Monthly Archives: January 2007

Catching Up

Catching Up

Dayum! Friday already! I’m so thankful, because my geriatric boring self needs to recover from the week. Shit man, price quotes and product research at work… it’s driving me nuts and with a gazillion goddamn different gas sensors, I can’t frickin’ decide on a system for the lab. Fucking a.

But the good news is, I met with the CEO. He wants me to go full time and take on two new areas: establish and training certification program and develop product brochures/marketing materials. I mean, given my New Year’s Resolution that work is just work, it’s hard for me to get excited about this kind of thing, but that said, I think it’s a good venue for my development. I’ll get to do plenty of writing and maybe a bit less ass-riding. I mean, I’ll still have to do that field trial coordination but at least I’ll have other stuff to balance it out. Also, I get to sit in on all the engineering meetings so there’s no disconnect between the sales/marketing team (I know, can you believe that’s where I am in the org chart? The stigma is real!) and the engineering team. I love my fellow engineers, and in fact, this group of nerds is the least geeky I’ve encountered. Seriously, they are surprisingly cool. Got their shit together PLUS they are funny and active and just balanced like you wouldn’t believe. I gotta say, it’s very different from the set of engineers I’ve met at John’s work. Those dudes… my god. They talk fluid dynamics and shit at lunch! Bernoulli’s equation and shit. I’m not kidding!

Anyway, I’m meeting with the boss on Monday to state my desired salary given the larger responsibilities. He tries to play like he doesn’t engage in the game, but whatever, he’s a business, MBA type. All MBA types play the game.

In other news, I went to the local climate action group meeting last night. Earlier this month, my letter to the editor actually published. Ha, ha. I have to give some credit to Sierra Club for helpful language. Also, the paper edited a line, and totally changed the meaning of my sentence, so that kind of irked me but whatever. Not like it’s the Washington Post or anything: just a local daily. We also apparently have a blog to which I will contribute, maybe a time or two per week. The group is an interesting mix. I think I’m the youngest one there, so it’s a little serious but the leader of our group rocks. I go to the meetings just to watch how he facilitates group discussions. He’s a joy to watch. Plus he’s ultra organized– I know, traits like that get me every time. I’m just a dork that way.

Oh, for those of you who have me on RSS, I changed the blog template a few days ago. Got sick of the old look, so I jumped on the polka-dot bandwagon. Threw in my Yelp sidebar as well.

Ok well I had big grand plans for tonight, but Bubbey’s not home and I’m beat. I’m thinking of taking myself to a roller skating rink tomorrow before Bubbey flies in. Don’t think he’d be interested. It’s too bad I really have no friends. No I have to just go alone to the rink. Oh well, could be fun still. We’ll see if I cop out.

Triumphant at Last!

Triumphant at Last!

The new year just hadn’t been going right for me. With all my ongoing feuds, I was beginning to wonder if there was something wrong with me. Perhaps I had been a real bitch in my earlier life? I dunno… what was up with all the bad karma?

You see, after sitting through another insufferable morning commute, watching all the peeps whiz by in the HOV lane, I was pushed right over my breaking point. Enough was enough with this goddamn HOV sticker! Where the hell was it? The check cashed BEFORE Christmas. To make matters worse, on Hybridcars.com, I found loads of people had gotten their magic passes. When did they buy? In January, for crying out loud! Wtf? I wasn’t going to take this bullshit any longer.

Since no one in the special processing unit ever answers the fucking phone, I had to dig up a fax number, any goddamn fax number for the DMV. I finally forced my foot in the door with a letter to the special processing unit manager, delivered via the DMV Media Relations department. Aw yeah, baby! Can’t escape my wrath, especially when you tick me off beyond belief. So I faxed and I emailed. Whatdya know? People actually give a shit in media relations. I got an email this morning. Even though I was told there was no way to check the status of my sticker, Mario responded with some actual information. My application was approved January 3. Stickers shipped to old address. Oddly, I was living at that old address up until January 13, and I had checked mail at both places up until January 21. Monkey business. I explained this to Mario, and he said DMV mail would not get forwarded. How fucked is that? I’ll get all my junk mail forwarded, but not the most important mail! His suggestion? RE-fucking-APPLY! Can you believe the nerve? And then my application goes back into the processing queue. So I jumped through the damn hoops again, and sent off application number 2.

Well I guess the earthly forces were feeling my pain… either that or my coworkers were getting sick of hearing my bitchings. The damn stickers FINALLY came in the mail today. They were postmarked January 7 then again January 17, and they WERE forwarded to the new address. Whatever, all technicalities that you probably don’t want to hear about, but hey, I’m a mystery solver like that. I like the facts. So now I wonder, should I let them process application number 2? Maybe I’ll get a second set of stickers…. hmmm. Man, I stuck those things on so damn fast. Can’t wait to time the commute tomorrow morning. Speed Racer in da house now!

