September 2006

I’m cat-sitting this weekend for Vanessa, who’s out there somewhere looking at some redwood tree as I type (presumably). Today, the sky was overcast and I spent a couple of hours in her apartment playing with her two tabby kittens. Few things make me sleepier than being indoors on a cool-weathered day with 2 furry warm bundles around me, and watching them blink slower…and slower… until they doze off. *yawn* I’m sleepy now just thinking about it. I took a brief cat-nap on Vanessa’s couch with Maxwell, the affectionate male, tucked against the crook of my bent knees purring away…

…and with Angelina, the independant Amazon female, curled comfortably in the rocking chair next to me.


This guy, a 26-year-old named “Mike,” called a talk radio station this morning with a dilemma. Here’s what he said happened.

Yesterday, he and his girlfriend got into a verbal argument over the correct spelling of the word “vegetable.” He said he’d already been having a bad day at work and wasn’t in the most tolerant mood. The fight escalated and the girlfriend snatched Mike’s pen out of his hand and refused to return it. So Mike grabbed for the pen, managed to get it back, but she still had the pen cap. He demanded the pen cap, there was more yelling, and then she ended up throwing the pen cap at him. The cap landed on the ground. He told her to pick it up and give it back, she refused. They argued about that some more. Then the phone rang, she got up to pick it up, but because they were in mid-argument, Mike walked up and hung up the phone. She then “promised” that if she could call back her friend and finish the conversation, that she would pick up the pen cap. He agreed. She called her friend back, they finished their conversation, and then she went into the room, got dressed and put on her makeup, and then left to go to a party with her friends, having never picked up the cap. Mike was fuming, so when she returned, they fought again and they broke up.

The radio show personalities, along with most of the callers, reamed Mike out for being stupid and petty. “It’s a PEN CAP, do you realize that?! Who cares about a damn pen cap? If you can’t get over a PEN CAP, you’ll never get anywhere in a relationship.” Mike insisted it’s more than just the pen cap. It’s the fact that she lied to him and then left. People said, “If she lied, she lied about a PEN CAP! Hello!!”

I tend to agree with Mike. It’s not about a pen cap, even though that’s the subject of the argument. But the pen cap is just a variable, it could’ve been anything that mattered to Mike. The fact is that the girlfriend is physically confrontational (snatching a pen out of his hand, throwing things at him), doesn’t respect him, and is okay with saying “F you” through her actions of saying, “I promise to do this,” and then just leaving without doing it. His feelings are of no consequence to her. Sure it’s a pen cap now, but the fight reveals a lot about her attitude, and the future fights will be the same but about bigger things. Like maybe it’ll be really important to him that she not have this one drink at an event but she insists on the drink and everyone will say, “It’s a DRINK. Get over yourself, Mike,” but really, she’s an alcoholic. People were yelling about how small Mike was to not pick up the damn cap himself. But what about her? She didn’t pick it up, either. They both could’ve stopped it at any time, but both were too stubborn. Who says the guy needs to give first? She was the one who threw the cap.

The fight as I pictured it in my head made me laugh, but it’s full of real red flags to me. These are the kind of red flags you look for early in the relationship as indicators of how the other person deals with problems. I’d like to be (and be with) a person who says, “I may not understand what the big deal is, but I can see that it’s important to you so that’s fine, I’ll do this little effortless thing to make you happy.”

Call me lame, but I love this photo. I think what I love about it is how surprisingly normal my thighs look. This was taken by Mr. W last Sunday. My jujitsu class all met up at Huntington Beach to take group dojo photos. We hung out and ate some food in street/beach clothes, and then changed to our gis for the photo shoot. I changed behind the open car door to shield me from the class, but apparently Mr. W had made his way to the other side of the parking lot for an unobstructed view. (And that’s a swimsuit, you pervies.)

I think a lot of us (mostly us women folk) have specific things we look for in a photo of ourselves, and we judge whether the photo is “good” based on these predefined points. Someone self-conscious about crooked teeth, for example, may examine a photo nervously to make sure no teeth show through the smile. For me on body shots, I dread the lower abdominal pooch, fat rolls, thick upper thighs, fat upper arms (that part behind your arm that flaps when you wave too rapidly, or looks extra big when you’re at a diagonal angle with your arm too close against your body). There are many specific things I look for on facial shots, too, which I won’t disclose because listing those flaws is just too embarrassing. Men, however, roll their eyes at these things. “What do you mean it’s a bad picture?! You look fine! It looks how you normally look!” And then I think, “I normally look like I have no jaw definition due to a double chin?!”

