Friday, February 29, 2008

Journal 2/29/08

Today I went in to cover for the people calling out all week at work. Not much exciting happened there, which in my line of work is a good thing. Traffic was bad coming home. By the time I got home, it was way too late to even try getting out to Idyllwild like we wanted. I'm sure we'll find time to go up sooner rather than later, although sadly, we did miss Nancy's retirement party. We ended up going to see Semi-Pro after dinner, then got some Golden Spoon to eat while watching Survivor from last night. Since I'm supposed to have landscape/nature photos for class next week, I'm sure we'll be going out somewhere on Saturday. I'm not sure where we should go yet.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Journal 2/28/08

Went to work today. People were still calling out sick and some have doctor's notes to stay home into next week. That means I have to work tomorrow, though hopefully not a full shift. After work I met up with Brad and Christie for trivia night. It was at Barney's Beanery in Old Town Pasadena. We ended up coming in second place by one point. In our defense, there were only three of us and the winning team had seven people. We had a couple of other answers right, but doubted ourselves a bit and put other answers. They do this every Thursday night so I'll have to find some people to go some time. We won a $15 gift certificate so that'll be good for dessert or a couple of drinks. When I got home there was no place to park and I had to go a few blocks over. Cyndi hates that no matter when I come home I can always find a spot and she never can. She wins this round....

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Journal 2/27/08

Today was busy at work. For the second day in a row, three people called out sick. Another one is new and was in training all day so she didn't really count. Since all eight of us are usually there Tuesday-Thursday, we schedule as much as we can during those days. I was able to get some of the big afternoon projects done in the morning, but I have no idea how they were going to manage at night. Only one person scheduled past 6pm was still coming in.

Our lunch today was the annual "Black History Month Celebration Lunch". What's the menu like for a Black History Month celebration you ask? Fried chicken, mac and cheese, cornbread, collard greens, black-eyed peas, and watermelon for dessert. The place was packed though, so maybe I'm the only one who thought it sounded a bit wrong.

Now I'm in my photo class working on some of my pictures of the week. The first one is the one I printed out. The rest just get turned in on a flash drive once we edit them. Next week's theme is landscapes which I think is one of my strong points.

(click to make bigger)

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Journal 2/26/08

Went to work early this morning. Some of the kids were being difficult because we caught them smoking yesterday and they are on restrictions. I found out we were having an audit today which complicated things a bit. Half our staff called out sick too. I was real tired coming home...took an hour and a half for no reason. When Cyndi got home we headed to the Block for a free movie screening of "Hamlet 2". It had a lot of funny parts, but at times seemed offensive just to be offensive and see how much language they could throw in. I tried taking pictures at the Block afterward, but was told by security that wasn't allowed. We drove over to Biola and got some night shots of the bell tower and someone's art project on the lawn. I'm hoping some are clear and usable for class tomorrow.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Oscar night

I almost did it. Since I had to work during the Oscars, I was trying to make it through the night without seeing any of the winners. That way I could enjoy the show (commercial free!) when I got home. I did happen to overhear a couple of winners when people were talking about it on my way home. Every radio station I turned to had something to say, so I gave up and just put my ipod on. Luckily the two I heard were nothing big: Animated Feature and Art Direction. I'm going to try and get through it now before I fall asleep.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Journal 2/23/08

We got up this morning and cleaned up some. I did dishes and the desk area while Cyndi took the cans/bottles to be recycled. She got $29 for the effort. We tackled the living room when she got back.

Jeric came over at 11:30. We introduced them to the magical world of Guitar Hero which after one song Ric was ready to rush over to Best Buy to get it for himself. We all headed up to LA to go to the King's game. Cyndi felt out of place since she was the only one not wearing Kings gear. We'll have to work on that. The game was pretty good. The Kings were down 5-1 against Chicago with about 7 minutes to play, but managed to get 4 goals, including one with 13 seconds left, to tie the game and send it into overtime. They lost it 2 minutes later, but it was still exciting. I think I got some good pictures for my class. I may post a few later once I get them on the computer.

