ling: (2010)

I update you on the 23rd week as well as what I do for exercise (Swimming!)

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

Here’s another vlog update. I apologize for the multiple transitions. I am not the one take wonder I wish I was.  There’s some blurriness that didn’t look blurry when I was filming! And there’s a light change. I blame it on the setting sun and several takes. Hopefully, I’ll figure all this out at some point.  Anyhoo, here’s the update.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Several weeks ago, Hubs and I returned after a week in Southern California. It was about 1a.m. by the time we arrived home. Traveling coast to coast may seem glamorous, but it’s just exhausting.

For whatever reason, I decided that we should go pick up our mail. I’m not sure why we didn’t wait until the next day. It wasn’t as though our mail was going anywhere and having it sit in the metal box for another day wasn’t going to hurt anyone.

Hubs didn’t argue, so we went ahead, down the block. It was hot and muggy, but not unbearably. I only noticed the mugginess because we had been in the dry desert for so long. A weeks worth of mail looked to be mostly spam. I grabbed them all, hugging them to my body like when you were in high school, holding your books. Our neighborhood is a gated community with a security guard, so it was relatively safe to walk around our neighborhood at night. We returned to the townhouse without incident.

What I hadn’t realized at the time was that hot + muggy + nighttime + undisturbed newspaper = perfect roach motel.

I was turning on one of our lamps when I saw the biggest cockroach skitter across my belly.

I seriously, freaked the hell out, jumping up and down, hoping to dislodge the insect from my body before it crawled anywhere over my naked skin, screaming little a hysterical maniac. I am embarrassed to tell you this. It was just a cockroach. What was the worst it could have done? It’s not as though it would have killed me. As much as I like to pretend that I’m a strong woman, I still cannot stand insects crawling on me. That scene in Indiana Jones:Temple of Doom? “Sounds like fortune cookies!” Still don’t like watching it.

“What? What’s wrong?” hubs said, thinking that I had probably electrocuted myself or something.

“There’s a cockroach on me!” I shouted, still jumping up and down.

“Quick! Take your clothes off!” he said. He had thought it was underneath my clothes.

He ripped off my tank and skirt, leaving them in a haphazard pile on the floor. Hubs turned me around, looking to see if it was still on me. Thankfully, it wasn’t. Then we poked the clothes on the floor, but it wasn’t there anymore either.

For a little while, standing in my underwear in my living room, feeling utterly ridiculous, I thought maybe I had imagined it. It had been a long day, and I had only seen it for a fraction of a second. It could have been totally like a trick of the light that made something look like a glistening carapace crawling along my abdomen.

“Oh, it’s right there,” he said. It had been hiding under the darkness of the couch.

He killed it with his shoe.

I don’t check the mail anymore.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

My brother texted me today to let me know that he read my blog during his lunch hour and found it amusing. So I’m writing a few more in case he has another long lunch where he needs entertainment from his sister.

1. What’s your favorite sandwich?

There’s a place in Davis, California called Zia’s Delicatessen. I used to go there once a week when I lived there and got the Viareggio on sourdough. It’s a turkey sandwich, but it’s not just any turkey sandwich, oh no. It has mozzarella, and not the crap you get on a pizza, it’s fresh mozzarella thickly sliced. And I think what makes it really unique and delicious is the pesto mayonnaise. It really adds that sweetness to make this an extraordinary sandwich.

2. You have unlimited funds and unlimited space to make your dream abode. What and where is it, and what does it look like? Do you share it with anyone/anything?

My dream house used to be on an island, it doesn’t have to be big. Like Angel Island is a good size. And I’d have a big house on it. Once upon a time, I wanted a castle, but I’ve discovered that their kind of drafty, so I decided that it would be a manor house. A spooky manor house! And Angel Island would be the perfect place because the fog rolls in periodically giving it that gothic air. And that manor house would be a ginormous library. It has to be two stories worth and would look something like this:

Except that there would be more books along the wall and not so much wood and pictures. (I found this picture at Beautiful Libraries.)

But the reality is that if I did live on in a spooky island manor house, I’d probably scare the crap out of myself every night. I mean, a serial killer could totally be hiding there and I wouldn’t be able to see them because of all the fog!

Plus, a big old manor house would take hours to vacuum and I’m not that great at housekeeping.

3. If you made a movie, what would it be about and who would be in it?

The movie would be about a young woman who has to navigate through a ginormous maze in order to save her brother who has been kidnapped by the Goblin King.

