Monday, May 31, 2004

life is a big...

Alex and I had a little shin-dig for RM Friday night, since he's leaving tomorrow for an internship in a land far, far away for the summer. We ate some grilly kind of foods and played some games. RM and I rocked out on Time's Up. Then the dreaded Wise or Otherwise got pulled out. This game gives me anxiety because I have a terrible time reading the answers with a straight face. Sometimes I laugh so hard I can't even get the words out; I slow the game down with a series of unintelligible,"gheeeeeeeeeegheeeeeeeee"s followed by an "I can't even reeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaad it!" with my red face and pieces of paper crumpled in my hand.
If you've never played before, the idea of the game is a lot like Balderdash. You draw a card which gives you the first half of an obscure proverb and the correct answer is on the other side of the card. The other players write down what they think sounds like a convincing answer. Everyone votes on what they think is the correct answer... hilarity ensues. I lost it again Friday night. And I like to blame it on Alex.

It was my turn to read, and the proverb was an old Yiddish saying: Life is a big...
The correct answer was "headache on a noisy street". I got through the rest of the other player's answers ("mystery", "mountain to climb", etc.) just fine, but then came Alex's which read: "Life is a big... beard, unpleasant when dirty and itchy, beeatch." I knew I wouldn't make it through. It's a good thing he added the beeatch at the end because I think without that it stood a chance for some votes, but there was no way I would have read it with a straight face, therefore making it impossible for anyone to think it was the correct answer. (And I have ruined the game for people like that before.) Everyone put up with my private giggle fest most politely, probably because I was the host. But I know it's not nice, so I'm sorry.

Jay had some good ones in there too, like "Everything has two... except Lance Armstrong" and "Every door has... knockers, and let me tell you junior, those are some nice knockers"
And let's not forget Greg's, "If thy camel should break down... hump it"

And we all know that this is not the point of the game, but who can resist when you have a captive audience?

The last one of the evening got the most laughs; There's an old Hawaiian saying "Eat 'till..." with a real answer of "the lips protrude". Alex's version: "Eat 'till...5:00 for free, after that it's 2 for 1. And try the poi!"

Saturday, May 29, 2004

the day after yesterday

I hardly ever write about my job here because there are so many tragic stories of people being fired for such things... and I like my job too much to take that chance. But this is so pleasant, how can I not write about it?

Yesterday my boss took me and three of my co-workers to see The Day After Tomorrow. This wasn't related to our work in anyway, it was just a nice little thank you for going to the convention two weeks ago. (And I guess because it's Memorial Day weekend and no one really wants to work that whole Friday.) Apparently he does this for our department every once in a while, and I for one, think that it's swell.

As if my job weren't cool enough to begin with, now it looks as though I get to see free movies on holiday weekends. Did I mention the bucket of popcorn he got for us, too? Rock on, boss.

I think what I enjoyed best yesterday was the fact that I secretly wanted to see that movie, but thought that it would be too embarrassing to mention it to anyone. So I figured I would wait until the DVD came out, or it came to the Parkway. But instead, there I was on opening day. Laughing my ass off at a movie that was so bad it was good.

But now I must confess that I also saw Troy. Unfortunately with my own money. It was not good. It was very bad. Alex and I weren't the only ones laughing out loud at inappropriate moments. Here's an example of some of the brilliant dialogue: "I can hunt rabbit and deer. I can feed us." Yes, there you have it, cinema at it's best. Wait a minute, did you hear that? I think it's Homer crying.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

happy anniversary

4 years ago today Alex and I were married. In Las Vegas, at Treasure Island (without the slutty new image). Our friends and family came from as far as Boston to share in our 7 minute ceremony followed by a reception of mediocre hors d'oeuvres and lounge music. I have to admit that it was not the wedding I had always dreamed of, but if I had to do it all again I wouldn't change too much. (I'm not going to lie and say I wouldn't have changed a thing.)

