Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Compartmentalizing work and personal life

Late last week, I had lunch with a co-worker, Cheetos. She used to sit near me, but got moved a couple months ago. Now we try and eat lunch together every other week to catch up.

Early on, it was to hear my adventures in dating. But since that has subsided for the time being, we chat about other random things. This time, she wanted to bounce off of me a plan her boss has to promote her. He sees the potential she has to become a marketer and move out of her administrative position. However, she's reluctant because she's not clear as to what the new job entails. She says she not afraid to be challenged. it's just that she wants to better understand what she'd be getting into. I think she also had some doubt about whether this is the right fit for her.

As the conversation progressed, she asked me about my dating life. Sadly, there's nothing much to say. I've been going out with friends, but I haven't seen a single prospect. I think about it all the time, but it's only a passing thought.

In Cheetos' attempt to help me be more optimistic, I expressed my desire to be married. She was quick to remind me that things aren't always better that way. I completely agreed with her that neither side of the fence is better. Then she confided something to me that she has been hiding well from everyone. She and her husband are on the verge of divorce.

Literally, all the papers are in order, they just need to sign on the dotted line. What a shocker. She's the type of person who prefers to keep her work and home life very separate. I admire that because the emotional rollercoaster she must be riding must be very distracting.

It all started at the end of last summer. I guess it's been simmering for a long time, like 6+ years. Cheetos finally got fed up of her husband not helping out at home. She explained that he grew up being catered to his every need by his mother. An example she gave was how he can't even pick up his underwear off the bathroom floor and put (or even throw) it into the hamper which stand three feet away.

Maybe there are details I don't understand but it finally was too much for her to take. They kept it simple and had the lawyers draw up the papers without worrying about how to divide their property. She just wanted the divorce.

Then, at the very last minute, he pleaded with her to wait. He said he misses and needs her. He suggested they attempt counseling for six months. (This after he refused when she brought it up months ago.) He told her that he would accept the divorce if she still felt the same at the end of therapy.

It sounds as if they're two-thirds of the way through the counseling. They're still live in separate housing. Cheetos says that he makes effort to come over and take care of little things. Now, when she comes home, she finds that he has stocked the refrigerator with food. He seems to take time to help her with the house and make sure that the contractor gets things done.

Although she's happy with the gradual changes he's made, I think she's still somewhat skeptical. Naturally one has to question whether this is all temporary. I expressed my happiness for the progress their making. My only recommendation was to make sure that, if the decide to get back together, to make sure he agrees to at least three-months of additional counseling. I think it's a healthy way to make sure the issues are addressed and summarized rather than abruptly stopping and thinking everything is okay.

I'm always impressed that people can keep things so quiet. I wear so much of my emotions on the surface. It's difficult for me to not to have all my thoughts running around together. On some levels, it would be nice to be able to compartmentalize my feelings so that I could be more productive and focused. On the other hand, I think it's unnatural to be able to turn emotions on and off so easily.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Instant craigslist gratification

While at Hula and Drummer's the other night, we witnessed one of the newer facets of single life (thanks to the Internet).

As I've said before, my circle tends to be a fairly conventional, down-to-earth group of people. C3 found out about a friend visiting town for the long weekend. She invited ShopQueen over to visit.

We were given a little background on her. She's had an unfortunate run of events in her life recently. Her family learned that they carry the gene for Huntington's disease. The disease has affected her mother and sister. The question for her is whether she will suffer the same fate. It's also obviously a difficult question because such diseases mean that carriers shouldn't bear children. That's tough, especially for women.

One can only imagine how it forces a person to re-examine priorities in life. Also, C3 mentioned how ShopQueen worked hard and studied for many years, never going out like her friends. It would seem now she's making up for lost time.

As she played board games with us, she also fumbled with her Treo. She was scanning craigslist for any guy posters who wanted to meet up for a drink at a bar in the city. This is something I've seen on craigslist but never understood. It always sounded kind of sleazy to me.

She managed to find a handful of men to e-mail. Within 20 minutes she had two responses. We were all rather intrigued and excited. The next question, of course, was whether these guys were decent. One guy sent his picture. It was actually a rather good looking man.

We quickly organized to help her create a good picture to send back to him. It was hilarious. We stopped playing our games to choose a the ideal location in the living room where the lighting and background would be most favorable. Just imagine six people standing behind a camera as ShopQueen posed calmly on the PB couch holding a glass of wine. Everyone kept trying to give advice, and it just made her laugh. It was hard to be serious with all the soap opera-like drama.

ShopQueen had four photos to choose from. After picking the most flattering photo, Drummer cropped it for the optimum effect. She sent it off within 10 minutes along with her phone number.

Unfortunately, nothing else happened. We all anxiously expected her phone to ring. Alas, the guy never called. Either he received a response from another woman before she was able to reply, or he didn't find her picture appealing enough. I didn't dare say the latter theory out loud. Our excitement deflated rather quickly.

It was great living vicariously for that brief moment. Observing craigslist in action was a treat. The idea that people can now hook up in a matter of hours is amazing. ShopQueen said that the majority of men she's met using this method have been decent guys. It's rare their scary or trouble. It's not for me, but it's darn intriguing. ;)

Much needed long weekend

I could get used to this... .

It's the last day of a kind of, four-day weekend. I didn't exactly get much work done on Friday. We were encouraged to work at home by our director. How nice. So basically I checked e-mail, thought about work, and then ran down to the big mall to shop at Anthropologie. It was great to hit the store at 11am and pick through the racks while they were all still neatly organized and get into a dressing room with virtually no wait.

Friday night, I went out with friends to watch "X-Men: The Last Stand." I won't mention any spoilers. Suffice to say there were some surprises and, as to be expected, some gaps in logic and lack of character development. Still, we all had a good time. We're all pretty geeky. We sat through all the credits and discussed the plot in detail. A couple of people present have read all the comic books and provided us with comparative insight into how different the story was from the true history.

Saturday, I headed out to meet my cousin and friends for a birthday outing. We went to the a wonderful hotel spa that sits upon the local hills with a marvelous view of the city. I always love going there because I consider my college town home. Someday, somehow, I'd love to own a house there.

It was good to catch up. The other three gals all have boyfriends, so there was an update of goings on. Is is doing well with the guy she's dating. There's some question over when and if they have reached "boyfriend/girlfriend" stage yet. She wasn't sure how to introduce him. A couple weeks ago, she introduced him as "friend." We all agreed that she only need say, "this is xxxxx." She's bothered by the fact he drives a pick-up truck, doesn't have a college degree (or it's from some mediocre college), and has not traveled much outside of the area (grew up here). I can understand why it bothers her... it's hard to shake the ideal that you've grown up to expect (and what you know your parents want). Sometimes I think she's pickier, less sensible, and higher maintenance than me, but she also seems to have a much easier time meeting men - go figure.

Ci has been living with her boyfriend for a little less than a year now. I couldn't hear everything over the spa jets, but my guess was that she's waiting for him to pull the trigger. She wants to have children and I didn't get the sense that he is up for that yet. I recall her saying, "if I could wait another ten years to start, I would." She had even checked into the cost of freezing some of her eggs: $30,000 - yipes.

Jew probably has it the toughest. She's now been dating Matrix for nine months. Her retired parents keep visiting her for extended periods of time. We can't help wonder if her mother is doing this on purpose to make it more difficult for her to spend time with him. Her mother is very strongly against this relationship. All for the fact that his skin is very dark. He's smart, he's incredibly good to her, etc., but nothing will change the fact that his culture and physical appearance are not acceptable. I would say it's likely that Jew and Matrix want to get married to each other someday. Unfortunately, I think it will have to wait until Jew gets some minimal amount of acceptance or tolerance from her parents.

Sunday was mellow. I carpooled with friends to attend a BBQ. Afterwards we headed over to another friends' house to chat and play board games. Tim and I tied for first place in Ticket to Ride.

Today is stay-at-home and do chores day. I played DDR for an hour this morning to make up for missing a hike. The laundry machine is loudly churning away in the hall. If I'm going to have the termite treatment done anytime soon, I've got to clear out this bedroom. Ugh. And then it might be nice to vacuum. Tim will drop by later to help me install a second hard drive into my new computer. I love quiet days at home.

Next weekend, I'm off to DC for a friend's wedding. That will take me away for another four-day weekend. Ahhh.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

In Contrast: An Honest Posting?

Well, if this is a come on... it's working on me. Otherwise, I know how he feels (except for the hiking part).

One last try - 34

Reply to:
Date: 2006-05-25, 1:41AM PDT

Okay, I'm giving this one last try and if this doesn't work then I'm done with this whole dating thing. I've tried using Yahoo but it seems that every girl has some laundry list of must-haves and must-be's. Or it's some Russian girl trolling for her next victim.

Truthfully do you really want someone to fit exactly into some dream mold? If so, good luck to you, I just can imagine finding someone like that might be a bit difficult. In any case, you really can't get to know someone by reading a stat list and a blurb about their hobbies. It's a tricky thing this internet dating. But that's how it goes I guess.

I'll try not to keep this too dull, but let's get the stats out of the way. I am 5'9 (5'11 with my heels on...just kidding) about 195 lbs. I go to the gym on a regular basis and try to keep fit. I'm Asian-American and have no preference as far as race goes. Hopefully you don't either. I'm college educated and have a full time job. I live in the city and have a car. There. All the basics out of the way.

