spew - what is it?
more spew
This is where I go to get things off my chest every now and then. For those of you familiar with my old rantings, this is basically the same thing, 'cept maybe a tad more risqué since I won't mince on cussing. ;-p But don't worry, I won't spit out shit for no reason. For those of you who've never been to my pages before, this section is here for me to make comments (mostly educated, sometimes not) about things that I've observed in my life and also just to keep my friends up to date with what I've been doing. Keep in mind that anything you read on here is pure opinion which might not jive with your own view of the world. If that's the case, friendly messages espousing your own views are welcome but flames will be cruelly mocked. So, without further ado.... > Current Spew
> A newcomer...
> Bend in the road...
> Life in slow mo...
> Strange times...
> Sittin' 'round da House...
> Unemployment Blues...
> Slowing down...
> Time Flies...
> Frivolous Thoughts
> Catching Up...
> Life as Usual...
> Changes in the Air
> Words Cannot Convey
> Almost a Revelation
> A Whole New World
> Beginning of a New Era
> Millenium Revisited
> Sticks & Stones
> New Millenium!
> Karaoke Madness!
> Conspiracy Theory

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June 8, 2004 - Momentous occasion

I've been trying to think of what exactly it is I should write about on the following event for a couple of weeks now and I still can't. Nothing emotional, sappy, or pithy even though it is supposed to be a big deal. Nothing particularly humorous about it either. It just seems like something that we'd just like to complete with as minimal fuss as possible.

For those of you who don't know, and that would be most of you I think, Erin and I have been engaged for about 2 years now. We never really mentioned it to anyone because at that time we had no idea when we'd actually complete the process and get hitched. But now we do and I guess that's why I'm writing this entry.

Our ideal wedding date is on August 27th. Although it's not entirely set in stone yet because we're planning on just doing the simple city hall routine and I have to find out if we can specify that particular date since the process seems to differ from town to town. And Jersey City's mayor just died a little over a week ago so they've suspended wedding ceremony's at city hall for the time being. Erin's mother and siblings will be coming over the weekend before and so we'll be showing them around that week. We're not really planning on having any sort of reception or whatnot although if we do do anything it'll be more of a really, really small dinner get-together. Given the proximity of the wedding date to now, it's not like we have that much time to plan. But we never really wanted a big shin-dig anyway. It's just not in either of our natures.

However, if anyone has any suggestions or comments on this whole wedding planning procedure, definitely give me a shout out cause we'll definitely appreciate the info and help. Felix has already suggested the weekend and wedding in Vegas thing which, while very tempting, isn't quite as feasible with Erin's relatives here. =)

So that's my big news of the year. As to why we're doing it this year, we just figured it was time. And I ain't gettin' any younger no matter how much I wish it was so. ;-) Anyway, more on this later if I have the time. Right now I gotta go look for a Taiwanese glamour/wedding photo place. =p

Nov. 5, 2003 - Passing of a generation...

I was never one to believe in life after death, mostly because I thought there wasn't enough evidence to prove such a thing and also cause I dislike thinking overly much about death in general. Erin, I think is a bit of a believer as I remember her telling me about a vivid dream she had when she was younger and her maternal grandfather had passed away. In the dream her grandfather just told her to be a good girl and to take care of herself. Not really that impressive of a dream but strange enough to leave a lasting impact.

Recently, my maternal grandmother took a turn for the worse which wasn't a complete surprise since she had pretty much been lost to us due to Alzheimer's for quite a few years now. My mother was deciding whether or not to go back to Taiwan since my grandmother's condition was uncertain at that point. A few days later, my aunt told us that my grandmother was doing better again but my mother still decided to make the trip. She told us that she had the most peculiar dream one night where she received a phone call from my grandfather (who had passed away a few years ago) and all he said to her was "Mother isn't doing well..." In Chinese, the exact phrasing he used also implied that my mother should go check up on her.

So she went. It couldn't have been easy. The last time I saw my grandmother was when we visited her at the nursing home a couple of years ago. I had always remembered her as a short, plump woman and seeing her then was a great shock as she was literally a shadow of her former self. She no longer remembered any of us and couldn't even eat without assistance. It was absolutely heartbreaking because she used to be such a lively person and a wonderful storyteller. When I was much younger and my family was still living in Jackson Heights, she had come to visit and stay with us for a few months and I remember every night was story night as she would regale me with tales of the Monkey King before bedtime. She was a great grandmother.

My grandmother passed away Tuesday afternoon. Which came as a shock to my mother and my aunts since they had just visited her that morning and everything seemed to have been fine. Erin said she probably felt that it was time since all her children were finally back to be with her. It's a nice thought. And I'm sure she's gone to a much better place. The last few years for her in this world couldn't have been fun.

