Thursday, December 30, 2010

50 Greatest Songs of the Decade 2000-2010

I got the inspiration after watching CMT's 40 Greatest Songs of the Decade... here's mine. These aren't necessarily my favorite songs, but songs that should be considered when talking about the 2000s as they were revolutionary, really catchy, or had the staying power. It wasn't easy to narrow down my list, but I tried... I am trying in my best musical reviewer/critic spiel, so let's see how this goes... feel free to comment/give opinions. I had such a blast combining my musical knowledge and love for music in compiling this.

These are ranked in no particular order.

Catchy lyrics, eccentric style, and scandalous for the time... she was bold enough to admit she liked "it..." and her popularity still rose!
Katy Perry - I Kissed A Girl

With the advent of reality shows, anyone could suddenly rise to super stardom. Thousands vied for their 15 minutes of fame and to show off their singing abilities. Kelly has been one of the most successful, sold among the most records, and has had several musical collaborations with other artists.
Kelly Clarkson- A Moment Like This

She split from Destinys Child to go solo. She has been successful with such hits as Irreplaceable, If I Were a Boy, and even branched into the movies with roles in shows such as Dreamgirls. Beyoncé has proved she can function and be taken seriously in multi media platforms. And how many times in everyday conversation have you found yourself saying "to the left, to the left," after hearing this song?
Irreplaceable- Beyoncé

Unique sound and lyrics. They were one of the first mainstream groups to help define the indie rock scene, the independent label, underground sound.
When You Were Young- The Killers

She has proven to be a fashion statement, has a large gay following, has been compared to Madonna, a social and political statement, everything is a spectacle. Sold out many concert venues, was the first artist who has ever had fans camp out days before to see her perform on the Today Show.
Just Dance- Lady Gaga

Mariah Carey still has staying power, and is still relevant in the 2000s. She can even bring in current pop culture topics like youtube and make them sound sexy in a song.
Touch My Body- Mariah Carey

Adult contemporary artist Michael Buble has a unique sound. This song from the early 2000s suddenly made everyone yearn for home.
Home- Michael Buble

One of now several unique musical collaborations. A rock group uses Timerland, a hiphop artist, to provide a unique sound to their record.
Apologize- One Republic

Remember how long this song was on the charts? Remember how catchy it was, and everyone was suddenly singing it? Remember how it was the rage among all middle schoolers? She seems like pre-Kesha with her bratty lyrics.
Sk8r Boi- Avril Lavigne

Pink can tackle tough issues like the issue of being gay as in songs like "Dear Mr. President," or dependency on pills like in "Just Like a Pill."
Just Like a Pill- Pink

These lyrics still resonate today in everyday conversations. I always offer to let people stand under my umbrella ella ella ay ay.
Umbrella- Rhianna

Is this not the song of the decade? Remember when rehab was cool? Brittany was doing it, Lindsay tried it too, and recently Demi Lovato had a stay. Amy was beyond that, she didn't have the time- she bucked the trend.
Rehab- Amy Winehouse

We were first introduced to this song in Star Trek Enterprise, and everyone was wondering where did this come from? It took me about 2-3 years and a random convo with The Guy to learn it was Russell Watson.
Where My Heart Will Take Me- Russell Watson

A little bit of the Latin flair. Shakira was a latin crossover artist, which was important, as we are becoming increasingly connected. Also, who can forget her strange sexual lyrics, "lucky my breasts are small, so you don't confuse them with mountains?" Small breasts are suddenly sexy?
Whenever, Wherever- Shakira

U2 continued to showcase their staying power with their 2001 hit "Beautiful Day"
Beautiful Day- U2

This group burst on the scene in 2001 with their hit Kryptonite, which had a unique sound, and is still widely played today. And they're from Biloxi MS, of all places.
Kryptonite- 3 Doors Down

Perhaps one of my favorite B&D songs, the guitars, the Spanish lyrics, and who does not like the great harmonies of the duo? With so many great songs it was hard to choose just one!
My Heart is Lost to You- Brooks & Dunn

Chris Cagle creates a great story about a 50 year, or 18,253 love affair. A great country story in a song...
What a Beautiful Day- Chris Cagle

This song stuck on the charts for close to a year and detailed everything Morgan loved about Sunday. This 2005 ballad was an ode to everything Southern- going to church, seeing sweet Ms. Betty who likes to sing off key in the pew behind me, going home to cut the coupons out of the Sunday paper, Sunday dinner with chicken and baked beans... that's what we all like about Sunday.
That's What I Love About Sunday- Craig Morgan

There was a wave of patriotic country songs that came about in 2001 including the obnoxious "Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue," from Toby, the reflective "Where Were You When the World Stopped Turning," from Alan Jackson, and then you have this tribute from Daryl Worley...
Have You Forgotten?- Daryl Worley

A pop artist crosses over into country music, and is pretty successful at it. He always had a country sound to his voice. He grew up not only listening to country artists much to his brothers and sister's displeasure, but also listened to other white boy stuff like KISS. A long way from his Hootie and the Blowfish days with the song that propelled him onto the country charts.
Don't Think I Don't Think About This- Darius Rucker

While not as popular as Carter's song "Strawberry Wine," there was something sexy about this one too, as she danced in a pair of briefs in her bedroom.
There's No Limit- Deana Carter

They were at the top of the world with their catchy lyrics, great vocals, and songs that made you long for a cowboy to take you away...
Cowboy Take Me Away- Dixie Chicks

There was that controversy where they were ashamed they were from Texas during a concert performance, where they were making a statement against the war. This one moment turned their whole life around. This brilliant song chronicles the experience.
The Long Way Around- Dixie Chicks

This one hit wonder from 2005 is an international hit still being played on the radio today that was made popular during American Idol's 5th season.
Bad Day- Daniel Powter

One of those catchy country/pop crossover hits from the 2000s. Breathe and This Kiss are two that you can still readily find on either pop or country radio today. And who knew that you could describe a kiss with such cool words like centripical motion? If that's what a kiss is, I want one...
This Kiss- Faith Hill

Despite going to Hollywood and taking a role in Stepford Wives, despite being on all of the magazine covers, despite being married to the sexiest man in country music, Faith Hill stays true to her roots in Mississippi Girl. She describes herself as someone who still likes wearing her old ballcap and riding her kids around piggy back. This hit was written by John Rich of Big and Rich.
Mississippi Girl- Faith Hill

He spent much of the 2000s raising his kids and being married to the lovely, Trisha Yearwood. Garth came out of retirement in the late 2000s to record and skyrocket to number 1 with this hit. It is a tale of being so enamored with someone and them being more than a memory.
More Than A Memory- Garth Brooks

With the advent of reality TV, you had American Idol, then Nashville Star. While George Canyon never received super stardom, this song was significant in the advent of 15 minutes of fame from reality television.
I'll Never Do Better Than You- George Canyon

Hicktown suddenly became the place everyone wanted to go where he made mudding, and other hick recreation sound cool. He's followed it up with several other hits along that line like "Big Green Tractor," and every girl suddenly wanted to go for another ride on his big green tractor. Aldean has a way of making southern activities sound cool.
Hicktown- Jason Aldean

This song sort of made country cool in the early 2000s with lyrics that focused on what it was like to be young, heading to the rapids with some discount beer, and other shenanigans that typify being young.
Young- Kenny Chesney

A group to form in the late 2000s, this was the first hit off of their sophomore album, and their 4th single that propelled them to super stardom crossing over on the pop charts. The first few beats and the song is instantly identifiable.
Need You Now- Lady Antebellum

A group of 3 hunky guys with more than a dozen hits under their belts, this one is a tribute to their fans...
Here's To You- Rascal Flatts

