Monthly Archives: September 2009



Traffic was an absolute bitch today. I think it took me about 2 hours to get home, and I was trying to hurry too so that I could book my Spanish immersion program. You see, the school was running a special and well, I wanted to catch it before it ended. And who knows what the cutoff is really, right? I mean, is it September 29 Madrid time, Pennsylvania time (HQ), or my own time? Who the hell knows, so just to be safe, I wanted to get in with some buffer. Of course, after I finally completed the online registration, I realized I hadn’t see the prompt for a promo code, so it was all for fucking nothing. Seriously, I HATE when places run promos and don’t just automatically apply it at checkout. Especially if the promo is pretty widely publicized like all over the homepage anyway… honestly, don’t be a procedural tightass, just apply the discount to everyone who meets the stipulations! Anyway, major pet peeve, and now I have to call them tomorrow to try to negotiate the discount. What a fucking pain.

I swear, my days really can go from superb to shitty in a flash. Yesterday, I was all psyched about this project we’re doing with the Goog. The mainstream news was going to possibly interview me about the partnership. Then, after like 3 hours on site, they never even interviewed me. Nothing was promised but still, they were on OUR lands. What a letdown, because I had really prepared. And it wasn’t really that I was denied my 15 seconds of fame or anything, I just felt like the news dude wasn’t very friendly, wasn’t genuinely interested, and just plain didn’t give a shit about our side of the partnership. But whatever, I got over it by the next day (today). And today went relatively well. Had some good meetings, made good progress on my work but then the drive home turned me into a sourpuss. My eyes were dry, I was starving, the wind was howling, the sun was in my face, and people drove like crap. It was just one thing after another.

Then tonight I tried to calm myself down and watch the Ken Burns series but I just could not get in the mood. I could not sit still. And now it’s almost time for bed. Game over. Gotta wait until tomorrow to start it up again. So frustrating!

Q3 Wrap Up

Q3 Wrap Up


I’m back in the saddle again… Thank goodness, because the funk was such a goddamn drag!

Guess it helped that I recently celebrated my 2-year anniversary at work… The job is still rocking my socks off. Boss approved a couple of training requests I had for learning new skills AND he just okayed over THREE WEEKS off in November. I swear, dude is the most lax boss I have ever had. It makes all the difference. So yeah, my lengthy vacay in November is gonna be Spanish Immersion Take 2. Given the cheap airfares to Europe, I upgraded from considering opps in South and Central America to researching programs in Spain. Yup, doing it deluxe. I am still in the process of figuring out which school and which city but at least I have the tickets nailed. This will be my first real solo trip (not to mention my first time to Europe), so I’m a little nervous but also super psyched. Of course, special thanks to John, who is always supportive of my goals. He’s happy to dog sit while I go off on my European jaunt. I just hope I make good progress learning Spanish.

Looks like my New Year’s resolutions are mostly on track. I am supposed to finish reading my 3rd book of the year though (Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers), and I’m getting down to the wire here…

Oh man, I am beat. Today John and I went down to Watsonville to participate on a farm day at our CSA’s farm. We hand-sowed lettuce seeds, milked goats, picked tomatoes, made marinara sauce, baked pizzas, etc. We weren’t even that productive given we were there all damn day, but the sun is so f-ing strong that 8 hours felt like forever. Tomorrow is another busy day. Farm tours in Sonoma County. Gotta hit the sack early. When is John’s infatuation with farm life gonna end??

The Funk is Back

The Funk is Back

And I don’t mean the good funk either… I’m in a rut again. This is the first time in a while (I think?), so maybe there’s a hormonal explanation for this (I usually take my pills straight so as to miss the monthly “inclement weather,” but I told myself dreary weather four times a year shouldn’t be so bad. Well, welcome to the next rain!)

