Wednesday, November 30, 2005

That's it! No one is getting any whatnot...

I was really planning on getting into Christmas at work this year. I was going to buy decorations for my desk. I bought cards and little festive bags for everyone in the building to fill with cocoa and cinnamon sticks and whatnot. I was going to search out fun, unusual gifts to give to the people who work under me. I had forgotten why I never did things like that in this office. I hate Christmas in this office.

First there’s the whole Secret Santa thing. I don’t participate in Secret Santa anymore because everyone is so incredibly rude and insensitive about the presents they receive. The whole point of Secret Santa is that you don’t know who gave you the gift so to stand in the middle of a group of people complaining about it is just awful. And what do they expect from a stupid Secret Santa gift anyway? Diamonds? And there's always someone who won't abide by the dollar amounts. They're giving somebody a $40 gift on the day everyone else is getting little $5 trinkets and then the people who only spent $5 feel like cheapskates. The $40 person always says something like “Oh, I don’t buy gifts based on price. I buy things I think the person will like.” Well, just buy them the present then. Don’t join the gift exchange that has set price limits.

So I didn’t sign up for Secret Santa and then some other people decided that they didn’t like the way the original Secret Santa works so they would start their own Secret Santa. Did I want to join that one? No. I’m already spending a fortune buying cards and festive bags and filling them with cocoa and cinnamon sticks and whatnot. Whatnot adds up. And I just know that the people doing the original Secret Santa are going to start talking smack about the other Secret Santa people and it’s going to be a whole month of West Side Story-style Secret Santa feuding around here.

Then there’s the poinsettia plant incident. The stupid poinsettia plant. Every year our office plant lady gets all these poinsettia plants and puts them everywhere. Every year she forgets to put one in my office. It’s true that my office is way the heck on the other side of the building but she put one in the office right around the corner from mine so it’s not like she wasn’t already up here. So anyway, a person downstairs asked if we had gotten a plant and said that the plant lady had an “extra” and told me to take it. So I did. Like twenty minutes later another person is at my desk telling me that two other people were all upset because I stole the poinsettia and the boss won’t like it. Then someone in my office asked about me stealing the plant. Then about an hour after that I get an email about how I stole the plant and the boss won’t like it.

Is this really what my life has come down to? Stressing about poinsettia plant placement and Secret Santa? Wasn’t I supposed to be traveling the world and doing something exciting right about now?

Hey, but the Unknown Comic from The Gong Show is the mc at our Christmas Party. With the bag on his head and everything. That’s exciting, right? Right?

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Why I will be cooking the turkey this year...

YAY!!! I have 4 1/2 days off!!! Yippee!!!

The night after I set the stove on fire boiling water, my mom decided that I was going to cook the entire Thanksgiving dinner. I'm not sure if the two things are related. Originally I was even going to have to make homemade pie crusts and everything but I persuaded her to just buy some Mrs Smith's instead. I might bake some homemade bread, though. We used to have the best homemade yeast rolls for Thanksgiving but then we started getting lazy and just heating up some frozen ones. We eat the canned cranberry sauce and I'm already good at opening cans so I guess I really just have to learn how to cook the turkey and make the dressing. I guess I can handle that. Only time will tell.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Why I won't be cooking the turkey this year...

I just caught my stove on fire trying to boil water.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

San Diego, The Final Days

The final three days of my San Diego vacation were all pretty much the same so I'll combine them. There was a lot of driving with me as the navigator. I tended to read the map upside down and a couple of times headed the wrong direction. This is why I do not sign up for Amazing Race. Well, that and the fact that I'm quite overweight, out of shape and have a floppy ankle.

Anyway...Day Four started out with a trip to Old Town. It's original buildings from the beginning of San Diego which now house touristy shops and restaurants. I wasn't all that excited about it, really. A lot of other people seemed to be, though. The only place that I liked was "Ramona's Marriage Place" because it's like the Spanish-style house I've always wanted with the enclosed courtyard and wildflowers everywhere. Plus, it was just a museum, not a Mexican restaurant or junk shop.

Next we headed to Heritage Park. I thought you could tour the houses but you can't because they're Bed and Breakfast Inns. The outsides were pretty, though.