We see a photo of ourselves. We silently run through our personal checklist of flaws. We evaluate said photo against the list. A “good” photo is one in which the image is better than how we see ourselves in our heads. I think it’s a girl thing.

What am I doing up so late, you ask? I’m rel0ading all photos put on this blog before September, 2005 into my current image hosting site, because the image hosting site I’d used from the blog’s birth till then has apparently decided to die. So now I’m on my home desktop, looking for all the old photos, uploading them into my current hosting site, and changing the address on the blog of all these photos from the old site to the new site.

But no, no…don’t you worry about my lack of rest. Anything for my dear readers!

That and I’m anal about my work product. I hate that when you go to old photos now, it just gives you a text box with the caption next to a little box with an “X” in it.

It actually kinda scares me a little that this is how we’re raising today’s youth. It went from teachers not being allowed to corporally discipline students, to parents walking a fine line between punishment and abuse, to kids not being allowed to play tackle football at school, to not being allowed to run during flag football (you have to speed-walk to the person so it’s non-violent, per some schools), to Tag being outlawed at some elementary schools because a child psychologist said stress levels of kids had gone up when asked questions about playing Tag (of course stress levels go up, it’s adrenaline, it’s part of the game!) and they didn’t want kids to feel the pressure of being “forced” to be “it” when another kid runs up and tags him. THESE are the kids who are gonna be fighting our wars?

My friend Adam emails me today:
My third grader and some of his friends got sent to the principal’s office this week for reading a Pokemon book in the bathroom at recess.

DEVIANTS!!! What kind of MONSTER are you REARING?! I have never heard of such an atrocious violation of parental guidance!
Can I blog this?
And what’s wrong with reading a Pokemon book?!

Dude. Where have you been?
Pokemon is forbidden because it leads to play fighting which can lead to real fighting.
Representations of superheros on clothing are forbidden for the same reason.
Playing tag is forbidden because kids run into other kids.

Blog it.

Are they KIDDING?! They’re IMAGINARY cutsie little cartoon creatures that roll out of a little ball to fight each other with magical abilities, and the two cartoon kids competing don’t even TOUCH each other! It’s not like as the pets throw lightning bolts and wind at each other, the two boys are kicking each others’ asses!

Adam also supplements:
At the last cub scout picnic we played kickball. I fielded the ball and drilled the kid with it as he ran to first base. “You can’t do that!” “Can’t do what?” “You can’t throw the ball at people!” “What’re you talking about? This is kickball. Of course you can throw the ball at people–that’s how you get them out.” Some mom comes to explain, “They don’t allow the kids to throw the ball at each other on the playground at school.” I tell the kids, “Listen, boys, are you in cub scouts or girl scouts? All right then, get ready to get drilled.”

This morning I was putting on my makeup and listening to the radio at my usual morning radio station, 102.7 KIIS FM, which is Ryan Seacrest (of American Idol)’s talk show. Every morning at a certain time, they do what’s called The Birthday Giveaway. Ryan calls out a month, and takes the first caller who was born on that month. That caller gets $1000. Then, he calls out a date, and if that caller, on the air, happens to be born on that month and date, then the caller gets $10,000. I’ve never heard anyone win the $10,000, by the way.

Today, he called for June birthdays. In the bathroom, I thought, “That’s odd; he called June just a couple of days ago.” I never call in for those things, firstly because I’m lazy and I don’t want to interrupt my morning makeup application to run from the bathroom to my bedroom to call and risk being late(r) to work, and secondly because it seems everyone who calls is so ecstatic over winning a grand that I think others need the money more than I do. The demographic of the radio station (Los Angeles) certainly hits a lot of lower-income or welfare families. Sometimes a woman has 5 kids and works an unskilled minimum wage job (Ryan occasionally asks what the caller does for a living).

