Saturday, December 18, 2004

is there a doctor in the house?

Alex and I are about to leave for our Christmas trip back to Boston. While packing I couldn't believe I had to dedicate an entire bag to this

Sadly, none of that stuff is helping the dizziness. However, I will be attending my company's holiday party tonight anyways. I figure what the hell, I'll just blend in with any drunks.

Friday, December 17, 2004

allow me to apologize

to the 4 people who read this blog, but I just don't have anything to write about. I've been laid up in the land of the undiagnosed vertigo and nausea all week, feeling extremely sorry for myself.

Let it be known that I am getting up off my ass today and attempting to have a "normal" day. Maybe something funny will happen, like everyone at work will think that I'm a drunk because I can't walk a straight line and I'll miraculously get fired.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

for lack of something better to post

My inner ear is officially making my life miserable. But I can always count on Alex to attempt to cheer me up with plenty of delicious dinners.
I wasn't able to enjoy this last night, so instead I will share it with everyone.

Behold, the magic of meat.

Monday, December 13, 2004

reality check

Does Jeff Probst feel like as big of a jerk as he looks like when they film those crappy little segments of him getting the jury votes from a remote island to New York or Los Angeles?

Last night they had Jeff leave the tribal council area with the tub of votes and a machete, where he then proceeded to travel all night throughout the jungle, cutting any vines blocking his way to freedom. As it turned to daylight, he came to a clearing with a helicopter, which then took him to an airplane. Once on said airplane, he turned to the pilot and announced "here's where I get off," and magically suited up and jumped from the plane. He then parachuted safely to the middle of nowhere, where a kick ass motorcycle waited for him. This motorcycle even had a nifty locking rack system on the back for the all important tribal council votes. There was a close up of Jeff putting the votes safely onto the motorcycle, mmmm.... riveting television. Manly Jeff then drove the motorcycle through the mean streets of LA where he proceeded to enter the studio with his tub o' votes to let us all know who would win a million dollars.

It was just so lame.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

happy birthday, Ella!

I haven't met you yet, but I already know I love all 7 lbs. and 7oz. of you.

Thursday, December 09, 2004

favorite lyrics of the day (vol. 3)

From Christmas in San Francisco, performed by Vic Damone
Christmas in San Francisco
Looking like some fairy land
People with gifts in the crispy air
Giving old Saint Nick a hand

Let's take a peek in Chinatown
Eating lychee nuts and barbecued boar
What can you say about the Golden Gate
That hasn't been said before

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

minimal decorations = maximum creepy

Last night while Alex diligently studied for the National Board Exams in Optometry, I put 5 Christmas decorations out. My sister gave me some elves a few years ago, ones that looked just like the kind we had when we were growing up. Instead of hanging them on the tree, my Mom would always hang them from the lamps in the living room. It never seemed out of place to me... until I did it in my own home. Now I realize that it's kind of weird to have some little Snap, Crackle or Pop guy all up in your grill while you're trying to unwind on the couch.

Monday, December 06, 2004

I can't stop

eating these

Thursday, December 02, 2004

steroids and needles and tears, oh my

The past five weeks have been a pretty big drag for me (and most people around me), since whatever is happening to my inner ear won't let up. I'm not sure if this is some devious plan that fate has cooked up for me to miraculously feel better at Christmas so I will realize I should never take anything for granted, especially my health, ever again. Or maybe I'm just genetically inferior and I will have to learn how to survive the rest of my life feeling as if I just stepped off a giant amusement park ride with a wad of cotton shoved in my right ear. Which ever one it is, this dizziness and hearing loss is starting to make me lose my mind, a little at a time, everyday.

I finally dumped and filed a grievance against my primary care physician, because honestly, no one should have a doctor who tells you that you shouldn't be coming in for a visit once a year, but only when you have an "issue" to deal with. The wacky thing about this guy is whenever I did have an "issue" he would tell me to wait two weeks to see what happens. When push finally came to shove with this whole ear thing, he flat out refused to give me a referral to a specialist. So adios to you, bad healthcare provider. I did find out that I am not the only person who was treated this way, so let's keep our fingers crossed that he retires soon, because no one should be subjected to his kind of treatment.

The ENT and I went head to head last week for round two of me trying to explain my ailments. Attempting to describe what kind of dizzy I am experiencing has turned out to be a exercise in patience, and the results have not been very good. You can't just use the word dizzy or lightheaded with this ENT, and if it's not vertigo he can't help you out. After ten minutes of trying to explain myself and deciding against saying "well, it kind of feels like I'm drunk all the time, except I don't want to make out with everyone," I ended up in tears. He handed me a tissue and we pleasantly decided to agree to disagree. Then he wrote me 4 prescriptions, one of which was for Prednisone, and told me he's pretty confident these symptoms will stop soon. I have more tests next week.

I also started acupuncture treatments. I figure that even if it's not proven to work at least I'll be in an exam room for an hour where someone actually listens to what I have to say and is committed to helping me. That's got to be worth something to my psyche.

I don't know what else to do. Sometimes I think about suing the pants off of the two guys who rear ended me, because it would be so much easier to have some sort of explanation of why this is happening to me. And a big wad of cash sure would be pretty sweet right now.

Monday, November 29, 2004

laundry room haiku

sticky things and food
should not be inside a vat
meant to clean my clothes

Thursday, November 25, 2004

happy birthday, Matt!

Since you're only 2 years old today you are probably having some trouble reading this, but I'm sure your Mommy will help you out.
I hope you know that even though you are little, you have a very huge place in my heart.

happy birthday, Beret!

It's an honor to be welcome in your brand new home for Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

now I'm one of those people

The other day out of sheer desperation for some nugget of hope that something good was going to happen to me, I read my horoscope. Now I can't stop. I read it everyday, not just the one in the paper, but also the one on Yahoo. Sometimes I even read the one for the next day, too.

The plus side to this new unhealthy addiction is that I don't read all the comics anymore, I'm able to ignore the lame ones. There's no time for Beetle Bailey when excellent insight into my future is on the very same page!

Monday, November 22, 2004

stop the room, I want to get off

Okay, so when I said that Meniere's Disease wasn't as bad as it sounded I didn't know how bad it actually was. I spent many hours this weekend flat on my back, staring at light fixtures trying to regain some sense of non-movement. I also got some drugs to help me out, which actually just make me feel like someone blew a bunch of helium in my head and then put a powerful spell on me, forbidding me to hold up my own head or move my lips. I know I should probably enjoy these drugs and just relax and zone out for awhile, but I really hate the idea of not having control of my own body.

I had a nice big pity party for myself all day on Sunday. All of my guests were via phone, except for Alex. First I invited my friend Lisa, who was a great guest when it came to making me feel justified for wallowing in my own self pity. Then Rachel called, because we were supposed to knit together yesterday. Unfortunately she caught me at the height of my Meclizine induced haze, but I recall the conversation as a nice one. My Mom also called during the party, unaware of the festivities going on, and I could tell she didn't stay long once I started bawling about how scared I was. It was as if she kept looking around the room to pick up any stray cups or make sure the punch bowl was still full. Alex was my favorite party person, even though he had a lot of studying to do, he would come out of his cave periodically to check up on me. He made sure I was comfortable, then he would cock his head to one side, make a super sad face and ask me if I needed anything.

I'm not saying that the pity party was all fun, and I don't want to have another one anytime soon, but I really needed it.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

at least I have two

I went to the ENT today to find out once and for all what is going on with my right ear. My right ear... so crucial for phone calls, hearing passengers while driving, listening to music on headphones and all sorts of other fun hear-y kind of things, including balance. It turns out that I do have partial hearing loss in my right ear and no one knows why it happened or how to fix it.

Dr. Li, who had the cutest little earring in his left ear lobe, was very kind and thorough when explaining what may have possibly caused this dizziness and hearing loss. I'm either looking at a something viral that happened to my inner ear and did some damage (maybe permanent, maybe not) or I could have Meniere's disease. And even though Meniere's disease isn't as bad as it sounds, it was really odd to hear (with my left ear) that I may have a disease and then get in my car and drive to work like any other day.

Why didn't anyone warn me that my body would start giving me trouble when I got into my 30s? I totally would have requested a different model.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

happy birthday, Keith!

you sure do work some magic with crap from Home Depot

got to believe it's getting better

I hardly ever do this, but I thought today might be a good day to check out my horoscope:
The turmoil and drama of recent events will fade, and your life will suddenly be grounded, stable and secure. There. Now take a deep breath, pat yourself on the back and allow yourself to enjoy what you've accomplished.

