Monthly Archives: February 2015

Feb
28
  • Flakes

    This past week, I found myself getting really annoyed with people. About three weeks ago, we purchased a shed to help move crap out of the garage and you know, de-clutter our lives. So John did the research, and set up the delivery. We had expected the shed to just be a pre-fab: you know, the truck would arrive and the crew would just unload and set the thing where we wanted on the driveway. Done in like 30 minutes. Nope. A two-person crew arrived and spent an entire day constructing the damn thing from boxes of materials!! WTF, really? Fine, whatever. J was working from home that day, so not a huge deal. Done in one day, right? Nope. Turns out, the sales dude didn’t include our shingle specs and paint colors in the order, so those materials weren’t part of the shipment. Ugh. So the guys had to return a second day with the roofing shit and paint to complete the job. They arrived early the next day, so J talked with them briefly and then he went off to work. The day after that, in the daylight, I came out to inspect this cute new shed, all specially sized to fit alongside our houseboat. J and I aren’t even picky when it comes to house/construction details. Half the time, we couldn’t give a shit about aesthetic imperfections as long as stuff works. I always give this example to illustrate how laid back we are about house shit. Years ago, I organized a group to volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. Our assignment for the day was to paint the bedrooms. Well, the leader assigned us to paint INSIDE the closets, and he kept saying, “Treat this house as if it were your own. Do a good job; take pride in your work.” Blah, blah. I mean, we were totally game with doing an awesome job on the walls that were visible, but inside a closet?? Does it really require THREE coats of paint in addition to the primer?? I mean, honestly speaking, J and I probably wouldn’t even paint inside the closet for our own house!!! Who the hell cares? No one sees that shit. I mean, yeah, maybe a coat to prevent moisture or whatever, but multiple coats? Total overkill.

    Similarly, I had a handyman onsite last month. He cracked the lid to my toilet tank. It was white. He offered to replace it, but it required another trip from Los Gatos. I was like, “I really don’t care about the crack line. I put a box of tissues on top of the lid anyway. Just crazy glue it.” J was concerned the crazy glue wouldn’t really hold. In the end, I saw my neighbor disposing of his old toilet, and I just took his lid. Mind you, his toilet was brown, not white. Whatever. It’s just not something that bugs me or J. There’s a lid now. Done.

    So back to the shed. When I looked at it, the front door wasn’t even aligned. It was so fricking crooked that the door rubbed all around the jamb and didn’t even shut securely. Inside, under the roof, there was one panel that was riddled with nails poking through. Like poking through to the point that the rough particle board was flaking underneath. Then, scattered all around the shed on the driveway were nails and chipped hardware bits. WTF?? On the outside, the shingles were misaligned with the roof line and unevenly laid. I mean, as untrained as my eyes are, this was a fucking hack job!! Not only that, they pulled out our hose to check for leaks in the roof, and they didn’t even wrap the hose back into its storage pot. They fucking left the hose in a half-ass jumbled pile AND the water was still on. Seriously, who works like this??? So yeah, overall, shit job. I was pissed, but I knew flipping out was not going to help. Plus, J had really put in a lot of effort and time researching the shed and coordinating the logistics. Maybe the guys were newbs, or they were having a bad day? Whatever. So I call the customer service dude. He sends out a warranty service guy to take a look the following week. Dude comes and fixes the door. He claims the nails are ok and just need to be snipped on the bottom (uh, then why aren’t they poking through EVERYwhere rather than just that one panel?), but he admits that the shingles need to be completely redone. He’ll tell the service rep, and they’ll schedule another repair trip. That was two and a half weeks ago. Since then, I have left 3 messages. I always get the goddamn answering machine, and on Friday, I got some lame auto message, “We are having technical difficulties.” Again, WTF. Finally, I dial into the sales line, and I actually talk to the guy who SOLD J the unit. Yeah dude. You sold us the unit. This has been a bad experience. I explain without getting nasty about it, and he promises action/follow up on Monday when the customer service guy returns. We’ll see what happens on Monday. But come on people!!! Do your fucking job. No, I don’t expect 100%, because your job is probably really shitty and pays crap, but Jesus Christ, give me more than 20%. I have definitely softened my stance since my younger years when I was always ready to rumble about bullshit customer service. Now? I just expect companies to be upfront and responsive. And show some damn effort with making things right!

