August 2005

This is probably all in my head, but I think I look better already. 65 minutes on the elliptical trainer on a cross-training program after work. Not too high of a level, just level 4, but I was definitely sweating. I think my legs look more toned, too. Hopefully the puffiness is due to bloating from my sodium high so the sweating and the excess water I drank all day will take care of that.

My judge is at a dude ranch right now with his family on vacation, so I’m manning another courtroom which is presently engaged in a robbery jury trial. The clerk who’s normally in this courtroom took the day off to go to the Ford dealership to pick up her new 2005 Mustang Saleen.

A girl walked in with a motion that needed to be filed next door, so I instructed the bailiff to direct her there. She left, and a few minutes later the relief clerk next door came into the courtroom with her papers to reaffirm that it’s supposed to be in that department, and I explained it to him. Then he asked, “Did you go to Diamond Bar High School?” I looked up at him in surprise. “Yes…” I racked my brain for who this relief clerk was in high school; he looked a bit older than me. He then explained that the girl with the motion had asked him to find out because she had recognized me.

I had no idea who the girl was because, as usual, I made no eye contact with strangers. After learning from the relief clerk that she was still in his courtroom, I walked over, looked her square in the face and… did not recognize her. She greeted me warmly. I said, “I’m sorry…” and she took the hint and told me her name. Cathy. Oh my gosh! Is that what a little eyelid surgery does for Korean girls? She looks so cute! She and I didn’t hang out directly, but we had a lot of common friends and we would often be at the same event. I think she was even my tennis partner in PE at one point. We caught up on our common friends, I broke the news to her about Grace’s passing, and complimented each other on how we look now. Heh. I guess she changed more after HS than I did, altho she said she wasn’t totally sure it was me.

I just returned from the gym. I hadn’t set foot in a gym for 2 weeks because I hadn’t had the time or the energy (and barely any sleep). I felt guilty and sheepish going in. Luckily, people I know just welcomed me back w/o giving me a hard time.

It’s scary, dismaying and frustrating how the body deteriorates after just 2 weeks. Looking at myself in the locker room mirror, I’m puffier in certain areas than I was even last week. On my bike warmup, I was out of breath before I started sweating, which means my cardio’s off and my metabolism’s on low. I fully planned on doing a solid weight training session for an hour or so, but I didn’t have the stamina. I supersetted chest press/lunges/single-legged dumbbell rows, 3 sets each, and then I hit abs (hard) and lower back. I did get all the major muscle groups burning (thereby “activating” more calorie burn), but I didn’t get as many exercises in as I thought I could.

3.5 weeks before Cancun. If I do weight training at lunch and cardio after work daily, I should be able to tighten up just fine. I hadn’t gained much weight, probably a couple pounds, and my body fat percentage hasn’t budged. I’m keeping my fingers crossed.

The jury came back before lunch with 15 guilty Lewd Act Upon a Child Under Age 14 verdicts on our trial. It took me over 20 minutes to read the verdicts into the record. Because they also found true the allegations that there were multiple victims at the time the crimes were committed, the defendant is now facing a maximum sentence of fifteen 15-yrs-to-life sentences, or 225 years to life in state prison. In common language, the defendant needs to serve 225 years in state prison before he even becomes eligible for parole. He’s 37.

This is what working in a criminal courtroom and seeing these cases does to my humor. In a discussion about this case, I said to a bailiff earlier, “That’s pretty convenient for the defendant. He’s probably just sittin’ there one day, thinking, ‘I want more sex. I know! I’ll just make 2 daughters and get another goddaughter, and that way, when they get older, I can have sex with them!’ ” They warned us in training that criminal clerks develop a dark sense of humor to survive in that environment.

They were wrong.