I hardly ever do this either, but I decided that today would be a good day to treat myself to a Pumpkin Spice latte (everyone has been saying that I just have to try one) at Starbucks. So I ordered the smallest size and the barista then informed me that I should just get a venti because it's the same price no matter what size I get. Yeeee haaaa. I'm all hopped up now on spices and such. (To tell you the truth the Pumpkin Spice latte is not that great, I give it a C-, but this could be because I opted out of the whipped cream.)

But don't worry about me getting too giddy, I figure if I get my hopes up too high I can just take a gander at this:

You may notice that screw just sticking out of the bottom there. That would be where the other half of the bumper would go.

Monday, November 15, 2004

dude, why my car?

You may know that not too long ago I was involved in a rear end collision. I will add at this point that I was only joking about that whole neck brace for a Red Sox victory thing. I will also add that the World Series is over and the Red Sox won.

The damage to the car from the accident on that fateful day wasn't so bad, but it was definitely a pain in the ass to deal with insurance, have numerous calls with adjusters, take the car in, wait for it to get fixed, blah, blah, blah. But luckily last Friday we got the Matrix back, with a spankin new bumper, all shiny and new. I even got some new stickers in the mail last week from Positive Negative for my magnificent new bumper. Alas, it was not meant to be.

I carpooled in with Greg today, because my bum ear makes driving a little rough. But as the day wore on I realized that I was feeling pretty wonky and probably wouldn't be able to last the required work hours, let alone the gym. (And Greg's simply had to go to the gym, Urban Challenge is this weekend!) So I gave Alex a call and asked if he would drive all the way out to San Mateo to pick up a dizzy lady like myself. Being the fantastic husband that he is, he arrived promptly at 5:35. With a hatchback full of groceries we headed back to the East Bay and on our way Alex told me about an accident which happened earlier on the bridge, how the sunset made the bay look extraordinary on his way over and that we would have macaroni and cheese for dinner. All of a sudden the conversation came to a complete stop, just like the traffic. I noticed more than one car slam on their breaks. Alex followed suit, and I have to admit I did the patented pessimistic double handle grab I learned from my Mom. As we finally rested safely behind the car before us and I began to release my white knuckled grip on the oh shit handle, I noticed Alex looking in the rear view mirror. I sensed his fear and then realized it was all over. The new bumper, gone. About a half mile from where I lost the last one.


We got out of the car to look at the very badly damaged front end of the Lincoln Towncar behind us. I was pretty nice to the last guy who smashed up my car, but this dude never had a chance. Before I even turned around to see what kind of car it was or who was driving it I was already slamming my door and muttering the word fuckface. When I finally did look at him I saw that he was a chauffeur who had some passengers in the back; a nervous looking woman, a man with tinted glasses and a dog. The man in the back seat was holding what looked like a prize winning dog and the woman was gathering up a dog bed and trying to reestablish passenger safety. After I checked out my ruined bumper for the second time in less than a month, I diligently wrote down all our insurance information (most of it now memorized) on one handy sheet of paper. In return the chauffeur grabbed about 7 years worth of paperwork out of his glove box and said "here" as he handed it to Alex. This wad of papers resulted in the three of us standing near the concrete barriers on the freeway, in front of fuckface's car, which he didn't even bother to pull all the way into the breakdown lane, trying to find insurance information by the light of the Lincoln's dismembered headlight. This proved to be more difficult than I had imagined because the chauffeur didn't speak English very well and kept pulling out the registration for the car. Alex and I also asked to see his driver license numerous times, but he never produced one, he just kept pointing at the name on the papers. Then the chauffeur answered his phone and wanted Alex to talk to the livery boss who was currently on the line. He handed his phone to Alex, without unplugging the earpiece, and Alex USED it. (I think that might have been the most scarring part of the entire experience for both of us.) It turned out that livery boss was pretty serious about not going through his insurance. He said we should call him later and he'll take care of everything. The most educational part of this phone call was the part where Alex and I noticed that the livery boss and the chauffeur had the exact same name. The jig was up. I asked the driver to spell his name for me. He was clearly irritated and quickly shouted out a bunch of letters in my face, then he said sorry as he gestured to what used to be our bumper, got into his car with the prize winning dog and drove away.

Alex and I finally made it home, an hour and a half after he came to pick me up. I did some Google searches on the limo company and the insurance information they gave us while Alex called the shady livery boss, who said he has a great auto body shop that will do whatever we want. Alex promptly hung up and placed the claim with our insurance company.

The interesting part about this whole car being marred or stolen crap we keep going through is the pattern Alex noticed tonight: First the Saturn was stolen when I was alone, the next time we were together. Then I get rear ended in the Matrix alone, then Alex and I get rear ended together. Both times the car was stolen it was near a Barnes and Noble. Both rear end collisions happened on the same stretch of road. These incidents happened during even numbered years. What does it mean?

Alright, I admit that isn't really interesting, and I'm pretty sure that it doesn't mean anything. But at this point I'm going to pretend it means something, because otherwise I'm just unlucky, and that's too much of a burden for me to bear. At least I'm not in it alone... I insist on dragging Alex down with me.

Friday, November 12, 2004


I've taken my hearing for granted for the past 33 years. Now that I can barely hear anything (except an annoying hum) in my right ear I realize how awesome it was to be able to hear with both ears. I knew I was in trouble yesterday when Greg and I drove into work together and I out of my mouth flew the sad words, "Sorry, I'm having trouble hearing you, you're on the side with my bad ear". Needless to say, today I'm feeling a little decrepit.

I've been to my doctor twice about this and he's referring me to someone else, finally. This comes as a great relief to me; last week I was stunned when he looked in my ear and said it looked great and then told me to take a Sudafed and "see what happens". What really got me was when he tried to comfort me by saying "Hey, at least you got two ears, right? Just use the good one for phone calls".

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

"we've never experienced anything this awful in our lifetime"

That's a direct quote from Alex as he flipped through the Big Toy Book from Toys R Us. If you got a paper this Sunday you, too, may have seen the sorrow of marketing at it's worst. I'm not sure why we started looking at it in the first place. Maybe it was the post election haze or the fact that we were eating bagels and bacon for breakfast, but now that I have lived the horror of the Big Toy Book, I think the only way to decrease the harm done to my psyche is to share my misery with others.

The circular itself is rather harmless, it's a bunch of good looking kids playing with loads of toys. The toys themselves are what actually hurt my soul. Don't get me wrong, I'm no Burgermeister Meisterburger, I think all kids should have toys. I want kids to have oodles of toys to play with until they burst with glee. But sadly I know that many of these toys are about creating customer loyalty with toddlers before they are even toilet trained. To see it all in one sitting was too much for me. I didn't even have a chance to finish my coffee before the whole concept made me feel weary.

Take, for instance, this food cart. Nothing says playtime like pretending to slap a burger in a microwave and then serve it to a disgruntled customer through a fake drive through window. If that doesn't bring you enough joy or education you can always learn the fine art of cuisine by making a McFlurry. I can't get too upset though, because there's Ronald McDonald right there on the side of the cart, and he's smiling... AT ME!

If you aren't looking to point your kids towards the fast food industry you may want to consider the fast track to home improvement with this handy tool kit. That's right, it's not just any tool kit, it's from the Depot. The Home Depot. Man, you don't just get the orange tape measure and assorted other orange tools, you get an apron and a hat. An apron and a hat?! Oh yeah! Complete with the Depot logo and the thumbs up fix it dude. Sweet.

It's never too early for kids to learn the value of natural resources and preserving the environment, so be sure to pick up your Little Tikes H2. I don't know what they were thinking, putting two children in the car for the picture, because I think we all know that a Hummer is at it's best with only one person in it. If you decide that the BIGGEST battery-operated Hummer anywhere isn't the right choice, maybe you should just go for the City Slammin' Silverado. ahh, Chevy, like a rock, indeed.

Perhaps you know a little runt who is scientifically inclined. How about the CSI Facial Reconstruction Kit? It's America's favorite show bringing skulls into our very own living rooms, you can't say no to that! Now while Ma and Pa tune in on Thursday night to watch the investigators find a victim of a brutal crime beaten beyond recognition, junior can sit happily by their side and reconstruct the victim's face. Maybe you think this gift is kind of morose, but don't worry, because you can get this kit with either blue or brown eyes, for that personal touch.

Ladies, I know you love to SHOP! Get your gals trained early with Mall Madness. If I get started on this one I don't think I'll be able to stop, so why don't I just let you read about it for yourselves:
This is a, like, totally cool update to the original Milton Bradley Mall Madness game. Its time to shop til you drop! Grab your cash and your shopping list and get ready to race from store to store. You'll buy everything from hair dye and glitter make-up to cell phones and MP3 players. The electronic console will announce sales and clearance specials, and you'll race up and down the escalators and all around the mall to buy up the merchandise. But as we all know, not every shopping trip goes smoothly. Sometimes the item you want is out of stock, or you need to go to the ATM to take out more cash. Yes friends, surviving a day at the shopping mall is not for the weak. So grab a smoothie at the food court and remember this battle cry from the 80s: When the going gets tough, the tough go shopping!

