Monday, December 31, 2007

Good-Bye 2007

This year has been a really fun year. I've met so many people, went to so many gaming conventions (2007 was officially knighted the "Year of Cons" months ago!), and traveled more than I thought would be possible in one year.

My job has been great, but a little too busy for me...

The love life hasn't been wonderful (I'm still single!), but more than one friend has pointed out... at least I've been putting myself out there and trying. Not just sitting at home waiting for Mr. Right to come find me. Which, when I'm feeling down about not having someone special in my life, is what I have to remind myself. Plus, it's encouraging that 2008 is starting out with high hopes!

But I think the thing I have come back to again and again is that I really love my friends. I love spending time with them and going on crazy adventures. Thank you for being a friend (cue Golden Girls music here!)...

Resolutions for 2008 to come!

The Big Date

The big date this weekend went well. We had a really good time together, got along great, the kissing was good and I think we'll be seeing each other again. At least, that's how it looks right now. No definite plans have been set, but we did speak about it briefly. Also, at my questioning and his request and keeping with the numbers theme, he's officially dubbed "42." Ahhhh, you gotta love geeks! :-)

The real question is, is he my 42?

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dating Update

It's been a while since I've done any kind of dating update. There's been a lot of activity, but nothing that I want to go into great detail about just yet.

I can say that I have a big date this weekend and I'm very much looking forward to it. We've been talking A LOT for the last week and all I can say is that he's awesome (and cute!)! So we'll see how it pans out in person after talking so much this last week. I'm optimistic that things will go well because when I met him the first time, I immediately felt the "click" that I like to have, which is always a good sign! (Warning: A wee bit of gushiness coming...) To me, he is perfect. He's the perfect mix of introvert and extrovert. (I always am drawn to the quiet ones, but then wish they were more out-going!) He's super-smart, loves games, funny and hates musicals (big +)! Even better, we communicate REALLY well and he has the sweetness factor that I adore. (Unlike #5, this one does know about the blog, so just in case he reads this: Hi honey!)

In other dating news, there are quite a few eHarmony guys that I'm going through the process with. One in particular looks pretty cool, seems very out-going and is pretty cute to boot, but we just haven't had a chance to meet yet. All the other prospects are in the back-and-forth question stage at this point. I've also been emailing this other guy from a different dating site and he seems nice, but again, the holidays have kept me (and him) too busy to meet up yet.

I should know better by this weekend if I even need to bother with either of these other guys. Keep your fingers crossed that things go well!

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Festive Weekend

This weekend has been quite festive so far. On Friday, after working 12 long hours, I went to Erin & Liz's holiday party and had a good time. I had another party to go to, but after stopping by there, I was too tired to think about driving over the hill and finding parking to boot. Erin made queso - YUM and Liz made some gingerbread cookies that were delicious!! I usually don't like gingerbread cookies, but these were so yummy that I happily took a few home with me when she offered them!

On Saturday, eight of us celebrated Shannon's birthday by piling into a rental mini-van and stopping at seven different restaurants for various courses throughout the day! I overslept and didn't make it to the "bacon of the month" tasting & champagne cocktails at the house before hitting the first restaurant. Boo to me! I don't have the mental energy right now to make the list of all the places we went, but all of them were highly recommended by Jonathan Gold, Pulitzer prize winning food critic of the LA Weekly. It was a stomach crawl through the best of LA!

Today, I slept in (finally!!), went to church, and then came home and watched some football and finally finished decorating my Christmas tree. I've also been slowly working on straightening up the apartment because I'm having people over for a bit on Christmas Eve and for gaming later in the week. Also, I'm hosting a New Year's Eve party, but decided to take a trip next weekend since I'm not working, so I need to make sure my apartment is cleaned and ready for the party before I leave on Friday. Especially since I have to work on New Year's Eve during the day, specifically at 7 AM! In Orange County. Fun! Not.

I'm supposed to go out dancing tonight, but at the moment, I'm really not feeling like going. Hopefully, in the next few hours, I get a bit more peppy! The Spazmatics go on at 10 PM! This is the super-cool 80s cover band we saw at the Mandalay Bay House of Blues last January in Vegas and then at Universal City Walk one time over the summer.

I'm looking forward to going to Providence for their special dinner for Christmas Eve tomorrow night. Providence, a fabulous fancy French restaurant, hosts a very Italian "Feast of the Seven Fishes" on Christmas Eve each year. I was talking to an Italian guy I know and he said that his family does that every year. It should be tasty and fun! I need to decide what to wear too.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Football Pool: Only Two More Weeks!

