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Blogging the night away...

Tuesday, 27 February 2007
Me, Myself and I

Yesterday as I was trying to dress Todd for bed, he was playing peekaboo with the blanket he was lying on. He put it over his face and I said "Where's Toddy?"

His echo? "Where's me?"

Later that night, we watched some old Todd movies that Opa had uploaded to the computer but hadn't yet gotten around to putting together on DVD. Most of them were when he was about 9 months old. It was cute to see Todd watching his younger self on the screen, and piping up with commentary about what he was seeing!

"Pao pao is eating/screaming/crawling/naked!"

Even cuter was when we watched clips of baby Toddy trying to talk, and babbling away in baby talk. I said "Look-- you're talking!"

Puzzled, because the baby in the movie wasn't really speaking real words, Todd declared "No!" 

And he was quick to express his boredom when the movie clips got too long or when I opened up a clip that was similar to one he had already seen, because he'd pipe up with "What else?" 

Posted by helly at 1:37 PM PST
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Monday, 3 April 2006
Mood:  d'oh
God, I'm such a slacker, aren't I.

I never blog on here anymore. If anyone comes across this page you can find me at:


and, occasionally

Whew! No wonder it's so hard to keep up with blogging! :-D

Posted by helly at 5:11 PM PDT
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Saturday, 27 August 2005
The "I Love..." List
Mood:  cool
Topic: General
I posted this in my Grab blog, so I thought I'd throw it in here, as well:

I love the taste of ripe strawberries, soft-boiled eggs with a sprinkling of salt, peanut butter with Nutella, liverwurst-and-lettuce sandwiches, coffee-flavored ice cream, batter-fried squid, and soft, chewy dinner rolls.

I love the smell of brand-new books, freshly-brewed coffee, barbecues, freshly-baked bread, and clothes laundered in Tide.

I love the feel of (the outside of) velour clothes, my bed after a long day, my baby's soft skin, smooshy pillows, and stepping out of the shower onto a freshly-laundered bathmat.

I love the sound of the pitter-patter of falling rain while I'm snugly indoors, the bustle of city life, upbeat country music, frogs croaking, my son's giggles, and heels clicking on a hard floor.

I love the sight of big city skylines at night, neat and newly-cleaned living spaces, my son's smile, Rottweilers sitting regally, the views of cities from an airplane, and tropical beaches.

How about you?

Posted by helly at 5:23 PM PDT
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Monday, 15 August 2005
My online exploits
Mood:  chatty
Topic: General
Okay, okay, I guess that title sounds a little more risque than it actually is ;-)

I just thought I'd write about a couple of the places I frequent on the Web-- sort of my "Net homes away from home"...

First and foremost is, a place that's hard to describe with a couple short words-- it's basically a community that has everything-- games, chat, forums, and all sorts of community-oriented material, like personal profiles, sharing photos, interacting with friends, making blogs, and a host of other stuff.

I've been a member since January-- I first stumbled across it by accident in some email that had a link to the JewelQuest game-- I'd play for hours before I realized that I could sign up as a Grab member. Then when I first signed up, I would play games and meet new people in the game chats. Before long, I discovered the message boards, and found myself meeting even more people from around the globe. In May, I treated myself to a birthday present (actually, the exact date is my son's birthday) and bought myself a Gold membership-- only $20 a year and some nice little perks to make my Grab experience even more enjoyable (<-- Gawd, listen to me, I sound like a commercial!)

In case you're interested, here I am on Grab:

The other place I frequent is Nerdtopia, which some members might consider the unofficial Shawn Bakken fan page ;-)

Have you watched the WB's "Beauty and the Geek" reality show? Well, Shawn was one of the "geek" contestants, and after the show, his blog was so overrun by fans who basically used his comment section as a message board, that he created a Yahoogroups mailing list... and from there, a message board for the rest of us geeks/nerds/dorks. You can find links to both in my "links" column to the left. It's kinda cool to have a "celebrity" of sorts pop in on us from time to time. Shawn seems like a pretty cool fellow and definitely not of the "geek stereotype".

Anyhoo (not that anyone reads this-- but for the occasional soul that does stumble across this blog)... those two places are where you can find me online a lot.

