Gettin' on a plane

I fly to Maryland in a mere 7 hours. Liz joins me Thursday and it's a few days with my family before flying to Boston on Christmas to spend time with hers.

Now if I could only kick this nasty cold I have...


We are currently experiencing...

Why is it every time I pick up the phone to call a big corporate entity these days I get stopped by the message, "We are currently experiencing a high volume of callers so we apologize for the delay"? Everyone else on earth is always calling the exact same business at the same time I am? How about we change those messages to..."We had to make budget cuts so we don't have enough workers in our call center to respond to a normal volume of callers"

And as for the apology part...that's no different than saying "with all due respect, I think you're an idiot".


Saturday night beer and wii fun

Mike and Darrin came over last Saturday night and joined Liz and I for some drinkin' and gamin' fun with the new Nintendo Wii. Bowling was the clear favorite but a good time was had with Excite Truck too. We also played golf (fun), baseball (boring), and boxing (tiring). I've owned a lot of videogame systems over the years and this is by far the best for groups of people and party fun. It'll be cool to see the more polished games come out in the months ahead.


Let's Say Thanks

I know this is a little late w/ Thanksgiving last week, but I was just sent a link to the site Let's Say Thanks.

It's being done by Xerox.

If you go to the web site, you can pick out a thank you card created by an elementary school kid and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can't pick out who gets it, but it will go to some member of the armed services.

I haven't hidden the fact that I've been against the war since before it even started. That said, our men and women dying over there aren't at fault for this. A friend who's served told me that receiving mail is always nice when you're over there--it doesn't matter who it comes from.

This takes all of 30 seconds to do, so I encourage everyone to participate no matter what your political perspective on it all may be.


Hawthorne Police's Red Light ATM

So I got this in the mail the other day...

The really bad part is that I wasn't running straight through a red light. No, I was turning right on red and didn't come to a complete stop. It actually notes the light had been red 1.1 seconds when I made the turn. I think this is pretty much the definition of ridiculous ticket.

What's worse is that I was at this same intersection today. (I drive through it nearly daily) While I was stopped at the light on the cross street, I watched cars make the same turn I had made to get the ticket. In one cycle of the signal, the picture boxes flashed SIX TIMES on cars that were making the right turn. This was in three minutes. Each ticket is $369. What a racket.

Worst of all is that in my case and in the cases I witnessed, the cross traffic doesn't even have a green light. No, it's red. All the tickets were issued when the turn signal was on for the cross traffic. And in this particular intersection it's very rare if ever that a car makes a U-Turn. So when I made a right turn--below the speed limit--without fully stopping for a signal that changed 1.1 seconds earlier, I was putting absolutely no one in danger.

So the Hawthorne PD gets a big FU from me. Glad I don't live in that crappy town.

Thanksgiving in Pictures


Belated birthday fun

After an unexpected postponement, we went out to celebrate the Three-O at a new restaurant in West Hollywood called "Sunset Beach". The place is pretty much what you would expect for a fashionable new spot on the strip. And in case we didn't know what to expect as we drove up...at the valet we were behind two jaguars and a porche pulled in behind us. I know those drivers were obviously pretty damn jealous of liz's bitchin' Nissan Sentra though.

While waiting for everyone to arrive late as always, we hit the bar where the bartender made me a $10 grey goose and tonic that certainly tasted like it had an appropriate amount of alcohol for the cost. By the end of dinner, I wisely chose to make the leap to beer for the remainder of the evening.

I ordered their signature kobe style beef stuffed with lobster burger and I was not disapointed. They get away with selling a burger in a place like this by adding the words "Kobe" and "Lobster" As you can see...this was one massively sized burger:

You can also see how tightly the boxy chairs were packed into our 14 person table.

After dinner we lounged around the place for a while. Turned out there was a private list-only party (for what I have no idea)--which explained the lack of super-can't-move-crowdedness--something you rarely find on sunset blvd. After a few drinks w/ all the so-called "beautiful people", we bailed and looked for another place to hit nearby. Nothing struck our fancy so we ended up going back to a friend's house and just hung out. A six pack of beer costs less than a drink at a bar on Sunset, so...no complaints about that.

All in all a fun night and a proper way to start (albeit three weeks late) a new decade of living!


All new...sorta

It was starting to feel silly to have a site devoted to the pre-wedding experience after the fact. There's still quite a few format and layout issues and we want a better header, but this is basically the look of the the updated site--now called "live in hermosa".

Hopefully the kinks will be sorted out in the next few days.

