June 08, 2005
what a weekend

I really thought Brie would take the time to tell us all of her birthday weekend, I really would like to read her perspective on how she enjoyed everything. Here is my recap.

We left early Saturday afternoon for San Jose. Brie wanted to go to Valley Faire, the upscale mall in Silicon Valley. It was the first time I had been there since 1999 and I must say I hated it. They basically added another mall to the back area that use to be parking. The mall is simply horrendous in it's layout and the number of people in there (several thousand at the least) made me yearn to be back in the wide open spaces of Virginia. We hit a few shops and bought some Lemongrass lotion for Restoration Hardware (great stuff), we were there for over an hour yet still only managed to go to a few stores since the mall is so big and oddly laid out.

We then went and checked into the Los Gatos Lodge. It's really not what you would expect from Los Gatos. It's an old multi-building complex clearly built in the late Fifties or Sixties. Our room had the funk of a room that hadn't been used in a while, slightly musty. But it was clean and very reasonably priced (thanks Amy!). I'd definitely would stay there again. We relaxed a little then got ready for dinner.

I had made reservations at Michi Sushi an old hangout of ours in Campbell without telling Brie. It was one of the first places where we developed our love for Sushi from. The ambiance was not as nice as I had wanted and the prices were sky-high. But what you got for your money was more than worth it. A good example is the Hamachi (yellow-tail), my all-time favorite. The slice of fish was so large that it would have easily made 4 pieces at any other restaraunt. It was easily of an inch thick and 3"x4" big .. just huge, fresh and extremely tasty. Brie had no sooner taken a bite of food when she said she felt a wave of nausea come over her, but that seemed to subside so we continued with are delicious meal.

After dinner we did the second thing we normally do when we are out sans kids (the first is go to Sushi). Barnes and Noble is one of Brie's favorite stores and she loves to be able to look around without the kids (or my) interruptions and distractions. She found herself several books, but I had to remind her she never has the time to read anymore so no matter the price getting three books was silly. After that Brie suddenly decided new tattoos were in order. A couple of quick calls to Sean and we headed off to "Marks of Art" near the duplex Brie and I lived in for nearly four years including the birth of Sebastian. We searched and searched the "Flash" for something that we both wanted. We finally settled on a custom design based on something they already had. We wanted tattoos that would symbolize our family. When we found one that had three stars (and three moons) we asked the artist if he could use that for inspiration but only feature two moons (Brie and I) and three stars (our kids). What he came back with was perfect. Sean had joined us while we were still searching, but realizing the temptation he would feel to get his own he opted to head over to the LGL and wait for us. I must say the artist was a great guy and we both love the final results.

This is Brie's websitetattoo.jpg though mine looks exactly the same.

After that we head back to the LGL and met up with Sean and Amy at "The Wave" the lodge's lounge. With some laidback jazz/soul/blues being played by a live band and with only 5 of us as customers (the three of us and 2 regulars Sean already knew) plus drinks flowing freely, it looked like a great night was only getting better. Soon however we were joined by the remnants of a wedding and though we still had a great time there were a few people that were rude and not happy with the fact that the head bartender had been told they could close up early. In the end though we had a great time then with Sean and Amy with us headed back to our room where I had been chilling a Costco sized bottle of Skyy Vodka, mixed with the cranberry and OJ Amy provided we hung out for several hours until finally it was time to call it a night. An hour or so later though the nausea was back and Brie was ravaged by what we believe to have been a stomach flu she caught from a fellow co-worker. It lasted all through Sunday (Brie's actually birthday) and now on Wednesday she is still not back to 100% yet.

Overall it was a great trip amd the more we go back to San Jose the more Brie and I remember about the 11 years we lived there. Which is nice becasue so many things happened while we were there.

Posted by John at 11:54 AM
June 03, 2005
addicted to Tickle

The Classic Star Wars Test
John, you're Obi-Wan Kenobi

"If you strike me down, I will become more powerful than you can possibly imagine." Truly the words of a confident teacher, you and "old Ben" share the calm wisdom of someone who's seen it all. You are probably the type of person who enjoys giving back to the community, whether by organizing the annual block party or volunteering time to help others.