What am I looking for? Well to be honest not much. I respect independence and a good sense of humor (i.e. you laugh at my jokes). Physical attraction is important for me just as it is for you. But it is not a deal breaker. Personality is the most important. Generally I am looking for someone cool and someone who doesn't take themselves or me too seriously. I don't have much in the way of "requirements" per se. I don't really understand people who require that their dates listen to a certain kind of music or watch certain movies. Personally I enjoy an opposing personality to give me a different perspective, but that's just me. Plus I can give you a hard time if you're wrong.

I have a pretty sarcastic sense of humor. I love the Simpsons and Family Guy. Whenever possible, I like to sleep in. I am definitely more of a night person than a morning person. I like to dress comfortably when I can, although I'll put on the suit/tie whenever needed. Majored in Philosophy in college, worked as a bartender for many years and now work with computers (yuck. I hate my job). Would like to go back to bartending... I am the walking Zagats guide to my friends, co-workers and family. I love food. I love cooking. I hate doing dishes. Therefore, I don't cook as much. I love sports and try to catch live games whenever possible. but I am not a sports freak. I love 70's Sci-Fi movies. Growing up I listened to 80's music. Later I despised it. Now I love it again. I can be cynical at times. I have a pretty good sense of humor. I can laugh at myself or poke fun at myself. I am even better at laughing and poking fun at someone else though. I am pretty handy with tools and auto mechanics.

Whats the deal with all this hiking stuff? Do people really love hiking that much? I think hiking has become the new "long walks on the beach." I hate hiking. But that doesn't mean you can't like it...

Okay so let's make a deal and keep it quick and painless. Be honest if you decide to reply and send a recent pic. I will reciprocate. If I respond with a pic and you decide I'm not what you're looking for or you're not attracted to me, no problem. We all have our preferences and attractions. Don't feel like you have to explain or anything. Okay? Looking forward to hearing from you.

Posting for an older man

While I don't do Internet dating myself, I'm always curious to what kind of people post and what they're looking for. Besides all the people looking for affairs and the unconventional trading of casual relationships for rent, I was intrigued with this posting by a woman who specifically wanted a much older man.

The reason this caught my attention is because she specifically mentions "love to have kids" as a criteria. I find it interesting she wants to start a family with someone who is significantly older. I realize that in today's society, it's much more acceptable to delay starting a family, but I personally am bothered by the idea this next generation of children will likely have to start caring for their elderly parents when they graduate from college.

There are some clear reasons for pursuing someone older, but from my own perspective, I also imagine the challenges. I can't help be curious about her reasonings for her specific, non-traditional age pairing. (Or is this a ruse for a sugar-daddy?)

Beautiful Successful looking for a Successful... - 33

Reply to:
Date: 2006-05-21, 8:30PM PDT

Very pretty Asian American girl, charming and successful...always has a quality healthy life, love piano, golf,nature, animals... seeking for only one special man who i would respect, admire and trust for the rest of my life.

you should be around 50 years old, very mature and successful,worldly,patient, love to have kids, willing to share your life with me and help me grow...


Your reply should declare about your age, your career...

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Whining moments

Well, I won't prolong this more than necessary. For whatever reason, when my mind has time to think, I feel kind of bummed out. I'm going to complain for the next 10 minutes and then do my best to enjoy the long weekend.

Firstly, I think all the French and Belgium chocolate we brought back from vacation has gone straight to my ass. Man, just when I was making progress on wearing all my better clothes I'm rechallenged to get my pants around these generous hips.

Then, there's still feeling rather lonely. I know marriage isn't by any means perfect, but it'd be nice. I just don't know what to do about it anymore. I'm tired of Internet dating. I want to meet someone the "normal" way because I think it's the only way I can be myself.

Work is blah. Lately I'm feeling like I don't belong. My mind isn't engaged. It doesn't want to learn this stuff anymore. I don't, however, want to let people down. I don't want them to see me fail. But then, I'm not sure what I'd want to do next (or how I'd handle potentially getting paid less.) Is it wrong to care more about finding someone to have a family with than develop a career? I've been so independent and self-sufficient for so long that it's seems like a contradictory thing to admit.

A minor mysterious reappeared this morning. I got an evite from KT for a hike he's planned this weekend. What for? Since more than 10 people have already responded, I'm thinking he added me as an afterthought. He probably sent it out last week to his main group of friends. Eh, doesn't matter, I'll be headed the opposite direction to hang out with my cousin for her birthday. I'm kind of relieved I don't have to make up something not to go. I don't get this guy.

I know I have plenty to be thankful for in my life. I'm successful (well, at least to others), I own my place (jointly with the bank), I have my health, I have good friends, I have more than six months of funds in the bank in case of emergency. So why I feel like such a loser?

But onto fun things to look forward to...

Dancing was fun last night. Boy, am I rusty. I felt a bit double-footed at times. All the guys I danced with were pretty nice about it. I should take on a new class this summer. Dancing to music is the ultimate form of self-expression. Everyone seemed to have a good time and wants to do it again. I was impressed to see how much they've learned from their beginner swing class. It was cute to see Ig pay attention to this woman he met in his class. It's refreshing to see him pursuing women again after such a long hiatus.

Tonight is the season finale of "Lost." Tim's skipping his biweekly meeting to watch this live, in HD. (I love having a good tv.) We're gonna eat the leftovers from cooking on Sunday night. Afterwards, he's going to help me set up my new computer. I probably won't notice much difference, but the idea of having a new system sounds cool.

At some point, I'm hoping to see the new X-men movie. I still hate paying $10 to watch on the big screen, but you gotta do it for some of these movies. Tim really wants to watch "Pirates of the Caribbean" in July.

For the Memorial weekend, I'll be hanging with my cousin for Saturday afternoon. Otherwise, I'm sure some BBQs and other casual parties will appear. I could probably get some jounral entries done to remember my Europe trip (it's fading fast now). I know I have a ton of household chores to finish. It's all good.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Just got back from a lunch errand. I parked near a patch of blooming honeysuckle vines. The smell is WONDERFUL. It reminds me of when I was a kid. The house on the corner had a waterfall of them on their retaining wall. We'd stop there while biking around the neighborhood and pick the blossoms. We figured out that the flowers that had turned yellow had sweet nectar inside. Kind of like a ripening fruit, the white flowers were too young and hadn't produced anything nectar yet. Over time, I mastered using my thumbnail to pinch the bottom of the flower hard enough to break the petal wall, but gentle enough to keep the stamen in tact. The top of the stamen has a cap-like structure. It works well to scrape down any nectar as you pull the stamen out. You can get a nice drop of sweet taste. Yum.

I ran into a scheduling conflict yesterday. I know what the "right" thing is to do... but I'm still hesitating. Three months ago, I spent some three tedious hours on the phone and Internet trying to reserve a campsite in Yosemite. By the time I got through (after several half processed attempts - argh), there were only sites available in Wawona, which is at the south end of the park. I really want a valley campsite so we could hike Half Done.

Now, I learn that my friend's bridal shower is scheduled for that June weekend. ACK!!! That also affects two people who were planning to join me for camping. And what about the other two people? I'm frustrated that I now must consider throwing away a campsite reservation that I spent so long trying to get. Ugh.

Speaking of bridal showers... so, man, marriages get expensive. I mean I'm already planning to spend a bit of money on the wedding gift, AND now, I need to dig up money to pay for a shower gift plus contribute to the party itself (I think we're going to a spa)? I mean, I'm not poor, but this just seems like a lot when you add it all up (okay, I'm a little cheap). This is why I think weddings and all the related stuff are just one big scam. [Sigh]

Tonight, we're all going swing dancing. The beginners will be doing East Coast swing while the other half of the group will be getting in some lindy. It's been awhile, so I know I'll be panting after just one dance. Still, it'll be fun to hang out and enjoy the music. I can't wait to see the newbees in action. I hope the guys have fun.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Feeling lonely

This is what I get for watching "While You Were Sleeping" and an episode of the "Gilmore Girls" where there's an auction for picnic baskets. Lane loses Henry, and Jess steals Rory from Dean. Jackson proposes to Sookie over a picnic lunch. God I feel lonely.

I'm sitting here thinking how much I wish I had someone to care for in my life. Today is the first day in some four weeks I've spent an evening alone. Usually I relish quiet time, but somehow, right now, it makes me feel rather pathetic. Maybe it's also because I just got my friend's bridal shower invitation. And this morning, another friend sent out a comical e-mail about husbands to a list of friends, virtually all being married or otherwise involved except for me and one other person. Yeah, I'm feeling rather lame.

Oh, whoops, I guess I should go. I need to tidy up the place for the darn exterminator that's coming tomorrow to look at my termite problem. Maybe I'll ask the guy to inspect my attic to see if I have any creatures hiding up there. There could be rats, roaches, termites, or spiders.

Regular nosy check

Saturday I went out with some girlfriends for some shopping. We hit a couple places, tried on a bunch of things, and basically came away with nothing. Wand bought a light knit sweater. Sh bought a jean skirt she's not sure about keeping. That was it. :( It was fun, but I'm disappointed I didn't find anything. At least I know there's supposedly some items getting marked down on Friday for a sale, so I'll go shopping then.

