October 2006

Okay, you people. Just cuz I’m posting an entry doesn’t mean you’re off the hook on the last entry. But I figure this blog needs a little levity right now. (Mr. W walked into the room yesterday after I’d just finished re-reading my last post, and I turned and looked at him with large, haunted eyes. He laughed. “Why do you look so sad?” “I scared myself,” I whimpered.)

I’m flipping through the most current The Sharper Image catalog, and I see an ad for NEW: 20Q Electronic Questions Game. You’re supposed to “secretly think of an object and the amazing 20Q electronic party game will read your mind! Just answer ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ ‘sometimes,’ ‘rarely’ or ‘unknown’ to a series of 20 questions.” So this game is supposed to narrow down whatever the thing is you’re thinking thru its huge database based on your answers, and tell you in 20 questions or less what you’re picturing in your head.

I’ve played with this in a game store last Christmas. It doesn’t work. I went through the questions, and in the end, it either suggested something totally wrong, or had a message that it couldn’t figure out what I was thinking of. “This doesn’t work,” I complained as Mr. W walked by and looked over my shoulder.
“What object were you thinking of?” he asked.
“Endoplasmic reticulum,” I said.
He rolled his eyes and left me behind.

I’m at my desk processing paper divorces. In reviewing these files, I see a trend. The parties are married for a short number of years, and then I look down and see they have offspring(s) of the marriage listed. The offspring are often older than the length of the marriage. So I can only imagine that the people had a kid or two together, didn’t get married for awhile, and then decided, “Eh, let’s do it, let’s make it official,” and then in a short married time they realize it doesn’t work.

This isn’t criticism, since I have no experience in this arena, but don’t they know beforehand that it wouldn’t work? I mean, there’s gotta be SOME reason the two hesitated in getting married when they first got pregnant, right? So if they knew then they aren’t compatible, why bother getting married when the kid’s like 4, and then it turns out they were right originally and they SHOULDN’T be together, but now they have to go thru formal divorce proceedings and explain to the kid why mommy and daddy aren’t gonna live together anymore? What happened there? Anyone have any stories/examples for me? I don’t think this is about a woman getting knocked up to trap a man, since if that was gonna work, they would’ve gotten married before the kid’s that old. I just don’t understand why, if you’re already holding back, you’d go ahead and take the plunge so much later.

And then it makes me wonder about other stuff, too. My mom says that today’s society is so full of divorce because people (in this country) don’t value the relationship enough to compromise. People these days are selfish, and if something doesn’t make them happy, they just up and leave instead of work toward a solution. Sure there are things you shouldn’t stay and accept (cheating, abuse, etc.), but there are a lot smaller things that people leave over these days. Like finding a porn magazine in his briefcase. I used to think that going from relationship to relationship is just the dues you have to pay to eventually make it to The One. But now I wonder whether today’s fast-paced world doesn’t leave room for The One, it’s just whatever fits in your lifestyle or desires right now, i.e. Mr. Right vs. Mr. Right Now. Life and times and careers and friends keep evolving, so maybe someone perfect for you now would no longer fit in in a few years when you advance in your career or develop new interests. We’re no longer in a small town life where you can marry your high school sweetheart and stay together forever because all you’ll be doing from that time on would be minding the farm together, and if he can milk a cow now, he’s gonna be great at milking the cow later, and nothing’s gonna change. But if it’s true that life today doesn’t lend itself to stability, then why contractually obligate yourself to anyone? It’s like building an expensive house on a fault line when you know earthquakes hit there every few years and plate techtonics will tear the property apart as a law of nature.

Isn’t that freaking scary?! To think that we may no longer be able to make a beeline toward a juicy rewarding hive; that we’re just spending life flitting from flower to flower, forever.

Don’t know what it is about my body lately. I’m absolutely uninspired at the gym. Yesterday I dragged myself around the small city gym at lunchtime with weights that are just too heavy for me to deal with (yes, I know that’s the point of weight-training), oozing from set to set of exercises, reducing the number of reps per set as the whining drones on in my head. Today, same thing. Gym trainee couldn’t get out of the courthouse until late, so we just did cardio for a little under 40 minutes on the elliptical trainer.

In the elevator on the way out to lunch earlier:

Random bailiff: Where’re you going?
Me: [dully] I’m going to the gym.
Random bailiff: [looking at me so not excited about that prospect]
Me: I’m so tired, I’m probably gonna drop a weight on my face.
Random bailiff: Well, that‘ll wake you up.

For the millionth time, I think about how I could push my body through a workout despite my mind’s uncooperation, and hope that the brain and body are disconnected enough such that I get the exact same benefit to a workout unenthused as I would enthused.

And yet, and yet, it occurred to me as I drove to the gym that tonight is belly dancing, and Vanessa has resolved to go to the private gym after every session of belly dancing until Hawaii, so that means she’d be there tonight after class. And I want to go along, too. I can call up some friends (like Vicky, who Vanessa saw there last week) to be at the gym, and that’ll be fun! So despite the fact that I feel so blah, I may have 3 workouts today.

