Sunday, December 20, 2009

Google Voice

I just signed up for Google Voice! I'm curious to see how I'll like it and to see if it works. I have a new number that will automatically forward to my home and cell phone numbers. In addition, I can screen everything individually or by groups! Whenever people leave voice mail messages, it will email me an audio file of the voice mail as well as do a transcription of the voice mail message. I can easily make conference calls and listen to voice mails as they're being left! I'm excited to see how this will work.

Additionally, I put a cool new widget on the blog! Readers can call anytime and leave me audio commentary!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Sooooooo behind

I'm SOOOOOO behind on blogging. The last few months have been really, really busy and it looks like it's not letting up until January. So, I'll have to post snippets when I can.

Major stuff that's been going on over the last few months:
  • Went to San Francisco for Oracle Open World in October,
  • Went to Belgium, Amsterdam & Essen, Germany with Chris & Jeremiah,
  • Went to BGG.CON in Dallas,
  • Went to the Bohemian Grove with Dave for Thanksgiving,
  • Baked lots and lots of cookies, and finally...
  • Have gone on lots and lots of dates, especially over the last month!
In between all that, I've been working, gaming, cooking, eating and trying to sleep! I'll have to post little tidbits about those adventures (plus any other little ones)!

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Housing Swap

I love to travel. And really, the most expensive part of traveling seems to be the airfare and the lodging, whatever form it takes. I've long contemplated trying to find a housing swap to take advantage of the ability I have to work from anywhere.

So I placed an ad on Craigslist stating I have a one bedroom apartment and would be interested in swapping with someone and was open to the destination. So far, offers I've received:
  • Swap for 3-6 weeks with a girl from Paris! That would be awesome...
  • Swap during Jan - Feb for an apartment in the center of Madrid
  • Swap during January for a Manhattan apartment that sounds way nicer than mine
  • A local who needs a place for her parents to stay when they visit her and the new grandbaby, the parents have a place in northern Italy
  • Swap during February with someone in Brooklyn
All good choices. Madrid would certainly be the most adventurous. I'd definitely need to clean up my place. They'd have to take care of my cats too. So, it's going to require some research, but I need to prioritize which of them I'm the most interested in. Hmmmm...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Date tonight

I have a date tonight. This is the first date I've had in months and months and I feel ready! Lately I've become increasing frustrated with the ex-bf and he hasn't done himself any favors by ignoring my requests. That's a quick way to kill any kind of attraction.

Plus, I met a guy last weekend that kinda renewed my faith that I will find someone. He is incredibly sweet and seems like a very giving, loyal person, which is very attractive to me. You can also tell that he doesn't say anything lightly. If he says something, he means it 100%, which is refreshing. We spent a couple days together at camp, just star gazing, talking, hanging out and we had a blast. I talked to him a bit today and his life is in a bit of chaos, so I don't think there's anything to happen with him in the near future, but it was nice to just talk with someone and feel that connection. And of course, it happened completely when I wasn't expecting it to. Apparently I was ready and didn't even know it. It felt completely natural.

But the date tonight isn't with him. It's with someone from a dating site, so we'll see how it goes. He picked out an Italian restaurant that I've probably seen before but never gone in to eat there. I think the fact that he didn't suggest a chain restaurant is already a decent sign. The menu online looks tasty, so here's to hoping!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Camp Memories

I went to summer camp once as a child. It was the summer I lived with my dad when I was in third grade. If you know me now, one thing you'll learn is that I don't like extreme temperatures, either hot OR cold. I have very few memories on the camp I went to, but the most vivid one is doing the "polar bear swim" where we had to wake up early and swim across the short end of the very cold pool. It was traumatizing! I think we also sang songs and played Capture the Flag, but other than that, I don't remember a lot. So I've never had happy memories of camp. Luckily, that is all changed!

I rode up Friday night with Jon and we stopped in Bakersfield to pick up Keith. I had made it a condition of traveling that we eat at Moo Creamery, this tasty burger/ice cream place in Bakersfield. If you have never been, you have to stop on your way up. Their onion rings are delicious. I've been here twice. Each time, I think I'll save room for custom-flavored ice cream and I never have room after dinner! Here are a couple pictures of our food:

Onion Rings with Bacon & Blue Burger

Friday's special: Fish & Chips

And then when we came out, we saw this big beetle! I couldn't resist taking a picture!
Beetle outside of Moo Creamery

We arrived around 10:30 on Friday night. By the time we got there, everyone was asleep, so we just got settled in. I spent a few hours in the kitchen on Saturday helping my friend Stephanie cook for all the volunteers that Shane had up there to help close the camp down for the winter. We made grilled cheese sandwiches in the super cool kitchen. Of course I took pictures of both...
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches
The Kitchen

After helping Steph with lunch, she gave me a couple hours off to go explore the camp. Once I took a peek outside, I saw how gorgeous it is up there! It's up in the mountains, which is nice, but I think what I like best is that it's on a lake. Here's a picture I took looking down at the lake from just outside the dining hall.
View of the lake

View of the dock

We spent some time just shooting the breeze down at the dock and it was a blast.

