April 2006

Do you ever miss something so strongly that you feel saddened and empty without it, only you don’t know what it is you miss? I’m nostalgic for something, but I don’t know what. If there was someone so truly special and wonderful to me that my sad times are a stark contrast to being with him, such that it brings up tears and nausea with how hard I long and yearn, I don’t have any distinct memories of him. Maybe it’s a time I miss. Maybe I miss a time when I was secure and happy. I just miss something or someone so much right now that I want to curl up in a ball and cry. I feel like my conscious memories have been wiped clean but yet something instinctual and subconscious remembers. I remember warmth, and yet some coolness. I remember rosiness. I remember comfort and trust. I remember feather-light caresses, loving strokes upon my head. I remember feeling so protected that I could let everything go because of the faith that nothing could happen to me if I relax. I remember white light, and a sense of being surrounded by white wings wrapped around me from behind.

Here, I feel cold and alone in the dark. I’m often miserable. I’m aware of other light sources around me, but it’s not the same. There, a few dark dots may appear in the light; here, it’s the rare light that thinly penetrates the darkness. And a lot of the light isn’t bright, it’s more of a gray. People who seem lit eventually turn gray on you as you see more of them.

Is it some sort of sick coincidence, or is there a connection and a reason to why, just after you’ve expressed aloud how great someone is being, or how great things are, that they do something to completely offend you? I always think I’m jinxing myself so I hold back from thanking someone for being good to me, or remarking to others about how great someone has been. Cuz as soon as that’s done, the person you’re grateful to will pull some jackass move and make you feel completely betrayed and make you eat your words. Why can’t it work in the opposite way? Why can’t I commiserate to someone that so-and-so never does such-and-such for me despite knowing how much it’d mean to me, and then walk out and see that so-and-so has indeed just done such-and-such because of how much it means to me? I have a weak theory, tho. I think that a lot of people, once you’ve shown them gratitude about something, get so cocky about it that they feel like they can do whatever they want despite the fact that it may be breaking a promise or hurting you. These are the people who get spoiled and take you for granted. You give them an inch and they take a foot. You can’t give these people brownie points because you want to make them feel good and give them credit where credit is due; if you do, they all of a sudden feel entitled to some things and their heads get blown up.

I’m so sad.

Diana and I are deep into an email conversation in which I’m probing her about the mystery dude who was making eye contact at her from across the room at her recent work-related dinner, as written about in her recent post. I guessed that he must’ve been cute since she uncharacteristically made repeated eye contact with him and smiled back at him. Her description of him was, in part, “…he was cute and had a very nice smile, although i am sure he is older.” I asked whether she’s found that more older men have been interested in her lately, and she thought about it and responded that she’s pretty much always had her share of “very young and very old.” Then she asked about me. Now that we’re forced to evaluate and summarize the ages of people who have been interested, she concluded that her range of admiring fans have been from 22 to 38. She laughingly noted that it’s a huge range. Then she thought of me and my history, of which she’s well aware. And laughed at my 22? to 50s. Ick.

That of course begs the question, which she opened up in a statement: “you must have different qualities that make you desirable to the young and the old. ;)” I wrote back half-jokingly, “Asian fetish and groundedness for the young; brains, youth and humor for the old.” Her response to that came back nearly instantaneously and reads, “or hot, sexy girl for the young; and the mature, witty, hot, sexy young woman for the old.”

That brought a big smile to my face as I wrote back, “I like that better, haha”, and just as I was thinking, Hmm, how do I blog this without looking conceited?, she responded that this conversation warrants a place in the blog. “Yours or mine?” I asked her. She said both, since we have different writing styles. So here we go. I got an email from her like 10 minutes ago saying she’s done with hers already. I said that apparently, my post is longer than hers.

That brings another interesting point between she and I. She noted how “brevity is [her] middle name”, such that when she writes an long post, people know something’s up and that it’s an important post. I, on the other hand, ramble on — aimlessly at times — saturating my posts with detail (show it, not just tell it, my 5th grade writing teacher used to chant), such that when I have an unusually short post, people know something’s wrong because I’m withholding information. Haha.

Okay, I’m gonna go read her post now and probably feel stupid about mine.

Addendum –
Diana’s most recent email as I was writing this post:
“ramble faster. i am dying to read urs.” HAHAHA!

We ditched yoga last nite and watched Better Luck Tomorrow as recommended by my cousin Mark. I was all punchy from lack of sleep anyway, and my body hurts from the ravages of PMS. I only hit the gym once this week (Monday), and went to jujitsu once (Monday), didn’t run at all. Oh well, everyone’s entitled to a week off here and there, right?

