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June 2008

No, I have not started my own business…

June 27, 2008   

… selling dvds, cameras, and printers.

My yahoo account’s contact list has been compromised. 🙁 I am sorry if someone or spambot sent you email pretending to be me. It’s not me. You know I don’t use that email account anyway. Still, so sorry.

Gardener love

June 20, 2008   

I am working from home today because I had to see the doc about some weird cyst in my hand that appeared then ruptured, but it is apparently one hundred percent benign, so please don’t worry. I am cyst-prone anyway and have developed a bunch in the past.

Er… anyway. So I am working from home. And the yard crew has done — and are currently doing — amazing things. All the trees are pruned and all the brush has been cleared away. We definitely have to figure out what kind of ground cover we want before the next rainy season, as the ground is bare and expected to be for as long as they are coming back to maintain.

There is just so much land back there that it’s insane. Everyone should drop by to see. It makes no sense how clear it is. How can human beings have done so much in such a short amount of time, and in this sweltering heat?

Speaking of sweltering heat, I felt so bad for the guys that I bought a bag of ice and a pack of gatorade and set them up outside next to a giant pitcher of ice water. I don’t think the ice will last long in the heat, but at least I tried. I also invited them inside to take a break, but I don’t think they felt comfortable doing so. 🙁


June 19, 2008   

I’m sorry; the world does not have enough exclamation points to cover how many I need to express my amazement and sheer, overwhelmed awe at how much work the gardner did today.


I swear there will be pictures at some point. We hired this guy because he quoted a flat fee to do all the clearing of the backyard as well as the front yard. I came home to our entire left fence wall completely exposed and bare, with nothing between it and the stone walkway that Seppo built, with the exception of the apple tree, which had been rescued from a thick, overgrown thatch of blackberry bushes. The tree itself had been pruned into an actual tree shape, which, tee hee.

The loquat tree had been similarly pruned, the bamboo brought under control, and the entire area around it cleared. I can’t begin to describe how different the yard looks, even with piles of yardwaste that they couldn’t haul away today. Tomorrow, he’s coming back to finish the right side and presumably, the front. Or if he doesn’t finish, he’ll simply keep coming until everything is clear. OMG! Seppo just said, “In this way, he’s very much like the T-1000.” 😐

WOW. I mean, he didn’t just clear out the brush and bushes and prune trees; he brought everything that is not a tree down to the ground. I AM SO EXCITED. The sheer potential of our backyard has been re-exposed. Actually, I am not sure that we’ve ever seen things this clear, even when we first saw the house. We are definitely going to have this guy continue to come for maintenance.

This means that instead of working on trying to tame a tiny corner of the yard or feeling stress & guilt that we are not outside trying to do the same, we can actually just start using the backyard and doing crazy things like buying more sand/gravel/stones to build a FIRE PIT OF DOOM (with all the necessary safety precautions x 10000, since we do not want to have our house and/or Oakland go up in flames) or a stone patio. And we can do it slowly over time because we won’t have to worry about the growth coming back to hamper us, because we’ll just have a guy who magically makes that headache go away.

Seppo and I are both in agreement that while we wish we could have done this years ago, that it’s only in the last couple of years that we could have paid for this kind of thing, even though this guy works at a GREAT price, so we are both happy and have no regrets.

This, combined with the stairs means that this house is really starting to feel like a real home inhabited by real people. The stairs, in particular, are no longer a death trap! Since we no longer have any secret place in the backyard to hide bodies, it’s a good thing the stairs are fixed.


My, what a delicious couch you’ve got!

June 12, 2008   

A.k.a. the blog entry where I go test crazy.

How Long Could You Survive Trapped In Your Own Home?
Created by OnePlusYou


How many cannibals could your body feed?
Created by OnePlusYou

Dammit! I got one wrong. 🙁 I think it was the last one:

Name That Code
Created by OnePlusYou

And why shouldn’t this score correspond to the last one? No reason.

87% Geek

Created by OnePlusYou

Privilege test

June 11, 2008   

This meme would be interesting to do with a group of friends all gathered in one place, in person as originally intended by Will Barratt, Meagan Cahill, Angie Carlen, Minnette Huck, Drew Lurker, Stacy Ploskonka of Indiana University, but I’ll just do as the rest of the blogosphere has done and bold the items that apply to me. I think it has a bigger impact in real life because you’ll see your peers standing many steps apart from each other.

Step forward one step if:

Father went to college
Father finished college
Mother went to college
Mother finished college
Have any relative who is an attorney, physician, or professor. But the one is younger than me, so does this count, since he was not a part of the environment that raised me?
Were the same or higher class than your high school teachers
Had more than 50 books in your childhood home
Had more than 500 books in your childhood home
Were read children’s books by a parent
Had lessons of any kind before you turned 18 For a month.
Had more than two kinds of lessons before you turned 18
The people in the media who dress and talk like me are portrayed positively
Had a credit card with your name on it before you turned 18
Had or will have less than $5000 in student loans when you graduate
Had or will have no student loans when you graduate
Your parents (or a trust) paid for the majority of your college costs*
Your parents (or a trust) paid for all of your college costs*
Went to a private high school
Went to summer camp It was an academic camp for one summer that I applied through school then earned a scholarship to go to… so, again, does this count?
Had a private tutor before you turned 18
Family vacations involved staying at hotels
Your clothing was all bought new before you turned 18
Your parents bought you a car that was not a hand-me-down from them
There was original art in your house when you were a child
Had a phone in your room before you turned 18
You and your family lived in a single family house
Your parent(s) owned their own house or apartment before you left home
You had your own room as a child For two years before I went off to college, because my sister had by then gone off to college. Until then, we always shared
Participated in an SAT/ACT prep course
Had your own TV in your room in High School
Owned a mutual fund or IRA in High School or College
Flew anywhere on a commercial airline before you turned 16 Ok, I feel like this one really doesn’t count. The one time I flew before 16 was to immigrate to the US from Korea.
Went on a cruise with your family
Went on more than one cruise with your family
Your parents took you to museums and art galleries as you grew up
You were unaware of how much heating bills were for your family

Note from the website I got this from:

*These two are edited because Christine pointed out that the previous wording didn’t clearly delineate between people who had their tuition paid for them and people who worked for their college expenses.

Other key notes from the original site:

Note that the people on one end of the room had to work harder to be here today than the people at the other end of the room. Some of you had lives of more privilege than others. There is no one to blame, it is just the way it is. Some have privilege and some don’t.

Having privilege does not mean that you worked less hard. All it means is that you had a head start, so maybe it does mean you didn’t have to work as hard…

That last one is a bit vaguely phrased, but if you just drop that last clause and end with “… you had a head start,” then I think it makes perfect sense.

Some of the things that they suggest discussing are:

  • What were the feelings that you had during this experience? Who was angry? (Anger will be a primary emotion at this point.)

  • What, specifically, makes you angry?

  • Who are you angry at?

  • Who was happy?

  • Which item do you want to argue about most? Why? Do you want more or fewer steps?

My future kids will have almost everything checked off. It’s kind of crazy.

Stairway to…

June 10, 2008   

heaven the upstairs.

The contractor and his crew dismantled our downstairs-upstairs inside stairway today. THe $$ hurts but it’ll be up to code, then we can close out our kitchen permits and think about drywalling all the of the upstairs. A couple of bigger area rugs after that, and we can call it a day for a loooooooooooong while.

After this long while, we’ll probably eventually have to tackle the upstairs bathroom and the floors, but we can absolutely live with them as-is for years.

Keep your fingers crossed that everything goes well.