Monthly Archives: March 2015

  • First Free Weekend

    This is my first free weekend in a very long time: no online class, no traveling, no family drama. Bubbey is back in Maryland handling errands for his parents, and I am just living on my own schedule. I stayed up super late on Friday night putzing around, and then this morning I woke up late. I went into Unabomber mode, and did some reorganizing/cleaning followed by a tiny bit of work. In the afternoon, I took Marty for multiple walks at the park, which was chock full of kids and parents playing baseball and soccer and such. Goddamn, do parents these days really go to EVERY SINGLE ballgame? Whatever happened to just dropping the kids off?

    When I got hungry, I decided to kill two birds with one stone by hitting up the Costco for some ingredients for the week, plus chicken salad for lunch. I then watched a relationship movie called “The Last Kiss.” Certain relationship films, I like to watch over and over. I’ve seen this one maybe two or three times, but each time I definitely pick up new observations. In another life, I probably should have earned a psychology degree. I’m just fascinated with the complexities of relationships and connections. I’m not a fan of Zach Braff, but the movie hit on a lot of interesting themes: attraction, emotional/physical needs, attention, stress, midlife crises, self sabotage… There’s a part too where the daughter is super quick to judge and place blame within her parents’ marriage. Her mother responds angrily, “Don’t even try to act like you have any clue about what goes on in a 30-year long relationship.” I saw myself in that scene. So many times I have criticized my parents’ marriage and/or the way they have parented.

    In the early evening, my Google Shopping Express order arrived. This time I tried out the booze delivery. Yup, I recently discovered that GSE delivers for BevMo, so I got two bottles of Unruly Red. After I poured myself a glass and made my Costco chicken salad sandwich, I sat back and just enjoyed my quiet me time. After the evening news, I indulged in some solo karaoke. Yup, I am back to training up on that shit. Overall, what an awesome day! The only missing activity was rollerblading. I’ll have to get to that later. Meanwhile, I have a new appreciation for a free, unplanned day. It was pretty fricking relaxing and luxurious!

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  • Belly Full of Bile

    Ever since my blowup with mom on Saturday, I’ve been carrying around a belly full of bile. I was just feeling so damn angry. Angry with my mother’s co-dependency. Angry with her helplessness. Angry with her inaction. Angry with how my parents’ parenting has enabled Johnny to be flakey and unreliable. The night I flew into SFO at 2a, my dad left a voicemail and email, stressing out that he had booked my brother’s second flight and misspelled the name on the itinerary. Could I fix it? Jesus Christ. I was just in the air for five hours. Get Johnny to call in about HIS own fucking flight!!

    Thankfully, when I called my father back, he said he did get Johnny to call, and it was all handled. The next day, my boss told me to work from home to prep the social media debrief/stats from the campaign last week. I worked on it, but all day, I was still feeling so much rage towards my mother. By evening, John could tell I was shutting down. We talked about what was bothering me. I was just so frustrated and mad about her lack of self-sufficiency. I went off on an entire tirade about her foibles. And then John observed that I was applying my own personality traits and strengths onto my mother. He emphasized that just bc these things are within my capacity doesn’t mean they are within hers. Do you think she does this out of malice? Would you be angry with someone who is handicapped? I argued that this isn’t a handicap. She used to be a very smart and accomplished woman. Now she has no survival skills. But she is surviving, he said. Just not the way you think she should.

    And then I felt awful. I always say that rhythm is the bane of my existence, but actually I have two banes. Rhythm is definitely one of them. Expectations is the other. Growing up, I constantly struggled with the expectations of my parents, of my extended family (Chinese culture), and of myself. Throughout my life, I have frequently felt not good enough. And in areas where I actually did feel confident, my mother always judged my choices. The irony is that today I realized I have been judging my mother for her choices. And I call myself a feminist. I felt such a strong repulsion, bc I would never select her choices for myself, and I was totally imposing all my values of self-reliance and getting shit done onto her. This was an interesting epiphany, and all last night, I thought about how I’d been so harsh and unforgiving and yes, impatient as she had claimed.

    This morning after I settled back in at work, my boss came by to see how I was doing. I said I was doing fine, but that I had had a meltdown with my mother during my trip. And then the tears just started coming. Fucking A. My poor boss. Goddamn, she has had me break down on her now like three times in the last ten days. Who knows what I rambled: mother daughter issues and a lot to do. Blah, blah.

