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Christmas 2016

Saturday, December 31st, 2016 2 comments

The Christmas season has been fun this year. Even though the snow was an inconvenience at times, it was nice getting an unusually high amount of it for Portland this year.  I’ve spent a lot of time at home due to the snow and the fact that people work from home a lot during the holidays.

I didn’t have trouble getting into the spirit after the great Friendsgiving I had at my friends Matt and Zach’s place.  I may have dialed things back a bit because I’m living with someone who is not really into Christmas.  I think Kysen was going through some emotional stuff at the Friendsgiving celebration, but he had a good time.  We even went to see a movie that night. During the Christmas season, I still listened to music, sang songs, watched Christmas specials, etc., but I didn’t do it much around him. He was a good sport and tolerated it when I did.

We decided we would have more of a Solstice celebration. We decorated a little potted tree that Kysen normally keeps in his room.  We crafted some ornaments and even hung John Lennon and Yoko Ono sock puppets on it.  We took a photo in front of the tree with Reese, who wouldn’t be still.  We put the tree up the night of my accident. A little later that night, Kysen got a piece of headlight from my old car and put it at the base of the tree.
Family Christmas photo

I gave Kysen his gifts on December 21. He gave me my Solstice gift on my birthday because my birthday present hadn’t arrive in the mail yet. He gave me my birthday present on Christmas eve because it came in the mail that day.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were on a Saturday and Sunday.  We spent Saturday grocery shopping, art supply shopping for a class I’m taking soon [I think I forgot to write about the class I took in the fall], and getting some stuff for a tank Kysen bought (I think he got it the day before). I actually got a nano tank while we were out.  We spend Saturday organizing and cleaning and getting the tanks ready for fish. We had salmon and rice that Kysen cooked for dinner. One Sunday we finished organizing and were really lazy for the rest of the day. Kysen did some painting and I played video games. I used my slow cooker for maybe the second or third time to make Indian food. It turned out well. We watched Sausage Party while we ate.

What did I get for my birthday and for Christmas:

  • a homemade candle
  • a mermaid bathroom hook
  • Cowboy Bebop: The Movie
  • Weird Oregon: Your Travel Guide to Oregon’s Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets
  • 12-month PlayStation Plus membership card
  • a Broadcast tank top
  • Game of Thrones shot glasses
  • Imploding Kittens (the Exploding Kittens expansion)
  • Drawing the Head & Figure
  • a bag of cleaning rags
  • a Super Mario Christmas tree ornament
  • a video game centric drinking cup
  • MacBook Pro (gift to myself)

It wasn’t a traditional Christmas, but it was great to spend it with someone I care about. We spoke the other night about New Year’s Eve. Neither of us have plans, but we’ll figure out something.

This year has been a mixed bag.  Some of it’s been really great, and some of it’s been really difficult.  Life is still good though.  I met all the goals I set for myself last year. I think the last time I met all my goals for the year, I didn’t set any goals for the following year.  I think I’ll just wait a few weeks and see if I want to set any goals for 2017.

I hope everyone has a happy New Year.  Take care of yourself.

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 No comments

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is coming. I was thankful not to spend Christmas alone this year. Thanksgiving was a little tough. Seeing everyone post pictures of food and family while I was sitting at home playing Fallout 4 was a little sad.

Luckily, my friend Joel invited me to a Christmas dinner party that he was going to. He’s in the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and some of them had a fun party that night. My company and my runner’s group had Christmas parties the week before, so this was my third one this year.  I had a great time and it was fun connecting with new people.

What did I get for Christmas?

  • Blue Snowball microphone
  • Star Trek shirt
  • The Firefly board game
  • A wooden box that I plan on painting and keeping stuff in
  • A pair of briefs
  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Game of Thrones coloring book
  • Game of Thrones season 4 soundtrack

I hope I remembered everything. I’ll be getting something from my sister and family later.

This year I decided to end my tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in December. It’s just becoming harder and harder to find the time and this December I was trying to re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens was awesome, btw). Last year was I believe the 10th consecutive year, so it’s probably a good time to end it. I’m a little sad because my favorite traditions are ones that I’ve started myself. I always said that the year couldn’t really end until I heard that Annie Lennox song at the end of the third movie, which I always watched on New Year’s Eve.

I think I stopped setting goals for the upcoming year after I moved to Portland. In case I’ve never said this before, I hate calling them resolutions. I posted some 2016 goals on Facebook the other day and figured I would post them here to make them easier to find. Some are repeats of things I did this year. #1 will be completed on January 1 and #2 may happen before the end of basketball season.
1) Go on at least 1 real date
2) Attend at least 1 pro sports event
3) Get more sleep
4) Get organized again
5) Keep doing the good things I started this year
6) Take more pictures
7) Not forget about this list

Usually I don’t do out on New Year’s Eve, but I am tonight. It might be the first time I’ve ever done so. I’m going to a private party at my friends Ez and Andrew’s place. I was also invited to hang out with the Chorus people I spent Christmas night with, but I had already committed this one. It should be a great time. I guess this will end my tradition of buying a bottle of wine for myself on New Year’s Eve.

