Story Archive - December 2007


Year's End (12/31/2007)

If you've got to my age, you've probably had your heart broken many times. So it's not that difficult to unpack a bit of grief from some little corner of your heart and cry over it. - Emma Thompson

January: At work, the vast majority of my team left and switched over to other teams in the company. So I took over a team of three people with a lot of open head counts to deal with. I had to work a ridiculous amount of time to make up for it, but Gumdrop flew off to China for a while leaving me with the free time to deal.

February: The apartment complex finished putting in the new heaters, so after six weeks without heat, we were once again able to actually be warm. With Gumdrop still in China I had to celebrate Valentine's Day with Adzar. I guess she likes to hide for the big events, as she spent her birthday in Japan for work.

March: Things ended between Gumdrop and me, and that is the last we will hear about that since she has decided to make herself unreachable since then. From a nest of cinnamon and fire sprang a new phase in my life I like to call social life 2.0 (or first life 2.0) in which I'm confident and ready to rock. I rocked out at the end and went bar hopping twice in San Francisco and once in Santana Row. This month was insane.

April: Still partying! I had another crazy night in Santana Row. I have to admit, the place really grew on me, especially because SG had an apartment there and after bar hoping and overly expensive dinners it was easy to just walk back to her place for a quiet night. Adzar had a three day long birthday bash where all the friends came down to visit.

May: My team lead from India was in town for a month. Free from social obligations, I spent the entire month showing her the bay area. She is a rock star of the non-traditional India culture and it is always fun to spend a while being a tourist in my own city. I hadn't been to the Golden Gate or fisherman's warf in ages.

June: A tricky month for me. This site is all about me and I avoid too much detail on my friends and family. We had medical crisis for someone in the family and everyone took pause from their lives to move the world. It was an impressive show of familial cohesion and power. I like to say that I would move the world for people I care about and I was incredibly touched to see my whole family collectively move the universe.

July: This is almost always the craziness month of the year for me. This was the first year since I was born that we went to a different rental at Clearlake. The new house was distinctively different than the old one with two buildings and a giant game room with projector. I was the only highly-skilled boat driver this year and so I spent the whole week taking the kids out.

August: I made it through four continents in August. A business trip to Australia took me to see one of my best friends. Just a couple weeks later a personal trip to Turkey took me to watch my older brother get married. The week in Turkey was fantastic. I am still a mixed bag on traveling. I enjoy the travels but it there is always a price to pay for me that is higher than for most.

September: I tried my best to make this a month of recovery from the crazy travels. I got sick. Oif. When I get sick in lingers for a couple months so it is a very sad event. We had a follow-up wedding for my older brother back in the states.

October: I had my odometer tick over to thirty. In years past for my birthday I have had week-long parties in multiple cities inviting everyone. They are draining and half done for me and half for my friends. This year, still a little sick, I was planning on having something quieter, but my close friends rallied to throw me a bash. It was PERFECT. Nearly all the people I wanted to be there were there, and the people that would have required a lot of effort for me to deal with were passed up. It was an amazing blur of night time parties, morning cartoons, golf, coffee and ice cream cake.

November: The year started winding down and I actually got to spend my weekends resting instead of socializing. I had a post-halloween bash. Thanksgiving was simple and quiet. Half my family left for Idaho and I stayed with the ones still here. Next year I'm thinking I will make the trip out to Idaho to see the new family that I haven't seen in a couple years.

December: The year finished off in a blur of work. There were just a ton of projects set to be delivered by "end of 2007" and that meant everyone pushed non-stop through the holidays. I hardly got any time off. I guess I can save up that vacation for my sister's wedding next year.

No Drum. No Party. (12/27/2007)

Few men during their lifetime comes anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used. - Richard E. Byrd

My work holiday party was last week. I was really looking forward to the occasion. With the growth of my company I feel like I'm one of the old timers in center-stage and I like to lead-by-example for the frat mentality of the office environment. With a few weeks leading up to to the party I invited my date by SMS. Oh yes, I am just that romantic. In my defense, I tried my darnedest to meet up with her in person or to reach her on the phone to extend the invite, but she is not the easy to reach person.

We headed downtown and we both looked fantastic. Would you expect anything less from me? I wouldn't. The chit-chat and dinner was great. Gramps pulled my aside at one point to give me a big thumbs up for my date and I have to wonder if he ever pulls someone aside and says to them, "You know I think you could do better. You should dump/divorce that one." I sat next to one of my kids (aside: anyone who reports up the chain of command to me is a "kid" and my boss is my "dad") who speaks Farsi, as does my lovely date, and the two of them gossiped about things the rest of the table couldn't understand. Who knows what horrible things he said about me? Not I.

After dinner the dancing starting. This is the first year we have had dancing at the holiday party and it was something that should have been there all along. My kids coyly tried to coax me onto the dance floor, not realizing my utter shamelessness in these types of situations.

I was one-upped though. The DJ spun up a CD of Indian house music that someone had brought and two of my coworkers did the most ridiculous dance off that looked like a choreographed number from a Bollywood West Side Story. Actually, it might have been.

At some point later in the evening, as I was dragging random coworkers onto the dance floor with my smooth disco inferno moves, my date grabs me and says, "Jordan it's time to go." "Really? I could use another Redbull." "Jordan. It's time to go." "Okay!" I head out the door and she takes me home.

What I'm really wondering is, why do I have this giant bruise on my right knee? Also, why is she not returning my calls? These questions may remain a mystery forever (note: this is not a bad thing, as she is mysterious like Ms. Hepburn, and that is cute).

Christmas on Tuesday? (12/26/2007)

It is impossible to walk rapidly and be unhappy. - Mother Teresa

Christmas on a Tuesday is just crazy! Why can't they pin that holiday to a three day weekend? That would make many people's lives much easier.

