Move It ... I

It's interesting how we take certain luxuries for granted, how in this material world we have started seeing all sorts of things as necessities. For instance, after my last trip overseas (a month ago), I brought back a luggage case with clothes and items in it that I "absolutely needed to have on-hand" while back here. That suitcase remained untouched for the most part until last week.

Clearly, a lot of things I thought I wouldn't really be able to live without, I already had been! It means that my life really could be a lot simpler, a lot fewer headaches.

Packing for a move really brings this to light. I've lived in this apartment for three years now, and it's incredible how much crap I've accumulated. And it's interesting because usually I "find" things that I forgot I had -- which means I didn't really need to have it around.

Packing for a move really brings that to light, too. Because in packing, one hopes to reduce one's moving volume as much as possible -- after all, volume and weight become dollars when you pay someone to ship that stuff for you.

So here I go, trying to lighten the load ...

Tryptophanic Thoughts

The holiday season is upon us again. And this year, I was asked this question:

"What are you thankful for this year?"

I'd never been asked that before, and I didn't have a really good answer. So in the tradition of passing uncomfortable or awkward situations along, what are you thankful for this year?

An Unsaid Connection

Over IM.

"I know that even though you were with [heR], I knew your heart was with mE."

There has to be something amazingly cosmic, something soulmate-ish about that. Because sHe was right.

The Lime Part is Key

So I was watching the Food Network some time ago ... it was an episode on Florida, and all the secret places to go. I think it was Rachel Ray's "$40 a Day", actually. And they had a little bit on key limes and what they can make with it.

Then it suddenly dawned on me that I've never had key lime pie before. Ever in my life. I imagine it just tastes like creamy limes in a pie, but I wouldn't mind trying a good one. So last night, while dining with friends at Max's Opera Cafe -- where the waiters sing live while you dine, it's pretty cool -- I tried some.

It was alright. And I had a second opinion that it wasn't very good (since I didn't have much basis for this). So ... what's a decent/good place in the Bay Area to get some for my second key-lime tasting?

Hey, Hey, It's Friday Night!

Hmmm ... Friday night again. The weekend lies ahead, promising relaxation and errands undone. So ... exactly why is it that in the past month or two, every Friday night, I've been at the office until past 9pm, even though I never stay past 630pm any other night? Oh, that's right: because I have no life. [sigh]

GTI = Gone Today Indefinitely

Tomorrow is the lease maturity date for my GTI. Can't believe it's already been 3 years with that car. But the timing is actually pretty good, since I wouldn't really have needed it for much longer anyhow.

So yesterday, I gave it a quick wash -- kind of like a last supper -- and this morning, I brought it in to the dealership. We did the paperwork to transfer it back (which was surprisingly quick and painless), and I left without the car.

A new (auto) era has begun.


I have blogger's block. I have no idea what to write about, and my usually-loquacious self (at least in writing) has run out of things to say. Must fix that somehow.

Birthday Planning

I feel like I'm pretty lucky to have a birthday where my birthday is. I suppose it sounds funny to say that, but there's a method to my madness. (Usually, there's just a lot of madness.)

For instance, consider the birthdays that fall near major holidays -- kind of sucks, doesn't it? Christmas babies, New Years' babies, etc. Their birthdays get somewhat overshadowed by those other celebrations and sometimes lost in the shuffle.

Christmas is a fine example of how people will combine their gifts. My brother's birthday falls near Christmas -- yes, every year, it turns out. And thus he's cursed with havnig combo birthday-xmas gifts -- yes, every year -- and we all know that in these cases, the total isn't always equal the sum of the parts! So he kind of gets gypped in the gift department! In years gone, my sister and I have tried to avoid doing that to him. It sucks, and I sympathize.

And around Christmas and Thanksgiving, you'd be lucky if most of your friends were even still in town to celebrate with you, instead of heading home for the holidays!

I suppose birthdays near Valentine's Day would mean combo events for the couple, but I would hope that wouldn't happen -- there should be a "public" party for the birthday, and another more intimate one for the couple. You shouldn't really skimp out on that.

oh yeah? blow meOne interesting birthday is my high school friend's: June 12. It's not near enough Canada Day or the Fourth of July, so it doesn't sound so bad. Except as students in high school, that period was always busy: everyone was always too nervous about final exams to celebrate with him. And when he becomes a father -- if he hasn't already, I aven't caught up with him recently -- its proximity to Father's Day will also come into play, and he'll again be the recipient of Combo Gifts.