While I was driving around yesterday after work, running all my errands, I was playing phone tag with Thomas, and I therefore blame him for distracting me enough with his entertaining conversation (by that I mean, listening in on all the female attention he got while walking his apparently babe-magnet dog) such that I FORGOT TO CALL IN TO JURY SERVICE. I came into work this morning and as I walked into the courtroom, it struck me out of thin air that I possibly am supposed to be in Fullerton Superior Court at that very moment. I ran out to my car to get the jury duty notice and called in; luckily that courthouse didn’t order any jurors last nite for today. Whew.

FedEx made 3 daily noontime attempts to deliver my plane tickets to my house. Obviously, I was at work. I also don’t go thru my front door, so I didn’t see the tags until Saturday. The FedEx phone clerk assured me that my tickets would be at a particular FedEx building until today, and that if I didn’t pick it up today, it would be returned to Orbitz.
So I drove straight to FedEx after work. The guy at the counter looked up my tracking number in the computer and told me, “Unfortunately, your package has already been rerouted back to the sender.” “What?!”
I explained what the customer service rep on the phone said about the package being there. He said that yeah, the person was apparently trying to save himself the extra work of setting up a control # and logging in the conversation and requests in the system, and therefore FedEx did not know I called and that I wanted them to hold the package for me for pickup today.
I tell ya, it pays to be courteous and female. While I was patiently asking him for suggestions on what my options now are, since I do need my plane tickets, another FedEx counter guy overheard the conversation, looked at the computer screen over the shoulder of the guy I was talking to, and said, “Lemme see if on the off chance, it might still be here in the loading dock.” I gratefully thanked him. The guy I was talking to said that the other guy used to work in loading, so if anyone could find it, it’s him, altho it’s difficult to know which truck it’s been loaded into if it’s even still here. I sat down and waited about 10 , 15 minutes. The second guy came back and said, “Do you have your ID on you?” I lit up. “Really?! You found it!” I kept thanking him for his efforts and kissing his ass, and then I thanked the guy I was talking to for his suggestions and information.
The second guy said to me as I left, “You have a nice day.” “I definitely will now, thanks to you!” I sang.

Among the many errands I had to run at lunchtime today (I’m too sore to work out anyway) was getting gas and a car wash. For both, I went to a local Shell station. I pulled up behind a truck using the 2nd pump and waited for my turn. The car at the 1st pump in front of the truck finished and left. Before the truck could finish gassing up and leave, however, a beat-up car pulled up into the 1st gas pump and blocked the truck. Subsequently, a van pulled up behind me to wait its turn at the pump, so I had nowhere to go.
The man who drove the truck in front of me walked up to the guy in the beat-up car and altho I could not hear him, I could tell by the gesturing that he was telling the front guy to back his car out because I had been waiting behind him for my turn. The front guy looked toward me and ignored truck guy and walked into the building to pay. The truck guy turned and met my eyes, shook his head at me, then followed the front guy into the building. There was another altercation, more heated, between the two outside the building as front guy walked out to go back to the pump. Truck guy went back into the building presumably to get an employee.
Then front guy walked up to my car. I lowered the window. “Can you move your car to let the gentleman in front of you out?” he asked me. WHAT?! “Are you parked in front of him?” I asked. He said yes. I said, “I’ve been waiting here behind him; I can’t back out, there’s a van behind me. Why can’t you go around and use the pumps on the other side?” Both pumps connected to our pumps facing the other side were UNOCCUPIED, by the way. He ignored me and started walking back to his car.
Truck guy walked out of the building indignantly with a service attendant in tow, pointing toward the beat up car and gesturing angrily. Truck guy yelled in my direction, “Don’t back out! You don’t have to!” There were more dramatic yelling and gesturing and eventually, front guy backed his car out, let the truck out, and moved back in, and I moved up to the second pump. What an ass!
I got out of the car and put my hand up to the truck as it passed me on the street, mouthing “thank you.” He waved back.

Good samaritans.