We came home for a minute, then went to use our Souplantation coupon for dinner. It wasn't crowded, which is odd for a Saturday. As usual we walked over to Barnes and Noble afterward and browsed for a few hours before Cyndi bought a few new books. Sarah called while we were there to make sure we knew about a retirement party up in Idyllwild on Friday night. We may go up, but it's not 100% yet. We came home, a little more Guitar Hero, now SNL is on.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Journal 2/22/08

It was a lazy day for me. I slept in. I've been real tired this week so it was nice to not be getting up early. When I got up I ate and checked my email before heading over to Biola. I sold our second printer to a girl there. She was tiny and the box was huge. I offered to take it to her dorm instead of giving it to her in the middle of campus, but she said she'd be ok and walked off struggling to carry the thing. Hey, I offered. I should have worked out while I was there, but again, I was feeling lazy.

When Cyndi got home we got it together and headed down to the Block. We ate at Quiznos, then walked around a bit. I took my camera to work on my assignment. We spent a lot of time getting action shots at the Van's Skate Park. I got a few I like, but I need to master the shutter speed. I'll work on it before tomorrow's activity. After that we went to see Charlie Bartlett. We had a free ticket, and when we paid for the other one we found we had racked up enough points to earn another free ticket. The movie was ok. Not as good as I expected, but it did hit on a lot of things I talk to my kids about at work.

We came home, watched a little tv, and checked the lottery results. The tickets I had in the pool at work were about as bad as they could get. No $270 million for me today. I chatted with mom some and watched Leno.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

School days...

Yesterday was the second day of my photo class. We had to turn in 4 pictures we've taken and show them on the overhead projector. I was very nervous about this because I always think my stuff is going to suck. I was telling Amy last week that I don't want to be like the people auditioning for American Idol. You know the ones who go in and think they're hot stuff because everyone they know has told them they were great just to avoid hurting their feelings? That is until they sing for the judges and are shocked to find out that they're really horrible. I fear that.

So anyway, one by one everyone in the class went up to show their pictures. There were some really good ones, but then a few people in a row went up who had very boring or even out of focus or whitewashed pictures. I knew I had them beat so I went up. The professor commented on 2 of them. An older one I took of a flower was his favorite of my bunch, but he liked my river picture I took with my newer camera. Next week I have to have 6 new pictures using some of the techniques we went over. I really hope it stops raining though, because it's going to be real hard to get good shots with all the gray skies.

Here are the two pics I got comments on (click to make bigger):

Tuesday, February 19, 2008


Today we had the pleasure of having an assembly called Racheal's Challenge. For those of you who do not know Rachel Scott was the first person killed at Columbine High School on April 20, 1999. This video will explain a little about what I experienced today.

Being in this assembly truly touched my heart and at times hearing her brother speak it was difficult to swallow. Our students could really learn from this program but we need them to be receptive and open to going against the flow of the community, their friends and for many their family.

Here is one of the quotes that really hit me when they put it up on the screen "Don't let your character change color with your environment. Find who you are and let it stay in its true colors." I surely will accept Racheal's challenge, and I challenge you to join me don't let these 13 innocent lives be in vain. A little kindness can go a long way.
You can learn more about Racheal's Challenge by clicking here.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Luckiest Woman Ever

So on Thursday my dear Mom was enjoying her starbucks when she accidentaly spilled it. Some ran down into the outside pocket of her purse where her brand NEW motokrazer was! She tried to dry it off but it wouldnt turn on. She tried plugging it in and drying it out and waited a few days.

When I came down on Saturday she explained what happened. I did my best to dry out the inside of the phone and make sure there was no evidence of water damage. We plugged it in and got the buttons to light up, it made noise as if it was turning on and off but the screen was blank.