    Later this morning, my father called. Grandpa is doing really well. Last night, he ripped out the NG tube, but other than that, in the morning he was able to prop himself up. He also was able to get up with help and use the toilet. I spoke with him on the phone even, and he is responding. I felt so much relief. Then I told my dad that I was glad he delegated the ticket change to my brother. My brother may not execute tasks with the same urgency and approach we do, but it’s still better to delegate where ever possible. Dad can’t do it all. Not now, at 70 years old. I then spoke with my mother and apologized for losing my shit with her. She said she had already forgotten the incident, and that she knows I always do things with good intention. For now, I am letting go of the anger, and I’m trying to practice acceptance… at least until the next blowup!! Haha.

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  • Mother Meltdown

    I had another tough time falling asleep last night. We were at the hospital late, and then dad kept obsessing about getting all his MileagePlus points and money back for my brother’s missed flight. I asked Johnny to call and take care of it, but surprise, surprise, he said and did nothing. No, I don’t expect an immediate turnaround from the other side of the world, but I do expect some reply with an ETA. Whatever, he’s a fucking flake. So after a full day, I still had to get on the damn phone with customer service to process the return. Done.

    Then I was up late chatting with my bud N about all the shit that had gone wrong on this trip. Seriously, aside from my grandfather being in stable condition (for which we are very grateful), this trip was just chock full of shit going wrong: there was the toupee/tarmac debacle on the flight out, followed by getting one of the shittiest POS rental cars ever (Avis, Never again!!), followed by a day of heavy snow, followed by my busticated zipper for my boots, followed by my hair getting stuck inside the hairdryer, followed by room accommodations at the “refugee camp” aka my grandmother’s pigsty/hoarder’s house, followed by a major meltdown with my mother, followed by losing my phone charger and all my devices running out of juice, followed by dropping my grandmother and mother at the hospital entrance (while I parked the car) only to LOSE them, followed by news today that Martin had a seizure. Yes, when it rains it pours, but fuck man, this is a goddamn monsoon!!

    So my mother pissed me off big time today. I was researching acute rehab facilities (where my grandpa will go after he gets out of the hospital), and I started telling her that 1) grandpa should never drive again 2) he and grandma need to move out of their cluttered, dingy house. Mom just kept telling me not to worry about it. That they are fine living there. If they aren’t ok, what are regular folks without resources supposed to do? Uh, those regular folks are literate in English. Or she said that they could just live with her and dad. Um, first off, my mother is so weak, she can’t even lift a bag of groceries. Puhlease. So I tell her the grandparents need a place where people are around to help them with the day to day. She basically said I was overreacting, and that I should work on my patience and stop being so cranky. Oh no, you didn’t!!! Are you fucking kidding me? Wow. If it weren’t for me and my impatience, you’d still be stuck in Taiwan. You would not even have a clue about anything that is medically going on with grandpa. Maybe if you could pay attention long enough to focus and listen, you could take on more responsibilities, and Dad and I wouldn’t have to run all over the damn place, doing all this shit that YOU clearly cannot handle. OMFG, I was LIVID. Walked out of that hospital room in a near-blind rage. Interestingly, WTF has her little emperor accomplished all this time in all these years??? Not a damn thing. Doesn’t know how to book flights. Doesn’t even know how to pay bills on time. Doesn’t have to do a single thing while all these details get dumped on me to work out.

    The thing about my mother. She has always been a rather confused person. Whether you explain in her native tongue or in English, shit has to get repeated over and over again. For one thing, she doesn’t listen. She just concentrates on what SHE wants to say next. You totally know people like that. Second, she is fucking co-dependent as hell, and that has certainly made her even slower. I dunno. Maybe I am getting bent out of shape over nothing. Maybe there is something medically wrong with her brain.

    These last several days, I have been clocking in very long hours at the hospital. The good news is that the nurses check on him often, but I still want to be there to translate. Anyhow, after a full day at the hospital on Friday, especially with Gramps getting aggitated (sundown syndrome) and needing me to restrain him, yeah I processed the stupid flight credit; then, afterwards, I had to explain the situation to mom like six times: I got your ticket and dad’s ticket using points from your frequent flyer account. I got Johnny’s ticket using points from dad’s account bc yours didn’t have enough. In Dad’s account, I bought additional points bc he didn’t have enough to cover the full roundtrip. United does NOT refund any monies spent to buy points, but you get all the points you purchased credited back to your account for the unused flight. In other words, the ticket was 115k points (some portion of which we had to purchase). We will get all 115k point re-credited to the account, available for use in the future. She was confused about every single aspect: her points, her account, the cash, the award points, purchased points, the number of points used, blah, blah, blah. Round and round and round. She fucking exhausts me.