I do remember feeling like I needed to giggle during the entire ceremony. I turned to hand my flowers to my sister, who had tears in her eyes, and I felt like I was doing something wrong. Were you supposed to laugh at your own wedding? I mean, I did cry for a pretty good portion of the day prior to the evening wedding, so naturally I assumed that I would be a mess while trying to recite the vows. But there was something about the whole event that put a crazy smile on my face. Maybe it was the fact that the wedding coordinator wouldn't let Alex put his hands anywhere but by his side, an unnatural pose for anyone, but especially Alex. Maybe it was because he was lobster-red-sunburnt from walking up and down the strip all day without sunscreen. Perhaps it was the look of panic on his face (which he later confessed was because he didn't recognize my sister and thought a strange bride was walking towards him). Whatever it was I was happy and honored to have Alex by my side. We smiled at each other and I knew that everything was okay, if I laughed, cried or kept that creepy smile on my face for the whole ceremony.

Over the past four years Alex and I have had our ups and downs. And when you're a drama queen like me, the downs get pretty bad. But when I wake up in the morning and see his eyes half opened and his sleepy smile as he whispers "good morning" I know I wouldn't trade our love for anything in the whole world.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

sick and tired

The worst thing about being sick is not remembering what it's like to be well.
That sad, sad feeling of knowing that today could possibly be a great day, hell, even an okay day, but because of my inability to breathe through my nose or swallow anything that is not a liquid, it's a crappy day. And will continue to be one.

With my mood in the gutter and aching joints I sat my desk all day and thought about how nice it was outside and how I should take a walk. I even ate lunch at my desk. That's how pathetic I was today. Then Greg and I walked over to the Safeway and bought candy. That didn't even help.

you know it's bad when candy can't even get me out of the rut.

our Oreo experiment while camping

#1 Posted by Hello

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Thursday, May 20, 2004

i'm so excited about putting photos on my blog i'll even put this up

mmmmm... wetsuits. Posted by Hello

the wonderful world of TiVo

I'm not sure what it is about TiVo, but ever since I got it for my birthday I've been watching a lot less TV. I think this is due to the fact that I know TiVo is watching TV for me. And when I do get around to watching TV sometimes I'll watch half a show, realize that I'm not interested in it, and ERASE it. That's right, just like not finishing a meal when you're full, which is a really difficult concept for me to grasp. Because if it's there you should finish it, right?

Being a pack rat I had a hard time adjusting to TiVo, because I was compelled to watch everything it had saved for me. All of it. It got bad, I had about 30 - 40 shows piled up in there. I got overwhelmed. I felt like I had a part time job. Then one day I went crazy and watched the first 5 minutes of Clean Sweep (where they reveal the disgusting, junk filled rooms) and then went all the way to the end to see the finished product. Instant gratification. At first I felt like I was cheating, but after I did it for 3 more episodes I figured out that's what TiVo is all about, giving the viewer complete control. I felt powerful.

So now I pick 2 days a week to watch TV and that's plenty for me. And get this, I work out while I watch TV. Now we're talking about efficiency.

Monday, May 17, 2004

those signs are fluorescent for a reason

Last night Alex and I took the Matrix into the city with a backseat full of passengers. RM, Greg and Britt accompanied us to see Shaolin Soccer in San Francisco. I still don't know my way around the city, and let's face it, I never will. I'm directionally challenged and if a backseat driver wants to tell me what to do, my heart fills with glee. Britt and RM directed us there and RM gave us a good idea of where to park and so we did. Along the street we chose with plenty of parking there were signs with fluorescent pink paint posted on the meters telling us not to park there from 6 - 10. It was 5:00 at this point, and we all agreed that since Bay to Breakers had already finished we were good to go. We walked to the movie theatre and passed plenty of parking spaces without bright pink signs. We saw the movie and laughed a lot. The kid behind me liked to lean forward and he breathed in my hair a lot. He also felt sad when he didn't understand why the rest of the audience was laughing and he wasn't, so eventually he also laughed a lot... when no one else was. We ate a lot of popcorn.

Then we walked back to the car. Or shall I say, the spot where the car once was. My heart sank, having had my car stolen twice, I have a general fear of returning and not having the car happily waiting for me. Luckily because I am so skilled in not having my car where I left it I didn't panic. As it turns out if we had all looked very closely at the signs that could blind us with pinkness we would have noticed the PM next to the 6 -10. Alex and I simultaneously dialed the tow number listed below the words warning us to not park there in the first place. RM walked home and Britt and Greg led us (via bus) to the place where our car was patiently waiting for us. Greg and Britt also generously donated money to help us get our car out of jail. 171 bucks later we were back on our way to the East Bay.

expensive lesson learned... always read the signs carefully. especially when they are bright pink.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

my annoying return to LA

Here I sit in the Hollywood Renaissance Hotel with a cup of Wolfgang Puck signature coffee (brewed right here in my room) hoping that's the cure for this killer headache. I'm here for E3, a convention I would never go to if it weren't for my job.

