30 September 2008

It's The Network

This is what happiness looks like. We broke down today and got Verizon Broadband Service. We didn't have the internet at our place and I have to admit it was kind of miserable. You know me. I'm connected. So much so, I have two hours of WiFi a day at any Starbucks location. That's part of having a gift card. It's great, but not enough. We were thinking of getting DSL in our real apartment. We even thought about getting it here, but the start up costs are ridiculous. So we went to Verizon. We bought that little guy and now I won't have to miss my absolute favorite shows.
Also, I'll be able to upload more pictures and not have to type using only two fingers. I'll be up to five.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

28 September 2008

Post Game Wrap

We came. We saw. We stayed.



Getting to the game was no problem. We got on a train right outside our building (after a quick trip through the farmers' market) and got off at a walkway to the stadium. We got inside, got our bracelets, and walked the club area. It was like your average ball park concession area - except it was inside, with seating, television, and massages.



We walked through the area and around the stadium looking for hear. Home-team-apparel is a must. Wearing black and silver is not enough if there's not a little pirate on your person. Jesse got a hat and I got a long sleeved t-shirt. We were ready to find our suite.



It turned out to be one level lower than where we were. It would have helped to know that before we got on the elevator going up, but in the end, it didn't really matter. We found the suite just in time for kick-off.



It was a nearly overwhelming experience. We were (as you saw) on the 50 yard line. The game and the fans were RIGHT THERE. And the Raiders seemed to know it. They came out dominating and defending in the first half. I was starting to think the bad times were over. But the Chargers drank the kool-aid over halftime. They scored 28 points in 30 minutes. The Raiders had no answer. It's not fun when the home team loses. You could feel the moral drop. Personally, I was kind of embarrassed for them. And annoyed that we spent $80 supporting a bunch of losers.



When it was time to go, there was nowhere to go. Thousands of people took the train to McAfee Coliseum and obviously had to get home somehow. We stayed in the suite until the stands were cleared. That just got us to the train station bridge that much later. We could have jostled and pushed, but we were too full (or possibly not in the mood to anger depressed fans) and we stayed back. I think the result was a less crowded ride to our next adventure.

~ Danie D.

Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

Grown Man. Foam Sword.

I found my favorite person out of the tens of thousands here. It is this guy - the grown man with the foam sword. He's been standing outside up window willing the Raiders to stop blowing their 15 point lead. But he was too late.

Two minutes remain in the game and the score is tied at 18. Oakland has only done minimal work this half. It shows. The defense better wake up.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

Our View

We're in a suite on level two. This is incredible.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

27 September 2008

Attempt At Frida - Take One

There's a Friday Kahlo Exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, or SFMoMA. We tried to go yesterday (Friday), but it was sold out. The sign said it was also sold out for Saturday and Sunday, but that a limited number of tickets would be available this (Saturday) morning at 930. We're here, along with a lot of other people.

Yesterday though we toured the SFMoMA store, which was full of treats. Jesse says it was probably the coolest store he's ever visited. I would agree. Above are some furniture samples and a salt and pepper shaker. Tiny things always get my attention.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

26 September 2008

Technology

I got my first paycheck today. It was from CBS and that's pretty cool. Cooler than that though - depositing it.

I used an ATM that takes deposits without envelopes. You can put in as many as 30 checks at once. No deposit slips, no amounts. The ATM scans the check, displays it on the screen, and lists the amount for you. You can even get a tiny copy of the check printed on the receipt. Fantastic.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

We've Been Upgraded

I can't convey my excitement in words. Insert high pitch squeal here:
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

25 September 2008

A Night At The Ballgame

I might have to pull an all nighter, but we got tickets to the Giants game against Denver.

One day I'll tell you about my experience, but it's game time.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

Exciting!

Don't know what you're doing Sunday. But I'll be watching the Raiders take a beating. It'll be my first NFL game. I am stoked!
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

24 September 2008

Fitting In... Almost

That's not paint. And that's certainly not the clear coat. That, my friends, is a casualty of parking. On my first day, (when I got the $50 parking ticket) someone told me tickets and car scratches are common. She also said if I got one I would hopefully not get the other. She was wrong.

Parking is a fiasco. Coming in is fine - just back in to the assigned spot. But I am in a tandem spot. So when my parking-spot-mate comes in, she parks in front of me. I'm first in and first out. So the last thing I have to do at work is move her car so I can move mine. She leaves her window open and keys in the ignition. Everyone in a tandem spot has to do that. There is security, so it's safe. Until I come in a start banging around. This happened after I found an effective way to move her car without leaving it in the way of mine. I was done with maneuvering and on my way out when I heard the scrape. I had looked to make sure I had space up by the window. But I forgot how my car bubbles near the bottom. Harrumph.

