Saturday, January 4, 2014

An Unexpected Surprise

When I got to Jen and Will's I had gotten a direct message on twitter from a follower of mine asking if it was cool if he friended me on Facebook. He started following me a few months back and we chatted here and there so I started following him back. I checked out his profile on twitter and thought to myself he's cute and has these beautiful blue eyes.

I responded to his request with "of course.. if we were local friends we'd be hanging out all the time" as he's a geek just like me. So as soon as he friended me I accepted and we started chatting via twitter DM. I checked out his profile on Facebook and noticed a few things that lead me to believe that he was gay. I had no idea before this time as he never really mentions much in his twitter feed.

About an hour into our conversation and three mistaken tweets I gave him my phone number and he gave me his and we started texting. We texted back and forth the entire D&D run and when I went home at 11pm we continued to text until around 12:30am. We texted for a total of 7 1/2 hours... it was pretty awesome.

His name is Erik and he lives in Portland Oregon. I don't know where this is going, as of right now we are getting to know each other better and from the sound of it we are very much alike in our geekiness. All I know is that he makes me happy and I look forward to seeing where this adventure takes us.

Lunch with a Friend & D&D&D

Got up early today.. have to drive back to my brothers and finish getting the rest of my stuff. No moving today. Once I packed up the car I headed to LA to meet up with a buddy of mine who was visiting from Chicago. He's a Neurologist looking for residency and was applying to places here in LA.

We meet on the set of The Guild's Game On music video and became fast friends and that friendship has grown because of Facebook. We hadn't actually seen each other in almost four years.

So I picked him up and we headed to The Grove for lunch. He wanted to try out this fancy burger place called Umami Burgers. I had never had them before but they were very good. Some of the best beef I have eaten in a hamburger.

After lunch we wandered around The Grove, walked through stores, talking about our lives and I learned alot about the medical system. It was great spending some time with him. I don't know when I'll see him again as he's residency will be starting in July and the next four years of his life will be nothing but that. Thanks Andrew for taking some time out of your busy schedule to hang out with me. Good luck with your residency and I can't wait to hang out again when you're back in town.

Once I dropped off Andrew I headed home just for a few minutes before walking over to Will and Jen's for this years first D&D game. We are starting a new campaign and this one is a bit different because we are drinking as well. We even added a drinking game so when certain characters do certain things we all drink.

There was a lot of exposition in the first few hours and not a lot of action going on.. and also not a lot of drinking. But man as soon as we started to fight the chaos began. I was extremely tipsy as were many fellow players. Towards the end of the night it was crazy. Dallas our DM had quite a bit to drink and everyone was becoming louder and louder. Finally at 11pm I called it a night thought they played on for another few hours.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Moving In - Day 2

Got up early and packed up everything at my brother's house. I was borrowing my sister-in-laws Ford Flex as it's about three times bigger then my little Fiesta so I figured I'd be able to make fewer trips. I left my computer and bed at my brothers as I intended to go back for one last night.

I put a call out to my friends for help and like before my buddy Doug volunteered to give me a hand. So I picked him up and we were off to my storage. We loaded up the Flex with nothing but boxes. We filled every corner of that car. We got back to my place and my landlord was in my apartment fixing my toilets (I guess they were leaking).

So Doug and I went up and down and up and down those stairs many many times. We headed back for another load. Once we were done bringing that load in I thought we were both going to keel over. We were exhausted. I knew then this wasn't going to be an easy move.

Doug was done, he couldn't continue but after an hour break I went back solo for one more load and by the end I was wiped. I don't recall being that tired in a long time.

Doug texted me later that day and said that his step counter that he had on him while we moved said that he did 24 flights of stairs.. and since I did one more trip,  I'm thinking I climbed about 36 flights of stairs today.

For the evening I got to hang out with my buddy Will. We walked to Pitfire Grill to grab some dinner. Afterwards we went back to his place were he offered me a beer. In the past I have declined as I will never drink and drive.. not even just a sip. But then it him me.. I can drink all I want as I only live a block away and can stumble home if needed. So we enjoyed a beer while playing Injustice.

Afterwards Will loaned me a pad and sleeping bag as I decided that I was not going to drive back to my brothers tonight and instead just go tomorrow and picked up my computer and air mattress. I wish I would have just brought everything this morning like I planned but oh well..