The worst part is that you really have no say in the matter -- you can't really move your birthday to a more convenient date, can you? All I'm saying is that, while you may be relaxing on a Friday, please plan your future children's birthdays carefully, okay?

Net Gains, or Net Losses?

I have to admit that time management and discipline was never one of my strong traits. I wish it weren't true. Though I am improving, I'm not where I want to be yet, and I get pissed at myself for not being better about it.

After all, I'm in the worst situation possible: I have a job.

oops, just dropped my changeSounds strange, but here's why. Having a job is kind of a safety net. We walk the tightrope knowing that if we fall, the net is there, and that net becomes our comfortable minimum. So naturally, we aren't afraid to keep walking that rope. Put us out there with the comfort of such a net, and let us chase our dreams to make things different. Better different. I agree completely with that logic -- our safety net should allow us to venture further with a "homeland" security -- but I'm somehow doing the exact opposite.

We can always "come home" to the 9-to-5 if our ventures out there don't work, right? But instead, what do we do? We don't venture. We say we're too tired from our jobs to do anything else. The Job takes up too much time. The Job makes us depressed, and we need to rest at night to recupe for The Job in the morning.

It's clear that that Job isn't a safety net. It's a net that we bump our heads into. We're not above that Job net; we're beneath it. And that is the problem. We should be mentally (and motivationally) be climbing on the net to use it as safety.

That's why I say that having The Job is worse than, say, not having That Job. Because you have to risk something to gain something: true of investments, true of love, true of almost anything. So, what are you willing to sacrifice? Are you willing to sacrifice The Job? Most of us, much as we say we are, aren't. And we become entrapped by the very Job that we should be trying to escape.

But I see the light now. This all changes very soon. Soon, things will be very changed. And today, as I swap for an upper decade, I see that pieces are in place.

In The Privacy Of ...

What do you do when you're at home, but don't do when you're in public? There are people picking their noses in the privacy of their own cars, somehow believing that we can't see them. (But we can, we really can, though we kind of wish we couldn't.) What do you do that you just prefer to do not in front of people? Let's keep it clean, please. I sometimes sing (badly) at the top of my lungs. Now you.

Uncommon Scents

Ever experience an intense lesson with your nose? You're walking (or driving) along the street and a subtle waft of something in the air peaks your interest. And when you first get that whiff, it's almost like you can't really tell because it might smell like something else. Something you remember really liking, or something that brings you fond memories. Like the little Swedish berry candies you loved so much when you were a kid, and you could always afford at least ten of them with your allowance.

I mean, those are happy childhood memories, and who of us doesn't want to cherish those when the Memory Lane Express comes along unexpectedly? None of us (doesn't), that's who (not). You want more. So you take that second whiff -- a bigger one -- to get more of that, and that's when the full smell hits you. It's not something you like: it's something nasty. Like a pile of dog poo with a candy wrapper blown its way and stuck on it, waving back and forth, pushing its scents your way. And you realize that the air has just executed a carefully planned attacked, waited in the sidelines while you figured out that memory, and then ambushed you.

Sort of like thinking you smell delicious fried eggs with green onions and a little salt (using a non-stick pan and very little oil), and then realizing later, somebody in the rapid transit car just blew a big fart and it wafted your way. Sort of like that.

Except down this particular street, I was ambushed constantly. Car exhaust fumes (is it barbecue?), building HVAC vents (fresh warm buns), sewer pipe water, and the like. You can't get away from it, because you kind of can't not breathe!

May have to purchase one of those goofy-looking SARS mouth cover things. Maybe I'll buy a Gucci one -- not.

Knuckle Sandwich for a Mosquito

I have been attacked. I sport a mosquito bite on my tricep, my right one (your left). I've got a fresh one on my left calf. They itch like hell. Even the two on the inside of my left ankle, which rub against my shoe when I walk.

But the worst one by far, is the one on my left ring finger knuckle. It's constantly irritated because I do put things in my left pocket and I do still bend my fingers. Pretty much everything agitates this damned thing, and it's still bumped up like a blister! Where's the worst place you'd ever gotten a mosquito bite, and what can you buy to make it go away??