Everyday I'm amazed at what's on my plate. And everyday I'm amazed at what I accomplish. Blogging (for instance) is a big deal, because we don't have the internet. Everything comes from my phone. It's a tad more strenuous for my fingers, but I want my feelings preserved. Anyway, today I produced my first show. Things were not as smooth as I had planned, because there were some details that had been kept from me until way too late. I also got a mail key. I didn't have one before because I needed to give the management company an account number for the power company. It would have been done sooner, had the woman who checked me in on Monday explained as much. But she didn't. Also today, I canceled my Nevada Power account and Jesse and I went grocery shopping. trust me when I say that's a big deal.

We're surrounded by what I would call "bodegas." they're corner stores that have immediate grocery needs. They do not have (what I would call) preferred grocery needs. So a bodega would have bars of soap, but not St. Ives Face wash. I think they'll be plenty sufficient in the future. But we started with bare cupboards. We needed everything. And we decided to walk to a grocery store. We brought two big reusable bags and filled them. We then had to carry them back. We probably walked a total of three miles this afternoon. But I got to cook, and that brought me a lot closer to feeling "home."

There are a lot of other things I'd like to report. I have major developments on my nephew, I'm bitter because I haven't worked out since before we got here, I have new observations about making friends, and I think we're going to a Raiders game this weekend. But I'm exhausted. It's after eight, and my bedtime is seven.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

22 September 2008

First Day On The Job

My first day went by rather quickly, although there were parts that dragged. Once I'm fully in my role though, I don't expect that to continue. I'm all set up with an email address, phone number and desk. I'll be sharing the desk with another producer whom I'll never see. I'm not sure how she's going to like my stuff, and I'm not sure how I'm going to like hers. We don't have any choice though.

I will have a parking spot inside in the garage. That won't help me outside of work though. Driving here really is the opposite of pleasant. Today we were behind a cable car. They stop every other block you know. The streets do split. But the second lane is where police and other vehicles stop.

I don't know what else to say about today. There were a lot of figurative SFO sized hills. My benefits start today, meaning surgery will come sooner rather than later. I put my social security card in storage though, and one needs that to be able to work legally. So Jesse and I had to stop at the San Francisco Federal Building this afternoon.

We have our place. It's clean. It's also tiny and the bed is really hard. We have to get to Target for some incidentals, but there aren't any within city limits. I still have no idea where I can leave my car after work, even if I'm willing to pay. Also, Jesse insists we must get the Internet. That's not high on my list of priorities though. I haven't worked out in at least a week. No, one has nothing to do with the other. I just think our heads are in different places sometimes. Right now though, they're both on this rock-solid mattress.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

21 September 2008

We're Doing This

The best thing about being able to email from my pinkberry is that I can blog any time and have pictures included.

So far on our first day in SFO, we discovered cars can park safely at 90 degree angles. We also learned we'll have no reason to be out of shape. Also, it's very difficult to walk uphill and carry a conversation, unless that conversation consists of "woah," "jeez," and "this is ridiculous."

We also walked from our hotel (the Mark Hopkins Intercontinental) to our temporary place at Trinity plaza. We were less than impressed with what we could tell about the apartment. Judging by the blinds and ceilings, we might hate it there. On a positive note though, there was a market across the street, where I saw the biggest pile of grapes I could ever have imagined.

We went from the market to my job, just to see how I would get there by public transportation. Tomorrow I'll be driving, since I'll have to move my car anyway. And speaking of my car... Want it? It's already become a cloudy spot. I'm constantly thinking of ways to park it. Our hotel offers parking for $50 a night. Thanks but no thanks.

I already have lots of other things to tell you. But I'm really dirty, Jesse is out of the shower, and it's a good time for a nap.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

We Have Arrived

It's steep. I'm not worried about getting a flabby bum.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

Captain, My. Captain

Good morning. I fell asleep about 45 minutes into our trip, and did get a full eight hours. Jesse insisted he do most of the driving. And when I say "insisted," I mean he would not accept a fair split in driving responsibilities. I woke up to a shirt less Jesse on the phone with his mom, chatting away. I think he'll now vouch for those five hour energy drinks.

So we're about two hours outside of SFO. We're about to get gas, change drivers, and finish our tour of the great state of California. It's huge.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

It's All Behind Us

Quite literally, it's all behind us. We're driving to San Francisco right now and as you can see, we don't have much wiggle room. We had a lot of stuff. We still have more than we probably need - but we'll be away from our other belongings for three months.