The folks at Amazon add this golden nugget:
For detractors, Mall Madness may teach and encourage over-consumption, indebtedness, and a focus on material culture at an early age (9 and up). But for those who care more about pretty ponchos than prickly politics, the game offers the same guilty pleasure that comes from excessive shopping in reality!

Oh, Big Toy Book, with Christmas right around the corner the possibilities are plentiful!

I can't let this all go without mentioning how distraught I am to have just realized that I was logged in as myself while on Amazon/Toys R Us to find the links to these fine toys. Now the secret and amazing powers of Amazon have records of all the shitty toys I looked at. I'm sure that next week my plog will be loaded with all sorts of helpful suggestions.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

all I want for Christmas

is to see this movie.

okay, that's not true, I also would like to unwrap some stuff.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

still feeling blue about the re-election?

I know I am, but I find comfort where I can. Here are a few links that may cheer you up:

The Cap'n carves a pumpkin.
The Thighmaster tries to accentuate the positive.
Check out Ed Helms report on Bush's Plan.
Bushspeak; not really sure if it's more sad than funny, but let's go with funny for today.

And if all that fails to make you smile and you want to desperately attempt to understand what America's lamer half is thinking, you can always read the moronic blog of some asshat Bush supporters.

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

retail therapy

Tonight I went on a fun little shopping trip with Julianne where we made visits to the Macy's and Nordstrom in Walnut Creek. For almost three whole hours I didn't think about the election. As a consumer I was momentarily able to escape the frustration that four more years of douchebaggery will bring.

When I got home and I had packages waiting for me from my mom and Lisa and Ben. Being showered with unexpected gifts made it seem like nothing bad had ever happened. See, when I get gifts for me and about me I don't have to think about the rest of the country, because now I have stuff.

I then transcended into a state of nirvana when I ate the Reeses Peanut Butter cup I stashed away on Halloween.

Candy. Is there anything it can't do?

Monday, November 01, 2004


Yesterday, being Halloween and all, seemed like an appropriate time to do our second annual Haunted House in the Village. (Not to be confused with M. Night Shyamalan's pile of garbage known as The Village.)
I can't say it was as much as a success as last year's fright fest; we were short on volunteers, had an injury on cement, an 8 year old threatened to sue us and I personally received multiple requests for "better candy". But we all had a good time and lost our voices.
Here's a picture of this year's crew looking especially excited about Halloween

The set up didn't take too long, mostly because we could still see the marks and holes from last year's staples and hooks. I'm sure we'll lose some sort of housing deposit from all this, but isn't making a few kids scream and/or cry on Halloween worth doing some damage to walls and ceilings?
Keith (who drove all the way up from LA) and Alex moved all the furniture while I took a shower (bonus!) and then they busted out some serious staple gun action and had the tarps up in no time.

The rigged bats, spiders and skull looked right at home by 2:00 and by 4:00 we were all able to kick back on the cobwebby back porch with a beer.
We had a visit from our littlest trick-or-treater, Ernie the Egg (along with his mom Molly the Toast and friend Julianne the Canadian bacon) at 4:30. I wish that I had pictures of that little Egg, because he sure was cute... and never threatened to sue us. He was so brave he even walked through the house, with Molly behind him of course, when it looked like this

with a soundtrack of screaming women and squealing pigs playing in the background. One thing Ernie the Egg was not very fond of were gloves which looked like skeleton hands.

Around 6:30 business picked up, I think we really got into the swing of things as the fourth group came through.
R.M. was our official greeter again. He helped us out by giving us fair warning of what was coming our way by shouting things like "Welcome, very little one!" or "Enter, disillusioned teens!"
Keith and Greg were stationed in the living room; Greg worked the long side of the room all by himself and if I didn't know any better I would have sworn there were three people behind that tarp. Here are three actual people behind the tarps. I promise it looked much more frightening without the flash.

Sean was in the closet... really, for scaring purposes! And Alex worked all sorts of magic in the kitchen, even though he couldn't see out of his mask.

I got to hand out candy and gawk at people as they would walk through and then trip as I would tell them to watch their step.

Highlights of the evening for me included the girl in the potato costume which couldn't fit through the back door, the father and son who had to leave because the kid got so scared when he saw his dad flinch, giving kids who came through more than once those crappy little flavored Tootsie Rolls, the very timid boy who was dressed as Harry Potter and was forced by his mother to come back to thank me for candy, and I'll never forget the kid who came through swinging his candy filled pillow case repeatedly screaming "you ain't gonna git me, suckas!"

We closed up shop at 8:30 and had the apartment looking decent around 9:00.

Then we ate a bunch of pizza and left over candy while watching old Simpson's Halloween episodes.

I don't know if this is the sugar-high crash talking or if I'm just getting old, but this entertaining kids business takes a lot out of me. I think next year I'm just going to put a bowl of candy outside and shout "ONLY ONE PIECE!" from the window while I watch Wife Swap.

Friday, October 29, 2004

single file in an orderly fashion

Today (right around lunchtime) we had a fire alarm here at work. This is always a welcome kind of thing for someone like myself, because I long for anything which will break up the monotony of my day. The entire company ended up milling around the parking lot for about a half hour or so. There were a select few employees all decked out for Halloween; I saw a devil, Dee Snider from Twisted Sister, some Renaissance kind of dude, a doctor in the "Psycho Ward" and prisoner. I got to see real firefighters with real axes, too!

The only downside to this false alarm was when I went to use the restroom after returning to the building. It's my guess that whoever used the first stall I looked into was in there when the jarring alarm went off. I haven't seen a sight like that since I stopped working in a theatre that doubled as a soup kitchen on Sundays.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

holy flurking schnit

As a Boston native there is still part of me that can't believe the Red Sox won. I didn't fully comprehend the greatness of it all until my friend Ben called me on his cell phone from the actual streets of Boston. I could barely hear him over the screams and horns, but he did manage to let me know that as of this moment "Boston is a non-functional society... but in a good way".

In a good way like not burning stuff? Or good way like it's totally acceptable to be drunk in public?

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

c'mon Red Sox!

... or Cardinals, hit the sign! People be wantin some free tacos.

tv... too... powerful... can't ... stop

I'm not sure which is more upsetting: my sad, sad addiction to reality TV or the fact that these shows are out there for me to watch. I try to stay away, I really do, but TiVo makes it so easy to watch the best bits and pieces of these crappy programs. With my trusty remote in hand I tend to lose all self control and dignity.
Last night I ended up flipping around on live TV, instead of sticking with the comfort and safety of my pre-recorded stuff. This fruitless flipping resulted in Alex and I participating in a pathetic viewing of Fear Factor. (please note how I drag Alex into this story so I don't feel like a lone loser.) This just wasn't just any Fear Factor, it was Halloween Fear Factor. I was greatly confused, because having seen a few past episodes I'm not sure how the producers even thought they were making the show more edgy, scary or disgusting than it usually is.
It turned out that each member of this very special holiday reality cast had a chance to be electrically shocked while running around in a chainmail suit, eat this crap
and finally, those who were lucky enough to make it to the final round, were locked in a rotating plexiglass cage with flies, superworms and crickets while trying to unlock their way to freedom and a shower. Thrilling and holiday specific, n'est pas?
My favorite quote from the show went a little something like this:
It sucks having to go home on the first day. I thought maybe I would make it to the second day and probably eat some cow balls or something, but I didn't make it.

You would think that just the possibility of snacking on some prairie oysters would have made her try a little harder. slacker.

I concluded my evening by tuning into a sorry display of some wild hopping while shout-singing by Ashlee Simpson on the RMA.

It may be time for me to seek some professional help.

Monday, October 25, 2004

autumn in Albany

Fall doesn't seem so fall-y here in California if you're used to your autumns New England style. But this tree is right outside our front door; it's like the people who landscaped the University Village knew we would need to see a naked tree or something.


I think that the worst feeling in the world may be the turbulent days right before a massive head cold. But I'm sure that once this head cold is large and in charge I'll be telling everyone that the actual head cold is the worst feeling.

Either way, being sick isn't any fun.