I find myself crying just at the thought of a disturbing news story. I come home and I’m suddenly exhausted, so beaten that I change into PJs and crawl into bed. All before 7 p.m. You see, this is not typical behavior for an “administrator” like me. In fact, this is unacceptable behavior and yet, I don’t care. It’s almost as if John and I have temporarily reversed roles. Except that I love my job. It’s just, with the traffic and the horrifying news– day in and day out– of more violence committed against women, I just feel sick. Sick of these people… and to even say “these” as if there really were a “them” vs. “us.” What a load of bullshit: Them = us. They are among us. Ugh, the world is sick, and I am so tired by it.

The story of Annie Le. How many times had I gone to the lab (in a newly constructed “secure” building)– on weekends, at night, early morning… that could have happened to anyone. I can’t stop thinking, wondering about her last moments. Everyday we engage with people: some whom we’ve known for decades, some for years, some for just days. Normally, just because I “know” these people, I assume they are good. I feel safe. That view is so wrong! The world disappoints. Who can be trusted, really? I feel so overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions. Distrust. Disgust. Disappointment. Hopelessness.

Like I recently found this local blogger who’s like living the life, traveling to NZ for 3 months then Europe for 1, going to live shows all the time… I wonder, how the hell is she affording all this (she’s unemployed)? Then I see links to couchsurfing on her blog. Now how the fuck am I going to couchsurf when I’m starting to look at just ordinary people on the street, at the store, with suspicion? The fear is building and however inconvenient, it is paralyzing me. Fuck, am I going to have to go to therapy again? Seriously, annoying, debilitating, bullshit.

Last time, my therapist said I should restrict exposure to things that trouble me. But I want to know what happens in the Jaycee Duggard case. And I want to know what happens with the Yale student autopsy and the suspect in custody. It’s as if knowing what happens offers hope for some resolution or vengeance or SOMEthing, because how can this be? How can people honestly be so fucked up?

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Despite me logging EVERYTHING in our shared Google calendar, John forgot that I had the day off tomorrow. So today being Football Sunday, he tried to throw me a bone so that I would leave him alone with the tv. In the morning, he spoiled me with breakfast (his food keeps getting tastier and tastier; meanwhile, I’m having to summon even more self-restraint so I don’t turn into the marshmallow man) and then when we headed off to Costco, he let me buy that monster 14-lb. bag of baking soda and 2 jugs of vinegar I had been eyeing. Yeah, you see, trying to keep me occupied so he can watch his games. And what prompted this recent cleaning streak? No, not stress– you’ll be sorry you asked.

Last week, John went tromping around in our backyard. I have no idea what the hell he was doing out there (certainly NOT cleaning or gardening), but needless to say, he stepped in a pile of fresh Remy shit… and then, he proceeded to tromp around INSIDE the house, oblvious for probably 30 seconds. I was upstairs in the bathroom. All of the sudden, I heard him shouting hysterically. Wtf is going on? I couldn’t understand anything he was saying. When he finally calmed down enough to speak coherently, I came downstairs and saw the damage. Brown footprints all over the tile and cream carpet and goddamnit, that shit stank!

And just my luck,John gets squeamish about the lamest things: poop, pee, and blood. I know, how can he stand to be human, right? That’s all we are! So of course, I had to clean it up, and even though that stuff doesn’t make me squeamish, it’s still disgusting. Ever since then, I’ve been wearing my flip flops inside the house because I don’t want no shit residue on my bare feet, you know? Transferring that crap onto the bedsheets and shit. Ugh.

Anyway, today was the day to disinfect. I’d been talking about steam cleaning the carpets for probably over a year (well before this incident). Today was finally the day. And yippee for us being cheap motherfuckers. DIY. We rented the Rug Doctor machine at Longs. The machine is simple enough to use, but cleaning with that thing is a major workout. The reservoir needs emptying way too frequently, the machine weighs a fucking ton, and the thing is deafeningly loud. Instead of their pricey special solvent, I used a vinegar and hot water mixture, which worked out pretty well. My carpets definitely look brighter. The Rug Doctor even picked up this huge area where I had spilled laundry detergent. Conclusion? Going by the color of the wastewater, John and I are filthy, dirty people. But the good news is, we found a pretty cheap and effective (albeit laborious) option for steam cleaning. Maybe now we won’t drag ass for three years before steamcleaning. I’m just glad I can walk around barefoot again. Hurray for simple pleasures!