Kelly Clarkson wrote the song and claimed it was about the cycle of parents and children going back and forth, and their influence on one another. This was written during her parent's breakup, which had a great impact on her. Reba sang the song later in a duet with Clarkson, and the song took on a new meaning. The song made #2 on the Hot Country Charts, but wasn't without controversy. Some thought this was Kelly's downfall, others thought it was Reba in trouble, others recognized this track appeared on her duets CD.
Because of You- Reba McEntire

This trio burst onto the scenes in the mid 2000s with their hit "Baby Girl," which chronicled one's journey from rags to riches while trying to be successful in the music business. It had a catchy sound and true to life lyrics. This trio had some fallout, but is still as successful as ever as a duo with their current album, "The Incredible Machine," with songs that are a departure from their traditional country. The unique sound and amazing voice of Jennifer Nettles has helped make this group successful.
Baby Girl- Sugarland

I need Faith. I need Tim. Faith, Tim, Faith, Tim. Which is it? It's hard to decide when you have this hot country couple paired together. Though they each have separate careers, when they are paired together, the collaboration, and love is evident between them.
I Need You- Faith Hill and Tim McGraw

This is one of those songs that touches a nerve because of the time in your life when you realize you are getting older. McGraw first heard this song as he was dealing with the loss of his father. The delivery of this song makes you feel all of the emotion in Live Like You Were Dying.
Live Like You Were Dying- Tim McGraw

Remember Missy Elliott rhyming about her badonkadonk in her song "Work It?" Who knew it would sound just as good, if not better, in a country song? This song seems to have mass appeal.
Honkytonk Badonkadonk- Trace Adkins

Fun, downhome, simple lyrics, and no nonsense pretty much describes the Zac Brown Band. This song is what skyrocketed their careers.
Chicken Fried- Zac Brown Band

Heard on soft rock and country stations, this song made one reminisce, and it is what every mother wants for their kids.
I Hope You Dance- LeeAnn Wommack

Front man Adam Levine and his unique voice help make Maroon 5. They burst on the scenes in 2002 with their debut Songs About Jane and are still around today with their latest hit Misery.
Makes Me Wonder- Maroon 5

This is again one of those songs you hear the first few beats and know it is Viva La Vida by Coldplay. It is catchy and is still played all over today. How many people actually know the lyrics of this song or the religious imagery used? It is definitely a song known more for its sounds.
Viva La Vida- Coldplay

A pop song that brought together 4 very different artists and accompanied the 2001 movie.
Lady Marmalade- Pink, Christina Aguleria, Maya, and Lil Kim

Mass pop culture following, performance artist, catchy lyrics, huge gay following; the question is who is not following her? Lady Gaga's 2008 song Paparazzi that begged the question do we kill the stars or do they kill themselves?
Paparazzi- Lady Gaga

Arguably one of the best guitar players of this era, his combinations of blues and harmony have made his songs distinctive. John Mayer kept the 2000s alive with his controversies over things like twitter, his relationships with Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and others. He kept us dreaming in the 2000s with his song "No Such Thing."
No Such Thing- John Mayer

Don't be fooled by the rocks that she's got, she's Jenny from the block, your down home Bronx girl who has stayed true to her roots and wants to remind you her love don't cost a thing. Remember, she's now a judge on Idol, and now you've gotta win her over.
Love Don't Cost a Thing- JLo

One of the big mainstream hits for Jason Mraz that is still being played today. Its catchy, carefree lyrics and sound made it one of Mraz' most popular songs.
I'm Yours- Jason Mraz

A rock front girl and a rapper team up and this is what you get. The catchy poppy crossover hit of the 2000s.
The Sweet Escape- Akon and Gwen Stefani

Do you want a piece of her? Your favorite American dream who stepped onto the scene when she was 17, the one who was married for 72 hours, shaved her head when she had a breakdown, and caused her father to be her conservative for a time? Despite all of that she did rear 2 children, she dealt with the paparazzi who's pissing her off, and we still love her- and still want a piece of her. We loved her in 2008 with her hit Piece of Me.
Piece of Me- Britney Spears

So are there any that I missed? Ones that you disagree with? Comment away! I'm anxious to see!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Made a chili I like

I do not like my dad's chili. It is simply kidney beans, ground beef, and chili powder. There's more I'm sure, but that's all I see, and that's not chili. My mission was to make a chili that I really liked over this break. I think I perfected it.

I was on a search to find a good chili, and this is what I made for dinner tonight.

Overall the verdict went like this: my dad didn't like it because his has better ingredients. My mom thought it was good, but not as filling as my dad's. I really liked it.

Great on a rainy night like tonight in So Cal!!!

Adapted from Rachael Ray's Chili Con Carne

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), corn oil or vegetable oil
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 rounded tablespoon chili powder (a palmful)
1 tablespoon grill seasoning (a palmful), such as McCormick brand Montreal Steak Seasoning
1 tablespoon ground cumin (a palmful)
1/2 tablespoon ground coriander (half a palmful)
1 bottle lager-style beer
1 cup beef stock
1 can chunky-style crushed tomatoes (28 ounces) (***I used diced tomatoes)
* I added a can of kidney beans
* I added cheddar cheese to the topping
* I added bacon to the topping
*** There wasn't tons of excess liquid ingredients in the pan, but next time to make it a little less soupy I would take out a little bit of the beef stock and a small bit of the beer.

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat with two turns of the pan of EVOO, about two tablespoons. When the oil ripples, add the ground sirloin and crumble the meat as it cooks, about three minutes. Add the onion and garlic, chili powder, grill seasoning, cumin and coriander. Cook another five minutes.

Add beer and cook another minute, stirring to loosen any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add the stock and tomatoes, and bring to a bubble. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Serve with your favorite chili toppings.

Scolded like a little kid

My mom, sister, and I went to Target today. I was looking at an entertainment stand for my birthday and was checking out what they had at Target. I decided I really didn't like what Target had to offer.

Anyways, my mom, sister, and I find a few things to buy and make our way to the checkout. There were several checkstands going with 3-4 people in each. There were several people waiting at the end of the checkstands along the walls for family/friends. My mom makes her purchase, and my mom starts to walk out since there was really no room to wait without further blocking the aisle leaving the checkouts. We make our way outside and are maybe 10 feet from the door just crossing the parking lot. We are parked at the end of the lot. My sister comes outside and starts yelling "THERE YOU GUYS ARE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO WAIT FOR ME!!!" My mom just turned around, explained there was no place to wait, and we would never leave her, then continued walking to the car. We get to the car and I load the items we purchased in the back. My sister gets in the car and closes the door to the backseat where she is sitting. My mom opens the door, raises her voice, and says something to my sister that started the waterworks. I'm not sure what she said, but my sister was in tears, and my mom made her point. Major props to my mom for taking a stand and not putting up with my sister. All I could do was laugh and think about what a little kid my sister was. It was comical. My sister cried for about a minute or two, and had an attitude the rest of the way home. My mom just opened up her passenger rearview mirror, gave her a look, and that was that. Props to mom!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A wrap up and bringing you up to date

Christmas was awesome!
It actually felt like Christmas this year! I think it was the cooler temperatures and rain that helped. Christmas Eve we opened up gifts. I picked some great gifts for people. I also received from great gifts. I had that whole giddiness that a little child has when it comes to Christmas. It was truly exciting!

