An Extraordinarily Long Overdue Post!

Hello all. It’s now been nearly a month since I last updated this poor neglected website with any posts or pictures. This changes tonight! There’s a lot to recap, but we’ll see what I can manage with this (and subsequence posts of increased [hopefully] frequency and regularity).

One note: for the time being, this will be a pictureless post; I’m working on integrating a gallery section into the blog part of this site, so as to minimize the amount of data transferred when people come to this front page. That should be coming later tonight, and, if not tonight, certainly tomorrow.

In any case, on with the update:

New Year’s Weekend:

For New Year’s Weekend, Lauren and I went down to visit Mom and Dad in San Diego, and have something of a second Christmas, during which I got several more wonderful presents. Among them was: A nice long black coat that I can wear over my suits (and I’ve worn it a good deal since receiving it!), a cookbook (from which I’ve made one recipe – a cocoa-spice-rubbed pork tenderloin, which was absolutely delicious), a digital camera (Casio EX-Z750, which is possibly the neatest little camera ever, and from which future pictures for this site will come), a GPS unit for my car (it tells me how to get places in a pleasing female British voice; Lauren has taken to calling it ‘the other woman,’ but is gradually coming to appreciate it), and, from my grandparents, a coffee-maker that I can (and have!) programmed to brew a pot of coffee all on its own just before I wake up. Wonderful neat things!

On our first day down there, Lauren and I drove to Rock’n Jenny’s Italian Subs, where we had sandwiches with Mike Kalas, who is currently off in Tennessee doing web-development for the city of Nashville, and Rob Schramm and his new (to me) girlfriend Chelsea Stanton, who is very nice; Rob has done well for himself!. We then headed to my parents, where we opened presents before having Beef Fondue for dinner, which was very good, and we learned to maximize efficiency by eventually sticking several pieces of meat onto one fondue fork before putting it into the oil to be cooked. Fun was had by all, though there were – alas! – no fondue wars that are a requisite of any cheese-based fondue meals. After dinner we headed over to Rob’s house for some late-night DDR sessions that were (rather embarrassingly) caught on video.

The next day we hung out with my family for a bit, after eating delicious affelskivers (not sure if I’m spelling this right; they’re like little spherical pancakes), and then headed off to play miniature golf with Rob, Chelsea, and another couple. Lauren beat all of us quite handily in the first round, was the first to get a hole-in-one, and had a miraculous bank-putt on one of the harder holes.

We headed back up to LA the next day, in a deluge of pouring rain that abated almost entirely when we reached LA. It hasn’t rained here since.

The Next Two Weeks

This was followed up by a relatively uneventful two weeks of work and a weekend to myself, as Lauren was up with her mom for the remainder of her holiday break. Work has finally begun increasing in both pace and magnitude, which is good, I think, after the doldrums of the holidays in which there was very little work to be done in the office. Much better to be working at something than sitting around wanting work.

The Weekend before Last

The weekend before last was rather fun; Lauren and I decided to try one of the recipes in the cookbook I got for Christmas, and made the aforementioned cocoa-spice-rubbed pork tenderloin. It was absolutely delicious, especially the end pieces. The rub was really quite good; I was skeptical at first about a meat dish that had cocoa powder as a main ingredient, but everything tasted delightful and very savory. On the whole it was a relatively easy dish to prepare too. We had it with steamed broccoli and au gratin potatoes.

The next day we decided to try our hands at tennis (this may have been more at my instigation than anything else, but I digress). We headed out to a nearby Sportsmart and bought tennis rackets (I got a Head racket that is made of titanium) and tennis shoes for me (I haven’t had a pair of tennis shoes for years and years and years). Then we headed off to the many courts at UCLA and played at playing tennis. Neither of us is any good, but we didn’t let that stop us. The first ball I hit sailed clear over and out of our court, and was never seen again; I hit them a bit less hard after that, and got some more control over them. I ran all over the court and pretty much exhausted myself, though I had a tremendous time while doing so.

The next day, however, I paid for it. My legs were so sore I could hardly stand up, my sides were sore from bending down to pick up balls (we only used three balls for our first try – oops! A bigger oops even after I knocked one of them far far away early on), and my right arm was dead from swinging the racket. Lots of painful and slow moving about the apartment closed out the weekend.

Last Week’s Work

Work continued to increase, which I continue to think is a good thing; I ended up finishing 4 assignments or so, all of which had been assigned to me within the last week or two. As a bit of comparison, I had maybe 3 or 4 assignments in the entire month of December due to things being slow. It’s much much better to be busy than it is to be bored.

On Thursday I thought that I was finally over all vestiges of weekend-tennis-induced soreness, and decided to walk to work. Halfway there, I was regretting my decision with every step I took. My shins were on fire, and I felt like I would fracture each of my legs every time I took a step. Ouch. By Friday I was better, though.

This Last Weekend

This last weekend was also a fun one! Lauren and I got in a bit of tennis on Saturday morning before driving up to Santa Barbara for her Grandfather’s 90th birthday party. There were probably 40 or 50 people there all-told – I suppose when you get up to that age, you have a lot of people to invite. I met more members of her family that I didn’t meet at Christmas, and Lauren and I had a few successful games of Wahoo, which is her family’s all-time-favorite-board-game, with which any and all manner of disputes are settled. Lauren and I make a pretty formidable team when playing.

We stayed the night at her mom’s house in Buelton (of Sideways fame), and then went to see her horse Misty early Sunday afternoon with her two younger step-sisters, Tory and Hannah. Hannah had a great time riding Misty around; Tory had a bit of trouble, however; when being hoisted up onto Misty (Lauren’s horse), she didn’t swing her leg over, but grabbed onto the saddle-like-thing-that-isn’t-a-saddle-but-has-a-name-I-can’t-remember, and ended up pulling it halfway down Misty’s side, which startled Misty, causing her to move forward and rare up before Tory finally let go (I was holding her to help her up, so when she let go I had her and she was fine). She and Misty were rather freaked out by it all, though I think that the horse ended up recovering quicker.

We then drove back down to LA, I headed off to my apartment, slept, worked, then came home, and wrote this post.

And, for now, that’s all. I’m going to go and figure out something to do for dinner before I tackle the issue of getting some pictures of the following several weeks up to this website. Hope you all enjoyed this extraordinarily long overdue update!

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Date: Monday, 23. January 2006 18:42
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1 Comment

  1. 1

    Wow – an update! Very cool.
    Ouch on the legs —- sounds like shin splints (doing some warmup exercises before playing may help prevent it).
    Waiting for the pictures now !

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