    And the thing is, because of her many years of co-dependence, she can’t do ANYTHING on her own. Can’t drive. Doesn’t handle any finances or bills. Doesn’t know how to research anything online. She CAN cook and clean and handle medication orders for my grandparents. Beyond that, all bets are off. And of course, she blames Dad for her not knowing these things. That’s the thing with my family. There is always SOMEone to blame. That’s how shit gets explained.

    When I was growing up, I remember we had to shift around the family room and living room furniture a gabillion times, bc she didn’t like this or that. Did she ever lift a finger to move the furniture herself or with us? Nope. She just directed us, and if we were sick of schlepping the furniture, she just would harass us until we gave in. So amidst all this bullshit going on with my grandfather this week, my mother is additionally obsessing over some granite dining room table, custom-made for their condo in Taiwan. They spilled food and water on it, and the surface stained. They have talked to the contractor and gone back and forth a few times. Supposedly, the contractor sealed it, but stains are still there, so what does she do? She keeps asking ME to research the answer. This started months ago. Meanwhile, my dad’s sister used to have a construction company. I mean, if the makers can’t solve the problem, what the fuck am I supposed to do? So this trip, she started asking me to research this again. And she isn’t even clear about the material. First, it was marble. Now she says it’s granite. My father suggested just putting a clear plastic topper, but mom insists that that defeats the whole purpose of having the nice table with its texture. I get it, she wants things done right but Jesus Christ. find the solution on your own!! Maybe see if there is a Home Depot-like store and ask people there. Is this really something I should be spending my time researching? Meanwhile, WTF is Johnny doing?? He knows English AND Chinese. And he LIVES in the same country where they have the table. Put him on this shit. She just annoys the hell out of me with these lame, low priority issues. Honestly, if she weren’t my mother, I really would not be dealing with her.

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  • Doing the Right Thing

    There’s a term in Chinese that people use all the damn time. It translates into “supposed to,” and it is often used in response to receiving thanks for something. The other day I was kinda remarking about how Chinese my grandparents’ friend Mrs. Li is. She’s super talkative and loves to give (unsolicited) advice on what you ought to do. Like her whole thing about NOT rushing to Maryland. Thankfully, I took John’s advice instead of hers: by the time she called me Thursday morning, I was already in DC. Anyway, today she and her husband came by the hospital. Her hubby is the chair of a Chinese veterans’s association. Dude seemed like a pretty fun guy. He called my gramps “Big Brother,” and he was wearing a leather bomber jacket that said “Sean John” on the back. That’s right: a 78-year old P Diddy bad ass. He had such an uplifting spirit too. He told my grandpa that all the majhong buddies were waiting for him to get better and return to the tables. It was an unusual show of optimism and enthusiasm for a Chinese dude. Usually, they’re a bunch of buzzkilling Debbie Downer pessimists. :P

    My parents were profusely thankful, bc the Lis basically saved gramp’s life by getting him to the hospital quickly and by signing off on the brain surgery (since they couldn’t get ahold of my parents). The Lis just kept saying, ing gai de, meaning no thanks needed, that’s what we’re supposed to do. I guess in English, this saying is equivalent to, “It was the right thing to do.”

    I was thinking later today about how for some people, they have such clarity on how to act and how to behave. I wouldn’t clump this in with manners… it seems so much more important than superficial pleasantries. Rather, it is a willingness and confidence to do what has to be done without hesitation or fear. My parents have never relied on friends in any capacity under circumstances like this. They’ve just always had an expectation that they or family would handle such cases. I think the Lis really demonstrated to them that good friends in many ways are the family we choose for ourselves. I hope that they view friendships differently after this. Not that they need any lessons, but I think they have never really understood how much I rely on my friends for support. Maybe this helps them see things in a different light.


