Monthly Archives: July 2008

Crankpot is Back

Crankpot is Back

Oh my god, I’ve been a total grump the last two weeks. You’d think that after Bubbey returned from his 2.5-week hiatus in Maryland, I’d be in a wonderful mood. Just the opposite. People are irking my nerves… First, I was upset about cleaning up the house only to have Bubs junk it up again with dirty dishes, clothes on the floor, and library books, camera equipment, and gardening gear all over. Then, he was back to watching tv at night. Sorry, but I don’t want to sit around every night and watch tv. Tina was repeatedly getting caught up at work, which was throwing off our carpooling schedule. Then, her project was approaching a critical milestone so skate/swim nights got canceled. At work, her project was waffling because everyone had a damn opinion. In turn, I started getting frustrated with people’s stupid comments. And they were stupid, myopic comments. With my own work, I posted a pretty cool plot of our wards in Google Maps but was told to take it down by the GM and Board acting president. Mind you, they told me to take it down and they hadn’t even LOOKED at the page. So fucking asinine. So a week and a half later, after my manager met with the GM, what’s the resolution? The GM and other manager who took this to the GM in the first place, both admitted they acted overly cautious in telling me to take it down. So rather than take a look at the page now to realize just how ridiculous this situation has become, they are still insisting that I “demo” this to the Board. And presenting to the Board means getting this item put on the agenda, passing it through the system for “approval”, prepping a Board report, prepping a presentation (because who’s going to just show this one 5-second bit?)… I’m so pissed that their mistake just leads to more work for me and in the meantime, I still can’t post the page. Classic micromanaging. Classic bureaucracy. I’m fuming again just writing about this. Inhale, exhale. Ok, so my conclusion is that I’ll present again to the Board. I’ll showcase all the latest and greatest. But this is the only time I will hold off posting a change to the web. That’s my job. That’s my realm. I’m not about to relinquish control of that to people for whom this is not their specialty. Ugh.

Other annoyances: whenever things in my life feel like they are slipping out of my control, I start to obsess over things that I can control, like my body. So suddenly, I was feeling in dire need of a new hair color or style. I went out and bought salsa red hair color, and I thought, “how fun would it be to put in highlights at home?” I propositioned several friends and no one bit. When I told them, chunky red highlights, no one was convinced. Then I showed them a few pictures of Kelly Clarkson hair and suddenly, the look was cool and sexy. My coworker even thought she would try it. And so the competition was on. Who would have the better style the very next day. So I went home that night and researched and prepped. Printed out instructions on applying highlights. Got my special applicator brushes ready (toothbrush), cut out my pieces of foil, determined the size and placement of the chunks. After nearly two hours of labor, I emerged from the shower, dried my hair and …. NOTHING. The goddamn color didn’t take. Swear to god, I followed the directions. I left that permanent color in for 45 minutes. Fucking blackass Asian hair. Bye, bye Kelly Clarkson.

The next day, I was sure Jen would come in with flying colors. Well, her dye job bombed too. The dark base worked (she’s a natural dirty blond) but the highlights didn’t kick in either. Wtf? So the last time I tried to lighten my hair myself, I was a sophomore or junior in college. The purple didn’t take. But I thought for sure, in the last 10+ years, there would be significant innovations in haircolor technology. And certainly since college, I’ve gotten my hair highlighted in salons, and they definitely don’t use a two-step process (to bleach/strip first and then color). So I’m clueless. But at this point, I’m over it. I went and just got a trim last night. Whatev. Might as well focus on controlling something else. So now my mission is dancer’s body (but not achieved through dancing). I’m back to swimming, rollerblading ( had a blowout sale, so I’m upgrading to Bubbey’s skates for only $90–with an internet coupon, of course!!), and bicycling. There’s a 15.5-mile skate every Sunday in the city that I want to build up to. I wouldn’t say “train for,” because I hate when people “train” for stuff, but I suppose it’s a near-term goal. Definitely by the end of the year.

In other news, it looks like I’m losing breadwinner status sooner rather than later. Really sucks. So now I’m relinquishing control at work and at home. Lovely. It’s not even that I’m tyrannical or anything: it’s just that I like to run certain shows. The web site? That’s my show. It’s not the GM’s show. It’s not the Board’s show, you know? At home, I want to focus on work so Bubs can focus on his domestic hobbies and exercise activities. Plus, a working John is a stressy John, which means it’s highly possible we’ll be back to “coming home normal time” (which never means “on time”) and sitting in front of the TV with his laptop from the time he gets home to bedtime. So much for the active life.

Am I having a bad attitude about all this? Yeah, sure. That’s why this post is entitled “Crankpot is Back.” I’m in a rut. Got into it two weeks ago. But I know I need to just let go of shit. The only thing I can control is me. So that’s that.

