Nothing Special, Really

Sunday, November 9, 2008

When The Cat Is Away...

Wac's gone for the weekend, back in Cali for her sister's baby shower.

To the right of me is a Jack In The Box cup, to the left of me a pizza box (not a full one, just for two slices). I only got socially dressed today so I could gamble away $30 that I shouldn't at the casino. Luckily, I am good at poker compared to the others who play there & took 2nd place for $260.

Bachelor life, revisited. Tomorrow (or later today, depending on how picky you want to be) will mostly consist of watching football. In Wac's absence, I don't have to be concerned with her preference of only one football game at home on Sundays.

But bachelor life is different this go-around. Through nothing but self-motivation, I threw on my running clothes this morning (hence the prior use of the phrase "socially dressed"; I technically got dressed twice today) for a 2.3 mile run with the first 3\4 mile being a near non-stop incline. As far as tomorrow (again, referring to Sunday here), I might be a bad Steelers fan and skip the first half so I can run 3.5 miles.

I can't say that I've fully caught the running bug, but lately I find myself starting to enjoy running more. It helped that I was able to do the 2.8 mile run last Sunday with little trouble. Wac tried to take me on a 4 mile run Wednesday night; I made it over 2 miles before I had to call it quits due to chafing (my blog so, no, it's not TMI). That was disappointing because I felt like I could have done the whole thing.

My pace probably wouldn't even break speed records for snails but slowing my pace down a bit seems to really help. If it means that I have to lumber across the finish line in January, then lumber I shall. I think the big victory here, though, is that I'm enjoying it all, which is something I wasn't able to say a couple of months ago.

Choosing running over football tomorrow might make me a bad bachelor but whatever.

Besides, Wac doesn't come back until Monday; I can still save the strippers & coke bonanza for Sunday night.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Crash Course Voting

So my big agenda this year has been about making an informed vote. It's sort of a futile exercise, since the truth behind any candidate is muddled underneath piles of half-truths and smears on opponents. I've done enough research to feel confident in who I'm voting for this year. If you've been keeping up on my blog, it probably isn't a big surprise.

I'll be voting for Obama.

I wanted to find the hard, definite truth behind the motives of each candidate when, really, they're both the same. It's apparent from the campaigns of each that they're willing to resort to lies and deceit to gain the presidency. Neither is any different from any other politician.

But there's a couple of things that swayed my vote for Obama.

1. As the campaigns progressed, I felt the tone of McCain's campaign became more conservative. I'm far from conservative, so naturally, I share viewpoints common with the Democratic party, but at one point years ago, I felt I could support McCain because I felt he represented the areas where I'm both liberal and conservative. I don't get that impression any more (see, among other things, the nomination of Sarah Palin). This has been the biggest reason for my vote. Simply put, I align more with Obama's views than McCain's.

2. I'm liberal in many areas, conservative in some, but one thing I cannot stand is the neo-con, religious brand of politics we've had under W. It doesn't help McCain that many of his top advisers were also advisers for George W. Bush.

3. The biggest criticism against Obama is his lack of experience. What I've failed to understand during this whole election is this: what is the litmus test for the proper amount of experience required for a successful president? And, furthermore, is experience really the ultimate qualifier for success as a president?

I'm not convinced that Obama is the savior that so many, especially handfuls of liberals in a town like Seattle, seem to believe he is, but based on what I've read, what I've heard, and what I believe in, I feel that Obama is best equipped to lead this country in the direction I want it to go in.

Of course, with so much attention given to the Presidential Election, I kinda-sorta forgot to look into any of the other elections or initiatives on my ballot this go-around. So, on the eve of my interview tomorrow morning, I'm staying up late, cramming for tomorrow's vote. Here's what I've come up with:

Governor: Christine Gregoire (D) vs Dino Rossi (R).

This was a close race last time these two met, the closest Gubernatorial election in U.S. History. Personally, I still haven't forgiven Gregoire for signing off on a bill that made one of my biggest hobbies, online poker, a state felony on equal footing with possession of child pornography. But is that enough for me to vote Dino? This one I'm still unsure on.

U.S. House: Jim McDermott (D) vs Steve Beren (R).

Among other issues, McDermott voted against the bailout package and supports a repeal of the act that banned payment transfers for online gambling. Instead, he supports an initiative that regulates and taxes online gambling. Good enough for my vote to keep him in office.

Wash. State Legislative District 36, Pos 1: Reuven Carlyle (D) vs John Burbank (D).

Carlyle supports growth for businesses by education and training of technical skills and lives in my neighborhood (albeit in a house that I could never afford). Burbank seems more grass roots and supports growing small, independent businesses here. Despite Carlyle's embrace of private funding and Burbank's dismissal of it, I give Carlyle a narrow edge here.

Wash. State Legislative District 36, Pos 2: Mary Lou Dickerson (D) vs Leslie Klein (D).

This one seems pretty easy, although I'm basing my decision (at this late in the game) on a comparison in Seattle Times. Klein comes across as a bitter Republican upset at what he sees is a Democrat controlled government. I support his idea to balance the budget, but for several answers, he gives no other answer or explanation, Dickerson gives me that, she gets my vote.

Initiative 1000: allowing terminally ill patients diagnosed with 6 months or less to live the right to receive lethal prescription drugs. I fully support this. Critics quote cases where people have recovered to live longer even after receiving a 6 month or less sentence, but I see this as being a benefit to the majority of cases. One, it's an option, and two, it's a right that I believe every person should have, especially if it is self-administered and painless.

