December 2004 Archives

Holy Crap!

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My step-dad had a heart attack last night! I actually called him in the middle of him getting all clammy. My mom told me on the phone that he was also having chest pains but he wouldn't go to the hospital. I guess he collapsed right after I got off the phone with her and she called the paramedics.

It sounds all too much like a story I had just heard that morning. Last week I had sent a "Merry Christmas" email to a former client. He responded this week (I was out sick Tuesday, so I didn't get the email until yesterday). He thanked me for remembering him and also shared with me an experience he had just over a year ago. Apparently he had a series of heart attacks one evening (he didn't realize it at the time, mind you) and his wife almost got him to agree to go to the hospital, but then he found a "comfort zone" and convinced her not to take him. In the morning he was still having pains and luckily his wife wasn't going to accept any excuses for not going to the hospital. While at the hospital, he went into full cardiac arrest. Thankfully he was in the right place at the right time and survived.

Because of this experience, he wrote a one page article on "Male Stupidity" in hopes of educating others who might otherwise ignore signs and try to tough it out. He told me that I could share it with whomever I like, and seeing as how this hits all too close to home, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share it here. It's in a Word document format. If you have trouble reading it, let me know and I will convert it to html so that it may be viewed as a web page.

Update: Actually, I'll just go ahead and put it up as an .htm file now to make it easier.

A Little Better

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Last week I complained about the look of my blog. I just made the font size bigger, and looks a little better. I would love to tweak it some more, but I've really got to get to cleaning my apartment and stop procrastinating. I've lived here for a year and a half, and I'm STILL not unpacked! My goal is to be truly *done* by the end of this weekend. I'm sick of not doing stuff because I have to clean and unpack. I just need to get it over with and move on with my life, especially with going back to school and all.

Okay, enough procrastinating, here I go...

It's really happening

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I'm going back to about a week and a half. My first textbook arrived today via UPS. They actually tried to deliver while I was at work yesterday. I had today off, so I was waiting for them. Finally I had to leave for the post office before they closed. Was gone for all of 5 minutes, but I left a note on the door for UPS to just leave the package because I would be right back. Low and behold, when I got back from my 5 minute trip, there was a package at my door. Good thing I left the note.

A Robot Powered By Insects

Thanks to Tim for the link.


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I'm not getting sick. I'm not getting sick. This sore throat is all in my head. I'm not getting sick.

Grr...alright, so who got me sick??

Merry Christmas!!

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Merry Christmas everyone!! I'm spending it with my parents, my brother, and his fiance. I've been having a great time and everyone got really good gifts this year. I'm missing my boyfriend terribly of course, but I should see him in another week or so.

Take care and enjoy the holidays!


Talk about luck. Isn't that insane?

Delaying Christmas

You feel like Christmas is coming just a little too fast? Not quite enough time to get everything done in time? You're not the only one.

Harry Potter

Release date for the new Harry Potter book has been announced. There are rumors again of one of the characters being killed off.

A Good Mail Day

In addition to the much anticipated CGAP results, I received 4 Christmas cards in the mail today. I love opening my mailbox to find multiple cards! :)

Need A Change

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I really need to change the look of my blog. There's something about it that I don't quite like. However, I have an apartment that I have vowed to *really* clean by January 10th (the day I go back to school for a Masters in Computer Resources and Information Management). So playing with the look of my blog will likely have to wait. On the bright side, I hope to kick my pack-rat tendencies in 2005 like I kicked poor eating and exercise habits in 2004.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Trailer

Thanks to the Doc and Gage for the trailer links. The only way I can describe Johnny Depp in this trailer is...odd.

Gingerbread Computer

Yay! I did it! (GCAP & CIA)

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I passed the exam! I will now hold two certifications:

Certified Government Auditing Professional (CGAP)


Certified Internal Auditor (CIA)

I'm so excited! No more studying my butt off for exams -- that is until next month when I go back for my Masters and start taking a different kind of exam. ;)

There's still some additional paperwork and other formalities that need to be completed, but that actual exam part is done, and in a couple months I will officially have both designations.

The CIA exam has four parts to it. I passed Part I in May 2002. I didn't sit for it again until May 2004, when I sat for and passed Parts II and III. In November 2004, I sat for and passed the CGAP -- which only has one part and also counts for Part IV of the CIA.

Go me! :)

Wish List


Okay, everyone else is doing it, why not me (although a bit late)...I now, too, have a wish list at Amazon. I also have an online store at Cafe Press. There are just a few items for sale with pictures of my cats. I don't really expect many (if any) people to buy stuff, but, hey, you never know. :)

Christmas cards

I'm big on sending cards for birthdays, anniversaries, and Christmas. Some people think 20-40 cards is a lot. Me, however, I have prepared 265 cards today and yesterday! I still have probably about 20 or so more to do when I get to work tomorrow because I need to look on the global directory to get addresses for some people. This is the first year that I've actually gotten them all out on time. Last year, I was still mailing some on New Year's Eve!

Some people may think I'm crazy, but I really do love sending out cards. I love receiving cards too, of course, but I never expect to receive nearly as many as I send out. It's a good year if I get a tenth as much. I send cards because I think it's important that people know they are thought of. I don't do it with the expectation of getting anything in return. I know that most people are not as fanatical about mail as I am, so it's perfectly understandable and acceptable when they don't return the gesture. Every so often, I get an email thanking me for all of my correspondence, that they enjoy it even though they hardly every reply. Those emails make it all worth it to me because I know that it does matter to a lot people; and that makes me happy.