Went over to my cousin's house for Christmas. No major drama between the people who did and didn't do Secret Santa- a few people like my Aunt S, did say there are some people who aren't playing by the rules, but then everyone was ok. The food was sooooo good. We had ham, prime rib, ambrosia, fudge, my dad's cheesecake, mashed potatoes, shells and cheese, rolls, 4-5 salads, 7 layer bean dip, onion dip, lots of assorted veggies, boysenberry pie, harvest pie, and much more! Lots of great conversation- everyone was excited for me finishing my credential.

I'm seeing someone
I met him recently on adam4adam. We had been chatting since probably September, and finally met about 2 weeks before I went to Orlando. He is 34, 6', brown hair, and is from NJ, but has lived out here about 4 years. We are both on the introverted side, both very caring and concerned. We both like oldies, pop, rock, and yes, even country. His name is also Mike.

First meet in November: We hung out at his place where we chatted and watched Oprah, How I Met Your Mother, and Jeopardy or something to that affect.

2nd meet sometime after I got back from Florida: We hung out at his place watching TV. We talked for a while and cuddled on the couch. I had to leave about 10:30 because I was tired and it was a school night.

One Date: We went to Chilis for dinner, talked about school, work, and things like that. Then we headed to his place and watched Food Network's Top Chef.

Another Date: We went to an Italian eatery over near his house that was very good. Everything was homemade. After we went to the movies and saw "Burlesque." We had time to kill beforehand, so we grabbed drinks at a bar next to the movie theater and talked about Christmas. We drove back to his place in the pouring rain and fog, singing Christmas carols. I spent the night and we just cuddled most of the night. In the morning we took turns showering, then he made eggs, hash browns, and bread for breakfast. We watched "My Best Friend's Wedding" before I headed home.

Mike has been texting me all week. He is in NJ snowed in. He was supposed to fly back Monday, but the flight was canceled. He was staying with his parents for a week in NJ. We played around on cam together the other night. He asked if I had New Years plans. I said I didn't. He asked if I wanted to go to a party with him. I said sure. He then texted back it was in Santa Barbara and at his cousin's house. Oh. Ok. Um. Ok. I said yes. So I guess that's what I'm doing New Years Eve. We are leaving Friday night and coming back Sunday morning. Hmmmm

Monday, December 27, 2010

The many hats of Leslie Miller

I like Leslie Miller- she's a solid reporter and anchor; she has quite the fashion sense; always has a new hair style; and she's stylish, yet professional.

And she looks great in the studio too.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Birthday Ideas

My birthday is coming up next month and I'm thinking about how I want to celebrate. It is nice that it is on a Saturday and I have the day off. Here's some ideas that appeal to me...

Gonzo, myself, and maybe another friend spend the afternoon/evening getting lost in LA/West Hollywood. This would mean we do some shopping or sight seeing, then grab some dinner either from a gourmet food truck (if it were just Gonzo and I), a small Mexican eatery like Al and Bea's, or a nice restaurant for under $15 a person. A novelty restaurant would be fun like The Original Pantry, Swingers Diner, or Roscoes House of Chicken and Waffles. Then we would go to a club or bar like The Abbey. I have to tell Gonzo this one now if I want it to happen. I do.

A birthday dinner with former coworkers- Gonzo, Viv, Marci, Darla, Eddy, and a few others.

Birthday dinner with a group of friends- Gonzo, Darla, Dennis, The Guy, Robert (The Guy's boyfriend), the guy I am seeing, Jack Off Buddy, his boyfriend, and probably Keith- small, yet intimate.

Since my birthday is on a weekend I plan to milk it for what it is worth. I am thinking maybe a trip with the family and trying something new like the Metro food tour. I just checked the Metrolink schedule to Los Angeles and they no longer travel to my city with the exception of an early and late train each weekend. 6a.m. is so not happening. Boo... hmmm.... I really want to try this, and to not have to deal with parking or any of those other issues would make this worth it. Sightseeing and seeing the city on foot is also appealing. Anyone have any must see places in LA that they love to go to that I need to know about?

As far as restaurants are concerned I know my family wants to take me out and my thoughts are Morton's lunch, my favorite Spanish restaurant, or even a hibachi grill like Benihana, although not Benihana, something local. This would happen if the LA plan is nixed.

All of my ideas seem to revolve around food... lol... well, it is what seems to bring myself and all of my friends together.

The Christmas Anchor Teams

Many of the main anchors in LA news are of course off to spend time with their family. Here's a look at some of the fill in anchor teams.

Let's take a look at some of the anchor teams and hear some commentary:

I'm not sure why KCBS/KCAL hired this snowball, Evelyn Taft. That's the only thing I can think of when I see this dress. Oh, and her Jackie Johnson looks.

Chris and Jen were anchoring on Christmas Eve on NBC4. I am no Schauble fan, and Jennifer is alright; but something about seeing both of them together again post Today in LA was sort of bittersweet.

Love Henry DiCarlo in the mornings. He's hilarious!

Micah Ohlman is still solo anchoring, but Glen Walker has been teamed with newcomer Brandi Hitt. She came to LA from Sacramento where she anchored the 4pm newscast at a station there. I'd still like to see someone more seasoned like Lynette Romero join the 10pm newscast. Hitt seemed like she was trying a bit too hard.

We already know that I liked Leslie Miller filling in for Michelle Tuzee and Ellen Leyva the other day, but I also have to give props to David and Garth. What's not to like? Both guys can be quite amusing and quite sexy.

Phil Shuman and Tony McEwing
No surprise to see Tony on as he is always working the major holidays. It was nice to see 2 males anchoring, especially Phil Shuman. He's one of their best anchors and reporters. Nice to see a strong male unlike Lisa Breck or Jean filling in. He's much easier and much more comfortable to watch than the shifty Jean Martirez who likes to sit crossing her legs at the anchor desk showing off her knees.

And while channel surfing I came across a special treat on Christmas Day. Side view first.
Remember her?

Need a front view?

That's Rachel Boesing!

Oh how I've missed her. She is a features reporter on the show Best of LA that airs on UPN 13. I've caught it before and knew it was her, but this is the first time I could snap some photos for documentation.

I still think any TV station would be smart to pick her up as a weather, features, news, or entertainment reporter.

She still has those sexy glasses.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas to all!!!

I want to wish all of my blog readers a very Merry Christmas!!! I hope all of you get to spend time with the ones you love on this day!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A night out with friends...

Of course this has to be crazy...

I met up with Keith and his regular buddy tonight. Originally it was going to be him, myself, and the owner of the local gay coffee shop. I had never met the owner- only seen him in passing around town.

I headed out to meet Keith and he gave me an address I put into google. Keith couldn't remember the name of the restaurant. The address he gave me was to a local brewery that had moved. It is in a residential area. I go and discover the house that used to be the brewery was now a residence. I didn't do anything stupid like ring the doorbell. I texted Keith at this time and instead gave him a hard time about his incompetence to give good directions, and me, being a native of my city, know where most every place is. He then corrects himself and gives me the correct address. A local pizza shop that used to be brewery on the other side of the freeway- had he told me that, I would have known what he meant.

We get to the pizza shop and we hug, I tell him about his incompetence and tell him of my superiority with directions. He concedes. We place our order, which is a large 100 ounce tower of beer, and a barbecue chicken pizza. I wasn't hungry, but the food went well with the beer. We had the brown ale, which was a bit heavy. I didn't like it that much and it was not that drinkable. We did manage to finish this, though!

