Monthly Archives: February 2007

Flushing the System

Flushing the System

On my drive into work last week, NPR did a story on nasal irrigation… The process is this: you shoot a saline mixture up one nostril, and it comes out the other. Repeat for the opposite side. I know, sounds pretty disgusting and senselessly masochistic, and yet, I was sucked in right from the start.

You see, since returning to the States, my sinuses have been driving me up a hairy wall. Last year when I was in California for three weeks, I underwent acupuncture sessions, which helped tremendously, but the effects have since worn off. Now I battle a stuffy nose and major congestion every frickin’ day. So it was time to try something new. Yup, I went out and got the kit. The sensation is not horrible– no burning or anything– still, it’s definitely weird. Afterwards, there’s some residual moisture, and the nose feels really drippy. But eventually, the passages clear out pretty well, like I’ve just ingested a bit of wasabi. I’ve only done this irrigation thing for three days now, so I’m not wholly convinced of its efficacy but I plan on giving it a few more days to see where this leads.

John, meanwhile, refuses to witness any part of this new morning routine. He thinks I should just get the full board of allergy tests through the ENT. Who has time to skin test all these silly allergens?

Other than that, nothing exciting. Just been lying around all day. Just finished watching the Oscars. Didn’t think it would suck me in today, but I suppose I underestimate how easily I get conned. The Departed for best picture? You gotta be joking. Seriously. I was not impressed at all. Lame. And did you catch that glaring error? They said the movie was based on the Japanese film, Infernal Affairs. Because you know, we Asians are all the same, right? Annoying.

What else. Oh, we went to that Muir Woods restoration volunteer event Saturday morning. I think I need to stop all volunteering activities. They always disappoint. First the weather was cold and rainy, which they can’t help, I know. Then the volunteer leader was totally unengaging. I mean, you already have people committed enough to wake their asses up super early on the weekend and brave crap weather… is it that much more to ask that you have some charisma? Finally, our group leader was a stoner, at least John insists she was. She talked ultra slowly, and when we left, she said, “Ok, so you guys are peace out?” I happen to think she was just one of those slow, easy going personalities… John thinks otherwise. Who knows, I have horrible radar for these things.

Well, this day is totally shot. Big meeting at work tomorrow. Calling it quits, because I’m an old fart. Oh, Happy Chinese New Year, my friends. Sorry for the late wishes… hope you stuffed yourself silly. It is the year of the pig, after all.

Game Night Returns

Game Night Returns

Obviously, I was a very disgruntled and frustrated person last week. Just when I’d lowered all expectations, my college roomie surprised me with a call. In fact, we even met up last Saturday in the city. I really enjoyed catching up with her. She’s this career workin’ woman– an OB/GYN in the military. Just got stationed east of Napa. In a few months, she’s possibly shipping off overseas. It’s inspiring to find people who love their work. But like I said, it’s nearly impossible to get all three legs on the table of life: work, love, home (place). That’s my theory, at least.

I’ve just been in a crap funk lately. Pessimistic about the world, bitter about everything. Strangely, I’ve recently run into ultra-religious folks– more here than anywhere else I’ve been. In the last month, I’ve had three encounters where I’ve met cool people (except when they attempt to convert me): a coworker/friend, a vendor with whom I had lunch, and my frickin’ masseuse. Yeah, first time I went for a massage since being back, and it was totally NOT relaxing talking about faith and all that bull. I have to say (unapologetically): I am just super anti-religion. Seriously, it’s the root of so much violence, and the Christians, who are adamant about distinguishing themselves from the Catholics, are still pretty annoyingly righteous with their whole “There’s only one true god and it’s ours.” In other words, other people who are believers of other faiths are just plain wrong. And they’re going to hell. So what I don’t get is this: I try to be a good person. I believe in personal accountability. I believe in the power of individuals in enacting positive change. In the most simplified sense, I consider myself good. And yet, by their rubrics, I’m going to hell for the sole reason that I don’t believe. Now frankly, I don’t really give a fuck since I don’t believe in hell or in any kind of afterlife, but I do find the thought offensive. Like if I’m friends with someone, that means I have qualities that person finds likable. How then can he/she accept that I am destined for hell and automatically clump me with Satan’s posse? Am I just their “project”? No, I haven’t read the Bible so I admit, I don’t have a deep understanding of the story, but you know what? I just don’t have the curiosity, and honestly, I feel there’s too much to learn already just from current events.

Anyway, Valentine’s Day came and went. John and I hadn’t been getting along, so this was one attempt to get back on track. I got him a hand blender (I know, aren’t I romantic?) and he made dinner with a bunch of long lost dishes– veggie wraps and cauliflower/truffle oil. Tasty favs from our Raleigh days. The day after, I signed us up for a Chinese cooking class at Whole Foods. The class sucked. I thought we’d have our own cooking stations. Nope. This was like Home Ec class where we broke off into groups and then each group made one of the four dishes. Exactly. Poor planning, and in the end, only one of the dishes was even edible. The others tasted crappy; we didn’t even want to take the dishes home. Still, I haven’t totally given up… maybe a cooking class through the community college will be better.

