One Word (from John B's blog)


Not as easy as you might think.

1. Where is your cell phone? desk
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend? none
3. Your hair? yes
4. Work? yes
5. Your father? smartass
6. Your favorite thing? hugs
7. Your dream last night? dunno
8. Your favorite drink? Benromach
9. Your dream car? Boxster
10. The room you're in? office
11. Your pet? several
12. Your fears? loneliness
13. What do you want to be in 10 years? happy
14. Where did you hang out last night? home
15. What you're not good at? tact
16. Eyebrow rings on the opposite sex? indifferent
17. One of your wish list items? bra
18. Where you grew up? home
19. The last thing you did? type
20. What are you wearing? clothes
21. What aren't you wearing? hat
23. Your computer? Mac
24. Your life? stable
25. Your mood? indifferent
26. Missing? direction
27. What are you thinking about right now? bills
28. Your car? Miata
29. Your work? grunt
30. Your summer? work
31. Your relationship status? none
32. Your favorite color? purple
33. When is the last time you laughed? today
34. Last time you cried? today
35. School? perpetually


Okay, I'm a Loser

My boss gave the the go-ahead to take PTO next Thursday and Friday for my birthday, and I got a sub to take my class Friday night... and now I have nowhere to go!!! Up until a couple of days ago, I'd been thinking I'd have to work on my birthday. Lobo suggested heading down to Rio, but I kind of don't want to travel that far for just a few days, plus I admit I'm a little insecure about travelling to strange places alone, and whoah, I just looked at prices... a little more than I want to dish out just before having to pay taxes! Well, it was a good idea, Lobo...

My backup plan is to head up to my dad's place in Truckee and get in a day or two of skiing and relaxing a bit, but I'm hoping inspiration will strike me and I won't have to resort to the backup, because I think I'll have to blow the snow out of the driveway when I get there.



My housemate, Steven, has a dog named Piglet. A couple of months ago, Piglet accidentally bopped Steven in the eye, and it was red and sore for days. This evening, I came home from work, and Steven was cussing and screaming in pain, which is very uncharacteristic of him -- he's a welder and has taken molten metal to skin without a flinch. He'd woken up this morning, and although he doesn't remember Piglet punching him again, his eye had the same issue as before -- redness, irritation, pain. He's been editing a film and he couldn't work on it at all today, because it bothered him so much, AND he said it felt like there was something in there, but neither of us could actually see anything in his eye.

Up until today, I kind of thought of Steven as being unbreakable. Sure, he's been sick and gotten hurt, but he's always internalized everything he was going through, so for me, he's been somewhat of a paragon of strength. Now that he's hurting enough to actually voice his frustration, it's a little scary. He doesn't accept help easily, and even if he did, there's not much I can do anyway. He doesn't have health insurance, can't spare the money to pay for medical care, and is too proud to let me pay for it, so he flat out refused to let me take him to the emergency room. I contemplated cold cocking him and dragging him to see a doctor, but even considering the state he's in, he's still a much better fighter than I am, and tends to defend himself reflexively, so I think that would be a bad idea.


I felt my age this weekend

First, let me say I'm sorry I've been all but absent. The weeks leading into a new school term are always busy, and now that I'm working full time outside of teaching, those weeks are even busier!

I love the outdoors, yet haven't done much outdoors the past 6 months or so. The time commitment of two jobs was catching up with me, although I remember working the same number of hours when I was younger and not being even half as tired as I am these days!

In the last month or so I decided to make time for myself, instead of sitting around complaining I never had time to take care of myself. When my day job moved to an office building along the bay trail, I took the opportunity to start jogging a few days a week, instead of just eating my lunch in my office like a recluse, so I've been doing 2-3 miles along the bay and estuary. I have to say I've felt a bit more energetic in general since I began doing that, and my mood has also mellowed out quite a bit.

Last week, when some members of my hiking group tossed around the idea of seeing the waterfalls at Cascade Canyon on Saturday, I made the commitment not to flake on them the way I had been for almost a year by offering to give someone a ride. We arrived at the trailhead at noon, and sauntered up the hill and through the trees. It was a beautiful day, clear and not too cold. We reached the falls with no problem, and had lunch as we watched the water racing down.

