Saturday, August 28, 2004

I Taste Freedom No More

"It's a good life, end of discussion." - TGUK

Tonight, the family comes back from New York. That's right, they were in New York for the past three weeks and I barely (if never) made mention of it on my blogs because, well, because I didn't want some stalker knowing I was home alone and sniffing my hair. I think I handled this time to myself spectacularly. The last time they left me alone for an extended amount of time was when they went to China and I had to stay behind because of school. I had just seen The Ring and was scared that a little dead girl would jump out of every dark corner. Back then, I barricaded every possible entrance to the house; complete with booby traps and contraptions designed to wake me up if someone came into the house (Kevin MacAllister would have been proud).

This time however, I wasn't really scared of anything. It was pretty relaxing and went by really quickly. I made dinners myself and was pretty much self-sufficient.

Don't get me wrong though. I'm really glad my family is coming back. I've really missed them and I can't wait to see all their pictures (and presents hopefully).

But before I pick them up, I have to get some flowers for Father and Mother Routes' Anniversary! So if you see them, wish them fun and everlasting maritalship.

And also, it's Charmin and Erico Suave's father's birthdays today! Wish them lotsa jub jub fun if you see them.

Slathering on the aftershave,

Rickaulay Culkin

Sunday, August 22, 2004

23 & Invincible

It's my birthday today! I'm really pleased with all the birthday wishes I received. Thanks to everyone! Em especially sang Happy Birthday to me on my answering machine. It was the cutest thing in the entire world next to puppies on X. Hoping I can preserve it because I want to keep it forever in my shirt pocket.

Anyway, I celebrated my birthday in Los Angeles. Had fun.

By the way, it's Ricky's birthday today, so if you see him, wish him fun!

Growing mold,


Saturday, August 21, 2004

Red Lobsters and Rashes

Today, Uncle J and Auntie C took me to lunch (or breakfast since I had just woken up) at Red Lobster; home of the Chedder Bay Biscuits (Jonathan Liang introduced those bad boys to me in high school).

Things were cool. We were catching up with stuff and eating. I had a big shrimp platter; fried shrimp, buttery garlic shrimp, garlic alfredo pasta with shrimp, and garlic mashed potatoes.

After lunch, we went to CostCo for a bit (they needed to get some water). Various samples were offered on each aisle, so even though I was full from the Red Lobster lunch (I had leftovers), I took a few samples anyway. I tried samples of Kirkland Signature brand Pure Vanilla ice cream and a new product called Uncrustables (basically a peanut butter and jelly pie. It was gross).

So I got dropped off at home and then took a nice dump. Then I went to the gym. When I got back, I noticed that my face had broken out into a horrible rash. Think of bubbly mosquito bites all over my face and my skin was red all over. It was terrible. If anyone has seen Minority Report, I thought I looked like Tom Cruise after he injected that drug in him to change his face and make him look old. Yes... THAT BAD!

I'm not really sure what caused this allergic reaction. I hope it wasn't the shrimp because I love shrimp. Personally, I'm blaming it on the Uncrustables. Yes, because they sucked.

So, in need of Benadryl, I'm just drinking massive amounts of water and slathering Aloe Vera gel on my face, hoping it subsides before I have to go eat birthday dinner at Granny M's place. Imagine what they would think if I showed up looking all crapped up. They'd probably never let me leave their house.

Tomorrow's the birthday!

Red with anticipation,


Friday, August 20, 2004

I Like Cheese

Actually, I'm pretty indifferent about cheese. I do enjoy provolone once in a while, but I just couldn't think of a title for this entry.

Is anyone watching the Olympics? The only things that really interest me are the gymnastics and some diving. Swimming was kinda cool to watch at first, but how many damn categories do they need to award? And that Michael Phelps guy... who cares.

Anyway, my birthday is creeping up this Sunday and I'm turning twenty-three. Jesus, that sounds old. That's like two years older than the cool age. Jesus.