    What else. Oh. Also on Friday, I had a second meeting scheduled with the ergonomic specialist at work. I’d been reading a lot lately about how my work and the sedentary office environment are basically going to destroy me (blind, arthritic, deaf, remember?), so I started standing at work. Being the cheap bastard that I am, I pretty much just did my own makeshift standing desk using multiple reams of paper and a cardboard box. Long story short, the expert came a few weeks ago. She took pictures and told me flat out that my setup was “horrendous.” So she readjusted by adding more paper, etc. I showed her the desktop gadget/appliance I wanted to use to give me sit/stand capability. She went back to research and work on the quote. Two weeks later, still no quote. She emails saying the measurements might not work for my desk, so let’s meet to discuss. Really? How about just put in for a bigger table? Is another meeting really necessary? Meanwhile, I’d been feeling really tired all week long. Partly due to seasonal allergies. Partly due to shit sleep. But I have interns come in M-Th. Since they don’t come on Friday, I considered taking off just to rest. Well, ergo lady could only meet Friday. Fine. Let’s just do it. So our appointment time rolls around. Ten minutes late, and no sign of her. I email saying, “I have us scheduled to meet now. Are you ok?” No reply. One hour later, I call her mobile. She answers like it’s an ordinary day. “Uh, were we meeting today?” Totally clueless for like 15 seconds. “Oh, oh, yes. I’m sorry. I had an emergency this morning and forgot to call you.” Um yeah. Our meeting was 1:45p, so you had all morning to work out your situation and no fucking call? And my friends know: I’m already the most gullible person in the world!! She didn’t even SOUND convincing. Honestly, I imagined her lounging around somewhere on vacation. Fucking A. I mean really, should it take TWO weeks for me to get an email just to schedule another meeting? What a slack ass. Fucking annoying. I would probably have better luck just buying what I need, figuring out myself how to jerryrig it, and then putting in for reimbursement.

    The thing is, I get that work sucks. I mean, I’m not exactly in my dream job in paradise. But do your damn job, or if not, get a different job where you will do work. For fuck’s sake, people.

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Feb
23
  • Year of the Ram/Sheep/Goat

    Jesus fucking Christ. I am exhausted. You would think I were a new mom or an ER surgeon or something, working some uber intense job saving lives while raising a family and going to school. But nope. I’m just doing social media and taking an online class. Haha. I know, I got issues. I could probably work a purely clerical job and still give myself fucking UTI.

    Whatever though. As low priority as my shit is, I am freaking tired! Last Saturday, we hosted about 12 people for a Chinese New Year celebration. J and I used to have parties and people over all the damn time, but now? Not so much. So we were kind rusty on the party prep. I swear though, between the grocery shopping and prep and recipe research and actual cooking and cleaning… it nearly killed me. I mean, on the bright side, I’m super pleased with how everything turned out: nearly everyone came and we had a great time hanging out and stuffing our pieholes with chicken/cabbage potstickers, roast duck, curry shrimp noodles, salads, sides, and dessert. We really pulled off a proper feast, and I’m pleased to report that we gauged the amount pretty darn accurately! There was very little food waste and just a container-full of leftovers.

    The thing about parties though is, you want everything to be made fresh for the guests, so that always means a mad dash to the finish line. In the future, I gotta figure out something I can make ahead of time and then just reheat, because hell, you know me: I cannot drive a car and have a conversation. One of my guests was trying to tell me about a pizza peel and some special gadget to transfer your pizza pie to/from the baking steel… No matter how many times he explained the contraption to me, I could not focus enough while cooking my potstickers to understand him. I swear he thought I was dumb and slow. Later, I had to research that shit on YouTube, and yeah, it wasn’t that hard a concept to understand. But whatever, I have my multitasking limitations man.

    Incidentally, in my haste in the kitchen, I managed to drop by food processor blade on my bare foot. I have no idea how I didn’t chop off my goddamn toes. Not even a drip of blood, which is freaking miraculous considering how prone I am to injury. Of course, I still got mine when I mis-gauged the fire power of our new range and burned my finger on the hot roasting rack. Yup, full on blister.

