March 2008

Even though today is supposed to be a day off for me (Cesar Chavez holiday, the NorCal folks hate that I have this day off), I’m here. At work. Getting a couple of things done. Of course my judge is here, too. He was surprised to see me and already gave me a couple of things to look over. There are a surprisingly high number of employees in the building. “Is this a day off?!” a law clerk friend said earlier, looking at all the coworkers around her.

Not that I came in during regular hours, nor am I planning to stay long. I’m just giving my roofing guy a few extra minutes to email me the roofing invoice, so that I can print it and include it with my homeowners’ meeting minutes and demand for payment for my roof to the other homeowners in the association.

I had a list of things to do today. I already reviewed and made changes to my HOA documents as requested by the other officers, I got Dodo more cat food and litterbox crystals, bought some necessities at WalMart (I usually go to Drug Emporium for toothpaste, shampoo, contact solution, etc., but I was dismayed to find that it’s shut down!), and am now at work. Soon, I’ll leave here to test the drive to the the bartending class (1st day of class is tomorrow after work!) and then meet up with MOH Vicky at the gym at 3:30.

Just for kicks, guess what Mr. W is doing all day! He’s attending employee training seminars/lectures at the Museum of Tolerance! I spoke to him at his lunch break and he said a guest speaker coming up in the afternoon is an actual survivor of the Holocaust.

I’ve been surfing on the ‘net all morning. First I checked my email and read through the many strings from my Association board, discussing fun stuff like the consequences of not paying your monthly dues. Then, I looked at an email from a discount traveling site advertising cheap last minute getaways. That led to my thinking, “I’d always wanted to visit Prince Edward Island. I’m gonna look that up.” I’m an “Anne of Green Gables” fan — the novels by Lucy Maud Montgomery, not the TV show. I’d always wanted to live a week in the beautiful lush landscaping described in the books, doing things the “old-fashioned” way, running through country paths scented with wild hibiscus and lavender to visit my best friend who would live at the gabled cottage next door. Next door being, an acre over. How different from the houses and neighborhoods we’d been looking in lately. I’d announced before that I’d be heartbroken if Prince Edward Island has been taken over by technology and developed, and now resembles New York or Los Angeles. So, today, I finally found out.

Prince Edward Island’s official online site says that the central northern part of the island, now named “Anne’s Land” as it is the setting of Anne’s story, remains largely unchanged from how it was described by Ms. Montgomery. 2008 happens to be the 100th anniversary of the year “Anne of Green Gables” was first published, and the Island is doing a huge celebration. How charming!

2008 also happens to be the year we’re poor.

I downloaded the “Anne’s Land” section of the site’s free guidebook, and looked through it wistfully. All morning, aside from a couple of blog posts, this has been what I was doing. Mr. W has been at the gym for hours, I’m stranded at his house until he comes back, and all I’d described above was researched/done on his laptop. In the middle of the laptop’s screen, very quick lines flash by. It’s barely perceptible, but you do see red flickers if the background happens to be dark. What these flickers are, are short sentences written and run in a program that Mr. W recently purchased. They’re designed to be “read” by your subconscious as you work on your computer, and your conscious doesn’t pick them up, but the subconscious “programs” you. Remember that old scandal about Coca-cola and popcorn ads that used to flash invisibly in-between movie frames to get people to buy more Coke and popcorn, then got banned because the government ruled it was unethical and illegal to “mind control” people for financial gain? I don’t know how to turn the program off, but I’m also not sure what all the lines say, so right now I may be programmed to do something horrible. Knowing Mr. W, it’s probably stuff like “You will be 12% body fat.” “You are comfortable with your finances.” “You will be wealthy.” But it could also be, “You want to give everything to your fiance.” “You will say ‘yes’ to everything he asks.” “You feel your horniness increasing.” Cuz I mean, he KNEW he was going to leave me stranded for HOURS with nothing to do while he was at the gym, and the laptop is just sitting here, glowing at me in the room. Hours of fun brainwashing.