After dinner, I rounded up the Boy Scouts that were volunteering that weekend to play Ultimate Werewolf. They could not get enough of it! We played four games in a row before the parents made them go to bed. It was really fun.

After Werewolf, I went up to the staff house to have a drink with Steph, Rimas, Justin, Christine & Cassie. We hung out for a just a bit and then everyone trickled off to bed. I ended up staying up for a while and to do some star gazing. The stars are stunning up at camp! Without light pollution, it's shocking how many you can see! I forget that there are so many of them!

I was sad to go home on Sunday. I had a great time with the folks up at camp and as I was sitting in my living room on Monday, working on payroll, I just missed the quiet beauty. I can't wait to go back next summer!

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Life is Short

This break-up has been tough and I haven't been doing a good job of keeping away from the ex-boyfriend. I called him last week. The good news is that I'm feeling better after talking with him. The bad news is that I feel kind of lame for breaking down and calling him, although I know he didn't mind. I have a soft spot for him, that's for sure. The more I think about him, us, our separate lives, a possible life together, I just keep thinking... life is short. Too many people have been dying lately, friends have been losing jobs, love is difficult to find and even more difficult to maintain... Life is full of changes.

I need to remind myself to keep looking forward... Taking a deep breath now. Staying focused. I need to stay strong. It's tough, but I can do it. I can do it. I can do it...

Thursday, August 27, 2009


The ex-bf talked me into joining him in playing Travian, an online war game. You start with a dinky little village and build up your resources, then with those resources, you build troops and then there's all out warfare. I'm on S8 and I started late. So far, I have one village that's medium sized and I just started a new village. I'm naming all of my villages after Race for the Galaxy worlds. I've befriended another East Coaster who's helping me with my account and vice versa, so it's something to do in the evenings. Unfortunately for him, he's getting picked on by a rival alliance and he's not sure he'll last another week or two. It's quite volatile.

People keep talking about the mid-game. I think this is when a lot of casual players get picked off and destroyed to get ready for the "end-game". Each server runs for a year. This one started in March, but I didn't start until June. I'm doing okay though considering I started so late.

The good thing is that it's something to keep me busy. To be successful, I probably should read up on strategy, but so far, I've just been winging it. I'll just be happy if I don't get wiped out. So far, no one's been really picking on me, but I'm sure I'll become a target once I grow my population some more. Until then, I'm just enjoying managing everything! It scratches that itch for me... I am enjoying it!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Another Break-Up

I've been really behind on blogging, but finally getting caught up on all the blogs. Mainly because I was dating someone that I wasn't blogging about and that was taking up a lot of my time. But, unfortunately, that is now over and it's freed up a lot of time that I need to fill somehow. I've been doing my best to keep busy because of all the break-ups over the last few years, so far, this one's been the most difficult to deal with. Part of the difficulty with it is that I really like him and I know he really likes me, compounded by the fact that we're broken up, but it's ambiguous. Add to that, we didn't break up because we didn't like each other or got into a big fight of some sort. He has a previous relationship that he needs to figure out first and that will take some time. I have no idea how much time it will take for him to figure it out. Or if he's even working on it (I hope he is). Or if he will ever figure it out. Or, or, or... There are many questions left unanswered at this point. I'm a planner type, so this uncertainty thing is not my favorite, nor is patience my strong suit. So there are lots of things rooting against my brain at this point.

I've been trying to convince myself that I need to just think: "It's completely over..." so then if anything changes in the future, it will be a surprise rather than trying to keep the hope alive that somehow we will work out. Plus, if I keep repeating that to myself, I can hopefully start moving on and be open to meeting someone else eventually.

That said, I think my big lesson from this one is: Don't get involved with someone if they are newly broken-up from someone because it might not be over. Especially if it was a long-term relationship. No matter how unhappy they were with the other person. No matter what the person says about the relationship or the other person. Because I think what I've learned more than anything is that old familiar phrase, "Actions speak louder than words..." He was a lot of words and a bit lackluster in the action department. Unfortunately for me, I am a "words of affirmation" person, so that kept me around long enough to fall for him. I won't make that mistake again. When I see lack of action, I will pay attention to that, more than the sweet, but empty words.