I had such a great 2015. I put myself out there more and made many new friends. I don’t have a lot to complain about, and what I do I hope to change in 2016. I hope everyone has a happy and successful 2016.

Audiobooks

Monday, March 30th, 2015 No comments

Lately, I’ve really gotten into audiobooks.  I think it was last summer that I re-activated my Audible subscription.  I created an account to get that 1 free book years ago, but I canceled afterward and never even listened to the book.  Until last summer, that is.

I was reluctant to listen to audiobooks because I figured I would miss too many details.  When I listen to podcasts at work, I miss portions because I’m focusing on my work. However, I’ve found that there are tasks that I do during the day that I don’t need to focus on much,  so I’m able to focus on the book enough to catch what’s going on.  An example is that I spend about an hour in my car on an average day, so I can get a lot of listening done in my car.

I doubt that I would choose the audiobook for a book by one of my favorite authors or a book that comes highly recommended.  I have been able to experience books that are off my radar.  It’s allowed me to keep “reading” since though it’s harder for me to find the time to sit down and read a book these days.

It’s taken me a while to jump on the audiobook bandwagon because I love my paper books.  I hope to continue utilizing them for a long time.

Christmas 2014

Sunday, December 28th, 2014 2 comments

Christmas was good this year.  I was in the spirit pretty early on, but sometime the week before I lost it a little bit.  I got it back though in time for Christmas.  I was alone here in Protland, so at times I did feel a little lonely.  It was hard seeing all the photos on social media of people with their families and good food.  All I had for dinner was a piece of chicken and some veggies. At least I had Reese and he’s good company.  Next year will different hopefully.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas?

  • Spartacus: The Complete Series on blu-ray
  • Microwave (I bought for myself)
  • King size wine glass
  • Serenity: Leaves on the Wind hardcover
  • Portlandia: Season 4 on DVD
  • Labyrinth on blu-ray
  • The Neverending Story on blu-ray
  • Interstellar soundtrack
  • GIRL by Pharrell Williams
  • Twin Peaks soundtrack
  • Requiem for a Dream (the book)
  • Touch and Go paperback by Lisa Gardner
  • Game of Thrones map poster
  • Game of Thrones blanket

Taking it Easy

Wednesday, November 26th, 2014 No comments

I haven’t really done much since I got back from Hawaii.  It’s been nice to be live a lazy and boring life.

A couple of weeks after I got back from Hawaii, I came home to find that Reese wasn’t his normal energetic self.  After a couple of trips to the emergency vet and a visit to the doctor that performed his surgery back in March (she works at a different place now), we figured that it was a return of his back problems, which will be a lifelong problem.  Although I was prepared to take him in for surgery again, it looks like bed rest has help greatly.  I started taking him on increasingly longer walks each week as the doctor instructed, but this week he started limping a little bit.  I started shortening his walks and he’s doing better.  He seems like his normal self most of the time.

I entered a weight loss competition at my gym and it started right before I left for Hawaii.  I used my 4 complimentary personal training sessions to learn a new workout routine.  Even though I had been working out, I was still very much out of shape.  My old workout wasn’t cutting it. My new workout was a “basic” workout, but it was very tough.  My trainer is honest and told me beforehand it wouldn’t be easy.  Over the next 4-5 weeks, I saw made some good progress, but it was getting too easy and I wasn’t loosing weight anymore.  I paid for 8 more sessions and I’m learning a more long-term workout routine.  It’s much much harder than what I was doing before.  Also, I’ve been eating better.  I’ve done pretty well with sticking to my food plan over the past couple of weeks.  So far, I’ve lost about 17 lbs.  I’m in 8th place in the weight loss competition.  At this point, I don’t really care about the competition anymore.  I just want to be healthier.

I’ve been trying to play video games as much as possible.  There are way too many games and not enough time to play them.  I’ve also been catching up on a lot of movies that missed.  Everyone should go see Birdman.

I went to “An Evening with Patrick Rothfuss” here in Portland about a month ago.  The Doubleclicks opened for him.  Most of it was a repeat of what I saw at P.A.X., but it was still fun.  I got an autographed copy of his new book.  I was too tired to stand in a long line to get a personalized autograph.  Maybe next time.

Work is the main thing that’s bothering me these days.  I’m just very bored and frustrated.  I’ve talked to the people that I need to talk to, but no one seems to want to change anything except me.  Hopefully, things will turn around soon.

That’s it for now.  I have to get a few things ready for Thanksgiving tomorrow.

Christmas 2013

Thursday, December 26th, 2013 No comments

I had a good Christmas this year.  I decided to remain in Portland this year. It’s nice to spend a holiday resting instead of traveling.  I missed seeing my family, but I didn’t mind missing out on the airports. I worked on Christmas Eve for the first time ever, but I did take a vacation from work beginning on Christmas Day and ending on New Year’s Day. On Christmas Day I saw two movies, two of many movies I plan to see during my break. I’m going to a game night on New Year’s Eve, but that’s the only social activity.  I have planned.