Oh wait, I think they’ve already made that movie.

4. If you were to start a charity, what would it be for?

I would start a charity for starving children. I think it’s really sad when children don’t have enough to eat. It’s not their fault. It’s not like they can properly fend for themselves.

5. What’s your favorite music video? (Bonus points if you embed/link it.)

Even though I’m part of the MTV generation, my family didn’t have cable, so I didn’t have MTV. I barely even watched it in college because by that time, it wasn’t music videos anymore, but like Real World and bikini-clad girls dancing at the poolside.

So this one is kind of hard for me since I’m not really big on the music videos. So it shouldn’t surprise you that the video I’m choosing comes from what basically amounts to a musical. Love it or hate it, I really liked this song because of it’s mash-up of two songs, but I think I really enjoyed it for the tango and maybe Jose Feliciano’s well manicured facial hair.

Don’t judge me.

Moulin Rouge El Tango de Roxanne

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I finally but the bullet and upgraded my iPhone. While traveling my 3GS kept shorting out on me. Once while trying to get to my boss’s house and another time while I was at a client site. It’s been on the fritz on and off for a while now, but it seems to have gotten much worse. I believe there is a conspiracy afoot. Upgrading the iOS might be shorting it out. Or maybe I dropped it one too many times. At any rate, it was time to get a more reliable phone. I don’t want to be stuck in an unfamiliar city without a phone.

So I bought a 4S at the AT&T store, which was completely painless except for the large amount of cash I had to plunk down. They grandfathered me in to my unlimited plan (with all the throttling that entails, but at least I don’t have to pay extra.). I brought it home and began to upgrade the iOS via iTunes, which is where all my trouble started.

At some point during the upgrade, the phone decided that it didn’t want to communicate with iTunes anymore. This would have been fine, except that the phone was stuck on the connect to iTunes screen. I couldn’t use the phone because it was effectively locked. The iPad and the 3GS communicated with it fine, so I knew that it was a 4S problem. I looked online and it said to delete everything iTunes and reinstall, which I did, and the phone still wouldn’t connect. So I called customer support and they had me go through a whole bunch of button pushing. And then told me to uninstall and reinstall iTunes again and call them back if that didn’t fix it. Which it didn’t.

So I called them back and this tech was baffled as to why the other tech had me do that as it wouldn’t have fixed anything. He did a whole bunch of troubleshooting and then he escalated me to tier two tech support.

This new guy looked at a whole bunch of stuff and couldn’t figure out why iTunes wasn’t communicating with the iPhone. There’s something going on with my USB ports and the phone, but the computer could see that something was plugged in. It just didn’t know what. Sounded like a compatibility issue with something in my laptop for the upgrade process. He asked if there was another laptop I could use, which I did, but it was a Sony viao much out of date and slower than a turtle, it turned out. It took almost an hour to install iTunes and then it wouldn’t communicate with the iPhone server. The technician had been on the phone with me for an hour at that point and he said just to go get it replaced. Which was a total pain in the butt.

But I wasn’t ready to give up. I did some research and fixed the issue concerning communicating with the server (the date time on the laptop wasn’t current. It was set for March). Then I did all the 60+ updates. Then iTunes and iPhone could see each other, but partway through the upgrade, there was a 1063 error, which I fixed by doing some more updates. Then 3/4 of the way into the upgrade, it pretty much stopped my computer from functioning. The upgrade bogged it down so much that I think the computer was smoking.

I gave up at that point with that computer. I finally brought down the work computer(which I don’t put anything on except work stuff) and installed iTunes on that and used that to upgrade the phone. That computer didn’t have any issues, except that I have to manually install the apple software updated. It couldn’t update itself while it was running. Go figure.

When the upgrade finally finished and I could use the phone again, I plugged it back into my original laptop and everything was ok from there. The only problem was that nothing was in sync and everything I read said to restore and then reset the phone, which I wasn’t about to do. It was 12:30 am by that point, but I got the phone to finally work 8 hours later.

So the story here is that there may be compatibility issues between computer and iPhone. Use the iPhone update rather than go through iTunes.

Also, the next morning, I discovered that if you right-click the phone in ITunes, there is an option to restore to backup without having to restore to factory settings first. So now everything works.

I mostly write this for anyone having the same problems I had. Nowhere on the internets did it say anything about hardware compatibility issues. So try a different computer if this happens to you. Just make sure it isn’t an ancient and slow laptop. Have a good week!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

I know that I have been remiss in posting. I don’t see the point in apologizing anymore. You know how I am by now. But today it is the book birthday for an anthology that my Clarion West class has put together.