Friday, October 22, 2004


After being thanked and excused by the court yesterday (most likely for my essay describing how I feel about our justice system, written on Tuesday's 10 page questionnaire) I was able to sell my goods for the last hour and a half of the craft fair at work. For some reason the organizers of this fair like to spell it "faire", but I will not do that here, or anywhere, ever.
Let me tell you, people who work on and with video games don't really like to buy crafts, but I still ended up selling about 100 bucks worth of stuff and I got a free boxed lunch. It was only in the last 10 minutes that people really let go and bought stuff, so I'm glad I didn't give in and pack up early like some of the others. Because of my persistence I was asked to make a special visit to a VP's office and show him the remainder of my wares. He bought two of my scarves for his daughter, it was all very business-like.
Here's some of the stuff I sold:

I made all the scarves in the past 3 weeks, and as I would finish them I would just throw them in a big pile on the couch. Alex said it looked like I killed a bunch of Dr. Seuss characters. He even went so far as to write an email signed
CiPOFAC (Citizens for the protection of fictional animal characters)

The weird thing about these scarves is that they are so easy to make, but everyone at the fair yesterday gave them a big oooh and ahhh. I felt a little guilty.

If you want to experience true knitting genius, check out my knitty idol. (I finally got to meet the Cap'n at Lisa's wedding.)

My biggest disappointment was not selling my Halloween specific items, because once the season is over I have to store this crap for another year... or get rid of it somehow. So be careful if you live close to me, because you might end up with my cheesiest spooky frame:

Wednesday, October 20, 2004


My misfortune is directly proportional to the Red Sox's success. It's a sacrifice I'm willing to make to help reverse the curse, but let's hope it doesn't end up crippling me.

First I had a sluggish Sunday, where everything I tried to accomplish took way too long and ended poorly, but the Red Sox won. Next I remembered I had jury duty and the Red Sox won again. Then I found out my obligation to jury duty would result in my missing the craft fair at work, after I toiled so long at my knitting and sculpting, and the Red Sox won again. And at last, this evening on my way home, as the Red Sox were kicking serious ass, I got rear ended. My precious Matrix is no longer untainted, it now knows the paint of another and is in desperate need of a new back bumper. But all of this is unimportant, because if my mild whiplash means victory for the Red Sox then give me a neck brace.

remember the NHL?

My new not-so-secret celebrity crush of the week gives some advice on how to handle the lockout.

Monday, October 18, 2004

oh, Red Sox

I was trained at a young age to be the worst kind of Red Sox fan; the kind who wants to believe they can win and secretly hopes they will, but can't stop talking about how they're going to lose.

I watched all 5 hours and 2 minutes of the game last night, after I said I wasn't even going to bother to turn it on. And then when they did win I thought "just one more chance to get our hopes up only to crush them in the end."

I'm sorry Red Sox, but you make it so darn hard. I'll try to be a better fan. I'm not going to get a tattoo of the state of Massachusetts on my bicep like the dude I met at the A's game, nor will I go shirtless while wearing a dodo head and beat my gut like the man in the stands last night, but I'll keep trying.

Friday, October 15, 2004

sleeping... to the extreme

I slept so hard last night that at one point I woke up and my ear hurt from the weight and pressure of my unmovable head. I was so tired that I decided the pain in my ear was more acceptable than actually trying to adjust my head a quarter inch in any direction. I was also able to complete four sitcom style dreams, two of which were about misunderstandings while trying to board flights to Europe.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

and we're back

Congratulations Lisa and Ben!

I'd love to go on and on about all the crazy things that happened to me over the past 9 days, but I need a vacation from my vacation. So this is the Cliff Notes version:

The week leading up to the wedding was a little stressful, but the bulk of the work got done by Wednesday night. We wasted some energy anticipating anything that could possibly go wrong, which was the worst feeling and for some reason we just couldn't shake it. Lisa and I can be a little toxic when we get together; we are both proficient pessimists and must secretly relish the chance to catastrophize any normal situation. At some point we finally ended up laughing about our worst case scenarios for possible wedding destruction and started our descent into some weird sort of relaxation on Thursday morning when we made Fiocchi, which are neat little Italian cookies.

I got to roll, cut and sprinkle some sugar with Lisa, her Dad and her aunt. I felt honored to be part of a family tradition.

Then we moved on to the bachelorette portion of the day which included pedicures, naps, Shark Tale, seafood with cocktails and crashing the bachelor party. (note: Crashing a poker game is anticlimactic)

Friday was hectic with a trip to the airport at 6:30am to pick up one sleepy Alex, followed by trips to Chinatown for a very special birthday cake and the flower market for the makings of wedding bouquets. Lisa was able to squeeze a nap in. I was not so lucky, but there's never need to worry when coffee is right around the corner! I'm going to have to admit my full blown addiction to all things caffeine, however I will never stop thinking that Red Bull is yucky. With the help of my best friend, coffee, I was able to stay alert while Ben's cousin Kim showed me how to make kick ass bouquets. and I helped.

Saturday started at the salon (I'll save that story for another day) and ended with the wedding. Finally, the wedding.
It was beautiful. There were a few meltdown moments and a couple tears leading up to the ceremony, but we all pulled through. Lisa was beaming and looked absolutely gorgeous. I wish that I had fantastic photos to post, but I lacked camera savvy that evening and took all sorts of crappy pictures. Alex took this one though, which I think is very sweet.

And in closing, I know that it was officially Lisa and Ben's big day, but I would be doing a great disservice to this blog if I didn't mention something big that happened to me on the very same day.

Allow me to reflect on my hair.

As a matter of fact, why don't I just post this gem of a photo and let you see for yourself how extraordinary my coiffure was. Of course you will have the inevitable urge to ridicule, so allow me to help you out - For pure comedy gold you may want to be sure to hit upon the following subjects: Bea Arthur, Heat Miser, New Jersey and Pat Benatar. Enjoy, won't you?

Friday, October 08, 2004

happy birthday, Julianne!

because of sporadic internet access and excessive wedding duties I wasn't able to actually post on your birthday, but I'll make it look like I did. I feel so sneaky.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004


It's been a rough 6 days for me here in New England; highlights include my mother, stress, long car rides, multiple calls to my doctor for a prescription for antibiotics, an over-inflated Aerobed and a rental car that smells like bad cologne. But it hasn't been all bad though, I got to spend a little bit of time with my sister and nephew, and there's never a moment with them that doesn't bring a smile to my face. If you've never gone apple picking on a beautiful October day with a toddler I highly suggest you do so posthaste.

And now I embark on the wedding front. All that bridal browsing will finally come to fruition on Saturday when I get to participate in the much anticipated union of two of my very good friends. As we sit here and pick out music I realize how much fun this wedding is going to be. Then I had the revelation that I'm actually on vacation. It's too bad it took me this long to figure it out. I never claimed to be a genius... or sane.

Here's a photo of the wedding HQ we've been working in today. Please note the three laptops (which were being used simultaneously) and seating chart done with sticky notes on the mirror. We're in business now.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

happy birthday, R.M.!

I'm 3000 miles away, missing your fondue extravaganza, but please be aware that in your honor I will be eating cheese and thinking of robots, monkeys and pirates all day. Or just a robotic monkey pirate... either way, I'll be thinking of you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

(not so) secret celebrity crush of the week

I saw The Black Rider a few weeks ago and was amazed by and in awe of Nigel Richards from the minute he walked onto the stage.
And then I saw him without makeup. dreamy.

Sunday, September 26, 2004

how I spent my Saturday

Now this may look uncomfortable to you, but actually I didn't notice how hard the cement was until I woke up. Our apartment was so cold and dark and it was so sunny and warm outside. Nap-licious.

Incidentally, I ended up getting sunburned... again.

Saturday, September 25, 2004

worst game ever

Last night after Alex and I had some drinks with an old friend at the Albatross we headed over to Greg's. It was there that R.M. introduced us all to an epic evening of the Living Dead Dolls game.

Picture a Goth version of Candyland.

The only way to play this game is to try to get through it as quickly as possible and with plenty of beer.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

an open letter to everyone I share the road with

Dear friends on the 880 and 92,
This summer was great, wasn't it? With many of our colleagues taking vacations and working shorter days we all had a breezy time getting into and out of work for the past three months. But now that school has started again we seem to have reached a point of congestion and irritation which is starting to get a little uncomfortable. I know we all have to use these roads, so what better time than now to pitch in and work together? Let's make our mornings and evenings fun again.

To all the beautiful people: Your hair and face look great, really. But I feel that I should tell you that the car manufacturer didn't put that mirror there for personal grooming. It's actually there so you can see what's going on behind you. And I know there's a lot of pressure on you to look just right when you enter the office, but might I suggest you either put that mascara on before you leave the house or in the parking lot of your office. You may want to consider carpooling. Then you can feel free to get all sorts of purdy in the passenger's seat (if you're not driving). I only make this suggestion because I like to travel a little faster than 45 mph in the high speed lane.

To the SUV drivers: I know those sticks, empty plastic bags or even unfolded cardboard boxes lying flat in the road can seem a bit daunting, but here's where your big car is exciting and useful. It is not necessary to come to a full stop or swerve into another lane, your oversized vehicle actually enables you to drive over these types of things.

