Category Archives: Marriage

  • Work Update

    Wow, just like that and another summer month is over! Thankfully, July ended on a great note! Sparky’s mom came to get him last Wednesday, and she was so pleased that she wrote me a 5-star review (without me even asking). Woot, woot!! Bubs and I enjoyed a day with Martin solo, and then on Thursday, the German lady brought her long-haired whippet Carla for daycare. In contrast to Bubble Boy, Carla is a breeze. She can go outside unsupervised; she eats everything and anything (she’s a good Hoover to my messy Martin who leaves food all over the floor); no hand-feeding needed; and she gets along with all the dogs we encounter at the park. On top of that, her owner is a serious power playa (the first woman CEO of a German media company and current tech exec) who’s super nice and flexible to boot. Rover is working out great!

    Add to that, a little side hobby/exercise of mine where I research/wonder about the lives of my Rover dogs. So far, every owner has been on the high end, power player side (yes, I look them up on LinkedIn), so I always imagine that their dogs are just living it up in the lap of luxury at home, you know in their hoods of Palo Alto and Los Altos. What do their dogs tell Marty? Do they tell him he’s missing out on the good life?? Haha. I know, I’m a nosy stalker/freak.

    Anyway, the German booked me for two weeks of daycare in August after I return from BlogHer. August is shaping up to be a crazy month. J and I are both traveling a ton: we’re headed to LA next week for BlogHer (he’s just tagging along), where btw, Kdash is a keynote!! Hurrah. I’m curious to see how she comes off as a speaker… Then, Bubs is headed back East to handle matters for his parentals. I’m gonna hit up Palm Desert with my friend M (fingers crossed I don’t get heat stroke) for a quickie weekend getaway, and then for J and I’s big 20-year anniversary, we’re hitting up Aspen, CO! We love Denver/Boulder and have been several times but Aspen will be new! Yeah, kinda a lot of traveling but heck, why the fuck not? I gotta earn my Southwest Companion pass somehow some way, right?

    As for the real estate… With all the Rover work and travel planning, real estate was starting to fall to the wayside. At the same time, I realized that my test/school anxiety was cropping up big time, and I was like procrastinating about taking the exam for the second class. Then on Thursday, I called myself out on that bullshit: I mean, I was letting my fear and lack of confidence run me off the path! And if I’m really trying to give real estate a go, how can I possibly assess this career if I do NOT get the damn license? Time to fucking buck up. So on Friday, I woke up determined to take the test. Somehow other shit got in the way (we counter-offered on the Maryland townhouse… but it fell through), but after noon I got all my shit organized, and I sat down to go through the review questions, study guides, and practice tests. What was intended to be a 2-hr review ended up turning into a six-hour study session. And then I said to myself, “Ok, I’ll take the exam Saturday.” Oh, hell no! I was not going to let myself push this exam back another goddamn day. Can you see this internal struggle? Ugh. So I started the test at 8p, finished about 10:15p, and bam: passed. What a huge fucking sigh of relief. Two classes down, one more to go. After that, I’ll be eligible to apply for the license exam. Gotta get ‘er done.

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  • Don’t Boss the Boss

    I’ve been back on the Houseboat now for a week, and well, the reassimilation has been challenging to say the least. Immediately, I had a Rover client scheduled for the day after getting in. Cody is a corgi, so with that breed comes some strong characteristics: he was very sad to be separated from his family (for two days, he slept by the door, hoping that they would come back), and he’s super sensitive to noise. I guess J and I kinda got used to being with deaf oldies who NEVER ever bark, so having someone alert us to every little sound was initially, quite disruptive. But there are also endearing qualities that make Cody quite loveable. He’s super attentive: he always keeps an eye on me, and he loves to play. He chases balls and even entertains himself chewing on that thing long after fetch is over. It’s Day 9 and I have to say, he’s even got Bubbey wrapped around his little midget paws. I came down with a cold on Saturday night (I ALWAYS get sick near/around my visits with family!!), and after that, Cody was pretty routinely making himself comfortable in the bed. Yes, the human bed where dogs have been prohibited for YEARS. Goddamn, he is super soft though. And those wet puppy kisses are irresistible. I mean, I still have a soft spot for my first Rover Ramona, but the big advantage of Cody is that he doesn’t have an ounce of odor. For reals. Even his breath is fresh. Seriously, you have to see to believe.


    After two days of being mostly bedridden and sweating my brains out, I am finally bouncing back from my sickness. Just in time for another Rover client who is coming tomorrow. The poodle mix Sparky is much older and I expect him to be more high maintenance, esp given the detailed instructions I received from his parent. Seven days. We’ll see how things go!

    As predicted, Marty is doing so great with these other dogs. What a testament to the power of social connections in promoting health! He likes having a buddy.

    What else. Oh, on Friday, I met with a power player German woman who is seeking M-F daycare for her senior whippet. She was very happy with our meet and greet (hee, hee), and I was ready to proceed, but as soon as she left, Bubbey started getting on my case about booking all my time and no longer being flexible for our summer travels.

