Monthly Archives: April 2007

Fecal Phobia

Fecal Phobia

I went into work today… I was planning on just dropping off the brochures, so the entire fam came along for the ride. I was going to take John to a local donut shop, where they have excellent cake donuts, but the joint was closed. Then, the boss called and I got sucked into prepping presentations. Frickin’ A. But John was a good sport about it– the whole thing reminded me of grad school when he’d come down to visit me in Florida and he’d end up waiting for me for HOURS while I ran my experiments. Anyway, I finally got out of there just before noon. We hit Fuddruckers. Gotta give it to them for making damn good burgers on fresh buns. Tasty. Afterwards, we checked out a new park on East Bay– Dry Creek. Basically, it was like going to a farm with acres and acres of open fields and mountains… and with grazing cattle even. Remy and Martin were in heaven frolicking around. When they happened on a small herd under the shade, Martin started barking (he never barks!). We were surprised the dogs didn’t run away once the herd (of three) started moving.

We continued on our hike up the path. The weather was beautiful: sunny and breezy and you could see so much of the area (Hayward, San Mateo Bridge, even SF) below. The bad thing was that the fields were littered with dung piles. And even worse, Remy and Martin had a thing for rolling around. I knew they were up to no good, but John thought I was being too hard on them: they’re just dogs–they like to roll around in the grass. Uh yeah, until Martin came running up to us soiled in fresh shit all over his back, ears, and brand new harness! And let me tell you: John is the biggest shit phobe. Poop is like blood— when he sees it, he gets all dizzy and grossed out. So that kind of put a damper on things. We decided it was best to head back. Luckily, we found a stream and the dogs, overheated and thirsty, plopped right in. Yes, I washed the shit off of Marty. Touched it and all. What could I do? It was fine. It was like washing a baby’s diaper or something. No big deal. Of course on the drive home, John was still trippin’ about the fecal matter on my hands. “Don’t touch me.” Total wussy pants.

We were pretty active today. In the afternoon, we shot some hoops at the local courts. Man, I suck! Never sucked this badly. I was throwing up all bricks. Kind of lost interest pretty quickly. I think I’m going to focus my efforts on tennis now. That and look what I just discovered: Landrollers, the same things Caesar Milan uses. Yeah, $250 is a pretty big price tag… I’ll be scouring Ebay and Craigslist for the next several weeks. Then again, the big 4-year anniversary is Friday… may just have to treat myself. The reviewers say Landrollers are much easier to use for beginners. I love the fluidity of rollerblading, but unfortunately, I’ve never been able to pull that shit off. I am embarrassing in rollerblades– with me, it’s all about abrupt, jerky movements. Landrollers could very well be the answer…

Behind the Facade

Behind the Facade

John and I are one of those “grass is greener on the other side” kinds of people. We acknowledge that we are very fortunate, yet that never stops the yearning. I’m always searching for something…

When I first came to San Mateo, I remember posting a blog about Siebel (software company recently acquired by Oracle) and its kickass office space in town. The edifice was so impressive, all glossy and shiny with its pools and fountains. Walking by, you could hear the raucous little rug rats at the onsite childcare center. It must have been a dream to work on such a beautiful campus. Or so I thought.

After Oracle acquired Siebel, a bunch of people got laid off. One guy ended up joining John’s company, and damn did I have it all wrong: Mandatory work on Saturdays. No food/drink at your computer. The poor dude never saw his kids… he was out before they awoke and home after they were asleep. How could I have been so far off?

The world of business is a scary place, and I admit, I have my judgements. But still, working day in and day out with the CEO of my company has definitely shown me a thing or two. The thing is, I’ve always had a gut feeling that sleaziness usually goes hand in hand with business. Even when I worked in engineering consulting, I put two and two together when the same contractor always won every single project bid. But I suppose that naive, idealistic side of me always hoped for good clean fun. I’m not saying my CEO is a dirtbag, but I will say he does stretch the truth. And as a total goody-goody two shoes, even little white lies make me nervous. They just do. I can’t lie to save my life.

So anyway, I’m also starting to see patterns. Patterns amongst my own observations and experiences as well as amongst John’s. Granted, that’s still a very small sample size, but it seems that CEOs can often be harsh, moody, and downright unprofessional.

