Winter Begins, Change Keeps on Happening, and I Return to Work

Well, yesterday I quit my job. This is actually something I’ve been planning for a long time, but yesterday was when I gave notice. It’s under 2 weeks and that sucks, but given how my work usually treats people who give notice and my financial sitch, they made it impossible for me to do it any other way. I was concerned that this would cost me pretty much my only friend out here, my boss, Olivia. When you spend 40 hours a week cooped up in a stressful office with someone, you either bond or you quickly kill each other, and we’ve been through a lot. However, she was happy for the new opportunity I have at my new job (starting 1/2) and it worked out.

The airlines lost my luggage on the way home and I just got it last night at 9pm, so I’m still trying to settle back into west coast rhythms. I’ll probably post news later, but I’m trying to get everything in order for my successor so no promises.

Marriage, Movies, and Other Things That Families Do

Here I am on the eve of my return to California, so I’ll try to sum up my trip as quickly as possible. I would take my time and give these events the weight they deserve, but my sister is sitting next to me watching some costumed drama that involves manners and insufferably over-dramatic Victorians. Friday we jaunted up to Richmond and saw the TransSiberian Orchestra in concert, and if you haven’t then you have missed out. Something about flamethrowers and Beethoven that just cannot be matched. Saturday I told my parents I’m getting married. Yeah, I tend to drop stuff like that in the middle of paragraphs to annoy people. This really wasn’t a suprise for them as I live with my fiancee, have dated her for 4.5 years, and…well that should really do it, shouldn’t it? I don’t have the time or the inclination to describe the hows and whys of my family’s opinion of my relationship, but suffice it to say that they’ve come around (I think meeting her and beholding her awesomeness had a lot to do with shutting people up) and instead of the dramafest I feared, it was a very congratulatory experience. My parents took me out to dinner Sunday to celebrate (peppered me with questions about the actual event that I have no answer for, I might add), and I think my favorite thing was that my mother told me that Jan makes me a better man. I’m a better man with my Jannie than I am without her, and that’s exactly why I’m marrying her. It made me feel good to hear that from my mom. It meant a lot. My dad, brother, and I saw both Casino Royale and Apocalypto and if you’re only going to see one, pleeeeeease see Bond. I’m no Bond fan, but after watching what is quite possibly the best movie of the year, I can’t wait for the next one. Today my brother and I played video games and talked. I miss my brother when I’m out west. He’s one of my best friends, and I don’t say that just because I know he’ll read this and feel guilted into coming to see me soon. He’s a good man and he makes me laugh. He took off for Richmond a bit ago. He works at the Federal Reserve doing…something involving numbers I am unclear on….whatever it is, he probably has more power than you and he definitely knows it. I’ll be here in Virginia until tomorrow evening, when I fly home to Colton. I know my sister wants to do something before my flight, but that’s about my only agenda. It’s been a nice trip, much nicer than I thought it would be, and I’m blessed to have the family I do on both coasts. So why am I still nervious, then? Ah, that. I have something unpleasant to do Wednesday. I have to prepare for it now. It might cost me a friend and I hold those that I have very dear. We’ll see how it goes, and I leave you on that.

Cross-Country Hercules

So I probably shouldn’t have picked last week to finally watch United 93. I flew in the same model plane (though on American Airlines whose planes only hit the towers not crashed into the ground) from Ontario, CA to Dallas, TX, where I cooled my heels for three hours. As airports go, DFW…eh. Not that much to do. Ate at a Manchu Wok and counted cowboy hats (22). From there it was another 3 hour flight to Norfolk, VA, where my family resides. I spent most of that flight thanking God for tranquilizers and the ipod as the woman in front of me felt it necessary to fully recline, placing herself so in my lap that I could have cleaned her teeth effortlessly. Got to the house around 12:30 am EST and started on my herculean task.

Here’s the thing. When I moved to Cali to live with Jan, I left 95% of my stuff behind. Hence, in past trips I’ve filled my luggage as full as I can, but I haven’t really had space in our house to put my stuff so I’ve been parking it here. With our new house in Colton being so much more spacious, I finally can look at moving my crap out there. Today I packed eight boxes full of stuff and hauled them to the post office, where the unluckiest clerk in the history of the postal system had to weigh and insure my 300-400 pounds of stuff that I shipped. Props to my sister for her crucial help in holding my place in line as I dashed back and forth with giant boxes, and a giant tip of the cap to the postal clerk for not spitting on me when she saw the stack.

Y’all are on your own for news while I’m on this trip, because computer time is at a premium. Tomorrow, we head up to Richmond to meet up with my brother and check out the Trans Siberian Orchestra in concert. I am now going to find a soft surface and acquire a coma upon it. Deep burn….oh its a deep burn….hard work being a crucial hercules.

Renaissance News Report and Various Ramblings

Since the Student Services department of our college consists of me and my boss, Accounting took pity on us and allowed us to come to their Christmas lunch at Black Angus. Other than that, today’s been pretty pedestrian. I’m just getting ready to fly to Virginia tomorrow to visit the ‘rents. News time:

* President Bush announced that he’ll be unveiling his new plan for Iraq in 2007. My guess, Operation: Holy S#%t! What Did We Do? Just a tentative codename. Let it percolate.