    That’s the thing about Bubbey and me. We are always off in our timing. When I’m not working, he’s starting a new gig. When he’s not working, I’m starting a new job. For the first time ever, we are both not working. But he has all these grand ideas about hitting the open road and traveling… All while my plan these last few months has been to get my license and start practicing real estate in the fall. And as a chronic travel commitment-phobe, he’s super frustrating to pin down when making plans. When I ask for specific dates, he never gives them. So I just started booking plans for Rover, and he got all annoyed about my lack of consultation and how my work plans are eating into his “unplanned” plans. WTF, dude?

    Yes, we had just talked the other day about trying to rent an RV to try out the nomadic lifestyle. But before, he told me all the RVs were booked for the summer. And we can still RV for three days on the weekends. Frankly, until you can put concrete dates in place, I’m going to keep working and booking Rover! I dunno: maybe there was a miscommunication. I was thinking summer was out except for the weekend quickie trips. Argh, fine! I went back to the German and told her I’m not as available as I had initially stated. I mean, it’s ok: I agree it’s rather silly to be housebound for just a $30/day gig, but I’m just saying, don’t make me turn down work and then we end up doing nothing at all.

    Speaking of Bubbey, this last week being home together was somewhat frustrating. Since I’ve been back, he’s gotten on my case every damn day about studying for real estate. How much studying did you get done today? When are you going to take the class test? How many pages did you read? WTF, dude? I do not need to be herded. You know the deal. Yeah, I fell off the wagon while I was back in MD, but um, can you blame me? Did you see all the bullshit I had to deal with? And now I’m just getting back into the swing of things, and you’re harping on me about my study schedule? Not cool. Go put yourself on a schedule first, and then we can talk. SMH. Marriage. It’s a lot of work, man.

    In other news, the reno work on the townhouse back east is progressing swimmingly. The realtor just sent me pics today: new kitchen flooring, new lighting throughout, paint touch ups, new appliances, granite countertops, etc. The construction work is right on schedule, and we’re expecting to go live with listing this weekend. Woohoo. Goddamn, I love it when people know how to manage projects! I could see myself getting into construction project management…

    What else. Oh, my parents booked their trip to Taiwan for the fall, so that means I’ll be booking our trip there soon. My dad suggested that we visit for 10-14 days, but I think I’ll keep it short and sweet given my last great experience. Also, I’m super stoked that my childhood friend N is coming to visit in mid September. It’s been many years since she’s come to California, so it’ll be great to have her out again. She’s getting antsy in NC, so I think a big change is on the horizon for her.

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  • The Artist (Formerly Known as…)

    My sleep is all jacked up again. Every time I’m about to visit with family, my anxiety level goes up. And on top of my family woes, there are also a number of other factors that are weighing on me: Bubbey is unhappy at work again, his back is NOT getting better, I’m stressed thinking about all the oldies (my grandparents and Marty) and their increased health problems, and I am still trying to learn my real estate stuff as fast as possible… My brain just can’t seem to ramp up fast enough though. On top of that, I’m out of shape. So yeah, overall, I’m feeling overwhelmed.

    But given my experiences from last week, between visiting with S and her Camp Wonder girls and having Buddy pass away, I am trying really hard to maintain perspective and to just focus on the smaller steps.

    Yesterday, I didn’t study as much as I had wanted, but I did reach out to various contacts. Yeah, the Unabomber had a lot of people interaction yesterday. I called Virgin America again and got the remaining points redeposited. Then I called SmileDirect Club and peppered them with a gabillion questions. Wow, that customer service rep Randall is GOOD! What a relief to find someone knowledgeable, helpful, AND attentive. A goddamn unicorn these days! Yeah, I got my treatment plan last week along with an animation and Im pretty darn inpressed! They expect treatment to be only six months!! I’m so tempted but am still sitting on the decision. More on SmileDirect Club later. After that, I contacted a few computer repair/tech support vendors to inquire about home visits. Found a responsive shop, but they mostly do businesses only. Then upgraded my account and researched personal assistants for my parents. I swear to god, the sharing and/or gig economy has not made it to Frederick. Slim pickings, I tell you. I should have known, considering that even Yelp doesn’t have enough critical mass there. I found ONE dude who had “computer help” in his profile. And most other general personal assistant profiles aren’t even active, with 5-7 day response times and log ins from 3 months ago. WTF? Regardless, I reached out to that one dude, and we’ll see when he gets back to me.

    Meanwhile, I’m still hustling through my eBay store, Craigslist, NextDoor, and OfferUp sites. Trying to sell my stuff and all. Somehow the physical decluttering makes me feel better. So I got a bite for my old mattress yesterday, and the dude showed up with his friend– some chick with green hair. We were talking and then, he asked if I was an artist or musician? Say what? Haha, I could not stop smiling. I mean, I was wearing my crazy floral jeans but shiit, his comment made my fucking day. And they bought the mattress to boot (didn’t even haggle)! As soon as I got back inside, I sent a giddy text to Bubs. The simplest things crack me up. That’s the thing about first impressions though. I’m always curious about the clues we use to make our split second judgements… It’s such an interesting part of human interactions.

