Sunday, December 31, 2006

I am getting married

Well now that my family is on the way to see my new house, I feel safe posting here.

I asked 素子 to marry me and she said yes!

Now there are jsut a few million things to figure out. Not the least of which are where and when.

素子 has this idea for a wedding in Hawaii. It sounds interesting and I would love to go to Hawaii, but it will really depend on cost and how many people we think would come.

I was thinking a western wedding (she does not want a japanese wedding) in Tokyo so that as many of her friends and family as possible would be able to see the wedding. A few of my friends and family would come.

Yes more of my friends and family would come to Hawaii, but not many more. Which is why I think Tokyo would be better.

No matter where we get marreid there will be a reception back in St. Louis. I have too many friends and family that will not or can not travel not to have a reception at home for them.

Well the family just arrived to see the new house so i am going for now.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

i haven't forgotten!

I have not forgotten about the blog, but I've been exceedingly busy since christmas.

I'll have down time tonight to post some more I hope. If not I will tomorrow for certain.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Well it is 01:40 as i'm typing this, Merry Christmas!! 素子 is taking a shower and I'm attempting to digest two big meals so I have room to eat tomorrow at my sister's house.

This morning 素子 and I slept in until 9. Once we became mobile it took us an hour to become presentable and we hopped in to the car for a short jaunt over to meet my sister and pick up my neice Danielle for some christmas shopping.

One the way, we stopped at Krispy Kreme so 素子 could try them. Apparently, the first Krispy Kream just opened in the Shinjuku Ward of Tokyo. She said her favorite is the Glazed hot off the line and I admit it is hard to argue that.

After that we met up with my sister over at the Quick Trip on Lilac. That was a hasty messed up introduction between 素子 and my sister, but we ended wiht Danielle in my car and headed out.

We stopped first at Jared to drop off the ring i bought 素子 as a christmas present to get resized. Amazingly they said it would only be an hour. Then we headed into St. Louis Mills for some whirwind shopping. Danielle was amazingly shy about leading the shopping at first, but after a couple stores she got in the mood and *woosh* off we went.

Ok I fell asleep with the laptop on my lap. It is now 09:30 in the morning. Merry Christmas again!!

After the Mills we picked up 素子 ring from the jeweler and headed to West County Mall. We were a little hungry and the women teamed up on me and forced me to choose lunch all by myself. After some thought I picked something as American as I could think of, Red Robin.

Danielle made it a point of eating her entire Bacon Cheeseburger, while I barely finished half of my Teriyaki Burger and 素子 did not even hit the halfway point on her Crispy Fish Burger (which she had Danielle pick for her).

Once we arrived at West County it was even more non-stop shopping. With Danielle leading the way, but Christmas shopping was completed successfully with a chocolate & butterfinger ice cream cone for Danielle on the way out of the mall.

From there it was back to my sisters house in Highland to drop off Danielle and introduce 素子 to the rest of the neices. None of the girls were shy of her at all which helped a lot because she seemed quite nervous. Darla said hi and then both Danielle and Darla had to show off the Christmas present they got from my sister's friend Lorrie the presvious night. Then Dalanee migrated from my arms to 素子 and did not fuss at all. But it was a short visit as we had a dinner engagement with John & Melinda.

A quick ride over to Marine and we were knocking on the door to John & Melinda's house where both of their boys were extremely shy at first. John, the oldest, over came it first and began to play with us and that led Dan to get in on the act too. For about an hour they seemed to be non-stop action-packed bundles of enegery, and they centered it on 素子, which she really seemed to enjoy. 素子 was quite beautiful, smiling and playing with the children. She lost all her nervousness very quickly and jsut seemed to be herself.

Once the boys were off to their grandparent's house for the evening things calmed down and the four of us headed to Popeye's Chop House for dinner. It was a good time and I'll maybe finish the story later.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Second Day in New York

Before i get in to what happened toady, here is a quick video i took at the end of the day.

