About
"Everybody sees what you appear to be, but few feel what you are."

Machiavelli,
The Prince

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Lauren's Webpage...home of the "Engineer/Troublemaker"


Sunday, October 31, 2004
I should have followed Danís advice and bought Halloween candy that I donít like. Unfortunately the Butterfingers were just too tempting. However, I had quite a few trick-or-treaters tonight so there arenít that many Fun Size candy bars left for me to eat. I canít believe I handed out almost three bags of them. In other news, there are five pictures of Dan and me in our costumes in the ďHalloween 2004Ē section of my photo album. Theyíre all pretty much like the ones I posted earlier, but I thought Iíd make them available anyway. Happy Halloween!
Posted at 10:34 PM, 0 Comments

Happy Halloween! Happy Halloween!
Posted at 12:09 AM, 0 Comments

Thursday, October 28, 2004
Dan and I were at Downtown Disney in Anaheim last night when the Red Sox (correct spelling courtesy of Dave Berman) won the World Series. There was a slightly smaller crowd than two years ago when we were there for Game 7 of the World Series that included the Anaheim Angels. Dan and I ate at ESPN Zone where there were 175 TVs to watch the game, so that made him happy. Then we went to the Disney Store to look at collectible pins, so that made me happy. Unfortunately I didnít find any new pins to add to my Disney lanyard, but the Red Sox made up for it by winning the World Series. Iím just glad Dan and I werenít at the Disney Store scrambling for Halloween costumes like we were two years ago. We did our costume shopping before going to Downtown Disney this year.
Posted at 11:53 PM, 0 Comments

I hadnít intended to write another funny story so soon, but I sat down and finished the latest one in an hour. I call it ďThe Brainless BullyĒ and it is one of my favorite memories from middle school. It also contains one of my favorite quotes so I would doubly recommend that everyone read my newest funny story. Itís posted in my diary and my Livejournal, as usual. I wish I had kept a reliable diary so I would have a record of these events from when they actually happened, but I think I have done a pretty good job recalling them after the fact. Iím really happy with how this latest one turned out. I think that makes this a triple recommendation for you to read it, but thatís just my opinion.
Posted at 3:09 PM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 26, 2004
Yesterday the Mystery Science Theater 3000 volume 6 DVD collection that I ordered from Amazon was delivered, but it wasnít actually released until today. So I was in possession of the new volume before it was supposed to be available. And since I didnít see it at Best Buy when I was there earlier I couldnít have bought it today anyway. Itís too bad my DVD player is still broken or I might actually be able to watch Mystery Science Theater. I passed up buying the new Aladdin and Mulan DVDs today in favor of repairing my DVD player. I canít watch them without getting the DVD player fixed anyway. Plus I still have no money.
Posted at 9:42 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, October 25, 2004
Have you ever seen that show ďWishboneĒ on PBS? Itís a good thing I used to watch it in high school or I wouldnít have passed my AP Language and Composition test. Well, that might be a bit severe, but if I hadnít seen one particular episode I wouldnít have a funny story to tell about the situation. Go read the story in my diary or my Livejournal.
Posted at 11:15 AM, 0 Comments

Sunday, October 24, 2004
I never do a good job of keeping my webpage updated on the weekends. Itís not that interesting things donít happen on the weekends, but I just donít have the inclination to write about those things on the weekends. However, I am in the process of writing a new funny story for my diary that I am hoping to have finished by tomorrow. But before that can happen I need to look up a couple of things so that I have my facts straight. The two items I need more information about are AP classes and the old PBS series ďWishbone.Ē How could those two topics possibly be related? Youíll find out when I finish my story.
Posted at 8:00 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, October 21, 2004
Last night Dan and I watched the conclusion of the greatest comeback in the history of baseball. Because of it the Red Socks earned themselves not only a place in the World Series, but one more viewer (and temporary fan) as well. Considering my disgust with the Braves, I probably wouldnít have watched the upcoming series if it werenít for the limitless determination of the Red Socks. I just hope it lasts through the World Series. While Game 7 of the NLCS is still in progress I donít care who wins since it canít be the Braves. No matter who the winner is, I canít imagine theyíll have the same fanatical support that the Red Socks do at this point. It should be an interesting series.
Posted at 8:07 PM, 0 Comments