I think it's already easier to read.

Gonna cook some turkey!

Liz and I finally decided to stay in the house and cook some turkey ourselves this Thanksgiving. It will be the first time we haven't gone to someone else's house in 4 years.

Our friend Sarah made the best turkey ever a few years back and apparently the secret is to brine the thing. Well it's not really a secret, but it's one of those extra effort steps that most people skip.

But not us!

Bring on the salty water, because this bird's gettin' brined!*


more furniture

The rest of our furniture arrived today! It's very exciting to actually have places to sit. We just need a couple tables and a rug and we'll be all settled in.


recliner arrived at last!

Here's our new La-z-boy recliner that arrived this morning! Our sofa and chair should get here early next week. No more sitting on blankets on the floor!

The ottoman has storage and will be an extra piece since it's obviously not needed w/ a recliner. All the junk in the backround will be gone by the time our sofa arrives.


Wii time

It's no secret that I play video games--fortunately it's far from an underground taboo these days. It's no secret that I love new technology--if only it was all free. So it should also be no secret that I preordered a Nintendo Wii today.

After spending 12 hours waiting in line last year to be one of the privledged first to own an xbox 360, I didn't want to go through that again. This year's new systems are the PlayStation 3 and the Nintendo Wii. The PlayStation is much too similar to the xbox and costs waaaaay too much at $600. So it was decided that we'd be adding the innovative new Nintendo system with the funny name to our home entertainment center. Liz has lately become somewhat of a Nintendo DS addict so as soon as I told her there would be a Big Brain Academy game for the Wii, she was convinced. (By the way...Liz also looooves playing UNO online via the xbox. )

Friday morning, preorder day, I carted myself over to the local GameStop at 8:30 to get into line. I was number 23. At 9:15 an employee opened the door to tell us that they would only have 8 preorder slots. Dammit! Fortunately there was another store at a nearby mall so I headed over there and was number 14. This place must be higher traffic because they scored 30 preorder slots. Plus with a promotion they were running I was able to trade in some old useless xbox and psp games for $120! Score!

Oddly enough some crazy dude came in and started yelling because no one told him to get there early. It was kind of a scene and security was called. I can't stand people who blame others for their inability to understand the obvious.

Then this 50 something lady waiting in line (for HERSELF, not for kids or grandkids) said it was a huge scene at target earlier today for some new tickle me elmo thing that's apparently big this Christmas. It's not even November yet!

To sumarize, no insanity of long lines in late night darkness for me on November 19th. Liz and I can play that day hassle-free!

And if you don't play video games and this all sounds like Greek to you--one day you will turn, one day. And apparently this is supposed to be the system to help you get there.


That's a lotta pillows

Yes, our spectacular bed does indeed have eight...count em...eight pillows on it.

Plumbing mess

This is what happens when you put too many veggies down a kitchen sink in an old house w/ bad plumbing.

Yes, it does smell as bad as it looks. Not many things in the world more delightful than seeing that come up from your tub drain. Thank God it stopped before the tub filled completely. It took the plumber quite a while to clear it. He told us that our house didn't have drains good enough for a garbage disposal. (Gee, you'd think when your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal that it's actually OK to use it!)


Why so many books?

Spent time today carrying very heavy boxes of books from our place to the garage below. We don't yet have a bookshelf (and won't for a while) so there's really no point in looking at all of them. I think Liz has read every book on earth about an eager young woman making it in the big city. (i.e. Sex and The City clones) At our old abode we had a bad habit of letting books pile up on a crappy bookshelf to the point where it just looked like a hideous mess. That's something to be avoided now. I think we're going to go with the whole idea of just displaying the highlights. If there's one benefit of moving...it's a forced chance to defeat the evil commonly known as clutter.

Here's some pix of the place as it stands now...

Here's the kitchen with our all our new cookware hanging. Looks nice with the roses.

Our dining area. The piece of furniture on the wall is a nifty wine cabinet we picked up recently.

Living room without furniture. We do have a TV though...so at least there's that.

We created a nest with sleeping bags, pillows and blankets so that we can still use the room.


Now THIS is home

After a gueling day and night sorting out all our stuff yesterday, it's FINALLY starting to feel like a home.

Sure, we still have boxes everywhere.

Sure, we just found out the living room furniture won't arrive until LATE October.

But despite all that....we found a place to keep the Fluff--and all is good in the world.

