January 2008 Archives

January 29, 2008

OCD for Humanity

Despite how open-minded, laid-back and embracing I may seem, there are many things that I do that border on obsessive-compulsive:
  • I take from ice cream, butter and other containers in a smooth, consistent stroke that leaves an even surface--all the way to the bottom. I never dip or stab.
  • I balance the trips I make to my parents so that they are equally visited.
  • Finger foods are eaten until I can stop at an even number: leave 4 strips of veggie bacon for fru, 8 cherries, and so on.
  • I pack my bag with large books first, then two columns of small books--sorted to achieve a stack closest to square.
  • I bought 10 pairs of socks, each pair numbered (1-10) so that they always stay together. I've used only 5 pair, to be replaced with the remaining 5 as they wear out/are lost.
  • Candy and multicolored items should be left in such a state that all colors have the same amount. If you give me 4 red skittles and 5 of every other color, I will eat until all skittle flavors are at 4.
While it shows most prominently in food consumption, it pervades every area of my life. While I'd like to think that it gives me some (sym)pathetic charm like Jack Nicholson in "As Good As It Gets," in truth, I don't really get much but added duty.

You see, I don't do it for luck or superstition; I do it for a service to others.
Continue reading OCD for Humanity.

January 26, 2008

Free no more

We don't appreciate things that are free.

We appreciate things we have to work for, things that are expensive; we appreciate things that are of limited quantity or for a limited time. Be certain, though, that if we find something that is free, we automatically assume that there is something inferior about it--something that makes it not worth the value of a purchase.

Free advice. Free sample. Free time, even. Why else would they give it to us? What are they planning next? What will this free thing encourage me to buy or force me to support out of guilt? There's nothing free in this world; everything exists due to some expense of energy.

So it should come as no surprise that our house and its accouterments, which we offered to my sister (mentioned earlier), have come under such neglect and disregard. It was, of course, free: assigning to it all of the aforementioned catches and stipulations. There would be no reason for her to assign a value to it unless it was one given in guilt or upon conversion. And she'd be right; there always is some cost attached.
Continue reading Free no more.

January 17, 2008

A Christmas Holiday, Part 8

DSCN0435, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

Even though the cousins had enough plans to last us another week, we decided to head back north on the 2nd. We took the super-scenic Pacific Coastal Highway north until the sun set.

That's about it for major parts of the trip. We ate lunch with Max and Emily of Ideacodes on Thursday, but I forgot to take a picture. Rains came that afternoon, so we stayed indoors until the flight home.

Cali has a great feel about it, one that is more than just pleasant weather and progressiveness. I can't put my finger on it, so I guess I'll have to visit again!

A Christmas Holiday, Part 7

DSCN0407, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

Ok so Fru has tons of family in Cali, but I got my peeps as well!

Before watching the ball drop with the cousins, we drove out to Redlands/Loma Linda and hooked up with some of my old schooltime buddies. I knew three were there, but it seems California has a weird magnetic attraction. :)

These guys chimed in with Fru's relatives: "You guys need to move over here!" I'm starting to be swayed...

A Christmas Holiday, Part 6

DSCN0405, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

Our entourage was younger and more energetic down in SoCal; On New year's eve the folks in Irvine and San Diego came up and had lunch with the cousins in Glendale, followed by a trip to Santa Monica Promenade to watch the sunset.

Here is CJ, Jan, Nikki, PJ, Fru, Emily, Eileen and Tav. Not sure why Karen isn't in there... other cousins missing as well. So much fam!

A California Holiday, Part 5

DSCN0389, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

We arrived in Glendale Sunday afternoon.

Remember Tav (right), who came with us on our Costa Rica/Panama trip? He was in Irvine, so we all drove down there to meet up with him and his siblings--along with Fru's cousin Karen who flew in from Vancouver.

The gang decided on Lucille's Barbecue Grill for an eating spot; I was stuck with the side dishes that came with the family meal they ordered. :/

January 9, 2008

A California Holiday, Part 4

DSCN0354, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

After a day with friends in Oakland, Fru and I headed down to Southern California.

Originally, the plan was to take the senic Pacific Coast Highway down and enjoy the view. But since we anticipated a good bit of congestion on a sunny Sunday drive (and not impervious to the fact that we can never seem to make a departure time when on holiday), we decided to take the "direct route" of driving the 5 down to LA.

As I've never been to a desert or seen hills so friggin' big, this was just as scenic as anything I had expected. Amazing drive; one to preface the PCH trip on the way back up.

A California Holiday, Part 3

DSCN0220, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

We were fortunate to find San Francisco in exceptionally bright and clear weather as we made our way out of our food-filled abode and started to explore. Being my first trip to the west coast, I was particularly interested in the terrain, which proved itself to be quite diverse.

In addition to remote locations (like here at the back of the bay) we also hit the usual locations like the Golden Gate Bridge, SF MOMA, Embarcadero, the Japanese Tea Garden, and Chinatown, among other sights. This took up about two days.

A California Holiday (Part 2)

DSCN0101, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

The most impressive thing about the Cali trip was actually the reason why we came. Spending time with family has always been a thing I've enjoyed, though some might say that is in theory rather than practice. I haven't, however, spent this much time with family and family friends with such a negligible amount of irritation. It was a good thing, as we were swamped with people from the moment we stepped in the door (this pic is about an hour or two after reaching the house).

Though the faces changed, we were very rarely without an entourage to guide us or partake in our discovery of the area. Coming from a small family, I was overwhelmed and grateful for the warm California welcome. And did I mention food?

January 7, 2008

A California Holiday, (possibly pt. 1)

DSCN0441, originally uploaded by Leftsider.

Fru and I went to sunny California for the holidays, leaving on Christmas eve and returning just this past Friday.

Normally, when we take long trips, I update with a barrage of photos. I'm still considering whether to do that or not. If not, I may just write a longer and more descriptive recap of the events. At any rate, stay tuned.