Archive for the ‘Trips’ Category

Massive Life Changes

Friday, July 19th, 2019

Oh man, where to start? My last post was about pumpkins back in October, which was nine months ago. A major life event has happened since then, so let me fill you.

Most of the people who are likely to ever come across this ancient and oft-neglected blog will already know this, but I’ve left the Walt Disney Company and the whole family and I have moved to Portland, Oregon! Yes, we are back in the great Pacific Northwest once again! So long California, you’ve been great! Oregon, it’s nice to be back!

So, what brought all this about? Well, last summer Megs got let go from yet another lawyer job in Los Angeles, which makes twice in 2018. That was so disheartening that we took an impromptu road trip to Oregon the very next day. We quickly asked Kim to look after the cat, checked with friends and family up north, and hit the road! Maverick the dog came with us this time, and our route took us through San Francisco where we stayed a night with Jacques, Hanh, and Ellie. We got to see their new house and how much Ellie has grown! The next day we were off to Bend, OR, where we stayed two nights with Chris, Megan, and Hazel. Bend is a lovely town, if a little removed from the big city life. After that we drove to Sandy, OR, where Megs’ folks live about half an hour outside of Portland. We stayed the next week there, visiting with friends and family, seeing the sights, and generally falling in love with Oregon all over again.

The long and short of all this, is that somewhere in this trip we decided to actually move back to Oregon for real, not just talk about it like we’ve been doing for years. And thus vague plans began, with the promise to each other to make serious plans starting in early 2019. Well, 2019 came around and in February I started applying for jobs in Portland. I was cruising LinkedIn and saw a bunch of Software Engineer postings for a company called “New Relic”. I also saw that a friend of mine worked there, so I hit her up and asked if it was a good place to work, to which she replied in the strong affirmative! So I applied for six Senior Software Engineer jobs there on a Monday afternoon, and within a day I heard back from them to set up a screening call within another day! That Friday I had a video interview with an Engineering Manager, and the following Wednesday they said they were going to fly me up to Portland for an on-site interview the next Monday! To recap, I’d gone from applying online to an on-site interview in two weeks, which was much faster than I’d expected! Anyways, long story short (too late!) I flew up to Portland, had great interviews with a half dozen people, and by the end of the week I had a job offer! I gave my two-weeks notice at Disney and then the cat was out of the bag!

After getting a new job, everything was set into motion. We had to tell our awful landlord we were ending our lease two weeks early, and of course he had us pay out the rest of it and tried to stiff us on our security deposit–that’s another story, but it’s fine, whatever. We had to arrange movers, Megs gave notice at her job, we had to pack, we had to arrange with Megs’ folks to have us live there for a bit when we first landed, we had to arrange driving and drivers, etc. Lots to do and suddenly very little time to do it! We’d started this adventure in July 2018, and now we had four weeks to get to Portland, because I started work on April 29th and it was now the beginning of April!

I arranged for one of those PODS moving thingies, so I hired movers to just pack our stuff. Two problems there: one, the PODS people grossly overestimated how much stuff their biggest POD will hold! We ended up leaving a buncha stuff in L.A. due to lack of space. Second problem, movers/packers don’t know your stuff. Their jobs is to put all your stuff in boxes as fast as possible. We had each plate wrapped in many layers of paper. We had loaves of bread packed. Honest-to-God trash packed. It was a mess, and very expensive. As much as it sucks, you gotta pack your own stuff, guys. You’re the only ones who knows what you need and what you don’t.

PODS storage container
We had to put all our worldly possessions into this thing.

Anyways, we got our stuff (mostly) packed, and the next day we hit the road! Megs’ mom had come down to help, so it was Megs, her mom, and Maverick in Megs’ car, and me, Kim, Sammy, and the cat in mine. We caught a lucky break the previous weekend (Easter) when we went down to Long Beach for Easter at Grandpa’s, but we visited our friends Kyle and Liz at their place nearby. Kyle’s folks happened to be there, and they happen to live up in Redding, which happens to be about half way to Portland from Los Angeles. They kindly offered their home as a mid-trip stopover, and when we got there after a very long day that started with the tail end of packing, and ended with 10 hours in the car, it was a glorious oasis! So nice to not have to stay in a hotel and deal with the dog, cat, and kid there. Our eternal thanks to them for being a shining light in an otherwise fairly stressful time.

