Monthly Archives: August 2011

The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things


If you haven’t watched the movie, add it to your list. It’s on Netflix Instant, and it stars Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz. Both great actors and not too shabby eye candy. The basic premise? Guy meets a girl, falls head over heels in love with her. Because of her “influence” we’ll call it, he loses weight, gets a new wardrobe, new haircut, new nose, ditches his old frumpy (and beloved) corduroy coat, compromises his once unyielding rules, hangs out less with his friends… Pretty much every suggestion from the girlfriend results in some kind of eagerly adopted change in him.

One of my good guy friends reminds us of that movie. Most of the changes, people would readily consider as welcome changes. After all, who can criticize a slimmer, trimmer, healthier, better looking, more stylish person? But then there are other changes– changes beyond the superficial. Hobbies, possessions, attitudes once a part of him are now surrendered or neglected or abandoned.

Is she good for him? Some people say the answer lies in the motivation behind his changes. Did he always want to look hipper and trimmer? Did he always want to be a health/exercise fanatic? If these were always goals he held, and she just happened to catalyze the changes for him, fine. But what if he was happy with who he was previously, and he is now changing to please her… does that stain the metamorphosis into something negative?

Ultimately, yes, the most important thing is his happiness, and yes, he does appear happy. But I valued him the way he was, and to think that he is undergoing all these changes to please someone because she valued him less as he was and more now, only after he has begun to meet her standards, just makes me sick. Really, it does. Sure, everyone has room for improvement. I’m just not convinced all of these changes are “improvements.” Seriously, now I feel like all he does is work, run, diet, and detox. If I were to meet him tomorrow, would we still connect? Maybe I’m just getting all worked up because I’m partly disappointed with him. Why is he being so goddamn accommodating? Why is he turning into such a flake? Seriously, as much as I admit to being a control freak, I just like to control “things” and situations/circumstances. I don’t try to control people! But he’s letting her control him, and the question is WHY? Is he trying to prove to her that he’s good enough or worthy of her love? It should totally be the opposite way around. Can I tell him that? Can I tell him in all candidness, friend to friend, that he’s too good for her?

Active August

Active August

It is way too early on a Saturday morning. I should be sleeping snugly in my cozy bed (dreaming of Adam Levine– just kidding!), but instead, I’m riding the Caltrain to SF. On Saturdays, the train stops at every single station, so the ride takes 95 minutes rather than the express 50 minutes. Anyway, I’m up because this month is all about being active.

I had taken a hiatus of sorts this summer– I just wasn’t feeling much interest in doing stuff. Well that ended August 1. I’m fickle like that.

So John did end up going full time… he also took on a new role: now he’s VP of Engineering. Yeah, Mr. Fancypants. He’s going to be presenting at board meetings, meeting with investors, building the team. Maybe that’s what triggered all these new activities. I do have a deep-seated fear that things will revert to those unhappy days when he was overworked, stressed, and depressed. But my approach to ward off the evil spirits? Fight even harder for work-life balance… INSIST on it. I know that MY work-life balance doesn’t necessarily translate to him, but I’m sure it has some influence, especially since he always has the option to tag along on all the things I plan. And this time, hopefully, he’ll understand that balance might just be the only thing that saves us. I still anticipate there will be a lot more me-time in the near future: that’s simply the nature of him working at start-ups… But I’m not feeling resentful about it; I just want to make sure it doesn’t stop me from doing things I want to do and from setting up my own personal support system that helps me cope with changes to the relationship.

So what’s on the list? Well first things first.

House Crap
There’s so much house shit that requires maintenance. The fence up front was falling over, like 70 degrees and about to crush the car. The screen door was all junked up (did someone cut through the screen to unlock the door before?), and the arbor beams at the front of the house looked like they were ready to collapse and kill someone. The good news is that I found a new, responsive contractor, and he completed all those tasks last month. Of course in the process, he found termites, so then we had to get another pest inspection, spray the area, etc. Speaking of pests, we have roof rats. I was seriously considering a peaceful co-existence with the rodents, but then John showed me a YouTube video: not only are these rats carriers of the bubonic plague, but one female can produce 900-1000 offspring a year!! Wtf? It’s like attack of the aliens. Fuck that. They gots to go! The original plan was to poison them, but now John’s worried the poison may kill other animals that get the bait. So now it’ll have to be traps that break their necks. Ugh, poor critters.

There have also been a steady stream of burglaries in the neighborhood in the last year. You know I’m paranoid about that kind of shit. Who cares about the stuff, but I just have stressful dreams about coming home and well, shit happening to my person. So, we installed an alarm system. I know, it’s such a yuppie thing, but our house is old, and the doors/windows just don’t lock securely plus there’s a lot of glass. On top of that, I have lost all confidence that the dogs will protect/alert us in any way. So we had the system installed two weeks ago– so far so good.

I’m also trying to step things up with cleaning a little bit every day. John calls it my “power hour” but it actually runs far longer than 60 minutes. Basically, as soon as I get home, I start cleaning, de-cluttering, wiping, doing yard work. Yes, it is exhausting, but it’s helpful not to let shit pile up. John and I are just messy people, so there is a constant, natural movement towards chaos. This is definitely a constant battle, but I don’t want to put up with a dirty house and I’m still holding out against a house cleaner. I already have too many house expenses as is!

Professional Development
This month I decided it was time to tackle professional development. I’ve been scouring Eventbrite and the twitterfeeds for relevant tech talks, seminars, meetups, etc. I’m attending the WordPress conference this weekend in SF. Then I also signed up for to brush up on web-design related stuff plus javascript. I figured, work will pay for all of it, so really it’s just my time. I’m also eyeing some classes at the local community colleges… not for tech stuff, but fun stuff: Spanish or singing… we’ll see if I can settle on anything.

Regular Exercise
So John’s done really well this summer, especially with going to the gym regularly. He’s the skinniest he’s been in like 10 years. Yeah, we did a closet cleanout and everything! So now I’m feeling inspired to get active again– but of course without going to the gym. Hehe. So Tina and I are starting up our weekly rollerblading sessions. The pavement at the elementary school next door is actually pretty decent. Plus, it’s a good time to talk shit about work and strategize with office politics and such. Always gotta be in the loop.

I found a ranch about 20 minutes away in Milpitas, so I started taking weekly riding lessons there. Pricing is super reasonable, the horses are so well cared for, the ranch is gorgeous (huge arena plus trails adjacent to open space!), and my instructor is the ranch owner– a tried and true cowboy with about 40 years of experience. He’s going to teach me how to rope eventually (after I get up to speed). 🙂 I just love riding… it really is one of those things that just makes me smile every time I think of it. When does that ever happen, right??

I’m still doing Groupons and such. Jess and I got one for the same hot yoga studio, so we went to the first class earlier this month. Boy did I feel out of shape… I about died. Seriously. I was the big slacker in the class who stopped every 15 minutes to rest and drink water. Totally wussy, but I cannot handle nauseas.

My next Groupon activity is go-karting. A few of us are trying that out next Monday. I’m a little worried about crashing, especially if I’m racing alongside other people. I’m not exactly the safest driver. 🙂 Eek.

John and I are coming up on our 15th anniversary… can you believe it? I’m thinking we’ll do an archery lesson. John did one with his sister a couple months ago and enjoyed. He’s probably awesome at it, with all the hours he clocked in high school and college playing assassin-type video games. I just hope my arrows don’t fly rampant.