Additional lesson: I need to remember that people don't like to change and will often want to go back to what they're comfortable with, even if what they're going back to isn't good or fun or enjoyable. Even if it's not going to make them happy in the long run, people love to look back. To keep moving forward, you need to keep your eyes pointed forward. It's really difficult to do, especially in love relationships. Everyone wants to look back. I know, I've done it. I spent a long time deciding whether I should divorce Jason a few years ago. More recently, I've spent the last few weeks, looking back at him (and my phone, willing it to ring) and hoping everything will be different, but now I know... I have to keep my eyes forward so that I will move forward. I can't keep looking back. He knows how to reach me once he's done with looking over his shoulder. If he is ever done with it. I know how difficult it can be. I've been there. So while I get irrationally upset sometimes about it, I completely understand. And I do want what's best for him.

Because I think that more than anything, the goals for my life are: to grow, to be happy, to have meaning and share life with an equally suitable partner. I can't have that with him at this point so it's just as well that we're broken up. He has some work he needs to do and I'm not sure he wants to do it. Thankfully, I can stop thinking about that now.

And the last thing:
No more long distance relationships. None. Either someone moves, or it's just not happening.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Palm Pro

I went to the Sprint store today to find out which phone I could buy without switching away from my awesome SERO plan... The Palm Pre was ruled out because it required upgrading to an Everything pack from Sprint. I also found out that if I upgraded to a Blackberry, I'd have to add on some sort of Blackberry data plan, so that quickly ruled out a Blackberry.

I knew I wanted to get a SmartPhone/PDA type with a full QWERTY keyboard. That left a couple HTC models and the Palm 755, Centro and Pro. The guy at the Sprint store said that the HTC models freeze up frequently, so I ruled those out. The Palm 755 was too close to my 650 and the Centro was fine. The Palm Pro had different features because it had a major difference from my Treo 650: it runs on the Windows OS.

Long story short - I bought the Palm Pro mainly because it had OneNote Mobile and it can sync up with Outlook 2007, which my Treo 650 could not do. I love having my calendar with me at ALL times. It's SO awesome!! Now that I've been using it for the evening, I have to say I'm also very pleased with how easy it was to set it up so that it pulls down my Yahoo and Gmail emails! The camera is decent, a 2 megapixels one, but no flash.

Overall, so far, I'm pretty happy with it. The new OS will just take some adjustment. I'm really bummed I had to give up on the Palm Pre, but oh well. Maybe in a couple years... I have 30 days to return it in case I decide I don't want it or like it. I'll try to post another update to see if I'm still liking it in a couple weeks.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Palm Pre

Sprint has a new phone coming out on June 6, 2009. It's the Palm Pre and it's supposed to be some crazy awesome phone. I've been thinking I might buy one because my Treo has been quite temperamental lately and I'm worried it's going to just up and die on me. It's been randomly restarting when it gets overloaded and just hasn't been very cooperative lately. But then I read this on Engadget that says I won't be able to just add this phone to my existing SERO plan.

Sprint is taking a play out of the AT&T book and making its subscribers sign up for one of their "everything" plans. The cheapest plan they offer is $70/month for 400 minutes plus messaging and data, when I'm paying $30/month for 500 minutes plus messaging and data. Having a much higher monthly bill is completely not worth the super-cool new phone. I guess I'll have to start investigating other phones they have available. I really hope that all the phones I'm interested in don't have the Everything plan requirement because I won't buy that. I just don't need it. But I do need a new phone. Maybe it'll be back to eBay for me. That's where I bought the phone I had before the Treo 650 I currently have.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gamex 2009

I'm at Gamex, one of the local game conventions and I'm sad to report that I am in my hotel room, posting a blog post about how lame and old I am. But really, I don't think it's so much that as all my fellow crazy-late-nighters aren't here. Edward & Seth didn't make it and I think those two are the two that manage to talk me into staying up late to play games.

I'm also contemplating checking out a day early. There really isn't much happening on Monday and I could save $100+ if I just go home to sleep late Sunday night. I'm seriously considering doing that. I usually have a roommate to split the cost of a room, but this time I'm flying solo. Too bad I don't have a roommate because they upgraded me when I got in and I have a bigger room with a sleeper couch and it would've been perfect to share with a roommate. Oh well, next time.

I'm running the Charades tournament tomorrow night. I'm not doing standard Charades-style, I'm doing a "fortune cookie" charades tournament. All the clues will be fortunes. I'm not sure how it will go over, but considering it was the first way I ever played charades, it's near and dear to my heart.

