May 2007

Today, Vanessa sent out a mass email trying to entice those weaker-minded of us to join her in a misery-loves-company event. A portion of her email reads:

“The second event I just signed up for is Heart Ridge 1/2 Marathon. It’s 13.1 mile course through rolling hills and fire-roads. Date: September 15th
Let me know if you are game! Sign up soon cuz space fills up quickly!”

After I wiped the tears away from laughing so hard, I figured that what must’ve happened, was that in one of her partied-out half-drunk states, someone on a dare convinced her to sign up for the race online. When she sobered up and saw what she’d done after reading the confirmation email the next day at work and screaming for a few minutes, she decided to trick as many of her friends into running with her as possible, so that she could hang onto us during the race as we drag her across the last miles.

Nice try, Vanessa. But I saw the fine print. I wrote back:
” ‘rolling hills’? Ick! I like flat courses.”

She responded:
“Don’t they make is sound so nice though? Rolling hills, not hilss that will make you want to cry for your mommy!”

That looks like an admission of guilt to me! So she DOES know it’s all a bunch of shananigans! I returned:
” ‘Enjoy the natural scenery and soft wind as you gently round those rolling hills.’
Reality: ‘Gasp fruitlessly for air after holding your breath to keep from sucking in cow stench as you hate life running straight uphill in abandoned countrysides.’ ”

All kidding aside, way to go, Vanessa! I’m so proud of you for setting such amazing goals for yourself, and for being strong and recovering so well. *high-five* Hmm. Maybe I oughta think about joining her.

James came by after work yesterday to return my bag o’ schtuff which was apparently burning a hole in his car trunk. I in turn threw some China souvenirs in his general direction. He was also craving Mexican food, so I suggested a nearby hole-in-the-wall restaurant called Taco Shack.

Dwaine had introduced me to Taco Shack some years ago and I always remember it, when I step in, as the place where Dwaine and his buddy engaged in a tipping war and the tips got so high that the waitresses developed an instant crush on Dwaine, so he had bragworthy service until he made the mistake of bringing me there one day, incurring the jealousy and wrath of the catty waitresses who from that moment on gave him the cold shoulder.

But they have good authentic food, so off James and I went. On the drive there, I disclosed my nervousness about our late dinner. “Why?” he asked. “Because I really don’t eat Mexican food anymore. It’s so heavy and made with lard.” He offered to eat some other genre of food, but I said we always go where I had cravings so now we’ll go where he has cravings, and I’ll try to be careful about my portions or selections.

I had a true dilemma behind the menu. While listening to the pompous bragging behind me of a guy “complaining” about all the women in his life who initially agree to keep things simple but end up begging him to take their relationship to a higher level as a brainless-sounding girl giggled her gullibility(I also remember Taco Shack as the restaurant where Dwaine once said to me, “Just once I’d like to overhear a conversation that’s half as interesting as ours.”), I felt my head fight my heart. I really wanted, craved for, the chicken mole, but it’s a full dinner that comes with tortillas, rice and beans, which I can do without but which I know I will ingest because I don’t like wasting food. (It was awful in China admitting defeat at each meal, thinking about the cliched starving children in China, paranoid of actually seeing them through the restaurant window.) But my head said to ignore the heart’s desire and go for the healthier choice, small soft tacos a la carte.

James hit on a thread of truth that I will regret the heavier meal as satisfying as it may be at the time I am shoveling it into my mouth. He recommended the soft tacos. I reluctantly consented and ordered 3 soft tacos a la carte, and thereby freed up the caloric guilt to eat the smothered cheese and chips given to us as an appetizer.

The 3 tacos were immensely and surprisingly satisfying. Plus, no guilt! My body must be craving something, however, because this morning I had a dream that I was sitting at a large round table by myself and eating chocolate and almond cookies and cakes and pastries while ignoring the little anorexic voice screaming, “Nooo! You have to stop!! What are you doing to yourself?! You’ll never be able to work this off! Never!!!”

Consistent with yesterday, my gym trainee and I are skipping the gym today as I touched base with her via email earlier and in her own words, “Every part of my body hurt. I left my purse at [a coworker’s] desk because putting it on my shoulder hurt. I couldn’t have done anything last night if the man of my dreams were to offer (who ever that is?). I think we deserve a lite lunch? If I can still walk by lunch time.” The right side of my lower back hurts from when I slept slumped over to the right sideways on my recliner all night. So we’re gonna speed-walk to a restaurant at lunch.