For the evening, we met up with some other gals for a girls' night. We enjoyed dinner at this kind of hip bar/restaurant in the gay part of the city. The menu was fun, best described as American tapas. We ordered various little plates so that we could all try a little - pizza, zucchini fries, tuna poke, roasted yukon potatoes with aioli, ricotta gnocchi with mushrooms, beet salad, Moroccan lamb, and white cheddar grilled cheese sandwich with tomato soup dip.

Afterwards, we went out dancing for a couple hours. It was a charity even held at a local bar/restaurant in the clubbing area of town. Clearly, it was mostly Asians. We joked about the few white men there who clearly were scoping out the single chicks inside. I think Sh said she overheard a couple of them admit to someone at the bar they were at the party because they have an Asian fetish. No prospects for me, but it was fun to just get out and dance.

It was about 2am as we exited the freeway. Sh drove me home. We had chatted about various things like recycling, exercise, dance classes, people adopting babies from China, the dangerous imbalance of gender caused by tradition Chinese practices. It was all pretty interesting.

And then, she shifted gears on me. We must have been talking about my recent vacation with Tim. She then asked, "Do you think spending time with Tim impedes you from dating?"

(Here we go again. It seems she asks this every 6 months. Maybe I need to come back with a less polite response.)

"No, I don't think so. I mean I went on dates with KT and the one with Waby. I wanted to date KT."

"Well, do you feel that you have less interest in dating because of Tim?"

"Not at all. Honestly, if I wasn't hanging out with Tim, I'd probably just be at home by myself. It's not that he's replace that need, I'm just tired of dating."

(Should I have been more annoyed with her prying at this point?)

"What about Tim? I mean, do you think he's not dating because of you?"

"No, we've talked about it. He's says he's fine. For the most part, I believe him."

"But he's not trying to date or anything is he?"

"No, I've asked him about it before. I think he's busy with work and just happy with what he does right now. When we've talked about it, he doesn't seem very concerned about being alone. He'd like to be married if he finds the right person, but I don't think he feels like he *needs* to get married."

And with that, we drove into my complex. Yeah, sometimes I am very annoyed with what I consider to be meddling. I realize that Tim and I spend a lot of time together. We care about each other. There's no deception here, we're honest with each other. I don't understand why she always has to ask about this. It makes me uncomfortable; like I'm doing something wrong. It makes me think I should be more private about my life. I don't like being judged. (Which might be rather two-faced since I tend to do that... though at least I don't say it to them.)

I even told Tim the next day about the questions Sh asked. I don't know that he's bothered by it like I am. He understands her concern. He drove the point home by asking questions like, "how often do we talk to each other," and "who else do you talk to as much?" I might add that it's not always me making the calls. And when I push back by saying, "fine, I won't call you for awhile," he backs off saying he's just trying to make a point. It's not just me wanting to spend time together.

What the hell am I supposed to do? Why can't I enjoy this for what it is? Does it look that bad? If I stop hanging out with him, then I feel like I'm being controlled by someone else which is wrong. On the other hand, I hate feeling harassed. So, we'll see, maybe I'll purposely not hang around with him for a couple weeks and see.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Elderly Man Dies Weeks After Killing Wife

This was so sad and yet so... touching. My eyes are welling up thinking about it. Told you I'm a total sap.

Elderly Man Dies Weeks After Killing Wife

- By JULIA GLICK, Associated Press Writer
Friday, May 19, 2006

(05-19) 10:23 PDT DALLAS, (AP) --

An elderly man who killed his invalid wife last month because his own health was failing and he couldn't bear to send her to a nursing home has died of cancer, his daughter said.

"He was comfortable. He was at peace and ready to be with the woman he loved," said Sally Roberson, who discovered her 83-year-old father dead in his bed Thursday.

James Roberson was charged with murder after the April 25 shooting. His daughter said he put off the deed until "the 11th hour," when he feared he was losing the hand strength to fire his heirloom pistol. He then turned the gun on himself, but it jammed, his daughter said.

He was freed on bail and spent his final days at his daughter's home.

Sally Roberson said her mother, Mary Roberson, 83, would not have wanted to live without her husband.

The couple had been high school sweethearts and were always together. After a series of strokes left her incapacitated and unable to speak, he tended to her every need, neighbors said.

James Roberson brushed his wife's hair, washed her and spoon-fed her each day, but he was growing more ill from brain and lung cancer.

He didn't want to send her to a nursing home, where workers were too busy to try to understand her labored speech and needs, Sally Roberson said, and he worried that his daughter, who has multiple sclerosis, wouldn't be able to care for her.

She said her father will be cremated and his remains placed beside his wife's.

"It has been a blessing that he has been here with me and that he died at home," she said.

Missing the wedding gene

I dined with Hula and C3 last night. We haven't met up for dinner in some time so it was nice to catch up. I noticed I've been overly chatty the past few nights with my friends. Gosh, I hope they have forgotten how annoying I was. I hate when I sense I'm behaving inappropriately but can't seem to stop myself. I asked Tim about it, and he agreed I talked a lot on Wednesday night but downplayed it to make me feel better by saying that I was just excited. But I digress... .

I asked the two of them how they went about deciding upon their wedding ceremonies. As I have mentioned before, I will be officiating my brother's wedding in September. Twice, I've asked him if he or Ricer have any idea what they want. I'm waiting for them to give me some ideas.

Hula said she and Drummer basically looked up various ceremonies on the Internet and cut out the parts they liked. C3 agreed that that is the easiest and best way to go. Maybe when I'm bored one of these weekends, I'll go surfing.

I mentioned to them that I'm currently getting a free subscription to "Modern Bride" because I had some expiring air miles and picked out 8 magazines for free. (And I am now swimming in unread WSJ, Fortune, Self, Sunset, and Time magazines.) I knew it was a silly idea, but I figured with my brother's wedding coming I might get some ideas from the bridal magazine. I joked and they agreed that I need to hide them should any eligible man visit my place as they'd probably freak thinking I'm already planning a wedding for myself.

We talked about Pku and how wonderful her wedding invitations turned out. She designed them herself using a laser printer and Asian art images she pulled off the Internet. We all expressed how impressed we were. Neither her nor her fiancee seem like very artsy people. Pku told us at the invitation party how much fun she had designing them. C3 teased me that as friends have gotten married over the years, the weddings have grown more impressive. She joked that the bar is set high for mine.

The thing is, I've never been one of those girls that daydreams and fantasizes about that big day. I always think of Monica from "Friends" and how she collected a wish book full of clippings and notes about the kind of wedding she wanted. The whole concept seems so foreign to me. Frankly, the thought of it stresses me out and I will likely be too cheap about it.

In my twenties, I thought about having a wedding more so, I think, because that's what everyone expected. It's what you did when you got married. In the past couple of years, however, the idea of going to city hall or eloping at a national park lodge feels a lot more appealing. I've always leaned toward having a smaller, intimate setting. I don't mind having a big reception where I can party with my friends. I just don't feel like going through all the pomp and circumstance of the ceremony. (But, I know, it's not about me, it's all about having a nice "show" for the parents and relatives.)

Both Hula and C3 kind of agreed that they weren't really into the whole affair at first. I think as they dug into the planning they realized how much they wanted a memorable day. That's completely understandable. I am a romantic at heart. Man, you should see how easily I tear up over things, like Ray proposing to Yolanda the day after the finale of "Amazing Race." Maybe I'd feel differently about weddings if I had the right man in my life.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

0 is the new 8 - The Boston Globe

0 is the new 8 - The Boston Globe

Since I've been commenting and reading various other blog commentaries about women's clothing sizes... I couldn't help stop when I noticed this article.

I think women's clothing should just go to men's format, sizes that correspond to a specific body measurement. I know everyone's different - waist, hips, chest, but at least then there'd be no more fooling and confusion. Just stop making me wonder what size fits me everytime I pick up a different brand of clothing. We need standardization!

0 is the new 8
As waistlines grow, women's clothing sizes shrink incredibly
By Kate M. Jackson, Globe Correspondent | May 5, 2006

(Correction: Because of a reporting error, the name of pattern maker and author Kathleen Fasanella was misspelled in a Page One story on Friday about vanity sizing.)

Inside the dressing room at Ann Taylor, Wendy Chao found herself at a loss.

''I tried on a size 0 skirt and it was too big," said Chao, a 30-year-old graduate student of molecular biology at Harvard University. ''To me, a size 0 is antimatter; it's something devoid of any physical reality."

Chao was already mystified by how she'd shrunk from a size 8 in high school to a size 2 today, despite gaining 15 pounds in the interim. But now at size 0, she realized something curious was afoot.

''As far as I can see, size means nothing," she said. ''I am different sizes at different stores, but they're all remarkably smaller than what I wore as a scrawny teenager. In my closet, I have everything from a size 0 to a size 12." She added that a size 8 skirt she bought from Ann Taylor in 2000 is ''identical in cut" to the size 0 she bought at the store late last year.

The incongruity in Chao's closet is far from a fluke: While Americans have statistically gotten larger, women's clothing has gotten smaller -- that is, if the numbers on the size labels are to be believed. It's no secret that retailers have been playing to women's vanity for years by downsizing the sizes on garment labels, but the practice has reached an extreme in recent months with the introduction of the sizes ''double zero" and ''extra, extra small." If vanity sizing continues on this path, analysts say, it is only a matter of time before clothing sizes are available in negative integers.