Posted by helly at 9:37 AM PDT
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Friday, 12 August 2005

Mood:  sharp
Topic: Work/School
Here it is, the end of my 3rd week of work. Got my paycheck today for my first 2 weeks of work. I'll be getting paper checks for the first couple pay periods, then the direct deposit will kick in.

Work is going pretty well so far. I've moved more out of the "learning" phase and into the "doing" phase, so it's still interesting. As my boss put it, "interesting enough to keep you coming back every day" :-D

Right now I'm working on automating the creation of test scripts to make sure that the proprietary SQL code that I compiled into Oracle actually works the way it's supposed to. That's turning into quite a chore, as there are about 50 packages and 500 functions/procedures total! Each of which needs to be tested and its output compared to what is *supposed* to result. This is one of those chores where using Perl would come in handy, but I loathe the Perl syntax enough that I'd rather do it in Java. So far it's working out pretty well-- toggling back and forth between Java programs and SQL scripts, one program creating output that serves as input to the subsequent program... and so and and so on... down the long pipeline of a series of files....

At any rate, enough of blogging and back to the actual task at hand....

Posted by helly at 10:50 AM PDT
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Thursday, 28 July 2005
First week of work
Mood:  happy
Topic: Work/School
Where does the time go? Hard to believe it's almost the end of my first week of work! My first day consisted of an orientation for all new hires, lots of good info about the company's history, details about our pay and benefits, and of course filling out paperwork and getting our security badges (to let us into the parking lots and buildings).

Now I'm in the midst of learning brand new stuff: Oracle and PL/SQL. I've never used Oracle in my life, and only know a tiny bit of SQL, so I've got quite a learning curve ahead of me.

I got the chance to drive around the area a little bit, to familiarize myself with what's nearby. After going past what seemed like miles of nothing but corporate buildings and business parks, with nary a shopping center in sight, I finally stumbled upon the shopping center that had Target and a handful of eateries. Thank goodness... I was almost about ready to call Ingrid, who's from the area, for help and directions! :-D

I've got a pretty good routine so far-- in by 9:00am, out by 6:00pm. That way I avoid the worst of the rush hour traffic, and it takes me less than an hour each way. Then home by around 7:00pm to play with Todd! :-) It's fun to come home to, and a nice way to end the day :-)

Well, not much news aside from that. Work is, well... it's work :) Programming is programming, after all ;-)

Posted by helly at 12:33 PM PDT
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Monday, 18 July 2005
One more week....
Mood:  not sure
Topic: General
Well, today begins my last week as a student (or, more accurately, a status in between "student" and "employed"). I start my new job on Monday and have been spending the last couple weeks wrapping things up with my MS project, cleaning up code, documenting it, etc...

This past weekend the Geeks had a bonfire (they seem to have one at the rate of about once per quarter), probably my last one with them. I didn't go, because I didn't feel like traipsing through the woods in the pitch black night, but Allan and I did have dinner with Sara, Jason and Steve. We went to the new branch of Pascucci's here in Goleta (there's one already well-established downtown).

Dinner was excellent-- food was good, same priced as the one downtown, but the ambience was nicer. It was bigger, and there was a lounge area where people who were waiting to be seated could hang out and order drinks and appetizers. It was a loooong wait till we got a table-- about an hour. Fortunately I called before we arrived, to put our name on the list, but even after we got there we still sat around for a good 45 minutes, waiting.

We met up with the rest of our friends at the Geekhouse, where everyone was getting ready to head out to the beach for the bonfire. It was Golnaz's last one as well, in August she leaves for business school at CUNY. New York City-- niiice. I would LOVE to not only visit it someday, but actually live there for a little while. I love the city, any city-- the bigger the better! :-D

Posted by helly at 1:59 PM PDT
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Thursday, 7 July 2005
Done and Graduated.....
Mood:  celebratory
Topic: Work/School
... more or less ;-)

Wow, almost a whole month with no updates? Gosh, I can hardly remember what I've done this past month... oh yeah, get ready for my Master's project defense, which successfully took place on Tuesday, July 5. It didn't look like very many people were bored to tears, and I didn't have anyone fall asleep, so I consider that a success :-D

So let's backtrack through the month since the last update:

Friday, June 17: dinner with Allan's classmates (yet again!) at the Dutch Gardens restaurant, a German restaurant. Ah, how I missed the schnitzel and potato pancakes!