    Anyway, in the evening, I had someone respond to my NextDoor posting for Bubbey’s old Mac tower. I had received a few bites last week, with people making outrageous lowball offers, but this dude came by, checked everything out, and bam, sold! Maybe I’m just not as trusting, but this guy was all surprised that I had set the tower up with an old monitor and keyboard and mouse, so he could drive around in the OS. I mean, were you just going to visually inspect, buy, test it out at home, and risk having to find me again if it didn’t work as described?? And it was $375, not just chump change! Oh well, regardless, it worked out great and he even had me keep the change. Yay! The guy himself is a CAD designer, and he was getting it for his friend who’s starting grad school in video/cinematography editing. So cool to be amongst the creatives! Haha. You know me: always wishing I were cooler than I am.

    What else. My third Schoola shipment arrived yesterday. I know, it seems like I have been doing a lot of clothes shopping, and I guess that’s true, but I’m telling you, these second-hand joints are so fucking cheap! My latest lot was all wins: two button down shirts, two blouses, and a blazer for $42!! And all the goods except the blazer are Banana Republic and in excellent condition! Not that you care, but hell, you know I like to crunch the numbers: in total, I have spent $105 with Schoola for 11 items that panned out for me and 2 that panned out for my friend M! Yeah, the free shipping takes 2-3 weeks but it’s worth the wait. And I guess I could always fork over a few extra bucks to upgrade shipping. :)

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  • Channeling Anger

    Last week, I met up with M, the lady who replaced me at the university. I headed out to Los Gatos to check out her big side hustle operation spiffing up free/old/beat-up furniture and then reselling it. Yes, I am drawn to scrappy people! Her house is super charming, filled with many of these treasures. It was a damn hot day, but that didn’t stop us from first venturing out on a hike. I’m super out of shape, so I barely kept up between the trail elevation changes and the fricking high heat. Of course, I’m sure it didn’t help that my blood was boiling during our walk since we gossiped about our former workplace. By the end of the hike, I was physically exhausted but emotionally agitated. The rest of our visit was nice though. We hung out in the shade, drank wine, and ate snacks. She showed me her elaborate workshop and supplies.

    Still, when I got home, I just couldn’t shake my annoyance about my former employer. Trying to find a way to channel my anger, I hopped onto Glassdoor. And I drafted an entire review. But before posting, I just kept hearing John’s voice: “Why are you dwelling on the past? It’s time to move on. You need to focus your energy on what’s ahead.” I paused. Then I did some research. Unsurprisingly, the consensus from job experts pretty much aligns with John’s stance: shut up and move on. The primary reasoning behind that advice seems to be that you don’t want to stir the muck and create trouble for yourself, like you don’t want to be blacklisted or whatever. You left that toxic place for you. If other people don’t leave, it’s not that bad for them, and why should you be their advocate?

    To be honest, I feel like it’s such shitty advice to tell people who know something and who could share the real scoop about a workplace, to just be quiet and pretend everything was fine. Isn’t that partly how all the violence and harassment and abuse in this world just keeps happening unfettered? People see something and know something and yet, they remain silent. I mean, sure, we’re talking a different level of severity but still. There are parallels.

    And you know me: I like to consider expert advice. Ultimately, I make my own decision, but I don’t make it in a vacuum. On one forum, a commenter basically asked someone else who was considering writing a negative employer review, “What are you wanting to get out of your public review?” Good question. And now I don’t even remember his reply. But for me, I have always valued the truth. It’s some kind of compass that’s just deeply ingrained in my person. Like when people pose questions about infidelity or whatever. “What you don’t know won’t kill you,” or whatever bullshit people say. Well, I don’t want to continue in blissful, pain-free ignorance… at least not when it comes to the most important relationship in my life. I WANT TO KNOW THE TRUTH, however damaging and heartbreaking. Even if the indiscretion were short-lived or over or whatever. I want to know, and I will choose the truth every. damn. time. Otherwise, I’m just stupidly living in a foolish fantasy. So tying it back together: I guess I feel a similar stance with these asshole employers. Like, hey you’re not going to behave like jackasses and not get called out on it. Maybe I struggle with this notion that bad people are “getting away” with things. Sure, I might feel differently in cases where my personal safety or the safety of my family is in real danger, but with an employer, is it really THAT bad to burn the bridge? Why do I feel so strongly one way and most other people feel strongly the complete opposite way?

    Then I researched how Glassdoor handles negative reviews… there were a ton of claims that people’s negative reviews got removed or shoved to the bottom or manipulated in some other way to have less of an impact. WTF? Is every fucking thing in this world rigged??? In the end, I saved a copy of my review and just closed everything down. Enough negativity for the day. I mean, in the past, there have certainly been plenty of times when I DID speak out and say something and in the end, not a damn thing happened. Just like with my exit interview at the public agency. Just like my exit interview at the university. Both instances of inaction suggest that it’s not that people (at least internally) don’t know the truth, it’s that they don’t give enough of a shit to do anything about it. So then, which is worse? That said, there are still the prospective employees. I use Glassdoor when researching companies, and has it swayed my decisions before? Yes.