(And Del's Lemondade! Mmmmmmm)


The neverending unpack

So we can finally see the floor in our living room and Verizon came out to install the TV and Internet. At last it's starting to feel like home. (except for the fact that we have no living room furniture yet...)

All this moving and unpacking is beyond exhausting. Liz passed out before 9 and at just past 10 I'm near that point myself.



Tomorrow we move

After six fantastic years living with Darrin (and for a couple years an assortment of 4th roommate guest stars) at 832 16th Street in Hermosa Beach we're moving on tomorrow. Of course moving on means moving to 832 15th Place--one street over from our current abode, but while it's nearby and will be absolutely exciting to be living with just Liz in a place that's just us...there's a lot we'll miss about the 16th St abode.

Good bye old friend...we'll only see you every day we pass by you and your fabulous porch we no longer have to get home and it will be difficult for us. We'll go quickly and hope you don't notice. We'll believe that your new tennants can't possibly be as great as us. We'll know that with this move...an era has passed. We hope you'll miss us as much as we'll miss you.

Good bye.

p.s. our new place has a pool--something you couldn't give us. jealous?



As is the case whenever you move, we've found ourselves to have many things that we want to get rid of, yet are in too bad of condition to make an effort to sell. The people in this neighborhood are scavengers! Nearly everything we've put out on the street has been picked up by people to make their own--and usually in only a couple hours.

Here's a few items that people have snatched:
  • A long blacklight
  • Hockey goalie gear
  • various books
  • A huge entertainment center in really bad condition
  • A Chasing Amy framed poster signed by Kevin Smith
  • A Red (from the Kryslowski Three Colors trilogy) framed poster
  • A frame for a diploma
  • A wooden stool
  • 8 painted, wooden cd crates in bad condition
  • A cd rack in horrible condition
  • Three assembled crappy bookshelves in bad condition
  • a bunch of other little things
The person who took the Chasing Amy poster also took the Red poster. Red is a foreign film making it somewhat odd that the scavenger wanted both.

The blacklight was particular effective. It drew attention and disappeared within 15 minutes.

We have an old assembled desk out there now. I doubt it makes it to morning.

Wednesday is move day! finally.


Our Honeymoon--the *almost* entire recap

Since our honeymoon posts come up in reverse order...here they all are if you're new to the site. Plus...if you're a first time visitor, you probably don't realize that it's taken us almost two months to get this all up here! We'll return to regular, timely crap very, very soon!

June 27: Day 1 (Maui North Shore)

June 28: Day 2 (Maui North Shore)
June 29: Day 3 (Maui North Shore)
June 30: Day 4 (Maui North Shore)
July 1: Day 5 (West Maui)
July 2: Day 6 (West Maui)
July 3: Day 7 (West Maui)
July 4: Day 8 (West Maui resorts and Big Island)
July 5: Day 9 (Big Island Volcano)
July 6: Day 10 (Big Island Volcano and Kona)
July 7: Day 11 (Big Island Kona)
July 8: Day 12 (Big Island Kona)--LAST DAY COMING SOON

July 7: Day 11

Most of our 11th day in Hawai'i was filled with relaxation--and there's nothing wrong with that! After waking up nice and late in our sweet suite, we headed down to the pool for some fun time in the water and under the sun.

It wasn't really very crowded, which was a good thing because more crowd would mean more children. We hit the big waterslide and waded around in the water (the deepest part of the pool was only 4 feet, so wading was all you could do). Pictures of pool fun will be in the recap of our final day.

So after spending the day with no agenda, on a recomendation we headed over to the nearby outrigger hotel for drinks at sunset. The rocks in the water made it pretty spectacular and perhaps the best sunset of our entire trip--which was appropriate considering that this would be our last full night here.

The place even had a really good Hawaiian band playing music. It was cool and wasn't at all cheesy like the lounge singer from the night before.

We left the car and took a cab to Kona--which is like Lahaina only older and dirtier. Since I never got to get sushi in Maui because of the wallet losing incident, we decided to try this Japanese restaurant called Fujimamas. The waitress told us that there was a sangria special which we thought to be a bit strange for a japanese place, but we ordered them anyway.

Here's me with Sangria and chopsticks...

Later, we got some saki and chose our saki cups from this huge bowl filled with them. Liz got a much larger cup than me, so I had to refill twice as much as her to keep up. The place was more touristy than the spectacular sushi I hoped for on Maui, but that was ok because it was a fun dinner together.

Eventually we stumbled over to a cab and had a crazy-taxi like experience heading back to the hotel. After all the drinking, it didn't take us too long to pass out.

oh and at some point we visited this place in Kona town...