If I start to do things that are out of character or not in my best interest, and Mr. W appears to be exponentially happier, then you guys know what has happened to me.

I think, I think, I’m addicted to string cheese. I bought a pack of ’em the other day and keep it in my fridge. I started out having one stick a day around lunchtime. And then I had to have one at home in the evenings while watching TV. And then it was two watching TV. The other day I had four. “But they’re so small,” my courtroom assistant said, trying to make me feel better. Small or not, they’re 80 calories each, and 4 would be 320 calories I otherwise wouldn’t have consumed had I not purchased the pack. But there’s just something so fun and tasty about trying to peel stringy cheese as thin as possible off a cold-hardened stick, making it last as long as possible. It’s like a challenge, AND a calcium-rich snack. I’d always thought food consumed with bare hands were somehow more yummers than food you have to cut and eat with a knife and fork. Like giant turkey legs from Disneyland and the Renaissance Pleasure Faire. *drool*

Mr. W said, “You’re not addicted to string cheese. You just eat it cuz there’s nothing else in your house to eat!” That’s one theory…but my fridge also contains salad dressing, eggs, butter, and an unopened bottle of white wine. And my freezer has ice. So obviously there are other things in the house to eat.

Now that I have finished all my string cheese, let’s see if I feen and have to buy more. My guess is that because I grocery shop a few times a year, laziness will overtake any withdrawal.

Yesterday, I had to forego my noontime workout because we had a mandatory meeting. Something about sexual harassment policies and how we’re strongly urged to report any harassment we feel we’re victim to. At the end of the meeting I asked the district administrator, “Does this mean I have to stop making racial slurs?” He laughed and said that’s probably a good idea for workplace conversation. I asked, “What if I just make fun of my own race?” He indulged me (knowing who I am, after all) but still said in a supervisory way, “Well, people who overhear you may still take offense to what you said. Like maybe you’re perpetuating the negative stereotypes or something. At our meeting downtown about this, they talked about tons of things that I never would’ve THOUGHT would be offensive to some people, but to some, it’s harassment.” I bitched about oversensitive, overly-PC people these days with no senses of humor, but we all know people like that we have to tiptoe around at work or in social circles because they take everything wrong. Those people are so no fun, always looking for an opening to accuse someone of racism, sexism, bias, so they can file a grievance. I think those people are the least colorblind of all, reading color issues where there were none.

After work, I called Vicky and dragged her out to the gym with me. Actually, I didn’t have to drag, she eagerly agreed to meet me there at 8p. She’d just gotten her gym membership reinstalled at my gym corporation, so I got a solid lower body workout in plus we did a heaving hour’s worth of cardio together on treadmill and elliptical trainer. It’s fun to catch up while being physically productive, so different from a few days ago, catching up while shoving food in our pieholes.

Yesterday evening, I went to meet MOH Vicky and commenter ‘a’ (also “anny”) for dinner at Curry House in Irvine. The two of them have known each other since before I knew ‘a’ through this blog, and had been meaning to get together for awhile. Small world now that we have the internet. I pulled up a couple of minutes after 5:30p, the agreed-upon meeting time, and spotted Anny’s car first right in front of the restaurant. She was sitting in there looking down at something. I looked to my right and directly behind Anny’s car parked across the aisle was Vicky’s car, and Vicky was seated inside with her back to Anny, on a call. I thought it was hilarious that these two were both so punctual they had to wait for me and/or for Curry House to open at 5:30, AND they were both unaware that they weren’t alone.

We had a girly chat over dinner. I ordered a giant spicy chicken curry plate while the other two girls ordered some dainty feminine combo. I totally ate too much cuz while we talked, I just kept shoving food into my mouth. It wasn’t until afterward that they both said they were impressed (I’m sure they meant “surprised” and “disgusted”) at the sheer quantity of food that went down. I badly regretted not taking half home with me.