As for the dreams that Erin and my mother had with visits from the deceased, the logical side of me thinks it's probably just their subconscious manifesting itself during their sleep. But it does make for a good story. As for women having longer lifespans than men, that does seem to be the case as both my grandfathers passed before my grandmothers did.

I'll miss you grandma.

Aug. 24, 2003 - Why I like online shopping...

Recently we took advantage of a few Best Buy promotions to pick up a new Sony laptop for Erin. It's a cool, good-looking piece of tech but the purchasing experience left alot to be desired. All those Best Buy, Circuit City types of stores promote their "no hassle return" policies like crazy these days but there's another policy that they should seriously consider revamping as well. Which would be their "promote our own extended warranty at all costs" policy. Basically if you buy anything larger than a DVD at these stores these days, they have some sort of extended warranty that you can buy for it. Hell my mom bought a cheapo $20 cordless phone one time and they offered a warranty on that. For a $20 plastic phone? You're shitting me, right? But anyway, it's literally impossible to walk in, get the computer you want, and exit the store in less than an half an hour. Why? Because the salesperson that you have to get to help you retrieve the actual computer has to waste a good chunk of time explaining the benefits of their 3 year extended warranty to you and why it's worth an extra $250. Apparently for laptops, the company line is that these newfangled lithium ion batteries start losing their full charges really quickly and so you need this warranty because it'll give you a replacement battery every year. And on top of that, if your computer ever breaks down to the point where they think it'll be too much of a hassle trying to fix, they'll just give you an entirely new computer. Truthfully, their warranty does sound pretty good, especially if you consider how quickly computer models turn over these days. So if you're lucky and your laptop breaks down after the 2 year mark, they'll actually give you a new laptop of whatever happens to be the newest incarnation of your model at that time. But that's a pretty big if.

Anyway, the point of this spew is that we didn't want it. Which apparently is a big no no in Best Buy world. The salespeople act like they can't possibly believe why you wouldn't want such a thing and just keep repeating the same spiel over and over and over again. I think they're just trying to either wear you down through rote repetition or annoy the hell out of you so much that you just give in to get them to shut the hell up. Even more annoying is that they will actually ask you WHY you don't want the warranty. Why the hell do I have to tell them why? Do I really want to tell them that it's because we're cheap bastards who just wanna get this nice laptop at a pretty good deal and get the hell outta there? I guess I could've but I'm not that ballsy. So I wound up just lying and saying that we currently have an earlier version of the model that we were purchasing and that it's worked just fine for 4 years now (which is true, 'cept for the dead battery which I just replaced). But what made things worse is that I had to go through this shit TWICE in one day. After I went through this whole crap at one store, it turns out they didn't have any more in stock so I wound up having to go to another store where I had to go through the entire mindnumbing waste of time again. The salesperson at this second store finally grudgingly retrieved the laptop for me but after being coached by his manager (which I pretended not to notice), he tried to convince me again that I shouldn't waste this opportunity to get their all-important warranty. He came back and said oh, since your laptop was about 4 years old they probably weren't using lithium ion batteries back then so you don't know how fast these new batteries lose capacity. So I just mentioned that I've owned a Powerbook for the last 2 years and I know those things use lithium ions and it hasn't given me any problems since I've gotten it. And that was the end of that.

In any case, I'm not blaming the salespeople involved in this debacle. They're just trying to do their job. Besides, this is clearly a company policy issue. But if they're going to let us have no hassle returns, I think it's doubly more important that they have no hassle purchases. Hell, I actually don't mind giving excuses for returns. But to have to give an excuse as to why I don't want something they're trying to push on me? Fuck that. No really means no, y'know?

Anyway, small topic deviation now. I think everyone should go out and purchase a copy of Big Lies: The Right-Wing Propaganda Machine and How It Distorts the Truth by Joe Conason. It's about damn time someone had the balls to stand up for liberals and systemically point out all the bullshit Bushie Jr's admin has been spewing since 2000. There is a reason why Coulter and O'Reilly are afraid to debate this guy. If you ever meet any Republican crony crowing about how effective their administration is, throw this book at them and then bill 'em for it.

And while we're on this topic, it wouldn't hurt to take a look at Al Franken's book, Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look At the Right if only just to piss O'Reilly off. I can't believe Fox had the nerve to go after Franken for having "Fair and Balanced" in his book title. Serves them right to have that hearing laughed right out of court. How the heck did Fox, a tv company that has a rather liberal tv lineup wind up with such a conservative news group?


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