Initiative 985: opening HOV lanes to all traffic during specified times, along with traffic synchronization and funding for roadside assistance. I support the gist of this bill but I'll be voting no on it. I support the idea of opening up the HOV lanes at particular times beyond the 6-9am and 4-7am but I don't support the time frames outlined in this initiative, nor do I support the idea of dedicating funds to traffic light synchronization or roadside assistance. Instead, I support more funding into improve public transportation.

That's all I have for now. It's 1am, and I have to call it a night. Happy voting, everyone.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


Change seems to be the buzz word lately.

Hosted a Halloween party on Friday. Spent most of the week changing the apartment into something suitable for such a party. We were going to attempt a spooky hallway but instead went for a seductive candle vibe. I spent a couple days last month driving to any Goodwill\thrift store I could find, buying up any cool, old-looking candlesticks. I was also able to score some tiki torches off craigslist, $5 for all five! Although one candle caused a bit of damage to the kitchen cabinet, the party was a relative success.

Costume wise, Wac went as Sarah Palin, I went as Gay Darth Vader. We both won prizes for the costume contest (she - Best In Show, I = funniest, but both got votes for "sluttiest" as well). I'll let you be the judge:


The Daylight Savings change is always a weird time for me around here. It's not the actual change that bothers me, it's making the adjustment to an earlier sunset. We're only weeks away before it's dark by 4:30pm, something I'm not really looking forward to.

Wac and I took part of the day to celebrate the new time & new season by snagging some pictures of the leaves changing. Autumn in AZ isn't really a season; it's still 80-90 degrees, and neither cacti nor palm trees go through any change. Seattle, on the other hand, was made for this time of year:

Of course, you can't enjoy Autumn without playing in the leaves:


I stepped up my running again. I decided that Sunday was going to be the day that I conquered Greenlake. It's not that big of an accomplishment; 2.8 miles around a lake. But I haven't run that distance non-stop since I was training for the half-marathon in 2004. I did most of my last 2 miles non-stop (the hills at the end pretty much kill me), so I figured 2.8 miles on a flat course would be no problem.

And right I was! I hit a very brief period where it felt like my breaths were getting thinner, but I did the full course fairly easily, even stepping up my pace at the end for a change. And aside for some achy knees for an hour or so afterwards, I feel pretty good. Good enough that I'll probably try a hilly run again on Monday.

I'm feeling better about this half-marathon, but I know that I still need to make some changes to my diet if I want this to be any easier going forward. So, starting today, I'm setting 5 rules:

1. Only 6 inch sandwiches from Subway. This may seem like an inconsequential rule, but you don't understand how often we go to Subway. Having one right around the corner is either a blessing or a curse, depending on how you want to look at it (Mark, I already know your feelings about this place). Average for us has to be at least three times a week. At least. Because we go so frequently, it's hard to pass up the $5 Footlong deal. But I really don't need that much sandwich, so despite the great deal, it's only half a sandwich from now on.

2. Only white meat sandwiches from Subway. As much as I love getting the Spicy Italian, 10 slices of salami & pepperoni each is probably not the healthiest choice. Because of the first rule, I won't be limiting myself to only the $5 deals, so instead, I'll choose between turkey or chicken sandwiches.

3. Only drink once a month. The exception is the occasional glass of wine or beer with dinner, which hasn't been an issue anyway, so making it an exception isn't a concern for me. I have been drinking a lot more over the past couple of months, and at least during my training phase, I need to watch it. Ideally, I shouldn't be getting drunk at all, but with a couple of key holidays coming up, I need some flexibility.

4. No soda during the week. Since becoming diabetic, I've successfully switched to Diet Coke and\or Coke Zero. That switch alone has probably been one of the biggest ways I've been able to control my blood sugar, but it also prevents me from staying properly hydrated. I thought about cutting out soda completely, but Wac convinced me to ease off of it less drastically. Besides, we just bought a case of Cherry Coke Zero last night.

5. At least one meal with fresh veggies each day. We've been fairly good about cooking with fresh vegetables for dinner, but we've kind of fallen off the wagon lately. There shouldn't be any excuse for that though; I've got plenty of time to cook dinner, we have a grocery store across the street, and food just tastes better with fresh veggies.


Finally, a pleasant surprise on the job front for a change. I wrote in my last post about a job interview I had that didn't go as well as expected. Nevertheless, I followed up with the HR Director the day after with one of my soon to be patented follow up emails. I've become pretty good at these emails, eloquently stating my case as a candidate and\or my enthusiasm for the position. I went through a couple drafts before coming up with one that took away focus from my inexperience & refocused on what I could do for them.

I don't know if that had the impact or if my interview was better than it seemed to me, but they're bringing me back on Tuesday to interview with the rest of the team. I don't feel as much pressure to get this job since I'm eligible for an extension of my unemployment benefits, but this would definitely be a great opportunity for me: a job that accelerates my career growth, pays very well, and is with a company that has an amazing corporate culture (I was able to go to my interview in jeans, a sweater and my black Chucks and fit in perfectly with all the employees). The ball is in my court though, and although I definitely know enough to not think that I have this job locked up, I do feel like this is my job to lose. I'll be spending most of Monday prepping myself for this interview. I'm tired of missed opportunities; it's time to finally get out there and seize one myself.

For a change.