June 29, 2003
Subtle kick in the arse

I was recently reminded via email and MP3 that I need to take a break. This whole past week I've been in a very focused and determined mode, and I need to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride that life's taking me on.

I also just realized that I haven't written any letters in quite some time. That needs to change.

I think I'll start in Frontier Land, followed closely by listening to some birds sing... in the TikiTikiTikiTikiTiki Room!

Posted by Austin at 09:58 PM
June 26, 2003
Where'd he go?

Sorry I've been off the blogging path for a while. Actually, I didn't feel that there was much to blog about... well, except for this, but we're still working on it.

Speaking of house stuff, you have no idea how much I'm looking forward to my new commute in August. I know that I said that I didn't care about the commute to and from the city every day, but that was when a bad day was an hour and a really bad day was an hour and a half. Ever since we moved from the old building to the new one, I have to deal with about 10 extra miles of road. That 10 miles tacks on an extra 30-40 minutes on top of a commute that averages 45 minutes. My average commute time is an hour and fifteen minutes.

That was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I do love living downtown, and I'm sure gonna miss it when I move into the northern 'burbs, but you have no idea how happy I'm going to be when I don't have to wake up at 5:00am just to beat traffic.

Posted by Austin at 03:54 PM
June 23, 2003
Humuna-what now?

If you couldn't tell, we've been a little on the busy side with this whole house hunting thing and all. I'm not sure if I expected it to be this much work, or if I expected it to take even more work and effort. I think that when you start looking to buy a house, time and effort end up getting sucked into this big vortex where neither have any real meaning. That's just my own personal theory, anyway.

There's probably lots of other stuff going on right now, but it's either not really fit to blog about or I'm just too tired to blog anymore...

.. but I'm not in a position to complain, however - I didn't wake up at 1:00am to drive for 5 hours to work this morning (Thanks again, Tink!).

Posted by Austin at 10:01 PM
June 18, 2003
Respondez-vous, s'il vous plait!

One month to go before all of the RSVPs are due, and so far I've got 91 people out of 225 accounted for. That's just over 40%.

I guess the math kinda makes sense if everyone spaces their RSVPs out equally over the course of 7 weeks, but I'm still worried that I'm going to have to make a lot of phone calls come mid-July. I was expecting to have most of the RSVPs in by now... well, at least over one hundred.

I've been keeping that counter on the right updated every time we get new RSVPs, which is usually every evening when I get home. Lately I've been noticing a few more Nays than Yays, but if you couldn't tell we were expecting quite a few of those. The weird thing is that it looks like a few people that we were expecting to come are not, so we may be below our intended goal of 150 at the reception.

More money to spend on the honeymoon, I guess! Woo Woo!!!

Posted by Austin at 09:06 PM
June 15, 2003
Oxy-Clean on Navy Whites is da Bomb!

So I couldn't let the beauty of today's weather go away in vain, so a nice rollerblading trip seemed like the thing to do. Rollerblading up and down the lakeshore path is actually quite fun, even if the northen wind is howling to a paint where you're lucky if you move forward with each push. The people watching it quite fun... dare I say, I think it's more fun than the diag back in A2. I think it's the plethora of people that aren't just college students racing to class or 'studying'.

Anywho, I decided to take a break at the water fountain out front of Navy Pier. There was one family with two cute kids running around the fountain, trying to get wet and not get wet, screaming and running their piggy little legs off. Ahyway, one of them screams when the water shoots up from the ground and runs to mommy. I chuckle a little bit, and I even may have made a three word comment of some sort in the direction of the mom and child. She looks back and sees me. She smiles...

And the next thing I know I'm hearing their family life story for the next 15 minutes. Husband works for the Navy at the Great Lakes training base north of here. Used to work for the Marines for 13+ years, but was laid off right before he was supposed to be promoted. One kid was born in Arizona, the other in Michigan. The USO office in Navy Pier does a lot of stuff for families at the training center, like free or discounted transportation to/from the center, tickets to shows and plays, and a shit-load of other cool stuff. 3 years, 4 months and some number of days before he retires with full benefits. Brother turned down a $91k signing bonus to join the Navy's nuclear program about 15 years ago, but currently works at some government-funded nuclear lab making more money than should be allowed. Didn't realize that Navy Pier was an expensive tourist trap until they got a $20 lunch at McDonald's.

Ohhh kaaaayyyeeeeee..... Buh-bye now.