You know you're not perfect and that's why being a mentor is so fulfilling. You can teach others about the mistakes that you made. Like Obi-Wan, you are an excellent judge of character often recognizing aspects of yourself in others. You know how to teach life lessons without being preachy, and while you may not quite have the Jedi mind trick figured out, your honest conviction can be very persuasive.

The Chakra Test
Understanding the Energy Centers of Your Body

John, your most positive energy is flowing from your Fifth Chakra

This is the chakra located at the top of your throat. The fifth chakra represents honesty and truth. In your case, this chakra appears to be clear and unblocked so that positive energy can flow from it freely. Radiating positive energy from your fifth chakra indicates that you've cultivated higher wisdom concerning the important life lessons associated with this energy center. You're apt to feel a more burning need than others do to speak the truth, treat people with respect, and act with integrity. Possessing strong fifth chakra energy also suggests that you're not one to fight your life's natural path. Instead, you seem to align your will with divine will.

The Temptation Test
John, when it comes to temptation you're a Hedonist

It has become apparent that the word "no" is not one you use too often. In fact, it seems you just might have replaced it with "sure," "pour it on," and "I'll take it." As a Hedonist, you probably see no reason to put limits on pleasure. When the little angel of your conscience arrives on your shoulder to challenge your indulgent side, it's usually knocked off by that little devil who's never too far away from your decisions.

It seems that extravagance to you is a way of life, not an isolated event. And discipline is a punishment that you choose not to employ it's overrated anyway. All this good stuff is here for a reason, right? Someone's gotta have fun with it and you only live once

Where Do You Find Love?
John, you find love in a Mischievous Meeting

A foreign affair with an exotic stranger. A surprise weekend getaway with your long-time love. These are the fantasies that fill your daydreams. When it comes to romance, your imagination and sense of adventure are in the driver's seat. You have a zest for life that welcomes spontaneity with open arms, and you look for a partner who has the wit and wiles to keep up with you...or to lead the way, as long as you're tripping the light fantastic together.

While you love mystery and mischief in your romantic encounters, you're also not afraid to make a commitment to someone. You just make sure that keeping it interesting, passionate, and fun are high on their agendas, too. And that doesn't sound mischievous to us at all.

Palm Reading Test
What Does Your Future Hold?
John, the shape of your hand reveals that you are especially good at Believing in yourself

Based on the signs in your palm, you have much to gain by having faith and trusting your own inner goodness. By putting directed energy toward your own self-confidence, your efforts will be returned multi-fold.

Posted by John at 10:25 AM
June 02, 2005
still taking Tickle Tests

What Is Your Sex IQ

John, your Sex IQ is 130!

You scored higher than 97% of other people who have taken our test.

As you were taking the test, we measured how your sexual knowledge stacks up in the 8 areas that contribute to your Sex IQ. You scored highest when it comes to knowing about male anatomy. But it might surprise you how you scored in the other areas that make you sexually smart.

Are You A Sex God?
Hark - the oracle speaks! A bolt of lightning falls from the sky! SHAZAAM! As the smoke clears, the hidden deity in you emerges and is revealed to be:

EROS, God of Love.

As a devotee of this long-neglected virtue, you are a committed romantic. You prefer to savor the joys of seduction before you step into the bedroom. This quality makes you incredibly attractive to women, who seem to melt in your presence. They sense your strong character and respect your ideals. They dream of stealing you away and making dreamy love to you all day long. Not to say you wouldn't be happy to oblige, but you want to make sure that there's some emotional or intellectual compatibility between you and your partner to carry the relationship along. By the time you are ready to show them your godly performance, they're hooked. You take sex seriously and show your lucky woman a passion that has only existed in her wildest dreams. You are probably an emotionally expressive and sensitive person whose pleasure comes from pleasing others. Your chivalrous ways have probably earned you a following of fans and a trail of satisfied mortals in your wake.

Do You Have a Balanced Lifestyle?
John, you really know how to focus on Family and Friends

But everyone needs a break even from things they're great at. You might even find some alone time energizing. Do people ever call you a people person? Well they're right. Family and friends seem to be your number one priority. While some people need a bubble bath to relax, others prefer an hour at the gym, but your quickest and easiest way to rejuvenate is to surround yourself with those who love you.