Of course, someone had to jump into the cold water, and this time it was the new guy, Loek (not sure of the spelling, but it's pronounced 'low eck. Loek stripped down, dipped a toe, and after deciding it wasn't THAT cold, jumped in! Being completely submerged was a little more of a shock to him than he'd anticipated, so he didn't stay in long. Adam snapped a photo, promising to post it on Facebook.

The excitement of someone submerging himself in winter water over, we headed off-trail to come down on the other side of the hill, our goal being the top of the ridge, where we could rejoin the trail. We walked through a stand of trees, traversed across some thick underbrush, then up the hill. Except the underbrush was still fairly thick, and seemed to be getting denser the higher we climbed. Soon, the brush was dense enough that we really didn't want to have to whack through it, so we headed back down to the rivulet and back up again on the other side of the bushes. We made it to the ridge, and walked along it. As we passed above where we had tried to make it up earlier, we noticed that we'd only been about 15 or 20 feet short of making it up to the path when we turned back!

It was all downhill from there. Literally. The downhill effort made my quadricep begin to cramp, but I was getting tired by then and I just kept walking, because I didn't want to stop until I got back to the car! I was definitely feeling the effects of not having hiked in awhile, much more so than everyone else, even though they hadn't been hiking, either. I'm also older than they are -- about 6 or 7 years older than the next person in age. We all spent some time stretching when we got back to the cars, then drove into Fairfax for ice cream before heading home.

I intended to sit in the hot tub after my shower when I got home, but I never made it! First, I was hungry, so I had a little to eat. I was pretty wiped out from the hike, plus the food made me a little sleepy, so I figured I'd take a little nap before tubbing. I slipped into bed, picked up my notebook to send a quick email to one of my friends, and fell asleep with the computer open on my lap! I vaguely remember waking up when my housemate got home later that night, and shutting everything off before curling back up under the covers again.

I take Piglet, my housemate's dog, for a little jog most weekend mornings. I was so sore this morning, I couldn't do it! I did muster up the strength to get out and walk downtown with her, though. We stopped at Three Bees, my Sunday coffee shop (I go to Peninsula Roaster on Saturdays) and I sat outside with her while I drank half my coffee and ate half a poppyseed cake slice. Then Piglet growled at a sweet little lady walking by, and kept barking at a man who sat at the table next to mine, so I picked up my cup, put the rest of the cake in my pocket, and took off down the street with her, apologizing profusely to the targets of her missives. They were just glad I was leaving!

As we passed a dietary supplement store, Piglet spied the shop dog there. She pulled me toward the door, and I tried to pull back, but still had my coffee cup in my hand, and combined with my soreness, it threw off my balance a little. Little by little, Piglet was dragging me into the store. I had to set my coffee cup on the ground so I could grab the leash with both hands to give a good yank on it! In the meantime, I was a source of great amusement to the shopkeeper and patrons in the store watching our antics. Both Piglet and I made it home without further incident, and I spent the rest of the day trying to be productive and failing miserably. So here I sit, trying to get the handouts for my weight control course together so I can send them to duplicating tonight, and all I really want to do now is sleep!


70 mph winds today!

Winds in the Bay Area reached something like 70 mph today (well, yesterday now). Big rigs fell over, bridges and highways were closed, it was a mess.

My boss called at 8:00 to tell me the electricity in the building was out, and to keep him updated on the estimated time for everything to be up and running. Snafus beyond immediate control are always bad, because he's the type of person who panics as he imagines a bunch of unlikely scenarios and hounds people who are trying to help him to the point that he impedes their progress. On top of that, he's having a midlife crisis now, and has been crankier than usual.

I got to the office, and everything was dark, but the doors to the buildings and stairways were propped open, so I headed up to the office and attempted to call the utility company for a status update while I waited for the property manager to arrive. Except PG&E won't give status updates unless you have an account number or phone number associated with the account handy. I tried the property manager's office number... no dice.