<Apu Accent>Thank you. Come again!</Apu Accent>

Posted by Austin at 05:33 PM
Updated Shopping List

1) Wedding
2) Honeymoon
3) House to turn into a home
4) Hockey Goalie Pads
5) New Digital Camera
6) MiniDV Video Camera
7) Jet Skis
3,562) This

Posted by Austin at 12:58 AM
One House, Two House, Red House, Town House

Saturday was the big house hunting extravaganza. The realtor and myself went on a whirlwind tour of nine townhouses all over Grayslake. The whole thing lasted a little over three hours.

It was half interesting, half fun, and half scary.

The interesting thing was learning that most townhouses are the same - split-level entrance, living area on the 1st floor, bedrooms and baths on the second, and an english basement (50%-plus above ground) in most. While they all share these similarities, they're all different. My favorite two right now are identical layouts and everything, but one has hardwood floors while the other has full carpeting and tile floors in the kitchen and bath.

It was fun to walk through houses and see how I might be able to live there. Everywhere I looked I always asked the same question - "Where will the TV go?" Yeah... you can see where my priorities are. ;-)

The scary thing is that some of these houses were frightening to walk through. One family decided to be do-it-yourselfers... and failed miserably. Who ever said that wallpaper had to follow a specific design pattern. Just throw it up on the wall and see where it sticks!

Overall I'm very happy with our options... and we'll have plenty of room for people to visit! Granted, the views aren't comparable to those 23-floors up in downtown Chicago, but my car and sanity will LOVE the shorter commute to work!

One thing I learned - I need a new digital camera. My computer doesn't like my current one (had to reboot 3 times to load pics from the camera to the hard drive), the picture quality leaves something to be desired, and you're lucky if the battery lasts two hours.

Posted by Austin at 12:50 AM
June 11, 2003
Helloooooo Nurse!

You are Yakko!

Talkative, huh? Perhaps sing-ative would be more appropriate, actually. When people don't understand something, it usually drives you to cutting, sarcastic remarks. Your other extreme is bursting into song with almost no prompting, often to explain complex ideas. No one knows quite what you are, exactly. You have made many "special" friends, and there's baloney in your slacks.
Click here to take the quiz yourself!
Posted by Austin at 10:58 AM
June 09, 2003
Change your oil every 2 months or 5000 miles

I never thought the day would come where I'd say these words...


One road trip to Michigan in a month is fine and dandy. Two trips in back-to-back weekends is a little interesting but not all that bad. Back-to-Back-to-Back weekend trips will forever be banned in my lifetime.

It doesn't help that I already spend over 2 hours commuting to and from work every day, but when you tack on a seven hour drive there, a few hours within Michigan, and a 5 hour drive back, one tends to loose one's mind. I haven't started dreaming about asphalt or Road Construction signs, but you could probably name a town and I could give you the approximate exit number. It's kinda scary, actually.

Give me a month and I'll feel better. I might even fancy a drive somewhere up north!

Posted by Austin at 02:25 PM
June 03, 2003
Me Learnt English Good

Ladies and Gentlemen! I give you, quite possibly, the world's worst English Translation!

Honestly, people... Babel Fish will only take you so far!

Posted by Austin at 04:30 PM
June 02, 2003
I don't care... He's Guilty!

So my Dad forwarded me a very interesting letter in the mail. Occasionally I get mail addressed to me at my old 'Permanent Address' - i.e. my parent's house. Well, my Dad does the nice thing and forwards me anything that comes their way. This letter, however, was definitely out of the ordinary.

It was a summons for Jury Duty. From California. For next week.

I haven't lived in California for 6 years, and I haven't had a drivers license in the state for at least 3. Heck, I haven't even voted in my old county for that long. What's even weirder is that the letter was addressed to my parent's new address, at which I've never lived or registered on any tax form or voter registration card.

I sent back a little response card attached to the bottom of the summons. I checked the box for an excuse that says "No longer lives in Santa Clara County. Now lives in... Cook County, in the state of Illinois.

Dude, if they made me go all the way back to California for anything like this, the fucker would be guilty and prime for the chair... in my unbiased opinion. ;-P

Posted by Austin at 10:42 PM
June 01, 2003
Is all of this for US?!

I know that my partner in crime will detail the events of Sunday afternoon when she's awake and coherent tomorrow, but I have all of the snaps in the world to hand out to Deesta and Aunt Mar.

I'm... literally... speechless!

And you know how hard it is to get me to shut up!


Posted by Austin at 10:54 PM