We rolled into Sandy, OR around sunset on April 24th. We were so tired, but Megs’ dad had already got the rooms ready for us, so we could just crash. It was great to be back in Oregon!

I’ll post more about the new job, our security deposit, and our current lodgings in a future post. This one is long enough, but stay tuned–there’s more story to tell!

Paternity Leave: Day 21

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Last night I didn’t get to sleep until after 4 a.m., so Megan was kind enough to let me sleep in this morning. It wasn’t Sam that kept me up, just general insomnia. Still, Sammy slept great—until about 10:30 or so! Regardless, 80% of the family went on an adventure today!

While leaving Isis to guard the fort, Megs, Sammy, Maverick, and I all headed out to Vasquez Rocks to get some pictures. It was time to present Samantha to the world:

Lion King photo

♪♪ Nants ingonyamaaaaa!!! ♪♪

Other pictures are here:

Vasquez Rocks

A grand adventure! I even wore pants and shoes with laces, since I knew I’d be climbing on rocks and stuff.

In the evening we had dinner and watched the season 8 premiere of Doctor Who with a new Doctor in Peter Capaldi. All-in-all I like him as the Doctor, but Tennant is still my guy. We’ll see how this season unfolds.

Facebook Dump

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

I finally got the Facebook “download-your-data” thing to work, so here’s a compilation of what I’ve been up to for the past few months.

  • Venture Bros was renewed! I’m pretty happy about this, as it’s one of my favorite shows on TV.
  • I made a QR code for my contact information
  • I saw some ducks at work.
  • I went to a Marian Call house concert in Encino
  • Saw Paul & Storm at the Largo Theater
  • I fixed the power supply on Megs’ laptop
  • Caught “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” on TV
  • Got sunburned
  • This girl is my hero
  • Went to a sushi party at other Chris & Megan’s
  • Went ballroom dancing for Anna’s birthday and totally saw Bill Nye the Science Guy cutting a rug!
  • Went to Disneyland three more times over the course of six weeks
  • Played and completed Portal 2
  • Went to mom’s place in the mountains for Easter
  • Discovered “Nyan Cat
  • Osama bin Laden was killed
  • Found a new obnoxious font
  • Had drinks on the roof of a building downtown
  • Saw the movie “Thor”. It was all right.
  • Watched some more “Doctor Who” episodes. Still not current.
  • Went to a Memorial Day BBQ at Kim’s place
  • Went to a couple of awesome parties in Reseda 😉
  • Went to Rachelle and Geoff’s wedding in upstate New York
  • Once again, went to E3 downtown.
  • Learned how to drive a fork lift.
  • Megan got her degree from law school!
  • Caught a cold. Still suffering from it as I write this. 🙁

Pictures from NY

Friday, June 10th, 2011

Here are the pictures from last weekend’s trip to upstate New York for Geoff and Rachelle’s wedding. Everyone had a lovely time, and I told Kim I’d use the pic of her goofy face for the album cover of the rehearsal dinner, and so I have.

Rachelle & Geoff's rehearsal dinner
Geoff & Rachelle's Wedding

Going to NY

Tuesday, May 31st, 2011

Tomorrow night, I’m catching the red-eye to Saratoga Springs, NY for Rachelle’s wedding. First time I’ve been to the east coast in a long time. Looking forward to it.

I would have had a longer post; I had a great idea to take all my recent Facebook posts and turn them into a blog post. However, Facebook’s download-information-thingy seems to be busted. I keep trying to download, and it keeps saying it’s being prepared, but I never get the email from FB saying it’s ready. Oh well.

I’ll see if I can manually go back through my past posts and grab stuff, but that sounds like work. Also, I got a plane to catch. Maybe they’ll have wifi on the flight.

Rocktoberfest VIII and w00tstock 2.6

Sunday, October 31st, 2010

First off, HAPPY HALLOWEEN EVERYONE!!! OK, now that that’s out of the way, let’s see what Chris has been up to lately.