In many ways we're already there, said Bridgette Raes, an image and style consultant in New York who notes that the sizes double zero and extra, extra small available at stores like Banana Republic and Old Navy are essentially negative sizes. Instead of putting a -2 size on the label, manufacturers use 00, which is the same thing.

J. Jill introduced its ''extra, extra small" size last year in response to its petite customers' demands for smaller sizes, said Lauren Cooke, a public relations manager for the company.

''We've always had size 'extra small,' but our clothing tends to be cut more generously because we cater to women over 35," she said, noting that an extra small at J. Jill is the equivalent of a size 2 or 4 at other stores. Their extra, extra small is equivalent to a size 0.

The downward evolution of sizes illustrates the extent to which retailers, apparel manufacturers, and designers are conforming to American women's obsession with wanting to be thin -- even if it's only in their minds, said Natalie Weathers, an assistant professor of fashion industry management at Philadelphia University.

In addition, the small sizes help retailers attract the junior-sized buyers -- typically girls in their teens -- to adult stores.

Vanity sizing has been a common practice in expensive women's clothing for decades, but Weathers said the practice has crept into the mass market because a wider spectrum of women -- teenagers through baby boomers -- are more preoccupied with size than ever before.

''We live in a world now where 14-year-olds shop at Victoria's Secret," said Weathers. ''On the other side, we're always hearing how 50 is the new 30."

And the gap between what's reality for most women and fantasy also seems to be bigger. While more than 60 percent of American women are overweight, women on television and on the big screen are getting skinnier and skinnier. In fact, after producers of ''Desperate Housewives" learned their star Eva Longoria is a size 00, they wrote a reference to her clothing size into an episode.

While images of Hollywood certainly feed the frenzy, there are other factors at work, said April Ainsworth, owner of, an online vintage clothing retailer. With some exceptions, manufacturers are simply making women's clothing larger and labeling them with smaller sizes. As a result, what was a size 8 in the 1950s had become a 4 by the 1970s and 00 today. The size labels just keep getting smaller, so it's no surprise they're diving below zero now, Ainsworth said.

If this trend continues, some petite women may find their own shopping options limited as the smaller sizes available at some of their favorite stores actually become too large for them.

Just ask Kelly O'Rourke, 27, of Roslindale. She loved shopping at such stores as Ann Taylor, the Gap, and J. Crew because their petite lines were cut to her silhouette. However, she said she recently found that sizes 0 and 2 are too big for her at some of these retailers.

''It's frustrating to me as a petite woman when I try on a size 2 suit and it's swimming on me because it really has the measurements of a size 6," she said.

The picture is further complicated by the fact that sizing varies among brands and stores, making it difficult for many women to know exactly what size they are. The problem has only become more acute since January 1983 when the US Department of Commerce dropped a uniform sizing system for women on the grounds that it no longer reflected the size and shape of the average consumer.

''Sizing has always shifted to match consumers' changing behaviors," said Kathleen Fassanella, a pattern maker and author who writes an apparel manufacturing blog called Fashion Incubator.

''For instance, when women stopped wearing corsets, manufacturers had to completely redesign their patterns due to the great dissatisfaction of women who were no longer wearing the undergarments."

But because women have gotten larger, Fassanella said, their clothing is cut larger today -- though many of the labels won't tell you that.

Long days

I'm really tired and somewhat concerned about my health today. Since Sunday, I've bee trying to catch up on rest. Right now... I can't even remember what I was doing on Monday evening. ... okay I just called Tim and he reminded me I ended up watching "Grey's Anatomy" until 11pm. Tonight will be my third straight day of not being home from 8am until past 9pm. I know, it's my own choice to stay up and then not get enough rest (except Tues); I shouldn't complain. It's fun, but it doesn't give me much time to recharge. What am I going to do when I have kids?

This week has been rather odd, I can't find a better word to describe it. I've been getting mild headaches since Sunday. I think it's my annual phase of my eyes not liking my computer monitor. Add to that a strange pain shooting through my left forearm and shoulder. (It could be repetitive motion related, but it feels very different from previous times.) Is this middle age creeping up on me?

Discomfort combined with a lack of motivation is not healthy for getting work done. I discussed this with my therapist, but she wasn't very helpful. It's very difficult for me to separate being simply unhappy/bored with my current job versus being unhappy with my career in general. I tend to think it's the former. Don't get me wrong, I do like my job but I think I've been working on this one product too long and the politics are getting to me. Unfortunately, I'm not ready to do anything about it because I don't really feel like working. I'm the kind of person who can do really good work when pushed. Let to my own, however, I have a bad habit of putzing around for far too long. Ideally, I'd like to take the summer off because some part of me hopes that it'll give me time to participate in all kinds of activities which will: 1) help me meet men and 2) reinspire my interest in work. Financially, I could afford to take a few months off, but quitting work and not knowing what would happen three months from now scares me (especially with a mortgage to pay).

I had twenty minutes to spare before I needed to meet my friends for dinner and the finale of "Amazing Race." I decided to stop by Anthropologie for fun. I love their clothes, but frankly, it's *expensive* and not always suited to short people like me. In the end, I splurged on a cute brown skirt with an ivory floral pattern. It was marked down from the original $88 to $60. For me, that's incredibly expensive (thank goodness I have a credit card again). You have to understand that I buy things that are 50% to 75% off retail. Some part of me was fed up enough last night with my boring clothes to allow this extravagant purchase to proceed. It's still a little big on me... it seems I can never win on my waist. I love how it flares up as I walk down stairs and the bottom inch of the lining is finished with embroidery in case it peaks out. That attention to detail is nice and maybe worth the extra cost. We'll see if it stays in my closet or goes back to the store next week. I have a feeling I will keep it.

The "Amazing Race" finale was great. We were all cheering at the end because brains won out over brawn. Being the geeks we are, it can be frustrating always seeing the smooth talkers and "muscle" win out over the "smart" people. I think all the teams deserved to win, but you can't help root for the people who you more associate with.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Dreams about the ex

I overslept a bit this morning. Two nights of barely five hours of sleep finally caught up with me. I woke up this morning after having a dream about my ex, Ryan. I'm thinking this happened because when I was going to the airport yesterday, I spotted someone who, from a distance, looked like him.

I dreamed about visiting his home. I don't know why I went there. Without ringing the door bell, I remember opening the front door myself. No one knew that I was there and I felt awkward. I could hear voices coming from the down hallway in front of me that veered left. The house was very clean, decorated with dark wood furnishings and chrome, modern but classy. I vaguely remember thinking about the shiny features around the console table in the foyer.

I must have walked into a study room or something on the first floor. I picked up a package of photos and a pen off a table or desk. The photos were in one of those yellow development envelopes from a store. I ventured upstairs holding them in my hand. (I think this package represents the photos that I never picked up from him just after we broke up.)

At some point, his wife, Vi, greeted me. She seemed a little annoyed but friendly. I think Ryan must have been busy on the phone. I was allowed to wait in the house. That led me to wander the upstairs. I was curious to see what the rest of the house looked like. The first bedroom I came across was painted a bright color. The room was furnished with the items that Ryan had once had in his master bedroom. I recognized the Baronet bedframe and dresser. My thought was that she chose to buy them new furniture for their bedroom.

I needed to use the restroom and entered the bathroom across the hall. The sink area was clearly decorated for a child. I can't recall if they were art on the tiles or actual toys, but there were little people everywhere on the counter. They didn't have children (somehow I knew this), but clearly she was preparing for the day.

I went back downstairs. Ryan was still on the phone. It must have been an important call for him not to come talk to me. Somehow though, I didn't care. Like I said, I don't remember the reason I went there in the first place. But I do remember that after waiting, I decided that I didn't need to talk to him and prepared to leave. I left the photos and pen I had been carrying amongest a stack of other photo envelopes. I debated whether or not they'd notice that I had touched it. I never looked at the photos.

Next, I let Vi know that I was leaving. She was friendly, and I recall seeing a "REI" label on the cropped jeans she was wearing. I didn't think they flattered her. I peaked around the corner to see into the kitchen. Ryan looked up, still talking to someone on the phone, non-chalantly waived to me, and then continued with his conversation.

Then, I left, making sure I pulled the front door closed.

Huh, only one other time have I had such a detailed dream about him in the past two years. It must be because of that guy I saw while waiting for the shuttle to the airport. When I saw the guy, it took me a few seconds to determine that it was not Ryan. Frankly, I knew it was highly unlikely since it wouldn't make sense to run into him there. As I stood there, I couldn't help wonder how I would react if I actually were to bump into him. Initially, I felt a little freaked by seeing the "fake" ex 20 feet away, but I didn't feel panicked. I have no desire to bump into him. Perhaps the good thing is that I didn't feel the desire to punch him. As much as I feel healthier today about what happened, he broke my heart and that will never change.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Phoenix visit

I'm visiting Phoenix today for a quick business trip. I woke up around 4am for my 6:15am flight. I'll probably get home after 10pm. Ugh. And then it's back to the office the next morning. What was I thinking?

At least there was a long break at lunch. We ate at a restaurant located in the shopping center across the street. I even managed to stop by a couple stores before heading back to the meeting. No surprise that I couldn't find many petites at the smaller stores. The big department store actually had a decent selection of clothes. I suppose they're catering to the upper class retired folks around here.