I guess Better Luck Tomorrow was pretty well received, and the artsy factors of the movie were done well and interestingly, and I did reassume familiarity with some SAT words such as “punctilious.” The psychological discomfort that this movie leaves you with, however, is not a turn-on. My mind kept flashing back to certain scenes. It is, on a smaller scale, what watching Unfaithful did to me. As much as I could relate to the background of Better Luck Tomorrow better than Unfaithful because the setting may as well have been my old high school in Diamond Bar, the kids may as well have been my peers, the classes may as well have been my own classes, I walked away from both movies with an emotional gasp and gratitude that it’s not my own life that went horribly askew in the way of the characters’ lives. Just as I snapped out of Unfaithful being grateful I’ve never cheated on a relationship and with newfound motivation never to do so, as the credits rolled in Better Luck Tomorrow, I was glad I didn’t roll with the wrong group in high school or college, because it feels like I very well may have misstepped in the same direction. I don’t know that to be true, my moral compass tends to be fairly strong, but the story presented itself as the tragedy of everyman. That may be what’s most artful about the film, aside from the naked exposure of Asian American youth culture and youth (underground) subculture/counterculture.

Oh, yeah. And John Cho turns out to have range beyond the goofy token Asian boy in American Pie and Harold & Kumar go to Whitecastle. This is definitely a film noir.

Remember back in the day before the epidemic of cell phones and caller ID, when the phone would ring and you’d run to it all excited cuz you’re hoping it’s someone interesting? And sometimes it’s a person you happen to have a crush on, and then there’s the surprised “Oh, hi!” with a smile so large the other person could hear it? And that’s how you know someone was genuinely happy to hear from you, cuz they don’t have enough time to fake it between the first pensive “hello?” and your responsive “hey, it’s ___.”

There’s no romance and mystery anymore.

So I’m driving to work this morning, bopping around in my car listening to 80s rock at full blast, eating a banana. And then the thought arbitrarily entered my brain that I should lick or eat the banana suggestively when some of these guys who are driving around me look into my car at me. After I had that mental image in my head (which made me laugh), I so wanted to do it! My brain was trying to talk me into it with, “It’s a bigger deal to me than to anyone who sees. They’d just laugh and tell their friends about it. It’s not like I know any of these people. I’ll probably never see them again.” It’s a good thing I don’t get intoxicated before my morning drives, or I may have.

But I’m a good, respectable little girl. Who’s just a little delirious from lack of sleep.

I didn’t finish the Raytheon roughs until midnight, and Sandy was still working next to me on her own laptop. This girl works till about 7p, and then goes to some group meetings at work, and then comes home at 8p, gets on her laptop, and continues working remotely while IMing and telephoning with her project teammates. She says she normally goes to bed about 1a. Anyway, we chatted for a little bit, I showed her some random photos that were taken since I’d last seen her in December (which I wrote about here and here). Then I left at about 1a. After the parking garage gouged me $65 for parking (it was automated, there was no one to argue with, and the $10/hour rate was not posted ANYWHERE, I checked), I drove toward what I thought was the 710 fwy entrance. Turned out it’s changed somewhat in the last 2 years or the sign’s fallen off on the street, cuz I ended up crossing bridges and going to the ports. I was following these big tanker trucks at 1:15 a.m., getting really nervous, cuz there’s nowhere to turn around, and I’m over water. Finally, I managed to get off onto a side bridge and went back up on a street that had a name I remembered passing while going down the 710 South to her house. And I was right. There was an entrance to the 710 North on that street. So happily, I got on… and got detoured off on the very next exit, Pacific Coast Highway. Apparently the freeway was doing some construction or something, and everyone on the freeway (there were amazingly quite a few of us at 1:30 in the morning) got herded off onto PCH. Soon, the “freeway detour” signs disappeared. I found myself driving God knows where passing factories, run-down storefronts, questionable staggering men, and strip clubs. Lots of strip clubs, offering full nudity on their Girls!Girls!Girls! as proudly emblazoned on their neon signs. I finally called Sandy and wailed. She had just come out of the shower so she was still up, and she at first didn’t recognize the streets I was on and told me to pull into a gas station to ask for directions. I refused at that hour at that time of night. Eventually I got to an intersection she was familiar with and she guided me to a different freeway entrance and saved me. I didn’t get home until past 2 a.m..

I am so wired.

