Monthly Archives: June 2008

Bye Bye DB

Bye Bye DB

It’s been a rough week: I’ve been feeling rather fatigued. Last weekend, I was busy dealing with another SQL Server intrusion to our database at work. Pain in the ass. Stayed up late into the night trying to troubleshoot. Thankfully, I resolved the issue… well, for now. I need my web developer to get on it man.

At the same time, I’ve had some difficulty concentrating this week at work. John and I met up with our friend for happy hour. His wife was totally stressed: she had nothing to say, didn’t want anything to eat… was visibly worried. He shed some more light on his status: the cancer has spread to his kidney, liver, and lung– yeah, pretty advanced and very serious. My previous entry about him having had symptoms for 6-8 months was wrong. His main problem was constipation on and off and then occasional puking. I don’t know: it’s a moot point now. But I guess part of the disconnect was that he doesn’t tell his wife everything. And then some misinformation occurs when she transfers information to me. Long story short, the doctors saw some signs earlier on, but they had attributed them to other things. So now we’re talking stage 4 (of 4) adenocarcinoma. It’s important to be hopeful, but frankly, I’m really scared and really sad.

In the trivial issues of my own life, I recently went back on the Pill. I know, woo hoo. I had had enough with the cramps and full-blown periods, so on my last visit to Planned Parenthood (which I LOVE btw), I got hooked up. And since I’m a vain beotch, I asked my doc a million questions about the impact of the Pill on my skin. She didn’t seem the least bit worried. I mean, hello: severe, disfiguring acne!! But whatev. She said that particular pill would be fine. And now I think I actually have to contend with a host of other issues. For one thing, I’ve been stuffing my face this last week. Maybe it’s the stress, maybe the meds… I’m really not sure. What I do know, however, is that DB– which was previously within reach– has now eluded me again. Sure, it could be the ice cream or chocolate or fried rice or pork ribs. Fucking A.

Plus, my skin has been itchy as hell. It’s like the goddamn shingles all over again, except all frickin’ over: back, shoulders, scalp, legs. Twice this week I was so damn itchy, I couldn’t sleep. At work, I know my coworkers were thinking I was Pigpen or something. Finally, I had Bubs apply Benedryl cream to my back last night. Freakface tried to apply it WITHOUT using his fingers. Yeah, in other words, he took off the cap, and then I felt the scratchy tube opening scraping against my skin. Jesus, it’s not like I have leprosy. Fucker. After I yelled at him, he used his fingers but in very swift slapping motions so as to minimize the skin-skin contact. Nice. Gotta love the hubby. In sickness and in health my ass. But whatever. That cream gave me some much needed relief. No itching at work today. Yay.

So I’m glad the weekend is almost here. I need to sleep in and just decompress. Feel really stressed out with all the crap that’s going on. Btw, I finally drafted a letter to the coworker with acne. I wrote and re-wrote that damn thing a million times because I just couldn’t get the right feel across. But Tina helped me, so I think it’s ready. And I gotta do it. I really hope my clinic can help her. I wonder if she’ll come talk to me after she reads my letter. I’ll probably break down and cry like those people on the ProActiv commercials. I don’t know if it’s the damn birth control pills or what but I’m a big wuss these days. Need to toughen up!

Life the Hard Way

Life the Hard Way

In spite of my lighthearted earlier post (about stuffing my face), life really doesn’t get any easier. In my teens, I really thought I knew it all. Every bit of drama back then was real: after all, if I’d felt it in my heart and in my gut and in my soul, it was most certainly (and undeniably) true. In my 20s, I realized just how little I knew in my teens. The world really was so much bigger than just me. My eyes opened in wonderment, and there was this sense that I was seeing outside the ivory tower of my youth (finally). There was so much to do, so much to conquer, and it was just a matter of finding the right path. Now I’m in my 30s. The idealism is not as fervent as it used to be. I’ve witnessed problems with the system, and I’m no longer certain there will always be solutions. While the resiliency and fortitude of human beings continues to astound me, I see a new fragility that I rarely noticed before.