I was standing in the elevator earlier with a judge, who mentioned to me how bad traffic was this morning. I replied, “Yeah, is it just me, or are people ruder now on the road than they were even 5 years ago?” He said in a calm, pacifying tone, “Society in general is in a decline, and there are obvious reasons for that.” This would’ve been an interesting conversation to pursue, but I was about to enter my courtroom door and he was about to walk down the hall to join other judges in their morning coffee klatch.

His implications are obvious, however, especially given his conservative political views and the fact that we’re in Southern California, working in a largely unprivileged area, on a job that deals directly with people who have gone wrong in their life choices. But I don’t want to get into politics or education or funding or immigration reform.

I just think that people in general, in the areas that I frequent, drive like jerks. I drive more and more defensively because I don’t want to get suckered into one of their traffic messes, where they’ll claim I was at fault somehow because they see an affluent car and they’d want to sue me. Worse yet if they’re illegal and uninsured, like the guy who hit Vanessa a few months ago. But aside from their aggressive driving where they’ll cut people off and try to piss you off by slamming their brakes in front of you while gesturing with their arms and trying to instigate something, people are also just audacious in what they do in their cars. This morning, I was stuck at a section of traffic lights in close succession, so that although my light was green, I couldn’t go because the block in front of me was full of cars waiting at a red light. If I went forward, I’d be stuck blocking the intersection. So I didn’t go. The guy behind me honked at me, then went around and blocked the intersection in the next lane (altho he did see the cop car in front of me, the last car in the block, and hesitated. HA!), and the woman behind him almost did the same thing except the block in front of me loosened up and I moved forward so she came back. That’s a peeve of mine, when people KNOW they can’t go anywhere because the block is all stuck at a red light, and they go up and block the intersection anyway, ignoring people trying to turn left or pull out of the intersecting street into the blocker’s street. And these jerk blockers make a point of looking straight ahead, avoiding eye contact with people they’re selfishly blocking off. The last time I checked, blocking an intersection like this is illegal, and I really, really want patrol cars to start giving tickets for this. It’s becoming an epidemic!

OH, and later on in the same intersection this morning, I pulled up to see the driver’s side door 2 cars in front of me was open. I wondered what he was doing, because the light had just turned green and he was taking his time closing the door. Turned out he was pouring coffee or some beverage out his car into the street. The car right behind him splashed into it driving forward and it got the side of his car all wet. What’s so urgent you can’t wait to get to your destination to throw that beverage away?!

I was telling an ex-coworker today about my dull blogging topic (in italics, 2 entries below), and he was laughing, calling it a Jerry Seinfeld episode. So maybe all there is to liven up writing on a dull topic is in the telling. So lemme try that again.

So today, I RSVPed for my coworker’s surprise baby shower next Friday at lunch by pre-paying five bucks for the food. Then I come back into my courtroom to write the event into my planner and I see, *gasp* I’m on vacation all next week. What kind of a loser forgets a vacation?! That’s all that keeps some people alive, is longing glances at the calendar as they count down the days till the shackles will be dropped for a week, and the iron cage door swings open. And my retarded self forgets about it. “So I guess you’re not going to attend the shower,” you think. Dude, I am still Asian, I’m not happy to have paid five bucks for nothing. I do realize that that’s lame, but going up to the shower organizer to ask for a refund on five stupid dollars is lamer and embarrassing, especially when I explain my reason. I’m also not crazy about looking like a cheap ass.
So I’m gonna have to go.
“But Cindy, isn’t going all the way to work for a baby shower on your week off even lamer than just letting the money go?” you ask me logically. And I’ll answer you logically. Yes, yes it is.
But I already paid.

We were at The Block at Orange this past weekend when Mr. W’s teenage daughter pointed a T-shirt out to me. It said:


How true that is. 🙂

You know there is no drama going on in your life when you consider blogging this:

I RSVPed today for a coworker’s surprise baby shower which is to take place next Friday at lunchtime, and went downstairs to the event organizer and gave her my $5 contribution (for the catering). Then I came back up to write the event down in my planner, but in doing so I realized that I’m on vacation all next week so I won’t be here! But I think I’m gonna come in to work during lunchtime for the shower anyway. Since I paid my $5. I get to dress casually. Yay!

I’m not sure what to think about the peaceful state of my life right now. It’s not boring, exactly, as at just about any given time, I have various things I could choose to do and various people to do it to. Err, with. 😉 Take weekdays after work, for example. I could go to Mr. W’s to hang out, or I could go home. Once home, I could go to jujitsu for a few hours and hang out with the people there who’ve become good buddies, or I could go to the gym, or I could call up some friends to have dinner, or I could stay home, hang with the Do-fuzz, and do laundry. There’s not much stress on my mind these days, unless I let my imagination run wild and freak out for the exercise of it. I think this is the peace that I kept dreaming about when I first started this blog, but honestly, I didn’t think I could ever find it unless I was alone with no one to bring me down or disappoint me. And let’s face it — alone is good, but only for a limited time. After the initial sigh of relief as you wriggle into your own skin, you start looking around and goin’, “Hey, how come no one’s hitting on me? I don’t have a date to bring to my friend’s wedding! I want to try this new restaurant, but I have no one to take!” I feel so balanced right now. I got my friends for me, I got my exercise for me, I have stable work, stable relationship, I’m healthy, my parents are healthy (for the most part). I have Hawaii in a few weeks with my jujitsu dojo. But I still look around for what’s next. What’s hiding around the corner? Anything? Hello?

