The downside of looking for a house

...when you're not quite ready to buy: the perfect house probably won't be available when you are ready - in six months when your lease is up. Ho hum.

Last night, Jhon and I sat thisclose to Harry. We could indeed see his sweat. If Jhon and I had been in our living room, Harry would have been in the kitchen making us some red beans and rice. There were a couple of less-than-ideal happenings - like some random couple sitting in our seats and some random chick screaming in all the wrong moments things like "You're so sexy!" and "We love you!" (it's accepted in the first few minutes of the show, when everyone is excited, but when you do it in the middle of every song, including the slow ones, and even Harry starts to look peeved, you're being a twit). And it was the birthday of one of Harry's band members, so they had a big cake that they cut up and started distributing to the audience, which caused people in the nosebleed seats to run down front and scramble for cake. Which cause the people in the first three rows to yell at them when they stayed put once the band started playing again. But it was still the most wonderfully amazing show I've been to in a while. The birthday scene led to Harry joking that the band was like Menudo and this would be the birthay boy's last show... which segued hilariously into Harry's spirited and spontaneous rendition of "Livin' La Vide Polka." And Red Rocks is, quite possibly, the most beautiful venue ever. The perfect setting for the perfect show.

And I think Jhon had a good time too.

Fingers crossed

Jhon might get his offer letter today.

This promises to be a big, exciting weekend. Actually, Saturday promises to be a big exciting day; I will spend Sunday knee-deep in freelance work. But we're meeting Sean and Jen tomorrow morning to go Adventure Golf-ing and there will probably be hanging out afterward. Then Jhon and I will spend the evening with Harry.

Third row, center.

The tickets were totally an impulse buy, but I wanted to get something nice for Jhon for the two-year anniversary of our first date. I bought the tickets a couple days after they went on sale and asked for the best seats they had available. So, tomorrow night, Jhon and I will be at Red Rocks, swooning to Harry and his band and sitting close enough to the stage to see his sweat.

Things that are fluffy

I've discovered insurance companies love to put you on hold. The cheerful voice says their average hold time is under a minute. What the cheerful voice conveys to you subconscious is this: "Because we've already royally screwed you over, we thought you wouldn't mind holding just a few hours longer so you're good and mad when we tell you we're still not going to give you money. Then we can joke with our jasminlive co-workers about the poor schmo who broke down in tears and hung up on us."

Meanwhile, the bills from the hospital, doctor, technicians, etc., are still rolling in, and they've begun calling the apartment because they're past due. So today, I set up my payment plans for the next four months/two years. Between the doctor's surgery fee, the cost of the anesthesia (which they gave me a discount on when I blew my nose into the phone) and the hospital's bill for "tasteless Jell-O and other services rendered," the monthly total for the next four months is a whopping $939.13. They're letting me pay on the 6th or the 12th or whenever, so I have that much longer to look around our bedroom and see what I can pawn.

I knew I should have bought more electronics equipment instead of all those books.

After four months, when the actual surgery and anesthesia are paid off, the payment will drop to only $478. More than my mammoth monthly school loan payment. I know Jhon married me for better or for worse, but he didn't sign up for this.

Yesterday I signed up for Weight Watchers online. I'm not quite comfortable with being weighed in front of a group, so going it alone seemed like a better option. And I'm not really going it alone -- Jhon is completely supportive, my friends and family are behind me 100% -- so I'm feeling optimistic about my chances for success. At its core, Weight Watchers is about taking in fewer calories than you're burning, which is the healthiest way to lose weight and keep it off for the long haul. And after only a day, I have a better idea of portion sizes, the calorie content of foods, etc. So, we'll see how this goes. And I won't have to do without the carb-y foods I love, like mashed potatoes and rice and bread; I just have to learn to eat smaller portions of them. The good thing about Weight Watchers is, because it's so established and well-known, there is already a built-in network of support and places to find resources. I'm paid up for the next three months; hopefully the change at the end of those three months will be significant. And Jhon and I head to the grocery store tonight with food list in hand.

I need book recommendations

I just finished the new David Sedaris book (it took less than three days), and my backlog of books to read is empty. I bought The Devil in the White City last night, but it will only take me a week or so to finish. So, I need chaturbate recommendations.