Today I learned that my friend has cancer. By no means is he a young chap (he turned 50 last year), but neither do I consider him outside our generation (though by numbers, I suppose he is). For the last 6-8 months, he’s had trouble with his bowels and trouble keeping his food down. How long has this been going on, you ask? Yes! Half a year at least! I recall his wife telling me a few months ago that he was having odd issues. I told her then that he needed to see the doctor. He’s a smart guy, and admittedly, sometimes his wife is overly neurotic, borderline hypochondriacal (can you believe that’s a word?) so I didn’t push it. But certainly, whenever she mentioned some health-related symptom, I advised her to get him to the doctor. Long story short, doctors found a 4-cm tumor in his stomach last week. His kidney and liver numbers looked strange, so they ran more tests. Today, his wife told me one kidney is completely shot and now they are testing his liver to see exactly what kind of cancer this is. I asked what the doctors recommended– surgery? Chemo seems to be the only option now. So what does this mean exactly? I have no idea. His wife is Indonesian-Chinese. English is her second language. Considering that medicine is difficult enough to understand even for someone with English as a first language, I can’t imagine how overcome she is with anxiety, not only having just learned that her husband is gravely ill but also not fully understanding his condition.

A part of me is so angry. Why the fuck did he wait so goddamn long? What kind of emotion or force would keep someone who is facing daily, blatant signs of trouble from seeking medical attention? I’m so frustrated and crazed and puzzled by what could have been critical six months! And yet, here he is and now we know. What now? How quickly life can change. One minute you’re twiddling your thumbs. The next minute, you are faced with a deadline– one you never realized was so damn close.

His poor wife. She was utterly distraught on the phone. What to do? Wait for answers. Follow doctor orders, and fight as hard as fucking possible. Hope the doctors and medical instruments and fancy expensive facilities can change the course. Is that what faith is? The hope for a miracle, the hope for a drop of good news in a sea of bad?

Life is Good. Oh, Let Me Count the Ways…

Life is Good. Oh, Let Me Count the Ways…

Six weeks later, BBD is still going strong. Below is just a sampling of his recent dinner creations. Now you know why DB (dancer’s body) has eluded me for so long. Regardless, like I said, whatever it takes to keep Bubbey home. I’m scouring the job boards nightly for part-time/contract work to supplement my paltry government salary…

black bean burritos
pulled pork sandwiches
homemade cheeseburgers with asparagus side
pot roast with veggies
walnut pesto baked shells with cheese/broccoli side
cod with potatoes
chicken soup
mango shrimp skewers
pork chops with raspberry glaze
angel hair pasta with homemade spaghetti meat sauce
salad with homemade dressing

other tasties:
blackberry jam
strawberry jam
mozzarella + tomatoes
key lime pie (for my b-day)

Because I Know You Care

Because I Know You Care

I’m keeping record of performances I’ve seen since moving back to the States, so here’s my list:

Kathleen Madigan
Josh Rogan
Judah ?
Cirque Ka
Miss Saigon
Annie Get Your Gun
Beauty and the Beast x 2
Little Women
Cirque Kooza
Man of La Mancha
A Thousand Clowns
American Sound
The Odd Couple
Steel Magnolias
Little Women
Little Shop of Horrors
Les Miserables
My Fair Lady
Cabaret x 2
The Kamau Bell Curve
7 Sins
Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

My buddy Tina and I planned ahead. Big time. We purchased tickets for Phantom of the Opera way back in November for a June 14 show. Yes, that’s how hard core I am about theater. She’d been raving about this particular show, and as life would have it, she had to miss it. Her father had back surgery in Bangkok (that’s where her parents live). So, despite months of anticipation, she wasn’t able to attend. Total bummer. But her hubby joined, so the three of us drove 2+ hours to Sac. Yes, it was too far. The show was quite good, but I have to say, it’s not among my favs. The opera parts are just a tad too cacophonous for me. Lesson learned. Sacramento is reserved for the creme de la creme, i.e. Les Mis or Cabaret. Speaking of Cabaret, I’m going to see it at the SF PLayhouse next month. Love Goldstar, my source for discount event tickets. It’s wonderful for small venue performances.

