today with work tonight but Wally will come along to spend the night at work with me. Some friends and I are getting together tomorrow night for a belated birthday dinner. I tried to sleep in this morning since I was at work until after 1am, but I received two calls around 9am and was never able to get back to sleep because of a certain needy Labrador. He's so lucky he's cute! Yes, I share a birthday with Abraham Lincoln. When I was very little, I couldn't remember what day my birthday was but I knew it was on Abraham Lincoln's birthday. I had to go to the calendar to find the right date. Because of this, I've always had a certain fondness for our great manic-depressive president.

Also, for you KROQ listeners...point for cake.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Not even a month and a half into the New Year and celebrities are dropping like flies. When I first read the news, I was ecstatic because I thought that Rob Schneider had died, but then I realized it was Roy Schieder who died yesterday at the age of 75. Scheider was nominated twice for the Oscar and is best known as his role of small time police chief Martin Brody in "Jaws" and his role as choreographer Joe Gideon in "All That Jazz." Truly, he was known for many roles, including those he played in "Marathon Man," "Still Of The Night," and "The French Connection." I've always really enjoyed Scheider's work and am sad to see him go. A lot of the actors I grew up watching are all getting to that age, and I'm sure we'll say good bye to many more of them in the years to come.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Our game last night was quite competitive. We're about 3/4 of the way through the season and have only lost one game, so right about now, everyone is gunning to beat us. The team we played hasn't been very decent for a long time, but they picked up some exceptional players this season and put up a good fight. They came out strong and scored a goal within a minute of the puck drop. We didn't score until the beginning of the 3rd, then pulled ahead later in the period. We had some bad penalties, one resulting in a penalty shot. Luckily, the guy shooting for the other team completely whiffed it. We were up one goal and on a penalty kill with less than a minute to go in the game. They pulled their goalie and rushed the net. Our goalie went down leaving one side of the net open and one of their forwards dove over/on top of our goalie trying to get the puck. One of their other players shot and the puck went in the net. No penalty for their player molesting our goalie. The game tied and went into OT, where we scored about a minute in to win the game. Click on the game sheet to the right to enlarge it and look at the scoring for overtime for the winning goal. This is what happens when the referee mixes me up with a big, strong asian guy. He's #62 and I'm #11...yeah, I could see how that happened.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Since I've been freelancing at the company I work at right now, they've never bothered to set me up with a company specific e-mail address. This is fine with me, because really don't want to have to go through all the mass e-mailings to all employees that really don't pertain to me at all. While surfing the internet today, I clicked on a hyperlink to send an e-mail to someone and it opened the Entourage software on the laptop in my office. Lo and behold, I discovered I now had a login to receive mail on the company server. It looks like they set it up for me a few weeks ago and never bothered to let me know. In my inbox, along with several messages of the variety I mentioned above, was an e-mail from the IT guy to let me know I now had company e-mail. (I'm not sure what the emoticon is for confusion, but if I knew it, I'd insert it here). In other words, he sent me a message to an account I didn't know existed to tell me that it did, in fact, exist. I shake my head and sigh.

For you readers not in Southern California, it was 80 degrees today when I took my lunch break. The weather should be in the 70s for the next week, although it's in the 40s at night, which means I'm constantly switching my car settings from heated seats to air conditioning.

Friday, February 08, 2008

When we went to Big Bear this week, we stayed in a cabin owned by my friend, James. He uses it as an investment property and rents it out through an agency up there. He's constantly amazed at the things that get left behind - he has a whole box of games people have forgotten, a baby crib, and as we discovered in a closet this weekend, a snowboard bag. He also has two couches in his living room, one of which is a sleeper sofa. Apparently, everyone kept thinking the one with the sofa cover on it was the sleeper. They'd take the slip cover off (and those are a bitch to put back on), discover it wasn't the sleeper, and then just hide the evidence of the cover by putting it in a closet. He said for the longest time, every time he would visit his cabin, it would turn into a game of "let's find the slip cover." Finally, he put a label near the couch that reads "This is not the sleeper sofa" and then used a staple gun to permanently affix the cover. Problem solved.