    Anyway, in other news, Bubbey’s back pain has been getting progressively worse. I am both annoyed and frustrated that at 40, he is having these kinds of debilitating issues. That said, annoyance and frustration doesn’t serve anybody, so I’ve decided to focus on measures to lessen his discomfort. For the last year, Bubbey has been talking about those new foam mattresses that are recommended by his podcasters, so after I finally realized this purchase would be different from his usual impulsive buys, we ordered the Casper. The mattress arrived and we set it on our “arrangement.” You see, since moving back Stateside in 2006, we’ve always put our mattress on top of a grid of big Rubbermaid storage bins. In the beginning, it was due to space constraints: we didn’t have storage, so we put our crap in the bins and then did a double duty, using them to also support the bed. But then I was reading about how the foundation for the mattress is just as important as the mattress itself. Probably just a sales ploy, but at this point, his back pain is so bad, we just need to pull out all the stops. So I ordered a slatted frame. And last night, I went through the bins. Most were empty but I did uncover my high school prom dress (a tight squeeze but it still fits– then again, I wore shit looser when I was younger) and my red wedding dress (Fucking A, it no longer fits in the bust… really?!?!). I was thinking to get rid of both, but Bubs says I should keep the wedding dress. Back to the mattress. I don’t know that I feel a difference between the frame and the tubs as the foundation, but we’ve had the new mattress a few weeks longer. Even though I’ve been getting to bed super late, after I fall asleep, I do think I am sleeping more soundly. We’ll continue to evaluate the product. Maybe quality sleep will help me better manage my negativity.

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  • Kobayashi Part II

    As you know, Bubs and I hit up the HOPR back in March for his 40th bday. I was all bummed bc Bubs totally thwarted my plans for leaving the joint with a shit ton of leftovers. So for my bday, I was super stoked about a HOPR do over. In early May, I tried to get reservations for my bday but shit, that place was booked big time and the earliest booking I got was like June 27. WTF? Fortunately, as my charmed life would have it, the week of my bday, a slot opened up for Friday, June 10. I suspect a cancellation came in for the NBA Finals game, but hell yeah, I took what I could get!

    All day, I fasted. When we arrived, I was famished. And then, the ritual began: loaf of fresh baked bread, salad with beets and drenched in Thousand Island dressing, English cut beef, creamed spinach, loaded baked potato, and Yorkshire pudding. We sat next to a couple who was there celebrating the hubby’s bday. I overheard them tell the waiter that they come every year for the splurge, and I felt like a spoiled punk already having dined twice in three months. Anyway, as I made my way course by course, by the time I got to the meat, my tummy started feeling nauseas. Oh hell no, you are NOT gonna fail me now. It is GAME TIME, baby! Was it something about the meat this time (medium well) or had I over-fasted? I dunno but shit wasn’t feeling right. J looked over and was like, are you ok? Fuck man, I will not be stopped. I just continued to get it down my pie hole. It didn’t taste bad, but somehow not as savory as last time. The waiter came by and offered the complimentary second plate. Yup, bring it on. Similar to last time when the waitress was like utterly shocked by how much I had consumed, the lady at the next table, also expressed surprise. Yeah people, I don’t back down in a buffet-like setting. If I’m gonna go, there’s only one way to do it. It’s the Chinese in me. Years of training, I tell you. Meanwhile, Bubs devoured his prime rib original cut. Homeboy should have gotten the second plate, but as usual, he refused to play my game. Instead, while I dug into my second plate, I had to endure his disgusted looks. Dude, your dirty looks aren’t gonna shame me into not doing my thang. I took a few more bites, and then I got all that shit packed up. Two full bags. Give my body the night to process everything through the system, and then the next day, I am ready to go again. The leftovers were tasty! The lesson learned here? Obviously, the 40-y/o body isn’t as robust and sturdy as the younger version. I would like to look into re-creating the salad and Yorkshire pudding at home (new inspiration). Between HOPR and the two buffets we had in Vegas with dad, I think it’s time to put buffets behind us. Kobayashi needs to retire!

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  • Dapper Dabbler

    So I’ve been continuing on my Pinterest challenge. Over the holiday weekend, I attempted this concoction. I was pretty happy with it. The Chambray shirt, man. That’s a key item. I got mine for like $7 at Ross, and I’ve been looking to upgrade, but I haven’t yet found the right fit and cut. For now, this cheapie will have to do. Meanwhile, I’m not like walking around town picking up a shit ton of compliments a la my friend G either, but I feel good strutting my stuff– mostly re-styled versions of items I already own. Today, my first Schoola shipment arrived. I’m sad to say that one top was mint instead of white (the color didn’t come across accurately online), and another top looked pretty unique/funky (asymmetrical) online, but it just didn’t work. They will go back in my bag of donated items. Not a huge bummer, considering everything is like $7 each but you know me: I’m always aiming for that perfect score.

