September 2006

Yesterday, I was in Mr. W’s bedroom reading an article in a current celebrity gossip magazine that talked about how Britney Spears is inspired by Mariah Carey’s recent weight loss and is determined to shed her 40 lbs of baby weight now that her 2nd boy is born. It had a photo of Britney’s pre-baby body during a concert, with the caption that this was back in her 500 daily crunches days. That in turn inspired me to go do 5oo crunches, so I set off into the living room, where there’s more room on the floor. 300 crunches in, I started getting sweaty so I came back into the bedroom, shed my t-shirt, chatted with Mr. W a bit while he was on his laptop, then did another 150 crunches. I came in the bedroom again, complained about being sweaty in my bra and shorts, then went back to the living room and finished off the crunches. Then I laid on my stomach and went back into the magazine. A scene flashed in my head about what would happen if Mr. W’s kids came home, but I knew that was unlikely since their mom had already picked them up an hour ago to go back to her place.

So I’m reading the magazine, and I heard the front door open. The front door is located between the living room and the hallway into the bedroom, so there was no way I could get up and run for it without having to pass the front room. I rolled over to my right and looked past the recliner toward the door. It was his teenage son. “Hey,” I said. “Hey,” he said back, without looking too far ahead, as he was taking off his shoes. It’s likely he may not have seen me, at least not enough of me to know I’m in a bra and shorts, so I rolled back on my stomach behind the recliner. I heard the boy go into his dad’s room and ask him some questions. I guess he’d forgotten something. There was nothing I could do but wait it out, hoping he didn’t decide to come into the living room to watch TV or play XBox or something. Then the the front door opened and closed again. I heard his daughter’s voice. That’s okay, she can see me half-naked, we’re both girls, and she’s not shy about body stuff. I can call her and ask her to bring me my shirt. But she walked straight into the bathroom. Son was still talking to Dad, so there was no way I was gonna get up and run past him into Dad’s bedroom. I just hoped Son would go into his bedroom to get whatever it is he left so I can sneak around him and go into Dad’s room. What’s wrong with Dad?! He knows I’m naked, and he’s taking no steps to bring me my shirt! The front door opened and closed again. I heard 10-year-old Half-Brother’s voice. CRAP. NOW this is going to be a problem. Son would be a bit embarrassed to see me in my bra, but he’d play it off. He’s a straight-shooter, isn’t interested in dating yet, so it wouldn’t be anything too gross or traumatic. Half-Brother, however, is already drowning in hormones. Mr. W had caught him on my computer upstairs once, which I didn’t really care about, but then I went thru the internet history and saw that he’d been looking up porn sites. Ew! (Now that computer’s password-protected.) If Half-Brother saw me like that, there’s no way that’d stay quiet. And I wouldn’t blame his mom for being unhappy.

With no signs of the kids leaving, I finally called out his daughter’s name. She answered, “What?” and started walking toward the living room. “Where are you?” she said, then walked up and saw me. “Can you bring me my shirt please? It’s in your dad’s room on the floor.” She said, “Oh, okay,” and walked off, returning a minute later holding up my shirt and said, reading the words in the front, “Crabby?” I said, “Yeah, it’s a Joe’s Crab Shack shirt,” thanked her and put it on. She just went back to doing her own thing like it was totally nothing. I’m sure it wasn’t anything to her.

But I let Mr. W have it when the kids left a few minutes later. His defense was that he didn’t know I was naked. I said, “YOU SAW ME IN JUST MY BRA AND SHORTS! WE HAD TWO CONVERSATIONS WITH ME JUST IN MY BRA AND SHORTS!” This just goes to prove, that when Mr. W is on his computer, I can dance around half naked in just a bra and he wouldn’t notice.