I brought shoes/clothes to exercise while I'm here. Let's see if that actually happens. It could. I haven't decided if I want to subject myself to a Power Grid tournament at 10 AM tomorrow morning. It will just depend on how I feel when I wake up.

I must be tired because I'm rambling about nothing! Oh, but I did win one first place ribbon for Ticket to Ride: The Card Game. I really love this game. It's my favorite out of all the TtRs!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

OMG - could this meme be any more pervasive? And could I be any more behind the curve? Hi, here I am, four months after it was popular, filling out the 25 random things list. I'm never the early adopter on these, mainly because I kept getting 25 random things mixed up with 25 interesting things about me. So, once I gave up on trying to make them interesting, I was fine... And now, in no particular order, just the order I thought of them in... Dave - this is for you!!!! (I threw in a few more exclamation points just for you...)
  1. I'm a huge game show fan. I remember spending summers watching nothing but game shows from 9 AM - noon every morning! Oh, how I used to love Bob Barker and The Price is Right! And then I got older and had a mad crush on Alex Trebek. How could I not? He was soooooo smart! Now, I just think he's smug and want to strangle him every time he pronounces something with the correct accent. Although Jeopardy! is still one of my favorite game shows.
  2. Speaking of game shows... I've been on two since 2005. My sister and I went on Lingo (a Game Show Network show) in 2005 and proceeded to wipe up the competition. The stars were definitely aligned that day. In addition, I got to meet Chuck Woolery, Game Show Icon!! It was thrilling. If you ever want to see the episode, it's permanently on my TiVo and I also have DVDs made. Oh, and I was on the first episode ever of 1 vs. 100. It was such a terrible experience. Although, I did get to meet Ken Jennings (of Jeopardy! fame), so all was not lost.
  3. I was married for 11 years. We met at my favorite dive bar in Burbank and eloped two months later. On my 21st birthday. We're still friends and hopefully always will be. He's known me for the most important third of my life to this point.
  4. I went to a college prep magnet school for 7th - 11th grades . I didn't technically graduate from there, but the only friends I have from high school are from that school. As a nerd, I was on the Brain Brawl team and regularly traveled out of town for math competitions!
  5. I've pretty much had a job ever since I could legally work at age 15 1/2. My first W-2 job was at a movie theater in El Toro, CA. By the time I was 20, I had worked the following jobs (roughly in this order): concession girl for two movie theaters (CA & FL), hostess for a seafood restaurant, greeter/cashier at Jiffy Lube, driver/counter girl at a dry cleaners, a shuttle driver for my college, a back office phone person at a doctor's office, a waitress at several restaurants, a concession girl at a country club, an auditor for an inventory company and a receptionist at an aerospace company. I then stayed at the aerospace company for 13 years. I think I held three jobs at once, but that was temporary. Now I'm a CFO at an awesome computer consulting firm and work from home.
  6. I've been a B-52s fan since I was in the third grade and lived with my dad & his second wife and her family for a year. My super-cool 16 year old step-sister Danielle said they were cool and I believed her and have loved them ever since.
  7. I own a Ruger .357 Magnum revolver that has a six-inch barrel. I'd like to buy another gun, probably something in the automatic family. I know all of you who live in the South think, only one gun? But in California, I'm the right-wing gun nut!
  8. I can write with both hands. Backwards and forwards. Backwards as in, if you hold up the paper to a mirror, you can make out what it says. Oh, and in cursive. (I was bored in high school...)
  9. My favorite number is 9. Like seriously. It's the only thing I'm slightly OCD about. Whenever I set my alarm or set the microwave, I make it so that the numbers add up to 9 or a number divisible by 9. I never put anything in for 30 seconds... it's either 27 or 36. See how that works? (OK, moving on...) [Wait, I'm going to make this the #9 thing on the list. There, that's better.]
  10. I own 70 pairs of panties. I was having a conversation with a couple I know, during which he showed concern that if she didn't do her laundry, she might run out of underwear. I started laughing, then asked him how many pairs he owned. He guesstimated that he owned eight pairs(!). Wow. So, the next time I did laundry, I counted because I was curious to know how many I had. I can go two months baby!
  11. I took piano lessons for seven years. I was in second grade and remember watching our new next door neighbor move in and seeing the piano roll down the ramp of the moving truck! I had always wanted to take piano lessons. I started taking lessons and we promptly adopted her as our "granny" for many years.
  12. I have 364 items on my Netflix list. Probably not totally unreasonable, until I tell you that I'm on the "one disc at a time, maximum two discs per month" plan. And I've had Borat at home since September 2008. I probably should just return it so I can get the next disc on my list. But I'm a HUGE fan of the instant streaming through my 360.
  13. I'm a list maker! I love making to-do lists and one of my favorite blogs is Most of the posts are photos of people's to-do lists. They're fun to read.
  14. I'm a huge board game fan! I own 165 games and travel around the country to hang out with friends and play games. Along with #13, I track all my game plays on Since I started tracking in 2006, I've recorded 1,888 plays of about 500 unique games. In 2007, I traveled to Germany for gaming trade show. It was really fun.
  15. My favorite food is fried chicken and I try it anywhere I can. My favorite fried chicken place is Mrs. White's Golden Rule Cafe in Phoenix, AZ. If Mrs. White's isn't open, Lo-Lo's is almost as good. My non-Phoenix favorite is in Nashville: Monahan's, a great family-style sit-down buffet place. My favorite place in Los Angeles is Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles.
  16. I'm half Korean and 1/8+ Cherokee. What I find amusing is that some people think I look obviously Asian, while other people have no clue I am. I can't figure that part out.
  17. The first time I ever played Charades was actually Fortune Cookie Charades while on break at a gaming convention in 2007. My first official game of "normal" charades was 2/15/09. It was a lot of fun...
  18. I have an uncanny ability to guess what size pants guys wear. I don't know why I like doing it, but I do. I also am decent at guessing weight too. Maybe I should take a job at the fair...
  19. I just started exercising and actually am kinda diggin' it. I haven't been doing anything that crazy, just walking with a bit of jogging. I've been using Podrunner Interval and it's awe-some! My love handles are already getting smaller.
  20. I had a cookie-of-the-month club, where I made cookies for certain members "every month". That turned out to be just a wee bit overly ambitious. It has since turned into the cookie-of-the-quarter club, which means, I think they're due for some! It's the perfect Christmas gift for some of my guy friends who are real-life cookie monsters!
  21. My favorite city in the whole world is Paris. I've thought about moving there temporarily. I'd love to go there with a boyfriend or husband one day.
  22. I hate flossing. I try to make myself do it when I think about it, but I just hate doing it. I recently heard that flossing can help your breath smell better and this has actually helped me get started with flossing more regularly. Ah, vanity... Who wants bad breath??
  23. When I was a junior in high school, I went on a date with a guy who took me and a couple of his friends on a plane trip across the state of Florida to Cedar Key. We landed on a little, teeny, tiny airstrip. We walked to town after being offered a ride in the local "cab," a station wagon driven by this older woman. We ate a hole-in-the-wall walk-up counter. I don't think I ever saw him after that. And to think I was interested in going out with him because he was a tall, dorky white guy that had higher a math SAT score than me!
  24. I've been bitten by the poker bug. I think the gambling gene comes with being half-Asian. Craps used to be my game when I went to Vegas, but now it's all poker! I just went to Vegas for my birthday and we managed to spend 19 hours playing poker in a trip that was less than 48 hours. And most of it was on Sunday.
  25. My favorite weird food combos are peanut butter & kimchi sandwiches, kimchi on my hot dogs, peanut butter on pickles and pickles with spaghetti.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Photo up on