You see, I had a major meltdown at work last week. Long story short, I’d been busting ass working 15+ hour days. One morning, he called and jumped down my throat about not calling a customer. Now I’d been calling this damn customer every single day for a week. They never had a meeting date for me. So this one morning, the boss called at 9:30 a.m. I hadn’t called yet, and then he went off about how I lacked follow through and was being half ass. I couldn’t believe it. Part of me was thinking, “are you fucking kidding me?” but the other part was just plain weak. I felt like a child being scolded by the teacher. I was so upset. I ended the call abruptly and just said “bye.” Later, I met with a coworker who sensed something was wrong… my face likely said it all (I told you I can’t lie to save my life!). He kept asking me what was wrong. I said I was fine, but I just couldn’t convince him. He kept pressing and I started feeling the sting in my eyes. No tears but crazy ass stinging. Finally, the deluge came. I cracked. And I know, ALL the job websites say you CANNOT fucking cry at work. Was horrible. I had the fucked up breathing and all. Fortunately, the guy was really nice and understanding, but… I holed myself up in the bathroom for like 20 minutes trying to pull it together. It was bad.

And afterwards, I was so pissed at myself for letting it get to me. I hated my passivity. I should have said something, but I didn’t. I planned to say something the next day, but I didn’t. Now the time has past. What I realized though, is that I have to stand up for myself. We as employees have to stand up for ourselves. That’s one pattern I’ve noticed at my workplace. The employees are all super cool, but they don’t challenge authority. They don’t negotiate offers. They don’t make demands. In that sense, we have an entire fleet of goody goodies. And that is probably by design. In the end, who can we blame but ourselves. The world isn’t fair and unless we demand fairness, we’ll rarely get it.

Anyway, this week, I told the boss (sort of in jest) that he was working me to a nub. To my surprise, he sort of paused, thought about it, and then agreed. What do you know, at the end of the day, several of us received what we thought was spam in our inboxes (that’s how little we expect…). We got gift certificates thanking us for our hard work! I was pleasantly surprised.

So since my incident, I’ve still been working all the damn time but I’m starting to wet my feet with marketing. I sent out four cold-call emails requesting a call for us to introduce our company and product. Two people bit! And I developed a product brochure which was fun… that is, until I was forced to change it into something I don’t like as much… (ah, the joys of working with others). Anyway, at least now I’m getting some positive feedback for my work, which is nice. Ok, time to go enjoy my weekend. More updates later.

Livin' it up, Siebel style.  I'll bet their workers get offices with windows.

Kmart: early 80s flashback

Kmart: early 80s flashback

When I was a little girl, Kmart was my absolute favorite store. Kmart fulfilled all my needs– Barbie, Prancer, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony plus clothing, shoes, the polar bear ICEE AND blue light specials multiple times a day. In my book (the black speckle book, that is), Kmart rocked.

A few short years later, Kmart and I had a major falling out. You see, suddenly, my favorite store had become the epitome of uncool. Wrangler jeans, Dickies–they were all the wrong labels. Mom and Norrie continued to shop there but somehow over the next two decades, even they turned to newer alternatives– Wal-Mart and Target. Everyone, it seemed, weaned off of Kmart.

Fast forward to today: I was out running errands, and I drove by a Big K. I figured I’d give Kmart a try– after all, she used to be my fav.

Well, I went in to purchase TP and office supplies. Let me tell you: I stood in line for 30 minutes with only three people in front of me. Of the three people, 2 required price checks. Totally junko stinko. I’m so disappointed, I don’t understand how Kmart’s even still around. Yes, it was THAT bad.



When a friend of mine first introduced me to freecycle about a year ago, I was overjoyed. The concept was great: divert good (albeit unwanted) stuff from the landfills by giving them to people who can use them. Sounded easy enough. I quickly joined three freecycle Yahoo groups in my area. I picked up a nice Pottery Barn paper lamp. I also acquired a box of 3-ring binders. Sure, some of the stuff wasn’t exactly in “good” condition– the binders were covered in an inch of dust and some of their rings didn’t close all the way– but who was I to complain: the shit was free after all. Over time, however, people started rubbing me the wrong way with their ridiculous requests. People asked for free cars, ipods, and laptops. I mean, wtf, this wasn’t a frickin’ Christmas wish list, you know? I mean for offbeat stuff like red worms (for worm bins), that seemed ok, but an iPod? Puhleez.

For my part, I mostly offered cardboard boxes. I often took them home from work (many were going into the dumpster as trash….). We get tons of shipments in daily, so every night before heading home, I’d load the car up with medium and large boxes. At first, my boxes were a hit, and it was so easy to just put them on my stoop. The selected freecyclers would then come the next day and pick them up. No face-to-face interaction required. I even had a wait-list with previous “customers” wanting more boxes. John joked that once again, I engaged myself in a time and energy-consuming activity that yielded no financial gains. Sigh. What can I say, I suck at bringing in the dough. And unfortunatley, as statistics would have it, I started getting burned. Some people wouldn’t show up. Others wanted all kinds of info before driving out– box dimensions, no damp boxes, blah, blah. And some people seemed only to check email once every other day. Wtf?