It’s called Under the Needle’s Eye which you can get on Amazon. You can see the book trailer here, which Emily put together. It looks quite good, if you ask me.  Mine is a brand new story called “Ruined Spa Day” that I really enjoyed writing, but it never found a home. So I thought I’d share this one with you in this anthology.  I hope you like!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Every once in a while, we will head out to Anna’s Polish Cafe. I love their pierogis and their red borscht. But Chris, what he really likes is the papal cake.

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It’s like his crack.

Whenever they have it in, we order one to eat, and then one to take home. And yeah, I did share two papal cakes with Chris today. How we aren’t shaped like Jabba, I’ll never know.

It’s a layered cake that’s made of puff pastry and egg creme and covered in sugar. I mean, who wouldn’t like a dessert like that?

The reason why it’s called papal cake is that it was made famous by Pope John Paul II. He had a great love of this childhood dessert. Before that it was called kremówka. So glad it’s been renamed because I can’t pronounce that.

What’s your favorite dessert?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

Several months ago, I went to Atlanta for work and I was able to eat at a very lovely southern restaurant called South City Kitchen. I went with a couple of coworkers and we decided to sit outside. The weather was actually quite pleasant. I enjoy sitting outside when I can. Most of the time, I don’t though because that’s usually the smoking section. Luckily, we were upwind, so that wasn’t too bad. Unfortunately, we were downwind of a large dumpster, so when the wind was just right, I smelled rotten food. I suggest sitting inside.

South City Kitchen is actually quite small, so you may want to make reservations. We went early and we sat outside. Which is probably how we managed to get a table.

Having said all that, I would highly recommend going if you’re going to be in midtown. I ordered the caesar salad to start. Instead of croutons, they used fried cheese grits, which I wasn’t so sure about. But since I don’t usually eat the croutons anyway (I find them too salty mist of the time) I figured I’d just pick them off if I didn’t like them. I tell you what though, they were soft, with a nice crunchy outer layer and it was just so silky and smooth. Omg. Give me a huge plate of that please!! Who knew grits could taste so delicious, but I suppose I’d you mix it with a high quality cheese and fry it, it’s bound to be good, right?

For the main course, I had the fried chicken. I love fried chicken. I don’t know why I love southern food so much. It’s not like I grew up in the south and it’s not like California has a lot of places serving southern food, and it’s not like my mom made it.

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So I ordered the fried chicken thinking it’ll be pretty decent, but omg, so good. It was nicely fried and crunchy on the outside and so moist on the inside. The mashed potatoes were also good and even though I usually find collared greens to be too bitter, it worked quite well. I cleaned the whole plate like a fatty. And I didn’t have any room for dessert sadly.

If you’re ever there, I suggest you go forth and eat!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Remember a few months ago how I lamented that I wish I had tried that chocolate bacon bar we found in the L.A. Whole foods? Well, I found it at our local store and I decided to give it a go.

I’m not sure what I expected. I guess I was expecting it to be fantabulous because it’s got chocolate and bacon. Two very tasty things! And maybe I was expecting too much.

There was very little bacon or bacon flavor. I think I expected it to have a lot of bacon like Nestle’s Crunch bar has a lot of rice crispies. As it was, the bacon was a small smattering. And I really didn’t taste the bacon. I knew it was there because it was crunchy. Some bites were saltier than others. The chocolate itself is ok, a little bit waxier than I like.

I wouldn’t suggest buying it as it’s not all that exciting. I suspect people are like me and buy it for the novelty of it. I’ll finish eating it, but I won’t be buying it again.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

Cranky Ling

Nov. 2nd, 2011 08:00 am
ling: (2010)

I hope you guys all had a wonderful Halloween. We spent it at home, where I was originally given the task of giving out Halloween candy.

At first everything was fine. A few children came dressed as princesses and ghouls. A set of children came up and stood by the door with their bags open. I stared at them for a few moments before I asked what they wanted. One of the kids finally realized that they wanted needed to say Trick Or Treat. And one of them even poked his head in the house and started looking around.

Really? Really? Seems to me Halloween is a great way to scout out people’s homes!! After that, I only opened the door enough for me chuck the candy at the kids.

Even with that little gap,I saw that some of the kids weren’t wearing costumes. I mean, come on, really? Work for the candy I’m giving you for free! And it’s nice candy! Not those cheap tootsie rolls. At least carry a stick and tell me you’re a student at Hogwarts. I don’t need much, you know? But I need something. It’s Halloween for crying out loud.

