Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Anniversary to Us!

So that plan for last night was to make a simple pasta dish and watch "Goldeneye" together.

Instead, we got an anniversary card from my grandparents. And it had money in it. So the question quickly became: Where do you want to go for dinner?

At first we thought of doing La Piñata, but then I suggested sushi.

So we walked to Damo Sushi, ordered our sushi, and then walked home.

And sat on the futon in the media room, and filled up on sushi. We were both stuffed.

It was a wonderful evening.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Tattoo Show

Monday is Jennifer and my 8th anniversary. And today we celebrated it by going to the Cow Palace in San Francisco for the Body Art Expo. Body Art means tattoos, piercings, and other exotic things.

We watched my friend Steve get his cat Max (a Maine coon) on his shin. And Steve's wife Lisa got a mermaid on her leg. We kept them company while they were getting the work done, and bounced around the place looking at the jewelry, and other artists and people getting their own ink.

We had a much better time that the first time we went three years ago. That one was fun, but I didn't have any ink yet, and we didn't understand the motivation of a person getting one. I was leaning towards getting one, but was really afraid of the pain, and couldn't picture getting one done in public.

I still can't. I like getting it done in a studio with a relatively small audience and little to no distractions.

Jennifer almost got some work done today. She was getting swept up in the experience. She might get a tattoo done the next time we go.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

It's a Niven Fest

So I finally found something to read: I'm going through the short stories of Larry Niven.

A Hole in Space had some good ones, and now I'm reading "Flash Crowd" from Flight of the Horse. Now aside from the typical issues of writing near-future science fiction, the stories hold up really well. One thing I noticed in a recent story was that other than news and interview shows, television was non-existent. Instead "entertainment cassettes" (the story was written in 1973) we sold and people watched them when they wanted to.

My favorite element to the group of stories I'm reading now are the teleportation displacement booths. The booths that are about the size of a phone booth pretty much cover the world and there's one on every block. It's one dollar per transfer, you can get almost anywhere in the world in three jumps: home to airport for the long distance booths, airport to customs if going to another country, and then customs to destination. It's something I know many of us would love just to get out of the traffic.

The side effects of teleportation are flash crowds (rapid gatherings of people from across the country 'porting in to see what's being shown on TV), smuggling (as pirate booths can be set up just on the other side of the border), and the disappearance of cars and planes.

But, it still beats traffic.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Sheer Surprise

This weekend, I discovered two shirts that I cannot wear when I visit my parents.

The silk shirt I wore on Friday and the rayon shirt I wore on Sunday both surprised me by being sheer enough to make out my tattoos.

And I discovered that there are three things that I have done that as a younger me, I swore I would never do:
  • stick my finger in my eye everyday to put in contacts
  • let a needle go all the way through my lobe and get a pierced ear
  • let needles repeatedly hit my skin with ink and get a tattoo
Well, what are you gonna do?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Erik's got a brand new bag... soon.

I know, I know, but I haven't had much to say.

Last Saturday, we had out GURPS game at John's. That morning I had to get gas, and when I went to put the credit card back in my bag, the zipper jumped the track.

Yes, I carry a bag. I'll even call it a man bag. It's not a purse. It's definitely not a murse. It's a Tumi that my dad gave me when he bought a replacement. I was really appreciative because at the time, I was having back issues because of my wallet. So it was perfect. And I filled it up.

Things I keep in my bag:
So I'm getting this one today. Hopefully. I wasn't going to have the money until today, so I had them set it aside, but if anyone else wanted to buy it they would have to go ahead and sell it. They being the Tumi store in San Francisco Centre. As a back-up there's another store at 100 Grant Street, so I can call there too. Additionally there's one in Walnut Creek, but they don't keep that model in stock.

But, I'm expecting all to go well. And I'll have my bag soon. It will be the same model as the one I had, just updated. I have no idea how old my old one was, but I used it for almost five years.

Monday night I had to fly out to Irvine (ahhh, scenic Irvine) for the annual XOM all consultants meeting. I thought I was going to go crazy without my bag. I survived, but only because the boring monotony of the meeting kept my bagless stress dampened.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Tattoo Thoughts

Let me lead off by saying that I am very happy with my tattoos. But there was that moment when I was getting them done when I started thinking, why am I doing this?