In other news, I discovered ants in my bathroom. Second floor, mind you. Hearty lil’ bastards. I tried the baby powder option. Supposedly the talcum powder will halt their breathing. Yeah, mother fuckers, DIE!

Oh, I need to share with you my latest tip. Graphite powder. That shit is the bomb! Our keys to the new place were sticking like crazy. I’m telling you, these days I’m on a super short fuse. And after sitting in slow traffic coming home, I just want to walk in the door and not have to struggle for five minutes to get the damn key out, you know? Is that really so much to ask? Seriously. So fortunately, the listing agent brought by this bottle of magic dust. Poof, poof into the keyhole. And now the keys slip in and out. Aren’t you impressed? I definitely was!

Ok well Bubbey’s on business in Portland this week, so I’m loading up on Chinese/HK films. Watching Takeshi tonight!

Getting Worked Up

Getting Worked Up

Thank goodness, I was able to work from home on Friday. I had to make vendor calls in the morning, but hey, working at home is always better than working at the office. No offense to my office mates; I just prefer my home setup, with the windows, natural light, and doggies.

Around lunch time, Fonda invited me over for food. Indonesian pork satay and cabbage fritters. Always tasty at Fonda’s house. She showed me her latest shopping conquests– a huge butt-ugly denim LV bag plus tons of goodies from A|X, 9 West, etc. God, that woman seriously NEVER tires of shopping. She’s so funny though: she was saying it was good that I was working because I don’t like cooking, decorating, or shopping. I totally agree. I prefer working to those things. I know, I’m a bore that way.

So Friday early evening, I had my “initial inspection” at Archstone. The manager came, and my god, I was so pissed. First, he was 30 minutes late. Then, he had the nerve to say they would charge me for professional steam cleaning of the carpets PLUS apartment cleaning. Nevermind that I had already spent several hours wiping shit down. Now, granted the place is not in “move-in” condition, but puhlease. That’s why they have the cleaning staff. I have lived in… let’s see… 5 apartments. I’ve always cleaned to this level, and I’ve NEVER lost money from the security deposit. But he gave me some bullshit about Archstone being a corporate place that had higher standards. My fucking ass! If Archstone had higher standards, maybe the company should invest in employees who actually read the rental files and demonstrate basic customer service skills (like returning phone calls). Whatever, John just wants out. So I said to just go ahead and do all the cleaning and send me the exact invoice. However, this evening, I went over the lease again and it says that the place has to be “broom-clean” and any spackling and painting of marks needs to be approved in writing by the Landlord. So I’m going to just turn in the keys and they can take my $99 deposit. When he comes back asking for more, I’m going to send in that paragraph and take it up with Archstone corporate because this is a total scam. It’s not even about the extra $100; it’s the principle of not letting these assholes get away with scamming people. That’s is what they are trying to do: first with the mail key replacement charge, now with the security deposit. Anyway, getting worked up by these chumps.

In other news, IBM sent more work my way. I finally have my “recording studio” set up. I got the built-in mic for the MacBookPro plus an awesome free recording software called Audacity– I can edit out all my fuck ups and also export to WAV files. Aw yeah, professional voice over services… my future primary source of dough. Yeah right!

Well the house is coming along. I set up my 古筝 today. Took me hours to tune it, and I’m not even sure it’s right but whatever, I can play my signature song and it sounds right to me, so good enough.

Ok well, my neck is still messed up. I’m going to hit the hot tub to see if that will stop me from walking like a robot. Hope you’re having a good weekend!

Lots of Space

Lots of Space

Whew! John and I moved last weekend into our new place– a 2 BR townhouse a couple exits down. Now John is only a half mile away from work, and I am right at the exit for the San Mateo bridge. Schweet!

As expected, the move was a total beotch. Thank goodness we opted for professional movers. Yes, yes, we were only in a one bedroom previously, but do not underestimate the American instinct of overconsumption. We had a storage room upstairs and somehow, we still had tons of shit. Again, books mostly but tons of stuff nonetheless. The mover came a week early to survey our stuff. Five to seven hours, he quoted. John scoffed, saying it would only take three hours. Boy was John off. The movers went nonstop for nearly 8 hours! Yup, we disgust ourselves. But the important thing is, everything made the trip, including my desk from hell. Unscathed. Saved myself a $800 desk right there. I’m just thankful John and I admitted our limitations. We are over 30 after all. No need to break bones trying to save some money. Plus there was plenty of work after the pros went home. Unpacking AND cleaning up the old place. No, I never did post my banners and signs warning prospects to stay away, but certainly my online postings will deter the smart ones. I mean, if people rent without checking online first, they’re dumbasses anyway. They can’t be saved. I’ve done what I can.