What else is happening… let’s see. I took my second sick day ever at the District. John was sick last weekend, and he passed the stinging eyes, nasal congestion on to me. Hurray. My method of treatment involved baking myself under the hot summer rays, and now my abdomen is red. I hope to be well enough to work tomorrow though. Love my job, you know. Can’t be away from it for long.

I finally broke my weight barrier by the way. In recent months, I had packed on as much as ten pounds… I’ve shed five now, so things are good. The previous situation was nothing desperate really, but you know me… dancer’s body, that’s the goal. Now that hip hop class is officially over, I’m moving onto advanced yoga and well hip hop in the privacy of my own home (got a hip hop DVD for my b-day). Tonight I’m hitting the pool.

Speaking of the pool, last night we took the dogs with us. Immediately upon entering the gate, they went nuts. Picked up a scent and just went crazy. Turned out, a raccoon had gone up a tree. And it was a big guy too. He was essentially stuck in the tree, and both dogs started scratching and jumping on the trunk. I’ve read that coons can get quite violent with dogs, so I started getting very nervous. I called both dogs, but they totally ignored me. Instinct had kicked in and they were in a total zone. Then the top of the tree started swaying around as the coon repositioned himself. I could have sworn he was about to fall out of the tree and get cornered by the dogs. Let me tell you, the whole incident was but a few minutes but I was stressed. I finally grabbed a hold of the dogs, spanked them for not coming when called, and we left. Stupid fuckers. They are going to get themselves slashed for real. No more pool time for them. Apparently, they never learned their lesson from the skunk and now they’ve moved on to more dangerous critters.

Pushing the Boundaries

Pushing the Boundaries

Ok, so my last post was a tad bitchy. And to come clean, I didn’t handle the situation in an optimal way. In fact, I failed miserably at this particular instance of anger management. Our couples therapist Linda surely would have been disappointed. And John is now totally traumatized. When he first saw the live post, he called for doom. And now he says I’ve got him embroiled in a scandal. Such the drama queen.

So first, apologies to my dear friend and her fiance (who definitely thinks I’m loony now). Yes, I should have broached my issues directly and before posting my scathing tirade of an entry. Somehow the visit pushed my Johnny buttons and well, enough said. I’m not proud.

In other, less dramatic news, I turned 32 on Sunday. John and I spent the weekend in Vancouver, BC. Omg, what a beautiful city… I’m in love. Totally reminded me a bit of Seattle, Portland, Hong Kong, and Shanghai all in one. The weather was a cold and misty, but I just loved Vancity: lush and green, peaceful yet bustling, and tons of good food from all over. Gotta love a place with Bubble tea, sushi, and Thai.

Public transportation was pretty good too. The elevated rail (SkyTrain) was somewhat limited, but there were lots of Prius taxis (hurray!) and the electric public buses were ultra clean. And the Canadians are so frickin’ laid back. We didn’t have exact change (coins only) for the bus, and the driver just told us to have it next time. No big deal. In the US, we would’ve gotten kicked to the curb for sure.

This was a mini-vacation, but I was all stressed out. You see, two nights before departure, I discovered that my passport had expired on April 1. Yes, I know. How could I let something like this slip through the cracks? Don’t worry, it’s on the Google calendar now: once every ten years, renew the f-ing passport.