I probably would never go to any convention if it weren't for my job, because there's nothing I abhor more than trying to wedge my way through a giant crowd of people who all want to look at the same thing. And these people are so interested in what is being displayed that they forget there are other people in the convention center, never mind their immediate personal space. The biggest human traffic jam I hit today was the one in front of the booth with the women with the biggest chests and shortest skirts. The best part about these women is that their job was to look good. That's it.

"hey, what do you do for a living?"
"I look good!"

One of these women might have been severely dehydrated due to the amount of posing she was doing. She was working it. I might say that she violently displayed her cleavage. Some men were afraid to have their picture taken with her. It was fascinating, yet annoying, because I was working and I had places to go.

I was also kind of cranky because I hadn't gotten a lot of sleep last night due to the loudest cell phone talker in the room next to me. With a thin adjoining door between us I could hear him open a hard candy. I thought the hard candy wrappers were annoying until I heard his cell phone play the Nokia song followed by a rousing HELLO for everyone in the hall to hear. He shouted many things that evening until 1:45am, unfortunately it was all Japanese, so I couldn't even get any dish.

Only 2 more days of convention... 2 more days of smashing my limbs into strangers.

Monday, May 10, 2004

everything must go

Last Saturday Alex and I participated in the annual University Village yard sale. We got a flyer in our mailbox last Tuesday telling us that we could just show up on the big lawn at the Village entrance and sell our stuff. As luck would have it not only did we have lots of stuff to sell, but we were free that day.

About a month ago Alex and I had actually gone through a lot of our old boxes of junk and put a box together of things we wanted to sell... figuring we would sell it with our furniture when we move out of the Village next year. But that box was just the tip of the iceberg. Upon receiving the flyer I transformed into a madwoman stumbling from room to room finding everything which could earn the title "clutter". I opened cabinets, I searched the bottom of closets, I contemplated letting some of the furniture go, you know, like the couch. I even broke a few things in my frenzied search, which I didn't mind too much, because then I was able to throw those broken things away. An even quicker (but not as lucrative) way to get rid of the junk. I calmed down after I broke a glass and had to confess to a chuckling Alex all about my reign of terror over the clutter.

By the end of the week I had a nice pile going and I was ready to SELL. The night before the yard sale I made a desperate attempt to find anything else to get rid of. I heard a lot of "we're going to sell that?", and the answer was always yes. There was no turning back.

On Saturday morning at 8:00am we thought about carrying our things less than a mile to the location of righteous selling but after packing 2 bags and 3 boxes we ended up loading the car. The seats had to be pushed down, the entire hatchback was full. We were ready to roll with a trusty change box and wad of ones.

Before we were even halfway through with unloading the car people started asking us how much certain items were. Most interest in the very early morning went to a portable CD radio and CD walkman. As I was taking the last few items out of the car Alex was taking our first 10 bucks. An awesome sight to behold.

We had a lot of questions to answer for the first hour because Alex and I didn't think ahead of time to actually get stickers so we started pricing everything up with sharpie marked sticky notes, which conveniently blew off in the morning breeze. I had to run back home and get tape. I am not a good runner.

We ended up making around $200, which is more than I expected, considering our highest priced item was 15$. That was a telescope, which I had forgotten how to use and Alex had never used. The weird thing about that telescope is we couldn't sell it for the first few hours because we didn't know how to work it. But Alex spent a little quality time with it, figured out how to get it working around 10:30am and it was sold at 10:45am. The power of knowledge is quite useful when selling things.

to sum up my experience here are some things I learned while at my very first yard sale:
* I am terrible at practical math
* it's probably a good idea to have a price determined before beginning haggling
* people will pay for a 7 dollar item with nickels
* whenever a kid asks "how many cents is this?" you should just let them have it for as many cents as they have in their hand minus a dime
* sunblock... it's not just for the beach
* people will ask you to break a hundred dollar bill when purchasing a one dollar item.
* price all items at home, and use something with adhesive
* don't count your money in the wind

Friday, May 07, 2004


Today I woke up with a vision of reading the paper while sipping my coffee and eating a nice breakfast. I even got up early to accomplish this. However, as I noticed the throbbing black line on the stove all my plans were shattered; I had an Argentine ant problem of epic proportions.