What did I get for my birthday and Christmas? My friends and family took very good care of me this year.

  • Grimm lore book
  • Batman figure
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Princess Mononoke on DVD
  • 2(x)ist underwear
  • Pizza pan
  • Beanie
  • Enterprise-D model
  • C.O.P.S. Vol. 1 and 2 on DVD
  • Batman snuggie

I sent my niece a toy Dora the Explorer guitar. I hear that she really liked it and was doing air guitar not long before she got her gift.

Aisha Tyler Book Signing

Sunday, July 14th, 2013 No comments

I think it was about a week ago that I learned Aisha Tyler would be in town for a book signing at Powell’s. Usually I know about these things way ahead of time, but this one slipped by me. There have been other signings that I planned to go to and changed my mind because something came up or I was too tired, but I knew I had to make it to this one.

I first became aware of Aisha Tyler when she was on 24, which was one of my favorite shows at that time. No, I didn’t watch Friends, so I don’t know her from that show. Sometime after that I saw her on TechTV on some show they did about celebrities who play video games. Or maybe I saw her on TechTV first and then remembered her when I saw her on 24. Whatever the case, I loved her geekiness. Since then I’ve learned just how big of a geek she is. Also, in addition to TV and movies, she’s also does stand-up. I haven’t watched everything she’s been, but I’ve sort of kept up with what she’s done. I listened to her podcast for a while and I recently t started watching Archer.
Aisha Tyler

She started out by reading a passage from her book. I have it, but I haven’t had a chance to read it. Afterwards she took a bunch of questions. She was very funny and sweet. She seems like a genuinely nice person. Then it was time for autographs. This was a much smaller crowd than the Neil Gaiman signing, so it went by quickly and was stress free. She took time to talk to everyone and even posed for pictures if you asked. I told her how much I loved her on 24 and thanked her for coming to Portland.
Aisha Tyler and me

I had a great time! I’ve re-subscribed to her podcast. I also set my DVR to record the reboot of Who’s Line Is It Anyway. She took over for Drew Carey. I loved that show back in the day. I need to find some of her stand-up on YouTube. I plan on starting her book soon.

Neil Gaiman Book Signing

Sunday, June 30th, 2013 No comments

I got to meet Neil Gaiman yesterday! Woot! He’s on his last book signing tour. He says it’s his last one because it’s no fun for anyone. After last night, I can see that. He has to sign so many books and people have to wait in line for hours.

I got to the venue an hour before the doors opened and there was already a very long line. We had to stand outside on an unusually hot day for Portland. Once we got inside, there was no air conditioning, though they did open the windows. As Neil joked several times, we were cooking. After a little music from an opening act, Neil did a reading from his new book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Then there was a Q&A and another reading from a book that will be released in September. He was reluctant to do the second reading because of the heat, but everyone wanted him to do it. He was very entertaining. It made me think I should “read” more audio books.

Next came the book signing. Each book that we received as we walked in had a piece of paper of a certain color with a certain shape on it, e.g. red circle or light green star. We were called up to get our books signed in groups based on that piece of paper. He said that 900 people were in attendance and someone in my group estimated that there were about 150 left when we were called. I was very tired and annoyed while waiting, but once we got called that all went away. Once it was my turn to talk to him, all I really did was tell him how much I loved American Gods. He was cool. I’m sure he’s used to it. I got an autograph for myself and for my friend John.
Neil Gaiman

From the time I got in line until the time I left, about 5.5 hours had passed. It was worth it. They had pre-signed books in the back for those that didn’t want to wait for a personalized autograph. They kept reminding people of that though people who had waited that long probably weren’t going to take them up on it. I’m glad I waited. It’s not every day that you get to meet one of your favorite authors.

The Rook

Monday, December 31st, 2012 No comments

The RookThe Rook by Daniel O’Malley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’m not 100% sure what inspired me to read this book. I think it was the selection for a local book club I wanted to get involved with, but I think they changed their mind about this book because I haven’t seen any mention of it recently.

The main character wakes up in a park in London surrounded by bodies. She bruised and doesn’t remember who she is. She discovers that she’s a super-powered person and that she’s a member of a very old secret British organization that protects people from supernatural threats.

The Rook is definitely a page turner. I like that there’s a lot of humor in the book. It’s one that I would really like to made into a movie one day. I only have 1 issue with the book. The main character knew she would lose her memory and wrote letters to herself. The letters give the reader background on the organization and all the key players. These letters showed up way too frequently and sometimes went on way too long. Whenever the momentum started to pick up, I would be forced to read a long, boring letter.

In spite of that I highly recommend it to people who are fans of books like these.

I don’t think I’ll be posting these blurbs here anymore. Check out my Goodreads page if you want to know what I’m reading.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 10

Saturday, December 29th, 2012 No comments

The Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We BecomeThe Walking Dead, Vol. 10: What We Become by Robert Kirkman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This was a step down from the past few volumes, but only a small step. There was a little too much whining from Dale and a little too much talking about how much Rick has changed. We did see a certain character return that I had been hoping to see again, so that was good.