My friend Ron invited me to join a football pool last year and I ended up doing pretty well, placing second and securing 200 credits, which combined with winning 1st or 2nd place several times put me up a total of 270 credits. The entrance fee each year has been 60.

There are two more weeks left in this season and as it stands, I'm currently in first place out of 31 people. I've already won back 50 of my 60 credits and if I can hang onto first place for the next two weeks, I could be the lucky recipient of 400 credits! That would be awesome! Second place wins 200 credits, but I'm hoping I'll be able to hang onto the lead. I'm ahead by about 26 points right now, but if I tank and someone does really well, I could easy fall down to 2nd or 3rd. But I'm remaining positive that I will be able to push forward and pick the right ones.

If I do win, I will most likely use that money to pay for my (potential) birthday Vegas trip!

Rock Band Humor

Why is this webcomic so cute?!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Guitar Hero III Career Update

Travis came over last night and we finally finished up our Co-op Career on Expert! We had some trouble with "One" by Metallica and "Cult of Personality" by Living Colour, but with some practice on those runs and some very strategic use of star power, we managed to pass them!

We unlocked the Pendulaxe! It's mean and tough looking, fitting for an Expert player! Next up, I need to work on my solo career on Expert. I just haven't been devoting much time to it lately. I'm hoping to remedy that with the 11 days I have off starting Saturday!!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Bakefest 2007 has wrapped up

It started early this afternoon and after everything was said, done and baked, we'd gone through...
  • almost 10 lbs. of flour
  • 5+ lbs of butter
  • 3+ lbs. of sugar
  • 2 lbs. of bacon
Bacon? Why would you need two pounds of bacon? Because, we had to try BACON chocolate chip cookies. Wow, they are pretty darn tasty! We left off the maple cinnamon glaze and hunk of bacon on top. We made some with only semi-sweet chocolate chips and some with both semi-sweet and white and the combo chips tasted much better.

It was a full house! Chris came early and helped me take some old games to Goodwill and pick out/up a Christmas tree. I'm in LOVE with the one we picked. It's beautiful and perfect. I started decorating it while cookies were in the oven and let me say, Brian and I did a fabulous job at proper light distribution! It is one good looking tree.

Travis and Shane stopped by to bake and play some Guitar Hero. Brian and his girlfriend Martha came over and brought Cynthia, a co-worker/friend of Martha's. She's German and has lived here for two years. She seemed to have a lot of fun baking the cookies. They were here most of the day.

In total we made:
  • Bacon chocolate chip cookies - 4 dozen
  • Snickerdoodles - 4-5 dozen
  • Almond Crescents - 10 dozen
  • Oatmeal Scotchies with chocolate chips - 4 dozen
  • Sugar cookies (some iced and decorated!) - 3 dozen (more dough to roll)
  • Jam Thumbprints - 4 dozen
  • Snowball cookies (pecan shortbread balls coated with powdered sugar) - 8 dozen
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to bake the chocolate rads that I adore from last year, but there's still time. I may make them tomorrow if I can squeeze it in after church, gaming, a cookie exchange and a holiday party.

Some photos:
Brian getting ready to stir in the bacon

Jam Thumbprints

Almond Crescents, Snowball Cookies and a lone Bacon Chocolate Chip cookie

The Sugar Cookie inspired by Dexter!!

It was tiring, but fun. Now I have plenty of cookies for my bosses' and co-workers' cookie baskets on Monday. I'm definitely ready to go to sleep!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

First Politics, Now Religion

First it was politics, now religion... what's next? Sex? Lemme answer that for you... "no."

I've been meaning to post about this since before BGG.CON, but I think I've found a church I like! I've only been twice, but I think I fell in love during my first visit. I felt a real connection with the church and the pastor. It's a Four Square church, but it seems, doctrine-wise and the feel of it, to be very similar to a Baptist church. Seeing how I grew up in Baptist churches, I feel very "at home" in a church like that.

The congregation has a really great vibe, like everyone is there, present and ready to worship. It was really great! I also like that it has a great age range too. And even better, I didn't feel bored one single time during the sermon! I'll admit sometimes my mind starts wandering, but this time it didn't. This pastor does a really good job keeping the sermon very relate-able so it's easy to focus on what he's saying!

I am going to attend a while longer to make sure it's a church that I like before I make any decisions about becoming a member. I don't think I've ever felt so drawn to a church, which is a really great feeling! It comes highly recommended by a couple people I know too, so that's a good sign!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ron Paul in 2008

Have you started thinking about next year's presidential election? I hadn't, but then my friend Carolyn blogged about her support for Ron Paul, a candidate I'd never even heard of. Carolyn & I have fairly similar political leanings, so I went to his website to see what his views were.