Gym trainee: Do you eat kiwi?
Me: I’m happy to say I have a food allergy to kiwi. I’d always hated it cuz of what it did to my tongue and the back of my throat, and in the past years discovered it’s an allergic reaction. (My parents still swear that the back of your tongue’s “supposed” to get fuzzy and tart and that it “happens to everybody” who eats kiwi.)
Gym trainee: It’s suppose to taste tart.
Me: It’s not tart at the main part of the tongue. It’s tart the way tart would be if you were injected with dots of tartness at the back of your tongue where it joins your gums, and I’ve been known to try to scrape the “fur” off the back of my throat that I swore was growing there after eating some kiwi.
Gym trainee: I know you don’t do fur 🙂 I just hate peeling the darn thing.
Me: You can cut it in half and eat out of it with a spoon. Like I do with avocados. Or you can just bite into it without peeling it if you want to see what it feels like when *I* eat a kiwi.
Gym trainee: I’ll trust you on that and continue to peel and complain about it.
Me: Sounds like a plan.

(via e-mails)

You know I’m bored when THIS is the highlight of my workday. Written in a Marital Settlement Agreement by a private attorney, no less, the soon-to-be ex-wife and ex-husband agree that in the raising of their 8-year-old daughter,

“Neither party shall use corporate punishment on the child at any time.”

So they’re basically agreeing that if the child misbehaved in school, for example, they’re not gonna say, “You’ve been a bad girl! That’s it, no more stock options or 401K contribution matches for YOU! Go to your room!”. Lucky kid.

My mom sent this to me today via email. I thought it was going to be one of those “Medical Reasons Why You Need to Pop Out My Grandbaby, NOW,” but instead, it’s this:

Pregnancy, Estrogen and Women
Pregnancy Q &A & More!

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I’m two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby’s sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she’s
borderline irrational.
A: So what’s your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it’s not pain I’ll feel during labor, but
pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you’re pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in
A: Not unless the word “alimony” means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby’s diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act
normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.


1. Everyone around you has an attitude problem.
2. You’re adding chocolate chips to your cheese omelet.
3. The dryer has shrunk every last pair of your jeans.
4. Your husband is suddenly agreeing to everything you say.
5. You’re using your cellular phone to dial up every bumper sticker that
says: “How’s my driving — call 1- 800-“.
6. Everyone’s head looks like an invitation to batting practice.
7. Everyone seems to have just landed here from “outer space”.
8. You’re not as nice as you used to be and you used to be a bitch.
9. You’re sure that everyone is scheming to drive you crazy.
10. The ibuprofen bottle is empty and you bought it yesterday.


10. Cats’ facial expressions.
9. The need for the same style of shoes in different colors.
8. Why bean sprouts aren’t just weeds.
7. Fat clothes.
6. Taking a car trip without trying to beat your best time.
5. The difference between beige, ecru, cream, off-white, and eggshell.
4. Cutting your hair to make it grow.
3. Eyelash curlers.
2. The inaccuracy of every bathroom scale ever made.

AND, the Number One thing only women understand :


I had a very decent weekend, and was satisfied with it when I returned to work this morning, except for one little point.
“Am I gonna see you at the gym?” my gym trainee asked when I ran into her by the elevator this morning.
“Yes,” I sighed, “I gained 3 pounds this weekend.”
“Three pounds! Doing what?”
“Nothing!!” Yup, that’s exactly it. I had a lazy long weekend and am paying for it in weight. It turned out Mr. W had wanted to go to the gym every morning this weekend, but fought the urge back because he was “trying not to be obsessive about working out.” To my detriment, unfortunately, because I’m currently lacking the motivation to go on my own.

Each morning of the weekend started at Mr. W’s pool. We spent about 40 minutes in the mornings going from hot jacuzzi to cool pool to hot jacuzzi to drying off laying on the poolside loungers. The result of this is that I am now a nice toasty brown (Asian genes) and Mr. W is nice cooked-lobster red (German-Polish genes). I went up 2 shades in makeup foundation and am back to my college color, from the days I’d walked 20 minutes in the sun to my first class at UCLA.

Saturday in the late afternoon, Mr. W and I went to my parents’ house to give them a CD of the Best Of photos we took in China. We had plans to go play Bingo with Vicky and her boyfriend that evening, but Vicky’s boyfriend flaked, and then we flaked. (Sorry, Vicky! Raincheck.) My aunt and her Persian-Italian buddy dropped by my parents’ house and said they were on their way to a Persian restaurant, asked us to come along. The invitation was nearly impossible to resist as I hadn’t seen my aunt for awhile, plus Mr. W and I have a hard time eating Persian food without someone who knows what he’s doing order for us. We had amazing chicken and steak kabobs, fish, and green rice at a Persian restaurant in Anaheim. The food was so good that it completely changed Mr. W’s prior impression of any Middle Eastern food, and he set the location on his navigation system so that we could return.