I’m at my childhood friend Sandy’s apartment in Long Beach right now working on a program flyer for an upcoming Raytheon conference. I haven’t done advertising/marketing since the days when Sandy and I both worked for i2S Institute and I did all their ads. Sandy used to say then, “Man, we have the best ads.” But that was 8 years ago when we were college kids and now we’re adults and working for more established companies. Not that Los Angeles County Superior Court is a “company.” Not really, anyway. I’m taking a break after completing the first page of the flyer. I used one of my personal photos for the background to prevent any copyright infringement on photos. She wanted a photo for the background wash but didn’t have one ready, so luckily one of my Cancun scenery shots did the trick. Good thing I brought my laptop, too. She said she was gonna have Raytheon pay me as an outsource contractor for the creation of this flyer, so now I have something to add to my photography resume and my advertising resume. Cool, huh?

Well, break’s over. Time to hit page 2.

My judge’s wife called while we were in session (the attorneys were giving the jury their closing arguments) and I took down a message for him on one of those pre-printed message pad forms. On the line that asks for who called, I wrote his wife’s name, and the line underneath prompts the caller’s identity with “OF _______”, on which I wrote “your Kingdom.” I then passed the message up to the bench to him. After a few minutes, he passed it back down to me. He’d added to “your Kingdom” with “and Outlying Realms of Spiritual and/or Metaphysical Dimensions, including but not limited to, various parallel universes.” Just like that. He took up 3 lines to write that. He later said to me, as he was getting off the bench, that he had to make sure I refer to his rightful realms properly.

What are we gonna do with ourselves, being so politically correct and eggshell-walking as a country so as not to offend anyone by using the old honorary day name of “Secretary’s Day”? What’s an “Administrative Professional,” anyway? I just refer to myself as “courtroom slave.”

I was just in the jury room giving our 14 jurors the orientation and rules for being in the jury room, explaining the buzzer system to them, etc. I asked if anyone had any questions about what I’ve told them. One man raised his hand and said, “Happy Secretary’s Day.” I paused. He had unknowingly belittled my position but with good intent. It’s like when a naive person with no racism in his heart refers to me as an “oriental.” If it were anyone else, it may have been ugly as the well-intended speaker got taught a politically correct awareness lesson he didn’t expect. I said to him cheerily and politely, “I’m not a secretary, but thank you; I’ll let the judge’s secretary know.” He blundered, “Oh, clerk or whatever.”

I can see college roommie Diana (an attorney) wincing at this. If it were certain other clerks, this juror would’ve been thrown out of the building after his blood and various body tissue were smeared all over the jury room walls.

Ah, politically correct America. What’s an oriental to do? Guess I’ll ponder that later whilst eating my fortune cookie, unless my mom calls to give me crap about why I’m not a doctor, engineer or an accountant, which are professions which someone would never mistake for a secretary.

It didn’t take much at all for Vanessa to convince me to skip jujitsu and go with her to the gym to hit the steam room and the jacuzzi. So after a dinner of specialty rolls at a nearby sushi restaurant, we did. I had sore muscles from my Monday workout (altho my trainee claims to have no soreness anywhere from it) which I think has been alleviated from all the heated water and epsom salt we rubbed on ourselves in the steam room. Epsom salt, by the way, is not salty. I licked a grain in the steam room. It’s cool in temperature, doesn’t dissolve as fast as table salt, and has a bitter taste. The ingredients say that epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. Whatever that is. I barely passed chemistry by the skin of my teeth. It lost me at nomenclature.

I was driving with Vanessa next to me turning right from the street into the driveway of the gym, and I was aware, to the extent that normal drivers are aware, of a Corolla waiting to pull out of the driveway I was going into. I know there was a young male behind the wheel with no passengers, and that was as much as I picked up. Vanessa said suddenly, “Hey, he’s totally checking you out!” I had already driven past him, so I couldn’t verify. “Isn’t he young? Why would he be checking me out? He was probably just looking as I pulled in.” She said that yes, he seemed young, in his early 20s. He seemed like a basketball jock, and she knew he was checking me out because he didn’t just look up as I pulled in, he turned his head and kept looking as I drove past him. “Maybe he was looking at you,” I suggested to her. “No, his eyes were not looking in my direction,” she said, “And I was looking at him. I had the whole internal dialogue of, ‘He’s cute. Oh, he looks young. Hey, he’s totally checking out Cindy!” Any day that someone in their early 20s seems to find me attractive is a good day.

I now have my load of whites going in the dryer and candles lit, redistributed with the pieces of wax from Grace’s candle. I like having her around. It makes me productive and distracted. And the laughing and social therapy helps, too. I can’t believe she’s been here 3 weeks already. She’ll be moving out soon. 🙁 Dodo’s gonna miss her.

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