In other news, John and I hosted a Game Night yesterday. We spent all morning cleaning and prepping. Foods included veggies and dip, veggie pizza, spinach salad, mac and cheese, pot roast, crab cakes, glazed carrots, and cauliflower/truffle oil. Yup, it was a lot of work. Plus, I played my instrument. I was a bit tipsy already from the sake, so the performance was pretty forgettable (at least I hope so). We played some new games: Apples to Apples and Celebrity Taboo. The party was a good time, but I have to say, it wasn’t quite as much fun as the ones I had in Shanghai. It’s just tough to get the group dynamics right. 😛 But I was glad my friends from work made it. It’s good to interact with them in a non-work setting.

We’ll try again. I like having people over. It’s a good excuse to clean/organize the house. Ha, ha. Next time I want to try an international film night or something. On V-day we watched The Departed. What a disappointment. Infernal Affairs was sooo much better and that movie would be perfect for Movie Night. Also, I’m thinking bowling night, roller skating, horseback riding, hot tub… See, this is what happens when you’re desperate for friends– you start plotting more activities than there are weekends in a month.

No Time to Shit

No Time to Shit

Jesus f-ing Christ, it’s just been one of those weeks. I swear, I’m going to submit my letter of resignation next week. Ok, I’m being overly dramatic. Still, this was my first week as a full-timer, and my god, I hardly had time to piss and shit. Seriously, worked late every goddamn night, and I’m soooo frustrated.

You see, I’m working with this guy. He’s Muslim, which is fine, but just so you know, he’s the same dude who interviewed me and wouldn’t shake my hand. Remember him? Yeah, at that time, he said, “I see from your resume that you’re feminist and all, but I don’t shake hands.” So whatever. Back then, I thought he just didn’t shake anyone’s hand. I know, I’m the ignorant American who knows nothing about religion, much less Islam. So I just thought it was a custom-type thing… until we went to some customer meeting and he shook their hands. But whatever, I’m not going to take offense over something little like that.

Anyway, the CEO asked me to work with him on cost analysis. I’m like the farthest thing from the business type, so I have zippo interest in cost stuff but whatev. I’m the company’s bitch now. So long story short, I’ve had to spend a lot of time with Mister M. and in the last week, I’m sure I’ve committed all kinds of sins against him. For example, on several occasions, I accidentally brushed against his hand at the keyboard or hit his leg with mine. Poor guy. In both instances, he rolled his chair back away from the desk, and then it was just quiet for a second or two. Sorry, but if he would just let me update the fucking file… I get so impatient watching him make changes that I could make in no time. So that’s the bigger picture. I don’t really care about the religious thing (other than not wanting to totally offend him). But he’s frustrating me as a coworker, because he’s very particular about his Excel files and so am I. We had this meeting with the customer earlier this week, and there were all these complaints that the stuff we presented was confusing or jumbled or whatever, which was actually true. So I really wanted to re-examine everything and try to take an entirely different approach… you know, like just start from scratch. I inserted a new spreadsheet and assembled the data in a way I thought was clearer. But then he liked his way… and we ended up just stepping on each other’s toes all while trying to be cooperative and polite. I’ll tell you though, I was seriously at my wit’s end. And I was getting stressed out too. And sure, I had some mistakes. I’m not saying I’m perfect or that my work is perfect. But so many damn times, I suggested to do something one way, and he refused. Then, later the CEO would come by and suggest the same thing. Wtf? Of course, the CEO never knew I made the suggestion already nor did Mister M. ever acknowledge my comment. After the customer meeting, I also linked everything in Excel, such that if the vehicle quantities changed, we just had to update one cell, then everything would automatically update. But then he was upset I didn’t update his form but rather, I started a new sheet. Ugh. Well I won’t bore you with the details but I’m still frickin’ worked up about it. The conclusion is that he will work with the CEO on the file this weekend. So whatever. I’m letting go. After all the time I poured into this, is that supposed to be consoling?

In other news, my life sucks. I still have no friends, and John and I don’t even get along. Earlier this week, in my pissy state, I was totally going to throw in the towel. I just don’t need this bullshit anymore. I’m really sick of doing all the housecrap, dog crap, plus work. He doesn’t make time for anything except work. After two days of tiffs, he told management they needed to start finding someone else to direct engineering… so things have gotten a little better at home but “us” hasn’t been a priority for a long time. And I guess I need to just move on. I’m going to do shit this weekend. I suggest things all the time, but I guess I’ll just have to start doing them alone: massages, game nights, roller skating. This is what life in the States is all about: work, money, consumption, reality tv (John actually watches Desperate Housewives of OC… WTF???) and separate lives. And certainly, my first week as a full-timer only furthers that point. The poor dogs no longer get their long walks every day. I wake up early, come home late, feed the dogs, wash the dishes, vacuum, sort the mail. Poor Goodbers is now an enjoyment pushed to Friday through Sunday. And it’s not just me. I work with some really cool people but what a shame: they all work crazy hours. This is what life here is all about. I’m turning into a robot once again.