    The rest of the day was a blur. My friends brought their 6-week old newborn: It was his first party ever. Then my other friends brought their two little boys: a 6 y/o and a 2 y/o. Yeah, first time having my house invaded by kiddies. It’s probably good I was busy cooking in the kitchen, because had I been fully engrossed in conversation, my endless string of cuss words would have adulterated those young, innocent, polite kiddie minds. I majorly crashed after my party. And the next day, I woke up sick. Lame. Thankfully, I was back in the saddle come Monday. Back up and at it, saving lives and shit!

    What else. My online class is going well. I just wrapped week 5 of 8. Turns out, I’m actually re-purposing my homework that I just submitted on Sunday for a meeting I’m holding tomorrow. Not bad finding real world applications for my learning.

    I was excited to receive a package of new underwear today. Yup, AEO was having a massive sale, so I decided to do a sweeping upgrade. My shit is deluxe now! Don’t ask me what I’m doing with the old stuff. You know I’m not going to just dump it in the trash. Oh no. ;P

    Ok, I’m sure there are other updates to share, but my brain is fried. My friend N undergoes surgery on Wednesday to get her vertebrae re-fused. I really hope the surgery goes well, because this immobility shit is for the birds. I feel better knowing that she’s at least getting the surgery done at a legit medical facility (UNC-CH). Fingers crossed for a successful operation and speedy recovery. Man, to think that, as a kid, I was so overwhelmed with worry about school and grades and “my future.” I shake my head now, thinking back to that younger version of me. Adult life is so much more involved and complex.

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Feb
14
  • Valentine’s Day Foiled

    Some days, I really wonder if J and I are being secretly taped for a bloopers show. On Friday, the boss let staff off work an hour early. Awesome. I thought I would go home to do some solo singing on my karaoke machine, but as soon as I got on the road, I decided to do the more responsible thing and hit up Costco instead. Surprisingly, Costco was ok when I got there around 4:30p. I went through the line, and then as soon as I got done checking out, I realized I had forgotten some key items. You see, I noticed this week that my post-NuWave procrastination had carried on long enough so I was determined to make my signature roast duck in the convection oven of our new range that evening. I’d picked up the fresh duck, but I’d forgotten the roti, which is an Indian bread that I use to wrap my Beijing duck. Since I was already going back in the store, I figured I would also try the new Hawaiian poke bar (where they sell long slabs of Ahi tuna!), and I also eyed a beautiful glazed pot of bamboo: Chinese New Year is next week after all. In the end, going through the store for those three additional items really cost me, because by the time I got back to the checkout line, everyone and her mother had come to Costco for that after-work run. Ugh, the cost of doing business.

    Nonetheless, I got home and did a whole spread: salad, the poke, and my duck. After the longest 85 minutes ever, the duck turned out just so-so. No crispy skin and I dunno, just not as good as with the NuWave. Maybe I didn’t get the temps high enough? I dunno, but I was disappointed. Not only that, now I have to do another test run to get it right in time for Chinese New Year! Overall, the dinner still came out nicely. We also enjoyed a bottle of red wine. Afterwards, J did some work while I sang on my Singtrix.

    As much as I want to master Lana Del Rey, I just can’t get the damn pacing right. Fucking rhythm, bane of my existence. J says Torn (Sixpence None the Richer) and The Way I am (Ingrid Michaelson) are better fits for my range. But those songs are so much less edgy and less badass. Sigh. I’m such a wannabe.

    Around 10p, J’s sister and beau dropped of their dog. We’re watching him this weekend. The last time we had him over was Christmas, and I won’t go over what happened. All I’m gonna say is, he’s not allowed on the couch, and I’m not going to put up with any crying and whining. At the end of a seemingly long day, we hit the sack Friday night past midnight. I actually felt some anticipation for Valentine’s Day.

    So as life would have it, none of us (including the dogs) got out of bed on Valentine’s Day until about 1p. In the middle of the night, J got a major case of diarrhea. Consequently, he was dehydrated, got a migraine, and suffered through sweats and chills. I awoke briefly when my alarm went off at 8a, but dang, my throat was sore as hell. Yeah, pretty much we decided then and there that V Day was cancelled.

    The rest of the day was pretty much shot. I walked the dogs at the park in the afternoon, but other than that, I stayed home all day. I did homework reading and laundry and then we watched tv. The most disturbing thing from all of this? What the fuck gave him the shits? We ate all the same stuff, and I was fine. He says he just had some beef jerky earlier that day at work. So basically, it sounds like I slaved over making a nice dinner and then Bubs got the runs. FML.