After I said that, Chris said that maybe he should take over the candy duties. I was just too crabby.

But then after that, it had gotten dark and our porch light had gone out. This usually means that there’s no candy in the house, so no more people came after that. Which means that we have a huge amount of candy to go through. But luckily, we bought candy that we would eat, so it’s not a big loss. But it will be for my waistline.

How was your Halloween?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

Chris mentioned the other day that I haven’t written any blog entries. And when he tells me this, it really means I haven’t written anything in a while. So I’m going to start a series called Ling Likes, which I am shamelessly copying from Jenn. She recently talked about her love of Sharpie pens, so I thought I’d write about my favorite pens.

I discovered these pens a few years ago and I haven’t found anything to replace them. My criteria for pens is pretty simple.

It has to be waterproof. I’m sure you’ve all spilled something in your writing and lost a lot of your work. But you know, my love of writing in bathes pretty much requires that I need something waterproof.

It has to be lightfast. I have several post-it’s scattered around my work computer and I noticed that a few of them had faded terribly in the Florida sun. There’s nothing worse than looking at something knowing that it was important and you can’t remember what you had written there.

A lot of pens meet my criteria. If you look up scrap booking pens, or archival pens, there will be a plethora of options that come up for you. Unfortunately, they were never quite right for me. But then I found the Uniball DX Um-151 pens and a love affair was born!

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For me, I really like the fine points that aren’t available in the U.S. I actually got these from Jet Pens, who specialize in importing items from Asia.

I like these because they write smoothly, don’t skip, doesn’t dry up in the pen easily and they’re waterproof and lightsafe!

Taken with SmugShot on my iPhone

Here is a page that I dunked in water and then let dry. As you can see, only the pink colors have blurred, but you can still see what’s written there. (And I have a bit of collectoritis when it comes to getting all the colors available.)

I’ve tried several pens since then. Pilot pens and Pentel pens didn’t pass the waterproof test and the Sharpies, unfortunately, have felt tip ends which I abuse too quickly. Same goes for Sakura microns, Staedtler fineliner and various other art pens.

But just because I’ve found a favorite pen, it doesn’t mean I’m not on the lookout for more. Do you have a favorite pen? Tell me which one it is!


Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMug I just registered my brand new laptop this morning with the HP total Care package (which took a better part of an hour. Online registration should only take 5 minutes at most, but they didn’t have my serial number on file. The hour was jumping through various phone hoops trying to get to the right people and, of course, being on hold and all the telephone operators are HELLA chatty today. But I digress.) But registering my laptop reminded me that I recently had an experience with Geek Squad and repairing my television.

Right before we left for Los Angeles, our television, which is not even a year old, decided that the HD ports were no longer going to work. We had 4 of them on the LG tv.  Three of them plain just didn’t work and one of them just wanted to show me images, but no sound. So I had to call Geek Squad to make an appointment.

Since the TV was X big, we couldn’t take it in. They needed to send a technician out, but only after they’ve ordered the part (which is basically the HD motherboard). We make an appointment for the day after we return from LA, but of course, we didn’t make it. When we returned, I had to reschedule, which wasn’t for another week.

Luckily, the TV had regular old component cable ports (they are the red,yellow,white,blue,green cables for HD), so I went out and spent $20 on component cables. We were able to watch TV, but it wasn’t as nice and sharp using those cables. And the AV cables don’t even compare when we played Xbox on it.

One week later, the TV repair guy came and he installed the new motherboard only to discover that there was a hell of a lot of static coming from that thing the moment you turned it on. He put the old motherboard back in and there wasn’t the static. So he left that in there since we could still watch TV with it using the component cables. The static was too loud.

So he returned yet another week later with new parts only to discover that there was the same problem of not HD inputs. Altogether, it was about three and half to four weeks and the tv was still broken.

But because of how their warranty agreement worked, we had the option of taking the tv back and getting a new one, which is what we opted for. We packaged back up that tv back into the original box (which we had kept in the garage) and lugged that big old thing back to Best Buy.

Unfortunately, they didn’t make my tv anymore. Or maybe fortunately, because we got that money back to buy another tv regardless of make or model. I had talked to my brother (who used to be part of the Geek Squad computer department) and he told me what to expect and he also told me which brands to buy. (He works for Sony so he was going to say Sony, but he also told me Samsung.) I did some research, but not a whole lot, but I knew which TV I could get that wouldn’t die on me. Needless to say, I did not buy an LG again.