On Sunday we tried again. We could see ever so faintly the verizon logo on the screen but the phone would not dial or answer phone calls. Today my mom drove over to our local store and looking as sad as she could muster up explained to the nice salesman what happened and that we havent even had the phones a month. He looked at the phone said there was no sign of water damage and then proceeded to type a bunch of stuff into the computer. He is sending the phone back as defective and asked my mom to wait a few minutes. He then came out of the back with a BRAND NEW phone for her.

I am convinced that had it been me or Paul who this happened to and we walked into the store that they would have looked at us and said, "Sorry you didnt get the insurance. You can purchase a new phone for a couple hundred dollars."

In any case I am glad that she didn't have to go back to her old phone after only 3 weeks of having her nice new phone. Congrats Mom and NO more starbucks near the celly :)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Journal 2/17/08

Today seemed to go by really fast. I guess that's because I was busy at work. We had lots of transports to do so I was driving all over the place. We also had a kid test positive for meth, so that caused a bunch of problems. We have a couple of kids right now who have no interest in staying off drugs once they get out. They seem to think we're stupid and can't tell when they've been using. Yet shockingly every time we suspect something and have them tested: positive! Both started using at such an early age (7!), it really messed up their brains, and I'm not sure they could stop even if they wanted to at this point. Tomorrow is a holiday which means vacation for those with normal jobs, but extra work for those in my field.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

For Cyndi and Jeri.....

Now stop....both of you!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentine's Day

On Thursday, I slept in. When I got up I had some breakfast and ran a few errands. Then, I left for work. As I drove out, Cyndi was driving in. We slowed down a bit and waved to each other. When I got home from work late that night, Cyndi was in bed getting her sleep for the next day.

Lance Romance ain't got nothin' on me!

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Catch-Up: Its gunna be a long one

When we last spoke I was exhausted, I am still recovering.
So Paul and I (during opposite shifts) helped Jeric move. There was much heavy lifting, moving boxes and some good time spent hanging out and talking while moving boxes and heavy lifting. I have quite a few bruises to show for it, at last count 7 (guess I should start taking iron pills again).

While Paul was doing the moving and lifting thing with Jeric I was at the alumni softball game. SO much fun! I love getting together and seeing the old crew (hi Jen!) Every year I realize how much I miss playing on a regular basis... anyone know of a team I can join?

Sunday was Mommys birthday so I headed down to SD. I showed up at her house with her starbucks drink and some flowers. We ran some errands and grabbed a sandwich for lunch. Then I headed to Tiffany's baby shower. It was nice to catch up with KJ, Annie, Rori, Nicole and Erin while celebrating Tiffany becoming a mommy for the second time.

After the shower Mom and I decided to take a drive up to one of the local Indian Casinos since we had two free dinners at the buffet. We had a nice dinner and a good time playing some slots. We also got to hear a concert by the Wallflowers. Then we headed home and to bed as I started not feeling so good.

Monday we went out for breakfast to the Original Pancake House. Ran some more errands, did some laundry. Went to see Fool's Gold

Then we had to take Meeko to the vet for her yearly shots and check-up. She did not enjoy getting shots at all and auctually hissed really hissed at the vet. I felt so bad for my little kitty. We were told she is getting a little chunky, so I suppose we need to get a new laser pointer so she gets a bit more exercise. Afterwards we grabbed dinner and then I had to head home to get ready for the up coming week.

One day last week I started my day at 7am teaching my students and then at 2 pm I had the pleasure of taking 60 of our 8th graders to BU for a guided tour of the campus, a photo scavenger hunt, dinner in the cafe and watch the basketball game. I had a good time hanging out with the students even though our day didnt end till around 10pm.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Back to School

Today, on my 4th attempt, I finally got accepted to East L.A. College. Don't laugh...I hear it's the Harvard of Aztlan. I'm taking Intro to Digital Photography and from what I saw, I probably have the best camera in the class. Most of the class is older though there are enough actual college students in there to make me feel young again. So far I haven't been invited to any frat parties, but I'm sure that'll be coming up soon.