かんぱい (Kanpai) Jim.. (Cheers)

Actually now i'm too tired to actually write up today's events. maybe i'll have time later.

First full day in New York

With 素子 suffering jet lag something feirce, it was a late start as obvious from the time of my last post, but we made it a full day anyway.

First we walked to Times Square and stopped to get brunch at a soup place called Soup Man along the way. Then we hopped the Subway to Ground Zero. There is not much to see yet of course, but the initial steel girders with the words Freedom Tower on them were in just put in place a couple days ago. I believe those girders came from the original towers.

After that we walked to Battery Park before heading up to Wall Street. While we were walking up Wall Street, police started to block everything off. There were hundreds of officers everywhere. There was some kind of march or protest happening.

We walked up Wall Street to Fulton which we followed down to Pier 17. After hitting a bunch of shops there, we took the subway to Soho to find the Camper store, but they did not have the shoes 素子 wanted. We hit a bunch of other shops in Soho then headed up to midtown to the FAO Schwarz toy store where I bought christmas presents for two of my neices.

We hit a bunch of stores in midtown and then walked to Rockefeller Plaza to see the tree and ice rink. It was as crowded as 渋谷 (Shibuya) was in the evenings, but i am sure that Rockefeller is not this crowded year round like 渋谷。

After that we headed back to the Hotel with a stop at the library which had some winter festival going on. 素子 and I both bought some chocolates to give as gifts from Lindt and then dropped all our stuff off at the hotel and headed out to dinner.

On the way to dinner we killed some time in Grand Central Station because there was a light show going on. Then we hopped a train down to Union and walked over to Sumile for dinner. There was only one other table in use when we arrived, but it was well after the normal dinner hour, I think we arrived right about 21:00.

The waiter noticed us taking a picture of the menu and I explained we wanted to show the difference to ともだちの素子 (Motoko's friends) who she went to Sumile Tokyo with. Once that word got out, the Manger and Chef both came out to talk to us.

Well 素子 is ready to leave so we are off for the day.


Thursday, December 21, 2006

Meet me in New York (St. Louis)

well New York is every bit the city i thought it was.

My plane was one and a half hours late leaving St. Louis. We were parked on the runway in St. Louis for almost 45 minutes. So i called the hotel to make sure they had Motoko's name so she could check in, because her plane landed before my plane took off. So much for arriving at the same time.

When we finally landed in Newark, i had no message from Motoko or the hotel, so i assumed it all went smoothly.

Instead, much to my surprise and pleasure, she was waiting at the exit form security for me!!!!!!
I was giddy as a school girl.

We took the airport train over to the New Jersey Transit transfer point and hopped on a train headed for NY Penn Station.

When we arrived at Penn Station, we decided not to take a connecting subway over to Grand Central Station, because we both wanted to walk. Heading to the surface we exited at Madison Square Garden right before a Nicks game. wow the crowd. We walked over to 5th Ave and the then walked up from 32nd to 42nd on 5th ave. then down 32nd street to Grand Central Station and the Hyatt next door.

After we checked in, we chilled in the room for a bit and then headed out for a late evening snack. We hopped the subway down to 14th st. and walked over to 10th street looking for a dessert shop Motoko had seen in a guide flyer. We never did find it but we had a backup plan. Over on 9th street was another dessert shop called Cha An. It was a Japanese tea room and dessert restaraunt. SUGOI!!!!!! It was damn good.

After that we came back tot he hotel and chatted about what to do the rest of the trip.

Motoko just came out of the bathroom and said she's ready so i'll type more later we are headed out for the day.


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

stick a fork in me

I am DONE. Today was the last day before christmas that everyone in my group at work was scheduled to be in the office, so we held our annual Christmas potluck.