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  • One of those Days

    Today was our big one-day fundraising campaign at work. Basically, we were tasked with getting 4,000 donations within 24 hours in order to receive a half mil donation from an alumni couple. Leading up to this event, I was starting to get a little stressed. The goal not only seemed rather arbitrary, but it was also kinda ambitious. I couldn’t sleep the night before. In fact, I had an anxiety nightmare where in my dream, I woke up three hours late, and the boss was calling/texting asking where the fuck I was. Of course, in real life, I got up really early and was the first one into the office. I did the pre-launch tweaks and then we were off to races at 8a sharp. From then on, I pretty much live-tweeted all damn day. Along the way, my tightass coworker came by and made a comment about me being cranky lately (Hardly!! I was livid that ONE day last week and that didn’t even involve a face-to-face confrontation!), but she said on the plus side, I was doing a great job, and hopefully, my mood would be better after the campaign was over. Nice. Is she my mother, bc I am all too familiar with that backhanded compliment bullshit. That said, in moments like these, I try to embrace the radical honesty approach. Maybe I just need to be more cognizant of how I react. Regardless, the morning kicked off pretty well. There were a lot of interruptions, including an oddly-timed project meeting (uh, why wouldn’t you meet to discuss logistics and details BEFORE the event?), but thankfully, my last workplace trained me well for frequent disruptions and random meetings. Then, a couple of times, my boss invited the head honcho to my office to show him 1) a video made by my new coworker and our intern and 2) my social media control center. I was like, why does he need to see my twitter/social media admin pages? Just tell him what I do. But she felt it was important for him to see it. I dunno. So fine. I was feeling ok, because the donation numbers were climbing rather steadily (about half way to the goal before 1p). On the other hand, the head honcho expressed that he was “concerned.” Dude, we’re only 5 hours into the challenge. He then admitted to being a worry wort. Great, just what I need. An hour later, the executive director of the student call center came by and asked what else I had planned for social. He said things were starting to level off. Uh, it’s called the post-lunch food coma. Do you really think people are productive and on it in full force straight through the day? Uh hello, who do you think they are, ME?? Haha. Kidding aside, these two were starting to stress me out. About another hour later, the office manager forwards me an email from a young alum complaining about the quality of the institution’s social media channels. I’m paraphrasing here but her basic gist is: The content doesn’t reflect all the world-changing work the community is doing. There are all these irrelevant memes that water down how the school will be taken seriously. The photos are shit. I talked with my colleagues, and we looked at competitor schools’ social channels together, and they all agree with me. Generally, I consider myself a logical thinker. I like to examine both sides and thoroughly think about multiple facets. And I’m sure that on any other day, I would have been irritated by the criticism but not upset. But this afternoon just started turning to sludge really fast. On top of me doing the constant live-tweeting crap, people kept harassing me about making my personal donation to the effort. Yeah, basically, all faculty and staff were expected to give something. It’s fine, it’s not as if I don’t have $10 to give, but I just really don’t appreciate the bullying/peer pressure tactic. Still, I know I have to pick and choose my battles, so I agreed to donate. Well, I dunno if people didn’t have confidence in my follow-through or what. They kept bringing it up. Blah blah. I was the ONLY one in the entire staff of 100+ people who hadn’t given yet. Meanwhile, the challenge runs through 8a the next day. We have time. I know people weren’t intending to be naggy, but I really don’t like being told repeatedly what to do. It’s like living with my Chinese parents all over again. I’m very automatic in that once you tell me what has to be done, I figure out the how and why by the designated deadline. So yeah, all of that bullshit combined with this feedback email just caused a mini meltdown. Not a huge and dramatic one, but definitely one where talking about it to my bud K resulted in a quivering voice and tears. The great thing about K is that she groks things super quickly. She understood that multiple factors in this moment– me already being doubtful of social media and modern day communications in general, my annoyance with incompetent people across campus, my personal quasi-self destructive OCD/workaholic tendencies, my recent existential crisis– culminated into this (im)perfect storm. She reminded me that this person’s was one comment out of thousands of people who follow the page. I knew the sense in that argument, but I just couldn’t control my response today. And in turn, I was pretty pissed about having such a thin skin. Suck it up, wussy pants! By 4p, we had hit 3,000 donors. I heard the development folks cracking open the booze. On my drive home, we actually met the 4,000 mark. Just as I sat down to eat dinner, my boss texted asking what I was going to post for reaching the goal. Uh, the challenge keeps running until tomorrow morning. I can tweet about reaching the goal and then post final numbers and thanks after the campaign ends. She really wanted us to post tonight. Ok. That makes sense too. Interestingly, a few weeks back, I had specifically asked Development for some guidance should the goal be met early. Would there be a second goal? Any language? I was told the goal most definitely wouldn’t be reached until overnight. Ok, thanks for that misguidance. Fine. Did some minor tweaks and then posted. Done. As soon as I got that finished, I came across one of my dad’s emails (which I get tasked with monitoring while he is overseas– not that he doesn’t have wifi over there!) and learned that my grandfather in Maryland fell, had brain surgery, and was in a coma. WTF. So I called my dad in Taiwan, and he had found out himself via email. Jesus Christ. He doesn’t check email daily, so like we are dealing with the goddamn pony express in 2015. I dunno whether people don’t know how to make international calls, or dad is being cheap or what, but some news requires the phone!!! So when I talked with him, he was trying to get a flight back home. No flights. Had my cousin trying to help with that. And no conversations with the doctor or nurse. I mean, I understand the scramble, but before you hurry to get flights, should’t you assess the situation? I call my grandmother, and their friend Mrs. Li (who drove my grandfather to the hospital) answers the phone. She’s speaking to me in Chinese, so some of the medical stuff I don’t know the translation, but she suggests that the situation is serious. At the same time, she suggests that I NOT hurry home, reasoning that he is in a coma, and I can’t do anything for him. I then call the nurse. Kind of a different story. He fell and hit his head. They did surgery to drill a hole in his head to remove the hematoma and drain/relieve pressure. Surgery went fine. He is intubated to help with breathing, but he can breathe on his own. When they tried to remove the tube, he had a seizure which sometimes happens after head injury. He is in a medically induced coma but is stable. Aside from the head injury, all other vital functions check out fine. I call my dad with the information. Why didn’t he call the nurse directly? He’s a retired doctor, so this would have all made sense. Sure, the nurse was reluctant to talk, saying she could only reveal information to family on site. I explained that I was his closest family right now with my parents being overseas. It took some explanation, but then she talked. Regardless, my parents wanted to come home. My cousin was supposedly not finding any flights back to the US. Meanwhile, I logged into dad’s United miles account and got three award tickets for that evening. Done. Then, I got my own ticket for an hour later from when I booked. Done. Threw shit into a suitcase and Bubbey drove like Speed Racer to get me to SFO. I was the last one to board the plan, and I was sweating like a pig, with my fucking suffocating toupee on. I was going to wait til take off to remove. Well, a mechanical problem delayed us an hour with all the cabinet lights on. Then when we finally went to take off, the plane sped up, then slowed, sped up, then slowed. Back to the gate for a different maintenance. We finally got in the air at 1a. Fucking A. This was one helluva never-ending day.

