July 31, 2003
Cindi's Either or

1.) Starbucks or Local Coffee House? Jamba Juice! Starbucks is good because they have the Chai Tea Latte and Caramel Apple Cider, but I don't drink coffee.

2.) Sunshine Cheeze It's or Kraft Cheese Nips? 0 for 2! I don't like Cheeze Nips or their ilk .. Goldfish are barely acceptable. Nuts or Chex Mix are preferable.

3.) Breast or Thigh?
Breast

4.) Starsky & Hutch or Duke's of Hazzard?
I only watched Duke's of Hazzard a few times and I'm not sure I ever saw Starsky & Hutch.

5.) Creepier Couple: Liza and David or Harrison and Calista? I love Liza and I love Harrison, why they are with the other to freaks is beyond me. David scares me and Calista is a boy in drag.

6.) Northern California or Southern California? Knowing California the way I do I'd have to clarify that I prefer the San Francisco Bay Area to the Central Valley portions of Northern and San Diego County to Los Angeles County for Southern and I'd say given my experiences I enjoyed Silicon Valley more than San Diego County, but that has only to do with my experiences, San Diego is much nicer both by features and weather. But, at the end of the day I prefer to not be in California at all anymore.

7.) Red Lobster or Joe's Crab Shack? Joe's Crab Shack rocks!!

8.) Alaskan Cruise or Caribbean Cruise? I'll agree that I think I have to experience both in order to make a decision

9.) Kitchen Remodel or new Backyard with Deck and Hot Tub? Well, with this house we are spoiled, we have a great kitchen design and we have a new deck, though our jacuzzi is in the master bathroom. All I'd change if I could would be to switch to gas stove in the kitchen, add a confection oven and put a swimming pool with spa out back, though with all the bugs I'm not sure how I'd like it

10.) Not So Thought Provoking Question: You get an unexpected $100 bonus at work.
Do spend it on something fun or do you pay off some overdue bills?
Without a doubt it would go towards something like video games or a day out with dinner and a movie. Even if I promised to spend it on bills I'd still end up spending it on a luxury.

Posted by John at 04:52 PM
Hair Issues

redhead.jpg

I have got really tired with my hair over the last month or so. I don't want to cut it because I am growing it out long again, so I decided a change of color was in order. My first idea was some nice blonde highlights so I bought a "chunking" kit. For some reason it had very little effect on my hair and I was left with this burnt orange color that wasn't very appealing. To remedy that I decided to just go blonde, I use to bleach out my hair to blonde all the time in the 80s and 90s, but things didn't go right and I was left with the very odd burnt color all over. So I decided to go to something to darken it back up. Brie picked out a lovely Copper and it looked fabulous on the box. As we went to apply it I read the back of the box and noticed it said "not for use on bleached or light blonde hair". We decided to give it a go anyways. It was obvious that this was a dayglo color designed to add a wash of color to dark brown hair. I was actually excited to see what was going to happen to my hair. What I was left with is this extrememly bright red/orange hair and you know what, I LOVE IT. At first I thought I was going to re-dye it for the wedding, but the more I see it the more I love it. Is it shocking, absolutely! Especially in person, but in the pictures I took it just looks like carrot top red hair. So unless Brie feels I really need to tone it down for the wedding I'm going to stay like this as long as it lasts.

Posted by John at 01:40 AM
July 30, 2003
Vacation

I've been busy getting us ready for our vacation. We leave bright and early (6:20 am) Friday 8/1 and won't be back until 11:45 pm 8/12. My mom arrives tomorrow to house sit and take care of the dogs. I'll drop a note in the neighbors mailbox to let them know we will be gone and to have them check in on my mother every now and again.

We had a last minute issue that we had to take care of, but thanks to Brie's parents we will be ok. This is by far the biggest undertaking we have ever attempted. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. Brie suggested we take the kids by the house I grew up in and my old schools, I've intentionally never been back so I have mixed emotions.

I wasn't happy when on the news last night they announced that they have reason to believe another hijacking might be attempted between now and October through an east coast airport. I personally think you have to be crazy to attempt one now as I am sure every able body person on an airplane would immediately go after any group who attempted it. I'm trying to reassure myself with the fact that our government is not exactly on the ball when it comes to information and that, coupled with the remote airport we use, means we aren't at any real risk.

I am really excited to be seeing everyone. I'm going to see my Dad, sister, and nieces and in Fresno I'll get to meet lots of Brie's family that I have never met before. Should be exciting if I don't freeze up in shyness.

I'll try my best to make some reports from the laptop, but if not I'll give all the details and have pictures when I get back.

Posted by John at 08:10 PM
July 27, 2003
Cait's Tattoo

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Here is a picture of Cait's tattoo. I didn't realize at the time that the flash had interferred with the image.