What an interesting idea. A friend of mine has been looking for things that truly appealed to her to benefit the community. What she stumbled across was BookCrossing. Basically, after you're done reading a book, you label it, leave it someplace to be found or give it to someone, someone picks it up, goes to the website and enters the number on the label, then they read the book and/or pass it on. You get to track where the book has been or at the very least know that you are spreading enjoyment and/or knowledge. I don't actually buy a lot of books, I try to borrow them as much I can. But I think this is a neat idea, so now when I do buy a book, I won't have to worry about it cluttering up my apt when I'm done!

Update to Meet the Fockers Premiere tickets

In a previous post, I made available an order form for Meet the Fockers Premiere tickets. I received some more info from the American Film Institute, this one offering individual tickets. Still pricey, but if anyone is interested, by all means, fill out the new order form and send it in.

Happy Birthday To Me

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I'm 27 today! My birthday has been great so far. Mike took me to see The Nutcracker on Friday and the 3D IMAX version of Polar Express yesterday, and I got to wake up in his arms this morning and he wished me a happy birthday when we woke up. :)

I've also gotten 10 birthday wishes via email already!! I feel special. :)


Last night (Friday), Mike took me to see The Nutcracker. His friend Margaret performed I think 4 different parts in it and we went to the cast party afterwards. A friend of hers and I got to talking about a variety of things, including travel. She asked if I could travel anywhere in the world, where would I go? I thought about it a little bit and since I've already been to Europe, which is a Westernized area, I thought it would be neat to go to someplace completely different to get a broader perspective of the world. Mike and I have previously talked about going to Japan or Thailand next year.

Mike and I have a friend who is visiting Thailand right now. He has been keeping a blog of his journies (he left for New Zealand in September and then off to Thailand a few weeks ago). Anyway, I finally got around to reading his Thailand entries today and his latest account is quite thought provoking. He passed by a deadly motorcycle accident in a community that has no ambulance and visited the poorest community he has ever seen except on PBS Specials.

Tonight (Saturday), Mike took me to see the 3D IMAX version of Polar Express in San Francisco. I get cold very easily and was clutching my jacket closed as we walked out of the theater to the parking garage. We passed by a homeless guy asking for change as we reached the end of a cross walk. I said, "Sorry" and continued on.

I'm filled with so much empathy all the time. It breaks my heart to pass homeless people. Sometimes I give money, sometimes I don't. Last weekend in Santa Cruz, we walked by a guy asking for money for food. I told him that I actually didn't have any on me. I was carrying a Jamba Juice though, and he asked for that. I said sure, took one last sip, and handed it to him.

I'm fortunate in that I don't have to see it all that often. My dad was homeless for a while and I think about him and various experiences he shared with me all the time. Today as I passed by the homeless guy in the cold, I recalled my dad saying that the number one thing for survival in the winter is a warm coat. It honestly breaks my heart, and I got to thinking, would I be able to handle traveling to an area where it is much more prominent? I'm sure that it would give me a new perspective and understanding, but it would be very emotionally difficult to endure.

A friend and I were sitting at Subway one day and I saw a guy get off one bus and run across the street to catch another bus that was starting to leave. I muttered "wait for him, wait for him" or something like that and was relieved when I saw that the second bus did indeed see him and stopped pulling away and waited for him. I expressed my relief to my friend and he asked, "Would you have given him a ride if the bus hadn't waited?" I said no, but I was still glad to see that the bus waited because I know what it's like to have a bus take off as I'm running toward it. He commented that when he sees something like that, he just thinks, "sucks to be him". But I don't think that way, I typically try to look at things from each person's perspective and I genuinely feel empathy for sucky situations.


I'm such a sucker. Earlier this week two guys came selling magazines to "earn points for a contest". It was freezing outside, so I let them in while they gave me their spiel. Of course as soon as I did that, I felt obligated to buy something because it's so hard for me to say no. So I ended up with subscriptions to the Smithsonian and Popular Science. At least they are magazines that I may actually read.


I got new printheads! My printer has been printing very crappy for many months now. I finally got around to trying to clean the printheads a week or two ago, but to no avail. So I ordered new printheads, they came in, and I have a normal printing printer again! Yay! For future reference, never let your ink dry up until it absolutely can't print anymore. That's what I did because I thought I'd save money by using every last bit, but instead it messed up the printheads, which cost me $33 each (x 4) to replace plus shipping. Tip for the day...whenever your printer says it's running low on ink, replace the ink cartridge right away!


Ack! Okay, I've been busy since my last posts. Mike and I went up to Gilroy to have dinner with his dad's side of the family. I got to meet his aunt and uncle, which was nice. Then we went to Carmel to visit his aunt who has a hot tub on a secluded balcony. And a full moon to boot. :) We spent our evenings there, but during the days we traveled to Pacific Grove, Felton, and Santa Cruz. I'll have pictures up sometime next week probably. I do have one picture up now though. Aren't we cute? :) I did also get to meet a second aunt on his mom's side of the family. That was nice too.