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  • Shit that REALLY Matters

    I feel like I have a strong sense of what is important in life: love, family, friendship… And yet I often cannot help but obsess over work and work-related bullshit. I’m embroiled in this constant internal struggle where I value so many non-work things, and yet because of habit or self-identity or pride, I define myself through work more than through any other thing. My idealistic self is always fighting my pragmatic self. For example, I treasure connections and relationships and authenticity, but when I think about what I have to offer people and the world, I never give weight or value to the time and energy I spend cultivating, protecting, and supporting these things. For whatever reason, those qualities– albeit things I consider strengths and certainly priorities in my life– never feel like legitimate “marketable” or “technical” skills that equate to accomplishment or achievement. I still worry/wonder whether my professional career will ever amount to any kind of true “success” I had once hoped for myself.

    This week, I’ve been reflecting heavily on life, death, priorities, and where people choose to spend their precious time. A coworker resigned this week to go back home to care for her dying mother. A friend’s sister was just diagnosed with advanced cancer. The famed Stanford neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi, who wrote about his own personal battle with cancer, passed away this week at 37.

    In my younger years, I often struggled with the unfairness of life. Why, as a teenager, did I drive a BMW while an elderly woman near my school walked so far in the rain, lugging her heavy groceries home? As I’ve gotten older, I’ve stopped focusing on fairness. Life doesn’t give a damn about that shit. There are no conditions, no guarantees. Just because you do A, doesn’t mean B will happen. Uncertainty knows no bounds, and fate is really just a crap shoot and roll of the dice.