We chit chat about anything and everything. We talk about Oprah, Keith's friend talked about Oprah getting raped. I stood up for my girl, Oprah, she has Gayle on her side, plus she's pretty powerful with all her money. Nobody messes with my girl. We talked about Keith's good fortunes as far as work goes. We talked about dancers, guys in tights, and we googled a lot of random stuff that we were curious about. We talked about Tron, which Keith and his buddy had just seen. His buddy said I sound like one of those teachers who probably pisses all the kids off because I am hard or because I say stuff that gets under the kids skin. I then wonder why the kids like me- in some cases that could be me. HAHAHAHA. It was really hilarious. His friend is socially awkward in a way, but he is pretty brilliant, and to hear this was amusing. We also talked about my girl Lady Gaga who was so not cool biting off the head of a bat last night at her concert. That's not hot.


The pizza place started to close about 10p.m. and turned out the lights. We figured that was our cue to head out. We head to the bathroom first. Keith and I stand next to each other at the urinal that has no dividers. His buddy, Roger, goes into the stall. Keith was so checking out my goods. It was obvious. I pulled left hand away to give him a show as I did my business. I was still going when Keith and his friend were done. They joked that I was still going. I said it was my teacher bladder. Keith said he checked out what I had to offer and was impressed. I was still peeing, but ended up laughing so hard I gave up. They joked that I was then pee shy. I turned around and zipped up so they could see... lol.

We go outside and talk in the parking lot. Everything we joked about was sexual. Keith said he snuck a look at my goods and they both wanted to see. I joked and unbuttoned my pants standing in the parking lot. We talked about road head. Keith had a guy give it to him all the way to Vegas, then Keith fuckd him violently once they got to the hotel. It was a guy on his bowling league. We talked about road head and whether or not we've given, received, or seen. Some have seen. Some have given. Some have received. They saw my hands in my jacket near my crotch. I joked they were just wanting to see. I unzipped my pants and gave them a view of my black boxer briefs. I was the man in black tonight wearing all black, so they joked they couldn't see.

And now I'm home..... yay!

The 3 of us may hang out on New Years Eve, along with several other friends we have in common- I may have plans with a guy, but we shall see as time nears.

Mike's Christmas gift to himself

2 pairs of Creative Recreation shoes from their website for $27 a piece - regular $92. A little bit of a departure from what I'd normally wear.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Loving this rain

Almost nonstop rain in So Cal since last Friday- LOVE IT!

Here's some views from today. Sadly, today is the last day.

They say this is the most rain we have received in 10 years. I have heard we received 4 inches yesterday alone.

Lots of flooding throughout my city- a bridge for a major thoroughfare was washed out, several intersections completely submerged by water, a few lowpoints under bridges in our city were flooded lots of mud flow. Lots of new potholes on California's already bad roads, a major interchange closed due to falling concrete from the connector roads.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hottie 3.2 miles from me

There's something hot about this other than him being latino- it's just knowing what he is doing that is not shown.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

My medical premiums pay for this?

A sign to tell me how many stairs I climbed?

It almost makes me want to take the elevator...

Oh, and should I mention the thrive path that you can walk as you walk into Kaiser?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Life update

I haven't submitted the video write up for my teaching credential. I was so stressed and had so many projects on me this week I couldn't get it done. A lot of worry and anxiety about my video- not that it was a bad video- it was excellent- the issue lies in that I didn't have a product from the kids other than notes. I am not sure it is a huge issue, but I'm still finishing the write up portion. It is LONG. I'm only 22 pages in and it proves to be 40+ pages. I still feel the pressure as it is not done, and I hate loose ends. I am wanting to have it done by next Wednesday- that is my goal.

I have had so much grading. I gave a crazy quiz last week with 35 short answer questions I have had to grade for 2 classes.

I had to grade 70 persuasive essays this week.

I am in my last week of student teaching. Tomorrow is the last day. Sad to leave. I'll miss some of the kids a lot.

I had a great day. My first 2 periods went well, my 3rd period was rowdy as usual. I left work at 1:30. I only got to leave early because I took the grading home with me. I went home and graded. I graded quizzes for 40 minutes. I then took off to the informal Christmas get together my mom and Linda decided to put on for the teachers that they both used to work with. There were about 12 of us. It was so wonderful! There were so many faces there I didn't expect- the ones from my mom's birthday party, which I did, but a few others including Mrs. V, Elaine, and Mrs. H. Everyone was so excited to see me, which I found funny. I told them about my student teaching at the high school. They want me back. There is a teacher who has been out all year due to a physical issue. The teachers were all saying they are going to talk to the school mom to get me in. Linda was adamant about that, as was Mr. H. The mom of the school as we call her, our office manager, has a long term sub job coming up for me. I suspicioned she did and emailed her earlier this week. It is 8th grade science and history. She has had other regular subs- husbands and wives of teachers on campus fill in for this teacher. The office manager likes to keep it within the family and she takes care of all of us, and so she's offering the job to me. I love her! I am conflicted about taking the position. I wonder if the 8th graders are out of control. I wonder how good they are. I wonder what we're studying. I'll do it- it is part of my foot in the door. It is what I want. It's also so cool that although many of the teachers are at different schools or have even retired it is such a family and no time had passed- everyone merely picks up where they left off.

I had to leave early and missed hearing all of the stories/conversation. I had school. Tonight was the final night. It was kind of sad since it is the final night and is always kind of sad. It was fun in that I presented my final project, which I was done with over a week ago, and it went very well. I actually somewhat enjoyed this class- I was hardly ever in it. I am having this professor again next quarter, so that's cool. I want a letter of rec from her.

So now I'm home and have a busy weekend...

Keith wants to hang out...
Darla's cousin has a birthday- I'm good friends with her- and she is having a birthday dinner
I have a date... probably


1 word and you know what I'm talking about...
He's that well known.
Garth Brooks.
I was elated to hear there were shows on sale at the Wynn in Vegas thanks to a ticketmaster commercial I heard on the radio this morning. In my mind I was thinking they were expensive. I told myself if the tickets were less than $150 I'd buy one at least.
I get home, log on the computer, and find the tickets are $253 a piece.
There goes my early birthday gift to myself.
Boo to ticketmaster for advertising them all over radio.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

25 Reasons Why I Hate Glee

I have watched nearly every week, and every week have these conclusions running through my mind. I have tried hard to like it, really.

1. The acting
2. The drama
3. Is the drama realistic?
4. The actors don't look like they're in high school and they don't do a good job playing high schoolers. Again, see bad acting.
5. I see real high school drama everyday
6. Very few of their songs are good- the few exceptions are:
- Don't Stop Believin' - but it is getting old quickly
- Don't Stand So Close to Me
- You're Having My Baby
- Run Joey Run
... out of a good 100+ songs seen so far on the show
7. The unrealistic rivalry between the clubs on campus (and staff to an extent)
8. The themes/special guests every week... Olivia Newton John, Britney, Lady Gaga, who else? And all of these songs have yielded really bad remakes of their hits.
9. The kids lie, cheat, steal, and yet they're allowed to be in the glee club? Um... no...
10. Punishment is to be in the glee club?
11. And gleeks, wtf is that? When did being in the glee club become cool?
12. The rather ridiculous cult following.
13. The unrealistic rivalry- Sue pulled the fire alarm during the glee club concert on Tuesday night's episode.
14. Where is the principal?
15. The conniving women
16. The clichés... high school... boy drama... girl drama... the gay guys... fitting in drama... it is a cheap ploy by producers. Friday Night Lights is an example of handling these situations in a much more subtle way.
17. Lack of originality... see the characters above and the stereotypes/characterizations mentioned.
18. The show could choose to tackle the stereotypes and do it in a creative way, but no...
19. There is always a happy ending...
20. Who acts like some of these characters in the show?
21. The overmarketing and milking it for every dollar- iTunes, the Christmas CDs, the constant musical guest specials...
22. The plots all deal with the same thing- pregnant, not pregnant, Sue is mad, Sue is not mad... same thing week after week
23. Of course you had to have a gay guy...
24. The drama/stories I see on this show can't even begin to compare to what I see in real life on a daily basis.
25. How put on, fake, and realistic does this scene below look- especially with the wheelchair boy and him pumping iron, or let alone on the football field?
26. ... AND A BONUS REASON... is it quantity over quality with the songs and the many new songs each week?