I asked the sales person which brands got sent back the most and he said percentage-wise, it was all the same. But they sold more Samsungs, so more Samsungs came back. But he basically said that they all had the same return rate. But people had recommended Samsuns, including my brother and several other tech nerds, so that’s the one we got. The problem was that Samsungs didn’t come with the size of TV we had. So we had to upgrade to one that was 5″ bigger.

I paid the difference, which wasn’t a huge amount because it was on sale! and the warranty was carried over to the next tv. That’s only the case because the tv had broken within a year. Had it broken after the year, I would have needed to buy a new warranty. I was thrilled it decided to kick the bucket a month before the year was up!

I must say that it’s huge.

When all is said and done, I’m glad I paid for the extra coverage. And I had a decent experience with the Geek Squad.

I may change my mind after next week though. Our refridgerator is making a hell of a lot of noise and they’re coming out to replace the fan belt.

Happy Thursday everyone!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

ling: (2010)

When we were in Laguna Beach, I had to work during the day, so The Hubs was left to his own devices (he was allowed to join me for dinner. I worked 14 hour days yo!). This meant that he had to find lunch for himself.

He managed to find a Ralph’s with a nice deli and on one of those days he decided that he wanted a sandwich. So he ordered that and returned back to the hotel which is right on the beach. We had a nice balcony and big sliding glass doors, so he thought it would be nice to sit on the balcony, watch the surfers and perhaps see some whales or dolphins.

And so when he returned to the room, he opened the sliding glass doors and discovered that the sandwich had mayonnaise on it and he dislikes mayonnaise with a passion. So he placed half the sandwich on the writing desk and took the other half to the bathroom to scrape off the mayonnaise.

When he returned, he saw, to his astonishment, a ginormous sea gull in our hotel room. It had flown into the room, landed on the desk and was studiously pecking the sandwich, meticulously pulling out the deli meat out of the bread which was in a plastic ziplog bag! The bag was barely open!

The Hubs shooed it away, looking sadly at the other half of the sandwich. Of course he couldn’t eat it at this point. I mean, who knows what that sea gull’s been pecking at. He disposed of it in the trash.

He also closed the sliding glass door and ate his sandwich inside. All the while, the sea gull was watching him, waiting for his chance at the second half of his sandwich!

What is it with birds wanting to get us?


Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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Our trip to Southern California had to end, sadly and Jenn wonderfully picked us up on Monday morning and drove us to LAX. We arrived about two hours before our flight because we’ve had issues checking in our bags. It’s not that we have anything troubling in our luggage. It’s just that sometimes the line to do so is over an hour long. And then there was the security line to get through.

I can’t remember if there was a line or not since this happened fully a whole month earlier and I am a slacker that did not take notes. It doesn’t matter really whether there was a line or not. In fact, it wouldn’t have mattered if we were late because our flight was delayed an hour an a half.

Sadly, we did not have any Porto’s to tie us over. But I did have my phone which has the internets and we also spent some time eating airport food. Yaay airport food. Practically everything is microwaved!

When 1:30pm finally rolled around, we all boarded the plane and up we went. I wasn’t overly worried about the delay because the layover in DFW was kind of a big gap. If we ran, we could get onto the second leg of our flight.

Except that pretty much the moment we went up, the Captain told us that we had to stop in Tucson, AZ at an airport that’s pretty much been abandoned. He said that even though we could make it to DFW, there would be nowhere to put us. So get off the plane and come back in like THREE HOURS. The F*ck.

If you’ve ever been to the Tucson airport, you know it’s pretty much decommissioned. Like nothing is there. Nobody. It’s like the Langoliers it’s so empty.

The Hubs went for a walk while I replied to some work email and set up some meetings for the next day. The Hubs came back in record time. He’s a fast walker, you know, having long ass legs, but he doesn’t walk that fast. It usually takes him more than five minutes to traverse a terminal. But the Tucson airport is that small.

So the next thing I know, we haven’t even been out of the airplane for an hour, because it takes like thirty minutes for all of us to get off the plane, we hear that we need to get back on the plane in forty minutes so we can get to DFW. If we don’t take off before then, we’re stuck there for the night.

So we’re like, holy shamolies, and began scrambling onto the airplane because it was highly unlikely we would have found a flight to take us out of there the next day. And we took off without like three passengers because they got taken by the mist or something because nobody could find them.