Here's how it's going to work: we'll be staying at a hotel Sunday night. I start work Monday morning very early and hopefully bright. We also move in to our temporary place Monday. Then it's a matter of Jesse getting a job, both of us joining new gyms, and me signing up at my new Muay Thai school. We'll be locals in a month. Then we have to learn neighborhoods for another month, and spend a third month committing to an apartment, coming back to Vegas, driving the remainder of our stuff from storage to SFO, and moving in. The way I figure it, we should be settled in time for my 27th birthday.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

18 September 2008

No Go For Surgery

My doctor called. She can get me in to see a surgeon, but my insurance needs 4-5 days to approve it. So for now she said to be careful and avoid everything on the no-no list. She forgets we've been living just fine for three weeks. So let the festivities begin!
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

Never A Smooth Road

There's a picture attached. I hope you can see it. It very clearly shows a nail (or screw I guess) in my right passenger tire. I've heard the clicking for a few days now and I was really hoping it was a rock. I'm rarely on the passenger side to just look at my tires, so it's taken me a while to get there. But there it is - the violating screw. Who just drops screws in the middle of a street and leaves them there?

Mean people, that's who.
~ Danie D.
Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry

17 September 2008

Officially "Between Jobs"

Today was my last day at my job here in Las Vegas and I am not exaggerating when I tell you it was unlike any other. There were exactly 17 other things going on aside from it being my last day, and they affected everyone in the building. The day felt surreal from the moment my first alarm started singing this morning. Fourteen hours later, I can still shake my head.

I did my best to do my job today. And while there wasn't anything remarkable, I didn't screw anything up either. The second half of the day went by twice as fast as the first half. And yes, by the end, I was blubbering in the parking lot.

I have no regrets. This was really the best time to leave my Las Vegas job. I'll miss a lot of the people there, but I'm no louse when it comes to keeping in touch and I'll be in contact with them whether they like it or not. There's no time for being really sad. My doctor seems to think I have serious gall bladder issues.

I have had medical appointments all week. I believe in keeping all my ducks in order, and it just so happened I was due at the dentist and at the optometrist this week. On Monday, the aforementioned optometrist increased the prescription on my right eye. I've had a headache ever since. So I'm switching to my old contacts, and will be ordering more of those. My left eye continues to be "lazy," and I am considering (after a 23 year hiatus) getting a patch for my right eye. It's supposed to force me to use my left eye more. When I was younger I used to wait until my parents weren't looking and lift that stupid thing. I can't imagine why it didn't work.

On Tuesday, my oral hygienist praised my mouth and encouraged me to spend more time on my front gums. I like to go to the dentist immediately after the optometrist. It's good to hear praise after being told how crappy my eye is. Today I went to my general practitioner as a courtesy. I wanted to tell her surgery is on hold, because the surgeon did not have time to see me. My doctor did not take it well. She wants me on a table immediately.

She yelled about the surgeon, his schedule, and his staff. She left the room to call him, but guess what? He was in surgery. She put my number in her personal cell and said she was going to call another surgeon, and that the new surgeon might be able to meet me Thursday and remove the gall bladder Friday. She was adamant. I told her that would be all well and good. It's an outpatient procedure these days. In the meantime though, I asked her what I need to avoid in order to prevent any sort of rupture in the next month or so. You'll be glad to know I just have to stay away from beef, pork, fried foods, fatty foods, butter, eggs, and cheese. No, nothing delicious there.

I don't really plan to have surgery in the next two days. I have a dinner and girls' night planned and outpatient or not, surgery would probably hamper some of my planned activities. On the other hand, it would be great to check "gall bladder removal" off my to-do list. We'll see what happens. I'll keep you posted.

15 September 2008

OK. We're Really Moving.

Since I was offered the job, I've had doubts we would really be moving. I mean a verbal agreement is only as good as the people who agree they heard it made, right? What if they rescinded and I quit my job here in Las Vegas for nothing?

Even after I filled out an application and received an offer letter, I still went about my day to day activities as if my life was the same as it had been. I went to the gym. I did the dishes. I left the clothes in the closet and the pictures on the walls. But now I realize I'll be in San Francisco in less than a week, and it's starting to feel real.

We've sorted nearly everything into four groups: going, storing, selling, and donating. We've learned about neighborhoods and ridiculous housing prices. We've researched ways to make the most out of tiny living spaces. We've told the world and gone through the motions. Today though, we secured a place to live.

It's a temporary place right downtown. We'll be living in a furnished studio apartment at Trinity Plaza. The building used to be a hotel. They added a stove, a fridge and a whole lot of legalese -- and folks, we have an apartment. I signed the lease today and sent the deposit. Having an address means we're moving to San Francisco. This is a big deal and I think the excitement is about to overflow. But not yet.