    Knowing all these things, how should we be living? How should we be spending our time? Are we that strongly influenced by societal/cultural expectations and pressures that we must have a house and must work a job? I don’t have any answers. I just know that too many people are unhappy and miserable. And if, in our good years, we can’t seem to figure this shit out, what will happen when fate changes course?

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  • Work Woes

    So my presentation on Monday morning went fine. Sometimes, the lack of protocol/systems at this place really surprises me though. I mean, the meeting was for University Relations, which encompasses marketing and communications, alumni relations, and development– overall, like 100 staffers. I was told to provide my slides to the project manager last Friday before noon, so they could be assembled and loaded on the presentation laptop. I had asked around earlier for a presentation template (with the logo and colors and shit), and no one knew what the hell I was talking about. Whatever, I sent the file and assumed the few people presenting would just have all their slides combined with a common look/feel. On Monday morning, it all became clear. They just used whatever general design I had selected from PowerPoint! And the person before me just had a series of screenshots. WTF?? Not cohesive at all. No university design layout for the slides! Pretty lame considering that the division handles marcom for the institution!! Whatever. I did my spiel and afterwards, people were nice. I was happy that I didn’t get as nervous as I used to before public speaking, so that was an added convenience. :) 

    The rest of the week was full of annoyances. Somehow I got to coordinating the schedule for a traveling backdrop around campus. I had to be all nice and enthusiastic about asking people for their participation. I was probably too obsequious considering this is an institution-wide campaign: it’s not as if they are doing ME any real favors. But shit, I wanted to start off with a collaborative spirit. I tried to see the positive side of it all: reaching out to other departments and meeting new people. Some were awesome and super helpful. Others, not so much. I saw some interesting instances of “passing the buck,” plus weird passive aggressive behaviors. Also, I noticed that people do NOT read instructions/emails, so that caused some issues (that could have been avoided).

    Long story short, people were making me super misanthropic. Then on Thursday morning, I lost my shit. All week long, I had been connecting person A to person B, person C to person D, and so forth so they could coordinate among themselves with scheduling/transporting/setting up the fucking banner. And yet nearly every damn time, what happened??? They kept contacting ME. I was just so appalled by the lack of initiative and the resistance to getting shit done. When I arrived at the office on Thursday morning, I was so livid, my boss was like “Are you ok? I have NEVER seen you like this.” Here’s the level of incompetence I was dealing with.

    1. I tell the two people: coordinate with each other to set up the banner for Engineering. The morning of, I get a text from my intern:
      Her: I’m at the location, and no one is around.
      Me: Uh, FIND the person you are supposed to work with.
      Her: Do I go to her office?
      Me: CALL HER, or if you can’t reach her, go to the Engineering office and ask for her.
      OMFG, are you serious???????
    2. Later, I get a call. Mind you, there are TWO people now working to get the banner up and ready.
      Her: Uh, we don’t know how to set up the banner.
      Me: The instructions are in the bag.
      Her: There’s nothing else in the bag: just signs and markers.
      Me: They are in the plastic ziploc with the screwdriver.
      Her: Oh yeah. Ok, we have them.
    3. By now, I have lost all confidence, so I start heading over to the site. When I arrive, they are mostly done except the one passive aggressive lady is struggling trying to get two poles snapped together. She’s like handling them as if she had just done her nails or something. And she’s fidgeting with the whole thing while the backdrop is upright. I tell her to step aside, and I lay the backdrop flat on the ground. I twist the two poles gently, and they snap into place. Meanwhile, she keeps saying to me that she works in PR and is the least mechanical person in the School of Engineering. This has nothing to do with engineering skills, lady. More importantly, how the hell are you even surviving in the real world?? Wow.
    4. I then notice the footing of the stand is loose. I mention this to my intern, and she says she doesn’t know how to tighten. Um, you look on the bottom where it’s loose, see the head of the screw, and tighten with a screwdriver. Holy fucking mother of God!
    5. The final straw?? I had laminated a bunch of signs, so people could write with dry-erase markers and hold the signs in the photoshoot. I guess people misplaced the eraser I had packed in the bag. Then, someone ran up to me and said, “There’s no wipe cloth for the signs: what do we do??” AAARRRRGGGGHHHH!!!! Are you for fucking real? First off, we are next to the engineering building. Go get paper towels from the bathroom, or here, let me show you this complicated trick: I use the inside of my shirt and wipe the sign.