Often I get teased for all the photos of food I take when we go out to eat. I love doing that. They aren't gourmet shots, just quick ones to remember what we had to eat that night. Hmmm... that reminds me, I need to download my birthday dinner photos off of my camera!

Well, contacted me and asked if they could use one of my grilled cheese photos from our outing to Campanile a couple years ago. I asked them for $50 to use it and they basically said that they don't have a budget to pay people for photos, but that they'd link to my blog and flickr account, so I said, "Why not?" So, I have a photo up in their article: 10 Greatest Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. I'm photo #2 of the Croque Madame.


Friday, April 17, 2009

Dating Update

I haven't posted much about dating lately. Last month I went out on a couple dates with a guy from OKCupid and they were fine, but no sparks from either direction. He's into board games though, so I have invited him over games once since and we had fun.

Other than that, I do have someone on the horizon and that's about all I can say about it because he knows about the blog and prefers that I don't blog about him, which is completely fine by me. Although, by mentioning him at all, I may have already broken the "don't blog about me" rule. Hmmm... Well, no particulars will be forthcoming, so I think technically, this is okay. :-) This will be the only mention unless things really ramp up and then I think he'll have to give me a wee bit of leeway to post a little something, but we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

And of course, I had re-joined eHarmony with some three-month special they had going on, so it just figures that this would happen right that! I'm going to go put that on hold for now.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Behind on blogging

I'm terribly behind on blogging. The last non-health-related post I was working on was that crazy 25 random things about me. Dave - I will get this posted soon. However, I'm not sure I can post it to Facebook. It seems too ancient at this point to do it. Although, with the new format, I'm not sure anyone will even notice it anyway. I hate how everything is so jumbled up. I especially hate that on the website you can't *just* get status messages, you have to go through the news feed and see everyone's quiz results. Although I bet there is a way to filter out the extraneous BS and just get status messages. I'll have to figure that out some other time. At least on the mobile version, I can still just get status messages.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Good News!