Theater Double Header

Theater Double Header

Today John and I headed out to Martinez to check out The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, a musical comedy I’ve been wanting to see. Despite having to take a detour, we arrived to town early, grabbed lunch at Marie Callendar’s (key lime pie!), and still scored front row seats!

The play was well worth the drive. And funny thing, they were recruiting members from the audience to participate in the spelling bee, so like the usual dork that I am, I volunteered along with three other girls (all under 21). Surprisingly, I didn’t get overly stressed about being on stage, but I will admit that I started cramming before the play started. Yup, I kept trying to think up tough words. I know, SUCH a nerd. None of it mattered really. My first word: Mexican. My second word was like altagogy (?) or something. Anyway, it was interesting being on stage with the cast who were of course all exaggerated and in character. Then, they would kind of nudge us to stand or sit or move around. I saw Bubbey in the front row just laughing. I was up there for a while too, so I was much relieved when I spelled the second word wrong. Anyway, the play itself was so cute and funny. And the theater? What a gem!! The seating is cabaret style, so you have small round tables, they serve drinks and food… so charming! I was so sad to hear that they might close after 30+ years. Fucking economic downturn. Total drag.

Downtown Martinez itself was pretty dead too. Lots of vacant retail space and just an eerie silence.

On our drive home, John and I swung by the windmill farms in Livermore. It really was ultra windy over there! We hit the local Sonic (I had never been), and John said that would be my ideal second job– waitressing on rollerskates. Haha.

I’m pretty beat now. Got home after 6, fed/walked the pups, hit the hot tub, got all cleaned up. Tomorrow, we’re catching up with a couple of friends from out of town. Who knew so many people actually planned to travel this Labor Day weekend?! I thought everyone would opt for staying home because of all the traffic and road construction.

Oh well, I’m glad John and I will get a chance to catch up with KL and Belques: KL and I used to work at that fuel cell startup, so they used to live in Fremont, then moved to Irvine, and now just recently moved to San Luis Obispo. Always on the move, like every 12-18 months, and now they have a little baby in tow too! But no matter where we are now, we always like to do at least one quick round of trash talking about our former workplace.

In the evening, John and I are going into SF to meet up with my college roomie and her buddy. A few months back, I had told Yova about my fascination with the concepts of speed dating and of improv classes. Well, she actually followed through with both! The former– horrible experience, but the latter– awesome. I’m trying to get John to try improv… could totally be up his alley.

To follow in the same vein (yeah I had to look that one up: was it vane or vein?), we’re gonna hit up Killing My Lobster after dinner. We caught their sketch show a few months back, and it was hilarious, like John had tears in his eyes, it was so funny. Sunday’s show is a new one in a different theater. Can’t wait to see how it pans out.

Either way, I wanna give a shout out to Goldstar for hooking us up with discounted tix. Seriously, I love them! Maybe I should work for them too…

Who Am I?

Who Am I?

My buddy Dave’s parents are both social workers. As I have always had a fascination with Myers-Briggs, I asked him to hook me up with a stack of approved, legit tests. Voila! Of course, as soon as I received the link, I spent 90 minutes taking answering hundreds of questions.

Perhaps I view these as an opportunity to be someone I’m not. Maybe I dream that my personality will be cool and inventive and artistic and dreamy. Nope. Test after test, I am who I am. Yeah, kind of a drag. On the bright side, I suppose it’s not a bad thing to be reliable and organized. Ah well, grain of salt they say.

