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.