I spoke with my cardiologist today and it was good news!! He spoke with his colleague in Tucson and the verdict is that the Tucson doctor doesn't think that I need to do any further testing because he doesn't think the abnormalities that are on the MRI look like ARVD. He recommends that I do another MRI in a year to recheck it. So, that's what I'm going to do for now! :-)

I'm just happy because now I can exercise without worrying about keeling over!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Second Opinion

My sister was in the same boat that I was. Her MRI came back with abnormalities, but her doctor offered to send her MRI with the report off to a doctor in Tucson who is heading up a study of ARVD. This doctor reviewed the MRI and said that to him, they looked normal and she didn't need to worry about the ARVD, but to get checked every year (or maybe it was every two years), but the point is, she didn't need to worry about the ARVD.

Meanwhile, I got scheduled to do the angiogram and biopsies next Wednesday. My sister called and suggested that I have this same doctor review my MRI before I undergo these procedures, so I called and spoke with my doctor and he's good friends with the guy, so he's going to send off my MRI and other pertinent info to him to see what he thinks before I do any further testing. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and praying that he has good news for me. That would be awesome, but I'm preparing myself for the possibility that I will need to do further testing.

Second opinions are good. Especially when one of the possible side effects of doing the biopsies is that the wall of my heart could rupture. That would be bad. Very bad. He's going to submit everything to the Tucson doctor on Monday and I'm hoping to have some word back from him by Friday.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Heart Update

I saw my cardiologist today to discuss the results of my MRI from last month. He said there were some abnormalities, but nothing definitive to indicate ARVD, so I have to undergo more testing. He wants to schedule me for two more tests, hopefully next week. One's a right ventricular-gram where they are going to inject me with some kind of dye and then see the contrasting colors in my right ventricle to see if they can tell anything and he also wants to do some biopsies where they will take six tissue samples to test. He says it's a safe procedure. I don't really have any choice because I need to know.

I was very frustrated because I thought the MRI would tell us something more and it didn't, so now the timeline just gets longer and longer. Oh well. I think I'm going to go ahead and start exercising again though because I don't want to sit around for another month doing nothing. I'm not too stressed out about it. More than anything, I just want to know one way or another so I can deal with it if I have to and have it be over.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Health Issues

This year has started off with a bang as far as health stuff is concerned. I had two issues pop up in January.

I found out right before I went on my work cruise (hmmm... I don't think I ever blogged about that!) that I have fibroids, which are benign tumors that grow in muscle layers of my uterus. My primary care doctor recommended I see a gynecologist about it because I have six of them and one in particular was kinda big (6.6 cm wide), or as she put it: "the size of a small grapefruit." My first question was "How could I have something that big inside me and NOT know it?" I found out that common symptoms are problems with urination and heavy/painful periods. Luckily, I have nothing like that happening.

After waiting a month for an appointment, I met with the gynecologist who said that the big fibroid is in the wall of my uterus vs. taking up space inside the uterus, so that's good. He said that he didn't recommend taking it out because cutting into my uterus would be more likely to lead to infertility than just leaving it in, especially if I have no symptoms and there's no reason to take it out. I was so relieved, I almost started crying while sitting in his office. The next step is I need to have another ultrasound done in six months, just to see how fast they're growing.

The other thing I've been concerned about all month, although at this point, I've just given up being stressed about it, is the chance that I could have ARVD, a genetic heart disease. Basically, if you have ARVD and your heart has an arrhythmia, it can cause you to die. The reason I even got tested for it was because it was declared the cause of death of my cousin Donna, who passed away last August. Her sister Robyne was diagnosed with it and was almost immediately put under the knife to have a defibrillator installed, which was rather alarming. The defibrillator acts like a pacemaker and zaps your heart if it has an arrhythmia to get it back on track.

After all this, we found out that ARVD was the cause of death listed on my grandmother's autopsy several years ago, but no one ever TOLD US to go get checked because it's a genetic disease! If someone had, my cousin Donna could possibly be alive today. But Robyne says, Donna has potentially saved all of us. I love Robyne's faith and optimism. It's inspiring.

So far, I've met with a cardiologist who has participated in studies related to ARVD, so I hope he'll be able to properly diagnose me. I have a cardiac MRI scheduled for tomorrow afternoon, so I get to spend 90 minutes in a tube, trying to remain very, very still. I'm going to take a CD of the MRI to my appointment with my cardiologist on Wednesday morning so he can then interpret it to see if I have the dreaded fatty tissue on my right ventricle. You've got to love modern technology!