So tomorrow is inspection. Hopefully, the inspector will be too hurried trying to get out of work at 5 pm Friday to give a shit. We’ll see.

Miraculously, I’m not going in to work tomorrow. Gotta make calls from home in the morning, but hey, I’m just that efficient. Gotta enjoy my freedom before I sign it away going full time.

In other news, my hair is a mess again. I used my spiking glue all of about once. And my highlights are a disaster now because of reddening shampoo is resulting in some brown highlights, some red highlights. Was kinda cool a few days after the deed, but now, coupled with fine, limp, staticky hair, I’m the poster girl for a botched hair job. Somehow the roots seem even more obvious to me too… it’s only been 2.5 weeks… I’m probably just losing my mind. My coworkers have been rather blunt about the uneveness. Hey, there’s order to the chaos, I try to explain. They aren’t convinced. Whatever though. It’s just hair, right?

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Yesterday, I came home to a wonderful surprise. I went to feed the dogs and whatdya know? There were THOUSANDS of ants everywhere… inside the frickin’ dog food bin, all along the dining room floor, up the cabinets and onto my dishes, trailing across the dining room floor to the outlet on the exterior wall. I was so upset, I went out to buy Raid right away. Then, the pups and I endured several hours of toxic fumes. Probably killed off the few remaining brain cells I had. Thinking about it more, I regretted the Raid. I should have opted for a less toxic solution– citrus sprays, baby powder, etc. But I was in panic mode, and the ants had to be eradicated. Shit. Hopefully, that’s the last of them, but I really doubt it.

Well last night I slept on my damn neck wrong so I’m incredibly uncomfortable now. I move like a freaking android. Ugh. Well I’m slowing down. Time for bed. More later.

Feuding Frenzy

Feuding Frenzy

People are pissing me off. On the heels of my tiff with San Leandro Honda, I’m now feuding with the CA DMV as well as my apartment complex, Archstone San Mateo. With the former, I’m STILL waiting for my damn HOV stickers. Meanwhile, I’m totally fucking up my brakes in the stop/go bullshit congestion otherwise known as 880. Somehow, I’ve grown even more impatient with the New Year. Resolutions to do and time’s a’wastin’, I guess. Whatever though, DMV is just a waiting game. I called their number and after numerous attempts, finally accessed the manager of the special processing unit. Basically, nothing is organized. She couldn’t tell me the status of my sticker. I told her I was moving Saturday, and she didn’t even take down my new address. She just suggested that I call the USPS to get the mail forwarded. Ghetto.

My gripe with Archstone is much more serious. I am telling you, I have to do everything at least TWICE with these incompetent freaks. I don’t even want to go into it right now as I need to calm down right before bed, but let’s just say, I felt compelled enough to post numerous bad reviews all over the place online, including at apartmentreviews.com, apartmentratings.com, and yelp.com. After I move out Saturday, I still have the place for a week, so I’m going to post some banners/signs telling people not to rent here. Aww yeah, borrowing from the peeps at Manhattan Apartments in Xujiahui after their community had a garage sinking/flooding issue. Gotta fight the power, I tell you.

I’ve actually been getting pissy about our new place too. We applied right around Christmas, and only yesterday did we finally get the lease. I had a few raised flags on the lease– no dealbreakers, but still, when I raised the issues, the listing agent didn’t even bother to call the landlady. He just answered on her behalf. Now maybe he knows her well enough to do this… either way, I didn’t find him/her to be particularly cooperative with my concerns. Whatever though. The space and location is definitely fab, so we are not going to let all that little stuff ruin a great new thing. Tomorrow is cashier’s check, Friday is getting the key, and Saturday bright and early is move-in. Absolutley cannot wait. Unpacking/setting up will be a bitch but with my OCD we’ll have it done in a flash.

In work-related news, anyone have access to a stash of electrical or mechanical engineers? We’re hiring! The boss is back in town, so the to-do list is growing by the minute now. Thank goodness. Waiting on him to proceed on things really slowed down my day. It was practically unbearable, so I welcome the frenzy. Of course, I will keep in mind New Year’s Resolution #1: Work is work. My Spanish class at the community college starts next Tuesday.