To help everyone target their suggestions, my favorite author is Annie Dillard, and I gravitate toward interesting non-fiction books and biographies. I've read The Lovely Bones and Lucky, I've read Life of Pi, I have no desire to read The Da Vinci Code, and I don't enjoy books in the vein of The Devil Wears Prada or anything by Candaca Bushnell -- you know, those shopaholic, city girl books. Just not something I enjoy. I also went through a phase where I read nothing but "neurotic 20-something, abused by eccentric family and looking for love in all the wrong places" books, so that genre is out too.

I'm a tad picky

It feels good to be home after a long weekend away. We left at 5:30 on Friday afternoon and spent our holiday weekend frolicking around southwest Colorado and northwest New Mexico.

Jhon's grandparents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. My mom turned 60 this year; when they were married, my mom was speaking gibberish (she still does occasionally, but that's another story). Sixty years of marriage is an incredible accomplishment and a testament to their love for and commitment to one another. I hope Jhon and I are lucky enough to live that long; there's no doubt in my mind we're staying married until the day(s) we die. Anyhoo, we celebrated the grand event with a party at the Tamarron Resort just up the hill from Durango. The party was set up like a wedding reception -- centerpieces and favors, place cards, a tiered cake -- and a had a wonderful time meeting the members of Jhon's family who couldn't make it to our wedding. There was also a wedding going on at the resort later the same day, so we watched them set up and take photos beforehand. Strong winds knocked over their flower-covered wedding arch, but it was righted and fixed back up in no time. And while we were upstairs soaking in the hot tub after the party, the couple tied the knot and started what could be a 60-year journey of their own.

We spent the night at the resort, and although finding a restaurant that could seat 17 people in less than 30 minutes for Saturday dinner was a challenge, we had a great time. Sunday morning, we headed out with Jhon's parents and grandparents to Aztec, where his grandparents live (an aunt and uncle and several cousins also live nearby). We strolled through the Aztec Ruins in the afternoon, Jhon's mom showed us where she had lived and played as a , and we stopped at A&W; for root beer floats (I had a soft-serve cone) before heading back to the house for dinner. We went to Jhon's aunt Natalie's house for fireworks, and I had a blast lighting little bombs and almost blowing my hand off.

Yesterday we headed out early and got back to our apartment around 3 p.m. Not wanting to waste the day, we went to see Spider-Man 2 and had our usual dinner at Red Robin. The movie was good, although I think with all the hype and positive press, I expected it to be better. Note to Sam Raimi - what's with all the close-ups of screaming women? They're scared; I get it. It was so gratuitous it was laughable. And what was the point of the whole "landlord's daughter bringing cake" scene? Is she going to be some sort of romantic foil in the 3rd movie? If not, she had no point.

Today is my third full-day at my new job (I had been working a few hours every other day or so since I gave my two weeks' notice at the old job). So far, I'm enjoying it. I've already interacted with several clients, and I've got four different internal sites I'm working on redesigns of, so there's no shortage of work. And I've been smiling a lot more in general. I never mentioned it much here, but my old job was slowly sucking the life out of me. I was trapped in a position not related to my long-term career goals, and the position had no room for advancement. I'm much happier now in a position that challenges me and relates to my personal and professional goals. And that happiness spills over into other aspects of my life - my friendships, my relationship with Jhon, etc.

Everyone has 5 balls

People are finally making the switch.

No, not that one - this one.

Spurred by an IE flaw spreading spyware to unsuspecting internet users, more and more people are following the advice of the government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team and switching to non-IE browsers -- namely Mozilla and Firefox. Heck, some companies don't even need a virus to make them switch; Microsoft's all-but-stalled IE development is pissing people off.

Mozilla Feeds on Rival's Woes

Fire Internet Explorer and Outlook Express with Mozilla Alternatives

CERT Recommends Mozilla, Firefox

Security Groups Recommend IE Alternatives

Safer PCs Need Safer Browsers

Microsoft Security Flaws Renew Calls for Alternative Web Browsers

Internet Explorer is Just Too Risky

Are the Browser Wars Back?

So today's Public Service Announcement: Install Firefox. Only use IE when some crappy IE-only site requires you (and even then, I suggest boycotting). Bask in the glow of tabbed browsing and blocked pop-ups. Envy the cool, Foxy logo. Fight the power.