Saturday, June 18: BBQ at the Geekhouse. Was really nice and laid-back, and the boys managed to grill up some nice eats with their dinky little grills (good thing Golnaz brought hers along). I didn't know what to bring, so I just got some carne asada, beer and strawberries at the grocery store. All in all, delicious food and a good chance to kick back and relax and catch up with friends.

Tuesday, June 21: Summer solstice and girl's night out with pizza-- for the 3rd time in a row since we've started this, one girl was missing. Will we ever get a girls' night out with ALL the girls present?

Friday, June 24: dinner out with the gang (me, Allan, Sara, Jesse, Ingrid, Jason, Ryan, Mike) at Dargan's. Got a chance to try out some Irish food, and ordered a Shepherd's pie-- delicious! They're not big on vegetables, though! The seating ended up being kind of funny-- there were 8 of us, and so we pushed 2 tables together to make a long table, but somehow the guys ended up on end, and the girls on the other-- talk about gender division!

Friday, July 1: met Mom in Oxnard so I could do my urinalysis for Amgen. Got a chance to see Todd for a little while as I ate lunch afterward.

Tuesday, July 5: the big day! As of this date, I officially have an MS degree :-D

Afterward, Allan and I joined the gang for pizza at Gina's, then we drove to LA, crashed for the night, and brought Todd back with us to Santa Barbara for the rest of the week. More details in Todd's weblog... once I get a chance to update THAT as well :)

Posted by helly at 8:00 PM PDT
Updated: Monday, 18 July 2005 2:07 PM PDT
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Saturday, 11 June 2005
El Cielo Party
Mood:  party time!
Topic: R&R
Last night Stefan threw a party at the rooftop (El Cielo) of the new Andalucia Hotel in downtown Santa Barbara.

There were a LOT of people there, the majority of whom I didn't recognize. I saw a few whom I remembered as undergrads when I first arrived at UCSB, all graduated long ago. The "Norwegian group" was also present: Gustavo, Jorgen, Eirik and Christian. Even Bob C. was there, looking different without his usual sidekick pug, Beaulieu :-)

Allan, Bob G. and I went to Ruby's Diner halfway through the party, since we hadn't really eaten before, and by the time we got back at 10:00pm, all our CS friends were there-- Ingrid, Golnaz, Sara, Steve and Matthew. We hung out in the downstairs bar (the rooftop bars closed at 10:00) for a while, where JK and Justin joined us.

We made our way to Elsie's after a while, and had a good time hanging out there. I actually found a beer that I -- surprise, surprise! -- liked! It was a Belgian beer called Stella Artois, and though it was somewhat bitter, I could stand it and managed to down 2 glasses of the stuff while we were at Elsie's. I'm happy to have finally found something I can actually drink at Elsie's, considering that all they serve is beer and wine :-D

It was interesting to see everyone so jolly and drunk, including me, I suppose :-) We ended up staying there until we were kicked out at closing time, 2:00am. Some party-goers made their way to Stefan's house, but Bob and Allan and I decided it was time to call it a night.

Once we got home, it took me about another hour to sober up. Allan fixed me some Ramen noodles, I drank lots of water and we watched Nick at Nite until I was sober enough to go to bed.

All in all it was a pretty fun night. I never did get any pictures taken, too bad :-( And I brought my new bikini on the off-chance that I might hit the jacuzzi at the hotel, but that didn't happen. Still, a good time was had by all, and it was nice to enjoy myself and not have to worry about driving, hehe :-)

Posted by helly at 8:43 PM PDT
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Thursday, 9 June 2005
Mood:  chillin'
Topic: R&R
Today was Allan's lab's party, at a park on Cathedral Oaks and Turnpike. Elizabeth's lab got there early, and the graduates were painting wooden plaques to commemorate their graduation. Elizabeth told us she put them up on the wall, and it reminded me of parents putting up their kindergartners' watercolor painting on the refrigerator door.