I crashed on the floor of my master bedroom with nothing but a thin pad, some pillows and a sleeping bag.. a perfect 1st night in my new apartment :)

Happy Birthday Mr. Tolkien

I want to acknowledge J.R.R. Tolkien's Birthday today. He was born 122 years ago on January 3rd 1892 and would go on to create one of the most amazing fantasy worlds I've ever had the pleasure of visiting. I read the Hobbit with I was in school and instantly fell in love with Middle Earth. I saw the cartoons when I was younger and even attempted to read Lord of the Rings.

Not until the movies did my love expand, not only did I love what Peter Jackson did with the story but I also got the audio books for The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion and have listened to them to many times to count. I am now exploring other parts of Middle Earth with the Histories of Middle Earth, Unfinished Tales and anything else I can get my hands on. 

My love of science fiction came from Star Wars but my love of fantasy came from this man, who wrote about this little people called Hobbits, who live in hole in the ground.

Thank you Mr Tolkien for ever changing my life with your masterful works. Happy Birthday Professor.

"Get Fit" Week 22

I knew this wasn't going to be a good week. Being at my brothers and in the middle of looking for an apartment and such I haven't eaten that great or worked out at all. And the scale doesn't lie. If you remember I was at 196.5 lbs.. been that weight for quite a few weeks but today I jumped on the scale and was up to 198, yeah I gained a pound and a half.

It wasn't a shock and I can't really get upset as my life has kind of been topsy tuvy for some time. I'm hoping once I'm all moved in and can get back into my routine I can start losing weight again. I mean I have a park right across the street from me.. no excuses this time.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Moving In - Day 1

Well not really a full move in day but I got started...

After signing the lease I headed to my storage unit and made my first of what I'm sure will be many trips from storage to my new apartment. My little Fiesta is alot bigger on the inside and I managed to bring in a bunch of stuff on my first trip.

After the one load I headed back to my brothers for the night. Tomorrow the real moving begins

Signing the Lease & Moving In

So I signed my one year lease for my new apartment today. Got up early and headed to Bank of America to get a cashier's check and then drove to my new apartment. I got there a bit early so I walked around and tried to figure out where I would park a moving truck. The manager soon arrived and five minutes later I had signed the lease, gave him the check and he showed me my mail box and my two parking spaces (tandem). The manager was actually funny. He's an older gentleman but he said if I have any problems and they are emergencies he'll take care of them right away but if they are not emergencies then he'll probably procrastinate on getting it done... at least he's honest.

He left the place and I walked around and took photos as well as a video that I posted on Facebook but you can watch here.

video

I then went up to my storage unit which is about 25 miles away and loaded up my little Ford Fiesta as much as I could and took the a load back to my place. I'm extremely happy that my apartment is on the second floor in the back of the building but that doesn't bode well for moving things in. That one "light" load of stuff I moved almost killed me. My apartment  might be on the second floor but it's actually the third as the parking is under the apartment and really the first floor... so lots of stairs.

Moving stuff into this place is going to be rough but I have decided to just take my time. Yes I want everything done sooner then later but I have my storage units paid until February 10th so there really is no rush to get everything out.

Can't wait until it's done and everything is unpacked and up. I'll post another video when my place is all set up and looking great.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Got The Apartment and Rose Bowl Party

So I was going to do a year end review for 2013 but it hasn't been the best of year for me. I'd rather just put all that behind me and start fresh and new for 2014.

And what a great way to start 2014... While I was blogging this morning I got a call from the manager of the apartment that I looked at yesterday and he had fantastic news.. my credit check, checked out and I got the apartment... woohoo. I was going to sign the lease today, but like last time I am still out of checks and my storage place is closed today so I can't get to my other checks. And like last time I was going to get a cashiers check but the banks are closed as well today. So we made an appointment tomorrow at noon to sign the lease and officially get my new apartment.

You can read more details about the place in my previous blog post HERE

Today I headed over to my friend Adam and Katie's place. They were having a Rose Bowl football party. Now I'm a fan of football but I've never liked collage ball, but I was going more to see and hang with a bunch of friends.

Adam is a Stanford alum so his place was decked out in Stanford stuff... they even had this great shrine devoted to Stanford and the Rose Bowl.

I got to meet a few new people, which is always fun as well as hanging with some of my best buddies. The game was fun to watch with a group of people, as well as Adam who was on the edge of his seat most of the time. Unfortunately Stanford lost but it was a really good and close game.

I got to enjoy some home made pretzels from my friend Andrew as well as some tasty bacon bowls (which are bowls literally made out of bacon).