Last Wednesday was the variety nerd-fest w00stock 2.6, and it was a hell of a lotta fun! I took pictures and posted them here:

w00tstock

Last weekend was Rocktoberfest VIII, which is basically an epic house party celebrating rock music, BBQ, beer, and good friends. Started with Matt C. and a few friends in Eugene eight years ago, and has continued annually ever since. This year, the gathering was held at Badier’s house up in SF. I took some pictures, but will NOT be posting them here. 🙂 Had to be there, sorry.

In other news, we’ve had a few house guests over the last month or so: Badier, Kelly, Kim, Annie, and Matt B. The ever-popular Hotel Brunner, North Hollywood! Great seeing folks.

Yesterday was Megs’ birthday, and we saw the movie “RED” and then went to a nice Japanese restaurant overlooking Hollywood. Very nice!

Tonight we’re planning on watching some Halloween-themed movies with friends. Good times.

Portland Weddings

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Got back from vacation earlier this week and I just now got all my photos uploaded. Got four sets, the first is general stuff taken with my iPhone:

Portland Aug 2010

Next is Matt’s bachelor party, which was held at a rented house in Lincoln Beach, OR right on the coast. We drank beer, BBQ’d meat, and stayed up way past our bedtimes. Good times:

Matt Chorpenning's Bachelor Party

Now the main event, the reason we went up there in the first place: Matt & Anna’s wedding!

Matt and Anna's Wedding

Lastly, Maomao wanted to have her “American-style” wedding while Anna’s family was still in town, so she had her wedding the next day at a lovely boutique hotel in Portland:

Maomao's Wedding

Whew! What a trip! Congrats, you guys! May you have long and happy lives!

Last-Minute July Post

Friday, July 30th, 2010

I made a promise to myself that if I ever missed a month in posting here, then that’d be the end of the blog. I’m not quite ready to close up shop yet, so here’s July 2010!

Tomorrow morning Megs and I catch a train (yes, TRAIN) north for Portland, Oregon. We’re going up for Matt C. and Anna L.’s wedding, which should be a blast. The reason we’re taking the train is because we had such a nice time on our last train journey, we wanted to do it again! Expect various pictures to be posted over the course of our journey; probably on Facebook and/or Twitter. There may even be free Wi-Fi access on the train itself!

In other news, Megs just finished her second-to-last term of law school the other day. One more to go! So close, we can almost taste it…

I’m still totally digging on my iPhone; it’s magical! I love it! The screen is so pretty and it does so many neat things! Megs hates when I call it “magical”, which I why I never miss a chance to say so. 🙂

Lastly, here’s an awesome drawing by someone on DeviantArt of the various Disney Princesses “posing” for a picture:

"Smile for the Camera" by Bri Chan

Another Summer

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

Another summer quickly approaches; a time for long sunny days and uncomfortably warm nights. Once again, Megs and I will be tempted to buy a free-standing A/C unit for the bedroom as we are every summer, but as usual we’ll likely not do so. Maybe this summer we’ll check out the pool on the roof of Jacques’ place.

Some upcoming events for life:

  • This is happening and Megs, Jacques, Hanh and I are going to see it. I mean how could we not attend an event called “The Thrilling Adventure and Supernatural Suspense Hour”? With special guest Nathan Fillion!
  • E3 is coming up week after next. Always a tiring experience
  • Matt & Anna’s wedding up in Portland this August. Megs and I are going to be taking the train, which is a fun little adventure in itself.
  • I desperately want to get to a forest and camp with a camp fire at some point. Any advice on locations an hour or two from The Valley?

That’s all I got for now. Megs is still finishing up a few classes in law school, and I’m still working for Disney. Oh, and we’ve both been playing a lot of the Starcraft 2 beta. The cat is well and our friends are awesome. I’ll try to write here more often.

Zerg Rush chess

Some of you will get this joke

Christmas 2009

Monday, December 28th, 2009

This year, Megs and I decided not to travel far for Christmas, so instead we stayed in the greater LA area and visited mom up in the mountains and then the various relatives down in Long Beach. A great time was had by all, as well as great food. Enjoy the pictures!

Christmas 2009