As happens every time, there was way more damn good food than us and every friend we have in the building could eat. Smoked turkey, dressing, macaroni & cheese, general tso's chicken, white rice, peas, bread, apple butter, chocolate oreo cake, devilled eggs, 4 varieties of cookies, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie, cole slaw and a few things that i can not remember right this minute.

I have made it a habit to step on the scale every morning to help reinforce my self imposed weight control/loss program. This morning I was 96kg (211.2lbs). I really, really doubt i will be 96kg or less tomorrow morning!!

Well all my laundry is done so time to go pack my suitcase for New York. I will be home on Saturday, but i assume i'll have a few minutes of downtime somewhere with internet access.

If you are lucky i'll post a picture or something while I'm there.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Switched my car insurance too

Well since i had to get real home owner's insurance i went with state farm same as my dad and sister. I asked them to quote me auto insurance while i was at it and they came in with about 4 times the coverage for the same price. so i switched that too. Of course it is all contingent on getting the house, but things seem to be going pretty smooth on that issue.

I hope to know tomorrow if the underwriters are signing of on everything.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

35 Years

Tomorrow night will be my parents' 35th wedding anniversary. Tonight, my sister and I took them to dinner at Spiro's. It was good, but i think i still prefer Greek Islands in Indianapolis.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

House Video

Here is a quick video i made with my digital camera of the house i am trying to buy.

Friday, December 15, 2006

inspections, gaming, dinner and cleaning

Well this is going to be one extremely busy weekend.

First thing Saturday morning I have to be in Collinsville to meet the guy i hired to do the whole house inspection.

At noon, it is off to play in Dave's d20 Modern game The Harshlands.

The evening is currently open but I'm hoping to chat with 素子 then, as it would be Sunday morning for her.

Sunday is open until 15:30 when I need to head to Spiro's in St. Charles for dinner with the family. We will be celebrating my parent's 35th wedding anniversary.

During any down time in there I need to be cleaning. 素子 will be staying here after we come back from New York, and I am 100% certain that "bachelor clean" is not good enough. I also need to clean because I will be selling the place as soon as I close on the house in Collinsville.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Traffic Court

Well i got a speeding ticket like 3 months ago, but never got the paperwork with the fine amount until yesterday, the day before the court date... Thank you USPS...

so i hit work @6am and leave @8am assuming i'm gonna kill 2-3 hours and be stuck working late to make up the time.

Well that did not happen. I was in my car and on my way back to work by 8:45. I have been to traffic court more times than i want to count, and i have NEVER beenin and out that fast before. The Ass. PA had me in and out before the courtroom even opened at 9am.
Fricking wow...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Blog move completed

Well myspace was too much of a pain in the ass with so damn many ads flying everywhere and shitloads of email spam inside the site only email.

I'll keep the profile there and maybe evenupdate it some, but the blog has been fully transferred to here.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Another Cluster Down

Well, the Natural Sciences cluster is now complete. i just left my last class! I hope for an A, but my last paper was short, so i might only get a B. Prior to this last paper, I had a near perfect A, but this last paper is a good chunk of the grade. Oh well it is over and done with.

The next cluster starts on January 3rd. I am signed up for Humanities. I don't feel like figuring out what that is at the moment. In the Spring cluster I will be taking my gen. ed. math cluster and that will leave me with only one more gen. ed. Cross Cultural. That is a shoe in for the Japanese cluster, but it won't be offered again until the Fall cluster, so summer will be the first of the courses in my major. So that means i need to hurry up and decide on a major.

I am really think of going the Information Technology route and picking database management and related clusters. I already know hardware fairly well and I don't want to be a hard core coder taking only the various programming language clusters, but database design and implementtation has always been interesting to me.

Saturday, December 9, 2006

I bought a house

I do not think it has sunk in yet. I just agreed to buy a house for $87,000.

Yeah, it definitely has not sunk in yet. If everything goes smoothly, the closing date will be December 28th. That is the same day Motoko leaves to go back to Tokyo.

1140 square feet finished.