I'll be honest. Donkey Balls...over rated.


July 6: Day 10

We woke up and enjoyed another lovely breakfast delivered by Higgin's ladies at the lodge--and then we were off.

Our first stop was a quick return to the National Park to visit the Thurston Lava Tube. There were so many tourbuses here in the afternoon on the day before that we couldn't even park the car. At 10AM, however, there was only one other car so we had the entire place practically to ourselves.

Hundreds of years ago, these vacant caves carried 2000 degree liquid rock to the ocean. Today they're just an empty reminder of that. While walking through we bot a little nervous that the lava spikot would be turned on again and they'd fill up with the red stuff while we explored. Fortunately that never happened.

Next we stopped at the Volcano Winery. Yup, there's a second vineyard in Hawai'i and it's worse than the subpar one on Maui. Most of the wines here are made with a fruit other than grapes and maybe they're decent if you're into that kind of thing. There were only about 10 grape vines present on the property near the tasting room--which was somewhat strange and made me wonder how they could really be a vineyard of they have no grapes. Inside Liz tried hard to be polite and not make the "ewww, this is totally disgusting face". I guess she succeeded because the woman pouring kept pushing us on buying a box of 6 bottles to take back to the mainland.

From winery, it was a long trek down 4000 feet of altitude to the southern tip of the island. We stopped at a black sand beach to stick our feet in the water and get a few more pictures.

Apparently they're anti-fun here though. We couldn't figure out what was so bad about horseshoes.

Our trek continued to Pu`uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park. (Try and say that five times fast). We were here on a weekday, so it wasn't particularly crowded, but with living interpretors/actors here at busier times, I imagine it's much like a Plymouth Plantation or Historic Williamsburg kind of spot--except translated for native Hawai'ian history. Back in the day, if you commited even a minor crime, you could be killed by the King or his people. This location, called a Place of Refuge was a spot of religious significance that served as a kind of Get Out Of Jail free card. Anyone that was able to make it here alive, was forgiven by the priest and pardoned of their crimes by the king.

The park was in a gorgeous little bay and we even saw our first Sea Turtle of the entire trip.

Liz was ecstatic to finally find Turtle Town!

She also decided to take a picture of Japanese tourists getting a picture.

Not too far from the park is The Painted Church--which is a very small wooded Catholic church, that is, well, painted. It sits up on a hill with an endless view of the coastline. I imagine it would be a nice place to get married--if you only had 40 guests.

Now that we were getting close to Kona, we had to make the obligatory stop at a coffee mill. I don't drink the stuff--but Liz said it was damn tasty. There are countless coffee tasting rooms spread all throughout Kona. They operate very much like Wine Tasting rooms and most of them are affiliated with just one privately owned farm. (A few are larger and corporate).

We stopped for lunch at a restaurant in the old South Kona business district. The restaurant was a cool little cafe built into the converted lobby of a very old movie theater. We had a seat by the window where a little gecko seemed to live. The little guy darted up and down the window curtains eating bugs. Liz called him Percy. We wondered if he knew Petunia.

Kona was already starting to feel quite different from our experience in Maui. This area of town was older and felt run down and worn out. We wondered if things would change where our hotel was located in the newer part of Kona.

Finally, we reached out hotel--Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort. The name of the place is somewhat deceptive since it didn't have nearly the number of resort amenities found at the Sheraton on Maui. And like most hotels on the eastern part of the Big Island where old lava rock makes up most of the coast, there was no actual beach.

The place seemed decent enough and we were shown a room that opened out right onto...a massive waterslide. Kids were screaming all over the place. Hmmm...this wasn't seeming like a romantic ending to our trip. After some complaining we were finally given an upgrade thanks to my Starwood Platinum Status and moved to The Plumeria Suite. Now the hotel may have been a bit too family oriented for our taste, but the room they moved us to was fabulous. It was a one bedroom suite with two bathrooms a wrap around porch with ocean AND mountain views as well as a living room with a 45" flatscreen television. Nice!

We relaxed for a while in our room and then ventured down to the large pool with the waterfalls and waterslides. There were a lot of kids but we made the best of it by ordering drinks. Soon we were having fun and forgot about all the families.

Eventually we ended up at the hotel lounge for dinner. The cheesiest lounge singer chick you could imagine was entertaining a small crowd. We ate our food and headed back up to our huge room to wrap up our second-to-last night in Hawai'i by ourselves.