Sunday, we had the Persian leftovers for lunch along with some ridiculously expensive Emperor green tea that I’d purchased in China, then hit up some liquor stores for Absolut Citron, tonic, lemons, and jello shots. This we took over to Mr. W’s female best friend’s house. Best friend fired up the grill and cooked us delicious fresh sockeye salmon on a cedar plank as best friend’s girlfriend made yummy garlic broccoli, roasted bell pepper rice and salad, and I made alcholic drinks aplenty. After dinner we watched one of my favorite movies, What Dreams May Come. I warned everyone that I’ve always cried though the movie, and they braved it anyway saying they have Kleenex. I think I understand this movie now better than the first 7 times I’ve seen it, because of my now less-innocent psychological outlook on life and relationships. Everyone got a bit misty and my personal mist blended together molecularly to create larger droplets. Okay, I cried through the movie again. But it was a great time. Especially the chocolate cream pie we had with coffee in the middle of the movie, and the personal stories of people’s pasts I got to hear for the first time.

Monday, Mr. W and I were called over to his male best friend’s house for an impromptu barbecue. The weather was great as it had been all weekend, and we feasted on pork ribs, barbecued chicken drumsticks, potato salad, and corn on the cob out in the beautifully landscaped backyard patio. We also brought over our leftover jello shots and Citron & tonic ingredients. I had never drank so much in a weekend before. After the meal I nearly fell asleep relaxing on the large hammock strung up in Best Friend & Wife’s backyard, swaying in the breeze, smelling spring flowers, listening to the splashing of their outdoors rocky waterfall. And then I was bumped by a cold wet nose. Buddy! To my utter surprise, the 90-some pound golden retriever clambored onto the swinging hammock with me and laid next to my legs, front paws hooked over the edge of the hammock rope. We swung there in the breeze together, me lazily scratching his back. Swing, swing. Scritch scratch. He got up at some point and turned himself around, on the ropes of the swaying hammock, and plunked back down facing me, nose by my arm. Pat, pat. I wished I had a camera. After dinner the four of us drove down to Laguna Beach and had a nice after-dinner walk on the cliffs as Best Friend and Wife scouted out potential areas to host an upcoming weekend memorial. A sad task, but I think we all enjoyed ourselves in the beautiful weather.

And now it’s back to business as usual, back in our ongoing trial. Thank goodness it’s a short week!

Mr. W and I were having a conversation at 9:30p last nite in which he’d used the word “enigma” or “enigmatic.” It stirred something in the back of my head. I once knew and loved another word that meant “enigmatic”, but I could not remember the word now. “It’s an SAT word,” I said hopefully to Mr. W.
He laughed at me. “Then I definitely wouldn’t know it,” he said.
“Yes you would! It’s not an uncommon word, but it’s not often used. The definition is ‘understood only to a select few’.” He threw a few words out there that weren’t it. I said I THOUGHT it started with the letter “C”. Conundrum? No. I jumped online and started running words for synonyms. “Puzzle.” No. “Mystery.” No. He finally kicked me off the laptop so he could work on our China photos. (There are THOUSANDS of those.) Now thoroughly obsessed, I grabbed 2 dictionaries and a thesaurus. Those gave me the same lame synonyms. Puzzle. Mystery. I started flipping through the Cs in the dictionary. C-E? C-H-E?

I started calling people. Childhood friend Vicky, her younger sister Karen, and Dwaine all went to my high school. I know it was a high school word. All three did not pick up their cell phones. I called James because hey, the guy did not get a free ride through college for being stupid. He didn’t pick up. I was now thoroughly perplexed. I called college roommie Diana. She actually picked up. I gave the criteria to her, then warned her it may not actually begin with C, but that my impression was that it had a C in it. She put the legal work she was doing aside and investigated, then called me back. “What’s the word???” I said eagerly upon picking up my cell.
“Now what’re you gonna give me for the word?” she asked.
“ARGH, I can’t believe you’re gonna do this to me!” I strained.
She laughed. “Well? What do I get?” Then, relenting at my tortured gurgle, she said, “It’s cipher.”
I sagged. “No. It’s not,” I said, almost near tears.
“It’s not?! It HAS to be!” she said in surprise. But it’s not. She called me back two more times, each time offering more C words, but none of them were it. I continued flipping through the dictionary page by page.

It was now midnight. I’m still reading C and E words in the dictionary. If Mr. W weren’t using the laptop I would’ve blogged a post begging for help from my readers. “This is gonna be like that 14.4 thing,” I grumbled.

Another half hour went by. I’d given up, thinking I’d simply ask my vocabulary-gifted judge come Tuesday after the long weekend, if I don’t blow my brains out first. And then, James called me back at 12:30am. “I missed your call, what’s up?” he asked.
“I’m looking for an SAT word,” I began.
“And you think I’d know it?” he said dubiously.
“Yes! It’s not an uncommon word, but it’s not used a lot. Its definition is ‘understood only by a select few.’ ”
There was about 4 seconds of silence as he thought. And then, “Esoteric?” he suggested nonchalantly.
“Are you serious?!” he laughed at me.