Btw, I wrote my first letter to the editor last week, as part of my San Mateo Climate Action group. Got a call from the San Mateo Daily News to confirm my address. Of course, the paper is print only, and since I don’t get it, I actually never saw my piece in print. Maybe I’ll look for it at the library. I’m such a geek. I’m happy about it, because it is my first LTE, but at the same time, it’s only the Daily News— it’s no Washington Post or anything.

What else. Oh, my friend Derek at work is organzing a day trip to Tahoe next weekend. First time skiing for John and me. I’m scared aobut breaking bones. I’ve heard far too many accident stories. Guess I’ll need to invest in some ski pants.

My Day Off

My Day Off

I didn’t go into the office today. I know, that’s a first, right? This week work has been agonizingly slow. I think most people, including our customers, are just getting back into the swing of things. Which is fine, but rather than twiddle my thumbs at the office, I decided to get moving on all my errands. After all, we’re moving next weekend! I got some quotes from moving companies. I’m such a cheap bastard though. You never know, I may just U-Haul it once more. 😛

On the consumer advocacy front, I sent several flaming emails this week to San Leandro Honda, where I got my hybrid. Turns out, their finance manager totally deceived and gypped me with that damn Honda Care extended warranty. Misinformation left and right, I tell you. And then when I pointed it all out to her, she claimed ignorance. Jesus, salespeople have some nerve. Ok, let’s just assume there was no chicanery: how then does a finance manager not know basic stuff about the one product she sells? All I know is, for a President’s Award dealership, there’d better be some major re-prioritizing. Something has to be done to improve employee training. I mean, hello? Your dealership is in California. Your product is an extended warranty. How can you be unaware that in California (and a handful of other green states), the hybrid battery is covered by a 10 year/150k mile extended warranty (compared to the standard 8 year/50k mile warranty)? Exactly. She’s totally bullshitting me. And this enrages me. I totally want to push her on it, but ultimately, I’m passive aggressive. I want out now. So I’m canceling the contract. Gotta give credit to HybridCars.com. You have to really comb through the forum postings, but damn the peeps there are up to speed. The site is LOADED with info. Dealerships really ought to read the forums and get with the program. You see, I’d actually written SL Honda a nice review on Yelp. Too bad their finance department had to go and fuck it all up.

Ok well John and I are heading downtown this evening to a comedy club. Going to see Kathleen Madigan. I don’t know who she is, but supposedly she’s good. Gotta support female talent you know. Have to run. Have a good weekend!

New Me: Take 2

New Me: Take 2

You know, I try not to be one of those self-absorbed, superficial freaks. So anytime I get my hair cut, I remind myself, “It’s just hair. No. Big. Deal.” I mean seriously, having experienced so many botched jobs (including a self-inflicted one), I swore I was desensitized to all this by now. Well, guess not, because even though I kept saying the latest hair fiasco was fine, I was majorly obsessing over it: I rewashed the hair– with Pantene, with my Artec Color Reflector Cherry Bark shampoo. I blow dried. I attempted to style. I didn’t cry or anything but the long, uneven tufts at the nape ate away at me. I could not schedule the “fix-it” appointment soon enough. On New Year’s Day, while everyone else was relaxing and having a grand old time, I scoured the internet in search of pictures for the repaired ‘do. Then, I emailed the hairdresser: I linked to a picture, I rambled about my coloring options, and I pushed for a time slot the very. next. day.

The first day back at work, things were SLOW, which was fine because one of my resolutions was “work is work.” No one said a damn thing about the hair. How super blond streaks could have escaped notice is beyond me but whatever. Anyway, Tuesday night, I returned to the salon. I sat in that chair for another THREE hours. She razored the innermost layer; cut the next layer with notched scissors, and then point-cut the outermost layer. In the end, she determined that the two former techniques didn’t do squat to add texture. She concluded that for my hair quantity and thickness, the last technique throughout the whole head would have worked best. I should have known this, considering I’ve had all those techniques (and more) done on me before, but after so many cuts in my lifetime, how can I remember the details of what works and what doesn’t! Bottom line is, I decided to keep the bleach job. The blond blond streaks are now reddish/coppery (the Artec shampoo perhaps?), so that’s fine. And the streaks are super noticeable, so I’m cool with that as well. The new cut, I must say, is a huge improvement. Still not the BEST cut ever, but so much better. And the cool thing about this stylist is that she’s just a really nice person, who actually has lots of knowledge about so many things– acupressure, massage therapy, cosmetology… she was really sweet about giving me some product recommendations too, and all of it was for stuff I could get at the drug store. So I think I’ll still keep her in mind for future work. I just have to allot a big chunk of time is all.