Since I'm not from the area, I had to attend an orientation before my actual class started. You can see some of the highlights here:

Once I proved I could fit in, I went off to find where I was supposed to be. I was 20 minutes late to class because I had to run around to different offices to become official and then get the flash card we needed for today's lesson. However, I did get all the extra credit during class so that should have made up for my attendance issues.

Most of the class time was spent getting people used to using the Macs. Then we watched some DVDs about how to get started with digital photography. The camera they raved about the most in it was the one I have so that was cool. We were given time at the end of class to take pictures around campus and have an assignment to take several different types of pictures throughout the week. I have finished my other assignments without any trouble so I got to leave 2 hours early.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Herbie Hancock won for best album of the year? Oh Grammy, this is why nobody likes you.

3D Grammy! It's cooler than actually winning one!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Yeah, so that happened...

I was shocked, SHOCKED when the guy who was so intent on buying our computer that he was considering driving from Long Beach at midnight last night to pick it up all of a sudden didn't call or show up this morning to get it and then didn't answer his phone when I tried getting ahold of him. That's 5 sales on craigslist that have fallen through like this in the last 2 weeks. I guess that's what I get for going to a free ad site. I think enough time has passed that I'm allowed to repost and I'll put a couple of items on Biola's site too.

In other news, I was also delayed again in my attempt to take a photo class. As of this morning they still had spots open in the Wednesday night class, but by the time I got there they had filled up. I thought that was odd considering it's already in the late registration period. The director of recruiting and admissions (who looked lovely in her dog collar and tags with matching nose chain) said I'd have to talk to the professor at the beginning of the class and then go back again on Thursday to turn in my paperwork. It's really sad that it's taking this much effort to get into a "college" where you can specialize in Reading. Not Literature or English, but Reading. Good times.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Journal 2/10/08

Not much going on today. Cyndi is down in San Diego for her mom's birthday today. I went to work. Quiet day as usual for the weekends there. I was working alone for a while so I had all the apartments come up to the house so I could have them help me BBQ and I could keep and eye on everyone. I sold our extra computer on craigslist so now I'm deleting our files off of it. Luckily there wasn't too much. I just hope there's no problems when I meet the guy tomorrow. I've been trying to sell several items on there and the people always seem to flake at the last minute after 42 emails and 11-teen phone calls. I'm offering good deals too since we just want to clear out some space so it doesn't seem so cluttered around here.

Saturday, February 09, 2008


Even taking a shower right now sounds like to much effort. But I feel so gross I must find the energy to do it. My day started at 9 am where I went to the Alumni Softball game (photos to come later) Once the game portion was through I hoofed it over to meet Ric at Jerics new apartment. I made it there just a couple minutes before Ric showed up with the truck. Then from 2-7pm we moved stuff. I think I have found the strength to drag myself to the shower and then into bed. Tomorrow involves driving to SD for my mommy's birthday and a baby shower. A better more energized update will come later. See you on the other side.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Journal 2/8/08

I didn't really have a topic for today, so I'm going to steal from Josh Tate's blog and put up a run down of my day. Enjoy!

I got up at 7:30. Cooked up some oats and had some fruit for breakfast. I headed over to Biola and worked out in the fitness center. Mostly running on the treadmill and doing crunches with weights. I watched SportsCenter on the monitors while running. Was there a little over an hour, then went to chapel at 9:30. There was no speaker today, just music. It was good, but not what I was hoping for. Went home, played some Guitar Hero, checked email then washed a bunch of dishes. Had a light lunch. Cyndi came home so I shaved, showered, and we left at 3:00 to head up to East L.A. College. I was unable to get into the photo class I wanted, but found another I should be able to register for next week on Wednesday nights. On our way back we went to Souplantation for dinner. After went shopping for shoes and a few gifts at Target but didn't find much. Got back home at 9:30ish.