I have to run the gambit of flip-flopping between the two families for the holidays. In addition it is the one time of year that all my high school friends tend to return to town. So there is a lot to jam together. I don't mess up the status-quo. Someday, they'll be that life changing event (wife, kids, travel) that is going to mean I can't run the standard queue, but until that happens I move forward the way it has always been.

Christmas Eve-day, travel down to the bay area to celebrate with my mother's half of the family. Than hurry out last minute to rush back to Sacramento for Christmas service with my father's half of the family. Spend the night at my mother's house but then zoom out Christmas day to my father's half of the family. Towards the end of the day zoom back out to my father's house to open family presents and then zoom over to a high school friend's house to watch the Dr. Who Christmas Special (okay, the Dr. Who thing is new, but the travel to HS friends is tradition).

My poor car gets about a bazillion miles on it during all the travels, but I get all caught up on my podcasts and audiobooks. That is nice.

Moving on Up (12/19/2007)

There is nothing in the world so easy to explain as failure. It is what everyone does all the time. - Christopher Drawlight (Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell)

Pittsburgh was cold. It was fun to go out for work for a happy project with friendly customers. Work has been a very unique challenge over the past year. I went through the transition of being individually responsible for the success of a project or customer and into a position of oversight for the projects. Yes, it is a move up in the career path, but it is a very weird change in my professional life.

Consider that the team I oversee might have thirty active projects running at the same time. Of those projects only a couple are not going well. Of course, I don't get to be very involved in the projects that are going well. For those projects, once a week, I get a status update from my team saying "everything is going well." For those couple projects that are going poorly or are "a fiasco," I get to deal with them every day. So my destiny at work has changed from me having a great time on the few projects that I could be a rockstar on into me adding only cursory nudging of projects in the right direction.

I have yet to read a Dilbert and associated more with the boss than the employees, but I know that day is coming. I have seen it happen with my friends.

We Aren't Young Anymore (12/16/2007)

I'm in Pittsburgh; how are you? My college roommate had a big birthday party this weekend Saturday and I drove up to see him. Except, since I was flying to Pittsburgh on Sunday morning on a 6am flight, the Friday night party just wasn't going to work well for me. On Friday, when 3pm rolled around, I cut from the office and jumped into the car to make my drive to see him.

I showed up and he jumped out of the house to greet me, "Umm, I'm not suppose to let you take the guest room." "Oh, I'm sleeping in the guest room. That's my room." "But Vodka Girl has the guest room." "Oh, I'm sleeping in the guest room." "Well, I guess she would be okay to sleep on the couch." "I don't think you understand the statement I am making." Laughs all around.

So we did the grocery and BevMo run for Saturday's party and about 50% of Saturday's party showed up on a Friday night. Do you know what happens when you combine a whole bunch of people who are exhausted from work with the supplies for a party? A party happens. A party happens HARD CORE! I did not hurt that I had put together my "The Rock!" playlist filled with ridiculous 80's rock bank music. I cannot count the number of times "The Final Countdown" played that night.

Throughout the night there were many times it was separated between the "boys party" and "girls party." The boy's party tended to consist of choosing actors for a live-action version of the Dragonlance Movie, while the girls party tended to consist of throwing ice down people's shirts. I was mostly in attendance at the girl's party.

Sadly, at one point of the night the camera memory card filled up and in the attempt to download the pictures and get ready for another few hundred the first half of the pictures went bye-bye. So we do not have the first half of the party where everything was happy and fun, but only the second half that was powered by Red Bull and vodka, Monster and Jeiger, or Go Girl and whatever the girls mixed with it.

Fireball Dogpile

The next the attendance all woke up and did their morning errands in preparation for the party's continuation that night. I got my hair cut. The birthday boy stayed in bed through 1pm, through 2pm, through 6pm. That's when I had to leave to try and get sleep before my flight. I hear he woke up eventually.

Rock on!

Big Game Traffic (12/02/2007)

I have a lot of road rage in me. I drive a very expensive car so that I'm not inclined to just smash it into people that cut me off. - Kevin Nealon

I'm heading home from my afternoon fun thinking it's been a while since I've had some delicious chinese food for dinner and give a call home to the family. "How does Chinese Food sound for tonight?" "Delicious." "Okay, you guys order and I'll be home in thirty minutes."

Thirty minutes later I'm home. The chinese food has been ordered and we jump in the car to pick it up. Saturday was the "Big Game" and since I live roughly one-hundred feet from Stanford, there was a little concern over traffic. Luckily, I had thought this through and pickup was not from the more authentic chinese restaurant that has "We Delivery" written on the menu, but from the one in Menlo Park that is a tad less authenticate, a tad more expensive, but still delicious. We show up and say our names and they don't have our order.

There is a pause. Some confusion. The family double checks the phone number that was called and determine we called the other location. "Umm, didn't you notice that it was in the wrong city?" "Clearly not." The other location isn't that far away but it is straight through Big Game traffic. We ingeniously take a subtle back road there and avoid all traffic and pick up our food.

For the way back, after minor debate, we decide "we can just take the main route back. The game has been over for a while and the road we're going to take is perpendicular to what traffic to the freeway will be so it should be fine." This calculation would have been accurate if not for two minor problems. First, the traffic lights were shut off and they were hand-directing traffic. So what should have been an easy cruise turned into them blocking our direction for five minutes at a time to let crossing traffic go, before letting a minute worth of our cars through. Repeat. Second, there was a pretty good smashup accident going the other direction and that meant more cops and more slowdown. Lovely.

Our ten minute "let's pick up food" trip took roughly an hour. Awesome.

2007 in Slideshow (12/01/2007)

Last Year's Video