February 2008

My mom kinda lost her mind last Saturday. While we were at my supervisor’s house having a grand ol’ time, I didn’t know but my mom called my cell and left me this grave-sounding voice mail to the effect of, “Cindy, Mama is so sorry. Mama did you wrong. I regret so much that I didn’t give you any brothers or sisters. In the future, when you’re married, you and [Mr. W] need to be kind to each other and persevere in your marriage and not break up or dispute over little petty things. Don’t let yourself be affected by too much.” I was like, Why’s she giving me future advice? Is she going thru one of those I’m-gonna-die-soon things again? I know they both had doctor’s appointments 2 days prior on Thursday.

So I called my parents’ house when we left and my dad picked up. I said, “Dad. Are you guys okay?”
He said, “Yeah, why?”
I said, “Cuz mom left me this weird message. Did a doctor contact you guys or something?”
“No. You wanna talk to your mom?”
I heard the phone shuffle, and my dad said, “Your mom said it’s nothing.”
I said, “Okay, then see you tomorrow.” And we hung up since she wouldn’t talk to me.

Then on Sunday, when I visited, my mom told me in another room that she had gotten into a fight with my dad over the amount of soy sauce he was putting on his avocado, so my dad got mad and dropped the avocado and said he wasn’t going to eat it anymore. (She was trying to look out for his high blood pressure.) My mom was so offended she stormed off and drove around by herself, went shopping, cussed him out in her car alone, came back late at night, pulled in the driveway and realized she was STILL mad so she didn’t want to go in, and then she drove off again. She was also upset he never called her cell to check up on her even tho she’d been gone for hours. And then she tried calling me, but I didn’t pick up. So she was all crying and thinking about how she has nowhere to turn when the chips are down and her friends all have their own families so she can’t bother them and her mom’s never around and they’re not close, and how I would be in the same position without siblings. I told my mom, “I’ve learned in these past couple years that you don’t have to be blood to be family.” My mom said you can have friends but it’s still not the same; people get married, have their own lives and families and friendships loosen. You still can’t call on them at times like these.

Dwaine and I discussed the above story last nite and he agreed with me, and we decided that the last generation has different friendships from our generation. Dwaine’s and my relationship, for example, would be inappropriate in our parents’ generation. Neither my mom nor his mom have close male friends, unless it’s the husband of a close female friend and everyone hangs out as couples. But Dwaine and I go way back in a childhood that’d always had co-ed friendships and I can’t imagine life, present or future, without him.

Yesterday evening, I went on an impromptu trip to Dwaine’s house (my internal voice always refers to him as “Dwainer-rooney” for some reason) so he could review Mr. W’s refinance estimate paperwork. Dwaine is our preventation prophylactic from getting financially screwed. A cashflow condom, if you will. He even offered to come with us to Escrow to make sure the deal’s straight and in our best interest. Cool beans. After Dwaine and I called Mr. W to give him the skinny on his refi, Dwaine and I had one of our all-over-the-board nice catch-up chats. We shared childhood stories (Dwaine and his twin Andrae were apparently bananabread bandits back in the day), current car woes, cooking, financial mindsets, physical fitness goals, and tons of laughs. At a point we even raised our huzzahs for PMS; I measured my waist size, was disappointed at the number, and then suddenly realized I’m PMSing and bloated so the size isn’t TRULY accurate, and I gave a loud “YAY!” cheer. Being a sport and a friend, Dwaine also raised a fist in the air and gave a “yay,” altho his “yay” was more unsure and less enthusiastic than mine. He explained later that he never thought he’d root for something like PMS and bloatedness.

When I left, I made the statement that you don’t have to be blood-related to be family. I’m gonna write about that in the next post.

Because we are both surprisingly sore from our new workouts Monday and Tuesday, my gym trainee and I decided to opt out of the noon gymming and instead run some of her local errands on foot at lunchtime. We walked in total maybe a solid hour, at the end of which, when we were at a busy intersection waiting for the light to turn so we could cross the street, a beat up car pulled up and the male passenger started saying something flirtatious to us about how we were out there exercising. In truth I didn’t understand him, but my gym trainee replied to them that the gym was a mile up that way, they can swing it. The male passenger, a black man in a muscle shirt perhaps in his 20s, flexed his biceps at us and said, “I’m halfway there already.” His buddy driving laughed. There were a couple other sentences exchanged and the car turned. My gym trainee said something about how she wouldn’t give out her number to anyone who could holler at her in the middle of the day from the passenger seat of his friend’s car. She’d wonder, “Why’re you here? Why aren’t you at work?”

I noted that we don’t look like we’re working (we were dressed in gym clothes) in the middle of the day either. But she made an interesting point. Is it REALLY flattering if some obviously indiscriminating deadbeat considers you in his league?

Maybe he was on vacation.