You have a classic car: Good for you! Indeed, people do love to slow down and look at your car, and what a beauty it is. However, the left lane on the freeway at rush hour is not the most appropriate place to showcase your golden oldie at 50 mph.

Don't be a tease: If you put your directional on you better mean it. Here I am getting excited that you're getting all up in my lane and then you slow down. Is that any way to treat a girl?

To the non-wavers: You know who you are. Remember me, I slowed down to let you escape the line behind the accident? For gosh sakes, if I hadn't waved you in you could have been stuck there for another 15 minutes. The least you could do is flail your arm around to acknowledge me.

So let's put an end to all this douchebaggery and enjoy each other's company again.
bad hair lady in the dirty black Matrix

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

nerd alert

If you've been crying in your cereal every morning because you wish you could have come to BANG H8 and solved 10 puzzles, cry no more!

Dave posted a nifty site where everyone can take a gander at the puzzles... and answers.

Enjoy, won't you?

Monday, September 20, 2004


I got my pink bridesmaid shoes from the UPS guy today and tried like crazy to cram my wide feet into them. I felt like an ugly stepsister in Cinderella. I even argued with the shoes. Then I realized I was in my cubicle, with coworkers looking at me.

This is why it is not a good idea for me to get personal things shipped to work.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


Last night was another episode in the Bay Area Night Games series. Dave and Greg put it together and it was cleverly titled, as it was the 8th race and took place in the Haight.

Our team was the Angry Monkeys and we had a big team of 6. Because there were so many of us we were much more successful than last time I participated in BANG, we only had to get one hint. Well, we also called Greg around 11:30 when we got tired of trying to solve the last puzzle. After a half hour of freezing our asses off and trying to figure it out puzzle #10 we finally tossed in the towel and asked Greg where the finish line was. He met us and explained the last puzzle, but we didn't write it down on our answer sheet, because that would be cheating. And monkeys never cheat.

I will admit that walking around the Haight between 7:30 and 11:30 on a Saturday night wouldn't usually be at the top of my list of things to do in San Francisco, but this gave me a reason to do it and figure out for myself why I don't feel the need to do it again any time soon. And certainly not while carrying a clipboard and sporting a dorky headlamp. Although, that kind of made me feel like I might fit in with some of the crowd there.

Here's the puzzle which we took the penalty and got the hint for. (everyone in the neighborhood was really nice about letting us sit on their stoop to solve things and get our paperwork in order.)

Greg came by to ask us for a copy of one of the puzzles, because he had locked himself out of HQ. I tried to bribe him for a hint. No dice.

Saturday, September 18, 2004

now with less mullet

I hung my head in shame, swallowed my pride and had ten different excuses prepared when I went to my old hairdresser today. I didn't have to verbally confess that I had cheated on her, the mullet said it all. I was humiliated as she ran her fingers through my hair and asked me, "Did you go to a professional? Was it a salon you went to?" This led me to believe she may have thought I did this butchering all by myself with a Flowbee. She laughed with disbelief as he held sections of my hair with a comb. Then she spent an entire hour with an itty bitty razor taking out large chunks of hair.

There's not much you can do to fix a bad short haircut, but let me tell you, Ziba did a darn fine job. And I didn't look like an idiot when I walked out of the salon, that's always a good sign.

Thursday, September 16, 2004

situational leadership

Yesterday I spent the whole workday in Part One of a pilot program all about Personal Power in the Workplace. For some reason HR picked me as one of the non-management people in the company to participate in this spanking new class and then give feedback. I was pretty annoyed when I first got the email about my mandatory participation, but then I heard about the free lunch and beverages and I thought it was a great idea. Actually, that's not true, I bitched about it until I set foot into the oh-so-classy Foster City Crowne Plaza at 8:30 on Wednesday morning. I think that the two main factors that stopped my complaining were the real cream for my coffee and the 19 other people looking as tired and cranky I as did.

But it wasn't all bad. For example, I learned that my leader behavior tends to lean towards an S3 and that for most projects I am at a follower readiness of R4. However there are some projects where I am an R2 and I simply don't get what I need from an S4 leader and that results in poor performance. See, don't you feel like you know me better now than ever?

Besides filling out worksheets to figure out how to correctly diagnose others and adapt ourselves accordingly, we got to play games. In one game my team was assigned to play the most able and confident team about to compete in the Olympic Bobsled races. I used the opportunity to shout USA, USA, USA, while thrusting my fists into the air. I also got to write things with a purple marker on a flip chart!

I have to say that the most unexpected things I learned were some survival skills in case of a Bushfire. We broke up into teams of 5 and were given this scenario:
We are in Australia and just finished a week of meetings in Melbourne and we are now on our way to have a small holiday at an associate's house near Sassafras. (we are also told how many kilometers Sassafras is from Melbourne and what roads we take to get to the house, but I'll leave that out, because if you're like me you'll get heart palpitations thinking it's a math problem) The house and the area around the house are described to us in detail. Now here comes the scary part... Unfortunately it's brushfire season during our holiday. After we get to the house, unpack, take a hike and have some lunch we lose power. Eventually someone notices smoke. Finally someone notices the ash, embers and charred leaves falling from the sky. aaaaaahhhh!

After all that information was given to us we were then given a list of 12 assets and our task was to rank them according to importance. We first work on this task as an individual and then as a team. The items were things like keys to the car, a map, a ladder, 3 sets of snorkels, masks and flippers, 3 buckets... I felt very MacGyver.

Long story short, I died. And as team we also perished. Because what they don't tell you in this segment of the situational leadership course is that you are unable to flee from the area. You have to stay at the house. So bascially we all wasted 35 minutes negotiating for things as if we were on our merry way to Sassafras, when apparently if crap from a fire starts falling from the sky it's best to put on as much clothing as possible, drink water constantly and hunker down with a hose and buckets and start wetting things down. Who knew? The best part of this exercise was figuring out that if we got in the giant aluminum water tank that held 1,300 gallons of water (with the snorkels and masks, of course!) that we would most likely boil.

So now I'm off to Part Two, where I get to do some more exercises and find out what patterns of speech I use, whether my leader style is more democratic or autocratic and how to work best with personal power as opposed to position power. Look out everyone, because I'm feeling very R4 today and I'm gonna get me some POWER!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

ice cream social

Tonight I was feeling a little down and Alex thought it would be a good idea to cheer me up with ice cream. I was delighted when he came back through the door with a pint of Ben and Jerry's Peanut Butter Cup.

But then a bad thing happened. The ice cream was very hard and as Alex scooped with all his might the scoopy part of the ice cream scoop burst right off of the handle and hit Alex right in the crotch.

And then Alex said, "I guess I won't be using that on my nuts anymore."

Monday, September 13, 2004

favorite random quotes of last week

Man blocking Berkeley parking lot entrance (after a frustrated Alex told him what he was doing was stupid):
Who do you think you are, Donald Trump?

While leaving ticket line with R.M. at movie theatre:
Two seniors for Anacondas, please.

Saturday, September 11, 2004

I'm lovin' it

I knew that leaving theatre and working with video games would pay off for me sooner or later.

From Entertainment Weekly:
Body rocker Justin Timberlake will play a scar-faced pimpster in a three-piece suit named "the Hustler." Too bad it's only in EA's new Tiger Woods PGA Tour 2005 game, due Sept. 20. Timberlake, a golfer, approached EA about appearing in the game and spent a day in a motion-capture suit, which means that when Justin's other character, "Justin," gets a hole in one, the dance he does is Justin's! And the game's them song? Features original human beat-boxing by JT!

Dude, just for the theme song alone I'll play that game all day. Good thing I get paid for that.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

why does having nice teeth gotta make me so po'?

It's been over a year since I had been to the dentist's office. And I probably wouldn't have gone yesterday (or anytime in the near future) if it weren't for the one and only filling I've ever had falling out of my tooth. I think it fell out about two weeks ago, but I just noticed it the other day. It's funny that a gaping hole near my gumline doesn't hurt, but just looks gross.

Yesterday's trip to the dentist was no fun at all. I was feeling pretty proud of myself for dealing with the filling in such a timely fashion, but then she mentioned some discoloration on one tooth and a small cavity in another and I started to feel kind of down. She then addressed the potential danger of the state of my gums around my back teeth. She used the words 'scaling' and 'root planing' and I was brought back in time to days of pain and sharp, pointy tools. I sadly agreed that a root planing was probably a good idea anyways, and upon doing so started to feel a depression coming on. I sat in the chair waiting for my bi-annual scrape and polish and the next thing I know a hygenist bopped in and cheerfully informed me she would be performing half of the scaling today. She then proceeded to pull a face shield down and pick up a needle. The depression was now official.

