All posts for the month April, 2005

Stephanie and I have been dating for about 9 months and are crazy over each other. So, we started talking about taking our relationship to the next level. The problem of course was deciding what level that was. I had been wanting to see more of her and it seemed like that would be to move in together.

This seemed a little fast to me which I guess is relative depending on the people in a relationship (some people marry after a week of dating). The other problem was that she owned her place so if we were to move in together it would be me moving in with her.

My original solution was to rent my own suit or 1 bedroom and make both places ours. Stephanie thought that idea was silly which I was fine with. My next solution she seemed to like more and that was for me to move in with her during the weekend. This way we can spend more time together, and get use to each other on a mundane level. But we will still have our own space during the week and don’t having any financial commitments.

I’m excited and nervous about this. We planned on starting the weekend of May 21st but it looks like it will be pushed up a week due to the PB Block Party where they close Garnet (the main street in PB where all the shops and restraunts are).

They’re Starting to Arrive

The first time I came to San Diego was for Comic-Con 97. It was me and my friend, Kurt, Scott, and Erik. Kurt had lived here before and I remember Erik saying that you would love to live in San Diego. I was thinking the same thing and now I am here.

Yesturday, I received an email from Erik saying that he got a confirmation that he will be moving to San Diego. He doesn’t have a date yet but I’m assuming he will soon.

Obviously I am extremely excited about this. Erik was my second roommate (my first was Joe) and we lived together for about 2-3 years. He was always very supportive and a great gamer having run one of the few fantasy games I played in and also a well done, if not short lived, in a crash and burn kind of way Tribe 8 game. Of course he was a player in many of games and was one of animated players I had ever seen (an instance of him jumping up on our coffee table while growling comes to mind).

Of course there were instances of a few parties and many other good times including a few fun SCA events, not to mention Comic-Con, Anime-Friday and other such nonsense.

So, I look forward to him coming down so we can discuss old memories and create new ones. It should be fun.

Weekend and Reviews

Had a nice weekend. On Saturday Stephanie and I went and saw “Reverse Psychology” in the Diversionary Theater and I loved it. On Sunday she came over and we went to the beach and read.

And in a strong effort to get myself into trouble I took this picture of Stephanie on the beach while she was sleeping. This will probably result in an equaly, if not more embarrasing picture of myself at some point in time. But she is so damned cute I can’t help but share.

Pic of Steph

I have also decided to move any reviews to another blog called Reviews of Variety which will review books, plays and movies. I’ll be movie all my reviews from this blog to that one.


At work I started a recent project to convert our online catalog. The orignal which just a bunch of regular pages that displayed the information but did little beyond that. There was an online form that allowed customer to enter their informaton then cut and past the product information of what they wanted. Otherwise if a customer wanted to order something they had to call and we have standard business hours.

All this is limiting for an internet business so from the second I started working at TRIO I had intentions of changing the entire catalog. The bosses were resistant to the idea wanting to keep the personal touch of a person. As months went by I managed to convince them that a database driven online catalog would be better and we could always keep the number for that personal touch if the customer wanted.

For the past two months I have been experiementing with online catalogs and I like the php/sql variants and went with one called oscommerce which is open source and seems popular. I set up the shopping cart, actually went live with it for a few weeks testing it on jewelry displays and am now ready to convert the entire catalog over.

The problem is we have 1000s of items. If I were to try and enter all the items it would take me forever plus I have other things to do. I knew I was going to have to hire some help. I talked with the bosses and they agreed but there was the problem of space and computers in the office. We didn’t want to buy more computers just for a few months of data entry.

If then occured to me that you could access the shopping cart from anywhere and I decided to hire people who could work at home. After a few meeting with the boss I managed to convince them to allow me to do this. I set up a system of how to keep track of everything and just finished hiring four data entry people in which I am in charge of.

This has been very exciting for me as I have never been in charge of anyone. If anything I have had people on the same level that I have had seniority over. I had to advertise on craigslist, type up instruction and go over the process with each one. They turn to me when there is a problem and I have had to set specific requirements and keep track of all the data.

It has been fun and educational and the data entry project should last for 1-2 months and then the new catalog will go live. I can’t wait, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about my job.

Vegas Baby

For years I had never had interest in going to Las Vegas. It seemed expensive and I never had an interest in gambling or abusive drinking so why bother. I was more interested in a place like New Orleans which has abusive drinking, sex, jazz, and gumbo and I love gumbo.

Since I moved to San Diego I realized that I’m not that far from Vegas, only a 4-5 hour drive (assuming I dodge traffic). With it that close I figure why not.

So, May 8-10th I’ll be in Las Vegas with Stephanie. We already have our room reserved and the days taken off and now it’s just a matter of heading up there. Not sure what we’ll do and anyone I ask bombards us with suggestions, all of which sound ok but nothing that is a must see (we are actually missing Penn and Teller by a week :/ )

So, we’ll just go with the flow and let Vegas lead the way. Hopefully I’ll be money and not make an ass of myself. I’ll have to take tips from all the exciting vegas movies including Fear and Loathing, Go, Swingers, and Leaving Las vegas…. well, maybe not Leaving Las Vegas.

Tennis and the Beach

On Wednesday night I went to Jonathan’s house to make characters for the HERO game we are starting up. The only problem was that I had already made my character and I had nothing to do. As a result I ended up watching a tennis match with Michelle. I got very excited over it and Albert (another gaming friend) asked me if I played. I told him I did and we both admitted to being out of practice so we set a date and on Friday afternoon (after buying new grip because my tennis bag and everything in got moldified) I was on the court with Albert and his girlfriend Jenny.