Burke Williams in Orange was a nice facility, but it was overcrowded. I liked how in Brea’s Glen Ivy, even tho the apptmts were booked, I was never in a room with more than 3 people at the same time. BW in Orange, similarly to the BW in Pasadena, packed their clients in. Time flies by the fastest in 3 situations: when you’re facing an imminent deadline; when you’re talking to or hanging out with someone you really like; when you’re receiving a massage. My 80 minute massage felt like 45. I think I may have dozed off for a few minutes, tho.
After we (childhood friend Vicky and I) left the spa, we walked around The Block and had a sushi dinner. Then more shopping as she looked for stuff to buy her hubbie. Goofed off at Saks 5th Ave as she tried on various oversized fur hats and I took her photos w/my cameraphone. The last time we’d done something like that was early undergrad, laughing hysterically while trying on oversized sunglasses at Nordstrom that made us look like flies.

I woke up bummed on Sunday at 7a and could not go back to sleep. I finally got up and did an intensive workout from 8a-9a, then got ready and met my friend Edgar at 10a for a Taiwanese breakfast. Turnip cake, flakey flat pastry stuffed with beef and cilantro, fried “ghost” (literal translation from Mandarin: oil strip), and a big bowl of fresh hot soy milk. We walked around the strip, then drove down to Ten Ren for boba tea. It was nice to catch up on each other’s lives.
Then I drove to my parents’ house for my weekend visit, first making a detour to park in the shade at the local public library to chat with my college roommie Diana for 2 hours. As usual, we comforted each other and laughed at our social problems, and commiserated about how freaking far away in time our Cancun trip is.
At my parents’, I laid on their Ceragem infrared bed and let it run its program on me for 40 minutes. I fell asleep for about 20 minutes. That reinforced that I would very soon be okay. The first sign of things going bad for me is the inability to sleep.
On the drive home from my parents’, I called someone with whom things had ended rather badly a couple weeks ago. I hadn’t ever planned on talking to him again, but recent events made me appreciate certain things about him, and I wanted to make a small effort altho I didn’t expect him to reciprocate by even picking up the phone. Surprisingly, he did and appeared to have no grudges. We didn’t talk long, maybe 45 seconds, but it was long enough to know we were cool.
I got back home and met up with my ex personal trainer Brian, who arrived perfectly punctually with his electrician tool pack (he really is a jack of all trades). He immediately went to work removing the old and installing my new garbage disposal unit in the kitchen as I cleaned up downstairs around him, vacuuming, windexing, tidying. I didn’t even want to watch him; it looked way too complicated for me, what with the plumber’s putty, electrical wires and plumbing he had to reconnect. After he was done, we went to Cafe El Cholo for dinner. Their mango fruit-infused margarita never disappoints. The mango was so fresh in the blended puree. Similarly to my earlier outing w/Edgar, it was great to catch up w/Brian over good food.

One of the worst things I have felt is to watch someone I care about very much not do well, and feel completely helpless to do anything about it. And even as I stood helplessly, he looked upon me to offer him something to improve the situation, and I racked my mind, but in the time it took for that, he was already disappointed at my lack of response and fading fast. And the feeling at this moment, the feelings of ineptitude, confusion, failure, fear, all joined together and are screaming at me in unison – You fool, have you not had enough of this world? Why did you put yourself back out there? Withdraw to the safe place you were even one week prior.

As wonderful as those memories of one week ago were — the closed invulnerability, the peace of letting no one in — I still hug my knees in tears instead of regressing back to the happily balanced girl because, I whisper back against the yelling, I still care.

Me: I hate spring cleaning.
Friend: why clean then?
Me: it needs to be done to avoid my possible embarrassment.
Friend: just invite ppl over and don’t turn on the lights
Me: so I can only invite them at night.
Friend: ya
Friend: or close the curtains and window dressings
Me: or immediately gouge their eyes out upon their entry into my house.
Friend: ya that works too
Friend: save u from cleaning
Me: well, at least it’s for a good cause.

I know the title has nothing to do w/this post, but it was just something I’d just said and I like it.

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