I hope this isn’t the calm before the storm.

Yesterday evening, I told Mr. W a story about a childhood eraser I had. It was a small flat eraser in the shape of a rotary dial phone. When I was in grade school, I showed the cute eraser to my cousin Jennifer, who’s a few years younger than me. She didn’t know what the eraser depicted. “It’s a phone,” I told her, incredulous. She said, “Nuh-uh. What’s that round thing in the middle?” “That’s where the dial is.” “There’re no buttons? Then how do you dial?” I had to explain to her how rotary phones work. You dial by turning the dial. Kids these days don’t know where the term “dialing the phone” comes from, because they’ve always pushed buttons. Today, they say they “punch in the numbers.” Just as the keyboards on computers now have an “enter” key, whereas the older keyboards had a “return” key. “Return” doesn’t make sense anymore because there’s no roller holding a piece of paper up that you have to return to the beginning left position to keep typing on your typewriter. And when the kids now say, “Ditto” to signal an agreement? They don’t know what that means. They have “xeroxes,” not “dittos.” They’ve never seen a teacher hand-crank a deep purple ink press original through a ditto machine to copy a worksheet to pass out to the class. (Mr. W interjected here that he used to love sniffing the chemicals on his dittos. But he grew up in the druggie age.)

Technology has never improved itself so exponentially as in our lifetime right now. In half a generation, we have nostalgia about more items than our parents had to reminisce about. My high school trig teacher, Mr. Brose, told us a story about how when he was in college, they had just come out with the scientific calculator (which was required basic equipment for our trig class). He remembers the early calculators that only had 5 or 9 digits on the display, and only did basic functions, and then they started coming out with more and more functions. “And then I turned to my buddy and made a crack, ‘In the future, they’re gonna come up with a calculator where you punch in some figures and you turn it over and they’ll GRAPH it for you on the back. HAHAHAHA!’ ” Now graphing calculators are a required basic of high school math classes.

Little boy to man on a cartoon: “Dad, tell me again about how when you were a kid, you had to walk all the way up to the TV to change the channel!”

…because I think this is HILARIOUS. My friend Erin, who recently gave birth to her second kid, was emailing me about the hypothetical if Mr. W and I had a kid. With her permission:

Erin: “Yeah Ba [her dad] was 48 when he had my brother and 50 when he had me. It’s really not such a bad thing to have an older parent. The best part is because this would be his second time around there are a lot of things that he would be prepared for mentally so while you would freak out about stuff (because it’s your first time) he’d be able to put you back at ease (like when your kid rolls off the bed…Patrick [her husband] had implied I was a bad mom when it happened to me until it happened to him…). Biracial Asian kids get the best of both worlds, they have more of an olive complexion (so they won’t burn quite as easily as the white kids) with bigger eyes.”

Me: “kids roll off beds? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”

Erin: “yeah usually it happens when they’re asleep and then they just roll right off. It kind of sucks when it’s yours though.”


(I sound British again.)

That’s what it is. The surgeon, after doing the scope on Sunday morning, came out and talked to us and showed us 4 color photos of the leaf-shaped indentation in my dad’s stomach. They didn’t have to do a biopsy, no further operation, this can be controlled by medication for a few months until it heals, he explained.

The surgeon was a character. First he looked at me and asked my mom, “This is your daughter? I can see why he has an ulcer, worrying about his pretty daughter all day long.” And then later he fished out a fresh plumeria flower from his pocket and handed it to me, and then fished another one out and gave it to my mom. My mom told me that the day before, when he told my parents he suspected an ulcer, he explained it’s commonly stress-related. My mom said that my dad hasn’t shown stress, so he must’ve been trying to hide it and pretend to be a man about it. The surgeon’d declared, “What do you mean, be a MAN? He IS a man. Are you saying he’s normally a woman?”, making my parents laugh.

Thanks to everyone’s karmic good vibes, my dad is okay and should be discharged sometime today.

Here’s my public service announcement. If your stomach isn’t feeling right, don’t wait. The doctor said that in a bad internal bleeding situation, a person could die within 2 hours. My dad had lost so much blood that his first day in the hospital, they had to tranfuse 2 pints of blood, but he was lucky. He said he hadn’t been feeling well for 2 weeks, the major problem came Thursday night when he felt weak (I questioned him about 2 scars on the insides of both elbows, and he finally admitted that it wasn’t just weakness, he’d fallen over), he was in the hospital Saturday.

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