Thursday, February 07, 2008


Today was our benefits fair at work. I will be dropping my medical, dental, and vision coverage as of March 1. Cyndi has a better health plan at her work so if all goes as we've been told, I should be able to be covered through her work and not miss any days of coverage. I'll be able to stay with Kaiser which is what I needed due to my ongoing blood clot treatment. The difference is that Cyndi's plan has a lower co-pay, plus they don't take anything out of her check. If I stayed on at my work it was going to go up to $80 per check. Since Cyndi is still on a year to year contract we made sure that I would still be able to get coverage through my work should she not be offered a contract for the fall. We're praying that the transition goes smoothly, but I'll be stocking up on my pills and getting my blood tested right at the end of the month just in case.

It may take me until November to be able to vote without feeling sick to my stomach.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Sometimes you can't see what's coming...

Yesterday I had a new experience at work. We had a boy who was making death threats towards his new roommate because of racial issues. Then he decided he was going to A: stab and kill the roommate, B: cut his own wrists, or C: throw himself off the roof of the dorm. His staff ended up having to restrain him and take him off to the county hospital to be evaluated.

All of that happened Monday. When I came in on Tuesday morning, I found out he was still in the ER and had tried to run a few times. Another staff and I went to relieve the night staff that were there with him. Right after we got there, they took the three of us into a locked area. There was an area behind a glass wall for the psych doctors and nurses. We were in the main part of the room with about 20 other psych patients waiting to be evaluated. Most had been brought in by the police.

There were a lot bunch of beds and couches in there as well as two locked, padded rooms in the back for anyone who was acting up too much and was a threat to themself or others. During the 5 hours I was there, they had to rotate numerous people in and out of the rooms and the beds.

One lady kept getting off her bed and banging on the nurses station window to yell at them about how she wasn't a patient there and they had to let her go. She couldn't explain why she had a hospital bracelet and gown on. Eventually they had to give her a sedative, so she took a nap on a bed right behind me.

Another woman, who was also legally blind, kept pacing the room and wailing on and off. They brought her a food tray when she said she was hungry. That calmed her down for a bit. She finished everything on the tray, so they took it out for her. I guess she forgot about that because then she started screaming that they were trying to kill her by stealing all her food before she could eat any. She tried to attack someone on a bed she though was hers and when some doctors came out she grabbed someone's juice box and threw OJ all over the room. That earned her a trip to the padded room where she started ramming the window with her head. As they were dealing with that, the first lady had a seizure and flopped out of the bed she was in behind me.

Another guy was sure that everyone there was spying on him, so he went kept confronting people and even pulling the payphone away from other patients who were calling family to yell at whoever was on the other line. A doctor got cussed out for asking a woman what month or year it was and "acting like [she was] an idiot". The woman never was able to give an answer, though she did have plenty to say to everyone in the room at one time or another.

Eventually they got us out of there, and put our kid in his own room where he couldn't escape. I felt really bad for him despite what he put everyone through lately. He had a vacant look in his eyes the whole time although his questions told us he was terrified of the people in there. You could tell by talking to him that something wasn't quite right.

I don't think this will be his last time in room like that.

And no matter what I or any of the other staff do or say, it's sad to think that this is one we can't save. We can tell what the future holds for a lot of these kids, yet often we are powerless to do anything to stop it.

Sometimes you can't see what's coming. Sometimes I think it's best not to know.

Blog Record!

Last week we broke our record for most consecutive days blogging. This post marks 100 straight days of new blogs. We've struggled at times, but I think we'll be able to keep going for a while. I am curious though: Does us posting regularly encourage you to check in more often, or doesn't it matter? Is there anything you'd like to see more or less of? We want to have a good mix between journaling our lives and giving you some entertainment for the day. Sometimes both in the same post. Go ahead and let us know. If this blog sucks you can always comment anonymously. =)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

At least he seems cool....

Elections always make my head hurt.

Quiz answers...