Maybe it is the underdog story that appeals to people?

Glee is at best a wannabe "Grease" that falls far short...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

An obvious sign my sister doesn't respect me...

Here's what she put on the name tag for my Christmas gift...

Everyone else received proper names...

Monday, December 13, 2010

A dream I think I can interpret

I so rarely remember my dreams. I know experts say you dream every night during your REM sleep, which is at least 4 times a night.

I am going to sound so gay after sharing my dream from last night...

I did have a dream I remember last night, and I think I can interpret the meaning for a change.

I was so gay. I was feeling stressed. I went to Starbucks for a frappuccino and decided I needed to relax. I sat at a table inside the Starbucks texting Gonzo. I told her I needed a me day. She was telling me about something that happened on Jersey Shore. We were texting about acronyms and the now infamous GTL day. She suggested I hit the gym instead of drink my Starbucks, go tanning, and then work on my laundry. I told her I was feeling a GAP day... not the store. I was feeling a GET A PEDICURE day. I go in to the salon to get a pedicure and feel embarrassed because I'm the only guy, but quickly tune out everything around me. I pull out my laptop to get to work on some paper I have to write and soon another male friend joins me. I never saw who the friend was, just their hairy legs, and remember being instantly turned on. I put the computer away and was transfixed on his hairy legs, nicely manicured toes, and anklet around his ankle. I think it was my straight best friend? We talked about random stuff like the weather and news we saw on TV.

So I think this means that I'm a bit stressed. I need to have a me day and relax. I need to treat myself.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Carols - or not

Everyone and their mother has a Christmas CD, and everyone and their mother's Christmas CD is being played on KOST 103.5 or KOLA 99.9 right now during their nonstop holiday songs.

Here are some songs they should never play... these people should never be allowed to sing Christmas songs...

Just about any country artist should never sing Christmas carols- and that includes George Strait- a man who can do almost no wrong in country music

Taylor Swift- Santa Baby -it lacks any sort of sexiness

Last Christmas- Wham - go get your heart back

Clint Black - wtf?

George Strait - KFROG plays this WAAAAAAAAAAAAY too much

Other no-no Christmas song artists include: Cascada, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Rascal Flatts

But these artists should be the only ones allowed to sing Christmas carols...

The list includes: The Carpenters, Trans Siberian Orchestra, Brenda Lee, The Jackson 5, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Burl Ives

The Crystals

The Ronettes

The Supremes

The Beach Boys

Gene Autry

Vanessa Williams

Dean Martin

Some notable exceptions of artists who can sing Christmas carols


Kelly Clarkson

Martina McBride

Faith Hill

What do you guys think? I want to hear- is there some artist that should just not sing Christmas carols? A Christmas song you just can't stand? A favorite Christmas artist?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Family blame

My dad and mom went to my dad's Christmas Party at work for the first time ever- he'd never gone, but wanted to go this year. It's cool that after working at the school so many years he's finally getting out doing things like this.

As they were coming home they got a call from my aunt in Oklahoma. She was crying because my aunt in Nor Cal's husband was calling blaming my mom as well as her for my aunt's heart attack. My aunt in Nor Cal had a heart attack Thursday or Friday I guess. My uncle in Nor Cal blamed my aunt and mom for practically sending her to her death bed. She is so stressed about everything that it is no doubt she had one. My mom assured my aunt that it is probably the stress as she is finally getting caught up in all of her lies and to not let my aunt's husband put all of the blame on her. No surprise she didn't call us. There have been 2 significant events that happened this week that have been sort of victories regarding my aunt and my grandma's estate. I think my aunt is finally realizing the little things she has done that helped us with those victories and will really hurt her monetarily and hurt her reputation.

When I heard the news of the heart attack I can't say I felt sadness. I felt good about it after the way she treated my grandma. I was more in disbelief, and not really sad, just surprised. This is the woman who preaches she drinks red wine for heart health, eat lots of veggies, play tennis, everything is about taking care of your health and body; yet she didn't encourage my grandma or enable her to do that, but I digress. Anyways, when my parents told me this I had a hard time getting my head around it. She had a heart attack. My aunt is in her mid 60s. She has never had a health scare like this before and her health always seems to be better than the rest of the family. She has to have some sort of splint as it was explained to me to fix the problem caused by the heart attack. I'm getting all of the details thirdhand.

Heart problems run on that side of the family, which concerns me. I deal with a lot of stress- not that my stress is any greater than anyone else- but I worry when I feel anxiety, when my heart races. I deal with a lot of stress- stuff with my aunt (not so much anymore), personal stuff- being gay and the things I have never told my mom or dad. I deal with work and school. I do like stress to an extent- healthy stress- the pressure of deadlines at work and school- the pressure to plan a great lesson- the pressure of being observed- the pressure to do a good job for my students. I know that I can't take on too much and I do know when to push away and withdrawal. I've done the withdrawal aspect in many ways with issues related to my aunt. I do try to do my best to work out and eat right, to help relieve stress and stay in good shape. That isn't enough- I still have anxiety issues, and I know that is not good. I have an issue I mentioned- I have a fast pulse. The allergist told me I am a walking time bomb for a heart attack and I was barely 21. I still carry that thought in the back of my head that I could be killing myself.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A most cathartic night

I had the craziest idea this morning going to work- seriously- I was thinking as I was getting out of my car wouldn't it be funny if my cousin from Oklahoma were in town. NO JOKE. SERIOUSLY. It seemed like a crazy day- it was- and she always seems to show up on those crazy days. I hadn't seen her in 3 years since the leaf blower experience.

I had texted my cousin back and forth only once or twice over the past 3 years. Suddenly at 12:30 today I get a text from her as I'm going to lunch. She asks what I'm up to tonight. At first I thought someone got her old number since she never picked up the phone when I would call I assumed it was out of service. I texted back I had school, but could get out of that. I then asked if she was in California, and she wrote back San Diego. I said let's meet. I said I had a seminar from 5-6 at school that I had to attend, but after we could. I would go to class for a little bit since missing 1 class drops you a letter grade. I got a call from her about 6:30 and stepped out to take it. I felt bad- I'm not one to do that- but I hadn't seen her in 3 years. I excused myself, then when the students were working I told her that I had a family emergency just come up and she told me to go. I headed down to Temecula to see my cousin. I had texted her a Mexican restaurant I found on yelp that turns out doesn't exist anymore.

So I drive down there- we are both running behind and get there about 8. She was ahead of me and couldn't find the restaurant. She went up and down Highway 79 trying to find the restaurant. Finally I call and tell her I couldn't find it. I pulled in a random shopping center I'd pulled in before and had eaten at the Jack in the Box. I told her that she was nearby me and to come there. It just so happens there was a Mexican restaurant in the lot, and she wanted Mexican. It was Los Tacos. First of all, the tacos at Los Tacos weren't great. I had a taco al pastor, de lengua, y de res. But a huge shout out to them for staying open an extra hour and letting us stay until 10p.m. while they cleaned up so we could talk.

So she has a hard time finding me. I stand on the street corner, then she finally comes up to the shopping center. I run through the parking lot back to my car. She comes in her little HHR rental car and stops, gets out, comes running, and hugs me. It was a deja vu moment. We hug, she turns off the car, and we head inside. We spend lots of time looking at the menu and she can't get over that there is tongue, brain, and other icky stuff on the menu. She told me how adventurous she was for trying hummus.