Yesterday I finished and posted another funny story in my diary and my Livejournal. This one took place just one year ago, but I know it will be remembered as one of my funniest moments at UCLA. It involves standing on a table. Go read it.
Posted at 7:32 PM, 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 19, 2004
The recent storms in Los Angeles have temporarily cleared the air of smog and made the view absolutely beautiful. As I was walking home from the bank this afternoon I noticed that Catalina Island, which is rarely discernable from the mainland, was easily visible from the Seal Beach Pier so I ran home to get my camera and take a picture. I ended up taking forty-two pictures. Even though the sky was full of grey storm clouds I thought the view was lovely. I forgot to bring a rubber band with me so my hair was a mess and my ears were aching from the cold wind when I got home, but it was worth it. It isnít often that the air is clear in LA and you have to take advantage of it. I posted the pictures in the ďSeal Beach 10/19/04Ē section of my photo album, but here is a sample of what I saw.

Catalina Island outline on the horizon
Catalina Island southern tip
Long Beach harbor
Los Angeles shipping lanes
Seal Beach homes
My apartment building
Posted at 7:47 PM, 0 Comments

Why does everyone always underestimate the length of a baseball game? I wrote this sentence in my notebook on Sunday, but after the last two ALCS games I think I can understand why. There were eight extra innings between them that no one planned on, almost enough for another whole game, and Iím sure the Fox ratings improved because of them. No one changes the channel when the game is exciting, especially when the outcome of the post-season series is on the line. As a baseball fan I understand that when your favorite team is playing a long game is not a bad thing, but when you want to watch something else itís very annoying. As soon as the Braves were eliminated this year I stopped caring who wins any of the subsequent games. But I find myself rooting for the Red Socks every time they manage to tie a game that will send them home if they lose. Iíll probably watch Game 6 tonight just to see if they can save themselves from elimination again.
Posted at 3:43 PM, 0 Comments

This post was started on Sunday, finished on Tuesday:
At 2:30 AM I was awakened by the sound of water pouring off the roof of my building onto the sidewalk below. It was very noisy and since I was a bit groggy it took me awhile to realize that it was caused by rain. Even though I had seen a weather forecast predicting rain the night before I couldnít believe that it was actually happening. Rain is very rare in Los Angeles and always causes problems, but I went back to sleep without a second thought. Two hours later I was awake again. I went to bed last night at 7 PM so at 4:30 AM, after I had slept for more than eight hours, I woke up and couldnít go back to sleep. Instead I got up and finished a cross stitch Christmas ornament Iíve been working on this week. As I said in a previous post, Christmas can never come early enough for me. And itís a good thing too because I need plenty of time to get these cross stitch ornaments done.
Posted at 3:41 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, October 14, 2004
I saved $27.93 yesterday by checking out four books at the library instead of buying them. Two of the books were requested from other libraries so that cost me fifty cents, but the net savings was still the aforementioned $27.93. I love it. Besides saving money, not buying these books keeps me from owning books Iím not sure Iíll like and overstuffing my bookshelf. Plus I have more money to buy furniture for my apartment. Yesterday I went to Ikea and finally found the bedside tables that I have been looking for since I moved in a month and a half ago. That was just before the wheel fell off my incredibly noisy cart in the middle of the deserted warehouse. However, getting grease all over my hands trying to fix it didnít diminish my delight at finding the bedside tables one bit. I just had to find an employee to help me put everything onto a cart with four functional wheels. Thankfully the new cart was much quieter so fewer people stared when I walked by.