So my plan is to recoup this weekend. I’m going to get my first massage since returning to the States. I was all excited earlier this week, because I got an email from my college roommate. She basically fell off the earth five or six years ago. Turns out the Air Force just relocated her from San Antonio, TX to Vacaville, CA. So she’s literally 70 miles away. Utterly deprived of friendship, I was so psyched about reconnecting with someone. She called Tuesday saying she was meeting friends in the city… I couldn’t join because I was working with Mister M. until 9 p.m. that night. Then I left a message and never heard from her again. She’s one of those people who just disappoints over and over again in the friendship category, and yet I always hope the flame will re-kindle. Guess I got my hopes up for no reason. Another weekend of me time. Yippee.

Superbowl Sunday: A Day of Gluttony

Superbowl Sunday: A Day of Gluttony

For the longest time, John and I have been eyeing this big sectional sofa (in chocolate brown though) at Costco. We already have a couch, a sleeper sofa John bought off Craigslist for 100 bucks. It’s crazy heavy and fairly comfortable; the problem is, it’s not wide enough to accommodate both of us when we watch tv. Squeezing the two of us on that thing reminds me of my grad school days when John and I would squish onto a twin mattress. Yeah, totally uncomfortable: he’d get the numb arm, I’d get the twisted neck.

After weeks of deliberation, Superbowl Sunday prompted us (him)into action. This morning, I called on my buddy Hector. He owns and operates Trans-One Moving. We called on him last month in our move from Arsestone. He and his helper did an awesome job. When I spoke to him this morning, he was already pretty booked with other moving jobs, but he fit me in for today… before the big game, no less. You see, that’s the thing about Costco. They have quality goods at affordable prices, but they don’t deliver. And this sectional is in two monster boxes… too much for an ordinary SUV or a van. Hector met us at Costco around 1. We were loungin’ on the new cushy couch by 2. Chips and dip: check. Pulled pork sandwiches: check. Cranberry lemonade: check. Raspberry torte: check. Laptop: check. Aw yeah baby, life is good.


Felicity Porter is Pregnant!

Felicity Porter is Pregnant!

After Felicity ended, Keri Russell practically fell off the planet. Sure, she was in a few movies here and there, including The Upside of Anger, but for the most part, there was like zippo scoop on her. I know, the series ended YEARS ago, but I must confess: I still miss my buds Javier, Elena, Noel, and of course, troubled little Ben. Ben, Ben– yes, I know the dude is bad news but still, he sucks me in.

Anyway, MI3 put Keri back in the limelight. But damn, after all that hype, she was only in the movie for 10 minutes. What the hell? So yes, clearly I’m obsessed with Keri Russell. She’s just so damn beautiful. Plus, she’s like the antithesis of Hollywood, at least that’s my perception. Top honor for celeb gorgessity though has to go to JLo– despite her fur coats, fox-fur eyelashes, and all.

But Keri is top ten. Ah, I digress. So I’m a few weeks late on the news, but Keri is pregnant! Yes, another one bites the dust. The dude is some non-celeb… the only descriptor on him is “contractor.” Totally generic. I mean, come on, does that mean like a construction contractor or more like a DoD contractor or just a consultant? Yes, nebulous at best.

So the baby circle is definitely expanding. Over the holidays, I met up with a high school friend– she graduated in the class before mine. Pregnant. Due in March. Her cousin (who was in my class) is pregnant too: due in June. College classmate pregnant. Due in a few days. I just don’t get the family/baby craze. Seriously, John and I were at the store today, carting behind a lady and three kids. Jesus, she had a cartful of shit, a girl whining about something and then two little boys screaming and crying. Apparently, one boy had wiped snot all over the other one’s shirt. Eww! Exactly. Insane but whatever, I’m not going to feel sorry for these people. They asked for it.

And sadly, now Felicity has joined the league of parents. Nuts. Might as well write her off this instant. Next thing you know, she’ll start touting how childbirth gives her an indescribable sense of selflessness (a la Gwyneth), blah, blah, blah.

I definitely have kid phobia. And an even stronger pregnancy phobia. I swear to God, every couple months, I freak myself out thinking that I’m pregnant. I know, I have an obsessive compulsive level of redundancy in my birth control program (probably a factor of safety of 3), so statistically, the chance is like zilch. Still, it’s an irrational fear, and last month, I convinced myself it was a possibly. Thankfully, my mind was just fucking with me. But damn, I’m like one step away from setting up a contingency plan… Ok, possibly too much info for you. I’ll leave it at that. Felicity Porter is pregnant. What a drag!