Mr. W and I discovered the coolest restaurant yesterday. S.Pellegrino water was sponsoring a prix-fixe menu with a lot of upscale restaurants, and I made reservations at a chic global fusion place called AIRe Global. It’s located in Costa Mesa, deeply and invisibly embedded in a plaza called The Camp on the corner of Bristol St. and Baker St.. The food is ama-a-a-a-zing. Alcohol is a bit pricey at $15+ per drink, but the food is a steal for the quality and presentation. We had melt-in-your-mouth tataki tacos (3 each of miniature flour hard-shell tacos filled with guacamole mousse and diced raw albacore tuna and ahi tuna) and a refreshing heirloom tomato salad (3 types of tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, lemon olive oil dressing, and some sort of a Japanese greens leaf that’s a cross between basil and mint) as appetizers, followed by entrees of sliced prime angus filet and Chilean seabass, then finished off with a Japanese donut-like dessert and a yogurt dessert. *drool* $35 a person. Unfortunately, yesterday was the last day for their prix-fixe faire, so you’ll have to pay full price. But lemme tell you, if you’re a food connosieur, it’s well worth it.

I fell asleep. During commercial break. I hang my head in shame.

Good thing Dwaine TiVo’ed it, and Andrae not only TiVo’ed it, but promised to put it on VHS tape for me! Yay for good friends!

You guys better be wrapping up your plans tonight and preparing to sit in front of your TV at 10pm to watch the series premiere of the show Shark on CBS. That’s in a little over an hour. Pop quiz tomorrow. Those of you who are in my phonebook, I’m calling you to remind you.

I started the day by hopping in the shower. While I was toweling off my hair, I heard a little “Wah!” coming from outside my bathroom door, which wasn’t pulled all the way closed. A tapping sound followed, the door opened a tiny crack, and then a white paw appeared. Little black paw pads curled around the edge of the door, the furry white back of the paw pulled the door open to a wider crack, and then a furry black and white head, with bright golden round eyes, appeared. “Wow!” Dodo said, running in. “Hi! Hi my little fuzzy wuzzy cootsie wootsie boy! My little black worm! You’re just a big fuzzy black caterpillar, aren’t you? Look at you, you’re so cute! You’re so cute!” I cooed, running my fingers through his furry black body as his tail curled lovingly around my calf. What a way to start a day.

On the drive to work, I saw another Lexus IS 350 (black) pull up behind me. The two of us tag-teamed around other slow vehicles all the way until I had to pull off the main street to work. That was fun.

I thought as I walked from the parking structure to the building, how is it that one of the guys at work who is almost exactly a year older than me to the day, has such a different life? He really admires my car, but can’t afford it for himself. He’s got some kids (different moms, also been thru divorce and is currently remarried) and he has spousal support and child support to pay, so sure, his expenses are higher. It’s strange to think of 2 people about the same age on such different tracks of life. I think the same thing when I see a 28-year-old defendant before us in court facing 25 years in prison. How did I end up in my position with this car? Because, I concluded, I was unfortunate enough to have been screwed over by men in my earlier years. They screwed me over, so we didn’t get married, and now, my reward is that I can afford this car. I guess everything does balance out. “Sorry your exes are jerks. Here’s a Lexus.” “Thanks!”

*Disclaimer: I’m not saying ALL the men I dated were jerks, but the jerks know who they are.

A commonly used phrase in relationships is “pick your battles.” Sometimes fighting is productive; it brings to the table issues that can be worked on and resolved. Not all things are worth a fight, but deciding what’s “worth” it is subjective.

When I was less emotionally experienced, i.e. on my first and second boyfriends, everything seemed worth a fight. If something was thoughtless or offensive, I wasn’t gonna let him get away with it. It led to a lot of arguing and bruised egos, as the other party felt like I was picking on him or unreasonable. Another thing feeding the feeling that everything’s potentially a devastingly big deal is insecurity. Young love is often insecure, because this new feeling of love and relationship is so great that you’re suddenly afraid of losing it, and you’re convinced there will never be a guy who could be as funny, as loving, as affectionate, as clever, or have as much in common with you. (Now I look back and think, HAHA!) So anything that isn’t smooth sailing, you want to stomp out instantly. You’re also more sensitive to being hurt because no one else was ever in the position of being able to hurt you so exquisitely. People associate this state of mind with youth, but I don’t think it’s limited to youth as much as inexperience. People have come to me with stories of 30-somethings going through the kind of anguish and arguments as teenagers, because these 30-somethings are on their first relationship.