He's a Republican. I live in Los Angeles. I know how unpopular the Republican party is in liberal L.A. However, don't dismiss him just because he's a Republican. He is a candidate that advocates smaller government, lower taxes, immediate withdrawal from Iraq and personal freedom.

I encourage you to check out his website that lays out his stances on all the major issues to see if he is the candidate for you!! He is incredibly popular on the internet and has many, many videos on I've never been very involved in politics, but when I found out about him, I joined my local MeetUp group and plan on helping them get the word out in 2008! I also plan on donating to his campaign, something I've never done before. Not being one of the "top" candidates, he needs support to garner coverage in the main media.

Here's one of the popular videos of him on YouTube:

Friday, December 07, 2007

Working for the Weekend

I've never tried to make it seem any other way. My job used to be a pretty cushy one! This week has been crazy! With the promotion has come more work!! I'm hoping it's more of a transitional thing, but I can't be sure for a few months. Now I'm just working on the more money aspect... I apologize for not being in more contact with my friends. Work has been using more than its fair share of energy out of me!

However, I had recently been thinking that my job wasn't challenging enough. I guess this is the answer to my ponderings! It's been stressful, but I'm hoping it will be challenging, fun and a great learning experience. The CEO of the new parent company came out yesterday for a "town hall" meeting. It was pretty informative and the atmosphere they endorse is a good one. So far, my experience in dealing with several other people out-of-state is that the intent seems to be the actuality with regard to helpfulness, lack of politics and teamwork. It might turn out to be better than I had hoped!

That said, I have worked WAAAAAY too much this week, so I can't wait to escape from here this afternoon and run down to LAX to hop on a plane and visit with my sister and nephew this weekend! My nephew turns 8 next week, but he's having a birthday party on Sunday. I'm also going to a holiday party with my sister on Saturday night. I haven't been out to visit them in a while! It's supposed to be downright cold too. My sister called to warn me that the high for Sunday would be in the 20s!! I'm definitely taking the wool/fur coat and the long underwear! Not to mention, gloves, scarf and hat! It'll be nice for a change of pace. Speaking of, I need to run home at lunch and pack!

Game-wise, I borrowed Apples to Apples Jr. for the birthday party. Since it'll be 20 degrees outside, I doubt we'll be turning the kids loose outside!

Thursday, December 06, 2007

BGG Secret Santa 2007

I'm participating in BoardGameGeek's Secret Santa gift exchange this year and all I can say is "WOW!!!!!"

I received an email from my Secret Santa last week that said:
You have been very good this year and your Secret Santa has sent you a package from Thoughthammer. They don't wrap their SS gifts, so your Santa insists that you open your package when you get it and not wait until Christmas. Your Secret Santa wants you to play, play, play right away.

Your Secret Santa lives in Massachusetts.
So, when the box arrived today, imagine my absolute happy dance-i-ness when I saw that my Secret Santa did not send me ONE game, but THREE!!! How generous!! WOW!!

I received: Antike, Gang of Four AND the New Moon expansion deck for Werewolf!!

So to my Secret Santa: Thank you, thank you, thank you!!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

I need a man with social skills

This guy with a FULL beard started communication with me on eHarmony the other day. I like my men on the clean-shaven side, but I went ahead and answered his questions and started the process because I figured I should try to be open-minded about the facial hair. Then we got to the second stage where we exchange our "Must Haves/Can't Stands".

One of his Must Haves was: "I must have a partner who mainly enjoys staying in together and having quiet evenings alone or with close friends."

I could not click "CLOSE MATCH" fast enough! Wow, that really is a sore spot for me. I don't want to be in a relationship where I feel trapped and feel like I have to spend all my time with my partner. I naturally tend to lean that way, but the fact that he's listing it as one of his Must Haves means he must really want that alone time or time with close friends. I was feeling smothered just READING that statement. Ick, ugh, and yuck! Part of it is reactionary from my marriage, but one thing I know is that I do not want a repeat of that aspect of my marriage!

That's why one of my Must Haves is: I must have a partner who loves to socialize with lots of different people.

I have a core group of friends, but I have a wide circle at the same time! I need someone that can hang with them and be at least open to spending time with them. Spending time alone is great, but I don't want to get caught in that rut of spending ALL our time together. It's not healthy. And more importantly, I don't want a life like that.