It was a blast not having whacked at the ball since playing with my dad during Christmas. Albert and I agreed to play again so it looks like it might become fairly regular. If we improve enough I might considering looking into league play.

After realizing that I wasn’t beach ready I decided to remedy the situation and bought new shorts, sun tan lotion, and a beach towel. On Sunday afternoon I headed down to the beach by myself layed in the sun and read my book. I had never done this and it was fun but after an hour I got uncomfortable and left.

When Stephanie found out she became jealous because she was at an airport returning from a family reunion so I told we could and lay on the beach and read.

I think it is safe to say I have had problems with self esteem all my life and it feels like once I pick myself up I just get knocked back down. When issues like this come up for me I usually fall into tears. Some major self esteem moments and issues include:

– Failing the AP Pascal exam my senior year in HS. I had never studied for a test like I did that test and still I crapped out.
– Having to switch majors from Computer Science to English
– Not being accepted to the Jet Program (a program where you teach English in Japan)
– Trouble getting a job when I first graduated from college in 2000, and then again when I moved to San Diego.
– Not able to find a date in college.

I am sure there were many other things that contribute to this but those were some major ones. I normally cry for half an hour or so and then buck up and eventually pull myself out of it and improve my life. I feel like I have done this in San Diego and have successfully started a life here having gotten myself a job, a place to live, a decent wage, and health insurance mostly on my own. (Shout out to Maya for helping me get down here and paying for just about everything that first year and my parents for the financial and emotional support).

I also managed to get a awsome girlfriend. In some ways almost too awsome. Stephanie has it so together, is so incredibly smart, critical thinker, gorgious, doing well in her career, focused. There were so many great things that I started to feel flawed and it started to chip away at my self esteem. That I, in comparison, am a loser, L7. I would think “how, can a girl this amazing be interested in a guy like me.” Of course I knew this was my self esteem getting in the way and would tell myself that I was just psyching myself out. It helped a little but still, I had to confront her with it.

I couldn’t harbor these feeling for too long else they tear me up and make me feel worse about myself. Monday night I was really upset crying as I walked home as if I can’t love myself how can I love someone else. I desperatly looked for someone to talk to and started calling everyone I knew I started to fall into crisis on my biggest emotional weakness. Thankfully, Jonathan, gave up his Monday Heavy Gear game to let me spill my guts and talk some since into me (so, thanks for that, I really really appreciate it).

So, I talked with Stephanie and after a long chat we smoothed things over and I hope even closer. I think I can say we are no longer just dating but in for long haul. Final shout out to Stephanie for being so understanding and wonderful. I couldn’t have picked a better a girl.

On the Ocean

I didn’t think I was going to do anything this weekend. Was I wrong. Saturday afternoon Stephanie came over and we headed down to the beach as it was a perfect day. Seems like our idea wasn’t original as there were alot of people down on the beach.

I had worn shorts for the first time this summer which was nice. We sat in the sand for about thirty minutes then walked along the water for about half a mile. Typical beach scene with lots of surfers people playing frisbee, football, volleyball and some game with a paddle and a little ball. We then turned around on the boardwalk and walked back.

This all was a quick reminder that I don’t have beach gear so sometime in the near future I need to get: beach towel, sunscreen, sandles, and shorts (as the current ones I have are too big).

The next day I went whale watching with Jonathan and Michelle. Stephanie couldn’t go because she had to work a Weight Watchers meeting. We headed over to the pier and boarded at 9:15. We pulled out about 10 min later. We were at the front of the boat and it was a little chilly especially with the wind. When we hit the ocean the waves started coming in making the boat rock which was tons of fun. After about 15 min of this I got a cup of coffee and sat down.

It was a nice relaxing ride. Luckily, I didn’t get sick but it was amusing watching other people who were. We didn’t get to see any whales because it was the last day of the season but they were nice enough to give us rain checks. We did get to see hundreds of dolphins who would charge the boat and ride the wake and they were entertaining.

I plan on going again but next time scheduling more to the middle of the season and make sure that Stephanie can go.

We have Ourselves a Reader

Since I have moved to San Diego I have been having trouble finding and getting motivated to read novels. Since I moved here I managed to get in:

Morbid Initiation (cheesy vampire book)
Maia (fantasy book)
Starlight Rising (scifi and I only read half)
Perdido Street Station (bizarre victorian fantasy, only half)
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius (best book I’ve read in a long time)
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Currently reading)

I use to read all the time. I spent most of my college years reading novels to the point that I got a degree in it. After graduating I read a lot less but still got in the occasional novel and then moved to San Diego where I came to almost a complete stop.

I want to read more and I have tons of books that need reading. I tell myself “I don’t have time” which is true but also an excuse. I currently don’t have the time to cozy up to a novel in the evening so like anything I have to make time. I a “New Years Resolution” kind of way I’ve set myself reading goals.

I have taken “The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” with me to work. During my lunch break I plan on reading around 15-20 pages. This would put me at 15-20 pages a day or 75-100 pages over a 5 day work week. My goal is to get around 100 pages a week so I can use any extra time during evening and the weekends to meet that goal or preferebly go over.

This would put me at around 400 pages a month or about the length of a novel. With this in mind I want to be able to read 6-12 books a year which would be perfect for me.

So, today begins the first day of reading regularly. I of course plan on reviewing the books in Live Journal.