Only to arrive in DFW to find that all the flights had been cancelled. Now whether it was because of bad weather or if it was because of bad weather that two planes smacked into each other, we have no idea. No one ever tells you the truth at the airlines. They don’t want to get sued.

Which meant that we were stranded in Texas. Again. This has happened to me before. And it was on American Airlines.

So I hurriedly email all the people I had meetings with the next day as I was not going to make it on time and requested they all be rescheduled for the day after.

We’re scrambling to get a flight back the next day. Any time would be great. Just get us the hell back to Orlando. So the lady is clicking away at her keyboard. She’s looking and looking and looking. and I’m like, I’m so screwed. I’m totally screwed. I’m going to be stuck in Texas for more than a day and I dont’ have any chargers for my phones or my laptop as I had packed those in the checked luggage. I tell you, NEVER AGAIN. I’m carrying all that crap on. Screw the weight!

As we were finding our tickets, the person next to us tore up his distressed passenger ticket and said, I’m not spending $100 for a hotel. And the ticket person said, Have fun walking around the terminal all night.

People were pissed. American Airlines really doesn’t care.

So our ticket lady finally said, we have a flight for you on Delta. You go to Cincinnatti first. You are kidding me! But she’s like, it’s the only flight you got. That or wait until Wednesday. So I was like, I gotta get back to work. I may look like I’m a college kid, but I work for The Man now. So I took the flight. She said to show up two hours before the flight left so we could get a boarding pass. Since we were not originally passengers with Delta, we had to go use a real live person and not one of those terminals. Fine. Fine. I can do that.

So we get a distressed passenger rate of $100 for the Sheraton in DOWNTOWN. You know why? Because all the one’s by the airport are BOOKED. Even the Motel 6!

So The Hubs and I were looking at each other like, ok, do we camp out in the airport or do we go. Cuz that’s a lot of money. Plus the cab fare there and back. It would cost as much as the flight to CA and back!

But we decided that we were going to go to the hotel. And even though that was a serious hassle and a pain the butt, I’m glad I did. Because we saw these two people who camped out at the airport and omg, they looked irritable and cranky.

As an aside, I called the Sheraton to make sure they had space because there was no way I was going to ride all the way to downtown only to discover that they too were booked. So they were like yes, we have room. Let’s book you. So we arrived and I showed the lady the distressed ticket and also the confirmation number of my reservation and we got a room.

We get up to room, realize it smelled like cigarettes even though they’re like, we don’t have a smoking room. And I’m like, whatev, you had a smoking room once upon a time, and this was it. They were like, we can febreeze it. And the Hubs was like, you can get us a new room.

So we had to trek back down to the front desk to get a new room and they were like, let’s get you something with a view.

This was the view.
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Glad I didn’t pay extra for this!!

Ok, so later when I looked at my credit card bill, I saw a charge from the Sheraton for $228 and I was like, WTF is this charge? Because The Hubs put the room on his card and it was only $140 ($40 being all the fricken taxes). So I called up the Sheraton and they were like, this was a reservation that you never checked in to. Long ass story, but the gist of it was that the front desk lady didn’t check us into the confirmation number I gave her. She just put a new one in. Customer service was mean. Thanks Yoki. But I got my money back two weeks later.

Ok, so back to my flight. We awoke and showered using toiletries that we had to buy at the gift shop, which cost us an astounding $30. I need contact lens solution, yo. Who knew it would cost me $8 for a thimbleful? And $5 for the contact lens case?

Anyway, so we head back over to the airport three hours before our flight and holy giacamo, that line was long. So we stood in it. And waited. And commisserated with our fellow passengers who were also stranded the night before. And waited. And waited. We watched a girl on the phone for an hour then she went away for half an hour then came back and got back on the phone again. I mean, she was helping passengers, but an hour for one passenger is a joke. And there were only two people helping us. And first class people ALWAYS took priority.

I’m like, we’re never going to make the flight. We’re going to be stranded for another day. I’m about to die. And then the TV repairman called and I was like, we gotta cancel. I had completely forgotten about him. Our TV had broken a few days before we left for LA. But that is another story.

So we finally get to the front of the line 2 hours later. There were a couple of people in front of us who we’d exchanged pleasantries with this whole time. Then this guy walks right up to the counter and he was like, I have a quick question. The lady at the counter said, you need to get in line. And he said, I just want to know blah blah blah.

The dude in front of us said, I’m going to kick his ass. to which we all chuckled at because we were all tired and had been standing in line for two whole hours.