Speaking of spending, Christmas can never come early enough for me and apparently the retail industry feels the same way. This is helpful since I start shopping for presents and decorations sometime in September. Yesterday I bought Christmas ornaments at Kmart, Hallmark, and Ikea. My little three-foot artificial tree is going to be the best dressed in town. Especially since I found a cute angel tree topper at Kmart too. I have taken up cross stitch with a vengeance again also. Last year I only finished two ornaments for other people and this year I am hoping to have more to give as presents. Plus one for my own tree. Each one looks better than the last so hopefully one day Iíll be able to cross stitch Christmas stockings for my kids. Until then Iíll keep practicing on the ornaments.
Posted at 11:12 PM, 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 13, 2004
I guess I canít say this without some bias, but if I was undecided before the third Presidential Debate Senator Kerry would have convinced me to vote for him. Unfortunately I was half asleep when I scribbled this sentence on a sheet of paper so I donít remember exactly why. I was really tired when the debate started tonight so I closed my eyes and listened to it like it was on the radio. Of course it was inevitable that I fell asleep after while, but I probably heard about half of the debate before I did. While I disagreed with a few points that Kerry made during that time, in general I was very impressed with the way he expressed his opinions. I had already decided to vote for Kerry next month, but the debate tonight reminded me exactly why.
Posted at 10:52 PM, 0 Comments

Thinking about this yearís disappointing post-season for the Braves reminded me of one that was much more positive. It also gave me an idea for the second funny story to post in my diary. In 1995 the Braves won the World Series and I recall exactly what I was doing during that last game. It was an amusing situation. Check out the story for more details.
Posted at 1:50 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, October 11, 2004
Iím ashamed to be a Braves fan. I thought I had gotten used to their poor post-season performance, but every year Iím more disappointing than the last. Iíve contemplated changing my loyalty for the past two years, but I havenít had the heart to actually do it. I keep hoping that next year will be different, but it never is. In a 10.22.01 post I wrote, ďWhen you're a Braves fan you have gotten used to Ďalmostí by now,Ē but this year was a Ďnot even closeí instead. I guess we have to get used to those too. Deep down I know Iíll never give up on another World Series for the Braves, but Iím starting to lose faith that it will be anytime soon.
Posted at 11:35 PM, 0 Comments

Itís an understatement to say that my diary has been neglected lately, but that is no longer the case. For a long time Iíve been meaning to write a series of funny stories from my own experience to post on my webpage, like a postdated diary. My life isnít currently interesting enough to keep my internet diary full so these old stories will give me something else to post there instead. So yesterday when I remembered something silly from high school I finally got around to writing the first story. I call it ďThe Cotillion Next DoorĒ and I posted it in my diary as well as my Livejournal. I have a very old memo on my Palm Pilot with a list of funny stories I intended to write one day so maybe Iíll finally do just that.
Posted at 8:24 AM, 0 Comments

Saturday, October 09, 2004
ďLily and James were very busy young adults: they finished school, found time to defy Voldemort three times, had a child and were dead by the time Harry was 15 months old and they were 22.Ē
The Leaky Cauldron comment


Because of all the recent Harry Potter rumors I pulled out my copy of Order of the Phoenix last night to reread the prophesy and noticed that the pages have dirty fingerprints all over them. It looks like I had newsprint on my hands the last time I was reading it. I wonder how long it will be before I can get my grubby hands on a new Harry Potter book? Just another cause for speculation. And in case you havenít heard enough about my reading habits, Iíve added a script from my All Consuming account that displays the book I am currently reading. Iíll do my best to keep it up to date so that I can avoid mentioning my current reading material so often in regular updates. It canít be that interesting to anyone but me.
Posted at 6:50 AM, 0 Comments

