When two worlds collide

Did I mention I'm a UFC fan? Okay, not really. I'm a closet "Ultimate Fighter" watcher. Or not so closet.


Evan & Dea's wedding cheer

As is normal in the (apparenly Mixed, but not Open or Women's) ultimate community, we cheered Evan and Dea at their wedding reception. To the tune of "Be Our Guest":
You're the bride, you're the groom,
All your joy fends off the gloom.
From the days back in Rhode Island,
Its been never ending smiling.

You're the groom, you're the bride,
Standing sweetly side-by-side.
With no gap in elevation,
You're enhancing love's creation.

Came out West for P-h-D,
Ended with your love degree.
And we wish you lots of lovin'
With a big bun in the oven!

So, now there's no more sin,
Let the sex begin!
Be our guest!  Get undressed.
Wow!  He's so blessed!

And that dialect would be?

Via Sean Bonner

Your Linguistic Profile:

85% General American English
10% Upper Midwestern
5% Yankee
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern


Well, at least I still have my Midwestern draaaaawwwwwwwwllll.

Smack talk and talking shit.

Climbing onto my self-righteousness soapbox here...

Received an email from a teammate tonight. It referenced tryouts for Mischief, the coed team I play for.

I just got off the phone with P.  Apparently beer run has been
bad mouthing both us and monkey (and probably other teams) to 
try and get our tryouts.  At any rate, I'm told it is working,
they just hooked J (she said no to monkey at their last tryout).

P told me that he'd like to see us rather than beer run get a
couple folks monkey cut.  As such we've got a few more folks we
should consider...

Quick seque... Or not so quick. I often think these entries are like a Simpsons episode, where the first 5 minutes are compellingly strange and designed to set up some completely improbable scenario that leads to the rest of the episode.

On to the part where Lisa says something clever...

When I was living with Kelly Johnson, she would often provide insights into people's behaviour (being a psychology major, such insights were probably second nature). One of the behaviours she pointed out was the act of criticizing others in order to make oneself appear better.

It's quite easy to do, as it's easier to cut the other person/team/group down than it is to build up oneself.

Once Kelly pointed it out to me, I tried to eliminate when I made myself appear better by making the other person look worse. Sure, honest self assessment is always hard, and bad-mouthing someone else isn't really bad-mouthing if what you're saying is true. But as the saying goes, if you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all.

Or something like that.

So, when I received the email quoted above, I was a little annoyed. Okay, a lot annoyed. Probably more so because I sometimes feel I have no options to play with another team because I'm expected to play with Kris, and his options are limited. So I'm on this team, even though I want to try to get on another team.

When I voice this desire to Kris, he'll ask me if I want to get to Nationals because I earned it, or because I rode the coattails of others on the way. What joy is there in winning if you spent the entire tournament on the sidelines? I can help build a team, contribute to the success of the team, or I can let someone else run the show.

And then there's age. Or at least the perception of age. I'm not convinced I'm heading down in my athletic ability. But I'm also not convinced I'm as fast as I was, say, at 25 when I started playing. I train much smarter now. And more deliberately. My mental game, lord, my mental game is definitely better.

But why you got to be dissin' us, BR?

It bothers me. More than I thought it would.

Climbing back down off the soapbox now.

Exploding Trees? No problem. Dropping rocks? Problem.

Last night, I had a dream that startled me awake with fear and dread. After I woke, I actually had to think, and think hard, if what had happened was true or not. Of course it wasn't, but, oh, if it had been, such misery!

I was in a house I had dreamed about just a few nights ago. It was a fake modern-rustic two story lodge-like house in a well developed subdivision at the base of a mountain. I say base, but it was more like a mile or so away, in the mountain's flood plain. The house was two stories, with the entrance way open to the second story, and windows on the second story (when standing at the loft railing on the second floor looking over the entry way, the windows were straight across, overlooking the roofs of the other houses and the base of the heavily forested mountain).

Te first thing I remember of the dream was heading into the bedroom at the top of the staitrs near the landing/loft, and picking up Liza. Liza was a little older than she is now. We chatted some small talk and I carried her out to the landing.