Lasting Relationships

Lasting Relationships

Bubs and I had our 13-year anniversary last last Sunday (the day after my big work event). We had a lovely celebration. In the morning, I received another adorable puppy card (baby long-haired dachshund) to add to my collection. Then, we went for a swim and headed out to the city for Julie & Julia. Of course on the way there, a lunch pitstop at In N Out was in order. John recently finished a book about the history of In N Out. He said the family side of the story is actually rather sad, but the success of the business and its continuing commitment to quality? No convincing needed. John is easily a believer.

I have to say, the burger is delicious. But one recent lesson? 2 burgers + 2 fries for 2 people is too much. Like “food coma” too much. So next time, it’s 2 burgers + splitting 1 order of fries. And the shake is totally out of the question. Unless it’s consumed in moderation. Haha. Always need some kind of a loophole!

Anyhow, with our bellies beyond full, we headed into SF. Cruised around the mall (of course) for about 5 minutes. Truthfully, I’m starting to get sick of shopping. I mean, certainly one of the secrets to keeping my wardrobe current is that I shop– or browse– often. Gotta collect those data points, you know? But lately, the merchandise has just been crap. Like I go, spend 10 minutes and then fall totally out of the mood. I dunno what the deal is. At least it all worked out without much time to kill before the movie!

So Julie & Julia was wonderful. I really enjoyed it. I dunno what the critics were saying about the modern character, calling her a whiner and shit. Whatever. I’m sure had the character been male, that term would never have been applied. Whatever. Julie’s this contemporary government bee doing the daily drill in a thankless job in an expensive city. I mean seriously, there are probably millions of people who can relate to this character! (not me though, I love my job, remember?) Regardless, the acting was superb (none of the usual bullshit, unconvincing eyecandy that’s drowning the industry) and what a fascinating story between Julia and Paul Child? How refreshing to see a beautiful, supportive, healthy partnership. And such constancy!

Which kinda gets me thinking…

of so many relationships that have changed over time. In general, as I’ve mentioned before, I don’t really “break up” with people. Like I still maintain ties, albeit some looser than others, with my grade school classmates, my college friends, grad school peeps, first job coworkers, second job coworkers, Shanghai buds… if I really stop to think about it, that’s a lot of contacts. I suppose I’m pretty decent at keeping in touch too: I remember numbers, dates, experiences; I put stuff in my calendar… but lately, I’ve been feeling like it’s all too much. Maybe my mother was right. Maybe I do act a little desperate.

Maybe part of the problem is my long memory. I remember connections, no matter how far back they date, and I’m probably a little naive in my persistence. For example, how many times do I make yet another effort after many previous ones have gone unanswered. Haha, I’m not saying everyone should want to be my friend. It’s not so elitist really. Rather, I think this is about letting go and moving on.

Remember the great moments of friendship but at some point, realize that the friendship was what it was: perhaps some were meant to last a moment or a season or a year (or two) or a lifetime. Learn to tell the difference, because ultimately, time is precious for all of us.

I have this tendency to follow up and check up and see how things are going. Maybe deep down, it’s some way of drawing out an old fond memory. Maybe it’s just a way to satisfy my “busy bee” nosiness. Whatever it is, I’m coming to see that all of this “keeping tabs” actually consumes energy, and though this may sound harsh, maybe this expenditure is not efficient or sensible. People are busy. I get that. In fact, I try to stay as busy as fucking possible, because I love seeing my Google calendar chock full of events. But again, time is finite, and I want to start spending my time in a way that really means something.

So now everyone is probably wondering: which relationships is she alluding to here? Who is she done with? Sure, there are some people who come to mind, but really this is a broader shift for me. This is me realizing that I’m going to stop trying so hard. Now sure, some things are worth fighting hard for… (John and I had a really difficult time last year but after hanging tough, we made it out of the woods). But not ALL things deserve that much effort. So that’s where I am. No more me initiating calls, repeatedly calling, or coordinating get-togethers of people from back in the day. The day is now. I’m grateful for the wonderful friendships and experiences and connections in the past, but moving forward, friendship is mutual and perhaps not always constant.