After laying back in an uncomfortable pleather chair, feeling assaulted and getting sprayed with my own spittle for 30 minutes, I thought it couldn't get any worse, but as I was leaving the office they handed me some estimates for all the suggested work. I would have asked more questions about the list, like what it all meant and why it came to 736.00, but I was all numbed up and confused about what just happened. Also, I couldn't tell if I was drooling.

Upon returning to work, clearly outraged and not thinking straight, I made the excellent choice of eating lunch with my coworkers while my mouth was still numb. I only dribbled water once, but to prevent further embarrassment I chewed all my food in the most unusual way which resulted in the right side of my mouth looking like hamburger. Classy.

I can't wait to go back to the dentist on Monday.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

remedial pants

Velcro on clothing really bugs me. There's something about the excessive noise and laziness of it all that makes it seem so, so... how do you say, white trash? I know that velcro is important to many a parent who would rather not tie a squirmy kid's shoe, so to the toddlers of the world I say enjoy your velcro. But when I was a kid there were no velcro sneakers, so when they did finally come on the scene I became judgmental and decided that anyone who had velcro on their shoes was extremely stupid and couldn't tie a bow. I also thought that anyone who owned velcro fastening shoes was severely inconsiderate; how dare they force me to listen to the ripping sound of those nasty little straps.

Then it started showing up on jackets. I remember when I was a kid and we had to learn how to use buttons, up hill in the snow. One winter day, when I was in kindergarten, everyone in my class was told we would receive a tiny bag of M&Ms if we could button our own coats. I cried salty tears as other kids filled their gullets because of one bulbous button meant to fit into a microscopic loop of leather near the hood. I bet those closures are made with velcro now and kids all over the place are getting undeserved reward candy for dressing themselves.

The pants which I chose to wear today have a zipper, a drawstring and some velcro. I'm not sure why the manufacturers of these pants thought that a trio of closures including velcro was necessary. And I don't even know why I looked at them in the store, but I purchased them and I wear them from time to time. Today was probably a bad day to don this gay apparel, because I already annoyed myself enough all weekend by wearing sandals with velcro while shoe shopping. These pants annoyed me further all day today, because every time I needed to use the restroom at work I (and anyone else in the restroom) had to listen to the irritating sound of the fastener on my pants. There's something kind of humiliating about stepping into a stall of a full bathroom and ripping my pants open. All day I had this paranoid feeling that everyone thought that I was either the laziest person in the world or still incapable of using buttons.

Thursday, September 02, 2004

stitch and glitch

It was my friend Rachel who inspired me to learn how to knit last winter. She bought the book Knitting for Dummies and taught herself how to make scarves hats and ponchos all by herself. I followed suit and picked up some needles and cheap yarn, but I opted for the Idiots Guide to Knitting and Crocheting instead. The purchase of this book would indicate that either (a) I'm an over achiever and thought it would be best to learn two difficult tasks from a book with shitty diagrams or (b) I'm some weird sort of bargain hunter with dreams of absorbing knowledge of two crafts for the price of one book. Either way it didn't really pay off and I ended up learning most things from Rachel and eventually purchasing the Dummies book anyways. I guess I have to work my way up to idiot level projects.

My first project was pretty easy and not from a book at all, but from the crafty mind of Rachel. I used large needles, two kinds of cheap yarn and stuck with just the knit stitch. It's pretty sloppy on the sides and has about 35 dropped stitches, but I finished it.
I like to call it the Grover scarf.

I wear it with pride even though sometimes I breathe in and choke on the blue bits of the fuzzy yarn that fly off into my mouth. When people ask me where I got it I get right up in their face and shout out, "I MADE IT MYSELF!" I am so awesome.

Projects after the Grover scarf included samples of failed patterns and scarves for my nephew. As we all know, babies and toddlers do not like scarves, so these attempts at cute little scarves were really just practice projects masquerading as lame (but heartfelt and homemade) gifts.

Then I got all sorts of crazy and found the nerve to mix up knitting and purling and made this little number for Alex

This basket weave pattern took a long time because it involved a lot of counting. Sometimes I like to watch a movie while I knit, which doesn't mix with the counting and resulted in removing rows, starting over multiple times and one breakdown which involved tears. It's a shame that I picked such an itchy wool blend yarn, because now I will have to force Alex to wear something scratchy and uncomfortable this winter while I walk beside him and point at his scarf shouting out "I MADE THAT!"

and then I tried to make a baby hat. It saddens me to post this picture.

Everything was going pretty well until I realized that the hat fit my head. Although my head is absurdly small I'm pretty sure it's larger than a baby sized head. I also (as you can see) ran into some problems while stitching the sides and the top up, and I think everyone will agree that a hat with unintentional holes is never attractive. I have nothing to shout out about this hat except maybe I LOVE PINK!

As for the crocheting, I gave it the old college try on two separate occasions for 40 minutes each. It made me feel worse than looking at that baby hat. I vaguely remember learning how to crochet from my Gramma many years ago, but I only got as far as making one long string, which exactly how far I got this time. I never figured out how add a second row in order to actually make anything useful. When I was 12 and I realized that all I knew how to do was make this long stretchy chain of yarn I decided it needed a purpose. Clearly the best thing to do with it was to make a trip line tied between my bed and my sisters bed. It was successful on more than one occasion because I was able to find yarn which matched the floor. I am sorry that I used my half assed craft to injure and embarrass my sister.

After some careful thought last week I decided to put the crochet hooks away. Even though I now know I can still make a kick ass trip line I think it's best for everyone if I leave Alex out of it.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

happy birthday, Max!

Isn't it funny that in high school we lived a 20 minute walk from each other and now, 15 years later, we both live 3000 miles away from where we went to high school, but still a 20 minute walk from each other?

I never really thought about this before, but it's kind of like I'm stalking you.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

happy birthday, Alex!

I think you are the cutest thing in the whole wide world, especially when you eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast.
How did I get to be so lucky?

Sunday, August 29, 2004

I'm wicked smahhht

Last night Alex and I were channel surfing, looking for something good to watch (yes, we were sitting at home on a Saturday night not using TiVo to our advantage). Alex happened to land and stay on Jeopardy. I did not look up from the magazine I was flipping through, but was pretty impressed with myself because I could answer all sorts of questions. It wasn't until after I correctly answered the incredibly easy final Jeopardy question that I glanced up to see some 12 year old kids behind the podiums.

That's right. I can beat a 12 year old at Jeopardy.

happy birthday, Wil!

Friday, August 27, 2004


I'm not sure if it's because it's finally sunny and warm out, or if it's the fact that I've been doing a job I never thought I would be doing for about a year now, but whatever it is I'm just not into this whole "work" thing I'm supposed to be doing.

I'm guessing part of the reason for my disdain is that from the time I started kindergarten until the time I left undergrad it became pretty apparent to me that the months of June through August are meant for slacking. Sure, I had summer jobs, but the beauty of those jobs was the knowledge of no matter how bad it was I would be leaving in September. And for the most part the summer jobs I took opened the door to all sorts non-work kind of situations. Top ranking jobs: handing out flyers, pressing a button while opening doors to start a tour and slinging desserts with Lisa. Lowest ranking job: assembly nerd at an aerosol can factory on the evening shift. but that's a whole other story.

After undergrad I was faced with the harsh reality of watching summer pass me by while I toiled at real jobs with no end in sight. Being forced stick with one job for more than a year sadly may have been a deciding factor in my plunging into serious debt by attending grad school. Was it worth it to have my summers free again? You bet. Grad school presented me with the best summer job ever; I got shipped off to the Sundance Theatre Lab where I worked on a kick ass project, had free housing on a mountain side, was served three square meals a day and only had to work every other day.

and then grad school ended.

I shouldn't complain about any of the jobs I've had over the past four years(although that doesn't stop me), but there's something about my current job that makes me want to play hooky on a daily basis. Today I woke up and sun was shining and breeze was blowing and when I got into my car and sat there for a good 15 minutes staring out of the sunroof, thinking about how I could get out of coming into work. But here I am, freezing in my overly air conditioned, fluorescent lit cubicle, with memories of my parents saying "you don't know how easy you have it, just waaaait."

I can't believe it's come to this...

Monday, August 16, 2004

it's not okay

Today I strayed from my usual lunch plans, I wasn't hungry because for some mysterious reason I spent all day yesterday eating as if I had been stranded on a foodless island for three months. Instead of eating lunch today I ran errands and the following occurrences all fall under the category of:

it's not okay

*that size 7 acrylic knitting needles only come in pink at the store I went to

*to have Halloween decorations and candy displayed in the middle of August

*for me to have gone into a Big K

*that We Built This City was playing in the Big K

*for the screeching alarm to go off in the Big K and the only woman who has the power to turn it off is too busy stocking shelves

*that any schmo can pick up a ladle and serve up a helping of Signature Soups smack dab in the middle of a Safeway supermarket

*there are vats in Safeway labeled "Cravin' Crab & Sweet Corn Chowder" and "Stompin' Steakhouse"

I should have just gone to Vietnamese with everyone else, and remained sheltered from the wilds of San Mateo.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

stay classy

I hate to say it, but Anchorman beat the pants off of Dodgeball.