My dad was out on the landing, and my cousin Laura, a much younger and more playful cousin Laura, was sliding down the banister. Another cousin was at the top of the stairs, though I don't recall which one. I vaguely think it was my cousin Mike, at his current age, but I'm not sure.

Someone in the crowd of family down in the living room (living room merged into the entrance way), asked my dad a question, which he answered. I started correcting him, or answering the question more thoroughly. Out of the corner of my eye (I was looking down into the living room), I saw a six prong, dark black smoke explosion on the mountain.

"Did you see that?" I asked loudly.

Everyone turned to see what I was pointing at, though the angle of view for everyone but the four of us on the landing was poor.

We all heard, however, the distant explosion and saw the black trail of a huge Redwood tree flying toward the house. We watched as it came closer and closeer and closer, until it went over the house and crashed behind it, with another explosion.

I turned to look at my dad, as another crash sounded, and a huge branch dropped through the roof to my right, not ten feet from my dad and me. Afyer looking at the crashed branch, I turned back to my dad and asked, "What is it with this house?" He replied, I think it's in the drain field." After I woke up I realized he probably meant it was in the foothill's flood plain.

Dad said something to me. At this point, as in many dreams, we were magically teleported to another location: we were downstairs, with everyone else.

Suddenly, there was this loud crash, as tons of rock and concrete started dumping through the roof. I jumped up immediately, and started running to the interior of the house, under the stairs up to the loft. I made it 4 maybe 5 steps before remembering what my dad had told me in the previous dream of this place: you have to run towards the falling debris, and climb it as it pours down.

So I did.

Upon realizing the falling rocks would crush the house, I turned back to the rocks and started climbing them. They kept falling, and I kept climbing. Eventually the rocks stopped falling, and I was standing on the top of the pile. The house was completely shredded, and everyone was under the pile.

I woke up realizing everyone was dead. The dread was overwhelming. My entire family was dead, and I had saved myself by climbing the rock piles.

Always about me. Me. ME!

Back in L.A. at one of my jobs, a coworker of mine was generally disliked by all of my other coworkers. For the most part, she was a very nice person. Unfortunately, she had one unpleasant trait: she had to one-up everyone. Not just most people, but everyone. And not just most of the time, but all the time. It drove every single person in the office nuts.

So, here's my fear.

That I've become that coworker.

When I'm in a group setting, and someone tells a story, I often find myself saying, "Yeah, yeah, I've had that experience, too! And here's another tidbit!" At what point do I stop commiserating and just shut up and listen?

I almost think I've lost my ability to socialize. Programming isn't exactly a social activity (but, damn, working with Mike and Chris is fun!), but hanging out with friends helps a lot. Playing ultimate helps a lot.

And listening (listening!) helps the most.

Just let me not become that hated coworker.

Playing in traffic

Mike and I spent most of the day moving concrete and asphalt to the dump today. This weekend is the second of two weekends of Sunnyvale's free dump days, where residents can take pretty much any non-hazardous item to the dump for free, and get rid of it. Tragically, it seems that few people in Sunnyvale have heard of Freecycle, so there's a lot of still useful refuse that gets dumped. If the dump didn't have a "No Salvaging" sign, I'm sure I would have loaded up the truck back up and carted as much out as we took in.

The great part of the day is that we managed to finally clear out the concrete from the front driveway. Well, Mike managed it.

On the way back from the dump, one of the containers from the back of the truck flew out and landed between lanes 1 and 2 of westbound 237. Fffffft! out it flew when the truck made 65 mph. Mike made a funny face, said, "Uh oh," and pulled over. We pondered our options for a minute (leave it and drive away, leave it and call highway patrol, back up and get it), when we noticed the traffic pattern opened up for about 15 seconds, plenty of time to dash out to get the renegade tub.

So, Mike backed up the truck close to the tub and, without letting him know what was up, I dashed out to get the tub when the traffic opened up.

My heart was racing, and the adrenaline pumping. Dash in, zoom out and ta-da! we have a tub.

Not something I want to repeat: dashing out of traffic as cars come racing towards me at 70+ mph.

Liza sitting.

Not how I expected to spend my Friday night, but still entertaining nonetheless.

Liza and I spent the evening playing together as Kate and Mike went to see Sin City. Mike had been wanting to see it for a while now, talking about it, complaining that he wouldn't get to see it for a long while because of various circumstances.