    I cannot even express just how freaking blown my mind was that morning. 1) How are these people college students or worse, adult employees? 2) How are they living in this world? Shaking my head. For realz.

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  • Screwy Sleep Schedule

    So I am back on a program, attempting to get my sleep back on track. The elements for this program include: melatonin, Sleepytime tea, and lavender on the soles of my feet. When I finally do doze off, the quality of rest does seem a step up from before, but I’m still only clocking about 5-6 hrs/night. In other words, I still feel tired all the damn time.

    Certainly, my allergies are to blame big time. They’ve been driving me crazy the last several weeks/months. Usually, I’m totally set just doing the nasal saline rinse twice a day. Now, I’ve added oral meds to that, and I’m still super congested. I started running the HEPA filter, and I may have to reintroduce prescription nasal spray. Seriously, what a fucking pain.

    Last night, I awoke at like 3:30a and could not fall back asleep. When that happens, I clock in more screen time. Suddenly, by 4:30a, I was super chatty, so I started talking to Bubs (who was still sleeping), telling him about all the latest news and shit I was reading. We then talked about trying a new breakfast place later that morning, like when they opened at 5:30a. As Bubbey started waking up, I got really tired. Yup, story of our lives: we are always on different schedules. Shrug.

    I ended up sleeping til 9:30. Then we checked out the breakky spot around 10. Just so-so. At 11, we met with a contractor to review his proposal for renovating our garage. Uh, total sticker shock. I am way too cheap for a contractor. I understand the value of having someone else manage the project and wipe the subcontractor’s asses and such, but fuck. Not for $20k!! Shit. That’s for a bare bones, insulated garage with just electrical and sheet rock drywall!

    The good thing about the meeting though is that it finally triggered some action. For the first time in FIVE years, we actually spent a couple hours this afternoon cleaning out the garage. Goddamn, I am a recyclables hoarder, for realz. Tons of product boxes. I finally collapsed everything and separated out the plastic film from the styrofoam from the cardboard from the trash. Turns out, only one place recycles styrofoam, and that shit costs $5/trash bag! My entire car was loaded to the brim with styrofoam. Thankfully, that shit is FINALLY gone. I also posted a ton of crap on the neighborhood list. We’ll see if I get any takers for crab pots and a fireplace tool set and random crap. To be honest, my expectations are way low. I mean, my stuff isn’t exactly in mint condition, and pretty much most people we meet are way neater than J and I, so our crap will likely be too dusty/dirty/old for them. We’ll see though. Worth a try.

    Btw, I found my point and shoot camera. Thank goodness. I swear I lose that fucking thing every other month. Need to put a tracking device inside. I really miss taking pretty pictures (kinda requires pretty places), and even though the iPhone cam is impressive, my Lumix cam still does a better job. Just need to find interesting things to photograph.

    What else. I booked my airfare and hotel for my social media conference in Miami at the end of April. I’m going to try to hook up with my Mommy Mafia and BlogHer buddies (and maybe my bud N from NC) while I’m there. I also booked tickets for the Women in Publishing conference later this month in Berkeley.

    After my work’s one-day campaign is over in mid-March, I feel like I deserve to be inspired again. Hopefully, work will cover the ticket for this conference. If not, whatevs. I’m going regardless.

    Tomorrow is going to be another exciting day in the life of the Vgo. I’m going to be occupied again with homework. Fortunately, this week’s topic is social media advertising, so I’m happy to learn more about it, especially in time for the big campaign. Btw, I was asked to speak at a division meeting on Monday morning about the social media plan for the campaign. I pretty much received zero notice: just a light/casual mention on Wednesday night and then actual rough details on Friday morning. For a Monday morning meeting, mind you. Nice. I’m a little nervous bc it’s a big group, but I’m not too stressed. This ain’t my first rodeo, right? In addition to the social media shit though, I’m coordinating a bunch of other logistics, trying to build buzz and get other departments and influencers involved. Kind of a pain. Super tedious. I’ll be glad when this damn thing is over.