One thing I was curious about was whether they'd have my size in underwear. Last weekend, I decided to go for buying some new, a little more expensive (i.e. $5 per pair on sale) panties. Unfortunately, where I live, my size isn't to be found presumably because there are hundreds of other women buying the same size. My logic (call it racist if you will) is that since there are fewer Asians in Arizona, I might find my size. Other people will probably have bigger butts given their ethnicity and age of clientele.

Well, the answer is yes. I found my size, and in more colors than just ivory, white, nude, and black. It's fun to buy colors, and I hadn't seen many until today. It's a no win situation. You need critical mass so the stuff that fits you will be stocked, but you don't want so many people that it's all sold before you can buy it.

And buying underwear always makes me wonder... how useful are lacy or other "fancy" panties. I do have a few sets of matching lingerie in my drawer which are fun to wear on occaision. Guys may look at them for a few seconds before they come off. Is it really worth it? Do guys really care? I just want something comfortable to wear, like a nice, nylon/cotton (with lycra), bikini style bottom. It's still cute just not the lacy, itchy, stuff.

I guess it's like me when it comes to men's white briefs. They look like diapers to me sometimes. I prefer briefs in colors and boxers.

Roach wimp

It got pretty hot over the weekend. After watching "Grey's Anatomy," I cleaned up the kitchen a bit, washing the dishes that have collected in the sink for a few days. Since I've gotten back from my vacation, the place has turned into a mess. My mail is strewn all over the floor, boxes of chocolate cover the coffee table (they'd melt at Tim's), and recyclables dot the kitchen counter.

I knew I had to get up early for my dentist appointment. I was climbing the stairs up to my bedroom. Just as I turned the corner to the last two steps, I noticed something black resting on the edge of the last step. It was an ugly, dark brown cockroach. Y U C K!!! I shrieked.

They exist throughout the development, but I've been lucky to only see maybe one or two a year inside. I just don't understand why it appeared upstairs, on my carpet! I didn't dare walk past it because I feared the movement would cause it to scurry towards my room or clothing that was on the floor.

I don't deal well with roaches (and Tim would say insects in general). I'll swat knats. I catch spiders and put them outside. The spiders took a bit of training for me as they scared me at first. I think there's a whole community of them in the air ducts. But roaches... no way, no how. They're just creepy, ugly things that completely gross me out.

All common sense went out the window at this point. I called Tim for some advice on what to do. In secret, I hoped to convince him to come over to help. I grabbed some glass bowls from the kitchen in hopes of trapping the thing. Unfortunately, because he was resting on the edge, I feared that he'd run out when I tried to catch him. Even if I did manage to get a bowl over it, what was I going to do with it?

For more than 30 minutes, I stood five feet from the roach. There were times I was crying in frustration and anguish. Tim was exhausted with my panic and whining. I just couldn't get myself to go near the thing. I was ridiculously afraid of the damn bug. Tim kept saying he was not coming over and that I needed to learn to take care of these things myself. I begged him several times.

Nothing was happening. I could not make progress on going near the roach. It just stupidly sat there on the step, it's antenna occasionally twitching. I was wishing I had a big bat to swat it with. Tim laughed saying it would make a mess if I squashed it and that I'd most likely miss anyhow. I continued to beg and Tim wouldn't budge. Finally, I agreed to pay him a couple hundred dollars to come over. Yes, I kid you not. My peace of mind was at stake here. He made a very unreasonable request on the money and I gave in. I knew that so long as that roach was roaming free, I'd never sleep.

Tim had the most annoyed look on his face as I opened my front door. My eyes were red from crying. I was very quiet and listed carefully to what he had to say. He brought over a clear plastic container. I watched as he prepared to catch the roach. Tim had to very quickly drag the container over the roach so that it was pressed vertically against the step. I think even he realized this was a little challenging. Had the roach been on a flat surface, I might have been able to do this myself, but not on a step. Gradually, he worked the lid under the container and enclosed the dreaded roach inside. You could hear it's hard shell bang against the container as it scurried around. Yu-eechk, creepy sound to me.

He handed it to me. I carried the container down the stairs with my arm extended as far as possible from my face. Its body was more than an inch and a half long. I tried looking at the underside of the roach but it just grossed me out.

Neither of us knew what to do with it. We decided to flush it down the toilet. This was a bad time to learn that my toilet is not flushing properly. I hastily knocked the roach into the toilet bowl and flushed. For a moment, I thought it was going to walk on water and climb up the sides. He wouldn't go down. At the last second, there was just enough water to pull him under. It was clear, however, the water pressure has him trapped in the pipes, but it wasn't gone. I flushed two more time to make sure he couldn't re-emerge into the bathroom and scare me in the morning.

Tim now holds a very valuable check from me. We'll see if he cashes it. I think he's trying to teach me a lesson and then return the check. Of course, I didn't sleep well that night. I couldn't help think about more of them coming out during the night, or even worse, appearing in my bed. I woke up with puffy eyes from all the crying I did over one stupid pest.

Ugh... I hate roaches. I'm such a big baby about them.

Monday, May 15, 2006

How old did that feel?

I went to the dentist this morning. I never particularly dread going because I take good enough care of my teeth that they rarely ever need to do more than give me a regular cleaning. The only thing I sometimes debate is whether to spend the money to be vane and whiten my teeth.

When I entered the exam room, the hygenist, Elle, made small talk by asking me how I spent Mother's Day. I simply mentioned that I gave my mother a call but didn't spend anytime with her since she doesn't live nearby.

In a very innocent way, Elle responded saying, "Oh, you don't have any children?"

Um... ouch. I felt like I got knocked off my feet by that one. With a polite smile I calmly said, "no." She continued to babble on about how her 10-year-old wanted to take her out to lunch at the park, blah, blah, blah. The whole time I could only think about her initial comment.

So what was it? Do I look that old? I know I have a new, shorter haircut... is it that matronly looking - eeck. Or did she look at my chart for my age and assume that I should have children by now? I probably should also add that all morning, whenever I thought about my age, I thought of myself as 36. Weird. It's bad enough I feel old, desperately want to be married, and have kids. It's even worse that people around me now provide me with these inadvertant reminders that my clock is ticking.

Besides fretting over the huge roach I had last night in my place (another story for later), this just was not the way to start the week.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Old-fashioned personals

I went hiking with Chi and her friend, Ato, today. We're all about the same age and dealing with the same feelings about dating. They're both still open to Internet dating. We would all like to meet someone the "natural" way, but for what ever reason, it's tough.

These days, I look at personal ads rarely. As I've mentioned before, I don't do Internet dating anymore. I tried it, I met a couple people, I even hand a year long relationship with one, but I have come to realize it's not for me. Still, I like browsing. I suppose it gives me some sense of hope that there are decent men out there that I might meet someday.

So I was recalling this personal ad I saw years ago in a local Thursday weekly. I thought it was the best thing I'd ever seen. Given those ads have a limited amount of space, there isn't much space to get the message across. Most people, especially women tend to list all their attributes. Men tend to list what they're looking for. This particular ad stood out because it was unique. I can't remember the *exact* ad, but you see why it's not to hard to recreate:

"Blah, blah, blah, blah, SWM, 33, blah, blah, blah. Blah, blah, blonde, blah, blah, 5'11", blah, blah. Blah, volleyball, blah, blah, blah, blah."


Friday, May 12, 2006

Nerds make better lovers

I saw this posted by Sandre Dee on Damn It Anyway's blog. It's cute. I know my geeky guy friends certainly appreciate the positive spotlight. What about us geeky chicks?

Nerds make better lovers

Ready for a real relationship? Ditch the
pretty boys and grab yourself a geek


Sitcom siren Courteney Cox saw a prince charming in fashion freestylist David Arquette.

Golfers aren't notorious studs, but Swedish stunner Elin Nordegren thinks hubby Tiger Woods has got game.

Super-chic Rachel Bilson fell for her slightly geeky co-star Adam Brody, on-screen and off.

Christina Aguilera recently traded in piercings for petticoats, apparently making the usual Marilyn Monroe morph. But there's more than meets the eye: Sure, she's blond, buxom and sweet-voiced now, but she's also emulating the classic bombshell in matters of the heart.
You see, Aguilera's fiance, like Monroe's husband, playwright Arthur Miller, is kind of a geek.

When Aguilera announced her engagement to smarty-pants music executive Jordan Bratman in February, the 24-year-old pop star demonstrated a tried-and-true dating trick. Geeks have got the goods.

Bratman, with his scrawny frame and oversize ears, has mastered the music industry at just 26 and is Romeo enough to have stolen Aguilera's heart (as well as inspired her new demure-coquette look).

"A nerd is an excellent provider and a guy who puts you first," says E. Jean Carroll, Elle magazine's love and sex advice columnist. "He'll turn out to be a great father and a great husband."

And, she insists that a woman who is willing to stick it out with a nerd and get past his quirks will be handsomely rewarded. "Don't give up on him too fast," she said. "If you stick with him, he's going to turn out to be really great."

If Hollywood is any indication, then yes, he will. This month, reality TV celebrates geek love with two shows: Ashton Kutcher's "Beauty and the Geek," which pairs braniacs with bimbos for a "social experiment," and the latest installment of "Average Joe," in which a pretty girl woos not-so-studly dudes (airing on June 22).

On Fox's "The O.C.," the nerdy Seth Cohen (played by Adam Brody) didn't just land the adorable Summer Roberts (Rachel Bilson) on TV - he managed to get the girl in real life, too. Bilson (and her character) managed to look past the slicked-down hair to find the witty guy beneath. Cohen's obsession with comic books? Her character deems it sweet. Brody's nasal drawl? Bilson doesn't seem to mind.