I know I'm behind the times on this movie news, but sometimes I just have to wait until a movie comes to the Parkway. Because then we're talking about 5 bucks to get in and a pitcher o' beer with the flick. Can't be beat when you're a tightwad like me.

Steve Carell is brilliant, and I would see the movie again just for the cameos... and this song.

Friday, August 13, 2004

favorite lyrics of the day (vol. 2)

from Jesus Walks, Kayne West

Now hear ye hear ye want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
Cuz we're the almost nearly extinct
We rappers is role models, we rap we don't think
I ain't here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I'm just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis... that's the way I need Jesus

say it ain't so

Justin's quitting the band?

awww, man! I just finished learning the moves for Bye Bye Bye so I could dance up a storm on their next tour.

Actually, I thought they broke up in 2002.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

be it ever so humble

If I were to click my heels like Dorothy and repeat "there's no place like home" I'm not sure if I would end up where I live now, or where I go to visit my family. There's no place like either of those places, and I don't really feel like I belong in one more than the other. I had a good trip to Boston in June and I'm about to go again because I really miss being there, but it's also kind of relaxing to be in my own space, with Alex, far away from everyone.

Last time I went to Boston I only had six days to reacquaint myself with the people (and places) who had a hand in molding me into this adult I'm supposed to be. In those six days I had the chance to see my old digs, hang with my family and spend some quality time with my bestest friend.

My Mom's house was the first stop, I did a lot of visiting with aunts, uncles, cousins and I even got a little face time with the grand matriarch, Nana. But the best visits included those with my sister and nephew. Oh, how I miss them.

Look at that face! How can I live across the country from that guy?

The time with Mom, however, proved to be a little more stressful than I had imagined. It's not that she intentionally says or does things to rub me the wrong way, but she's my Mom. And you know how moms can be. The most exasperating part was getting from point A to point B. My Mom didn't learn how to drive until she was in her mid fifties and she is a bit of a nervous driver. (Now here's the part where you picture a 4'10" woman with BluBlockers in a very large Grand Marquis.) Her driving is a little on the slow side for my taste, but I give her some credit, because when you're nervous it's probably best to take your time. Although I do think that coming to a complete stop before turning may be a little excessive. She did take a particularly quick corner one day, but she gave me plenty of warning by informing me that we were about to "book it", so I was good and ready when we hit that speedy 7 miles an hour.

Mom is too nervous to risk leaving the surface streets though, which leaves the highway driving up to me... and Mom with the fake brake on the passenger's side. It takes a little getting used to a Grand Marquis, so I admit I wasn't the smoothest driver when it came to the stop signs and traffic lights, but cut me some slack, that's a lot of car to stop! Mom eventually eased up on the fake brake, but every turn or lane change I took was accompanied by a deep breath being gasped in through clenched teeth as if I was jabbing her with a burning hot poker. These wincing inhales were paired up with a firm grasp on the "oh shit" handle over the window of the passenger's side. Sometimes I was lucky enough to only get the door handle grab, a little more subtle. One time I actually got a double handle grab, that's the left hand reaching over to the door handle and the right hand reaching up to handle over the window. *please note: this type of grab should only be attempted by a professional pessimist* Often when switching lanes I was told that I was "a gutsy little devil" and asked if I was "aware of the merge." But there was one shining moment when she did compliment both me and my sister on our driving (while I was not driving). I know I shouldn't take the whole thing too personally, but I don't remember her freaking out in the car with my Dad. Is it me? Is it?

I'm going back to Boston at the end of next week to help Lisa out with some more wedding stuff, but I don't think I'll have time to see Mom again. Maybe I'll practice a little bit of the slow driving while I'm out there so I'll be ready for my trip in October... when I get to drive Mom to New Hampshire. A whole hour of fake brake, I can't wait. There's no place like home, there's no place like home.

Tuesday, August 10, 2004

why I quit my last job

Last week marked the one year anniversary of the last week of my old job. I would be lying if I said that I was devastated to leave that job. There are certainly some people I miss working with, but there are also some people I'm glad I don't ever have to deal with again, and the work itself... not so much the fun.

Perhaps it was because I extended myself more than I should have, maybe it was because I answered my work administered cell phone every time it rang, no matter what time it was, but after almost two years of being a company manager I couldn't bear the thought of booking another flight, prepping another apartment or listening to one more upset actor. I started to crack at the end of May and finally by August I was on my way out. I was so eager to leave at that point that I didn't even have another job lined up and only two months of rent saved. Probably not the best idea in the Bay Area, but I felt like I had no other choice.

The last show I worked on was one with "stars". It was important for me to keep these stars happy, that was part of my job. I was to accomplish star bliss by being extremely pleasant, insanely attentive and upholding all of the commitments made by others, many of which I was not aware of. Most of these promises were made by the Super Powerful Ultimate Director (SPUD) of the company.

The first time I was aware of these clandestine deals was when I booked some business class plane tickets instead of first class. Even though I had the executed contracts in my hands, stating what I could and couldn't do or buy, I received some angry calls from managers in L.A. about my "out of line" purchases and was told that I was violating verbal agreements which were made by the SPUD just yesterday. I was asked more than once if I knew who I was dealing with. I think I had a pretty good idea. These people weren't even in town yet and I had knots in my stomach anticipating what else could possibly go wrong.

Then the best part came, I had the pleasure of picking up cast members at the airport. It was a joy to be driving a filthy company car around and hear of all the promised wonders I was to provide for these stars; the special meals, the tours of the city and the comp tickets I had for them for other shows on their afternoon off. Granted, this was all part of my job and I had no problem fulfilling (or at least delegating) these requests, but it would have been nice if SPUD, who promised all these things, had let me know the specifics or even just said "hey, I promised all these people so much stuff I don't even know what I said, so good luck!" I ended up looking like a bobblehead on these rides with the stars, smiling and nodding while driving, taking mental notes of what I needed to do. Sleep was lost on these days, rage persisted, so to avoid a break down I had my intern take over for a few airport runs. He too became miffed with the entire experience. He liked to take his own pristine car to the airport and came back steaming one time because one of the cast members, who seemed to have brief bouts with narcolepsy, ate a crumbly muffin while dozing off in the front seat of his new car.

The show ran for eight weeks, with the cast changing every two weeks, so every other week held new and wonderful surprises for me. Upon each arrival I could expect the unexpected and nothing was out of the realm of possibility. I think the worst incident was being obliged to find soul food in Berkeley at 10:00pm on Sunday night, or maybe it was the time I had to find comfortable quarters and a watchful eye for a dog who had just had hip surgery and was on a fair amount of pain killers.

The 12 - 16 hour days I worked during the rehearsal and run of this show were wearing me down. I was officially miserable. Something had to be done. I talked to my boss, who was the coolest boss I've ever had, and she said she would see what they could do to compensate me. She told me she would talk to the SPUD and let me know what they come up with.

The next day I was called into the SPUD's office.

The SPUD thanked me for all my hard work over the last few months and assured me that I was doing a bang up job. I sat there patiently while she told me how lucky I was to work with such stars and what a privilege it was for me to be able to get up close and personal with each and every one. I did my usual routine of nodding and smiling, just like in the car, waiting for some sort of bonus or a mention of some extra vacation time to fly my way, just something more than words. I had enough of the words, I wanted more. And more is what I got.

As the SPUD got to the end of her speech she informed me she wanted to give me something to show her gratitude. SPUD rolled her chair over to her purse and pulled out her personal checkbook. As she carefully wrote on a check and handed it to me she was proud to announce that she found out my wedding anniversary had recently passed and she knew Alex and I were going camping for the weekend. This personal check from SPUD was to say thank you for everything. This personal check from SPUD was to be used to buy a nice bottle of champagne for my anniversary getaway. This personal check from SPUD had a note that said "happy anniversary". This personal check from SPUD was for the amount of $25.00.

I wasn't sure what to do. The whole series of events simultaneously confused, irritated and amused me. I thanked SPUD and left. I told my boss about it and she chuckled told me that wasn't what she had in mind or discussed with SPUD in terms of compensation, but what could we do? I shoved the check in my pocket and went home for the day. I thought about framing the check and putting it above my desk, but then decided to cash it and buy a case of beer and some beef jerky.