I’m not saying this is true across the board and no exceptions exist. There are older people who are always oversensitive and throw immature tantrums when their high demands aren’t met. There are younger people who have rarely been oversensitive even in early relationships. My childhood friend Sandy is my age, and she’s dated a lot more people than me, but even in high school, I was never surprised at the battles she chose to fight. In fact, I was often surprised at the battles she didn’t choose. She’s the person I call when I find myself uncontrollably angry at something that my brain is telling me shouldn’t be that big a deal. I call her and ask to borrow her scale, and to inquire if I’m overreacting. When she tells me I’m not, that’s when the guy’s really in trouble. Mr. W’s teenage daughter is another one that continues to astound me with her ability to forgive and move forward with someone, altho with her I’m not sure that she isn’t caught up in the “I have to make my first love work” mentality.

I read somewhere, or maybe saw on a show, that people fight when they feel there’s something to fight for. That when people stop fighting, it’s because they’ve given up on saving the relationship. This is of course referring to productive fighting (“I feel like when your mother criticizes me, you start accusing me of the same things instead of defending me. If you truly have a problem with these things, can you come to me first, and if you don’t have a problem, please don’t adopt your mother’s problems with me as your own.”), not insulting self-esteem killing fights where someone’s just picking on the other person (“You lazy fat good-for-nothing slob, you’re lucky no hot girls were at the bar or I would’ve cheated on you tonight.”). Sometimes a fight isn’t as much a fight as a struggle to hammer out some common ground for the relationship.

I think a good thing to do, which I had to learn the hard way, is to decide whether something is worth a fight before even stepping in the vinicity of the issue. Sometimes things happen to you that you can’t control and suddenly, you find yourself in a conflict. Like your drunk boyfriend walks in the door and throws a tantrum for your not knowingw here his favorite shirt is. But there are other fights that happen because we don’t leave well enough alone. My classic example is of a girl asking, “Do I look fat in this dress?” If he says yes, she’d be mad, and if he says no, she probably wouldn’t believe him. And when it comes down to it, is the answer to this question so vital to the relationship that it’s worth the fight, especially if he’s still with her because he loves and is attracted to her? This is why I have a huge list of TMI no-nos. I don’t ask if I’m the best lover, best girlfriend, favorite girlfriend, smartest person he knows, funniest person he knows, prettiest person he’s dated. I don’t ask where the most unusual place he had sex was, what his favorite sex act is, what his most romantic date entailed, where his favorite date restaurant is. I don’t want to see his old gifts from other women, old love letters and cards, old photos (he can have them as keepsakes, I sure do, but don’t show me). I don’t want to know, it doesn’t affect our relationship for me to know the details, and in knowing the details, it only gives me visuals that make me bitter, competitive and insecure.

I look at myself sometimes and wonder whether I’m enlightened or jaded. I wonder whether I’m appreciating the right things, and then whether I’m aware enough of the good things to appreciate them. Sometimes when something positive about someone dawns on me I call the person and acknowledge the positive trait. (Today it was that despite knowing I’m not a baseball fan, when he wanted to go to a game, he bought 2 tickets and offered one to me, with the out that if I really don’t want to go, the extra ticket can go to his son. He makes me feel included, never presuming that just because an activity isn’t my usual routine that he’ll leave me out.)

This… *waving at this long post Vanna White style* …this is what happens when I spend 45 minutes chatting with Vanessa after belly dancing.

That’s me. I wrote something on the Disneyland Half-Marathon run entry about running next to a guy in a banana costume, and the next day, the same guy commented on that entry to explain the costume. That’s SO COOL. Let’s see whom else I can get to talk to me!

I think it would be so cool to be friends with Jennifer Aniston.
I think Antonio Sabato, Jr. is really hot and my friend Vicky bought me his workout book as a drool-inducer many years ago, but it had actually changed and improved the way I work out. Great advice, Antonio!
My great-uncle Miao Tien is a movie actor in Taiwan who’d passed away recently, and he told me in ’98 that he was friends with Jackie Chan before Jackie became the megastar he is now. They used to drink tea together. I think it’d be neat if Jackie Chan gave me a shout-out.
I’m a bit concerned about Danny Bonaduce. I haven’t heard anything about him since his reality TV show, which documented his family life, showed him getting back into drugs and his marriage falling apart. Because I was a huge fan of his when he was on a morning radio talkshow, I know he tends to overdramatize for the TV cameras, so I hope he’s okay and his marriage is intact. It’d be neat if he could let me know how he’s doing.