After dinner, we had dessert at Mochilato, where Anny and I first met. Vicky had been curious about that dessert shop. Again, the girls ordered daintily, Anny with her tiny cup of gelato and Vicky with her two little gelato-filled mochis. Trying to be good about saving calories, I ordered a Japanese-style green tea flavored shaved ice, that was made by coating the bottom of a large bowl with sweetened condensed milk, green tea syrup, then shaved ice, then green tea syrup and condensed milk, then sweetened red beans, then vanilla gelato, then shaved ice, green tea syrup, condensed milk, red beans, and finally a generous handful of mini mochi balls. Vicky watched that sucker being made and kept saying, “There’s more? She’s still adding MORE stuff? Condensed milk AGAIN?” I don’t know what I was thinking. I guess I thought, “Shaved ice is just water.” But add water to the giant portion of rice I had with the curry and suddenly *I* felt like a huge mochi ball. I badly regretted finishing all of the curry AND ordering a shaved ice instead of a modest little cup of frozen yogurt.

We had a lot of fun chatting and catching up, and parted with promises to do it again as a triple date.

Yesterday, we had our homeowners association meeting at 7:30p. And it ended at 9:15p. I got to clear up the roofing misunderstanding with the people who were there, who questioned me because they had the COMPLETELY wrong idea about how contributions to an association responsibility such as repairing my roof worked. They thought I never contributed but I’m asking THEM to. Where the hell did they get that?! Apparently the secretary was a total moron when she talked to them on the phone about it.

Speaking of the moronic secretary, she not only resigned, but also refused to attend the meeting and return any email or calls about needing her to attend or participate. She also never gave HER contribution to my roofing, which I now know, because in the spirit of if-you-want-anything-done-right-you-gotta-do-it-yourself (and the thunderous silence of people volunteering when it was announced we need a new acting secretary), I am now acting secretary of our association. We also have a new president now, a young Asian guy, new neighbor, whom I’ve met before and totally respect as he seems to not only be intelligent, proactive but also sensible and eager to get to the bottom of “what the hell is wrong with this association and its funding issues?”.

Time to whip this association and its CC&Rs into shape.

On food:
Yesterday after work, I saw that a supervisor who usually has a variety of cookies in his clear pastic cookie jar (how he lures us into his office) had individually wrapped Ding Dongs in there instead. “OMG, I haven’t had one of these since I was 8!” I exclaimed, and he told me to enjoy one. Since I’m an obedient little girl, I grabbed one on my way out. I guess I’d expected my childhood food preferences to be tainted with kid-like ignorance, like when I thought Pixie Stix, colored rock candy, and button candy were cool. As adults revisiting these things, Pixie Stix is just sourish sugary sand; rock candy is just hunks of sugar crystals, and button candy was RETARDED with the amount of paper you had to spit out after ripping those little tasteless sugar dots off the strips. But that DING DONG…omg…it had a thick chocolate coating, the inside chocolate cake was moist, and that white cream in the center added the “MMM!” to “YUMMM!” It was a good thing I was in the car leaving work when that thing was finished, or I would’ve gone back for more.

On drinking:
I was emailing with Dardy and he mentioned that he didn’t like hearing about girls getting drunk, because it made them seem irresponsible or something. He wondered if it was a double-standard, since he’s fine with guys drinking. I told him that I don’t think much of girls who get drunk either, but that it was more of a safety issue to me. I think safety has to always be in the forefront of a woman’s mind, and when she’s hobbling and being stupid, she can’t defend herself in a situation and she doesn’t have the good judgment to remove herself from a bad situation before she steps in it. (That, and you don’t see men getting wasted and jumping into bed with a stranger then waking up the next morning crying about how lonely and cheap they feel.) I think it’s more responsible of women to drink when they’re in a secure safe environment, not like at a bar or out at a party with rowdy strangers when they need to drive home hours later.