So this reasoning was going over and over in my head, but I felt this compulsion to call. I never call. But after a minute or two of hesitation, I trotted over into my bedroom and dialed. The phone rang a few times…I got excited…and then the recorded operator message, “We’re sorry; all circuits are busy now. Please try your call again later.” I hung up and redialed. One ring, and the same operator message. Oh well, a lot of people got to it first. I returned to the bathroom to finish off the makeup.

A few minutes later, a heavily Spanish-accented woman came on the air as the winning caller.
Ryan: Is your birthday in the month of June?
Woman: Yes.
Ryan: You have just won a thousand dollars!
Woman: Thank you.
Ryan: Now…for ten thousand dollars…were you born…on…June 29?
Woman: [sharp inhale] Oh…no, it’s not. June 26.

I am SO well-rested from yesterday, I’m not even sleepy right now! Oh no, what’ll I do? I guess I’ll lie there until the boredom makes me pass out.

I am gonna bring up today/yesterday the next time my mom or Mr. W criticizes me for having irregular unhealthy sleep patterns.

I was in a general state of poopedness yesterday, immediately upon waking. I didn’t work out at lunch because I’d planned to go to jujitsu after work. That didn’t happen. I ate dinner after work, then fell asleep for almost 6 hours. I laid there awhile and realized I was wide awake and feeling guilty for not having exercised, so I changed and went to the gym. I hit the treadmill at a few minutes past midnight and did 70 minutes of cardio between that and the elliptical trainer. It was my first run since the half-marathon, and I didn’t want to push my healing toes. I got home about 1:30 in the morning and took a shower.

That was a very bachelorette night, very collegiate days, to miss a scheduled class but go to the gym so late. I hadn’t done that in awhile, but as I stood in the shower, I thought about how much I enjoyed that I could do that. I never thought I would be 30 and be this, uh, timeline irresponsible, but then again, I’d always thought I’d be married with kids at 30. For a mom to sneak out and go to the gym in the wee hours of the evening is probably rare. Speaking of this, who does that? Cuz there were more than just a few other people at the gym the same time I was. Some seemed older than me (mostly men), whereas others looked about my age or a bit younger. Are these all unmarried people with no kids, too? Are these college students who don’t sleep at night but don’t get up till noon, like I and my friends were? Are we at the verge of a different time/generation, in which it’s more common to be single longer (i.e. not married right out of high school or college), or divorced, or childless/custody-less, and we therefore have the luxury of living somewhat irresponsibly such as doing our own thing at night instead of sleeping and preparing for work the next day? Is this even a “luxury?” Maybe it’s sour grapes for the fact that we have not achieved the standard dream of home/spouse/2.5 kids/white-picket-fence/dog in the yard…yet.

Dwaine finally posted photos of his and Andrae’s 30th bday party. Looking at the photos, I was like, “Aww, me with long hair.” Haha.

This was the photo taken when Andrae suddenly realized that altho we’ve known each other for 18 years, we do not have a photo together.

If you’re thinking, “Wait a minute, she must’ve had a photo with him before because I’ve seen him before,” you’re thinking of his identical twin brother Dwaine.

HEY! I just realized I never had any of this cake!

The DJ is another high school German pal of ours.

(rest mouse pointer over photos for captions)

I was at Mr. W’s kids’ homecoming football game on Saturday. Since I didn’t know the players and wasn’t interested in football to begin with, I mostly people-watched when I wasn’t watching Mr. W’s daughter cheerlead (she’s in varsity cheer, I write proudly, as if I had anything to do with it). A very attractive young guy (likely senior in HS) caught my attention in the lower part of the bleachers to my right. He was facing his girlfriend, who was sitting to his left, so I could see his face in full but couldn’t see his girlfriend’s. He presumably made eye contact with her because he winked adorably, then puckered his lips and sent a kiss into the air at her. It was a very intimate, private moment. She responded by raising her right hand up toward his left cheek, and I thought, “Aww, she’s gonna caress his cheek! That’s what I do a lot when Mr. W winks at me!” So her right hand approaches his face, but instead of cupping his cheek or playing with his hair, she reaches up and…digs out an eye booger from his left eye. Talk about a mood-killer! I’ve only ever done that to my cat.

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