Posted by John at 11:37 PM
July 25, 2003
f5 7/25/03

the friday five

1. If your life were a movie, what would the title be? Coming To Terms

2. What songs would be on the soundtrack? Definitely a 2 CD soundtrack. Here's a few...

Surfin Bird - Trashcan Men
Hoplessly Devoted To You - Olivia Newton John
Rip It Out - Ace Frehley
Is There Something I Should Know? - Duran Duran
Smalltown Boy - Bronski Beat
Somebody by Depeche Mode
Strangelove - Depeche Mode
Halloween - Ministry
Where Are You Baby? - Betty Boo
Down In It - Nine Inch Nails
Walking In My Shoes - Depeche Mode
Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/End - The Beatles
Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles

3. Would it be a live-action film or animated? Why? Live-action

4. Casting: who would play you, members of your family, friends, etc?

John Cusack as Me
Isabella Rosseilini as Brie
Kiefer Sutherland as Sean
Rosario Dawson as Cait
Adam Ant as my Dad
Roseanne as my Mom

5. Describe the movie preview/trailer. A series of images of a boy growing up involved in most of the major trends of the last 35 years showing how he slowly evolved into himself. With the voice-over "The story about a boy hid behind his image until his family and friends showed him it was ok to be himself".

Posted by John at 10:20 AM
July 22, 2003
This or That

1) DVD or VHS? DVD, can't wait to get a DVD recorder and get all my VHS dubbed off before it all fades away.

2) Best Literary/Movie Villan: Voldemort (Harry Potter) or Sauron (LoTR)? Since I'm not in to the Lord trilogy (gasp!), I'd have to go with You-Know-Who

3) Meat: rare or well-done? Rare

4) High Speed Internet-Cable or DSL? I wish I had my cable still. Living in the country requires us to have a DirecWay (aka DirecHell)connection.

5) Women: 1-piece bathing suit or Bikini? naked, who wants to swim with clothes on.

6) To be fair--Men: Boxers or briefs? mostly Jockey Sport Boxerbriefs, but on occaion bikini briefs or commando.

7) Beer or Liquor/Wine? Beer.

8) Coke or Mountain Dew? both; Vanilla
Coke unless I need a jolt then Mountain Dew.

9) In honor of my 10/18/03 nuptials: Morning or Afternoon/Night Wedding? Evening wedding so the reception can go into the night.

10) Carpet or Hardwood Floors? Hardwood floors look better, Carpet absorbs sound better. so depends on the function of the room.

11) American cars or foreign? Domestic. Dodge Durango to be specific.

12) Cutest TV Twin: Mary-Kate or Ashley Olsen? Why would someone even care?

13) Coffee: Caffeinated or Decaf? Tea, thankyouverymuch

14) Thought-Provoking Question of the Week: Computers: Do they make life better or worse? Why? Better. Able to keep real time contact with family and friends and Free Porn!!!

Posted by John at 06:18 PM
July 20, 2003
Pilgrimage of a Duranie

I'm home. It was a great 5 days and I'm so glad I got to make the trip. Here's the rundown with a review of the shows.

Tuesday - A travel day, nothing to really report. It was a smooth flight though the 5 hour trip from my connection in Philly to Vegas was too long. I was stuck in a window seat next to two brothers and they started grating on me after a while with their big brother/little brother bickering. No biggie though a quick "evil eye" glare was all it took to calm them back down.

Wednesday - got off to a slow start. Cait went in to work and I hung out with Elsie. We had a great time. I love talking to Elsie and we can talk for hours. I completely forget she is Cait's mom and we just talk like friends. She is extremely smart and always teaches me something new. The trip from Vegas to LA made me nervous, we got a late start and I had flashbacks to 1989 when Brie and I missed the first part of the Duran Duran show in Berkeley. We got there at 7:30 (show started at 8:00).

The first show; The Pacific Ampitheater - Costa Mesa Fairgrounds

We had fantastic seats little above stage level on Andy and Nick's side. I was dissapointed there was no real stage set, just their equipment and Nick and Roger on basic platforms. Surprisingly they started only 10 minutes late... quite a feat in the world of Duran Duran and we attribute that to Andy who likes everything to run smoothly and precisely. The set list was a duplicate of the Nagoya, Japan set with some resequencing.