On safety at work:
Today while my judge was engaged with some attorneys in a closed-door settlement conference in our jury room, I heard a big boom and crash, then lots of metallic jingling. The noise came from the back hallway behind the courtroom, right outside the door that’s 10 feet away from me. I gave the commotion 2-4 seconds to settle before I realized from the cussing and yelling in the hallway, as well as the continued banging around, that there is a struggle between our bailiff(s) and an inmate. I stood and hit the “emergency!” red button, only the 2nd time I’ve had to do that in my entire career. The loudspeaker instantly came on, connecting my courtroom to the sheriff’s office downstairs, and a female voice asked what was happening. I announced the struggle and location into the intercom. I then moved away from the door. My court reporter gave some time to pass before she opened the far end of the courtroom door to peek into the hallway, and by then she described 5 sheriffs trying to contain an angry hostile inmate who was already on his knees on the floor. One sheriff was saying over and over to him in a soothing tone to calm down, calm down. By the time all the sheriffs who were available in the building responded to the call, there were probably 12 deputies in the hallway and only minutes had passed. Impressive. One of the female deputies who was there first hurt her arm and elbow when the inmate tried to kick and rush her. This deputy came by after things settled down and thanked me for calling for help. I’m glad I wasn’t drunk at work, or I may have opened the door and walked out in the hallway to see what all the noise and banging was about!

On wedding etiquette:
One of the black belt instructors from jujitsu (who’s become a friend over the years) is getting married in 18 days. I know this because that’s what his wedding website ticker said when I visited online yesterday, due to his email urging me to visit his site. It was a very well-done site, entertaining and all, but it’s like, “18 days? I guess I’m not invited.” That’s not a big deal, tho, especially since he soon emailed me after sending me the website, to explain that he’d wanted to invite us but had limited capacity at 120 people. As it was, he said, even some family were not invited. I told him I totally understand and am dealing with the same thing myself, and that I didn’t take it personally. Today, I get another email from him. He writes that he really does want Mr. W and I to attend because we’re “fun” but that there’s no room for us, so how about we go and crash the wedding? There’s no seating room for dinner, but come after dinner, after 7pm! All the information’s on the website! Come anyway!
Now that puts me in an awkward situation, cuz altho it’s nice that he seems to genuinely want us there, to ask us to CRASH? After dinner? What if people we know there think we’re rude for being soooo late, or if they know we weren’t invited, think we’re rude for crashing? And are we supposed to bring a wedding gift when we crash a wedding? I suppose I have another 2 weeks to think about this. There’s no RSVP to mail back when you’re crashing.

Here’s another photo from the wedding, the wedding couple ‘twixt me and the W. Thanks, Warren!