He also has a bear motif throughout the cabin, which started when his mom bought him this gigantic stuffed teddy bear. It made its way to the cabin where it's been sitting in the corner of the living room. I thought when I was up there that the bear seemed smaller than it had been before and when James showed up, I realized why. It wasn't the big giant bear that had been there before, but another one that had been somewhere else in the house. As James reported, "Someone stole my fucking teddy bear!" I can't imagine what they would have done with it - it really was huge. James determined maybe someone had a dog or something had happened to the bear, and the tenants had gotten rid of it to hide the evidence. It's funny what people will do to avoid taking responsibility.

Off topic, my friend, Mark, who went riding with me shot this short video clip of me coming down a small black diamond run. I couldn't have ended the video better if I'd planned it.


video

Thursday, February 07, 2008

We finally got home from Big Bear tonight around 9:30. I'm exhausted. After putting everything away and playing with my dog, I'm ready to head off to bed. My legs are toast. This was my first time riding two days in a row and I should have stopped around noon today. My friend, Mark, hadn't been riding in years and wanted to keep going, so I tried to keep up with him. Unfortunately, the more tired you get, the more you fall, so I fell down most of the mountain my last few rides down. I still had a great time. Oh - and both of us kept forgetting to put sun screen on, and now that I'm home, I see that the tip of my nose and the bottom half of my face is burnt. I guess it was worth it. Here are a few photos from the trip:

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Wow, am I tired! My friend, Mark, and I left town around 10pm last night and headed up the mountain. I realized about an hour away that I had forgotten to put some wintery shoes on for the snow and ice, and I had only brought my Vans with me. When we stopped in Running Springs to get gas, I full on fell on my ass stepping into the quickie mart. Thus far, that's the worst bruise I have. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or a bad thing.

On the up side, I only fell about two times all day, and both of those were at the end of the afternoon. When the lifts stopped, we headed back to the cabin where I soaked in the hot tub then took a shower, followed by a nap on the couch in front of the tv. My legs were toast at the end of the day. I've never ridden two days in a row, so we'll see what sort of shape I'm in tomorrow.

In the meantime, here's Wally being super cute and super needy at work. (Note to self: take more interesting pictures of Wally).


Oh! I almost forgot to mention this. You may remember when I was there on Dec. 13, I lost my camera in the snow. Or somewhere. It fell out of my pocket. I filed a report but never heard from them and assumed someone had found it and just walked off with it. Well, yesterday afternoon when I was still in L.A., I got a call from the Snow Summit Security Office. They found a camera they thought might be mine and wanted me to "describe the camera." Other than giving them the color and model number, I couldn't think of any significant way to describe it but told the guy I'd be up there the next day anyway. I went into the office this afternoon and it sure looked like my camera and had the same size memory card in it. The woman in the office wanted me to look at the photos on it to confirm it was my camera. The thing is, I erase my card whenever I go somewhere new, and I hadn't taken any photos with it yet when I lost it. This camera had two photos on it of guys I didn't know, but one of them was a ski patrol guy. We decided someone in the office had probably snapped a couple of photos to see if the camera was still working, and since I actually happened to be there in the flesh, she figured she might as well let me take it. The bummer is that while they only called me yesterday, the camera had actually been turned in to Lost and Found only two days after I'd reported it missing. It took them all this time to match up found items with the "lost" forms. In the meantime, I already spent $300 on a new camera.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

For those of you who need to, get out and vote today! Speaking of voting, a friend tipped me off to this video from YouTube. It's about political voting in the state of Texas. It's actually pretty frightening, and you have to wonder if it's happening in other states as well.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Have you ever had one of those days where you're constantly busy, but accomplish very little? I woke up this morning intending to go to kick-boxing, but didn't quite get out of bed in time. I did a couple of small errands then settled in at home, hoping to work on a side project which I've been neglecting for days. No sooner had I sat down than a friend called wanting to meet for a quick lunch. I did that, came home, and my maid was there. It's hard to get anything accomplished while someone is cleaning your house. I had just started setting things up to work when I realized it was time to head over to the paying job. I have now been here for about 5 hours and have accomplished very little. I keep getting interrupted and distracted, having to go seek out footage, bumping into people in the hallway.

And Wally keeps bothering me. Suddenly, despite the other 10 people in the office, he needs MY attention and has been relentless about getting it. Neediest. Dog. Ever. He keeps bumping the door to my edit bay open and I can't work with it like that. He doesn't want to come in, but if I latch the door all the way, I will eventually hear him bump into it with his nose again. What do you do when your dog comes and looks at you like this? You can't ignore him!