I've scheduled a lot of things before I leave town, including medical appointments. Today my eye doctor made the prescription for my right eye a little stronger. And he wants me to wear the new lens for a week before deciding to order new contacts or keeping the old ones. I'll place the order and hope they can be mailed. Tomorrow I meet with the dentist and Wednesday I get to tell my general practitioner I'm skipping surgery.

There are other things I want to say but I'm really tired. I've been trying to tap the flow for almost an hour and the words are barely coming. That means it's bed time.

11 September 2008

I Hope You Can Keep Up With Me

I have a lot on my mind right now. And while I have a draft written and ready for posting, I just feeling like sharing. Since it's my blog, I can do just that. I do invite you to do the same though. Friends are fun.

First up: pain. I went to Muay Thai tonight, for the first time since officially getting the new job. it was easy to miss classes by convincing myself certain things needed to be done. I have accomplished a lot, but I could have still gone to class. I think part of it was the fact that I'm quitting. I'll still fight in SFO, but not for the school that taught me the technique. I felt like a quitter but I went back today anyway. I find I need it.

My partner today was a guy (good) who was not afraid to treat me as his equal (great.) I've dealt with him once before, but only from behind a kicking shield. I knew he could chop a tree with his shin. I did not know he could also bend one in the clinch. His technique was not perfect - he essentially used his body weight to pull on my neck. I knew he was not doing it properly, but I figured (1) that could be the case in a fight and I needed to deal and (2) it was working, so it could have been all bad. I suffered for a three minute round and now (and even then) I hurt. It doesn't hurt that I missed two weeks of classes. I did other workouts in that time, but they're not the same.

Next: today is today. It's 9/11. I don't like it and I really feel bad for anyone whose birthday is forever marred. There are lots of reasons not to like today. As a news producer, I have the challenge every year of saying the same thing in a different way. It's challenging to be different, yet do the same thing.

More than that, I don't like remembering. I watched "9/11 As It Happened" on MSNBC briefly and it took me about one minute to start crying. I didn't want it to be happening then and I certainly wish I could not look now.

Even deeper, I believe those who died were not only the victims of terrorists -- but also of a country that had picked fights abroad and arrogantly refused to believe it could be touched. I also believe it's still "too soon" to admit that. As a result, we still play the victim and retaliate, instead of the punished learning humility.

But I have cause for celebration as well. Today marks two years since I started the job that I am now about to leave. It wasn't a smooth road in the beginning, but it got there. I didn't always do the best job, but I always had the best intentions.

That brings me to memories. As people come up to me and congratulate me - or even as they walk by me in the building -- I think about what I might miss about them. I have a lot of good memories of a lot of good people. Of course not all memories are good, and I will not pretend otherwise. But I've made really good friends here. I am not excited to leave them. I'd rather they come with me, to share my experiences. I will send detailed reports, but it just won't be the same without the familiar faces making the familiar comments. I'm ready to leave Las Vegas. But I want my friends to come with me.

09 September 2008

I Hope You're Ready

We're going on an adventure. Jesse and I are packing up for my new job in San Francisco. I'll be producing for the CBS affiliate there, KPIX. I'm not going to explain the entire story, but representatives from KPIX were here in Las Vegas months ago. They happened upon me doing my current job, and liked me. Eight months later, they have me. This means a lot of things and while I'm not sure of the best way to explain all the implications, I realize I do need to pick up where I left off - the gallbladder.

I followed my doctor's orders and consulted a surgeon. At least I made the attempt to consult a surgeon. The earliest appointment was three weeks after I called. I explained to the receptionist my gallbladder is only functioning at 10%. I also (for interest of full disclosure) told her about the hiatal hernia. She explained to me the doctor only works 9AM - 4PM (good for him) and said a three week wait was fine. A few hours later. SFO called with an offer. Realistically thinking, there's no way I could consult a surgeon, schedule a procedure, have it, recover, pack, and move in one month. Something had to be sacrificed, and since the gall bladder isn't working as it is, it was an easy decision. I mean it's not doing anything for me, and it may only be doing minimal work against me. Stupid thing.

I have not however, forgot about the "ticking time bomb" aspect my doctor mentioned. Neither have my parents or Jesse. I give you the same promise I'm giving them; I will get the gall bladder removed as soon as fiscally possible. My new insurance begins after 30 days. So - accounting for social time - we're looking at the beginning of November. In that time I will be more gall bladder conscious than I was when I thought it was pulling its weight. I will exercise and eat foods that are easily digested. As for the hiatal hernia (which means my stomach is creeping into my chest) I will not do overly strenuous lifting. I will eat small portions and stay upright afterwards. As you can tell, I've done my research. So let's all put worry about my innards on a shelf and get ready to move.

~ Danie D.

Courtesy of my Verizon PinkBerry