You know that meeting friends for dinner during the week or setting aside extra time to visit with family can really recharge your batteries and make you feel balanced. Just don't forget how healing regular periods of solitude walks in the park, a little extra effort at work, great books can be, too.

Who's Your Music Match?
John, your music match is a Cool Indie Songster

Have you got the remedy? It seems like you do. And like your music match, Jason Mraz, you've got a calm and collected way about you that usually makes people think of you as mature. It doesn't hurt that you're also a smarty.

Following along to someone else's song and dance? Not you. You're no copycat. You bring your own unique style to whatever you do whether it's your look, hobbies, interests, or outlook on life. Wherever you go, you prove that being yourself is the hottest thing around. And that's sure to be a hit with any crowd.

Are You a Risk Taker?
John, you take the most risks when it comes to Tarnishing Your Image

Image shmimage. An independent person like you doesn't lose much sleep over what other people think of you. And that's what frees you up to take chances and go after your goals without worrying too much about losing, failing, or looking goofy along the way.

No matter if your cup of tea involves karaoke, stage diving, or starting your own business, you don't mind putting yourself out there and going for it. Lucky for you, regardless of whether you shine or flop, you see it as a triumph that you tried in the first place. And other people admire that about you. So keep taking to the spotlight and making yourself heard in the world. That's not something many people can pull off.

Posted by John at 01:51 PM
Tickle.com Tests

I took some new Tickle.com Tests and got the following results:

Ink Blot
John, your subconscious mind is driven most by Peace

You have a deeply-rooted desire to make peace in the world. Whether through subtle interactions with loved ones, or through getting involved in social causes, it is important to you to be able to influence the world in a positive way.

You have a deep respect for humankind. You care about the future of the world, even beyond your own involvement in it, and you inspire others to feel the same way. Your innate drive toward peace guides you in daily life towards decisions that are respectful toward yourself and others.

Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are.

Bar Personality
John, you're a Friendly Regular

A bar's just not a bar without a friendly regular like you. And you take that fun-loving and charismatic attitude with you wherever you go. From relaxing poolside to dancing the night away, you have a way of making where you are feel like home.

A personality as sunny as yours craves time outdoors. Fresh air, a sense of freedom and adventure nothing makes you feel more alive. So start planning your next barbecue or beach party your friends and fans are waiting!

What's Your Party Style?
John, your party style is to Flirt

The best parties are charged with a pulsing energy, and with your charisma, you're sure to brighten up any soiree around. Whether you're sending over a subtle wink, or flat-out flirting with your best brush of an arm, or sultry smile, you've got a spunky energy that will surely light up any party.

You don't take life too seriously and are quick to size up just what everyone in the room is after. It doesn't matter if you're chatting up a just-spotted cutie, or showing off for your adoring masses your magnetic aura is sure to leave a lasting glow.

What's Your Tropical-Island Activity?
John, you should Stay up All Night on a tropical island

The beach may be the place to be in the daytime, but when the sun goes down, you like to hit the town! On vacation or off, you're a social soul who loves nothing more than meeting people, mixing it up, and having a good time. So when you do head to a tropical paradise, it's no wonder your first order of business is to do away with, well, business!

Whether you want to blow off steam on the dance floor or just watch the action unfold, nothing helps you relax and soak up the culture of a place more than being a part of its vibrant social scene. Have fun!

Which Umbrella Drink Are You?
(anyone who knows Duran Duran (and my love of them) will know why this one is so funny)
John, you're a Relaxed Rum Runner

Taking it easy that's how you prefer to handle whatever comes your way. Like a cool, blended rum runner, you like to keep a delicate balance between the sweet and sour things in life. Calm and collected, you're up for anything your friends throw your way, from joining a book club or taking an art class to trying every cocktail in your cookbook.

Bottom line you're a laid-back soul who likes to stay connected with his friends and have a good time. People count on you to hold the group together with your carefree and irresistible sense of fun. Stay cool!

Posted by John at 12:03 PM