If you’re curious, her product recs include:
1. Got2B glued spiking cream (in a tube). Good for spiking the edges, as the name suggests. Duh.
2. Zia green papaya enzyme mask. Incredibly gentle organic AHA treatment. Noticing results already.
3. Queen Helene mint julep mask. Already use it. A cheap and effective clay mask.

Ha, ha. Not too late for the new me after all.

My Precious!

My Precious!

Aww yeah baby! Scored myself a CA clean air sticker– one of the limited 10,000 for the year. Ha, ha. My $8 check cleared, so that means the Precious will be mine later this month. Thank fucking goodness! Finally, I can use the HOV lanes to my heart’s content. Watch out drivers, I’m on a mission to get to work/home as fast as possible. Clear the lane!

Oh, I actually have some other good news: John and I got our rental application on a new place approved today. Later this month, we’ll be moving to a 2 BR townhouse even closer to his work (and to my Highway 92). You see, I was all stressed before the holidays. I combed the housing ads frantically in search of decent rentals. Fortunately, I stumbled on an awesome realtor. He sent me nine properties from his MLS database. From there, I selected two to view. Toured them on Dec. 23 and after speaking with John (who was already in Maryland by then), we put in for one of them. I was a bit worried, because John hadn’t seen the place. Luckily, everything worked out. The listing agent actually moved super slowly on our application, and turns out, John got to go see the place this afternoon. The rental was still as good as I had remembered, thankfully. I hope this new space will be a good fit for us. The owners are cool with the dogs, the place is right next to a park, and it’s super easy access to our work routes. Plus, the unit faces south (a Chinese thing). Lots of natural light, plenty of closet space. I’m keeping the fingers crossed that everything with the community is ok, for example, neighbors and the like. No more of this bullshit Archstone-Smith crap management. Archstone can bite my ass!

Exhale. Of course, all of this means we’re moving in ten days. Let the packing and cleaning begin!

New Me for the New Year: Botched Already!

New Me for the New Year: Botched Already!

John and I are finally back from our East Coast trip. I don’t know what I was thinking: one week is waaaay too long. Note to self: five days max. Well, aren’t I in the holiday spirit, right? To be honest, the holidays exhaust me. I enjoyed seeing friends and family, but Jesus, something about sleeping in a different bed every night and shuttling back and forth for a week just makes me tired. Super tired. Like Shingles tired. Seriously, I slept like 10 hours a day, with naps in between. Must be a true sign of my introverted nature: socializing drains me, me time recharges me. Anyway, all is well. The family is healthy. Mom and Dad are regular exercisers now. Dad calculated the distance of their neighborhood circle, so he estimates they walk 2+ miles per day. Plus, they’re like using treadmills and shit. Very bizarre, but great news nonetheless. Noorie James and Yebidiya (the grandfolks) are their usual busy body selves. Couldn’t attend the lunch with the in-laws because they had an event to attend. In-laws are fine: always up on the news. Their dog Oliver is frighteningly obese, but that’s what happens when consumption far exceeds exercise. For some reason, I’m bothered by my passive position on the matter. I should have been more vocal, more suggestive. His body is so wide, he’s like a coffee table. But that’s the thing about life: you can’t control other people, you can only control yourself.

So I’m starting the New Year off right with tons of self work. John insisted that we draft a list of measureable objectives and goals for 2007. In addition to the deeper issues that I must address, I figured one easy way to introduce the new me was with another hair job. I know, women and their hair. Well in my typical cheapie fashion, I opted for an “intro” or “trial” job, meaning, I answered a posting on Craiglist. I did this in August when I had my hair highlighted and cut by a salon trainee. I was pleased with the results. Well yesterday was a whole other ballgame. Appointment was at 3. I was told I’d be done by 5. I was there until 8. Yes, 8 p.m. on New Year’s eve. And the hair is a disaster. Granted it was highlights and cut for $20, but after five hours of labor, I didn’t feel right paying someone $4/hr even if the job was a mess. I asked for red highlights with a razor-cut. I got a streaky bleach-job, with unevenly bleached browns and BLONDS and a blunt cut, achieved with a razor. Then the salon was freezing cold and dimly lit. Five hours later, and color was never even put in. The color was achieved through bleaching alone. I was sick of sitting, so I figured, I should go home, give it a few days, then go back to get it recut and dyed. I got home, and John had already eaten dinner. He didn’t say much other than: Don’t go back. So of course now it’s New Year’s Day. I’m never one to be that attached to hair, but Jesus, I was in the bathroom forever trying to do something about the ‘do. Of course the salon is closed today, and tomorrow I’m back to work. Fucking a. What to do. Guess I’ll pull it back and hope people don’t think I’m too punked out. Sigh. So much for the happy new start.