Unfortunately Alex and I had left a dirty pan on the stove overnight, and apparently these ants fucking loooove egg. It was so bad that I could actually lift a layer of ants with a spatula. That's how many there were. Picking up the spatula might not have been the best idea, because as I touched it the ants started to crawl up the spatula and onto me. not okay. Of course I did the usual squirm and holler dance while twitching wildly across the kitchen with a spatula in my hand. Because when the volume of ants is overwhelming I have trouble remembering that they are really only 2 millimeters long. I finally got my wits about me and got all ant covered items in a sink full of hot water. Then I realized I would have to put my hand in this sink full of water topped off with floating dead ants to drain it. Maybe this could wait until Alex gets home?

I walked back to the stove to figure out where they were coming from. The ants were coming from inside the stove top. That's right... from within the oven, the thing we cook in. I grabbed my trusty stick of boric acid chalk and started going to town. Until I realized that neither my fingers or the chalk were small enough to get to the ant access. I tried to pull the oven out from it's built in cubby hole. I ended up with a blood blister, a shirt full of ants and the oven in the same spot. I was getting very frustrated and wondered why it is that Alex always is at school when these ant invasions happen. But that was not important, I had to focus my rage, I had to get into the stove. I got out 3 different screwdrivers, flung open the oven door and examined everything while ants covered in boric acid fell on my head. It took me awhile, I had to take all the burner knobs off and release a bunch of greasy screws, but I got in. And there it was... the colony.

The next dumb idea I had (after the spatula) was to not kill the ants straight away, but instead to trap them in a small area between the oven and the countertop. This bad move resulted in panicking ants fleeing and covering a built in cutting board, a drawer of utensils and a small area of the floor piled up with confused ants in a frenzied circle. I had done it again, made more work for myself. I started blotting all the ants up with wet paper towels until I thought about the powerful weapon I like to call Windex.

done and done.

I left the sink full of floating ants for Alex.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

movie angst

Last night Alex and I watched the Summer of Sam, which I thought was terrible. It was one of Alex's Netflix choices, and it's been sitting around the house since November. I gave him a lot of grief about it when it was over. He agreed that it was awful.

Last Tuesday night Sean took me to his usual Tuesday "movie night" as a guest. I have to admit I was a little nervous going into the whole thing, especially when Sean told me that it's a pretty big group of invitees. It wasn't that I was scared of any of the people, because I didn't know anyone except Sean, but there were just so many people... and if you attend you are encouraged to participate in a discussion about the movie afterwards. When it comes to expressing my opinion, especially around strangers, I get a little anxious. Did I mention that Sean is a film/video editor and most of the people who usually go to movie night are linked to the film industry?

Why these sort of things make me nervous is beyond me. I am smart. I know how to watch a movie. I am able to form opinions and sentences. Sometimes I crack a pretty decent joke.

Maybe some of my fears stem from my childhood, where I learned pretty early that it's probably best to keep your opinion to yourself and privately grumble about what's really on your mind at a later date. Because putting your abstract ideas out there is a little risky... what if someone (gasp) DISAGREES?
**Please note that this rule does not apply if you are backed by a large group who feels the same way you do, then by all means, speak up. safety in numbers.**

So while watching the movie, which happened to be The General, I got myself all worked up about what I would say afterwards and hope that it would sound smart enough. Questions ran through my head like: how can I comment on a classic silent film? can I get away with sitting silently and saying it's in homage to the silent film? who am I to comment on this? I think there might have been a good 20 minutes where I completely zoned out and stopped watching the movie so I could think about what I was going to say. Then when I realized I wasn't paying attention I started watching the movie more intensely than I have ever watched a movie, to make up for lost time. I felt crazy by the time the movie ended.

As it turns out I had some pretty decent idea to share with the group, which actually turned out to be pretty small. And of course, realized that my neurosis was completely uncalled for and irrational.
I'm not going to say that this kind of behavior won't come into play again, because we all know that I have the tendency to get a little antsy in a large group of people. I'm just hoping that I can walk away from these kind of nights (where everything turned out okay) with a feeling of security instead of feeling like I have to pee my pants.