We took a lunch break at the Seaport Village which I enjoyed. Then we went over to Coronado to see the Hotel Del. The Hotel Del Coronado was one of the main reasons that I wanted to visit San Diego. I wanted to see it badly enough that I braved the Coronado Bridge to get there. It's very high and goes over the ocean and there really aren't any beams or anything to keep you from just driving over the edge. Plus, there's a bunch of suicide hotline posters all along it which made it even creepier.

I was very dissapointed with the hotel when we got there. It was surrounded by new hotels and there was construction everywhere and it just wasn't at all what I had anticipated. We decided that what I had actually wanted to do was go to the 1888 Hotel Del Coronado in 1888. Which would have been awesome know... impossible. So we paid our $5 for parking like fifteen minutes in their lot and went back across the scary bridge to San Diego.

We started the 59 mile scenic drive next. It's very scenic (thus the name) and enjoyable and I recommend it to anyone taking a vacation there. It takes you through all the beach towns and past most of the major tourist attractions. There are a bunch of different stops you can take along the way be we just got out at the Point Loma Lighthouse and La Jolla.

Here's one of the views from Point Loma. It was really gorgeous and peaceful up there.

Day Five we drove up to Julian through a fire-ravaged state forest. Julian was just more old buildings turned into restaurants and bric-a-brac stores. It's very popular but we didn't stay that long. Back in San Diego we went to see the Marston House.

I wanted to tour the inside but I didn't want to wait an hour for the next tour to start so we went back to Balboa Park. We got lost looking for the Aeronautical Museum and then we finally found it and didn't want to go in so we went back to Old Town to tour the Whaley House. When we got there, though, it seemed really touristy and cheesy so we just bought a cool souvenir book from a gift shop and went back to our hotel.

As you may have guessed, vacation fatigue had set in.

The next day we checked out and headed up Old US Highway 101 on our way home. We stopped long enough for me to take a picture of the longest wooden pier on the West Coast in Oceanside.

Right outside of Oceanside is the San Luis Rey Mission. It was just pretty everywhere you looked.

Our last official vacation stop was the Pala Mission. I didn't enjoy it much because there was some sort of block party going on right in front of it. It's really hard to soak up the history of a place when all you can hear is the thump thump thump of hip hop from a couple of loudspeakers about 100 feet away.

It was still pretty, though. All of the California Missions are pretty. What's up with that?

And that was that. We enjoyed ourselves but were very happy to see the lights of Las Vegas when we got back. It's good that I like it so much here because I'm too poor to go on another vacation for ages.

Friday, November 04, 2005

An exchange that just happened at work...

Annoying employee: "Where is the statement?"

Me: "It's here but the credits have been cut off. I'm waiting to get the credits. You can take it and enter the invoices for now."

Annoying employee grabs the statement and walks off.

Five minutes later the annoying employee is back with the statement.

Annoying employee: "All of the credits are cut off."

Me: "That's what I just said. I'm waiting for the credits. You can enter the invoices for now."

Annoying employee starts to leave but then turns around.

Annoying employee: "Can I just enter the invoices for now until the credits come in?"

Me: "Shut up! Are you an idiot!? Get away from me!"

Ok, actually it was more like...

Me: "Yes."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

San Diego, Day Three

Zoo day. My mom and I didn't really want to go to the zoo at all. We don't really like to see animals in cages. Everyone kept telling us how great the San Diego Zoo was though so we figured we should go.

First we took the bus tour around the park. It was about 40 minutes and showed around 75% of the park. It was a double decker and I got to sit on the top so that was neat. It is a nice zoo but there were still several exhibits that made me feel pretty bad for the animals. I know it's stupid to feel bad for animals at the San Diego Zoo. I mean, if any zoo is getting regularly checked out it would be that one.

I did like the orangutan area. They seemed to be having a great time. And they were so loving and fun with one another.

I probably would have been happy watching them all day but I wanted to see some of the other animals.

We got a little tired of the Zoo after a few hours. We were way in the back and didn't want to walk all the way back to the front so we took the SkyFari Tram. (I stole this picture off their website.)