How can a savvy girl land a geek of her own? Spencer Koppel, a self-proclaimed geek who attends crossword-puzzle tournaments on weekends, has made it easy for girls with their eye on the prize with his "Geek to Geek" dating service,

Members can meet and select a perfect mate (guys with screen names like "thinkspecs" and "ivygrad") based on favorite board game and gadget instead of eye color, height and other categories the nerds might be lacking.

And according to Koppel, the pool is stocked with supreme sci-fi fans and accomplished intellects.

"I think geeks are more successful. They're happier in the work they do," Koppel said. "And they're pretty faithful people, because they're certainly grateful for anything they have."

When it comes to the between-the-sheets aspect of the relationship, Carroll agreed that a girl couldn't do much better than a less-than-perfect male specimen. "We've all been to bed with the guy who is worried about what he looks like, checking the mirror before he gets in bed," she said. "The nerd, gloriously, stunningly, perfectly, is into the woman. That right there is very stirring, sexually."

Tiger's purr-fect

It seems to be enough for the likes of goddess models and Hollywood A-listers. Tiger Woods has a geek-like drive for a stodgy sport, a fat bank account and Swedish model Elin Nordegren on his arm. David Arquette may not have the body of a Greek god, but he managed to land sexy former Friend Courteney Cox with his goofy humor and mismatched wardrobe.

For Scott Dennis, a 34-year-old teacher from Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, "geek" and "good guy" are synonymous - and he is both. Although some aspects of his personality make him what he called a "quintessential babe magnet" (former jock, drummer in a rock band), the real qualities that helped him land his girlfriend are the geeky ones.

"Do I know the difference between a knight and a pawn? Certainly," he says. "Am I familiar with the Four Move Checkmate? Well, maybe I am. ... But the truth is I'm a decent guy with diverse interests who actually offers authenticity in his relationships."

But to get to that authentic nerd, chic women have to be willing to embrace their own inner geek and accept the guy for who he is, chess trophies and all. The caveat to mating with a geek, as some dating experts see it, is coming to terms with his less-than-studly looks and less-than-suave demeanor. All thoughts of embarrassment have to go out the window.

Andrea Lavinthal, who co-authored (with Jessica Rozler) "The Hookup Handbook," a young woman's guide to navigating the waters of singlehood, says that being sure of your choice of guy is first and foremost.

"Girls tend to worry about what their friends are going to think," she said, "and you have to get over it. You can't always be making excuses and apologies. Give him the respect he deserves, and don't always be assuming you're better than him."

She also said that not all girls are ready for a full-on geek relationship right from the start. Her book has a chapter devoted to "The Snufalufagus Hookup," the one that every girl wishes her friends didn't know about, and that she at first tries to deny happened. "In many ways, it's the first foray into the nerdy guy thing," Lavinthal said. "You're attracted to him because he doesn't screw around. Sure, it's fun to make out with the hot bartender, but you're not going to marry him."

Not falling for the fakes

Koppel, however, warns that unserious girls who prowl his site looking for a breadwinner should use caution - his members may be geeky, but they sure aren't stupid. "I think geeks are intelligent enough to be wary of the idea that an attractive woman is interested in them," he said. "They aren't as drawn to beauty as they are to intelligence, and wouldn't just accept a ditz."

It takes the right kind of girl to love a nerd. Kate Hammer, an NYU student, said she's just that kind of girl. "I have been snagged by nerd charms," she said.

"My ex and I bonded over 'Star Trek,' and on our first date at an amusement park, my current boyfriend impressed me with his intricate understanding of the physics of roller coasters. He's a mechanical engineer."

For a modern girl who is far from ditzy, the geek could be the mate who brings security and a load of eclectic interests to the relationship. Even the once-naughty Aguilera managed to find a guy who defines devotion and doesn't compete to be the sexiest one in the relationship. Clearly, it's what a girl wants.

Originally published on June 9, 2005

Template issues

Okay, being the novice html programmer (I could figure this out if I sat down for a few hours and dusted the cobwebs off my former life as a programmer), I need help. I noticed that in the past week, the format of my blog shifted. In the "dot" template it looked as if you could only see my profile info first and had to scroll down to get to the text. Now, in the "rounders" template it's the reverse where you can read the entries but must scroll down to read the blog info. Is this just my computer? Does anyone else reading this blog see this problem?

It would see that somehow the two columns cannot sit side by side so the right column is shifting down. I see all other blogs normally (including my others), just this one seems to be messed up... and I haven't played with the html code except to insert a counter at after the body of code.

The only thing I can think of based on reading some help postings (nice to know there are other people with this issue) is that I posted that picture of the birthday card back in mid-April and somehow it shifted everything? (I tried removing the two photos I have, but it's didn't change anything. :( )


Better but still bothered

I talked further with Tim last night. He came over and watched the finale of "Gilmore Girls" with me. He was sweet enough to look for and find an Internet version so I could see what happened to Lorelai. (My suspicious were going in the correct direction in terms of what happened.) We also caught up on "Lost" to see who died see what Michael is up to.

Later on in the evening, I brought up the question again about traveling with people. I cautioned him that my hormones were a bit off. I repeated what he said about not wanting me as a first choice. He said I was being silly because he enjoyed traveling with me. It's just that for something like "Amazing Race" he'd want someone who'd eat grasshoppers and swim past poisonous spiders. Well, yeah, if we're talking like that, I'd want a big, muscular guy with no fear too.

Still, what Sh said upset me, even if she had no intentional ill feeling behind it. (I know, why should her opinion matter... ) Tim tried to blow it off saying she simply meant to demonstrate that the two of us have very different personalities. I explained to him that that wasn't the point. My concern with her opinion was that if I couldn't get along with Tim, who is very laid back and easy going, then who else could I possibly get along with. It bothers me to think that I'm a difficult person. It's something I strongly fear. He tried to reason with me, but my hormones just took over.

Of course, even Tim and I got on each other's nerves a bit during the vacation. But we always managed to joke, tease, and laugh about it minutes later. We had a disagreement the very night we came back. He was frustrated that there was no time stamp to his cell phone's voicemail messages. I told him they do have time stamps. He kept disagreeing, saying they only exist for the saved messages. I kept insisting he could access them. To prove his point, he told me to leave a message on his cell phone so he could demonstrate there was no time stamp. I left a message and then listened to his voicemail, pressed '5' for the envelope information, and told him that I was listening to the time and date stamp. He then took the phone from me, asked me what I did, repeated my steps, and then quietly shut the phone.

We had been miscommunicating a bit. He had been talking about how the saved messages automatically provide the time and date. He didn't realize there was an extra step involved to access that information on new messages. He apologized and thanked me for telling him. I acknowledged that I should have been clearer about where the information was. We smiled and moved on. A five minute argument and all was well. I think we get along very well. We fight fair and are open with each other. It's one of the best relationships I have. I can't say that for many situations I've had with other men.

This is why (besides irrational hormone number #4) it upset me to be told that Tim and I wouldn't get along in a team competition. Yes, it would be intense, but I know we'd do well together.

And on a funny note:

Daily Overview for May 12, 2006
Provided by

Hold off doing major activities today -- just let the world go by for a while.

Self-acceptance is a magical thing -- it can smooth out so many situations in your life. Be gentle with yourself and you'll find that people, places and things that caused you stress in the past disappear.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Tulip of the day

Just thinking about all the wonderful flowers I saw while traveling... I thought it'd be nice to post something to make me smile.

The lonely traveler

Something was said last night that really hit a nerve. Maybe I'm more sensitive these days because that ugly monthly monster is coming. I tend to notice that I get rather moody (and often times semi-depressed) for about two days beforehand.

My friends had met up to watch "Amazing Race." We hadn't met up as a group to watch it in over a month. I excitedly mentioned that CBS is now taking applications for the next race. Sh was sitting beside me on the couch, and I added to her that there will be no local auditions this time.

She then asked who would I audition with if I wanted to apply. My immediate response was Tim. After all, we are close friends and just spent a continuous 13 days together. Sh basically reacted by saying that Tim and I would tear each other apart. I was surprised and questioned her opinion. Her reaction surprised me and raised up all kinds of self-doubt issues in my head.

I felt devastated that she would say such a thing. Granted we had our times of disagreement when navigating the French roads, but I thought Tim and I were always fine within minutes. It made me question whether I would get along with ANYONE. (Gosh, hormones are terrible, this is getting me incredibly upset to write about.) I know that I struggle a little with Ig, but I know I'm not the only one. Am I that bad? Is this why no wants to be with me? How does Sh really feel about me?

This morning, I briefly chatted with Tim by phone. I know it's not the best way to talk about this, but I needed to ask. He said he had a nice trip with me, but for something like "Amazing Race" I would not be his first choice of a partner. I described to him what happened with Sh. He said that she had described him as very laid back. I think his interpretation is that she didn't see his personality fitting well with mine. Am I one of those people who others can only stand to be around for a day or two at most? Did I say how much I'm hurting right now? (Stupid hormones.)