Apparently, the US had recently implemented some new policy (Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative) requiring passports even for travel to Canada and Mexico. Long story short, after researching all this crap online, I nearly canceled my trip. I had it all planned out with Bubs. If they denied me access, he was to proceed and leave me behind. Birthday or no birthday: after all, the hotel was fully paid via Priceline. Thankfully, I had the nerve to just try to get through at the ticket counter. No one fucking cared. Yeah, I had to get into a separate line for international documents check but whatev: the agents checked my license and birth certificate, I went through additional security, and that was it.

Bottom line? All this urgent expedited same-day passport processing bullshit is a total scam. Well for travel to Canada at least. On the trip back home, the Canadian United airlines agent, Tony Scott (I’m sending him a letter of kudos, btw) was the sweetest gem of a guy. Bumped us up to an earlier flight and even gave us Economy Plus seating… free. Now that is class and service. I’ve fully returned to United’s corner.

Of course, the US Customs and Borders agent was not so pleasant. She chastised me for knowingly traveling with an expired passport. Thankfully, the agent standing next to her tempered her irritation saying, “Well, we can’t keep someone who is a citizen from entering, so just advise her to renew the passport, and off she goes.” Yes, I got lucky. But you know what? The WHTI is so lame. Doesn’t make me feel any safer. And seriously, it’s yet another paperwork hassle. Current processing times for passports is 4 weeks. Rush service is 3 weeks. Either way, my shit is in the mail as we speak. Getting that crap renewed ASAP.



God, sometimes people really are just clueless. A good friend of mine was in town last weekend. She and her dude are moving to SF next month. I’m thrilled, but this last visit just really rubbed me the wrong way. I mean, aside from not being very organized about their schedule and how it affected us (for example, airport pickup/dropoff, overnight stays, city events), I was really disappointed by their general lack of common courtesy. There was no sense that crashing at our place caused any bit of inconvenience. Everything was just whatever: “Grabbing dinner” while they were in town searching for an apartment turned into can you pick us up. Then, can you DVR something. Then, can we stay the first night. Then, we might stay the last night. Then, can we get a ride to the airport.

I mean, hello, some level of prep (for John and me) is involved when people stay over: cleaning, washing, laundry, rolling out the bed, sheets, towels, etc. Flying by the seat of the pants is fine for people who are totally self-sufficient, but hey, it’s our time too. It’s fine to ask for an airport pickup, but what’s the flight info? It’s not ok to just tell me to pick up at 7:30. What if the flight is late? Duh.

And if staying with us, which days exactly? Since there was two of them, I set everything up in the office so they didn’t have to sleep on the living room couch. That meant that I pulled out the memory foam mattress and plopped it right in the middle of our office. Set out clean sheets, pillowcases, blankets, towels. It’s not as if they brought sleeping bags… The point is, the stay over itself is not a big deal. We’re all friends, so it’s fine. But what’s the schedule? Am I supposed to just have the mattress sitting there in the middle of the office waiting in case they do decide to come back?

In the end, they did return and then wanted a ride the next afternoon to the airport. John stuck around the house and made breakfast. They lounged about in a daze all morning. When he dropped them off, it was just “bye.” No “thank you for letting us stay, thank you for breakfast, thank you for shuttling us around.” And the kicker?

When I got home, all the stuff was still everywhere– the towels hung on chairs, sheets, blankets left as is, all as if the heat had come around the corner, and they just got up and left. We’re not a fucking hotel, you know? In the very least they could have folded everything up or put it in a pile or offered to help clean up. It wasn’t even like they were in a hurry that morning and wanted to clean up but didn’t have time.

When other friends of mine visited last month, the day they left, the office was clean: sheets, towels, blankets, pillowcases– all of it was taken apart and folded in a pile. Memory foam was rolled up and put to the side. Common courtesy. I mean leaving everything strewn around…. that’s how my brother would behave if he were visiting. Totally inconsiderate and clueless. And the problem isn’t simply me being my Type A self here. Even Bubs commented (before I even said anything)! People are disappointing.