nyankoframe: (I rock.)
I haven't posted in a while - more than 2 months. Part of that is because I haven't been good about remembering to update, but it's also because of being quite busy )

I'm leaving on a week-long vacation tonight, which will take me to Chicago, Peoria and St. Louis:

- I'll be meeting [livejournal.com profile] tanyad in Chicago and hanging out with her. While I'm there, I need to try some authentic Chicago pizza (sorry [livejournal.com profile] testing4l, but Pizz'a Chicago in San Jose is probably not the real thing) and check out the city - would you believe I've never been to Chicago before, even thouigh I've passed through O'Hare several times?
- On Friday afternoon, I'll be driving down to Peoria for the Old-Time Piano Playing Contest. It's my first time taking part, and I am a bit nervous about it, particularly since I'll have to play all my contest entries from memory! Fortunately, most of them aren't a problem since they're ragtime pieces I'm familiar with - the only one that might be difficult is Gershwin's "Someone to Watch Over Me", which is the required non-ragtime entry. The other pieces I'm performing are "Queen of Love" by Charles Hunter (who is probably more known for "Tickled to Death"), "Kitten on the Keys" by Zez Confrey, and "Swipesy Cake Walk", "Peacherine Rag" and "Maple Leaf Rag" by Scott Joplin.
- I'm meeting a friend in Carbondale on Monday, and will head back to Chicago to arrive on Monday evening. The reason is...]
- I will be taking a train to St. Louis! It's the first time I've taken a train since I took the Acela in 2007 (from Boston to New York), and it'll be nice to enjoy the countryside without having to deal with traffic or rest stops. :D
- I'll be spending an evening in St. Louis and have several places in mind to visit (thanks to some suggestions from [livejournal.com profile] reannon) before I fly out the next morning.

I'm going to miss Belle and Lillian, but I have a cat-sitter coming over to feed and play with them daily, so I hope they won't be too miffed when I return. Speaking of Lillian, I uploaded some new pictures on Flickr of her on the harness - she seems to like it more than she used to!

People and places I want to visit this year:
- [livejournal.com profile] samurai_ko and her hubby will be moving to Seattle, so I will definitely need to visit them more often.
- [livejournal.com profile] saraphina_marie and [livejournal.com profile] reannon - the best way to meet both of them would probably be at a con, but I also have an invitation to have breakfast with [livejournal.com profile] saraphina_marie at a Pfunky Griddle in Nashville. This makes me happy. :D
- I might drive to Vancouver to visit my aunts- I've been putting it off for the last 3 years, for no reason in particular, but this year is as good as any.

I'm really looking forward to the rest of this year!
nyankoframe: (Default)
Today started with me finally being able to eat a cereal from the selection at the hotel I was staying at that wasn't too sweet. ^^;; I also got to see quite a bit more of Flagstaff, since I walked about 2 and a half miles to the Amtrak station where the shuttle pick-up point was. Brunch was courtesy of Late for the Train (which was about two blocks north of the train station in downtown Flagstaff). Incidentally, did I mention that that chain has an awesome name? :D

The trip back to Phoenix was much smoother than the trip to Flagstaff. XD For one thing, we were able to finally take I-17, and although there were some jams and an accident (involving a van that was transporting horses which got stuck, and the horses had to be moved), I was able to make it to Sky Harbor (the airport in Phoenix) in 3 hours.

It was also interesting because the other two passengers in the van were discussing something I at least knew a bit about - NAFTA, and how a new "open borders" policy with Mexico had taken effect on September 1st, resulting in trucks from Mexico being able to enter the US without having to undergo inspections/customs (according to one of the people in the conversation), and how the US was building a 12-lane highway that went directly to Canada (without any on/off ramps) for these trucks to use. There was also some talk of a North American Union similar to the EU, which would have a common currency across Canada, the US and Mexico as well as open borders and common security/trade policies. All of these things sound really fascinating and I really should get a subscription to the Economist or find out more about what's happening...

The other unexpectedly good stroke of luck was that the screening line at Terminal 4 went by very quickly unlike the one at Sea-Tac and I was able to make it to my flight without any danger of being offloaded or put on standby for a later flight, since it was full. The flight itself was uneventful and nothing happened while I was away - my apartment was still the same way it was when I got back.

I wonder what happened at work while I was gone, though. :P
nyankoframe: (Default)
I got a new phone (a Treo 750) from Cingular the new AT&T, and it came with a new number too as well as a voice and data plan. No more prepaid cards for a while! ^^;;

If you'd like to get my new number, feel free to leave a comment (comments are screened) with some way of contacting you if I don't already have/know that.
nyankoframe: (Default)
I'll be in San Jose (in California) from May 25th (tomorrow afternoon) to 28th to spend some time with [livejournal.com profile] testing4l and company.

There will hopefully be much kitty-time. :D

I need to pack, but I'll do that before going to work tomorrow morning.
nyankoframe: (Default)
Besides the # entries/comments received/posted meme which I did a few entries back, here are some others that I thought of:

- How prolific are you at commenting? (# comments posted/received) If this number is greater than one, then you give more than you get. If not, then the reverse is true. :P

In my case (as of today), I've posted 1,978 comments and received 1,722, so that works out to a ratio of 1.149 comments posted for each comment received. I guess this means I give a lot? ^^;;;

How many tags do you have and how often do you use them? )

And cats has only been used as a tag 17 times. That needs to change and I hope it will. ^^;;

Sorry for all the spam today~
nyankoframe: (Default)
This afternoon (after my previous entry), I went to get a suit tailored for myself using the money my aunt gave me. The suit cost $750 (originally $850) from Justmen, which is slightly expensive, but the material is suited for colder climates and is a much better fit (because it's tailored) than any off-the-rack suit. It even includes some provisions for "expansion" ^^;;; And it should be ready by Wednesday morning~

After that, I finally bought a good laptop bag; not branded like Eminent or Samsonite, or even Targus, but the BHPC (Beverly Hills Polo Club) which is the same brand as my suitcase too brand for $78 (originally $89) at Sim Lim. It was quite interesting at the shop I went to because the person there recognized me from when I'd gone there 3 weeks earlier with my cousin and we had quite a friendly conversation while I bought the bag and afterwards as well. :) The funny thing though is that when I'd gone to that shop last week to look at suitcases, I'd got a completely different reaction from the person there that day that put me off the shop. I suppose the fact that I was wearing a long-sleeved shirt and shoes probably made a difference. :P

And... Things are going to be really busy this weekend, possibly including some violent unexpected surprises. ^^;;
nyankoframe: (Default)
After a hiatus of a few months, I decided to play some old rags which I'd neglected for a while: Kitten on the Keys, Peacherine Rag and Ragtime Nightingale.

It was somewhat harder than I thought, and my fingers were at first unused to some of the jumps required. But after the first time, it got better and I was able to play them almost at the same level/standard as before.

And amazingly enough, playing Kitten on the Keys no longer makes my elbows ache tremendously! Perhaps that's a side effect of learning the Seabiscuits and Graceful Ghost rags, or maybe all the arm manipulation involved in practicing Bamboula, but it means that I can now play the piece faster without having to suffer for it afterwards. ^_^;;

I don't feel comfortable enough with any of them to make any public recordings yet (and since my piano's unlikely to get tuned unless I pay for it, who knows?) but perhaps in the future I may.

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