We chit chat about everything- me, my grandma, my sister, my parents. She tells me about her life, the loss of her dad this year, the loss of her best friend. She was practically in tears. I told her about the difficulties with my aunt over my grandma and was nearly in tears too. She talked about practically raising my lesbian cousin's kids since she is always off with her lesbian lover. She didn't bad mouth her or anything, just that she wishes she would be a responsible parent because her kids resent her. She broke out crying telling me how she wants kids of her own so badly and her 13 year marriage just failed. I was crying from all the laughter too- in a restaurant- we forgot there were others around us- the workers. We talked about our passions. She manages a fast food restaurant, but she talked about how she has been doing it for 10 years and is really reaping the rewards- company car, cell phone, a sabbatical every couple years. She has had 16 weeks of vacation time this year. Now- disregard she turned down Harvard to do this. We are both truly content where we are and we both tooted our own horns for how successful we have been. Anyways, she told me how she is the planner. We talk about our love for planning, being ahead, getting things done early, and overall satisfaction for our hindsight. This conversation dominated during the night. She seemed so much happier than when I'd saw her 3 years ago. She lost a lot of weight, was wearing more stylish clothes, and had a much more confident side I had not seen. As we saw the restaurant getting ready to close my cousin asked that the lady working would take pictures of us, and she did. We took a couple silly ones. We went out, got in my car, and just talked. It was so fun!!! We talked about our love of travel, random trips, random friends who are up for anything, and how even in our randomness/crazy days we schedule/plan our randomness to an extent. SOOOOOOO TRUE. She is like my long lost sister. The bond we had was crazy. When I made statements like long lost sister we hugged. We playfully hit each other. I showed her up in my planning as I have dental floss and a toothbrush in my car, hand cream, gum, and gloves. She only hand hand cream and sanitizer. She was tickled by that. I told her about Florida. She told me about Europe. She told me about Vegas. I told her about my Vegas experiences. We are going to try to keep in better contact. So much that we still didn't get to say to each other...

Anyways, I have to say I left with a huge smile on my face tonight and felt such an anxiety from my chest lifted. I still, nearly an hour and 30 minutes later don't feel the anxiety in my chest that I have had all week. She truly made my week!!!!

And on a more serious note I am thinking of visiting my doctor about regular anxiety meds. I've had a pretty constant anxiety over the past several weeks. :-\

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

2 tense weeks

Here's a look at the next 2 weeks- everything comes in 2s...
- 2 more weeks of student teaching
- 2 more weeks of my masters class
- 2 more observations by my observer at the university (1 down today)
- 2 more discussion board posts for my masters class
- 2 more journals for my masters class
- 2 more assignments for my masters class- a paper and a final (a lesson plan?)
- 2 days- my goal- for how long it will take me to complete my write up on the lesson plan I videotaped yesterday (about 10 hours)
- 2 more gifts to buy for Christmas - that number could change
- 2mm is about how long my fuse is for anyone that wants to mess with me right now. ;-) ... but who would do that, it's Christmas!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wine purchase

I went grocery shopping like usual today, and now that I am teaching in the same community that I am working in I have the tendency to see students. I saw Cyndy last week and Pete today. It wasn't a big deal and I said hello. Pete and his mom started following me and we both stopped at the meat counter at the same time, the produce, and then finally I went over into the liquor section. I never go over there except when we need cooking wine, as was the case today. We needed a white wine for a pasta and a new chicken recipe I want to try. I get the wine without thinking and carry it to the cart that is sitting in the produce section with my sister. It is obvious by Pete's stares that he saw me with it, and obviously I was being judged for doing the wrong thing. I just kind of laughed about it in my mind that these stories I had heard about teachers who get caught buying alcohol finally happened to me. Oh, and to make matters worse it was just my sister and I at the store- my dad was next door shopping. Who knows what kind of message this poor soul got...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Limo to Margaret Cho

LOL... there's sooooo many good titles for this post, but so much to talk about.

I have been like a rockstar the past 24 hours with a limo, good food, drugs, my entourage, and good music.

I get off work yesterday and have a text from my cousin asking me if I want to go to Disneyland. I said "we'll see," but didn't give her a definite answer as I was just getting home and had a few things in my mind from work that I needed to deal with before I could think about going. About this time around 3p.m. I get a call from The Guy, which totally perplexed me. Friday, date night, and I get a call from him. We chit chat for a moment and then he asks if I want to go to see Margaret Cho with him, his boyfriend, and Jeff. Zach was supposed to go, but was sick. He told me to meet at his place at 5. I have a few errands to run since I was suddenly going out for the night, and run those. The Guy calls asking if I can pick up Jeff since he is mostly on my way. I said sure. That made me a little late getting to The Guy's at 5. It was a pretty cool drive with Jeff. We found stuff to talk about, which doesn't always happen. We talked about the new DMV licenses and how long it takes to get your license now in the mail.

We pull up to The Guy's house and there is a limo outside of his wing of condos. Jeff jokes there's our limo. I said with some hesitance, in a funny way, "of course!" Jeff and I walk in and the party had started long ago. All you could smell was pot. I run to the restroom and everyone takes a few hits, then the entourage heads out. We all have on our jeans and black zip down jackets. It was pretty hot. I was kind of stunned this whole time- we're taking a limo to a concert? Who does this kind of stuff? Apparently The Guy did this a few months back when the 4 of them went to another concert.

I sit next to The Guy, which is just because of the order we got in the limo. He suggests we move seats so his boyfriend could sit next to him, and that was alright with me. That put me in the DJ seat. I got to control the radio. I found 1043 MYFM and they were playing Katie Perry's "Teenage Dream." We had a serious discussion about Katie. We give her a lot of props. She has really catchy songs, which is why we like her. Her music is also so happy. A lot of the music pre-Katie was sort of a downer like some of Pink's stuff came to mind in the discussion like U+Ur Hand- we like the song, but it's a downer. Katie's stuff is all happy.

The Guy and Robert trade seats with me to adjust the air in the limo, which we were having a hard time doing. Then I started really having a blast. They asked me what each song was that was playing on MYFM. I am the musical guru- I know it all. The Guy asked who was playing as it came on and I told him it was Daughtry's "September." He told me how good I was. Apparently there was a RDS display to show in the limo. I told him I was. I said I was like Shazam. We talked about the 90s movie Shazam and debated whether it was Sinbad or Shaq in the movie- I said Shaq- and after googling it discovered I was right, just like Shazam. I identified and kept everyone abreast for their listening pleasure of what was playing- we heard Pink's "Raise Your Glass," "I Ran," by Flock of Seagulls, "Photograph" by Nickelback, Santeria, "Live LIke You're Dying" by Kris Allen, and some "Stay" by Lisa Loeb.

We were also belting out the songs as they came on, and the rum and coke/Pepsi in the limo helped all of that happen. Jeff had 2 half rum and half diet cokes and was wasted. We talk about how we need a sunroof to stick our heads out of, and we were so having an AbFab moment where we thought we might have to just use the emergency exit as a sunroof.

We get to The Wiltern about 6:45 and we are let out by our limo driver. How fun was that getting out and being stared out like "who are we?" That was fun. We decided we were The 4 Boys if anyone asked.

We wait outside the Wiltern for a few moments, but the line was sooooooo long and Jeff and I had to go to the bathroom so bad. He flirted with the cashier at Dennys to let us use the bathroom at Dennys. It was hilarious in the bathroom- Jeff used the urinal and SO I went in the stall to do my business. I didn't close the door and Jeff felt he needed to protect me from any guys who wanted to rape me- that's how I knew he was gone. LOL. My teacher bladder as I call it was full and I was taking a really long time, and Jeff was becoming increasingly worried that I would be raped.

