June 28, 2004

Party Animals

My wife and I threw a housewarming party on Saturday (some people, including myself, might refer to it as an Open House – but I guess that would be wrong because I associate Open Houses with someone who’s trying to sell theirs, and we’re defintely not. I also associate the term Open House with back to school night for some reason, but I digress).

To any of you out there thinking of throwing a Housewarming Party, don’t. But if you do, count on the numerous calls you will receive on the day of the party from all the people who said they were coming but now are calling to explain why they can’t. While this is disappointing, these people are infinitely better than those who say they are coming and then don’t.

Do you people know how hard it is to make spanakopita Do you realize that sweet and sour meatballs just don’t make themselves Who’s going to drink all this soda Not to mention the six pack of beer that will sit in my fridge for the next year.

Anyway, if there was such a thing as a “leftover party,” we’d be fully stocked.

BTW, the people who came to our party seemed to have a very nice time and my wife was the perfect hostess. Next time, though, we’re catering.

June 24, 2004

Four More Years

Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. I celebrated by bringing my bride two dozen long-stemmed roses to her at her work. I ordered dinner to be delivered and we relaxed on the couch and watched our wedding video. I was lucky then and I’m lucky now.

Happy Anniversary Sweetheart.

June 23, 2004


I followed the huge, gas-guzzling, SUV in traffic today and I wryly noted the vanity plate with the Whale on the background – a fundraiser for environmental protection in California. As I passed the vehicle, the driver threw her cigarette butt out the window.

June 20, 2004

Man’s Domain

I finished setting up my garage today. Now, understand, I have never spent much time in a garage. We owned a condo in my younger years where there was nothing more than a car port. When we did move to a place with a garage, it quickly became a storage area and a place I dreaded because I knew I might need to clean it sometime.

Furthermore, as a result of growing up with a single mother, I can’t say I have had a lot of experience with tools. In the carport days, when we needed a screw driver or pliers, I would run out to my mom’s BMW and pull out the little tool kit that came in the trunk of the car.

But now I have my own garage. I have put down a protective coating on the floor, I have installed cabinets and a work bench and I have hung the bicycles on the wall. We have also put in a treadmill with a TV located in one of the cabinets. What can I say I like my garage. It’s clean, neat and there’s a place for everything. I have become quite good at assembling pre-fabricated shelving and furniture. Now, for some unexplained reason, I have the urge to build things out of real wood. Now if only I can convince my wife I need a miter saw.

June 18, 2004

Window Pain

We have lots of windows in our house. There are 31 windows to be exact and all but perhaps 3 need some sort of window covering. We are going the inexpensive route by hanging drapes for most of the larger windows. I have had to hang five sets of drapes so far. Every one has had some sort of problem. I have had my screws stopped by metal strips behind the drywall. I’ve had studs that aren’t the same distance on each side of the window. I have had drapes that were too long for the height that I hung the original rod. While I hate hanging drapes now, I have gotten quite good at it.

Too bad I don’t plan on hanging another set of drapes in the next 30 years.

June 16, 2004


I left my job today. This job that I had was, on paper, a good one. A job where my experience and ability would be used to its fullest and I would, in turn, feel fulfilled by doing a great job for a great cause. Good on paper, bad in reality.

It took me almost two years, but I was finally able to move on and I’m looking forward to greener pastures. I have four days to reprogram my thought processes from having to look over my shoulder and question every decision I made for fear of retribution to one of confidence and positive energy. Positive self-talk, here I come.

I can hear Al Franken’s Stuart Smalley from Saturday Night Live fame now…

“Because I’m good enough, I’m smart enough and doggone it, people like me.”

June 15, 2004

Blood, Sweat and Tears

I hung vertical blinds today. Normally, one would assume that it’s pretty easy to hang vertical blinds. At least I did. I did not take into account that the windows where said vertical blinds would go happen to be in an area with vaulted ceilings and over a staircase.

Tools needed for project:

1. 3 sets of vertical blinds, purchased at Home Depot, cut down to size to fit the 3 windows over the stairs. (Does not include second trip to Home Depot when it turns out young man who just learned how to cut window blinds, cuts them a 1/2 inch too long.)
2. 2 screwdrivers (Ratchet screw driver that you bought in hopes of making the job easier + the one in your tool box that you’ll end up using when the ratchet one doesn’t work.)
3. A drill to tempt you to use but can’t because you can’t get enough leverage and end up stripping the screw.
4. 1 new-fangled ladder that can be adapted to be placed on stairs but weighs a 100 lbs.
5. Band-aids for my knuckles
6. White paint to touch up the blood stains on the top of the window casing
7. Overly concerned wife who is afraid you’re going to kill yourself but still wants the blinds up now and also wants to take your picture because she thinks it’s cute that her husband is doing a manly project.

The blinds are up, my knuckles are healing, I no longer have to wave to my neighbors in the morning and as a treat, Andrea got her manly husband a Frosty from Wendy’s. Life is good.

June 13, 2004

Dieting Drunk

I was listening to the radio the other day and a commercial for a brand of vodka touted itself as low-carb. I think we’re taking this Atkins thing just a little too far.

June 12, 2004

Places to Go. Part 1

I am originally from the Bay Area and a co-worker of mine is moving there in August. I have made a list of places for her to see and I will share them periodically with you.

Festivals (I love a good festival)

Gilroy Garlic Festival � Gilroy, CA
Last weekend in July. Garlic EVERYTHING. You MUST try the garlic ice cream.

Artichoke Festival – Castroville, CA
Mid May. There’s a road race and all the fried artichoke hearts you can eat.

Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival – Half Moon Bay, CA
Mid-October. Great chance to pick out the perfect pumpkin.

Begonia Festival � Capitola, CA
Labor Day weekend. Elaborate floats made of begonias float down Soquel Creek. Also has a great sand castle building contest.

June 9, 2004


I’ve got mushrooms growing in my lawn. According to my on-line research, there doesn’t seem to be a damn thing I can do about it. These are not the things I thought would keep me up at nights when I pictured owning my own home.

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