FRIENDS OF MINE
HUNGRY LIKE THE WOLF
PLANET EARTH
COME UNDONE
WHAT HAPPENS TOMORROW
NEW RELIGION
VIRUS
WHITE LINES
WAITING FOR THE NIGHT BOAT
IS THERE SOMETHING I SHOULD
SAVE A PRAYER
ORDINARY WORLD
VIEW TO A KILL
REACH UP FOR THE SUNRISE
NOTORIOUS
WILD BOYS
CARELESS MEMORIES
RIO
------------
REFLEX
GIRLS ON FILM

The website claims they did a song called "STILL BREATHING" but they did not. The highlight of the show for me was "Careless Memories". The entire backdrop of the set was a projection screen that really didn't get used to full effect. On a couple of songs they would project live video from the show as it was happening, a few others had some premade visuals, but Careless Memories had this montage of images from their early videos and it was amazing. I'm sure I'm not the only one that felt like I was seeing 21 years of my life flashing by. Very intense. It was by no means a perfect show. Simon's voice wasn't in very good shape and it caused him to butcher "A View To A Kill" the song is difficult for him to sing when he is in good voice, with his voice in bad shape it just makes you cringe. They dropped it for the second show.

After the show we headed up to Inglewood to see Darryl. We stayed up until 3:30 am catching up. He had to leave for work at 6:30 am so it was really amazing that he stayed up for us. It was great to see him, it had been several years for me. The next morning we got up and headed back to Vegas.

The second show - The Joint - Hard Rock Hotel Casino, Vegas

Exact same set as the night before minus A View To A Kill (thank goodness). The venue was much smaller and indoors, but the sound was still muddy with Nick's synth's rarely heard to make it worse John's bass (which had been the highlight of the Costa Mesa show) was lost in the mix as well. The backdrop projections didn't work as well either, the stage light were too bright and too close to the screen. I was also tired, my legs hurt standing the whole time. Proving they were indeed still the same band they started the show nearly 45 minutes late. Still the crowd was enthusiastic and the band enjoyed themselves. The highlight was Simon who managed to sing the entire first verse of "Wild Boys" completely out of key. Andy tried singing into his ears as did John to get him back, but it didn't work. He seemed like a little kid lost with no clue how to get back in key.

I know I'm jaded. The band got so much right (they played a 2 hours set for the first time since 1988. The set list was good (playing 3 new songs was a bad idea, especially since they aren't really good songs and lack the energy of most of the set) I would have loved to seen them drop my least favourite "Reach Up For the Sunrise" with something like "The Chauffeur" or another track off of Seven and the Ragged Tiger" (they only did "The Reflex"). As someone who has seen them a lot (these were my 11th and 12th shows) I can attest to the fact that there is an energy between the original 5 that is unique. Andy and John especially bring something unique to the live show.

After the show we hung around the Hard Rock for a while, then headed over to Mandalay Bay, but we were both worn out so we headed back out to Cait's house.

Friday - We had only two goals; all-you-can-eat Sushi and getting Cait her first tattoo. We did our usual rounds, heading over to Treasure Island which is being refashioned from a family resort to the a Gen X hang out "TI" they have closed the pirate show for retooling it's gong to have girls in it now and is called something like "Song of the Sirens" or something silly like that. We went over the to Virigin Megastore inside Caesar's Forum. We just sat there and read magazines and made snide comments about the vast overpricing on their CDs and DVDs. For dinner we went over to the Aladdin and went to Todai Japanese buffet. I over ate, but still didn't feel it was worth the $27.95 price tag. From there it was off to Pair-A-Dice Tattoo, were Brie got her Lotus Bloom three years ago. Mo' is still there, but we had another person do Cait's tattoo. It's the Duran Duran logo that is a play on the James Bond logo it was used on the "A View To A Kill" artwork. It looks really great. I'll have pictures up in the photogallery soon. From there we went over to the Rio to see the parade in the sky. It was fun, cheap entertainment.

The next morning it was breakfast at Kahunaville in Treasure Island then the flight home.

Posted by John at 04:04 PM
July 15, 2003
Before I go...

Today is the day I leave for Las Vegas to see Cait and go to two Duran Duran shows. I'll get there tonight then tomorrow we'll make the drive from Vegas to LA for the first show and to stay with our friend Darryl that lives there then drive back to Vegas on Thursday and catch the second show that night at the Hard Rock.

As is typical I was all excited about the trip and now that it's time to go I am already thinking about how much I'll miss my family while I'm gone. I get more and more apprehensive about flying too and that bugs me.

I still can't believe I'm going to see the original "fab five" it's been over 19 years since I last saw them. I've seen what ever the current Duran Duran line-up was on every tour since then (some tours more than once), but it's never come near seeing them in 1984. I am truly excited. Anyone who knows me knows that Duran Duran is probably my all-time favorite band, even though they treat their fans badly. I've seen the set lists they used in Japan last week and it looks like they'll be playing a lot of songs I love, though as usual it seems like the shows will be short. You think by now they would play at least 2 hour shows.

While I'm gone my mom is here to take care of the kids and give Brie a helping hand. I'm thankful that she lives a car drive (albeit a long one) away. The downside to all of this is that between this trip and Brie's business trip next week we will only be together for 2 days in two weeks. Life in the fastlane :)

Posted by John at 10:17 AM