We get outside and The Guy and Robert are about to walk in. We walk in and make our way to the snack bar for the M&M bag cookies and to the HRC booth for = stickers and our Legalize Gay shirts. We get those, make our way upstairs to our seats, and then Robert and I head to the bathroom. While on our way he asks me about an acquaintance we both have in common and we talk about other random friends. SOOOOOOOO FUN AND COOL THAT HE KNOWS THE SAME PEOPLE I DO. The people he knows are much more of the party people and very much on the party scene, but I know them as I did go to school with them. We go get more M&M cookies, then head back to our seats. I get back to my seat and Jeff wants me to go to the bathroom with him. I go with him and he comes out of the bathroom telling me how worried he was I would leave him and he'd have to "rely on the kindness of strangers."

We get back to our seats and the show is about to begin.

The opening act is pretty funny- John Roberts opened and he wore the wig seen in this video and used many different wigs to tell basically the story of his life and all the different types of girls you meet. It was pretty funny.

Oh, and the Margaret clip above was just at the point where it was kind of getting funny. The joke between The Guy and everyone the rest of the night was about the olive oil squirts and bombs it makes. We were all laughing pretty much the entire time. The ending was good- she had the LA Gay Men's Chorus on stage with her singing one of her songs. Yes, Cho sang and played the guitar, and even sang country. She has a good singing voice.

Back in the limo we decide to just head home. Again, I am Shazam, and I provide all the song titles. We heard some Hella Good from NoDoubt, Apologize by One Republic, and a few others. The Guy's boyfriend has a high voice like mine, but dang, he can belt out a tune pretty well. I'm jealous. The Guy talks about what a stoner he has become and how he is constantly high. I believe it. He talks about pot brownies, lollipops, and all sorts of other things he can now buy.

We get back to The Guy's place about 11:30. We are all hungry and he orders 3 pizzas from Round Table while encouraging everyone to do pot with him. Some did... let's just say some people there were higher than a kite by the night was over, some people were really touchy, others became very feely. I had some good and interesting conversations with everyone I do have to say. I enjoyed discussing all of the celeb gossip with Jeff- are Jake and Taylor meant to be? It was a sight... everyone was still friends today. I shudder as it was not a scene I really like to be around mainly because pot possession/being under the influence of pot could cost me my teaching credential just like that. I was so exhausted by the time things were winding down as it was about 2:30a.m. and didn't feel like driving Jeff back to his place- his actual house- not where he was when I had picked him up earlier in the afternoon, so I sort of told him I am spending the night. I just laid back on the couch and closed my eyes. I felt really spacey trying to fall asleep- I think it was just me being uncomfortable about the whole situation. I felt bad for not taking Jeff back to his place, felt bad for staying with The Guy, and other stuff like that. Gah, guilt. Part of it was my fault for being a little adventurous...

Robert has to go to work at 5:15 and I move my car from behind his so he can go to work. I fall back asleep until about 9. It was 11 or so before The Guy began stirring. He had awaken about 5:15 to do the dishes, light candles, and say goodbye to his boyfriend. I just laid on the couch and dozed.

At 11 or so we got up and ate some leftover pizza. Jeff and The Guy played WOW while I played on my phone. We watch some "Law and Order SVU" and "House." I had never seen "House," and let me say I HATE IT. House had some good 1 liners here and there, but he's the kind of guy I just want to slap because he is so unproductive. The Guy was taking hits all day. It was pretty relaxing. The Guy's boyfriend gets home about 5 and plays WOW for a few hours before everyone decides they are hungry. He says he'll make chicken enchiladas, so The Guy and he take off to the store to get the ingredients. He makes them in the kitchen while everyone hangs back watching "House." The enchiladas turned out pretty good. He used a green sauce, and a can sauce instead of red sauce. They were mostly gringo enchiladas, much different from my chicken enchiladas, but they were good. La salsa con tomates helped make them good.

After we eat it is 8p.m. and Jeff wants to head out. Yay! The Guy gives me my Christmas gift- its a little box- I'm guessing an Apple TV, but I'm not sure. It could be anything. What we do know (Jeff, Robert, The Guy, and I all determined) is that it was bought on amazon because it was professionally wrapped by amazon. We discussed our lack of wrapping abilities- well, except for me. I can wrap. The Guy said everything he orders on amazon this month regardless of what it is is being giftwrapped because it helps put him in the holiday spirit, and for $3.99 each item it is a good investment. LOL. I wish I'd brought my gift for The Guy since he had mine. I'm sure we'll meet again soon and I can give him mine.

Jeff and I head out. We talk about AUX ports in cars and how some have them, some don't. As we are heading through Fontana the traffic in the fast lane starts to slow. It slows a couple times and I get nervous as people may have not been paying attention. I see a car swerve from the fast lane to the center divider area to the right lane. This guy was all over the road. I was 3 cars behind him. We follow him for about a mile, then Jeff says he'll call 9-1-1. I'm glad he did. Apparently the guy was probably very drunk and we were not the first to call. We get a call from a CHP officer as we were driving and he asked where we were because he was using us, who eventually passed the drunk driver for our safety to gauge where we were so he could go pull the guy over. I was surprised though how far down the freeway the officer was in relation to where we were when we made the call. I guess that's simply because of who was available and in the area, but I can assume they got the guy. I hope.

I dropped Jeff off and told him I had a great time, then took off. I got home about 9:30.

Great convo, great friends, true friends, good memories, and a night of laughter. What could be better?

My friend from school on facebook commented how my life is so boring after I said I was going to go see Margaret Cho in a limo. lol. I love how my life is so unpredictable. I have those moments sometimes where even I don't know how my life will be in 5minutes because I may be suddenly doing something totally different and going somewhere different.

And so completes a successful weekend with The 4 Boys!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Sister's interpretations

Another post too good to pass up from last night. I drove my sister to Kaiser I forgot to mention before the whole Kaiser debacle. I was blabbing about anything and everything during our car ride and here are the conclusions my sister reported to my parents based on our conversations...

My comment: Is this the only Marvin Gaye song they play? That's gay. I can't stand him.

Sister's conclusion: Obviously I'm racist because Marvin Gaye is black and secondly I'm making fun of the gays. Her Imaginary Boytoy is black and obviously I don't like him. It's probably because he is taller than me.

My comment: Grandma's a little slow- she should go to the park and park it, park it like its hot. (points to the park off to the right and burst out the Snoop Dogg lyrics.)

Sister's conclusion: Obviously I'm not religious and I'm making fun of old people, and making fun of people is bad. I was also singing, which was bad, hurt her ears, and caused her to get a headache.

My comment: (There was an Asian guy in an Acura turning into the church we were passing) Most people would be in a hurry to go "a cura" (my attempt to be funny using the guy's car make and a (el) cura, which in Spanish translates to "the pope.") pero este hombre no.
Sister's conclusion: I'm making fun of Asian guys, which at no point did it come up that I was, and I was making fun of a holy figure.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The sign does not lie

I have blogged over and over about my displeasure with Kaiser. I was so tired of the 30+ minute wait sometimes to get my allergy shot. I was tired of the downright rude nurses. I was tired of everything. I decided to file a complaint dealing with several of the issues. Poor customer service drives me crazy like no other.

I emailed the member's services department about 3 weeks ago. Within 24 hours I received a phone call from a pleasant woman who was sympathetic to my issue. She told me that she would forward the complaint to the head of the department and the nurse's supervisor. I said great. In the meantime I contacted the nurse's supervisor who told me this was not her issue and didn't know why I was emailing her. I forwarded that to member's services, and what was so lovely about it was that she did this on the Kaiser email system.