Last nite/this morning, I dreamt that I was on my way over to work (or school) and met up with Gym Trainee at an outdoors playground-like gym on the campus. I did like 1 exercise and realized I was half in a dress I wear for work altho I had my running shoes and workout gloves on, and I told her I was going to finish changing into gym attire and will be right back.
I went to my courtroom to put my stuff down but on the way there, was ushered instead to a lecture hall-sized classroom. Oh, the bartending class was starting! I sat down in class, feeling bad that I’d told my trainee I would be right back but couldn’t now that class has begun. I saw a few people I knew in high school, people too popular to hang out with me back then. I sat next to one of these girls, who seems perfectly content to socialize with me now. And then some other girls came in that the girl I was with wanted to hang with, and we moved back a row to sit with them. I looked around the classroom and thought, “The class description said this was a ‘SMALL GROUP short term, fast paced course’, my understanding was 20 people per class, and there must be like 200 people in here! This is ridiculous!” Thinking about the class description, I also remembered/realized that this is a 4.5-hour course. And I’m supposed to be taking it with Gym Trainee, who isn’t here. Wait, how could I be taking a 4.5 hour course in the MORNING, before I’m excused from my other classes? I’m gonna fail my other classes! As the class segmented into 6 TAs (which I guess would explain the smaller classes advertised, altho I was disappointed to learn the course would be taught by a TA and not the professor who DID look like a bartender whereas our TA was a Hispanic young man whose English I had a hard time understanding), I walked with my group out and noted aloud to my new friends, “Some of these kids in here don’t even look 18! Why’re they learning bartending?” And then I realized/remembered that I’d made a point to register for the evening classes so that my daytime schedule wouldn’t be disrupted. How’d I end up in the wrong session of the course? Because they didn’t take roll, that’s why.
That means there’s someplace else I was supposed to be. I checked the time. 10:30a. “What period is this?” I asked a blonde woman, who in real life is my court district administrator’s secretary. “It’s second period,” she answered me in the ever-resourceful way she has in real life. I thanked her and thought hard. 2nd period…2nd period…what do I have 2nd period? Where am I supposed to be? 1st period was homeroom with my judge in the courtroom, but I’m past that now. Math? No, I made a point not to take any math classes in college cuz I hate it. Didn’t I? Okay, so process of elimination. Science? No, that’s later on in the afternoon. So what the hell is 2nd period? Where do I go EVERY DAY at this time? Maybe I can just go thru the motions and my legs will automatically walk me to the right place out of routine habit. I didn’t make myself take CALCULUS, did I? I don’t remember doing any math homework, which means if I DID take math, I’m about to commit scholastic suicide. Like so many other nightmares I have about being in school again; getting lost on campus, forgetting to study all quarter for a course which had a midterm or final the day of the dream, etc. It was usually a math class, too. *vomit*
Walking around still thinking hard, my memories starting poking a finger though the fog. I…don’t have a second period because…I’m not in school. So where do I go all day long? What’s familiar to me now? Work! I work!
And then I woke up, late for work.

I “borrowed” these photos from Warren (Jimmy’s best man), and as I get more from other people I’ll post them.

Jimmy and Sabrina’s wedding party standing inside the Shakespeare Garden:

This is the “blogger picture” I made everyone take. I totally felt like a geek, but everyone was really good sports about it.

Top row, left to right: Dardy (twenty-five seconds of silence blog), strange guy I don’t know, Mel (herro… blog), ex-blogger Diana, Jen (Jen’s blog), Warren (Meet Me in Montauk blog)
Bottom row, left to right: Christi (Better Together blog), Mike (what fools these mortals be! and Better Together blogs), me (Cindy’s World blog, duh), Cheryl (The Adventures of Cheryl and Greg blog; her hubbie Greg totally refused to join in the photo, ashamed of having sold out to blogging a few times).

I did nothing all day. And I did a lot of it. So to help you enjoy yourselves as much as I have, here’s a little amusing song that made my mouth agape and then laugh:

“Ooh Girl”: An Honest R&B Song

One morning in Diana’s house, Mr. W and I were lying around before we got up and I asked him what if the missing engagement ring is delivered while we’re up north? He had it set up for delivery to his work address, would it just sit in his mail slot in the open? He said that would not be good. I asked if he should call his office to let them know to look out for it. He didn’t say anything and didn’t call. < -- foreshadowing. I said I wish the ring got delivered a week ago so I could’ve worn it for Jimmy & Sabrina’s wedding. A friend of Diana’s had come up to me after the ceremony and said, “I heard you got engaged! Congratulations!” I saw her glance down at my bare left hand and then look back up to my face. I thanked her, and wondered if she thought we were one of those couples who “don’t believe in rings.” The only guys I’ve heard make that kind of statement were either too cheap or had an ulterior motive to not wear jewelry showing a commitment.

Yesterday, while I was sleeping all day, Mr. W went to work. I got a call from him as he was going home telling me that he has something to give me, something small and shiny. I asked if it was edible. He said no. I said then I wasn’t interested. He said, “Guess what was sitting in my mail when I went to work.” It DID arrive while we were away, and it DID sit in his exposed mail slot since nobody knew what it was! Eeks!! Anyway, I didn’t go over to his house last nite and he’d left the ring there, telling me I’d have to go over today to try it on. I hope it finally fits!

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