Even now, I find myself distracted with the need to blog before the day has passed. Sigh. One more day of work, then it's off to the mountains and fresh powder for two days. If you need me, this is where I'll be:

Sunday, February 03, 2008

I know I've written about Woot before, but it was in a really early post. For those of you unfamiliar with the site, they only sell one item a day. It's usually some sort of electronic device, and it's usually a pretty good deal. The item goes up at noon, and stops selling at midnight. If they sell out of the item before midnight, a new item will not be posted until the next day at noon. The beauty of Woot, in my opinion, despite their very clever simplistic selling strategy, is the way the writers for the site describe the product. It's usually witty and sarcastic, and always enjoyable to read even if you're not interested in the product they're selling. They also have bulletin boards and blogs on the site, which is where I found this list today which made me chuckle. I hope you enjoy it as well.

14 Lists That Made Our Boss Too Nervous To Publish
by Lydon, Norman, Rutledge, & Toon Tuesday January 29, 2008 10:00 AM

  1. 9 CIA Employees Whose Names The White House Never Leaked
  2. 5 Things I Would Do To Marilyn Monroe’s Corpse
  3. 3,269 Reasons Firefly Is The Worst Show Ever Made
  4. 3 Working Security Access Codes For Our Warehouse
  5. 21 Drinking Games For First-Graders
  6. 35 Libelous, Unfounded Charges Against David Miscavage
  7. Woot, Inc.’s 10 Most Hilarious Tax Deductions for 2007
  8. 18 Primo New Varieties That The Mossad Doesn’t Want Ron Paul To Tell You About
  9. 8 U.S. Nuclear Sites With Shockingly Insufficient Security
  10. 12 Suspicious Connections Between Rudolph Giuliani and Heath Ledger
  11. 12 Walt Disney Characters We Claim We Created
  12. 48,714 LOLCATZ We’re Brainstorming Captions For
  13. 1 Easy Trick For Successful Digg-Whoring
  14. 14 Lists That Made Our Boss Too Nervous To— whoa
Also, I didn't watch the Superbowl. Aside from the fact that I'm working anyway, I really REALLY hate football. But the ads are funny, like this one:

Saturday, February 02, 2008

On the way to my tax accountant's this morning, I saw a line of people queued up down the street. Because I was in Burbank, I thought they might be lined up waiting to get into a taping...except I wasn't close to a studio. As I got closer, I realized they were waiting for a store to open. I thought maybe it was a Warehouse or something and people were lined up waiting for concert tickets for some hot new band to go on sale. Then, aghast, I realized that these 50 people were all lined up outside a knitting store. I knew knitting had gotten really popular. (How could I not?) But seriously...lined up on a Saturday morning waiting for a knitting store to open?

My tax appointment went great, much better than expected. Since I've been freelancing a lot this year, a high percentage of my income had been paid 10-99, without taxes being taken out. My accountant worked his magic and managed to cover much of that with work expenses, and I'm actually still getting money back, which is always better than having to pay more money.

So what's everyone doing this weekend? Those of you who aren't camped outside knitting stores?

Friday, February 01, 2008

When Haley and I first arrived in Vegas last Thursday evening for the women's hockey tournament we played in, we decided the first order of business should be to go to the grocery store and pick up supplies since our crappy hotel room actually had a kitchen. We ran down to the local Albertson's and grabbed some staples, plus a case of water to take with us to the games. When we went to the register to check out, the guy took one look at us and said, "Let me guess...hockey players?" That's when I realized that Haley and I looked like we were a gay couple (not that there's anything wrong with that). If you've never paid much attention to women's hockey, I can tell you that probably 50-60% of female hockey players are gay, at least the ones that play in women's hockey leagues. I had been lulled into a false sense of hetrosexuality of the sport because on my Los Angeles women's team, we have actually only one gay player. At any rate, Haley and I must have looked like a lesbian couple. And because I stand about a head taller than Haley, and she's all small and cute, it also became apparent that I was the dude. The first thing we said to the cash register guy was, "We're not gay." Then I thought, well, at least Hayley's cute. If I was a lesbian, at least I had a nice looking girlfriend. I'll tell you this, though - even though I knew it was a women's tournament, I did a lot of double takes at players who looked suspiciously like they had Y chromosomes.