*sitting back and waiting*

Mr. W: Who is that? Is that a good guy? …I can hit him. Oh, I can become him. Who am I? I’m a bounty hunter?
Me: Do you always think out loud when you play video games, or are you doing that for my benefit?
Mr. W: …

I’d always known that I’m surrounded by so-called coincidences, but I never really kept track of them until James made a big deal out of how odd it is that “coincidences” keep happening to me. Here are some more in the past 2 weeks:

At Dwaine and Andrae’s bday party on Saturday, we got there early so Andrae gave us a tour of Dwaine’s house, which I’d told Mr. W before that he’d love because Dwaine and Mr. W have similar tastes in decor. Rich mahogany wood and leather couches, interesting global artifacts, British-looking pieces with guilded gold accents. Mr. W remarked that he did indeed admire Dwaine’s decor, wall paint, etc. and I whispered, “Actually, his mom had a lot to do with the pieces. She picked most of them out.” Suddenly the front door opened behind me and said mom walked in, carrying flowers for her sons’ shindig. “Speaking of their mom, here she is!” I said as I gave her a big hug. Half an hour or so later, Mr. W and I sat on the couch and I told him that my ex Gary may be coming with his current girlfriend, but I wasn’t sure because Gary didn’t respond on the Evite and when I’d asked him about it, he’d said he may have to help his girlfriend move that weekend. Right then I heard Andrae greet someone at the front door and I looked up and there was Gary with his girlfriend. I did the Chandler (of Friends, pilot episode) thing then, saying, “And I just want a million dollars!” and swept my arm toward the door. Nothing. Later, as we got ready to leave, I gave their mom another hug and said my regrets at having to leave early due to my race the next morning, and said, “I guess we missed your husband,” a wonderful man who was known to arrive trendily late. “Yeah, it’s too bad,” she said, and then IN walked said husband! “Oh, there he is! I guess we’re not gonna miss him after all!” I said and walked up to give Dwaine and Andrae’s dad a hello/goodbye hug.

I’ve been playing random CD Roms of various MP3s in my new car. I didn’t recall what was on the CDs, but it turned out that I had clips of Margaret Cho’s stand-up comedy. I’m a big fan of hers. Last week I heard a snippet of Margaret saying, “I know I’m not fat, but I have a fat complex. I got it as a child because of this one old lady. When I was small, there was this old black lady that lived near us, really old and wise, like Alice Walker, The Color Purple. One day she said to me, ‘Baby…I used to be able to fly, but I cain’t fly no’more, baby. But baby, you…you too fat to fly.’ ” A day or two after I heard that in my car, I was at the gym on the elliptical trainer with my gym trainee and she said, “My [9-year-old] son and I watched The Color Purple last night. I had to convince him that that’s Oprah Winfrey. He did not believe me!” I laughed and said, “Yeah, she did good in that film! Her character was exactly how Alice Walker wrote her in the book. Oprah was fat back then.” My trainee said, “Yeah, he had to sit there and read through the end credits to believe me. He kept saying, ‘Oprah don’t look like that!’ I said, ‘She did back then!’ ” I heard that Margaret Cho clip again 2 days ago in my car driving to work, and I chuckled to myself. That evening, I visited Mr. W, who knew nothing of my Alice Walker experiences, at his work and he pulled out a DVD from his desk. “Look!” he said, “I have The Color Purple! My coworker loaned it to me!” I told him how I had heard the clips in my CD in the car and how my trainee had said her son didn’t believe it was Oprah Winfrey. He’d never seen the movie nor read the book. I guess we’re watching The Color Purple this weekend.

After the half-marathon on Sunday morning, I overheard a guy telling his friend, as he looked at his heart monitor watch thingie, “I burned 1650 calories.” I thought, knowing my stubborn body, I probably burned 16. When Vicky finished, she checked her monitor, and announced, “I burned 18[something] calories!” So I figured I must’ve lost something after running for 2.5 hours. So this morning I got on the scale. No change in pounds, no change on body fat percentage. Argh! Stupid stubborn body fat! To all the teenagers out there: DO NOT GET ANOREXIC. It is SO not worth it when your body doesn’t respond to ANYTHING.

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