A few days later I was sitting at my desk and SPUD came into the office with her son, as she often did on Friday afternoons, to check in with everyone. SPUD seemed surprised to see me at my desk and asked why I wasn't on my anniversary camping trip. I explained that I would be leaving after work that day. SPUD looked out the window at the gloomy cloud cover and the following dialogue took place:

SPUD: Too bad you'll have such shitty weather.
me: We're actually going a little further south, so I think it should be okay.
SPUD: Oh, well, if it does rain you can just stay in your tent and fuck all weekend!
me: what?
SPUD: Well, it's true! Tell Alex I said that's a direct order!

As if this exchange was not unfortunate enough, please keep in mind that there were about seven other people milling around the office to witness it, one of them being SPUD's son.

And that, my friends, was the straw that broke this camel's back, and when I decided I would quit my job.
At least I got a case of beer out of it.

Monday, August 09, 2004


Yep, that's me. I've emerged as the full fledged moron I knew lurked within for so many years.

This weekend opened the door to two experiences for me, one overpriced, one free, which both allow me to not only feel like a moron, but look like one, too.

Saturday was an expensive haircut that ended in the horror of looking in the mirror to find a spectacular mullet... on my very own head. I guess the hairdresser was stressed out about her sick dog, but that was no reason to cut all my bangs off, was it? This haircut had me running home to put my MGD in a beer koozie, sit in my busted up lawn chair in my dirt yard and daydream about NASCAR.

Sunday was a 20 minute bike ride, which actually turned into a 20 mile bike ride, without sunscreen. Luckily I was only out between the hours of 11 - 2, so I wasted no time making sure I got as crispy as possible. Sure this one was a freebie, but I assure you, I'm paying for it today. My once pasty Irish arms are now an amazing hue of purple, emitting heat strong enough to cook a frozen bag of peas used to ease the pain.

So if you see me walking down the street and you pretend you don't know who I am, I'll understand, because I don't even want to be seen with this moron.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

worst movie ever

I am sorry to report that I contributed to the opening weekend of this piece of garbage.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

happy birthday, Lisa!

I can't believe we've been friends for 21 years. We're legal now!

Remember the birthday party where there was a case of champagne? Me neither, but it must have been awesome because I ended up with a black eye.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

call me

Alex recently purchased some new phones that are out of my league of technology know-how. There are three handsets along with one base. The base is an answering machine and can also be used as a speaker phone. Each of these handsets can be used like walkie talkies or even baby monitors. You can pick different rings on each phone for different people. Each phone can have it's own phonebook. There's even a headset you can use and pretend to be Judy the Time-Life operator.

All of these fancy units reside in our small two bedroom apartment. So when someone calls, cacophonous digital blips can be heard echoing throughout the apartment, because each phone has a unique sound. These phones did not receive a warm welcome for me because they made me feel stupid. I was also not fond of the big fat manual that came with the phones; I think it is inappropriate to have a text book in order to call your friends.

At first I was scared of the phones and my fear resulted in some displaced anger, but now I'm starting to like the phones and I even feel comfortable looking like a big dork walking around with the headset on. After about a week I faced my fear and finally figured out how to turn down or even shut off the ringers.

The cool thing about having four different phones to use is that means there are four places I can easily see caller ID. I don't have to run to the living room anymore just to see that it's a telemarketer on the line. Now I can just casually turn to closest unit, which is usually an arm's reach away. Sure, I know I could have taken my former cordless phone and put in next to me in whatever room I was in, but then it would have died by the time it got through it's first ring (thus the reason for the new phone purchase).

Tonight it delighted me greatly to just be able to turn my head to the right and decide not to answer that phone call from a caller named Modise Tay. Although with a caller ID like that, it might have been worth the small walk.

Monday, July 26, 2004

tv is my zoloft

Sometimes I watch TV when I'm feeling kind of blue. Then I get a little happier and feel like I personally know the people in the box who just cheered me up. Two of my favorite people to watch are Will Arnett and Amy Poehler and I just found out they are married. I can't believe they didn't invite me to their wedding.

Sunday, July 25, 2004

what's better than a Justin Timberlake song?


But I'll tell you what worse. People covering his music.

Friday, July 23, 2004

urban challenge (and coffee)

Last Saturday Greg and Dave participated in the San Francisco Urban Challenge.

Britt, Chris and I were the support staff, which meant I got to sit at home in my jammies and drink three pints of coffee while Googling things and sending text messages to Greg and Dave who were running and sweating all over San Francisco. Chris was a mad dog and our leader. He was in charge of all things internet, things that are beyond my comprehension.

Even though Greg and Dave were the last team to start the race (due to an unwieldy #2 pencil let loose on a scantron form) they came in 4th and they're going to Miami in November. If you check out the "results" part of the website, Greg and Dave are Team 4, but their pic is showing up in the team 3 slot. The other weird thing about the website is that they only have 3 checkpoints up there, but there were actually 12.

Here are some things I learned while fulfilling my duties as a Google girl:

* Peekskill was not a fake city where the Facts of Life took place. There's a real city in New York called Peekskill and it got it's name from the Dutch explorer Jan Peek.

* It's hard to type, drink coffee and answer the phone all at once.

* Horse in Spanish is caballo.

* There are tons of websites dedicated to palindromes.

* My favorite palindrome is: Go hang a salami; I'm a lasagna hog

* I will never understand how to solve a magic square math puzzle. ever.

* Chris Chan is like a frickin human computer.

* In 1962 a dude named Melvin Belli (a lawyer kind of dude) sued the San Francisco Giants on the grounds that his box seat at Candlestick Park was too cold. And he won.

* Greg's "I'm concentrating while taking this picture" look is very consistent. See?

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

crappy day

and I'm not just saying it's crappy because I got four hours of sleep, or because the coffee maker broke, or because I have a MIR space station sized pimple on my chin making me look like a witch. It was truly a crappy morning because my toilet decided to purge itself of any items it had digested within the last 48 hours.

I began my day with a 6:30 wake up (after having gone to bed at 2:00) followed by an ant crawling across my pillow and onto my face. When I finally managed to drag myself out of bed Alex kindly let me know that he didn't put enough water in the coffee maker, so there was just a smidgen of really strong coffee left for me, if I wanted it. I decided to make new coffee and upon doing this noticed that Alex had put plenty of water in, but the coffee maker was busted. I tried to fix the coffee maker, and while working on this impossible task, realized that this thing which supplies me with delicious coffee every morning was actually the anti-Christ and the root of every problem I've ever had since I was 12. This led me to believe that the best thing to do would be to "Fonzie" the coffee maker. With one swift hit of my fist, three mysterious and small plastic pieces flung onto the countertop. So long, coffee maker, thanks for the memories. I pulled the old tiny coffee maker out of hiding and began my brewing again.

With breakfast finally out of the way it was time to get ready for work. I knew things were bad when I was taking a shower and noticed water wasn't draining, but instead kept accumulating along with hair and soap scum. This has been happening for weeks, but the water never got this deep.

Then I flushed the toilet.

Alex and I always put the toilet lid down after each use, because that way it's fair all around. Everyone has to put something down, regardless of how you use the toilet. (And I don't know if Zach the cat would ever want to drink toilet water, but this way we don't have to find out.) I put the lid down before the fateful flush and while washing my hands noticed something out of the corner of my eye; was the lid moving? Oh yeah, the lid was moving, and all sorts of unpleasant water was moving that lid. Powered by sheer panic and adrenaline I was able to move the scale and the litter box before anything coming from within Village plumbing reached them. Then I started thinking plunger. I knew we used to have a plunger, was it under the sink? was it in the closet? was it outside? was it in the outside storage? was I sure I didn't see it under the sink? We used to have a plunger. I guess a plunger isn't one of the things you take with you when you move. I'm not going to get into details here, but I will let you know that I will be buying a new toilet brush this evening and even though Swiffers are fun little moppy things to have around, it's very important to always have legit mop in the house.

Even after my cleaning and creative problem solving, the toilet was still not doing so well, so I had to call maintenance; something had to be done that was out of my realm of toilet knowledge. I called the Village office and then ran around hiding all things cat-like and hoped to skedaddle before the maintenance dude got there. Alas, I wasn't fast enough. For some reason I find it humiliating to explain a mess in my bathroom to a maintenance guy. As I opened the door my gut reaction was to say "It's not my fault," because honestly, it wasn't! But what came out was "sorry." That's a fine how-do-you-do to a man with a plunger in his hand. I just know that I would never want his job, so I have an immense amount of respect and sympathy for the guy, thus the sorry.

I stuck around while he finished whatever he did. He worked some plumbing magic that even fixed the tub! I would have offered him some coffee, but I didn't want to revisit that trauma.

The rest day didn't turn out all bad though; lunch with Sean and Greg had me feeling better and then Jerome sent me this. I think I'm on the road to recovery. I even used a toilet again today and didn't flinch before flushing.