But oh well. Growing is growing. What's the next age to look forward to anyway (after twenty-one)? Is it sixty-five so I can collect some Social Security junk (when there is none left)? Okay, I'll look forward to age sixty-five then. That's not too far away.

I gotta warn my reader about products that suck. Firstly, Cingular (highlighted in a previous blog) sucks. If you thought their service sucked, wait till you try to cancel and face the wrath of their customer service. Well, just make sure you make absolutely clear that you want to cancel all your phone lines when you want to cut off your service and move to a way better company *coughVerizoncough*. And remember that Cingular requires a thirty day advanced warning before cutting your service. LAME!

And I bought a new pair of headphones because I was scared my iPod earphones wouldn't last through my next WDW trip this September. So I went to Best Buy and grabbed one of the only brands offered (Best Buy doesn't have much of a selection when it comes to basic earphones... well my local Best Buy anyway). The brand I bought was Koss and they were five dollars. The packaging claims that the earphones are light in ear and that there's some sort of frequency distribution for better sound. LIES! The earphones are clunky. There is no shape to it, so it doesn't fit inside my ears. And because it's heavy, the earphones fall out every 20 seconds. And the sound quality sucks! I have to turn my iPod volume to 75% to hear my music. These earphones are by far the worst every produced. They suck. I wish I never bought them and you shouldn't either. Stick with Sony.

Okay, I'm going to go relax because it's the weekend. And a special weekend at that. Yup, it's special because the Sunday paper has coupons!

Cutting the cheese,


Sunday, August 15, 2004

I'm a Cheap Bastard!

Oh, humble day; for I have just discovered the joys of coupon savings!

Since I'm on my own for a while, I've been pretty bored at home. Cabin fever has struck and I'm forced to clean up a bit. Yesterday night, I was picking up some papers from the ground when I saw a few coupons for groceries I wanted. So instead of tossing them in the trash like I normally do, I clipped them. And today, I went to Vons.

Armed with a shopping cart and my coupons in hand, I went down the aisles and matched each picture to the product. To my surprise, some of the items I was getting were on sale with Vons Club too! So I saved like a brother thumper!

I think this coming Sunday, I'm gonna get the LA Times and save some more cash (on products I wouldn't normally buy).

Well it's back to work tomorrow to earn the ability to save some money on groceries.

Cookies, ice cream, and seventeen dollars richer,


Sunday, August 08, 2004

A Fair to Remember

That's "fair" pun number 3!

Today, MacArthur thought it'd be fun to go down to the Ventura County Fair, next to his hometown (affectionately known as The 'Nard). So he, Erico Suave, their new roommate Marina Maria, and I made the 2 hour drive and landed in some strawberry crazy town.

It was a lot of fun. The fair fare was $7 for adults and gave access to all the cool exhibits; all of them. We strolled down the food stand lane and grabbed lunch first. Then we went to an animal area with plenty of goats and sheep (that looked like goats). When we turned the corner, we found a bunch of horses in their stables. These things were huge! They're very intimidating and, well, big. I was pretty freaked about getting too close, but after a little 5 year old just ran up and pet the horse, I had to. I pet it twice and then backed away.

We went into some other award presentations including the Kids Drawings, Kids Plate Settings, Kids Spelling Bee, Best Photography, and Best Collections. They were all equally awkward. The collection area had some of the lamest collections I've ever seen. Some collections contained items only 3 years old or so. And there were happy meal toy and beanie baby collections that had far less items than I have stashed away in my storage closet. If I had known I could have won prize ribbons for my junk, I'd have entered long ago.

We also visited the carnival area. They had these crazy fast spinning rides; ones where you'd say, "Wow, that's fast" and then it'd go a lot faster. I had never been in a funhouse before, so we got some ride tickets and went into one. It was okay. Some of the bridges were fun, but some of the trick steps and spinning turn table steps were lame. We also had a yearning to ride a cheesy dark ride, so we went to the spook house. It seats two people per car and there are no lap bars or restraints. It was so hilarious! Around ever corner, a light flashed on some cheesy horror figure and a buzzer rang. But the most entertaining figure was a monster at the end that looked like it was cage dancing.