If I have it, I want to just know so I can deal with it, but ideally, not having it would be better! My sister did her cardiac MRI last Friday and is meeting with her doctor on Thursday, so I'm anxious to find out her results too. To be honest, I would love to get back to any kind of exercise other than just walking. I miss hiking and have been afraid to do anything else, in case it inadvertently causes an arrhythmia! By Wednesday, I should know, so that will be a relief.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oh, Trader Joe's...

This guy made an unauthorized commercial for Trader Joe's on his Treo. Hilariousness! Enjoy! If you love Trader Joe's, you'll enjoy this...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Five and Dimes for 2008

First, I didn't hit 100 new-to-me games for the year like I was hoping to. But here is a list of the games I played more than five and ten!

The Big Dollar
277 plays - Race for the Galaxy - Still one of my favorite games, if not my favorite. It's just fun, fun, fun.

30 - Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm
16 - Tichu - I really only play this at conventions
15 - Agricola
15 - Time's Up! - Still my favorite party game!
13 - Dominion
10 - Taboo
10 - Pandemic

9 - Time's Up! Title Recall
8 - Through the Ages
8 - Werewolf
7 - Ticket to Ride: The Card Game
6 - Brass - Definitely one of my favorite new games!!
6 - Cheeky Monkey
6 - Code 777
6 - Liar's Dice
6 - Password
6 - Unpublished Prototype
5 - Power Grid
5 - Tribune
5 - Yspahan

Games I expect to remain on my five and dimes for 2009?

Race for the Galaxy is an absolute... I'm already up to 12 plays. I also suspect that all my dimes will stay and probably most of my fives. Wow. Wait. Let me compare to my 2007 five and dimes. In 2007, I had 25 games listed on my five and dimes. There is a lot of overlap from 2007 to 2008 and I suspect that will continue in 2009.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Brass Online

One of my favorite games in the last year has been Brass, a game from Martin Wallace that came out during my trip to Essen in 2007. It was 50 Euros, so it seemed a little pricey at the time, but man, I'm kicking myself for not getting a copy. I really am a fan of that game.

A guy has posted a primitive website that has an AWESOME version of Brass. It's not pretty, but it works REALLY well and I think playing Brass by email is a great idea. This game can produce a lot of thought and this gives people the time to think out their moves!

I finished one game last week and it was great. And I'm totally looking to play some more. Here's the website:

Anyone interested? You just create a free account! If you know how to play, you can check out the format on the game I just started up called Craftybeans.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Budgeting and Envelope System Update

I've now tried the Envelope System for two months. I allocated $150 each month for groceries and $200 for going out to eat.

Groceries - Wow, was December the completely wrong month to try to start this! Besides regular groceries, I cooked Christmas Eve dinner for Dave & his parents which was an extra chunk of cash. Trying to stick to a budget makes you realize how expensive meat is! I bought the prime rib on sale for $4/lb, so it cost $28. Between Christmas Eve dinner, there was also New Year's Eve. Those two "events" put me over my budget for the month by $89.

Dining Out - I managed to avoid the Christmas Eve dinner to Providence which would've set me back $150 easily. Instead, I came in $25 under budget. Woo-hoo! I really had to make an effort to do this. I had to turn down going out for dinner and stop myself from making a quick stop to pick up a quick something. This took a lot of conscious effort.

Groceries - I was out of town for over a week, which helped cut down on the groceries I needed to buy for the month. I stocked up on stuff that I can use over the next couple months, including 25 pounds of flour and hamburger patties. I came in $8 under budget!

Dining Out - I spent some money on the cruise for alcohol and ended up coming in $18 under budget!

So, over the last two months, I spent $38 more than I had budgeted, but! I feel like it's been a success. I easily could've spent a lot more money on both areas, but didn't because I was consciously spending. Or rather, consciously NOT spending. Normally, I'd just go with the flow and go out to eat whenever, but now I'm trying to plan ahead to figure out whether I want to spend the cash to go out. The groceries should be fairly easy to manage I think. It'll be tougher when I'm going to be entertaining more.

I'm going to continue on with the system for at least a couple more months and then reassess. The economy is totally going downhill, with no end in sight. Even though I have money saved, I'm definitely trying to save more money. It's always good to be prepared in case of an emergency and who knows, maybe I'll want to buy a house. I stopped at an open house yesterday and the home prices in Burbank have come down, with several of them even under $500K, but frankly, I think they'll come down a lot more over the next year, so I'm just going to sit tight and save up some more cash.