Friday, October 08, 2004
IíM GETTING PAID! While my residence classification appeal was denied I am still going to get paid for my research work in August and September. This is a relief because I wouldnít have been able to pay my rent next month without those two paychecks. Even though Iím going to have some money again I am going to limit myself to one nonessential purchase before I start my job at Boeing. That purchase is going to be a piece of furniture from Ikea that Iíll use as a desk for my laptop and for storage. (Itís technically a TV stand, but thatís not how Iím going to use it. In fact, my current TV stand is actually an Ikea coffee table from the same furniture series.) I have several boxes on the floor in my living room that I have yet to unpack, but maybe soon Iíll have a place for their contents to go. However, I am going to hold on to the rest of the money I receive from UCLA in order to avoid a repeat of my current financial situation. Iím going to become a regular at the Seal Beach Library.
Posted at 8:48 PM, 0 Comments

Thoughts from the second Presidential Debate:
1) After watching the first two debates Iíve concluded that the most important skill for a politician is the ability to keep your mouth shut when your opponent is attacking your platform, your actions, and your character. It would certainly be the most difficult thing for me to do.
2) I think tax cuts are a mistake. The government needs money, especially when we are at war, and the majority of it comes from taxes. I remember shaking my head when the first President Bush spoke the infamous ďRead my lips, no new taxesĒ because I knew heíd never be able to carry it out. I guess this is one of the issues where I disagree with Kerry.
3) Reminding the American public that the current President Bush squandered the budget surplus that existed when he came into office and put us back into debt during his term is probably an effective way to sway undecided voters.
4) Sometimes I want to answer an allegation myself. I think often an average American can sum up a candidateís intent better than he can. Itís no secret that Kerry disapproves of the war in Iraq and that has caused Bush to speculate how the war will proceed if his opponent is elected. At this point Iraq is a mess that needs to be cleaned up. The way Bush talks youíd think Kerry would suddenly pull all of the troops out of Iraq just to uphold his disapproval if he were president. Thatís ridiculous. Kerry knows that the mess canít be ignored Ė it needs to be cleaned up no matter who made it.
Posted at 8:18 PM, 0 Comments

Thursday, October 07, 2004
I came across the phrase ďvarious kinds of stupidĒ in a book I finished the other night and it made me laugh. It was introduced on the last page while the rest of the book was written in a fairly sophisticated manner so it stood out more than it would have otherwise. Unfortunately this witty quote makes me want to read the newly-released sequel all the more, but I had to put it on hold at the library since all of the copies have been checked out. Itís going to be awhile before I can read it, though, because the book is on order and there are nine other people ahead of me on the wait list. I was able to pick up one of the books I had one hold at the library today, though. It cost a quarter to request it from a different branch, but I think my budget can cover that.
Posted at 8:02 PM, 0 Comments

Monday, October 04, 2004
Jimís groomsmen, with Dan in the center looking incredibly handsome


This is the only picture I took at Jim and Melissaís wedding last night, but I thought Iíd post it here anyway. Click on the picture to see a larger version of this photo of the groomsmen. It may load slowly because of the size and format, but the high resolution of the TIF image is worth it. Iíll try to get some more pictures from other guests to put in my photo album.
Posted at 6:17 PM, 0 Comments

I just figured out how to place books on hold via the Orange County Public Library website. Be very afraid. Iíve only got three on hold so far, but that wonít last. Pretty soon my whole Amazon wish list is gonna be on there. But Iím not sorry that I bought the book I have been desperately wanting at Borders on Saturday. There was no way I was gonna to wait to read it and that coupon wasnít making me any more patient. Nope. Not sorry.
Posted at 10:06 AM, 0 Comments

Friday, October 01, 2004
ďReaders, you must know that an interesting fate (sometimes involving rats, sometimes not) awaits almost everyone, mouse or man, who does not conform.Ē
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo


I just found a 20% coupon online for Borders. Itís going to be really hard to keep myself from using it to buy another book. I checked out two books from the Seal Beach library on Wednesday so that saved me some money, but there are still more that I would like to get my hands on. To me, physically holding a book is as potent an experience as reading it. For the time being (until I get a paycheck) Iíll have to settle for more trips to the library. Now that I have an Orange County Library card I can put popular books that are all checked out on hold. But somehow itís just not the same.
Posted at 1:44 PM, 0 Comments

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