1. Whose death was marked with a tie-dyed flag flown at city hall in San Francisco?
Jerry Garcia

2. How much of a rebate did a Chicago judge rule that each purchaser of a Milli Vanilli album was entitled to?
3 dollars

3. On "Mad About You" Paul and Jamie frequently ate at the same restaurant. Who was usually their waitress (hint: a character from another sitcom)
Ursula from Friends

4. What was the biggest selling single of the 90s?
Candle in the Wind by Elton John

5. What TV series featured a guy who played bass in band called Dingoes Ate My Baby?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

6. Who were the first two human hosts on Mystery Science Theater 3000?
Mike and Joel

7. How many different secretarys did Murphy Brown have during the course of the show? (if no correct answer, closest will get it, tie goes to lower guess)

8. What alternative rockers used the first Lollapalooza as their good-bye concert tour?
Jane's Addiction

9. What movie gave the world the memorable motto: "There is no spoon"?
The Matrix

10. What future pop star knocked Aaliyah out of the Star Search running, at age 11?
Justin Timberlake

Monday, February 04, 2008

Not a bad idea


I took a personality quiz and this was it synopsis of me.

clean, organized, dislikes chaos, semi neat freak, perfectionist, traditional, realist, fits in most places, enjoys managing others, risk averse, good at saving money, prudent, respects authority, high self control, hard working, does not like to stand out, follows the rules, finisher, resilient, takes precautions, cautious, honest, unfamiliar with the dark side of life, practical, dutiful

What do you think?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Puppy Power

After the Super Bowl is over it is time to catch up with the Puppy Bowl with kitty half time show. Most people don't get it but I enjoy seeing the little furballs run around and play. I totally think that Scrappy could take all the puppies execpt for this years MVP he was quite the fiesty little pup.

I called it

This afternoon we headed up to "the bra" as Paul and Bradley call it to watch the super bowl. I got some work done while others napped and read the paper and magazines. Finally it was 3pm and time for the football festivities to begin. There was much football watching and at half time Paul and Bradley had the Wii Play tournament.

We were also treated to some grilled burger, chips and dip along with brownies for dessert. I have said since I knew who was going to the super bowl that New England was going to lose. I am glad that it was a close game it kept it much more exciting. Paul was very close to winning some cash money from a squares game. But in the end when NY scored their final goal it was Bradley who ended up winning about $250.

I am sad fooseball is over but excited because that means that baseball is just around the corner. Yippy!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Hello, hello....hola!

Today was U2 day. We got up and headed down to Irvine Spectrum for a noon showing of U2-3D on the Imax screen. The movie was shot during the South American portion of the Vertigo tour. On the radio on our way there, on the way back, and even walking around the Spectrum, we were treated to other U2 songs not shown in the movie too.

I was very impressed with how far the 3D technology has come. It was crystal clear and they had used every 3D camera available to make this movie so you got great shots from every angle. It was even better than being in the circle area up by the stage. This put you on and above the stage. Sadly, the movie was only an hour and a half, so they had to cut out a lot of the songs I would have liked to have seen from the show. At least they made the most of the songs they did use, such as using the 3D to give a Zoo-TV tour feel to "The Fly". It was also cool to see all the stuff Bono was doing on stage during the "Love and Peace"/"Sunday Bloody Sunday"/"Bullet the Blue Sky" war combo.

U2-3D is going to be expanding to wide release in a couple of weeks, but I think you really need the giant screen to do it justice. Just be careful if you go to the Spectrum. There was a huge crowd there lining up to see Hannah Montana 3D, and you know how vicious preteens can be if you get between them and Hannah.

Friday, February 01, 2008


Today was the last day of the 2nd quarter. This means it that if any of my students have maintained a C or better in both academic and behavior they are released back into regular classes. This quarter I had the pleasure of allowing one of my students this freedom. She is happy to be rejoining her friends.

I have seen such a change in her language and attitude about school. She is determined to not drop out and is interested in nursing. Whereas at the beginning of the school year she told me she would just work at McDonald's forever.

She also had a foul mouth using the F word and talking about that time of the month but in graphic terms. She no longer does this which I am most happy about. I will still check up on her and make sure she is doing well in her classes and help out any way I can. I am so very glad this chapter in her life is ending and that she is moving on to bigger and better things.