I did decide to not max out my 401(k) this year, but instead take more cash in hand. There's no company match where I work, so it's not like I'm giving up any free money. I'm still maxing out my Roth IRA though. I'm still investing in my investment account that is outside of my retirement account. That has been the most difficult. To keep investing the same amount of money in there without feeling a twinge of "OMG I'm going to lose money". I keep remembering what I read in the The Coffeehouse Investor about how the no matter what the worst five year span is, it basically always goes back up... at least historically, it has! So I'm going to just chill and wait. And cross my fingers and hope that everything goes back up eventually. Besides, like Chris said, "It'll eventually go back up and if it doesn't everyone will be screwed, so it won't even matter."

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We broke up

Greg & I broke up tonight. We've had periodic discussions about how things were going and I think we were both in agreement that we looked great on paper, but in person, something was not quite right. The chemistry was there, but not fully there. So, we tried and tried and then, we broke up.

We've become very close over the last several months and he wants to remain friends and I do too. So, that's the plan. On one hand, it totally sucks. And on the other hand, it's good. I think I had started to lose hope that I would find someone who had the qualities I want in a boyfriend and then I met him, on a weekend I was pretty sure would be the worst of my life for completely other reasons. Instead, out of the blue, I met him and we were off! He restored my hope that there are still fabulous, caring men out there.

Wow, I am going to miss him... I was wrong. This totally sucks.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Download the new Suze Orman book for freeeeee

You can download Suze Orman's new book Suze Orman's 2009 Action Plan for free at this website. You can do it until next Thursday, January 15, 2009, so don't delay! Save yourself $9.99 and get some advice on what you should do in 2009!

Friday, January 02, 2009


Over Thanksgiving break, I read Twilight, which is as my friend Shannon describes it: "It's like Sweet Valley High meets a vampire novel!" It's a total teenager love story that is thoroughly enjoyable. I loved it!!

It seems to be very popular with the ladies, regardless of age... Right around the time I was reading it, I found out that Greg's sister has read all of them, my sister was reading Twilight and has subsequently read the second novel New Moon, and Shannon has been blazing through them too. I can't wait to start New Moon myself!

I should probably add reading more to my New Year's Resolutions... Still working on what those will be exactly...

Thursday, January 01, 2009

New Movie List for 2009

In 2007, I used to keep track of all the new movies I watched and I've decided to revive that for 2009! I think I'll count seasons of TV shows too...

  1. It Happened One Night - 1/1/09. Watched this with Travis and for an old, black and white movie, it was pretty good. Clark Gable is young and handsome and I found out later that he started a "no undershirt" trend way back when...
  2. The Office - Seasons 1-3 - January 2009. I am so in love with Jim! He's cute, kinda dorky and funny.
  3. Misery - 1/18/09. Yeah, this is an oldie that I still hadn't watched. Kathy Bates is (a) young, (b) freakin' creepy and (c) pretty damn amazing...
  4. Murder by Death - 1/25/09. This movie completely reminded of Edward and his Top Secret! love. Oh my. It was pretty damn and you really have to pay attention because the jokes fly by...
  5. The Office - Season 4 - Stupid Netflix doesn't have Season 5 available yet!!! Boo. I've decided that Dwight is my favorite character. He consistently makes me laugh.
  6. Weeds: Season 1 - I love this show. The drug suppliers are awesome and just every character is interesting. Shane loves Uncle Andy!
  7. Weeds: Season 2 - Oh, it continues to be awesome!
  8. Dexter: Season 2 - A little slower than Season 2, but still awesome. And that British chick was just insane deliciousness.
  9. Watchmen - 3/16/09. I've never read the graphic novel, saw it in the IMAX theater. It was very visually interesting. I can see why people like it, but I wasn't totally sucked into it like others. Maybe because I didn't already have a deep-seeded love? Not really sure.
  10. The Thing - 2/12/09. An old horror movie that I actually really enjoyed. It was scary too which I kinda wasn't expecting. It just seems like older movies won't be scary, although I don't even know why I would think that considering that some of my favorite scary movies are from the 70s! Kurt Russell is so freakin' young in this too. Man, he was a cutie!
  11. Boyz N The Hood - 2/20/09. Oh, this movie was incredible. How have I never seen it before? These movies just tug at my heart strings. I can't imagine living or growing up in such an unstable environment. I love Lawrence Fishburn's character too.
  12. Ocean's Eleven - 1/30/09. I love the plot in the movie, although I had a little trouble following it. There was a lot of pausing and questioning of certain parts because I was watching it with Chris and he's seen it before.
  13. Star Trek -