People who don't know me well think I'm this well-accomplished, smart, outgoing, and confident person. The fact of the matter is that once they start getting to really know me and see me in more intimate settings, my insecurities and lack of self-esteem start to show themselves. It's horrible to live such different identities. I am, in fact, very shy around people (particularly men) if I want to impress them. I fear they will doscover what an ugly person I truly am. I've struggled all my life to be better, to be happy with myself. Unfortunately, for every step I take forward, I manage to find a way to sabotage my progress.

I don't know what to do. My natural reaction is to retreat, to not talk to anyone. I feel like I should just keep my mouth shut whenever I'm around people and just go with the flow. It would seem that having an opinion is what gets me into trouble. I was hoping to travel to China with friends next year. But, right now, I'm thinking that I should scrap the idea or go alone. This is torture for me. I want so much to be liked... and yet I don't feel like I'm ever able to escape from whatever stormy cloud that overshadows me. Why can't a fix this damn problem?

So it's more just pretending everything is fine and play happy. Certainly, I need to keep my mouth shut about any dating in the future. They probably all think I'm psycho girl with all the drama. I'm meeting up with Chi and her friend for dinner tomorrow... I need to make sure I behave and think before I speak.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Cube me

So I got back to thinking about this personality quiz I had heard of a few times. You may recall it from "Serendipity" where John Cuzack's character is quizzed about Kate Beckinsale.

It's always interesting to see what kind of answers one can come up with and how they might represent you. If you want to play this game, think through each section carefully before moving on to the next. Once you read the interpretation, you'll influence any answers you give.

Imagine a desert. There is a horizon and sky.
In this desert there is a cube.
What does it look like?
How big is the cube?
What color?
What is it made of (if you can tell)?

Now, in this desert, there is also a ladder.
What's the ladder made of?
Where is it (in relation to the cube)?

In the desert there is also a horse.
What kind of horse is it?
What color?
Where is it?
What is it doing?

Somewhere in the desert is a storm.
What kind of storm is this?
Where do you see it? Which way is it proceeding?

And finally, in this desert there are flowers.
Where are the flowers?
Are there many or few?
What color, what kind?
Where is it?


You can read about the analysis here (or you can Google for many other descriptions):

This website itself seems a little weird. I'm always amazed and frightened by the stuff that exists on the Internet. While it's a wonderful way to spread information and teach people about the word, it's also an evil place where lies can be spread and untruths can be perpetuated.


My answers? Well, maybe I've been to too many museums, but I immediately pictured this immense black, metal cube standing on its point. It stood showing maybe one-third below the horizon. But then, I wanted to change my cube to a glass material with a water like glow. It stands pretty big... I'm guess it's 12 feet high?

=> It would appear I'm ambitious and pure. Apparently I'm not well-grounded but have a sense of self-worth, and amfull of myself. Eeck. Blech. I think this speaks to my *need* to feel important though I don't believe I am.

The ladder lays on edge behind the cube. It's made of light wood and is almost new. It's probably 6-8 feet in length.

=> I have a healthy relationship with my many friends. Don't know what the ladder being behind the cube could mean... that I come first? [this isn't making me look to good eh?]

The horse is a beautiful chesnut brown with a black mane. He stands to the right of the cube so that he can use the shade created by the sun to cool himself. He not huge, but a healthy, sturdy-sized adult horse.

=> Aw, I want my lover to be very close emotionally and physically. :) I would agree that I want someone who "bigger" but no too big. No one too bulky or over 6' please.

There is a vase of bright Gerber daisies just a few feet in front of the cube. They are flowers of varying colors.

=> I want many children who grow up well-adjusted, but I probably want them to be reasonably independent. [now I'm mixing in what I know of myself]

You can see the storm over the horizon, it passed the cube already and is headed away from the scene. It was big but is now dissipating.

=> Boy, I hope this is true of my life. That time with Ryan was a very dark period. I do feel like I'm enjoying better times now. :)

Snapped VCR tape

Damn, Tim's VCR tape snapped last night about 10 minutes into recording "Gilmore Girls" for me. :(( Waaaaaa! Why this week!!!??? Now, I've got to search among my friends to see who might have it. Tim's such a sweetie, he'd said he's going to look online to see if an avi version is posted somewhere.

Everyone's starting to get the postcards we sent from Europe. So cute... Tim sent me one. It put a big smile on my face this morning when I fetched the mail.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Shoes vs. dating

A strange thought came over me as I browsed some clothing magazines. (Also, I can't help be swayed by all the haute couture I just saw in Europe.) What if I completely gave up on the idea of getting married, buying a house, and having children in exchange for blowing some money on some good looking shoes and handbags?

I'm no slob, but can honestly say I have my share of comfy, bloated looking clothes. Even Tim thought I was dressed rather unattractively on Sunday wearing waist-high, faded Gap jeans and an ivory, long-sleeve, slightly oversized v-neck. I changed into some new clothes from H&M, a blue floral halter with a crochet, yellow shrug. I have to say it was rather nice to be complemented by several woman that afternoon on my outfit.

I love looking at "Lucky" magazine. It's my one indulgence besides "In Style" if I'm stuck at the airport when I'm traveling for work. I'm a late bloomer in the fashion department. I grew up in a sunny, predominantly blond-haired community. Being white and dressed in trendy clothes got you in with the popular people. I lacked several qualifications to ever belong to that clique. And let's face it, a lot of those fashions are meant for skinny women over 5'6". What's girl to do when her legs are disproportionately short and she has no bust to hold up a deep v-neck top?

I can still recall many junior high school days when my mother had me wear some old clothes of hers. We're talking early to mid-seventies clothes being worn in the days of Duran Duran, early MTV, and Material Girl. Why did she put me in black and white platform sandals? Those might sound cool today, but not when you're an impressionable and harshly judged 13-year-old.

When I graduated from college, baggy clothes were still kind of the norm. It also probably didn't help that I wasn't all that comfortable or confident about my body (and I probably didn't actually look too bad).

I think it was only after I broke up with my college boyfriend (5 years of emotional abuse) that I lost weight and start buying better clothes. But even then, I was still getting a feel for what looked right on me. Every woman is different, but the clothes you want don't know any better.

Maybe in grad school is when I finally started picking up more age appropriate clothing. Honestly, I think I've kind of regressed to make up for lost time. When my cousin was wearing Bebe, I was wearing Liz Claiborne. She still shops at places like Bebe, H&M, Forever 21, Express, and Target.

Personally, I thought Forever 21 was cheap and obnoxiously bright - but hey, I'm not their target market either. It's also challenging because I'm a petite person. That means I either pay a lot for hemming, figure out how to sew, or shop at stores that have petites. And buying petites means going to Ann Taylor, BR (whose hip area on pants and skirts is always way too narrow), J. Crew, and department stores. It also means I need to go where they sell the under size 6 shoes (fewer and fewer places over the years).

I'm a bargain hunter by nature. I learned it well from my mother, maybe too much so. But that also means that sometimes I pass up on things I really want because they're not marked down 50% of retail price. It probably doesn't help that I live in an Asian woman rich environment and have to compete with all their needs and money. So here I am thinking it might be time to head to the Macy's sales today and get myself some hot clothes for the summer. Man, I've got to get cable again so I can watch "What Not to Wear." I miss that show.

What am I saving all this money for if I'm not getting married and having kids? Why not enjoy it a little? Besides... I guess I can always return it if I change my mind, right? ;)

Traveling with a boy

Seeing Tim 24 hours a day, for 13 days straight went as I expected. We had a few minor bumps, but overall we get along very well. We had our "Amazing Race" moments as we drove through northern France.

The very first day in the car, it started. Leaving Paris by car (and most European cities in general) can be a confusing and frustrating experience. I remember trying to direct someone into Rome years ago, everyone gets annoyed at some point. We plotted out a clear direction to catch the expressway. We had tried to print out directions from Google, but the printer ink had dried up. I did my best to jot down some notes on the directions.

Driving along the Seine, I swear we missed three consecutive left turns. On the first one, I didn't see any signs. On the next two, I couldn't read the map fast enough to tell Tim what street to keep a watch for. Even worse, when we did see signs, he was in the wrong lane. For some of the major roads, you drive through a series of short tunnels and come up for intersections. What we didn't know is that if you want to turn left, you must exit to the right of the intersection ramp. I'm pretty good with directions, so it just goes to show that maps are tough.

Outside of the big city, the signs are very well marked. I think we would have found our way even without the maps (though we probably would have ended up on a few small, slower roads). Tensions got highest between us when we had to make split second guesses about which way to turn. We each second guessed each other several times which made for some angry spats. Tim, fortunately, is the one person who I know I can argue with and always make up. We both had our share of admitting the other person was right (him more than me ;)). It's easy to imagine the tv editors showing just the clip where I got pissed and yelled at Tim versus 30 seconds later when we were back to friendly teasing and laughing about our adventures. It's all about the drama.

Trying to drive back to Paris was the most confusing. Tim ended up on some alternate route that read "Paris - Bis," but it was not the route number I has told him to look for. It was not an expressway (and was nowhere in sight), so finally he gave in and turned around. Then, somehow we were driving north rather than east. I looked bad now telling him to go the wrong way. Once we turned around, however, somehow we found the original route that I had seen on the map. Both of us had been wrong, in a sense, we laughed and he graciously gave me credit for saying the original, correct route number. :)

Even just deciding where to walk in a city was sometimes a battle. He'd suggest one path and I would ask why not another. Or if I asked about walking a certain direction, Tim would not understand why or accuse me of having an ulterior motive.