I found out there was no estimated time for the electricity to come back on, because lines were down all over the state, so I called the boss with the news, and he said to leave him alone for an hour and a half and report back again. While I was waiting, some windows in the floor above blew out, the emergency power on my floor failed and property management put the building on lockdown and evacuated it, due to the danger posed by failing glass and the fact that there was no electricity.

I reported back to my boss as I headed to the car, and this is where his panic began. He fumed about not being able to access the building if he needed to get something and what if he needed to get something tomorrow for his trip to London on Sunday? I said it would be a function of whether the electricity was back on or not, and as I figured he would, he said to go back and and ask property management to make sure. Mind you, it's not that he actually has much there he would need. He doesn't keep much in the office other than completed paperwork. On the few occasions he has needed something while on a trip, he called to have me send it to him.

I turned back to the building... and the door was locked. I was in the basement garage, and had to walk out to the street and then around to the back of the building to get to the building's main entrance... which was also locked. The sign said to use the delivery entrance, which was on the opposite side of the building I'd just come around. It only took a few minutes, but the rain had already soaked through my raincoat and was making its way through my sweater and skirt. I found the property manager, who told me access to the building tomorrow would depend on... yep, whether the electricity was back on or not!

One more time, I reported back, then I had to walk around the outside of the building again to get to my car, and on the way, a small branch that was being carried by the wind whipped by and blindsided me, clipping me in the back, and sending me sprawling to the pavement. I was pissed! And then I was scared, because if that thing had hit me squarely and just a foot or so higher, I could have been seriously injured or dead. I was on the far side of the buildng, where there was no one going by, and if I had been hurt, it probably would have been awhile before someone found me. So then I was soaked, still pissed, lying in a puddle and getting cold. The only good news is my phone switched off from the impact of hitting the ground and/or having water on it, so my boss couldn't call back and tell me to go back again and make sure.

I was chilled the rest of the day. Actually, I still am. That's why I'm up typing this. I couldn't get warm, which prevented me from falling asleep. Plus, the fact that I really need to be more assertive when my boss is being unreasonable is weighing on me right now. I pretty much just let him rant and take out his frustrations on me. They don't really do much to harm me most of the time (I'm good at blocking out unnecessary chatter), but they are counter-productive.


My Holidays...

Well, the last few weeks have been a whirlwind of social activity! There was a cookie baking party, the results of which we donated to a home for troubled teens, a "Guitar Hero" party, 4 engagements between the 24th and 26th of December, my own Oshogatsu open house (Japanese new years tradition) at which my dad brought his own little battery-powered black and white tv to watch football because I don't have a tv, and my family's oshogatsu get-together. I actually missed a few parties, because I was too tired to attend! I love my friends and I like spending time with people, but I have to say I'm somewhat relieved the holidays are over, because I definitely had too much of a good thing.

So I'm back at work (technically, the only days I had off were Christmas eve, Christmas day and New Years day, but I'm kind of a work junkie, so it seemed like a lot of days off to me) and I'm prepping for my spring classes... I think I actually missed the deadline to turn in my course materials to duplicating services in time to get them for the first day of classes, so I'll be sending them to Kinko's and paying out of my own pocket. Oh well.

My boss at the day job wants me to learn to do business valuations, so he's bringing someone in to teach me the research methods at some point. In the meantime, I ordered a couple of books so I can familiarize myself with the basic methods and theories. Plus, my house mate, Steven, who is now a welder, was a stock broker and investment banker in his former lives, so I'm picking his brain as well.

So far, the year seems to be off to a good start. I've been jogging a little loop by my office on a regular basis, and bringing my lunch in more often to save money AND not eat so much junk. I do have big, fat knots up my whole back,Steven worked on my back the other day, and the next day I went to the massage therapist and there are STILL huge knots!

Well, it's late and I need to be up early! I'm already in my favorite bear night shirt, which has a bear holding its own little bear toy. One of my exes hated this shirt because it was unsexy. I was telling Steven that and he said "well, the shirt does kind of say 'no sex tonight... it's something a grandmother would wear!'" Oh well, I'm only sleeping with the cats and the dog occasionally, and they don't care what I wear!