Over the weekend Mr. W and I attended my boss’s 51st birthday shindig at his house in Claremont. My thoughts driving out there were, “I can’t believe he makes this commute both ways on a daily basis. This drive sucks.” One morning when it was pouring rain, he got to work 2.5 hours late. As soon as we got there, however, I was bowled over. His house is big, beautiful, and very designer-looking. The backyard has a giant custom rock-lined pool, lots of patio seating areas all surrounding it, and surrounding the waterfalls and rocky pool environment were trees and lawn like an oasis. And that’s just 1/3 of the backyard. He also had wooden patio deck, an outdoor fire, and a bouncy perky dog that kept bringing his little blue ball back to me to throw for him. I threw as hard as I could into the lawn section from the middle of the backyard and lemme tell you, I could not hit any walls.

So after that, we’re like, “Hmm. San Bernardino County, eh?”

The next day (Sunday), we drove around the beach areas and checked out housing by Huntington Beach. I refused to live in most of those neighborhoods, which aside from the prestige of saying “I live at the beach” had nothing more to offer, probably not even safe passage from the garage to the mailbox. We did like one property A LOT, but couldn’t afford the $1.6 million it’d take to get it.

So the hunt’s still on-going. Currently we’re considering these favorites:
Country Living – a beautiful large 2-story home in horse ranch territory, above some winding mountain roads, in Chino Hills
Suburbia – a new and chic medium-sized home with virtually no yard in Brea, almost walking-distance from night life and restaurants
Beach – an even smaller, slightly old but extremely upgraded single-story home a mile from the sand in Huntington Beach. There’s another one there in an upscale gated community that we have yet to check out.

So we’re not doing the city life, it looks like. I wonder where people would visit me at.

I think in our last trial, the attorneys actually managed to assemble a collection of 12 of the stupidest members of society to act as our jurors. Even with surveillance video footage, even with a signed confession-like document in which she promised to repay everything she stole, she claimed she didn’t understand the word “theft” and wasn’t really confessing to any wrongdoing when she signed the document.
DA: Although you’re saying now that you were lying when you wrote that?
Defendant: What do you mean lying.
DA: You weren’t willing to pay back? Were you willing or not?
Defendant: I am willing to pay back if they prove it to me that, you know, I am actually stealing money from the [store] but I am not going to pay them back if they didn’t prove it to me that I am stealing money.

Uh…WEREN’T YOU THERE TO KNOW THAT YOU STOLE THE MONEY? The camera footage said you were! Jeebus.

Anyway, the jury acquitted.

And then after the trial was over, the judge put a written quote on my desk, saying as he did so, “Words to live by.”
It said: “The virtue of justice consists in moderation, as regulated by wisdom. – Aristotle”

Justice is ALL confusing today.

Rock Band (the multi-player game for PlayStation3 and XBox360) has been the topic on a few of the blogs I read lately. Lotsa people are jumping on the Rock Bandwagon. Koinkidinkally, my cousin Mark from Canada got a hold of me earlier, and we had the following conversation about Rock Band:

Mark: Hey I finally got around to trying the multiplayer in Donkey Konga, fun times! Also, Rock Band rules!
me: Rock Band is HARD. We were just talking about it on my friends Mike & Christi’s blog.
Mark: YA ROCK BAND IS AWESOME, not that hard! Well maybe. Depends on what difficulty you play it on. I sang Radiohead’s Creep 100% on medium! You’ve played it?
me: Yeah, it’s a lot harder than guitar hero. You have to hit it exactly on the mark or you’re scored really low. I don’t know why they make it so hard.
Mark: Really? Everyone says Guitar Hero is harder… well except for the fact that there’s more of a window for a mistake when you hit it. But there are more buttons to hit in Guitar Hero, like they come up faster and with more.. at least on hard.
me: Hard has 5 buttons. But it doesn’t demand such precision. You don’t fail so fast/easily. Rock Band, 1/3 way thru the song on easy, you fail cuz you didn’t hit them all PRECISELY on the MILLISECOND they want you to.
Mark: !!! :O On easy it’s soooo easy!
me: It may also be hard for me cuz I never know any of the songs. So I have to “read” the screen.
Mark: :O You don’t know the rock classics? Guitar Hero is supposed to be tougher cause they make you hit a lot of buttons really fast. You should sing! That’s fun too, and drumming is wickkkkkedd!!
me: I can’t drum. Too many things my body isn’t used to doing/responding to.
Mark: Hey did you at least have fun while losing at the songs?
me: No, it was freaking stressful. Cuz I was really good at GH, so I couldn’t understand what the prob was w/RB.
Mark: Wow, all my friends who were awesome at Guitar Hero found RB to be too easy…Hrm…If you’re playing on an HD TV, sometimes the calibration is off, so it LOOKs like you’re hitting the button but it’s really off. So it’s really frustrating… my friend had an issue with that.
me: But everyone else I know in CA has the same opinion as me. RB is harder cuz it demands more precision.
Mark: Wowzers! It’s like the opposite of Toronto, haha.
*some time passes*
Mark: You know what, I’m reading up on it now and it’s the same as what you said. So Guitar Hero throws more notes at you, but the accuracy is not as tight. Where Rock Band is more realistic, with less notes but forcing you to be more accurate.
me: ah HA. That means that your friends in Canada are freaks. RB was frustrating for me cuz I was like, “WTF, I HIT the damn notes, why are they failing me?!”
Mark: Awww, you gotta download the music and listen!
me: I don’t really like rock.
Mark: Fair enough.
me: if they could figure out a Hip Hop Band, I’d be SO ALL OVER that.
Mark: We were talking about that! I was talking about that with friends. But hey they patented the name “DJ Hero”. I’m excited! Really though all they have to do is add a keyboard to the game, and blizzkapow it’s there.
me: And a record scratcher DJ station.
Mark: Hells yes. I’m in.
me: And all the karaoke part entails is someone spitting into the mike rhythmically. Ptth, ph ph ptthhhh!