    Btw, I keep remembering about special holidays at the last minute. It’s a real pain for social media, bc usually I have content lined up already and then the night before, I’ll realize: Shit, tomorrow is Holi (Indian festival of colors) or like I realized on Friday night that Sunday is International Women’s Day. I know, usually I am on top of that holiday, but fuck man, I am barely staying afloat these days. Finally crafted a post for tomorrow. I’m sad to say, crafting it took forever bc honestly, my once creative brain is like totally dead these days. Writer’s block, burnout, whatever you want to call it. Fucking no good ideas coming outta this head anymore.

    Ok, well we’re losing an hour of sleep tonight, so I should get to bed early. Yes I skipped a post on Friday night. I’m wanting to keep up with NaBloPoMo, but no promises. Every day is a gamble. :)

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  • Inquisitive Minds

    The new lady who started on our team this week used to work in news and broadcasting. She’s super extroverted and very inquisitive. She is also married to a native Chinese. Obviously, they live here now, but we got the Chinese culture and immigrant parents thing going on. Anyway, she’s really blunt, which is simultaneously refreshing and surprising. You know how most people are– all cautious and shit. Ha.

    Today, she made a remark about me being introverted. With Myers-Briggs, I am ESTJ but every now and then (like 1/13 times when I take the test), I flop to ISTJ. Regardless of the test though, I feel pretty solidly in the middle. Some days, I love people and relationships; other days, they really irk the shit out of me, and I need to retreat into my little happy place (wherever that is!). Funny thing though, when I told John what my coworker said, he responded, “She hasn’t met Bubbey yet.” Truth, man. Unabomber in da house! Although to be fair, J easily has people fooled. They actually think he likes them. Haha, just kidding.

    But back to me. The other comment she made today? I really like your makeup. Say what? And she said she used to DO makeup for Estee Lauder, so dang, that comment is legit, right? Patting myself on the back. I mean, nevermind that my bathroom has dust about a centimeter thick from that damn mineral powder foundation, and I’m sure I’m not doing my allergies any favors. Whatever though. The cost of doing business. I’m hoping between her and K, I’m going to super duper up my makeup and style game. I gotta get in the know.

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  • Difficult Phone Conversations

    Last week, I left three messages for the shed people. No call back. Now almost three weeks after a repair dude was on site fixing the door that the initial crew installed all crooked, I was pissed. So yesterday evening, I called and left a nastygram voice message. Now, mind you, all this shit is the toned down version, bc today I am a much tamer and calmer person than I used to be. Still, I was clearly annoyed about having left multiple messages without any reply. Finally, early this morning, I got the call back. No apologies, just more questions on what was wrong. Ugh, your warranty guy said he was going to report back to you. WTF? Apparently, nothing was written in the notes. More fucking half ass bullshit. The good news though? A repair dude was dispatched today, and the shit was finally done. Jesus F-ing Christ. Sometimes, I’m just so appalled by how much ass wiping is needed. Whatever. Checked and off the list.

    After I got to work this morning, I had a vendor call. I don’t know what exactly was going on, but I felt like I kept getting asked the same questions about big picture university social media strategy. When that call finally ended, I was so irritated. Like, if I were a smoker– even a social smoker– I would have been jonesing for the cig. Thinking about it later, wtf. I mean, I’m spending my time giving the vendor all this info helping him shape his higher level sale; meanwhile, what am I getting out of this? I mean, we have a contract, and no where is there any discussion about how the current contract is providing me with any value. Maybe I just needed time to think about the conversation and later articulate what I was concluding. So I shot back an email asking them to demonstrate and justify the value of their product. We’ll see if the vendor steps up.

    If you can’t already tell, I’ve been feeling stressed again lately. There’s a big campaign coming up soon, and I guess I’m just unsure what to expect. And then honestly, it’s not just all about work. I’m also having my usual inconvient life musings and mullings… My boss has been telling me all week not to stay late and to go home. I suppose she is noticing the fatigue in my face. Me and my zone though. I can’t be stopped.

    I turned in my 13th homework assignment for class tonight. Lots of cramming. I am still learning a lot, but I’m really not fond of the format and platform the teacher uses to administer the class. I find the system super difficult to navigate and organize. Plus, I can’t tell you how many times I replied to questions or classmate feedback only to have my shit disappear, bc the goddamn thing doesn’t autosave!! Argh. I have more homework due this Sunday, and then next week is finally THE LAST WEEK. Thank fucking god. I want my evenings back. Yuki and Singtrix have been neglected for far too long. And I want to start up craft club again. Just in time for spring I hope.

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