All of my trips abroad over the past five years have been with boys. I don't know why... but that's how it's been. Sometimes I worry it's because other women know I'd be too difficult to travel with.

It's always been a good lesson for me I suppose. With Tim, I think about how I jump to conclusions or need to explain things a little more carefully. Maybe since we're both first-borns we tend to be a little stubborn about being right. ;)

Two years ago, I went for a two-week trip to Asia with Ig. He and I know each other well but definitely have opposite travel styles at times. That was a big matter of patience because he wants things a certain way. As he's gotten older, he demands a certain level of comfort that I don't require. We stayed at two hotels more because he wanted certain conveniences. I've learned to let those little things go.

What was great about going with Tim is that I learned that he likes to plan things out similarly to me. Whereas Ig just like to go with the flow, I prefer to have a general idea of what I will do each day. I'm not talking planning out every hour, but at least I'd like to be able to say here are three things that I should have time to do today. I like having the majority of my hotels booked in advance (especially after one trip where I spent 4+ hours walking from place to place trying to get a bed while carrying some 30-pound backpack around!) Ig would rather just wait until he gets to the next town. I don't like to worry, and frankly, I'd rather book ahead so that I'm not waste my precious vacation walking around to find a hotel. Eh, to each his own. I'm glad Tim and I were similarly organized.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Gilmore Girls article

On a related note:

It doesn't give away much about the season finale, but stop reading here if you don't want to know anything.

I was thinking that with Rory's impending graduation, the show probably only has another year to go. After all, keeping the relationship going when realistically Rory need to move away for her first post-college job is tough. They really will have separate lives after she finishes college. It sounds like from the article that's the general feeling. It's sad to know it will end, but I'd rather it go out on a good note rather than because the show fell apart.

'Gilmore Girls' creator bids farewell with season finale
Associated Press

LOS ANGELES - "Gilmore Girls" creator Amy Sherman-Palladino is going out on a high note, with her last episode for the WB series filled with her musical favorites.

"It might be the coolest thing we've ever done," Sherman-Palladino said of Tuesday's season finale featuring the "eclectic" musicians she admires and lured to the show.

"We've put together our own Gilmorepalooza," added her husband, Daniel Palladino, a fellow executive producer on the series.

The couple said last month they were leaving the comedy-drama after failing to reach agreement on a new studio contract. Dave Rosenthal, a writer and producer on the show, will be in charge when it makes its expected move to the new CW network, the result of a WB-UPN merger.

Among the artists featured on the sixth-season finale are Sonic Youth, Sam Phillips, Yo La Tengo, Sparks and Joe Pernice.

They've flocked to Stars Hollow, the fictional New England town where "Gilmore Girls" is set, after hearing that the town troubadour (Grant-Lee Phillips) was discovered by Neil Young's manager.

"We're playing our own reality that there's an East Coast troubadour community, people who play music on street corners," said Daniel Palladino.

The couple put together a "wish list" of artists to appear as the street musicians and got an enthusiastic response, he said.

"Gilmore Girls" is about the close relationship between a young single mother, Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) and her daughter, Rory (Alexis Bledel). With the stars under contract for one more season, next year is widely considered to be the show's last.

Sherman-Palladino and her husband said their contract dispute centered on working conditions, including adding more writers to ease their burden. The couple said they have written the majority of scripts for the show and worked on all of them.

In a statement from CW and the studio, Warner Bros. Television, the companies said they were disappointed with the couple's departure but looked forward to a "seamless transition."

The network and studio reportedly wanted to give the couple a one-year deal. Sherman-Palladino, whose own snappy patter was reflected in the Lorelai character, said she believed the show could run longer than another year.

There's more than music to the finale. Also at issue in the episode co-written by Sherman-Palladino and her husband are Lorelai's postponed wedding to Luke (Scott Patterson) and Rory's up-and-down relationship with boyfriend Logan (Matt Czuchry).

The episode sets up "strong places to go next year," Sherman-Palladino said.

She was grateful for the creative freedom she enjoyed on the series and for the excellence of its cast. Leaving was hard, she said.

"I had fully intended to shepherd it forward to the bitter end. I've often said I know what the last four of the final episodes are, and I've known it for a long time," she said.

Old thoughts

If there's one thing I've come to accept, it's that memories will always be there. It's just a matter of what you do with them.

I caught up on the two episodes of "Gilmore Girls" that I missed while I was on vacation. The last scene with Lorelai and her mom (minor spoiler alert) made me think about my relationship with my own mother. Despite their difficult relationship, I was so touched to see her parents want to give her such a wonderful and generous wedding gift. It shows that deep down, her mother loves her very much (but we've always known that).

(And on a trivia note, I Lorelai mentioning Molly Ringwald funny. If you don't know, Lauren Graham, Jenna Elfman, and Molly Ringwald all once starred together in a short lived sitcom called "The Townies." I've always thought that Graham and Elfman ("Dharma & Greg") both have very similar, perky and quirky characters in their shows.)

I guess I kind of know that about my own mother. I know that if and when I get married, she will be a kind and thoughtful person (not on the scale of buying a house or anything but helping pay for a decent wedding). I know my parents want the best for me. I don't seek it out because I believe in being able to take care of myself.

It broke my heart to see her have to cry (and presumably explain) to her mother about the wedding being cancelled. It's so hard because you want it to happen, and you want your parents to not be disappointed. I'm very anxious to see tomorrow's episode.

Driving to work this morning, thoughts of that scene reminded me of this time, three years ago. I was about to go on a two-week holiday with my then boyfriend, Ryan. People didn't say it, but I know many people thought that he'd propose on the trip. We had been together for over a year. The fantasy had crossed my own mind, but I knew there was no chance of it happening. We were moving apart, and only we could sense it. I suppose neither of us was ready to admit it.

By the end of the summer, when we had broken up, memories of the trip especially stung because both he and I had friends who went to almost the exact same cities for their honeymoons that summer. I felt bitter that everyone else's trips to that region had been a celebration. It seemed as if fate were making fun of me.

Okay, enough wallowing... . At least I'm not waiting around for a reason to travel. Life's too short to work all the time. It's beautiful day. I'm going to try and get outta here early today!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Return to reality... slowly

Ah... vacation... .

There are so many things to appreciate about vacation:

- Not thinking about work
- Not hearing your cell phone ring
- Eating whatever you want
- Not thinking about what day it is
- No morning alarms
- No commercials
- Not thinking about dating

And then, there are all the lovely countryside views, museums, canals, dining, pastries, local festivals, historic sites, cheese, chocolate, postcards, sun, sea, baguettes, churches, seafood, walled cities, ocean views, driving through more countryside, a warm evening walking around Paris, local markets, shopping, chocolate, trains, clock towers, more churches, old buildings, and more chocolate.

I'm hoping to put together my pictures and Tim's soon. Then I'll post them in my other blog if you're curious to see some food. But I'm sure that'll be days from now... especially since my home computer seems to be on the fritz. :(

And then you get home and are happy to see other things:

- your own bed
- clean clothes (and a washer and dryer for the dirty ones)
- a car
- my cozy couch
- laying on a clean floor
- my favorite music

And then you have to deal with a few minor pains:
- smelley clothes
- a huge ass stack of unread mail
- a long list of unread e-mails (half of which are a chain of replies among friends which you don't know whether to go through one-by-one or skip to the most recent)
- checking your credit card which reveals you have an unauthorized charge for mp3 downloads (crap!)
- the dread of having to go back to work
- wondering what to do about my little termite problem
- remembering where you left things
- restocking the refrigerator with staples like milk and produce


I thought a little about the whole KT episode a few times during the trip. Getting some distance and letting some time pass on the matter helped ease my anxiety. I still have issues with feeling that he is trying to use me to meet people. It's very unsettling. I'm sure there are other people like that who I know, but at least they're less obvious about it.

Perhaps in another time and place, we could be friends. I question my own attitude of quitting all communications with him because there's no dating possibility. I feel I'm being hypocritical of my own belief of just making friends rather than be obsessed with dating. At the same time, however, I fear dealing with his potential attempts to invite himself to my friends' functions. I've debated limiting this to just being e-mail pals. That, I could handle.

I thought that with my last e-mail, I'd kept the possibility open though narrow. But since I was short in my last response, I figured I had no pressure and no obligation to respond to him again. And if he got my subtle message, he'd know that (at the time) I didn't feel like ever talking to him again.

So I was surprised this morning to see an e-mail from him. Either he didn't interpret my e-mail as a "goodbye" or he's testing to see if I am still his "friend."

--> "Didn't know if you were back from you France trip yet. was it?"

Eh, whatever. So what now? I've got plenty of things to do for the next several days... I'll get back to him when I feel like it. ;)


And then there's that other guy, Waby, who I haven't been very interested in. I think he and I both seem to have a very non-chalant attitude. He e-mailed me:

"I was trying to think of something we could do together if you're
interested. Since you don't dance salsa and I don't dance swing, I was
trying to think of something else. I dance west coast swing, but not
east coast swing.

The only thing I've got isn't until mid-May. I have an extra ticket
for [a show] on Friday, May 19. Would you be interested
in going?"

Upon further discussion, I learned it's a group of ten tickets and he's helping his friend "shop" an extra ticket. I wonder what kind of people will be there? I have to get back to him. I'm not sure whether to go. I have to admit I'd be more interested in going to a good movie opening with my friends.