    This afternoon I am trying a navy, flowy midi skirt from my shipment. Man, midi skirts are such a bizarre length to work with, esp since my go-to skirt length is mini to above the knee. I know, years ago Stacy and Clinton insisted “No miniskirts after 35,” and for a while, I followed that rule, but now that I’m 40, fuck it: I do whatever the hell I want. Defiance with a capital D, mother fuckers! So yeah, today I’m being very experimental and pairing this midi with a black/white gingham button down shirt and strappy brown wedges. It’s an odd mix of country and 1950s. Not my usual silhouette. Then again, who cares. It’s almost 2pm and I’m pretty sure no one has seen me, except for Marty and Ramona. That said, this afternoon, I will be hitting up my hair salon. You see, last night, J tried his best to refresh my side shave using his trimmer tool. To give full context, 1) he admitted he didn’t know what the fuck he was doing and 2) the tool is not exactly a buzzer like they use at the barber shop. I mean, these days I’m a badass risk taker, so even with those caveats, I agreed to give it a try. Why not, right? So um now the side shave is uneven as fuck. Short hairs by my ear and longer hairs near the split. Pretty much a hack job. What can I do but laugh. Thankfully, no one sees the Hermit day to day. Whatever, I’ll have my stylist Mindy take that shit down to the 2 blade and then trim up the longer ends of my mullet. That part is getting kinda long and I’m not feeling the layers, so we’ll see what she can do.

    In other news, SmileClub Direct still has my molds. I’m waiting on the sample trays (for complimentary teeth whitening) and details on the full-blown treatment plan. Then again, if I get a job sooner than later, maybe I should just go with the legit dentists using a decent dental insurance. I dunno though. I still kinda want to try this remote dentistry option… I know, I’ll probably end up being one of those dumbasses who goes to get liposuction and then dies bc the doctor was a total quack using a goddamn Dyson. Fuck man, 40 is making me lose my mind!

    J had something come up tonight with his former colleagues. We did a lot of cooking over the weekend, so I’m ordering Munchery for me, another new app/service I recently tried. The meals are somewhat hit or miss, but the food is definitely on the healthier side, and the app ordering and delivery make things pretty damn easy. Plus, you know I use coupon codes every. damn. time. I will say, the Caesar salad is my fave. I know, you’d think a Caesar is pretty basic and easy and just tastes the same everywhere, but I’m telling you: there are differences. And I def crave Munchery’s. If you are curious and want to try for yourself, here’s my referral link.

    Oh, I almost forgot: J and I hit up an RV showroom in Gilroy this weekend. As you know, Bubbey went on that two-week cross-country road trip last summer with his brother-in-law. I think that trip kinda opened a can of worms, bc ever since, Bubs has been talking about getting a tricked out large shuttle/small RV so we can go national park hopping. Admittedly, I have my own romantic thoughts of living on a ranch and/or buying some land and building a container/prefab home. I’m very much intrigued by the tiny home/small living concept. That said, I feel like renting out our house and living out of an RV for an entire year is a completely different beast. For starters, neither one of us is mechanical or handy. These things require a lot of maintenance and people def break down while driving these rigs. I don’t exactly like the thought of being broken down on the side of the road (possibly a less traveled one) waiting for help. We’re not exactly survivalists who would know how to last in high heat or in the wilderness or whatever. Second, while some units are extremely luxurious, the environmental engineering side of me is pretty skeptical about the plumbing and waste management. I mean, you’re essentially lugging all your sewage around with you until you can hit a pitstop and swap it out. I dunno. It makes me think of cruise ships too. I swear some fraction of that sewage is just getting dumped straight into the oceans. Third, I’m concerned about personal safety. I mean, where are we parking this thing and who else is around? I know the Houseboat isn’t exactly top security either, but I dunno, somehow it still feels safer and more secure than a vehicle in some random lot or campground. Finally, being on the road for a year is a long time. I feel like we don’t even know how to vacation for longer than 10 days. But the thing about relationships is this: you have to at least try with encouraging and facilitating your partner’s dreams. That’s just what you do bc you want that person to be happy and you also want to continue growing together. So I’m not saying no. I’m saying I have my reservations, but I’m open to further research. The next step? He’s going to look into a rental for sometime this summer, and we’ll see how that goes. Ok, gotta run now. Time to fix my hacked hair!