So, I offered to watch Liza while they went out for the evening.

Liza's 2 years, 10 months. At this point, she has a personality. The great thing is that it's a pretty wonderful personality. When she laughs, oh my, the room and the world light up. When she giggles, oh, you have to giggle, too. It's great. She's great.

I'm sure if she were my child, however, I'd be less enamoured with her. But for now, heh, since I can give her back, she's still magical.

At nearly 3, Liza is fascinating to me. I find watching her and learning her interpretation of the world to be entertaining. For example, at some point in the evening, she wanted to wash the dishes. Well, okay, not something I would put on the top of my Friday night list, but sure. So, she found the scrubby pad for me, and "washed" the dishes with me. Her version of washing dishes is to stick her hands in the water, and thrash them around. After that, the dishes are magically clean!

Throughout the evening, we also played checkers (which involved stacking the checkers then knocking over the stack), hid under the covers, read Stray Dog at least 10 times, built a cushion house, and played with her blocks (twice!).

She was so funny with her blocks. She would take an 8 block, and put 8 one blocks on it, then another 8 block, then another 8 one blocks. She repeated this until she ran out of 8 blocks. Of course, at that point, she was bored. But when I asked if she would help me clean up, she did so without hesitation. I certainly didn't do that when I was young.

She currently has a way of using, "Sure!" instead of yes when answering in the affirmative. I'm not sure she knows the difference between "Sure!" and "Yes." but her use is terribly cute.

Mikado, in all its glory

So, we went to see Mark and Megan perform in the Mikado.

The show was in downtown San Jose, where I had worked when I worked with Bharat and Jamie at Fusion One. I didn't work particarly long at f1, but I worked as long as I could,Given my lack of interest in the product and hesitaation with the company buyout of Sinia.

We were suppose to meet up with Keith and Katie and carpool to dinner with them, but we arrived at K & K's place too late. So off to the show we went, Kris driving. Tragically, we didn't know where we were going for dinner. I called up Katie, but she didn't know either. So, they promised to call when they arrived.

Turns out, where we went was a familiar lunch spot for me when I worked at F1 - the House of Siam on Market (there being two locations, the other being the VA Software Thursday night drink night dinner location). Even Kris recognized the place.

After dinner, off to the show. It was done in the original format - the choreography and music of the forst opening show. It was so poorly received the first time it opened that it immediately closed and was rewritten and re-choreographed to be shorter and, presumably more entertaining.

This production was 3 hours long and, well, I'm glad Mark and Megan were in the show so that I had something to focus on.

Yay, Mark and Megan!

Pets can be entertaining. No, really.

Many studies have been published recently that show pets are good for their owners health. People who had to speak in public, for example, had less (dis-)stress if they were able to stroke their pets before speaking. Pet owners have lower blood pressure overall. Blah blah blah.

This kind of calming effect is, however, seen only when there is both an affinity for the type of animal, and some sort of positive bond between the pet and the owner. This bond is most typically seen when the owner chooses the pet, instead of having it foisted upon him (say in the case of marriage or other live-in relationship).

Well known is my struggle with Kris' dogs.

Oh, so now they're Kris' dogs, eh?

Well, for this moment, yes.

I'm not a dog person. I'm a cat person. I like cats. Cats are cute. They're cuddly. They're quiet. Except for their litter boxes and their butts, they smell good. They're small. In every way they are superior to dogs.

However, Kris is a dog person. And this round (this round!), Kris chose the pet. We have dogs. And they annoy me. They hover around me whenever I'm in the kitchen. They never quite beg, but they definite whine for food when Kris isn't looking. They vomit on the floor. They pee in the bed. Yes, that's right, our dogs pee in the bed. And the scrounging. Argh!

So, best to make the most of the situation, right?

I've recently trained Annie to dash out of her crate, spin a circle and dash back into her crate before she gets her food. Her dashing is hysterical. She surprised me by running around me this evening. Oh, so entertaining.

Better yet, while making my smoothie today, I offered Bella the yogurt container. She was far too tentative about the container, so I offered it to Annie. When she, too, was too dainty with the container, I shoved it onto her nose.


Ah, much more entertaining.