Got back to my brothers in the evening and hung out before calling it night.. tomorrow I go and sign my lease to my new apartment.. can't wait.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Eve

After checking out the apartment my friend Jes texted me and asked if I wanted to have lunch and hang out. I went over to her place and we walked to a place called EAT. I had never been there before but it was a nice place. She then took me to the local comic book store (which will be my comic book store if I get this apartment). The place was nice and the store owner seemed to be cool. Afterwards we went back to her place and we talked about Frozen and watched the scene were Elsa sings Let it Go. We watched it a few times :) This got me thinking about the sound track so I went online to itunes and saw that it was on sale for only $6.99.. I had to buy it.

I said goodbye to Jes around 3:30pm and headed over to Roberts to celebrate New Year's Eve. I got to his place around 4pm to find that Tamar already arrived. The three of us planned to watch some movies, play some games and bring in the New Year together.

We sat around chatting for a bit before we decided to go grab a bit to eat at the local Taco Bell.

Once we got back we were going to watch one of my screeners and of course it was Frozen. This would be my third time watching it, Tamar's second and the main reason we were watching it, it was Robert's first time. Robert loved it as I knew he would, our taste in movies are pretty similar.

After the movie we played a new board game that I had gotten Robert for Christmas "Ticket to Ride". If you haven't played this game it's a ton of fun. This was Robert and Tamar's first time playing it.

We were all a bit peckish so we walked to a local Yum Yum Donuts for a snack. When we got back to Roberts place we jumped onto a Google Hangout with a bunch of friends. We chatted until about 11:45pm before getting offline and turning on the TV to watch the ball drop. We counted down from 10, said Happy New Years and then called it a night. Tamar headed home and I crashed at Robert's.

It was a pretty awesome way to end 2013. Saw an apartment that I love and hopefully will get, got to spend some time with some amazing friends and had a nice simply New Years Eve celebration.. just what I was hoping for.

Possible Apartment

Had an appointment to see an apartment today at noon. This one looks perfect on paper but will see what it actually looks like inside.

I left my house at 10:45am and managed to get to the apartment at 11:57am. When I got to the front door the manager was there, greeted me and took me up to the apartment. First plus is that it is an upper unit and it's also in the back of the building. It's a small complex, there are only 7 units. What's great about the apartment is that there is only one joined wall and it's in the guest bedroom. Of course there is someone below me but that's it.. it's very secluded in the corner of the building.

I walked in and noticed that the living/dining room was fairly large and there was a fireplace as well. The kitchen was small but usable. The appliances are old but as long as they work I don't really care what they look like. There is a dishwasher, which is also a plus.

Both bedrooms were very large. The master bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a walk in closet. The guest bedroom is also just as large as the master with a wall closet that runs the width of the room. The second bathroom is just outside the guest bedroom and is in good shape.

It has central air, lots of light and is across the street from a park. So many pluses and honestly there were no negative. I mean it has carpet and I would have preferred hardwood or faux wood but I understand why it's carpet as it's reduces sound for the downstairs neighbor. And it's a bit of an older place.. but again it looks good.

I mentioned that the price is $1495 and the manager said.. well it's actually $1550 but since you saw the ad at the lower price the owners are going to honor that price... woohoo.

Oh and this place as two parking spaces for this apartment and they are included in the rental price :)

I had seen enough.. I wanted it. I started to fill out an application when another couple came in. They looked around and asked questions that I never thought to ask. After they were done they asked if there was another apartment in this building available since there seemed to be someone filling out an app (me). He said no but she jokenly said.. well I'll take an app just in case things don't work out. I looked up from the app and said.. yeah that's not gonna happen. Everyone laughed and they left the apartment. I finished the app, paid the $30 for the credit check and said I would be able to move in tomorrow (Jan 1st). He said he would expedite the application and let me know as soon as possible.. so now I wait.

I don't want to get my hopes up but I really want this place.. it's in the neighborhood that I want and it's better then the first place that I got a few weeks ago

Monday, December 30, 2013

Uncle Handy, Josh, Ringers & Frozen Again

Today I got up and noticed that CVS twitter account was following me. They also tweeted me that We take these matters seriously. Please DM us your contact information so that the customer relations team can get in touch." So I DM'd them my email address.. will see what happens next.

This morning I went back into super handy uncle mood and built Kenobi his glider and Molly her tricycle. Both were no where near as hard as the trampoline but it's fun seeing their faces when they woke up and saw their new "toys".

Didn't do any apartment searching today.. instead decided to take a break and head out to Rancho to hang out with my buddy Josh.