    RV1RV2 RV3

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  • Volcanic Eruption

    So yesterday evening, shit blew up on the Houseboat. One more goddamn straw, and the volcano erupted. As you know, for the last month, I’ve been going to the JCC for my Groupon. During this time, I’ve suggested to Bubbey numerous times that he cancel his membership to 24 Hr Fitness and try out this swanky gym. It’s only 6 minutes away and lots of people go late at night, so maybe this can be our evening activity after he gets home from work. For weeks, he agreed to try it out, but he kept procrastinating– he had to go to his London trip, then there was Best Life, then DC, blah, blah. Fine. Mind you, I’m only on the elliptical for 30 minutes. This is not a huge time sink. So he returned from DC on Sunday. On Monday night, after he got home from work and we finished dinner, I suggested we get ready. He was feeling too full, blah, blah, blah, so we took Marty for a walk at the park. In my head, the intention was to walk Marty, get the digestive juices flowing, and then go to the gym. After we home, I got my things ready and once again, no. Too tired: I just got back from DC. Whatever. After all the bullshit of recent weeks, I had had it. As I left, I said, “Fine, but next time, I’d appreciate if you’d stop offering to do things that you have absolutely no intention of following through on!” Oh, what do you mean? When has that ever applied?

    Are you fucking kidding me? This same bullshit has been happening over and over again. I slammed the door and left. While driving over to the gym (six minutes), I was stewing like a mother fucker. I’m surprised I didn’t rear end the slow ass drivers in my way. I was gonna call him and blow this shit up. Excuse after excuse. Repeated prioritization of everything else before me. And I’m not even needy! Shit, I have hung out with so many friends who make/ask their partners and spouses to do every little thing. Fuck you! I was so pissed.

    I stepped on that elliptical and sweated my brains out. Afterwards, I sat in the sauna and continued to stew. I mean let’s be real. Best Friends was his idea, supposedly a gesture for me but as the whole trip materialized, it was just a ton of planning and work for me. And then anytime I needed help with any aspect of the weekend, he either dismissed my concerns about the logistics, or he totally ignored any part that was important to me. For example, he hardly even sang for karaoke (and then went to bed early); then how many times did I mention the goddamn photo booth and in the end, only two test pictures; and then to make me throw away all those recyclables that I had collected throughout the weekend?!?!?! Not cool. Where there is a will, there is a way. I’m serious. And what, in the end, all of my irritation was just supposed to wash away bc 1) he had returned from London the day before departure and gotten ingredients on Friday morning 2) he grilled up dinner Friday night and 3) he mostly fought off his jet lag to be social with our friends for three days? Puhlease.

    I got home from the gym and was still so stinking mad. I went directly to my office and started doing my own shit. The house was dark, so I assumed he went to bed already. Typical Bubbey M.O. whenever we fight. I printed crap out on the printer, went to his office to retrieve my printouts and turns out he was lying on the floor there in the dark. And he looked so sad. So then I caved. In a more controlled manner, I told him I was upset he was going to be away for my bday. Usually, bdays are just bdays, and who the fuck cares. But this was a big one. And I felt like last weekend when I was trying to price out tickets to join him in NYC, he never responded to my questions or email about dates and whatever. Then, bc he was so busy with family matters, we weren’t able to sync up much, and when we finally did, he couldn’t offer any clarity. You know I hate that indecisive bullshit, so then I just abruptly said fuck it. He finally came clean and admitted that he’s been feeling overwhelmed between all the work travel and family stuff, and now the company’s future is uncertain… I mean, admittedly, there’s a lot going on. So I piped down. But fuck man, he def deserves crap for 1) never apologizing for cutting London so damn close to Best Life and leaving me hanging with details and 2) never apologizing for missing my bday. I swear, sometimes I really have to spell shit out for him.

    I know he loves me very much. But still, sometimes his effort just feels so damn half ass. And his actions really come across rather inconsiderate and thoughtless. I have played the scenarios over and over in my head. Am I over reacting? Am I asking for too much? Am I missing something? being short sighted? How would a truly mature adult handle this situation? Honestly, I feel like every single one of my friends would be annoyed by the same things, if not MORE things, and I can’t say that they would just let that shit slide. Yes, marriage is a constant work in progress. Just when I feel like things are easy and our relationship is coasting along in a strong steady state, shit happens to really bite me in the ass. Yes, I know I have the memory of an elephant and I don’t let shit go. In my defense though, why should I let shit go if you don’t admit any responsibility or wrongdoing in hurting my feelings? That’s just not gonna fly no matter how rational your reasons may be for why shit HAD to get prioritized above me.

    Anyway, the other takeaway was that I need to get back to work. Like, I need to have my own shit going on, my own activities and social circles, and life. Thankfully, things are finally starting to come around. My first Rover client arrives tonight for 11 nights. Then, I just got another request today for June 9-19, so maybe my old doggie boarding business is gonna pick up steam!

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  • Guinea Pig

    I’ve been feeling a little down lately. Typically, these low phases are triggered by some combination of depressing world news, growing responsibilities with my parents, and feelings of isolation. My typical response to too many uncontrollable factors is to obsess over personal details (factors I can control), so I was pretty full speed ahead on this big Project Me program: I was going to the gym, changing up my makeup routine, trying out some new hair/skin products, re-coloring my hair, experimenting again with my wardrobe, and then also continuing with my real estate classes.