So we get to the front and the person we got to help us was the one that was on the phone for an hour and I was like, please don’t take an hour to print our boarding pass. And it only took her twenty minutes. Sweet Jeboobii. It takes the computer thirty seconds.

But after that. we were ok. Everything went smoothly after that even though we had to take that huge detour to Cincinnati.

And about 40 hours after we started that journey, we finally arrived home. I could have flown to China in that time and come halfway back. It was good to get out of those two day old clothes, lemme tell you, but it would have been nicer if I didn’t have to turn my undies inside out and convince myself it was like a fresh pair.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I know it seems that all I ever do on vacation is eat. And I can’t really deny it. All I want to do is sample the local fare. I think I watch too many travel shows that specialize in eating all over the city.

For our last sit-down meal in Los Angeles, we moseyed on over to Cafe Carolina . I had eaten too many rich and delicious foods that I didn’t think I could eat any more. But I was on vacation, and I do love to eat.

The restaurant is a lovely little family run italian place. All the food is made with organic ingredients, which I absolutely love. It’s hard to get organic things here there are very few restaurants that cook with organic food. I think Chipotle is one and Seasons 52 is another.

I ordered a very lovely meat dish, the name of which I have completely forgotten. I never remember the names of the Italian dishes. I never remember the names of the Japanese dishes for that matter. I’m horrible with names of dishes and the website doesn’t seem to have what I had on the menu. Maybe it was a special, which is totally plausible. It was a delicious dish and I ate most of it. The problem was that I knew there was dessert coming and I definitely wanted room for that.

Jenn had said that they made a sipping chocolate, which is like an uber hot chocolate. It’s like drinking chocolate. So I didn’t eat everything on my dish like a fatty.

The dessert was called hot chocolate decadence so I had have it. I mean, I complain all the time about how much the hot chocolate sucks around here. It takes a little bit extra time to make, but I tell you, O. M. G. it is totally worth it. It was a thick, smooth liquid that just slid into your mouth like heaven. And you just wanted more and more of it. It came in a tall mug and probably like a cup and a half. And trust me, that is all you really need because it totally fills you up. Just thinking about it makes me want to have some. Alas, all I can do is dream about it now.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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I think the thing with living in Los Angeles is the close proximity to the movie studios. I think they get a lot of movie stuff that the rest of us don’t. For instance, when we went to the Arclight for a movie, Kung Fu Panda was there!

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Jenn & Me with Kung Fu Panda

The Arclight also had movie memorabilia for Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. There was Barbosa’s costume, Jack’s costume, the peg leg and a few other items. The weapons were amusing to me because a few of them were totally fake! It’s amazing what artists can do with styrofoam and some paint!

The most we get in Orlando was a sneak preview showing of Julia & Julia. But then again, Disney has a lot of people come visit. Unfortunately, they’re always teeny boppers I have no interest in.

The great thing about the Arclight is that you can choose your seats! So no matter what time you get there, you will always have the seats that you want. Unlike here where you have to scramble for it. That’s why we always show up half an hour earlier to the theatre so that it doesn’t fill up.

When we went to see Xmen: First Class, I thought we’d gotten there way too early. But like five minutes later, all the seats were filled up, so maybe not so much. You wouldn’t have this problem with the Arclight!

And people are way more serious about movies in LA. We get people talking in ours all the time, but at the Arclight, total silence. Like you’d get beat up if you do talk.

And I enjoyed On Stranger Tides enough to buy Tim Powers’ book even though I know that there’s probably very little similarity between the two. I’ve only read the first chapter, but so far so good!

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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After our walk around Santa Barbara, Jenn suggested we eat at a place called Umami Burger. She’d heard great things about it and since The Hubs and I love burgers, we were all for it. We couldn’t actually find it at first. The closer we got to it, the more office space we saw. I even busted out the iPhone GPS unit and we were like, it’s supposed to be RIGHT HERE. OMG, there are no signs. The only thing we saw were these lip looking things on the window

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There was nothing saying Umami Burger anywhere! But luckily, there were people already standing around waiting for it to open. But because there was no name, I thought, OMG, what kind of place is this that they ONLY have this icon. Like they think they’re so awesome that they don’t need to pub their name anywhere. But you know, in an attempt to not judge things before I try it, I refrained from poopoo-ing it.

(As a total aside that is not connected to anything about my trip, there is a video called “Everybody Poops” that I found insanely funny. It’s a Bad Lip Reading song based on Black Eyed Peas’ Boom Boom Pow. Make sure you have earphones on if you’re not alone. It’s nothing bad, but they do say poop a lot.)