WELL?! All you game programmers, GET ON IT!!!

Candy wrapper count for today:

1 peppermint clear cellophane wrapper
1 York Peppermint Patty wrapper (the heart-shaped ones with the pink mint cream, leftover from Vday)
4 gold Almond Roca metallic wrappers
4 pink and silver Hershey’s milk chocolate metallic wrappers (also heart-shaped Vday edition)
5 or 6 French truffles that came out of a big metallic bag w/o individual wrappers to count

…HEY! Some of these Hershey’s wrappers are wadded up into a tight little ball! I don’t do that! I think I’m picking up someone else’s wrappers that they threw into my trash can. Maybe I only ate HALF of what the wrappers claim I ate! Eh, who’m I kidding?

2 tangerine skin wrappers/peels — and that would be the only healthy thing I ate all day.

“It’s okay, you’re PMSing,” commenter ‘a’ told me about half an hour ago. Right before I tore into the bag of truffles.

That being said, I think I need to force myself into the gym tonight.

So I grabbed my voluminous buffalo chicken wrap off my desk as soon as the jurors were situated in the courtroom, and dodged out into my judge’s chambers and proceeded to stuff my face on his couch. Because of the width and size of this wrap, and how drippy it got toward the end what with the chopped lettuce and red buffalo sauce, I got red stuff all over my face burning my cheeks and lips, and I was aware of the sauce touching my nose, too. And there I was looking like a carnivorous wild animal eating another wild animal, when a horrible thought occured to me.

What if they take one of many sidebar discussions that they’ve been having, right now? I could just imagine the judge, court reporter, and both attorneys walking into chambers for a sidebar argument and stopping short, seeing my hunched over form on his couch with red stuff all over the place, chopped tomatoes and chicken falling from my open mouth. There’s no recovering from that. So I wrapped up the bundle of mess in the wrapper and dodged into the hallway bathroom.

As soon as I entered the second room of the restroom that contained a small table, a chair, the sink and stall, I froze again, and thought, “Oh shit. I’m pulling a Dardy.” I imagined all the poo and pee molecules that came out of coworkers floating in the air around me, adhering onto my chicken wrap.

And I quickly ate it all up and came back in the courtroom.

What sucks is to be starving and not be able to eat the food that’s right in front of you. I had insisted on going to the gym today because I’d missed all my lunchtime workouts this week as our trial keeps running late, but after our workout today my gym trainee and I ran across the street to Tropical Smoothie Cafe where I grabbed a buffalo chicken wrap. Sooo good! Unfortunately, as I expected, when I walked in the courtroom the judge was already on the bench having a hearing, despite the fact that I wasn’t late. So now the wrap sits on my desk, getting cold, as I drool.

I’ve always thought it a form of torture, too, when I’m starving to death and have to drive to pick up a pizza. My parents were always too frugal to pay or tip for delivery so after waiting what felt like forever until the estimated time the pizza would be ready for pick-up, they’d take me along to the pizza place, and of course I wasn’t allowed to eat before dinnertime for fear of ruining my appetite. So we’d pick up our pizza, I’m starving while the cheese and meat aromas circulate around the car, and as a final tease, my job was to hold the hot box on my lap. There was rarely a longer drive than the one back home. As tormenting as these drives were, when I lived on my own I would also occasionally opt to pick up my own pizza rather than have it delivered. I think it’s the Asian thrift gene passed on, but I did make one modification: no later than when I get in the car, I would open the box and grab a slice of pizza, happily proceeding to burn the roof of my mouth off with molten cheese on my drive back home.

*looking at wrap*

MAN I wanna eat. I think I’ll take my wrap out into the back hallway and eat in secret.

I got this via email forward from a coworker. Makes you wanna have kids instantly.
~ * ~
Cup of Tea

One day my mother was out and my dad was in charge of me and my brother who is four years older than I am. I was maybe 2 and a half years old.

Someone had given me a little ‘tea set’ as a birthday gift and it was one of my favorite toys. Daddy was in the living room engrossed in the evening news… and my brother was playing nearby in the living room when I brought Daddy a little cup of ‘tea’, which was just water. After several cups of tea and lots of praise for such yummy tea, my Mom came home. My Dad made her wait in the living room to watch me bring him a cup of tea, because it was ‘just the cutest thing!!’

My Mom waited, and sure enough, here I come down the hall with a cup of tea for Daddy, and she watches him drink it up,
then mom says, ‘Did it ever occur to you that the only place that baby can reach to get water is the toilet?’

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