    Last weekend, Bubbey was out of town again. He headed back East for his parents’ 50th wedding anniversary. Man, we were on such a great roll this past year and I was so excited about celebrating our many milestones in 2016. But now, in recent months, J’s gotten really busy at work and he’s had to travel a lot more for the job and for his family. By contrast, I spend most of my days relatively quiet, mainly hanging out with Marty, who has his own share of ups and downs. By the time Bubs gets home, he’s chatted out and I’m barely getting started. Sigh. These are the forgotten challenges that come up when one person is on sabbatical, I guess.

    After I finished managing the HVAC project last week, I started feeling like maybe it was time to get back into a professional setting, so I sent out some resumes to positions in commercial and residential real estate offices. Despite my many years in project management and specifically with handling residential real estate matters for my parents, it seems that I’ll still have to start from the beginning. I had a pretty good phone interview on Thursday for an admin role with a commercial firm, but the HR lady cautioned that it was entry level with typically 2 years before advancement to the next step… J thinks I should just focus on getting my license and then ramp up immediately as a salesperson rather than waste any time in some admin role, but he also doesn’t seem to notice that I’m quietly withdrawing into oblivion. In the very least, I figure the gig will give me exposure to a new industry, and if it’s not particularly stressful or challenging, I’ll be able to prepare for the license exam while also maintaining work-life balance.

    I have a big bday coming up, and even though our Best Life weekend was partly to celebrate my 40th, I thought J and I might still do something together in addition. Turns out, he’s headed back to NYC that week. Initially, he seemed excited about suggesting that I join him for the week, but later, as the project scope and details remained nebulous (with creep likely), it seemed like he wouldn’t necessarily be around. I’m pretty good about exploring a city solo, and I considered inviting my Boston bud to meet me in New York, but I dunno, ultimately, it just sounded like too much coordination and effort. I’m trying not to be upset about it… esp after I watch the news or read about other people’s lives in developing countries (@natgeo on Instagram), I feel totally lame for even complaining. Still, it’s upsetting to feel unappreciated and undervalued– both work-wise and relationship-wise. To combat my issues, I’ve been visiting Pinterest a lot lately, trying to get inspired and motivated.

    Speaking of motivation, my kit from SmileClub Direct arrived, and I created my teeth molds. There were four total– two for the upper teeth and two for the lower teeth. What an interesting kit: for each mold, you mix the catalyst putty with the base putty, lay a tube of the mixture into the tray, and cram it into your mouth. Of course, I was a crazy person, so I read every single instruction and tip beforehand, bc I wasn’t about to fuck up my molds. Two chances, beotch. I will say, usually, I have a really high threshold before the gag reflex kicks in, but shit, there were a few times when all that mouth action triggered some heaving. Nonetheless, I think my molds turned out according to spec, and today SCD emailed me saying they received my molds. I cannot wait to get my sample trays (for free teeth whitening) and treatment plan soon. I’m pretty excited to see what comes back. This remote orthodontics thing could be pretty frickin’ cutting edge, no?

    On another plus side, Marty has been doing well again. Still finicky with his appetite but he’s been following me around everywhere, watching my every move, and just overall paying attention. His eyes are clear and alert, and he bounces with excitement every time we go for walks and car rides. My little buddy. What would I ever do without him.










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  • The Volcano

    Bubs and I celebrated our anniversary last night over dinner at Evvia, a swanky Mediterranean restaurant in Palo Alto. We hadn’t eaten there in many years, so when he told me he reserved a spot there, it was a pleasant surprise bc I had long forgotten about that place.

    We met there on the early side: he took the train down from SF.  Soon after we settled in, my blog came up… Honestly, it was a continuation from a conversation the night before, bc I had asked if he saw the pictures I posted from our Europe trip. Bubbey replied that he never sees any of my posted pictures, bc they don’t render in his reader (aggregator) app, which he uses to read my posts. I insisted that in addition to the embedded images, my post also contained a hyperlink to the album, so even if the images didn’t load in his reader, he should be clicking through the link to view the album. Back and forth. So at dinner, he said the post didn’t contain a hyperlink, and he proceeded to show me how it rendered in his phone app. See? No hyperlink. Then, he had the gall to assert that if my blog doesn’t render in the (popular) app correctly, it doesn’t meet basic industry standards. Then, I got pissed.

    “If you don’t want to read my blog, then don’t read my blog!”

    “I do want to read your blog. I’ve always been reading it!”

    I countered, “I’m not just some random stranger whose blog you follow. I’m your wife. I don’t want you reading my blog like it’s the same as all that other bullshit and noise. The workflow is, you receive the notice in your reader that a new post went live. Then, you are supposed to click through the link within your app and read my content on its original website. Don’t do me any favors ‘reading’ my blog by just skimming it all half ass.”

    I was so. fucking. livid. I’m not saying every reader should do it this way, but he absolutely should if he’s really going to follow my blog. Then, silence. Meanwhile, my brain was going ballistic. WTF!!! Thirteen years of marriage and I have to get on his case about reading my goddamn blog? Of all the compromises and shit that I do, this is a fucking no brainer. Seriously, are you kidding me? And the fact that we have discussed this before? And for the record, my blog isn’t on some Podunk blogspot platform or whatever. I use WordPress. That is industry standard, so your app is shitty and on top of that, fuck off if you can’t even be bothered.