It reminded me of the feelings I got for the first month or so after my first one. I would catch sit of my back in the mirror, and I would think, "What have I done?" The first time that thought hit me, I nearly broke down into tears. I can't really explain why, because I was, and still am, very happy with the work, but ti was just seeing something new on your skin that will be there for as long as you live took some getting used to.

Last night's feeling happened after about three lines of the line work, and lasted for about 5 minutes. Then the endorphins kicked in, and it wasn't so bad. Not to say it didn't hurt, but it was slightly lessened.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Tattoos - Progress

I got the line work and the shading done today. I sat for two hours, and if I had them all to do over again, I would do it like this. It was half an hour each for the line work, and then another about half an hour each for the shading. Probably more on the flaming "S", but on average.
And the pain is not so bad. It was getting bad for the shading around where the flames are going to go, but right now, it's actually fine.
For the full progression you can go here, and check it out.
The color is scheduled for Sunday, September 14th.

Tattoo in 3 hours

Jennifer and I will be on our way to Vacaville soon for the next stage of the back tattoo. I'm looking forward to this mostly because there isn't going to be much more than line work. And then in about a month I'll go back for color.

And I've decided to re-read The Princess Bride. It's been twenty years since the movie came out (long enough to become a master swordsman in pursuit of revenge), and I haven't read the book in quite a while.

I'll put pictures up tonight or tomorrow from the tattooing. I'm taking tomorrow off to recover. I'm not sure how I'll be sleeping with them going onto the back of my ribs.

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Long Long Day

Yesterday was did not start well. We had planned to run up to Placerville to pick up our wine shipment at the Lava Cap Winery. But we had to be back down to Fairfield for a party at 5:30. We ran the times backwards, and thought if we left at noon, we would have plenty of time to get up there, taste a little, and then drive back down to the party.

Traffic on Interstate 80 was surprisingly thick for the middle of the day on a Saturday. I expected cars, but not the slow and go we had. Then as we were passing through West Sacramento, the Magellan was telling us there was a disabled vehicle in the middle to north of Sacramento. The traffic was stopped, so we got off at Jefferson Boulevard, and as we went over the interstate, we could see that less than a mile from where we got off, a CHP had the road blocked. We pulled off, and called the winery to have them ship the wine, and then had 3 hours to kill before the party.

So we went to the Nut Tree. Or the travesty it has become. The stores are the typical strip mall, and then there are the pathetic rides left over from a bygone age. It's pretty sad. On top of that was the heat that was just oppressive by California standards.

The party that night was wonderful though. Everyone grilled food they had brought (we had pork ribs, white corn on the cob, and potatoes). And we played some game that you had to get the rest of the group to guess the name of the song and the group that you had been given. We played this for at least two hours. Jennifer and I didn't get home until 2:00 AM. It turned out to be a great day.

Friday, August 01, 2008

One hundred posts? Already?

Today I got a big surprise. I was over at my gmail account checking on the comments, and I found someone other than John had left a comment. It was a mysterious post asking if I was a certain Erik formerly from Concord. And from a place called Zissler. (Say it out loud in a bit of a whisper.) The person was a longtime missing friend and former coworker of mine, Amber.

Back while I was in college, I worked Christmas and Summer breaks at the Sizzler on Willow Pass in Concord. Retaining my fear of handling food from KFC, I worked what was called The Coldside. There we took orders, prepped the trays, poured the drinks, and, most importantly, took the money.

Amber was one of the waitresses. Those who brought the cheese toast. Got you your refills. Brought you fresh plates for the salad bar. Brought out the hot food. And then left a little plate with mints... and suckers for the kids.

Now at the Concord Sizzler, there always seemed to be a shortage of orange suckers. That was because my sweet tooth demanded that I gather as many orange suckers as possible. I became known for them.

And my friend Amber, who is also a talented artist, began incorporating them into drawing for me. She sent me letters while I was in Sacramento going to college, and they were full of artwork. The picture above was the cover of one of my Christmas cards. She also did kind of freelance work for the Tower Records on Willow Pass. If you were there before they remodelled, and quite a while before they closed, then you probably saw her stuff. Her best piece there, I feel, was her rendition of Chuck Berry. She has been drawing professionally and doing animation for more than ten years now.
During our e-mail conversation today, I found out that one of the animated shows she worked on was "Cow and Chicken". It's not one that I ever watched, but I had heard of it.
I think that's pretty cool.
And she's continuing to work in a field she loves. Now I like geology, and ETIC is great, but to get to draw for a living. That's really great.

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