It terrified me. It was very high up and it did not look very safe. I know that it was safe but it didn't seem safe. Anyway, I was freaked for the whole ride. Which, thankfully, was only like five minutes long.

After I got off the flying death cart, we headed over to the Balboa Park museum area. The buildings were built in 1915 for a fair and now they house a variety of museums. There are also several gardens, including a Japanese Tea Garden which was lovely.

That night we headed downtown for the hilarious play "Triple Espresso". It was great except our seats were front row center and the play had forced audience participation and I had a mild panic attack thinking they were going to pull me up on stage or make me sing in front of strangers or something.

Gee, my San Diego recap is exposing a lot of my hidden fears. The whole height one comes up again on Day 4.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

San Diego, Day Two

Day Two we took a short drive to Escondido to go to the Wild Animal Park. On the way we passed an ostrich farm. As I pondered what they do with the ostriches we passed an ostrich jerky stand. Best not to dwell too deeply on that.

The Wild Animal Park is really incredibly cool if you’re into animals at all. Most of the animals are roaming “free” on acres of land. There is a train ride that you take around the perimeter for about 45 minutes and they point out all the different animals and what they’re up to. Sometimes they’re really active and sometimes they’re hiding off somewhere snoozing. On my particular train ride the tiger was in hiding but I did get to see some goats that jumped up into a tree to eat. They can’t climb so they just jump up there. It was really cute. Of course, I didn’t get a picture of it.

The regular part of the park is pretty amazing also. There’s a couple of walking trails that you can go on that lead you past a bunch of different animals.

Except for a few birds there aren’t any cages. The animals are just behind low fences and, in some cases, will come right up to the fence so you’re really close.

Some of the ducks and other birds are just wandering around freely. We also saw a couple of deer roaming around but they weren’t actually part of the park. Apparently they just like it there.

Then, when you’re way too exhausted from walking up and down and up hill after hill you can head over to the botanical gardens and rest beside a lovely stream.

I swear, if this place was in my town I’d be going every weekend.

Before we went back to our hotel that night we went to the Spruce Street Suspension Bridge because some lobby magazine said it was a cool place to go. We got about halfway across it and then freaked out because it bounced up and down a lot and it was over a canyon and it was built in 1912 long are those wires supposed to last?

The suspension bridge wasn't as scary as what I did on Day 3, though.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

San Diego, Day One

Our first evening in San Diego we got lost trying to find a restaurant called the Hob Nob Hill. It was supposed to be this diner from the 40s and it was really played up in a travel book that I bought. So we drove around looking for it and ended up in some strip mall with a Borders where we bought a street map. This was the best thing we did the whole vacation. San Diego has some messed up streets so we needed the help. Like when you're driving down street A but then at the intersection the name changes to street B and then at the next intersection it not only changes to street C but goes in two opposite directions. Seriously. You could turn left and be on street C or you could go straight and be on street C. Without the map we probably would have ended up in Mexico somewhere.

Anyway, Hob Nob Hill wasn't that impressive but it was on First Street which may be the coolest street ever. Every house was a great old Victorian with big porches and bouganvillia hanging from every surface. It seemed that way, at least. First Street ended up being the street we used the most to get back to our motel and every time we went up it I found some new house that I loved.

We didn't really do much else the first night because we had been driving all day and then we got lost and we were pretty tired. We just went back to the room and unpacked and watched Cold Case.

Day one was Sea World. Their computers were broken so we got free parking. The weather was pretty bad the first few days (dark and drizzly) so there weren't a lot of people there. We could just walk into anything without a wait. It was pretty much like that the whole week, which was cool. You could see where they had the ropes set up for two hour long waits so it was nice we didn't have to bother with that. Everything closed a few hours earlier than in the summer though so we had to keep moving to pack everything in. Sea World has a donkey on display. I just find that amusing. It's a cute donkey. It gets a lot of attention. Other than that, there were the usual dolphins and whales and whatnot. My favorite show was Pets Rule. It was just regular dogs, cats, pigs and ducks doing tricks. What? Shamu was impressive and all but a dog setting up his place for a date is way better.

Sea World was fun and it would be great if you had kids. It wasn't nearly as good as Day Two, though. Day Two was by far my favorite part of the whole vacation.