The rest of the lab trickled in, and most of the boys tossed around a Nerf football and frisbees. I was initially wearing shorts and a short-sleeve shirt, but the bugs were just about eating me alive, so I had to go home and change into long pants and long sleeves, so I could survive. Just as well, as the day was a little windy and I was getting chilly, especially sitting in the shade.

By the time I got back, everyone was finishing up eating Chinese food that Kevin had brought, and a soccer match promptly ensued. Kevin wasn't "allowed" to play, as he was too competitive, so he sat on the sidelines, pulling loose fur from one of his dogs and throwing it in the wind at the players. Before long, the grass was literally covered in dog fur-- ick! I spent the afternoon petting Flynn, Janet's dog, who was so soft and furry and friendly! :)

Before Allan and I left, Elizabeth wanted to start up a water balloon fight against Kevin-- everyone was on board, but she changed her mind about throwing the first balloon, for fear of retaliation, so nothing actually happened before we went home, darn it. Ah well-- there's always next time, and we have the CS BBQ pics/memories as well :-D

Posted by helly at 12:01 AM PDT
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Thursday, 2 June 2005
Finally starting my blog
Mood:  lazy
Here I am, finally posting an entry into my blog. Been putting off on starting one for the longest time-- haven't even been good about maintaining Todd's baby diary weblog, let alone one of my own! But here we go, and here's my first (placeholder) entry. Will update it with old stuff (backdated, of course) soon....

Posted by helly at 4:08 PM PDT
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Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Sara's MAE
Topic: Work/School
Today I went to Sara's Major Area Exam. First time I'd ever been to one of those. When Allan did his last summer, I was 100 miles away, tending to a 3-week-old baby! :) So I had a pretty good excuse not to attend ;-) The only other time I've ever been to one of these degree-related presentations was Mike's MS thesis defense 2 years ago.

The snacks were terrific-- Sara was a sweetheart and served homemade treats-- lemon bars, chocolate mousse cake and tiramisu! Mmmmmm... :-9

Posted by helly at 12:01 AM PDT
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Monday, 30 May 2005
Lab party
Topic: R&R
Today, Memorial Day, was the annual iLab party at Matthew's house. He lives right at the edge of where Goleta turns into Santa Barbara, in a gated community. And his house was gigantic! Plenty of room for a 4-person family, in fact, I half-expected to see a maid or butler, the house was so big. Well, maybe that was an exaggeration, but it was definitely a big, airy, roomy and beautiful house.

The Turks have a pool table in their dining room, and most of us hung around there all afternoon, playing game after game of pool :-) They also had a trampoline with a surrounding safety net, too bad I didn't get a chance to hop on it :-D

All in all, a nice afternoon. Good food-- especially the desserts, since several of us brought cookies and cakes and whatnot, I was stuffed for the rest of the night!

Posted by helly at 12:01 AM PDT
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Saturday, 28 May 2005
Neat party at the geekhouse
Mood:  party time!
Topic: R&R
Tonight was the neat party at the geekhouse. The premise is basically: everyone brings a bottle of liquor, and then we all sit around and drink the alcohol straight. (I guess calling it a "straight party" makes it sound like it means "not gay party" :-P)

About half the attendees were UCSB people, the other half was Steve and Jason's friends from undergrad. We remained pretty much divided the entire evening :-|

Alcohol straight is too strong for me, so I ended up eating snacks and drinking water. I think I had about two swallows of liquor total all evening. At least there was no question about which of us was driving home!

The evening ended up with a little relaxing in the hot tub, where Allan promptly proved Steve's claim that getting into a hot tub drunk makes you even more inebriated, and where we learned that plastic cigarette lighters dropped into water will float.

Anyway, here's some pictures of the evening's festivities:

Posted by helly at 12:01 AM PDT
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Saturday, 21 May 2005
Todd's first birthday
Mood:  special
Now Playing: any birthday song, of course!
Topic: Family
Todd turned one year old yesterday, so we celebrated his birthday today. More info in his baby diary:

and of course, pictures at:

Posted by helly at 12:01 AM PDT
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