So Umami Burger in Santa Monica felt like it was uber trendy. You know I hate places like that because I always feel like the food is too expensive and not good at all. There was butcher paper on the tables with the log stamped on it and you know, I was just put off by the whole lips with no name thing.

I asked the waitress which burger she liked and she said she liked the truffle burger, so I ordered that. The Hubs ordered the SoCal Burger. Jenn ordered the veggie version, which she talks about on her blog. Chris East got (I think) the Port and Stilton burger. All their burgers are cooked to a medium rare, but they were a little bit more on the rare side. I asked for mine to be medium well and it turned out perfect. So make sure you do specify or it may come out a little bit more rare than you’d like.

We also ordered two different kinds of fries because we were fry monsters! We ordered the thin fries as well as the smushed fries. The smushed fries are these little round potatoes that they basically smash with the spatula and fry. They are very good. The skin is still on them. I would suggest this one if you want the fries. We also ordered umami ketchup and garlic aioli for the fries. They don’t have regular ketchup, but something they made on their own. It’s got a nice kick to it, so I suggest this one. The aoili didn’t have enough garlic for me.

As for the burgers, I’d skip the truffle burger as there wasn’t enough truffle flavor to be worth the extra $2. But the burger was good nonetheless. I enjoyed The Hubs’ burger though, so next time, if we get to go again, I would get his burger. It was nice and juicy without it dripping with grease and it was just yummy.

So this is a good lesson for me. Don’t exnay something just because it looks uber trendy because you might be surprised. The food might actually be good.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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On Sunday we drove down to Santa Monica where we walked down the boardwalk and just around town. It was daytime though, so we didn’t expect to find any vampires. The boardwalk reminded me a lot of the Santa Cruz boardwalk, which I haven’t been for over twenty years by now. There were rides and a couple of touristy stores. And the food was what you’d expect, fried everything and none of it looked appetizing. We didn’t order any of the boardwalk food, of course. We weren’t that touristy!

There was a crazy guy on a tricycle just shouting as he rode down the street and Jenn mentioned something about how there were a lot of unique characters around town. Somehow Santa Monica was the place where they gathered. I figured that there was a field of some sort that drew them there. Like a Hellmouth, but you know, for crazy people.

We went in to a store because there was some furniture Jenn was looking to buy, but as with any couch, you had sit on it to see if it was any good. We also went to the mall across from our hotel on Friday to sit on some couches as well. I don’t know about you, but I enjoy shopping for couches and recliners and such. It’s an excuse to sit on everything! On one of our excursions, we tried out some recliners. The Hubs sat on some, but we decided that they just wouldn’t be for us. We would never get one simply based on The Hubs’ height. When the leg rest part came up for reclining, it only hit The Hubs around the knees.

I wanted to take The Hubs to an REI so he can see it. I have no idea why. I used to go there all the time and I bought all sorts of stuff from there. But since I no longer camp and it never snows, there was really no need for me to buy clothes from there. It was like the most awesome place ever. But I think he would have been, I don’t understand all the fuss! But alas, we didn’t have time. We had to go get lunch because we had plans to see a movie.

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal

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One of the things that we did in LA was visit a Whole Foods. We had some time to kill on Friday and it was a good place to stop for water and snacks.

In front of Whole Foods was this beautiful jungle mosaic

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By far, it was the best Whole Foods I’ve seen. But then again, the Winter Park Whole Foods is like dinky and doesn’t have all the lovely stuff this one has.

For instance, they have some very interesting chocolate!

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We should have totally bought this, but we were balking at the price. It was somewhere upwards of $8 and we just couldn’t justify that. But you know, now that I’m looking at the photo, I’m like why not? It would have been interesting! Now I won’t know what it’s like because we our Whole Foods doesn’t have it.

Our Whole Foods also didn’t have any chocolate desserts like this one. Jenn thoughtfully got us some and we sat down to eat it.

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And while we were having a relaxing time chatting, Jenn put together our itinerary for Saturday.

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I can’t remember if we kept to the schedule or not. It was never a hard and fast schedule, but a tentative one we could follow. I wanted to show you because I thought it was cute. It was written on a napkin!

Next week, there will be more LA things. It’s surprising how I can stretch a weekend worth of things into two weeks worth of posts, huh?

Crossposted to Samantha Ling, Dreamwidth and Livejournal


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Samantha Ling

August 2013

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