    The weird thing is, I had no issues. Then again, I don’t know how food poisoning works exactly. I mean, maybe he ate a bad piece of the poke tuna or a piece of duck was undercooked? I honestly don’t know. I had even used a frickin’ temperature probe!!

    Whatever. Figures. While everyone else is getting their love celebration on, we’re holed up at home with issues. I swear this kind of shit only happens to us. On the bright side, it is a long holiday weekend, so I suppose Sunday can be a do over. I just have to make sure I get my homework done. Yes, I am in Week 4 now, and I am still meeting deadlines doing my homework. I can’t be helped. It just is what it is. Factor that shit in, man.

    What else happened this week. Oh, my work friends and I hit up a play in downtown SJ. There were like 20 people in the audience, so that was a little awkward (though more for the actors than for me), but the play was good!! The story was about two programmer friends who both loved the same woman (she was married to one of them). Anyway, it hit on several interesting themes: the intersection of genius and madness as well as friendship, infidelity, love, neglect, attention… I was reminded about how loneliness can creep in even when you are in the physical presence of people. Human emotions and needs can be so complicated.

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Feb
11
  • Brian and Bursted Bubbles

    Ugh. I am so damn fed up with people. Largely, my frustration stems from the news and all that depressing bullshit about violence, death, rage, and hate. The world is just so fucked up. What the hell is wrong with people?? I know, I should probably cut back on my news intake, but my relationship with the news is kinda weird. I’m not exactly sure what compels me to read it every day– some strange obligation or responsibility or… I mean, typically I don’t really give a fuck about being out of touch with things (hello, pop culture), but I suppose the news for me is some bizarre reminder to keep my gullibility in check: Don’t be too trusting or oblivious. Have some frickin’ street smarts, naive sheltered child.

    Speaking of news and trust, WTF Brain Williams? I’ve been crushing on that dude for a long time. Seriously, before him, I had a thing for Peter Jennings. I know, that shit is super old school, but heck man, I grew up watching World News Tonight with my dad. I can’t pinpoint the exact source of attraction. Who knows what little girls pick up on: authority, a nice voice, a trustworthy demeanor, a fancy suit, legit journalistic skillz?? Who cares. Peter Jennings was my man. Sure, I was devastated when I discovered he was a chain smoker (How could you, my beloved?). Fuck man, life’s been bursting my bubbles ever since. But back to Brian. On one hand, as someone who certainly has moments of confusion and muddiness, I want to give him the benefit of the doubt. Did he perhaps hear so many traumatic stories that somehow he internalized them to become his own experiences? I am reminded of that time J and I were in couples counseling. We were both recounting some incident that happened, and we both told completely different stories. Like, the FACTS were totally different. I was so shocked at the time. Like what. the. fuck. What you are saying is NOT TRUE! I was there, and I did NOT do that. Back and forth we went. In the end, the therapist said something to the effect of, there can be two truths to the same scenario or situation. I was like, no sister, that’s not the definition of truth. There is the truth, and then there is a lie. Either shit happened or it didn’t; we’re not talking about some gray area of interpretation. There is only ONE right answer!!! The point, in our case, was that ultimately, none of it matters. What a person thinks and believes happened, pretty much makes it real. So then where does intention come into play? Did Brian intend to lie, or did something in his mind convince him that these things happened? If the latter, then isn’t that mental illness? I don’t know. I don’t know which side I’m really arguing. I mean, on one hand, having seen/learned about all the bullshit the world serves up on a daily basis, should any of us really be all that surprised? Probably not. People disappoint all the damn time. Still, in his defense, as someone who sometimes (not often!) gets her details mixed up (e.g., there are numerous places I don’t remember but where J insists I have been…), is it feasible that this was a lapse in recall rather than a deliberate tall tale?