By the way, I joined Facebook recently and that’s probably what triggered this whole damn funk that I’m in: everyone with their beautiful pictures and exciting travels and intriguing lives and 550 friends. Is my competitive streak resurfacing? The one I had cultivated so religiously as a child and adolescent and then out of necessity, locked away in a dungeon in my mid-20s? I honestly don’t know. But right at this moment, I feel out of control. That there is too much going on around me, and I can’t “fix” any of it. My mind feels restless, anxious, burdened by fear. Fear that my job will change and I will stop loving it. Fear that Bubbey will go back to work and we’ll repeat the struggles of this last year. Fear that I will never attain professional “success,” however I truly, honestly define it. Fear that I will only abet Fonda’s dependency on others. Fear that medicine will not pull through. Fear that people I know will self-destruct. Fear that my grandfather will pass before I get up off my ass and plan my damn trip to Taiwan. Fear that, as a barren womb, I will once again not fit in. And this list just goes on… I’m fucking turning into my mother. Irrational fears, paralyzing neuroses.

No. I need to reorganize. I need to keep at the todo list. Step by step. And exercise will become my coping mechanism, because really, what besides myself can I control.

Like Old Times

Like Old Times

My undergrad college roommate came down from Vacaville this weekend. Since Bubbey entered the picture, we hadn’t really hung out alone for a long time. I have to say, I found the reunion surprisingly refreshing. As soon as she stepped in the door, we got to gabbing, and it was reminiscent of old times.

On Saturday night, we saw Sara Bareilles at the Fillmore. I’m usually not keen on concerts (too chaotic and rowdy), and before Yovanni told me about the event, I hadn’t even heard of Sara so I wasn’t sure what to expect… For some reason, I had expected her to be a boppy songstress. But oh no. Sara was awesome– a bit Fiona Apple-ish. And the venue was sweet: we saw her up close. I’m hooked. Now in addition to theater events, I’m gonna have to watch out for concerts at the Fillmore too.

On Sunday, we hit Burlingame on a mission. Caught breakfast at Crepevine (my eggs benedict fetish is back full force) and then shopped for hours. I really go in phases with the shopping– sometimes I hate shopping, other times I rather enjoy it. I have to say, most recently, the consumerism bug is making a comeback with me. Perhaps I played my game for too long…

Anyway, today was quite successful: pants, jeans, a dress… I know, I really need to stop with the jeans but I just love them, especially when they are like $12!! Yes, I know. I’m highly driven by price. So sue me!

What can I do? The stores are having big sales now. Cool stuff at 1980’s prices. No joke. Of course, now I have a pair of red cotton pants. Not sure how to pull that look off, but I guess figuring it out is part of the fun.

Also, I’m getting the itch for highlights again. Wanna go chunky red/eggplant. Thinking about doing it myself at home. Dare me? How bad could it possibly turn out? All I gotta do is dye it jet black again (if the highlights tank). We’ll see if I have the guts for it this week.

Stupid Pricks

Stupid Pricks

After I got my GPS unit all fixed and back to normal on July 4, the rest of that holiday weekend was awesome: it was all about the me time. I slept in, I hung with the pups, I sunbathed on the deck, I did some yard work, played around with Photoshop, hit the pool… it was the quite possibly the best three days of chill I’ve had in a long time.

Of course, that doesn’t mean the weekend was entirely without incident. Ugh. God, these stupid pricks in my neighborhood… five fucking overprivileged, elitest assholes were at the pool all day Sunday, from like 9 – 5. Seriously. So for whatever reason, there were some Mexican landscapers working that day and well, at some point during those 8 hours, they busted out the leaf blower. So lazy ass dickwad and friends basically started yelling at the Latino woman blasting the leaves near the pool fence. “What the fuck are you doing? What are you doing? Can’t you see…” blah, blah, blah. At first, she didn’t even know he was talking to her. I mean, he practically got the attention of the entire neighborhood with his obscene hollering. Since he was off that day, apparently, so was the entire rest of the world. Needless to say, she was forced to stop even though our home owners association hires her for that job. Wtf?

Who the hell did he think he was? It’s all about having the cake and eating it too. Pisses me off. Like the snobby community wants all the pretty flower beds and manicured lawns and bullshit plantings, but they don’t want to see the work that’s involved with creating their little Disneyland, right? Fucking moron. I wanted to yell back to shut the fuck up and go laze around on his couch since he obviously wasn’t using the pool to swim.

Also, I want to point out that all weekend long, someone in our community was doing home renovations, meaning I could hear a frickin’ radial saw and pounding construction noise all damn day. Did he bitch and moan and yell at those people? I think not. Racist pig. I was disgusted.

So on that delightful, happy note…. aren’t you glad for the update? No really, my weekend was otherwise glorious. Assholes just tick me off.

Playing with Tech

Playing with Tech

Oh man. I spent all fucking day trying to restore the North America maps on my stupid Garmin StreetPilot C330. At work, I used my GPS to play around with some new GPS data prepped by our GIS specialist and in the process of adding new data, I erased the standard maps that came with the unit. Jesus Christ. You have no idea what a fucking pain it has been trying to get this shit back. Garmin certainly does not make this shit easy. No restore. No hard reset. Sure, you can download the City Navigator North America NT or whatever, but you have to pay like $100, even if it’s the version that came with the unit. All day, I tell you. I was on all kinds of sketchy sites, fiddling with torrents and rars and zips… I must have been living on Mars, because all of it is new to me!