James has redeemed all past wrongs against me now. Plus, I now know what his fated purpose for clawing back into my life is. And I will never again forget the word “esoteric.”

Dwaine got me hooked on an alcoholic drink that’s light, refreshing, perfect for summer, but I can never remember the recipe even tho it only calls for, like, 2 ingredients. I tried to order it myself somewhere once, and it didn’t come out right. After talking to Dwaine afterwards, it turned out that having lime instead of lemon in this drink made it bitter. But the bartender, for some reason, always puts in a lime wedge unless you specify otherwise. So if you like mojitos but don’t want to deal with the sugar content, or don’t want to wait for the bartender to grind up mint leaves, you’d love this:

“Can I get a Citron and tonic, light on the tonic, with a lemon, not lime? Yes, on the rocks.”

That’s how Dwaine says you have to order it, and that’s how he ordered it for me at dinner on Tuesday evening. We had to ask for extra lemon (they use flimsy little lemon smithereens, but once you ask for extra lemon on the side, they give you the large wedges used in iced tea), but it was delish! And that’s Absolut Citron vodka. That’s what I’m gonna be drinking all this Memorial Day long weekend.

Mr. W’s birthday is in July, and I was planning to get the windows of his new Prius tinted for that occasion as a surprise. However, Mr. Anxious couldn’t wait and upon the heels of our return from China, he called up some contacts and next thing I knew, he had an appointment for the tint within a few days. That appointment was this past Monday. The tint guy was going to Mr. W’s work to tint the car in the parking lot, so Mr. W wouldn’t even be put out of his way and the car would simply be ready to drive home at the end of the workday.

So Monday before work, I went to the makeshift tint site first, where the tint man was already hard at work. (Mr. W’s work hours start earlier than mine.) I introduced myself, and told him that I wanted to pay for the tint as a birthday present to Mr. W. He looked at me with wide and softened eyes, and said, “Awww, that’s so sweet! But he paid me already.” What?! Does Mr. W not wait for anything? I must’ve looked very crestfallen, as the tint man quickly offered up an alternative. “But I have his check right here, if you want I can void it and give that to you, and take your payment instead.”
“That’d be GREAT! Then I can put the check in a birthday card to him!” I said.
“I’ll keep your secret, I won’t even say I’ve met you,” he said, a glint in his expression. “I love surprises, I just surprised my wife with an SUV for Mother’s Day.” He told me the story as he fished out Mr. W’s payment and I wrote a new check for $275. Nothing but the very best for Mr. W.

I handed Mr. W an early birthday card yesterday. On the front of the envelope, I’d written:
“- OPEN ME –
…but I am an early birthday card, so if you want to wait 2 months until your birthday, I’ll understand.
P.S. I’m from your girlfriend.
P.P.S. Your girlfriend is hot.
P.P.P.S. You’re a lucky guy.”
Inside the card I’d written an explanation of my conspiracy with the tint man, and some birthday well-wishes. I’d tucked his voided check into the tint man’s two-part folded business card and placed that in the card.

I swear, this was Mr. W’s reaction upon opening the card.
*suspiciously* “What did you do?!”
*looking at his check* “What is this?! You voided my check???”
I said, “No, HE did that.”
*looking at his check again* “Why would he void my check? What did you DO?”
I said, “Read the card!”

And then I thought, why’s he reacting this way? What does he THINK I did? All of a sudden, it occurs to me. I could’ve totally stolen the payment check from the tint man, maybe distracted him with some conversation while I did so, and then I could’ve given the stolen payment back to Mr. W as a sort of Bonnie-and-Clyde birthday present! “Here honey! I got you a free tint!” “Wow, you’re amazing! High-five!”

I’m too honest.

Dude, I didn’t post yesterday! 😮

My gym trainee forgot her workout clothes yesterday, so we didn’t go to the gym. She had some small purchases to make at WalMart about a mile away from work, so I suggested we walk there for exercise instead. To make up for the lack of weight-lifting, however, I did hit the gym with Mr. W, his son and nephew after work. After trudging through a 3-set circuit of decline dumbbell flies, dumbbell lunges and one-legged bent-over dumbbell rows, I got so nauseated that I didn’t even finish the last set of Romanian barbell deadlifts that I was doing and went downstairs to sit on the stationary bike instead. I pedaled pathetically slow and wondered if everyone on the elliptical trainers behind me were judging my back. I think it never turns out well if I take a nap before hitting the gym. The body’s just not turned on or something. I woke up this morning a sharp pain on my back vertebrae if I turn or tilt my head to the left. It was not easy driving to work this morning. *sigh*

The good thing is, long weekend coming up ahead to recuperate! Whoohoo!! I’m just picturing myself laying face-down on the floor for about 2 days. I can’t wait!

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