    Moving on… Last week, I met up with some of my former coworkers. More stories and woes of shit flowing downstream. That damn agency. I thought things had neared rock bottom two years ago. Nope, the spiral just keeps going downward. My one friend is chronically stressed, and STILL she does not even LOOK to see what’s out there. I met with three coworkers individually, and all complained to the high heavens. Oddly enough, I’ve run out of things to say. I mean, that place is broken. No amount of tweaks/changes will restore it to its former glory. So I just listen. I have no idea if it helps them at all. Inside though, I’m frustrated as hell by their inaction. People and their resistance to change. Curiously, my one friend, whom I see more regularly than the others, is starting to share fewer details. I dunno if she’s sick of hearing herself talk about it, or if she can see my frustration. Either way, the leaner lowdown helps me control the anger inside that still boils when I hear all the drama.

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Feb
7
  • Beginner Shred

    Wow, a week later and I am still doing the Beginner Shred. Sure, Jillian Michaels’ plan calls for ten days straight on workout 1. I’ve stuck to the workout, but on a “modified” schedule, which is fine with me. I’m not aiming for buns of steel or anything. Of course, last night I did the workout, and this morning I awoke fucking paralyzed. WTF. Ok, not paralyzed but definitely “temporarily disabled.” Somehow, I managed to pull a muscle between my shoulder blade and spine. I didn’t really feel anything yesterday, although I suspect it’s that damn Superman exercise where you get on your belly and lift the front and back ends off the floor. I hate that shit. So uncomfortable, and now my head-neck mobility is totally fucked. Oh well, another day of rest for me!

    Last week was pretty much a blur. Can I just say, I am so damn sick of home repair! On Superbowl weekend, I had a handyman over to fix a leaking toilet (among other tasks). Overall, he did a great job. The new latch on our gate works like a charm, and the guest bath can finally run the shower without all the water spewing out the tub faucet. And for the leaky toilet, he replaced the flap and made all the adjustments. All seemed good but then a few days later, I heard the toilet refilling with water again. So while the toilet doesn’t leak like it used to, it’s still leaking very slowly. Sometimes I wish J could just fix the damn thing, but he lifted the lid and poked around. No solution. I know, being all feminist and shit, I should just take care of it myself but goddamnit, I really don’t need one more thing added to my list of to dos. So I’m pretty fucking cranky about the leaky toilet. It really is a conservationist’s nightmare, and if this continues, that valve is just getting shut off. No more bullshit, man. Meanwhile, on Wednesday, we had a legit plumber onsite to rework the gas valve for our new double-oven range in the kitchen. Of course, as our timing would have it, we didn’t realize the toilet was leaking until after he had gone. And for his task, he said he was going to recess the electrical outlet in addition to modifying the valve. Well, he recessed the outlet like 1/2 an inch, so the range STILL protrudes an inch out of line with the cabinets. WTF? Another trip is required, because he says he needs a different receptacle box or whatever. I text him to ask if he can come next week. No reply. Fucking A.

    In other news, Marty is getting me up in the middle of the night again. Last week, he started panting crazy at like 2a. I could not calm him down. I don’t even remember how he finally settled in the end. Maybe he wore himself down and knocked out. The day prior, my bud K gave me some calming droplets to add to his food or water. I tried it that evening, and he calmed down pretty soon after. But man, on Thursday, nothing worked. Every time I feel sleep deprived, I think about my new mom friends and I try to conjure strength and patience. But shit, I get so dang cranky and irritable. Whatever though, at least I don’t take it out on poor Marty. (I just take it out on others!)

    So a storm moved in late Thursday. Wind gusts and lots of rain. I had J put in a rain chain (we wanted to try using that instead of the decrepit downspout). When he got up on the ladder, he discovered a bunch of ponded water on the front left of the house. Ponding over the eaves portion (not main portion) of the roof. Uh duh. That’s why we have all those dryrotted beams. What a fucking pain. It’s really stressing me out. I had the handyman take a look last month, and he turned down that work saying it was beyond his skillset. Then, a construction crew who worked on my neighbor’s beams said they were interested. I asked for a quote and the journeyman said he wanted to meet the following weekend. Well, he never got back to me. Flakes!!! Now I have emailed my other neighbor’s contractor, and hopefully that guy can come out and take a look. At this point, I just want shit fixed. I don’t even care about price (desperate times, desperate measures)… No more goddamn dilly dallying. For realz. On Monday, I’m also going to call the Day Worker Center. Last year I saw some flier from the Center, saying they have skilled and trained workers available for all kinds of home repair, gardening, cooking, cleaning, painting, etc. Time for action.

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