And then the stupid SD slot is buggy as hell. Pop the card in, pop the card out. Sometimes it’s recognized, sometimes not. A total crapshoot. But now as the fireworks are going off at 9:30 this evening, I’ve got it all back. Thank goodness. Now I can actually chill out this holiday weekend.

So last night Tina and I saw Cabaret at a small theater in the city. Respectable attempt but that musical is just way too lavish to pull off in a mini theater with a 15 x 8 ft. stage. Ain’t cutting it. Cabaret definitely is a production where you have to go all out. Oh well. Live and learn. Cozy theaters are ideal for one-person shows like comedy stand ups, but they’re totally inadequate for productions with full casts. For those, I want the full effect with complete immersion.

Feeling Stressed

Feeling Stressed

I have a lot on my mind these days. This evening, I feel like a horrible daughter. My father called around dinnertime today asking me to research renewing the business license for his rental condo in DC. The thing is, my parents are fairly low maintenance. They rarely ask me for anything, but every time they DO ask, my father always couches it as “my English no good so… ” blah, blah. I don’t know if he’s trying to be self-deprecating or what but it just pisses me off! I mean, stop making excuses! Hello, he was a prominent OB/GYN for 30 years! His English is good enough for that, and now he’s retired so why can he not get a better handle on figuring out the system? Am I accusing him of being lazy? Am I so self-centered I can’t even help my own father on such a minor request? I know, I came across so bratty, but I’m just so frustrated. The guy is super competent, super smart. When he asks me computer problems, I write everything down step by step. I email the directions. Yet, he and my mother never follow the directions. It’s as if they don’t even read the fucking email. When I call to follow up, it’s always “I’m old; I don’t know computers; I can’t type…” Well you sure as hell figure it out to monitor your stocks and to do your trading transactions! I know it’s hard. I lived in Shanghai and couldn’t even read but why is he letting himself lose that edge? Whatever happened to “hit the iron while it’s hot” and “sharpen the knife?”

Then he got all upset that I was annoyed. He explained that whenever he calls places to get more information, the damn automated answering service never understands what he says. And when he does finally get to a person, that person doesn’t understand and doesn’t help him. So fine. I understand that, and I’m sorry for the shitty experience. But the computer problems? There’s no excuse. I mean, I take the time to write out the instructions, he should at least try to follow them. Sigh. I’m just so stressed about everything that’s going on. My best friend is depressed and I can’t help her. My other friend has terminal cancer and his wife is flipping out. My parents are getting older, and I’m on the other side of the country. I call every week and there’s nothing to say. And then my father asks for help, and I get all impatient. Why? Am I trying to teach him a lesson? Am I applying the whole “teach a man to fish” principle? Seems ridiculous doesn’t it? Honestly, I don’t know why I give attitude. That’s just how I interact with my parents. I need to cut the crap. I mean, I have good intentions but whatever. They’re old. Just do it for them. Guess that’s my conclusion. So fine. I’m calling the DC government first thing tomorrow morning to figure out the license renewal fee (can’t believe they don’t post that shit online). And I’m researching PC Anywhere tonight so I can set it up remote access on their computer in August. I know MSN offers remote access, but I can’t even get them to follow the steps to log onto IM! Fucking A.

In other news, I’ve been hearing a lot about the link between forgiveness and attaining true happiness. My brother emailed me on my birthday, and I never replied. I still haven’t really spoken to him since probably 2003 when he lived with us. I just don’t want to deal with him on any level. Intrinsically, I suppose this means that I don’t forgive him for being a spoiled, inconsiderate ass. But all this talk of learning to forgive…. My response? What about accountability? What about learning to be a decent, responsible, considerate person? Fuck forgiveness. Seriously.

Taking Action

Taking Action

Sigh. I finally did it. After months of deliberation, I finally wrote a letter enclosing contact information for my skin clinic to the lady at work. Jesus. I must have written the letter ten different times– just couldn’t get the tone right. In the end, I kept things brief: I just told her I had struggled with shitty skin for 15 years and this place helped me…

I put the envelope on her desk during lunch, and then the rest of the afternoon, I walked around on pins and needles. I know, what was the big fucking deal really? I don’t know. I guess it’s such a personal and sensitive subject: I didn’t want to hurt her feelings and yet I felt so guilty having sat on a possible solution for so long… I was so nervous my hands went numb.

In the end, she sent me a quick email thanking me for the contact and saying that she appreciated help from people who knew what a pain all of this was. What a relief. I hope the clinic helps her.

In other news, a few of my friends are going through some tough times right now. My best friend from high school is having a hell of a time dealing with the loss of her father a couple months ago, all while juggling the pressures and stress of veterinary medicine. She has shit insurance also and I sometimes forget that outside of California, coverage isn’t so great when it comes to mental and emotional health services. Thankfully, my days at LifeLine Shanghai came in handy today. I browsed the site for their international headquarters and came across a link to Befrienders Worldwide, which offers hotlines offering emotional support. Thank goodness for nonprofits I tell you.