Before we left, I wanted to do something you could only do at a fair. At one of the booths, they had deep fried Twinkies, Snickers, and Oreos. I hate Twinkies, so I opted to eat the mind-boggling deep fried Snickers bar. It looks like a regular Twinkie with chocolate syrup squiggled on it and topped off with powdered sugar. The taste, however, is somewhat unexplainable. The Snickers bar is completely melted inside the deep fried dough and it is really rich. It's not something you can just eat quickly; it must be devoured (not because it's so good. Because the chocolate and sugar oozes and coats your mouth. I'd liken it to eating a spoonful of peanut butter). Would I eat it again? Probably not. After I ate it, though it was pretty tasty, it made my stomach and chest hurt. Not really something you want from a dessert.

So, fairs are fun. They're not as seedy as I remember. Maybe at the next fair, they'll have more deep fried options. I'm really curious as to what other foods can kill me.

Fairly tired,


Friday, August 06, 2004

We’re No Better by Richard Mar

We live each day sheltered;
Away from details we fear,
Building invulnerable beliefs;
Feeling better than we’re.
Then down our walls fall
Hitting harder than all
We never prepared to receive.
The deadness we feel
When that epiphany hits.
Suddenly, we’re no better than others.
It’s all been a cover by those who deceived
Out of love and protection.
To help us believe in that life of perfection
We could never achieve.

I'm not sure if my poem above is understandable or not.

What is it about, you ask?

Just the other day I got news that someone in my family had a mild heart attack. To be fair, it's not someone in my immediate family, but it still got me thinking. When I was a kid, my parents didn't necessarily want me, nor my brothers, to panic about things concerning health and death and all that stuff; all that grim stuff. I don't know if it was just because I was the youngest, but I wasn't told about these things. And who could blame them? Parents want to keep their children oblivious to matters that they don't need to worry about until they're older.

I remember when I was around 6 or 7 and I overheard my parents talking about how my grandfather had big ears and that having big ears meant that you'd live a long life. So I jumped in and asked "Are my ears big?" I think their eyes must have blinked at each other when they scrambled to tell me that I had very big ears. It reassured me when I was younger, but as I grew older, I realized that my ears aren't big at all (unless you guys see something I don't). In fact, my ears are actually pretty small!

I have other examples, but I don't want to get into them. But I just want to say that recently, because of some happenings, my parents have dropped bombshells that there are histories of heart problems and cancer within my family line and that just seemed very shocking to me. It's a bit cliché, but people really do go around living life saying "That'll never happen to me," and it's really terrifying when you have that sudden realization that yes, yes it can happen and there's a good chance it will. It's a bursting of that protective bubble. I guess the logic is that as we grow older, we'll become better abled to handle such news. As kids, we're just so highly susceptible to everything. I just think it sucks to have to hear that at all, but we can't choose our families.

None of us are perfect and none of our lives are stable. Tomorrow you might wake up with a weird lump on your skin, or erratic heart beats, or your parents might no longer want to be married to each other.

I'm not quite sure if what I'm saying is obvious or even if it's that significant, but I guess I'm just saying this for others to not take things for granted. None of us are as perfect as we're brought up to think we are. Life's short. Live big.

Making no sense,


Wednesday, August 04, 2004

A Singular Complaint

Before I get into my main rant, I gotta say this. Speaking of television shows, in my previous blog, I got off the subway today to find that 24 was filming at Union Station! 24 season 4 is a complete mystery to everyone and it's very exciting to see that they are in full swing filming and stuff. I didn't actually see them filming. Actually, I think they had just finished because some guy was putting away wires and other equipment. There was a sign propped up announcing:

"You may be getting filmed. 20th Century Fox Television is filming the television series '24' at the moment and by being present, you give full consent that you may appear in our shots."

Now, that's not what the sign said verbatim, but it's pretty much the gist of it. In fact, I stopped reading the sign as soon as I read the numbers two and four in that second sentence. Then I looked around for any filming, but saw none. So if you're watching this upcoming season, they were possibly filming near the main lobby, next to the Surfliner check-in area (and subway exit). I'm all excited for the show to start again, even though it premieres in January 2005 and 99% of the original cast isn't returning.