I receive a letter stating one of my claims- my objection to their wait time was rejected. They are still investigating the poor customer service complaint.

When i get to Kaiser tonight I check in and am helped within 4 minutes. I timed it. With this new system they have in place to get your shots that doesn't happen. I was pleasantly surprised. I think I made the nurse's supervisor mad last time that she told them to take me immediately. When she gave me her cell phone number in her email a few weeks back I promptly put it in my phone. I decided to call the woman the last time I got my shot and it was a 21 minute wait to get my shot with only 2 people ahead of me- both my mom and sister. I said that was unacceptable even by the calculations she gave me that they should be able to help 4 people every 20 minutes. I decided I would keep her number handy and just use it to inform her about my dissatisfaction anytime I'm sitting in the waiting room and the wait is over what she says it should be. I've had issues before with Kaiser and know persistence pays off. I am all about customer service and treating customers right- they haven't been. That pisses me off more than anything.

But back to tonight. I was helped within 4 minutes. Right after I received my shot the door to the other side of the clinic opened and the doctor, as well as the nurse's supervisor were there calling my name. I pretended to ignore them, then turned around. Both of them said they needed to talk to me privately. They told me how they were tired of my complaints because now they have a bad service record to deal with, but also their policies for things such as the wait for shots and the wait after your allergy shot had never changed. I told them both that I found it very unprofessional they cornered me so to speak like this and I would be contacting Kaiser further about this. Secondly, I could even prove to them about the wait time after the shot. I walked out of the doctor's office and picked up the damn sign which said only a 15 minute wait. She tried to tell me that was a mistake and it has always been a 30 minute wait. I said the sign does not lie. I repeated the sign does not lie. I told her that I have received the shots for 15 years and only in the past 2 years have you had to wait. She said that was not the case. I have a feeling the sign will be gone by next week. I said that my issue lied in that the nurses refuse to budge one bit if you come in 29 minutes after your shot and obviously now their signage is wrong. They will only see you 30-40 minutes after your shot. The greater issue was the wait time before and the wait time after- a weekly allergy shot can be a 2 hour trip. She said that I could leave after my shot, but I wouldn't get the full dose the next time. I am also taking my life into my own hands and I could die. I told her I'd take those risks. I'm daring.

I went back and waited in the waiting room. My mom was running late and so I actually had time to wait the 30 minutes today. When I went back to get my shot checked the nurses were extra friendly toward me. They know I complained, which is awkward, and I'm not really alright with the fact the nurse's supervisor and doctor told who filed the complaint- another issue I have. But I received a release form to not have to wait after allergy injections and my dosage would not be impacted.


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hair teaser

Kind of random, but that's how I am. Here's a photo of me snapped tonight. The only reason this is of significance is because of what I have done to my hair. When I got a haircut 3 weeks back the lady had just finished bleaching someone else's hair before me and had a little bleach left over. She asked if I wanted to go back to blonde. I said NOT FULLY BLONDE, but a little bleach would be alright for highlights sake. My hair right now is a light to medium brown. Also, I still have to look professional and so bleaching was probably not the best thing, but highlights were fine. So I let her... and here's the results. I know bleaching is so 3-4 years ago, but I actually really like the change since it is temporary.

What do you guys think? Next time I may be more adventurous and go with dark and light highlights.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

In a crowded room I feel alone

I really don't know why, but I've had sort of a funky feeling day. I guess the best way to sum it up would be in a crowded room I still feel alone like I'm craving some interaction I'm just not getting. Spent the day out with the familia and went to Costco, Joann Fabrics for a Secret Santa gift, and Macys. Oh, and I submitted the 3rd major 40 page document I have to submit for my credential. Progress! 1 more 40 page write up based on the videotaped lesson. I do feel accomplished if anything...

Maybe I need to get out for a day con amigos... probably

Friday, November 26, 2010

Orlando Wrap Up

First of all, a huge thanks for a great guy who served as my driver, tour guide, and friend on my trip to Orlando. I absolutely loved all of the random facts and history that he had to share. I love little random facts/history.

I had a blast!!!

The weather was perfect, and better than what we were experiencing in California. We're talking about 80 near the day and 60 at night. It was pretty comfortable. I came home to 60 degrees and wind today.

I enjoyed the talking, shopping, hanging out, visiting Epcot, Universal City Walk, Downtown Disney, good food like some arroz con pollo, got to Experience my first Five Guys, a random bar for 90s night, and the friendship.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Toda la drama Thanksgiving Edición

I'm home safe and sound from Orlando. I had such a wonderful time! I will definitely debrief about Orlando and post some pics, but let's talk about Thanksgiving.

Dinner at my aunt's sister's daughter's house. One of those warped family relations... lol.

2 cousins, both sisters, were arguing nonstop as they were preparing dinner about where this was, how to arrange this, what to do with that, and it got pretty heated. Every sentence ended in the word bitch I'm pretty sure. 10 minutes later they were best friends.

As we sat down to dinner all was well.

After dinner another cousin, one of the cousins mentioned above's daughters ran into a tree with her mom's monster SUV and nearly took out another cousin's car. This girl just got her license 2 months ago and thought she could weave around parked cars. Thankfully I was smart and parked on the other side so my mom's new car was safe. There was just a ding to bumper of the SUV and the tree was a small pine that was a total loss. The pine tree had about a 3'' circumference trunk. Another cousin, a police officer, ran out after her, flagged her down, and took the keys away as she tried backing down the street because she thought it was safer than driving forwards. Her mom just screamed and said that she can get 1 break since she's only had her license 2 months.

Lots of drama over how to do Christmas. Traditionally there are about 30 of us and everyone gets a gift from everyone, so there was some controversy over whether to continue that with the economy. It was about half and half, lots of yelling. In the end we're going to try Secret Santa and see how that goes. Lots of ruffled feathers STILL. I got the hardest person to shop for, by the way, one of the boys who I may have a 3-4 line conversation with every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter. My mom got the easiest person to buy for.

Oh, and my sister's Imaginary Boytoy's little cousin died. Sister got a call shortly after we finished eating and she ran out of the main room with her eyes filled of tears bawling. She was very defensive and bitchy the rest of the night. I never saw her take the call or anything. All I know is that everyone had to calm her mass hysterics. They did that for a few minutes and then just kind of let my sister be. Thank goodness. And you know what, it pissed me off more than anything. She doesn't shed a tear when anyone else dies/is hurt, and suddenly such a distant person, and the world is going to end? Please... Oh, and then about 30 minutes before we took off the boy was alive, suddenly living, yet had a reaction to something at dinner? Ok...

Oh, and I had the best time with my Cousin M, she was hilarious. After the sister and her boyfriend's cousin incident she said, "Mike, why doesn't your sister ever bring her boyfriend, she always talks about him, we need to meet him." I said, "I know, you guys should, in fact I should get to too." She laughed, and I said I call him the Imaginary Boytoy because she never goes out with him, she stays at home all the time. She laughed and told me how hilarious that was. I've only seen my sister and her boyfriend once...

But overall it was really fun sitting around talking. The crazy part is after each incident everything went back to being completely normal. Everyone was friends. Whatever had happened had been forgotten. There were 25 of us at the start of dinner, but then there were 34 people by a couple hours after dinner when random friends of the family trickle in who don't have family and stuff like that.

It was COLD here- 60 degrees for a change- but windy. The windy part I could have lived without, but it kept most of us indoors. It was really nice to just sit around and go from group to group chatting with everyone since it was too cold to go outside