When I got to Josh's he had a Christmas gift waiting for me. He got me a really cool Harry Potter cookbook as well as a Lord of the Rings documentary that I have wanted for a few years now called Ringers: Lord of the Fans

Of course we had to watch Ringers. Here's a quick synopsis: 'Ringers: Lord of the Fans' is a feature-length documentary that explores how "The Lord of the Rings" has influenced Western popular culture over the past 50 years.

I enjoyed this immensely but then again I knew I would. This documentary was made for fans just like me. I thought it was informative and it even taught me a few things I didn't know about Tolkien and the films.

Afterwards Josh showed me all the various Tolkien book he had. Lots of versions of Lord of the Rings and few none Middle Earth books from Tolkien... awesome stuff.

We then headed out to lunch and went to Islands to enjoy some burgers and cheddar fries.

When we got back Josh, Justin (Josh's brother) and I chatted for a bit and then Josh and I watched my screener of Frozen. This is my second time and Josh's second time as well which surprised me as he knew every word to the songs. And I have to admit something... I commented in my blog that I didn't think the music was as memorable as Tangled.. how wrong I was.  I don't know what I was thinking with my first viewing. This time around I found the music so moving, enchanting and very catchy. Once again I was drawn to my animated boyfriend Krisoff. I can watch this movie over and over and never get bored.

After the movie we went out to dinner at a local Mexican restaurant before calling it a night and I headed back to my brother's place. Thanks for a great day Josh.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

CVS Scare, Apartment Hunt & Lunch with a Friend

Woke up at my friend Robert's place today. I crashed here last night as I'm continuing my apartment search and he's lives a bit closer to North Hollywood then my brother.

So I got up and Robert had made some tasty breakfast. Afterwards we played some Injustice for a few hours before I had to head out.

Before I started the apartment search I had to deal with an issue with CVS. A few weeks ago I got a prescription filled and a few days ago I went to take a pill and noticed that the pills looked different. This isn't unusual as the pharmacy has changed manufacturers in the past but when they had they would tell me, it would also be written on the prescription slip and the description on the pill bottle would reflect that. Well none of that was true in this case. The description was what my old pills looked like so I didn't take any of them and had to return to the CVS that filled the prescription, so that meant driving back up to Santa Clarita.

I got to CVS and took the pills in and explained that I wanted to double check before taking them. The assistant took them over to the pharmacist and she looked at the pills, looked at the bottle, looked at the pills and then proceeded to go to every assistant in the office. She then went over to the counter and poured out the pills and replaced them with other pills. She walked over to me and in a kind of panic asked if I had taken any of the pills. I assured her that I did not. I looked at the pills and they were the previous pills I had taken. I asked if the other ones were wrong and she mumbled something and handed me the bottle and sent me on my way. No explanation of what they were, if they were harmful to me or an apology for the potentially deadly mistake.

I was surprised by the abruptness and tweeted about the experience using the official CVS twitter account.. let's see if that get's their attention

Afterwards and since I was out in the area I went to my storage unit to drop off a few Christmas presents and to make sure all was well.

I then drove south back to North Hollywood and once again drove around looking for apartments. There was one that I called and left a message with yesterday but the person never called me back so I called once again and this time the person picked up and I found out that this person is out of town for the holidays and will be back on Tuesday so I made an appointment to see the apartment on Tuesday at noon.

It was now lunch time so I texted my buddy Greg to see if he wanted to get lunch. Surprising he responded within a few minutes and was up for lunch. I haven't seen Greg since SDCC as he's an extremely busy guy. Greg is the guy who made my Hobbit feet (if you didn't know). He is also designing my next Tattoo (Star Trek themed).

So I stopped by his place and picked him up, we went to a local Mexican restaurant that he wanted to try. It actually turned out to be very tasty. We hung out and chatted for almost two hours. Because we don't hang out as often as I would like I do cherish the time we do get to spend together.

After I dropped off Greg I drove around a few more neighborhoods but didn't find anything that looked like it would work for me. I'm hoping the apartment I'm looking at on Tuesday works out as it sound perfect on paper.

Went back to my brothers and blogged a bit. I also went to Amazon.com and purchased 14 movies that were on my wishlist. Previously in the day when I was at CVS I cashed in my loose change from the past year.. I wound up with about $180 dollars and I opted to put that into an Amazon gift card. So it was fun getting all these movies that I have wanted and in a way it didn't cost me anything since this was all loose change I had.. at least that's how I will justify it. :)