Okay, now to my main event.

If you have Cingular Wireless, be cautious how you go about cancelling your plans when you're ready. My family had the family plan, naturally, and our contracts were up, so we wanted to switch to Verizon to get better signals in our areas. Well, back in July, it turns out that we got a bill late because we neglect to check the mail often and so we missed a due date. They shut off our service and required a $30 reactivation fee per line (we have 3). Mother Routes, not very happy about this, says "Okay, whatever. We were done with our contract anyway." So she gets Timotei to call and cancel our plan. They agree and we pay our final bill.

Well, the next week or so, we got another bill from Cingular, so we called them asking about it. They told us that there was a mandatory "30-day notice" rule for cancelling plans. It's hidden in the small print. So my mom was FURIOUS. They didn't alert us to this and so we thought our phones were disconnected. Meanwhile we were getting charged for the next month without using it.

So we waited the 30 days very angrily and then recently got new phones from Verizon. While I was transferring my phone numbers from my old phone to my new phone, I noticed that I still had the little "Cingular" logo on my phone. So when Timotei called about it today, they said that we only requested to cancel one of the phone lines. WE WERE GETTING CHARGED FOR THE OTHER TWO!!! That was BULL SHMOKE!

So my brother asked if we had to pay for it and they said yes. So we requested to speak with a supervisor who very nicely told us that they, as a business center, are required to tell customers who are cancelling, that they have to cancel each line separately. We were never told this. So they backdated our fees to the cancellation date of the cancelled line and we are finally out of Cingular's grasp.

Those idiots. I swear. They trap you and take your money. Good for nothing Republicans.

(If you take offense to that because Republicans have nothing to do with this story, kiss off.)

So beware of Cingular. If you thought only their signals and dead zones sucked, think again. Here's hoping Verizon treats us a little better (they don't have the 30-day notice policy).

Happy with my new slider phone,


Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Rescue Me From Reality

Man, I remember when there was no such thing as summer programming. It was just repeats all summer long. Just a few years ago, I guess some genius finally got it through his head that people don't like watching reruns and still watch TV during the summer (especially with school out and whatnot), thus creating the summer season.

But let's face it. Summer programming still isn't exactly the best. We usually get all the burn-off episodes from failed Fall shows and other easy-to-produce programs (SpyTV anyone?). It seems though that this summer is offering more reality crap than usual.

I hate reality shows. Well, there have been some that I enjoyed; The Mole, Fear Factor, um, The Mole 2: The Next Betrayal. I really can't say that I liked other reality shows, but I really hope the reality fad goes out soon... with a whimper.

But here comes the shame. I started watching The Amazing Race last week and I really enjoyed it. It's pretty exciting (not to mention entertaining watching that dwarf woman compete). And today, I was drawn into Big Brother 5. I've been against this show ever since the first boring season. I just downright hated it because it was Big Brother; it was stupid and boring. Well, watching today, I got sucked into the lies and the backstabbing and the annoying (yet intriguing) players. These people are so stupid, yet so smart, but stupid. Oh well, I guess that's what happens when there's nothing else to watch.

I have, however, found two new scripted shows that I really enjoy. First, The 4400 on USA Network. I talked briefly about it on my July 17 blog. The finale is airing next week and, while the show is losing a little fascination, it's still interesting enough to tune in. Supposedly next week, they'll explain part of what happened to the 4400.

The other show that I love is Rescue Me on FX. This is the first TV show I've seen on cable that uses the word "sh**" freely. It's also pretty gory (because it deals with New York Firefighters). The drama in this show is top-notch. It's hard to explain, but the show is excellent and also very funny. I can't wait to get this show on DVD.

So that's my TV life at the moment. I'm just happy right now that the Scrubs premiere is only 28 Days away.

Ecstatic that On-Air with Ryan Seacrest was cancelled,