    Needless to say, our anniversary dinner was off to a great start. SMH. But in typical Bubbey fashion, he gave me a few minutes to calm down and then he changed the subject. And then we were back on track. Mostly.

    That’s one of the things I learned from couples therapy years ago. I have the memory of an elephant so I remember a lot of details and my inventory goes waaaay back. My most natural tendency is to not back down and to keep asserting that I am right. If it’s any indication, Bubbey’s newest nickname for me is The Volcano. But I tried to recall all that I had learned before. I made my case; I expressed my displeasure, and that was that. Let’s still try to have a good time. And whatdya know, we did. After we got home, he gave me a card. And then, we were good again. At least we are until this same exact topic comes up again in the future… Haha. Sigh. The trials and tribulations of marriage.

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  • Sweating with the Oldies

    So it’s been three days since we returned from Europe, and we are still jet lagged, though slowly getting closer to normalcy. Bubbey started off waking up at 2 am on Monday, then 3 am on Tuesday, and now 4 am today. As soon as he gets home from work, he eats dinner and crashes. I have been doing a little better– but still waking up earlier than my usual. Meanwhile, my right eye continues to twitch like a mofo. It all started the day I arrived in London. I thought it was caused by me wearing my contacts for the long flight (10 hrs) and beyond. My eyes got super dry, but even after using drops for days and skipping contacts altogether since returning,  that shit is still spasming. We’re talking two weeks now. I did my WebMD research on this and it seems that the causes are primarily stress, fatigue, wind, caffeine, physical exertion, alcohol. Hmm, I mean I’ve been cranky lately but would I say stressed? The other elements, however, do apply. But that’s never been an issue before. Fuck man, I can feel it: this is 40. I’m getting screwed again.

    Motivated by yet another expiring Groupon, I decided that exercise might be the answer once again. Yesterday, I opened up my one-month membership at the JCC. That facility is fucking monstrous, linked with a big retirement community and everything. Two floors, two pools (the indoor one is heated to 87 degrees!!), two saunas in each locker room, and a shit ton of classes. Originally, my plan was to do the yoga classes and then wade around in the pool. But looking over the class schedule, I thought I would try Aqua Stretch this morning, you know, two birds, one stone kind of deal. So this morning, I was up early and made it to the 8:30 am class. I mean, I dunno what I was expecting but all old white women. Ok, well there was one younger lady (I think she was autistic) and one Asian lady. Both of whom left early and the class was only one hour! In the few minutes I spoke to the Asian lady, she said she’d just returned from Europe (I said, “Me too.”) and asked if I bought any luxury goods (like Longchamp bags or whatever that brand is) during my trip. Jesus Christ, am I the only person who’s NOT into luxury goods?!?

    Class wasn’t too hard, so it was a nice intro into fitness again. I liked doing the movements in the water, but I’m not really digging the class thing (with the oldies). I dunno, I guess I’m ageist. Afterwards, I figured I would live it up with the amenities. I took a shower there, used the shampoo and bath gel, used the hair dryer and q-tips, stepped into the sauna. Fuck yeah. Granted, there are a lot of naked bodies everywhere which makes a prude like me a tad bit uncomfortable. Then again, I can’t be kept away from my free shit. Haha. I guess I also got good training/exposure to this kind of environment when I joined the fancy gym in Shanghai years ago. Back then, the bathroom/showering facilities were much nicer than our apartment, so I did all my bidness there (after working out, of course). Yeah, I was fucking fit when I was in Shanghai. Sigh.

    After luxuriating in the amenities of the JCC, I went home. Dad called. He has friends visiting in May, and he asked me to research fun things for them to do. See? Fucking OnStar over here. But on the plus side, not a single mention about my career/job. This is a record, man! Not since I left SCU at the end of January. I’ve been wondering whether this is deliberate bc he doesn’t want to stress me out, or if given his and my grandparents’ health issues, he no longer believes that stuff matters above all else. I don’t know. Maybe it’s a combo of both. I haven’t even told them I am studying real estate.

    My sweet friend M came over today for lunch. She’s so thoughtful. Remembers everything– she’s a tracker like I am. Brought over lunch to celebrate my wedding anniversary. She’s got a fun project going on, and she’s always so freaking disciplined with working out. Super fit and now she’s on some Whole 30 diet that’s uber hard core. She’s sitting there eating a salad while I’m packing away the chips, beans/cheese, AND burrito. That kind of willpower is no games, man. Even in the presence of pure gluttony. SMH.

    Tonight, Bubs and I are going out to dinner for our anniversary. Man, can’t believe it’s been 13 years. Then again, it also kinda feels longer than that. Sigh. The wild and crazy life I gave up to be with Bubs. Sacrifices, man. My Chinese peeps better be eating that shit up, bc hell yeah, the struggle is real. :P

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