* The Fed didn’t change interest rates. I don’t know what that means, but my brother works for them and assures me that it’s extremely important.

* Martin Nodell, the creator of Green Lantern, the comic book superhero who uses his magical ring to help him fight crime, has died. He was 91.

* The federal deficit is NOT as big as we thought. HA! There you go naysayers. Instead of a whopping $83.1 billion it’s only….$75.6 billion. Whoo?

* Democratic representative Dennis Kucinich announced his candidacy for the 2008 Presidential nomination. For those of you who may not remember him from the last time round, he was the crazy one. No, the crazy one who lost.

* The Texas Rangers shored up their bullpen, signing free agent reliever Eric Gagne to a 1 year $6.5 million deal.

* 17 year old soccer star Freddy Adu was traded from DC United to Real Salt Lake.

* Lindsay Lohan announced that she is now sober, having not had a drink in 7 days…..not only is that not news worthy of space in national newspapers, it isn’t even impressive. Not for casual drinkers, non-drinkers, alcoholics, or monks. That’s 7 days. There’s no pin for 7 days. Shut up, Lindsay.

* The New York Film Critics Online think The Queen is the best picture of 2006, though aside from people like me who have a freakish memory and awareness of trivial events, I betcha can’t find three people in your office who have heard of it, let alone seen it.

Renaissance News Report

Why is it that accounting has the best food? I don’t even bother bringing lunch some days, I just mosey down to accounting and steal food. It’s shameless but terribly economical. Haven’t looked at the news all weekend so let’s see:
* The President and State Dept. leaders are meeting to discuss new ideas on Iraq, while outgoing UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan, blasted the US in his departing address. Iraq is a giant debacle, but it’s a debacle that could have been prevented had 10 years of ignored UN sanctions been worth than the wasted paper on which they were printed. The new UN Secretary-General is Ban Ki Moon of South Korea, continuing the UN’s long tradition of SCs with goofy names.

* Richard Daley is running for his sixth term is Mayor of Chicago, which will make him that town’s czar for even longer than his father was.

* The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Monday that spectators at a murder trial were free to wear buttons bearing a picture of the victim in front of the jury that convicted the defendant. Who makes those buttons? Who thought of that? Why is THAT what I thought about after reading the article?

* Illinois Sen. Barrack Obama was encouraged to run for President in 2008, after meeting with officials in New Hampshire. If elected, Obama would have the wackiest name of any President since Millard Fillmore. Yeah, I’m focusing a lot on wacky names today. It’s a Monday. I’m scattered.

* Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet died at 91 and was denied a state funeral on the grounds that he was a giant, giant bastard. That wasn’t the official reason, but I’m just stating the obvious.

* Ohio St. Quarterback Troy Smith became the sixth player from OSU to take home the Heisman Trophy, college football’s highest honor.

* After trying a synthetic basketball that players were openly hostile toward, the NBA is moving back to a leather ball. Yes, this is news. It’s right here in the paper.

* San Diego Chargers running back, LaDanian Tomlinson, broke the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a season, netting his 29th in a victory over the Broncos.

* UCLA is still #1 in the Men’s NCAA basketball poll.

* Former Miami, Seattle Seahawks, and Oregon St. coach Dennis Erickson, was introduced as the new head football coach at Arizona St.

* Doha, Qatar is making a bid for the 2016 Summer Olympics. For those of you unfamiliar with Qatar (which newspeople pronounce “Gutter”), it’s in the Middle East. Stuff doesn’t blow up in Qatar AS much as in other countries in the region, but I think if you stick the Olympics there, a lot of people will try to change that.

* Yankees pitcher Andy Pettite resigned with the team, 1 year, $16 million.

* The Oakland A’s signed free agent catcher Mike Piazza to a 1 year, $8.5 million contract. Piazza will probably, given his age, DH for the team.

* Apocalypto opened at #1 at the box office with $14.8 million. Mel Gibson’s Mayan drama had been looked at as a litmus test for the star after his anti-Semitic drunken rant earlier this year.

* New York Film Critics hailed United 93 as 2006’s Best Picture (which it very well may be).

* Los Angeles Film Critics tapped Letters From Iwo Jima as the best film of the year, the second such honor it’s earned in two weeks.

* The American Film Institute can never make up its mind, so it released its 10 best movies of 2006: Borat, United 93, Dreamgirls, Babel, The Devil Wears Prada, Happy Feet, Inside Man, Half-Nelson, Letters from Iwo Jima, and Little Miss Sunshine (agree with 93, Borat, and Inside Man…..Happy Feet sucked, need to see the rest).

* The halftime performer at Super Bowl XLI is going to be Prince. My fiancee’s inexplicable fascination with said performer prevents me from making snide and/or inappropriate remarks, which is all I find myself with after hearing that news.

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