My latest issue is no interest. Last week, I posted my boxes to offer. Absolutely zippo response; meanwhile, my stoop is loaded with boxes. John’s complained that his stoop isn’t a junkyard. If my boxes go unwanted for much longer, I’m certain the homeowners association is going to cite me for uglifying the community. Frickin’ A. And they’re perfectly good boxes– would be such a shame to send them to the recyclers. Recycling is still so uneconomical for so many materials (but it doesn’t stop me from participating…). And a local auto recycling facility in Redwood City just suffered another huge fire yesterday…sketchy.

Well, I think I just need to wait patiently. Surely, some one will need boxes for moving or shipping or whatever…

In other news, John and I saw Showboat on Friday night. I was so tired though… the show ran from like 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. A long frickin’ time. Storyline was cheesy, but I got sucked into the dancing and singing. Gets me every time. Last night, we went with Chuck and Fonda to a local Irish pub. OMG, that place was like Sunrise assisted living. 70+ year old dudes doing the Heathcliff Huxtable groove. Ladies too old to be strutting around in minidresses and skin tight, high waisted blue jeans. Was such a odd sight. But hey, gotta give it to these peeps for staying active and enjoying themselves. I have to say, I wanted to go home within ten minutes of arriving. I’m just not made for that scene: super loud music, lots of alcohol, really bad dancing. Not a whole lot of fun for a sober prissy pants. Oh well, was something different I suppose.

So today’s Sunday already. We ran some errands in the morning. I’m in the middle of some work. John and I are gearing up for Entourage. John’s going to watch Sopranos too. Tv. It’s so damn evil: people cannot be responsible in the presence of tv. They just get sucked in– good programming, bad programming… regardless, it sucks away far too many hours in the day.

Finals Week Revisited

Finals Week Revisited

Back in the day when I was a spring chicken college student, I had incredible stamina. School, work, play all on four hours of sleep? No problem. Since leaving the Gothic Wonderland, my sleep requirement has shot up significantly… I think I’m up to like 7-8 hours now, so you can imagine why I’m still recovering from what went down at work last week– the equivalent of college exam week. The stretch of sleep deprivation was notably shorter than a week, but damn, those were some long-ass three days. I was in around 7:30-8 and out at 3 am, 10 pm, and 8 pm. Plus I did more work after I got home. Thankfully, Bubbey held down the fort at home.

So yeah, work was just crazy. Customer visits, presentations, etc. The usual insanity and then some. The week started off badly too: the CEO told me one of the presentations was “piss poor.” Yup, gotta love the constructive criticism on that. Whatev, not like I have that much control over the content or the delivery anyhow. His comment totally rubbed me the wrong way, so I stayed up till 4 working on another presentation. The next day, he again told me that presentation was crap. Fuck it, you know? Ultimately, the customer postponed our presentation twice. Now, days later, we finally have something decent. Still not perfect but at this point, Jesus, how many times can you rework something?! On top of this silly powerpoint, I had to work all sorts of magic to get a vehicle delivered Friday. And holy shit, to my surprise, I pulled it off.

This past weekend, I slept like frickin’ Rip Van Winkle, and even after Monday rolled around, I was still hurtlocker. Gotta love the over 30 period of life: muffin top, curmudgeon outlook, and zippo stamina… Although I will say that the peeps at work were impressed (apparently, it doesn’t take much), particularly because I don’t drink coffee… Whatever, the secret sauce is called OCD: I can’t fucking rest when crap is on my mind. That’s why I’m still tired, because even though I slept all weekend, it wasn’t restful sleep; I dreamt anxiety nightmares half the time.

But enough about work. Work is work. This Friday, I’m going to see the musical Showboat at the San Mateo Performing Arts Center. Last time, John and I saw Miss Saigon there. Sooo good. Can’t wait.

In other news, John’s been seeing a lot of the doctor lately. He went to a migraine specialist, who put him on all kinds of meds. Plus, he had an MRI done. I think that test came back normal, but there ain’t nothing normal about his headaches. He’s due for some big life changes, and he’ll be taking off work next week to address all that.

I watched Infernal Affairs III last weekend. Is it me, or was that movie totally confusing? May need to watch again. I’ve been listening to Cantonese tapes on my commute… didn’t help me understand shit with the movie. I love language learning but I’m such a slow dumbass learner. Sigh.

Ok well time for bed.